The 10 BEST things about being a father.

When you bring your first baby home from the hospital, you’re a bag of nerves as well as being totally filled with wonder…and fear…and awe. You wonder how it’ll all work out, will be it be amazing or will you really suck at being a father?  Well the answer is probably a bit of both but after 10 years of this parenting lark, here’s my top 10 BEST things about being a father. Continue reading “The 10 BEST things about being a father.”

Dad Talk: Three Things To Teach Your Kids

(The Twiglet’s Dad)

One of my favourite things about being a parent is when I hear myself speaking to my kids like my parents spoke to me when I was a kid. It makes me laugh when I will say something or approach a situation in a certain way and afterwards, I’ll think, “Man, I sounded just my Dad there” or “My Mam would have totally done the same thing there”.

Continue reading “Dad Talk: Three Things To Teach Your Kids”

Dad Talk: Summer Reflection

(The Twiglet’s Dad)

Well there we go…the Summer Holiday’s are over and the kids are back to school. Can I get a “WOOHOO”!!!! With the kids out of sight it now means we can get back to some blogging and writing which means “Dad Talk” is back with a vengeance (had to get a Die Hard pun in there).

So I thought for our first post-summer “Dad Talk” what better thing to discuss than a bit of reflection on the Summer Holidays. So, guys, I want you to reflect on the last 6/7 weeks and answer three questions:

  1. What is your best memory of the Summer Holidays?
  2. What changes did you see in your kids during the Summer Holidays?
  3. What do you wish you had done during the Summer Holidays that you didn’t?

Continue reading “Dad Talk: Summer Reflection”

Dad Talk: The “C” Word

(The Twiglet’s Dad)

It is September and I am going to use the dreaded “C” word! No, not that one (although it is a favourite of mine)…this one…CHRISTMAS!

Yep – December and Christmas will be here before we know it and, truthfully, I can’t wait! It is by far my favourite time of year and always has been even before I had kids. I love the cold months and the dark nights and I love all of the Christmas lights and all of the fun that comes with Christmas.

Continue reading “Dad Talk: The “C” Word”

Gender neutral YES but where are all the blue clothes?

This week John Lewis announced that they were ditching gender on many of their clothes lines and making them gender neutral. I’m cautiously optimistic about this. Cautious because I fear it’s just a marketing tactic and will probably be quietly ditched after a while. Just like when the supermarkets periodically agree to move sweets away from the tills but quietly put them back once their media hit has done it’s job.

Continue reading “Gender neutral YES but where are all the blue clothes?”

Help I’m turning into my parents.1: parental phrases bingo

You know growing up, when you thought you were so much cooler than your parents? Those teenage years when their every utterance was followed by an eye roll?  When you swore you would never become like them?

Well nothing quite cures you of an attitude towards your parents than becoming one yourself. Not only do you realise that they were winging it, like you are now winging it, you sometimes end up sounding like them too. In my case, I’m sounding like them more and more every day and I’m coming to realise that many of these phrases are universal. You’ll be using them too, if not now, SOON. Promise. Check out these common phrases for what I am calling:

Parental Phrases Bingo:

Continue reading “Help I’m turning into my parents.1: parental phrases bingo”

Rehoming my dog: What you read next will shock you.

This week I nearly came close to closing my twitter account down and walking away from the blog. The reason? I asked for help on a springer spaniel forum. HELP & a little bit of compassion as I may be rehoming my dog. My beloved Springer Spaniel Ellie. In fact I didn’t even say I was definitely rehoming her. I actually asked if anyone had any experience with SEVERE asthmatic reactions to their Springer because I am really desperate not to have to give her up.


Why we’re looking to rehome Ellie.

We got Ellie as a puppy almost a year ago as I’d always wanted a Springer Spaniel. I am a little allergic itching etc and so is my wife (we didn’t know this until we got her). This has no bearing on our reason to rehome her.  A little uncomfortable itchiness and some antihistamines is a fair enough price to pay for this bundle of love. However it’s developed into a LIFE THREATENING allergy for my wife.

 A few months ago my wife started to have trouble breathing downstairs and we thought it may be due to the dog but tried to live with it (she’s not allowed upstairs. Which apparently also makes us evil). We experimented and sure enough, whenever the dog is introduced into the environment or the wife goes somewhere the dog has been, she can’t breathe, her throat and face physically swell up, her hands lock up into claws. It’s truly terrifying !! It’s life threatening.  And we’ve tried everything to manage it.

And so, we’ve come to the sad conclusion that we may have to rehome the dog.  I found her a nice home just a few weeks ago and backed out because my wife saw how upset my oldest boy (aged 10) and myself were to let her go. But is this fair to my wife OR  dog? Poor Ellie is now confined to the back porch and garden. She can’t come into the house because even when we open any windows to the back of the house, my wife’s throat closes up and she struggles to breathe.

The last family outing with the dog.

Things came to a head a few days ago when we took the dog out with the rest of the family to a country park.  We had a lovely time running around. On the way home, the dog shuffled around in the boot, a few hairs rose into the air; my wife nearly crashed the car, just about managed to get out before falling to the ground, in front of our kids. I was seconds from calling an ambulance but luckily my wife recovered enough  to get home.

Enough is enough. Something’s got to give.

It was that evening I asked for help on a usually friendly  English Springer Spaniel forum.

Guess what I got in reply? Lots of the following:

“Your wife is manipulating you”.

Err no she’s not. I’ve seen her turning BLUE.

“Sell the wife”.

A lot of these were  meant in jest; some people were deadly serious !!

“It’s just an allergy, get shots and she’ll be fine” !!

Nope. It’s not just an allergy. It’s akin to a friend I know who had an allergic reaction to peanuts. Not all allergies are mild and this isn’t !!

To which I got various iterations of “you are all just being selfish’, if she can’t put up with being ill then you don’t deserve to have a dog/be parents/ be alive” !!

My wife is currently taking £40 worth of medication A MONTH and it’s still not relieving her of the allergy. Money shouldn’t come into it, but when it’s costing that much all those steroids and med’s aren’t working, why should my wife have to put up with that? The dog has only just turned ONE,  we’ve potentially got 12-15 years of this !! And how is it fair on the dog either ? To be limited in interaction with the household, picking up on the stress and having to stay at home when we go out, doesn’t seem very fair on the dog either.

“She can’t just suddenly have got an allergy as you’ve had her a year”.

Thanks for the input, armchair doctors. Yes you can actually. It’s not been sudden though. This has been rumbling away for months; getting worse and worse until it’s reached critical mass. It’s exactly how allergies work. Sometimes you have mild allergies, sometimes they’re severe, sometimes they build, sometimes they go away. Quite often a severe allergy can kill you. All this has been confirmed by an ACTUAL QUALIFIED DOCTOR so please kindly take your crystals , apple cider solutions and fuck off.

So far,  this blogpost  has been following the course of the conversation on the forum, with some people being genuinely helpful, putting me in touch with Springer rehoming organisations and expressing sympathy (which is all I wanted), but i’ll be honest. They were the minority.  The majority were hostile and became increasingly aggressive. Then the DM’s arrived. Then it moved to my twitter account.

Here’s a selection of the comments I’ve received.
  • People like you make me so mad. There’s never any excuse to rehome a dod you selfisg twat.


I suppose your just going to flog her to a puppy farm. Bastard.


I’d give my life for my kids, you won’t even do it for your dog. You shouldn’t even be a parent, nevermind a dog owner.


I can find out were you live and make sure youse never own a dog again.


Please don’t ever rehome your dog. It’ll be the last mistake you ever make.


You’re not trying hard enough. You wouldn’t sell your kids because they made you ill.


Your a stain on humanity .

And so it went on and on. In a month when I’ve never seen so much hate and aggression online towards bloggers over trivial things, I do wonder if there’s something in the water?

All this time, i’m genuinely finding it hard enough as I’m desperately worried about my wife AND I genuinely don’t want to rehome my beloved dog.  A dog I love. I want the best for both ladies in the house and is keeping the dog the best for her either ? And does it justify all the hate?

At this point I just shut down my social media accounts and seriously considered deleting them. This is not the first time I or others have been harassed and mobbed like this.

Am I monster? You’d think so , but the answer is no !! There are a lot of awful people in the world but i’m not one of them. And so here I am, with my doggie staring up from at my feet and my heart breaking a little more with each minute.