Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Category: Life (page 3 of 12)

Happy blog birthday to meeeeeeeee

Yes that’s right my lovely readers today is the 3rd birthday for this little old blog. 3 whole years of my rambles, rants and of course mutterings. Publishing that first post was a big deal for me, I’ve never been a writer and haven’t sat down to write anything since probably my English GCSE. Now I find myself thinking ‘I’m going to blog that’, posts starting off as a bunch of ideas whirring around my head and then slowly coming together to form something coherent.

I started off like many parent bloggers wanting to capture my children growing up, to have something to look back on and remember the good times and bad. Which I definitely do now, especially to compare how Henry’s development is similar or not to Matilda’s when memories blurred by a lack of sleep can’t be trusted.

But when looking back it’s also clear that what I write about and how I write has evolved. It’s inevitable that you write about what is important in your life at that time, when I started I was about to become a dad for the first time so I wrote a lot about what that was like and how it felt. When Henry came along I did less of that as the ‘firsts’ become fewer and less surprising the second time around. But with 2 the relationship between them and the challenge having 2 brings become much more important to you as a parent.

Now with 2 toddlers it’s more about doing things rather than simply coping with being a parent. We’ve never been ones to shy away from getting out and having adventures with them and I hope I’ve managed to capture that in my writing. Certainly that is something I want to spend more time writing about in the future.

I’ve also really enjoyed trying out new things on here with different styles of post, short ones with just a sentence or 2, posts with a poem or song, longer ones that tell a story or even simply a few words and a photo. I’ve even published my first fiction which is fascinating new challenge and I hope to share the next instalment with you soon. Plus of course expanding to be a 2 blog blogger with all my running related posts now published on Lycra and Lunchboxes. Running is a huge passion of mine and it felt like the right time to give those posts a place of their own.

Most of all though I love being a blogger for the community, the support from fellow parents when you are struggling or hit a low point and then celebrating with you when you have a new baby or pass a big milestone. I’ve made some great friends through being a blogger who turn out to be just as great in person. We met David when in Scotland last month and having chatted via our blogs and on Twitter over the past few years it felt like we were old friends. Some people may not get this element of being a blogger but once you experience the community you can’t help but be converted.

So I leave you with a thank you; thank you for reading my mutterings, thank you for all your comments and thank you for giving a guy the opportunity to write and welcoming me into your world.

The Fool


Walking in Scotland

Man teething is the new man flu

Ever one to be a trend setter I’d like to declare man teething as the new man flu. Last week one of my wisdom teeth has been on the move and it has been hurting like hell. There are 2 reasons for this; firstly being very wise my wisdom teeth are clearly bigger than average so hurt more when coming through and secondly as a big tough man I have big tough gums which are hard to break through.

All this combined has seen me moaning a teeny tiny bit, making sure to mention at least once an hour that my mouth is indeed still hurting. Meal times are of course a prime opportunity to push my case even further by declining hard food ‘because my tooth still aches’.

With all this threatening to ruin my holiday I had a brainwave, the advantage of having 2 small children is we of course travel everywhere with a small chemists worth of drugs and teething remedies. Having seen first hand what has helped Henry in the last few months I reached straight for the Ambesol. A dab of it on my finger and then a quick rub of the offending gum was all was needed.

It was like I had been touched by angels.

Amazing powerful pain relieving angels.

Now I know exactly why Henry loves that stuff so much, honestly you should give it a go. It’s like when you get injected by the dentist before having a tooth out, except no needles and you don’t start dribbling down your chin an hour later.

You do have to put up with some funny looks though as you take a small bottle from your pocket, and start rubbing your gum with the contents. A top tip would be to avoid doing it in the gents toilet unless you want to have a conversation with a friendly policeman.

So there you have it, you heard it here first, if you’re suffering from man toothache you should reach for the Ambesol. Cures toothache and saves holidays.

P.S. Just to be clear this isn’t a sponsored post, although if they want to send me a few bottles of the magic liquid I wouldn’t say no.

Story of mum – the dad edition

You may remember from my post about Britmum’s live that one of the few sessions I truly enjoyed was that run by Pippa from Story of Mum. I had the pleasure of chatting with her over a beer in the evening about the Story of Mum exhibition and quite honestly I loved it. I loved the idea of mum’s doing something together to remind the world that they’re not just mum’s, they are a whole bunch of other things too and shouldn’t be defined by that one word.

Now you may wonder what the hell this has got to do with a dad who writes a blog? Well this awesome exhibition is on it’s holiday’s at the moment and is visiting a different blog each day. That blogger then gets the chance to add something to the exhibition. Which is where I come in with a world exclusive. Yes, that’s right for the first time a dad is hosting this exhibition. Yours truly and I definitely don’t feel under any pressure to get this right, no sireee!

First the curate bit

Here I’m required to share something from the exhibition galleries, there are many photos, videos and poems written by mum’s in the exhibition but one really grabbed my attention. This beautiful video by Betty B describes so well the emotional rollercoaster I’ve seen the lady of the manor experience in her time as a mum. But I like how through all the challenges Betty sounds so excited and passionate about being a mum. Yes she is many other things as well but she’s proud of being a mum and all that comes with it.

Do take time to watch this video and also have a look at the many other wonderful entries into the exhibition that you can find on the Story of Mum website.

Now the create bit

So now the tough bit, my entry into the exhibition, I feel very honoured to be the first dad hosting this so I hope my entry can live up to the challenge. I did think about getting a photo of the lady of the manor in here with her ‘I’m a mum and…’ entry, but actually I’d like to share the below prose with you which captures how this dad see’s mums and one mum in particular who amazes me every day.

Mum.  Mother. Mummy.

Many names but the same meaning, a loss of identify, of personality.

But deep down it’s still there, a glimmer every so often of a life that seems so long ago.

The tidal wave of parenthood takes over, washes you out, strips you down.

But you don’t panic, you stay calm, fight the urge to scream. Mostly.

One day you decide enough, you take control, you restore the balance.

The same person, but different, that smile returns. A glint in your eye.

A reminder of where it began. This adventure we embarked on together.

My best friend, cake baker extraordinaire, owner of the best smile in the west, red wine lover, Peanut M&M addict.

Oh and greatest mum in the world. 

story of mum exhibition

Dear Lady of the manor….happy anniversay

Dear Lady of the manor,

Anniversary cardsWho would have thought when we had that first snog (and yes it was a snog, we were teenagers) 14 years ago that we’d be here celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary.

What is even more amazing is when we house (and dog) sat for friends of your parents in 2001 and spent hours talking about how we’d like a house in the country like that with dogs and children we never knew we’d end up living 1/2 a mile up the road! Yet here we are with our close to perfect house in the country, 2 gorgeous little children and a crazy springer spaniel.

Not only that we are, for now at least, realising our dream for you to be a stay at home mum. We’ve been through a lot to get here, but we’ve worked hard and more importantly worked as a team. Matilda and Henry have definitely tested that team work at times but whenever we’re apart it’s absolutely clear that we have achieved what we have because of each other.

It’s easy to forget the ‘us’ in this relationship now we have 2 little people to think about, but the spark is always there, it never goes out. Your kisses can still send tingles down my spine, a waft of Clinque Happy gets my heart beating faster and a flash of your smile with a glint in your takes me right back to the day we met.

I love that day by day we are creating our own stories and history, I can’t imagine doing it with anyone else.

Happy anniversary my beautiful girl.


The Fool

tipping 114

This isn’t how it’s supposed to be

I don’t want to be angry.

I don’t want to resent spending time with you, I shouldn’t feel like playing with you is wasted time, that there is something better to do.

But it’s hard, full days at work then often meetings in the evening. Trying to provide for my family so they don’t have to worry about food on the table. Making sure I ‘grow’ and ‘work on my development areas’ so that at the next appraisal I get a pay rise, any pay rise.

Fitting in the ‘me time’ when only the birds are awake, dragging myself out of bed to get my much needed fix of running. But even this time isn’t sacred, a downward spiral of who can get up the earliest where soon I might as well not go to bed.

I shouldn’t get annoyed at you for this but I do just like when you grab my leg and start whining to be picked up when I’m trying to write a blog. I shouldn’t, but I do and I hate myself for it.

One cheeky smile or seeing you ride around the house on your trucker and the guilt hits me. This shouldn’t be about me.

But sometimes it feels like it needs to be.

I don’t want to be angry.

A window into my mind

Music does funny thing to humans doesn’t it? It has such control of our minds whether we say we like music or not. The playing of the opening 5 seconds of a song can immediately transport you back to another time and place. You can smell the place, you can feel the emotions you experienced at the time and you can describe it in intricate detail.

The power of one single song to instantly change your mood for better or worse. We all have them, songs that we listen to when we want to relax or when we want motivation for running. Songs that we listen to when we want to remember or when we want to forget. Songs that remind us of someone and songs that make us cry.

When I listen to Elton John – Tiny Dancer a little montage plays in my head like in a film of my gap year in Vancouver. Of all the places we went, the people we met and the things we did. I can remember sitting around a fire on the beach on my last day sharing one last beer with friends. I see the face of the lady of the manor as she arrives at the airport having not seen her for 4 months. I see the road trips in a clapped out Volkswagen Jetta and doing Chinese fire drills at traffic lights. I see the magical Christmas day at Whistler where it was just me and the lady of the manor in the cheapest hotel in town.

The whole of Urban Hymns by The Verve takes me back to being a teenager, the long summer holiday after finishing GCSE’s when I couldn’t get enough of new music and bought 2 CD’s a week on payday. Paul Weller – Moon on your pyjamas instantly transports me back to snogging the lady of the manor in my bedroom as a little 17 year old, a teenage romance that we could never imagine would bring us here.

Croyde bay

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to heaven means Croyde bay and surfing to me, the first place I heard it as we travelled down in a mates VW Campervan. 4 guys in the van and I think we all had a bit of a moment as conversation stopped and we just listened.  Body rockers – I like the way you move reminds me of my older brother who was bloody obsessed with it for a while.

The list goes on and of course keeps getting bigger with each day that passes, alas you can’t choose which songs are picked so there is always a risk that One Direction feature in there.

A fascinating characteristic of the human mind and I hope I never lose that window into my memories.

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