Satisfaction guaranteed

I was sat blankly gazing at a featureless spreadsheet on my work laptop. It was all numbers, letters, formulas, data ranges and macros. A few changes here and a few changes there. It might balance soon.


I hate work.

No hang on let’s get that right. I hate this work. I hate accountancy. I hate using spreadsheets and word. I hate putting on a work face and being all professional. I hate hiding my incompetence and acting like I have the faintest idea what I’m supposed to be doing.

I work to pay the bills (well some of them 😂😂). That’s it.

It took me years to work out I was the official Mr Grumpy Work Pants. But actually the signs where always there. Wearing bright ties and waistcoats to try to be cool. Spending much of my life stressed out. Looking on enviously at other people and their jobs. Pilots, Mountain Guides, Astronomers, Health Professionals, Artists, Chefs. Reluctantly setting off for work every day. Only funding a spring in my step on a Friday afternoon as I leave work for a few days.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. We all have dreams and talents. Interests that can be made to work for you. I’ve heard parenting been described as an unpaid job. Well if it is then I love that job. Yes tiring but so rewarding.

I certainly don’t want Hawklad to get stuck in an unrewarding job. You invest too much time to waste that. I want him to live out his dreams. I don’t want him to be me. I want him to avoid the spreadsheets and get to smell the roses.


One of those massive Yorkshire rivers. The bridge has collapsed so there are signs up saying the path is closed. Does that mean I’m not allowed to step over the river……

One of the downsides to lockdown is things like opticians and hairdressers have gone out the window. At some stage they do need to start again. Well apart from hairdressers – not much point now 😂😂

Well as the UKs COVID case numbers are rising at an alarming rate again and with those patients requiring ventilation treatment up by 41% in a week, things are opening up again. Time to try and catch up. Made more difficult with Hawklad’s anxieties and with no one to cover for me.

Tomorrow morning I have a pass out granted by Hawklad. Only granted following my second vaccination. So I booked the first dentist appointment of the day. But with cases going up is this maybe my only shot at catching up for quite a while. Can I squeeze in an opticians trip as well….

Here’s tomorrow’s logistical nightmare.

Set Hawklad off with homeschooling. 30 minute drive to the dentists (as homeschooling only goes live at 830am, I will have less than 30 minutes to make the 30 minute drive) arriving for my dental checkup at 9. Then 9.30 it’s the dental hygienist. After the 30 minute appointment I have 15 minutes to make a 5 miles drive (on a busy road) to the car park and then run for 5 minutes to arrive just in time for my Opticians appointment. Hopefully without overheating so I fail the entry temperature test. I then have 30 minutes to fail my eye test and pick out some new glasses. I then have to drive back home, stopping off to fill up for petrol and arrive back at 11.15 to help Hawklad with his Science class which he us struggling with.

What could possibly go wrong 😂😂😂😂


Tonight I was going to prattle on about loss and time. But the all seeing WordPress app decided to intervene. After about 6 lines of text WP is saving text in what appears to be something resembling subscript format. So I’ve only got 2 more readable lines left to write in. The pressure. That’s why I was rubbish at Twitter. Let’s just say. Time is such a precious gift let’s try not to waste it. ……..


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.

It can still be a such a wonderful life.

Thoughts and dreams

In years gone by if I needed to think. Be with my thoughts. I would go for a run. Maybe go climbing. Those things worked best for me. But then parenting and then single parenting curtailed the climbing option. It was then running. Fell running to collect and process my thoughts. Often I would start a run then become lost in my thoughts. Only the alarm on my watch would bring me back to reality. I would be miles into the hills and it would be a mad sprint to get back home for the return of the school bus.

Then the pandemic happened. We went into our family lockdown. So far 16 months of a lockdown. I lost running. But I didn’t lose my need to think. So I discovered the joys of leaning against our back garden fence. Thinking while looking over the fields and scanning the distant horizon from a little hill top home.

It worked.

So this morning I was leaning on the fence. Thinking. Looking at a distant beautiful tree. Dreaming.

But then I was joined. Someone decided to invade my space and block my view.

I’m can’t really see the tree now. I’m having to stroke and feed this one. I’m telling this cow my dreams. She seems udderly fascinated. Or maybe she’s herd then all before. Definitely deja moo

Tubular Bells

Time marching on sometimes takes my breath away. The helpful iPad flashes up a message each day telling me what happened this week in years gone by.

Today it informed me that in this week Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield was released. Released in 1973……

1973 for pity sake. I can vaguely remember my older brother playing this on his hifi. Has it been out that long….. But here’s the thing. I like listening to the music but I’ve never owned it. Always had to listen to it on the radio or when others have played it.

Maybe when our own personal lockdown eases I will venture out into the second hand stores. The charity shops to see if I can find an original copy. Own it for the first time. That would be nice. Would feel kind of right.

In life some things seem just right. Very occasionally perfect. Those things give me direction. Give me hope. They always make me smile.


Wind back the clock 20 years and a couple walked along a country lane and thought we must try that narrow path that runs along by those trees. Where would it take us.

Virtually every single time that couple walked that lane one voice would mention the need to walk that tree lined path.

20 years, 15 years….

Then it became a family of 3. Still they walked that lane and pondered that mysterious path.

10 years, 5 years….

The TIME ran out. Time ran out for that couple, that family. Since then the bereaved partner has finally run down that path. Found out where it led to. Definitely beautiful but such a powerful symbol of missed opportunity. The dangers of thinking that you have plenty of time. in reality the clock is always TICKING.


We live at the very edge of the hills around here. Never high. No way mountainous. But definitely hilly. No flat bits really. Yet being on the edge, just a few moments later you can find yourself in the flat lands. Mile after mile of exercise heaven. No slopes….

When life opens up again for me I should really jog here, not in those pesky hills.

I did that age thing today. I was doing my daily workout. It was going well. Really well. Towards the end I started messing about. Doing some serious exercise moves. Lifting some silly weights. Really pushing myself. Pushing my body like it’s still was 25…

It’s most certainly is not these days.

It’s the wrong side of 50. Well definitely the wrong side in terms of physique. It feels a few too many days like ‘I’ve used this body up now, can I have a new one please’. Yet I still push it. There are reasons but sometimes it does feel like I just forget my age. Still think I’m a lot younger. When the penny does drop sometimes it does hit home.

With exercise, age has changed me. I am definitely a little slower at running. I have to push way to hard to get close to the times I would get 30 years ago. A little more injury prone. But then I’m actually stronger now. Never lifted heavier or done more reps. It’s not about limiting myself, it’s more about making adjustments. Changing the balance.

Here’s the thing, being older can be good in some ways. I wish I knew a fraction about life when I was 25 that I do now. I certainly know the value of time and the importance in trying to live life to the full. For the first time I truly understand who I am and what is truly important to me. I would hope I’m a better, more rounded person. I can still dream, dream well. I just need to get better at sometimes being a little more realistic with those dreams, certainly as the years hopefully wrack up. Dream and aspire definitely yes but maybe some things need to get assigned to pipe dream status, leave them for other people to fulfill.

Time slips by

Time does slip by. Sometimes as fast as those clouds wizzing across the Yorkshire sky.

As a kid one of the things I wanted to be was an Astronomer. I remember the look on the career advisors face when I would mention that. It was definitely a ‘that ain’t happening so stop being silly’ kinda look. Actually the career advisor only ever had a few options to suggest. Work in the local steel works, work in the local chemical plant, work in a factory, work in a shop, join the army or the truly gifted might even pushed towards a job in the local bank branch.

Ok no Astronomy job did turn up. But I did eventually buy myself a small telescope. But the Yorkshire clouds, sleep and then parenting restricted the times it was used.

The telescope is still with me. Battered and a bit out of focus. Now is that describing the scope or its user….. If I’m not using the scope much so there is no point buying a better one. But I did set myself a goal of using it a bit more over the winter months. When the skies get darker for longer. The best time to gaze up.

Time slips by….

That telescope has not been out all winter. I thought about it a few times but there was always an excuse. There was always a tomorrow. Now winter has gone.

Time slips by….

Back then

Hawklad is a cheeky one. Every time we watch something on TV that refers to a historical incident he always asks ‘you were there Dad so what was it really like….”. Last night he said it when the programme mention the American Civil War. What was it like Dad….

Every so often he catches me off guard with a different line of attack.

Dad has your musical tastes changed with age. What are your favourite 5 bands now…”

Ok that would be


Pink Floyd


Iron maiden

Blue Oyster Cult.

Ok Dad what were your 5 favourite bands when you were young…”

I think they were


Blue Oyster Cult

Iron Maiden

Black Sabbath


So they hadn’t changed too much.

Was that pre CD times Dad

Yes it was, not invented yet.

Not much point inventing CDs back then when you were a kid as they hadn’t discovered electricity yet. Are you sure it wasn’t Beethoven you were listening to back in the medieval times.”