A walk in the deep, dark wood. No encounter with The Gruffalo on this walk, maybe next time.
Another Yorkshire Gem, Dalby Forest on the edge of the Moors.
A short school at home week. Just 2 days. Should be eight lessons, one lesson dropped for Covid testing. Three lessons, no idea whether they happened or not. One lesson with a few brief notes provided. One quite detailed lesson and one exam to be sat at home.
Sometimes you have to go with the flow. Schools are struggling. Teachers off. Support staff off. Pupils off. Old, unventilated classrooms. Covid in school. Additional pandemic workload. These are challenging times. I will politely chase up homeschooling issues but with understanding.
So when the lessons don’t happen, we go with the flow. Lost schooling time creates more time for the school of life. That school is fun. It has few boundaries. Definitely no exams. Only expectation, having fun. A trip to the Deep Dark Wood is definitely fun……
I have to admit that I am not in the slightest bit upset about Hawklad avoiding a return to the classroom this week. He is not ready. As new covid cases average 200,000 a day. That’s a number that doesn’t include the large number of people getting reinfected, it’s also at a time when many with symptoms can’t get tested. The worry is schools have been closed for 2 weeks, what happens when the variant hits the classroom. Without schools, today in England 157 children were hospitalised with Covid.
Apparently schools are safe and the Government has done everything to protect the children and those who work in them. Reluctantly they have reintroduced masks. Pupils will be tested twice a week if schools can get hold of the test kits. And with a big fanfare it’s been announced that 7000 ventilation units will be finally purchased for schools.
UK classrooms are frequently cramped and poorly designed. We also have some of the largest class sizes across Europe.
One problem with that announcement is that there are over 32000 schools in the UK. Let’s say each school has 10 classrooms, Hawklad’s school has well over 50. So which of those 300000 plus classrooms will get the 7000 ventilation units. That’s a lot of cramped, over crowded classrooms left with inadequate air quality levels. Good indoor ventilation is seen as a key defence against an airborne virus. As one headteacher pointed out, the Government could have put in a ventilation unit into EVERY classroom for half the cost of the new Royal Yacht, which the Government is buying. The Yacht is seen as an essential purchase. Our children clearly aren’t……
Well the most has gone. That might even be the smallest patch of blue sky.
Can you spot the bird of prey gatecrashing the photo.
No zoom on the mobile, so this is the best I can do. The Gatecrasher.
I meet this gatecrasher every morning when I come down this lane, usually sat on the overhead power line. Such a thrill.
Soon we were on the road to the local wildlife park. A New Year Day Tradition which went on covid hold last year. This year we will arrive as it opens, wear masks and keep our distances. To protect others. Make sure we leave before the crowds arrive. The two of us have done this every year since Hawklad was a toddler. Just the two of us. His mum always decided to give it a miss, preferring a day at home. Maybe TV. Maybe catch up on sleep. It is an early start and a 90 minute drive. A quiet house can be very appealing. If she had realised time was so limited would she have stayed at home. Put things off repeatedly for another year.
I think I know the answer to that…..
Some choices you don’t get a second crack at them.
I’m sat finalising this weeks food order. Another Christmas, another one where its just the two of us. With the pandemic Hawklad has forgotten what it feels like to meet up with extended the extended family. To meet up with friends. I really have to try and make memories for him. He only gets one childhood. Fun is required. Fine food is required (that might be a problem). Christmas movies on tap. Currently he’s enjoying Die Hard. Ok it’s no Wonderful Life but it is fun.
The winter solstice. Almost sunbathing weather.
At least the horse has a coat, a much needed coat. It’s days like this that I wish we have a roaring log fire. I don’t care how warm radiators are, they just aren’t the same. Maybe it’s time for my sisters strategy. Put an old TV in the front of the blocked fireplace and play roaring fire videos on repeat all day. It does make a difference.
This weather is playing havoc with our outside solar powered Christmas lights. The daily sun count is currently enough for about 3 minutes running time. Basically blink and you miss them.
What was I thinking, solar power and Yorkshire.
I think my solar power banks must running a tad low as well.
Any sun would be nice and I mean any sun. Looking at the forecast there is zero predicted over the next 7 days. It’s not looking good for those lights, hopefully Santa doesn’t need them as landing lights. He might need to call for John McClane.
Is it just my imagination but has every recent Christmas movie featured at some stage a shot of a TV in the background showing It’s a Wonderful Life. Funnily it’s never Hulk Hogans Santa with Muscles epic opus in the background……
I use the term epic opus very very very loosely.
Is it my imagination but when I am down I reach for sad or melancholy music. Pink Floyd, Leonard Cohen, Johnnie Cash. Wouldn’t I be better off putting on the magical Wonderful Life. Even in the middle of summer, I could get so much from that movie. But I guess I take after my mum. She would reach for the sad music.
There’s been a lot of music played recently. 22 months of lockdown and isolation. Now everything is pointing towards another national lockdown imminently. How can I help Hawklad rebuild those bridges when the world is this messed up. I guess it’s just about trying to help him ride it out until things finally settle down. But when will it start to settle down. I remember the talk of 2021 being so much better than the year before. How could it be any worse. Well that went to plan.
So tonight there is NO melancholy music being played. Tonight it’s time to watch James Stewart. I think it’s my imagination, but I need that movie tonight. Really need it.
A misty scene from a couple of days back. No morning walk today, otherwise engaged. Stood in a queue patiently waiting my booster covid shot. After two doses of AstraZeneca it was time to join the Moderna club. So stood in the queue about 50 deep. Three queues for three different group of needle waving awesome nurses. Everyone with masks on, carefully keeping 2 metres apart. Hundreds of people stopping their daily routine to get vaccinated. All this happening before 9am.
In the queue I stood pondering life. Does the young woman in front of me realise that she is still apparently wearing her pyjamas. I wonder what the chap in front of her has is his folder marked IMPORTANT. how life has changed since the start of 2020. Does the chap opposite me know that as he plays his game on his mobile he keeps making Mick Jagger facial pouts.
I wonder what people are thinking of me.
I pondered other things. How many of those stood patiently are struggling. How many secretly would love someone to strike up a conversation. Be social. This is a very changed world. A very more isolated and fractured society. As I watched those around me carefully maintain a sufficient personal gap, my mind wandered back just a couple of years. Remember birthday parties. Everyone tightly huddled round a cake with candles. A child or adult, probably with a streaming cold, desperately trying to blow out the candles. After failed 3 or 4 attempts, more people joining in, probably with a myriad of ailments, blowing until the candles were out. Then the much breathed on cake is quickly handed round, people sharing not enough cutlery, from person to person the cake is passed for immediate consumption. How alien does that concept sound now. Will we ever truly get back to those days. How long will we all be stuck in this endless cycle of variants and vaccinations.
Then remarkably quickly I’m back home. Back to the quiet, back to the isolation. Back to single parenting, cut off from much of this bonkers new world. It felt odd being amongst so many other people. Almost uncomfortable. Definitely not feeling like a normal experience. The world has changed. Have I changed?
Unbelievably it was bright sun for the dog walk today. Too bright. YES that’s a phrase you don’t here in connection with Yorkshire too many times. TOO BRIGHT. Not in terms of the usual weather and also not in terms of the competitors at the local Shin Kicking tournament. That’s going to get my Yorkshire Passport taken off me……
The light was too bright for my mobile. It produced some weird lighting effects. Normally I would just delete them but this time, no. The results are kind of rainbow cool
See it’s one of those Yorkshire Super Highways with rainbow special effects. Maybe we should keep them.
School sent an email out to parents this afternoon. In line with Government instructions, masks will still not be enforced in school as nationally schools are deemed safe. In line with national instructions , pupils will be issued with covid test kits to use over Christmas to ensure that schools are adequately protected when they reopen. Unfortunately the test kits are not available as supplies have run out. School understands that kits won’t be sent to them in the foreseeable future, potentially well after the next school terms begins. Any test supplies available will be prioritised to other areas.
Feels like the school holidays can’t come quick enough.
Well at least the sun is shining. Hopefully shinning for most of the holidays. Pupils in school and those at home deserve a great break. It’s been a grim and anxious time for all of them.
Paths in the sky. Never thought vapour trails could be a thing a beauty.
A pandemic forced a change of education path for us. Classroom schooling became school at home. The living room became the classroom. Not true homeschooling as school still provided the lessons. Sometimes the whole class was off, often it was just Hawklad. That’s gone on for 21 months now. 21 months and counting.
Over that period the idea was ultimately a return to the classroom. That’s what Hawklad wanted. Repeatedly Hawklad decided he wasn’t ready to return.
He’s still not ready to return.
Deep down I don’t think he’s going to feel able to return anytime soon. That’s not just my view. The medical opinion is a return to school is now unlikely before his final exams in 2023. Hawklad is starting thinking of a return to the classroom but that might not be until he potentially starts college in 2 years time. If he returns before his exams then that’s a bonus. It’s when Hawklad feels it’s the right time.
The question now is what do we do up to his exams. It’s looking like the school at home project is a path with many miles still to walk.
Looks like someone has been trying to draw clouds with a pink crayon. Very nice 😊
If only everything else was very nice.
Two contrasting messages from Hawklad’s school today.
We hope all pupils enjoy the well earned Christmas break which starts on Friday.
This contrasts nicely with messages from 5 subject teachers (so far)
Remember to revise for your important subject exams over the holiday. Exams happen immediately after your time off….
I’m sorry but I can’t ever remember enjoying myself while I was revising. I guess it fits in with the Government message that children must work harder and play less. But over the last few years children are increasingly seen as second class citizens in this country. Last night the CLOWNS in charge of the country announced an emergency campaign to give all adults a THIRD booster covid shot within weeks. NO MENTION OF CHILDREN. Currently only something like 50% of secondary school age pupils have received just one vaccine shot. Younger children aren’t eligible for even one shot. Most schools here have still not received any air quality monitoring devices or any air filters that were promised months back. Promised so that schools would be safe. Masks are required in all public places, all except the school classroom…. The government person in charge of schools went on the television to talk about covid – he never mentioned schools or children ONCE. Not once….. The Governments only education strategy currently is to KEEP SCHOOLS OPEN AT ALL COSTS, surely it has to be KEEP OUR CHILDREN SAFE AT ALL COSTS.
Sadly children just don’t matter to those in charge.
Today like the last few mornings has been wet and bleak. So let’s visit slightly brighter days. When do I ever look back….
So one week left of this school term. That’s another term of school at home. I think that’s something like 69 weeks worth of homeschooling. I quickly ran out of fingers and toes so don’t hold me to that. 69 weeks. Wow. Does that qualify as a teacher now…..
Does that qualify me as someone who had the faintest idea what he was doing during most of those 69 weeks……
Does that qualify me as a parent who is deeply regretting giving caffeine up just a few weeks before those 69 weeks started……
If someone had mentioned that the days of school runs, trail runs, shopping runs, running around at the office, would suddenly stop. If someone would have whispered that suddenly my physical contact with the outside world would go on hold. On hold not just for days or months. But years. YEARS NOW. I can guarantee that black coffee consumption would never have ceased, if anything it would have gone through the roof.
So 69 weeks of caffeine free homeschooling. Who saw that coming. I didn’t. If week 70 is anything like week 69 then I will be hitting the espresso BIG TIME…….