Parenting Photos



Blogging Parenting

> Are we too creating worlds of words that will one day cause more heartache than the joy we now feel? By putting our children on a stage viewed by an endless audience are we providing the fodder of therapy sessions and acts of rebellion?

Thoughts on blogging about your offspring, from Dadcentric – “The House At Blog Corner

Food Photos

Condiment / contradiction


Surely it can’t be both?

Blogging Computing Stunt 2007

A stunt

Karen and I were inspired by a comments thread on her site to perform a stunt.

Next week, from Monday to Friday, we will each write a post on the same topic, and we will publish them simultaneously without knowing what the other has written. So we need to think of five topics.

We already have one (if you inspect the linked comments thread, you may be able to work out what it is. Have you figured out what it is? Congratulations! You get a gold star!) but we need four more.

Please suggest topics here. If you can think of things that we will have differing opinions on, then that will make this stunt *so much more fun*, so I recommend that.

Computing Photos

Filing digital photos

What filing system do you use for storing digital photos?

My current system is basically date-based (so I’d have a subdirectory called something like “2007-08-21 Photos of my arse”) which makes it quite easy to find what I’m looking for. However, I then keep photos of Bernard in a separate subdirectory entirely, with a subdirectory in there for each month (so that I don’t end up with an unbearable number of files in one directory). The exception to this is where I have a bunch of photos from a holiday or something, where it makes more sense (to me) to keep the photos of Bernard and the rest of the holiday photos together.

Anyway, I’ve been wondering if this is really a smart solution. So tell me all about your system.


My diary

Strangely, my diary for the last four days (Monday to Thursday) is empty.

Yes, this is strange. It’s not often that I have one blank day, let alone four in a row.

I use my diary for a mixture of appointments, reminders, and writing down what I did after the event, so that I can refer back to it in future. Which suggests that these last four days have been pretty much uneventful.

Once upon a time, this would have sent me into a figurative pit of despair. But nowadays I am getting plenty of exercise, and it doesn’t bother me.

What does bother me (a little) is that I don’t seem to have a project at the moment, and so I’m spending my evenings watching old television shows that I’ve downloaded from the Internet. I am willing to accept that I will go through such periods once in a while, but I still like to get out of them as quickly as possible.

Critters Gardening



I love taking photos of snails. Can’t stand slugs though. Ugh. Slugs.

Displeasure Meander


Last night, at the end of a long journey, I noticed that I was being followed by a red Vauxhall Astra at an uncomfortably close distance. I did what I always do, which was to slow down a bit. Ostensibly this is to protect my wife and son, but I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t also partly to teach the asshole behind that tailgating doesn’t pay.

As I took my turning off of the main road (slowly, of course, in case there are pedestrians crossing) I took a glimpse at my rear-view mirror, and noticed the driver of the red Astra shaking a loose fist at me.

A number of thoughts went through my mind, but the most prominent of these was a certain satisfaction. I would have hated to go to all that effort, only for it to be completely unnoticed by him. In fact, by acknowledging my actions with that particular gesture, he demonstrated that he knew what I was doing, and why I was doing it.

I consider this to be one of my greatest victories.


Clouds over the church

Clouds over the church

Cycling to work

For the last few years, I’ve lived about 4 and a half miles away from work. My preferred method of commuting has been to drive – it takes between ten and twenty minutes, depending upon conditions, but usually closer to ten.

Taking the train is also an option, and will involve a five minute train journey, and then a five minute walk at each end. However, I don’t usually do this, as the trains are infrequent, unreliable, and absurdly overpriced for such a short journey.

Cycling to work was ruled out. Firstly, the roads that I would have to ride on are a deathtrap, due to narrowness, abundance of hidden dips and the tendency of car drivers to break the speed limit. It’s just not a cyclist-friendly route in the slightest. Secondly, we do not have showers at work, so I would be sweaty and unclean before even sitting down at my desk. Normally, I don’t get that until at least 11am. And thirdly, it would increase the amount of time that I spend commuting.

Recently, there has been a surge of bicycle-related activity in our household. I’ve been wanting a bike for quite a while now, mainly for popping round to the chinese takeaway or the corner shop, but haven’t really done anything about it, as it was quite low on the priority list. However, a few weeks ago we decided to move Bernard to a new childminder, and dropping him off would go from being a 0.4 mile journey, four times per day (twice there, twice back) to a 1.2 mile journey, four times per day. This burden usually falls upon Karen, so getting her a bicycle became a high-priority task.

Once her bicycle was sorted out, we figured that it was a good time to get me sorted out too ((I do, technically, have a bike already, but it’s been on long-term loan to my sister for the last ten years)), so that the three of us could go out on rides together and so forth. An excellent opportunity presented itself, and lo and behold, I had a bike. I haven’t been getting much (understatement of the week) exercise in the last year, and it was starting to worry me, so another bird may be squawking its last as its wee brain gets mashed to a pulp by a projectilious pebble.

And then I started re-evaluating the possibility of cycling to work. I looked at a map of cycle routes and figured out that I could actually avoid the worst of the roads whilst only increasing the length of the trip by about half a mile. I reconsidered the whole sweatiness-at-work thing too, and realised that the post-fatherhood version of me doesn’t really give much of a fuck anymore. And I also looked at the whole travelling-time thing, and realised that if I stop thinking of my commute as being a commute, and start thinking of it as being exercise, then I’m actually *reducing* the amount of time that I spend commuting to zero!

So this week, I started cycling to work. The first day was exhausting, and upon arriving home, I collapsed ((not in the medical sense. I didn’t actually pass out or anything)) on the sitting room floor, only to be berated for getting sweat on the carpet. However, things have improved over the course of the week, and it’s become a very enjoyable part of my day.

Yesterday I bought a cycle computer so that I’d be able to keep track of my performance. I’m going to keep a record of my average speed, and once it reaches a respectable figure, I’ll divulge all.