Once upon a time, before I had kids, the summer holidays would mean lazy days on rest days, all day drinking sessions, and hedonistic holidays. Now I have kids and summer holidays conjure up the following emotions; stress, anxiety, anger and frustration. As a parent, you are expected to entertain your kids 24/7 and it’s […]

via Summer holidays…with kids — Gimme Strength



Gimme Strength

It’s that moment that every parent dreads before Christmas, and in our case, a birthday beforehand..

The arrival of the Smyths catalogue through the door.

In my day, the Argos book was the kids bible. Smyths is worse. It is a whole book dedicated to overpriced toys.

Poppy opens the first page and points to the first thing she see’s.

“I want that”

“What is it?”

“I dunno, but it looks good”

She flicks over to the next page featuring some large dolls….

“Ooh these little dollies look lovely”

“What are they called?”

“Erm, I dunno, the writing is in the corner”

“They’re called ‘Our generation’ dolls”

“Oh. They look like Barbies”

“Our generation” dolls are about 10 times the size of Barbies….

On to the next page….”Ooh slime. I want slime…”

I glance anxiously at The Husband. In his effort to be “ the cool dad” last year, he…

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Reading Ray Bradbury

Its suddenly occurred to me that in my want to become a writer…… well even that statement seems odd now I have typed it out. Do i want to be a writer or do I want to write? It’s occurred to me, suddenly, whilst reading up on writing and writers, that I am so busy wanting to be a writer because something inside me has a yearning for it, that I’ve suddenly realised that I don’t actually want to write a novel. I’ve not got a good story in me, no big idea, no character I want to develop, nothing. So where does that leave me? I still want to write so i guess I must just follow the advice in the books I’m reading and just keep on writing. Get my blogs down, get my ideas down, develop a daily writing practice, read and read some more, all the things that as time goes on I’m enjoying more and more.

The joy I’ve just got from having discovered Ray Bradbury and reading the Magic he creates with his words, his ability to form a sentence like I would never dream of doing, has cemented my appreciation of writing and story telling that I never got when i was growing up. Reading was always such a chore and it never appealed to me which is why this is all a bit of a surprise to me now. I’ll not rule out never writing that elusive novel, as life is full of surprises, but perhaps I should look into the journalist route and write articles or investigate something and write this up, or write about my life in previous jobs….. I’m not sure, but its clear, I’ve not really thought this through for a long while. Is that a problem? No I don’t think so. Reading as I am now, about lots of successful writers it’s apparent to me that none of them really had a plan, they just wrote because thats what they wanted to do and i should just stop making excuses and get on with writing what comes into my head. More importantly, as many writers say, just write and write for yourself, doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I may have started this blog a long time ago under the pretense that I didn’t care if anyone read it, it would remain for my eyes only if necessary, but deep down, I suppose it does bother me slightly, what people might be thinking. When you have spent your life not being very creative in the arts world, to suddenly be creating a peice of work that will be judged and have opinion cast upon it, it’s a big learning curve for me. I’m over that now though. I’m just going to put some work out there and see where it takes me. You never know, I’m always surprised by the many twists and turns life has had in store for me, and I desperately need a hobby outside of work and family and kids, something i can dive into and take myself out of reality for a while. Pre my back injury, that was training, and martial arts of all sorts, but over the past few years and all my health problems this is becoming a more and more distant memory, of another almost forgotten past.

So in tribute to my new found love of Ray Bradbury (he’s the first person to ever get me to read and love poetry by the way ) I have just poured my unconscious out here without really checking, and now without proof reading with my limited knowledge of grammar, I’m just going to publish this, and to hell with it.

Publish…… go on…. stop pretending you’re just going to do it, and do it. Press publish


…. some time later

I’ve been away haven’t I?

Ok brief post, I have another son, Kip. He’s nearly a year old! More on that in a bit!

This year will be make or break for me on a this blogging lark! I enjoy it, but like I’ve said, life is bloody busy.

In a nut shell, I’ve been diagnosed with two chronic conditions, one of which is proving to be a right git to manage, had another lovely son, moved house, been back to that dark place, got stressed and pulled my back, again, oh, and got that really bad flu that everyone seemed to get.

With all this going on I’ve had little chance to write. Plenty of life stuff to fill my minds notebook with however. Plus I’ve decided to read more, which I’m really enjoying.

Going forward I either do this or I don’t, but if I don’t then it’s going! So let’s see, no more promises. I just need to make time for it or not.

Child 3.1

My wife is currently “With Child”


I’m currently 3.1 in the child stakes, I genuinely must be mad, 4 children, really!! My wife is totally of the opinion that I don’t want another child, probably because I’ve been saying as much since poppy came thundering into our lives, with all sorts of medical pregnancy complications and the preceding 4 years and 324 days total handling nightmare that she has been, and while I love her for the independent nightmare she is, she often leaves us exhausted. Not only that, children are so very expensive, as my friend at work goes to great lengths to point out, quarter of a million pound expensive per child! The truth is of course that if you ever stopped to work out the cost of a child you would never have one, so I just must except that I’m probably never going to be able to afford that beach hut in the med and be happy with my lot.

So the wife thinks I really don’t want another child, so why didn’t I just say no? Well you can’t can you? and of course I’m not going to say no, why would I deprive the woman I love with her wish to have 2 children, no way. Why was I a little reluctant to have another. I think its the thought of the crying, and the dirty nappies, and the tiredness, and the crying and the dirty nappies, yeah mainly crying, tiredness and dirty nappies. I’m also 40, and not showing any signs of getting younger or slimmer, so that’s a contributing factor as well.

However, sitting there in the hospital, next to the woman I love at our first scan, her top pulled up and cold wet jelly applied to her belly, and what can only be described as a computer mouse type thing rolling over her tummy, providing us with our first image of the little human we have created. A black and white grainy image instantly recognised throughout the world. Its at this point that its all very real, and its at this point that its difficult to deny that once again, I am filled with immense pride, and, I am in love.

We are not quite at the 16 weeks stage, but both of us are desperate to find out what we are having. Lisa is sure its a boy as so many people have told her over the years that she will have a boy. But I hate to tell her that its definitely going to be a girl. Well I think so anyway, plus this will help with sleeping arrangements further down the line, this might just be the practical me wishing however. Lisa hates baby boys clothes anyway so what good will a boy be.

So through all the moaning and crying (on my part) I am going to be a father again, and the truth is I can’t wait, even though I just can’t ever see a time when I’m going to ever experience true, peace and quiet ever again.

Dedicated to Searching

Dedicated to Searching

Ten years served under her majesty’s crown as a prison officer, trained from day one, in the art of searching. Searching cells, rooms, open areas. Ten years of active searching, missing stuff, finding stuff, the cat and mouse game of chess, the offender with time on his hands, time to plan, scheme, plot. Then in my last year of service came the dedicated search team, the higher level of prison security search team training, taught by experts that have spent years perfecting their field of expertise. Explosive devices, weapons, adapted weapons, drugs, contraband of every description hidden in all manner of places.

I have searched in cavity’s no man should ever have to look in, searching for things you wouldn’t believe fit into those cavity’s . .

Little did I realise that in retirement from the service, in peace time, on civvie street, in my own home . . . I would need these skills again!
For I have . . . ((a daughter)) . . . and damn it, she is testing my very searching skills to the ends of her Little Tikes premium cooking creations wood kitchen and matching accessories set . . . She’s good damn it, but I won’t be beaten, I’ll find every set of car keys, earrings and mummy’s anti children medication she try’s to conceal up dollies skirts and and in between the pages of the Gruffalo . . I remain unbeaten presently but am unsure of how long this victory will hold, I simply can’t afford to lose, the thought of being stood on my doorway one morning dressed ready for work and suddenly noticing I have no car keys is too much to cope with at 6 in the morning.

Little Tykes, how could you, you’ve basically created an inmates dream, a self contained, concealment paradise without the security bolts and anti tamper head screw tops. The fridge is currently her favourite stash hole, however the microwave and dishwasher have all been used in the past to squirrel away nabbed goodies. I’m already thinking ahead to the possibility’s involved in the matching salt, pepper and spice accessory pots.

I shouldn’t moan of course, this is only the beginning I’m sure, I’ve looked around the room and realised that Little Tykes is just the training ground for the real world. My house is just a big version of all things little tykes. Boys by the way, I can cope with, I have experience of boys, I was one after all. I hid stuff, sometimes not so well. I’m reminded of 10 B&H and a green lighter, oh and a pen Knife I stuck into my bookshelf before being promptly distracted by my mates calling round for me and then running out the door and forgetting all about them. I can still hear my Dad shouting for me out the window, the sudden realisation of what I had done slowly dawning on me, before the long walk back home.

Any one with tips help or advice for the future would be greatly appreciated . . . Prison life just didn’t prepare me for this level of skulduggery!