A picture says a thousand words? Well, not always, but this morning, I guess it does!
A picture says a thousand words? Well, not always, but this morning, I guess it does!
Good friends Bridget and Des called in for lunch with their children Malky and River. They were visiting from their holiday home in Looe, south Cornwall. We enjoyed their company at Golithia Falls on Bodmin moor on Tuesday.
Their golden Labrador Luna stayed at home with Bridget’s parents Malcolm and Jenifer! I like Bridget’s father Malcolm a lot! He is a Methodist Minister and used to be the Chaplin to the UK’s Houses of Parliament!
A very wise man and fun to boot! Not being particularly religious, I’m a bit more of a tree hugging pagan I guess. This does not mean that I do not regard and respect other people’s religion or beliefs.
So, I know I did ‘Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner’ yesterday, but I would like to add today’s lunch as picture of the day! Salmon, Shrimp, langostine, new potatoes, zucchini and samfire was enjoyed by us grownups and the children enjoyed spaghetti with 3 hour simmered bolognese with a snowstorm of parmesan.
After lunch an hour was enjoyed in the surf with the bodyboards. I remained at the holiday house and enjoyed an hours respite. Daddy then went off to do a lengthy zoom call with a client and we all said our goodbyes at 4pm.
Tomorrow being our last full day, I imagine one final frolic on the beach whatever the weather!
Pretty grey out there today, but an enjoyable day none the less. This picture taken in a fleeting moment of blue sky.
Aaliyah presently screaming as they debate where each of them are sleeping tonight…
Spaghetti Puttanesca for Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner. A break from fish! Lol
Hope you are having a good time wherever you are and my thanks as ever for taking the time to read my blog, diaryofagaydad.net
Oh Amritsar and Thor have adopted a rather large snail called ‘Biggy’ that they found in the garden this afternoon. Don’t worry, I made them all wash their hands before they ate this evening!
Even a little snail garden was created! Hehe…
A very fish based menu this week! Being on the seashore this week has been very inspiring!
Sea Bass with roasted Jersey a royals and sugar snap peas
Crab cakes with lobster tail, spinach and fries
Simple skewered shrimp
Sautéed potatoes with plaice, muscles and samfire
I sit here, early evening! The children running wild. That is 3 of them at least. Amritsar sleeping on the sofa in daddy’s arms, Aaliyah snoozing on the other sofa.
Friends Thea and a John left a little time ago with their four children after a day of mayhem and frolics, here in North Cornwall on the beach. Lunch was had, a walk on the windswept beach with almost cyclonic winds and drizzle to boot. Further grazing of the large left over buffet lunch and finally this period of exhaustion and the hope the children settle soon!
Now all wandering around like the drones from the matrix movie, just awaiting their pre programmed commands for finally settling!
All just heading to their rooms – kiss and hug later! Let’s look at an image or two of the day!
Thank you for reading!
Just back from a day out to Golithia Falls near Bolventor. The home of the ancient travellers resting stop in Daphne du Maurier‘s famous novel of the same name, Jamaica Inn. Of course a hideous tourist trap serving miserable food and offering a dismal service to the unsuspecting fools that happen to stumble upon the windswept moors of Bodmin!
On our way back to the car, Thor hung back a little. He found a packet of something. A few rustling’s later caught up with something he was clutching tightly! Look dadda he whispers, look, a mouse, I found a mouse! I look down to find Thor coveting a tampon (new). The 4 women passing us noticed our conversation! Much laughing was had to be sure.
All now in their bedrooms shouting from the rafters! I’m sure, give it an hour or two, some peace and quiet for daddy and dadda.
Our first morning and the Atlantic coast looks true to form! The grey, windswept coastline is looking beautiful, though a little inhospitable!
We arrived yesterday afternoon and all of the children erupted into mayhem and screams to the highest order. I personally blame the large volume of gummy bears that were had to stave the final hour of hunger in the car! The packed lunches were clearly not enough. Though to be honest, there has not been a holiday as yet without vast amounts of screaming and disorder! The worst, I remember was going to Wexford in Ireland on the ferry. We had a cabin and I think all 5 were still in nappies at that point. Oh dear, trying to calm them all at auntie Sara’s house, took us well into the early hours. Thor’s screaming ended up with four of them huddled into one room and Thor alone in a travel cot in a room on his own. It took 3 days for them all to settle down. 2 days of bliss and then the inevitable journey home. I swore then ‘Never Again’. But here we are. They are much older now, though they can still be just as screamy! Only, they vocalise their angst between their crazy episodes.
Their dinner and supposed bedtime, followed by daddy and dadda’s dinner, they finally passed out last night at around 10pm and daddy and dadda enjoyed cheese and crackers and a movie on Netflix.
So back to this morning! The wind is howling, the rain bucketing down, all the children are shouting to go down to the beach. Oh dear… happy holidays.
I am going to try to find the video I took on that ill-feted journey over the Irish Sea, 3 babies and 2 toddlers
There will be updates!
Peace and quiet in the back of the car!
To the rhythmic tones of the Primitives Spin-O-Rama, we take the slip road onto the M4 motorway…
And we are off on our long awaited Summer Holiday to Northern Cornwall. Hip hip hooray everybody chants!
Just entered the Holiday House postcode into google maps and she has told us 3 hours and 33 minutes, allowing for traffic.
Musically streaming from my iPhone is our summer hits station on Spotify. Now enjoying James ‘You’re Beautiful’! The word ‘Fucking’ has just been sung. Sounding rather beautiful however! I do love this song. Don’t worry, the children know nothing of such words, I think we’re alright!
The vista today, the view from the beach house!
And now, the Chambers Brothers, The time has come today… ‘HEY’!!!
We are at present organising our ‘Big Summer Holiday’ to Northern Cornwall. Saturday is the big day. I am reminded of our first ever big family holiday. You know, the first one when the children are children, past the final baby and toddler stages!
At the time I really enjoyed chronicling every moment of our trip along the A303 road, mid country, from the East to the South West of the country!
Not even four o’clock and ‘are we there yet’ has raised its beleaguered head. Caleb has been shouting and Thor has been saying ‘be quiet Caleb, stop shouting’, now he is shouting, ‘Caleb stop shouting’. Now I am shouting ‘Thor and Caleb stop shouting’. The others are quiet, it’s a long journey ahead. Now approaching the world heritage site, Stonehenge. This part of the A303 is notoriously slow. You have to smile at the innocence of this. Thor has just said ‘I see a small deer asleep besides the road. His leg was near the car. He was asleep’. A very observant little boy. You do realise this paragraph is going to be condensed down from our entire trip, don’t you? Thought I should say that in case you’re thinking that an awful lot is going on. A Bi-Plane has just been hovering and looping above us, very cool. Just found a lay-by and stopped for Thor, Aaliyah and Tara to have a pee in the shrubs. Just spotted Stonehenge, we’re all very excited. ‘Tara pinched me’ just came from the back seat. ‘Stonehenge, Stonehenge is coming, look, look’ Amritsar is now screaming. Aaliyah is more interested in the cows on her side however and Thor is screaming about cow poo. Sonny and Cher have just come on the music system. We play a lot of 1960’s music for the children. It just seems so much more appropriate in its innocence and optimism. Now Caleb is saying ‘I am a spaceman’ and Thor is shouting ‘Caleb hit me, Caleb hit me’. They can’t actually reach each other with Aaliyah sat happily in the middle! All is now quiet. Now Aaliyah has stuck her sticker she was given at the library visit with preschool today on her belly button and is shouting ‘look Dadda, look’. Amritsar is giggling maniacally in the back seat and tickling Tara. Alliyah and Caleb have started doing the same. Thor looks on uninterested, staring out of the window. Just spotted a mother on her knees in a lay-by cleaning off her car seat with wipes ‘There but for the grace of god go I’. ‘Own kind of music’ Cass Elliot just came on. Respect! Some of the rolling landscape either side of the road is a real treat for the eyes. Thor has just remarked about the long shadows and how it will soon be dark. Clever boy. Another several ‘are we nearly there yet’ in quick succession from Amritsar and now Thor and Aaliyah have joined in. John is bored of the music and wants ‘music to watch girls by’ and I said if there are two rubbish songs in a row, we can change music. He asked well who’s going to be the arbiter? I thought and as Thor was nodding his head I said ‘Thor can arbitrate’ and added ‘Do you like this song Thor’, he replied ‘Yes Dadda’. Hehehe. Two paraglider’s are floating past us in a nearby field, good spotting Amritsar. The last song was rubbish! We eagerly awaited the next song… ‘up, up and away in my beautiful balloon’ is playing and Thor was asked wether he liked it… a resounding yes. But then again we all secretly like it don’t we! ‘Sheep, sheep, sheep’ is all I’m hearing now. I guess we just passed some sheep. Caleb has been clutching the nappy change bag for the entire trip and keeps opening the zipper. He seemingly can’t close it so keeps screaming ‘Dadda, Dadda Help’? I’m getting a neck ache at this point with turning around so much. Out of sympathy, Thor and I are now allowing John his fix of Andy Williams as ‘Music to watch girls go by’ is now playing. The sun is preparing to set in front of us. A magnificent display of mottled cloud and the suns exhausted rays besets us, as does Gene Pitney. I’m now screaming ‘Are we there yet’? Thor has just pulled a handful of Aaliyah’s hair from her scalp. She is screaming and kicking about something completely unrelated. We can now see a Lama in a field of sheep – does this get any more surreal. Tara is shouting ‘Hello Lama, Hello Lama’. The car is at a standstill besides the Lama. They are all shouting ‘Hello Lama’. We see a statue of Buddha in the sheep and Lama field! I have just found half a bag of wipes pulled from the packet at Caleb’s feet. He is no longer the nappy bag monitor. Naughty Caleb. This half term traffic sucks. Usually things speed up once we have passed Stonehenge – but it’s been a constant crawl for the last two hours now. Thor and I have the thumbs down for the song playing, will we be swapping musical genres again? Thanks Bobby Rydell. Though Tara is now singing or whining in tune to the song! How very theatrical of her. The Mavericks are a compromise for john and I but the children have decided they all want ‘Shake, Baby, Shake’ by Lush. We are teaching them the art of compromise – they can have their song next. Just passed a restaurant called ‘The Hawk House’ hmmmm, interesting! Caleb, bless him is trying to join in with Tara and Aaliyah singing the lyrics. He’s finding it hard so he’s resorted to grunts and a sort of squealing sound… The traffic has improved vastly as we are now hitting 70mph. Are we legal, we’re going with the flow however! I don’t drive but I sympathise with those at the wheel. As slow as a tortoise for so long and now running with the hare… I spoke too soon. Back walking with the tortoise. But the children get to see a ‘Blue Tractor’ on the opposite side of the road. Sun pretty much set now and the moon is shining on my left hand side. It should be full in a few days, I hope it’s not cloudy on Monday!!! We’re talking about Lorna’s cats now, the ginger or the black. They all want the cats. Oh dear, Thor now says he smells something strange! ‘Is it coffee’ Aaliyah asks. ‘What is it, what is it’ she is now screaming. Thor looks at her calmly. ‘You don’t need to worry Aaliyah’. Thor then adds ,The moon is following us Aaliyah’. It’s dark now and I have resorted to google maps for directions. Tara is shouting ‘Hey Google’ as she is on the car speaker. To no avail, google does not reply. You have to smile and sorry if you don’t understand some of my dialogue today as i’m not sure I do either…
The loudest? Definitely Tara. The screamiest, still Thor. The most methodical, Amritsar for sure. The bossiest, Tara. The lover of animals, Aaliyah. The artist, Amritsar, followed by Thor and now Aaliyah!
On the subject of follower, Caleb for sure! The best eater – Thor! The best at sums, Amritsar, but OMG, Thor’s going to do ever so well, such NRG!
The most independent is Tara. But who says ‘I love you’ most frequently, Thor. The tightest hugs are from Tara. The most thank you’s erhem, I’d like to say then all, though I conceded, Tara, Amritsar and Thor for sure!
The messiest at mealtimes, Caleb of course. The tidiest at mealtimes, Amritsar, so precise.
The whiniest of all has to be Remus! Though Aaliyah gives him a run for the money!
The happiest of us all would have to be represented by all, Daddy and Dadda, Amritsar, Tara and Thor, not forgetting Aaliyah, Caleb, Remus and Gracie, again for sure!
Let’s now account for this moment in time…
Thor is running around our garden with his siblings, way past their bedtime, running with one of the neighbours children. Thor just opened the water pistol and held it besides his ‘winky’! Daddy just caught him in time before filling the water pistol with pee pee! Drama averted!
Welcome to my family…
And I was going to simply entitle this diary entry ‘Portrait’…
Some fine dining options this week, though I am not sure that daddy always appreciates the trouble one goes to! But isn’t that the same in every house?
Wholewheat spaghetti with clams
Salmon en-croute with petit pois a la Francaise and butter braised Jersey Royal potatoes
Lamb Filet with dauphinois and garlic green beans
Pulled braised pork, beans, potatoes and crispy cracklings
Sea Bass and Prawns, purée peas and potatoes
scallop, black pudding, peas and dauphinois
A take on a cottage pie. Beef, 3 hours braised in a tomato and onion sauce, sliced potatoes and a mountain of grated cheddar.
Just where had MiMi been hiding? Maybe 3 weeks now, Thor’s beloved bear MiMi has been missing. And not for the first time. You see, Thor likes to protect his beloved bear and on occasion will find a little snug in which to place him! The last time MiMi was found after a couple of weeks absence, in the piano stool. The time before that in daddy’s small draw of the bedside cabinet. I remember on that occasion MiMi had been missing for well over a month.
Yesterday daddy offered a one pound reward to whom ever found MiMi and this morning that offered reward really paid off! It was a very proud Amritsar who claimed the prize, having found MiMi beneath the acer bushes on the terrace in the garden!
You can see the raw emotion in today’s photos! Thor is once again whole, complete. MiMi is home 💕
Actually a better title might be the ‘Mosquito Larvae’ incident. It was Monday afternoon. I was upstairs for one reason or another. Tara comes in shouting ‘tadpoles Dadda, tadpoles’. ‘Where’ I asked, ‘the pool Dadda, the pool’. We went down to investigate.
So I am stood there looking, squinting at the partially filled pool. No tadpoles were to be seen! We have one of those 2 metre by 3 metre vinyl pools that we set up last month with the intention of filling it. But quite honestly, the weather here has been pretty rubbish thus far this summer. Daddy had filled the pool with the hosepipe a few weeks back, but for some reason he stopped at maybe 20cms, about 8 inches.
I put my glasses on and squinted some more. Suddenly I could see them wiggling about! A hundred, no a thousand, strike that, 100,000 mosquito larvae wriggling about everywhere. On my god! What were we to do! I explained to Tara that they were indeed mosquito larvae and not tadpoles! The look of shock was apparent on her face! We all remember the holiday in Provence two summers ago, where we stayed for 4 weeks and the children first enjoyed the luxury of a proper swimming pool.
This was where Aaliyah first learnt to swim, closely followed by Amritsar and Tara. Anyhow, the area was completely infested with mosquitoes! Stagnant water from an adjacent property no doubt, but the children learnt all about mosquitos on that holiday at any rate.
Back to the present and here we were looking at a potential infestation. I pulled the plug, which was several inches above the base of the vinyl bottom of the pool! The paddle pool, no doubt made in China and sadly coming with the usual one or two design flaws, had a problem! It was far too heavy to simply tip over. I had to get daddy and Tara to assist…
Much huffing and puffing and maybe 10 minutes later we finally managed to lift and empty. The stagnant, mosquito infested water was thankfully washed away as it slowly seeped into our slightly sloping garden lawn.
The possible mosquito infestation had mercifully been averted!
Do you like Chinese Food? Daddy and Dadda absolutely adore it! The thing is, the local town has a pretty ropey take away, that is probably best avoided! Okay, so if you want to eat a decent Chinese menu, the only choice is to make it from scratch! Minus the MSG of course!
Always best served with a chilled Sauvignon Blanc!
Beef and black bean sauce
Egg fried rice
Stir Fried vegetables with soy and pepper
Chinese Broccoli in oyster sauce
Just be sure you don’t leave the dogs alone in the room as you are bringing it in from the kitchen
A very happy Amritsar last night as 20 minutes before bedtime there was a surprise event! Her right small incisor finally gave way. It has been loose for some time now.
Once again there was a picture drawn for the illusive Jeanie, Amritsar’s tooth fairy to the good and righteous children of the land. Thankfully not a list of questions for her on this occasion. Daddy was grateful for that as he stole into their room at 11pm last night, in order to leave a shiny one pound coin!
I am starting to worry that sooner or later, the three little ones will start loosing theirs too! Oh dear, I’m thinking that we are going to be in for quite a bumpy ride!
As a family, these last weeks have been fairly busy! We are well into the summer holidays at this point! The sun is finally showing itself after a very overcast June and July and we have visited friends in both South Cornwall and East Devon!
The children had a great time in the Sea at Looe in Cornwall and the pool in East Devon. They all love the water, that is all, except for Caleb, our little kitten!
Photo above taken when Caleb was just 18 months old! I really reckoned he would take to the water like a duck, quack, quack! But alas, hiss, hiss, we have a little kitten…
Our main family holiday is booked for the End of August in North Cornwall, looking forward to that. But for now, we are enjoying as much outside time as we can.
Everyone relaxing today, there is talk about a pasta lunch on the terrace. I made a large volume of puttanesca yesterday for freezing, but left enough back for for a good nosh today!
Tara is presently using the anti finger sucking lotion on Aaliyah’s fingers! She’s very good like that. Aaliyah’s affliction sadly still haunts us. And no, it’s not Tabasco sauce, rather one we purchased from the pharmacy!
Yesterday was a visit to friends in Maidenhead, gay dads to 2 great children, Matt and Jeff. And they have a swimming pool in their back garden! The little people had an absolute ball, donut and dingy before pizza heaven! Plus a homemade stout cake, don’t worry, the alcohol is boiled off before baking! Jeff is quite the accomplished baker! Our last visit had Thor talking for weeks about the heavenly ‘lemon drizzle cake’!
A little video below of their watery escapades!
It seems that Instagram has taken over my online time investment! It would seem, at the expense of my diary writing!
But is Instagram a kind of visual diary?
Perhaps, but without dialogue, there is fundamentally a problem! No context I guess!
But then again, for those more popular than I, on Instagram, comments on pictures can create another sort of factor, a mini conversation!
I do love it when some of you lovely people comment on this, my blog! I thank you all for that!
And now a few recent Instagram pics, without context, just random images really!
Well, being a man of relatively few words nowadays, I have chosen to highlight another ‘Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner’.
Mind you, we have dined out thrice in these last 2 weeks or so! Fine dining in the Egyptian inspired tent at the Vineyard near Newbury amongst other gastronomic destinations that are not too far away from us in ‘The Shires’.
Always a memory of the years we holidayed on the ‘Costa del Sol’. Spanish Tortilla and Frits.
Though on this occasion, some of Dadda’s Triple cooked Chips!
A family staple of Red Shrimp Bisque, fine beans and boiled potatoes.
A Beef and Mushroom pie is always a good idea! Hold the milk or beaten egg on the pie topping. For that extra special, slightly blistered effect, brush with double cream before baking!
Spaghetti and Dadda’s meatballs are always well appreciated!
As you know, we love green beans and this dish of Lebanese green beans were an amazing side dish to Dadda’s Moroccan lamb (not pictured).
How do you serve Trout? I prefer simply.
Lamb filet with Dauphinois potatoes is worth pushing the boat out for. Though I should have used that pun on the previous Trout entry! Elevated of course with Dadda’s home made mint jelly. A condiment of pure bliss.
That’s all for now! The children are all well and today we are enjoying the garden in sunshine. There is talk about bike riding in a bit! Did I mention that both Aaliyah and Thor have started bike riding without stabilisers! Well done both of them.