My regulars will remember lots of posts on this here blog, back in the day, about my son when he was younger and much more entertaining. And when I could be truthful when calling him the wee fella.
He's had a birthday recently. 16. And he's no longer a wee fella. He's got a good 4 inches on his old man.
Anywho, in honour of this I thought I would offer you both a reprise.
This blog was posted nearly four years ago ...
The wee fella said – after
I gave him a good morning hug as he approached the breakfast table
(well, THE table. I don’t have a table for like, every meal) –
Daaaad, your breath stinks – pause – and your teeth are yellow.
Me – that was harsh.
The wee fella grins – it’s
called tough love – grins even wider and finishes with – bitch!
It’s my latest health kick and I
give myself one day per week off the healthy stuff and eat absolutely
anything I want. On this occasion I had a pizza – grand pan, meat
feast – from a well known pizza chain. I’d mention them by name
but I want some freebies first. (You know who you are. See my agent.
Please.) Washed down with lashings of cola. From another well known
company. Same rules apply ...Company Beginning with P.
I was munching into said
pizza and fancied a wee top up to my cola. The cola was in the
kitchen. I couldn’t be arsed going for it. I never ask the wee
fella to be my gopher as I used to hate it when I was a kid.
in the few occasions I have made such a request he moans like I’ve
asked him to do a shift up a chimney. However, I had my sloth on and
thought I would give it a go.
Me – could you fill up my
glass, son? (I point helpfully to the cola bottle visible through the
TWF – (grunts, stands up)
Me – after he has poured a
paltry two fingers worth – thanks.
TWF – Why didn’t you get
it for yourself?
Me – I wanted to see if
you would do something for me.
TWF – I do something for
you every day, Dad. (BIG grin) I give you a reason to live.
Stoner by John Williams – Well
it had to eventually. The hype got me. Lost classic they said and
everybody and their aunty is jumping in to agree. But sorry, Stoner
didn't do it for me. I can see why people might be getting so excited
about this book – it is full of insight and elegant prose BUT the
main character, the titular Stoner, needs a bloody good slap. He's
far too passive, allowing nasty colleagues at work to undermine him
and most unforgivable of all, allows his manipulative wife to ruin
his daughter's life. Where was the character development? The worm
should have turned and then the title of lost classic would have been
The Stillman by Tom McCulloch –
Middle-aged man, barely tolerated by his wife, his son's behaviour is
getting weirder by the day, the island of Islay is in the grip of a
winter storm and letters arrive from Cuba from his long-dead mother.
Lyrical, touching and funny. McCulloch conjures a great sense of
place and a fascinating description of a man and a marriage on the
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
– A friend of mine was banging on about this so much I had to find
out what he was on about – and boy am I glad I did. What a
fantastic read! This is an epic, full of characters you are bound to
fall in love with and a depiction of Bombay so authentic that when
you put the book down and walk out your front door you almost expect
to be faced with a dancing bear, a huge traffic jam and the cast of a
Sure, it's not perfect. The author's
prose tends to the purple and his philosophising can at times come
across as a lecture – but set these grumbles aside and you are in
for a great time while reading this book.
Sense of Direction – Gideon Lewis
A fascinating travel memoir as young
Gideon goes walkabout , quite literally, looking for a sense of
direction on his life on the Camino and in Japan. He portrays his own
actions with an admirable honesty and with wry humour. I found his
internal monologue hard work at times, but that says more about me
and my lack of erudition. All in all, well worth a read.
Blood Song by Anthony Ryan
Epic fantasy that fans of George RR
Martin and David Gemmell will lap up. I lost a Sunday to this book.
Quite literally couldn't put it down. Loved it!
Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer
Clever, clever lady that Belinda is. I
love it when an author takes risks and comes up with a wholly
original plot. This book won a slew of awards. Now I understand why.
The Deep Dark Sleep by Craig Russell
Quality stuff. Imagine that Bernie
Gunther is now Canadian and living and working in 1950s Glasgow and
you have some kind of idea what is going on here. Has everything I
look for in a crime novel – characters you want to spend time with,
humour, strong prose, pace and a plot that keeps you guessing. In a
nutshell? High quality stuff. Oh, I said that already.