Monday, 28 February 2011

She's a doll

A few people have said to us that Charlotte looks a bit like a doll.

So I decided to put this to the test.

Can you spot which of the above is the real Baby White?

What about now?

Which reminds me, we really must ensure that she catches some rays this summer.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Mission accomplished

They say the camera never lies.

Sometimes this is true, and sometimes it's not.

But on this occasion, it doesn't lie.

And Jamie was as happy with his new bedroom as we hoped he'd be.

I would imagine his liberal use of energy also helped him  - eventually - to go to sleep in it.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Happy Toy Story Day

All parents will be well aware of the need to be innovative and adventurous in our quest to get our sprogs to do what we want them to do.

Failing that, we can throw money at the problem.

Vanessa and I have plumped for a combination of the two as we seek to persuade Jamie to give his room to Charlotte.

On the face of it, our son is getting a good deal.  What has, until now, been the spare room is much bigger than his present box, the windows are huge and he's even getting a double bed to himself. 

But he's not yet the world's greater sharer - never mind giver - so the idea of handing over his bachelor pad to his smelly sister doesn't fill him with glee.

So, we've come up with a plan.  Because today, my friends, is the first ever Toy Story Day  - or at least that's what we've told him.

Jamie - rapidly becoming the world's biggest Toy Story fan - began the day watching his new DVD box set of the trilogy.

Above you can see him under what he calls his "Woody Hat" (in reality, the property of Yorkshire County Cricket Club).

He was then presented with his very own "Slinky" - the one principal Toy Story character he didn't previously own.

And, when he wakes up from his lunchtime sleep, we'll show him his new Toy Story bedspread, pillow case, pictures and night light, all of which will take pride of place in his new suite, alongside those cast members who are currently snoozing alongside him.  

Let's hope that tonight he has the best sleep he's ever had.

But he obviously won't.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Ding, dong - the gyps are gone

Yes, I got off the train last night to discover that our free-loading friends had departed Pudsey and probably headed off to squat in some form of quarry. Good for them. 

All they left behind was a pile of used nappies and a trail of facial hair.  

So, in passing "tribute" to their pikeyness, Jamie decided to grow a beard of his own. 

But at least he'd had a bath.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

I swear I can smell them

Day 3, and Pudsey remains gypsy infested. 

But Charlotte has had enough - not of our tarmac-rolling friends but of me getting annoyed about them.  (One almost knocked me over last night, as he flew past on his pikey skateboard).

Now, when you're only two months old, ways of expressing your displeasure are limited.

First, there is the obvious one - crying. Very, very loudly.

Then you can wee, poo or vomit on the person who's irritating you with their inane banter.

Or you can simply fall asleep in the middle of their rant. 

Last night - being a lady - Charlotte decided on the least offensive option, and dropped off during my mid-evening huff. 

And when she woke up a few minutes later, she remained determined to make her point and held her counsel to make sure I had changed subjects - which I had.

She then gave her verdict.

I'll smile too if we're caravan-free by this evening.     

PS For the record, what you can see above is the first time our daughter has been captured on camera sporting a proper grin. 


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Gypo Watch - Day 2

Still there - but no sign, as yet, of a big fat bird in a big posh frock.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Pudsey pikeys

We people of Pudsey have had some unexpected visitors arrive in our midst.

Yes, the gypos have come to town.

I was walking through the car park of New Pudsey train station last night, looking at my feet, when some lights caught the corner of my eye.

It was the lights of a pikeymobile.  And, when I looked up, I soon discovered it was in the company of several others.

They were still there this morning, although our travelling friends seemed to be having a bit of lie in after their long journey.

Thankfully, they had come prepared with satellite equipment all set up for the beginning of The Jeremy Kyle Show. 

With my train already awaiting, I didn't have time to ask to see their TV licences, or their parking permits, or to check whether they knew where Asda was. 

But, on my way through this evening, I am adamant - if approached - that the Whites have no need of any more clothes pegs.

Monday, 21 February 2011

A she car

I saw this today and it made me laugh. And if you've seen it before, well, it's hardly the first time I've been unoriginal on these pages.

It was simply a car parked on the street between our house and New Pudsey train station. 

On the right is a bog standard, seen-it-all-before "Baby On Board" sign. 

And on the left?

Have a closer look.


Sunday, 20 February 2011

Barry Balboa

I had a special, private, "boy" experience yesterday afternoon which, whilst underlining what I thoroughly sad individual I have become in my middle years, will still make me the secret envy of many other boys I know.

Picture the scene.

I'm in a gym on my own - one I'd never previously been to - and bored (as I always am when I'm in any gym).

There is only about half an hour to go until the gym closes, so it's unlikely that anyone else will join me. 

I look around to see if there's anything which might make my visit a little more fun. 

And there, in a dark corner, hanging from the roof, I spot it.

A punch bag.  A proper one, like you see on the telly.  My mind begins to race. 

I wander over for a closer look.  I give it a little push.  It swings back. 

I then notice a big wooden box a few feet away, full of boxing equipment.  There were full body guards, punching pads, head guards - and big, brand new 12oz gloves with Velcro fastenings (meaning I could put them on myself). 


I have my iPod on and know the Best of Rocky soundtrack is on there (shut up!)

I stand for another few seconds, before concluding  - why not!

And a couple of minutes later, well, you can guess the rest.

I have my gloves on, the Rocky theme blasting in my ears, and I'm snarling away as I pound the punchbag. (I would've slipped on a head guard, and perhaps even nipped home for my old rugby gum shield if I could be sure no-one would come in).

The Rocky theme ends, and Eye Of The Tiger comes on.

I quicken the pace, sweat blinding me.

Next up is the tune from Rocky II when Adrian wakes up and Rocky catches the chicken (I'm sure it has a name). And on I go.

However, by the time There's No Easy Way Out comes on, I decide there is, and go out - through the front door of the gym and home.

But what fun!

And what did I learn?

Only that I don't think I'm a very good boxer

But, for a quarter of an hour, a "boxer" I was.

The question is, what similarly pitiful experiences can I squeeze in before I reach 40?

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Snow idea

Sorry for being useless at updating this rubbish over the last week.

What was that?  You "hadn't noticed?" 

Oh. My updates "are always useless."  Well, if you want to be rude.

Anyway, on with the show and, last night, Paul Hudson, BBC Yorkshire's self-styled "wacky" weatherman, said there wouldn't be any overnight snow in these parts. 

And true to form this morning, our outside world had disappeared under a thick, white blanket.  What a pro. 

If you were a two-and-a-half-year-old boy, this was very positive news.  Even if you were a little embarrassed at your father's attempt to build a snowman. 

But ignore him, and treat yourself to a closer look. 

Pure art. 

Meanwhile, if you were a two-month-old little girl, you would probably have decided to stay indoors to practice your developing array of new expressions. 

I'm not sure what Paul has predicted for tomorrow's weather - hopefully more snow.  Then I can get my shorts and sunglasses out.        

Thursday, 17 February 2011 - OW!

I didn't report yesterday on my night at the theatre as, regrettably, I had to watch the show through one eye after my latest sinusitis attack, which began just an hour before curtain up.

I had hoped my searing headache would have gone before bedtime, but it didn't, leaving Tuesday night as sleepless and yesterday as a very long day.

However, matters improved.

As luck would have it, Charlotte was booked in with Dr Shit at 9.30am yesterday for her eight-week check-up.  So, after doing my doting daddy stuff, I cheekily demanded some anti-biotics for myself - and was prescribed some £7.20 nasal spray.


Habitually dubious about Dr Shit's credentials - based solely on my experiences of her over the years - I  then bravely raised the possibility that a nasal spray might not be enough to solve my problem and asked that she suggest something additional to ease my sinus traumas.

And, to my astonishment, she did.

A "nasal douche," which didn't cost me £7.20.

No, it cost me £15.

And last night I had my first go.

Without going into too much detail, essentially what you do is blow half of a bottle of fluid up one snooter hole, and wait for it to come out the other.  Or your mouth.  Truly scrumptious, it really is.  But, after a single effort last night, I can say that it might even work. 

Treatment number two is due in the next few minutes. 

And, after that, I'll only have 58 doses (or douches) left.

Rather me than you, eh? 

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Yes, daahhling...

Ever eager for a little spot of culture, tonight my pal Dan and I are off to the Grand Theatre in Leeds.

OK, so it's not as cultural as it sounds, as we're actually going to see the stage version of Yes, Prime Minister.

But I will be wearing a tie (if only because I didn't know Dan was going home first to put his jeans on).

Still, I intend to stick my nose in the air and tell anyone who wants to know that I've met the last four Prime Ministers (five, if you include Alistair Campbell) and once saw Mrs Thatcher going into the ladies in the House of Lords.

I'll tell you tomorrow if it was any good. And whether I managed to avoid dropping my half-time ice cream on my good trousers.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Do you wanna buy our house?

Because we didn't think we had quite enough on our plate at present, Vanessa and I thought now would be the perfect time to put our house on the market.

The "For Sale" sign was screwed on to our front wall yesterday afternoon (we're already taking bets on how it will be before a "witty" chav pulls it down).  

The reason for our big decision is simple; it won't be too long until Charlotte moves into the nursery, meaning we'll have to evict Jamie and put him in what is currently the spare room. 

And we need a spare room, otherwise Wee John and other assorted visiting Ulster folk will have nowhere nice to sleep.  

How long it will be before it's sold is anyone's guess.  Plus, we obviously have to locate a new home of our own. 

But, as they say, a change is as good as a rest (and a rest would be really, really good).     

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Brown and White

Jamie's latest breakfast of choice - and there have been many -  is Bran Flakes, or "brown cornflakes" as he calls them.

On the face of it, this is a very healthy development.  

But I'm not thinking about his face, I'm thinking about his nappies.

Any volunteers?

Thursday, 10 February 2011

I got an e-mail...


Your application to take part in the 2011 Bupa Great North Run via the general ballot has been successful. The entry fee has now been deducted from your account.

We will keep in touch with you by email in the build-up to the event. Roughly four weeks before the Bupa Great North Run you will receive all the information you require, including your race number.

Good luck with your training. 


PS Wee John got in too.  At least I'll beat him. 

Charlotte is an Ulsterwoman

Charlotte faced a true test of national identity last night and, I'm delighted to report, she passed with flying and white.

Vanessa was putting Jamie to bed so Miss White and I decided we would watch a bit of footy on the box.

We started with the England game in Denmark on ITV1, which kicked off first.  But, as you can see above, she was far from impressed at the sight of Fabio Capello's men.

So, come 7.45pm, I flicked over to Sky Sports 1 where Northern Ireland were playing Scotland.

And her mood quickly improved...

...reaching a peak when Northern Ireland's all-time leading goalscorer David Healy got off the bench to warm up.

Just think how euphoric she would have been had her newest heroes not been stuffed 3-0. 

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

A special instruction manual

Despite his many funny/cute moments, Jamie is still a two-and-a-half-year-old boy with a tendency for occasional tantrums. 

When this happens, we generally know how to handle him i.e. ignore the little bugger.

But this doesn't always work.  Or, by the time it does, there's very little of our house still standing. 

However, after Vanessa's visit to Pudsey Library yesterday afternoon, help suddenly appears to be at hand.

Let's hope it does exactly what it says on the cover.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

V B-Day

As I mentioned in my last pointless ramble, yesterday was Vanessa's birthday - making her officially yet another year older than Kelly Brook.

The highlight of our, at times, quite surreal day was a family trip to the bowling alley (her choice, not mine - I swear).

We got one of those ramp things for Jamie.

And guess what?

You guessed right - he won.

The humiliation of it. 

After that, it was off to an American theme bar nearby (yes, my type of thing but STILL her idea).

Mummy and daughter put on their most sophisticated faces.

Whilst the men of the family didn't bother.

But, needless to say, we hope Mrs W had fun.

It's my turn next...

Monday, 7 February 2011

No strait jacket required

It's Vanessa's birthday today (more of that next time), hence, I'm off on leave. 

What more opportune moment might there be, therefore, to send Jamie back to the dentist. 

He had been once before, six months ago, and refused to open his mouth (a bit like the dentist herself, who isn't one of life's great talkers)

But this time, our son became the world's most relaxed junior patient. 

And why might that be, I hear you cry?

Well, let me put it this way.

As a two-and-a-half-year-old, Jamie's treatment is obviously free - to him.

But his minute-long spell in the big chair today cost his mother and me a small fortune in "incentives."

Let's hope he never has to have a filling.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Smokey fish

Every state visit, by definition, must include a state dinner. 

So, last night, I attempted to make plaice, sauteed potatoes and vegetables for my mother. 

And I burnt everything. 

OK, so maybe I'm exaggerating ever-so-slightly; I didn't burn the water I cooked the vegetables in, but the vegetables were certainly over-cooked.

Meanwhile, I left the potatoes for too long whilst having a chat in the living room, leaving them brown on one side and white on the other by the time I returned . 

And I incinerated the lime zest/juice in olive oil and butter marinade-type arrangement.    

But there were two particularly unexpected casualties in the carnage.

First, whilst "warming" the plates, I inadvertently let one fall on to the naked flames in the oven for several minutes, effectively rendering the plate unusable.

And, get this.

I really don't know how this happened, but some way, somehow...I managed to knock the digital kitchen timer thingy land on to a fully lit ring on the cooker.  Again, it took me a while to notice. 

By the time I did, the timer had melted. 

I don't plan to do any cooking tonight. 

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Rainy days don't have to get you down

Yesterday was Day 2 of Granny White's state visit to the People's Republic of Pudsey and, given the blue skies and blinding sunshine, Jamie's obvious activities of choice were a bowl of ice cream followed by an afternoon on the beach.

OK, not quite true.  It chucked it down and, whilst the ice cream was real enough, the "beach" was in a barn...

...which also included a walk-in (and out) trampoline.

And Charlotte didn't miss out, opting to spend some quality time indoors with a couple of goats and a big white pig.

Later, I thought it might be nice to for her to have her first taste of life from Daddy's perspective.

But, in truth, I don't think she was that arsed.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Pleased to meet you, Granny

Charlotte got the chance to meet her Granny White today, and even managed to crack a smile - the first time such a momentous event has been captured on camera. 

And she will now have a proper chance to get to know her since mother-of-me is here till Monday. 

Jamie was most pleased to see his granny too. 

Even better, Charlotte was pleased to see that Jamie was pleased.

So, in short, we're all pleased.