Hyper

The scene from last nights late Hawklad walk. A scene of apparent calm. It doesn’t paint the mayhem which accompanies taking Captain Chaos for a walk. Someone gets hyper on his walk. As he is the most hyper dog in Yorkshire at the best of times, that’s a shed load of hyper….

But it’s not just walks. Most things can send him hyper.

Me trying to tidy up the garden is up there on the hyper league table. Maybe it’s the novelty factor, the garden doesn’t get the attention it deserves….

So today as I tried to weed it was the usual pet mayhem. Helpful frantic digging. Burying anything he can find. Rolling in anything resembling dirt. Crazed running around in circles. That kind of thing.

Then a break. A dog walker walking across the distant fields. A distraction. Much barking. So I had better make the most of this. So I did 5 minutes of rapid weeding, manic digging and rushed raking.

Job done.

One slight problem. Don’t let your mobile fall out of your pocket when your doing speed gardening. Finally only located when I phoned it. Couldn’t hear it ringing inside. But the second phoning attempt, and an usual ringtone coming from the garden rubbish bin.

That could have been a disaster as the bin collection day is tomorrow. Just goes to show the risks inherent in gardening. Might give it a miss for a while now.

Blue Sky

It’s been another blue sky Yorkshire day. If only it was warm. Really cold but definitely hot under the collar day.

An email from school definitely livened up the day and focused the parenting mind. In a nut shell the email said

Today and the next lesson in Citizenship will be about sexual awareness and consent. It’s a legal requirement. Hawklad is not in school. We can’t do online education for this one, its deemed inappropriate for the subject. So tough. Over to you parent. STAND UP AND DELIVER. We can send you one video on consent. BEST OF LUCK

Grand……

I tried to rack my brain back to my school days. From what I can remember the sex education lesson involved a nervous make teacher mumbling for 10 minutes then he showed a video. As it was a small TV the class had to huddle round for a sight of the action. After just a few moments a clip of a baby behind delivered was too much for one lad called Donnie who was stood on a bench . He throw up over those in front of him and then fainted, spectacularly crashing backwards to the floor. The lesson was abandoned and that was it. Not much help.

I can’t revert to the classic ‘better speak to your mum about this’. So had to man up…..

How did it go. Badly. After flailing around for 5 minutes under the most forensic questioning I did the decent thing and reverted to YouTube videos, of varying educational quality…..

I can’t remember this being in the patenting terms and conditions I signed up to…

Chef…..

Somebody is happy..l

Once a muppet always a muppet.

Thursday night is chip night here. When we moved into this little house on the hill two decades ago we quickly found out the real pace of village life. The ultimate highlight of the week here was the Thursday night visit from the mobile chip van. It parked in the road 50 yards from our house. Rapidly the tradition of Thursday Chip night was set. Eventually we even discovered that the new mad dog was also a chip monster. His favourite food.

A pandemic then happened.

Suddenly Hawklad was not comfortable with getting chips from the van. So we stopped being part of the chip social. But the tradition lived on. Now replaced with oven chips. A vegetarian pie for me and skinless sausages for Hawklad. And yes a small plate of chips for the mad one.

So last night was THURSDAY. Time to dine like royalty. Well that was the plan. If you look back a few months you will see a certain muppet falling fowl of the crime of not labelling freezer items. Guess what happened last night. No pies were available from the store so it was time to root around in the deepest recesses of the chest freezer. Success a fine looking pie. Maybe a mushroom one. Maybe a Quorn one.

Chips and a pie smothered in Tomato Ketchup, salt and vinegar. Result…..

The reality sweet cherry pie is and interesting taste sensation when combined with vinegar and ketchup. Heston Blumenthal eat your heart out….

Luckily the second pie found was a better fit…….

Blue sky or not blue sky

Sunshine, blue sky, dark cloud, storm clouds, dry, rain, snow, bright, dark.

That Yorkshire sky really sums up perfectly my mood levels since lockdown started. It’s a bit of everything really. Swinging from smiles to tear. Feeling full of the joys of spring to darkest winter coldness. Optimistic then pessimistic. Feeling contented then feeling boxed in. Calm then anxious. At ease with the world then frustrated.

Emotional never ending tides.

Yesterday I was fighting the tears. Life seemed bleak and so restrictive. Definitely feeling cut adrift, isolated and alone.

Yet today I can’t stop smiling. Ok life feels constrained but it also feels good. Filled with HOPE and WONDERFUL thoughts. Most definitely not feeling alone rather feeling part of a BEAUTIFUL world.

Ask me yesterday and I would say what am I doing. Today it’s WE can do this.

I’m the same person, I’ve not moved, I’ve not won the money lottery. No person or no asset has entered my world. So why the swing in mood. Could it be that we are permanently riding those emotional waves. Swings in outlook are to be expected. Good moments, bad moments. Maybe the secret is to look at each day. What are the things that weigh me down and try to do something about those. Then most importantly work out what are the things that lift me up so much. If you can identify those things (maybe it’s just one important thing) then keep trying to move towards those wonderful things in life.

Yes WE can do this.

Middle ground

Sometimes the middle ground is vacated…..

I think lack of sleep does something to my psyche. Normally I’m pretty much good at compromising. Finding the middle ground. NOT TODAY.

School has a weekly extra 90 minutes of schooling. As our beloved and apparently never corrupt Government imposes it’s esteemed will on schools, headteachers have very limited scope to vary the teaching. To add new stuff. So our school brought in a longer school day once a week. This would allow for dedicated non-curriculum learning. Pupils get to choose from a range of options. It’s all about learning different skills, building confidence, developing interests. Completely behind the principle here. Especially when the options are varied enough to allow each child to find something that interests them.

Although Hawklad is not in school at present school want him to take part in the scheme. Which he has done so far. So it’s time to pick this terms option. The pupils got to pick options in the classroom, then a couple of weeks later Hawklad was approached for his selection. Sometimes (and understandably) he is forgotten about in a process. So the best options have filled up and are fully booked. So what’s left?

Dance

Everyone can create music

Everyone can create video

Everyone can create drawing….

Just NO Dad. I would rather do French than those. I’d rather wash your car than do those. The animal management course would have been ace. As would Astronomy. As would the archeological dig option. Those last 4 options are still not fully booked for a good reason…..”

I phoned school to see if we could find another option. Could he be fitted into one of the full options. NO….. THOSE ARE THE ONLY AVAILABLE OPTIONS.

Ok normally I would try to work with school to find some middle ground. Today NO. Just told school that he isn’t doing any of those, so TOUGH…You will just have to mark him absent for that part of the day.

I think he is much happier with the new range of home based options. Xbox, football in the garden, table tennis, watching The Simpsons…..

Crime and Punishment

Still that kind of weather. Might leave the sunbathing for another day or so.

So school is open. Here we go again.

Four lessons today. Two with work provided. Two without.

Ok Dad I’ve emailed the teacher to ask them what I’m supposed to be doing but haven’t received anything back. So I’m going to look at History. I know what they are looking at next year so might as well focus on that. “

What are you going to look at then.

It’s Crime and Punishment from Victorian times. So might as well start with Jack the Ripper, hangings and Victorian prisons.”

That’s nice.

#####

What happened to the days of watching The Tellytubbies……

Worrying

It’s been a while since I ran past here. Beautiful Castle Howard. Looking back at the dates on the photos it was February 2020.

I’m the kinda person who worries. Often imagine the worst things. All that can go wrong (not often looking at all that could go right). That Marvel Dr Strange thing. Endlessly going through all the potential scenarios. Well the bad ones. But back those 14 months as hard as I tried I would not have ever envisioned the crazy and awful events which did take place. A pandemic. Lockdowns.

So what is the point of worrying about what might or might not happen down the line. It doesn’t help at all in the long run. Especially as the worrying is not an exact science.

The other thing is that worrying just about the potential bad stuff misses all the potential great stuff that could happen. Even with the pandemic. It’s been dreadful but look at all the fantastic people who have stepped up and done wonderful things. The heroes helping others. The sacrifices many have been prepared to make for the greater good.

Going forward surely if I’m going to try and think about the future I would be better off starting first with all the potential good stuff that might happen. That sounds like a plan.

Cricket

Daffodils still going strong here.

A few years back before parenting happened I played for a little village cricket team. They had a lovely tree lined cricket ground. Sadly the land was sold and they had to move. They moved to some land set on a sea cliff, right next to the edge. After every storm one side of the pitch shrunk by an inch or so. Washed out to sea. It was usually really cold. Not a tree in sight. On the other side of the pitch was a water treatment facility. Get a wind from the West and the smell brought tears to your eyes.

The actually pitch wasn’t exactly flat more like a mountain range….. And every April at the start of the season the outfield was covered in Daffodils.

It seemed that all our fears about the move were justified.

The cricket team was allowed to use the field by the local landowner for free. The two rules he insisted on was that he got a game for the team and as he liked Daffodils, we weren’t allowed to cut them back even if they started growing on the pitch. So yes we played around them. Made the game different. Took a lot of getting used to. But soon we got used to the change. And actually it was FUN. To the point that when the daffodils died back, we missed them. The game didn’t seem as good. Yes it was cold but the view over the sea was stunning. Even the Water Treatment Centre worked out great. They started sponsoring the team and soon we started getting brand new gear.

That’s the thing, change doesn’t have to be bad thing. Often change works out just fine and in fact can improve life. Improve it in ways you just can’t visualise before it happens.

Yes we can do this.

Sunday

Had one of those moments last night. One which seemed to contradict the very fabric of scientific thinking as we know it today. Could this really happen to someone after millions of years of evolution of the species.

I couldn’t sleep. 4am in the morning. Sleep wasn’t coming tonight. I had given up trying and had headed into the kitchen to make a hot drink. I started singing a Beatles song to pass the time as the tea bag brewed away. Suddenly a woman’s voice. Am I going mad. Must just be me. I started singing again and there again was that woman. A definite female voice. This time asking if I was alright. A secret lover (that secret it would have been news to me)…. A ghost!!! I ran out of the kitchen and slammed the door shut.

This morning looking back. What a pillock…. Spooked by the helpful Amazon Alexa app.

Summer

Cold, cold, cold but sunny.

Can’t believe the break from school is almost over. As Hawklad isn’t ready to go back we go again on the school at home project. Wait for it. Using my fingers to count past 10 I think Monday will be the 212th home at school teaching day. Does that make me a proper teacher now…..

I must admit there feels like there is quite a lot of schooling fatigue on both the pupil and the parent now. If this was true homeschooling then now would be the time for changing things up. But it isn’t so lessons start again at 840am on Monday. The weekend will be spent trying to complete holiday homework.

It might just be about limping through until the summer break. This summer feels like it’s the crucial time. Can’t see him returning to school before then. So summer is when we either fully commit to homeschooling or we try to move closer to a return to the classroom.

The process will be tough enough….

The last thing we need is a self righteous horse whip clown determined to use children as a way to become PM. To appear the hard man. Wanting to take schools back to Victorian values. A clown who is trying to now push through changes to extend the school day, reduce school holidays, increase homework and drive through increased discipline.

If I’m honest I’m not looking forward to the next few months.