Daughters cast a spell over their dads | BBC Radio Solent's Alun Newman

This is about the power of daughters.

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 10:17 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 10:17 am
Alun has been 'hypnotised' into incubating eggs in the hope of rearing ducklings PICTURE: WILL CADDY (092063-10)

I don’t know how it happens but for some dads, their daughters drop them into the greatest of hypnotic trances and they become incapable of anything other than adoration.

Sure, there are the moments of frustration, shouting and ‘whatever!’ but when the conditions are right, it becomes impossible to say no.

Even through this lockdown process, when shops were in scant supply, a walk around with my daughter in a supermarket and she'd drop a few things in the trolley.

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These items she would buy with ‘her money’ which in my daughter’s case she has plenty of.

Because she’s part of a large family, birthdays and Christmas provide a pretty good income stream.

Add to that a hypnotised dad and it’s even better.

As we wander around and the items continue to fall into the trolley, I can hear my wife’s voice in my head advising me on several points.

She has her own cash.

It’s good for her to take responsibility for what she spends.

Don’t get wrapped around her little finger.

All this I know, but it doesn’t seem to matter.

When we get to the till and she loads the items on to the conveyor belt before mine, without any ability to stop myself, I say ‘I’ll get those’.

There’s a small process that makes it worse.

I end up saying ‘let me get those for you, I'd like to’.

It’s the mind magic of a daughter.

Afterwards, there’s a ‘thank-you’ and some kind words which cements the next level of hypnosis.

I counter this by advising that we could keep this purchase between us.

She never does and I never seem to care.

I may be fully conditioned to be a sucker dad, and also quite at peace with, that but one thing I cannot be moved on is the introduction of any more animals.

Avid readers will be aware that I banned any more animals and then agreed to my daughter’s latest idea of two hamsters.

Tick and Tock have pushed the whole family to the edge with their late-night antics.

This includes overuse of a wheel. Climbing bars and tubes. Also the mindless throwing of cereal-based foods.

They currently have to be moved downstairs at night because of the partying. That was it. Absolutely no more animals. That is a cast-iron guarantee. A promise.

This week, the news has been ablaze with the story of the lady who hatched three ducklings after buying a box of duck eggs at the supermarket.

Apparently, it is quite possible. I thought they were all unfertilised but clearly my embryology knowledge was below par. I thought I was an eggs-pert (sorry).

My daughter was on this like Gaffer tape. ‘Would it be okay if I gave this a go? We know a friendly farmer who’d be happy to take them? It would be educational? I’ll buy an incubator? It’s something different to do in lockdown?’

Of course not! It’s not appropriate. It’s a ridiculous idea. I doubt it’s even possible? No. It’s the last thing we need after lockdown!

Frankly, you must think me a mug if you think I’m caving in again as I did with the hamsters.

The incubator’s on its way. I paid. I’ll keep you posted.

Don’t let my wife know just yet, this may take a bit of time.

Life hacks from my pensioner dad

At last. All the planets had aligned. Mercury reached the eastern elongation of 23.6 degrees from the sun.

The Moon is in eclipse, Venus and Sagittarius were getting on fine. These astrological events and a host of others meant that… I managed to get my first online delivery slot!!! (play party music and hand round tiny sausages on sticks).

At first, we wanted to let those less fortunate have the best chance of getting one. We’re 85 days in. A couple a month shouldn’t hurt. Into the virtual basket pours the same food items we buy most weeks.

The occasional hurling of a chorizo to spice things up a bit.

I moan about diminishing supplies of Marmite and then ‘boom’. I hit 85 items.

Now, it’s one item in, one item out, as there’s a limit! This is a great way to cut down on food waste!

Then, by chance, my dad phones. As a pro-pensioner, he’s already negotiated this little beauty.

‘Here’s the tip, son. One banana is one item, a bag of bananas is one item. One bottle of wine is one item, a case of six is one item. You’ve got to buy more to have less (should be fewer)’.

He’d cracked. It’s a complete cinch.

Pensioners are 85 days ahead and they’re now coming up with the life hacks. How things have changed.

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