Little Tikes

Well a smooth enough beginning to the day, however some dramas to be had on the midday snooze for Aaliyah, Caleb and Thor. Our nanny Sindy was off for the midday break and upon her return, the restless little ones (I heard from the living room) were told to ‘sit on the sofa’ whilst she surveyed the destruction that was Amritsar and Tara’s bunk beds. All of their ‘bits and bobs’ that were stowed away in their music boxes and special shoe boxes had been strewn to the winds and all the little ones could do was scream and shout, the concept of guilt was not present. They descended the stairs to be told that they would make right the damage when Tara and Amritsar returned from school and I scowled at them as unhappily as I could muster! Thor and Caleb just giggled, though Aaliyah screamed that she was sorry. ‘I want to be a good girl, I want to be a good girl’ she screamed. I listened for a moment and finally said in an elevated tone ‘enough is enough’! I picked up my phone and made a few finger motions. ‘Am I speaking to Mrs Snodgrass’ I asked. ‘Yes, it’s me again. This time they really have gone too far and do not feel at all sorry – is there a chance that Aaliyah, Caleb and Thor can begin ‘Naughty School’ on Monday morning’? ‘What, yes they can’ I said, perfect, ‘we will finalise things on Friday’. ‘ No, not Mrs Snodgrass, no, no, no’ screamed Aaliyah. Thor added ‘No Dadda, no’ and Caleb just looked on shamefaced. Anyhow, Sindy went off to collect the girls and things were later tidied up…

Thor had also refused to eat lunch earlier, much to the merriment of Caleb, as he ate Thor’s discarded cheese and pickle sandwiches. This made Thor extremely hungry just before dinner, he was the first to finish his ‘ broccoli, pesto, pasta’ and a banana was had for dessert.

My day comprised of cooking three Thai curries, even cooking the rice for dinner tomorrow night, as we have friends calling over for dinner. I continued my Jammin’ with a figgy pear combo, just three jars. Which reminds me, are you still up to make your own batch of home made jam? I did say a month or two ago that you should reserve three or four jam jars and we could make our very first sweet and sticky jam together! I hope you have the empty jam jars as I think we should go ahead in the next day or two to impress some of our friends and family with our very own home made jams. Be sure to buy two punnets of plums and a kilo of sugar in the next day or so – let’s go for Friday. Come back to this blog on Friday prepared won’t you!

Last thoughts for the day are on Aaliyah. The dynamo torch that she had chosen at the science museum on Sunday has been cannibalised and turned into a home made ‘taser’, I have had to confiscate it due to worries of injuries, I say it again and again ‘everything gets broken in this house’ can we please stop breaking everything. Aaliyah alone in the last twelve months has broken the logo / label on the Aga oven, scratched deeply into the Aga fridge. She’s broken a multitude of toys and Xmas decorations, scratched into the kitchen table and the antique, Victorian (walnut veneered) table in the living room. I am told things get better in time! I don’t remember the girls being this destructive at the age of three. We persevere don’t we, we have to!

Business as Usual

The first flurry of snow for this year was this afternoon. It felt very seasonal and it was very cold outside (obviously). The Dogs refused to go out and pee. They were those mega flakes of snow, you could hardly see beyond ten metres at one point. All gone now of course as the snow turned to sleet and finally to regular rain. Just that feeling of deep winter made me think of something festive! The air in the kitchen is now scented with ‘all spice’ as I just decided to make a small batch of the Xmas, X-Rated Jam, just three jars. My jam jars arrived this morning and I just couldn’t resist poaching pears and raisins in rum. A little apple for its pectin and sugar. The girls are just back from school and we’re all watching Peter Rabbit.’A good Rabbit never gives up’ from Peter! Good advice for young, enquiring minds. I made ‘man size’ meatballs and a ‘heavy on the basil’ tomato sauce for daddy and dadda’s dinner and the children are going to enjoy burgers made from the rest of the pork mixture. Due to being a bit busy, I’m just finishing this off post dinnertime, the burgers were well received. And five less hungry little people are about to get ready for bed. No nanny this afternoon, so the girls were dropped off by one of the mums from school.

Now if you’ve found the time to be reading this, didn’t you know, there’s a whole novel on Amazon Kindle you could be absorbed in. Do I need to remind you of the name (Eighteen Moons)? It’s not every day one gets to finally publish a book, so without the fanfare the day draws to an end. Every journey has a beginning and for my book, today was just that! But for me, a regular kind of day, but I did get to enjoy seeing the first snow of 2019 and the children are looking forward to eating the X-Rated jam on their toast tomorrow morning… bye for now!

I did it, I did it ‘Eighteen Moons’ is finally out there

F55A4A20-354C-42CB-9ED7-DC5002A38623

Now there’s an introduction for today’s diary entry. Yes indeed, I did it. My memoirs have finally made it from my computers desktop, and found its way into the ether of what is Amazon Kindle. Now as for promotion and marketing, well I sigh – that is well and truly something that I do not have a budget for, rather just a small appeal to any of you out there that might be interested in the story of how my family came to be, please consider reading the story of our attempts at ‘Family Planning’. That name was actually a contender for the name of the novel. But in the end I settled for ‘Eighteen Moons’. As I have previously mentioned, the moon seemed to be a commodity of time over the eighteen months that I lived in India, Thailand and Nepal. If you do enjoy the read, I do hope that you will find the spirit and enthusiasm to recommend it to friends and family as I can only hope for the story to be communicated and be told through the grapevine, by word of mouth. So for any of you out there with a Kindle or the Kindle app for Android and iPhone, please just search the two little words ‘Eighteen Moons’. I thank you in advance and appreciate any feedback in both the ‘customer reviews’ area of Kindle and of course, to copy and paste your comments on here, my ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’. Thank you in advance.

Not a Lot to Say Tonight (or Have I)?

The weekend has flashed us by. This afternoon spent at the Science museum in Winchester and a roast chicken dinner just consumed and Jim Jams and tooth brushing being administered as we speak. Thor now sat on the potty doing a poo and Aaliyah skipping around with her new mechanical, dynamo torch. This was obviously a purchase from that all too familiar shop at the exit of such institutions as museums and entertainment days out. Thor still sat on the potty pooing and cleaning his teeth at the same time. Just had a hug from Tara and Amritsar and they are just about ready to ascend the stairs. A little screaming , but overall fairly civil. They’re upstairs now and the only sounds are Thor’s screams of ‘Caleb’s got my phone’ and Amritsar shouting ‘oooh oooh, oooh oooh’. A bunch of crazies maybe, but they are our crazies I guess and we love them to bits.

I’ve just decided to return to ‘Dadda’s Jams and confectionary’ aspirations, since the small break over the holidays, so I will order some of my signature ‘Orcio’ jars tonight and get Jammin’ once again next week.

Over these last two weeks I have avoided sending out my script en masse to the literary agents. I think I am going to take the book forward through amazon kindle. So my (novel) memoirs might be downloadable within the next few days (if that is of any interest to you)! This decision was partly due to the super red, blood moon (a total lunar eclipse) happening here presently in the UK. Within my memoirs I did mention this phenomenon twice and i am thinking that tomorrow’s red moon might be a good enough reason to finally tell the story of how ‘Two Blokes’ set about planning and conceiving their children through international surrogacy over a period of three and a half years…

I’ll keep you up to date on this new happening and I hope that a few of you might find the story a good read and hopefully recommend it to friends in a positive way. It’s a very human story really, it just happens to be about two blokes getting pregnant (with help) and the multitude of hurdles and hoops that they had to jump over and through, in order to make their family possible. On reflection – Job Well Done!

Looking Forward to the Weekend

Friday already! A quiet week in London after having celebrated Johns birthday on Tuesday night. The food was impeccable and we arrived back to the London flat for John to open his birthday presents. The children had all signed a card that the little ones had made at preschool (we’ve stopped producing cards from each and every one of them if it’s not necessary), we had some white wine and went to bed. What were the presents you might ask! Well with the price for robotic vacuum cleaners having dropped sufficiently, there was one of those (it even self docks to power up and there is a mop function). A pair of apple, wireless ear buds, four antique silver napkin rings and a large, bone handled magnifying glass with matching letter opener.

Moving forward to today, I am sat on the train on my way back to ‘The Shires’. The few days have flashed by and I am now looking forward to the weekend. I do miss the family terribly when I have my two days away every two weeks, but the peace and quiet attained is a tonic and I am grateful for the stillness and tranquility of the London flat. I finished up there earlier, taking photographs of each room at opposing ends with the intention of listing the apartment on a flat swap website. We are thinking of going to South beach, Florida in May, when it warms up sufficiently and I thought as the flat is largely empty, this is something we should try. It’s very central so we should have some success. Though we want to travel down the Miami Keys also, so let’s hope a few of those new age crafty sorts that live that way are in to house swapping as it’s so ‘organic’ isn’t it? We held off from letting via Airbnb as that would affect the mortgage! I wonder if the masses who do Airbnb realise that – their house insurance is affected also! But I think the occasional house swap is allowed.

When I walk through the doors, the girls should just be back from school, but the loudest welcome is always from the dogs, Remus and Gracie. They are usually ballistic and won’t settle down before I have given them at least 2 doggy treats (Winalot shapes). I don’t think John or Sindy give them as freely as I do, so when they know I am back, they get very excited.

I don’t think we have ‘A Plan’ this weekend, but there are no birthday party invites for the children. It’s funny how their lives and play often revolves around Holidays, Christmas, their Birthdays and their friends birthday parties, I guess they always get cake, sweets and chocolate, so they are things that they always remember. The going home gift after Thor’s Birthday, we gave a large tube of fruit pastilles or jelly tots, I later regretted that as that much sugar in one sitting, it was way too much for a children’s metabolism. Our not so famous five were climbing up the walls, so I had to confiscate the rest of the said tubes of sweeties (and eek them out over time) and I will think again when it comes to the girls birthdays at the end of March. Children plus sugar means hyperactive and unruly. I’ll go with the other mums ‘Going home bags’ options and give out sticker books, crayons and glitter!

Back to the weekend, I will keep you appraised as we journey through it. I’m almost home now.

Johns Birthday Tomorrow

b5a15bef-af74-4768-a37c-235cf2b759ed

Well Sunday night ended with a ‘Mock Chicken Roast’ That is pre-Roast Chicken heated in gravy, deep fried potatoes (not roast in the oven), glazed carrots, broccoli and petite pois a la Franchise. The children loved it. Things are getting much better at the dinner table for sure. Their slightly heightened table manners might have had something to do with a slice of the home made Birthday cake I baked to celebrate daddy’s birthday that afternoon. We ate half of the cake yesterday and saved the second half for this evening. His birthday is actually tomorrow, so we’re going to meet up in London after John finishes work (In the West End) and dine at J Sheeky’s. Table booked for 8pm and Sindy our nanny is doing a sleepover with the children.

It’s late and the little ones have only just now fallen silent. John is working late and I am sat with the dogs watching Netflix. Potatoes boiling and I’m extending that chicken for just one more night – mashed potatoes with plenty of butter, seasoning and double cream (the only way) and the remnants of last nights peas and French beans with butter and garlic. Just how they used to serve them the the old ‘Conran restaurants’, Quaglinos, Blue Bird, etc. We used to dine out in the early days a lot. But that seems like a lifetime ago now, once a fortnight is our regular gastro gorge nowadays. Well I have to head to the kitchen as those spuds need tending to and John will be home shortly. Looking forward to tomorrow though, when I can be waited on! Best not forget my credit card…