Mark Rants 8 Comments

Reflections on 2016

It may seem a little premature to be writing a review of 2016, but I’m not sure what my internet signal will be like if I need to bunker down with a four-year supply of tinned sardines and a wind-up torch. If Vodafone’s coverage in my kitchen is anything to go by, it’s not looking good.

If 1992 was an annus horribilis, this last twelve months must surely qualify as an annus whatthefuckisthis.

So many creative visionaries bailing out early as if they foresaw something we didn’t. The rise of the far-right at the expense of the left. Basic humanity deemed somehow incompatible with hosting Match of the Day. Syria, Brexit and Trump.

Now, I’m no theologian, but I’m pretty sure that’s the seven signs of the apocalypse right there.… Read the full post

Mark Uncategorised 6 Comments

Middle-aged Spread

Do you remember when this blog used to be about the kids? Nope, me neither. I should probably just change its name from The Tales of Sonny and Luca to The Miserable Mutterings of a Middle-aged Man and be done with it, although to be fair, if they want to play a larger part in the blog they could try taking their faces out of a screen once in a while and communicating. There’s only so much you can write about them stomping upstairs and eating bogeys.

*Makes mental note to write a post about them stomping upstairs and eating bogeys.

This post is about middle-aged spread, which apparently is something that hangs heavy over my belt and not a buffet with pineapple and cheese on sticks as I’d always assumed.… Read the full post

Mark Nintendo Leave a Comment

Paper Mario Color Splash

paper-mario-colour-splash-coverRole-playing and card battle games are genres that have largely past me by, such is my refusal to entertain anything beyond left, right and jump. But as a disciple of all things Mario and a sucker for a kidnapped Princess I’m always prepared to make an exception.

With a talking paint can for company, the basic premise of Paper Mario Color Splash is to restore colour to the land of Prisma Island and find its stolen Big Paint Stars.

What’s most notable when you first start the game is how beautiful the graphics and textures are. The Wii U might not have the processing power of its rivals but that doesn’t stop it turning arts and crafts into gorgeous level designs, doing with paper and cardboard what Yoshi’s Woolly World did so brilliantly with yarn.… Read the full post

Mark Short Stories & Poetry, Tales of Parenting 1 Comment

The Penny Pincher

Strange things are afoot. Tales are emerging of a grim creature intent on frightening children and adults alike. So terrifying it would give a killer clown the willies.

Rumour has it he’s the result of an experiment that went horribly wrong. An ambiguous mix of chemistry and alchemy. One part stay-at-home dad, many parts don’t-make-me-get-a-job.

Some think it the stuff of urban legend. Others claim to have witnessed his devilment first hand. All know him as ‘The Penny Pincher’.

One victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims to have experienced his presence on numerous occasions.

Jeanette (not her proper name), takes up the story.

“It was early October. The temperature had dropped into single figures so I went to turn the heating on.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting 10 Comments


I’ve started running. I’d like to say it’s part of a wider health kick or due to a sudden epiphany about my own mortality, but I’d be lying.

Truth is, a couple of weeks ago I lost a race with Luca. Not a proper race, mind. There was no starting gun, agreed finish line or post race drug test.

And if this sounds like I’m making excuses, I’ve barely even started.

He was wearing his PE kit. I was carrying two school bags and a coat. I gave him a head start and he set off running at ‘get set…’

But as anyone watching will tell you, I wasn’t catching him. If anything he was pulling away. And if I’d dropped the bags, which I did consider doing, it was still highly unlikely I would have won.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Fatherhood, Tales of Parenting 4 Comments

Confessions of a House Husband

Not those kind of confessions, get your mind out of the gutter.

If you were expecting this to begin with a rugged plumber knocking at the door I can only apologise. The most excitement you’d get from me in that scenario is if he didn’t condemn our boiler for another year. And if I’m naked it’s only because the kids let him in without telling me. Again.

Seriously, were you really expecting some kind of 70’s style smutty soft porn? Really? I mean, I can give you 70’s style smutty soft porn if that’s what you want…


Happy now? No, didn’t think so.

The confessions I’m talking about involve domesticated deceit. They’re a glimpse into the dark arts of house-husbandry. Secrets that could easily see me shunned in the playground or worse still, ostracised from the SSSP (Secret Society of the Stay-at-home Parent).… Read the full post