Leafless

Won’t be long before the trees are leafless.

Could be a long winter.

For the fourth day running, UK had the most new Covid Cases in the world. Our cases running at least 10x higher than our European neighbours. Averaging about a 1000 Covid deaths a week. Hospitals under huge pressure. 1 in 12 secondary school pupils testing positive.

Apparently our Plan A is still working. No need for mandatory masks . No need for additional measures. No need to speed up the vaccination programme. We are learning to live with Covid.

Are we really learning to live with Covid or is the Government just trying to ignore the inconvenience it causes them.

Slope

The long and slightly winding road. It doesn’t look much but it’s a bit of a pull up that slope. Unsurprisingly this little lane blocks quickly when the snow arrives. One day I will pick up the courage to try to sledge this all the way to the bottom. Our very own Cresta Run.

At the bottom of the slope (if I make it that far) I then need to find 2 feet of lift and aim for this gap in the hedge. If I pull that manoeuvre off then I will continue the sledge run across at least one more field. Miss the gap or get no height and it’s going to hurt. Hurt lots…..

As Hawklad points out. He will let Dad go first, clear a path and then if Dad is able to stand without medical assistance, then he will follow. It’s good to know that I still have my uses. 🤪🤪🤪🤪

As the colder, darker months fast approach some of the things that kept both of us going over the warmer months will become harder to keep going. New hobbies and new things to do are really needed. Especially as there is no immediate sign of a breakout from our ongoing family isolation. But we need to keep living. Preferably things that don’t involve pain…

I was looking on eBay for a second hand telescope to help with Astronomy as something we could do together. One to replace my very old small scope. I found a potential option. 4 hours to go on bidding and after 3 bids the price was at £30 plus delivery. That’s great for a £900 telescope. I made the offer. £35…. It was mine…. until 5 minutes before the auction closed. Two minutes later budding was at £300.. Pants. Didn’t bother seeing what it finally went for. Not this time.

But I feel better as I have done something. I’ve tried. Now what other random items can I find. What weird hobbies might open up.

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…….

Time slips by

Time does slip by. Sometimes as fast as those clouds wizzing across the Yorkshire sky.

As a kid one of the things I wanted to be was an Astronomer. I remember the look on the career advisors face when I would mention that. It was definitely a ‘that ain’t happening so stop being silly’ kinda look. Actually the career advisor only ever had a few options to suggest. Work in the local steel works, work in the local chemical plant, work in a factory, work in a shop, join the army or the truly gifted might even pushed towards a job in the local bank branch.

Ok no Astronomy job did turn up. But I did eventually buy myself a small telescope. But the Yorkshire clouds, sleep and then parenting restricted the times it was used.

The telescope is still with me. Battered and a bit out of focus. Now is that describing the scope or its user….. If I’m not using the scope much so there is no point buying a better one. But I did set myself a goal of using it a bit more over the winter months. When the skies get darker for longer. The best time to gaze up.

Time slips by….

That telescope has not been out all winter. I thought about it a few times but there was always an excuse. There was always a tomorrow. Now winter has gone.

Time slips by….

Art

It’s not often I get a free work of art left on the car window. On closer inspection I realised just how intricate and special the work of nature was.

I could so easily have missed this. A few hours later it may have melted.

It’s such a great reminder for me that even though I’m living in a much restricted world that there is still much to experience. I can make this work. I just need to remember to open my eyes and continue to dream.

Snow

A little bit of snow. It does change the feel of the landscape.

We don’t often get lots of snow here. Not talking about a dusting, I mean really deep stuff. The last time that happened we were a family of 3. My partner would be out with her wooden ruler to measure the snow depth. She would do that before we could go out and wreck the snow with sledging, snow angels and snowmen. 2010 was a really good year for that. Yes a good year. Relatively healthy partner, a bouncy toddler and lots of snow. Too deep for the ruler. Well over 30cm and it stayed around for about 5 weeks. Good times.

So much has happened since then. It’s such a different world. It’s a much smaller family now.

Maybe deep snow will arrive again. That wooden ruler is still here. Measuring the depth will then pass to Hawklad.

Life moves on.

White Christmas

Well not quite…..

Can you spot someone practising to be either Cyclops from the X-Men or Vision from The Avengers.

This was 7.20pm on Christmas Eve. It’s as white as it’s going to get. Thought I had better take a photo while it’s at its DEEPEST…..

So as we fight to survive this mega blizzard I want to send you warm winter wishes your way. ❤️

South of France

It’s Monday. It’s grey. It’s wet. It’s cold. It’s getting really boring…..

Hawklad summed it up perfectly

What on earth where you thinking. Why didn’t you and mum move to the South of France. Somewhere warm… this weather is nothing short of torture. Think of the money you would have saved on jumpers and heating bills. I actually wouldn’t be now wearing two coats, a mega jumper and three T-shirt’s

He does have a point. Our winters are usually not much fun. Cold, windy and wet. But we don’t tend to get snow. So we don’t get the upside of winter. Just the downside stuff.

Warm I can handle.

Snow I would love.

But just not our weather. Week after week of this.

Dad what are you doing?”

I am putting the solar powered Christmas lights up outside.

What’s the point I bet they don’t work. It’s too dark. I bet they would work brilliantly in the a South of France. Oh wait. You never moved there….”

Winter is coming

Winter is coming.

A time for wooly jumpers, gloves and warm hats. Sliding on ice patches. Snow ball fights, sledging and snow angels. Steaming hot chocolate filled with marshmallows. Writing names of frozen car windscreens. Fires and hot water bottles. Crisp winter walks with stunning moody landscapes. Long dark night skies filled with the wonder of the cosmos. Warming soups and stews. A perfect time to cuddle close to those you love. A time to feel alive.

Winter is coming.

A cold, bleak time. When the frequent bad weather forces you inside. Cuts you off from the world. When the darkness and howling winds matches the mood. When loneliness echoes around the surrounding walls that makes your home feel like a prison. A prison where the sentence is solitary confinement. Memories filled with loss and grief send shivers down your spine. Counting the long days until Spring returns. A time to survive.

Winter is coming.

I have experienced both. I know the opportunities and the threats it can offer. Which one will this Winter be?