What’s in a Name?

“A rose by any other name…”

“I’ve got a cousin called Rose”

“No, I meant…. Actually I like Rose. And stop interrupting”

“Sorry. Yeah, she’s nice. She’s a twin too.”

“No, I meant I like the name. Is she?”

“Yeah, her brother’s Peter”


“Yeah, Peter. My best man. You’ve forgotten already?”

“It’s allowed: I’m pregnant. With twins. Did I  mention that?””

“Oh yeah, sorry. It makes you do a lot of strange things doesn’t it? Like how you explained to me that you have to have the remote all the time or the babies get upset & start kicking you. And how I have to watch Glee with you”

“That’s right, very good.  Anyway, you said you like Glee! Actually, Peter’s a nice name”

“No I didn’t.  (OK, but don’t tell anyone: not good for my image)”

“Another Rose & Peter though, & twins? That would be a bit weird”

“What? Oh, OK. So…Paul then?”

“No, don’t like that. I work with a Paul & he’s horrible”


“Mmm, maybe. He’d probably get given lots of apples”


“Definately No! Wait: you’re just going through the names of U2, aren’t you?”

“It was worth a try. What’s the Edge’s first name. anyway?”


“You think you’re funny don’t you? At least I didn’t suggest Bono”

“You were about to weren’t you?”

“Yeah I was. Thom? My Dad’s name was Tom”

“Yeah, maybe: that’s a good name”


“OK, but a bit too public school. O god – you’re doing Radiohead now, aren’t you?!”

“What’s the name of the bald bloke on the drums? I like him”

“We are not naming our son after the bald bloke from Radiohead!”

“Are you shouting ‘cos of you being pregnant & all? With twins?”

“Yes, dear, that’s right.”

The debate continues…

Disclaimer: Although this is the kind of chat we often have, my wife would like to have it made clear that she’s not actually this stroppy most of the time, & that I am allowed the remote sometimes. And that if I don’t write this the babies will be upset & start kicking her.

title courtesy of William Shakespeare


Through a Scanner, Darkly

Over the last 7-8 months my wife & I have been practically living in the ante-natal clinic in our local hospital. Given that my wife: is carrying twins, is a bit older than your average Mum, & has had what we men can only refer to as “Women’s Problems”, she’s a bit of a special case there.

With 1 notable exception, (The Evil Sonographer), the clinical staff have been universally excellent & she is in very capable hands, but the admin leaves a lot to be desired. Typical NHS, really. We’re usually there for 2-3 hours each visit, every week or 2. I’ve asked if could pitch a tent there so I could brew moonshine & roast rabbits for a stew while we’re waiting, but for some reason they said “No!”.  Even when I offered to play some Seasick Steve numbers on my geetar to keep everyone’s spirits up. Some Health & Safety bollocks: it’s PC Gone Mad!

She’s been having scans about every 2 weeks & we always get very excited ‘cos we get to see what our kiddies look like, & see them moving around. It’s been a wonderful experience (apart from when we had The Evil Sonographer…) Wonderful as these scans were, they’re 2D, black & white, & we can only get printed, not digital, images to take with us.

Because of this, & because of what turned out to be a false scare from The Evil Sonographer, we decided to supplement our regular NHS scans with a private super-duper one: for peace of mind to confirm that they were both growing normally & because of the special colour 3D images.

We are so glad we did! It wasn’t expensive, the Sonographer was also a Midwife, & she had plenty of time to respond to our needs & wishes; unlike the NHS where they generally do their best but are almost always pressed for time. We were not only able to confirm that both babies were growing normally, but were able to see some terrific 3D video of the little tykes, & some great images to take with us: both printed AND in digital form.

All well & good, but then there’s THIS (click to enlarge):

The serene-looking, apparently sleeping figure is our boy. The fist – in his head – belongs to his sister. OUR KIDS AREN’T EVEN BORN YET AND THEY’RE ALREADY HITTING EACH OTHER.

We’ve asked them to stop it but they won’t listen. They can hear us, oh yes; they’re just ignoring us. Start as you mean to go on, why don’t you? We humans learn fast, don’t we!

We’ve  had visions of Social Services launching Donald Pleasance & Raquel Welch in a miniaturised submarine to take them away to somewhere safer – although exactly where we hadn’t worked out yet.

What we’d surmised – especially if the boy takes after his Dad – is that he’s very good at getting into the best spot, & that his sister is all “Mum, he’s got the best spot again, make him share!”. When Mum did nothing, she punched him. The boy seemed to be very comfy, with his feet up & head supported: all he needed was a pipe, slippers & the Sunday Papers to complete the picture. His sister’s puny attempts at violence didn’t seem to bother him at all.

Although there was that time where I dreamed I was in a punch-up & I actually hit my wife (lightly) in real life while I was asleep – which had never happened before, hasn’t since & I hope never will again; & about which I still feel terrible –  we are now satisfied that we aren’t actually a violent family & that our little darlings aren’t busy thumping each other. Although the way my wife’s insides seem to get churned up  – from what she says – they may well be playing rugby in there.

This (we think) gives a better overview:

click to enlarge

That’s our girl. She’s sleeping, with her hand over her face. It’s not clear, but what her hand is resting – RESTING – on is her brother’s head. All very sweet & innocent, right?

That’s our story, & we’re sticking to it. And that’s what we’re telling Social Services, them & their bloody Donald Pleasance & mini-subs. You”ll back me up, right? Thanks!

Have to admit, there does seem to be a bit of clambering, jockeying for position,  going on:

click to enlarge

Kids, eh?

title courtesy of Philip K. Dick, via Paul the Apostle