Bart Turns Bookworm

July 31, 2008

Book WormWell they do say that you can take a horse to water…

This is what instantly springs to mind when throughout the summer so far I keep turning around and there is Bart reading.

Don’t get me wrong he has always been a very capable reader, it is just that he gets a book every week during term time, and it is only through sheer force of effort (mostly expended by Mrs Geek) that he reads what he has to. It’s not that he can’t it is more that he can’t be bothered.

But in the past few weeks he has cleared the first two stacks of books the he got from the library progressing through the next.

I suspected that maybe he was missing school already, a claim I expected him to staunchly deny, but yesterday he told me that he wished he was back in school because he has to tidy his room while he is on holiday… I think he is missing his friends. (Not to mention all the love letters secret correspondence he keeps getting from a girl in his class)

What ever the reason it really is good to see him so enthusiastic about reading.

I’ll stop now before I jinx it.


Weston Pier Burns

July 28, 2008

Weston Pier Fire
Today the Grand Pier at Weston burned down. (This is slightly regional, so forgive my indulgence.)

First let me state that nobody was hurt, so I was surprised by the fact that I am so saddened by this story. It has probably been 4-5 years since I last went and I am currently living over 200 miles away. Chances are it would have been another 5 years before I returned, but this pier is pretty much a staple part of my childhood holiday memories.

I spent almost every one of my childhood holidays in Brean, the next bay along, so Weston was the “Big Town” to go to on days out. Goodness knows how much of my pocket money left me on that pier, not to mention the coins that dropped between the floorboards into the mud below. Then as an adult, I drove to Weston and had donuts on the peir the evening that I got my driving licence and I can remember taking my son onto the pier and playing Air Hockey, video games, and getting sick on candy floss and toffee apples.

It was bad enough when I found out that they had closed the Tropicana! But for the pier to be gone makes me more than a little sad. Now that I live away from where I grew up, it seems like every time I go back another slice of my childhood has been consigned to my memories alone, and in the process of my therapy writing this blog post I think I have determined why the story saddened me. It is not because we have lost a historic and arguable quite aesthetically pleasing building, nor is it empathy to the loss experienced by those that work there etc … It is something far more simple … far more selfish …

It is making me feel very old and I don’t like it.

hmm … not sure I’m overly proud of that discovery, as it does make me seem rather shallow

Third Baby Syndrome

July 21, 2008

I think we may have a touch of TBS (Third Baby Syndrome) … let me explain

With Bart everything was new, so we tried to take everyone’s advice. Even mutually contradictory advice. Even though he was breastfed we sterilised everything. We used non-bio washing powder, no wet-wipes just cotton wool and water. They don’t tell you of the paranoia a new baby induces.

Young Damocles

And then there is the single worst piece of advice that we were given by anyone. “Breast fed babies don’t need winding” … now in retrospect that seems ludicrous … but we were young and stupid, so we believed what we had been told, and this by a mid-wife too.

They say that dogs can “Smell fear”, well I think babies can too. Hence Bart was a somewhat unsettled baby.

Having learnt from the mistakes we made at Bart’s expense, Lisa had a far smoother ride, and maybe unsurprisingly she was a far more contented baby. She still got to have all new things, being that she was a girl and you can’t put blue on a girl!?!

Now we are at baby number 3. We have almost everything from before (not to mention the things Mrs Geeks sister has now accumulated for us), so she gets some of the luxuries that we couldn’t afford for the other two (It sound so unfair when you put it like that).

The theory was that we are now experts in this field, still making mistakes, but they are far less frequent (although I am booked on a course away for 4 days this week … That was seriously unwise, I’ll get to that in another post). But all in all Maggie seems the most calm and happy of our babies so far.

We were discussing this and other musings this morning, in a moment of mutual self satisfaction and “Aren’t we such good parents” refection, when it occurred to Mrs Geek that we have been so relaxed about the whole thing, that we had not registered the birth! We are not quiet at the stage where this is criminal, but it was close.

So she might not have wind or a sore bottom, but legally so far she does not even exist!

That good parenting halo might need a little polish 😉

Meet Emily

July 15, 2008

Everyone names their iPhone right?

Emily and I have been together now for 4 whole Days. I am not normally the kind to kiss-and-tell but I figured I would let you know how we are getting on. While I would love to claim that we have fitted together like hand and glove in a symbiotic merging of man and machine, it is more like a reasonable first date, where we are still doing that getting to know you type dance. The good news, seeing as I am now committed to 18 months with Emily, is that she really is good fun!

I will now do the Ross and Rachel faux-pas of listing my likes and dislikes.

Being that she has a girls name, Emily knows everything 😉 . I therefore now have the benifit of google-assisted-intelligence, and can give “definitive” answers to questions in a trice (Joe Hart is goalkeeper for Man City).

She also allows me to access Twitter (My bothersome employer seems to thing it would reduce productivity and thus blocked it). Emily also checked FaceBook where there was a message booking me for a wedding next year … so she is actually making me money, I am not sure Mrs Geek is buying that one though.

BubblesAnd as shallow as it may sound Emily is gorgeous. The bubble interface to texting is so good I can’t believe nobody thought of it before. How did text messages become popular before bubbles. Video playback is AWESOME. I now have a mobile platform on which to keep up with my episodes of diggnation and TikiBar TV

Also after a day of negotiation (don’t believe the Macs are effortless hype), Emily syncs wirelessly with my Mac at home through the magic of MobileMe so it is just possible that Emily may actually be able to keep me organised in terms of appointments etc … A job Mrs Geek has had the burden of for way too long and I am sure that this is one thing she will be glad to offload.

However, in an attempt to appease RC, it is not all roses and buttercups though.

First, I think Mrs Geek is getting a little jealous… not of me having an iPhone you understand… but of Emily monopolising my time (You know giving it a name and writing about our “relationship” may not help with this either)

Also Emily seems to run out of energy sooner that I had expected and I now have a whole bunch of accessories that I need to buy for her.

Also, I noticed that when hi-jacking someone’s wifi and answering a question with the iPhone instead of my iPaq, instead of looking at me and my super human powers of Geekyness as was the old way … I get a look of distain as if to say “Poser” … I defiantly think I preferred being a Geek!

Emily’s biggest problem however, is that in the UK she is tied to O2. I don’t want to be premature in writing them off, but their 3G coverage it would seem is a little patchy… but they promise this is due to get better, and to be honest Orange’s 3G was not exactly ubiquitous.

Why Do I Not Have A Pause Button?

July 15, 2008

IMG_1554 In my last post I talked of how proud I was of Lisa in her nursery leavers’ awards ceremony and the joy it gave me to see her win her award. This ignores however the pain it gave me to see her stood on stage welling up yet bravely holding back her tears on every mention of the “Leavers”. Again I failed my “Bloke” test as I was significantly less stoic than she was. Why does growing up have to be painful and why can I not protect my children from “Life’s Lessons”?

I know it is all part of growing up, but why does their growing up have to hurt me so much?

This led Mrs Geek and I to a discussion of the difference in parental attitudes to first child and subsequent children. With Bart everything was about how well he was doing. Each milestone passed was an amazing, pride inducing accomplishment. Now every milestone seems to be reached with reluctance. Maggie is now far more alert and putting on weight … both of which is good news, yet it signifies a reduction in newborn-ness that again, I really dread.

It is like going on a luxury cruise, stopping at many destinations, each one absolutely wonderful, breathtaking, but due to the tight schedule you are continually being moved on to the next location, ready or not. Some times I want to just say “Wait a minute … I like it here … can we just stay a little bit longer?” Alas, as much as I would like to pretend otherwise, I do not seem to be captain of this ship, it carries on sailing regardless how much I want to apply the brakes.

Maggie is planned to be our last child, and while nothing is set in stone, it is unlikely that we are going to change our mind. So every step forward is again like saying goodbye to the previous stage. At 31 am I ready to say goodbye to these things?

I know the solution is simply to enjoy it while you have it, and this whole post is rather self indulgent, but hey … it is my blog and to be honest that is what it is for 🙂


July 15, 2008

Saturday was Lisa’s Sports Day, leavers’ show and awards ceremony, with her nursery.

IMG_1716Thankfully they managed to avoid the rain, so the Sports Day was not cancelled for the second time running. She was incredibly cute concentrating extremely hard and desperate not to cheat (thus she got beaten by the ruthless child with no ethics. I mean going on the “B” of the Bang is one thing but that little cheat deserved a good spanking… obviously I’m not bitter … honest 😉 )

IMG_1523As for the show and awards ceremony … it was emotional! We got a whole bunch of 4 year olds enacting various nursery rhymes and fairy stories. Lisa was a Swan in the story of the Ugly Duckling … a masterful rendition, the absolute embodiment of the role.

IMG_1585Then it was the awards ceremony. They gave out the swimming certificates and coasters with the children’s photos etc and Lisa won the Millennium award for being the all-round “best” pupil. Well if pride is one of the deadly sins … I could have a problem. I almost burst with joy.

One Happy Geek

July 11, 2008

Well iPhone day is here!

And after a rather convoluted 4 hour process I am now in possession of a 3G iPhone.

I will leave you with my unboxing photos to show you that I really am a geek. (It also achieves the effect of mocking my best mate Guy who failed to pick one up)

Here It Is


As you may have guessed, this post was written on my new iPhone.