Thought for the day….

Why do so many movies have to feature serious illnesses and sad deaths. I know it’s art replicating real life BUT it’s a pain in the backside when you have a son who is fighting fears and phobias about health. A son who has lost his mum to illness.

Even in children’s movies and cartoons….

Even in comedy shows like The Office.

Here’s an idea. Keep the movies as they are but have a separate movie channel. The SAFE CHANNEL. On this channel only safe movies. No illness, no death, no drugs, no broken families. No need to constantly be on edge at the slightest on screen sneeze or pale look.

And more work emails

So a few more hours of work. More work emails. More searching for the work stuff amongst the never ending personal reviews of restaurant meals, pub visits and nights out. Month after month of lockdown has sent a few too many at work into email padding frenzy.

Well this afternoon I was sitting with the computer on the lap and wading through the work crud. I was listening to the Ghostbusters movie blast out on the TV. I was good, I didn’t watch the movie but I did listen. But it was tempting, too tempting to look at the TV. It was a real struggle at times. Trying to force my eye focus to stay on the emails and not onto the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Too hard. Too many potential distractions.

Movies without the picture is the way to go…..movies on cds…..

Why didn’t they ever do proper soundtrack cds for movies. Not just the music, but the dialogue, the sound effects – the whole movie. I’d happily listen to movies while working and trust my imagination to fill in the visual stuff. That would definitely ease the work pain.

Dystopian

One of the downsides of school at home is that it takes out the potential for no school – snow days. That’s more for me than Hawklad. Hawklads attitude is that he’s done sledging this year so no need to overdo things. Much better to stay warm and wait for Spring. The problem is that there is still school work to be done. Hopefully after the school day is over I might be able to tempt him into a bit of snowman building. But need to get there first….

Dad I have to read or watch a Dystopian novel or movie. Do you think they would count Deadpool as suitable…”

Sadly I don’t think they will. Nice try.

I was thinking about just watching your football team play. That’s definitely dystopian.”

That would make 1984 seem like a slapstick comedy. Newcastle United are definitely bleak, grim and soulless.

And often pointless as well Dad.”

Come on we are doing quite well. We are 5th bottom. That’s good for us. You could listen to Iron Maiden’s Brave New World cd. That’s based on a dystopian novel.

That’s an idea but I need to write a review. Not sure talking about guitar solos is quite going to be ok”

What about watching Hunger Games.

No lots will be doing that. Fancy something different. Something like Deadpool.”

What about Brazil. It’s 1984 meets the darker side of Monty Python.

That sounds like a plan Dad.”

Or you could watch Alvin and the Chipmunks. They are like the entertainment version of my football team.

Dad that doesn’t sound like a plan”

**********

And that was the best lesson of the day. The other lessons being a tad grim. Learning things that would seem to be just for the purposes of the national curriculum. He’s never going to need them after school. The learning process was so dry and boring. He has absolutely no interest in what he was trying to take in. So many frustrations. Ultimately what is the point. Queue Another Brick in the Wall. Maybe we are living in our very own dystopian world.

Here we go again

I came outside for some fresh air. More home schooling mayhem, messed up housework and lost clothing items. The usual stuff. Feels like a Nanny is required.

Oh Nanny where do we start.

Just hours ago I wrote about Pixar trying to flood the house with tears. Imploring them to at the very least give some warning before they try to break our hearts with death and bereavement.

So Pixar is on the naughty list and off the viewing list here for a while. They just can’t be trusted. Not with providing tear free family entertainment. So let’s stick with Disney. How about a good safe movie like Mary Poppins. How about the 2018 Mary Poppins version. That’s totally safe. The original was perfectly fine.

Oh Nanny what have you done.

Within 10 minutes we find a husband in a mess after his wife has died. Three kids to look after and a home soon to be repossessed.

REALLY……

I’m sticking to watching Peppa Pig and the TellyTubbies…..

Pixar

The sun always rises. It always rises in cartoons – eventually.

I so would like to have a word with those really talented people at Pixar Studios. You keep making the most wonderful cartoon movies. What a list

Toy Story, Cars, Monsters Inc, Nemo, The Incredibles, Wall-E, on and on

I don’t know how many times Pixar has become the essential Parenting Tool over the years for me. Keeping both child and Dad occupied and laughing. But I need to have words. What is it with the fixation with death and loss. Is it possible to go a few years without have your cartoons venture into the subject. If I want to be depressed then I can pick up a Leonard Cohen cd or watch Love Story. When I’m trying to find fun things to do like watch Pixar movies I really don’t want to venture into the sad stuff.

We endured UP the other night. It’s a great cartoon with some really funny bits. But man those first ten minutes where Carl losses his beloved wife before they lived out their dream. I was in buckets of tears. Really Pixar. It’s not big and it’s not clever….

So come on Pixar stop going all Love Story on me. Or at the very least bring in a labelling system. List movies like UP as ‘contains mega bereavement’ at least then I can prepare myself for it. Or even better do more movies that are just slapstick ‘buddy’ adventures where I can park my sad emotions for two hours.

Why not

Red morning sky over the temporary farm lake.

Red sky in the morning – fisherman’s warning…..

Well the folklore weather phrase is almost right. The forecast is for the weather to cloud over as the day goes on and then the rain starts this evening. Lots of it. Two days solid heavy rain. Then the gales arrive.

That lake might just get a little bigger…..

We were watching the latest Wonder Woman movie last night. Don’t worry I’m not planning to give any major spoilers away. Now I could talk about a few scenes dealing with grief. But no. Not this time. Just to say that even in a bizarre, fantasy, superhero movie – they still can sting……

No the scene that I’m going to mention is one where a wardrobe is ransacked and different outfits are tried on. If you see the movie then you will know the one I mean. It was pretty amusing. But it got me thinking about my wardrobe. An IKEA sliding door brute that even Wonder Woman isn’t ever shifting. The wardrobe is little visited these days. Life happens and things change. I haven’t worn a suit since the funerals of 2016. Most of the shirts are untouched since they were last ironed dating back to when my partner was still here.

Since March 2020 we have been in our local family lockdown. I that time I have worn jeans just once. Walking trousers not at all. For months on end I’ve just lived in tracksuits, shorts, joggers, T-shirt’s, hoodies and jumpers. If your not going anywhere or seeing anyone then WHY NOT.

Maybe I should have a sort out. Get rid of sone stuff as I probably won’t be needing as many things going forward. But then again. What would I do with the space. I could get a much smaller wardrobe but without Wonder Woman’s help I’m not winning that battle with that IKEA beast.

So let’s leave it for the time being and get back to looking at the lake. A much more pleasant thought than that IKEA wardrobe one….

Silly little things.

I think I might be on top of things. The mind is heading in the right direction. I’m in a decent place and then….

And then something sneaks up on me. With me it’s often seemingly a silly little thing. Suddenly the friendly wind is taken from my sails.

I couldn’t sleep late last night. Just wasn’t feeling tired so I decided to watch a movie. Something requiring no thinking power. So I went for a mindless comedy. Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Haven’t seen that in decades.

The last time I watched this movie I was in a different place in life. Life was still yet to really hit me. So the movies ending never really registered. Well it did last night. Wow did it register.

Spoiler alert………

The jolly and silly little movie closes with Steve Martin sudden realising that the chap he had spent the last 48 hours in travelling hell might not be as happily married as he had thought. He goes back to find him sat alone in a cold train station waiting room. His wife had died 8 years ago, he was alone and suffering.

That scene just really hit me. So unexpected. I’ve been there. I was that man. I might still be that man. I so could imagine what he felt like, sat alone in that cold bleak place. Watching others live and seemingly having no where to go.

The movie ended well but I was shaken. Sad, confused, anxious. Even after many hours I’m still feeling shaky. All from one silly movie.

The next time I watch a late night thing then let’s play it safe. It’s QVC or Scooby Doo or the Real Fire Channel for me…..

Cinema

It’s that time of year. A definite feel to the movies we have watched. Can you see the theme.

Scrooged

Home Alone 1, 2, 3, 5

The Grinch

A Christmas Carol

Muppets Christmas Carol

The Santa Clause 1,2,3

Elf

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

The Polar Express.

For me I just can’t quite catch the connection. Sure there must be one if I look hard enough.

One of the things that feels amiss this most odd year (that doesn’t work as 2020 is even) is the cinema experience. Before Hawklad we would always have a Christmas trip to the pictures (as my mum would have said). A meal before hand and then a movie. Such a lovely experience. So many wonderful memories.

Taking my mum to see The Horse Whisperer on Boxing Day. She hadn’t been to the pictures in 40 years. She was most puzzled not to watch the Pathe News segment before the movie. She refused to get up at the end and waited until the credits played through. Apparently she was waiting for the National Anthem to be played…

Trips with my partner to see huge blockbusters on Christmas Eve like the Lord of the Rings Movies. Then coming out in time to sing carols in the city centre.

Even after the world changed Hawklad and I kept the tradition going. A changed Aspergers tradition. We would take in the first, early morning screenings of movies like Jumanji and the Rise of Skywalker. Popcorn at 8am works on so many levels. Then we would go and get him his favourite takeout. All before midday.

But this year it’s no cinema. Any trip is just so out of reach for Hawklad and his anxieties. The world has changed. Even the prospect of Wonder Woman and Black Widow epics won’t overcome those fears. Maybe the trips to the Pictures have stopped for good. We will just have to see what the future holds but life goes on. It’s time to recreate that Christmas tradition at home. So we will pick a movie. A good movie. Set the dvd off at 8am. Microwaved popcorn in plentiful supply. The Christmas Cinema tradition continues.

Time

I could wax lyrically about that wonderful Pink Floyd song, Time. All about how TIME can fritter away from people without them realising until it is too late.

I could talk about Dr Who. Mentioning that the first ever female Dr is also the first Yorkshire Time Lord.

But not today. We are talking about telling the time.

Hawklad has always struggled to read a clock or watch. It’s not for the want of trying. Different types of watches and clocks. Different styles. Nothing seemed to work. Analog time has just proved impossible to him. It’s taken years but he can very slowly read a digital 12 hour display. Not very accurately. He has to look at the display for many seconds before it seems to register. Even then it may need some further explanation.

It’s not just telling the time, it’s the concept of passing time. He struggles to get his head round what 20 minutes, or an hour or 3 hours actually means in practice. He was doing an assessment paper at home. I noticed that he had been on the first question for 30 minutes. When I told him that there was another 14 questions to do in the remaining time he couldn’t believe that he had spent that long on one question. To him it was just a couple of minutes. This kind of thing happens so very often.

Whether this is to do with Aspergers, or number dyslexia or just one of those things – we will never probably establish that. Just got to work round it. Find ways for Hawklad to cope with time.

Because he struggles to tell the time and then can’t comprehend how much time has passed, this stresses him out. Give him a time to work to and he starts to panic. As a result we often use something like a movie as our measure of time.

It’s bedtime at the end of this movie.

We need to get ready when this show finishes.

It will be 45 minutes when the game ends.

That’s why the TV is often on in the background. Not for entertainment, but as a timer. Where this leaves him with his pending exams and his adult life, who knows. But here’s the thing, he’s great at sticking to plans and following a series of steps in his head. If he could just get his head round time then he would be brilliant at project management.

It’s 40 minutes until he needs to start looking at his homework. Today that’s the end of Jumanji. Jumanji the Clock.

Short movies

Dad can we switch this movie off. I’m feeling very uncomfortable with this.”

Son loves Marvel movies but for some reason he just can’t handle Spider-Man Homecoming. It’s just that one movie. The other Spider-Man movies he really enjoys. Certain movies just throw him. It starts off with him fidgeting then he is not able to look at the screen. Then he starts to pacing about. Finally he has to leave the room until it’s switched. Last night a few minutes later he was happily watching a Wolverine movie.

I remember the first film he did this with. We had gone to see Hotel Transylvania at the cinema. Within 15 minutes we had left. We ended up watching another movie and he enjoyed it.

So some movies just get to him. The last Joker movie is another we switched off quickly yet he loves all the other Batman films, even the much darker ones.

It’s so unpredictable. Just can’t anticipate these movie meltdowns. The problem movies don’t have a common theme. Last year a nondescript Disney Christmas movie set him off. At Easter the Pixar movie UP caused another meltdown. It’s not that they are scary. They are not more sensory than other ones. Not louder and not more violent. It’s not about death. We have never been able to pin the reason down.

But at least he knows that as soon as he gets the feeling that a movie is wrong then he can just switch it off. No questions will be asked and we will find another one to watch.

Dad it’s like you and your football team.

He is so right. These days watching them play is deeply unsettling and often requires me to look the other way….