The summer wind-down 
Friday, September 22, 2006, 03:54 PM
The last few weeks have seen many of the nice English tourists who visit St Paul's Bay depart with the closing summer season. These tattooed ambassadors of Blightly will be missed. No longer will I be able to point out to TheO the English football strip on a 20 stone bloke in Nike trainers drinking 15 pints of local lager before breakfast and claiming 'I'm on holiday' They are shortly to be replaced by the over the over 95 crowd in thermals escaping the cooling British temperatures (see previous postings)

The family capitalized on a very kind invitation to spend a few nights in a farmhouse in Gozo. A non stop stream of people joined us and fussed over TheO. He had an abundance of attention and maternal figures very happy to play, hold and feed the little chap. This was a excellent chance to catch a few ZZzzz's. Perfect. Many thanks to you two!!

Back on the mainland and I leave the little lad with his mum. Five minutes after leaving the good lady phones me 'I'm not quite sure what to do' she says. 'I was working on the computer and I turned round to check on 'him' and he was standing up!! I gasped; he realized my surprise and fell over. Fortunately he didn't hurt himself on his return to the floor, but looks like I'll be bubble wrapping the floor tiles too!!

The water cushion effect, we just have to get it into the flat!!

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So there I was, surrounded by Shark's…. 
Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 09:10 PM
I was just sitting there minding my own business and, wow, now it's September, and midway too! 'The Family” as the good lady likes to call us, has had a hectic few weeks. We visited the homeland to have another party for TheO, show him off to my parents, and confirm name, rank and number. This was done on August 27th at Saint Marthas-on-the-Hill by the Rev Jeremy Whittaker. TheO's response to the surroundings was to blow raspberries and gurgle loudly. It was however a great excuse to pull together a few fantastic people and consume heaps of Pim's and gallons of Cava, all on a prefect sunny day!

It was good to get back to normality and the newly painted flat. However, day one the Air Con in the car goes, day two, the exaust on the car goes, day three we're back to the thunderstorms and flash floods. I have returned with renewed patience and wonder how long it will last!!

TheO ask's, 'was that you?”

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Flick, Flop, Plop n Bounce, but not necessarily in that order! 
Monday, August 14, 2006, 01:37 PM
The title here is supposed to reflect my Monday, Today. Monday mornings are, as well as being a notoriously bad start to the week, the day I look after TheO, exclusively! This is a day when 'mummy' is unavailable, I have to fend for myself and pretend I'm in charge. This occurs every Monday from 9am till 2pm. Here's a run down.

9am The household awakes. It's another glorious day. I can't however go outside into the sun as I have major sunburn from a boat-trip where, as usual, I refused to wear a shirt or sun tan lotion. I now don't run, I scuttle! First thing to get done is a scuttle to the Bank. 10 minute job, I grab TheO and little else.

10am Arrive bank to encounter long queue. Wait with TheO straining. I sniff and and the straining becomes clear. I have no nappy, no wet one no change of clothes and no chance! I ask and am directed to the loo where the men's is engaged, the ladies vacant. I do the necessary and in the process, a bank porcelain fixture disintegrates with my elbow, Theo bawls and I look nervous. I remain calm and escape.

11am I get home to change the little lad. The transition in-between nappies during the change is a crucial and dangerous period. Another game of Russian Roulette. Today, however, the chamber is full and I take the full blast. Luckily I was always good at catch. ahem!

12 noon London Zoo, ok perhaps not that bad, but it's at this time that TheO can be at his most, er, inventive! Today is Carrot and one of his favourite. As the car goes into the garage, Theo grabs his spoon, which for some reason has the elasticity and power of a Roman Trebuchet, thus re-decorating the white walls with slight swathes of orange. Nice

1 pm Why didn't I try this earlier. A gift from a wonderful Aunt of Theo's has really turned out trumps. Working on the same principle as the Trebuchet spoon, TheO can be engaged for many hours in his bouncer. Normally I put on some music for him to Jump to like House of Pain, Kriss Kross. Whatever. My shift is over, and I'm done for THIS Monday. Bob Geldof, eat your heart out!

Content for while, Kriss Kross will make ya...

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Thursday, August 3, 2006, 11:11 PM
The seven month stage is quickly crawling up on us, a trick that TheO has started to develop too. Not only has he mastered the acts of 'pushing up', 'rolling over' and 'sitting up' but has now taken to moving himself around the flat, unaided and to our surprise. I am just waiting to open a high cupboard and suffer a cardiac arrest as the little lad pops his head out, grinning. The good lady has instructed me to run along to the stationary shop and purchase 300 meters of bubble wrap and a pair of scissors with rounded ends that are, infact, impossible to cut anything with.

My normal rant concerning Maltese culture took a swing this week. Outside a Chinese Restaurant was a large blackboard sign saying “Open for Lunch” It was, on a Thursday, lunchtime in my world, yet there was a sign on the door saying closed. The place was deserted. Confucius says 'Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue' How true.

A not very busy lunchtime restaurant

Last Sunday I took some pictures of the rapidly changing 'baby' to prove that I did infact, once have one. With my rich photographic past, I again pulled out the sheepskin rug and played 'Russian Roulette' with the nappy. It could have got very messy. The boy performed and the rug is now with the dry cleaners, ahem!

TheO at just a snip off seven months, but with rounded scissors...

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41 and no deaf aid! 
Tuesday, July 25, 2006, 12:24 PM
It may just be me, but I think that this heat makes Maltese market traders go deaf. I took the good lady and the boy to the world famous Marsaxlokk Fish Market, where I eyed a mean green metal Bar-B-Q. Great, I thought anticipating a summer full of beach Bar-B-Q's loud music and ice cold beer's. 'Does it come in a box?' I stupidly ask, 'wha' was the immediate reply from the bloke with a roll up and a face like rollmop, 'Does it come in a box?' I said again... anyway, it went a bit like this:

Me; 'Does it come in a box?'
Market Trader: 'wha?',
Me; 'The Bar-B-Q, does it come in a box?'
Market Trader: 'wha?',
Me; 'Does it come in a box?'
Market Trader: 'wha?',
Me; 'The Bar-B-Q, does it come in a box?'
Other Market Trader: 'wha?',
Me; 'this thing, does it come in a box?'
Market Trader: 'wha?',
Me; 'Does it come in a box?'
Other Market Trader: 'wha?',
Other Market Trader: 'wha?',
Me; 'Does the friggin Bar-B-Q come in a box?'
Market Trader: 'wha?',
Other Market Trader: 'wha?',

(Continue for two hours...)

I am still using disposable Bar-B-Q's from the petrol station.

This month saw yet another birthday pass, mine. The wife decided to take TheO & I to the Malta 'Splash n Fun Park' to enjoy the fine weather. We spent several hours looking for parking and then just over a tenner to get in for a mad scramble to find an umbrella and sun-beds. What fun. I really needed that splash now. The afternoon laugh kicked off when a plastic bag containing TheO's dinner went missing. It contained his bottle, bib, spoon and liquidized carrot. I complained to the management and it was left to Mister Clean, the cleaning contractors to find. Mister Clean spent many hours in the heat searching the large rubbish skip for an over zealous workers error, until, in my bag, I spotted... best walk away from these difficult situations eh!

TheO looking for his dinner, nothing to chew on here...

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ah, ah, ah, Achoooooooo 
Thursday, July 13, 2006, 10:26 AM
TheO has a cold. It's the middle of summer and he develops the typically British symptoms of a sore throat, sneezing, and a cough. The big plans for his 6 month photograph have been dashed on a sea of mucus with a strong south westerly spray. The root of his influenza lies with his mother, of course.

Despite this all this, the little chap remains in high spirits, perhaps it's the Benlyin! No matter, we have just started to venture out of the house again where we are set upon by purveyors of time share contracts. 'hello' they say, 'are you English?' No matter what you say, it will not dampen their persistence. I have taken to drinking large quantities of TheO's Benolin and sounding Greek, it seems to work, and I breathe so much easier.

TheO seems to be expanding in all directions. His weight is up, his height is up and he now he sits up (see below!) The good lady has taken to turning the flat into a nursery, I am now injuring myself on baby toys, a whole new world of 'maimings' await me!!

Not sneezing so much, but still sniffing.
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