The other week we had the privilege of a little trip to Great Ormond Street in London for our baby boy Eli. His poor weight gain continues, even with the tube feeding and I hope finally we are getting somewhere! He has had some tests which are pointing towards Eli not absorbing his food properly. We just have to wait until mid April now for the results and a plan for moving forward. Admin these days, takes so long for everything to filter through! I just wanted to share with you some pictures and stories of our trip that I hope you find interesting enough to read on!
It was such a grizzly day on the drive up there but as always, I love taking pictures and as the spindly, winter barren trees whizzed by it reminded me of that great photographer, Ansel Adams. When I was at college, the brief time I studied photography, back in the days when we actually learnt how to develop film and develop photographs, rather than the digital age we live in now, we were meant to study artists we liked. I've always been in love with nature, even if my walk with God has been unsteady at times, He always brings me back to His wonderful creation. And so it was obvious I would be drawn to Ansel's beautiful black and white photography.
Here is my interpretation:
Even with a bit of digital tweaking, a filter here, a border there, it's still unfortunately rather fuzzy but that was because I took it in a fast moving car. I guess it just adds to the atmospheric quality of it! At the end of this blog I'll post some links if you want to find out more about Ansel's work.
The first night there we stayed in the patient hotel opposite the hospital. We all went out for dinner at a quiet Italian called 'Cagney and Lacey's'. The food was nice but nothing amazing. For me, dessert is always the highlight no matter how stuffed I am! So here is a little pic of me enjoying said dessert! A chocolate sundae, yum!
The next day was a bit horrendous. We had to be at the hospital at 8am and I'd been awake since 4am, unable to get back to sleep. At Southend hospital, timing isn't great and you constantly have to nag otherwise nothing gets done! So I was in this anxious state of mind but had to trust that they are much more efficient at GOSH! And they were.
Putting Eli under general anaesthetic was horrible as he really fought it! The staff said they'd never seen such a strong baby! On reflection, I loved this comment, as prophetically, speaking over Eli in God's presence, one of my words for him is that he will be a strong man of God. Just like who he was named after in the Bible, a priestly man, a strong man of God. So when I heard this, my reaction was 'yes! Get in!'. But it wasn't nice watching him fight it, I nervously giggled, which made me embarrassed as it's not really appropriate! But it actually did make me laugh how much he was fighting it! I was thinking 'oh come on Eli! Stop being so silly!'. However, I then burst into tears once I was out of the room! Talk about emotional!
Once Eli had woken up there were further annoyances. Which I won't bore you with. But suffice to say, once we'd got him settled, we deserved a break! My lovely Dad looked after him while my husband and I went out for a cheeky Pizza Express. We went to the one on Southampton Row and I found another photo opportunity with their pretty wine art display.
That evening, we went out for a curry. Yes, food again! It was my task to settle Eli for the evening while my husband, Nick, and my Dad went to the restaurant to get a head start on some poppadums and beer! Nick had left the hospital about five minutes to 8pm which is significant for a funny anecdote I hope will make you chuckle too!
I exited about half an hour later and stopped to take more pictures.
One of my favourite things, rainbow colours! To describe where I was geographically, I'd come out of one exit and was standing at the top of the stairs. I hadn't actually exited completely as I was fiddling around with taking these pics. The light display was a rolling thing of different colours bleeding into the next, so I took my time waiting for the best combinations!
Then a lady in full hijab (the black dress and letterbox slit for her eyes) came out and said in a Middle Eastern accent 'is open?'. My casual reply 'oh yeah, I think it's open, yeah go for it'. Then the lady rushed down the stairs, pressed the exit button, which didn't work and then gestured to her partner/husband waiting outside it was shut! I was watching all this as I started packing up my phone. She came back up the stairs and I also watched as we couldn't go back in the exit! I then panicked and said rather dramatically 'we're trapped! We can't exit this way, how do we get back in?!'.
Then I watched again with relief as this lady went to the lift and I was commentating that that was how we would get back in 'ah, in the lift, ok', as I followed her. It was so surreal and like something out of Monty Python as she then beckoned me with her finger saying 'come, this way' in her accent and hurrying away as I tried to keep up with her!
She then led me down some stairs and we reached an emergency exit as she explained 'quick! Alarm!' and pointing to a sign cautioning of the same if we exited this way! As we finally hurried through the exit with the sound of bells ringing, I then did quote Monty Python as I said 'quick! Run away!' - I think it's from The Holy Grail - 'Right men, run away!'. But I'm not sure she got the reference and was running away down the street anyway as soon as we'd got through! Ah, I thought it was hilarious anyway!
The Indian restaurant we went to was called 'Salaam Namaste' which means something like peace, welcome, hello. Here's a little photo of the dips for the poppadums which I thought was quite pretty.
After packing up from the hospital on our last day in London, visited a lovely little gift shop which has my favourite kind of quirky, creative, design led items. Called 'Volte Face'. Here are my spoils:
The Writer's Tool Kit had to be my favourite, I love this sort of thing. It contains lots of inventive prompts for writing a novel I will probably never get round to! But I love the idea all the same. And when I do find the time, at least I'll know where to start with this! Just Google 'Sioux Bradshaw writer's tool kit' for more info. Or contact her at Sioux_bradshaw@yahoo.co.uk.
I had to buy something for Eli of course and he loves these square board books with shapes, colours and patterns. The first time I got them out, I positioned them in a tall tower with the top one opened out with all it's pages on display, perfectly balanced on the top. Eli just giggled and bounced up and down in excitement!
Amongst this lot are also some craft washi type tapes. I was very attracted to the 80's neon colours! And the blue/green/turquoise patterned one has a picture of black cats running through it. I love cats so it had to be bought!
Lastly I noticed these handmade cards and really loved them. It's the kind of design I will be aspiring to for when I eventually open a handmade craft business. The artist is Petra Boase and I'll post a link to her website with all the other links in this soon to finish blog!
So I hope you enjoyed a foray into our trip to London. Despite the horrors of all the medical procedures, we had a pretty good time. And Eli didn't seem affected by the bad bits either. So I just want to thank my Church for this, anyone from Southend Christian Fellowship who is reading this, on our prayer team. I know we were totally covered in prayer and I thank God for prayer power and my family in Christ. Love you guys. Not leaving out my very supportive husband and my Dad who just ploughs on despite feeling his age! (My lovely Mum couldn't make the trip as she hasn't been well, but that's another story!)
So, those useful links and photo credits for you:
Photo credit of the London header photo:
A few pictures taken by the artist Ansel Adams. The very last one was the particular one I was thinking of that inspired my photo.
The Volte Face shop, their Facebook page:
Petra Boase, her website:
Great Ormond Street Hospital:
I'm Julia, Just Creative Julia, jolly pleased to meet you!
Welcome to my creative lifestyle blog, established 2014. My creative journey in discovering my authentic self as a neurodivergent woman.
Embracing the Neuro Spicy! Here you will find many different topics centring around creativity, deep thoughts, mental health, food and more.