• Last minute crush

    The evening before we were due to fly out, I double checked the bags.
    ‘Has everyone got everything they need?’ I asked the children.
    ‘Yes Daddy.’, the called back.
    ‘Are you sure?’, I said with my eyebrow raised.
    ‘Yes Daddy!’, they repeated themselves in exasperation.
    Then I looked at the main suitcase.
    It was open…
    Open and crammed full of extra clothing.
    ‘What’s happened to the suitcase?!’, I called to my wife.
    ‘Oh, I just added a few things.
    ‘I told you not to touch it!’, I growled in frustration.
    My wife always over packs.
    Not a terrible thing unless you’re the one lugging it all around.
    I hesitated.
    I could unpack it all, but I’d been so careful and made full use of the space…
    ‘Is this an extra hoody?’, I asked.
    ‘It might be cold in the evenings’, my wife responded.
    I couldn’t stand the thought of unpacking everything, sorting through it all and then repacking it again.
    Instead, I got my children to sit on it while I forced the locks shut.
    It was a tough, reinforced suitcase and should hold.
    I was still a bit worried about it popping open in the hold or at any one of the luggage transfers though, so I used a luggage strap…
    Just in case.

  • Sudden booking

    I’d been talking to my parents about a possible holiday with them and my youngest two.
    I’d invited my eldest but she was already committed to working for Leonard Cheshire for the entire Summer.
    The problem had been timing.
    It had to be during the first two weeks of the children’s’ school holidays but my Dad was still feeling pretty poorly following his surgery.
    ‘I’ve booked us two weeks in Turkey and Northern Cyprus’, he declared the next time I saw him.
    ‘What?!’, I responded calmly.
    We only had a few days to get organised but I’d fortunately already reordered and received my Son’s expired passport.
    I packed most of what we needed and asked my wife not to get involved.
    Everything fitted nicely into one large suitcase.
    I also asked my children to pack a rucksack for their personal things.
    Within a couple of days, we were ready to leave!

  • Human cash machine

    I seem to be bleeding money at the moment.
    No matter how hard I try to stem the flow, my wife and three children all seem to need something daily.

  • Scruffy car

    My car’s a bit of a mess.
    It’s a ten-year-old, second hand one that bought last year, mostly for dump runs and taking the dog places.
    As such, it’s full of dog hairs, mud and general mess.
    It doesn’t bother me but I felt the need to clean it when I knew I was collecting some of the children’s friends in it.
    I dragged the Henry vacuumn cleaner out into the front driveway and started in the back first.
    I thought it would be an easy job but surprisingly, dog hairs bind better to car carpet than Velcro!
    Still, it was worth it in the end, as the car looked semi-presentable.
    I even wiped down the outside as well!

  • Minions

    I took my little girl, her two friends and my son to see the new Minions movie.
    I was concerned that it was a little too young for them but they all wanted to go and I was happy to take them.
    After buying everyone giant tubs of popcorn and coca-cola, we filled into the theatre.
    ‘You girls find a place to sit and we’ll be sitting over here’, I told them.
    I was surprised when the girls asked my son and I to stay with them.
    I guess they’re still quite young and I’m happy to wait until they want more independence.
    The movie was mostly slapstick and aimed at a younger audience but it was still fun and the three girls and my boy enjoyed it.
    So much so, that they spent the car journey home mimicking the main characters silly voices.

  • Last day of her first year

    I collected my youngest daughter from her last day of her first senior year.
    I constantly marvel at the speed of the years passing me by.
    Thankfully, she’s enjoyed her first year and has settled into the school well.
    More importantly, she’s made several good friends.
    Friends who seem to be genuinely nice.
    Two of these friends came back with her for a sleep over.
    ‘How did you all like your first year?’, I asked all three girls.
    ‘It was great!’, the all chorused.

  • Language of choice

    The girls in my youngest daughter’s school get to choose an additional language in year eight.
    As my little girl had chosen Spanish, my wife was at first surprised and then angry when our daughter was allocated German.
    I didn’t care that much as I doubt my little girl will study either beyond year ten.
    Still, my wife got more and more upset, the more she thought about it.
    ‘Shouldn’t it be our choice?’, she growled.
    Several angry emails to the school later, she still remained upset about the situation.
    My little girl however, didn’t care at all.

  • Boy’s last day

    My son’s last school day consisted of just a morning of fun lessons followed by an after school picnic.
    My wife took our son to that, where she laid out the food she’d brought on a picnic basket.
    Crisps, cakes, fizzy drinks and biscuits.
    Apparently her ‘food’ was a big hit with our son’s friends as most of the alternatives involved ‘healthy’ options.
    After the food was eaten and the mum’s had chatted enough, my wife brought our son and several of his friends home.
    There, they spent the next few hours playing Super Smash bros on my son’s WiiU.
    When I asked him later, after his friends had gone, how his last day had been, he responded:

  • Trampoline recovery

    We have a large trampoline in our back garden.
    We bought it for my eldest over a decade ago.
    Well over a decade ago.
    I grumbled about the price but it ended up being well used by not just my eldest when she was still living at home but by her little brother and sister too.
    It’s held up surprisingly well but the ‘safety’ padding around the side had been wrecked by the weather.
    The company was still running so, to make the trampoline look ‘less embarrassing’, I bought replacement padding.
    After so much time, the price shouldn’t have surprised me.
    It did.
    When it was fitted though, the trampoline looked like new again.
    My youngest two were very happy about it as well.

  • Decorating the bathroom

    I painted the bathroom.
    Just an off-white.
    Walls and ceiling.
    It took me two days and it wasn’t a bad job in the end.
    Much better than my attempt on the front door.
    Still, the grey tiled floor now has a slight speckled white effect.


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