Family Fun


I like this picture. It’s a metaphor. A middle aged dude and a child. We are on a boat that doesn’t work. The middle aged dude is having a fabulous time, yet he has his back entirely turned to what’s ahead, taking up lots of space. The four year old is at the helm already, but he’s not really looking where he’s going either, besides the middle aged dude is in the way. Even if the boat is moving it’s not moving in any significant way. It’s just … wobbling around to give the impression of movement. The only woman is walking away from the whole construct. Maybe she’s realised it’s pointless…

We all went to Bewl Water. Three adults, two kids and some scooters. It’s a man made reservoir in Kent. They flooded a small area to make it, including some empty houses. It holds enough water for 200 million people. We might need it before long. We went there for a walk, but we really didn’t cover much ground. My Fitbit hasn’t come close to minimum distance and we were outside for hours. Having two kids along with you slows you down considerably. One of them always needs the loo or they’re tired or arguing or upset about something or hungry. Sometimes they get absorbed in something for a bit but it rarely involves walking. It mostly involves repetition.

We had a good twenty minutes of throwing stones into the reservoir, a fair amount of time on slides that are utterly pointless being made out of sticky stuff on purpose, and a lot of time carrying scooters because they don’t work on wet grass, but we had to bring them with us. I don’t know how people have these creatures every day. They’re delightful in small doses, but exhausting over the course of a whole day. Right now we are all enjoying a moment of peace on the sofa. The eldest is doing her homework on my leg. The youngest is absorbed in My Talking Tom. Gemma is reading her book, James is lighting the fire. It’s all rather peaceful and comfortable here in this sleepy village, and this pleasant and warm home.

We went for a pub lunch and heard slow-talking men in their fifties toasting “The end of the European Union.” Definitely in Kent now. I had a pint of Guinness and a prawn linguini, and thought about how easy its been for me to accept short term work in Amsterdam and Croatia and Germany and France over the years. Those jobs have kept me going. Then we went to Lidl for some affordable food. Who can predict what will change when the last few wheels stop bouncing around in this internationally observed slow motion car crash. But I hope that sort of thing will still be possible for myself and other British actors. I don’t feel like toasting it though. Leave that to Putin and those slow moving men.

We have moved on to Waffle the Wonder Dog in terms of children’s shows. It’s mildly distracting as my friend James Merry plays the dad, plus sings the song. I keep seeing him pop up. He’s a lovely man. Right now he’s trying to get a dog through a hole in a home on telly next to me. The kids are rapt. He actually looks like he’s enjoying himself too. He’s doing a good job. I like seeing mates pop up in lucrative ongoing gigs, especially when we have shared the same dayjobs. Reminds me how quickly things can change in this delightful arbitrary profession. You never know where you’ll end up even in a few months. Two years ago today I impulse booked the two months in LA which led to the inception of this blog. Since then everything has changed internally. I’m very much looking forward to this year…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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