I’m well aware that coffee is no real substitute for genuine sleep. But when a decent stretch of sleep isn’t on offer, due to my baby son teething / having a cold / being hungry / doing a secret experiment on how long sleep-deprived parents can last before losing the plot, coffee is a great plan B.
Here’s a piece I wrote for Western Morning News, published on April 1st (that’s important). In it I explain how the fates have conspired to make me a middle-aged Billy Elliot…
My son’s superhero of choice is Spider-Man. I’d like to say that the obsession with blue and red spandex-clad fella is driving me up the wall, but it’s my son who’s doing the climbing in our house.
There are very few people who can pull of a singlet unitard. It didn’t take me long to discover I wasn’t one of them.
I’m a little bit bored of celebrities jumping on the bandwagon and releasing children’s books. Actually bored doesn’t quite cover it. I feel the glut of actors, actresses, singers and presenters using their fame to dominate the world of children’s literature is actively unhelpful. They’re all at it, Fearne Cotton, Miranda Hart, David Baddiel… the list really is endless
“They told us Brexit would be a piece of cake – the trouble is eating cake isn’t always great for diabetics”
Why is dancing in public the only part of life where people just aren’t allowed to say no? I’m going to let you into a little secret, a lot of people (of whom I may be one) don’t like parties, weddings and the like. They see them as necessary evils, somewhere they need to show their face and endure the goings on for as long as is seemly, before slipping away quietly. There is nothing, NOTHING wrong with this approach to life. It is totally valid.
The word ‘like’ is one of comparison. It suggests that one thing is similar to, but not the same as, another. Yes, we all know that, but it’s important to state at this juncture. For some reason, however, the word ‘like’ has replaced ‘erm’ for many as an unconscious way of punctuating sentences.
As such – and my English teacher would be proud of me for this – we’re living in a world of similes.
Now, I’m sure there’s a fair number of you queuing up to label me an overly sensitive snowflake. Fair enough, but I’m serious here. We, as a society, seem to have lost something. We’ve allowed ‘niceness’ to become a negative trait; something to be purged from our systems in case it shows up as weakness. “Show me a nice person and I’ll show you a pushover” is beginning to feel like the pervasive motto. I realised, standing outside that department store, waiting for in vain for my turn to enter, that I really miss niceness.
Can we have it back please?
As Father’s Day arrives, too many of us are worrying about the superficial: “What can I buy for the man who has everything?” Let’s face it, it’s usually socks. Such clutter is placed in ‘that’ drawer with a multitude of similar gifts from down the years.
Instead of token items for dad, wouldn’t it be great if this year we could talk more openly about the role of fathers within our society?
The day of the distant dad has passed – so let’s celebrate the 21st century father.