Monday, 27 April 2015

Our only crime was fashion

Who are those intrepid men of mystery you can see before you?  (I hear you cry. Surely).

Any idea?  Nope?  OK, two clues.

Clue one.  The little people are all proud members of the Aireborough Lions Under 7s rugby squad.

Clue two.  The bigger person on the left is Kris, their head coach.

Still none the wiser?

Well, meet Kris's trusty assistants Iron Man, Spider Man and Robin - aka Dylan, Ollie and me. (Kris has a Batman suit but didn't get the message).

We held our last squad get together of the season yesterday and, as fun is the name of our game, we oldies thought we'd get the Lycra out.

Charlotte even tagged along dressed as a princess.

It's been a genuine privilege to work with such a charming and entertaining group of young men.

We regroup in September as Aireborough Lions Under 8s.      

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Jocks trapped?

I watched proudly today as Jamie marched through the streets of Horsforth with his fellow Beavers.

Marking St George's Day, the annual parade was led by a pipe band playing Scotland the Brave.

I'll never hear another Irish joke ever again (meh!)

Thursday, 23 April 2015

How many birthdays does it take to calm a screaming daughter?

Some serious panic in Charlotte World first thing this morning over the crucially important issue of birthdays.

We've had several young and "not so young" (ahem) family members over from Coleraine in recent days and, before leaving on Tuesday, had the chance to celebrate my eldest sister Jacquie's XXth birthday (she'd kill me).

Afterwards, I explained to Charlotte that 21 April was a special date because not only was it Jacquie's birthday but also the Queen's.

But (and this was where I went wrong) I also pointed out that the Queen had something of an advantage over Auntie Jacquie as Her Maj had a second "official" birthday in June.

Charlotte didn't say much more at the time but at breakfast time today it all kicked off when she too demanded another birthday.

"I'm afraid the rest of us don't get another birthday," I comforted.

"Why not?"

"Because we're not the Queen."

"I want another birthday!"

"Sorry. But anyway, your birthday's still to come.  Mummy and me have had ours.  Jamie's is coming up.  Then it's your turn."

"I want another one!" (stomp, bawl, stomp).  You get the idea.

And the wailing went on for some time before I bravely chose to leave it/her to Vanessa whilst I had a shower.

When I re-emerged, all was suddenly calm.

"How did you manage that?!" I enquired of Mrs W.

"I told her she'd have another birthday next year.  She thought she was only having one."


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Slashed and burned

This is our garden hedge.  It's about 10 feet high and I tend to cut it about twice a year, each trim taking not very long at all.  It should probably take longer, but I get bored.

In an attempt to make the task a little more exciting, I bought myself an electric hedge trimmer.  There was no real need for me to do this, but I came over all caveman and thought it would be a wild and dangerous thing to do.  Living on the edge, it's where I like to be.  Grrrrr.  

Last Thursday I decided it was high time to get my big chopper out for the first cut of spring.  And off I went,  No real plan, just a bit of random slashing, three steps back to have a look, and a bit more random slashing.  All good.  Until everything went quiet as my trimmer came to a shuddering halt.

Why was a mystery for a moment or two. Until the penny dropped.

Have a close look at my weapon.  Can you see the problem?  OK, have another look - at the lead.

Yup, mind the gap.  I managed to saw my way right through it.  Knackered.

I went inside to break the bad news to Mrs White.  Who laughed in my face.

But then the situation got even worse.

I'd plugged my now defunct boy toy into an extension lead which was plugged into a socket in our garage.  So, as I dug out some old hand clippers to finish the job, I thought I'd plug the radio into the extension lead to cheer myself up.  It didn't work.

I'd "obviously" blown the fuse in the lead.  So I spent 10 minutes replacing it, before plugging the radio back in.  It didn't work.  Balls.

I checked the fuse box in the garage.

Here it is.  The trip switch had been, er, tripped.  So I untripped it.  Still no power.

So I swore at it.  Made no difference.

Meanwhile, the ice cream in our fridge/freezer in the garage was beginning to melt.  Great.  I was eventually forced to defrost the whole thing once the electrician said he couldn't come until today.

Today came.  So did the electrician.

"Do you have a fuse box inside your house?" he smirked.


"Can I have a look?"


He had a look.  And untripped the switch which had "GARAGE" written above it.

He only charged me a tenner because he felt sorry for me.

But not as much as I felt sorry for myself.  

Monday, 13 April 2015

Up, up and WAHEY!

Well, that was fun.

We Whites are just back from three nights in a caravan.  I don't care much for tents, but caravans - with their roofs, windows, sofas, cookers, I could go on - will do for me.  And the kids like them too, which is kind of relevant in the spirit of a family holiday.

Even more of a bonus was that our caravan was in Northumberland.  I was privileged to play rugby for Northumberland Colts when I was a student in Newcastle.  (25 years ago, so almost yesterday).  And before home County Championship games, we used to stay in Tynemouth and toss a rugby ball about on the beach on the morning of a match.

This beach, in fact.

It was very good to be back.

Having got our caravan keys, it was time for Vinny's Disco.

Vinny was late but got his tail and his permasmile into gear eventually.

Before the bingo got under way. 

Whilst Charlotte gave interviews.

Next day, it was off to Alnwick Castle.

Where Jamie was knighted.

Before marching off to war.

But the highlight was yet to come.

Flying on a broomstick.

I'll try that again.  Flying on a broomstick.

Dreams do come true.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

A ginger tale/tail

I might not be very good at it, but I do like to write.

And now Jamie is beginning to show signs of a similar tendency.  Better than that, it's already clear he's a more accomplished scribbler than me.

Tonight, with the Easter holidays officially under way, be brought home his latest epic.

It's called "The Gingerbread Man."  I hope you like it.    

"The fox throws everyone into the water except the Gingerbread Man.  

"The fox makes friends with the Gingerbread Man and they build a boat together and sail to a paradise in South America.

"The fox went on a diet and never ate a Gingerbread Man again.  

"The End - Jamie White."

Expect the screenplay to be available on Netflix sometime next year.