It’s no coincidence..

That sleep deprivation is a form of torture.

I’m on about one hour in the last 48.

Slight exaggeration, but the post on yesterday’s day out will have to wait…


Easter Hols

And the cubs are off with Mum for the first half  of the holidays, then they’re back with me for the latter half.

She’s jam-packed activities for them which is great. I’m getting regular FaceTime updates.

A call comes in from the Jurassic coast; a great location and day out for budding adventurers.

“Daddy! Mummy got me this from the gift shop. It’s a mood ring!”

She thrusts her finger towards the screen.

“It says I’m despair but I’m not. I’m just tired”

Ok then.

tired out


Could it get any more Christmasy??

Firstly; Christmassy isn’t a word. Either with one or two s’s. 

But I had to share this scene with you.

First mistake

Letting the cubs bed down with me; I should know better. I do know better. I even had a warning from the ex, when I told her that that was my plan this evening.

It didn’t matter. I hadn’t seen them for a while and wanted them near me, so after bath-time, they both clambered into my bed.

Cue singing. By him, at the top of his voice; much to her annoyance.

One threat of ‘You’ll go back to your own bed..’ seemed to do the trick.


Second mistake

When I eventually turned in was not putting them into their own beds as they slept soundly. I tiptoed around my bedroom as I prepared for bed, trying not to disturb the status quo.

I use the light from the bathroom to gauge their positions in the bed, noting which side has the most room and where I have some chance of getting some sleep. Ablutions completed, I get in.

Third mistake

Getting into bed.

I’m a big unit; about 6’5 and about 110 kgs but, I moved with precision of a cat, stalking it’s prey. The duvet moved as skillfully as if performing surgery. Every muscle straining to smooth the whole movement into one, seamless motion. I lay back.

Onto a tiny arm.

Well, I might as well have entered the room with a small orchestra getting their ear in, whilst 10 waiters carried 10 trays of glasses in a 7.2 earthquake. He squealed and started to cry which woke her with a start. Yay me.

Fourth mistake

Not seizing this opportunity to put them into their own beds.

Instead, after the kisses and cuddles, we tried to make it work. All was still.

A tiny arm flopped over my face. Then a chubby foot settled itself in my armpit. Then my daughter protested of a foot in her back. The boy is flexible; I’ll give him that.

He turns.

‘Stop breathing on my back! it’s dangerous!’

I’m too tired to challenge this theory, or make enquiries into its origins.

He’s clearly now heating up so he pulls his knees up to his chest and extends his feet downwards, clearing himself from the duvet. And us in the process. She was having none of it.

The row that follows sees him sitting up and asking for his water, which is on the bedside table nearest her. She passes him his bottle; he erupts into tears.


She fires back at him with increasing volume to match, then puts the bottle back down, making him cry even more.

Please just give him his water bottle.

Now she starts to cry. ‘I WAS ONLY TRYING TO HELP!’


Now would’ve been another of those good opportunities to put them into their own beds. I didn’t take it. More cuddles and a sort of peace descends. We settle.

Moments later, my neighbour starts drilling; or sawing up a small oak tree; or starts his motorbike (that he doesn’t have) or cranks up their helicopter.


How can a 3 year old snore so loudly!!? he’s only just fallen asleep! and he’s only 3!! Did I mention that he’s only 3??

I gently, turn him to face his sister. ‘Daddy; I know what you’re doing’ she states quite correctly. She’s right, but I thought she was asleep.

I promise his breath isn’t fatal darling; you’ll be fine.

Winter Solstice

The problem with the day following the shortest day in the northern hemisphere is that it gets dark early and stays dark early. You can imagine my joy at hearing my 06:00 alarm going off the moment I had settled the cubs to some sort of sleep.

That was a terrible version of a good night. Sleep deprivation is a terrible weapon.

feet up

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. Pray for me.





Time to reflect.

It’s that time of year again where I like to take stock of the last 12 months. It’s a thing I do that allows me to press on into the oncoming new year with vigour and determination.

I try to weigh up the good and the bad in an attempt to learn the lessons that I was supposed to.

Sometimes I’m a slow learner.

The cub’s mum

We had more downs than ups. It’s still new and the wounds are still open I guess. This morning we managed to have a row after I asked how she was; the accusation? I phrased the question incorrectly.

I backed off. Part of my philosophy; it takes two to have an argument and I’m not playing.


The lesson

This was one of a few flash points that we collectively experienced over the last year. So how do I avoid them in future, and why should I?

The easy answer is the stress that arguing brings. I just realised that my teeth were clenched whilst typing!

Some disagreement is inevitable, but it’s the handling of such that is all important; the reasons to avoid it are pretty obvious:

  • Poor health
  • Poor relationships
  • Unhappy cubs

The last one is crucially important.

I’ve spoken before about the fact that I will never speak ill of her in front of the cubs. It’s not fair; they only have one mum and they deserve to hold her in high esteem. I will do nothing to change that image.

This is where the teachings of the ‘7 Habits’ come in; seek to understand, before being understood.

In future, I’ll choose my words more carefully; consider my tone and watch my timing. Communication, not confrontation.

Failing that I’ll ignore her until the end of time, plus 15 minutes.

My home

I’ve mentioned already that I’m not overly happy where I am at the moment; it’s too far out for where I need to be, most of the time.


The lesson

Stop moaning! It’s warm, it’s dry, there’s food in the fridge. Some folk have none of those.

I’m sure that I will move in the not too distant future but for now, this is one blessing that I am counting.


I’m single. I have been for a while now; the longest while in over two decades. For once, it actually feels ok.


The lesson

Historically, I used to bounce from relationship to relationship, without a break, without ever reflecting on why the last one didn’t work. Sometimes, perhaps inevitably, I’d go on to make the same mistakes again, and again.

I had to stop and ask myself why this was.

  • What was I compensating for?
  • what was I afraid of?
  • what was lacking in myself that I sought from a companion and could that ever be the successful driver of any relationship?

I know that I need to be the complete article before I can share that place in my heart.

I believe in the Law of Attraction; thoughts become things etc.

I also believe that the Universe will keep giving us the same lesson, until we learn it. I’m just thankful that the Universe is very patient.

I’m getting nearer to those answers by spending time with myself, discovering who I am, after all this time.

In the meantime, the most important relationship is the one I’m proudest of; the one with my cubs. They give the most amazing cuddles.

I’m sure that when the time is right, she’ll find me, or we’ll find each other. Then I’ll have to change my pen name.


Tough! as they no doubt are for us all. Everything seems to be going up apart from our wages.

green shoots

The lesson

Take control and keep control.

If you’ve read my last post on clearing my debt, you’ll know that I plan to smash this one in 2018.

My ultimate goal is to have 3 income streams. Something recommended by the successful out there. I’ll give you more on that one in 2018.


I know the benefits of exercise, especially in the world we live in today. You absolutely have to do it. I use it to defuse stress too. See my first point, above.

why train

The lesson

Schedule my workouts!

I schedule everything else important, so why should this be any different?

I’m fit; I’m healthy and I’m thankful; truly, truly thankful.

More of the same next year and maybe something to aim for..?

So that’s about it for now. The planning is the next phase and the important thing is to set my goals early and write them down.

Commitment is everything!

XperiaZ3 762

So that’s it for now. Looking back, I’m pretty sure I know what I need to what I need to stop, what I need to start and what I need to keep doing in 2018.

Bring it on!


Parent life

06:45, weekday morning:

  • Minimal signs of life
  • Dissent
  • Progress only visible via time-lapse camera. 

06:33, weekend morning:

  • Both awake
  • Standing over sleeping daddy
  • Prodding face
  • Tiny fingers prising adult eyes open. 

I’m knackered. 


Shifting paradigms 


If you know what a paradigm is; it’s a great word and I like using it. It’s appropriate today. This weekend has been pretty tough and I’m chalking it down to a co-parenting fail.

We seem to be in a push/pull groundhog day where I feel that I’m losing out. Official decisions, external influences etc. have log jammed into a head fug that gives the feeling of skiing uphill.

Settled situations appear on a horizon that can’t be reached but yet, I’m still optimistic.

I still, have so much to be grateful for:

  • The cubs – love eternal
  • A roof over my head – warm; dry; safe
  • Food in my cupboards – work in progress…
  • The ability to earn more – thanks to my health and determination.

Rubens defeat.jpg


I don’t care who you are; we are all fighting an unseen battle. There are so many cliches out there such as ‘Walk a mile…’ ‘The night is darkest before the dawn…’ ‘Every winter has it’s spring..’ (I actually quite like winter) and they all ring true.

Change your mind and change your situation. Another cliche and I recognise that this doesn’t work if you are clinically depressed; that’s a special situation that can benefit from professional intervention but for anyone else, shift your paradigm.


  • Get a good night’s sleep – no problem was ever solved by worrying
  • Eat well – fuel yourself for what you face; ditch the junk
  • Exercise – if you have your health you have everything
  • Break it down – your issues; biggest and most important first. If they’re stacked up it will seem like you’re in the foothills of Mt Everest. If you’re not sure which is the biggest issue, figure which one will cause the most harm if you don’t tackle it
  • Create milestones – and celebrate small victories
  • Give yourself a break – no-one can keep going all the time
  • Win/win or no deal – back to the 7 Habits; there doesn’t have to be a loser

Whatever you do and whatever you’re going through: DO NOT GIVE UP.

“Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.” – Bruce Lee



I suffer occasional insomnia

Well, not occasional; I suffer with poor sleep more often than not. Especially when I have things on my mind.

I was always one to stay up late, even though I’m well aware of the necessity of a decent night’s sleep. In my current occupation, this can be a bonus, but after two decades, the joke is wearing a little thin.

tired out

The usual pattern is this;

  • Full day’s work
  • Home to cook dinner
  • Laptop out; more work
  • Bed for 22:00
  • Overthink
  • Asleep between 0:00 and 01:50
  • Awake at 05:30
  • Alarm at 06:00

It differs slightly if I have the cubs but not by much.

I’ve tried most things but refuse to be medicated – it’s just not my style…

Any tips?