Saturday, 29 June 2013

A Quick Break

Unfortunately One Man and a Wee Bairn will be having a rest for a couple of days due to a family death. I hope to be back in a couple of days.

Much love,


Friday, 28 June 2013

Jurassic Wee Man

There is an awful generic quality to things in England. The motorways all look the same, the service stations are all over-priced and smell strangely of urine and most of the cities look the same. Manchester looks like Leeds, Leeds like most other cities. The only exceptions for me are Newcastle, London and Bristol. The latter happens to be where we are tonight on the long journey back home after our holiday. We arrived fairly early and the options were to sit in our room for a few hours or go out and explore. So we went to the zoo.

My experiences of zoos are pretty limited. The last one I went to I was hungover and it was a cold morning in Edinburgh. I wasn't really concentrating on the animals I was just trying to keep down the breakfast I had had. Today though I'm just knackered with life but things were going well. The wee man was having fun with the giant animatronic dinosaurs and running away from the giant T-Rex. With him being totally out of sync with life he quickly lost it and had to be carried under my arm away from the park after a giant meltdown. I don't blame him though, he doesn't know if he's coming of going. As I write this he is continuing this meltdown because he has been denied his dummy. This bodes well for tonight and us all sharing a room together.

Tomorrow we'll be back in Leeds and just out of reach of home and a cheeky Australian Shiraz that's waiting for me. I don't intend to travel again for a VERY long time after all this is done. And if people want to see us they can come to us.


Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Wee Man, The Super Holiday Man

When is a beach not a beach? Seemingly when we're in Devon.We haven't had much luck with sandy beaches down in this part of the world. Either they've been beaches of boulders or like today we were rubbish with the times of the tide.

Despite arriving hoping to see golden sands we found a very high tide and a shingle beach. But we pressed on and played on what beach there was available to us. The sand was still soaking wet from the very recent retreating tide but the wee man probably had the most fun he has had this holiday playing in the wet sand, as only the wee man can. However the walk back for us was not so pleasant especially for me as I had to carry him on my shoulders with his soaking wet shorts seeping through my jumper. Lovely.

The wee man has thoroughly enjoyed his first holiday away from home and has been incredibly good both with the massive travel time and the way he has settled in various different places including the Premier Inn. I didn't at all think he was going to be this good as he's not as good as this back home. Since we have been at the cottage he has only woken once in five nights. This is pretty damn good considering he hasn't been here before, if I could bottle this and sell it I could make billions. And I mean billions.

This is also the first family trip of any real note we have been on and as expected The Chancellor and I are as just exhausted as we were before we set off. But it would take a holiday free of children on a deserted island in the South Pacific to remedy this. Maybe one day sometime in the future we won't be as tired as we are. Maybe..

Join me at the Bristol Premier Inn tomorrow won't you...


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Driving, Driving, Driving...

Driving, driving, driving, driving, driving, driving and some more driving. By the time we get home, which I hope is soon, we will probably have racked up over 1000 miles. This is absurd and there must be someone out there who is trying to invent a teleportation device so we can do away with all this tedious driving. It doesn't help that the things you're driving to are about as toddler unfriendly as you can get.

Next stop on our magical mystery tour of places people go to was a place called Clovelly. Now if you saw Clovelly you actually wonder how elderly people get down there because it's down a series of extremely steep slopes. Once you have gone down these slopes for a good twenty minutes and have nearly broken your legs you then have to traverse a cobbled beach which then tries to break your ankles. For me all this with a toddler on your shoulders. If you manage the beach you will reach a waterfall (above). The waterfall is nice but lurking at the back of your mind is the thought that you have to go back up to the top again. Big deep breath. Luckily there is a Range Rover, which charges the earth, to get you back up to the top.

Tomorrow is our last day and then we head back to see Lenny Henry for the night before driving back to Leeds for two nights then back home. But when we get home there is a great deal to sort, including house sales and a great amount of DIY. So maybe it's best to stay down here...


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Go Family Fun!

You know you've had a good day when everyone on the car ride home says they have had a good time, including me. I was going to tell you all about The Big Sheep which we went to yesterday but to be honest the place we went to today was much better. Watermouth Castle like everything else around here is a pretty long drive away and it seems to have been designed by someone with a pretty crazy imagination. It's a castle with a theme park crow barred onto the end of it. Nothing is quite what it seems though and attractions range from terrifying dungeons to a pretty fun log flume ride. Now I don't normally promote family friendly stuff on here, mainly because I don't like family friendly things, but it was definitely worth the trip and the money.

The wee man was in his element with nearly all the attractions involving water. With this in mind it was no surprise that he came back to the cottage wearing only a nappy but luckily all worn out. To be honest after today I'm pretty worn out too and no matter how many holidays I go on I always return feeling more tired than before I went. This feeling is magnified when the wee man is involved and I can't imagine having a relaxing holiday again until I'm at least in my 60s. So a long way to go then.

Never mind, there'll be plenty of time to rest when I'm dead.



Monday, 24 June 2013

Faster Horsey Faster

My mother in law's dog has long been a cause of concern for me when it's around the wee man. We were worried that with them being in close proximity for so long this would lead to problems and more than likely the wee man being knocked over or bitten.

 However the wee man has firmly been in charge this holiday chasing the dog to the point where it has been running off and hiding in its cage cowering. He even took his torment to new levels today and he tried to climb on to the back of the poor Jack Russell and ride it. Oh how the tables have turned. And I feel strangely sorry for the poor dog as the wee man never gives up and I mean never...

Anyway and on to today and we are going en mass on our first family expedition. Alas the dinosaurs will have to wait later in the week and we're off to somewhere called The Big Sheep. It describes itself as North Devon's Ewe-topia. Chortle chortle chortle. It has I hear animals and soft play and rides. Usually this would be awful but I'm on holiday so I'm a changed man. Holiday Jamie loves fun and laughter and awful puns.

Wish me luck and when I have more time I'll tell you all about it. Until then know that I'm missing the real world and a reliable internet connection.


Sunday, 23 June 2013

Out Here No One Can Hear You Scream

The tag line to the famous film Alien reads 'In space no one can hear you scream' and that's sort of what it's like out here in the deep south of England.We are pretty much in the middle of nowhere. There are a few towns dotted around but nothing that you would call civilisation, especially if you come from a city. Within said towns there isn't much going on, there are few people out and about and there is very little to do. However, down one dirt track we found something we weren't expecting to find. The Gnome Reserve. I assume this is where unwanted and unloved gnomes go to die and get weathered away by the elements. Or maybe it's just where you go and shoot gnomes. Either way this is perhaps the most random place I have ever seen and no joke this is the only thing in a radius of about thirty miles that there is to do. This is what I have to work with.

Tomorrow we hope to travel a little bit further and go to a wildlife and dinosaur park. Apparently it's like Jurassic Park but with trained dinosaurs. From what I can gleam there is a T-Rex you can stroke and feed a live sheep to. Family fun all around.

We also went to a place today call Westward Ho! The place by the way does have an exclamation mark at the end of it so you know it's going to be ace...The reality was something quite different and if you listen to the Morrissey song Everyday Is Like Sunday you will get the idea of the place. Oh and today is Sunday so makes doubly more sense.


Friday, 21 June 2013

Creeping In The Dark

Parenting can be absurd sometimes. Last night we all, for the first since the wee man was eight weeks old, slept in the same room. Because of the wee man's early bed time all of us got into bed at eight o'clock. Eight o'clock! I haven't had an early bed time like this for a long time and it really cramped my style, that's if I have any style at all to be cramped.

The wee man happily, after the odd cry, went down quickly which is more than can be said for us. I lay awake for a couple of hours reading The Guardian's Joy of Six hiding under the duvet and even took to creeping around the room looking for things to keep me entertained in the darkness. This by the way is easier said than done and there aren't that many things to do in the dark except creep, though that itself is quite fun.

In the end what I thought was going to be dreadful was in fact bearable and we all got something resembling sleep but I wouldn't want to make this a regular thing. The sleep came against the backdrop of noisy guests and car alarms going off which disturbed us more than the wee man. At least we only have to do this one more time and that's on the way back up in a week's time.

So we go onward today further into the deep south and according to our map we descend into nothingness or more appropriately fields. I'm not one for the country so this is all very different for me. Will we get out alive or will we get eaten by cows? I miss the north...


Everything's Premier...

Welcome to Bristol. Or the outskirts of Bristol. If you read yesterday you'll be pleased to know we have made it to our Premier Inn, where 'Everything's premier but the price'. And I've got to say it really is including the blond employee who just knocked on the door leading The Chancellor to comment that she was attractive. Oh aye. I'm not saying anything however but we may have to go and find said employee and ask important questions about Premier Inn terms and conditions...In fact we almost didn't make it here as I put the wrong postcode in for the print out we have brought with us. It was taking us the wrong side of Bristol until we saw the hotel in the distance and had to a massive u-turn a few miles away. Well done Jamie.

Anyway so we have made it 200+ miles and I have to say the wee man was really quite excellent. He slept for the first 100 miles then got a bit hot and bothered for the second 100 miles only to be placated by Thomas The Tank Engine and bad food and dummies and juice. Some cracking parenting going on here. Though I must say it doesn't matter how you shut them up if you're driving on a four lane motorway with heavy traffic you need to shut them up.

How he'll sleep with us all in the same room is anyone's guess but I hope to God with another 150 miles to go tomorrow we will all get at least a few hours. By the time I blog tomorrow we will be in the badlands/deep south of England where I'm imagining a slower pace of life than that of the outskirts of Birmingham which we had to traverse today.

Right off to find that employee...


Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Death Of A Small Forrest

How many sheets of computer print outs (from the AA route finder) does it take to plan a trip? Well to be honest more than you would imagine, probably equates to a small tree, a Crab Apple perhaps or an Ornamental Maple. Either way far too many sheets of paper. Another question for you, how many laptops does it take to print said directions? Well 2 today, don't ask why or I'll be here all day and I'm trying to cook dinner and stop the wee man from climbing the stairs at the same time as writing this.

So no travelling was done today as we decided to stay in Leeds and do leg two of the trip tomorrow. And it's the big one tomorrow, Leeds to Bristol. So I needed some rest today and we pottered around seeing friends and visiting places I used to hang around when I was a kid. The local park for instance was a great hangout for me as a teenager though it's probably best not to tell the wee man this is where I used to smoke and do other things far too dreadful to speak of again. He might never look at me the same way. So instead I told him about my primary school, which we visited, and told him of a time when life was simpler and I was a good boy. This seems better than the alternative but less plausible.

And quickly back to tomorrow and the thing I'm most excited about and I thought you should know about is the prospect of our Premier Inn family room which is just a big room with a cot. The wee man goes to bed at seven so this will mean we have to go to bed at seven, or we can just lie on the bed with our eyes open perfectly still for a couple of hours then go to sleep. I will let you know, fair readers, of our success or probably failure.



Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Wolfgang Amadeus Wee Man

First off today a baby Centre blog for you to read. It's quite apt for what happened today as leg one of our mammoth journey is done. Though it wasn't as nice as I had hoped, after some winging the wee man slept for less than hour then woke up and cried for the rest of the way. This bodes not so well for the rest of the trip. It doesn't help that the temperature is horrendously high in a black car. Not to worry, I'll just buy lots of booze for the evenings.

So we have made it to stop one (my parents' place) and the only thing the wee man has wanted to do is play the piano they have here. So we lifted the lid for him and he periodically hit some keys and walked off. However as we sat in the lounge he went all quiet, which is never a good sign, and then this was followed by the sound of him moving things then the piano again.I slipped my head around the door to find that he had pulled out the piano stool and was sitting happily hitting the keys.

His climbing has reached new levels recently with dining room chairs being no obstacle for him, though I was impressed he had the forethought to pull out the stool before clambering up and playing. This shows remarkable genius I think, however I am heavily biased and if he shows a real aptitude for this I will tour his talents around Europe where I hope I can make loads of money out of him. Who needs a job when you have a child prodigy.


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Calm Before The Storm

The bags are partially packed, the car isn't sorted, the house is a mess and we're not mentally prepared. That pretty sums up every trip away we as a family have taken and it's how the world looks for right now. As ever I'm expecting the obligatory argument with The Chancellor about how she bimbles about or takes forever to do everything and we'll eventually pack ourselves like sardines into the car and head off.

Tomorrow we go on holiday and already we are so tired by thought of it that we would happily sleep for a thousand years...oh wait that's just because we're parents. But it works for the holiday thing too. To remind you Newcastle to Devon. Don't despair dear reader as I've been promised Wi-Fi so there will be no lull in the blogging. I could see you getting worried there.

I envy the wee man as he has no idea what's about to happen and can just sit and watch Mr Tumble on his brand spanking new travel DVD player. I however will be labouring through the wastelands of the midlands and I will probably get stuck on/in/around Spaghetti Junction. That is unless I win Euro Millions tonight and I can send someone down who looks a bit like me in my place. £122 million could buy me someone who nearly looks like me or buy me a helicopter.

So wish us bon voyage on leg one of our trip and I will see you all somewhere down south, that's if The Chancellor haven't killed each other first.


Monday, 17 June 2013

Ringo Starr To The Rescue

There was a time I can distinctly remember when DVDs didn't exist. When they did come out they and their players were so expensive only a Russian oligarch could afford them. Now they are a dime a dozen. This week we embark on our Tolkienesque journey south for a summer holiday in Devon. Devon is a long way from Newcastle, a LONG way. Sigh.

Anyway to combat boredom for the wee man I went to buy a portable DVD player today and selection of DVDs. By the way a portable player costs less than a bag of apples now. Anyway included in said list are great shows such as Mr Tumble and Tinga Tinga. However I also got Wile E. Coyote and The Best of Thomas The Tank Engine. The Loony Toons stuff is for me as they're ace but the wee man is a long time admirer of Thomas The Tank Engine and now loves me more than ever since I have bought him a DVD of the show. Easily pleased.

However I was slightly perturbed as once I installed the car part of the device the whole thing looked like some dreadful brain washing device, with there being nowhere to look for the wee man apart from straight ahead to the device. If you've ever read Plato and the analogy of the cave then you might see a similarity between the two. Scary stuff. Anyway as long as it shuts him up during peak moment of driving frustration then that's all that matters.


Sunday, 16 June 2013

A Day For A Father

Father's day has come and almost gone. It might be a cynical ploy by card companies to generate more revenue but while my son is young I want to enjoy said day while he still cares about me. When he hits the teenage years I suspect I will barely get a conversation out of him let alone a card telling me how much he loves me. Today though he gave me something much greater than a card and bottle of booze, today he gave me the gift of sleep.

It wasn't just me he let sleep but The Chancellor benefited from his generosity too. After an evening yesterday of pretty rubbish constipation he collapsed, worn out, and slept from seven in the evening all the way through until half past nine this morning. I really do love my son very much you know... I stirred and glanced across to my phone and was pleasantly surprised that the wee man had been so kind. He even needed poking in the head to be woken up, why he doesn't do this more often is anyone's guess.

I managed to speak to my own father this morning and apologise for being an awful son, he though is much more cynical about the whole thing than I am but that won't stop me passing on a bottle of something down when we are there next. I dare say in the future I will be receiving a call similar to the one I made this morning, hopefully by the time this comes around I will be bored of the whole thing and not care.

So happy Father's Day to all fathers out there and while I'm being all sentimental I can say there is nothing better than being a dad...but sleeping for ten hours comes close.


Saturday, 15 June 2013

Father's Day Eve

Tomorrow is Father's Day. The second most important day of the year after my birthday... "Yay" I can hear you say. I can also hear you say, though less loudly, "Jamie you so deserve a day of pampering and limited childcare duties". Try telling The Chancellor this. In all the madness that's going on at the moment I made a bit of an error this year and I forgot to send my own father something, even a card. I'm a bad son aren't I? That was rhetorical by the way before you all start telling me that I am and making me feel guilty.

Last year the wee man took his fake ID and went to buy me Game of Thrones season 1. This was an impressive thing to do especially as he was only 7 or so months old at the time. With money being as it is this year I'm not expecting season 2 though if it appears on the kitchen table tomorrow though I won't be turning it away. Hint hint. Plus the wee man has much more personal wealth than both The Chancellor and I have combined so I'm sure he can afford it. It's a strange thing to be on the receiving end of Father's Day after so many years of buying novelty cards and booze for my father. It still doesn't seem quite right that I'm the father expecting my children to lavish me with gifts, praise and an afternoon of peace and quiet with the paper. I'm not expecting this either tomorrow.

When I think of Father's Day, I think of old men, golf balls and Jeremy Clarkson DVDs and as I hate the guy with a passion this doesn't seem like something I can prescribe to, also I'm not old. But despite all this I am a dad no matter my age or political affiliations, so I say to the wee man "Indulge me, at least for one day of the year".



Friday, 14 June 2013


First off today there is an extra Baby Centre Blog to share with you. Interesting story this week and one to have a quick think about.

Anyway onto more important things and you'll be pleased to know that I made it home last night. I did not as I had worried about end up in Middlesbrough. And in a stoke of luck I managed to get a lift back rather than attempt to board and travel on a train. In the state I was heading towards this probably was for the best. I had indulged in such fine beers as Sheepshagger's Gold and Dognobbler which were just two of 119 on offer.

The danger was that I didn't drink massive amounts I just mixed my drinks all night (as you would imagine) and the beers were all of a strong percentage. Skull Splitter for example was 8% and Blackout was 11%. So it came as no surprise to me, when I awoke with the wee man poking me in the face, that I had a hideous headache and one that took at least half a day to disappear. The wee man though has been kind to my toils today and has been in a cracking mood so not all is bad. However an early night is in order after the laborious bedroom routine is over and the sooner that can happen the better.

This can't happen for the wee man's godfather though (who was there last night) as he had to travel to Australia first thing and he stayed later than me last night. Unlucky.



Thursday, 13 June 2013

When Dads Go Drinking Part 4

A Bridge.
Tonight I along with some dads are going to a beer festival. Though this isn't just any beer festival it's the Corbridge Beer Festival. It's the M&S of beer festivals. If you are not au fait with Corbridge then it's fair to say that it's a pretty wealthy place and everything there is all very lovely and horsey. Country set. There you go, that's all you need to know.

The Chancellor is also going out, though she's going to Gateshead which is somewhat different to every every way. Anyway we've decided to give the wee man his first night home alone, we think he's old enough now. He knows not to watch certain channels after eleven o'clock and my best booze has been locked away in a cupboard...Only joking...before you pick up the phone and call social services. As much as I would trust our toddler son to not throw a party or set fire to our home, a babysitter has been called and arranged.

I, due to the proximity or rather lack of proximity, of Corbridge from Newcastle, have to get a train back tonight. After a night at a beer festival and especially at one as prestigious as Corbridge's, I worry that I may end up falling asleep and wake up in Middlesbrough and no offence to people from Middlesbrough but it's not a place you want to end up in sober let alone drunk. So I must remain with some compos mentis and get off at the right stop. The Chancellor won't be too happy if I don't make it home at all and I dare say neither will I. I'll let you know tomorrow.


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

On The Lookout For White Whales In Newcastle

Good afternoon. As it's Wednesday there is a Baby Centre blog for you to read, that's if you haven't read it already? Maybe? Probably not. Anyway go to If you have any advice on other words to say to your children other than 'no' then I'm all ears.

So onto today and you can now 'call me Ishmael'. Moby Dick ranks in my top five favourite books ever. So it came as a surprise that the wee man and I were able to play Moby Dick today on a wooden boat in a park round the corner. What are the chances of that? I think as well we were the only ones playing such a game.

It also came as a bit of a surprise that this boat had a harpoon launcher on the back of it. I'm not sure what Greenpeace would think of this but luckily whales aren't particularly common in Newcastle (*insert your own joke here* I'm not lowering myself to that). Also I would imagine that Health and Safety would probably claim this to be dangerous, fake harpoon launcher in a play area? You could take an eye out with that.

Anyway, so the wee man sat up front playing the role of Ahab looking out for the whale and I played the roles of Ishmael and Queequeg (the harpooner). I can honestly say I haven't had so much fun in a long time. I'm not sure the wee man knew what I was wittering on about but he just enjoyed turning the wheel. I'll miss moments like this when I return to work, mainly because they're great fun and also because their great bonding moments. They're moments that just happen spontaneously, to use a quote slightly out of context 'It is not down on any map, true places never are'. Works in my head anyway.



Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Criminality Of Peter Rabbit

I was going to write about something that happened today but something as I sit here has caught my interest.

The wee man is watching, on children's TV, a new version of Peter Rabbit, which by the way has an awful theme song. Peter Rabbit  has of course been a favourite of children for years but if you get away from the fuzzy bunnies you realise that Peter and his friends are thieves. Dirty stinking thieves. All they need is a balaclava and a 'swag' bag.

But despite their thievery ways they are seen as heroes and are the goodies. In an age of austerity Mr McGregor is a farmer trying to make a living and those bloody rabbits come back again and again to eat his livelihood. If I was Mr McGregor I would be investing in sentry guns and a better builder who will build me better pens for my crops and maybe a bird of prey.

If you watch children's TV regularly you quickly notice that all the shows are essentially the same and are promoting the same values. Be good to your friends, don't be selfish, always respect your elders, never fart in public etc etc etc. What we're going to end up having though is a world full of kids who are all goody-two-shoes. No one wants that do they? Who would you knowingly judge your child against eh? You've all said it (delete as applicable) "He/She is much worse than our lovely son/daughter so we can feel better."

Now I'm not saying that we need to suddenly create a load of children's TV where the characters run a muck being public nuisances while smoking Malboro Reds and drinking White Lighting. But the shows we watch are beginning to grate on me. One show on in the morning is called Everything's Rosie and is awful, just awful. There are time I shout at the TV saying "EVERTHING'S NOT F***ING ROSIE!!!" It is also the owner of perhaps the worst and most annoying theme song in the history of TV and stays in your head ALL DAY! Both me and The Chancellor spend days singing it until the point where we would be happy to strangle each other just for silence. Where's the 'Off' button?



Monday, 10 June 2013

Half Man, Half Biscuit

Sad times here at HQ, after a couple of weeks of indulging in an excitable if a little half hearted exercise regime I weighed myself this morning. What I discovered was that instead of loosing all the weight put on by cooked breakfasts and all those biscuits eaten during coffee mornings, I have actually put on weight. Damn.

I won't divulge what my new weight is but I am already intending to go for a run as soon as The Chancellor is home from work. Have I turned into a half man half biscuit combination? Maybe it should be half man half bacon sandwich. The Chancellor is wonderfully diplomatic about the whole thing while she stares at my belly as I struggle to get into all my trousers. "You'll be fine after a couple of runs." or "What did you expect would happen?"

In truth the wee man eats better than we do and especially me. I have gotten into a bad state of affairs with boredom eating, a sandwich here, bag of crisps there. You could make that a few sandwiches here, a giant block of cheese there. Either way it all leads to the same place, and that's me standing on the scales wondering what happened. I am still slim on my legs and arms but mt stomach bears the brunt of my eating. Exercise, exercise, exercise. It is now mandatory here at HQ. I hope other stay at home parents have had the same experiences, though I'm not saying I hope you're know what I mean...

One other thing to look at while I have you is this Mentioned and included is One Man along with other bigger and better daddy bloggers so they're worth a read too.


Sunday, 9 June 2013

When Dads Go Drinking Part 3

I've just hit my fourth wave or maybe my fifth, I can't quite tell. I hit my pillow at around 2 am and the wee man decided to wake me up at 6:20 am. You do the maths. As it's The Chancellor's day for a sleep in, up I got still drunk from the night before and quickly that sickening feeling rose from my stomach and it took a couple of fried eggs to push it back down again. After I fed the wee man I collapsed on the sofa under a rug and let him watch as much TV as he wanted as long as he didn't make any loud noises. 

As a group of dads we lasted a couple of hours longer that previous attempts and I think I drunk more than I had done too. Good manly discussions were had by all even if as the night progressed they became less and less coherent. We parted ways somewhere in the wee hours but I don't really remember getting home, always the way. 

Today after a morning planting a hedge The Chancellor felt it would aid my recuperation to go for a long walk. It's the thought that counts I suppose. I needed to down a bottle of Fanta just to summon up the energy to get out of the car. Bad times. Having got home all I want to do is go to bed and hope by the morning things have improved. Some of the other dads are today doing a six mile run, I dare say they may well feel the effects of last night. The silver lining is I don't have to run so I suppose there's always someone worse off than you. 


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Daylight Robbery, Wee Man Style

The wee man was on good form today and why shouldn't he be when the weather is as good as it has been.This morning The Chancellor took him to visit his little friends while I painted. Luckily for her there were no half eaten sausage rolls on view to tempt him.

On her return we went to meet up with some of our friends in the local park. The wee man took it upon himself to eat nearly a whole punnet of strawberries that our friends had kindly brought with them and at least three blueberry muffins. He then ran around chatting to other picnickers, while trying to steal food and scurried away, in our friend's pushchair, a toy stolen form another child. All this done with a big smile. Neither The Chancellor nor I had actually seen him steal this toy so his cat burglary skills are obviously very impressive. I'm sure if I put him out on the street he could pocket me a considerable amount of money, Oliver style.

After a day in the sun The Chancellor now looks like a prized lobster and is feeling very sorry for herself. Poor genes. The wee man and myself however are bronzed Gods. Excellent genes. Over the years when the Chancellor and I have traveled we've had to go with tube upon tube of after sun and sun cream. Before any activities can be enjoyed factor 50 has to be applied liberally which always takes a considerable amount time. Many a holiday I have waited patiently as she prepares her translucent skin for the sun and even then she burns. Poor old Chancellor.



Friday, 7 June 2013

Captain Wee Man And The Nudists

To counteract an awful morning that I don't want to talk about, the wee man and I headed an hour or so north to perhaps one of the nicest beaches I've ever visited. On days like today, staying indoors should be made illegal but alas I'm not in charge, yet.

So the wee man dug holes, filled our hold-all with sand and ran off enticed by a couple sun bathing in the nude behind a blue screen. I didn't realise they were in the buff at first but at the glimpse of a white bum I quickly pulled the wee man away. But the seed of interest had already been sowed. Luckily though for all of us he was quickly distracted by sea weed and a boat. In any case though I would have blamed the nudists for making such an appealing point of interest. And if you want to sunbathe nude on a public beach you must be prepared for toddlers, dogs and decently dressed people to spot what you're doing.

After multiple trips around the sands and into an actually warm sea the wee man was so wiped on the drive home that he almost instantly fell asleep drooling on his own arm. A pleasant sight indeed.

As the weekend approaches I have painting to look forward to, obviously this gets me very excited as you can imagine. The wee man is being taken out by The Chancellor to see his little friends tomorrow morning as he would be far too intrigued by the paint and brushes. I think I may have the better part of the deal here, The Chancellor can find a way to deal with probably tantrums.


Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Half Eaten Sausage Roll Incident

Blugh. There you go, an apt word or sound for today. Well not all the day mainly just the afternoon.

The wee man can be like a dog with a bone. Sometimes he gets obsessed with something and when he doesn't get his own way he will have one of his famous meltdowns. Recently he's been saving these meltdowns for when we're around friends making it even more uncomfortable and embarrassing for me.

Today the meltdown was about something as absurd as a half eaten sausage roll that someone had left on a park bench. I pulled him away once telling him that civilised people don't eat food left in the park. But back he went on multiple occasions and back I went to pull him away. Cue meltdown which included the classic lying on the floor and banging your hands and feet on the ground. He decided that crying about everything in life was a reasonable thing to do and continued for a good ten minutes. When I didn't give him enough attention he ran off and wouldn't stop when I asked him to. If swearing didn't put readers off, this blog may include numerous expletives. Again, blugh.

When one of the toddlers in our group has a wee man-esque meltdown the other children just look at the child in question with a face that say "What the hell are you doing?"  It's not just the wee man in our group who likes a whinge but it seems that you will get at least one from him per meet up. We will definitely be excommunicated soon and I plead with the other children to take up the mantle for the next meet up.


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

When Were You Last Bored?

Children don't generally give you moments of peace. If a calm moment does present itself for parents then it should be indulged in, it should be reveled in and it should be treated with the utmost respect. People who don't have kids don't realise how good they've got it, this isn't their fault, it's just how things are. People who get sleep and people who have time to be bored make me jealous. I can't remember when I was last bored, for that matter I bet out of the parents I know and who read this blog I bet they've haven't experienced boredom recently.

We are lucky at the moment. The wee man does so much running around during the day that when he hits his cot he, more often than not, is asleep within minutes. So our evenings are sacred and I try my best to do nothing more than sit and watch mind numbing TV (at the moment box sets of 24). I try not to write and, even though I must at the moment, I can't bring myself to paint. Some nights, if I still have the energy to do so, I may read or write some of my book but concentrating longer than ten minutes is difficult. And as soon as I'm in bed I'm almost asleep. Again I bet this is similar to every other parent. If I could go back in time and give a pre-child me one piece of advice it would be enjoy every moment of boredom and every moment of snoozing I possibly could.

Tonight I am tired and writing this blog has taken me an hour mainly because I'm too tired already to concentrate on the simplest words and grammatical nuances. After I eat I will collapse and probably fall asleep on the sofa. Once, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away I was quite cool and vaguely rock and roll. And now? Well I'm just a rock.
Also today there is a slice of Baby Centre excitement and fun for you. If you go to you will find a blog about parenting guides and the dangers they can sometime pose. It's an interesting subject and if you feel like commenting on it with your opinion then please go ahead.


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Hello? Is There Anybody in There?

Last week I wrote a blog about the wee man having and his love of the house phone. Today he took his phone interaction to a new level. When I shower in the morning I let the wee man roam between a couple of rooms, if I shut the living room door I can usually see what he's up to.

As I showered today I heard a voice that made me pop my head out from behind the shower curtain. At first all I could hear was "...Can you find your dad? Can you find your dad?" As you would imagine if you thought there was no one in the house and a voice is heard that isn't coming from the TV or the wee man you might get freaked out slightly. Being easily confused by life I decided to investigate. As I leapt out of the shower to see what was going on I found the wee man standing with the phone in his hand with the loudspeaker on. "Hello Jamie are you there?" The wee man was very excited to be standing with the phone in hand and noise coming from it, as you would imagine.

The Chancellor it turns out had called home and the wee man being a smart monkey decided to answer the phone for me. He then apparently said "Hiya, hi, hiya." and then babbled some more. On the other end The Chancellor was just left to say "Hiya, where's your daddy? Can you find your daddy?" Turning the loudspeaker on must have been a stroke of luck or maybe he is much smarter than we think he is. Either way the next person to call may get a shock and then he will probably hang up on them. Sorry if this happens to you...


Monday, 3 June 2013


Let me introduce you to Claude. Despite his almost Demonic look Claude is the wee man's best friend. He sleeps with him, nibbles him and uses him for relaxation (not in an adult way I would like to say before any of you go to the dark place). To all intents and purposes he's the wee man's life partner. Today was wash day for Claude. Now, you have to put some thought into wash day because the wee man won't sleep without his furry sidekick.

As soon as the wee man woke from his daily nap today it was straight into the washing machine for the rabbit as he was starting to smell a bit. The wee man never seems bothered by the smell of the rabbit and finds it a source of great amusement when he makes us smell Claude. The Chancellor and I both make a face and noise denoting that it smells and the wee man giggles and does it again. The rabbit generally does smell.

If we lost Claude or forgot Claude for a trip away I'm not sure what the wee man would do, but I would imagine it would involve me driving home, no matter where we were, or running out to find the nearest stockists of Claude the rabbit. All this would be happening with a panic stricken wee man and panic stricken parents. It's not worth the risk so we always say as we leave for anywhere "Do we have Claude?"

I too am quite fond of Claude and he is really is an addition to the family. It will be a sad day when his head falls off or more likely when he is discarded into the toy box. For now though the wee man loves him and he is by far the most valuable thing in the house.


Sunday, 2 June 2013

Operation Move House In A Month

Things that have been done today-

  • Cracks in the walls filled in.
  • One room painted.
  • Garden done after seven hours digging.

Operation 'Move House In a Month' is well under way. Luckily we have had help from various family members but The Chancellor and I are feeling much better about the state of the house though there is a long way to go yet. The wee man has been helping too in his own special way, mainly with brushing things up and trying to escape out the back gate. He managed this as you would imagine he would and he ran off down the back alley. Fortunately The Chancellor managed to stop him but he had made it half way down the alley. 

Once she had successfully caught him he tried again and again and after his mum said "No!" he fell to the floor and had a meltdown, again as you would imagine. I came home from a trip to Homebase to find him giving The Chancellor a pretty hard time, poor old Chancellor.

But stage one is done and and that's something off the immense jobs list to do. Tonight I'm allowed a drink or a few drinks or a big bottle of something. Last night I went to a wedding and couldn't drink as I was driving so I need to make up for that.



Saturday, 1 June 2013

An Auntie's Prerogative

Today we welcome the very excellent Olivia Flint to One Man and a Wee Bairn. Her guest blog is about life as an auntie. Despite not yet having kids herself she has seen what they can do to the fragile mindset of parents and because of this she now wants to savour every moment of sleep she can...

I have the pleasure and privilege of being Auntie to a gorgeous nephew who's nearly 3 and a stunning niece who's just over 4 months. It is a double pleasure spending time with the family because my brother married my best friend and hanging out with them is always special, fun and eye-opening, to the joys and the heartaches of being a parent…
…And the tiredness. The best thing I've found about being an Auntie is that you get to have a rest in between visits. Not that I don't love playing trains, rockets and Fireman Sam very much and always miss my time there as soon as I leave, but you've got to appreciate the sleep that eludes my brother and best friend the majority of the time. Up with my niece until they go to bed and then up with my nephew, if not during the night then at 6am when he wanders down to their room and is ready to play, they are in a permanent state of needing a nap, if not a 48 hour doze.
I've been told you get used to it and I imagine it's different when it's your own children, although I love my nephew and niece more than anything, but it's a tiring day thinking of things to do with them, finding them meals they like to eat (not quite so difficult with the 4-month old... yet), using up their energy (which also uses up yours) and coping with their moods, as well as your own.
There's little time for personal space or your own thoughts when you're a stay-at-home parent of two, or even one. They require entertaining and looking after constantly and, as a parent, you've signed up to that for a good few years. As an Auntie, you're signed up to occupying and taking care of them as often as possible, but also the odd lie-in and recharging your batteries when your body seems to be collapsing on you.
I admire and praise all parents who look after children, either continuously throughout the day or when they get home from work. You must be shattered, but I bet it's worth it. One day I hope to find out what it's like to not go home at the end of the day. But I'm making the most of the breaks while I can