It’s not far from here that Hawklad wants to scatter some of his mums ashes. Yes 6 years and they are still sat on a cabinet in the back room. A view through the window over the garden and the fields beyond.
It will happen in its own time.
It will happen when it’s right for Hawklad.
We could see the place where we want to scatter his mum but we couldn’t walk there. Not this time. A place which his mum loved to visit. This time we couldn’t follow in her footsteps. Two rather angry bodyguards blocked the way.
Maybe next time.
Things can change.
Soon it’s going to be Mothers Day here in the UK. A couple of weeks of nonstop adverts which are almost impossible to avoid. How many kids have lost there mum and have to go through that. But this year we have a first. A supermarket that we order food from has just sent this email.
This is a start. It’s a small step but a welcome step.
Another cool and breezy Yorkshire summer’s day. The kinda day that always works better with black and white.
It’s five years to the day that I found out from the Consultant that my partner had weeks to live and was likely never to regain full consciousness again. From that day life changed. Not a gradual, planned change. This was a sudden, seismic explosion. Almost everything seemed to cave in. Nothing would ever be the same again. Those doorways onto my then current life slammed shut and locked forever.
The one single thing that kept me going back in 2016 was Hawklad. I had one job now. Give him the best possible childhood I couldpossibly manage, on my own. At that stage I was living purely though my son’s eyes. Change had to somehow work for him .
Life was now different. Unplanned. Very much unscripted. It felt like that the life that had gone before was a more protected. More manageable. This new world seemed very real, very scary with no protection. But I guess that’s change for you. Often it’s too easy to have a change of heart. Avoid the consequences of change. Stick with the your current hand. But in that bleak 2016 moment, sticking with what I had was not an option. Change was happening and there was nothing I could do to stop it. That’s such an unnerving feeling.
Life has changed for me. There was nothing I could do to stop that. Some of that change was awful. Soul destroying. In the immediate aftermath most things felt that way. But now five years later the change that was forced upon me has largely worked out. And whisper it, much of the change has been positive or was in practice badly needed anyway. And yes in some really important areas things are actually better now than they have ever been.
Surely he can’t be still going on about work emails……yep those work emails often more about social nights out…..
Trips to pubs, meals out at restaurants. Even growing excitement for some to returning to nightclubs.
Each to their own…..
Since life changed for me these things seem like alien concepts to me. It’s been years since I’ve been to a pub, to sit down at a restaurant. Actually I don’t think that I’ve been a to nightclub this century… it’s that long that when I last went they were still called DISCOS…. My only social outings now are the occasional football match or rock concert.
Parenting, Aspergers Parenting, Bereavement, Single Parenting, Reduced size of the close family support network. These all contribute to a different social life. A struggle at first but not anymore. I’m relaxed about my changed social life.
So if you offered me a free pass out today. Definitely no pub. Definitely no nightclub. Probably no sit down at a restaurant. Actually probably no football now. Yes a concert would be fun. But this afternoon I would definitely take one option. Sat on a seafront, maybe sat on a beach. Tucking into a takeaway. Enjoying salty fish and chips. Thinking just how lucky I really am.
Britain is getting back to NORMAL. That’s what our so called Prime Minister tells us under his still to be combed hair. It was also confirmed by our postman. Apparently this week, three kind souls have either sneezed or coughed over the postie without bothering to cover their mouths – never mind them not wearing masks. With a shrug of the shoulders the postman sadly left with the comment ‘back to normal then’…..
Here’s the thing. Was the old normal that good…..
Surely we should be aiming for something better than just going back to the old normal.
It’s not as if the last year has just been a little blip in the world. We have gone through something which is of historic significance. It has changed so many things. So many have suffered. So much has been lost. Surely with something this significant there should be changes. Some enforced by life but surely some changes should be driven by us. Driven by us to make the world and our life’s BETTER. Not just being happy with the old normal.
The mobile phone is leading a charmed life. Yesterday it found its way into the garden refuse bin. Today as I weeded suddenly the little bucket next to me I was filling with weeds started playing music. Never been so thankful for one of those nuisance marketing call.
With the mobile safely back in my pocket. I got back on with the job of weeding.
Then another call. A work call. 60 minutes worth of …… what’s the word I’m looking for. I can think of a few, some I can even safely write down…
After 60 minutes I was so tempted to switch the mobile off and voluntarily drop it back in the garden waste bin. I’m old enough to remember a time before mobile technology AND today I vote for going back to then….
So each night Hawklad tries to walk a few more yards. To extend is external walk. To slowly start to build bridges again. Last night he bailed out early as he saw people in the distance. But it is progress. It’s a start. At some stage he will be ready to even face people again. But in his own time. Whether that happens before he leaves school, who knows.
I do worry that too many countries are just thinking vaccines. No other permanent changes required. The vaccine will beat the pandemic and return us to that wonderful former world….
But surely with a mutating virus which is still spreading and still so endemic, all a vaccine does is buy us time. It gives us a chance to make changes. To find ways to live safely. To get support out to the people who need it. To increasingly try to make it harder for the virus to spread and thus mutate.
But here’s the thing. The vaccine doesn’t really help with the growing tide of mental health issues facing our society. Speaking with the team trying to support Hawklad. They are being swamped by rising child mental health problems (and the identified problems are just scratching the surface of the real volume of problems out there). Plus was the old world that perfect. Even before a pandemic there was a mental health crisis.
Society and Governments need to quickly wake up to this. There are somethings a vaccine can’t fix for them…..
It’s been a while since I ran past here. Beautiful Castle Howard. Looking back at the dates on the photos it was February 2020.
I’m the kinda person who worries. Often imagine the worst things. All that can go wrong (not often looking at all that could go right). That Marvel Dr Strange thing. Endlessly going through all the potential scenarios. Well the bad ones. But back those 14 months as hard as I tried I would not have ever envisioned the crazy and awful events which did take place. A pandemic. Lockdowns.
So what is the point of worrying about what might or might not happen down the line. It doesn’t help at all in the long run. Especially as the worrying is not an exact science.
The other thing is that worrying just about the potential bad stuff misses all the potential great stuff that could happen. Even with the pandemic. It’s been dreadful but look at all the fantastic people who have stepped up and done wonderful things. The heroes helping others. The sacrifices many have been prepared to make for the greater good.
Going forward surely if I’m going to try and think about the future I would be better off starting first with all the potential good stuff that might happen. That sounds like a plan.
A few years back before parenting happened I played for a little village cricket team. They had a lovely tree lined cricket ground. Sadly the land was sold and they had to move. They moved to some land set on a sea cliff, right next to the edge. After every storm one side of the pitch shrunk by an inch or so. Washed out to sea. It was usually really cold. Not a tree in sight. On the other side of the pitch was a water treatment facility. Get a wind from the West and the smell brought tears to your eyes.
The actually pitch wasn’t exactly flat more like a mountain range….. And every April at the start of the season the outfield was covered in Daffodils.
It seemed that all our fears about the move were justified.
The cricket team was allowed to use the field by the local landowner for free. The two rules he insisted on was that he got a game for the team and as he liked Daffodils, we weren’t allowed to cut them back even if they started growing on the pitch. So yes we played around them. Made the game different. Took a lot of getting used to. But soon we got used to the change. And actually it was FUN. To the point that when the daffodils died back, we missed them. The game didn’t seem as good. Yes it was cold but the view over the sea was stunning. Even the Water Treatment Centre worked out great. They started sponsoring the team and soon we started getting brand new gear.
That’s the thing, change doesn’t have to be bad thing. Often change works out just fine and in fact can improve life. Improve it in ways you just can’t visualise before it happens.
Well the folklore weather phrase is almost right. The forecast is for the weather to cloud over as the day goes on and then the rain starts this evening. Lots of it. Two days solid heavy rain. Then the gales arrive.
That lake might just get a little bigger…..
We were watching the latest Wonder Woman movie last night. Don’t worry I’m not planning to give any major spoilers away. Now I could talk about a few scenes dealing with grief. But no. Not this time. Just to say that even in a bizarre, fantasy, superhero movie – they still can sting……
No the scene that I’m going to mention is one where a wardrobe is ransacked and different outfits are tried on. If you see the movie then you will know the one I mean. It was pretty amusing. But it got me thinking about my wardrobe. An IKEA sliding door brute that even Wonder Woman isn’t ever shifting. The wardrobe is little visited these days. Life happens and things change. I haven’t worn a suit since the funerals of 2016. Most of the shirts are untouched since they were last ironed dating back to when my partner was still here.
Since March 2020 we have been in our local family lockdown. I that time I have worn jeans just once. Walking trousers not at all. For months on end I’ve just lived in tracksuits, shorts, joggers, T-shirt’s, hoodies and jumpers. If your not going anywhere or seeing anyone then WHY NOT.
Maybe I should have a sort out. Get rid of sone stuff as I probably won’t be needing as many things going forward. But then again. What would I do with the space. I could get a much smaller wardrobe but without Wonder Woman’s help I’m not winning that battle with that IKEA beast.
So let’s leave it for the time being and get back to looking at the lake. A much more pleasant thought than that IKEA wardrobe one….
2020 is definitely a year of firsts. Still a few weeks to go but maybe it’s safe to call the result in some areas….
First year in decades without a visit to a hairdresser,
First year in decades without a visit to see my football team get beat (a moan is good for the soul),
First year without caffeine,
First year with Tai Chi,
First year in decades without buying a parking ticket,
First year in decades without standing on a mountain top,
First year in decades without mooching around a record or book store,
First year of not meeting up with a member of my family,
First year of turning up at a family birthday party and suddenly realising that I bought exactly the same present last year,
First year without buying fish and chips,
First year without walking on a beach,
First time lockdown applied to me,
First year without a visit to an historical site,
First year without accidentally bumping into someone you didn’t want to in the supermarket. Then spending the next 30 minutes trying to shop and avoid that person. Hiding behind a mask is way more easy,
First year without visiting a garden shop to buy a plant and then killing that plant off within weeks,
First year of not popping into a sweet shop and asking for a quarter of midget gems,
First year of not popping into a climbing store and looking at all the new gear (even though I don’t climb anymore),
First year of not making a single journey on public transport,
First year of not popping into a bakery for a quick top up on a pasty,
First year of not going to the cinema,
First year in decades without going for a bike ride,
First year without getting half way round a bike ride and thinking – why is Yorkshire so pigging hilly,
First year were I haven’t bothered checking the wear on my cars tyres as they bar not being used,
First year of not physically meeting up with a friend to do something,
First year in decades of not venturing into a DIY store (Yeh!!!😀😀😀),
First year without going clothes shopping, buying that item which might be fun and then driving back thinking – what have I just done.
So yes I don’t think we will forget 2020 in while.