“Watch this,” I say, picking up my guitar. “She loves it.”

“Aaaahh stepped innnn, tooo an avvva-lannch,” I croon. “It cuvvverrd up maaah soul.”

Grandfather and baby looked on highly impressed.

“Youuu whoo wishhh – to Con-quer Painn, youuu must learn…”

The LTLP rushes in, a look of appalled concern across her face.

“Stoppit!!! Stoppit!!!”


“Do NOT sing my baby Leonard Cohen songs. It’ll make her…” she tails off, unable to decide what it will make her.

I break off my song in a huff. I do not understand why one has to sing only juvenile songs to babies. Cohen’s work deals with love and death and sex and loss and immense longing, all subjects that are bound to come up in the National Curriculum. Plus the chords are quite easy.

“Dooo nott dressss in those RAGS for mee; I knoww youuu…”

“Stoppit!!! Stoppit!!!

It is sometimes difficult being the artistic one in a relationship. I accept the status of the LTLP as a world-renowned scientist, but I would not dream of giving her advice as to what to do with her beakers or whatever it is she does. I see no reason why she should interfere with my area of expertise in life (as evidenced by this very bit of writing) i.e. the pursuit of beauty and truth.

The baby seems unconcerned by all this. One day she will appreciate the trouble I have taken to educate her in the face of aggressive philistinism.