My Final Diary Entry, At Least For Now!
It is with some regret that on the 2nd anniversary of my diary blog diaryofagaydad.net, I have to explain, that after these past 24 months of sharing the ups and downs of parenthood, my musings on this forum have (for now) come to an end. I will of course leave the archive online and intact if you ever chose to relive the ups and the downs of 2 years of parenting five small children?
A message from a fellow blogger tonight that ‘I am bored’, has lead me to the conclusion that it is now time to step away!
No pictures, no finale, no fanfare, just goodbye for now my friends…
On other social media such as Facebook, I do not post often. But if you found any part of my blog something positive to muse over (btw predictive text just flashed up ‘pissup’ lol) just search ‘Andi Webb London’ and I will surely follow you back!
The other option is Instagram of course! http://www.instagram.com/mybigcrazyfamilylife
I am certainly considering ‘Diary of a a gay Dad, the teenage years’ though 4+ years away at this point! Another time altogether, maybe it will be a great time for us both to catchup once again.
Thank you for listening these last 2 years, thank you for being there and ultimately thank you for caring. I am very happy to know you.
And for those that I am not connected to on other social media platforms, good bye and take care.
Two Years on Worldpress
A moment ago I opened the Worldpress app and to my surprise I found a ‘Happy 2 Year Anniversary’ text!
Has it really been 2 whole years!
I started blogging back then in order to have a presence on social media. A diary blog seemed like a great idea to help promote my recently finished manuscript entitled ‘Eighteen Moons’. So my ‘diary of a gay dad’ began.
At first I was just blogging out there into the ether. I then shared to my Facebook page and attracted a few readers from there! Not many likes at all but I noted a readership after a few months of 39.
I joined Twitter so that I could share my blog to that platform and later on Instagram!
I thank Twitter for bringing many of my current readers. You know who you are! And I thank you for sticking with the ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’.
I have since stopped sharing to Facebook! And if any of my Facebook friends are still reading this, then I believe that you are indeed true friends.
As you know my mojo has waned in recent weeks. The blog didn’t really sell any books but a couple and I would like to thank the few of you who have enjoyed the story of ‘Eighteen Moons’.
Also did you know that there was a follow up book called ‘Thirteen Moons More’ a kind of ‘who we are now’ opposed to the ‘how we became’ of the original book. Both are available on the Amazon platform. The latter book is a kind of edit of the first 11 months of this diary! A time when thirteen moons passed!
But for now, two years on, the diary of a gay dad continues! So, Happy anniversary to me today! Two years hey! Who’d have thought it.
I thank you for your support.
First Fire of the Season
Late in the day and the rain has finally given up and moved on from its 300ml weekend downpour!
The children all presently spinning in a circle, dancing to ‘don’t leave me this way’ by The Communards. No, strike that, they are doing a conga train through the living room, kitchen and both hallways.
That’s one way of tiring them all out before bedtime I guess. Tara and Amritsar now screaming at each other as one pushed the other! Song finished now all left panting and out of breath!
Sunday family dinner of roast chicken finished and at this point, I’m thinking an early night for daddy and dadda! Which is very odd for me as I usually head for bed around midnight!
All now settled, if not slightly tired out! About to dress for bed! Wish us luck, won’t you. And best of luck if you have little ones. It’s not the easiest time of the day, is it? I hope you had a great weekend.
So, What’s Been Happening with you, with us?
After a short while away from my diary posts, today I find myself back on worldpress with a little catchup to be done!
So sorry if I haven’t reached all of your blogs out there on my feed, I have missed so much of your writings and on a personal level, I have also missed many of you fellow bloggers. This is a writing community after all! Where ever we reside on this planet, we have our mutual blogs, opinions, histories and hobbies that we share with one another! And that is a great thing.
It is true that I have in some way defected to Instagram, a more visual media and that I enjoy. But I have missed hearing all of your opinions and day to day experiences! That is what blogging excels in, isn’t it’
So what’s been going on with us?
Over the last weeks we have enjoyed the last of the Autumn sun and indeed the first of the Autumnal rains. We have also had a massive declutter around the house! The children are presently enjoying a lunch of peanut butter and damson jam sandwiches and black currant squash. All shouting around the table as I have left them to their own devices whilst I finish this post!
They got a bit too rowdy, so I had to stop writing and come back to this! Haha, they can self manage well at this age, if they want to that is! A chasm away from the screamy threes and fours! However they all still have their moments of course! Especially at bedtime…
Last weekend saw the annual grape vine harvested and juiced. Now bottled and frozen for making ‘Dadda’s Jam’ or rather jelly at a later date. Daddy also pruned it back along with the yew hedge.
All of the children are back into the rhythm of school now. And Johns two days a week at the office has demised to but one, given government advice on a return to work from home! Troubled time ahead I fear, but I will do my best to keep upbeat for you. It doesn’t pay to dwell on the negatives, especially to perpetuate them, does it?
An exotic fruit salad was made up from fresh pineapple, kiwi fruit and mango. Just the taste of mango always takes me back to my time spent during ‘Eighteen Moons’ in India, Nepal and indeed my time spent serving in the Thai Army a little while after Thor was born!
So, diary entry at an end! I promise to be a bit more regular. All the children send their love to all who may be reading this. As ever thank you for your time. I know we all lead busy lives.
Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner
Hoping everyone is well and thank you for browsing my diary page. I have been a little absent of late! If you don’t already follow on Instagram, our page is http://www.instagram.com/mybigcrazyfamilylife
I’ve been spending a little too much time on there! Have a lovely day…
Welcome to Autumn
I hope that everyone had a good Autumn Equinox today! Thor has dressed for the occasion! Well, last year’s Halloween pics were doctored a bit to celebrate the season!
The Last Sunflower
Beautiful aren’t they? But it is only this year, upon the final wilting days of the children’s homegrown sunflowers, that I dared to take a closer look!
We tend to see the rays of petals and consider the plant as a whole to be the magnificent sunflower! We know that the inner disk is a nursery for seeds, but have you ever taken a really, really close look?
Once the petals have wilted, what are we left with? A thousand small flowers, those mass producers of nectar are in fact mini flowers at the base end of the seeds! Fascinating I thought!
I believe we should hang them upside down in the shed over the winter with a paper bag tied around them in order for the seeds to mature and fall!
Maybe a thousand seeds for the children to sow next springtime. The humble, yet majestic Sunflower…
Children Say The Most Profound of Things
The whole world will be a ghost! But you’re not! Thor then went on to mimic a police car siren!
So I sit on the terrace, way past the children’s bedtime to take a moment’s breather! Nikki our babysitter arriving soon. The children are all still up and the Google smart speaker is blaring out Tammy Wynette’s D.I.V.O.R.C.E. (Hmmmh!) at John’s bequest!
Haven’t been out on a Saturday night in quite a long time. It’s just a meal out in a favourite restaurant in Woodspeen, oddly called ‘The Woodspeen’. Sadly not a club or rave! Lol, what did you imagine after seeing my choice of images!!!
Tara was rather insistent earlier that I teach her the mime motions of ‘being inside the box’! You know the one where the palms of your hands mime touching the invisible box sides! All now doing it to the song Jolene! Quite the sight.
Well it beats the 80’s robotics moves of earlier today to Soft Cell’s Tainted Love. They call it muscle memory, don’t they? And NO, there will be no video.
The hounds are now whining! Personally I don’t blame them as Islands in the stream has now come on. Oh dear – hurry up Nikki, hurry up…
Thank you for reading. Have a lovely day/evening!
Fungi Friend or Foe
Our return from holiday saw our lawn littered with various autumnal fungi. Yellow boletes were in abundance, one variety edible…
Another quite poisonous!
If a blue hue appears after cutting or breaking! Steer clear, not good to eat!
I ended up binning the lot sadly, I just couldn’t get John in on the idea that the edible ones might just taste nice!
All destined for the bin!
Though on the other hand I also found a good amount of field mushrooms in the orchard!
I enjoyed these fried in butter on a piece of sourdough toast!
John on the other hand went for the shop purchased chestnut mushrooms. Also very tasty however.
On the subject of foraging still. My blackberry jelly that I made yesterday has set to perfection overnight. The recipe is certainly to follow!
Oh Dear Blackberry
Yesterday afternoon saw an 11th hour rush for the last of this year’s blackberry harvest. We all ventured down the driveway and into our small area of woodland to pick what was left of the crop in the hedgerows. I didn’t mind that many berries had already spoiled or been lost to the birds and insects as there were still many a kilogram deep frozen in the chest freezer from last year. Then I only made a small amount of jam, but this year I plan to make perhaps 14 x 320ml jars.
The kilo or so that we collected yesterday went into a large blackberry and apple crumble with apples collected from the orchard in the kitchen garden. We all enjoyed the crumble last night, warmed through with a good splosh of double cream. Enough left over for the children’s dessert tonight!
This morning I wrestled out the said frozen blackberries whilst defrosting the freezer and half have now been stewed and perhaps 50% of the pips removed. When it comes to jamming them with apple pulp and sugar later this week, I want a velvety texture with not too many pips! I am reminded that I haven’t done a jam recipe in a while, yet I have made a few jams of recent, however unreported as I believe I have covered the likes of damson and plum and Calvados in my writings already! However blackberry jam is pretty seasonal, so prepare for that in the next day or two!
Amritsar is home from school today due to feeling sick this morning. Tara shouted down this morning at 6am ‘Amritsar’s been sick Dadda, Amritsar’s been sick, Will she get the day off’? And yes indeed, she is at home today! We plan on scrumping for a few more apples a bit later before the others return home from school with Sindy.
Whilst defrosting the freezer, I noticed the sheer volume of frozen damsons this year! Our tree has been extremely bountiful! I am almost dreading the grape harvest next month as there is still a good amount of frozen grape juice frozen from last year too.
Ritzy is lying on one sofa playing with her iPad and I am lying on the other writing this diary entry, both dogs sprawling out beside me.
Lunch was a home made pea soup, very light, no potato to thicken and a piece of sourdough toast. Amritsar has been feeling much better since this morning, I think something light again for dinner and she should feel as right as rain for tomorrow’s classes.
Listening to Mozart’s ‘Eine kleine Nachtmusik’. Feeling relaxed, perhaps a bit sleepy even…
Hope you’re having a good Monday all.
Thank you for reading.
Baby Boxes of One Year Ago
Twelve months ago tomorrow we decided it was time to open up the stash of baby items that we had kept from all of the children’s ‘baby years’!
We had talked about putting together the ‘Baby Boxes’ for such a long time.
Items ranged from tiffin boxes purchased in Goa, India, to baby spoons, teething toys, pyjamas, swaddling, you name it, it was there.
If you want to smile, you might want to scroll back on my blog entries to 8th September 2019. The full length movie is around 10 minutes, but it is a real laugh. Thor excels in his unique comedy and Caleb insists that Aaliyah’s dress, a 1st birthday present is his!
Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner (The Reprise)
So tasty and carb free to boot! Home grown ratatouille with salmon shards and garlic, butter, fine green beans…
Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner
I spent this morning making a vat of bolognese for the freezer and tomorrow’s lunch. Then I turned my attention to dehydrating our basil plant in the microwave and adding some of the herbs to a ratatouille made with this years home grown produce! You might remember earlier this spring that I flatly refused to grow tomatoes, peppers etc this year. But one of our neighbours gave us a few small plants that he had grown from seed, so I took on the liability of watering them these past summer months, alongside the various herb plants and sunflowers that had been sown by the children.
Well the work done, plants wilting, autumn ahoy and I had the entire ingredients for one pot of ratatouille. Of course I needed to add a couple of onions from the farmers market and half a tube of tomato purée, but voila, here we are, a meal to be had after all that time and effort!!!
A couple of other meals from this last week added to this post. The ratatouille is to be enjoyed tonight by daddy and dadda, so a few preparation pictures were taken, including the children’s share that was just enjoyed with burgers in brioche. Caleb threw ratatouille on Aaliyah’s lap. She had been very happy having just dressed into her pyjamas early, massive screams were enjoyed throughout their meal…
Even though I have a dehydrator, I find that the microwave is best for drying fresh herbs. On this plastic plate is the entire plant of basil leaves that were starting to go a bit yellow and the stems were going woody!
Buzz for one minute intervals and massage with hand to let steam escape! When you think the leaves are dry enough, scrunch to dust and pass through a sieve to remove any remaining stalks.
30 minutes cooking time to reduce the sauce.
Place in a storage container or serve immediately,
Daddy and Dadda are having theirs this evening with salmon and fine beans!
Last night was chicken legs, mashed potatoes and loosely scattered petit pois, with a reduction of the degreased, seasoned chicken juices (and a little water) simply poured over the potatoes! Yummy.
Check out the new modern grey plates! Aren’t we posh! A bit of a Thai theme in this week’s menu. Tod Mun Pla (fish cakes) served with rice and sweet chilli sauce. And notice the basmati rice is shaped the same as the mashed potato in the previous picture! Simply done by using one of the children’s bowls from the previous picture to that. Just wet the inside of the bowl a little, pile in your potato or rice, compact down with a spoon and tip quickly in the centre of your plate. Dress your ingredients and sauce around the sides as you please!
The Chives were picked from the garden to adorn Giant Shrimp and noodle Tom Yum. One of my favourite dishes of all time. Bliss
That’s it for now. Have a lovely weekend all.
Back to School
Wednesday of this week saw the return to school by all five children. Tara and Amritsar have missed their school friends so very much over these last six months of lockdown.
At least one thing in our daily lives has returned to some kind of normal. Although, as you know, the new normal does not resemble the old normal at all. I fear that the fear of this virus will be with us for sometime to come.
Feeling Settled Now
The holiday over and a couple of days relaxing at home! Summer Bank holiday Monday here, not much going on! All playing with their screens or watching ‘Mr Magoo’! Daddy mowing his lawn, the dogs chilling beside me.
Another 10kg of Damsons brought in from our tree! I might just make some Damson jam later, perhaps tomorrow morning! Just the thought of de-stoning 1000 Damsons, not appealing!
A mountain of washing sat in the kitchen and lunch to prepare! How does homemade pea soup and a toasted cheese sandwich sound?
Still spending way too much time on Instagram! But still happy with my blog! ‘Another day in the life of’ still brings a smile to me as I hope it does to you.
On the subject of Instagram, a few more pictures to share from our Cornish holiday, hope you like them.
As ever thanks for reading…
John has stopped at the top of the hill to get a nice fish to take home with us and ice creams for the children to be eaten in the car! We are finally homeward bound. Final picture just taken from the car window. Goodbye Atlantic coast. Goodbye…
I just thought! Our American and Canadian cousins never see an Atlantic Sunset! And to be honest, neither do we, living in ‘The Shires’! So here is our final sunset, my final picture on Britain’s Atlantic coastline, for now at least. Thank you for reading…
Day 6, The Final Day!
Well, we just met local friends, David, Jo, Tara and hubby! The wetsuits are whirring away in the washing machine. Daddy has left, now 30 minutes, to buy the obligatory ‘fish and chips’, something a holiday is not fulfilled without!
Not a lot to say really, only that I appreciate your being there! You, the best people ever, the lovely ones that follow my blog! You are pretty wonderful people xx
Some random images to follow, including the fish and chips!
Caleb seems to be a little aloof!!!