Gift or bribery?

Gift or bribe?

I’ve been reading the bloggerblackmail furore with interest over the past 24 hours.

The uproar within the blogging community is simply the latest in a centuries-long struggle over whether gifts constitute a generous act of benevolence, or simply an unsubtle bribe.

Nothing new here
My dad used to tell me a story about what he liked to call ‘political correctness gone mad’, relating to his experiences dealing with external contractors in his career working in London councils.
Continue reading “Gift or bribery?”

Seve Ballesteros joins the club

Seve BallesterosFollowing his collapse last week, it’s sad to hear that Seve Ballesteros has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The reason I’m more interested in this than any other normal health/sports story is that my dad also has a brain tumour.

Brain tumour conjures up lots of images and, to be honest, I’m still not sure I totally get it. Basically, there’s some sort of mass growing inside your head that slowly starts to cause problems as it puts pressure on various other bits of the brain.

Sometimes, they can be operated on, but more often than not brain tumours are treated using radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Many shrink, often enough to be removed through surgery, but not all do. My dad has been through radiotherapy and one-and-a-half lots of chemo, until the consultants in charge decided to stop, because his particular tumour is resistant to the chemo.

Life expectancy is hazy. It can be as short as 1 year and sometimes as long as 10-15 years – it’s a bit ‘how long is a piece of string?’ I’m not even sure how long my Dad’s had his – it was diagnosed about 18 months – 2 years ago, but was obviously there before it was eventually picked up.

I’m sure Seve will have access to top specialists, but that may not be enough. Even if they do get it once, tumours have a nasty habit of reappearing and you can never be sure you’ve got it all the first time.

Good luck, Seve!

When do we become proper parents?

I’m a dad. And, in case you’re new to this blog, I should add I have two children – two beautiful daughters.

The oldest is now 5 and yet, I still don’t feel like a proper parent. I often take my children out on my own and am convinced that other people are looking at me and saying to themselves: ‘He doesn’t look like a proper father!’ or ‘What on earth is he doing with that child?’

You see, I still live in a haze of paranoia that someone will come up to me and say, you’re not doing it properly and are a crap dad. Here’s a black mark against you – one more and your child will hate you for life.

It doesn’t how many times I tell myself or C that you only need to be ‘good enough’, it still doesn’t really sink in.

All it needs is for my youngest not to come to the front door and greet me when I come home from work and I assume I’ve done something wrong and she doesn’t like me any more.

Or else I call up B to ask her how her day at school was and she refuses to talk to me, because she’s watching TV instead.

I keep pointing out to myself that I was probably exactly the same (and probably still am) with my Mum and Dad and that’s just the way of the world. In other words, you never truly appreciate what’s been done for you, until it’s almost too late.

I hope that one day I’ll wake up and have that Eureka moment when I realise that actually I’m doing an OK job and that people don’t judge me at every step, but I’m not holding out any hope just yet.