Ways to be kind to your friend with a newborn

Having a baby is one of the most wonderful things to happen to a person. It’s also one of the most traumatic, lonely and half-crazed-from-sleep-deprivation times to endure.

Here’s how to be a good friend to your pal who’s just pushed out a progeny.

Be persistent in your offers to visit
In the normal run of social intercourse, someone offers a date and if the other person refuses that date it’s down to them to offer an alternate one.
This is not a normal state of affairs. And don’t say “let me know when you’re ready for a visit” because that time will never come, but offer specific dates until they feel ready to see other humans.


A total champion, aged four days

Be available during the day
Normal, adult time will have lost all meaning to your friend with a newborn: if you suggest meeting at eight they’ll genuinely wonder if you mean AM or PM. And if you mean PM there’s no way they can make it. Weekdays can be hella lonely for new mums, if you can make time on e.g. a Tuesday afternoon she’ll be grateful.

Go to her
But if she wants to meet outside the house as she feels like the walls are closing in, arrange to meet somewhere within walking distance of her house.

katrin Frankie

Go to visit your friend, matching outfit optional

Meet in a place that serves coffee and cake
This is non-negotiable. Your friend runs on caffeine and sugar now.

Tell your friend their child is the most beautiful human a woman has ever produced
Even if you think the baby looks like a tomato or a wizened old man.

If your friend says “he looks like a tomato, don’t you think?”
Do not agree with your friend. Tell them that they are deluded and this is the most beautiful baby you have ever seen.


This baby does not look a tomato, an old man, or Hannibal Lecter

Take food
Food that you’ve cooked and labelled and put in portion sizes in Tupperware. Food made with love just tastes so much better than anything Deliveroo can bring.

Offer to push the baby round the park while your friend has a bath
A bath makes everything better.

Offer to hold the baby while your friend goes to the toilet
You don’t know what a luxury going to the toilet on your own is until you can’t do it anymore.

nathan frankie

Offer to hold the baby while your friend goes to the toilet. And keep the baby safe from the child snatcher (top right)

Be prepared to talk. A lot.
News from the adult world! Yes please.

Be prepared to listen to chat about poo
And breastfeeding, nappies, the exact number of times the baby woke in the night and how long they were awake for each time. This period will pass, for all concerned, but right now these are your pal’s primary concerns. Get your active listening hat on.

Keep checking in
Being alone with a baby for ten hours a day or more is an incredibly isolating experience. It takes seconds to send a text. Keep doing that.

Originally commissioned by and appeared in Mother&Baby.

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Ten things to expect on your first post-baby date

Dig out your Wonder bra, look up the hottest restaurant in town and change the bed sheets. You’ve managed to find a trusted babysitter for the night and you and your significant other are going OUT out for the first time since your baby arrived.

How exciting!

But things are not going to be exactly the same as when the two of you used to enjoy romantic nights a deux.

Here are ten things that will definitely happen on your first post-baby date.

The run-up will be as exciting as the days before Christmas
Remember when you used to think nothing of going out for a post-work drink on a Tuesday night? Meeting for a cheeky pizza on a Thursday? Those days are long gone.
In fact, you probably can’t remember the last time you were outdoors after 6pm, and so you’ll be looking forward to this one for weeks in advance.

Christmas excitment

It’s Chrriiisssstmassss

You’ll start to feel guilty before you’ve even left the house
What if something terrible happens and your babysitter can’t cope? Despite the fact the babysitter is your mother who brought up three children with little more than a loaf of bread and a bar of soap (she reckons).
What if your little darling wakes up and you’re not there and they’re traumatised forever?
What if an earthquake happens?
What if, what if, WHAT IF?

You’ll dig out your fanciest, push-up bra for the night
It’s been a loooong time since you saw your boobs as anything other than milk machines and tonight, dammit, they are going to look perky and alluring.

You’ll take that bra off and put your maternity bra back on
Under-wiring is not comfortable and you’ll question what your pre-baby self was thinking.

That long bath, full leg shave, blow-dry and smoky eye you were planning
The luxurious hour you planned to get yourself feeling pampered will evaporate when your baby decides that tonight is the night they hate pasta / poo in the bath / do something so adorable you can’t tear yourself away.
You’ll be left with five minutes to try and find your least mad outfit and crayon some eyeliner on, Alice Cooper style. This is still the most effort you’ve put into your appearance in six months.

The restaurant regrets but all the slots between 7pm and 9pm are taken
You will wonder why this is a problem, 5pm is a perfectly acceptable time to sit down for dinner now you go to bed at 8pm.

The first drink will taste like honey from heaven
And will slip down so easily you’ll quickly order another. Then you will be squiffy. What happened to your tolerance levels? On the up side, you’re a cheap date now.

Franco Manca pizza

Franco Manca pizza tastes like heaven

Pizza Express will feel like the height of sophistication
There’s no-one throwing food on the floor, no one screaming and everybody is eating with a knife and fork. At least, they are now you’ve remembered that you’re in the company of adults.

You’ll talk about your baby
A lot. And that’s quite all right, she’s the most interesting thing in the world.

And as for sex…
Ha ha ha ha ha! Sure. You will both fall into bed when you arrive home but not for the exciting reason you used to. Now it’s for a more exciting reason: sleep.

This article originally appeared in Mother & Baby magazine.

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Nine things to NEVER say to a pregnant woman

Because complete strangers and well-meaning friends can say the darndest things.

Get loads of sleep now because when the baby comes you won’t get any.

OK, two points.

Firstly, chance would be a bloody fine thing. Sleeping when pregnant is hard due to whirling hormones, whirling emotions, an actual baby beating a frenzied tattoo on your womb wall, and so much bile rising in your throat you think you might choke to death.

Secondly, SLEEP ISN’T BANKABLE. If it was, we’d get ten hours a night straight in the run up to e.g. Glastonbury so that we can stay up all night when we’re there, consequence free. Got that? Good.

Have you had the baby yet?

You know what? I gave birth and completely forgot to tell you. Good job you asked.

So, about 5lb of that is the baby, a couple of pounds is placenta and there’s some water. Where’s the rest of the weight come from?

Ha ha ha ha ha! I kill you now. See also:

Are you sure there’s just one in there?

Because self-esteem about my huge, smelly and, frankly, alien body is so high right now. Nice one.

Should you be eating / drinking / doing that?

Woah – slipped my mind for a moment there that I was pregnant. Thanks for reminding me totally unqualified friend / stranger / arsehat of some outdated nonsense that women are patronised with when with child.

You should be wearing a baby on board badge.

And you, pal, should be wearing a dickhead badge. But here we are.

Nobody tells you this, but after the birth you go off your husband. Not just sexually.

Maybe nobody tells you because that’s your personal experience and not a universal truth? Ruddy hope so, anyway.

Women in the paddy fields, they give birth in the morning and they’re back working in the afternoon. Mind you, a lot of them prolapse, so…


We’ll come down a few days after you’ve given birth. You don’t want me and your mum waiting in the next room while you’re performing.

Actually, this was a good one. Just wanted to document Terry referring to labour as a performance. Which is how I’m going to think of it: George’s time to shine!

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The death of Sam

It is with great sadness that I report that Sammy Sammy ‘No Balls’ Terry has died.

He took his last doggy breath at around 4pm on Sunday 5 July 2015.

Sam was, as readers of this blog will know, probably the greatest dog that has ever lived, the incident when he almost ruined Christmas notwithstanding.

It’s fitting then, that he had the best death that a dog can have.

Sam, chocolate Labrador

A very good boy

Sam was getting old.

It’s 11 years since Terry and Mrs Terry rescued a near feral one-year-old with balls the size of satsumas, and twelve is getting on for a Lab.

He was still very young at heart, playing with his duck and doing as much biting as he possibly could, but both Terry Terry and Mrs Terry knew that he couldn’t be far off from the great playing field in the sky.

But, before they had to make a heart-wrenching decision about taking him to the vet for a very long sleep, Sam made the decision for himself.

One warm Sunday afternoon, our lovely dog took himself into the kitchen and lay down on the cool, tiled floor.

Sammy Sammy No Balls

Sammy Sammy No Balls

Terry went over and tickled Sam on the tummy, talking to him and telling him what a good dog he was.

Sam wagged his tail and, still wagging, lifted his head up, had a good, long stare at the fridge – his friend of old – then laid his head down on the tiles and wagged his last wag.

He was gone. But with Terry by his side, and positioned right next to the fridge – his box of delights.

He’s buried in the back garden, on the opposite side of the path to Lucy – the dog who had liposuction – and positioned so he’s facing into the house, because he liked to sit outside and stare in, just in case someone had the audacity to eat something without involving him.

To Sam Terry, then. The greatest dog the world has ever known, now eating bananas in doggy paradise.

Forever, a very good boy.

Sam Terry, chocolate Labrador

The greatest dog who ever lived (right)

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George Terry’s guide to winning at festivals

Glastonbury, festival guide

Some idiots enjoying Glastonbury

As festival season is nearly upon us (LOL) it feels like a good time to put together some tips on getting the most out of having fun in a field.

I have been to and/or played at pretty much every festival the UK has to offer except dance festivals, metal festivals and Latitude because I’m not a twat. So I’m the best person in the whole entire world to make this list and that is an absolute fact*.

Now that’s established, here’s what you should take/do/act at festivals, be it Glastonbury, Green Man, or even (whisper) Reading. It’s the definitive list, yeah? All other lists that say e.g. ‘take baby wipes’ or ‘drink water’ are for ninnies. So…

  1. Drink water. Yeah, I’ve just thought that through. Let’s say that on Sunday at Glastonbury this year, for *reasons* I breakfasted on cider and it DID NOT END WELL.

  2. Don’t take anti-poo pills. In fact, turn pooing into a competitive sport! The person who does the most festival poos is crowned shit-Lord-Kazoo at the end. Runner up is Fart Lady Fanny Pants. There is no turd place.

  3. Talking of the toilet: ladies, feel free to wipe the seat. Before you sit down like. It makes life so much better and reduces the chance of peeing on your shorts.

  4. Only arseholes piss on the seat.

  5. If you must crouch, it is MUCH better to balance with your hand on the back of the stall than to grip under the door.

  6. Only attempt to use a she-pee if you are wearing a skirt and no knickers. This applies to gentleman and ladies.

  7. Pissing in crowds is unacceptable.

  8. Unless you are super desperate.

  9. Pooing in crowds is not okay. 

    Bloody Katrin

    Bloody Katrin

  10. Never buy any food from a rat stall no matter how late it is or how tiddly you are. Never.

  11. Try to eat some food that isn’t yellow. Salad in e.g. a falafel wrap counts as a non-yellow dish.

  12. You can not take too many pairs of socks. How many pairs of socks do you think you need? Double that, and you still won’t have enough.

  13. People that take flags to carry around are idiots.

  14. It is useful to use idiots with flags as a guide to where you are in the crowd but check with the person carrying the flag that they aren’t about to surge to the front during Happy before you text your pals with your location.

  15. Accept that texts won’t go through and have a rock-solid back up plan for meeting, like in the old days.

  16. Don’t be envious of people swanning around with backstage passes. Backstage is well boring.

  17. If you do get a backstage pass it is only useful for utilising the backstage toilets. They’ll still be minging, mind. But the queues will be shorter.

  18. Air bed. AIR BED. 

    Philly without an air bed

    Philly sans air bed

  19. Wellies are really uncomfortable. You need to take them because this is England (or Scotland or Wales) but have an alternative such as your least good trainers to wear if possible.

  20. Malibu. Seriously. No matter how wet/cold you are, it is impossible not to feel the sunshine if you’re drinking Malibu.

  21. Umbrellas are really bloody annoying for everyone else. They should only be used as a parasol and then only when stationary.

  22. Philly enjoying milk

    Philly with milk

    After day one, everyone feels absolutely awful. Be as nice as you possibly can be. Yes, even to the idiot doing diablo.

  23. Katrin has taken to writing my phone number in Tippex on the back of her festival phone in case she loses it. This is a really good idea, although when she showed it to me I pretended it was a stupid one because I am a bad friend.

  24. Don’t, under any circumstances, call your parents. Trust me on this.

  25. Take something bright to wear so your friends can find you if you’ve lost yourself. This year, I’ve been wearing a jumper that is best described as ‘the Big Bird’. It is a thing of wonder and delight and acts like a homing beacon to e.g. Katrin.

  26. You should take Katrin with you, if possible. She’s generally got a Swiss Army knife and all kinds of useful shit.

  27. But do not leave Katrin alone in your tent. She will poo in it.

  28. Acceptable tent activities: the alphabet game, cards, having a small, private wee.

  29. Unacceptable tent activities: acoustic guitar, pooing.

  30. Blur are always a good idea. Yes, I know, I KNOW, Damon Albarn, Alex James. You’ll still have a good time. Promise.

  31. Don’t go to Reading.

Have I missed anything out? Doesn’t feel likely but if you think of any others feel free to holler.


George xxx

Glastonbury, festival friends

Me and some festival friends

*May not be a fact

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What happened at the bus stop

Friday, 8pm. A bus stop in Brixton.

George has so far this evening enjoyed three craft ales: she is lubed up but by no means langered, and is on the phone to Will.

Enter, stage right, a villain. The villain is an older gentlemen with white curling hair, a Barbour jacket and a flat cap. In some ways he looks a little like Terry Terry but he is not Terry Terry, he is a villain.

George, chatting lightly on the phone, attempts to board a bus. The villain, purposefully and with full intent and malice, elbows her in the boob (right).

George: Woah!

Villain (sneering): Yeah, woah.

Will (on the phone): What’s happened?

George: An old man just elbowed me in the boob.

Will: What?

George (louder, with intent to shame): An old man just elbowed me in the boob!

The villain leans forward and says, sotto voice: I may be old darlin’, but you look like a gorilla. And I’m going to have you killed.

George, bold and unafraid: You! Are a moron.

George boards the bus and rides it gaily home. If he’d said she looked like an orang-outang she may have taken his threat more seriously.

George does not look like a gorilla. The man was a fool.

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Sir David Attenborough interview. I don’t make this stuff up.

Remember a little while ago when I interviewed Sir David Attenborough at seconds’ notice and asked him about dogs, despite dogs not featuring at all in his new show? Do you? Here is a reminder.

And here is the published article, as it appears on RadioTimes.com. They said it’s “really fun”. I’m choosing to see that as a good thing.

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