Three

2020 currently is very three orientated. My football team got beat three nil at home. They had to use up all three substitutes before half time because of injuries. Then quickly found out that three substitutes was not enough as another player had to go off due to injury as well.

I got three bills in the post today.

I phoned up for a Doctors appointment and was told I had to wait three weeks for the first available slot.

Currently I am missing 3 running socks. Paddington Bear Stare towards Captain Chaos. So for my next run I can choose between a red running sock or a blue running sock or a white running sock. I think the red and blue combo with be best.

We have three gerbils. They are super friendly and also rather fascinating. If I could ask the three chaps (hope they are three of the same sex) one question it would be

Why when I put cardboard and wooden tunnels in your cage do you always put the smaller tube inside a larger one. Even when I put them on opposite ends of the cage why does one end up in the other within a few minutes.

As my gerbil vocabulary is so poor I guess I will never find out the answer to this first burning question of 2020. But I can’t leave this post on such a unresolvable cliffhanger. Apologies for the early contender for the most rubbish link of the year. As I’ve got over my initial New Years Blues and in the absence of an answer from the three rodents maybe it’s time for a few lists of three from 2019.

3 Biggest Fears that came true

  • School giving up on son
  • Boris Johnson becoming PM
  • Governments/The U.N. paying lip service and kicking into the long grass the momentum for change generated by the likes of Greta Thunberg

Best books read

  • Jean Lee – Nights Tooth
  • Stephen King – The Institute
  • Blake Crouch – Recursion

Best 3 movies of 2019

  • Avengers End Game
  • Horrible Histories – The Movie
  • Godzilla

Best 3 concerts

  • Alter Bridge/Shinedown
  • Kiss
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd

Best 3 albums

  • Alter Bridge – Walk the Sky
  • The Hu – The Gereg
  • Whitesnake – Flesh & Blood

Best 3 places visited

  • Kielder Water
  • Housesteads Roman Fort
  • North Yorkshire Moors Railway

3 Most helpful bits of advice from 2019 – kind of

  • Maybe bring your dog back when he’s calmed down a wee bit – dog training school
  • Just needs to work a bit harder to improve his spelling and handwriting – teacher
  • Lager is better for your teeth than lemon water – Dentist

Best 3 things which helped our son

  • Setting a goal for the number of new places to be visited
  • Rock music and concerts
  • Catching balls while bouncing on a trampoline

Craziest 3 things the pets did

  • Muddy paw prints on the ceiling – how is that possible
  • Boy Cat getting the award for being the biggest and heaviest cat on the Vets books
  • Captain Chaos burying one of my running shoes in the garden. Took me weeks to find it.

Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you Sadje for the Sunshine Blogger Nomination. It’s very very kind of you.

About Sunshine Blogger Award:
It is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

The Rules are simple:
a. Nominate 11 people and notify them via comment.
b. Ask them new 11 questions.
c. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
d. Display the award logo on your blog post.
e. Answer the 11 questions asked

Sadje’s 11 Questions are;

Why did you start blogging?

Not really sure. It just after my partner had died. For a few weeks I had started reading a range of blogs just to try and connect with the world again. Then one night I just kinda started.

Do your friends and family support you in blogging?

My family have no idea. I did tell one of my sisters once but she just thought I was pulling her leg and laughed. Thinking about it many of my WP friends think I’m pulling their legs when I talk about me blogging.

What would be your dream job?

Oh there are so many.

  • Guitarist for either Whitesnake, Kiss or Iron Maiden
  • Astronomer with one massive mother of all Scopes
  • Professional climber
  • World Cup Skier
  • Captain of the Starship Enterprise
  • Train Driver
  • Manager of Newcastle United
  • Baker……

What are your ambitions for the coming year?

Still not reestablished a link with personal ambitions yet. They left me three years ago. Work towards our sons ambitions.

How do you think the world is going to cope with the challenges we are facing?

If my generation are in charge then monumentally badly. If the next generation get control soon enough then we have a chance to do it well.

What would be your ideal holiday vacation?

Swiss Alps

What is the quality you admire in yourself?

My baking.

What is the quality you admire in others?

Their baking.

I do like people who are happy to poke fun at themselves.

What is your pet peeve?

Drivers who do not indicate at roundabouts. People who only want to listen to themselves. God help anyone who does both of these.

Are you a book reader? If so how many books you read in a month?

Yes but don’t find the time to do read as much as I would like.

What aspect of your personality you would like to change?

Lack of patience especially when I’m doing any DIY. It’s seconds before I get frustrated and bring out the sledgehammer.

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I’m not going to nominate anyone specifically. But if your having a bad day, sending you hugs and this nomination is for you. xx

Christmas Diaries 1

It’s been a grey moody day. It never once looked like clearing. At least it didn’t rain for a change.

The zero based hours contract gave me me three hours work today. For the next couple of weeks any work demands will be minimal. Not great for the bank account but it allows me to now focus on our son. So with a couple of days before the school breaks up – Christmas is about to start in earnest. So an early warning. You may get a few Christmas Parent Diary entries coming your way. Hopefully most will focus on the happy side of life. It almost certainly will feature a few cooking disasters. In fact let’s sort the first diary entry out right now.

So after the work dried up it and the grey run was completed it was time for a bit of baking. Time to make a stunning gluten free stollen cake. A few chaotic shopping trips had stocked up the larder with all the ingredients. This time it’s going to be baking heaven. Hang on a minute where’s the marzipan. As I love the stuff I bought 4 slabs worth. But where are they. Absolutely no sign. Don’t you just hate it when that happens. No problem I will just pop to the local store. Don’t stock it but they did have infeasible amounts of glazed cherries. So off to the supermarket. How can a supermarket run out of marzipan. How can the only other store reasonably close by also have none in stock. I gave up so let’s just make a Christmas cake. Three hours later I’m looking at a baking abomination. Crispy on the outside, undercooked on the inside and a ginormous sinkhole at its centre. The birds will eat well tomorrow.

So ends the first Christmas diary entry. But let’s do the diary preface now.

Christmas can be lovely and fun but wow can it hurt. It’s one of those times which naturally draws you to what you have lost. I was reading a blog which talked about this in such a haunting way.

All aboard! The holiday struggle-bus is pulling into the station, and I’ve got a ticket to ride.

That bus hit me yesterday. I was simply wrapping our sons presents up. Instantly I’m taken back a few years. Christmas music on. A couple of glasses of wine. My partner a ninja master at unwinding the cellotape and securing the edges of the wrapping paper. Unbelievably I was an expert at finding the best way to wrap the presents up. The perfect production line. So effective and so loving.

Now I sit on the floor with a tea and whatever is on the radio. To be honest I’m not listening. The presents are still being wrapped well but the cellotape has won the battle royal. It’s wrapped around my fingers, on my clothes, stuck to furniture and yet refusing to go anywhere near the wrapping paper. Love and happiness replaced with frustration and sadness. It’s never going to be like it was. That love is not going to be replaced. Those shared dreams are binned. It’s a truly sickening feeling.

It’s so easy to forget that this can be such a tough time for so many you are bereaved. For so many in pain. For so many without anything. For so many who are lonely. My heart goes out to you. You have a soulmate here.

Yes over the next few weeks this blog might get a bit silly. I really hope it does because it shows that I’m doing my only important job. Trying to make Christmas as fun as possible for our son. But underlying it will be someone still grieving what has been lost. My hope is that some of that Christmas magic which hopefully is enveloping our son will rub off on me. Showing that you can grieve but it’s still possible to have fun. If it works for me I really prey it’s rubs off on you as well.

Mind wrestling

Yorkshire weather. Good running weather. Why would I want to run in dry warm windless conditions. Well that’s what I tell myself. Maybe I’m like Count Dracula. I would turn to dust in direct sunlight. I wonder what I would do if someone offered me the chance though.

I’m mind wrestling with something at the moment. My partner was an epic traveller. She visited so many countries. It was her extravagance. From her late teens she would save up during the year for one great adventure. Family and her adventures was what she lived for. The adventures only stopped when we became a family. Her dream was that when our son became older we could have adventures together. The two places she always talked about was New Zealand (would have been her first time) and Chile. She always said that we would all love Chile.

Then life happened.

I really want to complete those journeys for her. Our Autism World may preclude that. Circumstances may preclude it. But we will see. I most admit a part of me doesn’t want to do those trips. It’s just not right that it would only be the two of us.

Sorry I digress. Back to my mind wrestling. So many adventures and so many photographs. All sat neatly and well organised in carefully stored albums. Here is the dilemma. Part of me wants to do a retrospective photo journal. Tell her travel story. Her trip to the Soviet Union (gives you an idea of the timeframe) maybe would be a great starting point. YET another part of me recoils at the idea. What if she hates that idea. What if I’m breaking some unwritten bond of trust. It’s like having two competing voices on either shoulder each shouting differing viewpoints on life.

She’s not here anymore. What’s the problem!

YOU KNOW SHE WOULD SAY NO. I CAN’T BELIEVE YOUR SERIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT THIS!

But this feeling is something I’ve grown used to over these three years. On virtually every major decision I have these doubts. ‘What do I want to do’ balanced against ‘what would she do’. I try to see the world through my eyes and at the same time through her eyes. Problem is that we were two completely different characters. We each had our own unique take on the world. We would frequently disagree on the right answer. Often we would compromise. I’m still trying to compromise now. Yet I can’t replicate her thought process. I never could and I never will. I’m probably getting her point of view completely wrong. But I still do it.

Maybe other people do this. Maybe it’s just me sinking further into cabin fever.

So am I going to publish this travel journal? I don’t know. WE still haven’t decided.

Changes

Apparently this year I’ve blogged 157,000 words. OMG. That’s an awful lot of drivel. So I’ve been thinking about making changes to the blog. Even about maybe deleting it. But in the end my urge to dabble has changed direction. Going to try and see if this great quote works. So today I have started a linked instagram account. Given it a really sexy name bereaveddad. I know a few of my friends here have similar accounts. I will try to follow you over the next few days. Please let me know of you have one and I will follow you.

Hopefully over the next week I will try to set up a Twitter account as well.

This world needs more mundane rubbish.

Weekly Song Challenge

Thank you Di (Pensitivity101) for the weekly song tag. The Laura Lavents challenge.

This weeks it’s three questions

Post a video of a song about wickedness or evil.
Post a video of a song from an animated Disney movie.
Post a video of a song that is spooky.

So here goes

Wickedness or Evil

The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil
https://youtu.be/ZRXGsPBUV5g

Disney Movie

Monsters Inc – If I didn’t have you
https://youtu.be/MRhnWA84qwc

Spooky

Jed Kurzel – The Child from Macbeth(2015) – just the music with no video but it doesn’t need a video to be spooky.

https://youtu.be/M25VwK3xD2g

These are my answers why don’t you have a go.

Terrible Poetry

It’s time for a bit of the weekly Terrible Poetry indulgence run by Chelsea Owen. This week the guidelines are

  1. Topic: Plot twists. Lament about how often stories have them, include a few in your poem, or pull a fast one on us and keep the poem going exactly where we expect.
  2. Length: Since this is Bruce’s first time, let’s be nice to him and keep the word count under 200.
  3. Rhyme? Your call. Have fun with it!
  4. As the #1 rule listed at #4, make it terrible. I want Bruce himself, master of the macabre story twist, to shake his head in disbelief and secretly envy the part of the twisting Roman gutters in which your mind lies.
  5. Rating? For general audiences, keep things PG-13 or cleaner. Bleep it out if you really need to release a torrent.

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Yoda was the all seeing Jedi Knight

Yet was fooled with a hood and a dodgie light

While Luke was being the Star Wars Galahad

Who honestly thought that Vader was his dad

Bruce Willis seemed the perfect host

But ended up being a sodding Ghost

Poor Liberty Valence ended up getting shot

By John Wayne that’s a strange train of thought

The Sting was a shock when Paul and Robert copped it

But it just ended up being a gigantic counterfeit

The Village tried to fool us with a bit of double play

But it ended up being set in the Present Day

Anthony Perkins seemed such a nice chap

Yet as Mum and a psycho he got me into a flap

Seven tried so hard to subvert

By having a Box in the desert

Vertigo was Very very bleak

Judy being Madeleine was a bit of a cheek

Who in the Murder on the Orient Express would be first to admit

But what a sneaky trick to have them all do seem do it

The Wizard of Oz seemed strangely certain

Yet the wizard was a sad bloke behind a curtain

Reservoir Dogs was as cool as a soda pop

Yet sneaked in that Mr Orange was in fact a cop

Wow Scream tried smoke and mirrors

All to hide we didn’t have one but two killers

Jacobs Ladder tried to hide the thread

Hang on a moment another one who is dead

Even poor Harry Potter tried to be as shifty as a Manx Cat

I never saw Peter Pettigrew was Scabbers the Rat

Dashboard

This post has been sat around my draft section for a while. Messed around with it but couldn’t get it right. So gone back to the first version (without fancy spreadsheet graphs and using the original rubbish hand drawn ones) and let’s get it out there.

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Reading between the lines from the occasional comment and the offline emails – my mood is sometimes misinterpreted. That’s not a criticism of anyone. It’s a reflection of my dodgy writing style or the mixed messages I can send out.

Then a thought crossed my mind. Maybe I should start each blog with a disclaimer clearly stating that my current mindset might be very dark even though I might include a little bit of silliness. No confusion there.

But why don’t we take it a stage further. An emotional dashboard. Each post with a current state of mind forecast. These might need to be worked on but how about the following

Or if that is too confusing why not just have a photo which sums of how I feel.

Tired

Very Tired

Zombie

Happy

Distinctly Average

Sad

Like Sh*t

Confused

Pissed Off

Hidden

Apparently a path exists across this field but it’s just not immediately apparent.

That feels a bit like technology. Take our washing machine (please do take it). It’s one of those which is completely automatic. You switch it on then use the programme button to select one of the 10 programmes. Then press the start button. That’s all fine until the programme selection became possessed. Now when you press the programme button it rapidly scrolls through the options and then eventually randomly selects a cycle. You are stuck on that option for potentially days until the washing machine decides to randomly select again. It’s so frustrating that most days the washing machine opts for the quick wash which only just about lightly dampens the clothes.

Take our laptop which refuses to update until the very moment it hears the phrase ‘urgent work’ then immediately goes into update mode which lasts for hours or days.

Take our DVD player. Works fine unless you try to use the remote control. After years of working perfectly it has now decided to become possessed as well. Press the stop button and it rewinds the film. Press the fast forward button and it pauses the film. Press the play button and it switches off the TV.

It’s also like Word Press. Over the years of running the WP app on the iPad I can best describe the experience as PROBLEMATIC. The app repeatedly crashes but I’ve got used to that now. It has now become like the most of our technology- possessed. I leave comments and they frequently disappear –maybe they are so unremittingly boring that they are secretly deleted. Error messages appear when I try to read certain blogs. But the most frustrating thing is the app will say that some blogs (not all blogs) have no new updates available. Then suddenly weeks later WP suddenly changes its mind and reveals all. Last night one blog who had been very quiet for weeks according to WP suddenly sprung into life. WP happily showing the 22 posts which had not been there an hour previously. So it’s probably time to try something different.

Now if the laptop would kindly stop updating then I will give the Microsoft or Web based options a go. Fingers crossed.

Don’t look

If I don’t look will it go away…

Today in the post we got a Car Tax Reminder. Also the final notice for the House Insurance. That adds to the pile of bills on the desk. If I don’t look at the bills will they go away…

The side panel on the car is coming loose. If I drive over 30mph it starts to knock. The car is covered in a layer of mud – it should have a beautiful complexion when it’s cleaned. The inside of the car resembles a skip. If I don’t look at the car…

Son badly needs a haircut. It’s a combination of Shaggy and Cousin It. His school clothes are a little small for him now. Its the great end of school year parent dilemma – pay for new ones or battle on with the old. If I don’t look at his hair and his school uniform…

The chimney pot has a plant growing out of the top of it. When I say plant it’s big enough to be a sapling. No idea how I will get onto the roof to deal with it. If I don’t look at the roof…

On the desk I have another report to complete for our son. 32 pages. 52 different questions. Health and Education evidence required. If I don’t look at the report…

The garden looks like a jungle. A really unkempt one. The grass is that long the dog now disappears when he goes out for his morning constitutional. At least it hides the fresh mole hills. Nettles have taken over the borders. The weeds under the trampoline are now touching the mat. Could make the next bouncing session interesting. If I don’t look at the garden…

The washing is piling up. I always wanted to climb Everest. Well at this rate I might get the opportunity. Ok I probably imagined a slightly less wiffy Everest and one with not so many sock avalanches. If I don’t look at the washing…

The house is a battleground. Most of the curtains have been shredded by the cat(s). When I say curtains I could say sofa, beds, chairs, wallpaper, carpets, cushions. Most of the wood in the house has been chewed by the dog. Given the amount of wood in the house it kinda makes a dog heaven and a house which is becoming increasingly structurally unsound. Thats before we factor in the agents of doom – the Gerbils. If I don’t look at the house…

If I don’t look will that mad dog stop looking at me…