Come again

When we first moved into our little bungalow on the hill we had a beautiful Daffodil patch on the shared area in front of our house. At the time I would never have thought that 20 years later I would still be here. Certainly not still here as a widow and a single parent.

Over the next few years the daffodil patch seemed to flower less and less. The daffs would appear each year but more and more would just not bloom. The area was becoming such a shadow of its former self. Eventually I planted some new bulbs and now there is colour again.

This morning it dawned on that there is a message to all this. Life happens and sometimes things fade and leave us. But with patience and hard work life can happen again. That works for the daffodil patch and it works for me as well.

Problematic

A brief few moments of blue sky before the Yorkshire mist and drizzle rolled back in. It was nice will it lasted.

I received an email from school today informing parents that a pupil had tested positive for Covid. The pupil has been sent home and a further 20 pupils have been asked to self isolate. The concern is that the pupil had no symptoms and it can’t be established how long they had been infectious for. It is entirely possible that the in-school test last week provided an inaccurate all clear result.

Can’t say I’m entirely disappointed that Hawklad is currently at home.

But it’s sometimes not the easiest of options.

Did we have a hockey stick. Did we have a hockey ball. Kind of made hockey practice a little problematic….

Did we have any graph paper. Had the printer run out of ink. Kind of made detailed and accurate graph work a little problematic…..

Could we find a working green pen. Kind of made self marking work (if it’s not done in green then it’s additional marks deducted) a little problematic…..

Could we find the video showing the science experiment. Kind of made writing about the results a little problematic…..

Trying to keep a full, overcrowded school open based on solely on unreliable Covid self tests is a little problematic…..

Abstract

Let’s be honest, it’s not really sunbathing weather here in Yorkshire. It’s ‘let’s see how many layers of clothes I can squeeze under the down jacket before it bursts at the seems’ weather.

Go on then Dad, can you see it

What is that supposed to be again.

It’s an abstract artist’s interpretation of what our market town looks like.”

No that’s not really jumping into my brain that interpretation.

What do you see then Dad.”

A series of random line squiggles and odd shapes. Forming what can only be described as a incoherent mess.

Exactly Dad. Apparently that’s the town skyline and its most iconic landmarks.”

Really. If it’s most iconic landmarks then I’m certainly not seeing traffic jams, floods, not open at weekend signs, pizza takeouts and hordes of parking enforcement officers.

Dad, Aspergers clearly doesn’t get abstract art…”

It’s ok Hawklad, Dads don’t get it as well.

I’ve got to produce my own version of that now. Really…”

Shall we just put a pot of ink and a piece of paper in with the gerbils and let them get creative.

Would be a good idea but the gerbils eat everything in front of them”

Well you can help me do it.

Ok do you want me to draw as well.

No Ive seen your artistic skills. Look at the state of my hair. No you can do something your better at.”

Ok you name it.

Go and find some chocolate for me please”

I can do that…

Tired

There’s tired and there’s TIRED.

I don’t sleep much but even I struggle to function on one hours sleep.

I was trying to wash the bedding this morning. A task clearly beyond a ZOMBIE. I did remember to put washing powder into the right tray. Well kind of. I did pick up a box which was the same shape and size. It didn’t register that the powder was brown and biscuit like.

Yes the bedding was washed with Cat food. That’s TIRED….

Thankfully I don’t work on a Nuclear Power Station….

Support

Too wet for a photo today so let’s go back a year.

First true fully open school day. First day with classroom teaching and Hawklad at home. It’s been one of those days….

In the First lesson one brief document was shared by the teaching staff on the online system. That kept Hawklad going for about 10 minutes in a 90 minute lesson. Second lesson absolutely nothing was shared. No communication. Basically complete radio silence. The third lesson was again a complete blank. Nothing. Thankfully the final lesson had some of the teaching materials shared.

On the same day I heard someone representing the Government say that online support should be limited to encourage all children back into the classroom. Well the schools seem to be doing as they are told…..

Out of practice

It was a three cups of Decaf problem. Trying to explain Displacement Chemical Reactions to Hawklad. Problem is that it’s been decades since I last thought about them. I was clearly so out of practice.

Out of practice….

That got me thinking. Yes I do think somedays. Just how much I am out of practice in SO many areas. That’s not just in the area of Homeschooling. Lots of areas. Out of practice because of lockdown, because of single parenting, because of life.

  • Haven’t been on a bike in over a year,
  • Similarly my last run was back in March 2020,
  • Haven’t been out to a restaurant in 5 years,
  • Over a year since I watched a movie at the cinema,
  • Not experienced a Quickening in ages (That wont make any sense unless you’ve seen the Highlander movie). Quickening is the name I gave to family gatherings. The last time someone potentially lost their head at these get together was back in 2018,
  • Over 8 years since I tried my hand at climbing AND
  • Over 8 years since I tried my hand at falling off a cliff,
  • Not played team sports in 10 years,
  • Not had to give a speech at an audience in 7 years,
  • Not danced in a nightclub this century,
  • Not done any paid work in months,
  • Not been paddling in the bracing North Sea since 2019,
  • Not slept away from our house since the summer of 2015,
  • That was also the last time I went on holiday and had to look innocent on my way through passport control,
  • Haven’t had a hug or kiss since 2016,
  • Haven’t met up with friends since 2018,
  • Not ironed a shirt in a year,
  • Not packed an elephant sized amount of gear into a school bag in the same time.

So yes I’m definitely out of practice. It’s going to seem really odd when I do finally get back to doing some of these things. Really odd.

Biathlon

I’ve always loved winter sports. Definitely my favourites are biathlon, ski jumping, skiing and ski cross. One of my dreams is to see it in person one day. Still waiting….. November to March is great as I get to binge watch it on TV. But when March comes it’s always quite sad as soon the season will be over. No winter sports for 7 months.

That thought has been praying on my mind. 7 months is a long time. What to do.

I’ve looked for some Winter Sports DVDs and Books but there isn’t much about. So I have a stock pile of 3 books and one dvd documentary. Plus one game on the Xbox. The probability of our family lockdown continuing through those 7 months is really high. With no trips out. No runs. Just feels like I need more this year to keep me going.

“Dad what are you doing?”

I’m trying to see if I can do GARDEN biathlon.

Really. It looks like you have gone mad…”

No there is method to my madness. I’ve dug out my two old walking poles. So to pretend I’m Nordic skiing I’m going to use the poles to walk round and round the garden. About 30 times round the garden is about 1km.

Ok how long is a biathlon thing then”

Going to start small first. The Spring is 10km with two shoots. So I would do 100 laps of the garden between shoots.

I think I can see what’s coming next but ok, why have you got my Nerf Gun.”

Well after 100 laps of the garden my pulse will be racing just like a Biathlete. So I will need to control my breathing and steady myself for the shoot. Ok I don’t have a rifle and five circular targets. So I’m putting some tins on the fence and I’m going to try and knock them over with your foam Nerf bullets. For every miss I will have to do a penalty loop or in my case 5 garden loops. The first shoot will be prone and the second will be standing.

OMG Dad. You have cracked.”

So from April one of my daily workouts every week will be my Biathlon competition.

“You have lost the plot”

Most probably Son, most most probably. But just be thankful I’m not trying to recreate Ski Jumping. 😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣

Truly shocking poetry

Running on empty last couple of days. Even the simple tasks are becoming complex. You know you are in for along day when you nod off during the first school at home lesson. The lights went out midway through a sentence explaining Factor Trees to Hawklad. All before 10am.

Here’s the ultimate irony. A tired muppet Dad who wasn’t even trusted to keep the score in Pub Darts matches now trying to explain maths to a kid who has just got 38 out of 40 in his term mathematics test. Talk about feeling out of my depth.

Which is how I feel when I venture into the world of poetry. Yes I’m sorry it’s that time again. Head to the panic rooms my friends. It’s poetry..

It’s poetry Jim but not as we know it…..

It’s really Terrible Poetry time. Time to have a go at Chelsea Owens Mused Poetry challenge.

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Phew! After last month‘s hilarious entries, I had a bit of trouble thinking of what our next venture should be. What to do, what to do…

  1. Let’s try an oldie but a goodie: A Funny Love Poem Inside a Greeting Card.

  2. Most greeting cards can’t hold a ballad, so a few stanzas ought to do us for the Length.

  3. I’d recommend rhyming. I mean, you are serious about this love interest, aren’t you?

  4. Yes, this is love (or something like unto it) but the Rating‘s PG or cleaner. After all, some kid might stumble across your offering while trying out all the musical cards.

  5. Only in stories do lovers say all the right words, remember every birthday and anniversary, and get just the right present. We are not writing a story, here, we’re writing a humorous poem. As such, make us laugh. Laughter’s the best way to a person’s heart; right?
    And, as a side note, whoever said this was a card expressing love to a person? What if you’re more fond of a juicy cheeseburger? Just a thought…

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next MONTH (March 5) to submit a poem.

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When you lie in double bed all alone

Experiencing a completely love free zone

Feeling like a discarded out of tune trombone

Your only company is a smelly dog and farting cat

Feeling as popular as flea ridden rabid fat wombat

But maybe today that Hallmark card will land on your mat

Bringing much needed kisses and expressions of affection

Offering a few sweet moments of romantic misdirection

Which is always better than a bad case of fungal infection…..

It’s cooking Jim but not as we know it

Warning this post contains some disturbing baking images.

This house had an idea. Some next level pancakes….

Not content with messing up normal pancakes let’s go a stage further. Pancake sandwiches. So what filling could we go for?

Chocolate biscuits. Carefully warmed chocolate biscuits. How hard could that be.

First Try….

Erm…. As Spock would say ‘it’s a chocolate biscuit filling Jim but not as we know it’.

After a number of other shocking tries we finally produced this….

We can officially call this a warmed chocolate biscuit filled pancake sandwich.

The message here. If keep throwing punches, you might be the worst boxer ever, but eventually one will land.

Mist

I don’t know why but as soon as I saw our morning sky I immediately thought of two opposing medieval armies preparing for battle. Just waiting for the mist to lift before they crash into each other.

Our area has had so many bloody battles dating back to Viking times. Who is to say that these very fields have not witnessed that grim sight.

Today’s grim sight was restricted to this unshaven, unkempt Bloke with zero fashion sense leaning against the fence. Coffee cup in hand, exposing his partly covered hairy legs to potentially the ghosts of the past. I guess in years gone by I would have opted for the kilt look. Need to get the air onto those ‘airy knees.

Mist is an apt way of describing my current thinking this morning. After a year of lockdown (now just two weeks short of that anniversary), I still can’t see the way forward. No nearer establishing when (or if) Hawklad will feel able to return to the outside world. Is it school or permanent homeschooling. Will my job survive. When will be our next holiday or excursion. Are my dreams on hold or permanently cancelled. Will I ever get to where my heart desperately wants to go. Is that it for concerts or football for us. When will we see friends and family. Is that it for hugs. Is the world still out there. Has anyone even noticed that we aren’t part of the crowds anymore.

A pandemic year and I still can’t answer those questions.

Mind and hope mist.

That is not a great feel.