Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: working dad

Mad world

For someone who is quite happy on their own I really don’t do work trips very well. I very quickly end up melancholy and reflective, the downside of too much time to yourself to think? Travelling is always tiring which doesn’t help of course and I’m really not good at making polite conversation with people who I’m not really interested in. A life in sales definitely doesn’t await me.

This week I’m in Morocco for work, which while a very nice hotel (and most definitely not how the locals live) it’s not home. It’s not where my children are, it’s not where the lady of the manor is and unfortunately it’s also not the home of high speed broadband so no face time calls for me.

These trips remind me of the choice we as a family have made; I sell myself to capitalism and in return the lady of the manor can be at home with the children every day. Aside from winning the lottery so we can both be at home this is the perfect situation.

But sometimes being on this side of that deal doesn’t always feel so great. Sometimes the reality of that decision bites. Perhaps none more so than when visiting a country like this, the hour long transfer from the airport took us past run down buildings, people walking along busy roads and farmers herding hungry looking cows and sheep across fields. Whereas we drive into a nice resort hotel with pristine grass and as much food as you can eat. It’s here you realise the life choices you’ve made to get the lifestyle you want.

I feel very fortunate to have a job that allows us to live the way we do; sure we don’t have any real savings and the week before pay day can be tough but really we are ok. I also am proud of who I work for, while we may of course be about making profit we are also a very ethical company and one that does good things in the world with no profit motive like help educate teachers in the 3rd world.

So is this enough? Is it enough to offset the fact that capitalism has taken part of my soul? Right here and now it doesn’t feel like it. Getting home and seeing the smiling faces of my 2 monsters and giving the lady of the manor a hug it might feel a little better.

For now I will have to make do with a morning run along the beach. Perfect food for the soul.

Thanks for reading.

Moroccan beach


Exactly 3 years ago today we moved into our first home, this home, the Victorian terrace house that we had dreamed of during all those years as students in Bristol. We moved in and set to work renovating and restoring it back to its glory complete with tiled hallway, wooden floors and fireplaces. 5 plus years of imagining living in a house like this had resulted in a build up of ideas and an enthusiasm that when released was like a whirlwind. Every evening and weekend saw us sanding, painting, building and sometimes destroying. With no children or even a dog to worry about we loved every minute of it.

Now we are moving, our house sold in less than a week and we found somewhere to buy 2 weeks later. Way beyond our expectations in what supposedly is a stagnant market, I like to think that it reflects the love, care and attention we have given this place. But it’s still going to be strange to be moving and leaving our first home.

But we are also now incredibly excited, the new house is pretty damn perfect and perhaps more importantly will cut my commute from 60 minutes to 10 minutes. You may remember that I wrote this post for Britmums (which I just noticed was published exactly 1 year ago, very odd) where I talked about how hard I found it being a commuting dad to Matilda. Well a year later I’m a commuting dad to 2 but finally there is a change in sight, hopefully in 2 months time I will be so close to home that I can pop home for lunch.

I’m not sure I can get across how much this is going to change my life. I’ve been commuting for 8 years now, 8 years of at least 60 miles a day in commuting (80 miles for most of it). During that time I’ve driven, taken the train, driven some more, back to the train, then the bus and finally driving. If you assume I commuted for 45 weeks a year (taking into account holiday and business travel) then that’s over 110,000 miles of commuting. That’s a bloody lot isn’t it? Plus of course the time spent doing it, most likely 2 hours a day, it suddenly becomes a big deal to cut that to 20 minutes and 4 miles a day.

Writing that I had a big smile on my face, a big smile at the fact that I will soon be eating breakfast with my little family EVERY DAY, a big smile that I will get to put them to bed EVERY DAY, a big smile that I will get home 10 minutes after leaving work EVERY DAY, a big smile that I will no longer spend more money on commuting than buying food.

All there is to do now is fill out piles of paperwork and cross all my fingers and toes that the sale doesn’t fall through.