Family photos

We’ve moved around a fair bit since Heather and I got married. From a flat in South Shields to a flat in Edinburgh, to another flat, a third flat and a house in Edinburgh, to Mam and Dad’s place in Billingham, to a house in Durham, to temporary accommodation in Cupertino and now to our current place in San Jose. 8 or 9 homes in just under 11 years.

Partly due to this constant moving around, one thing we’ve never managed to do is put some pictures up on the walls of our home. We always wanted to, but it just never seemed to happen. Recently, we determined to get it done. We read something about how it builds self awareness and self-esteem in children and I can understand that. We want the children to know that there’s nothing we’d rather have on our walls than their little faces – that they are the centre of our universe. We also want them to see the pictures and remember a lot of happy times. So, with a visit from my parents approaching, we determined to get the pictures up before Mam and Dad arrived.

I’ve got a love/hate relationship with Costco. We’ve got a big family, so the massive boxes of cereal, nappies and everything else work out pretty well for us. It’s an awful place to be though. It’s got the kind of vibe experienced at the NEXT sale, with elbows flying around etc, but this is all year round. Every Saturday the place is heaving and while the traffic on the roads around the Bay Area is pretty bad, its nothing compared to the shopping cart traffic at Costco, San Jose.

For all my deeply-seated Coscto issues, I’ve got to give their photo-printing service some respect. Upload online. Collect with your shopping 2 hours later. Glossy or lustre (lustre, obviously). Couple of dollars per print. Living the dream.

So, we did this and got phase 1 of the pictures on the walls. Phase 1 is living room and dining room and it’s me Heather and the kids. Phase 2 is the wider family. This is equally important, particularly as we are so far away – keeping family and friends in sight and fresh in the kids’ minds is what we want.

Since the pictures went up, the place feels different – more a home than a house now. I’ve posted the pictures that went up below…

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London Calling

It seems like a long time ago now, but we wanted to put something up about our trip to London to obtain US Visas. We were under the impression form everything we had read that the children would need to be with us in person when we presented at the US Embassy, so we decided to make a short break of it. I’ve worked a lot in London these past few years and the children were always eager to hear about what it was like, so they were excited at the chance to see it for themselves.

Here are some of the highlights in pictures…

 

Waiting for the train at Durham station

Waiting for the train at Durham station (photo by Eve)

Eve on her way to Hogwarts via Platform 9¾, Kings Cross

Eve on her way to Hogwarts via Platform 9¾, Kings Cross

Heather, Olive and Hedwig

Heather, Olive and Hedwig

Waiting for the tube

Waiting for the tube

On the London Eye

On the London Eye with Rolos and Fruit Pastilles

 

Bin Ben from the London Eye

Big Ben from the London Eye

Heather and Charlotte on the London Eye

Heather and Charlotte on the London Eye

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Burdons meet Becks

Burdons meet Becks

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With the beefeater outside the Tower of London

With the beefeater outside the Tower of London

Thames boat tour

Thames boat tour

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Ice creams all round

Ice creams all round

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Percy pigs on the train home

Percy pigs on the train home

Olive peers over the seats

Olive peers over the seats

Lucy peers through the seats

Lucy peers through the seats

As it happened, the children didn’t need to be there in person to obtain visas… after buying train tickets and accommodation for the whole family, waiting in line, then waiting some more, the US official who interviewed us opened with “You know you didn’t have to bring the children, right?”. Maybe we didn’t have to, but we were glad that we did anyway.

Quick family photo on our arrival back in Durham

Quick family photo on our arrival back in Durham

 

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