Incoming next storm. It does feel like storm after storm after storm.

Is that the weather or is it Hawklads current mindset. He has much on his mind. Much which is causing him severe anxiety. One is which is SCHOOL.

So it’s a stormy start to Hawklad’s half term week off. It’s much needed. He is getting pretty disillusioned with how school is going. He just can’t predict when work will be made available to him. No way of predicting if work will arrive on time, at some later stage or not at all. The mock exams are clearly showing that for most of the subjects Hawklad has missed out on significant elements of teaching and learning materials.

Hawklad is also extremely worried that this is all building towards exams that he is not sure he will be able to sit. And if he does sit them, he is doubting whether he will be able to get what is undoubtedly in his head onto the papers, in time, in a legible format. It is currently hard for him to keep believing in the merits of school. It doesn’t help when today the only work that arrived was from Religious Studies covering everything he needed to know about the wrongs of Nuclear and Chemical Warfare.

So yes he is ready for this incoming week off from all things school.

To be honest, I am as well.


One Atlantic storm down, the next one heading towards us.

Is that overhead power cable supposed to be like that….

So far several cranes, vehicles, trucks and at least 14 workers have been parked along this lane for over 16 hours now. All because of this one pesky piece of wire. That’s proper attention seeking for you.

In an ironic twist of fate, this was the very week our area phones got switched over to VOIP. Previously our phones worked when the power was off, now the helpful new service message is “in the very unlikely occurrence of power cuts, your new improved phone will not work. Please ensure you have a backup plan”. Is that mobiles, smoke signals or a messenger pigeon they are talking about. Not every household will have a mobile.

So the power has been mostly on and off today. One cable is still intact but looking very baggy….. When the power is on I have visions of Back to the Future. Some unfortunate worker having to do an impression of Dr Brown, holding two bits of cable in each hand and shouting “1.21 GIGAWATTS” as his hair smokes. Just so I can put on my kettle for a cup of tea. This is Yorkshire….

Storm Dudley

One word sums up the weather today.


Storm Dudley is blowing over the top of our little house on top of a little hill. All the garden furniture is bunched in the garden trampoline, only problem is that I’m not entirely sure which garden the trampoline is currently found in.

Overhead power cables and storm force winds are not a great combination, so the power has been on and off. Mostly off. So how long will my old iPhone pick up the weak data signal before the battery gives out. The poor power company are doing their best but the power must be out in so many areas round here.

So it’s a dark house lit by candles. Working through a box of Pot Noddles while playing old school board games. We might need more than one storm to complete a game of Labyrinth – which warped mind invented that game of prolonged torture.

So it’s fortunate that a second storm is less than 2 days away. Storm Eunice is the next unwanted visitor. We might just get this never ending game completed. It’s definitely a two storm game.

Hemmed in

The first signs of the next storm heading our way. Cold, wet, bleak and punishingly windy. Not a day to be outside. Problem is when I’m stuck inside, that feeling of being hemmed in just gets ramped up even more. Never suffered from claustrophobia but I have done since the world changed back in 2016.

Over those 5 years I’ve learnt that the best strategy is DISTRACTION. Focus on homeschooling. Housework, more housework, even washing the windows. Wow washing the windows. Kinda worked. But they don’t work as well as some four legged distractions.

I have a new movie franchise.

It’s the action movie this time of year has been waiting for since Die Hard. Fearsome beasts meet the festive holidays.

I give you the trailers to JURASSIC CHRISTMAS…

Apex Predator

Storm Damage

Some parts of the country took a real pounding during the storm over the weekend. Thousands are still without power. Our area only caught a glancing blow, but there was some damage…

Damage limitation…..

As of today The UK Government has announced that pupils in Secondary schools should wear masks in all communal areas, which is in addition to masks being compulsory on school buses. All this as a temporary response to prevent a new covid variant spreading in schools. But thankfully the Government has done a deal with the virus, so the virus has agreed to not spread during lessons. The Government has deemed that MASKS are not required in Classrooms……

Let’s hope any damage is very limited…..

We either need masks or we don’t need masks. Kinda in the middle ain’t going to help anyone.

Well that’s something

An oncoming storm. Storm Arwen. The first winter storm of the season. Blizzards for some. 90mph winds for some. Lots of rain for others. Sometimes an exposed northern hill is not the best place to put a few houses. Definitely not the best place to put some plastic furniture in the garden. If anyone sees a flying once white chair with a missing leg, that’s ours and I’ve got the other leg…..

Here’s something. A teacher asking how Hawklad is doing. A teacher who has reviewed his work. A teacher you has spotted areas he needs to work on. That makes such a difference. I know it’s just one subject but it’s a start.


It’s a weather kind of day. Lots of it…..

The irony. For a few hours the village had no water due to a burst water pipe.

I don’t know why but I’ve just thought of a bit more water irony. Back to when I played football at university. We played a game across in France. Both trips across the sea were a nightmare. Really stormy. Huge waves. I was the only one in the party who could not swim. They team would take great delight in pointing this out. One of the nicknames my team lovingly gave me was the ‘Drowning Flounder’…. Yet out of the 13 footballers on that ferry who was the only one who didn’t get sea sickness. I was happily in the restaurant indulging in the all day breakfast while my teammates were leaning over the side of the ferry for some reason. The Drowning Flounder mastered the waters that day…..


And the storms and power cuts continue. At times it’s felt like going old school. No tech, even limited mobile signal, no TV. It’s been a time for things like Lego, Board Games and Books. Even candles. Why do rooms look so good when all you have to illuminate them are a few small tea candles. I’m amazed that I found them and some matches as well.

It all brought out the inner Bear Grylls in me. Time to light a fire in the garden. Might give the hunting a miss. Maybe just hunt to find a few tins of soup and beans. Maybe brew some tea. Obviously I could have just used matches but no, the Bear was out. Almost felt like I should be putting face camouflage paint on.

Two hours later I was still trying to light the fire. Failed with the friction stick method. No sunlight so magnifying lens not possible -that method is never working in deepest Yorkshire. The flint and steel method was now proving as effective as my diet, useless. But here’s the thing. Madness had truly set in. Outside in the rain desperately trying to produce just one spark to survive. Madness because the power had come back on just under two hours ago….. Hawklad was inside playing on his Xbox and looking out, shaking his head at the nutter outside.

The nutter outside who had let self pride take over …..

And no I didn’t ever get that fire going.


Can’t ignore it

Somethings you can ignore and other things you simply can’t. You can can’t ignore how you are feeling but it’s very easy to ignore how someone else is feeling. You can ignore the ‘do not enter sign’ but you can’t ignore the large, foaming at the mouth guard dogs stood behind the sign. You can ignore a bit of rain but you can’t ignore a thunder storm. Well it’s not easy to anyway….

Last night was a massive, noisy storm which went on much of the night. No chance for sleep until the storm blew itself out, sadly well after dawn.

Hawklad received two emails from the same teacher this week. Both saying effectively the same thing. The teacher couldn’t open the work files Hawklad had submitted this week. In addition the teacher moaned about where he had saved the files.


Well here’s the issues which kinda made me reply in a slightly tetchy manner to this teacher. First of all these are the first communications Hawklad has had with this teacher in over a year. Secondly he is saving the files in the same way he does for all the other subjects. Thirdly Hawklad has been diligently saving all the work and homework for this teacher for over a year in exactly the same way, in exactly the same format and in exactly the same location – all in line with school instructions. Fourthly Hawklad has never had any feedback, marks or comments about any piece of work submitted to this teacher since a certain pandemic appeared. The only thing approaching feedback was a couple of random assessment numbers appearing on the quarterly school report. Numbers which unlike other subjects have never changed.

Call me cynical but I don’t think the teacher has looked at any of Hawklads work until this week. Ok class work may not always be marked but surely homework should be marked. Marked and feedback provided.

But I guess you can ignore some things.


The first thunderstorm of the season and wow it was a big one. They don’t often get this close, usually the follow the river out to see. This one headed straight over head.

As a child I loved thunderstorms. Would sit outside and watch the free show.

It’s different now. Hawklad hates them. They add a level of unwanted unpredictability into his world. Something he can do without. So now I wish they quickly pass by but a part of me still loves the excitement they bring. But got to adapt. Have to be mindful.

Sadly being mindful doesn’t seem to be a universal quality. Going back to my childhood I remember a kid in my class who was petrified of lightning. One day a storm passed over the school and he freaked out. The teacher simple dragged him out of class and made him stand in the playground. Tough medicine….. At the same school I was petrified of water. On my first swimming lesson I refused to get into the pool , so the instructor pushed me in. Tough medicine.

A different time but still no wrong.

Sadly it still goes on. I’ve seen it in some teachers and parents and how they ‘care’ for some pupils. How they have reacted to Hawklad. Maybe not as obvious but it still happens. Some children have problems with the texture, taste or look of certain foods. Hawklad just won’t try certain foods. But I still hear the old approach ‘well just let him starve, he will get hungry and he will eventually eat the food item’.

Hawklad struggles with meeting new people. He needs to sit with people he feels comfortable with. Change that and he can freeze up. When teachers become aware of it some work round it, are supportive. Yet other teachers insist on randomly switching who sits next to him as this will be good for him.

When he was struggling to get his head round Aspergers and what it meant to him, he went through a phase of trying to hide. Always have a hood pulled over his head. Hide in corners. School brought in an ‘expert’, a ‘school psychologist’ who recommended that he should do a presentation to the class about Aspergers. Tell his classmates why he was ‘different’. Anybody who spends anytime with Hawklad will know that is no different than just pushing someone petrified of water into a 4 ft deep pool.

As a society we kid ourselves about just how inclusive and developed we are. Some amongst definitely are sadly too many are simply not. Today I heard a Government Minister talk about some children needing TOUGH MEDICINE. The years might pass but certain countries are REGRESSING.