Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Working through the Bank Holidays when nobody else does, even when they are at work #BRITISHDADSTUFF



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you feel like the worst person on Earth working on a Bank Holiday.


You try to earn as much money as possible.
But Bank Holidays are not meant to be worked.

I've worked through not only the regular national holidays, but also all those extra ones we've been given:

Queen's birthdays (yep, I'm in an office while Brian May is playing live on top of Buckingham Palace)...
National events that are practically a day-off...
and yet more wonderful Royal Family related shutdowns.

The worst one, and a career low, was driving home from work and seeing an actual Red Arrows flypast in my rear-view mirror.

Can you call it a flypast when it's behind you?

I knew right there and then... this can't be right.

There are upsides with working through a Bank Holiday, or for the foreign companies that don't understand how the country grinds to a standstill on random other days.

You've got to love any enterprise that thinks the British will do anything that's any use between December 22nd and January 8th.

Here's the big secret they don't know, that the great thing about working on those days is that no-one else is doing anything that's any use at any other company in the country too.

Isn't it brilliant, after what they've given us, that we can still name our holidays after the banks.

Turns out working through them does not get you ahead of a Banker.


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The best shower curtain fall ever. By my mate Rob. And other mate Nicky's toilet. #BritishDadStuff


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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

The best shower curtain fall ever. By my mate Rob. And other mate Nicky's toilet. #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you're still best mates with someone you nearly let die on the toilet.


I'm not sure if I have ever written about my favourite moment with Rob.
That time at Nicky's party.
And there was only one toilet.
Because it was a big flat.

But it was a flat. And this is what best mates are for.
If they haven't pulled.

They make sure you're not dying in the toilet.

A queue was building up.
And he hadn't come out.

And the queue was getting angry.
It wasn't even a queue now - it was more of an angry mob.

And I was worried more for Rob versus the mob than whatever was happening in the bog.
I was drunk.
Did I mention we were all drunk?

But Rob was a little more drunk than all.
There's talk now of busting the door open, by the angry mob.
(Who just want the toilet. They have no care for the welfare, of Rob).

I'm even more worried for Rob against the mob.

Here's the moment I know how to get his attention through the locked door.

I make a bellow to my fellow that only a best mate can make and, click, the door opens.

But now I'm sort of barging in - to be the first there ahead of the angry mob, which by this time is pretty much the entire party.

And Rob makes this noise that I've never heard before.
Sort of like a "Woooerrr".

Like a cartoon animal he windmills his arms backwards, as a wrong Mexican Wave, but stops by grabbing the shower curtain behind him to stay up.

"PING! PINGK!" shatter two bathroom shower curtain rings.

"PINGK PINGK PINGK PINK"

"Uh oh" he deadpans as he tumbles from my face...

"PING PING PING PINGPINGPINGPING-PINGK-CRUMP."

Wrapped in shower curtain bits and rawlplugs and rail and what was the bathroom shower curtain.

We hear him groan.
My buddy is okay.
But the bathroom is not.

The angry mob are already all over the toilet.

And all I can say to the mess in the bathtub is
"Dude, that was the best fall. Ever."


Previous post...
Looking at other peoples inboxes before you'd even look at your own #BritishDadStuff


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Friday, 16 December 2016

Looking at other peoples inboxes before you'd even look at your own #BritishDadStuff




You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you're more quick to look at other people's emails than your own.


Whenever I pass people scrolling down their phones, I don't mean to look, but I do.

And I just realised that when they do, that most of their emails are unopened.

They're scrolling up and down their inbox, that's full of unopened messages.

And I leave emails unopened.

Ironically many times from people that I really want to hear from.

It's like I'm saving them for something special.

And now, as I look over this person's shoulder, I realise I'm more excited looking at other peoples' emails than my own.

It's like we're all sending each other emails that we're not looking at, while wondering what happened to ours.


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Teaching my daughter about the important things. Like Leroy from Fame. More #BritishDadStuff thoughts 57-63


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Saturday, 10 December 2016

Teaching my daughter about the important things. Like Leroy from Fame. More #BritishDadStuff thoughts 57-63



Great British Dad thoughts for the week.

Sunday 11th December
Lawyers carrying their documents in pull-along cases hate it when you call them stewardesses.
They prefer "fight attendants".

Monday 12th December
My bank now has "voice recognition". So when I get my balance they know it's me swearing out loud..

Tuesday 13th December
I want to teach my daughter about the important things in life. Like Leroy from Fame.

Wednesday 14th December
Single in the 90’s: No woman’s toilet seat ever ever stood up by itself.

Thursday 15th December
Idea: Draw some pictures and put them up in the hospital corridors without telling anyone. Cheer up the sick.

Friday 16th December
Offering to help a hot girl take a selfie outside a national monument does not count as a good deed.

Saturday 17th December
Never forget, your A.B.C. Always. Be. Charging.



Previous post...
Checking my phone in front of my son. But I really couldn't help it, honest! #BritishDadStuff


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Thursday, 8 December 2016

Checking my phone in front of my son. But I really couldn't help it, honest! #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you feel bad for checking your phone, even though you can't avoid it.


I had to pick up Dad from a really routine thing at the hospital. They make sure that someone comes to pick them up so that they get home safely.

It was Half-Term, what a great chance to take my 7 year-old to London!

He'd get to see Grandad, who's always funny when he's drunk on anaesthetic.

(I love piling him into a cab in that state, explaining to the driver that it's not booze. It'd be great to have my boy there too.
Like a lads' day out.
A beano, as Dad would call it).
What could possibly go wrong.

We hit the South Bank on the first off-peak train, ready to get the call from the hospital. And I'm showing him all the places where Daddy works really hard every day, writing his scenes that are shared online with an eager international audience forever.

Trouble is, he is really good at spotting logos.

"Is that the place we had noodles once?"
What, Wagamama?
"Oooh, I LOVE Wagamama."
You've had it, like, once.
"I REALLY want to eat THERE!"
But... can't we get some cheese and some bread... from the supermarket.
And eat it in the park?
"Oooh, Daddy. I REALLY want a Wagamama's."

But it's 11 o'clock.
And it's really pricey.
(I can't remember if I said that last bit out loud).

"Oooooh. Pleeeeeeeeeease."

I'm torn.
I've got my boy. And I know my days with him are finite.
And we won't get times like this again, ever.

But, I've also got my mortgage. And I know our cash is finite.
And I don't want to end up bankrupt, ever.

So we go in.
Maybe we could walk to the hospital to claw back a couple of quid, if we eat now.

I order the noodle dish he LOVES. And a side dish of dumplings for me.
(A side dish that would pay for an entire meal lower down the High Street chain).

The place is empty.
It's so early, the staff are having their morning briefing right next to us and we get a whole bench for 10 to ourselves.

This is living.

I'll just check the hospital haven't called and--

I miss something.

A Tattooed Waitress In Shorts is bearing down on me.
"I was just checking... to see if your CHILD is okay..."

Is she saying it pointedly, glaring at the phone in my hand?

"Oh, okay th--" but she's already stomping off.

Oh... She thinks I'm one of THOSE parents.
Who aren't in the moment - who look at their phones more than their kids.

I don't know why this is bugging me so much - that I've been busted for a crime I did not commit (when I've got so much else to be busted for.)

And now, ironically, I'm really not enjoying the rest of this experience, because I'm trying to overly-show the Tattooed Waitress In Shorts that I'm COMPLETELY with my boy and giving him all the attention he needs.

And then Dad calls. He's due out and really looking forward to leaving now, and we're at least 40 minutes away from him.

We've got to ditch these steep noodles.
So I'm wolfing them down now because I really don't want them to get wasted.

And yeah.
That's when I'm totally clocked again by the Tattooed Waitress In Shorts.
Slurp.
Beep.



Previous post...
Five biggest complaints of High Street sexbots... #BritishDadStuff



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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Five biggest complaints of High Street sexbots... #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you're the last to hear about the latest High Street trends.


They say the news you need to know will find its way to you.

All I've seen is a story about a chain of sexbot cafes coming to the UK (or rather the other way round).

I didn't even make it to those shops where the fish nibble your feet.

Five things you don't want to hear from the High Street sexbots:

5.
"Please place your items in the bagging area."

4.
"Further assistance is required."

3.
"Would you like to Gift Aid that?"

2.
"Please clear your own tables."

1.
"Don't forget to touch out."

Did I miss any?

Previous post...
How much life-expectancy would you trade for a Chromecast? #BritishDadStuff


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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

How much life-expectancy would you trade for a Chromecast? #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...even your Long-Suffering Wife (LSW) is handing over her life in her head for the home's gadgets.


INT. OUR CAR, NORTHBOUND ON THE M3 - AFTERNOON

I'M DRIVING. MY LONG-SUFFERING WIFE (LSW) IS PASSENGER SIDE.

LONG-SUFFERING WIFE (LSW):
I think... I would hand over some life-expectancy... just to have the Chromecast.

ME:
A Chromecast?

LSW:
Yes. I'll say it. The Chromecast is so good, I would trade it for some life-expectancy. It's that good.

ME:
What, 12 years? You'd lose 12 years for a Chromecast.

LSW:
No. I suppose there are boundaries on that.

ME:
Six months.

LSW:
No, not that much.

ME:
6 weeks. (OFF LSW) 6 to 10 weeks.

LSW:
That's a good deal.

ME:
You'd only be weeing in a bag anyway.

LSW:
And, it's for a gadget that'd be good for say, 10 years?

ME:
And it'd be used a lot through them.

A PAUSE.

LSW:
Course, all that wi-fi is going to kill us.

WE NOD.


Previous post...
My Boris Bike Crash 5th Anniversary - the night I opened my eyes in A&E #BritishDadStuff


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Monday, 5 December 2016

My Boris Bike Crash 5th Anniversary - the night I opened my eyes in A&E #BritishDadStuff


(It's a self-a&e)

You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you end up in hospital, for yourself.


Happy 5th Boris Bike crash birthday to me,
Happy 5th Boris Bike crash birthday to me,
I was knocked out for five hours,
and then woke up in A&E.


I was cycling to Waterloo through Holborn Circus at 18:30 on 5th December 2011.

Literally, the next image in my head is looking up at an NHS ceiling.
At 23:30.

I didn't know it then, but 5 hours had vanished.
I am 5 hours younger, and using every minute of it.

I had a big neck cage on my head, I was in a corridor, and I could feel my clothes had been cut off.

I asked a passing nurse "Where am I?" and she told me: "The London Hospital, in Whitechapel." I'd had a bike accident in Shoe Lane.

Huh.
I was dosed up nicely.
But my face felt weird.

It was like I was checking bits of my body for the very first time, without moving.
Some teeth were missing. And my lips were stitched.
And I couldn't remember a thing after turning out of Holborn Circus.

The road layout was different then - a terrifying mini-roundabout round a statue that's now moved. (Here's what it looks like in 2008)

After turning onto St. Andrew Street, I always looked over my right shoulder as sometimes I'd have a car up my bum on the run down.
But I don't remember that bit.
I think that's how I crashed.

(Embarrassingly, no-one else was involved.
The Boris Bike basket has a really high centre of gravity.
If you use one, never put your bag in there.
Unless you've got really fat feet and backside).

About a week after the accident, I tried tracking down the City of London police officer who was first on the scene. He'd kindly called my wife from the roadside to let her know what had happened and where I was going.

I wanted to thank him for helping me.

Turns out he'd even checked AND docked my Boris Bike, so I didn't have to sort out a fine.

But really it was bugging me that the policeman told her that I was "a bit of a character."

Uh-oh.

I'm not a character. I am really not a character.

I do not remember one single thing about the aftermath, and I just wanted to know that I hadn't said anything stupid to him.

I sent some wild emails from the A&E bed with my head injury which didn't make sense, and it was around the time of Occupy London.

I felt sick that I'd said something dumb to him, and even dumber almost certainly because growing up in London with school and scout trips to City police stations I think City of London Police are awesome.

I tracked him down via the control room (who remembered the incident and wished me well - I think they get curious about how things turn out), and I got to ask him: what the hell did I say?

A passing taxi driver had flagged him down to get him first on the scene.
(As a cab-driver's son, I liked this detail. London looks after its own.)

He said that I didn't have a clue where I was and I kept asking him if I was going to die.

Seems the brain protects us really well. I do not remember one word of this.

"But this was strange, Neil, you were really good with numbers. You knew your date of birth and even helped guide me through the security pin on your phone."

I do not remember one number of this.

In my head, it's one continuous flow: Turning off Holborn Circus, Hospital ceiling.
Not one beat in between.


Anyway, it changed the course of what I started blogging about, because here's the top ten list I wrote soon after.



10
Face looks like a themed Google logo. Changes by the day.

9
Being known to a handful of healthcare professionals affectionately as ‘that bloke who had the Boris Bike crash’.

8
Talking like Louis Spence.



7
Chunks falling off face like an maxillofacial advent calendar. Festive.

6
Patronising kids in the supermarket who stare to ‘always wear a bike helmet’, like some kind of deranged 1950s superhero.

5
Looking like a vagrant whose stuff never gets touched. Also festive.



4
Hours spent concussed equals hours not spent hearing about Eurozone crisis.

3
Drinking through a straw makes 2 year old son feel superior.

2
Finally being able to look my hero Erik Estrada in the eye.
We both know what this is like.


1
Looking like a Hitler cat.
Or the bloke from Sparks.
Or Blakey from On The Buses.




Previous post...
When people put things in bold in messages to me but not everything #BritishDadStuff


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Sunday, 4 December 2016

When people put things in bold in messages to me but not everything #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...no-one feels like they are being clear with you.


ME:
Hi, I don't know how to say this. So please know that it comes from a really kind place.

EMAILER:
Sure. What's the PROBLEM?

ME:
It's... it's the emails you send me. (THEN) You keep putting bits of them IN BOLD. It's... kind of annoying.

EMAILER:
But I do it to punch through IMPORTANT DETAILS. So you don't miss them.

ME:
But it's like this one here. You've put the DATE IN BOLD! I already know that's an important deadline. Because the words next to it are "This is an important deadline".

EMAILER:
I'm just being super-clear though. So you instantly see the IMPORTANT DATE!

ME:
I know. And I know my attention isn't the best and huh, movie actress Emma Stone cut her foot at a party.

EMAILER:
So I make sure the MESSAGE IS HEARD.

ME:
I know, but it's a little embarrassing. Like I can't be trusted to read an email. Urgent politics. I'll click on that petition later.

EMAILER:
You're upset that I'm just making my emails CLEAR AND EASIER ON THE EYE.

ME:
Yes. Right! If it's that crucial... why don't you just leave only the important bits in the message? Instead of putting SOME OF IT IN BOLD and nothing else? Do you see? It's a bit insulting.

EMAILER:
Okay. I'll stop doing it.
(THEN) ON THE NEXT EMAIL.
(SINGS) I WILL USE A LARGER FONT. INSTEAD.

ME:
Ooh. Ricky Martin's trending in Japan.


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McDonalds salads are like dogs balancing treats on noses and 50-56 other Great British Dad Thoughts #BritishDadStuff


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Saturday, 3 December 2016

McDonalds salads are like dogs balancing treats on noses and 50-56 other Great British Dad Thoughts #BritishDadStuff



As a Great British Dad, I have thoughts, hopes and dreams.
Here are the ones I'm having this week.


Sunday 4th December
I got bored sending out change of address emails, and now everyone from P onwards lost me.

Monday 5th December
Me ordering a salad in McDonalds is a bit like a dog balancing a treat on its nose.

Tuesday 6th December
If some air escapes you, the most important call in our house is whether it's forced or accidental.

Wednesday 7th December
Imagine cavemen going for a weekend in a different cave. Or native Navajo pulling themselves away from the bison for a fortnight. I don't think holidays were invented by men.

Thursday 8th December
I listen so badly, I don't know if my wife is talking to me or OK Google. My family now get me with "OK Daddy."

Friday 9th December
That TV presenter does so many adverts that I forget what she wants me to buy next.

Saturday 10th December
We should be kind to the workers at the companies we hate. If they treat us like that, god knows how they treat the staff.



Previous post...
The Night I Shaved My Head Forever #BritishDadStuff


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Friday, 2 December 2016

The Night I Shaved My Head Forever #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you have got all your own hair. In handfuls. On the floor.


I don't think I've ever written about this: the first night I shaved my head, forever.

CAPTION:
London. My flat. The landing. 8th April 2003. 19:32

SHUFFLING THROUGH THE REMINGTON BOX PLASTIC HAIR GUIDE CLIPS.
LIKE A HAMFISTED SNIPER.

ME:
(VOICEOVER)
Baldy is going for it. Let's do it.
Where's a 1. I'll go for a number 1.

ANGLE ON: MEASUREMENTS EMBOSSED ON MORE HAIR GUIDES.

ME:
(VOICEOVER)
Is a number 1 point one inch... or one m.m.?

ANGLE ON: 0.5MM

ME:
(VOICEOVER)
Half a millimetre. That'll do it.

DOWN GOES THE TAPER ARM.
READY FOR THE HIT.
LIKE A PRO.

ME:
(VOICEOVER)
And no taper. So... this is it.

REVEAL: ME IN THE MIRROR. NAKED FROM THE WAIST UP.

ME:
(VOICEOVER)
No more visits to Ben. Feels like I'm cheating on him.

A CHUNK COMES OFF THE SIDE. IT FLOATS TO THE CARPET.

ME:
(VOICEOVER)
No going back now. God, I'll miss those chats.
If your Ex is using him now, it's time to move on.

HALF A HEAD'S WORTH IS GONE. I STARE IN SHOCK.

ME:
(VOICEOVER)
Man...

MY POV: THE BARE LIGHTBULB ABOVE.

ME:
(VOICEOVER)
I can feel it from here.

SWINGING MY HEAD FROM SIDE TO SIDE, COMPARING FEELING THE HEAT FROM THE LIGHT.

ME:
(VOICEOVER)
Shaved. Normal. Shaved. Normal. (THEN) Huh.

I MOVE INTO THE BATHROOM. THE REST COMES OFF.

ME:
(VOICEOVER)
Oh my God. I'm free. (RUBS HEAD) Shaved blonde.

MY POV: A PILE OF HAIR IN THE SINK.

ME:
(VOICEOVER)
Is that still blonde?

SCOOPING OUT A CLUMP OUT BY HAND.

ME:
(OUT LOUD, A LA CHAS AND DAVE)
Hair, hair, hair, hair, I've got none on me noddle.

(DANCING OUT ONTO LANDING)
But I don't care as down the road I toddle.

(KICKS CLUMP ON FLOOR, BUT MISSES)
The girls all shout, here comes the thoroughbred,
But I don't care, I've got no hair.
Proud of me old bald head!

(SCRATCHES FURIOUSLY)
AhhhHHH.


Previous post...
Why do other families' homes smell so different? #BRITISHDADSTUFF


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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Why do other families' homes smell so different? #BRITISHDADSTUFF



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you know and like the smell of your own home.


Ever notice how other families' homes smell different?

Dog kennels and Elephant houses all smell like each other.
We're the same kind of animals. Why do all our homes smell so different?

Is it a genetic, biological thing - a way of knowing that you're back at home?

Or is it meant to be a big turn-off?

Your home smells bad to me to drive off anyone that's not close family, who will waste your precious resources.

Your resources stink to me. So I will not stay here so long to use them.

You always notice it the most getting home from the car boot sale.

This is why we've got to go to a field to sell off our stuff.
Fresh air.
Nice neutral smell for the things.

And then you get the stuff you've bought home and "phwooar!"
It stinks!

And you're there, cleaning all the dust out fo the crevices.
Trying to get rid of that smell.
That smell that was there to keep you away from the stuff in the first place.


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Hello, how are you? How to get the best from the worst phonecall, or anyone #BritishDadStuff


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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Hello, how are you? How to get the best from the worst phonecall, or anyone #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you've got to book an appointment with someone who sounds like they hate you and every other caller.


I had to book a completely routine appointment.

I called the number at a major Big City hospital far away - even though it's for an appointment in my town.

I book it and I've not done this before, so I ask where was it.

CALL LADY:
"Well I don't know, do I. I'm based at the Big City Hospital."

ME:
"Okay"

(TRY AND KEEP IT BRIGHT)

ME:
"Um, sorry, but do you know where it is or where I'm supposed to go?"

CALL LADY:
"No, I just told you. I'm not in your town. I'm in the Big City Hospital, in the Big City."

(MY VOICE NOW STRAINING WITH SPRINGINESS).

ME:
"Okay, well... this has been great!"

And I hang up.

You know when a chat ends, and it was not good for either of you?

It was one of those.

Believe it or not, I don't go into the world to spread misery.

And now I'm paranoid.

Shouldn't she have checked my contact details?
Ask me my date of birth?
Did that appointment even just get booked?

And it gets worse.
I told my LSW (Long-Suffering Wife) about it and she said we wouldn't be back in our town that early and yes I would have to call back the Big City Hospital to change it to a different time.

ME:
"But I'm scared.
She might snap at me again.
Maybe the X-rays zapped her too much."

LSW:
"Sorry, you've just got to do it. "

And I'm on hold, daydreaming Danny Boyle's Olympics Ceremony Tribute to the NHS having dithery know-nothings being told off by entitled jobsworths for not knowing their system.

We didn't see them because we didn't know where to find them and missed the appointment.

And then it hit me: I need to go completely crazy happy on this call.

"Hello!"
I singsonged.

"How are you?"
said like we'd been sleeping together for the month.

"I'm good thanks!"
The sheer force of energy I think I heard is making her smile.

"I need to check an appointment please!"
I said like a six year-old doing role play in the Home Corner.

"What's the name?"
she chirruped.

I've got to front this out. She'll know it's me.
So I spelt it out, making the phonetics as saucy as possible.

"M for Mother, O for OMG! S for sex-ahy, another S for some more sex-ahy, E for... Elephant Man, Y for... Yes."

(I ran out by the end).

Got the appointment moved - over to the Big City Hospital.

I went too far.


So now I'm one month into my experiment:
Every single time I talk to someone in person or on phone, I always try
"Hello, how are you?"

(I only forgot to do it once, and that thing happened in the supermarket).

It's still working.
Today I got a free coffee.


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Tell me why... I don't like Cyber Mondays #BritishDadStuff


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Monday, 28 November 2016

Tell me why... I don't like Cyber Mondays #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you want to make up some made-up holidays of your own.


There's pressure to spend when there's already pressure to spend, in the run-up to Christmas.

Like the birth of a Messiah isn't enough of a deadline, marketing and brands try ratcheting up the urgency with the made-up days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday that we all moan about, but we want to have The Stuff.

This year Cyber Monday falls between Working For The Man Sunday, and Credit Card Interest Rate Tuesday.

Can't help thinking I missed some out here.

What would you add to Black Friday and Cyber Monday?


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How we use 1137 litres of water a day. According to the water company PLC #BritishDadStuff


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Sunday, 27 November 2016

How we use 1137 litres of water a day. According to the water company PLC #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you give up trying to save money and just splash out.


Our water company tells us we’re using 1137 litres of water per day.

If you knew how much our kids want to drink their glass of water or have a bath, you’d know that over 1000 litres of water per day might not be very true.

We did not know we were metered when we moved in, and the previous owner gave a really low reading.

She did us up like a kipper.

A kipper swimming around in an aquarium that's DEEP.

The reading they had was 345 units.

What units do they measure water in...

Is it Mega-mugs?

By the time I found out and evidence gathered a photo 3 weeks later, it was 400 units.

I have got more photos on my phone of meters, than kids.


But I have no way of proving we didn’t use those 55 units.
(Wells? Is that what the units are? Mega-kettles? Mega-bladders.
UK water company meters measure our water in units of mega-bladders.)

So now 2 water companies (the one who supplies it clean, and the other takes it away dirty) think that we use 1137 litres of water per day.

That’s really impressive.

We will go through life like someone who uses 1000 litres of water per day.

I feel like a Kardashian.
But my wife tells me I can’t have one.

Our reign (sorry, rain) of living like Timotei models washing our hair in waterfalls will end next quarter. With our stupid “waterwise” lifestyle.

What if we lied on our water meter bill?

Double the mega-bladder units that we report to the water company?

They whack up prices every year - above inflation.

It’d be like pre-buying the water now (and drinking and weeing it out) before it gets more expensive?

It’s a bright idea.

No, it’s a Brita idea.

I should probably put these ideas through the filter.


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Why are seams for my socks all on the inside? and 43-49 other Great British Dad Thoughts #BRITISHDADSTUFF


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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Why are seams for my socks all on the inside? and 43-49 other Great British Dad Thoughts #BRITISHDADSTUFF



My 5 year-old daughter is using these for reading practice: Great British Dad thoughts and ideas for this week.

Roll on, December.



Sunday 27th November
"Does he brush up, no he doesn't brush up... "
But I'll take a crazy unfair guess who set up your Wi-Fi.

Monday 28th November
The seams for my socks are all on the inside.
Wouldn't it be better wearing them inside out?

Tuesday 29th November
The stuff I write is "content". But I do it because I am not content.

Wednesday 30th November
Turns out my kink is watching the faces of gay men on exhibition displays looking at me in disgust while my children wreck the things on their stand.

Thursday 1st December
Why have tools in ugly boxes? They might get used more from something like a hamper.

Friday 2nd December
I join in with BBC Autumnwatch. My cameras are on the gas meter.

Saturday 3rd December
There are only three villains blocking my dream of creating a crimefighting family. Unfortunately they are my family.



I keep a whole year's worth of 365 Great British Dad Thoughts right here.

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Mum's Deathiversary and how people in Camden Town bizarrely stood still in the street #BritishDadStuff


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Friday, 25 November 2016

Mum's Deathiversary and how people in Camden Town bizarrely stood still in the street #BritishDadStuff


"Awww Neil. Not that picture?" She'd say.

You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you realise what your parents did too.


It's Friday - the day I put out the "difficult post"

Funny that today is also the third anniversary of Mum dying (passing on feels like such a limp way of avoiding it).

And the only word I can find for it is her Deathiversary.

But there is a couple of really nice things that happened right after.

We had a "Celebrant" speak at her funeral - lovely guy called Andrew.

He kindly offered to write a eulogy about her life, but my sister wrote a brilliant one instead - put below as an awesome thumbnail for her to live online for as long as Google lasts.

We asked the Celebrant if he ever found it hard, saying someone else's words about someone else.
"Only once" he gleamed.

There was a family who weren't rough so much as outspoken. And he told us about the 20 minute sweary rant he delivered for them: calling out who had F &*%ed over who, and caused the deceased f- ing grief over the years.

The other thing that made us smile was on the route to the crematorium.

It took in pretty much every street Mum drove us around as kids: past Camden Park Stores for last minute gravy (now flats) round the Brecknock and our childhood alcoholic Dentists, towards our primary school and up Parliament Hill Fields where we'd play after.

A few minutes in though, I noticed a man who stood still, and bowed his head to us.

It was odd and extremely respectful.

And then someone else did the same.

Then more kept coming.

People stopping, on busy Central London streets, turning towards the hearse, lowering their heads and sometimes crossing themselves.

I thought it was old people.
But it wasn't.
Young men in scruffy clothes, stopped, bowed and crossed.

It was lovely.

And then I got it.

Maybe it's a club. One day they've been here, in the hearse too.

They didn't know it, but this is who it was for:

"Vera was born in London in 1943. The youngest of five siblings, she was a bit of a miracle child, because her mum Alice had thought for years that she couldn't have any more children - a doctor had to explain to her that she hadn't gone through 'the change', as she had thought - she just had malnutrition because she was feeding all her children and not herself during the war.

And while the initial shock was terrifying to her because she was completely blind, Vera was loved from the moment she was born, and she grew up being her mum's eyes into the world.

Her dad George, who was an ambulance driver and paramedic in wartime London, ran the local St John's Ambulance group for decades, and Vera would go with him all throughout her childhood and teens.

One of her earliest memories was of going to an event with her dad when they witnessed a bus run over a boy, and her dad used all the bandages intended to last the entire event on this one boy and saved his life. She was so proud to be his daughter every day, but especially that day. He had taught her skills for life, and her knowledge of medical facts never left her and she would regularly surprise doctors with how much she knew.

It was in the early 60s when Ian, her husband to be, would be by his delivery van every day at the same time she would walk past him on her way to work every morning and that's how they met. It was a relationship and marriage that would span 45 years and they both commented frequently that neither of them had ever wanted to be with anyone else.

One thing everyone will always remember about Vera is how incredibly well turned out she always was: in the teeniest clothes, the flirtiest pencil skirts and her black stiletto heels. In the 60s, she made all her own clothes, and it's impossible to find a photo of her where you can't see her underwear, her hemlines were always so short.

She would have great fun dancing at The Lyceum on Friday nights then, when she met Ian, enjoyed many dates at concerts, the theatre, and all the best new restaurants in London. They even saw The Beatles on one of their dates… but both remember it with disappointment, as all they could hear was girls screaming for the entire concert.

When Neil came along, then Carolyn, Vera absolutely loved being a mum and dedicating herself to the happiness of her family. She had many secretarial jobs over the years to make ends meet and pay for the family holiday once a year.

She was justly proud of her high WPM, her ability to do shorthand when many struggled to learn it, and the fact that she had so many jobs and got every one that she ever went for. Among them, she enjoyed her friendships at the N.N.E.B - especially the day her and the rest of the secretaries beat all the chief executives at a game of Trivial Pursuit(!), her time as secretary of a school for mentally and physically disabled children, and mostly enjoyed her last job working for the world-class neurologists who diagnosed and helped children with rare neurological problems.

She would often say how painfully shy she was as a child and young adult, but to anyone who knew her after that time would find that hard to imagine. She was outstanding at sticking up for herself, and her family, and had an often outrageous sense of humour, which was endearing to everyone who ever met and knew her.

She also had a fierce sense of independence and inner strength that saw her through her illness right to the end. When the doctors said she would never walk up stairs again, she went home and walked up and down the stairs - 5 times, just to be sure she could say, and these are her words here, "Sod you!" to them.

In fact, there were frequent outbursts of "Oh sod!" and, her favourite expletive, "Oh balls!" when she struggled to do something or keep hold of something. But she never let her multiple sclerosis get the better of her or stop her from doing what she wanted to do.

There were symptoms she never wanted to get, and maybe it was her determined will that made sure she didn't. And she wanted to make it back to her own home, which she did: she was not known as the Comeback Kid for nothing.

And when all else failed, her favourite medicine was a little puff of cannabis whenever she could. She was horrified when her children first suggested it to her, having read many times how helpful it could be to manage her MS symptoms, and once they had convinced her that no, she wouldn't soon become a crack addict if she tried it, she had a go and found it really helpful.

And when Ian and Vera were briefly broken into a few years ago, she took great joy in the fact that she had reported her cannabis stolen to the police and they then told her they might have to caution her for that... although they never did.

As mentioned before, she would often make those around her laugh.

If it wasn't her habit of accidentally always revealing the ending of a book or TV show or movie right at the start (because she had seen and read and knew it all!), it was her ability to crack a joke whenever she could. One evening round at her daughter's flat when she was talking her through their wedding plans, Carolyn said "oh look, it's only 8 O'Clock and Andy's fallen asleep". And Vera said deadpan to her, "Well, it's all that talk of weddings and stuff, isn't it?!"

And when she saw her grandchildren two weeks ago, who were always fascinated by her wheelchair and ceiling hoists, she encouraged them to wave to her when she was being hoisted into the next room by telling them, "Look! Nanny's flying!"

And she was thrilled to see both her children marry the love of their lives in the last 15 months and she was so proud of the choices they both made.
[EDIT FOR INTERNET PRIVACY]
Although it was a mission, she made it to Neil and Becky's wedding, looking as glamorous as ever.

She always loved a party and this time was no different: starting the night before with a joint in [EDIT] on the way down, giggling and cracking jokes all the way, she was also the first guest to enjoy a couple of drinks and get tipsy for the first time in years.

Then when Carolyn and Andy decided to get married on holiday earlier this year and not tell anyone else till they returned, Vera was incredibly supportive to both of them and loved the fact that she knew their secret and promised faithfully to keep it. And she did - only revealing it to every carer, nurse, doctor, and… well, told the secret to absolutely everyone she spoke to!

Vera was warm, loyal, funny, caring, super-kind and forever generous to everyone around her. And she truly touched the hearts of everyone she met."

Vera Mossey, 1943-2013


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Save Our NHS Nurses car parking spaces, we can make money from this too #BRITISHDADSTUFF


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Monday, 21 November 2016

Save Our NHS Nurses car parking spaces, we can make money from this too #BRITISHDADSTUFF



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...like companies in this country, you too can see a money-making opportunity to rinse the NHS.


I got financially frustrated on someone else's behalf today (see also... every post I ever write), when I found out that Nurses at our local hospital have to pay for car parking tickets out of their own pockets, to a Car Park Company, run for profit.

They are reimbursed from money from our healthcare trust.
(instead of doing nursing).

And the money doesn't get back to them quickly after they've done the paperwork (instead of doing nursing).

And if the parking machine is broken (which apparently is often), they then have to call to pay for parking over the Hospital Trust phone.
(instead of doing nursing)
Which sometimes takes 20 minutes on hold
(instead of doing nursing).

And if they fail to do this (like last week) they get a parking fine of £90, which of course they have to pay themselves
(instead of doing nursing).

Here's the thing.

I wish I were as professional as those Nurses, but I cannot find a way to make this funny.

There must be jokes in here somewhere.

This system: there has to be some fun to be had with the tension here.

The nurses are taking blood, while the Car Park Company is taking the pi$$?

It's got to be bigger than that though.

What if the Nurses were to do their work more quickly, to avoid the car park charges?

What if they did their work IN the car park, so they can move on (fine free) when the Car Park Company warden comes along?

What if they gave some extra free nursing to the Car Park Company warden in return for their parking space?

What if the Hospital Trust sues the Car Park Company for raising the blood pressures of every patient, visitor & staff - throwing their readings?

What if we left a sample on our windscreen, so the Nurses could check us like the Car Park Company does?

Unlike our Nurses, none of these get to the bottom of it.


Which is why we have offered our space in front of our house to Nurses at the hospital to park any time.

After a couple of months, we'll work out a ticketing system to rinse our Hospital Trust of cash better than the National Car Park Company.

We're gonna steal their customer base. And with only 2 spaces to maintain (3, because Nurses' cars tend not to be huge, for some reason) - we're gonna run it more profitably too.

The NHS is meant to be free at the point of delivery. We're going to make it free at the point of supply.

We'll probably make them a cup of tea while we're making them wait to pay though.
(Or try and get some more wonderful healthcare off them for free).


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A cook in the kitchen lover and a weathergirl in the garden and 36-42 other great #BRITISHDADSTUFF thoughts



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Saturday, 19 November 2016

A cook in the kitchen lover and a weathergirl in the garden and 36-42 other great #BRITISHDADSTUFF thoughts


I think too much. That's what my family tells me.
Oh wait, no, that's right, it's "you're completely thoughtless".
But that is not true.
Here are all the thoughts I will be having for the coming week.


Sunday 20 November
Men want a cook in the kitchen, a lover in the bedroom, and a weathergirl in the garden.

Monday 21 November
There is no swearword harsh enough in any man's new home for the previous man's D.I.Y.

Tuesday 22 November
All rows with men rely on a triangle of heat, fuel, and oxygen.

Wednesday 23 November
We all hate the cashiers who can't take extra change after they've rung it up on the till.

Thursday 24 November
Sports days and school plays are shot in portrait mode to annoy Dads for not being there.

Friday 25 November
I've invented TEDtalk dinners. They're like TV dinners, but they last exactly ten minutes.

Saturday 26 November
When will we cross the road on the green woman?



I keep a whole year's worth of 365 Great British Dad Thoughts right here.

Previous post...
His name is X**. Not X*****. Going long on your Birth Certificate? #BritishDadStuff


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Friday, 18 November 2016

His name is X**. Not X*****. Going long on your Birth Certificate? #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you're fed up calling our kids by their official name, not their normal one.


(I've tried to protect my son's electronic footprint in here.
But X***** has a kind of ring to it)


Hello.
The most annoying thing about having a baby is everyone offering their "advice" and memories.
While you're just trying to get on with it.
But I'll offer this anyway, in case it helps.

Ollie is a beautiful man name. And you might want him to be called Oliver.
But if you're already calling him Ollie and you think he'll always mostly be called Ollie - this is what happened to us.

We registered X** as X*****.

Because it's proper, it's not embarrassing, and looks good.
You could imagine a X***** X***** Mossey building a bridge, or publishing a book.

Except pretty quickly he was X**. Always X**. We don't even call him X***** when we're telling him off.

Anyway, starting with every bed visit when he was born - virtually every interaction "How is X*****?" "It's X**, thank you - he's great." Every doctor, midwife, and Health Visitor visit X*****... "Thanks, no it's X**."

And then Nursery. "Hello X*****" It's X**. Can we change it to X** please?

Injections, more regular nurse visits - "X**. No really it's okay, you can call him X**."

And then school. Parents Evening and his pictures on the wall: "X***** Mossey".
Grrr.
Ahh, look, there's his coat hook.
"X***** Mossey." But it's X**.

Visit the teacher. "X** is doing good."
Great. Phew. "Look, here are his books."
All labelled X***** Mossey.
IT'S X**.

IT'S %^+#ING X**.

HAVE I GOT TO CHANGE HIS NAME BY %^+#ING DEED POLL?
X**. X - * - *. IS THAT TOO DIFFICULT FOR YOU OFFICIOUS FORM %^+#ERS?

"Neil, we're in an infant school."

AND 3 LETTERS IS TOO %^+#ING HARD TO CALL HIM BY HIS %^+#ING NAME?!

Of course, I'm angry at myself.

We've got to comply with the healthcare system and an education system and other governmental and private company systems that follow the rules, for a reason. (The reason being to make it run more efficiently, rather than acting in your benefit with creative caring humanity).
So my advice is this.

You'll give him a name - a beautiful name.

But if you're calling him an even better one, you might want to think about that when you're registering him.

That oak panelled registration room or council corner office shouldn't distract you from who he is, rather than who you think you should say he could be.

He can always change it by Deed Poll.

Which, thinking about it is what I want to do right now.

With X**.

His name is X**.

(On the form, I should probably maybe also change my occupation to "Angry Man").


My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

Previous post...
My letter to a major public company CEO, from me, Daddy CEO #BritishDadStuff


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Thursday, 17 November 2016

My letter to a major public company CEO, from me, Daddy CEO #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you realise you're the CEO of a company run for profit. Your family.


We had a problem with our water.

We had torrents of brown filth coming out of our taps, instead of water.

And it didn't stop. For days.

And this is primal, because being a Dad I was obviously held responsible by my family for not providing them with what they need as humans... a source clean water.

I was failing as a resource provider to my family.

So I did whatever Man would do in the same situation.

I tweeted the company and left snarky messages on Facebook.

I wanted to shame the company like a big oaf and post videos of their disgusting water on YouTube.

And (because tweeting and facebooking is like mooning a CCTV operator) all I got back was the standard "customer information" marketing links about "Mild Discolouration".

Even though torrents of brown filth were coming through our taps.

And each time I got these PR message brushoffs, I got more angry.

But getting angry was getting me nowhere.

So I wanted to go right to the top.

And punish the joker running this outfit at our expense.

And then I realised.

I am at the very top of my organisation.

I am the long-serving CEO, Chief Executive, Big Cheese of our home.

And like the other CEO, I'm really a big patsy too: doing whatever I need to do to make the company, sorry family, run at a profit.

I should feel sorry for him.

I could now complain to the CEO of this company in the words this CEO would understand.

Chief Exec to Chief Exec.

We're bigger than they are - this water company is just one of our suppliers.

Alright, thanks to the government, we can't take our business elsewhere - which means I need to work even harder to get him on board, and see my problem in the way only another CEO would get.


"Dear (WATER COMPANY CEO)

Sorry to contact you directly - but desperate circumstances call for desperate measures.

To make this letter more relevant to you, I'm going to try and explain this: MD to MD.

I am the MD of our Household, and we have a commercial relationship.

As you know, the unique way we do business in the UK means that I cannot take our business elsewhere.

But I'll put it on the table, - I think I'm losing the support of my Board.

And I don't think that's good news for either of us.

Our Executive Board comprises my long suffering CFO (wife), CIO (son, 7), and CCO (daughter, 5) and I've got to tell you they're asking difficult questions.

How would you address an agenda that starts:
"Why is the water that comes out of our taps brown - every day?"

Or any advice on how to field these, whilst protecting our Brand Equity:
"Why is our water coming out brown for six months"
"Why are we paying for this?"
"When will it end?"
"Why can't we get our water from someone else?"

I managed to duck that one by changing the subject to Optimus Prime's lack of appearances in Rescue Bots... but I don't think I can kick it into the long grass for much longer.

I look like a clown, and if there is a vote of confidence at our next Board Meeting, I can't be responsible for the future actions of our household.

Our organisations have a common goal, (we too have an obligation to maximise profits for our shareholders) and I want us to continue as friends, but here are the main sticking issues in our alliance:

1
You're pumping faeces coloured water into our Head Office.
(Quote our CIO "Ugh, that's poo brown").

2
It's been going on for six months (which as our CCO (Chief Colouring-In Officer) pointed out is "half of a year").

3
Your customer services staff are very nice, but can't tell us when exactly this will end.

4
We're worried about the damage your sludge is causing to our appliances - to which I can attest that we've devoted quite a proportion of our Capital Expenditure.

5
We're worried about the damage your sludge is causing to our workforce.

(NOTE TO SELF - swap those two around)

6
Your company insists on using terms like "intermittent" (It's daily or bi-daily) "Minor discolouration" (It's torrents of brown) "we've taken samples" (no date, location, or polllutant levels given) and "perfectly safe" (no-one has independently tested your tap-enabled sludge).

Our CIO even looked up "Water" on wikipedia, and turns out it should be clear.

How can I argue against that?

I'm sorry that you and I are in this situation, but one of us needs to man-up... take a halo-stance on the burning platform... and get to grips with it.

I fear that because of the way the Government has skewed this relationship, that man right now appears to be you.

If not, any tips or crib sheet for handling curveballs at our next AGM would be much appreciated.

Perhaps something further to placate my CFO would really help our situation.


Courage, my friend, as we go about our respective business.

Neil Mossey
Daddy, CEO"



There.

I wrote it.

And then I immediately chickened out of sending it.


This man, this company, could crush us like an ant. Or make life really difficult.

It's a monopoly - they could double our (already big) bill.

But I chickened out AFTER sending it to our local MP.

And the very next day I got a call on my mobile from the Head of Service Management at the water company.

Apologising profusely, and wanting to arrange compensation.

And then trucks appeared in our street to fix the pipes.



The letter was passed on, and a nudge from one CEO to another worked.

What I've learned is this.

Sometimes you need to speak the same language, and treat the other person like you're in a long-term relationship.

And hit "send" before you chicken out.



You know that you are a Great British Dad... ...when My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

Previous post...
I cant listen to music without hearing filth and 29-35 great #BRITISHDADSTUFF thoughts


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Saturday, 12 November 2016

I cant listen to music without hearing filth and 29-35 great #BRITISHDADSTUFF thoughts



As we hurtle towards the Christmas break at the speed of poor Rudolph's red orchestras, these are my Great British Dad thoughts for the upcoming week.

Sunday 13 November
I can't listen to any music on the radio now without hearing utter filth in the lyrics.

Monday 14 November
That sinking moment when you thank a call-centre worker, but then they send you a survey to rate their work.

Tuesday 15 November
The News never ever reports when a school trip goes well.

Wednesday 16 November
I find my opinion of opinion pollsters changes on whether or not they want me to do their work for free.

Thursday 17 November
Teaching my son how to hold a tennis racket. So far he's learned the intro to Smoke On The Water.

Friday 18 November
Why is it a whole host of things. I am not a whole host kind of guy. I want to try a half-host of things.

Saturday 19 November
Cupboards were for storing cups. Now they're for surfaces storing mixers, slow-cookers, toasters, juicers, bread bins and tea jars.


I keep a whole year's worth of 365 Great British Dad Thoughts right here.

Previous post...
Why chucking out ideas (by not putting them out there) is a good idea #BRITISHDADSTUFF


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Friday, 11 November 2016

Why chucking out ideas (by not putting them out there) is a good idea #BRITISHDADSTUFF



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you want to clean up your computers as much as your house.


So we got to Friday, and I managed to put out one thing every day.

And we hit the Friday when nobody reads stuff online, which is where I can bury the good stuff that might be embarrassing, or get me into trouble.

For ages I've been working on this theory that I've not told anyone about. We had a go at throwing out all the clothes, CDs, books, papers, furniture and junk that we were hoarding at home - using a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, by Marie Kondo.

It went really well - I wrote about it here and you can buy it here.
Heck, let's give it its own sponsored box (so I can earn 6 cents).

We threw out (or in Konmari speak, "let go") of around 14 full car loads of "stuff" to the tip, friends and charity shops.

It worked really well, because you follow a very strict order of "stuff" to go through, starting at socks and ending up at the highly personal "photographs and mementoes".

Because you graduate through the levels, like some kind of martial artist - when you get to the photos, you know instantly the ones that "spark joy".

The ones you want to hold onto.
Keep close.
Give them some space in your home.

But here's the thing. The place came to life: like it wasn't groaning under guilt and "stuff". (The next book I want to go through is
"Stuffocation" - I'll try to let you know how that goes.)

So I've been thinking - a lot - about clearing out my hard drives. All the electronic data, ideas, documents, more pictures, and half-notes that I've put into the computer over the years.

It's about 183GB.
I don't want to keep it.
I don't want to burden my kids with it.
If I can't be bothered to go through it, why should they.
They'll have their own GB of files to go through.

So is throwing ideas away - by deleting them, or not backing them up, or transferring them to a new PC or cloud account, the same as not hoarding?

And the theory is this. The stuff I like. The stuff that "sparks joy" are the ideas I want to share - publish, rewrite, put in a public space.

Isn't it funny that it's the exact opposite from physical things and junk - that you give away, keeping the good stuff close? With thoughts and ideas, the good ones - the ones you like - are the ones you want to share and spread as far and wide as possible.

So, the best way of backing up those ideas, is probably putting them out there.

I'll go one further.
The fear of putting your ideas out into the world, is the fear that it will help someone to come along and take all of your stuff.

But you know how good it feels when someone hears your ideas though, right?

Your junk at home might actually be safer now than at any other time in history, and it has never, ever, been easier to share your ideas.

I'm curious.
Do you still want to talk about what's in the news this week?
(Or is that fretting more about the fear of someone coming along and taking all of your stuff?)


My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

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My girlfriend wanted me to go to the clap clinic, but there was nothing wrong with me #BRITISHDADSTUFF


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Thursday, 10 November 2016

My girlfriend wanted me to go to the clap clinic, but there was nothing wrong with me #BRITISHDADSTUFF



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when your sexual history is ancient history.


I ended up telling my LSW (Long-Suffering Wife) a story I don't think I told her before.

And now I'm only writing this because she said "You should put that on your blog."

It's about a girlfriend who was a Nurse.

Everything was "okay", but she still insisted that I go to the clap clinic to make sure everything was okay, even though everything was okay.

I know what you're thinking: that's completely the responsible thing to suggest and do.

I could be walking around riddled with all sorts.


Just to make it clear here, like I can't make it even clearer, I'm not.

But it made me question everything in the relationship.

Why would I go and get the all-clear like some kind of skin-flick Gunther.

Would we have to do this regularly?

Is it like some kind of car service, would she base it on time or mileage?

I don't even get the car serviced.

Aren't the little check-ups enough?


Anyway this was a hundred years ago and my exhaust hasn't fallen off.

I'm glad I'm not in that game any more.

The surprising bit is that the story hasn't come up ever in our relationship.

Turns out two kids and 13 years counts as a full service history.


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Have I got the right ticket? I'm going on the run! A #BRITISHDADSTUFF adventure story


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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Have I got the right ticket? I'm going on the run! A #BRITISHDADSTUFF adventure story



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you try to turn a delayed train into a piece of performance art.


I want to get the train, but like a responsible Dad I don't want to be a fare dodger.

Because I'm not a multi-millionaire, I've got this railcard to travel in off-peak, and like many Mondays after engineering the trains are all messed up.

But that's okay - I'm not in a rush, I've got a spring in my step. In fact there's an even more delayed train that pulls in long before mine.

So here's the dilemma.
My ticket's for trains after 1000, and this train is pulling in at 1011.
But it's the 0957.

I'm curious and I've got time on my hands, so I try and check with the train company to see what the deal is.


Morning, If 0957 train pulls in at 1011 can we get on it with a Network Railcard?

I don't know why I did that.
I couldn't care less about their ticketing policy.
I've found that the poor staff are just as fed up with the rules as we are.

So I wasn't surprised by the big fat shrug that I got back.


Hi Neil - I'm not entirely sure on that one. You will need to speak to the guard or a member of ticket office staff

They're friendly, but even they don't know, or care less than I do.

So I've got this rule now to not throw twit-fits, which I'm pretty much breaking.

I'm going to have to turn this into a story, to justify wasting my time on it (instead of moaning or doing the equivalent of mooning a CCTV operator).

I'm going to write myself as the hero - living dangerously off the safe path and into the woods. I'm going to take that poor twitter team with me, as a renegade (but the "South West Trains Underground" sounds just plain wrong).


Uh-oh. Im a slow tweeter. How much trouble am I in now. Shhhh. You'll blow my cover.

How much trouble am I in?

I've got to see someone?

To hell with that.

I cannot be arsed.

So I will just keep on making stuff up.

Like it's a 1979 edition of "That's Life".


The guard said "Good luck" in a clear English accent, but I think its a trick to out me like Gordon Jackson in The Great Escape.

I like the picture, but I don't like comparing their staff to the baddies. They're more like Resistance heroes, and we should help them. I need to big up their prowess.
Perhaps with a bit of reflection.


I could make a run for it... but your staff are fit. They have Portsmouth air in their lungs.

This is my favourite. The photo, the gallant picture of their staff. It's all there.

But like all scene writing I now need an ending.

When I'm writing stories, I call it Obtain Final Thing.



Still no idea if that ticket's any good.



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I’m donating my wrist to an even better cause. Here’s how to stop complaining. #BritishDadStuff


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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

I’m donating my wrist to an even better cause. Here’s how to stop complaining. #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you want to stop complaining about the world complaining.


I am donating my wrist for a good cause (“again”, I hear you say. Funny.)

I read this thing today about complaining: turns out it’s not good for us.

There’s an organisation that sells wristbands.

If you complain without saying the next steps to fix the problem, then you have to change it over to the other wrist.

eg “I had to stand behind a rude jerk in the post office for 30 mins.”
should be:
“I had to stand behind a rude jerk in the post office for 30 mins. Next time I’ll get there before the lunchtime queue round the block.”

The bit I don’t get is moving the wristband between wrists.

I want to have it on my good side (the other one from my watch) to encourage me to be more positive.

I do not want to have to check the time, and my level of complaining.


But here’s the thing, after Sunday wearing my Poppy bracelet will be frowned upon.

Turns out our fallen brave did not give their lives for the right to remember them after November 13.


But I’m not complaining about this, I’ve got a fix.

I need to find something else and this is a chance for putting my wrist up for debate (again, I hear you say. Funny.)

But I’m serious.

I am donating my wrist for a Good Cause.

I’ll take all suggestions for a wristband.

If it helps here is the list of wrist ornaments I have ruled out:

- Lance Armstrong’s charity wrist band.

- Help For Heroes bands
(which I support, but everyone round here has got one from actually serving in the military, and I want to avoid elevating myself to that status. And I think it needs to be different to help remind me to stop complaining).

- Anything that David Essex would have worn.

- The local swimming pool entry band.

- A lost child phone number band.

- Or another, broken, watch.

So over to you. Thanks for any suggestions below.


Previous post...
My new bright pink phone case #BritishDadStuff


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Monday, 7 November 2016

My new bright pink phone case #BritishDadStuff


(Out of shot, you can't see that I'm holding my little pinkie in the air too. On Amazon, this is confusingly listed as a rugged pink phone case...)

You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you try to look at your phone a little less, by making it as unmanly as a nine pound lunch.


I got myself a new phone case.

And I chose pink.

My kids ask me if it's Mummy's phone and even my Brother-In-Law asked kindly what had happened to my - (my)- phone.

The other one.

The other one that isn't pink.

It was for two reasons, which look like they are opposites.

1. I want to find it more easily.
Believe me, a bright pink phone is easy to find.
Except when it might be Mummy's.

(They never show you in the Thomas Crown Affair, Thomas yelling up the stairs to Renee Rousseau if she's seen his mobile... No it's not in the Aston Martin... could she give it a ring?)

2. The other reason is that I want to look at it less.
And even though it's a happy colour, believe me, I notice much more when I am looking at it.

So I notice it more, and I've emasculated it.
(Or did I just make it more phallic.)

I don't think I'm looking at it any less.

Maybe I should make all the apps and text pink too.

And give it a squirt of perfume.

Like my kids need a reason to like it even less.


I'm sticking with the plan to put out one post of 100 words or more every day.
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Why The News might be not be completely relevant today, or ever #BRITISHDADSTUFF


My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad will all come together here

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Why The News might be not be completely relevant today, or ever #BRITISHDADSTUFF



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you realise "The News" might be a bigger colossal waste of time than your family.


Because we watch it and do some fretting (which is easy), to avoid spending time hugging our family or helping our friends or making good Art (which is hard).

Here's a few links that might make you smile:

What if the curves were going the other way

(which includes life expectancy...)


(...and the waning of war)



Or this google image search (on newspaper circulation)
https://www.google.co.uk/search?biw=1134&bih=670&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=newspaper%20circulation%20&oq=newspaper%20circulation%20&gs_l=img.3..0j0i24k1l9.6112.6112.0.6414.1.1.0.0.0.0.102.102.0j1.1.0....0...1c.1.64.img..0.1.101.XZrA0BVhUB4



Or back to good 'ole Seth, Decoding Pro-wrestling...
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2016/10/decoding-pro-wrestling.html

extract:
It turns out that modern media is a perfect match for the pro-wrestling approach. You can put on a show, with your own media, as often as you like. And that show is, to many, remarkable, and so it spreads...
...You probably work with people who are living in their own pro wrestling universe. These are people who are so in love with their version of reality and their goals that they view the real world as an affront, an intrusion on the way they insist things turn out."



Did "The News" ever report a school trip returning safely?

Or a social worker doing a good job?

Huh, funny that.

Wonder why?

(This says more about my memory, but I tried naming one "news" story from 2012 before the Olympics (rocket launchers on local tower blocks) or the riots.

Could not name one.

It's my flaky mind. I know.

I don't feel bad for one second that I actively don't watch "the news".

'Cos it doesn't watch out for you or me.

It still gets into my eyeline though.


Let's try one more link (at 09:40) about what's risky and vulnerable.




Maybe parking that satellite truck at that "urgent event" between 6 other satellite trucks, or publishing that article with the same information as 3645 other articles is neither risky or vulnerable.

I really truly need to see your Art.

We all do, more than ever.

Leave me a link to it below.

Unless you want to get back to being a spectator watching the news.

Either way, thanks!

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

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I'm being lazy. Or my body is moving from Hunter-Gatherer to Elder status #BRITISHDADSTUFF thoughts 22-28


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