• Author:Ben Jones
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The future is very bright

I bumped my car today – in a local multi-storey car park – and damaged the front wing a little. You would think that would put a damper on my day but not a bit of it. It’s been a belter.

Dr J has spent the day meeting her new colleagues and getting to know the university and her new work surroundings. She doesn’t take up her new post until 4 September but today was a great chance to help her get off on the right foot. It was also a dry run for the new Team Jones routine which will kick in at that point when I will take on three days of nursery runs and late afternoons of daddy-daughter time whilst Aileen works. I will also take on some more of the cooking – thankfully with my new Delia book in hand, the culinary world is my oyster. If today is anything to go by, I could definitely get used to this.

The day started with full Team Jones breakfast at home – something that is important to us. Dr J headed off to work just after 8am as we were getting our stuff in the car for the nursery run. Miss J – never forgetting anything – remembered that I suggested a trip to the beach today and so what followed was a complex series of negotiations over the timing of the beach trip and the need to still go to nursery! It was Irish political discussion at its best – with a successive of talks about talks, proximity talks and eventually a negotiated settlement and a formal, agreed process. The agreement was to go straight from nursery – via Marks and Spencer’s – to the beach. Senator Mitchell would have been proud.

After the nursery drop – I did some chores; quick tidy of the breakfast stuff/Aoife’s playroom; filled the car with petrol (in advance of crashing it!) and then went for a hair cut. Home within 45 minutes to sit down for a big report writing session. Three solid hours of writing followed – accompanied by a  combination of the West Wing and The Three Tenors – and interrupted only for fresh tea (decaf Yorkshire) and scotch pancakes. Delicious.

A huge productive writing stint – always feels good – then a client call, some lunch and a return to nursery. Aoife had a ball and was full of tales from her visit to pre-school (which she starts on the same day as Dr J starts her new job) and from the fun she’d had with her friends. I always love picking her up any day but its even more fun when she is full of smiles and stories, like today. We headed off into Southport – listening to LFC songs in the car. I promise you – honestly – that Aoife chose that playlist, although I wasn’t complaining! M&S, a quick car crash and a visit to the garage later, we landed at the beach. We built and then destroyed sandcastles and spent a lot of time on a bear hunt. Sheer joy. Home for dinner – bangers and mash – not from Delia’s book!

A dent in the car couldn’t put a dent in my day – the only thing I didn’t enjoy was not seeing enough of my wife. Thankfully she is due home shortly to make this day complete. More happy days are certainly ahead as my work-life balance dream continues.


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