I can certainly see myself in his eyes

Saturday was a good day. The little chap had been pretty grizzly for most of Thursday and Friday so we were a little worn out by Saturday but hopeful that it was a growth spurt and as such he would be calmed down. This seemed to be the case, either that or he was so worn out by the crying that he needed a good days sleep. Dr K cycled off early to yoga for the first time since birth and I was left solo with him to head down later by bus. Thankfully there was a bottle of expressed milk in the fridge as a backup in case things kicked off, which they did a little and it calmed him down enough to slip him into a milk coma and for me to slip him into the sling. I then braved the horror that is Stagecoach paying £4.10 for the privileged of what would turn out to be a one way ticket.
We met up at midsummer common for the 42nd CAMRA Cambridge Beer Festival and slowly enjoyed a lunch of sandwiches (bread baked in the morning with rocket from the driveway) then joined by friends with black bean balls, chocolates and other delicacies. Meanwhile I enjoyed a range of beers in 1/3 pints meaning that over the course of the 8 hours we spent there I consumed under 2 whole pints. The weather gradually warmed up and I got out my camera trying out the new 35mm prime lens that Dr K had picked up from John Lewis for me. That gave the first image blow, the second of me is from the phone.
eye reflections. © Nick Bailey
reflection in my child's eye
42nd cambridge beer festival. © Nick Bailey
celebrating an early towel day at the 42nd Cambridge beer festival

The pain of customer engagement with wrist notifications

Not a massively interesting article this, other than the suggestion from one research firm "Gartner" that 1.2 billion traditional watches are sold each year. Each year? If every human brought one for each arm that's less than 12 years before saturation of a market that must already be saturated. This must be yet another example of crazy consumerism with people tricked into buying more watches than is strictly necessary (a number I consider to be ~0, having now been watch-less for well over a decade.)
The reason to post this is the highlighted paragraph which brought to mind a recent Hello Internet podcast which discussed the Apple Watch shortly after they went on sale (but before delivery). While this article brings up the more obviously anticipated suggestion that those with more notification will find it most useful, I rather fall in the the Grey camp in that notifications are bad and that filtering them is a must to maintain sanity. I can't imagine having a wrist vibrating almost continuously every time Facebroke or LinkedOut feel the uncontrollable urge to notify you of the "One People" who have looked at your profile or the 17 posts which have been "liked" by people you once met drunk in a pub at university. It's just going to be maddening.
>Can we please stop it with modern companies painful drive for "engagement".
apple iwatched. © Nick Bailey
link to the actual Guardian article this morning

In the garden recently - a blooming lovely combination of flowers and weeds

It has been a striking early spring in the garden and quite a surprise. Just before April the garden was only green with the odd daffodil and hyacinth but not much else. Then suddenly the forget-me-nots exploded into life simultaneously with the tulips and wall flowers. It was utterly tremendous and a wonderful welcome for Mr Sir's arrival. I was able to enjoy the garden with Nana on two separate occasions which was extra lovely. It's just about beginning to go over now, though the clematis is in full glory and the rowan tree is throwing out a lovely scent in the evenings (at least I think it's the rowan: I can't find anything else at ground level which is scented presently.)
a histon garden. © Nick Bailey
the pink clematis offset with blue forget-me-nots
a histon garden. © Nick Bailey
the drape of clematis on the fence
a histon garden. © Nick Bailey
this is my favourite wallflower this year, a deep wine purple
a histon garden. © Nick Bailey
the clematis is climbing the rowan
a histon garden. © Nick Bailey
two brassicas, one for flower on for leaf
a histon garden. © Nick Bailey
our patio area with chimenea
a histon garden. © Nick Bailey
full on clematis magic

Last Day of my #paternity leave

Technically the final day pf my paternity leave was some time last week, but I&apso;ve taken holiday days to cover until this week as Dr K&apso;s mum is visiting us for two weeks from this weekend so thought that would tie in quite nicely. I can believe that this time with my son is nearly up. Two weeks is FAR too short, criminally so if you ask me, and I have heard that the Lib Dems have a manifesto pledge to up that to six weeks. I can see why &apso;the average man&apso; (or at least the average man of a bygon era) would only want to take a couple of weeks off work, if that, purely due to the sleeplessness of those early nights. But now men want to be involved in their children. Children are meant to be seen and be heard. I don&apso;t believe I am alone, even if I am a bit of a feminine brained male.
That&apso;s not to say I can&apso;t see why men would want to go back to work. I appreciate that the idea of an adult only world where the issues are (typically) not emotional based is a comfort for the masculine brained among us. Also the 9-5 nature of work is a simple framework which gives &apso;men&apso; a simple format for coping. Parental life is very much more ad hoc, coming and going with the wind and the whims of this little creature which obeys no one.
Parenting favours a feminine, multi-tasking brain, one that can flit between trying to make a cup of tea and then pick up a crying baby and then wash last nights dishes and then sweep the floor and then change a nappy before getting back to the tea to discover it&apso;s gone cold and you need to make a new one. This has happened many times, more than I can remember in the past three weeks. Kettles filled and heated then left to go cold (a shameful environmental crime). Coffee half made. Cake half eaten. But I&apso;ve really enjoyed this, just getting on and doing some jobs, whatever and whenever to cope. It&apso;s been a real challenge but a lot of fun too. Work won&apso;t be quite the same even if I am looking forward to seeing my colleagues and getting my future products into realisation.

Third Sunday

So the observant among you will see that there has been a fair few days since my last post. Two weeks in fact (and the one earlier today was also about the first Sunday). Turns out that as I said parenting is Tough. That first Friday evening was glorious, with my son asleep on my legs we ate fish and chips and felt so content. I tweeted proudly that we were doing well at parenting and it wasn&apso;t as hard as we were expecting. A tweet too soon. That evening was hard work with crying and Dr K feeling pretty work out with feeding the Milk Monster.
This same story has repeated itself on and off with surprising regularity. One day feeling frankly on top of the world (not in a Sound of Music way, but rather a quiet peacefulness), then that night a nightmare of broken sleep, screaming child and explosive poo. Bit of an exaggeration, we&apso;ve not experienced the explosive poo, and any poo that arrives during a change I count as a bonus - one less nappy wasted (a noisy squirt minutes into a new nappy is a tragedy).
The effect has almost reached a creepy point where within seconds of me feeling that I&apso;ve finally got him to sleep, or soothed his fear he kicks off. Or he will have been asleep in the sling for 30 minutes, but just as I decide to sit and read the newspaper he wakes with a gargling cry. He also has this exceedingly annoying habit of looking utterly charming in front of other people so all we hear is how adorable he is and what a calm quiet baby we have and how lucky we should count ourselves. Advice to people: never assume that the contented baby you spot out and about is not an utter nightmare when home at night just after the shops shut and there is no possibility of escape until morning.
Today was another case in point with Mr Sir enjoying (read seeping through) his third Histon service. Three of three - 100% track record of looking sweet at church. Well done him. Yet again he was cooed over and cuddled by a few of the ladies (churches are fantastic), before a quick feed and home. This comes after yesterday which was the toughest yet. The night had been bad with multiple hour bouts of screaming which the continued all morning, afternoon and evening. I had got myself into a panic that he had cerebral palsy, the only explanation for his repeated arm movements and face grabbing. Then his breathing was sounding ropey - a chest infection? We had rung the out-of-hours number at night given that non of the midwives or health visitors are available on call, but they didn&apso;t seem too concerned. In the morning I walked him to the local GP for advice, but got little help. The Health Visitors apparently don&apso;t work weekends either. I was in a tiz, seeing every flinch as a bad sign of our impending life as full time carers. Would we? Could we? By the evening I was destroyed and I&apso;d taken a toll on Dr K&apso;s morale. It concluded with a long and tearful peSky call to Nana in Devon who comforted and reassured. A little later, with a fresh set of eyes and new air in our lungs we sat down to finish watching Collateral, me with my son in arm, asleep hands clasped together at peace. I often need a good cry, to release the mix of emotional confusion on my inside and breath in a new hope, like the dawn of a new day.
I am truly thankful for the love that we have been shown. So many people have sent cards and gifts, their love and best wishes. We&apso;ve had a beautiful shawl and cellular blanket knitted for us as well as tops and socks. We&apso;ve also been so blessed to have enjoyed some most fabulous and uplifting weather these past few weeks.