Wednesday, 29 November 2006

If tickets cost a pound apiece...

Our first breastfeed on a bus today. All the jiggling around was quite useful, as the child does tend to latch on with verve, suck with great enthusiasm for five minutes, and then drop contentedly off to sleep - which isn't quite the point. Minor disturbance - gambolling toddlers, text messages sent behind its head, Beethoven symphonies, water scooped around in the bath - helps to keep its attention focused on the matter in hand.

I've almost perfected the art of the discreet feed, as well. Not so much from any desire not to offend (if you know me, you'll know that this would be uncharacteristic) as from the wish not to give any perves out there an unwarranted thrill. Which is assuming a lot from one little flash of nipple, I suppose. The only problem is that I've got so many layers of clothes on in this weather, and every cunningly designed nursing garment has a different system, so - especially if I'm wearing two at once, say - there's a lot of tugging and swearing to get inside, made all the more stressful if the spookily patient baby has finally decided it really is HUNGRY.

Caught up this morning with several back issues (if one can use an offline term) of the Money-Saving Expert emails. Good stuff. Red-hot tip this month is that Computer Shopper magazine has a cover CD or DVD with a free copy of Quark XPress 5 on it - this is for PC not Mac, but still well worth having. I didn't even know that there was a PC version, but then my job (building large dull websites for large dull companies) had been steadily turning me into a Luddite. (Even apart from that, though, I'd challenge anyone to tell me of a Word feature they use that wasn't in version 5.1. Most people I know don't even use the styles properly. Oh, don't get me started...)

It seems odd that the fields for all my favourite stuff in the Biog section don't include one for websites. Written by someone wearing an old media hat, perhaps. Anyway, I've only ever read two other blogs. One was by someone called truepenny, who wrote some fabulous stuff on Dorothy L Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey books. I read all these in one huge binge earlier this year and loved them to bits. If you're fond of the subtle quotation, they are a joy. And the last of them, in particular (Busman's Honeymoon), has some *very* interesting things to say about relationships. The other is by Andrew Brown, who writes for the Guardian, and is excellent on religion and politics but also good on life. His is called Helmintholog (I still don't know why). One tiny comment of his has stuck in my mind: he once said that he'd spent an evening at home in front of the fire, with a good book and a glass of very nice red wine, and it had struck him (I'm paraphrasing and possibly re-writing, of course) that two hundred years ago, such an activity would only be possible for the very privileged, whereas now there couldn't be many people who wouldn't be able to do the same if they wanted to. It really made me think about the small pleasures of life and how lovely they are - and how much, in every age, and at every age, we take them for granted. Oh, and he can also be very funny. And of course he's an excellent writer.

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