School Holidays

Our first week of the school holidays has almost passed. The start of the week saw me put back my initial workout with the personal trainer until next Monday. The children have been enjoying the outdoors, even with this heatwave, there has been some fun and frolics in the pool. Lots of video footage, but I won’t overdose you with the screams and all that splashing about. Our nanny has just taken them all out to Thatcham Lake to feed the ducks and I am enjoying this small respite before lunch. Sadly John is back to Dublin this weekend as his mother is extremely unwell at this point. I wish her well. The children have this morning made pictures and gifts for her. CBeebies is playing away in the background and Remus is barking sporadically with every minute sound that he hears. He is always a little sensitive and when waiting for the children to return from school or a trip such as today, he listens intently for the slightest sound that might be them! Gracie is much more laid back.

Yesterday saw myself and all five children hiding in the terrace to spot the Thrush and hear the chirps of the chicks. We sat at the table for 5 minutes under the parasol in hiding for the thrush to return from its forage with a beak full of worms. Tara decided that we all needed to be camouflaged, so she and Thor darted back inside to grab hoodies, Barbour jackets and M65 jackets to swaddle everyone in. It was hot yesterday remember. So as we sat there waiting rather uncomfortably, Thor decided that MiMi (his much beloved bear) was too hot, so he headed back inside, just as the thrush arrived and the chicks erupted is their feeding frenzy. ‘I’m missing it – I’m missing it’ he screamed and ran back outside. Well, we waited a little more and saw the thrush return to the rapture a second time, Aaliyah got bored and we all returned inside to the relative cool of the living room.

Better get lunch underway before the not so famous five return. Perhaps more later!

Bitter Lemon Marmalade and a Sweet New Beginning

There has been a rollercoaster of emotions this last week or so! But the title for tonight’s diary entry is what I will be writing about.

Wow – it’s warm here in the U.K. and indeed this is shared all over Europe. In these coming days we have a unified weather front with our European neighbours, though you might be aware that we are leaving the political unity that was once Europe! As you know I make it my place not to comment on politics. Anyhow, on this specific day, we have a new prime minister. NO COMMENT!

Here in ‘The Shires’ my day began as most do, with breakfast for our not so famous five. All on school holiday now until they set off for ‘Big School’ in early September. Okay, entertained by our highly regarded and trusted nanny this morning, I found the time to oven roast lemons, scrape the pith and chop the peel, then boil on a moderate heat with extra lemon juice and sugar until the result was a firm set ‘Bitter Lemon Marmalade’. So sour on the taste buds (And with that much sugar), yet it was captivatingly exciting to the pallet. Sweet treats with a sour taste – one has to consider that the world we live in has room for everything, every taste, smell and indeed emotion! Okay my confectioning almost aside – we ate croissants with Dadda’s blue cherry berry jam and 2 squares of bitter dark chocolate. Well, they’re on holiday and frosted flakes just seemed a bit mundane this morning.

Now onto the ‘sweet new beginning’ element of my words for tonight! My thoughts are a reference to an earlier blog, simple entitled ‘The Power of Words’! No pressure then… And no pictures.

For this last week, the mated pair of thrushes that had abandoned their nest last month had been busy! Maybe 3 weeks ago, they had returned and started to spruce up the nest hidden within the ivy and grapevine on our ‘green wall’. Seemingly no expense spared on the interior decor front – they both worked hard to reinforce the structure and wings were heard a flapping, in order to create an internal space that would accommodate a new brood. There was some silence for a while and then this week the chirp, chirp, chirps of tiny chicks could be heard once again. I am so filled with happiness that these committed feathered neighbours are once more blessed with the chance of being a family. I felt in awe as this mornings early cup of coffee, sitting on our terrace was blessed with a small storm of flying ants. It’s hot isn’t it? You know every summer at a certain time – the flying ants come out, seemingly out of nowhere to dance the day away, always on a hot day like today. Now, one of the thrushes came close – it felt a little unreal as this feathered couple are usually quite aloof, not that akin to coming too close to us humans. But one of the thrushes came within a metre of me several times and. sounded a strange vocal note, very unlike any bird sound that I have ever heard. It flitted around and around, collecting beak fulls of these little insects again and again, up to the nest, then back. The chicks chirps erupting feverishly on every single journey. The experience was mesmerising – I felt the undemanding gift of nature and it’s true relationship with family. We are all born with ‘need’ aren’t we? But nurture along side nature can turn that need into something so much more constructive. And that is selfless want, I remember the time when John and I decided to become a family! I think we managed our expectations and experience well, through a certain amount of grief and adversity prevailed. Pride is what we feel for our children and to our previous achievements in becoming the family that we are today.

The Full Moon Passed

What with all of the talk this month of the 50th anniversary of the lunar landings, plus the partial lunar eclipse here in the U.K. I find it strange that I have not mentioned the ‘Full Moon’ cycle! I guess with last months subscription to ‘Kindle Unlimited’ (and the month prior) prohibiting the electronic publication of ‘Eighteen Moons’ on any other platform, including this my diary, I have decided not to continue with the subscription from early August. This will once again allow me to publish the ‘Saga’ (one chapter per month) on here at least. The exercise of joining Kindle Select has found ‘Eighteen Moons’ an additional 1000+ readers and I suppose that can’t be a bad thing. And for you guys, please don’t forget that the paperback and ebook version of the story is still available through your Amazon account, simply by searching ‘Eighteen Moons’.

This brings me to another admission. And that is the near completion of my second novel ‘Twelve Moons More’ and that is the compilation, organisation and editing of this blog, a year in the life of ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’. I did not think that it was enough, just to tell the story of how my family came to be through such diversity, heartache and commitment, I thought that it was really important to catalogue and relay to you the story of just who we are today and to see what we have grown into – The loving family that we are.

This is an interesting time. These past twelve Months have taken us from being a fairly chaotic bunch of little people, post baby and toddler stage, to a family of five young children (now between the ages of 4 and 6) having begun or about to take their ‘School Years Experience’. This coming chapter will ultimately help define them all and begin to fine tune their futures.

We have the Summer holidays to survive first, so fingers crossed. Okay, my blog started back in October 2018, so it is only fitting that ‘Twelve Moons More’ will take us up to the end of September. The conclusion of my new novel will see them take their first tentative steps into the realm of their first true independence as School children, as it were, no longer tied to mothers or in this case ‘Dadda’s apron strings’!

And then what, I really don’t know…

Thor Has Joined the Mantle of Doing ‘No 1’s’ Standing

An unreported story of some four weeks back. Whilst visiting a friends home, Thor being a bit taller than a few months ago, asked if he could do the ‘boys grown up pee pee’? ‘I don’t see why not’ I exclaimed!

So one very proud little boy took his first steps to becoming a ‘big boy’. He was so very proud of himself. As we were of him.

A lot of parenting is about experiencing the ‘first time ‘ for everything. So many moments to remember and still so many to come…