Bellerophon symbol, variation 7
Friday 2nd December 2011

Is it just me, or are pensions like really weird? I've always thought that, or at least as long as I've been 'contributing' to some kind of pension scheme. So, at some point I'm gonna be too old or infirm or mad or whatever to be able to do any meaningful work. At that point, I expect the money I've put aside over the years to be used to fund the lifestyle to which I've been accustomed to. Perhaps the tax-payer might care to contribute some money towards my retirement years. That okay? But here's the thing - how much money have I put aside and will it be enough? What if it's not enough to cover my 'retirement years'? How many years are we talking about? Can the tax-payer just, you know, foot the difference? Perhaps if the tax-payer is willing to contribute to my living expenses whilst retired, would said tax-payer still be willing if your entire economy was kinda like screwed? Discuss.

Saturday 3rd December 2011

'Ice' skating at Sizeeeerrrgggghh
PC032374.JPGPC032378.JPGPC032379.JPG Well, I call it 'ice' and that's how it was advertised but ice it was not. More like . . . erm, plastic, I guess. But it was great, nonetheless. A****** and R****** loved it. When we first arrived, there were just two people 'ice'-skating, A 'couple', I guess. Me and M****** were like, "What on earth? Is this it?" But we got our skates, paid our money and erm . . . got skating. My experience on ice made me realise that this (skating on plastic) was a hell of a lot easier than ice, so therefore probably best for the children. They loved it.
In the evening, as part of an early birthday present for M******, I took M****** to The Platform in Morecambe to see Chris Packham give a talk about . . . various stuff. It was surprisingly interesting, come to think of it. Here's a link to his web-site. Mainly, he was talking about the how, where and why surrounding the photographs he had taken and the near obsessive lengths he had gone to to capture a particular animal in a particular setting.

Sunday 4th December 2011

PC042385.JPG Today A****** and M****** went to A******'s cousin Tom's birthday party at MegaZone (I believe). Me and R****** stayed at home. Whilst I planed a little bit of wood of the bottom of the kitchen door (which was necessary on account of the new carpet), R****** played on his bicycle or car (moving to the car when he decided it was too cold to cycle). I also got A******'s bed fixed, as he had managed to crack one of the wooden slats (the ones that support the mattress). That meant fun times with the table saw, ear protectors, goggles, wood and loads of freakin' saw dust. Grrrrr. Just as I was screwing in the newly prepared piece of wood, M****** and A****** got back . . . and then did we go for a walk? That might explain this video

Tuesday 6th December 2011

. . . bit of background here, although one of my recurring themes is 'where do I begin?' We have to draw the line somewhere. So . . . my starting point is A******, when he attended nursery. During the days when A****** attended nursery, I took him there, dropped him off, picked him up for lunch, dropped him off again, picked him up later. Blah, blah, blah. You get the idea. I would drop him off, we would say our goodbyes, and that was that until the end of the day. Now fast forward to A****** starting at school. Similar thing: I drop A****** off at school, say goodbye and then M****** picks him up at the end of the day. After dropping A****** off at school, I then drop off R****** at nursery. We fast forward to the present day. Little ritual R****** and I have developed (only recently) - I will wave goodbye to R****** once outside of nursery, heading back to work. R****** also attaches great importance to saying goodbye to A******, giving him a kiss and cuddle on those school days when R****** stays at home with M******. You get the idea. However, today something went wrong. After lunch, I dropped R****** off at nursery, said goodbye, gave him a kiss, gave him a cuddle and then left. Of course, usually, I would then wave goodbye once out of nursery. However today, perhaps on account of the weather (wet), the nursery windows were all full of condensation, so I couldn't even see R******. He probably couldn't see me. So I didn't wave. I didn't even know he was there waving. Was he? So yeah . . . that was my first mistake. Emma (one of the nursery staff) told M****** that R****** had been most upset this afternoon, on account of naughty daddy not waving to R******. So anyway . . . M****** recounted this story during dinner time, perhaps not the whole story but just the bit about me not waving to R******. And then A****** was like, "That makes me really sad," and he looked really upset and M****** was like, "Arrr, come here." And, yes, it kinda hit me - empathy is not something easily learnt and/or understood, but, clearly, A****** seems to be getting his head around the concept. My worry (expectation?!) is that he has far more empathy then, erm, one of his parents could ever have.

Tuesday 13th December 2011

A******'s Nativity
Yeah, well, you know how it is - I could have got some better pictures had I stood closer to the stage and I could have got perhaps better pictures using the Tamron 200mm lens. Trouble is, in both cases, I would have looked like a bit of a, erm . . . numpty, to put it mildly. Anyway, you can make out A****** anyway, somewhere in the distance. For those wondering, A****** was one of the narrators, delivering his lines perfectly.

Thursday 15th December 2011


Friday 16th December 2011

R******'s Nativity

Saturday 17th December 2011

PC172460.JPGPC172457.JPGPC172455.JPGPC172453.JPGPC172452.JPG Where are we? Somewhere in the Lake District, I'm guessing. Grasmere?

Sunday 18th December 2011

Trains, cars, swings, lakes, etc.

Tuesday 20th December 2011

The Z and W bosons are much heavier than protons or neutrons
This is the distribution of the Secret Santa gifts at Jo and H's house. As I am supposedly the sole owner of a Father Christmas type outfit in the family, it falls to me to distribute the gifts. Ah well.

Nose, meet door frame
So, I just came out of the pantry (which is basically a kind of under-stair storage area) with a bottle of rum, got out of the pantry, turning my head to the left and - WHACK! - nose hits door frame. That hurt. I didn't really think much of it, once the pain had subsided, but then after a minute or two (if that), through my left eye, I could just make out a strange darkness on my nose. Blood. And it just kept bleeding. I think it was because that door frame had somehow lifted up a flap of skin and it couldn't quite coagulate or something. The following day (yeah, okay, I'm writing this retrospectively) I was kind of wondering if anyone would say to me, "Say, erm, what happened to your nose? You get into a fight or sumthin'?" but no such luck.

Wednesday 21st December 2011

Erm . . .

Thursday 22nd December 2011

Geoff, I got some neutrons here, you're okay . . . you're okay.
PC222587.JPG Baffled by this one. Obviously either A****** took the picture (hey! Or R******?! Or a vistor?!) or else we're on some kind of 10 second delay thing. I think the former. But I really don't remember. Didn't Rachel, Danny and their three children come round this evening? Wasn't Rachel playing around with your camera and took a few picture? Hmmmmm. Maybe.

Sunday 25th December 2011

The Christmas Day Play
I got the resolution a bit wrong here . . . I seem to be in high definition mode, which was a bit overkill and also resulted in massive files. Anyway . . . there's this and this, A****** and R******'s take on the traditional story of the three little piggies.

Hurray! It's Jesus's's's Birthday!
Oh, that's a bit confusing. I made this entry not realising I had already done that, with the entry containing links to the videos. Ah well. Not to worry. These all are the pictures from today anyway. Yes, some of them are blurry, some could probably do with deleting. I don't really have the time or inclination.

Monday 26th December 2011

Boxing Day

Wednesday 28th December 2011

Somewhere in Ambleside?
PC282656.JPGPC282657.JPG I think today (or was it the day before?) we popped over to Ambleside for the day. This was for a kind of *****-family get-together. I only seem to have these two pictures, though.

Thursday 29th December 2011

Arnside Knott
PC292670.JPGPC292662.JPG Anyone know what on earth the 'knott' refers to? Anyone care? I thought it had something to do with a tree, or the roots of a tree, they being all knotted up or something. I tried to Google the answer but didn't get very far. Anyway, it was bitterly cold today and when we got to the top of the 'knott', the wind really got yeah, as it was all exposed. A dry stone wall and a cute little den provided some welcome shelter.

Saturday 31st December 2011

New Year's Eve
PC312673.JPG This is the only picture I have from tonight. Maybe there were more once, but they were probably all blurry and showed the subjects in bad light. I like this picture as everything looks fairly calm and sedate and there's no evidence of mess or craziness. As A****** put it the following day, "Mum, if me and R****** had left the lounge like that, we would be in so much trouble."