Frustration

It looks like Yorkshire. It feels like Yorkshire. Its moody, dark, windy and cold. It is Yorkshire. Some places are perfect for growing olives, oranges, pineapples and coconuts. The climate in some places are just perfect for fantastic wine. Here in Yorkshire the climate is perfect for Rhubard…..says it all doesn’t it.

How difficult can a Science test be.

The answer – a nightmare.

40 minutes to complete 20 questions. Sounds easy. Questions about Pressure, Force, Springs and Moments. Not easy for Hawklad but seemed to get there. Worked stuff out in his head. But that’s only part the story. The real story is trying to get the answers to the teacher. He can answer the questions in his head but then struggles to record them. It’s such an effort to type or write for him that he losses the answers he has in his mind. He can confuse himself or just forget. Even trying to write and type as he goes along doesn’t work, it seems to disrupt his thinking. Ends up going round in circles.

The other option is a scribe. But talking out aloud makes him nervous and makes it harder for him to answer correctly. Often what he describes is different to the answer he has visualised.

How frustrating must that be.

Are you sure

A moment of quiet contemplation between the mayhem. A penny for his thoughts.

I wonder if it was ‘in a few minutes I get a chance to really bark at the shopping delivery driver’.

Well he needed patience today. Definitely late delivery.

We are so fortunate to be able to book a weekly food delivery. Ok what comes is a little random but it so helps during these strange lockdown days. The drivers are usually really friendly and helpful. Today it was a new driver who looked only just old enough to drive the van. About an hour late the phone rang.

“I’ve been sat outside for 10 minutes and your not in. I’ve food to be delivered.”

Sorry but you are not outside our house.

Yes I am”

Sorry I can’t see you on our drive.

‘Well I am parked on your drive”

Sorry but your not. You might be at the wrong house.

Definitely not, I’m here”

Wait a second and I will see if I can see you….. I can see you. I’m waving at you. You are at the wrong house.

No you must have used put the wrong address on the order. It says xxxxxxxxx as the address ”

Yes that’s our house address. It’s the one that has been used by the supermarket for 9 months. It’s the address to this house not the one your parked at.

Are you sure…..”

Strangely yes I am sure. I’m currently stood outside my house and you are parked outside the wrong house.

*******

Finally the van arrived at the correct address. The food was delivered and then the deep philosophical discussion continued.

That house had the same colour door as the one you included in your instructions..”

I don’t think it does. I put on the order that our house had a white door. That one over there has a brown door.

It’s very confusing I bet the other drivers have struggled to find you.”

No you are the first to get lost.

For the future could you add some more detail to the delivery address.”

So apart from the correct address, the correct colour door, instructions on how to get to our house from both village entrances. The ones which are on the order already – what would you suggest.

Anything to make it clearer….”

*********

So on the next order maybe I should include the door colours that do not apply to our house. A note saying that it might be an idea to check the door number on the door matches the one on the order. And listen out for the really noisy dog. That should do it…

Doolittle

I think I’m starting to channel my inner Dt Doolittle. Fit those without this gift can I translate the look I’m getting from the sheep.

Will you stop taking photos and please go and fetch the biscuits. Doris is in the other field so you don’t need the Digestives. Now be a good chap and get the packet of Rich Tea. By the way you really don’t suit cycle shorts…

So that’s what I did. It was biscuits for all our wooly jumper friends.

If only my Doolittle skills extended to people. Would have come in useful this morning. A mid morning knock at the door and a delivery driver. As I opened the door she preceded to talk to me in a foreign language. For many seconds….. I just smiled and nodded. She pointed to the parcel on the floor and started to walk off. She suddenly stopped turned round and in English said

Please tell I haven’t just spoken to you in polish”

Having confirmed that she spent the next two minutes apologising. Apparently she forgets some times. And with that said she said goodbye and left. I still don’t have a clue what she said in polish though. She forgot to mention that….

Odd

Oh Yorkshire. You are such a beautiful county. Ok a bit cold, wet and windy. But definitely beautiful.

Beautiful, cold, wet, windy and a tad ODD. Look at me… Ok I’m not beautiful but the other 4 things most definitely do apply.

I think the weather has a tendency to make us a little odd here. You can tell by some of the things you here. Let’s go through a few Yorkshire words which stick in my mind. There are others but many spectacularly fail the decency bar.

I remember my school teacher announcing to the class. “Tomorrow 3C you get new classmates joining you. Brother and Sister. They are called Esmeralda and Oscar. With names like that they must be from Lancashire…..”. The funny thing was that they actually were born in Lancashire. The other funny thing was that our class was called 3C, which was ironic as the school only had two classes.

I remember going on a secondary school trip to The Yorkshire Dales. As we got off the bus the Teacher went though the safety rules. No mention of the nearby cliffs, caves or army firing range. “Right you need to climb that mountain and come back here. I would normally join you but I’ve forgotten my boots so I’m going to sit with the bus driver and listen to the cricket on the radio. Don’t get lost. Don’t go further than the mountain cairn as beyond that is Lancashire. Venture in there and you will be a lost soul forever….” Lancashire is our neighbouring county. Yorkshire is on the East and Lancashire is on the West of England. Both counties have been basically hurling abuse at each other for centuries. It has descended into Civil War and bloodletting over the English Throne. Thankfully it’s just verbal abuse and a couple of annual mad cricket matches these days.

I remember hearing a tourist ask a local in York how to get to the train station. The locals response was spectacularly helpful “Well Lad I wouldn’t start from here”. He then walked off….

I was stood on a Yorkshire Train Platform when the station announcer called out the next train to arrive. She finished off with the following helpful words. “The train on platform ….. will be departing in two minutes for London and the South, my thoughts are with those passengers at this difficult time for them as they head off into the badlands. There is still time for you to change your mind.”

As a kid my next door neighbour was a bit of a character. He would sing to his Rhubard patch every day. Usually things like ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ and ‘We will meet again’. It was an experience as he had a singing voice equivalent to a misfiring tractor engine reversing over a long line of exposed toes. Anyway one day I picked up the courage to ask him why he sang to his Rhubard. His response ‘They have feelings ya know’. Apparently he would wee on them as well. Clearly not that bothered about their feelings.

I remember my Dad often telling me that “this was the wrong type of rain for the plants”. “The rain has far too much water in it….”.

When I was at Uni I had to program a robotic arm. For a joke I decided to change all the user input instructions away from English into Yorkshire slang words. As you do! Unfortunately when I tested it for the first time eckie thump wasn’t the instruction to lower the arm cradle gentle to the table. I should have told the robot to wazzock. Eckie thump basically sent an expensive piece of robotics smashing through the table causing untold damage. Yorkshire was banned from the laboratory, probably still is.

I had been Rock Climbing in deepest Yorkshire and had popped into a remote pub for some lunch. Looking at the meat full menu I asked the Landlord if he had a vegetarian option. This clearly perplexed him. He scanned the menu board for a few moments and then asked “The best vegetarian option will be the Pork Sausages. They won’t have that much Pork in them most days….”. He did deliver as he made me one of the worlds greatest chip butties.

Final mention has to be left with out very own Yorkshire born Hawklad. He had been pestering me to take him to the KFC Restaurant. Finally I succumbed and took him. As the helpful assistant asked him what variant of southern fried chicken he would like. Hawklad responded “Have you got anything else to eat rather than chicken. I’m not keen on CHICKEN…..”.

So yes Yorkshire is most definitely ODD. But it is staggeringly beautiful.

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.

Failure to communicate

I wonder what it’s like not to communicate. Doesn’t seem to do the roses any harm. I guess they communicate in other ways – scent, colour, thorns….

When I communicate it too often messes up or the point completely misses its target. One day I will find a way.

I also said something similar about my football team. One day they will be crowned champions. I’m still waiting. The last time was 1926-1927. Even I am not that old.

So I should have known better when I picked up the phone to school. Maybe I could still persuade school to be a bit more proactive with our son. Give him a tad more support at home. Maybe even some feedback on how his submitted work is looking. Even possibly if school would work with me by using the enforced time at home to try out some new learning approaches. For example a more online and interactive approach to learning French.

Twenty minutes later. Well that went well. NOT. So basically nothing will change unless the school is forced to go into lockdown. At that stage more support and access to online systems will be opened up to all pupils. Must admit school is following Government guidance and is clearly experiencing some staff shortages. Anyway I got the proverbial Talk To The Hand.

So yes verbal communication is vastly overrated.

Moon

A few nights back we had the most glorious full moon. Appearing to be much larger than normal but what took the breath away was the colour. For about 20 minutes it was a free cosmic air show. Almost like a second sun. My poor mobile struggled to capture it but I did my best.

While talking through the show our Son misspoke a common phrase. It’s always a dilemma whether to correct him or not. We’ve had conflicting advice from a number of professionals on the best way to handle communication skills and Aspergers. The approach I’ve taken (certainly not saying it’s the best) is to quietly point it out then immediately reinforce that everyone does these things AND his Dad is as bad as anyone. This is so important with our Son because the slightest thing can effect his confidence. After I pointed this one out he immediately stumbled over his next few words. So the Silly Dad stories got trotted out.

The time I was supposed to say Area and said ARSE.

The time I was delivering a team talk and my stammer crashed back into operation over the word Operational. After seconds of not being able to say Operational I did my normal trick of replacing the word with something easier to pronounce. Unfortunately this time the brain decided to replace it with OCTOPUS.

As a kid I was playing cricket and I got struck in the balls with the very hard ball. Absolute agony. To make things worse I was given detention for saying my balls really hurt, maybe I should count them’. Apparently this was inappropriate language. So later I asked the sports teacher what was an acceptable phrase. He kindly told me that the ‘nether regionswas the phrase I should use. Unfortunately I misheard him and for years I called them ‘my Netherlands‘.

Thankfully this made Son laugh and his little bit of mispronunciation was forgotten. Then it was back to the Moon show.