View

If your going to be a tree this is not a bad place to take root. Not a bad view at all.

Hawklad’s Granny thought so as well. One hundred paces away lies our garden and in a few weeks her ashes will get scattered there. In a quiet corner overlooking that view. It’s taken a while, a pandemic happened.

My mind goes back a few years. After my partner died, her mum would come out to see us every Sunday. She would always look out over that view. One Morning she quietly said

You don’t mind if my ashes are scattered in that corner.’

Of course not.

You are planning to weed it…..’

So my project over the next few weeks is to weed that garden corner. Clear the nettles on the other side of the fence. Clear that VIEW.

Tree

That’s a tree that deserves to be in a Lord of the Rings story.

So does this mushroom.

I wished I was in that Tolkien world this morning. Without any lesson notes or teaching guidance, Hawklad was trying to answer questions about Stoichiometry and reaction ratios. So in stepped Muppet Dad with his College Chemistry. It didn’t go well.

You know that you are seriously old when Atomic Theory has changed at least twice since you were at college.

Yep I like the sound of a world where people drop rings down big mountain holes, all without having to worry about what mass of Propane would burn in 48g of Oxygen.

And to answer your question. No Hawklad isn’t any closer to understanding this part of Chemistry. When I first started explaining I got the right answer. 13.2g. An hour later and I’m doubting my reasoning. What chance has Hawklad got when I confused myself. That is quite easily done these days.

But here’s the thing. Apart from in one exam, how many times will Hawklad come across Propane to Oxygen ratios. I bet Tolkien appears far more regularly. Maybe a course in Tolkien would be on much more use in life. It certainly will be more rewarding.

As good as it’s got

It’s been a funny old summer. Most odd. For some reason the only thing growing here has been weeds and the lawn. Actually it was a spectacular year for nettles.

In terms of garden produce this is about as good as it’s got.

Is this it. Is this as good as it gets.

My hopes and dreams would definitely say NO, so much more to come. The tired mind and body today might give a different answer. Sometimes I feel stuck. Caught in an endless loop. Two steps forward then two steps back. No clear route to my dreams. Lots of effort and then a few weeks later I’m still stood in the same place.

But then I drag my body to the back fence and I look at a particular tree. A tree that had come to represent so much in my life. A tree that is battered and bruised. Storm after storm. A couple of direct lightning strikes to boot. Once accidentally hit by a farm tractor.

Definitely a lob sided tree, stood alone on an exposed hill.

Yet it’s still here. It still stands proud. Every day I can see it in the distance.

One day maybe the rainbow will land on that tree. It certainly deserves that.

So yes I might be tired and frustrated today but that tree has reminded me to keep going. Change might not come today, but tomorrow is not set in stone. It could just happen. Hopes and Dreams most definitely still in play.

Is this it. Is this as good as it gets. LETS SEE ABOUT THAT.

Responsibility 2

That’s a tree that’s seen some living. Too many storms and a couple of lightning strikes have permanently changed its shape. But it’s still standing. Standing on its own.

In the UK child mental health services have been cut to the bone. Rapidly escalating real need while resources are stretched to braking point. Children in need either do no get any support or minimal support has to be constantly fought for. Schools are forced to stick to the Government agenda with restricted budgets. Child Mental Health and Well-being is not seen as part of the school remit by the Government. Teachers are hamstrung with an inflexible curriculum with strict deadlines. Specialist Educational Services are just not available to most children who really need them.

In the UK families are basically on their own. If your child has an educational or mental health need then you can’t rely on help being there when you need it.

Government calls it’s ‘individual responsibility’.

So with 9 days left before Hawklad potentially returns to the classroom he is facing significant stress and anxiety. He has so many life defining challenges and social obstacles to overcome. Unpicking what can be done and assisting with those areas is a highly specialist area. A service which is currently unavailable to him. Any return to the classroom will require significant adjustments in school. It places significant requirements on teachers that they are not trained for and do not have the classroom time to handle. The school is unable to secure any specialist assistance – they are just not there. Apart from his muppet Dad, he is on his own. His Dad is out of his depth. Really out of his depth.

Individual Responsibility. What could possibly go wrong.

Road

I wonder how long this tree has stood here. Was it here before or after the road. Whatever happens, I so hope the tree outlives the road.

What’s the point of the road anyway, it’s been closed for 6 weeks. The road apparently really needed water pipes dug into it……. I bet this tree is much less demanding….

Somethings last forever. Somethings are not meant too last as long. Somethings don’t last as long as they should. If your lucky the really important things last for the right length of time.

But just like this tree, we just never know……

Leaning

A beautiful little leaning tree we pass on the dog walk… A favourite watering hole of a mad four legged one. No wonder it leans. It leans but it still has a purpose.

I was looking at an email sent from school setting out the upcoming year end exams. Day after day of exams. Often two a day. But what is the purpose. Whose purpose do they represent. Are they really Hawklad’s purpose. Apart from History, Geography, English and Maths, would he freely choose the other subjects. Would he put himself through these exams. Even with his favourite subjects, would he not focus on other areas rather than the predetermined ones set for him by the Government.

A Government Minister was waffling on about how our children should be focusing on this subject and that subject. They were doing too much of this and not enough of that…. Has he bothered to ask what the children want. He’s thinking about the purpose specified by the economy, not the purpose which necessarily the children would pick for themselves.

Ok I get the point of learning the basics but why should some out of touch numpty in London determine which subjects my child is taught. Determine which areas are looked at. Which textbooks are read. Set the teaching method. Determines how much religious education is taught. What art is studied. Basically setting everything…..

So whose purpose is this. Is it really Hawklad’s.

What have I forgotten

This old tree has seen some life. A few too many lightning strikes means it’s nowhere near the size it was a few years back. It’s seen a fair few Christmases. One more to add to the list today.

Since the world changed a few years back I have made a point of buying myself a present for Christmas . I don’t know why. Just kind of started. It’s not a big present. Just something. It feels like a connection with a much different world.

Well guess what. Guess who forgot to buy someone something. That gave me a chuckle.

Then a thought struck me. What about that tree. Our tree. When was the last time it was remembered at this time. Well it was today. I marched across and gave it a hug.

Happy Christmas Tree.

View

Bit of a theme going here. Been thinking about the 20 odd years I’ve now lived in this part of the world. Looking out over the garden fence. Over the farmers fields and towards the next set of hills in the distance.

A lot has happened in that time. Parenting and family. Becoming an Aspergers home. Bereavement, grief and single parenting. Full time career to stay at home parent making ends meet through part time work. Isolation. Homeschooling. Greater awareness of what it means to live and finally starting to get my priorities right. Of the five neighbours we had when we moved in, 2 have passed away, 2 have moved into care homes and the last remaining neighbour is largely housebound. Yes new neighbours but they so far have kept to themselves.

And what about that view. Actually the only constant. That tree is a bit smaller and a bit lob sided due to a couple of lightning strikes. But that’s it. Nothing else has changed. That’s so reassuring.

School, school, school

Captain Chaos is carefully guarding his new great tasting toys.

That Apple Tree needs a serious trim. I had a go today. Managed to fall out of the tree. Bruised shoulder but the fall ended with a fabulous forward role which was perfectly landed. The boy has still got the moves…..

School definitely still has some moves. Sadly not always great ones.

We are in the early stages of a long road trying to manage and help with our son’s serious anxieties. Anxieties about illness, unclean things, viruses and diseases. It’s so easy to tip him further into the realms of excessive hand washing and isolation. Yesterday started off heading a little too close to the rocks. News broke that the small local cafe had to close as two members of staff had tested positive for the pesky pandemic. I’ve managed to keep that from him so far. I can imagine his reaction to the thought that the pandemic was only a couple of miles away.

So while I was managing the news – SCHOOL got to work. Firstly an email was sent to him letting him know that the virus had arrived at the school. Then we got to the Food Technology lesson. All about poisoning, bacteria and viruses associated with food. James was asked to research the main offenders, the symptoms and the associated health risks. So now food has been added to his worry list.

A rather cheesed off email was sent to school…..

And today in Science it was all about diseases. The class being asked to research childhood diseases and viruses. Further they were asked to look at the risk of inherited medical problems.

Thanks that was a big help….

You couldn’t make it up…..

Questions

This is a little tree which is close to our house. It sits at the side of the farmers field which backs onto our garden. It’s close by as a couple of my garden football shots have nearly hit it….. In the years that we have lived here it has never grown. It just seems to lean over a little further each year. I know how it feels…..

So many questions today. So many school work queries.

Dad what are your thoughts on Gladstone‘s and Disraeli‘s political reforming achievements. They didn’t go far enough and do you think their colonial record negated what good they did do?”

“Dad what do you know about DNA structure and it’s impact on identical and fraternal twins?”

“Dad how would you write the mass of the earth in standard notation?”

“Dad in Animal Farm what does the character Moses represent and his relationship to Soviet history?”

Dad have you ever studied John Agard’s poem FLAGS. Is it about the dangers of patriotism?”

Dad I can’t get my head round French Verb Conjugation. Can you explain it to me?

As any self respecting parent would do I looked suitably vacant and thought wishfully back to the questions about which was my favourite Tellytubby. I was good at those questions.