I never suspected he could contain so much wee

Sometimes I wonder if all my children have a bladder the size of a walnut. I’m usually contemplating this during a film screening that we’ve been invited to as I make my fourth or fifth trip to the toilet. Fortunately it often doesn’t matter as the plots of kids films aren’t especially labyrinthine but it is irritating none the less.

Sometimes we have a bit of a dash to get to these screenings as I take the three kids to organised swimming lessons on a Sunday morning. I’ve been going for almost 5 years now, and aside from a few weeks, I’ve been in the pool with one of the kids every single lesson. Ned is currently the one with parental involvement in the swimming and I’m told he’s almost ready to get on without me. This will be a watershed moment and I can’t wait- I can just sit pool side, sip my coffee and wave absent-mindedly at the kids. It will be awesome.

The format of the lessons are the little kids go in at 9am, with older siblings sitting pool side, then at 9:30am the bigger kids go in, which means Fifi and the Boy usually sit pool side for half and hour before their lesson. I’ve always thought it a little suspicious that none of the three kids has ever had to rush out of the pool to do a wee but I’ve not really thought much about it and to be honest it’s probably safer that way. Last Sunday though, Ned, who has recently decided to toilet train himself off his own back, asked to come out for a wee part way through his lesson. I asked if he could hold it until after we’d finished and he told me he could but when we got into the changing rooms, he said he didn’t need to go, so I figured he’d had a crafty wee in the pool. However when the older two had finished their lesson, half an hour later, Ned demanded to go for a wee. Quite urgently in fact. So I took him to the loo, held him up at the urinal and marvelled at the amount of wee he had somehow managed to contain inside his 3 year old form. I can only imagine that volume of fluid had displayed the majority of his internal organs because it came out at a pressure I was envious at for a length of time I’m all too familiar with.


Sacking Jeremy Clarkson- a great example to our kids

There’s been lots written about Jeremy Clarkson in the press over the last couple of weeks after the infamous “fracas”. There has also been a lot on social media. One of his columnist chums from the Sun even set up an online petition which had more than 1m signatures.

I can even understand a little how some people have defended him; for example I quite enjoy Orson Scott Card’s Ender series of books. The man himself is a terrible homophobe (for mostly religious reasons I understand) but I put that aside when I’m reading his fiction. People who enjoy Top Gear want to put aside the assault that Clarkson did on a junior member of staff because they enjoy watching the TV show he appears in and I can see the parallel, so it’s not as if I’m immune to understanding what’s going on.

Of course it’s been much worse than people simply sticking up for Clarkson- the poor lad on the receiving end has been subjected to social media hate campaigns (despite the fact he didn’t report Clarkson, Jeremy actually shopped himself)- and it’s not as if the chap was new to the show; he’d worked on it for ten years.

Ten years, imagine if a senior work colleague you’d know for ten years did the following to you:


Via The Guardian

That the media and social media is full of people sounding baffled that the BBC is effectively flushing £50m of foreign sales down the toilet by sacking someone who’s committed common assault, beggars belief. The number of celebs commenting that Clarkson is a character who will bounce back, and offering support for him, is equally strange- it’s not as if Clarkson has been hard done by, he’s lucky plod hasn’t arresting him for assault, so to simply lose his job for what he did is exactly what anyone could and should expect. I’m really disappointed by Hammond and May’s response too. The slightly useless lad bonhomie is ruined by the pair of them expressing their disappointment that assaulting people gets you the sack. What’s the world coming to eh lads?

Reading around it, the assault is bad enough but the tirade about making sure Tymon would be sacked and not work on the show again is also unspeakably horrible. Again, the context is that these are two people who have worked together for ten years.

I’m sad to see the end of Top Gear (in it’s current format) because I liked it. I liked it a lot more 5 or ten years ago before they started recycling jokes and the format got a bit tired but the TG special to the North Pole is one of the finest TV programmes I’ve seen the BBC output; it was genius from beginning to end. But I’m glad that Clarkson has been sacked because I would be completely and utterly stumped if one of my kids asked me “Daddy, why did that man not get into trouble for hitting someone? Is it okay to hit someone?“.

There’s no real answer to that is there?

Bullying is still a real issue in schools, especially among boys, and the idea that a campaign has been run to basically say “as long as you’re popular bullying is okay”, strikes me as exceptionally depressing.

Introducing the kids to…

…The Bonzo Dog Do Daah Band.

Yes, that’s a rather eclectic choice isn’t it? I happened to catch a Sounds of the 60’s on Friday night on BBC4 before I absconded to the pub. It started off with the rather surreal Canyons of Your Mind by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band:

Wow. I have to say, hearing the song, it was instantly familiar but I think my brain had compartmentalised it as a Monty Python song. How wrong I was. I quickly decided to play some Bonzo Dog to the kids on Sunday afternoon to see what they thought of it all.

I selected a best of album (a cop out I know but I didn’t have much time for research) that was on Spotify and pumped it through to our SONOS Play:3.

The chaps could have titled the album something a little less difficult to explain to kids but aside from that it was child friendly fair. Listening to The Intro and the Outro, I thought, this really reminds me of something and I was right- a bit of digging around and I found out that the lead singer of the Bonzo Dog Doo Daah Band, Vivian Stanshall, provided the voice of the “Master of Ceremonies” who reads off the list of instruments during Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells. The Python link is there too as Neil Innes, one of the band members, was involved in song writing for the final series of Monty Python.

So the lyrics were kid friendly but did they actually like it? The Boy was generally avoiding me on Sunday as I was trying to get him to do his drumming practice but Fifi and Ned enjoyed it tremendously. There was a degree of strut and swagger in the music that made it easy to dance to and by the third play of Canons of My Mind, Fifi was belting out half the words. Some of them were even the right words.

The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band were psychedelic popsters of the finest order. I like to listen to some pretty out there stuff from that era and this is definitely up there with the best of the strange. And the kids approved too, which is a bonus. I was playing Magnet’s Wicker Man sound track album last night and the Boy came downstairs and told me to turn it off as it was too spooky. That told me!

The Parable of the Lost Giraffe

wpid-wp-1426953724984.jpegWe had an early morning trip to Church last week for the Christening of our little nephew. It was a lovely service, even though an particularly wrinkly old lady installed herself on the pew directly behind us with the express intention of tutting as the kids fidgeted.

Still, the Church wardens gave out some exercise books, pens and pencils to the kids and Fifi listened attentively to the sermon before coming up with the illustration to the left.

I have to admit, although I only paid passing note to the sermon, I’m fairly sure it didn’t involve Jesus, his best friend, a donkey and a giraffe. Apparently the giraffe is lost but Jesus and his best friend hopped on a donkey to go and find the missing even-toed ungulate.


I think I prefer Fifi’s interpretation because the official sermon involved Mother Theresa, Marge Simpson and the virgin Mary. It was very worthy but not as interesting as something with actual giraffes in it…