Month: November 2015

A rainy day in the Lake District!

Over the past four months, I’ve done the journey a few times.

Up the Lancashire stretch of the M6, through the Ribble Valley and beyond the North West Riviera towards the rolling landscapes of Cumbria.

On a good day it’s a breathtaking sight of glorious scenery – perfect hill shapes tumbling into one another scaled against a crystal blue sky.

Even on the throes of winter the very hint of a snowcap brings a thrill to the soul. The peerless majesty of Britain’s finest green space (in my opinion!) leaves you breathless.

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Being a Dad teaches me more about our Heavenly Father

Sophie’s going through a lovely stage of affection at the moment.

She loves to zip around the house, scuttling on her little legs between rooms and then appearing from nowhere to jump out at me or my wife with a big beaming smile on her face.

I’ve taken to crouching down with my arms open wide and my eyes tightly closed, encouraging her to charge and give me a massive hug.

Arms open wide

Sometimes she gives me a look of disdain – “why would I, Daddy?” – but mostly, she’s very keen to reciprocate. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that she is fully dependent on me and loves me like I love her.

But that’s not  the most special part of it.

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The Lambert Years – Reflections at the start of a new era

I’m not quite sure I recognise this feeling.

It’s one of cautious optimism inspired by a managerial appointment based on sound logic (from Venkys as well!) which could be promising for Blackburn Rovers.

Over the last five seasons, Rovers have lurched downwards, barely pausing for breath as their proud Premier League pedigree was frittered away in a combination of dreadful spending, terribly poor boardroom leadership and inadequate management.

Not since Sam Allardyce have they had a manager who other clubs recognised and respected. Not since Sam Allardyce have they had a manager whose past achievements could be highlighted on a chunky CV.

Not that it bought him much time or affection from the Rovers faithful however!

And yet it would be unfair to argue that Gary Bowyer failed. He brought stability, security and some good times during what we mustn’t forget was his first managerial post.

He kept his head in the midst of crazy boardroom politics and his calm and careful stewardship put paid to the madness of Shebby Singh.

Who knows what depths to which Rovers would have plummeted had he not performed his emergency salvo mission back in 2013.

And his calm dignity and ability to spot a bargain signing has been vital in the last two seasons. Who else would have steered us through the troubled waters of Financial Fair Play and kept players such as Jordan Rhodes at the club? Compared to the frustrations and difficulties experienced by the likes of Forest and Leeds they’ve done OK.

And it’s not a level playing field when QPR can get away with awful misspending and bad budgeting.

There were some disappointments though. When Wigan won the FA Cup that year, Rovers were a home replay against a poor Millwall team from a Wembley semi finals. They barely had a shot and went out.

Far too many times did his Rovers side fail to take their chances and allow the other team to equalise with their only chance or lose entirely.

When you’ve got prolific strikers Rhodes and Gestede in your team, you simply have to be winning more games.

He’ll also be remembered for losing to Burnley, twice, and allowing their rivals to party at Ewood Park. Unacceptable in most Rovers fans eyes.

So, after a disappointing start, he’s lost his job and in has swept a double promotion achiever,  a Champions League winner and an experienced Premier League manager in Paul Lambert.

A bit of cautious optimism never hurt anybody!

And yesterday may have been a win secured by an own goal and a penalty but a win is a win.

The new era has begun!


As part of Sophie’s new ability to “share”, she happily passed on one aspect of her illness this week.

And unfortunately for me, it affected the main thing I need in order to do my job properly…

For when you’re a teacher, your key weapon is your voice.

Without it, you are left defenceless.

Particularly on a Parents Evening week!

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Patient Patience

This week, Sophie has not been too well.

She’s been coughing and spluttering since Friday, pulling in her chest to help her breathe and wheezing quite drastically in between inhaler puffs.

She’s been so unwell in fact that she ended up having a night in hospital on Monday…

…on the ward where my wife works every day!

Now that was different!

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Sophie’s Rage Against the Machines

Sophie has just moved up a room at nursery to the Teenies, a place where 18-24 month olds cause carnage. I’m not sure that’s exactly what the publicity for the room says but it’s something similar!

We’re thrilled as all her friends are in that room and shed quite outgrown Baby 2.

However, if the end result replicates anything similar to this week’s angry outbursts, I might not be quite so sure about it!

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