Sunday, 8 July 2007

I have done it again. It was Mrs B birthday recently and so we had a quiet night in with a few friends.

It was a work night.

We drank (I don't know how many but at least) 8 bottle between 5 of us and ended up playing a stupid board game which revealed that I am a gossip, my mate was not enjoying himself (he left shortly afterwards) one of our guests had a thing about her bum etc. It was all bit bit out of hand really.

The next day at work was bad.

I was mildly hung over having stuck to one kind of alcohol, but I did feel rough.

I fessed up to one of my colleagues and she told me that "Well you do look shit" (she calls a spade a spade), would you like me to put some blusher on you to help?" She was not joking and in fact was reaching for her bag!!

I looked at her moderately made-up face and noticed that the slap she was wearing was not the glittery kind - Was I wavering?

"No thanks", I replied, "my make-up days are long gone"

Chew on that.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Cars and Music

Last Friday Mrs B decided to visit her mate in nearby Roughton. When she returned to the car it had been hit by a truck driver and quite badly smacked-up. Drivable, but illegal. Fortunately, the folk round here are honest and the driver had left a note on the windscreen (thank you!) to say who he was etc.

So on Friday afternoon I spent ages trying to sort it out with my insurance company. A hire car was organised and delivered on Saturday morning, and the repairing garage was to contact me. They didn't. So on Tuesday I rang my insurers to chase them up. I was put through to the motor claims dept and onto hold while they looked for my file. While I was on hold they kindly played me some music as most places do these days. The claims dept of a large motor insurance company decided that it would be a good choice to play something by "The Cars" and what better choice than their best known song "Who's Going To Drive You Home?".

Whose idea was this? For me it was inspired, but had the circumstances be a bit different, it could have been quite offensive.

Of course I told loads of people about this hilarity and was out done. One of my colleagues told me of a time when his secretary had to go into hospital to have a diseased kidney removed. On her return to the ward, she was just in time for a meal. What did they choose to serve this patient? Yes, you guessed it steak and kidney pie!!

Friday, 11 May 2007


How has #1 managed to become so plummy?

The other day I was giving him a lift to the school bus on my way to work.

Me - Would you like to go to school today, or (trying to make it sound exciting)would you like to come to work with me instead?

#1 - School

Me- So you like school now then?

#1 - No, but given the choice between comming to work with you and sitting in a corner being quiet while you go into stupid meetings OR (big breath) going to school, I think I should rather go to school.

Me -Oh (laughing)

#1 - Why are you laaafing at me!!!

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Sales Pitch

Credit where it's due, Ms Ms' recent post reminded me of this so I thought I'd share it.

Several months ago

The phone rings - It is tea time so I grab it first in case it's a sales call. I like to have fun with them, Mrs Boris just tells them to F off which I always think is such a waste.

Scouse Voice - Hello sir we are in your area and wondered if you would be interested in any replacement windows or doors?

Me - We don't have any windows thanks.

SV - How about a new door then?

Me - We don't have any doors.

SV - (Curious by now and perturbed) Where do you live then?

Me - In a cave.

SV - (Well off script now) So, how come you don't have doors and windows then?

Me - I just told you I live in a cave.

SV - So, no door then?

Me - No.

SV - Well, what do you have then?

Me - (Now I'm wondering where this will go) Well it's a cave, so just an entrace really.

SV - Would you like a porch on that?

Me - Thanks mate you've made my night. Good bye.

SV - You too, bye

So remember, all interactions with others can be fun if you let them be.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Mine are not so bad after all

Just read a blog on confessions of a psychotherapist about things one can do now which one wasn't allowed to do as a child which got me thinking about some of the stuff I did as a small child about the same age as my oldest child is now.

Firstly, I used to walk to and from school mostly by myself in those carefree days. I don't think my parents ever thought I was in any danger, or maybe they were just hopeful that some day I really would be taken. Anyway, it meant freedom of expression for me for 10 mins in the morning and 20 minutes in the afternoon (I ran in the morning to avoid being late).

One afternoon, on the way home I stopped at the shop and bought a drink, some crisps and some sweets. As I walked I stuffed my face with the solids and then as a car approached in the oncomming direction, I took a quick swig of drink and, as the car drew level, I pretended to be sick in the gutter. I had sufficient "spice" (yorkshire term) to do this to most of the cars all the way home - remember this was 35 years ago and there were few cars around. Great fun and a valuable practice for later in life as a pizza fueled drunk.

On another occasion, I walked all the way home with one eye shut. This was as an experiment to see (no pun intended) what it would be like to only have one eye. A new kid in school had just arrived and he had glasses AND an eye patch over one eye. I assumed he only had one eye and wondered at the waste of glass in his spectacles. I now kniow, he did infact have two eyes and one was patched to correct a "lazy" eye.

Anyway it was fun walking home with one eye shut and getting lots of sympathetic looks from passers by. The interesting thing about it was that if you only have one eye, people think that you can't see at all and that you are also deaf. As in blatent staring and comments which I could hear like "Oooh look at that poor little boy with only one eye".

So now as a dad myself I can see that my two are just fine really, so it's upto me to work harder at messing them up.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007


It was boy #1 's birthday recently, why do we have to have all his wretched mates round, I can't wait til they are old enough to get out to the pub or something. Mind you, they might be OK by then. But now, my God what a set.

There's ****** who I shall call Gollum. He can be relied on want "NEED" any other toy which is being played with by another child. To the point where Gollum can't actually play with any of his hoard as his legs are buckling under the weight of it all. I actually heard him say " they are all mine" in a shrill and disturbing voice.

Then they is ****** who I shall call Pushit. What ever you say he can't do, then that is what he will do. I caught him with a large full water pistol in the kids room. Yes I know it sounds petty, but would you like to get into a wet bed? And this is after he had been told it was an OUTSIDE toy. "Can I just squirt it in the bath then?" Get real, like I'm going to let that happen.

Next up is ****** who I shall call Baby. Yes he's the one who cries to get his way. He cries so easily you almost dare not speak to him. But although it undoubtedly works at home, it won't work with me. He can just cry himself dry. And rally what is the big deal? So someone sat in his place - So?

Finally we have **** who I shall call Whiner. God he is hard work. Loud, unruley, pushy, a bad looser AND a bad winner (dreadful combination). To cap it off, he smells. How does a seven year old get to smell so bad? Don't they wash him?

I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

I can understand why so many parents just don't entertain at home for their kids. No, they ship them off to kiddy world for some hydrogenated fats and a sugar rush, then send 'em back home to mum and dad.

Next year I will suggest a much more select guest list, or perhaps a themed party. Mary Keller springs to mind for some reason.


Bloody Students

Firstly, this is not the obvious post about students in a pub sharing a packet of crisps all night. No, this is a more serious matter for anyone who reads this (I think that's just the two of us then). I refer to the recent phenomenon of students somehow morphing into consumers.

Anyone who teaches will I am sure be familiar with this and those who don't will just have to make the best of it - sorry.

So, there seems to have been a shift in the student community in all areas of FE. At one time, they signed up for the course, either did the the work or didn't do the work, passed or failed and that was the end of it.

Now they sign up PAY THE FEES and then expect to pass the course without any further effort on their behalf at all. Just turning up seems to be optional.

Are we just selecting students on the basis of whether they can pay or not? What happened to having a proper interview to determine how badly they wanted to do the course and learn the content? If they would even bother to turn up?

The module descriptions are clear enough and the students know that a little or a lot of home study is required, according to the nature of the course, but still they piss about and don't listen to the simplest of instruction or bother to even try to understand their part in the learning experience.

When they then fail or are in clear danger of failing, they whinge like fuck that the reason they have failed is the quality of the teaching, the quality of the course materials, their dyslexia, their learning style was not catered for - anything except acknowledging that they were too lazy to actually do the work.

They may as well be honest and just say I should have passed because I PAID!

Well guess what, it doesn't work like that. You have to work too.

Anyone considering doing an FE course and thinking they will pass because they have paid really needs to have a re-think. There is no value in a qualification like that. Anyone can buy one and it becomes a meaningless bit of paper.

You might as well just frame the receipt.


Sunday, 4 March 2007

Sunday Afternoon

I am on my own. That is to say that Mrs B is out and I am at home with #1 and #2. They don't really count as company as they are not adult enough to form reasoned arguments as to why they should only be responsible for getting stuff out and I should be responsible for putting said stuff away.

In the absence of Mrs B, I have made them tidy up some toys. Yes, it felt good acting like my own dad for a while. But then I remembered why I don't speak to my Dad so I have decided to join in with their game which seems to consist mainly of fighting each other.

I don't mind this as I feel that the practice will come in handy as they get older and venture away from Sleepy Hollow, and I could do with the practice too.

Amazing how, with a well timed push, a three year old can send a seven year old flying. This is very "martial arts" style and I am impressed with #2. I tell him and he tries it on me, Judas.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Sick kids

My kids have not been rude for a couple of days. They have been sick. Chesty cough, sore throat, vomiting etc.

Now Mrs B has also succumbed, leaving me Holding the Fort.

This is the problem. When I was growing up, in our house, if you were ill, you were left alone except for the bare minimum of care eg a stale sandwich and a glass of water every so often. Only if hospitalisation was required would any further attention be given.

When Mrs B was growing up, if you were ill, you were lavished with attention. Tucked-up in bed, special food, constant checks of the forehead for a temperature etc.

Sooooo, when I am ill (hardly ever as there is no secondary gain) Mrs B mothers me - which I hate. When Mrs B is ill I ignore her - which she hates.

Right now I should be able to do my own thing with all other members of the household being ignored unless in danger of imminent death, but no I am up and down like a yo yo fetching and carrying and making soothing noises as best I can (which I hate as I feel like a hypocrite).

Why can't everyone be normal like me? Life would be so much easier.


Monday, 26 February 2007

The Weekend

Worked later than usual on Friday so was home at about 6:00pm. We were supposed to be going to a PTA event, which I was NOT looking forward to, but the missus insisted we go. So imagine my relief when she announced that we were not going to the PTA, but instead I would be taking her out for a nice meal.

We live in Sleepy Hollow, but the agreed venue was in nearby Sleepier Hollow (where the local inbreds live). So off we go and arrive at said eatery only to be told there would be a wait of at least 40 minutes for a table. Too long. Back in the car to Sleepy Hollow and to another possible troughing site. Sorry, but our kitchen exploded today, so we aren't doing food tonight. FUCK. One last attempt, then there would be no alternative but down to the local Tesco for a "Finest" and back home to the microwave.

We are in luck the Italian can accommodate us! Had a nice meal (but way overpriced - one of the problems of living in Sleepy Hollow where the average income is in excess of £50 per week). People we knew were on the next table so more nice chitty chatting.

By now the missus had had a couple of wines (bottles not glasses) and fancied a swift pint in a local pub. Again we found ourselves wandering round town and finally settled on a new pub - ie it's been there for 7 years but we haven't been in yet.

Oh my GOD, the place is full of our mates, a fab night ensues and I eventually for home and let the missus stay out a bit longer with an old girl friend who now lives hundreds of miles away and was here on a flying visit to her parents.

Why did I go home? Well, I was running a weekend workshop so had to be a little bit sensible and had I been really sensible I would have spent the evening preparing my notes and getting an early night instead of going out on the razz.

I often teach in a local college, but as part of a team. But this was MY show and the delegates were paying good money (very good money actually).

Anyway, some how it went well on the Saturday so only Sunday to go and chance for an early night. So I get home on Saturday evening and 5:30ish, breakfast things still on the table and no wife or kids. Rang her mate and yes she's there, "Why don't you come round?, the kids are just about to eat". OK,

So off I trot round to theirs and end up eating greasy fish and chips (well I am a northerner) and drinking a bottle of red wine (a refined northerner) then home to bed with no revision again.

Make it through Sundays workshop. Where the hell is this weekend going? Get home. Breakfast things still on the table (two days worth now) and I really CAN'T ignor it anymore so spend the next hour clearing up in the kitchen. But I get my own back by leaving the now clean pans on the draining board. Funny how she can live with dirty pots and pans on every surface, but can't stand to see clean ones left to drain!

Moved Away Friend from Saturday turns up at 7 and has brought a bottle of wine for us three to share over dinner which I cook. That's ok, nice sociable evening ensues. NO out comes the second bottle she brought, and this time it's not wine, it's gin.

MAF is a heavy drinker, I have rarely seen her sober. She smokes - a lot. We go out into the back yard and the very cold northern air, and end up staying out getting drunker - I may have even had a cig or two but really can't remember that well. Would love to regale you of the details of our nattering, but can't remember that either. I hope I did not make a tit of myself. What a disgrace. pissed-up three nights in a row, and all work nights.

Monday morning - payback. Some thing has been in the room overnight while we slept. I think it was Gus. For those who don't know, Gus is the party gorilla, and he comes into your room after a party and throws your clothes around jumps up and down on you and shits in your mouth.

I have to work again this morning, so I take some paracetamol, and pretend to be OK. I make it though the day.

Then I remember, I am supposed to be on a diet. My diet does not allow chips, fried fish, pizza, wine, gin, or in fact ANYTHING I have eaten since and including Friday night. I have an appointment with my naturpath tomorrow and she will KNOW what I have done. I will feel bad.

I will never drink again.


Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Val Day

Woke up this morning to a cup of tea in bed from She Who Must Be Obeyed. How nice. "Get your shower and come down" she says. There on the landing is a trail of red and pink paper hearts leading to my place at the kitchen table.

I let her stew for a while until she just had to ask "Well, where's mine?" Sorry love I forgot I lied. She gave me one of her looks, I left for work and waited for her.

At 9:10 right on cue she rings me "thank you for the card and flowers darling - you bastard".

Yes reader(s), I had left them on her desk at work.

Why do we play such games with each other?

Because we can.

Love you loads darling.


Monday, 12 February 2007

Rude Kids 2

So far so good. #1 has been behaving impeccably for the past day or so. We have half term this week so I'm planning a treat for him, either the flix or a trip to the railway museum (it's worth pointing out at this stage that I would like to go to the flix, HE would prefer the railway museum). Anyway, tonight he asked really nicely for things and when offered things he did not want, politely declined.


The bad news is my experiment did not work. No, I did try for a few hours, really I did. Then I read Ms Ms' comment, slapped him with a wet fish (hard, as advised) and he's been great ever since.

Thanks for the free psychotherapy, shall I bring round my clippers?


PS. Isn't it great when the one day of the year we get snow, the schools all close so townie 4x4 school run drivers can't even use that as an excuse. Sorry for any offence, of course I know you REALLY do need your SUV.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Rude Kids

My oldest son aged 6 is being so rude to us. He won't willingly say please or thankyou or any of the other niceties that make the world go round. However, he still expects his mug parents to do everything for him. I can't believe that he acts this way at school.

Anyway we had a chat tonight about it and have decided to tell him that we will not tolerate this anymore. He will be told that there will be a period of grace for him to get used to the idea of being polite. So if he forgets to say please we will gently remind him, but after that he is on his own and if he forgets to say please then tough - he won't get whatever he wanted. Unless of course he forgot to say please can I have bath! (about as likely as the Pope converting to Islam).

Other peoples kids in my house will get the same treatment. I don't care what their parents think (I blame them anyway). The rot stops right here, so any 6 year olds thinking of visiting us - think on.

NB The 3 year old figured this out 12 months ago. He always says please because he knows it works.


Monday, 5 February 2007


Well it's 200 years since the abolition of slavery. I'm sorry what planet was that then?

I am getting really pissed off with the whole slavery thing. Every day I hear something about it. Yesterday it was some guy saying slavery should be on the school history(!) curriculum, today its on the front cover of my National Trust mag. As if it's history. Let me tell you it isn't history, it is still going on and that's why I'm bothered about it. The attitude and the general feeling in the UK and probably most of the developed world is that slavery is long gone. Oh yes and it wasn't really us anyway, it was other Africans who caught the slaves for us so that's OK then. As if.

In many parts of the world children are still being sold - yes sold - into slavery. Of course it's not called that. No, this is an opportunity for the youngster! But try leaving. Then there is indentured labour, slavery by another name. By the time you've paid for your food, accommodation and medical care you owe the employer. You can never work it off. Maybe your kids will have to take on the debt too.

But all that is nothing to do with us right? Wrong! Often the clothes we wear, the food we eat and tea and coffee we drink are produced by what is little more than slave labour. Multi-nationals don't openly condone these practices, but by refusing to pay decent rates for the goods WE want, they effectively encourage these practices. How else could you make a tee shirt for 2p other than not paying the person who makes it?

Then again, how far do you need to go to find these practices? The Indian subcontinent? S.E. Asia? Africa? Or maybe closer to home. Morecambe Bay perhaps, your local red light area or maybe the kid next door.

No, sadly slavery is alive and well, what we all should do is be aware of it, buy ethically when ever we can and shout long and loud when we come accross it.


Days with the kids

Had a grand weekend. The weather was just fab. Cold, but still and sunny. On Saturday we went up onto the local moor and trekked about five miles with my two small kids, the missus and another couple with their two kids. We took our own food which we ate sitting on a rock in the early spring sunshine. At the top is an ancient stone circle, which I think can tell you when the spring equinox is by lining up with the sun rise. Anyway how nice to be up there and it reminded me how privileged we are. When we got home we made nachos and drank wine. A near perfect day.

On Sunday, we went to Fountains Abbey which was also good, but sadly the food is overpriced and poor quality. Why is it that something as basic as making a decent sandwich is beyond so many catering establishments? Surely they should be better than me as they get more practice? But no. So to compensate, I made Sunday diner when we got home to take away the nasty taste of cheap ham and stodgy bread.