Sunday Mornings, Lazy Mornings

Sunday mornings should be lazy mornings, leisurely mornings. There is a feeling of time slowed right down. This morning, at least, the sun is out, its light streaming in through half closed window blinds. Or are they half open? I guess it’s a question of perspective. The dilemma of whiskey drinkers the world over.

The children are asleep. My wife being away with my fourteen year old daughter, I had a late night with my two youngest. First, my son was placated with the latest Doctor Who episode, and then his sister wanted a Marilyn Monroe night. Being a fan of the shining, doomed starlet, she has her favourite movies, but we plumped for Monkey Business, a film in which she has a lesser role. The premise of the film is silly, but that doesn’t matter when you are seeking 90 minutes of escapism.

There were many laugh out loud moments. And, of course, my lad loves monkeys.

Ginger Rogers is brilliant in it. I used to think that she was ‘just’ a dancer, rather than an actress. For someone who professes a love for old films, I can be quite ignorant. But I am au fait with Cary Grant.

So now the kids sleep in, the morning crawls by, languid minute by languid minute, and I observe its pass with a cup of coffee and silent demeanour.

My wife returns tonight: I have a house to clean.

But I have a book to read, too.


Claws for the Weekend:Fashion Faux Pas

I came across this photograph on the facebook page If The Cobblestones Were Able To Tell. The date and photographer are unknown, but it is described on the page as the ‘first women’s pants’. Don’t get too hot under the colour people-by pants us Brits mean trousers and not underwear.

First Women's pants


I have never been cool when it comes to fashion. I would wear flares when everybody else wore drainpipes, and was in drainpipes when everybody else wore flares. Much too square to be a rebel, it was more of a case of me being ignorant and naive about what was classed as ‘in’. And speaking of flares, and fitting in, just look at the size of those trousers in the photograph.

I reckon you and I could fit in just one leg. And maybe still do a little skipping.

To you who are hip, and to you who are with me, iconoclasts or not-have a great weekend.

See you on the flip side.

The Heat Is On


The heat is most definitely on.

At this moment in time, my favourite Winking Weather Girl is still in a job.

(That line has just prompted me to try out that old joke on the kids: What do you call a three-legged donkey? A wonky. What do you call a three-legged donkey with one eye? A winky wonky. Sailed right over their heads, should have saved my breath).

Anyway, yesterday a bedraggled, initially enthusiastic group consisting of my wife, my four children, a family friend and myself decided to head to Dovestones reservoir for a picnic on that most glorious of days. Finding a shaded spot beneath some trees, we unpacked the food to fill complaining, hungry mouths.

As you can see from the photographs above and below, the water level of the reservoir is quite low. Despite last year’s record rainfall, I suspect soon we will be slapped with a hosepipe ban. I must see what Winking Weather Girl has to say about that. What is a guy with a rose bush supposed to do?

2013-07-07 13.03.06

After filling bellies with food and liquid-replenishing juice, the children made the precarious trip down to the water. Unlike our recent trips to Blackpool and Southport, my two youngest decided to brave the water and paddle. Perhaps because water without waves appears much safer, and perhaps buoyed more by the encouraging and reassuring presence of their two older sisters, they went in to torment the ducks.

Meanwhile, attempting to take advantage of the absence of these ravenous young wolves, the customary, ubiquitous jackdaws appeared en masse, casting hopeful pale eyes towards abandoned bread crusts. Surely they know that eating crusts makes your feathers curl? Surely they know that I will be posting reports of their conduct to the WordPress world?

Intelligent birds though they are, I think that bottle top may pose a problem.

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After a memorable time spent in our selected spot, my two eldest daughters were keen to walk a circuit of the reservoir up in the hills. But us adults were flagging, wilting in the relentless heat of the sledgehammer sun, and decided to retreat to our air conditioned cars and call it a day.

And my two youngest children?

Sleeping kids

Now that is what, in the parenting business, come rain or sunshine, we call a result.

Claws for the Weekend:Hello Sunshine

Us British are a stoical, hardy lot.

Since time immemorial, we have made the annual pilgrimage to the coast. Or, as we Brits like to put it, the seaside. We herd the kids together, wipe the noses, control the tantrums, and head for a few challenging days by the beach. In our idealised expectations we pack the suncream, the buckets and spades, the swimming costumes. In our acknowledged realism we also take the coats, the tissues, the umbrellas.

But cast these latter items aside-it is Friday, it is July, and we have sunshine. And it is set to last.

That is my informed prediction, using the latest technology and data obtained from orbiting satellites, and also from an in-depth year long study of the behaviour of a colony of ants in my garden.

But, more importantly than that, the weather girl on the television winked at me and said “Summer’s here.” Teasing minx that she is.

So, you hear that kids-it’s here! Cheer up.

kids beach

Take your coat off Aunty Ethel. Go buy an ice cream.

photo (22)

Have a great, sun-kissed weekend everybody. Try not to get burnt.

See you on the flipside.