365 project

Day 069 – Some like it hot

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Day 69 – May 25th

Without a doubt, the hottest day of the year so far, and whilst summer may not technically start until the solstice in June, I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t have been calling it summer today!

Nice weather for riding a motorbike home from work, especially as I managed to leave a little earlier than normal, while it was still especially hot out. Its even nicer if you can keep that bike moving at speed, to keep cool, but as soon as you get stuck in traffic and slow down then you start to get a bit of a sweat on with all those biking leathers! I may have to pay a visit to the local bike shop and see what they recommend for the warmer weather!

I gave myself a few minutes to cool off once I was home before I walked round to the nursery to collect Olivia, and even though it was at the back of my mind, she’d already suggested the paddling pool before I had chance, and so we thought, “why not?!”. A good pair of cyclists lungs meant it was blown up in no time, and the girls were quickly in it. Just what kids want on a hot summers day to cool off.

Putting the girls to bed meant I still had to consider the cooling process, as the rooms are so warm, and so I was into the loft and bringing down the fans to keep the girls cool while they slept.

For me… a nice cold glass of cider that my sister had brought me for my birthday! Not a drink I have any other time of the year, except for on days like this! Perfect!

365 project

Day 068 – Everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go

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Day 68 – May 24th

What a day! I am hot and tired, my day at work was going fairly well right up until the end. Working in a special needs school can indeed be a very rewarding job, as many people inform me when I tell them what I do.

The job has many positive points and I enjoy what I do. I’ve been in the job a long time, and know that I can do it well.

As a teaching assistant the hours are good, the weekends are always a nice bonus, and the holidays are a definite perk (if you don’t mind being fleeced when booking flights or holidays!).

Then there are days like today, when pupils tempers flare and they lose it. Having my t-shirt ripped, my iPad smashed, and being physically assaulted in a number of ways, it takes all your patience and training to get through it whilst keeping calm and trying to avoid injury. It can be mentally draining and you head home feeling like a bit of a failure for not being able to prevent this pupils meltdown. When you work with pupils with special needs, especially autism, the day can always be unpredictable, and even when you try your hardest, there are times when you’re just not going to win.

Thankfully these kind of days are rare, and I always have my family to look forward to at the end of the day when I get home. There is nothing better than getting home and being greeted by two smiling faces that are thrilled to see daddy finally pull up on his motorbike and walk through the door. Some days Olivia likes to sit on the petrol tank of the bike, and hold the handlebars as I push the it up the drive and into the garage, and Chloe just gets so excited, and gives the best hugs too, you really feel like she’s missed you!

With the wife heading out after dinner to visit her mother in hospital again, its down to me to get the girls ready for bed, although with the weather being as warm and pleasant as it is, there’s still time for a little play in the garden first! As it approaches bedtime, it soon becomes obvious that Chloe is getting tired, the hugs are a bit more frequent, the dummy is in and her poor lamb is being dragged around behind her wherever she goes! This lamb is becoming more and more valuable as each day passes. We currently have no way of replacing it with an identical one as we didn’t buy it and have no idea where it was purchased from, it isn’t supposed to be put in a washing machine, although it definitely doesn’t quite smell as fresh as it used to, and we’re dreading the day that the realisation dawns on us that we can’t find it anywhere. Still, we must continue to guard it like its made of solid gold or something, for if this thing gets lost, then we will be having fireworks at home!

365 project

Day 067 – What makes a person want to hurt somebody?

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Day 67 – May 23rd

What is wrong with people?!? I was up late last night checking twitter and began to read reports on an “incident” in Manchester, reports of an explosion and bodies at the Manchester Arena, swiftly followed up by people declaring it to be a fake!

It wasn’t!

It was a concert, full of children and young people. Ariana Grande had given 20,000 people, including teenagers and children, the night of their life. Now 22 of them lay dead. They will never go home, be comforted by their parents, cuddle their toy bear. It is truly heartbreaking.

A suicide bomber, reported to have walked into the foyer and set himself off has been named, but I won’t even do him the service of having his name on here so it may be remembered. He is a nobody. A sick, dead nobody. He walked into the entrance of that arena, looked around at the children and young people everywhere and essentially shrugged his shoulders and thought “fuck ’em!”.

I am not going to start bringing religion into this, as much as I think religion is a bad idea. This pathetic excuse for a human being may have had a religion, but clearly mental issues caused this, not the writings of a scripture. Sure, ISIS may have claimed responsibility for this terror attack, but they could have claimed responsibility for a wet fart if they thought it would further their cause. Claiming responsibility is easy, even if it originally had nothing to do with you, and what is to stop them saying “yeah, sure… we’ll take that one!”? It doesn’t mean they did it!

Will we ever truly know why it was done? What was going through that selfish bombers mind? Truth be told, I’m just glad the scumbag was blown to bits rather than getting shot and living out the rest of his life with his feet up in a prison cell at our expense!

Manchester did themselves proud by pulling together and supporting each other, taxi drivers, hotels, even people sleeping rough on the street without a home got involved and did their bit. They showed us just how much humanity is left in the rest of us.

But it has still left us wondering, what kind of a world have we brought our daughters into??

365 project, Photography

Day 066 – I may let go of your hand, but never your heart

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Day 66 – May 22nd

They grow up so fast? Will she always be seen as the baby of the family? It seems like five minutes ago that we were putting her down for naps in her moses basket and all she did was drink milk all day. Now she walks, feeds herself, climbs the slide in the garden on her own, and has even started making sounds that sound like “Mah” and “Dah”. We’re not convinced the latter isn’t just coincidence, but we’d like to think she is close to calling us mommy and daddy. I can’t even think back and remember when Olivia actually started doing that, it feels like she’s always done it!

Olivia from age 1-3 was a fun and exciting time, as her personality developed and she learned to do so much. I just want to make sure we get just as excited when Chloe does it, just because she’s the second child, doesn’t mean its any less of an achievement!

365 project, Photography

Day 65 – Summer arrives and we find we’re allergic to it

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Day 65 – May 21st

Sunday really started to feel like summer was finally here, temperatures on the rise and the ground drying out from all the rain we’ve had. Likewise, the pollen count starts to rise and almost as if to punish us for enjoying the sunshine, it brings with it misery for hayfever sufferers like myself. Each year is different, and thankfully this year hasn’t been too bad so far, I am sure there is worse to come!

We’ve had a childrens party on the calendar for quite a while for today, from one well prepared parent at Olivia’s nursery. It seems that the popular choice for children around this age is to have it at a soft play centre of some description, and thankfully this one wasn’t far away from us. It was one we were unfamiliar with, and one we may well consider using again, as it was especially suitable for smaller kids. Half the problem with a lot of soft play centres is that they are geared up for older kids who are bigger and a bit sturdier, not only are some of the areas difficult for smaller kids to climb up, but the bigger kids tend to be much more reckless… and the parents rarely watch what they’re doing! The real bonus at todays party was that the entire place was hired out to just the one party, so it was closed off to the public. We still didn’t know a lot of the parents in there, but it was a little more reassuring that everyone was somehow connected and all the kids were a little safer. Soft play centres can be a little chaotic at the best of times, and you always have to watch your children like a hawk, being able to relax a little is a welcome relief.

Back at home the sun was out and it was time to get a little gardening done, pulling up a few weeds and tidying things up a little, with some help from Olivia. I happened to notice how the clematis that my sister had bought me for my birthday a couple of years ago had flowered again, and how pretty it looked. It was worthy of a photo for today. I’m still waiting for the rest of the flowers in the garden to blossom. Growing them from seed is a lovely way to do things, but they always seem to take a little longer.

365 project

Day 063 – Lets wait for the sun, it can’t rain forever

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Day 63 – May 19th

Ah yes, the sweet taste of the weekend. Friday means getting home nice and early, and it wasn’t long before the girls wanted to go out in the garden, no great surprise there, except for the fact that Chloe now seems to be as keen as Olivia. The lawn was still wet from a week of showers, so it was time for the girls to put more waterproof footwear on before we headed outside. Although we’d never actually got around to buying any boots for Chloe, thankfully Clare had kept Olivia’s old ones which now fitted Chloe. It was a bit of a battle keeping them on, she probably needs to grow into them a little bit more, but they did the trick and kept her feet dry.

We had a whole lot more rain to come that evening, including a hail shower, but we were safely indoors by that point. The home owner in me can’t help but think how good it will be for the lawn and the garden plants.

365 project, Photography

Day 061 – I’ve been here before

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Day 61 – May 17th

A day of hope and uncertainty. For me it’s birthday eve, time to open a few cards and presents with the wife and girls as I almost certainly won’t have time in the morning. I run a tight ship getting ready for work in the morning, and don’t have a lot of time for anything that can otherwise wait until later. Tomorrow I’ll have the family coming over straight after work, so I’ll be needing to entertain them when they arrive. 

The girls have got me a bottle of bourbon, although fairly certain they had some help in purchasing that! The wife had bought me a bottle of rather expensive aftershave I’d had my eye on for a while, but had never bought for myself because of its price. I remember mentioning this in passing while I was looking online, although not as any kind of hint, but it seems that the wife was actually listening!

The more significant part of the day was that the mother in law was going back into hospital for her second operation, and it was going to be a pretty big event. It had to be done, but it left us all literally feeling a bit useless all day as we waited for some news that they’d finally finished and that all had gone well.

Thankfully they finished on time, as planned, and everything had gone well. A massive relief!