Mark Tales of Embarrassment, Tales of School, Growing Old 6 Comments

Hoosier Dad

I’m not one for new year resolutions, what with me being willpower intolerant and all.

Don’t mock me now, it’s a genuine medical condition. The nurse diagnosed me as such at my over-forty health check. I think. She definitely mentioned something about willpower, the rest was a little hazy. To be honest I was still reeling from her suggesting my blood sample was 90% butter.

Then there’s the blackouts. Just this morning I came over all dizzy at the thought of a banana for breakfast. Weirdly I regained consciousness in a café with a full English breakfast in front of me?

Despite this chronic condition I’ve still set myself some goals for the year.

I’ve already started my learning to draw journey.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting, Tales of Embarrassment 14 Comments

I aint gettin’ on no plane

My recent trip to Paris with the Canvas Bloggers brought back memories of my last trip to France three years ago, particularly as we passed through passport control before boarding the ferry.

You see last time I went to France I nearly didn’t get beyond this point, but then why would you if you were suspected of human trafficking?

To explain I need to go back a few hours. Sonny was just a baby, none of us were particularly well slept, the taxi had arrived late and by the time we’d reached the airport we already had a long list of things we’d forgotten to pack.

Even in ideal circumstances Janet isn’t the greatest of flyers, so with our combined stress levels such that they would need the Richter scale to be measured we approached passport control.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting, Tales of Embarrassment, Tales of School 6 Comments

On the School Run

A few months ago I read what was possibly my favourite ever tweet …

school run tweet

At the time it really made me chuckle. Not so much now.

You see that 68-year-old man is a comrade; a true brother in arms.

As the old adage goes, one man’s confectionist is another man’s freedom fighter; and that other man is me!

To explain I need to take you back a few weeks.

Luca goes to Nursery in the afternoons, and to get there we need to cross the school playground.

Until recently this was largely uneventful but for Sonny’s insistence of a hug and a kiss as we pass. The week before half-term however it took a sinister twist.

A couple of Sonny’s friends were playing cops and robbers.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Embarrassment, Tales of Childhood 8 Comments

I’m not a fan of snow

I’m not a fan of snow.

It all started back when I was seven years old. My sisters and I were having a snowball fight in the street.

At the time my Auntie was visiting from America with her then partner, Chad.

I was hiding behind a car, and as I raised my head above the bonnet I heard a whistling sound. The rest is a little hazy.

I remember seeing Chad across the road.

I remember something white hurtling towards me.

I remember coming round in a bush with the snow around me resembling the aftermath of a Polar Bears seal supper.

You see Chad was the all-American hero tit. Loud, brash, and a pro-college baseball pitcher.

He’d launched a snowball from across the street that’d hit me slap bang in the face and burst my nose open.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting, Tales of Embarrassment 30 Comments

Religious Miseducation

We talk about religion quite a lot. Luca loves church buildings and mosques, Sonny is fascinated by the Hindu temple we occasionally drive past.

Despite being an Aetheist I like to think I treat them all equally and with the respect they deserve. OK, so likening God to the Wise Old Elf wasn’t one of my better ideas, and I’ll admit to being more than just a tad nervous about our next wedding invitation, but generally speaking I think I’ve handled it quite well .

I took responsibility for the Christian biggies like Christmas and Easter, while those I’m less well versed in have been more than adequately covered by Nursery and my teaching assistant Miss Google.

Like most subjects, when faced by the ignorance of a toddler, I speak with the enthusiasm of Brian Cox, and with a level of confidence that borders on cockiness.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Embarrassment, Days Out 1 Comment

Shame in the Museum

I’ve never been good at accents. Ask me to voice more than two teddies and it can quickly descend into a picnic hosted by Jim Davidson.

My knowledge of animals isn’t great either. Beyond the Farmyard and pages of ‘Dear Zoo’ it’s pretty much all guesswork.

With just two toddlers it hasn’t been a problem. When the audience includes half a dozen school kids and their teachers it does become a little more awkward.

And so, with Sonny at Nursery and after promising all week that we’d go and see T-Rex, off we ventured to the wonderful Manchester Museum.

On previous visits he was content with pointing at animals and letting me hazard a guess at what they might be. Happy days.… Read the full post