GOODNIGHT GRATEFUL

Do you ever get to the end of a day and wonder how on earth you did it? If so then congratulations, because I think it may be a sign of a much happier state of mind than if you find yourself asking why you even bothered. Today has been one of those days for […]

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THINGS I LOVE

My son woke me up this Father’s Day with an unexpected poke in the back and an unexpected selection of gifts and a card he had made himself. It seems he had been squirrelling things away for me. When I opened the old shoe box wrapped with string I found an eclectic mix of things […]

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FATHER’S DAY THANKS

On our way to school earlier this week, I started joking around with my son like I do most days. ‘I can’t wait to find out what you’ve got me for Father’s Day,’ I told Jackson. ‘When’s Father’s Day?’ he replied. ‘Oh wow, you’re good,’ I smiled. ‘But I know the truth. I know you’ve […]

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Barcelo-no: the travels of a father and son

Just over two years ago, I decided to take my then six-year-old son to Barcelona for the weekend. It had struck me that, while all my friends and colleagues frequently went away with the partners and families to exciting places, we had kind of got left behind. Not by them – I never wait around […]

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THE WORLD’S YOUR LOBSTER: THE TRAVELS OF A FATHER AND SON

Idiosyncrasies are what make individuals so interesting, but they can also make them really annoying if they are totally at odds with your own learned and acquired behaviours. I find few things more uncomfortable than over-enthusiasm and gushy praise for ordinary things – like, say, waxing lyrical about something that appears, tastes, sounds or feels […]

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‘WE’RE NOT HERE TO RELAX’: THE TRAVELS OF A FATHER AND SON

Travelling with someone you love is just like living with them, only more intense. I remember being in Laos with my late wife once and realising she hadn’t said a word to me for two days. She would go through occasional periods of silence back at home in London – usually when she had done […]

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THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD: THE TRAVELS OF A FATHER AND SON

Much to my surprise, I found this next entry in the notes on my iPhone yesterday afternoon. It was entirely written by my son on the first day of our six-week trip round Italy last summer, when he was just seven years old. I’ve tweaked the grammar slightly, but otherwise this ‘part two’ is in […]

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‘WE CAN DO ANYTHING TOGETHER’: THE TRAVELS OF A FATHER AND SON

‘We can do this can’t we, Jackson?’ ‘Yes, Daddy. We can do this together.’ I asked my son this fairly rhetorical question when he was two and half years old and I was totally lost, trying to hold everything together just five months after his mum’s premature death. His response, I’ve since discovered, was characteristically […]

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Coming soon: what life taught me when I left my job to spend the summer with my seven-year-old son. Here he is waiting patiently for his daily gelato in Florence.

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I QUIT MY JOB TO SPEND THE SUMMER WITH MY SON

A shorter version of this piece about was first published in The Times in July 2018, before the trip detailed below.   One of the hardest things about being a sole parent, I keep telling anyone who will listen, is that you have to make all the major life decisions alone. “I can’t imagine how difficult that must […]

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BACK TO SCHOOL, BACK TO INSECURITY

‘I don’t like my school anymore,’ my six-year-old son told me after his first day in year two last week. ‘I haven’t got any friends.’ This seemed peculiar given that he is still attending the same school as the year before, with the same pupils and even, for the time being, the same teacher. I […]

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