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. 😂😂😂😂

Beyond me

There are some problems that are beyond the human mind and there are many questions beyond the muppet dad mind. I’m not talking the deep metaphysical stuff. Not talking cosmology. I’m talking about those run of the mill problems.

How to set the timer on the microwave,

Why don’t I put a long sleeve shirt on when pulling up nettles,

Why did I pick Newcastle United to support,

Why do I keep putting clothes into the dishwasher,

Having bought at least 20 tablet pens, why can I never find just one when I need it,

Why do you only get holes in the socks that are still matching pairs,

Why does my mobile phone never hit the ground when it has its protective case on,

Where do all those batteries I buy end up hiding,

Why do I always miss my mouth while drinking hot chocolate and when I’ve got a white shirt on…..

But most perplexing of all to me is what is the best way to get into a beanbag. Remember I have a ‘not what it was’ type of body. Do I lower myself in using the adjacent furniture. Do I roll into it as if I’m a giant sausage roll. Or do I fall into it like a skydiver with a defective parachute. It’s all beyond me. Especially when I’m trying to get into the beanbag while carrying a cup of decaf coffee and an iPad. So far that has priced beyond me. I’ve even tried putting the coffee cup down next to the beanbag before trying to sit down. All that achieved was me kicking it all over the floor in the maelstrom that was my beanbag entry.

It’s all beyond me….

Support

Hawklad has always struggled with his fine motor skills. It is a condition frequently accompanying Aspergers and Autism. With Hawklad this materialises itself in clumsiness, difficulty grasping objects and not being able to ride a bike . But the main issues relate to struggling to use scissors, cut with a knife, using a keyboard and with handwriting. He grasps his pen too tight and the control is very disjointed.

For a few years he received some physiotherapy to help with this but eventually when he hit 13 the service was removed as he was deemed to be above the need threshold. The assessment was carried out by a professional who had no never met Hawklad and was completed within 10 minutes. I had been warned that this would happen as a cost saving measure. The test involved a few random simple ball catches, standing on one leg, a few hops and drawing a line that keeps within an outline. He failed a couple of tests but was asked to repeat until he successfully completed the test. Basically keep going until he passes and then he is above the care threshold. AND guess what the service can be removed.

He has been without support for over a year now. I’ve noticed that he’s starting to increasingly struggle again with some basic grasping skills. So it’s time for trying to do our own DIY fixes. Bouncing and catching balls. Exercises to try and relax his muscles. AND best of all Lego building.

But it’s becoming an increasingly common feeling. Trying to provide support and therapy which surely should be coming from professionals. Certainly not from an unqualified muppet Dad. Sadly I’m not the only untrained parent in this position.

England

It’s no secret that I have fallen out of love with my country. I don’t like what it is becoming. I don’t like the way it’s run. I don’t like the corruption. The inequalities. The new values we are supposed to sign up to. I hate the xenophobic outlook. I constantly seem to be at odds with a sizeable portion of my fellow citizens.

But is it just me .

Dad if we win the lottery can we leave England.”

Why?

England is going down hill. It has been for years. It’s becoming ugly. I’m European but I’m not now allowed to be. I didn’t get a say in that. The country has no future the way it’s going. It’s stuck in the past. Our leaders are racist, law breaking clowns as corrupt as any in our history. I’m ashamed to call myself English now.

I can’t disagree with you sadly. Where might you want to move to.

Switzerland. If they won’t have us then Germany or France or Italy or . I would go to Canada, or America or New Zealand. Anywhere apart from here.

Exam

Another fine Yorkshire road. I’m trying to work out if it’s 8 or 10 lanes….

So the week off from school is over. It’s back to early alarm calls. Not looking forward to them. Not exactly feeling rested or renewed. Just feeling worn down. In need of a break. Oh hang on I’ve just had one of those 😂😂😂😂😂

So the morning has started with year end exam. No warning. An email was sent a few minutes before the exam started for the class. Don’t have a problem with that. You have to protect exam questions. It’s the lack of warning. It’s that looking at the questions and realising that large parts of paper have not been covered for Hawklad. It’s expecting that we would try keyboard entry for exams but this has been sent in a format that can only be handwritten

Happy days…..

Brought down to Earth.

How do you tell when you son has been watching too much The Simpsons. Maybe it was too much of the American version of The Office….

I thought I was at one with nature. Just completing a 50 minute yoga session out. I thought it going well. I felt a definite natural flow to my movements. Maybe just maybe I have finally found my inner Rhythm and goddess mode. Then I heard the icy tones of a teenage son and the moment was blown out of the water.

Dad there has never been a finer more awesome Dad squeezed into a pair of 56 inch pants…….”

Wow…..

Harsh but fair.

Hugs

How do you hug cautiously?

So the great UK coming out of lockdown started today. You can go inside pubs, restaurants, museums, comedy clubs….. You can hug. You can travel. We are on the way back to normal. Everything is good to go.

But then the mixed messages. Hang on our daily COVID cases are stubbornly high, higher than when we first went into lockdown. We have the Indian variant doubling in size every week. We have significant local outbreaks which are having to be managed. Large numbers of the young have not been vaccinated. The long term effectiveness of the vaccines against the variants is still not confirmed.

So we kind of reopen with everyone just making up their own rules. Some will be masked. Some will sometimes wear a mask. And others will refuse to wear a mask. Mixed messages. It’s either completely sorted and no need for any social distancing going forward. Or it’s we need to be cautious and stay safe, we need to keep social distancing. Or it doesn’t really matter whatever we do as we will be back in lockdown soon.

Never has HUGGING been so complicated….

So please feel free to hug anyone you want to as long as you hug cautiously. Cautiously hug doesn’t mean wearing masks but it might be an idea to do so if you are being cautious. Kissing might be ok but only if it’s a cautious kiss.

Dad did I just hear Johnson tell us to go out and hug people”

Yes he did say that.

I’m not hugging anyone, not even if that smeg head tells me to…..”

No I didn’t think you would. You haven’t hugged me since you were a toddler. You quickly worked out your preferred way of showing affection for your Dad was to smash him over the head with the nearest toy, book or item of cutlery.

Dad that’s much more hygienic. I had no idea where you had been….”

Just remember your partly me. My DNA runs through you. Having said that if you are lucky my genes are concentrated in your long eyelashes and your posterior.

If I get a flabby, hairy bum then I know who to blame and it’s definitely not mum. Anyway I am doing what the government is telling me to do with hugs. I’m hugging cautiously. I’m not hugging anyone…..”

That’s definitely cautious…..

Setting

The sun setting on another day.

Today has felt like one of those days that you need to keep pushing. Don’t push and you grind to a halt. Nothing comes easy. Always seems like it’s pushing up a hill. Nothing comes for free. No easy downhill sections.

So feeling a little worn out.

So on today’s late walk with Hawklad and the mad one, I tried to stand still for a second or two and watch the sun set. Look West. Then it’s time to keep walking. Well actually it was time to get pulled in a different direction by the hyper dog. That’s what you clearly get when there’s an accidental romantic encounter in a park between a small fluffy German Spitz girl dog and a slightly mad Cocker Spaniel boy. You get this….

So I was pulled along in a direction. Didn’t seem like I was completely in control of the direction. Just going with the flow. Life feels like that often. Not really in control. Being pulled. My preferred direction is always against the flow. That’s why life seems so hard most days. Constantly walking through treacle. So do I fight it or just go with it.

Today it feels like the answer is go with it.