Miscellaneous Update

April 22, 2009

This weekend was rather full. It started for me with a BBQ with the Shipmates from The kids club that my children had been attending at my friend’s church. I longed to take pictures of some of the antics, but I was forced to fall back on my iPhone camera, which unless it has buckets of light, I would be better off drawing you a picture! I do have a perfectly acceptable point-and-shoot camera; however the charger has decided to give up, so it is currently acting as a paper-weight on my desk 😦

At the BBQ Lisa got her face painted which is lovely until it is time for bed. War broke out between Mrs Geek and Lisa over the removal, and peace was finally declared when I offered to take a photo of it … I’m glad I did.


Saturday morning we took kites to the park [1][2] (who knew parks had webpages?), and fought with the fact that there was little to no wind. (No photos 😦 )

When we got back we let the kids play out for a bit, when Lisa fell and hit her bottom on a concrete flower basin. After being given chocolate for being brave (she is a total chocoholic!) all was forgotten, or so we thought.

At lunch Mrs Geek put the kids in charge, so Bart decided he was going to have a Scooby-Doo Sandwich.


While Maggie failed to locate where she was meant to be putting the food.


Much to Mrs Geek’s delight, my rugby match was cancelled, so we all headed off to another of the local parks [1][2] to make the most of the rare sunshine that we have been experiencing. Mrs Geek’s Gran had given the kids some money to get themselves something for Easter, so we allowed them to get scooters to take to the park, Again I am frustrated that I have no photos of these, but I do have Lisa on the train!

All Aboard

That evening Mrs Geek and I took an all too rare opportunity to get a baby-sitter and went to friends’ for dinner. Good food, good company … It was all rather civilised 🙂

Sunday we went to the church service that rounded off the kids club, and then went to the beach to see if we could get more luck with the kites (we didn’t 😦 )

But whist we were out, Lisa again repeatedly needed to go to the bathroom. Initially we just put it down to her being fussy and silly, but when I took her there was a large bruise and a little blood in the bowl.

NHS Direct told us to take her to A&E (English for ER). 4 hours of waiting, one movie on the iPhone (Beethoven), numerous games of the ABC game, a bottle of Diet Coke (I needed to get her to give a sample) and 3 waiting room story books later, we were told that it was she had a minor infection and given a course of antibiotics and that it was “likely to be coincidental”. How reassuring.

The Patient

However it seems like she seems to be ok again and it gave us her another experience of going to the doctor without having the inflict any pain, so her fear of the medical profession seems to be subsiding.


For everything there is a season

March 20, 2009

OK It might be unwise for me to claim that I am playing catch-up again as this seems to be becoming my more of the rule than the exception 😦

As I mentioned last time, I had recently read The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and I promised to talk more about it, well I was writing my thoughts when I found myself going off on a little tangent, which I have decided to separate out from it for you now.

Feel free to skip this post if you find it a bit too depressing, but this post is about death (It also contains spoilers for The Time Traveller’s Wife). I think this is the first time I have come off the fence on my blog and declared the fact that I am not a particularly religious person.

I will take a minute as an aside to point out (as I know this is a hot button topic) that I am not particularly anti-religion and I bring up my children to be Catholics as that is Mrs Geek’s faith. I simply have no faith. This is not designed as a post about religion, other than relating to death it self, but it is hard to discuss one without the other. (I actually find theology an incredibly interesting topic, but one I would find very difficult to condense not to mention trivialise into a blog post.)

So anything post-death to me is a big unknown.

This being said I have never been particularly afraid of death, mainly because … well I just assumed it would happen when it happens. But now, since having children, things have changed. I don’t fear it as such, but thinking about it now holds an element of discomfort that never used to be there. It’s not because of some fear of the afterlife or even of death it self, but it’s more like the reason a tired 5 year old will protest about going to bed, even hours after bed time. It is the fear of missing something. I feel like it would be cheating me out of seeing my children’s future. It is the fear that my absence will cause them pain.

I have a friend whose Mum did not make it to her wedding day and whose Dad died just a few months before she gave birth to his grandson. Thankfully I can only imagine the pain of not having been able to share these moments with my parents.

In the story, I suppose this pain was partially mitigated by the fact that he had travelled to the future before he died so got to see some of the things he would have otherwise missed, but would that be enough?

Alas, I don’t have the ability to pop forward in time to see how things turned out so I guess for now I’ll just have to look both ways when I cross the road and try to get back into the habit of taking better care of myself (I have been running twice this week … it’s a start 🙂 )

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.

Back Again

November 24, 2008

OK so I have been gone a while… OK more that a while… Mea culpa.

Let me explain. I will start by saying that none of the following is meant to extract sympathy from anyone (Quite the contrary, I am in a rather happy place at the moment). However it seemed impossible for me to start writing again without addressing the fact that I have been gone for so long.

Recently I have been burning the candle at both ends in trying to keep on top of everything.

For those of you that do not know my personal arrangements, I am in the process of starting a photography business, and for now it is still small steps, but as is often the case with these things, work seems to come in spits and spurts. Add to this I am currently averaging around about a 50 hour work week with my day-job (needs must and all that), and I am trying to not make it impact too heavily on the time I have with the family, it leaves me getting up early and going to bed late.

Thus many of my “optionals” have had to go out of the window… I already watched little enough TV to make it a non-issue, but much to my horror I seem to have now stopped reading entirely. The last book I read was Witches Abroad back in April. I have also failed to keep to any kind of regular running schedule since the summer. I have even neglected twitter and I believe I am in danger the geek police taking away my membership!

As I said in the intro though, I am actually enjoying the current arrangement, I have been taking the kids to school each morning, I have ensured that I have not missed any of their events (Bart seems to have a significantly more active social life that I do) and I have made sure that I get to see Maggie as much as possible.

I have also resisted the pressure to stop playing rugby, and thus I continue to make Mrs Geek into a rugby widow each Saturday, a fact that has not exactly gone unnoticed in my household.

I also think that podcasts have kept me relatively sane over the past few weeks as I have been listening to them whilst travelling/processing photos/doing the dishes and any other time that I can multitask (I am a male so multitasking only works on a limited basis).

But blogging is for me a “Whole Brain” activity. It needs to be what I am doing. But I really do like doing the whole blogging thing. As well as being the closest thing that I am likely to keep to a diary, by describing what is going on in my life and venting frustrations etc, I really like reading other people’s blogs and adding to the community. But I now have over 1000 unread bloglines entries. I made an attempt to start reducing the number, but I feel I am unlikely to catch up.

The OCD in me makes it difficult to admit that I am not going to catch up with all I have missed, but the more I refuse to admit it the further I get behind… and the larger the barrier to my rehabilitation 🙂

I therefore declare myself BLOGRUPT!

However I recognise that the same OCD will make it really difficult to be a “casual” reader so I will have to cull the heard and slim down the number of blogs I try to keep up with.

P.S. Thankyou to RC and Tendrils for nudging me out of my blog paralysis! I will do the meme, when I get back to my computer (honest).

My name is Mr Geek and I am a ____oholic

September 10, 2008

OK so I got tagged by RC. I need to do the following:

List 5 current addictions and then tag 2 people.

It will take a little effort to keep it down to 5. Time to come clean. In this over diagnosed world I would suggest I have an odd, if not paradoxical blend of OCD and ADD*. The OCD makes it so that everything I do is an addiction, and I get frustrated if I am not given enough time to do it to perfection. This conflicts with the ADD which pulls my attention away from one obsession and focuses me on another then another. The end result is that I am a perfectionist that does a half assed job at everything and gets frustrated with all of it 😆

I would have liked to claim reading among my addictions, and for a long time it would have been #1, but it has been so long since I read anything I really can not. Just waiting for the next trip on the ADD addiction roundabout!

So here goes.

1) Diet Coke OK so the people that know me in the real world, know that my Diet Coke addiction is extreme. I drink way WAY too much! This however is being addressed the hard way by our recent need to budget 😦 Damn you cold turkey 😥

2) Emily OK, so I have not updated you recently, shouting about my shiny new gadget when I am meant to be budgeting just induces Mrs Geek’s technophobic discrimination. However, I do find that I am constantly playing with it whenever I have 5 minutes to myself. Between twitter, reading my blogs, podcasts (see below) and Aurora Feint (simple blocks game that is totally addictive).

3) Food I know it is not really an addiction in the true sense, but I seem to have a problem. I would love to trim a few pounds here and there, who wouldn’t, but my historical technique of increasing the amount of exercise seems to be failing me. (1) because I can’t actually find the time to dedicate to exercise what with the whole family life and all (2) because it makes me hungry and I eat. I know it is not rocket science, I just have to eat less … I just seem to suck at eating less. Some people eat to live … I live to eat!

4) Podcasts This is sort of related to 2, but I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts. Every now and then I do a purge of what I listen to, but then I find a whole bunch more that just drag me in! At some stage I will do a post detailing what I listen to, but I never seem to catch up.

5) Bloggs You notice I did not put blogging. I enjoy putting my thoughts down on … well not on paper, but you know what I mean. But I am far from addicted as you may have noticed by tendency for the odd Blogcation (Thanks to RC for that word). I really enjoy reading other peoples blogs and I love the kind of community spirit that form around them. I feel concerned when someone I virtually know virtually disappears for a while. If I had more focus I could totally make a good stalker!

Anyway, as I said there are many other addictions that I may have overlooked, repressed or was just too ashamed to admit to.

I tag Nemma who I just realised was not on my blog roll (now fixed … my humble apologies) and Tendrils (and this time RC has not beaten me to it!)

Tag … no returns!

*Note: I have not been diagnosed with either of these afflictions, I am using them for illustrative purposes only. (I do have many the tendencies though)

Why I Am Not A Better Blogger

August 5, 2008

I was inspired by BookMama’s post the other day, saying how she believes that she should have a notebook handy to jot down little Ideas for blog posts but I don’t think a notepad would get the job done for me though, as it occurred to me that the time I am most likely to come up with stuff is on my morning run.

I include this for comedy purposes only ... In real life I am a bronzed Adonis

I include this for comedy purposes only ... In real life I am a bronzed Adonis

My running partner and I have a mutual agreement that there is no need to talk whilst running as it tends to get in the way of the breathing process. This affords me plenty of time to think, and while much of that time may wondering what possesses me to get up at 6am to put myself through the pain of a 5 mile run, and how I wish my running mate would “Slow the #*!& down!” (I am not a very nice person in the morning), I try to spend as much time as I can manage thinking about things far more pleasant than running, which is just about anything else.

A number of times I have worked out what I wanted to write about, and even semi-composed the post in my head. The problem is, and this will not be news to the people that know me in the real world, that I really am quite a forgetful person. Actually that is an understatement. So by the time I get out of the shower it is gone. Never to be seen again … well at least not in any controllable way.

This is why a notepad would not be helpful as I cannot just whip out a pad and pencil half way around my run and jot down my notes. This is a problem I fear even Emily can not solve (as a more robust individual, running is no place for any gadget I care about … The cartoon is more accurate that I care to admit).

This is when I started to drift off into imagining some form of neural implant that transcribed my thoughts etc …. But that is just the nerd portion of my personality taking advantage of my weakened state and attempting to take over.

So I will go on record and say I would be a far better blogger … if only I didn’t loose all of my A-Game material in the shower!

Excuses, excuses

June 5, 2008

When I started blogging back in January, it was therapeutic, I had so much to talk about that it was liberating to open up and spill forth.

This past month or so however I have barely had time to think. Much has happened, many things that were notable enough to be blogged, but alas I have been too busy to stop and reflect.

So, time to catch up … Some of the things that I have been up to (in no particular order)

  • I shot a wedding back towards the end of March. And many an evening was lost to putting together an album and photobook combination. The results are wonderful, but sometimes I wonder if I do not spend too long making sure that everything is perfect. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I really enjoy doing this, but sleep is important too.
  • We went on holiday to EspaniaEspaña as I have mentioned, but this left me with lots of catch-up work to some how fit around the other parts of daily life.
  • My son and I went on his rugby tour. After a small falling out with the rugby club a number of the parents got together and arrange a “Rebel Tour” of Northampton. A truly excellent time.
    Run boy ... RUNTeam KirkhamMan and Boy
  • I have now joined my children’s (my daughter will be starting in September, and has a few “Taster” days coming up) school’s “Parents Society” and volunteered for far more than was actually sensible. Thus Friday night saw me as “Official Photographer” at their summer ball. A pretty much pro-bono type of arrangement in which I spent the night harassing people for money and taking their photos, I just about finished in time to get the last dance with Mrs Geek. However I have had many people express their gratitude, and I did actually really quite enjoy it.
  • I also volunteered to make a DVD of photos of the year 6 leavers. Another enjoyable, yet time consuming task.
  • We went down to Bristol to see My Parents and some of our friends. It was so so good to catch up. I made the mistake of saying to Mrs Geek “We should do this more often”, only to be told “We would if it were not for your rugby” … Ahh … Moving along
  • The rugby season has come to and end, and to be honest I am ready for the break … alas Mrs Geek seems to think that anything outside of rugby season is DIY season … so I spent the weekend building a stupendously large set of bookshelves for our “Library”.
    BooksThe Beautiful Room
  • All this has had to be dispersed around the 50 hour working weeks that I have been having to do at work, and it still looks like I am going to miss my deadline!

I know, I know, these are all pathetic excuses for not keeping the blog up to date, but they are what I have. I will try not to slack off so much in the future, but you will have to understand that there are times when life gets in the way of blogging.