My month in Instagrams: October 2014

Halloween bat pumpkin

The clocks may have gone back and it is officially autumn, but you wouldn’t think it given the pleasantly mild and sunny weather we’ve been enjoying this week. Nonetheless, we’ve negotiated our first half-term with two of our three kids in school as well as a long family weekend and, of course, that increasingly commercial event that is Halloween. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve been up to during this past month.

Tour guide

In the years PC (Pre-Children), we’ve been lucky enough to prevail on the hospitality of relatives and friends living in far-flung corners of the globe such as Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. So, now that we’re not travelling so much and have a large enough home to accommodate guests, it’s a pleasure to be able to return the compliment.

This month we had Heather’s aunt and uncle – originally from Perth, Australia but now residing in Vancouver via a stint in Alaska – staying with us, so I took some time off to act as a tour guide. It’s something I love doing, not least because sometimes the only way you really get to explore the country you live in is to take someone else around it. So although I lived in London for over 20 years, until I started showing friends and family around I’d never done a lot of the touristy stuff myself.

IMG_7739

It was while we were up on the London Eye in a break between torrential rain showers that I captured this full rainbow over the backdrop of an aerial panorama of London. That’s not something you get to see every day, and if I hadn’t been on tour guide duty I’d have probably been staring at my screen in the office instead.

Sleeping beauty

Kara’s going through a spell of being unable to get herself to sleep at night. For now, she’s dragging an inflatable bed to her bedroom door (we have a gate across it to prevent her from getting out) and settling down there while one of us sits outside until she finally falls asleep.

Kara sleeping

It adds an extra 20 minutes or so on to bedtime but it’s working so far and we’ll gradually start to work her back into her own bed. It’s meant I’ve been able to get some really cute pictures of her sleeping, though.

I’m a winner!

Normally I am to winning what Kim Kardashian is to modesty and privacy, so I was as surprised as I was delighted to be nominated twice in this year’s LoveAllDads awards – and then completely shocked to learn that I won both categories: Best Dad Blog and Blog Post of the Year.

LoveAllDads Awards winner tandem logoPleased as Punch, me.

The big white tent

Even before we headed off to Butlins for a four-day break over half-term, Toby was running excitedly around the house talking about “the big white tent” – the Millennium Dome-type entertainments pavilion that sits at the centre of the holiday park. So you can imagine how excited he was (and, to be fair, both the others too) when we got there.

I’ve scribbled my reflections on our break elsewhere, but suffice to say that after four days of swimming, eating out, various games and activities and general running around like loons, they were both knackered and happy (which is the important thing). It’s taken all five of us the rest of the week to recover, to be honest. For me, going back into the relative peace and quiet of the office on Tuesday morning felt like a holiday in itself.

Trick or treat

Of course, the month ends with Halloween. I have to admit I’m not a big fan of the rampant commercialisation of Halloween but the kids do really embrace pumpkin-carving and trick-or-treating – and the inevitable sugar-fest that accompanies it. We’re getting a bit more ambitious with our pumpkins too!
Halloween bat pumpkin

Anyway, that’s Halloween done and dusted. Time to start preparing for Christmas, eh? Back next month …

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