Annoyed? Moi?

Sometimes the Lovely Melanie expects me to get cross about things: really annoying, stupid or frustrating things – but I only tend to get cross at a build-up of silly little things.  Extremely large FUs – events and circumstances guaranteed to annoy most people – only make me slowly shake my head and grin a wry grin.

For instance, today we navigated our way to Hatton, a place on the absolute opposite side of London to where we live, for the birthday party of  Oscar and Thomas Day, the sons of some friends of ours.  It took about two hours to get there, it was blazing hot and Millie had a huge tantrum on the train.

When we arrived at the venue we soon discovered the Lovely Melanie had gotten her days mixed up: the party had been yesterday.

How we laughed as we turned around and came back home! (that’s sarcasm, by the way)

It took over two hours to get home, it was blazing hot and Millie had an ongoing tantrum (with scattered spells of normality) pretty much all the way.

All.  The.  Way.

I had thought we were immune to such behaviour nowadays, but Millie was so bad even the Lovely Melanie felt embarrassed.

The cherry on this dubious cake is that I had turned down a chance to party backstage with the Manic Street Preachers the night before (thanks to our mutual friend and industry bigwig JimmyMac) because I didn’t want a huge hangover at today’s birthday party.

So tonight I’m slowly shaking my head and grinning a wry grin. 🙂

Those new shoes in full

I was ambushed this morning by a very excited Millie who was desperate to show me her new shoes and her new hair bands.

The new shoes are pink.  They have white butterflies on them.  They have Velcro fasteners.  They have something on the bottom of them – I’m not entirely sure what since I didn’t have my glasses on at the time.

And then Millie rather ran out of things to tell me about them, so she moved on to Amber’s new shoes.

Amber is loving the new shoes, by all accounts.  I think they make it far easier for her to walk because they’re proper shoes made of leather, rather than sort of canvas containers for feet, which is what all baby shoes are.

So now she’s wandering around the house picking up stuff wherever she finds it and handing it to whoever happens to be nearby.  She’ll bring you a magazine or a spoon or a bag of nappies and you have to say, “Thank you, eBub,” at which she’ll give you a simply enormous grin before wandering off in search of new things to pick up and carry around.

We’ve noticed she’s getting quite good at understanding language, too.  If you ask her where Millie is or where the nappies are, or if you mention, for example, socks, then she’ll look or point at them.

She’s also getting a bit cheeky, too.  She enjoys being a bit naughty – and you can tell by the look in her eye that she’s deliberately disobeying you; or maybe not “disobeying”, but doing something that she knows she probably shouldn’t, like throwing food.  Mark my words: Amber’s going to be a terror when she gets a bit older…

But forget about the children, because this evening myself and the Lovely Melanie (remember her?) are going out together!  Without any children at all!  Our friend Liz is babysitting and we are going to see the wonderful North Sea Radio Orchestra play a free gig at Brixton Library.

I’ve seen them before, on my own, and they were bloody marvellous, so seeing them in the company of my beautiful wife tonight should be extra super-duper bloody marvellous. 🙂


Yesterday, as part of my job, I happened to end up on the website of a company selling sandals.

(Not an immediately captivating start to a post, I know, but bear with me).

This website had a variety of sandals for sale – some were quite nice – but what caught my eye was that none of them cost less than £150, most of them cost more than £500, while a couple even reached the insane heights of a grand – £1,000!

I… I… Just…  Words failed me (good old reliable swearing was up to the task, but this is a family blog so…)

Who on earth is so monumentally stupid as to ever spend that much on a single pair of sandals?

I mean, really?!  Of all the things you could spend £1,000 on – all the good you might do in the world with that much money.  Imagine: all the people you could help; the good causes you could support; the plants or animals you might preserve; the lives you might even save…

But no: you spend it on a pair of sandals.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the odd luxury, the occasional “nice thing” – I can even imagine spending, say, £50-60 on some footwear; a really incredibly nice pair of shoes, perhaps – maybe some jet boots, or the idea Trevor Bayliss had for putting some piezoelectric crystals in the heel of some shoes so they can charge batteries or run an mp3 player as you walk.  Was it Trevor Bayliss?  I think it was Trevor Bayliss…  Anyway –

I would never actually spend that much, but I can, at least, hold the idea in my brain without feeling the need to shoot somebody.

But £1,000??  How rich and thick and insecure and desperate-to-impress do you have to be to spend such a ludicrous amount on a pair of sandals, for goodness’ sake?

Ahh.  I am a more worldly-wise and slightly sadder StuPC today. 😦

Proud father

Reading comicsAh, such a proud day today – I took Millie to the comic shop with me on the way to the British Museum and we bought some comics together!

She originally wanted to buy a Spider Girl trade, but then changed her mind to a Simpsons trade, and clung onto that despite all my attempts at persuading her to buy a Dr Seuss or an Olivia book.

I was terribly proud to have her in there with me, especially when she recognised Batman on a cover!

Bank Holiday weekend

It’s fairly unusual for me to post at the weekends these days, I know, but the girls are both in bed, the Lovely Melanie is sat downstairs watching Grease and then Cocktail, so…here I am.

We’ve had a great weekend thus far (it being a bank holiday weekend we still have tomorrow to go – yay!).  Saturday saw us pottering about the garden for the most part.  We got my old tent out and put that up out the back, mowed the lawn, repotted some flowers and sowed some more seeds in the vegetable patch – there being a space following an unexpectedly early radish harvest (all ten of them).

eBub has not been terrifically well: her cough – the one she’s had for the past couple of months, the cough that sounds really alarming when you hear it, but which only kicks in at night – had gotten worse so the Lovely Melanie took her to the doctor’s on Friday.  The doctor wasn’t absolutely 100% sure what’s causing it, but has given the eBub a salbutamol inhaler to take for a while to see if that clears it up.  There’s a special tube with a little mask at one end to help us administer it, and eBub has an odd relationship with the thing already: when she sees it come out of its paper bag home she’ll reach for it by herself and put the special tube+mask to her face, smile and open her mouth, just as she’s supposed to.

But when you give her a shot of the inhaler she really doesn’t like it very much.

GranddadShe’s been a bit up and down since the doctor’s anyhow; Grandma and Granddad came to visit us today and at times your eBub has seemed a bit sorry for herself; however, at other times she’s been fine.  We went out to see Millie’s new school this afternoon, then onto the local shops where we stopped for ice cream and beers, and eBub just could not settle down.  She was wriggling and grizzling and being a right pain – until we put her behind Millie’s dolls’ pushchair and let her push that around.  When it was time to go she pushed it halfway up the hill back to ours!

And Millie – you may or may not recall the problems we’ve been having trying to teach her how to pedal properly on the bike she got for Christmas.  Basically, Millie is as stubborn as a mule and refuses – to the point of outright hysteria – to pedal the way normal human beings do.  The Millie Method is to push with one foot halfway round then reverse the pedals so the same foot is back at the top and push down again.

It’s painful to watch.

Anyway, on the way home from the shops she decided to sit on the little tricycle Amber had ridden there…and she pedalled it perfectly!  No tears, no Special Millie Way of doing it (for Special Millie Way read Stupid Ass-Backwards Method).  We’re going to have to get her back on the bike ASAP and try that again…

Weren’t we talking about the eBub though?

Back at ours, you’d never have known Amber had the slightest thing wrong with her, what with all the yelling, laughing, walking and generally rolling about having a whale of a time.

Her favourite thing in the whole world at the moment is rolling about on our bed being covered with pillows: having them piled on top of her so she can fling them all off, roll on her back and cackle like an insane comicbook supervillain.

SwingOne of Millie’s favourite things today was the swing we managed to put up for her in the woods behind our house.  We didn’t buy quite enough rope so it’s a bit too high off the ground, something which I thought would’ve straightaway worried her…

Always ready to surprise you is Millie though: she loved it!

Tomorrow, the weather’s supposed to be even hotter than it was today and we’ve got some ill-thought out plans to go into town and see some stuff in the British Museum.  Not because I think either Millie or Amber will be particularly enthralled by it, but rather because I like museums, museums are free, museums are indoors out of the sun and museums are a change from our house in Bexley.  Plus, if you go anywhere in town on a Bank Holiday weekend there’s inevitably tons of stuff to see and do – just in case our oh-so-worthy museum idea is a washout.

If I’m being completely honest, there’s also a kind of feeling that I want the girls to know that they do live in the nation’s capital, even if right on the edge of it; so visiting the centre on a regular basis is my feeble two-fingered salute to the idea that we live in a dull, middle-class part of suburbia.