The Time Travellers Life

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I’m one for hindsight. I obsess over a situation where I have made a wrong choice or mistake. I think over how it should have gone or focus on my ridiculous actions. But I rarely look back at the right decisions, the right choices. And that is to my detriment. So this is just that. It’s a look back at one of the best courses of action to have occurred in my life. I nearly titled this post: “Never Familiar, Never Taken For Granted”, which would be an apt description too. ‘Big Slice of Meaningful Cheese’ would probably also work.

Looking back to when I was growing up, I was never someone who was desperate to travel the world. I wasn’t one who needed to experience other cultures or achieve greatness. Sure, I always knew I’d be a millionaire (this time next year, as Del Boy would say), but there was one thing that deep-down was far more important to me. And as important as Lion King was to me – it surpassed even that… Continue reading

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The BBQ Factor

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Let’s talk something of the upmost importance. Food condiments. Whether eating out, or taking away – I am now of the persuasion that no meal is complete without a dip of some sort. Whether than be to compliment the side of bread or as an integral part of the meal like nachos, dip has become one of the most important parts of my meal.

This is carried across to my daughter, who will quite happily copy me dipping my chicken nuggets in sauce, even though she dislikes the taste.

But, much like my brother-in-law felt the duty to evaluate the various Jaffa Cakes as the world’s leading expert in tangy orange cake disks (you can read his extensive reviews here), I feel the calling to do the same for that of BBQ sauce.

BBQ sauce has slowly become an essential part of the modern diet, eclipsing many of the promising up-and-coming sauces, such as Sweet-And-Sour while remaining heavy competition to the new-comers such as heavy-weight Peri-Peri… Continue reading

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DDIY (Don’t Do It Yourself) Sholdstock

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I hear it said that one of the most important traits for any father is to have a handy set of DIY tools and know how to use them. Throughout the eight years or so of living away from home, I have slowly accumulated a selection of tools in varying degrees of quality and decency – none of which do I know how to use properly. Perhaps the tape measure – but even that seems to give me evils while uttering ‘You don’t know how to use me, don’t pretend you know. Go get a professional’. So I get a sneaky feeling I’m doing something wrong.

It’s true that my heritage has many positive things – but DIY certainly isn’t one of them. In fact, the best bit of DIY training that I received came from my late Grandpa. A source, which sadly no longer is available to me. This is certainly no criticism of my parents, who have taught me many (far more) useful things in my prepubescent years. However, it does leave me in an interesting situation when it comes to DIY around my family home. So much so, in fact, that it has quickly become a joke among my wife and kid(s, eventually I would imagine)… Continue reading

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Toxic Fallout

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It’s day three, post the EU referendum result. The sun rose and set yesterday, and the day before, as I’m sure it will today. The world goes on, but one look at social media and one may think that the apocalypse has begun.

I love writing blogs, but in all honesty I hadn’t planned on writing a follow-up post to the EU referendum, regardless of the result. Not because I didn’t care, but because there are other things in life that are, frankly, far more important to me. That said, I feel that I need to say something about the state of our toxic attitudes than primarily manifest their ugly heads on social media… Continue reading

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Child On Board

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I’m now well over a year into parenthood now, and now nearing the second month of ‘double parenthood’. I have learned (learnt?) a lot. And I’m still learning a lot too. And I imagine there’s a heck of a lot still to learn beyond all of that. One of the more important things that I have learned as a parent, is that not everything is as it seemed before I’d entered this world. So many misconceptions from before parenthood, now completely turned on their heads.

As my title suggests, this particular post is in relation to those little yellow diamond signs that parents stick to the rear windscreen. You know the ones. The ones that tell other drivers that there is a child on board. I, in the past, laughed at these extensively. As if to think that those signs mean anything to other drivers. “It’s an insult to other people’s driving to think that they aren’t driving their best already!”

Well, that’s what I thought before. Now I understand. Now I get the purpose of them. Now I’d hang 20 on my back windscreen if I could. And here’s why… Continue reading

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Boxset Marathons (for the under 3’s)

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Today is Father’s Day. So I thought I would take this chance to share a little bit about the Fatherhood I am living. But first: Happy Father’s Day to my Dad. Thanks for everything you’ve done for me – of late and throughout my entire existence on planet Earth. This post isn’t really a post about being a son, though. I have lots of experience on being a son. Being a well-behaved son maybe not-so-much. But my experience as a father myself has been a little over nineteen months. Therefore any advice I give should be taken with a pinch of salt because – lets face it – I know relatively nothing.

That being said, I’d love to share one thing that I have noticed as a father to a one-and-a-something-year-old. And it’s TV related.

I’ve been drafting a re-visit to my Netflix/Amazon Prime comparison which I will post at some point soon, but as it will illustrate – I love my entertainment on the small (and large) screen. Anyone who knows me will know that TV or Film is the easiest topic of conversation to engage me with – to keep the sholdstock/social awkwardness from setting in.

But back to parenthood – I am amazed at how much TV I can sacrifice for TV that wouldn’t have been my first choice. I’m talking about missing ARROW to catch up on the latest TWIRLYWOOS with my daughter. It’s something I never imagined every happening, but remarkably, I can sit through nearly a day of CBeebies without even flinching. The result of which being my lying awake at night, unable to get the theme to IN THE NIGHT GARDEN out of my head.

So, I’m just for a minute, I’m going to talk about some of the awesome kids shows out there (as well as moan about the annoying ones) that I actually enjoy watching now. And if you are pre-parenthood and think I am completely mad. I promise, that will change!

Firstly let’s talk the classic remakes. Annoying that it is to see the old classic kids TV shows from my childhood being completely remade, it is great to see new episodes of Thomas the Tank, Fireman Sam and Postman Pat. All of which, my daughter loves. Me personally? Anything that takes the Thomas the Tank story forward is a win. I could watch those trains chug along branch-lines all day long.

Now lets talk the relatively new ones. First up, Bing. A show I have already written about previously, and one of my daughters early favourites. She knows Bing inside and out but it was beginning to get a bit frustrating that there were no new episodes as we’ve been watching it since she was a few months old. Bing follows the story of a bunny and his rag-doll carer but if you want to know more about it – check out my earlier post.

Next up are the favourites that my daughter has more of a say in liking. It’s the shows that not only keep her attention but will have running in from the other room when she hears the theme tune playing. In no particular order, but here are the titles with my take on the shows in one line:

  • TwirlyWoos. Chubby multicoloured pigeons cause chaos for unsuspecting adults.
  • Ruff-Ruff, Tweet and Dave. A Dog, Chick and Panda get flown around by a Hamster before being tested on their attention skills.
  • In The Night Garden. Someone gets knocked unconscious and daydreams about characters with names that literally taste phenomenal as they are said. The train alone is a classic: “The Ninky Nonk”.
  • Peter Rabbit. The BBC get excited to have the rights to a childhood classic and make a set of books last several seasons.
  • Let’s Play. Two grown-ups act like three-year-olds and dress up to professional standard.

There are plenty more, but those are the highlights. And here are the few programmes that make my life a living headache. These are the shows that my daughter may have seen once or twice, but now the theme song sends me running from the other room to change the channel before we get even a minute into it.

  • Sarah and Duck. 10 minutes of a narrator saying the title in various tones. Literally.
  • Teletubbies. A fun laugh when I was a teenager, but now that I have a daughter, the thought of her actually recalling phrases like ‘eh-oh’ or ‘tubby-bye-bye’ sends me into a spiral of fear and anger towards their creators who have somehow managed to revive them from the dead once again.
  • Waybuloo. Top three despised programmes of the modern world. Floating coloured rats teach kids how to become one with mother earth by providing hippy role models.
  • Tree Fu Tom. Desperately trying to make yoga into a superhero dance by using talking vegetables and unpronounceable insect characters.

All this to say, that I actually care about these stories and programmes because it matters to my daughter. And if she can change me in this area, it just goes to show that she genuinely can (and does) make me a better person.

I’m proud to be a dad, and I’m more than happy to change what I need to order to become a better one. Whatever that means. Father’s Day isn’t about bigging up the fathers, it’s an opportunity for the fathers to remember just how lucky they are. And by far, I’m the luckiest. I love my princesses. Thanks for being so awesome.

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