Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Captain Ridley's Shooting Party*

cold beer is importanter funny highway signpost advertDue to better weather, Jof cycled me into childminding this morning, a ten minute journey if you dawdle. But it took us 20 minutes because of my lack of attention -
"Turn left at the end of the road"
"Turn left at the end of the road"
"What road?"
"The road we're on"
And so forth. Of course, this is because Jof forgot to install V 3.2 of the Headslap Alertness Emulator, a windmill-shaped device that fits onto the side of the bike helmet. Powered by the rear wheel via a pulley system, it spins slowly administering endless spanks to the head of the sleeping child, keeping him alert.
For childminding we did restful games followed by violent games, girls against boys which was very unfair, 7-0 and 1 draw, when both goalposts collapsed. When picked up I had hurting leg syndrome from yesterday and dragged one foot behind me like a lightly fried Terminator going ow ow ow but he still made me do gymnastics.
Apparently I might have to adhere to the school-recommended bedtimes instead of grudgingly turning off my light at 10pm.
*'Captain Ridley's Shooting Party' was the cover story for the population of Bletchley Park Code-breaking centre before the hostilities of the 2nd World War broke out. The Autumn term begins tomorrow

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Ghost in the Vestibule

funny engrish sign fail cock boy Today was childcare day because nobody has as much holiday as me, apart from the Queen.
So we got there on time and he abandoned me in the church hall. The whole first section of the day was exercises, squat thrusts, starjumps, burpies, rolls, running up and down, all the usual stuff. At least it kept us busy.
Joining me today were Amy, Poppy C, Julian the Naughty and many others from schools and activities that I attend.
In the afternoon was "Free Play" where the leaders just let you get on with it so I made an extensive den using upturned chairs and crash mats and hid thereunder with some girls and made flame throwers in memory of dear departed Fireball from The Running Man.
Someone has offered some money for Nanna's house, but for me, it'll never be enough.
Portsmouth: St Luke's : Greetham Street Isambard Brunel Rd, Southsea, Hampshire, PO5 4LH
At going-home time, we noticed that the door to the adjacent church itself was ajar so we effected a quiet entry and investigated. The chap said the upper rafters above the organ were a known hiding place for a ghost but we don't do ghosts, we do back staircases and so when the chap had gone, we tried all the doors and I gave a brief but impassioned speech from the pulpit. I am just visible but my shirt matches the dangly tapestry things.
Sadly the organ loft and bellringer's cleft were locked.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

How is that even possible?

super long receipt from months shopping at tesco extra havantLazy day, being the last of the summer holidays. I wanted to go to the splashpark and kill people with my Spanish water guns but apathy took over and we played Hayday instead.
In 2 months I have my Kiddie Fun-run (1.5 km) so Jof took me jogging in the park and we went round a few times and invented a game where one person climbs the obstacle course in the swingpark and the other tries to knock them off with the football.
But I suppose the silliest thing of the day was the Tesco receipt from our shopping trip, 175 items, £317. Everything had run out at once and so we just bought everything: in addition Jof kept going off with a basket and buying things she thought Bud would have forgotten so we are OK for laundry liquids and potatoes, very strong on toothpaste and will next need to buy deodorant in February.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Tick, tick, tick, BOOM!

royal naval museum of naval firepower priddys hard gosportJof left for work, but I slept on. The safety operative came to inspect the gas meter, I did not see fit to wake up. I came to at 10.
This is the last free day of the hols for me so he said shall we do the Explosion museum, some biggish bike ride, or something else. I chose pootling about the charity shops of Southsea and throwing some rocks into the sea which basically means as little as possible that will detract from my time on Hayday on the tablet.
Because I had got the answer wrong, he presented the first 2 options for my re-consideration and hey presto, I chose both of them.
explosion museum of naval firepower gosportSo off we set on the same route we used for the Submarine museum just 2 days ago. Portsmouth Harbour was abuzz as usual with tall ships, ferries, touring boats, yachts, warships and freight vessels. A bloke my age drove a speedboat past us.
So having consulted the map at the ferryport we turned up Mumby Road, into the hilariously named Weevil Lane and over Forton Lake on the suspension bridge. Directly the other side are the low brick buildings of the Museum of Naval Firepower, most of which are abandoned.
explosion museum gosportThe whole area is surrounded by moats, walls and other fortifications and thumping great armoured brick buildings hidden in the undergrowth, it was once a city-fortress of its own back in the day.
Even outside the site there are cannons of all vintages hidden in the bushes with buddleia trees growing out of them. The museum shop looked promising so we got the ticket where you can return free within a year and went in.
nuclear weapon naval firepower museum priddys hard gosportNow, unless you've sampled the funny fungi growing on the lawns outside, you wouldn't normally expect to laugh in a museum. But, not kidding, we went from exhibit A to exhibit ZZ guffawing and chortling and going "I've got one of those" and it was hilarious.
Scattered throughout are helpful little interactive screens where you can ask some old bloke who used to work on the items in question who built them, what it was like to work on them etc. From them we got lots of titbits such as the 30kg projectile leaves the barrel of the gun at 1800 mph and flies 30 miles before totally destroying Southampton.
The area is full of projectiles bigger than me and I was in my element. If like us, you are an 8 year-old boy who likes his guns'n'bombs, visit this place.
museum of naval firepower now wedding venueWe didn't get to shoot any of the guns but there is a WW2 4 1/2 incher outside that they fire blanks from on special occasions. Each room is packed with rifles, pistols, gunpowder barrels, sea mines, depth charge throwers, torpedoes, rockets, submarine cannons, Bofors anti-aircraft guns, spears and swords, deck-mounted cannons, high-explosive shells, a 10-barrel Gatling, mortars, Howitzers, cut-away bombs, things you can play with and things you can't, Polaris missiles and some ICBMs.
I have been banging on about nuclear bombs since, like, forever, so it was nice to get my hands on some, I think they might have taken the fissile material out but who's counting. It was also nice to see an AK47, good for whenever you absolutely have to kill every mother/father in the room, apparently.
museum of naval firepowerCommonest were the 4 1/2 inch shells which are nice because we've got one in the dining room. The #1 Magazine is the brick-built behemoth where they stored all the nation's gunpowder/cordite/TNT etc and it has walls 10 feet thick and they were setting up for a wedding. It is the successor to the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth which is where Bud and Jof had their wedding.
In the end I bought a load of Lego-alikes and some chocolate for the PuddleMummies and we headed off on roads unknown. Fortunately, at least one of us has a sense of direction and soon enough we came out on Elson Lane which houses a swingpark we visited before going in Fort Brockhurst a couple of months ago, so we were on familiar territory.
museum of naval firepowerWe ate big lumps of meat in the Sailmakers Carvery next to the old railway and struck north hopefully to find old favourite Bridgemary Park. I commented that all the roads look the same, welcome to the infinite council sink estate that is Greater Gosport, he said.
However we did find many many blackberry bushes which you should always strip when you can, free food full of vitamins.
From there we simply hopped back onto Henry Cort Way (was old railway line, now bus and cycle route) and vectored down to Wooden Fort Park (Leesland) where I decided I really needed a poo. Crapping in the park may be frowned upon even in Gosport (unless you're a dog) so we continued to Morrisons by the high street, for when a man's gotta poo, he's well anyway.
This gave me further energy for the exercise park by the boating lake and we re-acquired the ferry and got home after 7 hours, 5 parks (1 new) and 13 and 3/4 miles in the saddle. Jof was having a nap so I got my tablet time after all, hoho. Film Night: Arnie S in 'Running Man'.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Boots on the Ground

tennis courts by skate park in milton park portsmouthOne of my last chances to be an official Lazy Bugger so I did that. I woke up at 1030 even though the lorries of the world had united outside my bedroom window for a rally and the Roadsweepers Of Pompey had their rival AGM: the pavement is as clean as a Japanese girl you could eat your dinner off.
I was offered another bite at the cherry bomb that is the Explosion Museum but turned it down, and even objected to having to slog the few hundred yards to the local post office. But we did buy bacon and black pudding and eggs so I see a decent breakfast on the drizzling horizon of my last free weekend.
Then we petered out into apathy and I played Minecraft while he catalogued his bullet collection, not kidding.
Finally we pumped up the little football and did kick-to-each-other in the park. There was a strong side wind so we elected to use the empty tennis courts instead, so we couldn't lose the ball. Problem is, I throw the ball up into the air in a pass-to-myself ready for the kick over the net - and it gets blown sideways and I wait for it to bounce too much and I end up having to retrieve my own lob. I always pull this face, do you?
This game went on forever and the most hits in a row we managed over the tennis net was 4. We both got tired feet but it did qualify as the kickabout exercise I demanded. Jof bought watermelon slices to share but I don't share.
Pops was out all day so I could only snap and crackle. BensMum hooted at me but it's not the same.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Exploding Myth Daisy

submarine museum haslar jetty road gosportI woke him up at 9, got sent away. And yes, I forgot to eat my breakfast so my rice pops got soggy, and I forgot to take the bowl out so the Minecraft tablet got taken away but by elevenish we had the repaired bike back and we were loading up to go across the Gosport Straits to the Royal Naval Explosion Museum.
Then Jof phoned and said O Yea, not only did my Uncle Ron die last night but the Estate Agents we spoke to yesterday had gone into Nanna's house to do the measuring of the rooms and the taking of the pictures, had opened the big slidey windows by the dining table and couldn't get them shut again.
This meant that unless we could get hold of the local handyman, we would have to drive for 4 hours back to her house just to close a stuck door. OK, so we could pick up some more furniture, but really, you don't need it.
royal naval submarine museum gosportSo we thought, Poldarks to this, let's go to the Explosion Museum anyway and if we still can't get hold of the Magic Handyman, we'll just have to lump it and drive back to the Glue Factory. Cycling into a stiff headwind, we met Mrs Pops and crossed the Bosphorus of Doom to the other side where I changed my mind at the last minute and said no, I can't be bothered to cycle a whole 1.2 miles to the Explosion Museum, let's do the Royal Naval Submarine Museum instead (0.6 miles).
Ignoring the no-cycling signs, we rolled south and met Pops and Baby Edward by the bridge and all agreed that we were looking forward to going back to school. The tickets for the Submarine Museum were £24, and there's only 2 of us, and only 1 of us pays attention. We pulled out our money while pulling faces and noted with interest that you can get in free again for up to a year, like the Royal Marines Museum.
royal naval submarine museum gosportWe checked out the diving suit and the conning tower and the railway tracks on the road and the giant propeller and the Navy's first submarine (1902) and went in it. It spent 69 years on the seabed outside Plymouth so was somewhat rusty but they play a video and you can bang your head on the stanchions for free. The shop next door was expensive. I quite like rugby shirts but not at £35, I don't, and I've already got a submarine hat that wasn't £12.
But we joined the tour of HMS Alliance which is a World War 2-era sub that has been totally renovated and we poked our noses in to the heads and the captain's wardroom and some of the bunk beds snore at you and the engines come on and make a racket and I couldn't move the periscope but I did twist a lot of levers and dials and you're not allowed in the conning tower.
naval submarine museum gosportAfter lunch (a sub roll, didn't see that one coming) we looked in the upstairs bit and found the German Iron Cross medal like the one we have and the models of subs through the ages and the periscopes that stick out of the top of the building so you can see the ferries coming into Portsmouth Harbour. Many of the display cabinets had plastic cockroaches in, in the same way as the ones in Dover Castle have plastic rats.
We grudgingly bought a polo shirt and some genuine submarine clotted cream fudge for the PuddleMummies. There was still a biting headwind on our cycle home, because the wind can blow 2 ways at once in Pompey, and Jof had left a message to say the Estate Agent had fixed the door and you don't have to drive to bleedin' Eastbourne and back today.
After a quick go in the park, we met Pops who invited me for dinner and we bounced on her trampoline in the back garden and shot her bow and 1 remaining arrow at the conservatory window actually while bouncing, and bounced on each other for ages, mm.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Killing a cow by throwing eggs at it

minigolf royal parade eastbourneWoke up of my own accord and accepted yogurt and fruit and the chance to play more Minecraft.
Nanna's house is being stripped before my very eyes, if I was bothered to raise them from the Minecraft tablet, it's certainly a lot emptier than before.
The local estate agent came round to say yes, he could sell the place easily enough and he went away happy. So we loaded up the poor old car and totally buried a different charity in oodles of neatly boxed donations, it's like a hobby for us to kill with kindness.
Once Bud had cut down the prickle-bush from the front garden and I'd raked up all the brambles and hedge trimmings from the back, there was enough to make a 3rd load to take to the tip so we bombed down the familiar country roads with their ups and South Downs and managed to get away with only a short speech about suffocating council regulations from the hi-vis dour DumpMaster.
treasure island pirate adventure golf eastbourneThen we took the little personal alarm thingy (that you wear round your neck and press if you fall down and can't get up again) that Nanna never used (I can think of a few PuddleDaddies that could use one after a beer festival) back to the suppliers and I got my promised game of Mini-golf.
Treasure Island is a little complex on Eastbourne seafront with a soft-play area inside, a burger bar, hoity-toity beach front restaurant, outside adventure playground with splashpools and a Pirate Adventure Golf course. I'd already done the rest of it so today we golfed, sandwiched between a family where the mother always got maximum 8 shots due to being rubbish and a family of 5 year-old boys who kept running onto our playing surface when we were still putting.
cycle game that goes round if you pedal princes playpark eastbourneBut the course itself is fab, 18 holes and very long, some of them, with barrel obstacles, alligators and water features, the course loops back over itself twice and there are overhead gantries and tunnels and nets and one of the underground bits had a speaker in it with a looped tape of sea shanties going hooray and up she rises bottle of rum give the dog a bone etc forever.
In 'Prince's Park' nearby, we found many swans and a 3-seat bicycle thing which goes round if you pedal. Even I'm a bit big for it but once I had 2 girlie co-riders Bud span it backwards and we all screamed and pedalled madly and I got tired feet so we rushed back to fill up the car yet again with stuff we're actually keeping and drove home and I babbled to Jof for ages. Killing a cow by throwing eggs at it is something you can do in Minecraft, I guess it sounds strange if you don't play.
My Zimbio
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