bookmark_borderDaisy is 1

Dear Daisy,

How are you one year old already? Doesn’t time fly when you are such an adorable, cute and funny little person!

Admittedly it’s taken until about now for you to stop frowning or crying when you see me but don’t worry, your sister was exactly the same so I didn’t take it to heart, and these days I even get a high five when we say goodbye so I know it won’t be long before I’ll be taking you for ice cream, oh yes!

It’s been a tricky time, and we’ve not seen as much of you as I’d like, with a pandemic still ravaging the world 2021 was always gonna be a funny year, and let’s not forget your little cousin who joined the family in October. Despite all that though watching you grow and your character start to come through has been wonderful. You are all go, bouncing around (almost walking!), and always want to be in the middle of the action, a (not so tiny) whirlwind of chaos, it’s glorious!

Your big sister loves you, that much is clear and as your Uncle it’s great to see you both getting along and I only hope that continues so we can have some fun Uncle days out! And yes I’m aware that, if the current trend is anything to go by, that will involve a lot of unicorns which I’m perfectly ok with. Unicorns eat ice cream, right?

What a joy it has been to watch you evolve from those early days just lying in people’s arms and taking in the world to the vibrant, smiling girl who is a little shy with me still but who is more than happy bouncing around the floor, grabbing at everything she can.

When you were still only a few weeks old, your Aunt Becca and I took you for a walk in your pram, this tiny gorgeous bundle, all swaddled up against the cold. We walked along into Balloch Country Park, the whole time checking to see you were ok, that we hadn’t jostled you awake, and that you knew you were safe with us. Those feelings haven’t changed, I still want to know you are safe, still want you to know that you’ll always have a place in my heart and that I’ll always be here for you no matter what.

One last thing though, there will no doubt come a time when either you or your sister, being the mischievous little scamps that I know you already are, will ask me who my favourite niece is, so I’ll answer that right now just to get it down on record.

You both are (unless the other one isn’t in ear shot 😉 ).

Love you,

Uncle G

bookmark_borderLucy is 6

Dear Lucy,

Right. You can stop now. Stop all this growing up and going to school and becoming a young woman already. I will not stand for this nonsense!

I jest, a little, but your Aunt Becca and I were just saying the other day how sometimes we see photos of you and can’t believe how grown up you look. Of course you are a big girl now, and a smart one from what we can tell, enjoying doing Maths at school (I’m no help with that I’m afraid) and I definitely think you are enjoying being a big sister to Daisy.

It’s been quite a year hasn’t it, and it seems like no time at all since I was last sitting down to write to you for your birthday. A whole year of learning to be a sister, which I know it’s always fun for you but you’ve adapted so well and it’s clear that you care for Daisy and awful lot. You are also sprouting up again and are constantly full of intriguing questions and wanting to learn about so many things, mind you a lot of that right now is focussed on make up but that’s ok, you’ve got to figure out all the things you like and don’t like, I’m just glad I’ve not had a makeover (yet?).

I do feel a little bad that we haven’t been able to see you too much this past year, the joys of a pandemic followed by the arrival of your cousin Jack curtailed our time together but I’m keen to make up for that when I can, after all what’s the point of having a niece if I can’t spoil her now and then, right? And we’d better take time now before your wee sister starts to get involved too!

You do remind me of your Mum at this age, she had the same wide-eyed fascination and endless energy that you have and I makes me realise how lucky I am that you still want to spend time with me and even trust me enough to show me your secret diary! (sshhhh I won’t tell anyone about your boyfriend, or that his name is Sam!).

What a pleasure and privilege it is to be your Uncle, although I definitely owe you some ice cream I think, so let’s make a date!

Uncle G x

bookmark_borderMy A to Z of cycling

Over the past couple of years it’s fair to say that cycling has become my main hobby.

Like most hobbies it started out innocuously enough but quickly became a focus that consumed more and more of my time and thoughts. Safe to say I’ve been on a learning curve (and still am) and I often find myself reading an article and having to pause to look up what some of the terminology means. I now know what LBS* stands for, and have learned which group set each of my bikes has (yes I have three bikes now, with a four under discussion).

Looking back I can see I’ve learned a lot but I’m more than happy to admit that I’m still a very amateur amateur and I’m happy to remain at this level where the enjoyment of cycling remains being out on the bike, not learning what each and every doohickeys and thingamajigs is called. As I’ve gotten more involved with various cycling groups online I realise I am not alone in this too, and with many people turning to cycling through lockdown, or just turning over a new (greener) leaf this year I thought I’d pull together my own learnings and thoughts about cycling.

So over the coming weeks I’ll be publishing my own A to Z of cycling covering a variety of topics that are cycling related and including my own thoughts on this wonderful hobby, good and bad! It will touch on some of the items I’ve bought, challenges (physical and mental) that I’ve faced, and if nothing else will maybe help me understand more about why this hobby has landed so deeply with me.

I’m not going to be sticking to a schedule for these posts as, like cycling, blogging is a hobby that sits alongside the rest of my life and right now the main focus is neither blogging nor cycling but my 3 month old son.

I hope these posts will be of some use and, as always, I welcome comments and suggestions as we go. Look out for the first proper instalment soon.


* Local Bike Shop

bookmark_borderThings I read

How an Excel TikToker manifested her way to making six figures a day /// ‘What’s the point of the LEGO Titanic?’ /// “Woke Racism”: Does modern antiracism operate as a dogmatic religion? /// ‘We were two tortured idiots trying to make TV’: The Adam and Joe Show, 25 years on /// Amazon’s race to create the disappearing computer /// The world owes Yoko an apology! 10 things we learned from The Beatles: Get Back /// Why Gambians won’t stop voting with marbles /// The Incredible Tale of the Greatest Toy Man You’ve Never Known /// The Man In Seat 61 on global train travel, hidden subsidies, and Burmese numerals /// Jingle Hell: Tariq Goddard Reviews Christmas Music Tariq Goddard , December 6th, 2021 08:22 /// ‘I spontaneously burst into tears’: How 13 songwriters felt watching the new Beatles documentary /// FANTASTIC MAN /// Inside Apple Park: first look at the design team shaping the future of tech /// “Dopamine Nation”: Why pain is crucial in an era of easy pleasures /// Hans Gruber: the author-turned terrorist who led the attack on the Nakatomi Plaza building /// What humanity should eat to stay healthy and save the planet /// Dumb presents I shouldn’t give peopleDecember 12, 2021 5:51 PM Subscribe /// My 10 Christmas food commandments /// Feel free to stop striving: learn to relish being an amateur