Who’s The Daddy?


Anybody who has ever sat an exam will have had THAT dream. The one where a big test is looming but you know nothing at all about the subject.

To be honest that pretty much summed up my time at school.

There were better things to do than homework, even in sleepy Cumbrian towns in the mid-1980s.

And when push came to shove at exam time revision wasn’t revision, it was learning it for the first time; reading the information transcribed from the teacher’s notes into my book which hadn’t passed through the brain of either of us. If spending five years in a bog standard comprehensive during a three-year teachers’ strike taught me one thing it’s this; if you grit your teeth and trust your luck you can go a lot further than you think.

Thankfully daughters #1 and #2 are more switched on, have more sense and do their homework before Songs Of Praise starts.

They get it done and out of the way so it isn’t looming over them like a giant black cloud.

When they started big school they got “The Talk”, just the once. It was explained it was their choice to dig in at school but it was much less grief to do the work and get it out of the way than to come up with excuses why it hadn’t been done and serve detentions for not doing it. Daughter #1 sits her GCSEs this summer.

Last time I looked it was 2004 and she was in tears every morning for her first two terms at primary school, being led by the hand by the reception teacher into class. She starts driving lessons this year.

She’s done more work for this summer’s exams than I ever did for O levels, A levels and a degree put together.

And it’s all without the constant nagging I got off my mum and dad when there were distractions such as the 1986 World Cup, young ladies and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

Daughter #1’s mock exams are looming but, no thanks to me, she’s pretty well prepared.

We had her final parents’ evening and after that everything else she does in her life is pretty much voluntary. She doesn’t know whether to be thrilled or terrified.