Accident

Morning view
Evening view
Dog view

Not a great time to have hay fever. A dog with hay fever. He sneezes and sneezes. Wow does he get some distance…… I’ve said it before, imagine being slimed just like Peter Venkman was in Ghostbusters. All done with a wagging tail. He’s having fun with it.

But it has messed up his taste sensation. That’s what his Vet has said. So he only eats warm food now. Only eats it outside. Whatever the weather, outside. Only eats if one of us sits next to him. As the Vet says, he is a complex Chap (that’s Captain Chaos not the Vet). No wonder you don’t get many Cocker Spaniel, German Spitz crosses. In this case, definitely an accident in a park.

He was brought into the family to bring back the feeling of life and fun. He has definitely, definitely done that.

Isolation

Perfect isolation.

Sometimes isolation is needed. Over the last two years some of that isolation has been enforced. But much has been locally needed isolation. Needed by Hawklad. It will be needed going forward. The question is how much. Maybe less. Maybe more. It will change over time. This week it’s been needed much more.

Whisper it as well. Isolation maybe needed by me as well.

Perfect isolation.

Marvel at Scotland

Back to last week. See you don’t need the multiverse to do a spot of time travel.

“Dad tomorrow can we go to Scotland. Don’t mind where just can it be really quiet. Somewhere different. Maybe even exciting.”

Two herbal teas later the solution popped into my head. Visit a place where we can MARVEL at who grand Scotland is.

Quiet means arriving early. As we were heading 180 miles north then we set off just after 5am.

Heading to the stunning coastal village of St Abbs. Part of the Marvel Universe……

The second highest grossing movie of all time, End Game used St Abbs as New Asgard. Hulk and Rocket came here to find Thor. Hawklad didn’t think he would be stood outside Thor’s house…..

I didn’t cause an international incident by taking my shirt off and pretending to be one of the Avengers. Maybe next time. Actually if people think that Thor looked out of shape when he was in New Asgard, wait to they get a look at my version of a shirtless Avenger. Let’s just say the 6 pack is well and truly hidden these days.

As we wandered around St Abbs a thought struck me. The place feels remote almost cut off from modern life. Operating at its own pace with the Sea dominating life. Could somewhere like this be a place which would suit Hawklad. Then the realisation, it might actually suit me. I was brought up by the Sea until I left to go to University. It feels very familiar, very safe. Would a return suit my mindset. Would it blow away the life cobwebs. Would it fix the problem that the world now seems to spin at a different speed to me. Is it a great place to forget the past.

Maybe Thor had a point moving to somewhere as wonderful as St Abbs. A perfect place for his New Asgard

Planning pt 2

Planning can get you to places. Get you to places at the right times. Sometimes planning can get you to places when the weather is nice.

Planning can get you out of the daily routine. Walking on an island in the North Sea is a much needed break from the usual daily routine. That’s good for Hawklad, for Me.

Planning is going to be the key going forward.

To push the boundaries out just a little bit further.

Hawklad wants to see a bit more. Experience a bit more. But his anxieties are spiking again. It’s going to be a challenge. More planning is required.

So can we plan a quiet day trip to another country next.

More gloves

The GIVE A FENCE A GLOVE push continues here in Yorkshire.

So much love to the fences. I’m reminded of a Beetles song

GLOVE IS ALL YOU NEED

As the Bank Holiday kicks in here, the roads are rammed full. The car parks are overflowing. But around our village, all is quiet. Hardly any traffic. Our walk today and we didn’t see another soul.

Quiet amongst the storm. So a few days of local walks, table tennis in the garden, lego. Maybe even croquet amongst the mole hills. That’s what Hawklad needs at present. A time will come when Hawklad has to face crowds but not yet, still too much anxiety. Progress has to be at a pace that suits him. I might wish for bigger adventures further afield but those can’t be now. Certainly not this weekend. So for a few days the adventures are amongst the GLOVES.

Poetry woes

We are trying to stick to the school class timetable, starting and finishing lessons at the same time as his classmates. We figured that was a decent way of bringing structure to the school at home week. We also thought that if and when Hawklad returns to school then at least he would be use to working the full timetable.

In practice it is difficult when some lessons are posted late ( hours late, even days late and yes sometimes never posted).

This day started with an English lesson. POETRY. Poems on a theme.

Do not stand at my grave and cry…..

They are waiting for me somewhere beyond Eden Rock…..

I had not thought it would be like this…..

Revising poems about loss and grief. Learning about a poet who had lost his father when he was a child and was now grieving the loss of his mum. You get the picture. Wonderful poetry from the likes of Frye and Causley.

Yes loss and grief are powerful themes but there are other subjects to go for. Safer subjects for children. What about those children who have lost loved ones. Is it fair on them. Should an English lesson and potentially exams bring tears of sadness. If kids want to look at grief poetry then they can but let it be a free choice, when they are ready and never let it be forced on them. Some might say I’m being overprotective of Hawklad but we all deal with loss in our own way, especially important when a child loses his mum when he is only 8. At home we still carefully try to filter out movies that bring sadness to Hawklad. That’s OUR choice.

I’m not frustrated with the school or teacher. They are told what poems they have to teach. Surely when those in charge put the national curriculum together, is it too much to ask that they do this sensitively. Consider what impact some of the coursework could have on some of the pupils. Is that too much to ask.

Daffodils 2

So Yorkshire has enjoyed the briefest of Springs. We are now heading back into one last crack of Winter. Even mention of an outside chance of the white stuff.

So before the poor things are battered into submission let’s have one more Daffodil Fest.

The American Psychiatric Association have now officially recognised Prolonged Grief Disorder as a mental health condition. Intense grief that lasts for more than 1 year that disrupts a persons mental wellbeing and health.

Ok.

Surely much shorter, very intense grief can send people into terrifyingly dark places. Those places will have a profound lasting health effect. That will have just as much impact on a persons wellbeing than the new Official Prolonged version. Grief is GRIEF, regardless of how long it lasts a person.

I just hope that finally GRIEF gets the support it desperately needs. Too many suffer in silence. What support there is poorly funded and badly over subscribed. Even when it comes to children the support is just not there. Hawklad’s Doctor put him on the waiting list for Specialist Grief Counselling. That was back in 2016 and he is still working his way up the list….. How many parents are trying to help their grieving child when they are also suffering as well.

Grief may or may not be a separate mental health condition but it definitely has a direct impact on a persons mental health. Looking back the only support I received was a 12 page pamphlet handed out by the Hospice. For too many that is simply not enough. It wasn’t for me. Hawklad didn’t even get that…… That’s an 8 year old who has just lost his mum. That can’t be right.

Not ready.

Another weekend has come and gone. Again just the two of us. Talks in the garden, walks around the deserted fields. Occasionally passing a fellow dog walker in the village, bringing just a quick nod. No deliveries. No postman. No sign of the neighbours. No phone calls.

Here some are starting to ignore the Government line that Covid is under control. Numbers are rising rapidly here. The hospitals are stretched again. So people are far less likely to stop and talk, preferring a quick shout from across the road.

That is adding to the isolation feel here.

We did look at visiting somewhere else, Hawklad fancied a historic site but the online booking systems clearly showed that there where extremely busy. So we stayed put. A weekend at home. Not using the car saved a bucket load of cash.

The last person I had a conversation with before the weekend was with his health professional. When I raised the school pushing for him to sit exams, she was clear. A clear “ he is not ready, not ready at all for that, he is potentially months or more likely much longer away from being anywhere near ready for classrooms or exams’. So let’s see what schools attitude is when I convey that message to them.

Anniversary

The poor daffodils have taken a bit of a weather pounding over the last few weeks.

It’s official. Two years ago to the day that Hawklad’s SCHOOL AT HOME project started. He hasn’t been in a classroom in all that time. That’s a long time. Is it too long to make a school return realistic, manageable for him. Only time will tell. All I can do is support him. Try to maintain a safe, happy home and keep as much of the pressure off him as I can. Progress has to be at his pace. See how he goes, see what he ultimately can manage and what he wants to do.

Looking back, we both laughed today. We remember the conversations back in March 2020. I think we both remember saying, ‘let’s give it a week’. That should have been ‘give it a week plus an extra 103 weeks….’.

Back in 2020 we had been struggling with school. They had bottom setted him. They had given up on his dyslexia. Yes we had been thinking about homeschooling. Then we crashed unexpectedly into these two years. This odd halfway house. Not true homeschooling, not true classroom schooling. The SCHOOL AT HOME project, happy second birthday.

Solitude

A weekend walk.

Hawklad wanted a long walk but with one big caveat . A local walk of solitude, preferably one to ourselves.

This walk is usually a perfect fit for that. Very local and hardly ever visited.

Almost perfect.

A three hour walk almost entirely to ourselves. Just one passing farm vehicle, no other sign of human life. We will settle for that, just what Hawklad needed. We had started trying to visit places with more people there. Try to build his confidence around others back up again but it was starting to really stress him out. It may well be too soon for him. Maybe it will never be the right time for him. Anyways we are going back in the solitude lifestyle again for a while. Hence this type of walk.

Let’s see which road forward is best for him. Just next time, let’s take waterproof coats with us.

It was almost completely dry as well. Almost, apart from one almighty rain storm. Hardly a surprise, this is Yorkshire.