Hello and a very warm welcome to my newly relaunched blog. I'm Paul a 40 year old family man from the UK. In this complex, information overload 21st century world, too often we lose sight of what's really important. Here I want to celebrate life, share inspirational stories, throw the spotlight on charities and causes close to my heart. Looking forward to sharing this journey with you all.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Treasured moments from the Easter holidays

I always look forward to spending the extended weekend with the family at Easter time. After a couple of days visiting our family and friends in Scunthorpe and up in Leeds, we set out for a local day out on Easter Sunday. Sadly, as always seems to be the case with our weather, the day never delivered the promised sunshine, instead a mixture of damp and drizzly stuff all day long.

In the end after a bit of a drive around, we settled on a visit to Doddington Hall Farm shop and cafe for a spot of lunch. They weren't coping too well with the extra visitor numbers, the coffee machine was broken and the only seating to spare was outside in the showery conditions. But, what they did have was a selection of golfing umbrellas, and as luck would have it, we managed to find one adorned with pretty much all the colours of the rainbow. Now these are the times when you need to zoom in a little, to appreciate the sheer delight that the simplest things in this life can bring. There we were, little man and me, sitting at our little wooden table tucked safe and warm under the brolly. As I twizzled it around, his little face was beaming, reflecting all the different colours swirling around above him.

We were singing in the rainbow, floating it up in the air Mary Poppins style one moment, then tucking right down under it. A couple of bottles of water became skittles, each coloured segment of the umbrella taking turns to be used to knock them over. Two hungry boys just having a laugh together, nothing on earth more precious to me that shared moments like these....

Sunday, 5 April 2009

They grow up so quick....

It comes to something when your 3 year old lad puts you to shame on the domestic responsibilities front. There I was dragged up bright and far too early by the little fella last Sunday morning, ready for him to head for his potty while I flicked on the telly.

"Daddy we must get Henry and pick up these crumbs!"

He'd instantly spied the lounge carpet scattered with various remnants of last nights bombay mix snacks and cheesy crackers, and unlike me, was straight on the case. We'd told him that his 4 year old cousin was coming to play on Sunday and he was a baba on a mission. So I dutifully retrieve our smiley faced vacuum hero Henry from under the stairs as simultaneously he purposefully fetches in the bag of attachments. Still in a daze I struggle to work out which bit screws on where, but yet again he leaps to my rescue - "No Daddy , this bit must go on there first, then we put this silver bit on..."

He's spot on, its only that we are missing a piece, but within seconds he's up the stairs to rescue the situation dragging his mummy away from a long overdue lie in potential. "Daddy say thank you to mummy" he chipped in, before I could even mutter my appreciation. All fixed, he leads me round the floor guiding the hose in all directions before finally nonchalantly strolling over to his potty for a well earned morning sit down!

Friday, 3 April 2009

Wii fit schmee fit, try the Chim Chim Cherooo work out!

For me, you can try all the latest and greatest entertainment gadgets you like to help with entertaining your children but sometimes the simplest things are the best.

The phenomenal success of the WII Console and particularly the WII fit, owes much to the fact that it encourages interactive and energetic play, something that all the family can do together.

But as I don't have one of these to hand, as tempting as it may be to sit them down in front of the telly for a quiet moment or three, it doesn't always have to be passive. Over Christmas we managed to catch the last part of Mary Poppins and recorded it on our digibox, including the classic roof top cocker ney Chimney sweeping dance shenanigans of the legendary Dick Van Dyke "SCCHHHTEPPP in time, all me pals, Muuurry Powpins!"

Despite its creaking age and almost laughable "special effects" by any moderen standards, it still amazes me every time just how much our little man loves it. So there I am moping in the chair, worn out from the day, thinking I'll just put this on that'll use up half an hour before babba's bath time. Then as they head up to the rooftops, little man gets up on his feet, and starts a little gig. Before I know it, we're both dancing around the living room like a couple of goofballs doing our best to reinact all the tumbles and swings and rooftop leapery that's going on before our eyes.

Again! Again! - what a fantastic work out; 15 minutes of hard core dancing, helping him with handstands and backlifts - that cheeky shared sense of enjoying the moment

Supercalifragilistic dancing was atrocious - but these are the things to treasure!!