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.
We stayed in again this New Year's Eve. This time with the kids kept awake.
We danced, and played pirates with Bradley. We were going to watch TV, I guess, but halfway through a pre booked Santa Clause 2 Telewest Cable stopped working. The telephones still worked, so did the internet, but no TV!
Never mind we had a great time, watching the fireworks at midnight from the upstairs windows - magical.
I think both me and Amanda were slightly pissed at the end (1am), and thankfully Esme lay in till 11:30am and Bradley till 12:30. When he awoke, he told me he had a "lovely sleep."
I'm told to come to Auntie Alison's for a dinner. Amanda did the cooking, and Gail (Her other sister) and Simon, with Charlie and James and their dad Frank (Grandad Frank) all are there.
Here Frank and Gail.
The lovely, delicious Christmas Pudding made by Amanda, with copious booze added over the past weeks, set alight, though can't see the flames with the flash.
It's a nightmare anyway, but with Esme pushing her pram in a zig-zag across the path of everybody walking towards her...
And not one of them had a smile on their face, far too busy in shopping mode, than to appreciate the push chair gag.
While Amanda took some stuff back to a shop, and we waited outside, Esme insisted on taking photos of her pushchair which came out all blurred, so I took this one.
Why do kids do exactly what you don't want them to do?
I asked if they could stand together so I could take a picture. Esme hid behind the shop front, and Bradley slithered on the floor.
Just had to stop on the top of the Brecon Beacons to take these pix. This was the first proper snow I've seen all year.
We pulled over at the Story Arms so the kids could watch the sledding. There were dozens of people there just to catch the first snow.
This horse had a broken legs, and wasn't allowed out. They hung a ball up to occupy him, keep him from getting bored.
The horse bit me.
It was only when I looked through the camera that I saw the coming storm, blowing south from the Beacons. Looks like snow I say. Five minutes later, and after only just arriving and to Esme and Bradley's chagrin we start walking back home. Amanda and I are fucking freezing! My checks are numb, ears about to drop off...
We make it home just in time, it does indeed begin to snow.
We made quite a few boobs with the presents, this was one meant for Bradley, I figured that he would want dressing up stuff, because Esme has loads already, but he's not into it... She is. Looks like another swap.
Nanna still in her night clothes helps Bradley with his battery operated digger, which is a great success.
Esme spots that Bradley has more big presents than her, though the difference is marginal, it's quite important to her. I think it's a mark of how good she's been through out the year.
Most of the shots were much more blurred than this, and it make it looks as though Bradley's tearing through the unwrapping, as it is, he's the slowest most dainty unwrapper I've ever seen.
Because of his slowness, Esme's long finished her unwrapping, and this makes her angst over the number and size of presents more marked. She offers to help Bradley. Of course, he declines her kind offer.
You can't beat a good escalator ride. This is in one of the new shops in Telford. Here we go up and I warn, "remember to jump off, watch the end!"
I'm told to get out of the house and to take the kids with me. Amanda wants to pack the car for our trip to Nanna's in Wales.
Bradley passes a shop we don't usually go in, and spys some crisps. I say we don't go in there and he plays up, screaming and shouting, so I tell him he can go in by his self. Which he starts to do, stops, and shouts, top of his voice, "give me some money!"
Cold shivers run down my spine.
He buys packets of biscuits (on his own), and is eating them in the pic above.
Esme bought the pop, by herself. (She just reminded me about this, as she peers over my shoulder as I type.0
We go to the chippy, and have a sit down. Which brings much amusement to the staff. And to us.
We take a walk to the park, the little one. As soon as we arrive, Bradley announces that he needs to "wee-wee."
Where else can we do it? Next to a tree. And Esme protects, not that there's anybody else in the little park, far too cold for that.
But still they manage to run around, and I want to come home after only being there 20 minutes or so, they argue and argue that they should stay.
Initially, Esme didn't want to go into the push chair, afraid that someone from school may see her perhaps? She said, "I'm not a baby anymore," when I asked her to hop in, and she walked all the way to the shops.
I suppose there's a load of things to do on the way home from school. For the past few days, it's been that we shouldn't walk Bradley's secret way, we should go the other way around the bingo hall.
For one reason, I think, that she can walk across the wall, balancing.
At first Esme's away in the distance, but on hearing Bradley's chortling she looks up, smiles, and runs over.
Esme can climb into the swing on her own. Mind, she could do that, probably a year ago.
Two kicks up Daddy's arse and it's the other's turn.
Esme's constantly writing letters, it seems, even when she's a fairy. Today, she wanted to get changed, just so she could write letters.
Fairies to die for. She's looking in the mirror at her wings. Dunno why. But wonderful pose, on top of our blue, sea shells toilet seat.
When the bus stops, he jumps up and down, 'I did it, I did it!'
Of course, everybody on the bus sees him, and the driver (with a big grin on his face) stops, exactly by his hand. As we walk up the bus, everybody seems to be smiling.
Good to have such an effect.
(Amanda bought the hat, just to annoy me, and Grandad in Wales, I doubt if he'll be allowed to wear it when we go down there for Xmas.)
After this, I read how to correct red eye properly.
The huge ball pool was as deep as Bradley's waist. I'd have loved this stuff when I was their age.
Strange distortion. She's swinging, and moving quite fast, I guess when I took this.
Francis is Alex's younger sister. And Most of the time I didn't see either Esme not Francis as they played together nealry tthroughout the whole party.
A deserted Sunday. I take them out on their respective locomotion devices. Bradley's a tough geezer. He peddles all the way on his little trike. Esme speeds too fast on her scooter - much to fast for my liking.
But we have to stop to look at Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. Well, who could pass this shop window without looking at Rudolf?
Very bad light for the camera, this was the only shot that's usable. Esme is the blurry figure mid, front left. I managed to get some on video, but the battery gave out just seconds into her performance.
She'd been practicing the mouse dance, and was by far the most accomplished of the assembled mice.
Some of the other kids. One by one those on the stage rose to give some part of the narrative. Something about a lost kitten, I think.
The lights came on and Mr. Sanderson, the head teacher gave a thank you to us, the actors, teachers, and everybody he could think of.
I'll have to question Amanda about this trip, she took them, I didn't go, so I've no idea what goes on in these pix.
Much anticipated - the School Fair! We arrive, very keyed up. And cold. Esme's like a little girl possessed. We must arrive early!
Inside, it's very, very crowded
And Esme sees all her teachers.
I soon realise the reason she desperately wanted to come. She's been making Xmas Crackers all day at school, and if she didn't get there in time, some one else may buy hers. Obviously, it's a scam by the school to ensure they want to come, and get there on time.
She's happier then Jack McHappy, winner of last year's MR Happy contest. There's sweets and chocolate inside her cracker. She even gives one to Bradley.
And he doesn't forget to test to see if he's the real Santa. The real Santa says, 'ho, ho, ho' when he laughs. So, Bradley has a prepared joke, especially for the occasion...
"Why does, beedy beed?" Asks Brad.
"I don't know, why does beedy beed," says Santa.
"Because beedy beedy beed," says Bradley, covering up his increasingly contagious laugh with his hand.
"Ho ho ho! That's the best joke I've heard all night," Says Santa.
Bradley turns to me and exclaims, "It is Santa!"
Then, putting the lights and decorations on. I let then rip first, sticking them all on the bottom, where they can reach I guess.
No Bradley, that's not supposed to go on the tree. Or, are you showing the fish the tree?
|Squeak, squeak, says Bradley as he dashes through the rain to the Telford Shopping Centre. Bob the Builder umbrella flapping in the wind.|
But it is a lot of dancing, Esme.
Yes, very good twirling.
And sweet skipping too.
Wonderful marching, Kitten.
Good poise too.
Esme took the picture, I'm knackered and watching all this dancing is making me more tired.
Meanwhile Bradley stage left adds to the melee by blowing bubbles and making a sticky, slippery mess.
And then wants me to help him read (upside down, of course.)
He's looking at the map of Wonderland, the pay-to-get-in attraction at the bottom of Telford Town Park. Something about spending his birthday there, and some other trips that I think Amanda took him on.
Just managed to put them into bed. Bradley sleeps on the bottom bunk,
Es on top. We'd gone throught the traditional and customary arguments
and sleeping positions. I'm laying next to Brad, he wants me to put my
arm around for the usual cuddle, "sure I say, and do you know why?" He
replies, "because you love me."
Esme moans from above, "doh, I don't get a cuddle no more." "Sorry I say, can't reach," and I try to get my arm stretched up, but only manage my hand over her bed. She grasps it, play acting, "oh thank you Daddy," and squeezes my hand and gives it a big kiss.
Bradley scoffs, "what she do? Kiss you hand, does she want to marry you!"
Where did he get the kiss and marriage thing from? I didn't even know he knew the word.