It Expands


Now that the dust has settled I've finally got some time to post an entry.

Some friends of mine from shores foreign have a funny phrase about children. One is to none as two is to a hundred. I usually laughed when it was said, but damn do I see what they mean now. Having a newborn and a toddler at the same time is like having a house in the monkey house of a zoo.

But that just brings me to the point of this rant, to welcome the newest addition to the Jester House: our little boy Jellybean (as he will be known here because I never use real names). Born on Feb 17th 2018, at 14:13, he arrived in the world without too much drama, answering a big personal question I had been asking myself on and off for a while.

How in the hell do you love two kids equally?

It is a daft question I know, but the mechanics of it all are something you rarely hear people talk about. I come from a multi-kid family, I have friends who have multiple kids, but at the end of the day we'd (myself and the ladyfriend) just spent the better part of three years loving just one kid. Nugget has grown to be a bundle of madness wrapped in a cute smile, but she had been the sole objection of our affections all that time. The ladyfriend on numerous occassions had said to me 'Did you ever think you could love something so much?' when talking about our little girl.

I hadn't, I honestly hadn't. Becoming a parent you get some questions answered automatically, like at a genetic level. Like how deep would the hole be for the person who harmed your child.

Fun fact, it will be very deep and dug before it needs filling because I am not going to risk getting caught digging a hole with a body.

But then how does all that love get split amongst two? Surely the first born suffers while the new kid only gets half of the original love.

Turns out the heart expands. Just like you always have room for dessert even after eating until you bust, the heart has extra compartments that only get brought into use when needed. Looking down at Jellybean as he was only a few seconds I felt all those same feelings I had at Nugget's birth, but just as strong. Not lessened, not diferent. His own spot, right beside his sister's, in my chest.

With the brain adding in "So, it's two holes next time? Grand, I will include that in the plan."

Just as with Nugget, the arrival of Jellybean did not go exactly to the ladyfriend's plan. We went down one road and after a while the medical types came in and said that it wasn't meant to be and we should go for a section. Which was fine, as I said to the ladyfriend my goal coming into the hospital was to leave with a wife and newborn. The how that came about was just semantics (with the obvious cavet that the wife was the one I walked in with and the newborn was mine and we didn't just pick one up on the way out). Of we went to the operating theatre and along came Jellybean.

It was the follow-up that went a bit differently to Nugget's arrival. For whatever reason the ladyfriend hit a few issues on the table, so myself and Jellybean had some father-son time while we waited.

We waited for a while. Over an hour. This was actually a bit of a concern if I am being honest. We were brought to the same waiting room as when Nugget had been born, so I thought everything was fine. But as the minutes stretched on I began to think that something wasn't right. Of course it didn't help that I overheard two midwives chatting outside the door, in what they probably thought were whispers but I have very good hearing, asking had I been told yet.

Told what?!

It turns out I had not been told that herself needed some extra attention during the closing part of the birth and also some blood to be transfused. While I am sure there is a logical reason to not tell a new-dad his partner is having problems, a little heads up would still have been nice. If no heads up, maybe not discussing it just outside the door.

But it all ended well, so I guess I can't be too miffed.

Once again the ladyfriend was the real champion of the entire affair. Going through all that crap for nine months and then labour, to say she continously impresses me as a partner, wife, friend and mother is an understatement.

To close, welcome Jellybean to the world. Let's go and have some adventures. Nugget is already running down street and ... FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WILL YOU STOP JUMPING IN FRONT OF CARS.


Giraffe Four Done


I've no idea why I am using that title really. I think I might be a little sleep deprived or something. Just as I was working on the latest draft during the week the title for this rant popped into my head and I chuckled away to myself.

Sign of a bad comedy writer there, when you laugh at your own jokes with nobody else around to validate if they are or aren't funny.

Hell I probably should have ran that title past the ladyfriend before using it, but too late now!

It has been a while since last posting an update on the latest Filthy Henry novel, because: life. Life tends to get in the way of a lot of things. That and the fact that my previous tablet I was using for writing had a strange battery issue which meant I was getting less work done on the commute. Thankfully the ladyfriend figured I was a good boy last year and I've a shiny new tablet to work on.

Productivity is returned.

Now if only I could get away from that pesky day job, everything would be golden.


I've finally closed out draft four of Stolen Stories. Few more plotholes closed, few questions raised in my head that I need to mull over. I've done the usual cut that tends to happen as the stories evolve during the writing process. It isn't exactly ready for general consumption, but the story is getting there. Dublin Comic Con is in August, it takes a month to get books ordered for the con. Loads of time, unless Life gets in the way again... when is kid number two due again? ;)


Year of Fruit


Many moons ago, more than I care to count, I stumbled upon wonderful websites that printed your images onto clothes.

This was a dangerous time for me. Basically I spent days designing up t-shirts and then come payday I would order a bunch of them. Depending on which site I went with the results were varied, but then the images played a factor in this quality as well. It was a learning curve for all involved.

By the time I had discovered these sites the Jester logo, Jesty, had been around for about four years. After spending well into the hundreds on t-shirts I decided it was time that Jesty was put onto something.

A hoodie.

Like the crest of a school or university, Jesty sat with pride on what rapidly became my favourite hoodie. I even stopped ordering anything else, having reach self-designed clothing heaven in my books :)

Through the magical means of word time travel we jump ahead a few years, to when I met the ladyfriend. As happens, the beloved hoodie of mine became the beloved hoodie of the ladyfriend. Any time she was in the apartment that myself and H lived in she made a beeline to get that hoodie, even being annoyed when it was in the wash.

Sidenote, it was in the wash because I hadn't worn it since the last time she had stolen it.

Such is the way of things.

Then, one day, disaster struck. The ladyfriend decided to make dinner (this is the not the disaster) while wearing my hoodie as it was a bit nippy (still not the disaster) and figured a tomato sauce based dinner was on the cards (we're getting closer). I usually help with the meal making but on this particular instance a mate rang looking for a quick chat, so I was out on the balcony taking the call. When I am on the phone I pace, it's just a habit I have. As I paced back and forth I could see into the apartment through the balcony doors. Four pacings later disaster struck.

The ladyfriend had trouble opening a tin of tomatoes and through a sequence of events we, to this day, have not figured out she burst it open.

While wearing my favourite hoodie.

It was like a war scene. Man down, mainly covered in red sauce that was soaking into the grey material with each passing second. All while the ladyfriend just stood there, in the scene of carnage, looking cute and confused in equal measures.

Hoodie down!

That one was tossed to the bin after a few attempts to save it and another hoodie ordered, which basically became the ladyfriend's new hoodie. One she took great care to not cook in and even greater care to hide from me at every given chance.

Seriously, we've moved house/home three times and I never seen it packed but it made the move into her clothes drawer.

Anyway that is a long winded story to bring you up to speed on why her anniversary present this year was so great.

See when we got married, this day four years ago, I had a plan for what the first anniversary present would be. We stuck with the traditional list and the present theme was 'paper'. Now we sometimes play fast and loose with themes and have it as close to as possible, but the theme still has to be present.

This year the theme was "Fruit or Flowers", which doesn't really give a lot to work with. Except the ladyfriend trundled off and brought back a nine year old joke to bring me this:

Look at it!!!!
Look at it!!!!

Not only is this a new jester hoodie with Jesty on it, one that I am assured (we shall see) will not be commandeered by the ladyfriend, but it isn't a print. That is embroidered onto the hoodie.

Look at that stitching! Just look at it!

But how does it tie in with the theme of "Fruit or Flowers" for the fourth wedding anniversary gift? The hoodie is a "Fruit of the Loom" one :)

Like I said, sometimes we play fast and loose with the theme.

I think it would be safe to say that in the "game" of who got the best present the scoreboard was 3-0 to me, but this year the ladyfriend raced ahead and stole the show.

Happy Anniversary baby!