Marianna Reviews Her New Wario Plush

I like to spoil my child and lately she seems to have been getting into the Super Mario world (mainly owing to my purchasing a Nintendo Wii and 3ds, and soon I’ll be getting a Nintendo Switch) this was bolstered by Youtube hosting a compliment of uploads of the Super Mario Bros Supershow (featuring the Legend of Zelda) and  Sonic X.


This week as Marianna was a brave girl following an injury needing stitches, I got her a Wario for bearing it so well. Here is what she thought of her new Wario plush

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What I like about him is his dungarees hes got purple straps behind him and I like them. And I like his shoes cuz they got green and brown on it. He’s nice and cwtchy, I like his hat, Its got a big W on it, he Cwtches me. He plays well with the other Mario teddys and he even kisses princess peach, Mario doesn’t mind, my mummy will be surprised to see that now I got Wario too. (NB Marianna currently has 13 video game related plushies from The Mario, Zelda and Sonic Games) But I want lots more plushes. 

I only hope my wallet can afford it.


New Toys: Product Enterprises Talking Dalek

In fairness the title of this blog post is actually a lie, I’ve had this Dalek on my shelf for over a decade, but I’ve decided that Marianna can have a play with it, so here is what she thinks about it.


“He is beautiful, he makes exterminate noises, I like his talking, I like his gun and that’s it really, I like him talking, I like playing with him. He says you are an enemy of the daleks, he mixes with the other toys beautifully, hes blue and black and silver, and he lights up when he talks,  he’s gonna exterminate you. “


In all fairness Marianna has taken to the old boy pretty strongly, The Dalek is already attempting to exterminate her Legend of Zelda and Super Mario toys,

Marianna’s 7 Book Cover Challenge

After doing the 7 book cover challenge myself the other day, I decided to nominate my daughter Marianna to give challenge a go. Marianna and I read at least two books a day together, everyday she reads me one, and I read her one. Marianna has been a fan of books since she was a tiny baby, in fact some of my earliest moments with my daughter were of me reading to her whilst she was in hospital for the weeks following her birth.

These are some of Marianna’s favourites:

Where’s My Cow- Terry Pratchett 


No, No Charlie Rascal- Lorna Kent


Rabbits Nap- Julia Donaldson


Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy- Lynley Dodd 


The Gruffalo- Julia Donaldson 


Where’s Polar Bear- Nico Hercules


Everywhere Babies- Susan Meyers 


Children In Politics

I read an opinion piece today (over on the New York Times Website, check it out here) about Children attending the rallies of President Donald Trump. Whilst I would never take my child to a massive Trump rally (or any size trump rally to be frank), a lot of the comments I read were pretty negative about children attending political events regardless of where they were on the political spectrum, which hit home pretty close because I can’t count the number of political and civic events that my daughter has attended either with myself or with her mother.

Marianna Campaigning for me
Marianna Campaigning For Me 2017

The comments ranged from calling it abuse, to brainwashing, neglect and indoctrination? But is exposing your child to your political beliefs bad? I certainly don’t think so. Getting a child involved with politics from a young age is a good thing, at least to my mind. From a few months old, my daughter has been attending council meetings, and came with us to literally hundreds of civic events during her mothers tenure as Deputy Mayor, and then as Mayor, and continues to come with me in my role as Vice Chairman of Cwmbran Council.

Marianna Canal Consultation
Marianna At The Mon And Brec Canal Consultation Event

Marianna has attended Gay Rights Campaign Days, Military Parades, museum openings, Mayor Makings, Holocaust Memorial Services and disability support groups, countless shop openings and prize evenings, and all because her Mother and Myself are both councillors. And she loved it, I’m not saying she wasn’t bored, and in some instances didn’t know what was going on, (at the age of 3 or 4 months old she attended the selection of the  candidate to be our local Member of Parliament), but all this involvement with the political world has actually helped with her development, over the past year, shes gone from a shy and timid girl, to the point where she’ll actually engage with and contribute to conversations with Members of Parliament and the House of Lords.

Marianna 100 Years of Femal Sufferage
Marianna Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Voting Rights

Her engagement with politics, especially at the local level, has given her a sense of civic duty and a good helping of community spirit, she often makes complaints about the state of litter and dog fouling in the local area, and has been helpful in doing her bit to improve our local community.

Marianna Trans
Marianna Standing Up For Trans Rights

I think though, my favourite moment of Marianna’s political involvement , is the during the 2017 general election, when she came with me to the polling station and then after casting my vote, she then decided to have a screaming fit because she couldn’t vote herself.

Marianna and I Attending 2018 Armed Serviced Day Celebration at Cwmbran Community Council.

And from my own point of view, I love being able to share this part of my life with my daughter, how many parents out there would love to be able to involve their children in more aspects of their life, I get to take my daughter to work, and hopefully she takes in both her parents trying to make their corner of the world a better place to live in.

Long Ass Day

So today I have (whilst recovering from last nights Christmas party) attended the opening of a new tanning salon, taken the Mini Mayor to meet Father Christmas at Pontypool Market, attended the opening of a new art exhibit at Pontypool Museum all before taking part in the Christmas parade and light switch on in the town. I then had enough time to watch some of the rugby before heading back out to see Cwmbran Baroque Choir.


Toddlers Fashion (Dads Can Do It Too) 2

As I’m the one who is the primary caregiver in our house, I’m the one tasked with coming up with outfits that are both adorable, fashion forward and functional, that also hold up to the hell and muck making that a two and half year old will put them through.


This piece is a simple pair of leggings and striped t-shirt topped off with a blue satin scarf.


This a Japanese school girl type thing that I picked up off ebay paired with a matching pair of tights, adorable right?


This was Marianna’s outfit for her mothers Mayoral Civic Service, a red party frock, with matching shoes, white socks and red pillbox fascinator.


Another schoolgirl outfit and tights, an easy combo, but it looks good.


Marianna in her fascinator with red patent leather shoes, white socks, a floral print dress with a matching belt.

So there you have it. Definitive proof that a heterosexual man can pick perfectly fashion forward outfits for a little girl.

30 Before Thirty (Comics & Graphic Novels)

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I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the Comics and Graphic Novels that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

Grant Morrison’s 18 Days


Camelot 3000


Miracle Man: A Dream Of Flying


All Star Superman 


Preacher: Gone To Texas


The Crow


Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes


Alan Moore’s: Saga of The Swamp Thing


Marvel 1602


Saga: Volume 1


 The Order: Die Mensch Machine

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The Complete Scarlet Traces 

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Button Man




Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow 


The Infinity Gauntlet 


Amazing Spider-man: Kravens Last Hunt


Promethea Book 1 


Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus 




Son Of Superman 


Hellblazer: Original Sins 


The Authority: Relentless 

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Hellboy: Seed Of Destruction 


Doctor Who: Emperor Of The Daleks

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Death: The High Cost Of Living  


JSA The Liberty Files 


Alice In Sunderland 


Daredevil Yellow


The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch


How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

30 Before I’m Thirty (Films)

Congratulations Mr Trump (2)

I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the films that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

How Green Was My Valley 


Gentleman’s Agreement


From Here to Eternity


Gone With The Wind


Cat On A Hot Tin Roof


West Side Story


Lawrence of Arabia


Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf


Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner


Funny Girl


Fiddler On The Roof


All The Presidents Men




Kramer Vs Kramer


Terms of Endearment 


The Cider House Rules


An Education


The Wolf Of Wall Street


Guardians of the Galaxy 2


Moonrise Kingdom


Saving Private Ryan


Going In Style 


Wall Street


King Ralph


Planes Trains and Automobiles


O Brother, Where Art Thou?


The Monuments Men


Good Will Hunting


Good Morning Vietnam 


This Is Spinal Tap


How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

Government Policy As Understood By My Two Year Old

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Sometimes government can seem like several factions of warring children, and policy itself seems to have been thought up by preschoolers, so here is my daughter Marianna’s thoughts on some policy areas from the current government.


The Lady [Theresa May] wanted to shut all the hospitals”

Fox Hunting

“The nasty lady [Theresa May] wants the doggies to hurt the foxes, its bad” 


“The Silly Man [Boris Johnson] doesn’t like all the other people” 

Child Poverty

“The Scary Lady [I assume Theresa May] doesn’t want the babas to have food or toys, when they want pizza and dolly’s and we should give them some books” 


” I like the other people” 


“[Bombs] are bad, because they blow up peoples houses and the poor baba’s”

Marianna is no stranger to political activism, she was an active campaigner in the reccent local government elections. 

NB: Neither I nor Marianna’s mother have ever taught her to refer to Theresa May as nasty or scary, this is just a conclusion she has drawn for herself, along with calling Boris Johnson the silly man.

Culture, Curry and Shopping Excursion’s

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Today was a day for culture, culture and shopping. Marianna and I ,this morning, decided to go shopping for clothes. Marianna needed some formal black shoes, and a cardigan to go with the dress I brought her the other day, which she’ll wear to a few things we have coming up like a family wedding, and a few civic functions.

The Dress

After wandering every shop that sells child’s clothing and shoes in Cwmbran, its a fair few, we finally went into Primark last and there we found a lovely cardigan for £5 and a darling pair of boots that were reduced to £3, so we paid for our purchases and took the 2 minuet walk home, wherein I made a sumptuous lunch of a cheese sandwich, sliced grapes, a packet of crisps, a yoghurt and two jaffa cakes all for Marianna, which she ate in its entirety, which was a nice surprise.

So then we came to the question, what where the two of us going to do this afternoon, as I was up to date on house work, I had nothing pressing to do paperwork wise, which is odd when I have an AGM to attend tomorrow. So I decided it would be one of those days where I attend to my child’s cultural development. So we cranked up the ole’ Amazon Fire Stick, went to Youtube and started on with the opera. Knowing that a two year old, even one as bright an attentive as Marianna, would not have the attention to span an entire opera. So I opted to pick some arias, specifically from some famous sopranos, all of which weren’t overly long, Marianna decided she would dance to what she dubbed the singing princesses (I think it was the posh frocks and tiaras that put the idea in her head) after about an hour of various arias and duets we came to The Flower Duet by Lakmé and at this point I gave up on the opera, because I realised I was having a conversation with a two year old about the “pretty dresses” of the two sopranos.

So it was getting on for four o’clock and we switched to the ballet, mainly as I saw this awesome version of The Russian Dance from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker the other day. So we watched that and then moved on to Swan Lake, where Marianna could get a good look at the “Dancing Princesses” and try to copy their moves (the kids pretty damn flexible, but not coordinated, not even a little bit) but it did inspire this beauty of a conversation.

Me: Marianna, would you like to be a ballet dancer?

Marianna (Age 2): No, I want food. 

The perfectly innocent, but still perfect, response made me remember, from many many years ago, the date I had with a woman studying ballet, I can’t remember the name of the woman, but I do remember that it was possibly the cheapest dinner date I have ever been on, and its made me smile. And with that, I made dinner, we had curry and chips, followed be Neapolitan Ice Cream, it was nice, Marianna then had her bath and went to bed, now I’m on the sofa writing this with The West Wing on in the background while a little part of me is wondering if we finished all the curry or if there’s enough for me to have a second bowl in half an hour or so.