Archive for January, 2014

Oh some do say the farmer’s best (But I must needs say no…)

It is the 7th of January…


In 1998 I spend the day in Shrewsbury, taking advantage of the sales to buy cheap Carry On videos in Smiths. In 1999 I slog up from Newport to Longford for Games (It didn’t occur to me to simply bunk off that sort of thing for another nine months). Conversation as we trekked up the lane mostly consisted of discussing Buffy, which was the style at the time.

In 2000 I produce the second edition of The World, one of the succession of fake newspapers I used to cobble together in Publisher in preference to getting something above a D for my compulsory GCSE in DT. It was this sort of thing that eventually spawned KTAB News.

In 2001 I happily invest the day playing Civ II.

In 2002, having finally ceased to use a 486 as my primary computer, I spend it playing Deus Ex.

In 2003 I mope about in the wake of a breakup.

in 2004 I spent the evening talking to Ruth on MSN.

In 2005 we’re reduced to talking by phone as she recounts her adventures getting to Mauld’s Meaburn, inaccessible due to floods.

In 2006 I take a driving lesson in Aberystywth with Mike who points out that I’m driving too close to the kerb.

In 2007 the photograph is falling from my hand I exhaust myself at the half-tech rehearsal for the Panto in Wallingford.

In 2008 I take a Welsh lesson with Islywn and spend the evening making a shortlist of wedding venues, with brochures spread across the living room of the Uberflat. The shortlist boils down to Rowton Castle, Walcot Hall and Madeley Court.

In 2009 I spend the day working in Lending in Hugh Owen as part of my Graduate Traineeship.

In 2010 I lend Wendy a screwdriver so she can unjam her door in Caerleon.

In 2011 I stay up until 03:45 watching Star Wars and helping Ruth assemble the remarkably complicated birthday cake for Dan’s surprise party.

In 2012, no longer on Old Earth, we play Mansions of Madness in the kitchen of our much nicer house in Kennington.

In 2013, in the wake of the Jethrik incident I fire off a job application (I don’t get beyond the second round, although I’m even pleased by that): my interview for my current job is in two day’s time, and I’m frantically trying to work out what the job description requires.

In 2014 however, I spend the day in the John Radcliffe hospital, surviving mainly on stubbornness and the odd cup of sugary tea. I finally get to bed at 05:30, on the morning of January 8th. It was not a particularly fun day.

(In other news, there’s a lot to be said for building up a big pile of records you can refer back to in later years)


It’s probably become apparent to you by now that Tiny has made an appearance (and, as you might expect from my life, I made the first, proper, blog post about it on behalf of Three Rings). So far, she’s sleeping most of the time. I’m vaguely hoping that’s because she’s a naturally quiet and unobtrusive baby, rather than just because she’s very new, but we’ll see…

I’d like to put it on record that I am a very firm believer in the sensible, old-fashioned approach to childbirth wherein the father gets to sit outside in the corridor, pacing and taking cigars as he might feel necessary, and only has to put in an appearance once everything has calmed down. Sitting around making vague encouraging noises and trying to look reassuring while someone else is clearly miserable and in a tremendous amount of pain, it turns out, is not something I’m good at.

That said, everyone survived (thanks, first world medicine of the 21st Century!) so I have at least been spared a rapid descent into port-swilling gout, and the expense of getting builders in to construct a wall behind which I can order the garden be sealed off forever.


I’m sure Ruth will talk more about the actual experience of childbirth. I don’t remember overmuch of it, now, because it all tended to blur into one long, exhausting slog. I do remember that, somewhere around the 29-hour mark, I found myself gazing out of the window with a bass line stuck in my head on loop: it wasn’t until I was driving listening to music a couple of days later that I realised what it was:  Abney Park’s Scupper Shanty, which at least has the benefit of having a pretty apposite chorus.


Tiny is, fortunately, feeding well, and seems pretty happy and content. The midwives have largely been nice and helpful people, and barring the lack of sleep we’re all settling into the new rythm pretty well, I think.

Beyond that, I don’t actually have very much to say about her; I’ve been to the record office and officially registered the birth, so she does now exist (thank God we live this side of 1837!), and of course there was the obligatory photo that went with the 3R blog post… but I’m sort of feeling like my work here is done. And, to be honest, there’s probably a limit to how long anyone reading this can sit and nod politely at their monitor before it starts to feel socially awkward, so I might call that quits at this point.

Still, for those of you who do want such things, here’s a picture of me being left holding the baby:

As promised, a photo of me with the baby