Confession Time

There are an increasing number of stay-at-home & hands-on Dads – more power to them! There are many Dads of twins. And of course older Dads. But there can’t be too many who are all 3. That was one of the reasons I started this blog; in the hope that whatever experiences I had might be of interest to others: Dads, Mums, or those just looking.

How this all began.

It was supposed to be about me, me as a Dad, an unusual Dad, and how the experience affected and changed my life. I intended this to be a chronicle of an unusual parenting situation from an unusual perspective: my perspective, a bloke’s perspective. That’s actually what gave this blog its strange name. 1-DSCF3705

Best laid plans, and all that eh?

It turned out that it wasn’t about me – it never was, really – it was always about them: Jake and Ellie, my wonderful – now 8-year-old – twins.

I guess that’s one of the reasons I haven’t been too personal here over the years: not much writing about how I’ve been, how I feel, how all this has been affecting me, despite my blog’s stated aims.


Another reason of course is that I am a bloke, and generally we blokes aren’t too good at that sort of thing: opening up about ‘feelings’, and ’emotions’ – or at least ones that don’t involve shouting at a bunch of other blokes as they run around after variously shaped balls.  In that way at least I’m what you could describe as a ‘typical bloke’.

And I haven’t posted much here, for a few years now; certainly nowhere near as much as I used to. In this blog’s heyday I was posting daily.  A lot of that of course is just due to the twins just growing up. They’re 8 and in school, and are very active in out of school groups and activities: I just don’t see them as much or spend as much time with them as I used to, so there’s just less to write about.

DSCF5334There’s another reason however that I don’t spend as much time with them as I used to, and as much as I’d like to. I’ve alluded to it here a few times but have never written explicitly about it. I’ve always meant to, but there never seemed to be a ‘right time’ for it. There probably never is. Also I’ve always tried to be positive here, and present my experience of parenthood as a positive one, which it largely has been, and this particular aspect hasn’t been positive. In fact it’s been bloody difficult.

“C’mon, spill it man: out with it then!”. Alright; OK then! That sergeant-major is still in my head it seems: more about that another time maybe…

OK, so (deep breath): we’re separated, my wife and I. Have been for over 4 years now,  since Christmas 2013, about a year & a half after we moved here to Wales, soon after the twins started school, just as we were all set to move into the new family home – which I’d selected mainly as it’s almost literally over the fence from their school.

I’m not going to lie: it’s been, and is, difficult. Any readers of this blog will probably know that the twins were, and in many ways still are, my life. They’re the only thing in my life that has ever given it any meaning, really.

The reasons behind it? I’m not sure I will or even should go into that here. And that’s partly because I’m not really sure. I do know that statistically there is a higher than average divorce rate amongst parents of twins: it can be very stressful! “Double the trouble, double the fun.”

As for the future: who knows? We’re still officially married, and we even actually talk sometimes: amicably, mostly. We should probably do more of that sort of thing.

So, anyway, that’s my News. It’s out of the way, it’s off my chest. It’s not before time that I ‘came clean’ here; I probably should have a long time ago.

I’ve gone on long enough already; I’ll write more another time.

Thank you for reading, if you’ve stuck with me this far. More later 🙂





Blog Showcase: The Dad Network

Dad Blogs

They’re great. I’m all for them, & I’d like to see more of them. 

Although still a minority in the big bad world of parenting blogs there are still quite a few of them.

Why so few? Well, that’s another story, for another post, at another time. This introduction has been kicking & screaming to be made into a post about gender roles in the workplace & at home but I’ve managed to keep it down. For now!

Some of these Dad blogs are just brilliant: great publications by any standards, & I’m planning to feature them more here in the near future.  
Continue reading “Blog Showcase: The Dad Network”

Vote For Me!

MAD Blog Awards 2012I am running a clean campaign this year.

There will be no dirt dished on my fellow candidates. Although I have plenty. Some of you really have to watch what you tweet on Saturday night after a few too many…

No, this year I am sticking to the issues. The issues that matter. The issues that affect you & me, the ordinary people. The issues that effect us in our day-to-day lives: where we live, here, now.

So let’s look at the blue-sky thinking that my team & I have brought to the table over the last year or so:

Sport & Leisure. We looked at the contentious issue of women’s role at football matches, & decided that they shouldn’t have one.  Yes, controversial I know, but never let it be said that your Candidate is afraid of making the tough calls! “This is all your fault!” Is the football stand really the place for your other half?

Women’s Issues have featured prominently in previous campaigns also & remain at the forefront of our thinking: The Gallery: Motherhood

Transport. Our policy of sticking cute twin toddlers on trikes & leaving them to it has had a few teething problems & is still in the formative stage, I will admit. Yes, mistakes have been made – but at least you know that your Candidate is an honest Candidate! And, rest assured, good people of Bloggonia: my team & I remain fully committed to our goal of getting more children on trikes as soon as is practicable.

Health & Wellbeing. In the past we have highlighted the dangers of men putting on weight during their partner’s pregnancy; promoting healthy living & eating retains a crucial place in our Manifesto. Our policies especially encourage getting more children involved in cooking and playing with bubbles in gardens. We believe in the Feel-Good Factor! Our goal is happiness for all though humour & cuteness!

Bringing People Together In Love & Unity is what we’re about here at the Whiskey For Aftershave campaign HQ! We admire & promote togetherness even from birth, & we encourage & highlight the importance of hugging & kissing – things we could do all do with more of, I think you’ll agree.

Overseas Aid. I have tried to highlight the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves & who have been affected by, for instance, earthquakes & famine & have tried to encourage giving aid where possible.

We have also tried to provide inspiration for Dads who find themselves looking after their children alone, & have outlined our thoughts on A Communications Strategy For The 21st Century & The Importance of Live Music.

And in the hope that you, my lovely Constituents, could get to know me, your Candidate, a little better I’ve tried to tell you all a little bit more about myself.

So, my good people, in Summary: a Vote for Me is a vote for Fun, a vote for Cuteness & Laughs, for Healthy Living Through Bubbles, a Vote for Hugging & Kissing & Spreading the Love, for Families & Music & Dancing!

And free Whiskey. Don’t forget the free Whiskey. For Everyone. Which you can even use for Aftershave.

Love & kisses from your friend & Candidate,


While I blog for fun & as a record of my beloved twins’ progress, it would be a nice bonus to at least be nominated in a category or 2, like Family Fun or Family Life. And today is the last day for voting in the MADS, so if you plan to vote you should do it now! Just click on the pic above 🙂

The Gallery: My Blog

Oooh, that Tara! She’s been so strict with us lately! (I like it…)

Before I get all carried away & start singing about whiplashes (again), I should explain that I’m referring to Tara Cain & her Gallery over at Sticky Fingers . The subjects she’s set us lately haven’t been so easy! I’m afraid I completely wimped out of the last 2, although for quite different reasons.

This week the theme is “My Blog”, & again I’m struggling a bit. I can’t match the conceptual exemplar that Tara provided for us as a taster, so in the end this is what I came up with:
It’s basically the stuff I use to make a blog post.

WordPress For Dummies Yep, I’m a dummy! I’ve learnt a lot, but the edition I have needs updating. I’m nearly finished too so hopefully I’ll be less of a dummy soon….

Blogging folder  Where I jot outlines, keep printouts of blog posts that give me inspiration or information, WordPress tips, etc.

CD Music is the oxygen of my soul & I almost always have music playing whenever I can. When I’m blogging I like to have something relaxing so as to be not too intrusive to my thought processes, but engaging enough to keep me in the mood. As I write this I’m listening to the late great Johnny Cash‘s last ever album, American VI: Ain’t No Grave. More often than not I’ll just put the Mellow playlist on shuffle on my:

iPod Touch which I have wired up to my HiFi off to the left for quality sound reproduction. I also write down ideas & outlines on it when I’m away from my PC, & it’s great for catching up on reading all the great blogs that I’ve subscribed too, via my (crappy) WiFi.

Fuji Finepix compact camera Not shown: I couldn’t quite figure out how to photograph it with itself; clearly I am a dummy! My Canon Videocam is there instead: I’ve used at least 1 still image from it, & I plan to add videos to my posts soon. Well, I’m excited about it, anyway! My blog is quite photo-based – I have 2 excellent subjects – so a post often starts with a photo or 2, especially with really popular memes like this & like Silent Sunday, for instance.

I’ll upload the photos from my camera via the USB lead on the right, then view them in Windows Photo Gallery (shown in half-screen) where I check them, make minor corrections like red-eye, then tag the best ones. I then open any I want to use in Picasa (shown in half-screen) where I make any more necessary corrections, sometimes crop them, compress them & add my watermark.

And, what else? Oh yeah! I write something. Conveniently, I have a keyboard attached to my PC that comes in handy for that, the mouse too.

And that’s about it.

“What about the big bottle of Jack Daniels?!”, I hear you cry. That’s my aftershave, of course!*

For more blogginess, click the pic:

* Actually that is the very same bottle of JD where I used Whiskey For Aftershave those many months ago in what now seems like another lifetime. Wine & Whiskey / Whisky tend to give me heartburn these days so I don’t indulge as much as I’d like to 😦


You may have noticed that there’s been a dearth of posting-type activity on my 3 active blogs recently. You knew I had 3 blogs, right? 😉

The truth is I’ve been in a bit of a funk. And I’m not even sure why. I mean Spring is springing, the Sun is sunning, we’ve had 2 nights in a row where I haven’t needed the heating on, Jallie are eating & playing in the garden. Most importantly, Jallie are happy & developing well.

Their seemingly constant illnesses has been bothering me though I think. Through most of the winter they seemed to either have a cold or cough, often both. Recently they both have had stuffed & constantly very runny noses & a nasty cough, both of which were disturbing their (& obviously our) sleep. Jake’s cough was often so bad that it caused him to throw up. Now that they’ve both lost the cold & the cough Jake has caught some sort of bug. He’s vomitting regularly, is pale & a bit subdued & has slight diarrhoea, although he’s mostly happy & playful, as ever. It takes a lot to get my Jakey down!

Unlike me, it seems. There are other things I could point to that might be a factor, but nothing certain.

Everyone copes with the blues in their own way – some good, some not so.  Some drink (when I was younger maybe), some turn to legal or illegal drugs (not my style), some comfort eat (guilty! mostly sweets). When the real world is getting me down I tend to escape into fantasy worlds, which for me means gaming. My game of choice at the moment is an online game called Guild Wars, an MMORPG. For those not familiar, it’s a bit like World of Warcraft, like a strategy game with swords (or in my case mostly bows & arrows).

I’ve been spending most of what leisure time I have building my characters’ skills, exploring, following the many story-lines & slaying monsters – immersing myself in a fantasy world, pure Escapism. And great fun.

So my blogging has suffered. And I’m now starting to feel bad about that. Not only have I not been posting much, I haven’t been reading much & – worst of all I think – I haven’t been responding to comments.

So I’ve decided to give myself a big kick in my Drakescale-armoured backside (now that takes some agility – all this hero stuff must be rubbing off on me!) & just get on with it. Hell, I enjoy blogging!

So: apologies for the break in transmission, normal service will resume as soon as possible 🙂

UPDATED: In cricket they call it “The Commentator’s Curse”. Since writing the weather has turned cold & wet again, Ellie has caught the vomit virus – & so have I.  Anyone out there played “Quake“? Remember the Vomitorium? Yep. At least I have better reason to be feeling down…

UPDATED AGAIN (Thursday 14th): We all seem better now. And there seems to be evidence of sunshine outside. *Happy face on*

It’s About That Time Isn’t It?

We’re about 6 weeks into the new year, the middle of February. Most of us are back at work or whatever our usual daily grind routine is. Long behind us now are thoughts of presents & stockings*, jolly fat bearded men dressed in red**, tinsel, baubles, decorated trees, reindeer, wall-to-wall chocolate, competing with the neighbours to be the first house to simultaneously drain the National Grid & be seen from Space,

A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...
Image via Wikipedia

We’re about 6 weeks into the new year, the middle of February. Most of us are back at work or whatever our usual daily grind routine is. Long behind us now are thoughts of presents & stockings*, jolly fat bearded men dressed in red**, tinsel, baubles, decorated trees, reindeer, wall-to-wall chocolate, competing with the neighbours to be the first house to simultaneously drain the National Grid & be seen from Space, fighting with drunk Aunties who insist of cheating at Cluedo (I mean really: who cheats at Cluedo?!)***, & dreams of a White Christmas.

Life for most of us has pretty much returned to normal after the mad excitement (or otherwise) of the holiday season.  Plenty of time.

When / if we think about it some of us may be pleased & annoying, others of us disappointed & annoyed.

What am I on about? New years’ resolutions!

By now I reckon those of us who made any will have figured out if we’ve been able to keep them or not.

I, as I often do, found myself doing it backwards****. I didn’t resolve to do anything differently, but found myself doing things differently anyway & kind of realised I was acting out my non-resolutions. I then wrote about them, as you do.

So how am I doing?, I hear you cry.

I’m still not active on twitter, apart from posting links to blogs (yes, mostly mine). TICK

I’m using facebook more. Although not much more. And the main family members I have who are there just don’t use it that much! HALF TICK

Blogging. Most of any spare time I’ve had to myself this year has been spent blogging. I’ve found, read  & subscribed to loads of great blogs.  I’ve taken part, both in posting & reading / commenting, in great linky blog-hops like The Gallery & Silent Sunday. I’ve Gok Wanned my blog, & learnt a few tricks of the trade. Although the main reason I blog is for my own enjoyment, it’s nice to know that others appear to enjoy it too, & my posts have had many more views & comments than last year, & more subscribers. (Thank you). I managed nearly a post a day in January, although I wasn’t aiming for that. I think then that that’s a TICK

I’ve realised though that I simply can’t maintain this pace! I’m pretty sure that in 1 weekend I read & commented on every single post in that week’s Gallery & Silent Sunday. Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been commenting on blog posts from a week ago & longer: that’s because I’ve fallen behind in the blogs that I subscribe to, & I do like to read every one. And that’s just the email subs, I’ve hardly looked at my Yahoo Reader! (I vastly prefer subs by email, by the way; if the option is there I take it. I find RSS annoying by comparison). Also: I’m tired. And there are some signs of writer’s block. And I have a sore arm. And… (internal censor: Shut Up!)

The upshot: something’s gotta give. I can’t stand to be anywhere near my TV in case I glimpse its “Why are you neglecting me; I thought you were my friend?!” accusatory stare. And I miss playing Guild Wars.

I will definitely Carry On Blogging though, just maybe not as fervently.

So, all in all, I reckon I get a ‘B’ for my early-year non-resolution-keeping exam.

And you, dear reader…?

* Well, except it was Valentine’s day yesterday…

** ditto…

*** Sorry, getting a bit too personalised there

**** Well, it was – oh, never mind