Another one of those warm Yorkshire Spring days….
Trying to do mindful yoga outside works ‘so well’ when your fingers are blue and you can’t feel your toes. Actually can’t feel any part of your body. Not so much mindful as Mind Numbing. Brain Freeze.
A bit later Hawklad wanted a slush puppy. Really…. Well I guess it is the warmer months. So the slush was made and taken outside.
“Dad it’s not melting in fact it’s refreezing….”
So yes it cold but here’s the thing. It’s been just what I needed today. Not enough sleep last night. Not enough for a while now. So I woke feeling like a zombie. As I’m trying to be healthy, caffeine is not an option to get me going. The next best thing is a shock to the system. An ice cold bath or in this case a Yorkshire Spring day…
This week along with some more flowers blooming, the school emails have steadily been rolling in. I’ve been lucky with 6 emails. Son not so lucky. So far he has 35 unread teacher emails and another 5 this morning. I thought this was the Easter break.
“Dad I’m not reading these until the weekend. I’m on holiday”
Couldn’t agree more. Can we just let kids have some fun and have a break from all the crap.
“Next holiday I’m putting on out of hours message. Something like – I’m now on holiday which finishes on xxxxxxx if you have any concerns please email my Dad.”
Yesterday was one of those rare Yorkshire days. A day when you here the little used words
“Dad I think we need sun cream, do we have any”
Mad parenting panic quickly followed by a mad house search. This is Yorkshire. I remember going to a Test Match (cricket) here many moons ago. The helpful announcer kept playing Government warnings about the need to where hats and use sun lotion to avoid the harmful effects of sunburn. It was ironic as it chucked it down all day and we never once had a glimpse of the sun. Everyone was huddled under umbrellas or seeking cover from the torrential rain in the beer tents. Our county is many things but if you had to list the top 1000 things about Yorkshire, the words hot and sunshine are never going to feature.
After a chaotic search a tub of factor 30 was found. Probably last used on a trip to Switzerland.
“Is it still in date Dad?”
I didn’t need to look at the date to confirm the answer. But in the spirit of accuracy I checked. It was only slightly….. 2018.
“Well it will have to do but I will be informing my solicitors”
We needn’t have worried as this is Yorkshire. In the time we had been protection hunting, the dark clouds had rolled in. Now the most appropriate form of protection was a jumper.
Now we are into the aftermath of the Easter Egg hunt. Son is happily piling on the calories and his Dad is looking at a bowl of dairy free cornflakes. Is this what my life has been building to…..
To be fair that calorie balance is right. Son tends to be very long and always below the median weight for his height. That is tall and slim. His Paediatrician told him that it was a great excuse never to diet. His Dad is average height (or to be strictly true – 0.5 cm above average) and keeping to an ideal weight is a bit of a struggle. That is big boned.
Son’s diet has been a struggle recently. Aspergers likes order and routine. We stick to the same 7 day food rota every week. To be fair it’s a reasonable diet with much fruit and vegetables. And many sausages…… But over the last few weeks many of his foods of choice have become unavailable. This has required change and change means STRESS. On top of the enforced food switches an increased fear of becoming ill has surfaced. So now he is desperate to eat healthy and avoid too many calories.
So the parents dilemma is trying to put that into a routine which is both sustainable and is actually a balanced, healthy diet for him. That’s at a time when fresh fruit and vegetables are often much harder to source. So keeping the calorie intake sufficient going forward might be a serious challenge. He has already started to refuse foods he considers unhealthy. He’s even started to question his chocolate intake. As the paediatrician explained a couple of years back
his weight is right at the bottom of the perfect band, but don’t let it drop below that. If that means a few more bars of chocolate than usual then that’s just fine. But just watch him. We really don’t won’t to go down the line leading to eating disorder.
Eating Disorders within the Autistic community is a significant issue. Research into eating disorders such as anorexia have found that anywhere between 15% to 35% of total cases can be linked to people on the autism spectrum. However food disorder health care is still largely done in isolation from autism specialists. Autistic services continue to be squeezed as a result of government policy priorities. So improved care and support for autistics with food disorders is unlikely to improve under the current UK government.
This may well be the latest challenge our son has to face down. So long may he tuck into his chocolate egg.
The kindly local farmer has been most busy this year. Much needed light amongst the darkness. The Care Bear is well off the path so is maintaining at least 4m of social distancing. That’s a good idea as it was windy.
On the dog walk this morning we saw a number of cyclists and runners on the distant country lane. They were all trying to observe the new social distancing advice. All seemed to be keeping the 2m recommended separation. But is it enough. I was reading an article by a leading virus expert. He said that the 2m separation was a great idea but it was based on quiet air conditions with people either stood still or walking. If the air is turbulent or it’s windy then the safe separation distance should be increased. If you are running then the safe distance behind you (in the wake) needs to be increased by up to 10m. For cycling the safe distance behind is upwards of 20m. Sadly every single person running or cycling was sticking to 2m. So much confusion. So many different expert views. Deep sigh.
One of the great Easter traditions has been performed yet again this morning. Dad forgetting where he hid the Chocolate Eggs in the garden. Followed by
“That’s a great egg. Thank you Dad. Is that the last one?”
Slightly puzzled look from Dad….
“You do this every year. You can’t remember how many you hid can you?”
Yes it’s only a small number. I couldn’t be sure if it was three of four eggs. Was it five.
“Well I’ve found three eggs. That’s a great number but I’d better keep looking. Just in case.”
Good job as 10 minutes later we found the fourth behind the oil tank. I should have realised that when I bought them in February they were on offer, buy one get one free. So why would I just get three…… I will say it before our Son chips in with it.
WHAT A PRIZE MUPPET.
Last year I did the same. Only realised that we had missed an egg when a few months later I found it while cutting the hedge. Then the year before was a spooky one. We had cleared the garden of eggs then when we woke up the next day we found another egg on top of the sundial. I definitely didn’t put it there and it was that obvious we surely couldn’t have both missed it. Bizarrely it was a brand I can’t remember ever buying. The Easter Bunny must have brought that one overnight.
Well I hope the Easter Bunny calls again tonight. This time for me…
After Christmas I went back onto my gluten and dairy free diet. This makes Easter difficult. So I thought that I would treat myself to a dairy free egg. Unfortunately they have been out of stock in our local shops. I guess it’s because they are not seen as an essential item. Just before Home Deliveries became unavailable I managed to add a suitable egg to the delivery list. Job done for Easter. Sadly not. When the delivery arrived the egg had been substituted to the closet available alternative. A packet of gluten free cornflakes. So as people took into their eggs think of me with my bowl of cornflakes. That’s a dry bowl of cornflakes as milk alternatives are also out of stock. But hope exists. Tonight we move to plan b. Cornflakes with gluten free pineapple jelly. The jelly was sent as a substitute for gluten free gravy….
Try to keep smiling everyone.
The headline in the prime UK gutter newspaper (a publication so bad and so vile I can’t even write its name down) was apparently today
Boris is out – now that really is a Good Friday.
Just those words on the front page….. Yes anyone leaving intensive care in a better state than they arrived is a wonderful little victory but it misses one rather salient point. At least 5000 people died in the UK this week and god knows how many worldwide. Will it be a good Friday for the scores of families who will be bereaved today……. The UK is now recording more deaths than any other European country and because of the shambles the government has made on testing – this probably vastly underestimates the real figure. But no need to report on that….. No need to talk about our wonderful nurses forced into using bin bags as protective uniforms.
What would be a Good Friday would be no one suffering today with only one obituary required – one for that loathsome newspaper. I remember once the newsagent accidentally sent that paper to my mum instead of her normal one. She refused to touch it and she burnt it on the doorstep. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Murdock.
Let’s move on to the real Good Friday.
Our Good Fridays were slightly odd. Normally my partner would introduce all the family traditions. But not on Good Friday. I can’t remember my partner doing anything different on this day. She was a devout Quaker, maybe that was the reason. I do know that I was her biggest trial in life as we were very very different.
For some reason my family traditions kick into overdrive on Good Friday. So unlike me. What’s the old phrase
So each Good Friday we would
You wait hours for a bus and then three arrive at the same time.
- Not be allowed to drink milk all day (No idea where that one came from, probably one of my random dreams tricked me into that one),
- First food of the day had to be an unbuttered Hot Cross Bun. Not allowed to use a knife to cut it. Every year I’ve done this an yet I don’t like them. My partner hated them so I had to eat hers as well. Then Son hated them as well so that was THREE buns I had to get through.
- Can’t eat meat all day.
- The meal at lunchtime had to be fish.
- Attend a morning cross parade. These don’t tend to happen here anymore and anyway this year they would be banned.
- No alcohol before you have had the fish. That was actually a very hard challenge when I was at University.
- We would fly a kite on the afternoon. Apparently this is a tradition which originates from the Caribbean. No idea why that one reached deepest Yorkshire.
I have to say this year some of the traditions have been dropped while some are just happening out of our daily routine. No milk or meat so far but that’s because son has not had his lunch yet. I’m tea total these days. Not enough wind for a kite. We might have tuna for lunch if I can convince son to change his food routine. However a pesky hot cross bun (plus the one our son won’t touch) will be waiting for my 2pm meal starter. Unfortunately due to the currents our dog is not allowed to help eat them. Thin king about it I might start a new tradition. Have the smallest bite of the bun then share the rest with the birds. That’s a tradition I might be able to stick to.
Before anyone says anything this photo was NOT today and not 2020……
It’s a bizarre country which I live in.
A place where British war time spirit and a stiff up lip is the way to defeat this unseen enemy – well that’s what our newspapers are claiming. No I think you will find that it’s actually antibodies and vaccines that will do that. Self distancing will help dampen the curve but on its own it will not do the job.
A country which for 10 years has invested heavily in academic testing for an increasingly younger range of school kids. The only principle in UK education is meeting government targets by testing millions of kids, week after week. Test, test, test. Yet the same Government can’t see the importance of testing when it applies to a pandemic. They can’t even provide virus tests for our brave medics and front line carers. Actually the can’t even provide the appropriate protective kit to all our nurses. Suddenly we have a mad scramble for kit, tests and ventilators. It’s not as if the Government didn’t know. Three years ago a study reported to the then Government on how poorly prepared the country was for a pandemic. The Government (including many in the current cabinet) decided to bury the report.
That’s probably why the UK is soon going to have the worst pandemic mortality rate in Europe.
Deep deep sigh and divert gaze to domestic matters.
“Dad would you mind if I didn’t do any revision this week for the school tests. Not sure I’m in the right frame of mind for it.”
Given the current climate why on earth is the school doing exams. Oh I forgot – it’s government policy. Can we just give the kids a break. Especially as the tests are based on such a narrow educational range. It’s more about proving to kids what they don’t know and spotlighting their individual weaknesses. What about letting kids show what they are good at, what they do know.
“Ok Son that’s fine with me. When you feel the revision force is with you then if you want to, then do some. If it’s not then just have FUN.”
And that’s what we did. We had to abandon the planned eat some whip cream while bouncing on the trampoline competition. The pigeons who have adopted our garden have now decided to build a nest right next to the trampoline AND it now has eggs. So we opted for plan b and c. Try to make some homemade ice cream. Followed by setting up our very own beach. In the garage I found a couple of old bags of play sand. So that was emptied onto the little patio and the old kiddies paddling pool was filled with water. Shorts and suncream on. An MP3 file of seaside bird and animal sounds was played on my portable music player. Hey presto we are at the beach. Ok we need to work on the beach sounds. The sound of whale songs and walruses fighting are not that common on the Yorkshire coast – but that’s nit picking. As a safe, social distancing adventure it most certainly worked. Now I just need to rebag the sand for our next trip. Maybe it’s to a desert.
The Daffodils are still going strong. That sounds like an excuse for some more photos.
Purely by accident we have a few different types.
A lot of things happen by accident.
Today we tried to find the little pots of paint so that we can decorate some hard boiled easter eggs. Last year we had great fun although I was a little offended when I presented my wonderful recreation of a Darth Vader egg.
“Dad is that Peppa Pig”
Still worse was to follow when I accidentally forgot to boil the eggs before we painted them. A few days later it took me three egg messes before I realised my mistake. Oops.
Stacked cup racks are such a great space saver. I bought a really cheap set a few weeks back. It was the day after Valentines Day and the shop was selling off the unused gift items. One item caught my eye. A four cup stack reduced from £10 to £2. The only potential issue. Each cup had one huge letter emblazoned on them. The four cups stacked together spelt
That sort of talk is not going to fly in our kitchen. But a bargain is a bargain. Thankfully the same cups arranged differently can also spell VOLE. Unfortunately four cups stacked together is a four times bigger disaster waiting to happen in our house. This morning while cleaning I accidentally sent them all flying towards our stone floor at terminal velocity. I did manage to catch one. So we now have a cup stack of one which spells.
Oops, Oops, Oops…
That cup accident was quickly followed by son knocking over a full glass of chocolate milk onto the beige sofa. It’s a interesting pattern as it’s just next to the tomato ketchup stain from last year (that was mine).
“Dad let’s sit down before we have any more accidents.”
Great advice which I followed. Unfortunately I sat down on my reading glasses – what possessed me to leave them on the chair. So in the absence of Hermione Granger and her glasses repair spell, I will just have to tape them up until the Opticians reopen again in a few months.
Fast forward to this afternoon. Unbelievably I found the paint pots and small brushes. So we were eggcellently placed next week for Easter egg production. However a few hours later I had no idea where I had put the paints. The house was ransacked then suddenly that sinking feeling. Oops. Surely I didn’t accidentally put the paint straight into the bin. Normally not a disaster however today was bin collection day and they have just been. Oops.
Stay safe everyone, especially if you come any where near me.
One or two patches of Daffodils are making it through to Easter. That’s kinda nice.
So the Easter School Break begins. With a hunt. But not an Easter Egg Hunt.
“Dad The Pup is outside”
That’s fine Son because I’ve been at meetings all today the poor boy will be busting.
“That’s good. Did you know he has taken something with him”
It’s ok for Mr Crocodile to go outside.
“No it wasn’t Mr Crocodile”
Tell me it’s not your socks.
“No not my socks”
The little bugger has got my pants hasn’t he.
“No not today”
What has he got then.
“I think it’s your wallet”
So after a mad 5 minute chase a slightly chewed wallet has been retrieved. Soon will begin a fingertip search of the lawn for the coins and cards with have been scattered around the garden. I’m knackered already and the break is only 2 hours old….