It is fascinating watching places wake up, the hotel I stayed in does this slowly. The breakfast room was locked till 8 am so a few of us hung around the empty lobby pretending we weren’t waiting. Service at breakfast was interesting, a huge room and one waiter who took one order at a time, walked to the far end disappeared into the kitchen then walked the length of the room again to ask the next table if they were ready to order and so on . There were 4 of us all sitting at the far end, where he had seated us. Tea and toast was delivered in the same sequence followed by repeats of the routine with cooked food. Time and motions would have a fit!
I walked out of Cromer and on to Felbrigg Hall and through the National Trust grounds on Weavers Way.
The route led through fields and small villages, a helpful dog walker pointed out deer hiding in long grass and a birdwatchers showed me a heron camouflaged in reeds. There are just so many interesting things to see if only you have time and helpful folk. It is so easy to say hello, and stop for a brief chat when on foot, there just seems to be more space to do such things in the day.
I realise how lucky I am, I can plan my day and break my overall journey into chunks. I know where the start and finish will be each day and when the whole journey will end. This is much harder for parents of autistic children, the plan will have to be different and the overall journey can seem uncertain much of the time.
As professionals we break our involvement into chunks with clearly defined boundaries and conclusions, it makes us feel good, but this is not possible for parents. Their child’s development needs encouragement and support day on day over a lifetime, is the model we use as professionals effective?
So many thoughts today, in particular how a rethink of how we work is needed, someone has moved the cheese!
I walked through a second National Trust estate, what lovely loos they have and then onward towards Aylsham. I watched parents struggle to get their 2 children to wear sun hats, they put them on and the children swiftly threw them off. Explanations, reasoning, bribery and threats followed, the application of the whole parental toolkit. I thought of the struggles we often have to get children with autism to wear sun hats, we could start by obviously wearing one ourselves, invent games that involve the children putting hats on us as adults and swift tries for them, pictures showing hats on in the sunshine then off in the car or house. It is going to take time!
I continued walking, missing the way and ending up a mile off route so had to go back. By 6 o’clock I was begging to flag but knew I was on the last mile. I came across a young teenager sobbing under the railway bridge and stopped to talk. She was so upset after a row with her parents but she was sure she was safe and not frightened just needed to calm down before going home.. I left her calling a friend on her mobile for some more age appropriate moral support. Oh crikey it is so hard to see children crying and adolescence is such a confusing time.
I found my bed and breakfast and was welcomed by a huge black dog that leant against me. I didn’t mind that too much but when he started to lick my legs I was less keen! My room has a four poster bed in it, frame only, nearly screwed together at the critical joints and gently leaning overall on the central light fitting. The mattress has an interesting tilt with significant dips and lumps but I have eaten 2 packets of cornflakes with fresh chilled milk and life is good!