Archive for February, 2003

he owns us

Friday, February 28th, 2003

We were joking before Toby was born that we would own an actual American, and someone pointed out that he would in fact own us. Right, very funny. But today some of that is beginning to show: Emma called me from the mall saying that he won’t let her leave. Every time she got him set to go home he would start crying, so she would have to feed him or change him, and she didn’t want to be driving with him crying, although he usually stops as the movement of the car lulls him to sleep. So she was stranded. Then I realized that I have baby drool on the shoulder of my shirt and have been walking around all day with this. And this is only the start…

and no cigar

Friday, February 28th, 2003

Ages ago, when we announced that we were expecting a baby, I posted a scan of Toby at 8 weeks and 2 days. Just a little blob. Also I proposed that people guess how much he would weigh when he was born. Richard guessed 2 tonnes, only 1.9999 tonnes off.

saying no

Friday, February 28th, 2003

I’ve got a busy week lined up next week – lots of things going on at the Cathedral. So much so, in fact, that it was looking like I didn’t have any evenings free, which leaves almost no time to see Toby and Emma. So last night, before our friend Arwen came over to cook dinner for us, Em and I worked out what I should say no to, and I made a couple of calls. Result: a couple of free evenings, and a feeling that I made the right decision to cut back a bit.

happy birthday to her

Sunday, February 23rd, 2003

It’s Emma’s birthday today, and we’re having a nice relaxing morning. No choir needed at the Cathedral this morning (although I’m singing at an evensong this afternoon) so we got to have a lie in, followed by Em making some delicious soda bread which we had with cheeses and jams. Yum. I got her a token for a pedicure at the salon she goes to, and Toby got her some chocolates and an amusing card which alluded to the frequent gas he often experiences. Tonight we’re going out with Paul and Claire and their wee kids for dinner. Funny how a night out to a family restaurant in the burbs is about as rock and roll as we get these days!

shiny teeth

Friday, February 21st, 2003

Until recently I had been going to a certain dentist every six months, and always had a good experience – the dentist is a nice guy, and the hygenist cleaned my teeth very well, leaving me with a kind of pampered mouth feeling afterwards. However the last time Emma and I visited they had a new hygenist who gouged away at our gums and left both of us with saw mouths for the next few days. Plus now that we’ve moved house we’re quite a way from the dentist’s office. So yesterday I went through the process of checking up for other dentists through my dental insurer’s web site, and found one very near to our house which we had heard of due to a mailing they did a couple of months ago. They sounded very good, so we’ll give them a shot.

The new dentists asked me to call the old ones to get x-rays and records forwarded, and I was going to tell them about the butcher hygenist. However the receptionist was so nice, even remembering that we were expecting a baby, that I didn’t have the heart and just said that we had moved and wanted somewhere more convenient.


Thursday, February 20th, 2003

Toby was a bit grumpy last night with some belly pains we think. Poor little guy, he was quite upset. One tip from a friend is to hold his feet up to his belly, which helps move the gas through his system, and also makes him feel like he’s in the womb because he’s squashed up. And it’s a bit difficult for me because I miss his happy, awake time during the day and only see when he’s upset in the evenings. But we got him to sleep surprisingly easily, at 11 o’clock and in an excellent result he only woke once, at 5 a.m, before we all got up at 7:30. However when you get more sleep after a few disturbed nights you realize what you’ve been missing and as a result I was very sleepy this morning. Nothing plenty coffee couldn’t fix though.

if they don’t publish it

Wednesday, February 19th, 2003

The power of a weblog: I was moved for the first time to write a letter to Time magazine (which in retrospect I thought was kind of harsh, but in fact it isn’t – what kind of conflict of interest is potentially going on here, and they should have pointed it out) and figured that if they choose not to publish it, I can:



>I found your article “All about the oil” (Feb 17, 2003) to be as flimsy a piece of reporting as I’ve ever seen in your magazine. In one paragraph we are told that the takeover and occupation of Iraq could cost American taxpayers up to $200 billion, virtually none of which would come from the sale of Iraqi oil. In the next section, we are told that American oil service companies could share contracts of up to $2 billion – one of these companies being Halliburton. That would be Dick Cheney’s Halliburton? That should have been mentioned, as well as how much the Vice President could personally gain from this, and how much I personally would have to pay!




>Andrew M Mogendorff


Dear Reader:

Thank you for writing. We welcome timely, insightful reactions to material we have published, and we can assure you that your observations found an attentive audience among the editors. Should your comments be selected for

the column, you will be notified in advance of publication. Again, our thanks for letting us hear from you. We hope that you will write again should you discover something of particular interest in the news or in our reporting of it.

Best wishes.

TIME Letters

getting going

Wednesday, February 19th, 2003

I’d taken the last couple of days off because my dear old mom is in town from Aberdeen, Scotland to meet her first grandson and see our house etc. She’s slightly disappointed that there’s not lots more snow (unlike the East Coast at the moment) and that it’s not colder, but apart from that I think she’s having a great time. Toby continues to do new things each day, it’s tons of fun being with him. And it was very difficult to leave the house this morning to come back to work, especially as he and Emma were still asleep at the time.

slick link

Friday, February 14th, 2003

Watching CNN this morning (while eating breakfast downstairs so as not to wake Toby and Emma) there was a brief section on the anti-war protests scheduled to take place around the world tomorrow. They interviewed the actress Susan Sarandon who is deeply involved in all of this. It was refreshing to see that anti-war moves were getting some press and they talked a little about how bad it is that hawks have painted anti-war protesters as unpatriotic, when isn’t the whole point of America to be allowed to speak out about things, take to the streets etc. Refreshing, until…

Barely skipping a beat, they went live to their reporter with American troops in Kuwait. One of the troops, a 20-year-old with a fuzzy mustache, proposed to his girlfriend via sattelite phone. All very stilted because of the time delay, but she said yes, so good luck to them. However, I was struck by a number of things: the soldier proposing got twice as much air time as the anti-war protests; the join between the two items was so clumsy that it was almost funny; what a shame for that boy who has been sent to a desert on the other side of the world so that a barely competent president can deflect attention from his appaling record by invading another country based on support from the military industrial complex, and a bizarre over-personal mission because after all, Saddam tried to kill his dad. Nice work to put American and European lives, not to mention Iraqi lives, at risk for your own personal gain. A true patriot indeed.


Thursday, February 13th, 2003

Toby’s influence continues to spread both far and wide. We got a card yesterday from an old friend who heard news of Toby’s birth while he (Graham, not Toby) was on a plane on his way to South Africa. Many relatives across America, Europe and in Israel have heard the happy news. And yesterday Emma and I got a congratulatory email from a dear friend we hadn’t heard from in ages. Christian and I hung out together a lot when we were in the choir of Old St Paul’s Church in Edinburgh (which must have been between 1996 and 1998 – so long ago!) and he was the best man at Emma’s and my wedding. He and Graham are amongst the very small group of friends who have visited me here in Minneapolis. But we hadn’t written to each other in way, way too long. Hopefully I’ll be organized enough to keep in touch with him properly this time, which would make me very happy. So even though Toby kept us up till almost 2 am last night, there are many happy benefits of having him around!