The popular risings across North Africa and the Middle East; a huge Tsunami in Japen that killed thousands and wiped out a nuclear reactor; the death of Bin Laden, another global economic meltdown; the closure of the New of the World and implosion of the Murdoch empire; riots and strikes across the UK and the final discovery of the elusive Higgs Boson. Steve Jobs is dead and the US has finally withdrawn from Iraq. If you think that the biggest event of 2010 was a woman putting a cat in a bin, it’s fair to say that 2011 was a pretty big year on a global scale.
2011 was an equally monumental year for us. The first big event was the arrival of Sophie in February. From that point on, we knew that nothing was ever going to be quite the same again. She has truly changed our lives and brought a whole new meaning to everything we do. Watching her grow through the year has been great fun. She has changed so much in those 10 months and she is now whizzing around on all fours, wanting to feed herself and her first words were Lola and Mama. We are very lucky to be blessed with such a happy baby. There is still a long way to go before we get our house back but we are enjoying the ride.
In addition to starting our family we also got married. We were joined by over two hundred friends and family as we celebrated starting our lives together, first in Mytholme (Bradford) and then a couple of weeks later in Bergen. Both parties were great fun and it was really nice to see so many people eating, dancing and celebrating with us. It made us realise how very lucky we are.
Katharine spent half of her maternity leave in Norway and we spent much of the summer getting the house there ready to sell. It’s ironic that so many jobs only get done when you are getting ready to leave, but by the end of the summer the place was looking great. I have lived there for 8 years and it was a bit of a wrench to sell it but it's been an awesome place to live and the next project is even more exciting.
So Katharine returned to work in September after a great holiday in Rome. Since then I have been on paternity leave in Aberdeen, getting to know Sophie better, planning the new house and trying to sort out next year. We have now finished the plans for the house at Cowieswells and should be starting work in the New Year. The steading already has a new roof and looks a thousand times better for being repaired and repointed. Everytime we visit we realise how impatient we are to be living there and dream of the days when we eating or own veg from the garden, watching the Sun rise over the sea and strolling to the local pub for Sunday lunch. We hope to be in by late next summer. Watch this space for news.
In addition to us, lots of our friends seem to be starting or expanding their families. Babies seem to be popping out everywhere and talk has changed from skiing and climbing to play-tables and feed times, but everyone seems happy about it, perhaps we are all growing up.