Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Getting back into the swing of things: A stub article

I recently wrote a guest article for Give An Earthly (not as grand a feat as it sounds, as Mamma Earthly is my wife), in which I listed some things I couldn't care less about. In writing that list, I also prepared its opposite, but it didn't really "fit" anywhere in the article. So here's my list of things I couldn't care more about, for completeness:

The centres of my universe
  • Mrs Hippy, my wife
  • Keeping Mrs Hippy happy, sane, and healthy
  • Smellyhippy Jnr., my son
  • Helping Smellyhippy Jnr continue his fantastic recent progress
  • Little Miss Hippy, my daughter
  • Relieving the distress that Little Miss Hippy is going through at the moment
There. That's it. Maybe there's not much point or purpose to this stub, other than as an aide memoir to myself, but then in times of stress we could all do with a short, simple list to remind ourselves of what's truly important to us.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Yon Veggie Tart O' Flett

There wis a veggie tart o' flett
Whaes appetite wis hard tae whet.
Nae meat would pass her lips
e'en wi a poke o' chips
for her morals are intact, dinnae fret.

No not really a post about double entrende limericks, but a recipe of my invention. And not even a vegetable tart recipe. This is based very loosely on the French dish tartiflette with a Scots influence...

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Feeling Inadequate At Breastfeeding(*)

Around the time of our first child's birth an extremely conventional acquaintance (hereafter known as J) of mine left work to give birth to her second child. Our circumstances couldn't have been more different - J was happily booked in to a consultant-led unit, we were fighting to have a home birth; J was looking forward to every pain killer going, we were focusing on entirely non-medicated pain relief; J saw child-birth as something you had to get through to get another child, we'd (probably deliberately) blocked out all thoughts of the consequences of child-birth and were instead concentrating our energies on the labour.

Despite holding very strong "alternative" views, I'm not generally a proselytising hippy, and so didn't try to hold a discourse with J about her chosen course. Instead I wished her genuine luck in getting the birth she wanted, but felt that we couldn't learn anything from her. I was almost correct: She did tell me something that keeps coming back to the fore of my mind - she admitted that she felt smug when bottle-feeding her first and watching other new mothers struggle to get to grips with breastfeeding, who one by one gave up and turned to the bottle.

At times I too have turned to the bottle whilst we've been breastfeeding our two kids. Feeding fractious, tired, fussy, colicky, uncommunicative children is emotionally draining as it is, but introducing a nipple into the equation is just asking for trouble. It's no wonder that so many parents abandon the path they feel is right, but which is overgrown with brambles, nettles and spitting wildcats!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Graceful expertise

I love Phil Speight's work but have to accept that he's never likely to reciprocate the sentiment about my painting. On the other hand, he probably couldn't create a script to automatically deploy test SQL Server virtual machines into a domain. It's just his craftsmanship is more immediately (not to mention aesthetically) pleasing than my geekery. I've never met Phil, but by every account I've heard of him, he's a lovely bloke, willing to pass on his knowledge (Mortimer Bones loved his Roses and Castles course), and ready with praise.