Visibility

It was a dreadful few hours weather wise. Just so cold and wet. Really grey. Well this is Yorkshire. Really poor visibility.

Next week it’s a big schooling week. Hawklad has to pick his subject options for the final two years of secondary school. He has to do Mathematics, English and Science. But then he has to pick 4 further subject options. Two of those are really easy. History and Geography are definite selections. I think he would spend all his time on just those two if he could. But what about the other two?

Now here the problems start.

First off – will he actually return to mainstream classroom teaching? I’m not betting that he will.

Then

Our pandemic lockdown has resulted in basically zero direct teacher input on Hawklad. Apart from the occasional test result, the teachers have no grasp on things like his current state of writing and reading. What help and support he needs. What he needs for the exams. They haven’t seen him directly work since February last year. A lot will have changed in that time. Equally we have little idea what the teachers actually think of Hawklad’s position. One page summary reports issued three times a year basically tell you nowt.

So we are selecting options feeling like we are doing this in the blind. Because of the pandemic we haven’t had an Education and Health Care Plan Review meeting since May 2019. In that time virtually everyone one of the multi disciplinary team has left…. These are big decisions being made with so little visibility. The school are offering video chats with teachers but these are strictly limited to 4 minute per child. That’s 4 minutes to discuss performance, concerns, issues AND future options. It just feels a mess. It’s a mess for teachers, for parents and most importantly for the children. It’s another area that the Pandemic has found a way of undermining. No point looking for help from the Government, the PM can’t even manage to comb his hair never mind support real people. So like most things these strange times it feels like we are winging it. Winging it with so little visibility.

Bed

Still cold….

Still one of those day….

Why is it that when you set the alarm to go off at 6.45am that the body alarm decides to go off an hour earlier. I think there should be an official rule. Parents are not safe to parent on less than 3 hours sleep. Certainly for me.

I dragged myself out of bed. Made myself a lovely, thick, dark, evil looking coffee. Then just as I was about to indulge I remembered. I’ve not had caffeine for over a year now. PANTS. So it was poured out and a rather sad looking decaf was brewed.

Then it was exercise before Hawklad was sorted out. I headed outside clearly underdressed for the cold. After a frigid 30 minutes of weights I headed inside for yoga. Yoga inside opens up the exercise to the pets. In this case it was the boy cat. The big boy cat. The biggest cat on the Vets books. As a result of the close attention of the big chap the yoga practice was clearly not as enriching as it should have been.

Then it was time to burn the toast. Drop the apple juice. Realise we had run out of Hawklads breakfast cereal. The usual failed parenting stuff.

Then it was the typical tired homeschooling day. Unable to get the WiFi to work when a school deadline is looming. Unable to find a black pen that works. Unable to find the required watercolour paints. Unable to find a blank A3 sheet. Unable to explain just what on Earth the teacher wants. Unable to get Teams to work. Unable to find the lesson files. Unable to get the iPad to stop changing French spellings back into the closest available English word.

‘J’adore’ might work in French, I suspect the autocorrected ‘Car Door’ is not going to get Hawklad many French marks….

I wonder what the French is for ‘clearly when I’m tired I acquire Superman strength as when I tried to then squeeze in a bit of housework, the hoover handle snapped off when I tried to push it’. I would go on Google translate to check but the WiFi has switched off again just as Hawklad has tried to submit today’s Geography work.

Nothing else for it. Food. As Hawklad tucked into his Gourmet dish (a Pot Noodle) I set about something even I couldn’t mess up. So it was yogurt and cereal. It probably would have been nice but I foolishly turned my back for a second AND

The big fat boy cat was clearly intent on upping his calorific intake. My lunch was perfect for the job.

Is it time to go back to bed yet?

Open my eyes

Too often I can’t see the wood for the trees. I’m looking but my eyes are shut.

Focusing on stuff that will probably never happen. Still hoping to walk down paths that are closed. Looking out into a landscape which is grey. Trying to find new adventures to find colour in life, but too often failing.

But then….

Two feet from the front door. Just a little bit of colour. Just a little bit of hope.

Just needed to open my eyes.

Change

Sorry going to milk our temporary farmers field lake for photos while it’s here. It does make such a difference to the view.

Time does make a difference. Look at schools. On Monday morning our PM said schools were completely safe and parents should send them there right away. Monday evening suddenly according to the same PM schools were clearly vectors for transmission and had to close immediately. Then on Tuesday the very same PM said schools were completely safe again but unfortunately staying shut. Having said that he has a track record of this. The man who championed Brexit to become leader likes to forget that before that he said “I would vote to stay in the single market (EU). I’m in favour of the single market”…..

So things can clearly change. One day I was one of two parents, the next I crashed into single parenting and the world of bereavement. Things can change.

But here’s the thing when they do change THEY CAN ALSO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER. That’s why there is always hope. Good things can still happen. So yes I’m struggling through a period or depression. Yes it feels like Groundhog Day. But it can change.

I can do this. We can do this.

I would vote to stay in the single market. I’m in favour of the single market

Start with a change

It’s still a little cold here. Definitely a cold start to 2021.

We have a family tradition. For the last 7 years I’ve taken Hawklad on New Years Day to Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Set off at 8am. Get there for when it opens. Spend a few hours wandering round the animals. Then grab a burger and leave before the real crowds arrive.

It’s a lovely tradition that Hawklad loves.

But life happens. Only essential journeys are recommended. Avoid out of area travel.

AND

Hawklad just isn’t in the right frame of mind to go. He is seemingly a million miles from venturing into public places.

So no Wildlife Park visit this New Years Day. So we improvised. A homemade burger and a Pepsi, just like he would have had. A hot donut replaced with a warmed up cake. Then we sat and watched a David Attenborough wildlife TV series.

Not quite the tradition but a decent replacement given what was available to us. 2021 feels like a year for making the best of it.

Silly little things.

I think I might be on top of things. The mind is heading in the right direction. I’m in a decent place and then….

And then something sneaks up on me. With me it’s often seemingly a silly little thing. Suddenly the friendly wind is taken from my sails.

I couldn’t sleep late last night. Just wasn’t feeling tired so I decided to watch a movie. Something requiring no thinking power. So I went for a mindless comedy. Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Haven’t seen that in decades.

The last time I watched this movie I was in a different place in life. Life was still yet to really hit me. So the movies ending never really registered. Well it did last night. Wow did it register.

Spoiler alert………

The jolly and silly little movie closes with Steve Martin sudden realising that the chap he had spent the last 48 hours in travelling hell might not be as happily married as he had thought. He goes back to find him sat alone in a cold train station waiting room. His wife had died 8 years ago, he was alone and suffering.

That scene just really hit me. So unexpected. I’ve been there. I was that man. I might still be that man. I so could imagine what he felt like, sat alone in that cold bleak place. Watching others live and seemingly having no where to go.

The movie ended well but I was shaken. Sad, confused, anxious. Even after many hours I’m still feeling shaky. All from one silly movie.

The next time I watch a late night thing then let’s play it safe. It’s QVC or Scooby Doo or the Real Fire Channel for me…..

Families

Families are funny.

I come from quite a big family. I’m the youngest of the brood. In many ways the odd one out. The one with the funny diet. The one who works out. The one outdoor person. The one that went to university. The one who is bereaved. The one single parent. The one Aspergers parent. The one who blogs. I could go on…..

Don’t get me wrong we are a loving family. No egos. No fights. No cross words.

We are geographically spread but would fairly regularly see each other. Would…..

Mum was the gravitational force that held us in orbit. The force that would bring us together. Now the gravity has gone. We don’t meet up much now. The links are now mainly phone calls and texts. 2020 has not helped. I’ve not seen one sister and my brother in over 2 years now.

But we are still loving and caring. But here’s the thing.

You can be loving without being close. You can be family and not share. Be caring without understanding.

I share things on this blog that my family never hear. If I need a shoulder to cry on I don’t turn to my brother or sisters. I turn to my closest friend(s). That’s were I’m best understood.

Yep families are funny.

L

Puddings

Where are our biscuits……

So today my country finds itself cut adrift. Many countries have closed their ports, tunnels and airports to us. That’s what happens when you mix an even more pesky variant of Covid with clueless, self deluded, only interested in themselves numpties who couldn’t manage a snowball fight.

Dolly and her biscuit munching woolly friends would do a better job than that prat called Boris and his cronies.

So yep we are cut adrift as a nation. All I can think about is why it took so long for this to happen. Countries like France should have done this years ago. We are not exactly going to be missed. Must be time for Yorkshire to join Scotland in declaring independence and ditching this madness. Let’s celebrate that thought with a large portion of Yorkshire Puddings. I’d rather talk about those puddings than the other puddings who are in charge,

Here’s hoping

I sneaked out for an early dog walk. That way Hawklad doesn’t go into Quarantine meltdown. For me and the dog. One thing about our son is that he is so predictable in a morning. After 3am that’s it he is asleep and doesn’t wake up until just before 8am. One of the advantages of the school at home project. This has been pushed from 7am. Much more natural for him, much less forced.

It does allow for a dog walk but sadly no run. Captain Chaos goes into bark mode when I try to sneak out without him. And it’s just a big fat NO to trying to run with Captain Chaos. He’s a dog that doesn’t believe in going in the same direction as the person with him.

But a dog walk is something. It’s a little win. We take any wins these days.

You might not be able to tell but it’s absolutely chucking it down with a howling Gale. But at least some of the mist has been temporarily blown away. Very squelchy under foot.

While someone had a little constitutional in the field I decided to play with the panoramic mode on my phone…..

This field is our sledging slope. Only ever seen us two use it really. Will it get used this year or next? Doesn’t feel like snow. But here hoping. That would be another little win.

Mud

Mud glorious mud. If only we could sell mud then we would be quids in.

Sometimes it feels like life is just a constant trudge through waste deep thick, clinging mud. Much harder than it was supposed to be? Was parenting supposed to be this demanding? Was the bank account supposed to be that empty? Was the career supposed to abruptly come to an end? Was my social diary supposed to be as empty as my bank account? Was I supposed to be this out of synch with life? Was grief supposed to hurt that much? Was I supposed to be walking these fields on my own? Why did depression and anxiety have to come knocking at my door?

But wait. Mud is good for the complexion. It keeps you grounded. Walking through it makes you stronger over time. You learn things about yourself. You grow. So……

Does a large bank balance matter – NO IT DOES NOT. Is living rather than following a career a better route to happiness – YES IT IS. So is parenting supposed to be this good and rewarding – YES IT IS. Is grief just another way of saying you love someone – OH YES IT IS. Do your real friends and those who truly love you always stick with you – YES THEY DO. Can I overcome my demons – YES I CAN.

Is it still a wonderful life – YES IT IS. It most certainly is.