Under the counter with Lyndsay Calder
Saturday 26 July 1997
I bought him from a charming Singaporean man. I must feed him, hug him, wash him and play with him - otherwise he will die. He is Rakuraku Dinokun, my new baby dinosaur from Japan. I have just watched him hatch in my kitchen, and now he is sleeping like a baby. I don't know when he will need feeding, or how long he will sleep, but apparently he will make a noise when he is hungry, thirsty or sick, or wants to play. His breathing does seem a bit fast; I'm concerned already. I'll put him next to my bed tonight.
He has slept all night. At 8.30am, when I have to leave for a 9am meeting, he is still asleep, so I take him with me. At 9.10am, he wakes up. This is a very serious meeting. I ignore him. Every 10 minutes, he makes a noise. I pretend the noise has nothing to do with me, and look blank. The woman politely says nothing. He continues to make a noise all the way home on the North Circular. I dash into the house, take him out, and try to see what's wrong. I think he is crying - I can't tell exactly. I try to feed him, bathe him, and give him a drink, but no change. Finally, I think he might be ill, and give him an injection. He stops crying.
I decide that now that he feels better, he may be thirsty. I give him a drink, which he drains, then gives me a big smile. He is equally pleased with a burger. He seems to like this feeding, so I try an ice-cream. More smiles. But now I'm worried that I am overfeeding him. I check his weight. Oh no - he has put on a kilo. I hope that's OK. He can play scissors-paper- stone, but he cries until we have another game. This is taking up all my day.
I had better describe my baby dinosaur: he is not exactly Lost World material. He is about 1cm tall, is part of a turquoise plastic key-ring, and appears in the form of graphics on a screen. There are five yellow buttons, which allow me to select water, food, hugs, vital statistics, a game, education and reading, showering, air-conditioning and the doctor. If he has good care, he will turn into a beautiful dinosaur, according to the translation of the Japanese instructions.
I have been working for an art dealer all day, whose Scottish colourists rather took my mind off the baby. I haven't looked at him since breakfast - and he was still asleep then. It's 6pm now, and I am on the Northern Line. I look into my bag and gasp loudly. He is dead. He is an ex-baby dinosaur. His eyes are closed, there is a flashing halo above his head and a crucifix by his side. I am racked with guilt. He was only three days old, and four kilos, and I failed to care for him. Now he will never turn into that beautiful dinosaur (unless I reset him, that is).
23 January 2015 08:00 PM
I had dinner with the pensions minister Steve Webb this week. There was a wide-ranging discussion about the new pensions freedoms starting in April, and changes to the state pension. Crucially, I also got to ask Mr Webb whether he had any plans to have another look at the injustice that is frozen pensions.
23 January 2015 08:00 PM
While the health of the economy is not insignificant, Mark Dampier finds it incredibly unpredictable in terms of its impact on the stock market
21 January 2015 12:32 PM
A new free app is aimed at the three-fifths of Brits who have never switched supplier
20 January 2015 09:34 AM
Regulator’s investigation into the market found that around £160bn was held in easy access savings accounts that pay interest lower or equal to BoE base rate
17 January 2015 12:00 AM
Simon Read: Information is power. And it's in the wrong hands when people are cold-called by companies that know they're in debt
17 January 2015 12:00 AM
In debt? You're likely to be targeted by unscrupulous companies that hope to profit from your misfortune. They may try to pretend to be your friend by offering what they call "help" – but almost certainly that help will come with a cost and leave you worse off than you were before they got in touch.
17 January 2015 12:00 AM
In less than three months' time radical changes to pensions will take effect, providing investors with more freedom. Yet for those who prefer to make their own investment decisions, the choice of funds available is overwhelming. And an income drawdown account is also not particularly easy to manage.
15 January 2015 12:23 PM
The minimum amount for which you can be forced into bankruptcy is being raised from £750 to £5,000
14 January 2015 08:55 AM
A shock report reveals that fuel poverty is affecting desperate families – and their children
14 January 2015 08:59 AM
Most people are too confused to know how to use their pensions for a secure income
10 January 2015 12:00 AM
Simon Read: Inflation is riding the slow train. So why have we been given a one-way ticket to travel on the fares express?
10 January 2015 12:00 AM
I struck a chord with many of you when I wrote a piece earlier this week about rising train fares. It seems there is an army of travellers who feel they've been ripped off by increased transport costs.
26 December 2014 02:31 PM
Poor service from banks and energy companies has sadly been a theme this year
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Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
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