Gansey – a parenting revelation

Behold! A picture of Gansey – the beach in the Isle of Man where I spent most of my childhood summers.

Gansey (gets bigger here)

It had everything a young boy could want: ample sand for beach football or cricket, sun, sea, rocks with the essential rock pools, a small river etc etc. It was perfect.
At the time it never really troubled me, but looking back, I wondered how come my parents were so happy to let us spend so much time on the beach each holiday? Finally, as I visited there for the first time as a parent myself, the answer came to me.
It was so bloody EASY!

Even at their young ages, my kids were completely visible, completely safe and completely happy. As parents, we didn’t have to do anything except provide the odd biscuit and relax. And it cost nothing.
This is obviously the Manx equivalent of dropping the kids off at Westlake and getting the police to bring them back.

I’m going to highlight this post to my son when he has his own kids. Because forget all that stuff you learn at parenting classes about diets and nutrition, about bathing and which soaps are best to use for baby’s skin. That pales into insignificance against this sort of information. This sort of information is invaluable. It’s gold dust. It’s priceless. (Pammie – I hope you’re listening)

And relaxed parents mean happier children. Or so I’m told.

Gansey flickr set here.

Back home

After a 20 hour trip during which I was impressed with National Express coaches, during which we were repeatedly thrown all over the sky (most especially above Nigeria) and during which the children were mysteriously (but thankfully) well behaved, we find ourselves back in Cape Town, where the Mountain is flat and the people are allegedly rather cliquey.
Not that either of those things bother us particularly, because although the excitement of the holiday is disappearing and although the thought of work looms large on the horizon, we have our own beds in our own rooms; our own sandpit and our own Nanny (where applicable) and I have my own Uitkyk potstill brandy.

All these places feel like home…?

And although in some ways, I wish we were still over on my beautiful Island, it is good to be back home. Routines can be reinstated, normal life can begin again. And yes, routine and normality have their highs and their lows, but if they didn’t then those times away wouldn’t be so special.
Of course, if when I win the lottery, I will be on holiday all the time and it will still be special, but that’s because I’ll take my own bed with me wherever I go. The benefits and security of home coupled with the enjoyment and novelty of being away. I think I could manage that quite nicely.

Many thanks to all of you who have made the last few weeks so special. You know who you are. Apologies to those of you who we were unable to see. You know who you are too. And you should also be aware that you are top of our list for next time. Whenever that may be. I would say “don’t hold your breath”, but that would be a little pointless, since I’m sure it’ll be longer than a minute or two and you’d get all uncomfortable.

And with that, I am heading off to pray at the temple of El Matresso, the Mayan God of Sleep.

All hail, El Matresso. We are not worthy.

First of two…

…quota photos.

We’ve spent the day on the beach today and are now playing catch-up on the packing for tomorrow’s mammoth 20 hour trip back to Cape Town. So today’s post will be a quota photo (which, even at this terribly late stage has not yet been selected) and tomorrow’s will be one of those horrible automatically set post and will consist of another quota photo.

Normal service – such as it ever was – will resume on Tuesday. From Cape Town. 

The spectacular Lady Isabella at Laxey

Have a lovely evening.


CLAW!, originally uploaded by Ballacorkish.

They’re extending the runway at Ronaldsway Airport and this little baby was flinging around rocks the size of my living room with seemingly very little effort.

After observing the driver’s habit of tucking the ignition key just behind the hydraulic piston on the right at the end of the working day, I’m planning to head down there this evening after a few beers and have a bit of a play.
Didn’t look too difficult, but a bit of trial and error may be required.


Important family day today, as we took the kids to meet their great-great-great-great grandfather. A man known to me as my great-great-great grandfather and to my mum as her great – well – I’m sure you get the picture.

James Creer, the Weaver of Colby.

And he is, of course, dead. And has been for a while.
But his memory lives on in the Manx Museum in Douglas:

I don’t think that there are many people who know who their great-great-great-great grandfather is. Or was. 

Actually, after today, my kids have one over on me on that one.