• Cyc-opath!

    A bicycle repair company van cut me up while I was cycling along Regent Street.
    What the hell!?

  • Stratford-upon-Avon

    My Little girl went on a school trip to the birth place of the Bard.
    She was away for a few days and was excited to go.
    I had mixed feelings.
    I want my children to grow up, have daring adventures and travel the world but I also want them tucked up safe in my pocket.

  • Cricket camp

    We signed my boy up for Cricket camp during the half-term.
    He didn’t want to go but it’s important he uses his body.
    My son likes computers and being inside but if I let him just sit idle and inside, he won’t like the body he’ll end up with.
    Ironically, as a father who loves his son, it’s up to me to make sure he eats the right food and exercises enough, even if it makes him think that I don’t love him.
    Thankfully, he made some friends and enjoyed himself.
    He even asked to do full days rather than the half days that we’d signed him up for!

  • Morning after the stroke before

    I was glad when the dagu was still alive the next morning.
    Alive and moving around!

  • Wrong kind of stroke

    I got back with the children after a nice visit to my parents’.
    It was quite late but my son wanted to quickly check something on the computer.
    The Dagu cage is in the computer room, so I asked him to let them out of their cage for a quick runaround.
    My boy suddenly ran back out into the hallway.
    ‘One of them’s dead!’ he croaked.
    I went in to check and sure enough, one of them was lying, unmoving, on its side.
    With a sick feeling in my stomach, I opened the cage and lifted the body out.
    It was cold but not stiff.
    I looked at it for a moment and then saw a slight movement.
    Its paw twitched.
    Was it just a reaction of me holding it?
    I watched for a bit longer…
    No, it was moving; just slightly.
    I took it gently in my hands to the front room, where I sat down and, cradling it my hands, rested it on my chest.
    I’d seen this before in one of the previous hamsters.
    It’d had a stroke.
    Pretty common in small rodents apparently.
    All I could really do was keep it warm.
    It would either survive or die in the next couple of hours.
    I was surprised though, when, after about an hour on my chest in front of the TV, it perked up a bit.
    It struggled to use one of its front legs and its face was crumpled on one side but it was moving.
    I managed to get it to eat a small amount of oats and placed it gently back in its nesting box before heading up to bed.
    I expected that it would probably die in the night but I couldn’t do much more.

  • Valentine’s day sleep over

    My brother-in-law has three children about the same age as my youngest two.
    They only live a fifteen-minute drive away and all five of them get along really well.
    This should be brilliant, except that they rarely see each other.
    Either we’re busy or they’re busy but neither of us make enough of an effort.
    This year’s Valentine’s day fell on a Saturday and my wife offered to look after her brother’s children so that he could take his partner out for the night.
    We had no plans, so I didn’t mind.
    They were dropped off to ours in the evening and immediately gathered around the TV to play with the Wii.
    Then, a sit down meal of pizza, baked potatoes, chili con carne, garlic bread and salad.
    We spoiled everyone by allowing them all repeated glasses of cola and lemonade.
    After that, they settled down to watch a movie together before retiring up to bed around 10pm.
    All of them (even my son) slept in my little girl’s room, as it was the biggest. My wife had spread all the mattresses, pillows and duvets on the floor.
    I went to bed soon after but they didn’t sleep until much, much later.
    Their generation is addicted to laptops, smart phones and tablets and these devices were more than capable of keeping the five of them awake and entertained until well after midnight.
    I seem to wake naturally now at about 6.30am, surprisingly though, the children started to wake up, one by one, from around 7am.
    By 9am, they were all ready for a sit down breakfast.
    A selection of pastries, a choice of cereals, tea, orange or apple juice and a small fruit salad.
    After that, we allowed them an hour or so more on the Wii before I dragged them all out to walk the dog.
    It was very muddy but thankfully, we had enough wellies for everyone.
    We were out for over an hour, kicking an old football around for the dog, playing games and generally larking about.
    It was good fun but the children were tired when they got home.
    Then a big Sunday lunch. A roast chicken, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, parsnips, broccoli, carrots, peas and corn-on-the-cob!
    It’s weird but I love watching my children eat. I was happy to see their cousins fill their mouths with good food too.
    Then, stuffed and tired, we retired to the front room and played board games on the floor.
    My brother-in-law turned up at around 5pm to collect his three children.
    ‘What did you get up to?’ inquired my wife.
    ‘We slept’, he replied with a grateful grin.

  • Two birds/One stone (Many ducks/Half a loaf)

    I love seeing ‘wild’ animals and I hate waste.
    My wife loves fresh bread but never manages to finish a loaf.
    Her waste though is the ducks gain.
    Several times a week, I stop at the duck pond at the top of my road to feed them on my cycle to work or walking my youngest daughter to her coach stop.
    The ducks interest varies by the seasons with winter being their most attentive time.
    I had half a brown loaf this morning and the ducks surged forward to greet me.
    Breaking the bread into very small pieces, it took me a good ten minutes to get rid of it all.
    A good ten minutes in the very best of meanings.

  • Visiting eldest

    Life’s not fair for my sickly eldest daughter.
    As a side effect of all her afflictions, she’s ‘gained’ a truly rubbish immune system.
    She takes precautions such as the winter ‘flu jab’ but she still managed to catch the latest strain of influenza.
    Despite carrying it around for the last couple of weeks, she’s managed to keep up with her university work but at the cost of sleeping the rest of her days away.
    I went around to her flat for a visit one evening but left after a short while as she looked like she was going to pass out.

  • Little angel’s cakes

    It’d be fair to say that my little girl made a good choice for her secondary school.
    She’s made lots of new friends, likes her teachers and enjoys (most of) her lessons.
    One of her favourite lessons though is cooking (Home economics?).
    She comes to me now, once-a-week, with a shopping list for whatever she’ll need for that week’s lesson.
    The last list was for ingredients for a sticky looking, jammy cake.
    I was grateful to see that we already had everything on the list except the glace cherries.
    After the lesson, she was so pleased with the results that she couldn’t wait to share them.
    As a Dad, I’m obliged to like whatever my children make for me.
    This isn’t a chore though.
    I’m generally pleased with most things any of them make or do.
    These cakes though.

    They were fantastic!

  • Wife’s 2015 birthday

    My wife’s birthday went quite well this year.
    A nice breakfast in the morning, with balloons, cards and some small presents.
    In the evening, I took her out for a family meal at a local restaurant with her mother and two-thirds of the children.


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