Worries

There is something truly magical about a Walk in the Woods when the weather has closed in. It can be the start of so many stories and adventures.

A planned meet-up with my sister failed today. Hawklad agreed to go for it and then my sisters car went on strike. These things happen. A distraction would have been good. Just one of those days in which Hawklad’s anxieties spiked. When they hit, they hit in waves. Not just one thing, a range of things. When he gets kind of on top of one thing, two more jump in to replace them. Doesn’t matter that it’s Christmas Eve, these anxiety waves can hit at any time. They confuse his thought process. They cause him sensory overload. They stop him in his tracks.

I know what it’s feels like. I’ve been there as well.

Distraction sometimes works. Pacing about. Scooby Doo. Lego. Walks. But at some stage we have to work through the anxieties. Try to unpick them. Put them into context. Do what we can.

Slowly this time, the waves begin to subside. You can tell when he is getting there. The first signs

“Dad where is The Big Red Fella on Track Santa”

On his way to Madagascar apparently. He arrives in 7 minutes.

“I wonder just how many in England have been put on the naughty list this year”

It’s probably more a massive database than a list. You won’t be on it.

“Dad you are officially on the naughty list with that jumper of yours. Even Elton John wouldn’t wear that.”

I will have you know it’s a handmade Italian climbing sweater.

“Which they export for muppets like you to buy because no self respecting Italian will ever wear that.”

Harsh but fair….

“Why in earth is it about three sizes to big for you…”

I bought it when I was climbing in Wales years ago. My size was standard price but the garden shed size was 80% off. That’s a bargain I couldn’t turn down.

“But it’s far too big for you…”

It’s not that big….

“Dad there’s more room in that jumper than in our loft, a family of 4 could live in there”

That’s mostly down to all the weight I’ve lost on my diets

“If only Dad….”

Ok. It is a tad big. I can change my T-shirt without taking it off. But I could give it to you. Think of it as a precious hand me down from father to son.

“Just NO. That would really give me something to worry about…..”

####he chuckled at that one, that’s a good sign###

Time

It’s carnage on the roads today. Proper gridlock.

The amount of time I used to waste on the roads. Rush hour first thing, then rush hour on the way home. Travelling distances for meetings. Rushing here and there. Grabbing a sandwich while scurrying to my next appointment. Surviving on ever increasing amounts of caffeine. Time I could have spent truly living, doing things that truly matter. It wasn’t until single parenting forced me out of the rat race that I finally managed to see this. Time passed me by and I didn’t even notice. You don’t get that time back. What was I thinking about.

Now it’s a different life. My priorities have changed. Being a Mum and Dad, Single parenting, homeschooling, housework, trying to keep a part time job going. All mostly done without reference to an appointments diary AND NO TIME LOST in the rush hour, work madness.

When the world changed I kinda assumed that it was just about putting my career on hold. Maybe somewhere after 2023 the career would live again. It doesn’t work like that. I now realise that old life has gone full stop…… Other priorities, other commitments, I’m a different person. A new realisation.

Life has to be about making the most of precious time and not letting it slip through my fingers stuck in permanent traffic jams and never ending meeting cycles. Now the stuff I do MATTERS. If I don’t do it then it doesn’t happen. Can’t do that as a parent. Contrast that with the rat race. Do they even know that I quit my career. Did anyone notice one less driver stuck in the traffic queues.

YES, one person most definitely has.

YES my son. I’m there for him when he needs me, that doesn’t happen if I’m stuck on the M1 somewhere near Junction 42. I’m not there for him if I’m chasing my career.

Time really matters…….

Let’s go walking

Let’s go walking

An early finish to the school day. A big advantage of the school at home project. Usually if a teacher forgets to issue work then we chase it up. Not this day. If the teacher forgets (and they did) let’s not remind them. Let’s see if they notice (and they didn’t).

An early finish means time for a long walk. I so wish Hawklad could use the time to meet up with friends. But as he is stuck with his gnarly Muppet Dad then the next best thing is a walk. Hawklad’s idea.

A walk from our house which we had never fully done before. 15km and we never saw another soul. Perfect for Hawklad.

Definitely beats school and school never missed him.

Thoughts

A path across the hills.

A path frequented by farmers, dog walkers and intrepid Muppet Dads. A path that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere in particular. Meandering around hedgerows and the occasional isolated tree. One of those locations that you can so easily get lost. Definitely a great place to lose yourself. One day it might even be a cool place to find myself.

It’s been one of those days with too much thinking time. Plenty of thinking yet no real insight. No new paths opening up while managing to add more roadblocks to existing roads ahead. It’s been one of those days. Feeling like it’s one step forward, two back and a few too many sideways. That feeling isn’t much fun sat in the house.

But on a path across the hills, it just means more walking is required….

Tree

That’s a tree that deserves to be in a Lord of the Rings story.

So does this mushroom.

I wished I was in that Tolkien world this morning. Without any lesson notes or teaching guidance, Hawklad was trying to answer questions about Stoichiometry and reaction ratios. So in stepped Muppet Dad with his College Chemistry. It didn’t go well.

You know that you are seriously old when Atomic Theory has changed at least twice since you were at college.

Yep I like the sound of a world where people drop rings down big mountain holes, all without having to worry about what mass of Propane would burn in 48g of Oxygen.

And to answer your question. No Hawklad isn’t any closer to understanding this part of Chemistry. When I first started explaining I got the right answer. 13.2g. An hour later and I’m doubting my reasoning. What chance has Hawklad got when I confused myself. That is quite easily done these days.

But here’s the thing. Apart from in one exam, how many times will Hawklad come across Propane to Oxygen ratios. I bet Tolkien appears far more regularly. Maybe a course in Tolkien would be on much more use in life. It certainly will be more rewarding.

Brave New World

Empty shelves in the shops, no petrol anywhere across the area, limited availability of blood test container tubes for Doctors resulting in the rationing of patient tests……..Another day in the Brave New World after Brexit.

As Hawklad rather adroitly put it this afternoon “this is what happens when a country needs leaders but votes in CLOWNS. Really nasty clowns.” As one commentator put it – the kinda clown who would happily pull out the plug on your life support machine so they could charge up their mobile phone.

It’s all going very dystopian here in Britain. To make the Huxley story link then we need a bit of genetically engineered trickery. What follows is the lamest link ever. Genetical engineering in the form of baking. My baking. Yes that is my latest bread loaf. Cheese topped Gluten Free, Dairy Free Honey and Sunflower Seed Bread. Huxley would be proud of me – it tastes rather fine. BUT…

“Dad that’s all very well but weren’t you supposed to be baking a sponge cake .”

Oh yes, I wondered why I was making bread when I already had a full homemade loaf still to eat. I must have got confused.

“That’s what happens when a kitchen needs a parent who knows what he’s doing and ends up with a MUPPET. Admittedly a muppet who can now bake bread.”

Longest

You know summer has gone when you return from an evening mad dog walk and you opt for a hot chocolate rather than a cold drink. Tonight was back to back drinks, that’s proper chilly.

“Dad we should go for a really long walk. Take Captain Chaos with us.”

That’s a big call for Hawklad. That might mean lots of gates to navigate without touching, increases the risk of meeting others. Needs to be carefully mapped out and planned. So maybe we could try to walk a bit further on the evening walk. It’s definitely quiet and I know exactly where the gates are.

Maybe he is thinking about building bridges. Getting use to being out in the big bad world again.

“No Dad we need to go much further but definitely when it’s quiet. It’s nothing to do with meeting people again.”

Ok then we might need to get up at dawn. Does he want to go anywhere in particular.

Apparently not. He just wants a long walk. Maybe it’s just a fitness thing. Maybe he thinks the four legged one needs more exercise.

Apparently not as well. So why does he want the long walk. Actually he wants his longest ever walk.

“It’s really about you Dad”

Oh I never saw that coming. Is he thinking I need to get out more. Maybe start hill walking again.

“No Dad. I was thinking this afternoon about my longest ever. Do you remember it. You took me when I had just started school for a short walk on the army land. You got lost and didn’t bother bringing a map because you didn’t need one. 5 hours later we got back to the car. Do you remember it rained and I didn’t have my coat as you said that I didn’t need one. We didn’t have any food or water. At one stage a soldier told us get back on the path”

Oh yes I remember that….

“I was thinking that my longest ever walk should have a purpose and not just be about my Dad being a muppet.”

He knows me to well……

Sunbathing

Sunbathing weather, Yorkshire style…..

Midday and it was fleece time.

It was definitely a day to dream. Dream of warmer lands, big adventures.

Hawklad clearly realised I was struggling. He said

“Dad treat yourself. What’s something you have always wanted to buy yourself…”

All I could think of was the Death Star Lego set.

“We’ll see how much it is on Amazon. You never know…..”

Well we did check. £750 for Lego. £750 smackers. Wow….

“Well Dad that’s silly money. Tell you what, buy me Ace Venturer on Prime Video and save yourself £745…it’s a bargain.”

I have just been hustled.

Candles

And the storms and power cuts continue. At times it’s felt like going old school. No tech, even limited mobile signal, no TV. It’s been a time for things like Lego, Board Games and Books. Even candles. Why do rooms look so good when all you have to illuminate them are a few small tea candles. I’m amazed that I found them and some matches as well.

It all brought out the inner Bear Grylls in me. Time to light a fire in the garden. Might give the hunting a miss. Maybe just hunt to find a few tins of soup and beans. Maybe brew some tea. Obviously I could have just used matches but no, the Bear was out. Almost felt like I should be putting face camouflage paint on.

Two hours later I was still trying to light the fire. Failed with the friction stick method. No sunlight so magnifying lens not possible -that method is never working in deepest Yorkshire. The flint and steel method was now proving as effective as my diet, useless. But here’s the thing. Madness had truly set in. Outside in the rain desperately trying to produce just one spark to survive. Madness because the power had come back on just under two hours ago….. Hawklad was inside playing on his Xbox and looking out, shaking his head at the nutter outside.

The nutter outside who had let self pride take over …..

And no I didn’t ever get that fire going.

PANTS.

Uranium

In Food Technology today Hawklad was set the task to research how wheat is turned into flour. I was expecting this would set him off about the health aspects of bread. Maybe the additives used.

But NO.

His line of attack was – flour mills go through all those stages, make all, that effort, spend all that time. This is on top of the months of hard work performed by Mother Nature. So much effort and then a certain muppet Dad can’t even produce a half edible loaf of bread. What was the point….

Fair comment.

The other task was to forage and with parents help make some Jam. I remember the last time I tried to make Blackberry Jam. Even after two ceiling repaints I can still see the evidence. That Jam stain has a longer half life than Uranium 235. Plus Hawklad hates Jam.

Maybe we might opt out of that one. 😂😂😂😂