Friday memories

This is a photograph that I always keep coming back to. Especially today. It’s a photo that can take me in two different directions. Sadness or Happiness. Currently it’s in the direction of happiness.

A meal and a drink outside while gazing upon one the worlds most epic mountains, The Eiger. Then a walk from Kleine Scheidegg down to Lauterbrunnen. Snow on the tops but wonderfully warm. Walking down listening to our son talk about Dr Who and monsters. A two hour walk was just not long enough for him, he only scratched the surface of his Time Lord memory banks. Listing to my partner laugh at our sons numerous monster jokes.

Yes a beautiful day. All flooding back thanks to a treasured old photograph.

You can’t take the Yorkshire out of Yorkshire

It is my civic duty to continue your enlightenment in the dark arts of being from Yorkshire. Think of it as a Public Service Broadcast. Think Bear Grylls and Born Survivor. One day you might end in deepest, darkest Barnsley – these help guides may just end of saving your life.

So here goes. Pay attention and digest the following Yorkshire list.

  • Don’t ever get into a discussion with someone from Yorkshire about how tough your childhood was. A true Yorkie will be compelled to outdo you. If you don’t believe me look up the Monty Python and the Four Yorkshiremen Sketch.
  • Queens English is not recognised in Yorkshire. You need to speak Yorkshire. It’s the only dialect which not one single voice recognition system has been able to crack.
  • To say Yorkshire you need to say YARKSHAR…
  • To say Hello you need to say OW DO or EY UP
  • To say Goodbye you need to say SE’THE
  • To say Very you say REET
  • To say ‘Can I Please Borrow’ you say CADGE
  • To say Nothing you say NOWT
  • To say You it’s THA
  • To say Yes it’s AYE
  • To say ‘I would like that one’ then you say BAGSY
  • Be careful with the word CHAMPION. In most part of the worlds it’s a fine shoe and sports clothing brand. In Yorkshire Champion means Excellent
  • Similarly in the rest of the world OK means I’m OK. In Yorkshire to say I’m OK you need to say ‘I’m fair t’ middling’
  • Someone approaching you and asking for a CROGGY is either a term of affection or they are asking for a lift on your bike.
  • If someone shouts ‘tha Chuffing ……’. That could mean you are being physically sworn at or it could be a warning that you are smoking and you need to jump into the nearest river.
  • You need to remember that the first Heavier than Air Manned Flight took place in Yorkshire over 150 years ago. I hear you ask WHY. The answer was that in the same year it became the law that Yorkshire Ferrets had to be kept in trouser pockets. Wouldn’t you be desperate to leave the county….
  • When you speak to someone from Yorkshire then you need to brace yourself. It’s only a matter of time before Yorkshire being the centre of the known universe is brought up. Quickly followed by the following line ‘which over place can claim to have a Captain of the Starship Enterprise, the first ever female Dr Who, the head of the X-Men and a member of the Fellowship of the Ring.
  • Never try to argue with someone from Yorkshire as this will either result in the Yorkshire Terriers being set upon you or you will have to endure the following words – ‘you do know that Wuthering Heights was set here.’
  • If you are offered a Yorkshire Pudding then you need to be on your toes. This could either mean it’s being served as a starter, main course or sweet – or probably ALL three. In inclement weather you might also be offered one as a protective hat.
  • If you spend more than 5 minutes in the presence of someone from Yorkshire then the subject of CRICKET will enter the conversation. Specifically Cricket and Rhubarb. Just nod and smile and let the following local expression rattle around your brain. ‘Me ol mum could ave hit tha’ ball with a stick o’ rhubarb’. Also don’t be shocked if you then here ‘tha’s got more edges than a cracked bedpan’ – *** please note I cleaned that one up considerably***
  • You will hear many references to needing a Yorkshire passport. Currently this is not the case but in certain parts of the county the wearing of string vests and knotted hankies is a requirement.
  • The word ‘Scraps’. Here in Yorkshire it can mean two things. It can mean what happens when people get physical as they fight over the last frozen chicken left n the shop freezer. But it can also mean food heaven. Ask for a ‘bag a scraps’ in a Yorkshire Fish and Chip Shop and you will get a portion of the deep fried batter leftovers which are at the bottom of the fryer. But be careful with how you say ‘scraps’ to the Chipman and don’t ever make eye contact. This might end up with the chipman attacking you with a frying pan.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday here in the UK so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland.

This trip goes back a number of years. To a time of being parents to a toddler. To a time before I had a digital camera. A time when my mobile phone was just that – a phone that just about fitted into my pocket. It didn’t have a camera, didn’t play music, didn’t try to constantly tell me to increase my step count.

As ever it was a gloriously sunny Swiss day. This day started with our Son feeding the lake ducks with last nights unused hotel bread.

Then we headed by train to Kandersteg, which is a beautiful and quiet alpine village.

A stunning path then gradually takes you deeper into the Alps. The sound of babbling streams proving a wonderful backdrop to the mountains which surround you

Then we arrive at one of the Europe’s special places. A stunning blue water mountain gem. Oeschinen Lake.

It’s a place we visited many times. It never fails to take the breath away

Then we slowly made our way back to our hotel. Some unexpected late afternoon excitement followed as only a few paces away from the hotel we had action. A Bollywood movie was being filmed.

This special day finished with the parents drinking wine on the balcony and someone pretending to be Dr Who in the bedroom. A hotel cupboard makes a grand Tardis. Another special Swiss day. Thank you Switzerland.

I speak proper

These little beauties seemingly flower earlier every year. When we first moved here the snowdrops flowered mid February. These guys flowered mid March and the Daffodils arrived during April. I guess my Dad would have said something like ‘blimey I’ve only just planted me Goosegogs‘. Goosegogs is Yorkshire for Gooseberries.

Once a week we have school bagmageddon. Poor bairn (kid) is packed off lugging (carrying) two bursting at the seams bags. I wish someone would invent a Dr Who Tardis like school bag. Small on the outside yet massive on the inside. For bagmageddon he needs to take with him

  • Packed lunch as he rarely gets the chance to eat a school meal,
  • A drink as he rarely get the time to get a drink at school,
  • School iPad,
  • Mobile phone in case he misses the bus,
  • Pencil case for coloured crayons and felt tip pens,
  • Art brush,
  • Calculator,
  • Reading pen just in case he needs to use it,
  • French dictionary,
  • Book for reading – no dispensation for dyslexics so it can’t be a picture book,
  • Pen case including black pens, blue pens, green pens, red pens, HB pencil, ruler, protractor, rubber (eraser), pencil sharpener, highlighter pen and compass,
  • School planner,
  • Drama kit – plain black T-shirt, plain black tracksuit bottoms,
  • School homework books which are required for that day,
  • Bus pass,
  • Outdoor sports kit – football boots, white school sports top, blue school rugby shirt, blue football socks, school shorts or blue leggings, gum shield, shin guards,
  • Indoor sports kit (in case outdoor sports is not happening) so training shoes and white socks.
  • Could be even worse – if he played team sport for the school he might need to carry a hockey stick or cricket bat as well. When I was at school the teachers would call any boy with his own cricket bat – posh (rich) and then they would talk about learning to play cricket with a stick o’ Rhubarb.

That’s on top of the mandatory school uniform. Chuffing Eck (********* hell). It’s a logistical nightmare for the parent but that pales into insignificance compared to the poor kids trying to cope with all this. Yes the kids can pay for a locker but the lockers are not conveniently located so it’s almost impossible for them to get to them and back in the 10 minutes max between lessons. Hence the two expedition rucksacks. No wonder he is jiggered (very tired) when he gets home. Sometimes I expect to get a call to say he is rigweltered (stranded on his back) on the hoose on wheels (bus).

How times change when I went to school it was one small haversack. A haversack carefully painted with your favourite bands. Mine was emblazoned with Whitesnake, Bad Company, Black Sabbath and Saxon. The paint was the heaviest part of the bag. It had to be painted on thick as the poor bag would often be wanged aboot (thrown about). Inside was your butty (sandwich), some chuddies (chewing gum), footy top, shorts and Gola football shoes. Kids would take it in turns to bring in a Casey (football). Nowt (Nothing) else. The teacher handed out pencils for the school day. Then she took them back in when we headed back yam (home). Being the twonk (idiot) I was I frequently had to get Dad to recover my bag from the top of a tree after an all too successful wanging session. The bag also acted as an invaluable cushion to sit on when you got a croggy (getting a lift on the handlebars of a bike).

Basically it’s a different world now. But surely flowers blooming earlier is not great bit of man made progress. Sending kids into school with a mule train of kit is equally not a sign that the school system is progressing well. It’s also not great that we are slowly losing many of our local dialects.

Sithee (goodbye) until tomorrow.

Swiss Play Days From a different time

It’s Sunday and it’s time for a bit of Switzerland.

We would walk along the lake edge until we came to this little kids playground. No expensive attractions here. Just good old fashioned play equipment. Our son loved it. While he played we could just drink in the view. One small fence and two paces away from the water. Is this one of the most picturesque playgrounds in the world.

Life seemed so much simpler then. It was at a time when my partner was fit and filled with life. A time before Aspergers had kicked in. A happy stress free young boy with a shed load of good friends. I felt like a member of the human race.

A few minutes after this photo was taken son was happily talking to a Swiss Chap (man stretching in the photo) about Dr Who and the Daleks. Poor man didn’t speak English and was completely perplexed. Later we did try to explain to him what our son had been talking about. Funnily our German was a bit ropey on some of the Dr Who words. Never thought we would need the German for Time Lord, Cybermen, Tardis, Gallifrey, Skaro and Sonic Screwdrivers. Anyway the man was going to see if he could find a German version of Dr Who on the internet.

Oh for a Tardis now. Oh for that playground now.

Sunshine Blogger Award – Revenge of the Dalek

I was always a bit scared on Daleks. Thankfully it wasn’t just me. I remember going to a football match and the man behind me had an out of body experience. This chap was well over 6ft, heavily tattooed, built like a Terminator and clearly not adverse to the occasional punch up. He was talking to his friend about the new series of Dr Who. When his friend mentioned the return of the Daleks and their new powers – the poor chap let out a terrified squeal

bloody hell they can fly”.

They might have been scary and evil universal overlords however they had a weakness. They couldn’t manage steps… But now they have evolved and can hover.

As well as the evolution had gone they had just suffered a heavy beating from our two cats and a dog. It was no contest. The Daleks had become a defeated race. Or had they. During the night I needed a drink of water. So I quietly and barefootedly made my way in the dark to the kitchen. Then I screamed in pain. A very loud scream. Standing on a little toy Dalek is pain off the scale. Anybody who has stood on a lego piece will know that pain. So I wrote off the Daleks way too soon.

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Thank you to Rachel Hill for the Sunshine Blogger Award and your really kind words. If you like great travel writing then please check out Rachel’s site.

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it on one of their own posts.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Rachel’s Qustions

How do you decide which blogs to follow?

Maybe just a post that catches my eye, makes me smile, cry or think.

Do you follow people who have different backgrounds, cultures and politics to you?

I hope so.

Can someone have different politics to you but still be a good person in your eyes?

Yes. Politics is different today. Symbolised by hatred, aggression, lack of tolerance. But it doesn’t have to be like that. One picture for me demonstrates this. It’s from a few years back and features the three main British Party Leaders. Different views but with respect for each other.

Do you connect with other bloggers on a personal level?

Yes. Been so lucky to connect with some wonderful bloggers who are now good friends.

Do you read all the blogs you follow?

Somedays yes, somedays no. But if I don’t I try to save the posts for later. Sleepless nights are great for going through the saved posts.

What is your opinion on blogging every day?

It’s whatever people want or are able to do. I do it everyday now as it is such a great stress busting release for me.

Do you like getting a post from the same blogger each day, or do you find you can’t keep up?

Some bloggers I wish they blogged every hour. Occasionally it can be frustrating when you get a Blogger release about one a minute for three hours.

Do you sometimes think what’s the point (in blogging)?

No.

And do you sometimes soar with happiness when posting a good blog post, reading a good blog, or making a connection in the comments sections and think, ‘Yes, this is everything!’?

I get really nervous when I blog. I look at a lot of bloggers and they are so professional, so gifted and so imaginative. Often think what the hell am I doing this for, it’s just not good enough. But each day you read so many brilliant posts from so many gifted talents. Just makes you realise what a great world we live in.

Therefore is blogging a metaphor for life in general?

Yes

When was the last time you felt really happy?

Before the world changed. It’s a different kind of happiness now.

Nominations

Open this up to anyone who has never been nominated before, you do deserve it. I also open this up to anyone with a Dalek phobia…

World War petZ

All hell broke out today. Sat with a hot drink trying to convince the laptop that the Excel Macro I had just produced was in fact perfect and not full of errors WHEN

The two cats and dog started scampering around the house like crazed banshees. Chairs crashing into walls, photos knocked off tables, books sent flying. I found the Living Room in a state of destruction as if World War Z had broken out. Three pets clawing and scratching at the bottom of a large sideboard. Oh bugger have we got a visitor and it’s the hunt. Annoyingly the sideboard had a small gap at the bottom big enough for a hiding space but too small to squeeze my hand into. Wonderful going to have to move that 8 tonne chunk of wood. Have to try and rescue the trapped creature.

Could it be a scary House Mouse

Could it be a deadly little shrew

OR is it

one of these little plastic Dalek (Dr Who) megalomaniacs.

Yes after breaking my back, trapping my fingers and squashing my toes – the sideboard was finally moved to reveal a DALEK. Yes the little darlings had been having a fantastic time warping adventure game. The pets excitedly claimed the prize and continued the game in another room. Well that was 2 hours well spent. Unfortunately now the 8 tonnes of wood have to moved back and the pets can’t help because they are too busy saving the earth from a Dalek invasion. Deep Joy!!!!!!