Mark Canvas Holidays, Family Tales, Days Out, Reviews 2 Comments

Altomincio Family Park with Canvas Holidays

altomincio-poolOur trip with Canvas Holidays to Altomincio Family Park near Lake Garda was to be a holiday of firsts. First time on a plane; first time abroad; our first proper holiday as a family.

As we sat in the airport, and in an attempt to avoid Luca’s question about how planes stay in the air (magic?), I asked the boys what they were most looking forward to.

Sonny: “To finally try some proper pasta dishes!”

Harsh. As their stay-at-home dad who’s been cooking pasta twice a week for the past five years I could have been offended.

Luca: “Trying out the Spanish I learnt at school!”

Proof, were it needed, that his passion for languages may be to the detriment of his geography.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting 10 Comments

Pop-Tart Dad

You know the whole ‘I’d always put my kids first’ malarkey.

You often hear it said on the Jeremy Kyle show, just before it’s revealed they went on a six day bender to Benidorm leaving their kids home alone with some Pop-Tarts and a Fruit Shoot.

Or a blurry meme on Facebook that looks like a greetings card bought in Woolworths circa 1978 and overshared to within an inch of its life.

But whilst you’ll not see me announcing it on daytime TV or social media, I’d like to think I do at least share the sentiment.

That I’d always put my kids welfare before my own.

Were they to step out into a busy main road without looking for example, I like to think I’d be the one who saved them, scooping them up with both arms whilst somersaulting to safety, then lifting them above my head as a trophy of my heroism while a school choir, that just so happened to be passing, sang Westlife’s ‘You Raise Me Up’ from across the street.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting, Tales of Fatherhood, Rants, Short Stories & Poetry 1 Comment

Through the Eyes of Another

The street lights flickered as if unsure what was expected of them. I found a bench beneath the most assertive and sat down.

A van approached, fast at first but significantly slower the closer it got. As it crawled past its engine called out to me, revving as if bereft of gears. Looking up from my phone I noticed the man in the passenger seat had locked eyes on me. They remained locked long after it’d driven past. Uncomfortably so.

The van then stopped a little further up the road, performed a three-point turn and was now coming back, even slower than before. Now I was nervous. This time both passengers stared, the man furthest away visibly stretching beyond the driver to get a good look.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting 2 Comments

Holding a Grudge

taekwond-doFew hold a grudge quite like Luca. He’s the Heston of vengeance. If revenge is a dish best served cold, Luca serves his in liquid nitrogen. Were he an Avenger he’d be Permafrost.

If you don’t believe me, just ask Sonny about their Taekwondo lesson a few months ago when he sparred with his brother for the first time. I’m reluctant to call it a grudge match given only Luca knows what that grudge was, but it was clearly a HUGE one that he’d held for a long, LONG time.

It was supposed to be non-contact!? To be fair, it’s impossible to tell whether any contact was made such was the flurry of punches and kicks that rained down on poor Sonny.… Read the full post

Mark Nintendo, Reviews 1 Comment

Kirby: Planet Robobot

kirby-planet-robobot-box-coverI don’t often play the 3DS. To be honest, I spend more time hiding it. I could be the responsible parent who tells his children they’re not starting a new game two minutes before we’re supposed to be leaving for school, but I much prefer the ‘accidentally leaving it under some towels on the top shelf in the bathroom’ approach.

There’s nothing more infuriating than sending them off to get dressed only to find them ten minutes later naked but for the pants on their head, watching TV, with the 3DS is one hand and the other launching cushions at their brother.

I say nothing, Sonny’s liberal use of the word “whatevs” probably pushes it close, but that’s a rant I’ll save for another day.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting, Tales of Fatherhood, Family Tales, Activities 2 Comments

Young Dads Collective

As a ‘dad blogger’ you know Fathers Day is approaching when your inbox suddenly becomes swamped by Fathers Day gift guides. The cynical blogger in me reads them as a list of ‘things I was sent for free’, although to be fair, I’m just bitter that the best thing I was offered this year was a ‘Best Dad in the World’ tankard?! One email did suggest a £500 watch but sadly it was just that, a suggestion.

But it does raise serious questions, and not just ‘what child is buying their dad a £500 watch, and more importantly, how do I get myself one of these kids?’

Because when I think back to when I first became a stay-at-home dad, what I really wanted wasn’t a Top Gear toiletry set.… Read the full post