Gabe celebrated his 9th birthday with 7 friends, me and another Dad at lazer quest. His nom de jeu was MessiKaka, eschewing the superhero and shoot’em up names on offer. The boys also took on the climbing wall – a 10 foot high construction with a wall rotating like an upright caterpillar track, which speeds up and tips from near vertical to beyond vertical. Gabe and his friends were tough and determined, clinging on and climbing longer than I would have imagined. A noisy burp-fest of a birthday tea comprising pizza and fizzy drinks concluded a good humoured party.

The previous night Gabe played his first competitive game of cricket. He bowled well, picking up a wicket and having some close shaves. His highlight was a catch on the square leg boundary, taken coolly.


Eliza showed her political colours (at least, those of her teacher), when she asserted during the election campaign that she wanted Gordon Brown to win as the others would close down schools.


Robin endured a brief bout of sickness. When struck for the first time, he showered the entrance to Gabe’s school. Back at home, each time he was sick, even when in bed, he managed to dash to the toilet. He stayed stoical throughout.

Several days later, L was hit by something similar. Robin lay in bed next to her. He advised her that, if she felt sick, she should run really fast to the toilet.


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