About Me

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By trade I am a journalist with a background in current affairs, culture, health and fitness, travel and high profile interviews. I also own and run an outdoor fitness business aimed at people that hate gyms and bootcamps (www.spartanfitnesslondon.co.uk). Most importantly though, I am on Shared Parental Leave from May 31 to October 3. Everyday from 0730 to 1800 I will be in sole charge of a real and completely awesome baby girl.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017


Daddyshortlegs giraffe
Sophie – the favourite
DUE to the highly sensitive nature of the situation there was one detail that I hadn't mentioned in my previous notes. For reasons of my own safety, fear of political and socioeconomic fallout, and a simple hope that everything would be okay "if I gave it one more day" I was harbouring a terrible secret... I did not know where Sophie the Giraffe was.

For the uninitiated Sophie is a toy that every child in the land is programmed to be obsessed with and has the ability to calm any human beast under the age of one, even when they are in the throes of a cataclysmic meltdown. Those who are aware of the simple French creation, that has remained unchanged for 55 years, will testify that I'm not exaggerating – the smug-faced rubbery play-thing is, whether you like it or not, an essential item. Milk, wet wipes, nappies, Sophie – she is on the top list.

Since Thursday afternoon (I believe) M'lady had been giving me quizzical looks while being loaded in to the buggy. "Excuse me sir, but you don't seem to have handed me my best friend, the giraffe", said the face.

"You know the drill sunshine, when I'm on awake-time walks I get strapped in then you hand me Sophie and we all have a pleasant day". Oh goodness I was going to be in serious trouble.

I'd set a deadline of Monday lunchtime to find her (her! she's basically got a seat at the table), after which I would have to confess that I'd failed in my duties and also shell out (£12.95, at least) for a new one. Now, I do not believe in any higher being, black magic or outside forces – I'm evidence-led – but praise be to whoever or whatever guided me to the Special One (the giraffe, not Jose Mourinho – we don't need him). The time was 0830 and Saviour Sophie was staring up at me from underneath the City Mini Baby Jogger GT (buggy). I had looked there 100 times but I would not be questioning it.  I would live to fight another day.

Following a bout of unprecedented coughing at odd intervals throughout the night I decided to take A-bomb to the doctor. She's not usually a cougher and these back-of-the-throat sounds suggested she'd done 40 years in a coal mine on a diet of 40 roll-ups a day. A quick check-up revealed that she was totally fine, might have a cold and was indeed a healthy (fat) baby in possession of sizeable thighs. Happy days. The munchbunch was a good lady, lazily sitting there, sighing with exasperation while the professional poked and prodded away.

Next up we took a car journey to Teddington to meet our recently married friends Pedalo/Pete and Lizard – not their christened names. I can assure you that Lizard is simply an hilarious adaptation of Liz. I do not make friends with reptiles and I certainly don't hang around with men that marry them. I digress. A lovely time was had in the sunshine at The Anglers pub overlooking the Thames – decent food and a friendly vibe. The little punk even donned her sunglasses and had some suncream put on before demanding her food just as mine was served. What a precocious urchin (it was exactly her feeding time).

Today was yet another example of how quickly these young humans develop. It was only a few days ago that I mentioned that A-bomb hadn't really rolled over. With a lot of concentration and effort she could move from her front to back, in kind of slow motion. But since that time she is now flipping from front to back with ease and has added moving back to front to her repertoire (#proud). That was an ironic hashtag. What next? Break-dancing?

Back at PedaLizard Towers the suck-up crowd-pleaser was rolling both ways for fun and had also gobbled up all of her Cheese, onion and spinach muffins. She was showing off. "Ooo look at me, I can roll on demand. Please love me!". Pathetic. It was actually an excellent display and she was rewarded with numerous genuine cuddles and three kisses.

Back at the ranch The Lady was stripped of clothes and treated to some "no-nappy time". Turns out they love that. Gets some air into the nether regions and gives them a sense of freedom you don't get in conventional clothing. The Milk Lady arrived moments later and the LO thought that was the best thing that had ever happened. To demonstrate her gratitude for Mummy being home she laid a giant onion-infused brown log on the dry-night mat she was parading on.

A relaxing couple of minutes in the bubbles followed. A-bomb just leaned back while we polished and buffed away. Then came a new move, which I hope doesn't catch on. While reclining like a Brit abroad on a sun-lounger she casually looked to her left and burped out a bit of sick, with cabbage in it. She then assumed her original position. There wasn't much of the vom' and no bits made it into the water because she'd cleverly aimed it on the space reserved for Steve The Sponge. Still, a bit disgusting.

So, a lovely day rounded off with a turd and sick. University students pay a lot of money for that.


  1. Yeah, parenting is basically knowing where Sophie is AT ALL TIMES.

    1. Thankfully the lesson has been learnt without anyone being hurt