Monday, 15 August 2016


Yesterday's mist that rolled in off the Atlantic, bumped into the promontory of A Guía and spread itself all around was still around, even denser, at nine o' clock this morning. The billboard temperature gauge read 16 degrees, ten degrees lower than some mornings last week. And the day was unnaturally quiet, partly as a consequence of the blanket that muffled everything and also because today is a día festivo. I swear they have more holidays here than in other countries. But then, it's also "ferragosto" in Italy. 

Today is also odd because we didn't need to run around making sure we had everything organised to set off the Pontevedra for the chess tournament. That one is over and done with for another year. However, it all starts again on Wednesday when the Mondariz chess tournament starts. This is the one where Phil on e famously won €800 and suddenly felt almost like a professional! 

I have been exchanging stories about childbirth with our daughter, who is about to experience it once more in a couple of weeks time. Well, not really gory stories but comments resulting from an article I found in the Guardian. They had asked people to send in stories of births they had stories included one about a child born on a bus in Liverpool! 

All of this was triggered by Jamie Oliver, who has always liked to be a bit different, having his older children witness the birth of their new sibling. My daughter and I agreed that this was more than a little over the top. It could traumatise the children and put them off having babies forever. Maybe that was JO's idea: instead of a strict talk on "being careful", a real-life presentation of the pain and messiness of childbirth! 

 A friend of mine had her toddler in the room when her second child was born. She wanted it to be a family affair. And then, she also had photos taken of the various stages of the birth - and showed them to friends in the weeks after the child was born. My daughter and I agreed on the wrongness of that as well: there are bits of me I do not want photographed! 

But, chacun à son gout!

I assume Jamie Oliver had already told his children how the baby who needed to come put had got inside their mother in the first place. I have recently got around to reading Harper Lee's novel "Go Set a Watchman" (the 'sequel' to "To Kill a Mockingbird") which concentrates on Scout, the lawyer's daughter. At the age of eleven or twelve, Scout, raised without a mother, is totally ignorant of the facts of life, and thinks she is dying when she starts her periods. Later she is convinced that she is pregnant because an boy in her class kissed her and stuck his tongue in her mouth. Her female classmates had told her what pregnant meant and that French kissing was what caused it. Logical!!! 

She only learnt the truth of the matter after she was prevented from throwing herself in a water tower to end it all. Finally someone put her wise!

Two completely different ways of going about things. 

Personally I think talking to your children is pretty good.

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