Thursday, 31 October 2013

Doctor Poo Exhibition

I went out for a run tonight and witnessed some bizarre looking sights in and around Guiseley.  Nothing new there, despite it being Hallowe'en Night.

Needless to say, Jamie and Charlotte got in on the trick-or-treating act.

If only Miss White had kept her witch's hat on.

Earlier, and with Charlotte at nursery, Jamie and I had a boys' day out in Bradford.

After Despicable Me 2 at the cinema (brilliant) and lunch at McDonald's (you'll probably have been to one), we headed to the new Doctor Who exhibition at the National Media Museum.

Which promised much on screens in the foyer...

...and in cardboard.

But in terms of actual "exhibits," delivered a pitiful two Daleks - both of which looked like they'd been hiding out in someone's garage for the past 30 years.

And that was it. 

Still, as you know, I wouldn't be one for complaining (shut up).

Plus the shit Daleks might come and get me.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Hangin' with the stars

I mentioned here on Friday that DJ Gammy had popped by and I would explain more in due course.

I can now not-quite-exclusively reveal that Gammy is in fact my big nephew/Jamie and Charlotte's big cousin Nathan.

And the boy's doing good.

He was in Yorkshire over the weekend to play a gig in Sheffield which, even by his own modest account, went well. 

So much so that he's been booked to swim in a much bigger pool in that London just before Christmas. 

Yes, even I have heard of the Utah Saints ("U-U-U-UTAH SAINTS!!!!!" and repeat) and I was never "with it" at any stage of my development.

This gave us something to drink to on Sunday, which we did, liberally.
As luck would have it, Vanessa and I also managed a few cheeky snifters the night before at an especially glitzy bash.
Yes, our pal Layla - from the parish of BBC Radio Leeds - was celebrating her 50th birthday (or it may have been 40th, can't quite recall).
That's her sandwiched in the middle by Gillian (left) and Mrs W.
The other sandwiches were very tasty too.
And rounding off a weekend of unparalleled glamour, we even had a personal visit from Doctor Who.
More on him tomorrow.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Spanish Euan

It was International Day at Guiseley Infants School yesterday.

Last year, Jamie was tasked with manning (or is it boying?) the United Arab Emirates stall.  Proudly wearing his Muslim prayer cap, his principal role was advising patrons that neither wine nor pork products were on offer.  (He later had hot dogs for tea).

Yesterday, he was part of the Spanish delegation with a range of responsibilities including telling mummies and daddies how to make Sangria. As a parent, I was much more comfortable with this.

However, Jamie's best pal/personal entertainer Euan felt that the whole shebang needed to be Spanished-up a bit.  So he went off to see what he could find.

His first effort certainly made me feel more continental.

And his second?  Well.  I was suddenly transported back to my teens.

For me, they both look bonita.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Like father, like f***

It's Jamie's half-term next week and we've been thinking about what to do with him.

One idea I had was for he and I to go on a boys' trip to the all-new Doctor Who exhibition in Bradford, which opens in the next few days. 

But, this afternoon, a concerned sounding Vanessa rang me at work.

"I don't think you should take Jamie to that exhibition on your own," she declared.

"Oh.  Do you want to come?"

"Not really."

"Do you think he'll be scared?"

"No.  It's just that I've been reading about that Roma family in Dublin."

"OK.  And what about them?"

"Well, their daughter has blonde hair and blue eyes and was taken away because she looked nothing like them."

"Right.  And?"

"Well, Jamie has blonde hair and blue eyes."


"And you don't."


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Cashing up

I recently gathered up the outstanding offline pennies owed from my Great North Run shuffle and forwarded a cheque to Candlelighters. 

I have since received a letter of thanks, which I'd like to share given that it was you lot who kindly gave me so much of your hard-earned cash. 


Dear Barry

Thank you so very much for the kind donation of £184 in sponsorship for your Great North Run 2013 challenge in memory of Margaret Maciver.  Congratulations on raising such a fantastic amount!  I am pleased to confirm the total raised in online and offline sponsorship is £1,247.89.

Please pass on our thanks to everyone for the generous support.  The money will be put to really good use here at Candlelighters. 

The treatment of childhood cancer is very expensive and the unit is forced to rely quite heavily on charitable donations to support its work.  Every penny that is donated really does make a difference to the facilities we are able to provide for the families whose children are being treated here at the Regional Children and Adolescent Cancer Leukaemia Unit, and to the search to find a cure.

Once again, thank you for your support.  It really is appreciated by all our families across Yorkshire.

Yours sincerely

Eve Corry

Fundraising Assistant


For my part, I remain incredibly grateful to all who donated. 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

You never forget your first time

The date was 21 November 1985.  The place was Maysfield Leisure Centre in Belfast. 
And it was a big moment for me. I was a mere 13 years of age and arguably a bit young to be involving myself in such questionable activities. 
Suddenly, the lights were dimmed.  This was really going to happen. 

The first flash of long blonde hair confirmed that I was in the right place, followed closely by the sight of an even longer and equally familiar dark mane. 
And then the music started. We were off. 
Yes, it was really was Status Quo up on that stage - my first ever live gig - and they were magnificent. (My second ever live gig, just a few months later, was A-ha but they weren't as good). 

I always meant to see them play again but never quite got round to it. (Plus, someone might've found out).

But last Sunday evening I cracked. And, in precisely eight weeks from tonight, at the brand, spanking new First Direct Arena in Leeds, my great pal Paul "Merv" Gaile and I shall be there - all denimed-up - getting down (down, deeper and down) with The Quo.

It has been said - admittedly only by me - that the young Paul bore more than a passing resemblance to an early Rick Parfitt.

Ironically, he's since become Francis Rossi's double.

But that's by the by.

When the big night comes, I can predict that us two proud men of Coleraine will rock until either we or Rick and Francis drop. 

I understand the bookies are already refusing to take bets on who will go first.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Being bossed

Jamie and I were talking about bosses yesterday, when I turned a page of the Sunday Times and found a picture of mine.

I pointed it out to Jamie.

"Is that Kris?" he asked.


"I've met him, haven't I?"

"You have, yes."

"What does he do?"

"He's in charge of all the houses in England."

"Ohhhhh! All the houses in England?"

"That's right, yes."

"Including ours?"

"Er, yes."

"But I thought Mummy was in charge of our house."

Maybe one day I'll get to be a boss, but I doubt it.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Time for a White whine

There have been a number of highlights over the course of this weekend thus far, including being handed my first ever Aireborough Lions "Coach" jacket at Under 6s training this morning.  (I'm not worthy). 

Lemon chicken is also on the menu for tea, providing me with the perfect cover to drink too much white wine (Chef's privilege).

However, about half an hour ago, I endured a double lowlight.

The first was when I somehow managed to propel the contents of Charlotte's potty all over the living room and hall carpets, and glass door in between.

The second was when I carried the empty potty back to the toilet, failed to appreciate I had wee on the sole of my trainer, and slipped and fell on the tiled floor.
Actually, I might have that first glass of wine around about now.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

He's from the Dark Side

After yesterday describing his two-year-old sister as "sexy" - a development which certainly risks impacting on my sleeping patterns - this morning Jamie came to wake me up at precisely 0305. 


"Yes, Jamie?"

"I'm bored sleeping.  I can't sleep when I get bored."

He remained bored until 0647 when I finally allowed him to get up.  Excellent.

But, I mean, you can't get bitter about these things and, as I type, he and Charlotte are having some Star Wars therapy. 

That said, I must resist my current overwhelming urge to use the Force on his little helmet.

Have a good Saturday.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Hair wee go

I spent a large part of this week working in that London.

But you can only put the toil in for so many hours in the day. And when it gets dark, you must make time to reflect.

In such circumstances, it's time to call for Wee Beardie John.

We were joined for a bit by Wee Beardie John's equally furry mate, Hairy Hippie John (average size).

And also by Wee Beardie John's dear wee brother, Wee Charlie (aka Uncle Pig), who seemed keen to point out his sideburn.

At least I think that's what his gesture meant.

Later in the evening, we retired to Wee Beardie John's wee flat to admire his all-white wee work shirt collection.

Wee Beardie John argues that he "shouldn't change a winning look." I would argue that, rather than his dubious claim to be "an accountant," he's either a wee waiter or Britain's smallest security guard. 

There's nothing wrong with that, but the truth must come out. Because no one likes a wee beardie fibber.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Only in Yorkshire?

One over-riding parental ambition of mine is for my children to have experiences that I never had.   

And tonight, after his swimming class, Jamie made an announcement.

"I've got a new friend called Amos," he declared.

I've never had a friend called Amos.  In fact, I'm yet to actually meet anyone called Amos (although I do know a Granville).

A proud moment then and another tick in the box for my boy, who continues to outpace me. 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

I need it to be Friday again

It's been a long weekend. so I'll be brief.

I went to watch some rugby yesterday, Aireborough first team. 

Before the game, I attended the ex-players' lunch and joined in on the "Stand  Up, Sit Down" game,

I've never played for Aireborough.

But the crowd was big...

...and colourful.  (I have no idea who this is).

And then the bar called, or certainly Steve, the club chairman, on the left,

This morning, my head was sore as I fulfilled my regular role as Coach Helper with Aireborough Lions Under 6s.

Hopefully I'll be more lively next Sunday. And if not, it doesn't really matter. 

Friday, 11 October 2013

Sad Man Friday

After Northern Ireland's humiliating World Cup football loss to the less than mighty Azerbaijan just now, I now await the arrival of Ulster's rugby players on Sky Sports 1. 

It's the Heineken (European) Cup and, for the next two hours, bedecked in the famous white shirt, I intend to drink Guinness, eat Guinness crisps and shout randomly at my telly.

And then, at 10.15pm, I shall change shirts and watch the British and Irish Lions' fly-on-the-wall documentary of their recent Australian tour.    

And what's Vanessa up to?  Well, she's out of course.

Do you think I'd get away with any of this if she wasn't?

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Who's your daddy

Today's been the first day in almost two weeks that I've felt almost like myself.

Indeed, at times I've almost convinced myself that I know what's like to be Doctor Who after he's regenerated (although, in such circumstances, I'd be most disappointed to be lumbered with this body).  

Such was my rush of energy this morning that I decided to carry Charlotte all the way to nursery. 

It was only when I was halfway there did I remember that Little Miss appears to be the latest member of the White dynasty to show signs of the White dysentery (or close enough).

Thankfully my head, neck and shoulders arrived blemish free.

Sadly, I don't expect the newly revitalised me to last too long.  After my extended period of forced abstinence, this weekend I'm going to see if I can drink 100 pints of Guinness. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The Comedians

Vanessa and I went to see Ardal O'Hanlon (aka Father Dougal McGuire) do stand up in Leeds tonight.  And he was predictably excellent.

But he wasn't the biggest joker on show today.

No, that tag goes to Arsenal and England footballer Jack Wilshere.

Speaking earlier, the 21-year-old midfield mastermind said, and I quote: "If you live in England for five years, it doesn't make you English." 

This will come as something of a shock to Jamie White, 5, from Leeds, England who has lived here all his life.

Still, at least this stunning revelation will add weight to my theory that, should my son become really good at rugby, he should choose to play for Ireland.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Kris Watch

So desperate was I to leave the house today that I've just come back from cutting our grass in the dark.  I now look forward to the morning to find out how I did.

But, despite being confined to barracks since Friday because of my not-yet-gone Gastroenteritis, I have continued to work.  What a trooper. 

I was therefore fully aware that my boss Kris, in his first full day in office as Minister for Housing, was in Northampton looking at houses (really) with his boss Dave.

And here's the proof courtesy of the BBC Six O'Clock News.

It'll be good to get out properly tomorrow.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Yes! Minister!

After feeling a bit under the weather in the early part last week, I was then hit with a bout of Gastroenteritis which I'm still struggling to shake - hence no blog updates.  (Indeed, shaking might lead to all sorts of unfortunate outcomes, so I'll refrain).

But I cannot possibly miss the opportunity to congratulate my boss, Kris Hopkins, on his ministerial appointment in today's Government reshuffle. 

He now holds the title of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Communities and Local Government.

And, having worked for him for the past seven years, I could not be more proud.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Techy Twins

I walked through our kitchen last night to find what was, at first glance, an especially cute scene.

But closer inspection revealed that Jamie and Charlotte weren't necessarily revelling in each other's magnetic company. 

No, because Jamie had my iPhone in his hands and Charlotte had Vanessa's iPad in hers.  And they were playing games. The sofa was probably just the most comfortable place for them to indulge. 

Should Vanessa and I be proud that, at ages two and five, our sprogs are seemingly so computer literate? Or should we be ashamed?

I haven't quite decided.