Category Archives: Family Life

2008: Life

In part one of my “2008 and thereabouts” retrospective, I talked about what I’d been up to work-wise. Now I’m going to focus on my personal and family life. I find this side of things a little harder to talk about, and recall, if only because for most of the year, I spent five days per week at work (usually in London, away from my family) and the other two days recuperating. But here goes…

Continue reading 2008: Life

Christmas radio. And things.

Over the Christmas and New Yea period, I’ve been listening to a lot of Resonance FM via Windows Vista’s UK Radio Sidebar. Heard some wonderful shows, but it’s all been very perplexing. Being a bit of an email junky, I find myself drawn to my PC several times a day, and I usually end up sitting in front of it for far longer than I’d intended, and firing up the radio player to occupy me.
Continue reading Christmas radio. And things.

Christmas on the Radio

The more observant of you may have noticed that 25th December falls on a Tuesday this year. And that my radio show, Empty Space, is also broadcast on a Tuesday.

Next Tuesday I will in the studio as usual, broadcasting across Sheffield and the world. But as Christmas is all about spending time with your family, I’ll be dragging my wife and kids along with me.
Continue reading Christmas on the Radio

One of my Favourite Singers

First, a little background: Lola has recently become more and more proficient using computers and the Internet. Under the tutelage of her cousin Beth, she has learnt to use Youtube, and now spends most of her online time switching between Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani videos. Last week she asked me who I preferred, Avril or Gwen. Tough question. I went for Gwen.

This morning, Lola was watching/listening to Avril Lavigne. Then, she switched to a Gwen Stefani track. As the intro music played, she shouted out to me “Dad, one of your favourite singers is about to come on!”

I had to clarify her statement: “one of my favourite singers out of Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani.” Gill and I couldn’t stop giggling for the next five minutes. We had “a moment”. Perhaps you had to be there…

The Center Parks experience

Just got back from our annual holiday – 4 days (well, 3 and a bit) at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest. The holiday was “cheap” (well, £250 for an 8-bedroom “villa”, which apparently is a lot less than the usual price – we got a discount as foster carers), but everything else was ludicrously expensive. Center Parcs offer literally hundreds of activities, from nature trails to crazy golf to 4×4 “experiences” to arts & crafts, but everything costs. And most of them start at around £15. Per person. For an activity that lasts an hour or two. Many also require an accompanying adult (who must also pay).

So we could well have spent several hundred pounds on activities for the kids. But, being skint, we just made use of endless free swimming (about the only thing on the site that is free). And walked about the vast sprawling site (almost 1000 villas = far too many people) dodging wobbly once-a-year cyclists.

Lots of other stuff to hate about Center Parcs, and a few other things to love, but that’ll do for now.
Next year, we’ll pay a bit more for the accomodation, and go somewhere where the nature trails are free.

I already know that!

From the mouths of babes… come a great many amusing, fascinating and enlightening utterances. I never seem to write many of them down here – something I regret because I know that most of them slip from memory all too easily, and I often beat myself up over my laxness when I read some of Scot’s bloggings on the sayings of his son Miles.

Rowan and even Lola are now pretty much too grown-up and sassy to come out with cute sayings. Almost. This weekend, Lola had her hair cut. “People at school kept telling me that I’ve had my hair cut”, she told Gill on her way back from school today. “But I already know that!”

My, how quickly they grow

Last night I commented on how Rowan is nearly as tall as Gill (there’s about 2 inches, perhaps slightly less, in it).

This morning I got a phone call from Gill. She was going into town with Rowan, and the bus driver refused to let them on without paying full fare, because Rowan doesn’t have a pass proving that she’s under 16. I know she is tall, and was dressed quite stylishly above her age today, but even so – she’s 11, FFS, still in Junior school!

Of course, the bus driver didn’t stop her from getting on because she looked over 16. He stopped her because she looked 13, and 13 year-olds have to have a pass proving that they’re not yet 16. What a crazy bureaucratic world we live in! Of course, this now means that 11 year-olds ought to carry a pass to prove that they’re not yet 13, and so on until before long we’ll have babies carrying documents to prove that they’re not OAPs.

It’s that Time Again

They say it’s my birthday (na na na na na na), Well happy birthday to me (na na na na na na).

Yes, it’s rolled around again, I’m 36 today. Doesn’t feel very different, I have to say.

On the present front, I got a bath cushion from Lola (hmmm?), an African mask from Rowan (kewl! I wanna cover a wall with masks – only got about half-a-dozen so far), and a set of shot glasses with some drinking game from Gill (again, hmm… I was asking for shot glasses not long ago, mainly because Hannah & Jon got me a bartender thingy for Christmas, a thing which holds four spirit bottles upside-down with 30ml optics; but to be honest I don’t see myself playing many drinking games, over-drinking just wears me down so much these days). A couple of weeks ago, I went down to the local junk shop which has a closing down sale at the moment. I bought an African mask and some shot glasses. I could tell from the slightly surprised disappointed expressions on Gill and Rowan’s faces that I had perhaps pre-empted them.

I’m also awaiting a copy of Casa Moro that I know my mum & dad have ordered me from Amazon, which I’m really excited about. And of course there’s all that other shit from Amazon which you, my dear readers, will have placed on order following my recent unsubtle hint. What? You forgot? Well get on with it then, for gawd’s sake. And Guy has made me a very nice online birthday card.

On the subject of forgetting… I almost forgot that yesterday was mine & Gill’s wedding anniversary. Yes, I know that I said at the time of the wedding that holding it the day before my birthday meant I would never forget, but here we are two years further on and I did exactly that. The only thing that reminded me was the fact that, the day before, we got a letter addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. D. Sumption”, I opened it and it was an anniversary card from Gill’s mum & dad. I got to work quickly, made a rather crappy card on the computer (a picture from our wedding of the two of us kissing [although obscured under Gill’s cloak], which I treated with a sort of cotton effect, this being our cotton anniversary). Then, far nicer than the card, I made an envelope for it: again because it was our cotton anniversary, I took an old cotton T-shirt, cut out the front and sewed it up into an envelope. It was one of those FCUK T-shirts from a few years back, the ones with mixed-up sentences on them. This one read “here snog come over me and”. I then put on the T-shirt, with gaping wound in the front (actually, it looked quite good like that, in a gay sort of way), went up to Gill, told her someone had stolen my heart, and presented her with the envelope. It was appreciated.

Gill’s card to me was a wall… she’d cut out a load of heart shapes from various red and pink bit of plastic, paper and material, and put them all on strings with the help of the girls, then hung them all along one wall. They did it while I was having a nap, so it was a nice surprise to wake up to. She also gave me some chocolate massage oil and a chocolate bath bomb… nice idea but… it’s non-edible! I don’t really see the point of chocolate unless you can eat it.