Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Sophie Reid

Apologies for the absence.
I have a good excuse though.
Baby Reid number 2, Sophie Reid was born at 9.33am on Monday 19th November 2012.
As you can see, she was pulled out into the world with a bit of a grumpy expression on her face, but she was forced to arrive three weeks early I suppose.
Mum is fine and recovering whilst Sophie is... well, hard work.
I'm off to bed to try and catch up with some more sleep.

Monday, 12 November 2012

A lovely machine

A week today.
One week. Not even 7 days away now.
Baby Reid number 2 will be born.
Ka and myself are having kittens.
No, not kittens, a baby.
We’re nervous, we’re excited. We’re sad, we’re brooding. We’re scared, we’re fearful. We’re optimistic, we’re struggling. We’re just feeling flamin’ everything at the moment and we’ve got another 6 and a bit days to go!
Baby Reid has been keeping us busy though and constantly reminding us of her presence.
On one of the first days of noises from the car's undersides, discussed in the last post, we had our 34 week scan, at which baby number two was bouncing around, quite the norm, inside Ka's not inconsiderate bump. The consultant was to give us our date for the birth at the end of the appointment but realised she'd forgotten her diary making us wait until Ka's midwife appointment the next Tuesday. It was then that it was decided that it was to be the 19th of November that Baby Reid number 2 will be helped out of her little cocoon and pulled into the world and, all going well, we'll be celebrating the birth of another baby girl.
Baby’s certainly making herself known, even before she’s made an appearance.
She's going to be a lively little blighter by the looks of things.
She's been jumping, kicking and moving around in there quite a lot in the past months, freaking people out, fascinating the kids in Ka's nursery class and keeping me occupied on an evening.
Baby communicates with me via punches or kicks from within the womb (obviously taking after her mother). I'll lean over Ka's big belly bump and talk to her only to get a near immediate response on most instances with a kick. Baby will also push a little limb out, causing the perfect ball shape of Ka's bump to grow small, lumpy shapes which bob up and down over the round surface like Clangers popping their heads out from within their moon.
Baby likes apples too. Moments after Ka has eaten an apple, Baby will move joyfully around, inside her wee shell, as if hyped up on juicy, applely goodness (Perhaps when Baby eats an apple, an amazing transformation will occur – she doesn’t get any bananas though, Ka’s went off them).
On the day of her 32 week scan the consultant began, as usual, by squirting the thick, ultrasound jelly over Ka's bump and placed the wired scanning device down on to it. Almost instantly the instrument was very nearly knocked completely from the consultant’s hand as baby gave it a damn good kick from inside giving the consultant a little fright.
On Saturday there we were sitting in the cinema, waiting to see Argo with Ka’s brother, Colin, (a pretty damn good movie, quite tense, almost inducing) when Baby started shuffling around again.
We pondered what baby was up to in there. Colin suggested Baby was tidying up. Giving the place a wee clean around, like mother like daughter, which would also explain why the wee baby can’t sit at peace for two minutes.
Colin placed his hand ever so gently on to the ball of Ka’s bump, barely touching it, as if scared of disturbing Baby in her housework, or womb work. Ka huffed taking a hold of Colin’s hand and told him that he wasn’t going to feel anything touching the bump like that and placed it more firmly down upon the belly mound. Once more, almost immediately, Baby gave her Uncle Colin a good kick at which Colin yelped, his bawl echoing throughout the dark waiting cinema.
Friday's scan marked week 36 and we now only have one more week of freedom, sorry, waiting, remaining.
Preparations are at a busy, non stop, high. After painting the newly fitted doors in the upstairs hall throughout the previous days, I spent the entirety of last Thursday building nursery furniture, a nice, bright, white, and fairly solid, Mamas and Papas wardrobe, chest of drawers and cot. Obviously the cot wasn’t vital at the present time but once I’d successfully completed the other two I thought I’d better just get on with it. As a result I woke up on the Friday morning aching, after effects from all the twisting, screwing and lifting. I also finished painting all the upstairs hall’s doors over the weekend, all of which are now nicely finished with a neat gloss white, with only a few wee dried drips here and there (hopefully no one will notice them).
Obviously Ka’s been busy too, organising her bags for the hospital, baby’s bags for the hospital and other bags for the hospital, although I’m not sure who the other bags are for? As soon as I’d finished the furniture on Thursday, Ka got to work folding away the few clothes we have already, into the large drawers, waiting on an owner.
There’s a whole drawer, of the new chest, dedicated to Mum’s knitting. My Mum’s been knitting since the summer. Cardigans, bonnets, wee jackets, skirts, blankets, teddy bears with floppy heads and even a mouse. No matter how much I insist she still hasn’t set up an etsy account to make herself a couple of quid out of her fantastic talents.
Baby is going to have plenty of cardigans even if she doesn’t have a name.
We have no idea what her name's going to be.
Lucy was one in a million.
Not only was she our first child but she also symbolised the first time Ka and myself have ever 100% agreed upon anything together. Her name. The only name. We had a boy's name in mind for the other instance, of course, but no second girl's name. And we still don't.
At the moment Baby is called Bertha.
At first it was a joke.
Bertha as in 'Big Bertha', following a sudden burst in growth at around week 30. Nothing at all to do with the large German war guns used in World War One or the big green, factory machine from the animated kids tv series that produced farting noises and cuckoo clocks.
Unfortunately family members are now calling her Bertha, the kids in Ka's nursery expect her to be called Bertha, and now Ka insists I call her Bertha.
We're going to have to think of a better name and quick.
Anyone got any suggestions?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Door locks, brake pads and hoover shocks

Well, whilst two blokes spend 2 billion dollars publicising themselves over the pond in an effort to control 50 states I've also been spending big money. Okay, maybe not 2 billion dollars, but certainly money that can’t afford to be spent.
In the past week or so I've spent hundreds and hundreds of pounds.
No, I'm not showing off.
I've spent literally hundreds. Hundreds that I don’t have.
Two weekends ago a familiar sounding grinding noise started growling up from underneath the car in transit. With little driving detective work I assumed it to be the front passenger side wheel pads, in dire need of replacement. As quickly as I could, on the Monday morning, without making the repair bill have to cover brake discs too, I took the car over the squinty bridge, sorry, the Clyde Arc road bridge, to a small, grubby looking garage on Govan Road. Within hours the little, bespectacled mechanic had called me to inform me that all four brake pads were needing replaced. The mechanic himself admitted he'd thought the noise had been coming from the front passenger side but upon investigation had discovered the noise to be coming from one of the rear wheels, and not only that but each of the car's brake pads were in need of restoration. Upon hearing me humming and hawing over the phone the mechanic must have mistook my noises for mistrust and insisted he’d keep all four of the old brake pads as proof to which I obviously insisted wasn’t necessary and sighing heavily, told him to proceed with the job.
The bad news didn't stop there though. At around 4pm that afternoon I ventured back over the squinty bridge, through the rush hour traffic. The cheery little mechanic immediately insisted on showing me the duff brake pads, (probably the oldest trick in the book – he’s probably got a drawer full of them!) and then informed me that my two front tyres were illegal.
Bald on the inside apparently. (Illegal for being bald? Surely that’s baldist?)
I had spent £130 quid on two Dunlops for the front last November and the two of them were already duff and fine worthy. So after getting back to the office I made yet another visit to, a lot sooner than I thought I'd be visiting, and sorted out another expensive pair of rubbers. On the same day, from the mild comfort of my office desk, I also paid off various bills, reminder notices and last chance saloon letters and ordered my new 6 month tax disc, successfully making it one of the most expensive days in my working history, all whilst sitting on my arse. Next up will be my car insurance, due shortly, along with the good old MOT, which, going by recent standards, will probably throw up a few surprises for me, all just in time for Christmas when you expected to spend lots of money on other people.
Days later, last Thursday, I gave a wee bloke £120 for having a large tantrum in my house.
Recently I bought new, interior doors for all the rooms leading off from the upstairs landing which all started when Dad and Colin successfully burst the bathroom door on the night of the house warming. The door was on it’s last legs, or hinges, anyway, so I don’t blame them. My Dad had went to leave the bathroom and found the door had locked him in so he ended up shouting down to Colin, who was standing out in the back garden at the time, minding his own business, smoking a cigarette. Always willing to help Colin made his way upstairs and between the two of them they managed to obliterate the bathroom door.
So while I was getting a new bathroom door I thought it’d probably be a good idea to get the rest of the doors done. Ordering them over the phone with Cornes, the local DIY store, here in EK, I asked them to book me a joiner to get them fitted. The joiner in question phoned me up a few days later and made a date to fit the doors, two and a half weeks later, at half past 8 in the morning (that was the next available date in his diary).
So, two and a half weeks later, on my way back from taking the wife to work in the morning, the joiner phoned my at 8.25am, leaving demanding messages on both my mobile, sitting alongside me in the car, and my home phone, stating he was 'supposed' to be fitting doors at my house that morning and that he had no access to the house. I dialled his number as I drove on the via the hands free speaker phone as I approached my street. Again, he informed me that he had no access to the house.
No access to the house?, I thought. I’m quite glad of that really. Is that not why they put locks in doors? A joiner of all people should know that, surely?
Immediately recognising the wee man that jumped out the van, but from where I wasn't sure, I let him into the house and he got himself set up. Through another ten minutes of conversation we eventually sussed that it was from the gym that I recognised him. I've seen him strutting about the Nuffield gym on occasion talking to folk in his loud, but not unfriendly, voice, talking to some of the bigger, muscle-bound guys on occasion who quite often are double the height of him. I wondered why this was why he spoke so loudly in normal conversation, conversation that continued as he worked at the four doors.
After an hour or so the joiner took a break to drink a protein shake, a drink which he really wanted me to know about, for whatever reason. Unfortunately I perhaps said the wrong thing by moaning something along the lines of, "you're not one of them are you?". It turns out he is (as is Andrea, my colleague in work, who models herself on Jodie Marsh) and the wee joiner has been trying to build his muscles up like some of the other guys in the gym. Refraining from stating that there probably weren't enough hours in the day, never mind the year, I got on with some paperwork and bill paying.
It wasn't until later that things really turned uncomfortable.
The joiner left the bathroom door to last. The other three doors had normal, nice silver handles bought with them, but the bathroom was slightly different in that its handle design included a lock mechanism. A perfectly normal lock mechanism which you’d find on most bathroom doors. Unfortunately it turned out to be not so normal as the wee joiner was soon swearing, shouting and jumping about in the bathroom. He's only been attempting to fit the lock handle for approximately five or ten minutes before, his face started turning a nasty shade of red and he started turning the air blue, jumping about, throwing electric screwdrivers around the bathroom whilst twisting the new handle up and down.
"F**king cheap sh**e!", he kept shouting, his voice echoing through the house. I had had no idea I was ordering cheap sh*te with my phonecall to Cornes two and a half weeks ago. At the time I'd thought £13 for a lock handle was expensive enough.
After another ten minutes of swearing and raging he disassembled the lock handle, growling furiously as he went and sped off back down to Cornes to get a second under the impression we'd been given a dodgy one.
I’ve met an awful lot of wee men who seem to have a great deal of anger built up inside them. An anger that can be quite potent and unexpected when it bursts. I’ve known a few short men in my life who’ve all had similar personalities. I’m no tall person myself but each of the guys I’m thinking off were all definitely in the shorter department and all had similar, slightly unstable characteristics. I’m certainly not saying all short people have this tendency, I’m just saying I am prone to encountering them. One minute these guys seem jovial, happy and perfectly normal in conversation until something happens. The something could be an occurrence, a statement, a joke or some kind of small, not obviously major, annoyance that makes them seem to boil up and explode.
This joiner, for instance, was highly affected by the bathroom door not working, after a mere five minutes or so of trying to fit it properly. As soon as he spent longer than five minutes working on it he just seemed to explode in a barrage of abuse and Basil Fawltyesque rage.
Needless to say, after the joiner’s return from Cornes, the second lock handle was no better and as he attempted to fit the new handle he stamped his feet, slammed his tools about some more and shouted about how he had other things to do with his time.
After some discussion with the rather irked wee joiner I decided to opt for his suggestion of replacing the lock handle with a normal handle and fitting the door with a simple sliding bolt lock. So after yet another visit to Cornes the wee, unsettled, highly flustered joiner with the anger management issues fitted the bolt and the normal handle, took his money and left.
Breathing a sigh of relief I got the hoover out and started to tidy his mess up, only to discover, upon inspecting the bathroom door, that the wee joiner had fastened the bathroom door to the wall with only one screw through each hinge rather than the usual four. As hesitant as I was to have the wee nutter back in my house, I had paid for his service and as he was too busy performing his little strops he'd obviously neglected to screw the damn door into the wall properly so I phoned him up. Huffing upon receipt of this information the wee joiner said he'd be back in ten minutes and as I waited I continued to hoover, almost managing to blow myself up in the process.
As I hoovered away, twisting and moving round the hall, trying to catch all the wood shreds and splinters, the hoover wire got sucked up the hoover's front and another highly suspicious grinding noise started from the machine’s underside. Within seconds a strange burning smell started interfering with the odour of freshly cut wood and before I knew it, the J. Edgar was firing out tiny shreds of grey and black plastic.
Flipping the power switch, I pulled the wire from under the hoover only to see a rather unhealthy looking length of bare copper wire shining up at me through a thin veil of electrical smoke.
The hoover had never done that before. I’d ran over the wire in the past and it had never been sucked up in such a plastic devouring fashion. Just as I finished tidying the hoover wire shreds up a loud knock at the door alerted to the presence of the wee joiner again and in he came once more, to finish his job.
“What happened to your hair?” the wee joiner looked up at me as he climbed the stairs. I looked in the mirror. My hair seemed to be standing a little on end.
Had I been shocked? Or was I just a little overly flustered?
At least the wee joiner had regained his composure as he quickly screwed the missing screws into the bathroom door and quickly headed off to his next poor customer. Making light of the missing screws I shrugged it off, insisting he was probably just too flustered and focused on the bathroom door lock.
“I’ll let you know after my next therapy session!” he smiled as he left the house.
I’m not even sure whether he was joking.
I certainly don’t want his therapist.