Hawklad was playing online with his best friend so I had an afternoon to burn. Let’s go for a local walk.
I have issues with HORSES. Always have. Some say its because they like me for some reason but I know differently. The truth. They are after me.
As a child I once went to Africa to visit my sister. At one stage I was asked to stand next to a horse so my family could take a CINE film. Remember those…. As I stroked this particular fella, much laughter ensued. The horse literally ate my T-shirt. From then on the vendetta took hold. A few years later I was trying to get into a Football Stadium to see Newcastle get beat again. Stood in the queue chomping on a chocolate bar when a police horse stood on my foot. As I spun round in pain another police horse ate my Mars Bar……
The theme continued. I was walking on Dartmoor when a wild pony pinched my sandwich……
If only it was always that end. I was walking through a city centre to a meeting one afternoon when I came across a crowd. A new Betting Shop was opening and the famous Racehorse, Red Rum was the guest of honour. I found my self in a queue which I thought led to a free T-shirt but no, it was the queue to stand next to the great horse. I patted the huge horse with some trepidation and he repaid me by crapping on my shoe….
See they have issues with me. Maybe it’s because they know that I once voted for that horse loving movie, The Godfather as my favourite soundtrack ever. They know….
So on this particular grey Yorkshire afternoon I found myself walking across a field when over the hill a pack of ravenous beasts appeared. They came closer….
And came closer…
And sensing blood, even closer….
I was surrounded. I now knew what it felt like for Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum to be surrounded by a pack of blood thirsty Jurassic Raptors.
And remembering the best Jurassic Park survival strategy, I legged it. And when I got back home guess what. I had stood in horse poo….. See they have issues with me.
Almost 2 years ago we crashed into a national lockdown. Months of being at home. Restricted to the house, the garden, to the adventures around the surrounding fields. The car was hardly used. It became such a luxury item, it gathered dust.
Yesterday I filled the car up with Diesel. I drove past two service stations which had NO FUEL signs showing that they were closed. The third station was open but with long queues. Wow it was expensive. The price has almost doubled in just under two weeks. Hardly any people wearing masks. The shop radio playing as I waited to pay had a Government expert saying that they didn’t know why Covid cases were rising so fast again, but don’t worry as we are now living with Covid. I reached the checkout, wow that’s almost three figure money to feed the car.
As I drove back it started to feel like 2020 and 2021 again. Time to park up the car. Let it gather dust again. Treat the car as a luxury item. Restrict long trips out. A period where adventures are just local ones. Ones we walk from the house.
One mile walk from our house, Captain Chaos almost trod all over these beautiful flowers. We are back in those fields again.
That’s as close as we come to a river around our village. It’s a beautiful walk here. Hardly ever visited. It’s one of Hawklad’s favourite spots. Looks tranquil but amazingly a few years back the old bridge was swept away in a storm. That’s some storm.
So it’s a knighthood for Gavin Williamson. Remember him, the prat in UK Government who was in charge of the UK’s education system. Actually PRAT in the GOVERNMENT doesn’t really narrow the field down too much…. Anyways, he was in charge of the schools and made a point of being photographed at his desk with a horse whip in prominent view. His incompetence messed up thousands of pupils final exams. He was even too incompetent for this calamity Government and was sacked. Not his first sacking. The last Prime Minister sacked him as Defence Secretary for being personally responsible for a security leak. In the PM’s words – ‘lost confidence in his ability to serve’.
So his track record of success clearly merits being called SIR from now on.
It’s Sunday so another perfect day for a walk. A much needed chance for Hawklad to relax. Feel part of the world, a world that still can be sampled without too much human contact. We didn’t see another walker today.
Six miles, six glorious miles in the Yorkshire mud. Proper mud.
But it was definitely worth the slog.
And what would Sundays be without another one of those Farm signs.
A walk in the deep, dark wood. No encounter with The Gruffalo on this walk, maybe next time.
Another Yorkshire Gem, Dalby Forest on the edge of the Moors.
A short school at home week. Just 2 days. Should be eight lessons, one lesson dropped for Covid testing. Three lessons, no idea whether they happened or not. One lesson with a few brief notes provided. One quite detailed lesson and one exam to be sat at home.
Sometimes you have to go with the flow. Schools are struggling. Teachers off. Support staff off. Pupils off. Old, unventilated classrooms. Covid in school. Additional pandemic workload. These are challenging times. I will politely chase up homeschooling issues but with understanding.
So when the lessons don’t happen, we go with the flow. Lost schooling time creates more time for the school of life. That school is fun. It has few boundaries. Definitely no exams. Only expectation, having fun. A trip to the Deep Dark Wood is definitely fun……
An early finish to the school day. A big advantage of the school at home project. Usually if a teacher forgets to issue work then we chase it up. Not this day. If the teacher forgets (and they did) let’s not remind them. Let’s see if they notice (and they didn’t).
An early finish means time for a long walk. I so wish Hawklad could use the time to meet up with friends. But as he is stuck with his gnarly Muppet Dad then the next best thing is a walk. Hawklad’s idea.
A walk from our house which we had never fully done before. 15km and we never saw another soul. Perfect for Hawklad.
Definitely beats school and school never missed him.
A path frequented by farmers, dog walkers and intrepid Muppet Dads. A path that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere in particular. Meandering around hedgerows and the occasional isolated tree. One of those locations that you can so easily get lost. Definitely a great place to lose yourself. One day it might even be a cool place to find myself.
It’s been one of those days with too much thinking time. Plenty of thinking yet no real insight. No new paths opening up while managing to add more roadblocks to existing roads ahead. It’s been one of those days. Feeling like it’s one step forward, two back and a few too many sideways. That feeling isn’t much fun sat in the house.
But on a path across the hills, it just means more walking is required….
So much on our doorstep. So much to see and visit on a daily basis.
I was going through a box of maps, trying to find one covering part of our area. Why was it at the bottom of the box, buried under all the other maps….. Why was it as good as new, almost unused…….
As I searched through the other maps I found various handwritten notes. The notes, an insight into my former days. Route maps, climbing plans, camping sites, potential itineraries. One note caught my eye. A 4 day plan to climb 12 mountains on the Isle of Skye over one extended weekend. A real challenge for me, something to work to.
For years it has stayed a plan, gathering dust in that box.
It’s a different world for me now. Single parenting happened.
I smiled at that 4 day climbing plan and then carefully put it back in the box – maybe I can still use that one day. But at present my plans need to be much closer to hand. So the local map I was looking for was found. What can be found on my doorstep. That’s a start.
Another walk for Hawklad. Autumn is such a beautiful time. The colours and the moody skies. It’s also very quiet here. Hardly a soul on the trails, maybe the occasional farmer. Perfect for those seeking the reassurance and safety of solitude.
That’s such a distance from crowded classrooms and bustling school corridors.
I know it’s another walking post. Kind of…. That’s been the theme of the week. A chance to regroup, recharge and refocus. Start to see the future more clearly. Focus on choosing the right pathway. Try to spot the dead ends.
A step forward today. Hawklad had his first shot of the covid vaccine. The second shot is still not approved in the UK for children. He made me smile. To the question from the Nurse about allergies, he promptly responded
He was also not impressed with my mask. I couldn’t find my usual one, so I had to go with the spare. Last year when I bought our first masks, I didn’t bother to check if that white mask had a pattern on the front. We both took one look when they arrived and said NO.
Needs must, so the mask got its first outing today. Hawklad would only be seen with me if I completely coveted my face with a hood. I looked like a Sith Lord. When the nurse asked if I was his dad, the response was