Desert Island

Last night a Red Sky. Need to change the saying. Red Sky at Night, REALLY big puddles next day….

There is a long running British radio show called Desert Island Discs. Guests talk about their life and then play songs that they would take on a desert island with them. In addition to the Bible and the Works of Shakespeares they get to take a luxury item.

Well we played our own version of that last night. A few tweaks to the shows rules. I’ve done mine while Hawklad is taking his time over his. So you will get three posts from the Desert Island. Mine is here and Hawklad’s will follow. There will also be a third post – can you summon up for inner Sherlock and figure out what’s its about.

So here’s mine. Starting with the 9 tracks.

Whitesnake – Here I Go Again

Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark

Leonard Cohen – Suzanne

Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb

Lynyrd Skynyrd – That Smell

Shinedown – Get Up

Alter Bridge – Godspeed

Paul Gross – Ride Forever (from the TV Due South)

Foo Fighters – Walking After You

The Book I would take would be Terry Pratchett – Mort. The movie I would take would be End Game. The TV series would be the XFiles. Favourite food would be Apple Crumble and Custard. Favourite Drink would be full on Coffee. My favourite snack would be Cheese and Onion Crisps. And my luxury item would be a Telescope to look at the stars.

So that’s my list. If the desert island is anything like Yorkshire this afternoon then I would need a very thick jumper and the largest umbrella. Maybe not the most ideal desert island weather.

Is the world crumbling

An apple crumble. One of my apple crumbles. Actually not a bad one at all. Very tasty.

Unfortunately not all crumbles are the same. Certainly not mine. Like the one I made a couple of nights back. All seemed on track. Apples picked from the tree. Apples cored, peeled and cut into pieces. Placed in a bowl and seasoned – generous helpings of sugar added – these are sour apples. Then a fine gluten free crumble was made and applied lovingly to the pie dish. The crumble was cooked at the right temperature and for the right time. A beautiful custard was prepared. Just perfect. What could possibly go wrong.

Dad I can’t taste any apples. In fact I can’t find any apples in my portion!”

Nonsense must be there Hawklad. Your just imagining that……

Oh hang on I can’t find any apples in my portion as well, just crumble and custard….

**** So I went into the kitchen and there on the table was the unused bowl of apples. I had made Apple Crumble Surprise. The surprise being that it contained no apples. ****

Odd sandwiches

The one thing that you get used to as an Aspergers parent is routine. Lots of routine. That’s tough for parents like me as I am not really a routine person. I’m a bit more impromptu. Bit more going with the flow, see what happens person. Maybe some would call it winging it. Which is most odd. On most of the old Aspergers tests I would score very highly yet on one I was way down. Routine.

On this Hawklad is completely different to me. He needs his routine, his order, his plans. He needs to have that safety net and he needs to follow them. It’s reflected in so many things. If we are driving somewhere then we need to follow the usual route, even if that means a much longer journey. He likes to wear the same types of clothing – if he grows out of them then we need to replace with almost exact copies. He has a TV and movie schedule which he sets way in advance. We will often watch the same movie over and over again. School lessons have to follow the timetable without variation. We need to buy the same types of pens and pencils. He likes to go out in the garden and talk at the same times. He doesn’t like me to do things like change my hairstyle or try new clothes. It’s funny I’ve been wanting to shave my hair off for years but that’s just not allowed.

Break the routine and he is immediately hit with waves of self doubt and fear. Over the years we have tried to work on this. Slowly trying to introduce change. Occasionally trying to introduce unplanned but definitely fun routine changes. But it’s never really worked. Routine is just a key part of who Hawklad is.

Another area of much needed repetition is food. He has the same seven day food menu. The same foods on the same days, year after year. Trying new foods is just not something he does really. Normally ends in failure.

Dad what on Earth is that.”

It’s a sandwich.

Yes I can see the bread but it’s what is between that which is the worry.”

That will be cheese and onion crisps. It’s going to be one of the great gourmet experiences. A crisp butty. A crisp sandwich.

Really. That is just wrong on so many levels.”

It’s fantastic. Go on try it. It’s a family tradition. Your Little Nan would always be treating herself with one. But her crisp butty would be made with Ready Salted crisps.

Just No Dad.”

Ok. But if it’s not a crisp butty then what about a chip butty. A sandwich made from fried chips (fries) with heaps of tomato ketchup. Another true taste sensation.

Erm NO. You can keep that as well.”

Ok Hawklad what about a fish finger sandwich. Fantastic.

Not happening. That’s a tradition which is not passing down the gene line anymore. It ends with you.”

August

Heralding a wonderful summers day – NOT

It’s been one of those wonderful Yorkshire Summer Days. Damp, exceedingly windy and cold. The cold that makes your toes curl. August and we have the heating full on. Not a day for cold drinks. It’s been steaming hot tea and decaf coffee. Hawklad has been on hot milk – on repeat. That’s a great way to get some calories into him.

August also sees the ongoing trials associated with my WordPress experiment. That pesky new editor. I am trying, really trying. I hear you shout – Your just so vexing. But I am trying to like the editor. But really should it be this hard. It crashes, it messes up formats, drops links. When you do get round to publishing then posts suddenly disappear or mess up. Comments go missing. And on and on. Even this grumpy Yorkshire man is easier to like than this so called editor.

But I will keep trying to get my head round it. Just like trying to get my head round this summer. Just like I’m trying to get my head round Hawklads food intake. He’s not had his weight officially tracked and assessed by the health professionals in over 2 years now. With the current service restrictions, it’s going to be well into 2021 before that happens. On the last assessment he was right on the edge of being ‘too underweight’ for his height. I think that he’s probably dropped below that now. So following the Paediatricians instructions I’m trying to get as many calories into him as possible. That’s not easy. He has such a limited range of foods he will eat. Over the years I have slowly managed to increase these so that he has 6 different main meals which he has over the week. It’s the same meals, weak in weak out. Not much scope to vary things there. Trying to get him to eat the occasional chocolate bar or bag of crisps helps. So does milk. So a cold day and repeated hot milks is a welcome bonus.

Yes a cold summer is good sometimes.

Tungsten

In the local market town there is a garden shop which I get my bird seed from. I like it because it’s super cheap. Even cheaper then the Pound Shop. I especially like going in the shop during October. That’s when they give away the out of date flower seeds. Just 9 months ago I walked out of the shop with a bag of bird seed and pockets stuffed full with flower seeds. This little beauty cost me the price of feeding the birds for three months. A bargain and us Yorkshire Folk like those.

That’s my Dad, he is a muppet.”

That what Hawklad as a toddler thought of me. He sternly mentioned this to someone at the local zoo after his Dad had one of those moments…… Now wind forward to the present.

What on earth is that…”

If you think I’m trying that you are clearly madder than you look….

The muppet force still runs strong in you Dad….”

If you try to feed that to the birds then I will need to call the Bird Protection Society. “

Clearly he wasn’t impressed with my latest piece of baking art.

Trust me, that was the good side. It was a shocker. It had the soft, airy and bouncy feel of Reinforced Tungsten. Understandably even the birds refused to eat it. I wonder if the builders across the road would like to use it as foundation material. I’m not sure that thing is ever going to break down. Like I’m not sure Im ever going to grow out of my muppet stage….

Dieting

What are they talking about

Dad the government is telling everyone to go on a diet. Boris apparently is going on one, bet that Cummings told him to do that.

Like everything else my money is on our so called Leader delegating his dieting to someone else. He’s far too busy having time off for things like that.

Dad your on a diet….”

☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️

And with those words from Hawklad, I’m on a diet. I’ve been on this temporary fasting diet for a while now but it’s been an effort. I just haven’t been able to get the food alternatives that my body will accept. So I’ve been forced into eating and drinking far too much soya (soy) 🙄…. Basically my body and face balloon up with the stuff. Not helpful when your trying to look like your losing weight. But hopefully I’ve managed to get hold of a few more nicer foods this time. So here goes. Going to combine my partial fasting diet with a significantly healthier food range. It helps as my garden has finally decided to yield some vegetables. Just got to find them amongst the weeds.

But dieting is only part of it. Need to do something with exercise as well. I am working out each day and pushing myself. But I’m missing the long runs. They are just not happening due to circumstances. So I need a challenge. I had this initial idea of trying to build up to run a garden marathon. Others have done this. I’ve managed 50 minutes of running round our small garden. But I was so dizzy and cheesed off after that, the prospect of 4 hours worth of that is just a complete nonstarter. Lets not forget the epic route map from that.

What was I doing on some of those outlying paths….

So here’s Plan B. At the end of August I want to build up to a mega exercise bike marathon. Let’s see how far I can get on the bike in 4 straight hours. But to ensure it’s not just a gentle peddle session, I’m going to dig out the old HR sports watch. 4 hours with the BP somewhere near 150. That sounds like a challenge which I can do in the garden. Watch it rain and watch the bike collapse again….

Ok Boris for once I’m going to listen to you. I’m going to lose some weight. Are you?

Flying

Wouldn’t it be great to fly. To just fly. No need for a baggage check in, security and long waits in the Terminal. Just to fly under your own steam, when and wherever. Given the size of my bum during these lockdown days, that would have to me some mighty wingspan to get me airborne. Buttocks like mine are the reason that they invented super sized planes like the 747 with those massive engines.

“Dad have you lost that weight you said you were going to before the summer…”

Yes I did set a goal of shedding some weight.

You actually said it would be 14lbs which is 6.3kg’s. So how are you doing?”

I am probably about 6.3kg’s short of the goal currently…..

“So what’s gone wrong?”

I’m exercising really hard but I’m just not getting any long runs. Without the runs it’s a real struggle to get my heart rate above 100 during the exercise. But the main problem is the food. I’m having to eat Soya and some Gluten products. These just make me blow up as if I’m pregnant.

Are you sure your not pregnant?”

Pretty sure, although we have some of your old baby clothes somewhere – just in case. Those food types just make my abdomen and face puff up. It takes ages for my system to try and process them. When the shop gets a better range of things back in, then things will improve.

Arnold Schwarzenegger became pregnant in that movie. Look how much money he has now. Just saying……Instead of soya and gluten stuff, Dad, why don’t you just eat salads and soups…”

*******

Yes we could all do with some more money but call me a coward, not that way please…. But Hawklad does have a good point. I’ve just switched to the soya and gluten alternatives without really thinking. Salads would be far better for me. I’ve become lazy, stopped making things like soups and stews. So from today my body becomes a temple. A well cared for one. Now I don’t have an excuse, that weight has to come off now. Either that or it’s a remake of the movie Junior….

Needs trimming

That hedge needs trimming……

Hawklad likes to think that this bush has become so large and overgrown, that if it was one day cut then it might destabilise the earths orbit. Better not touch it then. That’s what I call a quality excuse to avoid hard work. A few minutes later it was absolutely chucking it down. At least we got a few minutes sun.

Well that dreaded day has arrived. Been trying to put it off. Yes Hawklad is now taller than me. Certainly if you include the hair…. Even discounting hair then he is now above me. Waiting till he was 15 or 16 would have been nice. But only just gone 13 – really….

I was happy at 5ft10.5 (179cm). I was just above average height. Yes a few more inches might have given my goalkeeping career a boost, but I was cool with my height. I was the tallest in our family. But deep down I knew my title would be lost. Especially when Hawklad was 9 and the Doctor told him that he was above the 97th percentile for height at his age. 97th is always going to tower over something like the 51st.

Now to work on his weight. He is tall but very slim. He struggles to maintain his weight. He’s underweight for his age and height. That’s a label that I have never, ever had. In the words of his Doctor – if he wants to eat chocolate then let him, no need for calorie counting, just eat…. It maybe that he is always moving, brain always in overdrive. It’s something I have to keep an eye on. Evidence is rising on the link between Autism and eating disorders. He is conscious of his weight but thinks he is overweight. He does love eating salads and vegetables. I need to find ways to get more calories in him in a sustainable way.

At the moment we are probably just about maintaining a balanced approach, but only just. I don’t want to make light of this. Many families and adults are so struggling with eating disorders, which too often end tragically. Much more needs to be understood and done. We will treat this so seriously and will continue to look at options. In our case the best approach often involves humour, so…. So maybe a better baker than me is required in our house. That’s something Hawklad would sign up to.

Bake-off

Yesterdays announcement of my new signature dish – The Pizza Cheesecake – seemed to be as popular as Trump announcing that he would be starting to model revealing beach costumes…. So I have decided to slightly tweak the dish. Just a superficial change. I’ve kept the base and ditched the rest of the cake. So it’s goodbye pizza and hello to strawberry, blueberry and marshmallow cheesecake.

It might not look much but wow it tasted good. Definitely my new dish.

Warning… if you don’t like this version of the cake then I will may be forced to model beachwear. Trust me that’s a step you don’t want to unleash on the world. The last time I took my shirt off on a beach, I was quickly surrounded by whale specialists. Buckets of water were then thrown over me until the tide came in, so they could attempt to refloat me……

It’s the Great Bloggers Bake-off this weekend. Let’s get baking. All the tremendous creations and my awful ones are appearing on Mel’s wonderful site.

Crushed Caramel

Remember to send in your creations to Mel (CrushedCaramel). Maybe your entry is not baking just something for a picnic like a sandwich, drink or salad….

crushedcaramel@gmail.com

Let’s see if we can literally blow Mel’s and our wonderful judge Jeanne’s (A Jeanne in the kitchen) socks off with our creations and monstrosities (in my case).

Signature Dish

All the great chefs of the world have a signature dish. Gordon F###### Ramsey has his Beef Wellington. Thomas Keller has his smoked salmon crisps. Heston Blumehthal has his snail porridge. So clearly I need one. After much thought. Much ‘thought means’ looking at what I’ve got in the cupboards, I may have mine now. It needs tweaking. When I say tweaking I mean it needs to be made edible……

I give you the Pizza Cheesecake. Sweet base, Turmeric whipped cream, Tomato Ketchup and Yorkshire Cheddar Cheese. With a secret spice ingredient. Would tell you but the label has dropped off that spice, so I have literally no idea….

Remember to send in your Great Bloggers Bake-off creations to Mel (CrushedCaramel). Maybe your entry is not baking just something for a picnic like a sandwich, drink or salad….

crushedcaramel@gmail.com

Let’s see if we can literally blow Mel’s and our wonderful judge Jeanne’s (A Jeanne in the kitchen) socks off with our creations and monstrosities.