• Dog stroking

    My eldest daughter called me to tell me that our dog was having a fit.
    ‘She got up, staggered a few steps and then fell over’, she said.
    There wasn’t much I could do until I got home but I still worried about it.
    Hours later, when I got through the door, I checked out the dog.
    She seemed listless but steady.
    I fussed her for a while but dismissed my eldest’s worries as simple the dog getting older and having a temporary wobble.

  • Annoyingly and pointless memories

    During a conversation with my sister-in-law, she asked me if I could recall a cartoon horse.
    ‘I remember that he had a silly laugh’ she said.
    ‘Everyone I speak to though, says that there never was a cartoon horse with a silly laugh and think that I must have made it up in my head’. She continued.
    I looked at her strangely. Why would she ask me?
    Am I the sort of person who remembers obscure pop culture facts from the nineteen fifties?
    ‘It was Quick Draw McGraw’ I answered.
    ‘He was a cartoon cowboy sheriff horse who had a little sidekick donkey’.
    ‘Yes, that was it! I knew I hadn’t made it up’ beamed my sister-in-law.
    What the?!
    My memory is famously terrible.
    I can’t remember dates, places or faces.
    I get lost turning around but yet I can remember a cheap kids’ cartoon from before I was born!
    OK, I must have seen it repeated on TV but even then it would have been the nineteen seventies.
    How does this work?
    I was actually annoyed at myself for storing this piece of meaningless trivia when I struggle to remember the name of our current Prime Minister.
    It wasn’t even as if the cartoon was a good one.
    It was actually a pretty second rate Hanna Barbera effort.

  • Lack of imagination

    Choosing presents for people is becoming harder and harder for me.
    I don’t know my sister-in-law very well but she’s always been kind to everyone in the family.
    Up until now, I’ve just bought her books.
    The problem is; I have no idea what kind of books she likes to read.
    This year, in the end, I just got her just a token.
    A book one.

  • Sister-in-law’s birthday dinner

    My Dad organised a dinner out in a little restaurant called ‘Imli street’ for my brother’s wife.
    Our family is quite small but we still managed a group of eight.
    My eldest was staying at home, so brought up her little brother and sister on the train.
    I met collected them from the station and walked back to the restaurant to find my parents, my brother and his wife (the birthday girl).
    The restaurant was small and fun, serving loads of sharer type foods.
    My Dad had been a bit concerned about the food being up to my brother and his wife’s high standards but he’d worried for nothing.
    The food was excellent and the company better.
    Everyone had a great and memorable time.

  • Cousins sleep over

    My Brother-in-law had his hands full this weekend and asked my wife if we could look after his three children.
    No problem, I love the children spending time with their similarly aged cousins.
    We offered to keep them for all of Saturday and overnight until Sunday morning.
    They came over and immediately found things to do together.
    Computer games, Trampolining and general fooling around.
    I took them all walking the dog in the woods and all five of the children were brilliant.
    Brilliant especially as I’d neglected to bring any drinks or snacks for what turned out to be a three hour hike.
    They did sleep well though.

  • Running in fields

    I’ve been running for over a week and I’m already getting better.
    More interestingly, I’m also less self conscious.

  • Awesome!

    My friend has built himself a replica 80’s style video arcade machine.
    He’s always been clever with computers, so I wasn’t impressed or surprised by the selection of games.
    Gauntlet, Joust, Dig-dug etc.
    It was the actual cabinet that impressed me.
    He made it.
    Nice lines, painted black and finished off with silver trim.
    It didn’t take much to persuade me to play.
    It had been years since I’d been on one of these machines and I’d pretty much forgotten all about the games.
    That said, as soon as I started playing Dig-dug, I knew exactly which way to go and how to beat the dragons.
    Weird how memory works.

  • Blackberries

    The bushes in the fields behind our house are full of delicious blackberries.
    I eat handfuls of them, straight from the bushes, every morning when I’m walking the dog.

  • Cousins in the park

    My eldest organised her Nan to bring her three other grandchildren and to meet her, her sister and brother in a small park local to us.
    I got back from work early and wandered down to collect my three.
    They were all sitting around a wooden bench eating ice-cream from the nearby park café.
    All six of them were having fun and I joined them in a kickabout while their Nan had a rest.
    I always love seeing all the cousins together and, despite being almost a decade older than the others, my eldest joined in the fun.
    They’d already been there for over an hour but everyone was so happy, we stayed another hour after I’d arrived.
    Everyone had good fun, exercise and ice-cream.
    I was proud of my eldest for organizing it.

  • Student finance 2014-2015

    Another year and yet more intrusive questions from the government regarding my income in concern of my eldest’s grant.
    Annoying and unfair.


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