Mrs and Mrs P Snr have just moved house which has been a burden on my time, while I've also just signed a contract which could increase Puddlecote Inc's turnover by 10%-20% with any luck.
There's also the not inconsiderable amount of time being spent getting the little Ps to cricket training and matches, martial arts events, netball training and other such stuff, all out of school time.
The reason for outside clubs being necessary for their activities is illustrated by the girl's school experience with athletics this month. Due to a scarcity of entrants, she was press ganged into taking part in the sports day's high jump competition. Never having done the event before, it was quite a surprise when she not only won it, but also narrowly failed at a height which would have broken the school record for her year.
We asked her what award she received for her achievement and she replied that there wasn't one. Not a cup, medal, certificate or even a sticker. She just took part, won, and then it is all forgotten about. I was surprised they even know what the school record is since they attach so little importance to it.
To make matters worse, as champion she was naturally chosen to represent her school in the high jump event at the district school sports day. Warming to the task, she asked if she could practice after school for a couple of days before the event to ensure a good performance. The reply was that no, she couldn't, and that the teachers thought the best approach was to "rest" (laziness or health & safety, you decide).
In the year when the Olympics come to our country - with much fanfare and the slogan "Inspire a Generation" hanging from lamp posts up and down the torch relay route - here we have a member of the younger generation receiving barely a pat on the back for performing well, and then being stopped from enjoying sport more when she was 'inspired' to do so.
And don't get me started on the boy being told he can't bowl overarm at a very rare inter-school cricket competition because "other children don't go to out-of-school clubs so aren't as good as you".
For all the talk of inspiration, I don't see much seizing of the Olympics opportunity where it actually matters, sadly.