Another dusting of the white stuff. It’s such a wonderful world filled with the best dreams and breathtaking beauty.

It’s bizarre how tiredness works out in practice. Yesterday on a few hours sleep I was a walking single parent zombie disaster zone. Bogged down in the minutiae of life. I couldn’t even make bread……

That was my bread after 3 hours in the poor bread making machine. Not sure if I should butter it or use it as a facial exfoliating rub…..Yet today on even less sleep I feel fine. Feeling like I’m almost competent at this parenting gig. I could even explain Calculus and Ionic Bonds this morning. Definitely NOT at home to Mr Zombie Head today.

So is even less sleep good for me? No not really. What is good for me is focusing on what is truly important to me. Doing that makes me realise just how beautiful this world is, just how wonderful life can still be. All the ingredients to happiness and fulfilment are there, just need to remember to us them.

It’s makes such a difference when you use all the ingredients in gluten free bread making 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 Same bread just with added water……

Tired bread

The snow has gone but it’s still cold. It’s rush hour again here…..

In the Black Friday sales I bought a bread maker. I had just been looking for a couple of new loaf tins. It was a rush of blood. Thankfully a much cheaper rush of blood than it could have been. So far so good. Much easier and much much easier. Almost fool proof…….

It’s been a tired day today. Hawklad is tired of school, I’m just tired today. Shall I show you just how tired, tired is. I present to you Exhibit A. It’s a delicious and wholesome traditional French herbal loaf…..

That’s what a traditional loaf looks like when you don’t add any WATER. As the faint sweet slightly burnt smell filled the house my brain pondered what that could mean. My bread never messes up these days, certainly not with my bullet proof machine. Maybe it just means a slightly more crusty loaf. Maybe it’s just the herbs infusing the dough. At no stage did the tired brain think ‘Huston we might have a problem here…..’. At no stage did the brain encourage this Muppet to get up and check upon the baking disaster unfolding in the bread maker……

That’s tired or it’s just me……

It’s Cold on page 264

Poor Hawklad was trying to do his school at home lessons. A teacher had uploaded work to be done online. That’s always a good thing and most welcome, unless you are Hawklad. The work kept referring to ‘review the key information on page 264 of your text book’. What text book….. Apparently the text book those in class use each lesson as a key part of the teaching programme. The class share copies so there isn’t one available to be sent home, so Hawklad did know that one even existed. At least we know now.

It’s cold. Not as cold as some countries but it’s cold for us. It’s definitely a two wooly jumper day.

It’s the kinda day for hot chocolate, soups and stews. It’s been a bit of a STEW fest recently. I can obliterate baking but I can do a might fine stew. What’s the secret to my STEWPENDOUS creations. Well I discovered that last night. Out of date herbs. Seriously out of date. We are taking Best Before A Very Long Time Ago. Best before ran out during Obama’s presidency (and not his second stint….). Oops….

The ageing adds to the flavour. As my parents would say when food hit the ground when I was a kid. Days when the food was quickly wiped on a sleeve and handed back for consumption.

“It will put hairs on your back son”.

Now a few millennial later and it certainly has done that….. If only my parents had put all this useful information and knowledge into a parenting textbook. I’m sure it would provide much reassurance on the use of out of date food items. It might even enlighten us to what key information can be found on page 264….

Storm Damage

Some parts of the country took a real pounding during the storm over the weekend. Thousands are still without power. Our area only caught a glancing blow, but there was some damage…

Damage limitation…..

As of today The UK Government has announced that pupils in Secondary schools should wear masks in all communal areas, which is in addition to masks being compulsory on school buses. All this as a temporary response to prevent a new covid variant spreading in schools. But thankfully the Government has done a deal with the virus, so the virus has agreed to not spread during lessons. The Government has deemed that MASKS are not required in Classrooms……

Let’s hope any damage is very limited…..

We either need masks or we don’t need masks. Kinda in the middle ain’t going to help anyone.

Swiss Sunday

It’s a stormy here in the UK. Sat inside listening to the weather batter our little bungalow on top of a northern hill. But my thoughts are elsewhere. To dreams of walking again in Switzerland. One of the most beautiful countries in the world. Home to many family holidays and memories. A return is more than overdue. How that happens is still a work in progress. A world gripped with a pandemic. Now just a family of 2. No more extended family get together. Ashes to be brought along and scattered. Heightened anxieties and phobias. Aspergers. A long trip, with many variables to be managed now as a single parent.

But it can still happen. The frenzy of an airport might be beyond Hawklad. Train is an option, less frenzied but still hemmed in. Driving, it’s a long way for one driver. Maybe 13 hours. But I can do that plus it offers Hawklad a controlled space to travel in. Yes car is favourite at present

Google Maps Makes 13 hours seem very doable…..

Yes we can do this. Sometimes dreams don’t come easily. But look at these memories. Definitely worth the effort.

Well that’s something

An oncoming storm. Storm Arwen. The first winter storm of the season. Blizzards for some. 90mph winds for some. Lots of rain for others. Sometimes an exposed northern hill is not the best place to put a few houses. Definitely not the best place to put some plastic furniture in the garden. If anyone sees a flying once white chair with a missing leg, that’s ours and I’ve got the other leg…..

Here’s something. A teacher asking how Hawklad is doing. A teacher who has reviewed his work. A teacher you has spotted areas he needs to work on. That makes such a difference. I know it’s just one subject but it’s a start.

Let’s go walking

Let’s go walking

An early finish to the school day. A big advantage of the school at home project. Usually if a teacher forgets to issue work then we chase it up. Not this day. If the teacher forgets (and they did) let’s not remind them. Let’s see if they notice (and they didn’t).

An early finish means time for a long walk. I so wish Hawklad could use the time to meet up with friends. But as he is stuck with his gnarly Muppet Dad then the next best thing is a walk. Hawklad’s idea.

A walk from our house which we had never fully done before. 15km and we never saw another soul. Perfect for Hawklad.

Definitely beats school and school never missed him.


It takes a little bit of hard work to get to this spot but on a morning we can catch a mist covered view of the Vale of York.

Rewarding hard work.

According to those in charge of our countries school system, our children don’t work hard enough. Too much free time. So they are looking to extend the school day, reduce holidays and introduce more frequent, more extensive homework. Already lunch and school breaks have been cut back.

So clearly more hard work is required.

The following is an example of the current (not enough) homework being issued. Hawklad was expected to complete this over the weekend. One piece of work from Religious Education.

On top of this Hawklad had work to complete from English, Information Technology, Design Technology, History and Geography. He caught a bit of a break this time, no Biology, no Chemistry and no Maths homework.

And now the Government wants to add even more work on top of this….

The Prime Minister makes sure he gets weekends off to recharge and relax. Why can’t out children.


Yorkshire does have its moments.

Here’s the thing, I almost missed that view. I have a habit of just looking straight ahead when I’m walking. As that view was behind me, it was lucky that I went out of character and I did glance back. Dad would be pleased.

I remember one relevant piece of wisdom which my Dad imparted on me when I was a LITTLUN. One day I was walking with him on the beach after he had stopped off to buy fish from the returning fishing boats. As we walked he pronounced that “I didn’t look behind me enough”. He was that kind of Dad, why just talk when a pronouncement could be made. When I asked why I needed to look back, his response will never leave me.

“You never know when you are being stalked by something like a Tiger…..”

Following my clearly bemused expression Dad quickly added

“Clearly it works as a tiger has never taken a chunk out of your Dads behind….”

I guess you can’t argue with the logic. A logic honed in the British Army as a Sergeant Major. Most of his service was in a land famed for Man Eating Big Cats. The tropical jungles of ICELAND….. But look at the evidence. No Tiger did ever attack my Dad on Redcar beach that morning. Further he avoided any unfortunate Tiger incidents for the rest of his life. Although I never did raise the fact that ‘my not looking back strategy’ had also avoided any Tigermageddons….. it wasn’t really worth raising things with Dad, he was born and bred in the heart of Yorkshire. Pointless arguing with anyone wearing a flat cap.

So yes, don’t forget to look back, you never know what you might be missing.


A path across the hills.

A path frequented by farmers, dog walkers and intrepid Muppet Dads. A path that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere in particular. Meandering around hedgerows and the occasional isolated tree. One of those locations that you can so easily get lost. Definitely a great place to lose yourself. One day it might even be a cool place to find myself.

It’s been one of those days with too much thinking time. Plenty of thinking yet no real insight. No new paths opening up while managing to add more roadblocks to existing roads ahead. It’s been one of those days. Feeling like it’s one step forward, two back and a few too many sideways. That feeling isn’t much fun sat in the house.

But on a path across the hills, it just means more walking is required….