Mark Tales of Parenting 2 Comments

Quest to the Bottom of the Basket

washing basketOn a recent quest to the bottom of the washing basket, I made a remarkable discovery.

Not only could I carbon date my housework from within the mountain of clothes, but also my life.

I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying both peaked around 2009.

At the surface is an ever shifting layer of school uniforms, mixed in with a selection of Janet’s clothes that suspiciously always settle near the top. It’s almost as if they’ve been carefully placed there for someone to find?

Digging further I came across a deep layer of clothes from the ‘will definitely need ironing’ period, beneath which was a dense layer of bedding.

Now, it’s at this point my vertigo normally kicks in and I stop burrowing, but for reasons of procrastination, on this particular day I decided to don my head torch, take a deep breath and keep going.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting 3 Comments

Summer Holidays

time you enjoy wasting isnt wasted timeThe impending summer holidays mark the end of what may have been the longest and most protracted gardening leave on record.

Who knew being a full-time stay-at-home dad came with a twelve month notice period? Not Janet, that’s for sure.

That’s not to say the last twelve months have been wasted. Within the window of school runs I’ve managed to finish the first year of my degree, helped out at the boys’ school one day a week, honed my house-husbandry skills to a (relatively) acceptable level and only occasionally taken an afternoon nap.

Wow, Janet’s right, that does sound remarkably like the lifestyle of someone retired. It also explains why, when asked what I’d like for my birthday, all I could think of was a tabard with a front pocket to hold my clothes pegs.… Read the full post

Mark Rants 2 Comments

In Support of Jeremy Corbyn

jeremy corbyn labour leadershipWhilst watching the recent budget announcement, something troubled me.

It wasn’t anything George Osborne said, I’d actually expected far worse.

It wasn’t even the fist pumping of Iain Duncan Smith, like a teenager who’d just groped his first boob.

What bothered me was that in presenting a budget so unequivocally blue as to make Pantone question their primary colours, they’d still somehow managed to out-Labour Labour?

They’d been to the reclamation yard, rummaged through the rubble of the infamous tombstone and pilfered the best bits for themselves.

Now I’ve nothing against a good policy crossing political lines, but there was a time when Labour policies were so far removed from Tory ideology that to reach them would induce travel sickness. They were radical and progressive.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting, Tales of School 7 Comments

The Circle of Life

The boys have reached the age where they’re learning about the circle of life.

It’s a wonderful period of discovery. At school they have a mini-beast hotel and a butterfly garden. An allotment and a pond. They’ve witnessed tadpoles become frogs, and fed lambs on a farm.

But it’s not so much a circle as an arc. A joyous and magical arc, but it still needs to complete its circumference, and for reasons of my own doing, that part has inadvertently fallen on me. While their teachers are sharing in the wonderment of life, I’m the one whom taketh it away. Like the grim reaper of entomology.

You see, I’m not very good at keeping things alive. Not the kids, obviously.… Read the full post

Mark Nintendo, Reviews Leave a Comment

Yoshi’s Woolly World

Yoshi_Woolly_World_CoverIf you were to judge a game by the amount of housework I get done over the subsequent days, then Yoshi’s Woolly World scores very highly. Just ask Janet, if you can see her through the dust storm that’s engulfed our front room.

Heavily influenced by Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and all the better for it, Yoshi’s Woolly World is undeniably Nintendo. A 2D platformer that harks back to earlier adventures, and with its luscious woollen graphics and perfect controls it still feels as fresh as ever.

As always, the degree of difficultly is in the hands of the player. The boys are happy to race through the levels with the blinkered goal of reaching the final boss, frantically sticking out Yoshi’s tongue to swallow balls of wool that then become projectiles.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting, Tales of School 2 Comments

School Sports Day

I love a good sports day, although I prefer to call it by its proper name, Sky Sports Super Sunday.

School Sports Day on the other hand …

I try to remain enthusiastic. No really, I do. But there comes a point, normally around heat 32 of the sack race, where it starts to wane.

It’s not helped by the egg and spoon race. I wouldn’t trust either of my two to carry an egg from the kitchen to the dining room, carefully and using both hands. Yet I have to sit and applaud heat after heat of three year-olds with the hand-eye coordination of a drunken baboon stumble fifty metres across a field riddled with molehills, all the while trying to balance it on a spoon?… Read the full post