The Poor, Brave Soldier

The Poor, Brave Soldier

The wife when I was hallucinating…

That’s how it starts. The sudden need for your wife to soothe your brow and call you her ‘poor, brave soldier.’

Technically, it starts with the ominous shivering. “I just can’t get warm today,” I said last Saturday lunchtime. And three hours later I wrapped myself in my dressing gown, crawled into bed and pulled an extra blanket over me. Then I asked – very weakly – for another blanket.

But when the shivers and shakes start, nothing keeps you warm.

“Maybe I’ve eaten something,” I whispered. “I’ll be OK tomorrow.”

“Good,” my wife said, “Because Ben says he’s bringing Chloe round.”

What? He was finally bringing her round? No way could I meet her in this state. I had to get better… [Read more…]

Watch and Learn. And Visit A&E…

Just ordered a skateboard for a (nearly) six year old, tweeted a virtual pal of mine. This isn’t going to end well…

It’ll be fine, I reassuringly tweeted back. Unless, of course, your OH jumps on it and says, ‘Watch and learn…’

Says the voice of experience, she replied.

Sadly, she’s right. And I have the scars – and the stamps on my A&E loyalty card – to prove it.

Twenty or so years ago – the years when I didn’t fall lovingly on every pair of trousers with an ‘athletic’ waist – I played squash.

Jane and I had been living together for four days when they phoned from the sports centre. “He’s crashed his head into the wall. We think he may need to go to A&E.” [Read more…]

The Weigh-In

No. Those are not my feet. Too many years of football, alas...

No. Those are not my feet. Too many years of football, alas…

I have made one of the most stupid decisions of my life.

I have bought a new set of bathroom scales.

The old scales and I were pals. I could trust them. If you want to be pedantic they were broken. But like a broken clock is right twice a day, the bathroom scales were right whenever I stepped onto them. “Close enough,” I’d mutter, and skip cheerfully downstairs for a bacon sandwich.

But I’ve finally cracked. Yet another night of red wine, red meat and the wretched cheeseboard and I’ve stabbed my mate in the back. [Read more…]

The Six Pack Has Landed

Let me freely confess that I have been a boring old (insert four letter word of choice) over Christmas and New Year.

I have relentlessly chanted ‘first world problems’ every time my children have complained that we’ve run out of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, that there’s Caramel Chew-Chew, not Phish Food, in the freezer or – in Tom’s case – that the bottle of wine he’s finishing off tonight isn’t quite as good as the one he finished off last night.

Sadly I must also freely confess that I’m a hypocrite. As regular readers know, I like my red wine, my cheese, my dessert wine and all the other little indulgences that have me buying trousers from the athletic (alright, elastic) waist rack.

Not any more. All that is about to change – as I was pointing out to my youngest son over the dinner table. [Read more…]

Jabba the Foot

My left foot was now so big that it qualified for its own postcode.

It had started with a simple pain. My first thought was obvious. Had I dropped a bottle of wine on it? My second was less charitable. “Did you kick me in the night?” I said to my wife.

“Not this week, no. And if I wanted to kick you it would be somewhere far more painful than your foot.”

By Friday, nothing could have been more painful than my foot. And large parts of it had turned bright red.

I phoned and got an immediate appointment with my own GP. I waved cheerfully at the flying pig and hobbled painfully to the surgery. [Read more…]