Out to get me

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. Unfortunately at 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.

Yoga is out to get me.

Downton

The village went all Downton Abbey like last weekend. Can’t think why 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

Bizarrely we watched Downton the other night. Hawklad is rather taken by the whole thing. It’s fictionally set somewhere round here but filmed mostly outside of Yorkshire. Just like the cool start to an American Werewolf in London, that spooky Yorkshire Pub and foggy Moor was randomly filmed in Wales – clearly real Yorkshire is even TOO scary for a Horror Movie. The Earl, his family and servants keep visiting places right around us. It is most unsettling when they look nothing like the real place. They went riding just a few miles from us and I had a thought, I hope I remembered to pick up the mad dog’s morning constitutional poo. Would hate for the good noble family horse shoes to step in that.

It’s been one of those few days. Actually it’s been one of those few weeks. Not enough sleep, school issues, work issues, life issues, just ISSUES. Never stopping, running around in ever decreasing circles and actually achieving absolutely nothing. Where do those 24 hours go…..

So I walked through the village looking at the bunting while thinking, odds on that our mad dog will at some stage try to pull all that lot down and then bury it in our front lawn. Out of nowhere a villager stuck his head out of the village hall and shouted, “When are you bringing the cucumbers for the sandwiches”. This villager could have well been a head butler in a past life. A head butler with remarkably bad eyesight as his next words demonstrated. “Oh I’m sorry, you are not Margaret…”. Never been mistaken for a Margaret before. Never even mistaken for a woman. Even when I dressed in a full on and very well ventilated French Can Can costume and ended up walking through a town centre searching for the Uni Party, I was DEFINITELY NOT ladylike MOST DEFINITELY not mistaken for a woman.

Issues with Horses

Hawklad was playing online with his best friend so I had an afternoon to burn. Let’s go for a local walk.

I have issues with HORSES. Always have. Some say its because they like me for some reason but I know differently. The truth. They are after me.

As a child I once went to Africa to visit my sister. At one stage I was asked to stand next to a horse so my family could take a CINE film. Remember those…. As I stroked this particular fella, much laughter ensued. The horse literally ate my T-shirt. From then on the vendetta took hold. A few years later I was trying to get into a Football Stadium to see Newcastle get beat again. Stood in the queue chomping on a chocolate bar when a police horse stood on my foot. As I spun round in pain another police horse ate my Mars Bar……

The theme continued. I was walking on Dartmoor when a wild pony pinched my sandwich……

If only it was always that end. I was walking through a city centre to a meeting one afternoon when I came across a crowd. A new Betting Shop was opening and the famous Racehorse, Red Rum was the guest of honour. I found my self in a queue which I thought led to a free T-shirt but no, it was the queue to stand next to the great horse. I patted the huge horse with some trepidation and he repaid me by crapping on my shoe….

See they have issues with me. Maybe it’s because they know that I once voted for that horse loving movie, The Godfather as my favourite soundtrack ever. They know….

So on this particular grey Yorkshire afternoon I found myself walking across a field when over the hill a pack of ravenous beasts appeared. They came closer….

And came closer…

And closer….

And closer….

And sensing blood, even closer….

I was surrounded. I now knew what it felt like for Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum to be surrounded by a pack of blood thirsty Jurassic Raptors.

And remembering the best Jurassic Park survival strategy, I legged it. And when I got back home guess what. I had stood in horse poo….. See they have issues with me.

Swimming

Surely even I can swim across this mighty river.

“Are you sure Dad, your not exactly fish like”

I know but it’s probably just about within the max of my swimming range.

“Dad the bath is the max of your swimming range…..”

But I am a bit of a sporting super being, I could probably jump across the stream.

“Really Dad”

I think so, I am built for sporting excellence. Some say I have a passing resemblance to Thor 🤣🤣🤣🤣

“Maybe the Thor that had cheese puffs flowing through his veins but you definitely have a sure fire resemblance to Fat Tony from The Simpsons”

*******Harsh but fair*********

Daffodils 1

Just one random Yorkshire village in Spring. For a few glorious weeks a scene of yellow. The Daffodils take over.

Much needed lift to the soul.

Do you remember the simpler, less connected days. Days when all you needed to be fully connected was a pen and a piece of paper. Now Device X needs to confirm that you are really you by talking to Device Y and only then will Device Z do what you asked Device X to do. That’s fine as long as Device Y is working. In my case Device Y is a mobile phone. But for the last two weeks our mobile signal has been off due to network issues. So when Device X messages Device Y, it misses. So Device Y can’t confirm identity to Device Z, so Nothing Happens.

Deep Joy.

Perfect timing as the Debit Card rules have changed apparently. Now virtually every online transaction I try to make requires Device X to confirm to Device ……. You get the picture. This means every transaction ends up with me on the phone to the bank listening to customer care recorded music.

Deep joy.

All apart from Amazon which still doesn’t need Device X to…. So Amazon is getting a shedload of business from me.

Deep joy.

Well today I tried to pay a home oil bill and guess what Device X needed to talk to …… So I was on the phone to the bank again. After listening to 50 minutes of badly recorded Euro Pop someone finally picked up the phone. Utterly spookily randomly bizarrely the person on the other end was someone I was at Uni with. I hadn’t spoken to her in over 30 years. Speaking to someone sat in a different country who was sorting out by bank card, who once cut my hair. Cut it badly, I can’t remember why she ended up cutting my hair. Maybe it was because I looked seriously uncool, looking like Shaggy from Scoobydoo after he had put his head in the tumble dryer for 30 minutes. After the haircut I ended up with another Scooby Doo haircut, this time Thelma’s.

This all goes to show that I actually don’t need Device Y to be truly connected.

Password

Colours are slowly returning to the landscape.

If only everything was such a welcoming site…

“Please change your password…..”

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.

Not quite.

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……

Cable

One Atlantic storm down, the next one heading towards us.

Is that overhead power cable supposed to be like that….

So far several cranes, vehicles, trucks and at least 14 workers have been parked along this lane for over 16 hours now. All because of this one pesky piece of wire. That’s proper attention seeking for you.

In an ironic twist of fate, this was the very week our area phones got switched over to VOIP. Previously our phones worked when the power was off, now the helpful new service message is “in the very unlikely occurrence of power cuts, your new improved phone will not work. Please ensure you have a backup plan”. Is that mobiles, smoke signals or a messenger pigeon they are talking about. Not every household will have a mobile.

So the power has been mostly on and off today. One cable is still intact but looking very baggy….. When the power is on I have visions of Back to the Future. Some unfortunate worker having to do an impression of Dr Brown, holding two bits of cable in each hand and shouting “1.21 GIGAWATTS” as his hair smokes. Just so I can put on my kettle for a cup of tea. This is Yorkshire….

Soup

The relative calm before the arrival of the next two Atlantic storms. What’s it to be this week. Direct hits or glancing blows.

Definitely soup weather.

Today felt like a carrot and ginger soup affair. Plenty of carrots to be used up. Eight carrots later, throw in a sweet potato, already to go. Just need to add some cut ginger root. Hawklad came to see what was cooking.

Perfect timing Hawklad. Here you take the bag of ginger and you can add it to the soup.

As I explained the soup and the merits of adding ginger.

“Dad what are you adding to the soup now”

I’ve just explained, it’s the ginger.

“But Dad I’m holding the pack of ginger, I will say it again, what are you adding the soup…”

Erm I’m not entirely sure now. Oh pants. You are holding the ginger and I’m holding a bag of chamomile herbal tea…. It’s now become Ginger and Chamomile Tea soup.

“Is that going to be a soup sensation Dad”

It might need something else to give it some panache….. what to add. Something spicy.

“What about Ginger”

That would be admitting my cooking failings.

“Leave it with me Dad.”

Ok I’ve turned my back, what are you adding. Something spicy like curry powder, cumin, chilli.

“No it appears to say Ground Lavender, is that spicy enough for you…”

You have no idea what Lavender is have you son.

“No I don’t but looking at your face and smelling that soup, it’s the perfect choice. And the best thing about this whole deal. It’s your soup, I’m having fish fingers for lunch, so it’s all yours……”

##################

There you go. Carrot, Chamomile and Lavender Soup. Eat your heart out Heston Blumenthal.

Photo from The Times

Sharks

The daft things we say or I say.

I was about to quote a certain Star Wars catchphrase to Hawklad. Unfortunately I was still a bit distracted as I had just been to the kitchen to fetch some ice cream, so ‘let the FORCE be with you’ came out as ‘Let the FRIDGE be with you’. That would fundamentally change the overall ethos of the Jedi Order.

Then just a few minutes later…..

“Dad I can’t believe you said that”…

It will taste like chicken, everything tends to taste like chicken.

“Dad, it might work with meat but I asked what a pomegranate taste likes….”

That is a valid point. That old expression just popped into my head. To be fair I am from Yorkshire which explains many things. Round here if you stop your car for directions you run the risk of getting this helpful piece of advice, “Eh Lad, I wouldn’t be starting from here to get there…”

Is it just a Yorkshire thing…..

My mind wanders back several decades. I remember going on a Geography Field trip with school. We went to the seaside and found ourselves on top of a huge cliff. One lad asked the teacher, a right Yorkshire character, if we could follow the steep path down to the beach. This was at the time a certain big fish with teeth movie was scaring the pants off millions of cinema goers. The teacher replied “NO”. When asked why, the first excuse that popped into his head was

“Because of sharks…..”. The mad teacher must have realised just how daft that had sounded to a group of snotty nosed teenagers. Pointing down at the massive cliff face he calmly recovered his credibility.

“I’d like to see Jaws climb up that bugger and then try to bite me on the bum, stood up here. “

This mad teacher had lots of form, I think he deserves his own post one day. Anyway looking back all those years, my FRIDGE comment isn’t so bad now. But I guess cliff top Great White shark attacks are kinds rare in Yorkshire.

Terrible Poetry

Somedays are more tiring than others. Some days are more stressful than others. Somedays the serious words don’t come. Somedays it’s best just be silly.

It’s been too long. Actually I can hear shouts of ‘not long enough’. But here goes. It’s Terrible Poetry time. The Bad Bard is back. All thanks to Chelsea Owens Terrible Poetry contest.

https://chelowens.com/category/contests/terrible-poetry-contest/

This time the rules are….

  1. Topic: The family pet, written Golden Shovel Style. Here are the rules for the Golden Shovel: Take a line (or lines) from a poem you admire. Use each word in the line (or lines) as an end word in your poem. Keep the end words in order. Give credit to the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines). The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.
  2. The Length is up to you.
  3. As far as I can tell, Rhyming is up to you, too.
  4. Whatever, man, just make it terrible!Dredge up Fido’s memories and remains through the worst eulogy printed on Purina Puppy Chow. Set the still-living Princess Catarina howling in indignance. Send Horace the hamster spinning with rage.
  5. Let’s keep the Rating: PG or cleaner. How risqué do your animals get?

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Thursday (February 3) to submit a poem to Chelsea.

So which classic poem shall we go for. Something poetic, something beautiful, something deep, something philosophical. Let’s go for a classic opening line that ticks all those boxes. Maybe Shakespeare, maybe Blake, maybe Wordsworth. Or maybe Philip Larkin, maybe his classic ‘This be the verse’ with its uplifting first line…..

‘They F**k you up, your mum and dad’

That’s me kicked out before I even start…..

So let’s use those poetic word gems do type an ode to Captain Chaos. Let’s make it Terrible.

His best buddy is a seriously fat cat, it’s far too quiet, where are THEY

They have just pulled the curtain off the wall, what the F**K

Now it’s on the floor, covered in hairs, well Thank YOU

Captain now thinks it’s great fun to try to hump the cat, that’s seriously messed UP

Even The Cap knows you can’t end a sentence with a possessive determiner like YOUR

But he is a clever dog with a great pedigree, a beautiful white Spitz is his MUM

He gets his intelligence, looks, fluffy hair and cunning from her AND

being a right ruffian, rogue, rascal and rampantly randy from his Cocker Spaniel DAD