The end of July brings the start of the six week school holiday. Wow was that welcome. School had worn pupil and parent down. I’m sure the teachers would say a similar thing. Why does it have to be such a grind for everyone.
This year school kinda just fizzled out, hardly the stuff of an Alice Cooper epic single.
The work and contact with teachers just ebbed away over the last few weeks. Hours and Days would pass where school made no contact with Hawklad. Occasionally work would come appear on the online system. One subject teacher would send an email before some of the lessons providing a two line guide on the upcoming lesson. Nothing from the other teachers. Work dutifully submitted was never marked. Eventually it all just dwindled away into nothing. Finally the last day came and went with complete radio silence. Around midday Hawklad kinda shrugged his shoulders and whispered
“I guess that’s it then, might as well blast out SCHOOLS OUT FOR SUMMER then”
And with that the school year ended. No goodbyes. No enjoy the summer. No date to return. No plan for September. Is the school signalling that Hawklad is on his own. NO IDEA. But at least Alice Cooper cranked up to 11 never fails to deliver.
I was just a few steps away from this sea of purple. It’s was warm, yes Yorkshire can do that sometimes. Deep Blue Skies, rare but yes it can happen even here. So I decided to do the morning yoga (yep I’ve gone full on hippy) under the shade of the apple tree. I found a small patch of grass which hadn’t been dug up by our active tunnelling Mr Mole and off I went twisting, bending and groaning.
A few moments later the helpful yoga instructor blasting out of the iPhone encouraged everyone to undertake a form of torture. Wrapping one leg around an arm, doing the same on with the other leg and then balancing on what limbs remained still free to move. I might have misheard her….. Anyways it wasn’t a pretty site. I felt like an iPhone which had just been permanently bent out of shape. Funnily enough we have a story on that one to come…. I thought yoga was supposed to be relaxing, this is just brutal.
Is yoga out to get me….
Yes it is….
A few hours later we were walking the mad dog down one of the narrow village lanes when a car headed our way. Hawklad went one way and I headed towards the other fence. I recognised the driver and waved. Unfortunatelyat the very same moment I stepped in a rabbit hole and suddenly entered into an out of control stumble, culminating in me trying to fall nose first over the fence. I clearly gave the driver a really good giggle. And here’s the thing. The driver is a yoga instructor. I’m clearly on the yoga naughty list.
So Yorkshire has enjoyed the briefest of Springs. We are now heading back into one last crack of Winter. Even mention of an outside chance of the white stuff.
So before the poor things are battered into submission let’s have one more Daffodil Fest.
The American Psychiatric Association have now officially recognised Prolonged Grief Disorder as a mental health condition. Intense grief that lasts for more than 1 year that disrupts a persons mental wellbeing and health.
Surely much shorter, very intense grief can send people into terrifyingly dark places. Those places will have a profound lasting health effect. That will have just as much impact on a persons wellbeing than the new Official Prolonged version. Grief is GRIEF, regardless of how long it lasts a person.
I just hope that finally GRIEF gets the support it desperately needs. Too many suffer in silence. What support there is poorly funded and badly over subscribed. Even when it comes to children the support is just not there. Hawklad’s Doctor put him on the waiting list for Specialist Grief Counselling. That was back in 2016 and he is still working his way up the list….. How many parents are trying to help their grieving child when they are also suffering as well.
Grief may or may not be a separate mental health condition but it definitely has a direct impact on a persons mental health. Looking back the only support I received was a 12 page pamphlet handed out by the Hospice. For too many that is simply not enough. It wasn’t for me. Hawklad didn’t even get that…… That’s an 8 year old who has just lost his mum. That can’t be right.
Almost 2 years ago we crashed into a national lockdown. Months of being at home. Restricted to the house, the garden, to the adventures around the surrounding fields. The car was hardly used. It became such a luxury item, it gathered dust.
Yesterday I filled the car up with Diesel. I drove past two service stations which had NO FUEL signs showing that they were closed. The third station was open but with long queues. Wow it was expensive. The price has almost doubled in just under two weeks. Hardly any people wearing masks. The shop radio playing as I waited to pay had a Government expert saying that they didn’t know why Covid cases were rising so fast again, but don’t worry as we are now living with Covid. I reached the checkout, wow that’s almost three figure money to feed the car.
As I drove back it started to feel like 2020 and 2021 again. Time to park up the car. Let it gather dust again. Treat the car as a luxury item. Restrict long trips out. A period where adventures are just local ones. Ones we walk from the house.
One mile walk from our house, Captain Chaos almost trod all over these beautiful flowers. We are back in those fields again.
Sounds so easy doesn’t it, if only…… Remember when passwords were just a few letters long and so easy to remember. A first name, a birthday or just the classic old 8 letter password, ‘PASSWORD’. I never forgot a password when it was just PASSWORD. Now they have to be at least a million characters long, contain symbols and most contain no memorable elements. Deep joy.
So the work system was refusing access until my password was changed. It rejected the first few attempts as they did not meet its precise formatting requirements. Then the next one was kicked out as I couldn’t just reuse the last password (worth a try). The next failed as it was too similar to a previous one. So I randomly entered 10 characters, unbelievably that was also a previous password. So next was a devilish password that the system liked but one that was so vexing that I was unable to successfully re enter a second time. Finally I took the cop out option and let the system pick a password. Job done. Only problem is that it never told me what my new password was. It’s my password, shouldn’t I know it. Anyway I can now finally get into the work system.
Now a message. ‘You have just changed your password, we now need to confirm your identity. Please enter the code which has been messaged to your mobile.’
Now I just needed to find the pesky phone. Took me ages to locate it, why didn’t I immediately think to check in the garage next to the recycling bins. When I did eventually find the phone, the time limited code had expired and unbelievably my new password was rejected. Yes I was back with the message
“Please change your password…..”
And with that I switched the laptop off and I went to look at some flowers again. No password required for that……
The weather might be gnarly but how can I not smile with this discovery. It’s amazing how beauty can light up life. I’m smiling so much this morning.
“Dad can you cut my hair”
That’s the problem with single parenting. For every task, I can’t hand it over to someone more able than myself. So I’m a hairdresser today. Simultaneously I am the best hairdresser in the house and without doubt, I am the worst hairdresser in the house as well.
Twenty minutes later Hawklad’s hair is much shorter. A unique haircut. Kinda of different styles depending on which part of his hair you look at. I blame it on the hair clippers. The dog’s hair clippers. So as Hawklad surveyed the damage in the mirror.
“Go on Dad, tell me what your Dad used to say to you, I think it’s very relevant right now.“
After every home hair sheering Dad would say- there is only two days between a shocking hairstyle and an ok one. My Dad would then quickly add – a man on a passing horse wouldn’t be able to see if it’s a good or bad cut. It was easy for Dad, he was bald….
“Dad, as most people won’t be on horseback I’m going to wear a big hat for the next few days….”
The first flowers of 2022. Winter might not be over but it feels much more manageable now.
There is a local saying here – The first snowdrops bring the first real snow. We shall see but the sledge is ready to fly down the hill. One of the advantages of a large posterior is that once the sledge gets going, wow does it get going.
Sill waiting for the school week to get going. Hardly any work provided today but that means Hawklad can set his own learning agenda. It necessarily great for his exams but much better for his own development. So while he was learning about multi universe theory (that’s not the Marvel version) I could go outside. Outside on my hands and knees. Checking at the beautiful new arrivals. That definitely feels more satisfying than the usual Monday school lesson day.