September 2008 Archives

Buggy

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We're off to Australia for a well earned holiday in a few days.  One thing we realised is that we needed a new buggy for our son as the one we already have is very good, but too heavy and bulky for an airport.  The other option would be to carry him in the Baby Bjorn sling but doing that every day for three weeks solid would get pretty uncomfortable and tiring.

So, off we went to the big Mothercare supermarket in Weybridge to spend our money.  We wanted a buggy as light as possible, that folded up as small as possible.  Being in the UK it also had to have a rain cover.  The place was quite busy, but we were able to try out all the buggies in our own time, wheeling them around and folding them up, etc.  After fiddling around with everything that was on offer, we settled with a Maclaren Triumph which seemed to meet all our requirements (in charcoal grey, not the eye bleeding bright pink which comes up on the site by default).

Then we went to the till to go and buy it, but the woman claimed she wasn't trained on buggies and couldn't help us.  The other staff were all helping other customers.  We waited around for a while, gave up and went to the Argos next door to see if they had it (they didn't), and went back.  This time a different woman was serving who just went into the back and got one for us.  We paid, shoved it in the car and headed home.  Job done.

Why did the first woman refuse to help us?  It seems daft.  We knew exactly which buggy we wanted - we weren't asking her for advice on what to buy, we just said "We'd like to buy that one please".  The only thing I can think of is that she wasn't trained for lifting stuff from the store room (despite the whole thing weighing only 6kg including packaging).

Now we need to work out how to pack all of his baby stuff into ½ a normal personal baggage allowance for the flights (luckily, the pram itself won't be counted as part of that).  Then we need to find out definitively what we need to do about baby food.  Neither the airline or airport websites are particularly helpful on this subject so I guess we'll have to phone them.  We can't take all his food ready made because 24+ hours out of a fridge is too long to remain sterile, so do we take baby bottles full of sterilised water (which are bigger than 100ml and could be confiscated) and add the powder when he feeds s we do at home, or are we forced to buy lots of those expensive little ready made cartons of baby milk?

Nation - Terry Pratchett

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The first surprise for me in reading this book is that when I looked at the map in the opening pages, it didn't look much like Discworld.  In fact, it was a slightly alternate looking map of Earth.  "Huh?", thinks I.

Without spoiling the book, it makes total sense that it's set on Earth and not Discworld as one of the major themes is exploring the question of whether gods exist - of course they do on Discworld, which would make the whole story moot.

However, the book reads like Discworld, with similar structure and devices.  Terry Pratchett has not changed his writing style much lately (except that his last few books have used chapters) and this book is no exception.

Overall, this is a tale that'll make you think, but has little that hasn't been explored a hundred times elsewhere.

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