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.

Sheep

The sheep are back. Must be time to dig out my old Pink Floyd – Animals LP.

The return of the sheep always makes me smile.

Memories.

A much younger Hawklad carefully feeding the sheep. Following the instructions from the farmer on which sheep liked which biscuits.

And yes that’s a puppy Captain Chaos.

Sometimes that wooden fence wasn’t keeping those sheep from those biscuits.

Sheep.

Then there was the first night in our home. My partner was watching the newly unpacked TV and I had come out into the crisp night air to look at the stars. Wow no light pollution here. No street lighting. Pitch black. So many stars. Then suddenly that sinking feeling.

I AM NOT ALONE…..

Somewhere near the fence dozens of eyes fixed on their prey. Me. I took it like a man. Screamed and ran inside, the door bolted behind me. As a modicum of courage returned, I tentatively ventured outside again with a torch and Slazenger cricket bat. I found dozens of sheep stood at the fence, all eyeballing me. Clearly saying ‘Where’s the biscuits..’ That was definitely the SHEEP OF THINGS TO COME. But I guess it was ALL’S WOOL THAT ENDS WOOL. I will shut up now. Don’t to RAM THE POINT HOME, I wouldn’t do that to EWE.

Predator

Every year one of the great PREDATORS of our planet makes an appearance here. Forget your Great White Shark and your ‘don’t go into the water’ scream. Here it’s don’t go on the grass and whatever you do, Don’t Stand on one of these monsters.

Great White Sharks hunt alone, these beasts hunt in packs.

It’s not ‘You’re going to need a bigger boat’, its ‘You’re going to need a thicker shoe’.

It’s definitely an angry food….

So another morning of missing lessons and unsettling topics. Finally enough’s enough. That’s more than enough school angst for one week. For both of us. Hawklad was ordered to play on his new FIFA game (surprisingly he accepted that order without much protest). I went outside to change both blown car headlights. I know which task I would prefer to be doing…..

In the old days changing a bulb was an easy job. Open the bonnet, remove the old bulb, put in the new one. No tools required. Bask in the glory of being an official car mechanic. No need for that Mark 1 Escort Haynes Car Manual. People used to give them as Christmas Presents…..those were the days.

All those years later, all those years of technological progress and I find myself outside in the freezing Yorkshire rain. Briefed on the trials ahead via a helpful 10 minute YouTube video. A smorgasbord array of required tools crammed into my pockets. Years of progress mean that to change a car headlight bulb I now need to

– open bonnet

– unscrew and remove the front grill,

– remove the wheel arches

– remove the front bumper

– unclip the headlight unit

– remove the headlight unit

– unclip the broken bulb using a technique very similar to the sixth move of doom

– put on gloves as touching the new bulb will apparently cause a thermal nuclear explosion

– then reassemble the car…..

Unbelievably after two hours the process was completed. Ok the car might be out of diesel, it may well fall to bits the next time it’s reaches 30mph but at least the headlights are working.

Now to venture onto the lawn to pick up next doors dog’s poop. Yes I will be entering the land of the predator. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Anyone for croquet

Hawklad was feeling anxious. Really anxious. This time next week will be tough for him. It will be a tough call. Classroom or Home….

Sometimes it can feel very isolating just the two of us kinda cut off from the real world. Maybe there is a danger we take root.

So he needed a distraction. Something different. It was time to go hunting in the garage. What can I find. Imagine a place like the shop that Harry Potter got his wand from. Dark, cramped, filled to the brim with things that haven’t seen the light of day in years. Maybe decades. Some objects beyond rational comprehension.

As I rummaged deeper into the recesses my plight became more perilous. I stretched, bent and shakily balanced over box after box. Deeper I went into the precarious jungle of old toys and objects. Then I saw a very large old wooden box. It might as well have been an old precious wand. That will do nicely.

An old garden croquet set that came from his grannies house several years ago.

Yes it was fun. Definitely different. Some of the rules might have been loosely applied or invented. When did croquet become a contact sport. The long grass didn’t help. But the main thing is Hawklad was distracted.

Now was the time to get serious about this martial art called croquet. I got the lawnmower out and carefully cut out a croquet course. Incorporating obstacles. A Mole Hill. An Apple Tree. The Football Goal. Yorkshire Wet Grass.

Captain Chaos was a moving obstacle and introduced his own version of mayhem. Suddenly we have one of Europe’s Finest and Most Challenging Croquet Experiences.

Captain Chaos might be on to something. Croquet with a sock…..Yes Croquet is fun. And fun is needed some days…..

Nature

I don’t mind gardening. Yes it can be hard work but it’s mostly enjoyable and relaxing. Problem is that I’m not very good at it. My gardening attempts to make things worse. Over time I’ve figured out that the garden will always look better if nature takes control. With patience it brings you gifts. It always does. So amongst the weeds the gifts keep on coming.

Sadly the ‘leave it to Nature’ strategy doesn’t stretch to the lawn. Nature won’t cut the grass. It just keeps on growing. It becomes a meadow. A meadow without wild flowers, just prickly, stingy things. Balls get lost. Pets go missing. Mine and the dogs hay fever goes into meltdown. Yes the dog had allergies. He takes exactly the same antihistamines as I do. It’s such an odd feeling swallowing my tablet while trying to get the mad dog to take his. So the lawn needs cutting. That’s down to me. But I do leave Nature a few areas of grass to do it’s thing with. You never know what it will do. What wonders it might bring. And it does give the mad dog a great place to hide socks, my socks.

Pat

You get these days……

Hawklad was taking his science revision really seriously. We were in the garden playing football. Actually I was trying to show off. Trying to show Hawklad that I could curl a free kick around the sundial and nestle the ball into the top corner. All with my left peg.

Sadly I am no Messi.

The ball screamed into the farmers field. Like an Exocet missile it landed perfectly into a new and very deep cowpat. I jumped over the fence again landing perfectly into an even bigger cow gift. I wasn’t picking that ball up so I decided kick it. Have you ever kicked a cowpat. It explodes…… I was covered. It even went up my nose. Up my pigging nose. That’s emasculating.

The smell taking me back to days living near a sewage treatment facility. All very Nose-talgic……

Definitely one of those days….

Flower

Came across this rather marvellous flower just outside the church walls. That good that even Captain Chaos opted against cocking his leg against it. The ultimate sign of respect. Unusually the dog only passes up on such treats if stinging nettles are in the immediate locality.

Stinging nettles in the locality.

Not an area you ever see Captain Chaos lifting his rear left leg off the ground to ….. Even the farmers cows avoid here…… But it is a great area for harvesting nettle tea….

It’s also a great place to drop something. This afternoon I was taking a works call. In a desperate attempt to stop falling asleep or going crazy, I went outside. Outside with the mobile, pen, paper and mug of coffee. As the work call dragged on the duel prospect of sleep and madness increasingly beckoned. To distract myself I moved to the fence adjacent to the mutant nettles. Why, I do not know…… Then the inevitable disaster. The pen and paper toppled off the fence and with unwavering precision they were consumed by the monster stinging jungle. Taking the notes I had made during one of the worlds most boring ever phone-calls into oblivion.

Two options

1) get seriously stung fishing the notes out,

2) own up and basically restart the dreaded work call again recapturing the facts and data.

Only one sensible option I could ever take. Neither….. End the call and just guess……

Does that make me a bad person 😂😂😂😂

Hot air

It’s early. I should be sleeping but I can’t. The mad dog wants to go outside and have is morning constitutional….. So without bothering to get dressed I dragged myself out into the chilly garden. Don’t laugh but the dog won’t do what dogs need to do without having someone stood next to him. So I stood bear footed on the damp lawn, looked the other way and whistled.

That’s when I noticed the hot air balloon. Right over the top of me. The balloonists got to see what I wear in bed….. Sorry about that.

By the time the dog

had finished. By the time I ran inside to get my phone, the balloon had moved on a bit.

Well that was a different start to the day.

Thoughts and dreams

In years gone by if I needed to think. Be with my thoughts. I would go for a run. Maybe go climbing. Those things worked best for me. But then parenting and then single parenting curtailed the climbing option. It was then running. Fell running to collect and process my thoughts. Often I would start a run then become lost in my thoughts. Only the alarm on my watch would bring me back to reality. I would be miles into the hills and it would be a mad sprint to get back home for the return of the school bus.

Then the pandemic happened. We went into our family lockdown. So far 16 months of a lockdown. I lost running. But I didn’t lose my need to think. So I discovered the joys of leaning against our back garden fence. Thinking while looking over the fields and scanning the distant horizon from a little hill top home.

It worked.

So this morning I was leaning on the fence. Thinking. Looking at a distant beautiful tree. Dreaming.

But then I was joined. Someone decided to invade my space and block my view.

I’m can’t really see the tree now. I’m having to stroke and feed this one. I’m telling this cow my dreams. She seems udderly fascinated. Or maybe she’s herd then all before. Definitely deja moo

No Surprise

It’s just rained again. No surprise there then….

I’m picking up the courage. The courage to go outside and do some gardening. I have pile of seeds that need planting. I’ve kept putting that off for weeks now. To wet, not enough sun, frosts at night. Problem is that April has gone. Now May is almost left us as well. Our short growing season is getting very short. I did plant some stuff at the start of April but even that has struggled. Plants appeared then stopped growing.

The only exception is one solitary potato plant in a bucket. That one is getting on with growing in this cold weather. I have high hopes for that plant. That plant feels like a winner.

It’s just about making the most of things I guess.

Next week is the school half term week off. Then it’s the school’s year exams. At present we just don’t know how they will work for us. With Hawklad currently being unable to get into school, it makes sitting exams problematic. We have no idea what the plan is. Do school send the papers to us. Does he do them online. At the same time as the other pupils. Or does he do them at a later stage. Does he even sit them. From what I can gather some of the subjects have been sitting practice exams over the last couple of weeks. Hawklad hasn’t…..

For Hawklad it’s just about making the most of things. Getting through to the summer and then it’s decision time. Can he return to school. If he can then is it best for him to learn in the school system or go it alone. Getting on with things regardless of the weather.