Babies stop you sleeping

According to a BBC News article, babies stop you sleeping.

This won’t come as news to Ed, who highlighted the article, cos  he’s had two already and has another on the way.

And I’m sure it won’t be welcome news to my council colleague whose partner gave birth at 11.20 this morning.  But I’m guessing they knew already too.

I’m flat out at the moment and having difficulty fitting everything in because of the election.  I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like having to do all I’m doing AND look after a new born baby.

It’s perfect! It explains everything!

Just one more episode of House before I hit the sack… just one more.

Bah, I’m as addicted to the programme as Greg House is addicted to V… (I’m not going to type it, it’s a huge spam magnet.)

House is not a good thing to watch during an election campaign. I get urges to berate voters and attempt to wittily browbeat them. The last few days have been keeping up with the leafleting, of course, but also starting to get our first voter contact of the campaign.

First job is getting nomination papers signed. In order to stand for election, candidates have to be qualified in one or more of the following categories: on the electoral register, live in the electoral area, work in the electoral area, own land or property in the electoral area. In addition to that, those of us putting ourselves up for election can’t be insane, bankrupt or have a non-expired criminal conviction. I bet you feel relieved already.
But having qualified candidates is just the first step. Once you have the candidates, you
then have to get them nominated. To stand in any given ward, ten people who are on the electoral register in that ward have to sign a bit of paper to say you can stand.

All well in good. In most wards where we are active, there is no problem finding ten people we’ve helped or who support us. But we also have to stand candidates in areas where we are less than strong. Areas where don’t have people ready to sign your form. Areas where what you have to do is find a nice long road, with loads of people living on it, and knock on doors one by one explaining what you want. “Hello. I’m from the Lib Dems trying to get candidates on the ballot paper in your ward, but to do that I need people who live here to sign a piece of paper saying they don’t mind.”

Amazingly, some people do sign. But you do have to knock on a lot of doors to get just ten signatures.

Seed catalogue

My plan to grow my own veg has taken its first baby steps with a large order from the Organic Gardening Catalogue.

The following seeds should shortly be on their way…

  • PARSNIP The Student
  • ROCKET Rucola
  • MUSHROOMS White Cap Spawn – April-July
  • FENNEL Finale
  • HERB COLLECTION – Summer Sowing (Borage, Chervil, Coriander (leaf) Sorrel, Sage, Lemon Balm, Purslane (pictured), Peppermint)
  • LETTUCE Mixed Lettuces
  • ONION Long Red Florence
  • CARROTS Rainbow Mix
  • COURGETTE All Green Bush
  • ONION Ailsa Craig
  • ONION Bedfordshire Champion
  • SUNFLOWER Russian Mammoth
  • PUMPKIN Tom Fox
  • PUMPKIN Rouge vif D Etampes
  • RUNNER BEAN Desiree
  • DRYING BEAN Soissons
  • POTATO COLLECTION Blight Resisters 5kg (1kg each of Colleen, Orla, Milva, Robinta and Valor)
  • SWEETCORN Sweetie
  • SNAP POD PEA Sugar Bon
  • RADISH China Rose
  • RADISH French Breakfast
  • SPRING ONION White Lisbon
  • CABBAGE Christmas Drumhead
  • CABBAGE Greyhound
  • BRUSSELS SPROUT (Late) Seven Hills

I have also been reading my new allotment book, that tells me how to spend 30 mins a day getting the most out of an allotment, and erm, handily tells me not to buy seeds, but to get pre-started plants from the garden centre.

House

I’ve been watching House – the medical drama with Hugh Laurie – in odd spare moments.

Are hospital beds really that amazing? They seem to be able to switch at a moment’s notice and do all sorts of things. Not only can they tilt and raise up (I could do with that. Eight years into my GERD diagnosis I’ve still to raise the head of my bed like I’m supposed to) and hold many different positions, they also have many cool attachments. Places to hang your catheter bag too.

Suddenly feel bugs crawling out of your arms? No problem, there’s slots where velcro restraints can be attached so they can tie you down. Suddenly start a seizure? “Give me suction!” (Why?!) And all those tubes – oxygen readily on tap.

The rooms around the beds all seem really well stocked, with hypodermic needles stocked with epinephrine in every drawer, and ready access to exactly the right drug the doctors needed in the middle of the emergency.

The wider hospital is staggeringly well equipped too. Dr House’s patients get access to the MRI scanner more easily than a bloody lift! I’m sure it’s the ultimate diagnostic tool but is it really that easy to get into an MRI scanner in the US? And do they really make that strange banging noise?

The MRI scanner’s the tip of the iceberg, but there are some other sweet features too that I’ve seen in just the first episodes. The Clean Room for severely immunocompromised patients. An ice bath for a fever of 105 F (bloody hell – that’s 40 deg C, no wonder she needed to get cool). And probably more things, but it’s getting late, and I should stop watching House now and go to bed.

An evening wasted with David Lynch

Hmm. Just schlepped out to the Broadway to catch the last but one opportunity to see Inland Empire before it’s taken off in Nottingham.

Not entirely sure that was a good use of my time.

It’s hardly as if I’m a stranger to Lynch films – ever since a rather splendid cinema in Paris ran a Lynch retrospective during my time there.  I can’t remember where it was, except it was clearly a building converted to a cinema from a church or theatre.  A huge auditorium, with architectural features like mouldings, and most of the seats on the flat.  I trekked out there on several occasions to watch a whole series of Lynch films, including Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and Dune.

Indeed, that was probably the first time I came across the word “retrospective”.

Years later, a video rental accident later, and an incredulous group of us sat and shouted at Lost Highway – remember the coffee table scene? Years before Mark Oaten…  We even went to see Mullholland Drive – can it really be six years ago now?

So it wasn’t as if we didn’t know what to expect.  And yet still it feels like I’ve been robbed of three hours of my time.  The story didn’t hang together any better than expected.  At least in previous projects, you got the impression that Lynch knows how the tools of cinematography work, even if he has a conscientious objection to narrative coherence.  In this one, it seemed like he forgot key skills like exposure, with the film often (painfully!) too bright or too dark.  Pixellation was a problem at several points.  This wasn’t a beautiful piece of film work, like some other films of his have been.

Still, always nice to ogle that nice Justin Theroux. So much more to him than Kyle MacLachlan.