The week began with Emily’s actual birthday. Being a Monday, and Louise and I having to go to work we had to wake her at some silly time to bestow pressies upon her. This, on a school day is dicey, but to do it in school holidays is something that only the bravest souls should attempt. We did offer her the option of having her presents on Sunday evening, but bless her, she felt this wouldn’t be quite right.
It was probably the lure of presents which meant that she was awake, and amazingly smiling quite quickly and with minimum physical harm to either parent. We were not stupid or ambitious enough to actually assume she would get out of bed, so we did the deed in her bedroom and she was delighted with the gifts on offer.
From Nana, Grandad and Auntie and Uncle, a pig that you can stick your iPod into. Folk have been arrested for less, but it seems this is OK to do. It isn’t very big, but seems to have the audio output equivalent an Iron Maiden gig. In fact that would be preferrable to some of the shouty nonsense that has been pouring out of it this week.
Most of the girl’s music is at worst tolerable, and some quite enjoyable, but at the other extreme, is the shouty nonsense with a bloke using some sort of ridiculous deep gutteral noise to spout lyrics that no-one can actually make out. Yes, yes I know I now sound like every Dad in history, but I refute that claim. Where music is concerned I am fairly discerning, having almost been a pop star and everything, and I’m sorry but this stuff really is just noise.
Emily’s other main present from good old Mum & Dad was a camera. She’d asked for this a while ago, and in line with all good Dad traditions, I had told her she had no chance as they were too expensive, so she was nicely surprised upon ripping the wrappings off.
She fancies getting into photography, which ties in with her overall interest in all things media, film and stuff. Having looked at proper SLRs, chuckled at the price and moved on we got her what I believe is called a Bridge camera. As the name suggests a sort of half way house between the usual point and shoot and those proper cameras where you need to know what you are doing.
As someone who is firmly in the point and shoot, leave it on automatic setting camp, I really hope she does get into photography enough to know her ISO from her elbow, then she can teach me. What it also means, is that this year we should have two lots of photos from our holiday. I suspect Emily’s collection will be quite select, as the “effort” of actually carrying it around will all be a bit too much…unless of course good old Dad shoves it into the never-ending rucksack.
The girls have been off this week as the holidays are now in full swing, which has meant getting to work has been a whole load easier. No teenagers to get out bed, no lunches to make, and the traffic on the roads has been a delight. Work itself is making a little more sense every day, and I feel like I made the odd positive contribution every now and again too.
So the week really passed without too much to note. Saturday saw the girls and I strike out to the forbidden land that is the Trafford Centre on a Saturday. My declaration that we had to be out of the house by 9.30am crashed and burned on the rocks of showers, hair dryers and hair straighteners. I must learn to get ready quicker! Anyway, we got there pre lunch, and the main job was to get Rebecca some shorts. Gone are the days of buying a multi pack of multi coloured shorts, possibly with flowers on from Adams. Back then, the girls would more or less wear whatever you put on them. My how things have changed, and we spent hours, scouring every clothes shop in the Trafford Centre for shorts….denim shorts.
Can I just say what an absolute nonsense female clothes shopping is. Items are not grouped together in one part of the store, so you might find a pair of shorts near the door, and several others tucked away in some dark corner. Then even when you do find them, the game of trying to identify what bloody size each garment is starts. These labels are not displayed obviously on the outside of the clothes, or on some large clear label, or even better hung around the top of the hanger. No this crucial information is hidden inside the shorts, on a label the size of a pin head, in a foreign language. So this means I have to root around in women’s shorts getting all hot and sweaty (so many jokes, so little time), as the girls will not exert that level of effort, as it may impinge on their job of looking cool.
Then, I had to summon the crash team to revive me when I saw that the price for a piece of denim, stitched into the shape of shorts started, yes, started at £20. I won’t continue the rant here, but we dropped a bunch of cash just to ensure Rebecca didn’t have to spend the fortnight in her swimsuit. Of course the expense was added to with lunch, the obligatory Starbucks, and a couple of T Shirts for Emily, as the sulk factor for having being dragged to the Trafford Centre, and not being bought anything reached serious levels after a few hours. Rebecca also secured herself a new pair of black converse as her old ones were literally falling apart. She does wear them as her school shoes, so Dad logic says, yes you can have a pair for the holidays, and then they will do nicely for the new term when you get back! Result.
The rest of Saturday was spent by me at the gym, taking a few ounces off in readiness for the calorie onslaught that will ensue in the US, then we went to see Toy Story 3 in 3D. It was up to the usual high standards, and Emily cried all over again. I say again, as of course she and Rebecca watched it last weekend for her birthday do.
Perhaps the theme of growing up and moving on struck a chord with Emily, as at 15, she has a drawer full of toys she just won’t part with. As soon as her back is turned, I am due an eBay bonanza.
Over the weekend I have also watched the episodes of Man vs Food that I had sky plussed on Friday. It is on one of those high numbered channels on Sky that you rarely stumble to, but believe me it is well worth it.
The premise is that Adam Richman travels the US visiting eateries, and taking on various eating challenges. Some are truly ridiculous, and one episode stood out for that very reason. I can eat, but this meant taking down a 2lb sandwich, and 6lb milkshake in one hour. I won’t spoil it by telling you whether he did or not!!
If you haven’t seen the show have a look for it on Friday nights, aroundabout Channel 249 or 250 I think…or of course You Tube is your friend.
One last thing to point out, is that I have started to use Four Square. I can’t really tell you what it is, but it is a new social networking thing, so I thought I’d give it a go. I only mention it as it posts updates as to my location from time to time, so when you see them on Twitter or Facebook, it might explain why I am posting trivia about being at Asda!! Not that me posting trivia is anything new to anybody.
Till the next time…..