It’s another one of those cold damp bleak Yorkshire days. Hawklad is sat in his bedroom trying to get his school work done. Or maybe he is asleep…. I’m sat by a radiator watching the incessant rain rattle against the window. Trying to warm up after my really cold morning garden workout. It feels like this will be long old winter. A long winter on many fronts.
I’m listing to an old Opeth cd. Back in the time when they were still a proper dark metal band. A memory floods black. I went to buy this very cd just before the millennium. A time way before parenting reality found its way to me. From a music shop which would eventually sadly succumb to economic reality. With the gatefold cd in hand I went to pay for it at the till. The clearly just out of school assistant looked at the cd and then gave me a questioning look. He said something like
“This is one of my favourite bands but it’s very heavy dude. Might not be your thing. I can show you the section with the more mainstream rock cds”
I stopped him before he got they chance to mention The Moody Blues. I pointed out to him that I had in fact all of Opeth’s records. And while he was probably still in nappies watching the Care Bears I was at gigs watching the likes of Motörhead and Black Sabbath. After that we had a laugh and he admitted that when he saw me walk into the shop he had switched the music he was playing from Iron Maiden to Deacon Blue. I admitted that I had seen Maiden but strangely forget to add that I had also seen Deacon Blue as well…..
A happy, long forgotten memory…. A memory which took my mind off winter for a few precious minutes.
Another one of those dark days. But at least it’s not like yesterday…
It’s definitely one of those days that it’s difficult to work out how far we have got through this week. Think it’s Thursday. Possibly.
I was outside this morning trying to do my yoga session. I’m sure the yoga vibes lose a bit of meaning across the miles. I follow someone who leads yoga instruction from Austin, Texas. Often she is on a mat outside in the blazing sun. Meanwhile I load up the video desperately trying to keep the iPad dry in the driving rain. The yoga mat is covered in puddles. Any exposed skin is risking frostbite and I’m thinking that two wooly hats was definitely not enough. Don’t you just love Yorkshire. Inside is not a viable option as I can see a dog and cat looking through the window, just waiting to excitedly pounce.
We were outside last night having a late night chat. It was dark, cold, windy and damp.
“Dad why on earth do we live here?”
Absolutely no idea son. I was thinking exactly the same thing.
“We could be sat outside somewhere with T-shirt’s on. We could even be in The Alps walking about in beautiful snow.”
Meanwhile Hawklad we are grimly walking around trying to keep warm while wearing 9 million layers. The waterproofing on our coats has long since been jet blasted off.
“Dad we sound like a right couple of misery heads…..”
I think it’s a Yorkshire thing. That’s why Wallace and Gromit always sound so depressed and seek solace in Wensleydale Cheese.
“DadNASA are about to make a big announcement about the Moon. Wouldn’t it be funny if Wallace and Gromit were right and the Moon was made of Wensleydale or Stilton cheese.”
Maybe they have found intelligent life there. That would confirm its alien not human…… No one intelligent would choose to live in this weather.
“Dad well it’s better than living on the moon. I hear the atmosphere is quite bad there!”
Why do I always hear Spock’s words to Captain Kirk whenever I try to do yoga.
“It’s life Jim but not as we know it!”
It’s yoga just not as we know it. That sums up my yoga talents perfectly. I do try. I guess it’s like my parenting as well – it’s parenting but not as we know it. Anyway back to that instrument of torture which is yoga. I’m part of the Yoga with Adriene App community. She’s really really good but even she can’t sort some people out. This person out. But at least I can laugh at the many times I lose balance and then hit the ground.
Like most things in life, we have to find our own way.
The last ME/MUPPET guide to yoga went down so well and it guided so many lost souls to yoga perfection – well then clearly you need another one. Again I will be assisted by some brave and fearless (mostly) mini lego figures. I will be played this time by Shaggy. Bizarrely the rest of the yoga group are Star Wars characters.
First point is that it’s so important that you get yoga mats, leggings and blocks that are the right size for you. Anything other than a perfect fit could lead to injury or worse, embarrassment.
Remember to place your mat next to people who have similar abilities to yourself. In my case I tend to look at for certain key signs in the other yoga attendees. Badly fitting gym clothes, a few spare tyres round the middle, scrapes and bruises to the knees, bandages on the elbows, squashed nose and a slightly bemused look.
Be careful if you get your selection wrong then it will only ever end in disaster. Some people are better equipped to do certain yoga positions than others…..
Remember it’s a badge of honour to be the only person in the session standing on the wrong leg repeatedly.
There will come a time when you will be asked to do a one legged dancer’s pose. Don’t be fearful, embrace it. Especially when you find out your the only person in the room who can’t do it.
Breathe deeply. Struggle onto one leg. I find swearing really helps. Then as gracefully as possible try to headbutt the floor. You may get a sensation something equivalent to five neutron stars exploding in your hips. That will be the correct Dancer’s pose. A certain feeling of lower half detachment may follow.
The other important tip is to embrace the journey you go on with the instructor. At the start of the session he or she may seem the nicest and most kind person you could ever hope to meet. In my case Adriene’s words are like a warming blanket, settling deep inside my soul. Then the true journey of discovery begins. After about 10 minutes your instructor will start to talk about ‘nice detoxifying hip openers’. At this stage you will now start to view the instructor as more akin to a prison guard, barking out instructions with the threat of a gun.
Your yoga journey will be complete when your instructor tells you to adopt the crow position so you can be ‘truly grounded and at one with the earth’. At that stage you will see the instructor as a predator, a carnivore about to feed on your lifeless and broken carcass . Don’t worry this is completely normal and just means that you still have 5 minutes to go before the session has ended.
I hope this has been of some use to you. Remember your body is a temple. Probably in urgent need of a preservation and restoration order. You can do this. NAMASTE….
Somebody is fascinated with looking into our garden. I wonder what the view is like?
2016. I keep coming back to that year. A lot of things happened then. It set the agenda for the following years. But I want to focus on one seemingly innocuous thing from that year.
We were visiting my mum in hospital on a daily basis. There was quite a bit of waiting around. That’s tough for an 8 year old. An 8 year old Aspie with ADHD. He needed distractions. My mobile phone and the games became that distraction. They would work for a few minutes before he grew restless. Then it happened.
I downloaded Pokemon Go. I had no idea what it was but it sounded cool. He loved Pokémon so what could go wrong. That was early July 2016. He was hooked. Suddenly he could happily wait. He could be distracted for hours. It helped keep him sane through the next few weeks of hell.
Four years later he is still playing the game. It is still working it’s magic. A stress buster. A challenge. An interest. A way of feeling part of a community. A sense of achievement. An easy way to keep beating his Dad.
Funny old day. Stormy weather in the distance but blue skies overhead. Yet it’s cold and unbelievably it’s raining. Rain falling from these skies.
“Dad iteven rains here when it’s blue skies.”
It’s called Sods Law or Murphy’s Law.
“No it’s not it’s called a weather anomaly.”
Yes that as well. Hawklad do you remember the days when you would have just replied – YES DAD.
“That lasted until I was about 18 months.”
Yes it did. Well at least you will remember when all you wanted to do was talk about Peppa Pig, In The Night Garden, Thomas the Tank Engine and Dinosaur Train.
“No Dad if you remember I would talk history, monsters, animals, birds of prey and the facts about real dinosaurs. It was you who would talk about those kiddy programmes. I still catch you watching them.”
They are educational. I get all my scientific expertise from Iggle Piggle.
“So what you get out of watching Peppa Pig then Dad.”
My parenting skills come from Daddy Pig and my fashion sense comes from George.
“These days it’s more Peppa than George. How else can you explain that T-shirt.”
It’s very fashionable.
“Yes on a 4 year old.”
It can be a hand me down to you. It would fit you these days.
“No thank you.”
Tell you what, tonight when I change your bedding I could dig out your old Peppa Pig bed sheets. That would be nice for you.
“Why don’t you put that bedding on your bed first then. If it’s that good you use it then Dad.”
I did last week.
“Tell me you didn’t”
I did. My bedding got stuck in the possessed washing machine and so I had to find an alternative. It was either Peppa Pig or your Pokemon sheets.
“Tell me you didn’t use Pokémon.”
No it was Peppa, George and Daddy Pig.
“Tell you what Dad how about tonight you go with Peppa and Friends again and I will go Pokémon.”
It’s a deal.
Didn’t have the heart to tell him that I changed my bedding yesterday. This time to a Teletubbies one I had found in the cupboard. Best to have some secrets.
It’s a hard life for some. Not sure if the hard life applies to The Cap or to that old sofa. The Cap is resting after a hard morning of causing chaos. This sofa is 17 years old. Over the last few years it has had to endure sustained cat and dog attention. Currently it’s covers are being washed for the millionth time.
It’s a hard life for my bottom as well. This morning I was blasting out a few miles on my equally old exercise bike when it basically fell to bits. It collapsed. One minute I was dreaming of summiting the Alpe d’Huez and leading the Tour de France. Three seconds later I’m sat on the floor surrounded by bits of exercise bike. Oh how the mighty fall. Now I know what it feels like to fall of your bike and forlornly watch the peloton scream past you.
Thankfully ten minutes later the bike was reassembled and the snapped retaining bolt replaced. The rest of the stationary ride was completed while I sat on an ice pack and a soft cushion. Bruised buttocks are not fun. But on the bright side, it’s much easier to ice pack your posterior than it is to ice pack your ego.
Bizarrely we were watching the Dora The Explorer movie last night. Yorkshire really knows how to live the dream. Near the start of the movie, poor Dora was dancing at a school ball. It was such a random odd dance that all the other kids were laughing and poking fun at her. Poor Dora, I really felt for her.
“Dad she dances like you.”
Really, I’m not that bad am I….
“In fact worse, much worse. At least Dora is coordinated. Your dancing is that bad, that if I’m within 50 miles of you, you are banned from any dance floor.”
The shame. How the mighty have fallen. I’m telling you that I once won a New Years Eve Blues Brothers dance competition.
The fading embers of the day. Another wet one but at least we have been granted a few late moments of weather calm. An opportunity to sit outside with Hawklad. A new nickname for son all the way from Canada. He likes it.
“I like that. So much potential. Either a new Avenger or DC character. Maybe my name if I become a falconry. And definitely cooler than yours. Bagpuss. Really…”
For those unaware Bagpuss was a children’s TV character from yesteryear. A toy who was an exhibit in a magical shop. A shop that didn’t sell. The little girl shop owner would find things, repair them and put them in the shop window. When Bagpuss came to life the other items in the shop did as well. The intro to the show is engrained inmy childhood memories. After all these years I can still remember the monologue, word for word.
Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss
Old fat furry cat-puss
Wake up and look at this thing that I bring
Wake up, be bright
Be golden and light
Bagpuss, Oh hear what I sing
And Bagpuss was wide awake
And when Bagpuss wakes up all his friends wake up too
The mice on the mouse-organ woke up and stretched
Madeleine, the rag doll
Gabriel, the toad
And last of all, Professor Yaffle, who was a very distinguished old woodpecker
He climbed down off his bookend and went to see what it was that Emily had brought
So why was I named after this TV Toy Cat. A show that they only ever made 13 episodes. Maybe it was the Bagpuss toy that was in the Car. Maybe my goalkeeping prowess didn’t quite warrant full cat like status. Or maybe it was the shows description of the toy cat.
“an old, saggy cloth cat, baggy, and a bit loose at the seams”
Yes I can see the similarities. They become more apt everyday. But I guess that’s the sameformanyof us.
Weather and more weather. Looks like an incoming horror storm.
Son was trying to understand why Stephen Kings ‘IT’ Book was not a great choice for a school book. I suspect it will be making an appearance on the school system as soon as I turn my back.
“Dad do you remember that time I got you told you off not the teacher.”
How could I forget it.
“It was very funny.”
I think that he was about 7 and in class his teacher asked what things the kids watched on TV. Most of the kids mentioned things like football, Peppa Pig, Dora the Explorer, Spongebob and Finding Nemo. That was until it came to a certain boy
“My Dad lets me watch Dracula, Frankenstein, Ghost and Zombie movies…”
Understandably Teacher was not impressed. So I was asked to see the teacher after school. I was suitably nonplused until the penny dropped. Yes that is true but son failed to mention the fact that these were all with Scooby Doo….
Yes this is Yorkshire. It’s a heatwave. Well a mini one. Whisper it, we might even get to 84F. Now we can moan about it being too hot. The Yorkshire Yoda would say that it’s ‘Proper mafting it is‘.
“Dad what are you doing?”
I am watching TV.
“Yes but what are you watching”
“Because your a big kid and so uncool”
That as well.
“Haveyou found the paper you went looking for. I need to get this lesson done.”
Oops I forgot. Too busy watching Peppa tell George off. I will go now and look.
***10 minutes later with the required paper in hand***
What are you watching Son.
“I am watching Peppa Pig”
Is that because you are so uncool like your Dad!
“Of course not Dad. I’m watching it because I couldn’t be bothered to find the Deadpool DVD. It was on so I kept watching Peppa. Peppa is infinitely better than schoolwork. Young people do cool, Dads try to be cool.
Dads can be cool.
“Yes they can but not when they are wearing a T-shirt like that.”
What’s wrong with my I’m Too Sexie for My Accountancy Qualification shirt.
Sorry this is a couple of days late. The new WordPress editor took a dislike to this post and it’s taken two days to fix it.
Well a bit of blue sky and no rain is a start. Even the wind has eased. Feels almost like Autumn now.
Two conversations have rather defined this autumnal feeling day. The first one with the dentist.
I finally managed to speak to my Dentist about my chipped back tooth. In a nutshell this is what the Dentist said.
The practice partly reopens tomorrow.
They have a huge backlog and waiting list.
They are allowed to start looking at emergency cases but won’t be able to do much with them. Basically just temporarily patch them up. No drilling or aerosol inducing treatments allowed.
They will get back to me when they can have a look at it. But the repair will be some time. Dependent on getting the go ahead from the Government.
The Government is a shambles. Just making things worse.
So basically just got to grin and bear it. Will add temporary dental fixes to my increasing list of almost skills. It’s quite bizarre that the UK’s Health Minister is spending more time and energy on getting Horse Racing going than be is on helping out the NHS and Dental services. It’s amazing what being funded by the Horse Racing Industry does for a persons priorities.
The second conversation involved a muppet but not our Health Minister thankfully.
“Dad remember when we worked out that you are 25% human and 75% muppet.”
75% is probably understating the muppetry.
“Well Dad I’ve been trying to work out which muppet DNA runs through you.”
Well when I used to go and watch Newcastle United play footy. When I say ‘play’ I should say ‘get beat’ at footy. Me and my friend would just sit and slag off our own team. We were definitely the two old muppets in the audience. Waldorf and Statler.
“Ok but now you don’t go anymore then they don’t count. Iam seeing three muppets in your DNA. First one is Beaker. That expression and the hair sticking up is just so you..”
“The second muppet I see in you has to be Fozzie Bear and those terrible jokes of yours..”
“The final muppet in my Dad is definitely Animal. You seem to approach everything. Things like cooking, gardening, hairdressing with the same care and attention that Animal approaches life..”
I can’t argue with this assessment, although I am a little disappointed not to have a little bit of Miss Piggy in me. Now do I trust Animal with this emergency dental kit…