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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The problem with doing a lot is that it doesn't leave you any time to write about it. Personally I prefer to do nothing, and write about that instead. It's kept me going for eleven years. Unfortunately, with two kids, a job and Virgin Catch-Up, I'm currently languishing in extreme time-poverty, with my blogging interest rates at an all time low.

But without further ado, I'd just like to wish my mother-in-law a very happy 80th birthday for today. Obviously you're not supposed to reveal a lady's age in public, but apparently that all changes once you're old and can start boasting about your unexpected survival. So with Lisa's Mum successfully dodging the Grim Reaper's scythe for an 80th consecutive year, I'd like to wish her many happy returns. Have a can of Diet Coke on me.

To celebrate those four-score years, my Mum came over on Sunday to babysit the nippers while Lisa and I took the birthday girl out for a few hours. Even at the age of eighty, there's life in the old dog yet, so we decided to take her to Hove greyhound track. We did the same for her birthday four years ago, which was an event marked by a lot of blood, sweat and tears as I showed true grit by grinding Amelie's face into some gravel.

Fortunately the only grit on display this time was our determination to win big, which was an attitude that paid dividends in the second race when I placed a bet of £1.80 and won £26.84. Unfortunately that was my only win of the day, and by the end, I'd given most of it back to the tote, but it was good while it lasted. And it lasted long enough to buy two portions of chips. Lisa's Mum managed to win thirty quid from a two pound bet, which left Lisa as the only luckless loser of the day. Fortunately she's used to it.

As it happens, Lisa was a loser in more ways than one on Sunday. The last race at Hove dog track was at 2pm, and Amelie had been invited to a party back at Funplex from 2:30pm to 5:30pm, so having torn up our last betting slips in despair, we made a mad dash across town to pick up our little party animal and head straight back out.

We got to Funplex just before three... only to be told that the party wasn't until four. Needless to say we didn't have the invitation with us, so I felt like one of my patients who turns up at the wrong time without their appointment letter, yet swears blind that they're right. We'd been hoping to drop Amelie and run, but with an hour to go until supervised party-time, Lisa reluctantly agreed to stay, while I drove home to help out with Toby.

Having returned home, I found this...

... so I drove back to Funplex with a certain sense of injustice, collected Lisa, and brought her back home. An hour later we received a call from a fellow parent, kindly offering to bring Amelie home in her car, which was a lovely gesture, and would have been ideal were it not for the fact that we'd brought Amelie's shoes and coat home with us.

Fortunately our parenting is generally effortless, and in our attempts to do as little as possible, we rarely let sub-zero temperatures and large puddles stand in our way. So we told our friend to bring Amelie home barefoot and half-dressed. Which she duly did. Apparently she carried our daughter across the car park, which is admirable to say the least. Personally I'd have backed the car into the foyer.

Anyhoo, all's well that ends well. Unless you're Lisa, in which case you realise at about 5:45pm that you can't find your phone, proceed to ring it so that you can identify where in the flat it's hiding, and find yourself talking to a member of staff at Funplex. Apparently she dropped it in her haste to get away. Frankly it was a miracle she had her shoes on.