Thursday, December 29, 2005


... hippos are more dangerous than sharks in water, killing more humans than sharks every year in Africa ...

... not that you get many sharks Africa.


again a pause in blog as tiredness, fatigue or, as in this case, lurgy descends.

Gal has lurgy
Thom has lurgy but is getting better
Sarit has had lurgy

Now I have lurgy. And nothing like a 200 mile traffic jam of a drive after a week of nights broken by lurgy'd children and a lurgy'd wife not wanting to get up to help one feel more lurgy'd.

Even a trip to Tesco, which in certain parts of the Middle East appears to have the same mystical properties as Guiness has in parts of Eastern Africa, has done nothing more than make me feel more lurgy'd.

Christmas in Budleigh has been and gone - more anon, post lurgy.

Monday, December 19, 2005

freedom and incarceration

Friday provided a rare glimpse of what real people do. Pupster No1 and the Puplette went for a sleepover at Thom's friend Lilith (3 years old a mixture of Czech, Oz and Southend on Sea). It was interesting to hear, on my whispered farewell that morning to Thom (he gets upset if he doesn't see and have breakfast with me before I go to work. This is very touching but the tantrum that erupts if he wakes just as I am going out the backdoor can be somewhat diverting - enough to make me miss a train, should I be catching one, which of course is quite rare as I am dedicated to bipedular transport), "Daddy, tonight I am sleeping with Lilith!". His harem is developing.

His mother and I were able to attend the first annual Xmas party of the SitCom Trials/SitsVac members, led by the Kev F Sutherland, artistic director of The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre and caricaturist. Kev has been described a "Pant-wettingly funny". He is very nice but we managed to get away without any changes of underwear. We ate rather small pizzas in Soho listening to the Earl Lewis Duo , the leader of which (or should we say the one who did the talking - the other one said nothing) had hair that could only be described as James Brown meets loft insulation. We returned to Lilith's (myself driving, having restricted myself to the two glasses of wine in 4 hours) and pciked up a sweet smelling and curly topped Puplette who then allowed us to sleep through to 9.30. A delightful extesnion of our normal sleeping hours, but a bit of a bugger if you have to be off at 10am to your mum's for lunch.

Managed to make to her's with all on board (despite a hangover for one party) only 90 minutes late, something remarked upon by the 4 aunts and 3 uncles who were also present and hungry.

Thom was, by now, declining. Despite the provision of a new trainset (Tomy - not as good as Brio, IMHO), he became quieter and quieter, in need of more and more snuggles, finally saying in a weak and feverish voice that he wanted to go home.

Both he and, it transpired, I, had been hit by the general lurgy that is going around.

Sunday was spent with himself in and out of bed, on and off the sofa, in and out of the Tesco trolley as we shopped, and then in and out of the bath before being back in (and out at about 2.30 for a wee)

His first word this Monday morning were "Daddy, I am still poorly, I'm afraid".

I, of course, was cyclo-togged and ready to leave for another winding down for Christmas day at the office...

... of which, more (or less) anon. Or, as the Rabbi at the South London Liberal Synagogue said of Hanukah a week ago, OR my father (his Imperial Pompousity - to whom we travel on Christmas Eve) would say... in due course

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

new string old rope

My neighbour 2 down the hill (the closest neighbour runs the local DIY shop in Ladywell and sometimes allows me credit) is Paul Klee. He's off to Germany for the Christmas holidays and has asked me to babysit his line for him. Very easy to look after just take for a walk once a day

As it is bring a string week at work, I thought I take the line in on my bike to the office.
Already a bit of a disappointment for the line, as Shahid is not in today. But I explained that Shahid is not bringing sandwiches in at the moment, so the line wouldn't be missing anything.

Have been for our constitutional already - round the block taking in the delights of the Polish Cultural Club, the Royal Geographical Society and a large white Mormon church. It is quite difficult taking a line for walk. You constantly get stopped by passerbys hoping to find out how long is a piece of string - but, as I have to say, you can't really be accurate. Where does a line begin and where does it end? At which point the line usually trails off and the passerby leaves, feeling puzzled and slightly hard done by.

I did try once to drive across the US in a hire car with the desire of getting myself lostin the desert (probably around Arizona) and then finding my way out before it got scary. Things didn't quite work out that way I had to take the train to San Francisco. Now, out walking with a line, it is impossible to get lost as it has this habit of not catching up fromthe moment you leave and you just retrace your steps before the street cleaners come by ravelling up.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


"Daddy can I have a chocolate?"
"Well, maybe when you have eaten all your supper, one will appear"

... nearly 4 year old pauses and then, with withering look, "No Daddy. Things don't appear. You have to buy them"

Monday, December 12, 2005


"You and socks do not have a good karma" my wife has just told me.

Make of this what you will

Damsels in distress

In another era it was ok for James Brown to declare "this is a man's world" and not be decried for excluding 52% (and rising) of the world's population. However, tonight - a Monday, a day without Shahid and his sandwiches (we await his return to work for he is part-time upon the morrow and news of breaded slices and tasty incumbents) - I feel fine (to quote JB once more) yet too many women seem unhappy.

The missus is downstairs chanting (nam myoho renge kyo). She went to a casting on Saturday and didn't get a recall and is subsequently feeling rather depressed.

Laydee Brockwell is missing the Shark and has been feeling unloved.

And the Shark is having to deal with compliments from Mrs N (sounds good, but is in fact well wierd) and has a sudden T-Shirt envy for across the Atlantic.

Und Die Elf von Berlin has a cut above her eye and a broken arm.

Only the Catster is having fun - swooning over Jude Law and seeing too many famous people for one Herne Hilliard to cope with.

Such is life. I sit here, hemmed in by a new computer purchased on the never never never tax efficient HCI blag from work, still working on this tired old laptop with little bits of paper stuck to the keys to indicate the Hebrew letters, hoping that the Mr Chong will turn up at the pub quiz with my drill so I can fix the chair I bought for my wife last year to shut her up about getting a new chair for the dining room (grand sounding, I know, but its a room and we dine in it - or rather we take evasive action from the Galster who is to table manners what Monica Lewinsky is to Bill Clinton - sloppy on the hand mouth co-ordination front) and that Pauline (Queen of the Jolly Jelly Fish) brings the beer tokens in tomorrow in order that the night is a cheap one, and of course, that Shahid brings news of sandwich flavourings only dreamt of by lonely souls wandering the edges of Archway, Matalan superstores, outlets for inexpensive and badly glazed flower pots, 1930s underground stations, victorian hotels with neon lighting hardly any younger, stucco'd pieces of house, John Lewis subsidiaries, parts of the DLR were unused track is passedand left un-noticed (except by me), churches with unfeasibly short spires, bits of the Thames where the water is never ever "choppy", steps that only go down, bridal paths with no vicars, brambles with no berries, buses with conductors, orchestras with bus drivers, hedgerows, some (but not all) suburbs of Medellin Colombia,and badly constructed sheds.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Previous Blog

In true Laurence Stern-ian stylee, I gave the previous missive entirely over to Gal, the puplette (though not an American stringed instrument craftsperson). She favoured the space bar and a few choice keys as opposed to a more Cecil Taylor approach to keyboard skills. Measured and minimalist I'd say.

Gal's blog

j hm mm z \ x x c h , n hbn tmbg nbjhb ndsd cx

Friday, December 09, 2005

All hope is lost

Shahid has not been bringing any sandwiches in this week! My whole blog-purpose is lying on the kitchen worktop like a limp melted piece of iceberg lettuce. Yesterday he did have a panini (serrano ham in it) at the RSA as we were having a business meeting outside of the museum. Today he says he is having another business lunch and I hope to report back what he had to ear. His son Aadam has proffered this thought which I hope is some kind of sopp to our disappointment.

WHat kind of witches are there in the desert? Sandwiches

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Shahid's sandwiches.

Shahid has not brought any to work today. But he does inform me that he had fish and chips last night.

Frightening Christmas

I went into Harrods yesterday to look for some perfume for the missus. I thought I might have a look at the Toy Department as planning for those "Oh My God, haven't got anythign for the kids" Christmas Eve moment. It was horrifying - the sheer excess. I can see why parents feel bullied into buying more and more for their kids. Putting a child in that environment is akin to pumping them full of Coca Cola and giving them a credit card with no limit.

On Saturday, me and Thom went to a school Christmas Fayre. Trolling round the second hand stalls, we managed to find some great bargains - Toy Story for 50p and a brilliant Thomas the Tank engine poster for 10p. I saw a table stacked with Thomas toys and I expertly steered Thom away. The terror of a screaming demanding child in the midst of a packed hall, is not something I can bear for long. We fled outside.

Monday, December 05, 2005

more wisdom...

Thom, the nearly 4 year old, has pronounced that Cornflakes are snowflakes that are made of corn

some small steps..

Gal - the puplette - took her first steps this weekend to her great delight. She enjoys an audience, so only performs when there are at least 3 people watching/supporting and then demands applause. Her cousin Tilly (though apparently she pre-named Anaglypta) is a month older and has recently started to walk as well. My step mother has suggested baby races in their hallway as part of the Christmas entertainments. I haven't seen the TV schedule yet, so I couldn't possibly comment

Sunday, December 04, 2005

... inspired by catster and the Laydee Brockwell, I share this view over Lewisham this week at about 7.05am. This is what we see from the kitchen window, should anyone be up at that time. The large triangle of dark on the right is the council flats and the smaller rectangle on the left is the monstrosity that is Lewisham's Citibank building. Imagine Centrepoint, without the charm or stature, standing midst a lowrise shopping centre of Arndale horror. Whilst Brockley can boast Spike Milligan and one of the four grooms in Four Wedding and a Funeral, Lewisham claims (in)famy) for the Jimmy White Snooker Centre, just above the Early Learning Centre on the High Street.

Friday, December 02, 2005

David Byrne's has a nice site and a lovely blog.

lunch with Dad

it happened, it was fine. no bad news was imparted.

Dad has had a hearing aid for about 2 years now, without letting on to anyone - not that you would probably, not something you'd shout about really, unless of course the hearing aid wasn't working. Its a strange to see someone close to you whom you have known to be healthy and fit start to show concrete signs of deterioration. They are no longer perfect, they are no longer going to be there as you like them for the rest of time. Things change and its a bit scary.

I spent alot of time speaking up, not knowing whether to or not, whether he could hear me properly or not, whether he cared to listen or not. I asked him about it and he said he couldn't remember if he was wearing it or not (he wasn't it tourned out). And as he hasn't had it adjusted by the doctor since he got it, he thought he ought to get it done. It might help. Having siad which he is very happy as he has gone against all the reports from the BBC and got his freeview box to pick up channels down in Budleigh. He will be able to view Channel 5 for the first time since its launch.

Hasn't missed much.

We parted subverting one of those dad/son non-contact hugs, into a wave that was actually supposed to be an affectionate squeezing of hands. Quite touching really...

Shahid's sandwiches

Shahid wasn't in work today, so we don't know the flavour of his sandwiches. We don't even know if he had sandwiches or decided, for health reason, to skip lunch altogether. There are, of course, limitless parrallel universes (such as imagined by David Deutsch and explored by Ken Campbell) where Shahid is actually eating every known and unknown type of food stuff and non food stuff. Therefore it could be said that this blog, in itself, is somewhat meaningless when set against the countless other similar (but not quite the same) blogs that are appearing in limitless universes.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

This is a great link courtesy of a number of fine friends and bloggers. The map above shows the places I would like to visit. Purplemafling suggests that we all paint the world, as well as the town, red. I agree that its a small world, but I wouldn't like to paint it.

Create your own map

Shahid's sandwiches

Today, Shahid is eating cheese and rocket in his sandwich. He also brought in a hard boiled egg.