Old…

Dad I have to interview someone for Food Technology. That person has to be old apparently. That’s you then Dad”

Charming….But sadly very true….

****that’s the thing about Aspergers with Hawklad. He tells it as it is, no filters.****

Dad I have to ask you about the confectionery you used to eat as a child. I’ve seen the photos, you clearly liked the odd one or two sugar bars…..”

****sadly also very true****

What were your favourite sweets and chocolates all those many centuries ago….”

Decades boy not centuries…. That would be midget gems, flying saucers, black jacks, milk guns, fizz wiz, pineapple cubes, cherry lips and refreshers. Chocolate it would have been Toblerone, Marathon, Wagon Wheels, Minstrels, Revels,Time Outs, Banjos and Curly Wurly’s.

Dad why is it that when I ask you about science, history or art you just look blank at me. Yet I mention chocolates and sweets and I can’t stop you talking….”

Got to get my priorities right.

What’s the biggest changes with current confectionery then Dad?”

Well some of the stuff have disappeared. Some stuff has changed name. What’s this thing called Snicker Bars – it’s a Marathon…. And the sizes. Much much bigger in my day as you can tell from the old photos of my tummy.

Last question Dad. What was the worst thing about confectionery in your day….”

Well I dread to think what they put in those old sweets and chocolate bars. E Numbers were classed as one of your 5 a day healthy options back then. And then some of the stuff was so wrong. One of my favourite chocolates was pretend cigarettes. They were made to look like cigarettes and even came in a realistic cigarette packet.

Dad what were they thinking of…”

Getting kids hooked on smoking. Making money and seeing children as a commodity to make money from. Sadly that hasn’t changed….

It’s back

So much for the ‘warmer’ spell. The white stuff is back.

This is a message to the Brits amongst you. Are you enjoying Brexit? Here its been a great trade off. Losing my right to travel freely across Europe. Increased cost and admin trying to get stuff from the EU. Nationally industries like Fishing are facing bankruptcy because they are struggling to get products out of the country and are sinking in a sea of additional bureaucracy. But on the PLUS side the supermarkets have many empty shelves were fresh food items can’t make it into the country. So yes all the billions spent have been so worth it…..

The shopping was a wonderful experience today. No carrots, no grapes, no oranges, no bananas, no onions, no corn on the cob…….. Hardly any frozen vegetables and fruit.

So it’s a week of processed foods, chips, pizzas, soups and chocolate. How many different things can I make with a bag of grotty looking sweet potatoes.

So here’s my excuse for potentially coming off my diet. I blame it on the PM and Brexit….

Breathing

Hanging over the fence, looking at the sunset and breathing….

I have just been reading the helpful letter that comes with the government application form I’m trying to complete. Apparently I have to remember that the form will allow the government to better target funds. To weed out false claimants. Ultimately the additional questions and evidence requirements are there to help me.

Well that’s good to know. Currently made to to question 27 out of 71. It’s taken me two days so far. Most of the evidence they want me to include is just not available or out of date. I have plenty of stuff that I could send them but this won’t be considered as it hasn’t been requested.

I’m getting this all wrong. What I should have done is donate thousands to the Governing Party and then you get a better service. The current so called Government can’t help itself dishing out funds and lucrative contracts to its buddies – no questions asked, paper work not required.

When I started the form I was listening to some relaxing classical music. By page 27 I have migrated to Mongolian Throat Metal. I’m guessing by question 71 it will be German Death Metal…..

Not happening

Still waiting for the above freezing weather to arrive. It should be here soon. Potentially a short respite before the really cold air arrives again at the weekend.

The covid vaccination programme is up and running here in the UK. It’s still a mess with most over 70s still waiting a first jab or being told that the follow up jab is being delayed. That doesn’t apply to the PMs Dad who has already had his second one.

I will become eligible probably after April. Hawklad…….

The UK Government stance is that under 18s will NOT get vaccinated – no exceptions unless serious life threatening underlying medical conditions exist. Children are deemed to be of lower risk to serious covid complications and are not a government priority. They have not asked the vaccine manufacturers to test on under 18s. Only Pfizer has conducted any tests on the under 18s. Two of the manufacturers are about to start some testing safety and effectiveness on children in the US.

So where does that leave our little family. In Limbo.

I will at some stage probably get vaccinated but that doesn’t mean that I can’t carry the virus. Hawklad is not likely to get vaccinated at all. So as we stand our self imposed lockdown will have to continue indefinitely. That includes me even if I do get the jab.

The return to the world is NOT happening.

Fingers crossed

Still cold but a heatwave apparently is on the way. A few days at 1C. Then after that it’s either wet and windy or a plunge back into the freezing stuff again. Think I will take the freezing stuff. We get far too much of the wet, gnarly stuff and that’s just in summer.

I’ve just finished the morning exercise. Been trying to drag out the workout for as long as possible. It’s so much better than what is to follow…..

I’m trying to work through a 56 page application form. Having to reapply for a small benefit which we get. Only small but it currently makes such a difference. Especially at a time when work is so thin on the ground. Likely to be thin on the ground for some time. Had hoped it would start to pick up in March but that is looking over optimistic. Maybe the Summer. But on the bright side I still do have a job, many have lost theirs. Work is at such a premium.

It’s ironic to look back before the pandemic. I was trying to find a new job that would better suit the homeschooling role which might be needed down the line. I was looking at so many options. Well that homeschooling gig crashed into effect and not in the way that I had envisaged. Due to the pandemic suddenly all the alternative work options have disappeared. It’s now about hoping that I can keep my current job that at least partly fits the homeschooling role. The current full time homeschooling role which may become permanent.

So at present this benefit form needs completing and it’s taking seemingly for ever. Question after question. Trying to find evidence to justify the answers. The problem is that the government has tightened up the eligibility criteria. It’s requiring more evidence. Adding more steps and hurdles. Up to date clinical opinion is required. How does that fit with waiting more than two years to see a paediatrician. Unable to access services due to cut backs. A pandemic. It doesn’t….

So just got to wade through the form. Submit it and see if the benefit continues in March. Fingers crossed.

Change

Sorry going to milk our temporary farmers field lake for photos while it’s here. It does make such a difference to the view.

Time does make a difference. Look at schools. On Monday morning our PM said schools were completely safe and parents should send them there right away. Monday evening suddenly according to the same PM schools were clearly vectors for transmission and had to close immediately. Then on Tuesday the very same PM said schools were completely safe again but unfortunately staying shut. Having said that he has a track record of this. The man who championed Brexit to become leader likes to forget that before that he said “I would vote to stay in the single market (EU). I’m in favour of the single market”…..

So things can clearly change. One day I was one of two parents, the next I crashed into single parenting and the world of bereavement. Things can change.

But here’s the thing when they do change THEY CAN ALSO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER. That’s why there is always hope. Good things can still happen. So yes I’m struggling through a period or depression. Yes it feels like Groundhog Day. But it can change.

I can do this. We can do this.

I would vote to stay in the single market. I’m in favour of the single market

Right minds

The sun shines down on a land run by a PM who is a complete and utter …………

So two week ago the so called PM castigated the leader of the opposition (probably one of the few adults left in Parliament) for saying the country needed to go into stricter controls to stop a crisis turning into a disaster. Now two weeks later the hospitals are on the verge of collapse, at least 7000 more people have lost their lives due to covid and a mutated virus is out of control. He complains about a mutated virus from South Africa yet Britain is still one of the few countries not doing any regular covid checks at airports. Most flights check in without even any guidance being available. But tonight the PM decided to kind of act. Actually it’s hard to tell amongst the bluster, lies and false promises. Far too many IFs for my liking. Again we got the ‘we are on the final stretch, it will be great in a couple of months’ line. He’s said that every week since February.

For 6 weeks we are basically allowed out of the house once for exercise, to food shop, to work.

Schools are closed until well into February just 8 hours after he told parents they were completely safe and they had an obligation to send their children into those very schools.

I’m open minded but who in their right minds would vote for this clown.

Lake

The winter farm lake is starting to form. Wow it was wet feet trying to take this photo.

So again today the Government is telling parents that they must send their children to school if it’s open. It’s a mess. Some schools have been closed. Some are opening soon. Some partly closed. Some are opening today. The PM again is saying schools are perfectly safe. He must have evidence that shows children, teachers, teaching staff, parents and carers cannot catch the virus. Wish he would share that so it can all be cleared up. Maybe he could share that with his own scientific advisers as well. The Government is again threatening parents with legal action and fines. The teacher unions are taking the Government to court over its failure to operate safe working environments. It’s such a mess.

So where do we stand? Hawklads year group is kind of homeschooling for the next two weeks then after they have had one covid test they are back in the classroom on the 18th. Well not Hawklad.

His call is that he can’t go back yet. He will look again at the end of the this half term. I’m trying to get another medical exemption letter from his Key Health Worker who is due to come and visit him this week. If they won’t issue one or are not allowed to by the Government then they can see me in court. I’ve seen enough Perry Mason episodes to look after myself. I won’t be the only parent there.

Heres the thing. Put the Aspergers severe anxieties to one side. Each parent and child has to make a judgement call on if attending school is safe. Well clearly safety cannot be guaranteed. More so now than ever with this virus. Children, teachers, parents, grand parents are ending up in hospital with it. The Government might try to hide that information, but it is happening. The virus can infect all age ranges. So it is an individual judgment call. Is the benefits of classroom education and socialisation worth the inevitable risk. That’s not a call for Johnson or his inept Education Minister. They have a track record of lying, not caring and making the wrong disastrous calls.

Each family will have a view. All as valid as each other. Even without the anxieties and present fears, OURS would be no it’s not worth the risk. It won’t until the virus is under control and schools are allowed to put in the necessary safety mechanisms. The first has to be opening up home online schooling. That reduces the numbers in school at any one time, creates space, starts to build a safer more inviting learning environment.

A plan

Walking towards the light. That sounds like a plan…..

So we kind of know what’s happening with school over the next few weeks. Well sort of.

School will be shut on Monday. Then this week pupils will be at home working through tasks that have been set for the week. Only minimal teaching support will be available as teachers will be trying to help volunteers in ensuring every child is self tested for covid. That’s just a one off test.

The week after some pupils will be back in the classroom. For Hawklads year they will be working from home. The full online teaching system will be switched on for the week. Teachers will do the full lesson programme fully online.

The week after all pupils will return to the classroom and the online teaching system will be switched off.

For Hawklad what does that mean. Well for a start he is not going back in January. So he would be home come what May. For the first week of term he is likely to get more work as all his classmates will be at home. The second week will see Hawklad get his first lessons since July as the online teaching system will be live. After that we go back to how we were before Christmas. Kind of just winging it. Maybe worse as the one member of staff who really tried to help has now left.

Why do I get a sinking feeling…

I believe

I was listening to the radio while I was cooking tea today. The local radio station had a local politician on talking about how good brexit was. I kept it on as it was definitely car crash stuff. He was asked why brexit was so good. It wasn’t the most convincing of answers. The answer seemed to be based on ‘Boris is funny and is the worlds best leader – ever ‘ line of thinking. Finally the politician was asked to give one thing that was better now than a year a go. After a few moments of stuttering around the line ‘Britain’s better because erm’ he plumped for ‘because we can be great again’.

Not entirely sold on that one….

But speaking on the radio is hard. Maybe he froze. So I’ve been thinking about the stuff he just forgot to mention. So here goes…

Britain is better under Johnson because….

  • We have had 75000 covid deaths so far and now adding 1000 a day to that total,
  • At a time when we should have lockdowned the government offered discount vouchers for people to go to restaurants and pubs, telling everyone that the virus fight was over and that we had a civic duty to get out and mix,
  • Allowed the countries largest horse racing festival to go ahead as the pandemic started to rage. That’s good as the man in charge of the Health Service received significant funding each year from the Horse Racing Industry.
  • Our hospitals are full to busting. The highest ever number of covid patients. Ambulances are queuing outside waiting to be admitted. That’s what happens when with a growing population, the Johnson’s party have cut hospital bed numbers by 17000 since 2010,
  • The Government found it in their hearts to finally give medical staff a very modest pay increase after years of enforcing a pay freeze. And they gave them a new badge as well. But on a more important note our PM moaned that he couldn’t afford to live on his leader salary and investments….
  • We are told that schools are safe yet the hospitals are admitting increasing numbers of children,
  • The Government for months told us that there was no need to wear face masks. That’s still the case for children in classrooms. Think of the money we have saved there….
  • Instructed police and authorities to issue fines for breaking covid rules including keeping children off school but then didn’t apply those rules when one of their own smashed the rules. Apparently he was acting like any responsible parent would do. At least we know whose back they have got.
  • More than ever there is now one rule for us and one rule for them,
  • We officially backed fake news. The Government instructed its supporters to weaponise fake news…
  • Kent has been turned into a giant lorry park,
  • A parcel which would have cost £14 to send to Europe now costs £44,
  • We now have a blue passport to use going into Europe – not needing a passport to travel across Europe was such a burden,
  • We have left Europe and immediately some of those promoting this have applied for European passports (including the PMs Dad). That’s a right which I now don’t have,
  • A border has suddenly appeared in the sea,
  • Companies will have to change all their packaging as the CE Mark will not be enough. Now the UKCA mark has to be added. Bet that’s cheap….
  • More and more government contracts are now given to friends and party supporters without due process,
  • Illegally waived planning rules for one of the governing parties biggest backers. That’s good as the government looks after the right people.
  • They have issued instructions for the country to not accept any form of workplace bullying and then backed wholeheartedly a senior cabinet minister found guilty of bullying – no action required here,
  • The Government interfered in the college exam process to give many pupils a lower mark,
  • The Government made a big play of refusing to give free school meal vouchers out to children who were likely to go hungry.

I could go on. But so many things to rejoice in after only one year of Boris Johnson being in charge. Why do I think the list will get so much longer during 2021.