Scootering and other transports of delight

La Serpiente’s school finished its regular term last Friday, but to stop my wife going mad over the break until January, we booked La Serpiente into the holiday programme, which consists of her doing art and making stuff (and is thus indistinguishable to me from her regular school days, but I’m just a philistine, I suppose). Now that they’re moving out of the Tiong Bahru Community Centre, her holiday programme is in a different campus, which we walk to down a footpath and then up a big hill. So rather than taking the bus, La Serpiente gets to ride her scooter to school. Continue reading “Scootering and other transports of delight”

The Perfect Distance


The Perfect Distance is a book describing the careers of Sebastian Coe (Conversative Lord, adviser to Nike and the IOC, and therefore more-than-slightly dubious, under some interpretations) and Steve Ovett, a shaggier-looking chap who was naturally talented and not whittled into a formidable middle distance runner by a obsessive father. (Not that Peter Coe doesn’t come from a long line of fathers who seem to be doing horrible things to ensure the success of their progeny (Tiger Woods’ dad, anyone?).

It’s also written by Pat Butcher, who as well as being the Financial Times’ sports writer, was the name of the pub landlady in East Enders, which really messed with my head while I was reading the book.
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Dreading Dread Zeppelin and other Saturday morning nonsense

I slept in today, trying to rest my neck as much as possible, and when at last my wife could no longer deal with the high volume yelling of the children, I hauled myself out of bed, took a painkiller and we went out to our closest cafĂ© for extra breakfast. Or rather, breakfast for me and the wife, and babycinno for our daughters, in between their constant gambolling and squeaking. Continue reading “Dreading Dread Zeppelin and other Saturday morning nonsense”

Bad neck

I must have strained something while I was swimming, because even in the car on the way to the Affordable Art Fair my neck was hurting, and by the time I got home last night I could hardly move my head. The pain went on and on; although I’d drunk a couple of bottles of red wine at the art fair, I couldn’t sleep past 4am, and only got back to sleep just before 7, lulled asleep by the sound of rain. Continue reading “Bad neck”

Swimming Lesson #15

It feels like it was a very long time since my last swimming lesson: three weeks have passed (although I did have that abortive splash around the hotel pool in KL). As I’ve been doing very little cardio work (climbing is more a strength and intelligence game) I wasn’t sure how I’d do in the pool, but my lungs still work. Now we’re on to refining my freestyle stroke, which is frustrating and enlightening in equal measure.
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The best 90 minutes I ever wasted

This morning La Serpiente went to the doctor, who looked in her ear and referred her to an ENT specialist. I stayed at home with Destroyer, or rather I took her out for a babycinno, laden down with toys and books for her. The waitress recognised the cover of Mr Jelly and exclaimed "what an old book! I remember reading that!"

Upon checking the original publication date, I was aghast to find Mr Jelly and I come from the same year. So I suppose that makes me old too.
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Problems with ears and mouths

La Serpiente woke up cheerful and back to her normal temperature today, but as in all things there was fluctuation, and her ear was inflamed, and after another day at home watching TV, her fever came back, and went, and came back again. Perhaps annoyed at being left out of this fun, Destroyer decided this would be a good day to refuse to swallow her food, and just stood around for twenty minutes staring at us with a mouthful of beetroot felafel, not even masticating it, and then threw a fit of rage when we chucked her uneaten dinner in the bin. Continue reading “Problems with ears and mouths”