Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dads attempt at geography model homework... #DadDirt

In the Living Room... A BOY and DAD are huddled over a home made model that fills the table top.

Just one more...

Dad, are we taking a bit too long on this? It's just geography...

With a tube of glue, DAD sets the final piece.

There. Finished. "The South Downs".

REVEAL: a perfect topographical model of The South Downs made entirely out of tampons and sanitary pads.

Is the village of Buriton all there now?

Woah, no, good catch, thanks.

He unwraps a Kotex and cuts the string.

We've put in too much housing. It should be more light-industrial.

"BURITON" is labelled and made from the tips of tampons grouped together like a village, but still all in cotton white.

Does... does Mum know you've used all her stuff on this?

Mum will probably get very very angry.
Angrier than you've ever seen her.
For some reason, all the nonsense from us that she tolerates will suddenly fall over a boundary, and you will be humiliated for all the liberties that'd usually be overlooked.

Remember the 4 "A's".
Avoid drama.
Agree with everything.

Dad, you've-- I think you've spilt some glue.

DAD stands up with a puddle of glue on his lap.

Have you got anything to clear it up?

Sorry Dad.

DAD shuffles off.


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Wife's checklist for hubby's affair lady #DadDirt

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Monday, 16 October 2017

Wifes checklist for hubbys affair lady #DadDirt

In the supermarket aisles... DAD is pushing the trolley. MUM pulls him sideways.

Quick, over there. Don’t look.
It’s the affair lady.


That’s her job?

No, that’s what Claire calls her.

DAD tries not staring.

She’s the one on the left?

She’s the one who went off with that other Dad, and now they’re splitting up.
If you were to have an affair with someone like that, then at least I’d know, well, I can’t look like that so there’s nothing I could’ve done about it anyway.

And if she didn’t look like that...
I mean you look lovely.

If she wasn’t good-looking... I don’t think I could cope with that.

MUM considers a wall of coffee, but DAD’S head is grinding.

You mean, if I am going to have an affair. You want it to be with someone attractive.

I don’t know what I’d think if she wasn’t attractive. It’d probably be more upsetting. If she was plain - it’d mean there was something there that’s probably love. And that’s more hurtful.

So you want me to only go off with horny women.

MUM crosses out to shop on.

She’s not that hot.

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We've all got a hobby thats someone elses job #DadDirt

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Sunday, 15 October 2017

We've all got a hobby thats someone elses job #DadDirt

Someone in staff uniform is gathering up used cups, saucers, and empty sandwich wrappers, but he’s interrupted by another uniformed member of staff.

Please don't do that.

It's nearly done boss.

No, really, I insist. Please, stop.

He takes crockery away from COFFEE STAFF 2

I don't mind - really.

But... you don't work here.

You don't know that.

We do know that because... you don't work here.

COFFEE STAFF 2 returns to wiping the table.

Honestly, it's cool

Honestly. It is not cool.
You do not work here.
Can you please stop.

But I’m almost done.

You don’t even need to start--
Can you at least please take off that T-shirt.

No! It’s mine!
I paid for it on ebay!
Come on, I’ve only got those tables left to do boss.

I am not your boss.
You are not paid to be here.

And like you’ve not got any hobbies?

I’ve got hobbies. Lots of them.
And none of them are other people's jobs!

Ohhhh, so you don't think I am helping you.
You think I am competing with you?
You think there's only “limited” pie.
You think there is limited mess.
Limited tables to clean and clear?


Look around you, man.
There's enough mess to go round!

COFFEE STAFF 2 pulls out one of the chairs from the table he just straightened.

Why don’t you take it easy?
Why don’t you take advantage.

COFFEE STAFF 1 sits down and tries to take stock.

What you are doing is exactly the same as putting on outfits from the dressing-up-box at school, and playing shops.

Isn’t it great?

COFFEE STAFF 3 storms in to yell at COFFEE STAFF 1

Dude! Again?
You are so lazy.
With all these tables left to do?

I was just telling this guy--

--Interrupting this guy from clearing up, I’m sorry. That’s it.
We’ve got to let you go.
Be out by the time I’m back.

COFFEE STAFF 3 storms out.

Can I buy your apron boss?

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My belly is still big #DadDirt

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Saturday, 14 October 2017

My belly is still big #DadDirt

DAD, clothed, checks himself out in the mirror, front on, while MUM is in bed.

I don't get it. I've been working out every day with the ioniser... and I'm bigger than when I started.

He turns, revealing the bulge on his tummy.

You mean Ab-dominiser.


He pulls up his jumper. A room ioniser is taped to his stomach.

My belly’s still big.

On the upside, it smells nice and fresh.

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We love those advert banners all over our school gates don't we. #DadDirt

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Friday, 13 October 2017

We love those advert banners all over our school gates don't we. #DadDirt

MUMS arriving with their kids at the school gates.

REVEAL the school railings are TOTALLY COVERED by overlapping SUPERMARKET ADVERTISING BANNERS for vouchers and tokens schemes.

Sorry sweetie...

REVEAL: MORE MUMS patting and groping at the banners trying to find the entrance.
Like those zapped moaners from Day Of The Triffids.

We are such a bunch of losers.

And that’s why we need the vouchers.

Then we’d be winners.

But we can’t hand them in if we can’t find the school.

We are such a bunch of losers.

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It's all okay using a womens body spray #DadDirt

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

It's all okay using a womens body spray #DadDirt

MUM and DAD getting dressed for the day. DAD is spraying himself.

Sorry, I used your deodorant.

That’s okay. It’s a women's one anyway.

Well, it’s nicer than mine.

Thank you.
It is okay for me to use a lady body spray.

I know.

I don’t want you thinking less of me as a man, just because of the products I use.


Because that’s what they want you to think.
They spend millions of pounds to separate us.


Haven’t we got past this already?

Oh my god--

This... lazy discrimination.
It’s not 1985.

This spray, I think. I think it’s turned you into me.

They raise their hands and touch each other.

A moment.

It’s just--

-- so hard.

I don’t think we should ever use this again.

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How I drank from a gravy boat in a job interview. My third worst job interview ever. #DadDirt

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

How I drank from a gravy boat in a job interview. My third worst job interview ever. #DadDirt

You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you think back on the times you put yourself at physical risk to earn money for your family.

I’m still working up my courage to write about my first and second worst job interviews ever. So let’s have a crack at number 3.

It was for a headhunter firm - already alarm bells should be ringing here. The trouble with recruitment firms approaching me is that I’ve got to separate myself from feeling flattered that they’ve contacted me... from the fact that they earn their money from me being there for free.

I got to their offices in London’s trendy Oxford Street and I was obviously the first one there, because the clients - the two women from the actual company looking to hire someone - had only just settled into the bare room that was set aside for them.

The start of my interview involved choosing which was the best seat to sit on, while they were giddy to be out of their office for the day and choosing which were the best pastries to start on.

I didn’t mind any of this. It was charming to be around their glee at what their company was paying for.

Eventually it hit them that, you know, I was in there too, crowding the moment.

They suddenly seemed very guilty and offered me a coffee.


Finally, being the only person in the room not being paid to be here... I can join in and might even swing the chat around to why we’re here.

(Message to my kids - if you’re ever offered a drink in a job interview, always always go for a water. Rejecting it always goes down badly - like you’re being offish. And going for a hot drink always involves distracting business that has nothing to do with why you’re there. Milk? Sugar? Ooops I’ve spilt some... etc. etc. etc.)

“Oh, I am so sorry. We’ve only got two cups.”
Was this some kind of test?

“There’s the milk jug.”
They both giggled. I held it up - it was empty, and it was definitely a gravy boat.
This was some classy recruitment outfit.

“I think it’s a gravy boat.” I said out loud.

“You could drink it from that, if you don’t mind?”

I was in now.
There was no way I was going to back down from this.
I still don’t know where it was going, but do know this is where I double-down.

No, no sugar, thank you.
Ooops I’ve spilt some... ”

The only thing I remember from the rest of the 20 minute interview was the look on their faces as I’d break the conversation to wilfully take awkward sips of coffee from their borrowed gravy boat.

It was a sort of a wavy line where smiles should have been.

At the time, I was so eager to please that when they wanted to know if I had any questions at the end, I didn't even think to ask “How little do you care about your company that you don’t know your industry well enough to conduct a search for staff yourself?”

How little do I care about my industry that I’m relying on a company to find me a job.

Though to be fair I was all caught up in myself, stopping hot drink dribbling from the spout into my lap.

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Why Club biscuits are banned by my wife from our house #DadDirt

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Why Club biscuits are banned by my wife from our house #DadDirt

You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...certain products are banned from your house for some reason.

I'm doing something in the kitchen that uses the same square-metre of floorspace as my Long-Suffering Wife (LSW)

(SINGS) Love a club... Love a club...
If you don't lub-a-dub then you don't lub a dub
Cause everyone loves a Club.

I hate all adverts for Club.

You don't like the song?

No they stopped us in Guildford High Street - me and my cousin - and said "Do you like chocolate?!"
It was us, of course we love chocolate!
"Can we borrow your children to help us for half an hour?"
Of course! "We're in the White Hart Hotel" or somewhere on the High Street.
So we left our parents, went off with these two adults.

Ahhh, the 1980s.

I was so random I remember it so clearly.
We must've been about 11.
They showed us a load of adverts.
We went into this room in a hotel and there were other kids hoiked off the High Street, and they showed a load of adverts, and Club must've been one of them.

How did you know they were from Club?

She started going on and on about Club.
Club this and Club that, but no-one could remember it, and it became pretty obvious they were marketing or advertising for Club.

Can you remember which one - was it the one: (SINGS) "Have you ever seen a biscuit chocolatey... Lubba-dubba-lubba-dubba.. Lub Dub"

I couldn't remember it then and I can't remember it now.
They kept saying it was thick chocolate, and I remember saying "but the chocolate isn't very thick." But I suppose it was thick for a biscuit. I was probably comparing it to things like a Mars Bar.

And that was the hook "Do you like chocolate?!"
I didn't even get a whiff of chocolate.
Or anything at the end of it

You didn't get paid.

I got a pen.
It didn't even have the word CLUB on it.
It was just this normal biro.
I'm not sure if they were dissatisfied with my services.
That their advertising campaign wasn't working, at all.

(SINGS) Everyone loves a club!

I might've stolen the pen.

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Disney princes and princesses, which way round and what next #DadDirt

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Disney princes and princesses, which way round and what next #DadDirt

You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you can predict entertainment for your kids.

Here’s something I wasn’t expecting: In Walt Disney World, I met my first ever cross-dressed cast member.
A sales assistant working proudly and prominently in the shop nearest the entrance.

It was glorious.

What my eyes and prejudices believes to be what a man looks like - with pretty hair clips, glasses, and a uniform dress: the female shop staff uniform.

My kids were running rampant trying out the branded fidget spinners, so we were there for about 20 minutes.

And I was transfixed by the reactions.

Nicole wasn’t nervous, but had the body language of someone who’s dealt with our reactions her whole life.

The men - all Dads - would stand side-on.
Without fail.

Maybe to avoid eye-contact, to make sure they look like they're not staring... ironically to show that they’re cool, by not being cool.

We are in awe.

Because for most straight men, it's difficult enough getting dressed in the clothes we've got...
Let alone dealing with a whole new wardrobe.

So I stood front-on with full eye-contact - realising this is how I probably am with women.
Veering on a letch.

What is the right way?
Everything I do is wrong.

It was shocking because only a few years ago there was no way a Disney cartoon would accept any form of cross-dressing in its comedy.

It hit me how much of that is a part of British comedy - panto, big dumb characters in “wrong” clothes. Probably dates back hundreds of years to the upside down world of carnival in many cultures...

You just could not put it into an international cartoon script - especially if it was for the US.

So here might be the next unexpected step.
We think of it as jolly.

But cross-dressing in comedy might now be blocked for something else.
Being demeaning - coming off that it's laughing at it.

What if Mrs Brown, Lily Savage, all those characters from Gigglebiz to Panto are seen as the “blacking up” of more enlightened transgender times.

Then another thought hit me that night, seeing all the Prince/Princess kiss moments from so many stories across the happiest place on earth:

How far are we from a same-sex happy ending?
Or even “other” gender happy ending?

It could still be a Prince and Princess.

Just maybe dressed the other way round from what we’re used to on screen.

I don’t think it’s that far away.

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My List Of Famous British People From the late 90s #DadDirt

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Saturday, 16 September 2017

My List Of Famous British People From the late 90s #DadDirt

You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you can't stop living in the past.

I'm still clearing stuff out - it's an experiment to cut down my electronic hoarding.

I'll publish the things that spark joy.
Like this.

It's a list I made in 1996 of all the people who were famous at the time.

I was a Researcher at the BBC, and the hardest part of the job was thinking up the list of interviewees or subjects or talking heads
(for shows like "Auntie's TV Favourites" or "The End Of The Year Show" or many others that were never made).

The same names kept coming up and I was fed up starting from scratch each time.

So now, for posterity, is my list of famous people in UK culture from 1996.

It was added to over the years, so think of it as a list of famous people from the late nineties...

Obviously some of them are now dead, and others disgraced, some both.

I looked up some who were really big online, shocked at mere hundreds of followers they have now.

I don't know why I am shocked.

Why would they mess about online having been in the papers every day 21 years ago.

Anyway, here's the list - under the, frankly, bizarre headings of Presenters, Acting, Comedy and Other.

Previous post...
Boy George on Larry Grayson’s Generation Game - how I got to watch every single one

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Friday, 15 September 2017

Boy George on Larry Grayson’s Generation Game - how I got to watch every single one

This is probably the first VT I ever produced - which means it’s the first bit of TV where I found the clips, shot the speaker and put it all in the right order for it to be played to a studio audience and out on BBC One (which was then called BBC1).

Boy George on Larry Grayson’s Generation Game

Found it in the loft - and don’t know why I feel like I need to put it out there.
I’m still really proud of it and stuff from exactly 20 years ago was on my mind (weirdly before all of the Diana deathiversary stuff came up this summer).

This was big for me for a bunch of reasons...
DV tape cameras were the new thing in 1997.
Before then, you had to book a full crew to shoot anything at the BBC (or anywhere else in TV).
There are good reasons for this - as the rubbish picture and sound quality in that clip shows. But it meant that quickie talking-heads items were expensive to make - especially as John Birt had just introduced “Producer Choice” - an internal market for putting a cost value on everything that the BBC did.

I was very junior on the team, and like now with youngsters and their online skills, I was the one to put myself up for an afternoon of training on turning these cameras on and pointing them in the right direction.

The second thing that was awesome was that I watched every single Larry Grayson show I could get my hands on. It’s funny, but the “Birt Bucks” we saved by shooting ourselves on this new camera were completely blown by the BBC archive charging £10 for every VHS tape we borrowed - wathcing and reusing clips suddenly became very expensvie with the fake internal market Birt Bucks...

The third goes way back. I grew up in NW1 and went to school in NW3. I’d go visit and play in some very nice homes in Hampstead - with families who were really friendly - but these were other worlds. Gothic piles with crazy number of floors, compared to our 1970’s converted upper maisonette.

To be going on my first shoot, back into one of these buildings - Boy George’s internationally famous home - somehow felt like I’d made it.

He was really polite - that special purple hat is something I now spot through the decades with glee - but we were rightly escorted into the room and nowhere else, did it, and then left. Then the happiest week of slamming his story between those bits of Larry Grayson gold - on 2 VHS machines linked together by a controller that laid each clip down one at a time. I think I did a thing where the two audio tracks could overlap each other by putting Larry on the left and George on the right of the stereo. It was so much more fun laying things down and seeing what worked in a linear way, tape-to-tape, than the precision you can fiddle around with now. Maybe the decisions were bolder - it seems to take exactly the same amount of time to edit things with computers now.

I took that VHS I’d made in the office into a VT booth at Television Centre, and then the brilliant VT editor, Nick Peto, made it sing. Using the actual tapes of the shows on a bank of D3 machines that hummed and whined as he tweaked in and out points of the footage, showing me tricks that made the thing rock along.

My only regret is that the Airman marching at the end of the bit ran long at the end of my version, and was cut for time in the final show. It’s still in the loft somewhere. I’ll put it up when I find it.

Previous post...
That heartbreaking moment when someone starts showing you stuff on their phone and 162-168 bits of #DadDirt

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

That heartbreaking moment when someone starts showing you stuff on their phone and 162-168 bits of #DadDirt

Thoughts, plans, ideas, hopes, dreams from this week

Monday 11 September
They say you should try to get F- You Money.
But I always seem to get the money where I'm F---ed.

Tuesday 12 September
There's only one crime worse than Contempt Of Court.
And that's Contempt of Facebook.
(Or maybe negative feedback on ebay).

Wednesday 13 September
That heartbreaking moment. When someone starts showing you stuff on their phone.
Life is a competition to hold out from showing someone stuff on your phone.

Thursday 14 September
Asked son to fetch the remote.
My Dad got me up to change the channels.

Friday 15 September
That moment when your kids embarrass you in public so much, you consider lying to bystanders that they are “special”.

Saturday 16 September
I’m not a Dad.
I am a Netflix scheduler and projectionist.
And my family give me HDMI love.

Sunday 17 September
I don't want to hear about what people are doing to you.
I very much want to hear about what you are doing to people.

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.

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

I want to get a dashcam and I dont know why #DadDirt

You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...there’s always more technology you can buy.

I want to get a dashcam for my car, and I don’t know why.

A dashcam is this camera that you put on your dashboard to film out of your windscreen.

Like videoing it all, is going to somehow prove that everyone else’s driving is worse than mine.

I already know that.

And now even more stuff that I won’t get round to watching.

I’ve got photos from my children’s birth that I haven’t opened yet, but I’m now going to store and record footage from every trip to Lidl as well?

And you know these things record the sound of what’s going on in the car.

I’ll say it.
I would prefer to get crashed into on an illegal move than have to release video footage of what I say in the car.

Like I don’t make any bad choices: nobody needs to take their road rage onto YouTube.

That’s a big thumbs down on your B-road Barneys.

I’m fed up with the evidence gathering.

Every time I look up there’s 3 cameras pointing at me that probably aren’t being looked at.

How about something on the dashboard that lets the moment go...

Something that instantly offers forgiveness.

Oh yeah, we’ve got it there already.

The Mirror.


“What if someone cuts you up though?”
We should look in the mirror. It’s all the evidence you need.

“But some pillock’s just cut you up. Why are you looking in the mirror?”
No, I’m not explaining it right.

Alright, I’ll get the dashcam camera, and have it pointing at me.
That’ll make my driving better.

The insurance company would hate that.

And maybe that's another reason we should do it.

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My son doesn’t want to do anything. And I feel exactly the same way too. #DadDirt

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

My son doesn’t want to do anything. And I feel exactly the same way too. #DadDirt

You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you want your kids to do more of less too.

I was such an ungrateful kid.
And I see it exactly the same in my 8 year-old son - but I don’t take it as ungratefulness.
He has done Beavers, swimming, wild child, Choi Kwang Do, cooking, tennis and “perform” and he doesn’t want to do any of it.

My Mum organised after-school activities for us every single night of the week.
Monday: Cubs, Tuesday: Cub Club, Weds: Clarinet, Thurs: I think Thursday was the only night off and I loved that. But that was filled with mates visits, concerts and trips. Friday: Gymnastics at Sobell Sports Centre, Saturday: Ackland Burghley Saturday morning music...

There were so many activities, there was never any time left to get good at any of them.

And all I wanted to do was stare out of the window.

It was so specific - it was the low Victorian window in the Front Room.
You could kneel on a cushion and just stare down at the street.
I very specifically wanted to watch rain falling on that pavement as my after-school activity.

I wonder if it was because Mum wanted us out of the house.
But with all our separate activities, all she ever did was tear round Holloway, Camden and Kentish Town in our battered Vauxhall Viva.
God, maybe she just loved being in that car.
It was independence. When I cleared out their loft for them to move, she’d kept the passenger seat up there.
A full 1980’s car seat. In our loft.

And now my son - the same age - doesn’t want to do anything after school.

I know how much he wants to stay in and do the same as staring out of the window that he doesn’t want to tell me.

And I think it’s good that he instead gets out there and meets people and experiences new things and masters something - anything - other than staring out of the window.

I can’t grant him the wish that I wanted.
Means I can get in some more window time.

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My mate has this watch that tells him whats on his phone. #DadDirt

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Monday, 11 September 2017

My mate has this watch that tells him whats on his phone. #DadDirt

You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...all the technology now works against you.

My mate’s got this watch that tells him what’s on his phone.
Maybe I’m not telling it right.

He’s got this watch, right - that's a watch.
But... it also tells him everything that’s coming into his phone.

No, I need to explain.

So he doesn’t have to get out his phone, that’s there, in his pocket... every single time something comes into the phone, ping, there... it’s also “ping!” there.
In his eyeline.

Right in his eyeline, so he doesn’t even have to take the phone out of his pocket.

He could be, in the middle of a sentence - say, to me - or something, but, ping, he doesn’t have to concentrate on all that, because “ping!” the thing that’s just come into his phone is now in his eyeline.

And this means, he can repeat the stuff that’s coming into his phone, sent by other people, any time they want, he can say the stuff that’s coming into the phone in his pocket, to me.

So he’s got this watch and he’s telling me stuff that’s coming into his phone... some news, an update, hang on it's a message from the council, they want some more paperwork...
...and he can tell me all this because it’s right in his eyeline.

He’s completely up to date on anything that's stopping him from doing everything.

And this is brilliant.

I know he thinks this is brilliant because he’s telling me about all the stuff that’s coming into his phone, by just looking at his wrist.

And he doesn’t even have to pause to tell me what’s coming into the phone, sent by other people, whenever they want, he can keep me up to date by just looking at the watch that’s there, instead of reaching into his pocket every time someone sends him something, as soon as they’ve sent it to his phone.

I know what you’re thinking.

If he’s there, looking at his watch so much, and telling you what’s coming into his phone, how can you get him to concentrate on what you are saying?

Well, the problem is that my updates are not urgent enough, because they are only right here coming out of my face.

But the urgent stuff is over there.
In his pocket.
On his phone.
Being sent to his wrist.
By everyone else.

I’m not in his eyeline, no, I am in his eyeline, but I’m not going “ping!” on his wrist - I think it has a vibrate mode - so what I need to do to fit myself into this stream of stuff... or text him... or work out some other kind of notification for my updates, so that they will now go “ping!” on his wrist.

And then he can stop my non-urgent talking to tell me about my own urgent update.
Look, it's just come in. And it's on his wrist.

And he doesn't have to reach into his pocket ever again.

Because he hasn't got the time.

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They built a coffee shop around this guys work #DadDirt

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Monday, 4 September 2017

They built a coffee shop around this guys work #DadDirt

You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you take a break from work and you're still at work.

A man bellows into his phone.
I'm there with my Long-Suffering Wife (LSW) within earshot.
4 tables away.

Here's my proposal to you.
You're saying you want some clarity on how you will be paid and the setting of your performance targets.
But if you're saying that's not big enough, you want something bigger, we have to look to the 3 month mark, not the first payment.
This target has to be about a repeat of business...
It has to grow, it's not a 60% target, it's not 100%.
So long as we make those targets about volume.
We have the team.
We have the resources.
But it has to be an achieved target."

He's saying he has the team, and the resources.

Into his laptop.
On a table.
In a coffee shop.

That is his team.
And his resources.

Shh, he's still going.

We need to write a summary.
Do you want to do that now?

He's not even offering to do any of the work.

Just talking loudly about it instead.

You know, if I can hear it over my Chips soundtrack, technically that makes us his co-workers.

Someone built a coffee shop around his work.

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How my daughter sees me as a man. In biro. And it's uncanny in every fault. #DadDirt

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Monday, 24 July 2017

Stealing another story from my 6 year old daughter #DadDirt

You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you steal yet another story from your 6 year old daughter.

The Magical flower tree and the lost letter

Once upon a time there was a girl and a boy born. And the Baby girl was playing with the pink ball in the garden near the pond. And the boy was reading books in the house. They had there mum who was a Queen and a dad who was actually a evil King. But one rainy day the evil King had a poiseness apple to kill the Queen.

So he went to get the poiseness apple and he realy did kill the Queen. The girl and the boy where very sad. So what they did was going to anuther place. When they got to a place where nobody never came to.

Finally we are at our number one best friend said the girl. The boy and the girls friend was lalee. She was a girl she knows about everything. Hey are you gona knock on that door or what. Fine fine I will then and remember if all of are friends say no you will be killed forever.

Yes I remember said the girl. Haaaaha ok said the boy breathing to try to be brave enough to knock on the door. Knock Knock Knock then lalee opened the door then she said hello guys what do you want me to do for you. We want you to help us pretend we are dwarfs but we need the wrest of are friends so can you help us, said the girl. Saw why not. Alright then lets go.

It was a little house.
It looked like a dolls house even though it was actualy a dolls house but they didn’t nogh six dolls lived there. That’s why they peeped through the door. It was realy dusty and dirty when they came insid.

Wow this is a mess, said the girl. it is said a voice.
Who said that, said the boy.
It was me. And out peeped a little girl doll. And then anuthor girl came out.
And then two boys came out at the sametime. And then a girl and a boy came out at the sametime too. Who are you said a girl doll pointing at the girl. I’m a little girl said the girl. Who are you said a boy doll. I’m a little boy too, said the boy.

Oo you want to stay here, said a boy doll. Yes please said the girl. The boy was to shy to say anuthor word. Then a friendlly little boy doll said don’t be shy. We are only nice to little children said a girl doll.

In the night they sleeped and sleeped until they heard a sound. It was coming from outside. They looked through the window and they saw a tree that used to be a apple tree but now it is a flower tree. It was a beatifule tree but it was a magical tree.

there was a letter in the tree that looked like a old letter but it was actualy a old letter. They went outside to see what the letter said. So they see did when they got to the magicale tree they found the letter and opened it. It looks like its a old letter. It is, said the boy. It sayed there for a hundred years ago, said the girl.

how do you know. because mum told me. She always tells storys to us remember. Oh yeh. That was on christmas. Yeah. Lets see what it saids in the letter. Dear dolls. We have put you in a copetitoin because we have only five dolls doing the copetoin so can you come?
Love from you school teacher.
[illegible] /accense, said the girl.

They made lots and lots of masks. We’re done, said the girl.
No we’re not because there’s a problem. And what is that. We need help because there’s to people and thats us need help. But who. hmmmm said the boy pointing one finger to his chin I know when she had an idea how about are friends and there’s four of are friends so that means we could go to each of their house so are problem is over now.

Wait wait wait but what if they don’t want to said the boy. oh yeah we could find are cosens mabe. Alright then but if all of them don’t want to you will be killed forever promise said the boy. promise. right then come we’ve got to get out of here.
Come on follow me said the girl. Alright and don’t forgot I’m always the leader. hmmm

We should go to that competitoin.
But theres only alowed dolls not humans, said the girl. what should we do eventhough theres allowed dolls. I think I have an idea said the boy puing one hand up and one finger pointing out. What is it because I want to know. OK ok I will tell you but don’t tell anyone this. I promise I will not, said the girl shaking her head up and down three times. ok this is the plan

So, first we make six masks then we go to the place where the competition said the boy. Wait wait wait we’r gona go to the place where the competition is. Yep. But we don’t know where it is, said the girl. oh yeah said the boy looking on a map. Whats that said the girl. I call it a map.
But what do you need it for. To show us the way to the number one competition. Wait a minute whats that pointing at a sparkerling thing on the map. I think it is the number one competition, siad the girl. It is said the boy.

So the first thing in the morning we make masks then we go to the number one competition. ummm you are wrong because its oready the morning. oh yeah so we better make masks. come on what are you waiting for.

When they had not gone far when the found there other best friend. Now its your turn to knock on the door said the boy pertending to knock on the door for the acshoin.


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

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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

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

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

Their time is clearly worth more than mine.

What if I am the problem in this situation?

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

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

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.

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

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

- Because I want it to look like new because it is new

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

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.

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.

Are you okay? I thought you were with--

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

(goading) Okayyyy.

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

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

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

A thingy?

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

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

I wince as she processes this.


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

Long pause.

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

My sister takes a deep breath.

Before she sees it?

She straightens herself.


You don't mind?

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

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

I know.

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

I'll get it.

Wow, thanks. You're the best.

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.

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.

So I found it then.

Wheeyheyyy! It moves!
Look at you yafatbastard!

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

I crumple.

That’s beautiful.

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

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

Probably due to his neglect--

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.

And he’s not even enjoying the biscuits.

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.

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

What, out in public?

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

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

Yes. I want that.

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.

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

No we don’t.

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.

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.

Ideas to improve cupboards in our house for 2017.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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).

How did it go?

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..

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.

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

I want to make a banner for the rear window.

But I haven’t got any points.

I know.

That’s the whole point of Driving School.

I know.

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

I just think it’s got impact.
Big fat font.

Maybe the “back off” is a bit blunt?

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

Too wordy.

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

Too rude and too wordy.

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

That doesn’t make sense.

What about a picture of a car crash scene?

It’d have to be really big.

A picture of me in a neck brace?

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

“Back off” would be easier.


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.

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.

This is the podcast where I stumbled onto it

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.


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.

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

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