Bluebells

Just a short walk out of the village and there is a magical little wood. Especially magical at this time of year.

A carpet of blue.

It’s good to have those moments of dreams. It’s a release from the challenges of the day.

It’s a great place for Hawklad to spend some time. To dream. To forget his worries for a while at least. Currently these are not easy times for him to navigate. Another week and another source of worries in these unsettled times. News of yet another scary named infectious virus. Already sky high anxieties ramping up even higher. Yes he can get out but he is a million miles from truly returning to society. He can’t touch any surface away from the safety of his house. Probably in all reality real progress needs a settled, safer feeling environment. That’s not these times.

So a few dreamy, care free moments in BLUEBELL WOOD makes all the difference.

Weeding

A proper garden…

Sometimes not weeding is the right approach.

Tomorrow is one of those school video meetings. 9 minutes with the schools lead Special Education Teacher. So much to discuss in just NINE minutes. Where’s the support. What are the options if Hawklad can’t sit exams. Scope for one to one tuition. Let’s see what comes of it.

Today was supposed to be a mock exam but nothing came from school. Maybe they aren’t allowed to send it out, maybe it’s coming later. Another one for the 9 minute discussion.

So without a home exam to sort out it was time to do a spot of gardening. Well look at the garden. Surely looking and planning counts as gardening. As I was doing that hands free gardening I managed to find some lost (or dognapped) property. Numerous socks, a slipper, a plastic dog bowl, several balls and bizarrely a pair of my pants…. I can’t remember losing them while weeding.

Thunder

A couple of hours later and this quiet lane would have been a raging, torrential river. Huge thunderstorms. Too dark even for the iPhone to take a photo.

It’s been that kinda day.

Power cuts. No mobile phone signal. Even the satellite tv had no signal. Frustratingly for Hawklad, the school online system was still working. Work to produce revision notes on a topic that Hawklad had no idea that the rest of the class had covered a few months back. Oh the joys of the school at home project. The schooling system here is just not designed to be flexible for individual needs and circumstances.

Then another discovery. A moment of insight into a subject in which absolutely none of Hawklad’s submitted work (week after week since September) has ever been marked. Conveniently difficult to locate on the system, we accidentally discovered answer sheets. Apparently the pupils had to mark and correct their own work . That would explain things then. It will be one of those things where the teacher has explained that to the class but the message hasn’t made it over the internet to Hawklad.

One day we might get this right.

But then a more pressing thought. Why has the herd of cows that was sheltering next to our garden fence, seeking protection from electrical storm, suddenly decided to leg it to safety, seemingly as far away from our house as possible. What do they know. Maybe it’s time to hide under the table. But apparently not.

“Dad what do you expect when you have started singing Schools Out at the top of your voice. A voice that is scarier than my sock draw. Faced with that, no wonder the cows decided to risk lightening strikes to escape that awful fate.”

Definitely been one of those days…..

Punishment

A much needed late afternoon walk. Feels like we have the place to ourselves.

Next week the School starts the mock exams for Hawklad’s Year Group. We are still waiting to hear what the arrangements are for Hawklad as he is still not in school. We know when the exams are and the clock is ticking. We are assuming he is sitting them in some form so he has been revising. Like for most of us – he is not enjoying the experience. But he is trying. Many pupils will be trying. I wish certain teachers would realise that.

One particular Teacher approaches revising by setting shed loads of homework. And I mean SHED LOADS. Question after question. But also setting tasks such as getting pupils to write out detailed revision notes and then submit them so that the teacher can make sure sufficient work is being undertaken. If a pupil doesn’t complete all the set homework then punishments will be issued. The Teacher emailed all her class and emphasised that if all the homework was not completed by the end of the weekend to a high standard then Detentions will be issued…..

Hawklad asked me how School would operate a DETENTION if he was issued with one. I gave this much thought since we don’t have a suitable classroom. Best option would be to send him into the back room. The room which has his XBOX which I’m sure will be ON.

Hawklad just doesn’t learn facts by writing out comprehensive neat revision notes. His mind doesn’t work like that. He watches videos and podcasts. He reads books. He thinks about stuff while pacing around the house. He creates images and visual maps in his mind. That’s how things stick for him. That’s certainly not helped by the threat of detentions for doing things that just don’t work for him.

I’ve emailed the teacher to explain this and stressed that revision notes will not be submitted. Maybe I will get a detention as well. Maybe we can play FIFA 21 together while serving our punishment.

Detention might be a good break from the chores of revision.

Expelled

Well that was a different home at school week. A first, I believe. Not one interaction with school. With quite a bit of digging on the school online system we found a few pieces of work to try. We also found a homework task about Serial Killers which had been set for the rest of the class. But no emails, no communication from the teachers. Hawklad was completely left to himself. When he submitted work, it’s remained unmarked. I’m not sure if they would have noticed if he had stayed in bed all week watching Jumanji.

As the next school break is not for a few weeks ……… Has Hawklad been EXPELLED. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Fashion sense

Clearly the Sun has well and truly set on my fashion sense…..

Not being able to take a rapidly growing teen into a clothes shop is an issue. These days I also can’t often offer him some of my old items. He is long and thin, I’m NOT…. So it’s mostly taking a punt on the style and sizing of online fashion. Whisper it, often from the bargain basement aisles. I

remember the happy days of a son who had as much interest in fashion sense than I had in doing the splits….. Anything was super cool and fashionable if it had a Dinosaur emblazoned across most of it.

Oh I miss those days.

Dad I can’t believe you are expecting me to wear a turtle neck in 2022….”

Wow, that’s most of my wardrobe. Yep the Sun has gone down on my fashion sense.

Isolation

Perfect isolation.

Sometimes isolation is needed. Over the last two years some of that isolation has been enforced. But much has been locally needed isolation. Needed by Hawklad. It will be needed going forward. The question is how much. Maybe less. Maybe more. It will change over time. This week it’s been needed much more.

Whisper it as well. Isolation maybe needed by me as well.

Perfect isolation.

Marvel at Scotland

Back to last week. See you don’t need the multiverse to do a spot of time travel.

“Dad tomorrow can we go to Scotland. Don’t mind where just can it be really quiet. Somewhere different. Maybe even exciting.”

Two herbal teas later the solution popped into my head. Visit a place where we can MARVEL at who grand Scotland is.

Quiet means arriving early. As we were heading 180 miles north then we set off just after 5am.

Heading to the stunning coastal village of St Abbs. Part of the Marvel Universe……

The second highest grossing movie of all time, End Game used St Abbs as New Asgard. Hulk and Rocket came here to find Thor. Hawklad didn’t think he would be stood outside Thor’s house…..

I didn’t cause an international incident by taking my shirt off and pretending to be one of the Avengers. Maybe next time. Actually if people think that Thor looked out of shape when he was in New Asgard, wait to they get a look at my version of a shirtless Avenger. Let’s just say the 6 pack is well and truly hidden these days.

As we wandered around St Abbs a thought struck me. The place feels remote almost cut off from modern life. Operating at its own pace with the Sea dominating life. Could somewhere like this be a place which would suit Hawklad. Then the realisation, it might actually suit me. I was brought up by the Sea until I left to go to University. It feels very familiar, very safe. Would a return suit my mindset. Would it blow away the life cobwebs. Would it fix the problem that the world now seems to spin at a different speed to me. Is it a great place to forget the past.

Maybe Thor had a point moving to somewhere as wonderful as St Abbs. A perfect place for his New Asgard

Sea

A sea of yellow.

If Captain Chaos made it in there, I’m not sure we would get him out this side of Christmas. If I played golf I bet my ball would definitely land somewhere in that.

So the home at school project is back. Over two years now. Wow two years.

It’s only been a two week school break but so much has been forgotten, by parent and pupil. Trigonometry was mastered, two weeks later it might as well be a cross stitching pattern. Intricate, perplexing, ultimately an unfathomable jumble. Forgetting things is very understandable with my Sinclair ZX81 of a brain (an ancient first try at a home computer which was as powerful as my left buttock). But Hawklad should be different, he has an amazing memory. No he can’t remember any Trig from two weeks back yet ask him about things that interest him and it’s almost PERFECT TOTAL RECALL. Remember stuff from years back. That’s the secret, stuff that interests him.

Sadly British Secondary Education doesn’t fall into that interest bracket……

Planning pt 2

Planning can get you to places. Get you to places at the right times. Sometimes planning can get you to places when the weather is nice.

Planning can get you out of the daily routine. Walking on an island in the North Sea is a much needed break from the usual daily routine. That’s good for Hawklad, for Me.

Planning is going to be the key going forward.

To push the boundaries out just a little bit further.

Hawklad wants to see a bit more. Experience a bit more. But his anxieties are spiking again. It’s going to be a challenge. More planning is required.

So can we plan a quiet day trip to another country next.