Sun setting

Last of the sun. The sun setting. Setting on a dangerously messed up country.

Thought for the day.

A member of the UK Government resigned yesterday over broken promises. His description of the Government is enlightening bearing in mind that these things are usually framed in very polite and respectful language. Respectfully he described Boris Johnson’s Government as a “Cesspit” and “the most distrustful and awful environment” he had ever worked in.

My mind goes back to the brilliant tweet one brave official released from the official UK Government Civil Service account.

“Arrogant and offensive. Can you imagine having to work for these truth twisters…..

Remember back when BBC News was a respected, independent agency. A highly respected BBC journalist (Eddie Mair) interviewed Johnson before he became our leader. An interview that the BBC has buried. It ended with the respected journalist concluding

Making up quotes., lying to your party leader, wanting to be part of someone being physically assualted – you’re a nasty piece of work, aren’t you

And people still will vote for them….

Staggering and frightening.

Star

How bad must I be at table tennis if I managed to hit one ping pong ball out of the garden. Bearing in mind the next garden is about 5 yards behind where we had placed the table. AND there is an 8 ft hedge in the way as well..

Seriously this ball was travelling with such a trajectory that NASA gave it a spacecraft name and it had to re-enter the earths atmosphere on its way down….

Dad, REALLY…….”

Sorry

Dad are you going to get that ball from next doors then”

Yes I am

I’m really worried. Some of my genes came from you”

One or two. You know who to blame if you get a hairy backside.

“Are you sure your not related to Homer Simpson….”

There is a striking resemblance. Especially from side on… Homer is way better looking and shades the intelligence

If I ever get a DNA test it’s going to show 25% English, 15% Welsh, 10% German and 50% muppet…..”

And 0% table tennis star.

Call

The mobile phone is leading a charmed life. Yesterday it found its way into the garden refuse bin. Today as I weeded suddenly the little bucket next to me I was filling with weeds started playing music. Never been so thankful for one of those nuisance marketing call.

With the mobile safely back in my pocket. I got back on with the job of weeding.

Then another call. A work call. 60 minutes worth of …… what’s the word I’m looking for. I can think of a few, some I can even safely write down…

Boring

Dragging

Tiring

Fruitless

Frustrating

Dull

Monotonous

Wearisome

Mind-numbing

Soul-destroying

Insipid

Stupefying

After 60 minutes I was so tempted to switch the mobile off and voluntarily drop it back in the garden waste bin. I’m old enough to remember a time before mobile technology AND today I vote for going back to then….

Walking up the hill

Walking up the hill…

It’s hard work. Sometimes it seems never ending. But eventually the hill flattens out. You get there. There might be bigger hills or mountains surrounding you. But in that moment you can breathe. You can enjoy the moment. You can see clearly. See for miles.

The perfect place for a cheese sandwich, pasty, packet of crisps and a warming brew.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Today it feels like I’m not even half way up the latest hill. I’m tired. Feeling battered and worn down. Unsure of the direction. If anything it feels like I can’t chose the path. I’m being forced along one route which is probably not heading in the direction I want to.

But you know what. I like a good sandwich and a brew on top of a mountain. So I’m going to keep on trying to climb.

See you at the top.

Blinded by the light

Blinded by the light.

Ok which version is better Bruce Springsteen or Manfred Mann…..

The home at school project is rapidly feeling like it’s blinded by something. More lessons with no support or materials provided. More time spent trying to find any educational resources hidden on the confusing school system. Far fewer teachers making contact and trying to explain work requirements. When class materials are sent they are often only arriving at the end of lessons or hours late. Hardly any work feedback being sent back. Very few teachers checking in on Hawklad to see if it’s going ok.

Contacting school occasionally improves things for a lesson or two then things fall back again.

With national lockdowns, local school closures and family lockdowns its been over a year since Hawklads last in school classroom day. Maybe school have decided enough is enough. Falling in line with Government thinking. So with an imminent school return looking most unlikely, the educational future is so unclear. Blinded by something……

Hyper

The scene from last nights late Hawklad walk. A scene of apparent calm. It doesn’t paint the mayhem which accompanies taking Captain Chaos for a walk. Someone gets hyper on his walk. As he is the most hyper dog in Yorkshire at the best of times, that’s a shed load of hyper….

But it’s not just walks. Most things can send him hyper.

Me trying to tidy up the garden is up there on the hyper league table. Maybe it’s the novelty factor, the garden doesn’t get the attention it deserves….

So today as I tried to weed it was the usual pet mayhem. Helpful frantic digging. Burying anything he can find. Rolling in anything resembling dirt. Crazed running around in circles. That kind of thing.

Then a break. A dog walker walking across the distant fields. A distraction. Much barking. So I had better make the most of this. So I did 5 minutes of rapid weeding, manic digging and rushed raking.

Job done.

One slight problem. Don’t let your mobile fall out of your pocket when your doing speed gardening. Finally only located when I phoned it. Couldn’t hear it ringing inside. But the second phoning attempt, and an usual ringtone coming from the garden rubbish bin.

That could have been a disaster as the bin collection day is tomorrow. Just goes to show the risks inherent in gardening. Might give it a miss for a while now.

Birds of prey

It’s been too long. Far too long since Hawklad got to do his favourite ever activity. Handling birds of prey.

He’s done this a few times. Sadly not enough. Hawklad is someone who struggles with social encounters. He finds it difficult to build up trust in others. It takes time and patience. But he can and does. He forms really close bonds with those he develops trust with. Real lasting friendships.

It’s so different with Birds of Prey. Instantly establishing a bond. Complete confidence and trust. Even getting to stroke the chest of one raptor who the falconer said that it had taken him months of effort to build up the same level of trust.

That’s why in an ideal world Hawklad will get to fulfil his dream of having his own falconry and rescue centre. And we all know dreams can come true. There is always hope.

Mad

Blueberries just starting to develop.

It’s a mad world. A mad Britain.

So there are growing concerns over the use of the lateral flow rapid Covid tests. The Government has been pushing them in schools, forcing children to take them several times a week. The results available within minutes deemed perfectly robust as a basis of reopening schools. They worked so well that they were made available for free to everyone. I was sent 7 tests this week.

Then we here the the Governments own experts are questioning the accuracy of these quick results. They are potentially too unreliable to use on there own. Should be only used as a guide, a gateway to the more robust tests.

Then on Friday the Government talked about the frustration with testing. It’s keeping too many children and more importantly workers at home. To many false positives. Far too unreliable.

And today the Government announced that it will sanction a large scale indoor test event. A music concert with no social distancing and no masks. That’s 5000 people being used as guinea pigs. Anyone going would have to have a rapid Covid test the same day as the concert. Then the will have to be tested a few days afterwards…..

Can we make our mind up…..

Are we really happy to allow 5000 people to crowd together indoors as a number of troubling mutations are starting to take hold….

Are we happy that the only check is the unreliable test….

Are we happy that potentially clinically vulnerable and unvaccinated people and children are being used as test subjects…..

I remember the Government saying opening up for Christmas was perfectly safe. Just go and look at the death spike that caused. Do we remember just days before the first lockdown and the Government saying that it was safe to hold the countries largest horse racing festival. Studies have shown the large number of unnecessary deaths that lead to…..

Cracks

How easy is it to slip through the cracks.

It took too many years to get any support and help for Hawklad. A lot of important time during his key development years were missed. He was labelled with the following tags and descriptions…

A loner

Below average attainment

Having issues

Poor concentration

Under performer

Some discipline issues

Can’t sit still

Clumsy

Accident prone

Messy eater

Untidy

Behind national targets

Easily distracted

Needs to work on the basics

Does he need better discipline at home

Then it all changed when a group of Doctors and education experts finally issued a medical letter confirming

Aspergers

ADHD

Dyslexia

Dyspraxia

To get there was a nightmare. Yes it felt like a never ending slog. An ordeal. Constantly fighting the system. You end up doubting yourself. Are we just being pushy parents. Should we just fall back into line.

In the end our son was one of the lucky ones. Too many great kids don’t get the chance to shine. Wrote off. Misunderstood. They never get the support they need because they fell through the cracks in the system. A system which still has such poor levels of awareness, too many stereotypes, too few resources in specialised services.

It shouldn’t be like this.

Swiss Sunday

It’s early Sunday morning here in Yorkshire so it must be time for our weekly trip to a stunning alpine paradise. Yes let’s go to Switzerland.

While looking at photos for today’s virtual trip I suddenly recalled a wonderful family memory. We had just had a weeks holiday based in Spiez. One night our 6 year old had asked what Daddies drink tasted like. A small spoonful of lager confirmed to the 6 year old that his time was better spent guarding his Diet Coke bottle. A couple of days later it was time to go home. At Zurich Airport we approached airport security control. When the uniformed official asked if we had anything to declare the helpful 6 year old immediately pointed out “Yes, my Dad lets me drink beer”.

I’m not sure how I ever got through that checkpoint in one piece.

Ok it’s about time this bad Dad shuts up and let’s you get on with looking at Switzerland. A dream land.