No sign of any teaching coming from School so might as well go for a walk around Castle Howard. A quiet, beautiful walk.
Quiet, well until an international meeting.
Walking along a path and we came across a clearly confused couple looking a tad bit lost. As we approached the chap spoke, spoke in the deepest of Australian accents.
“Excuse me Mate, but we are trying to find the CASTLE”
Apparently they were on a driving holiday around the UK and had seen Castle Howard on the map and thought, let’s visit one of those King Arthur kinda places….. They had been walking around the Estate for ages and hadn’t found the old stone castle yet. Sadly I had to disappoint them.
‘See that big old house, that’s the castle”
After a few choice Australian words ##@##*#ocks, they asked if
“I knew of a proper castle round here…”
A few minutes later they had directions to three more castle like castles.
That was my third ever conversation with someone from Australia. All have been completely random affairs. The second chat was in Switzerland. We were walking in Interlaken when a family approached us and asked.
“Do you speak English, we heard you (me) singing Yellow Submarine”
Wow was I that loud…. Having confirmed the English thing, the conversation went very south of the equator.
“Do you know if there is a shop here that sells Swiss Cuckoo Clocks, the kids want to see some and we can’t find a phrase for that in our German helpful holiday phrase book..”
No I suspect it’s not a common phrase. Maybe it should be, maybe the first one the phrase book should tell you. Just like the phrase book Aliens like ET or Thanos need when they visit Earth. The first phrase being a translation of ‘take me to your leader’. Currently in the UK an alien would need to use the phrase ‘take me to your useless numpty’. Anyway the bizarre Australian conversation went even further south when we confirmed that we had just been in a shop looking at a shed load of those wonderful clocks. Once again Australians left with helpful directions.
My first Australian conversation was just as odd. I had just left Warwick University to finally earn my keep. I was working at a computer installation and I had drawn the short straw – I was covering the night shift. Well after midnight, Reception put through a call from Sydney. I took the call and happily said
– whoever Sydney was. At the other end of the line was an equally happy lady with an Australian accent. Opps. I apologised.
‘Sorry, I thought the call was from someone called Sydney, not actually from Sydney…’
“No problems, I am from Sydney, but I am also called Sidney”
I found out that she hadn’t been named after the city but after the actor Sidney Poitier. Apparently her parents were huge fans and had hoped for a strapping Aussie Rules playing boy who would also be an actor just like their hero. Apparently a short, ginger haired girl who was in love with George Michael didn’t quite suit the Sidney Poitier name.
I’m actually looking forward to my next Australian conversation. They are always so bizarre.
Ok, it might not win any Michelin Stars but in the great culinary scheme of things, that ain’t too bad at all. The Yorkshire Baron Frankenstein can occasionally do some of that strange science called Baking….
If this muppet can do it…..
Go on, why don’t you have a go. This weekend, it’s the Great Bloggers Bake-Go on, why don’t you have a go.
You can find all the latest on the Bake-off and so much more on Mel’s wonderful site.
Make an Ice Cream cake. Not only that but make the Ice Cream to make the cake.
This was the end result.
It only has two molecular states. Runny or Rock Hard Granite. Not exactly perfect material to build that cake.
As for the Taste Test. The official Tester refused – “it’s like something from Alien 6”. To me the taste and texture was somewhere south of ‘deeply disturbing’.
Come on, you surely can do better than this culinary abomination. Why not have a crack at this years Great Bloggers Bake-off happening this weekend. All the latest can be found on Mel’s wonderful site.
As a kid, I felt trapped in a northern costal town. A town surrounded by sea and industry. Back in those days, travel was a rarity in this hard working environment. Money was tight, dreams confined. Like many from that windy, smokey town, we felt cut off from the world. The only world we had was what we could see and touch, which wasn’t much.
But one snotty nosed kid with big Joe 90 glasses (look that one up 🤣🤣🤣) would walk into town every Saturday morning. Armed with money from Dad to buy cod off the returning fishing boats. He would spend some time waiting for the boats to land on the beaches in the Amusements. Watching other kids play the latest versions of Space Invaders or PAC-MAN. But before that he would be found in the Town’s library, sat by the indoor goldfish pond (yep the library had one). Looking at pictures in mountaineering books, of exotic places, of exhilarating adventures. A life completely different to that found in this isolated, grey place. One place really captivated him. A magical looking place called Switzerland. One mountain hooked him. It looked ominous, it looked foreboding. Reading tales of heroism and tragedy on its sheer ice filled walls. He dreamt of being there, standing next to The Eiger.
Never in his wildest dreams did that kid ever imagine that decades later that seaside town would be history. He would have visited on many occasions that magical Swiss landscape, it was even better than he ever imagined AND his son would stand under the mighty Eiger.
You just never know what paths will open up when the time is right.
I had high hopes. Such a simple baking task. Even I couldn’t mess up flapjacks. Well I kinda didn’t. Maybe…..
Enough flapjack to fill a big plate. Well it should have been.
If you like flapjack that instantly crumbles, falls apart, disintegrates, then this would be perfect for you. After several attempts of pressing and moulding, I managed to get just TWO pieces to stick together, just don’t get too close – their stability is severely compromised.
Whisper it. Just seconds later these perfect flapjacks had started to fall apart.
The rest well, I just let Hawklad spoon the crumbs into heaps of Maple Syrup, to form an Edible Mess. That’s our version of an Eton Mess.
Why don’t you have a crack at a bit of baking. Its the Great Bloggers Bake-off real soon. You know it makes sense.
To check on the latest, drop in on Mel’s awesome blog.
If you like Fungi, then this is the time to come to Yorkshire.
There has been MUSHROOM today to admire these regular autumnal visitors. A bit of a pattern is forming with Hawklad’s final school year before the main exams next May. A couple of subjects upload reasonable class notes onto the online school system, enough to follow a lesson but there is no interaction with the teacher. A couple of subjects will randomly load up shed load of questions, no explanations, no teaching materials, just questions. Hawklad then needs to figure out what he is supposed to be learning. Sadly his answers to the shed load of questions mostly remain unmarked, not even reviewed, an answer sheet makes it his responsibility to assess his own work. And the rest of the subjects, well let’s be polite, the bare minimum is sometimes being provided ….. possibly.
School has been back one month now and he hasn’t had any direct contact with a teacher. The occasional brief email, the occasional one or two word scribbled note on a document. That’s it. No teaching interaction.
So with a return to the classroom seemingly as remote a possibility as ever, we have mostly falling into homeschooling. It definitely doesn’t feel like a ‘school at home’ project anymore.
A family break to Wonderful Switzerland during the October School Half Term. One morning where the clouds dominated. We caught a bus to a remote village a few miles away from Lake Thun. That bus ride made me smile so much. Every time someone got on the bus they greeted everyone with a cheerful hello as they found a seat, I could get use to that. After the bus ride we found ourselves walking through farmland, rolling hills, heading back towards the Lake.
We found eventually ourselves at a lakeside hamlet just in time to catch the ferry for a leisurely trip back towards Spiez.
Definitely a good day, but was it really 9 years ago.
A rather depressingly familiar school at home week. Hardly any contact with teaching staff for Hawklad. We managed to randomly find some stuff that the classes have been covering on the online system, but not much. Even those few finds were a little dispiriting. Too many references to the class using textbooks, class learning materials that Hawklad has never seen, covering topics that haven’t even been mentioned to him. It really feels like he has only covered a fraction of the areas that his fellow classmates have. The scale of the missing teaching is now becoming all too apparent.
So we have 8 months until his final exams, 8 months to try and catch up. 8 months to try and get Hawklad ready for exams that he has had no practice at sitting. Relying on his muppet Dad to try and be an expert teacher in Maths, in English, History, Geography, Sciences, Religious Studies. School ain’t stepping up to the plate to help much. All while Hawklad is trying to re-engage with the outside world again. Absolutely no certainties that he will be in any kind of frame of mind to sit them. His well-being comes first.