Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Death by a thousand cats

child's christmas card reading and you are fat
Ben, I and the rest of the PuddleKiddies are in cahoots. At this point in our lives, the cahoots in question is not the glitzy strip club in downtown Tucson, but in 20 years it might be. Currently, when with only one parent (eg yesterday at the cannon museum, or this coming Friday at the Witterings beach) or no parents (eg today at the YMCA) we are a polite, angelic, close-knit team. As soon as a second parent shows up, the infighting starts, and you really wonder if there's a fundamental, historical grudge match.
I have suffered even more leg injuries today at YMCA, scratches and bruises and scuffs and grazes. When being scrubbed in the shower, there's hardly any unmarked bit he can hold on to, if my Achilles heel goes, I'm in the Styx.
Today's activity (apart from lego) was a walk down to the Blue Reef Aquarium where I saw exactly the same sharks I saw last week. I have expounded sufficiently upon Otter Botties so shall refer to their prodigious poo-ing no more in this journal. Also present today was ex-Puddler ginger Kiera, but none of us liked her so we're glad we selected Elizabeth to join our ongoing gang instead. Once Bud had collected us we drove to Ben's place for some train track action. I shall bring my track to his place tomorrow so we can make a giant circuit: I have the same sort of track so they'll join together, but I've got different components and we put a little M on all of my bits so we can separate them afterwards. He can borrow mine for ages 'cos then I can get to play on the combined track.
Returned home to find he'd painted half the front room. Give it a month and it might be back to normal. Stayed up to watch England beat India in the cricket.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Let all the children boogie

Circus Gorrage
Curious George is a monkey with a secret past. Originally an anonymous standard monkey, this innocent animal was bitten by a radioactive human and/or exposed to deadly theta radiation from a local freak supernova. The poor creature developed supersimian intelligence and is now a fugitive from justice, living secretly amongst the very humans that created this diabolic chimaera.
My grandparents remember this character with fondness because Bud misread the title as "Circus Gorrage". It's a mistake any half-deranged 3 year-old could make.
Today we're looking after Ben. First we did basejumping while ululating the famous war cry "Poo Poo bumhead".
jumping off the cupboard
jumping on the bed But then it was time to go out. We sang gibberish all the way but stopped off at the supermarket to buy more batteries for the megatorches and dutifully recycled all the dead ones.
wartime bunker tunnelWhen we got to the chalkpit we were all alone, nobody else was there apart from 1 dogwalker who left anyway. We found the hole in the hedge and climbed the 40ft or so up the treacherous steep smooth slippery chalk slope with its areas of loose material and got to the WW2 radio station bunker. It's a good job we'd put new batteries in the torches, it's 80ft behind the cliff face so pitch black in the far rooms with the staircase and drifts of party debris, tin cans, bottles etc.
portsmouth harbour from portsdown hillOnce we'd explored it all (there's not really very much of it) we slid back down the hill on our botties and elected to climb the hill and see the view from on top. It was a tough climb but we made it and saw many prickle bushes, much rabbit poo, some good views, some workmen installing a new aerial on one of the secret military bases at the top (they have some much better tunnels and bunkers but you can't get in unless you're a spook) and quite a lot of blackberries.
Once we'd circumnavigated the whole cliff, we got back down the precipice on the other side and visited the swamp directly under the cliff. We threw lots of rocks (either flints or bits of chalk) but didn't start any rock avalanches so we survived.
chalkpit quarry cliff faceOnce we'd tired of that, we found another way past the fence and slid up and down a different chalk slope, one that I visited about 3 years ago. I overshot a bit and had to get rescued out of some bushes. We were all very chalky.
When we got back to the car, it was a shame that the fine citizens of the sprawling Paulsgrove council estate had not in fact stolen, joyridden and torched it so we drove away and used roads we'd never been on before to reach the Royal Armouries Fort Nelson (Cannon Museum).
barking dog oriental cannonIt's got a flash new entrance/visitors centre so we went in the new gate and explored. The cannons and stuff are all the same but the layout is a bit different, more space to spread them all out.
turkish siege cannonWe climbed on all the groovy guns (ignoring all the Don't Climb On The Guns signs) and explored the tunnels and magazines and gun emplacements and the highly aromatic Victorian outside toilets. gun emplacementblank firing howitzer at royal armouries
Having a bit of time to waste we nipped into the shop where we got 4 plastic parachutists of various sizes and 2 large ice creams which we ate while Bud had a coffee. I suppose one day we should go back and pay for the ice creams. brick-lined tunnel to the caponier and rampartsHe was being mysterious again and led us outside to sit on the ramparts to finish our ice creams. Suddenly two chaps in the parade ground fired the big howitzer! It was very loud and made our chests thump. Then he did it again! It's all good fun. I suppose what's the point of being a cannon museum if you don't show off your guns.
Then we played on a dead tank for a bit and headed home.
 We arrived at 4pm exactly which was our meeting time at swingpark so we stayed for a bit of play and a cuppa before heading over the road. We met the JoniBobs and played on the bike and scooter and threw the parachutists in the air. Within 3 seconds, all of them were hopelessly tangled. Within a few minutes, the first casualties were reported and by the end I think the number of survivors was zero. I have scratched legs and tired feet.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Resistance is futile (Ohms)

Woke up at 1050. I was still sulking when Erin came round to tell us what colour to paint our walls. Jof had chosen nappy brown and chunder green so after some tense renegotiation the Erins actually went down to Big B+Q and came back with specific orders and colour matching swatches and everything.
Bud went off the the Kite Festival again to meet Jason (old school friend and blog follower) to collect one elderly mobile phone and a surprise kite.
But then Erin took me home to her place and I complied, forgetting all those lifelong grudges and betrayals I'd invented to make me sulky in the first place. We made a massive train track and were suspiciously quiet for hours.
As per usual, I slyly inviegled my feet under her table, and got myself a free chicken roast dinner, missing out on the identical and yet apparently inferior roast chicken dinner being cooked by Jof.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Kite frenzy

southsea kite festival
kite madness on the seafront, prevailing windsThis bank holiday weekend is Southsea Kite Festival so once we'd built the lego police emergency launch that Jof had bought me as a reward for being alone with Bud for 3 days, we were free to go. He biked down while we used the magic bus ticket. Ostensibly he was down there to meet Jason (old school friend) who had brought a mobile phone so he could join the 19th century but however much we searched the 57 acre site of 20,000 people, we never found him.
lego police launch boat kitBut: people we did find were - Rosie and Chloe from my school and Harrison from my old nursery so all was not lost. Then by accident we stumbled across all the rest of the Puddlers which made it all great. We played and watched the kite displays and listened to the increasingly confused commentary box (bit like Puffers Tuffers off Test Match Special but with less grip on reality) and shot each other with plastic guns of all nations. Eventually the Puddleparents voted for a decamp to the Old House At Home pub and we exeunted severally. I had a quick go on the bouncy castles before leaving. Little did I know.
When we got to the pub we found the new landlord had installed a bouncy castle. Being new to this (as if) we approached with caution but were soon well stuck in.
It wasn't as erect as it could have been due to a dodgy intake valve but once JoniBobsDad had worked out what was wrong, the PuddleParents took it in turns to fix it and we all had a rip-roaring time, rips in the intake pump and roaring when one kid landed on another. Over the period we pretty well all had a cry/whinge/bleat but then that's par for the course. At least 2 of us got twisted ankles, there were knee-to-head impacts, all the usual stuff. Not only did Harrison (current Puddler) arrive but also Zak and Zena (ex-Puddlers) came and played, I did wrestling with Zak.
bouncy castle, low pressure
After the Red football team had beaten the London football team 8-2 (which made JoniBobsDad very happy) we went home with promises of extra tunnels when Ben comes to stay with us next week. Bath fizzer night was held over from yesterday so I had the expensive purple M+S one (from the charity shop) and a random yellow star (which made the bath a suspicious brown) and did sea trials on my wonderful lego police launch which is good enough to float! It also has dive operatives and a removable jetski. How cool is that? Bedtime approx 11 something.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Great balls of fire

park benches with graffiti wall, will we ever wake up?
This question haunts me every Sunday morning
Up at 0800, just right for Bud who thanked me profusely. Our normal Saturday walk took us to the bottlebank and 2 parks. Played "House-throwing" which is where we stand in front of a large brick wall in the park and wang the bouncy ball against it and practice saving the boundary. Bud and Bune used to play "Grynder-squish" which is squash but with a bouncy ball - much funnier.
At the charity shop I bought another 20p toy car, but a metal one this time after the last one died after only 1 minute of being thrown down a slide. I have named it Micton because it has such a large engine. Yes, this is logical, shut up. Also not to be confused with Mictlan, which is the Aztec underworld. You will of course, know this, from my second album "See you in Mictlan".
using a globe to identify animal originsOn the way back we found a house with a for sale sign and a big pile of bonfire wood in the front garden - a cot bed almost identical to the one we're selling. We carried home as much as we could, I was energy-powered by another slice of Pork-pie-with-an-egg-in. The second we got home, it rained heavily. This just goes to show I'm a rain god as well.
I was playing FRIV (this is a games site that Pops turned me onto) when the wild-haired beauty herself returned from holiday and we played "Identify the animal" from the globe that Grandad gave me. We then played jumping from the cupboard onto my bed and went to her bedroom and rabbit enclosure for hours. Popped back to announce I'd be staying for supper.
bed of bonfire wood and cardboardLittle did I know (apart from our weeks of planning) that Jof would return to us tonight and Martin and Zoe would arrive for our bonfire mini-party. These 2 things happened within 5 minutes and off we went. I burnt all the triangles and the cupboard they brought round. For a while there, they had to nip out to obtain chish'n'fips: the shop was closed so they bought chinese instead.
burning a cable drumAs I'd already been fed at Pop's place I was happy with a bag of prawn crackers and some cold chips but then I'm easy. While they were gone I played wood'n'cardboard shop with Zoe: she said I was possibly the fairest manager she'd ever worked under, which bodes well for my future cult leadership. Eventually it all got incinerated and we went our separate ways.
Jof was not pleased that we had not redecorated the house while she was away. You can't please all of the people all of the time, frequently none of them for any of it.

Friday, 26 August 2011

An apple a day: adventures in Cyder-space

STUPID DOG stuck in blinds didn't expect you home
Rain again. Took the bus to the YMCA with Rosie, we looked out of the back window and gurned at cars.
Jof is still visiting Nanna, I miss her.
Spent the day at the YMCA with the JoniBobs! Great to see them again. Did loads of drawing, many of mine are navy-oriented, shows a certain influence from Mr Johnny. We also did swimming, wasn't it lucky that I had all that swimming kit in my locker and he'd kindly left me the key as well.
O what a surprise it was for me when he turned up at 5pm telling me I had to go for my swimming lesson, and O what a surprise it was for him when I said I'd already been! I also got somewhat battered during dodgeball/bombardment which led to a couple of red patches on my tum, I'm trying to show them off but they didn't come out in this pic.
holiday camp activities, drawing and swimming
I wore armbands and shivered a lot in the water, for I was born without fat. I was given a red showercap that smelt like a balloon. Mostly we just chugged back and forth across the pool. I was the slowest. We couldn't go in a straight line and always ended up bundled together in a corner. But I got better and better until we did the jumping in from the side which was my favourite part. Here endeth the lesson: so Bud kindly signed me up for an indefinite amount of further lessons (let's hope it doesn't take that many) and we were free to go. Supper was supposed to be pizza with garlic bread, let's hope Jof gets home soon and treats me to some real food, properly prepared.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Yes! I want to end the nightmare of high credit card debt

newspaper article old confused elderly man posts letters in binRain! It pummelled our roof at 0400 and it piddled generously upon us as we caught the bus into town for the YMCA. He had to lift me over some of the deeper pavement-lakes.
Today we walked from town to canoe lake and went crab fishing. I only caught one (the other two leapt back into the lake before I could grab them) but it was the biggest one in the world! Not including the monster crabs we saw yesterday at the sea life centre.
harvesting home-grown tomatoesAnyway once we'd got home and checked Pop's house for burglars, I harvested the tomatoes and had this picture taken in a vain attempt to recreate the "Fertility God" pic from this time last year. Last year my trousers were too long. This year they're too short. Will I ever get it right?
Nanna is still in hospital doing tests, surely she's passed enough exams at her age? As is always the way in publicly funded medical facilities, one of the 3 other patients is mad. He detaches himself from the pipes and tubes and wanders the room bumping into things at 1 in the morning, probably a Somme re-enactment or similar. This is why Nanna doesn't get enough sleep. I told Bud that I hope Nanna doesn't go into her grave.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Fly fishing in the stream of consciousness

isle of wight ferry, hovercraft, gosport and sea life centreJof left us to visit Nanna. With luck she won't get lost.
mirror carp in aquariumJof left us a free ticket to the Blue Reef Sea Life Centre on the seafront and a magic all-week bus ticket so we were pretty well set for the day, that'd save us over £20.
three otters in captivityOn the way to the bus stop we bequeathed my old plastic table and 4 chairs to Puddleducks and put some stuff in the clothing bank. So we boogied on down, baby, to the coast where we climbed the battlements and noticed that Henery the 8th's castle was free admission all summer.
entrance to tunnels under southsea castle, caponierWe got to the aquarium (by a round-about route as I was leading), saw many fish and crabs and frogs and lizards and turtles and otters and sharks and shrimp and coral and urchins and sea horses. It was so good we went round again.
steep steps underground to tunnelsThen the tannoy man said it was feeding time at the otter pool so we watched the cute furry creatures devouring their crunchy lunch, which was dead chicks.
The otter area was very whiffy and we discovered the mound of shingle at the back was not in fact shingle when one of them added to it to make room for his lunch.
Once we'd visited the shop (sea life mug and bucket'o'soapy frogs) we went back to see Henery the 8th and his castle. The tunnels were open again so we spelunked and potholed as far as we could and rattled the padlocks on the locked gates. The obligatory visit to the shop yielded me a plastic bow and arrow set (Bongensch├╝tzen-set) which I shall use to shoot at the freaky boy scout before we incinerate him. Even as we were on the bus home, the olfactory nightmare of the otter excreta still infested our noses. (Wotta lotta otter). I'm no expert in mammalian scatology, but is that normal?
After yet more sofatime we did a walk around the block which meant we could pick up the 2 long wooden curtain rails and other assorted bits of wood from under the clothing bank we visited earlier. It's important to always have some strange things for the bonfire. On the way back I did a passable impression of a sniper, plugging several pedestrians.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Bits, Bytes, Nybbles and Chomps

Today we are a refrigerated family once more. The delivery men came 10 minutes before their allotted timespan was up (we were holding out for free pizza if they took more than 30 mins) and left the new fridge-freezer there for Jof to unpack from its giant box and mounds of polystyrene.
It's even bigger than the last one which is nice as we can fit even more magnets on it.
Jof is going to visit Nanna tomorrow so I will have a surprise day at home with Bud.
Today at the YMCA we went to the Isle of Wight on the hovercraft! We then made sandcastles on the beach and went ice skating on a rink with real actual ice!! There were penguins you could hold onto and I slowly made my way around the outside of the rink clutching my support-penguin but only made 1 brief foray into the Taiga on my own.
I shall have my first swimming lesson this week.
I made a special picture for Jof to take to Nanna, it'll make her stay in hospital a little easier. I wanted to go too but Jof remembers the time Erin visited her mother in hospital and she spent the whole time going up and down in the lift and wanting to go home.
picture of a miniature railway train for hospital visit
This is my rendition of the trains I rode on with Nanna. The cannonball-balancer is the driver and the haemorrhaging man at the back has in fact got a red cushion.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Utraque fortuna ridete

Last night the fridge died, so we have spinach juice on the floor and warm milk. This afternoon we will buy a new fridge, because we have lots of money for this sort of thing, in the meanwhile, we are using Pop's fridge as we're looking after their house again. Every time we want a cup of tea we shall get the milk etc from their place. The first tea of the morning shall be fun as we shuffle naked down the street carrying only keys and a steaming mug of brewing-happily.....
To add to the confusion, Jof cooked all the chicken this morning to save it from spoiling. When she got to work there was a power cut so they sat in the dark for hours not being able to do anything.
Bud bought a new fridge on the way back from work to be delivered tomorrow morning 0700-0900. Then Nanna rang to say she had had a funny turn and was going to be in hospital overnight for tests, but not to worry. Jof tried her best, fat chance.
So supper was a fridge Wake-Banquet, where we tried to consume all the food we could rather than throwing it away. Colin the Compost Heap got a smorgasbord of sweetcorn, spinach and beans garnished with mayo, garlic butter and a million other things you forget about in the corner of the fridge.
I got Hot and Cold Running Medley which I prepared myself from only 11 of the not-so-freshest ingredients.
They got Babylonian Stir-fry Surprise, some of which worked, some of which didn't.
At the YMCA we discussed fossil hunting and so I created a storyboard in true Marvel Comics style.

comic style storyboard about fossil hunting

1. Oh I foynd a fosoll
2. I wunder wot it is from
3. Mum I foynd a fosoll
4. Woyl dun max sed mum
5. lets shoe bud
6. havv you had fun    yes we foyd a fosoll

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Therapy failure: Je ne regresse rien

candlelit dinner for two Today I slept for 12 hours 11 minutes (Coma Chameleon) so Pops came round while I was still eating breakfast. That sorted everything out. She stayed for lunch. At one point she fell off her chair but her fall was broken by an aircraft carrier (as you do) so she came away with light contusions to one foot.
crazy golf on southsea seafrontLater we went crazy golfing. Pops is a bit new to it (unlike my expert self) so tends to wipe the ball along like she's sweeping. Of course I used to be that way but now I can hit the ball 20 yards, I lost mine in 4 different prickly bushes, my favourite trick is to get the ball 3 inches from the hole and then 4 iron it. Pops got hit by one ball and I clubbed her in the head but she didn't mind. The course is very annoying as all the greens are humped to allow rainwater to drain off the felt and out through the side gutters: the ball will therefore always roll sideways and hide in the gutters. As expert and man in charge of the universe, I shout a lot and boss people around. He who must not be named said that if I did it again, he'd take the ball off me and I'd forfeit a hole. This promptly happened as I ordered people around: I ran into the corner and hid blubbing behind an ice cream advert sign for the duration of 1 hole. I shall be leader of the humans soon, I need to shout. Then we had ice creams and played on the pitch'n'putt. Eventually we went home and played Sofa Tombstoning again where we jump from the sofa arm onto the pile of cushions while ululating, we then have to swim back across the carpet avoiding the sharks. He took Pops home at 7pm.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Piracy on the high C's - an octave too far

Nobody was in. So after ringing everyone we resigned ourselves to loneliness and went for option 19 - Pirate Pete's.
ball pit at pirate pete'sWe did the bottlebank walk in light drizzle and caught the bus (but not pneumonia) down to Jof's bank where I brightened her day using only 1 smile and a manic wave. We walked to Pirate Pete's via a Spar owned by several burly Lebanese gentlemen, apparently, where we bought pies and sausage rolls for sustenance. PP was its usual riot of noise, kiddies and parallel birthday parties but I didn't know anyone at all. the prize car on southsea common by the ladies mile
Eventually we went downstairs to the coin-machines where an elderly lady and I fed billions of 2ps into the moving staircase game until my lifetime's ambition (a small resin cast 3-wheeler DelBoy car) finally fell out and we returned. I actually only spent about 50p doing this, the coins kept falling out the bottom and I dutifully recycled them for ages and ages.
wallpaper strippingOn the way home Bud renewed his watch battery at the horologist who charged slightly more than the watch cost in the first place. Jof had left us a freaky lifesize cardboard stand-up boy scout which has been unnerving people at the bank for too long, his eyes follow you around the room reproachfully for not doing enough for charity. We shall shoot him with the air rifle and then burn him. There may be other life-sized cardboard figurines which we should save for the PuddleFireworks.
BethsMum turned up and brought round a wallpaper stripper (I thought that was MY job) and a flatscreen, as you do. Then almost immediately Erin arrived and tried to borrow my fire engine in case her tent burnt down. I like a busy house.

Late into the night we stripped. I enjoy it plus my little fingers can get in where stubbier adult fingers cannot.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Homeward bound

At last the sun came out. We harvested spinach and apples and flower seeds. Then I finished reading Dumbo to Grandad, who promised to send me to an expensive school if I'm good.
Played golf in the garden.
exercise machines in park
cerne abbas giant cut into the hillside On the way back we stopped off in Cerne Abbas to see a giant. He seemed a jolly chap waving his big stick, and he certainly likes playing in the noody room with his big sticky-up willy. Then the promised trip to the very decent park (that Ben uses) at the top of Dorchester for a play and a poo, and a timely return to the shop in the castle museum where we got a copper spitfire, more ammunition and a large bag of war vehicles and soldiers. I may now have a big enough army to challenge Johnny.
On the motorway on the way home we slowly passed Silly Scott (the magician from LittleMax's party last week) in his red van. He must have been very surprised to see my little face hooting and gurning at him, at least he pulled a face and waved back.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Once more unto the beach, dear friends

weeping willow salix over the village pondRain. In the vain hope that the torrents would cease by the afternoon, we delayed our departure to the seaside which left us with a free morning. We drove down into the buzzing metropolis that is Sherborne and found a hairdressers. I got a less efficient cut for even more money than usual (£9). On the way back up the hill we aquaplaned majestically but didn't crash. I read some more Dumbo with Grandad who was a technical training lecturer/manager so didn't believe me when I said I couldn't do it. 
oversize racing helmet in go-kartEventually we went for it and had a pub lunch at The Springhead Inn in Sutton Poyntz (Doom Bar on tap) during which the rain almost stopped. We investigated the stream and duckpond and drove on to Weymouth Sea Life Centre. Entry was a mere £18 each so we turned tail and ran, accepting a free space cadets hat from 2 aliens.
pirate adventure minigolf in weymouth
 As a sweetener we went on the Rio Grande train, drove around the Go-Kart track wearing enormous helmets and did all 18 holes of the distinctly superior Pirate Adventure Mini-golf course. By then it was raining again so we went home for tea. Then we bagged up an Amstrad E-m@iler™, a Pye black box and my large old cotbed to sell on Ebay. The cat brought us in another dead vole and Jof phoned to say she'd locked herself in Pops' house.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

One year on

reading the lesson in churchToday is my first blogaversary. To celebrate I shall visit my Grandparents in deepest Dorset and report back.
2 1/4 hours and 92 miles later we nipped down to the village church to examine the lead on the roof for insurance purposes. The insurance company want them to use smart water, wonder if it's smarter than me. I climbed the tower again (70 steps) and tried to ring the bells but I was too light to pull the ropes and Grandad said it would mean the Germans were invading anyway.
 five bar gate and a valley in dorset
I stood on one of the lecterns and decried for a while, thought I ought to get in some practice for when I start my own religion. Having determined that the lead wasn't worth stealing we went on exactly the same walk as last time only the bridleway wasn't full of bluebells, it was cuckoo pints and horsepoo. I have a remote-controlled tractor in permanent residence and I'm learning to drive it around without hitting the walls. The new cat (very loud, slim and pointy) monitors my progress from a safe lap or table. It's small, but it can catch 3 birds a day.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Entury. Long time no C

Today we visited Margaret A, an obscure cousin now retired to the south coast.
top deck of the double-decker bus, 700 portsmouth to brightonAs before, I went straight for the solitaire board. I don't play by the boring set rules but use quantum determination to oust random balls from the set and line them up in gaily coloured snakes in the circumferential gutter.
Then: O joy!! We didn't just take any old bus down to the seafront - it was my first double decker! Of course, we went straight for the upstairs front window seat and I gaggled and cackled all the way.
giant spinning bowlnewtons cradle rope swingersand excavation apparatus, bucket on a chainMargaret had found a new lottery-funded adventure playground right on the corniche at West Worthing so I operated the sand crane with 2 underlings I hired from the ranks of kids seeking employment, then I played time-shouter on the swinging newton's cradle-rope, and spun around giddily in the giant spinning bowl from the sky until it was time to go. My head was still spinning the wrong way like one of those adult beer games with the broomstick so I ran sideways and fell over the small retaining wall. I have also picked up many rounded chalk pebbles from the seashore to give to all my Puddlefriends for them to write their initials on their gateposts.
Further along was a cafe where we had tea and cakes while I watched the excellent kite-surfers leaping around and there were many giant rocks under which I found a tunnel so I spelunked happily to myself.
On the way home I was admiring Arundel Castle when my tummy went green and I vomited copiously all over myself and the car, and filled Bud's hat into the bargain. I therefore counted tractors and pipe lorries all the way home in a haze of wetness and whiffs.
In the evening we stripped wallpaper from the lounge walls, I was as avid a stripper as ErinsMum. Er.
Stripping wallpaper

Monday, 15 August 2011

Circuit and sea

hayling Ferry crossing
So cool I'm hot
Today he persuaded me to go on a mammoth bike ride in a big circuit, so big it had a ferry, a pub lunch and a train in it. How can you not.
1015 Set off for the Hayling Ferry. We didn't have to wait long for it to come over and pick us up. Many bicyclists use this useful service. Once over the other side we pushed on up the old Hayling Billy line as previously travelled in another post (but in the other direction - we swapped directions this time so the headwind would be a help not a hindrance) and made it through to the Ship Inn where I had fish and chips and peas and double scoops of luxury chocco ice cream. I got stung on both legs by stinging nettles, had a couple of blackberries but didn't like the elderberries this time. For a while there, the only plants around us were hawthorn, thistle, nettles, teasel, bramble, gorse, holly..... a theme develops. But I did get to play on the super-advanced mountain cyclist's up-and-down track until some teenagers arrived and started using it.
advanced bike riding park
hayling billy line and bridleway with horses Another stint later, we arrived at Havant railway station and caught the train back to town, and rode home from there. It took 4 and a quarter hours but then there was quite a lot of resting, eating, throwing rocks into the sea..... total distance travelled on 2 wheels: 15km (9.3 miles).
tunnel of trees on bikepathpub lunch, ship inn langstone
In the afternoon we were supposed to go down to the model village and use up the leftover tickets from last christmas with Erin. But there was a change of plan and she went crab fishing with the JoniBobs. They all got crabs. By the time we rang them, they were in the Pirate Ship Pub so we moseyed on down for a swift couple. We ran around and damaged each other and hurt each other's feelings (and toes, in Erin's case) and argued most vociferously. Even though we were in uncharted territory (Pub on a Monday?!?) it got too much for the boring adults and we split. This occasioned tantra. Tantrums? It was ages until I got the remote control back, apparently saying please and thank you is important, I reckon sorry seems to be the hardest word.