Walking up the hill

Walking up the hill…

It’s hard work. Sometimes it seems never ending. But eventually the hill flattens out. You get there. There might be bigger hills or mountains surrounding you. But in that moment you can breathe. You can enjoy the moment. You can see clearly. See for miles.

The perfect place for a cheese sandwich, pasty, packet of crisps and a warming brew.😂😂😂

Today it feels like I’m not even half way up the latest hill. I’m tired. Feeling battered and worn down. Unsure of the direction. If anything it feels like I can’t chose the path. I’m being forced along one route which is probably not heading in the direction I want to.

But you know what. I like a good sandwich and a brew on top of a mountain. So I’m going to keep on trying to climb.

See you at the top.

Walk

So each night Hawklad tries to walk a few more yards. To extend is external walk. To slowly start to build bridges again. Last night he bailed out early as he saw people in the distance. But it is progress. It’s a start. At some stage he will be ready to even face people again. But in his own time. Whether that happens before he leaves school, who knows.

I do worry that too many countries are just thinking vaccines. No other permanent changes required. The vaccine will beat the pandemic and return us to that wonderful former world….

But surely with a mutating virus which is still spreading and still so endemic, all a vaccine does is buy us time. It gives us a chance to make changes. To find ways to live safely. To get support out to the people who need it. To increasingly try to make it harder for the virus to spread and thus mutate.

But here’s the thing. The vaccine doesn’t really help with the growing tide of mental health issues facing our society. Speaking with the team trying to support Hawklad. They are being swamped by rising child mental health problems (and the identified problems are just scratching the surface of the real volume of problems out there). Plus was the old world that perfect. Even before a pandemic there was a mental health crisis.

Society and Governments need to quickly wake up to this. There are somethings a vaccine can’t fix for them…..

Reality

Where are the Yorkshire clouds?

That faint red sun pillar is a bit like an X marks the spot.

I had been thinking about mountains today. Thinking is bad for me really. I should leave that to others better qualified than me. I should stick to reading the instructions 😂😂😂. But I was thinking and it was me and TIME again. Years ago I set myself a goal of climbing or walking up every Scottish Munro (282), every Lakeland Fell (214), every Yorkshire large hill (38) and every Welsh mountain 3000ft mountain (15). For years I made decent progress. Maybe 20 to 30 a year. Then life happened. It’s been about 10 in the last decade and zero since 2015.

PANTS…..

So today I was trying to visualise restarting the project. Which mountains where nearest. How to pull off some summits. Much creative thinking was required. Just maybe the Yorkshire ones would be a start. Logistically difficult given life. Impossible currently but just maybe one day….

There is always HOPE. And getting back to that faint sun pillar and its significance. It marks the exact direction I need to head off in to turn that Hope into REALITY.

Hopes great but reality is better.

Time

Finding time to live.

I think as you get older you start to realise the true value of time. We don’t have a finite amount of time to do the things we want to in life. In 2016 that point was brought into the starkest focus for me. Time can suddenly run out…..

So when the penny starts to drop the question then becomes Do you then do anything about it.

We all need to find time to really live.

I remember taking a job on the south coast of England. In Portsmouth. I was there for 6 months. It’s such a cool town, with much to see and do. It was new to me. In those 6 months I spent one afternoon wandering along the beach and looking at the naval history. That was it. The rest of the time I worked and basically just existed. Don’t get me wrong I had the opportunities to do much more with my time but I didn’t. Not much living went on there. Was I happy – certainly NOT.

Things are different now. Life has become a little too out of synch. Much feels out of my control. Beyond reach. Opportunities are not so apparent. But that fact doesn’t stop time slipping by.

Still need to find ways to live. Seize whatever opportunities that do present themselves.

We can do this. We can do some of that living.

Trying

Sunny but cold. Cold we are used to, sunny feels like a pleasant change.

Spot the photobombing bug.

How can hand stands be so difficult. I have been trying to do one in decades. As apparently I’m hundreds of years old well then that’s a lot of decades of failure. Today joined the long line of those. But what chance do I have. I can’t even balance on one leg (somedays two legs is even beyond me). I tried the old wall trick again. Slowly raise myself against a wall. Let the wall provide balance. All goes swimmingly. Well for about second. Then the gravitational pull on my excessively large bum takes over and I hit the ground. Somedays my backside feels like a villain in the Marvel movies. It is inevitable….

But I keep trying.

One day just maybe.

There is always hope.

I remember back in 2016 and thinking I’m never going to be able to do this single parenting gig. I’m going to collapse. And yes I have repeatedly fallen over. Can’t blame my inevitable rear ended for most of those….. But I’m kinda still here. Still trying. Still doing that parenting gig. You never know I might actually get it right one day. There is always hope.

Now let’s have one more go at a handstand.

Toe

Some things in life are naturally beautiful and guaranteed to make you smile.

One of those days. Not enough sleep. School at home was a pain in the buttocks. WordPress continued to act like an incompetent evil overlord. An upcoming concert I was really looking forward to (which had already been rescheduled from last year) was cancelled. Smashed some cups (unintentionally). THEN Hawklad decided to walk into wooden table and clearly has broken his little toe. At least I can see evidence that some of my genes have passed down the family line. Nothing we can do except get him to rest up for a few days.

So in need of distraction I decided to strike one item off the growing DIY list. Let’s put the external mail box back on the wall. Much drilling, much banging, much muttering, much screwing. The mail box was up. Not a bad job at all. Level and well secured. Shame it was upside down…… Not sure what the Postman would think of a letter slot at the bottom. Not the first time my DIY has taken a walk to the a Southern Hemisphere. Summed up the day…..

On days like this those things that make you smile are even more important. Even more treasured.

Biathlon

I’ve always loved winter sports. Definitely my favourites are biathlon, ski jumping, skiing and ski cross. One of my dreams is to see it in person one day. Still waiting….. November to March is great as I get to binge watch it on TV. But when March comes it’s always quite sad as soon the season will be over. No winter sports for 7 months.

That thought has been praying on my mind. 7 months is a long time. What to do.

I’ve looked for some Winter Sports DVDs and Books but there isn’t much about. So I have a stock pile of 3 books and one dvd documentary. Plus one game on the Xbox. The probability of our family lockdown continuing through those 7 months is really high. With no trips out. No runs. Just feels like I need more this year to keep me going.

“Dad what are you doing?”

I’m trying to see if I can do GARDEN biathlon.

Really. It looks like you have gone mad…”

No there is method to my madness. I’ve dug out my two old walking poles. So to pretend I’m Nordic skiing I’m going to use the poles to walk round and round the garden. About 30 times round the garden is about 1km.

Ok how long is a biathlon thing then”

Going to start small first. The Spring is 10km with two shoots. So I would do 100 laps of the garden between shoots.

I think I can see what’s coming next but ok, why have you got my Nerf Gun.”

Well after 100 laps of the garden my pulse will be racing just like a Biathlete. So I will need to control my breathing and steady myself for the shoot. Ok I don’t have a rifle and five circular targets. So I’m putting some tins on the fence and I’m going to try and knock them over with your foam Nerf bullets. For every miss I will have to do a penalty loop or in my case 5 garden loops. The first shoot will be prone and the second will be standing.

OMG Dad. You have cracked.”

So from April one of my daily workouts every week will be my Biathlon competition.

“You have lost the plot”

Most probably Son, most most probably. But just be thankful I’m not trying to recreate Ski Jumping. 😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣

Sunset

What a lovely sunset.

Last night Hawklad reminded me that this Sunday last year was when we first talked isolating. I remember it quite well. A Sunday evening. I was sorting out the school bags for Monday morning. Hawklad came into the room and asked how did we know that this new virus wasn’t already in school. How did we know the bus was virus free. Should we stay off school until it passes. I tried to reassure him but I could sense his anxiety. I emailed the school to let them know that he was anxious. When he’s anxious it can throw off his ability to sit still and concentrate.

He did get to school the next day but not by school bus. He asked to be driven in. A few days later school proved too much for him and our family lockdown started. Soon the world changed.

It’s odd looking back. Its hard to believe that we have been isolating for nearly a year now. I wouldn’t have dreamed that I could have coped with that much isolation fit that long. A world suddenly constricted to our garden and house.

But we have…….

We can do this.

Day

Sun going down on another day. Another Groundhog Day.

The days are just blending together. No week day seems to stand out. I get up at the same time each day. Check the calendar to try to work out which day of the week it is (never exactly clear). Do my exercise. Take the dog out for a quick walk in the flooded farmers field. Make the same breakfast for Hawklad. Feed the pets. Check the work system – nothing. Survive the school at home gig while squeezing in as much housework as possible. Fight with Microsoft Teams to close the school day down. Prepare the evening meal (the same ones on repeat every week). Look at the clock to see it’s about 6pm. Look out the window and another day is quickly ebbing away.

On repeat.

That’s why the evening’s and weekends are so important. Need to make those work. Work better than they do currently. Too often they drift by as well. I end up going to bed thinking I survived the day rather than I LIVED the day.

Has to change.

Not sure it will

Temporary farmers field lake is still going strong and still delivering. Kind of want it all year round. Wonder if my hosepipe will reach that far….

I’m not sure it will.

I was doing my morning torture ritual. Set the alarm to go off while it’s still dark. Exercise and then let the real torture begin. Yoga. Trying to follow the helpful and really nice instructions.

“To extend this pose why don’t you just take those knees just a bit lower…”

I’m not sure they will.

“This is a scrumptious hip opener why don’t you just hold it for another 10 seconds…”

I’m not sure I have the will.

“Try to breathe in through your nose to the count of 7 and then breathe slowly out to the count of 8.”

I’m not sure my lungs will.

“Now try to touch the ground with the outside of your left knee while twisting your body as far you can to the right.”

I’m convinced it will not do that without rupturing my spine.

“While keeping your right leg off the ground cradle your left thigh with both arms, start to rock.”

If you count going into catatonic shock as rocking, then I can…