Leafless

Won’t be long before the trees are leafless.

Could be a long winter.

For the fourth day running, UK had the most new Covid Cases in the world. Our cases running at least 10x higher than our European neighbours. Averaging about a 1000 Covid deaths a week. Hospitals under huge pressure. 1 in 12 secondary school pupils testing positive.

Apparently our Plan A is still working. No need for mandatory masks . No need for additional measures. No need to speed up the vaccination programme. We are learning to live with Covid.

Are we really learning to live with Covid or is the Government just trying to ignore the inconvenience it causes them.

Waterproofing and holidays

That’s a proper Yorkshire view. A midday view… It’s going to be a right test of your wind and waterproofing.

Much shaking of the heads this morning. A teacher sent a brief revision guide ahead of an exam straight after the half term. Notes on the areas covered so far. Worryingly 3/4s of those areas are new to Hawklad. Just how much of class learning hasn’t been shared with him. Just how far behind is he falling. AND school don’t know as they are clearly not tracking his progress. Not one teacher has asked. How much of his submitted work is being marked. Often the only marking is where the answers are provided and Hawklad has to mark his own work.

Much shaking of the head….

So Hawklad has a much needed week off in a few days. Much needed for pupils, teachers and parents. These are tough times to be at school. So much stress, anxiety and pressure. That week off is needed.

Over that week Hawklad has to revise for 5 core subject tests that happen within the first 2 days of his return. That’s a shed load of revision over the holiday.

What is the issue with letting our children have true time off to actually enjoy themselves. Oh I forgot, Victorian Hard Work Ethics are good for society. Well I’m sorry if our Prime Minister can have a week off in a luxury holiday destination, painting his watercolours, unavailable for work, WELL surely our children can as well.

River

The rivers are starting to fill up again. Much more rain and it will flood. Autumn is definitely here

How cool must it be to have boat at the end of your garden. Cool I guess until the boat starts floating in the house.

But it is a beautiful river.

We took a trip out to a local historic site. The weather wasn’t great so we hoped that it would be quiet. When we arrived there were just too many cars for Hawklad’s liking. A walk round the ruins was out of the question.

But on the other side of the river was a quiet but very muddy footpath. That was definitely quiet enough for Hawklad to give it a go.

And it was so worth it…

Yes is important that Hawklad continues on his road to managing his anxieties but it’s much more important that he enjoys himself. Sometimes the quiet, secluded path is best for that.

And you just never know what you might find.

View

If your going to be a tree this is not a bad place to take root. Not a bad view at all.

Hawklad’s Granny thought so as well. One hundred paces away lies our garden and in a few weeks her ashes will get scattered there. In a quiet corner overlooking that view. It’s taken a while, a pandemic happened.

My mind goes back a few years. After my partner died, her mum would come out to see us every Sunday. She would always look out over that view. One Morning she quietly said

You don’t mind if my ashes are scattered in that corner.’

Of course not.

You are planning to weed it…..’

So my project over the next few weeks is to weed that garden corner. Clear the nettles on the other side of the fence. Clear that VIEW.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday here in Yorkshire. It’s wet and windy outside. I so wish I was in Switzerland right now living out my dreams.

It’s a country that I have visited many times (not enough). A perfect setting for family holidays. So many family memories. It’s now been 6 years since the last adventure here. The family is much smaller now but just maybe next year, more memories can be born amongst The Alps. You just never know when those rainbows will bring those pots of gold to your soul again.

Painful

Beautiful walk but why did I do it in shorts. Those thistles are painful on the shins.

I’m trying to work out what’s more painful

The Dentist…

OR

School…

Unusually this time it’s not physical pain with the Dentist. Just pain on the wallet. How much for no work. Here is another thing. When the Hygienist is talking like at a million miles an hour about life, the universe, homeschooling. How did she remember that I’m a single dad with Hawklad at home. When she is firing questions at me about how I’m doing…what’s school doing….. will he go back….have you seen the Bond movie….

What is the protocol for responding. Do I just nod. Do I do someform of eyelash/eyebrow morse code. Do I try to talk as she is prodding around my teeth. Do I wait and save the answers up until she has finished.

It’s all beyond me.

The pain of school……

Hawklad asked a teacher a civil question about some lesson work. The teacher’s response was much less civil. Actually very sarcastic. Basically saying ‘what’s the point answering that if you can’t be bothered to send in any homework’. Hawklad stood his ground and said that he had submitted all the work to date. Teacher came back with ‘wrong, I’ve not seen anything from you all year’. Angry Dad got involved providing screen copies of all the work submitted, in the right location. Sarcastic Dad sensing blood added a screen copy of one piece of homework which showed clearly that the very same teacher had actually marked that piece of work. The words ‘Full Marks’ with the teachers signature next to it. Eventually a sheepish teacher replied ‘I might have been a little quick with those email’s’. Righteous Dad pointed out that the teacher hadn’t bothered to mark any of the other work Hawklad had submitted……

If only it was just one subject and just one teacher that I have had a run in with this week…. Much groaning which actually was probably the sound I made trying to respond to the hygienist while she was scraping around my teeth

Yes definitely today – The pain of school is far worse…….

Frustration

This week has been frustrating. So frustrating.

It’s been as tough a week that I can remember on this school at home project. Links with a number of teachers have become very strained. I bet the teachers are as desperate for the upcoming week break as we are.

Work has been a struggle. What can you do when so many are off with Covid. Not enough people still standing to cover the jobs. As much as I move the pieces around I’m always going to be short. Oh yes, sorry, apparently the pandemic is over….

My diet is a struggle. It’s a gluten and dairy free life for me at present. Yet those items are strangely unavailable at our local stores. Clearly the gluten free wagons are stuck somewhere trying to get into this brexit wonderland. I guess it’s a week of mostly jacket potatoes. I know what Matt Damon feels like in The Martian now….

Wow I need a break. But that break seems further away than ever. If only I could be Boris Johnson. Tell everyone we are in this together, take £20 a week off the poorest in our country then jump on a jet for a weeks painting and drinking at a Billionaires pad in the sun.

Dreams of a much better life are there. Stronger than ever. Just not this week. Not any time soon. Need to be patient.

Sleep. I find it’s a commodity vastly overrated but actually much needed….

And yet…..

If I just look up it’s amazing what I can find even on a 1 minute walk to the postbox.

There is always something to hold on to. There is always hope. When I focus on what really matters to me. The amazing in my life. I realise actually it’s still a wonderful life. Yes I’m ready to go again…..

Minecraft

The farmer doing his job.

The farmer starting to play MINECRAFT…..

I’m a simple bloke. I don’t have many talents. Not many redeeming features. It’s actually a good job that I look like a cross between George Clooney and Thor then….. 😂😂😂😂😂😂

Today one of the lessons Hawklad had to work through was in an area that I’m trained in. I can actually do this. But rather than a rare chance to show off I ended up shaking my head. It was that bad that I had my first real coffee in months.

What on earth are they teaching our children….

Who is deciding on the areas to learn…..

On what planet do they think that this is the best way to learn…..

Does anyone have the faintest clue if any child is ever going to need this information…..

Basically the lesson focused on the wrong areas, was highly selective, contained inaccuracies and was out of date. The potentially interesting and useful areas basically ignored. The mundane and least worthwhile areas most definitely focused on.

Is it the teacher – Maybe, maybe not. It is the national curriculum – DEFINITELY.

I’m seriously cheesed off with education. Maybe I should join the farmer and play Minecraft. Hawklad would definitely be better off playing that computer game than wasting his time on that lesson.

Purple

Still some flower action here in October.

I remember sitting in small meeting room as a Doctor and a Psychologist talked through Aspergers. How would it effect the future and parenting. A word that kept being mentioned was COMORBIDITY. Aspergers frequently co-exists with other additional conditions. It all depends on the individual. Sometimes you can work on one piece of the jigsaw, other times you have to look at the bigger picture.

Dyslexia, ADHD, Dyspraxia, OCD.

But the single most life affecting word

ANXIETY.

Social anxieties, health anxieties, anxieties.

It’s a constant struggle for Hawklad. The struggle is much harder during a pandemic. More anxieties all around him. But it’s not just about focusing on covid fears. As he briefly gets on top of one anxiety, another one takes over. Last night he struggled with

– infection fears,

– wider health fears,

– fears about touching surfaces and objects,

– return to school anxieties,

– anxieties about random lights in the sky,

– unexplained noises,

– eating anxieties,

– pet anxieties,

– school work,

– meeting strangers,

– life in general.

It’s a constant struggle. Reassuring, trying to manage the environment, talking. Some things the parent can help with but it’s Hawklad’s battle. Somethings need input from experts like Psychologist. Somethings just need a bit of help from life. Some fears may come and go, some fears may be overcome, some fears may become stronger, new fears may appear. It could be a life long battle for him. Over time let’s hope he can develop a range of techniques and strategies to help him manage his own anxieties. The parent is getting older. Soon what support he does get will vanish from the experts. In the UK adults are expected to ‘just get on with it’. That’s Britain for you.

Cat

How am I supposed to exercise with this lump under my feet wanting his tummy tickled. How can one cat take up half of a yoga mat. Scarily that is supposed to be an apex predator. Definitely the heaviest cat in the vets practice and he is proud of it . I guess the only danger he poses to the local rodent population would be if he accidentally sat on them.

They always say eventually owners start looking like their pets.

I’m there already, well it definitely feels that way today.