The view opens up

One of my Running trail runs is tough. It’s a muddy slog through increasingly thick woods. It’s a slow claggy run climbing through undergrowth that sees only glimpses of the sun. It’s very claustrophobic. Your on your own. A little voice keeps telling you to just stop. Why am I doing this. One step forward, two back.

But with patience and effort the going becomes easier. The ground levels out. The cover starts to thin and the distant view begins to reveal itself.

Then your out. The openness is initially disorientating but it’s been so worth the struggle.

Then a reluctance. A moment of doubt. Need to turn your back on the openness and head back into the dark. The way is back through the woods.

This trail run reminds me of our life these days. I head into the working week with trepidation. Too much to do and not enough time. Self doubt is king. Often so little direction and so much frustration. It feels like you are against the world. Battling uphill through mud. Our Son heads into 5 days of mainstream school. So little help. Fighting on his own. Not sure why he is doing this. It’s an alien world. You just have to keep plodding on but then Friday comes. Our hopes and spirits build. Then you arrive at the weekend. For two sweet days life improves. The week’s slog and struggles are forgotten. But so quickly it’s late Sunday and you face the trepidation of the upcoming week and the return to the darkness.

So we move on. The week calls and maybe so does the woodland trail. That’s our life cycle.

Where are the cobwebs

Autumn is definitely here. The flowers have gone. Many of the trees are bare. The leaves that remain have increasingly turned vivid red. My partner loved this time. She would find any excuse to spend time outside. Just looking at the colours. Today looking at the reds in the garden I have purpose. These eyes are looking for her as well. I try to spend an extra minute. Spending as much time as she would.

Before the world changed my partner would be fixated on the colours but I would have other things on my mind. Cobwebs. I love Autumn for the intricate and beautiful cobwebs which begin to take over our world. The young spiders have had all summer to grow. It’s also a time when spiders are out looking for mates. AND the weather and the dampness are perfect for adding to the cobwebs drama.

The weather is perfect but for some reason the cobwebs are largely missing. Still no abundant arachnid display. Maybe next week. Then we can be both happy. But at least this weekend we did get one cobweb. Hopefully it’s the start of Autumn becoming complete.

The First Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday. We are still clinging to our mad old planet. So it’s time to breathe and visit a place seemingly immune to the growing madness. A place of peace and beauty. It’s Switzerland.

I’ve been so fortunate to visit this wonderful country on a number of occasions. So many stunning locations. But I have a soft spot for one mountain. It’s called The First.

It’s not that big. It’s classed as a minor summit of the Schwarzhorn. But it would be massive if it was in the UK. It’s all relative.

The trip starts with a beautiful train journey to Grindelwald.

The First is special to me. It was the first Swiss Mountain I went up. It’s the one I’ve been on top the most. It’s the one I stood on top in a T-shirt and shorts in the middle of a massive snow drift. In fact it was the first adventure I ever had in this great country. On a Sunday 17 years ago.

So forgive me. Lots of photos.

Once in Grindelwald you take a small cable car to the top. The views are epic.

And they just keep on coming.

The higher you get The Alps slowly reveal themselves.

How can a country be this beautiful.

Eventually you arrive at the top of The First.

Next week the adventure will continue.

Bubble burst

Dad why are you smiling.

I’m playing that mind training game. My brain age has been assessed as 28.

I take that it’s 28 months and not years then Dad.

Consider my brief basking bubble has been officially burst.

I was listening to a chap on the radio basking in the news that Brexit has moved a step closer. In his bubble this is wonderful. The new deal our great PM has negotiated is brilliant. Billions been taken away from Europe and will be given to our NHS and schools. Taxes will come down. Businesses will boom. Wages will rise on the back of all these wonderful new trade deals. For our country and our kids I really hope his bubble is not burst. I really do.

I wish I was in this Brexit bubble – but I’m sadly not. This brilliant deal is based on two dubious principles.

  • A Customs Union Border in the Irish Sea splitting the UK in two with Northern Ireland effectively staying under EU trade rules. Bizarrely our PM said last year that this idea would be a disaster and no Government could ever sign up to it. Equally bizarrely our Foreign Secretary has said the arrangement will be a great deal for Northern Ireland. Staying in the Customs Union is a special deal. Ok so why is this special deal not been given to Scotland, Wales and England. Oh yes I forgot that would mean staying in the EU.
  • All the important negotiations on trade and relations with the EU will be done after we officially leave. Basically we would have 14 months from leaving to sort this out. So basically we leave without known on what basis we are going. But here’s the rub. Here’s why many on the Right love this idea. It gives the Government the right to leave with no deal. Just have to wait 14 months then thy can blame the EU. That’s the crash and burn strategy many on the Right have always wanted.

The bottom line is this new Brexit Deal is a BAD DEAL which was rejected last year. Rejected even by the team pushing it now. It’s a Great Deal for the Rich and a BAD DEAL for the rest of us. Again I hope I’m wrong but deep down I do fear for the future. No I don’t think the Country will go bankrupt. Life will continue. But it will be worse. We are not in a strong bargaining position for the new trade deals. Any deal with Trump will mean opening up our NHS to his big business friends. To compete the Government wants Britain (now Northern Ireland remains effectively in the EU) to move to an economy which is based on low wages and zero regulations. Where the drive is for tax cuts and profits for the Rich. Our wages are going to fall and our worker rights are going to be eroded with no safety net of public sector support.

But apparently I’m missing the point of Brexit. One of the biggest supporters of Brexit has said ‘Brexit was never just about the money’. That’s easy for you to say when your not exactly short of a penny or two. But ok point taken. Let’s look at travel rights. Britain’s will lose the right to travel freely in 26 countries and will not benefit from free or discounted medical cover in those countries. That’s not so good. One of the first actions of Brexit will be to scrap EU regulations on Food Standards, Environment Protection, Freedom of Speech, Workers Rights, Maximum weekly working hours, Maternity and Paternity Rules. The rules designed to protect us. Thats not good either. But hang on let’s not forget we get a different coloured passport with no mention of Europe on the front. Unfortunately last time I heard the new passports will be largely produced in the EU. But let’s celebrate having a blue passport, so much nicer than that red one.

For my sons sake I really hope I’m wrong. I really do. But at the moment I’m clinging to the hope that this new deal is rejected. Yes in an ideal world I would like to stay in the EU. The EU is certainly not perfect but it’s a whole lot better than the current alternative. But if we do go then WE still have time to do Brexit right. Just agreeing to keep Freedom of Movement would make a huge difference. And yes in our little bubbles we can still have our Blue Passports.

Terrible Poetry

After a weeks sabbatical it’s time to return to some terrible poetry. This week the Grand Bard Chelsea Owens has started the following guidelines.

Here are the specifics:

  1. At the excellent suggestion of Deb Whittam, our Topic is fractured nursery rhymes. Since I’ve done this categorybefore, the rule is that you must take an existing nursery rhyme as your base.
    Mess up Mary’s lamb. Make Jack and Jill lose their heads; literally. Turn Little Jack Horner’s plum into a shark.
  2. The Length is determined by the rhyme you choose. No, you needn’t do every stanza of “Old Mother Hubbard.” It’s up to you.
  3. In terms of Rhyming, that is also dependent on the one you choose. All the ones I’ve read rhyme, so you can count on doing the same.
  4. Please, young writers, Make it terrible! Mother Goose will spontaneously molt at the very mention of your name and children everywhere will be permanently scarred for six months.
  5. The target audience is children, so a G-Rating is necessary.

You have till 9:00 a.m. MST next Friday (October 18) to submit a poem.

*************************

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream

Now for the updated version

Row, row, row your brexit
Gently wants to make me scream
Terribly, terribly, terribly, terribly
Life is but a dirty scheme
Bankers, fill, fill fill your boots
Gently wrecking our kids dreams
Horribly, horribly, horribly, horribly
Life is ruled by corrupt regimes
Row, row, row your lies
Gently down the pan
Stupidly, stupidly, stupidly, stupidly
Life is run by an ignorant racist madman
Hedge funds , screw, screw screw your world
Gently throw the climate down the garbage can
Corruptly, corruptly, corruptly, corruptly
Life is a dream if you are the bogeyman

That’s what it is

Hindsight and regret is so easy to fall back into. We all do it. Especially when you suffer bereavement. I do it. I could fill a War and Peace size book with all the missed opportunities.

  • The deterioration came so quickly that we never had that last proper conversation. The last goodbye. I guess the last chat was about sorting out her laptop for when she came out after the tests.
  • We never got to New Zealand.
  • We didn’t have that family Santa trip to Lapland.
  • We never got to Chile.
  • We never got round to trying for a second child.
  • The trip to Tibet and Nepal eluded us.
  • I never did get round to putting those shelves up which she really wanted.
  • Looking at the Northern Lights together remained unfulfilled.
  • I never got round to getting the clip of our sons first steps off the broken camera and on to the video so my partner could see them.

Plenty of time to do these. So no rush. WRONG.

But as that line goes. That’s what it is. Until someone invents time travel I just can’t change the past. Maybe occasionally in dreams but when you wake up it’s back to the reality. But this misses the big issue. Yes stuff got missed. I occasionally unintentionally messed up (maybe more than occasionally). We didn’t complete our bucket list. BUT just wait a picking moment. Look at the stuff we did.

  • Switzerland lots of times.
  • That first romantic trip to the Lakes.
  • The two mad cats and a savage Hamster.
  • The three trips to Disneyland Paris.
  • Buying our first house.
  • Those trips to France.
  • All those walks on the North Yorkshire Moors.
  • That trip to the Newcastle match when you almost got run over by the Juventus Team Bus and the Police Horse ate my Mars Bar.
  • That winter we got snowed in with 18 inches of snow. Days of snow fun.
  • The trips to the Peak District.
  • That stay in one of Britain’s most haunted buildings.
  • Skinny Dipping in the freezing sea at Anglesey.
  • That week in the Scottish Highlands and that cottage next to the grave yard.
  • That walk up Snowdon.
  • That mad evening at a Blues Brothers New Years Eve Dance.
  • The trip to the French Grand Prix
  • That week in the Gypsy Cottage In Northumberland.
  • The concerts. Even Ronan Keating – twice.
  • Getting to see some of the Olympics events.
  • Producing our beautiful son. The single most perfect we both ever did.

Too many great memories to mention here. That’s the stuff I should be focusing on. The memories which should be on permanent replay. You know what – we had a hell of a ride. That’s what it is. Thank you.

Scene Cuts

Thank you to Jay-Lyn (The Wonderful and Wacky World of One Single Mum) for the Scene Cut Challenge.

This week it’s Horror.

Fortunately it’s not about this particularly unpleasant monster.

Scene Cuts is Rory’s (A Guy Called Bloke) great idea. It’s all about the love of movies. What are our favourite movie clips.

GUIDELINES: SCENE CUTS!

  • SELECT THREE FILM CLIPS FROM THE MOVIES GENRE OF THE DAY
  • THANK THE SELECTOR
  • SELECT 3 READERS TO TAKE PART IN SCENE CUTS

DOESN’T GET MUCH SIMPLER THAN THAT DOES IT ……

So it’s Horror clip time.

An American Werewolf in London

Should be renamed AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON BUT THE ONLY SCARY BIT IS SET IN YORKSHIRE YA BIG SOFT SOUTHERNERS ….

As Yorkshire is too scary they had to get Wales to stand in and pretend to be a more family friendly version of our county for the movie.

The Moors Clip

Shaun of the Dead

This clip proves you can make Zombies funny.

The Record Clip

Dracula

One clip had to be an old Hammer Movie. And it had to include Peter Cushion and Christopher Lee.

Dracula death scene

Nominations

Going to open this up to everyone. If you fancy a go just remember to tag in Rory.

To my American Friend

I had a lovely email from a fine American chap. Thank you so much for taking the time to write personally to me. It was most entertaining – best laugh of the day so far. Unfortunately I didn’t get round to responding to you for some reason. I accidentally deleted your email. I think your a big fan of my blog. I don’t usually get the following gushing complements.

Effing Commie

Full of liberal bullshit lies

Keep your dumb motherf****** Limie views to yourself

I think you took great offence at one of my comments about your precious President. I wonder if it was when I compared him to a pumpkin. Or maybe it was calling his precious wall – stupid. Or maybe it was thinking I had seen this hairstyle somewhere before.

So to my American friend I must do another commie post real soon here. Don’t tell anyone but I’ve just done a guest post on another site which I’m sure you will agree with. I think I compared your leader to Nero.

But in the meantime here are a couple of Bernie Sanders quotes I’m sure you will love.

“And let me make the radical statement that I don’t believe that you can say something profound in the 140 characters that make up a tweet”

“You’ve got the top 400 Americans owning more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans. Most folks do not think that is right.

Swiss Sunday

It’s time for another little bit of that wonderful country called Switzerland. For us it has so many memory gems. Every photo seems to yield another beautiful memory.

The damp Sunday morning boat trip across a Lake. All the passengers are outside in the drizzle just enjoying rainbows across the water.

The Gorge walk with the milky river.

The walk round a vineyard with views to die for.

The late evening stroll around the Lake and as the sun starts to set the mountains come alive.

The early morning coffee sat watching the sun rise above the Alps.

And we can’t leave out the cows and the hypnotic sound of the bells. Switzerland is one of the most precious gems of them all.

The Forgotten – Part 1

We were sat watching some YouTube videos of TV shows Rory (A Guy Called Bloke) had listed under Sitcoms suddenly morphed into another excuse to watch my favourite programmes.

Dad you do know most of the stuff you like on TV will mean nothing to most people. They will just look blankly at you. The worry is that I have part of your DNA. Thanks….

So it’s time to enlighten the world. Well a really small part of it…

The Indestructible Captain Scarlet trying to defeat his nemesis Captain Black and the Evil Mysterons. My favourite show ever. With strings or the much later expensive version. WE NEED A CAPTAIN SCARLET MOVIE.

Hectors House. The grumpy dog with a hunting gun.

With the earth under attack from aliens we need to respond with the coolest defenders ever. It’s got to be UFO.

Think Star Wars without the special effects or the humour. Think Star Wars without a budget. I give you Blake 7.

Bearded puppets with attitude means Michael Bentine’s Potty Time.

Magicians shouting ‘Size of an Elephant’, a scary letter box and a show dripping of awesomeness. It’s The Banana Splits.

Monty Python meets the stories of our dreams (or nightmares). One of the funniest TV shows ever. It’s Ripping Yarns.