Friday, 26 June 2009 Top 10 Selling Albums

Here's an amazing screenshot I just grabbed from - their top-selling albums, updated hourly.

Michael Jackson's albums dominate as far down as #14.

Poor MJ

Very sad news about Michael Jackson this morning. We were watching the news last night when they had a "late-breaking" story that he had been taken to hospital, and Olga read later still on the internet that doctors had performed CPR on him, but it was still a surprise and shock to hear this morning that he'd died.

I'm not a cynic and never believed the things he was accused of in his private life, although some of his behaviour was an example of what not to do, such as the baby-dangling. I just think he was a very naive man with emotional issues stemming from his childhood, and this put him in situations that most people would have seen as improper. That's just my opinion, and without knowing the facts, no-one should say he was right or wrong.
What is not in any doubt is that he was the greatest entertainer of my generation. Olga and I were so looking forward to seeing him at the O2 in February, but now I'm just grateful I was able to see him live in Leeds in 1992.

I read this morning that the internet slowed down last night when news of his death was breaking, and that there were so many hits on his name on Google that the company thought it was under cyber-attack. For 30 minutes Google News crashed, and the Twitter servers went down too. I don't remember a one-off event breaking the internet before.

Finally, even if you couldn't stand him or his music (go and live in a cave without TV or Radio for the next fortnight, I think), remember that three young children are without a father today.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Lara the Snot Monster

After going quite some months without a cold, Lara was due one, and it arrived on Saturday. It's meant she's woken in the night, once usually around midnight for a drink of water, then again around 2am, which required a spoonful of Calpol, but then she'd settle down again for the night. Having said that, this was the pattern on Sunday and Monday nights, but last night we gave her Calpol quite early, around 10.30pm, and she slept through the night. Monday morning was funny - after getting Olga up at 2am, Lara then slept until 9.05, a personal best. She must hate Monday mornings like the rest of us!
I think we're getting off quite lightly, given the combination of Lara's teeth coming through, her cold, and the warm nights. If the worst part is getting up at 2am from time to time, for half an hour or so, I'll live with that!
Lara's character traits are showing through more and more now. She can be a madam at times, throwing toys and food around (she can throw food a surprisingly long way - a piece of pineapple went right across the lounge the other evening), but she can show incredible determination too, when she wants to climb onto the sofa, for example. On the flip-side though, she's as affectionate as ever, there are always kisses for Mama, Papa and even Mishka (sometimes, especially Mishka). She loves the "round and round the garden, like a teddy bear" rhyme, insisting we repeat it on both hands, and both feet, holding them out for us one at a time and definitely saying "Mo.." for "more". She understands more than I give her credit for too - she knows who Colin is (her Colubus monkey toy Olga brought back from South Africa), and will look for him if we ask her to "find Colin", she'll get her nursery bag from by the front door when we ask her find it in the mornings, and when we're ready to leave, if we've not put our shoes on yet, we can ask Lara and she'll bring them to us! Cheeky, I know, but it's something Mishka never learned to do! Sometimes, she's even noticed we're getting ready to leave, and will bring one of us a pair of shoes without being asked! We'll see how long that lasts....

A change is as good as a rest

Recently Olga had the idea to move the furniture around at home, to give Lara more space to play. My imagination isn't the best and I struggled to picture how it would look if we transposed the lounge and dining rooms. Olga even marked out the footprint of the sofa on the dining room floor for me with masking tape, which helped, but it wasn't until I got home from cricket on Saturday evening that the penny finally dropped: Olga had moved all the furniture herself - no mean feat given this included a 5-seater corner sofa, a dining table and 2 large cabinets! She's strong, you know.

It's worked out really well, as Lara had started to really enjoy climbing on the sofa, and in it's old position it was difficult to keep an eye on her while we were in the kitchen, but now the sofa is directly under the hole in the wall between the kitchen and the now-lounge. If anything, it's cosier now to watch the TV, the sofa does almost fill the room, but there's enough room to get round the back of it to retrieve dropped toys, and we've revealed acres of wallspace just waiting for photos of our travels to be hung there.
This also means extra fun for Mishka, who can climb on the sofa and stick his head almost into the kitchen to beg for treats (he doesn't get any!), although the downside for him is he's lost his primary position for guarding the house and watching the world go by - when he used to lean on the back of the sofa and look out of the front window. The postman will probably be pleased, as he'll not get the full-on barking attack he would normally get from Mishka when he delivers the mail.

Other home news - Olga took her first pickings from the veg patch yesterday, we have monster radishes, it seems, although some local creatures have taken a shine to our broccoli.

Here are some new pics: