Personal Stuff: If you don't know me - GO AWAY!!!!
To see a larger version, just click on any picture. Full name: Stephen Michael Hooker, nicknames: Acw, Zok. Born in Aberdare, used to live in 46 Peasant View, Godreaman, Aberdare, Mid Glamorgan where my parents still live. Also used to live in Selbourne (Selborne) Street, Chuckery, Walsall. Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in Visual Communications from West Midlands College of Higher Education. Ran a business from The Custard Factory Digbeth.
Another Sunday adventure! First I have to take them to the shops to buy stuff for sandwiches, we finally arrive and the first thing Esme asks is if she can play on the playthings, now! As we drive in she spots the trampolines and swings, it's on her mind for the rest of the day.
We get the tickets and some animal feed and set off for the sheep. It's lambing season, we don't see any births but plenty of lambs to stroke and go 'ahaa' over. Bradley's not worried about the sheep eating out of his hand, but Esme's not keen at all. "Can we go on the play things now?" She says, for the hundredth time. We make our way there pretty quickly, pausing only to let Bradley catch up.
The trampolines are great fun, if only Bradley can stand up before someone else starts jumping. Soon, we're joined by bigger kids and Esme too cannot stand up. We make two trips to the trampolines, and I tyake Esme's shoes off countless times, as she's off, then wants to go back on, when the bigger kids move away.
We also make two trips to the sand pits. This is better for me, I can just sit down and watch, though I get bored. Esme's trip on the pony goes very smoothly. Bradley would have gone on too, but for, "me bigger." He feels he's too young to ride horses.
Busy old day today, been to Dudley most of morning - finishing up at Telewest. Now, gotta clean! Amanda and the kids are back, from a week away at her mum's, and in a few minutes! Gotta ditch the chicken bones, throw out the pizza boxes, do the dishes and generally deodorise the place. Gets smelly when you're working 18 hours a day and not showering.
Be good to see the kids again, I've missed them.
Late, late night, burning midnight oil, must have been after 5:30am before I went to bed. Tarting up this website and watching 24 hour news on cable. Suffering this morning. More coffee please!
Got bank, dentist and doctor to see today, too.
Still recovering after a 5 hour road trip from Amanda's mum's in Warminster.
It took 2 hours and 15 minutes to get down there on Thursday night - 150 miles door-to-door, with Esme chattering about anything and everything. She was particularly fascinated by the motorway names, and when we would get on/off each one. M54, M6, M5, M4 then to Bath and then Warminster. "Are we still on the number 5?" I think she must have asked that maybe a hundred times, I know it's a long motorway, but still.
She finally joined Bradley in the land of nod and only woke again when we arrived, but only briefly. Bradley, however, was full of beans and dead excited about being at Nanny's. He kept it up for a couple of hours, playing with his bubbles, running into rooms and mostly, sitting on my lap, "daddy's boy."
After finally sorting out the insurance for the Renault 5 I leave at 12.15pm on Friday. I'm doing 80-85mph up the motorway, as I was on the way down. Hit West Bromwich and crunch. I'm stuck in traffic for three frigging hours. Finally, I see the accident, a lorry has spilt it's load of wire thingies. Just before the M5 splits to go south or north on the M6--three lanes down to one. And arrive at home at 5.05pm.
Another SundayAfter a beautiful dinner I set off with Esme and Bradley to the pub for a biz meet. Luckily, or with some fore-thought, we are at the climbing frame pub near Tescos.
However, amongst the bustle of kids running and screaming, pops up a dressed up barmaid, with a big cartoon head. Weird looking for sure, and Esme smiles, but has her arms tight to her chest, as she tries to squeeze past the cartoon figure to me. The cartoon reaches out for her and she squeals in a most terrified manner.
I hold her hand and try to point out that it's just a game. No avail, she ain't into this. I start to lead her back to our table and my guest, when...
I hear the unmistakeable sound of Bradley throwing an excruciating wail. He's half way up one stair case on the climbing frame and he's spotted the cartoon figure who's making toward him.
I rush over and rescue him. He digs his face into my chest to hide himself from the monstrosity, and I take him to the table. After 15 minutes the figure is still haunting us. Bradley won't pull his face out of my chest as he sits on my lap. Esme shivers whenever the cartoon comes too close, and holds my guest's hand.
This meeting is adjourned to the bar. And business is discussed.
Hoo Farm opens on the 22nd March, for the lambing. I thought it was earlier and sell it to Esme and Bradley... As usual Mummy's right - Daddy's wrong. I don't note a sense of disappointment from them - we are after all on an adventure with Dad. It usually goes wrong. Esme suggests the zoo, too far says I. Bradley? "Quack-quacks." Good idea says I. Esme suggests something about the boats... OK we have a plan for...
Today's Sunday Adventure
We start off on the big slide. But Bradley is pushing in and Esme's being cheated on. The queue at the top is about a dozen deep. And Bradley takes ages to go down. Minutes seem like hours, I call to him to lie back and he moves slightly faster, paddling his way with his feet. We move to the smaller one, where the photo's taken.
On to the obstacle course. Esme can climb the ladder with ease now. Only been just before Christmas I has helping her up. She hides under the 'turret' in a little cubbyhole. And calls for me to find her. We move onto the shops. I have orders to buy new shoes for Bradley. Esme wants some too. We get trainers. Bradley's as good as gold with the Clarks lady. Me too, she's lovely. He trundles off to test them out, just as the lady says and checks them in the mirror too, going up on his tippy-toes a few times, tries jumping like a frog, and a horsey gallop back. I think he likes them. Everybody agrees they're nice. Which Bradley seems to keep muttering every now and then. "Hmmm. Niiiiice."
And end up in the play area. Great idea amongst the Telford shops. We spend an hour in there as I relax. I call Amanda... Another two hours till I'm relieved of duty. What to do now?
On the way out, the land lady does something in the back with the horse, so we go down to see.
Esme's been concerned about foxes all day. On the way to our abortive mission to Hoo Farm, I mentioned that foxes were at Hoo farm, and she said, "and wolves." No they're at the zoo." I explain that foxes don't eat us all up, and other differences, like they eat chickens and small birds, definitely not people.
The landlady sorts out the ducks and chickens at the back, putting them in their coop for the night. Esme asks why. And the day comes full circle. Foxes.