“Ok Dad, if I somehow manage to pass every exam then I think that probably means we should do something special to mark that.”
Absolutely and actually why should it be just dependent on the outcome of some random exams whose outcomes can be far reaching. Exams that are such a poor reflections of real person, their effort, the struggles they overcome, their character, just how amazing they are and just how much they have to offer.
So my mind wandered to what that prize could be.
And once again I was so far away from the answer.
“If I do that then can you look into getting me to Milan. Going to see Inter play at the San Siro. I don’t know how you would get me there, maybe we could try to get there using Switzerland as the base.”
Time to get the thinking hat on but I do know that our old Swiss base has direct trains to Milan each day. How cool would that be for Hawklad.
Is it really 7 years since we were last in Switzerland. SEVEN YEARS. That’s a crazy and seriously sobering thought.
Is our much smaller family any closer to returning? Well we have various plans to get there but ultimately it all depends on how Hawklad is doing and feeling. It’s just about keeping the light burning brightly and being patient.
Patience is the word.
Before I started visiting this wonderful country, I desperately wanted to see two massive Swiss Treasures. The mighty mountains, The Eiger and The Matterhorn. The Eiger was an immediate success. On my first trip, I could see the mountain as the train carried us away from the airport and towards Spiez. Then the next day, a trip in Spring snow to Grindelwald, the clouds parted to reveal its awesomeness. Every holiday seemed to bring more and more epic Eiger encounters.
Then we come to The Matterhorn, the PESKY mountain. The clouds never seemed to part, the mountain never made an appearance. For years it was like that. Summer, Autumn, Spring, Late Winter, always the same result. Arrive at Zermatt and the thickest of clouds had rolled in. But with patience, eventually the clouds did part. That first time as I pushed baby Hawklad in his pushchair, trying to stop him bawling out Zermatt high street. It was seriously cloudy, one last not so hopeful look and unbelievably the clouds parted for a few brief seconds. It was so worth the wait. I so wish I could find that photo I managed to take in those brief moments . But the spell was broken and from then on, no more mountain in hiding.
So yes, let’s hope for a return to this magical land. Just got to be PATIENT.
76 MONTHS. This PUP was born in the week Hawklad’s mum passed away. Isn’t that a sobering thought. Why does 76 months sound so much longer than 6 and a bit years.
Stuff has changed in those 76 months, yet other stuff is still the same. Still walking these same muddy tracks. Still trying to figure out the parenting gig. Still trying to juggle things while still trying to pay the bills. Still spending far too much time having conversations with myself. Still not get enough sleep. Still fighting the school system. Still getting post addressed to Hawklad’s mum. Still getting those feelings of guilt. Still getting those pangs of anger. Still feeling like life is on hold.
But yes, some stuff changed. 74 months ago a Mad Pup walked in and that is just about the best decision I made in those 76 months.
A time just before parenthood and I was sat in Departure Lounge at Zurich Airport, waiting for a plane back to England. Opposite was a young couple clearly waiting for the same plane. As we chatted they excitedly described their first venture into this wonderful land called Switzerland. I remember them saying that they had found a wonderland. They told a story about being caught out in heavy rain while walking and a local farmer brought them into his house for a warm drink. When the rain didn’t pass he drove them to the nearest train station.
Here’s the irony. Probably during the very same rainstorm, we were walking through beautiful Gstaad and guess what, yes the heavens truly opened. Proper RAIN. We tried to take shelter in the nearest doorway. Quickly the door opened and we were beckoned inside. In Swiss German we were told to ‘come inside before we got soaked’. We were treated to Italian coffee and cake as the storm passed over. Our hosts being truly kind and nice. I remember joking that if this had been England, the door would have been quickly bolted shut with us still outside. The smiling response said it all..
“Probably, but this is Switzerland and it’s just different here…”
It so is…..
And to be fair to Gstaad, every other time we have been there the weather has been perfect. Plus they do a mighty fine watermelon….
Generosity can make you smile, give you a warm feeling. Sometimes it can actually give you the giggles.
Just received an email from our much loved and very cheap (😱😱😱) electricity supplier who never ever make massive profits by charging too much…. They are running a scheme where they ask customers to cut power usage during peak times so that we as a country avoid running out of this piped electrical gold. In return customers receive a discount on the next bill.
Well the email from them did give me the giggles. See GENEROSITY even from the unusual sources is a good thing and it even took a bit of strain off the creaking GENERATORS.
£1 currently gets you 1.13 Euros, or 1.20 US Dollars, or 1.64 Canadian Dollars or 100 Indian Rupees. Living the DREAM today🤣🤣🤣🤣
But now a few days of less cold weather. If it’s not going to snow then the weather can keep its pesky ice then….
Snow hasn’t called yet, but Covid finally has. Double whammy, we both caught it. Fortunately so far it’s been just cold like for Hawklad. A weird cold for me. I could almost feel like it was going round the body trying to find a weakness. Throat, then try the nose, then try the head, then the chest, then try the tummy, then try the joints, then back to the throat. Not too bad at all, just annoying.
The other weird thing for me has been TASTE. I can still taste most things but not everything. COFFEE taste missing, CURRY taste missing, CHAI TEA taste missing. It’s bizzare drinking a Coffee and tasting just water. Eating CURRY and getting nothing. I even tried a super strong curry powder I had mistakenly bought one shopping trip. Normally it would have blown my socks off, but now, NOTHING……. But again fortunately, I have started to get the faintest of coffee experiences again this evening, maybe this tasteless period is very temporary. But please tell me ……. why I lost the good tastes like COFFEE yet the horrible Chesty Cough Medicine taste is unaffected…. Maybe this is the time to try Brussels Sprouts and Beetroot, maybe this is the one time I can eat them without pulling a proper face.
So we patiently wait until the tests go negative, at this rate we are going to not get the cards sent off, especially as a two day postal strike is looming. Postal strikes, train strikes, nurse strikes, is there nothing this Corrupt Government can’t purposely screw up.
May 2014. Yorkshire had gone the winter without any snow. Hawklad had almost forgotten what the white stuff was like. May was leaving it late, but finally a family holiday to Switzerland saved the day.
Hawklad got his winter playground.
Switzerland is a special place, it generates happy memories.
Apparently one of my sisters has put her Christmas Tree and Outdoor Lights up today. Which prompted a household discussion on when to put our decorations up. The consensus was MOST DEFINITELY NOT NOW.
This all brought Hawklad to revisit the Great Santa Claus issue.
“Dad, a few years back, exactly when were you going to tell me”
At some stage, maybe when you reached 50.
Sorry, that was a joke #### I have to be so careful as Hawklad still can take everything I say literally##### I was going to give you one more Christmas before you found out. I certainly wasn’t planning on the pesky School Religious Education Teacher telling all the class to grow up and then let the cat out of the bag in the week before Christmas. My MINI FIB was blown out of the water.
“Are there any more MINI FIBS I need to know”
I don’t think so.
##### That sadly is not strictly true. Following a long family tradition our sick bowl doubles up as the baking mixing bowl. 🤦♂️🤦♂️🤦♂️🤦♂️ Some things are best not shared especially as he is about to tuck into some homemade bread…..
Have I mentioned that our local area still has a hosepipe ban. That pesky scorching sun. The other day Hawklad queried why people in Yorkshire don’t emigrate to somewhere nearer the Equator. I’m not sure my answer was entirely convincing.
My oldest sister would share Hawklad’s view on Yorkshire, it’s weather and the attraction of the Equatorial Climate. Anything below 25C is too cold for her. But it does beg the question how she will cope on her Bucket List Holiday next year. Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights and Alaska. Not exactly Toasty.
Toasty was how I was trying to feel as I made a call to a local college while sitting on the back room radiator. A radiator turned on FULL. I was trying to book Hawklad in for a taster visit. School had failed to let us know that the window for booking these was now open. They hadn’t even mentioned what this college can offer. The reason apparently is that they don’t believe college is a viable option for Hawklad. Deep SIGH.
The college does appear promising as it has a well established setup to offer post school opportunities for pupils who have special educational needs. So we will see if Hawklad can attend a taster session in the New Year and see what he thinks. If the main college is too busy for him then they do have a separate smaller offsite teaching block which has been setup specifically to provide a quieter, more tailored learning environment. He could start in September.
But first we have to focus on Hawklad’s immediate wellbeing and helping with his anxieties. Then it’s the issue of the final exams in June without any real support from school. But at least we have the first opportunity door appearing in the distance. It’s a start.
Just a few paces from here is one of the places we have been thinking would be a nice place to scatter some of Hawklad’s mums ashes. His mum loved to walk here. However the area is becoming increasingly wet as the years pass by. The landscape is definitely changing. We might need to rethink the plans.