Originally uploaded by Roostar.
Here' a interesting combination. The first batch of nappies finally arrived on the same day that we celebrated my dad's 80th birthday. Despite not wanting any fuss J an I arrived with an 'experimental' coffee and walnut cake, the balloons and some wine. Dad showed J around the garden and we all sat down for food and, by a strange process of connection, a discussion on the decimal system. A good time was had by all.

A few weeks ago Marks and Spencer delivered a kitchen cabinet. It was fine except for a cracked piece of wood inside the door of the cupboard. I called M&S and they apologized and promised a replacement part would be sent out in seven days.
Today, weeks later, I called again to be told there was no record of my call, and no parts could be sent out because, presumably, these things are made so far away that getting spare parts is impossible. They offered to send a 'technician' but didn't want to know the dimensions of the broken part. What would the technician do, we wondered, glue it back together? Make a new door? In the end we were offered £30 so I could fix it myself and get off their backs.
The person on the phone was polite but then, so was the one who lied to me last time. I made sure they were sending a cheque, not M&S vouchers then I sat down and wrote this so you know not to buy from M&S's furniture department.


Marvin the ... bin

Marvin the ... bin
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
A good weekend with house guest Emma (vocalist from Soul Beaver and good pal for many years now). We walked the White Horse Hill, drank at a pub, drank at another pub, had a lot of good food at the Rose and Crown in Ashbury, then came back here to watch 'Standing in the Shadows of Motown' with wine and nibbles.

In the photograph is Marvin the Bin. One of J's colleagues has an artist son. He can turn his hand to almost anything but we liked the idea of having a fun bin for the new arrival.


Cats in love

Cats in love
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
When we found out about the pregnancy there was a question about the cat. Could it handle having a baby in house? Should we find a new home for it? Should we maybe move out and leave the cat in charge?

No, it's ok, we thought. The cat is cool and will handle change. Nothing bonkers about our cat.

We thought.

This is our cat. It has fallen in love with the bird scarer next door. Oh dear.


Typos rock on.

Sorry for all the typos. I'm blogging in a rush and quality control has gone down.

The new car has an 'automatic' hand brake (parking brake). It's taking a little getting used to and every time I stop at traffic lights my left hand goes flailing around in the space where a hand brake does not exist.

The terrific series of 'Play it Again'(BBC2) reached Lord Winston learning to play the saxophone last night. Throughout the programme he was described as an extrovert but I've rarely seen someone give less away emotionally. With the possible exception of an ex-girlfriend. Anyway, the show was saved by this well respected doctor, surgeon, researcher, writer and broadcaster looking like a cross between Groucho Marx and British comedian Tommy Cannon.

And finally, two weeks off the day job and continuous work from J and myself mean that our house now looks much worse than it did before. I'll be calling the professionals in the morning.



Signs that I might not be cut out for DIY:

After scraping some wallpaper off my first reaction was to grab a camera and photograph the design underneath,
Fiends start laughing when they think about me doing any DIY.
I took a break from some recent DIY to make a batch of scones.
The phrase "hire a professional" keep playing over and over in my head.

Tomorrow I go back to the day job. I'm aching to play music live.



OK. I've made a short, amateurish video promo for the CD. Except I don't mention the CD, the project name or any details. It's out there on You Tube though. I'll put a link up after it's been out there for a while then I'll add more professional promos that make something resembling sense. New toys. Gotta play.

House and car

The house has been undergoing some major changes recently. The room that was a nursery is now partly stripped of wallpaper as, hlafway through the process we found the plaster underneath was in a terrible state. Stripping the paper has proved to be harder than we thought as the previous owners of the house used some sort of American military secret high grade super tough wallpaper. When people in DIY shops say "oh yeah, just damp it with a sponge and the paper will pretty much fall off" I want to shout back... "no, it's some sort of American military secret high grade super tough wallpaper. You's need a flamethrower!" Things could be progressing faster.

Having updated the computer I've also had to update the car. My old vehicle was officially described as a 'deathtrap' by the man at the garage and so, today, J and I took possession of a sparkling blue Renault Scenic. It's very nice, and I'm a man who does not get excited about cars. Not even slightly. So it was with some surprise that I beheld the new addition to the family (named Miles by J) and thought about all the gigs I could drive to and all the baby related holiday type moments we could have. I must be getting old.

Now then, I must get back to that YouTube thing...


Silver Dream Laptop

Normal blogging will resume shortly - but if anyone out there was waiting for an email response then you should know that I lost all my emails when my computer died. There is now a shiny new machine in your humble correspondent's life but for a few days I couldn't email out either.

The scary news is that I now have the technology to make videos and put them on You Tube.

Hmmm. Let's see...



Originally uploaded by Roostar.
It's been a good week, away from the day job and mostly with J. We've been working on the house and going for walks to top up on fresh iair. The pregnancy is coming along nicely, witht eh learning-tobe-child reacting positively (we think) to the countdown on a new digital jazz station.

However, there is always something unsettling about walking througha graveyard and finding your own initials on a stone.

Nappy cake

Nappy cake
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
The cake-like thing on the right is a nappy-cake. It is almost entirely made up of nappies, but also contains a host of handy baby things (dummy, thermometer, comb, etc.) as well. This was a fab present from J's sister.

Starsky at the garden centre

Starsky at the garden centre
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
J and I lived the cliche today and spent the bank holiday visting two garden centres. The first (Burford) was pleasant and we stayed for a meal. The second featured loud music pumping from a big truck and, oddly, Starsky's car.


Sleeping through ER

Good day today. I drove over to my folks so I could go to the hygienist but she had to cancel. So I got to have breakfast with them without anyone fiddling with my teeth. Later, J and I checked out Prams in the Oxford Mothercare shop (they had a wall of prams! Or were they pushchairs?) then we walked across Port Meadow with my inlaws' dog. It's been a beautiful day and right now J is sleeping though ER (her favourite programme) while the baby kicks away inside her.

Yesterday I visited Richard Guitarist and we finished mixing Coffee-Housing. I need to listen to the tracks and make sure I'm happy with the order and then we can get it mastered. I'm very excited.