One week into my three week stint in Mexico City. My daughter, Ruth, had her first baby ten days ago and I've come over to try to give her a bit of moral and logistical support.
It's wonderful to watch Ruth and her partner Aldo with their petite daughter (or should that be 'chiquitita'? Wonderful to see the tenderness and the patience. Little Mhairi Itzel (one name Scottish, one Mexican, as a nod to her heritage) is cuter than cute with her head of long black hair that won't lie still and the depth of those liquid, navy blue eyes. I've opened a book on whether she'll have brown eyes like her dad, or blue-grey like her mum, once her true colour comes in in a few weeks.
Like all new babies, she's finding her first few weeks of life a bit strange. So, she's at her most content at the breast and at her least content during the night when she finds herself alone and awake and doesn't know what she's supposed to do. Bath-time is a mix of fun and terror for her, I think. She adores the water - so close to what she knew for nine months in the womb - and has begun to be able to anticipate it, uncomplaining when 'sus padres' undress her in readiness for her swim, but can she squeal when it's time to come out and get dried! Ask the people on the floors above this flat!
Though, actually, the neighbours make their own share of noises. Dogs barking, clicking heels on the stone tiled floors, voices in the entrance hall. And, of course, the Elvis aficionado directly above us! Ah, Mexico City - home to 25 million people!
Crazy, crazy, chaotic city. A curious mix of poverty and excess. Of colonial hangovers in tree-lined streets and flat roofed houses with balconies, and ultra-modernity in the skyscrapers of the petrol and telecom giants.