Babesie, babies and the art of keeping time

Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins
Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins

The person who came up with the notion of daylight saving time obviously didn’t have children.

The clocks went back on Sunday and we were promised an extra hour in bed, yet for the second year running the opposite was true.

Lucy is an early riser at the best of times. She’s normally up anywhere between 6 and 6.30am. Thanks to the clocks going back she has been skipping into our room shortly after 5am for the past four mornings.

When Lucy awakes it is not with bleary eyes. There is no mission of coaxing her to ‘put her wee head down and go back to sleep’. When our daughter wakes up it is with the same fervour as though it’s Christmas morning.

Meanwhile Ben could sleep at the drop of a hat and not wake up at the drop of a bomb. Which is of course absolutely no consolation when your other child is bouncing on your bed or aiming cuddly toys at your head.

Prior to the clocks going back we tried to negate the effect by keeping the kids up an hour later the night before. The result was Lucy getting an hour less kip and being crankier than usual the next evening when bedtime came round at 7pm, which had yesterday been 8pm, but to us felt like midnight.

In contrast Ben appears au fait with daylight saving time. He even went as far as reprogramming a few of the clocks to the right time.

Speaking of time-keeping I bumped into an old pal of mine of Saturday at the Ulster match. Leslie Babes (Babesie) is one of the most punctual people you’re ever likely to meet. Punctual to the point of being ridiculously early for every event he attends, in some cases so early that you would be forgiven for thinking that he’s late for a previous event.

Not surprisingly he was at Ravenhill in plenty of time for kick off though there was some controversy about his means of arrival.

A rumour was started and for once a journalist wasn’t to blame. Though the source wasn’t far from home.

According to my dad, Babesie had got a taxi all the way from Waringstown to the home of Ulster Rugby - an act of extreme wastefulness considering his age affords him free public transport.

Dad based the information on a conversation he’d had outside Moutray’s on the morning of the match with one of Babesie’s travel companions Richard ‘Dinger’ Bell. When asked how he was getting to the game Dinger replied that he was waiting for a taxi that was also picking up Babesie and his wife Elaine.

No further information was given and no further questions were asked. The taxi arrived and my dad and Dinger parted company.

Seconds later my dad phoned to inform me Babesie et al were getting a taxi to Ravenhill.

An hour later the rumour was circulated that they were in a limousine and with kick off imminent it was announced over the Tannoy that they were due to arrive by private jet.

As it turned out the taxi had only taken them as far as Lurgan station and they’d got a train to Belfast. As you’ll agree it’s a fairly mundane journey and I fully endorse my father’s embellishment of the tale.

Babesie has another big trip planned for a few week’s time which involves an incredibly early start.

He’s already set all seven of his alarm clocks in anticipation.

I’ve suggested he borrows Lucy in case they fail to go off.