For us Northerners, Blackpool illuminations is a rite of passage. It's a coming of age moment. Right up there with your first Greggs pasty, chip barms and rickets.
I'll not lie, I had high expectations. So much so I may have bigged it up a little too much.
Duinrell Family Park - Canvas Holidays
Big Shop with Little Helpers
Like Riding a Bike
Do you remember when this blog used to be about the kids? Nope, me neither.
I should probably just change its name from The Tales of Sonny and Luca to The Miserable Mutterings of a Middle-aged Man and be done with it.
I love a good sports day, although I prefer to call it by its proper name, Sky Sports Super Sunday.
School Sports Day on the other hand ...
I try to remain enthusiastic. No really, I do. But there comes a point, normally around heat 32 of the sack race, where it starts to wane.
I've invested heavily in the boys education. By invested I don't mean financially, obviously. There's no way they're going to a fee paying prep school so long as I'm still watching my football on a not-so-flat-screen TV. It's more of an emotional investment.
I mean it's not like they remember their date of birth yet. They still work off the 'how many days until' calendar.
It's not like I remember their date of birth yet.
Father, caregiver, storyteller, teeth-brushing inspector, school-on-time deliverer, comic in residence, Mario Kart Grand Master ...
… but you don't need to ask them, because I've done it for you.
I love everything about France, even if my last trip was memorable for very different reasons. But then who's not nearly been arrested for human trafficking at some point in their lives? Really, just me?
Which came first, the campsite or the amusement park?
As is often the case, my question fell on deaf ears as we arrived at the fabulous Duinrell Holiday Park in the Netherlands, courtesy of Canvas Holidays.
Somewhere, deep within Nintendo HQ, there's an echo chamber filled with the anguished cries of gamers like me, who, having lost untold days on any number of Super Mario courses created by the genius that is Shigeru Miyamoto, threw down their controller in a sulk of mumbled expletives and decreed it impossible.
Or maybe that's just me?
I didn't write about the horrific attack on the Manchester Arena at the time. I tried, on numerous occasions, but everything I put down on paper seemed desperately inadequate, blurred further by a myriad of emotions that fluctuated between anger, despair, defiance and sorrow.
This was my city. My streets. My community. It felt personal.
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