Autumn

Damp, dark, chilly and windy. Definitely Autumn in Yorkshire. it also means places like The Yorkshire Arboretum will be unusually quiet. That’s the perfect time for Hawklad to have a relaxing visit. It’s good when he feels like he just about has a place to himself. That makes such a difference to him.

And it did.

And it made all the difference to his old Dad as well.

Can’t beat the quiet, can’t beat nature, can’t beat the autumnal colours.

7 days

Sun setting on another day. Looking at the forecast I think the sun is going on holiday for a few days and that holiday won’t be taken in Yorkshire.

It’s now a week off from school and the school at home project. Much needed. The last 7 weeks have been a grind. Lots of hard work and pushing, feeling like it’s lots of effort just to stand still. This week off needs to be about recharging the batteries. Letting Hawklad be himself, try to make it as fun as possible for him. Maybe even catch up with a little bit of Dad sleep. That alarm clock is definitely being switched off for a few days.

So I looked out across the hillside and across the Vale. Looking West towards the setting Sun which was briefly illuminating a strong, resilient tree. We can do this. So many wonderful moments can still be played out. Dreams are out there. Dreams can happen. It can be a wonderful life. It really can be.

Swiss Sunday

It’s just turned Sunday so it must be time for our weekly trip to Alpine Heaven. Trip down memory lane to a country which means so much to our little family. Time to dream about Switzerland.

The last trip was 6 years back. A lot has happened in that time. Lots….. Lets hope the next visit is just round the corner. But until then the memories keep me going.

Like memories from our favourite Swiss base, Spiez. A walk around the Schloss and vineyards. Little known fact, Switzerland makes some mighty fine wine.

But the real memories. Someone mountain climbing. Someone burning off the energy around the Castle Gardens.

Happy Day.

Life

“Sir can you read out the unique software licence number again, our system isn’t recognising the code.”

Any call to a Help Desk is a challenge, especially when your tired. Tired and brainwashed. Softened up by hours on hold, listening to the drone of a lame b-side singles and the endless ‘your call is important to us’ mantra.

Can I ask why your licence number is so long

“Its to improve core security and improve the client interface.”

I so wanted to scream ‘Will you speak in English please’ and I have a degree in IT. Don’t hold that again me……

You do know that licence numbers are frequently between 10 and 20 digits long. Yours is about 60 characters long, Why can’t I just copy and paste this, or I forgot, your App turned that function off for Security and Customer Care reasons.

‘That’s why our system is so robust”

It’s also why I’m smashing the phone repeatedly into my laptop in frustration. Here goes again then. Let’s see if I can read out the code perfectly. Would be easier reading out War and Peace.

3ZH8AWE4A11ZZ4DF099SD80683D5F2988C0DDC9ABEE9724201A2512E36620CC6E1E7FSDSZEH1

A true test of my eyesight, my memory and my oral skills. After about 15 failed attempts where I started doubting my sanity, the penny finally dropped. The person from London can’t understand my northern accent. C in not a Z… and H is not a E

Happy days . That’s 4 hours of my day I won’t get back. Hours I could have been outside focusing on what is really important in life. When will I learn.

Hatch

The local cows seeking shelter from the blistering Yorkshire Autumnal Sun. Wow it’s been cold. Definitely two jumper weather.

Today we have had plenty of time to be out in the cold. Four lessons today and virtually no work sent from school. One random map but no information, no explanation, no questions, just a map. That was it. Hawklad spent the day doing his own thing. Nothing else for him to do.

Eventually I called it. Enough for one day. Turn the school iPad off and let’s go and get some ice cream. I’m actually half tempted to tell him not to switch the iPad on tomorrow as well. Currently what is the point to this school at home project.

So ice cream it was. As I was walking back with the goodies. Then definite proof that Yorkshire Birds are a breed apart.

How long do I have to sit on this big egg before it hatches.

Without doubt the academic high of the day.

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.