Archive for November, 2003

lazy day

Friday, November 28th, 2003

It’s so nice to have a few days off from work, and we’re lazing around enjoying them. Yesterday we went out for Thanksgiving lunch with a couple of friends – great buffet and nice atmosphere – although we felt bad that we invited them back to our place but we were all so dazed from food that we just sat around and were rubbish. We got Toby off to bed at a decent time in the evening, so Em and I watched the first disc of the second Lord of the Rings DVD – just fantastic. I’ve also put it on my Amazon wish list, if you’re so inclined. I continue to be really impressed with DVDs generally, and this one in particular.

Today we’ve just been taking it easy, and we’ve been also looking at flights back to England for February. However we’re a bit nonplussed as it seems that Northwest are charging around $200 more for the flight from Minneapolis to Gatwick than from Chicago to Gatwick, even though they fly you from Chicago to Minneapolis, and then to London on the very same damned plane. So we’re thinking of going to the Northwest store sometime to find out what the blazes is going on. What a rip-off.


Wednesday, November 26th, 2003

Wow – non-spam email from a reader! Blake wrote to me today to ask about my experience with, and I was happy to write back, and read his blog too.

Anyway, getting set for the holiday weekend, it’s going to be nice to have another few days off, this time at home. We’re planning to clean the place up a bit, and maybe even get out to see a movie, which I don’t think we’ve done in almost a year now. Sad, really. Although for good reasons. Unfortunately Toby’s just caught another cold, so he’s feeling a bit miserable and producing slime like there’s no tomorrow. Poor little guy. He seems to get over them fairly quickly though, we just need to make sure that his ears don’t get infected, or more accurately keep watch over him and get him to the doctor if it seems that his ears are bugging him. Apparently it’s one of the few times when you shouldn’t mess around and want to just load up on antibiotics, as ear infections can easily have long term effects.

photos from scotland

Friday, November 21st, 2003

On Toby’s site are new photos from Scotland (here is the direct link). They’ve come out quite well I think, although the more I use film the more I’m getting tempted to get a digital camera. Or get one given to me for Christmas perhaps.

back in town

Friday, November 21st, 2003

Got back last night. The plane journey is theoretically only an hour longer coming west than going east, but that extra hour is an eternity every time. I’m sure this is because it’s a daytime flight, so it’s harder to sleep, and it always seems to take longer going home, somehow. Also we just had a long day, we were up at 4:30am in Aberdeen to catch the early flight down to Gatwick (British Airways: fantastic service, leather seats, delicious hot breakfast with bacon, sausages, tomato, eggs, all for under $100 return) and then some hanging around at Gatwick. Only flaw with that leg was that they didn’t deliver Toby’s stroller to the door of the plane when we landed, so we had quite a trek to the baggage carousel where the stroller didn’t appear. The lady on the enquiries desk was great though, and located it and had it with us in under five minutes, so it could have been worse.

The long flight here was a tad trying, partly because we didn’t have a separate seat for Toby. Usually they’ll attempt to find one for us if there’s one free, but the NorthWest flight from Gatwick to Detroit was “postponed indefinitely” so they all piled on to our plane and it was packed. Fortunately we were in the bulkhead seats and had loads of room in front of us, so when Toby was awake Emma and I took it in turns to sit on the floor while he was in a seat. If we hadn’t done that he would have been off and crawling all over, and besides it was a welcome break from those seats which always leave me with sore thighs for the next couple of days. Service was plain, slightly grim and simple which is always the case on that airline; it was amusingly obvious to spot the folks who hadn’t travelled with them before – one comment was “I think the usual stewardesses [sic - this was a Brit talking so no p.c. "attendants"] must be unwell and have sent their mothers in instead”. The guy next to Emma had Nike “Flight” shoes on, and she reckoned it was useful for him to have what he was doing that day written on his shoes. I had a bloke from London next to me who was going on to Vegas and was frankly slightly wide, so sitting with Toby was a bit of a squash. But when we landed he told me that Toby was the best behaved baby he’d ever seen on a plane which made me very proud.

In fact the little guy was awesome all through the trip. You’d hardly know that he was jetlagged, he was very friendly to all the new people he met, and very calm in the new and different surroundings. It was wonderful for him to meet my granny, and she was sparkly-eyed with him. We got a couple of wonderful pictures of them both, and I’ll try to post them soon. She told me that she’d really fallen in love with him. He got on great with his own granny too. The night Em and I went out with various friends, Toby was looked after by his granny and great-granny, who gave him some dinner (veggies and salmon) and a bath, which apparently was great fun. He also learned loads on the trip, such as greatly improving his standing skills – he’s very stable holding on with just one hand – and the speed of his crawling. We’re noticing with these things that they’re causing a revolution in his whole life and outlook, in a very similar way to when he learned to sit up, as they allow him to do so many more things all of a sudden. He’s also learned to shake his head, although I don’t think he knows that it means “no” – right now it’s just kind of fun and he loves it if you shake your head back at him.

in edinburgh

Monday, November 17th, 2003

I’m sitting in Edinburgh using my cousin Will’s Mac G4, which is rather nice and I’m getting a bit of computer envy. We’ve been having a great time here so far, my mum has loved meeting Toby and I think the feeling has been mutual. He also met my granny today, and she said that every second was wonderful, it was quite something to see. We (Emma and I) have also had some time to ourselves with Toby’s granny babysitting, so we had the chance to go out for coffee on Friday, and out to the pub with my brothers last night. All of us, whether we went out or stayed in, very much appreciated that chance. Tomorrow we’ve got more family socialising and we’re planning to go out with good old friends tomorrow night.

en vacance

Tuesday, November 11th, 2003

We’re off to the UK today, and very much looking forward to it. The only unknowns are how Toby will be on the plane now that he’s so active, and why we decided not to extend our stay out beyond Thanksgiving. No idea what we were thinking of there. But anyway.

So the plan is that we’re going to be in Aberdeen for a few days, and all m’brothers are coming up from London and Edinburgh to stay. Should be a packed house, and it’ll be loads of fun. Then we’re driving down to Edinburgh for a couple of days so that Toby can meet his great granny, and some other family members and some of Emma’s and my old friends from there. I think it’s going to feel nice to be back in Britain too. The last time my mom saw Toby he was only about 4 weeks old, and still not able to smile. Now he’s smiling almost all the time, chattering away, standing up, crawling, eating solids, etc, etc and we’re going to be very proud to show him off.

While we’re away Scout the cat is staying at his old house with Dulce. I dropped him off there on Sunday evening after slightly less trauma getting him into his carrier than I expected. For the last couple of nights and mornings it’s been really strange not having him in the house. He doesn’t take up much space physically but we’ve been surprised how much we noticed his absence.

extended lunch

Tuesday, November 4th, 2003

Now that he’s on solid foods, Toby objects to anyone helping him put food in his mouth (unless it’s yoghurt, the only thing he’ll still eat off a spoon because he loves it so much. Although a couple of nights ago he tried to use the spoon himself, and ended up slapping the pot out of Emma’s hand, resulting in yoghurt on the carpet). However it does mean that some foods take some time for him to eat. He’s very meticulous, picking each thing up between (betwixt?) forefinger and thumb, so each … pea … is … eaten … separately. Yesterday we sent him to school with a pot of pasta shells and peas for his lunch, which took him about an hour and a quarter to eat.