Posts archive for: July, 2006
  • Under the Moon of Love

    We decided to go camping at the weekend as my two were on holiday in Spain and Sarah’s eldest had been taken “up norf” for a week by my Dad. This left us with just the two youngest and we thought that they shouldn’t miss out. Besides the tent had only been up once in the last two years and we needed to check it was ok before we go on holiday in August.

    We didn’t go far – 16 miles to be exact to the Isle of Sheppey. Sarah was told about the site by Ben’s childminder who has a caravan there. We were supposed to arrive there at about 8pm but we couldn’t find it. Eventually we were directed by the childminder and found it down the only road we hadn’t been down!!

    We (I) started putting up the tent but the ground was rock solid and we didn’t have a mallet so Sarah went off to borrow one and when she returned she said "Mud are playing tonight" and sure enough they were. The sounds of Tiger Feet were by then emanating from the clubhouse. We finished off the tent and headed over for a drink.


    They were billed as "New Mud" claimed to have two original members in the band. As far as I can work out the drummer used to be in the band after the heyday but they do have someone called Rob Davis on guitar. The original band had a guitarist called Rob Davis but whether or not this was him I don’t know. The Rob Davis from Mud became a record producer who produced hits for the likes of Kylie so would he be playing on a campsite in Sheerness?

    Unfortunately I only caught the second half of the set which included Lonely this Christmas, Dynamite, Secrets that you keep, Oh Boy etc but they seemed quite good. First time I've heard those songs live since the Theatre Royal in Newcastle in 1975.Ben kind of liked them too – he was shaking his legs about to the music. It was a bit loud inside for him so we went and sat outside the backdoor (behind the band) and listened from there.


    The weather over the weekend has been really nice and parts of me have turned a nice shade of brown. Friday night it was still nice and warm at midnight and it was pleasant to sleep in the cool tent after weeks of trying to sleep in a hot stuffy house. We went swimming and looked around the town on the Saturday and went to the “beach” at Leysdown.

    Ben was a bit confused at first but he seems to have taken to camping. He enjoyed the swimming and got all independent about it and holding onto the edge of the pool he walked all the way round and all the way back. At one point he slipped and disappeared under the water to be rescued by his dad. He was a bit shocked at first but was soon laughing again.


    On the Sunday morning I was sitting having breakfast with Ben and he was gurgling away. Suddenly I realised that it wasn’t just random gurgles – he was singing “twinkle twinkle little star”. Sarah came back and I told her – she listened and agreed that was indeed what he was doing – oooh he’s soooo clever!!

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  • This time last year....

    ....I was in exactly the same place as I am now.

    That's the first time I've been able to say that for about four years.

  • As if a wedding vow

    We went to get some paperwork signed for our wedding this morning. The Australian Notice of Intended Marriage form had to be witnessed and I needed a certifed copy of my decree absolute. We found a Notary Public in Gillingham and got him to do both.

    You'd think wouldn't you that it wouldn't take long to witness two signatures and make a copy of a piece of paper. But no we were there for 45 minutes while he did it. I had visions of him having to don special robes and say some legal mumbo jumbo over the documents before they could be handed over.

    There was plenty of legal mumbo jumbo on the back of the certified copy though for example...

    To all to whom these presents shall come I...


    In testimony whereof I have hitherto subscribed my name

    Why can't they write in English - I hope they can understand this down under!!

    And the cost!!! £70 for two signatures - wish I had listened to my Dad and become a Solicitor now. That's almost as much as the Celebrant who is actually conducting our wedding is charging us!!

  • Gottle of Geer

    When I came into work this morning I found two bottles of beer on my desk - one of our clients had sent over a couple of crates for us.


    Only problem is the name!! That was what my mummy used to call - how can I put this - my little boy part!!

    On Friday I'm doing a AGM for a brewer and that means more free beer!! Added to the beer I've got left over from Sunday's imprompu BBQ I'm doing quite well!!

  • We're only making plans for Nigel


    Nigel, the budgie who flew in through our window remains unclaimed. We've put a notice in our window and looked around the area for lost budgie signs. We've decided if he remains unclaimed by Thursday evening then we will keep him.

    Our reasoning is that to continue looking once the kids have become attached to him wouldn't be fair on them if he was claimed in say 4 weeks time. Also he's in a very small cage and if we buy a bigger one the last thing we want is to then have to hand him over.

  • All of a flutter

    We've found two dead birds in the garden this week - the cat has been eyed with suspicion but we have no proof that would stand up in court.

    However even she couldn't be blamed for what happened this evening. Sarah's youngest came running downstairs and said there's a bird in your bedroom. We dashed upstairs and sure enough there was - a yellow budgie!!


    It took some catching but it's in a old rat cage until we can find out who it belongs to or work out what to do with it.

  • Keep on running

    race for life 1

    It was race for life today in Capstone Park, Gillingham. All of the girls were meant to be running it but my two ended up going to Spain with their mother so we gave their entries to two friends.

    We set off to go to the park in what we thought was plenty time as it's only 10 minutes away but the traffic was awful and we got there just in time for the start. In fact some people were still arriving when the first runners were coming up to the finish.

    All three did really well over the three mile course - Sarah's eldest came in at around 33 minutes, her youngest 5 minutes later. Sarah, who made no secret of the fact she was planning to walk came in at around 53 minutes well ahead of the majority of the participants. All three of them beat their 2004 times.

    race for life 2

    Afterwards we ended up hosting an inpromptu barbeque at our house so I had to dash off to Tesco to get food and drink based on the fact that we didn't know how many people were coming or how much food they were bringing!! All in all it's been a very nice day.
    If you still want to sponsor them you can by clicking here


  • Keeping the aspidistra flying

    I watched the movie adaptation of the George Orwell book last night - nice to watch a whole movie. I'd read the book when I was a youngster and watching the film I was struck by a difference in attitude to it - probably because of the passing years.

    The book is about non conformity - about an advertising copywriter who drops out to write poetry. When I read it as a rebellious youth I was horrified by the fact that he sold out at the end and went back to his old job. Now 30 years later I was glad that he did.

    Now it could have been because of the way the screenplay was written or it could just be the years that have passed and instead of being an unencumbered youth I'm now a father of 5 with a mortgage to pay. Maybe I should read the book again. If I do then I might have to read my favourite Orwell book as well - Coming up for Air.

    On the subject of books I finished reading "We need to talk about Kevin" yesterday. I bought it (if the train ticket being used as a bookmark is correct) last January and read about a third of it. Then I took it out of my bag and forgot about it till Subz mentioned she was reading it. So I picked it back up again and read the rest of it. It's a really good book and I would recommend that you read it if you haven't already.

    One thing Subz hadn't warned me about was the end. I was reading it on the train and got to the station before mine with 2 pages to go. As the train pulled out I has just starting the last page. Then I read the last three sentances and THUNK! my heart was ripped to shreads and I was fighting back the tears. Thank god I was getting off the train!!

    Other news - my girls actually look like they are on their way to Spain - they have at least reached Newcastle and their Grans. I really hope it all goes well but history would suggest otherwise.

    Their school excelled itself today. They are supposed to send a copy of their reports to both me and my ex wife. An envelope arrived here this morning with two copies of the eldest's report in it. Meanwhile at the other house there were two copies of youngest daughters report. Well eldest daughter got a good one - I'll have to wait nearly three weeks to see what the youngest's is like.

    I went to the hospital yesterday to see the ENT consultant about the headaches I've been having for the past 7 or 8 years and which kept me off work for nearly two weeks earlier this year. They stuck a camera up my nose which was erm....nice!! He doesn't think it is my sinuses afterall but is sending me for a CAT scan to check them out. if it's not them then what is it?

    Oh and those pink shoes - I went into Next in Croydon today and they were in the half price sale so I bought them. At £7.49 I thought they were a bargain.


  • This morning at work

    I am troubled by two burning questions

    1) Which D*ckhead tuned the radio to Magic FM :crazy:

    2) How can I tune it to another station without anyone noticing

  • Going to be a (kind of) Grandad!!

    I've just had some really good news - someone very special to me is having a baby.

    Hanna is the daughter of a friend of mine and although she is a bit older than my girls she has always been a good friend to them. She was always there for them and me when my marriage broke up and she was also going through a bad time at home and she virtually moved in with us - she used to say I was her (kind of) Dad.

    So her and her man Matt are going to be parents - the baby is due on 5th January and I'm really happy for them. I'm sure Ben is partly to blame for being so cute and Matt did go soppy over him every time he came round.

    Oh dear I can feel myself starting to blubber - better go now!!

  • It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing

    I've not blogged much recently as we've spent the last few days stressing about a holiday. Not our holiday you understand but my ex-wifes holiday!

    A few months ago the girls told me that they were going to go to Spain with their mum and thier Gran during the summer holidays and to be honest my first reaction was "yeah right". You see my ex wife has a habit of over promising and under delivering. She also is the queen of the last minute "I'm not going" game.

    So to our suprise the holiday got booked and everything looked good - the girls were looking forward to it. Then came last weekend and my youngest daughter. She messed me about something rotten on the Friday night - I pick them up or drop them off at about 8 each week. But this night she decided to go out with her friends. She ended up getting a lift back here about 9 without her stuff and then expected me to drop everything and go and get it. She also, as it turns out hadn't told her mother she was getting a lift. When her mother started to worry where she was she phoned her. When she found out she was here all hell let loose - at me.

    Screaming down the phone at me, not letting me tell her what had happened and generally abusing me. I eventually threw the phone across the room - how I didn't break it I don't know. Anyway to cut a long story short over the next 24 hours three things happened. Youngest daughter destroyed the fitting for the bridesmaid dresses and reduced eldest daughter to tears. When I took her to task about it she burst into tears and demanded that she wanted to go to her mums - causing two more abusive phone calls from her mum and wound up her sister so much she thumped her. Eventually I took her back to her mums where she has been ever since. And finally the ex- mother in law dropped everything and drove 300 miles because she was concerned about her daughters mental state.

    So Sarah and I have spent 3 days running what if senarios. What if the ex doesn't go? What if they get to Spain and there is a huge row? What if one (probably the eldest) wants to come home. What if the ex wants to come home (she usually does)? Can the ex m-i-l cope with two teenage granddaughters for two weeks?

    We decided we needed reassurance - we were so concerned that we even looked into what legal action we could take as a last resort. Anyway we ended up inviting the ex m-i-l around to the house for a crisis meeting. It took some doing because we had to get past the ex first.

    Anyway she came round last night and we chatted for about an hour, not just about the holiday but also how the ex is ignoring our agreement generally, about her mental state including the phone call to Sarah the other day.We also discussed how we feel she favours one (youngest) daughter over the other and how that is affecting her behaviour and the way she is throwing the money she got from the divorce at them buying them ridiculous amounts of clothes etc.

    It just didin't seem to go in though - I guess she doesn't want to hear the truth about her daughter - even when our stories were backed up by eldest daughter. We felt a bit better afterwards but wished she appeared more concerned about the whole thing. Her attitude was "as long as the girls are all right" BUT THEY'RE NOT!!!

    Well maybe something did get through but only after we left. Eldest daughter asked if she could stay at her mums last night as her Gran was going back today - I said it was ok. Apparently after I dropped them both back - two hours of arguing ensued. At one point apparently my ex shouted "I'm not going to Spain" only to be told in no uncertain terms by her mother that she was!!!

    I really do hope everything is going to be ok - history would suggest otherwise but we'll have to wait and see. I can hardly go and pick the girls up from Ibiza if it all hits the fan - and that's my worry.

  • Race for life


    Sarah and the girls are running Race for Life on 23rd July - If you want to sponsor them you can do it on line by clicking here

    It's all for cancer research - a charity dear to my heart as my mum died of cancer.

    Every little helps - Go on get your debit/credit cards out!!!

    It'll give you a nice warm feeling all over!!

  • Shine on you crazy diamond

    Syd Barrett


    Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
    rode on the steel breeze.
    Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
    come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

  • The English weather

    Typical isn't it - we spend all year moaning about the weather and then when the sun finally shines all we can do is moan about how hot it is!!

    Over to Flanders & Swann

    A Song of the Weather

    January brings the snow,
    Makes your feet and fingers glow.

    February's ice and sleet
    Freeze the toes tight off your feet.

    Welcome March with wintry wind
    Would thou wert not so unkind!

    April brings the sweet spring showers,
    On and on for hours and hours.

    Farmers fear unkindly May
    Frost by night and hail by day.

    June just rains and never stops
    Thirty days and spoils the crops.

    In July the sun is hot.
    Is it shining? No, it's not.

    August, cold and dank and wet,
    Brings more rain than any yet.

    Bleak September's mist and mud
    Is enough to chill the blood.

    Then October adds a gale,
    Wind and slush and rain and hail.

    Dark November brings the fog
    Should not do it to a dog.

    Freezing wet December, then
    Bloody January again!

  • Love plus one

    Over the weekend we were stalked by Haircut 100 - everywhere we went we heard them!!

    I did have my haircut and as I've blogged before about the barbers I won't go into it again except to say that every time I go in there something triggers off my memory - this time it was about seeing the Manic Street Preachers at Reading just after Kurt Cobain died and them covering Pennyroyal Tea.

    But I digress!! The story I wanted to tell was about Haircut 100.

    I was at University in Salford when they hit the big time and we had them booked to appear in out main hall. I was involved with organising the bands and setting up for them. We'd spent the afternoon setting up and in the lull between the soundcheck and the show had headed off to a local pub for a beer. While we were in there the landlord asked us if we had anything to do with the event and we said yes. Turns out his son is a big fan, if he gave us the money would we get him a program?

    Well my friend Robin was social sec so he said no problem and heads off back to the hall, not only does he get a program he goes back stage and gets the band to sign it. He brings it back to the pub, gives it to the landlord and we all get free drinks.

    Then he hits on a plan - we take the kid to the gig - how many beers would that get us!! So he offers and the offer is accepted so we take the lad back to the venue. As soon as we get there he f*cks off and leaves the rest of us with a ten year old. We even ended up having to take him back afterwards - and did we get any more beer - did we bollocks!!

  • Pretty in pink

    We spent five hours today trailing around Bluewater without buying a single thing! The closest we came to buying anything was these


    But the above picture was sent to my style guru (eldest daughter) and she said no :(

    The reason we were there was to look for clothes for the upcoming weddings in Australia. The problem is Sarah hates wearing dresses and I hate wearing suits so we are up against it from the start!!

    I've always seen suits as a symbol of conformity - people who work in Banks wear them, Lawyers wear them etc etc. I've never been much of a conformist and I hate wearing them. Don't get me wrong I do own one and have to wear it for work sometimes but it's just not me.

    Also suits are so boring - there is one basic design with a few minor variations in clour and cut. So I end up staring at them on the off chance that there might suddenly be something new or different but there never is - very depressing.

    I did suggest that we get married wearing shorts and t-shirts but I don't think we'd get away with it. So I guess we'll have to keep looking. I saw this great suit in a magazine Sarah's sister sent us from Geelong but there was no details where I could buy one from.

    God I hate shopping for clothes and I wish I'd bought the pink trainers now!!

  • It's the same story the crow told me, it's the only one he knows

    Well that was unexpected wasn't it - losing on penalties in the quarter finals.

    Not suprised really

    We have (had) a shit Manager

    We had a shit captain

    We played like shit - 5 goals in 5 games

    And the SHIT who was supposed to win it for us get himself sent off and costs us the game.

    Bugger, bugger, bugger

    Oh well there's always the Ashes in December

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