Fifteen and ten and counting

Ten years ago today I woke up early to the sound of birds – typical of a Johannesburg spring morning. It hadn’t been the most restful or peaceful of slumbers. When I’d initially dropped off to sleep the night before my brother came and woke me up because there was a moth in his room. Thirteen months of living in deepest, darkest Africa had prepared me for such events and so I swiftly stepped forward and twatted it with a flip flop (the moth rather than my dear brother although I was tempted…).

After that I lay awake for quite a while contemplating the universe as one does in the small hours leading up to your wedding.

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A Relaxing Weekend Away

“We’re only going away for two nights.”

“I know. And we need to eat, and the kids need to eat, and they need to be entertained, and it might be cold in the evenings and…”

“OK. OK. I get it. I’m just saying we ‘re only going away for two nights.”

“And I’m just saying…never mind. Did you pack his little pup for bedtime?”

“Yes. And a spare toy. And her toys.”

“Helmets for their bikes?”

“Yes. And a soccer ball. And a frisbee. And a golf club and some balls. And a cricket set.”

“Did you organise the drinks?”

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In A Long Line Of Cars

I spy with my little eye something beginning with…

How’s that going to work? You’re stuck in traffic all alone, dimwit. You need at least one additional person for a satisfactory game of I-Spy. Preferably someone older than two unless you want another round of I spy with my little eye something beginning with…tree. At least five year olds make it interesting by spying things you can’t actually see.

“…beginning with…C!”

“Cricket bat?”


“Cricket ball?”


“Cricket stadium.”



“No dad! You can’t see chlorine when we’re swimming.”

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How The Woodstock Dragon Saved Christmas

A little bit of Christmas fun from two years ago. There might be a sequel this year, you never know…


Up on the mountain near Woodstock’s dark cave

A few jumps to the left if you’re young and you’re brave

Is a lesser known place, a less obvious space

Where the odd buck or goat disappears without trace


Inside is a creature who’d give you a fright

His body is red and his eyes black as night

His snout shoots out smoke…

…and his roar is no joke

He’s Dai the Red Dragon (well known to Welsh folk)

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The Bookshop Lament

I love going to bookshops.

It’s not that I have anything against digital. I read tons of stories online for a mix of duty and pleasure (sometimes both at the same time), my kindle was a worthwhile purchase and everything I’ve ever written (barring my one story in Firewords) lives digitally.

But there’s just nothing like the feel, smell and taste (I nearly got thrown out for that) of a new book.

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Ruining the kids

I’m ruining my children’s lives.

Oh, don’t be alarmed. I do this most days.

Yesterday for example I yelled at my son for putting his feet on the table for the fifth time during an epic hour long supper challenge. This evening it was my daughters turn when I chose not to pick her up for the tenth time and instead abandoned her in the living room while I went to change into a fresh t-shirt. The one soaked from bath time was making me a little shivery but it’s no excuse.

Basically I am a bad parent. Continue reading