Food purgatory

My diet is bad. Very bad. My Dad would call it minging. It’s been awful for years. Too much of the bad stuff. Too little of the good stuff. I drink that much coffee that the fluid in my body is no longer water, it’s pure caffeine. That’s probably why I don’t look like George Clooney. Oh hang on George does coffee – that doesn’t work does it. Anyway I’ve not looked like Clooney, suffered from IBS and had a nervous tummy since my college days. The last couple of years haven’t helped it at all.

I knew something had to be done but I kept putting it off. Then I read some great posts on healthy eating and food detox cleanses. This was one of them

Riddle from the Middle

Well finally the penny has dropped. This is Day 8 of my food purgatory. No junk food, no sweets, no chocolate, no crisps, no chips, no popcorn, no peanut butter, no spicy stuff, no dairy, no gluten, no soya, no artificial or processed rubbish. NO COFFEE….. It’s been steamed veg, boiled rice, organic protein, herbal tea and tanker loads of water with a slice of lemon. And as much exercise as time and the body will permit.

Food wise it’s not been too bad. Not been that hungry – although I have been found gnawing on chair legs a few times. But coffee that’s been tough. Especially on the morning. Badly needed an alternative to shift me out of the non functioning zombie state. Luckily I’ve stumbled across one. A squeezed lemon with a ton of fresh ground ginger. Granted it’s an acquired taste. But it doesn’t half shock the system. I understand a similar recipe was used by NASA as fuel for the Apollo Saturn V rocket.

So it’s been a self imposed purgatory. NOW Son has come out in support however his is not quite so self imposed. Last Week when he returned from school he had been eating us out of house and home. Well on Friday I checked his online school lunch account to see if it needed topping up. Bizarrely it had hardly been used that week.

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Son what have you been eating at school lunch. You have hardly spent any money this week.

Not much really Dad.

Why haven’t you been hungry?

No been starving. On Monday in the class before lunch the teacher kept us back because of the behaviour of some of the other kids. When we got to the kitchen they had sold out of flapjacks and sandwiches the other food wasn’t good for me. Tuesday was fine and got my usual. Wednesday and Thursday we where on the other side of the site. So when we got to the kitchen the queue was massive and it was taking ages so I grabbed a bottle of water as all the good food had gone. On Friday by the time we got to the end of the queue it was almost time for lessons to start so I grabbed a flapjack and went to class. Your not allowed to eat in class so I had that on the bus coming home.

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So school got another angry phone call and another formal complaint. The problem is that schools in the UK have been forced to cut back on school lunch expenditure. Plus the pressure to deliver the set national curriculum has forced many schools to drastically cut the school lunch breaktime. It’s the only way they can meet the demands of government. Feeding kids is not up there on the priorities. In all the surveys and questions we have had to complete for school inspections Lunch has never once been mentioned. It’s all about the national curriculum. How can a kid learn when he’s hungry. Let’s not beat about the bush most of the reasons for these problems is down to those in charge of our countries education. Basically the government picks numpties with Victorian values to run education. I’ve previously mentioned the Minister who viewed kids being off after a bereavement as AN EXTENDED HOLIDAY.

The school argues that they are following government policy, that the budgets have been slashed and that some food is always available. Problem is that when you are an Autistic kid the range of acceptable food can be limited. If it’s the wrong colour, wrong texture or mixed up with other food then it never going to be consumed.

A pack-up is not really easy most days as his big school bag is filled to busting with essential books, equipment and sports kit. Most days he’s already walking around school with a full bag on his shoulders and hands full with books he can’t fit into the bag. I have started filling up one side pocket with chocolate bars and snacks so at least he’s got something to snack on. A supersized school bag is on order which will hopefully be big enough to fit in a pack-up box.

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So this is a house of food purgatory for a variety of reasons. Hopefully it will make me healthier. Hopefully son’s purgatory has ended. It might even make both of us better prepared for the potential food shortages if our PM gets his way and we crash out of the EU in six weeks. As Monty Python say – always look on the bright side of life.

Brexit and Christmas

The parliamentary term is less than 3 days old and already the world has discovered what whose of us who have worked with Boris Johnson have always known: he is cowardly, weak, vindictive and without morals. Behold your Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen.

Going well for our so called Prime Minister – those are the words from an MP from his own party….

Now putting my cards on the table I voted against Brexit and still think it’s a bad idea which runs the risk of making things much worse for the weakest in our country. The only real winners will be the the millionaire hedge fund investors who helped fund the leave campaign. But if we are having Brexit then we need to do it properly and make the very best of it for all of our communities.

I had an appointment with the Dentist today. The Dentist said that I needed some treatment but she was full until October. But the work would be completed before the end of October just in case they start to struggle getting dental supplies due to Brexit.

One of my university friends is a civil servant who works within one of the Government Departments. He was saying that they are working on the basis of significant risks of fuel shortages, fresh food supply disruption, medical rationing, veterinary drug shortages within a month of Brexit. He reassuringly described the current Government approach as swinging between headless chickens and an ostrich burying its head in the sand. The current thinking seems to be if we are lucky it will be fine but there is more of a chance that it will be somewhere between bad and appalling but we can blame Europe for that.

So better keep all those fingers crossed then.

Another friend of mine works in the car production sector. His plant works on a Just in Time basis so needs a constant supply of parts. He was saying that the supply is likely to be severely disrupted as soon as Brexit starts. Apparently the Government has only just realised this and has added this to its risk plans – with just weeks to go. I remember hearing a Minister sound surprised that companies might be so dependent on the free movement of goods.

So this week our Prime Minister closed down parliament with the excuse that he wanted to develop some really radical policies. Maybe he should put down his fine claret glass and concentrate on a few other matters first. If it has to be a no deal Brexit why not give yourself some more time to do it properly rather than winging it.

The other week we went for a walk. Too engrossed in a chat about Monty Python we missed out path and ended up on the wrong side of the forest so we couldn’t get back to our village. The Forest was too dense to just walk through it. So we had two options. Walk the 20 minutes back down the path or take the only short cut through the forest. Only problem is that the short cut is a deep beck with unknown underfoot conditions either side (due to thick undergrowth). Yes we could wing it and rely on good fortune but in life that doesn’t often work out well. So we walked back down the path and 40 minutes later we were back home. Safe and dry. Yes the unplanned shortcut might have worked but it wasn’t worth the risk.

My old pop had a saying. Nowt worse than doin a job half cocked.

Dad I’ve started the planning process for Christmas.

Last year I put out son in charge of Christmas. What we do, what we eat, where we go, what decorations to have and when to do it. It was our my attempt to deal with the fallout from son hearing that chat about Santa. Him planning everything worked out quite well last year. The feeling of control alienated a lot of the Santa let down.

I’ve set myself until the end of September to have the Christmas timetable mapped out then I can sort out the details.

His first call looks like it is to move the traditional Christmas lunch to Boxing Day. Christmas Day lunch will now be pizza based – more time for fun less work. The traditional trip to the zoo on New Years Day will happen again. This year he wants some external lights on the house but wants to think about the environmental impact. He wants a couple of additional day visits. He’s deciding between Edinburgh, Northumberland, Lake District and Stonehenge.

The interesting point is that son is giving himself twice the length of planning time for Christmas than the PM is giving the country for his no deal Brexit. I know which one is going to be better organised.

Live

Yesterday was suitably grim but another day dawns and we move on. Life needs to be lived. As son puts it

Even you Dad are allowed to have some fun.

I’ve scheduled that in my diary for an afternoon in March 2024. The same can’t be said of our dog. His diary is overbooked with the joys of life. We could all learn from that approach.

Not sure his cuddly toy cat is enjoying life so much at this precise moment. It’s a sign of affection – honest.

A public service announcement has started on the radio which comes from our so called Government. It is telling people and businesses to prepare for Brexit on the 31st October. That’s a laugh as our Monty Python Gumby Leaders couldn’t even prepare a cup of tea. I suspect prepare means stockpile water, food and medicines. Our dog has started stockpiling toys.

So faced with a mountain of work, a misfiring laptop and more helpful advice from the Government I did the only sensible thing. Go for a run. Yes I know I’m not supposed to run for another few months but bugger it. A few minutes later I’m running over the autumnal fields. Coming in the other direction was a group of ramblers. Must have been about 20 of them. I wasn’t planning on saying hello to each one of them so I opted for one shouted hello. Unfortunately at the very moment I slipped and shouted s**t. After that faux pas I ended up saying sorry and hello twenty times.

A bit later I came to a fence. Do I climb it or do I be a pillock and jump it. Mr Pillock it is then. Amazingly the body cleared the fence unfortunately the shorts didn’t. Ripped asunder. Suddenly the run became very air conditioned. Better head back down the back lane – bound to be empty. Can you imagine how thrilled I was to reintroduce myself to the party of 20 ramblers coming in the other direction. It was chilly so they wouldn’t have seen much. Wouldn’t have seen much at the best of times really. Anyway I ran past them with a running gait best described as a duck waddle.

So life continues. We move on. Somedays we will be sad but we owe it to those not here to live.

School inspection

Ok troops stand by your bed at 6am for a kit and bed inspection from the Sergeant Major. If you fail you will do 100 press-ups and your on peeling spud duty for a week. Dad had those when he was in the army. He’s one of the troops in the photo above – enjoying the winter weather in Iceland. Apparently inspections are good for discipline and builds character….

Dad can you help me with my school bag and kit. I’m really worried I don’t have the right stuff.

Don’t worry son I filled your bag up with school supplies last week.

Do I have a 4b pencil.

Not sure but you have pencils.

If you don’t have a 4b pencil you get a negative.

Son it will be ok you have pencils.

No Dad you get a negative for not having the right pencil. Do we have colouring pencils covering all of the colours of the rainbow.

You have a load of pencils in the Peppa Pig pencil case. (I really must change that). It’s at the bottom of your school bag. It has lots of different colours.

No you need to ensure you have all the colours covered or it’s another negative.

It will be ok Son you do have enough coloured pencils for art and the teachers won’t know anyway.

Dad on Thursday the Form Tutor is doing a full school bag inspection. He’s going to check that we have every item on the school list. Every time he finds a mistake he will give you a negative.

******My jaw hits the flaw and I am stunned. It was later confirmed that school bag inspections are taking place with punishments for breaches of rules. I am speechless.*******

So after 30 minutes work we managed to rustled up a kit list that would hopefully pass the Drill Sergeant role call.

Dad we will need to move the coloured pencils to the main pencil case as the tutor has said that he will only check one case. And all the essential items have to be in there.

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Maybe it’s just me but I find this completely staggering. I’ve got a kid with Aspergers seriously spooked over the type of pencil he has in his school bag. How can that be right. Whatever happened to the idea of building a warm and welcoming learning environment. I thought the days of negative reinforcement had been assigned to the bin. A few months ago we went to a zoo where the keeper in charge of the Sea Lions talked about how an approach based on punishments never works. The animals will only respond to positive reinforcement. So an approach not ok for Sea Lions is perfectly acceptable for our children.

Why can’t school turn this round and award house points for the neatest bag. Or give every kid with the full school kit a flapjack. School could have prizes for the sharpest pencil tip, the funniest sharpener and the most original pencil case design.

To be fair to school they are following an approach favoured by our so called government. But I’m sorry the approach is fundamentally wrong. If I could sort the finances out he would be pulled from school immediately and taught at home. School and more importantly the so called government have a duty of care to kids which they are failing. This years battle with school is going to get very messy indeed.

Terrible Poetry

It’s time to shake the very fabric of time and space with a bit of Terrible Poetry hosted by Chelsea Owens. This week the challenge is:

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Infinitely improbable, you say? Don’t panic! Read my basic outline on what every pan-dimensional being expects from bad poetry in my Blogger’s Guide to the Terribleness. Aim for a little lower than self-throttling by one’s own intestine; a little higher than Vogon.

Here are the specifics for this side of the galaxy:

  1. The Topic is towels. Do you know where yours is?
  2. The Length is up to the budding artist (you).
  3. Rhyming is optional.
  4. Just make it terrible. As you clear your throat for a recitation, the entire Vogon fleetmust flee in …well, in an organized, bureaucratic fashion after completing the necessary paperwork.
  5. How risqué can a towel get? I wouldn’t dare ask Adams that, but I think we can keep things PG or friendlier.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (September 13) to submit a poem to Chelsea.

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My friend stayed at a Trump Hotel and pinched one of the towels

When the President finds out he will give him one of those scowls

On the Vice Presidents visit to Ireland he stayed at another Trump Hotel

I wonder if he had a towel in his bag when he bid the hotel farewell

Now the army has to bunk at Trumps Golf Resort in Scotland

Hundreds of fluffy white ones will go missing as mistakes are not learned

Poor Donald looses so many towels I hope he has a good supplier

Probably from China but he won’t know as he is such a crap buyer

And I wonder as Trump played golf while Hurricane Dorian continued to magnify

What was he thinking as he dried his grip with one of the finest towels money can buy

Burns

It’s hot. That’s Yorkshire hot. Which probably means mild in other parts of the world. My Dad would have called it mafting. It’s that mafting that even the Yorkshire Farm Machinery can’t cope. The photo shows the smouldering wreck of an unfortunate tractor with a badly burnt field. That’s a first on the dog walk.

Our Son does suffer from stress and overpowering fears. When he took one look at the burnt carnage he immediately panicked that our house would soon be engulfed in flames. It’s understandable as the field is less than a mile from us. I tried to calm his fears with words but with no luck. So actions are required. A mad Dad sat down in the blackened field. Look son my bum is getting a little warm but my shorts are not ablaze. Although it did demonstrate a point I should have thought the plan through a bit. Light grey shorts are maybe not that fetching when they have two buttock shaped black marks on the rear.

Although our son’s wild fire fear has been dampened down a little. Sometimes silliness works better than rational argument. It is still there and will be until normal Yorkshire weather returns.

When you have a child who suffers from these inhibiting fears it is vital that you try and keep on top of them. Working in partnership with school and health services is vital. At his last school they were usually on the ball. The teacher would catch me at the end of day or send a quick email to let me know if something had happened. If it was particularly significant school would phone immediately.

Unfortunately at his new school this has completely stopped. I fully understand that it’s a much bigger school and he has different teachers for each subject. But surely they still have a duty of care. I know speaking with the health professionals they say unfortunately most schools in they area are the same now. The close partnership working which was in place a few years ago has dried up. Again and again it comes back to the same reason. Government. As one Doctor said

Under the last Labour Government it was about the patient. Now the patient is a secondary consideration to income generation, competition and profit. Money is now king.

So increasingly it’s just left to parents, families and friends. The days of government for the greater good are over. Its all about self help and what the individual can afford. Must deliver tax cuts. It’s back to Victorian ethics. Days when democracy could be overridden by the powerful and the rich. A time when it was ok to send poor kids up chimneys. When hatred and discrimination was the norm.

Maybe it’s just me and I’m in the minority. Just my irrational fear. But increasingly my country is becoming alien to me. I hate what is becoming. Too many kids do not get the support they badly need. As a generation we have really messed up our priorities. Our leaders happily play fiddles while Rome burns. Or maybe we should now change that to our leaders go to comedy clubs while the Amazon burns.

The phone

A couple of miles from our village a large TV event has been taking place. Something like 20000 people have been attending. But we haven’t seen a soul. The dog walk felt like we had the land to ourselves. Isolation.

This summer is probably going to be my most isolated ever (so far). Outside our gang I would be amazed if I have spoken more than 30 words to the outside world. Probably had more conversations with the plants (weeds) in our garden. It really is starting to show. Even something as simple as buying a couple of entry tickets leaves me a gibbering wreck.

Not had a single conversation with anyone in the village in months, Suspect the village are celebrating that. Even the postman has gone into stealth mode. Absolutely no sign of the neighbours.

A few years back I remember a clinician telling us that we should probably get used to the idea of becoming isolated. Get used to your own company. She had seen a lot of parents in our position get cut off from friends and the outside world. That seemed fine as I had my soul partner with me. Didn’t realise how applicable own company would become.

This afternoon I checked if our phone was still working. It’s not rung once during the entire school holidays. In fact my mobile has only had two brief work calls. As the months go on my isolation from the world gathers pace. I’m not sure if that scares me or delights me. It’s got to the stage that I’m not sure if anyone would notice if I replaced the phone with a large bust of Boris Johnson. Probably not.

I would hope that the Boris bust would become a favourite cock a leg spot for the dog. Suppose I would need to move it outside. Wonder if Boris would tell the migrating birds to bugger off back to their own country. Sorry should really give Boris his full name

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

Ironically Boris wasn’t born in this country. Given his position on immigration maybe he should send himself back to America. Anyway I bet his phone rings more times than mine. A man who currently wants the UK to be isolated Internationally probably doesn’t understand what isolation really means.

Maybe I should offer my services. I could be the Governments expert on isolation. I did think about being the Government expert on talking gibberish but they have already got that position well and truly covered.

This has got to stop…

Where do we start with this loathsome piece of so called journalism from the Murdock stable of crap.

  • Aspergers does not make you deeply disturbed. What does make you deeply disturbed is being a small minded, abusive, bigoted numpty.
  • On what planet does being either being autistic or a teen somehow invalidate your opinion. Yet we are supposed to value the opinions of Andrew Bolt more as he is a ………
  • Why MUST we doubt an opinion which doesn’t fit in with your owners view of the world. A man clearly putting the world ahead of his own interest (ha ha).
  • Why shouldn’t world leaders listen to a range of opinion. Why does being young or autistic preclude you from that right.
  • Would Murdock be happy if Greta stopped caring about the planet and started making a quick buck instead. Profit is less dangerous than caring.

I have read the article and it gets worse. How can the editor or the owner allow this to be published. Worryingly it’s probably because they want this crap to be published. It fits in with their warped take on the world and the one they invest heavily in. I note that Trump and Johnson are quick to come to the defence of their rich corporate buddies yet not a word on this. No surprise there.

The issue here is not really about climate change. We have opinions on both sides. People have a right to make up their own mind. If you read this blog regularly you will know which side I sit on. What is the issue is that part of our media and our ruling classes think its acceptable to turn their corporate guns and fake news propaganda on good people for just caring.

The world is full is so much talent with individuals who really do care. You see what a great world we could live in. Yet you see the abuse Greta gets and you realise why we are in such a mess.

This has got to stop. We have to stand up to bullies. And for what it’s worth I have to stand up for a better world. A world where Aspergers is embraced. And a world where we make a stand for the generations to come. We have one planet it’s time to save it.

News but not as you know i

Let’s try and lift the spirits from the last domestic post. Lonely does not want to meet the current news.

How often do you wake up. Make a cup of coffee. Then think I wonder what’s on the news. Then two minutes later you think – why did I bother. We live in a time of thoroughly dispiriting news. You also get the impression that the news has been carefully selected and filtered for you. If that wasn’t bad enough then often the news is the news. FAKE NEWS.

Well today we tried something different. No checking of the mainstream news. But what could we do instead. Let’s source our own news. That way we can live in whatever land or time or event or world we want to. Son got the first go.

Wrestling News.

  • Apparently a family has won the world thumb wrestling championship.
  • A good wrestler might go heel.
  • A bad guy wrestler might shave of his beard and go good.
  • Lots of wrestlers are going on a wrestling cruise.
  • Will the Demon fight another Demon at Summerslam.
  • A wrestler has a bad injury. But wait it’s a story line so they will be better for the next big Pay Per View event. It’s a miracle.
  • Another wrestler has a new hairstyle.

I can live with this. Absolutely no feeling of despair. Life is so much easier when it’s all a storyline.

Then we tried another type of News. Pokemon.

  • Pesky Team Rocket have apparently taken over lots of Poke Stops.
  • Apparently you can catch a shiny Koffing.
  • Lots of details about a Pokemon Go Community Day.
  • It’s your last chance to get an Armoured MewTwo. You have been warned.
  • Soon there is going to be a Sleep Snorlax Event.

Give me one good reason why this news world is not the one you should wake up to everyday.

Then I tried one. News on Captain Scarlet. Unbelievably nothing on the worlds greatest hero. What is the world coming to. So son tried another. Marvel

  • Endgame is the highest ever grossing movie beating Avatar. Is it me or was Avatar the most overrated pile of CGI pants.
  • Apparently Valkyrie’s real superpower is going to be revealed.
  • Black Widow is going to sort out Taskmaster. I thought she was dead…
  • Thor is coming back but this time Thor is a female. Cool.
  • The worlds funniest and greatest ever villain Loki is getting his own TV show. My toes are curling up with excitement already.

It’s a world of super intergalactic villains and with our planet repeatedly being almost vapourised by aliens. Yet every time larger than life heroes come to our rescue. Unbelievably that world sounds safer and less crazy than our own world.

One last news visit, let’s go Gerbil News. Expecting nothing but got a brief glimpse into a parallel universe.

  • Hungry gerbil rescued by Army Police in Derby.
  • Woman caught hiding 24 Gerbils up her skirt on a flight from China.
  • Gerbils replace rats as the main cause of the Black Death.
  • Richard Gere and the Gerbil. Don’t look this up but please tell me it’s not true.
  • Barnsley stages Olympics for Gerbils. 7 years ago but why wasn’t this subject to wall to wall TV coverage.
  • After the Mastermind Gerbil scandal we look at other game show fiascos.

So today we have completely avoided the fake news and feel so relaxed. I’m sure when we look again the world will be still messed up. It will still be burning. The rich getting richer and the poor still getting dumped on. Men with strange hairstyles and large egos will still be trying to take us back to the feudal times. But if we look just a little harder then the mist clears and the real world reveals itself. Tell me it’s not a better place.

Boris starts with a B

At the start of the year our son agreed to try and visit at least 12 new places this year. Today was going to be one of those trips. A visit to a beach and weather worn castle. We were all set. Picnic packed. We made it to the car.

Dad I am really not happy about this. I can feel my stomach churning. Can I go on the toilet.

An hour later we called off the expedition. That’s the thing about Autism. You can’t make definite plans and stick to them. You need to be flexible. Bend with the wind. Sometimes you do turn up at an event or arrive at a destination. But you never relax. Never feel completely at ease. You see the other parents happily enjoying a drink or a chat seemingly oblivious to their children. That’s not our life. You feel apart from the others. Constantly circling the area looking for the first sign of problems. Always on edge waiting for something to happen. Car keys at the ready for that early escape.

Somedays you don’t even get out of the house or car.

After it happens son can be a bit down. Thinks he’s let me down. Trust me it’s his Dad who feels like he has let his son down.

So again we need cheering up. We need a distraction.

So we have a new game all thanks to our glorious new leader Barking Boris. This ones quick to play. Let’s see who many B words we can put in front of Boris.

Britain’s Boris

Brilliant Boris

Brainy Boris

Brexit Boris

Or

Bonkers Boris

Bluffer Boris

Buffoon Boris

Bulbasaur Boris

Bigoted Boris

Babblative Boris

Bogus Boris

Bafflegab Boris

Beetlejuice Boris

Bauble-bearer Boris

Bum Boris

Buck Boris

Bankroll Boris

Bankrupt Boris

Barbie Boris

Blockhead Boris

Bellend Boris

Birdbrain Boris

Barney Boris

Bozo Boris

Bulls****er Boris

Silly Billy Boris

Beetroot Head Boris

Blackadder Boris

Blundering Boris

Bampot Boris

Bumblehead Boris

Bananas in Pyjamas Boris

Yes it worked. A couple of hours later we were playing football in the garden. When I say playing football it’s more retrieving the ball from next doors garden. Not quite a beach or castle. But it’s fun. It’s an Aspergers life. It’s our life.

Promise it will be a Boris Free zone for a while after this.