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The Wolf and Peter story

There's only so much of "Monkey Music" and "Bagpuss songs" any sane adult can take, so we searches for some more music Nora might like. Mackay had a copy of Peter and the Wolf narrated by Richard Attenborough (weird!) he got free from the front of a BBC classical music magazine, so he put it on.

The trouble is, I have no one memory of Peter and the Wolf I can say I was whipped back to. I can remember watching  an animation of it which I presume was Russian, but frankly, it was so omnipresent, it's the kind of thing that becomes your DNA - there is no time I didn't know it.

So Nora heard it for the first time.

She loved it.

"Play it again!" she said, directly after it had finished.

4 days later, it's "Put on the wolf and Peter story!" .... sigh... ok, then, but only if you eat up your breakfast. That'll be the first playing of approximately 5 in a row, then.

I'm not sure whether it is purely the music (I heart Prokoviev, even at his most sing songy) or explaining the story, and pretending to look scared when the wolf music starts, and watching her face with her sly, funny grin beginning to creep over it, as if the pair of you are sharing some secret... but until I get used to it, I'm having difficulty getting through the whole thing without there being tears in the old eyes.

There's that, and she's also nuts about is Nuevo by the Kronos Quartet. It's completely madcap, I mean.. a really mental record. Her favourite track is track 4, "El Illorar" (the funny man singing) - take a listen on the Amazon product page. Entirely bonkers. Apparently it's a traditional song. Subjected to a fairly surreal arrangement, I'd say.

My daughter is almost entirely bonkers. I am proud.

Action man

Before I go through my family's recent travails and joys: Yes, I know there are many journalists roaming the world's war zones at present, but I don't know any of them except Ben who is currently in Afghanistan.

You can follow his stream of exceptionally good photos from the above link. Yeah, the first photo is the one next to Dave, in a pub in London.

Surreal, a bit scary but fantastic.


It's the heat.

It has melted my brain. I would say fried but it is so HUMID it's unbearable. James is just about coping. Nora loses about 2 pints of sweat a night and rarely drinks enough water in the day.

I'll write some proper posts now.

Oh lawks

My ADSL died for 4 days. It's like staring at the entire opposite of an elephant in the room. A lack of elephant. A black hole, sans elephant. Where's the fucking elephant, I want to see the elephant!!! (sob).

Ah. It's back now.
So, 36 degrees, and humid as hell now. House arrest has been well underway for several days and James seems to be coping with the confinement exceptionally well. More than I am. I had to go out in fact, to go to a health food shop ten minutes walk from here, and back on Tuesday. By the time I got back, I was barely capable of picking him up, I was so hot. It makes such a difference if you don't go out andencounter the heat first hand.

Now I'm here, I've drawn a blank given that life seems to be simply chugging along despite scorchio conditions. Except to say that we took down the keyboard that was given to us by a weirdly famous actress type (who happened to be going out with a friend of ours for a slightly surreal interlude) from offuv teh tele (and films!). It's been stuck on top of the wardrobe and now it lives on my beautiful 1950's coffee table, open and ready for Nora to play with any time she wants.It's also a great joy to be able to go over to it and pick out a tune whilst James flops about rolling over on to his tummy on the playmat (and managing to look too cute, then frustrated and stuck, all within approx 1 minute). I am going to force myself to play harmonies plus tune if it kills me, despite my maniacally limiting obsessive left-handedness.

Nora really likes it, which is wonderful. We've found a local person who does piano lessons (but are they any good? Christ knows) so I have to phone them and get advice on early learning. Kids tend to start any kind of extra curricula learning at around 3, so there's no reason why she shouldn't have a more formal half an hour once a week, eh? If she likes it, of course.

Now I must abed, slthough there must be too much else to tell you about.

Sob. I am a bad greeny!

I can't believe this. It's Sod's law. I spend my time prosthletising about how easy and wonderful terry nappies are, and how if you buy them for one, then basically you get no.2's nappy provision for free... and so forth...

...and it transpires that James' poor old skin means we can't bloody use our terry nappies with him! I don't believe it! I think I'll keep persevering on and off for another month or so, but last time I tried, he had enormous red welts anywhere where wee had touched his skin surface for any significant length of time. Don't say to me "well change him more often, then". We change him 'enough'.

So my green credentials are disapearing fast, basically. We use those OKO disposables though! Plus we buy them in bulk from an online shop so we save on delivery fuel consumption (er, and we get free delivery over £100 - small consideration!).

Still - my God, the point is you have to think in numbers over £100, and if he could wear his Tots Bots, it'd be FREE. AARGH.

So let's go over this...

We have a resurgence of Thrush, we have a regression to silicon due to excessive sprayage (and screaming fits galore); we have a big sister with a very bad chest infection who cries hoarsely every night for Daddy, and now we have....

Teething! What joy.

Outstanding life moments no.45

Nora really is very sick. We took her to the Doc's this morning for the inevitable antibiotics (sigh), and before she went, in the morning, she had another one of those coughing fits that made her cry, poor love.

So she was very floppy. So McK decided to give her a treat.

Before this though, you must know one salient fact. Last night, Nora watched a formative episode from the second series of The Clangers, in which an astronaut lands on the clangers' planet. I remember the concept of the episode so clearly, and that they frightened him, and he ran away... but it was so much better than that. He was absolutely bloody terrified. Not only did he spend the whole episode running away from entirely freaky weirdness, like clangers, soup dragons and froglets he nearly died several times falling in to holes. He was driven mad by the clangers!

So cut to today, and Nora flopping on the sofa with Daddy, who has the DVD remote control in his hand, and is marking through the chapters trying to find the bit where Marilyn loses her ring in the shower because that bit marks the beginning of "the sequence". And damn stop forwarding so far! Right, there it is... there she is... it's lost... she's swearing under her breath..

And now the Apolo 13 team are preparing for launch.

Nora doesn't really need much explanation anymore, what with her moon book, and the Clangers having taught her all about space, the Earth and rockets.

"They are going in to space!" she wheezes, excitedly, as the stirring Americana orchestrates swollen hearts in the background. I have tears in my eyes, looking at her, as the rocket lifts off. She is rapt.

After it reaches orbit, Daddy switches it off.


"Can I watch The Clangers now?"

So, here's a quick "Where we're at"

-Nora's got a really bad chest again, despite copious "Puff medicine" ie: Salbutamol. She's otherwise generally ok though. I bought her a DVD of the "Wallace and gromit" shorts t'other day, and realised that 2 of them are more like semi-longs. So it'll be "A Grand day Out" only for a while. I put on "A close Shave" first by accident and she grew visibly bored (although she did ask for it the next day). Loved the porridge machine though. I should have realised before and bought her the "Creature comforts" DVD as well. Which I now have done.

-James laughed his head off on Tuesday for the first time, watching nora bashing her knife and fork on the table! he's got the sweetest, most beguiling smile and a funny horsey kind of laugh (one short high pitched breathing in shreak of laughter is the norm) which he does relatively often, but we'd never seen him really, really laugh. It was fantastic.

-Nora woke up coughing and crying the other night, just at the point when James was waking for his first night feed (of the three he is still having currently - ayeesh). McK was out. I went in to see her, nervous that James would begin to really cry (which is never nice). Nora said "Go away. Go to James" before turning her back on me. Ah. Right. I think we need to think about this a little.

Lastly - which home-food-creation project sounds more feasible as a long term project. Bee keeping or keeping a goat?

Blackberry sorbet - no milk, you see

Pretty yummy.

Oh - he's allergic to milk products, we have now ascertained. At the moment, when he needs a little formula he has "Wysoy". Fucking Soya milk for a damned baby? It's ludicrous. as soon as I'm completely free of any residual milk product stuff (another week and a half) we'll try him on "Nanny" again. Goats milk is at least animal milk and not Soya! That's insane!

being a vegetari I have had my fill of Soya over the years, and recent research suggested having it too much is not a good idea. It has had possible links with Althzeimers*. Not something I want to be feeding a developing brain too regularly really.

*Research done in Hawaii on the Japanesen population - those who were Vegetarians and ate a lot of tofu, and those who has soya as an occasional part of the diet, but had a varied diet in other ways. Guess which of those groups had more Althzeimers! Of course, it could also be to do with eating no fish as opposed to inclusion... but better safe than sorry eh? It runs in one side of my family.