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1 Mile from Home Kids

“In Your Days”

I’m walking through the park with my eight year old son. He’s asking lots of questions at the moment. The main thrust of all this is that he can’t believe how old how I am.

“Dad – in your days did you ride those funny bikes?”

“What do you mean by funny bikes?”

“Those ones with the big wheel at the front and the little wheel at the back.”

“Ah, Penny Farthings.”

“Yes!”

“Those are from the Victorian era.”

“When things were black and white.”

“Well, the photos were black and white. But I wasn’t brought up in the Victorian era. That was over 100 years ago. I was a kid in the 1960s and 1970s.”

“Oh. But it was black and white then, wasn’t it?”

“Not really, no.”

“So did you have a colour TV?”

“Er, no. It was black and white.”

He goes quiet and looks at me. He’s thinking… “My poor dad is so very very old.”

Categories
Kids Writing

“It’s the half term holiday!”

I had a dream last night that I was in the west of Ireland and had left a pub to go in search of a mandolin so I could join the session. (This is dream bravado, of course – I’ve had three lessons and can play two and a half tunes at walking pace). I wandered through the night, getting completely lost, until I came to a little boreen and turned down it. At the end of this lane was a large, modern detached house, surrounded by grass. I knocked on the door and the writer Arthur Mathews answered it. Yes, he said, there used to be a mandolin here. He invited me in. He would have a look, he said.

The house was huge inside, with many corridors and dark rooms with big modern furniture. I could hear Arthur talking from somewhere but his voice was growing faint. I then glimpsed some light and walked down another dark corridor until I came to a small white room which had had a whole wall removed. It was a bit like Darth Sidious’s anti-chamber on the Death Star in Star Wars. In the middle of this white room, on a big white chair, sat Graham Linehan (Arthur’s former writing partner), reading a tabloid. I introduced myself and tried not to to be too fawning. He sort of grunted and carried on reading. Then Arthur reappeared with lots of other people and we all went in to a big living room. One of them was Graham’s Brazilian model girlfriend/wife who said she had a really bad headache. Most of them were drinking some kind of green potion to get rid of hangovers. Then Arthur made milky coffee for everyone. I sat on a big sofa next to Graham and Mary McAleese (President of Ireland) stood up and started to explain who they all were. Graham turned to me and said something but it was in a faint, high-pitched shouty voice. It sounded like “It’s the half-term holiday!” Then the voice got louder. “What? What are you trying to tell me Graham?”

Then I was lying awake in bed and my kids were upstairs shouting and jumping up and down on their beds.

“It’s the half term holiday!”

Categories
Kids Travel

I’ve got wheels and a full tank of gas

I’ve got wheels and a full tank of gas. To be more specific, it’s a full tank of high performance¬† unleaded petrol. I drove out of the garage on Hornsey Road thinking to myself “I could go anywhere, do anything. Just drive and see where the road takes me.”

But rather than head up Scotland to camp out in the hills I drove straight home and then spent 40 minutes looking at the Star Wars Lego website with the kids.