Day 012 – We haven’t heard the last of this yet

Day 12 – Mar 29th

So Brexit is done. We’ve had the referendum, we had the discussions, debates, arguments, name calling and insults. There has been celebrations and sobbing, but now the infamous article 50 has been triggered we’ve essentially boarded a metaphorical train, we’re on a journey we can’t control, and all we can do is sit back and watch.

Much to some people’s frustration, the doomsday-like predictions of planes falling from the sky and dinosaurs coming back to life hasn’t actually happened yet. The economy hasn’t collapsed and people got up and went to work the next day, just like they always did. Generally, for most people life hasn’t been too heavily impacted by the whole Brexit thing. Of course, you must forget about the handful of racists who think this is all a green light to wind the clock back 50 years and believe we’ve closed the borders to the whole world in our quest to “take back Britain”… bless them, poor sad little individuals!

Hopefully now though, people will begin to accept that there isn’t much that can be done about this anymore for a while at least, so we may as well just stop all the name calling, quit judging each other, and just all start to get along. Hopefully the media can quickly find a new story to cling on to, and stop harping on about the same old thing. I do like to try and keep up with the news when I can, but

That’s about as political as you’re likely to see me get on this blog. If politics is your thing, you’re most definitely in the wrong place!

One thing I did do recently involving politics, was after a friend on Facebook made a post about badger culling and encouraged people to contact our local MP to call for a ban on the badger cull, something I believe is cruel and doesn’t work very well anyway. I was totally NOT expecting a response of any description, especially an email from his secretary a week later, followed a few days later by a letter in the post from the MP himself on House of Commons letter-headed paper! Strewth!

365 project, Photography

Day 011 – Success must never be measured by how much money you have

Day 11 – Mar 28th

Payday at last! Its a nice feeling when you know there’s a bit of money in the bank, even if the bills do all go out in a few days time! With two, yes two nights out this weekend, I can relax a bit and enjoy both of them. These days they are a bit more low key than they used to be, and the night not ending at 3am, involving numerous shots and a curry, the hole in your bank account the following morning doesn’t sting quite as much! Fridays drinks are celebrating one of the reasons our nights out are less frequent, and inevitably end earlier than they used to… wetting the baby’s head! A new addition to our group of friends calls for a few drinks to be raised, and with one of our friends having taken over a local pub, it seems the obvious place to head for, although its not beyond the realms of possibility that we may still end up drifting into the city, just less likely than it used to be two or three years ago! So what changed? Work? The fact that virtually all of us have children now? The fact that we’ve pretty much all turned 40? Or most likely a combination of all three?

Still, a good nights sleep has left me feeling fully recovered from the weekend germs and a trip to the gym should ensure another good nights sleep. Since putting this AutoSleep app on my phone, I am becoming a little too obsessed with my sleeping patterns, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Can’t be a bad thing, can it!? Sleep is important, I’ve just never given this much consideration to it before, but then I’ve never been quite this tired before. Especially when you’re woken up at 4am by a little voice coming from your bedroom door whispering the words “I need a wee!”. Its great that she’s getting up to use the toilet though, and we’ve now just got to make the move to getting rid of the pull-ups altogether. I think another week of dry nights and we’re going to just have to go for it! Parents we’ve spoke to say, “don’t wait, just do it!” and I think we might have to, we’ve waited long enough and keep getting put off by the odd accident here and there. Maybe the knowledge that she has no pull-up on will be enough to stop 90% of the accidents? Only one way to find out!

So, the gym trip felt good this evening, I need to make sure I get in again before the weekend. I’ve been struggling to get in more than once a week in the last month or so thanks to a variety of germs and other reasons. The time of day doesn’t help a great deal, its not ideal going in the evening, but its just not practical to do it in the morning, especially once the girls are up! I really do get a great nights sleep after I’ve been though, especially when its close to bedtime! Plus it takes away my snacking guilt, if only it too away my snacking urges too!

365 project

Day 010 – Some days you just don’t have the energy

Day 10 – Mar 27th

Todays photo kinda represents how I’ve felt all day. After feeling rough on Sunday, and then having a bad nights sleep, I am not feeling too healthy going into Monday morning, but battle on anyway and haul my ass into work. I don’t like calling in sick at the best of times, and if theres any chance I may start to feel better before lunch, I don’t want to sit around the house feeling guilty that I am not at work. Its not even something my mother taught me, when I was at school she was always telling me to stay at home if I didn’t feel well, but I went in anyway.

I find myself obsessing with my sleep a lot now as well, a friend of mine recommended the AutoSleep app for the iphone which uses the Apple Watch to monitor your sleep and report back in the morning on how restless you were, how much deep sleep you have had and overall how effective your nights sleep was. If nothing else it has made me take a serious look at what time I am actually taking myself to bed in the evening and how something simple like having a few drinks in the evening before bed can mean I don’t sleep so well during the night. This is often the first thing I check in the morning now, even ahead of any social media apps, and just knowing I have had a really good nights sleep can put me in a really positive “go get ’em” kinda mood! Alternatively, knowing I’ve had a bad nights sleep isn’t hugely inspiring, and by 9am I am already thinking to myself “Pfft! I am DONE with today!”.

I am loving the combination of apps that work with both my iPhone and my Apple Watch though, in particular the health and fitness ones, and I need to be taking advantage of those more than ever now. I know I am definitely heavier than I have been for a while, potentially heavier than I have ever been before, and I am actively avoiding the weighing scales to dodge having this confirmed! I just need to be germ free for a while to get back to the gym, I’ve hardly been in the last month, and its starting to make me feel a bit guilty! This isn’t helped much by the dad podge around my stomach that has started to appear now. I am well aware that if I want to turn this body into a temple then there is work to be done, and I have the technology and the apps to help me, providing I make sure I use them all the time!

Now where’s that gym bag?!


Day 009 – Men are what their mothers made them

Day 9 – Mar 26th

It is a celebration of mothers all over the world, of motherhood and all the wonderful things are mothers do for us. Mothers day in the UK fell on a beautiful sunny day this year, and we had planned to go out for a drive and some lunch with the girls, with Stratford being top of the likely list. That was until the germs kicked in, and the poor wife is too sick to go out.

We didn’t have a plan B, but obviously we weren’t going to be leaving the house on any road trips today. With the wife feeling rough, it seemed like the best thing to get the girls out of the house for a while, give her a bit of peace and quiet, and get a few bits for lunch at the same time as we were clearly going to be eating at home instead. The wife didn’t have much of an appetite, but I cooked a Sunday roast all the same, and was pleased to see her tucking into her food when I served it up. I took the girls out so they still got to see grandparents on both sides, and we could at least drop cards off so the day wasn’t a total loss, even if we didn’t get to enjoy a family day out in Stratford-Upon-Avon in the sunshine. Sometimes that’s how it goes though, the best laid plans of mice and men, and all that!

What did everyone else do for mothers day?

365 project

Day 008 – And then the house fell quiet again

Day 8 – Mar 25th

Saturday morning rolls around and its cake and coffee morning, the event set up by my wife to raise money for Target Ovarian Cancer. She has been busy inviting people, baking cakes and getting the house ready, as well as organising raffles and the like for during the day. Its 10:50am… the house is tidy, clean and ready to go… and quiet! We just keep our fingers crossed that someone turns up, and they do! By 11:30am the house is almost full, and in the lovely sunshine people are already wondering out into the garden. I am designated as the tea boy and left to make drinks for everyone, and the day goes in a flash. Suddenly its the afternoon, the house is empty and we’ve made a whole lot of money for charity, far more than we expected thanks to everyones generosity. To make things even better, we’d kept on top of tidying as we went along and there was almost nothing left to do at the end of it. The event simply couldn’t have gone any better, with the exception of a couple of people who couldn’t make it due to not being well.

It was fun, but exhausting, and so instead of cooking, we decided it was definitely an evening for a take away!

365 project, Photography

Day 007 – Anyone can make good things happen

Day 7 – Mar 24th

The working week is over, and my first week of 365 photos is complete, which is always a relief as its the early days that inevitably prove to be the toughest on a year long challenge like this. Its Friday night and time to put final preparations in place for our charity cake & coffee morning on Saturday. I say “our” cake & coffee morning, but this has been totally engineered and pushed forward by Clare, I’ve just been around to support her and help with some details, but can’t take any credit for it. The least I can do is make sure everything is where it needs to be and where she wants it. So once the girls are in bed on Friday night, its time to tidy and move things, and get the table set up and ready for all the sweet sugary goodness that is going to be on it in the morning. Its going to be lovely seeing our friends and family turn up to support us in raising money for charity, and the wife is putting all her effort into Target Ovarian Cancer to help raise awareness since the shock diagnosis of her mom before Christmas. Lets keep our fingers crossed for a good day.

365 project, Photography

Day 006 – Brighter days are coming

Day 6 – Mar 23rd

Here in the UK we are on the verge of spring arriving, and at the weekend the clocks go forward for British Summer Time, also known as Daylight Savings Time an idea thought up by a man called William Willet in 1907, it was finally passed by parliament in 1916. Pop trivia fact, William Willet is actually the great great grandfather of Coldplay’s Chris Martin!

So with spring almost here, and the days getting significantly longer, its really nice to start seeing some more sunlight at last in what has been a fairly wet, misty and windy end to the winter. The flower seeds I planted a number of weeks ago are all thriving and soon it will be warm enough to plant them out, much to the relief of the wife who is thoroughly sick of seeing them sat on the windowsill!

Todays photo was one I caught of my daughter as she sat near the wonderful light coming in from the front window. There is a real sweet spot near this window which has produced some fantastic light in the right conditions and made for some of my favourite photos!

365 project, Photography

Day 005 – After the darkness comes the light

Day 5 – Mar 22nd
In a dark day for the UK, terror has hit the streets of London. A lone lunatic caused death, injury and panic in the heart of the capital. The news channels have been analysing every single movement in painstaking detail. The attack was brutal, quick and ruthless, and in reality its just lucky that in the largest city in the UK on a busy afternoon there weren’t more deaths.

People did die though, including a police officer whose only crime was turning up for work to protect people. These people never went home to their families that night, their light extinguished like a candle. It made me even more grateful to walk through the door and pick up my two girls. There is never any logic to attacks like these, we will never be able to understand what goes through the mind of someone who wants to hurt and kill people, and then loosely blames it on religion. I know this is oversimplifying it, but the bottom line is that someone wanting to maim and kill can’t be right in the head!

Its impossible to stick your head in the sand and pretend that this isn’t happening, I feel nothing but sadness for the poor families who are suffering as a result.

Yet life goes on.

When I am home with my girls, that is my focus. Today I came home to another Amazon delivery, hardly a surprise as they seem to arrive most days, only this time it is an early mothers day for the wife, and is promptly delivered to her by Olivia (who then dismisses it and goes back to watching Paw Patrol!). I took a gamble on some perfume, which I was fairly confident with and thankfully paid off, but was especially impressed by, not only by the smell, but also by the design and colours. A little something, bright and pleasant, to take our mind off the crazy world outside.

365 project

Day 004 – Its not always black and white

Day 4 – Mar 21st

Day 4, and a day like many other, except for now with the added pressure of finding a daily photo again.

It is lovely that even though the weather is still a bit unsettled, that it is obvious spring is on the way. We are starting to see a few more sunny days, and it is so nice riding home in the daylight. Being on two wheels you always feel a little more vulnerable, and knowing that daylight gives drivers the best chance of seeing you adds a little reassurance to my journey.

Some people see two wheels as a menace, and some drivers show an unhealthy level of arrogance about who should or shouldn’t be using the road, to the point that you just cannot reason with them, as logic seems to have gone completely out of the window. They seem to forget that the person sitting on those two wheels is actually a human being, just like them, who is going to or from a place of work, just like them, and just wants to get home to see their family at the end of the day, just like them. As much as I love being on two wheels, I am very mindful of the fact that my primary goal is getting home alive to see my girls.

So when I walk in through the door, my first thought is always of seeing my two daughters, and nothing makes me happier than cuddles from both of them. I can’t neglect my wonderful wife of course, but she knows the girls come first, as they do for her ahead of me, obviously.

But, as the wife said to me when I started this project, try not to make the 365 project just about photos of the girls, try and get something different. So here is a lovely mugshot of me… black and white to make it arty!

365 project

Day 003 – No Mom, I can do it myself

Day 3 – Mar 20th

Monday, the black sheep of the working week. It does itself no favours by always ruining a good weekend! This particular Monday saw the two people I work alongside not being in, leaving me to muddle my way through things for a few days. Things should be better by the end of the week, and by then the weekend will be knocking on the door again! This coming weekend is a also a special one for several reasons, especially mothers everywhere… well in the UK at least, American moms, you ladies have to wait, but over this side of the pond it is Mothers Day on Sunday. A chance to recognise the hard work and effort that moms put in every day, often they’d believe unnoticed, although we always notice, we perhaps just don’t acknowledge it enough.

Todays photo is one little lady who does appreciate it though, and she loves when mommy lets her feed herself… even if it is tomato pasta. So what if the sauce goes everywhere, thats what the washing machine is for, right?! Her smile says it all, and she smiles and laughs so much now, very much the opposite of the grumpy baby who used to cry and whinge all the time! She has come a long way in the last couple of months, the teething seems to have subsided, she’s eating well and handling her food with none of the trapped wind issues she was previously being woken up in the middle of the night with. She doesn’t wake up crying any more, and really loves her cuddles… and the best bit, she sleeps through the night pretty much every night, the parents dream!