Richard Ord’s Blog

It all kicks off at kids footy game

Posted in Childcare, Humour by richardord on April 9, 2010

Off me head sonOur nine-year-old’s school skipping team came first in a competition the other day. No hoo-hah, everyone behaved politely. End of story.

It was pretty much the same for the Easter bonnet parade our six-year-old took part in. No hoo-hahs (plenty of oohs and aahs), but again no bother.

Football however is a markedly different story. Watching our Bradley, nine, on some occasions takes me back to the days of following professional football in my youth.

For a start we, the parents, are fenced in. We have to be some four feet from the touchline, often behind a tape fence and are discouraged from encroaching or shouting. But that doesn’t stop us.

A particularly heated encounter this season saw the referee walk off the pitch and present his whistle to one parent asking: “Do you want to referee the game?”

For a split second I thought he was going to take up the offer. A few moments after that, following a player’s substitution, another irate father berated the opposition’s manager.

He grabbed his son and drove off, only to appear a couple of minutes later (minus his son) to have a slanging match with the coach … while the game continued.

I wasn’t sure which was the more entertaining – the slanging match on the sidelines or the match itself.

The most noteworthy comment, bellowed across the pitch by the fuming parent was the one: “I don’t care what you do, but you don’t do it in front of the ****ing kids.”

A good point rather spoiled by the use of the expletive … in front of the kids.

** Let me know your kids footy stories. Just write them in the comment box below.

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God works his ticket in mysterious ways

Posted in Childcare, Humour by richardord on April 8, 2010

God: "Thou shalt eat your greens."

Our Isaac’s defiance of authority continues unabated.

He simply refuses to do anything unless it benefits him in some instantly gratifying way. In short, unless the request is chocolate-shaped it will be refused.

Easter, however, has brought with it a new found respect for authority in our six-year-old boy, though not that of either his mother or father.

After I asked him to finish his dinner, he instantly hit back with: “No, you’re not the one in charge.”

I checked to see if my wife had returned home, she hadn’t, and continued. “Yes I am.”

“No you’re not,” he replied. “God is.”

The Easter story had obviously hit home. Isaac will now, it seems, only be taking his instruction from the highest authority.

Does the bible have the line: Thou shalt eat thy greens? If not, I may have to add it in crayon.

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Monster mums hit the bottle big style

Posted in Comment, Humour by richardord on April 6, 2010

You should see the state of the nappies

Turns out the story about Sunderland Royal Hospital buying reinforced maternity beds for morbidly obese mums-to-be is not an April fool’s joke after all.

Instead of eating for two, it appears there are a number of Sunderland mothers eating for eight, or nine, or maybe ten.

One in four pregnant mums in the city are clinically obese with some 200 in the morbidly obese class – one mother reportedly tipped the scales at more than 20 stone. (see amusingly titled story Sunderland’s fat mum alert)

That particularly large mother would, however, have trouble tipping one of the theatre beds at the hospital – they are designed to hold patients as heavy as 47 stone.

We don’t know, as yet, if a 47 stone mother has rolled into the maternity ward, though the delivery of a new batch of baby bottles to the hospital, pictured here, suggests staff may be preparing for some monster mothers and babies over the coming months.

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Hey kids, looks like your dad’s been snorting Prozac

Posted in Childcare, Humour by richardord on April 6, 2010

Anything interesting happen at work today dad?

In a bid to give our children a positive outlook on working life, at the tea-table every day I am obliged to regale our two boys with tales of my day at work.

Given our boys are aged nine and six, it means I have to put the stories that appear in the paper though an internal horror filter.

I am under strict instructions from my wife to keep my stories upbeat and interesting.

The tales of doom, gloom, murder and mayhem are ditched in favour of the more offbeat and wacky that adorn the pages of this illustrious publication.

I get her point though. The sight of a bedraggled world-weary figure stumbling through the doors every day railing against the world before scrabbling for the wine bottle was not a good advert for the great world of work – and that’s just the paper boy.

So it has come to pass that, no matter how poor a day I’ve had at work, I must bounce through the doors with a big smile and a cry of “hey kids, you’ll never guess what amazing story we covered in the paper today.”

I’m beginning to feel like Graham Norton on Prozac.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of offbeat stories to be harvested from the Echo and repeated to our kids. Such wacky tales as: The man trying to break the world record for wearing underpants; protesters picketing chip shops selling frogs legs; and our April Fools Day joke about Sunderland Royal Hospital buying reinforced beds and chairs for super-fat mothers (that was a joke, right?).

To the casual observer I now appear like a man with a drug problem working for an adult version of the Beano.

I’m not sure if it projects a positive image of the world of work, but the boys seem to love it.

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Durham City planning eggheads have it cracked

Posted in Comment, Humour by richardord on March 31, 2010

I can’t help questioning plans in Durham City to make its public transport system more efficient.

In the Sunderland Echo this week a raft of improvements to the road system as part of £5million project called Transit 15 were revealed.

These improvements were big and numerous. They included new traffic lights on the A177, the widening of of crossroads at Stockton Road, the expansion of a pedestrian island and the moving of kerbs in the area.

The killer line of this story appears at the end.

It said: “It is thought the work will cut journey times at peak times from city centre-bound buses by more then 100 seconds.”

Wow, a whole 100 seconds. That’s getting onto two minutes!

With those sort of efficiencies, the commuters of Durham will now be able to almost boil an egg in the time saved on journeys. Something that before this £5million project was just the stuff of a madman’s dream.

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Bangladeshi youngsters barely able to contain their delight at new jumpers

Posted in 1, Humour by richardord on March 26, 2010


Unbridled joy: The children of Boroudha sporting their fetching jumpers

My hero of the week is star knitter Doris Godfrey who has bashing out jumpers for needy children for the last two years.

Doris, 89, of Chester-le-Street, has rattled off 300 jumpers for children in Boroudha, a little village in Bangladesh and home of the Wear Surma Clinic established by Sunderland health visitor Carole Elliott.

Doris (right), Carole (left) and jumper (centre)

“I get a lot of enjoyment out of knitting these jumpers as I know they are going to a good cause and will help keep the children of Boroudha nice and warm,” says Doris.

Good for you Doris. While the cynics amongst you may question why children in a country where the average temperature is in the high 80s Fahrenheit would need woolly jumpers, I say good on you Doris.

“It’s a delight to see the smiles on their little faces,” she added.

And the delight on their faces is clear for all to see in the photograph of the youngsters in their fetching jerkins that accompanied the story in the Sunderland Echo this week.

Well done Doris, and we wish her well in her next venture in aid of the Inuit children eking out an existence on the fringes of the Arctic tundra. She’s making them Bermuda shorts.

* To donate cash to the great work being done at the Wear Surma Clinic log onto their website at

A dressing gown dressing down

Posted in 1 by richardord on March 22, 2010

Our nine-year-old is away for five days on a school trip. My wife is in bits.

With no phone calls allowed, she is pining for the little fella.

I caught her gently sobbing in the kitchen one night and gave her a cuddle. It was then that I noticed she was wearing a new dressing gown.

On closer inspection, I asked: “Are you wearing Bradley’s dressing gown?”

“Yes,” she blubbed. It was a touching moment. It is the first time in the nine years of his life that she hasn’t been able to speak with him, let alone hold him close.

His dressing gown was the nearest she could get.

What, I wondered, would she wear if I went away for a week?

“My disco pants and a party hat, of course.”

These special moments are few and far between.

Meow Meow drug produces legal high … pitched voice!

Posted in Comment by richardord on March 19, 2010

Cake, it's a made up drug

 In the spoof TV show Brass Eye back in the 1990s a mock broadcast warned of a deadly new drug on the market called Cake. 

 The supposed effects of the fictitious drug were so far-fetched as to clearly be a prank, yet Brass Eye had desperate celebrities clamouring to appear on the show to denounce this new menace. 

 We had Bernard Manning reporting how one Cake user had coughed up their own pelvic bone while another had cried all the water out of their body. 

Noel Edmonds also gravely informed viewers that the drug affected the part of the brain known as Shatner’s Bassoon and revealed how, to the user, Cake made one second appear to last for hours. 

 But for the all-too-real death of two young men after taking mephedrone, you could be forgiven for thinking the emergence of this new so-called legal drug in our community was from the Brass Eye stable. 

 The drug is known as Meow Meow and, as we revealed in the Echo this week, results in users losing their memory, suffering depression, bouts of paranoia and, on one memorable occasion, a user ripping off  his own scrotum. 

 The call, quite rightly, has gone up to ban this drug … though the real question, given the reported effects, is why anyone would stuff it up their nose in the first place. 

 A brief high followed by paranoia, depression and the occasional removal of your balls? Sounds to me like they’ve managed to replicate marriage in powder form.

Thongs can only get better for flip flop Street Angels

Posted in Comment by richardord on March 19, 2010

 As I stumble out of our next works Christmas party I will no doubt be grateful for a reassuring arm, space blanket and comfy flip flops, courtesy of the city’s Street Angels.

(I suspect, however, that the look may take some explaining to my wife.)

How the rest of Sunderland’s weekend rabble will take to the army of street pastors poised to administer their unique brand of Christian goodwill only time will tell.

The Echo has revealed this week how self-styled Street Pastors will walk the streets in the dead of night to mop up blood, patch up injured revellers, give water to drunks and even dish out flip flops to women with sore feet.

These Christian doers of good are to get three months training before hitting the streets. That’s some training.

I have visions of them operating like Formula One pit crews. A blonde in a boob tube staggers into their arms and is blanketed, refuelled, and her stilettos removed and replaced with flip-flops in under seven seconds before being sent back on her way.

The volunteers promise not to to preach or try to convert, laudably insisting that they are just doing their bit.

Who knows, perhaps Saturday night revellers will hang around church on a Sunday morning to return the favour – plying sober congregations with Mojitos, swapping comfy loafers for nine-inch heel platforms and operating some sort of knickers to thong exchange.

Church Demons they could be called.

Any volunteers?

Frog protesters make weird pasty demand

Posted in Comment by richardord on March 19, 2010


Try me with chips

There was no sign of Sir Paul McCartney or Twiggy, but animal activists at least made good on their promise to demonstrate against the sale of battered frogs’ legs in the city.

The arrival of a man dressed up as a frog was a welcome sight: the protest banners on display, however, were hugely disappointing.

click here for Echo story

I had hoped the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) would have gone for my “Pull the Frogs’ Legs” idea, but they kept it simple with “Katie Mac’s: Stop Selling Tortured Frogs.”

Keep your legs crossed Kermit

Though the banners lacked imagination, I felt one idea from Rose Glover, Peta’s Special Projects co-ordinator (their Special Projects are like our Special Forces only with less machine guns and more tofu), was a sure-fire winner.

She said: “We urge Katie Mac’s to show some heart and end its sale of frog legs and replace them with a cruelty-free dish such as a nice vegan pasty.”

I’m sure our meat-eating readers would love see a vegan put in a pasty. But cruelty-free! Surely we could poke him with sticks first?