Thursday, January 31, 2008

Oh! (pretending to be surprised in the hope he won't get eyes rolled in a heartbreakingly irritated way at him)

Tonight's evening meal went like a dream.

That dream when you wake up in the morning and think to yourself "Oh my God, I killed all my family in my dream," and all day long you feel terrible anxiety and trauma but you can't remember why. Then you remember that you killed your family and you shudder with grief. Then you remember that you didn't actually kill your family, that it was only a dream and you sigh in relief only for the whole thing to repeat itself about thirty minutes later, all day long.

When I picked Mick up from Nursery he had six peppermint creams on a plate. I said "Lovely Mick, look at those lovely peppermint creams, thank God you finally moved out of that rubbish old room into a room where they do good stuff."

(I feel strange about typing God because I know my mum will be reading this and she hates it if you write "God" on a piece of paper because you are supposed to write G-d in case you destroy the paper and you destroy God's name. What about this then? Are these pixels real? Do you destroy God's name if you navigate away from this page? Perhaps you'd better just leave this page open forever, just in case.)

Martine said "Ha Ha Ha,"

I said "Are you going to share those Mick?"

"No, not share them," Mick says.

"Ha Ha Ha," says Martine.

"Ha Ha Ha, Yum Yum, Lovely Peppermint Creams!" I say, thinking to myself "I wish I could throw those peppermint creams in the bin. Those peppermint creams are absolutely the worst things that have ever been made ever."

I arranged for Polly to pick up Fish and Chips on the way home because we're out of food and I can't be bothered to cook tonight. Nigel says that's alright in "Appetite" where he writes a rule of "Don't cook every single day," although his latest book probably says "A day without cooking is a day without joy." or a more porno version of that (hello peverets doing searches for porno, I can see you through my stats).

Halfway through the meal it all kicks off because Elly really wants a desert but hates fish and chips and everyone else likes their meal but she doesn't. Mick meanwhile is remembering that the peppermint creams are his desert and he doesn't want to share them with anyone.

At this point I spot my dictaphone and hit "record" thinking it will make a good blog.

Elly: We're going to have two each, one for you one for me, one for you and one for me.

Mick: (pouting) No

Polly: Right, I tell you what Mick, because you've got a letter "M" there... (points to the cream in the shape of the letter M)

Mick: (shouting) No...

Polly: (voice raising an octave in brave enthusiasm) Oooh, you've got an M and a T.

Mick: No, I want, I want to eat 'em all, (with increasing anger) eat 'em all, eat 'em all.

(Polly distributes the peppermint creams between the two children)

Mick: (crying in outrage) No, NO!!!

Polly: Right Mick, yours go in the bin.

(Polly walks out of the room with the two plates of creams in her hand.)

Elly: (crying, as if a horse she loves has died) Mick's got more than me I don't even...

Mick: No, No, (crying) u huugh u huugh, waaaugh, No, (Screaming) I'm not. Put it out the bin, I want them.

Elly: Waaaagh, ahaaagh, ahaaagh, kehugh, ahaaagh,

Mick: Ugh huugh, ugh huugh,

Polly: (walking back into the room with the plates) Are you ready to start sharing them?

Mick: (mournfully) I'm not.

Polly: Ok, well then I'm going to put them in the bin.

Elly: Ahaaaagh, eeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh, errrrrrgh.

Mick: I want one.

Polly: Are you stopping crying Elly? Do you want one rather than none?

(Elly nods her head and starts eating her peppermint creams)

Mick: (standing up on his chair and grabbing helplessly at the air in front of him) Uuuuuuuuuuur huuuuuuuuur, no, ho those are mine, ho, (proper, full blown screaming) aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh, aaaaaaaaaaagh, no, no, no give me back Elly, no, give me back, no, give me back, I want you to give me back, no, no, give me back Daddy...

David: You need to share your food.

Mick: No, Don't.

David: Yeah, you do,

Mick, No, don't, aaaeeeaaaggh, aaaeeeaaagh, aaaeeeaaaggh, aaaaeeeaaagh... (this continues rhythmically every half second through the rest of the dialogue)

Polly: (spotting the dictaphone) What's going on with this? Why's it on?

David: (pretending to be surprised in the hope he won't get eyes rolled in a heartbreakingly irritated way at him) Oh!

Polly: Are you recording all this?

David: Yes

Polly: Why?

David: (guiltily shrugging) Make a good blog?

Polly: For fuck's sake, would you turn it off?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It was a brilliant day.

I woke up at 5.20 and pretended I couldn't hear Mick crying until Polly got up to get him.

Then I remembered that I am reading Jpod at the moment so I jumped out of bed, scooped Mick out of her arms saying "It's O.K. Polly, I'll get up with him, you get to sleep," and generally behaved as if I was the best dad in the world for about 10 seconds, then took Mick downstairs, put the telly on, lay on the sofa and read Jpod.

Then I went to work at a school I've never worked at before.

I taught that decimal fractions are really difficult to teach. Then I taught that the general concept of fractions can be made into really boring posters. Then I taught that Alcohol is really bad.

This third thing was my favourite thing to teach. On the notes it said "Describe some of the bad effects of alcohol (impairs driving, double vision, reduced inhibition)"

Stay away from that booze kids, you might do something you really want to do and end up a bit happier.

At lunchtime I read Jpod again.

Then I did some more teaching.

I taught that it's really hard to read a book that's too difficult for you to read, then I taught that it is frustrating to devise and rehearse a choral glockenspiel piece with percussion in a room full of other children who are also devising and rehearsing choral glockenspiel pieces, then I taught that the nrich maths website has hundreds of really challenging activities on it but tic tac toe and noughts and crosses are the best.

It was a brilliant day.

Then I came home and put some Jacket Potatoes in the oven, read Jpod again and went to pick up Mick from his nursery.

I made an excellent joke at Nursery. This is how it went.

"Hello," I said.

"Hello" said the Playleader in Mick's room. Let's call her Martine, which is her name.

"Did he have a good day?" I said.

"Yes," said Martine.

"Did Polly tell you about his hospital appointment on Monday?" I said.

"Yes," said Martine.

(Don't worry if you don't find all this hilarious, the joke is about to happen. You will know when it happens because you'll laugh your ass off)

"Mick did that today," said Martine, gesturing at a wall display of people made out of card and paper plates with a guitar made out of a cardboard box and strings.

"All by himself?" I said.

"No, other children helped him," said Martine.

"Oh. Please don't let other children work with him, he is a very gifted child, they probably ruined that work." I said (that is the first brilliant joke)

"Ha Ha Ha," said Martine.

"Did he do that one too?" I said, pointing to an alligator on the wall made out of egg boxes "You have to watch out leaving stuff about like that, he's awfully prodigious," (that is the second brilliant joke)

"Ha Ha Ha," said Martine.

"What about those computers? Did he build those for you? Mick, have you been upgrading the CPU for the Flamingos? Did you reconfigure the motherboards?" (Flamingos is the name of the room he is in. This is the third absolutely brilliant joke)

"I pity this child," said Martine.

Then I went to pick Elly up from her ballet class. That was also really hilarious because when I went to pick her up the people I went to pick her up from thought that they had lost her, but they hadn't, there was just a communication gap. Whilst I knew that they hadn't lost her the person in charge where I went to pick her up from didn't and she turned white and started shaking.

It was very funny, but also very terrible for the person who thought they had got my daughter kidnapped so I didn't laugh out loud. Instead I said "Don't worry, I've only come to get her coat, I know where she is, she's O.K." and generally acted like a mature thirty six year old, for about the second time in my life.

Then Mick and I picked Elly up and put her in the car and drove home.

Then Elly and Mick watched In the Night Garden and I read Jpod until I had finished reading the book.

Then Elly ate her Jacket Potato as if she was eating the most delicious meal in the world, groaning and closing her eyes with pleasure as she ate. I had to keep trying not to cry because a) the night before I'd made her pan fried fillets of mackerel with peas and new potatoes and she hated it, but tonight I threw a potato in the oven and she thought I was Gordon Ramsay b) it was really late thanks to me mis-timing the potatoes and c) I had been up since 5.30 and was beginning to feel tired.

Then I put them to bed.

Then I wrote "Bouncy Castles, Bouncy Castles, Bouncy fucking Castles..." in preparation for a stand up routine about bouncy castles.

Then Polly came home.

If it's any consolation, I hate the faux naive convention of starting a disproportionate number of paragraphs with the word "then" even more than you do.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Daddy, we're going to Pizza Express for a school trip.


"We're going to Pizza Express for a school trip."

"To Pizza Express?"

"Yes Daddy,"

"For a school trip?"

"Yes Daddy,"

"Is this the form?"

"Yes Daddy,"

"I'll fill it out today and you can take it in tomorrow."

"Oh, thankyou Daddy."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I am playing

Nanaca Crash!

Hence lack of blog action.

Today I ate too much spaghetti bolognese. I ate my adult portion. Then I ate another adult portion. Then I ate Elly's leftovers. Then I put some more meat sauce in the bowl and ate that. Then I ate two wooden spoonfuls of meat sauce whilst standing over the pan.

After this I took the kids up to get them ready for bed. They ambushed me at the top of the stairs, jumped on me and rode me as if I was their donkey bitch.

I was so full of spaghetti bolognese that I couldn't do anything except giggle in a high pitched effeminate way and cry out "NO, PLEASE STOP" repeatedly. At times my back was hurting, not in an achy way but in a sharp painful way like something was seriously wrong.

I was genuinely overpowered by their donkey riding mania and I thought to myself "There is a very real possibility that my children are going to kill me in the next five minutes."

Eventually I stopped crying out and merely concentrated on trying not to puke.

I saved myself by shouting "Who wants to watch In The Night Garden?"

While we watched In The Night Garden Mick jumped on my stomach 14 times.

It was a lot of fun.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What an enigmatic search term.

Some days I don't have anything to post and I think all day "What am I going to post?"

Other days I check my stats and someone does a search like this.

What an enigmatic search term.

I think it means that a man, lets call him Terry, had a friend ("Which friend was that Terry?" "The black one," "Oh yeah, your black friend. Is that my black friend too?" "Yeah, that's the one,") and Terry's friend fucked Terry's wife and now she is pregnant.

It could also be read as a tempting invitation "My black friend, fuck my wife now, she is pregnant."

What light was Terry expecting to find at the end of the tunnel?

I hope that my writing on the brilliant film "Notting Hill" (which, for those of you who haven't been paying attention, is an excellent treatise on how difficult it is to make love to the most beautiful (if slightly bad tempered) woman in the world, especially if you have a history of being caught getting blowjobs from prostitutes in LA, but if you persevere you will almost certainly be able to get her pregnant and even be successful enough to afford a paperback novel about a Greek man) helped Terry through his time of need.

If, Terry, you need a black friend to fuck your wife now that she is pregnant though, I cannot help, for two reasons.

Firstly, I am not your friend. Secondly, and seemingly quite importantly to you, I am not black, despite my mum's vaguely racist story that when I was born her black midwife said to her "That one's got black blood in him." (I can't think why the nurse would have said that to her, other than if she was some sort of clairvoyant and could see my massive future jewfro?)

Thanks for the invitation though.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I want to read my book in bed, but it's so dark that I can tell I'm not going to be able to read my book in bed.

It's dark.

The kitchen light is off. The back kitchen light is off. The living room light is off. The lounge light is off. The hall light is off. All the lights are off.
I want to read my book in bed, but it's so dark that I can tell I'm not going to be able to read my book in bed
That's because it's bedtime.

I suddenly feel very angry. I want to read my book in bed, but it's so dark that I can tell I'm not going to be able to read my book in bed. This is for two reasons:

1) Polly has gone to sleep. Just because she is tired. That means it's too dark for me to read. What a selfish woman. I absolutely hate her.

2) Polly has stolen and hidden my head torch. In order to find it I will need to wake her up and ask her where she's put it, then she'll tell me off for waking her up. GOD, she is SO SELFISH. I hate her even more.

I climb up the stairs. As I get to the top of the stairs I see a fragile shard of light cast itself across the landing through a crack in our bedroom door.
I want to read my book in bed, but it's so dark that I can tell I'm not going to be able to read my book in bed
Polly is awake. And she is reading.

My mood instantly changes. Everything is BRILLIANT. I can lie next to my wife who I love and read my book.

I brush my teeth, grab my book from the toilet, run into the bedroom, lie down, sigh in deep satisfaction and say "Where the fuck is my head torch Polly?"

Today I taught a girl whose name was Tuesday

Today I taught a girl whose name was Tuesday.
Today I taught a girl whose name was Tuesday
That is the end of my blog for today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I can count backwards, what do you think of that?

"If this is a romcom, kill the director,"

We like The Wombats.

I like Kill The Director a lot. A shameful amount. On Friday night I drove from Cambridge to Borough and listened to it on repeat all the way.

Last night on my way to a gig I spent twenty minutes playing the first sixteen bars of it repeatedly screaming the following amazing rap over the top of it:

"10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2,1,
I can count backwards,
What do you think of that?
I'm very very very clever,
Yes really,
That's because I've got a really big beardy."

For the duration of this breathtaking rapping experience I genuinely convinced myself that I had invented a new rapping style with a unique flow that could take over the nation. In my imagination this new sensation could only be improved by my friend Jon playing some blues guitar over the top.
I can count backwards, what do you think of that?
After about sixteen minutes the inevitable crushing moment of realisation hit. I was not the new Mike Skinner, I was, in fact, a fuzzy headed, dirty bearded, fat, lonely old mental man shouting desperately at himself in the car.
I can count backwards, what do you think of that?
Even worse, I began to entertain the possibility that, just maybe, my rap wasn't very good.

I continued doing the rap for another four minutes after this moment of enlightenment with decreasing enthusiasm and mounting embarrassment.

Finally I stopped the stereo and drove in silence. Alone. In the dark.
I can count backwards, what do you think of that?
The main reason I love "Kill The Director" is because it reminds me of my favourite film ever in the world where Hugh Grant manages, after only two and a bit hours, to impregnate the beautiful, down to earth (although she does have a little bit of a temper but you probably would too if you were in her position) (that position being the most famous film star in the entire world) woman Julia Roberts.

This is the first song that I've really managed to infect Mick with. He's developed a Pavlovian response to it. We listen to it on the school run. Every time we get to the chorus he starts babbling in tongues.

"The director help, help, help the man in the swimming, in the man, in the swimming, the man in the water, the director help him, help him, him, him, him do swimming in the water..."

"Daddy, what is a director?" asks Elly.

Good. A chance to explain something.

"Good question Elly. This song is about a man who is in love with a woman. He loves her so much that she makes him feel seasick,"

"Sea, inna sea, the director helping the man swimming inna sea," says Mick.

"I know that, but what is a director Daddy?"

"I'm getting to that. He feels nervous and sick because he loves the woman so much, but it makes him behave in a silly way, which means he can't make the woman he loves lie on a bench with him while she is pregnant and he is reading a book so he says "If this is a romcom, kill the director,"

"Yes, but Daddy, what is a director?" Elly is getting a bit angry.

"Right, well a romcom means a romantic comedy. It's a comedy where a man and a woman fall in love but find it impossible to be in love for lots of funny reasons for about two hours and everyone laughs and then feels happy because they fall in love and she will be pregnant at the end and he will read a best selling paperback of the time,"


"Hang on. Now, to make the film, the actors don't know what they should do, so the director is the man who makes the actors what to do. So the singer is saying "If my life is a film, then can someone kill the director, then my life might stop being such a tragic joke and I can get on with being in love without all these terrible things happening. So that's what a director is,"



"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, NOT A DIRECTOR," screams Mick. hurling a cement mixer at Elly's head.

"MICK, DON'T DO THAT," I shout as the cement mixer ricochets off the rear window into the back of my chair.

"MIIIIIIICK, DAAAAAAAAAADY," cries Elly. She is hitting him over and over again with her bookbag.

"THAT'S ENOUGH, STOP IT," I bellow in my best furious bellow.

I've twisted round in my seat to make eye contact with Mick. Mick can't see me because he is holding one hand over his face and blindly hitting back at his sister's book bag with the other. They are both shouting furious abuse at each other.
I can count backwards, what do you think of that?

I can't really see an end to this one. They've forgotten their original dispute and are now just channeling pure aggression. I've tried my one and only child management strategy (fearsome bellowing) so I start weighing up the pros and cons of crashing the car. Pros: The argument will stop, we will all die, it will be quiet and peaceful. Cons: None.

"If this is a romcom, kill the director, please," repeats the song.

I consider whether or not to turn down the frenzied orgy of distortion that's roaring out of the speakers.

The guitars drop out on the song.

After only two bars of bass drum and hi-hat, the car has fallen miraculously silent with gleeful anticipation, then, in unison, we all start shouting...

"This is no Bridget Jones. This is no. Bridget. Bridget.

This is no Bridget Jones. This is no. Bridget. Bridget.

This is no Bridget Jones. This is no. Bridget. Bridget.

This is no Bridget Jones. This is no. Bridget. Bridget."

This continues for another twenty eight seconds, at which point I reach my arm behind me shout "High Five" and grin as little hands start slapping mine and then each others.

"AGAIN, AGAIN" shouts Elly.

"AGAIN, AGAIN," shouts Mick.

"No, we're there now," I say, and press mute.
I can count backwards, what do you think of that?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Can you guess who I've been being inside my head for increasing periods of time over the last four days?

"Hello Polly,"

"Hello David,"

"I am reading a book in bed."

"Yes, I can see that through my eyes as I am getting changed for bed."

"Aren't we speaking formally to each other considering we've been married for two years, have two children and have lived together for nine years?"

"Yes, we are, but it certainly established the scene, the players and the relationships quickly."

"Yes. You are right. It's almost as if we never actually had this part of the conversation.

"I agree. Did you have something to say?" asks Polly.

"Can you guess who I've been being inside my head for increasing periods of time over the last four days?" I ask.

"Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall." sighs Polly, pulling her nightie on over her head.

(Erotic detail there for my peveret fanbase)
Can you guess who I've been being inside my head for increasing periods of time over the last four days?

I'm a bit disappointed as I only just realised that I've been being him in my head all day, particularly for the last few hours where I have been living out the 3 meals from one bird scene from "Chicken Nightmares", yet Polly didn't even have to guess.

"Oh, how did you know?"

"Well I'm not sure what it was that gave it away.

It might have been that you went on and on all throughout eating the chicken about how you weren't sure 'whether this chicken is, as I originally thought, free range or whether it was, disappointingly, a barn chicken because, when I read it the label only said "farm fresh" chicken so I better check with the butchers next time I go.'

Or it might have been because you then ignored the children at bedtime and ran over to the chicken to remove all the meat from the carcass.

Or it might have been because when I came back downstairs from putting the children to bed you gestured towards the pressure cooker as if you were some sort of magician and kept saying "Stock...stock...stock," until I said "Yes David, Well done, stock."

Can you guess who I've been being inside my head for increasing periods of time over the last four days?
Or it might have been because you then spent the next thirty minutes saying 'I don't know why I never made stock before, it's so easy and so rewarding, we should definitely make it all the time from now on.' You didn't just say it once, you said it six times. That's once every five minutes.

Or it might have been because you then started going on about the surprising amount of meat you had left over from the meal in exactly the same way that Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall said it on the program we watched on Tuesday.

Or it might have been because you then started talking about making a chicken risotto for tomorrow evenings dinner. The only risotto you've ever made is that prawn one.

Or it might have been because you spent most of the time that we spent watching Louis Theroux staring at your Fish book and touching it like you did with your ipod when you first got that."

"So it was really obvious then?"

"Well actually, for you, it was pretty low key. The only time that alarm bells really started ringing were when I came home from Ely and you opened the door to me and instead of saying 'Hello, did you have a nice time? How's your dad?' you said 'POLLY - DID YOU KNOW THERE'S A WOMAN WHO RESCUES BATTERY CHICKENS AND THEY CAN LAY EGGS FOR ANOTHER EIGHT YEARS AFTER THEY'VE BEEN SAVED AND IF WE GOT A CHICKEN WE COULD STOP BUYING INTO THE EGG INDUSTRY AND WOULDN'T HAVE TO KILL ANY MALE CHICKS, THEY GAS THEM AT BIRTH, WE COULD HAVE IT IN THE GARDEN, IT'D MAKE A GOOD PET, I WILL TAKE TOTAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT AND LOOK AFTER IT ALL BY MYSELF, YOU COULD DO JUST THE BITS YOU WANTED TO, DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS WE COULD PROBABLY KILL IT AND EAT IT AND THEN GET ANOTHER ONE AFTER WE GET BACK...' and I thought 'Oh fuck, he's going to stop doing comedy and try to start a fucking chicken farm,'

Can you guess who I've been being inside my head for increasing periods of time over the last four days?
I put my head in my hands and start laughing. Then I pick my book back up.

"Polly, did you know that eels have to swim all the way to the Sargasso Sea to mate? It really is fascinating, I love eels. I always have. We should definitely be eating more fish Polly, except not eels, that's not ethical, they've got an MSC rating of 5 which is don't eat, it's so brilliant because when it says '5' on the little box here Hugh also writes 'don't eat' oh, he's so brilliant isn't he?"
Can you guess who I've been being inside my head for increasing periods of time over the last four days?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Acer Aspire 3660


I will continue to pepper this throughout my blog.

Hopefully people will put "Acer Aspire" or "Acer" or "Acer Aspire 3660" or "Are Acer's any good?" or "Acer Aspire review" or "Acer's are SHIT" into google and get this web page.

If you are considering buying one, especially a refurbished one from Morgan DO NOT.



I have written a good blog about Mick and Elly and I and The Wombats but I wanted to upload some footage of them singing and dancing before I blogged it.

This morning I took Elly swimming via Maplin to buy an PCMIA IEEE1394 card so that I could plug my camera in. It took me forty five minutes of not cooking Elly's lunch to realise (NO BLOGGER REALISE IS NOT SPELT REALIZE YOU STUPID TOSSER) that I should give up and not try to get the card to work any more.

Every 2 seconds when I try to install something it says "Cannot find driver. You need your WINDOWS XP MEDIA EDITION DISK 2 DISC"

That'd be fine, well, it'd be fine if you liked spending an inordinate amount of your life locating cds and putting them into the computer every time you wanted to "plug and play" so actually NOT FUCKING FINE AT ALL but when I tried to make my Windows XP Media Edition discs this ACER ASPIRE 3660 that I brought REFURBISHED FROM MORGAN ELECTRONICS had a heart attack and died and then came back to life never to let me make the discs so I've always had to add .sys files individually, one by one, downloading them off the internet.

I also got involved in a $20.00 scam from these fuckers, who take your money then say "WE WILL EMAIL YOU THE DRIVER IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS."

What? I thought it would be an immediate access to your library? OH NO APPARENTLY NOT, APPARENTLY THAT'S IT, $20 FOR ONE LOUSY NON EXISTENT DRIVER.

I drove BACK to Maplin to get my money back then went to PC world to get a Belkin card.

This worked - I only had to download 4 .sys files to get it going.

Then I plugged my video camera in and it went mental. I had to find and add at least 20 .sys files by hand, after which it said "Cannot recognise (NO BLOGGER, RECOGNISE IS NOT SPELT RECOGNIZE YOU STUPID TOSSER AGAIN) your A/V device."

Today it has been a great big windy day. The kites are in the hall.

The kids, however, are sitting in front of the other computer playing on the "LEARN TO WATCH TV" website while I've been trying to get the camera to work for the last four fucking hours.

I just shouted "Who wants to go fly a kite?" and the only repsonse was Polly saying "What time is it David? What are we doing about dinner, Do you know what, I think it might be, how much are you gunning for it?"

"Not much,"

"Right, well..."


I am nearly crying.

So, if you are considering buying a refurbished Acer Aspire 3660 and you like crying, you are making the right choice.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What's so special about today?

"I like you now Daddy," says Elly to me as I close the car door.

I think about what she's just said as I walk around to my seat.

"What did you just say?" I say.

"I like you now Daddy," she says.

"Now? Did you not like me before?" I ask.

"No, I didn't used to like you, but now I like you," she says.


I sit and think for a little while. I've suspected that she didn't like me for a long time - about two years - but have always assured myself with the fact that she's too young to have any control over her emotions. It now appears as if I need to re-assess this assumption.
What's so special about today?

"Yes Daddy?"

"When did you decide that you like me?" I ask.

"Today," she says.


I wonder what's so special about today. What have I done for the first time today that I haven't done before? Granted, I am being fairly attentive at the moment, have driven in to collect her early and don't even intend to surf the internet aimlessly when we get home whilst ignoring her like I usually do, but she can't read my intentions, so what is so special about today?

"What's so special about today?" I ask.

"Today I can see your head while you drive the car. I've never been able to see it before so I didn't like you, but now that I can see your head while you drive the car I really, really, really like you." she says.
What's so special about today?
Of course.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Basically, I ate quite a lot of pork and became a bit sweaty and anxious.

Polly had a birthday so we all thought it'd be a good idea to drive up to Walberswick beach.

We spent most of the day in the car, then at a cafe in Walberswick where Polly ate a normal adult sized bite of Elly's shortbread which led to Elly having a full blown nervous breakdown.

I took her out of the cafe to lovingly talk her down.
Basically, I ate quite a lot of pork and became a bit sweaty and anxious
She perfomed such a convincingly tearjerking rendition of inconsolable innocence that another diner came over to give her (Elly) all the cream and chocolate flake bits from her (other diner) dessert, saying "Be happy now," to her.

We then went to fly our kites on the beach for the forty remaining minutes of sunlight left in the day.

First of all I smashed my powerkite into a beach hut.

Then Polly tangled all the strings up because when I tugged the strings meaning "Drop the strings" she thought I was meant "Really tangle the strings up worse than they have ever been tangled up"

Finally we got lost on the beach and ended up wandering backwards and forwards in the dark trying to find the way back to the car.

Polly likes this kind of thing though. Once in Nepal we climbed up a mountain using a footpath and "explored" our way down which eventually involved aiming at a tree and hurling ourselves down the 1:2 incline, blindly hoping that the tree would withstand the impact and stop us from falling all the way down the mountain.
Basically, I ate quite a lot of pork and became a bit sweaty and anxious
Then we drove to Southwold to the fish and chip shop. (Not after we got down the mountain in Nepal, that would've been an interminably long drive, after we got back to the car at Walberswick.)
Basically, I ate quite a lot of pork and became a bit sweaty and anxious
It was closed. We drove home.

We had a great 40 minutes on the beach, but it seemed like a bit of a long drive to achieve it. I didn’t have a very good drive down either.

On Saturday I'd decided that we would have Roast Loin Of Pork for dinner. I'm a big fan of Pork, in spite of, or maybe because of the being Jewish thing.

When people come over to our house to eat for the first time they'll often, absolutely hilariously, say something like "Will we be having Pork?" expecting me to react in some sort of negative way.

Basically, I ate quite a lot of pork and became a bit sweaty and anxious

I thought a Roast Loin of Pork would be a great end to the post Christmas binge eating festival that's been running at our house.

We ate lots of pork and watched that lovely film where Hugh Grant gets very anxious about whether or not he will fuck Julia Roberts and then he does fuck her (romantically) and looks at her tits too (in a really amusing way) only to get chucked, and then get back together with her and make her pregnant so she can lie pregnantly on a bench with him while he reads Captain Correlli’s Mandolin. It was superb.

It was really lovely for me to imagine Julia Roberts having Hugh Grant’s baby – the actual birth.

We decided to save some Pork for the next day’s sandwiches. Well, Polly said “David, you should probably stop eating the Pork at some point,” and I said “Can we have it in sandwiches tomorrow?” and she said “O.K.”

Whilst I was cutting up the pork for sandwiches the next day I was reminded of the following line in "Real Cooking" by Nigel Slater where he, somewhat irresponsibly, writes "And I cannot be the only person who tears a strip of crackling off a cold roast to chew while I read the paper,"

Firstly you should never ever start a sentence with the word “and”. And secondly you shouldn’t encourage someone as greedy as me to eat more crackling the next day.

Despite it’s recklessness, I've always liked this notion and this being the first time I'd ever had a cold piece of roast pork with crackling on I thought this would be a chance for me to finally live out the fantasy only without the newspaper or the reading or the general relaxed scenario that Slater lazily conjures up, preferring to stand desperately over a work surface covered with discarded packed lunch prep detritus, shoving it into my mouth as fast as I can before being caught in the act by my wife.
Basically, I ate quite a lot of pork and became a bit sweaty and anxious
(“Really? That’s the only time you’ve done that in your whole life?” says Polly.

”I only started roasting Pork about a year ago, before then I was always a bit scared of doing it” I say.

Polly looks at me with amused incredulity “You’ve certainly made up for it.” she says.)

So, living the dream, I ate up all the left over crackling from the night before while I cut the pork into bite sized pieces to put into a tupperware box. It wasn’t that good to be honest, but I thought I had to keep doing it because that’s what Nigel wanted.

Obviously I also ate up a few of the bite sized pieces of pork just to see what they tasted like cold (nice, in case you are wondering).

I didn’t mention that as it was Polly's birthday we'd had bacon and eggs for breakfast. I had 3 rashers of bacon.

Twenty minutes into the journey to Walberswick Mick said he didn't want his ham sandwich so I scoffed that too.

Five minutes after the ham scoffing I realised that I’d eaten myself into a full blown porkadose.

I started feeling really nauseous and burping up horrific pork burps which sent me into another spasm of Nausea. This got progressively worse throughout the journey, climaxing with an exquisite twenty minute depression which ended with me shouting "I need to visit the toilet NOW," the second we arrived in Walberswick, then sitting in the toilet with my head in the hands counting the ways in which I was a failure then realising that if I didn’t stop counting it’d be dark then walking around in the freezing cold with just my jumper on for 20 minutes until the sweating stopped.

Basically, I ate quite a lot of pork and became a bit sweaty and anxious. Maybe I should have just written this one line. Would that be a better blog?

I resolved not to eat any more pork ever again.

When I got home that evening I had Pork in Pitta Bread.

This lunchtime I had the left over left over Pork with noodles, and this evening I sucked the meat off the Pork Bones that I used to flavour our curry.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Casillero Del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

"Berries, some sort of berries," I say

I watched Sideways and I watched one episode of "Jame's May's scripted to fuckery arguments with Oz Clarke"

I think James May is a fuckhead.

I spent the last half an hour telling myself "Don't blog how much you hate Adele because it'll just make you look like a "hater" - picking on celebrities in a blog is just so tawdry - the world will have to go without your "I mean, that's not even a name, that's a computer" observation"
Casillero Del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Then I sat down and almost immediately typed "James May is a fuckhead"

He's the sort of fuckhead who, at the age of 45, is basing a really successful TV career around the persona of "Boys are better than girls,"

Or, perhaps more acurately, "Boys are totally and utterly better than girls,"


"Go on" says Polly.

Since we watched these two wine based shows we have secretly stuck our noses into every glass of wine that we open at home, then try to guess what it says on the back of the bottle.

We don't do this in public, and we don't get out a book and write down our observations, just sometimes I remember to do it.

"Not berries, Cherries." I say.

Polly has already sipped the wine so she isn't allowed to play. (I must re-iterate, there's not like a list of rules, typed out, that she refers to, this is an informal game) She reads the back of the bottle while I say things.

"Anything else?" says Polly.

"Chocolate." I say.

"A smooth Cabernet Savuignon full of cassis and black cherries complimented by hints of mocha and dark chocolate, Well done," says Polly. She is really impressed.

She's probably becoming fairly aroused by my intelligence now. If I observe her carefully I can see the tell tale signs of arousal in her constant yawning, looking at the clock, and reading things out of the paper at me when they interest her until I have to say "Polly, for gods sake, please, I am trying to blog, I don't want you to read every single article out from the paper at me."
Casillero Del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
I always says cherries and I always say chocolate.

All wines that cost £3.99 smell of cherries. And chocolate.

Polly just said to me "John Lewis are doing really well despite everyone else doing absolutely crap. On the high street"

That "On the high street," was obviously added just in case I didn't realise John Lewis was a shop.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The best food shop in the whole of Cambridge

Today I went shopping on my own in Cambridge for the first time in a long time. I went to buy Polly's birthday present.

I walked past the alley where the Cambridge Cheese Shop is. This is the best food shop in the whole of Cambridge.

I imagine Nigel Slater returning home after a morning at the Cambridge Cheese Shop, scribbling a blushingly rhapsodic love letter to it's charms before falling asleep, deliriously spent, face down on a kitchen table littered with freshly discarded specialty cheese wrap.
The best food shop in Cambridge
This was the second time since moving to Cambridge that I've had the time and inclination to visit the Cambridge Cheese shop without the pressure of children or health regime to restrict me. The first time was about 3 years ago but I didn't buy anything.

I walked into the intimate cheese shop and said "Hello."

The man behind the counter said "Hello."

A massive, all engulfing blanket of hateful silence filled the shop.

I looked briefly at the cheeses, long enough to register how brilliant they were but not long enough to invite a conversation with the shopkeeper.

I turned to look at the olives for a little while. They were opposite the counter, giving me an excuse to avoid the gaze of the shopkeeper.
The best food shop in Cambridge
The only possible conversation I could have had would go like this:

ME: How much are these olives?

SHOPKEEPER: Those olives are £27.33 per kilo.

ME: Ok, and how much is this piece of cheese?

SHOPKEEPER: This piece of cheese is £16.

ME: O.K. Thanks very much. Bye.

SHOPKEEPER: Bye... (almost imperceptibly, as I walk out of the door) waste my time.

I looked up at the shelves of the shop, not even registering what was on them, thinking "OK. In about 10 seconds I will leave this shop and I'll feel really disturbed by the experience," then I stumbled, choking on my humiliation, out of the shop.

This is what going to the best food shop in Cambridge is like.

It'll probably be gone soon.

A Number