Just in time

That snow shower is coming to get us. Better get a move on with this game of outdoor table tennis.

Thankfully I lost just in time.

What happened to the days when I would let him win. Build up his confidence. Do that parent thing. It’s all change now. Now it’s just about me salvaging any shred of self respect possible. A dad who was once a sporting King who is now one of the oppressed. Beaten down. Defeated. Can’t win a thing.

Time moves on.

Time moves on in a good way.

Sign that this parenting gig might just be working.

I do hope so.

A first walk for son outside. Ok it was late at night. Yes it was only 1 minute on the deserted road. Full decontamination when we came back. But it’s a start. The first time in over a year. As his health professionals point out. Until he can go into a busy cafe. Sit down and be at ease having a drink surrounded by people. Until he gets to that stage a return to school is out of the question. Will it be just in time for the end of this school year. Will it be just in time for a return before the end of 2021. How knows but it’s not a question of just in time. It will be in HIS time.

Fame 2

It’s funny how you forget things. A couple of days back I was writing about my lame brushes with fame. Then this morning another memory flooded back into my mind.

My Dad took me on a train to see a charity cricket match. My first ever game. I think I was about 8. It was one of those matches with former cricketers, celebrities and a few local club players. It was a decent turnout of stars so a large crowd turned up.

Some quite well known former Yorkshire and England players with one huge star. One of England’s greatest ever fast bowlers and larger than life characters, Fred Truman.

At the end of the game my Dad told me that I would like to get Fred’s autograph. That was news to me….. Handily Dad had brought an autograph book and pen. Almost as if the autograph was for him…. So I was sent off to obtain the signature while Dad finished off his beer. A bit later I came back with various scribbles, one was definitely a TV celebrity – Leslie Crowther. But no Freddie.

That clearly wasn’t to Dad‘s liking and he decided to help me now. After much looking Freddie was located. He was in the players changing room. Next thing I knew Dad had pushed me through the door with clear instructions. Your not going home until you get that signature….

I was surrounded by men in various states of undress…. All appeared to be drinking. No sign of Freddie. So I asked. Freddie was in the showers. So yes I did get the great mans autograph. When he was completely naked. How could I forget that…..

Dad was happy. I never did see MY autograph book again….

Wow how times have changed……

Back then

Hawklad is a cheeky one. Every time we watch something on TV that refers to a historical incident he always asks ‘you were there Dad so what was it really like….”. Last night he said it when the programme mention the American Civil War. What was it like Dad….

Every so often he catches me off guard with a different line of attack.

Dad has your musical tastes changed with age. What are your favourite 5 bands now…”

Ok that would be

Whitesnake

Pink Floyd

Shinedown

Iron maiden

Blue Oyster Cult.

Ok Dad what were your 5 favourite bands when you were young…”

I think they were

Whitesnake

Blue Oyster Cult

Iron Maiden

Black Sabbath

Scorpions

So they hadn’t changed too much.

Was that pre CD times Dad

Yes it was, not invented yet.

Not much point inventing CDs back then when you were a kid as they hadn’t discovered electricity yet. Are you sure it wasn’t Beethoven you were listening to back in the medieval times.”

Vegetate

I’ve been trying to practice yoga and tai chi for months now. I diligently watch and follow the videos. All the really glossy and professional videos. I was trying again this morning. Following the instructor through her perfect routine. Even her dog sits beside her perfectly. Never moving. In the background the gentle sound of peaceful music. Perfect.

Meanwhile in deepest Yorkshire.

A muppet is seamlessly moving from one body creak to the next groan. Losing balance and crashing into furniture. Constantly fearing my pants are going to split under the galactic pressure being exerted on them. Every time I hit the ground a mad dog instantly leaps on me and I replay the Bill Murray Ghostbusters scene – I’VE BEEN SLIMED. And no gentle sound of peaceful music here. Rather the sound of derision and laughter….

What on earth are you doing Dad”

“If this was on TV it would be banned”

“You look a right sight

Funnier than a Will Ferrell movie

Say that again Dad. Golden Rooster. More like drunken Pigeon

Are you supposed to be balancing on one leg or head butting the wall

My Dad has turned into Homer Simpson”

Please never do this when any of my friends visit”

Your just embarrassing yourself now”

Technically speaking this probably means that I still have a long way to go on my spiritual exercise journey. Or more likely …. time to get the mega pack of biscuits out and vegetate.

Somersault

Almost a summer sky and most definitely a winter wind – it’s freezing. Definitely a two jumper day…. But still nice. Would have loved to be outside more but pesky school got in the way of that plan.

After two hours of trying to figure out how to insert graphs into an online test document…

Dad I thought you had a degree in computing.”

Well kind of.

Well it’s not much use here. Admit it you spent those university years in the bar…”

And on the sports pitches. Don’t forget in bed as well.

Well that’s not helping with this is it Dad. Might as well ask the toilet seat for help.”

To be fair I focused on Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems, not stupid school packages. What you sniggering at Son….

You. Muppet Dad. Are you sure it wasn’t Artificial Incompetence. Useless. Looks like you’ve just crashed the system now.”

Yes definitely crashed. Think it didn’t like me pressing all the keys at the same time in a slightly angry manner.

How on earth did they let you into a university.”

I think they were desperate. I was late for the entrance interview as well. I got lost and ended up at the wrong university, in the wrong city. When I did arrive i was 3 hours late only to find out that I had the wrong day as well. I had come a day early.

No wonder as a toddler I would talk with mum and just bash you over the head with anything I could find.”

I’ve still got the bruises.

“No Dad those are from last week where you tried to show me that you could still do a somersault on the trampoline. “

I almost did it. Just my bum got in the way.

Toe

Some things in life are naturally beautiful and guaranteed to make you smile.

One of those days. Not enough sleep. School at home was a pain in the buttocks. WordPress continued to act like an incompetent evil overlord. An upcoming concert I was really looking forward to (which had already been rescheduled from last year) was cancelled. Smashed some cups (unintentionally). THEN Hawklad decided to walk into wooden table and clearly has broken his little toe. At least I can see evidence that some of my genes have passed down the family line. Nothing we can do except get him to rest up for a few days.

So in need of distraction I decided to strike one item off the growing DIY list. Let’s put the external mail box back on the wall. Much drilling, much banging, much muttering, much screwing. The mail box was up. Not a bad job at all. Level and well secured. Shame it was upside down…… Not sure what the Postman would think of a letter slot at the bottom. Not the first time my DIY has taken a walk to the a Southern Hemisphere. Summed up the day…..

On days like this those things that make you smile are even more important. Even more treasured.

Let’s set the record straight

It’s amazing how dealing with just a couple of work emails can send me heading towards the chocolate jar and thinking fondly of getting marooned on a tropical island with absolutely ZERO internet connectivity.

I needed to relax.

What better way than dig out a bit of vinyl and listen to music. I love music BUT not enough to carefully categorise and sort the LPs into any meaningful order. Preferring the random, hotchpotch approach. So this afternoon I opened one of the storage cases and grabbed 3 records. Let’s see what musical treats came my way.

First off a definite blast from my long hair, rocker past. I think most teenage rocking males of my generation would claim to have at least one Pat Benatar album somewhere in the bedroom.

Then an odd LP. Sometimes you buy because you love the band. Sometimes you buy because of the music. Then other times you buy because it’s a cool looking picture disc.

Then finally arguably my most random records. When I was 12 I jumped on a plane for the first time. Headed for my only trip so far to the Southern Hemisphere. To visit my big sister who had emigrated to South Africa. A month in Pretoria and Johannesburg. A staggeringly beautiful yet scary and incomprehensible Apartheid dominated land. My sister lived in an area which was still to have a functioning television service. So they listened to the radio, played records and at weekends either went to the cinema drive-in or hired a movie reel and played it on the noisy home super 8 projector.

My sister always seemed to play one record back then. IPI TOMBI. A show featuring traditional indigenous South African music. Fast forward many years and I was at a car boot sale in deepest Yorkshire. Guess what I found. Brings back so many memories.

Abstract

Let’s be honest, it’s not really sunbathing weather here in Yorkshire. It’s ‘let’s see how many layers of clothes I can squeeze under the down jacket before it bursts at the seems’ weather.

Go on then Dad, can you see it

What is that supposed to be again.

It’s an abstract artist’s interpretation of what our market town looks like.”

No that’s not really jumping into my brain that interpretation.

What do you see then Dad.”

A series of random line squiggles and odd shapes. Forming what can only be described as a incoherent mess.

Exactly Dad. Apparently that’s the town skyline and its most iconic landmarks.”

Really. If it’s most iconic landmarks then I’m certainly not seeing traffic jams, floods, not open at weekend signs, pizza takeouts and hordes of parking enforcement officers.

Dad, Aspergers clearly doesn’t get abstract art…”

It’s ok Hawklad, Dads don’t get it as well.

I’ve got to produce my own version of that now. Really…”

Shall we just put a pot of ink and a piece of paper in with the gerbils and let them get creative.

Would be a good idea but the gerbils eat everything in front of them”

Well you can help me do it.

Ok do you want me to draw as well.

No Ive seen your artistic skills. Look at the state of my hair. No you can do something your better at.”

Ok you name it.

Go and find some chocolate for me please”

I can do that…

Witches

Good to see I’m bringing our son up correctly. He learning the important stuff. The stuff which he will need going forward.

English set some homework to be done overnight. Read an article on a specific subject and answer questions. The class is currently analysing Macbeth. So the article was all about King James I and witchcraft.

Oh that’s fine Dad, don’t need to look at the article. I can answer any question on that subject….”

Really Son. The questions are quite random. They are about witches and folklore.

No problem at all Dad. I can do that…”

Ok without reading why was Macbeth shorter than other plays

James I was well known to become restless sitting through long plays”

Ok how many people were killed in Scotland during the witch trials.

Somewhere between 1400 and 1800″

What event convinced James I to act on witches

A bad storm almost killed Anne of Denmark at sea”

How do you know that… what was his first act against witchcraft after that event.

Easy he ordered the biggest ever witch hunt and witch trials around Berwick.”

Unbelievable.

James I wrote a book on witchcraft. He clearly had issues with witches. He passed the Witchcraft Act which made the first offence for any suspected witch behaviour a hanging and burning offence. Before that you only got executed if murder was involved

I think I need a coffee. That’s my level. I can’t even find my glasses most days….

Biathlon

I’ve always loved winter sports. Definitely my favourites are biathlon, ski jumping, skiing and ski cross. One of my dreams is to see it in person one day. Still waiting….. November to March is great as I get to binge watch it on TV. But when March comes it’s always quite sad as soon the season will be over. No winter sports for 7 months.

That thought has been praying on my mind. 7 months is a long time. What to do.

I’ve looked for some Winter Sports DVDs and Books but there isn’t much about. So I have a stock pile of 3 books and one dvd documentary. Plus one game on the Xbox. The probability of our family lockdown continuing through those 7 months is really high. With no trips out. No runs. Just feels like I need more this year to keep me going.

“Dad what are you doing?”

I’m trying to see if I can do GARDEN biathlon.

Really. It looks like you have gone mad…”

No there is method to my madness. I’ve dug out my two old walking poles. So to pretend I’m Nordic skiing I’m going to use the poles to walk round and round the garden. About 30 times round the garden is about 1km.

Ok how long is a biathlon thing then”

Going to start small first. The Spring is 10km with two shoots. So I would do 100 laps of the garden between shoots.

I think I can see what’s coming next but ok, why have you got my Nerf Gun.”

Well after 100 laps of the garden my pulse will be racing just like a Biathlete. So I will need to control my breathing and steady myself for the shoot. Ok I don’t have a rifle and five circular targets. So I’m putting some tins on the fence and I’m going to try and knock them over with your foam Nerf bullets. For every miss I will have to do a penalty loop or in my case 5 garden loops. The first shoot will be prone and the second will be standing.

OMG Dad. You have cracked.”

So from April one of my daily workouts every week will be my Biathlon competition.

“You have lost the plot”

Most probably Son, most most probably. But just be thankful I’m not trying to recreate Ski Jumping. 😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣