There is something special every day. A look. A conversation. A game. A sing song. A trip somewhere. A high five. A big squeeze. Every day I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful daughter; the light of my and Dr J’s life. Today was no different.
It was our weekly Team Jones breakfast/brunch out; today, we were in Liverpool. The world’s greatest city. We went to the Vincent Cafe – first time for breakfast, although we have been for coffee and were impressed enough to try it out for the day’s most important meal. The verdict: top notch. Good food. Well-presented. Friendly and attentive service. Calm, chilled out atmosphere. The tea – a hugely important breakfast consideration – was passable – not excellent and served in glass cups (a no-no for me) but good tea pot, strong flavour, lots of milk. The quantity of milk is important as having to ask over and over again for more milk (or butter) gets in the way of Sunday paper reading and Team Jones chat. Overall I would give The Vincent 7/10. BTW, next Saturday we are at the Wolseley in London; breakfast perfection.
After breakie, Dr J went off for some Dr J time – something we all need and we make sure we both get each week – and Miss J and I went off to do two important jobs which reflect two passions we have been keen to install in our dear daughter; Liverpool Football Club and books.
I had agreed – in a moment of weakness after last week’s nursery sports day – to buy Aoife a new Liverpool kit. She has not had one since her first three days on this planet when I made it my first purchase as a father. One of her friends wore one for last week’s sporting festivities prompting the request and the swift agreement to oblige. Don’t get me wrong, my cup runneth over that my campaign of indoctrination and positive reinforcement of the Liverpool FC hegemony has succeeded. I know however that this can all change when peer pressure at school can come into play. My strategy is therefore to embed this LFC supporting passion as early and deep as possible so she can resist any overtures from across Stanley Park, down the M62 or worse from west or north London.
The ten minutes we spent in the LFC store in Liverpool One have been amongst my happiest for some time, seeing Aoife’s spontaneous excitement to see the extraordinary range of merchandise, including some of the tackiest things you can imagine. Not only did we buy Miss J her new kit – one of the cutest things I’ve seen – even cuter because she hasn’t had it off all afternoon – but I was encouraged (needing very little encouragement) to buy myself something. Hence a 1973 replica away kit now hangs proudly in my wardrobe. She didn’t say, but I’m sure like me Aoife was thinking of just one thing when she saw the stunning white shirt; Emlyn Hughes.
The second special daddy-daugher moment today came in one of our favourite places; the bookshop. Even more pleasing than the LFC supporting success, Dr J and I have passed on our passion and commitment to literature, reading and books. Aoife loves books – and Waterstones in Liverpool have created the perfect oasis for the budding reader in its children’s section – it is a fantastic space with its playhouse and comfy chairs. We spent twenty minutes or so trying out different stories, examining the many genres and options and then going through the happy ritual of paying for and packing our books in our bag.
We then went off to to sample the second best coffee shop in Liverpool (after 92 Degrees) in Cow and Co. It gave us the perfect opportunity to try on our new shirt and read our new book. The smile on Miss J’s face and the excitement with which she talked Dr J through the purchases was a sight to be hold. It must have been the coffee going down the wrong way as I was left with a lump in my throat. Happy times.