There are few experiences more beautiful than strolling along by a gurgling river, in a chalky valley flanked by rolling hills, with the golden, green and red leaves swirling around.
It’s a feeling which my wife and I signed up for yesterday morning in the hope of enjoying the autumnal pleasures of the Peak District.
However, throw a baby into this mix and the outlook was not quite so rosy!
I was Daddy-Day-Care for a whole weekend last week.
A whole two and a half days just me and our seven month old daughter.
With my wife off to a wedding over 300 miles away (she really knows how to escape!), I was in charge of the household from Friday evening until whatever time my wife got back on Sunday.
I have to admit that I was nervous even if my plan to cope was to do what any red-blooded, independent, self-respecting man would do…I arranged to go to my parents for one of the nights!
It’s never much fun being ill. Whether you’re sneezing the walls down, coughing and spluttering or ejecting unwanted waste (nice!), the symptoms of your everyday sicknesses are really not great to go through.
Throw a child into the mix and the whole dynamic shifts.
Drowsiness. The sign to any hopeful parent that the unstoppable child is ready for sleep.
The signs can come in many forms. For us, it’s the rubbing of the eyes followed by a restless back arching and a burrowed brow into your chest. For others it could be the whimpering wail or pained expression. Or maybe just an all out scream.
Either way it’s usually totally inaccurate.
My wife and I are blessed to have been asked to be godparents to two beautiful little girls and we’re grateful for some quality time spent with them recently.
Having participated in baby E’s dedication service on Sunday, I was thinking about what being a godparent entailed and what place there was for it in our increasingly secular society.
Let me know your thoughts.
I’d never realised how free we were before we had a child.
Pre-baby, we could walk into our house after work and have a mountain of options available for an interesting evening.
Post-baby and those options are whittled down to “put the child to bed” or “make up her last feed.”
And it took until last Friday to realise this.
And so on to the final mountain – Snowdon. Wales’ highest peak. In the mist and rain.
We were climbing the “easy” Pyg trail with two hours left on the clock until the 24 hour deadline, Simon and I suddenly thought we had a chance. This path was really quick and we could possibly make it! After all, why not go down fighting?
Part Two of our Three Peaks Challenge sent us up England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike. This time, not only did we have tired legs and been cooped up in a minibus for six hours but we also had the darkness and 1am start to contend with. Bring it on!
I do love a good challenge. And on this weekend last year, the Three Peaks Challenge really pushed seven of us to the limit (physically and psychologically).
The party was me, top friends Rick, Mike and Ilze, brother-in-law Simon and two Liverpool legends in guide Jim and his grandson Daniel. Our expert driver Chris (Rick’s Dad) was in charge of getting us around.
In a three part series, I wanted to share some extracts of my diary from that amazing trip as we tried to conquer the top mountains in Scotland, England and Wales inside 24 hours.
I got a brand new football shirt this week.
This was a big moment for me. I’d not invested in a Blackburn Rovers shirt for about six years and the only one I had has been worn every week ever since to play football in.
I own this shirt…shows how long its been since I last bought one!
And lots has changed since I last got one. They were in the Premier League for a start, still playing half decent football under Mark Hughes and Venkys chicken was still a hated phenomenon only in India.
Look what’s happened there!