Dad’s Life: Burst eardrums and hotel bills...

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I HAD two tickets to Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Carlisle.

My wife was busy laying her patio (yes really) so my guest ticket was destined for 15-year-old Gabriel or Isaac, 13.

Gabriel sensibly ruled himself out saying he had to revise. I later found out that he was very keen to attend the event, but not with his dad. Not cool enough, obviously.

Isaac had no such qualms, so he and I set off for Cumbria last Saturday afternoon.

We stayed over on the Saturday night and then attended the full Sunday session.

Isaac loved it, and I hardly saw him as he dashed from one stage to another. His size and sharp elbows meant he managed to get to the front of most sessions he saw.

I waited at the back. Sometimes, when the noise was particularly loud, I waited as far away as possible. What I couldn’t understand was the constant demands of the DJs, or the artists, to make more noise.

“Make some noise Carlisle” appeared to be the main refrain of the day. Which seemed a bit superfluous as there was more than an abundance of noise to start with.

At one point I thought I’d wandered into a panto.

I appreciate I sound like an old fuddy-duddy, and that’s exactly how I felt. I have to say, however that Bruno Mars was fantastic and My Chemical Romance were amazing.

And for once, and probably for the only time in my life, I was almost cool in the eyes of my younger son. And that was worth the driving, the waiting, the rain, the burst eardrum and the hotel bill alone.

IT’S exam central in our house at the moment.

Gabriel, 15, started his GCSEs with an English paper on Mondy morning, while 13-year-old Isaac is studiously revising for summer exams which start next week.

Which might lead you to think that silence would be pervading our home.

Not quite. For as with everything else, my boys tackle revision very differently.

Gabriel needs total silence, and has his books neatly stacked around him.

Isaac says he cannot revise without background noise, so has the radio or a CD blaring as he pokes and prods his way through a messy mass of papers and books.

Both, however, are united in intensity.

Both have impressed me with their application, although Gabriel’s efforts have come somewhat late in the day for my liking.

The exams seem to be the only topic of conversation at the moment, and I’ll be pleased when they’re over.

I have a long wait, however, Gabriel has five weeks before his exams are finished.

IT would be remiss of me not to give my reader further news of my wife’s patio.

I stress her patio, because I have had nothing to do with it – a fact she has rammed home and then spread with alarming speed and eagerness.

It is an amazing thing which has spread rapidly over my lawn over the last three weeks. I have to say she has done a great job. Or she WILL kill me.

And she has done so without a helping hand from the three males in her life.

The boys and I are very impressed by her skill and dedication, but are quite happy to sit and watch.