A summer with no work should be child's play

The clock is ticking down on the beginning of the summer holidays, a phenomenon which, hitherto, I have always managed to play a bit part role in thanks to the demands of the office.

But for the first time since Clearasil was my best pal, I am leaving the house each morning without a tie on and having not had a shave, which would be a doddle were it not for the fact that for the next six-and-a-half-weeks, I shall not only be Nappy Changer In-Chief but also the modern day Billy Butlin.

I can vividly remember my own summer holidays 30 years ago and being crushed by the fact Woolworths launched their ‘Back To School’ range before July was out.

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I also recall the semi-permanent pained look on my mother’s face as she laboured in vain to entertain two truculent young brothers on a tight budget.

Until now, my stint as Mr Mum has been reasonably successful insofar as the fact that we have yet to visit A&E, I have not left either of the children in David Cameron’s local nor have I felt a burning desire to scuttle back to the newsroom.

But now the serious work really begins.

Finding suitable entertainment for both a seven-year-old and a child whose party trick is lobbing dummies from his buggy is a tough ask but one I am looking forward to tackling.

I realise my enthusiastic approach to a month-and-a-half without school borders on the naive but my own personal 2016 has been in stark contrast to one many others are experiencing.

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For three weeks, living in these islands felt a bit like being trapped inside a sitcom which was stuck in fast forward, simply because the news came in quicker than it could be typed.

If, during that crazy period, somebody hadn’t resigned, plotted or been sacked within a morning, I felt a little short-changed.

But then came the horrors of Nice, not to mention the continuing murderous racial tension in America and, of course, the failed coup in Turkey.

It may be the gloomiest year in recent memory but the prospect of being a hands-on dad this summer trumps it all.