Have I mentioned that our local area still has a hosepipe ban. That pesky scorching sun. The other day Hawklad queried why people in Yorkshire don’t emigrate to somewhere nearer the Equator. I’m not sure my answer was entirely convincing.
My oldest sister would share Hawklad’s view on Yorkshire, it’s weather and the attraction of the Equatorial Climate. Anything below 25C is too cold for her. But it does beg the question how she will cope on her Bucket List Holiday next year. Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights and Alaska. Not exactly Toasty.
Toasty was how I was trying to feel as I made a call to a local college while sitting on the back room radiator. A radiator turned on FULL. I was trying to book Hawklad in for a taster visit. School had failed to let us know that the window for booking these was now open. They hadn’t even mentioned what this college can offer. The reason apparently is that they don’t believe college is a viable option for Hawklad. Deep SIGH.
The college does appear promising as it has a well established setup to offer post school opportunities for pupils who have special educational needs. So we will see if Hawklad can attend a taster session in the New Year and see what he thinks. If the main college is too busy for him then they do have a separate smaller offsite teaching block which has been setup specifically to provide a quieter, more tailored learning environment. He could start in September.
But first we have to focus on Hawklad’s immediate wellbeing and helping with his anxieties. Then it’s the issue of the final exams in June without any real support from school. But at least we have the first opportunity door appearing in the distance. It’s a start.
Back to 2015 and our last family of 3 trip to Alpine Heaven, just before the world changed. A perfect deep blue sky week – almost. One slate grey day, so we heeded across the lake towards the closest mountain for a mini adventure. The Niederhorn is a relatively small mountain (6440ft) which seemed to be just below the cloud line.
A relatively small mountain here but way higher than anything the UK has got to offer. Memories are flooding back now. Chatting with Hawklad about how this mountain must kinda get overlooked sometimes in The Alps. Yet if the mountain packed it’s bags and moved to the UK it would be treasured, held in awe. Hawklad laughing at the thought of the Niederhorn needing to buy a waterproof coat for the weather in its new home.
Coats were definitely needed on this day. So was the hot chocolate and warming soup in the mountain top restaurant. But you know what, it was a fantastic adventure, Switzerland always is….
Just a few paces from here is one of the places we have been thinking would be a nice place to scatter some of Hawklad’s mums ashes. His mum loved to walk here. However the area is becoming increasingly wet as the years pass by. The landscape is definitely changing. We might need to rethink the plans.
Wet old day here in Yorkshire, it’s been wet for days now. Unbelievably we are still covered by drought rules and a hosepipe ban. Well there isn’t much need for our hosepipe presently, it’s been pretending to be a sleeping snake in our long grass for months now.
Yes it’s WET, yes it’s NOVEMBER, but there is still a touch of orange if you look hard enough.
A good walk to just switch off.
Hawklad goes through phases where THOUGHTS get stuck. Anxious thoughts, stressful thoughts, negative thoughts, confusing thoughts, possible upsetting thoughts. Thoughts that just won’t go away. They seem to take on more meaning, seemingly acquire more permanence. I remember reading a Psychology Article that labelled these thoughts as Mind Bullies. These thoughts try to bully you into thinking that they are more significant, have more meaning than other thoughts. Not just thoughts that quickly disappear, these try to take over. Try to ruin the day. Try to bring a person down.
Today Hawklad decided to write down the problem thoughts. He wrote down 168 Bully Thoughts in just a few hours…. As he said.
I try to help but I’m no specialist. Am I doing more harm than good, I have no idea. But here’s the problem, there is no access to specialist help for many. School only focus on academic performance, huge waiting lists and insufficient capacity effectively rule out mental health support. Hawklad is not self harming, not violent, not suicidal, so he is viewed as low priority and has little chance of getting specialist help. Limited resources have to focus on others. Then all too soon he will be classed as an adult and then the support completely dries up. So families and friends do their best to help.
A late afternoon walk around Spiez and to the banks of beautiful Lake Thun. Warm but still with snow on the mountains. A perfect time to visit Switzerland. Looking at the date stamps on the photos, is it really 11 years.
As the sun started to set behind the mountains the lighting became truly magical. A perfect time to breathe.
After the evening walk, time to properly concentrate on getting as much tomato ketchup on Fries as is humanly possible.
Yorkshire does like a good old monument. Three good ones on one brief walk.
So school should be fully back in swing now but I’m left with one overriding feeling.
WHAT IS THE POINT…..
School helpfully emailed all parents with a list of topics that need revising for the upcoming Mock Exams. Unfortunately well over half the topics are new news items to Hawklad. Is it revising when you have to look at a topic for the first time. Deep sigh….
Hardly any interactions with teaching staff still, Hawklad is definitely feeling increasingly cut adrift. Unfortunately for the rare subjects that are still in touch, he kinda wishes they had joined in the collective radio silence.
One of the teachers did mark some of his submitted work. I thought it was really good work, better than I could ever manage. But what do I know, the teacher awarded him a FAIL. Apparently when a question asks for consequences of a particular event, marks will only be awarded if the pupil sticks to the limited number of consequences provided by the teacher in class, which have been approved by those in charge. It reflects just one of a number of equally valid opinions. Stick to what you are told. Parrot learn the wording and then regurgitate the words in the exam. Critical thinking, or thinking for yourself are not required. Valid consequences and detailed reasonings that differ from the very narrow school script are not accepted. I did recheck Hawklad’s answer and yes I quickly found that his arguments were backed up by a number of subject experts. Hawklad really can’t get his head round all this. It confuses him. It frustrates him. It makes him doubt himself.
What makes this worse is that this is his favourite subject. The subject he is best at. The one he enjoys the most and yet because of the academic approach, it’s now the one he is getting the lowest marks in.
Failed for thinking. Failed for having a passion in something. Kinda sums up the school at present.
It just seems like a MONUMENTal waste.
I do like a good pun, but tonight even that pun doesn’t make me smile. Yes school is back again.
So many beautiful deep blue sky family days in Switzerland. But every so often the weather closes in. For me that just makes this special place look even more special. I’m definitely dreaming about family trips here again, just need to wait for the right time.
As I was trying to bake something just slightly edible for this weekends Great Bloggers Bake-off, my mind wandered to Switzerland. Memories flooded back in. Just how much we enjoyed the food there. Hawklad could be a really picky eater when he was a toddler, but it was never an issue in Switzerland. He loved the food there. He is not a great chocolate or cake eater but there he loved them. After every trip out from Spiez, we would walk past a small bakery restaurant on the way back to our hotel. Binoth on Seestrasse sold the most amazing cakes and confectionery. Hawklad would sprint into the restaurant to see what magical things he might try. They always had cakes designed like animals or really fun things. Happy memories. Is it really 2015 since we last tried those baking wonders.
There is something about having a beautiful walk then finding a wonderful cafe to sit outside, relax and take in the Alpine views. Definitely could do with that right now. New dreams are there to be had still.
I see the restaurant is temporarily closed at present … it better be open when we get back there……
Check out Mel’s wonderful site for more on the Great Bloggers Bake-off.