Birthday Blog

My daughter bought be a 3 foot Darth Vader for my birthday. It’s in my man cave. On it is a tag that reads ‘you’re my father.’

Lucky I am.

(You see. And I didn’t even mention ‘I felt your presents/ presence.)

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Swash mi Buckles. Garrrrrrrrrrrr!

Hmmm. Garrr.

My daughter dressed up for her school ‘pirate’ day.
We have had environment (green) day and sports day, which I both fully endorse…but..

PIRATES?

Why? What will this teach her?
That pillaging and plundering for a living is good?
That yo ho ho is the proper way to laugh?
What the word ‘skulduggery’ means.
That pantaloons are making a comeback?
That ransacking and looting is a genuine career choice?
That having an eye or leg missing is no bad thing?
That crocodiles tick?
That Captain Phillips had it all wrong?
That having parrots stapled to your shoulder is a good idea (beautiful plumage the Norweigan Blue)
Who needs milk when you can have rum?
That timbers shiver?
That lubbing land is bad?

How is this improving her education? Are pirates good role models? I mean they never have them dressing up as say a bureaucrat, or theatre critic or TV chef or politician…. actually, come to think of it….

A pirates life for me, a pirates life for me….

Normality does not suck.

For Fathers Day I had the choice of
what to do.

I chose to drive to the seaside, watch My daughter’s donkey ride, share a paddle with her in the sub-zero North Sea, lose at the arcade machines, have my arm mangled and half eaten on the ghost train (not by a werewolf, but by my 5 year old girl), eat ice cream despite the windchill, over eat my fish and chip dinner, sing loudly on the way back home after nailing eye spy for half an hour. Heaven.
Normality is heaven.

It is.
I promise.
(Though sometimes only bad news make us ever really appreciate that.)

So to all the Dads, happy Father’s Day.
To all the mums, thanks for making our day even more special.
To all our kids, never stop hanging off our necks (we like it really.)

And to all those who may not have seen their dad’s today because they are no longer with us, remember something good about them and say a toast.

My mug of tea and smoke later will be for you pops.

Now…got some sand to get out of my toes.

An Englishman’s Castle

Who needs an iPad. A Nintendo wii or puu. Xbox 360. Ps4… Who needs TV. Home cinema. Blu-ray?

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All you need are a few boxes, sticky tape, packing polystyrene and half an imagination.
And a five year old really helps as an excuse (pictured.)

They say an Englishman’s home is his castle. I say whatever it is, is should be a place of play! (Children optional.)

Death and Disney – a shocking list!

Disney films – go straight for the heart of kids and parents’ darkest fears. Though they are mainly kids films it surprises me to think of how many of them have orphans or children estranged / lost from their parents as a theme. Check out this list. Its from the top of my head so, there may be inaccuracies or omissions. Feel free to add or correct me in comments.

Here’s a quick, and by no means exhaustive list:

Anna and Elsa – Frozen (orphaned)

Bambi (Mum dead, Dad posing in the woods)Nemo – Finding Nemo (lost)

Dumbo (Separated from Mum (gets me evreytime!))

Simba – Lion King (Dad dead)

Peter Pan (Lost boy, no parents)

Tarzan (Orphaned and raised by monkeys)

Mowgli – Jungle Book (orphaned and brought up by bankers)

Aristocats (No Dad)

Snow white (Evil stepmother)

Cinderella (Evil stepmother)

Sleeping Beauty (Put into sleep and taken far away from family),

Rapunzel (Stolen by witch)

Belle (No mother, Dad kidnapped)

Pinocchio (No parents and an insect for a conscience.)

101 Dalmations (Stolen from parents)

Little Mermaid (No mum)

Oliver (Orphaned)

Penny – Rescuers (Orphaned)

Tod – Fox and Hound – (Orphaned)

 

I know, I know it isn’t all Disney – Harry Potter, Despicable Me, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The list goes on and on…..

Death of a friend

Dying is about the person.
Death is about everyone else.

It is 15 years since I lost my Dad.

Whenever I look back, it is with fondness. Great memories of holding onto his stubbly chin for a shoulder ride. How he always smelled of creosote or just plain old outside. How he used to do a 14 hour shift then fall asleep reading me and my sister a bedtime story. How he could build a shed in an afternoon and still have a bit of wood (and time) left over to help me make a crossbow to fire Mum’s clothes pegs at the neighbours windows. He’d even fetch me the pegs.

I can remember near the end, when he was fighting to stay around to see the cherry blossom. Prolific this time of year.
Whenever I see it I think of him.
How he fought, his breathing machine rattling on for one more breath. His family rattling alongside him through the dark, painful, destroying hours where we clung onto him as he dwindled away. Where we fought to stay awake, to hear his next breath; to make sure he did not die alone in the dark.

Like I said, Cherry blossom is prolific. It brightens up our world for a few days then fades away. We remember the vivid colours it shouts into spring, not the brown, desiccated remnants that lie on the floor then disappear on the breeze.

Though cherry blossom saddens me, just a little, the colours and joys prevail. Like death and life I suppose.

Like father like son.