1 July 2020

Scanning

Up by Fulwood Lane, a sitting bull peacefully scans two Yorkshire gentlemen peering over the wall. One is 66 years old, the other is half his age. It's me and the son-in-law.

Yesterday afternoon Frances and Stewart returned from London with a special picture containing a scanned image of the foetus child taken yesterday morning at the Whittington Hospital between Archway and Highgate Cemetery. The babe is now the size of a small lemon.

After the drive back, Stewart was keen on taking a short walk. We didn't drive far and the walk was only a couple of miles in familiar territory. Below, white foxgloves bloom by windy Houndkirk Road, looking down from the moorland to Sheffield.
Stewart studied geology at university but he had never seen The Ox Stones on Burbage Moor before. Remnants of a primordial ocean, they sit  like beached whales above the heather. I cannot help believing that ancient men and women gathered there to shelter or pay homage to ancient gods or simply to the sun and the moon and the passing seasons. They are phenomena you really can believe in. My theory is strengthened by the fact that within shouting distance of The Ox Stones there are several known Bronze Age sites
And finally here he/she is. The lemon child, growing imperceptibly in amniotic fluid, already looking forward to meeting his/her grumpy grandfather. The feeling is mutual.

53 comments:

  1. Can't make out which bit might actually be a baby, but glad to know all is going well !!

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    1. Baby's head is the rounded light area on the left, the dark part in the middle of that is where the ear will be

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    2. Thank you for that helpful intervention Dr Kylie.

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  2. Oh to be a bull! Such calm, such elegance.

    Yes, the first scan is exciting. And the heartbeat is like no other sound.

    Good job you and I aren't sitting in the same room this minute. Otherwise I'd regale you with some truly entertaining stories of my own pregnancy. I believe I told you the one with the six foot fence (at eight months pregnant) already. And please do continue to feel perfectly safe when driving on the roads. I dare say you will come across few women belting down the motorway with contractions five minutes apart. I had to pick up my sister and my nephew from Heathrow Airport. To add to the atmospheric setting I left home at about five in the morning, in the dark, rain belting down, lorries in front and behind me. Four hour round trip or something. I even managed to make them a full English on our return. Mind you, once I didn't have the steering wheel any longer to grip tightly during each contraction I'd lost my best friend. People, not least my sister, thought me mad (not that she took over the wheel - she still felt safe). What's the worst that could have happened? Giving birth, most befittingly, at the airport where I'd dropped off the Angel's father so often? Giving birth in a layby? Giving birth at a motorway service station (my least preferred option). I never considered a ditch.

    Give my best to your daughter and her lemon sized miracle. It's an exciting time. Probably the longest (nine months) we ever spend in anticipation.

    U

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    1. I am surprised that a motorway service station was your least preferred option. You could have been chomping on a ready-made sandwich as The Beloved Angel magically appeared.

      Your clever reference to the ditch with its political echoes was duly noted.

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    2. YP, re you noting "the ditch with its political echoes". It gets better. Twenty minutes into the journey, as I was still navigating my way across the New Forest before hitting the motorway, I was in two minds whether to turn round or not when I came across this huge traffic sign between the two sides of the dual carriageway. A large U crossed out. I took it as a sign from heaven and did a Margaret Thatcher. "This lady is not for turning." So I carried on.

      U

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    3. When Dashing Denis was feeling particularly frisky in the apartment above Number 11 Downing Street, "the lady" was often for turning. "Have your pleasure while I open this red box my dear."

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  3. Ooh, I can see a little nose. Must say, he/she doesn't look much like Grumps yet.

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    1. He or she is giving two fingers just past the head.

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  4. I like the fawn colour of that bull and the Ox Stones are really quite spectacular.

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    1. Big Chief Sitting Bull looked so chilled.

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  5. Fantastic photos. The Ox stones are incredible. Could they be meteorites?

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    1. There will laid down as an underwater cliff collapsed long, long before the first human being appeared. Definitely not a meteorite Professor David.

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    2. I will be on University Challenge reading top shelf magazines and old gas meters! Perhaps it relates to the flood when Noah and Nellie opened a wool shop in Haworth?

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    3. Hi, I'm Yorkshire Pudding and I am reading Hull City programmes.

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  6. Belated congratulations on your impending grandparenthood!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Jean. That's one word I have never used before - "grandparenthood"!

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  7. That bull does not look at all peaceful when you zoom in - he has a no nonsense look, a warning not to go nearer. Unfortunately you can't zoom in on the ultrascan so the facial expression cannot be determined.

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    1. Oh, actually you can. Inscrutable.

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    2. Inscrutable? I do not believe the baby is Chinese Tasker! But you never know these days.

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  8. Lovely exciting time waiting for the little one to arrive, and you and your wife will have the added bonus of being grandparents and not in permanent charge of a baby. Because I was always scrabbling round/walking when pregnant had a couple of worrying moments, one in Cornwall miles away from hospital and the other on Hadrian's Wall. Make sure Frances keeps safe.

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    Replies
    1. Did Hadrian yell at you, "Get down off my wall Fatty!"?

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment Thelma.

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  9. Sitting bull looks a little stoned. But baby looks grand. :)

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    1. Chief Sitting Bull say white woman speak with forked tongue.

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  10. Those pictures always make me think of alien babies. We all go through the alien baby stage, just as we go through the fish stage.
    I think you're right about the ancient worshippers. So what do you think of the new (ancient) henge discovery? Isn't that amazing?
    Your sitting bull reminds me of one of the cows I pass on my walk. They could be related.

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    Replies
    1. You are talking bull Mary!

      But the discovery near Stonehenge is marvellous and only adds to the amazement. By the way I believe you have some ancient Native American mounds near Lloyd. Have you ever blogged about them?

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    2. Yes. I believe I have. At least one set.

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  11. Congratulations grandpa! Your wife must be over the moon.

    While on holidays we went to Writing on Stone Provincial Park here and it was amazing. Have a look on line if you have a chance.

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    1. Wow! Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is another place I would now like to visit. Those hoodoos look amazing but the rock carvings speak poignantly of people who lived in harmony with nature,long before Europeans arrived to change everything.

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  12. A beautiful time in your family life, YP. How auspicious to catch sight of those foxgloves by Houndkirk Road (Houndkirk: the mysterious power of nomenclature)! And your geologist son seeing *the primordial ocean* of Burbage Moor for the first time. And the presence of those Bronze Age people: Other voices, other gods. Now I am looking for a book from you with the provisional title of *The Sheffield Curlew*.

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    1. If you can't find it you will have to write it John. It might be part of a series including "The Glasgow Vulture" and "The London Cockatoo".

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    2. We crave magic, alchemy, enchantment. The places you take us to remind me of that novel of Alain-Fournier's, The Lost Domain (Le Grand Meaulnes). In my Oxford (1986) edition there's an afterword by John Fowles, who when he visited the writer's home in the Sologne region of France, found a painter's ladder and resting on it, a swallow. Your familiar spirit or bird is the curlew.

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    3. Co-incidentally I just finished reading "Le Grand Meaulnes" today. I had not read it since I was nineteen.

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    4. Years ago I was up late watching Grand Old Opry. For some reason I wondered if the Opry was around in the lifetime of John O'Hara (1905-1970) whose work I possess in its entirety. Next day I looked up a volume of his stories, which I hadn't read in 20 years. I found a story I know I hadn't read before, and there in the text was - Grand Old Opry! You reading Le Grand Meaulnes is even better. Trickster universe or what?

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  13. Amazing rocks!

    As for the baby scan, I'm quite the expert, having seven grandchildren.
    I always think though, there's no privacy to be found these days. Even before birth.

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    1. Now you have made me feel bad Granny Tina. After all the grandchild is naked in the amniotic sac.

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  14. I can never make out anything when I look at an ultrasound. (But I read Kylie's intervention above so now I've got it figured out.) It always amused me, when my sister-in-law was pregnant, how the doctors always gauged the baby's size by comparing it to pieces of fruit. I remember there was an avocado stage at one point. (Maybe that's just a Florida thing?)

    Those stones ARE interesting, and I'm sure you're right that ancient people revered them somehow, even if only as landmarks.

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    1. We have teased Frances that in the final stage the baby will be the size of a water melon! Ouch!

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  15. Beautiful photo of the child to be. I will not be able to refrain from calling it "Lemon" from now on, I'm afraid.

    I think I will paint that rock and beautiful sky. Alright with you if I borrow your photo for that purpose?

    That cow is in need of milking!!!

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    1. You mean the black cow behind the bull? I would be most honoured if you created a painting with the Ox Stone photo Mama Thyme.

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  16. No, no, no, that is not a bull, it's a moth! (according to Pixabay anyhow)

    Are we going to hear nothing but baby news now? Just kidding, YP. It's nice to see your softie side.

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    1. Canadian cows may have testicles but British cows certainly don't.

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    2. It's you who stated it was a bull!

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  17. When is little Lemon Pudding due?

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  18. The Ox Stones are quite something to see especially realizing how long they have been on this earth. How wonderful it is to see that first picture of life! You and Shirley will be wonderful grandparents and will enjoy every minute of it. I warn you, grandchildren grow up even faster than our children, and before you know it this little one will be graduating just like my youngest grandson did last Saturday!

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    1. I just hope that I live to see a few years of his/her life passing by. That would be good.

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