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.

Bored

It’s truly awful outside. Even by Yorkshire standards it’s grim. So let’s go back to blue skies. Even today the blue sky is there. Close by. Just need patience until it appears.

So we made it through another school term. A term of school at home.

Is survived the right word….

Last night a thought struck me. Just how few people I have actually physically met and talked to in that term. So apart from Hawklad the list I believe is…..

  • The postman and the occasional delivery person,
  • The delivery man (same one) who dropped off the washing machine and dryer,
  • The cashier at the local store.
  • Hawklads nurse counsellor,
  • The vet,
  • The receptionist at the pharmacy.

That’s it. Since September. Thought I had better pad that out a bit. So let’s add. Dozens of the farmers sheep, cows and the growing numbers of hooligan garden birds. But when you analyse it. These aren’t really meaningful conversations. Just passing exchanges of words.

Last year that kind of isolation would have completely spooked me. It now kind of feels like the norm. How it should be. That’s because IT IS the norm. It’s been like that since March. Will be for at least a good part of 2021.

Those cows and sheep are really going to get bored of me.

L

Doolittle

I think I’m starting to channel my inner Dt Doolittle. Fit those without this gift can I translate the look I’m getting from the sheep.

Will you stop taking photos and please go and fetch the biscuits. Doris is in the other field so you don’t need the Digestives. Now be a good chap and get the packet of Rich Tea. By the way you really don’t suit cycle shorts…

So that’s what I did. It was biscuits for all our wooly jumper friends.

If only my Doolittle skills extended to people. Would have come in useful this morning. A mid morning knock at the door and a delivery driver. As I opened the door she preceded to talk to me in a foreign language. For many seconds….. I just smiled and nodded. She pointed to the parcel on the floor and started to walk off. She suddenly stopped turned round and in English said

Please tell I haven’t just spoken to you in polish”

Having confirmed that she spent the next two minutes apologising. Apparently she forgets some times. And with that said she said goodbye and left. I still don’t have a clue what she said in polish though. She forgot to mention that….

Sheep

The sheep are back. Winter can now officially start.

For those with good eyesight you can see the city in the distance. Well you can just about see the cities stunning cathedral. That’s the only evidence of city life. That’s how it should be. No sprawling high rise cityscape here thankfully. Feels reassuringly old school. Apart from the power lines this view will have stayed the same since The Minster was completed in 1472.

So the sheep are back. That means our biscuit budget will be busted. They come for a daily biscuit. That’s a lot of biscuits. Thankfully they are not like our household pets and are not picky. Any biscuit will do. Even the really cheap ones. The farmer recommends Rich Tea or Digestives. So that’s what the sheep get.

It’s a two way process. The sheep get treated and Hawklad gets time with animals. That’s special time to him. Any time with animals and birds is. They relax him. They fascinate him. He feels at ease with them. He loves being with them. All animals.

Well almost all. English Cattle and Giraffes spook him. They always have. He is relaxed with Swiss Cattle just not English ones. When he goes to the Zoo he loves getting the chance to hold spiders and snakes. Will confidently handle Birds of Prey. Wants to get as close as possible to the big predators. But gives the Giraffe section a wide birth. He just doesn’t feel as trusting with them and English Cattle.

But Sheep are definitely on the trusting list. He would happily have all the sheep move in with us. Probably move me out to make room.

I know my place….

View

Bit of a theme going here. Been thinking about the 20 odd years I’ve now lived in this part of the world. Looking out over the garden fence. Over the farmers fields and towards the next set of hills in the distance.

A lot has happened in that time. Parenting and family. Becoming an Aspergers home. Bereavement, grief and single parenting. Full time career to stay at home parent making ends meet through part time work. Isolation. Homeschooling. Greater awareness of what it means to live and finally starting to get my priorities right. Of the five neighbours we had when we moved in, 2 have passed away, 2 have moved into care homes and the last remaining neighbour is largely housebound. Yes new neighbours but they so far have kept to themselves.

And what about that view. Actually the only constant. That tree is a bit smaller and a bit lob sided due to a couple of lightning strikes. But that’s it. Nothing else has changed. That’s so reassuring.

Yucky

Goodbye brief bit of blue sky as the next wave of grotty weather heads in. Now it’s officially yucky.

Ok I know the apple tree needs trimming. In my defence the second last time I tried to do that the tree battled back. Someone ending up in casualty after a direct branch hit on my eye. Then the last attempt ended prematurely when the ladders started sinking into the ground and I had to perform a dainty little sky diving forward roll landing. The new plan is to wait for a severe frost and then try the ladders on the hard ground. What could possibly go wrong.

What’s really annoying is that over the hedge is the neighbours garden. It is absolutely immaculate….

It’s always been like that really. A garden of mess surrounded by oceans of immaculateness. Is that even a word… it’s certainly a big word for me. When we moved in at the turn of the century (doesn’t that sound a long time) all our neighbours had beautiful gardens. The house we bought had a seriously overgrown one. A lot has happened since then. Too much. The garden is better now but never immaculate. We like to call it a bit randomness in a sea of order. I guess that’s quite apt for me. Over the last few years my nice, ordered and safe life has been upturned. It feels like I’m living this random, chaotic, unplanned life while the ordered world continues all around me, oblivious to what’s happening with me.

So just like the apple tree needs a bit of order restoring, I will need to think about doing the same to me as well….

Change

The local church pepping through the trees. There has been a church here for a 1000 years. It’s kind of a nice thought that this view might not have changed much over the years.

Somethings never change….

Dad have you been buying stuff again.”

I have son. New Christmas Tree lights. Ours are a bit old and they keep blowing. What do you think?

They are very nice. I like that they are all little houses that light up.”

They will look good on our tree. I was thinking about the tree next to the fireplace again.

Dad what’s this that came in the box with the lights?”

That’s a mini solar panel. I wonder why that’s come with the lights.

Maybe Dad it’s because these are OUTDOOR lights. Might explain why the photo on the box has these outside on a bush….”

Opps. Well we have some bushes to put these on.

Dad you are a muppet….”

Yep that never changes.

What is it with me

Parents do need to relax sometimes….

I’m starting to get a complex. My Tai Chi and Yoga are under attack. Serious attack.

So yesterday I talked about who a delivery man rudely interrupted me in full ‘Golden Rooster one one leg’ mode. Well it escalated today.

The back gate was wedged shut with the bin. No delivery man is getting to see me strut my stuff today. All was going well. I was just getting my breathing in sync with my inner spirit. He chi was flowing nicely on my yoga mat. All was good as I gracefully performed ‘White Crane Spreads Wing’.

Then a hooligan pack of Birds flew over the garden. An unprovoked bombing run. One of the little blighters scored a direct hit on my once blue yoga mat.

My inner moment was gone. Is it just me!!!! I don’t see this happening to the likes of Adriene on her videos from Texas.

Maybe it’s much safer to sit with a mug of coffee and watch the sun go down. Under an umbrella just in case.

Cobwebs

Tis the season for cobwebs here.

I made a huge mistake last night. A mistake the spiders seized upon.

Minutes after the national lockdown started our tumble dryer died. So it’s been all about trying to dry washed clothes, towels and bedsheets outside or on radiators. Not ideal when son’s anxieties are requiring frequent changes in these items. So the last few days have seemed like a constant fight to get stuff dry while stopping the house from getting too damp. Deep joy.

Anyway late afternoon I put some towels outside to dry in a brief break in the weather. And then somebody forgot.

So this morning I ventured outside to discover the forgotten towels. All completely sodden, cold AND covered in cobwebs. I counted 4 spiders enjoying their new comfy hunting grounds. So as I carefully removed the final arachnid I was struck by a thought.

Spiders are the such an adaptive and resourceful creatures. They focus on a task without an ego. They can produce such beauty. Have such patience and resilience. Have been fine tuned over millions of years.

I wonder if we could convince one of these little fellas to run our country until we finally get round to electing a decent and competent leader.

Just a thought.

Spectacular

Last nights fireworks. That’s as pyrotechnically awesome as the display got. But that’s the point. Some others in the village will spend huge amounts on expensive fireworks. Not here. The tradition is get the cheapest box set available and then laugh at the results. That makes for such a fun night. That’s basically the point of fireworks.

Then it was time for another crack at toffee apples. It went as badly as the previous night. Finally with the last drops of syrup (out of date maple left over from pancake day) we managed to kind of coat some apples. Kind of. Not enough to cover a full apple. We had to cut the apples up into pieces and hope for the best. I might have forgotten to boil the apples first so they didn’t like keeping the toffee coat on.

The end results can be best described in one word.

SPECTACULAR