Yuppie workaholic in the making

Jude Retrospective: Part 3

Jude and Rachel

Jude is lucky to have an extended group of adults to play with and love. Beyond family, Rachel is the most important adult in Jude's life. She is his godmother-equivalent, chief birthday cake maker and always good for a cuddle or a piggy back.


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Jude Retrospective: Part 2

The Many Moods of Baby Jude

Jude has always been an emotionally extreme type. Very happy, very sad, very affectionate…and it all began when he was a baby…






…and best of all, asleep.

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Get Up Save the Net

Jude Retrospective: Part 1

In the tradition of last year, given that Jude starts school next week, it is now time to reflect on his life to date.


Jude was born on Wednesday 7 April 2004. He was due the day before, and my doctor was about to go away for 10 days. My back was killing me and I couldn't face the idea of having to wait at least a fortnight in case of non-arrival. So he was induced.

The labour was not as painful or as complicated as with Sebastian and I managed to get through on pethedeine and nitrous. I will admit though, I did cry in the morning when the midwife told me he was another posterior delivery. But, while not the most pleasant 14 hours of my life, it was fine and Jude was born an hour earlier than Sebastian from the same starting point, at 9.30pm.

With Sebastian, because of the cord around his neck, high pulse-rate minor drama, I had been left all alone in the delivery suite post birth, but not so with Jude. We even got to bed at a reasonable hour.

Jude wasn't a bad newborn, he slept and fed and cried a bit, but usually a feed would put him back to sleep. I was a little more anxious in hospital, mostly because Sebastian was finding it a little weird. At least when my mother came over, she was able to look after Sebastian for an afternoon so James could come and just hang with Jude and I for a few hours. There was a Six Feet Under marathon on pay TV, and we mostly just watched quietly, enjoying being together with our new arrival.

Not that Sebastian wasn't pleased to meet his new brother – he just didn't particuarly like the fact that we were at the hospital. He was more than happy to hold him and talk to him and completely prepared to be a big brother.

When Jude and I had the all clear from the doctor on the Sunday (and our Easter eggs with breakfast) we headed home, to begin being a family of four.

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Sights from a walk by the Yarra


My meeting in Melbourne on Thursday didn't start until 9.30am, and I was just staying on Flinders Street, so there was plenty of time for a morning exercise walk by the Yarra.

I walked down past the Federation Bells which were spookily playing their slightly discordant music, then up past rowers and the rowing sheds under the bridge and up past Flinders Street station and through Federation Square.

It was a weird muggy overcast day, but not unpleasant for walking. Was happy to get into my shower afterwards though.

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Wednesday and Thursday, this was the view out of the nearest window. The patches of blue are the outdoor tennis courts where the Australian Open is currently being played. I tried to make sure that I kept my back to the window during most of the sessions, but with floor to ceiling windows all around – sea in one direction, suburbs in another, it was all a little distracting.

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Picnic in the park

Picnic 1Picnic 2Picnic 5Picnic 6Picnic 8

Picnic 10
Picnic 11
Picnic 12
Picnic 13

As one of her several birthday activities, Jasmin organised a picnic in the park. We had a similar event at a similar time last year.

The weather was beautiful. We were going to ride down, but we discovered the trailer had a flat – the first time in two years, so not bad.

The boys played cricket, then we sent them on stick gathering expeditions. Sebastian decided to construct an elaborate campfire style construction which he did quite effectively,

Rachel and Jasmin had a bit of head down lying about.

I laughed at the couple I saw on their romantic picnic, with their magazine and laptop with 3G access…..but then considered whether I could ask to borrow it when my boss called me from the middle of Sydney Harbour where she was at the Nick Cave All Tomorrow's Parties festival with work related questions….

We ate cake and dip and goat's cheese and other delicacies, and two and a half hours had passed before we realised,,,,,,

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Teeth cleaning efficiency

Why use one toothbrush, when you can use two?

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Dix Grenouilles

For Christmas, Father Christmas brought Zachary Ten Frogs by Quentin Blake. It has become one of Jude's favourite picks at bed time of late.

When we read it, James reads the English words "One crow" and then I follow with the French "Un corbeau." It feels like the bedtime story equivalent event announcements at the Olympics – for some reason the French Olympics announcer always seems to be a woman… Jude loves it and strives valiantly to pronounce the French words himself. Of course, out of practice as I am, I'm not sure how one pronounces the French word for "wasp" – guepe – but I try my best. Jude has even managed to roll his "r"s once or twice, so there is hope for his French speaking yet….

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