Brain Freeze

Another one of those warm Yorkshire Spring days….

Trying to do mindful yoga outside works ‘so well’ when your fingers are blue and you can’t feel your toes. Actually can’t feel any part of your body. Not so much mindful as Mind Numbing. Brain Freeze.

A bit later Hawklad wanted a slush puppy. Really…. Well I guess it is the warmer months. So the slush was made and taken outside.

Dad it’s not melting in fact it’s refreezing….”

So yes it cold but here’s the thing. It’s been just what I needed today. Not enough sleep last night. Not enough for a while now. So I woke feeling like a zombie. As I’m trying to be healthy, caffeine is not an option to get me going. The next best thing is a shock to the system. An ice cold bath or in this case a Yorkshire Spring day…

Schools Out

Schools Out, Schools Out for Easter.

The last day of term was marked with another school letter. Another positive pupil case with 45 other pupils in isolation for 10 days. Across the country infection rates amongst the 5 to 14 age group are rising since schools returned. On Monday some of the country’s lockdown rules are eased.

Well at least everyone is still wearing masks…..

On the way back from the vaccination centre yesterday I stopped off for petrol. Straw pole. Me and the person behind the till had masks fully on. One lady appeared to have a mask but she was carrying it in her hand. Another guy had a mask hanging loosely around his neck. Everyone else, no mask.

Lockdowns Out, Lockdowns Out for Easter

So the two week break has started. Started with sitting out in the baking sun. Talking with Hawklad on what he would like to do over the next few days. First ice creams of the break. Sat outside in the freezing wind.

Wooly Jumpers Out, Wooly Jumpers Out for Easter.

Advertising

Technology is definitely trying to take over. On the last post I did about ‘Sunday’s’ my autocorrect was clearly not impressed with the overall message. That would explain its desire to change every SUNDAY to SUBWAY. That would give that post a very different feel. But hang on… Is it on to something.

Maybe I’m missing out on a real money spinner. Product placement. Hidden advertisements. How much would SUBWAY pay for some subliminal advertising. Maybe it’s not too late to dream of that apartment overlooking Lake Lucerne.

WORDPRESS is really playing up. Randomly refusing to accept any editing and posting the first, rough cut of posts. Refusing to let me comment or like on some sites. Messing up the formatting. Deleting comments and removing some of my posts. Unfollowing without telling me. So frustrating that is MARS my day. What a great idea, I fancy a really healthy and tasty chocolate bar.

We soldier on with WORDPRESS. So the school at home week starts again. The last one before the Easter holiday. No actual holidays this break again. No trips to the hills and FjORDs. No need to hire a fine FORD car. At least I won’t need to worry about cutting my hair. No SAMSON nITEmares at the barbers required. But if I was going on holiday I can’t think of a finer brand of luggage to take with me than SAMSONITE.

The NEXT benefit of no holidays is I don’t need to do any holiday clothes shopping. Shopping to the wonderful and certainly not overpriced NEXT clothes stores…

But a couple of weeks will hopefully allow me to catch up on some MARVELlous DISNEY offerings. Enjoy the wonderful story telling and the hidden alLEGOries. More time to play with our LEGO sets and never stand barefooted on those really value for money LEGO mini figures.

Anyway that’s enough of me waffling on. I will get back to my grAPPLEs with WORDPRESS. But I can’t think of a finer technological platform to fight those battles on than APPLE. Thinking often requires a large amount HEINZ -sight.

Food

Now we are into the aftermath of the Easter Egg hunt. Son is happily piling on the calories and his Dad is looking at a bowl of dairy free cornflakes. Is this what my life has been building to…..

To be fair that calorie balance is right. Son tends to be very long and always below the median weight for his height. That is tall and slim. His Paediatrician told him that it was a great excuse never to diet. His Dad is average height (or to be strictly true – 0.5 cm above average) and keeping to an ideal weight is a bit of a struggle. That is big boned.

Son’s diet has been a struggle recently. Aspergers likes order and routine. We stick to the same 7 day food rota every week. To be fair it’s a reasonable diet with much fruit and vegetables. And many sausages…… But over the last few weeks many of his foods of choice have become unavailable. This has required change and change means STRESS. On top of the enforced food switches an increased fear of becoming ill has surfaced. So now he is desperate to eat healthy and avoid too many calories.

So the parents dilemma is trying to put that into a routine which is both sustainable and is actually a balanced, healthy diet for him. That’s at a time when fresh fruit and vegetables are often much harder to source. So keeping the calorie intake sufficient going forward might be a serious challenge. He has already started to refuse foods he considers unhealthy. He’s even started to question his chocolate intake. As the paediatrician explained a couple of years back

his weight is right at the bottom of the perfect band, but don’t let it drop below that. If that means a few more bars of chocolate than usual then that’s just fine. But just watch him. We really don’t won’t to go down the line leading to eating disorder.

Eating Disorders within the Autistic community is a significant issue. Research into eating disorders such as anorexia have found that anywhere between 15% to 35% of total cases can be linked to people on the autism spectrum. However food disorder health care is still largely done in isolation from autism specialists. Autistic services continue to be squeezed as a result of government policy priorities. So improved care and support for autistics with food disorders is unlikely to improve under the current UK government.

This may well be the latest challenge our son has to face down. So long may he tuck into his chocolate egg.

Care Bear

The kindly local farmer has been most busy this year. Much needed light amongst the darkness. The Care Bear is well off the path so is maintaining at least 4m of social distancing. That’s a good idea as it was windy.

On the dog walk this morning we saw a number of cyclists and runners on the distant country lane. They were all trying to observe the new social distancing advice. All seemed to be keeping the 2m recommended separation. But is it enough. I was reading an article by a leading virus expert. He said that the 2m separation was a great idea but it was based on quiet air conditions with people either stood still or walking. If the air is turbulent or it’s windy then the safe separation distance should be increased. If you are running then the safe distance behind you (in the wake) needs to be increased by up to 10m. For cycling the safe distance behind is upwards of 20m. Sadly every single person running or cycling was sticking to 2m. So much confusion. So many different expert views. Deep sigh.

One of the great Easter traditions has been performed yet again this morning. Dad forgetting where he hid the Chocolate Eggs in the garden. Followed by

That’s a great egg. Thank you Dad. Is that the last one?”

Slightly puzzled look from Dad….

You do this every year. You can’t remember how many you hid can you?”

Yes it’s only a small number. I couldn’t be sure if it was three of four eggs. Was it five.

Well I’ve found three eggs. That’s a great number but I’d better keep looking. Just in case.”

Good job as 10 minutes later we found the fourth behind the oil tank. I should have realised that when I bought them in February they were on offer, buy one get one free. So why would I just get three…… I will say it before our Son chips in with it.

WHAT A PRIZE MUPPET.

Last year I did the same. Only realised that we had missed an egg when a few months later I found it while cutting the hedge. Then the year before was a spooky one. We had cleared the garden of eggs then when we woke up the next day we found another egg on top of the sundial. I definitely didn’t put it there and it was that obvious we surely couldn’t have both missed it. Bizarrely it was a brand I can’t remember ever buying. The Easter Bunny must have brought that one overnight.

Well I hope the Easter Bunny calls again tonight. This time for me…

After Christmas I went back onto my gluten and dairy free diet. This makes Easter difficult. So I thought that I would treat myself to a dairy free egg. Unfortunately they have been out of stock in our local shops. I guess it’s because they are not seen as an essential item. Just before Home Deliveries became unavailable I managed to add a suitable egg to the delivery list. Job done for Easter. Sadly not. When the delivery arrived the egg had been substituted to the closet available alternative. A packet of gluten free cornflakes. So as people took into their eggs think of me with my bowl of cornflakes. That’s a dry bowl of cornflakes as milk alternatives are also out of stock. But hope exists. Tonight we move to plan b. Cornflakes with gluten free pineapple jelly. The jelly was sent as a substitute for gluten free gravy….

Try to keep smiling everyone.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so in these challenging times, I think it’s time for a virtual tour of beautiful Switzerland.

One of the best times we to found to visit Switzerland as a family was over Easter.

In my country Easter, like most holidays has become over commercialised. Not in Switzerland. The atmosphere is just perfect.

The weather was frequently glorious for our visits. Snow still falling on the high mountains and yet beautifully warm at lower levels. The morning trains would find people in summer shorts sat next to skiers in full snow gear.

The weather was perfect for sitting outside and just watching the world slowly walk by.

Spring alpine flowers coming to life.

The snow line slowly retreating in the hot sunshine. Deep blue skies.

The yachts and small boats emerging from winter hibernation.

The colours constantly changing.

And after an exhausting day on the piste for a young one….

Nothing better than returning to the hotel to find the owners have left a little Easter gift. Thank you Switzerland for lifting the spirits again.

Good Friday ?

The headline in the prime UK gutter newspaper (a publication so bad and so vile I can’t even write its name down) was apparently today

Boris is out – now that really is a Good Friday.

Just those words on the front page….. Yes anyone leaving intensive care in a better state than they arrived is a wonderful little victory but it misses one rather salient point. At least 5000 people died in the UK this week and god knows how many worldwide. Will it be a good Friday for the scores of families who will be bereaved today……. The UK is now recording more deaths than any other European country and because of the shambles the government has made on testing – this probably vastly underestimates the real figure. But no need to report on that….. No need to talk about our wonderful nurses forced into using bin bags as protective uniforms.

What would be a Good Friday would be no one suffering today with only one obituary required – one for that loathsome newspaper. I remember once the newsagent accidentally sent that paper to my mum instead of her normal one. She refused to touch it and she burnt it on the doorstep. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Murdock.

Let’s move on to the real Good Friday.

Our Good Fridays were slightly odd. Normally my partner would introduce all the family traditions. But not on Good Friday. I can’t remember my partner doing anything different on this day. She was a devout Quaker, maybe that was the reason. I do know that I was her biggest trial in life as we were very very different.

For some reason my family traditions kick into overdrive on Good Friday. So unlike me. What’s the old phrase

You wait hours for a bus and then three arrive at the same time.

  • So each Good Friday we would
    • Not be allowed to drink milk all day (No idea where that one came from, probably one of my random dreams tricked me into that one),
    • First food of the day had to be an unbuttered Hot Cross Bun. Not allowed to use a knife to cut it. Every year I’ve done this an yet I don’t like them. My partner hated them so I had to eat hers as well. Then Son hated them as well so that was THREE buns I had to get through.
    • Can’t eat meat all day.
    • The meal at lunchtime had to be fish.
    • Attend a morning cross parade. These don’t tend to happen here anymore and anyway this year they would be banned.
    • No alcohol before you have had the fish. That was actually a very hard challenge when I was at University.
    • We would fly a kite on the afternoon. Apparently this is a tradition which originates from the Caribbean. No idea why that one reached deepest Yorkshire.

    I have to say this year some of the traditions have been dropped while some are just happening out of our daily routine. No milk or meat so far but that’s because son has not had his lunch yet. I’m tea total these days. Not enough wind for a kite. We might have tuna for lunch if I can convince son to change his food routine. However a pesky hot cross bun (plus the one our son won’t touch) will be waiting for my 2pm meal starter. Unfortunately due to the currents our dog is not allowed to help eat them. Thin king about it I might start a new tradition. Have the smallest bite of the bun then share the rest with the birds. That’s a tradition I might be able to stick to.

    More accidental Daffodils

    The Daffodils are still going strong. That sounds like an excuse for some more photos.

    Purely by accident we have a few different types.

    A lot of things happen by accident.

    Today we tried to find the little pots of paint so that we can decorate some hard boiled easter eggs. Last year we had great fun although I was a little offended when I presented my wonderful recreation of a Darth Vader egg.

    Dad is that Peppa Pig”

    Still worse was to follow when I accidentally forgot to boil the eggs before we painted them. A few days later it took me three egg messes before I realised my mistake. Oops.

    Stacked cup racks are such a great space saver. I bought a really cheap set a few weeks back. It was the day after Valentines Day and the shop was selling off the unused gift items. One item caught my eye. A four cup stack reduced from £10 to £2. The only potential issue. Each cup had one huge letter emblazoned on them. The four cups stacked together spelt

    L

    O

    V

    E

    That sort of talk is not going to fly in our kitchen. But a bargain is a bargain. Thankfully the same cups arranged differently can also spell VOLE. Unfortunately four cups stacked together is a four times bigger disaster waiting to happen in our house. This morning while cleaning I accidentally sent them all flying towards our stone floor at terminal velocity. I did manage to catch one. So we now have a cup stack of one which spells.

    Oops, Oops, Oops…

    That cup accident was quickly followed by son knocking over a full glass of chocolate milk onto the beige sofa. It’s a interesting pattern as it’s just next to the tomato ketchup stain from last year (that was mine).

    Dad let’s sit down before we have any more accidents.”

    Great advice which I followed. Unfortunately I sat down on my reading glasses – what possessed me to leave them on the chair. So in the absence of Hermione Granger and her glasses repair spell, I will just have to tape them up until the Opticians reopen again in a few months.

    Fast forward to this afternoon. Unbelievably I found the paint pots and small brushes. So we were eggcellently placed next week for Easter egg production. However a few hours later I had no idea where I had put the paints. The house was ransacked then suddenly that sinking feeling. Oops. Surely I didn’t accidentally put the paint straight into the bin. Normally not a disaster however today was bin collection day and they have just been. Oops.

    Stay safe everyone, especially if you come any where near me.

    Look what I’ve found

    We’ve just done the annual Easter Egg Hunt in the garden. I’m sure we found one item which was put out for last years hunt!!!

    It’s not much of a challenge for our son. Firstly the dog excitedly sprinting between each hiding place. Plus as our son said

    Dad you do know you use exactly the same hiding places every year….”

    With a touch of irony our Son hid my wallet somewhere in the garden. While searching I came across one random flower. What a beautiful find.

    The break begins….

    One or two patches of Daffodils are making it through to Easter. That’s kinda nice.

    So the Easter School Break begins. With a hunt. But not an Easter Egg Hunt.

    Dad The Pup is outside”

    That’s fine Son because I’ve been at meetings all today the poor boy will be busting.

    That’s good. Did you know he has taken something with him”

    It’s ok for Mr Crocodile to go outside.

    No it wasn’t Mr Crocodile”

    Tell me it’s not your socks.

    No not my socks”

    The little bugger has got my pants hasn’t he.

    No not today”

    What has he got then.

    I think it’s your wallet”

    So after a mad 5 minute chase a slightly chewed wallet has been retrieved. Soon will begin a fingertip search of the lawn for the coins and cards with have been scattered around the garden. I’m knackered already and the break is only 2 hours old….