Blog Cabin – Part I

Saturday 5th August 2017

Dear Diary,

The first day of our holiday has been a relative success – for us.

The original plan was to detour via Cadbury World on the way, but that turned out to be fully booked, so we decided to spend a few hours at Kenilworth Castle instead.

Sadly, that plan also went to shit, when we neared Birmingham and realised we had booked our holiday during the Midlands’ monsoon season. The wife loves a castle, possibly more than she loves me, but even she couldn’t muster enough enthusiasm to schlep around some ruins whilst soaking wet.

In the end, we opted to spend a couple of hours in Leamington Spa (summary: quite pretty, stupid car parks), ate some traditional Warwickshire fayre (pizza) and then headed on to our campsite.

I think the wife’s expectations of the campsite were pretty low – in her defence, camping is almost universally shit – but ‘The Ranch’, which is where I spent many holidays as a child, has a bit more to it: a shop, a gym and an outdoor swimming pool; not to mention a football pitch (for Ollie and I), a playground (for Isaac and I) and its own pub (for I).

It’s safe to say the place hasn’t really changed, in the twenty-five years or so since I was last here. The football pitch remains inexplicably uneven, the pool looks like it will still shrivel my scrotum (from an ‘outy’ to an ‘inny’) within seconds of contact with the water, and the shop hasn’t increased its minimal stock in the slightest. Still, it’s a base for the week, and a rather fine – not to mention nostalgic – one at that.

Once we had unloaded the car, I took Ollie over to the bumpy football pitch of my youth, and was immediately transported back to the early-90’s, when my brother and I were approached by some mouth-breathing reprobate in a Wolves shirt, asking if we wanted a ‘mash’.

Once we realised he actually wanted a ‘match’, and wasn’t offering us pulped potato, we got chatting. ‘Bully’ – a nickname which could only have been derived from either his own surname, or that of Wolves’ legend Steve Bull, because this skinny little rat-faced turd was anything but intimidating – appeared to have permanently stained his upper lip with over-excessive Ribena consumption. It was like he had a purple moustache.

If recollection serves me, Bully challenged us to a ‘mash’ every day of that holiday, and he remains a fond – if rather obscure – memory, along with the other nut-job we met on the campsite that summer, who had an imaginary dinosaur on a bit of string. He had evidently watched a lot of Jurassic Park, and insisted on showing us his pet ‘spitter’ (pronounced ‘spittoh’, because he was broad Manc), on a regular basis – a habit I do hope he didn’t continue into adulthood. I’m not sure a grown man, hanging around a campsite offering to show kids his ‘spitter’, would be very welcome.

This evening we went to the clubhouse, because there was entertainment on (a bloke from ‘The Voice’, apparently), and as I stood at the bar to get some drinks, the barmaid tried to serve me before an elderly chap on the other side. Since he was clearly there first, and because I didn’t want to upset the locals, I told the barmaid, and she served him instead. He noticed this, and acknowledged my kindness with a thumbs-up, which I reciprocated. All very civilised.

Except he then repeated the thumbs up, twice (with increasing levels of enthusiasm each time), before also insisting the barmaid pass on a message – which took him at least a minute to convey over the music. She then approached me, and – almost matching my levels of embarrassment – shouted: ‘he says thanks’. Yes, I’d got that.

However, the old man was evidently concerned that the three thumbs-up gestures, and barmaid-delivered message, had perhaps not reached me, so he decided to come across and thank me in person. I told him it was fine, and hoped that was the end of the matter, as other tables were now staring (like I had saved him from choking on a bar snack or something).

Alas, that was not the end of the matter, as he then went to the bathroom and, on returning to his table, detoured via ours. Shaking my hand firmly – with the sort of damp clamminess that could only have been caused by either not drying his properly, or, worse, old man piss – I had to fight to get free, abundantly aware that the wife was losing her shit laughing behind me.

Sunday 6th August   

Dear Diary,

Today we went to the nearby ‘All Things Wild’, which is part animal park, part playground. Whilst it was pretty expensive to get in, we managed to fill an entire day, and keep both boys entertained until it was time to come back for dinner.

Sadly, the overly-friendly man from the bar last night appears to be the only pleasant local, since everyone else we encountered today would be filed under ‘utter arsehole’ – if only that wasn’t being unfair to utter arseholes.

Take the woman at the helicopter ride (essentially just a retired helicopter, which kids could sit in for a bit), who didn’t want to abide by the rules of queuing, that I had displayed so admirably last night. When her attempts at pushing-in were blocked by the parents around her, she chose to display her frustration by grabbing her daughter, then shouting ‘I’m not fucking waiting for you to go on some shitty fucking helicopter’ while dragging her away. Classy.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one. It was like we had stumbled into an arsehole convention, and whilst Helicopter Hag may have been the keynote speaker, everyone there displayed a universal arsehole-ness, almost entirely without exception.

Then, when we got back to our lovely caravan, away from all the arseholes, we discovered that we will be spending the week next to an entire clan of them. We realised this, when the man of the group started kicking his football against the side of our caravan. I’d like to think it was accidental, but no one can be so crap at football, that they hit a forty-foot static caravan from a few feet away. Repeatedly.

To make matters worse, not only was he a ‘full-kit wanker’ (the technical term for someone who wears football shirt, shorts and socks for no apparent reason), but it was all generic football wear, from somewhere cheap like Sports Direct, and this made him look an even bigger prick.

Upon further investigation, the family next door (and I use the term ‘family’ loosely, because it appears to be full-kit wanker, two morbidly obese slags in dangerously ill-fitting clothes, and at least seven children – in a six-berth caravan) appear to be the sort of shower who would be rejected from the Jeremy Kyle show for being too obnoxious. They have spent the evening blasting out (c)rap music, drinking, smoking and swearing. I nearly retaliated with some excessively loud Roxette, but the wife intervened.

Surely they would be happier holidaying somewhere like Magaluf, or Wigan?

Monday 7th August    

Dear Diary,

It wouldn’t be a family holiday, if we didn’t visit at least one castle this week (the downside of being married to a history teacher, I guess), and as far as castles go, Warwick is a belter.

This is despite the owners, Merlin Entertainments Ltd (trading as Robbing Bastards Incorporated), doing their level best to ruin it. Since the last time we visited, they have installed a ‘Knight’s Village’, where you can now ‘glamp’ *shudders* in a medieval-style cabin. Sounds great, except in order to find the space for this new attraction, they have had to move the car park to somewhere in fucking Derbyshire. The hike from where we eventually left our car, was honestly so long, we could have walked home to Sandbach quicker.

Then, to make matters worse, Robbing Bastards Incorporated have adopted the same parking policy as at (arguably their most famous attraction) Alton Towers – namely, charging you £6 for the privilege. It would almost have been cheaper (and nearer) to fly there with Ryanair.

By the time we eventually got into the castle grounds, it was gone 11am, so we only managed a quick viewing of the Trebuchet in action (the largest working siege machine in the world, no less), before it was time for lunch. In truth, it wasn’t even midday, but after the parking fiasco, and my relentless medieval knob-gags (huge erection, giant weapon etc.), her patience was wearing thin. Plus, food always cheers up the male part of our family.

Of course, like all dads, I insisted that heading for lunch early was the smart move (in order to beat the crowds), but therein lies the problem – all dads think that. Hence, it was bloody packed. Fortunately, they had beer, so a medieval ass-whooping was narrowly avoided.

Our collective mood improved, we then watched a very good falconry display – even though one of the birds clearly wasn’t interested (in her defence, she’d been up with Isaac at 3am) – followed by a ‘Horrible Histories’ show for the kids (which I enjoyed just as much as they did, such is my childish sense of humour). Finally, there was a War of the Roses battle, with knights jousting on horseback, sword fights, and some Queen (Margaret of Anjou, apparently) in a metal bra. Impractical, uncomfortable, and disappointingly un-sexy. I can relate to that.

Nevertheless, despite the ridiculous expense, the fact our car had to be parked in a different time zone, and that we were still surrounded by the very worst of humanity (there were kids deliberately destroying a very old tree in the castle grounds, and the parents were just sat watching them), we had a good day.

The Clampetts next door are naturally trying to spoil that, by once again taking caravan life too literally, and behaving like redneck trailer trash, but otherwise I’m off to bed content.

To be continued….



Pack Your Blogs, We’re Off!

There will be no blog entry next week (oh, at least try to sound disappointed), because we are away on holiday.

Earlier this year, my wife and I gave careful consideration to our summer holiday destination for 2017, and, following the success of our last two trips abroad (to Majorca and Disneyland Paris respectively), we eventually settled on… the Cotswolds.

It’s not that I don’t like going abroad – in fact, I would much prefer to travel somewhere exotic and sunny (which the Cotswolds will almost certainly not be) – but, having weighed up our options, we decided that a holiday in the UK would be more appropriate this year.

If, like us, you have young children, or can cast your mind back to a time when you did, there is a good chance you have also compared the relative merits of holidaying abroad and in the UK. You may not have over-thought matters quite to the extent that I did, but I will wager that the following factors played a part in your decision:

The Weather


The weather is undoubtedly one of the main attractions of vacationing abroad. If we discount Ireland, the Arctic/Antarctica, and the remotest parts of northern Russia, then pretty much everywhere else on the planet is guaranteed to be enjoying better weather than Britain right now.

So, if your only criterion for a summer holiday, is that the weather must be glorious, the chances are your deliberations will be short-lived: you’re going abroad. Having said that, if your only prerequisite is gloriously hot sunshine, just be careful the travel agent doesn’t persuade you to go to somewhere like Iraq, or Afghanistan.

Sunshine isn’t everything though. I burn very easily, my wife is only slightly better than I am, and we have two boys who view the application of sun cream as torture – so they try to avoid it at all costs.

This shouldn’t be an issue really, as I am quicker and stronger than both of our children, so I should be able to catch and restrain them with relative ease, before lathering them in as much sun cream as my heart desires (and, once they have started misbehaving – as they always do – my heart desires to coat each of them with an entire bottle, purely as retribution).

The problem with adding sun cream to children, however, is that it makes them extremely slippery, and therefore better equipped to evade capture – it’s like coating a dolphin with butter.

If we then add in the fact that family holidays abroad almost always involve a beach, and, as I explained a few weeks ago, I detest beaches with every fibre of my being (, all of a sudden, some light British drizzle doesn’t seem so bad.

Getting There


To a childless couple, without a care in the world, flying to their destination is part of the holiday. Part of the fun. As soon as they arrive at the airport, they are on holiday, and will chat happily with the assistant at the check-in desk, breeze through security, and then enjoy all the delights that the departure lounge has to offer. They will skip through the shops, browsing the treasures of duty-free, before sitting down to enjoy that first alcoholic drink of the holiday. At 5am.

In contrast, when you have children, the airport and subsequent flight are the challenges which must be overcome, in order for you to earn your holiday. Unlike the childless couple, your vacation does not commence until you are safely locked in your hotel room, well away from the glares of your fellow passengers, whose airport experience, flight, and hotel transfer, were all utterly ruined by your demonic little shits.

The only way to survive the ordeal of airport-flight-airport-transfer, is to quickly locate a family on your flight with children behaving worse than your own, then stay as close to them as possible, to make your kids seem slightly better.

Travelling to your holiday destination by car, is infinitely preferable. Ok, you can’t really start drinking at 5am (or at all, for that matter), and you don’t get all the joys of duty-free, but that is easily resolved by having a quick stroll around your nearest Boots and WH Smith before setting off (and we have both in Sandbach).

Of course, you still have all the struggles of having to travel with your children, but you no longer have to be sat directly next to them, and, unlike on a plane, you can play very loud music to drown out their noise. You also do not have the disapproving stares of other passengers (save for your wife, who really doesn’t appreciate Roxette’s Don’t Bore Us, Get To The Chorus album anywhere near as much as she should) and, if things get really bad, you can stop, get out, and find a tree to scream at for a bit.

Best of all, when you get to your destination, you are at your fucking destination. Not a three-hour coach ride from your destination, surrounded by angry and tired British tourists, who have been holding in a collective fart since breakfast.



Baggage allowances for most flights nowadays, typically range from 20kg to 25kg, depending on the airline, destination, and duration of flight. There are also a great many restrictions on what you can and cannot place in your luggage, which, no matter how much you travel, you never really grasp, and end up checking everything several times before leaving for the airport.

Unless, of course, you are one of those people who selfishly packs their bag without any regard for international travel restrictions, content to simply empty everything out in front of your fellow passengers at the airport, and hold the security queue up for half an hour. If you are one of those travellers, then, with the greatest of respect, screw you very much.

In contrast, the baggage allowance for your own car, when holidaying in the UK, is whatever the hell she can cram in there. Men, when taking a trip in the UK, will pack what they think they will realistically need, and then enjoy the journey with all the comfort and leg room their spacious vehicle affords. Women, on the other hand, will see every single nook and cranny of that car’s interior as potential storage space, allowing them the wholly unnecessary luxury of taking three pairs of shoes for every sodding day.

Plus, because there are no restrictions on what you can pack into your own car, you can take whatever the hell you like with you. Admittedly, as a family, we don’t have much call for dangerous narcotics or explosive devices (although, having the freedom to cram a large stash of cocaine up my bottom, should I so wish, is rather liberating), but it’s just nice to be able to travel with an actual bottle of water, and enough toothpaste to brush every tooth at least once. Sorry, but even the fucking A-Team couldn’t take down a plane with a small bottle of Evian and 100ml of Aquafresh.


Admittedly, this is where the appeal of holidaying in the UK loses ground slightly.

I enjoy trying new cuisines (even if that only means package tour, all-inclusive food), and it’s nice not to cook for an entire week, but with a moderately fussy wife, and extremely fussy children, cooking what I know they will all eat does have its advantages. Plus, it makes for a cheaper holiday.

Besides, there is no finer cuisine in the world, than British fish and chips. Admittedly, we’re going to the middle of the country, not the seaside, but I prefer that anyway. In Worcestershire, there is (hopefully) far less chance of some massive fucking seagull getting it’s disease—ridden talons into my battered sausage.

Takeaway Fish and Chips


When holidaying abroad, the two main pastimes are sunbathing, and going on over-priced excursions, where you are charged twice as much as the locals to see the sights.

Imagine paying £100 to go on a coach filled with your fellow compatriots to see Stonehenge, when the locals know they can drive on that road past it for free, acknowledge that it is a series of (admittedly fascinating, but ultimately rather underwhelming) rocks, and then piss off again. Don’t get me wrong, Stonehenge is a national treasure, but then again so is Bruce Forsyth, and his appeal wore off after ten minutes as well.

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Fair enough, sunbathing in this country isn’t quite the same as abroad, but for someone like me, who burns to a crisp inside ten minutes, and hates beaches with a passion, sunbathing serves only one purpose: to get sufficiently hot enough that a swim in the hotel pool doesn’t kill you on contact.

When you don’t like beaches, consider any temperature over 30°C ‘too damn hot’, and have a family who are far happier traipsing around a castle in the rain, than some continental bazaar in the baking heat – where you are inevitably pressured into buying a giant rug that you don’t need, and have no means of transporting home – it’s a bit of a no-brainer really.


So, overall, we opted for a domestic holiday this summer, but we may brave going abroad again next year. After all, when Brexit rolls around, it’ll cost us all twice as much to get there, so we best make the most of Europe while we can.

See you in a week, blog fans.


The Ol’ Blog and Chain

When I started to blog, just a few years ago

And the size of my readership began to grow

My wife made one point perfectly clear:

If I wrote about her, I’d be out on my ear

Since then, I’ve mentioned her just once or twice

But I think you’ll agree I have always been nice

This blog, however, is all about her

I just hope by the end that my readers concur

I’ve said nothing amiss, I’ve done nothing wrong –

She never said anything about writing a song.


The reason this entry is about my dear wife

(apart from the fact she’s a huge part of my life)

Is that Monday will see the day thirteen years since

She turned in the church and said (with a wince)

‘Go on, I suppose, if no one else will’

And then we were married – and married we are still.

Thirteen years, you’ll agree, is a very long time

(I’d get less for murder… or a similar crime)

I’m joking, of course, it’s gone rather well

We rarely disagree, hardly shout, never yell

There’s a very good reason why we seldom fight:

I always back down – because she’s always right.


I met her at Uni, on my very first day

I thought she was nuts (she thought I was gay)

Ok, that’s not true, but since the end of that week

Barely a day has gone by, where we didn’t speak

She studied History, while I studied Law

I’d never met anyone like her before

She collected sheep – not real ones of course

She liked Agatha Christie, and Inspector Morse

She could play violin, the piano and sing

Charles I, strangely, was her favourite king

We watched the same movies, our tastes were alike

(despite her obsession with old Dick Van Dyke)

Her fave film of all time, bizarrely, was ‘Clue’

She was slightly fanatical about Scooby Doo

But otherwise our tastes would oft coincide

(leaving her musicals love to one side)

And when it came to music, I realised with glee

She owned a lot of the same albums as me

There were exceptions of course – she had Abba and Queen

Plus, she didn’t despise Ocean Colour Scene

But those little differences are what made us click

And she didn’t seem put off when I acted a prick

She humoured my nerdiness, embraced my weird

Suddenly, from nowhere, confidence appeared

By the time our first year came to an end

It was clear she’d become my very best friend.


When we first started dating, back in ‘99

I’d walk over to her house, she’d cycle to mine

I realised I loved her, and as that love grew

She took me to Edinburgh in 2002

It seemed like the right time to get down on one knee

And ask if she wouldn’t mind marrying me

Then two years later, on July Thirty-First

She agreed to have me, for better or worse

In sickness and health, ‘til death us do part

(despite her loud snoring, and the fact that I fart).


And now, nearly five thousand days later

I still don’t believe I could find someone greater

She’s my soulmate, my best friend, the love of my life

I’m so very lucky to have her as my wife

Since then she has given me two special boys

Our clean, quiet home, is now all mess and noise

But I wouldn’t have it any other way

As I think back to that bright July day

The boys can annoy us, make us want to scream

But at the end of the day, we’re a pretty good team

So, as I look forward to those years to come

Here’s to the perfect wife, best friend, and Mum


Happy Anniversary x




Sie Ist Nach München GeBlogen

To:          Wife

Sent:      Monday 17th July 2017 20:43

Re:          A postcard from home


I know it’s customary for the person travelling to send a postcard, rather than the person stuck at home with their kids, but since you’re on a school trip with forty-four teenage boys, I figure you’re busier than me (twenty-two times busier, to be precise). Plus, if one of the lads in your care has an accident, there’ll be all sorts of paperwork to complete, whereas if (when) one of ours hurts himself, I’ll probably just laugh for a bit.

How’s Munich? Was security ok at the airport? Any rectal exams?

You’re probably knackered, having been up since 2am, but I don’t want you to think it’s been easy for me either. I’m not sure if Isaac was already in our room when you left, but when I woke with a splitting headache around 4am, and went downstairs to get some paracetamol, I damn near tripped over the little sod, as he was curled up on the floor by our bed.

It was only at the last second, as the pungent fumes of shit alerted me to his presence in the shadows, that I realised he was down there, and I had to execute an emergency ‘lunge’ to avoid standing on his head.

I added a pack of wipes and a pull-up to my downstairs shopping trip, and when I returned, I had to give careful thought as to how I was going to change him. After all, I didn’t want him to wake, and he was already restless (and mumbling something about poo-poo).

Imagine my surprise when, having unfastened his pull-up with all the delicate care of a bomb-disposal expert, it transpired he hadn’t crapped at all, but had instead emitted a fart of such noxious toxicity (noxicity?), it had not only permeated the entire top floor of our house, but remained there until about 4.45am (it may have survived longer, but I drifted back to sleep).

When my alarm went off at 7am, I half-wondered if I had dreamt the whole experience, and would have to now battle the sort of concrete encrusted turd that can only be chiseled off in small chunks with a screwdriver. But, no, it had indeed been a phantom crap of biochemical proportions.

I then managed to get both boys fed and dressed (Ollie successfully clothed himself in a PB of nine minutes) and we dropped Isaac off at nursery on time. #winning

Ollie and I then returned home to do his reading (why on earth has he brought home a book about rock pools? I now know more about crabs than a Magaluf holiday rep), practice his spellings, and put the finishing touches to his appearance. Well, I spent five minutes wetting his hair to try and get that damn tuft to stick down, while he focused on spreading more toothpaste onto the front of his shirt, than his actual teeth (I made him keep the shirt on, as punishment for being such a dick).

Tonight was more successful, as Isaac was asleep by 7:30, and aside from a major meltdown at dinner, when he wanted “ALL THE KETCHUP!”, I haven’t wanted to strangle him once. Ollie is still awake, reading quietly in his bed (and by ‘quietly’, I mean ‘with all the stealth and grace of a pregnant hippo in heels’), but we’re surviving.

Hope you’re having fun. I’ll e-mail again tomorrow, so you know we’re still alive.



To:          Wife

Sent:      Tuesday 18th July 2017 21:06

Re:          Losing my patience

I’m not Isaac’s biggest fan right now.

Having got him to sleep with just one reading of ‘Night Pirates’ yesterday (I don’t even bother turning the pages now, as I know the damn thing off by heart – and clearly so does he, as he was mouthing the words while he drifted off), I had hoped to have a relaxing evening.

I planned to do some tidying and cleaning, then watch that third Hunger Games film I recorded. I even grabbed a midweek beer, to toast a successful evening of single-parenting.

But, fuck me, those films are bleak. I genuinely don’t think I could have depressed myself any more, if I’d worked my way through Radiohead’s back-catalogue, while looking at photos of deceased relatives.

It was honestly so melancholic, I had to pause at one point to do some dusting to cheer myself up. It was only when I was completely satisfied that all thoughts of self-harming had dissipated, that I went back to watch the rest.

Then, just as the film got exciting with about fifteen minutes to go, Isaac woke up and started crying. I tried to persuade him to stay in his bed, and reminded him of the Thomas The Tank Engine train he had chosen from Ollie’s collection as his ‘prize’ if he did, but he was having none of it. In fact, the look he gave me was very much ‘fuck the toy, I’m sleeping in your bed.’ Oh, and did you know there is a train called Mike?! Smug little bright-red bastard he is as well.

In the end, I got Isaac back to sleep in our bed, but every time I crept downstairs to finish the film, I’d get through about thirty seconds before he’d start crying again. I ended up watching the final fifteen minutes of the film in twenty-eight separate installments. Still, according to my (dodgy) Fitbit, I managed 976 flights of stairs yesterday.

Isaac only woke me once during the night, although that was by forcing his big toe up my nostril. The good news is, I’m getting better with my anger-management, as I managed to stop myself from launching him off the bed in a fit of rage.

This morning, Isaac threw a tantrum because he wanted to eat his cereal in the living room, then he wanted it in the kitchen, then he wanted milk, then he didn’t want milk…. essentially, whatever I did, I was still wrong. Definitely your son.

After a few issues getting him dressed (he insisted on shorts, but the only clean pair we had looked scruffy and didn’t match, so I put my foot down and insisted he wear trousers), we put his shorts on and left on time. Even Ollie managed to get dressed without any major incident.

I took a photo of the boys on the nursery run, to show you what a fantastic job we’re doing without you, but that was more for their benefit to be honest, as I don’t want them to see any signs of weakness on my part.


I’ve managed to get Isaac to sleep in just a few minutes again, but all I can hear down the monitor is Ollie reading quietly. I don’t know how he manages to make so much noise with just a magazine. I’m pretty certain I couldn’t make that much noise with a copy of ‘Match’, if I rolled the bloody thing up, and smacked it repeatedly against a giant gong.

Hope you’re having more luck getting your boys into bed.

Wait, that sounds wrong….



To:          Wife

Sent:      Wednesday 19th July 2017 21:09

Re:          Help!

This is getting like Groundhog Day now, and you’ve only been gone since Monday.

I don’t know whether it’s the heat, or the fact Isaac is an insufferable little shit (I suspect it’s both), but I am only able to tolerate his company for about an hour each evening – and not at all in the morning.

Despite Ollie’s cacophony of reading last night, Isaac was amazingly still asleep when I went to bed, but then he woke and started crying around 2am. I tried to calm him down, and get him to stay in his bed, but the appeal of Thomas train rewards seems to have well and truly worn off, and he insisted on getting in with me.

After just a few minutes, he started screaming to be in his bed, and me shouting ‘this was your bloody idea!’ only made the situation worse. He demanded I follow him, so I explained that, if he was fucking with me (I didn’t use those exact words) and changed his mind again, I would rain down on him with biblical fury (I did use those exact words – he didn’t understand).

Sure enough, within a minute of climbing back into his own bed, he wanted to switch rooms a third time, and that’s when I properly lost it. In the end, it was nearly 3am before we got back to sleep (I might have dropped off first, so for all I know, he was still going).

Despite the lack of sleep, he woke me at 6:30am, because he wanted to see Ollie. I didn’t fully register what he was saying at first, and by the time I realised what was happening, he had escaped, climbed the steps to Ollie’s bed, and was gently waking his sibling by smacking him in the face. As you can imagine, Ollie accepted the rude-awakening with his usual grace and patience.

Breakfast was a disaster, because Isaac alternated between wanting me to carry him downstairs, then screaming if I went near him, which developed into an irrational help me/don’t help me situation with his cereal. Quite how I restrained myself from tipping the bowl over his head is a mystery.


This made us late leaving, with the result Isaac looked like he had been dressed by a blind person, then rolled through shit. When we arrived at nursery, he loudly informed everyone he had lost his voice, and would not be speaking for the rest of the day.

I did manage to get Ollie to school, with his packed lunch, drinks bottle, snack and guitar, but I spent so long focusing on all the stuff I had to remember, I never noticed he was wearing an age 3-4 top. In fact, I only spotted it this afternoon, when he walked out of class looking like a fucking Britney Spears tribute.

He was in quite good spirits, so we walked into town and treated ourselves to drinks and cake. I suggested phoning nursery to lie about being stuck in traffic, and that I would not be able to collect Isaac until 8pm, but Ollie said that was nasty, so we compromised and went at 5.30.

Unsurprisingly, Isaac was exhausted, and kept falling asleep on the sofa, so I quickly bathed them both, and had him asleep by 7.10pm. Record time, but this also probably means he’ll be wide awake again by 10. I’ll worry about that later.

I may just survive this ordeal after all, but if your flight home gets delayed, or there is any other reason why you aren’t back on time, that might be the final straw. I’m very fragile right now.




Run, FatBlog, Run

Run Fatboy Run

You may recall that, a few months ago, I took up running again (

Well, I call it running, but most serious runners would probably refer to it as ‘moderately quick walking’, because my average speed is around 7.5 miles an hour – which isn’t even twice as fast as my normal walking pace. To be honest, I feel a bit embarrassed saying I have been for a run, when there were mobility scooters overtaking me.

That said, if I could run a marathon at that pace (or at all), I would be extremely pleased, as I am currently more concerned with working on my distances and stamina, rather than my speed. The problem is, my distances and stamina are crap too.

When I first started running again, I had a nice little two-mile circuit mapped out, to ease me back into the metaphorical saddle after a decade’s absence. The plan was to increase this gradually, to the point where I was firstly winning half-marathons, then full marathons, and ultimately taking Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020.

These were perhaps unrealistic ambitions, particularly for a 37-year-old man with the spine and knees of an arthritic pensioner, but I had hoped to reach the stage where I could at least run a half-marathon without embarrassing myself (and, for what it’s worth, I would define ‘embarrassing’ as collapsing in the street, sobbing, and then alternating between vomiting and shitting myself). Alas, after four months of ‘training’, I am now prepared to admit that there is more chance of me doing a skydive than a half marathon – and there is zero fucking chance of me ever doing a skydive.

The fact is, having run twice a week since March, I am now able to (just about) complete a four-and-a-half-mile circuit, before my body completely shuts down, and it takes all my remaining focus and energy not to revisit every meal from the previous 48 hours. This isn’t an exaggeration. I ran four-and-a-half miles for the first time a few weeks ago, and after a shower – where I spent most of the time wishing we had installed a panic button/emergency cord in the downstairs loo – it took me fourteen minutes to put my pants and socks on (my stopwatch was still running).

I do accept that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, and these things take time, commitment and perseverance, but that also fails to acknowledge just how truly terrible I am at this. Also, I don’t have a great deal of time, even less commitment, and absolutely no perseverance whatsoever.

To be honest, it saddens me to think I am never going to be a good long-distance runner. At 6’3″, with the sort of legs an Ethiopian marathon runner can only dream of (except for the utterly knackered knees, and the fact that my pasty white skin would look ridiculous on an Ethiopian – like he’d been dipped to his waist in Dulux Emulsion), I genuinely thought I might be suited to long distance running. This was supposed to be my sport.

Unfortunately, unless I am going to break through a physical barrier sometime soon, whereupon everything will suddenly click into place, then running half-marathons (let alone full marathons), will forever elude me. In fact, the only chance I have of anything clicking into place right now, is my hip clicking into my spinal cord.

A few weeks ago, when I bravely/naively/stupidly chose to add a ‘bonus’ section onto my three-mile circuit, turning it into four and a half miles, I suddenly became quite upbeat about running, and wondered whether I had perhaps underestimated my capabilities. Sure, I felt like dying afterwards, but four and a half miles felt like the sort of distance where you transform from merely a casual jogger, into a more serious runner. However, I now realise that this is complete bullshit. Serious runners would see four and a half miles, as something they do in their jeans when they nip to the shops to pick up milk.

I briefly toyed with the idea of joining my local running group (‘Sandbach Striders’), for some moral support, to meet new people, and with the incentive of making myself a better runner. However, once I checked out their website, and saw that they start at five mile runs and work from there, I just knew I would be out of my depth.

No matter how much I am sure they would try to make me feel welcome, and would almost certainly not ridicule me for my dreadful fitness levels and stamina, if they consider running five miles as ‘beginner-level’, then I would feel like I was struggling (and a failure) from the word go. Imagine if I joined them, and then looked like this:

After all, it’s only a matter of weeks since I was ritually humiliated by a group of badminton playing pensioners, so if I were to now find myself struggling to keep up with an 80-year-old jogger, I think the final shred of my sporting self-confidence would desert me.

Then, last week, I came across an article discussing top tips for marathon running. I would normally treat such an article with (wholly uncharacteristic) scorn, but when I noticed it was written by Amy Hughes – no, me neither, but she apparently holds the world record for running 53 marathons in 53 days, so she’s clearly very experienced in distance running, as well as being a fucking lunatic – I decided to give it a read. After all, I have no intention of running a marathon any time soon (well, ever), but felt the tips might help with long-distance running in general, and I regard four miles as long-distance running.

Unfortunately, her ten tips turned out to be largely useless to me….

1. Vaseline your boobs and balls

Good start. I assume that men and women are generally expected to grease only one of these body parts (although, I am rapidly acquiring a delightful pair of man-breasts), but even taking that into account, if I am applying copious amounts of Vaseline to my danglies, the last thing I want to do is then leave the house and go for a run.

2. Don’t eat everything you’re given

Frankly, this is far better advice for my life in general, than for any long-distance running, but I anticipate she means the food which marshals hand out during marathons. No problem there, because the closest I will ever get to a race marshal handing out food, is the chippy near Sandbach train station (which I sometimes run past). Plus, I don’t like bananas anyway.

3. Create a mantra

Give me strength (that’s not mine, by the way).

Her suggestion? ‘You are strong. You are fearless. Don’t stop.’

Now, let’s be honest, if you ran past someone uttering that to themselves during a marathon, you would have to sacrifice your race time by a few extra seconds, in order to stop and laugh at them.

That said, I do have a sort of mantra when I run, but it’s more stick than carrot, and generally involves something like ‘if you don’t get to that next lamppost, you’re a fucking disgrace.’

4. You’re not doing this alone

I bloody am. It’s not a three-legged race, is it?


5. Head to the loo early

Apparently, this is to combat nerves before a marathon, and because the portable toilets only deteriorate in queue-length (and stench), the nearer you get to the start of the race. Not a problem, as I have no intention of entering any marathons. Besides, my current circuit is pretty deserted, so if I do reach critical bowel mass whilst running, I’ll just have to Paula Radcliffe it by the side of the road.

6. The crowds carry you through

Again, not much help to non-competitive runners. The only crowds I encounter on my route, are families and groups of teenagers, who insist on walking four abreast along the pavement – even once they have seen me – and then appear upset when I shout at them.

7. Get used to dodging bottles

I thought bottle throwing was something morons did at gigs (having usually filled them with urine), but apparently it is common for marathon runners to get hit by discarded bottles too, especially just after a fuelling station. So, as if the twenty-six miles weren’t incentive enough to avoid running marathons, we can now add ‘dodging plastic missiles’ and ‘leaping over someone taking a shit by the side of the road’ into the equation. Are all marathon runners complete sadists?

8. Don’t be embarrassed to flaunt your medal

Fear not, Amy. If I ever completed a marathon and got given a medal, I’d be dining out on that personal achievement for the next decade.

9. The runner’s high is real

Give it a rest, love. That’s delirium and dehydration setting in, not euphoria at running a long way (it might also be the side-effects of potassium poisoning, from all the bananas you scoffed en route).

10. You will walk like John Wayne for about a week

Well, I currently do that after just three miles, so I think I can handle it.

And people do this for fun?



All joking aside, I am in awe of anyone who can run a marathon, let alone what this (admittedly insane) lady has achieved. Sadly, no matter how many people claim it is purely mind over matter, and anyone can run a marathon if they train hard, they haven’t seen me run.

Nevertheless, since writing this week’s entry, I have rather impulsively (and foolishly) registered to take part in a local 5k ‘park run’ tomorrow morning. Most of my brain is now telling me this is a terrible idea, and I will embarrass myself, but there is a tiny neglected section, hidden somewhere at the back (my confidence), which keeps whispering that I can run 3 miles, I’m not that slow, and above all else…

I am strong. I am fearless. I won’t stop.

Now, where did I leave that Vaseline?

(Credit: Many thanks to my good friend Ant Longson, for mocking up the film poster at the start of this week’s entry for me. The fact that he accepts my strange requests, without even flinching, is testament to what a strange man he is. Which is undoubtedly why we get along so well).


The Man With The Golden Blog

If you are reading this, it means they found me. I don’t know how, but they found me. In fact, I’m not even sure who ‘they’ are.

I am hurriedly preparing this week’s entry, whilst hiding in my office on Tuesday 4th July (which, rather ironically, may prove to be anything but Independence Day for me). Once finished, I intend to e-mail a copy to my wife, with strict instructions that she is not to open the attachment until midday on Friday 7th July. Unless I contact her beforehand, she will then post this on my blog page.

If I have been captured, you must assume I am gone forever, and this will be my final entry. In the unlikely event I do escape, I plan to intercept this document before it goes live, and it will never see the light of day. Therefore, if you are reading these words, I fear this may be goodbye, my friends.

Let me explain (and, in doing so, I hope some of what follows can be used to track down my captors, and bring them to justice)….

Last Tuesday, as I travelled home from work, I noticed a black Volvo XC60 directly behind me. Nothing unusual about that, except the vehicle caught my attention for three distinct reasons:

Firstly, I am extremely fond of the Volvo XC60 and, if I ever get to own one, dark blue or black would be my preferred colour.


Secondly, the woman driving was potentially quite attractive, if a little older than me. I say ‘potentially’, because the sun was shining across her windscreen, so I could only tell that she was a brunette (my preference), appeared to be nicely proportioned, and was driving the sort of car which showed she had taste.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the car was approximately six inches from my fucking bumper, so it was a little hard not to take notice.

As we approached Holmes Chapel, with the Volvo still so close I could smell her perfume, we came to some roadworks and stopped. Miraculously, she avoided hitting my car, but I still glared at her in the mirror, adopting my very best ‘back the fuck off’ scowl.

Alas, she didn’t notice, because she had already begun checking her phone (well, I assume she was, because I cannot imagine her crotch was that interesting, and she was clearly doing something with her thumb down there).

As you know, I despise the use of mobile phones whilst driving, but since we were stationary, I decided not to exit my car, take her phone, and launch it into the nearest hedge – as I might otherwise have been inclined to.

However, when we began to move, she continued to text/fondle herself whilst driving, so I started gesturing via my mirror. Naturally, she didn’t notice, as I was not gesturing from between her legs at the time, but I still felt I had made my point, and hoped – as I always do in such situations – that her failure to pay attention to the road, would ultimately see her embedded firmly into a tree post-haste.

She continued to follow me, all the way through Holmes Chapel, Brereton and Sandbach (including all my little short-cuts, which not many drivers know about), and only turned off when I was approximately 200 yards from home. I made a point of remembering her registration number (I have no idea why) and continued home.

Nothing too unusual, so far. After all, she had only been behind me for around six or seven miles, and I encounter several dickhead drivers every week, so she was just another potential organ donor on our roads.

Except, here’s where it starts to get weird. As I drove to work the next morning, I approached the same roadworks, and again a large black car came speeding up behind me. It was only when I noticed the driver was on their phone / crotch admiring, that I realised it was the same woman.

This time, she chased me all the way from Holmes Chapel to Alderley Edge (about ten miles), where I thankfully lost her in traffic, a smug grin creeping across my face as she grew smaller in my mirror. Go tailgate some other poor bastard (I, rather tragically, said out loud).

The odds of having the same driver travel so close to me, on two consecutive journeys, played on my mind throughout the day – so much so, I grew nervous as I approached Alderley Edge that evening. However, I then remembered that I leave work half an hour later on Wednesdays, so there was not a chance she could be…..

…. shit, there she was, three cars behind me. To make matters worse, she was nowhere near the driver in front of her, which meant she wasn’t just an inconsiderate moron – she had been intentionally tailgating me during our two previous encounters.

Cold beads of sweat formed on the back of my neck, and trickled down my spine. Why was she following me? What did she want?

Within a mile or so, the two cars between us had turned off, and she was once again – for the third time in just over a day – directly behind me, so close it looked like I was towing her.

I struggled to focus on the road, and kept staring in the mirrors to try and get a better look at my pursuer, but, like the day before, the sunshine was obscuring most of her appearance.

I frantically searched the dashboard, looking for the controls which would deploy an oil slick or plume of smoke behind me, causing her to veer off the road. Nothing. All I managed to do was activate the central locking (twice), and then heat my rear window. Then it struck me: I was driving a VW, not a fully-equipped Aston Martin. I should think myself lucky there was a CD player and windscreen wipers.


VW Tiguan: Woefully Basic

I felt sure my pursuer wasn’t someone I knew, who might be following me as a prank, and she could only have seen my eyes in the mirror, so it wasn’t like she had caught a glimpse of the rest of me, had become infatuated (as so many women have), and was trying to initiate a roadside tryst. Besides, if she thought she could attract me by driving like a dickhead (whilst texting), then she clearly didn’t know me at all – cute Volvo/Vulva or not.

No, I was being followed by a deadly femme fatale, with unclear – but certainly malicious – intentions.


With that in mind, I tried slowing down, speeding up, taking different routes, but each time she remained inches from my bumper. She was relentless.

Ultimately, I had to resign myself to being tailed, while I tried to work out a plan of action. After all, she hadn’t tried to ram me yet, so although I didn’t appreciate her vehicle being so close, at least she hadn’t made a move.

Was she working alone, or under the instruction of some crazed megalomaniac? And why follow me? I’m neither a spy (although, if I was, I would say that) nor anyone of interest to the intelligence/counter-intelligence services. Maybe it was a case of mistaken identity, and she – or her employers – would soon realise their mistake, then leave me alone?

Thankfully, she remained at her ‘safe’ distance of six inches, all the way to Sandbach, where she again turned off shortly before my road.

I hardly slept that night. Partly because of the three terrifying encounters with this mystery assassin, but also because Isaac was once again in our bed by 11pm, and using my scrotum as a football.

The following morning, Thursday, it was my turn to take Ollie to school, so this time it was the journey to work which would take place later than the day before – by approximately an hour and a quarter.

Shortly after setting off, I nervously glanced down the road she had taken on the two previous journeys home, half-expecting her Volvo to speed out and sideswipe my VW from the left.

I was about to chastise myself for being so paranoid, when I saw her. She wasn’t speeding towards me, as I had feared, but was simply waiting for my vehicle to pass, so that she could once again resume her pursuit. A game of cat and mouse. I was the Jerry to her Tom.

My mind raced, as I tried to eliminate possible organisations and motives. She couldn’t be a spy, because the whole purpose of being a spy is to remain clandestine, not drive a fucking great Volvo right behind someone. If she had been sent to tail me covertly, then she was atrocious at her job, and would surely be eliminated by her employers, before she could do any more damage to their reconnaissance.

I then wondered whether she worked for the Inland Revenue, as I had a sneaking suspicion I had screwed up my self-assessment tax return in January, and vehicular intimidation certainly seemed like a tactic those unscrupulous bastards might adopt. Then again, they would never have checked my tax return as early as June, so I quickly dismissed that thought.

The fact is, every possible explanation that my mind thrust forth, during our twenty-mile pursuit through the Cheshire countryside (until I again lost her in Alderley Edge), was fundamentally flawed for one reason or another, and so I remained – and still remain – oblivious as to her intentions.

In some ways, this makes me even more terrified, as you cannot fight what you do not understand. They are holding all the cards.

My only hope, is that I can work out the identity of my pursuers, and how to stop them, before it is too late (and before this blog entry gets published).

It seems pointless asking you to wish me luck, since if you are reading this then my luck has run out. But, for some reason, I feel better for telling you. I hope you never read these words, and that my blog will return next week in a more light-hearted tone. I would like nothing more, than to share a childish knob-gag with you all once again.

Farewell, my friends.


P.S. This document – and my paranoia – has absolutely nothing to do with the fact I got a 36-disc collection of James Bond audio books for Father’s Day, which I have been listening to on my commute lately.


Blogs and Kisses

Earlier this week, I discovered a Valentine’s Day present which my wife had given me in February (that being the traditional month for such exchanges, of course).

Before you judge me, and assume I had cruelly discarded the gift, it’s not that I hadn’t appreciated it at the time, more that I had put it somewhere safe, where I wouldn’t forget about it.

Then I forgot about it.

Here is the gift in question:


If you are unsure what it is, let me explain: it is a tin, filled with several mini packets of ‘Love Hearts’. If you’re still confused, as I expect some of my non-UK following may be, Love Hearts are small, heart-shaped sweets (or candy, for the Americans), with supposedly romantic phrases printed on them. Oh, and in case you were wondering why I had preserved the gift in white silk, that’s not my exact tin – I got that image from Google.

I say the phrases are ‘supposedly’ romantic, because it does of course depend on your own personal definition of romance. For example, some people may consider the phrase ‘all mine’ to be very endearing and cute, but I personally find it quite threatening. To me, telling someone they are all yours, is one step from sending them bits of your hair in the post, and then boiling their pet rabbit on the stove. ‘All mine’ is what Isaac shouts when there are Jaffa Cakes nearby.

I would also regard that particular message as a warning to all other potential love interests to back the fuck off. It’s the sort of Love Heart you want your partner to eat in public, so that everyone can see they are all yours. I can’t help thinking that Swizzels Matlow (the makers of Love Hearts), only went with ‘all mine’ as one of their chosen phrases, because ‘leave me, and I’ll cut your penis off and nail it to a wall’ didn’t fit (or the font would have been so tiny, it would have rendered the message utterly pointless).

This is by no means a criticism of my wife, because she cannot possibly have known what the individual messages inside the tin would say – other than having the general suspicion that some of them would be sickeningly cutesy. It was simply a romantic gesture, and the phrases printed onto the sweets entirely incidental. After all, it’s not like I am the kind of obsessive person who would read all the messages together, to try and discover any potential confectionery-based cypher she had planned:

“Erm, dear, are you trying to tell me something with these sweets? It’s just that the first five I have eaten so far had the messages ‘Oi You!’, ‘Why Not?’, ‘Get Me’, ‘A Drink?’ and ‘Cockwomble’ printed on them.”

Anyway, we are not the sort of couple who do romantic gestures very often, so I would never normally pay much attention to the messages on the sweets themselves, but as I was munching my way through a packet on Monday morning, something happened which caused me to take notice.

Basically, I decided it would be rude not to offer a packet to the two colleagues I share an office with, but only my male colleague accepted. Having given him a pack, I started to worry that some of the phrases might be inappropriate for our continued working relationship. After all, I haven’t eaten Love Hearts in years, and with this being a limited-edition Valentine’s Day tin, what if they had created a series of one-off sweets to mark the occasion? It would be rather difficult for us to move on professionally, if I had just handed him a sweet with ‘Ride Me Big Boy’ printed across it. I didn’t want him getting the wrong idea.

I frantically started checking my own half-eaten packet, to see what Swizzels Matlow deem romantic these days, and I was utterly shocked.

It’s not that they have gone all risqué and ‘50 Shades…’, as I had first feared, but they have nevertheless ‘updated’ the sweets for the modern market and, worse, made some of them regional.

Genuinely, the first few I encountered had the phrases ‘Wicked’, ‘Alreet Pet’ and ‘Totes Hilar’ printed on them. Who did they consult in their marketing campaign, Liam Gallagher, Sarah Millican and Joey Essex?


Ok, ‘Wicked’ is quite endearing I suppose (so long as the recipient is old enough to be familiar with the early-1990’s interpretation of the word, and doesn’t assume you are calling them evil), but ‘Alreet Pet’ and ‘Totes Hilar’? Seriously? I haven’t got through all the packets yet, but it can only be a matter of time before I discover ‘Sorted, Our Kid’, ‘Ay Up Me Duck’, and ‘Safe Bruv, Safe’.

My outrage at these ridiculous sweets, was only surpassed by the anger that I had inadvertently eaten most of the evidence. However, having once again ventured into the dark underbelly of Google Images, I’ve found an example of some of the new phrases as proof:

Cavendish Press - Manchester

Let’s analyse these, shall we?

‘Cwtch Me’ – I had never encountered this phrase until a short while ago, and my first reaction was that it was supposed to say Catch Me (W and A are next to each other on a keyboard, after all). Anyway, having checked online, cwtch is apparently a Welsh word meaning ‘cuddle’ or ‘hug’ (because the Welsh are allergic to vowels).

‘Alreet Pet’ – Another example of a Love Heart being irrelevant to 95% of the population. Why are Swizzels Matlow directing their marketing solely towards the Welsh Valleys and North East? Why not aim some sweets towards people from Manchester (Nice One, Knobhead), Birmingham (Yom Bostin’) or London (You Fackin’ Muggin’ Me Off, Darlin’?). They’ve alienated the majority of Britain here.

‘Marry Me?’ – Ridiculously specific, and can only really be used once. Besides, the sort of person who uses a Love Heart to propose is, with all due respect, a complete tool you are better off avoiding.

‘Think Pink’ – I can’t decide whether this is aimed at expectant couples who really want a baby daughter (and think the power of positive-mental-attitude-via-candy will help), or whether it is intended to raise Breast Cancer awareness. I do hope it’s the latter, as this would at least render the sweets worthwhile (although it would somewhat detract from the supposedly light-hearted nature of the messages, in the same way that ‘Check Your Balls, Lads’ wouldn’t really be appropriate either).

‘60 Years of Love’ – Bloody hell. If we thought ‘Marry Me’ was specific, this has got to be some kind of joke. Not only does this sweet only work for a specific twelve-month period in any particular relationship, but they’re now manufacturing thousands of little sweets aimed solely at people in their seventies upwards. Which begs the question: which septuagenarians, octogenarians, and nonagenarians are buying cute little sweets for their partners? Not many, I should imagine.

‘Miracles Happen’ – Well, yes, if people who have been together for exactly sixty years (not fifty-nine, not sixty-one, but precisely sixty) are your target audience, and you hope to sell sufficient quantities of romantic sweets to make your company profitable, you’ll need a fucking miracle.

‘Hot Wheels’ – Give me strength. Unless this is a new-fangled way of telling someone that you find them attractive (‘Look at the pair of hot wheels on that!’), then this is completely ridiculous, and assumes people are only interested in potential partners for the car they drive. Which, unless you happen to live in Alderley Edge and are married to a footballer, you almost certainly are not.

‘Skype Me!’ – I’m not sure which part of this I dislike the most: the suggestion that Skype is now the favoured method of courtship among young couples (assuming they don’t live far apart, in which case I am prepared to retract that comment slightly), or the implied threat of the exclamation mark at the end. If you are that desperate for your loved one to contact you via Skype, how about you send them a text (or, better still, Skype them), rather than sending a packet of sweets, hoping this particular message will be inside?

‘Swipe Right’ – Look, it’s bad enough that your partner has an apparent toileting problem, which persistently leaves one of their bum cheeks partially-smeared following a drop off, but to broadcast it via confectionery? Get a grip (which, incidentally, is another sweet I have just encountered in my current packet).

‘YOLO’ – Not just a cringe-worthy acronym for ‘You Only Live Once’, created by the Y2K generation to irritate anyone born before 1999, but a timely reminder that we are all on a downward slope to our impending deaths, and every decision that we ever make is probably the wrong one. They might as well have labelled these sweets ‘Regret Everything, Then Die’.

‘Take a Selfie’ – I can only presume Swizzels Matlow settled on this phrase, because their lawyers advised against ‘WhatsApp Me A Picture of Your Boobs/Willy’. That Y2K shower have a lot to answer for, with their relentless sexting and whatnot.

‘Tweet Me’ – Back to the Skype argument again. Look, if you want someone to tweet you, would it not make more sense to, oh, I don’t know, stop being so fucking lazy and tweet them? Unless this is another modern phrase I am unaccustomed with, which refers to getting jiggy with it.

In conclusion, this latest confectionery abomination is yet another example of chocolatiers and sweet manufacturers failing to consult me – or at least someone of equal intelligence – before rushing headlong into a marketing catastrophe.

I understand that products need to be updated sometimes, but had Swizzels Matlow set me with the brief of modernising Love Hearts (whilst still maintaining a romantic theme), my suggestions would have been far more appropriate/accurate:

Early Night?

Quick, The Kids Are Asleep!

Not Tonight, I Have a Headache

And, my personal favourite:

You Have Three Minutes, Then I’m Going to Sleep.

I hope Swizzels Matlow are proud of themselves.

Cavendish Press - Manchester

(Oh, ok, the ‘hot wheels’ one makes more sense now: it’s clearly aimed at the disabled. Because that’s not inappropriate….)