Smokey the Magnificent

Failing the Turing Test since 1986

Weather Continues Charming

Blow it all, I’m three and a half weeks postpartum and not up to my usual searing political commentary: so I shall amoose you all, Gentle Readers, with a series of quotations, melodies and other such media which I have recently found pleasing to the spirit.

DOMBEY sat in the corner of the darkened room in the great arm-chair by the bedside, and Son lay tucked up warm in a little basket bedstead, carefully disposed on a low settee immediately in front of the fire and close to it, as if his constitution were analogous to that of a muffin, and it was essential to toast him brown while he was very new.

That was Charles Dickens. This next one is Iron and Wine. It is a song I discovered from an online discussion about labour playlists, in which an individual – presumably one with a somewhat bleak outlook on parenthood – suggested it and everyone was all “Ooh, yus, that’s a nice song”. Which it is. Smashing, in fact. But would you really want to listen to it while giving birth? You decide.

Thirdly, I am very tempted to post some juicy quotes from Withnail and I, but some of the language is not quite the thing, and there are children present.

This one, for example. So I will instead merely link discreetly to IMDb’s Memorable Quotes, and those with unshockable dispositions can see for theyselfs. But don’t blame me.

[Some hours later]

Actually, I have some things to say after all.

1. The pig is learning tact. Her usual method, when faced with a nourishing dinner, is to eat three bites and then begin whining “I don’t want my dinner”; an attitude which wins her no friends. Last night, however, she switched tactics and said in a tone of polite regret, “Mummy, I love you and I’m very sorry, but I can’t finish my dinner”.

2. One hundred per cent of the friends I have thus far polled on the matter say that for $100,000, they would never eat peppermint or peppermint-flavoured foodstuffs again. I would scorn them for money-grubbing, but I’m sad to say I agree with them. I like peppermint, especially in the form of after-dinner mints and mint chocolate chip ice cream; but I could live without them. Chocolate-covered Turkish delights are a good substitute for after-dinner mints, anyway.

3. My knuckles grew during pregnancy. I tried to put my wedding rings back on the other day, and they wouldn’t go. And then I tried a week later, and they still wouldn’t go, and I made them, and it was a mistake. It’s mighty odd. My fingers don’t look swollen or indeed, in any way distinguishable from my pre-auxiliary-pig fingers; but there it is. The rings do not lie. Unless Helpdesk Man cunningly switched them during my pregnancy in order to mess with my postpartum head and cause me to off myself so he could collect the insurance and flee to Spain; which would be nasty, but I once knew a lady whose onetime husband would hide the rubbish bins just to mess with her head, so it just goes to show there are few depths to which humanity will not stoop. Flatmate Man consistently leaves numbers up on the microwave display so I can’t see the time without pressing “Stop/Reset”… for instance.

4. Still craving milk. I had two big glasses today and I yet I do not feel sated. Maybe that’s why my knuckles grew… calcium deposits. Anyway, it’s regrettably expensive, especially as Helpdesk Man has touchingly taken up the habit also. (Unless he’s just doing it to mock me, real subtle-like. See above. It’s not unpossible.)

5. I have to go now. I made Caesar salad and must eat it. This will be the second time today I have eaten poached eggs, although the first lot was in the context of toast. Did you know, you can poach two eggs at once? They separate beautifully after cooking, and it saves time. Once I get my Vitamin D levels back up and I’m brimming with confidence and self-esteem, I’ll try poaching three at a time. I should, like, televise it.

  1. Mother

    Ho for Dickens. I’ve always liked that quote. Also the one by Queen Victoria about her views on babies – she didn’t seem very keen on them, despite having a fairly large number of them.

  2. Trish

    I agree. Dickens is quite cool with the words. But I like the Wilde one best 🙂 Congratulations by the way. Can I just say I feel in retrospect that it was a little unfair of you to lead with the bat? The bat was sooooooooooooooooo cute. Miles is clearly cute too. But the bat… soooooooooooooooooooo cute. I don’t know about the Iron and Wine, but I quite like this song. He comes on quite loud though at the beginning, so maybe not near sleeping babies:

  3. Bob

    Regarding #1, that is indeed a very tactful and rather sweet way of putting it, not to mention very advanced to put together such a long sentence!