This one’s for the dads

An eventful week, which offered time to reflect – and update – at the end of it.

Since last we met, the country has been plunged into chaos: more political pandemonium, a horrific fire evoking memories of 1970s disaster movies whose aftermath is still being dealt with, and a couple of pupils happening upon my blog – meaning I’ll have to be be more careful than ever with what I write.

Teaching took a funny turn this week. Not just because of the discovery, but also, I announced to my classes my intention to write a book about my career so far – inspired by some of the funny questions I got asked this week (“Sir, why did Macbeth write a book about himself?” “Is a Banquo what you get from a chippy?” and “Did Macbeth write Blood Brothers?”) which made me laugh and in this dark time, shone a light on what I do daily… But also because I said goodbye to my form of five years.

It’s been emotional… particularly as this week I was given a couple of gifts and more importantly, cards, which were heartfelt and sincere and justified why we go to work everyday under such stresses and pressures. What was given – and written – remains personal to me and the students plus their families, but will stay on my mind and in my heart for a long time. Equally, a thank you and handshake from one troubled young man, meant just as much – an acknowledgement that gives hope for the future.

I wish all of them the very best, in all they do.

But this blog shouldn’t be about teaching, especially if it’s being read by young impressionables!

It’s quite refreshing that they see a teacher having another life outside the class room; certainly, I want them to be widely read, to check my posts for spelling and grammar errors, and to realise that I am a real person.

Not just a suit (with funny coloured socks) who dictates to them every day, but a man, a fan, an artist…

Talking of which, I am about to embark on another project to celebrate my involvement in this year’s Hannah directory.

I will be spending the summer drawing each and every one of Antony Gormley’s Another Place statues, to acknowledge my locale and how honoured I am to be living and loving, here in our north west – the home of bingo, black pudding, Billy Fury and Brookside.

But this particular weekend, I am also – and very proud to be so – a husband, a son and a dad.

Before I go on about that, though, let’s discuss the dead mice I discovered the same evening.

Yes, you read that right – I found out who I’d seen scuttling across the shed floor, who I’d noticed had nibbled at my bird seed, whom next door’s cat had been sniffing around after – Mickey and Minnie, who unfortunately drowned rehearsing their new film.

Lighter news now, and England won the World Cup. Everton even spent lots of money on new heroes for the little guy. The future is bright, and orange…

Plus it’s Father’s Day.

I’ve written enough about my joy at parenthood.

The early nights and mornings, the worries and anxieties, the carefully planned routines… the smiles and bites, the lovely moments and the tantrums, the bottles and the nappies… everything is beautiful, and nothing hurts.

The pride I feel on a daily basis, make it so:

Father’s Day is every day, for me.

My first ‘proper’ one, I was hungover after an England World Cup game at which I stole a glass, but each has been enjoyable and lovely and rewarding, and for that I thank WW and SG… and this year, the elephant, whose baptism we celebrate next weekend with (hopefully) lots of contributions to thanks to their care and expertise when he was poorly.

Naturally, I’ll spend part of the day down the pub with fellow fathers, maybe afterwards drink some of the wine and eat the chocolates I so gratefully received… but I’ll also honour my own Dad in the process.

Cook his favourite lunch, let him know how grateful we are for everything he does for us.

Let him know that he’s Sylvester Stallone, Pat Nevin, Dirk Benedict, Duncan Ferguson, Damien Hirst, Neville Southall, Sir Peter Blake, Liam Fray, David Hockney, Lionel Messi, Morrissey, Tony Cottee and Vincent van Gogh all rolled into one, and more… and that, since becoming a father, I’ve appreciated him and all he stands for, more than ever.

In a recent conversation with our vicar, I explained how becoming a parent has changed my thought process and perspective for the better, not just being a father but also a son.

School taster days start soon, Leavers’ prom takes place, a wonderful day spent in the sun: the stars turn, etc.

The world is a funny old place right now… but let us not forget that the things that divide us make us stronger: similarly, we have more in common than we think, so please, let people know how grateful you are… and how much you love them.

Happy Father’s Day.