How to say sorry

It’s taken 30+ years of life experience and 10+ years of marriage to realise that there’s a LOT more to apologising than I ever thought possible, and frankly, most people kind of suck at apologising.

“I’m sorry” is one of the most common phrases in the English language, but probably one of the most misused.

Before I got married, I didn’t understand any of the art of how to apologise. I thought you did something, you recognised that it was wrong, you said sorry and you perhaps asked for forgiveness. I was missing out on huge swathes of psychology, intricacy and emotion behind the phrase.

Since getting married and learning both by experience and by reading, I have learned that there is so much more to apologising and I was certainly doing it incorrectly in the past. A quick rundown of some of the things that you’re probably doing wrong when you try to apologise: Continue reading “How to say sorry”

Coming to terms with Trump

Preface: I’m keenly aware that as someone who has no voting rights in the USA, my words carry little weight, however, I’m also raising children (most notably, a daughter) in this environment, so I’m exercising my voice on behalf of my children who will one day have the ability to shape the world in which they live.

I’ve very much come to terms with the fact that Trump will be the next President. It’s done and I accept that.

What is much harder to come to terms with is the fact that people think this town jester who:

  • mocks the disabled,
  • lusts after and assaults women like an immature and dangerous college student,
  • considers “religion” to be an appropriate factor in determining one’s suitability for entering the country,
  • perpetuated the longstanding lie that Obama was born in Kenya
  • adjusts his limp backbone based on the response he gets from the people,
  • claims business acumen when his wealth would be double what it is today if he’d have retired in 1982 and invested in the S&P500,
  • derides people based on their looks despite looking like an orange-tinted, wig-adorned, plump corpse himself,
  • etc., etc. ad nauseam

is someone that a (near) majority of the people consider to be fit to serve in the highest office in the USA. It’s an absolute mockery. Continue reading “Coming to terms with Trump”

Because I said so

“Because I said so” stops conversations dead in their tracks, and that’s how we intend it: to shut our children down and expect their obedience without their understanding. This robs them of an opportunity to learn, develop and become more capable, functional people.

“Because I said so” is one of those phrases that drove us crazy as kids, that we swore we’d never utter and yet slips out of our mouths almost unconsciously.

Conventional parenting says that children are to be seen and not heard, which makes phrases like “because I said so” acceptable. They’re our last line of defence in a conversation that we’re seeking to end without any further explanation or inquisition. We expect full adherence because we’re in charge and what we say, goes. Continue reading “Because I said so”

Planning a road trip (move) from St Petersburg, FL to Portland, OR

Marti and I have been wanting to move to Portland for many years now and in the recent past, all of the stars aligned and we’ll be picking up and leaving FL early next year. I’ll be moving our belongings and vehicles across the country, so with many months to plan, I want to make sure that if I’m going to travel 3,500 miles, I’m going to make it the most enjoyable and beautiful road trip that I possibly can.

It has been our dream to move to Portland, OR for many years now. We’ve been waiting for the right time when my company was able to accommodate me in our Portland office so that I could stay with my company (whom I enjoy working for) and so that I would have a job waiting for me at the other end.

Sadly in my case, my company isn’t going to pay for the move because it is my preference to move there: they’re not requesting that I move for work reasons, so the financial burden is on me which I understand and accept. It’s just the price that we have to pay to realise our dream of moving out west.

So with that in mind, I now find myself in a position of trying to figure out how to achieve this. It’s quite a logistical operation, especially when you have a wife, two children and four cats. Continue reading “Planning a road trip (move) from St Petersburg, FL to Portland, OR”

My 4th of July trip to Kingston, MA and Bath, NH

This past 4th of July, I went to spend some time with my family in Massachusetts and then traveled with them to their cabin in rural New Hampshire to enjoy the peace and quiet.

This 4th of July, me and my family planned a trip to visit with Marti‘s cousin and her kids in Kingston, Massachusetts before heading up to Bath, New Hampshire to their cabin for some time in the mountains.

It was a really nice trip. The weather was a refreshing change (it still got pretty warm during the day, but with much less humidity than Florida, and it cooled off in the evenings) and the terrain and landscape were also a very welcome change coming from the monotonous and flat swamps of Florida.

I happened to spend 4th of July there and so participated in the town’s 4th of July parade, which is kinda cheesy and stale, but it’s something to do for the day. However, despite trying to fit in on the 4th of July, my American family still tried to send me to my grave by sitting me such that my chair fell through the deck and the balcony railings. Fortunately, I stopped just shy of falling over the edge and slept with one eye open for the remainder of my trip. Continue reading “My 4th of July trip to Kingston, MA and Bath, NH”

Children, shopping and tantrums

No one likes being around a screaming child so what do you do when you’re out with your kids and they start having a tantrum? A recent story about such an event in the UK highlighted the issue for me so I thought I’d weigh in now that I have kids.

A couple of weeks ago, a story ran on BBC News about a woman who was asked to leave a John Lewis store in Manchester because her 16-month-old daughter was having a tantrum.

Previously, I felt disqualified to talk on such matters because I didn’t have kids but now as a parent of 2 I think I get to have my say.

Frankly, my position hasn’t much changed since before I had kids. If you have children, my first position if that you should avoid taking them anywhere where they can be disruptive in the first place. In general, Marti and I avoid going to restaurants with the kids unless we have a good degree of certainty that they’ll be well-behaved. Continue reading “Children, shopping and tantrums”

Raising boys vs girls: 9 months old

I have both a son and a daughter and in many respects, they are like night and day.

When Ellie was 9 months old, you could hear the winds of change: she was starting to scoot about and explore, but nothing was in danger.

With Jack, it’s less like the winds of change and more like a hurricane. Destruction threatens your house at any moment and when the hurricane and floodwaters come, anything that you treasure needs to be at least three feet off the ground to have the best chance of survival.

In fact, if possible, you should suspend everything in your house from the ceiling, creating a three-foot clear zone at the bottom where only items that you don’t mind seeing broken, consumed, torn, licked, thrown or destroyed should go.

St. Augustine Distillery is the best place to visit in the city

The St. Augustine Distillery is a place teeming with history, homemade spirits, intrigue, education, delicious food and new experiences. You’ll enjoy the craftsmanship that goes into making the spirits and beyond that the cocktails that they’re used in.

A few weekends ago, Marti and I visited St. Augustine, Florida. It was part of a Christmas present to me: a 2-night getaway from the kids with just Marti in tow. We had a great time exploring the city, but the best part without a doubt was when we visited the St. Augustine Distillery.

The Ice Plant’s history

The St. Augustine Distillery opened just a couple of years ago (March 2014) after successfully securing ownership of the former “Ice Plant” on Riberia St. This Ice Plant opened up as a power plant around 1907 and they started producing ice soon thereafter as the city began to boom in order to support tourism and commerce (such as providing fishermen with a way to keep their fish fresher for longer).

The plant closed down in the 60s and lay dormant for many years before real estate developers who wanted to tear it down to make room for new condos snapped it up in the early 21st century and subsequently lost it in the downturn. The community bandied together with a common goal to save this historic building and the St. Augustine Distillery was born. Continue reading “St. Augustine Distillery is the best place to visit in the city”

Eliminating busyness in 2016

In 2016, my family have decided to stop being so busy and letting it stress us out, opting instead for a healthy mix of alone time and family time.

Yesterday, I read an article which my wife sent me. The subject matter is something that I’ve been considering for quite a while as I think to how we spend countless weekends bouncing from one thing to the next before finally crashing on Sunday night and going our separate ways again on Monday morning. The title of the article?

Busy is a sickness

The article really resonated with me. Ever since having kids especially, I just feel like there’s not time for anything because we’re always so booked up with menial things. Continue reading “Eliminating busyness in 2016”

Another memorable Christmas

It’s been a pleasant and enjoyable Christmas this year. Ellie had her moments where the excitement got the better of her and her behaviour wasn’t up to scratch, but other than that, it’s been really nice spending some time with family, keeping it moderately low-key and playing some games.

Jack’s first Christmas

Ellie’s 3rd Christmas

We spent yesterday making a trip to Ikea getting a new bed frame to go with the new mattress that I got Marti for Christmas which was a lot of fun. While we ate lunch at the cafe (they have a lot of good vegan options!), we got this adorable picture of Jack:

IMG_2406-1

We ended the day by going to Hofbrauhaus in St Pete – a new German restaurant, which is a lot of fun. They have live music, vegan food (surprisingly good) and a lot of singing and dancing. Great end to the day.