Monday, October 31, 2005

It's that time of year...

...Halloween and Guy Fawkes. Two nights that should be full of family fun and yet again have been hijacked by resentfullness and greed.

1. In Sainsbury's tonight I watched as 3 children - the oldest of whom I would imagine was 14 - bought fireworks from a salesperson who did not seem in the least bit interested in their age.

2. I have just come away from the door having been trick or treated by two I'd say 10 year olds. They like all the other children who came to the door tonight got a small packet of maltesers and a mini aero each. Both of them looked like I'd placed a dog turd in their hand. I can only summise they wanted money and they had been on the go since they left school to extract as much cash out of the area as possible.

Having said all that, Eben looked fab in his scary ghost costume with mini pumpkin lantern in hand. Woooooooooooo!!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Little bowls of food

The little bowl of food phenomenon has multipled exponentially since Eben was born. Except now it tends to be stackable tupperware, to ensure greater efficiencey of space. Or, in our case, a secure lidded environment for super-mould to grow in.

Why do we kid ourselves that we need half a portion of mashed potato. Or, that just because he didn't want beans this time that maybe he'll have them next time. Or alternatively am I really going to take that small bowl of left over pasta to work. No I've never remembered before why should I start now. It will just become fridge wallpaper, until we decide that we're going to have a clear out. at which time it provides it's only useful function. i.e. as a source of biological wonderment.

Shame of it is, I know I'll be sayng the same in 20 years time

Friday, October 28, 2005


The blogging's really starting to get to me, it's more addictive than the BBC 5 Live Messageboards, mind you that's not so difficult the standard of debate on there has slid away to almost nothing. It's even forcing me to learn HTML which i've been meaning to get round to for years

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The man who fell asleep

Some years ago I had an idea for a column, based on the crap that you'd hear daily on the tube. Of course as with all these things I never followed it through. However someone did and it was picked up by Timeout who now have a regular column dedicated to it. And guess what? It's really funny what a surprise. It's well worth a read. Makes me laugh without fail

What a worrier

I've just reread my postings. I'm really not that much of a worrier honest. Gavin, believe me seriously I don't worry, please don't think that of me, please. I really am quite happy-go-lucky honest.

Bird Flu reaches Paris

It's getting closer people. Be on your guard

Oh God - I may have killed an old lady

So here I sit guilty.

I've just had my flu jab (I'm an asthmatic so I am high risk and have a legitimate reason for the shot), however they were dispensing the jab on a first come first serve basis and I scraped in as the 64th of 70 available jabs.

Not long after I registered they started to turn people away and point people towards the pharmacy to go on a waiting list until the country restocks - yes there's none left in the UK.

But, who were they turning away. Yes. It was little old 70+ ladies( if I'm honest they're probably 80+). I couldn't help sitting there - watching them being pointed up up the road - thinking that they were only late because it took them an hour and half to agonisingly scrape their way wheezing from their small bedsit just round the corner. Oh God, oh god, oh god.

Ah well at least I'll be alright.

Getting old too quickly

As I get older, I've come to realise that people lie to you about what happens as the years tick by. Well I suppose it's less lying than not letting on what's going to occur.

Gripe no. 1 - I do not expect to wake up at 5am desperate for a piss, this isn't supposed to happen until you're 50ish is it?

Gripe no.2 - When I go to bed at night perfectly fit and healthy, I do not expect to get up with a bit of a sore back.

Gripe no.3 - When I go out for the evening, I do not expect to be flagging at 11.00pm

Gripe no.4 - When I go out for the evening, I do not expect to think - 'oo it'd be quite nice to watch Casualty in my pants'

Gripe no.5 - When did I start to think that bars are a 'bit noisy'

I'm 32 I feel cheated.

New directions

I had one of those nights a couple of nights ago. I went to bed early (Ebs is waking up at 5 at the moment so trying to mitigate extreme tiredness) and it was a terrible idea. I wasn't ready for bed at all and I lay there and started thinking. Now normally this results in my mind wandering off to being the best fast bowler to set foot on a cricket field, or the invention of a double ended dildo concept - Oh sorry no that was Nicky's dream the other night - but not Tuesday night. I actually came up with what I think is a completely feasible business concept. So after mulling it over until 1am I got up and wrote an outline business plan until 4am at which point I went to bed got an hour - before Eben woke up.

You know what I was saying about being happy and chilling out. I lied, I couldn't kick back if I tried. So off I go again, another flight of fancy.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I don't like cricket...

Unfortunately I started my blog far too late to cover the Ashes win after 16 years. However, as it was the culmination of a life spent being pretty much singularly disappointed (apart from that 9 for 56 that Devon Malcolm took in '94 when I ran around the room squealing for about 10 minutes) watching England teams being trounced by Australians (not exclusively, but it's only the Aussies that really hurts). Then I thought it was still fresh enough in the memory to post something.

Oh yeah and I found this in my inbox and it made me laugh again.

Freddie you're a legend mate.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


For the first time for a very long time I can say I'm really truly happy.

Flogging my guts out for years made me desperately unhappy. It made me quite well off, but only now do I realise how stressed I was. I didn't see my friends and family, 16 hour days 7 days a week didn't suit me - doesn't suit anyone I wouldn't have thought. But I got out.

The business has finally hit a point where I wouldn't say it's looking after itself, but it's stable, Nicky's happier at home and not rushing off to work to earn just enough to cover childcare, her trip to work and the yoga to help her destress from work and Eben's definitely thriving as a result. My family are all well (finger's crossed Jamie doesn't get MRSA in the appendix scar). We've finally sorted Nanny's will. Jo and Dad seem happy to be cruising around until the flat's sorted.

All I know is that I'm going to stop for a few months and let things roll, I haven't done that since I started working. I've got viewable billings for 6 months (anything else is incremental) I'm going to kick back, service the clients I have and concentrate on home, wait for the new baby to arrive and then next June go for it with the business again.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

When did football get so boring?

I can't watch it any more, I've got more interest in makeover shows and Holby City than this crap.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Big sweaty men

What do you say to a fit young bloke you've been staring at for the last 10 minutes, as he exerts himself. It's OK when he's a hundred yards away and not within speaking distance, but when they're lugging something your way, hot and sweaty and a little bit out of breath, a bit grubby wiping the sweat from their brow. Oh christ, have I been staring too long?

'Grab truck Daddy' comes the voice by my side.

Thank fuck for that, Eben's spoken first.

'Yes sweetheart, look it's lifting bricks into the back of the truck.'

'Alright mate' I said to the builder. I got a kind of flick headed 'alright' back at me.

The builder's yard ritual has been ongoing for about 8 months now. I came back for lunch today and took Ebs to the swings which necessitates walking past the yard. That in turn means at least 10 minutes staring at gorillas in forklift trucks and grab vans loading and unloading bricks and stuff. Have to say it's not something I'd ever noticed until Eben pointed out that it was the best thing to happen to the world.

I think I may have to buy them a Christmas present in exchange for a good staring. I'm thinking Pirelli calendar.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Human Beings - where did it all go wrong?

The South Bank is my favourite part of London no doubt. Nick was off at a seminar today - the topic - optimal foetal positioning, Mary told me this afternoon that sitting forward was the key, that took 20 seconds. So why Nick was out all day is beyond me. Anyway that's beyond the point, that point being, Eben and I had the day on our own - a rare treat. So, I promised to take him up to see the Skateboarders under the National Theatre, have some lunch at the NFT before heading to Horniman museum in the afternoon.

Very nice day it was too. Ebs is a bit ill but that's just Autumn and 2 year olds. Despite that we got - Skateboarders, BMXers, spliff smoking steel drum players, a man with very long fake arms that patted us on the head, pet goats, a plethora of instruments from jews harps to bongos experimented with, a very aggressive rooster (not very rockin'), a 19th Century merman, a stuffed Jaguar, an Amazonian canoe, a torture chair, (goddam he loved that chair, I'm glad it was behind glass) and all punctuated by 6 train journey's all over South London, each one slightly more exciting than the last, apart from maybe the last one where he was tailng off a bit and fell asleep in my lap.

And boy did we meander, which appears to have become a thing of history - every other person we encountered seemed to have somewhere to go. It's Sunday, chill people. Nope. Everywhere I looked people were speed-reading fashion supplements. The 14 year old skaters were impatient, I mean what have they got to get home to, apart from a 5 bedroom semi in Richmond and pushy parents with homework in their exasperated mitts. Everyone bustling around too quickly to actually catch what was actually happening on the South Bank - blimey, most unrelaxing.

And what about me and Ebs - well it took us 2 hours to walk 3/4 of a mile from the NFT to the footbridge to take us to Charing Cross station - there's an awful lot of pigeons and squirrels to chase you know.

I was perfectly chirpy I have to say but, it did make me think that we've become a bit shit as a species. When did our survival instinct become, needing a latte and quick. This was confirmed later on when on our 5th train journey the thing happened that Nic and I have discussed a dozen times. We pulled in to a station, woman with buggy got off and the buggy slipped in to the gap between train and platform.

Something really does need to be done about this, I don't know whether this is true of all trains but round this way it's a plague. Clapham Junction is ridiculous. The angle of train to platform in some places means that you have to hop up to 18 inches to make the platform - not great if you're 85 and have arthiritis.

The woman started screaming, so i jumped up grabbed Eben, shoved my buggy out of the way and in the process barged some one else out of the way to go and pull the fucking emergency cord. I was a little bit incapacitated with Ebs to do much else, but it was fine she got out after freaking her kids out by being a bit hysterical. And all the while everyone else mostly watched and looked concerned. Stop looking concerned and do something you idiots.

I'm gradually coming to the conclusion that the one for all and all for me instinct apears to have taken hold as a naturally occurring gene now, or maybe it's just all the estrogen in the water or something, because we sure as hell don't help our fellow human anymore - well not if it breaks in to a great tune on your iPod.

And another thing - the emergency cord expereience was a bit disappointing, I fully expected sirens and flashing lights and thousands of panicked station staff. Alas all I got was a slightly irate train driver being perplexed by the fact someone could have possibly got stuck in that gap and annoyed because he couldn't reset it. Ah well at least I've done it now

Friday, October 14, 2005

The junk thought theorem

After thinking about it last night I've made a decision that this should really become of some therapeutic value. But how?

Some years ago I attended an acupuncturist - Richard Davies - for a few months. Nicky (wife) and Jo (sister-in-law) had been going for months. Richard actually inspired Jo to give up her big, city job and become an acupuncturist herself - to be frank he was very good.

Anyway I thought I'd go along to find out whether he could do anything about my long standing asthma and hayfever conditions. He couldn't - the breathing difficulties became no better whatsoever, however he did something more wonderful.

One of Richard's great skills was his therapeutic counseling. He would never admit it himself but he was an amazing listener and you were able to talk things through in great detail.

Now don't misunderstand me, I didn't have any deep psychological issues that I needed to work through, however as some of you who know me will know, I'm a big thinker. Not one of life's great philosophers or brainstormers, but I can think about trivial issues like why a pigeon would choose to change direction at the exact time it does, in minute detail - I mean why? It's not got anything on has it? It's full up and doesn't need to eat, so why decide to turn round then? What are it's motives?

And therein lay my problem, these aren't things I would ever talk to anyone about, because a) They're only really interesting to me b) I may be committed to hospital or c) Nicky may be pushed to the brink of divorce. So these ideas and thoughts lay there in my brain, they were never externalised and therefore became what I term 'junk thought', things that are in your head that basically just make a mess.

Then, along came Richard.

Now I paid the guy £35 a session and the asthma thing wasn't working frankly, so I started talking to him about these absurd musings. And it was the most liberating thing I've ever done. I became more clear headed, far less stressed and generally lighter in my life all round. But, then I stopped going for a few weeks and he moved away and I was left with no outlet again.

Now I've found a bit of an outlet for this on the BBC Five Live UK Message Board but there's some shit in my head that couldn't even be posted up there, after all it's an open forum and as I said earlier I could be committed to hospital.

So here I am, in a closed forum and this is where I'm going to get all that junk thought out. In fact I think (If I can work out how) I may rename the blog so bye bye to 'The various ramblings of Six' thank you for being my blog name.

Thank you to David, Gavin and Span for visiting the site so far. I fully understand if you never want to darken my blog again.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The beginning bit

Hello to anyone who's stumbled on to this corner of the web.

I'm going to keep this purely social and family based, I guess it'll be more of a diary than social comment. Can't remember which philosopher it was who said that anyone who pens a diary secretly wants it to be found. I guess that's true of this. I'm not really that bothered about who finds this, I just hope whoever I bag over the next who knows how long, doesn't stumble in here themselves.

So things I'm proud of today:

1. I got a letter in to Time Out, never had a letter published, but finally the narcissus complex got the better of me
2. Nicky's taught Eben to shout 'tuuune' with his hands above his head when born slippy comes on the radio. My son, my son.

Anyway here's a photo of the light of my life. It's a bit old but I love it.