Moodiness

Rapidly deteriorating vision. Oh the delights of wearing glasses in bad weather.

At least bad weather does bring out the full Yorkshire Moodiness.

Today Hawklad told me that he’s not going back to school next week. He feels that it’s beyond him currently. I can’t say that I’m exactly surprised by his call. So I’ve emailed school so they are aware. I also attached the latest medical exemption letter provided by the NHS. Those letters are like gold dust here. The exemption was provided just before Christmas, so they didn’t think he was going back as well. With that letter, the Government can’t take me to court for being a bad parent. Up yours Boris.

So as of the middle of next week, here we go again on the school at home project. Fast approaching two years now….. Never saw that coming. One day I might just figure out what I’m supposed to be doing as a teaching parent. But to be fair, I can’t remember seeing that on the parenting job description.

Mud

Another day, more weather.

At least it’s starting to dry up a tad….

Anybody like mud, we have plenty to spare in the fields around us.

The weather brought hope. Maybe fewer crowds, so it would be quiet enough for Hawklad. Unfortunately not quiet enough. We arrived at a remote abbey ruins to find a busy, small, muddy car park with just a few spaces. Just a handful of cars but still too many. So we returned home. Hawklad is still no where near returning to the classroom.

Back home and safe. No crowds here. Hot chocolate and biscuits on top. Time for board games. It’s so much easier for Hawklad here and if he wants mud, no need to jump in a car. Another attempt at a trip out can wait for tomorrow now.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday here in damp and cold Yorkshire. I so want to be somewhere else, somewhere special. I want to have the best of dreams and adventures in a magical land. The best dreams should involve Switzerland.

I have been fortunate to visit this wonderful country on a number of occasions but sadly never during December. I so want to experience that time there, but I want to arrive in plenty of time. Santa arrives on the 6th December. On a donkey from the local forests rather than travelling airmail with reindeer’s all the way from the North Pole. This day is called Samichlaus Abend, that’s Santa’s Night. He brings bags of treats. Presents are exchanged on the night of the 24th and onwards. But Santa also comes with a dark hooded companion. That chap is in charge of punishing naughty children by hitting them with a broom of twigs. From what I’ve heard, his role is like a lighthearted pantomime villain.

From then until Christmas Eve (Helliger Abend – Holy Night), wonderful street markets, festivals and processions take place. Christmas Day often marks the start of the winter sports season.

Yes one year I would love to experience Christmas in Switzerland. We live in hope. Another dream to be worked towards.

Worries

There is something truly magical about a Walk in the Woods when the weather has closed in. It can be the start of so many stories and adventures.

A planned meet-up with my sister failed today. Hawklad agreed to go for it and then my sisters car went on strike. These things happen. A distraction would have been good. Just one of those days in which Hawklad’s anxieties spiked. When they hit, they hit in waves. Not just one thing, a range of things. When he gets kind of on top of one thing, two more jump in to replace them. Doesn’t matter that it’s Christmas Eve, these anxiety waves can hit at any time. They confuse his thought process. They cause him sensory overload. They stop him in his tracks.

I know what it’s feels like. I’ve been there as well.

Distraction sometimes works. Pacing about. Scooby Doo. Lego. Walks. But at some stage we have to work through the anxieties. Try to unpick them. Put them into context. Do what we can.

Slowly this time, the waves begin to subside. You can tell when he is getting there. The first signs

“Dad where is The Big Red Fella on Track Santa”

On his way to Madagascar apparently. He arrives in 7 minutes.

“I wonder just how many in England have been put on the naughty list this year”

It’s probably more a massive database than a list. You won’t be on it.

“Dad you are officially on the naughty list with that jumper of yours. Even Elton John wouldn’t wear that.”

I will have you know it’s a handmade Italian climbing sweater.

“Which they export for muppets like you to buy because no self respecting Italian will ever wear that.”

Harsh but fair….

“Why in earth is it about three sizes to big for you…”

I bought it when I was climbing in Wales years ago. My size was standard price but the garden shed size was 80% off. That’s a bargain I couldn’t turn down.

“But it’s far too big for you…”

It’s not that big….

“Dad there’s more room in that jumper than in our loft, a family of 4 could live in there”

That’s mostly down to all the weight I’ve lost on my diets

“If only Dad….”

Ok. It is a tad big. I can change my T-shirt without taking it off. But I could give it to you. Think of it as a precious hand me down from father to son.

“Just NO. That would really give me something to worry about…..”

####he chuckled at that one, that’s a good sign###

Recharge

Another day, another one of those days……

Absolutely no sign of the sun. Unremittingly damp, cold and bleak. Our poor outdoor solar festive lights have now officially gone on strike. Switch them on and there is just about enough power generated to muster a dim flicker and then nothing.

I can’t begin to tell you just how wet and muddy I got on today’s walk. but it was still good to be outside. There is always things to see.

That is a seriously impressive Hay Snake.

Yesterday I talked about the fantastic reading progress Hawklad has made. Reading history textbooks is a real statement. But things are never straightforward. He still really struggles with writing. Getting his ideas out on paper. Here his dyslexia still dominates. His handwriting just won’t develop. His typing is laboured and inaccurate. His ideas don’t reach the paper.

He feels so much frustration when he can’t make much progress in this area. And he does feel real frustration. He can now read. He has an amazing mind and can visualise things that are way beyond me. Ask him something like to list all the British Monarchs in order, and it’s a breeze for him. Ask him who where the defendants at Nuremberg and he can name them, including the verdicts. Ask him to work out a complex sum in his head and he can do it effortlessly. Yet ask him to add to simple decimals together and he is lost. Ask him to tell the time and as hard as he tries, he just can’t. Ask him to list the alphabet and he just can’t get the order right after D.

It’s tough seeing your son get so down on himself. I feel his frustration intensely. As a parent you feel like you have run out of ideas. It’s impossible to not get down on yourself as well. But that’s not helping anyone. When tomorrow comes and Hawklad is again trying his heart out, and he will. He hasn’t given up. He won’t give up. I’m the one who needs to get going again. So that’s why those walks in nature are so important. Even in bad weather and unlike those solar lights, I do recharge. So we can try again tomorrow.

Too bright

Unbelievably it was bright sun for the dog walk today. Too bright. YES that’s a phrase you don’t here in connection with Yorkshire too many times. TOO BRIGHT. Not in terms of the usual weather and also not in terms of the competitors at the local Shin Kicking tournament. That’s going to get my Yorkshire Passport taken off me……

The light was too bright for my mobile. It produced some weird lighting effects. Normally I would just delete them but this time, no. The results are kind of rainbow cool

See it’s one of those Yorkshire Super Highways with rainbow special effects. Maybe we should keep them.

School sent an email out to parents this afternoon. In line with Government instructions, masks will still not be enforced in school as nationally schools are deemed safe. In line with national instructions , pupils will be issued with covid test kits to use over Christmas to ensure that schools are adequately protected when they reopen. Unfortunately the test kits are not available as supplies have run out. School understands that kits won’t be sent to them in the foreseeable future, potentially well after the next school terms begins. Any test supplies available will be prioritised to other areas.

Feels like the school holidays can’t come quick enough.

Well at least the sun is shining. Hopefully shinning for most of the holidays. Pupils in school and those at home deserve a great break. It’s been a grim and anxious time for all of them.

Swiss Sunday

What can I say. I can hear the rain beat against the house windows. I can hear the wind whip down the chimney, the gate thump against the wall. The central heating is on full and it still feels cold. England is grim when it’s like this.

Earlier Hawklad basically said ‘why on earth do we choose to live here…..’. There’s a good reason why here we talk about the weather all the time.

I need to distract myself. I need to focus on my dreams. To focus on the best things in life.

Time to make a hot drink, dig out some old photos. Walk again in Switzerland. Yes that pesky Yorkshire weather is well and truly shut out now. I’m dreaming.

Wet Distractions

It’s a wet Wednesday here in the UK but at least yesterday’s storm has started to finally abate. Even the occasional break in the clouds. That always helps.

Definitely moody…..

Days like this can be a struggle for me. Distractions are always welcome. There are some amongst us who are always distracted.

Now that’s a hole. Giving someone ideas. Think of the socks which could be hid in that tunnel.

That’s some mouse……

Hawklad’s school feels like a mysterious hole somedays. Some things it is really good at doing. It never fails to let us know about kitchen closures, Christmas jumper days, school concerts. Yet the same school seems to find it so hard to get lessons consistently to pupils forced to be away from the classroom. The school gets glowing reviews and multiple awards for teaching quality yet it doesn’t seem to have the first clue on how to provide support to pupils with educational disabilities. I guess with less than two years of secondary education left for Hawklad, we may never get to figure that out. School and the education system isn’t changing any time soon.

Yes definitely a moody day.

Hemmed in

The first signs of the next storm heading our way. Cold, wet, bleak and punishingly windy. Not a day to be outside. Problem is when I’m stuck inside, that feeling of being hemmed in just gets ramped up even more. Never suffered from claustrophobia but I have done since the world changed back in 2016.

Over those 5 years I’ve learnt that the best strategy is DISTRACTION. Focus on homeschooling. Housework, more housework, even washing the windows. Wow washing the windows. Kinda worked. But they don’t work as well as some four legged distractions.

I have a new movie franchise.

It’s the action movie this time of year has been waiting for since Die Hard. Fearsome beasts meet the festive holidays.

I give you the trailers to JURASSIC CHRISTMAS…

Apex Predator
Carnage
Fatcatasauros

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday night here in the UK. The heating is full on and the weather is beating against the windows. We are lucky to be live in a lovely part of the country. Rolling hills and countryside. But no mountains. I have always been drawn to the high ground. Right from childhood when I would look longingly at mountaineering book photos in the town library. A few years later I started climbing and a life long link was cemented.

I so wish I could open the curtains in the morning and gaze upon snow covered mountains.

Imaging throwing up the curtains each day and seeing this view….

That’s what I call a hotel room with a view. A Swiss view. It’s hard to find a view from this amazing country that is not dominated by glorious mountains. One day I hope to return. I need my mountain fix. I need to be back in Switzerland. One day soon I hope. Those mountains call.