Month: May 2015

Becoming an Uncle!

Last week my brother and sister-in-law became parents with the arrival of their first born son Zachary James.

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The Gammy Knees – A History (Part 1)

In a brand new series, this blog chronicles the story behind a longstanding five aside team, The Gammy Knees. I’ve been part of it since 2008, so I’ll have to allow others to talk about the origins. In this post, founder Rick Humphries explains how it all began…

The history of the Grammy Knees is layered with heroic stories of myth, intrigue. Was ‘Little Will’ really only 3ft tall? Did Roberto Baggio have a spell playing at right back? And did the team’s landlord score a 60 yard screamer? While many of these stories happened instead to the Pro Evolution team of the same name, the reality is a little more mundane.

The Gammy Knees were formed from a group of mates, all students at Nottingham Uni and living together on what was (according to The Sun) the street with the highest crime rate in the UK – Kimbolton Avenue. Will Collett in goal, Rick Humphries ‘on the left’, Matt Graham in defence (when veteran stalwart Mark Nichols wasn’t injured… which was never) , Josh Kitson the midfield general, James (thought he was Robert Pires) Small playing loose and fast with his position, and ‘Little Will’ Knibbs the poacher upfront.

The original Gammy Knees

The original Gammy Knees

We didn’t fancy our chances at all when we decided to enter a small Uni-based indoor 5-a-side tournament at the start of the 2006/2007 season but it meant that we needed a name. Depending on who you talk to, the name is either based on the scabby knee that I had at the time, which anyone who’s attempted a slide tackle on an AstroTurf pitch will know about, or it was based on the knee injury that kept Mark Nichols from “representing England at youth level”.

So the Gammy Knees were born, and surprisingly enough we moulded ourselves into a pretty good team! Navigating our way through the league stage undefeated, and winning our semi-final too meant we had a shot at glory in only our first competition….”

The Charms of Colin

We reached a momentous landmark in our parenting this week.

We discovered the power of Colin Buchanan…and I think there’s no turning back.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Colin is an outrageously daft Australian TV presenter who has a side interest (and hugely popular one at that!) in providing Christian songs for small children.


And Sophie has suddenly discovered him!

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The Dentist…

I had to book a dentist appointment this week. When you reach my age – pushing 30! – your ideas about the dentist are pretty set in stone.

They may be the nicest person in the world. They may have a lovely twinkling smile, have a wonderful bedside manner and be incredibly attractive. They may even offer you treats and stickers if you behave yourself in the chair.

And yet, despite all of those factors, you still firmly believe they’re going to drill a giant black hole in your gum, pull out all your teeth one by one and, if they’re feeling sadistic, stick your tongue to the top of your mouth so you can no longer speak.

(Just me who thinks that then?)

But, it should be pointed out, that virtually every dentist is lovely and they do a fantastically important job.

With that in mind, we took Sophie for her first appointment.

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Toys you never thought existed

Do you remember the days when you were so racked with curiosity that you thought everything was interesting?

When the whole world seemed to be characterised by wonderful, mysterious objects, whose purposes you did not know and whose potential seemed limitless?

In this cynical world where we can be tempted to only point out the negatives and what something is not good for, I find it helpful to be reminded of how exciting some things really are.

For example:

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Return-ed to the Forbidden Planet

60s 70s 80s rock ‘n’ roll your thing?

The older I get (!), the more I look back on childhood memories with great fondness and the image in my head of singing along at the top of my voice to Mum and Dad’s collection of uptempo hits sticks with me. (Usually in a car where I couldn’t expect from it but that’s beside the point!).

But that’s not even the main reason I absolutely loved watching Return to the Forbidden Planet yesterday.


For, seven years ago, my wonderful wife was cast in the lead female role in this very show and performed it brilliantly. And this took us right back to that memorable time!

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Exodus: God and Kings – Review

When the director of Gladiator signs up to take on one of the most gripping stories in the Bible and casts Batman in the lead role as Moses, you know it’s going to be epic.

In terms of scale, action and budget at the very least!

But does it have any accuracy? For all the thrills and spills, is it worth it? Can it add to my faith? I had a lot of questions going into it, but afterwards I only had more.

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Locked in…or locked out!

A post chronicling the difficulties of child-proofing, written a couple of months ago and now uploaded to Geuther.

Our little girl has almost reached one year old and due to her desire to push, pull, explore and investigate every nook and cranny of our usually uninteresting house, we’ve had to start childproofing.

All in the name of safety of course but I can’t help feeling slightly like we’re keeping our child prisoner.

Now there is no compelling reason to allow the bleach and medicines cupboard to be accessible, nor is there an argument for turning the stairs into a theme park but there is something strange about seeing your daughter’s face pressed up against the bars like she’s been given a life sentence.

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Dadadada – that elusive first word

When Sophie was born, I had big plans for what her first word was going to be.

It was either going to be Daddy, Jesus or Rovers or perhaps a weird and wonderful hybrid of the three. (A bit of an insight into the experiences our baby girl has had over the last 14 months!).

I always thought that emitting your first word was a seminal moment, where somehow you graduate from full-on screaming and crying to politely discussing current affairs (at nursery!) over milk and biscuits. A bit like Stewie from Family Guy, only without the crudeness and psychotic tendencies!

That’s why I used to pester my own Mum and Dad to reveal their “secret” of what my first word was.

Turns out it’s not quite that simple!

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General Election – who will help Sophie out?

Apparently any child born today – the same day as the brand new Princess Royal if you hadn’t noticed- will be awarded a lucky silver penny.

However, on Friday morning, when the dust has settled after the General Election and we possibly have a bit more clarity about the direction of our country, what will the future hold for Sophie and the Princess’s generation.

Sophie runs her learned eye over the policies of the main parties which will apply directly to her.

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