Before

Dad do you know that you were born before the introduction of the home computer.”

Computers are overrated, not sure they will catch on.

Before the Xbox. Even before Space Invaders”

I’m still trying to clear the first wave of aliens. One day……

Mobile phones still to be stuffed in any trouser pockets in your day…”

I wasn’t trusted with pockets. Mum would sew them up.

Before microwaves made it into kitchens, your ancient Dad.”

I remember our families first microwave. It was the size of St Bernards Dog Kennel. I had to plug it in. The first thing we tried to heat was a cup of water. While I pressed the start button my mum and dad hid behind the kitchen door. They thought it was going to go up like a nuclear weapon. Clearly their youngest son was expendable….

Before the Rubik’s Cube, did you get one”

No never had one. When people started talking about getting one …. it sounded to be like a new health worry that you had to see a Doctor about. I’ve got a bad case of the Rubiks.

What was it like being a kid with no cds or DVDs

A lot cheaper for my parents.

No Star Wars.”

It was also still safe to go into the sea as well when I was a kid. No shark movies yet. Jaws was still a little goldfish. I remember kids being told to keep off the beach as soon as that movie came out. Poor Jaws would have been a giant ice cube if he had ventured anywhere near the North Sea.

Even before the Rolling Stones, weren’t you Dad….”

Watch it Hawklad, I’m not that old. Definitely before Taylor Swift was born.

Your old enough to be her Dad…”

I look old enough to be her Great Great Great Grandad…

Before The Simpson’s and Spongebob…. You look old enough to be Homers Dad”

There is a definite family resemblance. You never see Homer and Me together in the same room. Just saying.

“Dad what was it like to be around at the same time as the dinosaurs?”

It was fun. Our barbecues had to be a lot bigger. It made country walks a lot more interesting. But it wasn’t fun trying to clean Pterodactyl poo from your windscreen.

Getting older is overrated……

Tungsten

In the local market town there is a garden shop which I get my bird seed from. I like it because it’s super cheap. Even cheaper then the Pound Shop. I especially like going in the shop during October. That’s when they give away the out of date flower seeds. Just 9 months ago I walked out of the shop with a bag of bird seed and pockets stuffed full with flower seeds. This little beauty cost me the price of feeding the birds for three months. A bargain and us Yorkshire Folk like those.

That’s my Dad, he is a muppet.”

That what Hawklad as a toddler thought of me. He sternly mentioned this to someone at the local zoo after his Dad had one of those moments…… Now wind forward to the present.

What on earth is that…”

If you think I’m trying that you are clearly madder than you look….

The muppet force still runs strong in you Dad….”

If you try to feed that to the birds then I will need to call the Bird Protection Society. “

Clearly he wasn’t impressed with my latest piece of baking art.

Trust me, that was the good side. It was a shocker. It had the soft, airy and bouncy feel of Reinforced Tungsten. Understandably even the birds refused to eat it. I wonder if the builders across the road would like to use it as foundation material. I’m not sure that thing is ever going to break down. Like I’m not sure Im ever going to grow out of my muppet stage….

Dieting

What are they talking about

Dad the government is telling everyone to go on a diet. Boris apparently is going on one, bet that Cummings told him to do that.

Like everything else my money is on our so called Leader delegating his dieting to someone else. He’s far too busy having time off for things like that.

Dad your on a diet….”

☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️

And with those words from Hawklad, I’m on a diet. I’ve been on this temporary fasting diet for a while now but it’s been an effort. I just haven’t been able to get the food alternatives that my body will accept. So I’ve been forced into eating and drinking far too much soya (soy) 🙄…. Basically my body and face balloon up with the stuff. Not helpful when your trying to look like your losing weight. But hopefully I’ve managed to get hold of a few more nicer foods this time. So here goes. Going to combine my partial fasting diet with a significantly healthier food range. It helps as my garden has finally decided to yield some vegetables. Just got to find them amongst the weeds.

But dieting is only part of it. Need to do something with exercise as well. I am working out each day and pushing myself. But I’m missing the long runs. They are just not happening due to circumstances. So I need a challenge. I had this initial idea of trying to build up to run a garden marathon. Others have done this. I’ve managed 50 minutes of running round our small garden. But I was so dizzy and cheesed off after that, the prospect of 4 hours worth of that is just a complete nonstarter. Lets not forget the epic route map from that.

What was I doing on some of those outlying paths….

So here’s Plan B. At the end of August I want to build up to a mega exercise bike marathon. Let’s see how far I can get on the bike in 4 straight hours. But to ensure it’s not just a gentle peddle session, I’m going to dig out the old HR sports watch. 4 hours with the BP somewhere near 150. That sounds like a challenge which I can do in the garden. Watch it rain and watch the bike collapse again….

Ok Boris for once I’m going to listen to you. I’m going to lose some weight. Are you?

Telepathy

Free Gardening Tip Number 1: Clearly if you leave the garden long enough it will sort itself out. You can just stand back and enjoy the results.

If I was listing my many wonderful features I might start with

  • Chiselled Features
  • Thor like body
  • Razor sharp intellect
  • Reactions of a cat
  • Chef supreme
  • Cunning linguist
  • Sporting Superbeing

And on and on. The list would be extensive but one word that does not appear is Telepathic.

Dad we have a problem. Class have been working on a project for the last two weeks. It’s going to be used as this terms evaluation mark. The project has to be finished in one hours time. I didn’t know about it.”

The two week project period almost perfectly mirrored the time Hawklad had been off from school since his unplanned operation. Now in the normal scheme of things this would not be a problem. He had a valid reason to be unavailable for schoolwork. School was notified of this. Common sense would surely prevail……

Oh no……no, no, no, no, pigging NO.

It is the responsibility of the pupil and the parent to be fully aware of all assignments. These are clearly communicated via class lessons and the class notes. Failure to be aware of an assignment is not a valid exception to the rule. This applies to ALL parents and pupils. So basically if your sick and return to school then you should ensure you read all class documentation before your first day back. You can then immediately start working on any projects. This bad, bad, bad parent did not do this. So I never came across the assignment. That’s where the power of telepathy would have been most useful.

Free Parenting Tip Number 1: So clearly what any responsible parent should have done is read all the class notes, work out deadlines for the various projects and then return your child back to school THE DAY AFTER THE PROJECTS HAD TO BE HANDED IN. Job done and no need for a one hour mad scramble to cobble together a project….

Live on the edge

This counts as excitement here in Yorkshire. We know how to live on the edge.

I don’t really celebrate my birthday anymore. It’s more associated with being the day that we lost our mum. But I did start a new tradition. It would almost become a second birthday for our son. If the Queen can have two birthdays then so can Hawklad. So I get him his favourite cake, that’s buy it not bake it (wouldn’t do that to him). He gets to eat his favourite meal which is probably pizza at the moment. We would normally have a trip out somewhere but not this year…. Finally he gets a present. So what present does he want this year.

I’ve been giving it some thought and decided.”

My money is on either a computer game or maybe a wrestling figure.

I would like Chilli Soup.”

What as your special meal?

No as my present. That way I get two special meals.”

Well you can have two special meals this year and still have a present.

No will stick to the Chilli Soup as a present. “

I’m not like the Genie in the Lamp. Not going to hold you strictly to three wishes. Plus I struggle to count past 2 these days. You can still have a present.”

No that’s the deal this year.”

*******

Well he’s going to get his Chilli Soup. It’s either going to be Beef Or Pumpkin Chilli. He’s going to get his pizza night. AND yes he’s going to get a present, just need to think of one now. Maybe a joint present. One we both can enjoy. That would kinda work.

Mum

Hopefully a sign of some slightly better weather. It was so cold yesterday afternoon that when we went outside for a talk, I had to dig out my winter down jacket. It’s supposed to be the height of summer. But our current weather patterns are mixed up. They have been for a few years now……. One day our leaders might notice this.

Dad you have never really been a beard person have you?”

No when I was in my twenties I did experiment with a moustache. Managed to get the nickname Goochy from that. But it was quickly ditched. Didn’t help that it was jet black apart from from little strip which bizarrely went ginger…..

But you have started having a beard now”

Well not exactly. A few dabbles with what I like to call a fashionable bit of designer stubble. Makes me look rugged……. trying to not laugh……

“So why did you start doing it. You never had one with my mum did you?”

No, never. But it wasn’t anything to do with your mum. She quite liked them. It was your Little Nan (my mum)!!!! She didn’t like them. She had a firm no to beards, no to moustaches policy for her youngest son. That policy was NEVER dropped. Even when I was well past childhood years and living independently, you would here the quiet but stern words “Gary you will be having a shave today, won’t you….”. Using my actual name was always a sign of trouble ahead. Only one response allowed. YES.

So Dad how did you manage to grow a moustache then?”

I was living 350 miles away in Portsmouth. It was shaved off the morning I was due to visit her…… She never knew.

Mums always know best…..

Socks

I was doing my normal early morning chore. Trying to find some socks for my workout. Notice the missing word. Matching. Just any two socks would be nice some mornings. Where do they all go…..

Anyway a couple of days ago, one particularly fruitless sock search resulted in a rather fetching blue ankle and black football sock combo. Enough is enough. So I went online for socks.

After a few minutes searching a bargain was found. 10 pairs of ankle sport socks for £7. A variety of colours including at least one black pair. Well they came today.

Dad what have you done….”

Yes one pair was indeed black. The other nine pairs – all bright pink. Another fetching look.

Well onced you’ve washed them, if it’s like my new blue shirt, then they won’t be pink for long….”

Ok yes I did manage to turn his bright new sky blue shirt a rather angry purple colour, after just one wash. So I wonder what colour socks I will have next week. That’s assuming I can find them.

Biscuit inspiration

Flowers never fail to take my breathe away.

Sadly on too many days, school has the same effect on me

I contacted school to let them know that son was still struggling but as it was the last week of school, he would give the online lessons a go. School said that they would let all his teachers know and would appropriately restrict his work demands. This week had to be a phased return. That was 8.30am on Monday morning. His first lesson went ok then it was time for the second to start. He was told to complete a one hour test (starting in 5 minutes) which the rest of the class has had a week to revise for. In fact some of the questions related to course material which was only introduced during the week he was absent. Apparently even if a child is sick, that child should still log into the school system and check all class lesson notes.

So much for a phased return to schooling.

This called for the inspirational powers of hot milk, digestive biscuits and toast. The test was completed with much common sense and quite a bit of creative guesswork. Looking at some of the questions – his Dad would have been as much use as air conditioning is in Yorkshire.

That was the first morning of the school week. This could be a long one. Good job we have many packets of biscuits and chocolate ready to go…

Gone Fishing

Red sky at night fishermen’s delight, doesn’t always work. The next morning it’s absolutely chucking down. Maybe it’s good weather to catch fish.

My Dad loved fishing. My brother loves fishing. They would take me to see them fish from the sea walls and in the local lake. I found it fascinating but it just wasn’t for me. I get the relaxation bit. I will happily sit on a sea wall or by water and just chill out. But you can keep the fishing bit. I only went actual fishing once. My brother took me to the local fishing lake for an afternoon. He caught loads, me – not a thing. Brother put that down to my casting action. To me catching something would have been a huge surprise. Whisper it quietly. I never put a fishing hook on my line.

I’ve subsequently been close to fishing a couple of times. I once played a fishing game on the computer. Wow that was a thriller….. The other was at a Fun Fare where I played that ‘hook a duck’ game. I was hoping to win a Cuddly Snoppy Toy and ended up with a real goldfish in a bag. Thank god that’s been banned. That fish was taken straight home and put in our indoor fish tank. My Dad loved tropical fish. But my little fish just kept growing. Soon he was too big for the tank so one summer he was moved out into the garden pond. That’s the pond which was under the protection of our big and mad family dog. And still he grew. Eventually he was even getting too big for his outside home. Finally he was resettled in a massive fish pond in the local park. That was a military operation requiring a huge bucket of water and sneaking over the locked gates. Tom Cruise has nowt on me…

As it’s possible for some types of fish to reach three figure ages, I like to think that my one ever fish catch is still going strong. Lord knows how big he is now. I do always keep an eye out for him in the Jurassic World movies.

Angry clouds

It’s just been days of angry weather.

When I see this type of stormy clouds I remember back to my childhood. As you got older you started to realise that in our seaside town the weather would always seem to come from over the hills and follow the river to the sea. For us that would mean the weather would first appear to the north west. That was in the direction of one of our neighbours gardens. So the following weather expression was frequently heard from my parents.

It’s luking black ower Mr Homans Potting Shed, aye get thy washing in.

When means you have just a few minutes more footy before your summoned in as the heavens have opened. If the weather ever came from over Eddie Cook’s Pigeon Loft then it was time to get the paddling pool out.

Strangely parenting forecasting from the 70s was far more accurate that the current UK Meteorological Service best guesses. Currently the weather scientists are telling us that we have light cloud and less than a 10% chance of light rain. Well tell that to the paving stones which are currently being jet washed in the nonstop monsoon.

So let’s ditch the UK’s dodgy weather science and go old school. So here are a few other old weather laws that were passed down to me.

  • Red sky at night fisherman’s delight, red sky in the morning fisherman’s warning,
  • Mackerel Clouds in the sky then the weather is going to change,
  • The Sun or Moon saying hello means that rain is on the way (saying hello means having a halo around it),
  • The greener the Rhubard leaves the worse the weather will be,
  • Wet seaweed means rain is coming (I never bought into this one as surely that just means the tide has been in recently),
  • Rain at lunch will be gone by tea (basically saying the UK weather is changeable),
  • When rain is coming the spiders will disappear,
  • Rainbows before lunch tells us that rain will be here all day,
  • Cows sit down when rain is due (must admit this is clearly true as I was watching an episode of Ben & Holly where the wise old elf foolishly took shelter under a cow when it started to rain),
  • When smoke rises the weather will be good. When it fails to rise them bad weather is due,
  • Expect a bad winter if the hedgerows produce loads of berries,
  • If you want a dry day best to have dew on the grass in the morning.

One last weather law. I had a friend whose dad was a complete nutter. So funny. I remember him telling me once about his rabbit. He explained that his rabbit would only eat carrots when it was raining. I asked what it had to eat when it was sunny and he told me with a smile – I don’t know, will tell you when we get the sun, patience lad I’ve only had the rabbit 3 years.

So that’s me out of weather law. Can anyone add to my knowledge?

Looking at this photo I think I can confidently predict no need for sun protection….