Sunday, 6 December 2015

Steven's Cat

My child arrived just the other day,
Came to the world in an emergency way,
I've had a plane to catch, bills to pay,
Hope she's learned to sleep while I've been away.
Somehow I doubt it, I'm only gone two days, she thinks "I'm going to sleep like Mum, Dad, you know I'm going to sleep like Mum."

And next door's cat's on the wander, doesn't want to leave too soon, Wonky's got an airplane, her sister: a man on the moon.
When you coming home, Dad?
I do know when,
We'll have a good time then.
You know we'll have a good time then.

My daughter's turning two in a couple of days.
So excited about her party, she can't wait for Sunday.
"Could you come for a dance?"
I replied "what, today?"
She took me by the hand and showed me the way.
We went to the studio and she pointed to the machine.
"I want Daddy's song, Dad, please I have Daddy's song on?"

And the cat's in the window, wondering why he can't come in. He's moved next door, helps control the vermin.
"Can I see a train, Dad? Won't you stop working?
I'd like to see a little train.
You know I'd love to see a train."

Soon enough it'll be Christmas Eve, Santa Claus's visit and the fĂȘte of Saint Steve.
We've a tree to find and Pogues to sing, an excited daughter's joy for us to delight in.
Squeak doesn't know what's coming,  sure she's only three weeks. She'll enjoy it all the same and will love all the treats. She'll sure love all the lights, though, she'll really love all the lights.

And as I come into land, so nearly home, I know I'll be with all my girls soon. We'll have a great time soon.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Old bag

I don't remember if I actually heard this on the radio or whether it was on a sketch show. I like to think I imagined it and therefore came up with it myself but I can't claim that. Whatever the truth is, it didn't matter greatly and if I'm infringing someone's copyright then I whole heartedly apologise and will send you a banker's draft for 50% of all profits I make from this post.

Hello, Ireland

"Hi, how are ya?"

You'll soon learn to respond with a similar greeting but whatever you do don't answer the question; if you do, you'll quickly get used to the spot-the-tourist smirk and you'll never be able to quite escape the feeling that 10% has just been added to your bill or the suspicion that a carrier bag can't really cost 70 cents. But you can't question it and you were the one who answered the question that is never answered.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Baz Lurhmann's Sound Advice

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99
Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they've faded but trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don't worry about the future
Or know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts
Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours


Don't waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind
The race is long and in the end, it's only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't
Get plenty of calcium
Be kind to your knees
You'll miss them when they're gone
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't
Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't
Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the 'Funky Chicken'
On your 75th wedding anniversary
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
Read the directions even if you don't follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings, they're your best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young
Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard
Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft


Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you, too, will get old
And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don't expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out
Don't mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you're 40 it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it's worth

But trust me on the sunscreen

Saturday, 8 August 2015


Struck a chord today when I realised this is it. THIS is it.

I suppose it started yesterday with the office email, detailing my whereabouts for the immediate future. A series of acronyms to indicate that I think you should know, but I don't want you to have the impression that I'm going to spend a second longer than I have to by telling you. Silently everywhere, email settings apply the rule which deposits my missive into the recycle bin, unopened and forever ignored. There's probably an applicable acronym to explain what's just happened but you're not important enough to know it. Neither am I.

Struck another chord today when I realised this is it. THIS is it.

I suppose it continued starting yesterday when I started to clear my desk and drawers: a shatterproof ruler adhering to its name yet not its purpose; some important documents of little importance which are now awaiting shredding. Just in case. Not much else to show for five years of sitting at five or so desks in two or so offices.

Struck a chord. THIS is it.

Mum volunteering to look after littl'un, a two hour walk to give us time to pack but really to enjoy the little time they have left in the same country. The goodbye hug which leaves eyes red, the realisation that this time's forever will be just that. The planning two trips this side of Christmas. I love that.

Struck many chords today when I realised this is it. THIS is it.

The endless packing which doesn't touch the sides. The reliance on the "well we've paid for packing so we'll just take it over and chuck it then" phrase. Used over and over. The nightly deliveries because the oven is blocked by a clothes dryer and a rocking horse. And a tent.
The self-reassurance that wine is a mixture of grapes and water and definitely contributes to the eight glasses a day quota.

Struck a chord tomorrow when I realise this will be it. THIS is it.

Tomorrow's our goodbyes. Seven hours in the pub: two with family, five with added friends. An eclectic mix of people which will just work. Tomorrow will be fun and emotional and will pass too quickly. Tomorrow will be full of invitations and promises.

I realise this is it. THIS is it.

Couldn't have wished for anything more.

Monday, 8 June 2015


Intro music: something sort of cool but not really. You think you recognise it from somewhere, wrack your brain for not very long but long enough to annoy and then you realise it's from when you caught the beginning of the same program a week ago.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

18 months? Oofda.

So, Wonky, you're nearly 18 months old and the time is not only flying, it's jet propelled. These regular letters to you were going to be every three months or so. Ten months since the last one, you'll most likely be in school by the time I write the next. It's not for a lack of trying or laziness, it's just that life is so full-on now that you're in the world. Thanks, Elton.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Jumpers for goalposts

I awake with a certain amount of excitement this morning.

Not only because it's Saturday; we get one of them every seven days or so and the weekend dance is over twelve hours old. Not just because it's sunny; don't get me wrong I enjoy a bright, blue-skied 7am as much as anybody but it takes a very dark, overcast mizzly morning to dampen my demeanour. No, this morning I awake with the anticipation and excitement of a 1980s me: it's FA Cup Final Day!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Holding Page

Life's hectic. 
Some form of normal service may resume shortly.
While you are waiting, why not relive some of the good old days by reading some of the earlier gems? 
2012 was a year to remember. 
Why not have a peruse?

Thank you for your patience.