How far

Dad how far can you see from here”

Well from sea level it’s probably about 13 miles, but it’s misty.

Yes with the curvature of the earth, thats about right. But we are on a hill”

Maybe about 20 miles.

The answer is Dad ….. close your eyes then you can see as far as you like.

I’m going to be dammed if I am going to let the education system grind the dreams out of him.

Kinda Day

Sometimes a damp walk in the forest is just perfect, just fits your mood. It’s been a kinda tired day, kinda sad grieving day, kinda lonely day, kinda frustrating day. Nothing is specifically wrong yet nothing is specifically right. Following on from yesterday’s post it would read 30th May – National Feels like one of those Days. Not sure which way it will go. Towards the light or towards the dark. We all get these days. Maybe we should rename it already- International We all get these days which kinda sucks Day.

But we move on. Make the best of things.

Breathe in nature. Touch the damp foliage. Talk about dreams and fantasy worlds. Make our way back home. Football in the garden. Hot Chocolate and Coffee. Popcorn. An Avengers Movie (maybe two). Eventually you make it through the day unscathed. Hopefully dream filled sleep will usher in another day. A better day. A happier day. Shall we call it the International We are all going to have a good Day. We all deserve that.

Blood Red Sky

“Dad its a long time since we had a properly red sunset. I can only remember seeing 3 blood red ones.”

He’s right. We are lucky here. It’s a daft thing to say but we have a big sky here. Not much blocking it out. Well apart from Yorkshire Clag – that’s thick low cloud. When we get a clear sunset they are often stunning but very rarely blood red.

But very occasionally we get one.

I know that a red sky at night is a fisherman’s delight but I think it might be an omen. At the very least I would hope Dracula or the Hammer Horror movies were born from a blood red night. Just think what a nightmare it would have been if the Dracula or Hound of the Baskerville authors had come up with the idea looking at a sunset but finding that they were dyslexic. The stories may have been lost. How many great ideas have been messed up by not being able to write”

Think of all the great stories that have been made by people with Dyslexia. You just have to find different ways of getting things done. Plus what happened if the Dracula author took one look at the red sky and said ‘That reminds me of a cricket ball I’m going to write about a famous cricketer.”

After a puzzled look. What about if Stoker. You do know Stoker wrote Dracula. If Stoker had said that reminds me of a blood sucking chipmunk called Alvin. The first book would have been called Alvin Prince of Annoying Singing. That’s when you would have wished Stoker was dyslexic.”

Can’t argue with that. Another thing I can’t complain about it he is now starting to find some humour in some of his greatest fears. That’s a step in the right direction. Now what’s the odds on a blood red sky tonight being serenaded by a signing rodent…

Public Apology.

Unfortunately the last few posts have been a tad unfair to a great performer. Picked on him a bit. I do like him a bit really. No not talking about Bono and U2 – not even scratched the surface with them yet. I’m talking about Alvin. I would like to apologise to him and all his brethren. Singing Rodents are welcome here. Not you Bono – you can bugger off…

The view

Looking out into the distance.

Dad that’s a top View. Unbeatable.”

It is. Completely fogged out. Can’t see more than 5 yards in front of us. See kids with Aspergers can do irony.

The garden could be beautifully cut and looking like a football pitch before a major cup final. Wonderfully straight stripes.”

Now he is in full irony mode. It’s more like a cow field at present.

Since we don’t have a view to look at we have license to make our own one up. I’m seeing Whitby Habour on a stormy day.

Dad I’m seeing one image. Do you remember that day when I stood on top of the world. I loved that.”

I so do. He was about 5 and we ventured onto his first mountain. A beautiful Swiss one. Glorious blue skies. Fresh alpine air. Surrounded by dream like peaks. The two of us having a crazy snowball fight. My partner and her mum happily sat in the mountain top restaurant having hot chocolate.

A beautiful moment.

This can be such a wonderful life if we only just give it a chance.

When I dreamed

It seems a very long time ago. Days when I dreamed of being a parent. I really had not the first idea of what parenting was. No thoughts of tiredness, frustrations, sacrifices, battles, diagnosis, isolation, heartbreaks, bemusement and an empty wallet. Just visions of

  • The moment of excitement when you find out that you are to be a parent
  • The first gentle embrace with your little one
  • Happy family holidays
  • Fun packed Christmas mornings
  • Those first steps
  • A child doing so well and happy at school
  • Frequent kiddies parties, playing with loads of friends and sleepovers
  • Trips to the cinema with the kids sandwiched between two loving parents
  • Your life continuing unabated as you perfectly share the small workload with your beloved partner.

This morning sat in my battered clothes fuelled on black coffee. Feeling knackered. Looking like crap. Battle worn. Thinking ‘what a prize naive numpty I was’. I might not be the finest example of a parent but at least I look like one now.

I really didn’t have the first idea about life and parenting. Would I have been so keen if I had been more switched on to reality….

“Dad can we have a movie marathon today”

Thoughts of Marvel, Tolkien, DC, Indiana, Bond, Mission Impossible. Losing myself in another world for a while.

Great I’ve got the 4 DVDs ready”

Deep Joy. Alvin and the Chipmunks.

In all the wonderful parenting dreams that super annoying out of tune rodent never made an appearance. The little bushy tailed sod kept quiet until it was too late.

But although I resemble a badly worn zombie this morning. Even after all the bad things that have happened. All the sleepless nights. The worries. Regardless of the lost dreams.

Without a doubt – Parenting is the single best thing that will ever happen to me. That makes me smile.

Now it’s time drag my body out of this chair and take the dog for a walk. Talk about Alvin (sounding like he’s one of my favourite characters ever) while bracing myself against the wind and rain. Imagining the view over the Vale of York as it won’t be making an appearance anytime soon. AND Dream of tomorrow – preferably without Alvin.

Confession time

I need to come clean about something. A secret I have hidden from all but my closest family, friends and postman. Darkness personified. Please don’t be too upset with me.

I have a beard.

There you go I’ve admitted it now.

It’s a recent thing. Not as if I was born with it. I was born with a mass of black curly hair. Was almost called Jimmy after rock guitarist Jimmy Hendrix. Yes born with his hairstyle. A few years later I would have been named Brian after another rock guitarist. In the end I was named after an actor who played in many cowboy movies without a beard.

When the beard started our son never mentioned it. Well not until he told someone working at a ticket office that his dad was trying to get a job with ZZTOP.

Trust me it’s not that long….

I understand the technical term is a short beard. A number 1. Rather aptly I had to re-type short as my first attempt replaced the or with an i.

It’s funny in the 17 years I was with my partner the subject of beards only came up once. That was on a French TGV speed train. So I don’t know if the beard would be fondly stroked or would produce a Paddington Bear like stare followed by the words “shave it now”.

Is it time for the beard to go. I’ve decided that I am now even less likely to be mistaken for George Clooney.

It’s never going to happen. Take George’s beard and transplant it on the back end of a Honey Badger. That’s what we are dealing with.

So maybe it’s time to say goodbye.

But our son is now not keen to say goodbye to it. This is an amazing turnaround as a few years back on a French train the guard had a beard. As he walked down the packed carriage our young son stood up, pointed at the beard and shouted “he’s got rabies”. By the look on the guards face that was three words of English he fully understood.

Now as part of his strategy to save the beard he has named it. As everyone knows if you name something it suddenly gets protected status. So what do I do now.

By the way the beard is now name Mr Crimble….

Alone

Complete white out. Zero vision. Your boots constantly struggling to find grip on the sheet ice. All you can hear is the wind howl and your rasping breathe. Somewhere to your right are bone breaking crags, to your left a 200 feet sheer drop. Holding the ice axe waiting for the inevitable fall. The trail has disappeared. The map is useless. The compass won’t give an accurate reading. Alone. Are you too far right or god help you …. too far left. Too late to turn back. Your only guide is to follow the sharp slope upwards to the summit.

The delights of winter mountaineering. Or is a metaphor for life. Disorientation, lost, no idea where your going, unattainable goals, alone, no plan, fear and panic.

Then hope. A kind word. A caring hand in the dark. Brief enlightenment.

The clouds briefly part. The beautiful mountain summit reveals itself. You survived that crisis. Panic subsides. Your pounding heart starts to ease. The break in the clouds is short lived. But you have a path. You have a direction. You have hope. The climb continues.

Return to Doris

We returned to Doris.

https://bereavedsingledad.blog/2019/04/22/doris/

Doris is starting to flower but is increasingly having to fight for space with other competing plants. It just shows that life and the world moves on – with or without you. On my god have I just quoted Bono and U2. I thought I was messed up but not that messed up. Recently my mind has been trying to take me back to time when the world was warm, safe and happy. Good memories but it’s no more – gone for good. Now I’m quoting a Shins song (but at least it’s not Bono).

My mind is going back because it’s my partners birthday soon. It’s never an easy time. The pain doesn’t really ease over time. You get better at hiding it. A forced smile covers so many demons. The world is still very cold and very lonely without her. Heaven so far awaythat’s an Offspring song (certainly not Bono).

To help with the pain we have tried to celebrate the day. Do something special. Make it a celebration daya Led Zeppelin song (on a different level to U2).

Last year I saw the most wonderful birthday card which she would love. For a few brief seconds I was heading to the cashier before the reality check. She’s not here anymore. We did buy some flowers she would have loved and put them next to her ashes. Hopefully a kiss from a rosenow it’s a Seal song (better than U2)

The year before we tried to release a balloon with her name on it. After several attempts it’s longest flight was about 10 yards – a flight to nowhere. Now I’m quoting a Tesla song (so much better than U2).

So what to do this year. Still haven’t decided. Let’s see how we rolland we have an Alvin and the Chipmunks song (yes still better than U2).

The irony is that my partner really liked U2. I’m in so much trouble – that’s a Whitesnake Classic.

****************************************

Forgive my flippancy. Today was not a great day. A bit down. Eventually I bumped into someone who I hadn’t seen in a while. Although I wasn’t feeling great I still smiled when I said HI. The person responded by saying ‘so pleased to see you smiling it’s great that you are in a better place”. One smile hiding the truth. People who are suffering are still able to force a smile. They can do things like insert some random comments to entirely mask the real mood. Hide the pain.

****************************************

We returned to Doris.

https://bereavedsingledad.blog/2019/04/22/doris/

Doris is starting to flower but is increasingly having to fight for space with other competing plants. It just shows that life and the world moves on – with or without you. Recently my mind has been trying to take me back to time when the world was warm, safe and happy. Good memories but it’s no more – gone for good.

My mind is going back because it’s my partners birthday soon. It’s never an easy time. The pain doesn’t really ease over time. You get better at hiding it. A forced smile covers so many demons. The world is still very cold and very lonely without her. Heaven so far away.

To help with the pain we have tried to celebrate the day. Do something special. Make it a celebration day.

Last year I saw the most wonderful birthday card which she would love. For a few brief seconds I was heading to the cashier before the reality check. She’s not here anymore. We did buy some flowers she would have loved and put them next to her ashes. Hopefully a kiss from a rose.

The year before we tried to release a balloon with her name on it. After several attempts it’s longest flight was about 10 yards – a flight to nowhere.

So what to do this year. Still haven’t decided. Let’s see how we roll.

Our own party

When it comes to elections I let our son decide my vote. It’s not really my world anymore. It’s his generations world. He decides.

So we have Local and European elections coming up. For ages we don’t hear from the politicians then suddenly our letterbox fills with promotional leaflets. I have kept them to one side for our son to look at.

I hand him what is left of one leaflet – not much at all really. Very badly chewed. But we think it’s an independent candidate.

Clearly the dog doesn’t like that candidate. So he’s not getting our vote”

Next is an independent candidate still in one piece. I went through what he stood for.

Apart from he was born in Yorkshire that makes no sense what’s so ever. No idea what that meant so no vote here”

Next up was a very Right Wing Candidate.

He looks an awful person”

We went through his leaflet.

He is an awful person, no vote”

We’ve not had anything from the Labour Party Candidates.

Well if they can’t be bothered to tell us what they are going to do THEN we can’t be bothered to vote for them. Shame because I would like to vote for them. That teams Leader (Corbyn) sometimes says the best things but sometimes is a bit stupid”

Then we had the Liberal Democrat Candidate.

“She looks a really nice person. She’s a mum and she wants to improve the environment and help the schools. She is honest saying we need to pay more taxes to pay for it. She has one of our votes”

Then it’s the two Conservative Candidates.

These photos clearly make them look like they are going hunting for Pheasants. They keep saying that they are going to improve services and yet they say they are going to slash taxes. Do they think we are stupid. No votes”

That’s a good job because I ain’t voting for a party containing the odious May, Gove, Johnson, Hunt, Raab, Rees-Moog.….

Then we have a candidate who is just in favour of Brexit.

All she talks about is that she wants to leave Europe as soon as possible but doesn’t say anything about what happens after that. No vote”

“Are the Greens competing”

Don’t know, not seen anything from them.

Shame we can’t get Greta to be our leader”

She would certainly get my vote.

Maybe the Greens and the Reds (Labour) should merge to form the Browns. That sounds like a great party”.

So we have only one candidate selected. These elections we get more than one vote.

“Right we need to setup our own party. With a bit of touching up you can be the face of the party (said with a very big giggle)”

What shall we stand for. These days people will vote for anything silly”

How about being a single issue party. Let’s keep it really simple. Let’s pinch something from Spongebob. How about our issue being – free Krabby patties for all.

That’s a winner. When you are elected you can work with that nice Liberal candidate and you can start changing the world”

So tomorrow we start saving the planet, today I need to find a heap of makeup and start the touching up process……

Plant versus Dog.

I have a soft spot for this particular plant. My mum had it in a container in her little garden. After her stroke she couldn’t get into the garden that often to water it. It looked lonely. Then the world fell in. When I started to clear her house after those 6 weeks of hell in 2016 – I felt sorry for it. I was in a completely unhinged state and I worried that the plant would be discarded. Left to die. Two deaths was more than enough for that pigging year. I started talking to it. I would tell it how bad I felt. How lonely I was. How completely broken I had become. It was literally the only thing I could truly open up to. I had to give up my job to be there for our son. I was so completely isolated. But that plant was there. Eventually when the house was sold I brought it back to our garden and planted it. It started to thrive. Then…

Then the mad pup arrived. Captain Chaos took one look at the garden and decided that this plant was going to be his ‘cock his leg’ plant of choice. Since then it’s been subject to daily dog waterings. If that wasn’t bad enough the pup then decided he could use the plant as an essential part of his escape strategy. So in addition to being constantly pee’d on it has been dug under, dug out, dug round, dug through and used as a canine climbing frame.

Yet it is still here and is still flowering.

I was discussing this resilient life form with our son. All that it has been through, all that it has survived and how it still flowers. Surely it needed a really heroic name.

Son thought for a while and said

I’ve got the perfect name … JEFF”

So meet the amazing Jeff. A survivor from 2016 and a damm fine counsellor to boot.