Warning

No contact from school again about Hawklad. Now one day from what is supposed to be his return. No plans in place. No discussions. Not impressed. Very unsettling. Change subject before rant starts.

There aren’t many things more unsettling to me than when I’m are happily driving along a road and an approaching car flashes their headlights at me. Or someone puts there hazard warning lights on randomly as you drive past them. Especially when you can’t figure out why. I’m I even the target of that, is it aimed at someone else, was it mistaken identity, was it an accident. What’s wrong. Is my petrol cap open. Is a police speed camera just round the corner. Is there a giant dinosaur waiting to pounce behind those approaching traffic lights.

The uncertainty just unsettles me.

Well I have the solution. It’s my one big invention. My route to fame and fortune.

All cars should be installed with a special keyboard on the steering wheel. The keyboard will have large keys you can press in those light flashing moments. Rather than just randomly sending out a vague message to the approaching car, a giant lcd screen on the front of the car (so large that it partly obstructs the windscreen) will display a detailed warning message. These can be preprogrammed. No confusing henceforth. For example my available warning light options would be

* Children next to road…..

* Animals on the road…..

* The road surface is dangerous…..

* Warning, The Cops……

* Hi Sister, have you been shopping…..

* Your driving like a moron…..

* Your car is falling to bits……

* Get your Mobile out, Pokemon nearby ready to be caught……

* Put your Mobile down you numpty…….

* Turn your Full Beam headlights off you selfish lemon……

* It would be so nice if you wouldn’t mind getting back on your side of the road…..

* Ha Ha Your missing a once in a lifetime sunset behind you….

* Turn your music down your not at a Metallica Concert……

* Stop looking at that bird in the sky, YOUR supposed to be driving……

* UFO sighted, danger of alien abductions……..

Well I think it’s a great idea. That’s distracted me. Sometimes even parents need a distraction….

Garage

Who would have thought a year a go that a trip to the garage would so resemble a decontamination scene from the movie Outbreak. You arrive and you are greeted by someone in a full face Perspex visor and gloves. A clear bag is held out at arms length for me to drop my car keys into. They are sprayed with something before the bag is closed. I’m asked a number of health questions and told to keep my face mask on at all times. Then ushered into the building through a roped off side door. I’m then directed to a clear screen and the masked service engineer discuss my 4 wheeled bag of rust. I’m then pointed to a tray with a car key – clearly recently sprayed. After I have picked the key up another person with full head protection takes through a separate door and pointed towards the service pool car parked in a separate roped off part of the car park. I’m then given verbal instructions on how to return with the car. I have to park next to the car wash in the roped off return zone.

Wow.

Kind of makes me wish I had cleaned my car now. It is a right state. Feeling guilty about that….

And if you think that’s decontamination. It’s not a patch on what I had to go through on my return to our house. Hawklad wasn’t taking any chances.

Feels like

Christmas Eve brought the first snow flurries of winter. Not much but it certainly changed the mood. Kind of feels like December now.

Last night we had our first ever Santa Christmas Drive. It replaced a ride on the Christmas Train which is not happening this odd year. Engine 1264 is getting a well earned rest. It is 73 years old.

The car was decked out in Christmas lights. Filled with party food. Christmas music on tap. And off we set to look at the various Christmas lights in the surrounding villages. We parked up halfway round to give the sleigh driver a break and to see how badly we could do at a Christmas Quiz. Spectacularly badly. We couldn’t even answer the questions about a movie we had seen only a few hours previously.

The Santa Christmas Drive definitely worked. Hawklad really enjoyed it. That’s all that matters. Ok he had to have a really really really long bath on his return. A complete change of clothing. Several sessions with the mouthwash. But it was worth it.

Only time will tell if it’s a one off stand in event or it’s now a new tradition. But it’s certainly another reason why it now feels a lot like December.

Lopsided

I sometimes worry that you think I’m a little drunk some days. The photos might look a little slanted. In my defence I have been tea total for years and struggling to get straight photos is down to living in the hills. Or maybe it’s because I tend to just be one second away from tripping over.

One of the highlights of the week these days is taking the car for a little run out. It doesn’t like sitting doing nothing. It seizes up and battery has a habit of going flat. Sounds a bit like me….. So once a week I take it for a 5 minute drive. Just along a few of our narrow country lanes. Most of them like this one are not wider enough for two cars. No motorways here.

Hawklad won’t currently come with me. Doesn’t feel comfortable enough. No point pushing that. He said that he will try to come with me starting in November. He stays at home hence it’s only a 5 minute trip. When I get back it’s time for full decontamination to keep him happy.

I thought I would take a photo of this one particular stretch of lane. It’s a favourite of mine. I would frequently run down here on my longer pre pandemic runs. Why is it a favourite?

It’s relatively flat. No ups and downs. Here that is such a lovely feeling. But even here I can’t get a truly level picture. But I will settle for this. At least I’m not falling over. Yet.

Philosophy

In England we like winding country roads. But occasionally we get a straight one. Like here, almost a French feel to this.

A week ago I was driving along this road and suddenly had a thought. Always dangerous with me. So I parked up and stood by the side of the road. I wonder what the passing drivers thought I was up to. Given the brakes going on the cars, maybe they thought I was a speed camera operative. About 20 years ago I was a civilian manager in a Police Force. It was decided that the handheld speed cameras needed replacing. To cut a long story short the traffic police were asked to test 6 different cameras under similar conditions. Six police cars went to a known speeding zone. Can you imagine the panic on the unsuspecting drivers who screamed over the brow of the hill to be confronted immediately by 6 police officer stood next to each other, pointing 6 cameras at the speeding car. Ones bad enough BUT SIX.

Anyway enough of speeding cars having the worst 5 seconds of their week.

I’d stopped to look at the lane because I had suddenly realised that I had been up and down this road thousands of times over the years and I had never really stopped to look at the beautiful trees. So that’s what I did. But then another random thought struck me. All about which direction to head in. Not easy to choose here as there are so obvious signposts. So left or right – no idea. Bit like life somedays. No obvious direction. Then a smile. My first bit of philosophical thought in years. Why not just head off in the opposite direction to which way your bottom is currently pointing. Yes that works for me.

Bee

Slightly unnerving BEEing (being) eyeballed by this woolly friend. Couldn’t work out if it was admiring my silky garden football skills or was waiting for a Rich Tea biscuit. I lived in footballing worship hope until a biscuit was handed over and the woolly one then walked off.

Not always but occasionally life balances itself out. This morning I finished my last bit of paid work before the company basically shuts down for a couple of months (maybe longer). So no money coming in. As I closed the work laptop the phone rang. It was the garage, they still can’t get the parts needed for my cars poorly braking system. They will keep trying but the repair work won’t happen much before May. That’s a bit of a result. Won’t BEE (be) using the car much at all and that’s one hefty bill kicked into the long grass.

Talking about long grass. Last year someone gave me a wild bee hotel. The poor souls are struggling here so I thought I would do my bit. A quiet corner in the garden has been allowed to go wild. To be factually correct that should have been described as – I have let a part of the badly overgrown garden to go even wilder than the rest of the mess…

Anyway in the wild corner I have carefully located the bee hotel. Still no little takers after many months. I remember my Dad telling me that the first bee you see in spring is probably looking for a new home. He was a stubborn Yorkshireman so I never dared to question his apicultural knowledge. So our first bee of the season arrived.

A bee clearly fixated on trying to squeeze under the back door and get into our house. I tried showing the bee the currently vacant and palatial hotel. As hard as I pointed at the hotel’s front door, the bee just ignored me. Even a little honey failed to entice the bee. UnBEElievable (Unbelievable)

My question to you. What is the bee phrase for ‘Sorry pal your not coming in here. This thing I’m pointing at is your free of charge new house. I will even feed you each day.”