View

If your going to be a tree this is not a bad place to take root. Not a bad view at all.

Hawklad’s Granny thought so as well. One hundred paces away lies our garden and in a few weeks her ashes will get scattered there. In a quiet corner overlooking that view. It’s taken a while, a pandemic happened.

My mind goes back a few years. After my partner died, her mum would come out to see us every Sunday. She would always look out over that view. One Morning she quietly said

You don’t mind if my ashes are scattered in that corner.’

Of course not.

You are planning to weed it…..’

So my project over the next few weeks is to weed that garden corner. Clear the nettles on the other side of the fence. Clear that VIEW.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday here in Yorkshire. It’s wet and windy outside. I so wish I was in Switzerland right now living out my dreams.

It’s a country that I have visited many times (not enough). A perfect setting for family holidays. So many family memories. It’s now been 6 years since the last adventure here. The family is much smaller now but just maybe next year, more memories can be born amongst The Alps. You just never know when those rainbows will bring those pots of gold to your soul again.

Frustration

This week has been frustrating. So frustrating.

It’s been as tough a week that I can remember on this school at home project. Links with a number of teachers have become very strained. I bet the teachers are as desperate for the upcoming week break as we are.

Work has been a struggle. What can you do when so many are off with Covid. Not enough people still standing to cover the jobs. As much as I move the pieces around I’m always going to be short. Oh yes, sorry, apparently the pandemic is over….

My diet is a struggle. It’s a gluten and dairy free life for me at present. Yet those items are strangely unavailable at our local stores. Clearly the gluten free wagons are stuck somewhere trying to get into this brexit wonderland. I guess it’s a week of mostly jacket potatoes. I know what Matt Damon feels like in The Martian now….

Wow I need a break. But that break seems further away than ever. If only I could be Boris Johnson. Tell everyone we are in this together, take £20 a week off the poorest in our country then jump on a jet for a weeks painting and drinking at a Billionaires pad in the sun.

Dreams of a much better life are there. Stronger than ever. Just not this week. Not any time soon. Need to be patient.

Sleep. I find it’s a commodity vastly overrated but actually much needed….

And yet…..

If I just look up it’s amazing what I can find even on a 1 minute walk to the postbox.

There is always something to hold on to. There is always hope. When I focus on what really matters to me. The amazing in my life. I realise actually it’s still a wonderful life. Yes I’m ready to go again…..

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.

Swiss Sunday

It’s just turned Sunday here in Yorkshire. That’s a really wet, windy, cold and grim Yorkshire tonight. Wow I’m missing my dreams tonight. So let’s live out a few of those dreams.

It’s been 6 years now since I stood in Switzerland and I so want to be back there. It is the most wonderful country I have ever been to. Hopefully one day I hope you get to see for yourself just how magical it really is.

So let’s take a virtual trip to alpine heaven. Yes sometimes the sun doesn’t even shine there. But even when the weather turns it’s still special. It really is.

Swiss Sunday

It’s just turned Sunday here in Yorkshire and I’m dreaming. Dreaming of new adventures, the best ever adventures in a magical land just over 900 miles away. A land of breathtaking views. Epic mountains and deep blue lakes. A land to truly find yourself. It’s Switzerland.

Just maybe those dreams will come true one day.

There is always hope.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it’s time to venture again to one of our planets most picture perfect countries. Let’s take a walk down memory lane to Switzerland.

This week we go back to the Summer of 2012. A very different time. On this day our little family made its way to Kleine Scheidegg. An epic high mountain pass in the Bernese Oberland. It stands at over 6000ft, overshadowed by mighty Eiger and Lauberhorn. It’s a dream of mine to one day stay in one of the hotels here on the pass.

This day we caught the train from Grindelwald. It’s a beautiful journey which eventually leads through the Eiger to one of the highest visitable places in Europe, The Jungfraujoch. On this day we where only going part of the way but someone was too busy to notice having a Dr Who adventure to play out.

A meal outside and then it was the long but stunning walk down to Lauterbrunnen.

What a day.

What a place.

What a memory.

Thank you Switzerland.

Heather

A small family trip to the moors. A carpet of pink.

I’ve always considered my family pretty close knit. No conflicts. No splits. Yes we got geographically spread but we still kept in regular contact. Regular visits.

Then three things happened .

Mum left us…..It wasn’t until she was not there anymore that I noticed that she was the gravitational force that held us together. We would frequently meet up at her house. We would have family get togethers but these usually happened because of mum. We would make the effort because of mum. Now that force of attraction has gone, the family meet ups are becoming less frequent and fewer turn up when they do happen.

Lockdown……The less frequent meet ups STOPPED for over 18 months. One sister who I would see really frequently has ended up not seeing Hawklad in over 2 years now…. Brother its 3 years now.

Time……As time passes we develop our own worlds. New families.

So we had a small meet up today and it felt strange. We should have had plenty to talk about, lots of catching up to do. It never happened. Even though we were physically close there still seemed to be a distance. Even Hawklad felt it. He pulled his hoody fully up – that’s a sign that he wasn’t comfortable. That never used to be the case.

When will the next meet up be, who knows. Zero sign of getting all the brothers and sisters together. The last time that happened was my partners funeral. The slow drifting apart of my family is sad but it feels kinda inevitable.

The Yorkshire Albatross

The Yorkshire coast at just after 5am.

Steep cliffs filled with a wide range of gulls, gannets and sea birds. It’s a special place at any time of the year. Don’t forget your thermal underwear if you are coming …..

But today eyes, binoculars and telescopes are aimed at one spot near that distant sea arch. There sits an Albatross. That rarest of Southern Hemisphere wonders has made its way north. And with impeccable taste has made a temporary home in Yorkshire. Hope Albert (his new name) has brought his woolly hat and jumpers.

This was our second attempt to see Albert. We left the house at 4am more in hope than expectation. This time we were in luck. Through the lens we could see Albert perched on the cliff face. For an hour we watched the new Yorkshire Star. Then in seconds he was out to sea. A brief glimpse of an Albatross flying. Towering over the other birds.

If Albert stays long enough then we will try again. This time hoping for a longer sight of him flying. even maybe a chance to get a photograph.

It was also another step for Hawklad. Another encounter with strangers. All very friendly strangers. He kept his distance but managed to stay. Another step in the right direction all thanks to an Albatross. Who would have thought of that one.

Abbey

Bylands Abbey which is not far from our home. We are blessed with so much history on our doorstep. There has been an abbey on this site since 1135. Bylands grew to be one of the most important monasteries in the country. It’s church was described as one the finest in Europe during the 12th century. At its peak it was home to 36 monks and 100 lay brothers. It was closed in 1538 as part of Henry VIII’s suppression of the monasteries.

Late afternoon we ventured here. The weather had been grim but was slowly improving. It seemed the perfect time and place for Hawklad to test just how much progress he had made with connecting again with the wider world again. His favourite subject, HISTORY and likely to quiet.

At the start it was a little too quiet for the test. We had the site completely to ourselves. There are places which have a special atmosphere. This is certainly one of them. You could definitely hear the echos of the past.

After a while a few other brave souls arrived. A couple of families. Some rather damp walkers. A well behaved dog. I dread to think the damage Captain Chaos could cause if he was given free reign here. The dissolution of the monasteries would have happened so much quicker if only it had been left to a mad pup.

It’s a pretty big, open site but to Hawklad it shrank rather too quickly. No one got too close, Hawklad made sure of that. He noted that no one had masks on. He wanted to put his on but felt self conscious. Even when I put mine on he still declined. He made sure not to touch any surfaces. The visit changed in nature. From a fun historic walk to anxious glances and nerves. Within a few minutes Hawklad was rapidly heading towards the exit and the safety of the car.

So he made another visit. It’s a step in the right direction. But it also highlighted just how far he still has to venture. Even small numbers of strange faces are enough to throw him. That’s outside and not inside. Inside would be such a test. A test he may face sooner rather than later if he is to return to school in September.