Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Seven Reasons Why I Won't Claim For That Train Company Delay #DadDirt




You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you are more mindful while being ripped off by companies.



Seven Reasons Why I Won't Claim For That Train Company Delay

1
I want my money back, but it is too hard.

2
They are only a big company trying to make a profit at my expense, who am I to get in the way of that?

3
Their time is clearly worth more than mine.

4
What if I am the problem in this situation?

5
I hate myself. You see what money does to us?

6
I should be paying them for providing me with longer storage.

7
We are not worthy to even be on their trains in the first place.


Here's a link of how to claim,
and how difficult the Train Company makes it for me at every step of the process.
Good luck!




Previous post...
My Week In Self Help - Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins


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Monday, 17 July 2017

My Week In Self Help - Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you try out wisdom from wherever you can get it.


This week I have been self-helping myself with help from Tony Robbins.

This man only ever seems to shout and I love that.

Even as he writes, I feel like I've been shouted out for living my life all wrong.

Which I do.

But not any longer.

Here's how you can help yourself with the self-help system I've been trying out this week.

It's called the Rapid Planning Method (RPM).

You write out what you want.

For me, as the picture above, I want the upstairs toilet seat fixed.


Then you write out all the reasons WHY you want that dream fulfilled.

Don't worry about the detail of how, you'll achieve this goal, just why.

To make these more powerful, Tony suggests linking a role in your life to the reasons.

- Because I slide around when I'm trying to go to the toilet.
CISTERN SURFER

- Because I spent a fortune having a new toilet put in because the last seat was broken
BOG WONGA WRANGLER

- Because the kids can stand on it to clean their teeth, which is almost certainly how it broke in the first place.
TOILET TEETH TEACHER

- Because I want it to look like new because it is new
NEW LOO DO-ER

- Because I want to prove to my Wife that buying the cheapest in B&Q is always always the best policy
B&Q NEW LOO SCREW TRUE

Then you write out the "MAP".
That stands for "Massive Action Plan".

For fixing the toilet seat I brainstormed:

- Find the allen keys under the stairs.

- Reach around underneath the toilet, turning everything with my bare hands until it stops wobbling.

I can't tell you how effective this method is.

His book is called Awaken The Giant Within.

My toilet seat will now take my Giant Without.

Here's my list -
click on it to download Tony's work-sheets directly...



Let me advertise the book with a sponsored Amazon Link so you can benefit from this self-help too, while I help myself to an increased Amazon Associates payment threshold.
To pay for the next toilet.




Previous post...
How the Tour De France was covered before live TV - fave things on the web


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Saturday, 15 July 2017

How the Tour De France was covered before live TV - fave things on the web

For anyone else obsessed with broadcasting, think you'll love this story...

I'd always wondered how the Tour De France was covered before the days of live uplinks from motorbikes.

Seems they were covered on radio, tragically from the back of a motorbike, by Alex Virot... less of a Des Lynam and more of a prototype for The Interesting Man In The World™

"The motorbike started to accelerate. Then, about fifty metres in front of me, lost its balance on the gravel and started zigzagging as the driver fought to keep it upright. It hit a barrier, then another, then flew into emptiness. I saw two sets of legs in the air and shoes flying off. Never in my life will I forget it."

Full story here:




Previous post...
The worst thing favour I ever asked my little sister #DadDirt



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Thursday, 13 July 2017

The worst favour I ever asked my little sister #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you look back at the times you were horrible to your not so little sister.


Camden High Street, junction with Parkway, 1996. Or 1997. I can't remember.
I know it was definitely too old to make this call on my chunky Nokia.

ME
Hello? Thank god you're in.

My Sister is on the family phone.
It was definitely a year before she and everyone else had one.

SISTER
Are you okay? I thought you were with--

ME
Your friend? No, she uhm, she left this morning.

SISTER
(goading) Okayyyy.

ME
So er... this is a really difficult thing to ask.

SISTER
Don't worry - what d'ya need?!

ME
I think... I think... I might have I left a thingy out on the side.

SISTER
A thingy?

ME
A condom. It's a condom, and I really don't want Mum to see it.

SISTER
Oh that's okay, she won't mind that...

I wince as she processes this.

SISTER
Oh.

ME
You know I wouldn't ask this if I didn't absolutely have to.

Long pause.

ME
Could you... do you think you could get rid of it for me?

My sister takes a deep breath.

ME
Before she sees it?

She straightens herself.

SISTER
Okay.

ME
You don't mind?

SISTER
(stoic) No, I'll deal with it.

ME
But it's used. I don't want you seeing that.

SISTER
I know.

ME
But I can't just leave it there...

SISTER
I'll get it.

ME
Wow, thanks. You're the best.

SISTER
Yes.
Yes, I am.

What's the worst thing you've ever done?


Previous post...
Every Time I Do Your Wife She Gives Me A Biscuit #DadDirt


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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Every Time I Do Your Wife She Gives Me A Biscuit #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you can't forget that you are just a man.



I’m in a restaurant with my Long-Suffering Wife (LSW).
Behind us is a loud clucky hen party at a table but it’s not a hen party.
Maybe it’s an NCT group.

WOMEN
Oooh look at you! You look gorgeous. I love your top!
Where did you get it? Have you lost weight? etc. etc. etc.

I look over to a table of men.
Table of pint glasses.
One of them is late.

MAN
So I found it then.

MEN
Wheeyheyyy! It moves!
Look at you yafatbastard!

MAN
I know. Every time I do your wife she gives me a biscuit!

I crumple.

ME
That’s beautiful.

LSW
He did, didn’t he. He just said that he is having an affair with his wife.

ME
Not only that. But while he is there - not in a loving capacity, but more of a functional one.

LSW
Probably due to his neglect--

ME
Right, not only is he doing the job the husband is meant to be doing. He’s also eating the man’s biscuits. He’s using up the husband’s own resources while he is there, performing the function the husband is failing at.

LSW
And he’s not even enjoying the biscuits.

ME
Yes. He is given them. And achieving all of this with the downsides of having a greater body mass. What a vignette.

And you say men are bad at communicating.



Previous post...
Daddy, why do women say our names out loud in front of everyone? #DadDirt


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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Daddy, why do women say our names out loud in front of everyone? #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
you know that all your power comes from secrecy.


I’m in the discount supermarket rifling through solar lights with my 8 year-old son.

SON
Daddy. Why do women say our names out loud in front of everyone?

ME
What, out in public?

SON
Yeah. I don’t want people knowing my name.

ME
Huh.
Me neither. I don’t know why. It’s so we can stay secret.

SON
Yes. I want that.

ME
I think that’s called “competitive edge”.
We don’t like our names said out loud because it means that strangers will have one up on us.

Men don’t even say their names to each other.
When they’re out and about.
I don’t know why.
We just don’t like it.

We try to keep all information close.
Because it helps us win.

SON
We don’t want that spread all over the place.

ME
No we don’t.

SON
I won’t tell anyone.


Previous post...
Getting rid of my dead Mum's clothes. #DadDirt


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Monday, 10 July 2017

Getting rid of my dead Mum's clothes. #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...it's easier to clear someone else's house than your own.


Dad wondered if I could drop by to help him go through Mum's clothes, but I don't know what help I'm supposed to give.

I don't want to get rid of them any more than him, but it's not like it's helping having them around in the meantime either.
So they're still there. 3 years on.

Dad knows how they were good stuff.
And how much they were worth.
And how much they meant to her.

Maybe I could take pictures of them.

I want to let them go.

But don't want to do it, like how I got Dad to let go of her manky dressing gowns.

Two of them - which were clean, but she'd lived in them for four years. With the fag burns from the weed that would help her MS. And the blobs of nail varnish from where she'd ironically want to look her best.
In her manky robe.
I feel bad that I encouraged Dad to let them go.

Why shouldn't we hold onto the stuff?

I remember the manky robes so clearly, that's probably the sign they're not needed now.

On her last weekend we went through a shoe audit.

Hours, going through piles of shoes, with someone who hadn't walked or worn them for years. My brain's telling me they're just objects, so why is it taking so long?

The kids are outside and it's sunny.
But neither of us wants to give them away.
I know what you're thinking.

Charity shop will take them, job done, you've done some good.

But she was a hoarder.

And neither of us want to be.

So we're hiding behind her hoarding - for 3 years now - which ironically is exactly what she would have wanted.

I'll make a video of them.

And I want to make it a nice video, otherwise it's a waste of time and turning the actual hoarding into electronic hoarding.

I should put music on it.
I'd like to put music on it that she liked.
Like that John Barry score.
Or Bruce Springsteen.
But that's all copyright infringing.

I loved Mum. But not enough to get a YouTube copyright strike for her.
For a video that no one else is going to watch.

Maybe I could make it like one of the BAFTA "those we have lost" montages.

I'll put stirring uplifting music underneath.

How to get rid of my Dead Mum's clothes, the VIDEO #DadDirt




Previous post...
Ideas to improve cupboards in our house for the 2020s #DadDirt


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Sunday, 9 July 2017

Ideas to improve cupboards in our house for the 2020s #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you insist on a strategy for continuous improvement in your home.


I’m reading from a yellow legal pad to my Long-Suffering Wife (LSW), who is trying to watch the Grand Designs I haven’t deleted off the box.

ME
I’ve worked on some ideas to improve all the cupboards in our house.

Cupboards are based on the way we lived our life in the 1930’s.

I’ve got to bring them into the 2020’s.

Make them work for us.


I straighten out the list.

ME
Ideas to improve cupboards in our house for 2017.

1.
High cupboards to store gadgets and contraband
(biscuits, chocolate multipacks, PS3 games etc)
Like a mini panic room for the bad stuff.

2.
A cupboard full of tables.
Every surface in the house becomes storage for the 3D to do list we’ve always got going.

Some tools, final demands from the water company, school projects, fruit, earphones, bits for the next pilates - it’s all there.

On display.
As mess.
I want a cupboard full of table tops.

Which itself has a table top.

That will be covered in stuff - the most important stuff that’s being put off.

That’s it.
That’s all I need.
It’s very primal.
I bet there was a bit of the cave that was full of junk in caveman times.

3.
A walk-in cupboard.
So you can see all our stuff at eye-level.

LSW
You mean a room.
What you’re describing is a room.

ME
That's got all our rubbish in.


Previous post...
LIVE LIKE A 6 YEAR OLD - mindfulness and relaxation from a six year old #DadDirt


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Saturday, 8 July 2017

LIVE LIKE A 6 YEAR OLD - mindfulness and relaxation from a six year old #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you're still trying to make something from the kids.


My experimental mindfulness course, LIVE LIKE A 6 YEAR OLD.
Because who wouldn't want to be happy like a 6 year old, right?

LIVE LIKE A 6 YEAR OLD mindfulness and meditation tape


"To breathe in your thinking skills.
And think about you really hard.
Think what's inside.
And frutalitating you.

And poo and wee mixing up together.
And whole life it.

You think about the whole breath you're having in, of the hiccups, and the food that you ate all day long.
The whole time.

And think about how your brain works.
Of thinking who you actually are.
By thinking you a think.

And you being the relaxing one of all.
Until you think of your foot kneeling down for real pretending and thinking you’re asleep in a jungle, a real place.

And making sure you are really delicate of yourself, and your family’s precious to you and the special thing of thinking of friendship.

Till your life would be down in the dumps, and then now you have your real life.

Sometimes you can get a real relaxment thing like you really want to go down.

And just close your eyes and relax of your pray friends, and making sure you’ve done everything you want to do.
Amen.

Wake up."


Previous post...
Should Steve Pressfield carry on? His War Of Art really helped me. #writingtips


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Friday, 7 July 2017

Should Steve Pressfield carry on? His War Of Art really helped me. #writingtips



Steve Pressfield blogged this week about dealing with writers block
- a bad block - while addressing some notes from a friend.

And it pushed a button in my head. He wrote The Legend of Bagger Vance, among other things, but he also wrote The War of Art and Turning Pro.

In these really heartfelt books he talks through his life-long battle against The Resistance.

The force in all of us that stops us doing something that might change us.

The Resistance always arrives when we're trying to do something difficult.
And something difficult is always something that makes us or the world around us better.

These are the books...



... but he wanted to know if he should blog any more about this block:
Our response to this moment, I believe, is what separates the pros from the amateurs. An amateur at this juncture will fold. She’ll balk, she’ll become defensive, she’ll dig in her heels and refuse to alter her work. I can’t tell you how close I came to doing exactly that.
The pro somehow finds the strength to bite the bullet. The process is not photogenic. It’s a bloodbath.
For me, the struggle is far from over. I’ve got weeks and weeks to go before I’m out of the woods and, even then, I may have to repeat this regrouping yet again.
[NOTE TO READER: Shall I continue these “reports from the trenches?” I worry that this stuff is too personal, too specific. Is it boring? Write in, friends, and tell me to stop if this isn’t helpful.

This is my reply.


Hey Steve

No idea if this email will even reach you. Though, to be honest I kind of hope you're not wasting your time looking for validation like I am working hard to avoid doing.
But please know this.

I came across War Of Art via Seth Godin. I can't tell you how much its helped me in the last year.

It helped me find my own way of articulating good and evil, art and not art, action and inertia.

Most of all it makes me smile now when I feel my muscles lactating - all I've got to do is type up something I've bloomin written by hand, but instead I'm checking my email and there you are.

Its a cartoon - a ten minute cartoon that won't feed my family this month and yet you'd think that'd be even more incentive for me to do the rewrite (that I've already done by hand) as quickly as possible.

For a year I have taken the Resistance seriously - as a sign of the stuff that matters to me.

Because you articulated it, sure but the example of saying it out loud is even more of an invitation to come out to play as an artist.

So please write - and publish - in volume about specifically why your freeze is dumb and not worthy so we can laugh with you. Its incredibly generous.

My son is 8. And my daughter is 6.
She paints, sings dances and writes with absolute abandon.
He rolls on the floor with rage rather than doing something difficult, which is always something that might elevate him.
So watching TV and playing with Granddad's PlayStation is not a problem.

Your work means I can give him a hug and commiserate with his freeze.

And practice dancing around the block.

And teach him to be kinder on himself.

And instead have a go at something he does feel like doing.

That makes him happy (proper happy, not quick hit time killer happy).

Talking through why he wants to do, but can't, always seems to help.
And "tell me what you're grateful for now" always seems to help too (even when the answer is "farting").

I'm rambling because wanting to help him is a way to avoid helping myself.

But maybe we can show each other by example rather than cajoling.

Anyway, selfishly, pile into the blog - the next good work will always be there for you.

I'm curious.
Why do you want to complete the next rewrite?
I'm sure you have 50 reasons the Resistance won't stop you expressing.
Thanks again


Previous post...
Got points. BACK OFF. My idea for a rear window banner to stop people driving up our bum #DadDirt


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Thursday, 6 July 2017

Got points. BACK OFF. My idea for a rear window banner to stop people driving up our bum #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you have to deal with everyone else's Road Rage.


Unstacking the dishwasher with my Long-Suffering Wife (LSW).

ME
How did it go?

LSW
It was grim. A lot of videos of real crashes.

I glaze over for the anecdotes about Motorway crashes, but jolted up by some paperwork..

LSW
This was funny though, look at this.
Question 4: "What are the risks of speeding?"
And I'm going "Fines, Court, Points, Inconvenience..."

and then I'm like, oh yeah. No. Other people...

"Injuries, Accidents, Fatalities..."


We giggle over the injuries, accidents and fatalities.

LSW
I drove back and there was someone up my bum the whole way.

ME
I want to make a banner for the rear window.
“GOT POINTS. BACK OFF.”

LSW
But I haven’t got any points.

ME
I know.

LSW
That’s the whole point of Driving School.

ME
I know.

LSW
To avoid the points.
(THEN) And drive better.

ME
I just think it’s got impact.
Big fat font.
GOT POINTS. BACK. OFF.

LSW
Maybe the “back off” is a bit blunt?

ME
Instead of a “Baby On Board” sign,
“Insurance Premium Risk On Board”.

LSW
Too wordy.

ME
“How’s My Driving... Licence?
At risk. Back off.”

LSW
Too rude and too wordy.

ME
Written in the dirt:
“I wish my wife’s licence was this filthy.”

LSW
That doesn’t make sense.

ME
What about a picture of a car crash scene?

LSW
It’d have to be really big.

ME
A picture of me in a neck brace?

LSW
Yeah, I like that. I wouldn’t go near it.

ME
“Back off” would be easier.

LSW
Whatever.


Previous post...
I say Vote Yourself. But I'm a walking coalition. And 155-161 other bits of #DadDirt


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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

I say Vote Yourself. But I'm a walking coalition. And 155-161 other bits of #DadDirt



Thoughts, ideas and dreams this week.

Monday 3 July
When my Wife asks me "What do you think?" I never have the courage to say it's a loop of the opening titles from Holiday '74.

Tuesday 4 July
It's the rule breaking that keeps us alive as much as the rule taking.

Wednesday 5 July
In politics, I say "Vote Yourself".
But I'm a walking coalition.

Thursday 6 July
Want to keep your gas and electricity at this year's prices?
Give them a really really high meter reading.

Friday 7 July
I never know if it's "buckle down" or "knuckle down".

Saturday 8 July
When you visit a hospital in England, the first thing you ask the medical staff is "will my parking ticket be okay?"

Sunday 9 July
When you find yourself looking into Sound Bars, that's the sign that you've run out of stuff to buy.


Previous post...
My latest dream involving famous people in a derelict town #DadDirt


I keep 365 Days (a whole year's worth) of Dad Dirt right here.

Or you can follow me on Twitter here... Thanks.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

My latest dream involving famous people in a derelict town #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
You're still trying to be open with your Wife.


I'm in bed with the kids elbowing my privates while I'm trying to share with my Long-Suffering Wife.

"My dreams are either set in the 1970's or this derelict town I keep thinking about.
It was derelict town last night.

It was really long but the only bit I can remember is that I'm in black tie trying to get to an event. I hate calling them tuxedos.
It's not the same is it?
Black Tie?

Anyway I'm going there on a bike, and the bike's not mine, or the suit, and Rob's there and he's on a bike too and we've stopped trying to work out the directions and Rob leans forward and breaks his bike seat.

And the seat is full of this flourescent yellow gel, and it spatters all down the side of my black suit.
It's flourescent yellow and I can't get it off.

I think Bryan Cranston is helping me get these bits of glowing goo off my leg but really I think he's telling me off.

Rob was really sorry but he rode off.
Thinking about it now, he didn't have any bike seat.
So I don’t know how did that without being in extreme pain."


Previous post...
My train company refund form and a dance along the cosmos #DadDirt


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Monday, 3 July 2017

My train company refund form and a dance along the cosmos #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you avoid sinking down to their level of Terms And Conditions.


Hello. Here we are again.
I’m looking for the beauty in this moment.
Events conspire to bring you and me together in a once in a lifetime opportunity.

We’re driven by money for such stupid pointless things - we’re the only animals on Planet Earth that know we are going to die... yet we’re also the only animals that fill in train company compensation refund forms.

So I’m going to make the most of your time and my time.
(And the time I was delayed because of another track failure in the same area for about 2 months now.)
But you too hand your time over to this company.

We are kindred souls - trying to find meaning when those to whom we surrender our time only care about the money.

Here’s a chance for you to spread the love and acknowledge the delay with kindness. And money.
Alright, not actual money, but a Rail Travel Voucher.

It means the Universe bonds us in its dance and you - only you - are in the position to propagate Joy and Delight.

Little did I know when I sat on that Rail Replacement Bus, at 1140 for a train cancelled at 1118, it was so that we can have this moment.

Let’s dance together.
You and me.
With only cosmic love and maybe a Voucher between us.

I’m genuinely happy when I heard your employer receives compensation from Network Rail for delays oer 5 minutes, but your employer only compensates us after 60 minutes.

Why?
Because it reminds me that it’s only money.
You have the destiny right now to gift your skills and experience to something bigger and more meaningful than that.

Your employer can’t have what you and I have right now.
A real connection, in time and space.
And maybe if The Source is smiling upon us, perhaps a Rail Travel Voucher too.

Either way, we appreciate your wink, your nod, your hug, that you also feel our pain.
Both of our pain from putting money ahead of our happiness right now.



Previous post...
Why I love Tig Notaro talking to Taylor Dayne. And being snubbed. Repeatedly.


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Sunday, 2 July 2017

Why I love Tig Notaro talking to Taylor Dayne. And being snubbed. Repeatedly.



This is Tig Notaro.
Bear with me.
I stumbled onto this by the Good One Podcast
(because they did an article on my favourite SNL sketches, Wells For Boys and The Sink)

But this is the Tig Notaro story about Taylor Dayne.
I heard it sound only and it’s a brilliant story about summoning up the courage to tell someone how much you love their work, and then being snubbed.
Repeatedly.

This is the podcast where I stumbled onto it
https://megaphone.link/PPY2512922598



She talks about how that routine was a breakthrough for her on many levels, and you can see it in sets like this.

them little titties


And now, I want to know more about her work, and read about how at a very big gig she thought it would be a good idea to reveal her double mastectomy to the audience.
Not just a flash, but to then leave her shirt open for the rest of the set.

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/tig-notaros-topless-set


Why I love it?
Why does she make me think...
“Be more Tig."

It's helped her to be curious and see what happens.
We will not die.
Even if we fail, we'll still be the hero of our story.
In fact, we'll be an even bigger hero if we're flat on our face.


Previous post...
LIVE LIKE A 6 YEAR OLD. My new mindfulness course. #DadDirt


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Friday, 30 June 2017

LIVE LIKE A 6 YEAR OLD. My new mindfulness course. #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
... you're still looking for ways to work with your kids.


I’m in the kitchen with my Long-Suffering Wife (LSW) waiting for my coconut milk to microwave.

LSW
You should release one. Make a mindfulness relaxation tape.

ME
Me. With my voice.

LSW
(genuine) Yes. It fits in with you wanting to help people being happier.

ME
So... it’s a funny mindfulness meditation practice?

LSW
No, it’s a proper one.

ME
But I know nothing about how to do that. Our daughter knows the words better than me (improv mindfulness track) “Now, finding yourself in a position on the floor or straight-backed chair...”

LSW
Hey, she could record one too.

ME
(lightbulb) No - that’s it! It’s her course to being happy.
I’ll get her to record a mindfulness meditation.
Who wouldn’t want a 6 year old telling them how to be happy.

LSW
It’s downhill from seven.

ME
Right. It’s the optimum age.
I’ve read them all. Choose Yourself, The 4-hour Work Week, The Power of Asking...

LSW
And she’d--

ME
...Unleashing The Giant Within, Show Your Work, Strengths Finder, Finding The Flow...

LSW
And she’d have the “daily routine”.
“5:45, wake up, go into Mummy and Daddy’s Check if they’re awake. Go downstairs. Turn the internet on. Open the freezer. Steal the Mini-Magnums.

ME
That’s just like Tony Robbins’ morning freezing plunge pool...

LSW
Daddy says I should stop watching TV and “be more creative”.
So I coloured in my Lego Friends duvet cover.

ME
“You’ve destroyed the duvet cover!”
“Destroyed? Or made better?”

LSW
Jazz up a jaded kitchen by colouring in the tiles.

ME
Keep inanimate objects as pets.

LSW
Here, I’ve made a fabric crab cage using the hair washing jug, 2 flannels and some bathwater.

ME
Aww man, I’m such a Mr. Toad.
This is my new thing.
I don’t know what to call it...
Mindful Like A 6 Year Old?
Unleash Your 6 Year Old Self?
Your 6 Year Old Self Plan?
LIVE LIKE A 6 YEAR OLD.

What do you think?


Previous post...
There’s a bird dying in our garden #DadDirt


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Thursday, 29 June 2017

There’s a bird dying in our garden #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you have to face the death.


My Long-Suffering Wife (LSW) and I are standing over a bird that’s dying in the garden.

ME
I didn’t want to tell you about it.
But then I thought you’d see it later, so I wanted to brace you for it.

LSW
It’s still breathing.

The bird is panting. Blood down its side. Feathers missing.

ME
Anyway, I’ve got to get back to work now.

LATER. My LSW is still standing, staring at it.

LSW
It’s still breathing.

I cross in holding a spade.

LSW
You're not going to --

ME
This? No! I'm taking it in. It's gonna rain.

LSW
It’s a really big bird.
It looks young, but its really big.
Is it a bird of prey?

ME
I don’t think us looking at it is going to help it much though.

LATER. I’m on a train, and get a text.

“Gave bird some water on plate. It looked at me to say thank you! Went back to check on it and it had gone. It’s been dragged by something into the strawberry patch. Dead now. I’m hoping whatever finished it off will come back and tidy up because there’s quite a mess. Think it was a cuckoo chick xxx

LATER. I dump my bag in the kitchen.

ME
It was a cuckoo wasn’t it.
I felt better about that.
It was a nest-stealing that went wrong.

LSW
Yeah I think the robins must’ve pushed it out.
Fed up of feeding it.

ME
Maybe it just fell out.
Too big for the tiny nest.

LSW
It wasn’t the baby cuckoo’s fault though.

ME
No.


Previous post...
It’s not a blob of cream on my top lip, it’s a scar. Honest. #DadDirt


All about me, and getting these by email.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

It’s not a blob of cream on my top lip, it’s a scar. Honest. #DaddyWrong



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...your own Dad spots what you look like.


Brighton. I'm at a beach front coffee stand with my mate Dan.

DAN
You've got something on your top lip.

I give it a wipe.

DAN
No, it's still there.

ME
Oh, no, I think I know what that is...

DAN
(demos) Just, down a bit, there.

ME
Sorry, it's a scar.

DAN
Oh God, no, I'm sorry. How terrible.

ME
No, here's the thing, you cared enough to say.

DAN
(laughs) Yeah, cared enough to say clean up your face... but it's a permanent disfigurement. It's not er... hare lip though, is it? Oh you shouldn't use that word should you.

ME
I got it in the Boris bike crash 5 years ago, and you know what...
I think only one other person has ever mentioned it.

FLASHBACK: Me and Dad in his flat in suits.

DAD
(pointing to lip) You've got a bit of thing there - on your lip - just under your nose.

ME
It's a scar.

DAD
No, just there.
(rubbing my top lip)
It looks like a bit of food.
I'll get it.

ME
No, really, it's a scar - from the Boris Bike crash.

DAD
God, I'd never noticed that before. Oh. Sorry son.
It looks like er... you know, a hare lip... You can't call it that - whatdycall it?

Back with Dan, on the beach, with coffee.

ME
Only my Dad has ever said something about it.
Honest. I'm honoured you'd even notice it.

DAN
Ahhh, I feel so bad.

ME
I do need a tissue though.


Previous post...
My new kids scary story. Daddy vs Energy Company Evil Magic Numbers #DaddyWrong


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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

My new kids scary story. Daddy vs Energy Company Evil Magic Numbers #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you start making up your own scary nighttime stories.


I’m sitting on my 6 year-old daughter's bed, at reading time, with a pile of rejected books.

DAUGHTER
No. I want a story that scares adults.

I pull out a letter.

ME
Okay. This is the kind of stuff you’ll read when you’re older.

"Once upon a time, Daddy received a letter from the energy company.
It’s the company we choose to pay for our gas and electricity.

DAUGHTER
Are there lots of companies?

ME
Oh no. Only a few. They like it that way.

DAUGHTER
Do they have different gas and electricity?

ME
No, not really.
It’s exactly the same gas and electricity that comes into the house.

Anyway, Daddy thought he is very good at fighting the evil Energy Company.

They try to steal his money all the time by charging a lot more for the same gas and electricity each month, even though it’s exactly the same house, and people.
And gas.
And electricity.

DAUGHTER
They must really love the money.

ME
And they need to rinse as much as possible from us.

DAUGHTER
That's not very nice.

ME
No, it’s not their fault.
It’s just the way they are.
They spend a lot of money to get us to think that they are nice.

DAUGHTER
Like a witch in a mask?

ME
Yes!
Yes! Exactly like a witch.
A witch wearing lots of leaflets and emails and adverts on TV.

DAUGHTER
We fast-forward through those.

ME
We do.
And this is why they do evil magic like this.
This one says that our Duel-Fuel tarriff ends next month and we must act NOW!

DAUGHTER
RIGHT NOW?

ME
(LAUGHS) They make it sound urgent so they look kind about warning us about something.

DAUGHTER
But it’s about... the danger that they want more money?

ME
They’re warning us that they are doing something not nice, so, we feel glad that they’re warning us.

DAUGHTER
That doesn’t make any sense.

ME
I know it doesn't.
Now, all of this evil magic relies on us getting bored.

Whatever you do - don’t fall asleep - or they will take as much money as they can...

DAUGHTER pulls the covers up a little tighter.

ME
Don’t fall asleep!
So first, the Evil Energy Company send this letter to say that our tariff is ending next month...

DAUGHTER
And we must act NOW!

ME
Right, and if we don’t - this is the magic bit - our tariff becomes the highest tariff in the Kingdom.

DAUGHTER
What is the highest tariff in the Kingdom?

ME
23 pence per unit for gas and electricity.

DAUGHTER
I don’t know what a unit of gas or electricity is.

ME
No-one does!
That’s the first trick to get you to fall asleep.
Don't fall asleep.

DAUGHTER
Why don’t you just move to a company that’s not evil?

ME
I did.
They all start off looking good, so then you fall asleep and then they come and take your money.

DAUGHTER
(giggle) Don’t take my money!

ME
All you need to know is that you spend 12p per bit of electricity, and next month it will be double.

DAUGHTER
I know what DOUBLE is.

ME
Right. It means your money is worth half as much.
So they say "give them a call or go online to get the best price".

DAUGHTER
Why don’t they just offer us the best price?

ME
You’re drifting - stay focused - they want you to drift.
You’re not getting the best price, so go online.

DAUGHTER
What about Granddad, he’s not very good at that.

ME
(energy company voice)
“Old people are weak and have got too much money.
If they can’t work this out, it’s their fault for being weak and having money.”

DAUGHTER pulls up the covers some more.

ME
So Brave Daddy went online, and found their very best tariff.

DAUGHTER
Hurray! The cheapest one!

ME
Yes. But. Here’s the thing.
The cheapest one has gone up from 12p to 15p per bit of electricity.



DAUGHTER
That’s not much.

ME
That's what they want you to think.
Don’t fall asleep.
We spend over a thousand pounds on this, so we’ve just lost over 200 quid.

DAUGHTER
Is quid the same as pounds.

ME
Yes. Daddy thinks it makes him sound more interesting.

DAUGHTER
200 quids is a lot of our money.

ME
And it’s even more than that, but stay awake - that’s not the evil magic - look!

I pull out a laptop with the energy company “find the cheapest tariff” page.

DAUGHTER
They say they’re saving you money.

ME
I know!

DAUGHTER
But we just lost over 200 quids.

ME
I know - don't fall asleep!
Look harder and try to work out how we’ve lost over 200 quids.



DAUGHTER
It says you’ve saved your household £157 per year, that’s good, no?

ME
But I haven't.
The price has gone up.
Don’t - fall - asleep.



DAUGHTER
It says it’s best to change it now so you can start saving money right away.

ME
Eyes - Wide - Open.

DAUGHTER
But how is it "saving" if the price has gone up?

ME
Keep going - don’t fall asleep...

DAUGHTER
The costs have gone up, how come you’re saving money?

ME
I know you can do this.

DAUGHTER
I don’t think I can. It’s very late Daddy.

ME
Don’t fall asleep on me.

DAUGHTER
I'm really tired. This is boring.

ME
I’m losing you, stick with it honey.

DAUGHTER
I’ll see you in the morning.

She snuggles under the covers.

ME
Don’t go, baby.

DAUGHTER
I love you.

She’s fast asleep.
I cradle her head.

ME
(hushed) The "saving" is based on the made-up expensive tariff they’re moving us onto next month.

She snores.

DAUGHTER
(in her sleep) They’re not savings at all.
They just put our cheapest tariff up by 20%.

I hug her floppy body.

ME
I love you.



Previous post...
Umbrellas for Under 11s do the opposite of what you want and 148-154 other bits of #DadDirt


All about me, and getting these by email.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Umbrellas for Under 11s do the opposite of what you want and 148-154 other bits of #DadDirt



Thoughts, ideas and dreams for this week.

Monday 26 June
Umbrellas for Under 11's do the opposite of what you want.

Tuesday 27 June
I try to avoid news about terrible things like Terry and Thingy from the Likely Lads avoid hearing that football score.

Wednesday 28 June
Inset Day is based on a pagan festival where we would buy shoes and sit in cars.

Thursday 29 June
Think of it less as a Final Demand, and more of an extra Utility Bill for the next company.

Friday 30 June
At some stage, being late for the party is worse than not having that gift you're driving around for.

Saturday 1 July
The deepest and heaviest question about your relationship, is always best asked in that moment just before you’re going to sleep.

Sunday 2 July
Letting the other person win is the biggest curse you can put on them.


Previous post...
The other sticker album I havent yet finished #DadDirt


I keep 365 Days (a whole year's worth) of Dad Dirt right here.

Or you can follow me on Twitter here... Thanks.

Friday, 23 June 2017

The other sticker album I havent yet finished #DadDirt


My son is "not happy" about my Lego Sainsburys Create The World album card shortfall "solution".

My one at this age was a Panini Football Album.

Pete Middleditch had a pile of swaps so thick, he couldn’t get his hand round to hold it.

It had a rubber band in the middle, and he’d flick them - the duhduhduhduhduhduhduh would go on forever.

Loads of badges in there too.
They’re the silver stickers with the playground rule “they’re worth 2 normals”.

I didn’t have a clue about the hairy teams on them.
I just wanted to be part of it.

My parents couldn’t afford for me to get too many doubles, but they were probably earning the same as the players on them.

But almost as part of the compulsion to not complete that one, here’s the full lineup of the Lego Sainsburys Create The World cards.

I know I’ll be looking for it as a list some day.

Or someone else will.

And I don’t want the crossing my fingers at the checkout hoping it rolls over to a round £10 to qualify for another pack.

Because that’s how we earn our kids’ pride in 2017.

By running back to the juice aisle to knock the £38.75 subtotal over the 40 quid mark.

Okay.

So it’s completely so that we get to do kid-like things again too.


001 Lily

002 Sam

003 Janitor

004 Rapper



005 Carpenter

006 Wacky Witch

007 Windmill (silver)

008 Sleepyhead

009 Cave Woman

010 Alien Avenger

011 Boxer

012 Ocean King

013 Routemaster

014 Baseball Player

015 Moose (silver)




016 Holiday Elf

017 Kimono Girl

018 Fortune Teller

019 Ibex (no, I have no idea what an Ibex is either...)

020 Snowboarder

021 Tennis Player

022 Tree (silver)

023 Plumber

024 Surfer Girl

025 Lighthouse (silver)

026 Tiger Woman

027 Fitness Instructor

028 Butcher



029 Yeti

030 Flamenco Dancer

031 Letters (silver)

032 Explorer

033 Chameleon (silver)

034 Alien Villainess

035 Ringmaster

036 Gnome

037 Sand Castle (silver)

038 Spooky Girl



039 Hot Dog Man

040 Lizard Man

041 Race Car Driver

042 Weightlifter

043 Off-Roader

044 Chicken Suit Guy

045 Waiter

046 Mountain Climber

047 Skier

048 Disco Diva

049 Monkey (silver)

050 Welder

051 Square Foot

052 Banana Guy

053 Mermaid



054 Sea Captain

055 Dragon (silver)

056 Diner Waitress

057 Ghost House (silver)

058 Vampire Bat

059 Decorator

060 Pizza Delivery Man

061 Skyline (silver)

062 Unicorn Girl

063 Frightening Knight

064 Businessman



065 Jewel Thief

066 Sad Clown

067 Panda (silver)

068 Hollywood Starlet

069 Gangster

070 Water Lily Flower (silver)

071 Nurse



072 Asian House (silver)

073 Hot Air Balloon (silver)

074 Rock Star

075 Bagpiper

076 Shark Guy

077 Evil Dwarf

078 Santa

079 Koala (silver)



080 Artist

081 Mummy

082 Heroic Knight

083 Island (silver)

084 Crazy Scientist

085 Wolf Guy

086 Bumblebee Girl



087 Submarine (silver)

088 Skeleton Guy

089 Alien Trooper

090 Grandma

091 Kangaroo (silver)

092 Queen

093 Cowgirl

094 Robot (silver)

095 Deep Sea Diver

096 Snowmobile (silver)

097 Polar Bear (silver)

098 Skater Girl

099 Trendsetter

100 Paintball Player

101 Small Clown

102 Fisherman



103 Toucan (silver)

104 Clumsy Guy

105 Gingerbread Man

106 Hotel (silver)

107 Plane (silver)

108 Hippie

109 Traffic Cop

110 Grandpa

111 Dinosaur (silver)

112 Fairy Tale Princess

113 Parrot (silver)

114 Spider Lady

115 Mechanic



116 Gargoyle

117 Saxophone Player

118 Lady Robot

119 Farmer

120 Mime

121 Hot Dog Stand (silver)



122 Medusa

123 Prospector

124 Leprechan

125 DJ

126 Statue of Liberty (silver)

127 Spaceship (silver)

128 Lady Cyclops

129 Thespian

130 Snake Charmer



131 Piggy Guy

132 Bride

133 Bear (silver)

134 Plant Monster

135 Motorboat (silver)

136 Pirate Captain

137 Hula Dancer

138 Ancient Ship (silver)

139 Lily (again)

140 Sam (again)




Previous post...
How my Mum would tell them it’s late. Again. #DadDirt


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