Wednesday, 30 July 2014

This Island Nation

rustic terracotta tiles bespoke wooden kitchen unitsoffered colonic irrigation as gesture of goodwill funny fail local newspaper articleAwoke in this other Eden, this sceptred isle, and sat upon the royal throne of kings, aha.
Last night, as a member of the happy breed of men, I helped Jof by mopping the kitchen floor in preparation for our new kitchen island.
loombanding in corner of roomOur kitchen already has rustic terracotta tiles and a rustic booze cupboard straight from the charity shop, and this rustic Marseille distressed island will really rack up the rusticness (rusticity?) In fact, all we need now is a hand-made craft scarecrow sitting in a corner drinking scrumpy and we'll be set.
portsmouth watersports centre learn to sail courseBriefly, I entertained Poppy with loom-bands and then we played Huskies which is running around the house with a lot of grappling, and Husky Hide'n'seek which is finding Lego Huskies. Also we played "it" with my plastic hand grenade. Anywhere Jof wanted to sit in peace, we disturbed it.
Now, you can't live on this precious stone set in the silver sea without going sailing, so I met up with some other Jolly Jack Tars (and Jill Tars) at the sailing club for some more mirth on the ocean wave.
Answering the call of nature this time were the JBs, and Oscar. I was placed with Bob and Oscar, Johnny was with a girl.
portsmouth watersports centre RIB safety vessel rescuing stricken sailors
Johnny went in 4 times, but 2 of those he jumped. We capsized but once we'd been righted, Bob refused to get back in the boat with us and got a transfer to a shore position. Oscar and I continued and only capsized a further 3 times, our stricken vessel being righted for us by the nice instructor in the safety RIB. It was super-mega low tide and there was only a little ribbon of water deep enough for our keels and we did run aground for one of our capsizes, then we had to stay back at the kiddie end doing circuits and bumps while everyone else went down the lake and had a race. I was second out of the changing room this time, proves I can do it.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Don't look back in Hunger

nothing to do here funny fail bored childTraditionally I am a neophobe when it comes to food. Many's the time I've shouted out "Don' like it!" when I see something new on my plate. About the most adventurous thing in my diet is 'White Crisps' (prawn crackers). I could never eat olives like Ben, or bits of raw red pepper like Bob. Curries are something with a minimum age limit of 25, and don't even talk to me about chilli sauce.
A standard reply is "That's not what I expected", to anything of startling exotic novelty such as a square Pizza, I also require a foot massage and defibrillation afterwards. It is entirely possible I will lose weight on any foreign holiday, (even one to America) unless I discover the local Chicken McNiblet'n'chips Emporium. Perhaps the motto of the holiday should be don't look back in hunger.
Yesterday I was given 2 new Lego Star Wars models as part of a standard shut-up-and-endure-shopping bribe. I was supposed to make them last through the week, but predictably, I snuck upstairs after supper and built this wondrous device, the Poor Droid's version of the X-Wing fighter.
501st legion clone trooper clone pilot pong krell lego star wars mini figuresIt has 2 clone pilot droid trooper types and a giant undercarriage shooter-bomb and a brown chap called Pong Krell with 4 arms who vaguely resembles a pitcher plant.
Today we didn't do much. I was on a promise to visit the adventure playground again so met Paige from my class and had a picnic on a road verge during the lunch hour. I spent the whole afternoon in the sandpit with Layton, Lulabelle and George and we had to wear hats. We designed a way to make sand turds and cooked turd cookies and Kolaches and Strudels and Knödels.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Chief Design Engineer of the SexBot 3000

At one o'clock this morning, I was bored of not being able to get to sleep so I asked Bud and he said why not read for 10 minutes. Then Jof came upstairs and it looked like I'd been reading for 3 hours.
Recently I have - like many others of my age - been considering what job to take when I grow up. I like Arnold Schwarzeneggers' approach - simply have big muscles and the job offers flood in, no effort made. And surely those nice tattooed 'Greeters' at the pub door on match days get well paid? But if all that fails I can simply invent the SexBot 3000 for the Japanese market.
lego star wars set with 3 minifigures neimoidian warrior battle droid Jof had one of those riveting appointments called Applying to the Court of Protection for Power of Attorney which is not a special power at all, I just had to sit in the office for ages. Luckily for me, Jof foresaw moaning and had bought me a big complicated Lego Star Wars X-wing fighter thingy. Unluckily, it was just too big and I had to sit there legoless anyway. Luckily, she bought me another one to make up for it. This is how the best collections are made - by bribery and missed opportunity. The 75041 Vulture Droid has a droid-controlled craft with opposable winglets and red shooters and 3 figurines, one of which is a little Bot with a buzz-saw for cutting through the hull of enemy units and severing their control circuits to render them inoperable. The green reptilian bloke (Neimoidian Warrior) seems to have a musket and the pilot Battle Droid fits within on a little articulating manifold. The SexBot 3000 will articulate in 3 dimensions, but won't be as pointy.
Now I practice my guitar with an additional voluntary song. They are mostly about friendship and how the world stops turning when we are apart.
Then we watched Dumbo and Monsters University, as you do. Jof is busy with suitcases.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Southsea No-Show

swinging chair ride clarence pier funfair southsea castle fieldSadly Jof had to leave us again to go and see Nanna. She had driven to the big roundabout when she realised she'd forgotten the door keys and came back home and decided to stay, why not.
So we got a bonus Jof: we celebrated by sitting quietly in 3 different rooms doing our own thing.
Now a couple of days ago we'd seen many large tents and marquees down on Castle Field, which is a very large open space right on the seafront and very good for large parties like the D-Day commemorations, Welcome the Olympic Torch party, Kite Festivals and the like. So we just knew this lot was for the Southsea Show and decided to cycle down and join in the fun.
Jof helpfully pointed out (just as we were on our bikes with the gate open) that the pamphlet says the Southsea Show is next week but we are nothing if not hopeful so went anyway.
treasure island crazy golf with ropes and anchorAmazingly, she was right and the many tents are empty. So I said I'll do Pirate Pete's then. Pirate Pete's is an indoor soft play venue I have been to many times, in fact it's ideally suited to the under sevens but you're never too old to throw ball-pit balls at each other on the bouncy castle and chase each other around sweating like roasting piglets in the increasingly malodorous room handily sited right next to a Wimpy.
For some reason some 5 year-olds started beating Bud up and after my allotted hour we had a go in the swingpark opposite. I wanted to play Pirate Mini-golf, he said OK then, I'll do your thing if you do mine.
His turned out to be the swinging chair things that go right up into the sky on a big yellow tower. I was not sure. But I passed the height test if not the IQ test and we were strapped in by a strapping wench and we ascended skyward and were buffeted by summer breezes at 41,000 feet and guess which one of us loved it and which one was scared out of his panties.
 In the top picture you can see some of the giant tents on the common, there's more behind the big one and some lorries with folded tents are waiting in the wings.
So I got my promised Pirate Golf and we did the 'other' trail that I don't usually do, and I beat him by 3 shots, a first for my species.
Then Jof and I got the quiet time we needed to buy chickens, grow cherry trees and sell woollens in Haymaker.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

On the wrong side of the tracks - again

stokes bay seafront defences fortification battery #2 Jof had one thing to do today - a hairdressers' appointment at 1030. Waking up ten minutes beforehand, she showered, dressed and got there on time, let that be a lesson to people like me who are always last out of the changing room. We took her a sandwich for breakfast.
Then we left the planet again. I'd only just been to Stokes Bay but I really wanted to go back so we used the Gosport Ferry, cycled right past JoniBobsDads' workplace and reached the diving museum in the old Number 2 Battery. It used to have three 9" guns as part of the Portsmouth Harbour defences and all that's gone now but the diving museum has all sorts of scuba models, masks, diving bells, nooks and crannies and a whole load of extra gunpowder tunnels (that the man didn't let me go down) from when it was converted into a nuclear bunker.
crazy mini golf course stokes bay seafrontThey also have 11 little plastic divers hidden around the building as part of a challenge for kids and I found them all - and won a sweetie, FML.
From there it was but a short hop to the minigolf. 'Solent Springs' 12 hole adventure golf course was well-maintained and tranquil with waterfalls and decent shrubberies and some dead boats etc. But some of the holes were very unfair and I got 'Maximum 6' several times and lost my ball in the lake right at the end.
Then I did splashparking with the water pistol I'd forced him to carry the whole time and I shot random adults and everybody else.
derelict castle fort gilkicker conversion to luxury apartmentsI ate most of my cheesy jacket potato in the same café I ate in 2 days ago, and refuelled, we headed out across some paths that are even bumpier than Ben's, to Fort Gilkicker, where we climbed up and found the hole in the fence and looked in the pill-box where the teenagers have their cider and kissing parties, 'cos we found all the empty wrappers.
children on wooden garden bench pulling facesThis strangely named fort has been abandoned like the rest but has now been bought by a developer and will be converted into historical luxury apartments. We also found the one nice area of Gosport with a row of houses that looked like the Royal Crescent in Bath.
garden party for kids with ice cream and swimming poolVery tired, we ferried home and Jof phoned to say we'd been invited to the JBs for a random BBQ. Hurrah!
Erin and the JBs and I played in the pool for ages and did silly run-ups and gave each other points out of 10 and a football destroyed the adults' red wine and we had pasta and they called me the pasta-hoover and there was ice cream in the swimming pool which is when the other glass of wine was destroyed and we sat on Erin and were supposed to watch 'Top Gun' but actually we watched Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Through the Looking-Glass, Darkly

specsavers opticians commercial road portsmouthI like days off. Jof got me breakfast and I had no further distractions from Haymaker until 10am.
We actually had one appointment - an eye test for Bud. I watched the various ocular technicians doing their stuff, one machine's only job is to blow puffs of air into the eye. Wonder what it's called. But then he said read that sign on the wall, and I couldn't, so I've been booked in to have an eye test! I know Ben wants to wear glasses, perhaps they'll make me look all academic and distinguished.
Then I met the ever-smiling Poppy C in MacDingles, where I drowned Chicken McMorsels in little paper origami pots of ketchup.
landport adventure playground sandpit arundel st portsmouthThe Landport Adventure Playground was open but empty, so I commandeered the sand pit until it closed on me, ouch. Got a promise to return after the lunch hour.
I helped put the laundry out and we cycled back to the sandpit playground in the rain. I climbed on all the new frames, rope bridges, tree-houses etc and gave my seal of approval. Then Bud started trying to kill me with a red blow-up kids ball (apparently called ball tag) and gradually a dozen or so joined in (apart from the lone fat kid who sat in the tepee hooting to himself) which left the sandpit free so I dug holes and did some civil engineering with bits of gutter and drainpipe, while the game of ball tag I'd instigated went on around me.
We took advantage of Jof actually being with us at a weekend and had Film Night "Bill and Ted's Bogus Adventure" during which I gave my usual loud commentary with loud questions about the things I'd missed due to giving the loud commentary ... sound familiar?
You may be a king or a little street sweeper, but sooner or later you dance with the Reaper (don't fear him).

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Water, Water, can't move for the stuff

canadian d-day embarcation beachI had been told not to bother getting up early today, even though beer was not involved last night.
I did my best but due to high nocturnal temperatures, I had left one of my windows slightly open and passing builders with their squeaky wheelbarrows and the guys delivering the skip to outside our house clearly don't believe in the first day of the summer holidays.
So we were ready to go by ten something and drove to Stokes Bay. Why, O why, I hear you cry ... It has a new-ish splashpark, on their version of the seafront and very near where we metal-detected a couple of weeks ago.
It was very busy. The first day of the rest of the summer had started for everyone and the 30 on the thermometer was the trigger for an all-out assault.
And it was all-out indeed for the larger ladies and their straining swimsuits. The waterslide was coned off because the lubricating squirters were not switched on. As leader, I started to slide down it anyway, pushing the cones aside. The world followed and eventually the parks officials switched it on and we never looked back.
kids lining up for a go on the waterslide first day of the summer holidaysWe had to eat at some point: the adjacent "Pebbles" wine and fish bar provided fish'n'chips and a Crawfish and prawn salad that rivals Jayne's Salad at the 10th hole, a point worth remembering for any intrepid travellers looking for saucy sustenance the wrong side of the creek.
southsea splash park by D-Day museumOnce I'd thrown a few rocks into the sea, there was only one thing for it: more splashparkery. After a while the car park ticket ran out so we came home: I demanded retribution in the only way I knew how: to cycle to unexpected surprise venue "Southsea Splashpark" where I slyly inviegled myself into a group of like minded kids by attacking them with my double-blaster water pistol.
I was immediately accepted into the constantly evolving group as 'Enemy' and I had another 2 hours of watery fun. What a start to the holidays: what a lot of solar-generated Vitamin D. Yes, I wore the same trunks all day and never actually got dressed at all. After my shower (10 pm) I was a bit red in exposed places and made enough of it to get an all-over body massage from Jof. What is this thing called 'Sun Cream?'
My Zimbio
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