Settled

The weather is unusually settled here. The garden water tubs are nearly empty. What is going on, this is Yorkshire….

Not much of the much advertised heatwave so far. It finally arrived on Saturday and went Saturday. It was a bizarre day. Started warmish. Then just after midday the wind dropped and the temperature rocketed up. The garden thermometer hit 30C. Don’t laugh but that’s as far as the thermometer will go. Guess where that piece of technology was made. It didn’t have to travel too far… Yorkshire clearly doesn’t go past 30C.

But then just 4 hours later. We were outside enjoying an ice lolly and suddenly the wind picked up and changed direction . Within minutes we had to go inside for warmer clothes. It was Yorkshire cool again. A 4 hour heatwave…….

If only other things were settled.

Work is a nightmare as we are losing staff through COVID quicker than ever. Apparently it’s over……

Village life is in uproar as there are tentative plans to build houses on one side of the small village. How many. Well for a village of about 100 odd buildings, the idea is to add another new 130 homes ….. I can sense the pitchforks getting sharpened……

Car. The thirsty car now costs over £100 to fill up with diesel. The home fuel oil tank costs nearly £1000 to fill up now. Living is getting crazily expensive……

School mostly has disappeared. The work provided has in many subjects just completely dried up. Have they run out of things to teach Hawklad. Talk about feeling cut adrift…..

Yes definitely could do with some of that settled stuff.

Downton

The village went all Downton Abbey like last weekend. Can’t think why 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

Bizarrely we watched Downton the other night. Hawklad is rather taken by the whole thing. It’s fictionally set somewhere round here but filmed mostly outside of Yorkshire. Just like the cool start to an American Werewolf in London, that spooky Yorkshire Pub and foggy Moor was randomly filmed in Wales – clearly real Yorkshire is even TOO scary for a Horror Movie. The Earl, his family and servants keep visiting places right around us. It is most unsettling when they look nothing like the real place. They went riding just a few miles from us and I had a thought, I hope I remembered to pick up the mad dog’s morning constitutional poo. Would hate for the good noble family horse shoes to step in that.

It’s been one of those few days. Actually it’s been one of those few weeks. Not enough sleep, school issues, work issues, life issues, just ISSUES. Never stopping, running around in ever decreasing circles and actually achieving absolutely nothing. Where do those 24 hours go…..

So I walked through the village looking at the bunting while thinking, odds on that our mad dog will at some stage try to pull all that lot down and then bury it in our front lawn. Out of nowhere a villager stuck his head out of the village hall and shouted, “When are you bringing the cucumbers for the sandwiches”. This villager could have well been a head butler in a past life. A head butler with remarkably bad eyesight as his next words demonstrated. “Oh I’m sorry, you are not Margaret…”. Never been mistaken for a Margaret before. Never even mistaken for a woman. Even when I dressed in a full on and very well ventilated French Can Can costume and ended up walking through a town centre searching for the Uni Party, I was DEFINITELY NOT ladylike MOST DEFINITELY not mistaken for a woman.

Chair

Chair with a view.

Look behind and it’s not too bad as well.

Maybe a good place to spread some ashes one day. Back a few years I remember standing here. Standing here in the rain. An overcast thinking walk had suddenly turned wet. A sky not dissimilar to this one.

What was I thinking back then.

Why me. Why take Hawklad’s mum and leave me. She would have been the better single parent. Sometimes I still do. After loss, how many other utterly confused souls have had similar thoughts. Many I guess. But in the end, all we can do is walk those paths allocated to us, do the best we can. The rest will sort itself out in the end.

Reading

Mostly a day to stay inside and dry but always keeping an eye out for those brief gifts.

In the end, no video conference call this week with school. School staffing unavailability led to a late cancellation. Apparently school will organise another teacher – parent day in a months time.

Ok move on, it’s the weekend.

As a kid I remember one thing really clearly from childhood weekends. Virtually every Saturday morning I would walk to the town’s library. The northern coastal town looked old and tired yet the library was a bit of an oasis. On the outside it looked like any other slate grey concrete block. But on the inside it looked brand new. Clean, bright. It even had a little indoor goldfish pond in the middle of the children’s section. I would select a book and sit beside the pond. For a couple of hours it was an escape from the claustrophobic reality. A working town cut off from the world by the sea on one side and polluting industry on all other sides. Hardly anyone went on holidays. It seemed like most adults would venture as far as the local chemical and steel plants to work, then it was back to the town to live. It did feel so claustrophobic. The only two escapes. The freshness of the beach and books in the library.

Fast forward far too many decades and it was like life repeating itself. Now miles from that old existence and a pandemic hit. Suddenly a picturesque village on a hill became isolated. Month after month of enforced isolation and it felt claustrophobic again. In the modern life there was thankfully a few more escape routes. One of which was again a library. This time quite a bit smaller and an awful lot redder than the old town library.

The village library

The converted old telephone box is the village community library. So a bit like when I was a child, excitedly checking out books to read, let’s see what books are in the library today. Sadly no goldfish to share the books with this time, it’s probably going to be with cows in the farmers field.

Spot anything you like ? Pleasingly the books I’ve donated on a few occasions are not there. Hopefully someone in the village is reading them as I write this.

I can’t begin to tell you just how great it felt during the lockdown to be able to walk a few yards to a little red library. To pick a book and have an adventure. Just like that little boy from that northern town, having an adventure in a library.

Proper weather

It’s been far too dry for Yorkshire. Coming back from the dog walk it was clear that was all about to change. The question would be, do we get back home in time.

No.

Proper weather.

I’m not sure that crazy old tree house would offer much protection these days. Must admit I can’t remember seeing anyone up there since I moved into the village. That’s two decades ago. WOW, two decades. Where did that time go. Anyway just a few pigeons and occasionally the farmer’s cockerel are the only life that makes it up there. The cockerel and hens are clearly very talented.

The farm birds now have branched out into money laundering, honey and eye products.

I could talk about school at home but I would only moan about a day spent revising executions and serial killers. So let’s focus on the farm birds. That’s an egg-cellent choice. Plus if I do moan anymore I run the risk of getting us egg-pelled..

Issues with Horses

Hawklad was playing online with his best friend so I had an afternoon to burn. Let’s go for a local walk.

I have issues with HORSES. Always have. Some say its because they like me for some reason but I know differently. The truth. They are after me.

As a child I once went to Africa to visit my sister. At one stage I was asked to stand next to a horse so my family could take a CINE film. Remember those…. As I stroked this particular fella, much laughter ensued. The horse literally ate my T-shirt. From then on the vendetta took hold. A few years later I was trying to get into a Football Stadium to see Newcastle get beat again. Stood in the queue chomping on a chocolate bar when a police horse stood on my foot. As I spun round in pain another police horse ate my Mars Bar……

The theme continued. I was walking on Dartmoor when a wild pony pinched my sandwich……

If only it was always that end. I was walking through a city centre to a meeting one afternoon when I came across a crowd. A new Betting Shop was opening and the famous Racehorse, Red Rum was the guest of honour. I found my self in a queue which I thought led to a free T-shirt but no, it was the queue to stand next to the great horse. I patted the huge horse with some trepidation and he repaid me by crapping on my shoe….

See they have issues with me. Maybe it’s because they know that I once voted for that horse loving movie, The Godfather as my favourite soundtrack ever. They know….

So on this particular grey Yorkshire afternoon I found myself walking across a field when over the hill a pack of ravenous beasts appeared. They came closer….

And came closer…

And closer….

And closer….

And sensing blood, even closer….

I was surrounded. I now knew what it felt like for Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum to be surrounded by a pack of blood thirsty Jurassic Raptors.

And remembering the best Jurassic Park survival strategy, I legged it. And when I got back home guess what. I had stood in horse poo….. See they have issues with me.

More gloves

The GIVE A FENCE A GLOVE push continues here in Yorkshire.

So much love to the fences. I’m reminded of a Beetles song

GLOVE IS ALL YOU NEED

As the Bank Holiday kicks in here, the roads are rammed full. The car parks are overflowing. But around our village, all is quiet. Hardly any traffic. Our walk today and we didn’t see another soul.

Quiet amongst the storm. So a few days of local walks, table tennis in the garden, lego. Maybe even croquet amongst the mole hills. That’s what Hawklad needs at present. A time will come when Hawklad has to face crowds but not yet, still too much anxiety. Progress has to be at a pace that suits him. I might wish for bigger adventures further afield but those can’t be now. Certainly not this weekend. So for a few days the adventures are amongst the GLOVES.

Tranquility

The sun setting over Yorkshire.

Very quiet, very peaceful.

Tranquility?

Hawklad wasn’t feeling the calm. A walk through the woods to get here had spooked him. An unexplained sudden noise. I heard it as well. Hard to explain but to me it sounded a bit like a cable vibrating. To me it was puzzling but to Hawklad it was extreme uncertainty. Could it be danger, could it be a threat. It spooked him. Then the anxiety kicked in. It was all he could think of. He was constantly seeking reassurance, endless scenarios playing out in his mind. His thoughts spiralling out of control to the point where he couldn’t think straight. We ended up taking a very long diverted route back to the car. Only hours later did the anxiety storm begin to abate.

When anxiety hits it can be truly debilitating. Even in a truly tranquil setting it can be only one sound away. One unexplained event away.

Anxiety is truly a constant battle for Hawklad.

Fantastic

The daffodils are still hanging on through the cold weather. It might look like the sun is beating down but it’s still most definitely THREE jumper weather.

The Easter School Break started this afternoon. Two weeks off for Hawklad and he is definitely ready for it. As he pointed out

Who would have thought Homeschooling would be such hard work 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Who would have also thought that a million years after leaving school (or was I kicked out, I can’t remember) I would be trying to explain COS, SIN and TAN functions even though a million years ago they made no sense to me at all.

Dad do they make any sense to you. You seem as confident with them as you are with LEFT and RIGHT.”

That’s no vote of confidence. After a million years I still can’t figure those two words out. It’s that bad that when I’m driving and someone is navigating LEFT and RIGHT are banned words. Instead I have two soft toys. A Bagpuss and a Mutley. Bagpuss goes on one side of the car dashboard, Mutley goes on the other side. Then the directions are turn to Mutley or turn to Bagpuss. It’s FOOL proof, well it works with this FOOL.

Now how can I use soft toys to explain trigonometry. But as it’s now the holidays that little conundrum can wait for two weeks. Two weeks without school being mentioned sounds fantastic.

Swiss Sunday

It’s early Sunday morning here in Yorkshire. I am currently enduring the annual torture of a very very very long night as Hawklad is sat watching Wrestlemania. Don’t you just love a good international time difference. It is due to finish here at 5am…… I can’t remember seeing that wrestling related task in the parenting contract. My tired mind has wandered from what is on TV to real adventures. Time for a bit of wonderful Switzerland.

I don’t know why but I remembered an old, long forgotten Swiss holiday memory. The night before I had over indulged in fondue and Swiss chocolate. Really over indulged. It would have been very impolite not to have. So I got up early the next morning and went for a lakeside run to burn off some calories. The further I went on the run the more people I ran past. Very very very polite people. Every single one of them said hello and asked how I was.

Gruezi. Wie geht es dir an diesem schonen Morgen

Every single one of them hearing my very wooden Swiss German reply immediately switched to almost perfect English. A run that would normally take 30 minutes, lasted well over an hour. Finally back outside the hotel, I was sat on the lake edge when another runner stopped to say hello.

Gruzei

Then we talked some more. I mentioned just how polite the Swiss were compared to the English and the runner told me that running was often hard because you did have to stop so many times to exchange pleasantries. The runner said that one day he tried something different. He went for what was intended to be an uninterrupted long swim in the lake. I said that was a really cool idea and with a smile the runner said ‘it didn’t work’. Apparently several early morning fishermen had rowed over to him while he was swimming to say hello to him and and ask how is swim was going.

I do love Switzerland . Can’t wait to get back for a visit. I would move there in a heartbeat.

All the photos today are from that lakeside running route. Wish I could run that right now.