The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - NEWS - Fiona Looney re­turns next week

My one prob­lem dur­ing the Olympic Games was park­ing in Lon­don. So I thought, why not stick the car in a long-term car park and cy­cle? Hav­ing toyed with the idea of get­ting back on a bike for a while, I think those pic­tures of Bradley Wig­gins and his lit­tle boy in Paris may have pushed me over the edge.

Cue a visit to the ex­tremely groovy bike shop by the name of Veloru­tion (a neat ana­gram of rev­o­lu­tion, as you’ll have spot­ted; they also do an equally catchy-ti­tled line of head­gear called Nut­cases). But on the day in ques­tion, I was tak­ing Noah to the Ser­pen­tine for a go on the ped­a­los. And that’s why I didn’t buy a bike. Two ped­alling ex­pe­ri­ences in one day for this age­ing and in­creas­ingly de­crepit DJ may well have put a pre­ma­ture end to our lad-and- dad days for good. I will, though. I feel a re­turn to the bike-buy­ing is­sue in the very near fu­ture.

The prob­lem is, I’ve no idea whether to go retro, nou­veau or Wiggo. Bikes are so much cooler nowa­days than when I was a kid. There’s so much choice. Even the fold­aways are things of beauty to be­hold. And the other big ques­tion is: do I tow my child be­hind me with one of those pre­car­i­ous-look­ing ar­tic­u­lated trail­ers, or do I put him in first class in a padded seat be­hind me? The thought of not be­ing able to see him un­til I reach my des­ti­na­tion fills me with dread. What do other ped­alling par­ents do? Just cross them­selves, cy­cle off — then play Kid Or No Kid when they get to wher­ever they’re go­ing?

My bath­room scales

don’t work. They never have. They give out a dif­fer­ent read­ing de­pend­ing on where you put

Cy­cling con­vert Chris Evans – who’s step­ping into Fiona Looney’s shoes this week – is restyling him­self as a dash­ing dad about town...

them on the floor. Some­times by as much as 11 stone. This is not ideal. They are a su­per-posh dig­i­tal set, the mak­ers of which must surely be aware of their in­her­ent dis­crep­an­cies and how gen­er­ally rub­bish they are. Why don’t I in­vest in a new set that might give me an ac­cu­rate in­di­ca­tion of how de­pressed I need to be?

There’s a new game tak­ing place in our house at the mo­ment. It’s called ‘Try­ing not to eat any­thing be­tween five and seven’. But only if you’re an adult, and only if you’re me. Con­sid­er­ing I’m only play­ing against my­self, it’s prov­ing in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to win. The kids’ night-time rou­tine com­mences at five when Tash makes Noah’s food, which is a minia­ture ver­sion of what we’re hav­ing. The aroma causes des­per­ate hunger pangs to kick in, which I must re­sist. Snack­ing would ruin my ap­petite for din­ner, one of the things I most look for­ward to in my life. Not only that, but it would be dis­re­spect­ful to Tash, con­sid­er­ing the amount of ef­fort she puts into pre­par­ing our evening de­lights. The temp­ta­tion is not so bad for her, as she eats in the day, whereas I don’t. It also helps that she’s not as much of a gan­net as her rather larger-bel­lied hus­band. To be hon­est, it’s al­most en­tirely the bat­ter. Sorry, I meant lat­ter.

It was claimed

re­cently that you only need five friends in the world — one to turn to for fi­nan­cial ad­vice, one for prac­ti­cal ad­vice, one to tell your prob­lems to, one to get a hug from, and one in the work­place. Well, may I ten­der that a sixth is re­quired: one who holds lu­di­crously ec­cen­tric and over­stated opin­ions.

I have such a mate, who was over last week for Sun­day lunch. He’d re­cently em­ployed a builder to erect a new struc­ture in his gar­den.

‘I don’t trust him,’ he said. An ex­pec­tant hush fell. Why didn’t he trust his builder? ‘Be­cause he drives a Mercedes es­tate,’ he de­clared. ‘And I be­lieve all builders should only ever drive Tran­sit vans. The more beaten up, the bet­ter.’

A pal of mine

has been asked to be the maid of hon­our at her best friend’s wed­ding. And not with­out its re­wards, it would seem. The bride sprung a sur­prise thank-you gift on her: a week’s cruise for her and her hus­band. With the newly mar­ried cou­ple. On their hon­ey­moon. ‘What do you reckon?’ she asked me glee­fully. ‘A week’s cruise around the Greek Is­lands.’

‘I’m sure it will be heav­enly,’ I said. ‘But on their hon­ey­moon? Isn’t that a bit strange?’

‘Oh no, not at all. We’re not the only ones that have been in­vited. There are three other cou­ples com­ing along as well…’

I spat my drink out. But on re­flec­tion, what the heck? All aboard the Love Boat, ev­ery­one. Just mind not to get your room keys mixed up.

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