Saturday, 31 July 2010

The legend lives on

I've never at any stage in my life been regarded by anyone who knows me as "happening."

And, if something is happening, it's normally been happening for a considerable period of time before I know anything about it.

Take Chinese lanterns. When someone mentioned Chinese lanterns to me during last weekend's annual camping trip, I immediately pictured those little lights that I've seen kids in other countries carry on the end of poles during community parades.

But I was wrong.

Because Chinese lanterns (as you probably already know) are big papery devices with candles inside which, when lit, fill up with hot air and float high into the sky and often for distances of several miles whilst everybody below claps.

They've been popular in Asia (funnily enough) for many years where releasing them at ceremonies is thought to bring good luck and prosperity.

However, they're now becoming increasing common sights over here - hence them being "happening" - prompting waves of protest from grumpy farmers (have you ever met a non-grumpy farmer?)

For whilst they might look pretty, they can can cause injury or death if eaten by animals when they come back to earth.

They can also be a serious fire hazard if they land on rubbish, fields of standing crops or barns.

So, with all of this in mind, surely the obvious thing for my beloved brother-in-law Dagenham Dave to do was to buy a pack of 50 for use in our child-ridden camp site, completely surrounded by dry fields, farm animals and barns.

It's just as well he appeared to be in such firm control throughout.

Friday, 30 July 2010

A quick thought before bedtime

I'm just about to turn in but, en route, thought I'd have a quick check online at what I'd missed in the world today.

And the following headline, on the BBC website, stood out:

"Prescott Iraq intelligence doubts"


But wouldn't you reckon that the average Iraqi would regard our "esteemed" former Deputy Prime Minister as a thick b*stard too?

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Just so you know

I wanted to quickly point something out for the purpose of clarity.

The picture above was posted on Facebook yesterday by my old class mate Andy Kerr, now residing in Australia.

It features the Macosquin Primary School football team in the season 1982-83.

However, whilst the goalkeeper may look like a big girl and regularly played like one, it is in fact me - who is not a girl and has never been a girl in the biological sense.

Thank you for the opportunity to clear that one up.

UPDATE: I've also been asked to make clear that team captain Mark Logan (holding the ball) - now Operations Director at Showsec, "Europe's leading event security and crowd management specialist" - is definitely wearing both pants and shorts.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

I feel the need, the need dummy

Whilst I might not necessarily be Tom Cruise's biggest fan (although he was very good on Top Gear the other night), I am prepared to concede that he does look a bit on the cool side in the famous shot above nicked from Top Gun.

However, I've been trying very hard to get across to Jamie that he simply cannot expect to look as suave as Mr C if he insists on having his mouth clamped around a dummy.

Vanessa and I have had some success in recent times in detaching him from his silicon friend (they're not made out of rubber any more - did you know that?) But, far too often for our liking, he causes a tantrum until he gets it back and, equally far too often perhaps, we relent.

But we draw the line at letting him have it at nursery because no-one else in his group does (and there's only such much shame and indignity I'm prepared to have heaped upon this family).

The drill therefore tends to be allowing him to have it until we get to the end of the driveway leading up to the nursery door, before yanking it out, letting him scream and then calm down - just in time to reach the threshold.

Until this morning, that is.

I was putting his coat on (him, not me) just as we were about to leave the house when it initially appeared that he was trying to put the dummy into my mouth. But, after a few seconds, he held his hand outstretched and handed it to me before heading for the front door.

Rather than praise him, I quietly slipped it into my pocket, hoisted him up and began the short 200-yard carry to nursery, accompanied by his singing and smiling.

So the question is, has he decided to finally give it up?

Or will be continue to be a baby Maverick, albeit an uncool one with a big dummy (even when I'm not standing beside him)?

I expect we'll have a much better idea tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Please don't take me to the Tower (...of Larne)

I tend to find that most days have their amusing little moments and today was no exception - but one in particular stands out.

I was getting Jamie ready for his day before starting my own when a trailer for a new kiddies show appeared on the telly.

Due to be shown on CBeebies from next Monday, its called Big City Park (you heard it here first, or maybe second if, like me, you're an enforced CBeebies fan) and features puppets and "real people" enjoying the great outdoors of Northern Ireland.

Because it's set in the fair Province, it features several characters - both fleshy and furry - who hail from there.

And during the short trailer, there was one who particularly caught my eye.

He had the look of a caveman to me, although further research has since revealed he's actually a caretaker called Ruairi. (As an aside - typically Norn Iron and in an attempt to avoid "religious imbalance," one of his co-characters is a badger called Billy).

However, when I made reference to my discovery of this new show and, more specifically, the "caveman" on Facebook this morning, I added that I thought he had a Larne accent - setting off a sharp string of derogatory comments from several individuals collectively hinting at a lack of depth in the Larne gene pool.

But it was the final comment that provided me with today's principal laugh-out-loud moment:

"just be careful..." were the menacing words of my mate Andy.

Or, to give him his full title, Councillor Andrew Wilson - Mayor of Larne.

Love it.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

The night Big John came down to earth

It was a familiar scene during the annual camping weekend; the barbecue was blazing and Big John was rustling up a storm in the "camp kitchen" whilst the rest of waited patiently to taste the results - which were excellent.

Now, I don't know if it was the fact that perhaps Big John ate too much of his own delicious fayre, or maybe it was the drink.

But, just a few hours later, the scene was not so civilised - after he fell through his chair.

And when something of that size hits the ground, clearly emergency forces must be marshaled.

Followed by a few more.

The only disappointment of the entire evening was that he didn't land on the old windbag himself, Dagenham Dave. But more on Daggers another time.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

I just know it's going to rain

Of all the days in the calendar year, tomorrow is the one I dread the most; yes folks, it's time for the annual camping weekend.

I'll not rehearse the many reasons why I am galled at the prospect of tomorrow more than any other tomorrow (although feel free to remind yourself of how I felt a short 52 weeks ago).

But the simple fact is, I'm just not the camping type.

In an attempt to be positive, I did buy Jamie some new, patriotic wellies for this year's three days of torture.

Although, I fear Jamie himself may be a tad optimistic about the prospect of spotting something big and shiny in the sky on this particular "holiday."

Should we survive the ordeal, I'll be back here on Sunday to tell you all about it. That already seems like ages away.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Northern logic

I've been in my new job exactly a month today and it's very much a case of so far, so good - but very hard work. Still, that's as it should be.

One aspect of my new routine that concerned me a little beforehand was the travel arrangements. However, it's worked out very well.

It is an hour and a quarter there door-to-door and (think about it) another hour and a quarter back, meaning (for you mathematicians out there) a total of 12 and a half hours travelling per week (but particularly me, if you think about it).

However, the key thing is that, so far, the trains have tended to be on time. And I can cope with that. But it's just as well I don't have to travel to Selby.

Let me explain.

My first train of the day is the 0758 service from New Pudsey to Leeds. And, as I say, it generally arrives when it should.

But here's the bit I can't work out (and would swear loudly about, were I bound for Selby).

When the 0758 gets to Leeds, its splits in two; the front half going on to Morecambe at 0819 (stopping off at Keighley where I work), with the back half travelling to Selby at 0815 (in the same direction).

Can you see the flaw in that particular arrangement? No? OK, it's late.

Right, the front half sets off for Morecambe at 0819.

And the back half is due to set off for Selby at 0815 (IN THE SAME DIRECTION). But the back half can't obviously get past the front half, which is sitting only a few centimetres in front after being decoupled.

The result is that each and every morning, the poor Selby commuters don't get to start their journey until 0820 at best i.e. five minutes late. Every single day.

Congratulations to the no doubt really important Northern Rail bloke who made that particular call; he's probably in line for a free mobile phone.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Big fat Eamonn's big fat ego

You may read over the last couple of days that the BBC has been forced to apologise to Belfast fatty and all-round media whore Eamonn Holmes for drawing attention to his sheer hugeness.

The former Good Evening Ulster stand-in presenter apparently sent a solicitors letter to BBC big wigs complaining that John Culshaw had made jokes about his weight on The Impressions Show. (Diddums).

An official BBC spokesman has since confirmed that an apology was issued, although pointing out that the humour was intended to be "affectionate."

But, get this from the BBC's own website:

A spokeswoman for Holmes said that following discussions with the BBC, the TV presenter was "happy to say that the matter has been satisfactorily resolved."

"Resolved?!" What an total and complete w*****.

Let me first declare an interest; I don't like Eamonn Holmes.

My prejudice goes back to the very early 90s when, every Friday for a period, he used to fly over from Belfast to Newcastle - where I was a student - to present a late night programme in which a room full of Geordies shouted at each other for an hour before taking the fight outside to the Bigg Market.

A friend of a friend worked for the airline that transported Holmes' massive frame every week and, according to her, he was one of the rudest men she or any of her colleagues had ever met. I've never forgotten that.

Since then, there's barely been a live programme he hasn't either presented or tried to get on to. And I've never been able to spot whatever it is he brings to the party. But that's by the by.

There's no doubt he's done well for himself, his ego and his bank balance. Sadly, his success has also led to him performing a quite remarkable feat by climbing up inside his own over-sized rectum (to almost certainly eat a massive plate of sandwiches. And cake).

The picture above with wife number two proves, I would suggest, that Big Eamonn from the Antrim Road is fat. In fact, he's enormous. Actually, he's offensively obese. I might even send him my own solicitors letter for being in my eye line.

Rather than call his lawyers, he should call a doctor.

The fat f*****. (Tee hee).

Monday, 19 July 2010

When two become one

Question: What do you get when you add one Jamie to another Jamie?

Answer: An insect-ravaged pop star from Newcastle.

I weighed our boy tonight and, to my surprise, discovered that he now tips the scales at an even three stones - exactly half the current weight of bouncer-beating songstress Cheryl Cole (according to the newspapers). In other words, two of him would make a her.

Once again proof - if ever it were needed - that, by reading this blog, you really will learn something new every day.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

We might have to call it Peter

Without boring you too much with the technical details (none of which I understand in any case), there are two computers inside this one computer at the present time and I have to switch an internal lead from the new one to the old one if I want to access my old files. (Got that? No? Me neither).

However, I've just searched through some archived e-mails on my old computer to find out what night it is that Vanessa, two friends and myself are due to travel to Sheffield to see Peter Kay's Tour That Doesn't Tour Tour - On Tour. Because I forgot to write down the date when I booked the tickets many months ago.

And the answer? Sunday 28 November.

Or, to put it another way, exactly three weeks to the day that Vanessa is due to give birth.

I love Peter Kay but, between you and me, I kind of hope he isn't TOO funny on this particular evening.

That said, I might just pack some clean towels, a flask of hot water and a pair of rubber gloves - just in case.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

The highlight of our sporting summer?

Alongside a dozen and a half other parents and sprogs, Vanessa and Jamie took part in this morning's Little People's Big Toddle 2010, organised by the very kind people at his nursery.

Charity was the winner, as they say, with Barnardo's the recipients of however much money everyone raised for their efforts.

But, when there's a winner, there also has to be a loser; in this case Jamie, who you can just see coming home last.

The shame of it.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Mothergate - UPDATE

I received a single text from Mother W just a short while ago.

And I quote:

"Derek haggling with foreigners.

"Would put years on you.

"We're in Poland."

I have nothing more to say.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

An alternative recollection

First an update on Mothergate. I received another text this morning, she and Derek are in Riga and apparently it looks like York. That's as much as I know.

As for today, I'm not long back from a boozy and always much-anticipated annual 364 Club Lunch at Headingley Carnegie Cricket Ground in Leeds.

Thanks to "The Voice of BBC Radio Nottingham" Colin Slater (left), who has invited me along for the last five years, I had the honour once again of being in the same room as several Yorkshire cricketing greats. Our purpose: to honour the life and achievements of former Yorkshire and England legend Sir Len Hutton.

Also in our little group were Steve Green (right), former Chief Constable of the Nottinghamshire Constabulary, and all-round gentleman.

And, in the middle, (yes, it is really is him), John "John Kettley Is A Weatherman" Kettley - the weatherman.

Plus Other Bloke (second from right), whose name I never quite picked up. But here's the thing.

I talked to Other Bloke for a fair proportion of the afternoon. He was also from Nottingham, was terrific company and fascinating in some of the things he had to say.

But one line stole the show.

Now, bear in mind we were all there to worship at the Sir Len Hutton altar, "possibly the greatest cricketer of all time and certainly the finest gentleman," was the script we were expected to adhere to.

However, Other Bloke was able to provide an alternative perspective.

"I met Len Hutton once, you know," he said. And clearly I didn't, so I asked him to tell me more.

"He had finished playing in a match, I saw him walking out of the pavilion afterwards and I ran over. I was just a young boy and there were just the two of us in the car park," he explained.

"I reached him as he was putting his kit into the boot of his car and I asked him for his autograph."

"And was he nice about it?" I enquired.

"No," replied Other Bloke. "He told me to f*** off, got in his car and drove away."

Other Bloke, whoever you are, I salute you.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Forget Mad Monk - meet Mad Mother

So, what sort of day did have you have?

Mine was OK-ish. Did a day's work, made it back just in time for my latest physio appointment, Vanessa's in London so I've just got Jamie off to sleep and now it's time for baseball, beer and steak. Actually, on reflection, it'll have been quite a good day by the time I get to bed.

And then there's been my mum's day.

She was thrown out of Russia.

Accompanied by her partner Derek, she set off early on Saturday morning for a trip to the fjords, which I always understood to be in Norway. However, for some reason, according to the text she sent me on Saturday afternoon, the two of them ended up in Stockholm.

I texted back: "Are you sure you're in Stockholm?"

To which she replied: "Yes, Derek's sitting beside a big sign which says Stockholm so I think it is."

Then, yesterday, she texted me again to say she was in Russia. Do they have fjords in Russia? No doubt I'll find out when she comes back.

So we fast forward to this afternoon when my phone beeped again to herald the arrival of another text message from my mother, and this was what it said:

"They chucked us out of Russia!"

I kid you not.

I quickly felt the need to sit down before, on partially regaining my composure, demanding to know (fairly obviously):


A couple of minutes later, my phone beeped again with her response:

"Because of your political connections!"

Now I was confused, verging on concerned.

"Tell me more..." I replied.

There was a delay of a good half hour before her next text took her off on a complete tangent.

"We were in a palace where Rasputin lived and was murdered."

(Told you). So, I tried again:


Another delay, this time of about four and a half hours until a short while ago, when her last message arrived:

"Sorry, I keep losing signal. It must be the satellite."

And that's as much as I know.

Needless to say, I'll keep you informed on developments although, if you hear anything on the news, do feel free to pass it on to me.

PS I don't THINK she's a spy (but, there again, would a "good" spy tell you if they were?)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Radio silence is golden

I signed up for my first mobile phone with great reluctance.

It was the late 1990s and, in the end, I folded under peer pressure. Pretty much everyone else I hung around with in London at that time had a mobile. And it just seemed easier to buy a crap one from Carphone Warehouse to put on the pub table alongside theirs, rather than having to keep explaining why I didn't believe I needed a brick of my own.

In time, I have to concede, it did become a useful tool - particularly for work - but, deep down, I still kind of hankered after the days when people couldn't find me.

Yes, I know I could have turned it off - and now do so regularly - but you obviously develop a habit (particularly when work's involved) of checking for messages and, therefore, never really turning yourself off fully.

I tell you all this because my current mobile phone conked out this morning and seems incapable of being resuscitated. I have since spoken to Vodafone who, sadly, are making swift arrangements to replace it. I have also shoved my SIM card into an old handset and am now fully contactable once again.

But my point is this; for almost 40 minutes when I was out and about at lunchtime and for around an hour and a quarter as I travelled home from work, no-one could get me and there was no point in me fretting about it.


Sunday, 11 July 2010

Mums are, like, SO uncool

My reputation for paternal heroism (WHAT?!) was shown to be rightfully earned once again last night when I used up almost a quarter of an hour of my precious home alone time to click all three wheels onto Jamie's new pram.

He took it out for a test drive this afternoon and, I think, was pleased by the power which surrounded him.

More importantly, I hear some of the chicks in prams in Pudsey Park were equally impressed.

If only he could have found a way to get rid of his mother.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Phil & Ted's Pointless Adventure

With the new baby now little more than five months from splashdown, Vanessa bought a new pushchair online earlier in the week which converts into a "double."

It was delivered yesterday afternoon (that's the box pictured above) but she waited until today when the "man of the house" (i.e. me) would be around before trying to put it up.

But the trouble is I'm a poor excuse for a man about the house, particularly when it comes to screwing things together. Linked to this is my normal apology that I can't possibly screw things together on this occasion because the manufacturer forgot to put one or more parts into the box.

It was therefore no surprise that I got no further than step 2 of 26 before declaring that something was very wrong.

I was trying to put the mudguards on and, according to the instructions, they required two screws each. But not only were there no screws in the box, but there were also no brackets to screw them into. Needless to say I cried foul (and several less polite words).

But what to do? Because, deep down and based on previous experience, I reckoned that everything probably was there and I wasn't reading the instructions properly. However, after checking and re-checking said instructions several more times, I was still at a dead end.

So I saw two options. The first, and easiest, was to phone some wee girl in a call centre, blame it all on her and send a plague upon her house, herself and her family. The second, more defensive, approach would be to drive to Mothercare in Bradford, see one of our buggies already built and take pictures.

We chose the latter and, to my surprise at least, found that we were actually right and that our buggy was missing the brackets and that our mudguards were actually a different model from those in the instruction manual.

It was therefore back to base to get the wee girl on the phone and demand that she accepted some abuse.

What happened next was a surprise - but irritatingly so.

Vanessa made the call before eventually passing the handset to me to hear some techy stuff from the wee girl.

The long and short of it was that the manufacturers - "Phil & Ted's Most Excellent Buggy Company" - had changed the design of the mudguards and the way there were attached but hadn't bothered to change the instructions that came with the buggy. (A "Most Excellent Company" my ****).

Phone call over, Vanessa and I went back downstairs, attempted to attach one of the mudguards as instructed and - bingo.

We stopped at that point because, quite frankly, we were bored of the buggy by then although I might "try" to finish the job myself later when Vanessa goes out on another pregnant lady J2O binge in Leeds. But I might not.

All in all, though, not the Saturday afternoon we had planned.

But, with the house to myself (and Jamie), it's a day that can yet be rescued with the help of beer, steak and sport on TV. In fact, I'm quite confident that it will be.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Geordie ****wits

Last night, on this blog, I cast doubt on Paul Gascoigne's claim to be Pope John Paul II's best mate.

And then tonight, after being out for the evening, I arrived home to discover that Gazza has arrived at the police cordon in Northumberland claiming to be a pal of Raoul Moat who, as I write, is standing up with a gun to his napper.

Do you sense a pattern?

I'm off to bed shortly but, by the morning, there's every chance Geordie Rambo might be deed, man.

And Gazza might be safely back behind lock and key.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Full of hot air?

It's late, I'm tired and you're probably not that arsed either, but I'll just share one quick cynical thought with you now that I'm here.

I was reading the Metro newspaper this morning - the free one you get on public transport - whilst I was on the train to work (told you so), when I stumbled across the following story.

Paul Gascoigne and his phone friend Pope

Paul Gascoigne, whose Orange Walk antics offended so many, claims to have been a mate of the late Pope.

Gazza, 43, revealed he and John Paul II used to chat on the phone.

‘His bodyguard was my bodyguard at one point. The Pope rang me up wanting to speak to me,’ the former England and Lazio star told OK! magazine.

‘It was him who got in touch with me first. But I didn’t like having his number in my phone, in case someone stole my mobile.

‘It didn’t faze me.
I just said, “Alreet Pope. How are you?”

But here's the thing. Whilst I would love to think that all of this is true, I reckon Gazza's talking out of his flute.

Let's hope he (finally) gets well soon.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Jamie Says No

I indulged in a bit of infant exploitation/fun first thing this morning.

Jamie had woken up in a bad mood and was indulging in his latest fad: saying "no!" to everything.

In recent days it's been a steady stream of negatives - "no milk!" (before having milk), "no bath!" (before having his bath), "no tea!" (before having at least some of his tea). You kind of get the idea.

This morning he was running round shrieking "no milk!" when I decided to invent a brand new game, simply entitled "Jamie Says No."

And the rules were very simple; I would ask him if he wanted something or if he was going to do something, and he would shout "no!" followed by whatever it was he wasn't having or doing.

So I began with, "are you going to have fun today?"

"No fun!" came the response.

"Are you going to get dressed?"

"No dressed!"

OK, thought I, let's test his morals.

"Do you want war?"

"No war!" (Bono would have been proud).

"Do you have hope?"

"No hope!"

"Do you want a future?"

"No future!" (Morrissey ditto).

And we finished up with a bit of Ulster politics.

"Jamie, Dublin rule," I began. "Do you want Dublin rule?"

"No Dublin rule!" I was filled with pride.

But the best was left till to last.

"Do you want to surrender?"


Good boy.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

A rash decision

Chicken pox - now there's a lovely disease for you.

I was one of those particularly "fortunate" individuals who was well into his teens before contracting it, and the memories make me want to wretch even now.

As a result, I have always fully appreciated the arguments put forward by those who say it's best to get it young. However, there does seem something slightly perverse about going out of your way to make your child ill. And that is the dilemma Vanessa and I have wrestled with all day - before deciding to take the easy (albeit expensive) option.

Vanessa's sister Hannah's little boy Oliver now has chicken pox and so the chance exists for Jamie to have a go too - maybe by giving Oliver a hug or a big blokey kiss.

This opportunity would easily present itself on Thursday when Oliver, his little brother Alexander and Jamie all normally go to their Grandma Judy's to be spoilt. But, I mean, he has been a bit under the weather for the last few days in any case, there's a weekend coming up, chicken pox makes you sick as well as ugly and, if I were him, I'd prefer to be out and about feeling good than staying in and feeling lousy and scratchy.

So Mrs W and I have ticked the "stick him into nursery for an extra day on Thursday instead" box in the expectation that he'll have lots more chances to experience the joys of chicken pox in the time to come.

He may thank us for this in the future.

But, equally, he might very well not.

Monday, 5 July 2010

The wrong sort of crap

Friends of mine have often argued that my musical tastes leave a lot to be desired. Or, to put it another way, that I listen to crap.

And yes, they have a point. Had you chosen to walk into our kitchen at around 9pm tonight, for example, you would have heard me singing along to a bit of Baltimora (he's from Norn Iron, you know).

For me, the key to enjoyable crappy music is the crappy musician or band having at least an awareness of the fact that they might just be a bit crappy. But the moment they start taking themselves a little too seriously is the moment I lose interest.

To illustrate, about three or four years ago, Vanessa and I went over to the MEN Arena in Manchester to see James (the band, not some random bloke) do a huge "homecoming" gig in front of a full house. And they were magnificent.

It was Vanessa's idea to go - I wasn't that arsed, if truth be told - but I was very glad I did. By the end, lead singer Tim Booth (above left) had the audience eating out of his hand and left me mad keen to see them again if the chance ever came along.

And it did about 18 months ago when we made the short journey to Bradford's St George's Hall with expectations high. And James were awful - but not a "good" awful.

It was actually apparent from very early in their set that this was going to be the case after they began with four or five unknown songs and received a flat reaction. But, instead of cranking things up with some of their hits from the 90s, they persevered with Tim Booth cockily declaring that the tunes they were playing "will soon become old favourites." Funnily enough they didn't.

I vowed after that gig never to go to see them again but, of course, I'm fickle. And when I discovered at the weekend that they are due to headline on the Saturday night of Bingley Music Live in September, there was never any question that we wouldn't go (subject to babysitters - since secured) and I bought the tickets at lunchtime today.

But I really hope they play my "likable" sort of crap this time - rather than just crap.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

The law can be fun

Us Whites were very kindly invited along to a barbecue at the home of our friends Kirsty (above, front right) and Tom (back left) yesterday afternoon when, let's just say, Jamie could have behaved like a somewhat more responsible two-year-old.

The conversation was fun and, at times, very illuminating, particularly when Amy (front left with her back to the camera) informed Vanessa of what a privileged position she was currently in.

"Did you know that, as a pregnant woman, you are legally entitled in this country to stop a policeman and pee in his hat whilst he shields you from prying eyes with his cloak?" advised Amy

And, funnily enough, Vanessa didn't know that.

But, given her brother Jonathan is a proud member of Her Majesty's West Yorkshire Constabulary and a cap-wearer, the next family get together could be one to remember should she "unfortunately" get caught short.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Credit where it's due

In common with most little boys, I would have thought, Jamie doesn't relish the prospect of having his hair dried after his bath.

His levels of ingenuity have seen a marked increase across a whole range of areas in recent weeks, mostly to his mother's and my frustration.

But last night, I had to hand it to our son.

I'd given him his bath and, after saying individual goodbyes to all his bath toys and the water itself (he can be extremely polite when we wants to be), he toddled off into our bedroom as normal to get into his pyjamas.

The normal form is for him to sit on Vanessa's or my knee and watch Peppa Pig whilst we do the necessary drying, grooming and dressing.

However, this time, he had a plan. Rather than simply plonk himself on me and let me get on with my duties, he made an extra stop on the way - at his toy box.

And out of this he pulled his builder's hat, which he held until I lifted him onto my knee before, coolly, putting it on his head. And, as far as he was concerned, it wasn't coming off. Or, to put it another way, there was no way he was going to let me dry his hair.

I shouted Vanessa to quickly get the camera and this was the genuine scene she captured.

Needless to say a vicious three-way fight then ensued between Jamie, the hairdryer and me. And, satisfactorily from my point of view, the hairdryer won.

But goodness knows what devilish plan he has in store for us tonight.

Friday, 2 July 2010

The old ones are the best

I was in Marks & Spencer in Keighley at lunchtime today picking up a sandwich and overheard a short but glorious exchange between an elderly lady and a checkout girl.

The lady shopper had just paid for her handful of purchases and the girl at the till asked her what she wanted to put them into.

"I can give you a small bag for free, a bigger bag for 5p or a Bag for Life which costs a bit more," the checkout girl explained.

"I'm 84, love," replied the elderly lady firmly but politely. "What would I want with a Bag for Life?"

Before adding: "I don't even buy green bananas any more."

I've been smiling ever since.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Some tramps live in mansions

I've been working my tush off in my new job this week and haven't had a lot of time to do or think about much else - including something mildly interesting to write about here.

But then, a short while ago, I got a phone call from a lawyerly friend who we'll call "Bodney."

Bodney had been in conversation with some other lawyerly friends who advised him of a story which no-one can talk about for probably two weeks (if they don't want to lose their house and piggy bank contents) but which should then be all over the papers.

It involves the "real" reason why England's footballers performed so poorly at the World Cup. And, I have to say, it left me a little taken aback - not that any of us should be these days.

I'll say no more than that (given that my house and piggy bank contents only partly belong to me).

But why don't you type "Steven Gerrard rumours" into Google and see what you find? I would if I were you.

PS If you already know what I'm referring to, well, bully for you.