Earthquakes and The Scottish Play

Finally succumbed to the New Year ‘Sort myself out’ bug. So the Gluten, Soya, Caffeine, Dairy, Meat Free diet is back in force. Whats the old phrase – in for a Penny in for a Pound. So on top of that it is a fasting type regime as well. 10pm to 4pm no food. Allowed to eat in just 6 hours everyday. If I was sticking to the 8:16 diet then I could start eating at 2pm but as Son is not back from school until 4 then might as well wait. It’s funny the effect it has on me. Even a simple bowl of green salad takes on an out of body experience at 4pm. Almond Milk becomes pure nectar.

Anybody who experiences the pleasure of IBS will probably understand the length you will go to try and sort your innards out. You realise it’s unlikely ever to be that magic fix. You happily settle for work around that settles things down for a few months. As you get older more items are added to the banned list. Or at best the once a year I’ve got to have my fix and will take the consequences list. It never seems to be the boring or least favourite foods does it. This Christmas shockingly Marzipan has been added to the naughty list. Absolutely heartbreaking. It’s bizarre as Almond Milk is currently fine with my body and yet Marzipan…… So if you ever see me in the street looking like Mr Creosote then you know I’ve just succumbed to Marzipan with a large coffee.

Anyway the diet switch has been surprisingly easy this weekend. As soon as we have got up Son has wanted to play football in our mud patch and then take the dog for a walk. It’s helped pass the empty feeling hours. Frustratingly the football was set all day in a misty and rainy backdrop. Only as we started to pack up did the clouds finally part and we got to see the last embers of the setting sun. It will be a brief interlude as another Atlantic Storm is flying towards us. The Trampoline is hopefully well and truly sandbagged down.

So now we prepare for school. Last week was best described as a holding pattern. It didn’t get worse but certainly didn’t move forward. Currently we are trying to revise for a Science Test. For whatever reason Son suddenly gets areas of knowledge that he just can’t visualise. Being dyslexic visualisation is his memory method. I’ve previously talked about his struggles with decimal points and shapes. We can now add Waves to the list of struggles. Poor kid just can’t get his head round them.

Dad not sure Im going to do very well on this one. Can’t even spell Electromagnetic or Longitudinal. So even if I do fluke the right answer I still won’t be able to write it down correctly. Maybe as I’ve been practising for a Shakespeare spelling test I should just put down random bard words. At least they will be sort of spelt right.

That did make me smile. Imagine the look on the Science Teachers face when the response to the question. Which of the two types of wave produced by an earthquake is the first to arrive at a location. And will it be the P or S wave? Is as following

Macbeth and Stratford upon Avon.

Red School Sky

Red sky at night ready for the school fight.

So the dreaded hour is fast approaching. School opening its gates again. Feel so sorry, sad and angry for the kids like our Son having to face up to the nightmare which is modern schooling. I use the term modern in its loosest sense.

Increasingly my thoughts are turning to homeschooling. When to flick the switch. How to make it happen. Trying to stress tests the plans which are swirling around in my pea soup of a brain. Which options are best. What fits best with our circumstances. The aim being to have a workable plan in place by the end of February. As ever Son is the voice of reason. In fact as it’s his future he is driving the process. It has to be that way. He really isn’t happy but he’s giving the new term a go.

Dad going to give it a real go. Want to either see me moved up in the subjects I’m good at or want to be helped in the ones I struggle a bit in. Just one subject move would be cool.

“It’s not the subjects you struggle in. It’s the way the teachers judge you in those subjects. It’s never about the stuff you know. You have never had one comment about that. Remember what that teacher said last year – Don’t let anyone tell you your not clever. You are. The problems are not yours. It’s ours. We need to find better ways of getting the stuff in your head out into the wider world.

Ok Dad. Well let’s see what happens. What’s the plan if it goes pear shape this week at school?

Send you up chimneys to earn some money to pay for my rock and roll lifestyle”

Are you joking?

“Sorry, yes son I am pulling your leg. At least you can fit up a chimney.”

Your bottom would me a fine chimney sweeping tool. Not much would get past that.

“Let’s hope that school goes really well and your super happy. Let’s cross the over bridges if they happen. Most bridges are good ones.”

Which bridges. If I remember correctly we drive over 5 on the way to school.

And the voice of reason brings his Dad back into the real world again. So many options to consider.

  • Online tutor v Local tutor.
    How much will I teach. I can certainly do Computing, Mathematics, Science.
    Subjects like Geography and History maybe we just let him run with it. As last years Class Teacher said ‘you probably know the subject better than me already“. Just concentrate on how to access his ideas. Find the best way to express them.
    How to tailor some of the tuition around times that I need to go into the work base.
    Restructuring work to fit round the new world. Luckily I can probably do this. Just maybe will have to put off buying that sports car for say the next 100 years.
    When we move into the 15 and 16 age range how to handle examinations. Some of the colleges have courses for qualifications he could opt for. Would that work for him. Or do we go the tutor or online tuition routes.
    Languages – how far do we go down the online packages route such as Rosetta.
    Ways to ensure that he can socialise when he wants and needs to.
    And on and on

So much to consider. Maybe just maybe school might step up to the plate and this is never needed. That is probably a pipe dream so it’s time to sort this out. It will be a reassuring feeling when a plan is in place. When we have an idea what his education week and plan will look like. To our Son that level of practicality is an essential part of the transition process. It will help him at school knowing that he has a Plan b.

If anyone reading this has ever homeschooled then it would be great to hear from you. Either as a comment or email. What did your ‘learning week’ look like. What approach did you take. I’m sure this wont be the last you hear of this. I think the more we can talk about homeschooling the better. In many places it’s still frowned upon or it’s seen as a bit of a dark art. Maybe people should frown upon the mainstream school system instead.

I will leave you with one final thought.

Dad Santa can get down chimneys so there is always hope for you. There is always hope.

Sunset

Over the last month or so sunsets have sadly been at a premium in Yorkshire.

But when they do make an appearance they are often stunning.

As grim and frustrating as a day may have been just one moment can lift the spirits. An unexpected smile, a compliment, someone showing that they care, a loving hug or in this case a brief piece of natural theatre. I really hope everyone finds at least one of those moments today.

Swiss Sunday

It’s time for another little bit of that wonderful country called Switzerland. For us it has so many memory gems. Every photo seems to yield another beautiful memory.

The damp Sunday morning boat trip across a Lake. All the passengers are outside in the drizzle just enjoying rainbows across the water.

The Gorge walk with the milky river.

The walk round a vineyard with views to die for.

The late evening stroll around the Lake and as the sun starts to set the mountains come alive.

The early morning coffee sat watching the sun rise above the Alps.

And we can’t leave out the cows and the hypnotic sound of the bells. Switzerland is one of the most precious gems of them all.

Oh come on…

Stood watching the sunset. Two thoughts crossed my mind.

One… what a stunning sunset. Developed without warning and only lasted a few minutes. It’s the sort of sunset that would have made my partner so happy.

Two… bloody hell my fingers hurt.

You get towards the end of the school year with the once extensive school uniform reserves drained to drought levels. Down to one of each item and they have seen much better days. Sizing is probably about two sizes to small and really they are just a collections of holes held together by a few resilient fibres. Just got to make them last two more weeks. That reminds me – I had better start saving for next terms uniform replenishment. Bet that’s cheap!!!

It maybe only two weeks but you can almost see what’s left of the clothes disintegrating in the air. It’s time for drastic action. It’s time for emergency patching. Unfortunately sewing comes as naturally to me as veganism comes to Donald Trump. I am useless. Always have been, always will be. Up to two years ago that wasn’t a problem. My partner loved darning and out would come the sewing box with such glee. My mum was also an expert in the dark sewing arts. Those days have gone now.

So now it’s down to me. Houston we have a problem. So out came my partners sewing box. A result a couple of useable patches ready to go. How hard can this really be. So a fine looking needle was selected. Several different types of thread to go for. Helpfully each has a number 60, 70, 75, 80 – what the hell does that mean – is it size, age, weight, tensile strength. Let’s go for 60 as it’s black. We then start to put the thread through the needle eye. T***, f***, s***, b******, buggerations. I might as well of been trying to give a cheesed off Honey Badger a haircut. One hour it took me, one hour of my life wasted on that instrument of torture.

Then I started to attach the patch to the trouser knee hole. The sodding thread falls out of the needle. So we start again. Two coffees later we have a needle and thread ready to go again. Now the needle won’t go through the patch. What is it made of – bullet proof armour. Eventually I punch through but with so much force that the needle eye has embedded into my finger. Blood everywhere. After a plaster has been applied I continue. Not once, not twice maybe six times the needle struggles to get through the patch but once through it passes through my finger skin with such ease. In the end my fingers resembles Spongebob Squarepants’s backside. Holes everywhere.

But finally the job is done. The patch is secured and doesn’t look too bad. Quite pleased with that. THEN. Oh for f*** sake, oh come on!!!!

In hindsight it might not have been a great idea to push the needle not only through the front of the trousers but then through the back of the trousers as well. Great work. Now the left trouser leg is completely sewn tight at the knee. What’s the kid supposed to do – hop to school, pirate style.

Don’t think badly of me. After I unpicked the stitching I decided to stick the patch on with superglue. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain.

So yes it’s a wonderful sunset but my fingers are so much more redder…

Blood Red Sky

“Dad its a long time since we had a properly red sunset. I can only remember seeing 3 blood red ones.”

He’s right. We are lucky here. It’s a daft thing to say but we have a big sky here. Not much blocking it out. Well apart from Yorkshire Clag – that’s thick low cloud. When we get a clear sunset they are often stunning but very rarely blood red.

But very occasionally we get one.

I know that a red sky at night is a fisherman’s delight but I think it might be an omen. At the very least I would hope Dracula or the Hammer Horror movies were born from a blood red night. Just think what a nightmare it would have been if the Dracula or Hound of the Baskerville authors had come up with the idea looking at a sunset but finding that they were dyslexic. The stories may have been lost. How many great ideas have been messed up by not being able to write”

Think of all the great stories that have been made by people with Dyslexia. You just have to find different ways of getting things done. Plus what happened if the Dracula author took one look at the red sky and said ‘That reminds me of a cricket ball I’m going to write about a famous cricketer.”

After a puzzled look. What about if Stoker. You do know Stoker wrote Dracula. If Stoker had said that reminds me of a blood sucking chipmunk called Alvin. The first book would have been called Alvin Prince of Annoying Singing. That’s when you would have wished Stoker was dyslexic.”

Can’t argue with that. Another thing I can’t complain about it he is now starting to find some humour in some of his greatest fears. That’s a step in the right direction. Now what’s the odds on a blood red sky tonight being serenaded by a signing rodent…

Public Apology.

Unfortunately the last few posts have been a tad unfair to a great performer. Picked on him a bit. I do like him a bit really. No not talking about Bono and U2 – not even scratched the surface with them yet. I’m talking about Alvin. I would like to apologise to him and all his brethren. Singing Rodents are welcome here. Not you Bono – you can bugger off…

Sunsetting

We sat watching the sun go down the other day.  My partner used to love watching the changing colours in the sky.  


It’s been almost a year since the world changed for my son and I.   Although so young, he appears to be coping reasonably well.  In many ways better than his dad.  He can focus on living for today, while I still drift too often into the past.  He does revisit the past but he prefers to do that in the form of celebrations to mark key dates.  So we fast approach the first anniversary of the world changing.  We have decided to mark the anniversary by visiting one of his mums favourite places.  I’m sure the visit will see tears but hopefully more smiles.  Trying to focus on how fortunate we were to be granted such happy times.

The sky changed to a deep purple and red (the camera didn’t do it justice).  It’s a new memory.  A nice memory that has occurred since the world changed.  It is so important that we keep creating memories.  My son is so right to focus on living today.  I must try to follow his teachings.