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
I'm not one for new year resolutions, what with me being willpower intolerant and all.
Don't mock me now, it's a genuine medical condition. The nurse diagnosed me as such at my over-forty health check. I think. She definitely mentioned something about willpower, the rest was a little hazy.
You'll need a second child to truly see the benefits, but then having a spare is never a bad thing, just don't refer to them as such. Better to call them your eldest.
For the purposes of this post, all kids names are fictional. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental, albeit blindingly obvious to those who know them so I should probably stop right now, but ...
I have a confession to make.
I'm already judging Sonny and Luca's friends at school.
On Friday, Luca emerged excitedly from school with the class bear tucked under his arm, along with a book chronicling its previous adventures. A book that reads more like the ultimate '50 things to do before you die' than any weekend I've ever experienced.
My weekend plans were in tatters.
When I first met Janet I claimed I lived in Sale Barns and referred to Urmston as Outer Partington. In a similar vain I used to joke that I wouldn't use buses until they had a specified 1st-class section, in fact the whole problem with public transport was the public element.
It's easy to forget how deeply disappointment can be felt as a child.
As a thirty-something dad (thirty-nine and a half still qualifies), disappointment for me is largely due to my own cynicism and grumpiness. A splash of sarcasm is all that stands between me and an eternally miserable old git.
The boys have never stayed in a hotel before, and with Luca having FINALLY broken through the 0.
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?
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.
It wasn't anything George Osborne said, I'd actually expected far worse.
It wasn't even the fist pumping of Iain Duncan Smith, like a teenager who'd just groped his first boob.
It's lovely to appear on a list in such good company. I already love following Rock 'n 'Roll Mum and Man in his Pyjamas. Both are brilliant.
That's not to say we don't share time in the kitchen.