Happy birthday, Millie

19233243251_b3651004b8_oCongratulations, Millie, you’re now 3,650 days old, give or take – a full decade!

Of course, you should only be 3,560 days old – a fact I’ll no doubt be reminding you of when I’m on my deathbed. That’s just something Dads do – remind you of stuff that you have no memory of and don’t really care about.

Not once during all those 3,650 days have I ever regretted being your Dad. I’ve sometimes wished for more sleep or that you’d drink your damn milk, but I’ve always been so glad to be your Dad.

I’m looking forward to watching you grow up and become a wonderful young lady. 🙂

Happy birthday, my love, and welcome to double figures!

Millie’s birthday party

It was Millie’s 10th birthday party yesterday, attended by family from across the south of England.

DSCF8059Not everyone could join us this year, but we still managed to enjoy a lovely afternoon in the sunshine. Thanks to all of those who made the journey to Bexley to celebrate a decade of Millie Harriet Carter. 🙂

This year’s party theme was “superheroes” and, as you can see in this photo – some people took it more seriously than others!

Yep, that’s me as Norrin Radd – better known as the Herald of Galactus or the Silver Surfer!

From left to right, that’s my dad as Batman, Millie as the Mighty Thor, yours truly as the Silver Surfer, Amber as Iron Man, my brother and niece as Batman and Auntie Carla as Ms Marvel.

Good show, everyone!

There are some lovely pics from throughout the day on this Flickr album

Catching up

It’s annoying, writing a finger-on-the-pulse zeitgeist-hugging blog like this one, when you leave it too late to post updates.

I can’t in good conscience write about Fathers Day on Sunday when that was four days ago. All that’s left is to say “Thanks for the cards, girls, and for the chocolate. Your dad loves you. Not quite so sure about the large pair of glasses made from lolly sticks and orange cellophane, but, sure, why not?”

And our trip the same day to delightful Swanley Park, full of paddling pool and playground and boating lake and miniature railway – again, too late. It being Fathers Day gave me the right to snooze in the sun all afternoon – which you would think would give me the energy to blog about it, right?

Nope. I took the girls out on a pedallo and the buggers left me to do all the pedalling! By the time we got home and ate the beef stew and cheesecake the Lovely Melanie had prepared I was quite done in.

Actually, quite a lot of the weekend was spent writing – for jobs. I was asked to complete some tests for jobs I had applied and interviewed for. I gave them my best shot (which is pretty damn best-est, all things considered!) but have had no word back yet. Fingers crossed, eh?

Tonight I’m off to a lecture about “The UFO Phenomenon” by the Fortean Society with my high-flying friend Dr Mayer. It’s not about UFOs and aliens so much as the explosion of sightings and interest in UFOs towards the end of the 20th century. More anthropological than astronomical, I hope.

And, of course, this weekend sees the beginning of celebrations for Millie’s tenth birthday. Saturday is the superhero-themed family party, which should be fun. I’ve refused to divulge my outfit and the Lovely Melanie is going mad trying to guess it.

As a long-time superhero geek I gave my costume a lot of thought to ensure no one else would come as the same character. So, if anyone does come as the same character I will be astonished!

Millie’s actual birthday isn’t till Tuesday – strange to think that ten years ago the Lovely Melanie was in hospital hardly daring to move in case she went into labour. Her waters broke after just 24 weeks of being pregnant but she spent a further two and a half weeks at Lewisham Hospital before Millie was born by C-section.

If you don’t already know the story, catch up with The (true) Story of Millie Harriet Carter.

Scooter Face

wpid-wp-1434011586996.jpegThis is what your face and thumb look like if you come off your scooter at high speed. 😦

I came in from work around 8pm last night, as usual, and gave Millie a kiss good night.

“I came off my scooter,” she told me, switching her lamp on to run through each and every injury she’d taken.

It took a couple of minutes to check them and give each one a kiss.

But she was jolly matter-of-fact about it all, which made me proud. “You look more like you’ve fallen off the roof than off a scooter,” I joked.

“I look like I’ve got a beard,” she joked back. 🙂

Lunchbox fever strikes!

Millie and Amber have new lunchboxes.


They’re both very proud of their new plastic containers, but one is more vocal about it than the other – can you guess which?


One child has given me a demonstration of all the separate compartments, the fitted drink bottle, the space for grapes and the part where a yoghurt can go and the pinkness of the lid, and has twice told me the story of how it was the last pink one left and all the others were green, even though I was there when she bought it!

It’s not all good

Some very disheartening news last week: I didn’t get a job I interviewed for.

Not so bad, you might think, but this was after interviews with six different people for what seemed an absolutely fantastic job.

Yeah, that’s right – SIX interviews for ONE job.

I passed them all with flying colours, gradually climbing the corporate hierarchy, talking with recruiters, then the marketing team, followed by the marketing manager, moving up to the director of marketing and, finally, the CEO.

That interview seemed to go well – I’d studied and revised for all the interviews, but did even more work for this last step, and was pleased with my performance on the day: no stupid mistakes or mis-steps that I could see. Hell, I actually quite enjoyed my chat with the CEO!

Surely, I was beginning to hope, after so many interviews this is in the bag?

No. No, it wasn’t. The CEO unilaterally vetoed me for no reason that anyone else (least of all me) understands.

The recruiter broke the news Friday morning and, despite his encouraging words and sympathy, Friday was a really really ****ing horrible day.

What mostly got me through it was a text from the Lovely Melanie, telling me that Amber had asked to take my Bliss Award in for show and tell, amazing her class with tales of Millie’s birth and my voluntary work. When Friday all got a bit much I concentrated on that image: my youngest daughter, so proud that she wanted to tell all her friends about me. 🙂

Millie had a birthday party on Saturday, so Amber and I went out, just the two of us, to the Florence Nightingale Museum at St Thomas’ Hospital (where Millie spent some time after her birth). And that cheered me up no end, too.

Amber is learning about Florence Nightingale at school so had been asking to visit the museum for some time. It’s quite small as museums go, but an inspiring look at an ordinary woman who, through her intelligence, drive and humanity, has saved many thousands of lives over the years.

I was quite moved.

And since Saturday was such a beautiful day we mooched about the South Bank Festival of Love for a couple of hours, just enjoying the sunshine and each other’s company.

And the world seemed a much better place once more. 🙂