If at first you don’t succeed, drive to Newtownards

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As fathers around the world made the most of their special day on Sunday, it’s a pity no-one told my 18-month-old daughter the rules of Father’s Day.

There’s no denying Lucy gave me a day I will never forget, but not for the right reasons.

Things started off very well when Lucy presented me with a card and set of cufflinks from her and Ben. The cufflinks were in the shape of Scrabble pieces and bore the letters L and B.

Sadly L and B turned to A and E within a few hours when a rash that Lucy had developed on her tummy and back prompted a call to the emergency doctor. We got an appointment later that afternoon at a time which coincided with Lucy having a blue fit.

Our daughter flung herself around the waiting room in a tearful rage for 40 minutes, then as soon as she was called in to see the doctor the meltdown stopped and you think butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.

The doctor’s opinion was that she’d had a reaction to something, but he didn’t think it was anything more serious. He advised us to keep an eye on her and it should go away soon.

After the doctor’s Lucy was a bit unsettled, but it was nothing compared to the total pandemonium that broke out when we tried to put her to bed for the night. Karen and I took it in turns to try and calm her as Lucy made her bid for a role in the next remake of the Exorcist film.

Whether it was directly linked to the rash remains to be seen, but one thing was for sure - Lucy was not for sleeping.

Her anti-sleep protest was not a dignified one. At one point I tried to make the idea of sleep appealing by lying down myself, faking a few yawns and pretending to go to sleep on the bedroom floor. I kept my eyes closed in the hope that when I opened them again, Lucy would have curled up beside me. I counted to 10.

1... 2... 3... 4... ouch, ouch, ouch. I was being pelted with little wooden men from Lucy’s London Bus playset.

And that’s when we decided to drive to Newtownards. Thankfully, the car journey broke down her resistance and she ended up in the Land of Nod, just beyond the old Comber Road.

But rather than turn back we decided to press on for Ards and pick up an amazingly delicious 14-inch pizza for our troubles.

The following morning it was as if someone had pressed the reset button. Lucy’s rash was gone and as far as she was concerned the antics of the night before hadn’t happened.

And best of all, as I reflected on the calm after the storm, I’d a slice of cold pizza awaiting me for breakfast.

Hundred club

In the past three weeks I’ve interviewed three women celebrating their 100th birthday. Typical, isn’t it? You wait years to interview a centenarian and three come along at once.

It was a privilege to meet Mrs Anderson, Mrs Laverty and Mrs Ringland and hear their life stories.

I was told by a friend of one of the ladies that 100th birthday cards have been like hen’s teeth to find in local stockists.

It’s no wonder given that the three birthdays have come so close together.

I’ve decided if one of my clan ever reach 100 and I can’t lay my hands on a card befitting of the occasion then they’ll have to make do with two 50th cards or a 60 and a 40.