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An eventful Monday

This Monday was rather an eventful day. In the morning Karen and I went to the Maternity Unit of the Ulster Hospital to check on the progress of the child that is growing in my wife’s belly. That’s right, dear readers, if everything goes according to plan I’m going to be a dad in November. I probably should have started this paragraph with something like “I’m going to be a dad in November!” but, believe it or not, I’m not entirely comfortable with making big announcements.

On the same day we got our first scan, my sister Sian arrived home from her two-year world tour. The Cousins family braced itself for the coming years of tantrums, dumbed-down TV and mum and dad getting re-acquainted with babysitting duties. But less about Sian’s return...

We’d been warned the first visit to the maternity unit on Monday would be a long one and I would be left waiting outside most of the time. In preparation I’d brought a copy of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The whole thing didn’t last much longer than an hour. I barely got to page four.

Seeing our baby on the monitor was a moving experience. To the untrained eye it looked like a lump of play dough, but the more you studied it, the more important bits you could pick out, like its head, its feet and its tiny beating heart.

I wasn’t sure whether or not to write about our news in the column this week, but eventually decided, saying as I’ve made a habit of divulging details some of you thought best kept under wraps, then it’s only right I share good tidings.

Questionable spelling

I mentioned the book I brought to the hospital with me - The Hobbit. It belonged to my mum when she was a teenager.

The reason I know this is because her name is spelt incorrectly on the inside cover. I always credited my mum with immaculate spelling so I was surprised when I learned it was my mum who had spelt her own name wrong.

Although her name is Sharon she’d chosen to spell it Sharron. This prompted the revelation that when my mum was younger she liked to experiment with her name. She’d also tried spelling it incorporating a ‘y’ and another name she’d tried on for size was Stevie. I can only guess Stevie Nicks may have had a hand in this.

Regular readers of this column will know how upset I get when people spell my name wrong. And here’s my own mother, rejoicing in the misspelling of hers.

I’ve decided when it comes to naming our baby, my mum isn’t having an input.

Junk email

I got one of those junk emails last week from a woman from a land far, far away wishing to visit my country and make my acquaintance. I’m quite sure I’m not the only red-blooded male she contacted.

I was rather amused by her opening gambit which read: “My name is Vera. I’m woman, average years, without pernicious habits.

“I have good chance arrive to your country on next month!”

I was fascinated by her enigmatic grasp of English. On one hand she’s struggling to get across the fact that she’s a middle-aged woman while on the other hand she’s able to churn out a word, the meaning of which leaves me wanting. I looked ‘pernicious’ up and found it means something that is wicked or malicious. I get it, she’s trying to say she doesn’t have any bad habits. Another way of putting it would be to say that she’s no fun.

In summary - Vera is a straight-laced, middle-aged woman desperately seeking true love. I hate to break it to her, but when she comes to this country she’s going to have to go to the back of a rather large queue.

Movie review

Every office should have a Jenna. Credit where it’s due, our secretary’s updates from Cloud Cuckooland regularly brighten my day and put a smile on my face. She also gives me plenty to write about in this column. This week Jenna provided me with a poignant movie review: “Meet The Fockers.... By far the best of all three. Even though I haven’t seen the third one.”

See what I mean? Bet you’re smiling.

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teasers supplied by Jim Casey were: 1. Alan Sheppard, 2. Blackpool and 3. Pol Pot

Here’s this week’s teaser: How long can a so-called eight-day clock run without winding?