• Prodigal son

    My boy returned the next day and I was full of questions.
    ‘How was it?’
    ‘Were you OK?’
    ‘Did you eat enough?’
    ‘Were you warm enough?’
    ‘Did you have fun?’
    Pulling his eyes off his DSIXL hand held computer console, he looked up at me.
    ‘It was alright I suppose but my sleeping bag smelt of cabbages’.

  • Live and let die

    I was all pleased that I’d finished the first James Bond book; until my Dad pointed out that he was already three books ahead.
    Weirdly, the movies paid no attention to the order that the books were written.
    'Dr No' was the first movie but the sixth book.
    I borrowed the second one and set to catching up.
    It was another readable book but I have to admit, my modern sensibilities were shocked by the blunt racism.

  • Cuffley camp

    My wife drove my boy to school the morning of his camping trip.
    He was nervous when I kissed him goodbye but OK.
    If anything, I was more nervous.
    Still, at least I knew he’d be able to ride the bikes.

  • Worst news

    One conversation during my evening out did sour the mood for a while.
    One of my friends has a two-year-old son.
    The boy had stayed for a couple of months in hospital after he was born due to stomach problems.
    The poor baby couldn’t eat anything.
    A series of operations lead to some of the little boy’s intestines being removed.
    Everything seemed to go fine for a while before he became ill again.
    He was finally diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune illness that causes his skin and internal organs to become overly soft and fragile.
    I was supportive and said that, although unfortunate, I was sure thathis son would be alright.
    I’d underestimated the scope of the problem though.
    It wouldn’t just be a matter of the boy being careful.
    Not just a case of missing out on football or skiing.
    The prognoses was bad and the doctors had informed my friend that, despite already being in his forties, that he’d almost certainly outlive his own son.
    Unless a magical cure appears, his son will be lucky to live into his thirties and even then he’ll live a life in and out of hospital.
    I had nothing to say.

  • Drinking with the dogs

    I’m not seeing my dog walking friends much at the moment but the three of us arranged to meet for an after work drink.
    I timed it wrong though and had to arrive straight from work. Still sweaty and stinky from the cycle ride.
    Just about on time though.
    We all sat outside in the pub garden and caught up on each other’s lives.
    I’m not much of a drinker though and rather than drink ‘proper’ drinks,
    I had four larger shandies.
    That means I only drank two pints of lager but two pints of lemonade as well.
    It’s funny how drinking two pints of lager sounds fine but drinking two pints of lemonade sounds gluttonous.
    As the evening wore on, it got colder and it started to rain but an outside heater and waterproof parasol kept us happy, warm and dry.
    As an added bonus, there was a leaving do on several of the nearby tables and we were given some fried chicken wings and slices of chocolate cake.
    In the end it was a really good night.

  • Little girl’s last junior school sports day 2014

    For a change, the day was lovely.
    Warm enough to sunbathe.
    Disappointingly, there were only running and fun races. No throwing or jumping events.
    My daughter did well though winning all three of her solo races.
    Her team didn’t do so well in the relay though.
    After the race, my little girl ran up to me with a big smile on her face.
    ‘We came third!’ she giggled.
    Win or lose, I’m glad my daughter’s always happy.
    After that we sat down and shared our picnic with a few of her friends whose parent’s hadn’t been able to attend.

  • Going camping

    My son is going camping for the night with his school.
    It’s only for one night in a couple of week’s time.
    The campsite isn’t too far away but I still have mixed feelings.
    Unsurprisingly, so does he…

  • Eldest flying visit

    My eldest came home and asked if I’d take everyone to see the new Disney movie ‘Maleficent’.
    She knew her sister wanted to see it and thought it might be fun.
    It was actually a decent but odd movie.
    The film is a reworking of ‘Sleeping beauty’ and Maleficent (played by Angelina Jolie) is the abused heroine of the story.
    Maleficent is a powerful but sweet natured, winged fairy, who is betrayed by an ambitious human, who pretends to love her before cutting off her wings.
    Afterwards, I took them all to see their Nan’s and then to their Grandpa and Grandma’s.
    It was a good day in the end and I dropped her at the station before taking her brother and sister home.

  • Casino Royal

    I’d bought my Dad the entire reprinted collection of Ian Fleming’s James Bond books for his birthday.
    After a couple of weeks though, I noticed that he hadn’t read any of them yet.
    I’d insisted he read them but he countered with the request that I read them too.
    I never read anymore.
    I could make the excuse that I cycle to town rather than ride the train.
    I could say that I’m too tired when I finally get to bed.
    These would just be excuses though.
    I could find the time.
    And I did.
    After he’d finished the first book, I borrowed it and forced myself to read one chapter a night before I put out the light.

    As I’d grown up with the movies, I couldn’t help picture Sean Connery as Bond.
    Admittedly, both movie versions starred other actors.
    David Niven in the 1960’s comedy version and Daniel Craig in the recent reboot.
    It was odd though, as the actual character was very different to all the screen versions.
    The ‘book’ Bond turned out to be surprisingly unheroic and flawed. He was often fooled and relied mostly on luck to get him out of trouble.
    It was a decent book though and I was already looking forward to book 2: Live and let die.

  • Little girl’s schoole fete 2014

    My youngest daughter’s fete was much smaller than her brother’s but it was still good fun.
    Sumo wrestling, art and game stalls plus lots of tombola prizes.
    No big rides or activities, just the little activities you’d expect at a junior school fete.
    It was somehow more special than her brother’s one though.
    Possibly because it’ll be the last one at that school that I’ll ever go to.
    Probably though, just because they had proper burgers…


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