Monday, 4 December 2017

Noah Ruairidh Appelyard

As I began to waken on the morning of Tuesday, 28th of November, my phone rang. It was my daughter, Abi. I'd been expecting the call and was relieved to hear the laughter in her voice. The day before, my son in law Dave had phoned to say they were off to the maternity unit at Tameside Hospital in nearby Ashton under Lyne. We'd pre-arranged that, when the time arrived, we'd scoot down to their house, around 5 miles away, and pick up Pepper, their flat coated retriever, and take care of her until they were back home.

Hence, I was expecting the call and was very pleased to hear that, at 5:13 that morning, our first grandchild, Noah Ruairidh Appleyard had been born. Both Mum and babe were fine, though I gathered the birth hadn't been quick.

It was late afternoon on Wednesday when Noah and his Mum and Dad arrived back at their home. We didn't want them overwhelmed with visitors but, unsurprisingly, they wanted Pepper home to greet the new arrival. So, not a little excitedly, we drove down. We left Islay and Pebbles, wrapped up warm in the car. Too many dogs in the house might not be the best.

It's hard putting my feelings into words. I don't actually remember holding a baby so tiny since Abi was born, almost 31 years ago. Suffice to say it was emotional as Chrissie and I each nursed the tiny boy in our arms.

As you can see, we couldn't even wait until we'd got our coats off.

Abi thinks of everything. She'd brought Pepper a new toy as a gift from Noah, making sure their lovely dog didn't feel left out. It worked. Pepper wasn't remotely interested in the baby. She had a new toy to chew. Abi messaged us later to say Pepper had started to react once Noah made a noise. But she's a soft, affectionate dog and all was well.

We didn't stay long. I remember well how important it is to give yourself time to settle, arriving home with a new born. But the happy parents were pleased to see us, and this time our pups too, just a couple of days later.

Now we could absorb the experience a little more.

Cuddles and smiles all round.

I was fascinated at Noah's complete lack of reaction when any of the dogs barked, often quite loudly, at a noise outside. Of course, he'd been hearing those sounds from Pepper for all the months he'd spent, curled up inside his Mum and, no doubt, noticing her calmness at such noises.

Pepper is getting used to Noah already. But, as is normal, the three dogs dash around like lunatics every time they see each other. There's no room in their heads for babies...yet. But eventually Pebbles noticed the little thing on Chrissie's lap and then wanted to spend all her time licking little Noah.

Islay, meanwhile, is being aloof and disinterested. But, to be fair, she is, by far, the calmest of the three dogs. And the only time Noah cried was whilst having his nappy changed in the other room, with the door closed. The dogs all pricked up their ears, but made no connection once Noah returned.

So there you have it. I trust you'll understand but I felt I needed to record this momentous occasion on here. And be warned, there'll be more to come, I'm sure. Sorry.

Dave and Abi are surrounded and supported by a their extended family now they live back up north. In addition to us, Noah has three more grandparents and four great grandparents, not to mention various aunts, uncles and dogs. He's gonna grow up nestled in love from all.

Chrissie and I are looking forward to sharing in his future.

I'll leave with with this lovely photo of Mum, baby and dog on their first family walk, with Noah just four days old.

Such happiness.



  1. Tremendous! Such happiness.
    Enjoy, Sir.

    1. Thank you Alan. And I'm sure I will enjoy this.

  2. Congratulations to one all, great photos. How does it feel to be a grandad :)

  3. How very, very lovely :-)
    My very best wishes to you all..... including the doggies!

  4. Brilliant news Geoff. He's a wee cutie. You'll love being a grandad. We have 6 grandchildren, the latest just arriving on 19th October, little Millie. They bring out the big kid in me. And they just tell you exactly what they think, which is hilarious sometimes. Give it a few years and I'm guessing you'll be buying a bigger Huge congrats to you and Chrissie. 😊👍

    1. Thanks Andy. I'll admit, I'm looking forward to watching him grow. Fun ahead.


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