Opportunity for learning knocks

Post separation I moved further away from everything that I really needed to be near.

It seemed like a great idea at the time but a year later, the novelty has not only worn off but I also fear that the punchline isn’t coming.

However it does afford the cubs and I some time together whilst travelling. Sometimes that space gets filled by ‘Angry Birds’ on my phone for the eldest, or more cognitive games such as I-Spy, What Colour Is? and Spell This. The youngest busies himself by dipping in to the games as he wishes, if he’s not too busy fighting a losing battle with the Sun in his eyes or the wind in his face.

I find that these games are great opportunities for learning and I tend to push her spelling more and more.

I can’t believe that people struggle to spell school!

She calls out as we drive back from a shopping trip (where I’ve just remembered that I’ve forgotten to get loo roll).

Ok brainy; spell ‘Hospital’


Close; one wrong letter; try again. Say it slowly out loud, but this time feel the letters in your mouth before you say them.

I’ve figured out that her dominant learning style is kinesthetic, so the more tactile her learning can be, the more effective it is.

The youngest, now minus a shoe, chips in ‘a’ before going back to removing his sock from the shoeless foot.

Nice one lad. I’m sure it was a coincidence but it was impressive nonetheless.

We now finish the last mile of the journey home singing ‘S-C-I-E-N-C-E’ at the tops of our voices (window’s open) to the tune of nothing in particular.

Make it fun; they will learn, especially if they don’t realise they’re learning.

I knew that teaching qualification and 4 years as a training instructor would pay dividends one day.


A good way to finish the day.


Proves to be quite an effective way of rounding off the day.

I realise that I spend a lot of time with them. I also know that this is me compensating for not being there all the time. Despite this being of my own volition, it does get to me at times.

An unexpected frustration of splitting homes is that you find yourself short of ‘things’. Things that you used to have but have no more. Things like places to put paint. Using one of my [many] popular sayings, adapt and overcome, a dinner plate makes a great makeshift pallette.


The eagle eyed amongst you may have also spotted the old duvet, that now doubles as a sacrificial surface.

I’ve been introduced to Aboriginal dot painting by my daughter; something she had learnt this week in school. I’m suitably impressed with both her and the school curriculum.


I’m less impressed with my efforts….



Don’t ask me to explain; I can’t. I changed my mind several times whilst creating it and this was the result.

Artistically, she takes after her mum.


Dinner table conversation. 

We’re all pretty tired and the cubs are both showing signs of fatigue; short tempers, edge of tears, you know the routine.

The youngest takes delight in leaning from his high chair and pointing at the gap in the eldest’s front teeth. Repeatedly stating, in his speak, that she has teeth missing.

She leans towards him, takes a deep breath and blows vigorously into his face.

For my son, this is kryptonite. 

He recoils and bursts into floods of tears, repeatedly saying no.

I tell her to stop, reminding her that at some point the tables will turn. He will be bigger and stronger than she can imagine.

Her response made me chuckle..

Does that mean that until then I can do him harm?

No my darling; no it does not.

Sunday cont.

Now concurrently I’m ruining another recipe for savory cupcakes, and new potatoes in their skins. Add sausages and whilst this isn’t my usual roast, It’s a healthy and interesting meal. Everything done (she’s still not coming down (Sunday) and in the oven. How important can bicarbonate of soda be?

And they’re back!

The cubs are here and I couldn’t be happier.

Youngest has actually been with me for most of the day because he’s been under the weather a little. He’s got a history of being poorly, so we don’t take any chances with his health.

Luckily the rash is an extreme histamine reaction rather than anything more sinister so cetirizine should see him right.

It’s amazing how quickly the chorus of:

“Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.  Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.  Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.  Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.  Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.  Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.  Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad”

can get to you. I’m only in the kitchen making dinner…

The above involves some poetic licence; I do answer occasionally but then the process starts again.


Yeah! kids!

The biggest change for me was not having my children around me 24/7.

Ok, that’s not quite accurate because I work and they go to school and nursery. But, when I came home, they were there. That was our time. Any stresses and strains from the day would instantly wash away on the breathless recount of their day, usually delivered as if words were about to become outlawed.

A blank colouring pad and a few crayons and we were set. Bad day? what bad day? I’ve just assisted in the decorating of a T-Rex in the most lurid of colours. We justify its existence be reassuring ourselves that no-one really knew what they looked like.


Anyway, this is our weekend and I can’t wait. Exploring plus new camera = lots of new photos!

For my beautiful children.

It’s not often I happen on a great idea but I know that this is one of them. Life has changed recently and I have gone from one important quarter of a family to a single dad.
It was my own choice and I have to clarify that this isn’t going to be a misogynist diatribe. Instead, it’s just my thoughts, as I struggle to adjust. And some recipies..


It’s been a month now, and for a while, my daughter has been asking me to bake with her. This isn’t an insurmountable task as I have lived alone before; but that was awhile ago…
Dinners are fine. I did some cooking when in the family home but never sweets. Never giving up is the key here, so I am on it.
Gingerbread men! Help me out here Google. Ok; a quick scan of the slowly filling cupboards reveals 95% of the ingredients – that’s close enough. Kindle open and we are on it. My son is asleep so we have about 1 hour to present him with the finished article. Ground Ginger. Similar to fresh surely? She can grate, being as it’s about inclusion. The base ingredients are in the bowl waiting.

Ok, so 6 year olds and graters don’t mix; despite numerous dad type warnings. Cue cuddles, kisses and 1 waterproof plaster. Cries for mummy are expected and irk me less 1 month in. Interest level is now at 0%, and her bedroom has all the attraction of a 5 star hotel suite. I’ll finish alone.