Monday, 24 November 2014

Fantasy Cabinet, Square Dream and Dinovember

In the battle to get the Bairn to try new food we deploy a range of techniques. The latest, learned from a friend whose kid is six months older than ours, involves asking the child to put some food on a fork for us to eat. Not for the kid. Oh no. But what’s that? Something has distracted me and I’m forced to look away. When I turn back the food on the fork is gone. Call Columbo! Get Jessica Fletcher on her bike. It’s a mystery.

Seriously though, it’s a great technique and helped our Bairn pile through mince and tatties for the first time, including some sneaky peas!

News reaches us via a chance glance at Twitter that the Crushinator is to cease its destructive rampage in our street a day earlier than planned due to complaints from residents. The overnight road removal and resurfacing will only last four nights rather than five, begging the question of when it’ll be finished. Ominously the council statement says the work will be completed at a later date. This means that our town centre will look like a war zone as the shops prepare for their make-or-break Christmas rush. I can see even more folk than usual heading for the out of town chain store retail park. Nice job, local authority.

To Prestonfield! It’s the Politician of the Year awards and I’m pleased to see recent Green convert John Finnie pick up a well deserved gong for his work on armed police in the Highlands. I’m also pleased to report I witnessed nothing else of consequence despite the juxtaposition of journalists, politicians and alcohol. No, nothing at all. Please move along sir/madam.

The new FM announces her reshuffled cabinet. It’s good to see gender balance in action, although disappointing that Fergus “Fracking Opportunity” Ewing remains Energy Minister, and frustrating that climate change remains a junior responsibility outside of Cabinet, indeed going to a third minister in as many years. Playing fantasy cabinet (come on, admit it - you were doing it too) I see climate change as too important to be tucked away. It should be up front and cross-cutting. Given the emissions from transport and housing I’d make both those posts full cabinet positions with a clear remit to pursue low carbon policies. Added to that an objective to improve affordability to reduce inequality. Imagine! A Cab Sec for Sustainable Transport. A Cab Set for Energy Efficient Homes. Heavens to Murgatroyd.

Dad duties call and to the clinic we go to take up the offer of a flu immunisation. I keep calling it a jag but in fact these days it’s a nasal spray and is over in seconds. Our Bairn hardly bats an eyelid; other parents appear to face a bit more of a struggle. Mind you, I still live with the memory of taking our little person, when she was very little indeed, for an actual jag. The look she gave me! A look of: Why did you let that smiling lady do that you untrustworthy brute??!! Impossible to forget.

In other dad-type news I read an excellent report that the latest delivery scheme on offer is for socks. That’s right. Hot on the heels (see what I did there) of veg boxes, fish boxes, milk and, actually now I think about it, pretty much anything you click on while online, a firm is offering to send chaps regular parcels of plain black socks every few months so they need never worry about what goes on their toes. This is a genius scheme and I look forward to patronising it enormously.

The tarmac is hardly even cool and dry before sad motorists start piling into what could have been a Musselburgh town square but will soon be marked out with white lines for increased numbers of parking spaces. At one point the area is empty and I witness a couple of boys playing kick about with a ball. Brilliant. I am sorely tempted to occupy the space with a couple of chairs, a table, a chess set and some bagel and coffee. We could watch the world go by like urban dwellers in civilisation. I could imagine it’s NYC and Newbigging is Broadway. Ach, the fumes from the First Buses to North Berwick are going to my head…

Happy Dinovember! Wondering what I’m on about? Click here. Our Bairn loves it. Who needs Santa when you have toy prehistoric creatures that come alive during the night! What will they get up to next?

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