Monday 11th February 1991

The winter continued to be bitterly cold in Shrewsbury and 11th February was no exception. It was snowing.

My overwhelming memory of Jessy’s birth was the fact that it took her so long to take her first breath. The midwife was very professional and wasn’t flustered in the slightest, but when I saw her holding this new born baby upside down and suctioning fluid from inside her mouth, I began to get deeply worried as I saw the seconds tick away on the clock on the wall. I am not sure how long it took before she started breathing, but it was one of the longest moments in my life.


Afterwards I began to get curious about the canister of Entonox that  Donna had kept very tight hold on. Maybe it was the trauma of the birth, I don’t know – but I had tried several large lungfulls of the gas when the midwife wasn’t looking! Oh! it was lovely – made me SO relaxed and happy.

As is well known in the family, Donna and I struggled to decide on a name for the new baby. I was pretty sure it was going to be a boy, since my father had died the previous year. Perhaps having two small children at home already meant that we didn’t have much time to try out baby names and make a decision, I am not sure

Anyhow, this piece of film is an amusing look back at our dilemma as we try out names on the new arrival. I particularly like Lawrence’s suggestion of ‘Gumboil’! Luke on the other hand dismisses the name ‘Laura’ as he has one at his playgroup already.


We couldn’t have managed if Lawrence and Eileen hadn’t again come over to Shrewsbury to look after Alana and Luke, whilst Donna was in hospital for five nights. On one night Alana who was sleeping in the top bunk bed, woke up crying. I immediately got out of bed to comfort her, as did Eileen. Unfortunately I had forgotten that I sleep with no clothes on, and as we calmed Alana I realised I was standing completely naked next to my mother in law. I apologised, and she said not to worry she had seen it all before, to which I replied “Not this one you haven’t, Nana!”


In July we went to the caravan in Llangwnnadl, North Wales. Chris and Mark and their two boys came along, as did Lawrence and Eileen. I have no idea how we all fitted into the caravan, I think Chris and Mark had a tent for a week or two, which if I remember was a complete disaster!

I took the opportunity to film an average day at the beach. There is so much in this clip that was typical of our holidays, from pushing a pram across the sands, to what happens if a child wants the toilet, to the mayhem of building sandcastles when the tide is coming in.