If you read my previous post, about a visit to Dunwich, you will know my concerns about the Bee-Wasp wars of 2024. I had not been out of the house since. Consumed with trepidation, I decided to reconnoitre a local urban/estuary area. All my fears were allayed, as there was an uneasy truce. The wasps controlled a profusion of bins, pubs and ice cream vendors. The bees got all the flowers and parks, except the bins. Each park was reminiscent of communist era Berlin. Communities of wasps held checkpoints around garbage bins. At one point, I accidentally trod through an undiscovered escape tunnel network, dug by escaping Bees. I have named these areas Berbin.
STOP RAMBLING ABOUT WASPS RAYNHAM! START THE ACTUAL BLOG POST!
I've got an allergy to bank holidays. When everyone else is reveling, released from the daily shackles of their evil overlord bosses, I lose money. In fact holidays cannot happen full stop. Luckily I'm fully satisfied with days out with the fam. I sound like a Chas and Dave record. DOWN AT MARGATE!
In fact, random sod it all to hell days, are a boon for some self employed people. I am also tolerent of being skint at various intervals, because I have nobody telling me what the feck to do. Bliss.
Since Alfred was born, we wanted to find as many ways as possible to spend even more time with him, by restricting our work hours, increasing household efficiency and somehow combining days out with a bit of work. Not easy. But we are just starting to get some results. I have no idea how long we can sustain it. Money can be incredibly tight. Mortgage repayments have stopped. I take each day and week as it comes. I am basically sodding it all to hell so I can be with my boy. I will happily pay the price later down the line when he has grown up. (PLEASE NOTE: In my next rant I am not including the 90% of people who have to work to eat and survive). When I see parents who can afford to retire or semi retire 10 times over, who don't, I am very confused as to why they would not want to be with their litluns as much as possible. Flog your castle and downgrade to a normal house and be with your fecking family. The most common regret I hear from blokes obsessed with money and career, is that they wished they had spent more time with little Alganon-Baxonville Smythe iiv.
Anyway, back to the day out.
When I was 15, I started teaching guitar and made a tidy sum and by the time I was 18, I had over 50 students. These days, I have kept a small cluster of 6 students, as I don't want to break ties to my humble beginnings. One of my current students was rowing at a local regatta and I promised him that one day I would watch him row. Thinking the setting would be good, I tied it in with some photo shoots for our new ‘family’ based work system. It’s not mega-bucks, but just gets us through. TOGETHER. We got 3 photo shoots completed. As random freelancers we can grab opportunities and make a big kill now and again, but you can also hit rock bottom. I personally find it quite enlivening. Saying that, I have also been at the bottom of the barrel where stealing food was my only option, that barrel I don't want to re-visit any time soon!
We try and keep to strict time structures, to maximise our hourly rate. I also like to leave my phone at home, wherever possible, so I decided that it was time to get a watch.
Everything about this JORD timepiece ticks all the boxes, with it’s sustainable wood strap. My hairs always get pulled out on metal straps, which I find uncomfortable and leather straps are hot and warp easily. This is perfect though. It’s self winding and gorgeous looking. A rare treat for me.
Going back to the rowing. I love watching amateur sporting events. I am spared the pomp and celebrity cack of professional events and there are no performance enhancing shenanigans to be cynical about. Money ruins sport. When I was a wee kiddy I would only watch non league football. What a strange boy I was. No wonder I had no friends! I was lucky to be a kid in the amateur era of athletics and rugby union. These people performed virtually as good as those today and had to go to work the next day! I would rather watch and support people doing recreational fitness and encourage the spread of healthy everything, than give a dollar to over priced sporting events. Olympic committees all harp on about how the Olympics helps encourage fitness and growth and development of countries. It does not, they are talking absolutely huge swinging hairy ballsacks. It helps line the pockets of a select few and causes suffering to people in cities of 2nd and 3rd world countries.
Anyway, later on I bumped into my friend and old band’s drummer, Josh, then we got some fish and chips from a cracking place, that actually fries in beef dripping - mmmmmm... the more fat and carbs the better!
It was a million degrees in the fish and chip shop, so Bec and Alfred went for drinks. Half hour later, when I was searching for Bec, I spotted the most disgusting, massive dog shat on the pavement. Dog owners, that leave poo like this everywhere, should have human excrement wiped all over their drives and doorsteps. It looked like a pram had already gone through it. A young couple walked towards it and the girl was about to step square in it and I shouted “WATCH OUT FOR THE DOG SHIT!” at the top of my voice. Everyone around was stunned, as I have a stupidly loud voice, but her shoe was spared from connecting with the mightiest pile of canine anus cack I've ever known.
We ate our food on a bench, as Alfred watched the cars go by. We had a lovely chat with a couple in their late 70s who knew everyone that walked by. They were working as volunteers at the local museum.
Alfred was as good as gold and it was a cracker of a day, with work integrated. Mission accomplished. Bonus objectives ⅘. Hidden chests 8 of 10. Dogs petted 0. Coins stashed 12. Chips eaten 289. Dog turds avoided 3.
COMING SOON ON COFFEE & STARDUST
An interview with a Dad who turns down big bucks for family commitment
Busting parenting bad science
Parenting product reviews
How bad journalism is wrecking honest reporting
PRESENT: Coffee addict Dan is 42, a father, husband, health & fitness professional, filmmaker, photographer and budding scientist. Welcome to his tiny part of the universe, where he chats nonsensical about the topics he loves.