Sunday walk

It’s Sunday so another perfect day for a walk. A much needed chance for Hawklad to relax. Feel part of the world, a world that still can be sampled without too much human contact. We didn’t see another walker today.

Six miles, six glorious miles in the Yorkshire mud. Proper mud.

But it was definitely worth the slog.

And what would Sundays be without another one of those Farm signs.

Bang

Cold start to the day.

It’s been a day filled with worries. Hawklad gets these days where he just feels like he’s trying to run constantly into a headwind. He woke up with worries. School lessons added to those. The longer he stayed inside the worse things got. So it was time to abandon school for the day. Let’s see what a walk brings.

At least being outside helped stop the stream of new worries. That’s a start….l.

But if you look hard enough there is always something to lift the spirits. To bring a laugh.

BANG…..

Sunday

Sunday, the perfect day for an afternoon walk. Heading down one of those mighty Yorkshire motorways to a beautiful hidden lake.

Ideal for Hawklad, quiet and feeling remote. Plenty of nature and wildlife, no crowds.

On a walk like this you can see the difference in Hawklad. Relaxed, funny, talkative, at ease with the world. Add people, add crowds, add school and the change in him is marked. On edge, worried, pensive, quiet, reserved.

We need more of these Sunday walks.

Swiss Sunday

I love Switzerland. So many holidays, so many memories. It’s such a special place. I would move there in a heartbeat. Hopefully these Sunday homages give just a feel for why I feel that way. But it’s not just me. Hawklad feels the same way. It’s a country where he feels comfortable and safe. He finds it exciting and full of wonder. Yes Switzerland is special.

Go with the flow

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……

Adventures

Now you that is spectacular. The cliffs at Bempton. Another Yorkshire Gem.

This world has so much to offer.

We travelled here yesterday. A visit to one of the countries best bird viewing sites. That good that the Northern Hemispheres only Albatross chooses here for a summer vacation. No albatross yesterday but we did see many sea birds and a rare chance to see a Short Eared Owl hunt over the fields. That’s some bird.

Hawklad is pushing the boundaries but under his terms. Avoiding crowds, avoiding people. The fact that he can’t face an over crowded classroom doesn’t mean that he can’t venture out. So what next…..

He has set himself some realistic goals for this year. Twelve ‘avoiding people’ targets. I’m signed up to them, so let’s see how many we can tick off during 2022 for him.

1. Visit the New Forest

2. Visit Sherwood Forest

3. Switzerland

4. Climb Yorkshire’s two highest mountains (they are small ones….)

5. Visit the Lake District and walk up one of England’s bigger mountains

6. Visit a new wildlife park

7. Go to see an Osprey hunt

8. Go for a torchlight walk on the Moors and get to see the stars with zero light pollution

9. Go to Scotland to see a Golden Eagle fly

10. Visit Stonehenge

11. Visit a new castle

12. Go for his longest ever walk

We also have a new golden rule. When we venture out, if a car park is ever half full or busier – then no questions asked, we don’t park. We continue on, find somewhere less busy or we head home.

Hopefully 2022 will show that you can avoid people and still have adventures.

New Years Day.

2022….

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.

Gladiator

Definitely feels like the we are about to walk into the opening scenes of the movie, Gladiator. Maybe once I had a passing resemblance to Maximus 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. Very passing….. Thankfully no barbarian hoards this time although our squirrels can get a bit frisky.

As we walked I asked Hawklad about the imminent recommencement of the school at home project. Is there anything I could do to make it run better for him.

Nothing he could think of apart from me upping my IQ into double figures.

Ok, is there anything I can get in or buy that would help him. Text books, supplies, tech, tutor support. He thought carefully for a while, finally concluding

Yes there is. As he would still be largely cut off from others, then …..

WE NEED MORE BOARD GAMES

I never saw that one coming. But actually that is a top idea. He needs to have fun. So it’s time for a board game search of the house and then let’s see what Amazon has to offer. He will get more from them than he will ever get from another text book.

Moodiness

Rapidly deteriorating vision. Oh the delights of wearing glasses in bad weather.

At least bad weather does bring out the full Yorkshire Moodiness.

Today Hawklad told me that he’s not going back to school next week. He feels that it’s beyond him currently. I can’t say that I’m exactly surprised by his call. So I’ve emailed school so they are aware. I also attached the latest medical exemption letter provided by the NHS. Those letters are like gold dust here. The exemption was provided just before Christmas, so they didn’t think he was going back as well. With that letter, the Government can’t take me to court for being a bad parent. Up yours Boris.

So as of the middle of next week, here we go again on the school at home project. Fast approaching two years now….. Never saw that coming. One day I might just figure out what I’m supposed to be doing as a teaching parent. But to be fair, I can’t remember seeing that on the parenting job description.

Worries

There is something truly magical about a Walk in the Woods when the weather has closed in. It can be the start of so many stories and adventures.

A planned meet-up with my sister failed today. Hawklad agreed to go for it and then my sisters car went on strike. These things happen. A distraction would have been good. Just one of those days in which Hawklad’s anxieties spiked. When they hit, they hit in waves. Not just one thing, a range of things. When he gets kind of on top of one thing, two more jump in to replace them. Doesn’t matter that it’s Christmas Eve, these anxiety waves can hit at any time. They confuse his thought process. They cause him sensory overload. They stop him in his tracks.

I know what it’s feels like. I’ve been there as well.

Distraction sometimes works. Pacing about. Scooby Doo. Lego. Walks. But at some stage we have to work through the anxieties. Try to unpick them. Put them into context. Do what we can.

Slowly this time, the waves begin to subside. You can tell when he is getting there. The first signs

“Dad where is The Big Red Fella on Track Santa”

On his way to Madagascar apparently. He arrives in 7 minutes.

“I wonder just how many in England have been put on the naughty list this year”

It’s probably more a massive database than a list. You won’t be on it.

“Dad you are officially on the naughty list with that jumper of yours. Even Elton John wouldn’t wear that.”

I will have you know it’s a handmade Italian climbing sweater.

“Which they export for muppets like you to buy because no self respecting Italian will ever wear that.”

Harsh but fair….

“Why in earth is it about three sizes to big for you…”

I bought it when I was climbing in Wales years ago. My size was standard price but the garden shed size was 80% off. That’s a bargain I couldn’t turn down.

“But it’s far too big for you…”

It’s not that big….

“Dad there’s more room in that jumper than in our loft, a family of 4 could live in there”

That’s mostly down to all the weight I’ve lost on my diets

“If only Dad….”

Ok. It is a tad big. I can change my T-shirt without taking it off. But I could give it to you. Think of it as a precious hand me down from father to son.

“Just NO. That would really give me something to worry about…..”

####he chuckled at that one, that’s a good sign###