Where you are: Life

03 July 2011

Purely Scottish

National identity has been a subject of some debate in our house over the years. When I say in my house I mean in my head mainly, sometimes spilling into the wider world.

As an island we are very confused. Are we British? The Northern Irish never will be, as Great Britain doesn't include them - the United Kingdom's full title is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So British doesn't mean UK. Are we United Kingdomers? Who knows?

Continue reading "Purely Scottish" »

06 June 2011

Another life sentence...

Just a couple of weeks ago it was MOTS' turn, today it's mine. Today marks the point in time when half my life has been spent with MOTS. Only half my life ago she was just plain old young Deb.

She'd get less for murder... but then wouldn't have her two boys!

20 May 2011

A life sentence

Today marks the day for MOTS that we have been together for half of her life. I would never have known that fateful night in the Hotspur that we would have two boys at this stage in life. A lucky walk to Marlborough Crescent bus station is to be thanked for the boys very existence, even if the bus station has long gone.

10 April 2011

Happy birthdays, Granny & Grandpa

A bit late, quite a bit late in Grandpa's case, but as it's on a date of their choice.....

Happy 60ths!

Enjoy your meal, hope there's no too much soot on it!

13 January 2011

So >>THAT<< is how Houdini did it!

So how did Houdini do it then?

#1 found out this afternoon.

Always slip out un-noticed via the back door when the audience's attention is diverted!

Continue reading "So >>THAT<< is how Houdini did it!" »

28 December 2010


My inspiration has gone.

I set the blog up, after some prodding by Richard (thanks, bud), with inspiration from one person. The writing was often aimed at generating a wry smile from him, and still bringing in other friends and family into this remote place we call a family home. Some posts have lead to other off-line activities or creations, such as the Chris Bonnington climb-a-thon when #1 started climbing stairs leading to a quick artistic rendition in Photoshop. That I'll miss. That, along with many, many other aspects of my father-in-law. MOTS' dad, the boys' Granda. Snoopy.

Trouble just won't be the same without you.

12 July 2010

Time to time to change!

A few more changes are afoot at home, but little time to make or reflect on them. All too cryptic just now, but all will be revealed as time goes on.

Photos - haven't been updated in ages. I'll get on with these when I can.

Development - wee fella is coming along great, again few updates of late.

Health - first clue here in the new tagline.

Hmm, busy, very very busy.

10 July 2010

Driving licence comes of age

My driving licence has come of age. It's 21 years old this weekend! There's something else significant about the day I passed my driving test, a date for which I receive constant reminders whenever I get behind the wheel, but I just can't think what it is.

Maybe it's because exactly 10 years (almost to the minute too) after getting my freedom, I lost it again. Yes, this weekend marked 11 years of MOTS and I enduring tortuous togetherness in matrimonial hell. No wonder it's a damp and miserable weekend.

BTW, our favourite local restaurant is back on form, the food was excellent last night. Fantastic sunset as we walked along the prom, the most amazingly bright rainbow (with a slightly duller pal right to its left), and best of all one very tired 15 week old thanks to him keeping the babysitter up all night (did nothing but smile at her, apparently - what a boy!)

24 June 2010

Home Improvements

A nice family moment to share from last night. We're making some changes at for the benefit of the boys, which they are getting involved with. While the little one fell asleep in his chair and was not taken with the changes going on the big one got stuck right in.

Continue reading "Home Improvements" »

27 April 2010

Election turn-off

Only enter here for a political rant. A floating voter who is totally disengaged vents his spleen here, and suggests that one of the party leaders needs serious physcological help.

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22 April 2010

No sign of the family wagon yet

There's no sign of the family wagon yet. Sunderland's finest are working flat out and still the orders come in thick and fast. I have an indirect route in to the shop floor, just hope he's going to look after Squishy when it gets built.

It's still going to be a royal pain seeing it on the back of a wagon not 100 yards from our house en-route to the dealer, followed by a 2 hour train journey and a 2 hour drive home on collection day. Still, that's 2 hours of relaxation in first class with tea, biscuits and an iPod. And a further two hours of playing with the audio system to get the aforementioned iPod working. Whoooaaaaaaa, what's that car doing on the wrong side of the road??????

According to the countdown timer it's just under 94,000 minutes until collection, assuming the estimated date is met.

05 March 2010

Security issue at home

Due to a security issue at home I have had to change all the passwords for external access. That includes:

  • The cameras
  • The two online photo albums

I'm not even going to try and remember who has access to them, so if you come a cropper logging in just email me for the new details.

17 February 2010

The family wagon rolls into town (not yet...)

Finally, after months of trying not to make any rash decisions like we usually do with buying cars, we have our new family wagon on order. Delivery is a few weeks away yet, and while I wait for a confirmed date I'm thinking about the other unconfirmed date that is also looming. I just hope the first delivery is as smooth as the second delivery should be.

Anyway, more details to follow when our new Sunderland built truck actually exists in a form more substantial than the few pieces of paper in which it currently does.

01 January 2010

Happy Twenty Ten!

Twenty Ten!
Word for word from 2 years ago: Yes, scheduled post again, I won't be awake at midnight...

We can't believe we've just had our FOURTH Christmas with the wee fella, And it'll be the last with just the three of us, we see out 2009 as "parents of one" (I may refer back to previous ramblings of compartmentalisations by Mr Berkmann) and look forward to switching compartments to "parents of two" in a little over 2 months time.

Happy New Year for Twenty Ten!

30 August 2009

Come fly with me. No, with me. NO, with ME.

I promised that our next flight would be with BMI Baby after their flight crew waved at the little guy from the cockpit (promise made in this post). But, alas, it won't happen. We have booked flights to go and see the Leathams so we're handing the cash over to Stelios' orange squad instead.

Not flying BMI Baby. Boooo........

Seeing the Leathams. Yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaa.................

Leaving the house at 4am for the flight. Great idea. We've got a few weeks to get used to the idea. And make sure every alarm in the house is set to go off.

13 February 2009

Throw me an Olive Branch

MOTS and I have been trying to meet up for lunch once a week for some time, so ensure tow things happen - firstly that we get away from our desks at least once a week, and secondly to snatch a bit of us time for ourselves.

We don't always make it, but when we do the various conversations tend to end up with one inevitable question.

Continue reading "Throw me an Olive Branch" »

25 December 2008

Merry third Christmas

It's our third family Christmas! So we should be old hat at this by now, right?


It hasn't been a disaster on the Eastender's Queen Vic scale, but a mini-disaster nonetheless.

Continue reading "Merry third Christmas" »

16 October 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Is it Christmas already??

Oh, no, my mistake! On Monday of this week (13th October) The Dome on George Street in Edinburgh had its first batch of Christmas decorations up. And by Wednesday all the outside pillars were wrapped. So is it really too early? Well, a couple of years ago they had them up over the last weekend in September! Still, BBC Newsround viewers think it's too early - and they are the kids!

Give it a couple of months and I'll think about revisiting the topic.

03 October 2008

Supermarket Sweep

"Next time you're at the checkout and you hear the beep - think of the fun you could be having on Supermarket Sweep!"

There's no apology here to Dale Winton (or ITV) for the blatant theft of the tagline from the cheesy daytime TV show, because let's face it - when was the last time you bought a giant inflatable banana?

Just how many taglines can I squeeze into this post?

Continue reading "Supermarket Sweep" »

23 August 2008

What a Day to loss.....

Sorry, I mean data loss. So there's another high profile news item about data loss. We've had Nationwide losing a laptop containing details of their mortagees, child benefit claimants data going missing, and now details of convicted crimnials have gone over the wall.

All I can say is, finally - one we're not worried about!

14 July 2008

Baby's first...Christening

It had to happen, I don't recall having discussed religion before but here we have it. It had to happen some time, the boy has been to a Christening. In a church, no less.

Continue reading "Baby's first...Christening" »

16 June 2008

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Over 20 years since I was last in Blackpool, I'd tried to get MOTS and the boy to go last year but didn't manage it with other things on around the time of the illuminations. We're just back from a couple of days there, after finding a cracking hotel.

Continue reading "Oh I do like to be beside the seaside" »

31 May 2008

The family is extending!

Our family is in the process of becoming larger! I'm so chuffed!

Continue reading "The family is extending!" »

29 March 2008

T5: Return of the flights

As the chaos at Heathrow hits day 3 this morning, I can say I was one of those caught up in it all yesterday on the way home. The longest I'd been away from my boy since he arrived, and I was desperate to get home. So how did T5 and BA do?

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07 September 2007

Holestone Moor Barns

We had our first family holiday at Holestone Moor Barns, with the Bowes family kindly coming along to help keep us on the straight and narrow.

So where did we go, and how was it? Was it suitable for us? With two young children in tow? And one of those just on his feet?

Continue reading "Holestone Moor Barns" »

Baby's first...Holiday

The first family holiday has been booked for quite a while, and we'd invited the Bowes along for good measure, sanity, and a sneak peek into the life and times of a two-and-a-half year old. So what did we get up to, and more importantly did the little 'un enjoy it?

First holiday, first night away from home, first steps just before going, first time leaving the house without enough food packed to see us through 'til we get home. Surely it was a disaster?

Continue reading "Baby's first...Holiday" »

Time off work? Let me get back for a break, please.

It's been a funny old couple of weeks, what with being off work but actually going back for a rest. There's been lots going on, and no doubt I'll lose plenty along the way, but here we go anyway. First up, the unique horror that was the first birthday party.

Continue reading "Time off work? Let me get back for a break, please." »

10 February 2007

** PLUG ** Race for Life sponsorship

An unashamed plug, nothing to do with the normal topics of the blog, but dear to the family nonetheless.

MOTS is doing the Race for Life this year, so has set up online sponsorship. Not bad considering she wasn't going to get sponsorship at all, but I persuaded her as every little helps. Please excuse the use of a corporate tagline of one of the main event sponsors.

To help MOTS raise money for Cancer Reaserch UK, please donate here.

09 October 2006

Christmas is coming

So the inevitable is happening, Christmas is coming around (AGAIN). And here's what I think to it all - FOR CHRIST'S SAKE GET IT OVER WITH.

As the years go by I get more and more of a Humbug, and with good reason. Christmas is sod all to do with the religious festival of the birth of Christ but a huge and extending period of time when it's OK to pay through the nose for everything "because it's Christmas".

Continue reading "Christmas is coming" »

04 September 2006

Virgin Timewarp

I said in a previous post somewhere along the lines I would explain the Virgin Timewarp. First off I'll state that Virgin Trains are under pressure to deliver x million passenger miles for travel to its customers each year with the minimum of funding from HM Government and do a brilliant job with it. And now I can remove my tongue from my cheek I can get on with the puzzle that is known as "The Virgin Timewarp".

Continue reading "Virgin Timewarp" »

03 September 2006

Rant: Ingnorance, pure ignorance

We've had our first shopping trip out today with Junior, and it's amazing to see from the other side how ignorant some people really are.

I've always considered myself to at least try and be considerate towards others, and feel bad when I've made a bit of a faux par. But some others just seem to relish in their own indulgent egotistical sense of self importance.

Continue reading "Rant: Ingnorance, pure ignorance" »

10 August 2006

New HCC record!

Orange Wednesdays? Pah, we have Hormonal Wednesdays now. Last night saw a new HCC record of 4 (four) in one night!

So what brought on the tears? A mixture of dead animals and birth - talk about opposite ends of the spectrum of life!

Continue reading "New HCC record!" »

24 July 2006

Is it just me or is everything...


The Encyclopedia of Modern Life, by Steve Lowe & Alan McArthur, bought by Richard for my birthday earlier this year.

I would argue against the title straight away on the following grounds. Now I am travelling cattle class on the train I have no conversation in a morning or on the way home, so I get two lots of twenty-five minutes to sit and read, so in that respect life's good.

This is sometimes funny as, sometimes dull, sometimes a "whoo-there, big fella, calm yersel", sometimes "oh shit, that's ME!".

Thanks, Rich, I'm sure that was the intention! No review, just thanks!

19 July 2006

Smoking ban OK to flout in stations?

I’ve had two run-ins with people over the smoking ban in Scotland this afternoon, at exactly the same place.

I have yet to see anyone break the law in a pub, but Edinburgh’s Waverley station is frequently the scene of smokers lighting up in a prohibited area.

Continue reading "Smoking ban OK to flout in stations?" »

13 July 2006

Seat Rage

I’m sure 100% of regular train travellers have witnessed seat rage at some point, whether in cattle class or in First Class, but tonight’s episode just made me chuckle. Not least as the rage was over where I was sitting but I had absolutely no involvement in it at all. So how did I just sit there with an argument over the seat I was in without being involved?

The argument was between a young woman who I had sat next to and an elderly man (I refrain from using the word gentleman) sat opposite, who shall hereonin be known as “Mr Grumpy”

Continue reading "Seat Rage" »

07 July 2006

Rising energy prices

Well we're all fed up with rising energy costs, but have we actually looked at how much the rises cost when they are compounded?

It's like the good old compound interest rates, paying interest on interest. So how does a rising cost equate, exactly? What on earth am I talking about?

Continue reading "Rising energy prices" »

MCP Welcome Kit

I got my MCP certification at the end of March, about time I got some certificates. For the non-technical that's the Microsoft Certified Professional qualification.

Well, when I say qualification, I'm sceptical about the whole thing.

Continue reading "MCP Welcome Kit" »

06 July 2006

Is the teaching of basic manners dead?

Yesterday I had my first chest-puffing experience as a protective dad.

Just to set the background, The Fat Lady is still travelling First Class on the train, whereas I'm not sure of my base yet, so I'm slumming it. Last night on the way home The Fat Lady decided to keep me company in the ghetto, considering Virgin Trains have no real First Class service. So, there we are at the platform 20 minutes before departure, with the train in at the platform and the doors locked awaiting crew.

Continue reading "Is the teaching of basic manners dead?" »

27 June 2006

Nagging over...

Well, after months of nagging from Richard I've finally got a test Blog up and running.

So far it's on a server that is up and down like a whore's drawers, but then it's only for me to play around with at the moment. Depending on how things go I might create a whole new blog somewhere else, export this one over, or there again I might just give it up. But I've had plenty of encouragement (aka nagging) from Rich, so I might just have a bash.

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