Mr Messy caught a bug while we were in Ethiopia, that hit him hard and lasted for about 6-8 weeks! He completely lost his appetite, and had constant diarrhea during this time! He lost over a stone in weight (over 14lbs for my non UK readers) and had no energy whatsoever. It was a few weeks after we had returned to the UK before I persuaded him to visit the GP (you know what men are like a simple cold is Man Flu, but anything remotely serious and they won't go near the doctor!!) who ordered stool tests. The tests came back negative, but the doctor said as he had had the bug for so long and was improving slightly, it was likely it would work itself out and just to make sure he ate and drank regularly and get through it!
Due to feeling so ill for so long, all the night feeds fell to me (Princess Lollipop continued needing feeding during the night for 3 months ish after we came home). And once Mr Messy finally recovered, he seemed to be immune to Princess Lollipop's cries, so I've carried on doing the majority of the night shifts. It also meant that Mr Messy was too tired and ill to aggressively look for a new contract and coupled with the downturn in the economy it has meant it took a long time before he found a one. This lead to huge financial pressures on us, and it has been a hard and stressful time for us all. He did finally secure a new contract and started at the beginning of the year, and even managed to work through the snowy conditions, mostly by working remotely from home.
Once he had sufficiently recovered Mr Messy was able to devote a lot of time to his emerging photography business, although we didn't have the financial resources to really market the business as much as he would like. He and a local chocolatier/bespoke cake maker have formed a successful partnership and promote each other's businesses when they can. Mr Messy did the photography for the chocolatier's Santa's Grotto, and LMS and Drama Teen were roped in to be Santa's Elves!! Earlier in the year Mr Messy exhibited at a couple of Wedding Fair's ably assisted by either Baby Sis or LMS, although there haven't been that many new bookings resulting from the Fairs so I'm not sure if he will be repeating that again this year.
My Christmas present from Mr Messy this year was a frame with four seperate photographs - one of each of the children :-) It looks stunning and I really appreciate it :-)