Saturday, 30 April 2011

Carnage at Mungle Manor - again!

threats and ransom demands blood on the knife bladeDawn broke over a scene of carnage today: but we didn't see that as we didn't get up till 9. Once I'd eaten it was time for gymnastics so Jof took me while Bud stayed home to do hoovering. Here is a selection of drawings and similar penmanship (3 warships by Johnny) with a worrying tendency towards separation of the sexes - perhaps when I start my cult it'll be in middle eastern style.
O there were so many dribbly candles, dead balloons, party poppers and flags to retrieve. We'd found the hard-boiled eggs that Jof had done for us to decorate so we disembowelled them and trod them into the carpets: in retaliation, while were were doing that, the adults consumed 46 beers, 7 wines and various Pimms'n'vodka sangrias.
When I'd finished gym, Jof took me shopping to buy me the thing I wanted most: a car-lifter lorry (tow truck) and we found one in toys'r'us (now with bin lorry and wheelie bin free!). I was just investigating its many functions when Pops came round so we played trucks on the pavement until Bud had swept the garden clean for us but as Jof wanted some shut-eye (at 4 in the afternoon??) we just went round to Pops house for play and tea while Bud struggled to carry 44 bottles to the bottlebank and washed up again. Joy all round. Soon she may even get a rabbit to go in her new rabbit hutch.

99 dead balloons - deflated on a stick

Friday, 29 April 2011

Wedding party day

televised royal wedding
terminator with plastic gunPrepared for the party by playing with an electric truck in my room and moving wood down to the bonfire. When I grow up I want to marry Poppy, yesterday Ben said he wants to marry Erin so all's well. If either of them turn out to be real princesses, we can be kings!
serenade for guitarAfter a quiet spell when we thought nobody was coming, the Puddlers and Piddlers all arrived and we began. The bunting was up, flags were unfurled and there were candles everywhere.
wave your patriotic flags kids in tomato cageJohnny brought his aircraft carrier in his rucksack so we played ships and cars, Erin and Ben had a swordfight, and we generally milled around while the adults had beer.
sangria jugs my what splendid jugs you have
pinata busters little girl with aggressive attitudeThe pinata was a success and we all had 2 whacks before it split and we loaded up with sweeties. Then Bensdad was the Easter bunny and he'd hidden eggs all round the garden for us to find. We waved our flags and made up traffic games and bounced around being noisy.
easter egg hunt winnerorange guitaristWe started to watch a DVD but the boys formed a breakaway group that did sticking and colouring: Erin sang Ben and Bobert to sleep and a lot of shirts were removed as usual.
relaxed ice cream eater slumped in garden chair
Later there were fireworks and sparklers, and the bonfire was on all night. After Erin and Pops went home the heavens opened in a sudden monsoon of epic, comic and cosmic proportions: we all ran inside to dance in the kitchen until it stopped. The fire didn't stop. sparkler and england flag on wall
party confusion small child in blue chairThe last people went at about 1130, we took a quick look at the carnage, took a quick vote and decided to clear up tomorrow. A round of applause for us kids who got through the 7 hour session with barely any moaning.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Standing on the Shoulders of Gnats

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imprisoning the girl in wooden rabbit cage
Right. I'm off to the pub. Don't go anywhere
Pops arrived as we got home and her car was full of stuff including a rabbit hutch, as you do. So Bud carried it (and Baby Edward Bear-hemoth) through to the back garden and we started to play. The rabbit hutch was perfect for our games of "I'm the dominant dog, you're the submissive kitten" so I locked her in the hutch. Then it was football time where I met Ben and the JoniBobs (and ginger Lenny from the pub) and that went swimmingly. Bud and Bensmum had cream tea in the sun (very genteel) including Rodders clotted cream which is supposed to be the best - Bensmum is from Cornwall and she knows all about clotted cream.
entrance labelling fail
arts cafe bransbury park portsmouth

While we were playing one of the kids tripped over while drinking out of his juice bottle, smacked against the fence and knocked one of his teeth out, poor chap. There was a certain amount of howling and JoniBobsDad picked up the missing tooth and returned it to him. The nice people phoned his mum who took him away to the dentist. Lesson learned for drinking and walking at the same time, let's hope all the Puddleduckians take heed.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Head full of camels

victorious mice climbing on stupid cat
Just can't get back into it for these 3 days between holiday periods.
Jof has banned me from seeing my friends until Friday (not including Thursday football as that's a real activity so I'll be there) so instead of doing Wednesday park we went to collect wood again. Obviously I think this is draconian and desperately unfair but that's rules for you. This left the JoniBobs having to make other arrangements (parents evening) and Ben sitting on his own in the park feeling shunned. I guess I should have told them.
One of the houses with wood outside was a witches house apparently: she certainly had magic piles of wood for us. The other stopoff netted a skirting board and a chair, now destroyed and packed away neatly in a box. Jof says this will be enough wood as conflagration isn't supposed to be the main event. However we'd be happy to help any Puddlers offload any of the cardboard boxes they've got left over - perhaps Friday morning would be a good dropoff time together with any stuff they don't want to carry later. This does not include Erinsmum: I reckon she should get one of those mobility scooters and get spoken to by policemen for being beery in charge.....

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

It's better to burn out than to fade away

Monday morning feels so bad,   ♪♫
Everybody seems to nag me
Coming Tuesday I feel better,
Even my old man looks good,
Wednesday just don't go,
Thursday goes too slow,     ♫♫
I've got Friday on my mind

Do the three day drag once more,
Know of nothing else that bugs me
More than waiting for the weekend,
Hey I'll finish school one day,
Today I might be mad,             ♫♪
Tomorrow I'll be glad,              ♪♫
I've got Friday on my mind

george w bush idiotAfter school I realised that we had no wood for the bonfire. We have some cardboard and some pallet corners but not enough to keep it going long enough for the fire-obsessed Puddleparents. So we tooled up and went shopping. We drove out of our road and Bud saw ElizabethsDad walking home so he wound down the window and shouted "Okai the Noo" at him which may be some sort of beer anthem, I certainly don't want to okai my noo any time soon. Then Bud drove slowly up and down the back streets of Portsmouth trying not to look suspicious while I looked out for wood. At wood house #1 there was no-one home so we hurriedly bundled the random offcuts that were stacked near their front door into the boot of the car. They were obviously having a bathroom refit and sure enough, the builders came back as we were finishing and cordially asked us if we wanted to take away the dead toilet as well.
Battling with the one-way system we were able to pass ElizabethsDad a further twice and I sailed past, waving regally. Then, while we were passing the increasingly bewildered man (and he already has a high background bewilder coefficient) a fourth time Bud spotted some cupboard doors outside a house. The owner was so happy we wanted to take away the doors and a small cabinet that she promised to put some more out for tomorrow.
O what fun I had taking off all the screws and brackets when we got home. More tomorrow!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Jollité, Insanité, Lobotomé

high swingers milton park bucket swings Quietly penitent for my pugnacious pub performance yesterday, I visited Pops who today is wearing the dress of a Honolulu princess complete with flowery sandals. With luck she'll wean me off pub brawling.
Stayed with Pops the whole day. In the afternoon we went down the park, her on her bike while I took her scooter. We did time trials, one circuit each while PopsDad timed us and we tried to improve on our personal bests. Erin and her Dad cycled past on their way to the seashore - if I can learn to stop at junctions etc then maybe I can join them one day. Then we did a couple of rounds of hide'n'seek (we couldn't find Bud because he was in a tree pretending to be a leaf), climbed a couple of trees and went back to hers to play on the pavement.
Jof said I had to have at least 1 of my meals at home today so after 6 hours or so I came home.
So tired I couldn't climb the stairs for bathtime but got a second wind later so I kept calling them back in until 930 so they could miss their programme.
Jof says I'm not allowed to see any of my friends until Friday in the hope that I'm pleased enough to see them to keep my shirt on.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter. Day of eggs

individual fried eggFinally stumbled out of bed at 0925. I demanded egg on toast with cucumber which gave me a chance to try out the individual mini sad-pan-for-one that Nanna bought for me. It fried my egg a treat.
After breakfast Bud tempted me onto the bike with promises of silly golf at the seafront. We both took our shirts off and headed due south and struck the corniche at the 10th hole cafe. Along the wide pavement we passed many appreciative young ladies and made it to Clarence Pier where we locked the bike and proceeded on foot to the golf place.
crazy golf, clarence pier portsmouthI won on the Warrior Trail by 74 to 34 shots, winning by using more shots as is the way with golf. The arcade areas helped my house fund by allowing us to find approx 45p in copper coins which went into my bag. I then had about 15 minutes on the bouncy castle because nobody else wanted to pay £2 per 5 minutes so I had the place to myself and the attendant spent the whole time sunbathing while texting so poo to them. I had to have one quick go on the multi-vehicle roundabout (the kid at the front was obsessed with the fire engine so pressed the hooter button the whole way round) and we were free to cycle back along the seafront to the castle where we stopped for ice cream.
huge bouncy inflatable tentIt was bug day at the seafront: clouds of flying insects pestered everybody, they tickled when they got on my skin and dozens got caught in Bud's chest hair. He skipped stones while I ate my FAB ice lolly and we saw some Turkish gentlemen with their hubbly-bubbly pipe, looked quite funny (well, it made them laugh a lot) and we then rode home.
hubble bubble pipe smoking on southsea beachThis lengthy circuit finished at 3pm so, realising we were 2 hours late, we had a quick lunch and I sent Bud round to Erin's to pick her up to go to the trains. Predictably, we were so late that they had long gone and so we drove down to Tunnel Park to meet them. They had already had several train trips (some photographed by the reporters for the local newspaper so missed out there) and they'd got bored waiting for us and had gone off to the seafront in search of ice creams. By the time we'd hopped the fence to look at the 2 discarded front-wheel-less bikes we'd seen in the bushes on our way round the track, the advance party had already decided to head off to the Artillery Pub for the Beer Festival. Jof Drove the car home while Bud and I walked the 400 yards or so to the Pub where we met Gemma (ex-Puddleduck Nursery manager who was relieved of her post following a vote of no confidence from the rest of the staff when she was caught eating the children's lunches) and her brood and got stuck in to the pirate ship play-zone. During this period Ben and I argued over whose turn it was on Elizabeth's scooter (I'd had my turn but wanted an extra turn before Ben had his go) and so Ben and I had our first full-on fist fight which was witnessed by everyone in the pub except for Bud who was getting more beer.
go-kart with no engine
Ben and I then retreated to our seconds in our corners (mothers) to blub and hyperventilate while all the other parents marvelled at how their kids were so well-behaved. During this period of marvell-ment, Elizabeth fell off the balustrade and Erin crashed the scooter in epic fashion so for a while everyone was bawling. The PuddleParents got more beer which seems to be their answer to strife and eventually Ben had to go home after we failed to make it up for the 3rd time of asking. Erin ditto in similar fashion so the reduced contingent carried on. Sigh. Then we found a way out of the back gate where Lenny (ginger regular at Thurday night football) had a go-kart which we took turns on (after a fashion) avoiding passing cabs while some random girls sat in the road singing. You think your life is simple? 
In the end we all called it and wended our wiggly ways home. Pops has returned from up north at last so I'm on a promise for a playdate tomorrow morning. I sat in front of the TV with a large pot of Blue Peter mini-sausages (ones we'd cooked earlier) and then had an ultra-quick shower and bed. 
Ben: Erin: Elizabeth: JoniBobs. I love you all and can only blame my unacceptable behaviour on the hot weather. I therefore hope that it's freezing cold and rainy at our Easter/Royal wedding party next Friday.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Throw Nanna on the train

To John Lewis this morning for their craft fayre thing. I was the first there and the last to leave: I made an Easter spoon, card and Pirate Judge Egg. Bet you didn't know you had to do an Easter spoon, if I had my way I'd have done the legendary Easter Teapot and the much maligned and misunderstood Easter Sellotape Dispenser.
pulled over by the law dui offence
Can I see your licence for this vehicle, sir?
After a quick nibble I took Nanna up to the Gymnastic centre to watch me perform. It's only my 5th time or something so you can't expect miracles but if they think I'm good enough to go on to the next stage I'll get a tap on the shoulder just like when I joined MI6 in the Carlton club.
When we got back Bud had a surprise. A B+Q trolley had been left near our house so as we needed to buy a kitchen tap I hopped in and he pushed me to the store. Now today is football day so if you travel down the main street 25 minutes before kickoff it's quite busy, and there's a lot of Police.....
Well anyway I gave them some old banter and they let me off with a caution for driving without due care and attention. In B+Q I chose a tap which was £150 or so less than the most expensive one so Bud didn't argue and just bought it. On our way back the lady with the chickens beckoned me over and said did I want to see what was in her box. Well, I didn't guess right because it turned out to be 4 live lobsters which was quite a surprise. They were ugly, active and essentially doomed.
live lobsters  crayfish
Arrived at the station with 15 minutes to spare, just early enough to hear the announcement that the train was cancelled. After the usual protracted confusion that is the bread and butter sandwich of daily life at an English railway station, a train arrived at an unexpected platform (the announcer had to make 3 corrections before he got the platform number right), disgorged some surprised passengers at a station they hadn't expected and then waited patiently for the driver to walk up to the other end of the train. This single act of self-sacrifice was sufficient to magically change this lost train into the delayed 1600 to Brighton so we bundled Nanna aboard. While waiting for the train to make up its mind which way to go, I played my wooden flute through the window at her while dancing a curious jig that Jethro Tull would have envied. Eventually the train reversed out of the station and into history.
When I got home I found the bag of goodies (sticking/drawing book etc) that she'd left for me and got straight down to it while Bud pruned the hedge and Jof read a book.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Don't stand so colostomy

face painting tiger
Bounced onto BudandJof's bed at 0640. I was sure they'd be happy to start the day on time, and not miss any of it. Today is the Easter party at Jof's work. We played egg and spoon races (I didn't drop mine), egg hunt, egg colouring, running around in circles, talking rubbish through the microphones at the cashier's desks, pin the tail on the rabbit and being painted. I insist that I'm a lion even though the painter can only do tigers.
royal artillery pub eastneyThen Nanna bought me the toy of the minute which is a jumping rocket that blows bubbles.
bubble machine stomping rocket

Later we got the call from the JoniBobs that the Artillery pub (pirate ship in the beer garden) was having a beer festival. So we trundled on down leaving Nanna to do our sewing (damaged school trousers and jogging bottoms with legs too long for Bud) and took the bubble rocket and a sword. There we met Elizabeth and got down to some serious scooting, rocketing and swording on the ship. I helped cook supper (kedgeree) and then after supper I got tired all of a sudden and was comatose by 815.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Dead waste of a shilling

emergency telephone fail
Third day in a row at Ben's house. Today: bike rides!
creeping infantry attack
By strength and by guile (and rayguns)
friends in the parkDid very well with Ben again and finally met Bud at swingpark for a picnic. Also present were the JoniBobs, Elizabeth, Erin and Ben's friend Jonah, whose name is apt as he is extremely large for one so young.

We battled over the trucks and Bobert's new pistol so next time we need more toys! After a splendid play in some excellent weather (the temperature in the conservatory hit 100º F today) I escorted Bud home to pick up Nanna from the train which is the best part of the day for me.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

New genetic sequence accepted and cloned...

security camera positioning fail
Arrived at Ben's at 0800 sharp. His Mum had just broken a mirror which bodes well for our trip to the seaside today.
Had a splendid day with BensMum, her heavily pregnant friend and associated daughter Emma. We found that somebody had dug a hole on the beach so spent loads of time extending the excavation and creating many earthworks based on my knowledge of Iron age hill forts. This continued until the tide came in unexpectedly and drowned our project but that just made a paddling pool so now we're paddlers as well as Puddlers. The Canoe Lake water park is non-functional which was a setback but I came home with sand in my shoes so not all was lost.

In the evening I went to the docs for some cream for my foot. This is not remotely interesting or unusual for people of my height but it will save us a few quid at the chemist as I'm still young and beautiful so I get free medicine. However I did have a good question for the doc which was, why are there all those dots on the script between the prescribed medicine and the doctor's signature? Bud said it was to stop people writing in the name of another medicine that they're not supposed to have. So I've done a picture of a standard prescription and one that I've 'doctored' in a special and invisible way, to prove the point. See if you can guess which is the legitimate prescription, and which is the dodgy one! No points for the right answer, just feel proud of yourselves.
falsified medical prescription crime additional item
Tomorrow I go to Ben's for the third day in a row which is something we may want to avoid when doing next year's care'n'share calendar. I mean, it's great for us, beach one day and bikes the next but it's a little tough on the parents.....

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A farce to be reckoned with

ladder safety fail
Spent the day with Ben. We fed the ducks, played guitars at them and did the exploding penguin dance which no doubt cheered up BensDad. Far greater coverage of this event available on BensBlog.
I ate lunch from inside a toy car which may be the answer to all my nutritional needs as I always eat more on car journeys than at home. Perhaps if I have a toy car in front of the telly at suppertime instead of my little red plastic table then I'll grow as big as Ben!
musical troubadours play guitars to the ducks
Duck Berry and Gary Moorhen play The Byrds
Tomorrow I look forward to going to the waterpark and the beach with BensMum. I have a bag of equipment that's bigger than me so she'll enjoy carrying that. If we go to the nudist beach in front of Fort Cumberland then we can dig in the waterfall and go naked like last year!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Take me away from all this

assorted ammunition and old willie dutch cheese
Guns'n'cheese, a still life by Bud Lington aged 41 3/4
So with luck ErinsMum will be out of hospital today. Apparently she shares a room with 3 others, as follows, and is keen on leaving them to it.
Cadaverous emaciated female #1: believes it is 1910 and calls everyone George, particularly when she's talking to thin air.
Corpselike elderly Biddy #2: the only way you know this one is not in fact bereft of life is because of the constant rasping snores.
Pallid skeleton #3: no longer self-aware, both mentally and in toilet terms. Can make only one noise: "Araaagh!".
I spent the day at the YMCA with Ben and the JoniBobs and was outside enjoying the sun when I wasn't drawing pictures of ships and submarines and destroyers and pirate vessels and those JoniBobs have got a lot to answer for. Chosen extra activity; bowling at Gunwharf.
Word of the day: Turno-twister. This is a man with both arms on the same side of his body. Not a particularly high scorer in Scrabble but it'll surprise 'em.
children's art project from ymca childminding charter academy portsmouth

Here's the pick of the bunch of the masterpieces done this afternoon for Punchbag Bud.
On the left is my first mathematical equation which Bud solved for me.
Ben created the other 2:
1. HMS Sheffield D80 replete with ET scarecrow figures and giant tampons
2. urcdgrol (HMS Ark Royal) (schizophrenically also named HMS Hood) plus baldy man.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

A transport of delight

Up with an 8 in the time which is surprising given the amount of work we've put in over the last day or 3.
portsmouth model engineering society bransbury parkAfter sweeping the garden I ran to swingpark where I met current Puddler Elizabeth and her Dad who went on the beer challenge with Bud last night. After a bit of climbing I ran to tunnel park in the hope that the trains were back on. They weren't but then Elizabeth and her Dad appeared, for I am a Babe magnet and she'd followed us. model train ride
 We did some climbing but then one of the train people opened up their shed so we found out these splendid trains (a mixture of steam engines and battery-powered) run 2-5pm every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, weather permitting. See below for website link. This meant we could fit in shopping and Jof could visit ErinsMum. She is in big hospital having a zip installed all the way up her tum and so won't be doing any dancing at the Easter PuddleParty.
topless cyclist and admirersThis all went off OK and as soon as we got back, we hurriedly threw the shopping into the fridge (unlike normal) and biked it straight down to tunnel park to catch the train. I'd done one circuit when Elizabeth and both parents arrived, closely followed by other current Puddler Laughing Boy Thomas so we all got on the same train - without an adult!
Then Jof arrived with Erin in tow, and we all got train rides and ice creams and played with the bouncy ball and so forth. That was when I took my shirt off and immediately the girls wanted to as well, for I am their leader. During the obligatory toilet trip Erin locked herself in the public toilet by accident and had to be rescued. Then I cycled home (still topless) and the girls chased me all the way home. Erin then came in and helped make the pinata for the party and we all got sticky with wallpaper paste: she'd taken her shirt off as soon as we got in so it didn't get covered.
My life is so dull, nothing fun ever happens.
Trains website with details of running times and how to get there:

Back to reality

woodland path, bluebell woods overgrown streamSaturday 16th April 2011

Drove home nose to tail down the single horse'n'cart turnpikes of Dorset. Saw the New Forest Ponies again (they're allowed to live there after some king said he wanted somewhere to hunt a thousand years ago) and the first thing I did was go round to see Pops who was out. She'd done me a 'Missing you' card with many hearts addressed to Prince Max which will do wonders for my underfunded ego.
Gymnastics: same as last time but I'm better.
stream in a woodland dellPops came round before I'd even finished lunch and we stayed together for the rest of the day including supper with her sisters and their girlfriends. I have my feet under so many tables it's amazing I can still stand up.
Bud went out to several pubs with the PuddleDaddies and came home confused.

Light of the World

Friday 15th April 2011
cabinet of firearms in museumVisited Dorchester where they have a small castle that's now a museum. I ran around investigating and selected a double-ended helicopter from the shop but will have to go back for all the other stuff I want.
dorchester keep battlements, access to publicThere's roomfuls of medals, flags, silverware, guns, bombs, swords, Hitler's desk and some extremely earnest yet elderly curators who follow you around talking at you whether you want them to or not.
regimental silverware collection, trophies of war in museum display cabinetOver the road was a good swingpark with hills, bandstand, cafe, waterpark, exercise area, slides etc, can we move it to near our house please? A splendid place to stop off and stretch your legs if you're driving to Cornwall, for example.
Attacked with vigour the obstacle course in the beer garden of the Sun Inn after lunch.
urban clearance fighterworld war 2 stalingrad house to houseNext visit: Maiden Castle. Not so much a castle as a 4th Millenium BC hill fort, every time you climb one escarpment there's another 2 behind it.
park exercise machine, cardiovascular exerciseGrandma zoned out in the car while we stormed the battlements. There's nothing much up there except nettles and thistles and sheep but there were the remains of a 4th century temple used for pagan rituals, looking forward to some Puddle pagan rituals soon.
Then home for more golf and to dig up primroses and cowslips from the upper orchard to transfer to our garden. iron age maiden castle dorset

romans could have used these stepsAfter a decent supper (including my favourite, custard. But this custard was warm for some reason so I don't like custard any more) the GParents were too busy talking to obey my every whim so went off in the only sulk of the visit. Missing my Chief Slave Jof.
view of dorchester from defensive escarpments