Tuesday, 9 February 2016

10 reasons why Curious George is the most adorable show on tv to watch with your toddler

I'll admit it, I am a Curious George superfan. My son is nearly three years old now and this is our thing together. Mummy doesn't know how to get Netflix on the Xbox so he has to watch the vile awful Peppa Pig with her instead. But sitting down to watch 22 minutes of this tv show with him after a long day is one of life's pleasures. Seriously.

For those of you that don't know, Curious George is based on books written by Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey, a couple who fled Paris during the war in 1940 and went to New York. For a potted history, here's the Wikipedia page.

You can watch it on Netflix and also the Disney Channel if you're in the UK.

Anyway, here are my top ten things I love about George.

1. He's ridiculously cute.

2. Seriously. Dat face
And he makes adorable monkey noises too.

3. It's massively educational.
The format of every episode involves George being presented with a 'problem' or something that needs solving. In one episode he breaks The Man in the Yellow Hat's guitar. Sounds sinister right? No, the man is actually a nice guy, a father figure to George. George is a monkey who has free rein to do as he pleases, but he always has a 'dad' to come home to.

So when he breaks the man's guitar, he needs to make a new one to avoid upsetting him, so he gets a bird house, straps it so some wood, attaches some strings, and bingo. Here's your new guitar.

In other episodes he builds a house for a squirrel that keeps sneaking into his house to keep warm, and in another he even builds an igloo.

Basically George is always fixing people's shit, and learning new skills along the way. There are never ending problems, or hamsters going missing, or ducks who have been rejected by their mothers, and he sorts it all out.

He even makes a badass go-kart in one episode (or soap box racer I should say) complete with steering and a working brake. For my son, who loves anything mechanical, construction, or engineering related he is in his element learning and watching these things.

4. George possibly used to be addicted to drugs, and smoked a pipe
Ok. Not really, he did makes mistakes along the way but he changed his ways in order that he could light up our living rooms and educate our children. I haven't read the old books but I understand he was quite mischievous. He was a bad monkey. There's a lovely blog about it here. Curious George - not quite what I remembered!

5. THIS episode

6. Why so curious, George?

7. I mean seriously. Why so curious?

8. More internet memes. Gotta love 'em.

9.  George has excellent names around the world.
  • Utelias Vili in Finland (sounds like a pipe smoking physics professor if you ask me)
  • Peter Pedal in Denmark (weird!)
  • Slimme Sjors in the Netherlands (Slimy Sjors!)
  • Nicke Nyfiken in Sweden (it sounds like he's a pickpocket)
  • Curioso come George in Italy
  • Jorge el Curioso in Mexico, Spain, etc

10. And finally. Curious George cosplay, for couples. 
There's something deeply wrong about this!

Oh George. We love you.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Choosing The Right Baby Changing Bag - The Dad's Survival Guide - 2016 edition!

Way back in 2013 I wrote a blog about bags and it's funny that it has turned out to be my most popular blog and gets new visitors all the time so here is my updated expert guide on the subject.

If you're interested in having a look at the rogues gallery of bags in my last blog, click here!

As a man, a grunting bloke, I feel that you want to be buying something that isn't too garish and doesn't draw much attention and there are very few options out there. If you're not careful, you can end up with all manner of horrific contraptions attached to your hip.

What I know now about changing bags though is that it's a crowded market out there. Everyone is trying to sell you a unique feature. This bag has 17 different compartments, this bag can survive a nuclear holocaust, and on and on. This bag has our amazing new shitsmear® retardant technology, and so on.

I wish I knew then what I know now about changing bags.


Bagbase Heritage Retro Backpack / Rucksack / Bag (18 Litres)
Bagbase Heritage Backpack. £10 on Amazon.

As new parents you get totally caught up in everything you need to buy. A bag like this is simple, functional, does the job. This bag has been to South America and back with me, and pisses all over any baby changing bag I've ever known. 

There are bags out there with millions of compartments. The truth is, unless you're totally OCD, your careful method for keeping the bag organised will go out of the window by week two.

The first 12 weeks or so are crazy, you'll be changing nappies left right and centre so you do need a foldable changing mat that you can pull out to get the deed done, but not as they get older. My son now he's nearly three is only dropping his guts once or twice a day max, and you can set your watch like clockwork for his 10am constitutional. He will always leave the room and do it standing up, and everything goes eerily quiet apart from a couple of telltale grunts and heavy breathing.


Successful marketing has convinced us that we need a changing bag with billions of features. Not true. You need a portable changing mat, and a functional bag that is not only light, but also about the size of a rucksack. That's it.

I've just done some research out of macabre curiosity and I've had a look at the options.




Horrific. Why would you do this? Nothing screams "I'm a parent for the first time" like these bags. It's like the whole act of becoming a parent has made people lose the plot and think that everything around them needs to be 'cute'.

So if you're a dad, and you've stumbled on my blog because you're hoping to find an inoffensive bag then you have my deepest sympathies. Good luck, and hopefully this guide has helped you find the right one to buy ;-)

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Leap of faith

Hello again!

This will be a rambly blog. I can't promise there won't be tears.

For quite a long time now I've been stuck in a comfort zone of quite a well paid sales job that had many high points and also many a moment where I thought to myself "why in the flipping f are you doing this..."

The devil on my shoulder would be chuckling away and giving me knowing winks at my self inflicted misery in pursuit of money.

I would shrug and say to myself, "yeah, but we have a family, and a mortgage, I need to keep my head down and not complain. It pays the bills."

Well this year I decided to finally throw caution to the winds and I QUIT.

I did it. I finally did it.

I can now spend my time focusing on several exciting business ideas I have, and I will even have time to blog, and stop neglecting this narcissistic cesspit of daddy drivel.

I'll also spend a hell of a lot less time stuck in mindless traffic, and more time with my son and I'll get the joy of doing the nursery run. I shit you not, I love seeing him in his natural habitat, creeping up on him at the end of the day and the look on his face when he realises that it's his turn to be picked up, and it's time for us to play 'big boy Lego' and watch Curious George before bath time.

Oh yes. Watch this space, you beautiful bastards.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Hello old friend

A lot of people ask me why I haven't updated this blog in a while. It's a bloody good question.

The truth is I've just been busy with work and the other thing is I've often wondered if what I have to say is interesting or relevant, I'm trying to avoid being self indulgent about writing gushing diatribes about my son.

I try to keep Instagram updated, so you can head over there and follow me at http://instagram.com/dadsdiary

But on Christmas Eve, the night before his second Christmas I feel it warrants just a little update about the boy.

Here are five things I'm grateful for.

1. He never, ever has a number two at night. No dirty nappy changes by candlelight for me. I seriously cannot put a price on this!

2. He generally sleeps through the night and goes to bed early and is starting to need his night feeds less often. That makes up for the fact he hardly sleeps during the day.

3. Laughter. Lots of it.

4. Teaching us new levels of patience

5. Helping us to be less selfish as people.

I am however not grateful for the recent toddler testosterone surges and random growling, and hitting when he's been told "no". That's his least favourite word and we get a quizzical, angry look, followed by taking a swing at us, and then falling to his knees crying and whining at how hard his life is and how unjust we are as parents. I think it will take a little bit of time to get used to that!

Happy Christmas everyone.. 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Getaway.

Put the foot down, kid! Let's show these Portuguese supermarkets how its done!

Intermarche (near Carvoeiro in the Lagoa district of Portugal) have these fantastic child friendly trolleys you can rent. How good is this!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Baby's first year (in 8 minutes)

So his first birthday party was a rip roaring success. The weather was bad so I was freaking out that the venue was going to be too small for everyone to huddle inside but luckily I was wrong and all the babies loved crawling around with the ball pool and circus tent.

It has been an amazing year, and we did it. We got there.

I've taken over 3,000 photos during the year, here are some of the best made into a slideshow so you can see how he has developed during this time. A sort of time lapse, if you will.