So I’m drawing with the kids after dinner tonight, and, you know, we’d watched Walking With Dinosaurs with dinner, and, you know, Erin was drawing a tyrannosaurus, and Connor was drawing a stegosaurus, and, you know, I wasn’t reeeaaalll sure what I was going to draw…..

Wot choo lookin’at, you ugly Paki triceratops poof?

Skinosaurus. Because I am the drawing equivalent of the bloke who comes out of the shower after yowling the house down and announces “Never been formally trained…” to his bleeding-eared family….

Two teenage bonus sons, a cool documentary, access to eBay…… check out our new megalodon teeth!

2 1/2 inches long, serrated, and weighing a good 30 or 40 grams each. And these are the small ones! Having dino-loving boys is such a good excuse….


So two weeks ago, we’re sitting down to TV of an evening, middle of a wild and woolly rainstorm, when the 6×4 foot glass screen door in our dining room decides it’s lost the will to live and BANG! Shatter city. A weird anomaly of the weather, ring the insurance company, get a guy out. One of those odd things that never happens again.

So Sunday I’m working in the garden, two feet away from our glass patio table….

What the HELL is going on with the glass in our house?


Your boss turns on his radio in the middle of the keyboard solo of the Doors’ Light My Fire and your 23 year old workmate asks “Is someone’s mobile ringing?”


Do you think Sir Lancelot started out with his sister’s toy horse and twirling fairy streamers wand?

Hands up!


There’s an old (and sadly, accurate) joke about the Scottish football team always arriving home from the World Cup before their postcards.

Guess what arrived in the mail today? The Valentine’s Day present Luscious sent me from Brisbane 🙂

Mind you, it was damn well worth waiting for. I wish I’d been in the shop when she explained that she was buying a book called The Sociopath Next Door for her husband for Valentine’s……


Walking With Dinosaurs: The Live Experience was un-be-lievable. Beautifully realised, engaging, astonishing in its scope and prentation, just a magical and awe-inspiring evening that made me want to weep in dino-geekboy rapture. I’d post some pictures, but right now picture-posting is still one of the things I need to reintroduce to my hard drive. Soon.

But what does it say about the human psyche, or at least, about the way we allow ourselves to be trained, that several thousand people issued a loving awwwwwwwwww at the sight of a ‘baby’ brachiosaur tall enough to look the upper rows of the stadium in the eye, and that so many of us cheered when the T-Rex made its appearance. Cheered. As in Here comes the Hero!

And yes, I was one of them.

The show was as close as I can ever expect to seeing a live dinosaur. And whilst I’m a grown-up, rational man on the outside, there’s a large part of me that wants to meet aliens, dinosaurs, and Gandalf in the flesh, just once, just to believe in real magic. For a couple of hours, at least, I could close down that rational part of my brain that saw the wires and animatronics and puppeteers no matter how well-hidden they were, and revel in the magic-wielding side of my imagination. What a rush.


Scientists have found T-Rex soft tissue

Now we can clone them, and build an army of intelligent killer dinosaurs to rub out those we don’t like, and the French, and those other ones we don’t like, and that guy……

And teach them to talk and send telegrams to each other!

(Sometimes two things show up on my flist one straight after the other, and I get all excited…..)

Song of the moment: My Dirty Life & Times Warren Zevon
Reading: Endangered Species Gene Wolfe


Connor turned 2 yesterday. He wasn’t with us: it was his weekend with his grandmother, and he doesn’t get them overly often. But we made sure to have cake with dinner when he came home, and he’s sharing a party with Erin next weekend (it’s her 5th birthday in a fortnight) which we’re going to make a big, fun, special occasion.

I’ve talked before about what a miracle Connor is: how hard it was for me to agree to have another child in the wake of Erin’s birth; how we almost lost him a couple of times during the preganancy; the pain Lyn experienced carrying him to term. And the problems he’s encountered since his birth have been a constant source of fear: he’s undergone an operation to correct a crossed eye; he’s suffered language problems and a multitude of serious fevers. His health is not the heartiest. He suffers periods of interrupted sleep, and night terrors are regular visitors.

And yet, he’s fearless, which simply increases mine– how to explain the nervousness when he engages in his favourite game of climb onto the back of the couch and see where the full blooded leap takes me? Or when his begging to be lifted up succeeds, and his first act upon reaching your chest is to throw himself backwards, laughing, full of trust that you’ll catch him before he crashes upside-down into the floor?

How to explain the delight of rolling around the bed with him in a big hug, laughing and nuzzling his neck? Or playing fingerpistols? (point finger, make shooting noise, fall down dramatically, laughing) Or the giggle that rises unbidden when chasing his squealing form around the living room in an impromptu game of chasey? Singing the chorus to “We will rock you” together, complete with clapping and dancing? Or watching him watching the finches in their cage as if each fluttering movement was the most exciting event in the world?

Every moment with him is a burst of emotional extremes. He makes my heart pulse. so happy birthday, my darling, beautiful boy. And thank you, because you do not know what it is you have changed in me.

Moments after birth. So hard to get here, so much to come.

2 years old today. My little boy.

With his Mum. Cheeeeeeeessseeeee!


Broadband has been connected. Don’t things move more quickly? 🙂

The only down side is that, now we can use the phone and internet connection at the same time, we have to answer the damn phone when it rings instead of using the answering service to screen calls.

Oh well, it’s a small price to pay. Whooooooosssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh………………..


Hard work all weekend to get things ready for the birthdays party. Part of which involved a project I’ve been leading up to for some time: the conversion of our second shed into a cubby house for the kids. They had a beautiful big wooden one at the old house, which we had to leave behind, and I’ve been determined to offer a replacement as soon as I could.

So much of yesterday involved cleaning the shed out, de-crawlyfying the space, adding the necessary garden bench, blackboards, toy chest and posters. And then, because there is no punishment I will not inflict upon myself, the painting, humphing about, and placement of 8 concrete slabs into a path to the door.

900-mill square concrete slabs are heavy.

But Artman must have his day. And I’m quietly pleased at the result (quiet: adj. talking about it on a public weblog with a potential audience in the millions.)

Weeee’re off to see the wizard….

Satisfaction is cleaning up the patio in the evening and hearing the kids shouting “Onnne, twoooo, threeee…” from the cubby house end of the garden.


Not to be outdone, Aiden threw himself into a science project this week that involved presenting a paper on a dinosaur of his choice, as well as building a visual aid.

Casting aside all offers of aid (because, sometimes, dinosaurs are too cool to share), he disappeared into his room with the deadline looming, and returned with this: presenting (from left to right) Ornithochirus Marks II and I.

I hope he gets them back when they’ve been marked. We can hang them over the patio 🙂

Pssst: your frame is showing…

Song of the moment: I’m The Urban Spaceman The Bonzo The Dog Doo Dah Band
Reading: The Book of Fantasy Jorge Luis Borges (ed), Take The Joy Jane Yolen