Before anyone says anything this photo was NOT today and not 2020……

It’s a bizarre country which I live in.

A place where British war time spirit and a stiff up lip is the way to defeat this unseen enemywell that’s what our newspapers are claiming. No I think you will find that it’s actually antibodies and vaccines that will do that. Self distancing will help dampen the curve but on its own it will not do the job.

A country which for 10 years has invested heavily in academic testing for an increasingly younger range of school kids. The only principle in UK education is meeting government targets by testing millions of kids, week after week. Test, test, test. Yet the same Government can’t see the importance of testing when it applies to a pandemic. They can’t even provide virus tests for our brave medics and front line carers. Actually the can’t even provide the appropriate protective kit to all our nurses. Suddenly we have a mad scramble for kit, tests and ventilators. It’s not as if the Government didn’t know. Three years ago a study reported to the then Government on how poorly prepared the country was for a pandemic. The Government (including many in the current cabinet) decided to bury the report.

That’s probably why the UK is soon going to have the worst pandemic mortality rate in Europe.

Deep deep sigh and divert gaze to domestic matters.

Dad would you mind if I didn’t do any revision this week for the school tests. Not sure I’m in the right frame of mind for it.”

Given the current climate why on earth is the school doing exams. Oh I forgot – it’s government policy. Can we just give the kids a break. Especially as the tests are based on such a narrow educational range. It’s more about proving to kids what they don’t know and spotlighting their individual weaknesses. What about letting kids show what they are good at, what they do know.

“Ok Son that’s fine with me. When you feel the revision force is with you then if you want to, then do some. If it’s not then just have FUN.”

And that’s what we did. We had to abandon the planned eat some whip cream while bouncing on the trampoline competition. The pigeons who have adopted our garden have now decided to build a nest right next to the trampoline AND it now has eggs. So we opted for plan b and c. Try to make some homemade ice cream. Followed by setting up our very own beach. In the garage I found a couple of old bags of play sand. So that was emptied onto the little patio and the old kiddies paddling pool was filled with water. Shorts and suncream on. An MP3 file of seaside bird and animal sounds was played on my portable music player. Hey presto we are at the beach. Ok we need to work on the beach sounds. The sound of whale songs and walruses fighting are not that common on the Yorkshire coast – but that’s nit picking. As a safe, social distancing adventure it most certainly worked. Now I just need to rebag the sand for our next trip. Maybe it’s to a desert.

133 thoughts on “First rant of the month and then the garden beach

  1. Wow, you are an awesome, fun dad! Bringing the beach to your son, how cool. I’d like to find some craft sand to put into a shallow dish tub and do some sensory therapy for myself. I have the nature sound machine, ocean scented oil…Yes, that sounds like something my daughter would enjoy, as well. Thanks for the idea, and again, great dad work 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, make your own, even if just a small tub. We learned this at the public library Christmas party. You take a box of baking soda and mix in a little hair conditioner at a time, until it takes on the fluffy consistency of snow. I did it for my kid and her friends one year and they absolutely loved it. 🙂

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  2. In some ways we all live in bizarre countries that impose criteria that are neither beneficial or understandable. What you do with your son is much more valuable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a cool idea! I’d love to sit at the beach right now. I guess I could make my own too! Bobby told me today that his school has moved from grades to a “pass/fail” method of keeping grades. He was happy because he needs to get a 60% or above on any assignment. I think he just needs to sign in for “attendance” to get that. Really crazy times.

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  4. Love it. What a good way to take your mind off the farce that dealing with this pandemic has become for a bit. The trampoline and whipped cream sounds like it would of been a blast but not at the expense of the pigeons and their eaglets so good call on postponing that! They are probably on high alert for egg smashing whales and walrus now though…

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  5. My daughters are now aged 33, 29, 27 and 24 (29 and 24 will likely see their significant next birthdays in lock-down … I will be peddling fun from 3,000 miles away unable to join them). But my moment in your comment stream is not about head-holding it’s about how apoplectic your piece made me. Not you, for the avoidance of doubt, but that the *fill in appropriate expletive – we have already ascertained that I have experience of the WordPress Naughty Chair* British Government is STILL deploying the same corrosive approach to education as it was when I had school aged children. I was a pox and a thorn on several schools as the girls grew up. I refused to cooperate and guess what? Two of them did really really badly in their GCSEs and two of them did really well (one coming out top in the county for grades with 14 A and A*s). Clock forwards and they are all equally happy. The two no-hopers both have good careers (although what happens next is anyone’s guess), the one that did well got a degree in Fine Arts and has a job which she loves and only does art for her own pleasure and the one that shone dropped out of school at 17, didn’t do a degree and now works as a carer (which she loves). As for the lack of testing …. I hear people are clapping for Boris over there. I have no words. Which is rare so relish the silence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At the moment many people are confused and happy to accept it as just one of those things. Not convinced that will last but the media are already finding scapegoats to blame. The schooling here is just factory production lines. One fit for all kids. Hope you get to see your daughters soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So long as they are safe I’m happy to wear the separation. The best teacher my kids ever had was the one who was nudging retirement and used to say ‘ I DO so love an individual’ ….

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      2. Keep the faith …. once the nonsense of school is over, your son will be free to be he and he, like you can breathe the fresh air of individuality and go to hell all ye who tried to curb that unique spirit

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You are so inventive. I can just picture the scene. Knitted hanky on top of your long hair, face burning now there is no beard, deckchair, trousers rolled up to your knees and sandles with socks. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You are so innovative and creative, Gary. That is so so cool! You are such a role model that if there is a will there is a way.
    I had no idea the UK was so badly prepared for a pandemic and even knew about it without doing anything. That’s a bit shocking!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nicely done! Good job, Superdad. Once again you have swooped in to be your sons hero. He’s a very fortunate lad indeed. Keep up the good work. I know it’s hard and tiring, but I hope you’re having some fun too. I love that the pigeons are making themselves at home. It’s nice to have some visitors. ☺

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Yep…. Mind you up here we don’t think of him as our leader. As for these daily death figures,?Lets be clear ,people get tested in hospital for the virus, some die, the test results don’t come in straight off. Certainly not up here. So these deaths can’t be added to a count, till they do. So the overnight thing is not so. Utter bloody shambles, eh? Now up here we are finally getting to see the area and age-group breakdown…. quite interesting, as is the fact there’s now a ton of non-related deaths–quite an upsurge from last year at this time, from people who did not get help with another condition, like, say heart failure… So praying for him? I don’t think so.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The balance has gone. A GP group down south is trying to put global Do Not Resuscitate orders on conditions like Autism. This is what 10 years of Tory rule has done. You can’t keep cutting then suddenly expect the public services to have the resources and numbers to deal with this.

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  9. Your government is no worse than most, I think, but yes, it is abominable that they ignored all the warnings and even a month ago, continued to ignore, hoping that if they closed their eyes, it would all go away. Ours did the same, and is still doing it. Sigh. That said … YOU are one awesome dad!!! I know of no other that would go to that much effort. 👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s hard. Today our papers are covered in photos of Boris. Hardly any mention of the 1000+ deaths or the Doctors and Nurses pleading for kit. If we had lost 50 people in a terror attack or disaster the faces of the lost would be splattered all over the pages. It’s all part of a push to show us that this was properly managed and our leaders are great. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah yes … even my own phone sent me no less than 4 “breaking news updates” to let me know that Boris was out of the hospital. I think it is the Boris & Donnie show … to hell with the lives lost, the serious blunders made, and the fact that the health of their nations are being further decimated by the hour. It’s all about them, y’know. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Hugs, my friend. xx

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      3. He is saying beautiful words about the nurses who saved him. Clearly heartfelt. But some of these nurses are the very people his government are trying to make it more difficult to stay here. He also voted against giving these very nurses a pay increase before he became PM. x

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      4. I saw that … even gave a shout out to two of them by name, saying they stood by his bedside for 48 hours when “it could have gone either way”. Given that he voted against their pay increase, he’s probably lucky one of them didn’t put his pillow over his face instead of under his head. Sigh. I’m becoming a cruel woman these days. 😦

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      5. Our Health Secretary is trying to claim that the nurses should use the PPE kit better. I bet he wouldn’t treat patients using a bin bag as protection. That’s the man who allowed 250000 to attend a race meeting days before we locked down and who has been funded by the Racing Industry for years.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. They should “use it better”??? WTF … how are they supposed to do that??? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. The corruption is astounding, isn’t it? Here, Trump is telling them to sterilize their masks and that they can use them up to 20 times. He’s also saying that he doesn’t think the states need all the PPE and ventilators they are asking for. Sigh. I don’t know about you, my friend, but I’ve about had enough of it all.

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