About Me

I was born in Luton, known for hat making, Vauxhall cars, London Luton Airport and a great football team who once beat Arsenal at Wembley in a Cup Final, currently languishing in non-league football for the 4th season. I moved to Edinburgh in 1990 and now live in Leith, Edinburgh's 'waterfront'.

Married for 24 years to Louise (who is on day release from Fife), I have 4 children: Holly (aged 28) who's studying medicine at Dundee University, William (aged 26) at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, Alice (aged 23) and Maddie (aged 16).

We live in a 226 year old Georgian house which we are slowly renovating. We once had a note from an artist posted through the letterbox asking if our semi-derelict house was available to rent as studio space. Things have improved lately; the stonework has been repaired and we have shiny new railings. Just the inside to do now then.

Current CNPS score: 999

Header Image: Richard Bloomfield

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    In-flight Entertainment

    I’ve jumped on the ‘You Tube’ bandwagon and uploaded some of our family videos. I’ve embedded one in this post as a test and started a new category of links in the left hand sidebar called ‘In-Flight Movies’ which links to the individual movies.

    Click to continue reading “In-flight Entertainment”

    Expansion plans

    It’s birthday season in this family at the moment: hot on the heels of Louise’s 40th, tomorrow is William’s 10th, Tuesday is my 45th. 95 years in 14 days.

    William and his sister Holly (11) only stay with Louise and I about a third of the time. The rest they spend with their mother, Clare, in Stockbridge, a district of Edinburgh which is quite a contrast to Leith. At least they see all facets of life.

    William has quite surprised me this year. No request for violent, 18 rated Playstation games for his birthday, rather he chose The Sims (super deluxe) and a CD Walkman. He also wants to go to the Bear Factory where you get to design and build a teddy bear with a recorded voice in it. Well, my voice actually. It’s proving a bit tricky trying to think of the right thing to record: too soppy and his mates will laugh, too cool and it defeats the object. I’m sure something will come to me.

    Instead of a party he’s requested that I take him camping and fishing for a couple of days, a bit of father and son bonding, so we’re packing the rods and tent and heading to Fife for the weekend. I’m pretty sure this new-found closeness to Dad is a reaction to our recent news. In February, and aged 45, this father is to repeat the experience. No, not fishing in Fife: fatherhood.

    The news was met with mixed reactions. After coping with the realisations that I won’t quite be able to top up my pension with child allowance and that the only sensible 45th birthday present for me is the ‘snip‘, I was delighted.

    Alice was the first to be told.

    Louise: “Alice, we’ve got something to tell you. Mummy’s been to the doctors and he did a little test to read a special message from my tummy“.

    Alice: “What, are you pregnant?“.

    Treat a six year old like a kid and see what you get. She then phoned Holly and William to break the news. Within two minutes it was like a Union meeting as they discussed the pros and cons of a new arrival and drew up a list of demands: no baby stuff on the TV, it sleeps in your room not ours, no nappy changing in the same room….

    William has pondered the most and has confided that he’s worried his time with dad will be eroded still further. He needn’t worry: when he turns eighteen, the wee sproglet will be a foot-stamping eight year old, Alice will be peaking as a hormonal teenager, Holly will be a hormonal late-teenager and Louise will be hitting the menopause. He’s welcome to take me out for a beer as often as he likes.