• Greek hospitality

    The Greek family of one of my little girl’s school friends invited us over for a Barbecue.
    Just five couples and their children.
    I wasn’t keen but my wife and daughter wanted to go.
    It was a 2pm start and we got there soon after with a six-pack of beers and a good bottle of wine.
    Socially awkward as I am, my initial conversations were muted but ultimately the evening turned out to be good fun.
    Drink flowed freely and, although I only had a couple of beers, it helped ease the atmosphere, as everyone else were soon tipsy.
    The food though...
    Our host had cooked enough meat to feed an army.
    He had this enormous outdoor rotary grill thing that could cook twenty chickens simultaneously.
    He’s filled it though with a wide selection of meats.
    More than the five families could ever consume in a day!
    The children spent their time mostly just running around the house and garden and swimming in the heated pool.
    After a few hours though, my boy started to get a bit vengeful. He was one of the youngest and the older girls were teasing him.
    He began to get rough and I had to order him out of the pool.
    (Mostly for his own protection.)
    It was after 7pm by then, and he was getting tired and cold, so I decided it was time for us to leave.
    His Mum and sister didn’t want to though, so I left them there to get a cab home later.
    They arrived just after midnight.
    My boy was already asleep and I’d headed up to bed as well. I knew they were safe and I’d left my wife cab money. Unbeknownst to me though, she’d neglected to bring her keys or phone to the party.
    I was awoken by the sound of stones against the bedroom window.
    I looked out to see my wife and daughter looking up at me from the back garden.
    ‘What are you doing?’ I said.
    ‘Where are your keys?’ I said.
    ‘Why didn’t you call?’ I said.
    ‘Why didn’t you just ring the doorbell?’ I said.

    They had.
    I’d just not heard it.

    Still, they were in now and safe.
    I went straight back to bed.

  • Looking after Judy

    While my eldest was away, I looked after her hamster.
    I changed her water and replaced her food while my little girl played with her on the bed.
    Judy’s a suspiciously large and sleek, white hamster…
    So large and sleek that I’d say she was a while rat but for the lack of tail.

  • Hygienist

    £50 for a tiny but powerful, water-jet, spray thingy treatment.
    Painful and expensive but my teeth look sparkly and (good news) my ‘heavily’ bleeding gums are salvageable.

  • Dropping eldest and her fiancé at the airport

    I dropped my eldest and her fiancé at her Nan’s for a quick visit while I collected my son from school before dropping him home to his mum.
    Luckily my little girl was going to a friend’s house after school and I was able to get back to my eldest and her fiancé by about half-past-four.
    Their bags were already loaded in the car, so after my eldest’s goodbyes to her Nan, we were off.
    Thankfully, the airport was Stanstead, so the journey there took less than an hour.
    I was annoyed that the ‘Drop-off’ zone cost two pounds though.
    Shameless thievery!
    I helped them out with their two big bags, hugged my daughter and shook her fiancé’s hand.
    ‘Look after each other’ I instructed as they turned to leave.
    Despite it being a relatively easy journey, I still managed to get lost on the way home.
    Somehow ended up on the North circular.

  • Breakfast for (almost) everyone

    My wife had to leave for work early so I prepared breakfast for my youngest two. My eldest had said that I could wake her up before I took her siblings to school, so she could say hello and goodbye to them.
    Amazingly though, both she and her fiancé made it to the table by 7am.
    I’d already brewed a pot of tea and heated chocolate croissants. Then I poured orange juice and gave cereal to the little ones.
    I felt weirdly happy as we all sat around the breakfast table.
    It was lovely watching them all chatting, eating, drinking and laughing.

  • Home before her holiday

    I collected my eldest and her boyfriend from their flat and drove them back home.
    They were going on holiday the next evening but she wanted to see her little brother and sister before she left.
    She also brought her hamster, so we could look after it for them while they were away.
    We got home pretty late though, so I bought them some KFC on the way.

  • ESB (English Speaking Board) exam

    My boy had to write and give a short speech, read from a published book and recite a poem.
    The speech was about robots, the book he chose was ‘Divergent’ and the poem was ‘The Darkling Thrush’ by Thomas Hardy.
    He’d written the speech himself, he’d chosen the book himself and he’d discussed which poem to read with his favourite teacher.
    Considering that he’d worked pretty hard, he was hoping for a merit.
    He came home after the exam and (sad faced) told me that he hadn’t got the merit.
    ‘Don’t worry’ I said. ‘You worked really hard and I’m proud of you anyway’.
    ‘That’s OK’ he replied. ‘I got a distinction!’.
    Little sod!
    It was the right result though. He’d done the work himself and practiced hard.
    He was proud of himself and deservedly so.

  • James Bond: Moonraker

    This is the third book in the series and Ian Fleming’s obviously becoming more comfortable with Bond’s character. Our hero is still flawed but his cockiness is starting to show.
    Also, the movie version was nothing like the book.
    Nothing at all!
    The plot is completely different and the steel toothed ‘Jaws’ is not in the book at all!
    Still, the book was much better for it.

  • Boy’s sports day 2014

    My son’s sports day was on the same day as my little girl’s first show.
    I couldn’t be in both places at once but I knew that she’d be happy to have her grandparents there.
    I arrived at the sports field early and made sure my boy knew I was there.
    He did the tug of war twice and was on the winning side both times.
    He did the high jump and got over the first jump but failed on the higher bar. In his defence though, he’d obviously had no idea about the technique.
    (I blame the teachers.)
    In addition to that first defence; jumping in such a way as to land flat on your back in completely unnatural.
    Then he did the 75 metres.
    75 metres is actually pretty far to sprint.
    I stood at the end of the track and waited for him.
    He saw me and thundered towards me.
    He ran like a bullet but one of the other boys was slightly faster.
    He came in second but ran on into my arms as I scooped him up into the air.
    He was happy and I was proud.
    I was forced to leave early to collect his big sister after her play but my wife was able to stay behind to bring him home.

  • Little girl’s school play 2014

    This was to be my little girl’s last show at her junior school and I was determined that my parents would get to see her.
    There was to be two performances but we were only allowed two tickets per show.
    I gave my parents the tickets for the first show.
    They were both very happy about it, as they’d not been able to attend many events.
    The second pair of tickets were used by my wife and our boy.
    I was driving back along the M1 after dropping my eldest and her fiancé at Stansted airport for their latest holiday.
    Apparently though, the play was good and my little girl was great.
    At the end of the performance, as the Head-girl, my daughter had to present a box of chocolates and flowers to the teacher who’d organised and directed the show.
    Oddly, this was the moment she got flustered.
    After hearing all about it, I was really happy that my parents had got to see her perform but I was equally sad that I missed it.


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