Who’s the Daddy?

A very strange thing happened over the Easter weekend. Our children went on a long walk in the countryside and didn’t moan much.

The boss’ dad had kindly let us have the use of his static caravan in North Wales so we piled down there and met up with the boss’ twin and her family.

On our second day we decided to hike to the top of something called Moel Famau (pronounced Mo Varra, apparently) and with a peak of 1,818ft we were expecting the same level of resistance from our daughters as you’d get trying to drive a car with the handbrake on – with a similar amount of squealing.

To be fair, it was a slog to the top. The last stretch was a killer but daughter #2 actually ran it, with a big smile on her face. And the view from the peak was stunning, even our children were impressed.

Mums and dads are the world’s biggest cheerleaders of fresh air, like it is some sort of cure-all for every malady in Black’s Medical Dictionary.

But it gave us some temporary respite from the niggles, put-downs and general meanness that characterises most, if not all, sibling relationships.

On our descent a magical thing happened. Daughters #1 and #2 paired off and chatted their way down to the car park in a display of sisterly solidarity that brought a tear to my eye. Or maybe it was the howling wind, it does get a wee bit fresh up there.

It might sound like a bit of a cliché but spending time with your family is what life is all about. Nothing else matters.

Midweek jaunts to Germany to watch The Strypes play in the shell-proof concrete walls of an indestructible Nazi bomb shelter in Hamburg are all well and good (and they were very good, by the way) but nothing beats a few days away with your wife and children.

Not even liberating a set list gaffer-taped to the Uebel & Gefahrlich stage, guitarist Josh McClorey’s bright orange plectrum and taking them, along with your ticket stub, down to a bemused picture framer in town so you can hang it on your wall while your wife pulls a disapproving face and tells you that you’re 44, not 14.