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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    6 months later

    6 months have flown by.

    My father-in-law, Bill, passed away on 22nd November, so Louise and her mother faced a difficult Christmas. Louise misses him like mad of course. As does Alice. But, inevitably, life moves on.

    I’m now working full-time (as in PAYE, not on a contract). The company I was contracting for made me an offer I couldn’t refuse so that was that. The end of working for myself after 25 years. I have to say, it’s nice to know exactly what money is coming in and on what day and I don’t really miss the freedom as much as I thought I would. There is something quite reassuring to human beings about routine.

    I’m off to Frank’n’Stephs now to help with their wiring, then they’re coming here to help me plaster. And, no, before you ask, Maddie’s bedroom still isn’t finished.


    Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?

    It’s not that I can’t blog from work (their internet use policy is pretty sketchy), it’s just that I’ve been that busy I couldn’t even think about it. I’ve been thrown on to one crisis project after another. And the good news is: I’m back Monday for another 2 months at least.

    Maddie is progressing in leaps and bounds. She’s crawling about at great speed and starting to pull herself up to a standing position. I don’t think she’s going to equal her sister’s record of walking at 8 months but she won’t be far behind. Oh, and she’s come out with her first word: ‘La la’. Yes, she’s a Tellytubby fan just like her sister before her, so much so that ‘La la’ has preceded ‘Mumma’ or ‘Dadda’. Tonight she added ‘Bla bla’ to her vocabulary, much to our amusement, despite her earlier mishap.

    Today Louise took Maddie and Alice to Edinburgh’s Usher Hall for a concert of scary children’s music. During the course of this event, Maddie decided to have a crawl about on the carpeted floor. Unfortunately, she also decided to try and stand up and then proceeded to headbutt the back of the seats in front, splitting her head open in the process. Like her sister, she will now be sporting a ‘Harry Potter’ scar on her forehead. She did set a record though – the first aiders in the Usher Hall said she’s the youngest casualty they’ve ever had to deal with.

    It’s my birthday

    46 years old today

    Click to continue reading “It’s my birthday”

    Make poverty history

    Here we are, almost a month on from the great march against poverty, and it simply hasn’t worked. We are still broke. In fact we are worse than broke: we have more debt than a small African nation. I have finally conceded that we are never going to win the lottery so the inevitable has happened. Tomorrow morning I take my packed lunch and slide gently back into the strange ritual of 9 to 5. I’ve got a job.

    It all happened rather quickly. Louise used to work in IT recruitment and last week she e-mailed the words “You’re a big jobbie” to several of her former work mates. Unknown to me, this is a secret cry for help in recruitment consultant circles and there was a swift response from one of her ex-colleagues: “Is Tony looking for a job?” Before I knew it I was suited, interviewed, tested and contracted, stitched up like a kipper by the recruitment mafia.

    I must admit that the part-time builder, part-time web developer, part-time house husband routine was not proving to be the most efficient way of tackling things. And, much as I love spending so much time with Maddie, she is starting on solid food now and this is usually a defining moment in the development of nappy content. I am probably stepping back from this one at just about the right moment. Unfortunately, we’ve only seen Holly and William for a few days this summer and there won’t now be an opportunity to do anything else with them before they start back at school in two weeks. Hopefully there will be enough money in the pot by October for a long overdue family holiday at half term.

    Today I am spending my last day of freedom with my builder’s hat on. Maddie’s bedroom still isn’t finished and Louise has warned me that she wants Maddie out of our bedroom before she starts bringing boyfriends home. I think she meant Maddie not herself.