The Tricky Second Album

Aka - We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat


It’s several weeks ago and I’m making a cheese and marmite sandwich.  I’ve woken up on the right side of the bed, which is actually the left side, and I’m feeling positive about the world.  For some reason I just know that everything will be alright in the end.

“I’m feeling very positive today.” I say to my itsy-bitsy wife who has just scuttled in to view.

“Do you?” replies Zsuzsa.

“Why yes I do.” I fire back.  

“So you’re feeling positive?”

“Yes I am.”  


“I just am.”

One thing is for certain.  This conversation is dynamite.

A pause.

“Then maybe this is the right moment to tell you that I think you’ve scored again.” says Zsuzsa.

I nod and continue with my cheese and marmite sandwich, which as I’m sure you are aware, is a very precise and fastidious process, requiring just the right amount of marmite and cheese.  Luckily I’m a seasoned cheese and marmite sandwich maker so we're...

Wait.  What?

I look at Zsuzsa with a quizzical look.

“I’m pregnant.”

I re-wrap the cheese and put it back in the fridge, because as I’m sure you are aware, no matter what the severity of the situation, stale cheese is a criminal offence.  I close the fridge door and Zsuzsa now has my full attention.

“Are you sure?” I say.

“Well, I haven’t done a test yet, but I’m pretty sure.”

“So you haven’t done a test!  How do you know then?” I say, dialling up The Paxman to eleven.

“I just know.  I feel it.”

My mind is racing.

“But you’re not one hundred percent sure?”

“I know I’m pregnant.”

“It’s just that my old dog, Sandy.  She used to have phantom pregnancies all the time.”

“I’m pregnant.”

“She used to make herself little nests and everything.  Have you felt the need to make a little nest?”

“Honey, I’m pregnant.  I’m sure.”

“But are you?  Because sometimes you’re ‘sure’ that you’ve lost your keys and then you find them at the bottom of your bag.”

“Honey.  Stop.”

“You’re not just a bit constipated are you?  I mean you had that stomach bug a while back so…”

“Honey.  Stop.  I’m pregnant.”

A few mornings later and Zsuzsa presents me with a positive pregnancy test.  All I’d asked for was a coffee, but never mind.  It turns out she’s pregnant.

Fourteen weeks, and several gallons of vomit later, and here we are, sitting in a coffee shop in Camberwell following a successful scan.  The same coffee shop that we visited to let the news of Mila’s imminent arrival sink in.

“This is it baby.” I say.  “Our tricky second album.”

Zsuzsa just frowns at me.

“We now have to follow up the rip-roaring success of Mila.  Will we reach those same heights again?  Will she be The Godfather 2 or will she be The Matrix Reloaded?”

Because, yes, she’s probably a ‘she’.  Seventy percent probably according to the doctor.

“We need to ensure we treat them equally.” says Zsuzsa.

“Will she be a What’s The Story Morning Glory or a Peasants, Pigs and Astronauts?”


“Kula Shaker’s follow up album.  ‘Peasants, Pigs and Astronauts.’  A crushing disappointment.  Whereas ‘What’s The Story Morning Glory’, bonafide Oasis classic.”

“She’ll be another masterpiece honey.” says my Lilliputian wife, reassuringly.

“I know.” I say, take a sip of coffee and smile.

Zsuzsa studies me as I do so, reaching down deep in to my soul.

“Are you disappointed that she won’t be a boy?” she eventually asks.

“No!  Of course not!” I retort.

“But you’ll be surrounded by ladies?”

“I can’t wait to be surrounded by ladies!”

“But wouldn’t you have preferred a boy so that you could play football in the park with him?”

I ponder this for a moment.

“Maybe we should raise her as a boy.”

We pay up and begin wandering to the bus stop.  Something occurs to me.

“Honey.  We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

Zsuzsa looks at me blankly.

“What the hell are you talking about?” she asks with bemusement.


“What about Jaws?”

“It’s a famous saying from Jaws.  They needed a bigger boat.  I was just thinking we need a bigger boat.”

Zsuzsa shakes her head.

“I don’t think we should be buying boats of any size.  We need to save our money for a bigger home.”    

I just nod, take her hand, give her a little kiss and we walk on head first towards the next exciting, terrifying, wonderful chapter in our lives.  Naturally it’s all a bit overwhelming, a little bit scary, but it’s okay as I just know that everything will be alright in the end.