Monthly Archives: January 2009

All I know about politics

Oops. Seems I didn’t realise Gordon was busy.

I’ll have to ask Lily about telephone etiquette. She was quite the chatterer this evening. Maybe a career beckons ringing people?

I wonder how I can get the Fisher Price Telephone ring as my ringtone?


All I know about economics

Evidence to date shows that my daughter refuses to walk when there is nothing to hold on to, and projecting this forward, I predict that her walking ability has peaked. The market may drop off as she tries a lot more crawling, especially now that there are a lot more babies around, some of whom are already walking by now. Supply and demand. There’s just not enough incentive in the market. I wonder if I can short sell on this? Or is it sell short?

As has been suggested in the animal kingdom for several years now, walking has had it’s day as the favoured mode of transport. Why go on two legs when you can use four?

4 x 4 models do apparently cost more in fuel, and are inclined not to look where they are going so much in my limited experience, but they are becoming a more attractive option in today’s market and more affordable than they once were. They mount stairs with remarkable ease, even if they guzzle for thirty minutes at a time and you’re not even sure you put very much in, considering the cost.

The Importance of Boo

Among the thrilling adventures which make life so much richer, novelty rates highly in my culture.

For my daughter, the thrill of so much novelty is balanced well with repetition.

Many things bear repeating. For me, chocolate. For Obama, an inauguration. For my daughter, anything with half a tune involving yaw, roll or pitch. Or perhaps a cloth.

Lily loves to repeat the usual stuff: Row, Row, Row Your Boat; Round and Round the Garden and Where’s Lily? – all of which can be indicated to the casual observer non-verbally. Yet one game stands as the simplest but perhaps the deepest of all games. It transcends language. It provokes smiles. 


There. A concept of critical national importance.

I was in a park in Blackburn, just this last Saturday, with Lily and her dad and grandpa. Mention must be made that all four fountains were in working order. Ducks swam toward us when I imitated them or threw imaginary bread in their direction. Three geese were also there. Now, I am not scared of geese, which is an integral part of this story.

My daughter loves taking a look at things, especially animals. I showed her that there were some geese on the pond-side of some very parksome railings and drew the pram up close. Lily leaned forward. So did the geese. Lily opened her eyes wide. The geese looked at each other. On the count of three they began to hiss. I tried quacking, but this made this breakaway sect flap their wings. They did not look like the kind of birds who would be fooled by imaginary bread, innit. They were far too streetwise, right? I was surprised to note that their coats were not of the Burberry persuasion.  

It became apparent that my daughter would need to learn the power of one of the most important words in the English language.


Turning their tails, flapping their wings and ducking (yes, ducking) out of my stare, the geese retreated like chavs in Sunday School and the magic worked.

Which has prompted one more novel thought in my blog for today:  how one might make chavs welcome at church.

Give and Take

I have noticed that most caretakers are male, and most caregivers are female. How odd.

We say “take care!”, but not “give care!”

Does this say more about the irrationality of English language than about roles of men and women in society?

Some of the most caring people I know are men. They express it in different ways to women, but they still care.

My dad is a case in point. He is well-versed in finding the positive in a situation and seeing humour, the big picture and a good way forward. He is careful with cooking, writing and diplomacy. I would not employ him to fix a new fan in a computer, but I don’t need to. I have a husband who can do that.

Overall, I believe that we care for one another best when we care in community. Some are better at doing some of the more humble or repetitive jobs. Some are better at just giving a hug when it is needed. Some are better at listening. Some are better at mending things. Some are better at taking care in details.

We are all part of the care machine that is Society. Each of us is necessary. None of us can say ‘I’m not important because what I do is not valuable’.

Just as importantly, the care we receive from others comes at cost, and none of us can take it for granted. At school we always used to joke that the real heirarchy was:  Caretaker at the top, Secretaries, Cleaners, Dinner Ladies, Teachers… Headmaster at the bottom! You do well to keep in with the caretaker in a school. It makes life so much easier. Why shouldn’t they be made to feel valuable too?

We all need to receive all kinds of care. I have recently finished studying a book with some others about the five languages of love. The ideas put forward by the authors are that of the following five ‘languages’, we each have our favourite, which speaks louder to us and which we need to hear to feel most loved:

Words of affirmation

Quality time

Receiving gifts

Acts of service

Physical touch

It’s an interesting idea, even if you don’t buy into it fully. Until I understand how my friends and family feel most appreciated, I am going to have to try and care for them in various ways, some of which hadn’t occurred to me before.

More babies

Congratulations today to another of my cousins and his wife. They have given birth to a second son. I am getting in the habit of alluding to names every time a baby arrives in the family, so let’s say that this one shares his name with two books in the Bible, both beginning with J.

And no, he is not Job Jeremiah,  Jonah Jude or John John III

But we are all very pleased he is here.

Good words

Is it better to say the wrong words than no words at all?

Words don’t fill what aches.

What if all the words you could say were good words? Words still only whisper.

And is it wrong to feel guilty when we grieve? Guilt is a part of grieving too.

Now, we have permission to let go. We still love you.

We can let go. We still love you.

We still love you.

Love you.

Goodbye Molly.

Until we meet you again, full of life.

Where there is no crying, or pain. Where there is no guilt.


Today my daughter did not walk (except when holding hands),

She did not climb the stairs (except by crawling),

She did not eat her tea (except when she was crawling up and down the hallway and supposed to be going to bed),

She did not talk (except to say ‘dada’ indiscriminately),

She did not identify her own head (unless we had identified first mummy’s and then daddy’s),

She did not point to herself in the picture (except when we repeated the experiment a few times),

She did not put the wooden cylinder through the circle hole (except when she wasn’t trying to),

She did not stand on her own two feet (except to watch television),

She did not communicate (except to rock back and forth to indicate that she wanted to play ‘Row, Row, Row your Boat’),

She did not create (except when she wanted a walker in church and used a chair instead),

She did not Do Very Much At All.

Thankfully, she is exhausted.