Friday, 24 March 2017

Thinking of others....

I was really impressed with Lucy this morning. As she got dressed for the days Red Nose Day fun at school, she was clearly reflecting on why it is important to think of others and recognise how fortunate we are. She told me that a couple of pounds is not really that important to us and for the price of a bag of sweets we could change people lives. However, I am not sure that all her motives were altruistic backing up her well valued statements this morning, as she is clearly quite liking this years 'range' of red noses and was hoping if I gave her loads of money to buy some more, a limited addition Frankenstein nose might come her way! Never the less, the discussion we had about helping others and raising money for good causes, gave me hope that we are doing something right in the parenting department and installing some good basic values in our girls. The urge to spend as much of my money possible on comedy noses aside, I really did think she got it and wanted to help. Anna joined in as well and her generosity shone through, offering to give her only spare pound to charity today. Then it all fell apart and got competitive, as the conversation disintegrated into a sister argument about what the best red nose was. Oh well, you can't win them all!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Setting a good example for her sister..

Lucy continues to grow - emotionally and physically and I can't but notice a real difference in her. To start with, she is nearly as tall as my old frame, or maybe I am shrinking prematurely! She most definitely is heading towards her teenage years and the journey to being a grown up. Talking to her is easier, I can use words I want and often don't need to check back that she has understood. Apart from the odd sarcastic or emotional hormonal outburst; she is calmer and more deliberate in what she does. She has retreated a little bit into her room at times, in the search for her own space and some privacy. For example today, we have not seen that much of her. Her room is most definitely her haven and solace, and I have been impressed in recent weeks how she takes sensible decisions and self regulates. When she is tired she goes to bed, when she needs some space she pops off to her room. I have to focus myself to always knock and wait for an answer, as she is growing up and I must respect this wholeheartedly. I have a young lady in the house now. Things are changing and I am witnessing the emergence of a young adult as each year passes by. The best bit, we share the same and slightly edgy sense of humour and I often share a private joke with her. Always feels like something just between us - I can't think of many things that make me happier and more content. Last week we walked the dog together and just chatted, about nothing much, but it meant the world to me. Anna on the other hand, has been a challenge of late. Her strong will and focus drive her on every day, she just needs to learn some self regulation like her sister and not step over that line. This week she has had to be reminded on several occasions who is the parent, and who the child. Not easy with such a resolute and uncompromising character. I don't know if a parent should use one sibling to indicate the positive example being set by the other, but after an argument free day today it seems to have worked (for now). I know there is such a fine line here and I would never want to create animosity between the girls, but Lucy has been so good of late, that I felt this shining example must be used and Lucy get a great deal of praise...

Saturday, 4 March 2017

One happy girl!

And one happy Dad! At the risk of boring everybody senseless I am afraid I am going to have to talk about Anna and football again. I know, don't say a word. However, there has always been something that has pulled at my heart strings and that is the plight of the underdog. Nothing more satisfying in the world than to keep working hard and improve. Anna's team lost 3-2 today to a team that completely thrashed them the last time they played (I mean 16-0 kind of thrashing). It is all coming together. Anna and the boys are playing as a team and it really does show in the last two games. I am certain that Anna and her defensive colleague have left both physical and emotional scars on the opposition. They played the game of their lives! I would have to unequivocally say that the underdog is now biting back. I can smell their first victory looming around the corner. When it comes, all that hard work, all the tears and frustration will flood away. One reason and one reason only, never giving up! A great life lesson and one to applaud. I personally can't wait and I know it will be an emotional moment for all the parents of the kids on the team and one to cherish. Fingers and just about everything else crossed...

Saturday, 25 February 2017

An epic battle to savour!

Those in the know in footballing circles tend to air on the side that the magic of the cup has dwindled and in the modern age of the millionaires paradise of the premier league, a cup match does simply not hold the level of excitement as it used to. Or so they thought? Perhaps they might change their minds having witnessed the titanic cup battle that was Fakenham under 9's against Sutton Bridge today. Picture the scene - mud, rain and wind, expectant parents and a slightly cold but excited group of players. This is the magic of the cup! It was a pure joy to watch, end to end stuff and just the rough and tumble kind of game that Anna loves. Her and her defensive partner slid, hassled and tackled their hearts out. In the end a 2-2 draw was just about the right result. After further months of loosing (some heavy losses too), grafting out this draw was a significant result and one that was celebrated by all, parents and children, as if a momentous victory. So excited was everybody and shocked at this amazing result, that extra time was forgotten! So we will have to wait for the replay or see what the Norfolk FA's decision is. Best bit - when Anna ran over excited and exhilarated to jump up and give me a hug at the final whistle. Good dad memory and instantly banked! She knows what to do at the right time and I am not complaining. A very memorable morning...

Sunday, 19 February 2017

The one with the excited donkey!

I feel very weary tonight. I have been grafting all week on work projects and managed to conspire to only spend one day with Amy and the girls this half term. We spent it in the brilliant and unexpectedly warm Norfolk sunshine finally introducing ourselves to our adopted 'Wiggins' and 'Wacko' at the Redwings sanctuary. I have to say neither donkey was that impressed or hospitable to their new 'part' owners, seeking to walk as fast and as far away from us as possible.  Hilarity coming as Wiggins only attempt at interaction with us was to rise his genitalia towards us, prompting a barrage of 'willy' jokes from the girls. If you look at the picture very carefully you can just make out Anna in her blue coat, speedily running away from the camera. Not sure if this was simple embarrassment or it was all simply too much! I have not known my youngest daughter to be camera shy before, usually striking a cool pose with attitude and her signature arms folded. You know the one! I really enjoyed this brief catch up with my family, before the grind starts again in the morning. We finished off with an impromptu trip to Cromer and some arcade therapy. Lucy is now the family air hockey champion and certainly was not a gracious winner, completing her triumph shouting and gesturing 'Boom' at the top of her voice for all to hear! I think she was just a tad pleased with herself. I enjoyed my one day half term with my family. Perhaps next time we can spend at least a couple of days with each other or even the whole week. Until next time.....

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Introducing...

The thirty-eight fastest year four girl at cross country in Norfolk. Now that may not sound like much, but if you add up the amount of schools in the county and the potential of how may children that could have taken part, that is quite an achievement indeed. Bloody well done Anna. I have to say that perhaps she could learn a bit of humility and slightly less smugness, but it is that level of confidence that aids her success. Imagine where she would come if she actually did some training! As a friend of mine stated - 'I would ask for a drug test for the other thirty seven!' With the talent this girl has, and she has bags of it. With a bit more application she could clearly go places. I know, I know, biased dad statement, but you have always got to believe in your kids and what they could achieve...

Friday, 10 February 2017

Sporting prowess just like their dad!

Anna has made it to the Norfolk schools cross country finals today, sadly I cannot make it as I am stuck at home with the carpet fitters and waiting for deliveries. She left this morning full of both excitement and nerves. She is a live wire and full of boundless energy and I am sure she will do well. Granny and grandpa have gone to watch, so we expectedly anticipate a full report of her sporting excellence! Lucy, not known for her sporting achievements (except her beautiful and elegant swimming style) has joined a Monday night fitness club in an attempt to change her culture a bit and she is doing so well. I was lucky enough to watch her on Monday night play basket ball and I was both proud and impressed. Her pass and movement skills were exceptional and her hard work to find the space on the court was very intuitive. I know it is my job to praise and big up my kids and I am always realistic in what they achieve. I try to understand what a small victory means to them. Lucy came off that court energised, full of self esteem and a feeling of real success. Sport and the skills associated with it does not always come naturally. For Anna it does, Lucy has to work hard and graft. Proud of you both for every small or big thing you achieve. For me it is always the effort that counts...