The Nocturnal Dad | Episode 1 – Me, Myself & I

It’s 4:00 am. My head is pounding to the beat of my heart. A repetitive thud, thud, thud plays out like eternal tinnitus through my shattered body. Burning the candle at both ends can catch up with the finest of men and my time has come to feel that burden. Wide awake, I go downstairs, put some tunes on and pull open the laptop. As a writer, this is my magic hour.

Rewind. That is bobbins. I am not coming down from a night at Fabric on the free radicals a la Jip Travolta, Peter Popper.


Those days are long since reduced to an annual reunion with a six-month pre-planned, four-day, post-event annual leave buffer and a fridge of salad. Nor am I an ex-cop turned late-night radio DJ unable to sleep for thinking of how I accidentally shot my partner while sipping whiskey from a crystal tumbler – as one of my heroes, The Night Caller, would have done on his nights off between fighting crime and preventing suicides.

On the contrary, my head is pounding from the hangover of yet another hefty cold donated via the nose candles and coughs of our three-year-old and his even snottier nursery chums. The thud, thud, thud is tinnitus of the ribs – a phenomenon caused from the same three-year-olds small but surprisingly sharp heels jabbing me in the rib cage night after night, after he comes padding confidently into our room to claim my bed and my wife.

Over the past few months, I have been evicted to the small southernmost corner of the bed, the area usually reserved for the dog. I should add that I am also not a writer. I am writing this because I have never had anything published before and I have secretly always wanted to have a go at it. Let me explain how I got here and where I intend to take this.

Nocturnal Dad. Illustration by Dominic Murray @no_subs_blog

I am a 41-year-old dad of two. An exhausted shadow of my former self. A mere carcass of the man that once was. But this morning is an awakening moment. A new dawn in my Dad Life (or it will be in a few hours-time before the infant moans for ‘mulk’ begin). By some kind of godly intervention, as I type these words, the lyrics to Hallelujah (the Mondays not Cohen) are ringing in my ears!


I will use this enforced extra time of ‘the day’ to my gain. A time to develop my ideas, start new projects, be alone with my thoughts and my laptop. This is the day that I begin to fulfil my dream to write things.

Yes, this is the plan, this is what I will do. Jack up on coffee, put some tunes on (by tunes I mean my noise-cancelling headphones to block out the small, loud fidgeting Rib Kicker upstairs) and create. There are good things to come – stories of my past adventures, projects with the Rib Kicker and his brother Drama (even joyful moments, possibly) and observations and musings on what ‘popular culture’ means for 80’s & 90’s kids like me – basically my opinions on what’s bobbins and what’s not. Yes, this is my focus, my mission, my calling.

As of now I am back in control of things here in my castle and while they sleep it’s just me, myself and I. The Nocturnal Dad is born.


Keep this frequency clear for more from The Nocturnal Dad.

All images: Dominic Murray @no_subs_blog

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