Sherlock’s Yorkshire Canon

Last night we sat down to watch a couple of episodes from the wonderful Sherlock TV series. One of which was the Hound of The Baskervilles. Or as my helpful word checker wants to autocorrect to – the Hound of the Basketballs – that would be a slam dunker of a book. It is the episode where Holmes and Aspergers are specifically referenced. When Lestrade talks about the great detectives awful people skills Watson specifically mentions Aspergers. I could see no apparent reaction from our son.

However later the following was said

I know it helps explain Sherlock’s character and his abruptness with others. And it’s kinda nice that the we get a hero with autism. But people will start to think that we are all brilliant, unfeeling and very very odd. Definitely psychotic. One day we will get a character who is just in the middle.”

He is so right. It’s called a spectrum for a reason. Labels just don’t fit. The media focus on the extreme ends but hardly ever look at the middle. But that’s the media and entertainment for you. It’s like when we crashed into the world of single parenting, single father parenting. I remember having a similar conversation

Why do so many movies and TV shows depict the single dad as a suicidal drinker obsessed with dating sites and clearly unable to cope with at least one wild child who has gone bad and needs saving.

Currently sat here with a herbal tea and listening to classical music. That’s not going to make for an interesting movie. Anyway back to Sherlock. We sat enjoying the episode when two thoughts struck me.

ONE: Sherlock was one of my partners favourite TV shows. We are watching her DVDs. She should be sat next to our son enjoying the experience. Life is not fair.

TWO: Looking round at the room. It’s a mess. She would kill me.

So this morning before the dog walk into the strangely blue skied Yorkshire countryside I had a major cleanup. Even put the Sherlock DVDs neatly back in the box. Then on the walk I almost could here her voice saying ‘stop taking so many photos’ so I only took the one this morning. Rather than snap away I looked at the view, imagined a demon hound stalking Dartmoor and I wondered what a Yorkshire themed Sherlock would sound like.

Ferret of the Baskervilles

A study in rhubarb

A scandal in Barnsley

The adventure of the missing Yorkshire Pudding

The adventures of the crooked Lancashire man

The adventures of the Yorkshire Terriers Main.

As much as I love Yorkshire thank god Sherlock was based in London.

Terrible Poetry Contest

I’m still thinking about a new hobby. Maybe I should try poetry. As son says ‘more time spent writing poems means less time to burn things in the kitchen’. Any way I’m going to have another go at Chelsea Owens weekly terrible poetry competition.


Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. The Topic is a repeated number. Pick a number, any number, and use it a lot throughout your poem.
    Besides children singing pop songs, I loathe when I have to sit through everyone using the same prompt word for 500 entries. So, irritate me.
  2. Keep the Length shorter than 150 words, so I don’t jump out any windows.
  3. Please Rhyme in terribly, horribly, no-good, very bad ways.
  4. If you can’t tell already, make it terrible. I want crazy people to look at you in fear and for the survivors of Lostto beg you not to repeat that same number again…
  5. Keep things PG or cleaner; there’s no need for crude numerals.


Again I am hampered with the PG rating. Maybe I should pick a subject which doesn’t make my blood boil. Maybe it’s Gerbils next week. Well it’s a blood boiler this week. It’s the fiasco which is called the UK Government and the ongoing new PM selection process – that’s the one that doesn’t involve the general public.


Two years for Brexit

Two years and still no exit

Two Prime Minister candidates left

Two Blokes from the right

Two Privileged Backgrounds

Two supporters of hunting with Foxhounds

Two so called men of the people

Two big personalities who loath the townspeople

Two prize A buffoons

Two politicians so easy to lampoon

Two conservatives who love the tycoon

Two elitists who exist for the silver spoon

Two visions which only bring despair and gloom

Two numpties living in a policy vacuum

Two muppets who are so out of tune

Sadly one to be PM in June.


Getting older is great for your body. I wish I could have my body from when I was 30. Hang on it was buggered then, just dislocated my shoulder playing football. I wish I had my body from when I was 25. Hang on I had just dented my rib cage playing cricket. I wish I had my body from when I was 20. Hang on I had just cracked my skull open playing rugby. I wish I had Thor’s body from before the Endgame.

Playing contact sport is basically bad for you.

Since the world changed I have focused on our son. But that is not completely sustainable. You do need to find time for yourself. If only to help manage stress levels. My anchor has been fitness and home workouts. Thirty minutes a day as a minimum. It worked until I realised I needed to stop myself becoming completely housebound. Couldn’t afford a gym so it was running. Again it worked well. But then the buggered body caught up with me again. So until a physiotherapist can have a look at me I am banned from running and weightlifting.

So the two things which have kept me sane over the last couple of years have suddenly become unavailable. Hopefully temporarily but you never know.

So I need to find something – a new anchor. But what? Climbing but that is far too risky and we are short of mountains round here. Cycling and walking would be good options but time constraints limit their appeal. Maybe not a sport then. Shockingly it might have to be a hobby.

  • Yoga – good for stress but I have the balance of a drunk three legged mountain goat
  • Dedicate time for reading – that could work, keep moaning about not reading enough
  • Write a book – possibly a cook or baking book….
  • Astronomy – time at night is a premium plus this is Yorkshire otherwise known as Cloudsville.
  • Birdwatching – another possible option and might meet others (even if they have feathers and a beak)
  • Learn another language – the nearest classes are many miles away and learning languages other than English will probably be outlawed after Brexit
  • Photography – only available camera is on my battered many years old iPhone
  • Gardening – who am I kidding, I am a plant mass murderer
  • Gaming – certainly not stress relieving
  • Painting – even messed up a paint by numbers Mona Lisa
  • Learn to play an instrument – would find a use for that keyboard I bought our son as a present, the one he asked for which apparently was supposed to be a gaming keyboard
  • Knitting – my knitting skills are only matched by my baking skills
  • Tree Shaping – we only have two small trees
  • Extreme Ironing – far too dangerous for me

So many options to ponder over. I will find a hobby. I have to if I’m going to pull this single parenting gig off. Asked our son and he helpfully suggested

Does sleeping count as a hobby”

Downsizing a bit more

Following on from this mornings Downsizing Post I had a few really nice direct messages. I had one asking if the above Chateau was mine. Can I just re-stress (certainly for tax purposes) that it isn’t mine. I have visited here twice.

I also had a couple of messages asking for the name of the Chateau. Sorry I didn’t include this in the original post.

It is Château de Chambord.

It’s a truly astonishing place, almost trapped in time. Got some great memories here so I will revisit Chambord soon. But here’s a little taster. Our bungalow has no stairs and at a push has 8 rooms. Château de Chambord has 440 rooms and 84 staircases.

Eiger Sanction

Now that is a serious location for a hotel. One day hopefully we will stay there. Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland. It means minor watershed and stands at 2060m. You get the deepest blue skies here. But when the weather closes in it is magnificent and moody – almost sinister. So many climbers have been taken from us here. You can only get here via the cog railway or by foot. The Hotel is where the Clint Eastwood movie The Eiger Sanction was filmed. Can you believe the movie is now 44 years old. 1975….

1975 that’s the year

  • Home Video tape systems are developed
  • Vietnam War ends
  • Iron Maiden was formed
  • The first portable mobile phone was patented
  • Microsoft was founded
  • First disposable razor was launched

And Britain had been in the European Union for just two years. How times change.

What is reassuring is that in all those years of change this Swiss View will not have changed in the slightest. Hopefully it never will.

Not what I was expecting.

Walking down the same muddy path through the wet forest. Thinking my feet are going to get seriously wet going through the trail undergrowth. Note to self – must replace my 4 year old trail running shoes now the waterproofing acts more like a sponge.

Then a vision. I have finally gone mad. Am I seeing a little car parked on the path. A once clean white car now caked in mud. No apparently not as a couple are stood next to the car with a map.

Excuse me can you tell us the way to Pickering”

By car of by foot?

“By road we got a little lost”

You do know this is a footpath and not a road.

See I told you Phil but you wouldn’t listen”

“But the Sat Nav told me to come down here Judith”

Well for a start you are going to have to reverse back to the road.

Are you sure but the Seat Nav is telling me to continue”

Well you could for another 4 ft then your going to hit a wall. After the wall it’s thick woods then farmers fields.

But the Sat Nav is saying this is a B road”

To set the scene we have middle aged man pointing in the direction of that photo. Clearly that is where his Mythical road is heading. But he won’t accept that what faces him is a wall and oblivion. The woman is clearly about to murder said middle aged man.

Trust me you need to reverse the mile down the path. When you get to the road. And you can tell it’s a road as it has road markings on it. Then turn left. Head another mile and you will some to a junction with a sign pointing to Pickering.

But the Sat…”

“Phil just shut the f**k up and listen to the young man. Get in that car and f****g reverse or so help me I am going to kill you.”

I like Judith increasingly – young man…. and with they got back in the car and started to reverse. When I say reverse they got stuck in the mud. So followed 30 minutes of following the car and with repeated pushes finally Phil and Judith made it back to the road network. I have had my workout for the day and I now resemble Rambo. Unfortunately I suspect Phil is so dead…

Repeating movies

The Great British Summer. As we fast approach the longest day our paths are becoming increasingly flooded. Not sure we have seen the sun in June yet. Plus if it’s summer why have we got the heating on full blast….

I walk (or swim) down this path most days. When I was younger I hated walking or running down the same routes. Always had to find new paths, new places to explore. Now it’s a different world. I’ve changed. Maybe I’m just broken. I repeatedly walk the same routes. I never venture far. It almost feels like this is my little world now. I’m not really wanted or needed outside of these boundaries. So I pace the same paths making sure the outside world doesn’t encroach here. Doing the same thing reduces anxiety. It’s a defence mechanism. It’s probably how I survive.

Our Son likes doing the same thing. He becomes obsessive about certain things. Repetition is king. I’ve talked with him about it. He doesn’t see it as an anxiety thing. For him it’s enjoyment. It’s who he is. Take movies as an example. We hardly watch any TV now but we do watch a lot of movies. Saturday night is when we match a new movie. During the rest of the week Son likes to repeatedly watch a really small list of movies.


Thor – The Dark World

Thor – Ragnarok

The Avengers

Guardians of the Galaxy (fast forwarding the first few minutes)

Captain America – Winter Soldier

Sherlock Holmes x 2 – the Robert Downey Jr ones

Fantastic Mr Fox

ScoobyDoo – Frankencreepy

Pirates of the Caribbean

Jumanji – Welcome to the Jungle

To be fair it’s not a static list. New ones can be added like Avengers End Game and Peter Rabbit.

With his bad hand he is coming back from school and just resting. That means it’s extended movie time. We have had both Sherlock Holmes movies basically on repeat for the last week. Since Saturday we have seen both movies 5 times. That type of repetitive behaviour is common place here. I remember one consultant wanting to deal with this as an OCD problem. Fortunately we didn’t follow his advice. This fits firmly within the Autistic Repetitive/obsessive realm. As such our son is very comfortable with this. He finds great comfort and enjoyment from it. It’s not a mental health disorder that is somehow treated away – it’s a lifelong personality trait

When I asked him about watching the same movies again and again he said

I enjoy these movies more than seeing different ones. I am safe in the these worlds. I can dream without fear. I see new small details every time I watch them. The characters are friends. The hero’s never fail.”

So we watch Sherlock Holmes and a Game of Shadows. Mycroft (Stephen Fry) delivers the immortal line.

The two countries shall remain unnamed but I can tell you they speak French and German.

Son laughs until tears roll down his face. Movies are great especially the ones that make the repetitive list.

Best buddies

Three things from this photo

  • OMG the garden needs some attention (only a little bit in view but it’s a fair representation of the rest)
  • I must take down last years Catherine Wheel Firework
  • Captain Chaos with a couple of his best buddies.

The dog has many buddies. Our fat cat (he particularly likes him when he is covered in food and he becomes a mobile dinner plate). The Frog and the Toad who he desperately tries to lick when they hop across the garden. The Pigeon who he follows round the garden. The Sheep who he likes sniffing. The Squirrel who buries his nuts in our lawn and the dog who goes round digging them up. AND TWO COWS.

The farmer has a herd of cows in the field which backs onto our garden. Something like 30 cows and he will bark at 28 of them. Especially if they come anywhere near our (sorry his) fence. So they tend to keep their distance. But two cows are different. Two are clearly special. He doesn’t bark at them, just wags his tail furiously. When the cows see the dog they immediately head towards the fence and meet the crazy mutt. Then the meeting of species gets a tad personal. Nose to nose, looking into eyes and much licking. I’m not sure who has got the worse of this arrangement. Not sure I fancy being licked by a cow but I’m not sure a crazed Captain Chaos lick attack is much fun either. This lasts for about 5 minutes then they slowly walk along the fence munching on grass. This can go on for hours – it’s the only time the dog does anything slowly. Yes our dog pretends to be a cow.

Have any of your pets had strange buddies?

Terrible Poetry Contest

Need to lower the blood pressure so it’s time to go bizarre.

The wonderful Chelsea Owens hosts a weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. This is my entry for this week. Remember it is supposed to be terrible – not that I could ever write proper poetry.

My poem is dedicated to the wonderful and incredibly gifted people we have vying to become our next Prime Minister. This week terrible poems have to be kept clean. Drat.. the fun I was going to have with Hunt and Hancock…

A better rhyme for Boris involved deporting him to Wisconsin – but I wouldn’t do that to those very fine people.


The ten amazing PM candidates

Needed since the dreadful May abdicates

Boris Johnson

Looking out for number one

Jeremy Hunt

No more than an embarrassing publicity stunt

Michael Gove

Slowly disappearing in all the cocaine lies you wove

Dominic Raab

Wouldn’t trust you with a kebab

Sajid Javid

You make our police so livid

Matt Hancock

Talks utter poppycock

Mark Harper

Completely incompetent usurper

Esther McVey

Only wants you to obey

Rory Stewart

The leadership qualities of a Raspberry Tart

Andrea Leadsom

Will only bring national doom

That is Britain Today

A country in complete disarray


It’s been one of those days. Lack of sleep, work piling up, house falling to bits, nothing seeming to go to plan. Mood level – somewhere between not great and moody. This photograph sorta sums it up.

Well Son went to school for the first time since he had his accident at school last week. He was still in a lot of pain but we decided to give it a go. Dosed up on child painkillers he was dropped off. School given clear instructions to contact me immediately if he was struggling with the pain and I would pick him up.

No phone call came from school so I assumed things went ok. If only.

Apparently during his first lesson the pain started to get worse. At the end of the lesson the class teacher noticed he was struggling and he was told to get his bag and go to reception. Reception then sent him to see a senior teacher – a teacher who has had no contact with our son previously. Son told him the circumstances, that he was struggling with pain and the instructions I had given school. The teacher went onto the computer and after a few seconds said something like

You have had a lot of time off. Your attendance record is too poor for you to be sent home. Go to reception get some painkillers and then go to your next lesson.”

So he stayed in school, in pain and in his words not able to concentrate on any of his lesson.

Mood level now – pissed off.

Yes his attendance record has dropped below 95% – a Government target. Yet that’s because he has had two accidents AT SCHOOL which have required hospital intervention and medically approved time off. Take those out and his record is just about 100%.

So it appears that if attendance drops below 95% then regardless of pain level or illness, a child will not be sent home. However a child with an attendance over 95% would be sent home. Apparently today a girl fell over and hurt her knee. She was in tears and clearly in a lot of pain but was not sent home due to her attendance record. Yet a boy who had a sore throat was sent home because they had a good attendance record.

Mood level now – Apoplectic.

So tomorrow I will drop off son and then demand to see the Headteacher. The only reason I’m not doing it now is that son wants me to calm down as he doesn’t trust me at the moment. That is probably a really good call.