It's a completely cool, multi-purpose blog.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Station is so Fetch

Paternity leave was, among other things, a great opportunity to catch up on various DVDs that I had been stockpiling. I watched lots of good stuff (and some complete bobbins), but by far the most affecting was Dekalog, which I had bizarrely picked up in a dodgy outlet in Nanjing. Yes, a miserabilist 10-hour TV series from the 80s. Set on a Polish housing estate.

There are 10 episodes, each loosely related to one of the 10 commandments, and each episode has a separate storyline and set of characters with only occasional overlap. There are few joyful moments, but the moral complexity of the stories was hugely compelling, and it felt adult in a way that no other TV I have seen has done before.

Then I watched Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.

I was reminded of this by a great article by a film critic challenging his innate anti-TV bias, a bias that I generally share. I particularly like the admission that "it's significant that my strict policing of my kids' TV viewing habits allows them to watch programmes on CBeebies and CBBC but only in the correct aspect ratio ('How many times do I have to tell you, Tweenies is anamorphic 16x9!').

The only TV I really watch is determined by what DVD box sets I pick up - this season I have been mainly watching Life on Earth and Curb Your Enthusiasm. What have I been missing out on?


Beth and Barnaby on the Sofa
Originally uploaded by Tom Goodfellow.

We had a lovely weekend with the kids. A few friends dropped in but it was mainly just the four of us chilling out. Barnaby didn't sleep too well through the nights which was a bit stressful, but M is coping admirably as ever.

The sun was shining, Arsenal won 5-0...smashing.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Extremely busy at work, no continuous sleep at home = Tom not a happy bunny. Grizzle.

It is fortunate that M, B1 and B2 continue to delight, or I'd be really hacked off. B1 has somehow become obsessed with creepy-crawlies and gets scared whenever she sees a moth or spider. I don't know where this comes from, M and I always strive to act with great sang froid in front of her when there are beasties around. We've rebranded a house spider that lives in the bathroom as "friendly spider" so B1 is now able to wave him good morning and so on, which has half-worked. The problem will arise when we are in the garden. What if a poisonous spider shows up, and the reprogrammed toddler should charge towards it crying "Hello friendly spider! Not hurt Beth!".

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A list of characteristics commonly described erroneously as virtues

Abstinence from sex
Abstinence from mind-altering substances

Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Alottabooks Now

(Tom sits in his office as the shadow of a ceiling fan moves over him rhytmically)

The library... shit; I'm still only in the library... Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back on paternity leave. When I was home after my first baby, it was worse. I'd wake up and there'd be nothing. I hardly said a word to my wife, until I said "yes" to a gin and tonic. When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back onto paternity leave. I'm here a week now... waiting for an enquiry... getting softer; every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute the students squat in the bush, they get stronger. Each time I looked around, the walls moved in a little tighter.

(Tom practices elaborate martial arts moves, his muscular torso glistening with sweat...)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Happy families, in a faintly nauseating manner

It's all good so far. Barnaby has extended his night sleep to around 4 or 5 hours which is lovely. Beth has also been fabulous, no problems at all that cannot be ascribed to your usual 2-year-old behaviour.

2 weeks of paternity leave is a real treat. I am back work on Thursday, which will be a real test for M. I know I wouldn't want to deal with relentless breastfeeding of one child and the ongoing attention-seeking of the other on my own. Especially the breatfeeding - I'd be rubbish.

Thursday also marks the start of the new semester of my film course with the Stratmeister, so I won't be home until late evening. Still, M can cope 'cos she's brilliant. I'm hoping for a screening of Spirit of the Beehive or Serpico.

I watched Week End this week. 'King brilliant.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I'm knackered. M has been very busy (and rightly so) looking after B2, so it has fallen to me to take care of B1 as well as M, B2 and the influx of guests. I'm lucky enough to have a couple of weeks of paternity leave so I have been happy to do it, but gee it's hard work. Librarianship is a comparative doddle.

I miss M's big belly - is this weird?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Peter and Christopher Hitchens of the next generation

OK, things are calming down a little now. We are all back at home and the kids are both fabulous, M is great too but will take a wee while to recover from labour. Your first port of call should you want to be kept informed on baby related news is M's fledgling Shamblings blog (obviously there will be the odd mention here, but more mixed in with my other solipsisms).

Anyway, here's a video snippet of When Beth Met Barney.