So my joyous maternity leave marches on, the September mercury shoots to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and the Labour party holds its conference in Liverpool. It has been a challenge catching glimpses of its glamour as I pass the television on the way to a needy child or other. However, my late-night viewings of BBC parliament have given me a taste of its tedium.
I had hoped to catch the party's dear leader in full stream, but unfortunately I was stuck with some bloke from Birmingham and the unfeasibly Scottish shadow defence bloke, Jim Murphy. His chiselled face with its cheeks hollow like Cairngorm caves distracted me from his monologue about the great men and women of our armed forces (who can now join Labour for a pound, just like students!). The camera zoomed in and out of the audience: Neil Kinnock in heavy make-up here. A sexy blond New Labour lassy there. It was like the Wimbledon coverage without Cliff Richard.
Luckily, a news round-up later in the day treated me to highlights from Miliband, talking with the nervous earnestness of an unpopular debating society nerd at a provincial comprehensive. "I'm not Tony Blair," he said, "I'm not Gordon Brown." No, you're a kid called Ed who's about to have his pencil sharpener stolen.
There were touching references to his kids and the wisdom of wife Justine. A joke about his recent nasal surgery. Then a bunch of stuff about the squeezed middle.