Friday, August 22, 2008

My youngest son takes on an almost zen like state when he's flying a kite, and being a five year old, can say things that make life seem so much better.

'Y,know Dad, this is the life, just you and me, flying a kite on Bredon hill'.

I'll be away from here for a bit. I've been dipping in and out, which is not how I want to blog.

Lots on the mind.When I start blogging again, I'll be clear.

Monday, August 04, 2008

'Sup, as the kids said. Years ago.

What to blog and when to blog it. I have lots to express ( none of it breast milk) but at the moment this is not the place to let it out, for my own foolishness.


Life is odd, and I'm not in the best place. I've cocked my frontal quad again, which means no sport, and that gets me arsey, a kind of locked up feeling.

I have a work problem. A few years ago ( look at the archives, if you truly can be arsed) I sold a business which I'd had in partnership with another chap for a few years. I made a few key mistakes.

We sold the premises. Pure twatishness. New business park, designed by me ,next to the M5. Oh, the joys of hindsight. But , we both felt the need for the clean break, and taking the money.

Then, I took a long time off. Mortgage, family, a few expensive holidays, as our colonial cousins say, you do the math. Chuck a couple of nice cars in, and some work to the house, and, adios. You forgot the tax bill, you fucking retard.

New business, one fantastic client. One, I hear you cry, nope, they rely on me as much as I do on them. But a few years in, it's all odd. They're an oil company, the place to be in these times.

I wanted to be at home more, with A and the boys, pulling reasonable money. But now I'm pulling more than reasonable money, but struggling. Working too hard, getting as stressed as I was before.

What a fucking whinge.

But so ?

I can make choices, and I'm not sure that I make the right ones sometimes.

I'm not that happy, although I should be, and I don't know the reason for this.

I'm usually very positive, and very in control, but my mind is partial to distractions that probably are not that good for me at this time

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I have just had an absolute dog's arsehole of a day.

The situation with boy 2 and school has escalated to a totally unacceptable level ,and A and I are angry and upset. Boy 2 is confused, and unusually unsure. I may blog more when I have collected my thoughts, I might post the letter I've written to the head.

Then my car car broke down, and the hire company have given me a hideously shite and uncomfortable Mundano which I might have to drive to Wigan, Newbury and Stoke.

My fucking Blackberry has just dinged three times on the email bleep, and I really can't be arsed to look.

I've just finished story time with the boys, and am sat here on my jack, as A has gone to the cinema with chums.

To cheer myself up, I'm going to do something spiffy with scallops and chorizo and swill it down with a Chilean Sauvignon.

To get some perspective back, one of my closest pals mum has finally succeeded in drinking herself to death at the age of 57.

Happy days.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yay, we've finally got a date sorted out for a holiday. Back to Portugal this year, the wallet won't take another trip to Thailand.

We're going to try the Silver Coast, just above Lisbon for a change. Found a tidy looking villa with a big pool in a small town about ten minutes from the coast. Should be off mid August. hopefully we'll be able to manage a few days in Italy as well. I love the lakes, stunning scenery, and swimming in Lake Como is bliss.

Two more days in Peterborough and then it's finished. Final fit out tomorrow, and then meet the client on Monday for the handover. No more up and down the A14. Delivered bang on time, and sort of on budget . Will now be swapping A14 for M5, as we started a six week project in Cornwall.

Fucking Cornwall, in July and August. I may get stuck in the odd jam. Much as I am fortunate to have such a fantastic client, I wish they'd buy a company closer to home, just once. It's Wigan next. Now that is some kind of shit hole. Sorry if anyone's from Wigan, but Paris in the spring it ain't

Friday, July 04, 2008

School report day.

I am not happy.

Boy 1. Proud as a Dad could be. He tries hard and gets his just rewards. But, he has to put in the e effort, it doesn't really come naturally, apart from his imagination, which is wonderful. Well done C.

Boy 2.

A class of 13, with a teacher and an assistant. We told them. Devil, idle hands etc.

We don't tolerate it when he misbehaves, but they do. It's pathetic, when she speaks, the kids can't hear, but dogs go mental.

I am sick of telling him off, of depriving the things he likes, not getting his £1.50 a week pocket money because he's not got enough ticks for the week.


I know this, because I'm his father, and also I'm not stupid, and I can see the pros and cons in my boys without being introspective.

I am fucking pissed off.

We're good people.

We've got good kids.

We recognise their failings, and address them.



My boys are not perfect, but they are damn fine individuals, because that is the way they were raised, and I am proud to be their Father.

Not sure this gets across what I feel, but, my word I love them.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Knife crime

The stats for knife crime in London this year are astonishing.

Back in more simple times, I carried a knife, as did most of my friends. It was a beauty. A four inch sheath knife with a smooth wooden handle. I bought it from the tackle shop in the small seaside town I grew up in. I saved up my pocket money for ages, and would regularly check the shop window to make sure that it remained unsold. When I finally had the money, I strolled contentedly out of the shop, with the sheath attached to my belt. It's uses ? Gutting fish I'd caught whilst mucking around in boats on the estuary, random whittling, and a rather daft game called the splits.

I was ten years old when I bought it, and it's still knocking around the bottom of my tool kit.

I know it sounds a bit extreme, but I am glad that we're not bringing up our kids in a large city. Some of the acts of violence seem quite random, and that I find frightening. On the other hand, the boys are growing up leading an existence that is so far removed from city life, and that too has its dangers. We live in a prosperous village, all the kids at school are 'nice' kids from 'nice' families. It's an idyllic childhood, but a sheltered one, and one that I am not sure prepares them for what can be out there in the wider world. We try to make them aware that life generally is not as easy as the one they currently have, but I'm not that sure that it gets through, they're only eight and five. I suppose it's about finding the right balance.

How on earth do you cope with a police officer knocking on the door to tell you that the child you have adored from the moment they were born has been stabbed to death ? I cannot imagine how the parents of these children have dealt with the meaningless end to their child's life.

Listening to London teenagers on 5 Live's phone in on knife crime this morning was depressing. It left me with the feeling that I'm living on a different planet to them, not merely a two hour drive away.

Monday, June 30, 2008

RIP Harry

We're all a bit sad in the Gumpher house this morning.

Our eldest cat Harry, the tabby in the picture died yesterday.

He was seventeen, and had a good life, full of love. He was also a bit thick, which made him all the more endearing.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I've been poo at blogging. Brennig popped in to give me a gee up, and when I checked his blog he has turned into a sex blogger ! Naughty chap. Please, fight the urge to post pictures !

I've been doing 'stuff'.

Had a great back to the wilds camping trip with the boys. Dads and kids only. No chicks. One field, one big wood, one tap, two holes in the ground, one firepit. Excellent. The kids found out that life was quite easy to cope with without computers and television, the dad's drank plenty zider and cooked red meat on an open fire. Hear me roar. We were all thrown into the bathroom as soon as we walked through the front door being told that 'You all fucking stink' (out of earshot of the hooligans) Boy 2 was carrying an extra stone as he had refused to crap down the hole for fear of falling in, and sat on the pan making vile noises for some time.

I am still trawling the English countryside spending ever more on fuel. Latest addition to current projects, Wigan. Don't go, or rather, do go, as it will make you feel better about where you live. And as far those tanker drivers holding out for 13% in the current climate, fuck off back to work you work shy slackers. I 'm not that big a fan of generalising comparisons, but I can break the rules if I choose. I don't see that many nurses earning in excess of 30k and turning down 7 %.

My communications are up shit creek. I have a new Blackberry which works as well as a Zimbabwean polling station. Orange have been very helpful, and a replacement is being sent out tomorrow. Thank you for the excellent service. The same cannot be said of talktalk. The broadband has been down at home for six days, and they have overtaken n power as the most useless bunch of cunts I have ever dealt with. If you're going to outsource to a foreign country, at least make sure that your staff have a basic understanding of the language they will be required to operate with. Current situation, in excess of two hours spent on phone calls, no broadband. Fucking chimps.

Although the mighty Welsh got done good and proper by the Saffas, watching Ickle Shane run with ball in hand is a thing of beauty.

Still cycling, playing squash twice a week, but all good work very much negated by too much wine an too many 'occaisional' fags. Jeez, this smoking thing is a bag of old arse

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm still here, honest

It has been a busy time at Gumpher Towers of late.

I've been checking my regular reads, and leaving the odd comment, but have had little time to get something down myself.

I'm currently running projects in Peterborough, Totnes, and Launceston, and unsurprisingly, my arse has spent an awfully long time stuck to the seat of my car as I traverse the wonders of our nations motorway network. I've still managed squash twice a week, and at least one big big ride in the longer evenings, and this combined with a few weeks on the wagon has me looking fairly trim, verging on the buff even (lets not get carried away here).

The boys have had a good few weeks. Boy 2 continues to both stretch the boundaries beyond their limits on an almost daily basis whilst looking like butter wouldn't melt. He's been a star at rugby, and starts cricket this week.

Boy 1 has been a bit of a grump of late, he's struggling to get off to sleep with the light evenings,
(they both go to bed fairly early on school nights, 7 for 2, 7.30 for 1), and this morning I had to virtually boot him downstairs for breakfast at 8. He had a great rugby club dinner on Friday. 240 kids from 6 to 17 crammed in, spruced up in collar and tie, noisy doesn't do it justice. Fantastic surprise for everyone when it came to the prizes. The Volcano, Lesley Vainikolo (Gloucester and England for the non rugby types) turned out to present them. The kids all went ballistic when he came out onto the stage. Fair goes to the bloke, he stayed until late, and considering he had a massive game against the Unmentionables the following day, it was bloody decent of him.

My 40th passed with no major trauma. We had a groovy time with friends in Cardiff Bay. The St.Davids was impressive, but not really our kind of place. Visually very cool, but A and I prefer our hotels more intimate, and a little less flash. Still, drank vast amounts of the fizzy stuff, ate well and enjoyed it.

A managed to complete the Tewkesbury half marathon yesterday, but was very disappointed with her time. When we saw the weather forecast I told her to forget about the time, just get round it. She was hoping to crack two hours, but sods law, it was the hottest day of the year, and all the runners struggled. She managed 2.10, which is a hell of an achievement for someone who only started running eight months ago, and I' m very proud of her. Afterwards, we grabbed some lunch and spent the afternoon with the boys and a group of friends, sinking a few cold ones on the bank of the river at the sailing club. Bliss.

All is well as long as I don't look at the news. Same old.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Am I being tight ? We rarely use public transport, but today my wife took a bus from the nearest town back to the village. She'd been to a pilates class and her friend who had driven, had forgotton about a dental appointment and had to shoot off, hence the bus.

Now, am I totally removed from reality ? The journey is a shade over three miles.

£1.75, fuck me, she could have got a cab out here in the sticks for that. Now I look at it, I appear a bit daft, bitching about a couple of quid., I mean £1.75 is nothing, but it seems a bit much to me for a three mile bus journey.

More money whinge. I've just paid sixty quid to fill my car with diesel.

I've had to add Yvette Cooper to my list of 'What the flying fuck made you think that you were cut out for a career as a politician ?' after her hilariously inept performance on Newsnight last night.
The other two weren't much better. George Osbourne is an oily little tick, and Vince Cable looks like the uncle that starts the conga at a wedding after two halves of mild. Bless him. All treasury spokepersons for their parties. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Sitting here, quaffing a wonderful glass of Sauvignon Blanc, I am looking forward to a weekend with my wonderful wife at The St.David's in Cardiff Bay, dropping the boys off at my Mums in Abergavenny on the way down.

It's not so bad.

I could be English and forty.



Still the same, or as my Father's wonderful card said, 'You're not forty, you're twenty one with nineteen years of experience'.

The funeral, as ever was grim. The point when the curtains came around the coffin was particularly sad. My nephews, who are the same age as my boys, had been stoic in their approach to the event, but collapsed, crying, into their parents arms as they said goodbye to their Grandfather. My brother in law , their father, was remarkably strong through the whole service, but you could see he was struggling, but held it together for his boys.

Thankfully, the other parts of today were more jolly. I lucked in on some good pressies. A voucher for The Harbourmaster in Aberaeron from my Mum and Sis, which is a wonderful little hotel in West Wales, some rather natty shirts from Boy 1, a deliciously whiffy leather pocket wallet from Boy 2, and the manbag to end all man bags from A. I usually carry a laptop bag and a briefcase for files to meetings, but this baby takes the lot. And it's in a rather fetching duck egg blue and light brown leather. I am now a fully fledged, paid up, great big gayer.

Listening to Colin Hay singing 'Overkill' acoustically, which always makes me joyful.Toooooooooooooooooooo deep.

My life, I have decided, is a bit of a good one, and I'm rather thankful for that.

Okey doke.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Up to my neck in it

Quite literally.

Decided to go for a ride with the boys after lunch, and as I was getting the bikes out of the shed, noticed a fairly unpleasant smell and a strange ooze seeping from underneath the patio.

I lifted the inspection cover to be greeted by the sight and smell of rather a lot of shit.

Blocked drains. Cosmic.

Im fairness to dyno whoever, they were round in an hour, but at 80 quid per half hour, so they should be. Our drainage is odd. it goes across our back garden, under the wall, another inspection cover in our neighbours back garden, and then an interceptor in her front garden. All three blocked.

I explained the problem to our neighbour, and asked if we could have access to jet it all out. She was fine, but a bit concerned that the drain man would damage her plants. Now, given the choice of a few squished petunias or a garden overrunning with eight years worth of the family Gumphers waste matter, I know which I'd opt for.

He set too, and the sights and smells were fairly grim. I went back into our garden to check if everthing was flowing . As I leant over the open sewer, the nozzle of the jetter appeared, and before I could leap out of the way, the fucking thing was turned on, and I was covered head to toe in piss and shit.

The boys were playing in the conservatory, and had a ringside view of the afternoons entertainment. They both agreed that it was their comedy highlight of the year, but even today I am yet to be amused.

A group of friends went camping in the Forest of Dean at the weekend. A had politely declined an invitation to join the happy throng ('Are they fucking mental, have you seen the forecast?'). And thoroughly soaked they all got, but bravely stuck it out for the whole weekend.

Iwas discussing said trip with my chum bokkie after squash on Thursday. His wife had lumbered him with the trip, and he was moaning like hell. Not that he doesn't like camping, he just likes his camping to be rustic, as befits a man of the veldt. 'Its got a fucking pool man, and a bar'. His disgust new no boundaries.

We're planning a dads and kids camping weekend at the end of May, and Bokkie is doing his level best to find the most basic site in the British Isles. I had a email from him on Friday with a link attached and a rather excited message. 'Check this out, there's no caravans, you can have open fires, no showers, and you have to shit in a hole in the ground!' There's a great marketing line for prospective campsite owners, guaranteed to have weirdo Boers flocking in .

I'd sent him details of a site I'd found, but as it has two rather basic showers, I'm sure it'll be rejected out of hand as having showers is only one step away from Brokeback Mountain in his mind.

40 tomorrow. Supersonic. I'll be spending the morning at a funeral. That'll cheer me up.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I am less grumpy of late. I am sitting here, slightly warm of tongue, having just consumed a rather yummy Thai fish salad ( I think I overdid the chilli, which should make for a stinky night for Mrs. Gumph) The lateness of consumption is down to a game of squash in which I, lost rather badly to a chap I mullered last week. I only lost my temper with myself twice, shows my laidbackedness. (New word, quite like it).

Owing to my reluctance to celebrate my forthcoming of oldness, we had a spanking party for A's 37th on Friday. We had sixteen friends for a party and after an evening of stonking hilarity and drunkeness finally hit the sack at 4 ish. As the boys were at Grandma's for the evening, I had the luxury of stumbling out of my pit in the early afternoon. Glorious.

This Friday should be interesting. Boy 1's school have decided to enter years 3 & 4 into a tag rugby tournament . They suddenly realised that of the 28 children, only 4 boys actually play rugby, and whilst the class teacher, although a nice lady, clocks in at around 20 stone, and would be about as much use on a rugby pitch as tits on a bull. Cue a phone call seeing if I could possibly take the day off on Friday. I'm looking forward to it. I suspect it may be slightly different from coaching C and his ruffian chums at the rugby club.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Ho hum

I am bereft of blogging inspiration at the moment, but then I am generally uninspired.

I'm in a slump.

I need to jump on a plane, with A and the boys, and head off to somewhere with clear blue skies and gently lapping shores.

I need to not see the pointlessness of the Olympics, the loss of what was the Corinthian Spirit, the inevitable involvement of politics in sport ( but accepting that it's ok really because coca cola and mastercard get to show their logos to the world).

I need to stop thinking of the futile existence of those involved in the whole sad Shannon Matthews affair, and thank goodness that it's not me in that stinking estate, shagging near members of my family, but then wondering , ' Am I where I am through choice, or
circumstance ?

I need to stop loathing the bloated excess of football in this country ( a tough one)

I need to stop hating the pseudo socialist labour party as much as I do.

I need to stop despising the international community for ignoring Zimbabwe whilst they dither pathetically across the middle east.

I need to chill out.

A lot.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The age of doom

I'm forty in a few weeks time, and I'm really not looking forward to it. I've banned parties, as I don't feel the need to 'celebrate', plus I've had a gutsful of other people's fortieth parties over the last few months.

Is forty old ? It's older than thirty nine for sure, but is it really old ? Odds are that I'm over halfway to pushing up daisies, which is a tad fatalistic, but probably right. I just don't feel forty, whatever feeling forty is, but I'm fairly sure I don't want to feel it anyway.

What have I achieved in forty years ? I've managed to be fortunate enough to have a happy relationship with a woman I love very much, and have two children from our marriage that I am proud of and adore, but that's not really an achievement as such is it ? I am fairly successful if life achievement can be judged in monetary terms, which more importantly means I more than provide for my family. I have managed to have career happiness, but that sure took its fucking time, and I sure as hell made some gargantuan fuck ups on the way. I have travelled extensively and was fortunate to spend quite a bit of my childhood living in different countries. But again, are this things I've achieved, or simply things that have happened to me ?

This is not a post I've enjoyed reading back, it's whiny, and I'm not generally whiny, but I'm just not looking forward to being in my forties. A is sensible enough, and knows me well enough ( I hope) not to bollocks around with surprise parties. In the event that she is foolish enough to do so, I will invite the assembled throng to politely fuck off, and go and drown myself in a vat of red wine.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


As the clock winds down to the start of the bank holiday, the inevitable happens.

It starts to sodding rain.

Four days off work, and it's going to piss down. 'Triffic.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I seem to have left something out..........

We are Welsh and we are mighty !

It was a bit good and a few beers went down the hatch on Saturday. (Polite speak for being deliriously banjaxed)
Yesterday I went up to the big smoke to see the specialist at the London Migraine Clinic. It all went swimmingly well, and she will be writing to my Gp to tell him how and when to treat me, and what medication is required. It's a bloody huge relief, I'm finally going to get some pain management, which should make coping a bit easier. Also, studies have shown that for cluster headaches to persist in adult males in their forties is rare, so there is an upside to the dreaded soon to be birthday.

I went on the train. For the first time in years, I had a trip which could actually work on public transport. Going up was fine. I read the paper and spent a lot of time mooching out of the window at the vast expanses of water that currently make up the English countryside. There are those that love London, and big cities in general, and I am fully appreciative for their reasons for doing so, but, every time I visit London or any city, I am truly thankful that I live tucked away in the sticks. I find it noisy and smelly, and struggle with the sheer volume of people. I spent around fifty minutes in total on the tube. If I had to do that every day I would scream long slow agonising howls. It's bloody horrible.

Anyway, after the fruitful consultation with the head doctor, I set off to met an old friend for a drink. An old girlfriend in fact. We were bf/gf in our early teens at school, and I've only seen her once since we went our separate ways. It really was great to catch up. Funny how you change. I'm married with children, and she's still single, which is probably the opposite of how we would have viewed ourselves twenty odd years ago.

The train was late on the way back, and I didn't get into the station until 10.40, but I had a good book, and a rather yummy selection of sushi I'd grabbed from a Japanese food stall in Piccadilly.
London does have its uses, you try getting decent sushi in rural Worcestershire !

Friday, March 14, 2008

Filthy,dirty,robbing bastards

The three petrol station closest to me are now selling diesel for £1.17 per litre.

It's getting beyond silly

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Touch me Darling

He really is one of the least charismatic politicians, and out of the current bunch of wooden lookalikes, that takes the biscuit, and I must say I'm a bit baffled by his budget. Essentially, it is a tax raising budget, but all done with the finesse of Kelvin MacKenzie. Where was the financial nous ? Sadly lacking. It was a tabloid budget. £950 on a gas guzzler, and make us think it's a green tax ? nonsense, it's a showroom tax, simple as, another way of generating revenue, but why dress it up? Call it a spade, we need a bit more cash, and this is one way we're going to do it.
Everyone in this country is an addled alky, so we'll bang on a few pence there as well, oh, and we'll do it year on year, and carrier bags, greatest problem facing the nation so we'll damn well sort that out to.
Carrier bags ? For fucks sake, bandwagon politics at its worst. perhaps I'm a simpleton, but I'd rather they concentrated on the mess that is our foreign policy, the the insanity of violent crime, and the scandal of all fuel prices. But I suppose that as long as there are less plastic bags on the street I should be content.
Politics generally is starting to drive me potty. I take more than a passing interest, we'll all should, but increasingly, all the parties are merging into one uniform mess, with very little separating them apart from an egotistical urge for power. As individuals, some actually make me cough up a little bit of sick when I see them. Some in this category (but by no means all) are;
Lembit Opik - As useless a tosser as you are likely to meet, and horribly oily with it
Ruth Kelly - There is no excuse for Ruth Kelly
Anne Widdecombe - She actually considered herself leadership material, crassly delusional
David Miliband - Horribly scary 'perfect' labour droid, vastly out of his depth.
The list could go on and on. Oh, and David Cameron just comes across as a bit of a twat. Nothing that offensive, you could be having a conversation with a friend, describing a mutual acquaintance who your friend is struggling to remember, and you may say' You know, wassisface, lawyer, lives a couple of doors down from the pub, okay bloke, bit of a twat though'
'Ohhhh yeah, I know who you mean'
Bit of a twat in that way.

On an entirely more agreeable subject, my wife has had her long hair cut short, very short, and she looks stunning. She's had long hair for as long as we've known each other, and for some time before that. I couldn't picture her with short hair, and nor could she herself. It was very spur of the moment. We were shopping and I told her I needed to zip to the office to pick up a file and was told, 'Okay I'll meet you in the library I'm going to have my hair chopped off' , simple.
Now, even on a bad day with a hangover Mrs Gumpher is a fine specimen, but with this new look, I tell thee, she is smokin', I'm a lucky chap.

Monday, March 03, 2008

More frolics in the Wye Valley, but a lot further down this weekend. Boy 2 was off to a birthday party on Saturday, so I suggested to Boy 1 that we load up the bikes and head out. I'd found a recently opened trail called The Peregrine Way, which is the old railway track between Ross on Wye and Monmouth. The cycle trail has been done so that you can ride next to the river from Monmouth to Symonds Yat and back.
Picnic made, we set off. It was glorious , we were passed by a few other serious cyclists (all dayglo lycra and go faster helmets) and passed the occasional jogger, but most of the time it felt as though everyone had vanished and we were the only people on the planet. It was wonderfully quiet. The river was deeper than at Builth, and faster flowing. We stopped to watch canoeists larking about in the rapids, looked like great fun.
We reached Symonds Yat and the sense of being alone vanished, it was very busy with tourists, but then it is very pretty. Last year, we put an offer in on a cottage overlooking the Wye at Symonds Yat. At the time it seemed to make sense. The village we live in has become crazily expensive for property, and although we love our house, the garden is quite small, and with two growing hooligans we felt the need for more space, so we looked further afield, where we get get get a lot more for our money, and settled on Symonds Yat. In hindsight, I'm glad we didn't get the house. Yes it was in a beautiful spot, but being there on a sunny spring day, made me realise just how busy it would have been. Also, we are very happy where we are, we have lots of good friends, as do the boys, and they go to a great school in the village.
We turned back and found this spot for lunch. (at top, cocked up positioning)
We cycled back stopping at the Biblins foot bridge. I'm not good with heights, and also the bloody thing wobbles like an excited jelly, but over we went. (cocked up again !)
It was a great day out, and I really enjoy spending one to one time with either of the boys.
Earlier in the week, we'd had parents evening. It went as expected, Boy 1 , a joy to teach, well mannered, doing well. Boy 2, hmmm. J is a problem, he has always been exceptionally bright. His elder brother is no fool, but he works very hard as well. J has set himself a mission, and that mission is to be the class clown, and he's succeeding, but succeeding at make himself a royal pain in the arse, disrupting the class and not going forwards himself. It was coming, his behaviour at home is fairly dire. The difficulty is, there's never any malice in what he does, he's a hugely affectionate and tactile little chap, but also a nutter. The thing is, we are strict. I cannot abide badly behaved kids, but J is turning that way. We have defined boundaries, and punishments for overstepping those boundaries, but it seems not to bother him. It causes problems with A and I, as we argue as to the best way forward, so the atmosphere in Gumpher Towers is generally rather frosty at the moment. The whole parent thing is a constant learning curve, and nothing I had done prior to being a father had prepared me for it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I like Fridays. The boys primary school has an open assembly on a Friday which parents can attend which sets me up for the day, as it usually has the odd moment of utter hilarity, invariably around the hymn, which today was 'I wish I was a wiggly worm'. The words were rib crackingly funny and the school 'orchestra' were so out of time with the whole thing I was pissing myself all the way through. They've made the mistake of giving one of C's hyperactive chums the cymbals which he bashes together with gay abandon at wholly innappropriate moments.

The kids are allowed to talk about their out of school activities, and today one girl got up to show her grade 4 ballet certificate. Cue major dumbass moment from the head teacher. 'Thats very good M, now what grades did you do before grade four ? ' The look on the little girls face was priceless, a nine year old doing an excellent 'go figure you pillock' face.

Talking of pillocks, Ruth Kelly on Question Time last night. Aaaaaaaaargh, I can't bear the woman, she speaks like she's permanently got a gobful of man batter, and she is so badly informed it defies belief. She wasn't exactly up against strong opposition (that irritating little twunt Alan Duncan being one), but she got totally caned. Very worrying that one of such limited abilities holds such a powerful postition.

We've badly screwed up this weekends' social planning. We've invited friends around for dinner on Saturday. There's rugby on all day, which means muggins will be banned from watching in the pub as I'll be a gibbering mess by the time the guests arrive. Doh ! And the France/England game is an evening kick off so I guess I'll be told off every time I slope off to check the score.

To further compound my problems my wife is currently on a train heading for Selfridges in Brum on a day out with her mum and sister, so I anticipate being considerably poorer come this afternoon.

Still, just listened to Colin Hay doing an acoustic 'Overkill' which is spankingly fine.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More woe

I could really do without being at work today, but I have a site meeting for a major project this afternoon, and as I run my own business, needs must.

I had a fucking awful cluster attack last night. 1.30 am, and finally went back to bed at 3. I feel totally shattered, and for some reason I'd reacted by scratching at my chest and stomach, and have big red weals over both, but have no recollection of doing it. This episode has been ongoing since mid January, and it's starting to get me down. I missed a meeting in Southampton on Monday, as I had an attack at 6 in the morning, but luckily I was able to get down there yesterday.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. I've managed to get an appointment at the London Migraine Clinic to see the country's leading authority on Cluster Headaches. The first thing they'll do is to make sure that my GP prescribes me oxygen for home use, so I can finally get some pain relief. my GP has been pretty good in fairness, and recognises oxygen as a solution, but wants me to go to the surgery to use it. Not much good in the middle of the night. The clinic explained that the average GP will probably only see one or two cluster cases in their whole career, so I suppose it's reasonable to cut them some slack.

Monday, February 18, 2008

We had a huge walk along the mid section of the Wye Valley near Builth Wells at the weekend.
It's rather pretty, don't you think ? I never mind what the temperature is as long as there's a clear blue sky, it was glorious, but bloody cold, the diesel froze in my car on Saturday night, we had to push it into the sunshine to thaw out ! Parts of the shallows had frozen, which our friends' dogs found very odd, but all the kids had great fun breaking up the ice. We also found a near perfect spot for skimming stones, with a rocky beach chock full of wonderfully flat, round skimmers.
Needless to say, part of the weekend involved the usual session of liver abuse, which made the crisp cold air all the more welcoming.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

We had planned a couple of quiet days at the start of the week, as the boys had gone to my Mums for a few days as it was half term. (Praise be for the gift of grandmothers).

It didn't quite end up as that. We'd just had the dining room decorated, and A wanted 'finishing touches'. Thats woman speak for curtains and cushions. It took all sodding day, Worcester, Malvern, and finally Cheltenham. Still, it was great to have the day to ourselves, we had lunch in Worcester, when we finally acquired the curtains, we had a few beers and then caught the early evening showing of 'No Country for Old Men', which was good in the first half, but faded away somewhat after that, finally followed by a quick bite at Nandos. Went home, got the fire going, a few glasses of wine and then A spanked me at scrabble. Zebra did the damage, triple letter on the Z, and a double word score. How thoroughly middle aged.

As the boys were away, it seemed like a good idea to sort out the playroom. They've got loads of stuff that they never use, and without them being there to bitch about what was going, it was a golden opportunity to do a charity shop run. At the same time I was faffing about with various curtain poles. We finally sat down to eat at 8.30, after working flat out all day. They are messy little buggers, and the sorting out was a nightmare. They arrived home to be greeted by the news of a new regime. A maximum of half an hour computer time each day, which has to be 'earned' in five minute chunks, and can also be taken away in five minute chunks, and a maximum of half an hour of tv per day. You should have seen their faces, you'd have thought we were sending them up chimneys.

As always, it was great to have some time to ourselves, it always goes too quickly. The house is very quiet without the hooligans around, but it's always great when they get back. You can't beat the gentle sound of a five year old and an eight year old battering each other. Soothing.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Betterer and betterer

The trip to the match just got better.

Had a phone call late last night and got offered an extra ticket. So I took boy 1. What a great day, he was all togged up in his Welsh shirt and scarf, face dragon painted. His first 6 nations game, and we won.

Look at that view, virtually smack on the halfway line.

Happy days.

Friday, February 08, 2008


What the flying fuck has Rowan Williams been smoking ? I thought he was meant to be first in line on the batphone to the Big G, but it would appear that he spends most of his day sat in a squat chowing down on a crack pipe.

So, certain aspects of Sharia law should be adopted in this country then. Oh do fuck off. Muslims make up around 2% of the population of this country, so why the hell is the political and religious agenda constantly occupied with Muslim appeasment ? Fuck 'em, and while your at it fuck Jews, Anglicans, Catholics, Hindus, Sikhs, in fact every single one of the backward insane divoids who think that 'their' higher being is the 'right' higher being come what may. Religion gets on my fucking tits and it seems to be making a bit of a comeback. Look at that fucktard Huckabee, he wants to be the leader of the worlds largest superpower, and he's a full on religious nutjob, and, people are actually voting for him. I don't know whether to laugh or shit my pants. And our own previous glorious leader kept his own faith somewhat under wraps just in case the great British public thought him a bit odd. No shit hombre.

That bearded arsewipe Williams should keep his moronic opinions to himself, and whilst he's at it, he should get a fucking eyebrow trim, it's not a good look on a man who's trying to come across all serious and if he leaves it much longer he'll need a sodding weedwhacker.

Anyway, the sun is shining, tonight I shall be rustling up a rather juicy bit of cow with a red wine sauce and some pureed parsnip, and tomorrow I shall be hot footing it down the M50 to watch us batter the Jocks. Not all bad then.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It just gets better

Just found out that I have a ticket for Wales v Italy. Off to check the train timetables.

Monday, February 04, 2008

One happy Welshman.

That's all really.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Bread of Heaven

I shall mostly be watching rugby for the next few weekends as the 6 nations is once again upon us.

If the weeks past indiscretions can be overlooked I plan to be in the pub for most of the afternoon.

I've got 20 quid on Wales to win by 11-15 at 25/1.

Show me the money !

A fool and his money, etc, etc.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


I'm in the dog house.

It was a friend's 40th yesterday. We both took the day off work and played golf. And then went to the pub. All day.

We fell through the door at his house at around 6 ish, all idiot grins and apologies. His wife took one look at us, went to the fridge, took out the lobster she was going to prepare for the romantic dinner a deux, opened the back door and lobbed it into next door's back garden.

After a few glasses of wine she was fine. My beloved was livid, slight over reaction in my opinion. I ended up in boy 1's lower bunk for the night, no great suprise.

Woke up this morning totally free of any hangover! Result.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I've been a busy little chap.

I've had a shocking run of cluster headaches, look 'em up, they're no fun. Over my years of inglorious activities on the rugby pitch I have fractured; sternum ( bloody painful), ankle, collar bone, four ribs and three fingers, along with various stiches and two punched out teeth and I would happily swap the lot added together for the pain of one hour of the cluster beast. I'm rattling with an interesting concotion of narcotics and generally feel quite shitty.

But, when you employ yourself, needs must, and through controlled pain relief, I've managed a busy and productive week.

Boy one's birthday. Four for a sleepover. Never again. 7 year olds cannot piss directly into a toilet, they need a trough. They gossip like fishwives until 11, and then get up and five. Mental note to self. No.

Diss. Installation and site survey for future project. Flat. Arse end of nowhere. Despite potential financial rewards, hope never to go again. The A14 sucks the clingons off a fat bird's arse hair.

Upside, I'm hyper, must be the drugs. Have rediscovered cooking once more. I like to cook. It relaxes me. I get home from work, read to the boys, A bathes, I whack on 5 live and cook. Last night, duck breasts on a bed of sugar snaps, mange tout and asparagus with chilli and ginger. Tonight, steak with a mash of butter beans, sweated leeks with white wine and creme fraiche.

If I was a woman I'd shag me senseless. Really.

Enough of my self glorification, All Blacks v Scotland is on ESPN, there's only enough femine side......

Friday, January 18, 2008

This is boy 2 at the top of the lane leading to the river during the last flood. It's back up as far as this at the moment. The boat's not there. Last time the lock keeper used it to get to and from his house, but the builders haven't finished, and they'll be starting over again and they've yet to move back in. You can see where the river should be by the line of boats in the distance.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

One lazy blogger

Not been around in blogland for a while. I've only been checking out a few of my regular reads every now and then, but commenting very little. Must get back in the saddle.

The Christmas break was all a bit rushed, but all in we had a great time. The boys enjoyed it, and received some great gifts. A and I over indulged to the extend that we are both off the booze in the week ! I'm off completely owing to being off my tits on steroids and beta blockers, which also means I can't play squash which is a bummer. I'd only just got my leg back to normal after shagging the top front quad a few months ago, so I'm not best pleased.

Our little corner of Worcestershire is a bit of a nightmare at the moment, the floods have returned, and access in and out of the village is a bit hit and miss at the moment. Although we're slap next to the river, the village itself is elevated so we're not having the problems that the poor folk of Tewkesbury and Upton are bracing themselves for. This is the first day this week that I've made it to the office, it's simply been to much hassle, and as I type its started pissing down again, so its probably time to plan a route home.

Work has kicked in with a vengeance and this month sees me on a delightful tour of Blighty including Diss, Southampton and Northampton. This month I shall mostly be spending my cash on fuel.

To make me feel even peachier, my bloody sister is getting on a plane tomorrow to go and visit Dad in Oz. Jammy cow.