Who knows where the time goes?

You’re so far away from me

So far I just can’t see

You’re so far away from me

You’re so far away from me, all right

So Far Away Dire Straits

Ellie

Ellie — some say Samoyed, we say home movie superstar

Only the other day my oldest niece, A, was grabbing on to my elbows and shrieking with delight and mischief, her tiny slippered feet balanced on my lumbering insteps as I walked her across the kitchen floor of my old family home. I must have looked like the Yeti. A laughing Yeti.

Or Boo Radley freed from his domestic prison and goofing around now in his bumbling way with the irrepressible Scout. Continue reading

Take a walk on the mild side, Dad

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Hacking my way like Bear Grylls on the path to parental enlightenment

You shouldn’t fight on an empty stomach, I always find, and you certainly shouldn’t go at someone when you have an empty head. Or a tired one anyway. Especially if the internet is not working and it’s your blog day!

I certainly proved that one to myself this morning. Working all weekend, woke up this Monday morning knackered, called the kids for school, and was soon embroiled in a stand-up row with my young teenage daughter.

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I’m A Nonentity, Get Me Out Of This Parenting Jungle …

bushtucker

I’ve just told Ant and Dec about my Parenting Plus course …

Okay, I do have a topic, and it’s very much parenting-related … but I’m just in the door and I’m fuming about something else entirely.

What, you ask? Well, you encounter something in human behaviour you hadn’t noticed before and you think, hmm, that’s a bit off; it happens again and you wonder, was it always like this and I just wasn’t paying attention?; you see it yet again and now and it’s obvious: the gates of civilisation are down and the barbarians are inside. Trump is only the worst of it …

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We love our dog as much as we love you

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Bella this morning resting on her cushioned throne

So if Aslan, the lion, can sing about protecting a baby in this Crazy World, why can’t a Cat sing lovingly about a dog — and mean it?

Ah now, Ted, you’ve really lost us there, you say …

Okay forget the lions and the babies, surely you knew the very first song released by Cat Stevens, nowadays Yusuf Islam, was I Love My Dog, back in the dawn of history, or 1967 to you?

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Mirror, mirror on the battle-room … bathroom … wall

cassandra mirrorIf you’ve just picked this up, please hold on a second while I compose myself. Or compose my thoughts on the riddle wrapped up in an enigma stiffed into a Russian doll hidden in a labyrinth on the outer edges of a conundrum that is my young teenage daughter’s brain, and process our latest run-in.

If you’ve just picked this up, please hold on a second while I compose myself. Or compose my thoughts on the riddle wrapped up in an enigma stiffed into a Russian doll hidden in a labyrinth on the outer edges of a conundrum that is my young teenage daughter’s brain, and process our latest run-in.
If you’ve just picked this up, please hold on a second while I compose myself. Or compose my thoughts on the riddle wrapped up in an enigma stiffed into a Russian doll hidden in a labyrinth on the outer edges of a conundrum that is my young teenage daughter’s brain, and process our latest run-in.
If you’ve just picked this up, please hold on a second while I compose myself. Or compose my thoughts on the riddle wrapped up in an enigma stiffed into a Russian doll hidden in a labyrinth on the outer edges of a conundrum that is my young teenage daughter’s brain, and process our latest run-in.
If you’ve just picked this up, please hold on a second while I compose myself. Or compose my thoughts on the riddle wrapped up in an enigma stiffed into a Russian doll hidden in a labyrinth on the outer edges of a conundrum that is my young teenage daughter’s brain, and process our latest run-in.

K had asked me the night before to call her a little earlier for school, so she could do her hair. This a lengthy and intricate process that involves hair-straighteners, clips, false starts, sighs and the occasional expletive, which we may or may not choose to ignore. Choose your battles, they say — we seem to be choosing our interventions.

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Our little boy walks to school and beyond

 

fleetwood_mac_thunder_only_happens_2So there I was performing what must have looked like some weird CPR procedure as I force-palmed a bunch of newspapers into the already brimming green bin at the side of our house. I looked up and my own heart could have done with some extra ventilation as I spotted my son O loping down the long straight stretch of path that leads to  phase one of our housing estate.

The pang in my chest felt as real as any ailment as I watched our 12-year-old, his back to me, long strawberry blond hair glistening and swaying in the low winter sun, all the way to the corner where he turned down the avenue. He was on his way to school, and beyond.

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“Get Dad, he knows”

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One boy and his dog: Bella and O chill after O’s return from school

“Where’s Bella?” asked a sleepy O, pushing his blonde mop back from still-closed eyes,  when Mom came in to call him again for school.

Mom didn’t know.

 “Get Dad, he knows …”

So, where was I just then … which of my many morning jobs was I engaged in  … maybe I was putting on Mom’s egg, and the kettle was nearly boiled for her coffee.

Hah, you see, they don’t know all the stuff work-from-home Dad is doing, especially when they are just getting themselves sorted for school and my wife for her work, until things go wrong, or something ruffles the surface of the morning school day routine in our house. Continue reading