Confessions of a Reluctant Stepdad

At first he found six-year-old Jim an irritant, but 25 years on, JAMES DELINGPOLE is proud to call him ‘son.’

  • James Delingpole claims taking on his stepson, Jim is one of his best decisions
  • 25 years ago, aged 26 he met his now wife who was 32 and had a six year old son
  • He became close to Jim through play-fighting and driving him to school daily
  • He shared how their family unit has changed over the past 25 years 

Sometimes I like to tease my wife that the only reason I managed to bag a woman so out of my league is that when we met, she came with a huge albatross round her neck: a six-year-old boy, Jim, from her first marriage.

I’m joking, but there’s an element of truth in this. No person in their right mind chooses to take on the responsibility for someone else’s child, especially not when they’re footloose and fancy-free. But that’s what I did 25 years ago and I’ve no regrets. In fact, becoming a stepfather was one of the best life-decisions I ever made.

My first glimpse of Jim was a pointy-featured face with red hair grinning at me from beneath his duvet, presumably just after bedtime, when I’d gone round to his mother’s pad for supper.

The Rat and Delingpole

Immediately, I christened him by the name which has stuck ever since: the Rat. He remembers being impressed by my rock-star-length hair and black leather coat. I remember being impressed by how grown up I was at the tender age of 26 to be going on a date with a woman with an actual kid. She was 32; we had met at a party.

Read the rest in the Daily Mail.

How the Rat Sniffed out £15,000 down the Back of My Virtual Sofa

Virtual currency found down the back of a virtual sofa

Not being cursed with any of my genetic make-up, he possesses certain special qualities that I lack

It must be about 25 years since the Rat first made an appearance in The Spectator. He started out as my girlfriend’s six-year-old boy, then became my stepson and featured here quite often over the years because, being a scaly-tailed creature of evil, he was always good for some copy. This new year, with his agreement, I upgraded him to full son status. Let me explain why in a way that I hope you’ll find charming, rather than one that makes you want to throw up.

The first reason is purely mercenary. During Christmas, while over with his wife Chloe from Hong Kong, the Rat managed to find about £10,000 down the back of my virtual sofa, in the form of seven Bitcoin Cash that I thought I’d lost forever. Then he found another half a Bitcoin (BTC) which I also thought I’d lost, bringing the total free money found to well over £15,000.

Read the rest in the Spectator.