Look but don’t touch

It’s been a long time….

Back before 2020 Hawklad had made fantastic progress. Not a natural socialite, even School was endured rather than embraced. Apart from one or two really close friends, he avoided large groups. But he pushed on. He forced himself on to do a few things he wanted to do even though it meant being amongst the masses. Sports matches, normally to see my so called team lose. Thankfully the wise young one picked a team that didn’t play in black and white to support. He could relax and laugh at his Dad.

The other thing he wanted to do was go to Rock Concerts. He managed it. Hood pulled firmly over his head and he found a way that worked for him. But then a pandemic hit. Alter Bridge and Shinedown was his last concert back in December 2019.

Everything then stopped.

2022 finds his fears and anxieties ramped up even further. But HE WANTS TO GO TO CONCERTS AGAIN.

So here goes.

With much planning, we find ourselves on a car journey right across to the other side of the country. A walk through a strange new busy city. Public Transport strictly avoided so we walked for miles to a football stadium. We waited outside for the right moment. A lull in the queues. We dived in. On the pitch and standing, that way we can control how close people get to him.

And with luck on our side Hawklad gets to see Echo and The Bunnymen AND THE ROLLING STONES. Yes it was crowded but we maintained a clear zone at all times. Yes I did have to get the elbows out at times to enforce that…. but the zone held. Years of metal concerts fully prepared me for that job.

A few hours later we are heading back home on the motorway. From Car to STONES to Car without Hawklad once touching an alien surface. But he did it. Hawklad a chatterbox telling me just how fantastic the Stones had been.

Here’s the sting in the tail. Poor Mick Jagger then went down with COVID a couple of days later. He may well have caught it doing this concert or in the city we had visited. That has been duly noted by Hawklad. But it’s still a step forward.

Unknown

A walk into the unknown……

As I’m typing this we should be in queue waiting to get into a rock concert in a busy northern city. As we are still 100 miles away, sat at home while Hawklad watches episodes of Parks & Recreation, I think we can call that a NO SHOW.

It was always more of a target for Hawklad to aim for, rather than a must see concert. A great band but The DARKNESS can wait for another year. Plus we have seen them twice already, in fact they were the last band we went to see before a certain pandemic hit. This concert was more about a potential marker to a return to a more normal, involved life. His return (and mine) into the real world. Six months to build bridges. In reality you can’t put a time on these processes, especially as yet another variant starts to surge through communities.

Hawklad isn’t ready yet. Those bridges are largely unbuilt. Certainly not ready to be packed in with a few thousand strangers.

The walk into the unknown continues…….

Much to ponder about life, the universe and homeschooling.

Time for a new target. Let’s call it a goal this time. A smaller step. Maybe not bridges built rather bridge building starting. Hawklad’s call is….

Go to the cinema to see a movie when it is really quiet. Almost empty cinema with no one sat near. More realistic as masks are enforced again.

Ok we can work towards that. May takes months (or longer) but it could happen eventually. Achieve that mini goal and then maybe THE DARKNESS might be more achievable.

The walk towards the known continues.

Schools out for Summer

The school gates close for just under seven weeks and Hawklad wanted a celebratory car ride. To mark his freedom from school work, exams and having to get up before midday (😂😂) he came up with his own music playlist for the car ride.

So here’s Hawklads End of School playlist.

He had to sneak one song in just to wind up his old Dad….. But I will settle for 15 out of 16 good ones. So in the words of the Mr Alice Cooper

School’s out for Summer!!!

T minus

Hawklad has been looking for a marker in the sand. Something to aim for which is solid. To him all the attempts to build bridges back into the wider world has to lead to something.

Yes school could be that. A return to the classroom. But he’s still not convinced that it’s right for him. Is he better off learning outside the school system. Plus it’s not a definite marker. It can be delayed. If the bridges aren’t ready say at the start of September, then maybe October might work.

Well now we have a solid marker.

A concert.

One of his favourite bands, The Darkness are playing some gigs in December. So we have bought tickets to see them in quite a small standing only venue. A definite date which is far enough away to allow for steady progress. A true test of his progress. We can leave it to the last minute to decide if he’s ready. We can even get to the venue and Hawklad can see what it feels like. If he’s uncomfortable then we can just grab a pizza and come home. He’s seen them twice already so it won’t be a disaster if he doesn’t manage it this time.

T minus 6 months and counting

Mad Dogs and

What’s the definition of a mad dog. Definitely one that has worked out how to climb onto the kitchen work tops, pinches a box of tea bags and then sprints around the garden scattering tea everywhere. Definitely top canine entertainment for the mad one.

After that mad 10 minutes then there could only be one record I played as I sat down to do some work. Yes a bit one music perfection in the form of one of Yorkshire’s finest. Joe Cocker is sadly missed.

This is one if my oldest records. I accidentally pinched it from one of my older siblings. They never noticed all those years ago, so I’m probably safe now. My kind sibling bought it in 1970. I kind of acquired it around 10 years later….

They don’t make them like this anymore. Gatefold with full size poster.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun…..

Well we have a mad dog. We have an Englishman. Still waiting for the sun sadly……

Firsts

A first….

I slept badly. Not much sleep. Too many random and confused thoughts. Anxious. Then just as I got up one clear thought settled in my nogging. Maybe many of the doors I am hopefully and expectantly stood next to are in-fact permanently closed. They ain’t opening. Not for the a few days over Christmas, not for New Year, not for a Vaccine, not for counselling help when it turns up, not for as much dream power as I can conjure up. They are shut. So if they are shut is it not time to accept the reality. Move on. Set a new course. Whatever that might be.

Reality has to bite at some stage.

So what is behind those doors. Parts of my life. Things I have experienced. Things I have enjoyed doing. Things I have hoped to do. Things I want to start. Basically- Parts of me.

Can’t even blame Pink Floyd or Leonard Cohen for this mindset. Not been listening to them over the last few days. Not sure KISS are supposed to take me into those mindsets.

Life happens. It’s like those Harry Potter Hogswarts staircases. They randomly shift. Take you in directions you weren’t planning to go. You find that you don’t have a viable route to some of your planned destinations anymore. Depending on your mindset this is either liberating or monumentally pants.

So my mindset changed. Maybe the penny dropped. Some stuff might never happen. BUT Other doors may open. Need to think about that more.

However if I am bunkered down. Largely physically isolated well I had better make it comfortable. So I went on Amazon and took the plunge. I bought a bean bag. I’ve always wanted to try one. Never been on one. Never had one. So I bought one. My first bean bag. Now I’m a realist. I know that like most things it will be lost to Hawklad and the pets. But at least I can say I have had one. It’s a first. Its maybe not a new door. More like a new letter box. BUT It’s a start.

Who you looking at ….

Here is a regular nighttime visitor to our garden. Will come to within a couple of feet of the front door. The badger is surprisingly big and muscular. A few times we have had standoffs in the garden. Stopping a badger attack on a hedgehog or when the badger has decided to try and dismantle the bird feeder. The badger stands his or her ground. Definitely chased me off a couple of times. Clearly no regard is given to vegetarians. In my defence I am a city boy and a massive coward. Wasps send me scurrying for cover.

But now I find the The Badger has no musical taste. Last night I forgot that I had left a delivery outside. Our son likes deliveries to air outside for at least a few hours as part of our pandemic protocols. Anyway I had bought myself a really cheap second hand cd and a brush. I was in the kitchen cleaning up when I heard a right racket outside. Had to be the badger. I assumed the bird feeder had been destroyed again. But no. The delivery packaging was strewn all over the lawn. No sign of the brush but near the bird feeder was my cd. Clearly The Badger had no interest in taking my music.

Not liking Alice Cooper. What a philistine.

Need a new mobile

Had a great time at the Manchester Arena last night. Son loved seeing Massive Wagons, Status Quo and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Only took a couple of photos as my old iPhone has the same low light photographic capabilities as my toothbrush.

Car managed the four hour round trip including the mechanical ordeal of driving over England’s highest motorway. However I’m not convinced all of the car pieces which set off attached to the car actually made it back home. Son was happy as we didn’t get back home until after 1am.

Son wants to hear more of that hungry young rock band how opened. Enjoyed bouncing about to the Quo. He was transfixed with Skynyrd. The fact that the band beautifully mixed in footage of their lost band mates just added to the show for him. At one point they did a song with old videos playing showing some of the mums linked with the band. I was worried for our son but he just smiled which was really nice. At the end of the concert he just whispered “Legends”.

He had a good excuse for poor school performance today as his ears were still ringing. Bad Dad forgot his ear safety plugs. At least I didn’t get to eat one this time.