Change

I was listening to the radio this morning and the presenter was happily chatting away. He talked about how things had changed for him. This got me thinking about how much it has for me. Changed beyond recognition.

Let’s go back 20 years

  • Just starting a life changing relationship
  • Still playing football and cricket,
  • Regular mountaineering and climbing,
  • Drinking alcohol a bit too much,
  • My social life often centred around the pub,
  • I would get edgy if I wasn’t meeting up regularly with friends,
  • Using alcohol to overcome social anxieties,
  • Work was super busy with so many meetings. So many people to deal with,
  • Spending little time at home (time at home was seen as a bit of a waste)
  • Holidays,
  • Frequent family meetings revolving around mum,
  • Concerts, football matches, the Theatre and the Cinema,
  • Trying to avoid being by myself and if I was I would try to drown out the silence with my MP3 player,
  • Fuelled on caffeine.

Now contrast that with this week….

  • Single parenting,
  • Aspergers,
  • Revisiting wonderful memories,
  • Emailing one or two friends,
  • Blogging,
  • No work,
  • Housebound with one trip beyond the gates to the Vets,
  • Tea total, no caffeine,
  • Lots of silence,
  • No meet-ups,
  • No prospect of holidays, trips out, concerts,
  • Reading,
  • Time spent talking with Hawklad,
  • Only one other physical conversation (briefly with the Vet),
  • Homeschooling,
  • Working out in the garden,
  • Trying to practice mindfulness.

Life definitely has changed. It always does eventually. Some things for the worse. Some things for the better. Some things I would change back. But many things I cherish. On balance I definitely wouldn’t go back.

Full Moon

Last nights Full Moon. Almost beyond my little camera phone but it had a go. One moon but so many looking up at it. So many you don’t know but some you do know. Looking at the moon together can shrink the miles.

That’s so important in these strange times. When travel is not happening. When meet ups have to be virtual. When the telephone starts to become your friend again (sometimes….).

The problem is that as essential as email, social media and the telephone are they are not perfect. Certainly not for me. They have a huge drawback. I can still feel a long way from the person I’m communicating with. Sometimes feels like I’m stood rather alone shouting (and hoping to be heard) across the county lines, country borders, across the waters. But for some reason looking up at the moon is different. The thought that others are maybe looking up at the very same moon feels like the miles are shrinking. As if I’m stood next to others, to you.

So the next time you look up at the moon just remember so many others are. Maybe even your friends and those you care for. It’s the greatest free get together. Something that even 2020 hasn’t found a way of stopping.

Word Press meets Skynet…

If only WordPress was like walking through a lovely wood. Pleasant, enjoyable and with a clear path to guide you along your journey.

No it most certainly is not. Think more Terminator Skynet. A demonic software entity working against the humans. And just like Terminator movies (you think you’ve seen the last one and then another pops up), WordPress works for a bit and then another issue pop ups.

For a few months I’ve not been able to comment or leave comments on a few blogs I follow. Then randomly my scheduled and draft post lists will be published (when I’m not logged in) – often not even as the latest entry. Now some people can’t see my photos when they use the App – but the photos are there when viewed using the www route. The same has happened to me when viewing other sites.

I’ve contacted the fine folk at WordPress but I’m not hopeful. The last few issues I’ve had with the App were nothing to do with the software, apparently down to either my iPad or Apple. Bizarrely the issues are often fixed when an App upgrade is issued (unfortunately they are usually replaced by other issues).

I’m trying some of the suggestions other bloggers have tried

  • Only using the Classic Editor,
  • Making sure the photo is set as the Featured Image,
  • Reinstalling the App frequently,
  • Trying to avoid using too many photos,
  • Avoiding including links in posts.

I’m also trying a few ideas of my own. Avoid wearing pink when I’m writing a post, shielding my thoughts from WP by donning a tin foil hat, trying to talk like Arnold Schwarzenegger and not listening to any 1970s Glam Rock unless I have flowery bell bottoms on. Will let you know if they work.

But sorry if you encounter any issues viewing my posts. It’s bad enough reading them…..

Scary creatures

A good blogging friend was taking about finding a big spider in her garden. That friend is on a different continent. A place where you get spiders that are big, scary, poisonous and they even jump at you.

Did I ever tell you that I am not great with spiders.

So the prospect of scary spiders brings shivers down my spine. A movie comes to mind – Arachnophobia. Give me Jaws and Sharks anytime. Sharks need our love especially as Trump has decided to bully them as well now.

Scary spiders. No, no, no.

Hawklad loves to go to the zoo and handle spiders. The bigger and more deadly the better. The last trip I just about heard him say as he handled a Tarantula- ‘Isn’t she lovely….’. It was difficult to hear him as I was stood 30 yards back, hiding behind a wall. That’s great parenting……

Fortunately for me I live in Yorkshire. The land that time forgot. We don’t really do scary animals. Those cows can look at you in a funny way. Ferrets can nip a bit (especially if they are in your trouser pockets). Don’t get in the way of a squirrel and his nuts. Those Scarborough Seagulls are hooligans when you have a bag of chips. Get on the wrong side of stick of rhubarb and it can very awkward.

But we don’t really do scary spiders or insects. A few small and timid spiders. This is as big as it gets. A Daddy-Long-Legs. The most delicate creatures going. We end up desperately trying not to hurt or damage them. Even I can get up close to them. That’s the kind of spider and insect I like. Friendly and most definitely not one that is going to eat me.

Thank you

I don’t often do this……

I never really check blogger stats. Well I did this morning – great timing. All I can say is that you to everyone. You are so very kind and so very much appreciated.

I think back to 2017 and the first part of 2018. I had just started blogging. In the first year I had 300 views and 20 followers. I was in awe that anyone would take the time to read my waffles. Imagine how I feel now. I get really embarrassed when I see stunning blogs with such brilliantly talented writers with not many views. All I can say is stick with it. If a muppet like me can do it then someone as talented as you can absolutely soar.

THANK YOU

Time for your daily yoga.

Don’t say I never give you new features. First there was bereavement and autism. Then came parenting. Then virtual trips to Switzerland and world exercise bike tours. Then helpful baking tips. Poking fun at the government came next. Then muppet guides.

I hear you. You want more. OK

Brace yourself people. Don your comfy shirts and brightly coloured tight leggings. It’s time for your first Yoga Guide. Today I’m going to start with transitioning into the Warrior Pose. To add to the difficulty (as I am an elite athlete) I will be doing it dressed up as a Star Wars Clone Trooper.

Find a comfortable position. That is difficult dressed up in tight plastic battle gear, so I will just fall to the ground in a heap.

Now transition into a lotus pose or as close as you can comfortably manage.

Now with the grace of a charging Bison, extend you legs while keeping your head in line with your heart which is in line with your buttocks. Brace your thighs as you transition into the warrior pose.

If you are new to yoga or are a lego figure then you will probably find that the use of support blocks will help with stability.

Now hold. Your body, legs and joints will be screaming for mercy. Remember it’s good for you. Count to 10.

Now release the hold. See how good that feels.

Look at the pure delight on my face as I realise just how good my body now feels.

So hopefully you found that most useful. Remember I am an expert so don’t expect to be as good as me straight away. Stick with it and over many months you might end up not feeling so inferior to me.

Please let me know if you would like any other yoga or fitness activity explained to you.

NAMASTE my friends.

#itsabeautifulplanet

Ok I know I go on about Switzerland. How I think it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. But I need to set the record straight. In my eyes we are so lucky to live in a world with so many wonderful places. Every country, every region will have at least one place. One special place. I’ve been so lucky to actually visit many of those places in Yorkshire, England, Scotland, Wales, France, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Congo, South Africa and yes Switzerland.

Yes today Yorkshire is separate from England – must be time for the next King Richard III to take us out of the place which has became the play thing for the Madness of King Boris.

If I can’t physically visit places then I can see the beauty through virtual trips.

Yes we live in a world which can still be beautiful. It can still be a wonderful life. Surely it’s time for us to not to always focus on all the ugliness which fills the news these days. Time to focus on the beauty. Time to delete the #itsanuglyworld and get behind something like #itsabeautifulplanet. Time for us to promote those special places. To give others a glimpse of what is truly out there.

So I will give you my first offering. I give you Northumberland.

1000 odd days

This is a photo from 3 years ago. I stumbled across it while looking for some old climbing ones. Another typical Yorkshire August day – all four seasons in one day. It got me thinking – what’s the same and what’s changed in those 1000 odd days. See that’s what a professional accountancy qualification can do for you – I’m good at those complicated adding up calculations.

THINGS WHICH ARE THE SAME

  • Getting no dyslexia support from school,
  • Getting no Aspergers support or accommodations from school,
  • Still bereaved,
  • Still a single parent,
  • Still a metal head at heart,
  • Hawklad is still a lovely character,
  • No holidays, no Switzerland,
  • Pets causing chaos,
  • My football team is still useless,
  • Still see myself as European,
  • Brexit is still a shambles and a monumental exercise of self destruction,
  • Vegetarianism,
  • Can’t cook,
  • Still exercising,
  • Still 5ft 10 and a half (don’t forget the half – it takes me beyond average height),
  • Still not climbing,
  • Still can’t work out the TV remote control,
  • The garden is still a mess,
  • Still don’t like U2,
  • Still haven’t seen Avatar without falling asleep,
  • Haven’t seen my brother even though we live only 50 miles apart,
  • The garden gate still needs fixing,
  • The washing machine is still possessed,
  • Still having bought myself that ginormous telescope,
  • The blog is still going,
  • Still writing about the same stuff,
  • Still waiting for official recognition of my stellar poetry skills,
  • Still haven’t won the lottery,
  • Still losing my car keys.

THINGS THAT HAVE CHANGED FOR THE WORSE

  • As Hawklad has reached the teenage stage many of the health support packages have been removed,
  • The waiting list to see The Paediatrician is now approaching 2 years,
  • A pesky pandemic,
  • Hawklads anxiety levels,
  • Hawklads isolation from the world and other kids his age,
  • Due to circumstances had to stop running,
  • Boris,
  • Trumps antics,
  • Might be a metal head but the days of skin tight jeans have gone,
  • Lost a couple of much loved pets,
  • Don’t really see my sisters anymore,
  • School’s view of Hawklad – definitely revising his perceived ability levels downwards,
  • The number of times I have to shout or pull my hair out at school is rising,
  • I’m physically meeting less people,
  • The list of things on the need sorting out when funds are available is growing.

THINGS THAT HAVE CHANGED FOR THE BETTER

  • Hawklad understands himself and his Aspergers much better now,
  • Hawklad is overcoming his dyslexia,
  • I understand now that it’s just as ok to Laugh as it is to Cry, YES it’s ok to live,
  • Friendship
  • Close Friendships,
  • Faith,
  • Love,
  • Happiness,
  • One step closer to home schooling (hopefully),
  • My dress sense – I finally chucked out some of my pink climbing shirts.

You might be thinking that looking at the relative number of entries on these lists that the last 1000 odd days have been generally bad. But look at some of those things on the last list. It’s not about quantity it’s about quality. Yep looking at that last list, over the last 1000 odd days we have challenges but some really good stuff has still happened. That’s why there is always hope.

Get it

The rain is finally starting to pass. The cold is moving on and the temperatures are slowly rising. Perfect time to visit a Rose.

Over time we all lose things that are so important to us. That could be love, friendships, people we care for, pets, our health, our passions, relationships, parts of our very essence, our personal freedom, a space to breathe in, that perfect job, our hopes and dreams. Life can be so very hard.

Often it’s so easy to think that you are alone dealing with these things. That no one understands. It’s such an unsettling feeling – thinking that no one GETS YOU. Believing that you are alone in these struggles. I’ve certainly been there. When you do open up, the awkward or baffled looks you get. The indirect suggestions to ‘get over it’, ‘move on’ or ‘sort yourself out’. The overt signals to ‘please shut up and change the subject’, not even wanting to listen. Often these come from those who seemingly know you the best or are close to you. Friends, family and partners. You do end up feeling isolated and alone.

But there are people out there who understand, who have been through similar experiences, who care or genuinely will listen. Just got to find them. Maybe they end up finding you. Maybe it’s just a random encounter. They could be many many miles away. That’s what happened with me. I’d given up hope, fully accepting that it was just me alone taking on this struggle. But I was randomly found. Suddenly I was genuinely listened to, understood again. BELIEVED IN. Now I don’t feel alone on this journey. Yes I can do this and if I do fall then support is there. A shoulder to cry on and a comforting hug. Will always be so very thankful for that. 💙