Monday, 30 September 2013

Motherhood = fewer shoes, but more goodie bags and glitter.

White cat wearing a purple sparkly bowWe survived !

Twelve toddlers, a gazebo that kept threatening to overturn in the wind and so much noise that the cat hid upstairs on his beanbag all afternoon. He only emerged after everyone had left to ask for his dinner. The main thing, though, is that we all made it out alive. No toddlers were harmed, the food was eaten and the drinks consumed. Every child found some treasure in the 'woods' at the end of the garden and they all got a goodie bag to take home as all the contents arrived in time. Then today our boy's birthday card was shown on Cbeebies after three years of trying. I'm expecting a damehood at the very least for awesome Mumming !

Seriously though I was so proud of my boy on Sunday. As each of his friends arrived he spotted them, came over and greeted them with a cheery, "Hello, thank you for my present, come and play" and took them over to the garden area where we'd set out games and playground toys for them all. At points Hubbie spotted the boy having intense conversations with his nursery pals in a mini version of the adult scenario at the other end of the garden. As all his pals left he handed them a goody bag, thanked them for coming and as his head started to droop on Hubbie's shoulder we could see he was as worn out as we were. My little party animal.

On how far we have come.

Baby with tiny teddyMy boy is three today. At one point we weren't sure we'd ever have a child of our own. Then we weren't sure we'd ever get to adopt a family of our own. Then this miracle happened and we found out we were having a baby. Then we had a scan and found out we were having a boy. Then we were so close to meeting him and then worried that after all of it we weren't going to. Finally at 2.20pm on the 30th of September 2010 (a full two weeks late) our boy finally arrived and my heart skipped a beat.

There is a saying that when a baby is born a mother is also born (and a father of course). When I watch my boy putting his own pyjamas on, taking off his trainers by himself and giving all the family double kisses 'continental style' I see how far he has come since he was born. I'm also now - as we emerge from the fog of early parenting - starting to see how far I have come too.
  • I have learned more about biology and medicine than I ever knew. Yes, Mum and Dad I'm almost as qualified as a doctor (probably not quite as qualified as Dr Ranj though). 
  • My shoe cupboard hasn't been opened in three years - well four actually as I stopped wearing heels while pregnant. I used to get called Imelda due to my love of shoes, I now wear Fit Flops or trainers pretty much all the time. 
  • Hubbie and I consider going out for dinner or to a gig a big deal due to the effort required to actually leave the house. It's made us truly appreciate our time together. 
  • We've also impressed our boy (and a few of the other nursery parents) with our radio show - that makes us pretty cool parents doesn't it ?

Happy Birthday to my darling boy. 

No shoes compare with the joy of being your Mum. Well, maybe...

Saturday, 28 September 2013

(My cheeky little) Devil's haircut

long haired toddler Today was a rite of passage for our boy. He had his first haircut. I have been distraught for weeks since we decided to do it. We have grown his hair since he was born and it is gorgeous and curly and he gets compliments everywhere he goes. However, the nightly chore of combing through his luscious locks has become increasingly difficult as the knots and tangles cause him to scream and shout so much I am convinced the neighbours will report us to social services.

The reason we haven't cut his hair before is because my family are Sikh and keeping hair long is one of the articles of faith. Hubbie is not a Sikh, but we agreed that we would grow his hair and as much as possible raise him with an understanding of this part of his heritage. That made the decision even harder. I didn't cut my hair until the age of 26 (long after I left Uni) as I just believed it would be wrong and my parents would be disappointed if I did. I felt the same about cutting my boy's hair.

It is our decision as his parents though so I've been talking to him about it for weeks and he has been looking forward to it. His hair was so long he was having to constantly push it out of his eyes and at nursery I took to tying it back so that it wouldn't annoy him or get smothered in paint or playdoh. When Hubbie went to the barbers earlier in the week he took the boy with him - they were talking about the big day and the boy said, "when I get my hair cut short I won't have to wear a hairband any more." Can't say fairer than that can you ?

So today we all took the train to town to get his hair cut with my hairdresser - Anderson - who I love and trust. He was absolutely delighted when I asked him to do it as he knows how big a deal it is. We arrived and the boy got to play with a water spritzer - which he could have done all day - then the gown was put on. Anderson suggested I sit the boy on my lap and wanted me to do the first cut. It was very emotional.
Mum and toddler having first haircut
todder in gown with hairdresser

Then the boy got into the swing of things and as he watched the beautiful curls being gathered up by me to give to Grandma and Nani-mummy and others fell on the floor he chided me and Hubbie to leave his hair. It would seem he is not as emotionally attached to it as we are - just as well really.  

hairdresser cutting toddler's hair
Toddler haircut

Now he has shorter hair. It doesn't take as long to run a comb through. He looks a lot more grown up. 

He is still very cute - just don't tell him I said so - it's not good for his image. 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Welcome to party central (atchoo !!)

white cat with his paw on foot We've all got sniffles.

Well maybe not the cat - I can't be sure if he has, but he was sneezing a bit yesterday so it is possible that the entire family is coming down with a cold.

Hubbie had a nap with the boy yesterday as he looked so exhausted I was worried he was going to pass out so I suggested he might take the chance to lie down while the house was quiet. I drank tea and checked work email while the cat kept me company on the sofa. Then this morning I woke up (sort of) with the beginning of a sore throat. Of course this is happening because we are hosting a birthday party for a dozen toddlers on Sunday and there is so much to do we need to be in full health.

I've written (somewhat unsympathetically) about man flu before, but I also know that Hubbie takes great pride in not taking time off work for illness. On this occasion we all need to be fully functioning so that the prospect of 24 small feet and 24 sticky hands do not send me into a maternal meltdown after the kids have played in the garden and the cake has been scoffed. I've been praying all week for good weather as we want to use the garden for the kids' games. I paid a gardener a not insubstantial sum to tidy the fallen leaves and hanging holly in the 'woods' at the end of the garden so that we can have a treasure hunt.
overgrown garden

So far I've ordered the balloons, the shopping is being delivered on Saturday evening so if anything is missing I still have time to pick it up on Sunday before the guests arrive. I've checked that I have birthday cards and have ordered all the goody bag items - none of which have arrived yet - thanks Amazon. My fabulous cupcake making friend SJ is making lots of small cakes for the party. I've bought Gruffalo tablecloths, bendy straws, cups, plates and cutlery that is garden friendly.

There is still a lot to do though and being poorly is just not an option. I have a cake to bake and decorate, Hubbie has a gazebo to put up outside the back door in case of rain, I need to get some wrapping paper (or I can recycle last year's Thomas paper that I kept) and if the goody bag contents (and bags) don't arrive by tomorrow then I have to get those too. I am debating whether it's worth cleaning the house before family arrive as I'd rather not invite them into a dirty house, but as I will have an inevitable clean up to do on Monday do I really want to do it twice ? Oh who am I kidding, this is me, of course I'll do it twice !

So wish me luck.

And send Lemsip !

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

What do you give the 3 year old who has everything ?

boy playing with toys Now I realise he doesn't actually have everything, but it must seem that way to his adoring (and adored) family members who have been asking what to get him for this birthday.

My baby boy will be 3 next Monday. His party is on Sunday and I have been asked what he'd like as a present. From me and Daddy  he is getting a microscooter which he has been promised since he was two as we thought he was too young back then. The list of what he already has is pretty long though, so it's difficult to suggest anything to kind and loving friends and family. Instead I'll tell you what he loves and you can make up your own minds:
  • Last weekend Hubbie took the boy to the Metrobus open day in Beddington. He drove a bus and went through the bus wash - which was a bit scary apparently. He had a wonderful time pretending to be a driver and he came home with a poster of buses and a new fridge magnet. That's a good day out in anybody's book isn't it ?
  • Hubbie took him to two football matches this weekend and at the second one he was playing with this regular footie buddie Freya who is older than him and often takes him under her wing. It was while they were playing on the stand that he clonked his nose on a metal bar and unleashed a tsunami of blood that sent Hubbie running towards the team physio - Chopper. She assured him that he hadn't broken his nose and was going to be ok. The boy was just very concerned that Daddy's shirt was dirty now. Once patched up and declared fit he ran onto the pitch - his favourite bit of the game.
toddler playing football
  • On Sunday we all ate pizza for dinner and he had great fun using a pizza cutting wheel for the first time. I remembered I had a toy one that we'd got free with the Cbeebies magazine a while back so I let him have that after dinner. He also enjoyed chomping on the 'noisy' crusts - that must explain why his hair is so curly !!
  • He loves singing and dancing. My mum bought him his own 'radio' last year - it's a pretend CD player and he likes to switch it on and dance around the room changing the volume and speed of the tunes on it. It's hilarious to watch and tires him out as well - a win win !!
Baby and bear in cot
  • I cannot accurately convey the look of excitement when he spots Jiggles Bear waiting in his car seat after he's had a fun day at nursery. He adores his first bear so much it is now ragged and smelly from being loved so much - aren't we all ?  They have a snuggle on the sofa at home with the boy sucking his fingers - which he's done since he was born - it's a picture of toddler bliss. I prepare his dinner and they catch up on what they've been doing all day. It's so simple and makes him so happy.
So that's what my boy loves to do. Yes he loves running around outside. He also loves toys and noise and singing at the top of his voice in the back of the car. Cake makes him very happy indeed. It is all part of what makes him so very precious.

As for what you can get him for his birthday - well he does need new shoes actually.

tiny baby feet

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Baker Days wheat and gluten free cake: a review

Fisher FC logo on a gluten free cake As I've mentioned more than once our boy is going to be 3 at the end of this month. In anticipation of this I've had a practice run of his birthday cake and have enlisted my wonderful friend Sarah-Jane who makes the most beautiful cupcakes to ensure we have an endless supply for his party. So you can imagine how overjoyed I was when the lovely folks at Baker Days offered us a wheat and gluten free cake to try.

Baker Days can put any design on a cake and it will arrive through your letter box packaged safely and intact. I browsed the designs on the website - of which there are many - but decided to send an image to be put on the cake that I knew my boy (and Hubbie) would love - it's of their non-league football team Fisher FC.

Boy and Hubbie open the cake

Sure enough within a few weeks the cake arrived in a presentation tin complete with a birthday card, candles and a party blower thing.

The boy was very excited to see his team badge on a cake and we decided that we would have an early birthday cake cutting practice run.

cake in a tin with balloons and candles

It is quite a small cake - otherwise it wouldn't fit through the letterbox would it ? - but they managed to pack so much into the tin it was a lovely surprise to find the candles and balloons inside.

The cake itself is surprisingly moist, tastes nice and has a pretty good texture, which is not bad for a wheat and gluten free cake at all. The icing was a little overpowering for my taste, but the boys loved the sweetness of it so that's just down to personal preference really.

Overall it's a nice gift item to send someone. It's packaged really well so it arrives intact and with a complete ingredients list to check for any allergies.

cake with candles and cakeAs you can see we had a bit of a ceremony with ours and thoroughly enjoyed trying it.

If you place an order using the code BBLG Baker Days will give you a 10% discount - please tell them I sent you :o)

Disclosure: we were sent this cake to write a honest review.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

InRealLife - a movie you have to watch

You know how you behave when you go somewhere for the first time on a holiday or a city break ? When me and Hubbie went to New York for our honeymoon I recall looking up in wonderment at the familiar sights and scenes and gasping as I saw the setting of so many movies and shows that I love. All the while we were awestruck by the place other people were going about their day and doing their jobs and buying lunch and picking up dry cleaning, etc.

I was reminded of this as I weaved through all the visitors to Covent Garden on Friday on my way to a preview screening of InRealLife - a new documentary by Beeban Kidron. People's fascination in the piazza (which no Londoner goes to - naturally) reminded how interested people were when I did a job where I visited prisons. There is a morbid fascination with this forbidden and closed world that isn't all that interesting to those inside it at all, not least as it's where they live and work and do their stuff. Just like those Manhattanites going about their day and me wandering through the sights of London that I have seen all my life and barely register any more. 

Teen on the phone - Guardian image.
InRealLife explores a world that is just as alien and at times frightening - the universe occupied by teens and their use of the internet. Parents may use the internet, but whether we are infrequent visitors or regular users the teenagers in this film live and breathe the internet. As adults and parents we navigate the edges of the internet in their wake, often because it's changing so fast and we just don't get the nuance or norms.

While I realise that this blog exists on the internet and I use email and social media and all of those things, they haven't always been part of my life. Kids now have all these resources to hand from the moment they are alive. We are in an age where children do not play outside, they don't walk to school, they're discouraged from befriending anyone we don't know or approve of first. Of course they live on the internet - it is their window to the world and it is in their hands. One of the stats that comes up first in this documentary is that teenagers spend almost as much time online with friends as they do in person with them. Not that the perspective of the movie is that the internet is bad, more that we have no idea what young people use it for.

Beeban Kidron in a publicity photo from Guardian Newspapers
Beeban Kidron asks teens what they do online and they are shockingly honest about it. She has an uncanny ability to make gritty films that engage on a human level. I was captivated all those years ago when I watched, 'Hookers, Hustlers, Pimps and their Johns' and mistakenly thought she must be a New Yorker. In this film she is heard - and occasionally seen - talking to teens whose bravery in talking so openly about their online lives is breathtaking.

Ryan names all the types of porn sites he looks at and we see the 15 year old and his friends on a night out chatting up real girls and later admitting to camera that he hopes that a real girl will do what he's watched online and if she does he judges her for it. I was actually frightened by this young man and his brazen sexual hypocrisy - I cannot imagine how a young woman of his own age would feel if she was in his sights as a potential partner.

Tom on his way to meet his online boyfriend for the first time
A young woman whose identity is protected talks about having to do sexual 'stuff' to get her phone back from a group of lads who took it from her. She acknowledges that if she hadn't placed such a high value on her phone she wouldn't have been lured to a strange house by her multiple abusers. The film does not judge any of these young people for their choices. Tom has come out online, but not told his Mother he is gay. He has a boyfriend, but their relationship has been carried out online and he hasn't met him yet. Once he has come out to his Mother we follow him to their first meeting and my heart was in my mouth the whole time. I won't spoil it for you.

As vignettes of teen life this film gives a stark view of how much time and energy is invested in an online existence and an almost complete lack of privacy. There is no value placed on protecting their own information and the company executives we see interviewed have no qualms at all about harvesting this information to target young people. The man from EA sports left me open-mouthed and speechless. The eerie background music and images of vast warehouses where all our private information is stored offer little solace for adults either. It's not meant to be an easy watch.

I have a massive fear and sense of unease about what it will mean for my boy who already knows how to work an iphone and a tablet computer and he's not even 3 yet. Of course the world will have moved on even more by the time he is a teenager and I won't have a clue what he is into. For now it is every parent's duty to watch this film. It might scare you stupid, but at least you won't be ignorant of what life is like for teens right now.

Poster for In Real Life Satellite Event 22nd Sept

On Sunday 22nd September cinemas across the land will mark the release of InRealLife with a special panel discussion live event - broadcast live from the Ritzy cinema in Brixton.
The panel will be hosted by Jon Show with panelists including director Beeban Kidron, Government advisor on Online Child Safety John Carr and Editorial Director of the Sunday Times (and mother of two) Eleanor Mills.
You can find out more about how to book here:

Friday, 13 September 2013

Polly Styrene I ain't

I always secretly wanted to be a punk. Not in the spitting, shouting, violent way of course. More the fashion really.

My ambition was hampered by not being allowed to cut or colour my hair and not wanting to draw attention to myself by wearing anything that was too unusual - why invite even more reasons to be bullied ?

Instead, over the years I've flirted with the themes of punk in the form of kilt skirts, bondage trousers and in recent years punk motifs on t-shirts.

So imagine my joy in finding out the theme of the latest meet up of my local Clandestine Cake Club. Tomorrow it's all about 'Rebellious cakes.' I wanted to do a test run for my son's birthday cake which I'd planned to make as a rainbow cake. My challenge was to make this into a rebellious version. So here's what I did:

gel colours mixed into sponge mix

1. To start with I made up the sponge mixture and separated it into different vibrant colours.

Marbled cake mix in the tin

2. Then I merged it in the baking tin into a marbled effect.

baked marbled colourful cake

3. The baked cake is a bit thinner than I'd like, but it is still colourful and when it's cut I hope the colours will all be visible.

Rebel rebel iced cake

4. I've iced it and decorated with what is supposed to look like graffiti and few (inedible) safety pins.

Now I just hope it tastes nice :o)

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

A picture paints a thousand words

In an occasional series I've collated some photos from the last week:

Marilyn print stiletto chair

Is this the ugliest chair ever ?

Or is it merely a unique and retro styled bit of kitsch ?

Broken box for microscooter

The courier delivery of my son's main birthday present

I was a little bit cross about this.

white cat on sofa watching TV football match

Living in a house full of boys I can report that even the cat watches Match of the Day !

Hubbie holding a lightbulb over his head

During a recording of our radio show 'His & Hers' Hubbie has a great idea !

A lovely blue sky. Wishful thinking.  

Clouds and blue sky

Happy Wednesday everyone :o)

Monday, 9 September 2013

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

After our child-free weekend in Brighton over the August Bank Holiday I thought it would be nice to take the boy to the seaside and relive some of my childhood trips there. As it looked so sunny yesterday morning I decided that was the day and announced to Hubbie that I was packing a lunch for us to eat on the beach. We all piled into the car and got on the road for out fun day out which turned out to be a typical English family day out by the sea.

Toddler in buggy and Hubbie watching Brighton Wheel 1. Queuing: for Volks electric train which has been there since I was a child. The boy loved it and enjoyed the journey to the marina, but was far more interested in the snacks I had in my bag. Oh well. 

2. Indian for lunch: Having left the picnic in the boot of the car on Madeira Drive we decided to have lunch at the Marina while it rained outside. Hubbie spotted a restaurant serving a buffet of indian food and that sounded just right - not least as the boy was free. How much more traditional can you get than indian food by the sea ? No ? Just me then.

3. Wet and windswept on the pier: It's not possible to visit the pier in Brighton and stay dry in my experience. On this occasion the heavens opened just as we got to the pier so my poor boy in his shorts and superman shirt was promptly tucked under his plastic buggy cover which went steamy and he was very unimpressed until we went into the arcade to dry off. 

toddler and Hubbie on Brighton Beach 4. Picking a pebble from the beach: It wouldn't be a day at the beach without bringing home a pebble so the boys went searching and came back with a few - and a special speckled one for Mummy.

5. An ice cream with a flake in it: for the boys of course and a cup of tea for Mummy. I don't do ice cream really, but if you go to the seaside you have to have an ice cream don't you ? I'm sure there is a law about this.

He had a lot of fun on his first trip to Brighton.

Next time we'll pack a bucket and spade and book some sunshine. 

Friday, 6 September 2013

Countdown to a toddler meltdown

5 hours to meltdown:
The boy cheerfully calls out "good morning Daddy. Good morning Mummy" and gets into our bed to watch Tikkabilla while Hubbie gets ready to go to work. 
It's raining outside. 
The cat wanders in miaowing about how horrid the weather is today.

Tamba from Tikkabilla - Cbeebies

4 hours to meltdown:
He has brushed his teeth and his clothes are changed. One piece of toast and marmite eaten another piece of toast with jam to go.
Dora is teaching us about Thanksgiving and he's paying close attention.
I go upstairs to have a shower while he's occupied. 

3 hours to meltdown:
"Do you need the toilet before we go out ?" 
"No Mummy."
"Are you sure ?"
"Ok, but when we've gone out it'll be too late."
One toilet trip later we're on our way out.

2 hours to meltdown:
We pick up a new cot mattress which makes the boy happy as it's folded behind my seat in the car and, "It looks like a tunnel Mummy."

1 hour to meltdown:
As we're near Biggin Hill I take him to look at planes only it's raining so they aren't in the air, but on the ground today. The training instructor offers to take the boy outside to see them, so kitted out in high-vis jackets we wander round and my boy is in his element looking at 2 seater planes. The owner of the flying school shows the boy a vintage Rolls Royce propeller and all the instructors wave us off saying, "See you in a few years for your first flying lesson." 

cessna aircraft in the air

45 mins to meltdown:
I have to drop off some leaflets at Kiddicare so we pop in and he has a play and we go to his favourite toilets. He wants to play some more so we agree he can play for five more minutes and then we have to go. 

5 mins to meltdown:
Time is up and when I call him to leave he runs off pushing a lovely pink buggy. I call him back. 
He leaps head first into a play house with his feet in the air and his trousers at half mast. I pull him out by the feet as another parent watches in horror. 
I carry him out of the shop as he screams at me that he doesn't want to leave.

In the car he yells at full throttle. 
I turn the volume on the car radio up to 35 to drown out the sound of his screams and the noise of my swearing. 
He's hungry, tired and very upset. 
I'm all of the above too and I have to drive us both with the emotions in the car turned up to 11 !!

Everyone deserves great tea 30 mins post meltdown:
He has a mini-screech in the temple because he's hungry and can't get the food inside quickly enough. 
Finally he calms down and eventually smiles and says.
"the food is reaching my tummy Mummy." 
I still haven't eaten yet. 

1 hour post meltdown:
He's in his cot on the new mattress asleep.
For some reason I can't fathom his trousers are on inside out and his pants have been discarded. 
I pop a blanket on him and go downstairs to drink a cup of tea and get something to eat. 

Oh don't you just love rainy days ? 

Nope, me neither.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Dancing in the car and other toddler adventures in music

Graphic of woman listening to music
We love radio in our house. Music radio, talk radio, commercial radio, internet radio you name it we will listen to it. I have the radio on almost all the time so my boy has grown up with an awareness that the Archers theme tune means it's time for bedtime milk and that the 6 o'clock news beeps mean that Daddy's train gets into the station in ten minutes. He also knows that both his parents can be heard on the radio and loves hearing Mummy say goodnight to him on the occasions when I've done a music show in the evening.

I've taken him to Rhymetime at local libraries since he was a babe in arms so he knows all the nursery rhymes and he also hears us singing silly made up songs at home. He copies the ones we've created and he's started to invent his own songs too. My brother once asked if his nephew was requesting to 'get down get down' from his highchair in the style of Kool and the Gang - Jungle Boogie and I had to admit yes he was. What can I say we sing where just talking would be boring.

So he's got music in his bones and surprisingly strong opinions about what he likes to listen to. When he's in the car with me I veer between Radio 4 and XFM (Hubbie listens to LBC and it just makes me yell so we have to agree to differ). I've been doing an unscientific study of his tastes in radio music these last few weeks and have compiled a shortlist of the ones that have made me laugh the most.
Nirvana in a subway station
Nirvana - Heart Shaped Box: I am personally delighted that my boy loves Nirvana - not least as he has very cool hair and we used to dress him in grunge style. It's not exactly toddler music, but I love the band and it makes me so happy that when this song came on I asked him if he liked it and he said "Yes Mummy - make it louder" (high praise indeed) 

Whigfield - Saturday Night: Ok I'm horrified by this one, but I get that it's appealing to a child. I mistakenly went off piste during the extended news and thought I'd see what Radio 1 were playing and this is what was on. My boy insisted that he wanted to hear this to the end. Even me telling him that Daddy would be really disappointed by this choice did not persuade him otherwise. When Hubbie got in the car my boy said, "Daddy you don't like it, but it's my favourite." (it's not - he's only heard it the once !)

The Cure - Pictures of You: I only recently discovered that Hubbie doesn't like the Cure. It's been a revelation as I just assumed that you had to like them if you have any indie music sensibility whatsoever, but apparently not. My boy, however, does seem to have inherited my love of the Cure so that's ok. 

Matchbox Twenty - 3am: On a long car journey recently I plugged my ipod into the car and played some of my favourite random songs and when this one came on the boy began to swing from side to side in his car seat. Just to be sure he wasn't just putting off a much needed loo trip I played it again and sure enough he was enjoying the music. So he even likes obscure American bands. 

The Strokes - New York City Cops: This was on in the car when I parked up on our drive this afternoon as we got back from nursery. I turned the key and the music stopped along with the engine and I heard a plaintive cry from the backseat, "NOOO MUMMY !! Don't switch it off !!!" I had to turn the car back on and sit on our drive until it was finished and then I was allowed to bring him indoors. In a bizarre twist me and Hubbie saw the Strokes play a gig at the Natural History Museum before the boy was born - who knew it would turn out to be his perfect gig ? 

Prince performing playing guitar wearing white outfit against red background
So this is what my boy would have on his playlist. I haven't played him any Prince songs yet because I can't take the risk that he might not like them and that really would destroy me. He did reject a Foo Fighters song on Sunday, but I'm putting that down to him being close to nap time and not in the mood for loud music. He did seem ok with Rage Against the Machine (heavily edited of course) so it's not like he is averse to noisy tunes. 

This does bode well for my plans to make next year that one where we take him to festivals. 

He seems to have discerning taste (Whigfield aside) and frankly that's more than I can say for a lot of grown ups I know !