Dud car

I picked up a new car on Thursday. Cars are still very exciting to Archie, and this one has a proper handbrake (an a chunky one at that), so is particularly exciting.

By Saturday afternoon it had packed up. I’d driven out to Bigbury to surf in the morning. Had some trouble getting it going at Bigbury but luckily managed it on about the 15th attempt. Tried to go out again a few hours later and it wouldn’t start. Archie sat patiently next to me for ten minutes while I swore at the thing, pressed random buttons and flicked hopelessly through instruction manuals. RAC’s verdict is a dud starter, and after rolling it backwards down a hill for a hill start, the RAC man drove it back to the dealers. Where it remains.

I was very impressed by Archie. Six months ago a non-starting car would have led to him launching himself through the window in frustration. And a new car would have been a hundred times worse. After ten minutes of trying I suggested we switch to Dad’s car. This was met with no complaints, and Archie even waited patiently while I ran around the house hunting for keys.

Hopefully it’s progress rather than him hating the new car (I think I hate the new car…..).

Luckily we’d been surfing before the car died. Fab waves, they were huge. I surfed for about 45 minutes when the waves became even bigger with the dropping tide and so I decided to grab my camera. I  only had my phone on my, so the photos aren’t great, but they sum up the session.

Autumn greetings

burgh

Autumn has arrived in style since the above photo was taken last Saturday with rain, rain and more rain (my dad’s patch-up job has worked though, and the roof doesn’t seem to be leaking – hoorah). We’d headed for Bigbury for a surf; found a little swell and a dead whale floating off Burgh Island. The lifeguards had been called out to investigate because a member of the public thought it was an upturned boat. Whilst it is a good thing is wasn’t, the whale caused some interest. I hadn’t given much thought to dead whales before, but apparently they can cause a bit of a problem as there are no large shark-like scavengers (as there would be in say Australia) and the sea is cold so they can hang around for a while, until they sink.

Archie has taken a while to get back into routine. Partly I think because everything has changed. Joseph has changed schools and arrives home at a different time, Archie’s bus has changed time as well, and things aren’t quite the same. He has also gone down with the first heavy school cold of the season (luckily he got his surf in first). Archie refuses to admit he is poorly though, if asked he will cough and splutter ‘no’ whilst burning up. Being poorly means missing school so is rarely admitted to. Thinking about it that simple sentence ‘will cough and splutter ‘no’ tells it’s own tale. It wasn’t until Archie was about 9 or 10 that he even had a functional yes and no, and we couldn’t have had a conversation about poorlyness.

And now a request for help. The guys who took Archie surfing in Ireland; Alive Surf School, working with Autism Initiatives NI have put a bid in for funding for tandem boards. This would allow them to take people like Archie out surfing regularly. The boards are expensive (they borrowed one for Archie’s lesson). The public can vote for them by clicking on this link and choosing Autism Initiatives NI. A worthwhile cause, and if they get the boards I’m hoping Archie will get a ride on one next year.

Back to school

All the boys have now returned to school. We have been lucky; it’s been a great summer. Archie has been so chilled that, at times, he’s been almost horizontal. He only really became a little angsty during the last week of the holidays; he’d had enough and knew school was approaching.

At the end of August we managed to get some video of Archie surfing. The waves were perfect and as soon as I have caught up on my work backlog I’ll do something with the footage. For now, a little clip. This was taken by someone holding the camera surfing alongside Archie. It was fabulous to watch.