131 Days Later (part 17)

How are you? I trust you are well? For those of you who have been homeschooling, I can sense the relief and the feeling of that being weight lifted from your shoulders! We are safe in the knowledge that we can all hand our kids back to the teachers in September! Phew! Aside from trying to do a daily thimbles worth of schoolwork with Mila-Rose and Alfie without a major meltdown, I’ve also discovered that I’m not cut out to be ‘Ken’ from Barbie or a Playmobil character during pretend play!

Pretend play took a turn for the worst when Daddy got involved!!

Just like riding a bike!

One success we’ve had during lockdown ‘homeschooling’ is Mila-Rose has learnt how to ride her bike without stabilisers! You may think that’s not homeschooling but it came under the Physical Education lesson. Just under 2 weeks ago she wouldn’t even get on her bike without her stabilisers, she can be a bit of a worrier at times. Eventually she ‘got back on the horse’ and during the first week we built her confidence by riding it as a balance bike this led to her practicing pedalling on the grass and within a day or two she was riding it independently! Her little face is a picture, she has a big beaming smile and we’re so proud of her.

New found confidence

I hope this is the beginning of a new found confidence for Mila-Rose. Although she’s only seven years old, I do often worry if maybe sometimes she feels a bit left out. By this I don’t mean we ignore her or put her to onside! You do not need to call social services! I mean when we have to take Alfie out of school to hospital appointments or when his nighttime meltdowns sometimes get in the way of precious time we could be spending with her. I always think back to the time I watched the film, Wonder. It’s about a boy named Auggie who was born with facial differences. He has an older sister, Via who sometimes feels like she’s not as important to her family. Sometimes she’s frustrated that she’s been defined more as Auggie’s sister than as Via, but like Mila-Rose she’s also fiercely protective of her little brother and is a great sister and friend to him. Hopefully with her new found skill it’s something we can share together as Dad and daughter time that gives her that precious time and I get away with being Ken!!

Great friends bring music

Just over a week and a half ago I was on the phone to one of my good friends Darren. I’ve known Daz for over 25 years, we all befriended him during the heady days of Britpop whilst he was DJ at our then favourite haunt, The Leigh Arms. We became good mates through our taste in indie music and went to countless gigs together. He’s been particularly supportive to me during lockdown and would always check in to see how I was doing. Even turning up with a treat bag containing beer, wine and snacks! A general all round good guy. We chatted for over an hour putting the world to rights, discussing how he was working on a new career and also what we were making for tea! He like me is the chef of the house, he has a partner Kim to whom he got engaged to at Christmas and the cutest little girl, Alice who is one year old. We also discussed how good beans on toast really is and how underrated it is as a meal! The call was wrapped up as the kids were playing up, the next day Kim informed me that Daz had suffered a severe stroke and that he was in Salford hospital.

Daz, Kim and Alice


Due to Covid-19 he can’t have anyone there with him by his side and is reliant on the staff aiding him with FaceTime calls and family photos so he can see his loved ones. In respect to his family I’m not going to go into too much detail in regards to his current condition but he faces a long road to recovery. He is making slow but steady progress in just a week so his willingness to fight this is showing through already. He’s 49 so he has youth on his side, he’s also very stubborn (he’d never play a request for you when he was a DJ!). He also has a beautiful family waiting to welcome him back home.

A family friend also very kindly set up a crowdfunding page to ease financial stresses that would make a world of difference to them during the long road ahead. In less than three days just under £7,000 has been raised. During times of financial difficulty I think you’ll agree that’s just amazing and reflects on the type of guy that he really is. He certainly won’t be short of people with a willingness to help you and your beautiful family.

As Daz loves music I thought I’d include these lyrics from “You Get What You Give” by New Radicals

You’ve got the music in you
Don’t let go
You’ve got the music in you
One dance left
This world is gonna pull through
Don’t give up
You’ve got a reason to live
Can’t forget
We only get what we give

An empowering chorus that’s rooting for the listener to hold on and pull through their struggle. Stay strong Daz.

Good friends bring joy into your life. Great friends bring music.

Get well soon my good friend x


4 thoughts on “131 Days Later (part 17)

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