YES, I know we’re rattling through January at a fair old pace, but I haven’t had chance to tell you about how I spent Boxing Day, and I think it’s important that I do because it shows new dads what life has in store.

Max, our youngest, is living in Manchester, trying to make it as a drummer, and working in a bar in the meantime to pay the bills.

He’d come home on Christmas Eve and only had one shift before New Year’s Eve. That just happened to be Boxing Day when, of course, public transport grinds to a halt.

Normally, I spent Boxing Day relaxing: picking away at some leftover turkey, heating up the spare roasties, having a bet on the horses, and watching them lose on the telly.

Not this Boxing Day. The only way he was going to get to Manchester for his four-hour shift was in Dad’s Taxi.

His shift was due to start at 5pm but we set off early at 12 o’clock because, as he put it: “We might as well kill two birds with one stone and take some drums to my house while we have the chance.”

With nothing on the roads, we got there at 2pm, unloaded the drums, and he went to freshen himself up before he started work. Meanwhile, I was given directions to a different pub to while away the hours. You see, he didn’t want me sitting in his pub because, well, I’d clearly be an embarrassment.

And, so, for the best part of five hours, I sat in the corner of a pretty much deserted Wetherspoons, like Billy No Mates, tapping away on my laptop to catch up on bits of work.

At 7pm, my ever-thoughtful wife had booked me in for a curry at a nearby restaurant to pass the final couple of hours. Very nice it was too – Indian street food – but it’s hard making it last for two hours when you’ve only got yourself for company.

Thankfully, Max was allowed to finish his shift half an hour early, so he made his way to the restaurant to meet me. His doting mother had hatched a plan for me to order him a takeaway to eat on the journey home and packed the car with a tray, cutlery, serviettes, and two bottles of beer.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my children deeply, but there was something galling about driving back home across Saddleworth Moor in the driving rain at 9pm on Boxing Day while my 22-year-old son tucked into his curry, swigged his beer, and left poppadum crumbs all over my car.

The final indignity came when he said: “Drive carefully, Dad - it’s not easy eating this on my lap.” As if I was suddenly going to drive liked a crazed lunatic and mount pavements once he’d swallowed his last mouthful of Rogan Josh!

I have little doubt that I spent a lot more on petrol and the curry than he earned behind the bar but I’m sure I’ll get my reward, either when he makes it big as a drummer – or in heaven.


“CHLOE, can I have a cuddle?” I asked my three-year-old grand-daughter at the weekend.

“Sorry, Grandad, it’s not time yet,” she sighed and carried on watching the Disney Channel.

MEANWHILE, her Mummy said to her: “Oh, Chloe, maybe Mummy should go on a diet after Christmas.”

In a touching demonstration of support, Chloe promptly replied: “Ok, Mummy, shall I eat your donuts?”

JOYCE Elliot, chairman of Durham Ladies’ Club, remembered the time her son, Graeme – six at the time – came home from school with an announcement: “We’ve got lots of spellings to learn and, if we get them right, Mrs Evans is going to give us a sweet.”

Then he added: “But, Mam, how do you spell woebetideya?”