Touch of Orange

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.

Definitely overthinking.

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.

We will keep fighting these bullies.

Swiss Sunday

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.

Monuments

A weekend walk on the Yorkshire Wolds.

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.

Swiss Sunday.

That’s a proper view from the hotel bedroom window…

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.

That’s what you call a proper lake steamer

Swiss Sunday

A bit of a family Swiss holiday tradition. Sundays would be a boat trip around Lake Thun, from Spiez to Interlaken. A time to relax and breathe.

Spiez is such a beautiful town.

You surely must be really brave to cut those lawns…..

That’s an epic road to travel as well.

On this trip the boat echoed to the beautiful sound traditional Swiss singing.

It’s all really thirsty work for Hawklad and his buddies.

And finally back to Spiez, that’s a proper Sunday.

Swiss Sunday

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.

https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2022/10/15/special-guest-poet-christine/

Swiss Sunday

As a kid, I felt trapped in a northern costal town. A town surrounded by sea and industry. Back in those days, travel was a rarity in this hard working environment. Money was tight, dreams confined. Like many from that windy, smokey town, we felt cut off from the world. The only world we had was what we could see and touch, which wasn’t much.

But one snotty nosed kid with big Joe 90 glasses (look that one up 🤣🤣🤣) would walk into town every Saturday morning. Armed with money from Dad to buy cod off the returning fishing boats. He would spend some time waiting for the boats to land on the beaches in the Amusements. Watching other kids play the latest versions of Space Invaders or PAC-MAN. But before that he would be found in the Town’s library, sat by the indoor goldfish pond (yep the library had one). Looking at pictures in mountaineering books, of exotic places, of exhilarating adventures. A life completely different to that found in this isolated, grey place. One place really captivated him. A magical looking place called Switzerland. One mountain hooked him. It looked ominous, it looked foreboding. Reading tales of heroism and tragedy on its sheer ice filled walls. He dreamt of being there, standing next to The Eiger.

Never in his wildest dreams did that kid ever imagine that decades later that seaside town would be history. He would have visited on many occasions that magical Swiss landscape, it was even better than he ever imagined AND his son would stand under the mighty Eiger.

You just never know what paths will open up when the time is right.

Swiss Sunday

2013.

2013 October.

Where did those years go.

A family break to Wonderful Switzerland during the October School Half Term. One morning where the clouds dominated. We caught a bus to a remote village a few miles away from Lake Thun. That bus ride made me smile so much. Every time someone got on the bus they greeted everyone with a cheerful hello as they found a seat, I could get use to that. After the bus ride we found ourselves walking through farmland, rolling hills, heading back towards the Lake.

We found eventually ourselves at a lakeside hamlet just in time to catch the ferry for a leisurely trip back towards Spiez.

Definitely a good day, but was it really 9 years ago.

Fog

The first proper autumnal fog, the first of many….

I was looking at an online social media chat about Bereavement ….. well it beats watching my team try to play football. The chat was all about the recent UK State Funeral and how it had triggered emotions in many about their own personal losses. It is hard to watch a funeral and not be reminded of matters much closer to hand. I must admit as I watched the Funeral, one thought really struck me. How on earth do you grieve in front of millions, I couldn’t do it in front 40 people.

Two funerals in 6 weeks and I didn’t grieve at either of them. Focused on an 8 year old and trying to process far too many thoughts. I’m not that sure I took any of the funerals in. I can’t remember anything that was said. Can’t remember the music. Can’t remember that much at all. I can remember my brother whispering something in my ear that brought a half smile. I can remember standing with Hawklad looking at a fishpond after his mums funeral. That’s about it. Just felt like it was about waiting for them to be over.

It does feel so strange that I took far more in for a woman I had never met than I ever did for either of my mum or partner. I sometimes wish I had a video of both Funerals so I could experience them, hear what was said. Feel a part of them after 6 years.

Back to the online chat, the consensus was very similar. Mostly funerals are an ordeal, to organise, to sit through. Often the grieving can only really start when you have the funeral behind you. That definitely was my experience, it felt like it was months and months later before I started. This may sound crazy but until that point I was hurting but I wasn’t grieving. I wasn’t really accepting the reality, wasn’t ready to let go. Maybe if I had let the Funerals in more, maybe I would have been more receptive to grieving.

The fog of life might have started to clear much sooner.