Showing posts from June, 2013

Half-time report

Yes, it's half-time for the year, the last day of June is upon us already as time continues its ever increasing pace through another year. It seems we look forward so much to summer coming and once it gets here it flies by so quickly. Mine tends to be marked out by sporting events. It's Royal Ascot, then Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and the Open  golf. Already we are in the thick of Wimbledon and the Grand Prix is today. Once Wimbledon is over I always feel a sense of disappointment, as if the summer is passing me by faster than I can grab hold of it and enjoy it. I'd like to pretend that my little social calendar includes hob-nobbing it with the beautiful people at Ascot and Wimbledon but in fact the more realistic truth is that rather than cucumber sandwiches on the lawn it's a bag of crisps in front of the telly. I can't blame the kids for that either because I never went to any of these things even when I didn't have kids. Now I can see the advantag

New topics

I have to say I am struggling for subjects to write about at the moment. Is it a case that we have only so much writing within us and then it is all exhausted? I think through my book and my blogs I must have covered almost every subject under the sun by now. Have you, my loyal readers got any subjects you'd like me to muse on? If so, send them over. Or any questions, problems, letters, send them to me and I will answer them on here. Yes, that's real letters, not ones made up for comic effect! I have a rare day off today so shall be heading off to Oxford shortly to do a bit of clothes shopping. There's lots of bits and pieces I can't get in Bicester but hopefully that is set to change shortly. It is only two weeks to go until the glorious opening of Sainsbury right here in our town centre. I would not go so far to say that this was the fulfilment of a lifetime dream in the same way as driving an F1 car would be, but even so, it's a big deal for me! This is my

Toilet Training

Amazingly somehow I haven't touched on this subject yet so it is about time. It's one of the most difficult and frustrating parts of parenting. It is also one of those areas, like trying to get fussy toddlers to eat, where there seem to be no end of smug other parents going on about how their little cherub was out of nappies by 18 months. I also get more than a little irritated by the theory bandied about in some circles that if kids are still in nappies at 3 then the parents must be lazy. There is plenty of other more well.intended advice floating about too from people who genuinely want to help. But just as with the fussy eating, what they did with their kids is not a great deal of use to me, because every child is different. I'm at the point with Jamie who will be 3 next month where I want to get him toilet trained. But he is refusing to co-operate. I am loathe to push it as we tried that with Ollie and all it caused was a huge load of upset and screaming and cry

Snakes and Ladders

Here in Bicester, we are lucky enough to have our own old-fashioned independent toy shop. The kids love it. Not only do they stock a huge range of goods, but they also have various things for the kids to play with. For example, both my boys love the Brio style wooden train sets. They have a couple of them set up in store and they always head straight for them. Another recent addition is a large and quite realistic dinosaur. This moves about, shows it's teeth and roars! For a two year old like Jamie this is quite frightening, but Ollie being the hardened old cynical five year old he now is sees straight through it. We came away from our latest trip from the toy shop with a board game, that old classic Snakes and Ladders. Now I think this is a brilliant game for younger children to play. The rules are pretty simple to follow, even Jamie can grasp them. The outcome is completely random so anyone can win. This is quite unlike games such as Monopoly where my fiendish tactics and con

The Return Of Susie

Before kids, there were cats. I grew up with them. And there was one cat in particular who was with me for a very long time. Her name was Susie and she came to me when she was only a few weeks old back in 1991 and was a constant in my life until her death in 2004. It's easy to forget, being the family man that I am, that I have actually spent the majority of my adult life as a non-parent. The kids are a relatively recent development. I did in fact live over sixteen years as an adult after leaving home at the age of 21 until Ollie arrived when I was 37. I always wanted to have kids, and was relatively late starting a family, but bearing in mind the haphazard nature of some of my relationships during those years maybe it was just as well. Girlfriends came and went during those years, but the one constant throughout was my beloved Susie. Now I know that it sounds odd to parents, who say you cannot compare a pet to a child, but during all those years when I knew no different, Sus

Living out a dream

I've been thinking a lot about writing recently, understandably, and I have come to the conclusion that the old adage "write about what you know" is definitely one to follow. Having published one book, clearly I am thinking about what my future writing possibilities are, if any. I have toyed with the idea of writing an original novel, or play, as I've previously mentioned, but just find myself absolutely devoid of inspiration when it comes to creating original, fictitious characters. It seems I can only write about what I know - and that is the real world. I guess the closest I have come to fiction is the mooted sketch show idea I had, as previously reported in the blog entry "The Jason Ayres Television Show", but even those outrageous characters had more than a hint of my own personality in them. So my sci-fi novel seems destined never to be written. So what will be written? Well a sequel to Fortysomething Father, almost certainly. That will be the