Limerick – Birth

On the wonderful day of your birth
I was the happiest person on Earth
Now you teach me each day
In your own special way
How much this life truly is worth



Picture credit: (not my child… isn’t her smile incredible?)

Written for:

So, er, this is awkward…

Yesterday was a real rollercoaster of a day.

Having psyched myself up for surgery, following all the advice on what I could and couldn’t eat and drink at the relevant times, I kissed my family goodbye and caught the bus to the hospital… where I sat around for several hours, fully gowned-up in finest hospital-style, before being told that an earlier emergency surgery had over-run, and that my operation would have to be re-scheduled.


It’s one of those annoying annoyances that you can’t even really be annoyed about. As babbitman put it, it’s “someone having a slightly worse time of things that slightly inconveniences you”.

I now await the call – hopefully on Monday – to reschedule. Obviously I’m hoping that it’s not too long a wait. Thank you to everyone for your lovely messages. I will re-read them once the op has actually taken place <3

As a little postscript, I had gone into the hospital without wallet, keys or phone, anticipating being collected by my wife post-surgery, and not wanting to risk losing my valuables. She was spending the afternoon taking our eldest to a climbing centre with his Beavers group…

The hospital let me call my wife on her mobile after giving me the news, but the only information I managed to get from that short, crackly call was the name of the venue, and that it was “somewhere near the Victoria Centre” (a large shopping centre).

I had a bus-pass, £2 in change, and no real clue where to go…

I set off, determined to be as resourceful as Jack Bauer, and find this venue within the hour (before they finished and moved on – no phone, remember). I even had the “24 beeps” in my head. I used my bus pass to get me near the Vic Centre, and hotfooted it across town (for two reasons – 1 – the clock was ticking, and 2- I was wearing “loose fitting hospital wear”, and looked like a hobo. I didn’t want to bump into anyone I knew!)

So anyway, I thought I’d be clever and ask at the information desk at the Vic Centre… they’d never heard of it. Nor had the cleaner. Nor had some random guy walking by with his kid. Dammit! So I turned to a basic GCSE-level knowledge of Central Business Districts, and thought about the areas of the city centre most likely to house a climbing centre… then basically wandered around a bit until I found it!

How on earth did we survive before we had mobile phones, complete with maps of everything and everywhere in the world? Did we just wander around like this all the time, muttering dammit under our breaths??


This was just like me, apart from the gun. Guns kill people

Powering down…

As well as it being my weekly “offline Saturday”, this week I will be shutting down in a more literal, medical sense. As this is posted, I will be under general anaesthetic for an operation to hopefully cure the issues that have kept me off work for three of the past six months. Post-op recovery is likely to be painful, for at least a few days, possibly weeks.

As a consequence, I may be around less in the coming week… it is also possible that I’ll go the opposite way, and plug myself into the matrix completely, as other options will be limited.

On the bright side, there’s only a one-in-50,000 chance that I’ll actually die, as my doctor cheerfully informed me.

Never tell me the odds!

I’m sure, with trademark Lane optimism, that it’ll all be alright.

I’ll just park this here in the meantime…


The Soundtrack of My Life (TGBOL)

This week’s prompt for The Great Book of Lists is “the soundtrack to our lives”. To explain:

“We’re going to write about the music themes and songs that are engraved in our dearest memories that can evoke a memory faster than anything else, or make you feel good and giddy. What music is so intertwined with your life and personality that you can play it in your head without actually hearing it ? What musical pieces remind you of a particular time in your life like it was yesterday ?”

So many great songs with fond memories to choose from, but this is THE soundtrack to my life, in roughly chronological order…

Childhood –

Adam Ant – Stand & Deliver –

The first music that I remember ever getting into was Adam & The Ants. I’m stupidly excited by the thought of seeing him play at the Isle of Wight Festival this summer.

Honourable mention here for the Bouncing Song from Not The Nine O’Clock News (“I like bouncing, boing boing boing, Up and down until I get a pain in my groin”). I had an album – on VINYL – of their best sketches… and look at what I’m writing now. It’s all there…

Uni Days –

Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love –

I co-hosted a student council party at the end of my second year… the opening riff was played every time I took to the stage, looking rake-ish with painted-on sideburns, the jester king in court. Or something like that… great night, great memories.

Honourable mentions for Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bad Medicine, or Roxanne – any of these jukebox staples take me back to the dingy, red-linoleum-floored college bar, spending hours avoiding writing that essay that was due in the next day, and endlessly trying and failing to “beat” the quiz machine. (The quiz machine, incidentally, at which me and my future wife first got talking. She was much better at it than me!)

Love –

Rolling Stones – Wild Horses –

Our choice of song for our first dance at our wedding. This may have been slightly Buffy-inspired on my wife’s part…

Honourable mentions to Spandau Ballet’s Gold, or Flight of the Conchords’ I’m Not Crying: my wife’s two favourite songs!

Friendship –

Blur – Country House –

This is a song that takes me straight back to the second greatest party of my life… a best friend’s wedding. A ridiculously good night.

Honourable mention here for Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby, and one of my best friends taking this with him everywhere he goes in the world… no karaoke bar, or living room, is safe! Also, Gin and Juice as covered by Hayseed Dixie. 

Personal challenge –

Rocky theme –

I ran a half marathon a few years ago. (I’m a big lad… I don’t know what I was thinking.) I went really overboard on the playlist to get me round the course, and it was predictably, fittingly, inevitably the Rocky theme that got me through the toughest part of the race.

My boys –

Blur – Tender –

This was my “go-to” song to soothe both boys when they were little babies; a perfect nursery rhyme for those parents who are sick of actual nursery rhymes! I’ve included the link to the live version they performed at Glastonbury in 2009, which adds another layer to my love for this… I was there in the crowd with my friends singing it back to them. A magical moment.

Honourable mentions:
Muppets – Ma Na Ma Na. You know the one. More addictive than crack, and stickier than superglue. 
Pharrell – Happy (aka “Minions song!”). Even stickier than Ma Na Ma Na!
These are both big favourites in the Lane house… I have shortcuts to these on my phone to wheel out when needed!

And because this is me, this is also the soundtrack to my death… these are the songs I’d like played at my funeral.

Nick Cave – Death Is Not The End – (Listening to this again now, I realise how similar this is to Tender…)

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Freebird (the full ten-minute version, as my coffin is cremated… the silly side of me likes the thought of the audience looking at their watches, tapping their feet in boredom, wondering how much longer they have to stand there for!) –

Johnny Cash – The Man Comes Around –


What are the songs that form the soundtrack to your lives? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Ten Tired Parents

TEN tired parents
Nursing evening wine
One moved onto vodka
And that left…

NINE tired parents
Gossiping at the gate
One stepped into the road
And that left…

EIGHT tired parents
Talking about heaven
One couldn’t wait
And that left…

SEVEN tired parents
With DIY to fix
One got electrocuted
And that left…

SIX tired parents
Washing up the knives
One slipped and cut themself
And that left…

FIVE tired parents
Wanting something more
One had a midlife crisis
And that left…

FOUR tired parents
As tired as can be
One passed out in Tesco
And that left…

THREE tired parents
Too sleep-deprived to chew
One choked on a biscuit
And that left…

TWO tired parents
Nagging, no longer fun,
One realised they’d become their parents
And that left…

ONE tired parent
Sitting all alone
They’d left baby in the trolley
When they’d driven home!

TEN tired parents
Back together again
Wondering what would happen
If they didn’t have their friends!


“It’s tiring work wearing your parents out…”

Picture credit:

Haiku – Basketball

This is what happens when I read Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover… I try and write haiku/ three line poems on basketball!


The pressure’s intense.
One point down. Clock ticking hard.

The shot’s out of reach…

A feint, spring forward
Dribbling close, taking off…

But the attempt’s flawed.

Hang my head in shame.
Dreams of major leagues shattered.

McDonalds beckons.



Picture credit:

Written for:

Haiku – Spider

Spider spins his web
Deceit piles upon deceit
Until elected.

Then, post-election
Buoyed by success and power
The real lies begin.


I have a strong feeling that one of my followers in particular will like this one… this one’s for you, Denis!

Written for –


Picture credit: