My third dad-day (well, one of them)

Original image (c) Soapylove (some rights reserved)
Original image (c) Soapylove (some rights reserved)

Today was Niamh’s third birthday. She’s the youngest of our three kids and the only one I’ve been around since day one (well, day minus 275 approximately if we’re going to split hairs) so the only one I’ve seen grow up from that squidgy, rather disgusting beginning (talking about the birth, not the other bit this time).

Three years ago today I was fortunate enough to be by Gillian’s side (and not holding her hand, I was warned about that) as she popped Niamh out like a cork from a bottle, much to the surprise of the midwife who had assume she was – as usual – in for the long haul. That evening I dressed Niamh in her bedclothes for the first time and left the two of them in the hospital when I headed home.

Tonight I got Niamh ready for bed again and it’s no less special than that first time. Just with more cuddles and kisses and giggles. And I still can’t bear to walk away and leave her, even though nowadays she’s only a few steps away in her room.

It’s staggering how the time has flown and how this screaming, bawling, pooping, peeing… thing, big enough to hold in one hand has turned in a screaming, bawling, pooping, peeing bundle of absolute all-encompassing wonder and adoration who now makes my arms and back ache when she insists on being carried because I’m too damn soft to refuse her.

Roll on the next three years. Or thirty. I need at least one kid to look after me when I start wetting myself again.

Kids and spuds

1 and a half russet potato with sprouts. Slice...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had all three kids over at the flat for the first time on Saturday for a sleepover, including Niamh’s first ever visit.

She spent the first ten minutes running round all the rooms opening every drawer and cupboard she could find. Her favourite room was the kitchen.

Open drawer, open drawer, open drawer – knives and stuff, boring. Close them all. Open cupboard, pots and pans, meh. Open cupboard…

*gasp* “Potatoes!!!”

Close cupboard move on, come back to that one a minute later and…


Exclaimed in the kind of way that a two year old would convey the sentence “Holy shitsnacks! They’re STILL BLOODY THERE!”

Ah, for the days when a simple tuber excited me so.

One for friends and family

Gillian and me in Venice
Gillian and me in Venice (Photo credit: Iain Purdie)

I’m relieved and happy to say that my initial draft of this post has been overhauled and updated to reflect a slightly more optimistic view of the future, but that doesn’t lessen the importance of why I’m posting. I would be very grateful if friends/family could read this as it’s important to Gillian and I that you’re aware of our current situation and what may happen in coming weeks/months if things don’t work out.

Hopefully everyone will see this post at once. It seems the best way to get the “news” out.

Gillian and I came very close to separating recently.

As I stated in a blog post back in the new year, I was failing her as a husband and failing the kids as a father. Gillian was becoming less and less happy, and more certain that she was better off as a single mother.

In addition, I did something last year that I hugely regret. Use your imagination – you’re probably right and I don’t want to talk about it. However, at that time and while going through counselling to try and salvage our marriage (something I convinced Gillian to stop as I was finding it very uncomfortable and non-beneficial, in hindsight another error), I was given the opportunity to come clean about any other indescretions; one in particular about which I was directly questioned.

I chose to lie about it and cover up, believing that it was in the past, had no bearing on the present and future and was better left buried.

I was wrong.

Gillian discovered last weekend that I had been dishonest about this and asked me to leave the household forthwith. A friend, to whom I will be eternally grateful, offered me a spare room while I got my feet under me but – thankfully – after some frank discussions, some structuring of our life plans and some serious heart to hearts, Gillian has extended me one final chance.

I would ask all of you who may feel divided loyalties in this matter to bear this in mind: I am at fault. Entirely. Gillian is thinking, in the long term, of our family. I trust her judgement. I want nothing but the best for her and for our three wonderful children who I would miss more than I can ever put into words were we to part ways. She would, of course (we’ve discussed this), allow me full access. But I’d miss things like being woken up at 5am by a toddler screeching for Cbeebies. Much as I complain about this, it’s memories like this that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

More than anything else, I’m sorry for what I’ve done to Gillian who – and I appreciate that anyone would find this hard to believe given my actions – I love, respect and admire more than I can say.

Many of  you will have seen the post on the Moshville Times explaining that I’m putting it on the back burner at present – bubbling along, but not focussed on nearly as much as I have been up until now. This is the main reason. I’ve become far too distracted from my family and I need to dig myself out of the comfy, antisocial hole into which I had slid. Raising children and being a husband aren’t easy tasks, or at least they don’t come naturally to me.

The solution to this shouldn’t be to hide away from it as I have been doing, but to realise I’ve had a very rich and fulfilling (and easy) life up until now and to man up and face this new challenge. One which should (WILL!) be even more rich and fulfilling.


New Year, New Start

I think I’ve mentioned before, but this blog’s turned into more of a film review thing than an actual “blog”. Very little in the way of random or personal posts like it used to be back in the day. Work, family and all that get in the way as you get older!

Family is what this post is about.

See, 2013 lived up to the unlucky last two digits. It wasn’t great – though it had its upsides – but what downsides it did have majorly outweighed them. Worst is that they were, in the main, down to me.

You see, I’m married to the most amazing woman you could hope to meet. We have three of the most staggering, beautiful, wonderful kids anyone could ever wish for. We share a house with my mother-in-law who does so much for us and asks nothing in return. My folks, as well, jump through hoops for us when needed. The phrase “beyond the call of duty” could have been coined with them in mind.

This year I’ve let them all down. Things are not going swimmingly in our household at present and I have a lot of work to do to make things right. Putting up this blog post is one step in that direction. Essentially, I like to paint a rosy picture of how things are going – and in fairness I’m incredibly lucky to have the life that I do. As such I like to emphasise the positive notes. But underneath, I’ve let a lot slide this year. Done some things I’m not proud of, hurt people I love and risked everything I have for… well, nothing of any import. Don’t worry, it’s nothing illegal but beyond that it wasn’t anything I want to discuss in detail.

Essentially I’ve been a crap husband, a poor father and a really shitty son. While I have tried on some occasions and done the right thing, I’ve been bloody awful on far more and my lows are significantly lower than the highs have peaked. I am very lucky to still have Gillian with me. Hell, I don’t know why I do. I guess it just highlights exactly how lucky I am to have her.

This isn’t a post to gather sympathy or “it’s OK, we’ve all been there” comments. This is a post to let people know that I am on shaky ground, that I’m not as nice a person as I often make myself out to be and that I need to change. I need people to be aware of this and hopefully that will help me in some way towards righting the wrongs and moving our family on so we can leave 2013 well in the past where it belongs.

I don’t “do” new year’s resolutions, but this seemed as good a time to post this as any other. My job this year is to improve me for the benefit of those around me. To give back to them what they’ve given me and to prove to them that I deserve them. Trust me when I say that I’m aware it will be an uphill struggle and I have my work cut out to “fix” things.

Gillian is a woman who deserves to wake up every morning knowing how much she’s loved. She should be happy every minute of every waking day. Over the last year she’s been in tears more often than I can count, and is very much not in a “happy place”. Our first wedding anniversary passed without the slightest blip on the radar as it wasn’t something she felt that she wanted to celebrate.

This is all due to me and I have a limited time to sort it (and myself) out otherwise I will lose her. That’s it in a nutshell.

As I said, it’s been a while since I posted anything really personal on here, so I’m hoping I’ve not bored people to death.

Anniversaries and Engagements

Click to em-biggen!
Click to em-biggen!

How time flies, eh? Two years ago today, some muppet went up on stage at the O2 ABC in Glasgow (courtesy of Hayseed Dixie) and made a speech to a crowd of around 1000 people. He waffled on about enjoying the previous tour (cheer), how the band were great (cheer), how he’d been at a gig at the Oran Mor (cheer) and met a woman who he had entirely managed to cop off with.

Eleven months later and he’d decided to make some grand gesture involving said young lady who was stood behind him and had no idea what the hell was going on as she couldn’t hear the speakers.

The muppet was me. The lady was Gillian. The next thing that happened was that I went down on one knee and asked her to marry me. Being an even bigger muppet (and probably in shock), she said “yes”.

Celebrations continued long enough to ensure that barely ten months later we added to our family (on girl, one boy) with the most beautiful baby girl. Three months after that, we tied the knot in Jamaica.

So today marks two years of formal commitment which gained a bit of paperwork last year to keep other people happy while we got a holiday out of it. Two years since Gillian was daft enough to not run away screaming, change her name, undergo plastic surgery and move house.

I can’t express how happy I am that I managed to dupe her into agreeing to marry me, then actually go through with it. The last two years have definitely had their ups and downs, but I’d not want to be sharing them with anyone else.

Gillian – thank you. I love you and here’s to three, thirteen, thirty… more years of ridiculously mushy blog posts due to stupid decisions.

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