If you go down to the woods today

Be sure of a big surprise… yes we got through the storm that was the Hallo-Fawkes weekend blah de blah. It’s all so fusion nowadays isn’t it! Now, back in the day we stuffed a guy (for guy Fawkes night) and not just any old guy, but an old pair of trousers, strapped to a sweatshirt of sorts (anything with long sleeves) and an old pillow filled with dead leaves as a head) and a hat, stapled on with one of grandmas knitting needles! A kind of introduction to taxidermy really. Anyhow, I think my childhood was the initial fusion Bonfire night and our American cousins celebration of ‘All Hallows’ Eve’. So sod stuffing your old sweatshirt with leaves asking strangers for fifty pence and bring on stuffing your pockets with sweets and as much cash as possible, conned out of the friendly and ever so slightly mystified streets of neighbours surrounding our house. All very different now of course. Our neighbours who joined the event all have children, but the other, retirees of the seven abodes attached are pretty much done with good will to all and children are pretty much only acceptable within their own families and their own grand children are the only infants that are tolerable. It was dark when our invited guests arrived – we had hours that sounded like ‘are we there yet’ as the not so famous five asked when are they coming and ‘where are the sweets’. The sweets were of course in hiding in an antique wardrobe in the kitchen, known as the the ‘house keepers cupboard’. The neighbours arrived, we drank Prosecco and then tiki torches ablaze, we headed to the bottom of the garden, over the lane and into the woods, over stream and to the designated bonfire area. Johns harpoons were soon pacified with me snapping off the sharp points and marshmallows were just squashed on to the ends of the bamboo rods. All the children had their fill of hot chocolate from the two thermos flasks and all enjoyed several toasted marshmallows. All six adults did a great job stopping the potential stab wounds, pokes in the eyes, falling into the blazing bonfire and general potential mishaps in the darkened (though tiki torch lit) wooded environment post nightfall. Yes, the bats were frantic as we left through the back door and as we headed to the woods. On our return, I went into overdrive to set up the kiddies meals and then the finale of twelve hand rolled chapattis, rice and the four carefully constructed curries for us grown ups to enjoy, previously cooked and chilled this afternoon, I told them that I was writing a blog, they didn’t seem that bothered, it’s not an easy thing to promote, but if you have a personal reason to be here just enjoying the sharing of what I have to say – I thank you from the bottom of my heart as this rather subtle, unobtrusive man has become very proud of his diary and his life in the Shires of England entertaining his life as a gay dad to five (not so famous) children that are five years old and under.

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A Gay Dad reflecting on life in the Shires of England with my not so famous five and two rapscallion Dalmatian hounds

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