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Summer’s here

Summer has finally arrived.

Congratulations are in order for my friends Donna and Neil who had a baby girl on Sunday night. She weighed in at eight pounds, 10 and half ounces and they’ve decided to call her Summer.

She was expected over a week ago, but appeared reluctant to give up her cosy spot in the womb. If she’d been a week or so later I wonder would they have called her Autumn?

I can’t help but picture a scenario when, 20 years from now, Donna, Neil and Summer are at a wedding disco. Neil calls to his wife and daughter across the dancefloor, “Donna! Summer!” to which the DJ replies, “Do you want ‘Hot Stuff’ or Bad Girls’?”

Back to the present and we were informed of Summer’s arrival by text.

The standard new baby text is name, time and weight. For example, Tommy Tucker born at 10.23am weighing seven pounds and three ounces. I digest this information in the same way every time - I commit the name to memory, I try to picture the particular time the child was born, and I scratch my head in ignorance at the pounds and ounces bit.

Even though we’ve got a baby on the way ourselves I still can’t get my head round the weight thing. And it’s not just the fact that baby weight hasn’t gone metric. I just can’t relate to this quantitative description of the child. I’ve probably been told our own baby’s weight a few times, but to be perfectly honest I find it a lot easier to look at Karen’s belly and draw the conclusion that it must be ‘a fair size’.

It was the same when I used to watch the wrestlers of the WWF, now the WWE, or as Karen calls it the WW. I would listen attentively as the ring announcer told us the wrestler’s weight along with his hometown and name, in the format, “Weighing at 300 pounds, from Death Valley, Texas, The Unnnnndertakerrrrrrr.”

I couldn’t grasp the concept of 300 pounds, but at least I knew what it looked like. It looked like The Undertaker, who incidentally has no formal qualifications at directing funerals.

Anyway, back to the new arrival and I’ve been reliably informed that eight pounds, 10 and half ounces represents a healthy weight for Summer.

I suppose in one way it’s good finding out the weight of a baby girl, because it’s probably the first and only time in their lives that you hear the truth about how much a girl weighs.

Honda road again

People who come to visit our house generally leave things behind. For example, my sister Sian left behind her shampoo when she stayed a couple of weeks ago and our friends Zara and Nicky’s daughter Grace recently forgot her Upsy Daisy doll. There’s also a toothbrush in our ‘left luggage’ box which I think belongs to our mate Gorby.

However on Sunday my cousin Mark blew everyone else out of the water and became the new ‘King of Leaving Things Behind’ when he went home without his motorbike.

I’d told him to come down on the train, but he insisted on taking the bike. It only took him half an hour to get to Belfast city centre, but what should have been a five minute journey from there to our house took him one hour and forty minutes. And this was after consulting every driver’s companion known to man including a 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey map of Belfast.

When he finally trundled into our driveway, having driven in more circles than an Andy Warhol reproduction of the Olympic flag, he announced his arrival by turning the air blue.

Despite being scarred for life by his journey, he managed to go home without his Honda.

I was thinking of putting it on eBay. I have little knowledge of all things vroom, but it seems in good nick and looks pretty much like a motorbike should. Then I remembered the bike’s epic circumnavigation of Belfast and realised all those extra miles on the clock will have rendered this once spritely steed far beyond resale.

And so the motorbike will remain in our garage until such times as my cousin decides he fancies taking on Belfast’s highways and byways again.

Hopefully that won’t be too long because I don’t like my pushbike associating with such rowdy types.

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teaser was: I am the cleaner at the police station.

Here’s this week’s teaser: Name something that you can take the whole away from and still have some left.