Half Term

April 9, 2009

This week has been half-term … Well at least it is for my kids. Mrs Geek’s school has taken the alternative approach of starting half term on Good Friday. This meant that we had to arrange childcare for Bart and Lisa for the week. This is where my parents came to the rescue.

My parents have been looking after them down in Bristol (~200 miles from here), and it sounds like they have had quite some week, with day-trips to all the fancy places that we never take them.

It has been rather novel for us too. We have become so used to the chaos of three children that just having Maggie seems to be like coasting. I am sure it was far more difficult when we had just Bart! So for us this week has been all about productivity. After sending them on their way (Thanks to Guy [Bart’s Godfather] for taking them back with him), we spent a couple of hours in the garden, mowing and raking the lawn, rounding up the multitude of outdoor toys from every corner of the garden, and an overall tidy-up. A job that under normal circumstances would have taken a whole Sunday in the garden.

My next task was to clear the loft… 😦

Our loft hatch is 10ft from the floor and so narrow that I have to climb trough it sideways. In the loft is what can only be described as filth. Dirt, dust and debris that has accumulated over the past century (well almost, our house is 98 years old). I came back down looking like an old fashioned chimney sweep.

Tonight Mrs Geeks dad and I will be taking the first steps to install a sensibly size loft hatch.

On the positive side, it has allowed me to invest some serious time listening to audio books, and I may actually end up being able to remove all of the Christmas decorations, spare electronics, cables etc that are currently causing me claustrophobia every time I go into my office.

All in all, I think Bart and Lisa’s week may have been somewhat more exciting, but we did get to go to the early bird special at one of the local restaurants, which was a rare treat. Maggie really like the garlic bread!

Tomorrow Mrs Geek and I will be going down to see my parents and rescue them from our kids, but I fear the kids may not want to come home! We are banking on Maggie being cute enough to tempt them to come back with us 🙂

P.S. I appologise for the quality of these pictures, the iPhone camera sucks!


A Little Daydreaming

February 11, 2009

I seem to have something against people reading my blog, in that each time I start getting new readers I then have an attack of life getting in the way and the next thing I know I have been absent for [insert large duration here] and I find myself back to where I was before.

So in an attempt to stop the blog from going any colder than it already has, I will do what I often do in these situations and unscrupulously steal borrow inspiration from somebody else 😆

Today Just A Mom asked

If you could take off for a day all by yourself where would you go and what would you do?(please click here … it will ease my conscience over the theft repay the gift of inspiration 🙂 )

I replied, with a scaled back version of what is below, but it got me daydreaming and I decided to share 🙂

Jardin-Du-LuxembourgFor me, there is a park in the centre of Paris called Jardin du Luxembourg.

Whilst being surrounded by the some of the most beautiful architecture and statues, with un-ignorable history in every direction, whilst being in one of Europe’s busiest cities as well as having many small children playing nearby, somehow this place feels like the most tranquil place on earth.

Chess in Jardin Du LuxembourgThis is where I would spend the day. With the aid of a good book and the odd trip to a local café for hot chocolate, I would spend my hours luxuriating in this blissful stolen peace, amongst the elderly French men playing chess and more fountains than you could shake a stick at.

I would round the day off by returning to the street restaurant on the Champs-Élysées that Mrs Geek and I visited when we were expecting Lisa, where I would once again sample their divine culinary skills by indulging myself with a very rare steak followed by crème brûlée.

I think the only thing to mar this day would be the fact that the original question stated that I was to be “all by yourself”, and as much as this would be an overwhelmingly good day, I think I would struggle to get past the fact that I wanted to share the day with Mrs Geek who I know would probably enjoy the above at least as much as I would.

While I am conscious not to wish my time away (quite the opposite), I do look forward to one day taking this particular daydream and turning it into a reality.

So am I just a freak, or do others have little snapshots of life that they have tucked away until a more suitable time?

Boys Night Out

December 2, 2008

Further to my Day of restraining myself from strangling anyone less than 5′ tall looking after my children, last night my friend Guy and I took Bart to watch his first football match.

LayersBilled as an early christmas present, it was clearly going to be a hit, but I was concerened by the fact that the game kicked of nearly an hour past his usual bedtime, the temperature was knocking -2 and we had over an hour’s drive to get home afterwards.

However, with the usual poor judgment I tend to show in all things parental, I decided he was up to it.

Thankfully he was in a sensible mood and decided to nap on the way there so as to be awake for the game.

When we got there, he came alive with questions. Facinated by everything, yet overwhelmed by nothing he asked about the hillsbrough tribute, about the anouncement that racist or homophobic abuse would not be tollerated (Thankfully I had addressed much of this before), about the Michael Shields anouncement (A fan that has been in prisoner for the past 3 years for a crime that it would apear he did not commit)… Everything.

Free Michael Now

He continuously refered to his programme to tell me which player had done what. To see this boy who is so often frustratingly apathetic to the privaliges he is given so engaged was wonderful.

Unfortunatly we were seated just infront of a man that litterally swore in every sentance, a fact that I was hopeing would go unnoticed due to it being heavily drenched in scouse. Alas you can not hide any swear words from this boy as they seem to be his pet facination, but he did seem to understand that this was not a “very nice man”, and that maybe swearing is almost as uncool as mummy and daddy keep suggesting.

Unfortunatly the game ended a goalless draw. Bart took this in relativly good spirits, but thankfully for once, he really did seem to care.

The night was topped off by one final act of poor parenting on my part, as we all finished the night sat in a carpark sharing a KFC bargain bucket.


Imperial War Museum North

September 2, 2008

Note: Woops! I wrote this post a number of weeks ago, but left it in draft as I hadn’t copied the photos to my Mac (shouldn’t have bothered). Since then I had forgotten about it, until I looked just now. I figured I would publish it any way

Disclaimer: This is not my normal happy type post, so you may want to skip this one.

On Saturday we the weather was … well lets just say somewhat changeable, so we postponed the planned treasure trail and decided to pick a museum, as the kids have got really into going to museums recently. We decided to make a day of it and go to Manchester to take in one of the big museums, and we decided on the Imperial War Museum, as both of the children had found the subject very interesting in our local museum.

We started with the Horrible Histories exhibition, which is a child friendly exhibit with information mainly related to the first world war.

A fact I had not realised was that on Armistice Day, as we know the armistice was signed on 11th of November at 11 O’Clock. 11th Hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and all that but what I didn’t know was that the soldiers were told at 9am that it was going to be signed but they were expected to continue fighting for 2 hours knowing that the war was over but for the paperwork. 2000 allied soldiers died that day!

Don’t get me wrong, being English I have had heard a lot of information about the awfulness of the two world wars, but no matter how much you find out about them, there is still new things to be outraged by.


By now it had dawned on me that, as interesting and educational as it may be, this was maybe not going to be the most uplifting of day trips. We then went into the main exhibition where they gave a light hearted children’s talk about heroic animals during the war.

At the end of this they announced that there was a film about children in wartime, so found ourselves some seats and stayed to watch it. Big Mistake. They told us about the evacuation of the children during the Blitz and how the children got through it, and all I could think of was how can somebody be expected to make the decision whether to either allow their child to taken to the countryside to be looked after by a stranger or to keep them in the city to experience the worst bombing England had ever seen.

Again, this is all stuff I had heard many times before, but not as a parent. Sitting there holding one of my children close to me listening to the awfulness of peoples experiences made me want to vomit.

It is hard to describe the experience a place like the IWM provides. As awful as it sounds, it is incredibly interesting and while I believe it is important not to dwell on the past (as we Brits are often accused) I do think it important that we know our history. In the words of George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”