Rainbows

One rainbow makes the last 24 hours of rain worthwhile.

One day the dark times my country are experiencing under this charlatan of a leader will be over and a true rainbow will be there. I just want to give you the words of our Rogue Prime Minister yesterday live on TV. Strangely not being publicised by his friends in the media but it’s telling of his character. So telling.

I’ve given you the most important metric, which is – never mind life expectancy, never mind, you know, cancer outcomes – look at wage growth,”

This man would happily unplug your life support to charge up his mobile phone. One day he will be history, just a really bad memory. Until he is gone then he will continue to destroy and ruin so many life’s.

As dark and as difficult as life can seem, a rainbow might just be around the corner.

Another school at home week dawns in a few hours. How long can we give this. Today Hawklad seems further than ever from a return to the classroom. I am convinced more than ever that his learning lies elsewhere. But is his call. His future. Is it better to stick in this less than ideal course until after his exams in 18 months time or is it better to twist now. On top of his anxieties he is wrestling with these thoughts. My job is to support him and to keep reminding him that as tough as it seems, that rainbow may be closer than he imagines.

Swiss Sunday

It’s just turned Sunday here in Yorkshire. That’s a really wet, windy, cold and grim Yorkshire tonight. Wow I’m missing my dreams tonight. So let’s live out a few of those dreams.

It’s been 6 years now since I stood in Switzerland and I so want to be back there. It is the most wonderful country I have ever been to. Hopefully one day I hope you get to see for yourself just how magical it really is.

So let’s take a virtual trip to alpine heaven. Yes sometimes the sun doesn’t even shine there. But even when the weather turns it’s still special. It really is.

Anxiety

Today it is wet. Very wet. Zero views. So let’s remind ourselves of what a blue sky can look like….

Two hours later it was raining. And it hasn’t stopped.

Every single day ANXIETY is debilitating for Hawklad. We try to make progress and yes progress is being made in some areas. But we can’t ignore that in other areas his anxieties are getting worse. The ultimate aim we have labelled as rebuilding bridges. To be brutally honest we haven’t even established the foundations yet. Those bridges aren’t appearing any time soon.

So we try to manage daily life. Try to manage the school at home project. Learning has to be made supportive and enjoyable. Hawklad loves History. Sadly he doesn’t love School History. Normally I can ask him any historical question and his face lights up. Why can’t school do this. It’s all in the question. Here’s a question from the test he had to sit today.

The answer was a half of a preserved human kidney. The other half apparently had been fried up and eaten. It kinda sums up the last 3 months of teaching.

There is a thought I can’t get out of my head.

Is school ever going to be compatible with Hawklad’s well-being.

Fashion

It was time to go through the wardrobe. Summer out, Winter in. These days Autumn and Spring just count as an unwanted extension to Winter. In come the jumpers, out goes the T-shirts.

With Hawklad it’s straight forward, all his summer clothes can go to the charity shop. They won’t fit him next year. Then to the shop and buy this years winter clothes as last years don’t fit him…… Expensive but straightforward. He is taller than me so I suppose I could have his cast offs as ‘hand me downs’ but

….. I’m not cool enough to wear his clothes.

….. He’s long and thin, I’m NOT….. Imagine The Hulk busting out of his stuff.

My wardrobe is not so straightforward. I wear last years clothes (and the year before that , and the year before that). The record is a purple climbing waterproof jacket which is over 30 years old…. The complications are fourfold with this approach.

One….. having to find somewhere to put the summer stuff so it doesn’t become cat bedding.

Two…. does it still fit. Reassuringly it did. Hang on, is that a good thing. Does that not just confirm that I’m the same wrong shape I was last year. That’s out of shape……😂😂😂😂😂

Three….. has it become that worn with age that unfortunate passerby’s can see through my clothes. I wouldn’t wish that horror on anyone, even Bono.

Four….. stress testing. Can the year older clothes still withstand the immense pressures my body puts stitches under these days. I would hate to be the cause of an international incident.

You notice fashion is not a factor. When you look like me then you can safely wait for my clothes to come back into fashion one year. I still have hopes for my pink leg warmers…….

Sky

That’s a sky…. It was definitely a stand and look up sky……

So the school at home week closes. That was a struggle. The worry is that Hawklad feels jaded already, his Dad isn’t far behind. That’s after week ONE…

A week in which only fragments of the school teaching programme has found its way here.

So we have two subjects teachers that have started having direct contact with Hawklad. One just to say sorry that Hawklad had been forgotten about and they will try to better soon. The other subject actually provided all the class questions looked at. The other subjects have been largely silent leaving on what is expected of him leaving this up to the Dream Team to figure out what to do. So with a bit more WORK for me to do this week coinciding with sadly even less sleep – YEP it’s been a struggle.

Hawklad’s anxieties have definitely increased since school returned. Yes he’s at home but it’s still impacting on him. He’s been struggling even more when he’s been outside as well. The thing that school don’t seem to understand is that this is not just about COVID. There are so many interconnected themes playing out here. So yes the news that Hawklad’s age group will soon receive one dose of a vaccine is welcome but not the answer. It will reduce the COVID risk but definitely NOT eliminate it. Double vaccinated people are still being impacted by the virus. He knows that.

So we soldier on. Let’s see what happens at this coming weeks counselling session. We make the best of school until things change. I definitely need to re-find my mojo.

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.

Moors

A short drive takes us into the heart of the Yorkshire MOORS. A stunningly moody setting for generations of fantastic storytellers. Wuthering Heights could only be set here in Yorkshire.

Today seemingly a perfect place for a trip out for Hawklad. He wanted to go out but to somewhere quiet and remote. The busiest time of the year for tourists yet we had the place to ourselves. Often it felt like we were the only two humans in these lands. That’s what Hawklad needed.

The setting perfect for forgetting the anxieties starting to build around the upcoming school return decision.

Then the decision was back centre stage for me. One small occurrence bringing the enormity of what Hawklad may soon be facing into clear focus.

A wall to be climbed. A set of steep, uneven narrow steps to be navigated. Helpfully a wooden handrail helped with my balance. But Hawklad couldn’t touch the handrail. Didn’t matter that I was probably the only person to touch the surface in hours. He just couldn’t touch it. Don’t laugh but he found a use for his old Dad. I stood next to the steps and he used the top of my head as a temporary balance aid. We laughed.

If he can’t touch surfaces how can he return to an overcrowded classroom with shared learning materials and equipment. He can’t touch door handles. He won’t even be able to touch his desk.

Two weeks to go and how can this school return happen.

Moody Moors. Moody Dad.

A Yorkshire Summer

Almost too wet for the iPhone to cope….. That’s wet……

Later in the day, thankfully we can finally record a few hours of sunshine.

It doesn’t look like it but the fields are drenched. Two miles away a large concert became a mud bath at the weekend. Thankfully tractors came to tow cars out of the field car park. A Yorkshire summer….

As clouds roll in and the once again hidden sun sets, I find myself in the backroom. Putting off work that needs to be done this evening by writing these words. Listening to crackly copy of The Godfather soundtrack on vinyl which kinda sums up my mood. Drinking Chamomile tea to try to sooth a nervous stomach which isn’t very happy. Feeling fatigued after far too little sleep again, yet realising insomnia will win out again tonight. Hawklad is in the living room trying to forget about his rising anxieties. He’s playing games online with a close friend who has COVID. Yes a very Yorkshire summer……

Swiss Sunday

It’s very early Sunday morning here in wet and windy Yorkshire. A storm is raging and the central heating is on. But I’m awake and dreaming. Dreaming of what is still to come. I’m smiling.

It’s been far too long since I’ve stood on Swiss soil. A place which has been a huge part of my family holidays for years. It is such a place of dreams. So this stormy morning I will dream and yes many of those dreams will be set here.

Albatross

Another early trip to the coast. Early means tiredness but it is good. At that time it is quiet. That is perfect for Hawklad. Normally you also get to witness the beauty of first light. NOT THIS DAY….

It was dreadful. Heavy rain, Misty, Windy, Cold. Within minutes of standing in the cliff viewing platform the weather had made its way through our coats and clothes. Today birdwatching was going to be a trial. A few intrepid (bonkers mad) souls were hoping to catch sight of one of the rarest birds. An Albatross. The only Albatross in the Northern Hemisphere. Albert has decided to make the Yorkshire coast one of his pit stops. Last year he spent 3 days here. This year it’s been a month so far. Resting on one particular spot on a steep cliff.

This was our fifth visit to try and see him. We had been lucky on one trip. Seeing him through a telescope on the cliff. But no luck seeing the true spectacle of an Albatross flying. The other visits – no luck. Albert spends a lot of time at sea, or further down the coast or flying to an island off Northern Germany.

Today was not looking hopeful. No sign as he has been last seen flying off to sea. The weather was trying to drive us back to the warmth of the car. The other mad souls had given up. After an hour that was enough for Hawklad and we dragged our sudden bodies back to the car park. But then a couple of men ran back. He might have been spotted. So we headed back to the cliff. NOTHING.

Must have been an earlier sighting. After 30 minutes it was enough for Hawklad again. But for some reason I said ‘5 more minutes’. NOTHING. I started to pack away the drenched binoculars when suddenly a shout. ‘What’s that’.

Amongst the Gannets, one much larger bird with black wings.

Unbelievably Albert the Albatross was there. For 5 glorious minutes he performed close fly passes. Sometimes no more than 20 yards away. These photos don’t do him justice.

Finally Albert settled on the cliff and rested. One chap shouted over that this was like a bird spotters dream that could never happen.

So a very wet Hawklad had seen his first ever Albatross. As a toddler he had a soft toy just like Albert. He loved it and always said he wanted to one day see one. Who would have thought that one would come to him. Now let’s hope Albert somehow finds his way back home. But while he is here he will bring so much joy to many.

But it just goes to show that even when things are seemingly against you. When it’s looking grey and tough. Great things can just be around the corner. DREAMS CAN COME TRUE.