I don’t like soft play. All that standing around on the outskirts of a maximum security, foam and rope based prison; trying desperately not to make eye contact with parents I know I should know, but not sure I really do know – nor want to know. My mum takes Lauren to soft play. Lauren and I do other things. We love to cook – though it took a fair amount of pain and frustration (on my behalf) for us to get to this point.  When I cook, I have to be almost scientific; near mathematical in my approach. Until I have learnt, rehearsed and perfected a recipe; I am a slave to it and the book it is printed in. That is near enough [&hellip

Read More...

I have a Director, Richard Corbridge our Chief Information Officer, who is very candid whenever we discuss development opportunities. His view is simple. When planning and requesting development, the emphasis should not be about this role. It shouldn’t even be about your (my) next role. When going on courses or development programmes, your approach should always be to consider what you want to do, two or three roles down the line. For many that is not always practical. Most are restricted by budget; often there is a restriction on training designed for the grade you are on. The biggest blocker of all could simply be your imagination. How will you know what you want to do three roles down the line, if you are in [&hellip

Read More...

You stare. You gaze adoringly, that is if a three month old baby knows what adoringly means? The best thing in your life, shortly after boobies and the milk they bring is your Lolo – Lauren – your sister. When we sit together, the three of us, there is only one thing you are interested in. Your eyes focus, or at least I think they can focus on her every move. If she moves, your eyes move – they flick about; wide and bright. She plays it cool. She looks past you if the TV is behind you. She looks anywhere else other than at you; at your almost pleading eyes. And then she looks at you; and she smiles. And boom! My word do [&hellip

Read More...

Stop. Stop it. Just stop. It’s amazing how, now you have moved through the ages from three to four, the word stop is appearing more regularly in our lives. Some of it is just a repetition of that same word, at the same time, for the same reasons. When you are naughty! There are other times when we use the word; I, Dad, uses the word, because I want you to stop; to stop growing. To stop, stop being my baby, my little girl. Four is a good age. Stay four for the rest of your life. Stay young enough that you want to hug me, want to cuddle as we sit watching TV; want to tell me how much you love me. It’s an [&hellip

Read More...

Update: As @MattTomorrow highlights in his tweet, Rosario Leggiero was once the General Manager of Polpo in Soho. Another mystery solved. Have you ever experienced a sense of feeling that you are somewhere you have been before, even though you know you have never, actually, been there before? Welcome to Zucco. Given how yesterday was only the second night of trading for this new restaurant, Meanwood’s latest sign of our “Village’s” transformation, it is hard to see how I could have been to Zucco before. But a quick inspection of, well, everything; suggests this restaurant has been modelled on another – Polpo of Soho in London. Now I need to be careful not to cast any aspersions. There may well be a genuine reason why [&hellip

Read More...

There are times when I wonder if it is more hassle than it is worth trying to impose some kind of order to this blog (drunken, late night posts accepted). Such a time came last Saturday night, as, sat in Pinche Pinche in Chapel Allerton, Leeds – I sank my teeth in to the softest, most tender, lamb burrito I had ever eaten. With every glorious bite of lamb, cheese and salsa, my thoughts turned, not to plate but to this place – to how I was going to have to write, not just a plethora of complimentary phrases, but something slightly more critical. For across the table sat Lauren; and her near untouched plate. Food reviews, at least restaurant reviews have been given over [&hellip

Read More...

I first noticed it in my head. The languid drawl as I searched for the right word to match the actions of a selfish queue jumper, just as I was about to touch down my oyster card behind him. “You Cu…..” For the word, a supposed, horrid word is one I use – a lot. One I use far more when I am in London. One I use far more in my less-than-regal, North London tone. I had only been back 20 minutes and there, in my head, it was if I had never left. I smiled inanely as he brushed past me. No thoughts, other than to silently swear. It’s amazing how, even in my head, I can pick out the change in my [&hellip

Read More...

  Who are you, upon my toe? What secrets do you have to know? Your big headphones and bigger screen; your skewed smile and glistening sheen. Another face within this carriage; a mother, a child, a woman – in marriage. Underground traveller, regular and proud; you do not flinch to announcements, loud. You take it in your fixed, wide stance. Not for you, this travelling dance, of rocking movements as we go, where is my station, do you know? Another crowd, through train doors come, as I cling to life with fingers and thumb. They barge their way in to my space; an armpit rests upon my face I want to say, oh do you mind? Though fear response will not be kind Their crumpled [&hellip

Read More...

  A mess – there is no other way to describe it. As intros go, the drum pattern on “Conceptual – Form and Funktion” is a mess. The pace, without knowing what is to follow, feels too excitable; too pronounced. Why would you start a track as though imitating a panic attack? Why would you then throw in a squelch sound other than to dampen the drums; the very same drums that you want people to believe in? Because he can – because Raggy knows what is about to follow. And what is about to follow is the ultimate clubbing moment; that last tune of the night. That pace that seemed too pronounced, too excitable; quickly leads you in to the heart of the tune. [&hellip

Read More...

  I have a pang. I’m not sure if it is a delicate pang, a delicious pang or a nagging pang? It is, just a pang; a pang that returns, every time I return. I find myself, when I am presented with such a pang; wandering familiar streets. Not quite down by where the old Thames does flow. But still, along a well-worn path. Roads I have walked down with my Nan, with my Mum, with my wife and at least one of my children. They are roads that almost sing to me; songs of my past – of happy times, of festive times. And yet, still, after all of these years, they throw up something new. Where once I would look for record shops, [&hellip

Read More...