09 September 2019

Dear wife has a hysterectomy booked in a couple of weeks. No idea what
this means.

I have a new bike for keeping fit. Mud guards have moved to the old
summer bike. The old winter bike was given to a nearby friend. They gave
it to their kids. Not really surprising as it was intended for them

I've been trying to get some changes into open source. It's not been
terribly easy.

We've been walking up some local (and distant) hills. Dear child has
been having some fun doing that. I think he really enjoys it.


08 September 2019

Raised dear child's saddle by about an inch. I think he still has room
there but I don't want him to feel unstable.


20 July 2019

Dear child made a joke this week:

You'll never be hungry in a BMW i8!


17 June 2019

We went to the Oxford Natural History Museum.

Waiting for the return train, dear child said to our guest:

DC did you fart?
G no, ladies don't fart
DC are you telling a lie or the truth?
G the truth, ladies don't fart
DC yes they do! mummie does!


15 June 2019

Today we had to be at the hospital for 0900. Child had a bad ear.

We get seen very quickly and on time.

The doctor prescribed olive oil to soften the wax that had built up in
the child's ear.

learning ladder

10 June 2019

Today the same child that spat at dear child, said the "f-word" to dear

Dear child told off the other boy, then told a teacher what he said. The
teacher put him down the learning ladder and then in timeout.

Maybe something positive is starting to happen.


09 June 2019

Two Fridays ago (31 May) I think my tooth started to calm down. Things
are still not perfect, but they're getting better.

The garden is starting to look a bit better now. The strawberries are
covered with bamboo and thin netting.

imaginary friends

15 May 2019

The current imaginary friends are:


21 April 2019

I watched dear child do lego by himself again tonight. He put a lego set
together in a few minutes. It was something really nice to watch.

The garden veg is starting to grow. There's no fruit to see yet, there
are two strawberry flowers. The raspberry canes are starting to grow
some leaves.

I've dug a patch in the garden for some vegetables to grow.

The apple tree in the front garden looks a bit sun scorched.

Dear child has an imaginary friend, named "Joe" who is his child.


15 April 2019

Dear child is progressing we're doing numbers and words in a 'have a go'
book each evening. It seems quite clear that he hasn't been pushed by a
teacher to progress. They comment that his handwriting isn't clear, but
don't do much about it.

Dear child is quite interested in "Trucking Hell". At the weekend we
went to Sainsbury's to replace a duplicate Lego gift that someone gave
to dear child. This then somehow doubled in value when he saw a towing

He gets a sense of accomplishment when he finishes his tasks in the
'have a go' book, and even more pleasingly when he completes a lego
build on his own. When he puts his mind to it, he does very good things.


03 April 2019

Dear wife took some children on an outing to the library last week. One
of the children decided to spit on his hand and the hold dear wife's
hand. Disgusting. The same child spat in dear child's face, and on the
same day, their friend grabbed dear child by the throat.

Terrible. They're probably a child in an anti-vaxxer's house too.

We have planted some vegetables in the garden, some of the potatoes are
starting to grow small sprouts.

Had some quotes on the cost of shed roof repairs. One was wildly large,
another was wildly small. Went with the medium sized quote. The quoter
has put a tarpaulin over, and we await their return to strip and
re-roof. In a few weeks.

Took a bike wheel apart at the weekend to look at the bearings. They're
a bit rough, I cannot get into the housing to inspect for grit.


23 March 2019

Dear child did not have a great time at school this week. Someone there
grabbed him by the throat, and one another occasion someone else spat in
his face. We don't send him to school for that.

We did get some of the strawberry plants that have overgrown the central
planter area re-potted.


10 March 2019

The winds of this weekend, rated at 40mph by BBC weather, have stripped
felt from the shed roof.

Dear wife has back injections this week, so by the weekend I'll be
trying to make repairs myself.

If the wife had not filled the house with her junk then there would have
been some room indoors for some of my things.


03 February 2019

Dear wife has complaints of a new pain in her armpit. We've not even
gone to the brain MRI (this Friday afternoon, need time off work) and
there is a new complaint.

Dear child has been hard work this weekend. I wonder if he has some idea
of wifes problems and that may create anxiety for him. Or he has
constipation. One of the two.

school report

30 January 2019

Dear child had a good school report. The school recognise that his
reading and maths are good. He has to work on his handwriting though.

We heard about someone in the year below dear child, in the nursery.
They are the only English speaking child in a class of children who
hardly speak English. Most of them are from families which migrated to
England a few years ago.

There is nothing wrong in migrating, there is something wrong though in
not integrating. In this case, the English speaking child gets so lonely
throughout the day and has no social contact that he is in tears at
pickup. This is not fair for that child. The school teachers don't step
in and enforce any 'English only' time.

Given how quickly English people are labelled racist hearing news like
this is frustrating and making a mockery of the open system we have. To
a large extent it threatens this way of life as the playing field is
obviously not equal.


28 January 2019

On the morning of Wed 16th I woke up feeling a bit rotten, developed a migraine and feeling quite cold. Lunch was not as planned, didn't have appetite for anything more than a spoon or two of pasta, skipped the free portion of cake that we're given on Wednesday. By the end of the working day it was a struggle staying awake. Agreed that I'd take the following day as leave with my manager. Walking home was a challenge too, much slower pace than normal. Once home I found a large roast dinner waiting. Sadly straight to bed and try to shake the migraine. I don't think I woke up again until around noon on Thursday.

At 03:00 on Friday morning I was taught a very cruel schoolboy physics lesson, of weight. For when using the toilet one moment everything was fine, the next I was laying on the floor having knocked the bath rack over. I must have passed out. A few seconds earlier and I think the walls would have been painted a funny colour. By 06:00 the wife had called the non-emergency line, got Ben dressed and taken us all to the Royal Berks. They cannulated, took several blood samples and hydrated me. They commented that the blood pressure was not good and heart rate was too high.

Blood samples didn't show any bacterial infection, the advice was to drink plenty and don't do much. Somewhat shocked that the doctor in A&E was happy to look down my throat, into the eye of the storm without anything covering their own airways first. Must be paid good danger money.

Today I'm starting to respect the work that the immune system has to deal with. I'm not fully recovered, it has left me with a hacking cough.


12 January 2019

Dear child was sick in the night. It looked like he had some form of stomach bug. We've not caught it (yet), will update if we do.

There's lots to do today. There seems to be some evidence of rodent attack on the coup, so the ground of their enclosure needs to be repaired. I think this should be a matter of scraping the mud off a large section of wire and reattaching some new aviary wire. There's some large paving slaps that I need to move out of the way also so that I may at some point (hopefully before Spring) get a new shed.

There is something going around at school apparently. I don't know how that is any different from any other day of the school year.

electronics set

02 January 2019

Dear child had some money over Christmas. Rather than spend it all, we thought it would be nice to setup a home bank with a high interest rate to help explain saving money. We suggested that we split the money in two, half to go in his ISA and the other half to spend and what remains can go in the home bank.

We took dear child to the largest nearby toy shop that we could think of in a town a few miles away to spend his money, but he could not find anything he liked. He was a bit upset, but I found an electronics set that I thought would be good. I didn't end up buying it as I thought I'd look online at the various types available.

I found a set called Hot Wires, which is much like Lego bricks.

We had to tour the local warehouse brand 'Greek God of queuing' shops until we found one with it in stock. After getting it home, it took only a few minutes to start making circuits with dear child. He was thrilled once we had the FM radio scanning and then tuned to a station that played music.

We also went for a walk every other day during the break, this was good for us all, covering a few miles and gave us a much needed dose of fresh air.

New year's eve was good, we were all asleep by around 23:00. At 23:59 the neighbour returned with a friend and there was all manner of jumping around and making noise, until around 01:15 the next day. I think they then spent the new day out. It was painful trying to sleep.

Earlier that day the same neighbour parked their car outside our house.
We parked close to them so other other neighbour could get in and both
could leave without any problem.

Instead, a stupid neighbour (two doors from us) parked as close to us as possible. Laughably, someone else parked up to their car and they were unable to exit. Serves them right. The couple who own the car were arguing and the wife overheard her say "well I wasn't expecting that to happen to us". Nothing like watching an evil plan backfire.

temper tantrums

26 December 2018

Dear child had a tough time this Christmas. He knew that the cards might be stacked against him due to the sleep problems. We told him that Father Christmas does not come to children that are noisy in the night. Not sure if we can say we’ve cracked it, but keeping him up close to 20:00 seems to be doing the trick, that took around a week to get synched.

We went for a walk in a large nearby park, hopefully for a couple of miles. After that we took dear child to see the local church crib blessing service. He seemed to enjoy that.

Christmas day was interesting. Dear child was expecting a Volvo or other cars with name badges. When dear child got to the bottom of his presents to find there were no cars he was fairly disappointed. I had to explain that Father Christmas does not give duplicates. Quite a few times. Once dear child came around we explained that we would go to one of toy shops to find something that he likes.

Today, boxing day, we saw a local theatre company puppet performance. It was not traditional puppetry as the puppeteers were in the open.

I’ve been watching Die Hard films over the Christmas break, as is tradition.

Perhaps my own expectations of the festive period should be re-evaluated.

temper tantrums

20 December 2018

Dear wife took dear child to meet a family friend at a near by weatherspoons. At the meeting dear child became enraged and hit her in her surgery site when she was trying to get him to put his jacket on. She shouted at him. Later they were passing a school parent and child in the shopping centre and instead of hugging his friend he shouted at her. Then he complained that he had not hugged and apologised to her and wanted to. So they both had to go back, then he changed his mind. Then he didn’t want to. The cycle repeated.

Once at home he had to sit in time out for 30-45 minutes. Then he needed a poo. There was some remorse from him as he wanted to do the chickens instead of mummy doing them.

It is good that he understands he did wrong and that he apologised. He did do wrong, but I am disappointed that he was unable to control his anger.


18 December 2018

We’ve had a couple of good nights recently. Dear child has been going to bed closer to 2100 than 1900 and this seems to have made some difference. Last night he woke around 0300 but managed to get himself back to sleep.


11 December 2018

Dear child had a good sleep last night. Dear wife went to the dentists yesterday and had a cap fitted to the peg that she was left with. This involved opening up the gum again.

Today she had to go back to the dentists as something didn’t feel right. Sounds like the gum is trying to grow around the implant so things are not going as planned.

We moved dear child’s bedtime from 1900 to 1930, in small increments. We’re hoping he stops waking up around 0400. He has been told several times to stop doing it and now trying a reward system if he does as he is told.

Maths and school

28 November 2018

Dear wife volunteered her time at nursery and reception classes today. The morning was at nursery and the afternoon was in reception.

Dear child was quite pleased to see dear wife there.

We did subtractions for tonight’s maths.


21 November 2018

We have been doing maths at home with dear child. He is starting to enjoy it. We’re trying to show him short-cuts. Not sure I’m good at explaining 10+10 is easier if you do 1+1, then put the zero back. Also trying to help him add up using fingers.

bikes and sleep

19 November 2018

Dear child isn’t perfect with his sleep, but we’ve had some small improvements over the last week.

Dear wife has a hospital appointment on Tuesday of this week and I had to cycle in the morning. As a result I had to be out of the house early so that she could get ready and drop dear child at another parent’s house so they could walk both their child and ours to the same school.

Because this needed fine precision I bought two new alarm clocks for dear child and explained on Monday night how they worked. I drew pictures of what each would look like at 06:30 in the morning. I told dear child he could only get up to use the toilet.

The plan mostly works, but dear child still throws his bedding off his bed in the night on occasion.

I took dear child to the local park on his bike, he’s getting much better at bike riding now. He did two laps of the park, then I let him use the playground. He can now ride a bit without my assistance. He only has a bit of trouble pushing off. This is a massive improvement, he needed stabilisers a short while ago and has not used his bike much.

Today we went to two parties. I think this is too much for a single day. The carpark was hard work. I had to use my phone to try and park, then found that the automated system did not understand my pronunciation of P, it instead read it back as T, at least that’s how I heard it. Stupid computers.

This may be worth keeping for later:

There are four basic ways to correct a child’s behavior:

  • Positive reinforcement: Giving a reward for doing something good. “You were very good, so you may have a cookie.”

  • Negative reinforcement: Taking away a disliked thing for doing something good. “You were very good, so you get to stay up past your bedtime tonight.”

  • Positive punishment: Giving a bad thing for doing something bad. “You were bad, so I am going to hit you.”

  • Negative punishment: Taking away a good thing for doing something bad. “You were bad, so you’re grounded with no phone, computer, or tv.”

Spanking is a form of positive punishment. Studies have shown that spanking gets short-term results faster than other methods. However, long-term it is actually less effective than the other methods. In addition, children who were spanked tend to have more tension in their relationships with their parents, are more aggressive, and are more likely to use physical violence as a solution to their problems then children who are never spanked.

However, it is important to note that these studies tend to be retrospective; that is, they look at whether kids were spanked and how they turned out. Because of this, it’s possible that parents of kids who are more aggressive in the first place are more likely to spank, so we can’t 100% say spanking causes this. Nevertheless, the choice to spank seems to be more related to parenting style and culture than to individual kids’ behavior, so it’s likely true that spanking does cause at least some degree of negative psychological effects.

What we do know from studies on humans and other animals is that positive reinforcement works the best long-term. In other words, Susie will learn her table manners much better if she is rewarded for behaving well than punished for behaving poorly. If punishment is needed, then negative punishments such as time outs for younger children and grounding for older children are preferable to positive punishments like hitting.

Again, this isn’t just true for humans. If you take a dog training class, you will be instructed to give treats when the dog does something desired (positive reinforcement.) You will also likely be told never to hit a dog, as it makes them more aggressive. The same principles have also been shown to work in rats, birds, and other animals we have done behaviour experiments on.

In short, the only thing spanking brings to the table is it gets faster results. Other than that, it’s inferior to other methods of behaviour correction and has the potential to make kids more aggressive, which is why most modern psychologists and paediatricians are discouraging the practice.


31 October 2018

We had another good bonfire, this time with fireworks.

Ben has been struggling overnight since he has gone back to school.

Last night I lost my temper with him as I have a suspicion that this is all for attention. I think this is the only way forward now as he got himself into a tantrum for no good reason other than not getting his own way.

  1. no running

  2. no shouting

  3. no jumping

  4. no lieing

  5. no licking your lips

  6. no noise at night

  7. no being naughty

Shortly after having a shower I asked dear child, "do you remember your tantrum in the night?", "Yes" he says with a smirk, "Why did you do that?", I "because I wanted attention" he says. "I had to shout and tell you off, do you remember that too?", "Yes" he replies, still smirking, "Is that what you want?" I ask. "Yes." he replies, "I’ll just go straight to telling you off as it will save time then and you can go straight back to bed and be quiet".

This seems to have struck a chord with him.

Parents evening

16 October 2018

Dear wife went to the parents evening for dear child today. At school drop-off she bumped into one of the parents that I dislike due to the apparent system sponging that she partakes in.

Dear wife bumped into her again at the parents evening. This time she was pleased to hear that they’re keeping an eye on dear child incase he has any special needs later.

I don’t think that dear child has any learning difficulties. I think he has learned to be lazy and has found a way to get attention. I’ll do my best as a parent to distract him from these traits.


14 October 2018

We went to a pub today for lunch. We all ordered chicken. Whist eating my way through the chicken breast I noticed that the meat was a little pink inside. Then it became pink and wet, then just soggy and pink. Yes, it became quite raw. That was around 1300, I think the rule of thumb is roughly six-nine hours later you notice the effects.

Dear child got his reading challenge award on Thursday. His reading is still very good and doesn’t fail to leave me rather proud.

He had a good birthday party though, we gave books out to those who came. Some parents took handfuls, others were more honest and took one only, as suggested by the note we left on the table.

On Tuesday night dear wife and I went to a parents evening that showed us how they’re teaching the children. The school ran a crèche, but when we came to pick dear child up, someone had dropped a baby on his head. Turned out that some children there knew little English and were not very well controlled. One child, around 5-6 was carrying a baby and dropped it. Had Dear child’s soft tissue not been in the way it would have learnt about gravity. Sadly, dear child suffered a swollen face for a few days.

On Friday dear child had to come home from school early as he "dided a poo in his pants".


30 September 2018

Very pleased with dear child, he is the only child in his class that has been put on free reading. He is allowed to choose any book to read by himself.

It turns out that the school now don’t know what to do with his reading, they took him to the library to choose a book, and within a few minutes he had read it. This is good, but it would be better if he was challenged.


17 September 2018

Perhaps the most terrifying words I’ll ever hear are "I think I dided a poo in my pants".

We harvested some sweetcorn from our garden, along with some potatoes. It was a rather nice moment to eat the sweetcorn on the same day as harvest, and have the potatoes in the hotpot the following night. We had enough potatoes to do two hotpots, and we’re eating one sweetcorn per night.

This isn’t as successful as the strawberries and blackberries though, they spread over many weeks.


22 August 2018

Dear wife had dental work on Monday. The work was to try and fix the failed route canal which resulted in extraction. The work on Monday was to perform a bone graft.

Around two and a half hours in the chair to perform the work, she was given antibiotics and many stitches.

In three weeks time she will have the gum opened up again to attach an implant.

Dear child has been quite good, he has had to take a back seat for the last two days while dear wife has been recovering, slowly.


24 July 2018

Dear wife had her birthday over the weekend. Dear child was ok, for the morning, but by the evening he became increasingly irritable. We were out with two friends from dear wife’s treatment. One was playing with dear child and the other was trying to calm him down.

We think there were a number of elements at play here, needing the toilet was one. Tiredness from the heatwave was another.

Since Monday he has been behaving himself much better and we’ve been able to reward him with praise a bit more. This could be down to dear child being in a field, although shaded, for a long period on Saturday. Might also be a lack of sleep from very hot nights.


14 July 2018

Dear child is 4.75 years old. Dear wife just walked in on him, in his room with his pants down and some stationery in his hand. Said stationery was a ruler, and he was measuring his willy. Yes, at 4.75 years old a boy is measuring his willy. He’s now waiting for it to not feel so big so that he can measure it again.

Toilet time

08 July 2018

So today dear parents took the family and I to a local restaurant to have lunch.

Just after we sat down dear child wanted to use the toilet, which is normal since we had asked him to drink plenty. He did really well with his drinking, he had drunk a whole flask already.

I took dear child to the toilet since dear wife was talking to my parents.

We got to the toilet, I cleaned the seat so that dear child could sit down. He changed his mind at the last minute after I pulled his pants down for him. He started to wee perfectly in to the bowl, but a few moments in he started to hit the rim of the bowl just in front of him and get some wee on his legs. I immediately lift him closer to the bowl. This seemed to make matters worse and the wee went directly on the floor.

When this had finally come to an end, I reach for the toilet paper to find that there was only six sheets left. Someone more experienced than I may have been able to manage, but that was beyond me. I needed more. Dear child needed new pants, socks and shorts. I needed new trainers. needed new trainers


01 July 2018

For a few months dear wife has been doing dinner in the slow cooker. This is a major helper when it comes to planning things for the day as it allows for the dinner to be prepared in the morning and then just turn it on and come back to a dinner in the evening.

Dear child on the other hand seems to have recognised that this means some improvement in the life of the parents and has challenged us at every step of the way.

Tonight, we managed to get dear child to eat all the carrots and some potato. Immediate reward of extra pudding.

Will see how this goes.

Worth keeping up as it’s a pretty healthy way to live.

Maths and other development

26 June 2018

Nearly a month since I wrote anything down. It is a shock how quickly time flies and how little I dedicate to noting dear child’s amazing progress.

Every day there is something new that I have to watch for. At the moment dear child has learnt that it can be easier to tell fibs than to tell the truth. I have to steer him off this path.

His maths is surprisingly good. I’ve sat him in front of Tux Math and let him do the working out. He soon realised how to play the game. I need to get him a laptop of his own to play with.

Dear child is handling adding numbers in the game up to 10, which I think is dead good at his age. His reading level is still pretty good, I need to give him more books to read though.

One thing that did worry me a bit though was that he is asking for a bother or sister as he feels lonely. Given that another child may kill dear wife due to the hormones I am not going to entertain the idea.

We’ve read the Wind in the Willows. It’s not the story that I remember from when my dad read it to me all those years ago.

An Evening At Alfie's

29 May 2018

Nursery gave dear child a good book to read, "An Evening At Alfie’s" which is finally giving him something to think about whilst he reads. This is great.

I was very surprised when he read it as there were many more words to it than I thought he would cope with, but again he surprises me and keeps going.

Dear child has made a major breakthrough with regards to the balanitis problem, we’re a step closer to being able to clean behind the skin, and we think that he has also solved some of the hygiene issues through keeping his fingernails trimmed.

Some battles still remain, however. He does not like to take showers, and he does not like to do handwriting. We have got him into a habit now of doing some writing in the evenings, so hopefully this can improve over time.

He is taking apart and reconstructing lego models. This is awesome in my view has it is helping his brain to grow.

I have some short-comings of my own, however. The garden sheds need to be purchased and placed. I need to create an environment where he can thrive building things. Perhaps I will kit this out in a computer/design way for him, with a taste of woodwork so he can make boxes and objects to do things.

One week ago, on 23rd May, dear wife had her rear molar removed. This was a tricky extraction so the dentist arranged for the dental surgeon to do the heavy lifting in his absence. The tooth had to be removed through surgery. It was divided into parts prior to extraction. The gum had to be cut open to do this. Once complete the hole was left open so that remnants of the tooth could make their way out.

Towards the end of the week the extraction site was causing pain and discomfort. A return to the dentists was required, where they packed the void with material soaked in antibacterial and antibiotics.

a hot weekend

06 May 2018

We were really impressed with dear child. We went to a park near to where I work, but sadly they point the slide towards the sun. This means on a hot day the slide gets extremely hot.

A parent had put their toddler at the top of the slide, she didn’t want to go down. Dear child springs into action and tells the parent its too hot. It was funny to watch. One of their group said "you’ve been told off by a nosey child". I don’t think he was nosey, yes he interjected, but for a greater good.

Later that day we went to the local archery club to have a practice. Dear child ended up enjoying it. Sadly he’s too young to join the club (needs a few more years).

end of half term week off

15 April 2018

Dear child’s Easter Holiday comes to an end and he has to go back to school tomorrow. For the first time this year it looks like next week may be dry from start to finish.

I had promised myself that we would help dear child learn to write this week. I think all we have accomplished is o and l. Baby steps.

Things that dear child does not like are blothery.

half term week off

08 April 2018

As my week off draws to an end I look back and don’t see much of my own productivity.

I spent a day or two playing with dear child in his room, we did some lego, some play with cars. I have failed my own desires to get him writing, this is my own fault.

I have spent some time trying to find a solution to what he can watch on his tablet. We don’t want him to have full blown access to YouTube, and any attempt to filter this has failed so far.

This could be my first week where I have not looked at work things.


21 March 2018

We think dear child may have been playing with himself and contributing to the problem with balanitis.

He wanted to get on our bed, under the blanket to watch some telly, so we let him, and dear wife got under the blanket also, it was cold a couple of days ago, we had very cold air from the east. He pulled the blanket up to his head, and after a few minutes said something very much along the lines of "mummy, is it ok if I touch my willy".

We strongly suspect he does something like this in the mornings. Our dear child is starting to grow up, in a way I am a bit sad about this. I another it is great to see that he is growing up and developing, I don’t want him to remain a child forever.

For some reason his muslin cloth is vooshy. Whatever that means.

His reading age is that of a six-year-old, apparently.


15 March 2018

Dear child still has balanitis, we are coping with it a bit better. A few weeks ago we had very cold winds and snow but, like a trooper I walked to the doctors to collect another prescription for dear child. It contained a special antibiotic bath soap along with a steroid for his foreskin. The cream appears to be helping, so dear wife tells me.

We have snow on the forecast again for this weekend.

Dear child has been an amazing boy. He has the reading age of a six year old which is really amazing. Though today he did struggle with the word Toboggan, which, given the climate, I don’t think is unusual for someone in this country, you don’t see them very often.


29 January 2018

Yesterday dear wife spotted that dear child had some inflammation around the end of his foreskin.

We spent most of Sunday there, lots of walking to and from the children’s ward to Paediatric A&E. After two hours and a urine sample we were given co-amoxiclav, and some cannisten.


23 January 2018

Yesterday it turns out, dear child was picked on quite badly at nursery. We think this has been going on since December. Dear wife went into nursery to talk to the staff today. Initially they tried to fob her off a bit and made out that it was all under control.

On her way out she passed dear child shout oh the red bus, my favourite! which seemed to be fighting words for the bully who immediately jumped out of his seat to push dear child and take the bus from him. Up until that point the bus had been on the floor, ignored by all.

Fortunately one of the staff was there, but all she did was say "we don’t push do we". This bully ignored her. When dear wife went back to the person who is meant to be dear child’s key worker and relayed what happened, she called the bully over.

"we don't push do we."
"yes, haha"

She repeated in his language, but all he did then was laughed even more at her.

It didn’t seem under control but dear wife explained that she doesn’t bring him there to get bullied. We don’t think the parents of this child are any better. Hopefully, if we play the moral high ground and dear child doesn’t fight back but gets help, the problem child will be moved somewhere else.

Dear child is constructing his own things out of lego.


22 January 2018

Last week dear child was sick during the night, we think from over indulgence.

Dear child is reading well, some words he is struggling with now, in the adult part of the books that he is reading.

I have read to him just about every night that I can think of now going back quite some time. I think when we got him Mr Men books. Over the last few weeks/months, he has had The Borrowers, The magic faraway tree, The wishing wand, The great tug of war (this one I couldn’t cope with due to peculiar names).

It sounds like there is a bully in dear child’s class.

boxing day

26 December 2017

Today I did a blood donation which was at the fire station. At least today the doors were closed so the heat was kept in.

Dear wife and child cam along as it was Boxing day. Dear child was a bit worried when I had my finger pricked for the iron level test. So I thought it better for them to go rather than stay as he will be more concerned when they take the full amount of blood.

I took a photo of the needle in my arm.

Later when we had lunch at the pub I showed the photo of the needle in my arm to dear child. He immediately covered his mouth with both hands in a shocked way. This was exactly what he did at the fire station when the finger prick was done. I hadn’t expected this. I explained that I wasn’t hurt at all.

He told dear wife that he was disappointed that he didn’t get the Blox Race Car Transporter for Christmas, "maybe I will get it next year".

Later this eventing we let him open unwrap the bigger present that was near the tree. He was rally happy to find it was the Race Car Transporter.


25 December 2017

We took dear child to see grandparents today. He loved it. We think this is the first Christmas that he may have memories of when he gets older. He has been very aware that Christmas has been looming, he has taken note of the days up to Christmas through his advent calendar and lessons at school, such as making cards and learning songs.

We have had very strong winds this evening (40-45mph) making the drive from grandparents to home very difficult.

Last night dear child needed nearly an hour hand a half of reading to get him to go to sleep. In the end I had to give up and say that my jaw was aching and that I had to stop. He went to sleep a short while after. We had finished The Borrowers and started The Bear.

Tonight I continued with another chapter from the book.

Dear child now starts sentences with "Well, if I’m honest …"


22 December 2017

Dear child counted to 31 last night, using only odd numbers.


07 December 2017

We think there is a child at nursery who is always sent with a cold/fever, no matter what as the mother wants to work from home and does not want to look after the child at the same time.

I went to cookery class with dear child today. Monday night I was at work until 22:00 so left today at 13:00 for time off in lieu. We kept it as a surprise though so dear wife picked me up from a bus stop near work.

Dear child has a cold again. He sent himself to bed at around 18:00 tonight without dinner or brushing his teeth.

I recently purchased a new virtual computer in China to host a third of the NS structure. On in Atlanta, one in Singapore and one in London to spread the load. I’ve rebuilt the NS server in a docker container this time to hopefully make it easy to rebuild the other two. That’s the plan anyway.


27 November 2017

Dear child had a birthday party to attend on Saturday and Sunday.

When we arrived at the party a bit early on Saturday he said he was hot which means he needs a poo. Luckily we had been walking there and were a little early so we had time to go to the toilet first. Very lucky.

On Sunday we had another party to go to, it was going to well until food time.

Dear child found a sensible place to sit, sadly boy-with-really-nasty-cold sat opposite him. The parents seemed to force feed the poor boy with food that he couldn’t eat because he was coughing so much.

Dear child counted to 100 today, flawlessly. I think he was using his number chart to help with the tens once he got past 50. But he understands the concept, which I think is really good for his age.

He read his school reading book with ease.


22 November 2017

I was planning to cycle to work today. Last night didn’t provide much in the way of sleep for me though as I spotted a leak in water pipe that connects to the toilet. That left me concerned all night and as a result I didn’t get much sleeping done.

This evening the winds are blowing at around 43MPH. The roof tiles are another thing to worry about.

The shed roof has a hole and is letting in water.

The garden tap has always leaked.

The bathroom tap drips at quite a rate now.

We need to get a stop cock fitted so that we can turn off the water and make repairs.


11 November 2017

Change of plan, dear child was allowed to go home last night under an open return, with an appointment on Sunday (two days time) to return to be observed by urology and paediatrics.


10 November 2017

The last two days have been quite unusual. The boy had an inflamed willy yesterday morning. It looked a bit swollen and starting to go red. We took him to the nearest hospital, they said almost immediately that he needed to go to the GP. The GP said he needed antibiotics, promptly and wrote a letter for us to take to the paediatrics ward at a different hospital.

When we got in the car to leave the GP, someone pointed out that the car had a flat driver’s side front tyre. I take a look and decide that dear child’s need to get to the hospital is more important than a flat tyre.

Once we arrived at $hospital++ we had to wait until >15:00 before the antibiotics arrived.

I had to look after child over night as dear wife would not be able to settle on the Z-bed in the room.

Dear child has to stay in tonight, he was diagnosed with balanitis, the urologist thinks that he could continue oral antibiotics at home, but paediatrics want him to remain in for another night.


08 November 2017

We spent Saturday and Sunday (4th and 5th) in the garden mostly doing bonfire activities. Dear child had not seen a big bonfire (or small one) before. The trick to having a big burn is getting all the wood as vertical as possible before the fire collapses in on itself. This will give a good bed of hot embers.

On Monday (6th) we took dear child from nursery to his grandparents to spend the night whilst dear wife had injections into her spine at 0730 in a nearby town. We didn’t get back from the hospital until mid-afternoon so he spent the following night at his grandparents too.

It’s now been several days since I’ve last looked at the chickens, but at least I wasn’t taking dear wife back paralysed.


29 October 2017

This weekend we had the party for dear child’s birthday yesterday. Today we went to another child’s party from nursery.

I noticed just how reserved dear child is. I must have been the same at his age. The child who had the party was much more involved in the entertainment. Dear child preferred to watch the entertainment than to get involved. Maybe this is him absorbing his surroundings rather than being part of it.

Maybe this is one of those times when as a parent I need to decide what I feel should be nurtured and what I should let him explore for himself.

I’ve taken a decision to not force atheism on him, despite that being one of my core values, its his life for him to make his own mind up about origins.


19 October 2017

Dear child enjoys thumbing through books in the evening now. He likes phonics books and other stories.

I’ve been thinking about the career more, had a 1:1 and discussed the objectives for the year.

bed time

15 October 2017

Was reading the normal night time stories to dear child (tonight it was Thomas and Friends), when he gets sleepy, an yawns. I reach over to tuck him in and at that very moment he lifts his head to look over at me (maybe as I stopped or slowed the words) when his face and my hand collide. Tears ensued. What poor timing.


14 October 2017

Dear child was unwell on his birthday, he could hardly talk. I had to carry him around for most of the day as he was unwell with a temperature and just seemed very dizzy.

We did a lot of walking that day with him on my shoulder.

Turns out that he had a flu as I soon found out on Monday as my body began to ache, I developed some very bad congestion, headaches, sore throat, night sweats day fevers, shivers, dizzyness and nausea.

I don’t blame him for wanting to be carried!


05 October 2017

Dear child has done some amazing things lately. He has been poorly for a few days so we kept him out of nursery to help give the others a break from his cold. He’s been left without much of a voice for a few days. Of late I’ve been reading Thomas the Tank Engine to him at night, he normally gets three or four stories before he falls asleep.

Last night he drifted into partial sleep, we think he was suffering from the cold, he had four or five stories before dozing, so I said good night and started to leave his room just as dear wife came in and said goodnight too. Dear child stood up in bed, got out, pointed his finger at the door and started walking, pushing dear wife backwards as he marched himself directed into Mummy and Daddy’s bed.

On the 3rd of October we were taking pallets apart in the garden, I had quite a stack of these with intention of making a bike or log shed. Neither of these has happened in the past year or two that I’ve had them so I think it’s time to do something else and 5th of November is rapidly approaching. I’d like to get them apart before bad weather arrives.

I was taking the pallets apart when I found some with cube blocks in the corner, holding the slats to these blocks were some bigger nails which took more effort to remove. I put them with the others and dear child retrieved them. After he had four of these nails he asked for another "tennail", so he could have "fifty". He had collected four of these longer nails which he must have identified as bigger ten counting rods. I’m quite amazed as he hasn’t done any counting rods with us for a very long time.

Today we went to a near town with a toy shop. On the way there he called out "George & Dragon", that’s not bad reading in my books as we drove past the pub. We let him have some toys in the shop, sadly though he still wants to be carried to many places. Funny though how if we suggest he can go to the park if he can walk there that he finds leg strength again.


24 July 2017

Today I had to get to work a bit later than normal because I spotted a leak behind the toilet. We cannot get the water turned off at the street stop-cock as the component has become unreliable.

We cannot turn the water off in the kitchen as that has seized.

When we flush the toilet the water comes back up the toilet bowl and floods out the back. Dear wife has found a container that can go behind the toilet. The question in my mind though is, why have the toilet and sisten separated?

Dear wife has an appointment at the hospital soon to look at a lump in her breast. I’m really scared as she has said it is very painful. I’m really not sure what I’d do without her. It’s creating a lot of tension in the house and the last thing I want to do is explain to dear child why dear wife is poorly. His life will be terrible without dear wife. I spend too much time on the computer as I want to stay up to date and continually have to reinvent my head so that I can keep up.

Dear child didn’t ask for this, dear wife didn’t and I certainly didn’t. Dear wife is too young to go through this. It’s far too scary. I’m too old to go through this. Dear child shouldn’t have to.


18 July 2017

So after a busy day at work the dear wife and child meet me at work and we go to the library. Dear child has to pick six books to read over the summer holiday and then he can get a certificate and medal at the end of the challenge.

Someone from work spotted me in the toilet paper isle at Sainsbury’s. It was a little awkward.

When we get home dear wife explains that she has found more lumps in her breast. Life is never simple. It’s a real pain in the arse that we just don’t seem to ever have a smooth family life.

Dear child will need a talk soon to explain to him that needs to grow up a bit. I get the feeling that my father went through similar thoughts with my brother and myself that maybe he wouldn’t be around much due to his diabetes. I’m sure he was going through the same as he really pushed education when I was growing up.

colds and peppa pig

17 July 2017

I feel there is a cold starting in the house. Dear child went to nursery today and his main teacher has a stinking cold, she seems to want to spread it around too by touching people unnecessarily on their way in and out of nursery.

Dear child calls mummy daddy, he calls daddy sister and he is mummy. I walked him and mummy to work last week, I forget which day, but we had to go in a line and he was driving the train. It gets rather complicated.

On Sunday we went to Primark, it was quite an effort just finding trousers that fit. Word to the wise, slim fit for shirts is not the same as skinny fit for trousers. Saturday was spent in someone’s coffee and cake afternoon garden party, mostly telling dear child off for doing things he shouldn’t be doing. We now know this is due to the start of his cold, so he probably had a headache or similar.


08 July 2017

Petna is still causing problems for restoration at work. Some systems are still unavailable. Friday was the first day that I had off-shift since the weekend before this outbreak.

On Saturday I was in the garden with dear wife when we hear a call from inside the house "I need the toilet". Dear wife shouted back saying to wait, and immediately dashed in. When she got there a turd was on the carpet and up dear child’s thigh. We don’t know how it happened. Dear child may have been trying to get on the toilet and it was too high so failed? We don’t know.

We took dear child swimming yesterday, both dear wife and myself went in the water, dear child made such an improvement with his swimming. He went in all the pools, including the larger adult swimming pool.

The current shift pattern at work has taken quite a strain, I seem to have been placed on the late shift permanently, which leads to me not getting much time to spend with my son.


01 July 2017

The last two weekends were a bit different. Two weekends ago we took dear child to the swimming pool in town. I’d been there on the Wednesday to use the treadmill as it was rather hot outside, I had taken the day off work and wanted to get some exercise, a bit of road bike and then some running.

So the last two Sundays we took dear child swimming. It’s better than running, and if I don’t use the gym then work will take the membership away.

Two weekends ago dear child used the slide to get into the water and I would catch him at the bottom before he splashed. I tried to let him get further into the water each time so he could acclimatise. On one go dear child went on the slide before I could into position, poor child went right under the water as it sends you in as if you’d dived in feet first, like a knife through butter. That was pretty much the end of that day. We’d also slipped on the steps up to the bigger water slide, first dear child went over and someone else caught him, thankfully, I was above dear child when he turned to go down without me knowing. Then when I turned to get him I slipped too.

Last weekend was a much better day. Dear child went much further into the water and near the end he was laying down fully and crawling. We played something called capsize where he was sat on my lap and I’d rock him left or right until he capsized. He thought we were playing catseyes though.

This week has been a bit mad, we can’t take him swimming anyway as we had arranged to take him to his grandparents. I’ve been working odd hours due to a petna outbreak at work.


06 June 2017

Dear child was not at nursery yesterday, dear wife had to take him to the dentist as it was an inset day, and so, he was at the window, excited to watch the bin men collecting and emptying all the wheelie bins in the road.

The bin men were, as always working hard to empty the bins and took ours and each neighbours in turn working as a single efficient machine, until they go to the idiot two doors down.

The neighbour had put some car parts on the recycle bin lid, the bin man didn’t know that the general waste bin and the recycle were linked by an umbrella. Why would he? Why 'should' he?

Upon pulling the general bin, the recycle bin was nudged and the car parts fell. At this, the idiot neighbour then started pushing and knocked the bin man over to the ground. This caused dear child to shout "why is he pushing the man, that’s wrong, he shouldn’t do that". Dear wife was confused by this and looked out of the window. After a few seconds the bin man was up and started marching towards idiot neighbour, who, once again, started to retreat.

This is so wrong. The bin man probably didn’t do anything else by fear of loosing his job for fighting.


02 May 2017

Dear child has brought his first book home from nursery "Chips Letter Sounds". He has understood the way letters make sounds for a while now. Didn’t struggle with the book much, he was more frustrated that he didn’t know some of the conjugation sounds.


02 May 2017

Dear child has brought another book home, "Kipper’s Rhymes". He really liked this book and the repetition sounds. After going through the book with him I wanted to buy more of this series from their website. However, dear wife pointed out that I should be letting nursery take the lead on his reading.


02 May 2017

Dear child has brought another book home, "Biff’s Fun Phonics". This book is much like the last book. I like the way that each page has a fun creature to spot in a picture, it allows for a "carrot and stick" approach to learning. He whizzed through this one.


27 April 2017

We started potty training dear child on 21st, so it will be a week of training tomorrow. So far dear child has not made his pants wet for two days. He does not seem to go at nursery though.

This morning he told me a story where he was hit by Hatty as Rajinda took something and he took the blame.


02 March 2017

Been reading Mr Men books to dear child lately. He gets a new Mr Man book from the nursery library each Wednesday. Yesterday he got Mr Skinny, but he has trouble saying that and it comes out as "Mr Skiddy".

When reading he recognises "yellow", "green", he can spot "tickle" (thanks to Mr Tickle), "fat" and some other words, all thanks to reading at night with him. This is time well spent.

When dear child goes to toilet he often does a "brown fart".


02 March 2017

Keeping up with the reading that dear child likes so much. We’re now covering two or three Mr Men books each night. Saturday, Sunday and today, dear child has been on the potty and making large poo’s that’s so large I’m jealous.

His behaviour is getting better, nursery is teaching him bad things though. We’re trying to keep on top of it all.


31 January 2017

The dear wife took dear child to school today, it’s been a struggle for her for the past few days since dear child does not want to go to nursery. We don’t know why. The headmistress has pointed out that it is quite and effort, probably due to anxiety on child’s part.

Dear wife was speaking to one of the parents there about her daughter. It appears that dear child has been asking about her daughter for the past two days. He has not seen her at the nursery and wants to know why she isn’t there. I’m quiet surprised that he has taken an interest.


24 January 2017

This morning was rather cold, around -2c. We tried to leave the house with enough time for us all to walk to dear child’s nursery. I only made it half way there before having to head towards work.

Dear child went to school, carrying a banana which dear wife drew a picture of a man on. He was over the moon and they let him have it for lunch.

When dear wife and child were home once more, dear child said he needed to go on the potty. He sat on the potty and said it was like how daddy goes and that he needed some time by himself.

After around an hour he did his first big poo in the potty. It was solid. Both wife and child are very pleased.

Read "Mr Wrong" to dear child as the night time story.

walk to work

20 January 2017

Walked with dear wife and child to the nursery this morning, I had to leave them there at 0840 and continue on to work. It made a nice change to walk to the nursery first though.

The paths were quite icy, the air was cold. Got to work just in time.

Work feels unusual at the moment.


19 January 2017

Dear wife and I spent most of December with cancer woes. We bought a new camera to photograph some important moments. Turned out the new lumps were not cancerous, which is great news.

We didn’t have a log fire.

The new job seems to remain interesting. I’m learning some things.

Dear child started nursery last week, getting him to walk all the way there isn’t easy. I had to carry him most of the way last week.

The new camera is a lot better than the old.

When dear child was at nursery he had a poo. The staff changed his nappy. Dear wife went to pick him up, on the walk home they went to where I normally take dear child to look at the trains. He said he felt wet. Dear wife had a look and found his jumper and trousers to be wet. Dear child said that he told the staff that the blue bit of the nappy goes at the front, but they didn’t listen to him. Sometimes I forget how intelligent he is, it also seems that people who are paid to look after children don’t really think or listen to them. He wasn’t making things up, the blue bit really does go at the front.


16 November 2016

Dear wife has been going to the dentists for the best part of the last two months. Delays and infection has caused the treatment to stretch out much further than it should have.

She was referred to an endodontist as the dentist admitted he could not perform the full route canal.

Endodontist was worried that she had spent six hours in the chair already. Apparently this is a bad sign due to the amount of drilling that can be performed during this time. The endodontist says the work should not have been carried out, it should not have been drilled to such depth, the nerve is so close to where it was drilled that there was a very real risk of paralysis. The tooth will need to be extracted and an implant fitted. He says this should not be at our cost and we should seek costs through a solicitor reclaimed against the dentist who did the original work.

He also pointed out there was a lump on her tonsil that the dentist should have spotted. Immediate referral from the GP to have it looked at.

Dear wifes phone also packed up.


17 October 2016

Crossrail have been making our lives difficult with work at nights.

I spent some time with dear child tonight, before putting him to bed we went through some phonics books, he really enjoyed them. A little later he threw the book on the floor, I think he was getting tired. We spoke about what he did and the agreed to go to his own bed.

After putting him into bed, tucking him in, saying good night, he got upset when I turned the light out. He wanted to go to mummy and daddy’s bed.

When mummy came up, he said I made him angry. By putting him in bed, tucking him in and saying goodnight. What a terrible person I am!


11 September 2016

Someone came to take the chicken house out of neighbour’s chicken coop. She then heard the receiver be told "oh, no you can’t take the avairy wire as someone else is dealing with that". Which is a little odd as we asked her to take the wire down as it is attached to our fence.

Later she saw someone leaving her house that looked a lot like estate agents. I think her landlord will be selling the house due to recent improvements that they have been putting in.


06 September 2016

Neighbour two doors up has been using a chainsaw most of the day to cut a stump up that was left from the last half job that he did in neighbour one door-up’s garden. He also broke their front fence.

Dear child has been great for the past two days. He goes to bed well now. We have tried a couple of different reward systems. We tried giving him marbles when he behaves well but this seems to get out of control easily so we have settled on a reward chart where he gets a sticker if he has bee good for the whole day.

A couple of weeks ago he went to a hearing test and the tester suggested he has autism. This is ridiculous as it is something that often makes it hard for a child to communicate. Dear child has the other problem where he can talk greatly and with very fluid language.

After going back to the hearing test we all now see sanity.

I think dear child just needs more involvement in what is going on and to be informed of the day’s plans otherwise I think he is left feeling uncertain about what is going to happen next.


10 August 2016

Came home to find that our neighbour one door down has done some really fantastic work in our garden. I don’t know where she finds the time!


07 August 2016

Neighbour two doors up was shouting at the wife when he came home to find we had a burning pile.


04 August 2016

Dear child has improved in some leaps and bounds. He has recently been diagnosed with hyper mobility in his ankles and wrists.

However, for the past two nights he has sat happily whilst I read to him.

He also sat at the dinner table much longer than normal tonight.


28 July 2016

Great news! The dear wife’s MRI came back without signs of cancer. Bad news is that she has degenerative bone disease from the chemotherapy. Further investigation is needed to help her with her spinal pains.

After doing a big cycle ride earlier this month of 135.6miles, I needed to replace the mudguards and brake calipers. I couldn’t replace put the mudguards on the front forks as the Tektro calipers were rusted to the forks, allen nuts rounded. Needed to use the hacksaw to remove calipers from the front. They’re replaced now with shiny new 105 5800’s.

I got dear child to bed just after dear wife went out with her friends. So, around 1930 I started work on the bike, I was finished around 2130, just as it was getting too dark to see anything. By my maths I’d say that’s around 60 minutes per brake.

sad life

15 July 2016

The results of dear wife’s MRI scan are back, but they wont give them out over the phone. I am very worried that it is not good news. I feel like I did the day after I was made redundant, but 10x worse. Getting a job is easier than loosing someone. Much easier. Pretty shit couple of years we’ve had. Life shouldn’t be like this for us.

Network rail will be making a noise this weekend. Funny how it’s always the weekend.


02 July 2016

We went to a discussion with Network Rail at a nearby community centre on Tuesday night (28th June). They promised the noise would be quieter from now on. Lie. Though I can’t say that I believed them for one moment.

Adjoining side’s neighbours are taking liberties again. They seem to be wandering around in the garden whilst supposedly putting a fence in place. I think it is more of an excuse to peer through their windows.

Took dear child to the same pottery place today as last week to finish off what he was working on. He seemed to like it much more this time, probably as he had some sleep last night. At one point though he did seem rather tied and wanted to sleep on my shoulder. I couldn’t get him to sleep though, probably as there was too much to look at and do.

Dear wife started to paint a hen. We will go to pick up both items next week.

such pain

26 June 2016

This morning was a nightmare. Around 03:45 the banging started. Network rail were at it again with an 'av it.

The disturbance woke the dear child and wife. Somehow I managed to sleep through until around 06:00. Some how. I think I must have kept rolling over.

This is beyond a joke now. I don’t know how Network Rail can continue to do this, just about all residents along the Paddington to Reading line would be putting up with this kind of nonsense at such unsociable hours. I wish sometimes that I had taken night work as we’d at least be one head up on what we are at the moment.

So, as I received my first pay slip from my wonderful new employer I decided to treat myself to a Garmin Edge 200 that was on offer at Halfords as it was at a new price of £70. It has nearly finished charging and once it has I can see if it understands the maps that I’ve put on there.

Stupid me though, I went and put the handle bar bracket on both bikes the wrong way around. Have corrected them now though. Assumptions are the mother of all disasters.

kindle fire 5

01 June 2016

Yesterday a kindle fire 5 arrived that we had ordered for the dear child. We’re awaiting a keyboard case for it as it should look just like a laptop to our dear child.

Once out of the box my jaw hit the ground. I was mortified as to the extent that Amazon has gone to in order to shoe horn their junk all over the home screen. It is still an Android device though.

After some googling I found out how to put Google Play on the device. The home screen didn’t look how I expected it to though as there was no sign of Chrome or Play. After around an hour of searching I finally learnt an important lesson. The home screen can slide upwards! Who’d have thought it! So much junk on the screen that it would overflow onto the next page. Wow.

Anyway. Right now I’m adb-ing some movies to the device so that dear child can watch some of his favourite programmes.


31 May 2016

Very impressed with dear child today. He’s starting to count items into my hand.

He’s looking about ready for potty training. So, showing him how daddy goes to wee:

Me: 3... 2... 1..
Him: Yeah!
(I finish going)
Him: Well done!

You can’t buy that.


21 May 2016

So on my way out this morning to have a cycle, as I was putting on a Polar heart rate monitor, which wraps around the chest, dear child says

"daddy, rains on"

I didn’t understand what he was talking about. Dear wife worked it out. Dear child was talking about the chest strap being the same as his reigns that we put on him!

Parking plonker’s child was stood on their door step as we walking into town and shouted:

They're at their door
They're not going out in the car they're walking

The mother then shouted

Get in doors now

There’s one thing worse than being talked out, it’s not being talked about. This can’t be normal behaviour.

We were pushing dear child around in town, I was talking to dear wife in a shop. Next thing we know dear child has located a bag of sweets from under the pushchair and held them up to his face like a holy grail and said

(name) do it

We quickly took them away.


19 May 2016

This morning I was woken by our dear child in his bedroom counting to 24, missing only one or two numbers along the way. Quite an achievement.

Today was the day that I had to go to the Job Centre in town. I had an appointing for 12:50 to be there. Strangely when I arrive I am told that the appointment is in fact for 13:00 but the call centre read the appointment times out for 10 minutes earlier than they should be. Also the interviewer was on lunch until 13:00.

They told me that I need to come back in a week to actually sign on. That will be the third time that I will have been there. All very odd. Seems those who pay tax their whole lives do not know how the system works.

Spent a lot of time in the garden tidying up a few month’s worth of weeds. Quite arduous work, but it needs to be done as weeds are around waist height.

Tonight when putting dear child to bed we heard some commotion outside. The adjacent neighbours don’t have a car at the moment, the parking plonkers two doors up the road seem to have taken liberty and store their wheelie bin in the road directly outside our direct neighbours. What plonkers. What ignorant plonkers they are.

new job

13 May 2016

Received new contract through the post today. Will sign it and get it back to them ASAP.

Back door broke. Looks like a lock smith will be needed to free the door and install a new lock, plus other parts. Wife has thrown away paperwork for building insurance.

Dear child went to a party today. He had lots of fun eating their food.


08 May 2016

Dear wife took dear child to my parents today. I cycled there (~55mile round trip).

Told my parents that I was no longer employed. My father wasn’t too happy, but seems supportive.

no need for preschool today

04 May 2016

Dead child said:

Don't need to go to pre-school today, already poo'd


19 April 2016

This afternoon HR called me for a chat. Simply put they’re making me redundant without notice. I’m such a failure, my wife and son need a provider.

neighbours, power, cycling, rail, chickens

04 April 2016

On Friday one of our ex-battery hens died. I think she was stressed from just finishing her moult and the noise from the pile driving that Network Rail were doing during the early hours. The pile driving is the most likely.

On Saturday we took dear child to his grandparents for the afternoon whilst we went to the garden centre to buy some strawberries two fruit trees and some tomatoes. Hopefully he will be pleased to see some fruit growing.

Due to weather and lack of sleep we were unable to do anything with her until Sunday.

Sunday came, dear wife started cooking our brunch, eggs in the oven for an omelette along with many hash browns and sausages. Quite the feast was underway. We were going to dine like kings.

I had a hot fire going in the garden, we put our dearly departed chicken in for a DEFRA approved cremation.

Dear wife comes out and gives me some bad news:

There's a power cut

Oh dear. I look towards the burning bin. Some clear juices flowed out. I couldn’t. Though, would this be what a chicken would want, they are omnivores after all.

When the power returned dear wife came out again.

The oven doesn't work.

Oh great. So, I better get planting in the garden then. Dear child goes to sleep indoors whilst I’m outside working. After some digging I gave myself quite a large blister on the palm of my hand. Quite a few hours later I go inside and dear child is still asleep but we have to eat, it’s been nearly a whole day since we last ate. We head for the nearest pub but dear child just doesn’t want to walk there, it’s late, who can blame him. We make it there, order some food, wait a while, the food comes and so too do the tantrums.

We put dear child to bed as soon as we got home, he was out cold.

Whilst carrying dear child into the house, we over hear a woman across the road when her neighbour returned home.

Her neighbour: are you ok
Her: Have you seen what they've f**king done to my gate? They've
only gone and repaired it, not like those f**kers on the other
side of the road. They get new stuff given to them, not

She goes inside slamming the door. To be quite honest, if I was in her situation, I’d be really glad if someone came and repaired simple things like gates for me. Having to do repairs myself is fun, but it takes time. Would be nice if I didn’t have to. Things like repairs though, they’re what make life worth living as it gives a great sense of accomplishment.

Until 04:00 this morning when he woke up wanting to get into Mummy and Daddy’s bed. I don’t think either of us could return to sleep with dear child playing around on the bed.

I rode to work as normal on my push bike. The plaster that I put on the palm of my hand blew off in the wind whilst I was getting ready. Too late to think about getting something else to cover it, clean it off in the shower when I get to work I think to myself. After a few meters of riding I realise what a terrible idea that was as every bump is felt on the raw and exposed skin.

Many knock on events from the work that Network Rail were doing over this week. It’s not been fun.

The electric company dug the pavement up outside the neighbour’s neighbour (the parking plonkers address). Dear wife went to put dear child in the car when the electric company arrived, out of curiosity she asked them the obvious question:

Dear wife: would this have anything to do with my oven being
Engineer: yes, there maybe a few things not working, call this

We will see what happens, this could just be a fobbing off.

During the conversation he asks about a car (one that the parking plonker owns) and if we know where the keeper is. Dear wife points towards the plonker’s house. Out storms the plonker’s wife.

Plonker's wife: Are you f**king pointing at my house
(various expletives clipped as it's not worth the time typing).
Engineer: we need the car moved so we can work
Plonker's wife: When do you need it moved by? How long are you
going to be

As normal, her tone abrasive, I hope the engineer doesn’t offer help to her as an attitude like that deserves no help.

Dear child bruised his leg at some point yesterday. When we change his nappy and he can see his knee he says:

Leg, broken. New leg.

He wants a new leg.

noise, neighbours and bins

30 March 2016

Last night we were woken at around 01:00 and kept awake until around 03:00-04:00 by some very noisy pile driving work that Network Rail insist has to be done during the night so as to not disrupt their service. More like they don’t want to loose any money from people that cannot travel during daylight (sociable) hours.

This morning was hard to get out of the house. I got dear child ready for his day by getting his nappy changed and dressing him, that’s one less thing for dear wife to have to do before getting to her appointment.

I arrived at work around 15minutes later than normal so had to reduce my lunch hour to compensate.

This evening when I got home I was welcomed by dear child counting by himself to twenty! I am very impressed. He can also recite the days of the week. He has really improved over the last month or so.

Wife had a hell of a day at the surgery trying to get her appointment/examination which she is overdue for. Their computer system failed to work when the nurse entered her password wrong three times (capslock), then couldn’t find the appointment on the system. Turns out that the results are dropped on the floor if the appointment was not scheduled.

The idiot neighbours from two doors up (parking dispute people) have somehow got permission from direct neighbour’s landlord to do tree felling work. There were police records around alleged assaults. I cannot understand how the permission was granted. Sounds to me like the landlord does not want the tenant. They were also using their bin and the neighbour’s (which isn’t theirs of course) to mark parking spaces in the road. They are such morons, I have no idea how people can become so stupid.

dear child

29 March 2016

child: <sigh> all done
mum: ?
child: <sigh> all done
mum: Oh, you've finished your dinner, do you want some pudding?
child: pudding! yes please! pudding!
mum: there's only one jelly.
child: me jelly, no diddy

dear child

28 March 2016

Dear child had an exceptionally bad tantrum yesterday. We had planned to take him to an event at a local garden centre where he would be able to learn something about birds of prey. Unfortunately, almost as soon as we got there he decided that he wanted to do something else and so the tantrum ensued.

I hope people don’t think the parents are as bad as the children.

We’ve had some rather bad weather overnight. There were 40-50mph gusts from Hurricane Kate.

dear child

24 March 2016

Dear child had an apple to eat after dinner, I also had an apple to eat after dinner. Dear child compared the sizes, then announced "me small apple, daddy big apple. me, BIG APPLE". The emphasis at the end was to show that he was demanding the bigger apple.

He didn’t have enough room in his belly for the small apple that he already had.

dear child

20 March 2016

Yesterday we were made lighter by £400 for the meningitus vaccination. It’s in the media heavily at the moment, seems like a sensible thing to get done so dear wife sourced a private medical centre that could deliver it. Today we’re roughing it a bit as he has a temperature, related to the vaccination.


13 March 2016

Turns out that yesterday when I was out on my cycle ride (training for a sportive), dear wife asked dear:

Dear wife: "what would daddy like to eat when he comes home for lunch?"
Dear child: "hash browns, sausage, beans"
Dear wife: "all for daddy?"
Dear child: "me"
Dear wife: "what would daddy like?"
Dear child: "me"


01 March 2016

My arduino turned up in the post for me today. I’ve not had this sort of fun since I was a teenager learning C.

road rage

18 February 2016

Last night whilst sleeping, there was a heck of a thud from the direction of the roof. I thought a tile may have slipped off. I went back to sleep. This morning I’ve had a look at the roof, can’t see anything looking unusual.

The night before that (and last night) dear child has been coughing through the night. I think it’s affected his sleep and ours quite a bit.

We took him off movicol to see if the diet change alone was enough to help him poo regularly. This turned out not to be the case, he needs movicol daily.

On my commute home I witnessed some rather more-stupid-than-usual driving from a van. He was a bit peeved that he would be held up by a pony and trap so burnt out his tyres being a bit of a idiot. Caused lots of smoke, probably scared the pony senseless.

Some people should have their driving privileges revoked. This driver especially so.


12 February 2016

The only member from the team at work who was made rendundant happened to be the only person who stopped to ask me if I needed a lift home when my bike was broken. Sad times.


09 February 2016

Had a few worries about job security and the wind speeds of late. Cycling to and from work has been rather tedious since the wind has been gusting around 40mph, sometimes 50mph. I’ve had quite a few near-passes from cars and vans. The neighbours have lost a tile on their roof. I’m wondering if ours should be re-tiled if they get theirs done.

The weekends have become very compressed with cavorting.

Dear child is starting to play with the computer. We sit him on our lap whilst he plays with the mouse and scrolls around on the CBeebies page. He enjoys this.


06 February 2016

Dear child has been sitting on my knee for the best part of two hours playing with the keyboard and mouse of the computer.

It was interesting how he got here, he span my chair around, then held my knees saying "chair, chair, chair" and would not let me turn the swivel chair back to face the computer.

When in town today, he wanted to be carried out of Clarks. I had had his drink in my hands, he took the drink from my hand, then gave it dear wife to hold. He then started grabbing at my hands. He worked out that it is easier for me to carry him if my hands are already empty.

He is rather clever, and quickly outwitting us.


05 February 2016

So, work has a new CEO as the company has changed hands from a family business to what is looking more and more like a corporate buy out.

As with most of these things there are conference calls setup and people have to keep making meetings to explain themselves. One was arranged for yesterday evening at short notice. Since the notice was short I could not make the UK/US call on time and I’d catch the Australian one later that evening.

So the arranged time comes, I’m ready to listen to it, but the damned meeting software does not play ball with 64Bit linux. WebEx, I’m looking at you. So I look for the UK toll-free number and cannot find it, only the Australian and US numbers are included in the meeting invite. So, I dial the US number. Hoping it doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg. A few minutes in, I start thinking "well, what if I can dial the UK number and provide the meeting number given in this email". So I hang up 15 minutes into the call, redial and it works, "great!". In a bit of a rush to get connected so I press # a few times and don’t give a name. Seems a lot of the # button presses were heard at the other end. Oh well.

Very little is discussed.

This morning when I get to the office there’s lots of discussion about redundancies, I think to myself that they’re just pulling my leg. Turns out the offices had different presentations. There will be redundancies announced in a week or two. Great news.

I look at the phone bill, roughly £15 that phone call cost me for information of little use.


04 February 2016

Since the hospital visit we were told that dear child should have a dairy-free diet. He is also to have paediatric Movicol daily. This seems to have done the trick. He can go regularly now.

Since 2016-01-23 dear child will say "please" when he wants something. This is a good improvement.

Dear wife went to do the chicken duties today. Just on her way out the door to the chicken coop dear child asks where she is going. "I’m going to do the chickens", she says. "No chickies" came dear child’s response.


16 January 2016

Dear child had to go to the hospital on Tuesday as he was still vomiting. Dear wife took child to Wexham Park hospital this time as the GP made the arrangement. They gave him a much bigger enema this time and that cleared a lot out. He was a much happier child after this.

He has learned the difference between "yes" and "no". He knows "blueberry" and can recognise the number 10.

A van drove into me on the 13th. My bike will never be the same again. I’ve had pains in my leg and back where the van hit me and where I landed. People need to give more attention to the road when they drive.


12 January 2016

Dear child had to go to the hospital on Sunday to be looked over. He had vomited in the night two days running and had not been to toilet for over a week. We are very concerned. The hospital gave him an enema. He so he passed something small shortly afterwards. They told us to give him Movicol to help him to go.

Today is Tuesday and the wife was still very concerned as he was not acting normal, so he went to the doctors. The doctor arranged as an emergency for him to go to another hospital. They gave him a much bigger enema. He passed something much bigger. They said that he was very lucky not to have caused himself some very serious damage, which is what can happen if things don’t get passed.

Several times whilst being examined he came out some bits of vocabulary "go away", "all done" (he’s used this one before). He did some colouring in that he was very pleased with. He wanted to colour in the tyres on a 4x4 car, he did a swirl on the front wheel, but didn’t quite get the crayon into the rear wheel, but its clear what his intentions were. Mum says that he was very angry at himself for not getting it right. When I arrived after work he pointed at the wheels and said "wheelies". Getting to the hospital after work involved a dire cycle from Wokingham, through Maidenhead (where I saw a neighbour doing a station run) and then onto Wexham Park, via Slough. I do not ever want to commute through Slough. What a terrible journey it was.


09 January 2016

A month ago, or so, dear child made some Christmas cards with his hand prints. The idea being that you get the child to make a triangle of hand prints that forms a tree shape, then paint a pot at the bottom using a brush.

Dear child found this a very enjoyable task!

One day this week dear child’s painting had fallen off the shelf that it was sat on. He was distraught. He repeatedly called for mummy to come and put "piccy" back on the shelf.

Dear child points at images of monkeys and will call out "mon-key". He’s learning lots of words!


05 January 2016

Other words that dear child now knows:


He uses this when he wants to escape something.


04 January 2016

Turns out that dear child can also recognise the numbers in written form from 1 through to 9. He has more intelligence than I gave him credit for - how bad of me!

Dear child saw a stuffed monkey and said "mum-key". He is indeed clever!

He knows the word "apple", he knew "nana" as a banana from a while ago, can’t remember the exact date. He knows "sausage" too.


03 January 2016

Dear child is learning some words. He knows bikki (biscuitt). He recognises the numbers 1-9 and repeats them when pointed to.


16 December 2015

This morning’s cycle was hard work. It may have been due to the headwind or that I gave blood yesterday. I’m not sure, but making progress along the road was not easy. My thoughts didn’t drift from "dodge the pothole" much.

Found it very hard to resist snack food when I went into the town centre today. Could be that my body has reached a point where it does not cope with loosing weight much further. I seem to feel hungry most of the time, those odd things that I would have occasionally have become more frequent.

The journey home was much easier, it must have been the tailwind helping me this time round.

The evening was spent, much like other nights for the past two weeks, by putting dear child to bed, after reading him "The Night Before Christmas" which he seems to enjoy, then doing next to nothing on the computer for several hours. My brain has been switched off for some while now.

With luck the weather will be ok this weekend and I’ll be able to do some more miles on the bike, just like the good old days.

using the car

15 December 2015

Took the car to work today as I was giving blood. They advise no exercise, and after the last time I disobeyed their instructions I was quite ill. Note to everyone, never drink when giving blood the same day. This is a golden rule. You’ll be ill should you break this rule.

Normally the cycle commute, averaging around 16.5mph to work is just under 40 minutes. Today, by car, it was around 45minutes. Traffic queueing from the outskirts of town to where I needed to be. It is not fun, sitting in a car, looking at the same bumper for what feels like an hour.

After getting to work, I totally forget the blood donation appointment. So, when I go, I forget my lunch, which I had intended to eat whilst in there. On the way out the car won’t start. After some fiddling around I find the cable that has come loose, reconnect it (minus the fuse that the RAC mechanic had installed, and had never intended it to last this long).

On the way home I was instructed to collect some second-hand clothes for dear child. Locating the house, without a number on their street, filled with houses that have only names was a nightmare. Doesn’t help that they’re not alphabetical.

Got home. Ate far too much.


13 December 2015

We took dear child into town today, we had a breakfast (as per normal, I had a large English breakfast, despite a large brunch last night).

The route home from the town centre is around 1mile, dear child walked the whole route. That’s pretty good for a boy less than 800 days old.


29 November 2015

The idiot two doors up appears to have sold/moved/scrapped the car that was kept under covers for the passed few months. I kept meaning to sneak a look at the number plate as I’m sure it’s not been SORN’d/taxed/MOT’d.

Dear child really impressed me today. During a car trip he pretty much recited the numbers 1-10 by himself. When we were using the stairs in the car park he seems to be recognising the floor numbers. He’s improving.

We had a bit of a tantrum whilst in Starbucks, I think he was tired and didn’t not know to express himself.

The last three nights he has been almost willing to be put to bed without going to sleep on my shoulder.


24 October 2015

Wife had to use the car on Friday (23rd October 2015) since dear child has been quite unwell recently. She was parked mostly outside neighbours. When she returned home she had to park outside neighbours again. So, when she does she takes dear child inside and puts him in the play pen.

When she gets back outside she sees the idiot from two doors down using a leaf blower to blow fallen leaves onto her car.

Quite weird to say the least. She couldn’t help but laugh quietly to herself.

                 |                 |
Parking  ---->   |        ?        | --->  Blow leaves onto car
                 |                 |

Not sure what goes on in some people’s mind.

Bout time they found some employment rather than bother themselves with non-issues.


30 August 2015

Took dear child swimming today. He seemed surprisingly OK with it. Although the problems we did have were not swimming related:

  • slipped on the changing room floor whilst in outdoor attire and tantrum ensued

  • tantrum when he got tired after swimming and the park

  • was unhappy about gingerbread men biscuits after swim (had too much ginger for him)

breast problems

30 June 2015

The wife has had problems with her antibiotics causing some gastroenteritis. Luckily she had arranged an appointment with the GP some time ago and this timed well with the recent problems.

At the appointment she was told the infection still remains and needs an urgent appointment with the Parapet. Later in the day a breast care nurse from the Parapet rang her mobile phone. Everything seems to be wrong in the way they deal with problems.

  • "I’m not sure what you think we can do about it"

  • "You’re not our only patient you know"

  • and then as my dear wife is mid-question the nurse hangs up. this is normal behaviour for this so-called nurse and the sooner they fire her the better

It seems to me that the original source of the infection was never dealt with properly and that is inexcusable.

In other news, before all this, I’ve managed to spray the bind weed at the back of the garden with weed killer last night, allbeit between 22:00-23:20, the neighbours must have thought that I’ve gone mad doing gardening at that hour, but when a job needs doing, it needs doing. This needed doing.

I’ve also set my sights on a new bike, since the new employer offers a Prudential package that returns 50% of the bike price on the first £500, it would be rude not to get another bike.

why i resigned

17 June 2015

The reasons why I quit my job:

  • no noticeable payrise since I started

  • on-call work woke the wife more than me

  • frequently offered to help cover on-call for others, the favour was rarely (if ever) returned. this really was unacceptable.

  • on-call collided with charity preparations

  • on the final days of work I noticed that someone had wiped a bogey on the wall in the toilets. it remained there for a long time, wrong on so many levels.

When the wife is woken by the on-call pager she would loose sleep, dear child would wake at 0700 (or close) there was no putting him back to sleep. The wife would have to handle his needs, without her full quota of sleep. I’d have to go to the office in the morning, so it was always her or nobody, to look after dear child.

So, all in all, when an offer came along for the same salary, without the on-call requirement, how could I say no?

high stupidity neighbour

25 May 2015

So, like a normal day we note someone is parked outside our house. So we park at the nearest spot, happened to be outside the idiot two doors up. We start to unpack the car. The idiot’s neighbour arrives and parks in front of us. I go to open the door to the house, and hear someone mumbling something at the wife, whilst she was at the back door of the car. I think to myself "that idiot is having a go at the wife, isn’t he." Sure enough by the time I get to the car, she confirms it.

Idiot: Do you /have/ to park there, can't you park over there?
Wife: We've parked here now (the engine was off)
Idiot: My mrs. needs that space

So I head back to the car and help the wife to unload it, thinking that was the end of it. Then the idiots wife arrives in her car, and asks if we’re coming or going.

Idiot's wife: are you going or staying
Me: we're staying

With that, she put her engine into high revolutions to manoeuvre it into a space on the other side of the road. Much dramatic.

Whilst I was emptying the car, we were deciding like normal, who should carry what, and who should carry our dear child to the house.

Idiot's wife: Paul, watch her (their six-ish-year-old) that she doesn't try and cross the road (there was no traffic present at the time). Great, now I've got to drag all this across the road. Can't you park any closer to the car in front.
Wife: They parked there after us
Idiot: I don't park outside your house anymore.
Me: Not anymore, no.
Idiot: I'll 'ave you. I'm going to get another car and park it outside your house. I'll get a truck and have your car towed away. It won't be there in the morning.

They both seemed to push each other to go inside, which was odd. There you go, two or more threats in a very short space of time.

We went back out to grease the door straps and tighten the strap nuts, something which has been bothering me for some time, and the neighbour with the car alarm from two doors down (the other way) comes out to speak to us. He says that our cockerel has been making some noise at 4am, though I don’t think its ours that has been crowing. Whilst talking to us, idiot comes out again, to stir the conversation again. I don’t remember the details as I was trying to ignore them both, but they were still looking for an argument about parking.

amazon being useless

13 April 2015

We ordered a little tikes car from Amazon. The screws were missing. So we took the issue up with Amazon. They agreed to send another, which they did and we would return the faulty item.

So, I carried this 100x60x70cm, 8KG parcel on foot to the Collect+ store and they refused to accept it. In disbelief of their excuses I phoned Collect+ customer services at the shop. Customer services told me that it was down to the individual stores' discretion if they wish to accept it. As a result of much argument I had to take the parcel back, again by foot. I think you need to open a case with Collect+, or only offer Collect+ to those parcels less than 50x50x50cm.

Why should a computer have to do a computer’s job here? The computer knows how large the package is from its inventory database, therefore, why was a method of delivery chosen that is highly unlikely to achieve?

dear child and dear wife

08 January 2015

Around the second of the month (Friday), dear wife was complaining of bad pains in her ribs. I told her that, its going to be serious, nothing is ever plain and simple on a Friday.

Turns out it was serious, as predicted. On Monday, I told her that she MUST get an appointment with her surgeon very first thing. So, as is now the ritual, when we phone the clinic, we have to try and get past the breast care nurses, who are notorious for fobbing people off with excuse after excuse after non-committal response. I hate these people, they just talk-talk without help. What is it they call it in the NHS? "Supportive care" or some rubbish. We don’t need this, we need anti-biotic medicine to cure an infection. If we needed talk-talk we’d go to a coffee shop and make friends, if we had time that is.

So, I tell her to speak to the GP, we need action, not fobbing off. That very same day dear wife gets to speak to the GP. He prescribes flucloxacillin 500mg. That’s more like it, thank you very much. The GP diagnosed lymphedema cellulitis, it’s most likely from the lifting of dear child.

So dear wife takes these for the week, he told her if it’s not better by Friday to come back and see him. Well, it hadn’t got any better so I tell the wife to make another appointment, she goes back and sees a different doctor.

He looks and can see that it’s not improved. He studies her notes and prescribes something else as the infection was probably more serious than the skin showed. Now she has some co-amoxiclav 500/125 and paracetamol/codine for the pain.

Dear child seems to be making some progress. He’s now stuffing toys into other toys. He’s also trying to balance his weight a bit better. Dear wife saw him trying to use a chair as a walker earlier today.

We have booked some rescue hens from the Fresh Start for Hens group. They will need collecting at the end of the month. The new coop is ready for the existing flock to move into, the new ex-battery hens will charge their way into the old coop for quarantine.

chicken coop

07 December 2014

Today I planned to do the coop door frame. I knew the job would not be easy since yesterdays attempts were rather difficult.

Given the task from yesterday I decided I’d need my Black and Decker drill from my childhood, specifically as it runs off the mains current and would provide far more torque than the cordless drill.

I managed to get one of the screws through, but once I had the weather changed and started to rain. Typical. However, with my getting things done hat on, I got some tarpaulin and covered the frame to prevent my tools from getting wet. I plodded on. Getting the screws in is some task, even with a mains drill.

After fighting for a while and rounding one of the heads, I find the perfect formula. Add some grease to the screws, they go in a bit easier. However, you still have to reverse it out of the hole to clear the threads, then go forwards again and this sort of works. What a nightmare. Some progress at least though.

Given the amount of time that I’ve had to put in to get this coop up, I’m starting to wonder if I should have added a few meters to it, but then I’d loose a little more garden.

on call and chicken coop

06 December 2014

Last night I decided as a treat I’d watch some telly. Then, when I turned the raspberry pi off I noticed there was a film on E4+1, Skyline. What a weird film. I think around 23:45 it finished I was past tired, but it was unusual. Tomorrow (Saturday) has a dry forecast, which is great as the nights are long and the days are short, there’s little time to get the coop finished before Christmas, but tomorrow is hopeful.

Around 00:30 the pager went off. Something had failed. I don’t remember what but off I go downstairs to take a look on the computer. I booted up debian, watched systemd do its thing, then logged in. It’s freezing cold. Looks like a data centre has lost power.

What a shitstorm. The customer is rushing around to get their systems back online, we’re rushing around to get our systems back online. Some systems are failing to boot. There’s processes failing to come back online and the customer wants a conference call.

It took around five hours to fix the problems and finally got to bed around 0530. So what happened to that early start to do some work on the coop? Zapped by oncall, that’s where it went.

Around 11:30 I get a call from the customer wanting to make some changes to the site configuration, which I carry out. Then around 12:00 I get a call from someone in our management wanting to get some information on the power situation.

Eventually around 13:00 I get to go into the garden with the wife to hold some bits of the coop for me whilst I screw them together. It was during this time that I hear the crazy neighbour complaining to her husband about our car being parked outside their house for around five days.

Yes, the parking problem they created is the one that they’re not arguing between themselves about. How pathetically stupid.

chicken coop

29 November 2014

I tried to finish putting the door and door frame together today. A couple of weeks ago I tried putting the screws through their pilot holes using a screw driver. This was a huge amount of work that I had not anticipated.

It dawned on me that I needed a cordless drill for this task since it’s just not feasible to do this with hand tools alone. Once the Teratek drill turned up (yes turns up in addition to turning the chuck).

Part of the coop construction requires that the door frame clips are screwed to the coop frame, first a 3mm drill through both metal parts, then using a self tapping screws to fix the two together.

This, turns (pardon the pun) out to be amazingly difficult. The self tappers go in roughly two turns before getting stuck. I couldn’t even get one in.

rbh paediatrics

23 November 2014

On Friday 21 November 2014 the wife and I noticed how little dear child had consumed in the way of food and drink over the course of the day. We decided that his cold symptoms were causing him problems, so we gave him some milk and them some calpol. Around ten-thirty minutes later he was vomiting. We quickly cleaned him up. This cycled happened three times.

By Saturday 22 November we realised we should get some professional advice and rang 111, the out of hours number for GP services. They told us an appointment had been made for us at the local hospital (St. Marys). The doctor diagnosed a ear and throat infection. We had to restrain dear child whilst his ears and throat were looked in and temperature was taken. This was distressing for all of us. He gave a prescription for Amoxicillin and away we went.

On Sunday 23 November we were quite tired from the late night at out of hours with dear child. We woke up, started to feed dear child and then once he finished we realised he had a dirty nappy. Dear wife went downstairs to prepare a syringe of calpol(tm) [other brands are available] whilst I did the nappy change.

I placed dear child on the changing table and removed his pyjamas then nappy and started to clean him up. As I wiped I noticed just how red his testicles were. They looked inflamed an as red as strawberries, and even worse was the sounds he made when I lightly cleaned off the muck. I knew something was wrong and called dear wife to take a look too. We both decided to take him to A&E immediately, he’s obviously unwell, his testes could be infected, hence the redness, and its must be quite advanced to cause such a nasty looking red.

We bundled dear child into the car at 0900 and off we went to RBH A&E. We got parked at 1010 and headed into the A&E Paediatric department. We waited some time before the Triage nurse looked at dear child. She didn’t think there was too much up with him and said that we could go to Westcall, where the queue would be shorter. So, we stupidly took this advice and walked over to the maternity block and went to Westcall.

We later find that we have to sit through a waiting room of people before another Triage nurse takes another look at dear child. She has not seen this before and suggests we put a bag over his penis and testicles to catch any urine which may be needed for later analysis. We go along with this idea and dear child is placed on the urgent list.

After another long wait of over two hours we finally get to see the doctor. The doctor takes a look at him and after a few minutes says that he needs to be admitted. The doctor tells us they will send a letter to the Paediatrics doctor and we will be able to go straight through Paediatric A&E.

We go back to A&E and talk to the receptionist. Turns out we can’t go straight through, even with a letter, we have to be assessed, again. At this point I try and avoid having a moan, but it’s all seeming a bit insane to me.

So we wait. We wait and we wait and we wait. Around 16:00 we finally get to see the Doctor, again. This time a different doctor though. Saw the doctor, went to the ward, finally. Doctor said to water challenge him. This means trying to get as much fluid into him as possible every ten minutes. The doctor also said that dear child had an infection in the scrotal area, which by now was bleeding.

The bag was removed and we were told that when he goes to the ward he should be left naked whilst we water challenge him. The bag is taken away for analysis.

We get walked around the hospital, first to Dolphin ward, then to Lion’s ward where we finally come to rest. The nurses all think that its a simple task to feed him water. They get to see just how hard it is to try and force him. Now, I’ve had to get vitamin k into chickens, and that was a simple task compared to getting dear child to take some sugar water.

After much trying we get small amounts into him, but he doesn’t pass any urine. We remain on the ward, battling with dear child to try and get him to drink. It is no simple task. We tried to get him to drink some whole milk from a bottle, he refuses this too.

We struggle on. We get some antibiotics into him around 2000.

Dear child wants to get some sleep so he burrows his head into the mattress with his bum on display for the ward to look up to and worship like an ancient brown eyed nymph.

One of the interesting things about antibiotics is that it often gives one a wobbly belly.

We wake dear child around 2010 for his next feed.

It is a long process, but eventually a doctor comes round and we finally get some sense. The doctor explains that the inflammation is due to a surface infection on the testes. He explains that the antibiotics will help this infection but probably not his overall symptoms. Finally some sense to put us at ease. It is around this time that dear child’s bum also gives in and there is the sound of the Earth ripping open whilst he breaks wind and the Thames flood barrier is breached letting forth a torrent of diarrhoea.

To clean up dear child we put him in the cot bed on a mattress protector. Again he breaks wind making a puddle of mud. He breaks wind again, sending spatter around the cot. Not one side escaped the punishment. It is a miracle how mummy and daddy escaped the brutality.

Finally around 2200 we get some wee out of him and request leave.


20 November 2014

Received a silly message on the phone today: "Hi <NAME>, get a fantastic free tablet from just £10 a month before 28 Dec. Plus great Christmas gift ideas from EE http://redacted/…"

What a load of cods wallop. If it’s free, give it. If you want to exchange something for it, then it’s not free. I don’t care what service agreement you covert this behind, it’s not free, don’t talk to your customers like they’re idiots.

archery beginners course

06 June 2014

Had signed up for an archery beginners course in Reading some months ago. Their joining paperwork said to be there before 18:00. To get there for this time I left Maidenhead around 17:30, thinking that this would leave plenty of time to make the journey there. Oh how wrong I was. The TomTom reckoned I’d get there at 17:52. Fair enough, that sounds reasonable. Some pillock on the other side of the M4 had been pulled over by police meaning that there was a slow crawl of traffic for miles as drivers “rubbernecked”.

Made my apologies for being late once I got there. The course was very interesting, I had a lot of fun there. They even had cake. They even had leftover cake too.

Once I got home, dear child struggled to communicate what was wrong, turned out that he was both tired and hungry. He’s had a whopping five bottles today and three meals.

It’s 23:40 now, my eyes were getting heavy whilst doing the washing up, been a busy day.

bottles washed: 5
bowls washed: 2
bulls eyes: 3
arrows stuck in target frame: 1

infectious tb

14 May 2014

Got a letter from the hospital today. Apparently one of the chemo nurses has infectious tuberculosis (TB) and we need to go for a screening.

This disappoints me on so many levels.

  1. the nurse should (obviously) not have been going into work with symptoms

  2. the manager of the nurse should have caught sight of the symptoms

  3. hospitals are where you should be treated and not exposed to further problems

  4. especially when the patients are of a KNOWN vulnerable condition

  5. totally neglects the health of the patients

  6. idiotic and cruel to the patients

One of the friends that we met at the chemotherapy suite was doing REALLY well, she looked as fit as a fiddle by her third dose. Then I think she caught a cold and with chemotherapy this is quite a serious matter. The way the suite runs they don’t really think about your health very much as she didn’t get any observations done and they just continued with her does. Bonkers. How irresponsible.

We were already bracing ourselves for terrible things to happen, one of the chemo nurses seemed to have a cold every time we went to the suite, she seemed to have continually dark, streaming eyes. We developed a coping mechanism when seeing her there, we’d call her panda woman as she had such dark eyes. If we could see this, why couldn’t her manager? Irresponsible. THIS IS WHAT STATUTORY SICK LEAVE IS FOR.

ed vs the eyes

09 May 2014

Noticed that Dotty has been closing her eyes a lot lately. I think that she’s not really eating her food anymore but putting her beak through it to trick other chickens into thinking that she is eating, trying not to appear weak. I think she has less days in her than I have fingers.

I phoned a nearby poultry seller to see if they had any older chickens in stock that we could buy at the drop of a hat if needs be, the oldest they have is seventeen weeks, which puts them into the pullet category, not what we want ideally, but we don’t have any other options. Once Dotty has passed on we will get two or three smaller chickens so that the coop isn’t too over crowded.

chemotherapy 6 (wednesday)

07 May 2014

Due to my really bad planning I had some work to do today. I spent more time arranging to do it the following day and getting that OK’d by everyone and their dog than I would have spent doing the task itself.

chemotherapy 6

06 May 2014

We had a lot of miles to cover today, as well. We had to take dear child to a child minder for 0730, then to Wexham Park (which recently made the national news) then back to the King Edward VII hospital for the treatment.

It took around an hour to get from the child minders to Wexham Park hospital, then we were at pathology for around another hour. During this time I ring some vets to see if they can tell me over the phone what is going wrong with Dotty. No success here. They did however tell me that a postmortem would be of little use and doesn’t always give any information as toxins may have dispersed, or similar.

It then took quite a while to get from the hospital to King Edward VII, still in rush hour traffic.

By the time we get to the chemotherapy suite its around 10:20-ish, where’s the time gone? To add insult to injury the cafe had run out of breakfast items. I’d been counting on there being some bacon and scrambled eggs.

Somehow, and I really don’t know how, we ended up there until 1600-ish, how, really how, does it take so long to get treated? It’s just three drips and the final one is just there for flushing.

Finally got home with a cod roe cake for Dolly and Dotty and I find work messages on the computer.

ed vs asda oaties

05 May 2014

We ordered some oaties from Asda, they’re just like hobnobs, except the packet is around half the size now. In this desert of washing and changing nappies the hobnobs were a refreshment. Since Asda has reduced the pack size I’m not left with a 50% reduction in generic hobhob consumption.

ed vs the cow and gate and the chickens

27 April 2014

Dear child is still getting weaned. Today we tried to mix some of his milk with rusk and feed him this, it seems a bit too runny though to make spoon feeding sensible.

Later after another normal bottle we fed him some carrot and swede, which he seemed to love.

Today was the first day since my dear wife started her chemotherapy that we had a roast dinner. We cooked plenty and had a leftover Yorkshire pudding, some bacon and chicken bits and a couple of oat cakes that I didn’t eat this morning. This was all mixed up in a bowl for the chickens to have. They loved it.

Yesterday dear child wanted to take print of a satellite off my t-shirt, I noticed that he was also trying to do the same thing with the bed cover, which has a pattern, he thinks that it is another object resting upon the cloth.

bottles washed: 3
hours of on-call: less than one so far

ed vs downtime

27 April 2014

Dear child is still getting weaned. Today we tried to mix some of his milk with rusk and feed him this, it seems a bit too runny though to make spoon feeding sensible.

The table has turned in the chicken pecking order. Dolly is now in charge. Dotty has to ask permission for things like giant worms. It’s interesting to watch how now when she finds a treat (* when human slave digs a clod of Earth) she will not immediately scoff it, she will squawk for permission, or to say "look! do you want?"

Dear child has also changed somewhat, he now clings on tight when I lower him into his cot. He knows its time for sleep and he does not like.

Yesterday dear child wanted to take print of a satellite off my t-shirt, I noticed that he was also trying to do the same thing with the bed cover, which has a pattern, he thinks that it is another object resting upon the cloth.

bottles washed: 5
baby food bowls washed: 2
baby spoons washed: 2

ed vs the chickens and the on-call

23 April 2014

Last night was a terrible back of rubbish from on-call. I don’t think I had much sleep at all. It was awful, the sleep that I did have was in one/two hour batches.

Dear child slept through me getting up at frequent intervals during the night. I think it’s a good sign that we’re feeding him ok as he doesn’t stir very much.

We both felt very sorry for our poor chicken so I went to get some take away fish and chips tonight, she had a fish cake and our left over cod. She loved it. Importantly it should give her some protein and calories just in-case she isn’t feeding by herself very well.

Dear child is trying hard to get himself into a sitting position.

bottles washed: 4
hours of on-call: 3-ish, I've not totalled it up

chickens and their bones

22 April 2014

When I got up to let the chickens out of their hen house Dolly was the first out as usual. Dotty was a minute behind and I thought that her days then would be in the single figures. Once Dotty was out she slipped a little on the hen house ladder but went to the food like normal, I sighed with a little relief.

Later when I picked her up I noticed that she had a funny blue spot on her left left that hadn’t been there before. I think that she had tried to jump onto something too tall and missed it, or perhaps she was trying to evade a predator and got herself hurt.

This is better news than what I was thinking earlier and that she was going lame.

bottles washed: 6
time spent on snes eumlator: 60 minutes

bank holiday monday

21 April 2014

Got in late last night, had something to eat and went to bed pretty much right away. The poor chickens didn’t get any free range time yesterday.

Something happened to Dotty today though, she’s walking with a bit of a limp. I hope she is fully recovered tomorrow, she’s around one year old now, so there is a chance that she might becoming lame.

It’s rained pretty much all day.

Bottles washed: 10
Injured chickens: 1

today i learnt

21 April 2014

Today I learnt that the seasons are a changing:

I have not done much today besides play video games as my head needed some downtime.

bottles washed: 6
dirty nappies: 1

work thursday

17 April 2014

Today was a bit of a better start. Since I didn’t close the coop pop hole door I didn’t need to let them out this morning, they were already up, out and getting to their daily business long before I was anywhere close to getting out of bed.

Watching him today it looks like he is starting to try and sit up. He’s not managing to roll over completely, still. He will go on his side to get things but just not quiet all the way over, just a little way to go.

Today was the first of a course of five days of filgrastim injections that I have to give the dear wife. So, today I tried something different, I tried a distraction technique, I mentioned her appearance to try and get her mind onto something else. Oh this was a bad idea, never, I repeat never try to distract a woman by talking about her appearance. This is a bad idea.

The dexamethasone has made the wife very flushed. The combination of drugs themselves have their own side effects. We’ve been keeping an eye on her temperature due to some drowsiness and a feeling of being worn out, but then she has had a huge dose of poison.

dirty nappies changed: 3
bottles washed: 6
cups off tea drank: 1
number of filgrastim injections: 1

chemotherapy 5 (wednesday)

16 April 2014

Today was a late start

The friend who we spoke to had to go to hospital during the night, she had a stroke which is really bad news. Our thoughts are with you. Chemotherapy has a lot of very nasty sideeffects.

dirty nappies changed: 3
bottles washed: 8
cat poos removed from garden: 6
cups off tea drank: 1
cold tins of beans consumed: 1

We were both very tired today. Dear child has spent most of his time just sat on the bed with us, we’ve not had much energy to do anything else. In many ways I’m glad that we’re all experiencing this whilst he is too young to remember anything.

He’s only just starting to show signs of being able to roll over, just sort of leans as far to the tipping point as he can, he’s been doing this for several weeks now. I think he doesn’t like to take risks.

chemotherapy 5

15 April 2014

We had a lot of miles to cover today. From Maidenhead to Calcot, so that the sister in law could look after dear child for the day, and then from Calcot to Windsor for treatment.

Today we arrived at the chemotherapy suite at 08:30-ish. Despite getting their early the treatment wasn’t administered smoothly. The nurse who started to cannulate wanted to do so to the back to the hand, even though both the dear wife and myself told her not to do it there because the veins were not so accessible. This didn’t end well and we had to find another nurse, they’re not allowed to do second attempts.

We couldn’t get the treatment on time, after giving the saline intravenously we were told that we couldn’t have the treatment as they didn’t have the antisickness drug, emend, this had to come from Wexham Park by taxi. Some time later they could start to give the treatment.

Once the treatment was given we were told that we would have to get another anti-sickness drug as there "was a manufacturing problem with the domperidone". We rang around some local pharmacies to find one who had it on stock and went there to get the prescription. This all takes extra time but we have no choice. Once we were out of the suite around 1400-1430 we went to get the prescription and then to get the dear child. Before we left we had a chat with one of the others who gets treatment on Tuesday, unfortunately here blood results showed a problem with the liver.

We eventually collected dear child from Calcot around 1600 and were home around 1700. Pretty much went straight to bed, after letting the chickens out in the garden and noticing all the cat poo that was in the dust baths, another thing for me to tidy up.

ed vs the bill

10 April 2014

The dear wife goes to get her wig cut. She told me that she was worried that she may get a bill for it. I said don’t you think that would look a bit odd? A bit odd, she says, what do you mean. I said, how many people do you see walking around styling their wigs like ducks faces?

ed vs the bouncy chair

09 April 2014

For the first time ever we left dear child with Donna Hembury who is a registered child minder whilst we go to the King Edward VII hospital for a consultation about radiotherapy.

From the consultation it sounds like radiotherapy is going to have less symptoms than the chemotherapy did, even though the dose was reduced to 70%.

The treatment will be for three business weeks plus three additional treatments, so 18 doses.

We put dear child in his bouncy chair for a while. I think I can smell baby poo. Yes, that’s baby poo that is. Its gone through his nappy and through his baby grow. What is it about these bouncy chairs that seems to make nappies repel poo?

Cleanup was a big job. Everything was contaminated, we had to wash him with baby wipes and give him clean clothes.

Afterwards whilst dear wife was washing the baby poo out of his clothes I got to play some peek-a-boo with dear child before doing the household washing up for the day.

Oh, the chickens had left over fish from the fish and chips, we stripped the batter from the fish first of course, although I think that’s the bit they like the most.

a&e rbh

29 March 2014

Wife had a temperature of 38.1 at 15:20 so we took immediate action and were on the road to the RBH within thirty minutes, baby packed, changed and a stock of bottles and water.

We were taken straight to the triage queue where, predictably her temperature had gone back to normal parameters. I thought it might have looked like we were displaying symptoms of Münchausen syndrome. The dear wife did still have an elevated heart rate though, so there were signs of infection still. They took us to a bed where they administered antibiotics by drip.

After around five hours, an xray, blood cultures (results in two days) and a urine sample they could not locate the source of infection and said that we’d be more likely to pick up infection in the A&E/ward than we would be at home, so we could leave if we wanted. Did we out stay out welcome?

The hidden costs:

Lemonade	0.55
Chicken pasta	3.75
Ginger snaps	0.68
Veggie Percy	1.65
Phizzy Pigtail	1.65
M+S Total	8.28

Parking:	9.00

Total		17.28

Once home dear child was wide awake, I think the sleep he gets in hospital (since the temperature of the ward is a bit higher than at home) makes him a bit more lively at home. We put him in his jumperoo for a twenty minutes and let him work some energy off, gave him a full bottle and he went to sleep quite easily.


28 March 2014

I placed dear child in his jumperoo near the dining table for some exercise.

So I make myself some soup and sit at the dining table to eat. Making the best example of dining etiquette that I know. After a few minutes it becomes quite evident that dear child is more than ready to wean, whilst not at the NHS six month mile stone, hes dribbling all over the place whilst mimicking my masticating movements with both eyes fixed on me.

chickens and injections

27 March 2014

Was quite nice today to feed the chickens some unusual foods, pork pie crust, sausage roll, salad. Salad was probably one of the more unusual of the list.

They’re jumping on things before they’re fully grown. Some of last years veg is regrowing and they’re eating it whilst it’s tiny. Silly things, there’s grass and other bits they could eat.

It’s really amazing just how fast dear child is growing up. He’s doing amazing things, it’s a shame that the real fun things wont happen for some years yet, but these early days are showing good signs of progress.

Dear wife needed her injection of filgrastim today, since it’s two days after a chemo session. As we suspected that the source of cold could have been carried trivially from a visitor last time round we’ve decided that I’d be administering the injections this time round. Needless to say dear wife has a needle phobia. Once the initial kicking and screaming were out of the way it went quite smoothly. An old trick my dad used to swear by was that if you put the needle in really slowly its a lot less painful. This makes a lot of sense and works a treat. Spend a minute to put the needle in at 45degrees to the perpendicular and it’s all smooth sailing.

I think my darn glue ear is back to haunt me.

chemotherapy 4 (wednesday)

26 March 2014

There’s some almighty side effects from the docetaxel, some reared their heads during the night to my dear wifes surprise. Not fun.

Whilst looking after dear child on the bed with his back facing me, all of a sudden he turned around and looked me straight in the eyes. I said "Hello" and he said something back to me remarkably similar. He’s learning to mimic.

The kitchen has been (to me) incredibly cold, around 12degrees for the past two days. The weather is getting rather out of control, again in my opinion, there’s just too many icebergs in the atmosphere, when this happens the air is obviously more humid and storms are harder. Have fun, future generations!

chemotherapy 4

25 March 2014

Today we dropped our dear child off at our friend’s house, she has been very good and has looked after him everso well.

Dear wife started the final drug in her chemotherapy, docetaxel. This has different sideeffecs to the other three drugs which she was being given before ( fluorouracil (also called 5FU), epirubicin, cyclophosphamide). The sideaffects are really not very pleasant at all.

When we got home I let the chickens out for around fifteen or twenty minutes. This much less than their normal amount of time but I know that tonight might bring problems and they may not get to have any outside time tomorrow.


18 March 2014

Our steriliser has been acting up again. Sometimes running for two minutes, other times it may run for nine minutes. It’s rather confusing and I suspect the timing circuit or thermostat may be at fault. As I’m not fond of the smell of vinegar I tried something else, citric acid and water.

Mix 5grams of citric acid to 100ml of tap water and run the steriliser for a cycle.

It seems to have good results. I prefer this to vinegar since the cycle will fill the room with the vinegar smell, which I don’t like too much. Especially when warmed up.

Once the cycle is complete, leave for thirty minutes, marvel at the dislodged crud, rinse wipe with a sponge and run blind for a couple of cycles to ensure no more crud appears. Wipe again, rinse and you should be set.

ed vs the graphics card

18 March 2014

Whilst using the computer tonight the graphics messed up after checking everything over I find that the system memory was good and so I can’t see anything at fault other than the memory on the nvidia card.

Ordered a replacement PCI-e card for ~£20, which isn’t too bad. The computer is quite /old/ now, built from entry level components in 2008, upgraded the CPU from Pentium4 to Core2 two years ago for want of a VT-x instruction.

One of the really nice things about using this popular free OS, Linux is that drivers are never a difficulty to find these days. I remember somewhere last decade when I had some complications getting a SoundBlaster Live! 512 to work, but it didn’t take long for Creative Labs to release the driver code, then it was plain sailing. These days it seems that only Nvidia don’t want to play ball with the kernel. I suppose their main market is the Microsoft platform since Loki games shutdown.

Enough drivel, there’s an adequate driver for my needs. The only reason I’m getting this card is that I know it can do a reasonable job with two monitors since some day I will replace the broken power supply to the other monitor and cable it up for glorious dual head display again.

ed vs the garden

17 March 2014

I’ve had a stinking cold for a few days so I’ve decided to spend some time outdoors to air my germs outside. Hopefully this will avoid passing germs back to the dear wife and dear child.

The garden has been in desperate need of a tidy up. There are bits of willow and bush all around that were cut years ago (predating me) that need to be converted to ash and release their co2.

Some hours late and it looks like some improvement has been made in the garden.

I’ve been stashing orange peel in the compost bins to try and vary the diet for the worms.


17 March 2014

We bought a second hand jumperoo from a local facebook group. We didn’t pay very much for it, it was either second, third or fourth hand. That didn’t matter to us, they’re very easy to clean up.

Thinking about it now, I can see why they don’t have an expensive resell price. They’re huge! Nobody wants a big huge jumperoo taking up room in their house when there’s no sensible reuse for it. You can’t even turn it into a baby table or something practical once jumping is old hat.

Dear child is teething, it causes him pain and is the source of many tears. Dear wife had an excellent idea, just put dear child into the jumperoo to take his mind off it and this totally works.

a&e rbh

15 March 2014

Around noon today I checked the chickens, they’d both been very good and had both laid their eggs and left them alone (they were both cold) - well done girls. Since they’d been so good I allowed them to roam the garden for as long as they wanted my softer side showed it’s full force and they dined as eloquently as two prize winning hens could on some hob nobs that I’d been saving for them.

The wife was waiting to see the doctors today so she could be discharged, but the day drifted on, afternoon came and went. The chickens rejoiced scratching and pecking in the garden all afternoon. Eventually I had the call from the dear wife to pick her up from the hospital so the chooks had to go back to their coop. Not a bad sunny day for them to be out though.

The trip to the RBH today hopefully should be the last. Dear wife was discharged with some antibiotic tablets (she was on a antibiotic drip whilst on the ward) named Co-amoxiclav.

In total the car park fees came in at:

2014-03-13	9.00
2014-03-14	9.00
2014-03-15	1.50

I know the hospital has saved her life, but the parking fee just seems to be to be a bit of a hidden tax, I’m only saying this as NHS health care is already paid for in the form of mandatory tax, but car parking seems to be a lot like another way to extract VAT. I’d prefer it if partners and visitors could be handed something when they visit the ward to enable them free exit from the car park. I’d use my bike, honestly to get some excise but I cannot take dear child on the back so easily.

I don’t mind paying the parking what I mind is that I’m already under enough stress to look after dear child and having to remember to take my wallet with me when I leave the house is harder than normal right now as I have to remember all of dear child’s paraphernalia.

During the last few days we have not had time to study or play much with dear child. We have noticed that he’s starting to show signs of sitting up and teething. Today on the wanders around the hospital it was nice to see dear child clutching to the cover of the pram with a very serious look upon his face.

I’m not left with the horrid feeling that the cold has been passed onto me and I’m going to be passing it back to the dear wife. I don’t know how to keep it from her, for the past week I’ve been taking extra special care washing my hands, ensuring I don’t contaminate anything. If her bloods don’t get back to normal though any source of contamination will be a huge problem.

Whilst dear wife was eating an orange, dear child appears to mimmick her hand and mouth movements. It’s very interesting to watch.

To make life more stressful I decided to have something to eat in the evening and finish the washing up afterwards, just something simple, bread and a prepack chicken and sweetcorn soup from ASDA. These soups need to be zapped in the microwave for three minutes, stirred and zapped again for three minutes. One minute twenty into the first cycle and the soup pops and crackles a little. Gave it a stir at the end and whacked it into the microwave for another three minutes. Before the cycle finished I heard a loud pop. "Can’t be that serious" I think to myself, whilst opening the door. A worse end result cannot be imagined. The soup had toppled over spilling its contents onto the turn table and up the walls. Disaster.

a&e rbh

14 March 2014

Couldn’t find Acute Medical Unit. Appears this was renamed to something else, its not on the map, none of staff know where it is. I pushed the pram around for half an hour before I stumbled upon it on the ground floor, not the second floor where I thought I was.

Had a thought today whilst doing the washing up. I usually keep just the bottles uptodate, however, if dear child can pull himself up then we can’t let him sleep in the baby cot, we will have to put him in something bigger. This weekend we were going to assemble his new cot, however, dear wife has been in A&E and admitted to hospital. I’m hoping that he doesn’t need it earlier than planned. The job for Monday/Tuesday will not be putting the cot bed together.

Today seems to be the first clear and sunny day that we have had this year.

night of terror

13 March 2014

Went to bed around 23:00 yesterday and early this morning had some sleep. Some sleep.


woken for forty-five minutes work


woken for fifteen minutes


thirty minutes of work


sixty minutes of work

It was pretty much a nightmare to get any rest before the following day. Something happens once there’s been enough interruptions that just throws my sleep for the night making it impossible to recharge, leaving me in a half sleep.

a&e rbh

13 March 2014

On Saturday dear wife developed a minor cough, five days into her third chemotherapy cycle. By Sunday things were looking worse, she is left feeling worse than normal anyway from her filgrastim injections, In more pain than normal and feeling very rough in general.

On Tuesday we felt that some medical advise was needed. Eventually we got hold of the car Dr who prescribed amoxycillin 250mg. He detected an infection. By Thursday (today) there had been no improvement and the temperatures that we were taking were all >36.9 ⇐37.3. So not looking great. We headed to A&E and now it looks like we’re staying for another stint.

So we’re back to the RBH.

Dear wife has had a stinking cold for a few days (probably brought to her by a district nurse since that’s the only visitors we have had). The cold hasn’t shifted and her temperature has generally included for a few hours now and it’s not showing any signs of heading back to normal.

13/03/2014 18:40 36.8
13/03/2014 16:40 37.2
13/03/2014 15:36 37.2
13/03/2014 15:09 37.2
13/03/2014 14:50 36.9
13/03/2014 14:07 36.9
13/03/2014 13:51 37.3
13/03/2014 13:30 37.0
13/03/2014 13:20 37.1
13/03/2014 12:55 37.0
13/03/2014 12:27 36.9
13/03/2014 11:30 37.0
13/03/2014 11:00 37.0
13/03/2014 10:10 37.3
13/03/2014 09:30 37.1

(This data is easily turned into a graph using gnuplot or a spreadsheet.)

For a normal person a cold wouldn’t be an issue, however the chemotherapy has caused her immune system strain and it is unable to fight off infections or viruses. This condition is identified as Neutropaenic Sepsis.

Once in A&E dear wife was moved to a side room on the Acute Medical Unit.

On leaving the ward I saw a slight reflection of light from dear child’s eyes, and I started to think that he was waking up. By the time we got to the car he was wide awake and remained that way. When I left the hospital heading home, the M4 was full of fog and made for very poor driving conditions. Not fun.

As soon a I put dear child on his play mat at home so that I could empty the car he started to play with all the toys near by, I’m thinking to myself that this is going to be a long night.

chemotherapy 3

04 March 2014

Again our friend really helped out with looking after our dear child.

Before you have any subsequent chemotherapies you must first have your blood test the day before so that your immunity can be tested. We had a phone call last night informing us that we must get another blood test on the day just before treatment so that we can see if the therapy can go ahead. They do this to see if there has been a slight change, just in case.

To do this, we had to go to Slough for the blood test (leaving Maidenhead around 07:30), along the crowded M4, through Slough, and then to Wexham Park.

For the first time ever, we were in and out of pathology within a quarter of an hour. Wow.

So, leaving early, our friend really helped us by taking our dear child earlier and battling with the school run.

Amazingly I managed to get the car parked on the first circuit of the car park, again! Absolutely amazing.

We ate well today, breakfast baguettes and fish and chips once we got home. Due to the treatment my dear wife has lost some weight so we need her to have some additional calories as she may suffer CINV.

asda groceries online

02 March 2014

Asda offered a really useful service for us. The dear wife is immune compromised at the minute which means going to a supermarket becomes a risk of getting a serious infection. Groceries to the home is the ideal here, we don’t have to take such a large risk.

We placed an order earlier in the week for some baby milk, picking our delivery slot for (today) Sunday between 17:00-19:00.

We wanted to add some more items to the order, so last night we amended the order to include other groceries.

At the very point of completing the order we were told that the delivery slot was no longer available. What? How crazy it was available a minute ago, and it sill is, the original order (unamended) will still be delivered, if we want to change it, we now have to select another slot, after Monday. Crazy.

So, we phone customer services and want to know what’s going on.

of the things suggested,

  • are you using a pirate site rather than!

  • "it will take me thirty minutes to add each item to the shopping trolley" if the customer services person were to do it for me

  • try IE


great day for the chickens

02 March 2014

We’ve had a really bad fright today with the chickens. Dotty hasn’t been leaving the nesting box quite so quickly in the morning when we open their pop door. We think she may have eaten something poisonous from the garden lately, or got Meraks Disease. Today I took some shovels from the compost bin, full of worms, really, really, full of worms. She ate most of them with Dolly, eventually had a crop full and couldn’t eat any more. I’ve NEVER seen a chicken get full up on worms before.

This was quite amazing. We’ve never had a chicken full of worms so much that they refuse any more.

How did we get here?

Well for the past few years I’ve been putting their muck into compost bins (well, I have two of these bins full now). Often I’d put leftover water in the bin too, so the whole mix is quite soggy and I’d try to stir it as often as possible.

What I find is that the lower end of the bin is saturated with worms whilst the upper layers are near worm free. It could be that chicken poo is notorious for being rich in nitrogen, perhaps too rich for worms.

ed vs the hair cut

02 March 2014

I didn’t want to go to the barbers as I didn’t want to get some random person breating their germs into my face during a hair cut so I asked the wife to cut my hair so that I don’t act like a giant germ carrying vessel and transport a shipment of bird flu from the barbers to a chemotherapy patient.

It’s not too bad a job. On the top, and the sides. The back makes me look a bit like a 80’s pop legend. The things I put myself through in the name of love.


25 February 2014

This morning I went to check the steriliser and it didn’t look like much had happened, despite leaving two packs of Boots descaler in the steriliser over night.

After doing some research I found that vinegar was almost a perfect method of descaling. Awesome, I just happened to have some budget Asda distilled malt vinegar hanging around.

The instructions I found were quite simple

  • fill a kettle with some vinegar

  • boil until it bubbles a little

  • pour the warm vinegar into the steriliser until it covers the element

  • leave it for thirty minutes or so

This works brilliantly, far better than the Boots descaler. You get the added bonus of cleaning the kettle at the same time this way.

The steriliser we bought yesterday was diabolical. I don’t think the previous owner had ever descaled it. Shameful. We’re not 100% through the scale yet but we’re getting close.

One of the typical symptoms of a failing steriliser is when it cannot run for the normal 5-8 minutes required. When we bought this it would hardly run for two minutes without turning off. It was immediately obvious when we took the lid off that there was not sufficient steam in there to sterilise. So two goes with the vinegar it was looking positive, the steriliser could last eight minutes so I thought I’d give it a second go without anything in to just clean any flaky bits of limescale off. So I head out into the garden for two minutes so I can feed the chickens.

Thirty three minutes later after I have dug some compost out of the bin for the chickens to feast on some worms I remember that the steriliser would have finished some time ago.


24 February 2014

Our old faithful steriliser hasn’t been running as well as normal and we decided to look into a replacement. We probably shouldn’t have and should instead have looked into renewing our old with some descaler. I’ve descaled it before, but it’s a mucky job and it has to be done very often as we live in an area frought with hard water.

Today we bought a secondhand steriliser. Sold, supposedily in perfect working order. My foot.

It’s element was thick with brown limescale. I should have looked instead of going off the words of the seller and being bright-shinyed with lust of a newer and better steriliser.

So far, I have done three cycles of descaler and I’m no closer to seeing an element.

Some random information from the internet:

  • a cup of white vinegar and half a lemon sliced up, give it a cycle and leave over night

chemotherapy 2

11 February 2014

We were really lucky to be able to have a friend look after our dear child for the day, this was a real help as I’ve found it near impossible to locate a child minder who can do ad-hoc care, they all want permanent block bookings.

Amazingly I managed to get the car parked on the first circuit of the car park at 10:30, absolutely amazing, nothing short of a miricle.

Dear wife booked in at reception when she arrived at the Ashford suite for her FEC-T chemical therapy immediately upon arrival. We sat down and waited in the seating area provided. Midday came and went. I became restless. A couple had a domestic about the waiting times. I became even more restless. I moaned about not having a laptop and got a bit frustrated when I saw an unused power socket, reminding me about the laptop that I could be using.

So, we could no longer remain British, we had to chuck our heritiage aside and complain about the waiting. Queueing is a big part of our culture, it dates back to rationing where we did the radical thing of mixing queuing with socialising. It’s taken the world by storm, but we’re best at it.

Turned out that the blood results were not what was needed and the Doctor must be called to see if we’re ok to proceed with the poison.

There were more surprises, the Doctor only works a half day, so at 14:30 there was difficulty contacting him. All the while, hoping that dear child isn’t acting up. Somewhere around this time or earlier one of the chemo nurses came to us and said that we’d be seen in around half an hour…

Around 15:30 we were finally seen. Dear wife is using one of the new fangled Paxman cap coolers. It’s really an Air Conditoning unit that circulates coolant around the scalp, in theory chilling the blood vessels so less of the toxic chemicals get absorbed.

We left around 18:00 to collect our dear child. Luckily there was no sick tonight.

crazy returns

09 February 2014

We did a nice thing with dear child today (Sunday) before chemo on Tuesday. We got some inexpensive canvases and acrylic paint from local shops for the masterpiece. By spreading paint over some plates we covered our hands (and dear childs) ready for placing the hand prints on the canvas. This sounds realatively easy until you realise that a baby’s hand is natuarlly going to try and grasp whatever it has, beit a paint brush, a plate, the canvas, it doesn’t really matter, the natural reaction is for the hand to close. Sounds easy, but much patience is required.

As chemo day number two approaches we’re stuffing ourselves silly with oranges to try and improve our immune systems.

Went to put the chickens away tonight and heard lots of shouting. Seems the parking bully has picked on the neighbours again, resulting in them calling the police. Yet again, I cannot understand how parking tops natural disasters, ill health and politeness.


05 February 2014

Last week has been very disrupted for me. Almost every single night I’ve been woken by the pager, had to go downstairs, turn the computer on, find out what the issue is and return to bed. Every single time that I’ve done this our dear child has remained asleep, perfectly. Well done!

This week I’m no longer on-call, someone else gets the joy. Dear child woke at 04:20 for a bottle, then again at 07:30. I could have been sleeping. If he’d done this when I was on-call, chances are I’d have been awake anyway.

One thing I learnt early on with having a baby is that you’re likely to get awoken for one reason or another, maybe the room is a little too cold, maybe a nappy needs changing, maybe they’re just hungry. So it pays to get yourself to bed one or two hours earlier than normal.

crazy person

29 January 2014

There was a knock at the door, the person from two doors down wanted me to move the car. I looked out the door and could see a smallish gap between my car and his.

So, as I head outside I can hear some raised voices between the adjacent neighbour and the person two doors down, about how they’re not going to move their car for him.

He has an angry attitude with me, so I decide to question what all the fuss was about. Apparently our car had been parked outside our house for four days and this was unacceptable in his opinion. I don’t want to sway your opinion here, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have your car cause other people issues when it’s outside your own home.

Being the good sort that I am, I moved the car for him. What I did try to explain to him was that I’ve got a sick wife and a 16 week-old child in doors, both of which are far more important than some stupid car parking argument, which wouldn’t exist if he didn’t have three cars. None of this seemed to have any effect on him. It still seems very bizarre how he could be so bothered about having to walk a few meters.

In the end I lost my rag with the neighbour, however, not to seem to petty I did move the car. I can’t help but think he must have something seriously wrong, or he has been wronged. Given his advanced age and his wifes immaturity I suppose he may feel somewhat inadequate. However, there is no reason to take this out on those close by, who, after all would in other circumstances be supportive.

chemotherapy 1

21 January 2014

Today was the first day of my wife’s chemotherapy. I was quite surprised when we got there at how people were so friendly and generally chatting with each other, I expected that people would have been trying to avoid germs at all possible costs.

We were lucky to have a friend to leave our dear child overnight so that he wouldn’t bring or take germs to or from the ward.

It is hard to put into words just how brave I think my wife has been by choosing to go through this for us.

On the day, we had to go to the Ashford Ward at the King Edward VII hospital in Windsor. So far we’ve been there several times for screening and consultations, so I’m aware that the car park can get a little congested. On this day, it was worse than a nightmare. We arrived around 10:00 or just after. We circled the car park and a I dropped the Mrs at the Parapet (the screening centre) for some final observations before getting the OK to begin chemotherapy whilst I continue to look for a space to park in. At around 10:20 I was still circling so picked the Mrs up on the next loop and continued to try and park. Once or twice around more and I told her to go to the centre as someone’s sure to leave soon so that I can park. At around 11:20-11:30 I was able to park and then go to see her before treatment begins.

This hospital does not have a suitable car park. Had I known this I may have chosen to use public transport, oh wait, would have tried to use public transport in a oxygen bubble to prevent germs getting to us. Car does seem the only sensible solution, even taxis can be a bit mucky so not feasible.

cleaning out the chickens

19 January 2014

Been a while since the chickens had a good cleaning out (well, a few weeks perhaps). The floor of their coop came up with the hoe quiet easily so that filled the compost bin.

I’ve found that once you have a baby, all the little things that used to be taken for granted all suddenly become tediously difficult to fit in around changing nappies and feeding. I can see why in the old days of people having a dozen children that they’d need butlers and nurse maids.

cold foot

18 January 2014

Looks like the cold has gotten to my foot as the toes are going red, itchy and rather painful. I thought this was athelets foot to begin with, the wife suggets it is probably Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Today I have been wearing two pairs of socks and it seems to have helped quite a bit, especially in the kitchen where the floor is cold, and being close to the exterior wall the heat from my feet transfers to the floor. Standing at the sink doing bottles for an hour soon causes pain.

Dear child now seems to be happy drinking 210ml of milk at a time, quite shocking how much he can eat. Normally people would wean their babies now onto solids, but I’m happy for him to have milk until six months, also weaning him now would cause change which isn’t great right now since chemo could start on Tuesday.

done the roast and the washing up

16 January 2014

Tonight, I’ve got the roast in the oven and done the washing up at the same time. Not bad. To put it another way, the wsahing up took so long that I’ve managed to fit a roast dinner into the same window.

A good person gave us a compartmentalised baby milk container. So we can put three servings into the one pot and tip each out in a single go. A very helpful tool to keep in your baby changing tool bag.

Today I have decided that children should have plain clothes. There is no need for silly slogans, pictures or anything else. Society should not produce gender specific clothes. I think people get inaccurate ultra sound gender predictions and go out and fill their homes with the wrong clothes. Sad story. Get gender neutral plain clothes and they’ll last longer as you’ll stop being bothered by stains, you’ll even find it less painful when your child out grows them as you’ll be less attached.

the importance of gloves

15 January 2014

I’ve noticed over the months where I’m doing an hour of washing up more than normal that the soap in the water is causing my hands to chap. This can be avoided by a simple pair of good washing up gloves. If you’re bottle feeding, make sure that you buy yourself a pair.

boots nappies

14 January 2014

Dear wife said today "I’ve got a voucher for some nappies from Boots, I might try them". I don’t think they’ll fit her.


12 January 2014

Today I was introduced to the children’s toy shop Smyths. There’s one in Reading near the Madejski stadium.

To my surprise I found that their books are cheaper than those at Amazon, but for the point of description here, I will link to the Amazon items as it saves me repeating some of the detail.

There was a book which caught my eye 365 Stories for Boys. I’m not keen on getting our dear child hooked on Disney characters, but as a book full of stories that I can read to him and get him used to bed time stories it should serve the purpose well.

Later as he grows I think I’ll begin reading more traditional stories such as Robin Hood and King Arthur. Perhaps books from the BBC’s top 100 would be better.

I was a little annoyed at the lack of Lego Technics and Mechano at Smyths but I guess people are not interested in that anymore. It just seems that boys now want Lego Star Wars and computer games. There was a basic chemistry set there and a shonky looking telescope, I guess if you want more than that you should go somewhere more specialised. Perhaps I’m asking too much, there was no fishing tackle there or wood working tools, things that I remember fondly from my childhood. As a parent, perhaps I should stop expecting the retail sector to bring my child up and that I should do the leg work and find things that I want him to become familiar with.

Changed my phone contract, now with T-Mobile, 500 minutes, unlimited SMS and 1GB of data, £8.50/month. Much better than the aging Orange contract that I was on for 79p less. Bigger numbers all round, matching inflation.

dimplex heaters

10 January 2014

it’s very cold here

We bought two dimplex heaters around fourteen months ago.

These heaters are great, when they work. We’ve had two fail in very close succession. Dimplex have been good and honoured their five year warranty. Since both failed in the same way, I can only think there must be a batch fault or that we’re just unlucky. The front panel light remains on, the on/off relay is audible, yet no element ignition. I’m sure it would be a simple component to fix but as heaters are things designed to get very hot and use a lot of current, I’m not happy to poke around myself to fix it.

The Dimplex customer service makes up for the faults with the heaters. I’d rather know that the heaters can be replaced than live in fear of unsuccesful resolution. Who am I kiding? Just give me a working heater, please.

shower head and rats

04 January 2014

Today is the first day that the dear wife has gone shopping whilst I’ve stayed home to work on some bits and pieces.

Firstly we have noticed some rats coming into our garden from the neighbours or the railway. They’re around because the chickens are not the tidiest of eaters and I think they’ve found some scraps that the chickens have disguarded from their coop.

There are two problems that need to be solved here

  1. preventing the scraps from finding their way out of the coop

  2. moving the rats along

For the first part I can attach a sheet of wood to the outside of the coop, kind of like a sneeze screen. This would limit their view of the world though so perspex would be better.

For the latter problem I’ve errected what used to be a "hospital cage" that we’d put sick birds into to prevent harming the rest of the flock. This cage will hold some half dozen rat traps. I’ve placed this near to where the rats have been seen.

Once that was complete I fixed the shower head that the dear wife pointed out has become leaky then got on with some code.

too many things at once

30 December 2013

Although today is my Birthday, there were still many house work things to be done. Dead child needed feeding at 0705 this morning, not ideal, as it often wakes me after only a few hours sleep (well, what I consider only a few hours).

Today we find that the Iceland order which I placed yesterday has gone to the wrong address, my fault entirely. We will see if a neighbour thought that this was a late Christmas hamper :).

Done the washing up today, only took one hour to wash seven bottles and the dishes from a roast dinner, the pager went off twice during this though.

leftover christmas lunch

27 December 2013

We gave the chickens their Christmas left over lunch. Five/six sausages wrapped in bacon, two stuffing balls, Yorkshire puddings, carrots, peas and beans. They loved it, they’d even had two pears earlier and still found room for the left overs.

I’d started to think about something I might be able to design to assist in bottle washing, but it could be an effort to make and keep clean itself.

We’d just about got used to the different cries that dear son was making and what they were likely to mean and now this teething thing could be affecting it. He seems to dribble a bit now when he’s on the bottle which could potentially be part of it.


23 December 2013

We found that the toilet bowl was taking a very long time to empty. I read some things on the internet that suggested putting buckets of water down the toilet would help generate some pressure to force a blockage through. This turned out to be incorrect and left a broken soil pipe.

A trip to homebase later with a purchase of some drain rods and a ladder I find that the blockage isn’t in the visible part of the soil pipe.

Spent the Monday morning struggling to find a drain engineer who can come out. Found one eventually and he had a look at the foul pipes, with some poking around and lots and lots of water they managed to shift the blockage.

Once that was sorted out we found the kitchen door is no longer water tight, better find some tar.

casio f-91w

20 December 2013

I went to get a bottle for dear child when he woke up at 0620 this morning. In order to heat his milk to the correct temperature I need to stand the bottle in the warmer for three minutes forty seconds, ideally. To do this correctly I need the stop watch on the Casio F-91W that was purchased for me. In my daze I managed to set the back light to a blue/red/green rotating combination. This was somewhat unexpected. Today I look for the manual to the watch and I find out some interesting facts:

It’s taken quite a bit of time, but I eventually found a manual showing the watch functions, however, since this doesn’t include the colour changing back lights I think the watch that I have must differ from the original, or Casio don’t provide downloadable manuals.

a bad day

18 December 2013

Dear child woke twice, first at 0200 then at 0600. Not great times, both for feeding.

I swear he just wants to cause me a headache.

awesome rbh

16 December 2013

Went to A&E on Saturday evening.

Today Matilda went above and beyond with helping us to get all that we needed to wash dear childs bottles. We exhausted all our bottle stock as I’ve slept here over night and didn’t anticipate that dear wife wouldn’t be discharged this morning. Meaning that we’ve had to do a lot of improvisation. We’ve not used a milton steriliser before, we’ve always used the electric steam steriliser since it doesn’t taint the flavour of the milk. However, it does make me realise that we’d be stuffed without electricity, in the same way that we’d be stuffed without a milton tablet at 2am. Horses for courses.

After stuffing the sink with paper towel as as make shift plug, and begging for soap, wash cloths and something to clean teats with, I was well away rinsing and washing bottles.

At home, another ten bottles to rinse, wash, rinse and sterilise.

stress chair

15 December 2013

Slept in the worst chair in the world. Wife had he surgery to remove the infection and any serous fluid, (although we later believed it to be an abscess).

We didn’t get to speak to the surgeon as they just sent dear wife back to the ward.

Noticed that dear child might need a faster flowing teat.


13 December 2013

Since having our dear child I’ve found it hard to fit the chickens into our daily routines. For the first two weeks they were very neglected and Dotty went broody as her eggs were no longer getting collected on a daily basis. This is what can happen as she thinks it is time to incubate her clutch of eggs.

With great effort I broke her broodyness by removing her from the nest on a regular basis and messing up the indoors so it didn’t resemble the way that she left it.

I’ve now decided that I can’t really walk them for hours on end anymore as our child needs looking after more than the chickens, so I’m going to let the chickens free range as much as possible in the afternoon after collecting their eggs. The last thing I want right now is to find that a rodent has located their eggs outside of the coop.

Later in the year I’ll get a larger enclosure so that they don’t need to free range as often.

Good news for the chickens and good news for us.


13 December 2013

There are some other essentials that I forgot to mention in an earlier post.

The Tommee Tippee electric powered steam steriliser is brilliant. Although a little quirky at first you can fit six large bottles in there and place the teats and covers in the top tray. If you have 18 bottles you can keep three sets of six on the go.

I prepare six bottles at a time and ensure that I have some in reserve. This gives a good head room so that at a drop of a hat (or a boil of the kettle) we can go out for the day. Once approximately six bottles need washing I normally get on with it so that they can be processed in terms of steriliser loads.

forming a trend

11 December 2013

Great news, our dear child has has another night without waking for feeding or changing. This is now the third night in a row where we have not had to break our sleep for feeding. Excellent, I am so elated.

There were a couple of times when we had to turn on Ewan The Sheep to help our darling child settle, but the end result is the same, we didn’t have to wake for feeding


11 December 2013

Went to pick dear child out of his vibrating chair and he vomited upwards into my face. Quite a picture.

another night of washing up

09 December 2013

Just spent another hour at the sink rinsing the bottles and doing the day’s washing up.

One day this cycle will end.

Some good news though, our dear child slept through last night without waking mummy or daddy, we just need dear child to sleep through without any problems, every night, especially if daddy is on-call.


08 December 2013

We bought some cartons of Aptamil Hungry milk last week in case we had to leave our child with a babysitter. The cartons come in 200ml containers and are labelled up identically to the formula tubs.

Our child drank the whole lot in a few minutes and appeared to remain hungry. We thought he was being greedy but after some research it turns out that the cartons are easier to digest than the formula. Don’t get fooled like us, stick to the formula.


06 December 2013

We used to swaddle our dear child at night, which was a delicate effort. One of the things that we found was that we would have to keep the blankets in the bed whilst feeding so that they warm to a reasonable temperature, otherwise the cold blankets would wake our child.

One of the problems with swaddling was that it was easy for the child to get their hands out and unwrap themselves.

We found the grobag to be a nice invention, it has poppers to keep the bag together so that the child cannot get out, or get further in and risk suffocation.

ewan the sheep

30 November 2013

This is a remarkable product, the idea is simple, play the sound that the baby has been exposed to in the womb for comfort.

You could get the same sound on YouTube, however the quality isn’t as great since the encoding is lossy. Ewan plays the womb sounds for ~25 minutes, long enough to brush your teeth and return to bed in safety without disturbing your little one.

The item description mentions that it includes batteries, however they didn’t show up in the item that arrived, I think this was just a picking error though.

If you have trouble sleeping yourself, you may find this to be a great cure for your own sleep problems.


14 October 2013

Our son arrived in October 2013 and I’ve learnt several things since then. First lets start with what you should really get before you end up stuck.

If you’re planning to have a breast fed baby it is worth nothing that life doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes, despite sticking with difficulties the choice of feeding method may be taken out of your hands.

So, with this in mind, you may need to express milk. We have a Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature set of bottles and express pump. The mimic the natural feel for a baby.

  1. 260 ml bottles You’ll probably want about 18+ of the bottles, the reason being that we found our baby can go through nine bottles in a 24 hour period. If baby is feeing all night you may not get many opportunities to clean the dirty stock (more on that later). You can never have too many bottles, they’re in high demand, you need a strong supply.

  2. family fix base There are few things in this world that I think are well engineered and this base is one of them. The base fits onto a car using the ISO fixings, that means that practically all cars can accept this base. Once the clips on the base have latched onto the chassis of the car it’s solid. You can try to wobble the base, but you’ll find that the car just leans on its suspension.

  3. max-cosi car seat This car seat fits snugly into the family fix base above. Again it’s pretty solid. At the bottom of the car seat there’s two solid bars which latch into the base, it’s all very simple yet such a good idea.


07 October 2013

We had problems with the baby putting on weight. The health visitor was making remarks about baby not getting enough food. This concerned us greatly so we thought we should get something to keep a close check on the weight situation.

To do this we bought an electronic babyscale and kept the results in a text file. The file was set out in the following format:

2013-10-04      2.912
2013-10-07      2.678

This can then be fed into gnuplot using the following plot file:

set term png size 1280,768 font "sans-serif"
set output "weights.png"
set autoscale xfix
set grid
set style data points
set pointsize 1
set key Left width 3 height 0.5 spacing 1.5 reverse box

set xdata time
set timefmt "%Y-%m-%d"
set format x "%Y-%m-%d"

set format y "%.2f"

set ylabel "Weight (kg)"

plot "dear_child_weights" using 1:2 title "data points" with linespoints

Older posts are available in the archive.