Category Archives: Father and further

Daddy, what’s that hole for?

Boy: Daddy, what’s that hole for? (Points at largest hole in fence)
Daddy: I don’t know.
Boy: oh.
(Boy and Daddy walk on and out of sight.)

Since we pass this hole on our way to nursery, I  think I’d better learn what that hole is for before my son learns to ask questions.



City farm

We hocked it over to Surrey Quays City Farm on Saturday. It’s a great place to go for a family outing.


Junior crowed back after a cockerel cock-a-doodle-dooed. He oinked at the pigs too.


We bleated with the goats and watched the ducks.


Junior liked the geese especially, but we tried to keep him apart from those dangerous looking beaks.


This was Junior’s fourth visit to the farm.

Our London

We have this park near us with a fabulous view of London.

Every time I take Junior up there I show him the panoramic view from the city in the east to battersea power station in the southwest.

At new years eve and fireworks nights hundreds of people gather here. In the summer people gather for picnics. All year round there are joggers and dogs being walked.

And as we stand there, I tell Junior that London belongs to him and every one of the children in London. I tell him it’s his playground. I tell him that London belongs to him. I tell him never to be afraid of claiming his city.

And then we get on with our day.

Jessye days

Today was a Jessye day. You know the ones, you probably have another name for it, or maybe you don’t call it anything.

They’re the days when you do nothing for the whole day, but you do lots of small things. It’s usually a day of rest, of respite and refreshment. A day for getting jobs done.

They’re mongrel days – a bit of everything is in them. But the best mongrel days are special so we named them after the best mongrel I ever knew, Jessye.

Jessye picked my aunt and uncle out when they visited Battersea Dogs Home looking for a pet. They brought her home and she gently became a figure of importance in many people’s lives. She may even have been my first love. She was kind, beautiful and generous. When she died, the mourners were many.

Sharing a tart with friends

Our Jessye day today has been a mixture of jobs, playing in the garden,

Distant view of canary wharf from the allotment

visiting Ever Sunny Park, inspecting our allotment plot, eating and time spent with friends.

Ever Sunny Park

My favourite exercise was kicking a ball about in Ever Sunny Park with Junior and his mother. It’s a slow game but he laughs a lot and it’s the best sound in the world.

Exercise stats: 3,095 steps.

Baby bedtime routine not working? How to get Out of the Woods

They say that’s it’s good to have a bedtime routine for your baby.

A bath, a story and a drink of milk all feature in the various books and websites I’ve seen. Our bedtime routine has all of these things.

But I think we might be unique in the world to have included laughing with Will Cohu in our routine.

It happened by accident, as some of the best things do. Will wrote a book, Out of the Woods. It was first published by Short Books in 2007. There are illustrations by Mungo McCourt. It is about trees.

One day, I decided I would start reading to Junior about trees as he went to bed. I picked Will’s book because its a nice read. I thought Junior might learn a little as I reqd, even if he didn’t really understand.

But it was too dark – the first part of our routine is to switch off the light. As I fumbled with the book the inside back cover opened. And Junior leant forward, pointed at the photo of Will Cohu and laughed. I like to think he was laughing with Will Cohu, not at him.

I love the sound of Junior laughing. So, every night, I get the Will Cohu book out, find his picture and Junior laughs. Then we look at another book before I settle Junior into his cot.

I’ve tried the Mungo McCourt illustrations on Junior but they don’t have the same effect. I’ve not tried pictures of anyone else, I don’t want to risk it not working.

So, if your bedtime routine isn’t working, don’t give up. Try adding a little laughter to the situation. I know just what you can try. I know it wasn’t why he published this book, but Will Cohu might just get you Out of the Woods.

Every step you take

I’ve walked 4,905 steps today, according to the moves app. How accurate this is, I don’t know for sure.

Thanks to having the app I know now that from office doorstep to station platform is 1,455 steps. And the day I counted every one of my steps to discover this, the app added around 1,100 steps to my total. I think the difference may be because the app map of my route cuts off quite a lot of corners. Or maybe my six feet six person with size 13 shoes takes smaller steps than the average app step. That seems highly implausible.

On Monday I counted my steps including my diversion into sainsbury’s to buy some bread – a 1,900 step journey.

A wet Bethnal Green morning