Halloween hilarity

I’m not a big believer in the supernatural – but this Halloween week has certainly produced some unusual and hilarious moments.

First of all, I went to a Halloween party. On a Tuesday night.

A TUESDAY NIGHT!

The abnormality of this was probably summed up best by a good friend of mine – a teacher – who sent me a message to let me know that his wife (also a teacher) had asked: “who the f**k does he know who throws a party on a Tuesday night?”

Well, it’s a good question. And the answer is Lady Wimbledon, an unbelievably well-connected and gregarious member of the South West London community who has a reputation for throwing awesome parties.

And this was no exception – you can read all about it here.

The rest of the week contained a number of other spooky circumstances and ghoulish goings-on, with Marley was at his hilarious best.

Here are a few of this week’s other highlights:

5) Bobo’s bum

We were sitting on the sofa one evening, Marley was playing with his toy cars on the floor. He stood up and approached the sofa to stroke our cat (Bo, or Bobo) and as he did so he told us: “Bobo has a nice bum……but we shouldn’t touch it”

He is almost certainly remembering a time where he did, indeed, touch it.

Anyone who has met our cat will understand when I say I don’t think he’ll be making that mistake again in a hurry.

4) Pussy…

I was carrying him up the road on our way to his music class, and he spotted a little dog on the other side of the street. So he shouted out: “DOGGY!”

I asked him: “what do you think the doggy’s name might be?” and was a little surprised when he told me:

“Pussy!”

We moved on very quickly after that. I thought I might get in trouble if he was heard shouting that word out across the street….

3) Bitey McBiteface

I may have been the one dressed as a werewolf this week, but it was Marley who was getting in trouble for being a bit too vigorous with his teeth.

While visiting his cousins in Surrey, I’d felt a sharp pain in my leg as he passed by. And then a few days later I felt that same, distinctive toothy agony, this time in my shoulder just a few seconds after he had screamed: “I’M GOING TO EAT YOU!”

There were tears. And not just mine…

2) Lady in red

The day before Halloween, and while I was out, Marley had been lying on my side of the bed as Mummy had read him a story. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, he frantically scrambled over and climbed on to Mummy, holding on for dear life.

When she asked him what was wrong, he replied: “There’s a red lady there” and pointed to where he had just been sitting.

Needless to say, Mummy was absolutely terrified!

1) Why are pirates called pirates? They just ARRRRRR

After learning about pirates at nursery this week, and having his face painted as one, he must have had them on his mind.

As I pushed him along in his buggy this morning, we walked past an (admittedly fairly piratey-looking) older lady, and he shouted out:

“PIRATE – AHOY THERRRRRE”

Shiver me timbers – I do love my little pirate!!

Kew Gardens with the grandparents

Although the seemingly endless days of 30°C we grew accustomed to over summer are now a fading memory (and Marley’s crab-suit has been packed away) the sun has still been out in force for autumn.

So it was perfect weather for Marley to take his visiting grandparents out to Kew Gardens at the weekend.

It’s a pity for Marley in some ways, living so far from both sets of grandparents – not to mention many of his aunties, uncles, cousins – so it’s a treat for him whenever they visit.

He is at an age now where it’s very apparent what’s on his mind – and the fact he’s also an incessant talker (good lad) makes it twice as clear what he’s thinking.

“Play!”

“Toys!”

“Car!”

“Dinner!”

“ICE CREAM!”

After just a few hours of them being here, the only words he seemed to be shouting were “GRANNY!” and “GRANDDAD!” at the top of his voice, which is really lovely.

And he had an especially great day out with them at Kew.

We spent a few hours there and probably still only managed to walk about a quarter of the grounds and visit a few of the glasshouses.

It’s all a feast for a toddler’s eyes, packed full of amazing colours and thousands of trees, plants and flowers, not to mention a few squirrels, geese, parakeets and other wildlife.

There’s even a tree-top walkway where I tried to get Marley more familiar with heights. 

It’s tricky, trying to teach someone not to be afraid of something that you yourself are a bit afraid of! 

Romesh Ranganathan summed it up beautifully in his interview with the Observer at the weekend:

“I’ve tried to tackle my fear of spiders because I don’t want my children to have that phobia. It hasn’t worked because they now realise that if a man sits rigidly still with a single teardrop rolling down his cheek, and he’s soiled himself, he’s probably scared of spiders.”

Thankfully, grandparents are immune to these kind of phobias – so they are more than welcome to come back down and visit any time we find a giant spider in the house…

After they left to travel back to Edinburgh, Marley was still asking where Granny and Grandad were the next morning.

A little reminder of how significant family is to little ones and their development…..and how important it is to enjoy the time we get to spend all together.

Athens, Budapest and the Not-So-Terrible-Twos

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks….and unusually, that’s had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Marley.

I was away for almost a week in Athens at the end of September, where I was attending a work conference and then hoping to get a bit of a break before returning home.

I did get the chance to climb the Acropolis, visit the Parthenon and see the incredible views of the city…

But that was about it.

On my way back down, the rain started. And basically didn’t stop for 48hrs. I was trapped indoors.

They even gave this weather a new name; Medicane, a Mediterranean Hurricane.

Not the best conditions to visit Athens for the first time, but it was still a fantastic place to visit.

So after a bumpy flight back to London, I was home for a couple of days (although I basically worked the entire time) before heading off again, this time to Budapest for a good friend’s stag/bachelor party.

Three sun-and-fun-filled days of beers, boat trips, ruin bars and a visit to the Szechenyi Baths.

In fact there was so much beer consumed (and some palinka) that one member of the party wasn’t even aware the boat had moved during the boat party (it had travelled for over two hours…)

So despite feeling a little worse for wear, I was very happy to get back home to Marley and my wife on the Sunday evening.

And Marley was particularly happy to see me. We had been in regular touch on FaceTime and my wife had told me she feared the Terrible Twos were now getting in to full flow.

But once I walked back in, he was jumping up and down and seemed really pleased to see me, so we wondered whether it might just have been his reaction to a change in routine.

And I swear he had grown a foot in the time I’d been away.

So aside from the occasional grumpy moment  (and this may be tempting fate somewhat) his Terrible Twos really don’t seem too bad at all.

In fact, I would say he seems to be having more fun than ever; racing around, enjoying himself, and shouting out all kinds of ridiculous nonsense.

He probably wouldn’t have been too out of place at our stag party…