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A daddy weekend

P flew to the US on Friday afternoon, leaving me to experience life as a single parent for 9 days.

I say that but of course I’m being flippant and I’m in no way trying to suggest that being in temporary sole charge of a very well behaved child is comparable to a real single parent’s life with the possible emotional complications that having separated or divorced parents may bring.

That disclaimer was a bit clunky, wasn’t it? But you know how the internet is – say something in jest and all it takes is one person to see it the wrong way and start up a twitchfork mob against you. Another disclaimer: yes, I have myself retweeted stuff in outrage against someone saying something stupid but I usually reserve it for when politicians or people who should know better (that ‘or’ is very deliberate) say something out of line.

Anyway, back to the weekend. I was going to cheat and send A off to the in-laws on Saturday to stay over for the weekend while I went off to play football and socialise but plans changed, leaving me with the terrifying prospect of keeping A entertained all weekend. As it turned out, it wasn’t too bad. A went for her riding lesson and we went to view a couple of properties (neither of which were up to scratch, as blogged yesterday). We then went to the football club as A had sounded surprisingly enthusiastic at the prospect of going to watch amateur Saturday league football. As it turns out she decided she was happier sitting in the car with her iPad while I stood in the freezing cold cheering Reigate Priory on. (I should point out that the car was parked a few yards from where I was standing at the side of the pitch.) Back home after the game, we ordered a pizza delivery and ate that while watching The Voice.

Today I played a blinder, if I do say so myself, by taking A swimming. We stayed at the pool for an hour and a half, guaranteeing that she would sleep soundly tonight. I’m tempting fate, I suppose, but as I type, A is absolutely zonked and I don’t expect her to stir until normal wake-up time. I managed to serve up a Sunday roast for tea, to make up for the laziness yesterday, so I’m feeling pretty pleased with how the weekend’s gone. The coming week should be easy by comparison, since A is at school.

Kissing frogs

So, as I suspected, the stress involved with trying to sell our house quickly enough to buy the house we fell in love with was all for naught, as someone beat us to the punch. After a day of wallowing and ‘woe is me’, I picked myself off the floor enough to start the search for another house to give me the same goosebumps, lining up a couple of viewings for today. I know it’s early days but I’m having trouble shaking off the feeling that all we’re doing now is kissing frogs when we know the prince has already been and gone. It’s also rather weird going from a state of desperately hoping that anyone who sees our house is the one who falls in love with it and enables us to buy our own dream home to half-hoping that we don’t get an offer right away because we haven’t found anywhere we want to move to.

If a time traveller saw a smartphone

The New Yorker has one of the more thoughtful pieces I’ve seen about whether technology is making us more or less intelligent, coming up with insights via the medium of a thought experiment, If a Time Traveller Saw a Smartphone:

A well-educated time traveller from 1914 enters a room divided in half by a curtain. A scientist tells him that his task is to ascertain the intelligence of whoever is on the other side of the curtain by asking whatever questions he pleases.

Coincidentally, I’m in the middle of reading a book consisting of 100 thought experiments: The Pig that Wants to be Eaten by Julian Baggini. I’m a third of the way through and, to be brutally honest, I’m not enjoying it. Part of that is down to me reading the book at bedtime, which probably isn’t the ideal time to be engaging in these kind of exercises. Most of it, however, is down to me finding it shallow compared to some of the philosophical studying I did at university. I imagine it’s like someone who studied psychology reading a pop psychology book. There’s nothing inherently wrong with ‘pop’ books but they’re aimed at people who are interested in a subject without necessarily having studied it. So I suppose the reason I’m not enjoying The Pig the Wants to be Eaten is because I’m just not the right audience for the book.

Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots

Might as well make it a hat trick of music posts with this one from Damon Albarn, also released this week (whatever that really means now in this digital age). Everyday Robots is from Damon’s first solo album. Given all the stuff he’s done, it’s surprising that he’s got this far without doing an official solo album, but I’m looking forward to it.