In England we like winding country roads. But occasionally we get a straight one. Like here, almost a French feel to this.
A week ago I was driving along this road and suddenly had a thought. Always dangerous with me. So I parked up and stood by the side of the road. I wonder what the passing drivers thought I was up to. Given the brakes going on the cars, maybe they thought I was a speed camera operative. About 20 years ago I was a civilian manager in a Police Force. It was decided that the handheld speed cameras needed replacing. To cut a long story short the traffic police were asked to test 6 different cameras under similar conditions. Six police cars went to a known speeding zone. Can you imagine the panic on the unsuspecting drivers who screamed over the brow of the hill to be confronted immediately by 6 police officer stood next to each other, pointing 6 cameras at the speeding car. Ones bad enough BUT SIX.
Anyway enough of speeding cars having the worst 5 seconds of their week.
I’d stopped to look at the lane because I had suddenly realised that I had been up and down this road thousands of times over the years and I had never really stopped to look at the beautiful trees. So that’s what I did. But then another random thought struck me. All about which direction to head in. Not easy to choose here as there are so obvious signposts. So left or right – no idea. Bit like life somedays. No obvious direction. Then a smile. My first bit of philosophical thought in years. Why not just head off in the opposite direction to which way your bottom is currently pointing. Yes that works for me.
Unlikely to get too many trips out to enjoy the wonderful autumnal colours this year. But at least I will spend more time looking at very our own mini displays. Too often these are not fully appreciated.
It is often the little things in life that we miss. Don’t fully appreciate. Take them for granted.
Before 2016 at this time of year we would drive as a family through the tree lined country roads to the local arboretum. A walk round the thousands of autumnal trees ending with a hot chocolate at the cafe. It’s not until these moments are gone that you realise how golden those times were.
After 2016 I would drive son to very the same arboretum. Trying to control a mad dog while son kicked around in the fallen leaves. Ending in the cafe now so he and the dog can enjoy a bacon butty. I would saviour a freshly ground full on caffeine burst. Golden days not possible this year.
So maybe those annoying fallen leaves in the front garden will actually come in useful. Let’s go and have a thrash about in them. Followed by a home made butty and yes a hot chocolate. Yes different times, but still golden times.
This is a little tree which is close to our house. It sits at the side of the farmers field which backs onto our garden. It’s close by as a couple of my garden football shots have nearly hit it….. In the years that we have lived here it has never grown. It just seems to lean over a little further each year. I know how it feels…..
So many questions today. So many school work queries.
“Dad what are your thoughts on Gladstone‘s and Disraeli‘s political reforming achievements. They didn’t go far enough and do you think their colonial record negated what good they did do?”
“Dad what do you know about DNA structure and it’s impact on identical and fraternal twins?”
“Dad how would you write the mass of the earth in standard notation?”
“Dad in Animal Farmwhat does the character Moses represent and his relationship toSoviet history?”
“Dad have you ever studied John Agard’s poem FLAGS. Is it about the dangers of patriotism?”
“Dad I can’t get my head round French Verb Conjugation. Can you explain it to me?
As any self respecting parent would do I looked suitably vacant and thought wishfully back to the questions about which was my favourite Tellytubby. I was good at those questions.
A couple of photos of a favourite tree of mine. And Captain Chaos – saves an extra special cock of the leg for this one.
It’s sits on the edge of a forest. It’s in a field all by itself. Is it part of the forest or does that 50 yards of separation make it a loner – in its own forest of 1 tree. I guess it once was part of the main forest but over years the trees around it have died or been felled.
There’s a photograph from our sons old nursery which comes to mind. I can’t share it as it has other kids on it and I don’t think it’s right to show it without their agreement. It was taken when our son had just turned four. He was a kid which every other kid wanted to play with. Up to that stage no real indication of Aspergers. In fact I really didn’t know what Aspergers was. The photo has all the nursery kids and nursery staff stood in a group. The Nursery Team photo. All huddled together except one small boy. Our son was stood by himself about 2 yards in front of everyone. Giving the camera a real Paddington Stare. They tried to get him into the group but he just kept saying ‘NO I’m fine here’. Unusual for him as he was normally the one hiding at the back with a hood over his head as soon as a camera was produced.
Was he part of the group or was he becoming a loner.
Maybe he thought he was the leader. Maybe he thought it was his moment to shine. Maybe he just took a dislike to the photographer. We will never know.
A note was shoved through our letter box yesterday. The Village Committee are holding a village Christmas party at the little Village Hall. Children can come so WE could go. But I’m not sure I feel part of the village these days. The friends we had have all left now or passed away. The few I still know are elderly Residents and they will either be off to spend time with family over Christmas or are not interested in socialising anymore. So if we did go WE wouldn’t know anyone there. Part of me is saying WE should go as it’s a chance to meet new people. But WE won’t in the end. Son is adamant that he would rather do a spelling test than go to that party. A large part of me shares his view. Stood in a cold village hall with people who either have no idea who I am or with people who I share nothing in common with. They live in a different world. A world of dinner parties, bridge Clubs, Conservative Party Socials and going pheasant shooting at the weekend. You see the problem is that although I am living within yards of these good people – I am not really part of them. I once was but those close to me have either left or died. Slowly isolating me from the village. Just like that TREE. Hopefully the dog doesn’t cock his leg on me.
“Dad did you just say a money tree. Can you really get a money tree?”
Son will often take things very literally. I’ve talked about this before. It is something which is fairly common with autism. I must admit I did this as a kid. You often find yourself trying to re-explain phrases that you often through into conversations (I am sure my parents had to do a similar thing).
My explanation of a money tree was rudely interrupted by Captain Chaos.
“Dad the pup is running round the garden with a sock. Correction. He is now burying the sock.”
I really can’t wait for the Sock Tree to grow….
Then we started thinking about other really useful trees we wish we could grow in the garden
The Money Tree (obviously) or if that’s a problem then we would settle for a Pay Your Bills Tree,
The Hugging tree – readily available hugs would be nice,
The one our cat can climb without getting stuck Tree,
The Anxiety Absorbing Tree,
The Children’s Clothes Tree – not having to constantly go to the sewing basket and fix knee and elbow holes would be lovely,
The Pancake Tree – would have been really useful today after my rather soggy attempts,
The Remote Control Tree – why do remote controls have stealth technology built into them, bloody thing is always going missing,
The Brexit Tree – would have to grow within the next few days….,
The Prune itself Tree – really essential after my last eye injury,
The Mirror of Erised Tree – if Harry Potter can have his deepest desires mirror then surely we can have a tree that does the same thing. Having said that I would prefer a Take you back 6 years to happier times Tree,
The Bird Dropping Missile Defence Shield Tree – how good would it be to have a tree that can eliminate bird droppings before they hit the ground,
The Chocolate Tree – now we are talking,
The Donut Tree – horticultural heaven.
So as I go outside to see if the Sock Tree has started to grow (probably next to the Pants Tree) can you think of any better ones.