Armed with a wire brush on a broom handle and “OK Computer”, I attempted to weed our driveway using good, old-fashioned elbow grease but soon resorted to spraying it indiscriminately with pelargonic acid weed killer.
In the direct sunlight, this killed off the various weeds within an hour.
For several weeks, I avoided thinking about how to remove the dried, shrivelled remains, leaving the sack of setting sand in our garage unopened. The weeds have now regrown.
When we moved into our house over a year ago, I brought with me two plastic bags full of unsorted papers. These contained a variety of documents to be sorted and letters to be binned but I’d put the job off for several years, letting the bag sit on the floor of my office. In a quiet moment
of madness, I decided to tackle this filing backlog once and for all.
It took several days to finish, sorting papers into loose categories and filling the recycling bin. In the end, you can’t really tell the difference.
After enjoying Tom’s reaction to “Stray”, I was pleasantly surprised to discover it wasn’t a PS5-exclusive but is also available for the PS4. I bought it from the PlayStation store and made short work of it in a few days.
Missing having something to play, I picked “Chicory” for the Nintendo Switch back up and enjoyed finishing that too.
We rented “Everything Everywhere All At Once” and, like many others, loved it. I also recommend The Pop Culture Detective Agency’s “Everyone Everywhere Needs Waymond”, an analysis of the film and its character of Waymond played by Ke Huy Quan.
For the first time in years, I went into Leeds city centre with E—— in order to browse sofas at John Lewis.
Aside from disastrous attempted trips to London, I hadn’t been in a real city since we moved up north. I relished asking a barista about a roaster’s coffee beans in a tiny café but it felt equally comforting to return to the “spa and festival town” we call home.
When A—— was two weeks old, I bumped into another parent from C——’s nursery. He asked how things were going and I said things were going relatively well, that the second child seemed easier than the first perhaps because you have much better perspective the second time around. His response?
Yeah, I remember feeling like that for the first two weeks. But it’s all downhill from there.
I’ve certainly been guilty of this myself but it really does feel like parents can’t help but engage in a sort of misery competition with one another.
Two years old? Oh, I remember those good times, just you wait until they’re three!
For relief, I’ve listened to 40 episodes of “Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe’s Parenting Hell”. Among the many topics discussed, the snowballing complexity of bedtime routines was eerily familiar.
C——’s nightly routine involves taking “no more than three” (typically five to seven) toy vehicles with him up the stairs to his bedroom. Once there, each vehicle is slowly parked against his wardrobe to the following script:
I’m ever so tired, I had so much fun insert activity from the day here, now I need a big rest. Parked.
It’s a rare chance to hear about his time at nursery or learn what sticks in his mind from our days together.
He started to mix up the final part of this ritual by replacing “big rest” with “big… breakfast”, “big… Stroganoff” or—one he was particularly proud of—”big… poo to eat”.
Having two young children means my day is increasingly made up of routine (waking with the oldest, getting them both dressed, emptying the dishwasher, making coffee, making breakfast, putting them down for naps, etc.) It’s strange to take medication daily but it seems to have reduced the frequency of migraines without clearing them up altogether.
I didn’t ruin my lawn by feeding it and am now the proud owner of a 210 litre water butt (installed with a little extra PTFE tape). A little thrill runs through me every time it rains knowing I’m hoarding water from the sky like some sort of Yorkshire Immortan Joe.
After a summer morning paddling in the River Wharfe, we stopped at a nearby deli for ice cream in their garden. E—— and C—— went to pay at the till as I wrangled A—— into her pram. I perused their selection of coffee beans before noticing C—— was missing. “Isn’t he with you?”
I left the deli and couldn’t see C—— anywhere until I spotted a stranger walking hand-in-hand with him back from the busy junction at the top of the road. “He was going to cross the road!” she cried as we were reunited.
C—— later said he “didn’t know” he shouldn’t walk home by himself.
Years ago, I bought a set of tools for taking the dashboard of my car apart. I used them once to fit a Bluetooth adapter to the car radio but they have since sat wrapped in their original bubble wrap, unused.
This morning I wondered if they would be any good for lifting the wooden floor in the spare bedroom. It took a while to find them but when I did, there it was: a handheld pry bar.