Category Archives: Dad Stuff

A Part-Time Follower of Fashion

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in fashion.  No, I don’t mean what’s being paraded down the catwalk in Paris, Milan or wherever, I’m referring to my own appearance and what I wear.

At primary school in the 1980s, the big decision revolved around trainers – should I go with Adidas Kick or Puma Match?  As I got older, the rest of my clothes became as important as my footwear.  Memories of my high school years include a variety of Joe Bloggs and Benzini t-shirts and tops.  As a student and in my early years of work, I had the money to splash out on French Connection, Firetrap and Calvin Klein – give me a break, it was the 90s.

Not surprisingly, as I settled into married life and started to focus on my newly born kids, buying expensive new clothes was fairly low on my list of priorities.  I still liked to look the part but there was more ‘value’ in my purchases.  I didn’t spend anywhere near as much on clothes and I started buying from shops that I wouldn’t have gone near, just a few years before.  Most buys were made on the premise that I needed something, rather than just wanted it.

While that situation remains the same at the moment, over the last few weeks I’ve started to look at what’s in my wardrobe and decided that it’s time for some changes.  Some tops and t-shirts for example, have started to look a bit tired – no surprising really, when you consider that I have owned some of them since before my kids were born.  I wasn’t kidding when I talked about value.

This doesn’t mean I am about to go on a huge spending spree.  I don’t have the money for that and, even if I did, I probably wouldn’t feel too comfortable about doing so, when I could be spending it on the kids.

I have treated myself to a new tracksuit jacket and I will buy a couple of t-shirts for summer – a new pair of jeans wouldn’t go amiss either, since I don’t wear much else away from work.

I will offset any expenditure by selling some old stuff on e-bay.  I have a Christmas gift (a hooded zipper) which didn’t fit and still has the label on it.  That will go up for auction along with a pair of old school Adidas trainers that I don’t really wear and one or two other items.

This isn’t some vain attempt to keep up with the youth of today.  I’m not interested in keeping up with all the latest trends, particularly not the recent resurgence of all things 1980s.  My ‘style’ (if you can call it that) is more like a 90s student – t-shirts or hoodies, loose fitting jeans and suitably retro trainers.

I don’t there’s anything wrong with wanting to look your best, but I it will be interesting to see what my attitude is in the years ahead.  Will I still be hunting for the right pair of Nike trainers in my 50s?  Or perhaps I will eventually give in and begin to dress for my age.

I’m sure my kids will be quick to offer advice, particularly if it’s something they don’t want me to wear when I’m going somewhere with them.

As long as I don’t start borrowing clothes from my three boys when they’re older, I think I’ll be ok.





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It’s Snore Joke

I’ve had a bit of a sore throat over the last few days, possibly a touch of tonsillitis.  It hasn’t been bad but that, combined with a sniffly nose has led to me snoring in bed.  It’s not something I normally have a problem with but hey, these things happen.

Unfortunately, my darling wife wasn’t entirely understanding about the situation.  This in itself is rich considering that she snores on a fairly regular basis.  On one memorable evening I could actually hear her when I was downstairs watching TV, while she was upstairs in our bed (obviously).

Anyway, it was bad enough when she woke me at around 1am – she informed me that I was stopping her from sleeping and that she was considering going downstairs.  However, she then decided to pass the time by recording the noise I was creating on her mobile phone.  She then took great delight in playing the recording to the kids….repeatedly.  They of course found this to be hilarious and did their best impressions of their dad snoring.

Hopefully I will breathe and rest easy tonight – but if I don’t, I’m sure someone will let me know.


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Back to Work Blues

It’s been quite a few years since I was a schoolboy, but I still remember the feeling I had the night before going back after a holiday or some other extended break.

Even though I enjoyed my schooldays, on those nights I would feel a sense of dread and wish that I didn’t have to go.  After one Christmas holidays when I was at secondary school, probably around the early 1990s, my prayers were actually answered overnight – heavy snowfall meant that the school building was closed the following day.

I assumed that when I grew up – or at least when I became an adult – such emotions would fade as I would be far more mature and deal with whatever came my way.

However, life’s not like that, is it?  Tonight I return to work after more than a week of annual leave and I really can’t face it.  My job isn’t great, but it’s ok and I get on well with the people I work with.

However, after nine days of freedom, spending time with the kids and sleeping in my own bed at night, it’s a routine I could get used to.

By this time tomorrow, my time off will be a distant memory.




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Other Priorities

This will be my last post this month.  Writing has dropped down my list of priorities over the past week – my wife is suffering from a chest infection and I’m in charge of the kids.

I’m doing fine (I think) but between caring for my other half and the little ones, while still going to work, I’m shattered.  I have to admit to be really concerned for a couple of days but now, thankfully, she seems to be over the worst.  I didn’t need to be reminded, but these last few days have been yet another example of how much work my wife has to put in to look after our little monsters.

I do have a couple of new posts just about complete.  However, with my senior proof-reader feeling poorly, it will be next month before they see the light of day.

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Two Years and Counting

We’ve just returned for a short-break in south-west Scotland.  Once again we stayed in a caravan at a holiday park, much to the delight of our kids.

The weather was mixed but we made the most of the better days, being out in the fresh air as much as possible and particularly enjoying spending time at the beach.  Despite the ‘cool’ temperatures, we even enjoyed a dip in the sea.

As a result of our location, internet access wasn’t possible, meaning I couldn’t post to mark a significant birthday – this blog being two years old.

I’m still enjoying the site as much as ever and I’m finally starting to post as much as I would like – let’s hope it lasts.  Over the next twelve months I will try to write about a wide range of subjects, including my twins starting school next August.

In the meantime, thanks again to anyone who has taken the trouble to read, comment or like anything on the blog.

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All Downhill From Here?

I don’t remember being told, and I don’t remember reading anything about it…so why then does it feel like reaching 36 is such a turning point in my life?

Since my birthday in July, I have felt, well…old.  Barely a week has passed without me suffering from some form of ailment or injury.  I had a cold, then I had back trouble for the best part of a month and a couple of weeks ago I had to attend my Doctor for what turned out to be a lung infection.

On their own, any of these medical problems would be manageable to a supposedly fit and healthy guy like me.  However, these past few weeks seem to have been relentless.  The odd sniffle I can take, but when your life is dominated by a cough that never seems to stop, and the feeling of exhaustion that goes with it, it can become a bit much.

While the antibiotics I have been prescribed will hopefully do the trick for my latest ‘condition’, the back injury was arguably more of a worry: a pleasant sunny afternoon, cutting the grass in the front garden and suddenly, a pain shot right across my back.  That should be what happens to someone who is 66, not 36.  I had problems sitting and lying down for a couple of weeks and started to have visions of long-term back pain.

It’s been a frustrating time.  I have managed little in the way of exercise or taking the kids out and there’s a million and one things needing done around the house.  Hopefully the next week or two will see me return to full health and fitness and I’ll wonder what I’ve been worrying – and complaining – about.

Being unwell, even if it’s just a cold, really saps my confidence.  I really hope these last few weeks have been no more than a temporary blip, and not a sign of things to come.


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Booooo To Yahoo

Just over a year ago, I was inspired by a TV advertising campaign.  A well known internet search engine showed this commercial where a new dad set up an e-mail address for his newborn daughter.  Over the years he then sent her various messages, photos and clips, which she could then look back on in later years.

Great idea, I thought.  I therefore set up four e-mail accounts, one for each of my kids.  Over the last twelve months or so, I’ve been sending them little updates on what they were doing at that time and attaching some photos.

As well as sending messages to each of these accounts, I also have to log into each of them, every now and then, to ensure that they remain active.  However, I discovered last week that I obviously haven’t done that for a while.

I had just sent a quick note to my daughter, detailing some of what she had got up to during the school summer holidays.  I then received a message to my inbox, explaining that MM’s account had been deleted as nobody had logged into it in four months.

There was an option to reactivate the account but any previous e-mails received had already been deleted.  Although I still have copies of everything in my ‘sent’ box, I’m more than a little disappointed.

I accept that I am to blame.  I knew that I had to keep logging in to maintain each account and that I obviously haven’t done so often enough, but I feel it’s poor that I am unable to retrieve any previous documents.

I could simply start making a point of logging in once a month to ensure I avoid a repeat, but I’m not sure I want to trust Yahoo with e-mails which are so important to me.  I do have the option of paying a fee to ensure a repeat would be avoided, but why should I?

It may be that I decide to move away from recording future events electronically and revert to a more traditional method.  I could still type out messages and then print them, to make some sort of booklet.  Alternatively I could do it the old-fashioned way and write down everything in four diaries or journals.  Obviously I will need to look after said books, and ensure that they are still in good condition in 5, 10 or 15 years time.

I enjoy writing to my kids in this way, I just need to decide how I go about it from now on.

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