A Blessing

On Saturday evening, the family received a much needed fillip when my sister’s baby girl Alice made her inaugural appearance. This 7lb 14oz’s of beauty hopefully the catalyst for brighter times ahead for the Davies/Strachan clans.

Akin to her auntie Karen getting ready for an evening out, the wee lassie wasn’t in a rush to make an appearance; procrastinating for two to three days beyond her due date prior to making her arrival.

Unlike my tactics when attempting to lure my missus out of the bathroom, my sister Helen and her hubby, Steve, didn’t have to coax their new-born child into the world by yelling “Will you flaming hurry up! The taxi’s here!”…… Having to employ those cajoling tactics is something they can put on the back burner for a number of years yet.

I’ve no idea why my niece seemed initially reticent to join us, but I’m sure it won’t be a consequence of any diva-like behaviour on her part. Especially if she displays her parents calm and collected temperaments.


As my sister utilised a birthing pool during an incident-free delivery at a Cheshire hospital, I suppose you could say Alice’s arrival literally went swimmingly. She was in ‘fine fettle’ on her appearance, but the midwifery team were baffled where the new-born babe acquired her water-wings.

Thankfully for the parents, trying to get their newly-arrived offspring out of the pool didn’t present the same challenges as it can do with an older child; Alice leaving the water without complaint shortly after her entrance.

“A blessing!…… A gift!” is how my mum refers to her new granddaughter. Tears of joy now replace the septuagenarian Yorkshire lasses tears of sorrow shed at the recent loss of her beloved husband.

As a middle-aged cynic, I’m unsure where I stand spiritually on ‘gifts’ and ‘blessings’. However, it’s without doubt this beautiful little girl’s appearance has injected much needed joy into her grandma Maggie’s existence. Not to mention lifting the spirits her parents, siblings, uncles, aunts and cousins.

I’ve been told anecdotally, on her first night in the big wide world Alice fed heartily and required four nappy changes. Perhaps I spoke too soon when I opined earlier she’d be low maintenance child!

What existential journey lies in store for my new-born niece is unknown. The only certainty is she’ll experience the highs and lows we are all subject to on our life sojourn. She is blessed, though, that her mentoring will be provided by two excellent role models in my sister Helen and her husband Steve.

As an alpha male, Steve will probably find those words overly sentimental (if he ever reads them, of course), but I make no apologies for their inclusion. If he does feel the need to be disparaging about my thoughts, it’ll be the last time I lend him any of my S-Club 7 CD’s!

The product of paternal House of Lancaster stock and a north east England born mother with roots firmly affiliated to the House of York, Alice is less ‘War of the Roses’, more ‘Wor of the Roses’. Hopefully, there’ll be no indoctrination of glee at Lancastrian Henry Tudor’s victory at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Although I wouldn’t bet against her mum furnishing her with tales of “… a canny bag of Tudor.”; her favourite brand of crisps when she was a child.

Although refusing to weep since my father’s passing in October, I have to admit receiving news on Saturday evening of my our new family members appearance did bring a lump to my throat.

Hopefully, Karen and I will shortly have an opportunity to drive over to Cheshire to see our new niece (that’s if I can coax my missus from the bathroom). Not only will it be lovely to meet the little ‘un  for the first time, it’ll also give me the opportunity to retrieve that chuffing S-Club 7 CD Steve borrowed months ago!

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