Category: Occasions (page 1 of 9)

A day out at the beach

A couple of weeks ago, i decided that the best way for me to enjoy a Daddy day with Sophie and Harry would be to spend it on the beach.

Setting aside the fact the nearest beach was 60 miles away (ish), I packed lots of things, bundled the little ones into the car and headed off.

Looking out of the rain-spattered Windows as I joined the M56 out towards North Wales, I wondered if it was really such a good idea after all…

Continue reading

The end of an era – Bolt and Farah finish in tears

Last night was right up there as one of the best sporting experiences ever. With Mo Farah and Usain Bolt on the ticket, second Saturday tickets had always looked promising.

Little did I anticipate just how bright the fireworks would be.

My athletics watching history dates back to 1993, Colin Jackson smashing the 110m hurdles world record, Linford Christie’s 100m gold and Sally Gunnell’s 400m hurdles triumph.

I was hooked.

I’ve waited 24 years to attend a global championships so wanted to do it properly. Ideally I’d have attended all session but, funnily enough, money prohibited such a crazy plan.

Instead we decided to go to just one session but go big.

That’s why we found ourselves sitting behind the main gathering of Jamaican fans, on the home straight, opposite the finish line. Amazing.

We were wowed by the 100m hurdles and our ladies in the high before the first of the main events.

Mo.

With a fearsome wall of sound and Mexican wave clattering of seats in support, he was set.

So often he’s imposed himself on the field. So often he’s held the lead, gritted his teeth and adopted a Gandalfesque ‘You shall not pass’ attitude.

Not this time.

It was shocking to watch his aura of invincibility shatter down the final back straight as the Ethiopians for once had got past him. The usual strained look was plastered on his face but now he was the hunter not the hunted.

It was a stark reminder of how quickly someone can become yesterday’s man.

The crowd roared him through and he pulled a heroic silver out of nowhere but with Edris doing the mobot across the line, his golden era was up.

The stadium fell into a stunned hush. What had happened? They showed a highlights reel of his best bits which was kind but only underlined the fact he’d just been beaten.

He still saw his family. He still did a lap of honour. He’s still a legend. But his legacy is diminished slightly.

he action continued apace. Stunningly high quality javelin competition – despite not quite reaching 90m – followed by the relays.

The British women were incredible. Flying round the track chasing the likes of Torrie Bowie and Allyson Felix and running them close to finish second. Wow.

Finally, we had the big man himself. Usain Bolt entered the stadium to a cacophony of noise and the Jamaicans in front of us went mental.

They’d had a poor championships but surely now was their time. Not if Justin Gatlin (booed again, very poor) and Christian Coleman had anything to do with it.

And, out of nowhere, not if the Brits had their say too. They were incredible. I found myself utterly hooked by their performance screaming at the top of my voice as the baton flew round.

In the blink of an eye, Bolt had the baton- could he claw it back? I was too busy yelling at Nathaneel Mitchell-Blake as he blazed towards the finish.

Three strides, two strides, line…GOLD!

I’d kept a brief glance on Bolt but to our shock he pulled up halfway to the finish, agony etched over athletics’ most famous face. Horror.

He crashed to the track and the Jamaicans in front of us held their breath in collective despair. Their hero, their figurehead, their idol. This was his career literally ending in tears.

We had the perfect view as the wheelchair came over and the doctors surrounded the prostrate Bolt – his teammates gathering round, devastated.


We saw him helped gingerly to his feet, Gatlin come over and wish him well, the Jamaicans in front of us mourn their defeat.

All the while the majority of the stadium were going mad to celebrate Britain’s confirmed victory. Unbelievable.

The dark sky was awash with stars as we left but two of the brightest stars ever of track and field had seen theirblights dimmer dramatically over 90 minutes.

Not a championships high on sentiment but definitely high on drama.

 

Manchester: Five Years On

Five years ago, London 2012 exploded into our living rooms in a tidal wave of golden hysteria.

Jessica Ennis-Hill, Tom Daley and Laura Trott led the charge as Team GB’s remarkable exploits captured the nation.

As for us, we were sat watching from our new Chorlton living room having made the switch from Lincolnshire’s Grantham to the suburbs of England’s most ambitious city.

And we’ve never looked back since…

Continue reading

End of Year Shows 

Ever since I started teaching, I’ve always been involved in helping produce end of year shows. They are one of the major highlights of the job for me.

It’s amazing to watch young people you are working with lose their timidity and perform at their absolute maximum to the joy of the watching audience. To ensure this happens, I strive to make sure the show is as polished as possible.

It’s not a prerequisite to be involved though…I just love to get stuck in.

Continue reading

Outnumbered

I’d done a weekend by myself before with the two children.

But this was different.

This was on location in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere surrounded by fields and hills.

Oh and Harry really wasn’t feeling well.

This oughta be interesting.
Continue reading

On top of the world

Our Austrian holiday “peaked” at 2600m on top of the Wetterkreutz.
Sophie and Harry’s first mountain was certainly a good ‘un.
I’ve always loved mountain walking but always on the condition we get to scale summits and tick them off on my mental list.
So when Andrew suggested we go on a longer walk I jumped at the chance to notch my first Alpine peak.
It was a real excitement to pull on my boots, pack up a chunky picnic and look up at the imposing rock face that stood ahead of us.
The only slight complication was the addition of two small children into the mix.
And there was no question of them staying at home.
We’d come prepared – my wife had a sling for Harry and I had a backpack to carry Sophie up. We were also to hugely benefit from a ski lift taking us 2000m of the way. From there though it was climbing steeply in the heat of the day with the children in tow.
It was hard work if I’m honest but we invented a guessing game to keep us entertained. It essentially involved me shouting animals and Sophie shouting colours. Plenty of blue penguins and yellow meerkats on offer.
Towards the top, a sheet of snow – more like compacted hail – made life even tougher. Andrew picked a way over it carefully and I followed suit. Sophie was hanging out of the backpack, shifting my centre of gravity really unhelpfully but I was able to navigate it.

Next came my wife with Harry and he’d decided to wake up by this point. As she tested the ground, his sling slumped forward putting pressure on the back of her neck and weighing her down. She did marvellously well though and made it across.
From there we could really see the distinctive cross which marked the top of the mountain. Just a short zigzag round the summit, a zip across some more snow and then we were there.

Views from the top were absolutely glorious and we even managed to get a classic shot of us looking like a Christian missionary family. (There would certainly be worse places to work).

For the way down I took Harry and Andrew carried Sophie. The temperature had sunk as we’d ascended but this swiftly changed and it was hot and uncomfortable by the time we made it back to the ski lift.
(Naturally my inner child kicked in as we approached the finish line and I raced away from the others so Harry and I secured a glorious victory. At least in my head we did anyway.)
We’d done it – first mountain for the littlies conquered. Many more to come I hope.

A death-defying pizza trip

On our recent holiday to Austria, I thought it would be a tremendous idea to nip over the border into Italy and have a pizza.

My wife could have coffee, Sophie could have ice cream, Harry could have…er…bread(?) and everyone would be happy.

After all, it was only about 50km to the border. Simple.

Little did I know what I was letting myself in for…

Continue reading

Tales from Airport Border Control…

OK, so we’d survived the night of all of us in one room. Just about.

And we’d had an incredible holiday in Austria (more in future posts).

But we really hit a low point with the security check on the way back. I mean, we’ve only been flying for twenty years…

Continue reading

The whole family in one room. Worst. Night. Ever.

Coming away on holiday is an absolute treat. Such a privilege to take a step out of daily life and travel away, in our case to visit our very generous relatives who live near Innsbruck, Austria.

The process of leaving home though can be a little bit arduous, a fact that was hammered home to us by our overnight stay at the Premier Inn, Gatwick where the four of us were crammed into a family room of four beds and a cot.

It did not go well.

Continue reading

Mr and Mrs

Well it actually happened.

Sarah not only turned up at the bottom of the aisle but she sauntered down with a huge smile on her face and tied the knot with Rick.

And I even managed to remember the rings that made it official.

Happy days.

Continue reading

Older posts

© 2017 Daddy Joe Blogs

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑