Man in the Middle Chapter 61 – Moonpig, Mother and me

Man in the Middle Chapter 60 – A Right Royal Valentine

This is the diary of a middle aged man. A man who walks the tightrope between the demands of his Mother, wife and kids when all he wants is more ‘me time’. Post Crash, Post Covid, Post Libido, Past Caring. Ecce homo. Ecce Boomer. Ecce Man in the Middle. If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.60: A Right Royal Valentine ‘Megan and Harry have been at it again.’ ‘What?’ ‘She’s having a baby. It’s all over the papers.’ I pass my laptop to my wife, who’s sitting next to me in bed, wearing a knitted beany, the colour of a pale raspberry. (It’s

Man in the Middle – Chapter 59: Hurrah for my free bus pass!

This is the diary of a middle aged man. A man who walks the tightrope between the demands of his Mother, wife and kids when all he wants is more ‘me time’. Post Crash, Post Covid, Post Libido, Past Caring. Ecce homo. Ecce Boomer. Ecce Man in the Middle. If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.59: Hurrah for my free bus pass January has retched up another miserable milestone. Today is my sixtieth birthday. Oh, Boomer, did it come to this? Once I had hopes as frisky as Labrador puppies and a lime green sports car so sickeningly ostentatious that bystanders flicked V

Man in the Middle – Chapter 58: Mother has gone into a nursing home

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.58: Mother has gone into a nursing home Mother is in a nursing home with a broken pelvis and vascular dementia. Her last fall has taken a big toll on h

Man in the Middle – Chapter 57: The runway to Me Time gets blocked

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.57: The runway to Me Time gets blocked I unlock the door and breath a huge sigh of relief. Thought for the Day hasn’t even finished and all my tasks

Man in the Middle – Chapter 56: Mixed emotions about the day ahead

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.57: Mixed emotions about the day ahead I often wake up with mixed emotions about the day ahead. I’m not sure why. I used to be bubbly at breakfast an

Man in the Middle – Chapter 55: In the sweat of your brow shall you eat

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.56: In the sweat of your brow shall you eat My wife gets anxious at the weekends. It’s not just because she has to spend more time with me. It’s be

Man in the Middle – Chapter 54: Sipping roast parsnip soup

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.54: Sipping roast parsnip soup Mother is slowly sipping roast parsnip soup under the watchful eye of her carer. She eats her lunch purposefully, leanin

Man in the Middle – Chapter 53: Midlife crisis

Man in the Middle – Chapter 52: My diet got stuck in the buffet car

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.52: My diet got stuck in the buffet car I am standing naked on the bathroom scales with my eyes shut tight and my head bowed like a criminal in court,

Man in the Middle – Chapter 51: My teacup overfloweth

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.51: My teacup overfloweth My teacup overfloweth with joy. Both my kids start work today. I am happy for them because this is a landmark on their jou

Man in the Middle – Chapter 50: An appointment with the Memory Clinic

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.50: An appointment with the Memory Clinic Mother is back home after ten days in the hospital and is the centre of a lot of attention. Not just from us.

Man in the Middle – Chapter 47: The salt cellar

Man in the Middle – Chapter 46: Walking boots and sweaty socks

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.46: Walking boots and sweaty socks I take off my walking boots and sweaty socks in the porch of the cottage and hobble bare foot to the kitchen mantel

Man in the Middle – Chapter 45: Mother and Jean Paul Sartre

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.45: Mother and Jean Paul Sartre Breakfast. Mother licks her index finger and pats it onto the crumbs of pain au chocolate on her plate, while casually

Man in the Middle – Chapter 44: Will the pubs be open in the Brecon Beacons?

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.44: Will the pubs be open in the Brecon Beacons? I am co-chairing with my wife a family meeting to discuss the battle plans for the week-long holiday w

Man in the Middle – Chapter 43: Mirror in the Bathroom

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.43: Mirror in the Bathroom The balding man in the bathroom mirror has a double chin and jowls which droop like the sails of a yacht on a windless sea.

Man in the Middle – Chapter 42: Cannabis Gravy

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.42: Cannabis Gravy In America you can buy Thanksgiving gravy infused with cannabis which my daughter cites as one example of how good gravy can enhance

Man in the Middle – Chapter 41: The Death of Patriarchy

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No 41: The Death of Patriarchy Father’s Day. 07.30am. I sneak downstairs hoping to catch the family by surprise as they lay out a smorgasbord of gifts f

Man in the Middle – Chapter 40: Would you ever eat your cat?

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No 40: Would you ever eat your cat? My son and I are debating if we’d ever eat the cat. ‘Only as a last resort,’ I say. ‘Like a zombie apoca

Man in the Middle – Chapter 39: A cure for baldness

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No 39: A cure for baldness Scientists have successfully grown patches of human hair on mice. The Times says this is a big step towards curing baldness and

Man in the Middle – Chapter 38: The best iron money can buy

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here Image above: Cartoon by Robert Thomson No. 38: The best iron money can buy I look at Mother ironing her way through another basket of laund

Man in the Middle – Chapter 37: Cummings and goings

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.37: Cummings and goings Monday. My new yoga regime continues. I’m in Child Pose. My forehead and nose are nestling in the sitting room carpet and my a

Man in the Middle – Chapter 36: For whom the bell tolls

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.36: For whom the bell tolls It’s twenty minutes since I slouched past Mother’s bedroom door, yoga mat under my arm, and I can still hear her talking

Man in the Middle – Chapter 35: Nachos

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.35: Nachos Mother is prodding a bowl of Nachos gently, so she doesn’t disturb anything like the first Police Officer at a murder scene. ‘What is

Man in the Middle – Chapter 34: The lure of yoga

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.34: The lure of yoga I’m woken by a South African woman urging me to ‘keep going’ and the sound of panting in my right ear. Her voice is

Man in the Middle – Chapter 33: Hilary Mantel & the dead body

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.33: Hilary Mantel & the dead body My wife wants me to bring down the dead body when I get out of the shower. ‘Sure thing,’ I reply. She’

Man in the Middle – Chapter 32: Howard Hughes Stays Over

A middle aged man realises his elderly mother can no longer cope alone, so she moves in with them. Squeezed by the demands of the demographic time bomb and the requirements of the rest of the family, the Man in the Middle is bemused that life has become a hi-wire act, just when he thought it should start getting easier. How can he keep everyone happy and survive with his sanity intact? If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read No. 1: The Letter here No.32: Howard Hughes Stays Over If Howard Hughes were still alive, he’d want to spend lock down in our oxygen tent. Hughes, the billionaire businessma