What a difference 2 years makes

In the last two years I have addressed what I thought was an issue for me (your experience and feelings will likely vary) and that was my weight. I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t healthy (or I didn’t feel healthy) and I wasn’t fit, in fact exercise was tiresome and often painful.

So I went to the gym, and I started to run, and I learned to love it. The following pictures are 2 years apart. The first two from the Tree Top Nets in Cumbria on the 22nd October 2016 and the next two from this morning in a hotel room near to the Theme parks and the M4/M25. I am with my two oldest boys, and I feel better about how I look, how I feel and how much exercise I get with my boys.

Proud of #1

This week I had a conversation in the car with my 7 year old #1 son. It broadly was about what he wanted to be when he was older and how he wasn’t sure. This is the paraphrased version:

Me:  You can be whatever you want to be
#1 Son: Like what?
Me: An astronaut, a doctor, a scientist, a Minecraft developer, anything
#1 Son: An Astronaut! How do I do that?
Me:  Well when someone wants to be an astronaut he has to train hard and be healthy, or he might have a special skill like a scientist or an engineer
#1 Son: He or She daddy
#Me: [Pause] Yes. Yes you’re right it can be he or she, thank you. Should we use they so that it doesn’t matter who they are?
#1 Son: Yes
#Me: So when they…

I couldn’t have been more proud to be corrected on equality by my own 7-year-old child. 🙂

 

The Prepared Mind

I love this particular saying:

> Chance favours the prepared mind

I love it because my mind is rarely in a state of preparedness, or at least that’s how I feel about it. However this is misleadibng as i know it is, to at least some degree.

take today. After a great week of good behaviour Ben has a mood on him this morning. We ended up rushing out of the door to get to drama on time. Oh drama on the way to drama!

I normally have a laptop, an ipad, a phone and my journal with me. I always use the 90 minutes Ben is at drama to do some writing on blogs and news items. Today I have the bags for them. Today I should not be able to work.

I left the laptop plugged in and the ipad on charge. I went out of the door with the bags but not the stuff they carry. Derp.

But chance favours the prepared mind…

I do have my phone, and it has lots of Apps including two intended to help me blog. I also have my portable keyboard (mini) that I keep in my journal bag.

I got the keyboard out for the first time in three months and discovered I had left it turned on, the battery is dead. No matter as I have a small power brick in my laptop bag for emergency phone problems – I actually have two but one of those is also on charge at home. Derp.

Oh no, I have left the cable in the other one on charge at home. No worries I have spare cables and a spare multi-head cable for those times that I have the wrong cable.

So, while my son is at Drama and I am remembering that I have to re-pack some stuff into bags and re-charge power bricks. I am also still writing articles and news. This was the third.

This specific post was created using WordPress for Android on a mobile phone. This explains but not excuses any incorrect or unusual typography, brevity or formatting.

What Words to Use?

This question recently plagued me when I reviewed in my head a conversation I had with Ben.

‘Daddy, what’s that?’

‘It’s a chimera.’

‘Oh.’

‘Do you know what a chimera is?’

‘No.’

‘Can you say chimera?’

‘Camira.’

‘Close enough, a chimera is an amalgam of two or more creatures.’

‘Oh. Why?’

‘Well sometimes you have to represent more than one facet. Do you know what amalgam is?’

‘No.’

‘It is a mix.’

‘Is it a mix creature?’

‘Yes.’

So part of my dilemma was should I have used the word mix creature to start with. But a small conversation with myself later and I realised a couple of things:

1. I was using terminology that he will benefit from knowing and understanding.

2. We drilled down to a meaningful state for him, which is deductive steps, another useful skill.

3. He created the term mix creature, I referred to the amalgam as a mix not the chimera.

So the word usage broadened a range of skills, and basically I worry too much and over-analyse everything. Still, advanced stuff mix creatures for a child under four.

Another Kindness of Strangers

18 May 2013
On a train from Paris to Marne le Vallee

I am sat here wondering how, aside from using it in the title of this piece, I can work in the line from the Tenesse Williams play:

“I have always relied on the kindness of strangers.”

I guess I just did.

I am in Paris, home to the maligned Parisians, who some would have you believe are the most arrogant citizens in Europe. Some of those who hold that belief are British so the hypocrisy is thoroughly on display as I think we English hold records in the stuff.

I don’t hold that belief about Parisians or the French in general. Aside from knowing many nice French people I have also stayed in Paris more than once and find them easily as polite, if not more so, than Londoners.

So I guess I shouldn’t visit London for a while.

Today was a typical example. We have two small children and are hopping buses in Paris. We have had people help us onto the buses with the pram. Hold open doors. And the one moment than strikes the best, sat waiting at a bus stop and a gentleman gave Ben and Elliott a banana to share.

I don’t rely on the kindness of strangers. I usually plan ahead. But I do so like it when I experience it.

This specific post was created using WordPress for Android on a mobile phone. This explains but not excuses any incorrect or unusual typography, brevity or formatting.

The future is now

It is a regular occurrence for our two boys to want to come into our bed in the mornings.

This morning Ben wanted to join us and for me to get “daddy’s phone” and then to do “pictures”.

This is because he knows I can take, edit, view and upload all from the phone.

I realised once again this morning how much we were in the future we were promised an how the world is so different a place for my children. (By the way, this post is being composed and uploaded from the same device).

Also I had the fun of running a photo through four apps and changing the experience, all of this took less than ten minutes.

So with the camera, then into Snapseed to edit, then PhotoBokeh to add stage one image effects and finally Phoster to make it into a poster.

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Currant Situation (Part Two)

Well, the situation became more interesting as we discovered it wasn’t so easy to get the raisin from Ben’s nose, so now we had to take him to Furness Hospital Children’s Unit, I assume that the Lancaster ward was full.

So we had to travel to Barrow, this is a round trip of about 100 miles from Lancaster.

We drove through rain (torrential) and then sun (glorious) along the South Lakes to be admitted to the Children’s ward. We had a brief assessment and then waited only 15 minutes to see the ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist.

And he could see no raisin.

We held Ben down, a probe was stuck up the nose…no obstruction. There were two possible conclusions:

1. The raisin is hiding at the back of the nose out of sight (not very likely)

2. Ben has swallowed a delicious bogey-flavoured raisin

So, we have to wait, if it is still trapped somewhere he will start to discharge from the nose or develop a chest infection and we will have to return to the hospital. It is far more likely that he has eaten the raisin via his nose.

Oh well, it was a variance to what we had planned today…

For Nose Raisin (Part One)

(For No Reason)

We are currently sat in the Minor Incidents section, a very new section, of the Accident and Emergency Department at Lancaster Royal Infirmary.

The reason we are here is because Benjamin has managed to jam a raisin up his left nostril.

To be fair, he told us that he had done so, by pronouncing Raisin and Nose just thirty minutes previously. We first asked a pharmacist who said that A&E was required.

We were initially seen in minutes so they could assess if it could be easily extracted. This is not the case, as the juicy beggar is jammed in there tight.

So now they have to render him unconscious so they can go in and extract the raisin.

While we wait I write this first part on my phone and deeply wish I had brought my iPad and some work as we could be here some time.

He Bangs the Drum

“Ye Gods No!” I cried when first i heard.

“How could they be so cruel?” I followed with as the realisation sank in.

Then…

“Well it isn’t all that bad, really, at least it is electronic,” as more information was forthcoming.

The reason for all this, well Linda and Steph have bought Ben a drum. I know, I wanted him to be a musician and they buy him a drum to thwart my dreams of a son who is a Rock-Star-Movie-Scientist-Author-Poet-Model-Samaritan-Hero, if he turns out a drummer it’ll totally Ringo him is my big worry “Peace and Love,” Ringo, “Peace and Love.”

Anyway, he seems to really like it, well it makes a noise and it lights up when he hits it, what’s not to like. And at least it isn’t a tin drum, I believe my brother once got one of those for Christmas and it had disappeared by Boxing Day, something about “loud noise” and “attic” is what my mum said.

Anyway, here is an obligatory video to amuse you.


(if the video doesn’t run in your browser then please use this link: He-Bangs-The-Drum download link)

Benjamin Loves Rock

So when you have a small child but you are enormous fans of rock music for many years, and are in fact partially responsible for introducing hard rock music (including thrash/death metal/stoner rock) to nephews to the despair of their poor parents, you get a little flack. Mostly this is in the shape of the fact that you have become sad because you know all the lyrics to Fifi and the Flowerpots or every tune in order on the musical toys the child has…

In fact it is usually a time for those parents you have annoyed, by teaching their children that music should be played loud enough to break your ears (“I want you to break my ears” – Atom Seed how I loved your t-shirts), to get their just revenge, declaring that now you are sad like you their child see them…

Well, children always see their parents as sad, it happens to all of us, but we are not going down without a fight, and in that light we have been exposing our child to the joys of Metal, by making him watch Scuzz and by playing the tunes to him.

A brief video shows the results so far…


(if the video doesn’t run in your browser then please use this link: Ben-Rock

The tune is Dying in your Arms by Trivium.