What is it

Million’s of years of evolution, survival of the fittest and we get to this. I’m not sure how I would describe this. Hairy, messy, scruffy, bizarre, bouffant, lazy, crazy wig, fur ball explosion.

Clearly he is taking his guard dog duties seriously. Like a coiled spring primed to leap into action.

But even when he is comatosed he makes you smile. Makes you forget how crap life is some days. And another key point. I can guarantee that when he does return to our world then his eyes will open and that tail will go into hyper action. Unconditional love – maybe just for his toy crocodile but it’s still love. But given that seriously geared up tail no wonder Muttley could fly.

So you return with the physio’s words ringing in your ear

I’m not so saying never again but just don’t expect to be running anytime soon.

That’s feels like another kick in the nether regions. Yet within a few seconds a hairy bundle of smelly dogness has managed to banish those thoughts. When you look around you can find stuff that makes you smile and makes you feel alive again. Keep looking and you just might find that Hulk Buster Suit.

Thank goodness for pets….

Soulless

That pesky grief monster sneaking up on innocent folks again. Should be a law about that. On sorry I forgot our Government ceased being a viable legislative body two years ago. Still we can look forward to Johnson or Hunt now. OMG. One is a self serving buffoon who dresses up outrageous racist comments as free direct speech. A man whose middle name should be dishonesty. The other is a man who forgot which country his wife was born in (supposed to be our Foreign Secretary) and who wilfully wrecked our NHS.

So no help coming from the Government any time soon then.

I was having a 50 minute walk – can’t believe how much I miss my runs. Tired but been worse. Then out from a side path a couple emerged. Holding hands and clearly so in love. Suddenly waves of grief and remorse smash me into the ground.

That was us a few years ago…

We should be still holding hands today…

Those days have gone…

Suddenly I feel very tired, very old and very broken.

It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this.

An hour later I’m back at work but basically I’m going through the motions. My heart is trapped in a different year. It’s unlikely that it will be released. I feel soulless, yes that’s the word, SOULLESS. Just an empty shell. Just focus on that one job – give our son the best childhood possible. That gives me a purpose. Something to keep me going.

Grounded

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”

In the Deep Dark Woods

A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood.

Our son adored the Gruffalo story. I think our son had all of Julia Donaldson books. We loved reading them to him, that’s what parenting should be about. Not the anxieties, the stress, the frustration, the heartbreak.

Walking through this deep dark wood took us back to that golden age. Fairytales and colouring books. Toy cars and Teddy Bears. Dragons and magic. Thomas the Tank Engine, Dora the Explorer and Iggle Piggle. When we were a team of 3. Golden Years.

But time marches on…

Son gets older. Fairytales replaced with Manga. Colouring books replaced with an iPad. Toy cars replaced with FIFA 19. Teddy Bears assigned to the shelves. Dragons upgraded to Transformers. Magic being drummed out of him by school. Thomas, Dora and Iggle now Assembled into Thor, Black Widow and Ironman. A team of three assigned to memories. The Golden Years now the Anxiety Times.

We walk further into the deep dark wood. Let’s hope it’s magic returns and takes us to a different world. One where anxiety is vanquished, dreams flourish and life is enriching.

The mouse found a nut and the nut was good.

Tree or not to be

So did we spend the day under a tree or was son sat at his school desk?

NEITHER…..

After much soul searching and reality checking son went out at 8am to catch the school bus. He was certainly tired. With the school worries he hardly slept at all. Again not a great way to start an enriching learning day.

After drinking two of the darkest, meanest and strongest coffees ever conjured up I was almost ready to roll. A quick hoover and set a washing load off. This week our possessed washing machine is only washing on the delicates setting. The delicate setting and arc welded grass stains are not a great combo. Anyway its time to pile into work and immediately…. the phone rings …. school.

Your son has had a little accident in his first lesson. We have ice packed his thumb and wrist but it’s badly swollen. Can you come and pick him up. Probably need to take him to the hospital.

It never ends. It really never ends.

An hour later we are sat in the hospital. Given the amount of broken bodies and unhappy souls in the waiting room it appears the Hulk has paid a visit to our local town this morning – and clearly he was in a mood to smash. Yesterday’s dream of spending the day under a tree transpired to be 4 hours in a clearly overstretched hospital.

Now we are home with hopefully no bones broken this time but with ligament damage to his hand. Hopefully it’s just a few weeks of painkillers and ice packs. At last we have a use for that packet of frozen French Beans.

So we start again. A painful hand. Worries of tomorrow’s potential school day already kicking in. Need to revise for an end of year test.

Yet son secretly hoping swelling IS TOO BAD for school tomorrow. Dreamy thoughts about that tree. Bugger the revision let him watch Marvel.

If we had only just opted to sit under the tree this morning….

Kinda Day

Sometimes a damp walk in the forest is just perfect, just fits your mood. It’s been a kinda tired day, kinda sad grieving day, kinda lonely day, kinda frustrating day. Nothing is specifically wrong yet nothing is specifically right. Following on from yesterday’s post it would read 30th May – National Feels like one of those Days. Not sure which way it will go. Towards the light or towards the dark. We all get these days. Maybe we should rename it already- International We all get these days which kinda sucks Day.

But we move on. Make the best of things.

Breathe in nature. Touch the damp foliage. Talk about dreams and fantasy worlds. Make our way back home. Football in the garden. Hot Chocolate and Coffee. Popcorn. An Avengers Movie (maybe two). Eventually you make it through the day unscathed. Hopefully dream filled sleep will usher in another day. A better day. A happier day. Shall we call it the International We are all going to have a good Day. We all deserve that.

Wooden

Apparently native to Yorkshire… wonder if they fancy a chat. If they don’t then I won’t get the hump.

I have never been someone completely at ease with people. Once I get to know a group then I can come out of my shell. Occasionally a bit too out of my shell. But often I was the person talking to the plant in the corner at parties. As the years went on I found that I could find a reasonable way of communicating with people. It was hard work but it sorta worked.

These days I have no practice. I have become socially very isolated. At work I often work on my own. The days of meeting people at the school gate have ceased. We live in a small village with no pub or shop. I might see a member of my family every few months. I don’t go to football matches now. Climbing trips have ceased. Team Sport is a thing of the past. Meet ups with my friends have completely dried up (it’s been a drought). The last night out with friends was in 2015. We occasionally go to a concert or wrestling show but because of our son’s Aspergers we tend to limit public exposure to a bare minimum.

You get the picture.

As a result I have completely lost my social confidence. When I do bump into people these days I am so painfully wooden. Can hardly string a sentence together. End up just being quiet and completely stressed out. Shackled with self doubt – I’m not sure I could even manage to talk to the plant in the corner now.

I am so lucky to have a fantastic son. I am also fortunate that I have adjusted reasonably well to spending large chunks of the day so isolated. So if I get completely cut off from society then so be it – at least I won’t have to get stressed out about being so wooden. But it does bother me that so many good people have experienced something similar or far worse. Isolated and cut adrift in an increasingly crowded world – alone and in need of company. I really don’t think the scale of the problem has been fully appreciated yet. If you are in that situation my heart goes out to you and I send you my love.

For me I have a job to do for the next few years. Give son the best childhood possible. Nothing else really matters. If and when he has left the nest then I will worry about the other stuff. Hopefully my hermit beard won’t be too long by then. I might even get round to working out how to play Fortnite properly. Hugging trees can be fun as well I hear.

Still no coffee.

It’s been one of THOSE days AGAIN…..

I opened the curtains to be blessed with the site of bird poo on the window. When I say bird poo given the volume of the dropping I suspect it was a Pterodactyl. I opened up the next curtain to be blessed with a view of our lawn. Overnight we seem to have acquired 8 mole hills

Our mole is back and happily digging up the lawn. Strangely it’s always in parts of the lawn which haven’t previously been dug up by Captain Chaos. I had a quick look at my two neighbours gardens. Not a molehill insight – immaculate lawns. Why does the mole take out his vengeance on our grass.

I tried to make son breakfast. He asked if he could have a cup of tea. The new milk carton refused my polite attempts to open. I put increasing effort into the carton top until it opened – spectacularly. It was like oil exploding out of an oil wellhead. Clothes covered in milk. But at least a small amount of milk survived, just enough for a tea. An early morning clothes wash was required.

The washing machine decided regardless of which cycle option I selected it was going to do a 5 minute rinse and nothing else. That’s as much use as air conditioning in Yorkshire. I would check the warranty but that ran out 8 years ago.

Stuff this I’m off for a walk with the dog. Lovely walk and I decided to take the photo above. The photo doesn’t show my wet leg. Captain Chaos cocked his leg on a tree but somehow missed and splattered my leg. I made it back home…

The phone rang and as I ran to pick up the call. I gently tossed my tablet onto the sideboard. Clearly the sideboard has a polished surface with less friction than sheet ice. The tablet happily slid across the surface and fell down the gap at the back between the wall. This of course is an IKEA sideboard which is as easy to move as a sleeping elephant. It took me 30 minutes to edge the wooden colossus out 3 inches to rescue the skating tablet. All for a phone call asking if I wanted to replace my boiler with the help of a government grant. Knowing our government it would take 5 years to appear and it would end up being a Betamax Video Recorder.

I needed a coffee badly. So I made what looked like a world class cuppa in my favourite cup. I sat with work papers on my lap and went for my first sip of caffeine nectar. The cup dropped off the handle. I was sadly sat holding the forlorn handle with my papers, lap, clothes, chair, carpet and cat covered in coffee. The poor cat has been the subject of constant dog sniffing and licking ever since.

So 20 minutes later most of the stains and smell have been removed. With new clothes on I headed to the kitchen to make another coffee. Reaching for the coffee pot I accidentally knocked over a bottle (the only one without a lid on). Again I was covered in liquid. This time Apple Vinegar. Almost immediately the door bell rang and I rather damply greeted a lady asking if I was voting for her party in the election. Clearly from the twitching of her nose she was not keen on my new vinaigrette body fragrance.

So I tried to wash my clothes but since the washing machine is only rinsing today I now have wet clothes that smell of coffee and vinegar.

Son returned home and said he was starving. When I asked why he told me that I had forgotten to top up his online lunch fund so he had no money to buy a lunch. I truly felt awful.

So far today has been one of those days. Now I am about to make a cup of coffee. Wish me luck.

Sleepless Change

Sometimes change goes smoothly. This beauty was happily rooted then along came a big bully in the form of a trampoline. As a result the plant was uprooted and moved. Absolutely no issues and the flowers are as stunning as ever.

Sometimes change does not go smoothly. Our son has real difficulty with change. Even the smallest change can lead to an anxiety vortex.

He has had the same bed since he was a toddler. It started way to big for him – not anymore. The dreaded day has been looming where he finally outgrows the bed. That time has now arrived. For months I’ve been warning him that he will need a new bed but he has remained steadfast in his rejection of the idea. Time for action.

While he was at school I moved his bed out. Replacing it with the spare bed. Face it the spare bed hasn’t been used in 3 years. So when he came home we had a bit of a meltdown.

Dad do you remember I helped put it together with my toy toolset.”

I so do. I can feel tears on my part forming. But he agreed to try the replacement bed for at least one night. In the end it went quite well really. The house is still here. We didn’t break the space-time continuum. On the downside sleep was a tad limited. When I say limited I mean next to nothing.

So tonight we will try again. Hoping sleep deprivation will be an Ally. If he’s not asleep by 2am I will let him sleep on the sofa. Not sure what I will do then. Probably just move his old bed back in and have a rethink.

I hate change. I hate being tired. Like most parents I hate the passing of time.

Have you seen the path

The path was going well.

The path then went. Not sure where. Maybe this way.

No. Maybe this way.

“Dad have you got any idea where we are supposed to go”

Does it look like it. And with that I tripped over a branch went face first into the undergrowth.

I thought you were a climber. Someone at one with the wild” – much giggling.

I am at one with the wild that’s why I’m currently kissing the ground.

Bear Grylls would now shimmy up a tree to the top and look out over the forest to see the direction we should be heading.”

Not sure the trees will take my weight. Probably end up bending one over and launching myself like a catapult into the North Sea.

Is it a Plane, is it a Bird or is it a flying muppet”

Finally we found a path and made our way home. As we walked up the towards the house.

Dad can I have a cake when I’ve washed my hands”

Bugger. I knew I forgot something. Looking at my watch the cakes had probably been at medium heat for 3 hours.

Some days you just feel lost. Things go wrong. Life is hard. You feel so vulnerable. So fallible. Beyond tired. I’m not alone on that one. It’s human nature. It’s the parenting condition. We all have days/weeks/months like this. What’s the expression

You get good days and bad weeks….