Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Sad Dad


With me still on leave, Vanessa having a facial and Jamie in baby prison - "nursery" to the proprietors - I took Charlotte shopping today.

I had all sorts of wonderful ideas of things to buy but, after catching a glimpse of myself in a shop window and being reminded that I'm now a sad, middle-aged man, I settled on two new pillows. 

But Charlotte wasn't impressed.  In fact, I'm fairly sure she was a touch embarrassed.  Possibly worse.

So I bought her off, and she's promised to gurgle no more about it.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

That's my boy

This was Jamie last night.

He may have been upside down, but at least he was in his pyjamas and in his own bed. 

This was in total contrast to the previous evening, when he fell asleep on the sofa and wet himself before being carried upstairs.

He woke up the following morning, not knowing where he was, and wearing the same clothes as the night before.

My son may not look anything like me, but at least we have some similar habits.  

Monday, 29 August 2011

Fish on a Friday

Like everyone else, I've had a few bizarre experiences in my life. (In truth, I have one every morning when I look in the mirror).

Having my feet pecked by a tankful of fish is now right up there.

Last Friday, I thought it might be nice for my mother and I to have a bonding exercise.  But rather than take her to Harry Ramsden's to eat fish, I allowed the fish to turn the tables by eating us at Wonder Feet in Guiseley.

The verdict?

Highly recommended - 10 out of 10.

I now have feet like Jesus and intend to wear sandals and perform miracles for the rest of the week.  As luck would have it, I'm off work so will certainly have the time.  

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Can babies go in the hold?

My mum and hubby Derek left ours earlier today after a week in Yorkshire.

She loves Jamie as much as ever.

But, on this trip, I kind of got the impression that she also bonded with Charlotte.

Thursday, 25 August 2011


My day didn't get off to the best of starts today after Jamie vomited on my bag.

Thanks for that son. 

But, whilst it is now in need of a good wash, at least I know he and Charlotte are pristine after a  "Double Granny Bath." 

Young people truly are spoilt these days.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Who loves you, hair?

Here's a shocker.

My mum and new hubby Derek are over this week and, hopefully, having a good time.  

But tonight she floored me.

After a nice meal, also attended by Vanessa's mum Judy and stepdad Mike, she said:

"Why don't you try 'Regaine' on your bald patch?  You might rescue your hair."



She might be, but I'm not sure I am.

Honk if you've got no teeth

Charlotte - seen here sucking on a chip - is teething at the moment and, personally, I can't wait for her new gnashers to appear. 

Not just because I obviously want her suffering to end, and not just because I want to see what her new smile looks like.

But because I can then smother them in toothpaste and, hopefully, get rid of her dog breath.  

Sunday, 21 August 2011

On the twelfth day, it came to pass

It took God six days to build the world but, in 12 days, I believe I've proven you can do twice as much.

Yes, our living room is complete (and a whopping £16 under budget after I used only three instead of the predicted four rolls of wallpaper.  Vanessa has since been back Laura Ashley to swap it for a swimsuit).

Against all odds, the Wallpaper Bubble Fairy popped in on Friday afternoon to cast her spell, leaving me to return to relatively flat walls.

And against even greater odds, I managed to finish wallpapering the remainder of the room - relatively free from incident - just in time for last night's X Factor.

Jamie or Charlotte are bound to spill something by teatime.

Friday, 19 August 2011

I'm forever cursing bubbles

It's now day 10 of my living room decorating adventure, and the novelty has long since worn off. Not that I think you're surprised.

Here is where we've reached.

Wallpaper stripped? Check!

Ceiling painted? Check!

Ceiling painted again? Check!

Ceiling painted yet again? Err..check!

Dado rail varnished twice? Check!

Dado rail varnished for a third time after Barry left the masking tape on too long and took all the varnish off? Check!

Walls painted twice? Check!

Stupid wooden box things that cover the pipes painted twice? Check!

Skirting boards painted twice? Check!

Door frames painted twice? Check!

Window sill painted twice? Check!

Window sill painted again after Barry put his hand on it by accident before it was dry and then made matters worse by rubbing it with a wet wipe? Check!

Window sill painted for a fourth time after Barry put a TV on it when it was still wet after its third coat? Check!

First of four walls wallpapered? Balls-up!

Yes, the wallpapering. Eight sheets have gone up thus far, and I went to bed shortly after midnight thinking it looked good.

When I went down this morning for another inspection, it still looked good. Enough. To Eat.

Because it looked like an Aero - such were the number of air bubbles present.

I was crestfallen, if truth be old, but I've since taken lot of advice and I think I now know the error of my ways i.e. I haven't been leaving each sheet long enough for the paste to soak in (not that I realised wallpaper paste was so clever).

So we'll adopt a new soak-it-and-see approach tonight.

My first instinct was to redo what I've already done but the man in the decorating shop warned that this would be misguided.

"Give it a week lad," he said. "And if it's still as bad then, you'll know for sure that you've f***ed it."

Reassuring words, I'm sure you'll agree.

Come what may, all my walls will be covered by the time the clock beeps 12 tomorrow night.

Let's hope it's not with my tears.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Hair, hair

Not that my ongoing decorating saga is affecting my sanity or anything but, last night, I thought it might be fun to fluff up Charlotte's hair and let her see in the mirror that she'll soon be in need of a clip. 

Methinks she quite likes that idea..

Monday, 15 August 2011

Have you ever wished you'd never started something?

You may or may not be old enough to remember Petrocelli.

If you weren't, I should explain that Petrocelli was an American TV drama series about a lawyer who lived in a caravan whilst attempting to single-handedly build his dream home in his spare time. However, the house never seemed to make any tangible progress.

Each week our hero would lay a few bricks. But his house would never get any bigger.

There were two full series of Petrocelli but, by the end of the second season, the house was no further on that it was in series one, episode one.

Which brings me to our living room which, you may have noticed from the picture taken this morning, is not quite finished.

Do you know, I spent seven hours up a ladder with a paint brush yesterday?

And I spent six hours up that ladder on Saturday, and something fairly similar the day before that. 

I actually began my journey of self-discovery last Tuesday morning, although it could have been several months ago, such is the damaging impact it has had on my grasp of time.

Do you want to know the fun part?

When the painting is finished - I'm now thinking Thursday - I've got to start wallpapering (we're doing half and half, see). 

Do you want to know the really fun part?

I've never properly wallpapered before.

Do you want to know the really, really, really fun part?

I've got to get the whole thing completed by Saturday evening in time for some special guests arriving the following day.   

The problem is, by the time the room is finally finished, I'm going to hate it so much that I'm not going to want to go in there to join them. 

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Methinks someone's milking it

I noticed these milk bottles almost literally piled up outside our back door earlier tonight.

So I mentioned it to Vanessa (it's occasionally good to talk when you're married).

"Oh, " she said,  "we've got a relief milkman on this week. The normal milkman is away on holiday."

Ignoring why it was that she knew this particular fact, one other question did spring to mind.

Does our relief milkman not know what an empty f***ing milk bottle looks like?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


The good news is that I've now finished the wallpaper stripping. 

The bad news is that I haven't.  In fact, I'm only half way through.

To explain, the plan was to strip only the wallpaper above the dado rail, and then pause for a couple weeks (until my next "holiday") whilst a collective decision was reached on whether to wallpaper or paint the section below. The revised plan -  as of an hour ago - is to strip it all.  Apparently it will "save [me] time in the long run."  Lucky me.  I couldn't be happier.

Just four more solid days of decorating left then until I go back to work. 

At least someone is getting some benefit from my extended efforts with the wallpaper steamer. 

Yes, Charlotte has a cold.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I'm having a riot

My DIY week isn't going as well as I'd hoped.

Or, to put it another way, it's going just as badly as I'd feared.

To summarise, I had a little too much whiskey on Friday evening, effectively wiping Saturday from the calendar. 

Then, on Sunday, after fixing one of the two leaky taps, my cack-handed efforts made the other considerably worse.  Decorating was yet to get underway.

On Monday, I managed to find a reasonably priced plumber and booked him in to fix the terminally ill tap.  However, whilst waiting for him, I managed to break the toilet handle  - and he ended up with two jobs (and me two bills) instead of one. Excellent.

Also yesterday, during which no decorating was done, Vanessa blew a fuse in our old-style fuse box (which I didn't previously realise we'd been lumbered with) leaving us with no lights in two rooms until teatime tonight after I'd worked out how to fix it and got my unskilled hands on a replacement fuse. 

Also tonight, the "repaired" tap broke again and I've had to ask the plumber to come back again tomorrow.

But on the upside, decorating did get underway shortly before lunchtime today.  Kind of.  Although you may note that "some" wallpaper stripping remains to be completed. And then I need to buy some paint. And then I need to slap it on the ceiling and on the walls. And then I need to slap it on the ceiling and on the walls again.

I love being on holiday.

Friday, 5 August 2011

NOT gone on holiday

I'll be on a week's leave in a few hours from now but, sadly, I won't be on holiday.  

We Whites aren't having a summer sojourn this year, principally because Charlotte is too wee to make it particularly feasible. 

But also because we have pink walls in our living room and, despite giving them more than a month, it appears they have no intention of repainting themselves. 

In addition to this gargantuan task, I also have four bathroom taps to de-leak (no idea how to do that), two hedges to shear with my new toy (no idea how to do that straight), two wall sockets to make safe (no idea how to do that without killing myself)  and two bikes to make roadworthy (can't be arsed to do that). 

And that's only my list for tomorrow. 

There again, Ireland are playing rugby tomorrow (BBC2, kick-off 2.15pm).

And Sunday is obviously a traditional day of rest for anyone from Northern Ireland.

So, Monday perhaps?

It'll have to be because the cricket starts on Wednesday.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

"Blind" man's guff

It was an appalling moment, almost up there with the sand-throwing incident of early last year.

I was gathering Jamie and his bag up to take him to nursery yesterday morning when he decided he would close his eyes.  What a great trick.

So, ignoring it, I hoisted him and said bag on to my shoulders for the journey to Busy Bees.

A minute or two along the footpath, he called down from his lofty perch to advise that he was playing a new game of closing one eye at the same time as he opened the other.

"That's clever!" he announced.  And there was little doubt that it was.  Perhaps even the work of a genius. 

Eventually, we made it to nursery, where I plonked him down, hung his coat on his peg and led him to the Sunflower Room.

However, as we were about to go through the door, I noticed he had both eyes closed once again. 

"Come on Jamie," I muttered, "time for breakfast."

"I can't see!" he announced.

"Don't be silly," I said, as other people started to appear and self-consciousness began to set in.  "Come and get some breakfast."

"I CAN'T SEE!" he boomed, much louder this time, prompting one of the nice nursery ladies to come over to assist.

"Let me help you to your chair, Jamie," she said.

"OK," said White Jnr, eyes still firmly shut.  "I can't see."

"He can see," I whimpered pathetically, "don't be silly Jamie."

"I can't see," he repeated calmly, now with a hint of smirk beginning to appear.

"Don't worry Mr White," said nice nursery lady. "Say goodbye to Daddy, Jamie."

And, eyes fully scrunched up, he offered a kind of half wave, half salute, as his bottom was guided into his seat.

I shuffled off, mortified.

Sometimes I actually hate my son.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Toy Story 3 (lampshades)

Jamie has developed a Toy Story fetish, resulting in his new bedroom being turned into something resembling a shrine to the trilogy. 

However, one thing he lacked was a Toy Story 3 lampshade.  So I ordered him one online. 

And when "it" arrived on Monday, I was in for a shock.

Because "it" had become "them."

All three of them.

I'm glad I didn't order him a dwarf.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Heaven knows she's miserable now

Last night, I watched in fascination as Charlotte went over to the CD rack and carefully selected two discs before rolling off.

And here is what she chose, genuinely.

That's right, they're both by Morrissey.

She wasn't smiling once I'd put them on.   

Monday, 1 August 2011

The hole story

The weekend just gone brought yet more evidence - not that it was needed - of why my DIY should be done by anyone other than myself.

I got off to a reasonable (if drawn out) start on Saturday when I spent almost six hours staining a bench, three chairs and a table for use in our garden.  And even I was pleased with the results (once I'd gone back to paint the table leg I'd missed first time around).

Then, yesterday, it was time to get the drill out - an act that fills those who know me with almost as much trepidation as it does me.

Amazingly enough, the first and supposedly more challenging task of mounting a flat screen TV on our kitchen wall went well.  I still can't believe it even now, and Jamie remains convinced it will fall down at any moment. 

But my run of good fortune inevitably ran out.  

My final mission was "simply" to drill two holes in the wall, insert plugs and two screws.  And, hey presto, we'll have our own coat rack thingy.

Sadly I made one of the holes too big.  It was therefore off to Morrison's for some Polyfilla, which I promptly shoved in the wall, waited for four hours, got the drill back out - and made the problem worse.    

Maybe it will be a case of third time lucky when I get home tonight, but I doubt it.