Swiss Sunday

Just looking at a postcard I received this week.

One lucky soul had made it to Switzerland. Apparently it was a bit of a nightmare journey – that was just trying to get out of England. One of the many benefits of Brexit is clearly enhanced chaos and delays at the Border. A border which we had so struggled to live without for decades. I must admit a thought crossed my increasingly tired mind. We are most definitely on the wrong side of that new border. Maybe one day Europe beckons.

Looking at the postcard it reminds me that adventures are still there to be had. Switzerland is ready and waiting. Yes it will be a logistical and parenting nightmare getting Hawklad there, even more so these days. But it has been far too long since our last trip. Far too long. Wow we could do with those alpine days right now. Let’s hope it’s not much longer now.

Swiss Sunday

It’s just turned Sunday here in the UK and my thoughts are shifting to a country 1000 miles from here. A land of mighty mountains, stunning lakes and peaceful valleys. So many family holidays . So many memories. I might be in the UK but I wish I was in Switzerland.

It’s back

Yes it’s back. Just when we thought it was shorts weather for the next six months, oh no, it’s back into THREE jumper weather.

Definitely not enough for even the most rubbish snow angel ever but just enough to send all exposed skin a funny shade of blue.

Alberts back as well…

Can’t believe that the only Albatross in the northern hemisphere has decided during this truly tropical spell to return to the Yorkshire coast. Albert definitely needs to fire his holiday adviser. Last year he stayed 30 miles away from our house, for his summer holidays. It was actually mostly very nice and almost warm. Maybe that’s why he stayed for nearly two months. Sadly this years vacation finds temperatures north of zero. He must be tempted to head somewhere warmer.

If he hangs around this time then we will try to catch up with him. Last year was an awesome meet-up.

With any luck we can visit him when the Easter School Break starts next Friday. Easter is a bit of a challenge these days. Hawklad likes to get out, likes to visit places. But he needs these place quiet or even better, EMPTY. That doesn’t often happen over the two and a bit week break. Most places tend to be mobbed. This forces us into the early strategy. Get there as soon as a place opens and then stay until it starts to fill up. It’s not a guarantee of success. Last year we had several visits to RSPB Bempton to try to catch an albatross sighting. Problem is that such an extremely rare epic bird brings people, lots of people. We had a number of trips were although we had set off from home just after 7am, when we arrived a busy car park was way too much for Hawklad. So we started setting off much earlier. 4.30am early….. The prize was for an hour or so we did get the cliffs almost to ourselves and as soon as the crowds started to arrive, we left. Back home before 9am. It might be tiring but even if you don’t get to see Albert it’s so worth it.

Isolation has drawbacks but every so often it doesn’t half deliver. We just wouldn’t be stood on a cliff as the sun comes up.

Swiss Sunday

It’s just gone Sunday here in the UK and it’s the perfect time to take a walk down memory lane. Back 7 years to our last trip as a family of 3 to alpine heaven. To spectacular Switzerland.

On our trips, a bit of a rarity, a grizzly weather day. So this moody Monday we took a boat ride across Lake Thun and then sat back and let the wonders of Swiss Transport carry us to the top of a beautiful small mountain, The Neiderhorn.

Yes it was windy, yes it was cold and a bit damp but it was still awesome. Hawklad still talks about that day with so much fondness. A truly fun day which felt epic to him.

Swiss Sunday

It’s just turned Sunday here. The national news has just been on the radio and it’s grim yet again. What has happened to England, I don’t recognise it anymore. The wind is howling. It’s pouring down. The dog is refusing to go outside in that. It is definitely feeling like it’s February and my mind is again wandering to another country. I wish I was in Switzerland. On holiday there – YES. Living there – DEFINITELY

How that happens, I have absolutely no idea. But it does sound good. Can you see why? I can….

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday here in the UK and it feels like it’s time to take another virtual trip to one of the worlds most picturesque, picture perfect countries. It’s time for a bit of Switzerland. Definitely a place for big dreams. We need those big dreams more than ever.

Nearly 7 years since our last visit. That’s far too long. it wasn’t supposed to be that long. We had plans to visit in 2016, during the October school holiday. The three of us plus Hawklad’s Granny, but the world changed over just 6 weeks.

Now in 2022, Hawklad and his old muppet dad are starting to make tentative plans for a return to Switzerland. The first window of opportunity might be this October. That is dependent on a pandemic, on Hawklad’s anxieties. Let’s see what happens. But big dreams can come true. They really can.

Moors

The North Yorkshire Moors late on a cold January evening. This is truly an amazing planet with so much staggering beauty to be experienced and enjoyed. It’s really there, we just need to remember to lift our gaze upwards.

Back in 2016 that was an alien concept. Gazing upwards. Why when all I could see was never ending emptiness with no sign of light. Robbed of dreams and a way forward. Refusing to move from a door which had abruptly slammed shut and as long as I waited, would never open again. I felt like screaming but what was the point, who would hear, I’m not even sure I would have heard or even cared.

But now in 2022, as I watch the setting sun cast a golden light over the moors, my gaze is lifted once more.

Yes life might still be tough somedays but it’s good to dream again. Different dreams, bigger dreams. It feels wonderful to want to experience the world and what it has offer again.

Adventures

Now you that is spectacular. The cliffs at Bempton. Another Yorkshire Gem.

This world has so much to offer.

We travelled here yesterday. A visit to one of the countries best bird viewing sites. That good that the Northern Hemispheres only Albatross chooses here for a summer vacation. No albatross yesterday but we did see many sea birds and a rare chance to see a Short Eared Owl hunt over the fields. That’s some bird.

Hawklad is pushing the boundaries but under his terms. Avoiding crowds, avoiding people. The fact that he can’t face an over crowded classroom doesn’t mean that he can’t venture out. So what next…..

He has set himself some realistic goals for this year. Twelve ‘avoiding people’ targets. I’m signed up to them, so let’s see how many we can tick off during 2022 for him.

1. Visit the New Forest

2. Visit Sherwood Forest

3. Switzerland

4. Climb Yorkshire’s two highest mountains (they are small ones….)

5. Visit the Lake District and walk up one of England’s bigger mountains

6. Visit a new wildlife park

7. Go to see an Osprey hunt

8. Go for a torchlight walk on the Moors and get to see the stars with zero light pollution

9. Go to Scotland to see a Golden Eagle fly

10. Visit Stonehenge

11. Visit a new castle

12. Go for his longest ever walk

We also have a new golden rule. When we venture out, if a car park is ever half full or busier – then no questions asked, we don’t park. We continue on, find somewhere less busy or we head home.

Hopefully 2022 will show that you can avoid people and still have adventures.

Club

A misty scene from a couple of days back. No morning walk today, otherwise engaged. Stood in a queue patiently waiting my booster covid shot. After two doses of AstraZeneca it was time to join the Moderna club. So stood in the queue about 50 deep. Three queues for three different group of needle waving awesome nurses. Everyone with masks on, carefully keeping 2 metres apart. Hundreds of people stopping their daily routine to get vaccinated. All this happening before 9am.

In the queue I stood pondering life. Does the young woman in front of me realise that she is still apparently wearing her pyjamas. I wonder what the chap in front of her has is his folder marked IMPORTANT. how life has changed since the start of 2020. Does the chap opposite me know that as he plays his game on his mobile he keeps making Mick Jagger facial pouts.

I wonder what people are thinking of me.

I pondered other things. How many of those stood patiently are struggling. How many secretly would love someone to strike up a conversation. Be social. This is a very changed world. A very more isolated and fractured society. As I watched those around me carefully maintain a sufficient personal gap, my mind wandered back just a couple of years. Remember birthday parties. Everyone tightly huddled round a cake with candles. A child or adult, probably with a streaming cold, desperately trying to blow out the candles. After failed 3 or 4 attempts, more people joining in, probably with a myriad of ailments, blowing until the candles were out. Then the much breathed on cake is quickly handed round, people sharing not enough cutlery, from person to person the cake is passed for immediate consumption. How alien does that concept sound now. Will we ever truly get back to those days. How long will we all be stuck in this endless cycle of variants and vaccinations.

Then remarkably quickly I’m back home. Back to the quiet, back to the isolation. Back to single parenting, cut off from much of this bonkers new world. It felt odd being amongst so many other people. Almost uncomfortable. Definitely not feeling like a normal experience. The world has changed. Have I changed?

Don’t matter

Looks like someone has been trying to draw clouds with a pink crayon. Very nice 😊

If only everything else was very nice.

Two contrasting messages from Hawklad’s school today.

We hope all pupils enjoy the well earned Christmas break which starts on Friday.

This contrasts nicely with messages from 5 subject teachers (so far)

Remember to revise for your important subject exams over the holiday. Exams happen immediately after your time off….

I’m sorry but I can’t ever remember enjoying myself while I was revising. I guess it fits in with the Government message that children must work harder and play less. But over the last few years children are increasingly seen as second class citizens in this country. Last night the CLOWNS in charge of the country announced an emergency campaign to give all adults a THIRD booster covid shot within weeks. NO MENTION OF CHILDREN. Currently only something like 50% of secondary school age pupils have received just one vaccine shot. Younger children aren’t eligible for even one shot. Most schools here have still not received any air quality monitoring devices or any air filters that were promised months back. Promised so that schools would be safe. Masks are required in all public places, all except the school classroom…. The government person in charge of schools went on the television to talk about covid – he never mentioned schools or children ONCE. Not once….. The Governments only education strategy currently is to KEEP SCHOOLS OPEN AT ALL COSTS, surely it has to be KEEP OUR CHILDREN SAFE AT ALL COSTS.

Sadly children just don’t matter to those in charge.