The Obelisk at Castle Howard. It is over 300 years old and is 24m tall. It has the following inscription


I think my translation is pretty accurate.

Virtually everyday is wet here. If you have the misfortune to come here you will need three jumpers, extra thick wooly socks and two umbrellas. I could have been built somewhere warm and dry like Rome but no. For some reason they built me in a place that only the Saxons could love.

Its other claim to fame is that when I do my long run I perform a u-turn here and head home. It was very kind of Sir John Vanbrugh in 1714 to think of my recreational needs. Clearly a very clever man. Although he was a tad over optimistic that my little legs would get me to one of his other creations – Blenheim Palace. Not sure even my car could make it there.

But to be fair to the great architect he’s not the only one who can struggle with the powers forward planning.

While my partner was here we disagreed on which secondary school to send our son to. I favoured his current school as at least he would know some kids there. My partner favoured either another secondary school or even a special school. In the end my partner died a year before the decision had to be finally made. So he went to the school I had favoured. With hindsight that was a monumentally poor decision. Talk about a school getting a kids education so badly wrong. The only redeeming feature about my decision is that according to the health professionals the other secondary school option is not much better.

So now we are caught in the classic parent catch 22 position. Does he stay in this failing school where at least he knows some kids. Does he move to the other school which potentially is not much better and would mean a huge upheaval for any kid – especially one with Aspergers. We could look at a special school option but even the health professionals agree that he just wouldn’t suit that educational approach. We can’t afford to sell the house and move to another catchment area. Moving also means having to probably reapply for an Education and Health Care Plan which given the government cutbacks would prove extremely difficult. AND YET I just can’t find a practical way of educating from home.

Sorry to swear but BLOODY HELL.

So I look at the Obelisk and think that’s it’s good but maybe the architect could have included say a comfy seat, a water dispenser, some energy drinks and maybe a supply of oxygen. I look at our sons schooling and think what changes can deliver the best fit in a few years time. I suspect the Obelisk is the easiest to change.

97 thoughts on “Obelisk

  1. Such a beautiful site to run too and take a breath .. oh a comfy bench with let’s see a book or pas and pencil to journal .. yes I like to journal.. oh how u wish there was a way to educate your son at home. I would say would his teachers know a way? BUT they haven’t been much help .. do not give up , there has to be something you can do to make it easier on him. 😞

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your translation! 😉

    I suppose that one of the challenges of life is that no matter what decisions or choices we make, there will always be some sort of consequence, and difficulty, related to that choice. And since we can’t always know the outcomes, we can’t necessarily completely chide ourselves for whatever choice we made.
    Here’s hoping for some guidance in the decision you make next regarding your sons schooling. I know it’s difficult, and don’t envy you it at all! But we’re all here, listening, and you’re welcome to vent.
    Thinking of you guys xx

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  3. Hilarious translation. I am sure that it would be much better than the original one for anyone visiting.
    Every decision has a flip side and we face it after we implement the decision. I hope that things get better with time for both you and your son.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Maybe if you used the Obelisk on a few Senior School officials that would give them a change of heart ( along with a few other things) 😂, biger the club the more intemadating you are 😁.


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  5. I’ve been to Castle Howard and it was lovely. I seen more inside then outside due to going December time when they had their Christmas decorations up.
    I must go and visit on a warmer day, if my local coaches do the trips to there on those days. I shall have to look out at day trips going next year and see.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. If you’d gone with your wife’s choice you might still be in this exact same position, I don’t think it is a case of not making the right decision any more as there is not a good choice to pick for autistic children in most areas now. It may be that the school he is at is the best he is going to get under the current system. I moved my son 3 times in primary and none were really ever right for him and I feel bad about moving him now and wonder what would of happened if I’d of stuck with the first and tried even harder to make them support him better. Things really need to change in education.

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  7. Been to Castle Howard and NEVER saw this. Alas life is full of decision making and then the consequences. Sometimes there is no right choice cos there’s damn all choices in the first place which probably explains all these sayings about devils and deep blue seas and rocks and hard places. and all you can do is cling to the wreckage of not being in an ideal world. But then again sometimes things do fall into place often unexpectedly. so just keep running and just keep translating. Oh and organize your camp out okay cos one thing is for certain you will never fail your boy and that is what counts.

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      1. Well ours secondary anyway was a sort of selective one for the brighter children, which meant you no longer fitted where you grew up but you did not fit there either so naturally some of us ganged together in the rebel stakes where I guess you could describe the Latin class as a war zone certainly for the teacher concerned.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. well sort of. He was also a classic dirty old git. Apart from staggering up to the board to tell us ‘Piris’ was the king of Epiris and a ‘wummin’ hit him on the head wi a tile…. one of the three things he taught us.. and Rome was like a rimless wheel ‘wi ‘spokes.. the second, which he drew on the board every lesson…his other fav was the Sabine women. That one with staggering alacrity, he would put his hand across my friend’s desk ..right in front of his own and make obscene groping gestures. Now despite being from the same areas as I was, she’d recoil and beg for help and I’d say, he comes any nearer and I swear I will take my desk off his head. This was all in addition to the fact that he believed he would read from what he called the Flavy Book. A book which he said detailed the adventures of a young Roman legionary on Hadrian’s Wall called Flavius Betto. (His own name was Bett.) A book he kept in an envelope in a locked drawer. Anyway, one night, me and my friend broke into his classroom in the middle of some school event in the main hall…as you do.. to get that book and read by torchlight what it said. It never said anything like he said it did.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been trying for months now to write a post about autism and school and the subject just upsets me too much and breaks my heart to even think about so a bit of a writer’s block. I honestly think it’s THE biggest issue our kids have and if we could solve that then the rest of the issues would be easier and we could cope with them.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Good grief, I’m so sorry. These immovable problems are so frustrating! (I did love your Latin translation, though — having never taken that course I 100% believe you’ve done an excellent job.) No advice here except to say we do the best we can with what we know at the time. I’m sure your initial choice of school is no different.

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  9. I work for a school… it’s a home school but we have classes. They do a combo of classes and at home. We have regular kids and many special needs kids, all kinds of kids.

    I personally love it because the kids get more attention and our school is smaller so the community of kids and faculty is close knit – knowing all of them.

    Have you looked into anything like this in your area? I am in United States.

    I can’t tell you how much it helps the kids… and we have amazing kids – they get the benefit of home school and then also coming in 2 days a week for classes – and they love being here – we have an amazing group of kids!! My school is K-12

    Each child has a ST – special teacher who helps with their needs and class enrollment… and then we have the general teachers – English, Math and Science … and one day for electives … we also have an assortment of special teachers for speech or whatever that child needs. My school is a public school… so anyone may attend.

    Do you have anything like this in your area?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. For over 300 years the Obelisk has been where it has been wishing it was in a warmer and drier place. Had it been it will wish it was in a cooler place with a gentle rain at times. There is no ideal location. Unlike the Obelisk, your son’s needs must be dealt with as a student being raised to be a valued contributing citizen… the goal for each school.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Do you ever have an entire week that it doesn’t rain there? I heard there is flooding in Yorkshire … are you safe from it? Yeah … Bloody Hell just about sums it all up. Here, let’s have a coffee … ☕☕

    Liked by 1 person

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