Archives for the month of: December, 2012

The nursery needed to be set up.  Never mind that Baby was already three months old, her room was still a storage facility for flat-pack boxes and overflowing plastic B&Q bags.  Enter Handyman.

Naturally everything was pink.  Little girls who grow up in this part of South London must have their pink stuff:  cot, chest of drawers, change table, area rug, artwork from and a little shelf to put baby tchotchkes on.  Pink.

So I set to work as Mum flitted around the house with a constant stream of high-pitched cooing directed at her young daughter.   She did a lovely job, I thought, of including her child in her chores and moment-to-moment minutiae.  Talking to your baby could never be a bad thing.  There was also music playing in the house – again, never a bad thing to share with one’s child.

By and by the audible commentary with Baby informed me that she needed to be fed.  Mum found a private spot one floor down from where I was working, so as not to illicit unwanted stares from the strange man assembling all the pink furniture.  But first she turned off Radio 2 and put on some music more suited to their needs.

Baby was fed to the soothing tones of the Red Hot Chili Peppers Greatest Hits.  Now, I’m no puritan when it comes to music.  I’m hip.  I like a sock-covered penis as much as the next guy, not that I’ve ever tried it myself.  And I can appreciate the Peppers musicians’ prowess on their respective instruments.  For heaven’s sake, if you’re going to call yourself Flea you’d better be pretty confident in your chosen field.  But it came as a jarring incongruity as I stood there in the middle of the vast pink prairie.

I’m not suggesting that every child should be handled with kid gloves, sonically speaking. They don’t need to be carefully spoon-fed Bach and Mozart for fear of them turning into Marilyn Manson (not that there’s anything wrong with him, just in case you’re reading this all dressed in black and are doing your nails to match).  I’d certainly sung the occasional non-traditional lullaby to my son when he was a baby.  ‘I have climbed highest mountain/I have run through the fields/Only to be with you’ by Bono and the boys can make for a very soothing melody to a three-month-old.

But what is the child actually absorbing, I wondered?  For the rest of her life, she’ll have an outrageous association with Mother’s Milk – and yes, the double meaning is deliberate.  Every time she drinks the stuff she’ll think she should ‘Give it away, give it away, give it away now.’  Imagine what will go through her mind when she hears ‘Suck my Kiss’.  And how do you explain ‘Californication’?

Duke Ellington said there are only two kinds of music:  good and bad.  So who can say what’s appropriate for a nursing child?  Not me.  I’m just saying.


Instructions for the preparation and use of your very own Healing Room.

1 – What is a Healing Room?  In short, it’s any room in your house that you deem appropriate for meditation, yoga, tai chi, or any other activity that, to an outsider, may appear slightly ‘trippy’.  It needn’t be a very large room, but may be required to house an overflow of books, CDs, exercise equipment and a Hoover.

2 – Room selection.  Not just any room tucked away in a draughty corner of a classic Victorian terraced home can be fortified with healing powers.   It must satisfy all vital criteria of Feng Shui (see separate guide for conditions specific to your room) while still, at a glance, not appear particularly unique when compared to other rooms in the house.  A small bedroom with a tiny window overlooking the neighbours’ back deck is always a safe choice.  If you’re fortunate enough to have an available room off the kitchen, this could be advantageous in case you require a snack mid-Cobra pose.

3 – Decoration.  A thin, neutral-coloured, closed-loop carpet with no less than three stains should be laid on the floor.  Walls should be painted (but not freshly) in a sort-of-off-white but not-quite-yellow colour.  It will have a rustic wooden bench with a flat mattress on it, barely suitable for a prison tenant.  It must have some sort of altar; a structure made with stacked bricks and plywood is fine as long as there is space for enough candles to smoke out St Paul’s, incense – pound shop quality is fine – and at least one Buddha figurine.  There should be cushions upholstered with fabric that has those little mirrors knitted into it and in one corner a cheap CD player.  If you require more furniture, any product from IKEA is sufficient.

4- How to use the room.  This is entirely up to you.  There is no standard function by which all Healing Rooms are assessed.  However when not in use it must always present itself as enigmatic and incongruous.  It is most important that you always refer to it as the Healing Room, especially when you are showing people around the house like grandparents, electricians, estate agents or handymen.  That way you’ll always be sure to get a measured and somewhat awkward response.  But you must act as if it’s the most ordinary room to have in the house; be especially blasé like it’s a dining room or a closet.

5 – Heal.

**DISCLAIMER.  The author of ‘Instructions for the preparation and use of your very own Healing Room’ has, in no way, intended to malign the description, selection, decoration or function of any such room, nor to draw attention to any one type of Healing Room.  His directives are merely a guide based on four or five Healing Rooms observed during his years of involuntary research.  Anyone preparing such a room should provide their own aura.

**DISCLAIMER 2.  The word ‘trippy’ has been used to explain the authors genuine incredulity regarding the types of activities typically performed in a Healing Room.  He is not implying that the users of these rooms are actually promoting a specific trip or are in any way associated with the travel industry.

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