Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Why do other families' homes smell so different? #BRITISHDADSTUFF

You know that you are a Great British Dad when... know and like the smell of your own home.

Ever notice how other families' homes smell different?

Dog kennels and Elephant houses all smell like each other.
We're the same kind of animals. Why do all our homes smell so different?

Is it a genetic, biological thing - a way of knowing that you're back at home?

Or is it meant to be a big turn-off?

Your home smells bad to me to drive off anyone that's not close family, who will waste your precious resources.

Your resources stink to me. So I will not stay here so long to use them.

You always notice it the most getting home from the car boot sale.

This is why we've got to go to a field to sell off our stuff.
Fresh air.
Nice neutral smell for the things.

And then you get the stuff you've bought home and "phwooar!"
It stinks!

And you're there, cleaning all the dust out fo the crevices.
Trying to get rid of that smell.
That smell that was there to keep you away from the stuff in the first place.

Previous post...
Hello, how are you? How to get the best from the worst phonecall, or anyone #BritishDadStuff

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

I send these out daily by emaily, leave me your address and I will do the ress(-t)...

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Hello, how are you? How to get the best from the worst phonecall, or anyone #BritishDadStuff

You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you've got to book an appointment with someone who sounds like they hate you and every other caller.

I had to book a completely routine appointment.

I called the number at a major Big City hospital far away - even though it's for an appointment in my town.

I book it and I've not done this before, so I ask where was it.

"Well I don't know, do I. I'm based at the Big City Hospital."



"Um, sorry, but do you know where it is or where I'm supposed to go?"

"No, I just told you. I'm not in your town. I'm in the Big City Hospital, in the Big City."


"Okay, well... this has been great!"

And I hang up.

You know when a chat ends, and it was not good for either of you?

It was one of those.

Believe it or not, I don't go into the world to spread misery.

And now I'm paranoid.

Shouldn't she have checked my contact details?
Ask me my date of birth?
Did that appointment even just get booked?

And it gets worse.
I told my LSW (Long-Suffering Wife) about it and she said we wouldn't be back in our town that early and yes I would have to call back the Big City Hospital to change it to a different time.

"But I'm scared.
She might snap at me again.
Maybe the X-rays zapped her too much."

"Sorry, you've just got to do it. "

And I'm on hold, daydreaming Danny Boyle's Olympics Ceremony Tribute to the NHS having dithery know-nothings being told off by entitled jobsworths for not knowing their system.

We didn't see them because we didn't know where to find them and missed the appointment.

And then it hit me: I need to go completely crazy happy on this call.

I singsonged.

"How are you?"
said like we'd been sleeping together for the month.

"I'm good thanks!"
The sheer force of energy I think I heard is making her smile.

"I need to check an appointment please!"
I said like a six year-old doing role play in the Home Corner.

"What's the name?"
she chirruped.

I've got to front this out. She'll know it's me.
So I spelt it out, making the phonetics as saucy as possible.

"M for Mother, O for OMG! S for sex-ahy, another S for some more sex-ahy, E for... Elephant Man, Y for... Yes."

(I ran out by the end).

Got the appointment moved - over to the Big City Hospital.

I went too far.

So now I'm one month into my experiment:
Every single time I talk to someone in person or on phone, I always try
"Hello, how are you?"

(I only forgot to do it once, and that thing happened in the supermarket).

It's still working.
Today I got a free coffee.

Previous post...
Tell me why... I don't like Cyber Mondays #BritishDadStuff

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

No appointment needed to get my posts for free. Just ping me your email address here to subscribe, thanks.
And how are you?

Monday, 28 November 2016

Tell me why... I don't like Cyber Mondays #BritishDadStuff

You know that you are a Great British Dad when... want to make up some made-up holidays of your own.

There's pressure to spend when there's already pressure to spend, in the run-up to Christmas.

Like the birth of a Messiah isn't enough of a deadline, marketing and brands try ratcheting up the urgency with the made-up days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday that we all moan about, but we want to have The Stuff.

This year Cyber Monday falls between Working For The Man Sunday, and Credit Card Interest Rate Tuesday.

Can't help thinking I missed some out here.

What would you add to Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Previous post...
How we use 1137 litres of water a day. According to the water company PLC #BritishDadStuff

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

Every day is "sending out a blog post" day for me. If you'd like to celebrate this with me, just click here to send me your email address and thank you. It really helps me keep this experiment going.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

How we use 1137 litres of water a day. According to the water company PLC #BritishDadStuff

You know that you are a Great British Dad when... give up trying to save money and just splash out.

Our water company tells us we’re using 1137 litres of water per day.

If you knew how much our kids want to drink their glass of water or have a bath, you’d know that over 1000 litres of water per day might not be very true.

We did not know we were metered when we moved in, and the previous owner gave a really low reading.

She did us up like a kipper.

A kipper swimming around in an aquarium that's DEEP.

The reading they had was 345 units.

What units do they measure water in...

Is it Mega-mugs?

By the time I found out and evidence gathered a photo 3 weeks later, it was 400 units.

I have got more photos on my phone of meters, than kids.

But I have no way of proving we didn’t use those 55 units.
(Wells? Is that what the units are? Mega-kettles? Mega-bladders.
UK water company meters measure our water in units of mega-bladders.)

So now 2 water companies (the one who supplies it clean, and the other takes it away dirty) think that we use 1137 litres of water per day.

That’s really impressive.

We will go through life like someone who uses 1000 litres of water per day.

I feel like a Kardashian.
But my wife tells me I can’t have one.

Our reign (sorry, rain) of living like Timotei models washing our hair in waterfalls will end next quarter. With our stupid “waterwise” lifestyle.

What if we lied on our water meter bill?

Double the mega-bladder units that we report to the water company?

They whack up prices every year - above inflation.

It’d be like pre-buying the water now (and drinking and weeing it out) before it gets more expensive?

It’s a bright idea.

No, it’s a Brita idea.

I should probably put these ideas through the filter.

Previous post...
Why are seams for my socks all on the inside? and 43-49 other Great British Dad Thoughts #BRITISHDADSTUFF

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

And unlike the 1000 waters we used today, these posts go out by email every day. You can subscribe for free by clicking here to send me your email address.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Why are seams for my socks all on the inside? and 43-49 other Great British Dad Thoughts #BRITISHDADSTUFF

My 5 year-old daughter is using these for reading practice: Great British Dad thoughts and ideas for this week.

Roll on, December.

Sunday 27th November
"Does he brush up, no he doesn't brush up... "
But I'll take a crazy unfair guess who set up your Wi-Fi.

Monday 28th November
The seams for my socks are all on the inside.
Wouldn't it be better wearing them inside out?

Tuesday 29th November
The stuff I write is "content". But I do it because I am not content.

Wednesday 30th November
Turns out my kink is watching the faces of gay men on exhibition displays looking at me in disgust while my children wreck the things on their stand.

Thursday 1st December
Why have tools in ugly boxes? They might get used more from something like a hamper.

Friday 2nd December
I join in with BBC Autumnwatch. My cameras are on the gas meter.

Saturday 3rd December
There are only three villains blocking my dream of creating a crimefighting family. Unfortunately they are my family.

I keep a whole year's worth of 365 Great British Dad Thoughts right here.

Previous post...
Mum's Deathiversary and how people in Camden Town bizarrely stood still in the street #BritishDadStuff

Or you can follow me on Twitter here... Thanks.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Mum's Deathiversary and how people in Camden Town bizarrely stood still in the street #BritishDadStuff

"Awww Neil. Not that picture?" She'd say.

You know that you are a Great British Dad when... realise what your parents did too.

It's Friday - the day I put out the "difficult post"

Funny that today is also the third anniversary of Mum dying (passing on feels like such a limp way of avoiding it).

And the only word I can find for it is her Deathiversary.

But there is a couple of really nice things that happened right after.

We had a "Celebrant" speak at her funeral - lovely guy called Andrew.

He kindly offered to write a eulogy about her life, but my sister wrote a brilliant one instead - put below as an awesome thumbnail for her to live online for as long as Google lasts.

We asked the Celebrant if he ever found it hard, saying someone else's words about someone else.
"Only once" he gleamed.

There was a family who weren't rough so much as outspoken. And he told us about the 20 minute sweary rant he delivered for them: calling out who had F &*%ed over who, and caused the deceased f- ing grief over the years.

The other thing that made us smile was on the route to the crematorium.

It took in pretty much every street Mum drove us around as kids: past Camden Park Stores for last minute gravy (now flats) round the Brecknock and our childhood alcoholic Dentists, towards our primary school and up Parliament Hill Fields where we'd play after.

A few minutes in though, I noticed a man who stood still, and bowed his head to us.

It was odd and extremely respectful.

And then someone else did the same.

Then more kept coming.

People stopping, on busy Central London streets, turning towards the hearse, lowering their heads and sometimes crossing themselves.

I thought it was old people.
But it wasn't.
Young men in scruffy clothes, stopped, bowed and crossed.

It was lovely.

And then I got it.

Maybe it's a club. One day they've been here, in the hearse too.

They didn't know it, but this is who it was for:

"Vera was born in London in 1943. The youngest of five siblings, she was a bit of a miracle child, because her mum Alice had thought for years that she couldn't have any more children - a doctor had to explain to her that she hadn't gone through 'the change', as she had thought - she just had malnutrition because she was feeding all her children and not herself during the war.

And while the initial shock was terrifying to her because she was completely blind, Vera was loved from the moment she was born, and she grew up being her mum's eyes into the world.

Her dad George, who was an ambulance driver and paramedic in wartime London, ran the local St John's Ambulance group for decades, and Vera would go with him all throughout her childhood and teens.

One of her earliest memories was of going to an event with her dad when they witnessed a bus run over a boy, and her dad used all the bandages intended to last the entire event on this one boy and saved his life. She was so proud to be his daughter every day, but especially that day. He had taught her skills for life, and her knowledge of medical facts never left her and she would regularly surprise doctors with how much she knew.

It was in the early 60s when Ian, her husband to be, would be by his delivery van every day at the same time she would walk past him on her way to work every morning and that's how they met. It was a relationship and marriage that would span 45 years and they both commented frequently that neither of them had ever wanted to be with anyone else.

One thing everyone will always remember about Vera is how incredibly well turned out she always was: in the teeniest clothes, the flirtiest pencil skirts and her black stiletto heels. In the 60s, she made all her own clothes, and it's impossible to find a photo of her where you can't see her underwear, her hemlines were always so short.

She would have great fun dancing at The Lyceum on Friday nights then, when she met Ian, enjoyed many dates at concerts, the theatre, and all the best new restaurants in London. They even saw The Beatles on one of their dates… but both remember it with disappointment, as all they could hear was girls screaming for the entire concert.

When Neil came along, then Carolyn, Vera absolutely loved being a mum and dedicating herself to the happiness of her family. She had many secretarial jobs over the years to make ends meet and pay for the family holiday once a year.

She was justly proud of her high WPM, her ability to do shorthand when many struggled to learn it, and the fact that she had so many jobs and got every one that she ever went for. Among them, she enjoyed her friendships at the N.N.E.B - especially the day her and the rest of the secretaries beat all the chief executives at a game of Trivial Pursuit(!), her time as secretary of a school for mentally and physically disabled children, and mostly enjoyed her last job working for the world-class neurologists who diagnosed and helped children with rare neurological problems.

She would often say how painfully shy she was as a child and young adult, but to anyone who knew her after that time would find that hard to imagine. She was outstanding at sticking up for herself, and her family, and had an often outrageous sense of humour, which was endearing to everyone who ever met and knew her.

She also had a fierce sense of independence and inner strength that saw her through her illness right to the end. When the doctors said she would never walk up stairs again, she went home and walked up and down the stairs - 5 times, just to be sure she could say, and these are her words here, "Sod you!" to them.

In fact, there were frequent outbursts of "Oh sod!" and, her favourite expletive, "Oh balls!" when she struggled to do something or keep hold of something. But she never let her multiple sclerosis get the better of her or stop her from doing what she wanted to do.

There were symptoms she never wanted to get, and maybe it was her determined will that made sure she didn't. And she wanted to make it back to her own home, which she did: she was not known as the Comeback Kid for nothing.

And when all else failed, her favourite medicine was a little puff of cannabis whenever she could. She was horrified when her children first suggested it to her, having read many times how helpful it could be to manage her MS symptoms, and once they had convinced her that no, she wouldn't soon become a crack addict if she tried it, she had a go and found it really helpful.

And when Ian and Vera were briefly broken into a few years ago, she took great joy in the fact that she had reported her cannabis stolen to the police and they then told her they might have to caution her for that... although they never did.

As mentioned before, she would often make those around her laugh.

If it wasn't her habit of accidentally always revealing the ending of a book or TV show or movie right at the start (because she had seen and read and knew it all!), it was her ability to crack a joke whenever she could. One evening round at her daughter's flat when she was talking her through their wedding plans, Carolyn said "oh look, it's only 8 O'Clock and Andy's fallen asleep". And Vera said deadpan to her, "Well, it's all that talk of weddings and stuff, isn't it?!"

And when she saw her grandchildren two weeks ago, who were always fascinated by her wheelchair and ceiling hoists, she encouraged them to wave to her when she was being hoisted into the next room by telling them, "Look! Nanny's flying!"

And she was thrilled to see both her children marry the love of their lives in the last 15 months and she was so proud of the choices they both made.
Although it was a mission, she made it to Neil and Becky's wedding, looking as glamorous as ever.

She always loved a party and this time was no different: starting the night before with a joint in [EDIT] on the way down, giggling and cracking jokes all the way, she was also the first guest to enjoy a couple of drinks and get tipsy for the first time in years.

Then when Carolyn and Andy decided to get married on holiday earlier this year and not tell anyone else till they returned, Vera was incredibly supportive to both of them and loved the fact that she knew their secret and promised faithfully to keep it. And she did - only revealing it to every carer, nurse, doctor, and… well, told the secret to absolutely everyone she spoke to!

Vera was warm, loyal, funny, caring, super-kind and forever generous to everyone around her. And she truly touched the hearts of everyone she met."

Vera Mossey, 1943-2013

Previous post...
Save Our NHS Nurses car parking spaces, we can make money from this too #BRITISHDADSTUFF

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

These posts come out every day by email. I can send them to you too, and you can subscribe for free here...

Friday, 18 November 2016

His name is X**. Not X*****. Going long on your Birth Certificate? #BritishDadStuff

You know that you are a Great British Dad when...'re fed up calling our kids by their official name, not their normal one.

(I've tried to protect my son's electronic footprint in here.
But X***** has a kind of ring to it)

The most annoying thing about having a baby is everyone offering their "advice" and memories.
While you're just trying to get on with it.
But I'll offer this anyway, in case it helps.

Ollie is a beautiful man name. And you might want him to be called Oliver.
But if you're already calling him Ollie and you think he'll always mostly be called Ollie - this is what happened to us.

We registered X** as X*****.

Because it's proper, it's not embarrassing, and looks good.
You could imagine a X***** X***** Mossey building a bridge, or publishing a book.

Except pretty quickly he was X**. Always X**. We don't even call him X***** when we're telling him off.

Anyway, starting with every bed visit when he was born - virtually every interaction "How is X*****?" "It's X**, thank you - he's great." Every doctor, midwife, and Health Visitor visit X*****... "Thanks, no it's X**."

And then Nursery. "Hello X*****" It's X**. Can we change it to X** please?

Injections, more regular nurse visits - "X**. No really it's okay, you can call him X**."

And then school. Parents Evening and his pictures on the wall: "X***** Mossey".
Ahh, look, there's his coat hook.
"X***** Mossey." But it's X**.

Visit the teacher. "X** is doing good."
Great. Phew. "Look, here are his books."
All labelled X***** Mossey.
IT'S X**.

IT'S %^+#ING X**.


"Neil, we're in an infant school."


Of course, I'm angry at myself.

We've got to comply with the healthcare system and an education system and other governmental and private company systems that follow the rules, for a reason. (The reason being to make it run more efficiently, rather than acting in your benefit with creative caring humanity).
So my advice is this.

You'll give him a name - a beautiful name.

But if you're calling him an even better one, you might want to think about that when you're registering him.

That oak panelled registration room or council corner office shouldn't distract you from who he is, rather than who you think you should say he could be.

He can always change it by Deed Poll.

Which, thinking about it is what I want to do right now.

With X**.

His name is X**.

(On the form, I should probably maybe also change my occupation to "Angry Man").

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

Previous post...
My letter to a major public company CEO, from me, Daddy CEO #BritishDadStuff

Talking of names and registering, I send out one post every day by email for free. It really helps me to write one every day when I know it's arriving in someone's inbox, so thanks for trying it out. The link to sign up and get them is here....

Thursday, 17 November 2016

My letter to a major public company CEO, from me, Daddy CEO #BritishDadStuff

You know that you are a Great British Dad when... realise you're the CEO of a company run for profit. Your family.

We had a problem with our water.

We had torrents of brown filth coming out of our taps, instead of water.

And it didn't stop. For days.

And this is primal, because being a Dad I was obviously held responsible by my family for not providing them with what they need as humans... a source clean water.

I was failing as a resource provider to my family.

So I did whatever Man would do in the same situation.

I tweeted the company and left snarky messages on Facebook.

I wanted to shame the company like a big oaf and post videos of their disgusting water on YouTube.

And (because tweeting and facebooking is like mooning a CCTV operator) all I got back was the standard "customer information" marketing links about "Mild Discolouration".

Even though torrents of brown filth were coming through our taps.

And each time I got these PR message brushoffs, I got more angry.

But getting angry was getting me nowhere.

So I wanted to go right to the top.

And punish the joker running this outfit at our expense.

And then I realised.

I am at the very top of my organisation.

I am the long-serving CEO, Chief Executive, Big Cheese of our home.

And like the other CEO, I'm really a big patsy too: doing whatever I need to do to make the company, sorry family, run at a profit.

I should feel sorry for him.

I could now complain to the CEO of this company in the words this CEO would understand.

Chief Exec to Chief Exec.

We're bigger than they are - this water company is just one of our suppliers.

Alright, thanks to the government, we can't take our business elsewhere - which means I need to work even harder to get him on board, and see my problem in the way only another CEO would get.


Sorry to contact you directly - but desperate circumstances call for desperate measures.

To make this letter more relevant to you, I'm going to try and explain this: MD to MD.

I am the MD of our Household, and we have a commercial relationship.

As you know, the unique way we do business in the UK means that I cannot take our business elsewhere.

But I'll put it on the table, - I think I'm losing the support of my Board.

And I don't think that's good news for either of us.

Our Executive Board comprises my long suffering CFO (wife), CIO (son, 7), and CCO (daughter, 5) and I've got to tell you they're asking difficult questions.

How would you address an agenda that starts:
"Why is the water that comes out of our taps brown - every day?"

Or any advice on how to field these, whilst protecting our Brand Equity:
"Why is our water coming out brown for six months"
"Why are we paying for this?"
"When will it end?"
"Why can't we get our water from someone else?"

I managed to duck that one by changing the subject to Optimus Prime's lack of appearances in Rescue Bots... but I don't think I can kick it into the long grass for much longer.

I look like a clown, and if there is a vote of confidence at our next Board Meeting, I can't be responsible for the future actions of our household.

Our organisations have a common goal, (we too have an obligation to maximise profits for our shareholders) and I want us to continue as friends, but here are the main sticking issues in our alliance:

You're pumping faeces coloured water into our Head Office.
(Quote our CIO "Ugh, that's poo brown").

It's been going on for six months (which as our CCO (Chief Colouring-In Officer) pointed out is "half of a year").

Your customer services staff are very nice, but can't tell us when exactly this will end.

We're worried about the damage your sludge is causing to our appliances - to which I can attest that we've devoted quite a proportion of our Capital Expenditure.

We're worried about the damage your sludge is causing to our workforce.

(NOTE TO SELF - swap those two around)

Your company insists on using terms like "intermittent" (It's daily or bi-daily) "Minor discolouration" (It's torrents of brown) "we've taken samples" (no date, location, or polllutant levels given) and "perfectly safe" (no-one has independently tested your tap-enabled sludge).

Our CIO even looked up "Water" on wikipedia, and turns out it should be clear.

How can I argue against that?

I'm sorry that you and I are in this situation, but one of us needs to man-up... take a halo-stance on the burning platform... and get to grips with it.

I fear that because of the way the Government has skewed this relationship, that man right now appears to be you.

If not, any tips or crib sheet for handling curveballs at our next AGM would be much appreciated.

Perhaps something further to placate my CFO would really help our situation.

Courage, my friend, as we go about our respective business.

Neil Mossey
Daddy, CEO"


I wrote it.

And then I immediately chickened out of sending it.

This man, this company, could crush us like an ant. Or make life really difficult.

It's a monopoly - they could double our (already big) bill.

But I chickened out AFTER sending it to our local MP.

And the very next day I got a call on my mobile from the Head of Service Management at the water company.

Apologising profusely, and wanting to arrange compensation.

And then trucks appeared in our street to fix the pipes.

The letter was passed on, and a nudge from one CEO to another worked.

What I've learned is this.

Sometimes you need to speak the same language, and treat the other person like you're in a long-term relationship.

And hit "send" before you chicken out.

You know that you are a Great British Dad... ...when My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

Previous post...
I cant listen to music without hearing filth and 29-35 great #BRITISHDADSTUFF thoughts

I have a monopoly on sending my posts out daily by email. If you'd like to get them (which really helps me summon up the courage to write the next one, thanks) - just share your email address with me here...

Saturday, 12 November 2016

I cant listen to music without hearing filth and 29-35 great #BRITISHDADSTUFF thoughts

As we hurtle towards the Christmas break at the speed of poor Rudolph's red orchestras, these are my Great British Dad thoughts for the upcoming week.

Sunday 13 November
I can't listen to any music on the radio now without hearing utter filth in the lyrics.

Monday 14 November
That sinking moment when you thank a call-centre worker, but then they send you a survey to rate their work.

Tuesday 15 November
The News never ever reports when a school trip goes well.

Wednesday 16 November
I find my opinion of opinion pollsters changes on whether or not they want me to do their work for free.

Thursday 17 November
Teaching my son how to hold a tennis racket. So far he's learned the intro to Smoke On The Water.

Friday 18 November
Why is it a whole host of things. I am not a whole host kind of guy. I want to try a half-host of things.

Saturday 19 November
Cupboards were for storing cups. Now they're for surfaces storing mixers, slow-cookers, toasters, juicers, bread bins and tea jars.

I keep a whole year's worth of 365 Great British Dad Thoughts right here.

Previous post...
Why chucking out ideas (by not putting them out there) is a good idea #BRITISHDADSTUFF

Or you can follow me on Twitter here... Thanks.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Why chucking out ideas (by not putting them out there) is a good idea #BRITISHDADSTUFF

You know that you are a Great British Dad when... want to clean up your computers as much as your house.

So we got to Friday, and I managed to put out one thing every day.

And we hit the Friday when nobody reads stuff online, which is where I can bury the good stuff that might be embarrassing, or get me into trouble.

For ages I've been working on this theory that I've not told anyone about. We had a go at throwing out all the clothes, CDs, books, papers, furniture and junk that we were hoarding at home - using a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, by Marie Kondo.

It went really well - I wrote about it here and you can buy it here. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Heck, let's give it its own sponsored box (so I can earn 6 cents).

We threw out (or in Konmari speak, "let go") of around 14 full car loads of "stuff" to the tip, friends and charity shops.

It worked really well, because you follow a very strict order of "stuff" to go through, starting at socks and ending up at the highly personal "photographs and mementoes".

Because you graduate through the levels, like some kind of martial artist - when you get to the photos, you know instantly the ones that "spark joy".

The ones you want to hold onto.
Keep close.
Give them some space in your home.

But here's the thing. The place came to life: like it wasn't groaning under guilt and "stuff". (The next book I want to go through is
"Stuffocation" - I'll try to let you know how that goes.)

So I've been thinking - a lot - about clearing out my hard drives. All the electronic data, ideas, documents, more pictures, and half-notes that I've put into the computer over the years.

It's about 183GB.
I don't want to keep it.
I don't want to burden my kids with it.
If I can't be bothered to go through it, why should they.
They'll have their own GB of files to go through.

So is throwing ideas away - by deleting them, or not backing them up, or transferring them to a new PC or cloud account, the same as not hoarding?

And the theory is this. The stuff I like. The stuff that "sparks joy" are the ideas I want to share - publish, rewrite, put in a public space.

Isn't it funny that it's the exact opposite from physical things and junk - that you give away, keeping the good stuff close? With thoughts and ideas, the good ones - the ones you like - are the ones you want to share and spread as far and wide as possible.

So, the best way of backing up those ideas, is probably putting them out there.

I'll go one further.
The fear of putting your ideas out into the world, is the fear that it will help someone to come along and take all of your stuff.

But you know how good it feels when someone hears your ideas though, right?

Your junk at home might actually be safer now than at any other time in history, and it has never, ever, been easier to share your ideas.

I'm curious.
Do you still want to talk about what's in the news this week?
(Or is that fretting more about the fear of someone coming along and taking all of your stuff?)

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

Previous post...
My girlfriend wanted me to go to the clap clinic, but there was nothing wrong with me #BRITISHDADSTUFF

It might be easier to get these by email. If it is, just click here and send me your address and I'll send something over until you say stop. Promise!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

My girlfriend wanted me to go to the clap clinic, but there was nothing wrong with me #BRITISHDADSTUFF

You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when your sexual history is ancient history.

I ended up telling my LSW (Long-Suffering Wife) a story I don't think I told her before.

And now I'm only writing this because she said "You should put that on your blog."

It's about a girlfriend who was a Nurse.

Everything was "okay", but she still insisted that I go to the clap clinic to make sure everything was okay, even though everything was okay.

I know what you're thinking: that's completely the responsible thing to suggest and do.

I could be walking around riddled with all sorts.

Just to make it clear here, like I can't make it even clearer, I'm not.

But it made me question everything in the relationship.

Why would I go and get the all-clear like some kind of skin-flick Gunther.

Would we have to do this regularly?

Is it like some kind of car service, would she base it on time or mileage?

I don't even get the car serviced.

Aren't the little check-ups enough?

Anyway this was a hundred years ago and my exhaust hasn't fallen off.

I'm glad I'm not in that game any more.

The surprising bit is that the story hasn't come up ever in our relationship.

Turns out two kids and 13 years counts as a full service history.

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

Previous post...
Have I got the right ticket? I'm going on the run! A #BRITISHDADSTUFF adventure story

I send these posts out as a daily email, and if you're curious, you can subscribe to it by clicking here.
Don't worry, it's clean. I promise.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Have I got the right ticket? I'm going on the run! A #BRITISHDADSTUFF adventure story

You know that you are a Great British Dad when... try to turn a delayed train into a piece of performance art.

I want to get the train, but like a responsible Dad I don't want to be a fare dodger.

Because I'm not a multi-millionaire, I've got this railcard to travel in off-peak, and like many Mondays after engineering the trains are all messed up.

But that's okay - I'm not in a rush, I've got a spring in my step. In fact there's an even more delayed train that pulls in long before mine.

So here's the dilemma.
My ticket's for trains after 1000, and this train is pulling in at 1011.
But it's the 0957.

I'm curious and I've got time on my hands, so I try and check with the train company to see what the deal is.

Morning, If 0957 train pulls in at 1011 can we get on it with a Network Railcard?

I don't know why I did that.
I couldn't care less about their ticketing policy.
I've found that the poor staff are just as fed up with the rules as we are.

So I wasn't surprised by the big fat shrug that I got back.

Hi Neil - I'm not entirely sure on that one. You will need to speak to the guard or a member of ticket office staff

They're friendly, but even they don't know, or care less than I do.

So I've got this rule now to not throw twit-fits, which I'm pretty much breaking.

I'm going to have to turn this into a story, to justify wasting my time on it (instead of moaning or doing the equivalent of mooning a CCTV operator).

I'm going to write myself as the hero - living dangerously off the safe path and into the woods. I'm going to take that poor twitter team with me, as a renegade (but the "South West Trains Underground" sounds just plain wrong).

Uh-oh. Im a slow tweeter. How much trouble am I in now. Shhhh. You'll blow my cover.

How much trouble am I in?

I've got to see someone?

To hell with that.

I cannot be arsed.

So I will just keep on making stuff up.

Like it's a 1979 edition of "That's Life".

The guard said "Good luck" in a clear English accent, but I think its a trick to out me like Gordon Jackson in The Great Escape.

I like the picture, but I don't like comparing their staff to the baddies. They're more like Resistance heroes, and we should help them. I need to big up their prowess.
Perhaps with a bit of reflection.

I could make a run for it... but your staff are fit. They have Portsmouth air in their lungs.

This is my favourite. The photo, the gallant picture of their staff. It's all there.

But like all scene writing I now need an ending.

When I'm writing stories, I call it Obtain Final Thing.

Still no idea if that ticket's any good.

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

Previous post...
I’m donating my wrist to an even better cause. Here’s how to stop complaining. #BritishDadStuff

You don't need a discount card to get my posts by email, because I send them out for free. Just ping me your address by clicking here and they're yours without delay (ish).

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

I’m donating my wrist to an even better cause. Here’s how to stop complaining. #BritishDadStuff

You know that you are a Great British Dad when... want to stop complaining about the world complaining.

I am donating my wrist for a good cause (“again”, I hear you say. Funny.)

I read this thing today about complaining: turns out it’s not good for us.

There’s an organisation that sells wristbands.

If you complain without saying the next steps to fix the problem, then you have to change it over to the other wrist.

eg “I had to stand behind a rude jerk in the post office for 30 mins.”
should be:
“I had to stand behind a rude jerk in the post office for 30 mins. Next time I’ll get there before the lunchtime queue round the block.”

The bit I don’t get is moving the wristband between wrists.

I want to have it on my good side (the other one from my watch) to encourage me to be more positive.

I do not want to have to check the time, and my level of complaining.

But here’s the thing, after Sunday wearing my Poppy bracelet will be frowned upon.

Turns out our fallen brave did not give their lives for the right to remember them after November 13.

But I’m not complaining about this, I’ve got a fix.

I need to find something else and this is a chance for putting my wrist up for debate (again, I hear you say. Funny.)

But I’m serious.

I am donating my wrist for a Good Cause.

I’ll take all suggestions for a wristband.

If it helps here is the list of wrist ornaments I have ruled out:

- Lance Armstrong’s charity wrist band.

- Help For Heroes bands
(which I support, but everyone round here has got one from actually serving in the military, and I want to avoid elevating myself to that status. And I think it needs to be different to help remind me to stop complaining).

- Anything that David Essex would have worn.

- The local swimming pool entry band.

- A lost child phone number band.

- Or another, broken, watch.

So over to you. Thanks for any suggestions below.

Previous post...
My new bright pink phone case #BritishDadStuff

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

I never complain about sending out my posts daily by email. So give me your email address here and I will fix sending them over to you...

Monday, 7 November 2016

My new bright pink phone case #BritishDadStuff

(Out of shot, you can't see that I'm holding my little pinkie in the air too. On Amazon, this is confusingly listed as a rugged pink phone case...)

You know that you are a Great British Dad when... try to look at your phone a little less, by making it as unmanly as a nine pound lunch.

I got myself a new phone case.

And I chose pink.

My kids ask me if it's Mummy's phone and even my Brother-In-Law asked kindly what had happened to my - (my)- phone.

The other one.

The other one that isn't pink.

It was for two reasons, which look like they are opposites.

1. I want to find it more easily.
Believe me, a bright pink phone is easy to find.
Except when it might be Mummy's.

(They never show you in the Thomas Crown Affair, Thomas yelling up the stairs to Renee Rousseau if she's seen his mobile... No it's not in the Aston Martin... could she give it a ring?)

2. The other reason is that I want to look at it less.
And even though it's a happy colour, believe me, I notice much more when I am looking at it.

So I notice it more, and I've emasculated it.
(Or did I just make it more phallic.)

I don't think I'm looking at it any less.

Maybe I should make all the apps and text pink too.

And give it a squirt of perfume.

Like my kids need a reason to like it even less.

I'm sticking with the plan to put out one post of 100 words or more every day.
If you'd like to come along on the ride with me, you can get these direct by email by clicking here and I'll send them to you until you click unsubscribe.
Thanks for your help, it helps me keep it going...

Previous post...
Why The News might be not be completely relevant today, or ever #BRITISHDADSTUFF

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad will all come together here

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Why The News might be not be completely relevant today, or ever #BRITISHDADSTUFF

You know that you are a Great British Dad when... realise "The News" might be a bigger colossal waste of time than your family.

Because we watch it and do some fretting (which is easy), to avoid spending time hugging our family or helping our friends or making good Art (which is hard).

Here's a few links that might make you smile:

What if the curves were going the other way

(which includes life expectancy...)

(...and the waning of war)

Or this google image search (on newspaper circulation)

Or back to good 'ole Seth, Decoding Pro-wrestling...

It turns out that modern media is a perfect match for the pro-wrestling approach. You can put on a show, with your own media, as often as you like. And that show is, to many, remarkable, and so it spreads...
...You probably work with people who are living in their own pro wrestling universe. These are people who are so in love with their version of reality and their goals that they view the real world as an affront, an intrusion on the way they insist things turn out."

Did "The News" ever report a school trip returning safely?

Or a social worker doing a good job?

Huh, funny that.

Wonder why?

(This says more about my memory, but I tried naming one "news" story from 2012 before the Olympics (rocket launchers on local tower blocks) or the riots.

Could not name one.

It's my flaky mind. I know.

I don't feel bad for one second that I actively don't watch "the news".

'Cos it doesn't watch out for you or me.

It still gets into my eyeline though.

Let's try one more link (at 09:40) about what's risky and vulnerable.

Maybe parking that satellite truck at that "urgent event" between 6 other satellite trucks, or publishing that article with the same information as 3645 other articles is neither risky or vulnerable.

I really truly need to see your Art.

We all do, more than ever.

Leave me a link to it below.

Unless you want to get back to being a spectator watching the news.

Either way, thanks!

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

Previous post...
I'm being lazy. Or my body is moving from Hunter-Gatherer to Elder status #BRITISHDADSTUFF thoughts 22-28

Breaking news... these posts come out daily by email, just ping me your address by clicking here, thanks.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

I'm being lazy. Or my body is moving from Hunter-Gatherer to Elder status #BRITISHDADSTUFF thoughts 22-28

Time flies as fast as the tiny fruit flies from last week's Halloween pumpkins maturing into big fat flies that flew by...

Here are this week's hopes, dreams, and my ideas to make the place a better world.

Sunday 6 November
I'm being lazy. Or, my body is moving from Hunter-Gatherer to Elder status.

Monday 7 November
People swiping on their phones in the library is a bit like seeing people smoke outside a hospital.

Tuesday 8 November
I love actors in films eating beans off metal plates. Looking from side-to-side while they clatter and gobble.

Wednesday 9 November
Hollywood and Kids TV, try all you like. I am never going to call the cinema a theater.

Thursday 10 November
Women make terrible wing-men.

Friday 11 November
When you finally get to the bottom of something, you usually find an arse.

Saturday 12 November
I love how Alphas dress for each other. You have to meet this standard to impress. (Plus jewellery or watch).

I keep a whole year's worth of 365 Great British Dad Thoughts right here.

Previous post...
How feeling ill is linked to bad sleep and how that might be linked to vitamin D and being out of the sun... fave things on the web

Or you can follow me on Twitter here... Thanks.

Friday, 4 November 2016

How feeling ill is linked to bad sleep and how that might be linked to vitamin D and being out of the sun... fave things on the web

Posting a blog on a Friday is already hard.
Nobody reads a blog on a Friday night.

But I want to keep putting one out every day, so maybe Friday night is just the place to bury stuff that might be embarrassing.
Especially the night before firework night.

Not like the Tuesday Morning post that seems to get sent out to everyone on linkedin.
So think of this as my linked-out.
(Who knows it's probably the best stuff because of that...)

This video blew my mind. It looks really dense, and you might need to be familiar with some of the terminology in it.

Dr. Stasha Gominak describes her journey from her expertise in pain management, which lead her to get curious about how sleep disruption might be connected to headaches, and then other illnesses.

And then how that is linked or even caused by low vitamin D levels.

And why it shouldn't even have been called a vitamin in the first place.

This was the original video - it's dense... stick with it.

Basically, we weren't evolved or built to live indoors.

Dr. Stasha Gominak Discusses Sleep and Vitamin D

3.30 It is not normal to have normal sleep these days...
4.00 Light sleep isn't proper sleep... You can sleep for 10 hours and still feel tired.
5.58 Deep sleep, slow wave sleep... The ability of sleep to cure our body.
7.30 Children grow while paralysed in slow wave sleep...
8.30 After slow wave sleep, we enter REM sleep... In evolution, we had to go into deep paralytic sleep for safety.
Its not normal to need the toilet during the night.
10.10 How continuous positive airway pressure machines (CPAP machines) affect sleep.
11.36 Why is noone writing about sleep studies?
12.30 Sleep is the cure.
12.40 How migrane works.
14.00 We must get paralysed in deep sleep for sleep to work.
16.00 Features of patients with sleep disorders
17.00 What if the sleep paralysis isn't working right.
18.00 sleep talking, chewing, leg movements show that you need to have paralysed sleep for sleep to repair the body.
19.00 If headaches are cured by good sleep, why is other pain cured too?
20.30 It's a societal change. These symptoms are much more common in developed countries (the guy with hypertension is the policeman in the only covered building in the mexican village)
22.30 CPAP machines make pain go away, blood pressure go down, diabetes headaches and moods get better,
23.00 Why do people get genetic diseases presenting themselves late in life?
"We have the most wealthy, best informed populations ever and their nervous systems go bad - something has happened to them while leading a normal life. Why do genetic diseases present themselves?" The sleep goes bad.
30.00 Everyone with a bad sleep study was low on vitamin D.
30.45 Breakthrough between low vitamin D and poor sleep.
31.30 Vitamin D isn't a vitamin, it's a hormone. We make it on our skin from cholesterol.
Every animal on the planet makes it on their skin from the sun.
33.50 Why is it in every animal? Why from UV-B? This hormone is very very old. Because every animal had to deal with summer and winter.
36.00 High levels of Vitamin D in Summer. Baby boom conceived in September, born in June so baby gets vitamin D.
37.50 Low levels of Vitamin D in Winter. Effects on fat and sleep.
For the last 35 years we have effectively been living like it's deep winter, and this might be why we have an epidemic of sleep disruption.
40.00 D hormone was mistakenly called vitamin D, which affects doctors lack of curiosity.
42.00 The link between vitamin D and cholesterol.
44.50 Why vitamin D was called a vitamin by mistake. (It's to do with rats studied in the 1920)
Humans do not make vitamin D2. (Rats get it from fungus)
50.00 It's a hormone, so if it's too low, it's just as bad as if it is too high. It's not the dose. It's the level.
52.14 The cure is the perfect D level producing restorative sleep every night.
Normal sleep night after night is what cures the body.
It's the sleep that cures the patient - it's ridiculous x-raying at 3am, bathing them at 5am.
The next phase of medicine will be to protect the sleep.
54.30 Nobody knows the right level of D to take to keep the right level in the body.
58.00 You can't dose it because it depends how much sun they've had.
59.30 If you go too high you get sleep disorder, too low sleep disorder too.
1.00.00 A recommended dose makes no sense for different ethnicities.
1.03.00 Vitamin D2 isn't right.
1.05.00 "My concept is that CPAP device is a crutch. Until their brain sleeps long enough to repair their sleep apnoea.
1.07.00 Having kids means you lose vitamin D!
1.07.45 My basic sleep concepts. Its not your fault. It's medicine's fault.

If you managed to get through any of that, here's the follow up, which is probably easier to follow, but has terrible quality video.

Dr. Stasha Gominak 2013 Follow-Up Vitamin D Lecture Full

Previous post...
Cracking my wife's regular nightmare. It's me, it's always me. #BRITISHDADSTUFF

Get these posts daily by email. And thanks for subscribing, it helps me keep this blog going...

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Cracking my wife's regular nightmare. It's me, it's always me. #BRITISHDADSTUFF

You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you share intimate thoughts and dreams with your other half.

My LSW (long-suffering wife) has this nightmare that she wakes up, and the house is now turned sideways.

The windows at the front and back of our home are bricked up - jammed against our neighbours' walls.
Rotated 90 degrees, you can't get out.
The front door opens into a wall, like now she's permanently bricked in.

That's the cheery night stuff that comes from living with me.

I'm glad she shared it, but I probably shouldn't have pushed her on whether the utilities are still connected, or how the gas and water rotated too, and did it need extra pipework to reach their new position and where did the piping come from.

And now I'm thinking how great is that... all that building work happened in under a day and for free.

That's the key to a good night's sleep.

The structural detail.

Turns out her dream didn't get successful planning or buildings control either.

I'm a wife-mare.

Previous post...
Getting yelled at in the supermarket (They run out of yelling when I go quiet PART 2) #BritishDadStuff

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

Don't have nightmares... these posts go out daily by email. And you can get them in your inbox for free, here.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Getting yelled at in the supermarket (They run out of yelling when I go quiet PART 2) #BritishDadStuff

You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you walk into being yelled at without even trying.




Need any bags?

Yeah, can I get 2 of those Bags For Life please?

I've only got these. They're 5p.

(INSIDE) That was abrupt. But that's okay - I just need the bags for life.
(OUT LOUD) Have you got any of the, you know, the big ones?

I haven't got any. You've got to get them at the start. Over there.


(INSIDE) I'm married with 2 kids. I'm used to getting yelled at. This is funny.
(OUT LOUD) Okay.




(INSIDE) A quid?! These aren't the ones.
(OUT LOUD) Are these the ones?





(INSIDE) I'll just get this one. It's not the right one. And there's only one.

(YELLS) There you are.

Do you know how I can get two?

Pick up TWO.

But there's only one left.

(YELLS ANGRY) You're holding up the queue!

(INSIDE) I just want a bag.
(OUT LOUD) Honestly, I'm not holding up the queue, I--



(INSIDE) Woah. She is really angry.


She hasn't got any!



Stella... don't...

(INSIDE) Keep it calm.
(OUT LOUD) Where do you think I can get one from.


(GENUINE) In what, I haven't got any bags.


Go over there and pack up your stuff. Now. Conduct yourself like a man.

(INSIDE) I don't even know what that means. And I don't want to walk round them.
(OUT LOUD) Conduct myself like a man?

Go there now and get your *hit together.

(INSIDE) The-whole-checkout-is-attacking me.
(OUT LOUD) Get, my, *hit togehter?

(MOCKING) Look at you. You're shaking.

(INSIDE) Yes, yes I am shaking.
(OUT LOUD) Yes, yes I am shaking. You're all yelling at me, and all I want is a couple of bags.


(INSIDE) She looks like she is going to hit me.


(INSIDE) I've got to do something.
(OUT LOUD) I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. The last thing I wanted to do when I got up was make you angry.



(BEG) Please, come on, I'm sorry.
Honest. Don't get angry. I'm sorry.


(LIMP) I'm sorry.



Ah, sorry, she's dead now. It was in a lot of pain, if that's any help.
(INSIDE) That didn't come out right.

Don't worry. I was trying to say, why don't you have a 10p bag and two 5p bags?

(INSIDE) I don't care. I just wanted the bigger ones.
(OUT LOUD) Sure. I'm sorry. Honestly, I didn't care - I was just trying to get them.

Look, they're yelling over there now.


(INSIDE) What did I do?

You might wanna let them leave first. Don't take the lift, if you know what I'm saying.

(LIMP) Sure.

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

Previous post...
They run out of yelling when I go quiet. #BritishDadStuff

Get these posts daily by email.
You don't have to shout or go to another checkout.
Just click here to send me your address.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

They run out of yelling when I go quiet. #BritishDadStuff

You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you forget and start yelling back.

This is the biggest biggest lesson I have learned in my life.
And it is the one that still I always forget.
The power of going quiet.
Silent even.

When someone is screaming at you (like for going too slowly at a supermarket queue. I'll walk you through that one, one day) the screaming is meant to be a threat.
A barking dog.

It sounds like it's trying to get you to do something (in my case, start packing my food faster), but all it's really trying to do is get you to scream back.

But it's always always a sign that they care.

Here's the bit I always forget.
Silence or no-communication, that's what does damage to someone else.
Because you're leaving them high and dry.

I lined the car up for a parking space, and before I could reverse in, a Mini sped into it, front first.

I wasn't angry, I had no expression.
I was in shock.

My mouth was open thinking of where else I could park.

But then I realised the driver was threatened by this non-response, in full-on anger mode, and gave me 2 fingers.
(Even though he'd got the space - why is he all angry?)

I just sat there taking it all in.
And then the reverse gear dropped...

Am I suddenly the one with all the power?

Without even doing anything?

I was dumbstruck, but his anger had nowhere left to go.

He then had to sheepishly lock up his little car, walk away and leave it.

And the more I did nothing or said nothing, the more awkward and embarrassing it was for him.

When you go quiet, they can't do anything but panic into their mental crawlspace.

They're thinking "What are they thinking?!"

They didn't even get pushed. They go there all by themselves.

But I never remember this, and I'm really embarrassed of every time that I've barked.

(Yapped, more like)

When I open my big trap, I give them all kinds of ammo to throw back at me and hold against me.

But quiet?

It's like a martial art - there's nothing to grab onto.

Sometimes I find another space.

(PS 'Course, I wasn't shopping for a potato to shove up the Mini's exhaust, but you know, baby steps).

My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here

Previous post...
I can't look away from married couples who work together. How do they do it? #BritishDadStuff

I won't go silent though.
I send these posts out every day if you'd like to sign up by email.
You can unsubscribe any time and jump aboard by sending me your address here.
Thanks, it really helps me keep this thing going.