Tonight I have arrived home to an eerily quiet house.
Slowly I made my way suspiciously into the house & located Dementor 1 & 2 watching different episodes of Denis Daily on separate TVs. Who I’m convinced is using some sort of mind control trick from within the screen.
This idyllic scene was quickly broken by several animalistic sounding growls & groans floating down the stairs. Fighting my initial instinct, to head back to work, I gingerly climbed the stairs towards what sounded like an angry bear dislodging a hair ball.
Opening the bathroom door while quietly praying that it was indeed an angry bear, I was met by the sight of the Marvellous one on her knees hugging the porcelain of the throne.. damn, why couldn’t it have been said Bear!
Its all shits and giggles, minus the giggles!
My main concern, now that Gentle Ben’s maniacal sister is tucked up in bed & D1 and D2 are soon to follow, is that sickness has arrived at our front door.
It’s not the fluids that will be expelled, the potential for the kids to catch this bug, the beck & call I will be at or even the possible pain I myself face enduring by contracting this virus, nope it’s the timing!
This weekend sees the beginning of the Six Nations Rugby competition, I’ll not be pleased if I have to watch it from the toilet
I’m a fairly open minded kind of guy! Which comes in handy in our modern age of self expression and open sexuality.
I’m a full member of my organisations LGBT 🏳️🌈 community & last year I even realised there was a recognised sexuality which I fully identified with, making me a proud Aromantic! Look it up if interested, it’s not what you may think & genuinely has nothing to do with Ducks
Despite this I always considered gender to be one area of humanity that couldn’t be altered, so I struggle with gender neutral, gender fluid etc. Or I thought I did
A little earlier as I was ironing, my Wife, the Marvelous Mummy entered the room with our 4 year old boy, Dementor #2. Scanning her new jewellery holder, D2 took hold of an item & asked if he could have that necklace as he liked the shiny clasp.
MM instinctively said no, as boys don’t wear necklaces. On hearing this I opened my mouth to reinforce her point, yet the words that spilled out were new & although I heard my own voice speaking I didn’t fully recognise myself. My response?
“Boys can wear a necklace if they want”
A necklace may not seem that shocking, loads of men wear chains or small necklaces and have done for decades, centuries even. Which got me to thinking that perhaps i wasn’t standing up for the item itself but the concept! The concept that boys wearing or being something they are traditionally not meant to be is ok.
Let’s remember that the blueprint for humanity was drawn up in a time that would be as unrecognisable to us as it would be to the people back then if we all came face to face today.
Point being, if my boys grow up & want to be, well whatever they feel comfortable identifying as then who am I or who is anyone to deny them their identity? I would not only accept them without question but stand up for them at every corner. This life is a big game & we are all taking it to seriously
Take the statement, Live and let live! 4 simple words that should be considered as the Worlds strapline. Consider how things could be changed if we managed to sprinkle our planet with some tolerance & understanding, then perhaps we could shed the climate of fear and self interest that had gripped the civilised world!
The only surety we have is Death, so why not spend our short time here living our lives the way we want to.
If someone’s life choices offend you, simply don’t look
This morning as the clock ticked closer to the point of leaving for school, we had a meltdown!
Not from me on this occasion, well a little from me! It was the as always perfectly timed meltdown of Dementor 2, the 4 year old Roblox addict!
I have previously spoken of my fondness for You Tube Roblox vlogger, Denis Daily. Fondness in the most sarcastic of terms, but today the thoughts of pulling him through the TV & slapping him repeatedly with a large fish invaded my thoughts to a never before experienced level.
You see Dementor 2 was deep in Roblox play on the iPad when I advised putting his coat on & that was the spark that lit the fire! Que much crying, grumping, tutting & snorting as he struggled to put his own coat on while glaring menacingly at his failure of a father.
Fast forward to Tantrum sorted, school run completed & cunning plan compiled.. I have decided I won’t take the obvious choice of hiding the iPad in the mornings. No no, This problem requires a more passive approach & entails two steps
Search for & download the original version of Pong! You want the iPad kiddo, not a bother wee man
Simplistic, brilliant and oh so cruel!
Your in my virtual gaming world now sunshine
Decluttering is something that I have being planning for a while. Well when I say planning, I mean thinking really hard about when I have been sat on my hoop doing nothing.
Point is, it was on the horizon. So when Netflix dropped Marie Kondo & social media began to light up with her apparent amazing skills, I though I should at least move my planning plan on to watching what she has to say.
The first thing to consider is language, Miss Kondo’s English is better than my Japanese but a translator & subtitles are a major part of the show, meaning you actually have to read the screen rather than my usual approach of web surfing & listening.
It’s quickly apparent this isn’t the usual home makeover show, watching the first family introduce themselves to their own house resulted in synchronized eye contact between The Marvelous Mummy & I. Perhaps I should have acknowledged her attendance on the sofa earlier, my wife was present as to be honest, her decluttering mountain makes mine look like an ant hill.
I didn’t take me long to decide I would cherry pick Miss Kondo’s stages & use the pieces I’m comfortable with. Admittedly I often talk to myself & even enjoy those highbrow chats, talking to my house however is a little much. So on we zip to the belongings.
Specifically the clothes & again I’m cherry picking!
While I generally do fold my garments & try to store them neatly, I don’t feel the need to thank them for their loyal service prior to chucking them, but I will consider if they bring me joy!
No matter how soul searching a decision that is, when faced with my clothes, whether it be jeans, T-shirts or loyal vegetable cuppers, I don’t identify joy! Perhaps that’s me, perhaps I need to watch another episode, perhaps I need nicer clothes
Either way, after one episode with Marie, my wardrobe may have the potential to be a little less cluttered (I haven’t actually got off the sofa yet) but I can’t help but think I could achieve all this in less than half the time if I wasn’t thanking my joyless shirts before discarding them.
This is definitely going to be a journey....
Oh let’s pause this, The Marvellous Mummy has just hit play on episode 2
To be continued.....
Fun Factory, FunkyMonkeys, World of Wonder!
Fun.... Funky..... Wonder! Absolute Bollox!
The soft play area! As appealing to man as a sack wax in sub zero temperatures. It’s the place that every expectant or family planning father should be exposed to, better yet dropped into the middle of on a Saturday afternoon & made to fight his way out! A true test of the suitability of fatherhood!
For those who have never experienced the Soft play area! Compared to even the most crowded day at the local parks it’s a special little slice of adult hell! Sure, on paper you get rid of the kids for an hour, & all it costs is a tenner plus the occasional peripheral scan of the perimeter, but you inherit the brain scraping screams and screeches of dozens of other human spawn!
Undoubtedly you will even gain a child or two as your kid brings their new gang by your table for beverages & a packet of crisps that cost you four times the price that even Harrods charge.
But there is an upside to all the suffering, hidden deep below the surface and it comes ju... nah, can’t sugar coat this
There is no upside, no joy, no glossy magazine shoot images of parents & kids laughing in a relaxed carefree manner! There is noise, crying tantrums & bodily fluids. Snot, mucus and questionable moisture everywhere!
But what if there was a better way!
Imagine if the adult area was separated from the play area by a sound proof wall, see through of course. With access between the 2 controlled by a sterile zone, so bobo’s, trips, disputes and fall outs will all be dealt in no man’s land before each party retreats back to their side of the line?
The most profound change & the true brilliance is kept for the end ! No child ever wants to leave the play area & tantrums are all but guaranteed so we need to ensure our newly found chilled vibe is maintained & for that we use a classic fun fair game, on a larger scale
Like a blinding miracle from above, the giant candy grabber appears, hones in on your child & begins the ‘dance’ by presenting a lolly pop! Transfixed by the sugary treat the claws softly envelopes your mini human & extract them to the exit area.
Your exit is not only smooth but stress free!
It’s not, as they say, rocket science
My Wife, the Marvellous Mummy of our two dementors, is full of marvelous ideas!
The recently implemented & unquestionably marvelous Family (Sun)Day? all her work!
The pre Christmas Santa Steam Train ride, on the previously mentioned family (Sun)Day, yep, Marvelous!
Family Ten Pin bowling, from which I emerged victorious by a significant margin, you guessed it, Marvelous! For me anyway..
She is on a home run
Or she was, until the bizarre suggestion of a trip to a sweet shop in Belfast, East Belfast to be specific! I’ll be honest, it wasn’t overly appealing, to me at least! But as most things within our shared universe pan out, she listened intently to my views, duly acknowledged my disinterest, was respectful of my opinion & in the interest of the status quo, decided to book it anyway.
Wait, book it! Book to visit a sweet shop? Booking anything is usually reserved for things that cost money, are they charging me to to enter the shop?
Well, yes they were and they did, £8 per person as it turned out, though it transpired that included a show. Mmm, the mention of a show was a little odd, so I began wondering had I been engaged in some selective hearing when Marvelous Mummy first floated this idea, maybe I had heard sweet shop when she actually said something else.
Was it sweet shop? Or perhaps Meat shop, possibly iHop? I do like their pancakes! I only had one option, I would have to wing it
Pulling up on the Castlereagh Road later that afternoon confirmed that I had infact been listening & we were indeed paying to see a show in a sweet shop, or to give the shop its full title ‘Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory’
Aunt Sandra’s occupies an unassuming building nestled within an abundance of local businesses and homes in the heart of East Belfast, the pink facade is as blink & you will miss it as yellow snow in a fresh drift!
Yet as you step inside the recently refurbed and expanded interior it is much more welcoming than the previous analogy, with vision filled rows of sweets, candies, ice creams & yummies! A newly installed coffee shop sits on one side of the main shop while the mysterious sugar scented laboratory sits on the other
It’s at this point you are handed your golden tickets and welcomed by Willy Wonka, or as we soon found out, Uncle, Willy Wonka’s Cousin.
With rising anticipations we are ushered into his very own laboratory where the eccentric Cousin seats his guests & after some insider information begins his oh so secret demonstration
With a show lasting over an hour in which candies are made, tasted & even given away through a quiz* (adults weren’t allowed to answer) we will honour the wishes of our host & leave the details of the show inside the factory.
As the show concluded the kids were invited to make Candy Floss as the adults bought some treats from the shop.
While Aunt Sandra’s offerings are a little more expensive than your regular candy shop, it’s worth considering that the local independent sweet shop isn’t so familiar in today’s modern society & many of the sweets are made on site with quality ingredients, something which stretches back to 1950’s Belfast & Aunt Sandra’s first job with sweetie maker Willy Dunn.
Admittedly history & sentimentality doesn’t strike a chord with the smaller members of the family, but the effortless performance of our host, guide & candy maker was more than enough to keep the whole family interested. As eccentric as you regard Willy Wonka to be, he is far from the most talented member of that family
More info and details of how to book the show can be found on the website
Prince Ryan of the Toy Review!
You have been dethroned, no longer are you the most irritating (IMHO) You Tuber! Yes, you may still attract views in their billions & revenue in the millions with your multi channel offerings, but there is a new twat in Town!
And he is in an entirely new stratosphere of grating!
Denis, Denis Daily, Denis Roblox or whatever handle you know him by. The insanely irritating 22 year old Canadian Vlogger has become the channel of choice in our house!
Complete with annoying voices, stable of You Tubing friends and slightly weird appreciation of cats, not to mention that Meows a lot thing which sits on both his desk and shoulder, Denis (possibly not his real name) manages to Dement those old enough to remember when childhood wasn’t spent in a somewhat staged reality inches from the box
Yet he manages this all while seamlessly entertaining the miniature adults of our Planet, to such a degree that they voluntarily opt to watch his adult numbing content over the established and superior quality professional child friendly output
In short, please explain the appeal of this shit? I mean he even has an online store selling Denis F%*king onsies
As a Daddy who, like countless others, endures hours of mindless You Tube content at the behest of my two Dementors, the success of those who video themselves doing the routine & mundane continues to baffle me!
Surely just as TV improved enormously when Netflix & Amazon stared hitting home runs, thus providing a highly entertaining alternative to the fake reality shows & Z list celeb drivel that cable & terrestrial TV had been spewing out at us for far to long
In the digital age of Pixar level graphics, 3D movies, 4K content & even almost affordable virtual reality devices, so why in comparison do the little people opt for something akin to Black & White puppet shows?
Watching regular people opening toys & playing pointless computer games, all while irritating the hell out of grumpy parents who grudgingly struggle through merely for the peace & quiet it affords them even if only on a temporary basis!
If you happen to remember what a postcard is, send me some answers!