Farewell Old Friend

In the week before Christmas I finally said goodbye to my old shitheap Volkswagen Polo, but having been so busy since it’s only now I get the chance to look back on our time together. Here goes.

There's the old girl
There’s the old girl

I got it off some guy from dundonald through gumtree for 300 quid after having been to see a few others (one of which was a registered write off, which still baffles me as to how it got insured) and it seemed a decent deal, it was only supposed to last 6 months or so before we got something else when I got a new better job. Things didn’t really work out like that though.

So, after nearly three years my old faithful companion failed it’s mot quite spectacularly and was resigned to the scrap heap.

Was shiteing myself up there
Was shiteing myself up there

Now, it reads like this mot was carried out the week before and the destruction was quick dignified process, it wasn’t, it lay in my drive, sorned for four months since that failure and replaced with a newer, bigger Peugeot as my main mode of transport mainly due to a mixture of laziness and bad luck. During that period it got used as an aid for me painting the outside of the house. One for throwing the dust sheets in so didn’t have to keep them in the house and also I rolled it in against the foot of the big ladder so I could go up and do the apex safe in the knowledge the ladders wouldn’t or couldn’t slide.

It was a v reg with no power steering, electric windows or CD player. Everyone you told about the lack of power steering said the same thing about having arms like Popeye. Popeye is one of those references that everyone uses when it comes to getting muscles, like Freddie Mercury is when you grow a tache, even though you would think by now they are maybe outdated. I didn’t get arms like Popeye, to be honest you hardly notice the lack of power steering and just get on with it. I mean you park about four spaces away from other cars in supermarket car parks in the hope that no one parks beside you and you don’t have to manouver too much when getting out and you try not to reverse park at anytime. But it’s fine, its all about adjusting.

The lack of electric windows wasn’t really an issue either, sometimes I wished I could open the passenger window while I drove but mostly I worry about stuff getting sucked out if they are open like on a plane so it actually worked out well. The radio being a tape player was interesting as we had got a house which we hadn’t moved into and in amongst the shite that was left by the previous owner was a New Kids on the Block tape which got a fair few airings in the polo before a CD player got fitted.

Other improvements I made were to stick my KFC personalised registration on it and also I debadged it. Or what I would consider debadging. I didn’t do that for any other reason than so folk didn’t know I drove a shitey 999cc motor or know the actual age of it through the dated font of the writing of 1.0l and polo that was on the boot.

When we got it I stayed down in Prestwick so it regularly made the journey back and forth to Killie. One of the first times I drove it up the bypass (keeping at 50) I thought I had broke it as it the rev counter was way up over seven thousand. I cursed the bastard that sold the heap of shite to me only to realise that instead of fifth gear I had put it in third.

More regularly it went the Dundonald way to my work at Moorfield. I always saw the same guy standing for his bus at 7.21 in Gatehead and wondered what he did for a living? Where was he going? When we moved up to Killie I didn’t use that road anymore and I never saw him again. I don’t really think about that much anymore, apart from when I just typed it out here, probably wasn’t worth mentioning.

It got me to a few comedy gigs, one in paisley where I drove up a one way street and another in Irvine where on the way back I passed the police who had comes off a bit of the road due to a deer being hit by a car or van and killed. It was genuinely strewn all over the road. Bits of leg and intestines all strewn all over the road. I was a bit worried as I approached as I assumed the police were doing spot checks and my motor in my mind was in ill health. But that was unfounded. Poor deer mind you.

Took it to Biggar for a wedding once, gunning the shitheap at 70plus for miles on a motorway was a bit different from scooting it to and from my work which is five minutes from my house. During the reception I nipped out to sit in the driver’s seat and listen to the last five minutes of the Barcelona v Manchester United final at Wembley through a fair amount of white noise. I mentioned the radio earlier but forgot to mention that mw didn’t work particularly well. In fact it didn’t work full stop if the engine was on but you could hear some when engine was off but it was through heavy static. So I found out about Barca’s win that way.

You might think I should just have used my phone to follow it through Twitter or even some sort of tv app but Biggar is pretty much north Korea when it comes to phone coverage so that couldn’t happen.

The old Polo even helped me up a few rungs of the manhood ladder when I changed the tyre. A tyre which burst on the way to my grans but I didn’t notice until the way back when

Look at that, I fixed that.
Look at that, I fixed that.

I could hear a grinding noise and couldn’t get it up to 50mph on the bypass back home. I assumed the engine was on it’s way out and frantically tried to get it hone without it blowing up. Once in the drive I jumped out and noticed it was down on one side and realised my mistake. The sparks must have been flying out the back as it grinded away on the wheel.

Luckily it never caused any problems, one of the advantages of not having a nice alloy wheel I suppose and the next day I put on the new tyre and reflected in my manly achievement.

wpid-IMAG1299.jpgFinally, I never had oor Cody in the car until the day before it’s road tax expired and I sorned it for good. So I took him a drive to Morrisons. Was good, wish I had done it sooner. He enjoyed it too, wee bit different from his usual mode of transport.

wpid-IMAG1323.jpgSo that’s about that, sadly I never even seen it go. Was out driving around Kilmaurs trying to get my kid to go to sleep and came back and it was gone. What’s worse is that it was put on one of those carrier things and my wife says it went on the front overhanging bit.

Which is probably a load of shite now I think about it cos there is no way they had one of those vehicles in my wee cul-de-sac. I should probably find out exactly what happened but then again, do I really care? Best to draw a line under it here and now. Ta ta old pal.

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Oor Cody and What I Have Learnt about Parenting and Stuff Like That

4 weeks and one day ago, one whole month considering that month was February (plsus a day) after I bemoaned the fact that my baby seemed not to want to make an appearance and simply wished to stay in his mums belly a bit longer, I decide to write this in the time I have between now and Cody, which is the name we gave our son, waking up for his night feed. My wee boy Cody was born on the Sunday afternoon, the day after I wrote that last entry. What a day that was, what an experience it has been.

having been up since 2am I was starting to look a bit tired
having been up since 2am I was starting to look a bit tired

Yes, I am now a dad, and this is a big night as this is the first time I am flying solo in the baby looking after stakes as my wife has went out for dinner. I have the PJ’s set out, along with all the other stuff I am told i will need. Fair to say i am shiting it. So I decided to try pass some time till his mum comes back, as he lies sleeping in his swing like a ticking timebomb ready to go off at any point and start screaming for something by giving my, (disclaimer: views are both pathetic and probably factually wrong) view on a few things that have stood out in the last month.

Labour

Labour wasnt nearly as traumatic as i thought it would have been, it also is nothing like what i have seen on TV and in films, there was very little (if any) lying on beds, and no doctor or midwife checked and told you how dialated you were before leaving you to watch tv and eat grapes and such. Its all very intense but totally hands on from the midwives who i thought were all bloody great. But thats at the hospital, before we even got there was quite an experience. for about four hours we were the baths, on the couch, in the hall, in the kitchen, on the phone, back in the bath. I watched a fair amount of tv in this time, Stewart Lee live at the stand from about 6 years ago, was quite good. Also Cheers comes on itv4 quite early on a Sunday, i enjoyed an episode and a half of that, love Cheers so i do, it took an hour to get from the moment the phone call to the maternity unit said we should come out to us actually getting out (a five minute drive) due to the unexpected struggle to get socks and jeans onto a pregnant woman in labour. Such things you dont really think about and certainly dont get told in the anti natal classes.

Anyway, when it comes labour, and i mean labour labour we were in the pool which was actually great. I used the edge of the pool from my position behind Natalie on a seat

outside to obscure my view of what was going on in the water, i could see the other side and natalies head but couldnt see the water down below. Natalie’s way of describing it has been a “scene from Jaws” bearing that in mind i feel my decision to choose what i could or couldnt see seems justified. If i needed to stand up, or say leave the room to go to the bathroom when i was given permission (its a long time not to go for a pee) i tried to stand up and take a step back at the same time thus keeping the same view of the pool. Of course it wasnt foolproof and i did see some things that i wish i didnt but the ability of the human brain to instantly assess and delete such images or simply lock them away in some deep dark recess of the memory has astounded me. Well chuffed with that, I had feared mental scarring for most of the 9 months prior, as well as about ten years before that. Full thing was a happy exerperience in the cabable hands of professionals.

Oh and i tried “gas and air”, it was crap.

Object in the rear view mirror may seen like their jacket doesnt fit
Object in the rear view mirror may seem like their jacket doesnt fit

Bibs

Now I’m not in any position to hand out parenting advice what with Cody a month old but if I was in a position to do so and any expectant mums or dads, or recently married couples planning families or even reckless youths having weans unexpected are reading this, I would advise to buy in excess of 1000 bibs and put them in every room in every drawer on every flat surface and every wee nook n cranny in your house. We have what we thought was plenty, but its not enough. Black bin bags full of them everywhere is plenty, having 40 under the couch just in case is plenty, being ale to lay your hand on one regardless of where you are in your house is plenty a wee drawer upstairs and a couple in the changing bag and box (maybe 30 in total) is not, we will be buying more but please take heed future mums and dads, for me, this shit is important.

Newest Killie fan
Newest Killie fan

Colic

Colic is a strange thing, noone can really tell you what it is, and to be honest my knowledge of the subject was the passing statement of people i wasnt ever really paying full attention to saying something about a baby being a colicy baby. I think, (bearing in mind we think (thats think) that Cody has colic)  that its something to do with wind and finding farting sore but really its still a bit of a mystery. Apparently they grow out of it after about six months, I am taking this as the gospel truth and count down the days of the next five months and rue the fact that not all months are the same length as February. There is a bottle brand called Dr Browns who specialise in bottles for colicy babies. Dont know how that works though, the bottles look complicated.

Bottles

Talking of bottles, we are using Avent ones made by Phillips of all people. I just thought they made tellys and hifis but aparently they are now in the lucrative business of babies. Smart move, there isnt a lot of competition, not like telly, so plenty of opportunities to make dosh. Dont know exactly how this affects dutch fitba team PSV Eindhoven mind you as their name means Phillips Sound and Vision which may well change since they are taking their business in a different route. Phillips bottles and steralisers? PBS Eindhoven maybe? I think i might get Cody a strip.

Taking his Photo

I like most people have a camera on my phone. I now exclusively use this to take photos of my child. Thats a lot of photos of someone who doesnt really get out the house much and visit different places. To combat this i take them in both colour and black and white to give the impression of diversity.

More Robust Than You Would Think.

Its all about dressing your kids properly
Its all about dressing your kids properly

My headings are getting a bit more descriptive and and as such the explanation seems pointless. This one is just such a self explanatory effort. Turns out wee babies while hot potatoes you are feart you snap with your bare hands when they are other peoples are actually fairly robust wee units when they are your own. there isnt a big time gap between being handed him not long after being delivered and being able to move him from arm to arm and up over your shoulder or even the weird choking out motion of holding his body straight to get a wee bit o wind up during feeding.

Pushing Prams

I am right into this, I push the pram everywhere, earphones in and stomp about for a fair bit, the wean loves it, all the bumping about and is sleeping pretty much instantly and i get a bit of exercise and the chance to catch up on podcasts and that. Win Win.

Paternity Leave

Is truely bizarre and I was glad to be back at work. Its so fake. Every activity was all hands to the pump, like a nappy change for instance would see us both running around barking orders at each other about who is doing what, feeding was a military operation and the notion of heading out had to be planned days in advance. Better me back at work and real life can resume.

Tasting the Milk

Only the formula stuff, not breast milk, couldnt bring myself to do that. Though in hindsight, it surely couldnt be any worse than formula which is like ready brek made from cabbage.

And thats about it, wish i had ended on a more interesting thought though. Its been a strange old month. I have enjoyed it. We have enjoyed it actually, the three of us. Well I think Cody has enjoyed it. I dont really know.

Look at that wee face
Look at that wee face

Wait, I just asked him there, he didnt cry, i am taking that as a yes he has enjoyed it. I am happy with that, feel like a success as a parent now. Well, Natalie wont be long now, I will just press publish and see whats on the telly.

Cheers.

Our Baby is Late, Just Like its Dad

Well, looks like there wasn’t a 90th minute winner in this game of pregnancy. We are now past the due date and with no sign of the kiddo yesterday a golden goal in extra time will be needed to finish the match. At this point in time we won’t even consider the end of the two week extra time and the midwifes inducing Natalie to bring on the labour which for the sake of extending this painful cup final analogy we will call penalty kicks.

It would seem we are playing the old waiting game.

But the bags are packed, the nursery decorated, cot built, baby monitor set up, moses baskets (one in the living room and one in the bedroom) are set for action, pram is in its space under the stairs and its tyres blown up to the advised pressure, isofix base thing fitted in the back seat of the car, clothes are all washed, even the coming out of the hospital clothes for Natalie and the baby are hanging in the new wardrope ready for me to take in with me so i dont fuck that up. Its all taken care of.

But we wait.

I guess i could shine up the metal work of the pram, so it looks nice. Or i could get the steraliser out in the kitchen and have a wee trial run with that and the bottles for feeding. I could even read one of the parenting books i have so far dodged for 9 and a half months (and now a day ontop of that). We could decide on a name, or rather names since we dont know what we are having.

We could do all these things as we wait but we arent.

We are just waiting, we have tried all the things they tell you but so far no joy, it will come when its ready. I am quite enjoying it actually, Natalie not so much. Its not too much pressure on me, mostly i am doing the things i usually do, working and watching the telly, Natalie is off her work on maternity which initially i was fairly jealous about but she is mostly knackered from carrying around the bump and needs a pee every twenty minutes so i suppose the novelty will wear off soon. I will get my paternity fortnight soon, the two of us working out how to look after a wee toaty baby.

I am looking forward to it.

But I am not excited, I rarely get excited. Not a very excitable person really, I can appear quite dour. Wonder if my kid will be like that. If it is Natalie will be demented. Thats away in the future though, now as I try to remember the advice given at the anti natal classes we attended about how to deal with labour (there isnt a lot of info about a fathers perspective at those incidentally, certainly not the ones i was at, so you have to improvise a bit from the mothers perspective info) and put it in practice when the waters break (if they do) and mop up the gallons of stuff that comes out (imagination getting away from me, hopefully) before packing us all up in the car and heading out to the maternity unit at the hospital. Surely its within the week?

Not sure where i am going with this now, think i will just press publish, go see what Natalie is doing. Its Saturday night, T plus one day (is that how it is described?) and since its after 11 its unlikely we will see a wee mucky baby arrive before due date plus two so the wait isnt near to being over. This is frustrating writing this, more frustrating than just sitting about waiting.

Waiting….hmmmmm.

2012 in as few a words as I can

Last year i started writing a diary of sorts on here which was very cathartic and good fun, sadly it fell by the wayside after a few months, to be expected but a decent effort none the less if i dont say so myself. In fact i think i will include it in this, a rundown of all the good things that happened to me the Olympic year just past.

wpid-IMAG0002_COVER.jpg

  • Got my wife pregnant! Kid is due early February, its touch and go if this will be finished before the baby is born, mind you, will update that particular piece of ongoing news at the end before i press publish.
  • Bought a cantilever arm to stick the television on the wall with. its the only thing i wanted when we moved in two years ago and now i have the necessary thing to make it happen. (it has now actually happened, its brilliant)
  • Did 9, count em, 9 gigs taking em to 14 lifetime, im on the cusp of cracking this shit! Of course im not and this tally isnt all that impressive really but take into consideration it was only 6 lifetime in July and i did 8 from August onward so things are picking up.
  • Kept an online diary till March.
  • Gigged at the Edinburgh fringe Festival. or at least i think i did, it was the free fringe and it was one five to ten minute gig but i done it. felt good, should have been two gigs but was ill the next day and couldnt make it. what i learned most about the Edinburgh festival is that its probably fairly easy to get a ton of gigs just by being there and seeing if folk (like me on day 2) dont turn up and you can get a wee spot. Always assumed it would be ver near impossible to get gigs and it was all locked down months in advance. Quite surprised really. Was so proud i even uploaded it on youtube.
  • imageTook in some English Premiership football for the first time. Everton v Spurs, just as brilliant/shite (delete where apropriate) as Scottish fitba, there was just more people there. Guys who cant hit 50 yard passes attempting 50 yard passes and putting them in the stands, fickle fans berating their team only for then to score two in the last minute to overturn a one nil defecit and leave praising their team to the hilt. Beer in the ground though was good and the Everton players ran to our wee corner when they scored the equaliser and the winner Goodison, home from home.
  • Ran the Glasgow half marathon. Which was 1 hour and 53 minutes of looking at people’s backs or my own feet. Though I did take in the views when running across the Kingston Bridge, that was cool.
  • Went to a civil partnership. I am horrendously akward when dealing with how to kiss the bride (one cheek? Both Cheeks? I now do a strange cheek to cheek rub thing which seems to work) so a brideless wedding was a weight off for me. Two firm handshakes and words of congratulations suffice. Terrific.
  • Gigged in front of just four people one night in Paisley. Well, 3 people and a barman. Plus compere and 3 comics. 7 really, gigged in front of 7 people. Lowest so far. Was still a decent night though.
  • Gigged twice when there were burlesque dancers on the bill.
  • Nearly got a new job. But didn’t.
  • Went for a Turkish shave. Which was an exhilirating experience from the red hot imagetowels to the open blade shave (twice) to the setting your ear fluff on fire and leaving them smoother than anything else on your body. I was the only person in that Friday morning and while i had a razor blade at my throat by one Turkish fella, another one was taking my photo. Thats weird, right?
  • Took our new car up to Loch Lomond and managed to drive right past it and ended up lost. Found Loch Katrine instead. Drove that far past it it took over an hour to finally find Loch Lomond. Got lost coming home too.
  • Watched Kilmarnock lift their first ever league cup on an amazing day in March.
  • wpid-IMAG0201.jpgPlayed doubles at darts with Andy “The Pieman” Smith versus Terry “The Bull” Jenkins and a guy called Hoggy on the stage at a darts exhibition night in Park Hotel. We won but I was fucking woeful.
  • Passed my fork lift truck drivers licence on a two day course over a weekend. The videos you have to watch are magic.
  • Walked around York’s city walls one weekend in May. Lovely place. Went to York races on the Saturday and stood in a suit all day on the warmest weekend of the year, facebook was full of folk out their backdoors in Ayrshire and beyond with their shirts off drinking lager and eating hot dogs off the barbecue, i had a tie on and my sleeves rolled up. Was good though. At York races they dont let you drink outside in the dear bit but on the other side of the course (the inside) you pay the lowest amount for tickets and get to take your own booze with you and watch and bet and get fu’ cheaply. Something far wrong there i think.
  • Changed the back tyre on my Polo. Add this to the “knocking up” of my good lady wife and i feel i made some genuine steps into manhood this year. To be fair, i only put it back on and let the jack down, i didnt put it up or get the wheel off, there is always next year.
  • Became an uncle again. Nephew this time. Hope he likes fitba. And Batman. And wrestling. Few years before all that mind you.
  • Appeared in a play. One stand up gig i managed to get was as part of a play in Irvine, driving down to do it i was aprehensive and hardly had any information about it and had asked to get my night changed from Sunday to Saturday but it was bloody brilliant. It was a play about a comedy club that fell on hard times and in between scenes a comic would come out and do five or so minutes. Great experience.
  • Celebrated our first year married.
  •  wpid-IMAG0113.jpgWandered around the comedy carpet in front of the Blackpool tower. Absolutely minted. Didnt set aside enough time for it, thought it would be a bit shite to be honest. How wrong could I have been, lines from tv and stand up over the years, the Python stuff is great, Peter Kay too and this genius from Spitting image.
  • Appeared on the telly on Scottish Football: The Debate. I covered it all here though so no need to go on about it again.
  • And while i am plugging older posts from my blog, i wrote a thing about playing Ayr the night before the semi final and it got retweeted and thrown around facebook that Friday night which was geekily quite exciting. Sat and refreshed the stats page on here and watched the number go up like a egomaniac prick.
  • Saw Spamalot! at the Kings Theatre the day before the League Cup final. It was very good. Saw Chicago later on in the year as well, it was alright too.
  • Got papped out in round 1 of the Scottish Comedian of the Year competition. Which was a audience vote format and took place in my own town. Not too impressive. Was on first though. Excuses excuses. Always next year. Or, you know, this year as it is.

So thats about it i think, and yay, I managed to get it all typed and posted before the baby has made its entrance. Could be any time now…….but this has been nice. Thanks for reading, thanks for waiting in fact for something to actually read, please accept my apologies and half hearted promise to post more in 2013.

Happy new year.