Call

The mobile phone is leading a charmed life. Yesterday it found its way into the garden refuse bin. Today as I weeded suddenly the little bucket next to me I was filling with weeds started playing music. Never been so thankful for one of those nuisance marketing call.

With the mobile safely back in my pocket. I got back on with the job of weeding.

Then another call. A work call. 60 minutes worth of …… what’s the word I’m looking for. I can think of a few, some I can even safely write down…

Boring

Dragging

Tiring

Fruitless

Frustrating

Dull

Monotonous

Wearisome

Mind-numbing

Soul-destroying

Insipid

Stupefying

After 60 minutes I was so tempted to switch the mobile off and voluntarily drop it back in the garden waste bin. I’m old enough to remember a time before mobile technology AND today I vote for going back to then….

Walking up the hill

Walking up the hill…

It’s hard work. Sometimes it seems never ending. But eventually the hill flattens out. You get there. There might be bigger hills or mountains surrounding you. But in that moment you can breathe. You can enjoy the moment. You can see clearly. See for miles.

The perfect place for a cheese sandwich, pasty, packet of crisps and a warming brew.😂😂😂

Today it feels like I’m not even half way up the latest hill. I’m tired. Feeling battered and worn down. Unsure of the direction. If anything it feels like I can’t chose the path. I’m being forced along one route which is probably not heading in the direction I want to.

But you know what. I like a good sandwich and a brew on top of a mountain. So I’m going to keep on trying to climb.

See you at the top.

Leaning

One of the first things you notice living in the hills is that you don’t get many poles that are straight up. There is always a bit of a lean to them. Nowt wrong with that. It feels like I’ve had a bit of a lean for years.

There is a really apt song line that Roger Waters wrote a few years back.

You lean to the left but you vote to the right.

This morning I read a work email exchange. One guy was saying that he had voted for Brexit because it seemed cool but hadn’t voted for higher food prices and more expensive import taxes. He certainly hadn’t voted for the nightmare it had become to own his time share in Spain.

Ok…..

Maybe its just me. 😳

But I guess we all do a bit of that lean to the left but vote to the right thing.

I’m not immune to that. As a kid I fell in love with football. What an exciting game it could be if I picked a great team. I then picked Newcastle United to support. If I liked football so much why did I pick that bunch of numpties.

Then there was a time when I was a fully paid up member of CND. Proud owner of the ban the bomb T-shirt. I picked what look like a really interesting University option. All went well until I found out where my option was based. The National Atomic Weapons Research Facility…… I’m not making that up. How on earth did I get through the vetting.

But it goes much wider. I wanted desperately to be a parent but not sure I would have initially voted to be a single parent. Definitely not this way.

So I guess there are times when things are out of our control. Life happens. But there are times when it is down to our decisions, our actions. If that happens you just have to own the consequences….

Prunes

Don’t you just love WordPress. It’s a bit like Prunes. You know they are good for you. So many benefits but a monumental pain in the backside….

Blogging is really so good for me but WordPress is a monumental pain in the ….. It just feels like wading through treacle.

Will it just once allow me to format the post as I want it to look.

Will it just once have a truly user friendly editor.

Will it just once not keep trying mess up my photos so I have to constantly keep on reloading them.

Will it stop showing me that my blog looks fine when some users can’t see the photos or only see messed up formatting.

Will it stop messing up a post when I dare to try and include a music or video link.

Will it stop changing all my text into micro font if I accidentally delete a bit WP doesn’t want me to do.

Will it stop randomly deleting people from my following list and then not bothering to tell me.

Will it stop randomly deleting comments I post.

Will it stop randomly deciding to freeze the iPad app. In fact will it stop freezing my iPad – it’s the only app that has ever done that for me.

Will the help desk stop blaming Apple for the working of its App.

WHINING OVER.

I like blogging. It helped me cope with loss. It helped me become a better parent. A better person. Made some great friends through it. Kept me connected with people during this period of isolation. So I guess I will keep taking my Prunes. The benefits are so worth it.

L

30 minutes

What can you do in 30 minutes?

Maybe go for a paddle in a flooded farmers field

Maybe play a game couple of games of Top Trumps

Maybe listen to one side of a vinyl record

Maybe do a quick yoga session

Maybe have a shower

Maybe take the dog for a walk

Maybe watch one Simpson’s episode

What can’t you do in 30 minutes

Play a half of football

Cut the grass

Read a chapter of a book

Play a game of Trivia Pursuit

Listen to a cd

Watch an episode on the X-Files

Cook Lunch

What do I have to do this week in 30 minute?

Have 7 online teacher video chats to discuss Hawklads performances, challenges and his future. That’s a crazy thought…..

Costs

And finally the rain stops. For the time being….

We needed something for the house. Where we would normally buy it from is out of stock and is unlikely to be getting any new ones in any time soon. It was a similar story in the other online UK stores. Amazon was a similar story. Finally I found an option from a German Store. But here is the new post Brexit reality.

The store were most helpful. If I had ordered the item before we left the EU delivery the store would have added £20 delivery to the £300 item. Now the store had to warn me that another UK customer had just been charged an additional £140 in Customs Duties and Tax. The store had also had to increase the delivery charge to £40 to cover the additional bureaucracy they had to deal with.

Well I’m not paying that….

So we will just have to do without it until some UK stores manage to source some stock – eventually.

Please tell me just one benefit we are getting from Brexit. So far the best one I’ve seen is from the pompous moron who is the Leader of the House of Commons. He said that apparently “The key is that we have our fish back. They are now British fish and they’re better and happier fish for it…..”.

This is the politician who claimed he had more common sense than the victims of the Grenfell Tower Disaster. Our PM kept him in the Government……

What a monumental prat and what a monumental mess….

Day

Sun going down on another day. Another Groundhog Day.

The days are just blending together. No week day seems to stand out. I get up at the same time each day. Check the calendar to try to work out which day of the week it is (never exactly clear). Do my exercise. Take the dog out for a quick walk in the flooded farmers field. Make the same breakfast for Hawklad. Feed the pets. Check the work system – nothing. Survive the school at home gig while squeezing in as much housework as possible. Fight with Microsoft Teams to close the school day down. Prepare the evening meal (the same ones on repeat every week). Look at the clock to see it’s about 6pm. Look out the window and another day is quickly ebbing away.

On repeat.

That’s why the evening’s and weekends are so important. Need to make those work. Work better than they do currently. Too often they drift by as well. I end up going to bed thinking I survived the day rather than I LIVED the day.

Has to change.

Snowball

Trying to figure out if Captain Chaos was starting on his first ever snowman. If it is then he was making a good start on his project. That was until the thaw came along….

I definitely could do with making a good start on a project this morning. I think that we can officially call it. I’m moping around today. Feeling frustrated, flat and bored. Hawklad is cracking in with homeschooling. Needs me infrequently. It’s pouring down outside so can’t really get any fresh air in the garden. Cant pop out. Can’t go for a run. Can’t go to visit anyone. Wasn’t in the mood for music or TV. Housework to be done but not in the mood for it. No work available (going to be that way for months). Can’t seem to settle down to anything at present. Quickly seem to lose interest.

So I’m kind of just moping. Sometimes sat down. Sometimes walking aimlessly around the house. Had a few of those days recently.

Maybe it’s better to call it ‘pottering about’ rather than moping.

So I’m just going to keep on pottering. Feeling just a bit detached from life. I guess I’m not the only one feeling that way.

Soul

We watched the Pixar movie SOUL last night. Felt like perfect timing. Trying not to give the movie away but it makes you think about life and what it means to you. Its really good, funny in places and sad in others. At times I found it uncomfortable as it was a little to close to home for me.

I came away from the 100 minutes thinking

Life is maybe not about the things I thought it was about (confirmed what I’ve been thinking for a while now)

Actually what are the things in life that make me spark and feel alive

Just how time is wasted

Fears of looking back at life and regretting lost opportunities

I can still grasp those opportunities…..

A few hours later and I’m still reflecting on SOUL. Life and the pandemic have kind of hemmed me in (hemmed many of us in). We have been in our own lockdown for almost a year now. Likely to be in lockdown for much of 2021. Time is to precious to just be content with performing endless holding patterns until life changes again. Have to find ways to live TODAY…

Learning time

Could look at this view for ages. It makes life feel so uncomplicated.

It’s been one of those school at home days. The sort of day that reminds me what I’m missing with caffeine (lots of it). The stronger the better.

The third cup of decaf just doesn’t hit the same mark…..

Before summer school basically used Showbie to run its lockdown home schooling system. Teachers delivered lessons via recorded videos, documents and resources available on the web. It was simple and largely worked.

School has now implemented Microsoft Teams and that is being used to deliver the current lockdown home schooling.

Now cards on the table, I have a masters degree in computing. So I’m ok with tech. Excluding the remote control, washing machine and my mobile. Hawklad sorts those out for me…. But Microsoft I can do…..

How can I describe the new Teams learning experience.

OMG 🤯

Really 🙀

##@@##%££🤬

For us its shocking. Talk about school over complicating things. Poor Hawklad has lost the plot. I’m not far behind. And reading many of the pupil comments (and a few teachers) – we are not the only ones.

Today Hawklad must have spent 20 minutes on actual learning. The other 5 hours has been spent dealing with app crashes, lockouts, never ending formatting issues, searching for stuff, trying to find ways to open audio and video files on the school iPad.

Much of this will be down to how school have set up the system. Yes Teams can do so much more and it helps the school with administration. But it’s been at a cost. It’s proving much harder for some of the pupils to learn. Hawklad just doesn’t find it easy using Microsoft apps. They seem to be designed in a way that just doesn’t suit the way his mind operates. Even some of the teachers will start a lesson off on Teams and within minutes switch back to Showbie. PLUS. My decaf budget is going through the roof….

But when your parenting day is not going well the last thing you want to hear is ‘live teaching’ or ‘real time classroom video experience’. Our day is finishing with that beauty. I just can’t wait and there will no doubt be another frustrated post winging your way….