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Ben’s birthday was marked memorably this year. We celebrated 7 years of our noisiest child by giving him a drum kit – lunacy. But it does have the benefit of confining his noise to the basement, in the vault, with the door shut! His party was a success with his mates although perhaps less so with our neighbours who were treated to the sight and sound of 6 boys playing an extremely realistic version of Splat the Rat in the garden with the hose, spades and any weaponry they could lay their hands on. As a birthday party activity this has much to recommend it. Boys very happy, rats dead or gone. Now no need to call council rat catcher. Yeay – wins all round.

Was clearly being a rather too lax parent over the Christmas break as the boys managed to sustain minor injuries of the sort that I am sure other people’s children never manage. Ben reported himself to the kitchen in time for lunch and was trying to hide his mouth behind his hand. Not an easy manoeuvre whilst eating. On inspection it turned out that he and Sam instead of cleaning their room had been conducting interesting experiments with the hoover culminating with Sam persuading Ben to kiss the business end then turning on the suction. He looked as if someone had punched him in the mouth. I applied arnica and a lecture in equal measures along the lines of how silly he looked and how dangerous it would be to put anything inappropriate or delicate into the vacuum cleaner – Ben looked shifty and Sam said simply – “Too Late – he did that first”. AArrrggghhh BOYS!

Sam has the dubious honour of being the only person ever to have reported into Bath A&E having been bitten by piranha. I am sooo proud.Just shows that a little knowledge combined with a lot too much confidence is a particularly dangerous combination in an 8 year old male. Knowing that Piranhas only like dead meat and that Nigel (the pet Piranha) had been recently fed anyway, wanting get a better look at its teeth Sam decided to try and catch it with his bare hands. Some stitches later he has an interestingly scarred thumb.


Was alerted to the next impending disaster by dint of noticing that all had been rather quiet upstairs for an unlikely length of time. Just as I was making my way up the house to investigate there came the dulcet tones of Number One Son – “Right, you can test it. I’ll say 1,2,3 then you jump”. Knowing just how long I had to get there was an added bonus. I arrived like a vengeful fury bursting into their den at extraordinary speed. And just as well. They had been very busy:  between the bunkbed on one side of the room and the wall mounted light fittings on the other, a Tarzan-like nest consisting of rope and towels was suspended. Ben – on the top- bunk wearing only his pants, was preparing to launch himself into their hammock. Probable Death by strangulation and electric shock and burning the house down narrowly averted. I await the next school holiday with trepidation – they don’t seem to be getting any more sensible with age!