Friday, August 14, 2009

Went to see the Walking With Dinosaurs live show at the Milenium dome at the weekend. Not for my own benefit, you understand – it was Ethan’s birthday present and as Lisa’s his Godmother…

It was basically robot dinosaurs running around an arena while an actor playing the part of a time travelling palaeontologist tried to enthuse the audience about footprints and fossil dung… But really good despite that. The dinosaurs were surprisingly well done – and were very nimble for remote controlled animatronics. We were a long way up, so didn’t get much of a feeling of scale, but Ethan enjoyed it.

The dome itself never ceases to disappoint – Ethan thought it could do with a bit of colour. I thought it could do with some transport links as we and 20,000 others tried to get on the only bus back to civilisation. We’d taken the boat on the way in, but it was chaos – an entire wedding party was left stranded on the quay. Having been told they had tickets booked, they arrived to find there was no room on any of the boats into the city. We eventually got home using a creative combination of bus, train and taxis…

Anyway – our 3rd wedding anniversary was this week – apparently the traditional way to mark this is with a gift of leather…. Though I’m not sure quite what’s intended by that.

We marked it with a meal in on the night, and we’re having a night out together on Saturday – which will be nice.

I’ve just heard today of the debate that’s sweeping America about the future of healthcare and how bad the NHS is. As far as I can see, free universal healthcare is what they call in the US, a no-brainer, but regardless of the rights and wrongs of the new plan, I’m frankly astounded by what passes for debate - how the kind of laughable inaccuracies I’ve heard today manage to replace proper argument in the US, I can’t imagine. Hearing the level and quality of argument over this issue, I really have to take my hat off to anyone who manages to remain thoughtful and level headed in that environment.

Friday, August 7, 2009

We took George to see his lion at the weekend. We sponsored a lion for him at safari park near Canterbury for his first birthday and this was our first chance to go and see the beast. George, of course loved it, going right up to the window onto the lion enclosure. As the lion followed him around throwing itself at the glass, leaping up trying to scrape its way through to eat him, George simply stood there giggling and roaring back at it.

We always tell children that animals are more scared of people than we are of them, but I can’t help feeling there should be exceptions.

But that wasn’t “his” lion. His lion was in another enclosure – it turns out to have had a birth defect and has a pronounced limp which means it can’t be kept with the others.

George can say lots of words now – and if you ask him whether he can say something he’ll usually give it a pretty good go.

Spent the rest of the weekend with Sarah in Canterbury – the first time we’d seen her new house - always good to see her.. As a dietician, she’s entertainingly incensed by everything that’s said about nutrition in the media. She’s also a breath of fresh air when it comes to the mess of conflicting advice on what you can and can’t eat when pregnant…

Went out with Russ, Pietro and Ellen on Monday – primarily to cheer Russ up as he’s going through a tough time with his Mum. We did our best, and I think he’s at least had a good night out… Sam’s flatmate is moving out – and it seems to have become acrimonious for no good reason… just one of those times when a combination of tiny things snowballs into something bigger… anyway, we’ll now discover whether Sam’s chickens are a plus point or a minus point for new tenants when she starts advertising the vacant room….

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve actually been running my running course for the first time – by which I mean, not breaking into a walk every so often. There’s a path up though Peckham rye park – used only by joggers and just wide enough for one. When I first started I struggled along it, constantly dodging out of the way of other joggers as they overtook me. I consoled myself that everyone has their own pace and they’re all running to their own (shorter) courses. It wasn’t that they were just much fitter than me.

Now, I’ve noticed I’m running with more confidence. The other joggers see me on the path from a long way ahead and some even get out of MY way… plus I’m overtaking people now… not on purpose, but they’re obviously running their own, (longer) courses…

The result is that I’ve knocked 5 minutes off my time – so that’s five minutes more I can spend gasping on the floor like a stranded fish.