Friday, June 5, 2009

Plans for baby2 are well underway.. This week the drive was finished and for the first time we can actually park in our road. The insurance people even paid up for the damage done by our neighbour across the road when he backed over the wall a couple of months ago… We didn’t want to pave over the front garden, but we have got an eco-friendly surface (basically, bricks, but laid over a porous bed that allows water to drain through). That’s part of the planning regulations now – which is a good thing.

Anyway, the drive’s finished, and Lisa’s been told by the midwife that everything’s fine. The midwife probably isn’t the best person to ask actually – last time at this point, we’d just been for an ultrasound scan where we’d seen the baby, heard the heartbeat and had every conceivable dimension on the growing George measured to a fraction of a millimetre. When Lisa went to the Midwife, she produced a tailor’s tape measure and told her the baby was far too small. Nonsense, of course.

This time, it was a lot more positive – confirmation that everything they can tell you with a stethoscope and a tape measure is absolutely fine.

In celebration, we’ve bought a new pram 2nd hand on ebay. Not just any pram… this is it. – the ultimate in baby carrying technology. This is the pram all the yummy mummies in East Dulwich are clamouring for: The Phil & Teds Vibe… and surprising though it may seem, the competition between both pram designers and owners is every bit as sharp as it is in the car world… if you’re a baby, the Phil & Ted’s Vibe is the ultimate – on Lordship Lane, you daren’t be seen in anything else.

And it’s expensive too – around £600 new. In fact the only reason lisa went for it is because it was second hand and thus about the same price as a normal buggy…

So what makes the vibe so special? Well, two things: first, you can steer it with one hand – and that’s all you have most of the time if you’ve got a baby. Secondly, it manages through a clever series of zips and handles to carry 2 babies in the space you’d normally only get one – thus allowing you to get into the same doorways and annoy the same other shoppers you annoyed when you only had one child.

I can’t work out if George is talking or not. When do you say – “this is it he’s talking?” He says yeah! And “na” and something that might sound a bit like mummy but doesn’t seem to be applied to anyone in particular… he burbles all the time – but how do you decide that this or that is his first word?

George and I spent Tuesday together in Central London – Tuesday’s my new day for looking after him since Lisa shifted her working days around.. I had to deliver a hard drive with my latest documentary on to Stanleys in Central London so they can put it on tape for me…

For Lisa, doing 3 days per week instead of 2 is tiring, but it’ll help to cover us for her maternity when she won’t be paid at all… and anyway, having George for a day isn’t that much less tiring than going to work!

However, this Tuesday was more relaxing. After I’d delivered my disk, we went and sat in the park by embankment. It’s a lovely little park and full of London workers on their lunch breaks. There was a bandstand with a live band (Jazz, but then you can’t have everything) so we sat on the grass and ate a picnic lunch. I got some sushi from a little shop by the station and fed George the cooked bits – which he loved (especially those green soybean pods they sell)

All in all a lovely day – and I would have come away quite relaxed if it wasn’t for the fact that my 3 times weekly jogging regeme means I’m almost constantly tired…

I’ve upped the distance very slightly – instead of running through the jungle, I’m now running around it. almost getting to the badlands at the back of the park – out there pitches are marked out and running tracks… areas of long grass, and woodland – I’ve never dared to go that far…. Anyway, that takes my run up to about 2.8miles according to – oh yes… if you can do it, you can do it online...

Except voting. That’s still done with a stubby pencil in a grubby booth in a church hall. The European elections are taking place with the government falling apart – quite literally – the cabinet is looking more like a colander with people quitting left, right and centre.

We’re all supposed to be angry about the expenses scandal, but I can’t muster the energy to be outraged – I’ve never met anyone who didn’t stretch what was possible on their expenses and although it’s clearly something that needs sorting out, it’s a symptom of bad organisation and the fact that we don’t pay politicians enough rather than dishonesty, I think.

There are lots of things that were wrong with the culture to cause this and lots of people doing things they shouldn’t have, but it sounds as though all the civil servants were telling them it was all fine right up to the point where they all got told it wasn’t – and that’s a bit rubbish.

Strange though it may seem, I don’t think they’re a crooked lot – I think they generally try to use everything they get to it’s best advantage and they’re keen to push the limits they’re given, but then we wouldn’t want politicians that didn’t, would we?

Anyway – what’s interesting to me is that this whole thing has caused an explosion in little parties – maybe I should make a documentary following some of the no-hope candidates around before the election next year (or next week, which seems more likely)…. It’d be interesting to explore what democracy means when you’ve got no hope of being elected…

Mind you, I vote Lib Dem, so what does that tell you?

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