Month: February 2015

A good ol’ Pub Quiz – a real institution

Our church group organised a pub quiz last night and it was a great evening.

Red Lion Pub

Red Lion Pub

Lots of people turned up, there was a good balance of tricky and easy questions and, although my team came a measly fifth, everyone seemed to have a really good time.

But what is it about Pub Quizzes that attracts people?

A few thoughts…

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The curse of the Canary Isles…continued

At the end of that Sunday night, things were not looking great for the holiday we’d been excited about. The next morning when my wife couldn’t really get up out of bed and Sophie refused outright to sit in the high chairs or eat the food (not to mention my bread-knife-meets-finger accident!), it only threatened to get worse.

We did manage to have a lovely day together in the sunshine on Tuesday – soaking up the scenery, exploring the marina and the cliffpaths together as a family. Sophie even ate something.

Unfortunately that night, whilst my wife had recovered, the bug passed to me, wiping me out for the next 24 hours and leaving her and Sophie to fend for themselves. We felt pretty desperate on Wednesday.

However, God is good and gracious – as of course we knew he was, but had strangely and wrongfully forgotten – and our holiday became wonderful from that low point onwards.

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The curse of the Canary Isles?

It was the worst holiday ever. Screaming infant spends whole time throwing up and in excruciating pain, making life a misery not only for the rest of their weary family but also anyone within a 25m radius.

The searing intense heat meant going outside in the sunshine for anything longer than ten minutes was a trial and the resort was so tacky anyway that you wouldn’t want to leave the relative calm of the apartment.

Things got so bad that the family packed up their bags, headed for the airport and jumped on the next possible flight home, forsaking the rest of their scheduled vacation.

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Ambleside Celebrity Couple Wedding

We’re very excited as we’re going to the wedding of Ambleside Primary‘s very own celebrity couple, Kat and Chris (Posh and Becks?!) today. The smooth sports star getting married to the calm, composed professional? Works really well!

I’m very much looking forward to seeing some of my old colleagues from that great school and wanted to reflect on a few great memories from my two years there.

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Crawl Away

As this post from six weeks ago explains, Sophie decided that she didn’t want to follow the standard pattern of crawling and had become a bonafide bum-shuffler.

However, bum shuffling is now well and truly a thing of the past as our little monkey of a child has discovered the art of scuttling around on her hands and knees.

And things I’m sure will never be the same again!

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When you’ve not blogged for ten days…

So it’s been ten days since I last updated this – as if you’ve all noticed! – and it’s been strange not having the ability to write on it. I’ve not quite had itchy fingers or felt the queasy pangs of withdrawal symptoms but it has been odd.

Thank you to all who’ve accessed this blog so far.

I guess the original thinking behind it was to chronicle the early stages of Sophie’s life, be a store of memories, a way to laugh at funny/tough times and hopefully share with her one day (perhaps at her wedding!)

Allied to that was a desire to comment on anything noteworthy in the sporting world and bring in my Christian faith where possible.

After eight months of blogging, I hope I’ve achieved that and I’m excited about the next stage.

Sophie turns 1 next month – unbelievable stuff! – and we’re facing both new challenges and new joys of parenting.

Blackburn Rovers’ inexorable march to the Premier League continues (yeah right!).

Josh King - the reserve  who ripped Stoke apart in the FA Cup

Josh King – the reserve who ripped Stoke apart in the FA Cup

The return to work for both of us and adapting to Sophie going to childcare for some of the week.

All I can say is that I’m looking forward to recording it and I hope you stick with it!


Mirrors, bubble machines and mattresses.

What have they all got in common?

Babies go crazy for them!

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Mums and Tots Groups…Dads Allowed!

It was with no little trepidation that I braved my first Toddler group.

Our church helps to run it and my wife has been a stalwart part of it for almost a year so I’d heard enough about it to almost run it.

However, having no experience of it myself and no familiarity with the conventions and social etiquette of such a gathering, I was certainly on edge as I entered the room.

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Paternity Leave – Hopes and Fears

It’s always a bit nerve-racking doing something you’ve never done before, especially when the health and well being of a small human is at stake.

But that’s what my wife has trusted me with by allowing me to look after Sophie for the next six weeks.

In case you think I’m exaggerating, imagine the consequences for her life if I did a really naff job of it. It doesn’t really bear thinking about!

Here’s a few things I’m looking forward to and one or two to dread.

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Paternity Leave – Why I’m Taking It

When I wake up tomorrow morning, it won’t be as a school teacher ready for another week of Maths, Literacy and PE.


Instead, I’ll be waking up as a full-time Dad, the designated parent in charge of Sophie for the next six weeks.

It means that rather than lugging a laptop, endless piles of books and assessments and a trombone (!), I’ll be traipsing round my local area with an uber fashionable changing bag, complete with nappies, Calpol and cuddly toys. Oh and with no form of payment for the privilege.

Which naturally begs the question – why?

In the first of a two part series, I wanted to explore my thoughts about paternity, see what other people think and hopefully share some experiences.

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