Proper weather

It’s been far too dry for Yorkshire. Coming back from the dog walk it was clear that was all about to change. The question would be, do we get back home in time.

No.

Proper weather.

I’m not sure that crazy old tree house would offer much protection these days. Must admit I can’t remember seeing anyone up there since I moved into the village. That’s two decades ago. WOW, two decades. Where did that time go. Anyway just a few pigeons and occasionally the farmer’s cockerel are the only life that makes it up there. The cockerel and hens are clearly very talented.

The farm birds now have branched out into money laundering, honey and eye products.

I could talk about school at home but I would only moan about a day spent revising executions and serial killers. So let’s focus on the farm birds. That’s an egg-cellent choice. Plus if I do moan anymore I run the risk of getting us egg-pelled..

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….

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

Weaponised Baking

It’s been a while. Too long. But fear not. Baking is back. As Spock would say, it’s baking Jim but not as we know it…. I like to call it Weaponised Baking.

I know so many of you wait for those Michelin Standard baking tips. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

So here goes.

I was about to bake a loaf of bread but I wanted to spice it up a tad. Maybe add some cheese, or a few Mediterranean herbs. But it just didn’t go far enough. What could I find in the fridge or cupboards which was game changing..

A few hours later we have……

I give you gluten and dairy free, no added sugar – BLACK FOREST FRUIT BREAD.

The end result, just a bit different from cheesy bread. The taste, well it’s different. As Hawklad described it

Well it doesn’t taste poisonous, it’s a unique sensation. Its like my taste buds are being assaulted…..”

True weaponised baking…..

Tired bread

The snow has gone but it’s still cold. It’s rush hour again here…..

In the Black Friday sales I bought a bread maker. I had just been looking for a couple of new loaf tins. It was a rush of blood. Thankfully a much cheaper rush of blood than it could have been. So far so good. Much easier and much much easier. Almost fool proof…….

It’s been a tired day today. Hawklad is tired of school, I’m just tired today. Shall I show you just how tired, tired is. I present to you Exhibit A. It’s a delicious and wholesome traditional French herbal loaf…..

That’s what a traditional loaf looks like when you don’t add any WATER. As the faint sweet slightly burnt smell filled the house my brain pondered what that could mean. My bread never messes up these days, certainly not with my bullet proof machine. Maybe it just means a slightly more crusty loaf. Maybe it’s just the herbs infusing the dough. At no stage did the tired brain think ‘Huston we might have a problem here…..’. At no stage did the brain encourage this Muppet to get up and check upon the baking disaster unfolding in the bread maker……

That’s tired or it’s just me……

Cobwebs

It’s that autumnal time of year for cobwebs. The local world is covered in them. Definitely another great reason to go outside. That one is almost good enough to play tennis with.

If only the cobwebs didn’t extend to my brain…..

Trying to show Hawklad how you work this little beauty out.

If 9 grams of water is decomposed, how many grams of oxygen and hydrogen are obtained?

If only it was just this one question. Another 30 questions of increasingly fiendish difficulty are facing Hawklad. As his science expert (🥸🥸🥸🤪🤪🤪) it was my job to explain that to him. Oh the brain cobwebs. That part of my brain has been much neglected over the many years since leaving university. Strangely no cobwebs in the parts of the brain that could answer questions like

Who won the FACUP in 1955?

Who played the hero scientist in Quatermass and the Pit?

Name all the characters in The Penguins of Madagascar?

Recite every word from The Dead Parrot sketch?

But sadly chemistry has much cobwebbing for some peculiar reason. So after 90 minutes of mental short circuiting I asked the next question with some trepidation.

What’s the next lesson?

Its History Dad. All about the 1542 Witchcraft Act.

Oooohhhhh. #@##%##@…..

It’s ok Dad, we have unbelievably done that before. I’m good on that. You can stand down for 90 minutes and have a rest.

The 1542 Witchcraft Act is clearly a horrible moment in our history but I get a rest, so for one day only, it’s gone up in my estimation. Does that make me a bad parent…….

Cat meets Adriene

Too dark inside and out for the old iPhone camera, it did its best…..

Rain, rain, rain with some added rain today.

Roads starting to become streams.

After a super wet walk it’s time for most definitely indoor exercise. Time for yoga. But as I have shown you before indoor, yoga, a yoga mat and a big boy cat don’t really go well together.

First of all, how can one cat take up the whole mat. Second how am I supposed to perform any sort of balletic move with that fella between my legs…..

But today that feline apex predator was distracted. His focus drifted from the ‘funny chubby chap who feeds me’ to the yoga instructor on the iPad. That was it, he was hooked. I think the boy cat likes Adriene. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Fashion

It was time to go through the wardrobe. Summer out, Winter in. These days Autumn and Spring just count as an unwanted extension to Winter. In come the jumpers, out goes the T-shirts.

With Hawklad it’s straight forward, all his summer clothes can go to the charity shop. They won’t fit him next year. Then to the shop and buy this years winter clothes as last years don’t fit him…… Expensive but straightforward. He is taller than me so I suppose I could have his cast offs as ‘hand me downs’ but

….. I’m not cool enough to wear his clothes.

….. He’s long and thin, I’m NOT….. Imagine The Hulk busting out of his stuff.

My wardrobe is not so straightforward. I wear last years clothes (and the year before that , and the year before that). The record is a purple climbing waterproof jacket which is over 30 years old…. The complications are fourfold with this approach.

One….. having to find somewhere to put the summer stuff so it doesn’t become cat bedding.

Two…. does it still fit. Reassuringly it did. Hang on, is that a good thing. Does that not just confirm that I’m the same wrong shape I was last year. That’s out of shape……😂😂😂😂😂

Three….. has it become that worn with age that unfortunate passerby’s can see through my clothes. I wouldn’t wish that horror on anyone, even Bono.

Four….. stress testing. Can the year older clothes still withstand the immense pressures my body puts stitches under these days. I would hate to be the cause of an international incident.

You notice fashion is not a factor. When you look like me then you can safely wait for my clothes to come back into fashion one year. I still have hopes for my pink leg warmers…….