Most parents would probably look back at their lives since their children entered into them and observe how quickly they've grown up and how fast the time is gone. I am just like most parents. This has been another big year for Oliver. He's grown immensely in the past 12 months, physically, emotionally and intellectually. Watching him at the school sports' day was an indication of how much he'd grown. Last year he was still finding his feet, this year he contributed a significant number of points to his house's ultimate score on that day. We have the swimming day coming up soon and I expect his contribution will also be significant.
I don't know how and why children are able to manage audio visual devices so much better than their parents. Oliver can drive a play station better than anyone in the house – and he doesn't need a remote!!! The introduction of Netflix in our house (at the expense of DSTV which I think is a rip-off anyway, but it does mean I have to go and leach at friends when a game is on) brings new un-watchable TV shows, all of which Oliver is an expert on. Who on earth would have dreamed up such a gross show like Slugterra? And did those people know that Oliver would be the residential (not household, RESIDENTIAL) expert who willingly involves us in competitive discussions about what our favourite slug is. Something like – do you prefer Ramstone or Frostcrawler? Or – if Grenuke or Lavalink both had black belts who would eat their dinner faster? We had this last year with Star Wars, which seems to have fallen a bit out of favour and could be regarded as blaine.
The term "blaine" needs some explaining. Last year he told us that something was completely blaine. Kath and I fell over, he was developing his own slang! He has since distanced himself from the term, claiming that it was in fact LAME. We prefer blaine.
And now there is soccer.
His ambition is to be a goalie. In order to be a goalie you have to play soccer. And play soccer he does, with great vigour and enthusiasm, to the extent that he has been known to decline going to a party because it clashes with soccer practice. We all delight in watching him play.
Another year Oliver and what a fantastic child you are. We love your imagination, your ability to entertain yourself for hours on your trampoline, for loving your home and your family. We love your love for your friends and school and your passionate nature. I don't love your interest in Dirt Karringmelk's "Loslappie". But this is what happens to poor parents like me – my children will enjoy music that I will not be able to tolerate. We love how sensitive you are, how you're willing to listen to Loslappie at warp volume to drown out the thunder and lightning. I love it when you sing the bridge of Peter Green's "Oh well", and I love riding with you on Sunday mornings and watching you talking to your body as you force it and your incredibly heavy bicycle up a hill.
Happy 7th year. Thank you for the last 6. Thank you for listening to a scratchy version of Enid Blyton's Famous Five on our record player. And thank you for being you and most importantly thank you for being ours.
Here we again. I was not aware that Denny Laine's birthday was on the 29th of October as well. I'll post an extra song this year because Denny Laine is not blaine. There is a lot of solo Denny Laine stuff that isn't on iTunes and it should be, he was overshadowed by Paul McCartney but when let loose on his solo albums he produced some very good stuff.
Peter Green – still my favourite. "Need your love so bad" was a cover. First done by Little Willie John, Green apparently heard the BB King version and then covered it. This is a long track but listen to how chatty he is between takes. That's definitely him and his legendary Les Paul playing in the middle position (that's one for the guitarists).
And finally Ollie Halsall. There's a very vibrant Facebook page dedicated to Ollie for those who would like to know more about this incredible musician. Here's General Custer off the Monkey's Bum album – it's a biographical tale of when Patto went on tour with Joe Cocker (General Custer). Mike Patto could certainly write a hit when he wanted to – and this should have been a hit.