Wednesday, March 28, 2012


One of my sister's acquaintances had her son taken from her and put into care this week. It turns out she'd been leaving him home for hours and hours in the evening despite him being only 5. She wasn't going out to work or anything - she was going to the pub.


Leaving your 5 year old home alone so you can go drinking?!

What the??

As a parent, you don't get to prioritise yourself. Yes, you'll make time for yourself as is healthy. But the decisions you make in your day to day life are centred around what's best for your family.

Everything is affected by having children:

  • Where you go
  • When you go
  • Who you go with
  • Where you work
  • The hours you work
  • What you watch on TV
  • the company you keep
  • Relationships you enter and leave (as a single parent)

It all has to be determined by what's best for you and your children as unit. And as a parent, those decisions never feel like sacrifices because they're for them... they're for those little people whose smiles warm your heart. And that never feels like a hindrance. Never.

I despise selfish parents. Children are a wonderful gift to life and I can think of many people I know personally who cannot or simply have not had children for one reason or another and who would make spectacular, selfless parents. Seeing and hearing about kids with parents who have no idea about prioritisation and who behave like kids themselves makes me so sad and so angry for the people who would make great parents and who cannot.

/end rant

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lessons from my Mother

I always remember my Mother telling me this one night when I was 17, not long before I went to University. It was in response to my telling her ‘I don’t want to ever get married.’

“Somewhere in the world, someone is thinking of you right now. They just don’t know it’s you yet. They don’t know your name or where you come from. They don’t know what music you listen to or which football team you support. They don’t know what you look like. But they know you make them laugh and they know they’ll love you in a way nobody else ever will. They’ll know it’s you they’ve spent so many years thinking of within moments of meeting you. And you’ll know it too. And then we’ll see what you have to say about getting married, young man.”

Mothers are wise, indeed.

Many years later, not long after we had been told she wouldn’t defeat the cancer plaguing her body, she told me;

“You still haven’t met her.”

The comment came from nowhere and I was living with a woman at the time too. So it was a surprise.

“Met who?” I asked.

“The girl who’s spent her whole life thinking about you.”

I knew she was right and the woman I was living with at the time also knew she was right. She and I are friends these days and look back on our relationship as a time of lessons, but not lessons learned by two people who were ever meant to be.

Before my Mother died, she told me there were two things she needed to know before she could ‘leave in Peace.’

“First off, I need to know you and your sister will look after each other.”

“Of course we will,” I promised.

“Second, I need you to promise you will at least be open to love. I know you won’t go looking and I don’t expect you to. It’s not becoming of a man to look for it. But when it finds you – and believe me you will know it – don’t shut it out. Let it in and everything that comes with it, the good and the bad. Let yourself love.”

“I’ll try.”

It amazes me when I think back on those conversations in my Mother’s final days just how well she knew me, how she could practically read my mind and just how much wisdom she possessed.

The world is missing a wonderful woman. But I’m the lucky fellow with a mind full of memories of her.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Every now and then, you meet somebody you connect with (platonically or romantically) in a special kind of way.

We look at people all day long, but how many do we really see?
We listen to people all day long, but how many do we really hear?
We think of people all day long, but how many do we really feel?

It’s rare that two people connect on every single level and I think a part of a connection like that has to be instant. Its depth will increase over time, but I think the foundations of connections like that are immediate.

Of the three women I have ever been in love with, I knew within moments of first encountering them that there was a connection. I saw them in a light nobody else in that room did and they saw me the same way. They asked questions I wasn’t used to being asked, said things that just woke something up within me.

3 times in my life.

And I feel lucky. Because that’s 3 times more than some people ever experience it.

Human connection. It’s poetic, isn’t it?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Love Without Question

Keep chasing your dreams, son,
No matter how far.
Reach for the moon, son,
Take hold of the stars.
Love with your heart,
And not with your head.
Love just for loving,
No reason instead.

“I like a girl at tennis club. She’s pretty but she’s older than me.”

“How old?” I asked my son as we drove back from his tennis training tonight.

“She’s nine.”

“Wow… yes, that is older than you.”

A year is a lifetime when you’re 8. But he’s keen on her. I knew that for sure when he told me:

“I gave her my smoothie.”

He’s rather protective of his strawberry and banana smoothies so I figures it must be the real deal.

“Does she like you?”

“Don’t know…”

And the subject was dropped for a few minutes.

“I shouldn’t really like her should I? She’s in the group higher.” I pulled over. This conversation needed my full attention. “Why’ve you stopped?” he asked.

“Cos this is serious, buddy.”


“Why do you like her?” I asked him

“I don’t know. Just do…”

“So then yes – you should like her.”

“Even if she’s 9?”

“Even if she’s 9. Sometimes you just like someone and the best thing you can do is to just enjoy it. Don’t get all caught up in questions.”
“You’re getting serious, Dad.”

“Good point. You get what I’m saying though, don’t you?’

“Yep. Are we having pizza for dinner? It’s Friday!?”

Yes, yes, it’s a little 8 year old crush. But it amazes me how human nature even so young is to question why you like something or someone.

If I could only hope one thing for my son, it’s that he grows up to love with his heart, not his head. To never question practicalities and to allow practical say to say stuff to be a reason to walk away from love. I don’t want him to ever have regrets in that respect.

If we only ever loved those we should love for practical reasons, we’d all be married to our next door neighbour’s and would never have taken any chances.

Anyway, random thoughts over for the night.

Have a great weekend, folks.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day - Here's to the Women in my Life

It’s International Women’s Day, so what better time to pay tribute to the women in my life? J

My Wife

Chloe is a talented designer, creative by nature. She’s a loving Mother, a faithful, beautiful, passionate and honest wife and is, without doubt, my best friend. This woman makes all the days better.

My Daughter

The littlest and youngest lady in my life is my 6 month old daughter, who’s so pretty she takes my breath away just about every single time she flashes that cute little smile my way.

My Sister

Beautiful, intelligent, talented, sweet, loyal, caring, kind and a wonderful Mother too. She’s been there for me her entire life, in spite of the fact I haven’t always been the best brother. Her love is unwavering. She knows me inside out.

My Mother

No longer around, unfortunately, but the biggest female influence in my life. I take so much solace in knowing how much she would love my family, how much she’d spoil the kids, how much she’d love shopping with Chloe. I miss her so much I cannot breathe some days. A woman who lost her husband to a tragic accident, leaving her with 2 young children to bring up. She did so in the UK, despite Spanish being her first language and her English, at the time, not being so great. She worked as hard as she possibly could, some evenings coming home so exhausted from her manual job that all her bones and muscles ached. And then she made dinner, she cleaned up and she helped me and my sister with out homework. My Mother was the most amazing woman and I, the luckiest son.

My Son’s Biological Mother

Anje. How we miss her still. Despite the fact she and I were no longer together, she remained a close friend. Our disputes were never long lasting, always defeated by our shared love for our son. She was always honourable enough to admit her mistakes, put them right and make amends. A genuinely kind hearted soul taken far, far, far too young.

Some people are just always intended for worlds more beautiful than this one.

My Female Friends

I have some wonderful female friends both here in Manchester and overseas. I’m blessed to know wonderful Mothers, epic creative, inspiring writers and hardworking, determined women. You’re all a blessing to my life.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Transition – a period of change, a period of transformation from one state to another.

That’s where I was at for a number of years.

I made a few changes recently that signified the end, for me, of a state of transition.

I settled down!
Married with children and LOVING it. I made the decision that the time was right, that I was with the woman I definitely wanted to spend the rest of my life with and that I wanted her to be the Mother of my children. Fortunately she felt the same : )

This signified the end of my transition from jumped up little commitment phobe to the man my Mother always knew deep down I wanted to be.

Let An Old Blog Go
Recently, I let my former Second Life related blog go. Completely go. I loved it back in 2007, but it’s been largely dormant since 2009, still taking a few thousand visits a month but I felt almost guilty for the outdated content those visitors would be reading. Second Life just isn’t a significant enough part of my life anymore to justify maintaining a blog. That was the last connection between me and that period of my life in which I was spending some 30, 40 or even 50 hours a week in Second Life. I’m not saying everything about SL was bad and I would still love to pop back from time to time and catch up with a couple of old friends.

There were places, people and activities that made SL truly important to me. There were days I could be ‘in world’ for 16 hours and still at the end not feel as though I was ready to log out. I met some amazing people, experienced some wonderful things and learnt a lot about myself, others and the immersive online experience.

The place was virtual. The people were and are real and there are many I am still in touch with and whose happiness is the source of a smile for me.

It was time to let that blog go. It isn’t me anymore.

Cut my Working Hours
I have a business that offers me and my beautiful family a comfortable lifestyle. It was hard earned and lots of work. But it’s reached a point where I have people working with me who I trust completely. As such, I’ve cut my working hours down from the 50 or so I was spending in the office to 30. It might not be a drastic cut, but it means I can pick my little boy up from school some days and it means I have more time to spend with my family.

That is the real reward of this. It’s not about the materialisms. It’s about the luxury of being able to enjoy my family for even more hours of the week.

Transitioning Together
I often believe that people who are closely connected on some level do a lot of transitioning together. Their transitions are all often very different, but the experience of change is something they experience together in one way or another, whether in the same room or an ocean apart. I have many friends both near and far who have experienced an immense transition in recent years and who are now emerging stronger, happier and more fulfilled people. I love to see that.

Transition teaches painful lessons. But the rewards are priceless.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Little Princess

My world...

My little girl is just over 6 months old now. She has been the most amazing addition to my life. Both my wife and our son were as excited as I was to have her in our lives. I fell in love with her the second she was placed in my arms. That feeling of protectiveness was overwhelming. There was this tiny little human being who depended on me for everything. She is so beautiful, she's got cute chubby cheeks and the sweetest little smile. Being woken up in the middle of the night is all worthwhile when I pick her up out of her cot and see that little smile beaming back at me, those beautiful dark eyes twinkling and feel those chubby little fingers grab onto my clothes. She grips me as though she will never let me go. And I hold her much the same way.

She's a Daddy's girl. The gurgles and giggles as we cuddle up on the sofa in the evenings. Chloe laughs  as she says,

"Ah yes, cry all day, my little darling but as soon as Daddy's home you're happy as can be!" 

She adores her big brother too. She smiles at him like he's the best thing on the planet. He loves it so much. He'll protect her as I do. I see that when I watch him holding her as though she's the most precious thing in the world to him.

"She's beautiful, Dad," he said to me last night as we put her down to sleep.

God help anyone who tries to mess with her when she's older...they'll have her big bro to deal with ;-)

Anyway, this was just a gushing post. I might just be the luckiest fella on the planet, you know.