A Royal Family fanfare please. A new baby is on the way for our future king and queen... which means international womb watch #2 has begun.
The announcement that Prince George is to get a little brother or sister; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to become parentals of two; and the nation is to get a ‘spare heir’ to the throne, sent the newspapers into an excitable tizzy, which was frankly a tad over the top.
Some of them devoted pages upon pages to the news. What could they possibly have had to say which took more than a few sentences and a couple of pictures?
They didn’t even have one of those clever photos from inside Princess William of Wales’ tummy (I always tried to smile for mine), because the baby hasn’t been in there long enough to have grown to a snappable size.
Meanwhile the mummy in question hasn’t been available for photo calls either due to another pretty horrific-sounding case of morning sickness, which was announced to the world along with the baby news.
This kind of chucking up is called ‘hyperemesis gravidarum’, which I’m pretty sure is what Mum tries to say when she’s got a case of the Wallace and Gromits. But back to the clear blue line - signifying some new blue blood - in question.
I’ll bet Kate (have you noticed I’ve used three different names for the same person so far, which is very confusing for a three-year-old, but I like to mix things up) was delighted we all knew that behind the grand doors of Kensington Palace, she was crouched over the nearest toilet, expelling the contents of her stomach like a newborn baby with a bad case of reflux.
She was doubtless also thrilled that the baby-to-be announcement was made long before the usual 12-week mark, when the aforementioned picture from the inside is taken and the photographer gives a big thumbs up that all is going to plan.
Mum reckons the decision to share the news but a week-and-a-bit before Scotland decides whether or not to rub out the blue bit on Union Jack’s flag, was not what Big Bro Fred would now call, ‘coincidental’ (he’s in Year Three now, and is showing a thirst for new vocab only rivalled by my thirst for Kinder chocolate of all persuasions), but Dad reckons the prospect of another mouth for the public purse to feed might end up pushing the undecideds from over the border over the edge which leads to ‘Yes’.
For his part, Alex Scotland, the leader of his namesake’s national party, cannily tweeted his congratulations to the Earl and Countess of Strathearn - yet another name by which this couple are known. Bet he did a mini highland fling when he thought of that one.
Regardless, I can’t help but feel that the announcement was made too soon. I mean does the Duchess really want the Archbishop of Canterbury publicly praying for an end to her morning sickness?
Meanwhile I’m sure Prince George could have done with a bit more time to get used to the idea, before seeing the upcoming upheaval splashed all over the papers.
He might have King written on his future CV, but when there’s a newborn in the house, I think we all know who gets to be king of the castle. And that’s why I’ve made it clear to the parentals that Big Bro Fred and I are completely content as a pair.
I Now Know...
... by the time I’m four-and-a-half, Mum and Dad will probably need bigger back pockets for their phones. The company who supply millions of people with phones, (as well as supplying the world with the fruit purported to keep the doctor away -as long as it is eaten daily) have unveiled their next generation of handsets. And don’t people get excited about it? Apparently, the next eyePhone will be the biggest yet. Mum reckons it won’t be long before 'Dom Joly' can bring his prop out of retirement without looking out of place.
... the world’s tallest doggie is no more. Zeus, a Great Dane who lived right up to his name... and then grew a bit more, has died of old age, two months short of his sixth birthday. That doesn’t seem very old to me, even when you factor in the very strange concept of ‘dog years’ which Big Bro Fred is still having trouble getting me to grasp. Still, Zeus, who beat another Great Dane, Giant George to the title in 2012, packed it in while he was here, all 2.24m of him (when he was on his hind legs). RIP big fella.
... telling someone they’ve porked up a bit is unlikely to help them lose any extra weight they may be carrying. A new study reckons ‘fat shaming’ could do more harm than good. It’s all a bit of a mystery to me. People couldn’t get enough of my chubby 95th percentile thighs when I was a baby, but Mum reckons that kind of admiration for overloaded tights doesn’t last.
...the moon changes size - or at least it looks like it does. This week saw our nightly spotlight promoted to SuperMoon status, with some people reporting it was much bigger and brighter than usual. I went to bed at my usual time, so missed it. And the parentals wonder why bedtime has become a battleground.
... in related news, (and don’t tell Big Bro Fred who is very sensitive to the notion that the sun may not be around in 500 million years time) a massive explosion on the Sun has apparently sparked a solar storm, which is heading straight for Earth. But before you start buying canned goods like Peppa Pig Pasta Shapes were going out of fashion, the most we can expect to notice is a few glitches with phones and their communications counterparts. Sleep easy Freddy Boy.
A Gold Star for... Kyle Bickley
Every week I award a gold star to a child of my choosing. The child in question may be real or fictional, historic or current, and the award may be for a specific act or a wider body of work. Basically they are my stars and I’ll give them to whoever I choose, assuming I don’t stick them all to the lounge telly first.
Despite having attained mastery of the scooter some time ago, it’s taking my brother and I a little longer to properly get the hang of riding a bike.
I think the subtle difference comes in how you balance - from what I’ve gathered so far you keep upright on a bike using your derrière, while on a scooter the movement you need is in your shoulder, as Paul McCartney famously wrote in ‘Hey Jude’.
I bet Julian Lennon never fell off his scooter again after that.
This week’s Gold Star winner must have spent most of his life so far on two wheels, given the number of Speedway trophies and accolades he’s racked up already. Twelve-year-old Kyle Bickley from Cumbria had already won three British Championships at under 16, 125cc level when he went the compete for the FIM 125cc Gold Trophy in Bad Hersfeld in Germany last month.
Riding against the best junior riders from around the world, most of Kyle’s competitors were between two and three years older than him.
Kyle proved his pedigree by winning the championship despite some pretty ropey weather, and returned home a hero and a world champion.
The Redcar Cub now intends to move up to 250cc, having won everything there is to win at junior level, and the future looks incredibly bright for him if he can stay in one piece. So far Kyle’s biggest injury has been a fractured leg in training, which kept him out of the saddle for a few weeks in 2011.
Admirable stuff I’m sure, but I feel confident in saying that I won’t be willing to risk getting any injury that can’t be treated with a Peppa Pig plaster and some TCP any time soon.
I think I’ll stick to my balance bike for the foreseeable future!