Now that it's midsummer and it's still fairly light well past G's bedtime, she's taken to staying awake for a while after she's been put to bed. Walking past her bedroom in the evenings you can sometimes hear her reading her books out loud, presumably for the benefit of Dumbo, her little elephant sleep toy. She can't actually read, but she's heard the stories so many times before she's more or less word perfect on them.

Eventually she drifts off to sleep, but in the morning there's often a book or two lying around near her bed. This morning she really didn't want to get up at all, but the evidence of why she was so tired was clearly on display. Someone had obviously been up far too late reading James The Red Engine. Scandalous.

Walking On The Wall

This is the River Colne in the centre of Marsden, a regular stop on our frequent visits to the village (it comes after the ice cream shop and the playground, usually). There are always ducks here, and G enjoys chasing and pointing at them. Although I generally don't take any bread to feed them, as when I do G tends to put it in her own mouth instead.

Yesterday, G got me to lift her up on the wall so she could get a better view of the ducks. Then she walked along it, pointing at the ducks as they resolutely swam in the opposite direction. Obviously I tried to keep my hand on her so she didn't fall in, but equally obviously every time I got hold of her she shouted "No, daddy!" and started wriggling free. Instead I had to keep my arm vaguely near her so I could grab her in the event she slipped. This may make me a reckless parent, but on the other hand, she never looked like falling in. And I'm sure the ducks were glad she couldn't get any closer than this.

Special Biscuits

Toddlers can be picky eaters. Given that it's usually the good stuff like vegetables they tend to get picky about, mealtimes can be a bit problematic for the parents keen to encourage healthy eating.

One way round this is to convince your child that a food you really want them to eat is something new and interesting. After tonight's tea, G was complaining that she was still hungry. Looking in the kitchen cupboard I found some oatcakes, told her they were "special biscuits", and gave them to her. She ate them all up.

So oatcakes aren't exactly broccoli. But they're better than chocolate Digestives, which were in the next packet on the shelf. And if G's going to grow up with a Scottish father, she may as well learn an appreciation for Scottish cuisine.

Becoming Obsolete

I've been taking G to the supermarket since she was little. But riding around in the trolley seat just doesn't cut it anymore. Recently, she's insisted on walking alongside me as I go around the shop, looking out for her favourite foods (the way she homes in on the six packs of own brand yoghurt is quite something).

The other day I turned around to find her doing this. Admittedly, she struggled to move it very far or very fast, and if I'd left her to it I suspect we'd still be going up and down the yoghurt aisle. But it's just another sign I'm becoming a bit obsolete. Not sure whether G will take to doing the washing up quite so easily, but I can always give it a go.


It was my birthday the other day, and as a treat Mrs J took us to the seaside to visit Morecambe and the Midland Hotel. Venturing out onto the seafront, we came across this other local landmark. I asked G what she thought of it so far. She just looked back at me, blankly.

Leading The Applause

This was G's third year as a spectator at the Whit Friday celebrations in Dobcross. She first went as a baby, and last year she was a bit bigger, but this time she was old enough to start to enjoy all the brass music during the evening contest.

She put in some rudimentary dance moves as each of the bands played, then joined in with everyone else to clap them off afterwards. Here she is leading the applause for the Diggle B band. She's proving to be such an enthusiastic learner, next year I might volunteer her services as a guest adjudicator.