Summer Risks: Drowning

"Drowning doesn't look like drowning" and statistics that show more than 50% of children drown within 25 yards of a parent or guardian are very sobering statistics. So it is time to put some risk prevention in place - pull up a cup of coffee and read the attached article (investment: only 3 minutes).

I can illustrate this with a story from a friend. Five adults were by the pool where eight children were playing - only problem is that the adults were busy chatting. My friend's son was about six years old at the time and a competent swimmer, but he hit his head on the edge of the pool as he dived in, and although he wasn't knocked out he was shocked, and underwater. He took a big gulp of water and started to drown. The adults looked around to see him floating face down in the water. They scooped him, out tipped the water out, and performed the kiss of life while an ambulance was called - he started to breath and before he had completed the trip to hospital was asking for food.

Share the story with your kids as a reminder to keep an eye out for each other as well.

A Kiwi Weekend

The neighbourhood was a chorus of busy anticipation. Lawns were mowed. Errands run. Chores were done. Supplies were purchased. Small boys ran about thr street talking of their favourite players. A tremendous unity of purpose could be seen everywhere. Cars decked in flags, girls wearing "Keep Calm, Piris On" t-shirts, and a replay of the Wales vs Australia game all helped to build up the mood. Every commentary has been careful to note both the probability attaching to the favourites and the possibility of the underdogs - which has been demonstrated in this competition and others.

I'm quite wound up about it all. We'll watch the game as a family, it won't even be possible to put our five-year-old to bed.

Go the All Blacks!


Out mountain biking I have managed to plant my head on the ground followed rapidly by the rest of me and the bike. I prised my glasses out of a fresh new groove across the bridge of my nose and the kids stood around giving me status updates while the stars cleared from my eyes:

"Dad, there's blood coming from your nose" says Jacob

"...and a cut by your eye" added Sophia

"...and on your cheek" chips in Jacob again

"Now bloods coming from the top of your nose" (both, excitedly)

Thanks for that. 

No, I won't post a photo.

On the upside, the bike was fine.


Running is not really my thing, for a real fanatic you'll have to talk to someone like my colleague Tim Arrowsmith, or even Suncorp's Sean Carroll. They are real runners. However, sometimes I can only adequately work out the frustrations of the day on the road, running.

This warning is only given in self defence, so that when you click on the link below (if you can be arsed) you will dissolve into fits of laughter seeing that I named the run "Big". It's only a big run to me... however, I do suggest you click, because you can examine the powers of a cool site called Link.

Top Holiday Picks

I asked the kids to rank the top holiday experiences. This is a rough compilation of their thoughts:

1. Snowplanet
2. Auckland Luge
3. Friends parties
4. Mini-golf (yes, I couldn't believe it either)
5. Star-Trek (discovering mum and dad's videos)
6. Monopoly (but only when properly referreed)

Monopoly is always a pain when fought to the bitter end. My trick while introducing the game was to boost liquidity by having a bank player that strolls around landing on things paying rent from bank funds, which provides and artificial 'loser' to help the other players acquire the funds necessary to quickly build properties and generally speed up the game.

Of course, eventually someone lands on Mayfair and gets bankrupted. But with players aged 7, and 5, in the game at least they've had a good time along the way and are less likely to throw the board at you.