You know you’re getting old when…

You know you’re getting old when your daughter rings you and says “Dad! You’re going to be a grandad!” Oh great I thought! Grandad!

It was only 37 seconds ago I was holding my daughters hand in Seahouses, Northumberland!

And 15 seconds later taking her photo at Eilian Donan castle in The Highlands….

And here she is now, having children of her own. She’s actually older than me now!

Time flies….

Make the most of it!!!

I’ve just had a massive scare – so listen up!

In my youth and early twenties I was always a skinny little thing…

Here’s me about 1984 (22 years old)…

I’m only 5’6″ so you can judge how heavy I was in these photographs.

I started lifting weights and exercising vigorously about this time. After about 6 years of dedicated training and eating correctly I eventually looked like this…

Which was great…

For a while…

Then life starts to interrupt…

Family and work start to take your focus…

After about 1997 my training slackened off. Just a little at first…then not training became more prevalent than training.

I started a love affair…

We’d meet most nights for little liaisons.

And of course there’d be the little midnight feasts that accompanied these liaisons….

I’ve never had a serious illness and always thought myself as ‘robust’…

Tick, tick, tick…

The weight crept up, and up, and up…peaking at 17St! My brain kept telling me I was still in ‘some sort of shape’.

A few weeks ago I noticed I was getting very thirsty and urinating a lot. I went to the docs for a check.


I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes!

Hang on. Things like this don’t happen to me right? Wrong!

When I was told the news I just couldn’t take it in. The shock, anger, fear, trepidation. I was literally paralysed with info and emotional overload.

I trudged to the chemist for my meds. (I didn’t even know where the nearest chemist was, shows you how ill I’ve been in my life) thinking “What now?”.

I started researching on the web…and soon discovered there’s so much conflicting information out there. The one ‘common theme’ is diet and exercise. The need to take in lower calories and understand that carbs and sugars are your enemies.

I’ve taken the week off work. Firstly because one of the initial side effects of the meds is flatulence and diarrhoea, and it’s problematic when you can’t tell one from the other! Also, I’ve had to get my head straight. Understand and plan.

The house is now cleared of most junk food.

(Got to leave some treats for this fella).

I’m now on a diet of Low Gi foods, no added sugars, restricted calories, unrefined foods etc. and no whisky!

In 4 days I’ve lost 2lbs. I know this level of weight loss is not sustainable, however goes to show how many unnecessary calories I was consuming.

I’ve now got a diet and exercise plan. Last night I had the best nights sleep I’ve had for years, didn’t wake up once and woke up refreshed and positive.

This is a lifestyle changer, one that’s stalked up on me when I was ignorantly unaware.

So listen folks, this can happen to you with no symptoms whatsoever, I was fine…although my body probably didn’t think so.

I’ll keep you informed of my progress…


02 October 2015


I’ve stuck religiously to my diet. I’m training harder than I have for years. I’ve lost weight and people are starting to notice…I think I’ve lost at least one chin!



01 November 2015

In January of this year, this is what I looked like (sorry folks!)



And here is a photo I’ve just taken, not quite washboard abs but we’re going in the right direction!


The clean eating and exercise is definitely  starting to work…

Never work with animals and children…

They say never work with animals and children right? Which is fine unless your wife wants a photograph of our son and dog for her birthday…

Harry never ‘plays ball’, he can be quite a stubborn dog.

We took Harry on to the ‘Top Field’ (a field close to where we live). We let him run around to get him a bit tired…then let the photoshoot begin!

So..I got my son used to looking at the camera before we introduced Harry…

Frank and Harry-26

We then ‘caught’ Harry and my son tried to keep his attention…but Harry is too easily distracted by other people, dogs, birds or flies.

Frank and Harry-30

I got my son to lie down to try and get a shot of them both on the grass…

Frank and Harry-41

But no…Harry wasn’t having any of it and just got up and walked away…

Frank and Harry-46


I tried my best…


See Frank’s explanation here…

A wonderful surprise this morning

I woke up this morning to find this in the kitchen…



It says:

My blond hair is my best feature. Just like my Daddy I have cheeky dimples. On my face there are blue eyes. I like building lego. I have an awesome imagination. Blue eyes run in the family. You could recognise me by my blond hair. When I look in the mirror I see a handsome boy. Daddy loves my cheerful smile.

My son Frank has obviously had to create this as part of some school activity, but as I left for work this morning before he got out of bed I’m  not sure what it was…


I’m such a lucky man to have my son, he’s a warm, intelligent, caring, sensitive little boy…I am blessed…




It doesn’t seem like two minutes ago since he was born…



They grow up quick don’t they?…




Love Letter

I hold this letter in my hand
A plea, a petition, a kind of prayer
I hope it does as I have planned
Losing her again is more than I can bear
I kiss the cold, white envelope
I press my lips against her name
Two hundred words. We live in hope
The sky hangs heavy with rain

Love Letter Love Letter
Go get her Go get her
Love Letter Love Letter
Go tell her Go tell her

A wicked wind whips up the hill
A handful of hopeful words
I love her and I always will
The sky is ready to burst
Said something I did not mean to say
Said something I did not mean to say
Said something I did not mean to say
It all came out the wrong way

Love Letter Love letter
Go get her Go get her
Love Letter Love letter
Go tell her Go tell her

Rain your kisses down upon me
Rain your kisses down in storms
And for all who’ll come before me
In your slowly fading forms
I’m going out of my mind
Will leave me standing in
The rain with a letter and a prayer
Whispered on the wind

Come back to me
Come back to me
O baby please come back to me

Nick Cave


Harry is really coming along now!

We’ve had Harry since mid November.  He’s always been a lovely little dog, we’re all starting to get used to each other a little more and understand each others routine.

He’s a cute little chap, that’s him on the left…


My son Frank and I went out for a walk around Tockholes yesterday, it was Harry’s first big ‘Country Walk’…Tockholes is a wonderful place, you can find more information about it here…


Harry enjoyed splashing through the mud and damp leaves…


And Frank was very chuffed as everyone thought Harry was very cute (which he is!).


We’re looking forward to many many more walks together, and we’re starting to plan a Northumberland trip, and a Skye trip for next year…Harry should enjoy those….

Frank can exercise Harry and I can get stuck in to my Landscape Photography!!!


My Son

My life is so much different to my son’s life.
There were not many books in my childhood life.

My son has access to books in my library – both fact and fiction – from Iain Banks to Shakespeare.
From Neurology to Nietzsche.

There was not much music in my life (unless you can class Johnny Mathis as music).
My son has access to everything from Mozart to Motörhead.

Who is he going to become?


Beech House Reception Sports Day June 2012

Just come back from Franks Sports Day at Beech House, Bolton  School.


After a lunch of what I can only imagine was Protein Shakes, Energy Drinks and Bananas, all the children were raring to go…

First off was the Bean Bag Relay…



This was just enough to get the children warmed up !!!



Next it was the ‘Picnic Race’, which I’m sure is about to become an Olympic event !!!



We then had ‘Dressing Up’…Frank enjoyed that…the start of the race is marked by the placing of a scarf around the neck…



A small non-competative respite was had with ‘Parachute Games’…



We then had a nail biting ‘Obstacle Race’…



After a short rest, the competition became all serious with ‘The Sprint’…



The Shot Putting techniques were thoroughly tested in the ‘Wellie Throwing’, some careful trajectory adjustments had to be implemented to prevent injury to the capacity crowd of spectators…



Lastly, it was the old favourite…’Egg & Spoon’…


All in all it was a super afternoon, with lots of energy expended ! It tired Frank out and he fell asleep in the car on the way home…


“The Pet”

It’s my son Frank’s 5th birthday soon.


It doesn’t seem like 5 minutes since he was born…


He wants a pet for his birthday, however he was struggling between a Hamster, a Parrot or a Guinea Pig.

I’ve explained we can’t get any ‘livestock’ until we return from our holidays as we’d have to find ‘Pet Sitters’, however, at Franks School they have ‘Birthday Assembly’ so he has to take something to school to show everyone his birthday gift.


Today, Frank has decided he’d like a Guinea Pig as a pet (which could all change in the coming few weeks).

In preparation and also so that he can show the photo of his gift to school he’s bought a Guinea Pig cage…


Which could be a complete waste of time and money if he subsequently decided he wants more fish !


Watch this space for updates…

We have an update – we have two female Guinea Pigs. ‘Poppy’ and ‘Caramel’.

I’ve just finished building them a nice little run so they can play in the garden…


Photo shoot of the Lee family

Did a photo shoot of the Lee family recently….Daddy Matt, Mummy Emma, Big Tommy, Little Katie, and Aunty Steph!