Back to school

Warning this post contains bad language and monumentally pompous stupidity.

In 2018 the Switzerland Glaciers lost 2.5% of their volume. It’s expected that they will have disappeared by 2090 – at the latest.

On Friday thousands of pupils walked out of UK School’s to protest about our Governments inaction on climate change. Good to see the positive response it got from our Leaders.

“It is important to emphasise that disruption increases teachers’ workloads and wastes lesson time that teachers have carefully prepared for,” a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said. “That time is crucial for young people, precisely so that they can develop into the top scientists, engineers and advocates we need to help tackle this problem.”

Our countries so called Education Secretary “let me be clear, missing class won’t do a thing to help the environment; all they will do is create extra work for teachers.”

The Conservative Leader of the House of Commons “It’s called truancy, not a strike“.

Well if you got your head out of your arses and took meaningful action then the kids wouldn’t need to walk out. If you didn’t pander to the fossil fuel companies, actively promote the disastrous fracking industry and cut renewable energy investment…. then you might be taken seriously. What trust do you expect the next generation to have in you when they see the monumental f*****g screwup you are making of Brexit. The entire political system has abjectly failed its primary roles of protecting the world and securing the futures of the upcoming generations.

This has to stop. The kids get it. Unfortunately our dim witted, self serving leaders don’t. It’s time for the next generation to take over and time for our politicians to go back to school. Maybe then they would see what a gigantic mess they have made of the education system as well.

3-2-1 Quote Me Challenge

Thank you to Pensitivity101 for the 3-2-1 Quote Me Challenge.

The Rules are (seems kinda wrong writing about rules after my last post…sorry)

  • Thank the Selector.
  • Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.
  • Select 3 other bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me

The topic is Creativity.

First quote always has to go to one of my heroes – Carl Sagan.

“It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science.”

Second quote about creativity and thinking outside (or inside) the box has to be from the brilliant Spongebob cartoon.

My invites for the challenge with quotes about Creativity are:

As ever the challenge is completely voluntary – only do it if you fancy having a go.

Laura – Riddle From The Middle

Ana – MomLifeWithChiari

Robyn – Autism in our Nest

Let’s break some rules….

Our school like so many others prides itself on discipline and the behaviour of its pupils. This is achieved with an inflexible set of rules. If a pupil breaks a rule then it’s an automatic negative. Four negatives in one week means detention. Repeated detentions bring the sanction of isolation. A serious negative can lead to an immediate spell of isolation. It’s all a bit Dickensian – was going to say Shawshank Redemption but that’s probably not a good example to use really…

The rules must come in about 7 volumes so too many to list. But let’s give a flavour by quoting some of the negatives which our son has seen issued.

  • Unbuttoned shirt
  • Incorrect positioning of the tie
  • Throwing a snowball – after school and not on school premise
  • Small coloured markings on white sport socks
  • Parent not signing off the weekly planner sheet
  • Forgetting your planner or text book
  • Incorrect colour pen used. Has to be black, unless it’s a correction which has to be green – still haven’t worked out what blue is supposed to be for
  • Forgetting to bring your cooking apron
  • Bringing the wrong measurement of food ingredients
  • School iPad running out of battery
  • Carrying snacks in a rucksack
  • Going to the wrong lesson if you misread the timetable
  • Getting lost in the school – it is a big school area with several separate buildings
  • Bringing the wrong type of calculator
  • Repeatedly asking to go home if you are unwell
  • Pointing out that the teacher had got a fact wrong (son’s only negative so far)

And on and on

Our son came home yesterday to say that he had to complete a series of corrections in his book. Failure to do so would result in two negatives…. When I checked he had one answer correction to make – fine. But he also had to correct spellings. As you can imagine with dyslexia he had many. We had the dreaded red “spelling mistake” label on almost every line. I gave up counting at 30.

The school has another rule which says that for every spelling mistake the pupil has to write out the correct spelling three times.

Call me awkward but he’s got dyslexia. How can this be right. I have spoken to the school on several occasions but I am told it is the rule for all pupils. Well bugger it. I have emailed school to tell them that he is not doing the corrections. We will add the words he has struggled with to our home reading work. But he is definitely not writing out the corrections three times. If he gets a negative for this then I have warned them that I will consider legal action against the school. U.K. organisations need to take reasonable steps to avoid discrimination on the grounds of disability. Under the Equality Act Dyslexia is classed as a disability. OR the school could just give me the detention – that could be really interesting (unbelievably I have never suffered that punishment).

Blue water

I took the mad dog for his morning constitutional walk. We pass a couple of streams and a small lake. Just very grey. Got me thinking. Even in the summer they are always just grey. No colour.

Suddenly my mind wanders to happier times. European Holidays. The two things that immediately strike you when you visit Switzerland:

  • The staggering beauty of the Alps

AND

  • The beautiful colour of the Lakes. This photo does not do them justice.

Just breathtaking…..

Being stupid

Son accidentally knocks something off a shelf and it’s smashed. Son is mortified but I try to reassure him that it’s fine. These things happen to everyone. But he’s not happy.

“It’s because I’m stupid. It’s the same as why I am in the bottom set, it’s because I’m stupid. It’s the reason the teachers don’t spend much time with me, it’s because I’m stupid.”

Poor kid. It is so difficult for him. His logical mindset cannot fathom out school politics. He can see kids he consistently gets higher marks than sitting in sets above him. He can see teachers focusing on other children in class – often the disruptive ones. He hears me and the health professionals complaining to school about them not recognising his potential – but nothing happens.

Today homeschooling is looking a likely option. Practicalities still to be worked through. Finances will be a challenge. Maybe looking for a switch in the summer. This allows for one final push with school. Months to sort out the details – plenty of time.

Piece of cake. Talking of a piece of cake.

Our Prime Minister is still telling us that we can do Brexit in a few weeks. Really.

She assures us that they have the best people handling the process. Really.

My Dad wouldn’t have trusted them with a stick of rhubarb never mind the keys to the country.

But our Government does have it uses. They give us so many examples of real stupidity. I told our son about how our Government had decided that we needed extra emergency ferry capacity. The Government decided to give the contract to a company which has never run any sort of transport service and unbelievably doesn’t have any ships….

When our son heard that he smiled and said “Now that is properly stupid. Maybe I’m not as bad as I think I am.”

Son you are brilliantly gifted. Unfortunately the Government is not…..

Silence….

5 Days 14 Hours xx Seconds

No my blog has not been sponsored by Jack Bauer and the 24 TV Production Team. It’s the time I’ve gone without speaking to anyone (excluding our son). I’m not sure if I should be proud or a tad worried. Maybe both.

So almost a week without a phone call, chance meeting or random conversation. Even on two long runs – didn’t bump into a single person. Its one of the prices you pay for living in a small village.

It’s an odd feeling. Have I been secretly ostracised. Has my liking for Nickelback finally caught up with me…….

I had assumed my streak would have ended today as today was the food shopping trip. However I managed to get round the aisles without uttering a word. I did smile a few times at random folk. Surely a conversation will be struck with the assistant on the cash till. But no. All the tills were full so I opted for the self service lane. No scanning problems encountered so the streak continued.

Tomorrow I have to go to the work unit but that is in a largely deserted industrial estate and I will be the only person in our building. So the streak may continue into Thursday. Hang on a minute Thursday is Valentines Day. Wow am I going to be seriously cranky by the 14th…

Anyway we have started a little wager, who will break my streak. I’ve gone for a random cold caller with my first words being “will you just bugger off”. Son is going for the postman or randomly a lost Donald Trump.

I will keep you posted…..

Which mountain?

It’s just over 2 years since we lost her. It doesn’t feel like 2 years. It still just seems like last month..

This photograph was taken on our last family holiday. It’s the view from the hotel. The view brings back so many happy memories. But it’s a sobering thought that the next time I see this view for real it will be on a trip to scatter her ashes. That wasn’t in the script…..

I feel a bit like Dr Strange in the last Avengers movie. Scanning all the possible life outcomes and probably only seeing one which involved ashes within such a short time span. Unfortunately that one came to fruition.

On that last holiday we spoke briefly about if something happened where she wanted to be laid to rest. I never paid too much attention to it. Surely that life option isn’t going to happen for many years – I would make a really crap Dr Strange. But now we have a bit of a problem. Can I remember the preferred sites. Two in the UK are reasonably simple and straightforward. The two in Switzerland ……

One is easy as it’s an instantly recognisable location, we have been to it several times before. The other location is a tad more problematic. She wanted to be scattered at the same location as her beloved Dad. It’s at the top of a mountain I have never been to. Assuming I have remembered the right mountain, Switzerland are not short of one or two. Then I can vaguely remember the instructions. Get the cable car to the top. Start the path down and it’s next to a bench near a small pile of stones. Unfortunately looking at the internet the mountain has at least 8 paths and I’ve counted at least 20 benches. As our son helpfully points out – you will know if you have picked the wrong mountain or wrong bench when that bolt of lightning strikes. No pressure then….

Two years ago this genuinely caused me huge anxiety and anguish. Now I can see the funny side. That’s progress.

Important note. Trying to arrange taking ashes abroad from the U.K. is a nightmare especially if you are planning to fly. You need to arrange a specific flight time with the airline. Then get the undertaker to securely package the ashes and complete the required cover note which has to include the flight details. The airlines I spoke to made the process so difficult. Also straight after the cremation the last thing you want to sort out is air flights. Fortunately the Eurostar train option is so much friendly. They told us to get the ashes securely packaged. Then book as normal when you are ready – just pre warn security when they check your bags. It’s another train journey for my partner then – she loved trains.

When dreams fade

The pre Valentine onslaught is in full swing. One advert claiming to have the perfect gift for my partner, every base covered….. Really – every base?

I’ve always been a daydreamer. As a child dreams of football, cricket, astronauts and mountains dominated. They gave hope. The years went by and still I dreamed. Dreams of happiness and a successful career. Then I met my partner and the dreams changed. Suddenly dreams focused on starting a family. Then our son was born and dreams shifted to happy family life. Few years further passed and it became more likely no more children would arrive – again my dreams shifted. Now they were dominated by images of us happily growing old together. Walking hand in hand. Sat together in Parisian cafes. Sharing new experiences in new lands. Dreams and hopes intertwined. Then the world suddenly changed….

Now I live in the moment, just focused on the practicalities of the day. When I daydream now (very rare) these are entirely focused on our son. Dreams involving me have gone. When I look – nothing. They died with my partner. No happy thoughts of growing older. Just the deepest blackness. I have heard this phrase used before. Living our lives through our children. It is so true. One role.

One day I do hope my daydreams return. Some things don’t change. I am still a daydreamer at heart.

Tell the story Challenge

Thank you to Kristian for the Tell the Story Challenge Tag.

The guideline rules are. Take the picture provided and write a story, poem or anecdote about it, then tag three others and provide them with a picture of your own.

Looking at the picture above going to cheat and have two goes as the one I can’t get out of my mind is way too short.

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Attempt 1 (only makes sense if you have seen a rather major Super Hero Movie recently….)

Thanos wins…

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Attempt 2

A little piece of England on this fine summers morning. The rustling of the breeze and the playful sound of birds. Grasshoppers and crickets chirping. The smell so sweet and so calming. A haven for wildlife. An irreplaceable mini ecosystem. So many birds, butterflies and insects appreciating the ample supply of nectar, pollen and seeds. A small lizard basking on the warming rocks. Frogs and Toads croaking in the cooling pond. Sticklebacks darting silently in the dark waters. A rare Red Squirrel already busily preparing for winter. Garden spiders spinning intricate webs. A mouse and a vole scurrying under the green canopy. And yet…

Within weeks the diggers will move in. Complete destruction. Progress requires the building of a new high speed railway. A decision made hundreds of miles away by politicians feeding off the plate of big business. In the name of progress. To save commuters those precious 20 minutes each day. A quick profit. Is the sacrifice really worth paying…. Explain that to this little piece of England.

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The most important rule is to have fun.

AND if you don’t fancy having a go, then that’s fine.

I am going to tag

Pensitivity101

John Malone

Tanyasblog

The picture is ……