Quite the start to the year…

Dear all,

It’s a while since I wrote on this blog but I feel the need to tell you all about the start of my year! My beloved Nicol and I announced last year that we were expecting our first baby in March…well on the 2nd January, on the way to a fairly routine appointment it became apparent that our little one wasn’t hanging around and she was born the following day at 18:40 weighing just 3 pounds 8 ounces (actually a remarkably good weight considering her prematurity but tiny nonetheless).

Needless to say, it was quite a different start to the year than we had planned! The plans were to get our kitchen finished, get the house kitted out with all things baby-related, attend a few gigs while we still can and I would work up until the little one arrived before taking a few weeks off prior to starting again. But Heidi had other ideas! Ah well…the kitchen’s finished…

Seriously though, most importantly the little one is doing remarkably well and she is beyond amazing. I write to you from Nailsea ahead of my gig tonight and my face is hurting from the tears I shed having to put her back in her cot to travel down here. How can something so tiny who doesn’t speak or even do a lot capture your heart that much? It truly is a miracle and I am such a besotted father it is not true!

But I also have to pay a marked tribute to the incredible staff at Telford Women and Children’s Centre. I mean, I used to live with two doctors and I am with a nurse; I’ve always known that nurses and doctors are a special kind of person. Seeing it first hand has reenforced that notion twelvefold. Without going into details, we had a few worries during pregnancy in the early days and the early assessment team were just so incredible. Encouraging, reassuring, frank, honest, caring and efficient all at once. How is that even possible? 

Then the delivery team…Midwives are extraordinary. They catch everyone at their worst, they deal with so many unexpected and stressful situations. How the hell are they so damn nice all the time?! They looked after us so well and the sudden delivery was immaculately handled like a well oiled machine as the relevant people just appeared, did their job, said the right things and were just amazing.

Because Heidi is premature she is presently still in the neonatal ward. The staff there once again are just incredible. Nicol and I have both been emotional at different times and they are just such special, caring and wonderful people and of course give us expert advice along the way.

So long live doctors and nurses, and if our government would stop shafting them at every juncture that would be great.

As for me and my work, I took the decision to return to work this week after a couple of weeks off as I want some time at home when my baby does come home! I’m enormously grateful to my students, patrons and care home gig organisers for their understanding and I REALLY enjoyed returning to gigging at National Forest Folk Club, Ely Folk Club, Chirk Community Centre and a function gig with UFQ. Tonight I’m in Nailsea with Brooks too.

I will also have my new album! Indeed I have it already to sell at gigs but the official release is February so more on that in the coming weeks too 🙂