In the spirit of coalition government, I now find myself with two bosses. Mrs Rippers, no doubt tired of nagging me about all the things that need to be done by the time the new arrival turns up in about six weeks time(!), has called in her mum for support and I am now firmly in the minority in the House of Frenchay Commons.
Only joking, of course. Myself and Amanda get on famously, and it has to be said she has been a great help to Mrs Rippers and myself, particularly in terms of ironing all my shirts, t shirts (something I have rarely done) and even my jim jams (which NEVER used to happen). It means, though, that at least I find myself able to lie rigidly in my new fold-up bed at the Fat Kid's.
Amanda's quiet, persuasive ways have definitely kick-started me into a few other things, and I have now re-arranged the kitchen completely so that there is room for the new bottle sterilizer and all things associated with baby feeding in the kitchen.
You may recall that during the reign of Ridsdale (our rather unwanted, furry house guest) we had to move everything out of the kitchen cabinets and put them into various tins and things on the work tops. It meant there was barely room to swing a rat, let alone cat, but the disappearance of the troublesome critter has meant the plan was due a re-think.
Interestingly, though, when I went through all the various tins, plastic containers and boxes I uncovered a huge supply of biscuits. In fact, in some of them there was just one pack of biccies or a couple of bars of chocolate.
I didn't realise that Mrs R's hoarding capacity for sweet things was so great and once re-arranged I found that I now have complete access to my kitchen work surfaces without having to throw away any of my lovely wife's hidden treats.
Talking of beds, I got a wee bit distressed at turning up in Shoeburyness every week to find that the Vin Monster and Big Boy had taken to using my blow-up bed as an early morning bouncy castle. Unfortunately it meant that these handy inflatables didn't last for long, despite their cost, so Mrs Rippers decided I needed a more sturdy sleeping place.
She pointed out on the Argos website that there was a fold away chair/bed which would do the trick admirably and ordered it for me straight away. It arrived at the Fat Kid's a couple of days later and is, indeed, comfy with the added advantage that it doesn't deflate in the night, leaving you lying on a hard, uncomfortable floor.
The down side? As the Fat Kid put it last night "That is probably the smallest bed in the world". Still, as long as I lie with my legs and arms close to my sides (a position much easier to adopt with the new ironed jim jams) then I can generally manage a more comfortable night's sleep.
Bad news on the jobs front for myself and everyone who helps put together the Welsh edition at the Screws. Like elsewhere, we have been hit by cutbacks (Wow, it's only a couple of days since David Cam-moron came to power). The outcome is that the edition going to the principality has been cut and I now find myself as a minister without portfolio. Hopefully something will be sorted out to keep me in the lifestyle to which I am accustomed, and there are various irons in the fire. I wish everyone else affected the best of luck too because the last year has been a real blast, and I've loved every minute of it.