A poet friend of mine wrote beautifully that “There is no power on earth stronger than the fierce determination of a child’s belief.” Whether you’re old or young, please never stop believing in the things that matter (even if you’ve moved on from Father Christmas). Merry Christmas from us.
I went back up to Oxford this weekend on a secret mission. Meeting an old friend I haven’t seen for 20 years, it was a discreet exchange of brass instruments for small boys in our families. But it also gave me a precious hour to lose two decades. A quiet slip into the back snug of the King’s Arms took me back to being 19, with the same aged wood panelling, the same lovely fires. The same splendid beer. Even the absence of wonderful tobacco smoke couldn’t spoil the sense of permanence. Travelling through that patinaed door, in one step I had travelled back to times of discovery defined by the boundlessly wonderful horizon of the universe of love and life that is so wasted on the teenager. Pint in hand and smile flickering on face, I relaxed in a time-sagged leather sofa, toasted my feet, flicked through the intellectual camera role of fierce adolescent intelligence and lovely company in the album of times spent with my university friends in that bar, reliving the shell …
A dawn portrait exposes The Boy’s talent
The discovery of Tut Ankh Amun, as recorded by The Boy (6)
Fred Astaire season
Roots, rituals and black pudding in Our City
In a competition between six year olds to impress blonde lady classmate Seren, there can be only one winner on Non Uniform Day. Rugby club tie, blazer, polished brogues. Swelligent.
It was close. A little lad, under the weather and, in his own words, feeling down in the dumps. Waiting for Dad to come home, consoled with plans for Halloween carving. Not a pumpkin to be found in South Wales. Supermarkets, petrol stations, all bereft of the key fruit. Improvision, dear readers, improvisation. Amazing what we can do with three oranges.
The Boy learns to balance Oxfords and brogues.
Three little kings make a Rugby Club’s Christmas
The Boy meets The Boy King
Making a gravy he can’t refuse
Journal of an expedition to times past
Potential trauma today. Excited little chap popped from the car like a cork from a bottle, and bounced to his sport class this evening. Only to find it cancelled, with the message unreceived. He took it really well. Disappointed, grumpy, but really digging in. There was nothing for it but ice cream. When you see this, there’s no other way of saying it. Life’s what you make of it.
Of all the fatherly advice I can give, caution with blonde ladies is one of the most important. Happily, he doesn’t seem to be listening…
Mining our own history