Manchester, England, England*

I heart visitors! We’ve just had a series of them, the last in date being Joe Gunn. You might know him; he was a finalist at the Commonwealth Games this summer. Well, he has since retired from competitive swimming and moved to London where he is living the high life. In one move he has gone from one of the ten cheapest postcodes of the UK (you know how the Brits love measuring people’s worth by their postcode), to one of the top ten expensive ones. How’s that for social ascension? He’s living with our favorite one and only Hélène and working with his mate Charlie in their company Agon Sports Management. His latest news: he’ll be in Rio next week, on business. La classe à Dallas, moi j’dis.

He’s not the only one of our Crew to cross the Atlantic Sea, as Hanoushka is already on the South American continent (if I could remember which country, I’d tell you – but baby brain has interfered)**. Mom and Calum are also outside of their country of residence as they’re in Edinburgh at the moment for Calum’s International Baccalaureate November session. Go Calum!

Dad, I presume, is happily Ralphing away (of the Lauren variety, not the vom variety) somewhere in Italy. His schedule and mine unfortunately mean we have to rely on other members of the tribe to pass on news. But, Dad, if you’re reading this, my phone is up and running again and I’d love to hear from you 😉

Life continues (more or less) smoothly and as I’ve already managed to write 260 words uninterrupted with only a zillion or so interruptions***, I’ll be thankful for that, not ask for more, and leave you with a photographic summary of the past few weeks.

Grandma on the stoop

Grandma on the stoop

Oh, hi there!

Oh, hi there!

Siblings

Siblings

Autumn

Autumn

Hanging out on the football pitch

Hanging out on the football pitch

Dans le vent avec Grand'maman

Dans le vent avec Grand’maman

Who's this dude?

Who’s this dude?

"Wanna ride?"

“Wanna ride?”

"I will give you a ride! Hop on my dragon."

“I’ll give you a ride! Hop on my dragon.”

Marloushka

Beautiful Marloushka

Friends for generations

Friends since generations

Heading home, now.

Heading home, now.

And back out again, this time with Uncle Joey.

And back out again, this time with Uncle Joey.

Dude.

Dude.

Holding his own.

Holding his own.

Yup.

Yup.

Babbling at breakfast

Babbling at breakfast

"A TANGERINE!!! WOW!!!"

“A TANGERINE? WOW!!!”

Who's the champion?

Who’s the champion of the cardboard box?

* Reference included within.
** Information retrieved: Columbia.
*** OK, it took me 5 hours total to write this. Efficiency = me, impersonated.

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Diaper bag! and: 30 days ’til the Games.

Look what I just received in the post:

Super Duper Diaper Bag

Super Duper Diaper Bag

I’m so excited! And also quite impressed that Amazon only delivered 5 days late (was very skeptical when they quoted a one week delivery from the US).
I owe my love for this bag to Tosha’s Mid-Western family, who sent her one a few months back. Every time I saw her with it, I swooned. Now, I know the busy print isn’t for everyone, but it’s just so funky I can’t resist. It’s almost one of those it’s-so-ugly-it’s-beautiful things.
I hadn’t bought a diaper bag yet and I figured with #2 on the way I could splurge a bit – which I didn’t even have to do when it came down to it, thanks to a £50 Amazon voucher my awesome employers sent me when I gave birth last year. It’s nice and roomy, yet light, and has lots of pockets and compartments. But most of all, the print! Yum!

In other news, the 30 day count-down to the Commonwealth Games has begun. In case you haven’t been following the family news, this guy’s on team Scotland:

Scotland's breast stroker*

Scotland’s breast stroker*

More info on www.glasgow2014.com
Joe stopped in to see us 10 days ago with his friend Martin Cremin (also on the Scottish team) after swimming at Mare Nostrum in Canet. Joe will be swimming 50 metres breaststroke at the Games and was looking fit and strong. Whoop!

Here’s another photo of Uncle Joey just for fun:

Fun times!

Fun times!

Updates on the whereabouts of people right now: Henry is here in France with us, as is Calum, our manny for the summer. Joe is back in Scotland, with Hélène. Hannah is in Italy hill-walking with Mom, while Dad is also in Italy but working for Ralph. Grandma is about to head to Italy for a week’s holiday, and Grandpa is soon to be on his way to Alaska for some sweet fly fishing. Christina & family have jumped ship and moved back to England, Marlène & family are back from Argentina for the summer, Julie is back from Gabon to have her baby in France, Bernadette will be arriving from Paris in a couple days. Other people are in their places.
Tally of people who don’t know where they will be living in a few months: Calum, Joe, Megan & Henry, Mom & Dad. Also, Martin. And presumably lots of other people.

* Sorry, couldn’t resist. Blame this sort of dubious humour on Dad.