Friday, December 30, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Isaac took a step
Isaac is a master of crawling so we thought he might not be too bothered about walking but today he took a step in between cruising. If he really wants to get somewhere though he descends to crawling, which he is very fast at!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Isaac is crawling and climbing, meanwhile Sol is singing and even eating
Isaac has been crawling for about a week. Just before that he discovered how to move but in typical baby fashion could only go backwards at first. Then he was defeated a bit by having slippy knees on a laminate floor which slowed his progress a little. Eventually though, well rather quickly, he was making forward progress. Unfortunately he has taught us a new trick. About the same time he took to hauling himself to standing on a bewildering array of objects. It goes like this. Isaac starts crawling. We look away. As we look back he is standing, hanging on to something (sometimes even a sheet or something draped over a chair). He smiles, wobbles, falls and then bashes his head on the floor. Poor thing. He does seem to be addicted to standing up though so we're having to keep a very close eye on him now.
Sol meanwhile has been speaking much more Spanish since our Spanish friend Laura has been staying. He decided she had been here so long she should be called Tia Laura (Auntie Laura pronounced Tia Lauria).
Sol has also started singing to himself. 'It's raining its pouring the old man is snoring'; also twinkle twinkle little star, and 'super duper' (to the tune of Abba's Super Trooper). He also unwillingly and rarely sings 'Get down, Get down' (Jungle Boogie) since we made a song into his demands to get down from the dinner table. By all accounts though he doesn't much like this. As I write, at midnight, we can hear Sol singing Twinkle Twinkle little star on the baby monitor, and ba ba black sheep before that - sleep singing?
He is a bit bashful when asked to perform his greatest hits but he did sing us 'It's raining it's pouring...' at the weekend for which we gave him a medal, which he seemed pleased with.
Sol has uncannily now started to eat more readily. I wonder if this is as a result of seeing his rapidly enlarging younger brother put everything he can find into his gob (2 crayons during breakfast one morning was not unusual).
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Probably the best MOT centre in West London, Hounslow and around
Thoroughly thrilled with the guys at Berkeley MOT centre as usual. It is so rare to find an MOT centre which is NOT also a garage and so has no interested in inventing work that needs to be done.
Their MOTs cost a bit more because they are not subsidising the fee with bogus repairs like many others do. I would imagine that for most people, spending a couple of extra quid on the MOT itself is much more cost effective than spending hundreds of pounds on potentially unnecessary repairs.
Highly highly recommended.
I think Marting would approve too.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Just after Isaac's first swim
Guess which post office ?
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Today Programme Discuss RadioHead's new album - Andy Kershaw Classic - very enjoyable
Radio 4 Podcast (short).
Fantastic comment from Andy Kershaw.
"The band Radiohead has come under criticism after some critics claimed its eighth album, The King of Limbs, which was released this month, was "impenetrable". Others have said the album needs time to grow on the listener. BBC DJ Andy Kershaw and Alex Poots, director of the Manchester International Festival, debate if good music should be instantly recognisable or needs time to grow on the listener."
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Gotta love volcanoes and Snow
Sorry to all the people trying to go on holiday but when you live in the flight path of Heathrow it's a blessed relief when the planes stop flying over every couple of minutes or so. It's nice to be able to talk on the phone without stopping for 30 seconds every 2 minutes!
Monday, December 13, 2010
New Arrival - Zac (probably)
We've had a long night!
Yesterday (Sunday) at about 5am Yolanda started having contractions. Pretty much the same as last time with Sol the intervals were far too short for it to be 'by the book' but we were relaxed about it. In the calm I warned work that I wouldn't make it in on Monday. Mid-morning we fitted the TENS machine, which apparently worked excellently. Yolanda was able to make us lunch and then go off to sleep. Unfortunately during her sleep the contractions stopped. We weren't really sure what to do so we hung out for a while and then went for a walk to her Mum's. Whilst there Sol started playing with the Nativity scene, of which there is a very cheesy electronic component. Anyhow, standing there about to give birth was too good an opportunity to miss so we dressed up a bit to honour the season and tradition.
Some hours later I trotted back to Maribel's (Yolanda's Mum's) to pick her up and we all walked back and put Sol to bed. It took quite a while for the contractions to start again, giving Yolanda a chance to cook dinner whilst I watched the football (I was really doing DIY - I fitted a cooker hood and a couple of hooks to hang guitars from) but I know how this story will be told, even though I of course offered to cook but felt that Yolanda being vertical might speed things along! We also had chance to watch 'Big Bang Theory' and then Yolanda watched Casualty before we felt inspired enough to go and get checked out at the hospital. Just like last time, she was 5cm dilated at this point, so we were in for the night. Contractions seemed to be irregular but with the assistance of a stopwatch on my phone I was able to bring a bit of science to bear and found them to be mostly 1m 50 with some sneaking in at about 30s. Yolanda didn't believe me until I started counting down to the next contraction, by which time she was convinced!
After the usual painful and long contractions process and thrashing around in the birthing pool both Helena's back and mine had had it, and Yolanda wasn't having much fun either. But when the pushing started things were very different from last time and it seemed like only 5 good pushes did the job and out plopped the little boy in to the water. We think we'll call him Isaac when he is naughty and 'Zac' the rest of the time.
Zac was born about 4am on Monday 13th December weighing 7lbs 7oz (his brother was born on Monday 13th of July 2009 but it would be too eccentric even for us to use the 'Solomon Grundy born on a Monday' inspiration for a second time!)
So, Mother and Baby are doing very well and we're already back home. It's odd but in less than the time I usually spend at work we've been to the hospital, had a baby and got home! The helpers are completely knackered. I may need to see the osteopath again soon. Sol has so far been very good with the little one but he is not quite sure what to make of him, though we had a GREAT time feeding the pigeons and the ducks when I got home (I think he even said Duck! for the first time). A bit later some ducks spotted us along the river and flew over. How impressive are they at landing their little water ski feet on the water. I don't think I've ever seen that so clearly before. Wow!
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sol communicating hunger
I was trying to cook Sol's dinner last night whilst he was quite hungry. He made a few motions towards his high chair but I managed to ignore them so he hung around my legs as I tried to cook. By 6.15 he was pretty eager to eat and wandered over to the nappy bag, opened it and pulled out a bib and wandered back across the kitchen trying to put on his bright yellow bib. What a very communicative little boy (he usually resists the bib!).
I said to him earlier in the day 'have you got poo pants?' and he said 'yeah'; and I said, 'shall we change your nappy?' and he said, 'yeah'. Quite impressive!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Really enjoying the name solomon
I went for a walk at the weekend to let Sol have a sleep. My idea was to go to starbucks in Hounslow and hope he would fall asleep on the way so I could do a few emails. The plan looked like working but I only got one email off before he started to wake up.
Meanwhile I had said hello the the lady at the nearby next table who was asking about my boy. It turned out she was from Somalia. A guy went past and seeing the pram and not Sol, and thinking me and the Somali woman were together asked about the colour of the baby. How nice it is to discuss colour in such a matter of fact way. We laughed about us not being together and had a long chat. She ended up playing with Sol and I ended up having a long chat with a Somali chap whose grandad was called Solomon (or ~Soollamon is more how they said it). It stuck me that we would not have made this connection without Sol's name, and that was very cool.
In the end I asked them where I could eat good Somali food and got some restaurant names and an invitation to dinner.
How splendid to make such an easy connection with people in this way. It makes me think that choosing a multi-purpose biblical name was not such a bad idea!
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Just back from a holiday in Brittany
We had an awesome time in Brittany with Pete, Carole and Mattis and their very very exceptional house - a petit manior. So nice to have such good friends scattered about even though we don't meet up very often. Sometimes I wish all my friends lived in the same village so we could go to the pub now and then!
Monday, August 02, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
A birthday poem
My friend Dave sent me this for my birthday, from the New York Times, he often sends me interesting stuff from there - thanks Dave!
A SPEECH TO THE GARDEN CLUB OF AMERICA
by Wendell Berry
SEPTEMBER 28, 2009
(With thanks to Wes Jackson and in memory of Sir Albert Howard and Stan Rowe.)
Thank you. I’m glad to know we’re friends, of course;
There are so many outcomes that are worse.
But I must add I’m sorry for getting here
By a sustained explosion through the air,
Burning the world in fact to rise much higher
Than we should go. The world may end in fire
As prophesied—our world! We speak of it
As “fuel” while we burn it in our fit
Of temporary progress, digging up
An antique dark-held luster to corrupt
The present light with smokes and smudges, poison
To outlast time and shatter comprehension.
Burning the world to live in it is wrong,
As wrong as to make war to get along
And be at peace, to falsify the land
By sciences of greed, or by demand
For food that’s fast or cheap to falsify
The body’s health and pleasure—don’t ask why.
But why not play it cool? Why not survive
By Nature’s laws that still keep us alive?
Let us enlighten, then, our earthly burdens
By going back to school, this time in gardens
That burn no hotter than the summer day.
By birth and growth, ripeness, death and decay,
By goods that bind us to all living things,
Life of our life, the garden lives and sings.
The Wheel of Life, delight, the fact of wonder,
Contemporary light, work, sweat, and hunger
Bring food to table, food to cellar shelves.
A creature of the surface, like ourselves,
The garden lives by the immortal Wheel
That turns in place, year after year, to heal
It whole. Unlike our economic pyre
That draws from ancient rock a fossil fire,
An anti-life of radiance and fume
That burns as power and remains as doom,
The garden delves no deeper than its roots
And lifts no higher than its leaves and fruits.
Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/poetry/2009/09/28/090928po_poem_berry#ixzz0uS0qtYQC