Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Detention Cordiale

grocers apostrophe on official signpost failThe Head-Teacher called a pressing conference with us all today. Shortly, us Year Sixes will all be going up to Secondary School, because we don't have the keep-you-back-a-year option that they have in other countries. But, he said, our behaviour is so appalling that were we to be in that school now, we would all be in Detention every day. Thus, he has elected to start training us to be better people by detaining us now. Apparently the secondary school I have chosen (but not yet been accepted for) is really strict and you regularly get an hours' Detention after school writing lines.
So, we have a new regime (Year 6 only, may be rolled out to other Year Groups depending on success rate) with the old Yellow Card/Red Card system. A minor transgression such as tardiness or laziness will earn you a Yellow, two Yellows or a gross misconduct such as shouting at a teacher will earn you a Red.
invasion overworld confronting dragon battle nether gameknight999A Red will get you a missed lunch break where you have to sit with a teacher in silence and eat but not play. Three Reds in a fortnight gets you a parental phone call and two [3 Reds-in-a-fortnight] gets you a Saturday in Detention. At home, my current owners have mixed views about discipline, one favours 'talking about it' and 'negotiation', while the other is Bring Back The Cane. Both may be mildly pleased by this new, if complicated, detention system, stricter than it was before. About 6 members of my class already have Yellows.
And the Head-Teacher says we can pop back next year and visit if we miss the old Alma Mater.
Anyway, last Saturday I bought some Minecraft Fan-Fiction books which I look forward to reading. But to my dismay, they were books 2 and 3 of the series so nice kind Jof got on Amazon and bought me #1, Invasion of the Overworld. Let the Crafting begin!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

An Uncommon Endorsement

birdshit looks like bird winLego has made a complete circuit. Originally, it was the gift that you keep being given. For actual years it was pretty well the only thing on my list of evil desires and very easy it was for Santa, too.
flick drummond letter from house of commonsBud used to get me random mini-figures from Tesco and Jof used to get me little motorbike sets and occasionally there'd be a bag of random bits in a charity shop and every xmas and birthday I'd save up all my money and buy a Lego electric train or a Millennium Falcon or Titanic or whatever, and spend hours building it, and nobody had to give me complicated presents, just oodles of money.
But now Lego is the gift that keeps on giving, because following our victory in the Regionals, our Honourable Member of Parliament has sent us a special missive by special messenger to congratulate us personally, paying special attention to our ages, as we are significantly younger than the opposition. It's the first time I've got a letter on House of Commons headed notepaper, apart from the time the Select Committee thanked me for saving the world. And that thing from the Queen doesn't count.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Marche! Mallow

dementia alzheimers disease forgetfulnessFirst up: this is a plastic bag that Jof found on a park bench, where someone had got up and forgotten to take it with them. How ironic, of all the old bags linked to forgetfulness.
Anyway, school was normal but with an added piquant flavour of Lego. Winning the Regional finals was all very well but now that we're on to the Nationals, we're up against the big boys and have to raise our game. Looking at the winning scores from all the other Regionals, our 88 is definitely in the upper top half but does not compare to the winning 160. We set to work adding mini-missions to our existing circuits. Paige was the programmer and I, as Chief Prototype Design Engineer, built a new tool to manipulate point-scoring materials and try to get us in the top 10 finalists.
scouting activity making plane models
And I also found that my walking-to-school friend did not know what a facepalm is, and that Sham has the same coat as me. I wore my new coat in today and it is my marshmallow coat, big and puffy and a stalwart defender against all weathers. We are the Marshmallow Brothers.
In Scouts we did a quiz about countries and flags and the Scout Leader was surprised that only one person knew about the Manneken Pis statue in Brussels. Then we started some Airfix models of warplanes: I got the Douglas Skyhawk and cut my finger on the knife, and had to go in the accident book. We were using glue and every boy sniffs but that's as far as it went.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Sugar Coated Micebergs

sainsburys farlington in store cafeWell, we all got the sleep we needed and I got up at 1030. I had already voted to buy myself a new warm raincoat at the supermarket instead of at Marks and Spencers' yesterday, partly because I get on so well with their in-store café where I now order my own breakfast. In the car park there is a new signpost which reads your car numberplate as you go in and flashes it up on the screen to tell you that you're being watched. I like it because I can see my name up in lights.
We found the coat section in amongst the 17 sections devoted to womenswear and I said it's because women wear so many more clothes than us chaps. There was a choice of coats, one for 7-8 years and one for 13-14, and as this new garment has to go over my school jumper, the outsize one was chosen as I can grow into it. It's very big and warm and padded with a hood so I won't get a wet neck like last Thursday. After macaroni and cheese with garlic bread, I helped at the checkout and the till lady remembered me from when I was a little person sitting in the trolley. The rest of the day was my own and I filled it with Youtube and Minecraft, as is my way.

Saturday, 14 January 2017


After my busy day yesterday and the fact that I was slightly under the weather and didn't even finish my pasta, I was looking forward to an easy day. Spoke to Grandad who determined that I could guess the compass direction to both Bristol and London. And I used a new Minecraft Mod in the Tinkers Construct stable called stickyweed or muddyfoot or something where you can jump around, and loved the way you can enchant a frying pan and give it, like, 1 million attack damage.
But we had to do the bottlebank walk and found that local T-shirt printers "Vintage Pig" could laminate my newspaper article from yesterday for £1.80, still more expensive than doing it at Bud's work, but that was then, this is now.
waterstones books commercial road portsmouthThen I went to acting. I was full of trepidation about a new group with new people at a higher level, possibly with no silliness whatsoever. The group was missing some people but it was 5 girls and me, gotta love those odds. This group is 11 - 14 so while at the moment the girls are just other people in my class, it may not always be that way. We acted out some scenes from The Wind in the Willocks and I played Moleman and a weasel but we don't audition properly until next week so we were just generic animals. It was the best lesson I've had all year, and my trepidation has gone. Another change is that we no longer have to say 'Oh Poo, dearie me, I must have got that wrong', we can say 'Well F**k that for a c**ting laugh you cockwombles' and it's just part of the lesson. Later we walked into town and I got 2 more Minecraft Fan-Fiction novelettes because the last ones were funny.
Even later I did my spelling homework and Mr Stupid-Head destroyed my efforts with such Angus Deayton-esque acid that I hiccupped and burped and nearly vomited with laughter. And I Minecrafted to the heady tunes of Dinosaurs of Rock II on Youtube, meanwhile Ben was the Pompey Mascot of the Day and got his picture taken with the team for his 11th birthday, why can't I have decent stuff for mine.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Gardening. Not an Uphill Struggle

duck sliding on ice lake pondSometimes the waiting is the worst part, and I'm not talking Silver Service here. Over the holidays I was told to choose an after-school club to fill at least some of my afternoons with something other than Minecraft and racy Youtube videos, having given up swimming, extra-swimming and gymnastics. So I chose gardening, not only because it was the least ominous of the choices, which ranged from drama (do it already) to street dance (sounds dangerous), cheerleading (do not even) to football (no thanks). The other reasons were that I quite like gardens, having been brought up in a nice one, and that they have been using the same old stock photo on the gardening website for years and I reckon I could be the new face of horticulture, and get my image on a website, for that rarely happens, mm.
meon junior school bee hotel projectAnd after school we started the first lesson in which we planned papier mache bird feeders with lollipop sticks for the customers to perch on and Pringles tubes as the seed hoppers and it was quite fun actually. So here is an unrelated group picture from last year when we made bee hotels with the gardening teacher.
Incidentally, my crush revealed that she liked me all last year because I wasn't a common or garden rowdy shouter who only cared about football. That makes me the thinking crumpet's man, methinks. In school, we used to have a lesson called Team-Breaking. It was supposed to be Team-Building but we always ended up arguing more than at any other time so we re-branded it. This has now finished, to be replaced by Boy-Friendly Dancing. Now, funnily enough, all the girls were bang into it and pranced around merrily (handbags not included) and all us chaps stood moodily around at the peripheries trying not to make eye contact and failing entirely to join in. It can't get any worse than this, surely?
boy gets his name in the paperschool lego robot newspaper articleAnyhoo, when Bud got home he mentioned that he'd been buying the paper all week, waiting for me to be in it. And Holy Poodles, was I in it today. Our rampant team victory last Friday at the Lego Robot competition did not go unnoticed by our local news distributor who did us proud with a 2/3 page with 3 pictures, all our names and descriptions of how we bravely battled against much older kids to lift the trophy. And, just like when I have had such a busy day it's a delight to write my blog-post, the editor of the paper himself did an editorial saying how nice it was to be able to report on young people doing splendid things, and not about some bunch of chavs getting drunk and breaking bus stop windows again. I immediately texted all my Lego team-mates to tell them to buy the paper.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

A Snortle of the White Stuff

bedroom sales sign failGot my order form at school for the next round of the Lego League. It's in Bristol, so a challenging distance, although parents are allowed to help transport kiddies to offset the cost of the private helicopters we'll need.
During Extra-Maths, I had to run to the toilet across the playground because you're not allowed through the classrooms. Then, immediately upon my return, they said can you go and get the SATs question papers from the office, which meant another diagonal scuttle across the asphalt. Because it was hissing it down, the 2 return journeys were enough to soak me through.
After school I took Sham home and we ran because it was raining and I didn't have a hood on my coat so we got soaked again. But the perplexing thing about the precipitation was its relative solidity. At last! Snow!
snowflakes at nightWe haven't seen proper snow since the Week of Ice in January 2010 when our car door froze open and all work was cancelled apart from mine, because the PuddleDuck Day Nursery was still open. Ah, good times, although some of them were a bit cold and we didn't have enough gloves to go round.
Sham and I ate all the chocolate but ignored the grapes, and watched a Youtube video about films where the good guys killed more than the bad guys. Rambo did well in some of his outings, as did John McClane in his. Arnie killed many a rent-a-soldier in Commando and I've heard of Deadpool but not the rest. All good fun.
Speaking of killing, I wonder if all that blowing one's own Trumpet might not be good for a newly arrived politician. And will he end up being killed by his own security detail, like JFK?