…  Not Getting Picked for Ireland: or “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”

The rugby Six Nations is back! But yet again I haven’t been picked for Ireland.  In fact, the last time Dr Brown pulled on a famous green jersey was the last time Dr Brown went to cubs.  Which is why I’m beginning to think my chance has passed. The school I went to was aContinue reading “…  Not Getting Picked for Ireland: or “It’s Not Easy Being Green.””

Remember, Remember the 31st of October: Halloween and Bonfire Night

Ok, kids…you won’t believe this, but once there was a time when Halloween wasn’t a big deal. And nor was Bonfire Night. And to be honest, I don’t really care for either of them. Which is why I’ve come up with a solution. Yes: I propose we combine the two. “Remember, Remember, The Thirty-First ofContinue reading “Remember, Remember the 31st of October: Halloween and Bonfire Night”

… Tortoise Wrangling for beginners

Folks who read this blog regularly are starting to complain. “It’s all, well and good hearing about you and your low level village idiocy. But we’re only putting up with you because we want to hear about Humphrey.” We decided a while ago we wanted a pet. Future-Mrs-Dr-Brown and I had a few criteria. NotContinue reading “… Tortoise Wrangling for beginners”

… The Search For the Authentic Dining Experience

They tell me that when you choose a Chinese restaurant, the trick is to pick one that Chinese people actually go to themselves.  That way you get a more authentic dining experience. It’s not a perfect theory. You get lots of Americans eating in McDonald’s.  That doesn’t exactly make a Happy Meal fine dining. ButContinue reading “… The Search For the Authentic Dining Experience”

… Washing My Dirty Laundry in Public.

I quite like laundry.  Laundry is the least worst of all the household tasks. Hoovering / pretending to be the Ghostbusters definitely has its place. But today the sky looks like the opening credits to the Simpsons and that makes it a day for laundry. But, not so fast! For the true expert, laundry doesn’tContinue reading “… Washing My Dirty Laundry in Public.”

… A Nice, Sensible Blog, without rude bits.

“We like your blogs, but we don’t think it needs the naughty talk.” Warns my father. My father doesn’t like “naughty talk”. We’ll be watching TV and he’ll tut to himself. “It’s not big and it’s not clever.” “Father, that’s Stephen Fry.  He’s both exceptionally big and enormously clever!” But, OK then. A wholesome, harmlessContinue reading “… A Nice, Sensible Blog, without rude bits.”

… Losing Weight

“Can I help you at all, sir?” “No thanks.  Just browsing.” “But Sir, this is a Greggs.” Much as I’m ashamed to admit it, the time has come for me to lose some weight. Mrs Dr Brown pointed this out a little while ago. “That’s a bit harsh.” I countered. “I weigh the same asContinue reading “… Losing Weight”

… Masterchef: It’s The Final!

I switch on BBC One. I meet a couple strolling on a blustery beach in the North East, throwing a stick for a black Labrador. Perhaps one of them has a heart-warming backstory. Possibly the dog. Sharp edit to a flashy new city canal-side development where a beautiful young couple are walking bouncily, arm inContinue reading “… Masterchef: It’s The Final!”

… Litter Picking: It’s not easy being green.

I’m rubbish at caring for the environment. Maybe not full-on plastic landfill rubbish, but still rubbish. But when the greenest thing about me is the sputum of my nine-year-old son as we walk along a busy road to school, I realise something needs to be done. I console myself that I’m not as bad asContinue reading “… Litter Picking: It’s not easy being green.”

… Buying a Phone: A tragic story of unfulfilled potential.

Summer 2006… “So, how many texts do you send in a typical month?” I didn’t want to sound like a technophobe, so I thought I’d better exaggerate a bit. So I doubled it. “About twelve?” I suggested. Do you know how many extra texts I ended up paying for as part of my deal thatContinue reading “… Buying a Phone: A tragic story of unfulfilled potential.”

… World Book Day and Dressing Up for School: or “What’ve we got that would do?”

“Night night, darling.” I whisper to my sleeping son on my way up to bed. He stirs. “Night, Dad” Awwww! “Dad?  I need to go to school dressed as a Roman tomorrow.”  He rolls over and with a snuggle into his quilt, he’s asleep again. I press the button which sets off the flashing redContinue reading “… World Book Day and Dressing Up for School: or “What’ve we got that would do?””

… Sump Sprockets, Sloop Valves and the MOT.

My car is due its MOT in January. And for the uninitiated, with the technical terminology, unfamiliar equipment and the code of secrecy, I imagine it can feel a lot like a trip to the doctors. But a few weeks before the MOT I had noticed a worrying symptom.  The chest pain of the internalContinue reading “… Sump Sprockets, Sloop Valves and the MOT.”

… Christmas Markets

I’m a sucker for Christmas.  Always have been. I like the lights.  I like the music.  I like the seasonal cheer and the peace on earth and goodwill to all men. I’m the sort of person who cries at the Muppets Christmas Carol and the Yogi Bear Christmas Special.   Or when the Snowman melts orContinue reading “… Christmas Markets”

… Bill, Remembrance and Barcelona Brothels

Bill up the road died last month. He was 91. I’d always liked Bill, not least because he used to swear at me in front of my mother. “Morning, Mr. Taylor” I’d shout out on the way to school. “Now there’s a cheeky young bastard!” he’d reply, not looking round. Bill had been in theContinue reading “… Bill, Remembrance and Barcelona Brothels”

… Birthday Presents

Let me first say that Mrs. Brown is magnificent.  I am very lucky.  Dolphins have swimming with her on their bucket list. It is no surprise to the casual observer that she agreed to marry me prior to her laser eye surgery.  And when we announced our engagement, my brother said he was “not soContinue reading “… Birthday Presents”