Pass the Port, Dad

Used to have one of these...

Used to have one of these…

I may be the stupidest person on the planet.

At least as far as wine is concerned.

Friday. Two boxes arrive from my good pals at Naked Wines. 18 bottles plus assorted goodies. I lovingly unpack the little beauties and then put them back in the boxes so I can unpack them again.

Saturday. Tom comes home from university. [Read more…]

The Closest I’ll Ever Come…

Sorry. A picture of my eyes would have been too horrific...

Sorry. A picture of my eyes would have been too horrific…

“You have chemical burns to your corneas. Both of them.” The news was delivered in an engaging Greek accent. Doctor George (second name too long for his badge) was from Athens. And he was going to irrigate my eyes.

They hadn’t improved over the weekend. On Monday I’d stumbled into the GP’s. Ten minutes later I was in a taxi to A&E.

“Chemical burns? So my eyes wouldn’t have washed it out?”


“So I could suffer permanent damage?”

“If I don’t irrigate your eyes, yes.”

I was too frightened to ask the next question. [Read more…]

Blind Date

A&ESaturday morning. And to paraphrase Gilbert and Sullivan, I was the very model of a modern husband. Cleaned the bathroom, flea-sprayed the carpets, taken my wife shopping.

“Hang on,” I said, somewhere between dishcloths and dog food, “I’ve got something in my eye. Wait a second. It’ll wash itself out.”

Except it didn’t. The pain – in both my eyes – got steadily worse. [Read more…]

The Omelette

photo (16)“There’s good news and bad news.” I said to my wife.

“Have you brought me a cup of tea?”


“Well,” she said sleepily, “That’s the good news. What’s the bad news?”

“Er… no,” I said. “The good news is I’ve made an omelette.”

“It’s eight-thirty on Saturday morning. I don’t want an omelette. You eat it.” She sat up and looked at me suspiciously. “You’re being stupid aren’t you? Tell me what’s really happened.”

I took a deep breath. [Read more…]

The Bedroom Compost Bin

Banana SkinsI have a feeling I may regret this post.

After twenty odd years of marriage I should know better. But that’s the problem with writers. They have to express their feelings. Even if there’s a price to pay. Which there will be…

Jane was away for the night: just Ben and me at home. I always feel under pressure when my wife is away. The house needs to be tidy when she comes home. But I don’t feel the house needs to be tidy when she’s at home. I don’t think you need a psychologist to work that one out… [Read more…]

Manners Maketh Men. And Husbands…

Good MannersMuch as it may amaze my teenage children I was once attractive to women. (“What did their guide dogs think of you, Dad?”)

Yep, I had girlfriends before I married Jane. And very occasionally I’ll bump into one of them. And after about five minutes of the conversation they’ll sigh nostalgically…

No, not about me.

“Ah,” they’ll say lovingly, “Your Dad was such a gentleman. He was so lovely.” [Read more…]

The Perfect Bacon Sandwich

About two minutes' worth if you're a 16 year old boy...

About two minutes’ worth if you’re a 16 year old boy…

I’ve been a Dad for 21 years – in that time I’ve tried to give my children the benefit of my accumulated knowledge and wisdom. And now it’s time to share it with the world.

There’s one subject on which I am an absolute authority. Blogging? Well yes, surely the invitation to become Professor of Blogging and Social Media Sciences at one of our leading universities must be in the post by now. But there’s one more subject where I excel: where my children have had the chance to learn at the feet – or more correctly, the grill – of a master. [Read more…]

Should I Kiss my Sons?

photo (13)Sorry about this, but I’m going to have a rant. I know this blog is supposed to be light-hearted; five minutes mild amusement in the middle of a stressful day and all that. But I need to have a rant.

And the rant is about kissing. Specifically, men kissing their sons.

I went into town on Saturday. Popped in to Ben before I went. Quietly, obviously. Can’t disturb a man when he’s killing aliens. “See you later,” I said. “Just going into town.” And I bent down and kissed the top of his head. “Love you lots,” I said and went. [Read more…]

In Praise of Scabs

My wife eventually decided this was the best medicine...

My wife eventually decided this was the best medicine…

Let’s start off with the good news. My wife can still eat. She can still focus on the X-Factor. Her ankles seem to be working.

That’s pretty much where it ends. She doesn’t feel well. Coming down with something: head, shoulders, back, stomach… They all ache.

Of course, I am the very embodiment of the solicitous carer. I flutter back and forth with cups of tea, painkillers and those pillows you whack in the microwave and then wrap round your neck.

But there’s nothing I can do about her knee. [Read more…]

On Dating. Or Not…

Old fashioned phoneScene: The Hall. Lounge and dining room opening off. Mid 70’s/early 80’s décor. A bookcase largely filled with Reader’s Digest editions. An atlas. The Bible. An encyclopaedia. There is a telephone table with a two-tone grey telephone. On a shelf underneath are a phone directory and a three inch thick Yellow Pages.

A boy enters. He is 14 or 15. He wears a mustard polo-neck and brown corduroy trousers. He looks around furtively. Unbeknown to him his father is listening in the lounge. His mother is in the dining room – also listening. Nervously he picks up the phone. He puts it down. He counts to three. Grabs the phone: rapidly dials a number. [Read more…]