Monday, 31 August 2009

Summer Bank Holiday as it Should be - Antipodean Style

I like Bank holidays as it means Daddy stays at home and there's feverish excitement about 'what the weather will do'. On the meteorological front, this particular Bank Holiday was a disaster - the sun shone all day to confound the general populous - but we made the most of an unexpected situation.

Abi and Lauchlan came to visit today. Just when I thought I was getting to grips with the wider world, someone comes along to remind me that this planet is going to take some time to conquer. Lauch, who was born in New Zealand, flew back from America this morning. Not only that, but he lives in Camberley! He's positively the most travelled and exotic person I have ever met.



Lauch said 'hello' to me by rubbing noses. In New Zealand it's called a hongi. I thought it was all a bit forward personally, but I shall remember it should I ever be wondering through Auckland. Or Camberley High Street.

AMK

Saturday, 29 August 2009

New Shoes

Lovie, Darling, La-de-dah. An Account Director at Saatchi bought me some shoes. What can I say? They are quite possibly the coolest things I shall EVER wear.


Thank you Toby, Evie, Freddie & Jasper. Looking forward to meeting you for a picnic before summer '09 is over.

AMK

Thursday, 27 August 2009

One Month Old Today

44,640 minutes. 744 hours. 31 days. Or one month. That's how old I am today. I've crammed a lot in already; I wonder what's next.

To celebrate, here's a little joke from Dan Antolpolski (voted the very best at this year's Edinburgh Finge Festival):

"Hedgehogs. Why can't they just share the hedge?"

AMK

P.S. And the worst joke in show? Easy: "I phoned the swine flu hotline and all I got was crackling."

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Freedom Fries? Now it's Scotch that's Going Down the Drain.

Mr Prince, an American from Washington State has got Daddy worried again. Since the Scots released the convicted Libyan terrorist and mass-murderer Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi to go home and see his mummy, our American chums are now threatening to boycott all Scottish goods and services.



As well as cancelling his golfing holiday to Scotland, Mr Prince also points out that

"I should probably also mention that I've curtailed my consumption of Scotch. It's great whisky, but no longer for me. I've switched to Kentucky bourbon."


As if the Bank hasn't got enough problems.

(I've told Daddy not to worry though - if the worst comes to the worst I'm happy to lend him some of my child benefit money.)

AMK

Sunday, 23 August 2009

I'm the Shrimp at this BBQ

My long weekend ended with a fine crescendo today. We all set off from Wimbers and headed towards Wokingham to see Great Auntie Lynne and Great Uncle Tony.


The Davey summer barbeque is a famous annual family event, at which this year I made my debut. Being the youngest meant that I got to enjoy some quality time with everyone there, but my favourite new family members are Uncle Tony's mummy and daddy. Mr & Mrs Davey Snr. sang me songs about squashed lemons and were very, very nice to me.


Apparently you can choose your friends, but not your family. So far that doesn't seem to be a problem because all my folks are just fine.

AMK

Saturday, 22 August 2009

A Great Day of Sport

England win the Ashes!

At 12 minutes to six on a glorious sunshine-soft late summer evening at The Oval, England regained the Ashes they had surrendered so abjectly in Australia three winters ago. It had been a hard slog.


Set an unlikely if not impossible 546 to win, Australia had made such a thunderously aggressive start on Saturday evening that a smidgeon of doubt might have crept in. None should have been there. The total would have been hefty on a pristine pitch but on one about which Woody Guthrie might have written songs, it was, any cricketer worth his salt would have said, just not a function of "if" but "when". All out for 348, Australia had lost by a massive margin of 197 runs.)*

And if that wasn't excitement enough, Daddy beat Grandpa at golf for the first time ever - a magnificent 37 points to 24 at Ferndown Forest. (If the image is anything to go by, Daddy seems to be modelling himself on John Daley.)

(Blackburn lost 2-1 to Sunderland, but less said about that the better.)

AMK

* Read the full story

Friday, 21 August 2009

Home from Home

Folks flock to Dorset for peace and relaxation; at least that's what I was hoping for until my morning was over-taken by a flurry of visitors. It seems my reputation had preceded me and a cue of well-wishers were lined up to say hello.

Graham and Janet, who live next door to Gandpa and GG, were first to say hello. Graham is very rock and roll - he plays guitar in a folk band and drives an old Jaguar car.

Then Auntie Marg and Emma were next to say hello and brought me a cool toy. Mummy went to school with Emma, which was a very long time ago! Next it was Eleanor who lives over the road. Her mummy made me a lovely cardigan before I was born and when I'm older I shall try Mr Small's elderflower wine. Lovely. Eleanor makes books and I'm wondering whether she might publish these memoirs.

Daddy also came to see us tonight. I'd almost forgotten what he looked like, but the penny dropped when he sang the burp song and I clocked his stripey socks.

AMK

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Small Town Boy

It's good to have roots. Life's complicated and hectic enough, without lurching from one place to another every five minutes. I now know my way round the house (the stairs and by the window in M&D's are my favourite spots) and I'm even thinking of striking up a correspondence with Vince Cable over the farcical dithering over the fate and future of Twickenham's waterfront.

That said, I don't want to get to the age of 4, say, and be suffering from small town syndrome. So I apreciate the importance of travel too and today is the first day of my holiday!

The magic door was up to its old tricks again. This time it was Granny Gray (who I've decided to call GG for the sake of brevity) and Auntie Danny. It was the first time I've ever met someone from Jersey. They're a bit like Guernseyians but they stay up later at night. Auntie Danny is really rather nice and I'm looking forward to her coming to stay at our house.

GG and Auntie Danny had both arrived to collect Mummy and me and to take us to Dorset for a nice long weekend. The journey was made fretful by having Mummy in the back with me; like Archie used to, I like to be on my own in the car as it's very rare I get a moment's peace at home.

Still, we got to Wimborne without serious incident and I've spent the afternoon reading the paper with Grandpa. I usually take The Telegraph but I'll suffer The Times this once.


AMK

-- AMK is on Vacation --

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

This Week, AMK Recommends...


I do appreciate why I have to suffer the unpleasantness of having my pants changed every few hours (the icy breeze around the nether regions, the rashes, the general indignity of it all), but it irks me beyond belief when it's all a waste of time! Although buying them makes M&D feel all "eco" and self-righteous, the Nature Babycare decaf-semi-skimmed-sugar-free-organic-compost-enriched-biodegradale-goody-two-shoes nappies aren't my favourite.


First, the weight. Even before I've done anything they feel like I'm lugging around a giant haggis. Then it's the lack of freedom they proffer; there's nothing I enjoy more at the moment than a good thrash around, but these things force my legs permanently akimbo. Last but not least, there's nothing more irritating than a wet back after the relative pleasure of a nice long wee. Unless they're done up tight enough to split me in two, they inexplicably leak wee wee all up my back. Oh, and because the matching eco-nappy sacks are un-scented they don't stop my room smelling of poo.

Still, they have a nice pattern on them (just because I'm a baby please don't think I need cartoons on my pants).

Next, it's Huggies. I don't know what your average Huggies baby eats, but boy do these things prepare you for the worst. Plenty of room in these ones - I call them my rapper rude boy pants because the crotch comes down to my knees (although it does make doing up the poppers of my vests that much harder). But they're comfy, do the job and I also get the satisfaction of doing a poo on Whinny the Pooh thanks to their Disney tie-up.

So this week AMK recommends ... Pampers! Not too big, not too small; plenty of give for a kick-about; easy to get into and out of; and satisfactorily absorbent. Mummy & Daddy don't even have to offset their carbons, sell the car, go vegetarian or re-cycle their own nail clippings to ease their guilty conscience either as the Pampers people are planting lots of trees.

AMK

Healing Hands

The Nice Happy Service (NHS) continues to surpass expectations. Today a nice lady came round to give me a massage. I offered to change into my bath robe and light some scented candles, but no one was listening.

Still, it was very nice - it made me do my first proper smile. Mummy can do massaging too now, and with any luck it will make my bad tummy go away for good!

AMK

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Knock Knock, Who's There

There's a magic door in our house. Sometimes when it's open there's nothing there. But sometimes I can hear a knock and suddenly people appear behind it. Most of the time the people tend to know M&D, which is lucky, but it's weird when they know my name too. (If they appeared in fancy dress it would be like a real life Mr Benn!)

Today was no differnet. This morning Katie and Sophie Lockett appeared, which was ace. Sophie proved to be a splendid playmate and because she lives near the beach I'm hoping for plenty of return visits.

Mummy and Auntie Katie had a nice time too. They took us for a race over the bridge and a pootle around John's big shop.* Mummy says Katie taught her how to do big proper laughs; I'm not sure I'll need a teacher yet as although I frown all the time, Daddy says I chuckle in my sleep.

AMK

* We go to John's shop a lot, but still I've not met Mr Lewis himself.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Three Weeks Old Today

Mummy had to put some of my clothes into storage today as I've grown out of them already. But that does mean I get to start wearing some of my bigger threads (pirate shirt here we come!)

Sophie and Tabitha came to visit me and Mummy today. I was in a grumpy mood and wasn't on top form; I'll have to make it up to them next time by turning on smooth Gus.


Here's a picture of me and Daddy. (I'm the one with a fuller, thicker head of hair)

AMK

P.S. My belly button is now perfect

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Melvyn Bragg's got nowt on me

One county, of which we're particularly fond, has recently been voted the most 'culturally bereft' in all of England. Apparently its primary purpose is to serve as a corridor between London and somewhere more interesting.*

I feel a little like Hertfordshire myself; so far I have spent the majority of my time sleeping. Daddy keeps singing me a song about burps and telling me the same story about a bumbling bee over and over again. I am culturally immature, if not a little retarded.

So this morning I demanded music! Daddy took me for a walk and afterwards we sat down and listened to lots of different songs. After a dalliance with Snoop and his gangster chums, a brief sing-along with The Raconteurs and even a toe-tapping little jig to Will Young, it seems my preference is for beautiful chanteuses from foreign shores.

Carla Bruni is usually kept busy buying flowers and standing down slope from her husband, President Sarkozy. However, she did find a few moments to record an album of which I'm peculiarly fond: Comme Si De Rien N'etait

The other is Tanto Tempoby Bebel Gilberto, a latino lovely of Brazilian descent who purrs along to bosso nova beats that transport you direct to Copacabana.

I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I like listening to these lady crooners.

AMK

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Two's Company, but Three's Pretty Cool Too

Any partnership will take time to develop and mature before it becomes something great. Sometimes despite remarkable odds (Adebayor and Bellamy) or because of them (Bonnie and Clyde), beautiful things happen.

For Mummy and me, this week has been the opportunity for our little team to form, norm and storm. I've pushed her, but she hasn't buckled and we are now as one, yin and yang.

But not wanting to push our luck, today we went on a trip (my longest yet) with Daddy to see Nanna & Grandad, Auntie Stephanie and Phil in Southampton.


Nanna & Grandad were both on fine form. Nanna bought me a flashing toothbrush, which will be fun as soon as I have some to scrub! I like Nanna's cuddles. I'm looking foward to my first visit to see them in Cardiff - it'll be my first trip abroad and Grandad says he'll take me fishing!


Auntie Stephanie and Big Phil layed on a splendid lunch. I opted for my usual so didn't sample the various dishes on offer, but everyone seemed content after the meal. Grandad fell asleep, which is the highest accolade to which any chef can aspire.

After lunch I enjoyed relaxing on Auntie Stephanie's knee (it must be an advanced technique she learned at university). Uncle Mike dropped in later on; he's a big northern bear of a man yet manages to maintain a very neatly trimmed goatie beard. It was a shame not to meet Faye, Megan and George but I'm sure it won't be long before I do. They have two rabbits, four chickens and one cock. Or should that be un coque, Uncle Mike??

AMK

Friday, 14 August 2009

Where's Your Happy Place?

Everyone, so it seems, needs a retreat. A happy place. Somewhere to relax, reflect and re-charge. Mine is my maxi-cosi seat. Daddy says his is Guernsey.

It turns out I now have friends on Guernsey: Archie and Coco. They sent me some very cool stuff today; my favourite thing is a new top that has dinosaurs riding a London bus. I wonder if it's the designer's own little homage to "One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing
", (in which Sir Peter Ustinov, a bear of a man descended from Russian nobility, inexplicably plays a Chinese spy).

Whilst on the subject of dinosaurs, Daddy wants to take me to see some prowling around the O2. I've been there before to see Tina Turner and Metallica, but I was still in Mummy's tummy so everything sounded a bit muffled.

I'm looking forward to seeing my friends on Guernsey; I suspect it will be my first ride in an aeroplane. One day I shall go to the Rockmount with Archie and Coco, just like Daddy used to with Uncle Mark, but probably not on my first trip. (Get this: on Guernsey I'm known as Monty. How cool is that?!)


Here is Mummy, Uncle Mark, Archie, Auntie Lucy and Daddy.

AMK

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

A Good Day

England coach Fabio Capello will have mixed feelings about the performance of his side tonight in Amsterdam - and will demand the basic errors that cost two goals be eradicated as the build up continues towards what he hopes will be a serious World Cup challenge in South Africa next summer.

But he will be delighted by the spirit shown as England fought their way back level with Defoe as the spearhead, helped by impressive cameos from two other substitutes in Carlton Cole and Milner, after going 2-nil down in the first half.

In all honesty, after a long day I was pooped and happy to doze through most of the match.

I'm not sure football will be my game.

Today's excitement started with a trip to the doctors this morning. Isn't it always the way though? You work yourself up to go and on the morning you do, the complaint clears up! Yes, my yucky eye seems much better now.

On the way back we bumped into the nice lady who lives downstairs. Her name is Kate and she gave me a nice card. Mummy and me then had a sleep on the big bed - so much room! I couldn't sleep very well and after watching Mummy for a while I got bored so decided to wake her up.

In the afternoon we went to do circuits around the garden. I like it in my maxi-cosi seat, so Mummy pushed me round and round and round until I was asleep. Before I knew it we'd got as far as Kingston where I chose nice presents for Grandpa Mike as it's his birthday soon.

Now Daddy's home from work and we're taking it in turns to have some dinner. I get to go last, the cheek, and then it'll be bed time.

The midwife is coming tomorrow. I hope it's Sarah.

AMK

Monday, 10 August 2009

Two Weeks Old Today

To celebrate my two weeks I had this rather dashing portrait taken. Unfortunately, the photographer seems to have captured the exact moment I was passing a little windy pop pop.


Daddy went back to work today and left Mummy and me to it. After the health visitor came to check that Mummy was dressed and wasn't sobbing in her dressing gown, we decided to go to the doctor's to ask him about my tummy. It hurts a lot and makes me cry.

In the end it was all rather an anti-climax; doc thinks I've just got heartburn and gave me some Gaviscon. I'll try it and see.

AMK

PS. My belly button is almost fine now.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

High Brow Stuff

My second ever Saturday today. The trip to the hospital took a little longer than usual because of all the people driving to the shops in Kingston. I got weighed (packing on the ounces now, nearly back up to my birth weight) and had a cotton bud stabbed into my bad eye, so a mixed result really. I have to go to the doctors next to get some eye drops and Mummy needs to buy me some stronger medicine to make me do bigger burps.

For being a good boy though, M&D walked me into Teddington to the book shop. After checking out the best sellers, I decided to go for a book on agriculture. It has 3 pages: one with a cow, one with a sheep and I haven't got as far as the third page yet but I'm guessing it'll be a pig or a chicken.

Topping the hard back fiction list is "Saphire" by Katie Price, aka Jordan. Daddy seems surprised she can write an entire book as a) it's doubtful she has the attention span to spell out her own name; and b) it's a miracle she can reach the keyboard (whatever that's supposed to mean). In the non-fiction chart Michael Jackson - Legend, Hero, Iconis out-selling everything else; just like in the album chart right now, MJ (RIP) is No.1

In the evening I watched the first game of the season: West Brom vs. Newcastle (Premiership starts next week). The result, much like the game, was hard to get excited about: one all. Still, Auntie Natalie popped round to liven things up. She bought me my first pair of jeans. They have turn-ups so I'm guessing she thinks I might turn out 'artistic'.

Then Uncle Neil came to visit, and he bought me presents too! I got a bib, an elephant and some dungarees.

Life is all rather hectic. So it's good to just have a little lie down sometimes (you'll need to turn the volume up on this one).

video

AMK

PS. It was a pig. Ha, didn't see that one coming!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Bankers, Cowboys & Belly Gripes

Despite returning to profit (albeit just £15m for the first half of the year), shares in Daddy's bank fell 12% today. I'll be wearing bin liners soon. Still, Daddy was happy because the lady on the news mentioned his adverts. The people he works with sent me some cool stuff today too (so it's not all doom and gloom). I got wooden letters that spell ANGUS, cowboy dungarees and a jungle mobile.

Auntie Kate works for the Bank too. She came over to visit today with young William. We had a nice lunch and Billy took lots of photos with Daddy's camera. They live nearby so I'm hoping he will be my friend so we can go disco dancing together one day.

M&D took me shopping again. Boring. But it took my mind off my sore tummy for a while. It hurts quite a lot today and it makes me cry. Still, I'm back to hospital tomorrow (hopefully Sarah will be on duty, she's my favourite) for a check-up so perhaps they can tell Mummy & Daddy what to do to make it better.

AMK

PS. England all out for 102 today on the first day of the 4th Test.
PPS. Introducing my new look. I call it ASBO Street. Aye.

It's Monty. With a "Y".



So far I've been the centre of attention every day and wherever I've been. Today two ladies in Sainsbury's nearly fought eachother to be the first to coo over me and pinch my cheek. A lunatic stared at me in the park. And I stole the show at Richmond Registry Office.

But it was at the Registry Office when I realised that I AM JUST A NUMBER. I'm now officially a citizen, part of the machine. Still, it does mean I get £20 per week from Darling (see, he IS a nice man) and a passport when the time comes to make my second great escape.

Richmond is a nice place. After signing up to UK Plc, we wondered down to the Green for lunch. It was the first time I'd dined 'al fresco'; it's nice that my usual was still on the menu. There were lots of other mummies pushing little people in buggies, but none were as yummy as my mummy and my wheels were by far the coolest.

This afternoon we tried to walk into Kingston but the rain thrashed down. Thankfully Daddy realised that he'd put my buggy's hood on upside down before we got caught in the storm. We changed our plans and drove to Sainsbury's instead; I slept until M&D got to the check-out then had a little cry.

I like getting out and about. Daddy goes back to work soon but I think me and Mummy are going to have a fab time.

AMK

PS. My middle name is now officially Montgomery. Not Montgomerie.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Funny How Life Is

Harry Patch, the last survivor of World War I, was buried today. "The Last Tommy" died two days before I was born at the ripe old age of 111. Wow. There's a chap who didn't have chance to choose what he wanted to do but made a damn fine fist of it; I wonder if I will.


Daddy was still wondering what to do when he met Mummy, so it seems. They took me to Royal Holloway today to see where they met. Dull, dull, dull.

But I did get to meet Uncle Chris and Uncle Nigel who work there. It's a lovely place really; I can see why Daddy never wanted to leave.

Uncle Chris is about to become a Daddy too. He looked a little bit worried, but I think he'll be very good. It's just a shame he hasn't had his hair cut lately because it will now be AGES before he finds the time to get to the barbers. I doubt Aunty Karen will even have chance to give him a bowl cut like she does sometimes.

Uncle Nigel gave me a nice cuddle but he didn't say much for a while because Aunty Lyne had just crashed the car and he was ruddy cheeked with rage.

We got home just in time for dinner. Daddy stayed up with me late because my tummy was hurting again. I even tried a dummy for a while but it was rubbish.

AMK

PS. Radiohead released a new single today paying homage to Patch, its lyrics based on some of his own words: "I am the only one that got through / The others died wherever they fell... / Give your leaders each a gun and then let them fight it out themselves."

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Ladies Man. Oh Yeah.

Furious this morning. It turns out that Daddy spent TWO hours hitting his balls with a stick rather than changing my bum and singing me songs. How very dare he.

Still, it did give me chance to entertain a house full of ladies on my own. One week old and I find myself the alpha male in a room of chicks. Oh yeah. Auntie Amy came to visit with Ellie all the way from the countryside, which is miles away but sounds a very nice place.

Auntie Amy bought me some smart clothes - a welcome change from these sleepsuits that M&D insist I wear (they're comfortable around the house but sometimes you just wish for something a little smarter). I got my first shirt with real buttons and a smart woolen all-in-one that has an elephant on the front. It's very me. Ellie is very pretty and chilled out. I let her play on my bear all morning while I tried to play it cool; I think she likes me.

The midwife (not Sarah/Garth) came to see me and Mummy too today. She told Mummy to stop eating grapes and strawberries because they're making my tummy rumble and my bum gurgle. It's so embarrassing when we have guests.

I'm getting more control over the things at the end of my arms. Twice last night I got them into my mouth, which was nice. And I've just about stopped stabbing myself in the eyes now too.

AMK

Monday, 3 August 2009

One Week Old



My belly button fell off today.

AMK

NHS? A Nice Happy Service



Had to pop back to the hospital today. It was good to go back, see all the old faces. Since I've been around I've met 8 mid-wives, 2 doctors, 1 ear specialist and a paediatrician. Everyone has been very nice, but my favourite has been Sarah. She has even come to see me at our house. She looks like Garth from Wayne's World.

Mummy and Daddy grumble about a man called Darling who takes all their money. But the bit that goes to Kingston Hospital seems well spent.

Sarah stuck a pin in my heel which I didn't really think was on after we'd hit things off so well. But then she said that I'd bled better than any other baby today. Cool.

No visitors today, but just chillin' and spending some "QT" with M&D has been OK.

AMK

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Posse Up



It turns out all the real excitement was at Edgbaston yesterday. A man called Jimmy Anderson took 5 Aussie wickets. I have no idea what any of that means. Neither does Daddy really, but he seems keen for me to learn.


Today is yet another day full of visitors. It seems I'm a popular man and I'm still enjoying the cuddles and meeting new people.

In the morning I met Tabitha. Boy, she is cute and so tall. I felt like Bernie standing next to Mrs Ecclestone. Her Mummy and Daddy were nice; they bought me a Pirate's top, which I think will be my favourite if Daddy can find me a matching tri-corner hat and a cutlass.

Tabitha's Dad is going to cycle from Land's End to John o'Groats even though he's got a motor bike and a real car. Crazy.

In the afternoon there were even more visitors. I met Zac and Eva who came over with their Mummy and Daddy, Sarah and Steve. Zac gave me lots of his old toys; even though they look like fun and make lots of loud noises all on their own, Sarah and Steve looked very happy to give them away.

It's good to have so many friends already.

AMK

Saturday, 1 August 2009

A Traveller's Life for Me. Just not Yet.



There comes a time in every young man's life when he must take flight and explore the world beyond all that he knows. Today was that day.

In preparation for my expedition Mummy & Daddy gave me a bath. Auntie Stephanie says I won't start to smell until I'm eleven years old, but even so it was good to feel as fresh as a daisy before my adventure.

Despite my early morning bravado I was secretly glad when Nanna and Grandad arrived. They were going to come too! Shortly afterward, we all set off for our hike. It turns out that we live near a river called The Thames, and that's where we were headed.

It turns out I have the buggy equivalent of the new Ferrari 458 Italia. It's red and cream and is a love machine.

After a minute or two into the journey, however, I realised travel just isn't for me. Not yet anyway. I entertained them all down in the garden for a short while but then insisted we get back inside. My flight from the nest will simply have to be postponed for a while.

Still, just when I thought the day's adventure was over, Great Auntie Roie popped in to say hello.

She has a red sports car, a bit like my buggy. It turns out I have cousins (or something similar) just up the road. They're called Marcia and Jonny and I hope to have them round for a drink one afternoon while the sun's still shining.

It's a big world out there. I'll take it all in my own good time.

AMK