Sunday, 1 February 2009

Saturday 31st January 09

Was awoken by boys fighting right outside the bedroom door. I ignored it and after a few minutes the rumpus stopped. My tip... if you want a quiet life, don't have children. Although having children can be very satisfying, lovely, exciting, fulfilling and more, it may cause your life to include a lot of noise, disturbance, heartache, questions about why you decided to do it... perhaps having one is different, perhaps some children are easy to live with, but at the moment, living with two boys is, from time to time, horrible. I do continue to love them to bits, and yes, I see some of my own behaviour in them....

This early fight or loud argument preceded a very peaceful and harmonious day! Breakfast was fine, I got ready soon after and left in my cold-weather costume (red dungarees and outlandish skiing hat) at 9.30 and was in St Sampson's Square to start the City of York Council's Residents' Festival off at 10am. David the photographer arrived and as there was no audience at first, I did some unicycling and stuff for him... but when my activities caused people to stop and watch, I interacted with them and ignored David, although he continued to snap away.

I finished just before 11 and invited people to come and watch the Punch and Judy, and I reloaded my stuff on the trailer and cycled home. Within an hour, my younger brother Tom arrived, with Kate his wife and their three children... lovely! We all had the tomato soup I'd started making on Thursday, which Gill had finished seasoning and whizzing this morning. That with bread and hummus was delicious.

Sometime after 2pm everybody went out to get on the bus and go and visit the Castle Museum, Gill and Katie's favourite. I had another 45 minutes in the house, did some washing up and left the house at 3.30 for my 4pm performance. This show went really well... a big crowd, up for entertainment, with quite a few staying all the way through right from the beginning, which was good, as street-crowds are notoriously transient. There was loads of interaction and laughter and I enjoyed myself immensely. I came away once again thinking how lucky I am doing a job which I enjoy so much.

Got away at about 5.15 and came home fast... the family were already back and all the children were happy... my eldest playing with Tom's youngest, and the other three immersed in Asterix comic books and similar. Within the hour Tom and Katy took their tribe back to Sheffield and we continued to have a very harmonious and peaceful evening.

At times like this, I'm very happy to be a father. This may seem inconsistent, but I think it's pretty normal to have feelings which change dependent on the circumstances you are experiencing at the time! Someone can feel cold and uncomfortable whilst putting a load of bikes away in the shed after a family cycle ride, and within minutes of getting in and putting another log on the stove, feel cosy and defrosted. Same with parenting... sometimes it's hell, sometimes it's lovely and rewarding... all in the same day, sometimes within the hour! I have no regrets and am coping with the difficulties by remembering the good bits.

For me, blogging helps too as I've written a diary since I was a teenager and find it very cathartic to get it all (not all!) down on paper (not paper!) and share some of what's going on. This approach upsets some of my more distant family members as they think that I shouldn't mention my children. I don't understand this, when other blogs (go press the 'next blog' button at the top of the page a few times!) do more than mention children... they have photos of them and names and all sorts of detail, and I feel that is intrusive, more so than my descriptions of family life.... I am careful not to go into too much detail and am trying to not 'betray confidence' although this is difficult as I am naturally open and honest, and don't understand some people's obsession with privacy. My immediate family know that I write about them and sometimes I read the post to them.

Anyway, I enjoyed today and was really happy to see my brother and his family. More work tomorrow, forecast is very cold with snow-showers. Could be a challenge!

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