Saturday, 28 February 2009

Milky Haiku

Quencher of my thirst.
Fills me up until I burst.
I think of you first!

Friday, 27 February 2009

It's Friday...

It's sunny, it's February...yeah, this might be a good year after all...

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Crossings over the River Thames 20: Lambeth Bridge

February always seems to catch me out when it comes to the my journeys along the Thames. It's the lack of days. You see, if I am running late on the Crossings, I always have the 30th and 31st of a month to visit the Thames. But in February, there is no such luck. Four weeks exactly (except for last year) makes February the tightest month of the year in terms of my journeys down the River.



So round a slight curve in the river from Vauxhall and onto the dinky little Lambeth Bridge. Opened in 1932, this is the second incarnation of a crossing on this site and was recently listed in order to preserve its uniquely pinkish status.



Now, the bridge is coloured pink/red in as a homage to the House of Lords. Allegedly. While Westminster Bridge, further downstream is coloured green as a homage to the House of Commons. Allegedly. Still, the views from this narrow little bridge (two lanes, one bus lane) are actually quite spectacular, and due to the lack of nearby tube stations, surprisingly devoid of the hoards of tourists that normally take over the bridges further downstream. If you want to take a photo of the river, this is your chance. Just do not expect some cute chick to come wandering past you...



Oh yes, you can see this is the beginning of 'real' London. None of that crappy suburban tat we have been witnessing on the way up here!

One more note of interest about Lambeth Bridge. Pineapples. Yes. The Brazillian native itself is lovingly honoured at Lambeth Bridge. Four plinths, two at each end stand adorned with a pineapple on top of them. For good reason. They honour two Lambeth residents John Tradescants (snr) and John Tradescants (jnr) who were the first people to cultivate the pineapple in England. You really don't believe me...well, that's what the Vauxhall, Kennington and Oval community resource guys say, and I like their story! You see, you get to learn something everyday with me...


(Pineapples in front of Millbank)

Getting there and away:

The nearest tube stations are a bit of a hike away. They are Westminster and Victoria, which also happens to be one of the great London rail termini.

Buses include the 87/N87 on the northbank only, and the 77 & 344 (24 hour) on the southbank only. The following routes cross the bridge itself: 3/N3, 507 and the C10.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Huffing and Puffing

If you are wondering why I have been underground for the past few weeks, then it is to do with film mking. Yes, this is the season to make films and I have been mad at the camera, and even madder at the computer.

First, I have been updating the websites. You can see the slightly improved and fully updated Babarouge site and the completely revamped CWP site. I will come onto those in a minute.

Second, my first short of the year has been completed. 'The Railway Tracks' is a no dialogue movie in which I fully road-tested the camera and what I cn and cannot do with it. I made sure I stuck in every camera movement into the script as well as using the colour correction ot the fullest. It was great fun and now that is being distributed to film festivals. An analogy is that 'The Railway Tracks' is the Pioneer to my Voyager and you can see a trailer for the short here.

So Caution Wet Paint is my Voyager? Yep, that is the way Iook at it. Revolutionary, ambitious and will cause ripples far beyond what I can visualise. Or so that is the plan...

Monday, 23 February 2009

Mondays

You get up in the morning, look at the news. Realise that the world has not ended and with a dread in your heart begin the day, shuffling on the 07.49 to the London termini.

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You get up after far too little sleep and look around. Grey clouds greet the morning air. So this is spring? Was winter a lot better and more optimistic?

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You get up in the morning and put on the kettle. Tea or coffee, somehow it all tastes like crap. It is too early to brew and far too early to grind.

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You get up in the morning and check your mobile. Who the hell was texting me at 3am? Was she cute? Who was she? Or is it a he...

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You get up in the morning and get up next to someone and realise that 'damn, this not happy ever after...'

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You get up in the morning. It's Monday. A weekend has passed and you are still not superman. Just an ordinary guy, huddled amongst the masses. Only 45 years left until retirement...

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Spam - Services and Products I really want:

Subject: Get rid of her.

Text: Nagging wife? We'll do the 'business' for you...

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Subject: Real Viagra!

Text: F**k that herbal crap, we have ample stocks of...

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Subject: Free Helicopter!

Text: Fly yourself to the mooon and back with our...

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Subject: Fed up of doing the housework?

Text: Our new patented super-dooper cleaning machine...

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Subject: Want to earn £47,000 per year? Dream on!

Text: Thats right, we're being honest, there is no such thing as easy...

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Subject: Drive a choo-choo train!

Text: A big fan of Thomas the Tank Engine? Do you like soot? Then...

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Subject: Yes, there is an easy way to cook chickpeas!

Text: Fed up of all that soaking, boiling, draining, re-boiling only to...

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Subject: No more spam!

Text: Just click the delete button and all your spam worries will...

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Saturday, 21 February 2009

Just a Quickie

It fascinated me, this project:

New City for Lagos.

Go on click, it is worthwhile.

For those not in the know, Lagos will probably overtake Cairo as Africa's biggest city in the next decade or so. Absolutely fascinating, but does anyone else feel that Nigeria has been a wasted opportunity? To quote, it is an African story. All those resources matched by a rife corruption. For me, Nigeria is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but also one of Africa's wasted moments.

And this project. It fascinates me. I would like to think it would do something for the millions in Nigeria. Sadly, with the track record of Nigeria, I have little hope.

Friday, 20 February 2009

'Online'

Okay, this is really a response to Dom who was 'rambling' about the people he has met online.

I would definitely count Dom as one of my good friends who I happened to meet online. It is funnny, becuase after all, we were brought up on The Net. However, I have met people online who are just like me, ordinary guys expressing themselves in their own unique way, interacting with each other and of course, maintaining friendships.

Anyway, sorry about the lack of bloggng this week on El Director. It has been one of those 'busy times'. Normal service 'should' be resumed next week.
Of course, if you are looking for something to read, then walk right this way...

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Submarine - Dead Ahead!

Thankfully no one was killed in the recent underwater collision between two French and British Nuclear submarines in the Atlantic.

So I can have a lot of fun with this one instead:



Fact. The stealth Submarine was invented in 1966. Toddles!

(You can see that this week, I am much more up for serious blogging on the Caution Wet Paint Blog.)

Monday, 16 February 2009

The List

Git a big list of things to do! Not even a third of the way through it!

(Is this blog post short enough to count as a tweet?)

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Spring is here...

The last few shifts have occurred during the late evenings rather than through the night. Which is why this morning's cycle ride home was quite a shock to the senses.

As a (predominately) night worker, I get to see the passing of the seasons befroe anyone else. And so, I can now say that spring is on its way. How come? Well, tonight being the first 'mild' night since December could go someway to pointing the direction to spring, but one day does not make a season and we are not through February yet!

Secondly, there are no buds on the trees yet (which has thankfully meant no hay fever). Yes there are a few birds singing in the morning, but nothing to chirp wildly about.

But there is one definite factor that tells me Spring is on its way: daylight. This morning was the first time in over three months that I cycled back home in daylight. Granted, I had a late finish, but still, Spring is on the way...

Saturday, 14 February 2009

The Valentine Blog

Mmm...this event bypasses a lot of people in London, while many others are loved up to death. But this is the first busy weekend of the year, the time when the bars, clubs and resturants can start to relax and depend on the endless trickle of punters that will now come swooping though their doors after the Post-Christmas fasting period. Shops can look forward to an endless supply of 'holidays' that include Mother's Day, Easter and the May Bank Holidays that encourage the consumer (not citizen) to spend, spend and spend some more!

(Sorry, my cynicism sometimes gets te better of me. These holidays are to express to our loved ones, our deepest felt emotions...)

But we are at Valentine's Day, an event that many people choose to ignore and an event that many people choose to partake in. So I wonder how this year will turn out. In the heady days of 2005, it was expected to wisk away on Eurostar to Paris for the day or to seek a 'lastminute' gift to your loved one. As a man, you had to prove that you loved your partner by getting wallet busting gifts.

(Why do you think we do this? It is the sex!)

But carnal pleasures aside, what now for this year's hapless couples wanting to prove that they love each other so much? Well, thi should be a boon year for retailers. Vamentine's falls on a weekend which means that a short break should be relatively easy to organise. It is sunny and the amount of 'discounts' available should allow for a day to treasure and remember forever!

(Feeling sick yet?)

All right, let us look at the year through the retailing calendar:

February: Valentine's Day marks the traditional beginnnig of weeked queues to car parks and the restuarant trade.
March/April: Easter combined with longer days - people get out!
May: Two three day weekends! Spend, spend, spend!
June: Sporting events, summer begins and time for boozing it up!
July/Aug: Take your two weeks in the sun! You and your credit card deserves it!
September: Oh look, new uniforms/stationary/kit for your kiddies to school!
October: It's Christmas.
November: It's Christmas!
December: IT'S CHRISTMAS and NEW YEAR'S EVE!
January: F**k. Erm, we got to make something up guys...how about 'Happy Paying off your Credit Card Day'.

(I know this has nothing to do directly to do with Valentine's and loved up couples, but...)

Anyway to all and sundry, Happy Valentine's. (Just do not expect me to get conned by this one...)

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Procrastination strategies in the 25-30 age group

I blame one person for giving me that idea. But now, if I am ever short of blog ideas, all I have to do is click this and hey presto, a random blog idea will be generated to continue my procrastination.

Actually, yesterday was not a procrastination but a carefully planned blog based on the conversations of that day. I was also terrifically happy as I finally re-dd te two websites of mine.

The Babarouge website did not get a major change, just a clean-up. As a 'corporate site' it does its job well and so only needed minor updating.

The big job was the CWP site. That was a complete redesign of the site. I wanted to simplify it. The first CWP site was very complex featuring links, photos, forums, the whole lot. But in this incarnation, I decided to simplify the site. I also decided to reduce my reach and so while all the social networking accounts are still active, I have limited myself to advertising only four of them. This version of the CWP site is simple, functional and also concentrates on what I am doing next. 'Jay and Kay Save the World'.

So take a tour of the new CWP site. Tell me what you think and of course, if there are any mistakes, message me ASAP!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

What do I blog about?

A good question. Do I plan it weeks or even months in advance? Do I have a cunning plan where everything lines up to make the perfect post? Do I have a discussion with friends about the possibilities of what I may write about? Do I randomly splurge according to what I see in the news. Do I talk about what I did last night or do I talk about what I am going to do this morning?

Well, it is a blog, it is random. There are no set rules to it, and that's the way I've figured it out so far...

Monday, 9 February 2009

The Greatest Bad Guys from Star Trek 4: Dukat

I have looked at some fantastic villains over the past three days. From the grandeur of Khan to the frightening Borg Queen and not forgetting the scheming Weyoun. But there is one more villain I want to highlight and again it is from thr Deep Space Nine series. That villain is Dukat.

On the surface Dukat is an unusual choice. Unlike Khan, this character did not have any superior abilities. Unlike the Borg Queen or Weyoun, he does not represent a formidable enemy. So, in effect we have, what is in reality, an ordinary guy. And that is exactly what makes Dukat such a great Sci Fi villain. Dukat was a bad man, no doubt about that, his actions and his motives were that of greed and selfishness, classic 'bad guy' traits that culminated in an overbearing and dangerous ego. However, the fascinating aspect of Dukat was the depth of his humanity. More than any other 'bad guy' on this list, he was the one you could empathise with.

His humanity came in many way. First his care for his own people. Something you could admire, although it was rooted in his own advancement. The fact that he believed he was doing the right thing during the Bajoran occupation (although he was ultimately ruthless). However his greatest moments came with the interaction between him and his daughter.

Unlike many others that would have been in his position, the character of Dukat recognised, cared for and ultimately loved his own daughter. One of the most touching scenes in all of Star Trek is the moment when Dukat is reunited with his illegitimate child and instead of refusing to acknowledge her existence he accepted her even though it meant his own ruin. Later on, while Dukat becomes more venemous and destructive in himself, it is the love of his daughter that prevents him from becoming an entirely wretched person in the eyes of the viewer. And one of the most touching scenes on the whole of Star Trek is that of Dukat cradling his dying daughter in his arms, imploring his love to her. Trust me, it is touching.

The strength of Dukat's character did not come from brute force or alien freakishness. It came from the fact that on many levels he was so similar to Sisko, the hero of the Deep Space Nine. There were traits that the both of them shared and for the grace of a few decisions, Sisko could have been as bad as Dukat. Dukat's appeal did not come from some outlandish concept or look, but from the very fact that he was such a 3-D character. He was complex, capable of great compassion and could even justify his actions in what would seem a rational way. Dukat was not so much an ordinary enemy, but the enemy from within. His very 'human' nature, his complexities, his love and his personal tragedy made sure that the character had far more appeal than any other villain on the Star Trek franchise.



Dukat, a villain of many shades, tragic and fearsome, but ultimately human.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

The Greatest Bad Guys from Star Trek 3: Weyoun

The first two bad guys I talked about appeared on both movies and an incarnation of the televised episodes. Weyoun's activities were limited to the small screen; however this did not make him any less menacing. Weyoun practically owned the last three seasons of Deep Space Nine.

I am not going to describe his background because I would rather talk about the man himself. One of the greatest things about this villain was his duplicity. He was cold like the Borg Queen and clever like Khan but he also was as slippery as an eel. There was no way of pinning him down to anything or anyone. At times he would be merciless and at times he would just have a giggle often in the same scene. It was this duplicity that made Weyoun such a fascinating character. The way he acted, what he did, he was the perfect leader with complete control over his subordinates. He was also ruthless, just like any other leader, quite happily ordering mass killings and in effect was the driving force of the Dominion War. However, his unquestioning loyalty to the Founders, his worship of them also freaked you out as a viewer. After all the power that he commanded after all the deception that he was capable of, his brains and thoughts, he would bow down and worship a shape shifter.



Weyoun - Seemingly harmless, but looks can be deceptive...

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Greatest Bad Guys from Star Trek 2: The Borg Queen

To be honest, I did not want to do another set of Star Trek blogs for a while. But due to the death of Ricardo Montalbán, this set of blogs has been brought forward early. And so to the next bad guy, or should I say 'bad girl' - The Borg Queen.

To be blunt, the Borg are terrifying. Resistance is futile, all encompassing, all seeing, all breathing etc. The fact that your very essence, your individuality is taken away from you when you meet these guys. Not death, not even slavery (which would preclude some free thought), but existence. And the Borg Queen personified this in every way possible.

Let us think about this, the first time we meet her. In the CInema, during First Contact. And it is the Borg Queen that makes First Contact such a great film and the greatest film since Wrath of Khan. But unlike Wrath, First Contact had the special effects as well as the Bad Girl to boot. The Borg Queen took all that was sinister about the Borg and enveloped it into a single entity. The Borg throughout the Next Generation were terrifying. On the big screen they were legendary. The introduction of the Borg Queen for this film was a piece of genius and like Khan drew on the brilliance of an earlier episode.

She may not be as great as Khan (that personal conflict made it for me in Star Trek II), but the Borg Queen comes a pretty close second to Khan.



Resistance is Futile...

Friday, 6 February 2009

Greatest Bad Guys from Star Trek 1: Khan!

Today I was travelling by train. An aside point, but for once I bought the paper instead of reading it online and inside I saw the obituary for Ricardo Montalbán who died last month at the grand old age of 88. He was one of the greatest actors ever and for those who are old, he will be remembered as the man from Fantasy Island. For those that are a lot younger, he will be remembered for his fantastic role in Spy Kids.

However, his most memorable role came in Star Trek as the villainous and genetically altered Khan Noonien Singh. His appearance in the Original Series is one of the few things I remmber from that timewarp. But he was most breath taking in Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan, possibly the best Trek film of the lot.

While in the TV incarnation he was subdued and eventually convinced by Kirk to 'settle down' and raise kids, it was in the film itself that Khan came to light and was able to truly flex his muscles as the superior intellect.

I will chase him round the moons of Nibia... - only Montalbán could carry out those ridicuoous lines with such conviction. It was Montalbán who saved Star Trek, that put it into the popular consciousness. And despite all the incarnations of the films, none of them have managed to live up to the brilliant climactic finale of Film number 2. Not only was there the drama with Spock but the continuous game of wits being played between Kirk and Khan.

You see, Khan was not just Kirk's nemesis in a simpleton bad guy kind of way. Kirk could not just get away with giving him a licking. He was intelligent, in every way possible. He had years in which to intricately plan his vengeance while Kirk was caught out by his appearance. Khan was articulate, when he spoke, he commanded a presence that has not been matched since on screen in any Star Trek incarnation since. His battle of wits against Kirk was so much more than just beatng Kirk He wanted to witness Kirk's demise for himself. He was not evil for the sake of it (as was seen when he was in the tv series) but was evil as he became twisted though his grief. You could understand Khan, he had a human touch, and that is why he could outsmart anyone pitted against him. It was because he had that vulnerability that could not be whisked away by a simply superior mind.

Montalbán's performance as Khan was probably his most legendary role. He was given complete freedom and he relished the part every single step of the way. While Montalbán has appeared across a range and depth of roles, it is as Khan that he was truly magnificent. Even today, a quarter of a century or so on from that film's release, it is immensely watchable. You still love Khan, and the acting while powerful is not over the top. To simply put it, Montalbán portrayed the perfect Star Trek villain and the one by which everyone else is measured. In years to come, people will still be watching Star Trek II and it will take a lot to better the film in terms of story, on-screen chemistry, drama, tension and ending. Other films and virtually all the other Star Trek films since have tried to emulate it, none have succeeded.

If there is one piece of the Original Series you much watch, then make it Space Seed. And if there is one tar Trek film you must see, then it has to be the Wrath of Khan.



Khan - possibly the bestt Bad Guy ever created and definitely Star Trek's greatest villain. Played by the legendary Ricardo Montalbán who passed away last month. RIP.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

London, baby!

All right, so we are not the capital of cool (New York) nor are we coveted with stunning natural surroundings (Hong Kong). We don't have beauty (Paris) or functionality (Singapore). We do not have that rawness to ourselves (Sydney) and nor do we have a sense of civilisation to build upon (Mexico City/Cairo). A continent does no look to us to lead them (Lagos) we are not even the biggest city on the planet (Tokyo).

But what the hell, after this weeks hilarious snowfall, I have a new sense of love for this city. It may not be the world's greatest place, and the people that run this city are so incompetent that they would screw up a cup of tea, but sod it, it's home. And not a bad home too. Although I am the first to slag it off, my response is if you don't like it and are not paying taxes, then sod off. Only hard pressed tax payers have the roght to grumble. For the rest of you, go sun yourself in a city that is predictably boring.

For London is a city that is unpredictable. I know its quirks, its little bits of personality that pop up in the distance. What makes London different from the other cities, its collection of humanity. That market by the airport, the location (and the story) I will film at, the fish from Brixton, the river in Kingston, that Nightbus to Morden, those babes in the early morning, the sights, sounds, tastes and textures that you will not find in any other city.

London will never claim the 'greatest' tag, simply as this is one confused and heterogenous city. It really does suck in the saps of humanity, and unlike other urban centres, does not sing and shout from the roof-tops about it. But unlike many other places, there really is a human touch to the city.

We got a tough few years coming to us. This city is really going to struggle to come out of the mess that it got itself into. And it will not be easy, as our entire economy is being turned inside out. What will happen in the next few years will be interesting, and quite possibly could be disastrous for many people. But my belief is that this is a golden opportunity for those that want to grab it. It is going to change the status quo more than any other even since the Big Bang. But unlike that revolution, this is going to crush down a lot of institutions. What rises up in its place, I cannot predict. But if Monday's great skive is anything to go by, then it is going to be a mixture of fun and frolics for those that want to do it...

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Tax needn't be Taxing...

This year we had the gorgeous Moira Stuart (believe it or not, she's something like 60!) telling us about the deadlines of when to fill in the tax and I manaed to get mine in before the end of January and found out that I was due for a rebate! Shocking, especially as one sh**ty job forgot to tax me. (how the f**k does that happen in this country?)

Anyway, with the rebate now safely in the bank, it is up to me to help the British economy by spending my rebate in British shops. Well, no. Although I am grateful for HMRC's refund, I will be saving most of that money for my holiday to India this year. Why support a failing power that cannot deal with a little snow when I can support a growing superpower that cannot deal with a monsoon?

All right, I will not be such a spoilsport. I will allow myself two things from my tax rebate. First, I will buy a new pair of jeans. Nothing too flash, but I will treat myself to a pair of funky jeans, something else to cover my posterior. Anyway, why not treat myself? It is the least I can do after the hair-loosing trials that was self assessment.

Tax needn't be taxing...bo**ocks!

And the second thing I will treat myself too...hmm, I don't know. I'm not the greatest supporter of the economy, but something will turn up!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

We are sorry for the inconvenience. Please listen for further announcements...

A classic London day. When it snows (or rains, or is too sunny, or just any other day), the city finds an excuse to grind itself to a halt. I can get philosophical about this (most people hate their jobs and do not want to do it, so sod it, any excuse for a skive), I can get angry about this (I am paying Council Tax for what reason?) or I can get happy. I chose the latter of the three options!

A day dossing in the snow - click for photos!

What you don't see is the fun that my friend and me had, including, snow fights (I rule), Kebabs and chips (in the cold, there is no diet) and more snow fights. (I am the master!)

Look, this kind of snowfall will probably not occur until I am a heart patient, so I had to take advantage of this! So should you. Skive off London, there's snow!

Add to all of that, I also Vlogged in the Snow. Hey, how could I resist...

Monday, 2 February 2009

F**k Facebook?

And this is one of the many reasons why I wanted to jump the facebook ship. Plus the fact that it is so fake. 'Oh yes, we must meet up for a drink' bulls**t. Anyway, that is it, I am off Facebook...or am I...

Help, I forgot smeone's number/e-mail/blog/address/convinient stalking point/ Help, I need to see that one naughty pic of the friend who poked me last weekend when they were staying in and while I was at work. Help, I NEED facebook.

Must wean myself off it. Yes, must do so...somewhere else to get my kinky thrills...

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Mothers (Modern)

I was trawling the net for news, and came across this little number:

Mad at Dad.

And I have to ask this: Why are women, modern-day mothers so mad at their partners? And if you see what they get worked up over:

(P4)' We carry so much of this life-altering responsibility in our heads: the doctors' appointments, the shoe sizes, the details about the kids' friends. Many dads wouldn't even think to buy valentines for the class, for example, or know when it's time to sign kids up for the pre–camp physical, or that curriculum night is next Thursday at 7:30 and you need to hire a sitter and bring a nut-free vegetarian appetizer that can be eaten without a fork'

or:

(P2)' My husband is sometimes lax when it comes to keeping an eye on the kids," says Sarah, the mom of a toddler and preschooler in New Jersey. "No one's ever gotten hurt, but once I came home and found that my toddler's brand-new -- expensive! -- rug was covered in marker. It was clear he'd left them on their own for a while, with markers. I was furious. I'm still furious.'

or another from the same page:

'He recently came home from a shift at work at 8:00 in the morning, when Malbrough and her daughter were still snoozing. They'd been up late the night before, and both mom and baby were zonked. He just decides he's going to wake everyone in the house up," Malbrough says. "He doesn't think she needs to sleep as much as she does." And, she adds, not only does he violate the universal "never wake a sleeping baby" rule, but once their daughter's awake, she's the one who has to tend to her. '


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Oh, when did these women turn from the hot chick into the nagging ninny? And over such minute details. Who cares about Nut-Free spread, it is not as if you are feeding the five thousand, just some obese suburban idiots. Your there to educate your child, not to look good.

And to paraphrase from American Beauty, 'It is just a rug!', chill out. Allow the kid to play. Stop constraining the child.

The last quote really puts a smile on my face. Here comes back a man, from night shift. He is not working nights for the joy or pleasure of it but to put food on the table, to keep a roof over his family's head. He then comes in to see his kid. He may have had a rough night at work, he is definitely exhausted and is probably just as frustrated at life as his wife is. But what does he do, he goes straight for his kid.

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And there lies the rub, the frustration of many of these women. A common theme amongst all of those in the interview is that they are 'stay-at-home' mothers, although this is not exclusive to the list. And yes, men do need to pull their weight around. But one thing that many these women don't seem to realise is that they are mothers. And yes, it is a full time job. Children look to their mothers before their fathers, and that is the responsibility that you chose when you decided to have children. It is a free choice, after all, men cannot force you to carry them for nine months or so.

And relax. I know this is the mothering instinct kicking in, but you'd be surprised how resiliant your children are. Let them grow. And enjoy your partner too...

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Article from parenting.com.