Saturday, January 28, 2006

Spent last night in the Ballachulish Hotel in one of the posh rooms (just above the kitchens) using up one of Merriol's vouchers and having a night away from the kids. (Thanks Mum!) It was great. I slept like a log and Merriol stared at the ceiling. Or rather she stared at the light fitting which looked like a gilded dog turd and cursed me out for snoring.

Goodman VCR Problem shooting:


The VCR no longer accepts tapes.



Peer inside through the slot and get depressed about not being able to watch crappy old SF movies.


Unscrew VCR casing with the depressing thought that you are going to spend the next three hours trying to figure out exactly which of the three hundred and seventy-two moving parts involved in moving the cassette three inches that way and then down a bit needs bending back into shape.


Curse yourself for not keeping detailed notes the last time you had to do this.


Remove VCR cover.


Removed audio CD from inside VCR.


Replace VCR casing.


Watch crappy old SF film with sense of achievement.

I love having kids - at least it wasn't a cheese sandwhich.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sometimes I have Bad Dreams. I Will Tell my Head: "Head, No More Bad Dreams!"

It's Merriol's birthday on Friday!

Only bought 5 CDs today from the Oban charity shops on my lightening dash to buy Merriol a birthday present today: 3 Placebo, a Morcheeba and a Foo Fighters and NO BOOKS! this is a record. I have will power!

We both liked the Placebo, the Morcheeba is going on the shelves to add to the huge pile of music I don't listen too (even, in the case of bands like Morcheeba, when it is playing) and The Foo Fighters is on its way to eBay 'cos neither of us liked it.

And I actually managed to buy her a present (not I hasten to add from a charity shop. I'm cheap but not THAT cheap) to replace the present I had bought last week but managed to loose a few days ago. At least I presume I lost it because the last time I remember having it it was in my coat pocket and when I went to hide it yesterday it wasn't there. I can only think it must have fallen out of my pocket when I ran to get help for an old lady who had collapsed on the road in the village. Someone was with her and a neighbour had called an ambulance but I had an inkling she was a resident of the care home round the corner so belted off there to get someone who knew her.
Hello much neglected Blog. Where does all the time go? If anyone has some spare time knocking about please send it to me - about another hour a day, that's what I need...

Monday, January 16, 2006


One of the great things about being a parent - well, one of the great things about being a human being, this isn’t just restricted to those of us with sprogs, though they do act as a hell of a catalyst - is that you find yourself saying, or rather hearing yourself saying things, that, if you had but a couple of years before been told you would at some point say such a thing, you would have instantly dismissed the notion as an absurdity.

(I apologise for that last sentence. I have been reading too much Victorian literature recently and it has started to affect me most profoundly.)

Thus it was today, when seated at the dining table with my beloved wife and my two darling children, I heard myself utter the words:

“Holly, don’t put cheese in your belly-button.”

The rest of the weekend paled into insignifcance ...

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Girls went back

The Girls went back to “school” this week after the Christmassy Holidays and I was alone on Wednesday for the first time in what seems like ages. The house suddenly seemed incredibly huge. So I filled it with VERY LOUD music - which I am not allowed to do when the girls are around:

“Daddy Daddy! Turn your music down, it’s too loud!”

- I will remind her of this when she is 15 and playing whatever crappy boyband cloned pop drivel she is listening to too loudly for my aging ears.

What to do? What to do? The whole house to myself...

Several hours later half way through mopping the kitchen floor (it took me all morning to find the kitchen floor underneath the 34 tons of toys, Play-dough, dried-up felt pens, glued-on Cornflakes - and I suspect some of them were, literally, glued to the floor. Holly is none to tidy when she is “doing sticking”) so... there I was half way through mopping the kitchen floor, trying to work out what I was going to feed Merriol and the kids when they came home, when it struck me - I am so incredibly happy at the moment.

I love being a Mum.

Spent yesterday similarly alone for the day pounding crap into eBay to take advantage of one of their infrequent cheapo listing days. We have so much stuff I need to get rid of just to keep my sanity and to make room for all the other stuff that just appears. I don’t know where it all comes from. It seems to ooze out of the woodwork or something.

Kipple! It’s bloody Kipple!

From Wikipedia:

Kipple is a term coined by science fiction author from the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. It refers to unwanted or useless junk that tends to reproduce itself.
Some of Dick's descriptions of it suggest an analogy to entropy. According to two characters from the book, John Isidore stated that the first law of "kipple" is that "kipple" drives out "nonkipple."; Buster Friendly liked to declare, "Earth would die under a layer — not of radioactive dust — but of kipple."

Other forms of the word used in the novel: "kipple-ized", "kipple-factor", and "kippleization". People can turn into "living kipple". An apartment can become "kipple-infested".

Monday, January 09, 2006

After I post this I'm off to leave someone Bad feedback on eBay.

A Hint: If you are going to tell someone you "will post the parcel tomorrow" and don't get round to it until a week later, make sure you stick stamps on the parcel and not one of those sticky printed lables they make behind the the counter. Because with a sticky printed label one of the things that is printed nice and clearly is the posting date.

With real stamps they have to frank them by hand with a smudgey rubber, inkstained and illegible blob.

Idiots! It's taken 3 weeks to get something I was seriously expecting to get before Christmas.

Spent hours last night crashing the pooter, and tearing my hair out, and eating vast quantities of pointy food (more El Cheepo brand tortilla chips) in a struggle to OCR a handbook for Merriol just to save her the effort of typing all 33 pages of it.

It would have been easier to type all 33 pages of it

- but I know how to do it for next time!

I finally worked out how to do it at about midnight (the thing had to be ready for the morning). I must remember to write it down some where where I can find it again before I forget.

(Expect a really boring Blog entry in the next few days...)

Friday, January 06, 2006

Rapunzel! Rapunzel! - I've got you some yoghurt!

Living with my kids is like living with a couple of weird, bonzaid Surrealists. Just before delivering the impassioned cry of "Rapunzel! Rapunzel! - I've got you some yoghurt!" Holly sang us a song at the dinner table. She often sings weird little songs but this one just creased us up:

I wish for a fish in the shape of a house

I wish for a fish in the shape of a house

I wish for a fish in the shape of a house

No No! it was a fish that had been made as a biscuit

It probably looks total pants cold on the screen but trust me, the moment was one of sublime hillarity. Especially when she started telling us it wasn't funny:

"It's not funny. It's not funny. Stop laughing and don't put your head on the table like that!"

And people wonder why I don't watch the television...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Finally got the last bit of my Ma and Da's Zmas pressy to the girls assembled this afternoon, after a lot of swearing and dropping of teeny-weeny washers they now have a swing in the garden - something else for me to worry myself sick about. Why do we pick the coldest days of the year to do this sort of thing? my fingers were numb after 3 minutes.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Went for a walk today up at the Hospital Lochan in Glencoe where the kids had a picnic and Holly rode her bike and Merriol and I had great fun judging the Miserable Bastard Competition that seemed to be happening around us.

Of the people who went past (99% tourists) most of them didn't even acknowledge Holly's cheery "Hello"s let alone raise a smile. I suppose they were all too fucking uncomfortable in their crinkly, hot, expensive Helly Henson and Patagonia hill-walking gear to deign to notice a knited-poncho, Tweenie welly-booted, 3 year old trundling around on her bike - or maybe it was the 18 month old pushing the Shrek2 rucksack on the toy pram behind her that was putting them off their stride - whatever, there they were, all kitted out for the Great Outdoors, and there we were having a Sunday stroll (a day late) around the park.

It's not as if it was really raining that much either.

"Come To Scotland And Be A Miserable Bastard" - I think the Scottish Tourist Board is missing a trick somewhere.

No doubt they will all be back in their hotels tonight, congratulating themselves at having survived the rigours of nature while sipping 30 year old MacCallan's (because it's the only label in the bar they can pronounce) and tut-tutting over those reckless feckless parents who took their children out on the hill without the 'right equipment'.

Screw them all - apart from the tall baldy bloke and his missus who gave us a cheery hello and the couple who passed us and had a wee blether. Their gear looked like it had seen a few hills and hadn't come out the packet last week. Cheers guys!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year World.

New year got off to a flying stop for me as, full of snot and pain, I retired to bed at about 10pm having foolishly taken some patent snot dryer-upper recommended by a friend. A bizarre and intermittently sleepless night followed with me at one point being woken up by this God-almighty Whoooooooshhhhhhh! from the garden. I opened my eyes and looked up through the skylight above out bed to see a bright red light hanging above me swaying gently then slowly drifting off. It was very pretty. It Looked like a UFO. No, it didn't look like a UFO.... UFOs don't have parachutes... It took my sleep beffuddled brain a few moments to work out that Merriol had sneaked downstairs and had set off one of the 30,000 candlepower signal flares some anonymous person (thanks Billy!) had left in our hallway that afternoon.

(Look forward to more photos of Morag and I hitting explosives with hammers soon - though this batch are less out of date than the previous bunch and, at least one of them has worked! which is more than could be said for the last lot.)

For the rest of the night I tossed turned and read Day of the Locust a couple of pages at a time waking up with my thumb still in the book reading another couple of pages then waking up again. I love reading books like this. I do some of my best reading when I'm ill. I seem to get much more involved somehow.

Missing CD? Contact vendor

Free CD
Please take care
in removing from cover.

Copyright (c) 2004-2007 by me, Liam Baldwin. That's real copyright, not any 'creative commons' internet hippy type thing.

(this copyright notice stolen from

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