Not PC the sequel

Maybe I can get away with a couple more animal likenesses. Sorry these are a bit UK based.

Michael Gove – UK politician. A man we can partly thank for the state of our education system and someone (god help us) now in charge of looking after our environment. Maybe a Sloth….

Sloth Day Facts

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Boris Johnson – allegedly a U.K. politician. Sorry this is a bit unfair to Orangutans.

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And again in the spirit of fairness, another one we came up for ME was

If anybody fancies a go, please feel free. We all could do with a smile today.

Let’s be safe and nice out there.

Not PC – Sorry

Son was a bit upset today. One of his classes had a surprise test. He didn’t get any reading help, had to try and type the answers using his left hand and didn’t get any extra time. So understandably he didn’t get anywhere near finishing. Angry face. 😡

To try and lift his spirits I thought we would play a little game. Sometimes it’s not a good idea to go with the first thing that pops into your head.

Can we think of which animals famous people look like. Sorry this is not very PC but it was the first thing which crawled into my empty brain. It did immediately catch our son’s imagination. A few minutes later we were both snorting with laughter.

Some of the images we conjured up I won’t share. But a few we probably can get away with.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May we both agreed on this one.

US Vice President Mike Pence while looking at a video of President Trump our son said that the chap stood next to him who said nothing looked like an African Vulture.

I on the other hand could only see one of those petting zoo Lamas. The ones who stand next to someone quietly and just look blankly into the distance.

US President Donald Trump we argued over this one. Son went for

For some reason I just couldn’t get the image of Sid trying to milk the Male Musk Ox in Ice Age. So I’m going for that Ox as my Mr Trump.

In the spirit of balance it’s only fair that we bring the animal likeness thing a little closer to home.

Me after much debate we have agreed that the Sea Cow is my best fit.

I think it’s now officially time for happy face. 😎

Sad Face

Working from home does have so many advantages. Fundamentally it gives me the scope to flex work around our son. The days of my career coming first have long since gone. Trust me the career first option is the wrong choice.

But home working is not without issue. The biggest one I find is the isolation. I just don’t meet people face to face anymore. This week I have had only one face to face conversation with someone not in our little family group. That’s why blogging is such a blessing for me.

Isolation. It’s bizarre that like our son I often dream of shutting out this strange world on our own deserted island. Yet isolation in ones own house doesn’t tick the same boxes. It frequently draws you into prolonged periods of sadness. Without our son in the house, it seems so empty, so many echoes of the past.

Today my thoughts kept drifting back to holidays with my partner. One image on repeat loop. An image which is on my screensaver. Sorry it’s Switzerland again. I always seem to be blogging about that beautiful country. It was just so special to my partner. The view is looking across the edge of Lake Thun to Spiez Castle (Schloss) with beneath it the hotel we stayed at adjacent to the water. Many days this photograph brings so many happy memories. However today I just keep thinking that I won’t be able to share this view again with my partner. Sad face 😔.

Liebster Award

Thank you to aguycalledbloke for the Liebster Award nomination. He’s set some top questions.

The Rules

Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award

Answer 11 questions that the blogger gave you

Give 8 random thoughts about yourself

Nominate 8 other bloggers and notify them of their nomination

Ask your nominees 8 questions

The Questions

If vampires can’t see their reflections, why is their hair always so neat? 

Because they would be very cross if it was messy. Have you ever seen a bat with a bad hairdo, I think not.

If a kid refuses to sleep during nap time, are they guilty of resisting a rest? 

How many years has A Guy Called Bloke been waiting to squeeze that joke into his blog. The kid could apply for Legal Sleep Aid in the U.K.

If they weren’t called grapes and you had the opportunity to rename them, what would you call them?

Has to be five. Going into a shop and asking for a bunch of fives might liven up the weekly shopping trip.

If the grass wasn’t green what colour would you make it?

Need to keep Tom Jones happy by not ruining the ‘Green, Green Grass of Home’ too much. So what rhymes with Green.

Caffeine, Gangrene, Aquamarine, Tangerine.

Probably Tangerine.

Has your imaginary friend ever had an imaginary friend, or just you?

I have always loved the old James Stewart movie, Harvey. I remember one night dreaming that I had 2 imaginary Harvey rabbits. But they couldn’t see each other. Bizarre…

So, dance in the rain, wallow in the mud or naked angel in the snow?

Has to be naked angel in the snow. Several years ago I was climbing with a few college friends in a very snowy Torridon. On the way down (and heading to the pub) we decided to make snow angels in a virgin bit of snow. Being a bit of a prat I decided to take it one stage further and go for the full NAKED naked snow angel. Unfortunately because of the laughter we didn’t hear the climbing group coming in the other direction. I had to just lie down and think of England as a group of about 15 climbers walked slowly past. Given how cold it was – I suspect they didn’t see much.

Can you describe your blog to me without using the letters i and e?

*ts a b*t sh*t*

What are you afraid of becoming?

Petrified of turning into either Michael Gove or Jacob Rees-Mogg. Two beautiful and completely selfless U.K. Politicians. They are just loathsome….

8 Random Thoughts About Myself

I once got sent off in a football match for throwing a snowball at the referee

Once in Germany I ordered a green salad and beer in perfect German. Maybe not perfect. Had to eat a meat platter and green tea.

Years ago I was driving back from a days climbing. It was midnight and I pulled over to take a pee. Parked up in the middle of nowhere. Halfway through my pee a huge convoy of huge vehicles drove past with an army escort. No lights on the vehicles. I think it was a convoy of Cruise Nuclear Missiles. Or a late night emergency delivery of pizzas to a secret army camp.

Once got a smile from the tennis star Ana Ivanovic in Gstaad. It might have in practice been a bit of indigestion on Ana’s part.

Once tried to eat the worlds hottest curry and failed badly.

I can’t count past 7

Nominations

Not wanting to put any pressure on anyone so I will open this up to anybody who fancies having a go. If you do then use the questions Aguycalledbloke set.

Be safe out there, it’s a crazy old world

Dad sit down

Today was supposed to be a full on work day. But again the Laptop had other ideas. Clearly it was an update day. Luckily my old tablet came to the rescue. A slow rescue but it was a rescue. I did find a use for my laptop. As it updated it got warm and a nice warm thing is too much for a dog to resist. So my laptop is now an expensive comfort blanket to sleep on.

When our son arrived back from school he was smiling. One of those smiles.

“Dad sit down”

No it’s ok

“Dad no I think you should sit down”

Ok I’m sat down, go on hit me with it.

“Well I tried doing the work with my left hand. It was bad. Anyway for the Games Lesson I was sent to a teachers room. I was told that I could do my homework. I told the teacher that I had no homework which needed doing. So she said I should just get a book from the shelf or do something educational on the iPad. I just sat and tried to play Crossy Roads for an hour. I beat your record.”

Well that wasn’t too bad, maybe next time find something rather than a game to do. Certainly don’t beat your dads best score…

That’s not all. During one of the lessons I banged my right hand on the desk. It really hurt. But the teacher just told me to carry on working”

That’s not good. I’m going to speak to the Head about that.

“Not finished yet Dad. They have decided which options all the kids are doing for the next term. I was told that I couldn’t do the option I selected because of my hand so they told me that I have to do another one. They have given me the Book Reading class. Do you think they have forgotten I’m dyslexic.”

The Book Reading Class for a dyslexic. You couldn’t make it up.

Countries gone mad

“Dad if we won the lottery could we buy a deserted island and live there?

It’s kinda sad that an 11 year old thinks that way. But I fully understand why and YES I would jump at the chance. I remember a time when I loved my country. Those days have sadly gone. Like many folk from Yorkshire we would happily declare independence. York becoming a capital city sounds cool. The national dish could be the Yorkshire Pudding. Our national sports would be cricket and being grumpy. The national animal would be the Ferret. Instead of having a nuclear deterrent we could threaten people with our rhubarb sticks.

You might think this is daft but trust me this is off the scale sensibility compared to the stupidity of modern Britain. Nothing sums up the state of the union better than just one single news story. Given all the potentially catastrophic events circulating around us (and there are many) – the attention of the media and a good proportion of the population has been on …… the horror of a bakery introducing a vegan sausage roll across its 900 stores. The likes of Piers Morgan (one of the not funny loonies and self pronounced TV Star) went into meltdown saying things like “Nobody was waiting for a vegan bloody sausage you PC ravaged clowns”. The news story is everywhere, you just can’t get away from it. I use the term news story very loosely.

I waited with anticipation for our son to return. He would cheer me up, bring much needed sensibility to my world. Unfortunately not this time.

“Dad the school want me to either write left handed or type left handed until my right hand gets better, that includes trying to do exams with my weak hand. I told them that I struggle to coordinate my left hand and that’s the reason I can’t tie knots. Told them that the Doctor was trying to help me with it but the teacher said I just had to do it”

“Dad did you complain about the behaviour in our bottom class”

Yes….

Well they did something”

Please let it be something positive

They moved a really well behaved girl up a set because she was struggling with the behaviour in our class and they moved a really naughty boy in to replace her. It was a lot worse today”

Only thing left is to go and buy a lottery ticket. That remote island is calling. Anybody fancy joining us.

York is not the end of the story

It only takes us 30 minutes to drive into our closest city, the beautiful York. We are so fortunate to live so close to such an historic city. Such a rich pedigree.

  • It was founded by the Romans in 71AD,
  • The Emperor Septimus Severus ruled the entire Roman Empire from York for 2 years,
  • Constantine The Great was proclaimed Roman Emperor in York,
  • York was captured by the Vikings and named Jorvik,
  • Guy Fawkes (remember remember the fifth of November) was born in York,
  • York Minster is one of the worlds largest Cathedrals and took 250 years to build. It is the largest Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe,

  • The Shambles is the best preserved ancient retail street in Europe dating back before 1086,

  • Dick Turpin the famous Highwayman was executed in York,
  • It has 3 miles of ancient City Walls still intact,

  • It is regarded as one of the worlds most haunted cities with over 500 recorded ghosts,
  • It has the worlds largest Railway Museum,
  • While other Northern British Cities built their wealth on coal, steel and textiles – York made it on Chocolate and Sweets. Rowntree’s and Terrys.

That was supposed to be the end of the post. Trust me York is worth a visit. Basically it’s a really cool City. Especially for a young kid with aspergers whose thirst for facts just keeps growing. He just laps up the facts. When I started writing this post I asked our son to supply me with the information. I completely trust his memory and haven’t bothered to double check the facts.

So it’s so upsetting when he came out with the following Statement a couple of hours later:

“I don’t want to be stupid, I would love to be clever one day”

So off we went for another late night dog walk. I try to provide reassurance. Try to build up his confidence and restore his faith in his dreams. But it often feels like a short term fix. Applying a temporary bandage to the wound. A bandage only protects the wound it doesn’t treat it. As Extreme would sing – I need to find more than words. I need to raise my game…..

Put the cat in charge

I was blog chatting (or whatever it is called these days) with a friend today and somehow politics came up. When I say politics I mean really silly politics. Our politics is grim. Very grim. One of the only fun elements is when one of our smallest parties enters the elections. The Monster Raving Looney Party. It’s almost as if Monty Python had entered politics. It was started in the 1960s by the musician called Screaming Lord Sutch.

This was the Party who had a real cat called Catmando as its joint leader for 3 years.

Some of its brilliant policy ideas have included:

  • Make the tax system more complicated so that it is harder for companies to find loopholes
  • Make it illegal to walk under ladders
  • To prevent global warming all buildings will have air conditioning units on the outside
  • All politicians should paint themselves permanently from head to toe in the colour of their party
  • All socks to be sold in packs of 3 in case you lose one
  • Introduce a 99p coin
  • To save money they would only operate our nuclear missiles at weekends
  • Build a really big wall (or hang on that’s not one of the Looney Parties policies).

The scary thing is that actually some of the ‘crazy’ policies they came up with have over years actually become rather sensible and have been adopted by the government. We have pet passports now and who was the first party to propose them. They jokingly proposed 24 hour licensing for places selling alcohol (had been very restrictive hours) and a few years later it became law. Back in the 1960s they campaigned to have the voting age reduced to 18 (now the law and how was this ever considered a mad idea).

Sadly they never quite get into government. Maybe because the looney vote is split. At the last election you had the Looney Party, plus you had a chap called Lord Buckethead, some guy dressed as a fish finger and some chap dressed as Elmo.

Some would argue that recent governments have been infiltrated by loonies.

What am I wittering on about. I don’t really know. I think the point is that when the world seems really bleak and sad. When you want to just stand outside, look at the heavens and scream. To hear your own tears raining down on this increasingly alien land. Just sometimes the only thing that keeps you going is a bit of silliness. It brought me back from the edge. Our dip into politics today certainly made our son laugh. It made him forget about his worries for a few minutes.

If the Looney Party has indeed a track record of starting sensible policies off then maybe they should come up with a policy of banishing sadness and anxiety. Maybe in a few years it becomes reality. I could vote for that.

Walls

Looking at some photographs I had found from our last holiday. Always brings back those bittersweet memories.

“Dad I love Switzerland. I love the fact that many of the houses in the mountains don’t have walls. It makes the world so much more beautiful. Silly people forget that as high as you build a wall you can always build a ladder just a bit taller.”

He is so true. Walls can be climbed, tunnelled under, knocked down or just walked round. They however do have a habit of ruining a view. Some notable visual exceptions to that – Great Wall of China, Hadrians Wall. I wonder if the Romans realised when they built it that as a defensive wall it was a little bit rubbish but as a tourist attraction it was a winner. Maybe we could sell it. I wonder if anyone is looking for a slightly used big wall. Might be a winner if you don’t mind picking a few weeds out of it and it probably comes with a few resident sheep as well.

“Dad what really annoys me is that we build little wildlife sanctuaries then wall the animals inside. People don’t realise that we have to create connections between all the sanctuary’s to allow the animals to roam. If we did that then Wildlife would start to flourish again”

Again can’t argue with this. Does feel like the humans continue to sprawl out and nature is increasingly contracted. It’s lucky if it’s granted a few areas of protection.

“Dad better idea for walls. Let’s squeeze humans into a few small human sanctuaries then wall us in. Nature can have all the rest of our planet”

Only problem is that I just can’t imagine how I would cope with being confined in such close proximity to some of our politicians. Boris Johnson – please no, just no. Yes walls do have some major drawbacks.

New Years Day

The New Years Day trip to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park is now a lovely tradition. A new one since the world changed. Life is about creating new memories and not being completely stuck in the past. New Year Day is also the perfect time to go. Get there when it opens and you virtually have the park to yourself for an hour or so. Takes the anxiety out of the visit. Leave as the crowds arrive.

My photos don’t do the Park justice. It’s time to upgrade from the camera phone. Keep filling the coin jar. Much scouring of the second hand pages is required.

So many animals. He loves the two Giant Otters. So playful. And so inquisitive. The Lion Pack. The Rhinos.

An elusive Amur Leopard.

Newly rescued and re-homed Brown Bears from Japan.

Unbelievably cute Squirrel Monkeys.

The Polar Bears are one of his favourites. Until you have seen one you don’t appreciate the size and power of these majestic creatures.

The final part of the walk round the park takes us through a small wood to the Baboons and Painted Dogs. If you remember the Jelly Beam Roulette Challenge was who could spot the elusive dogs first. My strategy was to take us down the wrong path then before our son realised sprint off towards the dogs. Unfortunately a perfectly timed peloton breakaway left me trailing. To compound the misery the elusive dogs today decided to sit right next to the fence nearest the path. Game over.

So we come to the main event. The Battle for Helms Deep. It’s the Jelly Beam from hell. Skunk Spray. 2 litres of water later and it finally stays down. If I ever meet the kind soul who invented that one……..