HowTo: Swinging in the rigging for infants

Dad made me this neat hanging bassinet.  Or woven rigid hammock.  Or strung bed dangling from the rafters.  I dunno, neither does he, but he snaffled the idea offa his buddy Jim Fulton, a man of infinite ingenuity.  Go buy some of his CDs, we’ve been singin’ along to the free stuff on the site for about a fortnight now, but may have to slip the chap some sultanas of swing for the pleasure of getting the lot.

Anyhow, to cut a long story short, Dad got the following materials:

4x three foot branches from a tree.   
50m of twine
Three bundles of niiice wool for the mattress
One anchor swivel (eBay sell them for a pittance)
One spring scale, with hook (there are loads of these on eBay, too for diddly)
11x nails (this is really going to set you back!)

First he sawed some branches into straights, nailed, then lashed them together like so:

Lashed corner

So that’s pretty cool, and easy enough to do.  Next he started on the weaving.  This involves looping the niiice wool along the long edge with 2mm between each loop, and keeping it slightly loose once you get to the end.  Kind of tight, certainly not baggy, but not rigidly taught either. Then with a knitting needle go back and forth making loops around the short side and going up and under each of the long side loops, alternating each turn.  Once you’re done, it ought to look a little like this:

Woven mattress

Those dark green ones are to stop my fingers getting stuck in the wool, and they only go through the top layer of the wool up to the wood. Your mattress should be pretty much done now, Tighten all the loops real good so it’s firm and comfortable.  Then it’s time to add the ropes from each corner to a central rope to the swivel.  Dad took a leaf from his macrame skills for this and did a twisting knot, but don’t go overboard, it takes a while to do that.  Joining knotAnyhow, tie your rope to each corner, then join them at the top, and tie them firmly together, with a fifth rope leading up from that knot through the swivel and back down.  It ought to look something like the image on the left. Except without the sparkly bracelets and twinkling lights in the background, though you can add any garnish you like, really it’s up to you. Hook, spring and swivel So then we need to attach the swivel to the springing fishing scale with hook. THe fish scale had a ring at the top, so Dad just made a bunch of loops from that ring to the ring on the swivel, and then secured the two with a ‘hangman’s noose’ type arrangement around the loops.  There are so many loops in this that Dad was nearly driven loopy himself.  Anyhow, you ought to have the whole hammock done by now, it’s just a matter of hanging it from somewhere. We’ve a bay window in the lounge so Dad banged a bunch of nails in to the wall around the dado bar, then looped a bunch of rope between them so the hook of the fishing scales hangs of it in the centre and I’ve got loads of room to swing on.  He also got a chin-up bar that tightens, through a screw action, into an open doorframe.  This makes the whole hammock thing quite portable – it can be used in any door, though the drawback here is that the door can’t be used for getting in and out of a room very easily. So finally, here’s the hammock in action, featuring me swinging, laughing, noodling, gurgling, tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la…..laa-la-la….

So anyhow, that’s where I lie all day for those who are interested.  I dig that tune, too.  It’s from Sweden, a band called I’m from Barcelona.  Catchy stuff huh?

Another day, another photo opportunity

Yup, the cameras are flashing, the paparazzi are chasing me all over the show.  Snap happy, itchy trigger finger camera phone adults behaving like adolescents are the bane of my existence, I’ll be blind before I can see.  Anyhow, the results, and what I think of them can be found below.  Just click on the image for a ripper slideshow of me, gorgeous me…

If you’re getting bored checking this site to find out it isn’t updated, there’s a better way. Why not use the RSS feed?  Click on the orange button (top right) if you’re using IE7, and subscribe to my feed.  It’s yummy.  To check whether there’s an update, on the top left is a star, it’s your ‘favourites centre’, click on it and then choose the ‘feeds’ tab.  Freddie the Magnificent will be there!  In bold if there’s a new feed, just normal if there ain’t.  And don’t stop at this site, do the same with the NZ Herald/BBC/Tube updates, weather, you name it there’s an RSS feed for it.  Dad’s been banging on about it for months.  Easy, peasy, Freddie’s ready for bed….

Year zero – time to party

Hic!  I’ve been up all night on a bender.  I dressed up as a cowboy, yee-ha!  Mama couldn’t put me to sleep last night I was so excited from my first party.  Her buddies came around and showered me with presents out of respect for my (ahem) magnificence. 

I’m just gonna love wrapping myself up in Orla’s blankie whilst reading some of the many books I received.  Mama’s milk tasted great after a few glasses of Bollinger brought by the boys and some whack pizza Dada made.  The flowers are great, I love the cards, cake and cash, and lotsa clothes, life’s good. 

Wanna see some photos?  I’ve set up a slideshow of the permanent party. Yee-ha, hoe-down cow-poke! Thanks for staying up-late-and-to-date with my hectic early days! 

Water? I’m born to it…

No one likes a smelly man, so I was the first to suggest a bath – before I’d ever had one.  Dada kindly ran one for me, and I couldn’t wait to get in it.  First thing in the morning, it was straight in and after some surprised looks of disbelief at the new situation I found myself in, it was sloshing and gurgling about as if the water was leaving the bath.  Hooray, I’m up or another in a few days…

Ready, Freddie, Go!

Yup.  Even my folks are proud as punch.  4.1kg (or 9lb 1oz for those stuck in the second millenium) I’m a strapping wee lad with a calm, contented disposition.

Dada’s already got a site set up detailing the early days of my existence.  It’s pants, but you can check it out at if you fancy his naff design ethos.  It’s so 2005.

As you can see I’m only just finding my voice, but tune in for more posts detailing my exhilarating exploits, growing pains and yee-haa lifestyle in London.

Cheers!  Thanks for visiting, I just know you’re gonna come back for more…