Competitive Dad


Competitive Dad
Get your fleece off honey!
Competitive Dad
Get your hands in the air!
Competitive Mum
Get in tighter!
Competitive Mum
Get your hands in there!
Bemused Daughter
Alright, alright!
Bemused Daughter
Would you both stand over there.

Our standard position is “We’re not really competitive people in our house”. But the missus and my behaviour yesterday put a dent in that theory. I found myself the only adult shouting at my daughter’s end of term school netball completion, except for… my other half.

It’s the first time in my life I’ve attended a competitive team sporting fixture in which my daughter was playing. And what an extraordinary experience that is. I was rooting for her, so much I couldn’t stand still and certainly couldn’t help trying to catch her eye and shouting advice at her.

I need to learn from my own Dad: arrive without fanfare, be present, then quietly disappear.

Carol Singing


School Christmas carols
Parents wedged in
Younger siblings
Making a din
Silence falls
Like a blanket of snow
Then many small voices
Sing tunes we all know
All upstanding
The grow-ups join in
All in good voice
The joy of a hymn
Our spirits all lifted
By seasonal cheer
The annual sing song
Gets better each year.

The annual Christmas carol service, at my daughter’s new school, is a step up from the childish plays of recent years.

Opened with an expert trumpet solo, studded with eloquent readings and conducted with vim and vigour throughout, this was a classy – and very traditional – Christmas performance.

She, smartly dressed in red shirt and blue skirt, never spotted us – lost in the crowd. But I could see her, through gaps in many heads, singing her little heart out. It lifted mine as I stood to sing too. You can’t beat a proper Christmas hymn.