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, 5 July 2016


AFTER a very English medium-to-average morning of drizzly weather the sun decided to put its hat on and come out to play, which was lucky because we had arranged to have a barbeque, with a few friends coming over. It was to be M'Lady's first foray into outdoor cooking. Well, it is frowned upon to actually ask babies to take up the tongs, but you know what I mean. 

Homemade burgers, amazing sausages from Chadwicks Butchers (www.chadwicksbutchers.com) and the famous (in our house) Milk Lady potato salad all went down very well, especially with the munchbunch kid who very much enjoyed her al fresco highchair. Despite being a decent distance from the Weber grill A-bomb did seem to have ash in her hair but we'll skim over that detail because at no point was she on fire. Pat on the back for all the adults.

Spirits were high, meat had been inhaled, prosecco/beers had been supped and all was right with the world. "Shall we give her a mini milk!" exclaimed the jubilant Milk Lady, drunk on life. 

"Could do," I said, with some reservations. I was wary of plying the girl with too much delicious stuff in case of refusal to eat the garbage that we'd like her to eat (courgette balls) on other days. 

Out came the beautiful strawberry creation and immediately our darling started pawing for the dreamy dessert. At first I held the wooden stick and stroked the soft ice over her lips. The result was immediate elation. Much like the ice-cream of a few days ago, in her joyous delirium A-bomb was unsure what to do with herself and started kicking her legs uncontrollably while trying to swipe the Mini Milk from my grasp. Again I pushed it towards her mouth but this time she wasn't accepting my control – she wanted to feed herself, which is exactly how we've been teaching her to do things.

I pressed the nincompoop's fingers around the wooden stick. She was so excited to have more of this unbelievably tasty "food" in her mouh.  I have no idea if this is unique to our my child or whether it is a phenomenon with all babies but M'Lady insists on holding food at the point which she wants to eat it. This is fine with a rooom temperature or slightly warm item, but not so pleasant if dealing with a block of ice. 

She grabbed the ice and recoiled. She tried again and winced. She grabbed it one more time and then refused to let go, because she needed to eat it. It was the ultimate dilemma: It is so delicious that I must eat it but it is so cold that my fingers are numb and I am in real pain. 

In my job as a defence journalist I have written about many military tests and this feat of endurance that A-bomb was putting herself through was not dissimilar to the Ice Plunge that soldiers undertake in Norway as part of their Cold Weather Warfare package. I will hand it to her, she was determined. 

However, the whole thing was actually quite harrowing because we had created this situation and we now had a very upset baby girl, who desperately wanted to taste more Strawberry Mini Milk (who wouldn't?) but also wanted to maintain the feeling in her hands. For a seven-month old that is too much to think about and led to a momentary breakdown.

After a few minutes of real tears and trying to feed the dessert to her without success the executive decision to call off the torture had to be taken. It was bath time and the outdoor disaster had to stop. 

Luckily the stinkbomb seemed to forget about the sad time by the minute she was in the bubbles but we must remember that ice-cold goods are not to be handed over to A-bomb any time soon. 

On the plus side we know that she could probably withstand a military exercise in extreme cold weather. 

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