Heatwave

Apparently we have a heatwave heading our way. Probably not today…..

School are supposed to have approached the Exam Authorities to discuss what the position with Hawklad is. Three clear problems exist.

1) All the courses the school run are based on the pupil sitting a final exam. What happens if that child can’t sit the exam. They temporarily changed the rules because of Covid, allowing the use of teacher final assessments if exams could not be taken. Those changes have now been ditched by the Government.

2) Most of the subjects have practical, in class requirements. Activities that pupils must undertake or they fail the subject. For example Geography, pupils must undertake a supervised field trip. Hawklad has already missed that, so has he already failed the subject? In previous years there was some flexibility but the Government has tightened the requirements.

3) One of the only options school can come up with is for Hawklad to resit the entire subject. But if he still can’t sit exams, if he can’t do the required practicals ….. that gets us nowhere.

It’s another sign that the UK’s school education system is just too inflexible. It’s designed by politicians for the benefit of politicians, it’s not about the needs of the individual child. Education is really far too IMPORTANT to be left in the hands of Politicians.

UFO

Can’t see any UFO’s here.

This post was started about three months ago. Back then I had found an odd argument raging online about a Google Maps Image. One particular object on the satellite view was of much interest. It was either seen as a crashed UFO, some secretive Military Weapon or a Garden Trampoline. As it was clearly in someone’s garden then we might have the answer….

Frustratingly I didn’t save the Google Image, which kinda wrecks the point of the post. I know it’s not the same but here is another crashed UFO I have found in a garden. Why did it take Mulder and Scully so many series of the X-Files to find hard evidence of the an alien invasion when it took me 5 minutes on Google. Looks like every town and city has many of these crash sites.

Had to laugh today. One of Hawklad’s teachers has not sent him anything all year. We have made do by finding stuff on the schools online system and just hoping we are looking at the right things. Anyway, unbelievably that teacher sent Hawklad some stuff today. It was the marking scheme and answers to a mock exam that Hawklad is waiting to sit (still waiting for the questions to arrive). I always thought the questions came before the answers. School has changed since my days.

But many things puzzle me about school these days. Hawklad has had four other mock exams marked which he sat at home. The marks 85%, 75%, 66%, 65%. Clearly he takes after his mum as my exam scores often never exceeded my school age. Here’s the bit that puzzles me. School is still reluctant to move Hawklad from the bottom set, as that’s ‘the group they feel reflects his current attainment level’. Why do many schools as standard, pigeon hole pupils as low attainment purely on the basis of a term like dyslexia or autism or ADHD or ……. What happened to the idea of treating each child as an individual and seeing how high they can soar. No I don’t understand this, so I’m going back to something I understand far better. Crashed UFOs…..

Weeks

Why do my wheat photos always come out so GRAINy.

It’s BARLEY believable that I told that one. Might be the last STRAW for many.

Sorry….

10 weeks. Just 10 weeks before the start of the new school year. Hawklad’s last in this school with the delights of the final exams. Just 10 weeks now. Deep down, I realise it’s not enough time. Yes he has made great strides, even a concert. BUT. He’s so on edge when people get too close (within yards). He can’t touch alien surfaces. That’s outside, inside the issues are ramped up so much more. He can’t even stand in a shop for more than a few moments.

He’s a million miles from returning to the cramped classroom, sitting there for hour after hour. Probably too many miles to cover in just 10 weeks. If that’s the case then where does that leave us. Starting another school year at home with exams that he might not be able to sit. The antiquated UK school system just has no flexibility or desire to cope with that.

At least this pesky school year will be done in 4 weeks time. That’s 6 weeks of freedom from schooling. 6 weeks to be free to wander the fields. Good weeks but never enough good weeks before it all starts again.

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.

Downton

The village went all Downton Abbey like last weekend. Can’t think why 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

Bizarrely we watched Downton the other night. Hawklad is rather taken by the whole thing. It’s fictionally set somewhere round here but filmed mostly outside of Yorkshire. Just like the cool start to an American Werewolf in London, that spooky Yorkshire Pub and foggy Moor was randomly filmed in Wales – clearly real Yorkshire is even TOO scary for a Horror Movie. The Earl, his family and servants keep visiting places right around us. It is most unsettling when they look nothing like the real place. They went riding just a few miles from us and I had a thought, I hope I remembered to pick up the mad dog’s morning constitutional poo. Would hate for the good noble family horse shoes to step in that.

It’s been one of those few days. Actually it’s been one of those few weeks. Not enough sleep, school issues, work issues, life issues, just ISSUES. Never stopping, running around in ever decreasing circles and actually achieving absolutely nothing. Where do those 24 hours go…..

So I walked through the village looking at the bunting while thinking, odds on that our mad dog will at some stage try to pull all that lot down and then bury it in our front lawn. Out of nowhere a villager stuck his head out of the village hall and shouted, “When are you bringing the cucumbers for the sandwiches”. This villager could have well been a head butler in a past life. A head butler with remarkably bad eyesight as his next words demonstrated. “Oh I’m sorry, you are not Margaret…”. Never been mistaken for a Margaret before. Never even mistaken for a woman. Even when I dressed in a full on and very well ventilated French Can Can costume and ended up walking through a town centre searching for the Uni Party, I was DEFINITELY NOT ladylike MOST DEFINITELY not mistaken for a woman.

By the numbers

Some days the brain just won’t engage. Some days like that merge into some weeks. Some weeks even merge into some months, then you find the seasons feel the same. I try not to admit it but that’s what happens when your tired. You learn to push through it but your still tired.

It does strange things to you.

Hawklad fancied a cake today. The type of cake doesn’t matter, let’s just say it’s one I haven’t tried to bake before. But what could go wrong. I had a step by step recipe and I had all the ingredients.

So I started. Carefully following the steps. Initially felt like it was high end baking but then nagging doubts set in. This seemed an odd recipe. The ingredients seemed right but the measures seemed very odd. Very random. Then the brain fog parted briefly, but just long enough. It’s not random, the measures are going up in order.

1 measure of lime juice

2 measures of melted butter

3 measures of brown sugar……

Ok but now it’s 6 eggs. How can it be SIX eggs.

Oh pants. I was misreading the recipe. What I thought was measures was in fact the STEP numbers. It wasn’t SIX eggs, it was STEP SIX which if I had read it correctly would have required TWO eggs. Definitely OH PANTS…… Well in for a penny. Might as well stick to the mistake. So yes I used 6 eggs and continued with the sequential measuring system.

The end result. An absolute DISASTER.

A rather sickly tasting bread. Definitely more bread than cake. Sickly might be stage 7. Ended up with 7 measures cinnamon. Well at least the Birds enjoyed it.

Yes tiredness does strange things to the mind. Messing up baking is one thing, I just hope I’m not messing up much more important things.

May

Glorious May weather here this week…..

Yes wet but still great for exploring our little part of the world. Even the mad one can always find things that stop him in his tracks….

School have agreed to book in a formal review meeting for Hawklad. He is supposed to get one every year but a pandemic rather messes up the normal. A lot has changed since the last one. COVID became a word. Hawklad taught himself to read. So let’s see what options school can give Hawklad for the final academic year. We need to see options for what happens if he returns to school in September. If he returns part time in September. If his return is further delayed. If he can’t go back at all. It’s one last push to get more support for him. An NHS Consultant has agreed to attend as well, definitely one last push on School. We are not entirely hopeful…..

The Government made a big promise about funding extra help to pupils to catch up following Covid, sadly it’s more hot air, bluster and fibs. Hundreds of millions can be found for a Royal Yacht but not for the children. There is another source of funding but school decided not to apply as they thought that there was little additional support that could be successfully offered to Hawklad. Rather frustratingly Pupil, Parent and Medical Professionals were not consulted……

NO, not entirely hopeful but let’s see what one last push can achieve.

Chair

Chair with a view.

Look behind and it’s not too bad as well.

Maybe a good place to spread some ashes one day. Back a few years I remember standing here. Standing here in the rain. An overcast thinking walk had suddenly turned wet. A sky not dissimilar to this one.

What was I thinking back then.

Why me. Why take Hawklad’s mum and leave me. She would have been the better single parent. Sometimes I still do. After loss, how many other utterly confused souls have had similar thoughts. Many I guess. But in the end, all we can do is walk those paths allocated to us, do the best we can. The rest will sort itself out in the end.

Bluebells

Just a short walk out of the village and there is a magical little wood. Especially magical at this time of year.

A carpet of blue.

It’s good to have those moments of dreams. It’s a release from the challenges of the day.

It’s a great place for Hawklad to spend some time. To dream. To forget his worries for a while at least. Currently these are not easy times for him to navigate. Another week and another source of worries in these unsettled times. News of yet another scary named infectious virus. Already sky high anxieties ramping up even higher. Yes he can get out but he is a million miles from truly returning to society. He can’t touch any surface away from the safety of his house. Probably in all reality real progress needs a settled, safer feeling environment. That’s not these times.

So a few dreamy, care free moments in BLUEBELL WOOD makes all the difference.

Weeding

A proper garden…

Sometimes not weeding is the right approach.

Tomorrow is one of those school video meetings. 9 minutes with the schools lead Special Education Teacher. So much to discuss in just NINE minutes. Where’s the support. What are the options if Hawklad can’t sit exams. Scope for one to one tuition. Let’s see what comes of it.

Today was supposed to be a mock exam but nothing came from school. Maybe they aren’t allowed to send it out, maybe it’s coming later. Another one for the 9 minute discussion.

So without a home exam to sort out it was time to do a spot of gardening. Well look at the garden. Surely looking and planning counts as gardening. As I was doing that hands free gardening I managed to find some lost (or dognapped) property. Numerous socks, a slipper, a plastic dog bowl, several balls and bizarrely a pair of my pants…. I can’t remember losing them while weeding.