Merry Christmas

December 24, 2008

For those of you that did not get a physical card through the door, I now send it out in electronic form.

Christmas Card 2008
(Click for larger version)

Have a very Merry Christmas, and I hope to update you before the new year, but lets face it, I may well fail in this one, so just in case, I wish you all a Happy 2009 also!

P.S. If RC thought she humiliated her cat … try getting an 8 year old to pose with a tea towel on his head.


Photos Catch-up

December 23, 2008

OK so after the last post where I found that I was the only one who hasn’t been sharing their photos, and I got the “gentle” reminder that I have not exactly been generous with the photos of my children with my vast audience I decided to share a few of the photos from the pre Christmas build up.

IMG_4343Firstly, just to show that when RC discussed “Co-Sleeping” I mentioned that although we are lucky enough to have a king-size bed, it is still far from spacious at times.

Secondly … OK I have still not got around to taking a picture of the trimmed tree … however it can (partially) be seen in the background of this picture of Lisa.


For Tendrils who told me off for not sharing reminded me that I had not posted any pictures of baby Maggie recently

IMG_4352 IMG_4356 IMG_4370 IMG_4373

And having told numerous people how I do not do early Christmas presents, yesterday we had a Mini-Christmas for my brother-in-law’s girlfriend as she is going back to the US today to be with her family for Christmas. So here are some of the pictures from the Geek’s Christmas dress rehearsal.

IMG_4392 IMG_4393 IMG_4408 IMG_4414 IMG_4416 IMG_4418 IMG_4436 IMG_4445 IMG_4452

Share Your Photos

December 19, 2008

I am always taking photos. Mainly of my children, but often when they are with friends it is inevitable that I will take pictures of them too. This is a good thing because my kids will want photos of the people they grow up with.

Every so often I get a photo of someone else’s child that I know is a great shot (I’m not blowing my own trumpet, while I like to think I am quite good, if you take as many photos as I do, sheer chance means you will capture a few great photos). I know that if someone else had that image of one of my children I would be very grateful if they were to send it to me, yet something makes me hold back from sending it to them. Maybe it is because I am a bit more reserved without my Mr Geek veil of anonymity, maybe it is because I don’t want to be labelled as “That Guy”, but today I read the New York Times Article about Allen Goldberg and his son Henry. A story that I think has pushed me into sending those pictures. This REALLY is heart wrenching and I will confess to blubing a little when I read it, so do so at your own risk. I am not sure that those extra photos would have made all the difference, but he makes a good point, those photos should be shared!

For the story Click here

Goin’ Huntin’

December 17, 2008

ElmerToday we went huntin’ for wabbits cwistmas twees.

Having failed to get out to get a Christmas tree over the weekend it was getting to be “now or never”. So a cwistmas twee a huntin’ we did go. Got us a big one too!

Cwistmas Twee Huntin

But you should have seen the one that got away!

It did put up a bit of a fight in that I have very few sections of either my arms or face without pickles. Anyway after much frustration in strapping it on to the car and dragging it in to the house, we got it stood up and decorated and displayed as today’s hunting trophy 😀

Due to be being disorganised as ever, the picture of the decorated tree will have to wait as it has already been a day since writing and I don’t have a picture of the decorated tree on my iPhone 😦

100 Things About Me

December 10, 2008

It seems to be de rigeur that on your 100th post you post 100 facts about yourself. So here it is …

1. I have brown eyes
2. I have brown hair, with a slowly increasing number of gray touches
3. I am an only child
4. My weight yo-yos between ~ 90-100 kg (~200-220 lbs)
5. I run the 100 in about a minute
Prop Forward6. This is why I play prop
7. I enjoy reading, but do it far to infrequently
8. The only TV shows that I watch regularly now are Top Gear and The Big Bang Theory
9. My current favourite song is rather bizarrely “Do you hear the people sing” from Les Miserables
10. I know in certain circles that is acceptable, but none that I regularly inhabit
11. My second favourite is “Something Inside So Strong” by Labi Siffre
12. I am neither a French revolutionary nor black and in general have never had to overcome any obstacles like those that these songs address, but for some reason they really seem to move me.
13. I went to Manchester University between 1996 and 1999
14. I met my wife in a bar called “The Grot”!
15. We barely parted company for the following 6 weeks.
16. I knew then that I would love her for ever
Durdle Door17. I proposed to her at Durdle Door in Dorset.
18. I wanted it to be in Paris, but circumstances conspired against me.
19. I am ashamed to say that I don’t make enough of an effort to make her feel special nearly as often as she deserves.
20. My favourite teacher was called Mr Carr
21. I think that teaching is probably the most noble profession in the world.
22. Unfortunately, I realised this after embarking on an entirely different career
23. I like to think that maybe one day I will take the plunge and train to be a teacher
24. It is not an option in the foreseeable future
25. To say I read Physics would possibly be overstating it, but it was the subject on the degree certificate.
26. I find a strange tranquillity about big cities.
27. My 2 favourite places are London and Paris
28. I am not a morning person
29. I am addicted to Diet-Coke
30. Those last two are more fundamental to my being than their position in this list would imply.
31. I worked in an abattoir during one summer holiday
32. The furthest North (68º) and East(27º) I have been is Saariselkä, Finland
33. The furthest South (40º North) I have been is Madrid, Spain
34. The furthest West (22º) Reykjavik
35. I feel rather disappointed that I have not stretched those Lats/Longs further
36. I have a tattoo on my bum.
37. I got it on 14th Feburary 1998
38. It is part of a set … no more hints
39. I consider a Pringles can as a single portion
40. Consequently I try to stay away from Pringles
41. Anyone that comes to my house for food is likely to have had Beer-Can-Chicken
42. Followed by Rice pudding
43. I make a mean rice pudding!
44. I love watching Kids TV
45. I often use my kids as an excuse to watch films from my past such as The Goonies and Ghost Busters
Gummi Bears46. And TV shows such as the Muppets and Gummi Bears
47. Consequently my children surprise other adults with references to programs that are out of place.
48. I like my toast to be cut top to bottom (I think its the symmetry)
49. I cried when I watched La vita è bella
50. This is not as rare an occurrence as my machismo would like to pretend
51. I have been a rugby player for over 20 years
52. Despite the above, I rarely drink any alcohol
53. I own “A Brief History In Time” but unlike %90 of people to have bought it, I have actually read it.
54. I had my tonsils out when I was 8
55. I used to really enjoy rock climbing
56. But that was 10 years and 20 30 kg ago
57. I love camping
58. It really annoys me that people seem to have no manners any more
59. It makes me cringe when I hear myself sounding old enough to make the previous statement
60. But really, if I let you out in traffic, just raise a hand or smile or some how acknowledge my existence
61. And don’t get me started on shop assistants
62. I love Lego
63. It took me 5 separate attempts to get through the first chapter of Catch 22
64. It is now one of my favourite books
65. I think I could spend a week in Borders and not get tired of it
66. I often have 3 books on the go at the same time. A daytime book, a bedtime book, and a book for in the bath.
67. At the moment I am down to my bath book only 😦 .
68. I have not had a bath in months.
69. I have showered … honest!
70. I love listening to audiobooks and podcasts whenever I have chores; it feels like I get to reclaim that time.
71. I don’t get the whole coffee thing. It tastes like crap.
Jif Lemon72. I like to drink lemon juice from the Jif squeezy lemon.
73. I know the words to every song in the Sound of Music
74. …and Mary Poppins and Oliver!
75. Again I’ll refer you to # 9
76. My mental image of myself is stuck at the age of about 20.
77. Consequently I don’t do mirrors!
78. I have attended a gay wedding
79. I think it is sad that this is remarkable
80. I only really stay in contact with one person from school (pre-facebook)
Layers81. He was my best man and is my son’s godfather and visible in the background to this picture …
82. I secretly quite like it when Mrs Geek plays Kenny Rogers (We are both a little sad like that)
83. I swear more than I should, mainly it is confined to the rugby club though.
84. I support Liverpool Football Club
Robbie Fowler85. I think Robbie Fowler can probably walk on water
86. I am also (surprisingly to some) a big fan of David Beckham
87. I was probably the only person that was surprised when I found out that he cheated on his wife.
88. I really did think he was better than that 😦
89. Bart managed to get through the first 2 ½ years without watching any television.
90. This was not for any high brow reason, we just had an old TV that took ages to turn on.
91. Mrs Geek and I had our honeymoon in Prague
92. We stayed in a hostel with a shared bathroom and single beds.
93. My favourite food is a rare fillet steak.
94. Closely followed by my Mum’s Curry.
95. I have never broken a bone
96. I have however dislocated all of my fingers on separate occasions.
97. I really love Christmas
98. It is not really Christmas until I have watched White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life and Miracle On 34th Street
99. I also love weddings.
100. I sang in my school choir even though I can not carry a tune in a bucket!

And thus concludes the 100 on my 100th post… I don’t know if anyone made it to the bottom, but if so errm… well done I suppose. Just be happy in the knowledge that it took me far longer to come up with them than it took to read them.

Christmas Meme-ories

December 9, 2008

OK, even though I still have not got around to the last Meme that both RC and Tendrils tagged me for (I’m not at my computer to look at my photos and when I am [Cue the violins] I am too manic to remember to look it up)

But I have gone ahead and robbed this one from Tendrils anyway because I love Christmas and it was too good to pass up (P.S. I too have added the WordPress Christmas Snow … Yipee!) (P.P.S The OCD made me change the many uses of Favorite to Favourite … The voices in my head made me do it :-p ) (P.P.P.S … and color!)

Cola Cao1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot Chocolate. If for no other reason than I have never had Egg Nog! One of the few things we here in England have not decided to copy. I really did develop quite a liking for Cola Cao (slightly thicker, and richer than normal hot chocolate) when Mrs Geek lived in Spain.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
Family presents go under the tree, Santa fills the stockings and sacks by the fireplace. Each child has different wrapping paper to avoid confusion. (He really is very considerate).

3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white?
White. I don’t know why, I just feel they look nicer.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Never have, but they were selling it when we got the tree last year, and if I had more money with me, last year would have been the first… Therefore I anticipate this year being our first Kissmas 🙂

5. When do you put your decorations up?
Anytime in December that we have opportunity. This year Mrs Geek seems to have taken much of the load as they are mostly in place, yet I have not been party to it. I believe the Tree and the paper chains are being left for me. The Tree because it is heavy, and the paper chains because I have to get the big ladders out.

6. What is your favourite holiday dish?
Here in the UK traditionally Christmas day is our “Turkey Day”. But we gave up having a traditional Christmas dinner in our house as it became too much effort to police the children on a day when we just want to be happy. Therefore it has now been ruled that Christmas day is “Favourite Food” day. This meant that last year the adults got turkey and all the trimmings, Bart got lasagne, and Lisa got fish fingers and potato waffles. I think I will stick with the Turkey.

7. Favourite Holiday memory as a child:
Christmas day as a 6 year old playing with my “Space Lego” while the adults were sleeping off the turkey.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
What truth? I met him last year… Jolly nice man he was too 🙂

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No way (Shame on you Tendrils)

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Mrs Geek and I have built a collection of little decorations over the years, but many are still the super cheap decorations we bought from Lidl for £1 on our very first Christmas. Alas fewer and fewer of them are making it through each Christmas.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
I LOVE snow! But we get so little of it, it does seem a little wasteful to have it on Christmas day when there is already so much going on. That said two years ago was my first White Christmas, and it was lovely.

12. Can you ice skate?
Yep. I used to like in a city with an Ice Rink so it was an integral past of my childhood. But it tended to be a summer activity.

13. Do you remember your favourite gift?
As this is a clean blog (ish) I will assume this means when I was a child. In which case I will go with my old Atari 2600 .

14. What is the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Happy people. I love seeing people happy.

15. What is your favourite Holiday Dessert?
Again I am very English… Christmas pudding (with a coin in) with custard! (Hold the brandy/sherry/other nasty spirits). I am also quite partial to the odd mince pie.

16. What is your favourite holiday tradition?
Going to the Pantomime on Christmas Eve with the family … which isn’t going to happen this year 😥 .
And going to my friend’s church for carols by candle light (which hopefully is going to happen, although it may be a bit late for Maggie)

Chubby Angel17. What tops your tree?
A chubby little angel doll, mounted via a twisted coat hanger. She was another hold over from that first Christmas where we couldn’t afford anything better, but I don’t think we will every want to replace her.

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving?
Giving. I’m not claiming to be all altruistic, I just like seeing other peoples reaction.

19. What is your favourite Christmas Song?
I have always loved the carol “Away in a manger” … but I think my daughter’s school rendition of “Mary, Rock Your Baby” has it now 😉

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
Neutral … I would much rather have chocolate.

That’s it … There seems to be no mention of tagging others in the original post, so I will not tag others other than RC because then I can point out that I tagged her even if Tendrils neglected to 🙂

P.P.P.P.S. On the subject of memes this was Published Post #99

Little Angel

December 5, 2008

TaDaThis week was Lisa’s school nativity play. I was asked to be the “Official Photographer” type person, and put together a slideshow for the parents, as in the past they had got a company in to video it, but it ended costing too much money. This meant that I got to go to every performance including the dress rehearsal and have pretty much unrestricted access to wander around taking photo’s. I also got access to the sound desk to record a track to put the music to the slideshow.

I was in heaven… I have mentioned before that I am a sucker for Christmas, mix Christmas with one of my children on stage and I am one very proud and happy Geek, allow me to take my camera and I might just burst!

SmileNot so long ago I would have totally bought in to the little angel thing, but recently she has become significantly more naughty disobedient rebellious … lets say “wilful”. But speaking to her teacher, you get the impression that butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.

So why the Jackal and Hyde, is she reserving her good behaviour for in school? I’ll admit it’s better than vice versa, but she really does seem to be testing where the boundaries are. I suppose to be honest, I don’t blame her. She gets away with far too much, but who could stay grumpy with this little angel?