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TWTD is synonymous for ITFC
at 11:00 30 Nov 2020

For me, ITFC and TWTD are so intertwined that I couldn’t have one without the other now.

I come to TWTD for all my ITFC news and updates.

TWTDers that I have met have become like family to me. Hell I only met Blubfish for a few minutes and he’s like that weird cousin that nobody talks to at family get togethers, but you would call him if you were stuck and he could help.

I have met Phil a handful of times. He’s every bit the Forum owning nerd that I hoped he would be. But he’s our forum owning nerd.

TWTD is more than a forum for some people. Some people come here for help with their mental health, some come to share their life stories. Others just come to talk football.

If the club read the forum, as many suggest they do, then they will do well to take note that ITFC in the community should also include the online community. We have Phil, the wielder of the banhammer to thank for what we have.

We have Gav to thank for all the wonderful tech updates too....
at 17:08 28 Nov 2020

All good things must come to an end
at 22:16 27 Nov 2020

No this isn’t some def info about Lambert.

I’ve been asked to join ship next week. I couldn’t say no, I had already done so at the start of November, rejecting a promotion too.

So, with a heavy heart I accepted this assignment. Luckily it is a promotion. I obviously didn’t burn my bridges.

As a senior officer I will have more of a chance to really make a difference for my crew.
Happy Birthday Dubtractor
at 17:42 21 Nov 2020

That win was for you!

Basically you have kept Shambert in a job.
Happy Diwali
at 06:51 14 Nov 2020

On Board with Indian crew it’s normally a fun celebration today.

We are having our own Festival of Lights here with the twins, with their projector going to give them stimulation.
As time went on
at 09:04 12 Nov 2020

The twins reflux worsened to the point that they were in pain more often than not. Neither one was keeping their milk down very easily without prolonged periods of being held upright and winding.

A lack of sleep became the downfall of MrsN. At 0200 one morning she handed me a baby and said “I can’t do this any more I am going downstairs to the sofa to sleep”.

I got through that morning. We muddled through a couple more days. We happened upon Carobel, which is a thickener. It sort of stopped the reflux. We got a 2 hour unbroken sleep for the first time in over a week.

Something still wasn’t right.

A couple of nights ago MrsN sat there sobbing. She told me she was frightened. Frightened of doing this all alone whilst I was at sea. Frightened that she couldn’t do it. Frightened that she’s not a good mum.

Seb was sleeping in his bedroom. Then it hit me. A couple of weeks ago I saw white seeds in a nappy. I have no idea whose nappy. But I saw them. Seb had that when he was a couple of weeks old. He ended up being lactose intolerant.

It was 2200hrs, I got in the car and went to Asda. I got a tub of Lactose Free formula. This was the moment our exclusively breastfed babies would get the dreaded formula that the midwife MrsN never wanted them to have.

The difference was almost instantaneous. Subsequent feeds through the night produced the same results. Happy, pain free, content babies. Babies that slept.

The relief that MrsN felt was clear. After so many people telling us “that’s life with premature twins” “it will get better” “sleep when the babies sleep” etc. We found the answer. MrsN called the GP. Who then confirmed that yes, this can be hereditary, and with the similarities between Seb and Michael (singular palmar crease on the left hand) this is highly likely.

A prescription for formula was given. The formula covers lactose intolerance and cows milk protein allergy. There isn’t a test to find out which it is, so there is a formula that covers both.

Last night the twins were adjusting to the formula. When breastfeeding they had been taking an incredible amount of milk. Breast milk is easily digestible, with a fairly sweet taste in case you’re wondering. Formula is harder to digest.

Whilst it was a fairly sleepless night, there were no babies in pain writhing around all night and making all sorts of noise.

Now we need to learn the skill of feeding two babies at the same time. MrsN needs to be able to do it on her own for obvious reasons. Michael is just really really small. 2.05kgs at the weigh in yesterday. His neck muscles are still developing.

As ever, we will find a solution. We’ve found solutions for every issue so far.

Seb loves life with his brother and sister. He loves his new bedroom with a TV in it. He loves that I have arranged the furniture as if he were in a cabin on one of my ships. He’s been wonderful.

Be good to each other TWTD.
The rollercoaster continues
at 21:02 8 Nov 2020

I don’t really know where to start.

The twins are breastfed with bottle top ups of expressed bottle milk. This is an important detail in our life right now, and important detail for what’s to come.

We sort of found a routine, MrsN tries to do what she can by herself from around 2200-0100, feeds, nappy changes, winding, settling etc, then we do it as a team until 0500ish, whereupon I take the twins downstairs for some time with them and give them expressed breast milk by bottle.

Usually between 2200-0100 I will wake up at every feed and ask if help is needed, do some nappies, etc.

I’ve been redecorating two of the bedrooms this last week. When I have had time.

During the week MrsN had a bit of shock when she went to express and there was very little milk came out. This became an unhealthy focus.

What happened before this was that the twins went on a growth spurt and started marathon feeding. Long feeds. They also started cluster feeding. Where they started doing lots of little feeds over a short space of time.

This drained the breast milk.

Unfortunately, MrsN went from being able to express 130ml of milk to around 30ml of milk. She was then convinced that her supply had gone, and it was her fault due to the bottle supplementation when she was tired.

A few days of intermittent crying and angst ensued. I suggested a breastfeeding expert or lactation consultant. Luckily she got an appointment with one she knows at her hospital.

On the day of the appointment, she wanted to cancel. I wouldn’t allow it.

Breastfeeding has been an extremely frustrating experience for MrsN. She’s been using nipple shields because the twins are so small. The nursing team said the babies were too small to not use them. I suggested we work on getting away from the shields anyway. MrsN wasn’t in the right frame of mind so said no.

The twins would get frustrated due to the extra work required with the shields. They would knock the shields off. MrsN would get frustrated. This was a vicious circle. The babies picked up on MrsN’s frustration. It was horrible to watch.

The breastfeeding pillow was another frustration. She just couldn’t get the right position on the bed. Too high, wrong angle, wrong feeling. It’s a £90 twin breastfeeding pillow.

I ended up buying another, barely used, second hand. Pulled out the insides and butchered it. It was a win. It worked. We now have one for the bed and one for the sofa downstairs.

After the appointment, she got home and breastfed the twins without the shields. And has done so ever since. She’s happier during the breastfeeding. She talks to the twins with a different tone, instead of pleading with them, instead of being frustrated, she talks encouragingly.

She’s starting to enjoy it all. It’s been a hard week. I’m cooking, cleaning, redecorating and moving furniture. Doing Dad stuff like nappies and bottles. Having time with Seb.

I keep telling MrsN her job is to feed the babies and make the milk. Anything else is a bonus.

The twins suffer badly with reflux. Michael especially. Sometimes a feed will come right back up.

The hard work and the sleeplessness is all worth it for the moments I get holding them in my arms and they fall asleep whilst I hold them tight and tell them how much I love them.

The twins due date was Friday, they were born 14th September. That’s how early they were. Crazy early.

At the last weigh, Michael was 1.9kgs, Madeleine was 2.47kgs. Still tiny. Teamwork is getting us there, MrsN, Seb, the twins, and me, all working together as unit.

Seb has really taken to the twins. I’ve redecorated the small bedroom and moved him in there, putting a small TV at the end of his bed. He’s delighted. I want him to have his own space. As time goes on, that’s going to be important to him.

As always TWTD, be good to each other.
Sometimes it’s a struggle
at 23:59 29 Oct 2020

MrsN and the twins have been home since the afternoon of the 19th. 10 nights. We’ve had Seb for 3 of those too.

On the 19th I had a bit of a cough. By the Friday I was feeling really grotty. A negative COVID test put our minds at ease.

The twins due date was 6th November. We knew they would be early. But Mid-September was a surprise.

We ended up having to take Michael to the local hospital on Saturday morning for a GP appointment. Terrible reflux. We got some baby Gaviscon.

They’re feeding on demand at the moment. It’s anything from every hour to every few hours.

Sometimes they feed at the same time, sometimes at different times.

MrsN and I have sort of gotten into a routine, how sustainable it is I don’t know.

I’ve been taking the twins downstairs around 0600 every day so MrsN gets some proper undisturbed sleep, although she doesn’t get much as she has to wake up to express.

Today I went up to bed in the afternoon and had 4.5 hours straight sleep. Undisturbed. I felt dreadful after it. Almost hungover. I’m hoping it’s just this bug I’m getting over. My cough is now being a bit more productive.

Anyway. The twins are putting weight on. They get weighed weekly due to how premature they were. Whatever we are doing, we seem to be doing right.

The other morning the twins wouldn’t settle at all unless I was holding them. I ended up unable to move from the sofa, but sat there holding them. I was happy as a pig in sh!t. These two beautiful little people, with their most basic of needs.

The tiredness and the worry, it’s all worth it.

MrsN and I are lucky. We make a good team. When one is struggling, the other picks up any slack. We are getting through the days and nights. I’ve even managed to chuck stuff in the slower cooker every other day. So we can still have hot home cooked meals.

I can’t wait for it all to get a bit easier, but I am so glad to be able to wake up each day and hold them all.

Be kind to each other.
Scientists find new organ in throat
at 20:28 21 Oct 2020

Whilst testing for prostate cancer.

Firstly... how long were his fingers?!?

Secondly, how cool! I read the other week about how we are still evolving, that we are now seeing humans born with an artery in their arm, which normally disappears in the womb, and that wisdom teeth are less commonly found.

How Vietnam is handling COVID
at 02:13 21 Oct 2020


This is remarkable. We could learn a lot.
First night at home
at 22:35 19 Oct 2020

I went for my normal visit today. MrsN and the twins have been together for the last week. Michael had his tube taken out the other day. He had been either breastfed or bottle fed (with expressed breast milk) consistently for days.

That was a good milestone.

Towards the end of my visit today, as I was about to leave, the head nursery nurse came in. I initially thought she was coming in to discuss the feeding plan. But that had already been discussed this morning.

She came in to give us good news. Michael would be discharged.

I went home and got the car seats, then went back.

Driving MrsN and the twins home was an odd feeling. One of “oh crap, I’ve still got so much to do around the house”.

It’s been a noisy evening so far. They’re 5 weeks old today. They’re not even term yet on their adjusted age (which is used for some medical stuff that I nod my head to as if I understand).

Seb thinks he will see them both at the weekend, so tomorrow will be a bit of a surprise for him.

For now, we have to find our own routine. We found with Madeleine that our home routine compared to the hospital one was very different. No doubt we will find the same with them both home now.

Another bed is on order, so we can split nights to give each other more sleep.

It’s going to be a fun and tiring time.

There really is no defending this
at 12:48 16 Oct 2020

Used car buying
at 07:11 14 Oct 2020

Last week I went and viewed a Ford S Max, 2011, top spec, with lots of optional extras.


I pretty much followed my own used car buying guide, that I've posted in other threads. See below, if you're interested.

I'm buying this from a Fiat and Jeep main dealer. They took it in for P-EX for a Jeep.

It ran rough on starting. I took it for a test drive and it was smoking, white smoke. Unburnt fuel entering the exhaust. 1.6 diesel. I got it warm, smoke disappeared and it ran fine. My assessment was that it would most likely be glow plugs. Easy enough to test with a multimeter and a few tools. About a 20 minute job all in really.

I get an email from the garage saying they started it, warmed it up, and say there is no fault. It's a cold start issue, why would there be a fault when it's warm....

They say it's ready for collection today at 1500. I'll go in, open the bonnet, and if the radiator hoses and engine are warm, I'll walk away. It'll tell me that they've warmed it up so the cold start issue is hidden whilst I buy it.

Should I tell them that I'm a fully qualified mechanic with 6 years experience?!

It's an eight thousand pound car that I am paying cash for. It's got the 1.6 diesel engine which is from the PSA factory, an engine I am trained on and know extremely well.

My used car buying guide that I have posted on other threads:

-Open the bonnet when you get there. Have a feel of the radiator hose. If it is hot they may have run the car up to cover up cold start problems, engine noises, etc
-Look for any oil on the engine block, pull the dipstick out and check the colour of the oil. Open the oil filler cap and see if there is any sludge / mayonnaise looking stuff. The mayonnaise stuff may just be condensation, or it may be something more sinister.
-When starting the car look for excessive exhaust fumes, different coloured smoke means different things.
-Bodywork, is it all the same colour. Does any of the paint look like orange peel? The orange peel effect is from a poor paintjob, and could be a sign of a previous accident.
-Are there any differing gaps between any of the panels? Does it look the same on both sides?
-Are the door and window seals in tact?
-Check to see all warning lights come on when turning the ignition on, ensure they extinguish upon starting the engine.
-Does the clutch feel ok? Is there any noise at any point of depressing the clutch pedal?
-When driving is there any excessive play in the steering? Do the brakes work adequately? Are there any unusual noises? Does the steering wobble at speed or under heavy braking? When braking does the car pull to one side?
-Check all equipment is working, lights, wipers, washers, ventilation, windows, mirrors, central locking.
-Check the wheels and tyres. Are locking wheel nuts fitted? If so is the locking wheel nut key with the car?. Check the tread on the tyres. Check the sidewall for bulges
-Paperwork, check service history. Anything 60k plus and you want to be checking if the cambelt has been changed. Check the V5C for spelling mistakes, does the address match the one of the seller. Is the seller the registered keeper? If not, why?

Remember the DVLA MOT Check website is worth a look too. At that sort of money you want to be getting It HPI checked etc.

Drive a couple of the same car (year, engine, spec, mileage). Does one feel noticeably different? That should raise questions.

Seb is far too excited
at 09:27 10 Oct 2020

There’s a bit of a delay with Michael getting out of Special Care Baby Unit, he’s just not put on enough weight.

So MrsN is coming home with Madeleine. She needs to come home really. She’s been in hospital barring the week or less that she was kicked out of Sunderland hospital after the twins were born.

So they’re home for the next two nights. Seb is so excited to meet his sister.

He’s currently trying to find “the right pair of jeans” to wear...

I said to him “Mate, she’s not even 4 weeks old. You don’t have to make that much of an effort”

“I want to” was his reply.

God help him when he is older.
An update
at 19:38 8 Oct 2020

I’m currently in hospital.

MrsN had a bit of a bad night last night. She’s been in hospital since end of August bar some days between Sunderland and here. Where she had to travel into hospital every day.

She’s breastfeeding. Or trying to. It seems last night it all came to a bit of an emotional wobble. She’s in the hospital on the unit she works at. The midwives know her. I came in this morning and the head midwife pulled me aside.

“We’re going to need you to stay tonight. We had a very emotional MrsN asking for help last night. We’ve never seen that side of her before. We want Robot MrsN back please”

After a bit of a chat I went in to see MrsN.

I went and bought a Ford S Max this afternoon, being called Bus Lightyear, and then went home, got the stew out of the slow cooker for MrsN. Grabbed some stuff that she wanted, and then came back.

I’m currently sat with Madeleine, our daughter. Whilst MrsN goes to special care to be with Michael.

I’ve been sat listening to Don Williams with Madeleine. She fell asleep. I’ve loved the cuddles. I haven’t made it to SCBU to see Michael, which I feel incredibly bad about.

I’ll have them all home in a couple of weeks, ish, and then I will be holding them and never letting them go.
Any mechanics on here in Ipswich?
at 22:43 4 Oct 2020

Asking for a friend of a friend down there who needs help with her car, which she needs at home due to her son being in a wheelchair.

I reckon it’s a glow plug from the sounds of it, but obviously it’s a bit far for me to go down to check.

Anyone on here able to help?
Sainsbury’s have really set the racists off
at 19:32 4 Oct 2020

My journey home is not going well
at 21:49 2 Oct 2020

Malaga to Amsterdam flight delayed. Considerably.

I ran to the Newcastle gate with minutes to spare. I get there and the gate is closed.

They turfed me off the flight as their procedure is 40 minutes for transfer.

Currently sat in a hotel waiting to fly tomorrow.

I’ll probably miss visiting at the hospital tomorrow.

Give your family extra hugs TWTD, because I can’t.
Search and Rescue
at 11:11 30 Sep 2020

I’m likely to be delayed getting home.

Coming up the coast of Africa as we near the Canary Islands, approximately 100 nautical miles south, we receive a radio call telling us to proceed to a position 10nm from us.

Two migrant boats have been spotted by SAR aircraft.

We arrive on scene approximately 40 minutes later to find two boats heading on a northerly course at just of 4 knots. Sea state isn’t brilliant for such small boats.

We reported to the nearest Marine Rescue Coordination Centre that we have two small boats in sight. A few minutes later they tell us that they have dispatched a SAR vessel, and we are to escort the migrants to the safety of said vessel.

For over 6 hours we escort what ended up being 4 migrant boats, with at least 30 odd people on each.

At 2135GMT we are released from SAR duties. Having escorted a minimum of 120 people to safety.

Delayed home? Likely. Worth it? Definitely. I have the rest of my life to see my twins, those migrants were taking huge risks in the Atlantic Ocean just so they can see the sun rise over a better future.

I wonder where they will end up. I wish them luck.
A busy week ahead
at 02:54 28 Sep 2020

The twins have been moved back to the hospital in Newcastle.

MrsN has gone in to be with them, getting into feeding routines etc.

Our little boy is still being monitored under special care, our little girl is in a cot by her mother’s bed.


Speaking of progress, I have flights. I get home late on Friday night.

Taxi home and straight to bed.

Our main car has a flat battery, our second car has run out of MOT.

I’ve got a new battery, I just need to bring it up to a fully charged condition before fitting it. The car has a battery monitoring system and can throw all kinds of a fit if you don’t.

I also need to hire a van and pop to Ikea. MrsN didn’t want to buy baby furniture when I was last home, she felt it too early and was worried about the possibilities of another miscarriage.

Our third bedroom, which is the smallest bedroom, needs gutting and redecorating. It’s going to be a relief bedroom. MrsN plans on mostly breastfeeding, using the odd bottle so that I can give her a bit of extra sleep. So we will stick a bed in the small room and use that as a sleeping room for whoever needs it.

I’ll stick a TV on the wall, which will probably mean Seb will want that bedroom. Although he keeps saying he wants to share with his siblings. The maniac, does he not know how much noise babies make?!

Whilst doing all of the above, I will be able to visit the hospital for an hour per day. I’ll meet the twins on Saturday. I went to sea and had one kid. I’ll get home and there are 3.

Seb’s mums family has a static caravan, she knew I was coming home, but has decided that she is taking him there this weekend anyway. I’ll see Seb maybe Sunday evening now. Bit annoyed by that, I’ve been looking forward to his cuddles.

Have a good week all, stay safe, and give your families extra hugs. Because I can’t. Yet.
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