Proper Easter weather…..
Nothing like a Yorkshire Spring. As the say round here. This kind of weather puts hairs on your back….
It definitely puts several jumpers over your back.
But here’s the thing. It might seem cold in Yorkshire but is it really. In Nunavut it is -34 today. That’s proper cold.
Perspective is required.
It’s the same with my life. Sometimes it might seem tough. Not much support. Single parenting is hard. Tired. Isolated. Few too many lows. Loss.
But in reality it’s a GOOD life. I don’t need much support. I get some sleep. Single parenting means more quality time my son. I have wonderful friends. There have been many HIGHS. Still much to gain.
Perspective is always required.
I was trying to free up some space on the blog so I was looking what old stuff could de deleted. Can’t believe I’ve tortured people with 1600 posts since I started back in 2017. You know what, I never got round to deleting anything. I was too busy reading my first few posts. Wow they were bad (I’m not saying I’ve improved over the years as well….).
Reading those first posts a couple of message shine through. I was understandably messed up and I was at my lowest point. There was hardly any hope in my words. Hope is often the first thing that LOSS takes from you. It did with me.
Well 4 years later HOPE has returned. I now have a better perspective on life. LOSS is still the worst feeling. Loss of Hope is just as soul destroying. But now I can see a number of new more hopeful dimensions to this dreadful process. It wasn’t all bad. My life focus changed. I realised just how unimportant a career is in the scheme of things. A career is not about personal development rather its often a way of missing out on those important family moments. Single parenting is a tough gig but you get more time with your kids. More quality time. Time is the most precious commodity. And yes doors to close permanently but life eventually does go on again. New pathways open up. Pathways which would not have been found without LOSS. New OPPORTUNITIES, new FRIENDSHIPS. New HOPE.
First rainbow of the year here. Sadly I failed to find that pot of gold. If I had found that pot then I could have happily binned this application form in front of me.
Having carefully followed the IKEA flat pack like instructions that came with the application pack I was officially LOST. Don’t you just love filling out Government Forms. Especially the ones which are designed to stop you claiming any money from them. You know your in trouble when your lost on the FIRST page with another 30 to go. Only thing left was for me to contact the dreaded customer care line. 🤯🙈
Having showed them the tattoo on my left buttock as proof of who I am and confirmed that I was a UK citizen… the main event started. I carefully explained my personal circumstances
“How can I help you Sir.”
Box 4. I’m not sure which option to tick in terms of circumstances.
“Well sir you are not classed as a widow. You also don’t meet the definition of single, divorced, separated or married. So you would tick the box marked OTHER.”
Ok there is a problem being OTHER. That option then directs me to the final page. I get a paragraph to fill out with any other information and that’s it. I don’t get the chance to fill out the other 28 pages of questions. I’m guessing they are kind of important to the overall claim…
“Unfortunately those are the current protocol rules. You do get that box on the final page to set out you circumstances and information relating to your claim.
Is there anything else I can help you with….
Would you mind answering a few prerecorded customer care questions…..”
So I’m not entirely convinced that my claim will go that well. More chance of finding that pot of gold….
There’s tired and there’s TIRED.
I don’t sleep much but even I struggle to function on one hours sleep.
I was trying to wash the bedding this morning. A task clearly beyond a ZOMBIE. I did remember to put washing powder into the right tray. Well kind of. I did pick up a box which was the same shape and size. It didn’t register that the powder was brown and biscuit like.
Yes the bedding was washed with Cat food. That’s TIRED….
Thankfully I don’t work on a Nuclear Power Station….
There are things which I should not be allowed to do when I am are feeling depressed. Here’s are a few things that can send me spiralling downwards.
Watching my so called football team
Look at the news
Anything to do with Boris Johnson
Standing on a Lego piece
Listening to Roger Waters
Looking at the bank account
Watching the first 10 minutes of UP!
Looking at my face in the mirror
Now I can add something else to that list. Going on Street View…
I don’t know how but I ended up on that App, randomly looking at a street in New York. I had been searching for Science news items. But now I was in Street View. Thats when I made my first mistake. I looked up my old childhood home town. It’s a clever app as I could effectively wander the old routes I would walk when I was young. Seeing just how much had gone and just how run down it had become really made me feel even more down.
Then the next big mistake. I looked up the town we used to stay at in Switzerland. I wandered that beautiful place. At first it cheered me up. Remembering sights and sounds. But then pangs of sadness. Reminders of just how long it’s been since I was there. Then a nagging feeling. If I do ever make it back here I’m doing it as a single parent or probably on my own. Suddenly going back seemed even more unlikely.
Now I’m getting really down.
As I navigated the streets I caught sight of a building we would always walk past on the way to the train station. A shop window I would always look at. It was a steep climb up that street and it would give my partner a chance to catch her breath. But now it looks like it’s gone. Turned into luxury apartments. That made me really really sad.
A few minutes later I was stood outside in the garden. Stood alone in the darkness. Feeling really low. Yes definitely time to start avoiding Street View.
Running on empty last couple of days. Even the simple tasks are becoming complex. You know you are in for along day when you nod off during the first school at home lesson. The lights went out midway through a sentence explaining Factor Trees to Hawklad. All before 10am.
Here’s the ultimate irony. A tired muppet Dad who wasn’t even trusted to keep the score in Pub Darts matches now trying to explain maths to a kid who has just got 38 out of 40 in his term mathematics test. Talk about feeling out of my depth.
Which is how I feel when I venture into the world of poetry. Yes I’m sorry it’s that time again. Head to the panic rooms my friends. It’s poetry..
It’s poetry Jim but not as we know it…..
It’s really Terrible Poetry time. Time to have a go at Chelsea Owens Mused Poetry challenge.
Phew! After last month‘s hilarious entries, I had a bit of trouble thinking of what our next venture should be. What to do, what to do…
Let’s try an oldie but a goodie: A Funny Love Poem Inside a Greeting Card.
Most greeting cards can’t hold a ballad, so a few stanzas ought to do us for the Length.
I’d recommend rhyming. I mean, you are serious about this love interest, aren’t you?
Yes, this is love (or something like unto it) but the Rating‘s PG or cleaner. After all, some kid might stumble across your offering while trying out all the musical cards.
Only in stories do lovers say all the right words, remember every birthday and anniversary, and get just the right present. We are not writing a story, here, we’re writing a humorous poem. As such, make us laugh. Laughter’s the best way to a person’s heart; right?
And, as a side note, whoever said this was a card expressing love to a person? What if you’re more fond of a juicy cheeseburger? Just a thought…
You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next MONTH (March 5) to submit a poem.
When you lie in double bed all alone
Experiencing a completely love free zone
Feeling like a discarded out of tune trombone
Your only company is a smelly dog and farting cat
Feeling as popular as flea ridden rabid fat wombat
But maybe today that Hallmark card will land on your mat
Bringing much needed kisses and expressions of affection
Offering a few sweet moments of romantic misdirection
Which is always better than a bad case of fungal infection…..
The National Autistic Society has carried out research on the reality of adults living with autism spectrum disorders. It’s a sobering read.
I just want to highlight some specific lines in the report.
49% of adults with autism or Asperger syndrome are still living at home with their parents. 65% of these adults have had no community care assess- ments and are therefore unlikely to be known to the statutory agencies who should be supporting them.
31% of adults at the lower end of the autism spectrum are still being cared for at home, despite their high level needs. 45% of parents believed their son or daughter required 24-hour care, and only 15% thought they could live in sheltered or shared accommodation.
Only 3% of adults at the higher end of the autism spectrum are living fully independently, and a further 8% are living independently with some regular professional or family support.
As the report points out Families are picking up the care responsibilities in the UK associated with autism. Repeated Government’s have buried their heads in the sand. The current government unbelievably has probably set the bar even lower.
Like many families around the UK (and worldwide) my thoughts are increasingly focusing on the future. What will happen to Hawklad as an adult in our society which is so badly setup for those on the spectrum. Let’s just say that its currently not an entirely reassuring feeling I have. Yes I’m worried.
Warning this post contains some disturbing baking images.
This house had an idea. Some next level pancakes….
Not content with messing up normal pancakes let’s go a stage further. Pancake sandwiches. So what filling could we go for?
Chocolate biscuits. Carefully warmed chocolate biscuits. How hard could that be.
Erm…. As Spock would say ‘it’s a chocolate biscuit filling Jim but not as we know it’.
After a number of other shocking tries we finally produced this….
We can officially call this a warmed chocolate biscuit filled pancake sandwich.
The message here. If keep throwing punches, you might be the worst boxer ever, but eventually one will land.
The lake is going, going, gone….
It’s been a busy old day. Much multitasking.
- Cleaning out the cat tray,
- Darning holes in jeans,
- Trying to reassure,
- Baking bread and some small buns,
- Cleaning the toilet and bathroom floor,
- Explaining probability to Hawklad,
- Hair cutting,
- Trying to figure out why the dishwasher had stopped cleaning,
- Putting a new belt onto the hoover,
- Removing a pet related stain from the sofa.
- Changing the bedding,
- Ordering ingredients for next weeks school at home cooking project,
- Trying to measure Hawklad for new clothes,
- Trying to make an omelette which is approaching edible.
At work multitasking was so valued. Multitasking usually in areas you might be good at or at least competent. Maybe backed up with some training and clear process guides. At home, my home, it feels very different. Yes it’s multitasking but never in areas I’m good at. Often feeling like I’m not even vaguely competent. Constantly having to refer to incomprehensible instructions, Google searching for help videos or just looking blank as I kinda just wing it.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have things I’m good at. I’m ace at saving Football penalties. I can smash into Rugby tackles. I can bowl a mean leg break. I can climb rock faces. I’m an expert on Godzilla and the X-Files. I can recite almost word for word every Fawlty Towers and Captain Scarlett episode. I rock cycle shorts (ok I made that one up). I can balance unfeasibly large numbers of coins on my elbow and then catch them one handed. AND I’m one of the worlds great air guitarists.
These are all great talents but strangely have not yet been required in my single parenting career. I wonder why? 🤣😂 But I live in hope. One day one of those skills might just be required. Then I will have found my parenting sweet spot. A task I can excel in. No need for instructions or help. No vacant look or red mist descending. That reassuring feeling of ‘I’ve got this’. How good will that feel….
And still it shrinks. I’m going to miss it when it’s gone.
Back to school at home and back to the daily fun…. Started with the usual happy pep talk from a teacher. To paraphrase.
‘Remember I’ve set some work before the week off. It’s voluntary but I can see what people have done and how long you have spent on it. I am checking….I’m about to do your assessment….”
Then I accidentally phoned the school. Who hasn’t done the ‘put the mobile in your back trouser pocket just to see how long it takes for your bum to unlock the phone and dial a number’ trick. The mobile can’t have been in the pocket for 2 minutes before suddenly I heard a strange voice coming from my nether regions. How is it that it takes me hours to figure out how to unlock the mobile, find the phone app, then repeatedly fail to type in the number. Yet my butt can unlock the phone and successfully call someone in a fraction of that time…..
So after I had apologised to school reception it was back to the usual fight with submitting pieces of work and trying to find the class work on Teams. Fights with explanations, hidden meanings and unclear instructions.
Quickly followed by the ritual Dad humiliation.
“Dad apart from Andy Warhol what other Pop Art practitioners can you name.”
“Ok can you at least name a few famous Pop Art pieces and before you say it, NO Godzilla doesn’t count.”
Erm there was that picture with about 100 Madonna’s replicated.
“Dad. You mean Monroe and it was 50 times…”
That’s the one. Then there was the soup tin. Erm Andy Warhol was in Men in Black 3, does that count?
So basically no help…….
But maybe my backside could become Pop Art. Probably not. Not sure how big the canvas would have to be to get 50 replicas of my butt on. But if they could then I could literally be sat on an important piece of avant garde culture. Sat on a fortune.