Tag: Benjamin Belshaw

‘In The Night Garden’ as a communist utopia

My son, Ben, like most toddlers, has a routine. This includes, every night before bed, watching In The Night Garden. Now before anyone accuses us of being bad parents, let me just point out that he watches the programme, then goes in the bath, is read a story, has his milk and then goes to bed. 🙂

If you haven’t seen In The Night Garden before, you really should – it’s quite an experience. Each episode is around 30 minutes long, but you can get a flavour from this YouTube video:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIxrNHfyl48&hl=en&fs=1]

I’ve watched most of the episodes several times by now. We record them all as the BBC, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to screen the programme in the morning instead of during CBeebies Bedtime Hour.

The above is by way of prelude to my main point. The programme (probably intentionally) can put you into a state of not quite being awake and not quite being asleep. In that rather nice state of consciousness I got to thinking just how much like an ideal communist society it is:

  • The characters have all of their needs provided for, yet no-one is in overall control (do they ‘own the means of production’, though?)
  • There is no monetary system.
  • Men, women and children are of equal status.
  • There is no mention of, or reference to, religion – the garden just exists.
  • In the most innocent way imaginable there is ‘free love’ – in that everyone kisses everyone else.
  • Liberal parenting (in the form of the Pontipines) prevails.

Whilst I’m sure the group who conceived and produced the show aren’t raging communists, it does make you think of the values being explicitly and implicitly inculcated into even the youngest of children… :-p

That’s my boy!

My Dad and I went to see Sunderland vs. Arsenal yesterday. I bought the new shirt, and my parents kindly bought Ben his first Sunderland strip! 😀

Benjamin Belshaw’s 1st Year

I finally got around to putting some pictures of Ben in chronological order and feeding them into the wonder that is Animoto. Here’s the result:

Ben can almost walk!

Ben walkingBenjamin Daniel Jonathan Belshaw is 361 days old today (i.e. it’s his 1st birthday on Tuesday). He can stand unaided for around 10 seconds and can walk by grabbing onto a finger. 🙂

He’s being dedicated (it’s a bit like being baptised) at our Evangelical church on Sunday. Hopefully he’ll be able to walk by his first birthday!

Click on the image to watch a short video taken today.

Ben crawling!

Ben crawling (click for video)

Before I became a parent, I never thought little things would give me so much pleasure. Although he’s been threatening to do so for a while, Ben can crawl properly now. I’m so proud…. 😀 Read more →

Sausage Roll

Ben rolling (click to play video)

When Hannah was pregnant with Ben, we used to refer to him as ‘the bean’. For some reason, we now call him ‘the sausage’. It’s not that we’re especially fond of breakfast items, it kind of just… happened. Hence, now he can roll over from back to front and front to back, it’s a ‘sausage roll’… 🙂

(you’ll need Quicktime – or an alternative – installed to watch the video) Read more →

Ben in his bouncer (video)

Ben in bouncer Ben in bouncer 2

(click on images to play videos)

People (especially family) keep asking for videos of Ben, so instead of clogging up email inboxes, here’s a short video of him on his new bouncer. £10 off eBay – bargain…

He hasn’t quite got the hang of yet but you can see his progress: the first video is from last week whereas the second is today. Being a Belshaw, he’s learning quickly! Read more →

More photos of Ben

Ben, asleep and cute!

I’ve added a few more pictures of Benjamin D.J. Belshaw to his Flickr photoset. I don’t want to overload everyone with photos, but he is very cute. Read more →

Hannah and Ben back home

After a couple of nights in hospital, Hannah and Ben are now back safe and sound at home. Ben’s feeding well – in fact, a little too well! All he seems to do is feed, sleep and cry. Still, that’s what babies do best…

Hannah and I knew that we’d be in for some fairly sleepless nights, but knowing that and experiencing it are two completely different propositions!

Read more →

Flickr slideshow of Benjamin Daniel Jonathan Belshaw

I’m going to keep adding photos of Ben to the Flickr set I’ve set up in his honour. The following slideshow, therefore, will keep updating itself with anything in that set…

Click here or ‘read on’ below for the slideshow! Read more →