Archive for May, 2012
- One pink Super Dry T-Shirt (well worn)
- One pair of blue trousers, the kind that make you look important without making people question exactly how much it IS that you get paid (quite new)
- Two animal puzzle bits, duck and giraffe, quite large
- The lids to three Fisher Price Eggs
- The human ability to make a perpetual motion machine
- Forty-three odd socks
- The smoked paprika I use in one dish twice a year
- My flip flops
- Child’s sandpit toys – one rake and one dinosaur mould (plastic and garish)
- Any strawberries on my strawberry plants (probably because I forgot to cover them each time it was frosty)
- Three clothes pegs
- World peace
- One colander handle
- Every shape sorter bit we ever had (but not the shape sorters)
- The ability to get Baby to go to sleep at night (recent and possibly temporary)
- Eleven felt tip lids
- My crisps (missing, presumed munched)
- Wii sports disc (but not the case)
- One “Very Hungry Caterpillar” book, well thumbed, drool encrusted
- Two plastic footballs
- One mobile phone charger
- Tickets for the zoo (used)
- Pu Yi, the last Qing dynasty Emperor of China
- Several packets of raisins
- My sanity
If found please return to slightlysuburbandad c/o this blog (except for Pu Yi who probably smells a bit by now). Alternatively most of the stuff will come free with the house when we sell it (except for the human ability to make a perpetual motion machine which is kind of stuck due to the laws of physics).
My Dad lives in France. He has never met Baby. “Soon” we are going to see him with both children for the first time (obviously, this being the public interweb I’m not saying exactly when) and I am dreading it. Not seeing my Dad. He’s lovely and his house is pretty much a walk in wine cellar. Not the kids meeting him either. We skype video call once a week so he’s seen what they’re like. No it’s the GETTING there. France is annoyingly JUST too far away to do comfortably with 2 children (or at least the bit where he lives is). It’s not Australia or Fiji but somehow that just makes it more annoying. I wonder how it ended up like that?
*wavy lines and xylophone music*
Scene – a meeting room in Heaven. God is talking to Rodney the Countries and Territories Project Manager (EMEA)
God : How’s Europe going? Do we need a conference call with the Country Naming Outsourcers yet?
Rodney the Countries and Territories Project Manager: No need. I’ve sacked them! They took two weeks to come up with a name for that little blob you made in the middle of the main land mass. This morning I just took a crap and while I was sitting in Trap 1 I decided to name it Liechtenstien. I think they’re already moving back in to the Call Centre sector.
God: Good-oh! Had any thoughts about what to do with that bit in Northern Europe that seems to have broken off the main land mass?
Rodney the Countries and Territories Project Manager: Oh yes! I thought it would be quite funny if we punished it for breaking off by making it really wet and cold. Also everyone will be far too reserved to get laid properly which should give you a head start in getting followers. This will also make people incredibly self-important so I have added the likelyhood of schisms to the risk register. I’m going to fill it with wonderful produce but, for the first million years or so no one will notice and they’ll all be terrible cooks. Mainly due to the schisms.
God: Is that all? I’m really quite annoyed about the breakaway. It might set some sort of isolationist tone.
Rodney the Countries and Territories Project Manager: Oh that’s just the start! You know that bit you filled with wine and excellent chefs and the Riviera and philosophers and artists when you were in a really good mood last Thursday? Well I’ve moved that opposite the breakaway place and expanded on it. I’ve made the people appear to be arrogant to outsiders whilst actually being lovely when nobody’s looking. There’s a 35 hour working week and amazing health care without actually needing to be completely socialist. I’ve made the nice bits JUST out of sight of breakaway landmass. The bit that’s nearly touching I’ve filled with discount booze warehouses and refugee camps. There are now four ways you can get to the nice bit. You can drive for 13 hours solid. You can drive, then get a really chunder inducing boat across the sea then drive some more. Or you can take a plane. Here I’ve made both airports inaccessible and the planes are run by some madcap Irish bloke who thinks that 2 inches of legroom is quite enough, children should fight each other for the good seats and that you should pay more for checking in and taking your luggage on board than actually flying. You COULD get a train but imagine having young children and trying to lug all the gear you need for THEM around Paris when you have to change!
God: Hmm. You seem to be angling for my job. Never forget that I can do THIS!
(God smites someone and creates Belgium).
For the last couple of days that noise has been making me wince. You think you don’t hear it and then you have to open a packet of bacon (*SNIP*) or help the Boy make something crafty (*SNIP*) or watch Edward Scissorhands (*SNIP SNIP SNIPITY SNIP SNIP*) and you realise that snips are all around us.
I have my appointment with the Vasectomy Clinic for a pre-operative assessment. I am shitting myself.
Taken a while hasn’t it? Remember Dr ****** needed my wife’s permission before she would refer me on the NHS? Well it took a while. Not because she was watching Dusty Bin or drinking Watney’s Red Barrel. Because the Doctor’s receptionist (yes at the same surgery) didn’t believe her when she rang to confirm. Not actually having been there I can only imagine the conversation.
Receptionist: Hello? Brighton 543459873495739453498721. How may I help you?
Wife: Er, well my husband, slightlysuburbandad, wants to have a vasectomy but you need my permission first. So I’m calling to give you it. As long as you do it carefully.
Receptionist: *noise of typing* Er, I’m sorry we don’t seem to have a slightlysuburbandad on the patient’s register.
Wife: Try (says my real name)
Receptionist: Oh yes him. Well, take it from me because I’m a Doctor’s receptionist and therefore know EVERYTHING that he doesn’t need your permission. That would be ridiculous and the subject of a large campaign were it the other way round. So sorry but you’re wasting your time. Good day!
Wife: Oh, OK. Goodbye.
Two days later I got a letter in angry doctor language asking why my wife hadn’t agreed to ‘the process’ yet. We dismissed this as a practical joke.
Five days after that we got a letter in even angrier Doctor language asking why she STILL hadn’t agreed and maybe I should, y’know, CHIVVY HER THE FUCK UP.
Luckily (?) a couple of days after that my wife burned herself quite badly on some steam and had to go to the surgery for a dressing. On her way out she got the receptionist to check my file, pointed out the angry doctor letters and gave her permission there and then. I was referred.
The receptionist now hates us. I bet, next time I’m in for a routine check-up, she says ‘OH HOW NICE TO SEE YOU. HOW’S THE COCK?’
Still I have my letter now confirming pre-op assessment date and giving me some basics on the process. Here’s my favourite bit:
“The day before your operation you will need to remove the hair from your scrotum, this should be done with hair removal cream”.
I’m glad they mentioned the cream. A one blade BIC would pretty much have been a deal breaker.
It also reminded me of a kid at school who had a totally hairless scrotum. One day someone suggested the light must bounce off it. Like a lighthouse. That was it. He was “Lighthouse” for the rest of his school days.
That’ll be me. Lighthouse The Barren. Begetter of no-one else again. Owner of hair removal cream.
So I left you here with Baby having been de-vomited. Luckily the next morning she was better, confirming that the previous night’s explosion had been down to careless desert overload rather than wee-wee drinking or gas poisoning. I could tell because she woke me up with a very loud ‘DADDY’ from the bed we had hastily made up to replace the sicked up on one and when I got her up she said two of her new words – ‘toast!’ and ‘orange!’ – meaning feed me toast and orange juice NOW!
I’d love to say the day dawned brightly. That would be a lie. A big one. A lie of Archeresque proportions. It was pissing down, the sort of rain that soaks you to the skin just by you popping your head out of the caravan to see what it’s like out there.
At this point it’s as well to reveal we were staying at Haven Church Farm (remember I kept you in not very much suspense). We chose it because it’s a short car journey away but also because there’s plenty of stuff to do when it’s wet. Seeing the forecast we had booked Boy in to as many activities as we could and so it was he and I set out in to the deluge to try mini archery and fencing in the covered Sports Range. He was worryingly good at archery while in the fencing he got a mask and a very strong looking foam sword and he did his Errol Flynn bit by fencing a boy called Jonny who, luckily for my lad, had the attention span of a gnat. These activities he proclaimed such great fun that we booked him in to have another go on the Monday.
It was after we’d finished these activities we found another danger we’d not really bargained for. There is something that scares the boy silly. Not spiders or moths. Not monsters or dragons. Not the prospect of imminent economic collapse, nor the takeover of the world by Justin Fletcher and Peppa Pig (these last two just scare parents). No. It’s blokes (or girls) dressed up in giant animal costumes. Don’t ask me why but they terrify him utterly. Of course we knew that he USED to be scared by this but at the age of 5 I though he might have grown out of it. Not a bit. We went in to the show bar for an exercise warm up followed by circus skills and then Rory The Tiger came on stage and the boy bolted out of the room in floods of nervous tears. This is where I am glad my wife is around. There is a bit of me that is tempted to get him to handle this fear by manning up and confronting it. Wife of course knew this to be a bad idea and went out to comfort him leaving me with Baby who was grinning at Rory The Tiger while trying to climb up a bar stool.
Afternoon was swimming. Baby loves swimming like I love Brighton and Hove Albion, rare steak, sunshine and her. I may have mentioned before that she considers any small amount of water her own personal fiefdom. She may be half mermaid. She has been baby swimming since she was 3 months old and at 18 months is perfectly comfortable swimming on her own in arm bands, holding on to the side and jumping in. We went in to the pool every day and she grinned from ear to ear for every second. On the Sunday we went in the morning and that afternoon, back in the caravan she found her happy nappy and armbands and gave them to me and said ‘swim!’. I, meanwhile, got to go on the waterslide and I do love a good waterslide.
But anyway back to the Saturday. We had done 3 lots of sports activities plus swimming. We had rescued Boy from a giant tiger costume. We had generally run around and were ready for a good nights sleep.
Outside an otter swam past the caravan.
Do you know what sound really heavy rain makes on a caravan roof? This. All night
The children, having been tired out by their activities and having special Sleeping Through Daddy’s Snoring skillz slept all night. I got about half an hour. Part at least was spent in terror that the caravan was going to take off in the exceptionally high winds like one of those movie scenes where an entire Trailer Park is lifted up by a tornado and you just stare because you can’t imagine the actual horror.
Sunday was much like Saturday only much, much more hard work what with the sleep deprivation, paranoia and having to go everywhere in fishing waders. There was a very brief break in the rain in the afternoon during which Boy and I went to the nature reserve so he could feed the ducks and they could tell us what lovely weather we were having.
Sunday night was much like Saturday night only with dreams of being carried away by floods replacing the taking off in the wind dreams. In the middle of the night I wondered if I should get baby’s arm bands pumped up just in case.
On Monday, straight after more archery, it was time to leave. You guessed it – in bright sunshine.
P.S. I have no connection with Haven but the kids had an absolute blast. If anyone from Haven does end up reading this then your staff at Church Farm are very lovely indeed, from the guy who took away the puke covered sheets to the Sports Stars who were excellent with all the kids on every session we went on. You may want to improve the new menu though. Yes we will be back.
P.P.S. You will notice even though I have titled the two pieces ‘Great British SEASIDE Holidays’ we didn’t go to the beach. Pretty much this was down to the weather. The only person insane enough to go for a dip in the sea that weekend was Queen of Bloggers Mammsaurus and if you haven’t yet seen why click on that there hyperlink and find out!