Family fun: top shot.
Before the nasty cold germs struck this week, our little man, modelling the cutest matching hat and dungarees that his granny made for him, and loving it. I’m glad I tried them on him, because I don’t think he’s got much room left to grow. That’s despite the fact that I’m pretty sure they are supposed to fit him when he’s much older than his current 10 weeks. He is growing at such a pace that he is already in clothes for 6 month olds. Slow down little man!
Pause for thought.
I’ve always liked The Week, a news digest drawing from worldwide media sources, that gives a quick and easy way to get an intelligent summary of key news and current affairs. I’ve just started getting it delivered to my kindle so I can read it easily in the gloom whilst doing the interminable night feeds – far easier than squinting at the online version on my tiny phone screen!
If you’ve been on this journey with me for a while, you’ll already know I’ve got a bit of a thing about the Shipping Forecast! So I loved it when I came across this little gem, originally from the Letters section of The Telegraph, about the Shipping Forecast:
The African student who thought that the shipping forecast was a coded broadcast to British spies might not have been far off the mark.
For years I wondered why the broadcast would always end with the phrase: “No icing in South East Iceland.”
This ending hasn’t been heard since the end of the Cold War. I listen to the shipping forecast every day in case the mysterious message makes a return.
William T Nuttall
Isn’t that wonderful? Such a tiny little piece of correspondence, but so much in it to chew on. A coded cold war spy message? It’s so delicious, thinking that a phrase seemingly so innocuous could be perceived in that way. Who was ‘the African student’? And has William T Nuttall really been listening to the shipping forecast every day to check whether there might be a return to this phrase?
Well, obviously I had a little look to see if I could find anything following from this. The ‘African student‘ was referenced in a previous piece of correspondence in The Telegraph. I even love that there is someone like William T Nuttall out there, reading the letters and then replying to them in their own letter. So very old fashioned and touching.
I couldn’t find any more conspiracy theories out there about the Shipping Forecast as a secret code, but I do love the idea of it. And you can totally see how someone who hasn’t grown up in the UK could get that idea, because honestly, it can sound like utter gobbledegook to the uninitiated. Just brilliant.
Memories are made of this.
Our little man got his first cold. It was inevitable that he’d get sick way earlier than his big sister did when she was little, as he has the dubious honour of getting all her toddler germs passed along. The kisses and cuddles she showers him did their work in double-quick time this week when she brought back the latest cold from nursery.
It’s a cold. Just a cold. But still, it is pretty heart-wrenching watching his tiny little body heaving, listening to the phlegm bubbling away on his chest, and having to keep checking on him because his throat is so bad that he actually makes no noise at all when he cries. I’m actually looking forward to hearing his cries again. Now there’s something I never thought I’d say!!
Laugh out loud.
Before the little man got the yucky cold, his big sister was laid pretty low by it too. She’s just starting to feel better, but has really lost her appetite. In an attempt to coax her into eating something, we did pizza for her dinner the other night. Normally pizza is a huge hit and a sure-fire way to get food in her tum. This time, even pizza didn’t cut it. Listening to her coming up with a growing list of reasons why she couldn’t eat it was funny. Funny enough to make me smile in that way that parents do. You know, the one where, try as you might, you actually can’t help but smile and have to put your head down/look away/leave the room, so that they don’t see you do it and sense your weakness! ‘I can’t eat pizza! It’s too hot / too big / too cold / too rough (!) / too cheesy’.
Next we moved to the risible situation of trying, in desperation, to barter pizza in exchange for reward jellytot sweeties. They are only tiny, tiny things, but she is a total sucker for sweets and they are a very rare treat, so normally she’ll do almost anything for them. She was having none of it. We managed to get her to eat three mouthfuls of pizza in exchange for three jellytots, and then she just tilted her chin at her daddy in defiance and said ‘too yucky daddy. How ‘bout you eat it?’. I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
Music makes me happy.
This week – as is customary in most households I would imagine when everyone is sick – there has been a lot of down time, cuddling on the sofa, wiping up snotty little faces, and watching endless child-friendly television. We don’t have access to tv channels (by choice, as the programming out here is pretty poor), and instead stream programmes and have a number of children’s programmes and films on dvd. Mary Poppins is a big hit with our girly, having been introduced to it by her granny when she was out here visiting this summer. Of all the songs in the film, the stand out favourite is Let’s go fly a kite. Every time it comes on she has to get up to dance (and try to persuade the nearest grown up to hand to swing her up in the air ‘like a kite’). Even whilst she’s been sick and nothing else could tempt her, the urge to dance and be swung to this song has grabbed her. Sweet girl.
Watching our girly in the car’s rear view mirror as she played hide and seek in the back the other day. I was not conversing with her in the hope she’d drop off for a much-needed nap (in her car seat, on the move is the only way she’ll take a day time nap now. Unfortunate, as she still definitely needs a lunchtime nap, and taking one in her bed would make life a lot easier for everyone!). She hasn’t mastered prepositions yet, so the flow would sound really random if you didn’t know what she was doing.
It was so adorable to listen to, and went something like:
‘mummy, are you?’ …tree? nooooo! (laugh) ….seat? noooooo! (laugh) …car? nooooo! (laugh) Boo! There you are!! (proper big belly laugh).
She must have done the whole cycle over on repeat at least five times. I think she was hoping I was going to join in with her, rather than her having to play both the hider and the seeker! To start with I didn’t engage because of the whole ‘go to sleep!’ thing. But by the end, I was just smiling and enjoying listening to her being so utterly and completely cute.