Friday, June 27, 2008

Now if only he'd smile...

Fionn doing his (almost) full range of facial expressions.

Live blogging, dénouement

Well, far from my greatest success in the kitchen. It may well look like a dogs dinner, but it tastes pretty fabulous.

I believe my mistakes lay in the fact that I took it out of the oven too soon (I panicked when I saw the burnt edges), and then didn't leave it enough time to sit in the baking tin. Onwards and upwards, my next effort will be magnificent!!

Live blogging, part one

Or, the "Domestication of Dave".

So just popped my first crack at baking into the oven, just ten minutes to go until I get to nibble on the sweet taste of my endeavours: flapjacks, recipe courtesy of here.

I'll let you know how it goes.

To keep everyone's mind off the suspense, here's some pics of my firstborn, and my darling wife.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A poem from Pop

The family laureate penned a welcome for Fionn: I give you Greg's ode to his grandson:

Epic journey.

Been getting ready for weeks now,
Putting the final touches
To my best suit,
Turning this way and that,
An occasional kick
To position my head
Towards the exit.

The softer voice had begun
To get a little more insistent,
“C’mon Baby, time to get moving”,
The other voice had got to Rivendell,
Sounds like a nice place,
After the terrors of the Hobbit journey. *

Sometimes the muffled noises
Are very loud as my head
Is being squeezed tightly,
And after what seems like years
Was it really only hours?
The pressure on my head eases,
Then quite suddenly
Way too much brightness
As I complete my epic journey.

* I read Fionn (then merely known as 'Bump') The Fellowship of the Ring during the pregnancy, hence the Rivendell connection :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You, me, and baby makes three

So we're finally home. Fionn ventured out into his* big bad world just after midday today, and after an uneventful first car ride, he began to explore what will in all likelihood be his home for the next two years.

Just after he was born, I said to S that we were now immortal - I guess I meant that I could see our future line stretching out in front of us, and his arrival was the first step along that journey. Today, while reading an Anne Geddes book, I saw this quote from Alfred North Whitehead:

"Children are our immortality; in them we see the story of our life rewritten in a fairer hand."

I think mine was nicer, funny coincidence all the same.

Stay tuned, more videos, photos and poems to come.

* Yes, it is his world, we've just been minding it for him.

A face like a dad

Home again to an empty house I'm afraid. S and Fionn are overnighting once more in Holles St, although they at least have been afforded the dignity of a private room, which is a huge relief.

Things I completely wasn't expecting fatherhood to bring:

  • An irrational and overwhelming urge to protect my child - I have now twice suspected two perfectly lovely and helpful nurse/midwives of trying to poison him.
  • A trawl through the musical back-catalogue of my mind - Fionn especially seems to like Oasis classics such as "Champagne Supernova" sung to him while having his nappies changed. Odd.
I'm sure there's more, but it's far too late...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

And there he was...

Our beautiful boy, Fionn Benn-Scanlon, came into this world at 19:50 on Friday, June 20th, a healthy 3.77Kg. While not quite the natural hypnobirth we were hoping for, my beautiful brave Sinéad battled through, fought the good fight and both are now doing very well. Son, I'm so happy to have you with us at last...

I can't begin to describe how overjoyed and excited we both are - we're going to have a ball :)

Thanks to all for their messages of support and congratulations; I promise we'll let you all see him soon!

Monday, June 16, 2008

oh citroën

just a quickfire post tonight, no time for frills. S has been re-admitted to Holles St since Sunday afternoon, and she'll be there until baby has arrived. she's been moved to a semi-private room, so hopefully she'll have a chance to get a couple of good night's sleep. plan is for a possible induction on wednesday, so stay tuned. it's been a bit of a battle to try and strike a balance between the medical-intervention wielding doctors and what we had hoped would be a natural childbirth experience: although we've had some support from the community midwives team, I think it could have been nigh on impossible without the hypnobirthing training, and the subsequent reading S has done. go knowledge! S has been wonderful: she has maintained her dignity, strength, and beauty as the cracks have appeared in our hoped-for birth plan. she is an amazing person, and I love her very deeply for what she is going through for both of us. transmitting maximum love over the web, comin atcha....

our baby will, in all likelihood, be home this week. wow.

alas (and it's only a very very very small alas), I don't think I'll make it to my nude moment of fame this Saturday. spence, you'll have to make do without The Dave I'm afraid.

I did manage to get my ESA application off. rockin...

just a small note RE the post title: the headlamps failed on the car again this evening, forcing me to trek home (well laden, tired, and emotional) via public transport. André-Gustave Citroën, in my dreams, you're dying all tonight...

Friday, June 13, 2008


A victory for selfishness. A victory for immaturity. A victory for small-minded nationalism. A (genuine) victory for "the marketing of fear".

We've just given two fingers to a noble human endeavour, a project designed to help the unique and wonderful peoples of Europe to join together and achieve good things in the world: embracing the arts, funding the sciences, providing a better humanitarian service. Instead, the 'No' campaign reduced this endeavour to short-term financial issues (will I lose my job?), and encouraged near mass-hysteria levels of fear (conscription, abortion, the return of Michael McDowell (wtf?)).

When I was born in 1981, the Republic was already a member of the EEC: I consider myself a European before being Irish. I would imagine that not many others share that view, and that many would call my "nationalism" into view. Up until today I was by and large proud of my heritage; I would, however, now cringe slightly if someone from the Continent asked where I was from.

I'm being extreme, and melodramatic, but heck, I'm disappointed.


Return of S

Well we're home safe and sound after the thankfully brief sojourn in Holles St. With a little pharmacological assistance we're back on track for our hoped-for natural birth (yes, well aware of the irony of that), but S has hopefully been given the chance to avoid being induced and to keep things in her own hands - so to speak ;) She'll certainly do better in the peace, quiet, and familiar surroundings of her own home, instead of being stuck in the middle of Baby Central. At one point it seemed as if the entire ward was either having contractions, or sobbing quietly to themselves: I really felt as if we weren't pulling our weight...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

pregnancy update

My better half had to be admitted for 24-hour observation today in Holles St, so a bit of a crazy time.

We experienced a mixed bag of emotions: worry, fear, and surprise at S having to overnight, and the whole associated aura of "medicalness" that goes with a stay (hopefully brief!!) in hospital; I was also full of gratitude for the genuine warmth and care shown to both of us by the majority of staff we dealt with in there, especially given the conditions they have to work in, which brings us to; frustration!! with the appalling environment in which we are supposed to bring our child into the world :(

The ward S is in has exceeded it's occupancy: I reckon there was 20 women in a room where there should only be 14. This means that in some cases (like for S), there are 2 beds squeezed into a single bed space, which leaves very little room for manoeuvring, and even less for privacy. It doesn't look like S is going to get a great nights sleep, at a time when she needs more than ever to be focussing on keep herself and baby relaxed and well. The lady S is sharing with is in the late stages of labour, and was in audible discomfort with her contractions - she should be able to move around without having to ask S or myself to move, or worry that she's inconveniencing us. Herself and her birth partner were (IMHO) showing great patience, especially (and this is the killer) as there was a recently vacated bed directly opposite from us! When I last spoke to S, the bed had been free for over an hour, and there were no sign of any of the "doubled-up" mums-to-be moving into it.

I'm not going to go off on a rant about the HSE - many others are in a better position to do that than me. I will say that the level of maternity services on offer in Ireland can improve, and there are people like AIMS Ireland who are doing good work to make it happen.

On a more positive note, I got "exit polled" by a Finnish camera crew after casting my vote this evening :) That's the first step on the path towards world-renowned political punditry complete. I'd better start learning off some Minister's names...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

swim results, sandycove 07/06

The mens results from last weekends open sea swims are available here.

7th fastest time overall, which is nice :P

Looks like those early morning sessions in the pool with stevieD have started to pay off, although I'm currently experiencing a hiatus in that department as my TCD student card went AWOL during the exams last month, and I haven't been in the pool since :(

Sunday, June 8, 2008

T minus 14 days

Expected due date (EDD) is 22nd June. Things are certainly starting to come into focus now, what with practising our sling-wearing with teddybears as baby substitutes, and assembling nursery furniture (see below)...

I'm feeling quite excited - there's a tremendous sense of anticipation, that I'll finally get to meet this new, unique person: I expect to be awestruck, and completely bedazzled by their every unexpected thought. Running hand-in-hand with the anticipation is a small amount of apprehension: worries about the birth itself mainly, plus my complete lack of experience with regard to raising children of any age.

It actually feels a bit like being a kid on Christmas Eve: absolute joy & excitement with the thought of the presents, and a little bit of fear of Santa thrown in there as well. Joy, excitement and fear: a good way to know you're alive :)

Sandycove swim

Steeled myself to head down to Sandycove yesterday afternoon for the opening sea swim of the season. It was an incredibly sunny day in south dublin, and the water was fantastic - I was expecting it to be much colder following my two west coast swims last weekend.

Two things spoiled the afternoon: sandycove parking (or lack thereof), I'll leave the car at home next time; and I got stung on the mouth (as my darling wife says, it serves me right for kissing jellyfish).

I'll post my time/placing as soon as they're available.


they should change their name to "the weather gods" or something similar. a heavy downpour after bat for lashes and a westering sun created a perfect double rainbow, which thom assured us would be there every night :)

set list as follows: (I'm 99% sure on this, the encores might be wrong, I was enjoying myself way too much)

all i need
there there
bangers & mash
15 step
pyramid song
weird fishes
national anthem
everything in its right place

=> encore # 1

faust arp
the gloaming
you and whose army
iron lung

=> encore # 2

Super Collider
paranoid android

Thursday, June 5, 2008

out of order or sort of unaligned

RIP media HDD. Your brief sojourn in my freezer was all for naught; you still clicked in agitation when all I ask of you was to hum in satisfaction.

Lesson of the day: don't destroy your originals. If I had wiped the HD on my camcorder, my happy wedding/honeymoon memories would be slowly condensing to form a puddle around my thawing lump of metal and circuit board.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Op. 1

So I brought my media box halfway around the country (in case of an entertainment emergency) but neglected to pack the zapper, so no Frasier over the b/hol unfortunately. just as well, the weather was cracking, esp in Crosshaven on Friday...

It was only on our return to B'rock that I realised that the over-priced widget that converts the red/yellow/white cables to SCART had become lost in transit somewhere between Cork & Dublin. Resigning myself to a return to the days of watching BSG on the laptop, I hooked the aforementioned HDD up via USB to see what eps I'm missing ... and the f***er performs what I like to describe as the "spin of death", whining away merrily to itself, and utterly failing to come anywhere near registering it's presence with my machine.

So that's it, my first venture into the blogosphere is to record my crankiness at the possible loss of my priceless film & TV collection.

It will get better - I hope to use this to record my experiences as my wife & I experience the birth of our first child. If I can drag my lazy ass down to the seashore, I might also stick up reports/pics from the 2008 Dublin sea swims ... although that's a big "IF" :)

So "Hello World!", and goodnight.