30 08 2011
The clue’s in the name really.


They indicate your intentions, whether that’s facial expressions, language or that (for most of us) plastic stalk thing on the side of your steering wheel.

Unfortunately it would seem that a lot of cars are built with a design fault.

Either the indicator is missing or it’s broken.

It’s the only thing I can think of to explain their lack of use on the roads.

I obviously didn’t get the UK memo saying that it’s fine to drive along a motorway and just cut someone up without indicating, or go all the way around a roundabout and just peel off like a Red Arrow.

I’d be willing to bet that there is a high correlation of people who are just caught up in their own little world both in car and life, oblivious to people who are effected by their actions, who don’t use indicators.

People of the UK. It’s ok to use your indicators to let people know what you are planning on doing. Stop being so lazy.

The indicator stalk on a Veyron costs about £12k. I'd excuse the owner not indicating in case he broke it. But for everyone else, learn to use it.


Work, HUH, what is it good for…

26 08 2011

…well paying the bills actually.

I was hoping to get another post in before the bank holiday but work has led to a non-existent lunch break.

Why do these things always happen on a Friday to me?

I’ve had to abandon ‘lunch club’ with the team to work on some spreadsheets.

If they come back drunk, I’ll be, er, jealous!

Roll on the weekend.

Joking aside…

25 08 2011

Apparently ‘Nick Helm’s password joke is Edinburgh Fringe funniest’.

“I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven

The number two joke wins it for me from last year’s winner Tim Vine:

“Crime in multi-storey car parks. That is wrong on so many different levels.”

What do you think?

Emotions are for wimps…

25 08 2011

As you may have gathered, it’s been a hell of a year on the getting pregnant front.

We’re pregnant, we’re not, we’re pregnant, we’re not, we’re pregnant.

A lot of my friends have already gone through successful pregnancies (a few have had tough times too), but one thing that has surprised me throughout is the repressed nature of talking about miscarriages from a bloke’s point of view.

When I started to talk to people about it I was quite startled to learn I was not alone.

Now that may sound a bit odd, but I’ve learnt that the topic of miscarriage is not really something you talk about over a pint with your mates.

See the score last night?

Yeah, gutted. I just wish they’d sort out their midfield and sack their manager.

Nah, they need to take advantage of the transfer window. Oh and by the way, the missus had a miscarriage last night.

Oh. Erm. What’s that over there?” *quick exit*

Now I’m not trying to imply that we should all get out there and talk about miscarriages over a pint but where should a bloke initially turn to talk about it? Should we talk about it? Do we actually want to talk about it?

Well I do, if only to be (hopefully) a source of thoughts for chaps to read about. Future entries will explore this and talk about it more.

The first key fact that I learnt is that miscarriages are quite a common occurrence. Figures seem to vary from 1 in 3 to 1 in 5 but I had no idea. When you start thinking about having kids you don’t want to think about what could go wrong. No one should have to worry about what could go wrong. You don’t get married thinking that you should consider the ramifications about getting divorced! You want to get caught up in and enjoy the moment.

The second key fact I went on to learn was that it’s ok to talk about miscarriages. It may be a taboo subject with some people but it’s a fact of life, like death. We can choose to ignore it or embrace it. The more I talked about it the more desensitised I became. I then found more and more people who had gone through the same experience from family to work colleagues.

Perhaps it’s just a personality trait, the confidence or want in the individual to talk about it. I spent a good deal of time in my own space crying, deliberately not wanting my wife see me. Not talking about it. That might have been a mistake, but as far as I was concerned I needed to be as solid as a rock for her. I felt that if we talked about it too much, I would just be keeping the emotional wound open.

Looking back I think ignorance / being naive about miscarriages led to me building an emotional cave with room for one.

I’m an emotional chap, even if I don’t show it at times and don’t know how best to express them.

So just call me a wimp.

I’m a wimp and proud.

LP2: Preparing for the worst…

24 08 2011

So, Little Pea 1 was a tricky time and I think I’m still trying to work out the impact it has had on me. Very easy for a bloke to just bottle it up and file it under “DO NOT OPEN.”

Writing the previous blog about LP1 was quite hard as I didn’t want to go into too much detail on the emotional side (that will follow in another entry). It was quite hard writing about it so I’m obviously still effected.

So without further ado, LP2.

When I found out that my wife was pregnant again it was a joyous occasion if not a tiny bit subdued.

The moment had been tainted a bit because of LP1’s surprise disappearing act. I was reluctant to tell anyone about the pregnancy as I did not want to have to go through telling everyone again that it was back to square one.

I think it would be safe to say that we were quite negative thinking the worst would just happen again.

And it did.

LP2 only got to 5.5 weeks but fortunately did not hang around for long after that, miscarrying at around 7 weeks.

There’s not really much to add other than it still hurt and probably just as much. Seeing my wife yet again go through the same turmoil knowing there is nothing I can really do other than to be there is sickening.

I hate that feeling of helplessness, feeling like a spare part. It’s soul-destroying.

But this time around we were a tiny bit more prepared.

Just like a roller coaster.

Once that first down is out-of-the-way your senses become that bit more prepared and it’s not as scary.

I used to love roller coasters but the novelty was wearing thin.

LP1: the shooting star…

23 08 2011

So I’d stepped on the rollercoaster and was enjoying the ride.

My wife and I tracked our baby’s growth through an app that showed an illustration of what it looked like, likening its size to a foodstuff and generally talked about what was happening to the fetus.

At 6 weeks the baby was described as being the size of a little pea.

A baby nickname was born.

Little Pea.

The happiness was tangible as our excitement grew with every day.

We were down in Cornwall for a bank holiday visiting the in-laws having planned on announcing the news. LP was only 9 weeks at this point but we were too excited to keep it a secret from family.

My wife started feeling a bit tired and ill but we just thought that was the norm so it was fine. But then the pains started.

By Monday we were in A&E and to cut a long story short, we started to go through one of the most upsetting times of our lives.

They say the root cause of miscarriage is not really known, and that is so frustrating, especially when you try to apply logic to an incredibly emotional situation to explain what is going on.

We later learned that LP did not get past 5 weeks so didn’t grow to its namesake.

Shooting stars arrive with such brilliance and captivating awe but as fast they come, they go.

As Jim Morrison of ‘The Doors’ said:

I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps “Oh look at that!” Then- whoosh, and I’m gone…and they’ll never see anything like it ever again… and they won’t be able to forget me- ever.

LP1 was our shooting star.

Getting on the rollercoaster…

22 08 2011

Some say that the purpose of life in its most basic form is to procreate to ensure the longevity of our species.

Most of us get that feeling at some point in our lives when it’s time, a deep primeval itch that needs to be scratched.

So, it was with a great deal of excitement and trepidation that my wife and I embarked on that journey to create a life (well somebody’s got to do it!).

We were as prepared as two people in love could be, with a degree of blind faith protecting us…

And then one day, whilst immersed in my world of make-believe, I was brought to down to the reality of Earth with an almighty thump when I found out that I was going to be a Dad. A word I had associated with only one man for all of my life. A title I was to take on.

Entering into a state of shock I was not quite able to compute the ramifications of what I’d just heard, even though I was prepared as I could be. It was the most incredible and humbling piece of news I had ever heard in my life. Holy <enter expletive here>.

I quickly immersed myself back into the world of make-believe.

It took a while for it to sink in if I’m honest. I was too excited and didn’t know how to express it because all my hopes and fears gathered into one place and swept me away on the first high of the 2011 rollercoaster ride. I could almost hear that cranking noise, which has that effect of turning your knuckles white.

But I had a job to do, and ensuring that I made my tiny contribution to the survival of the human race became the year’s focus. So I did what any man can do. Held on tight, put on a mask of confidence, and looked forward to journey ahead.

They had no flipping clue