So we are deep into the Summer School Holidays. Actually in Yorkshire they should be rebranded as the ‘Are you kidding me, is this really supposed to be summer’ School Holidays.
Currently I’m thinking about some of the things Hawklad gets up to and contrasting them back to my school ‘summer’ holidays. Bearing in mind that this was before home computing and just prior to the mass dinosaur extinction. Back then my brain was officially switched off for 6 weeks. Sharks think they are so clever when they can shut down half the brain for sleep but keep the other part of the brain functioning so they can still swim. What’s really special is me shutting all of my brain down for the entire summer holiday and still managing to occasionally get out of bed by lunchtime. I didn’t need the brain to find Dads secret chocolate stash each day. That tin in his garage was always filled with chocolate cigarettes – wow how things have changed. I could also just about name Newcastle United’s upcoming fixtures. That was the sum of my holiday brain work.
Now contrast that with this ‘summer’ holiday. Hawklad is memorising the French kings and queens. He’s learning the outcome of every case that went before the Nuremberg War Trials. He’s also trying to improve his knowledge on UK Sea Birds. He has also been watching every season of the American version of The Office on the TV while at the same time also watching a YouTube series about the Roman Empire on his tablet. Apparently he can only get through both series in the 6 weeks if he watches them at the same time. That’s in between playing online with his friend who has covid and trying to build bridges to the outside world again.
Has he really got 50% of my genes or are those genes just heavily concentrated in his bushy eyelashes.
Almost too wet for the iPhone to cope….. That’s wet……
Later in the day, thankfully we can finally record a few hours of sunshine.
It doesn’t look like it but the fields are drenched. Two miles away a large concert became a mud bath at the weekend. Thankfully tractors came to tow cars out of the field car park. A Yorkshire summer….
As clouds roll in and the once again hidden sun sets, I find myself in the backroom. Putting off work that needs to be done this evening by writing these words. Listening to crackly copy of The Godfather soundtrack on vinyl which kinda sums up my mood. Drinking Chamomile tea to try to sooth a nervous stomach which isn’t very happy. Feeling fatigued after far too little sleep again, yet realising insomnia will win out again tonight. Hawklad is in the living room trying to forget about his rising anxieties. He’s playing games online with a close friend who has COVID. Yes a very Yorkshire summer……
Midday July. Perfect summer weather.Will the weather pick up before the six week school holiday which starts towards the end of this month.
Six week seems a lot of time to fill but in practice it never is. It’s not because the days always fly past regardless of whether you fill them with activities or you don’t. That’s the risk, it could end up with just six weeks of vegetation. Especially with the ongoing pandemic and Hawklads anxieties and fears. Super especially if the weather stays like this.
But here’s the thing. Maybe six weeks of vegetation is what Hawklad needs.
I wonder just how many parents are pondering the same summer conundrum.
Colour has arrived to Yorkshire. Always great to see, it’s such a lift. Sadly it won’t last long and it will be gone for another year. It’s a reminder to me that time is precious. Got to make the most of it. Grab those moments. Live and not just survive.
Yes there will be darker, colder months. Those times will be more manageable if the gaze is in the moment or looking forward, rather than focused on what has been.
Saturday arrives and the Yorkshire summer is still trying to hold on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic to feel warm but….. I don’t sleep well these days at the best of times. To have a chance I need to be snuggled under a warm duvet, not lying on top of the covers feeling uncomfortably warm. So the warmth has made sleep even less likely. I’m now getting use to operating through the day with two hours sleep at most. Weeks upon weeks on that. That’s not ideal, it’s not healthy but that’s how it is.
The brain so easily just boots up in auto pilot mode. The body is awake, the brain less so.
It’s Saturday, so I start the day with a yoga session. And thats what I remember doing. So why then after about 15 minutes do I suddenly realise yoga isn’t about throwing a kettlebell about. I can’t even remember taking the kettlebells outside with me. Maybe it was sleep kettlebelling….. Still could be worse. At least I was clothed. At least it was my garden I was in. At least I hadn’t just fallen asleep on the yoga mat.
The worry is that the home at school project restarts on Monday for another 7 week block. The return of the early morning alarms calls are not going to help the sleep.
But on the bright side I have not resorted to early hours QVC or pointless reality TV watching. I am using the extra hours awake to focus on what is truly important to me. That’s why I can still do this. That’s why I might be tired but I’m smiling this Saturday Summers day in Yorkshire.
Captain Chaos has his friends back. Every summer they return to the field behind our house. Yes summer…….
It’s the same ritual. This off the Cap plays it cool. Even when the cows lean over the garden fence. He ignores them. Plays it hard to get get. But after a couple of days it all changes. Suddenly he stops being coy. Then it’s time to get close and personal with his buddies.
Ok in weather terms, summer hasn’t arrived. But in terms of a mad dog, it’s definitely summer.
So two days after my first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and alright. Didn’t feel much on Friday apart from a little prick but hey what’s new… Yesterday I felt a bit achy. Had a two hour spell where I felt really hot (that’s so not me….). As if I was going down with something but that ebbed away. So currently it’s been ok.
What’s not ok is the mixed messages. The medics are telling me that until I get the second vaccine then any protection may be limited. Even after the second shot I will still pose a risk to others. I can still carry and spread Covid. The vaccines may only provide up to 50% protection against spreading it to others. So it’s vital I stick to social distancing and wear masks for the foreseeable future. YET this morning I heard a government minister say that when you get the shot you are covered. As soon as lockdown eases get out to pubs, to the cinema, to the stadiums and most importantly to the office. By June the minister said we would be back to normal.
Then our really hard working PM. A fine man, who is honest, much admired, never corrupt, never racist, never sexist and most certainly never a self absorbed git…. Most definitely never a someone who has an affair with someone and then gives his lover £126000 of public money. Anyway that pillock was unbelievably working at the weekend and talking. Apparently now was the time to stop home working and get back into the office. Office’s and public transport are completely safe. “Time to stop the DAYS OFF…….” I heard someone in the Government use the term HOLIDAYS….
Do they know 126,000 people have died so far from this pandemic. Days Off and Holidays are the most distasteful terminology to use but it just sums them up. Staggeringly people are still prepared to back them. So what do I know….
Anyway again it’s mixed messages. The Government are telling people offices and schools are perfectly safe. We are soon going to be back to normal. No need to change anything. YET their very own scientific advisers are warning that we are in this for the long run. The vaccine programme is only a part of what is needed. They are warning of the need for long term social distancing. They are calling for places like schools, offices and trains to be fundamentally improved. To make them safer and better placed to work safely during a pandemic (and after). Better ventilation and more space have to be built into them urgently.
Do you get those times when you look at something and you get a completely different answer to the official one. According to the Government the vaccine programme is going so well that it’s time to get ourselves in shape so we are ready for our normal holiday filled summer. Think warm beaches and the sea. The virus apparently is back under control again to such an extent that schools can be potentially fully reopened at the start of March. So that’s the official line.
So why am I seeing a completely different picture.
Vulnerable groups are getting vaccinated but many of those have just only received one of the two doses. The second dose probably not being received until at least 12 weeks after the first one. What happened to the 3 week maximum gap. Even if everything goes to plan by the summer well over half of the population will still not have had any vaccine. The young are not even scheduled to get the vaccine even though they can catch it. The vaccine is not 100% effective and it doesn’t stop vaccinated people still spreading the virus. We don’t even know how long any protection will last and it will be different based on the individual, the number of shots you have had, when you had your last shot and on which vaccine you have had. We have mutations occurring and spreading. We have a health service beyond full capacity, with its professionals beyond exhausted and at breaking point. They can’t run like this for much longer. We haven’t used the time the lockdown offered us to make the required changes to crowded places like schools. They places even the Government yell us are vectors for transmission. So basically schools are in the same position as they were when they were deemed not safe. But this time we will be trying to reopen them with pupils, parents and staff not vaccinated at the time we are desperately trying to control the spread of mutated covid.
It’s raining. I mean really raining. It’s so dark that I can’t get a photo….
So here’s one from a few years back. A duck getting wet. A Swiss Duck. A Duck that Hawklad would feed on a morning.
So imagine that weather but then think Yorkshire. Maybe replace the duck with some Rhubard. Now you get the picture.
Living in Yorkshire we are kinda use to the rain. I was bored this morning so I counted. It’s athing us Accountants do. We can usually count to TWO without too many errors. So yes I counted the anti rain contents of our small house.
9 umbrellas – NINE – all of them boring. I need a cool one.
8 waterproof coats – EIGHT – plenty for any visitors needing a spare one.
4 pairs of waterproof trousers – bizarrely all the wrong sizes for me and Hawklad. One pair is so massive it’s even too big for me. The kind of trousers that you would need to take several steps before they moved.
3 waterproof hats – so one spare for a visitor. Some Yorkshire rain can seem to travel upwards so an extra layer of protection is needed in addition to an umbrella.
3 Wellington Boots – THREE – we are missing one. Stern look at the dog. But ok for a three legged race..
Add to that various waterproofing and anti rust products. It gets that wet here that sometimes even the skin needs even more help with the wetness. Maybe that’s the reason I have a face perfect for radio.
Now it’s time to try and mop out the pool forming next to the back door. We always have a bucket and a mop positioned there.
So completes another brilliant advert for the Yorkshire Tourist Board….