Month: August 2016

Into the middle of nowhere

“Daddy, I’m going to Scotland.”

So piped up a excited voice from the car seat behind me.

It was 2pm, Sophie had just woken up after her afternoon nap and we were four hours into our five hour car journey to Port William, a tiny hamlet in South West Scotland. Miles from anywhere.

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Gammy Knees A History – The Manchester Years (part 3)

Was this the end of an era?

Were the Gammy Knees about to be consigned to the annals of history?

Would they go out on a high or would their frustrating record in Manchester tournaments continue?

All these questions and more answered in the following post…

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Sophie the Olympian

While Team GB are scurrying around Rio de Janeiro defeating the rest of the world and covering their necks with gold medals, the next generation are getting stuck into sport and training for future Olympics.

None more so than two and a half year old Sophie, whose commitment to her fitness regime has been stretched recently and she has come out stronger than ever.

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Eureka: Fun for all the family

I remember being entranced by this museum as a child. In our house, Eureka became one of the most memorable trips we’d done because we had enjoyed it so much.


Therefore, although taking Sophie felt a bit like a timewarp, it was also really wonderful to share part of my history with her present.

And wow did she enjoy it.

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The North/South Divide – through the voice of a little girl

When I was at university, I quite enjoyed playing into the north/south stereotype.


It was great then and it’s still great now to work and be alongside people from all sorts of different backgrounds and experiences.

I like to think I am highly tolerant and welcoming of different viewpoints, opinions and ways of doing things.

(You couldn’t really pretend to teach in a classroom if you weren’t!)

However, I’m starting to see something in Sophie which hasn’t come from me and has originated somewhere else that I’m not so sure about.

That I’m keen to discourage.

That needs addressing- and fast.

The influence of my wife’s speech.

Let me explain.


While all that stuff about tolerance is all well and good, there’s clearly only one correct way to speak.

Our way!

Path. Grass. Laff. Etc

My wife on the other hand, who spent most of her school years in Cambridge, has understandably been accustomed to the stranger way of speaking.

Parth. Grarse. Larrf.

I can accept this in her. I love her and these things are part of her. I couldn’t expect her to change (although there have been times where she has slipped into northern dialect – I was so proud).

My two and a quarter year old though? Who lives in the north? Who is just finding her way in the speaking world?

Clearly I’ve not interacted with her enough if she is speaking in such an unusual manner. I’ve been unguarded and allowed my wife’s speech to infiltrate.

It’s not too late to take emergency action but it’s at times like these when patterns get fixed and she needs to know the correct way.

As for our second child; well lightning doesn’t strike twice and I’ll be making sure this baby is fully exposed to northernness.

Perhaps a recording of Jim Bowen reading to lull the baby to sleep?

Instead of a winnie the pooh baby bath, wash it in a tin container so it can identify with its ancestors?

Plenty of trips to the Northern Riviera (Morecambe, Fleetwood, Lytham)?

Ideas on a postcard please.

(Just don’t tell my wife…)

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Park Run – a healthy passion or an unhealthy obsession?

I’ve got a mixed relationship with park run.

As a concept, it’s brilliant. The Olympics 2012 get inspired legacy may not have met with a huge amount of success but Park Run does a phenomenal job of mobilising people to do exercise.

(The last time I ran in a park was either doing reluctant cross country at primary school or chasing after Sophie when  she legged it after a duck!)

However, ever since my wife’s great friend Sarah introduced her to it a few years ago, she has become utterly hooked.

And that’s where I’m going with this post…

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Sophie found Dory… but how did she find the cinema?

This blog loves a good “firsts” story.

So when we braved taking Sophie to the cinema for the very first time to watch Pixar’s Finding Dory, it was always going to end up on these pages.

Before we set off, we were racked with questions like:
“How will it be?”
“Will she cope with the loud noises?”
“How on earth will we keep a hyperactive toddler quiet and still for two hours?”
“Does she even like fish?!”

And here’s how it went…


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