Live on the edge

This counts as excitement here in Yorkshire. We know how to live on the edge.

I don’t really celebrate my birthday anymore. It’s more associated with being the day that we lost our mum. But I did start a new tradition. It would almost become a second birthday for our son. If the Queen can have two birthdays then so can Hawklad. So I get him his favourite cake, that’s buy it not bake it (wouldn’t do that to him). He gets to eat his favourite meal which is probably pizza at the moment. We would normally have a trip out somewhere but not this year…. Finally he gets a present. So what present does he want this year.

I’ve been giving it some thought and decided.”

My money is on either a computer game or maybe a wrestling figure.

I would like Chilli Soup.”

What as your special meal?

No as my present. That way I get two special meals.”

Well you can have two special meals this year and still have a present.

No will stick to the Chilli Soup as a present. “

I’m not like the Genie in the Lamp. Not going to hold you strictly to three wishes. Plus I struggle to count past 2 these days. You can still have a present.”

No that’s the deal this year.”

*******

Well he’s going to get his Chilli Soup. It’s either going to be Beef Or Pumpkin Chilli. He’s going to get his pizza night. AND yes he’s going to get a present, just need to think of one now. Maybe a joint present. One we both can enjoy. That would kinda work.

Not my lawn

Before you think it, this is not my lawn….

I was thinking how beautiful the farmers field was as it flowed like waves in the strong summer winds. An hour later the tractor arrived to cut it. Bit of a shame really but that’s the farm working cycle. But it will grow again.

Bit like life really. One moment your up and standing tall. Then suddenly your cut down to size. Having to dust yourself off and pull yourself up, yet again. But we do. Sometimes by ourselves. Sometimes with the help of those who care. And the cycle begins again. Hopefully each time we go through this we learn just a bit more about ourselves. Find out what and who are really important to us. And then start to stand tall again.

Now it’s time to cut my grass. I wonder if the farmer will lend me his tractor. Even better a few of his sheep.

Mum

Hopefully a sign of some slightly better weather. It was so cold yesterday afternoon that when we went outside for a talk, I had to dig out my winter down jacket. It’s supposed to be the height of summer. But our current weather patterns are mixed up. They have been for a few years now……. One day our leaders might notice this.

Dad you have never really been a beard person have you?”

No when I was in my twenties I did experiment with a moustache. Managed to get the nickname Goochy from that. But it was quickly ditched. Didn’t help that it was jet black apart from from little strip which bizarrely went ginger…..

But you have started having a beard now”

Well not exactly. A few dabbles with what I like to call a fashionable bit of designer stubble. Makes me look rugged……. trying to not laugh……

“So why did you start doing it. You never had one with my mum did you?”

No, never. But it wasn’t anything to do with your mum. She quite liked them. It was your Little Nan (my mum)!!!! She didn’t like them. She had a firm no to beards, no to moustaches policy for her youngest son. That policy was NEVER dropped. Even when I was well past childhood years and living independently, you would here the quiet but stern words “Gary you will be having a shave today, won’t you….”. Using my actual name was always a sign of trouble ahead. Only one response allowed. YES.

So Dad how did you manage to grow a moustache then?”

I was living 350 miles away in Portsmouth. It was shaved off the morning I was due to visit her…… She never knew.

Mums always know best…..

Socks

I was doing my normal early morning chore. Trying to find some socks for my workout. Notice the missing word. Matching. Just any two socks would be nice some mornings. Where do they all go…..

Anyway a couple of days ago, one particularly fruitless sock search resulted in a rather fetching blue ankle and black football sock combo. Enough is enough. So I went online for socks.

After a few minutes searching a bargain was found. 10 pairs of ankle sport socks for £7. A variety of colours including at least one black pair. Well they came today.

Dad what have you done….”

Yes one pair was indeed black. The other nine pairs – all bright pink. Another fetching look.

Well onced you’ve washed them, if it’s like my new blue shirt, then they won’t be pink for long….”

Ok yes I did manage to turn his bright new sky blue shirt a rather angry purple colour, after just one wash. So I wonder what colour socks I will have next week. That’s assuming I can find them.

Biscuit inspiration

Flowers never fail to take my breathe away.

Sadly on too many days, school has the same effect on me

I contacted school to let them know that son was still struggling but as it was the last week of school, he would give the online lessons a go. School said that they would let all his teachers know and would appropriately restrict his work demands. This week had to be a phased return. That was 8.30am on Monday morning. His first lesson went ok then it was time for the second to start. He was told to complete a one hour test (starting in 5 minutes) which the rest of the class has had a week to revise for. In fact some of the questions related to course material which was only introduced during the week he was absent. Apparently even if a child is sick, that child should still log into the school system and check all class lesson notes.

So much for a phased return to schooling.

This called for the inspirational powers of hot milk, digestive biscuits and toast. The test was completed with much common sense and quite a bit of creative guesswork. Looking at some of the questions – his Dad would have been as much use as air conditioning is in Yorkshire.

That was the first morning of the school week. This could be a long one. Good job we have many packets of biscuits and chocolate ready to go…

Inevitable

Well the Great Bloggers Bake-off is fast approaching on the 18th-19th July. Why don’t you join in the fun. Whether you can bake or not. Let’s have fun.

Remember to send in your creations (you can start early) 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.

So in the spirit of baking, here we go then. Time to get serious. It’s Soufflé time. That’s a gluten and diary free version. Stand by your panic rooms. Extreme baking photo is coming…..

Ok it’s not quite High End Food. But as a certain broad chinned Marvel Villain would say. I AM INEVITABLE. So tomorrow we will have Round Two of the Soufflé Wars.

Bagpuss

The fading embers of the day. Another wet one but at least we have been granted a few late moments of weather calm. An opportunity to sit outside with Hawklad. A new nickname for son all the way from Canada. He likes it.

I like that. So much potential. Either a new Avenger or DC character. Maybe my name if I become a falconry. And definitely cooler than yours. Bagpuss. Really…”

For those unaware Bagpuss was a children’s TV character from yesteryear. A toy who was an exhibit in a magical shop. A shop that didn’t sell. The little girl shop owner would find things, repair them and put them in the shop window. When Bagpuss came to life the other items in the shop did as well. The intro to the show is engrained in my childhood memories. After all these years I can still remember the monologue, word for word.

Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss
Old fat furry cat-puss
Wake up and look at this thing that I bring
Wake up, be bright
Be golden and light
Bagpuss, Oh hear what I sing

And Bagpuss was wide awake
And when Bagpuss wakes up all his friends wake up too
The mice on the mouse-organ woke up and stretched
Madeleine, the rag doll
Gabriel, the toad
And last of all, Professor Yaffle, who was a very distinguished old woodpecker
He climbed down off his bookend and went to see what it was that Emily had brought

So why was I named after this TV Toy Cat. A show that they only ever made 13 episodes. Maybe it was the Bagpuss toy that was in the Car. Maybe my goalkeeping prowess didn’t quite warrant full cat like status. Or maybe it was the shows description of the toy cat.

“an old, saggy cloth cat, baggy, and a bit loose at the seams”

Yes I can see the similarities. They become more apt everyday. But I guess that’s the same for many of us.

Hunting

Everyday a large bird of prey has decided to spend some of its hunting time in the field next to us. A free nature cinematic thrill ride. Now if it would just come a little closer and not fly so fast then I might get some closer shots.

Hawklad (son) is so happy that this can now be seen from the safety of his garden. This is such a bonus. With it looking like a few more months of isolation we look to nature to bring the world to us. With patience it never lets us down.

Doubt

Sometimes you are filled with doubt. Sometimes you are beyond tired. Sometimes you feel pain. Sometimes you feel alone. Sometimes you are your own biggest critic. Sometimes you fear letting people down. Disappointing them. Patience is hard to find.

I feel like that about myself. I know you feel that way. We all can feel like that. But to the people who truly matter, you are a beacon. A shining light. Have faith and believe in yourself. Focus on all your many wonderful qualities, the smiles you bring to others and your limitless possibilities.

I believe in you.

Now to work on myself.

Meditation

I really am trying to commit to meditation and mindfulness. It will take time to calm my racing mind. So everyday I’m committing time to my new mindset. I’ve downloaded some apps. If only it was that easy.

  • My Doctor recommended a mediation app. I most admit it looked good until I came across the price. £300 per year. That’s stress inducing numbers….
  • I looked at alternatives apps. Many offered free elements. The first one was really good. Soothing music, dreamlike words. All was great as I enjoyed my first meditation session. That was until the app suddenly stopped with the message – to continue please purchase the full licence. Stress rising…..
  • Then the next app was tried. Yes it kinda worked. My mind was filled with just one thought. What an annoying and patronising voice. I had a sudden urge to throw a large object at the so called calming voice.
  • Then the next app had a more acceptable voice. Lie down and concentrate on your body. Fully sense how it feels. Focus on those sensations. Let everything else drift away…. Well that’s fine but all I could sense was my tight hamstring, my sore hip and my hurting finger from the earlier incident with a kettlebell. My mind was filled with three words- oh that hurts. Stress rising.
  • Then another attempt disrupted by a never ending telephone ringing…. stress rising as I start shouting. Will you stop ringing Im trying to meditate…..

I will get there. I will crack this meditation thing. The benefits are too much to ignore. But maybe there is a simpler thing to remember. Just walking outside. Sitting comfortably and just watching nature at work. The natural worlds stress busting app is still the best option out there and it’s free.