Thursday, 28 February 2013

La Maison Etre with Dr VE Mantraps, MD *

partial jimi hendrix graffiti mural with tree in backgroundDouble tragedy in school today. The tragi-comic event of the first part was when my nose and lip came into sudden unexpected running contact with the shed that has deviously lain in wait for me for 3 years in the corner of the playground. Both affected areas bled copiously and I got a 'Head Bump Note'. 
small freezer cupboard flatpacked saucepan rack for landfillThe tragedy of the second part was buried in an official letter from the Headmistress. She said that the latest fad in toys and swapping (Lego Ninjago Spinners) has led to much angst which is eating into learning time as the staff have to sort out the howling rival collectors and undo the swaps they've made. Thus Spinners are banned under pain of confiscation. The previous 'Fad' (Moshi Monsters) was a year or so ago, I guess there's an annual merry-go-round of like and dislike.
swapping shoes and having funThe job of the day was to remove the small freezer and leave it to defrost outside with the destroyed wardrobe, rusty BBQ and elderly electric blanket in readiness for the tip trip this weekend. We have an eclectic range of tippable items and will add to it from Erin and Ben's houses. Our house is gradually emptying (although it's filling up with packing boxes) and we might be gone within a month.
boys fighting with plastic light sabres
So after a sandwich we hit the park and were joined presently by Ben and the JBs. The Mummies sat on bright pink packing foam which clashed with the red benches but kept their botties warm, at least, almost worth the fashion faux pas. We swung and chased and had light sabre fights and combined all. Briefly we played 'Too much beer/wee up against a tree/falling down' with some random 2 year-old. We swapped shoes a bit and ate unexpected food. I have decided I don't like Jaffa cakes, didn't think that was possible but there you are.
* Dr VER Mantraps MD was a mnemonic taught at my kiddie school (Edge Grove Preparatory, Watford) in the seventies to help you determine etre or avoir as auxiliary verbs in the perfect tense. O the joys of French irregular grammar

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Paperless Office Vs the Paperless Toilet

text message funny fail drunk at party Did even more Lego Ninjago swaps at school today, although one of them was in fact an inventory transfer reversal as Harvey wanted his old spinjago/golden sword thing back.
dual light sabres blonde wig and witches hatI practised spellings and read my new book 'Light' far better than expected, I do like a good refractive index and the old is-it-a-particle-or-wave thing. That single photon quantum interference is most perplexing.
But once work was over, I elected to not help him in any way with today's project of boxing up the party plates, flags, poppers and halloween lanterns. I did wear the wig briefly (it's the one Jof wore when she went to Erin's fancy dress party as Cousin It) but it's really itchy. Then I high-tailed it upstairs and played computer games for 2 hours while housework went on around me.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Leweston Cucumber

Dorset. Rolling countryside, dairy, arable and equestrian farming, historic locations, buildings and customs. Home to ancient estates, manors of landed gentry, hallowed fee-paying schools for the progeny thereof, pre-Roman fortifications and some of the best fossil-hunting land anywhere. And home to Grandma and Grandad no longer. Twenty years before my most recent rebirth, I clearly remember her relating to me this tale of hope, denial, and things being swept under the carpet. (Wilton being close by) Not a sniper's bullet from their old house sits a posh public school for girls who don't have to ask the price.
white dog camouflaged on white carpetschoolgirls using cucumber carrot as dildoNear the school gates lies a village whose shop supplied all manner of locally grown produce to Ooos and Arrrs alike but was ordered by the Headmistress to stop selling carrots, corncobs, courgettes and cucumbers to the bright young ladies of this laudable academy. I can't think why, growing girls need their five-a-day just like anyone else. Perhaps it's anything beginning with C. I wonder if they banned cauliflowers too.
Anyway, today Erin and I were chosen to represent the school in a district-wide gymnastics competition at the big gym centre where I go anyway. This sounds really good until you add that 12 kids from each class are going so you'd have to be as clever as a pickled gherkin not to be chosen. But we like it anyway. After paid-for Gymnastics, I attempted to make a Ninja Secret Agent Toolbelt out of toilet rolls and an advent arch presentation box. It didn't go well. Jof and I both got very angry but he wisely chose to wash up instead.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Bring it on down to my house *

fao whomever keeps adding og to the end of my door sign stop it funny fail * Ain't nobody home but me
A deserved return to school, I've ameliorated my sense of loss by having Pyjama days.
My current topic is the Great Fire of London. As it happens I am quite experienced in the Conflagratory Arts, but all have been under safe conditions apart from when I nicked the lighter and set off a rocket firework when nobody was watching.
To start the fireball rolling, 2 emissaries from the fire station came to our class on what must be one of their more enjoyable (and cooler) missions. We got all the usual stuff about checking your fire alarm weekly (sounds a bit ambitious - we know ours is working because the toaster has irrational periods) but they'd also devised a board game called Hoses and Ladders which made the female teachers titter. If you land on a Hedgehog (no idea how this links to the fire department) you have to answer a question eg about crossing the road or leaving your cooker on all night. 'Fire' squares lead to discussions about 'Arson' which is something about hot botties and that suspicious fire in the empty yet listed building on the seafront.
lego box wonderI got a sticker with a poem on it about not playing with matches: no worries, mate, for I have that swan-necked lighter and a big flagon of white spirit.
After school Ben came round and we Legoed extensively. We also sang scatological duets with complex harmonic breakdowns and ate pizza, for that is our way. Then we scooted to Beavers, a habit we could get into.
In Beavers I instantly won the Global Challenge badge for solving a word-search about planets and galaxies, whether farfaraway or not. Football Harry came for the tryout session and I think he enjoyed it. Next week we have to bring a hobby item for a show'n'tell. I can't very well bring an active bonfire so it'd probably be a Lego Humanoid.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Tactical Nuclear Penguin

lego marina and lego fire truck with burning houseActually up early, before 9. It may be the last day of the half-term break, but I did not feel the need to cuddle Jof and headed on downstairs to play Lego. Because of the house move, I've been cast aside even more than usual and Jof is attempting to buy me off with Lego. Not only did I get the Lego Marina for my trip to Nanna's, but I got an additional Lego Fire Truck with Burning House! It even has charred rafters and flames coming out of the roof. There's no cat or blonde damsel to rescue but I suppose if I combine it with some of my other sets, I could rescue a grizzly bear, squirrel or bat. While he went for a run in the snow, Jof and I dismantled the giant Lego tower. It was very well constructed and took us ages. Then, as is the way, I demanded more attention and got Jof to collaborate on a Lego Container Ship (Police boat with bits stuck on), while he destroyed a wardrobe for next week's tip trip. The red hat with bow is Jof's wedding hat, it's a bit crumpled and we just don't go to weddings any more, so it's going to charity unless one of the PuddleMummies wants it.
We now have 74 boxes all packed up and taped shut. Can we make it 100 by moving day?
It's yet another Pyjama day. This is getting to be a habit. Better on the laundry, I suppose.....

Saturday, 23 February 2013

The day of the Gosport Beer Festival

soft play areaThe Gosport Beer Festival (Winterfest) is an event that has re-occurred for the last 21 years and Bud has attended the last 2.
With little warning he ran out of the door to meet a taxi. Jof and I bimbled about for a few hours and I sang to my Lego. Then we drove to Pirate Petes to meet Beth and the JBs and their cousins, whose soldier Dad was helping the PuddleDaddies drink beer.
pirate petes clarence pier southseaThe cousins are younger than us so they liked playing in the Pirate ship and the bouncy castle, but as we are older we obviously wanted to play in the kiddie section.
In the toilets, there were a few ball-pit balls in the urinals. But there were lots and lots of them in the actual toilets, and true to form, some kids had crapped on them. You can see the thought processes - I need a poo, toilet is more colourful than usual - but I need a poo. Nowhere else to go, and there is a dire need to get back out there and play on the bouncy castle. So what, I ask, of the subsequent thought processes of the staff on minimum wage? Do we think these affected balls have been lovingly removed, steam-washed and returned to the ship, removed forever by the magic binbag, or simply given a quick whizz under the taps and bunged back out there for another generation of toddlers to dribble on?
lego room with guitarAfter some hard work stacking giant Lego bricks, we repaired to the JBs house and ran riot, as you do.

Bud returned and ate curry and managed to complete a Bath Fizzer Night (as is his duty) before going to bed.

Friday, 22 February 2013

The Un-Vegetable Fire

 Friday at last, still at Nanna's so missing a Puddlers trip to the cinema and bowling alley.
It technically snowed in Portsmouth today, in that some microscopic flecks of cold water floated around on the stiff Scandinavian wind.
I played Ludo with Nanna and we spent hours making a small box and decorating it.
home made box for keepsakes decoratedI got a really big hug when I got home which partially made up for missing Nanna. I was too late for swimming, a cardinal sin in these impecunious times. Then I just got back to tellying and Legoing again because they were boxing up stuff from the loft as usual. Even Nanna gave us stuff to burn. Looking forward to meeting up with the Puddlers tomorrow and going Piratical. Maybe I'll write "Practical Piraticalling, a cabin boy's guide".
And a big welcome to my latest Honoured Follower.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Nebuchadnezzar and the Wrong Number

imaginary friends stay free at best western plus motel funny signSlept in a lot. Jof and I finally woke up and tested ourselves gingerly for gastric difficulties. Fortunately, it seems that the Both-Ends-At-Once one day pattern bug has beaten a retreat. We celebrated by eating and keeping breakfast.
Jof blames the sandwiches at the Miniature Village but this is pure baseless guesswork and not an accusation recognised in any court of law.
He made sure of a bug-free disinfected intestinal tract by dousing it liberally with Cabernet Sauvignon ("Once I have accepted that I deserve a drink, I find it very hard to convince myself otherwise"*) and thus has escaped the noxious wrath of the tiny terrorists.
Drove to Nanna's one day late, and in so doing, will miss the Friday DustBowling session at Bowl-a-rama in Gunwharf that I invited the rest of the Puddlers to. I will also miss my swimming lesson and the Kiddies FunSplash event at Eastbourne, but Jof says that with a dodgy tumtum, swimming may not be a good idea anyway.
lego marina with windsurfer on tiled tableSo I finally got to open the Lego Wharf/Ferry docking area aka the marina and instantly built all of it apart from 1 boat that they said I had to save until tomorrow. Srsly, I've been waiting for this for 4 days, do you wish me to die of torture?? The Lego speedboat floats in real actual water, witness my bathtime fun tonight. Anyway, it's got a windsurfer and a Lego Cafe like the little coffee shop by the Isle of Wight Ferryport where we bought the map of the renowned 17th century Island 'Vectis'. Nanna is (by birth) a 'Nawvern Munkie' ie a Geordie. This means she cannot help but cook vast amounts of top-quality high-calorie fodder that would satisfy any dour Yorkshireman / Lancashire-ite-man of any girth, which is probably what I need most after the Big Poo Event. Plus, she loves me totally. Hooray for Nannas.
* This quote possibly attributed to Captain Fellatio Hornblower

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Squandered, eschewed, forsaken and splatted

Grandma and Grandad are moving house a little quicker than they expected. This means that the "2 blokes in a van" trip down to their place to collect furniture and ornaments (and teeth) can no longer wait until the the end of next month, it suddenly has to be much sooner.

Now, I was really looking forward to that trip. It's my last chance to see the house that they've lived in for 25 years, the swingparks and exercise parks of 'Historic Dorchester', the fountain where there are always so many coins, the unknown holes in the hedgerows (Badger? Fox? Rabbit?) and to use the secret key to climb the belltower of the medieval village church.

 Of course, I've done all these things and more, including playing with the shotgun, the hidden leafy dells and glades by the babbling brook and bridleway, the rear entrance to the exclusive girl's school, the Norman clocktower of Sherborne Abbey, the narrow country lanes that seem so busy with tractors and horses and the ready supply of bonfire wood that half an acre in the depths of the countryside affords.

But all that was before my seventh birthday. I may retain early memories, and there are certainly a wealth of photographs, but it's always good to have one last emotional trip into the land of the past and really lay down those memory engrams, before the past passes into the past, and you're past it. (Well parsed!)

But there's a problem. That means I would miss Johnny's birthday party at the Gymnastics centre. And when it comes to a choice between an hours' short-termist pleasure with my friends and a lifetime's happy memories of my rural origins, there's really no comparison. He shall go on his own.

As far as most clocks go, the day begins at midnight. But by then I'd already been vomiting loudly for an hour. I'd put so much down the toilet, Jof said there can't be any more, come into my bed. This was clearly a challenge and I filled the bed with supper and lunch and some things I don't remember eating and the whole lot was soaked. Bud got me a bucket and I used it successfully at 0300 and I met him again at 5 something when he was showering, he'd gone by the next one at 6. Jof keeps running off to the toilet and we can't risk the journey to Nanna's today, maybe tomorrow. Dear Follower Corinne speaks of a 24-hour both-ends-at-once bug, sounds familiar.

These random sickie days off are all very well, they sound good, nothing to do but watch TV in your pyjamas etc, but once you actually try to watch rubbish oft-repeated TV in your jim-jams all day then it gets real old real quick, I'm telling you. Especially with Jof asleep upstairs and Bud trying to pack saucepans quietly.

He got me a snack. I loved it. For an hour, so did my tummy. Then it didn't. Jof and I are not happy. A few toasts later, we're just hoping it'll stay down and we'll be able to visit Nanna tomorrow.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Nothing better to do that day

outsize texas with new york and california only
dental x-ray of impacted wisdom tooth at angleFirstly I must welcome my newest Dear Follower from the Hill Country of Texas. I wonder if we listen to the same radio station (92.1 KNBT).
This map is a little inaccurate as we all know about the sticky-out bit of Florida, the green hills of Tennessee, the dull infinities of Kansas, Big Muddy River, Aliensville New Mexico, er .....
north star oil drilling exploration platform in dock ready for deployment In the next exciting instalment of "What lies forgotten in your loft?" I offer 'The Oil Rig'. The 1970's 'North Star' drilling platform, seen here in port prior to deployment, is a rather unique 2 ft by 3 ft black and white photo, mounted on thick board. If it wasn't mounted I'd have rolled it up and tried to Ebay it for Lego money. It was rescued after being abandoned outside a house in Southsea in 1989: the glass-fronted frame held photos for many years, but now Jof says it's just too old to keep.
Another relaxed day with Jof in which she was harassed by surveyors who never phoned back. Then one of them came round unexpectedly and surveyed the house.
We went to Victoria Park and fed the already terminally obese and immovable guinea pigs and rabbits. I climbed round all of the rope obstacles without touching the hot lava and we rescued a small boy who had frozen with fear half way up the watchtower.
transplanting trees for patio potsIt has been said that any day that passes without doing at least one strange thing is a day wasted. So he made me go round to Ben's house and help him deliver some Chinese Pear trees, making good on an old promise and getting rid of some stuff from the garden. I really didn't want to go but then it was really fun. I remembered to post Ben's football card through the front door.
milton common moorings way reclaimed landThen Ben's bumpy paths beckoned. I set off to find the pond by the road (which is more to do with waterlogging than actual pondery) and after avoiding many dogs we found it. Sadly gymnastics wasn't too long away so we sped back, diverging when we met a fork in the path. His path was efficient. Mine was less so, so I took a shortcut through the long grass and fell into a chasm of brambles and slashed open my leg and got a handful of javelin-like thorns.
Back at home, out came the tweezers to remove the little splinters and there is nothing more determined to run away than a boy with splinters. I did a passable impression of Rambo not having his fingerprints taken and elected to leave the giant branches impaling my finger, condemning myself to eternal gangrene. Then of course we met Beelzebub's personal traffic jam and were 8 minutes late for Gym, but at least I got my Badge # 5 at last.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Prate and Prattle, Jabber and Babble

pope quits after wind blows his clothes aroundNot only is it half-term, but Beavers have been trimmed from my schedule so I've got the whole day off.
By noon we made it outside and caught a bus to the seafront where I showed Jof around Southsea Model Village.
The castle was open so we climbed it and Jof laughed at the sad and decrepit display in the main area. It always starts promisingly with good-looking buildings and the railways and lots of punning on the little signposts.
chinese pioneer .22 air rifle dismantled for storageBut then look behind the main display and you'll see little figurines that clearly don't belong there, they were just picked up from a charity shop in Solihull and added in the hope that nobody would look too closely. I also had my first ice cream of the year just like my mate Ben. I chose a Magnum super-large, Jof reckoned I wouldn't finish it so she didn't buy one for herself, and I had the lot and licked the little stick. That'll teach her.
After 3 hours outside (not including buses) we came home to warm up. I was totally tired out until Bud said he was going in the loft to collect weapons for packing. I leapt up the ladder, put on the plastic rifle and light sabre and went round metal detecting, as you do. We oiled the sten gun for storage (ok, it's a Chinese-made pioneer .22 air rifle, from the good old days before power restrictions) and finally had to clear up the Lego, for you can't do anything in that room without kneeling on a pointy brick. The box was big enough to take all the swords and archery kit but wasn't quite long enough for the assegai.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Bowling for Stew

bowling alley birthday party for kids'Twas a normal morning. Tea and milk arrived ten-ish as usual and it was sunny. But then there was a terrible quarkling from downstairs as Jof noticed that Oliver's party at Bowlplex Gunwharf was in 25 minutes. We have a bag of emergency cards for sticky situations but all of them seem to be Happy Father's Day / To Nanna on Mother's Day / Congratulations on Your New House etc so we selected one that didn't say anything at all and a mismatched envelope, shoved a £5 note in it and wrote "Buy yourself some Lego" on the card. I also put the party invitation in it for completeness but Bud removed it and sellotaped it back down again. We abandoned Jof and drove post haste due west where we arrived exactly on schedule and pretended we had planned it all.
ncp millionaire yacht moored in portsmouth harbour spice islandWhile we waited we played Zombie Tag and then the staff girlie (I couldn't tell whether she had a moustache or whether it was the shadow cast by her huge nose) did a speech that we couldn't hear and we were off! The whole left hand end of the room was kiddie parties and we had 3 lanes, the next lot over all seemed to be Batman. You don't have to wear the silly shoes any more! All of the side barriers were up and soon came the arrythmic thumping of seven year-olds dropping heavy balls onto the runways, where they pootled slowly up towards the pins.
birthday party event at bowling alleyI came joint last in Game #1 with 79. They played Gangnam Style and immediately the whole lot of us came to life and we all hopped around being Korean Horsemen, and then got down with the trumpets.
Outside there were ladies in pyjamas doing oriental dance, some Chinese drummers and dragons, for the Chinese new year. They are months behind. My yacht was also moored in Portsmouth Harbour, nice day for it. I won game #2 with 113 and whenever there was a delay, it was because one or more of us were in the toilet.
four candles (handles for forks) and packing boxes
4 candles ('andles for forks)
In fact the toilets were almost more interesting than the game. The Bowlplex reverberated to the sound of piped "Happy Birthday" 3 times in a row with a big gap in the right place and then we were all invited to the dancefloor to dance for prizes. I got in a strop and did not dance. But as I was the only one left this gave me the chance to play everyone else's game for them which they did not seem to notice when they got back from the prancing. I won with 136, for I am a quick learner.
Afterwards it was still sunny (but with a keen wind) so I elected to go to the crazy golf and the pitch'n'putt near the Blue Reef on the seafront. Both were closed. Bud ran past us while we tried to think of something interesting to do to justify the parking ticket we'd bought. Funnily enough, it was throwing rocks into the sea. It might have been cold but teenagers were swimming in the sea off the derelict pier by the Square Tower. Bud ran past us again in the other direction and dearest Followers Martin and Zoe inexplicably failed to find us, probably because of the haze of smoke from the students and their special home-made cigarettes. Jof got cold so we went home and packed up more old junk from the loft. I like hats so the Fez was a bonus.
Woo-hoo for a week off!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

A Taste of Spring

bransbury park milton portsmouth climbing frameEverything started a bit late today because Bud had a beer-related going-back-to-bed scenario.
But then we strode out into the pleasant afternoon sunshine with our walkie-talkies and delivered lots to the bottlebank and charity shop. On our travels we met School Eva, Puddle Emma and Football Harry, who is going to try out Beavers like Ben. I am learning to look before I cross roads, instead of being asked "Did you look before you crossed the road?" and saying "What?"
Today I am trying out my new top, if I was Spanish I'd be the Dayglo Dago.
southsea seafront by mozzarella joes shingle gravel beachWith a couple of hours to spare before Beth's birthday party, we parked up near Clarence Pier and threw stones into the sea.
I made a little defensive wall and hid from the waves and used some driftwood to bat rocks. Then Jof said let's go across the hovercraft landing zone and look underneath the pier, we'd nearly made it across the forbidden area before the man came out and chased us away. I made £1 profit on the coin machines: this goes into my Lego fund. Thus: they provide some money, I launder it through a gambling machine at a return rate of about 20% and the proceeds are mine. What a great wheeze!
We walked to Beth's place and picked up the JBs on the way. Immediately came the hiss of beer bottles being de-topped so we nipped upstairs to play in her room for ages.
6th birthday party in kitchen
We were nice but did make a bit of a mess, Beth coped womanfully with 3 raucous chaps in her boudoir.
As soon as sausagetime was called we invaded the quiet end of the house and ran and jumped and hooted and quacked and danced and had pillowfights and disturbed the poor adults. There was another magnificent Cal cake but I don't eat cake.
We learned the new word 'Cocktails' and made many mixtures of juices in many cups. However the combination of hooting kids and many cups led to many spillages (I was the spillage idiot) and we abandoned the householders at 10pm.
I was not about to be conned out of my bath fizzer night and hit the sack, as predicted, about 1145.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Friday, with the merest Hint of Prune

5s safety in the workplace remove personal photos
televised orchestra performance percussion funny fail gifToday the tragic news reaches my ears that my portraits shall no longer adorn the metal racking at Bud's work. I have lent a splash of colour and Royalty to the lab these past several years but I have now fallen foul of something called 5S. This edict from the tidiness police means that anything not work-related must be removed. Thus the inherent dangers of the workplace have been reduced, as has morale. After all, you never know when a laminated photo of a small boy in a tomato garden will suddenly fall off and sever your leg.
smooth playing surface with lago ninjago sensei blue dragonAnyone else been forced to take down pictures of the desert island / tennis girl scratching her bum / cat calendar? I'm sure you all feel safer for it, and not pointlessly picked upon in any way.
Grandma and Grandad have viewed their new retirement apartment, and got lost in Southampton. Twice.
Today is an inset day (teacher training, and a contracted day off) so Jof and I had a lie-in.
We went into town and got my Lego parcel from the post office, I'm going to save it for the Nanna visit next week and possibly leave it there so I've always got something to do.

In the afternoon we did loft work again and got down some more cruel and unusual glassware for Jof to pack and some mirrors and a leaning tower of Pisa and a bong with 2 pipes and several camels and some more swords. The antique glass had to have its own box. Later, Jof played me at spinners. So, Bud is all very well with our investigations of castles, tunnels, rocks and so forth, but has he ever played me at Ninjago Spinners? No. But Jof suggested a smooth fighting tray with bevelled edges so that errant spinners fell back into the field of play.....

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Wet love play

funny valentine card from mass murderers'Twas the final day of this half-term so I brought back a large cardboard creation for storing my Lego Humanoids, the idea based on Erin's makeup tidy.
The school valentines' cake stall was in full swing when I got out, he'd bought 4 orange cup-cakelets for the Thursday Parkers, as orange is my current favourite colour.
milton barn portsmouthThe sun was out so we hastened to the park where we met Ben and the JBs. OK, so it wasn't warm and there were giant puddles all over the sodden landscape but we enjoyed it anyway. Ben and I didn't like the cakes, Bob ate some of the cupcake paper which put him off a bit, but both he and Johnny finished theirs (orange moustaches). A small but animated random dog entered the swingpark area (dogs not allowed) three times and hoovered up our dropped cake crumbs enthusiastically. wood chips soaked by excessive rain
There is no point telling us to avoid the puddles because jumping in them and kicking footballs and tennis balls in them and swinging over them and chasing each other through them is the best way to get wet'n'muddy. How was I supposed to know that the adult's dire predictions of freezing tootsies would come true? Random coincidence, I said, as I snuggled on the sofa under several of Jof's crocheted disaster blankets with clean socks and trousers.
Although it was valentine's day none of us brought home cards for mummies (see article on Oedipus Rex) but Ben sent one to Football Harry and I think Bobert carded Harriet. I don't have to, of course, because Poppy and Erin both know already.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

What does the Future hold?

wgn weather travel problems saggy tits funnyToday we have an inspection of our new mansion with Builderman and Windowman. They're here to tell us how much it's going to cost to refurbish, let's hope it's a lot less than the money we've got. Will I be able to continue with my helicopter lessons or has their misplaced enthusiasm condemned us to a life of penury? Will I be allowed a carpet in my bedroom or will the little bits of Lego fall down the gaps between the floorboards?
30 amp mains and circuit breakersWill I even have floorboards? All these questions and more may or may not be answered. Last night I heard them discussing using an old bedsheet nailed to the floor to defend against lost Lego.....
In school we could not do our morning task because the lightbulb on the OHP blew again, after only 1 week. So instead we practised our songs "Shark with a Heart" and "Octopus, King of Self-Defence".
After school it snowed again and I spent 3 1/2 minutes in the loft before my bladder got in the way. The rest of the time I preferred watching Tom & Jerry with my mouth open.
holes left after removing built-in cupboards home renovation projectPops came around to collect me for play and we used the DS to look after a virtual turd, fed it, bathed it and made it happy. Say that to anybody over 20 years old and they will not understand. Eventually he collected me with my jumper on backwards and we hastened over to Mungle Manor.
renovating an old houseBuilderman and Windowman met us there and they went around discussing missing floorboards and internal doors and coving and rewiring and radiators and plaster. I went around measuring curtains and declaring how much work each room needed doing and planning where my bed will go.
I hear that size is not everything, but when it comes to houses, I disagree. I could fit a whole Puddle Dormitory in my room. Maybe one day I will.
Today my fork broke during supper. Luckily he had accidentally brought me 2 forks and no knife. Or was it a premonition.....?
Jof has made cakes for the school valentines thingy, but she uses heart-shaped cutters to make them. This is effective and they're fun, but inefficient and it leaves plentiful chocolate-covered leftover corner bits which we all like. I eat mine on the sofa. Do you?

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Ratzinger Ratz out

baseball hits kid in the balls
So the current pope of one of the other brainwashing cults has called in sick. If you're "chosen by god", can you quit? If only I was 20 years older ..... actually, I wouldn't want to limit myself to the size of their customer base.
So we have joyously sold our house and have a few weeks of utter turmoil before moving day, which will herald the arrival of many weeks of turmoil. So what is the one worst thing that could happen? Indeed. Grandma and Grandad have also sold their house and are planning to move about 1 week before us. Thus, not only can we not help the frail and confused elder generation, we need to hire a van and collect a load of furniture from them before they go, and fill our house up a little more.
Anyway, we did Indian dance in school today so as we left, Erin and I did the Suspicious Old Sailor walk, a cross between belly dancing and some kind of bipedal crab.
All the way home I told Bud about my plans for using cardboard and laundry pegs to make something. But he told me to be quiet, because he was talking to Mrs Jack about kitchen refits, so I carried on, safe in the knowledge that anything I have to say is much more important. By the traffic lights he'd told me to shut up 3 times, but that's no reason to stop, because I over-ride him. Then the lights changed, I stepped out without looking, still talking about pegs, and the 2 large vehicles that had run the red light (by a long way, not just a little bit) missed me by possibly as much as an inch, but that doesn't matter, for I outrank them, and they don't exist for they are not a cardboard project in my mind. On the other side, he explained to me about not trusting anyone even if there was the green man walking sign, I wanted to tell him about my plans for cardboard but he said he didn't care. Why is nobody listening to me about cardboard? Don't you know who I am?
Gym was good, but the postman still hasn't arrived and so I have been cheated out of my #5 badge for another week. You just can't get the staff.
At home I opened and redistributed the flatpacked boxes and foam to make an assault course for one of those little Lego squares with 2 wheels attached.

Monday, 11 February 2013

icame, eyesore, I WillyWonka'ed

drunk baby funny with beer meme One of my favourite programmes at the moment is Winter Wipeout / Total Wipeout in which various contestants attempt to cross devious obstacle courses while wearing giant safety suits. Mostly they get muddy or fall into the swimming pool or tumble gracelessly off a precarious yet brightly coloured podium. Jof would be rubbish at it, even though she can swim. But I'd be good if only I was a few feet taller, ditto Bud. So I pestered him to apply, which he did. Sadly, they are no longer making this programme so aren't looking for new contestants.
Straight away, it all went wrong. Today is my school trip to Beaulieu: they've known about it for ages and had to pay fees and everything. So there I am, the only one in school uniform, without the prescribed rucksack and stuff, because they got distracted and forgot. I know I'll always be a little bit unique, but nobody likes to be the odd one out. I told off Jof loudly. And will I be warm enough? Oh, look. It's snowing.
beaver scouts church hall floor
We had a really good time and saw James Bond's crocodile submarine and the BlueBird and loads of other fancy cars. One boy got his head slammed in a door and on the way back, a girl was showing us how fast she could headbang like JoniBobsMum and she clanged the wall of the bus. When we got back I growled and hit Bud repeatedly for the ignominy of being in school uniform all day. We delivered paperwork to the solicitor which was boring. Then we did a drive-by dumping of a carful of stuff to the charity shop, which was fun. We ran in and out with armfuls of bags (and one bedside lamp) which is a defence against the staff realising the quality of the donations and refusing to take more. We emptied stuff out of the loft for Jof to pack and we got down the big flat artworks that were too big for the coffins. We invented specialist packaging for them. At Beavers Ben was there again and we spent the whole hour attached to each other. Leader codename 'Bluebird' said we were magnetic but really it was Emotional Velcro.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Living in a box

psilocybe semilanceata magic mushroom liberty cap artwork picture
12 hours in bed, up eleven something. Following our success in the housing market, we pretty well have to pack up the whole house into boxes, so we started on the loft while Jof cast a critical eye over the kitchen.
Gradually stock moved from the loft to the extension and it was all stacked up neatly. You can still get to the washing machine but only just. Of course, we found all sorts of rubbish that we've been keeping faithfully for years, such as all the attachments for our previous hoover, and this ... item of artwork. This picture is on an old mirror backing board: each little object is a screw. Because they stand proud of the surface, instead of being countersunk, they are called mushroom-headed screws. And he has made mushrooms out of them, for he is such a wag. You will also notice that I am still in pyjamas. It is a PJ day: I believe Mr Ben is a fan of those, and I am trying it for the first time.
Meanwhile, the Lego Tower of Doom continues. Because it's 2 up, one across the top all the way round, it's quite simple but we all have damaged fingernails from separating off all the little flat bits to use as strengthening struts. By half past seven we ran out of bricks. For someone with a Lego collection as awesome as mine, actually using up every brick (including the little tiny ones with only 1 nob) is an achievement and a half. But, I ask you, who else has made a Lego tower you can actually get in?
giant lego building with a boy in it
It is 96cm tall, so I do rather stick out of the top. I got in and out without damaging it and now I'm singing to it and decorating it. See about a third of the way up it actually gets wider?

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Thinking inside the box

loft attic storage cardboard boxes
Jof went off to work but we didn't fancy getting up that early. Because of the imminent house move, we have to put our whole life in boxes and stack them up ready for the moving people. The loft is already quite full so that lot is coming down first, lucky that Bud labels and stacks boxes for a living.
Actually there wasn't much for me to do so I ditched him for Lego Heroes. Even the bottlebank walk was severely truncated due to drizzle and coldness.
hms warrior portsmouth harbourBut then after pepperoni pizza, Ben arrived. He is doing a school project on modes of transport and BensMum is out of the country and Jof is working so us chaps had the day to ourselves to go forth into the world and travel by different means.
So we planned on a reprise of "A ferry long walk" last year in almost identical weather conditions, ie cold and wet. We waited ages for the bus and 2 came along at once, for that is how they operate. We gurned and quacked to pass the time.
aircraft carrier in portsmouth harbourWe actually had to pay to use the bus, a real downer. But it took us to the Hard (bus station at the end of the world) even though we sat right behind the driver and quacked and kicked the little booth thing he sits in. From there we boarded the Gosport Ferry, a mega-frequent service that plies the busy Bosphorus between Pompey and Beirut (aka Gosport).
gosport recreation park boating lakeWe arrived in the rain. It is a measure of the affluence of the hallowed turf of Gosport that as soon as the main drag starts, the high street is full of low-rent charity shops with a range of novel aromas. I believe we found about 8 and graded them out loud ("This charity shop is really crap". "This charity shop is medium") and we didn't find any £10 bags of Lego at all but I got 2 boxes of bath fizzers and gave one to Ben because we were quite cold by that point and looking forward to a hot bath.
Once the charity shops were exhausted, we cut across to the same cafe on top of the boating club and had Chupa-chop lollies. Ben actually cut his tongue on one, you'd have thought they'd make sweeties safer. But they had to close so we high-tailed it to the swingpark in the admittedly lighter freezing drizzle.
There we used the roundabout and both fell off (muddiness) and the zipline (bottie wetness) and ran around the skatepark (slippery danger) and by then my gloves were soaked and my hands were turning blue. 
slippery mud in gosport zipline swingparkBastion #1 (old fort with expense magazines and cannon turrets and unknown pits in the ground - all overgrown) was in our way. Because BensDad said he couldn't go in the old shopping trolley we found in the car park, we went in the fort instead. (You're allowed to, it's ok) It was quite damp and muddy but there were loads of sticks and we broke the twiggy bits off and carried them around with us, attacking trees, cannon pivots, bricks, each other, anything we could get our hands on really. The slopes of the fortified battery were quite slippery and treacherous, we all made it up but we had to have assistance and we all got muddy - but that is what chaps of all ages do - get muddy and brandish sticks.
The ferry was not far away and the bus got us home to the warm even though we quacked and jumped up and down etc. In our Lego room, Bud has sorted out all the flat bits and the block bits because he wanted to make a new tower of doom. So he just said I'm going to get a few bits ready, can't do much because we're moving house. 
giant lego constructionOh really. We are 4 Lego experts with forty naughty fingers and we made our own production line providing components to Bud's specifications. The repeating formula is fairly simple so we all joined in and it's got these massive picture windows all the way round just like Stonehenge and that means there's loads of standing positions for the humanoids and the decorations and the bricks will go further making a bigger tower because of all the gaps. In meedle of no time we had 5 layers. You can just tell it's going to be awesome. We marauded the adults by singing an acapella duet of infinite length in fluent TotalRubbish.
Sadly Ben had to go but it's been really good fun and he got lots of pictures and tickets for his travel challenge thing.
throwing an old bead curtain on the bonfireLater, Jof joined in the Lego Build. The formula is simple enough for a girl and it's quite a therapeutic finger-action so with me as super-helper, we finished another couple of layers.
And we bonfired. Most of it was damp wallpaper from Bedroom 1, but we also submitted to Bonfire Rule #1 (Thou shalt Burn with Joy, and in so burning, will conflagrate at least one strange item) which in this case was an old bead curtain of origin unknown which has graced our hallway for the last 17 and 1/2 years. I think we shall have to sweep up afterwards.
Is that enough? No. Bath fizzer night meant pinkness of skin and of bathwater. I hope Mr Ben has had as good a time as I did with the fizzy water of fun.
You know what? It's been an entirely acceptable day. Give me Ben anyday.