Protected: It’s a parenting moment

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We had a busy weekend!

It started as usual with J and L going to their swimming lessons and N going to her music thingy (she’s sounding bloody good at her violin at the mo – grade 4 exam coming up in a couple of weeks).

After this we headed to Nottingham Uni to see their “Wonders” day.  It was basically lots of stuff for kids to come and look at and do.  We were hoping to meet Nicky and her boys there too (and Roger et al if they made it).  It was hot.  Very hot.  We parked up but there was no sign nor anyone to point anything out – all we saw was the Uni campus (a very nice one it should be said).  Eventually we headed somewhere – kids were whinging due to the heat and needing to eat.  We called Nicky and said where we were.  She arrived soon with M and m and we chatted for maybe 5 mins before they headed off and pointed us at somewhere some stuff was on.  Hopefully we’ll meet up again later in the afternoon.

We ended up in the pharmacy building and did experiments with sweets and star jumps and reaction times and illusions and dinosaur stuff and 3d printing and and and.

We ended up there for 2.5 hours.  By which time we had had enough (and had to get home) and Nicky et al had gone home.  And we’d seen 1 building worth of stuff.  Turns out we missed about 90% of the event.

So home with a bunch of whingy kids (still hot, hungry and wanting ice cream).

N and R had to go to a scouts thingy in Derby pretty much as soon as we got home.  J and L played with water in the garden.

And that was Satdy.

Yesterday I had my yearly enforced lie in with breakfast delivered after some apparent stresses audible from downstairs.  Still it was a lovely bacon sandwich with mushrooms.  Ta.

Then to the park to meet friends for food and chats but then we had to zoom off to sit in a different field with family and others at “The Big Lunch”.  We had to leave the first one early to get to the second one late.  Too many things!

And then L went up to a friend’s place to play in a pool.  J and N played with water bombs and such for a bit whilst we drank beer and cooked.  And then dinner with B and J from up the road.  And then it was 10 o’clock.

And I’d forgotten to call my dad.  Happy Father’s Day for yesterday pops!


Betsy Co-ed?

What a week in Wales!

On Satdy we packed up the Zafira in the morning.  Then unpacked it as there wasn’t enough space and repacked everything in the Roomster (plus a roofbox).  And then we’re off.  A 3 hour trip to the campsite.

3 hours later we arrived at the campsite only to see a “Sorry we’re full” sign.  Oh great.  This is a site you can’t pre-book for.  So that’s out for the weekend at least.  Ah well there are loads of other sites around.  Next one was a short hop along the main road.  Oh that one’s full too.  Oh look here’s the place we saw in Feb that we thought about coming to – it appears to be full.

And so were the next 4 or 5 sites we tried.  And every hotel was full.  And every B&B. And every AirBnB.  Oh bloody hell!

And of course we’re in North Wales so there’s intermittent internet (at best).  R ended up calling her dad and he found us a campsite that could “squeeze us in”.  So after about 7 hours on the road (complete with stressy moments galore) we ended up near Betws y Coed, pitching our tent in the pouring rain, on a slope.  On a site apparently owned/run by a right barmpot.  Sigh.  And that was Satdy done – no time or energy for much else once that was done.

Sunday started wet and grotty but we headed into town and poked about a bit.  Discovered there was precious little we could buy J to eat (bloomin small town cafes) and met a lovely shopkeeper who remembered us every time we went in.

Then we headed to a waterfall to have a look.  The place had a car park and we drove despite it being only a few minutes walk (we didn’t really know it was that close tbh).  As I reversed into a parking space I noted the car next to us had a “I hate speedbumps” sticker on the back.  “Tool” I thought.

Then J, in his haste to get out the car, opened his door right into the side of this, it turned out, very well kept, nice BMW.  And the man was there and came over to tell us off.  Actually he spent most of the time telling us how nicely his car was kept.

Me – “So ok then how do we deal?

Him – “Look around the car there are no dents or scratches”.

Me – I understand that; how do you want me to deal?”

Him – “I make sure I keep it nice.”

Me – “Yes ok.  Do we swap insurance? Or what?”

Him – “I don’t know. I try my best to look after the car.”


Him – “I mean look around the car; there’s no other scratches.”

Me – “AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!” [stabs him in the face with my car keys]

Eventually he understood enough to exchange details.  He’s hopefully going to get back to me with a realistic estimate for repair.  We’ll see.  No doubt he’ll send me a long text about how nice his car is instead.

Soured the mood rather a lot. Later in the evening me and R and N tried sitting outside for the evening but ended up being eaten alive so went to sit in the tent instead.  Plan to buy a BBQ tomorrow and have a fire!

The next day was better.  Me and N headed up Snowdon.  R took the wee ones to Caernarfon to the softplay place we went in Feb.  J later said he did the big red slide (that none of them would do last time) about 10 times.  Very proud of himself.

Me and N’s walk up the hill was quite a thing.  We got annoyed with teens playing music out their phones whilst walking up. Could they leave that sort of behaviour for bus journeys please?  But generally everyone was lovely.  We made it to the top and N was proper happy.  We sat in the cafe for a good 45-50 minutes and I ate a pie – a proper hot gravy-y pie.  Lovely.

As we left the cafe there was a about 12-13 year old girl and her mum having a spirited conversation about climbing the last few steps to the bollard wot marked the very top.  The young one was NOT happy.

Mum – “Come on it’s just there look.”

Girl – “I’m tired! I’m going inside.”

Mum – “But it’s just there look.”

Girl – “I don’t care I’m tired!”.

Excellent teen strop with only about 10 more steps to climb to complete the ascent.

And then down.  We’d organised with R for her to pick us up at 4.30 (after a 10am start) and we got back to the car park at 4.23.  So not a bad estimate.  The weather had been awful but any hotter would have made the day far harder.

When R came back she’d bought a BBQ and fuel so hopefully our evening would be far less buggy.  And lo it were.

Bit achy since but it’s easing well.

Tuesday was spent with the kids on the campsite, playing on the rope swing (annoyingly made too high by some teenagers) and sorting my stuff out for me to come home – leaving R and kids there ’til Friday.

And then I got the train.  Then stuck in Crewe (pron “KREE WEE”) for an hour then home to Derby just 2 minutes too late for me to get a bus home.  Didn’t fancy an hour’s wait so got a cab home.  And that was that.

Photos to come I hope (didn’t take many but did ask the rest to get some over the week)


Bridget Christie

We finally got to the end of R’s birthday presents this Satdy.

I’d bought us tickets to see the comedian Bridget Christie in Nottingham.  It was in a lovely little theatre in an arts centre at the university.  We wondered just what she’d be up to in the 30 mins we were there before the show.  Maybe walking up and down with stress and anxiety?  Or chilled with a bottle of wine on the go?

Anyway she comes on in her evening gown (well alright then jeans and t shirt) and we’re off.  It was a wonderful cathartic hour of political and gardening rants giving her audience just what they (we) wanted to hear.  I don’t think there was anyone right of centre in the audience as I didn’t see anyone walk out and I assume they would have.  I’m pretty sure she must have had heckles in some of her shows – somehow I doubt she’d struggle to express her arguments tho.

Highly recommended.


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Fat shamed?

A comedian I listen to a lot, I like her work and she sounds lovely, just sounded off on Twitter.  She’s a larger lady and apparently a cosmetic company and a cancer research charity have been “fat shaming” this week.  It seems their crimes were to publicly point out that

a: 2/3rds of the UK adult population is overweight or obese.

b: 70% of deaths have some lifestyle aspect or preventable cause about them (obviously 100% of people die but eg smoking would contribute somewhat towards an earlier death)

c: obesity is the 2nd most prevalent preventable cause of cancer there is (after smoking).

She was NOT happy. And made this known in quite florid language.

So is this “fat shaming”?

Seems not to me.  But I’m only in the “overweight” category, maybe I’m not the target audience for the “fat acceptance” movement (yes there is one).

Nothing these orgs wrote is untrue; and it doesn’t seem that how they said it was in any way accusatory (it was basically in the tone of the words I wrote above).  You could argue that Cancer Research UK’s job is to get more people to avoid cancer and information is part of the mechanism.  I was vaguely aware that weight was a risk factor for cancer but I had it much more as an issue for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  So it’s done its job of informing me that it’s a big cancer risk.  Is it “shaming” me?  No.

Is telling women to have their kids younger so they avoid a drop in fertility and an increase in Down’s risk once they’re in their 40’s ageism or sexism?  I’d say not – it’s just medicine isn’t it?  Likewise encouraging people to stop smoking isn’t “smoking shaming”.  Yes older women can have healthy babies, yes smokers can live full and sickness-free lives and fat folk do live to a ripe old age and not get diabetes or heart disease but the tendency is that certain conditions bring about certain risks.

Is the “fat acceptance” idea simply that the world should simply avoid pointing out stuff to everyone on the basis that fat people might get upset?  That’s the only thing I can see here.  Surely this just means that there’s shame already there just under the surface.  There must be at least some awareness that, on average, obesity isn’t a healthy life choice.  (And yes I do know how hard it is to lose weight and that mental health issues and certain physical issues also contribute.)  But whatever we should risk some people not getting information that could be helpful to them on the basis that some other people might get upset by hearing that information?

Living a certain way because you either have to or want to is fine.  No shame for doing so but to deny the reality of the consequences of that is ridiculous to me.

But then, I’ve never lived with people pointing and whispering or shouting “oi fatty” at me.


Elijah! We Went to See Elijah! Elijah! What did you see? Elijah! It was Elijah! Elijah you went to see! We did it was Elijah we saw. Elijah!

R sings in a choir.  She sings in a choir.  A choir.  She sings in a choir.  What does she sing in?  A choir.  Yes a choir she sings in.  She sings in, she sings in, she sings in. What does she sing in?  What does she sing in?  Sing in!  A Choir!

Last night at the Cathedral there was a choir.  The choir did perform last night.  Where did they perform? They performed at the cathedral. The cathedral?  Yes the cathedral.  What did they do there? They perform-ed.  What did this this performance entail? What did iiiitttt entail?  The performance at the catheeeedral.  Where they perforrrrrm…ed.

Well I can’t keep this up but it seems that your man Mendelssohn has no such qualms about what his audience may have to sit through, on creaky and uncomfortable wooden pews.  By heck it was repetitive.  The best analogy I can think of is being sat in front of an amazing classic painting full of wonder and invention and beauty and being made to sit there for 90 minutes when you’ve pretty much got all you’ll get out of it in say 30 minutes.

There were some great highlights in there but it could do with maybe a chase sequence and 30 minutes cut out.  And all the solos.  Dirge-like unmusical nonsense.  But there were some rousing and/or beautiful choral bits.  To give an example the second half started and 10 minutes of solid singing later they were still only about 7 lines into the lyrics.

Now R’s read this and thinks I hated it.  That’s not what I meant at all.  It was beautiful and moving and dynamic.  Just a bit repetitive.  Repetitive.


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Sing Street Inspiration

We re-watched the fillum “Sing Street” with N yesterday.  It’s a very lovely fillum set in Ireland in the ’80s when their economy was doing v badly and young folk were just upping and leaving for London.  It follows a wee teenager who tries to impress a girl by asking her to be in his band’s music video.  Problem being he’s not a musician and doesn’t have a band so when she says “yes” he has to start one.  All in all it’s wonderfully evocative of the 80s with him and his band trying out different looks and sounds all based around the last band he saw or heard on Top of the Pops or from his older brother’s record collection.

N loved it and apparently has spent today song writing just as the main man in the fillum did. So pleased she’s been moved to try her hand at this.  And a great fillum. One to watch.



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