Blog Eight – A First For (nearly) Everything
I’ve experienced quite a few ‘firsts’ in the last few weeks.
- I’ve played tennis for the first time in over 7 years (bar trying to teach my wife on holiday nearly 5 years ago, which doesn’t count).
- I’ve played football for the first time in 3 years (bar a one off post-Christmas dinner/pre New Year’s Eve kick about with some mates 6 months ago).
- I’ve had my first total failure of one certain crop in the veg patch.
- I cycled for the first time ever using clip on shoes and pedals (I was still persisting with toe straps, believe it or not).
- I’ve found my first grey chest hair.
- Toby* took his first steps!…and then has decided to go back to shuffling on his bum for the last 4 days.
- I saw a cat kill a crow! I didn’t think ANYTHING killed crows apart from cars and farmers with shotguns!!??
- Isabelle** took me out for a daddy-daughter date for the first time!
*He was one last month. **She’s three and a half
- I played tennis against my friends 9 year old boy…and lost. I must point out (here come the excuses) that he is very good. So good in fact, that he’s 3rd in the county and plays against older kids for better competition. We also played on a half size court with ‘Orange balls’ (softer, slower than normal). HOWEVER, I deliberately won the first set, then let him win the second, to make the decider interesting. Then in the third set he beat me fair and square! I may be useless, but I absolutely LOVED watching a child that young be so passionate and energetic about their sport. He just happens to be one of the nicest children you’ll ever meet too, and it’s obvious the girls will love him. I described him to his mother as a cross between a giraffe (he’s very tall), a choir boy and Novak Djokovic. Basically, I hate him!
- Imagine if the stars of the film Cocoon played football; that’s what our training session looked like two weeks ago. We have our first proper match in a local 6-a-side league tonight. I’m in goal, by default, seeing as my quads are still shot and I could lay my hands on some gloves!
- Not a single flipping pea shoot, from 30 planted! Gutted. Every year, all I do is pop them in the ground next to a cane, and hey presto, a few months later I have lovely garden peas. I normally only plant about 6 canes, but because Isabelle loves eating them raw straight from the garden I went heavy on them this year. Oh well, local farm shop peas it is then?
- Yes I did fall off when I came to stop, even though I practiced on the grass in the back garden. Yes I should’ve made the change years ago. Yes I really am now ‘All the gear with no idea’, but I love them.
- We all cheered. It was so perfect because it was when we had lots of friends round for his first birthday…and now he’s reverted to bum shuffling again. He’ll get there very soon though, I’m sure!
- Okay, okay, it wasn’t any cat, it was my cat. No I do not like it when she kills anything, but it didn’t stop it from being nothing short of impressive. I wouldn’t fancy being pecked by a crow and my cat is tiny, even for a cat. I didn’t have a huge amount of sympathy because the crow actually started the fight by swooping at Jess (or Attila the Hun, as she’s affectionately known) while she was sat quietly in our apple tree. Crows are normally very intelligent, but this one was clearly up for a scrap with the tiny cat. No, there isn’t a crow’s nest in the tree, but if anyone else knows of a cat that can take out crows, I’d love to hear from them.
- The highlight of my father’s day was being taken out for breakfast by the sweetest, smartest 3 year old I’ve ever met*, my daughter. My wife gave her a ten pound note to put in her purse, which she put in her handbag then came in to the room where I was sat to tell me to get my shoes on because she was taking me out for breakfast, but that we “Must go to the swings afterwards because I’m paying!” It was a gorgeous morning. The best morning in fact. We both had so much fun together at the restaurant. We had a very patient waitress that smiled sweetly for the entire 4 minutes it took Isabelle to get the money out of the purse and unfold it until it was perfectly straight, before paying. A breakfast I shall never forget, and we had the park to ourselves afterwards. Bliss, because it meant I could have a go on everything without fear of embarrassment or parents looking at me like I was on day release!
* I am biased
Food tip of the Week
Put a little bit of mustard in your egg mayo when you make it. It turns it from hum-drum to huma-huma instantly!
I put my eggs in cold water, bring to the boil, then boil them for 5 mins. I seem to turn out perfect hard boiled eggs every time this way.
Fact of the week
A 100-calorie serving of peas (three quarters of a cup) contains more protein than a whole egg or tablespoon of peanut butter.