Swiss Sunday.

That’s a proper view from the hotel bedroom window…

So many beautiful deep blue sky family days in Switzerland. But every so often the weather closes in. For me that just makes this special place look even more special. I’m definitely dreaming about family trips here again, just need to wait for the right time.

That’s what you call a proper lake steamer

Swiss Sunday

Where did that week go. Was it really 7 days since I was spouting on about a family holiday to that dream land called Switzerland. For Hawklad’s Granny’s seventh birthday we found ourselves in the alpine mountain top village of Wengen. Over 4000ft up in the stunning Alps. Granny decided that a seventh birthday deserved a race. She would take the leisurely way using the cable cars and trains. Unlike in my case, age brings much wisdom. The rest of the family would race her down by walking the mountain path down into the valley. Who would arrive in Lauterbrunnen first. A wonderful village set in a mountain valley of 72 waterfalls…..

Never going to be a contest. Rickety legs versus the precision perfectness of Swiss Public Transport. But what a walk down into the valley. Impossible to take your eyes off one the worlds most atmospheric mountains, The Eiger.

Happy memories. The family is much smaller now but the memories are still strong. Can’t wait to return to that magical land.

Sledging the exam

A beautiful spring day here in the Tropics. Temperatures below freezing for most of the day. Definitely feels like April. 😂😂😂😂

The bonkers weather continues. According to the forecast, in seven day’s time we might be basking in temperatures about 24C higher than todays tropical highs. Will the weather make its mind up.

Unbelievably this morning we were sledging. Wasn’t really enough snow but sometimes you just have to give it a go. The sledge took a bit of setting off but with effort it eventually got going. Two different approaches producing the same amount of decent speed. Hawklad with his aerodynamic streamlined body and his Dad with his very very very large backside (which produces a shed load of momentum when it’s in motion). I must admit I left much deeper tracks than Hawklad (that must be just down to some strange climatic conditions….).

Guess who managed to put a large crack into the bottom of the poor old sledge……

Now here’s the thing. At the exact time that my backside was stress testing the base of the sledge, Hawklad was supposed to be sitting a mock exam. Does it really matter if Hawklad started the exam two hours late. His Invigilator (a person with a sledge breaking backside) was more than ok with the delay. When he finally started the exam he had a pen in one hand and a steaming cup of hot chocolate in the other. Doing an exam with a smile on his face. That’s surely how you do an exam.

It’s back

Yes it’s back. Just when we thought it was shorts weather for the next six months, oh no, it’s back into THREE jumper weather.

Definitely not enough for even the most rubbish snow angel ever but just enough to send all exposed skin a funny shade of blue.

Alberts back as well…

Can’t believe that the only Albatross in the northern hemisphere has decided during this truly tropical spell to return to the Yorkshire coast. Albert definitely needs to fire his holiday adviser. Last year he stayed 30 miles away from our house, for his summer holidays. It was actually mostly very nice and almost warm. Maybe that’s why he stayed for nearly two months. Sadly this years vacation finds temperatures north of zero. He must be tempted to head somewhere warmer.

If he hangs around this time then we will try to catch up with him. Last year was an awesome meet-up.

With any luck we can visit him when the Easter School Break starts next Friday. Easter is a bit of a challenge these days. Hawklad likes to get out, likes to visit places. But he needs these place quiet or even better, EMPTY. That doesn’t often happen over the two and a bit week break. Most places tend to be mobbed. This forces us into the early strategy. Get there as soon as a place opens and then stay until it starts to fill up. It’s not a guarantee of success. Last year we had several visits to RSPB Bempton to try to catch an albatross sighting. Problem is that such an extremely rare epic bird brings people, lots of people. We had a number of trips were although we had set off from home just after 7am, when we arrived a busy car park was way too much for Hawklad. So we started setting off much earlier. 4.30am early….. The prize was for an hour or so we did get the cliffs almost to ourselves and as soon as the crowds started to arrive, we left. Back home before 9am. It might be tiring but even if you don’t get to see Albert it’s so worth it.

Isolation has drawbacks but every so often it doesn’t half deliver. We just wouldn’t be stood on a cliff as the sun comes up.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday here in Yorkshire so surely it must be time for a trip down memory lane. Back to 2013. To a family holiday to Alpine Heaven, to Switzerland.

So often on our trips to this wonderful country the sun would shine but occasionally, even here, the weather can turn.

But guess what, Switzerland is still special.

A bit of bad weather doesn’t stop the locals eating out.

But the sun always returns, hopefully we can return in the near future.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday night here in the UK. The heating is full on and the weather is beating against the windows. We are lucky to be live in a lovely part of the country. Rolling hills and countryside. But no mountains. I have always been drawn to the high ground. Right from childhood when I would look longingly at mountaineering book photos in the town library. A few years later I started climbing and a life long link was cemented.

I so wish I could open the curtains in the morning and gaze upon snow covered mountains.

Imaging throwing up the curtains each day and seeing this view….

That’s what I call a hotel room with a view. A Swiss view. It’s hard to find a view from this amazing country that is not dominated by glorious mountains. One day I hope to return. I need my mountain fix. I need to be back in Switzerland. One day soon I hope. Those mountains call.

Added

Another dusting of the white stuff. It’s such a wonderful world filled with the best dreams and breathtaking beauty.

It’s bizarre how tiredness works out in practice. Yesterday on a few hours sleep I was a walking single parent zombie disaster zone. Bogged down in the minutiae of life. I couldn’t even make bread……

That was my bread after 3 hours in the poor bread making machine. Not sure if I should butter it or use it as a facial exfoliating rub…..Yet today on even less sleep I feel fine. Feeling like I’m almost competent at this parenting gig. I could even explain Calculus and Ionic Bonds this morning. Definitely NOT at home to Mr Zombie Head today.

So is even less sleep good for me? No not really. What is good for me is focusing on what is truly important to me. Doing that makes me realise just how beautiful this world is, just how wonderful life can still be. All the ingredients to happiness and fulfilment are there, just need to remember to us them.

It’s makes such a difference when you use all the ingredients in gluten free bread making 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 Same bread just with added water……

It’s Cold on page 264

Poor Hawklad was trying to do his school at home lessons. A teacher had uploaded work to be done online. That’s always a good thing and most welcome, unless you are Hawklad. The work kept referring to ‘review the key information on page 264 of your text book’. What text book….. Apparently the text book those in class use each lesson as a key part of the teaching programme. The class share copies so there isn’t one available to be sent home, so Hawklad did know that one even existed. At least we know now.

It’s cold. Not as cold as some countries but it’s cold for us. It’s definitely a two wooly jumper day.

It’s the kinda day for hot chocolate, soups and stews. It’s been a bit of a STEW fest recently. I can obliterate baking but I can do a might fine stew. What’s the secret to my STEWPENDOUS creations. Well I discovered that last night. Out of date herbs. Seriously out of date. We are taking Best Before A Very Long Time Ago. Best before ran out during Obama’s presidency (and not his second stint….). Oops….

The ageing adds to the flavour. As my parents would say when food hit the ground when I was a kid. Days when the food was quickly wiped on a sleeve and handed back for consumption.

“It will put hairs on your back son”.

Now a few millennial later and it certainly has done that….. If only my parents had put all this useful information and knowledge into a parenting textbook. I’m sure it would provide much reassurance on the use of out of date food items. It might even enlighten us to what key information can be found on page 264….

Ski

Don’t panic this is not the weather today….

Time creeps up on you…….

I’ve never been one who worried too much about ageing. It is what it is. I was also someone who never really lost too much sleep on the ever growing bucket list. Plenty of time to catch up and tick those all important activities off the list.

Then life happened. Too many trips to funerals. Suddenly I was aware of that ever clicking life clock.

Last night I was watching a movie based on a family skiing holiday. A holiday that went badly wrong. The Will Ferrell ‘Downhill’ Movie. The most un ‘Will Ferrell’ movie ever. It was really good and rather unsettling, especially as the main character was probably about my age. As the movie went on I could hear that clock ticking just that little bit louder.

I’ve always wanted to ski. It’s right up on my bucket list. Near the top. I’ve just never got round to doing it. A couple of trips to a really rubbish rock hard carpet slope. That’s all I’ve managed. We had plans to go to Switzerland as a family during the winter. I could see a route to finally being a proper skier. Then life happened. Those plans evaporated. So last night I was watching that family ski in the movie and that ticking clock was deafening. Will I ever ski…..

It sounds silly but that thought really depressed me. I feel further away than ever from those alpine slopes. Time and my body is not on my side. Too many years of contact sport has left me with a ‘ previously enjoyed’ body frame. A couple of things need patching up. If I get them patched up then skiing might be out of the question. That ticking clock is annoyingly deafening.

Yet I still so want to SKI.

I guess all I can do is keep that dream alive for a while longer. Put off any patching work on the body and accept a few aches. Drop as much weight as I can and stay as fit as I can for as long as I can. Buy as much time as I can for that dream to come true AND JUST HOPE.

Cut the grass

I know it’s all gone but the field looks better for it….So let’s go back to just before the thaw.

I was sat in my car. It hadn’t moved in weeks so I thought I had better run the engine for a bit. Reverse it a few times up and down the our little drive. Make sure the brakes haven’t seized up. If I was sat for weeks my knees would definitely have stopped working. I was looking at the three peddles and scratching my head. I had forgotten which one was the clutch. After a few test presses I sussed them out again. Clearly driving doesn’t come naturally to me.

That’s probably very like parenting with me as well. I’m probably better at being the kid than the one apparently in charge.

Then a worrying thought. What if I’m getting this parenting lark completely wrong. What if I’m making things worse for a Hawklad. Who knows. I’ve never been assessed. It was easy when there was two parents. Someone would tell me if I was wrong. A quietly whispered ‘tell you what why don’t you go and cut the grass and I will do that’. But then that abruptly stopped in 2016. This summer it will be 5 years of me parenting solo. No checks. No assistance. No manual. Doing this all by myself. Over those years there were many times I would have definitely told myself to go outside and cut the grass.

What if I’ve got this wrong….

Would my partner have done it differently. Probably. We often politely disagreed. Even down to how to change a nappy. She wanted him to go to a different school. Was she right? She had a different view on the approach that should be taken with his Aspergers and Dyslexia. Have I been too laid back on the implementation of his Education and Health Care Plan. Have I done all I could for him. Have I missed something which would help him with his fears and phobias.

I guess the answer is that I will never know. All I can do is my best. Hope I get most things kinda right. Hope I don’t drop too many balls along the way. Maybe even find the time to cut the grass.