Monster

Unbelievably some snowdrops have survived the paws of the mad one. Flowers are always welcome especially when they herald the arrival of Spring. They are even more welcome when they sort themselves out. We just have to enjoy and try to stop the dog trampling them into the ground.

This morning was felt like another Groundhog Day here in our family lockdown. Very like every other morning. Doing the same things. That included trying to find some socks to wear. Where do they go. Ok I will reframe that question. Where does the sock monster put them. It’s not as if we live in a big house with loads of rooms. Only a month ago I had to buy 7 more pairs to boost the numbers floating round our little world. Sill struggling to find a matching pair.

But here’s the thing. Here’s another reason to be thankful of the lockdown. No one will see what I’m wearing. It doesn’t matter. Odd socks rule….

Open my eyes

Too often I can’t see the wood for the trees. I’m looking but my eyes are shut.

Focusing on stuff that will probably never happen. Still hoping to walk down paths that are closed. Looking out into a landscape which is grey. Trying to find new adventures to find colour in life, but too often failing.

But then….

Two feet from the front door. Just a little bit of colour. Just a little bit of hope.

Just needed to open my eyes.

Red

Definitely red, definitely a blueberry plant. It’s quite a few years old. I bought it from a local garden centre about 13 years ago. It was heavily discounted and looking very damaged. Clearly it was close to being binned. I kinda felt sorry for it. Since then it’s been a plant that keeps on giving.

It’s nice to have those things that give you so much in life. I tend to find that the best of these often come from quite unusual routes. Not the way I would naturally imagine they would come from. That kind of makes them even more special.

This blueberry came into my world at about the same time as Hawklad. Both were about 1ft tall. Thirteen years later the plant has trebled in size – Hawklad is now double its size. Well at least I’m still taller than one of them….

This morning I was thinking about some of the other changes the plant has seen. Yes the obvious one with the loss of a key team member. Aspergers. Much less visitors. Much less hair on my top. Too much hair on top of Hawklad. A mad dog. The Apple Tree is more unkempt. A mole and badger have become nighttime visitors. Some nutter starting doing yoga next to the poor plant. Far too frequent storms battering it these days. The nutter sitting outside talking to the plant but now with a decaf coffee – just not the same. People walking their dogs in the farm field but now wearing masks. Hawklad talking about 4 generations of Xbox’s now. Four different cars. Three different lawnmowers. A sandpit replaced with a football goal. A garden shed replaced with a weed patch.

Yet the blueberry plant is still here. Still giving. Not bad for something that was close to getting rejected and binned.

Definitely red, definitely special.

Missed goal

I admired this beautiful plant. Admired it as I was sat on the bench. I was actually sat on the bench to inspect my injuries. A rather too enthusiastic attempt to score a garden goal ended up with my head first in the hedge. A few cuts and scrapes but the flower took my mind off the pain. Can’t believe after all the damage, I didn’t score the goal. This was all done to the backdrop of Hawklad laughing his socks off.

Dad do you want help getting out of the hedge. Are you ok?”

Hawklad concern is better when your not wetting yourself with laughter.

It was like an albatross with too much in its belly trying to get into the air. Little legs struggling to pick up enough speed to take off. And failing spectacularly. That was too funny Dad”.

Hawklad that was a cracking goal

You missed Dad. It was all for nothing.”

Oh man. I thought I had hit the target.

You certainly hit the hedge, unfortunately the ball was less accurate. Actually it was very similar to your head. It ended up buried in the hedge. Shall I help you out Dad.

No I’m doing that by myself now.

Dad you’ve left a big hole in the hedge. Maybe it’s your new art. Body dents in the natural world.”

I could tour the world hurling myself head first into different world landmarks.

It’s a big hole you have left. Looks like a hippo has crashed through.”

Hawklad are you saying I’m as big as a hippo……

“Of course not Dad. That would be unfair on Hippos.”

Now you mention it, that is a big indent. Did I really make that.

Yep. Being a responsible parent weren’t you Dad. It’s a good job I moved out of the way as you would have hit me.”

Responsible parenting goes out of the window when your son is taller than his Dad. Look at the bruises on my shins from your kicks. All the world great footballers have to endure the dastardly attempts to stop their artistry.

“I’m only defending myself from a charging hippo. Funny I’m not seeing Messi or Neymar playing in my garden. It’s more like Gloria from Madagascar. ”

Absolutely no appreciation from my so called son.

That’s right Gloria. Now go and fetch the ball from the hedge….”

I will after Gloria sits down and inspects her injuries. Oh… Look at that flower.

Thank you Roses

Roses, roses, roses. Thank you for roses.

Beautiful, resilient and a bit of fight about them.

A flower than can melt the heart and then draw blood.

England has even had civil wars over a white and red rose.

**************

I’ve always felt a strong link to roses. That’s not surprising since I come from the White Rose County. Yet the link is stronger than that.

The last present I gave to my partner was a rose. Since then that delicate white rose has been intrinsically linked with my grief journey.

We have another rose which is decades old and has come from my partners childhood home. So it’s a link with Hawklads past. Family members now gone.

I also often look at a rose and see symbols of life. Today I was looking at a rose and it made me think of friendship. Some of the rose buds seem to go on forever. If you are lucky in life you may find one of those friendships that do that, always special, always beautiful, everlasting. Yet you also see rose buds that fail to bloom. How many times have I had thought that I had found a great friendship yet for whatever reason things never seemed to take off. Then you come across those roses which burst into life, producing the most stunning flowers, yet within days they have died back and faded. Just like those friendships which seem like they will be the best ever and yet suddenly they end – wonderful but not ever lasting, so short lived. You just never know with roses and you just never know with friends.

Today it was friends but on another day I will see roses symbolising another part of my life. I’ve done it with grief, parenting and hope. What will the Rose show me tomorrow?

Hope

A mass of pink.

Thankfully every year this happens.

This rose is clearly very old. It’s been here for nearly 20 years. Before that it was at Hawklads grannies house in Thornton le Dale for several years. And before that it was blooming in K’s childhood home. So it’s well travelled and clearly very old. It provides a symbol of hope to me. A beacon. We all need these in whatever form. I am so lucky to have a number of these sources of hope. Some are close by like this one which is next to my bedroom wall and some are much further away. Regardless of the distance and location, they are special to me. So I care for them and yes worry for them. In terms of the plants, we did have a few more of these symbolic plants but slowly the Yorkshire winters and living on an exposed hill have taken their toll. Now we are down just to three of these well travelled old plants. Yes the numbers are dropping each year but the hope they represent still shines so brightly. Each winter I hope and pray that they make it through the rough months. So yes, I am always thankful for another year of those treasured flowers.

Over time I have lost things which are special to me. Things change and that is life. But if I open my eyes and heart then new beauty will enter my life. Hope is renewed and flourishes again. That’s why it still can be a wonderful life.

Outside

It’s been a wet day. Very wet. The sort of day you only go outside for a really good reason. Which basically means just one visit into the garden today. The best of reasons took me out and I’m thankful for that. Smiles, fresh air and unexpected flowers.

It’s strange how quickly your house can become so claustrophobic. The walls seem to slowly close in. The rooms become darker regardless of how much artificial light you try to switch on. The atmosphere becomes increasingly heavy and foreboding. You cling on to those things that make you smile. Finally it’s has to be the time to brave the rain and breathe again. Quickly the mood lifts. Happy thoughts flood in more quickly. You feel alive again. Even in the rain it’s wonderful to breathe.

Biscuit inspiration

Flowers never fail to take my breathe away.

Sadly on too many days, school has the same effect on me

I contacted school to let them know that son was still struggling but as it was the last week of school, he would give the online lessons a go. School said that they would let all his teachers know and would appropriately restrict his work demands. This week had to be a phased return. That was 8.30am on Monday morning. His first lesson went ok then it was time for the second to start. He was told to complete a one hour test (starting in 5 minutes) which the rest of the class has had a week to revise for. In fact some of the questions related to course material which was only introduced during the week he was absent. Apparently even if a child is sick, that child should still log into the school system and check all class lesson notes.

So much for a phased return to schooling.

This called for the inspirational powers of hot milk, digestive biscuits and toast. The test was completed with much common sense and quite a bit of creative guesswork. Looking at some of the questions – his Dad would have been as much use as air conditioning is in Yorkshire.

That was the first morning of the school week. This could be a long one. Good job we have many packets of biscuits and chocolate ready to go…

Flaming summer

A beautiful rose is a timely reminder that its flaming summer. Strange that it’s so very grey, wet and the heating is on full blast. At least there is no need for the air conditioning in the car. My car AC is savage. It has basically two settings OFF and REFRIGERATION. However due to a electrical fault I cannot now switch it off. It’s a cold car. There is a downside to the refrigeration setting. When I took the facial temperature check I registered as a fault on the digital thermometer. Too Low. I had to quickly try to warm up to record a reading. Thinking about it maybe that’s a common problem in a Yorkshire. Can I find a way of turning up the heating any further.

Tomorrow’s Rose

A few hours ago talked about a Yorkshire White Rose which has a connection with my partner. I said that it would become even more beautiful. Well here’s the proof.

This little bush produces the most stunning roses. The sadness is my partner never really got to see them. But they are such a beautiful tribute to her. That’s such a nice thought.

Take care everyone and remember to live. It’s can still be a wonderful life.