Mark Lifestyle 4 Comments

Secret to Happiness

As part of the Post-it Brand’s ‘Make It Happen‘ campaign I was asked to comment on a recent study about the secret to happiness.

I say secret, apparently you just need to earn £80,840 a year, live in a £443,000 four bedroom house, be healthy, married with two children, and work a twenty-seven hour week.

So who better to ask than a bankrupt divorcee, living in a northern two-bed terrace, with questionable physical/mental health and who earns precisely £80,840 a year less than the ideal.

It’s no wonder I’m so grumpy in the morning. It’s a miracle I get out of bed. OK, so a kazoo-tooting four-year old’s dribble in my ear may have something to do with it.… Read the full post

Mark Days Out, Lifestyle 8 Comments

40th Birthday Picnic

I’ve been in a stubborn state of denial about turning forty. I only acknowledged the date in order to insist on no boozy nights out, no “Look who’s 40!” scrawled on a bed sheet and left to litter a local roundabout, and definitely no surprise party!

Thankfully my family saw beyond my grumpiness and arranged a picnic in Lyme Park …

picnic1picnic2picnic3picnic4picnic5Read the full post

Mark Lifestyle 3 Comments

Saving Energy

A lot of football fans feel the bond with their club has lessened since the influx of foreign money. I feel the opposite.

You see I support Manchester City, bankrolled by the oil riches of Abu Dhabi who in turn, judging by my recent energy bills, are bankrolled by me. I’m as good as a board member.

Our latest estimate for these twelve months is £3,200. For a two bed mid-terrace?

Yep, I know that doesn’t sound right but apparently it is. Trust me, I’ve checked everything, rang everyone, and sat staring at the gas meter as it spins like a fruit machine just because Janet refuses to have a cold shower in February? I know, selfish to the last.

There was only one thing for it, an energy-saving drive!… Read the full post

Mark Lifestyle 2 Comments

My Ideal Kitchen

When I was asked what my ideal kitchen would be it wasn’t long before I realised that what I was describing was actually a panic room.

I suppose it’s not too surprising. The kitchen has become my last bastion of peace and quiet, ever since the kids conquered the bathroom in what became known as the battle of peaceful poo.

Being a stay-at-home dad I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, although it may be less if the boys discover how long it really takes to cook beans on toast (otherwise known as haricot beans in a tomato dressing, on a bed of lightly toasted granary if Masterchef is mid-season).

My culinary skills are limited though, and it’s not helped by what I have to work with.… Read the full post