Odd sandwiches

The one thing that you get used to as an Aspergers parent is routine. Lots of routine. That’s tough for parents like me as I am not really a routine person. I’m a bit more impromptu. Bit more going with the flow, see what happens person. Maybe some would call it winging it. Which is most odd. On most of the old Aspergers tests I would score very highly yet on one I was way down. Routine.

On this Hawklad is completely different to me. He needs his routine, his order, his plans. He needs to have that safety net and he needs to follow them. It’s reflected in so many things. If we are driving somewhere then we need to follow the usual route, even if that means a much longer journey. He likes to wear the same types of clothing – if he grows out of them then we need to replace with almost exact copies. He has a TV and movie schedule which he sets way in advance. We will often watch the same movie over and over again. School lessons have to follow the timetable without variation. We need to buy the same types of pens and pencils. He likes to go out in the garden and talk at the same times. He doesn’t like me to do things like change my hairstyle or try new clothes. It’s funny I’ve been wanting to shave my hair off for years but that’s just not allowed.

Break the routine and he is immediately hit with waves of self doubt and fear. Over the years we have tried to work on this. Slowly trying to introduce change. Occasionally trying to introduce unplanned but definitely fun routine changes. But it’s never really worked. Routine is just a key part of who Hawklad is.

Another area of much needed repetition is food. He has the same seven day food menu. The same foods on the same days, year after year. Trying new foods is just not something he does really. Normally ends in failure.

Dad what on Earth is that.”

It’s a sandwich.

Yes I can see the bread but it’s what is between that which is the worry.”

That will be cheese and onion crisps. It’s going to be one of the great gourmet experiences. A crisp butty. A crisp sandwich.

Really. That is just wrong on so many levels.”

It’s fantastic. Go on try it. It’s a family tradition. Your Little Nan would always be treating herself with one. But her crisp butty would be made with Ready Salted crisps.

Just No Dad.”

Ok. But if it’s not a crisp butty then what about a chip butty. A sandwich made from fried chips (fries) with heaps of tomato ketchup. Another true taste sensation.

Erm NO. You can keep that as well.”

Ok Hawklad what about a fish finger sandwich. Fantastic.

Not happening. That’s a tradition which is not passing down the gene line anymore. It ends with you.”

Morning has broken

The scene after I had just finished my early morning exercise session. I might be tired but it’s so nice exercising outside, in the sun, and yes when it’s almost warm. Not so much fun in a few months time when it’s freezing, dark and chucking it down with rain.

Well finally school has broken into some action.

  • A confirmed timetable
  • A list of teachers
  • Some class materials starting to appear on the system
  • Some work assigned
  • A method of submitting work kind of established.

Took some negotiating but at least we have a start. Something to work with.

Ok Dad it’s your favourite subject, ART. What do you know about Japanese Art? And don’t mention Manga…”

Errrmmmmmmm. Let me think for a few minutes. Manga!

Useless Dad. Ok apart from Manga what do you know about Japanese Art?

Errrmmmmmmm. Godzilla.

That’s not much help. Apart from Magna and Godzilla, what do you know about Japanese Art?”

Errrmmmmmmm. Mothra and Ghidorah

Still not much help DAD. So apart from Godzilla monsters do you know anything about Japanese Art?”

What about Rodan.

Dad no more Godzilla monsters. Your basically going to be not much help as usual.”

Yes Hawklad, sadly no help at all unless Art becomes a Godzilla Fight Scene.

Useless. Mum would have been a great help. She was great with Art and Culture. I’m stuck with comic boy…”

Yes but your mum would be no use when King Ghidorah attacked. It’s all about priorities. And your mum liked comics. I once bought her the complete TinTin comic compendium.”

Don’t you think mum would have preferred some flowers.”

Probably……

But in my defence the previous Christmas your mum had bought me a ‘Dance Hits of the 80s’ cd. She knew a metal head like me would really appreciate that type of music. So you don’t always get what you want.

Bit like me and wanting a parent who might know just a little bit about Japanese Art…”

Oh no it’s a poem

Stand by yours beds people. It’s kind of back. Chelsea Owen’s weekly poetry challenge. Ok it’s not officially Terrible Poetry anymore, but this is me, I can only do it one way. That’s Terrible. Do this challenge once a week and I can myself a bard. A bad bard….

This week Chelsea is back with

Where once I told everyone to write terrible poetry, I now tell you to write terrible poetry with the intent to make us all laugh:

  1. The Topic is eccentrics. Collector, streaker, hermit, or superhero? I read about the British variety in Henry Hemming’s In Search of the English Eccentric and now I’m hooked!

  2. The Length will be a limerick. How else would you poem about eccentrics?? A limerick is five lines: AABBA, in anapestic meter.

  3. Rhyme? Naturally -unless that would run against your hero’s …idiom.

  4. Don’t worry too much about the details! Wake up at 2 a.m. from the strangest dream you’ve ever had, roll over to your notepad to write it down, then turn it in as poetry the next morning.

  5. Keep the Rating at PG or cleaner.You’re too clever to stoop to crass jibes for humor. I know it.

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next Friday (September 11) to submit a poem to Chelsea.

Brace yourself, here goes….

I am English and I am most certainly very eccentric

I drive a car the shape of a teapot but don’t worry, it’s electric

I have a fine collection of pink britches with matching bowler hats

Let’s not forget I live underground with my cross dressing pampered cats

And pray tell what’s wrong shopping in a musical codpiece when it’s authentic

Saturn 5

We live on a hill. A not very big hill. But a nice one. This is the slope dropping down into the flat Vale of York. The Vale stretches for mile after mile. This gentle grassy slope is also our sledging run during winter. It’s not very steep but it’s long enough to generate enough speed. Enough to send this Dad flying through the air. That takes lots of momentum. Even those massive NASA Saturn 5 rockets would struggle to lift my butt into the air.

We don’t get much snow. But when we do it’s time to get to our hill slope.

What could possibly go wrong. The first time we tried sledging here Hawklad asked if I would safety test the run first. I reassured him that it was perfectly safe. I set off from the top and a few seconds later smashed into the tree at the bottom. I was like a precision guided missile. A missile with a large butt carrying much momentum. At least the padding helped protect me.

So when the snow comes again – what could possibly go wrong.

Clouds

To us a sky filled with dragons.

To us the second cloud photo has a ancient mythical warrior sky surfing. That’s what we think anyway. Even can see his shoes.

Clouding dreaming is such a great game. Well it is until someone starts to cheat.

Hawklad can you see the Transformer surfboarding.

Oh yeh. You can see his feet as well. Actual it’s more like a warrior from say Ninjago or Power Rangers.”

That’s right. Maybe even a mythical warrior.

Not really Dad. More like the Silver Surfer.”

Ok very Silver Surfer like with just a little bit of ancient mythical warrior added.

Whatever Dad. Oh look there’s a cloud that looks like a giant Pineapple with a little bit of ancient mythical warrior added.”

Where?

Oh Dad. There’s a cloud that looks exactly like a Football Stadium with a little bit of added ancient mythical warrior added.”

Where are you looking?

Dad look at that fantastic cloud. It looks like a giant Christmas Tree with an ancient mythical warrior sat on top.”

Where are you looking son?

That’s the best one yet. That cloud looks like a massive castle with a moat surrounding it with a load of ancient mythical warrior manning the battlements.”

Your winding me up now aren’t you Hawklad?

Never. Would I ever do that to you Dad …..”

Yes you would.

Mobile blues

Mobile phones are not designed for me. I have a regular habit of putting them in the washing machine, dropping them on stone floors and squeezing them into pockets alongside keys, which are not great for delicate screens. The current phone has done well to last for so long. But there comes a point on no return.

One too many bounces off an unforgiving surface.

Now only parts of the phone work. As Monty Python would say – It is an ex parrot. It can still make calls but has a habit of switching off after a few seconds. Not great when you are trying to wait in a call queue.

Well Dad you will just have to buy a replacement.”

I will add it to the ‘need to replace when money becomes available’ list. May well be not at the top.

But Dad it’s an essential item. Think of the calls you will miss.”

I don’t get that many calls these days. We have a normal phone. I know it’s hard to believe but I can remember a time before mobiles. It was great fun. I remember setting off for a meeting and driving 4 hours to Northumberland. Only to find that the meeting had been cancelled just after I had left. No way to contact me. So I had a chip butty in Morpeth and then set off back. Best work day ever. No work, chips and listening to music. Now they would have just contacted me within minutes on my mobile

Dad what on Earth is a chip butty.

Hawklad you have never lived. It’s a sandwich filled with chips (fries). It’s the food of champions.

Ok. But your phone is an essential item.”

It’s not.

It is Dad. Think of work.”

They can use the house phone and send emails to the laptop.

How will you know if I’ve missed the school bus.”

Well you won’t be on the school bus for quite a while. Actually you probably won’t be at school for a quite a while.

What about taking photos.”

I can just use the camera. The camera hardly gets used these days.

What about the music you listen to.”

I can go back to my old MP3 player.

Think of the times you use the calendar on your phone.”

Ok Hawklad I smell a rat. Why are you so keen on a new phone. Is it to do with games….

Well funny you should bring that up DAD. It’s more than a game. We need a phone to play Pokemon Go. Even the Doctor said that this app was good for me. So it’s like an essential medical prescription…”

******And with that I am on the lookout for a replacement phone. I will compromise. Definitely a previously enjoyed one. But definitely it’s jumped to the head of the buying list – that’s Doctors orders******

Pain

There is a physical pain associated with parenting that is off the chart. Excluding childbirth which thankfully I will never have to experience. Standing bare foot on a piece of lego. A weaponised toy. In the garden there is something that comes close to lego. It’s this lovely little thing. A tree which overlooks our garden and likes to drop these little bombs onto the lawn. Accidentally pick one up – agony. Kneel on one – agony. Get one attached to the top of your training shoe – beyond agony. Horse Chestnuts hurt….

Dad I keep hearing that as you get older your body starts to hurt. Is that true. You should know as you are so very old…..”

Yes eventually the body does hurt. Playing contact sport or falling off cliffs doesn’t help. You can do stuff about the pain – mostly. But you do get to a stage when you realise that I’ve used this body up, so can I have a new one.

So when did your body start hurting?”

Everyone is different. At school one of my friends had a Chopper Bike. It had upright handles and a gear stick brilliantly placed right in front of your undercarriage. Chris had a big crash and encountered the pointy gear stick at a frightening rate of knots. His hurting most definitely started when he was 10. It ended his choir signing days. I think my body pain started after I was 30. Playing contact sport on a Saturday and not being able to move on Sunday.

Is that when Dad decided he wasn’t young anymore?”

Yes it was. I suddenly released that being a goalkeeper hurt. I stopped bouncing off the floor so well. There is a brilliant comic from Scotland called Billy Connelly. He says that you know that you are not young anymore when your can’t bend over without making a noise, usually a groan.

I can confirm that. I groaned 193 times during today’s yoga workout.

Scary creatures

A good blogging friend was taking about finding a big spider in her garden. That friend is on a different continent. A place where you get spiders that are big, scary, poisonous and they even jump at you.

Did I ever tell you that I am not great with spiders.

So the prospect of scary spiders brings shivers down my spine. A movie comes to mind – Arachnophobia. Give me Jaws and Sharks anytime. Sharks need our love especially as Trump has decided to bully them as well now.

Scary spiders. No, no, no.

Hawklad loves to go to the zoo and handle spiders. The bigger and more deadly the better. The last trip I just about heard him say as he handled a Tarantula- ‘Isn’t she lovely….’. It was difficult to hear him as I was stood 30 yards back, hiding behind a wall. That’s great parenting……

Fortunately for me I live in Yorkshire. The land that time forgot. We don’t really do scary animals. Those cows can look at you in a funny way. Ferrets can nip a bit (especially if they are in your trouser pockets). Don’t get in the way of a squirrel and his nuts. Those Scarborough Seagulls are hooligans when you have a bag of chips. Get on the wrong side of stick of rhubarb and it can very awkward.

But we don’t really do scary spiders or insects. A few small and timid spiders. This is as big as it gets. A Daddy-Long-Legs. The most delicate creatures going. We end up desperately trying not to hurt or damage them. Even I can get up close to them. That’s the kind of spider and insect I like. Friendly and most definitely not one that is going to eat me.

And it rains

And still it rains.

And rains.

And rains.

And rains…

It’s refusing to stop. At least I won’t need to water the tomatoes until say 2023. There is a joke here about it always rains on a bank holiday weekend. Guess what this weekend is….

Dad sometimes having social and virus phobias is a good thing. Little chance of me asking to go to the beach or a fun park today. It saves you getting drenched.”

That’s true Hawklad. Always something to be thankful for.

Apart from supporting your football team. Wow that’s grim.”

We all can’t support teams that win anything. Newcastle United’s job is to give all the other teams a good laugh. At least we have a good shirt. Can’t go wrong with black and white stripes.

The shirt never changes Dad. It’s boring. You look like a walking barcode.”

It does change. Sometimes it’s black and white stripes. Then sometimes it’s white and black stripes.

You do pick your teams. What happened when you started supporting that German Team”

They got relegated.

Then you followed that Swiss Team, what happened.”

Erm they got relegated.

Bit of a pattern developing here Dad. Oh do you remember you owe me a forfeit for losing the last challenge.”

How could I forget.

Wasn’t it to sit outside in the pouring rain with no shirt on”.

I believe it was to sit outside when it was warm.

Dad WHAT was it.”

To sit outside in the pouring rain with no shirt on.

Now would be an ideal time. But as I am kind I will grant you something. You can wear your barcode footy shirt.”

I’d rather not. Given how rubbish my team is, that shirt will just disintegrate in the rain.

**********

So yes I sat outside in the pouring rain. With a cup of tea and yes my football shirt. The tea was warming, my shirt didn’t fall to bits and I thought about some happy things. Yes definitely always something to be thankful for.

Rain

It’s raining. I mean really raining. It’s so dark that I can’t get a photo….

So here’s one from a few years back. A duck getting wet. A Swiss Duck. A Duck that Hawklad would feed on a morning.

So imagine that weather but then think Yorkshire. Maybe replace the duck with some Rhubard. Now you get the picture.

Living in Yorkshire we are kinda use to the rain. I was bored this morning so I counted. It’s a thing us Accountants do. We can usually count to TWO without too many errors. So yes I counted the anti rain contents of our small house.

9 umbrellas – NINE – all of them boring. I need a cool one.

8 waterproof coats – EIGHT – plenty for any visitors needing a spare one.

4 pairs of waterproof trousers – bizarrely all the wrong sizes for me and Hawklad. One pair is so massive it’s even too big for me. The kind of trousers that you would need to take several steps before they moved.

3 waterproof hats – so one spare for a visitor. Some Yorkshire rain can seem to travel upwards so an extra layer of protection is needed in addition to an umbrella.

3 Wellington Boots – THREE – we are missing one. Stern look at the dog. But ok for a three legged race..

Add to that various waterproofing and anti rust products. It gets that wet here that sometimes even the skin needs even more help with the wetness. Maybe that’s the reason I have a face perfect for radio.

Now it’s time to try and mop out the pool forming next to the back door. We always have a bucket and a mop positioned there.

So completes another brilliant advert for the Yorkshire Tourist Board….