Simple Search for blog with child items

I am trying to set up a blog and portfolio page with multiple child items that i can search within each section. but i am having an issue that when i enable simple search and add route to the page header all of the content disappears.

so i have set up a blog page with child items within the main file i have included

    items: '@self.children'
    limit: 6
        by: date
        dir: desc
    pagination: true
    url_taxonomy_filters: true
    route: /blog
        - @self
        - @taxonomy: [tag]
    filter_combinator: and

and then in the blog.html.twig file i have added

{% include 'partials/simplesearch_searchbox.html.twig' %}

the plugin is enabled so i was hoping things would work, but when i load the page
i can only see the search box and none of the blog posts are displayed.

if i search for something it does display a results page from only the blog section, which i want.

if i remove the route: /blog in the header, all of my blog posts return and if i search, it searches the whole site.

i am wondering if when adding route: /blog to the header it is using the simplesearch_results.html.twig template and it overwrites my {% block content %} tag as when i look at the code it only has the search bar content

html of page

<article class="magic-content prose md:prose-md max-w-none">
     <div class="content-padding simplesearch">
        <h1 class="search-header">Search Results</h1>
        <div class="center">
            <div class="search-wrapper relative" x-data="simpleSearchData({ query: '', autocomplete: 0, url: '/news.json/query', separator: ':' })">
                 <form name="search" action="/news" data-simplesearch-form="">
                     <input x-ref="query" x-model="query" @focus="search($event, $dispatch)" @input="search($event, $dispatch)" name="query" class="search-input" type="text" min="3" required="" placeholder="Search …" value="" data-search-invalid="Please add at least 3 characters">


{% block content %}
    <div class="content-padding simplesearch">
        <h1 class="search-header">{{ "PLUGIN_SIMPLESEARCH.SEARCH_RESULTS"|t }}</h1>
        <div class="center">
            {% include 'partials/simplesearch_searchbox.html.twig' %}
            {% if query %}
                {% set count = search_results ? search_results.count : 0 %}
                {% if count is same as( 1 ) %}
                    {{ "PLUGIN_SIMPLESEARCH.SEARCH_RESULTS_SUMMARY_SINGULAR"|t(query|e)|raw }}
                {% else %}
                    {{ "PLUGIN_SIMPLESEARCH.SEARCH_RESULTS_SUMMARY_PLURAL"|t(query|e, count)|raw }}
                {% endif %}
            {% endif %}
        {% for page in search_results %}
            {% include 'partials/simplesearch_item.html.twig' with {'page': page} %}
        {% endfor %}
{% endblock %}

part of my portfolio twig file

{% embed 'partials/base.html.twig' %}
{% set show_breadcrumbs = theme_var('show_breadcrumbs', true)|e %}
{% set collection = page.collection() %}

  {% block content %}
    {{ page.content }}
    {% include 'partials/simplesearch_searchbox.html.twig' %}
    {% include 'partials/taxonomyfilter.html.twig' with {'base_url':portfolio, 'taxonomy':'tag'} %}

    <section class="mt-16" id="portfolio">
      <div >
        <div class="grid grid-cols-1 gap-16 lg:grid-cols-3 md:grid-cols-3 sm:grid-cols-2 portfolio-main-posts">
          {% for child in collection %}
            {% include 'partials/portfolio_item.html.twig' with {'blog': page, 'page': child, 'truncate': true} %}
          {% endfor %}

so am i doing something wrong or is there something i can change to display all results?

if i delete/comment out the following from simplesearch.php line 120

        if (!isset($page->header()->template)) {
            //$template_override = $this->config->get('plugins.simplesearch.template', 'simplesearch_results');

and make sure my page has

{% set collection = search_results ?: page.collection() %}

the items will display when no query is present, I am not sure of the knock-on effect of this so further testing is needed.