A new child

I’m beginning to suspect La Serpiente Aquatica Negra is clairvoyant. At about 4 this morning, she woke up and started calling for her mother and her father. I tried to sleep; my wife got up, went into her bedroom to console her, and then her waters broke. So, rather than going into hospital on Canada Day for an elective c-section as we’d planned, we had to spend the early morning in a state of disorganisation, trying to figure out what to do with our first child and how to get to the hospital. Rather like the first time around, but with an extra toddler in the mix. The three of us got a taxi to the hospital, and all the way there La Serpiente was in fine spirits, laughing at her toy puppy, and shouting “boobies” frequently.
Continue reading “A new child”

Looking for some balance

It’s always hard to stay fit while juggling the demands of young children and work. Last night I didn’t sleep very well, ending up stuck to the vinyl covering of the sofa in the living room, and then almost keeled over walking to work. Well, I was carrying both my laptop (Dell have done well to craft a computer from purest lead) and my daughter on my shoulders, in thirty degree heat. Must remember to not do that in the future. Then, after an evening call that finished at 6:30, I had to go home and wrangle the child into bath and bed, before another call that started at nine, and then another one after that which only began at eleven. That’s a pretty horrible combination; if the meetings were closer together you’d stand a shot of getting them done and then going to bed, but with an hour and a half between each one there’s not enough time to go and do something fun in between, but your evening still gets broken up too much to enjoy.

So like an idiot, I went for a run at ten p.m.
Continue reading “Looking for some balance”


Yesterday I decided that I’d start doing some more regular Pilates exercises to keep some modicum of fitness in the weeks ahead, while I’m distracted by the arrival of a new child and the ongoing maintenance of the existing one. I’ve got a book of Pilates matwork exercises that I bought in the bookshop in the bottom of Taipei 101 many years ago, and finally this gave me the impetus to get it out and start applying it. There are 14 different basic exercises, so every day I’m trying to do four of them.

Of course I woke up late and exhausted and didn’t do anything this morning apart from stumbling around the flat with my eyes almost completely shut, and it wasn’t until I ate 150 grams of cashew nuts (got to get that protein) that I felt awake enough to do anything. At which point it was time for us all to nap.
Continue reading “Exercises”

No shit

Walking back from our last pre-childbirth breakfast at Ronin, we passed this sign in the alleyway. It’s an interesting mixture of the formal (urinate) and the profane (shit) as well as a mixture of English, Chinese and low-quality clip art images of dogs. It’s also quite polite; I’m always glad when a sign says "please".

Who, exactly, is the supposed audience for this communication?
Continue reading “No shit”

Looking for some recommendations

This morning, my daughter celebrated being two years and three hours old by yelling and screaming until I went in to see her. I carefully explained that at two a.m. I wasn’t going to be lifting her out of her cot, and she raged for a while before saying "Daddy out" at which point I left the room and she went back to sleep. I couldn’t sleep though, so I fumbled about and eventually went to nap on the sofa in the living room, which gave me enough time for a short snooze before it was 4:30 and she woke up again to demand milk. I fell asleep on the floor of her bedroom, woke up later confused, and then as she managed to snooze until 7:30, sort of got a decent sleep. Sort of. I don’t think I’d ever been capable of sleeping on floors before. It’s wonderful what having a child does for your ability to sleep.
Continue reading “Looking for some recommendations”

Proper birthday

La Serpiente Aquatica Negra slept through the night and woke at the fairly pleasant time of 6:30 this morning, at which point I scooped her out of her cot and brought her into our bedroom, along with her bottle of milk. I had calls in the office from 8 this morning, so rather than trying to go back to sleep I got up and showered, and then we presented our daughter with more birthday presents.
Continue reading “Proper birthday”

How To Peel An Avocado And Other Dangerous Pastimes

This evening I stabbed myself with a kitchen knife. Fortunately, the end of the knife is properly blunt from all the abuse we’ve meted out to it over the last couple of years, so I didn’t draw blood, but did have a paroxysm of swearing in the kitchen while my wife was putting our daughter down to sleep.
Continue reading “How To Peel An Avocado And Other Dangerous Pastimes”