Sons: Barnaby

Brothers swimming

Jonathan, Oscar, Barnaby and Henry swimming in Daymer Bay, Summer 2011

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about my third son, Jonathan, and his experience of being a chorister. Now I have decided to write a short piece about each of my other three sons, and so I am going to make weekly posts on the blog about Barnaby, Henry and Oscar.

I decided that I didn’t wish to have children and a job. At some point I wanted to have children and it was when we were on holiday in France with two friends, Greg and Vivien, that I became pregnant with Barnaby; such is my sense of humour I always say he was conceived in gin! Half way through the holiday I found I didn’t want to drink alcohol any more: I did not realise that this was caused by my being pregnant. When I was back at work my doctor rang me to tell me I was pregnant. I was delighted and rang my mother; she asked what Adrian felt and I said that I hadn’t told him as he was at work, teaching in a school. Then I realised it was lunchtime so I rang him and told him and, of course, he was delighted too.

Barnaby and Henry at Daymer Bay

Barnaby and Henry at Daymer Bay

I had always liked the name Barnaby and he was a cheerful chap! When Barnaby was a baby Adrian was carrying him upstairs and he tripped: although Barnaby didn’t cry and wasn’t hurt, Adrian cried. At that time we lived in Witney, then we moved to London where my mother and various friends visited us and admired Barnaby. He was a warm, cheerful and friendly child. When we travelled in the car he used to sit in his car seat, chewing away at his “ankie”, a small, purple handkerchief which he adopted as his comfort object. He was slow to learn to walk as he seemed quite happy just playing and didn’t see the need! A couple of years later Henry was born and I felt that Barnaby was relieved of the responsibility of being the only beloved grandchild!

Barnaby used to go to Junior Foxes every Saturday morning, where a large group of young boys were taught footballing skills by staff from Leicester City football club. In virtually the last week before we were due to move to Cornwall, his friend from down the road, Cassie, came running to our house to tell us that Barnaby had been picked to be the mascot at the next game. So he went off with Adrian to see behind the scenes, meet the players and watch a match sitting in the best seats. He has supported Leicester City ever since.

Barnaby was very proud to be a mascot for Leicester City

Barnaby was very proud to be a mascot for Leicester City

When he went to school Barnaby always had lots of friends; some of my “army of friends” are parents of children that my children knew, notably Nicky whose daughter, Rosanna, was a friend of Oscar. Barnaby sometimes came with us to listen to Jonathan singing in the Cathedral: I suppose an older brother proud of his younger brother.

Barnaby read psychology at Oxford Brookes University and got a 2:1 Then he studied for a Masters degree in Occupational Psychology at Cardiff. He now works as a management consultant for Hay Group and is living in Sydney, Australia, with his partner and two sons.

Next week, look out for Henry!

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