Previous month:
June 2007
Next month:
August 2007

Speak, do not speak

There's an oxymoron or something going on. James - beautiful, hilarious, snugglicious James who since getting over his copious illnesses could warm the cockles of the Snow Queen with his winsome ways, is becoming more and more frustrated. He has invented his own version of sign language, which works very well, but his sound articulation is growing at a snail's pace, and he is feeling it more and more. His brain is really going like the clappers at the moment - I've consciously stepped up the level of book reading we're doing (so he's now reading "the wheels on the bus", "The very Hungry caterpillar" - far more complex books) but he cannot articulate himself or his desires. Cue a lot of crying and general fed upness.

So the sensible, majority part of me is saying to itself "Learn to speak, my lovely" but there's another part, much weaker and somewhat pathetic, yet understandable voice which already feels him, drifting away from gorgeous, sweet, milky babyhood. When he has words, he will be a toddler, not a baby. At the moment, he is still, definably a baby. Sniff. I don't want that baby to go away! he's so beautiful.

There's that unique almost perfect expression of human emotion you receive from someone who can't speak but who can, and does, make expressive sound which absolutely describes their mood. Funny things are amazingly funny; sad things are crushing. Having access to someone who you adore, who also represents raw humanity in all its vulnerable forms (including the stupid ones, where you hit your sister) is an intense pleasure. the strength of the emotions are almost drug like. When James begins to truly appropriate words, that intense pleasure will morph in to something else.

A wonderful woman in an inspiring piece of TV

Graham found this debate from Aljazeera online - presumably someone else's blog. Slightly frustrating is the one sidedness of the debate - we would need to see the kneejerk nonsense that the guy she's debating with is saying, in order to make the video even more powerful.

It's wonderful. I want to go shake her hand and support any organisations she's a part of. Meanwhile, I would strongly suggest passing this on to many mates you respect.

We are not flooded

At least, not any more. While we were sunning ourselves on a beach at Looe, our basement kitchen splurted forth all manner of gunge upon the floor, from the loo and shower. No, not sewage, thank goodness, but apparently the stuff that came out of the shower was black slime central.

And it all happened whilst Alex was around on Friday. Alex is our cleaner. something we can ill afford but which keeps us sane. So Alex cleared most of it up on Friday, then my Mother disinfected everything on Saturday. By the time we came home it felt more like a hoax.

...of which more later.

Meanwhile: fuck! Floods!

Until we see you again, Elliot

Elliot, the black cat who has lived with us for the duration of my time with McK has gone to live with Shelagh, and Shelagh's Mum (Shelagh being officially my stepmother, although I've rarely heard anything sound so weird).

McK has in more recent times not really got on with Elliot, particularly as she's got older, and a bit more cranky. When she scratched James (when James was being annoying, but not appallingly so) I had to admit that possibly, the time had come. Previously, I'd phoned up Battersea with a view to seeing what the story is for cats, and I'd burst in to tears on the phone.

I really didn't want to get rid of Elliot.

So when Shelagh said that she would have her it was a great relief, and the day before Bradford, we trooped over to Romford with Elliot on what turned out to be a baking hot Saturday. She was nicely esconced in the spare room, hiding behind the bed but coming out for snugs when we left.

It only took me 12 hours to ask Shelagh for an update.


I know my media habits tend to be very old-skool.

I can do too-cool-for-skool, but to be honest, alot of the time, I can't be bothered.

Thus, my brother recorded on VHS the last episode of "Rome" for us, whilst we travelled back from Bradford. What I really enjoy about Rome is having a tentative grasp of the history in enough detail to kind of know what's coming up next. I remember loving "Rubicon" so very, very much I must have bought seven or eight copies to give to family members and friends as presents. At present, Marc Anthony (played by a rather gorgeous bloke, who I'm sure looks perfectly ordinary sans beard and army uniform) is about to rediscover his ruinous relationship with Cleopatra, and given the  "Dallas"-like soap operatics of the series, it's bound to cause delicious ructions.

They do play fast and loose with the truth but it's still the best fun on TV currently, if you ask me. Didn't Julius Caesar's sister die in childbirth, and was Pompey's wife? What the hell happened to Pompey, and why is she still alive? Hmmm. Ah, hang on, there was a series 1 wasn't there. I'd forgotten that.

Who knows - she makes a great foil for Marcus Antonius anyway.


Waiting until it was bedtime, in the hope that the kids would drift off to sleep in the car was in retrospect, a mistake. The lure of teatime at Nanny and Grandad's, some 3 1/2 hours from home, in Bradford on Avon was too great to avoid. Nora and James had gone to visit their new cousin, Jake, who is nearly 2 weeks old now (a little cutey, who slept the whole time).

James sagged in to angelic dreamland at 7.30, and Nora kept on asking questions.

-Why are there trees there?
-Why is the sky blue? The point is that they're just there, says Mackay
-Darling, someone thhought they might look nice there, so they planted them, I say.


...Why is the sky blue?

James woke up at 8.55. He was tired, hot, and really didn't like waking up and stuck in a harness. Cue a lot of singing of "A Squash and a Squeeze" and "Twinkle Twinkle" softly, stroking his forehead.

Singing works (ish). Nora sang too.

I like that girl. She's nice.


You know, James is only marginally an actual honest to goodness "baby" now.

Anyway. This is simply for the record. My gorgeous, lovely son and my hilarious, amazing and beautiful daughter were wonderful today.

No illness, no coughing, no snotting, no screaming, no shouting, no yanking...


We're (probably) changing Nora's nursery. They're making no effort to engage her on a level that will stretch her. Alright, we're doing a lot of that at home, and it's only 2 days a week but we want her to be in a productive environment.