Old…

Dad I have to interview someone for Food Technology. That person has to be old apparently. That’s you then Dad”

Charming….But sadly very true….

****that’s the thing about Aspergers with Hawklad. He tells it as it is, no filters.****

Dad I have to ask you about the confectionery you used to eat as a child. I’ve seen the photos, you clearly liked the odd one or two sugar bars…..”

****sadly also very true****

What were your favourite sweets and chocolates all those many centuries ago….”

Decades boy not centuries…. That would be midget gems, flying saucers, black jacks, milk guns, fizz wiz, pineapple cubes, cherry lips and refreshers. Chocolate it would have been Toblerone, Marathon, Wagon Wheels, Minstrels, Revels,Time Outs, Banjos and Curly Wurly’s.

Dad why is it that when I ask you about science, history or art you just look blank at me. Yet I mention chocolates and sweets and I can’t stop you talking….”

Got to get my priorities right.

What’s the biggest changes with current confectionery then Dad?”

Well some of the stuff have disappeared. Some stuff has changed name. What’s this thing called Snicker Bars – it’s a Marathon…. And the sizes. Much much bigger in my day as you can tell from the old photos of my tummy.

Last question Dad. What was the worst thing about confectionery in your day….”

Well I dread to think what they put in those old sweets and chocolate bars. E Numbers were classed as one of your 5 a day healthy options back then. And then some of the stuff was so wrong. One of my favourite chocolates was pretend cigarettes. They were made to look like cigarettes and even came in a realistic cigarette packet.

Dad what were they thinking of…”

Getting kids hooked on smoking. Making money and seeing children as a commodity to make money from. Sadly that hasn’t changed….

Tired

Back to dark, moody weather. Apparently it’s warmer that’s why I’m wearing a wooly hat, gloves and 38 layers….

You know your tired when you function without using your brain. You make a drink with the coffee machine but forget to put a cup in the holder. You drop a full toilet roll into the bowl. You put your shirt on inside out and back to front. You give the cat dog food and the dog gets cat food. The washing machine programme settings are several pay grades above your abilities. And you microwave a tub of mint chocolate ice cream rather than a frozen cottage pie.

Yep getting a few of those days recently.

And then I just have to raise the brain fail stakes….

Cutting hair while tired. Starting to trim without putting the No2 guard on. In fact NO guard. End result a rather fashionable shaved area. On the plus side it’s a national lockdown so no-one outside the house is going to see it for weeks. Plenty of time to grow back. And as my parents would say ‘a rider on a passing horse won’t notice..’. They would also say ‘only 2 days between a bad hair cut and a you need to comb your hair cut’ – in this case make that a few weeks…..

Cold

Do I fancy walking through that. Captain Chaos most definitely does. Maybe even squeeze in a good roll about in that glorious mud. It would certainly be a cold experience.

So the first day of the National Lockdown has passed by. To be fair I didn’t notice much change. Didn’t see any one walking on the street and the fields remained empty. Hardly any traffic on the roads. Spookily quiet. But actually it was like that before the lockdown started. That’s village life for you. So I seemingly had the world to myself as I walked the dog early in the morning. It was a good time to think and contemplate life.

If 2021 is another year of isolation, which it could be….

What do I want out of this year?

Here’s the thing about depression with me. It clouds my mind with so many negative thoughts. Makes me look back anxiously rather than look forward with hope. So on this particular dog walk the ‘what do I want’ question wasn’t yielding the uplifting messages that it should have. Best I could manage wasn’t much more than

  • Not completely messing up the homeschooling gig,
  • Trying not to put on weight,
  • Keeping the bank off my back,
  • Hanging on to what I have,
  • Not losing my marbles,
  • Trying not to go backwards,
  • Just surviving….

All too negative. So yes I have much to work on. But I will. Can’t thank my friends here enough. You have been so supportive, caring and encouraging. Thank you ❤️. Because of you I feel more confident that I will find my way again. Then I can walk the dog across the fields and come up with more uplifting goals.

WE can do this.

Star Wars

A new day. New hope.

I should pen the next Star Wars movie.

**********

Dad what are you looking at Amazon for?”

I was kind of toying with the idea of getting ME a Lego set.

Which one Dad?”

I’ve always wanted the Star Wars Death Star. Wanted that for years. Maybe even the Millennium Falcon.

Are you going to buy one then?”

No. Definitely No. have you seen the prices. Death Star is £600 and the Falcon is £250.

Wow. Think of the milkshakes you could buy me with that money…”

Stop sniggering, I might just get that big box of loose lego out and make my own creation. Much cheaper and probably more fun.

Dad you could script out a new Star Wars movie..”

That’s an idea. Could give myself a role in the movie. Maybe a heroic Jedi night. Maybe the new Hans Solo. Maybe even the dashing new evil Sith Lord….

No Dad, only one rule for you. Jabba The Hut….”

I walked right into that one 😂

L

Cinema

It’s that time of year. A definite feel to the movies we have watched. Can you see the theme.

Scrooged

Home Alone 1, 2, 3, 5

The Grinch

A Christmas Carol

Muppets Christmas Carol

The Santa Clause 1,2,3

Elf

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

The Polar Express.

For me I just can’t quite catch the connection. Sure there must be one if I look hard enough.

One of the things that feels amiss this most odd year (that doesn’t work as 2020 is even) is the cinema experience. Before Hawklad we would always have a Christmas trip to the pictures (as my mum would have said). A meal before hand and then a movie. Such a lovely experience. So many wonderful memories.

Taking my mum to see The Horse Whisperer on Boxing Day. She hadn’t been to the pictures in 40 years. She was most puzzled not to watch the Pathe News segment before the movie. She refused to get up at the end and waited until the credits played through. Apparently she was waiting for the National Anthem to be played…

Trips with my partner to see huge blockbusters on Christmas Eve like the Lord of the Rings Movies. Then coming out in time to sing carols in the city centre.

Even after the world changed Hawklad and I kept the tradition going. A changed Aspergers tradition. We would take in the first, early morning screenings of movies like Jumanji and the Rise of Skywalker. Popcorn at 8am works on so many levels. Then we would go and get him his favourite takeout. All before midday.

But this year it’s no cinema. Any trip is just so out of reach for Hawklad and his anxieties. The world has changed. Even the prospect of Wonder Woman and Black Widow epics won’t overcome those fears. Maybe the trips to the Pictures have stopped for good. We will just have to see what the future holds but life goes on. It’s time to recreate that Christmas tradition at home. So we will pick a movie. A good movie. Set the dvd off at 8am. Microwaved popcorn in plentiful supply. The Christmas Cinema tradition continues.

Fence

Which side of the fence is best?

I had a call with Hawklads new health specialist. She will (pesky pandemic dependent) come out to see him for the first time in January. Continuity is so important for someone on the spectrum. It takes time to earn trust and confidence. Those bridges when they come down are slow to be rebuilt. Having had a wonderful health lead for three years we are now in a spell of meet one, quickly see one disappear. Fingers crossed this time.

It’s clear what the medical opinion still is. Any meaningful progress is extremely unlikely until this virus is well under control. When it’s clear that the vaccine which has been administered works effectively and does protect. Only then can any progress be realistically contemplated. Prepare to bunker down for 2021. 2022 might be the first gateway to a more open life for our little family. I also have to accept the risk that progress does not happen for Hawklad. Bridges are not built. This is the new world.

I remain clear. It’s Hawklads life. He makes the call. I will support which ever route he goes down.

So will he return to school in January? Most likely NO. Will he make it back before the end of the school year in July. Probably NO. Will he start the new school year in September. Definitely no guarantee.

It feels like we are in one side of a fence. The side that feels limited but safe. The other side of the fence opens up the world, broadens his horizons but…….

The one advantage of brexiti

Dad Brexit has some advantages!”

Ok Hawklad. Off the top of my head after 4 years I’m struggling to think of one but go on then, what is it….

Well it’s going to be much harder for people from Britain to get into Europe. As we are quite annoying that must be a good thing for those in places like France and Germany. Less annoying people in their country.”

We are very annoying. Very obnoxious and exceedingly grumpy. So yes I will give you that advantage. But it’s a double edge sword. If there are less of us lot in Europe then that will mean there are more of us lot here. That’s not a good thing.

Well you get use to it. I’ve got use to living with YOU. That’s not been easy. You have to admit that. What do you describe yourself as…”

A sporting super being I think….

No definitely not that Dad”

A brain power colossus.

On wow where do I start with that…. No what’s the word that starts with a V which you call yourself Dad”

Voluptuous

I don’t even want to know what that means… the other word Dad start with V”

Vexing…..

That’s the one”

Clear the mist.

A brief break in the weather but then within minutes it’s back to this.

Another home at school week almost done. One more to go before the holiday break. A break which will start a day early. Schools have been asked at very short notice by the so called Government to consider closing before next Friday. Friday is when the National pandemic restrictions are relaxed for a week or so. Apparently they are worried about running schools at the same time as having limited restrictions in the place. So our school is reluctantly closing early.

I’m sure the kids won’t lose too much sleep over that.

So where do we find ourselves on the school at home project. Well Hawklad is still gamely plodding along. If it’s in the right direction – who knows. I guess we will find out in the next week or so when the term reports are sent out. That’s the thing Hawklad just doesn’t really know. Yes knowing what he has to do in the lesson has improved. Most of the subjects now have a teaching assistant who will either email him or will put some lesson material on the online system. Unfortunately there still are subjects that either just dump some random documents onto the system without any explanation or just forget about him. But at least most subjects are working better.

The real problem is feedback or the lack of it. There are 3 or 4 subjects that do try to give feedback. Not as much as he got in class but it’s still good feedback. A couple more subjects where he might get the very occasional brief comment. But in too many subjects he has had zero feedback. Nothing in a whole term. Not even marks back from work or homework submitted.

So yes we wait with baited breath for the term report. We don’t even know if he will be marked as having 100% attendance or as 100% missing in action. Hopefully that report will clear some of the mist….

Good for something

Where’s our biscuits….

If I have biscuits in my pocket then I am one of the worlds great sheep dogs. See I’m good for something.

Dad how would you factorise this equation.”

Within seconds I showed Hawklad how to do it. And the next 10 questions. Dad enjoying his chance to shine.

DAD…. I got. No we got. No YOU got all 10 questions wrong. I thought you were ace with numbers. You are an Accountant…”

Opps…..

That moment to shine didn’t last long. After a few moments I figured out the error of my ways. But the damage was done.

Dad hopefully the 50% of your DNA that I’ve been blessed with is focused on important stuff like eyelashes, eyebrows and the hair you get on your butt when get older …. The other stuff focusing on the less important stuff like intelligence can be mums genes….

At least I’m good for something….

South of France

It’s Monday. It’s grey. It’s wet. It’s cold. It’s getting really boring…..

Hawklad summed it up perfectly

What on earth where you thinking. Why didn’t you and mum move to the South of France. Somewhere warm… this weather is nothing short of torture. Think of the money you would have saved on jumpers and heating bills. I actually wouldn’t be now wearing two coats, a mega jumper and three T-shirt’s

He does have a point. Our winters are usually not much fun. Cold, windy and wet. But we don’t tend to get snow. So we don’t get the upside of winter. Just the downside stuff.

Warm I can handle.

Snow I would love.

But just not our weather. Week after week of this.

Dad what are you doing?”

I am putting the solar powered Christmas lights up outside.

What’s the point I bet they don’t work. It’s too dark. I bet they would work brilliantly in the a South of France. Oh wait. You never moved there….”