Friday, November 18, 2005

Basher - potties

After a lot of sniffing about, but no real interest, we've got Callum to start using his potty more. It took a lot of bribing by Al to give him sweets if he used it for a pooh, but he's finally there. It seems like the boy has inherited his father's ability to do sixteen inch poohs, so obviously I'm very proud, especially as I'm the one emptying the potty. Need to get him on the trainer seat quick sharp!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Vicarious pleasures

Spent the weekend with a load of mates celebrating Julie's thirtieth. Had a cracking time with all, and I had the personal bonus that it was an outdoor activities weekend. I found it quite interesting to view the experience very intensely written on other people's faces as they experienced fear and pure joy going into these unusual situations. It's very weird since I've been doing that sort of thing since I was two, so I guess I don't have the fear or newness to contend with. But it was great to see other people going through that experience, purely as an observer!

I noticed something about myself as well. I wasn't very patient. I guess it comes from being so au fait with all the activities, but I really struggled hanging around waiting for a group of twenty bumblies (to use Mick Ward's anthropological chart). I think it partly stems from being so independent and used to having my autonomy, not reliant on others to do stuff, but I caught myself a couple of times jumping in when it probably wasn't my turn, but I couldn't stop myself from bursting then. I hope I can be better with the boys when the time comes for them to try climbing and everything else Competive Dad wants them to do!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Connor - M'HUNGRY

He's a big lad, and we've had to start weaning him now, since he's started waking up too frequently for Al's liking during the night. So today, he started on solids. That means tomorrow, we get the results of that!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Plumbing pains (part two)

The water drainage into the lounge wasn't too bad and we were confident that it would dry out and not require too much redecorating, which the plumbers had said they would cover. They finished off connecting up the systems.

But the next day, we noticed that there was a large leak in the utility room. Followed shortly by a similar leak down a wall in the lounge, which was soaking the carpet. It turned out that in the course of drilling a hole in the external wall, they had accidentally drilled into the Soil and Vent Pipe for the house, so that was leaking down the side of the internal walls each time we had a shower, or potentially flushed the loo, but we don't want to think about that too closely at the moment.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Plumbing pains (part one)

So we've got some plumbers to do the job (Al's selection criteria was particularly rigorous - are you Scottish?). First day in and the new pressurised thingy (obviously I'm very clued-up when it comes to plumbing) was in place. The guys told us not to use the central heating, but we could use the hot water. Bit of a pain, but it's not quite winter draws yet, so we thought it was managable.

After the hot water had been on a little while, we heard a loud depressurising noise, so hastily turned off the hot water system. Had a poke around, but couldn't see anything obvious, so we just left it.

The next day, we noticed that there was a large puddle forming in the lounge ceiling, since the hot water hadn't been connected up, and every time we turned it on, it just poured straight out of the pipes onto the floor in the water tank housing, and then drained into the lounge. Class. We put pots down on the floor to collect it and waited for the plumbers to return.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Building pains

So we're having this loft conversion done, to give us more space without having to move and pay the iniquitous stamp duty. But it's not been a pain-free process.

Originally, we were specc-ed to have the squat cylindrical tanks sitting in the middle of the loft altered to be coffin tanks sat in the eaves. But first day on the job, the builder stated that coffin tanks wouldn't fit into the space allocated by the architect. We had a few plumbers look at it and they all concurred. So we were left with the option of stopping completely, or upgrading the entire system in the house to a pressurised one, at the increased cost of a few thousand. Ouch! The loft conversion company refused to meet us half-way on this one, so we're taking the hit ourselves. Key learning number one...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Google Hacks

I've stopped allowing anonymous comments since robots were dumping on them. If you want to comment, chances are you know me, so you can email me. Or you can just register and then comment normally.

I'm going to feedback to my blogging provider that maybe introducing image security to comments would be a good thing.

Basher: Me HUNGRY!

Got home later than planned the other day after furiously trying to get something delivered for a client. I think that's one thing Al won't miss once I return to Engineering.

Al hadn't eaten, so I started cooking some tasty pasta sauce and fresh pasta for her. I brought it upstairs to her, whereupon the Bash went downstairs to retrieve his knife, fork and spoon, then came back up and sat on the bed with an expectant grin. He doesn't like to be left out!

Growing old (dis)gracefully

See - not even into double figures with posting and already I'm struggling for titles. Just another notch in my blogging learning curve I suppose.

We went away for a weekend recently - a mate's thirtieth birthday do down in Bath. My brother went to Uni there, but I haven't been there for a while, so it was nice to go around the place as a tourist rather than a student binge drinker.

After putting the boys to bed, I went off to start the night. It started sedately enough until an old housemate started us on cocktails and I lost the plot somewhat. It's alright if you're a City media-type - you get used to heavy drinking. Parents of young children don't have the same tolerance, as I can testify. I somehow managed to last the pace, but was sorely damaged in the process. After getting back to the hotel, helped by the fact that my co-drinkers were staying at the same place, and bouncing off the walls a few times, I passed out.

Al woke me at 06:30 to leave; she's a light sleeper, so the combination of my drink-fuelled snoring and the boys doing their best as well had given her a rough night. We got back a couple of hours later and I crashed again, only to be woken by Callum at 12:30, and then the phone calls started to see if we were going to meet up with the others in Bath for a spot of breakfast. I don't think my voice has sounded that rough for a good ten years or so, and I was still sweating alcohol three days later. Can't take the pace! Oh well, I'll see how I get on at the next thirtieth, sometime in November.

Monday, August 22, 2005

How To Blog

This hasn't been quite the literary torrent that I was hoping for. I had expected there to be more output - circulation I'm not bothered about since it's supposed to be a record and a learning experience. I'm guessing that only family and maybe close friends ever come here.

I kept a diary from when I was fourteen to about nineteen. Today, it's interesting to re-visit it and see what I was thinking then, but always a very raw experience. I remember showing it to a girlfriend as we were in the process of breaking up and I don't think I should have; I was still a proto-man with half-formed ideas of what the world was like and my place in it. Still am, but not to quite the same extent. I think she got an insight into me and a closeness that was never shared in the relationship. Anyway, I'm surprised that I've talked about that.

The point of this post is that work introduced internal blogs about two weeks after I started this one, and blogging about my work is, in an intensely selfish way, much more stimluating in some regards than this. With work, I have lots of ideas that I've been thinking about for a long period of time that I want to express and get feedback on. Blogging at work is a very good medium for that. By contrast, what I say on this forum is a lot more immediate and hasn't gone through the same editorial process. When I'm writing code, I feel that I'm a third-draft man, once I've refactored. Something I share with Martin Amis! But here it tends to be much more of a stream of consciousness affair. I might re-read it prior to posting, but I try not to edit the entries after they've gone, since the intent when I began this was to recapture that exicted emotional state for my family to understand. And Al, I promise to try not to reference writing code again on here!



The Bash started using his potty today. He's been sitting on it for the last couple of months, but not really done anything with it. Then this morning Al told me he'd been on it, and he did the same again before I put him in the bath. I don't know why I'm so excited that my boy felt the need to pee into a plastic pot rather than have a nice warm feeling around his loins, but I guess that's kids for you!


Just got back (well, last week anyway) from a relaxing break up north. We managed to show off the little ones to both sets of grandparents and the extended clan up there too. Really needed that; it's been a while since I had a decent break and I managed to almost stop thinking about work, long enough to start learning some new things anyway!

We really are lucky with our boys. They are so adaptable in terms of travelling up, sleeping in strange places and playing with different sets of grandparents / relatives. Such a delight to watch them.

Really overindulged in terms of food. Those familiar with my mother will be sympathetically holding their bellies right now. In fact, I ate so much I wasn't even able to take advantage of one of the finest pubs in the country being on my doorstep.

Next time, less food, more ale.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Never try to tackle straight on

A good lesson in rugby, and also in changing nappies. Connor had done his usual two forceful squirts, so Al went to do the business. She was standing right in front of him when a third pulse came along and out shot a jet of warm poo. Nice!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Al's recovery

The wife's recovering well from the op, and she now boasts the desirable figure 34 in her vital statistics. Hubba hubba, know what I'm saying, boys?

In fact, probably not. That's her waist at this moment in time, and I discovered this when I found her wearing my new favourite trousers. Now before the hairy-legged dungaree wearers get all bent out of shape and start labelling me an unfeeling misogynistic bastard who doesn't appreciate the ordeal of pregnancy and labour, let me point out two things:
  1. Irony
  2. I love her and I know she's going to be reading this. She'll easily lose the weight if and when she wants, and I'll be supporting her however I can. Plus I'm going to change the locks if it's not in six months time.


We had the Basher's birthday recently. I often feel somewhat guilty that it tends to eclipse my Mother's birthday; it being the same day. But she professes not to feel that way.

We took him on a steam train - I think he's still a little young to really enjoy it, but he seemed fascinated enough by the engine and was too scared to go in the driver's cabin. My boy - the great big jessie! I'll take that as a positive thing, in that he doesn't appear to be overly enamoured with trains to the point of obsessiveness. That way lies trainspotting...

It gets less painful the more you do it.

So I was saying to a friend the other day that it seemed a lot easier this time round - not as much a shock to the system. That was about half an hour before I fell asleep at what...8:30? Yes, much easier this time! So my blogging has been somewhat curtailed due to trying to get some kip.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

2005-06-02 Callum's perspective

The Basher has been very cute about the new competition for Mummy and Daddy's affection. He got very excited when I showed him the photos of Connor and Al. I was surprised that he seemed to make the association between the baby in Mummy's tummy that he's been kissing and the little person in her arms. We'll see how the first meeting goes later.

He actually did quite well, no jealous fits and planted a very tender wet kiss on his little brother's head. Joy.

2005-06-01 First take on the new arrival

It's a little unfortunate that Total Recall was on the night Al went into labour, but I first looked at Connor and thought "Hello, Kuato". I'm sure he'll look a lot better after we're allowed to wash the blood off him.

2005-05-31 Connor joins us

Connor was born today. Not the birth we had hoped for; Al had a long labour and eventually had an emergency c-section, so thanks to all at the hospital. It was also a little surreal; when they had her in theatre, the anaethetist asked if we would like some music and whacked on a 80's compilation CD. So our new son entered the world to the sounds of Frankie's Two Tribes.