Monday, 31 October 2016

I can't look away from married couples who work together. How do they do it? #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you're obsessed by married couples who live and work and sleep together.


How do they do it?

There was a Chinese couple who worked in the keycutting kiosk near me in North London for decades.

They are about as close as you get while trying to get breakfast while the other one (sorry, your loved one) is making a tea.

All day.
Every day.
For money.

So they can get to live together.
For the other rest of the day.
At home.

I'm assuming the couple lived together.

And that they sleep together - this keycutting heel repairer and dress alterer.

Then they go to work together.
In the keycutting and dress alterations booth.

All day.
Then go home together.

That is quite a lifestyle choice.

We went to a Home Exhibition the other week and looked at garden huts.

The salesman was really nice, and we talked a lot (confirming that I have moved from "Hunter-Gatherer" to "Elder" status).

We went back to the hut and it was busy, so we went to the hut next door where there was a saleswoman. And we talked to her for a long time and it was nice.

We talked to her long enough to work out that the salesman in the next hut was her husband.

They work on the "exhibition circuit" all year every year.

Selling huts that are next door to each other.

I don't know why I am telling you all of this - it's because I do a lot of work at home.

I guess your marriage could be open plan, in a kiosk, or separate huts.

PS One day I will write about the couple in separate bedrooms.

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

Previous post...
Talking to my Dad about a vasectomy #BritishDadStuff


Get these posts daily by email. And thanks for subscribing, it helps me keep this blog going...

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Talking to my Dad about a vasectomy #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you might not be ready to be a Dad any more times over.


My LSW (Long-Suffering Wife) wisely and kindly thought it would be a good idea for me to "talk to Dad" about what getting a vasectomy was like.

Over a month I think I was seeing him about twice a week, and forgot to ask every time. Maybe I'm avoiding something really simple.

So I'm at my sister's, and we're sat alone on the sofa (BT Sport doesn't count).
Looks like now is the time for that in-depth session one-on-one seeking of wisdom.

ME:
I ahm... wanted to ask you, what's a vasectomy like.

DAD:
Oh.

ME:
Is anything different... after?

DAD:
No! If anything... it's probably better.

ME:
Huh. (THEN) Did it hurt?

DAD:
It did. Only because I went to see Arsenal, Man U. Terrible game too.

ME:
Anything er... else?

DAD:
Nah.

ME:
Great!

That is all I needed.

It is my own NHS Indirect.


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

Previous post...
To my son it's an ear whack because ear wax is plural and 15-21 other British Dad Thoughts #BRITISHDADSTUFF


Don't bust a nut to come back, I lovingly produce these and emit them every day. If you'd like to help me continue, you can sign for my daily emission to your inbox for free... just click here to leave me your email address, thanks.
(And it is reversible).

Saturday, 29 October 2016

To my son it's an ear whack because ear wax is plural and 15-21 other British Dad Thoughts #BRITISHDADSTUFF



Here for my kids are the British Dad thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams that I have lined up for the coming week.

Sunday 30 October
I hate this fork. If we had a cat, this would be the fork we would use for cat food.

Monday 31 October
The end of DIY SOS always makes me cry. Where the man in the house who doesn't do the DIY is completely and utterly emasculated.

Tuesday 1 November
A politician telling us "it is the right thing to do" always sounds like they are telling themselves more than us.

Wednesday 2 November
Single man in the 90s. I always hoovered when the dust covered the titles of my CDs.

Thursday 3 November
Love that my son calls it an ear whack. Because it's plural when I keep saying his ear is full of wax.

Friday 4 November
Love my daughter's rolling me out of bed also includes forcing my arms up to do the morning stretch.

Saturday 5 November
I always mix up a silver bullet with the golden ticket. And the bronze toner.


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

Previous post...
And then it hit me. I'm looking for more phrases just like that.


Follow me on Twitter here...

Friday, 28 October 2016

And then it hit me. I'm looking for more phrases just like that.



There's a moment in every story for...
"and then it hit me..."


"And then the back of my head blew off"

"And then my jaw dropped.
Smashing my keyboard."

I was surprised.

It took my breath away.

I was shocked. Astonished.

Suspend your disbelief...

A bolt from the blue. Out of the blue.

And then it happened.

I was caught unawares. Taken unawares.

Here's the credibility gap.

I did a double take.

It was a bombshell.

My eyes were on stalks.

I jumped out of my skin.

A shot in the arm...

This will knock your socks off. Blew my socks off.

Knock me down with a feather.

Lo and behold.

It was a 9 day wonder.

Words failed me or wonders never ceased.

There's no accounting for taste.

I was struck dumb, and stopped dead in my tracks.

Rooted to the spot, it raised our eyebrows.

A-ha, it's a eureka moment

I gasped.

And then hit hit me. And then it struck me. And then I realised.

It took my breath away.

My eyes widened.

Brainwave. Lightbulb.

Ding! Boom, bing, bada bing,

And the penny dropped, et voila, suddenly, I got it, I had it, I copped on.

Say what!

Update: thanks for extras to @dartacus, @PaulBovey, @luddlite - credits in comments below

Did I miss any? Got any more? I'd love to hear it in the comments below, thanks.

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

Previous post...
Sunshine means Good, right? #BRITISHDADSTUFF


And then it hit me...
I meant to mention I send these out daily by email. Click here to subscribe and help me keep this blog going, thanks!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Sunshine means Good, right? #BRITISHDADSTUFF



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you're not sure that even the forces of nature are against you.


I love that we all think that the sunshine breaking through the clouds is the universe somehow telling me something good just happened.

Yeah, whatever I'm thinking or doing, that sky is smiling down on ME... with a big 'ole thumbs up... a beam of light and a big ray of heat.

But what if we've got it all wrong.

What if it's trying to warn me or trying desperately to distract me, to get me to stop the really bad thing I'm thinking or doing.

Look, over there! Stop it for gawd's sake - bright thing, shiny thing!

Maybe it's trying burn me, to punish me. Or worse.

You know what, I think I get more stuff done when it's cloudy with a bit of rain.

From now on, that is when I will hear an angelic choir.

When it is overcast, and not overly dramatic.

Mother Nature is encouraging me to continue with my work... with her average allowance of daylight, and seasonal levels of rainfall.


I also hear an angelic choir each and every time you subscribe to get my posts daily by email.
You can trip them off and send me a beam of sunshine by clicking here to sign up if you want to give it a try. Either way, thanks...



Previous post...
The day in 1998 when I heard British TV was changing forever



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

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The day in 1998 when I heard British TV was changing forever



It was 1998.
I think around the back end of that year.

I was in a room on the 4th floor at BBC Television Centre, and I remember being gathered around Geoffrey Perkins.
The lovely Head of Comedy hero of mine who seemed shocked, if not a little shaken. (All the Entertainment Department Heads were there too and were also lovely genius heroes).

Someone was asking him to say it again, because they didn't understand it.

He said, again, that the trails in between the programmes were going to be different.

Instead of us supplying clips that would be cut together as a little bit of everything to trail tonight or tomorrow, now... from now on, programmes were going to be chosen.

And only one or two of them.

And they were going to be trailed lots of times.

Like one of the comic dullards in the many sitcoms being made by the geniuses in the room at the time, still nobody was getting this.

(If you're under 40, it was a little like a scene from Mad Men where someone is explaining a computer to them for the first time).

And then came the flood of worry questions:
"What? Just one or two shows?"
"Yes."
"But what about all the other shows they put out?"
"They don't care about them."
"But which department gets which slots?"
"What if we don't get any trails?"


We just didn't get it.

A whole night - a whole day - of TV was going to be reduced to a few "brands".

Just like everywhere else.

I don't know what made me think of it just now.

Today if you had an advert, with lots of clips, of what's on tomorrow... with actual clips from the actual shows... it'd probably look like a really original out-of-the-box piece of thinking on-the-box.

I didn't know it.

But it was the start of TV shows stopping being called TV series and starting being called brands.


See also: Telling my daughter to ignore the (TV) judges...

Previous post...
Astrologers are the world's first bloggers, how do they do 12 a day? #BritishDadStuff


I wish I could trail the posts coming up later this week on neilmossey.com, but it'd probably be easier to just plug the link to get these direct every day by email... by clicking here. Thanks.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Astrologers are the world's first bloggers, how do they do 12 a day? #BritishDadStuff


(I mixed it up with the sudoku, again)

You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you want an Astrologer to predict an easy week.


Putting out a blog every day is nearly impossible.

How on earth do Astrologers do it?

Every day, not putting out a post...
...but managing to knock out 12 of them.

Even if it is completely made up - in fact, especially if it's made up, that's even more difficult.

I can barely write stuff about myself, that actually happened, right in front of me.

If I had to do 12 posts a day, I'd probably be gawping up at the stars looking for something to write about.

I'm like a really slow Astrologer.

Looking the wrong way.


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

Previous post...
I always walk around with my flies hanging down #BRITISHDADSTUFF


(MYSTIC MEG VOICE) I predict that you can get my post every day direct by email instead...
...if you click here and predict your email address for me and I will do all of the rest.

Monday, 24 October 2016

I always walk around with my flies hanging down #BRITISHDADSTUFF


(A new character I've developed for Cbeebies)

You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you realise that you are always hanging low.


My flies are always hanging down.

I sit down and I suddenly realise I'm opposite the Mum trying to get her baby to latch on her chest and I don't want to move.

I don't want to come off all Nigel Farage and look like I'm leaving in disgust.

So now I'm sitting there and looking down because she is struggling and clearly needs some privacy and I'm looking down and my flies are hanging down.

I don't know why they're called flies.

It must be a thing about men's things not being clean...
but my zipper is down, the cage is open.

And I need to lockdown the zoo.

I do this every day.

Not sitting opposite nursing mums expressing over their lattes, but walk around with my flies hanging down.

My LSW (Long-Suffering Wife) is convinced it will get me into trouble one day.

I'm like the woman with her bra hanging out, except there's something more wrong about the man walking round with his zipper gaping open.

I just need a combo with the mega-fly-hole in my Gap boxer shorts and I am millimetres from committing an offence.
In all senses.

I am not as obsessed with it as I should be, with making sure it's done up.

But it is one of those biggest fears that my Wife has:
that when I'm outside I'll "forget myself".

When I do "forget myself" I have to do them up as brazenly as I can.

I don't want to be seen doing them up furtively.

I am not like a 1970's BBC presenter.

Jeans technology has moved on since then.



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

Previous post...
How I ruined our family day out with a tweet #BRITISHDADSTUFF


I send these out every day by email, if that's easier.
Click here to sign up and help me turn this into a movement to be reckoned with.
Or at least it will help me write the next one out.
Thanks.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

How I ruined our family day out with a tweet #BRITISHDADSTUFF



I wanted to take the family on a trip by train.

As you know, in this country that means feeling like you're getting ripped off every time you buy a ticket.

I knew this was going to happen, so I tried getting one ahead by looking up the prices online.

It all depends on the time of day you travel, what railcard you have, your age and the ages of those travelling with you, what town you're in, the town you want to go to, which town to travel via, the companies you want to travel with along the way, whether they are offering any promotional discounts, how hard their shareholders are pushing profit at the moment, whether Mercury is retrograde, how many hugs you got as a kid, and how good you are at maths.

Won't bore you with the details (I really want to bore you with the details), but guessing you already know the 2-for-1 deal on the website doesn't link to where you get it etc. etc. etc. Bear with me.

Why can't I accept that I am the chump.
The mark.
The guy over the barrel.

They call us customers, because they can't call us passengers.

Because it's about the money, not the travel.

Monday morning - we're at the station - I know the cheapest ticket.

And the effect of the 3 trains either side on that price.

When I hit that button on the self-serve machine, I'm like Rachel Riley on Countdown.
And I don't even need a pen.

So when the price comes up double the figure I first thought of (because the 2 hours research made me think it), my head explodes.

Except I'm not on the laptop in my pyjamas.

I'm angry because I told the machine my railcard and it's offering me twice the price.

And now my long-suffering Wife, kids and I are stopping the train company making more profit by holding up the line of other contestants playing train company roulette.

And the kids need the toilet and I'm holding onto this dumb dream of not paying 40 pounds extra, because it means that I'll stay away from home - away from my family - for longer to earn that.

After five more goes I get the right price and bang on the glass like the end of the Crystal Maze round (dunno why I've gone all Channel 4 gameshow on this)
"Let me out Richard O'Brien!"

Here's the thing... why can't I leave this there.

Why have I got this sense of injustice, like I've been played like a piano by the Train Company shareholders?

But this was the mistake:

I tweeted them.

Like the poor train company Twitter typist can do anything.

It's like me mooning a CCTV Operator.

Do I want to take the time to create meaningful change to an unkind system of taxpayer-subsidised monopoly run for shareholder profit over the needs of the nation?

Or 140 characters of snark.

And now I'm tensed up waiting for the reply, instead of making like Anneka Rice on Treasure Hunt on the adventure with my family
(alright, that gameshow doesn't work).

I'm glued to the smartphone that I'm using like a smarty phone.

Instead of playing with my kids on the beach, I'm rolling around in the sewage with the shareholders.

I got replies, and again I won't bore you but I'm right.

When we whine on Twitter, we're always right.

But it doesn't make us feel any better.

Turns out we end up paying even more.


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 invented dishwasher tablet pez dispensers and other British Dad Thoughts 8-14 #BritishDadStuff


I send these out every day like messages in a bottle.
But better, by email with a link that means you can unsubscribe any time.
If it's more convenient, just click here!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

I invented dishwasher tablet pez dispensers and other British Dad Thoughts 8-14 #BritishDadStuff




Sometimes I don't write out my hopes, fears and ideas.

So here, for my kids, are some more of my Dad thoughts from this week.


Sunday
Blackberry inventor. I hope that clickings in your brain forever.
I want to multi-track it into a song for you.

Monday
Things that last 0.38 seconds:
The toy in a Happy Meal™

Tuesday
You can only eat one tub of humous at a time.

Wednesday
Kitchen idea. Dishwasher tablet Pez dispenser.

Thursday
Hiding places for the kids. We've given up trying.

Friday
Things that last 0.385 seconds:
Boys with party hats before they are turned into weapons.

Saturday
Why are they called "essential oils".
Turns out you can't use them in your car.


And 365 more days worth of British Dad Thoughts are here...

Previous post...
Why we're still talking about the Bread Stall Woman's Money Jar #BRITISHDADSTUFF


Follow me on twitter here

Friday, 21 October 2016

Why we're still talking about the Bread Stall Woman's Money Jar #BRITISHDADSTUFF


(Army helicopter at the village fete.
This is normal for where we live.)


You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you're suspicious of anyone who isn't overly-protective of their money.


We went to our local village fete.
My Wife helped out by running a clothing stall.

She told me how the woman on the next stall sold bread - by having a money jar where you put in what you think it's worth... and take your own change.

I was stuck on the putting in what it was worth.
Taking change like that as well?
Say whaaaaa?

It's sad because we're all thinking how we can game that system.
But that system knows that it can be gamed.
It's all based on how you want to feel about that transaction.

She didn't not only have to do that...
but we're in a field.
Never to return again, probably... she really didn't have to do that.

You're looking for the catch - we're all looking for the catch.
The terms and conditions.
Food, energy, travel, products, culture, it's all based on a single transaction.

These are all things we need day in day out for the rest of our lives.
But it's all about getting the most out of that one-off payment.
We're still talking about that Bread Woman's Money Jar months after it happened.
Not the bread.
I can't remember a thing about the bread.


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

Previous post...
Why am I obsessed by the Tiny House Movement? Get closer to my family? #BritishDadStuff


There's no change here.
Because there's no jar.
And I even hand-deliver these posts every day for free, by email, just ping me your address by clicking these words.
Thanks!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Why am I obsessed by the Tiny House Movement? Get closer to my family? #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when your mid-life crisis comes out as construction work that's clearly too hard for you.


I am obsessed by the Tiny House Movement.

I don't know why.
I think it's replaced my "driving across India in a tuk-tuk" obsession.
But funny how it's something else that's small on wheels.

It's called the Tiny House Movement, because living so close to the bathroom, it's all you can hear in there.

Why can't I be into fast cars like a Normal mid-life crisis.

Maybe it's because I want to secretly be closer to my family.

But I can't afford one, and while my shelves are a legacy to the world that will live on for decades...
... building a house - however tiny - is just one step further than I can manage.

I think that if I put on the word "tiny" it will mean that I will be able to build it.

Is this how men lived in the Middle Ages?
Sure they've got their wattle and daub shack, but they weren't trying to build a mini-hut round the back.

They didn't get to this age. So they didn't get to this stage in life where they also had to build a mini-hut round the back.

It's a bit bigger than a camper van.
I don't know why I want one.
Maybe in my head it means you go out and experience life instead of killing it in front of the Strictly Come Dancing Results Update show.

I could have the same Tiny House Movement experience by boarding up a load of rooms so we have to live next to the bathroom.

My DIY is actually up to doing that.

Anyway, here are some links:

School Teacher's Tiny House On Wheels with a Passive Solar Foyer (small home)




How to build a cabin- Pin-Up Houses



from:
http://www.pinuphouses.com/


Tiny House UK mobile cabin, off grid eco living powered by eKiss solar system.



from:
http://www.tinyhouseuk.co.uk/


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

Previous post...
You'll never pay them money again. What are your grudge companies? #BRITISHDADSTUFF


While I'm not building a Tiny House, I'm doing a huge blog and I send these posts out every day by email.
If you click here to sign up to receive them, it really helps me keep going with sending them out daily.
So, if I didn't mention it already, thanks for subscribing.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

You'll never pay them money again. What are your grudge companies? #BRITISHDADSTUFF



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you add another company to "the list" of companies you have a grudge against.


My phone platform euthanased my phone.
I bought a phone from their online Store, then 2 years later they sent out an update that killed my phone.

It's bricked.
I'm trying to explain to someone what bricking means.

I think it's that it got turned into a brick.
But a brick is pretty useful.
And that's a positive word: "You're a real brick."

This is more like a lump.
Or a turd.

They turned my thing that was useful into a waste product.
I guess that is like "bricking it".

I am more sad that I've now got to add that multinational giant - probably the biggest, most powerful company on the planet - to my pathetic little list of companies that I will never buy from again.

Am I the only one with this company grudge list?

At the moment my grudge list is a phone network, a pay TV network, an energy company, a TV box brand, a package holiday company, a car firm and most newspaper groups.

And I know that my kids will laugh at me when I ask them not to give them any money.

And then they will use these companies to show me the error of my ways in my elderly years.

But I think that I get more annoyed, when I have a grudge against a company and don't put them on "the list".

(A train company, a supermarket, another pay TV company, a multinational that runs hospital car parks and a bank).

I will just whine about those losers, doing absolutely nothing about it myself.

Because I am weak.

I don't want to be harsh in the first place.
I've got an account balance and a heart.
I'm only human.

Getting angry just shows my weakness that I want their product or service.

That I'm not strong enough to face the consequences of life without them.

I think we should stop treating companies like people.

They are animals.

And we are killing them with kindness.

We should feed them less.

Or eat them.

Apart from that supermarket.

It's probably still got horse in it.


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

Previous post...
My idea for bath books for adults... #BRITISHDADSTUFF


I send these posts out every day because people like you care enough to click here and receive them by email.
So, thanks.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

My idea for bath books for adults... #BRITISHDADSTUFF



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you think up yet more ways to make money.


I had an idea that I would write a bath book for adults.

Toddlers have them.
They are made of foam and they float so you can get them wet.

The problem is, I have no idea what kind of story you would get on there.

It needs to be big enough to want to go to the bath with it... but not too many words so that they can be chunky and float.

I decided that my adult bath book shouldn't be a story.
This means you can look at it again and again.

Maybe I could make different ones for different kinds of people.

I will make the history of a war (no... a naval battle),
and a how-to book for aromatherapy and reflexology.
(I will call it Smelly Feet).

And a musical theatre song book.


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

Previous post...
Should we dress up for the Double-Glazing salesman, to get a better price? #BRITISHDADSTUFF


You can read these in the bath every day by email. All you have to do is leave me your email address right here.
Thank you.
You missed a bit.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Should we dress up for the Double-Glazing salesman, to get a better price? #BRITISHDADSTUFF



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you think about dressing up more to spend less money.


Our windows are falling apart.
They're so cloudy, it's saved us a fortune on curtains.

And we can hear conversations in the street.
Which probably means the street can hear everything we're saying.
(Or screaming).

We met a neighbour who talked about our windows like they're a local celebrity.
"Oh... you're in cloudy window house, yeah, I know the one..."

We don't even need to talk to them.
We can literally hear them talking about our clapped out windows through the clapped out windows.

So it's time to do the dance.

I don't know if you've done that dance - the Double-Glazing Salesman dance.

I really feel for them - they've got to give you confidence that they can take your house apart and put something in it forever...
...but also give you enough fear that you've got to do this, and with them.

We got the National Double-Glazing Chain to send someone over (for the FREE no-obligation quote).

Already I'm on edge, when did you ever pay for a quote?

Or seen free in small letters.

We've got this guy coming over, and now I'm starting to question everything.

We're tidying up the place, I don't know why.
Maybe we don't want the chaos to somehow up the price.

And I'm thinking what should I wear?
This is the big thing.
Usually I'm in jeans and a T-shirt, but I want to show that I'm serious about getting serious windows... maybe I should dress up for him.

Shirt, shoes - I'm the Chief Exec of this outfit.
I need to show him I need the very best.

And I know that he's going to be in a suit.
Anything to do with buying stuff for the house, that is the law.

I do not want him Out-Alpha-'ing me... in my own home.
He's not getting one over on me on price.
Just because I can't put on a shirt.

I'm now flipping out:
"Hang on, hang on, if I'm looking too good then I'll give him the idea that I've got too much money for this."
My shirt is now upping the price.

I can't afford to dress like this.
But they say it's a sign of respect.

If you make the effort, it shows respect for someone you're doing business with.

That's now sounding really needy.
And my Wife is dressed - looking awesome with just the right amount of effort.

I'm in my pants, behind the cloudy glass, thinking that if we respect each other... why can't we just wear what we want to wear in life.
We should be doing this in smocks and sweatpants.

If I respected him, I'd tell him to take off his jacket and tie.

In fact, I should see how far I could push that.
Offer him one of my T-shirts.
To really understand what we need, window-wise.

The National Double-Glazing Chain phoned a week later to ask if we were happy with the quote, and can they send the guy to come round again.

Maybe my pants will distract him that we got a local firm to do them instead.


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

Previous post...
What if water filters didn't last exactly one calendar month? #BritishDadStuff


For a FREE no-obligation daily email of my posts, why not click here. It's FREE, and it really helps me to keep this going.
So, thanks.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

What if water filters didn't last exactly one calendar month? #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you fill up a water filter one more time.


Isn't it funny that Brita water filters last exactly one calendar month.

I try and bend nature and science by eaking (or is it eeking) them out for days, weeks, longer...

But our kettle gets encrusted and looks like Chislehurst Caves.

I never change them sooner.
It is exactly one month that they go kaput (or is it caput) and decide to stop doing whatever they do.

Why am I the only one doing the changes.
And the filling up.

It is because all men fill up the water bottles in their house... thinking that they are literally providing water for the family.
And the limescale.

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

Previous post...
Why my wife tells the kids off with their full name - Great British Dad Thoughts 1-7 #BritishDadStuff


Get these posts daily by email. And thanks for subscribing, it helps me keep this blog going...

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Why my wife tells the kids off with their full name - Great British Dad Thoughts 1-7 #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you want all of your wisdom and insight to be passed on to your kids.


Like many Dads, I have many thoughts.
Loves, hates, ideas, and reflections.

Some of them don't make it to a fully formed story.
So I will share them with my kids as a list.


Monday
Asking someone to be quiet on the train, by going super-camp "Oooohhhh..."

Tuesday
Soft-close seats are useless because you don't know until you've closed it, then it's too late.

Wednesday
My Wife said if something bad happened, she "will waste no time resuscitating me." What does that mean?

Thursday
When I see old ladies in wheelchairs, I want to push them, or adopt them for the day...

Friday
Today my look is "Police Dog Display Man for alsatians to chase down."

Saturday
Why does my Wife tell the kids off with their full name. Which is my surname. It's like my DNA is being blamed.

Sunday
People make mistakes. That's why they put rubbers on parents.



Pulling together 365 days worth of Great British Dad Thoughts on this link.

Previous post...
Following an old man smoking on the platform #BritishDadStuff


Friday, 14 October 2016

Following an old man smoking on the platform #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you're shocked at how great nostalgia feels to smell again.


It was so wrong.

Shocking almost.

This old man got off the train at Waterloo, pulled out a packet, and sparked up a cigarette.

It's been years since I've seen someone do that - smoke in a station, properly, strolling along without a care.

It feels like a decade.

I wish I'd taken a photo, like that massive craving we get to reach for the phone every time we see something different ... but he looked so jolly and carefree I didn't want to cramp his smoke.

And sure, it spreads cancer, but I think the shock was more the pure nostalgia of it.

I think that's why noone rushed to stop him.

It was like seeing a steam train.

And that smell. The smell of a dozen girlfriends... and dozens more wannabes.

I should probably stop following him now.


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

Previous post...
I love my 5-second first thing morning amnesia #BritishDadStuff


Get these posts daily by email. And thanks for subscribing, it helps me keep this blog going...

Thursday, 13 October 2016

I love my 5-second first thing morning amnesia #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you appreciate the first blissfully ignorant seconds of the day.


I've got this thing, and I haven't got a word for it.

It's that time gap first thing in the morning - when you wake up.

There's this gap - this lovely gap - where everything in the world is perfect - it's just you, and nothing else.

And then that first thought hits you. That first thought could be good. Or bad. It doesn't matter - it's the gap that's the delicious bit.

The funny thing is, the gap varies. I've never timed it with a stopwatch, but in my head, it's anywhere between 3 seconds to 15 (That was a good day).

I think the average of not thinking is about 5 seconds.
Five seconds of bliss... before "Oh yeah, forgot. Mum's in Hospital again." or, "Oh yeah, forgot. It's Saturday today!"

It doesn't matter what happens after that, because it's the usual noise of ups and downs. Fears and triumphs.
It's the gap of nothing, nomansland, the amnesia, that's the best part.

Maybe I did have a name for it. And... you know.


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

Previous post...
How can I get my daughter to say "Thank you. It's not for you." #BritishDadStuff


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

How can I get my daughter to say "Thank you. It's not for you." #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you have no idea what to tell your girl to say to the mean girls.


My daughter is really bumptious.
A real extrovert - the only one in our family.
It's a really confident, gung-ho, practical approach to life.
Her sense of fear is the lowest - she is wired differently from us - which is terrifying and we love it.

One afternoon, after school, we found 2 notes in her room.
"Dear Xxxxy youve bee meen today"
and "Dear Xxxxy youve been so meen".

We were curious and eventually found the right time to ask what they were about.

It turns out she had worked out a new ballet move and was trying it out in the playground.

They came up to her and told her off for showing off.
Both of them.
One by one.

Our hearts sank, because it was the first time the world was telling her that she shouldn't be showing off. That she should be ashamed of showing something she had figured out.

That she should hide it.

What was I going to say?

In my 40's, I'm still trying to find a way to deal with people who set themselves up us as judges.

Critics and arm-folders in real-life as much as the pretend world of online.

Even TV is skewed against me - spending our money on series after series after series where a judge or panel of judges sit in judgement of someone doing their Art.

Not as generous skeptics, to help them keep going in developing and expressing more vulnerability...

...but arms-folded gatekeepers, to decide whether you get to do this again, or stop.

And now, just like one of these cookie-cutter, production-line single-story format shows, I'm on the spot.

And I know it's important
(in the business, this is called the "stakes"... or the "jeopardy" moment)
- because from now on, every day in real life and on the Telly - the world will not want to stop telling her to stop.

"How dare you show your Art" - that might not work out - "How dare you expose yourself".

"You should be ashamed."

How can I arm my little girl against everyone, from the 5 year old girls in her class to the countless broadcast channels, to the infinite number of critics online, to ignore the judge.

To carry on without hearing her score from them.

To not wait for that long moment, with the tension music, and wobbly crash zoom on her face - and all the other faces who are going to be "told" if they can carry on.

[TENSION MUSIC] WOBBLY ANGLE ON MY FACE.

WHIP TO: MY WIFE'S FACE.

WHIP TO: MY SON ON THE FLOOR, BUILDING THE TITANIC IN LEGO.

DOUBLE-TAKE WHIP TO: MY DAUGHTER, WAITING FOR ME TO SAY SOMETHING.

[TENSION MUSIC CRESCENDO]

ME:
All I can say is this.
People have told me that I am a show-off, even when I'm not.
Or that I'm rubbish.
Or I should change this, or that.

And I don't know why they say mean things.
Maybe you annoyed them.
Maybe they're jealous.
Maybe they're afraid.

It doesn't matter.
If it was me, I'd try to say "thank you".

DAUGHTER:
Thank you?

ME:
Thank you.
This isn't for you.

This dancing. This singing. This drawing. This writing.
It isn't for them.
They told you this isn't for them.
Thank you.

Now you can carry on dancing, whether or not you find anyone else who likes it.
If they say it isn't for them...
That's okay.
Because, then, this isn't for them.

LONG PAUSE.

DAUGHTER:
I liked what Mummy said better.

MUMMY:
If you've got it flaunt it.

DAUGHTER:
Yeah. If you faunt it like it.


(If you're curious, the source of "Thank you. It's not for you" and "generous skeptics" and spirit of not pleasing gatekeepers is on Seth Godin's site here).

(If you're even more curious, all my favourite other quotes from Seth are here).

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

Previous post...
I'm the Wing Mirror Man, the 5th Emergency Service #BritishDadStuff


Get these posts daily by email. And thanks for subscribing, it helps me keep this blog going...

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

I'm the Wing Mirror Man, the 5th Emergency Service #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you find yourself giving minor acts of roadside assistance away for free.


I was in the carpark at B&Q and I was already on edge, because my son was playing around with something - beating it into the floor (by the way, when did we stop enjoying doing that, as men? Just hitting something on the ground as hard as we can for the fun of it. I miss that.)

I heard a shout for me coming from a car.

"Excuse me!" shouted the driver of the 4x4.

I moved over, convinced he was going to point out something about my kid.

Why I was moving over to hear this, and how is this a better idea than dealing with my kid, I still don't know...
...but I lean towards his open window.

"Could you pull my wing mirror out please?"

He meant the one on the passenger side- my side - and chuckled that he was sorry, but he couldn't be bothered to go round and pull it out for himself.

Right, here's the bit I don't get.

I pulled out the wing mirror.
[CLUNK!]
Thanks!

He pulled away.

(Away from my son still giving the floor what for).

How can you go through life getting people to do the stuff you can't be arsed to do?

I was in awe.

It would never cross my mind to beckon someone over - to get them to pull out my wing mirror - instead of me getting out to do it myself.

Calling someone over, was easier for him, than doing it himself.

What kind of magician is this?

And what about me? What is going on in my world that I'd do that for him.
Sure.
Any other minor fixes I can do for you?

Getting yelled at some petrol station to do up your petrol cap?

I'm like some kind of Downton Abbey pedestrian butler, attending to master's automotive needs.

Do you want me to check your tyre pressures too?
I can stretch to that.

Just make sure you shout loud enough.

What am I, some kind of Community Support AA Man?

And it's in front of my kid.
I'm this close to wiping windscreens before the lights turn green.



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

Previous post...
How can I tell my kids... Nobody Cares About Your Opinion #BritishDadStuff


(Hollering from an open window): "Could you subscribe to my blog by email please? All you've got to do is click here. Thanks!"

Monday, 10 October 2016

How can I tell my kids... nobody cares about your opinion #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when it's really difficult to say this to your kids.


I feel like I've got to at least try and explain the world to my kids... and it goes something like this:

When you see something, your mind instantly jumps to find an opinion on it.

And then it jumps to more things - as fast as it can - to back it up.

It's the opposite of being patient, curious and kind.

That car firm sponsoring the local fireworks that recalled our motor with no refund or compensation? The choice of headline on a newspaper that hacks our phones? The supermarket giving school tours of their stores after they put horse meat in our bolognese?

Here's the thing, and it's really difficult to say.

Nobody cares about your opinion.

It's harsh, but I'm going to say it again.

Nobody - and I promise - no-body, cares about your opinion.

But they do care about your emotion.

It's taken me 40 odd years to work this out.

No-one is totting it up, and using the score to steer their opinion.

No-one measures it, so they can do the right thing and make the world better as a result of you having an opinion on it.

No-one cares about your opinion.

Because they are all too busy having opinions of their own.

But everybody - the world - cares about how you feel about something.

Even if they don't show it.

Not companies and organisations... other real people.


In fact, if you're in the wrong, weirdly, people probably care even more about how you feel about it.

We all want to hear your emotion on something.

And that's much more difficult to do than offering an opinion.

You don't need any facts, insight or analysis.

And yet we care because it's risky and it's vulnerable, and it takes guts to share it.

(PS Turns out, because of this, evidence-gathering is not Art.
Maybe we need your next piece of Art, more than your next opinion.)


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

Previous post...
How they made the Blockbusters opening titles - or My Bob Holness City Sexbot Nightmare #BritishDadStuff


Sunday, 9 October 2016

How they made the Blockbusters opening titles - or My Bob Holness City Sexbot Nightmare #BritishDadStuff



Hello.

I live in the future - in one of the tower blocks from the Blockbusters circa 1986 titles sequence. I live in the block next to "The Hot Spot" tower, but that's okay.




My sexbot stopped working.

There was a software update and now it's stuck in a bootloop.

We expect our sexbots to do too much, when we only need them to do one thing.

It was running slow and its storage is full.

I need to empty it and free up some space.

My other half says they'll get me another sexbot for Christmas, but it'll take me ages to put all my contacts back in.

They want me to stop moaning, and not in the good way.

But I don't wanna spend all that money, only to have it crash on me again.

They're making sexbots thinner now but we don't need that - it's just so they can save money on the shipping.

I always put a chunky cover on mine anyway, to stop me from breaking it.

Anyway, at a time when titles were minimal - [see yesterday's link] - Central Television went completely the other way and threw the kitchen sink at the opening titles to Blockbusters.

(Probably knowing that it'll be shown five times a week to teenagers.

Also knowing that the rest of the hour is filled with flashing letters and talking heads).



I found this article about how it was made - very kindly found by John Hoare at DirtyFeed

It's from the Blockbusters annual, about how they built an actual cityscape set, using motion control camera with a periscope to get it between the buildings, and how they got it to sync up with the studio set by hand.


The full link is here:
http://www.dirtyfeed.org/2016/09/blade-runner-afternoons/



And adding this to my fave stuff on the web, which is all here

Previous post...
Titles Sequences Made Only From Photographs - FAVE TV #36


Saturday, 8 October 2016

Titles Sequences Made Only From Photographs - FAVE TV #36



I was going to link to a jawdropping article about how the Blockbusters titles sequence was shot in 1986... I'll get onto that tomorrow - it's a breathtaking Ridley Scott special with motion-control cameras swooping over a bleak dystopian futuristic cityscape...

But the opposite of that, in all senses, got into my eyeline yesterday - while flicking through the channels and past the opening of To The Manor Born...

[[EMBED]]

Now, at this point, I'd link you to that clip - to share the programme... maybe encourage more people to seek it out.



But, completely understandably "This video contains content from BBC Worldwide, who has blocked it on copyright grounds."

So just imagine it for a minute... or maybe it's on Iplayer at the moment.

Hang on, Secret Army is very similar...




I absolutely love, and miss, titles sequences made only from photographs.

They used to be everywhere on our TV screens - a little story that's literally a storyboard. They wash over you in 30 seconds but turn into nonsense if you look at them too carefully.
In no order, here's another... The Sweeney




So they went for some kind of caught gritty reportage. Here's another from Euston Films - the closing titles that's probably the granddaddy of them all.
The Minder Closing Titles




How is that so kinetic?! There's no move, no rostrum work... Just mid-shots telling what you think is a story - the characters just doing more stuff between episodes. Others have pointed out that the locations are near where the pilot episode was shot - it was literally grabbed on the day but stuck for the whole series.

The opposite of this is the staged, art directed, more overly-produced titles... like Just Good Friends



It's now that I'm starting to notice how the words and credits syncopate with the shot changes...

And today - we don't see them much. That's why this sequence is so good. A combo of the reportage/art-direction-overkill: How To Make It In America



Stills that come to life and then back to stills... Wish we did it more.

(Who hasn't flicked through the photos on their phone humming the tune from Minder...)

UPDATE: So then Danny Baker tweeted this (from this), and my blog exploded.
The suggestions that came in even started to form categories...
Lazy animation... fake family photo albums... does just putting the words of the show over some studio "business" (Like Allo Allo or Shelley) count?
In no particular order, here's the list of suggestions!

Don't Wait Up, The Likely Lads (the original), George & Mildred (the original), Bagpuss, The Sullivans, The Tomorrow People, Scene, Public Eye, Orange Is The New Black, Champion The Wonder Horse, Canon (cop show), The Persuaders, The West Wing, Birds Of A Feather, The Rockford Files, General Hospital (UK), Diamonds In The Coal, Bouquet of Barbed Wire, Four Idle Hands, When Things Were Rotten, Randall And Hopkirk (deceased), Rhoda, Moonlighting, Only Fools and Horses, Cheers,


Previous post...
Should I spend 3 quid on Wound Spray? #BritishDadStuff


My full Top 100 TV list is coming together here...

And here are the last few...


#26 Late Night with David Letterman



#27 Chopper Squad



#28 CHiPs



#29 The BBC Grandstand Fight



#30 Rainbow



#31 The Theme From Juliet Bravo



#32 Any and every James Hunt documentary...



#33 Foreign language sketch shows



#34 How to empty your house of stuff in 3 months and 2 minutes - NBC Today Marie Kondo package



#35 The closing theme from MONKEY cant get it out of my head




I need subscriber, subscriber, subscriber that's what I neeeeed... hey, hey... email address just click here and daily posts will I feed....

Friday, 7 October 2016

Should I spend 3 quid on Wound Spray? #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you want to over-sort out your first aid kit and medicine cabinet.


Saw this Wound Spray in the shop.
I thought it was like liquid plasters.
But it's not.

Even so, the idea I like is spraying me and the family in wound spray or liquid plasters - all over them, like sun cream - so that if we hurt ourselves, we'd have the treatment there already.

I will add this to my idea of replacing all road and pavement tarmac with the springy tarmac that the council puts down in kids playgrounds.

(If you fall over, who wouldn't want to bounce?)


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

Previous post...
The Moon's a balloon, but why can't I think of a better comeback - #BritishDadStuff


Thursday, 6 October 2016

The Moon's a balloon, but why can't I think of a better comeback - #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you over-think answers to mentally ill people on the street.


A man walked past me at 0730 in the morning.
He was wearing sunglasses and seemed drunk or something, dressed like the night before, in smart clothes that were shabby.

One step behind, he said very loudly, and very kindly to me:
"The Moon's a balloon".

I don't know why, but I couldn't let that pass.

He was 4 strides on, and I had to say something.

All I could nail was "I hope it doesn't go bang!"

He turned, lifted his cheap shades, smiled, and shot an appreciative finger-gun at the sky.

It made me smile. But for the next hour, I couldn't help trying to think of 100 better tags I could've come up with instead.

Why am I still looking for another comeback?

All of them are over-thought and over-written.

"The Moon's a balloon"
And we will all see it soon.
Tie a string to it and sell it in Kowloon.
It's so romantic, it makes me go swoon.
I hope it doesn't go bang... Cos I love looking at that thang.

I even Googled it to make sure I'm not missing out on something.

Turns out... I'm not.


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

Previous post...
My Energy Company Always Answers Fast Then Puts Me On Hold For 20 Minutes. But are these pigeons gay? #BritishDadStuff


Thanks for subscribing by email - by clicking here - it helps me think there are people out there, and weirdly... it helps me keep on going.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

My Energy Company Always Answers Fast Then Puts Me On Hold For 20 Minutes. But are these pigeons gay? #BritishDadStuff




You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you resign yourself to being put on hold by a profit-driven company to make even more profit.



In August, my Energy Company sent me a bill that estimates I used 37 units of gas in 11 days.

37 units of gas in the middle of Summer.

I don't even know what 37 units of gas is.

But I've seen enough of their made-up bills to know the heating's off and we haven't got a gas hob.

I'm now worried that my Energy Company is in some kind of financial trouble.

And I'm thinking how can I help my Energy Company make more money in the Summer - so they stop hassling me.

Maybe they could get us to cook more gas intensive dishes - liked Baked Alaska, or make up some summer slow-cooking recipes (instead of my "estimated" bills...)

Maybe my Energy Company could get into the BBQ sauce business.

(But I've got a sad feeling they'll screw it up when they guesstimate the recipe quantities).

Or it could get a Summer job.

They're an energy company AND they do a bit of gardening on the side.

They'd be all over that electric strimmer - ker-ching!

But at least the hedges would get done.

So anyway, I'm now on the phone to them when I realised - ten minutes into the call - what they do every time I call.

They put me on hold.

They answer really quickly - instantly almost - and every time it gets to the bit where they need to "check their computer" I'm there like a chump for 20 minutes.

I called them so much that I know they put me on hold so they can answer other calls quickly. And they know I've got skin in the game so that I'm not going to hang up.

So now I'm resigned to watching 2 pigeons on the roof.

It's a beautiful hot day.
Of course they're gonna wanna park their claws on the house blowing 37 units of pretend gas.

I can't tell if these two pigeons are fighting or making love.

The T-Rex Hold Music loops round again, and these two pigeons look like they've got the same plumage.

Are they both males?

I'm on hold trying not to get rinsed for 1175kWH in a heat wave.
(I know what 37 units means now)

But I don't know if these are boy birds banging each other or 'banging' each other.

Maybe if I spent more time looking at Nature instead of my estimated energy bills, I might appreciate a bit more the Wonders of this World.

Marc Bolan stops spinning in his grave, and the call centre worker comes back on the line.

She can confirm that they can accept my meter reading now, but no.

She doesn't know if the two pigeons on my roof are displaying dominance or doing it.



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

Previous post...
Showing My Kids 1970s Scary Public Information Films About Strangers And Crossing The Road - #BritishDadStuff



I put these posts out daily by email. If you wanna sign up, it'd be great to see you and it helps me have a bit more courage to hit publish.
If not, that's cool, but if so, you can unsubscribe completely any time.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Showing My Kids 1970s Scary Public Information Films About Strangers And Crossing The Road - #BritishDadStuff



You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you realise you survived being a Great British Kid.


I showed my kids a load of 1970's scary Public Information Films from my childhood.

I wanted to warn them about strangers and traffic.

But it's a bit difficult to do that when the strangers and the traffic look a hundred years old.

My son now avoids men in cars who wind their windows by hand, and my daughter waits to cross before cars with loads of chrome.

Because they are terrifying.

And how Seventies is that - expecting Telly to teach your kids about the world.

That's how I know I'm old - I'm there drumming my fingers angry that kids channels aren't showing road crossing advice and stranger danger tips.

But I think they're missing a trick.

They could sell us more spinoff music and brightly coloured tat.

Plastic cars to hit the kids who don't look both ways

Fluffy Puppies from the Stranger Danger Man

Shout For Help screamalong album


At the time, it was like the government, council and police knew exactly what was going on:

Our local police came round to the school and showed us a film that went into so much detail about what to do... it even taught you how to use a stone to scratch out the number plates and unusual identifying features to pass on to the police.
(I just found it here... I literally can't watch this even as an adult...)


Things took a really weird turn though because one of the girls in my class - Claudia, I think her name was - her Dad - was an actor who actually played one of the dangerous strangers - in one of the dangerous stranger movies.

How can I put this.

There was always an air of tension in the corridor whenever he came to pick up poor Claudia.

But no-one said anything.

Almost like we'd learned absolutely nothing from all these films whatsoever.

So anyway, there I am on YouTube trying to go through the 1970s wrongness, trying to filter them, trying to make some of it stick.

And then it hit me (like a purple Cortina).

We need Public Information Films warning parents about the dangers of showing your kids colossally inappropriate 1970's warning films.

So we watched Tiswas instead.


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

Previous post...
Things I remembered when we left our house for the last time - BritishDadStuff