One of those walks where it feels like you have the world to yourself.
And someone is on a mission to find the nearest tree.
Sometimes that nearest tree is frustratingly too far a way for such little legs.
February 2020, the last time Hawklad was at school. Where did those couple of years go……
Up to that point Hawklad hadn’t been comfortable in school. Well not his current secondary school, a school with over 800 other pupils. Too big, too noisy, too many sensory distractions, too many faces, too many strangers. It had been so different at his first and so much smaller school. Just 2 classes with no more than 40 kids. He felt more at ease there. He made some very good friends there. Frustratingly those friends got spread around the next school with none in his class stream. But he did manage to make a few more new acquaintances. So he did get to socialise with people his own age.
Then the last two years happened.
Two years of school at home.
In those two years, socialising has been at a premium. Two years and he’s seen one friend. She is good friend he met at his last school. They play some online games together and have met up a few times. But that’s it in two years. That is one consequence of a pandemic.
It’s been one of those pushing up hill days. School doing as little as possible. A flu jab that ended up being a magical mystery tour around an NHS property – the signs had blown over in a wind storm and countless potential jab recipients were walking aimlessly around a vast site like a scene from ‘Night of the Zombies’ or ‘The Teletubbies’. Then news that Hawklad’s mental health support is getting reduced again. Was supposed to be a couple of yours every week. Then it was reduced to 45 minutes every two weeks. Soon it’s going to 45 minutes every month. Just not enough resources to meet rising mental health needs amongst our young. It’s all about government priorities. Well at least he’s still getting some help, that’s something.
Finally time to relax a bit. Hawklad was watching an Adam Sandler buddy movie. He does make Hawklad laugh a lot. I watch bits of it as I caught up with some housework. Funny how housework doesn’t ever sort itself out.
The movie was all about a group of childhood friends meeting up now they were middle aged. I must admit it got me wistfully thinking about how life has worked out over the last few years. Single parenting, living out in the sticks, a pandemic…. All are the equivalent of the FRIENDSHIP Hulk Buster Suit. Seeing friends has been officially been BUSTED. In over 5 years I’ve had one meet-up with a friend which lasted 2 hours at a so called football match. What I would give now for a few of those Adam Sandler type friend meet-ups. Just his much I would give for just 30 minutes with my best friend. Sadly I bet I’m not the only one feeling this way. These are isolating times.
It’s a simple church dating back from the 10th century. The Font and an Effigy date back from the 13th century. The small graveyard shows the age more starkly with many of the gravestones now completely weathered by the Yorkshire wind and rain. Faceless.
Today as I wandered along the village street to post a letter I felt faceless. When I first moved here I knew many in the village. A number of good friends. But slowly those that knew me have thinned out. Left. Passed away. To the point where this morning I walked in a beautiful but alien village. I know hardly anyone here now. That has been amplified during a pandemic. I hope that as things open up just maybe I can start to feel part of the community again. It won’t be easy.
I suspect I’m not the only one facing this new challenge.
It’s been too long. Far too long since Hawklad got to do his favourite ever activity. Handling birds of prey.
He’s done this a few times. Sadly not enough. Hawklad is someone who struggles with social encounters. He finds it difficult to build up trust in others. It takes time and patience. But he can and does. He forms really close bonds with those he develops trust with. Real lasting friendships.
It’s so different with Birds of Prey. Instantly establishing a bond. Complete confidence and trust. Even getting to stroke the chest of one raptor who the falconer said that it had taken him months of effort to build up the same level of trust.
That’s why in an ideal world Hawklad will get to fulfil his dream of having his own falconry and rescue centre. And we all know dreams can come true. There is always hope.
I was trying to free up some space on the blog so I was looking what old stuff could de deleted. Can’t believe I’ve tortured people with 1600 posts since I started back in 2017. You know what, I never got round to deleting anything. I was too busy reading my first few posts. Wow they were bad (I’m not saying I’ve improved over the years as well….).
Reading those first posts a couple of message shine through. I was understandably messed up and I was at my lowest point. There was hardly any hope in my words. Hope is often the first thing that LOSS takes from you. It did with me.
Well 4 years later HOPE has returned. I now have a better perspective on life. LOSS is still the worst feeling. Loss of Hope is just as soul destroying. But now I can see a number of new more hopeful dimensions to this dreadful process. It wasn’t all bad. My life focus changed. I realised just how unimportant a career is in the scheme of things. A career is not about personal development rather its often a way of missing out on those important family moments. Single parenting is a tough gig but you get more time with your kids. More quality time. Time is the most precious commodity. And yes doors to close permanently but life eventually does go on again. New pathways open up. Pathways which would not have been found without LOSS. New OPPORTUNITIES, new FRIENDSHIPS. New HOPE.
Sunday morning in Yorkshire. Like every Sunday morning for over a year now. Not enough sleep. Get up. Feed the pets. Exercise. Housework. Give Hawklad his breakfast. Feel frustratingly hemmed in. Isolated. Overthink life.
But eventually I start to breathe. Remembering what is important in life. In my life. Remembering those personal treasures that are so close to my heart. That always lift me up. That make me smile inside and out. And I realise just how truly fortunate I am.
The snow is now a distant memory. The last bit to cling on was this random block of ice. The last part of the snowman. Snowman to Snow Bunny.
It’s been one of those weeks so far. A week off from school. In other years a week of trips to the Zoo and the Seaside. Maybe a wander in the Hills or Moors. Not this year. Not last year.
A week at home….
Which kinda makes it like every other week. Ok no school at home but it feels the same. Get up early and do my exercise. Make breakfast for Hawklad. Do housework. Do the wash. Change the bedding. Make food. Go out in the garden a few times. Fighting with the cable signal. Watch Disney Plus. Feel bad about not reading so squeeze in a chapter. Go to bed. Seemingly not doing much yet wondering where the days have gone.
Thankfully connecting with friends. Friends are able to break the Groundhog Hog sensation for a while. That is so important these strange days.
Don’t you just love WordPress. It’s a bit like Prunes. You know they are good for you. So many benefits but a monumental pain in the backside….
Blogging is really so good for me but WordPress is a monumental pain in the ….. It just feels like wading through treacle.
Will it just once allow me to format the post as I want it to look.
Will it just once have a truly user friendly editor.
Will it just once not keep trying mess up my photos so I have to constantly keep on reloading them.
Will it stop showing me that my blog looks fine when some users can’t see the photos or only see messed up formatting.
Will it stop messing up a post when I dare to try and include a music or video link.
Will it stop changing all my text into micro font if I accidentally delete a bit WP doesn’t want me to do.
Will it stop randomly deleting people from my following list and then not bothering to tell me.
Will it stop randomly deleting comments I post.
Will it stop randomly deciding to freeze the iPad app. In fact will it stop freezing my iPad – it’s the only app that has ever done that for me.
Will the help desk stop blaming Apple for the working of its App.
I like blogging. It helped me cope with loss. It helped me become a better parent. A better person. Made some great friends through it. Kept me connected with people during this period of isolation. So I guess I will keep taking my Prunes. The benefits are so worth it.
It’s almost goodbye to 2020. Well that was a year. I blame one person for everything…
Boris Johnson on the 31st December 2019 “This is going to be a fantastic year……”
What an absolute Numpty. I guess it was for him and his cohorts in terms of corruption and feathering ones own nest.
But for the rest of us it was a challenge. I could have used so many other words here but let’s go for the one I can spell. I’m not going to go on about the obvious things this time. Let’s just hope that 2021 is better. This year has not exactly set the bar that high but let’s not tempt fate. I will leave that up to our so called leader.
But here’s the thing about 2020. It’s been truly horrid and tragic for so many. It’s been tough for our little family but let’s also remember the positive stuff as well. So many people have demonstrated what a wonderful, caring and beautiful world it can still be. Old friendships have strengthened. It’s also brought truly wonderful new friendships which have enriched my life.