Looking out on a Yorkshire evening scene and the clouds are rolling in. Yes it’s been sunny at times with blue skies but it’s just not a Swiss sky. It’s something Hawklad talks about, just how BLUE a blue sky is in Alpine heaven.
It’s a breathtaking colour with seemingly so little air pollution to cloud the view. Now I’m thinking about the clean fresh air, I know it sounds strange to say this but breathing in The Alps is just seems better, healthier.
And even when the weather closes in, Switzerland is just perfect. I so hope it’s not too long before we get the chance to experience these special gifts again real soon.
That’s a sky…. It was definitely a stand and look up sky……
So the school at home week closes. That was a struggle. The worry is that Hawklad feels jaded already, his Dad isn’t far behind. That’s after week ONE…
A week in which only fragments of the school teaching programme has found its way here.
So we have two subjects teachers that have started having direct contact with Hawklad. One just to say sorry that Hawklad had been forgotten about and they will try to better soon. The other subject actually provided all the class questions looked at. The other subjects have been largely silent leaving on what is expected of him leaving this up to the Dream Team to figure out what to do. So with a bit more WORK for me to do this week coinciding with sadly even less sleep – YEP it’s been a struggle.
Hawklad’s anxieties have definitely increased since school returned. Yes he’s at home but it’s still impacting on him. He’s been struggling even more when he’s been outside as well. The thing that school don’t seem to understand is that this is not just about COVID. There are so many interconnected themes playing out here. So yes the news that Hawklad’s age group will soon receive one dose of a vaccine is welcome but not the answer. It will reduce the COVID risk but definitely NOT eliminate it. Double vaccinated people are still being impacted by the virus. He knows that.
So we soldier on. Let’s see what happens at this coming weeks counselling session. We make the best of school until things change. I definitely need to re-find my mojo.
The sky is always adapting and changing. Constant motion. Never staying the same.
I was thinking about how life moves on. How life sends you down roads that force changes to your world, to your lifestyle, to your way of thinking. But often you still have to go in that direction. It’s seemingly beyond our control. That is so stressful.
The question for me is whether this stress comes from trying to resist the inevitable or it comes from not adjusting to the new world!
I suspect that it’s a bit of both. Initially fighting being pushed down a life path but then eventually coming to the realisation that it is futile to fight this. What’s the line from The Avengers movie. I AM INEVITABLE….
Now I increasingly find myself saying IT IS WHAT IT IS. But then I have a tendency to then do nothing about the new world. Even when my old self clearly does not match the present anymore. That causes stress. It also risks just surviving and not living.
At least I now realise it’s time for a major rethink.
Looking at a big sky opens up so many possibilities. It can fill your heart with wonder. It can fuel dreams and adventures. Bring back forgotten memories. It can also calm the internal raging storm.
It can also stop you taking a large sledgehammer to the telephone…
I received a letter from the bank informing me that my local branch was closing. I apparently had two options. Start using a branch which is 15 miles further away or set up an online banking option. I opted for the latter as the setup process was fully online and could be completed in just a few moments.
Did have a third option…. switch to another bank.
So I started the process from the comfort of my sofa. Rather than being complete in just a few moments the process was clearly going to be more akin to spending a few hours in the company of the Spanish Inquisition. Three hours later the trial was still ongoing. New passwords, passcodes, PIN numbers, memorable words and identifying questions seemingly required for each screen. The process was clearly not complicated enough so suddenly the iPhone was required to join in with the tablet. Verification codes started flying between the two. I’ve got a degree in computing and the process was still pigging beyond me.
Then at last the final screen. Confirm your new online banking arrangements….. then the sting in the tail.
You will need to go into your branch in person to sign a form before the process can be completed. You can now however view your account balance online.
Very kind of them to allow me to view my bank balance (or lack of it) online. Who needs the other stuff like transfer money, make payments, control direct debits. That’s all minor stuff when it comes to online banking.
Then followed a most enjoyable one hour spent in a call queue listening to a recorded message telling me that I was a valued customer but unfortunately the bank was experiencing high call volumes. Finally a person. Unfortunately a person in a different country who didn’t understand the fine twangs of the Yorkshire accent and also clearly had no idea what it was to live in a country dealing with lockdowns.
So I eventually found myself outside. Trying to calm the internal rage and work out how to pay a visit to the new bank branch. But then the sky caught my attention. Thoughts quickly moved to happier things. Yes the sky is magical.
It’s a big sky. Its easy to feel very small and insignificant stood under it.
There are so many times when parenting is the best gig on the planet. Then there are other times…
I was trying to convince our son that he had washed his hands enough. He had been at the soap and water for nearly five minutes. Everything I said didn’t seem to have any impact. Finally he decided that was enough. He asked if the towel was clean and had it been washed that day. I assured him that was the case. He left the bathroom and I looked at his hands. His very red and sore skin. That’s what happens when you wash as often as he does. We are using skin friendly soap. I water it down further. But his hands are still red. I encourage him to use his skin care lotion. But his hands are still sore.
These are the times I feel inadequate as a parent. Missing the support of another person. Someone to share the load. Definitely running out of things to try. Actually ran out of things to try. His health professionals try to help but they see this intrinsically linked to the pandemic. Get the pandemic under control and we can start to bring his hand washing under control – hopefully. But that doesn’t make me feel any better as a parent. Feels like I had one job and I dropped the ball on it.
So I’m stood under that big sky. Feeling insignificant. Time to breathe. Reset and go again. Yes significant but definitely not beaten yet.
It’s been a hot day for Yorkshire. Not as hot as many places, but still hot for us.
Time to do some gardening. For the observant amongst you
Yes that conservatory has been taken over by Dinosaurs. I blame them for the mess,
Yes that ghostly and out of focus apparition in a red T-shirt is me. That’s the closest your going to get to a photo….. That’s how us with ‘faces made for radio’ like to do things….
An hours weeding. Lots of weeds pulled up and yet seemingly so little progress. But at least I’ve made a start.
Hoping for another clear night. A night of shooting star spotting. The Perseid Meteor Shower is currently ongoing. Last night at 1am we were outside. Sheet lightening frequently flashing across the sky. We always have a little game – who can spot the most… It was close last night.
Hawklad – 50 meteors
Dad – 4
“Dad what are you doing?”
I’m lying on the ground, why don’t you join me…
“Certainly not AND why?”
I’m thinking that if I’m lying down then I’m comfortable. Don’t have to strain my neck. I get to lie down and scan the sky. I think it’s the best way to see meteors.
*******Not the first time I’ve tried this approach – it worked well but one important safety point. Don’t put your cup of hot drink on the ground next to you.That last time my cup was visited by a slug. That’s not what I want in the darkwhen I’m taking a swig of warming brew********
“ReallyDad. I have a problem with your technique?”
Go on then Hawklad what possible problem can you find with lying on the back while meteor hunting.
“Well Dad. I’m standing up. So that takes me at least 5feet closer to the sky action. Maybe that’s why I’m at 40 meteors and you are at TWO….”
Today our little world is uniformly cool and grey. Feels almost autumnal. I suspect no Sun today. Rewind the clock a few days and it was a very different story. Looking out over the farmers fence and one thing struck me – that’s a big sky.
Living on top of a hill with no surrounding mountains and no tall buildings, nothing blocks out the sky. It does create the impression of a big sky. On days like the one above, it can be so impressive.
It might be grey but it’s now time for some more big sky thinking.
“Dad, I have to start a project for school. For last weeks lesson I had to describe my own version of Middle Earth or Narnia. Well today’s lesson we now need to create a 3D version of this. The teacher says that we can use whatever we have in the house to build it. This might be a daft question but since the lesson started 10 minutes ago …. do we have any plasticine or playdoh in”
“Do we have enough newspaper and glue to make a papermache model”
“Do we have enough green, brown and blue lego to make a mountain landscape, with rivers, waterfalls and massive valleys.”
We do have lego but it would have to be a real multicoloured, mixed up type of landscape.
“If I had realised that I would have to actually build this world then I would have definitely lowered by creative threshold. Maybe a small desert island with one tree and a rock. A really small, boring islands set in a randomly coloured lego world”
We tried to create his complicated world with cushions and rugs.
“It’s a bit rubbish but at least we had the stuff. Problem is that we can’t leave our creation on the floor as it’s a pet magnet. We will need the world for lessons in the coming weeks and I don’t fancy building this every time we have this lesson.”
So we are moving to Plan C. After we have hopefully finished his other project which needs handing in, then we will be trying to make his world using flour dough. Could be messy.