Homeward Bound

The mini holiday at an end and we are just joining the M4 at Bristol. Should be home around 6.20 then the preparation for bedtime. Has it been a a relaxing getaway? Probably not – but have we confirmed our two week summer holiday in North Cornwall? Yes, 2 weeks of full on holiday mayhem to follow. More on that at the time.

Aaliyah now screaming profusely behind me. Daddy loosing his temper and I have just had to raise my voice. Dadda’s getting ‘one of his heads’ – oh dear. Roll on August (remember to pack paracetamol)…

The Sun is Finally Here

The children are finally in bed and here John and I sit with a well deserved glass of white wine in the garden of the beach house. Oddly enough looking onto the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. There are still screams. There has been all day with the little ones. Just when you think you have passed a hurdle – you realise that you haven’t. All of their behaviour has showed it’s darker side at several flash points today. Amritsar and Tara on the other hand have been model students. We had two ‘Thinking Chairs’ on the go at one point, both Aaliyah and Caleb sat there looking shame faced. But finally I sit hear and I can feel the sun upon my face. In a way I am glad we are returning home tomorrow! This was supposedly be a trial night for our two week break in August, but I feel certain dismay. Was the four hours of repeated ‘are we there yet’s’ really worth it. And to top it all, we realised that our nanny Sindy had not packed the Panama’s. Oh, my moment in the sun has drawn short on this, Britain’s hottest day. The clouds have engulfed the sun once again and I sit here shivering. Time to go inside and fix dinner for us beleaguered drown ups I guess!

A Trove of Books Behind the Bed, a Crab and Last Nights Dinner

Shouting was heard so I ventured up to see what all of the fuss was about! Tara had trapped her arm at the wall side of her bed. It was stretched into the abyss that lay at the back of her bottom bunk! As I rushed through the boys room, Caleb lay silent, Mr sleepy was clearly counting lambs and dancing with dreams. Thor on the other hand jumped to attention ‘come on Dadda, come on – let’s free Tara’. He skipped alongside me and we entered the girls room. Tara still wailing ‘help me Dadda, my arm is trapped’. I pulled the bed from the wall with a little help from Aaliyah and Amritsar and I investigated the pile of books that lay before me. Tara had only dropped one, the reason for her cries for help, but here lay a small library of children’s fiction. Thor was in there first ‘this ones mine’ he shrieked. And then Aaliyah ‘I’m having this one’ she shouted. Finally the remains of the booty was shared between A and T…

All is quite now – A school night. Just me here, no John. Remus is looking over at me as he does and Gracie is nuzzling into the arm of the sofa.

What with John being in London, I thought I would eat the scraps from last nights ‘Roast Pork Dinner’ comprising of Roast leg of pork, butter sautéed Jersey Royal potatoes, curly cale, gravy, Dadda’s home made ‘Apple Jam’ and pork scratchings purchased from the local farm shop (wow).

But the remaining pork was the slightly dried end of the joint that I was going to feed to the hounds. Then I thought ‘F**K this’ and I decided to defrost a crab from the freezer and enthusiastically whipped up a dressed crab, toasted delight – yummy… Sorry John, couldn’t resist xx

10 of the Children’s Besties

All our Crew were asked to do some agreeing for once – they had to compromise and agree on these results. And they are as follows… deliberated over dinner tonight – Job well done guys…

Best TV show:


Best Movie:

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Best Meal:

Broccoli Pesto Pasta (Penne)

Best Confectionary:

Marshmallows (Though Thor insisted on candy canes)

Best thing on Toast:

Dadda’s Jam (of course)

Best subject at School:

P.E. (Physical Education)

Best Song:

Shake Baby Shake (500) – Lush

Best Game:

Hide and Seek

Best Thing:

A NO Brainer Really Kit Koala and Kangy, MiMi, Chicky and Foxy and Doggy (The Children’s beloved soft toys)

And not a single Unicorn or the colour pink was mentioned! Well, that’s the 10 Children’s Besties for our Crew at least! It certainly made a riot of dinnertime!

Caleb With a Serious ‘Look’

Looking at this picture taken yesterday made me wonder! Doesn’t Caleb look rather handsome? He always tends to pull faces when being photographed. He scrunches up his face or sticks out his tongue usually. But he has a bit of a ‘Look’ going on there I thought. What a handsome chap he is underneath it all. Though Thor still wins hands down when it comes to posing for the camera, Tara a very close second. Is she smuggling in a cheeky ‘coco the clown’ Look there rather slyly? They are of course all beautiful in my eyes – just who is the better poseur?

The countdown

Aaliyah has been very good of late. However, yesterday she was back to her old tricks. No, there was no biting involved thankfully, but she did hit Tara in the face yesterday at Angels soft play party and blooded her nose with no remorse. Anyhow, she was uncontrollable on our way home in the car. This morning her foul mood and screams did not dissipate, so I was forced to play my ‘Trump’ card (nothing to do with the US president, honestly). I pretended to call Sindy our nanny and cancel her sleepover tonight (John away for the night and I have to be at an event later), I then called the fabled ‘Mrs Snodgrass’ and asked if she could fill in for Sindy and do the sleepover. All of this archived with Aaliyah listening on. She said that she would be delighted to step in and finally meet our Aaliyah! My plan was set. I texted Sindy who would usually let herself in with her keys and I asked if she would ring the doorbell instead! Of course I explained the scenario. She agreed and here I sit with the children. The countdown is on – 15 minutes and counting. Tara was the most intrigued as she has been asking when ‘Mrs Snodgrass’ is arriving every half an hour! Tara kind of realised that the character is one of fiction, but she is not completely sure. I gave in a bit earlier and told Tara first, then Amritsar that I had decided to cancel  (keeping the mystery alive) and Sindy was coming after all. The little ones however are oblivious. Aaliyah is starting to show a certain nervousness, awaiting the sound of the doorbell. 10 minutes and counting. I’ll fill you in as to the conclusion of my little charade later. He he he!!!

I am now sat on the train and Sindy is driving home with the children in preparation for bedtime.

Earlier, the doorbell rang – it was 5.15pm. Tara, Amritsar, Thor and Caleb were eagerly loitering around the front door in the entrance hall. Tara couldn’t contain herself ‘Aaliyah, Aaliyah’ she was calling ‘Mrs Snodgrass is here for you’. ‘No, I don’t want to come to the door – NO’ Aaliyah shouted. Tara was giggling as she swung the door open. Caleb and Thor both pushed their way forward, falling on top of each other. They picked themselves up, a little dazed. ‘Sindy, Sindy’ they exclaimed, completely expecting to see Cecelia Snodgrass standing there in her green tweed two piece suit and spectacles. Amritsar and Tara were laughing and Aaliyah was still hiding behind the sofa. She exhaled and smiled. ‘Did my little joke work Aaliyah – are you now prepared to try a little harder to be a good girl?’ ‘Yes Dadda, YES’ was her reply. She looked bemused and a little sheepish – no doubt happy that the days waiting ordeal was over.

Thank you Lee and Jess

Happy Fifth Birthday Angel! And thank you all for such a lovely time yesterday guys. We had a lot of fun. Arriving home past 8pm, our crew didn’t settle down for their Zzzzz’s before nine o’clock. Everyone was completely bonkers in the car on the way home, soft play at the leisure centre in Primrose Hill had clearly not tired them out sufficiently.


Sunday morning now and we’ve been indulging on the great party bags that Jess made up. Getting a bit tired now from having to do the theatrics that surround a whoopee cushion (x 5)… Thank you Jess! 5 x Bubble wands to choreograph this afternoon!

Happy Summer Solstice

It’s amazing that Summer Solstice is not a National Holiday really. If you consider the importance of it throughout our pagan, ancient history. You would have thought that in these contemporary times, post tree hugging and what with witch craft not being a punishable crime worthy of being burnt at the steak, we would be paying more attention to this magnificent event with the Summer at its pinnacle. Oh well, just hoping BBC 2 will show a snippet of Stonehenge and the Druids larking about at sunrise this morning. And as for being burnt at the steak, looks like steak and chips is in the menu tonight.

Sports Day in the Rain

All schools have them don’t they? And today was our schools turn. 8.30am this morning got the okay from the head teacher that sports day would happen. It has been maybe/maybe not for a while with the local weather forecast. I hate it when the weather is like this. Will it rain or will it be dry! We hoped for dry as the weather app was inconclusive. And guess what? Come 1pm, we arrived to just the merest sprinkling of the wet stuff. We ate our picnic with haste and were then ushered to seats lining the side of the track. Nice to see a few friendly faces and meet one or two new ones. We cheered for ‘TeamGreen’ as that was Amritsar’s and Tara’s team. They did well and came in at number one – hoorah! Another very proud dad today as both girls came first or second in almost all of their races. A major turn around from last year when they did not apply the same gusto to their efforts. They both love P.E. now – This might be the reason behind such a good performance. Come 2pm the heavens opened and everyone dived for their brollies. There were some 60+ races in all. A constant stream of race after race. Very well choreographed indeed. Thor did a little track running for himself. Please note the picture beneath. And to top it all, Aaliyah also came first in the final run of the day where toddlers and siblings were invited to run the ‘toddlers race’. Thankfully the parents run was cancelled. I am remembering last year when John cheated on the egg and spoon race by holding down the egg. Naughty daddy! Even with that he managed to come last – oh dear…

Dadda’s Early Childhood

In early childhood my family lived around the Bristol area and Somerset. And today I discovered several old photos of my early childhood that my mother gave me several years ago now. Do you know – I completely forgot that we once drove the streets in a bright pink jaguar! How bloody camp is that? Dad… Respect! Lol

You know, Thor loves dickie bows and seeing this picture made me laugh. I wonder where he gets that from! Funny boy isn’t he?

I loved these Rupert Bear trousers. Not sure about the rusty chip pan basket though. Ooh nostalgia – one can get rather indulgent, can’t one?

Yes, last picture is me as a baby. I do remember when my mother gave me these pics. She said that just after this picture was taken, she dropped me on my head! ‘Why on earth would you tell me that Mother’ I exclaimed. ‘I just thought you should know that Andrew’ she replied. I really didn’t know what she was implying, but I let it drop (as she did me). At present remembering her fondly. Here’s to you Miss Jean Eve Paradise.

Trial Day at School for The Little Ones

Yes, today saw our not so famous five all leaving for school together. A first time in all these years that they are leaving the family home to go to school in unison. Job well done! I think you’ll agree they all look so smart in their Summer uniform? John has been joking that we will have a whopping 5% of the schools attendance. Though I don’t think that I am considering joining the P.T.F.A. anytime soon.

The Power of Words

Does a picture say a thousand words? Well, does it? The girls poetry got me thinking today. At present Remus can sense a change of mood within me. I do suddenly feel more somber. He has gently rested his chin on my lap and is glancing upwards, towards me. I wonder what it is that he senses! He acted strangely earlier today on the terrace. You see, we have a ‘green wall’ covered with ornamental ivy, our rather large grape vine and a sprouting crab apple tree. He was gently pacing the ground, sniffing around, almost searching for something lost. He was quiet then also. I listened, but there was a silence in the air. I considered the possibility of a red kite hunting in the area. You see, the bird song freezes when such a competent predator is near. No, this was different! And then I realised what was wrong. These last weeks have seen two very busy, brown feathered friends at work on our terrace. A mated pair of thrushes firstly built a nest within the ivy, laid their eggs and then once hatched, they have been completely engrossed with the feeding and nurturing of their offspring ever since. Two, maybe three little chicks with very loud and hungry sounding chirps had their parents perusing their own hunting frenzy. As soon as one parent emerged from the nest after feeding the chicks, the other would appear with a beak full of worms. The frenzy of the chirps erupted again and the cycle would repeat itself again and again. Today it is silent. I did gaze to see a solitary brown song thrush on the lawn, but it did not fly towards the nest hidden beneath the ivy. It just looked around, saw me and then flew away… what happened last night on our terrace? I really do not know, but the veil of silence seems louder with emptiness now. Does a picture say a thousand words? You be the judge.

A Reflection on Fathers Day

Okay – I might just be the only father on the planet that did not post a Facebook pic of ‘Fathers Day’ on the day itself. Rather, I have chosen today to reflect on it!

Daddy and Dadda Love You All 💕 💖

A poem each, from Amritsar and Tara:

Daddy and Dadda. You are as cuddly as a teddy bear, as hard working as a builder, as funny as a clown, as cool as a racer, as amazing as a teacher, as incredible as a chef and as good as an author. Love from Amritsar xxxxx

(Come to play with me, come to play with me, please, please play with me. Summer time is hear again, come and play with me)

Dadda, Daddy, you are as tall as a table as smart as a technician, as funny as a clown. Love Tara. X

(You are the best Daddyz in the Wirld)

Do remember the girls are only 6 years old!

Hair Plats, Packed Lunches and Glowbag’s

Yesterday’s hair plats were difficult to see, so I had to take a photo to show the girls What they looked like. Not enough there for a complete diary entry, so I will sum up the week so far!

I’ve not talked about food of recent, so a few words on that. What springs to mind is Greek Yogurt! Hold on the honey sweetie, Dadda’s home made ‘Strawlime Berry’ Jam did the trick last night. A splash of water and a liberal drizzle, then a simple whirlpool made with a teaspoon and voila, a sweet treat for children and adults alike. Though, for grownups I would rethink the bowls!

I’ll move on to packed lunches. As all parents have to make them – what do you put in yours? Well, I won’t bore you with that old debate, but our children love packed lunches. I guess so as they usually signify a school trip and that is exactly the reason for Tara and Amritsar’s packed lunches today. They are being packed off to visit a country estate, here in ‘The Shires’ with their classmates. Their last school trip fell foul to shoulder straps on their bags that were thin and were uncomfortable to wear. So on this occasion I searched around in the loft and came across some stock from my old ‘Glowbag’ range. I used to make and promote fluorescent and reflective bags, known as Glowbags! It all started with trying to make road safety look cool, at first with bikers, then I considered cyclists and finally children. Well, the girls are armed with super comfy to wear ‘Glowpods’ today in a rather fetching fluorescent green and fluorescent orange. Do tell me what you think?