Thank you Jeff.

As we imagined a world embracing the cute adventures of a disabled dog that just so happened to have two dads, Jeff would say the way our lives crossed paths was serendipitous. I happen to agree.

Jeff’s wife, Simone and I work together and formed a friendship beyond mundane work gossip, and one day whilst gas bagging over a cup of tea when we should have been working, she mentioned the children’s Interactive story BookApp he was working on. I told Simone about my idea for a series of children’s stories based on my disabled dog and his two dads. How great would it be for a child to have something like this to read that may one day make a difference to their coming out or help break down society’s prejudices for being gay.

Simone said “my husband Jeff would love that” and to my surprise he did. We met briefly one day, he told me to get something to him, he wanted to turn this idea into a children’s BookApp series. I had given a lot of thought to writing some children’s stories about Geoff, I had a few ideas but that was all it was. A few ideas. I had no idea where I would start. My lack of confidence and self doubt may surprise a lot of people, but it is a bastard, and strikes particularly hard when I’m venturing outside of my comfort zone, and I was about to leave the zone.

Jeff’s vision for the BookApp is one I could never have imagined. From our first chat to the many that would follow Jeff’s words would flow with such enthusiasm and hope for the project. He crafted such a beautiful product and he new from the very first instant how it would all take shape, a lovely throwback to an old mid century children’s book, soft and warm with beautiful illustrations, a Cole Porter inspired score with simple interactive qualities so as not to detract from the story.

By our second meeting I still didn’t have a story. Jeff’s reaction “if you don’t give me something I’ll write the fucking thing myself” I didn’t want to let him down and fearful reaction of “arghh that’s awful!” was fueling my procrastination. If I submitted something horrid I’d be crushed along with this little dream.

This thought process would normally evoke a secret meltdown that would paralyze any creativity and prevent the project from ever going anywhere, but with Jeff hounding me and demanding this story I put fingers to Mac and typed the first Geoff story. It was complete rubbish. Jeff responded with constructive feedback and encouragement, he believed in me and the project. I will always be grateful for this.

So, about to attempt another go, I confessed to really not knowing what I was doing and to finding it rather difficult. Remembering a conversation we had about my fondness for getting drunk and singing Karaoke he gave me some advice. He said “have a few drinks, relax and let go like you’re on stage singing that George Michael song. So I did.

Whilst traveling for work and surrounded by the 70′s wood paneling and gorgeous floral bread spread of a dodgy Port Macquarie hotel room, I bought a bottle of red, put my headphones on and started typing. Tomato Trouble sprouted and over a few more drafts and careful guidance from Jeff it ripened into the story it is now.

Jeff’s dreams for Geoff and his Two Dads were big! If he had his way we would conquer the world, be featured in the NY times, be the first Disney animated movie to feature gays and I’d probably be jumping on Ellen’s couch TC style. It was fun to dream with him.

Jeff is the charming heart of Geoff and his Two Dads. He brought a group of talented people into our world and they coloured it. Tanya’s beautiful illustration, Victors magical coding and Philips amazing score. He told me it was the most beautiful piece of work he had worked on. I hope he realizes that beauty came from him.

Jeff, I don’t think you know how much you changed our lives with the Geoff project. You will never know how you challenged my insecurities helping me find a voice and be comfortable with it. I enjoyed how your emails were more than just a question or a sentence, I enjoyed the landscape of your stories, big and sweeping, nothing sacred and full of foul language, I would often get off the phone with sore cheeks from laughing and smiling. I always thought it was hilarious how you’d end the conversation “OK baby, give me love to James” such a strange thing for an uptight Aussie guy to hear from another guy… Even if I am gay. You make me laugh.

It was great to randomly run into you on the streets of Surry Hills a few months ago and spend a few hours drinking red wine and listening to your stories, your vicious wit again making me laugh. We didn’t nearly spend enough time drinking or eating at nice restaurants.

Even though Jeff was parting ways with Geoff and his Two Dads he would have always been involved, it is just as much Jeff as it is Geoff, James and I. I’d like to think at some point in the future we will continue with Geoff’s adventures and who knows, perhaps we can turn it into the success Jeff had always dreamed it would be.

Thank you Jeff!
Forever GAHTDADS. WOOF!

GeoffandhisTwoDads teaser video

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Sweet Brown… Somebody’s Barbecuing!

It’s been a while since we’ve posted, one would expect moving to Sydney would mean our days would be filled with many more adventures however it seems to be the opposite. Apartment living and the colder months have kept us nice and cozy tucked up inside.

Regular visits to Sydney Park and the Local Cafes with a few road trips to spin the wheels is about as adventurous as we’ve been lately, but spring is already cooking up the warmer weather and we couldn’t be happier. A new BBQ gives us an excuse to do a bit of entertaining and thankfully the ever helpful Geoff was on hand for the installation. So as we defrost from winter and the warmer months move in we’ll grab our shoes and wheels for an adventure or two and when nobody got time for that the barbecue will be fired up! There’ll definitely be some sausages coming Geoffy’s way!

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Chocolate and Bacon

The easter bunny hopped into our neighborhood again this year and like every other year he brought along far too much chocolate and like every other year we had no choice other than to eat it! Poor Geoff, not ever knowing the taste of chocolate, looks on with desperation each time he hears the crackling foil, his eyes follow and beg for the littlest piece. Fortunately for him the Easter Bunny is all too aware of the danger chocolate poses for little dogs so he made sure to bring along lots of Bacon for our annual Bacon Day celebrations.

We kicked off our Easter festivities with a pseudo camping trip at the Partridge Dairy farm. Carmen and Phil played host to the annual Bacon Day, the Dairy Tavern opening it’s doors to our celebration. We mixed chocolate and games in equal shares of bacon inspired treats, friends and a little too much alcohol. Geoff’s energy faded along with the beautiful sunset and finished off the night, keeping me warm, tucked inside my Onesie.

We farewelled Easter for another year via a picnic in the park. Sydney Park provided a nice place to spend the afternoon with family lazing under the shade of one of it’s trees. Apart from the occasional walk along the many paths in the park with Geoff we’ve never really given it too much attention, it turned out to be a nice spot to relax. The kids spun the wheels of their bikes and scooters, Geoff spun his wheels a few times too, inviting himself over to other nearby picnickers. He barked at every dog that strolled past, a couple even stopped to say hello.

The Bunny gone for another year we hopped home for an evening on the couch, as Geoff snored we consumed the last of the chocolate and prepared ourselves for a weeks worth of exercise to burn off the weekends indulgence.
Happy Belated Easter

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Leura Luncheon

The grey skies and drizzling rain dampened the weekend but was perfect Sunday driving company. Peckish from a big sleep in we skipped breakfast and put Lunch at Leura Garage on the menu instead. We saddled up the car, put on a few tunes and rode for the hills.

The lovely staff at Leura Garage accommodated our posse well, reserving a special place out front for Geoff to park his wheels. The 5 cheeses and Chorizo Pizzas arrived quickly and did a mighty fine job satisfying our hunger…Delicious!

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Bronte Breakie

Bronte Beach provided the perfect backdrop for our breakfast adventure. A row of cafés overlooking the park and the beach, their many tables and chairs full of morning go getters and their four legged companions, a perfect place to take up residence for an hour. Geoff provided plenty of discussion for the curious onlookers as we searched for a place to sit. Eventually tearing ourselves away from the questions on Geoff’s condition, we took up a corner of the Bogey Hole Cafe.

We worked off the bacon and eggs by taking a stroll around Bronte Beach park and a lap along the beach front. Turning heads and bringing smiles to faces we made our way back to the car not before a quick photo op with the Bronte Beach Ranger. Best to keep them on side!

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Summer in the city

So far city life is treating us well. The usual frantic pace that accompanies the end of the year has meant little time for straying too far from our neighbourhood. Staying close to home though has been a nice excuse to take it easy, a casual stroll along King Street exploring it’s many second hand shops, I can’t resist flicking through old records. There’s been lots of eating out, lots of coffee and of course lots of playing in Sydney Park.

I think it’s time to take the wheels a little further 2014.

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Xmas

Christmas was a bit of a non event for us this year, it kind of crept up on us and before we knew it the old fat man was eyeing up a few chimneys as we rushed to poorly decorate with a cardboard ikea Xmas tree and braved the crowds for some last minute shopping.

So xmas came and went, James spent Xmas with his family, Geoff and I with mine. The cool rain replaced the normal dry heat much to my delight. Lots to eat, board game fun, playing Ninja Turtles and cuddles and kisses for Geoffy and it was farewell to Xmas for another day. I think the pink xmas tree needs to come back in 2014.

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Goodbye Newcastle, Hello Sydney

The last few months have been really busy, travelling a lot for work, a little bit of a sightseeing in Europe and packing up the house in preparation for our big move. There’s been no rest.

A while ago we decided we would move to Sydney and see what dreams the big city feels like throwing our way, new lifestyle, employment opportunities and a BIG playground for Geoff to experience lots of new adventures.

So the relaxation that normally comes from a vacation had to surrender to lots of boxes, lots of packing and lots of cleaning, Geoff always the willing helper. So after what seemed like forever but in actual fact only a week, we found a new home.

With the truck packed under Geoff’s careful guidance we set off before sunrise to our new home. James threw on his truckers cap and carefully zig zagged our cargo through the narrow Sydney streets to our destination, a few of my fingernails were sacrificed along the way.

A few more car loads and days of unpacking followed but now the move is complete the relaxation can finally begin. Geoff, unfazed by it all has already started getting amongst his new surroundings and so far gives it the paws up.

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Home Alone

Geoff and I are baching this weekend while James plays chooky for Louise’s hens weekend. An early night last night for us both meant an early morning breakfast in the park was possible sans hangover. I had a fantastically tasty toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwich and the best coffee in Newy from Coffee on Crown . Geoff had the staple dog food and some water, he was distracted by all of the early morning activity in the park so I had to hand feed him piece by piece…sheesh!. A little bit of exploring around King Edward Park, the view is amazing, and a run around the park ended the best breakfast this week. We may just do it again tomorrow.

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The jet lag can wait.

We recently returned from an overseas vacation and after 24 hrs of travelling the last thing we wanted to do was housework, however there could be no rest until it was done. We dumped the bags and got straight to work, James on the inside and Geoff and I responsible for outside. Included In the housework was a little bit of grooming for Geoffy. A bit of a trim with the clippers and a scrub in the tub…I think by the end of it Geoff was wishing we would go again.

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Father’s Day

Father’s Day was quite an eventful day for Geoff. We had a morning coffee with Dad and the family before a stroll through the markets. Afterwards it was off to the water park for a picnic. There were lots of turning heads and smiles for the little dog in the wheelchair and even a little kiss from his cousin Harper. Needless to say Geoff is one worn out little puppy, I think he’ll sleep for days…

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Bacon and Egg Rolling

A view of Nobbys Beach, the warm winter sun and a bacon and egg roll is a great way to start off a Sunday Morning.

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While James ordered the tucker, Geoff lapped up the opportunity to soak in the the sun and quickly found a spot resting over a ledge. Having the perfect viewpoint of Nobbys Beach, Geoff made himself known to the passing pedestrians and their four legged friends.

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With Geoff locked firmly in place, James and I got stuck into our Bacon and Egg rolls like we hadn’t eaten in days. Pretty yummy and messy- note; without napkins, runny eggs are not #cleaneating…thank you James :(

A really great coffee to seal the deal for the ride home and the morning was done!

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Downhill Geoff

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Geoff and I spent the morning at the local Park. The thing we like most about King Edward Park is it has lots of hills for Geoff to run down. An eager Geoff popped on his wheels and hit the slopes. It’s been a while since he has moved quite so fast, his little front legs struggled to keep up with the momentum and for a moment, i thought he was going to take a bit of a tumble. Luckily he kept his balance and did it all over again…a few times!

A few people and puppies stopped to say hello, we took some happy snaps and laid in the warm winter sun before heading home. Geoff fell asleep almost as soon as the car turned the first corner. Looks like we’ll be going back again next week.

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14km’s to Adamstown

Our friend Bob suggested we go for a morning bike ride, so i dusted off the cruiser in the shed, put a bit of air in the tyres, popped on the ugly helmet, strapped myself with 7kg’s of Geoff and put foot to pedal.

As is usually the case, being a local means you sometimes miss the cool stuff in your own backyard and i gotta say i had missed Fernleigh Track up until now. An old rail line from Newcastle to Belmont through beautiful Aussie bushland makes the perfect cycling track.

30km round trip riding in one gear I murdered my quads while Geoff relaxed in his new pouch, the warm sun on his face, his ears flapping in the cool breeze. Always one to bring attention, Geoff ensured the families and fitness fanatics passed by with a smile.

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Dairy Tavern

I never did continue the …to be continued part of our camping trip a while back so here goes. Just when we thought we could not have any more fun on our camping trip we managed to raise the fun bar and spend the day at the Dairy Tavern, a little dairy milking shed converted into a Tavern not far from our campsite. Carmen’s Brother Phil and their Father renovated the shed themselves and were kind enough to invite us over for to the Tavern for a yummy roast lunch cooked in a camp oven.

When we arrived Geoff, never one to miss out on the action, did his usual inspection taking in the Dairy tavern, the outhouse and the many cows taking shelter from the hot sun under a nearby tree. The Cow’s nor Geoff knew quite what to make of each other. After a few Moo’s and a few restless cautious woofs it was time to get out of the hot sun and back to the comfort of the Dairy Tavern. On return, much to Geoff’s surprise and amusement, we discovered a cute little cattle dog puppy sleeping in Geoff’s bed. We posted about this earlier.

As the day grew longer we amused ourselves with games and the company of a few neighbours. We watched the sun set over the gorgeous Aussie scenery, the heat faded and the cold night air crept in. Geoff kept himself busy with the working farm dogs Bill and his mother Kelly, we even got a show watching the dogs round up the cattle for the night, Geoff did not participate 😁. It all got a bit too much for Geoff as we partied on into the night, seeking comfort in the bottom of my shirt doubled as a sling. He nestled in and slept the rest of the night away.

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Geoff wants to go for a walk

8 words, “do you want to go for a walk?” sends Geoff into excitement overload. Recently he has added a cute little bounce to his swagger, not sure why this is easier to get around but it sure does bring a smile to my face.