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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Driving AmbitionQ. What do you get when you let your 7-year-old niece play with your camera in the back of the car?

A. See left.

Of course, what you also get is a look of extreme concern from Lisa, when that same niece starts scrolling through all the photos you've taken, and shouts "Oooh, naked men!". It turned out she was looking at my pictures of the Brighton Pride march. At least that's what I told Lisa.

Anyhoo, as I write this, I'm in Chelmsford, where Lisa and I have retreated for a few days, partly to spend some quality time with my family, partly to escape the hurly burly of Brighton, but mainly so I can get my car MOT'd on the cheap. We left on Friday night after visiting Lisa's mother, who imparted some of her great wisdom, and informed us that Chinese people never go upstairs on a bus. I assume it's some kind of allegory.

Having settled in at my parents' house, we made our way yesterday to the oddly-named 'Salvation Army-Hadleigh Farm' (their hyphen, not mine), where my niece informed me that I look like Homer Simpson, before demanding that I get married when she's eight. A quick circuit of Hadleigh Castle in gale-force winds, and we made our way back to the cafe for a cream tea. Which, thanks to the fool-proof numbering system used by the waitress to eliminate errors, came out as a cheese & ham toastie.

In the evening, Lisa and I put 317 Christmas cards in envelopes for my parents, to complete the 6,000 they're sending out this year. I had no idea they were so popular. Fortunately I only cut my tongue once, and I'm sure the gum on the envelopes isn't toxic in large quantities. Although my lips have been stuck together ever since. I think I'll suggest they send to close family only next year.

As for today, well so far I've burnt Lisa's toast, broken my Mum's toaster, been shot in the head by a pop gun, and had to wrestle my niece away from playing 'Over the Hedge' for five minutes just so I can write this blog post. I started to feel a little down about it all, but fortunately Lisa was there to buoy me up with the words "Your life's not a complete failure".

It was just after that that she shot me with the pop gun.