I had Tuesday off work last week. For one thing Chloe had some inoculations that I needed to drive her to. For another thing, if she came through them okay Lorraine and I were going to take her into visit my workmates.
As Chloe recovered from her injections pretty quickly we grabbed a quick lunch, and then made our way into Glasgow. As we approached the city centre I started to feel nervous, and I wasn't the only one feeling that way. Lorraine had never been into my work before, and it was somewhat different to my meeting her colleagues, which usually happened when I gave them a lift home after Christmas nights out. A relaxed setting, where I was doing someone a favour. Instead of that we were risking bringing a crying baby into a working office environment. Furthermore I hadn't told anyone we were coming.
So was it worth fretting over? Oddly enough I hadn't kept my usual "Most things aren't worth worrying about" way of thinking in mind. It certainly wasn't worth the nerves, as for the most part it was fine. Chloe was quiet, my colleagues were friendly and welcoming. I did feel really uncomfortable trying to do all the introductions as well as maintain all the small talk, but I'm like that at the best of times. Why be any different just because I'm showing my daughter off to my workmates? I was still glad when we left the building though, not just because I was in the office on a day off, but because I had not been looking forward to it.
Seems really daft, doesn't it? The fact is I'm quite shy, Lorraine is quite shy (although people who know her really well don't think so - like me she makes a quiet first impression) and I'm not entirely comfortable with the thought of my daughter being passed around and inspected (although the thought is always worse than the reality, which Chloe seems to be really at ease with).
Although there was no reason to get stressed about it, I actually got to the point where my mouth was so dry that I ended up having a can of Marks and Spencer's own brand cola in their cafe. Really, really bad idea. Add in Lorraine's latte ("I can't drink anymore of that. It's horrible.") and you have two people who probably won't be helping Marks and Spencer's share price move upwards for a while. If Starbucks offered their amazing Chocolate Mint Bliss outside of the Christmas season we wouldn't have even set foot in their cafe (cough, nudge, hint, cough!).
Onto other news, and the discovery of a dead swan that had contracted the H5N1 strain of Bird Flu got the attention of the headline writers of the Metro. Okay, so the deceased bird was discovered on the east coast of Scotland and given the fears of the virus developing onto humans it deserves attention, but was the best headline they could come up with really "Don't Panic" (Friday 7th April 2006)?
"Don't Panic"? Clive Dunn would be turning in his grave, if he were dead that is. The next time I pick up this lightweight excuse for a newspaper they'll probably be blaming the spread of H5N1 on the "fuzzy-wuzzies" and that the way to stop a global pandemic is to attack it because "they don't like it up 'em!" Good grief, I know I always say I need to start buying a decent paper but this might be the final straw. I'll have to do that or start bringing a book to read while commuting, as the Metro really is that poor. "Don't Panic", I ask you.
Stay tuned for more Metro criticism over the next few weeks as I probably won't be able to prevent myself from picking up a copy each weekday morning. It's like my Mum watching Sky News, I'm sure I only do it so I have something to moan about.
In addition to Friday's hysterical front page the Metro was also the paper which promoted the network debut of American hospital drama Grey's Anatomy by saying, "Most of the staff at Seattle Grace hospital are impossibly good-looking." (Thursday 6th April 2006).
Now I've didn't see the show (frankly I have as much use for another American medical show as I do for a hole in my head) but I've seen the posters, and I wouldn't have said there was one attractive person featured on them. If the Metro writers were looking for an attractive doctor then they've been watching the wrong American drama on Five. Step forward Dr Sara Tancredi of Prison Break!
After weeks of jokingly reciting all the great qualities of Dr Tancredi (played by Sarah Wayne Callies) to Lorraine and putting her off Prison Break at the same time, the writers decide to throw a spanner in the works for male viewers by having Michael Scofield have a wife called Nika, played by none other than Holly Valance!
So on the one hand you have the beautiful, intelligent, caring, compassionate doctor (who is also ginger, if you believe my wife), while on the other you have Holly Valance (no description required). All of a sudden those of us watching and rooting for the show's hero have a dilemma - who do you want him to be with? The long-established character who he clearly has some chemistry with, or the sleazy untrustworthy new character who has looks to die for?
On reflection, should the latter even be a consideration? And I wonder why women make sexist jokes about men. (But then again it is Holly Valance...)
Have a good week!