Cool

It’s hot in Yorkshire. Very hot for us. 🥵 86F (30C). That’s officially beyond Yorkshire’s Safe Operating Temperature. Law and Order will break down. The Ferrets will start to get unusually frisky. The Rhubard will go on strike. Cricketers might even have to unbutton their top shirt buttons. Those rather fetching knitted handkerchief hats will need to be donned….

In Yorkshire we have two expressions for this type of unusual weather.

It’s Mafting…….

It’s crackin’ t flags ……. translates to – it’s so hot the the paving stones are starting to crack.

It was too hot for my outside weights and kettlebell session. I definitely left a water trail marking out where my exercises took me. A nice run through a cool forest would have been ever so nice. The photo was from August 2019. Seems like a lifetime ago. Almost seems like a different world. A lot of things have changed for the worse. Some new really bad things have hit. Yes some life stuff has remained unchanged. And here is the crucial thing. A few things, some new stuff have definitely been an absolute blessing. It’s so easy to focus on the bad stuff but actually some wonderful things have happened. My Life is better because of those things.

So in 2020 when some days life seems unduly bad, I need to remember the good stuff. Yes life can and still will be tough. BUT it can also still be exceptionally beautiful. It can be a wonderful life.

Visit

By the time you read this then hopefully Hawklad with have had a garden visit from his new nurse counsellor. We got a late go ahead with lots of safety caveats. Hopefully it’s a start.

Things are not easy for him. The hand washing is escalating. He now doesn’t feel able to touch taps or surfaces. Before he uses anything like an iPad then these have to be disinfected. All bedding including pillows have to be washed on a daily basis. Currently ok in the hot weather, dread to think what it will be like trying to dry pillows in wet weather. Clothes have to be changed several times a day. And this is just living in his home and garden bubble. A very small bubble. He hasn’t physically met up with another person his age since March. Actually I’ve not met up with anyone my age in months – it’s difficult since I predate the Dinosaurs…..

But there is always hope.

We have potential access to counselling. The weather is currently grand. We have a freezer filled with ice cream and slush puppy flavoured ice pops. We have a lovely (if slightly overgrown) garden. Hawklad has his pets. I have friendships. Birds of Prey fly close to the house. Disney Plus is ace. It’s the summer football break so my team can’t get beat. We live in Yorkshire. Nobody can see me make a fool of myself doing yoga.

So yes there is always hope.

Yoga, I want some words….

If only sitting with a nettle tea and looking at a beautiful flower was classed as exercise….

Who invented yoga? Really! Who invented that medieval form of torture. I want words with them. The glossy brochures are so enticing.

Wonderful for posture

Stress busting

A pick me up for the soul

Strengthens the mind

Improves confidence

Recover your flexibility

Builds strength and a strong heart

Anyone can do it

Fun

Feel your anxiety ebb away

So what actually is the reality. What happens when YOGA meets a Yorkshire Bloke who is trying to figure out if he is Man or MUPPET….

So the iPad was fired up. A random yoga app was selected. The advanced 50 minute session selected. Surely being an experienced runner, CrossFit, weights, climbing, cycling superhero must count for something. For a start having an instructor who speaks in English would help. Whispering terms like Chaturanga Dandasana and Shalabhasana is just going to get a blank look in Yorkshire. Secondly can we not have an instructor who has the flexibility of Elastigirl. I’m not getting in those positions EVER, not even with scaffolding and a construction team.

50 minutes of basically hearing my body crack and creak. What are the official yoga terms for ‘that pigging hurts’, ‘are you kidding me’, ‘oh no I’m falling over’, and ‘I’m stuck’. Elastigirl, you try relaxing in the plank position when a dog is washing your face and the cat is scratching your heel. And while I’m on with it, Elastigirl my heel has never been designed to touch the back of my head – strangely my backbone makes that a physical impossibility. Lying on my back with my feet in the air might be doing something for my posterior but it’s playing havoc with my acid reflux. Where’s the warning to not get too close to glass windows when you try to balance on one leg while trying to get into the Superman flying position. It’s so far been beyond me to get into one position without farting…. Yes I can hold that press-up position for as long as you want but do you know the agony I’m in trying to hold a position which is basically me tied up in a knot. In fact most of the positions I’ve been instructed to hold while relaxing have quickly deteriorated into violent twitching and shaking episodes.

So yes I want serious words with the person who invented yoga. Tomorrow I’m going back to CrossFit training and weights. Those will now feel like an absolute delight. All that’s to yoga.

Red Rose

That’s me expelled from Yorkshire. A red rose……. Historically our greatest rival has been our neighbour Lancashire. We have had bloody civil wars and battled over who should have the English Throne. We are the White Rose County. Lancashire is the Red Rose County. To this day when our teams meet the matches are often called the Roses Game. Even sometimes – The War of the Roses.

I can get away with a red rose. I was born in a Yorkshire town but on the northern edge. The Yorkshire Cricket Team would play in my town once a year. A few years later and the government decided to have a local government reorganisation and suddenly we were kind of just outside my birth county. That’s my excuse anyway.

It really doesn’t matter what colour Rose you are. We are all in this mess together. Work briefly picked up. Glimmers of hope. But that didn’t last long. Most of the work programme has been cancelled again. We help to manage public events and deal with things like cycle races. Trying to stop the roads clogging up and looking after the safety of the competitors/public. Not a great line of work to be in during a pandemic. Most of the remaining events have been waiting for news on the upcoming London Marathon. If they run then we can. Well the London Marathon has now cancelled the public element of the race. It will hold a much smaller professional race with no spectators. Worse news is that next years marathon has already been pushed back months into October 2021. With all the money and resources they have available to them and they can’t run the event safely for well over a year. Crumbs…..

So our work programme is effectively wrecked until well into next year. We might get a few small events but hardly anything. Maybe a few ‘helping to manage drive in vaccination schemes’. But we can’t spend to long fretting over this. It’s really out of our hands. Not much we can do except batten down the hatches and try to weather the storm. Try to look after the pennies. It could be so much worse. So many don’t have a job. Now that is properly tough.

Much less work has many advantages. Yes it focuses the mind on money but look on the bright side. More time to focus on Hawklad. Much reduced carbon footprint – the mad car is hardly getting used, it’s been to the petrol station once since March. And other advantages.

I was sat on the floor in the bathroom cleaning the toilet. I’ve got a rock and roll lifestyle. Listening to some fine Canadian Rock – RUSH. Thinking what a good job I was doing getting the throne glistening white again. Normally toilet cleaning duties are seen as as a real chore. Something to be squeezed in to an overly busy day. Get it done as quick as possible. But today I could take my time. Do a proper job.

Now that’s finished it’s time to fold the bathroom sheets (toilet roll) into nice shapes – just like the hotels do. Now that’s a first…….

Tungsten

In the local market town there is a garden shop which I get my bird seed from. I like it because it’s super cheap. Even cheaper then the Pound Shop. I especially like going in the shop during October. That’s when they give away the out of date flower seeds. Just 9 months ago I walked out of the shop with a bag of bird seed and pockets stuffed full with flower seeds. This little beauty cost me the price of feeding the birds for three months. A bargain and us Yorkshire Folk like those.

That’s my Dad, he is a muppet.”

That what Hawklad as a toddler thought of me. He sternly mentioned this to someone at the local zoo after his Dad had one of those moments…… Now wind forward to the present.

What on earth is that…”

If you think I’m trying that you are clearly madder than you look….

The muppet force still runs strong in you Dad….”

If you try to feed that to the birds then I will need to call the Bird Protection Society. “

Clearly he wasn’t impressed with my latest piece of baking art.

Trust me, that was the good side. It was a shocker. It had the soft, airy and bouncy feel of Reinforced Tungsten. Understandably even the birds refused to eat it. I wonder if the builders across the road would like to use it as foundation material. I’m not sure that thing is ever going to break down. Like I’m not sure Im ever going to grow out of my muppet stage….

Blink and it’s gone

Well that was the heatwave then. Early morning haze cleared and blue skies appeared. Yes it was hot but very windy. Apparent we got to 30C (86F). Could get use to this. Winds are so much nicer when it’s dry and hot weather. Not so much fun when they are wizzing up your inside trouser legs carrying freezing cold rain. But today it was so nice that we actually managed to eat outside.

Dad we must do this again. Maybe next year

I suspect he’s seen the forecast then. Eating outside was fun but it did require many pit stops for Hawklad to go inside and wash himself. Those pesky flies.

Just a few hours later the clouds rolled in. We kept the wind but the heat quickly went away.

And this is Yorkshire, 6 hours into the heatwave and this is the scene. Cool, windy and very wet. What was the point of watering the plants….

Does it class as a heatwave when it only lasts a few hours. So it’s 7pm, it’s summer and we have the house lights on. Captain Chaos is refusing to venture out. For once he is a sensible chap. The not sensible one is me. I’m due to be exercising outside in 12 hours. Lovely.

****12 hours came and yes it was still like this. I was cold and wet. But I’m told there is nothing like exercising outside. REALLY……

Dieting

What are they talking about

Dad the government is telling everyone to go on a diet. Boris apparently is going on one, bet that Cummings told him to do that.

Like everything else my money is on our so called Leader delegating his dieting to someone else. He’s far too busy having time off for things like that.

Dad your on a diet….”

☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️

And with those words from Hawklad, I’m on a diet. I’ve been on this temporary fasting diet for a while now but it’s been an effort. I just haven’t been able to get the food alternatives that my body will accept. So I’ve been forced into eating and drinking far too much soya (soy) 🙄…. Basically my body and face balloon up with the stuff. Not helpful when your trying to look like your losing weight. But hopefully I’ve managed to get hold of a few more nicer foods this time. So here goes. Going to combine my partial fasting diet with a significantly healthier food range. It helps as my garden has finally decided to yield some vegetables. Just got to find them amongst the weeds.

But dieting is only part of it. Need to do something with exercise as well. I am working out each day and pushing myself. But I’m missing the long runs. They are just not happening due to circumstances. So I need a challenge. I had this initial idea of trying to build up to run a garden marathon. Others have done this. I’ve managed 50 minutes of running round our small garden. But I was so dizzy and cheesed off after that, the prospect of 4 hours worth of that is just a complete nonstarter. Lets not forget the epic route map from that.

What was I doing on some of those outlying paths….

So here’s Plan B. At the end of August I want to build up to a mega exercise bike marathon. Let’s see how far I can get on the bike in 4 straight hours. But to ensure it’s not just a gentle peddle session, I’m going to dig out the old HR sports watch. 4 hours with the BP somewhere near 150. That sounds like a challenge which I can do in the garden. Watch it rain and watch the bike collapse again….

Ok Boris for once I’m going to listen to you. I’m going to lose some weight. Are you?

Yorkshire Day

It’s the 1st August and it’s Yorkshire Day. Yes we have one….

So put on a pot of Yorkshire Tea, enjoy some Yorkshire Puddings and try to do a Yorkshire accent. So many to choose from.

  • New Doctor Who
  • Michael Palin
  • Judy Dench
  • Wallace (Wallace and Gromit)
  • Shouting like Brian Blessed
  • Boromir (Lord of the Rings)
  • Jean-Luc Picard or Professor X
  • Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear)

Once you’ve picked your accent then it’s time to summon up your inner Yorkshire. If you do any of these things then you clearly have some White Rose DNA flowing through your body.

  • Have an urge for a roast dinner on a Sunday,
  • Moan about it being too hot and too sunny,
  • Have a sudden urge to wear a flat cap or knotted handkerchief to protect you from that pesky sun,
  • The shorts or bikinis come out while many animals are still hibernating for winter,
  • Hate spending money,
  • Can fully understand people talking in shows like All Creatures Great and Small, Last of the Summer Wine, Emmerdale and Brideshead Revisited,
  • Think the words ‘chuffed’ and ‘Aye’ work on so many levels,
  • Bargain hunting becomes an obsession,
  • Prefer white to red roses,
  • Found yourself watching cricket,
  • You have an opinion which clearly has to be communicated to anyone within 2 miles,
  • Call lunch – Dinner and call Dinner – Tea,
  • See Rhubarb as an art form,
  • Find yourself singing to Def Lepard, Whitesnake, Free, Joe Cocker, The Hunan League, Robert Palmer, The Beautiful South, Pulp, Arctic Monkeys and Ed Sheeran,
  • Can speak for hours without pronouncing the letter T,
  • Think Ferrets are best kept in your trouser pockets,
  • Look at the Olympic table and then try to work out how high up your local place would be if it suddenly declared independence – at one stage Yorkshire was 8th in the medal table,
  • Believe that chip butties are a balanced, nutritional dish that meet all your health needs.

So if you tick any of these boxes then I wish you a Happy Yorkshire Day.

Heatwave is here – kinda

Blue skies are coming

I have given the weather a hard time recently. A few too many rainy shots through the window. So let’s correct the balance. This is today through the window.

Summer

Blue skies, very warm but with a Yorkshire twist. Blowing a gale. The perfect weather for standing on flimsy plastic chairs looking like a star from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Only joking, I suspect my bruised rump would seriously object.

We’ve been doing a little routine which does help Hawklad put things into perspective. It’s so easy for him to get overwhelmed with the negative. I wonder who else that could apply to….. Basically it involves an empty sweet jar and some brightly coloured sweets. Here Skittles or Smarties work well.

Notice I went for the old Rowntree’s version, rather than Nestle. One day will tell you why. Anyway the secret is to pick a colour which is to represent good things and a colour to represent bad things. Then every time something happens Hawklad decides if it is good or bad. He then picks the appropriate colour sweet. The sweet then goes into the jar. Over time it’s an easy way to see what happens more, good or bad stuff. Thankfully for Hawklad it is usually a jar filled largely with good things. That would be mainly a blue colour then – assuming we can get blue sweets. Depending on who you listen to, blue colouring is either dangerous or difficult to source naturally. This little technique has helped Hawklad. Basically it shows him that yes bad stuff happens but actually more good stuff is out there. You also get to eat the sweets after the experiment has finished.

It’s strange that for such a clever little technique that works, I have never tried it on me. Someone who does have to fight negative thoughts. Someone who can see the world in a dark light. So here goes. This weekend this little muppet with his big bruised posterior is going to try this. Let’s see what happens and what it tells me about life.

Take care.

Doubts

Much needed colour on a very grey and damp start to the day.

Some days are just greyer than others. Yes still smiles. Somethings just don’t fail. But then you come up to the surface again and it’s still grey. Crack on with stuff until you can immerse yourself in the good stuff again. Up and down. Swings and roundabouts.

Might have said that before. Sounds familiar. Sounds a bit like the lines ‘I’m going on a diet’ and ‘I’m going to have an early night’.

Another thing I’ve said over the last few hours – a one day heat wave is due on a Friday. Every time I look excitedly at the forecast, it just gets warmer. Now it’s supposed to be 29C (84F). That’s really hot for Yorkshire. Now I wonder what the reality will actually be. Let’s show you the current weather.

Wet, windy and definitely not warm…. Less than 24 hours until we are supposed to be hot then. Doubts definitely building.

I read some haunting words last night that brought tears. A really good person having so much to deal with in life. Honesty about the pain and sadness suffered. Yet unbroken with so much spirit, heart and love. Definitely made me think about that person and what a symbol of hope they represent. It also made me think about my life. Its too easy for me to take so many things for granted. I’ve been a bit up and down recently. A few too many down moments. Far too many doubts. Yet I have so much to smile about. Things which I far too easily take for granted. That needs to change. I’m not saying it’s going to transform me into a constantly smiling creature but maybe it will make me more balanced and honest with myself. I might believe my life is tough but looking at others, it really isn’t that bad at all. I’ve been so fortunate in many areas. I need to remember that and be more mindful of what others are dealing with. I’ve had opportunities which have been cruelly denied to others.

So it’s time to be much more thankful for what I have.

It’s a good life for me and actually it’s frequently a wonderful life.