Rio it aint! 
Thursday, February 23, 2006, 01:54 PM
Six weeks have now gone by, in this time TheO has gone through four thousand nappies, 32 packets of baby 'wipes' and four jars of anti nappy rash cream. He has had more fun feeding than daddy has in ages, ahem, and still he sleeps. This is a bit of a lie as he cried a lot yesterday for no reason at all, but I don't count that, or the time last week when he went utterly ballistic because I lost his pacifier. I think he has his mother's knack getting things sorted, quickly.

Weather has improved 10 fold, and I was blessed with a visit from the family. Fantastic time had by all, The weather was stunning and even prompted a quick dip in the sea by those braver than I. The outlaws even threw a party for little Theo, with a cake and crisps. Daddy made sure there was more than enough Vino for everybody to get utterly plastered. I wanted to put something in the punch, but alas, the best laid plans…

This weekend sees the Malta Carnival. Apparently they all dress up like goons and try to be funny. This doesn't strike me as out of character for the locals as I find them always like that, but I'll entertain anything, for a while. The good lady has a good chum visiting for the weekend, so I wonder who will be left holding the baby! Praise be for the out-laws, they don't know what a storm awaits.

The Sleeping Storm light, going on ballistic

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looks like rain again then... 
Friday, February 10, 2006, 12:03 PM
Time speeds by like a racing Maltese youth in a suped up Kia. Baked bean tin as an exhaust outlet and a sticker in the windscreen saying something like 'stuff your jealousy' I can still smell the Homebase emulsion paint job as he proudly flouts every single guide to intelligent driving in the Highway code. Generally, if you say anything to these guys like, 'my right of way I think!” they kill you, your family, your friends, their friends…. It's like something out of a Martin Scorsese movie, but a bit more violent. I just ignore them.

It has been raining forever over here, or so it seems. Everything is wet. Washing doesn't dry. I am too mean to invest in an Umbrella, so it's just as well that we have started to have clear skies and warm temperatures. The locals behave like witchdoctors saying things like 'It's here for the summer' and ''you can say goodbye to the rain now' Thus' with a spring in my step, I am filled with optimism and expectancy for summer has truly arrived! This afternoon it rained cats and dogs. The only explanation I got from those in the know was “ha”

Theo is now four weeks old. I have just realised the he could be called 'The O' or even 'The O Joe' but hope that school will be kind to him. He has really started to grow now and has some very strange looks. I plan to document these at some stage, perhaps in a book. 'The O Joes book of strange looks' possibly. He has just started to smile at me but I fear this is just wind. He also looks at me in a very terse way. Lips very firm and closed, 'Don't mess with ME daddy' he could be saying. I think he means it.

The O Joe, and he means it!

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Baby virus alert... 
Monday, January 23, 2006, 05:49 PM
I seem to be suffering from a baby virus. I first became aware of this when I was kept awake for most of the night 10 days ago. It was OK, and I was left with a small package that made noises from time to time, nothing I couldn't handle. However, over the last week, this package, I like to refer to it as the 'theO' virus, has started to spread throughout my flat, attaching itself to all aspects of my very existence. All available space has been taken up with “theO' type toys and living things such as nappies, changing mats and other stuff. Another symptom is that the good lady has gone deaf. When I ask her things like 'what's for dinner” or “a cup of tea would be nice” I'm met with no reaction at all. Nothing. Weird.

Another thing I have latterly found a bit weird is the word 'Ha' It seems to be a Maltese word to mean many things, and is unique to inhabitants of this Island. It is delivered in the same way a Cat might deliver a fur-ball, but with a bit more gusto. If you go into a shop and ask if the have gas bottles* they might go 'Ha' followed by a reason why they haven't got any (this is usually a lie)

This is a bit difficult to explain so I'll give an example:

I walk into a shop that sometimes sells gas bottles. The bloke behind the counter is smoking loads of fags and has thick glasses.

Me: Hello, have you got any gas bottles please.
Bloke: Ha. We have got some, but we don't have any but try tomorrow.
Me: You'll have some tomorrow?
Bloke: No, but try tomorrow.
Me: Are you getting a delivery tomorrow?
Bloke: No, but try, Ha.

My heard hurts. I get cold a lot here too. Anyway, The young'un is thriving. Seems to be growing at an alarming rate. He is so good, sleeps all day and sleeps all night, although he does throw in a few night-time tantrums when he feels like it.

The 'theO' in full form, scary

*(gas bottles are used for heating as there don't seem to be any central heating systems here, too warm although you could have fooled me. Also used to cook with)

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Theo @ 8 days old 
Tuesday, January 17, 2006, 12:35 PM

-- Haven't got time for an entry, but will post in a couple of hours!

Oh well. I was foolish to imagine I would be left with time to tap some keys and deliver more banal banter. Time goes quickly when your getting to know a small one. At times WE have been kept up for most of the night, only to have Theo sleep all day. This calls for a change of strategy, not that we really had one in the first place. He now seems to have settled down and we are getting to know the finer elements of things like, nappies and their positioning, tightness and ensuring Theo 'dresses' correctly. I have taken to wearing protective Perspex glasses, if you know what I mean!!
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The Nitty Gritty 
Wednesday, January 11, 2006, 02:01 PM
Just managed to score a quick breather. So the fun and games kicked off on Sunday morning at about 8.00am. Fantastic. My last sleep in too! This was also an arranged last hangover too! The good lady complains of 'strange' things happening, 'odd' feelings! I put on my Deerstalker and conclude that, indeed, there are strange things occurring and I go back to bed.

Lunch is taken up by a visit by the departing Australian contingent of the wife's family who are departing for a brief spell in Cornwall before returning to Perth. Things go well and but I burn Isabel's Pizza's! But MY Lasagne? Well, that was excellent. Despite my obvious culinary pride, I am keeping a close eye on my fake Cartier and the good lady's grimacing face. Roughly every 25 minutes. At 3pm the Ausssies leave with a content look and the words 'wouldn't it be funny if ….' We didn't tell them.!

Three hours pass and the grimacing continues. I try to ignore that the word(s) of the day is 'major discomfort' We finally leave for Hospital in Zabbar at 9.00pm. The Midwife the Surgeon and anyone else who fancies turning up will meet us there!

This would not be a great time for a major storm. But it starts regardless of my situation. I drive at 40 – 45 KMPH through torrential rain and potholes, arriving at the Hospital at 10. Isabel is doing remarkably well. Up to the Birthing 'suite' and we are all well on our way.

At 1.22 am Monday morning Theo is born, He arrives into the world via the birthing pool, delivered by Mister John Mamo MB, ChB, FRCOG. Isabel fantastic, No Gas & Air (I wanted to try this!), no Pethadine (I wanted to try this too!), no Epidural (so, i'm not fussy!!) nothing!! He is perfect in everyway. He wakes only to say hello and then sleep again.

Both Isabel and I are now back home and getting to know Theo. However he doesn't seem to be making too much of an effort as he always asleep or ravaging my wife!! We love him!!

The Three of us, Theo's the small one, er, the one in the car seat!!
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And then there were three... 
Tuesday, January 10, 2006, 02:17 PM -
I will add the nitty gritty in a bit. Need some sleep, as would be expected. Please say a big hello to Theo(dore) Joesph Fereday, Born in water at St James Hospital in Zabbar, Malta in the early hours of Monday morning. He weighed in at 7.5lb with a height of 51cm. Will write a more in-depth entry later. Looks like these adventures will now be on the outside!!

Theo(dore) Joesph Fereday no nose jokes please!!

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