Tuesday, 30 April 2013


trolling girlfriend text funnyThe countdown is in earnest now and the Hobbits are panicking. I took a van down to their place 3 years ago to teach them how easy and beneficial it is to clear the rubbish out of your house so it's easier to move home. They refused to heed our warnings and are now having to leave dining
alexandra park play area portsmouthsuites and so forth behind for the charity shops to pick up.
School was OK, I suppose, but my class only got 30 minutes 'helping' to put up the new willow tunnel in the playground, all the other classes got a full hour.
I managed to finish my homework without too much kerfuffle, angst and histrionics and got 10 minutes bonus park before gymnastics: I have not remembered to practise my frog balancing so I was not good enough for badge #4.
The Lego Orphan box has started coming into its own, all they do is pack. Lucky we know a man that does boxes. Because we are clever we have also invented 'Green sticker means Garage' so that the nice removals men (who haven't actually answered the email yet) will know where to shove it.

Monday, 29 April 2013


funny food fail looks like williesI was most surprised when I went downstairs for breakfast, Bud was still here! A random day off for packing, apparently. Thus I got to school on time and got several minutes of Zombie Tag before the line-up and the working week began.
At home the tidying-down started (like tidying up, but actually increasing clutter) with the world of plant pots and loft boards and even Auntie Jane (a pre-war shelfy thing from a little old lady decades ago) coming down from the loft.
Daisy drew me a colourful dog. Erin says it's because she's in love with me, Erin's just jealous. In maths homework (telling the time) I confidently asserted that "At 3pm I am usually asleep" and "Hannah gets up at 7pm". It's a difficult time. He just stands there and tells me I'm as clever as a loftboard, and I laugh so much I get hiccups, which interferes with eating cucumber.
drawing of a dog for boyfriendBen arrived and we Lego Heroed for a bit and then played Two Tribes (annihilation mix - full of animals this time. We defended ourselves against Nazi Rhinocerosses in what may be the Osterreich position) in the park before Beavers.
Later we found that due to adult ineptitude (first time for everything) Bensmum had forgotten to collect the BBQ so we got a bonus scoot back through the park and a quick go on the swinging basket.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The House-Cooling Party

bbq and raised flowerbedsIt is traditional amongst the elite citizenry of the western world to have a house-warming party when moving home. Thus the new abode is introduced to its new owners and their friends, and vice versa. In our case, a house-warming party would be most apt, and in fact, helpful,  as there is no central heating upstairs. However there are a number of safety issues such as no carpets, exposed brickwork and splintered woodwork, missing banisters, floorboards not present in all rooms, etc. So instead we are having a house-cooling party where we say goodbye to a house we already all know and love.
I started with outside jobs. I pushed the broom around the garden. I told Jof she could clean the BBQ. I allowed Bud to do the hoovering. I awarded Jof the task of wiping down all the garden furniture. Thus exhausted, I was playing candy crush saga on Jof's tablet when he made me come with him to source wood for the bonfire. Fires are important to us and our parties, and we do have old paperwork and cardboard to dispose of. So we hit the Pompey centre and hoiked some broken pallets and 5 assorted cable drums, a personal favourite.
Gradually the Puddlers arrived. The Popses had elected to hold their own rival BBQ party so we could see Pops bouncing on her trampoline only 3 houses north of our location but sadly utterly unconnected to our own event.
broken pallet on brick built bonfireWe Legoed. We ate the BBQ food. We complained about unfairness, but only a little bit.
Then suddenly, the food ran out so the BBQ coals went on the bonfire, which went up a treat. I was in charge again, but only in my own head, so we took it in turns to incinerate cable drums and cardboard and pallet fragments. Erin said that the roaring of the fire was like her mummy fluffing and there was lots of raucous laughter from the beery ones, I think that was biologically unlikely but I suppose she should know her own mummy. In the end, we had all taken our turns and the adults were getting a little fractious and anxious so we left them to it. Because we had been remiss and pedestrian in our wood-sourcing efforts, the wood ran out and as per desperate measures, he called Orphan Box.
Hey bleedin' presto, the mood changed and we all waited in slavering Pavlov-dog style anticipation. The Orphan Box was opened before us, and we fell upon its promised goodness like the unwashed natives of insanity.
huge pile of mixed legoI found the fabled X-wing fighter of Star Wars. Johnny found the Jack Sparrow Dinghy of Doom. Ben found the X-3024 Walker of the Planet Oomph or whatever. Beth and Erin found the pink building blocks of Lego Friends. And boy O girl, we just got on with it while the grown-ups dealt with the bonfire. It's a kinda firesale in that we won't be here for much longer so the silly people took every bit of burnable material from the garden (bamboo canes, prod sticks including the flagpole and several broom sticks - apart from the legendary Doreen etc) and frazzled them. Ben went swimming through the pile of Lego so many of the components of the X-wing may be lost forever.
At about half seven, they left. Now, for some PuddleParties, this would be a mortal insult. But tomorrow is a school day so we understand.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

And so it begins

dandelion clock blowingAn early and mentally foggy start at 0830. We got the walkie-talkies back out of storage again and walked through the park where I was the oldest kid and the swinging basket was free. The bottlebank had moved due to the demolished pub so we carried the bottles back home again, and I bought Jof the chocolatiest chocolate cake in the shop and we saw the man with the van emptying out the house we bought yesterday and there was a whole Lego Hero in the charity shop for a mere 10p, what a victory.
Later, Ben came to pick me up for playdate #1. This was supposed to be a way of getting me out of the way so that much moving of boxes and furniture could take place. As far as I'm concerned, I got 6 excellent hours of Lego Heroing with Ben and we were little angels, allowing Bensmumanddad to basically sit around all day doing not much. As it happened, the keys to the new place never arrived, so while I was gone, they basically sat around the place doing not much apart from sitting pining for the fjords by the telephone like some lovelorn teenager, and doing the odd change-of-address letter to fill the time.
So the clearing-up for the house-cooling party meant that even more boxes were piled up in the Lego Room, waiting to be transported to the colonies. And I missed playdate #2, which was supposed to be Pops.
So while the game's afoot, it's still wearing carpet slippers and hasn't done its teeth yet.

Friday, 26 April 2013

The day we bought a house

funny wheelbarrow accidentIn a final flurry of paperwork and temporary insurances, we bought a house. And I thought lashing out £120 on a Lego Electric Train was a big payment.
This morning started beautifully. OK, so it was raining, but we have a roof. My chauffeur got me up and  I took time out to awaken Jof. With 10 minutes to spare, we left the house and got snarled up in the traffic jam/car park that is rush hour in downtown Pompey. If you normally travel at 0610, you are unused to the exhaust-fest that is the morning commute. It took us 30 mins to get down the 1 road to YMCA and even then my troubles were not over. It isn't the actual holidays so the venue had moved next door. I was the only one there, even though I was half an hour late.
Only 2 other kids joined me so the teacher-child ratio (1:1) was very favourable. One kid was of indeterminate sex (you know, 12 years old, undecided in style, could go either way) and the other was a very naughty boy (but not the messiah). He stole all our pens, called the footballs 'fluffins' and handled the urinal cakes until he had green fingers.
Next door was swimming at my usual time. But to show you what I'm up against, the slightest change in routine leads to pandemonium. As I was at child-minding not school, I didn't change into my swimming trunks an hour before the lesson to save time as usual. So the trunks were not in my bag. I was in terminal danger of having to swim wearing only a bright yellow cap and goggles, luckily the nice manager lady found some trunks in the lost property. But really.....
So to celebrate spending fifty grand in one day, we scooted to the pub, as you do. Eventually more Puddlers joined us and I played hide the wood-chip with Erin and the JBs and Ben arrived to a fanfare. We made a posse and split up, some playing mobile-phone games, some playing games in the real world while the adults did whatever it is that they do.
Once I had scooted home, I had some quiet Legotime and then I accepted my bedtime fate without argument.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Crossover Day

texting autocorrect funny
Today was the day of many things.
1.   The sword of Damocles: blunted. After a month of butterflies in the tummy (exacerbated by chilli overdoses), Bud found out he is not to be made redundant, which is mildly useful given item #2. However, Dearest Follower Corinne did lose her job, which is not.
2.   The solicitor said we can move next week.
3.   The last day of school for a bit as tomorrow is an insect day for even more teacher training, they must all be professors by now.
4.   The amount of visits to my blog by Americans has now overtaken that of the British. Breaking the US market may not seem important to you, but it's taken me 2 and 1/2 years.

I finally took in my telescope and binoculars (made from industrial clingfilm inner tubes) so that Erin, Daisy and I could act out our play "The Pirate who Learned to be Good" and whaddya know, the girls forgot the words. I told 'em, I did, simple words are easier to remember. Write them down, said Bud, but that's just silly.
Because the Lego room (formerly known as the dining room) is about to become really busy, he asked me to clear every bit of Lego off the floor into the giant tubs. This looked like it was going to take ages until he helped me by scooping vast amounts using the large grey square.
Thursday park was extremely well attended. In fact almost every square yard had someone in it, from Flynn who used to go to my school, Rosie ditto, Poppy and Baby Edward, many from my school, both Georges, Ansah from Thursday football, people from Scouts, one of Bensmum's pupils, all sorts in a giant Venn cross-pollination of social circles.
milton park portsmouth with my secret sister
I had been warned to retreat if it looked like I was going to get knobbled so instead of football I scooted with Sam and by the end of the day (1 and 1/4 hours of bright sunshine) I had not had any unhappy moments at all. Bob and Ben had a bit of a wood-chip throwing competition but it was all handbags, like those Italian footballers with girly-locks.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The man from Del Monte, he say ... eeyargh!

bird shit down car door funnyAt last, the slumbering solicitors have woken up and said we could be moving next week. Of course, they might accidentally relapse into coma, but we have hope.
So if I had a hand-held portal to a parallel but backwards universe, I could feed Duplo Lego through to them, and they could feed grown-up Lego through to me, because I'm on the way up, and they're on the way down. Just saying....
After school was battletime. I got 11/12 on spellings which was great, then onto the book review. I read the book yesterday in the car, so that stage was complete.
orchard road play area southseaBut I object to questions such as "I thought it was scary when ....." and they leave you 3 1/2 lines to fill. I mean, it wasn't scary.
Apparently simply adding "when they got angry" isn't good enough, I refuse to understand that it's an exercise in comprehension, making up answering sentences in my own words, and writing them down. So I get angrier and angrier as the answer page fails to fill up and my Lego time diminishes.
I spent so long arguing and sobbing about the fundamental unfairness of it all, before you know it, it's trampolining time.
We cycled, because it's too far to scoot. This was a rockingly good way to arrive and I'll do it more often.  I am good enough to get badge 5 already, mostly because of my gymnastics experience. Who knows what heady heights I can attain with 10 more lessons.
Jof met us outside and we stopped off at Orchard park on the way home. I barely tried out the actual park stuff because some kids with a better 4-letter vocabulary than me were playing in the evergreen bushes.
hole in ground for extension foundationsThis was far better than swinging and I could have stayed there all day if it wasn't already evening.
Today's look at the house is the bathroom and kitchen extension. I had been bathing in one of those baby baths on a trolley things, good up until 1 year old. At 2 years old, I was sticking out both ends and we had to build a bathroom, all my fault. Running along the back of the row of houses is a sewer: we're next to the deepest part of the drain so the builders had to hand-dig a hole 9 feet deep to put a concrete cap over the sewer branch. I used to stand there in my Bob the Builder yellow hardhat and loudly point out when any of the workmen were slacking. It took 2 cement lorries to fill the hole up again. Corpse to dispose of, anyone?

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Hobbits win the Race

neighbours with large dinosaur funnyGrandma and Grandad have exchanged contracts on their country estate and will move next week. Come down and help us unpack, they say. Not that we've got anything to do ourselves.....
At school pickup time I told Bud he had to have a meeting with the Teacher. Oh dear, he said, what have you done now. But no, she wanted boxes for moving house. Shall we just set up a cottage industry supplying bespoke packaging using the never-ending free cardboard mine that is the recycling bin at his work? Think how much Lego I could buy. Many of my schoolfriends asked me if I had had a haircut. No, I said, there was a fireball and it all burnt off. Our solicitors, however, are still sleeping. At this rate we'll miss the May bank holiday as well, we're already a month late.
alexandra parade swing park portsmouthIt was a lovely day so after the usual battle with spellings (probably easier to hack into the Oxford English Dictionary word repository and change the official version from 'Ravenous' to 'Ravonace') we got to gym a little early and had the first decent park of the year.
triffid garden with flowers and palm treesIn gym, the instructors say I have to improve my frog-balancing (easier than slug-balancing) to get my Badge #4, give it a couple of weeks. Then they asked if I had had a haircut. No, I said, some alien worms got me in the night and remoulded them in their own image. On the way home we were delayed by 2 fire engines, 2 ambulances and a police car that were blocking the road by the railway bridge after a van decided to use the pavement and hit 4 people.
Today's blast from the past is about the garden. Due to excessive composting, widdling on the compost heap, bonfire ash and magic secret ingredients, anything that grew in our arable pastures became a triffid. Except me.
Later, Poppy came round to invite me trampolining in her back garden, but Jof said no. Then she asked me if I'd had my hair cut. No, I said, but the brain scan I'd undergone for the benefit of medical science had needed a clean scalp.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Monday Morning Fever

chicken walking outside kfc funny unlucky fired kittenJof has awoken with a stinking cold and sneezed her way through my breakfast. She blames it on the fresh air and exercise we got over the weekend and has vowed to seek sanctuary on the sofa and dose herself with protective chocolate. I may hijack this as it sounds good.
Anyway, first lesson was music. Well, we had to demonstrate moving in time to the beat with dance and movement. I am such a shy retiring type that I was up there on stage strutting my funky feverish stuff and was chosen to demo my moves and teach the rest of the class. I was first into the Golden Book this week.
new growth on fruit trees in springMrs Ben helped pick Erin and myself up this afternoon, I thought she was a whole academic year early but she'd just been talking wallpaper all day with Mrs Erin, is that what they call it nowadays.
Today's last-chance picture of the house is of the Chinese pear trees, (together with cherry, Indian almond, bay, elderflower, grape, hops, etc etc). These pear trees are about as old as me and have produced fruit 3 years running: Ben liked them. One day we shall have an orchard like the Hobbits.
After supper #1, Ben arrived and we tried to watch his Lego Chima DVD but the cinematic technical operator had a skills malfunction and we only got 10 minutes of it before deciding to play Lego instead. We are making ships with Judges and underwater dens.
boys playing in park Soon enough we scooted off early to Beavers and spent our spare time playing Lego Chima attack in the park. So, I hear you cry, how does one play this?
Well, contestant #1 announces that he is the King and sends the other off on a high-speed scooted circuit of the thatched building to rescue the Princess or similar. The King then fights the invaders thusly: he performs a bewildering series of passes, reverse-Veronicas, Pasa Dobles, double-handed fly swats and sabre stabs while going "Choof! Latar! Whici-whici! Garg!".
initiation into beaver scouts by bluebirdThis is considered a victory against the farces of dorkness as soon as the scooting circuit is complete. Then we simply change Kings, and the first King becomes the peripatetic Prince while the ex-rescuer assumes the mantle of whirling Dervish-battler.
During actual Beavers, we had a trip-your-opponent-using-only-complicated-foot-movements competition, I managed to trip Ben when I accidentally left a foot behind and down he went. Outside there was a deceased, eviscerated squirrel. We took turns in poking it with a stick and one of the littlest Beavers picked it up and got told off lots. Then we all got lots of badges (including care of animals, clearly not including squirrels), someone was promoted to Cubs in the emotional yet strange river-crossing ceremony and Ben did his promise and was initiated (please sir, can I have another?). It's all happening.
I got hurting leg syndrome and had to be pushed home on my scooter.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Back in Training

amateur artist with cat paintingShortly we will be saying goodbye to our house so by way of tribute there will follow a series of titillating titbits. Today: the cat. This cat was one of 2, named Smeagle and Deagle after the Tolkien characters. We never really knew which was which. They were inherited from students (right by LittleMax's house) during the dark days of rented accommodation. The first lost an argument with a car but this one survived to follow them to this house. It predeceased my immigration to this planet, sorry, my birth, by several years and now lies 3 feet below the washing line pole.
portsmouth model engineering societyIt was replaced by a black and white creature which was forced out upon my arrival and ended up adopting the granny flats nearby. But this unnamed cat, IQ slightly under 2, is immortalised on this downstairs toilet door, where else.
Today we all went shopping and I got Lego Minifigures because they were half price. After he ran we went to Tunnel park to play rounders and go on the trains. It was cold so we rang our resting runner and said nip down here with some coats so he did. I got an extra ride, and still managed several sulky sessions.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Bere, Bare and Beer. But no Bears

At the beginning, I really didn't want to go out. But Mr "Let's go out 'cos it's sunny" forced me to and we got the walkie-talkies back out of where they'd been packed and hit the park. It was quite full and I played with Genevieve (girl, not outmoded car) and swung and climbed. Got my hair cut, turns out there's a grade 1 1/2 so had that.
forest of bere hundred acre woodThe butcher said we had to wait 20 minutes for my favourite giant sausage rolls to be cooked so we hit Tunnel Park as well. We found a really big steel ball-bearing in the gutter and rolled it down the slide. 1 soss roll later, we'd only just got home when Jof ran in and said the nice policeman had given her 8 minutes to drive the car away before he had it towed by the car-lifting lorry so we gathered everything together and left for the Hundred Acre Wood, aka Forest of Bere.
forest of bere car park and picnic areaNow, I have been to this location before with 1st wife Erin, so I was looking forward to telling everyone where to go. We accidentally turned off the motorway one stop too early but that just meant more countryside for us. Jof wanted lambs and she got them in Wickham: they weren't bouncing but the roads were. At the car park I leapt out and shouted my way around the sandpit and balancing beams and instructed the parents on how to negotiate the treehouse and the ladder-tower and the wooden crocodile and the assault course and the swinging baskets and the rope swinger and the gorse bushes and stuff. I acted as guide and made sure I kept shouting instructions. We investigated some woodlands and helped the beavers make their dam.
hundred acre wood forest of bere wickhamJof wanted lunch. Both Bud and I had told her to get picnic food in ASDA but she said there was a cafe. The cafe was a small stall and they had run out of everything except chocolate cake and apologies. A small girl trod repeatedly on Jof's foot as she shouted angrily at them for cheating her out of a deserved luncheon. I had soss roll #2 and Bud had the butcher pasty that he'd secretly brought along and Jof had a satsuma. I was hot enough to take off my shirt and took pity on the hungry Jof and shared my soss roll and choccie cake with her.
Then we did the big walk. I was still being the guide so I darted down side alleys and tangential paths that went the wrong way and eventually we reacquired the main artery and Bud took over guiding. This went very well and we met some toy poodles and some wet dogs and 2 ponds (2nd world war bomb craters) and some horses and a stream and another pond and lots of sticks. Then right at the end our new guide (the one who'd used the wrong motorway turnoff) took us down a faraway path with no wet dogs or people on it and it was quite good for a while until it turned into mud.
forest of bere hundred acre wood wickham hampshire
Jof is not qualified on countryside and it's lucky she had the sturdy birch stave that Bud had made for her, for she got quite annoyed with the sludgy footpath that petered out and became a muddy bramble patch, which was not on the official map.
But we trusted him because the way back was miles and we could hear the kids in the playground so we soldiered on and popped out right by our picnic spot. We were home in meedle of no time because we didn't go wrong and we put our feet up for some serious sofatime while all our clothes were laundered. We'd done about 2 1/2 miles of forest-grade yomping and our little feeties were tired. Excellent day out, though.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Touring the Estate

one direction singer gets thrown coke bottle in groinHappy Friday to all!
I did OK at school with only 9/12 on the spellings and the roof slates haven't been fixed so we had to come out of the kiddie gates again. It was Blue Day today (Tom Prince Cancer Research fundraiser) and my school raised £206 before Blueberry Muffins. Straight away I knew these delicacies were available from the stall and bought 3, a bargain at 50p each.
walls need replasteringOn the way home we stopped off at our future house. The man was in the garage and we talked about power outlets, inspection pits and architrave storage. Erin said hello and snooped in through the door which was nice and then we went into the house proper.
my future bedroomThere was a certain amount of anger between the family members and many nuances, evil stares and phraseology that are currently beyond my ken so when Bud and the father went upstairs to talk about eaves and ducts and plaster repairs, I stayed downstairs with the daughter and ate a blueberry muffin and told her jokes out of my Horrid Henry bumper book of jokes. This continued for quite a while until the father had
gone and then the daughter perked right up and invited us back any time. I spent some time planning my bedroom layout, it's so big I could get 4 beds in it. Turns out the strange cupboard footprint things in there were from one of those old beds that fold up into the wall, sounds like a gas. The loft is also very big and I am promised that when funds allow, it shall become my bachelor pad, look out Erin and Pops, hurrah!
Later I did swimming and hopped naked around the changing room going Hi-yah! and challenging Bud to karate to the death.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Foo Foo Fighters

epic fail mother cow urinating on stupid baby funnyLittleMax is learning Karate, Erin did for a bit and I like exploding and doing the pose from the Karate Kid and tweetling melodically and hopping around going Hi---yah! as much as the next man so in our new game we are the Foo Foo Fighters (we were foofoo fighting /us cats are as fast as lightning /in fact we're a little bit frightening /and we fight with expert timing .....)
milton park playgroundA disaster at school! The area outside our classrooms was roped off due to a slate-falling-from-roof head injury alert! We had to wait ages for the reception and 1st years to go home and then use their middle doors to leave - the ignominy, being demoted like that.
busy playgroundI got a homework award sticker for my badger project. I became the yellow peril for Park day and was visible from space.
Thursday park was busy with extra teenagers so the JBs and I practised our Foo-Foo Fighting hop'n'kick moves. They went dentisting so Ben and I did scooter circuits. On the final circuit with agreed route the JBs returned and we all went off together but I changed the planned route, we all dispersed in disarray and I earnt an early home. While it was sunny, there was a lot of wind and some threatening clouds so it was about time anyway.
I was rescued from an extended sulk by making packed lunches for tomorrow. Getting the knife angle right to spread margarine is difficult.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


kids drawing on each other in permanent pen funnySchool was great even if playtimes were a little truncated by drizzle.
We heard a new song in assembly about Africans and their appreciation of life: it took 15 minutes to sing.
The council are trying to stop kiddies getting killed or injured by traffic on the school run so have sent me home with a map of the school on the surrounding roads and concentric rings showing how long it'll take to walk it (Park'n'Stride). We are moving house from the outer 5 minute band right into the 2 minute band - and then I'm moving school. Erin is very excited about getting the Band of Puddlers back together. ErinsMum is very excited as well. Then again, I've seen her get excited by an inflatable rubber truncheon (which I still have) so it takes all sorts. We shall be called the Meon Massif (Booyakasha) and a lot of other things, I expect.
british gymnastics trampolining badgesAfter a large snack (which didn't come back to haunt me) I went to trampolining where I met Pops and Ruby and Kiera and the kid with glasses that likes Lego and so forth. Poppy may be the same kind of crazy as me but she has loads of badges as she's been tramping since she was 3. I got 7 goes and played 'Throw the scrunched-up paper into the bin' on Ruby's iPad between goes. After the lesson Ruby herself got some time off from her role as unpaid teaching assistant and did some trampling of her own. She did some huge bounces and seat drops and if she'd been better prepared she could have painted the ceiling tiles like that Leonardo Da Vindo chap. And then Joy! Jof walked all the way from work to meet me, making only 2 wrong turns en route.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Getting the Band back together

devouring the unborn eggs in cafe funny embarrassing childFirst thing this morning (well, 47 minutes past midnight), I found out which Junior School I'll be going to in the autumn term. It's not the nearest to my house (400% further) but I'll be there with Erin and Ben, Elizabeth will be next door, just a stuck-out tongue away.
School started well with the bugs-in-resin exhibition. Everybody passed them round and loved them.
In the afternoon gap, spelling was going quite well until I couldn't solve the problem with discuvered. Try another vowel, he said. OK, name me the vowels, he said. You were doing this at Puddleducks, he said. I managed u and i and then he got sad and blamed endless TV and Lego for mental degradation. Au contraire, I remonstrated: I have been going to school too much and the acquisition of new knowledge has necessitated the removal of old facts to make way.
I had to read a book out loud without hyperventilating from under the table while he destroyed all the Lego models, and try not to get a prolapsed cerebellum while coping with sentences that start like "Khufu's architects surveyed with plumbobs..."
This took up the whole afternoon so we only got to gymnastics right on time. Upon our return, he suggested I visit Pops to see what school she was going to, and come back for supper straight away. Well, the garden was sunny, Ruby and Edward were there so we played an obstacle course until he came round to collect me. I'm pretty well sure Pops is going to my new school as well....

Monday, 15 April 2013

Ninja Cats

fries pulls out the rotten child funny engrish menu
A great day back at school. We transported the Disaster Badger (which is looking much better after a few licks of paint) to school in the slipper box from the market, just the right size. It turns out we have until Friday to hand in the holiday work but I've done it now anyway.
One of my educational youtube videos last Saturday night was Ninja Cats so Erin and Littlemax and I played Ninja Cats in the playground. It's almost exactly the same as every other game we play - each contestant has certain powers and I'm the leader with the big staff weapon of doom and cosmic radiation, just with a different name, and we still cavort and gurn and jump around the playground hooting and blarting and going Hi-Yah!
LittleMax has moved house already. We've been trying for months.
lego collection play
climbing frame beaver uniformsOnce I'd done my spellings, Ben arrived all in a fluster but we don't care. We got straight down to Legoing and comparing Wands while his Mum got her hair cut by the Gasman (double booking).
blue peter badge gold awardWe made alien nuclear vessels and stopped off in swingpark on the way through to play Ninjago Ninja attack, which is cavorting and gurning and jumping up and down going Hi-Yah either side of the slide. We also did bodybuilding training with some inverted swinging and carrying our scooters at rakish angles.
I brought the insects-in-resin to the Beaver meet because our current badge is care of animals. It was a great success, everyone liked picking them up and making fun of their botties.
One of the Scouts got the golden Blue Peter badge award with a special letter and presentation case and everything. Perhaps one day he'll become an Antiques Roadshow expert.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

25 Free Nappies

invented alien beast with castle and thundercloudsLast day of the holidays, boo. This time we all went shopping and we filled the trolley and added a further 2 baskets. If you spend a certain amount you get 25 free nappies. Now, we really don't need 25 free nappies. But Baby Edward might, so we got them anyway and then realised that if we'd split up the shopping into manageable bite-sized trolleyloads, we could have scored 75 free nappies, that's a lot of poo.
Later Jof drove me to the nudist beach where we taunted the waves and I collected 4 small rocks, I'm sure all mummies love to carry extra rocks in their handbags to go with the enormous amount of other rubbish they carry around. There weren't any nudists. Well, there were some dogs, and none of them were wearing clothes, but that doesn't really count.
Knowing that Pops eats early, we left it till after suppertime to go round for play and to deliver the nappies. Pops was in the bath, and Baby Edward doesn't use nappies any more. So that's a complete fail, then.
This is Glog, a one-eyed four-armed tentacled beast from a planet of my own devising, possibly my original home planet.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Incumbrances and Quasi Easements Hereinafter

Up ten something. It was going to be a relaxing Saturday but some more documents came in from the solicitors so we had to change plans. These documents are so complicated that they had 5 "Sign Here" stickers attached, and someone else had to witness the signing. We caught a bus to the seafront, threw 3 rocks each, decided it was a bad idea in the driving rain and bussed onwards to Jof. She didn't have time to sign and get witnesses so we wandered into town and bought slippers in the market, as you do. The 4th bus took us round the houses and home.
rubber squid projectile mutant alien tadpoleA cat rescue-related charity shop sold me Lego Bionicle Barraki "Mantax 8919" and some random loose bits for £2 so I added them to my collection and spent happy hours pitting the High Priests of darkness against each other. Mantax comes with 2 'Squid ammo' rubbery projectiles that look like mutant alien tadpoles.
We ran through the drizzle to Pops' house to get Popsdad to witness the signing your life away thing. It was only 545 but they were having supper, srsly, I eat at 7 or 8. So because we were clearly distracting Pops from eating her supper, we had to go, even though I was having lots of fun with their hot-wheels contraption fixed to the wall where you whizz the wheel around and the car crashes like someone blogging and driving at the same time....
A couple of weeks ago I had 'last bath fizzer night in this house'. I've had 2 since. That's sleeping solicitors for you.
Hobbit Corner: Presents, and things that we've saved for you
You can always rely on your parents or grandparents to have your best interests at heart, even though they aren't operating in the same reality as the rest of the world. Thus, some of the presents we've been given over the years include
Numerous free CDs and DVDs from the Observer magazine on everything from Metallica to Bob the Builder, one even hand-labelled "Does not play in machine"
A 10-foot ladder, of which only 4 foot was not terminally damp and rotten
A fridge motor (deceased)
Out of date box of chocolates
Small watering can
Voucher for 20p off Morrisons treacle sponge, valid for next 2 days
A cat bell
A map of Pennsylvania 1992
2 phials of airport issue aftershave
As much bolted/gone to seed spinach as you can harvest from the veg patch
The unopened Xmas present we gave them 3 years ago
 The Xmas present we gave them 23 years ago (yes, it was a wooden box they used to keep nuts in before roasting them on the open fire)
 A Telegraph article from last year on the company you used to work for in 2003

Friday, 12 April 2013

The Lucky Toad (kissing the right frog)

swinging rope in chichester parkI have a wide choice of girls all wanting to marry me. Apart from the obvious Erin and Pops, there are several at school and one at gym. I know this because they often ask me to play kiss chase. He said "Lucky you, hardly anybody wanted to play kiss-chase with me when I was a kid". So I retorted "Yes, but you went to a boys-only school". Pensive silence.....
So because the Weatherguessers had poo-pooed tomorrow, we decided to do Chichester today. It's a fairly old town with plenty of Roman bits left and I haven't been there in years. Obviously the first thing to do is seek out new parks, and boldly swing them. Google Earth helped us locate Hardham Road swingpark and we parked in an industrial estate to avoid parking charges.
road name sign on side of houseThis park has a decent assault course with beams, monkey rings etc, a basketball area, lots of green space and an 8-seater swinging rope. Drawbacks include a sparsely populated kiddie area with a rusty swing that sort of honks every arc and a squeaky see-saw. Also the whole area is waterlogged so you're never far away from mud. Also the swinging basket was minus its basket. But the walking-planks with troll bridges under and the pan's pipes balancing posts are good. We did the whole circuit twice in some mean drizzle and were the only ones there.
On the way back we couldn't help but notice this small cul-de-sac that made me want to strum.
Bleedin' miles away was Chichester proper. We could have parked a lot closer.
chichester cathedral and flint brick wallsMany charity shops were available once we'd got past all the hoity-toity designer outlets in medieval buildings and I scored 4 bath fizzers and a Lego FA cup. I won't particularly keep it as a cup and have ditched the instructions and ribbons but it did yield a lot of bits.
For lunch I demanded sausages and found them in The Buttery in the Crypt. This rather swish cafe in a medieval butter-making dungeon fed us extremely adequately and we hit the 900 year-old Cathedral for some stone appreciation. I do like a good tomb and kindly avoided all the Private No Entry signs and investigated side-chapels and the chorister's bit and so forth. There are many intriguing doors you can't get in and a lot of leaflets, which I took. The main attraction to me is the bell tower or main steeple, and the extremely elderly lady on enquiries didn't know if either of them would ever be open to the public for some altitude investigation. She said she'd been up there once back in 1868 but that didn't help me. 
On the way back to the car we found a lost toad on the wrong side of the road. We put it in a church graveyard which turns out to border Whyke Lake, the first of several lakes in the region. I don't think it would have been lucky enough to cross that road again without getting squished.
After swimming we picked Jof up from work and got fish'n'chips and I emptied my plate with gusto, or was it ketchup. Bud had to make a special trip to Tesco to buy assorted chocolate.
Hobbit Corner: I'm not going to throw this away because
pile of junk kept by old peopleThe 2nd dead freezer by outhouse #3, act 3, scene 2. Yes, it's rusty, non-functional and on its back, and inside are several plant pots and their ex-contents that have gone through putrefaction and out the other side. But if I get rid of it, where will I put the laundry basket when I'm hanging out the socks?
cupboard full of jam jarsThe empty Marmite jar. Once we finished a jar of Marmite at breakfast and we put it in the recycling.
Grandma got very worried when she couldn't find it, retrieved it and placed it next to 2 other empty jars of Marmite in her special Marmite jar holding facility (shelf). When questioned, she said you can pour boiling water into them, rinse them out, and keep the resultant liquid as the base for a nourishing stock. The fact that she'd finished 3 large jars before doing this did not seem silly in the slightest. Once emptied they would be consigned to the Secret Jamjar collection:  back in 2010 we found it. 352 jamjars spread across several buildings, each one washed and lidded. The lids had rusted solid in the intervening 20 years. She also had several cupboards full of old margarine tubs, those little styrofoam trays you get chicken fillets on, hand cream pots and the moulded plastic tray things that chocolate biscuits come in. All were empty, neatly stacked and ordered, until we took them all to the tip.
Free seeds from Good Housekeeping magazine 1987. A plant-by date of 1988 means nothing to the people that time forgot.
Large box of assorted coinage. You never know when the Drachma will make a comeback.
Loft full of wallpaper from 2 walls ago. If the next owner of this house strips off the top 2 layers, they might want to put this one on again.
Xmas wrapping paper. If you carefully unwrap a present with nail scissors, spending more time than it took to wrap it up in the first place, you may be able to reuse the paper. Flatten it out, put it back in the Xmas box for next year. When I first arrived and tore the paper off like any 2 year-old, it caused much tutting and consternation.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Guns that fire Shot

johannesburg policeman sitting on shotgun funny
Woke up reasonably early but demanded extra time in bed to explode and make gunfire noises to myself. Mr Unfair hid the TV remote and made me write out a whole paragraph of Badger Project and then just when I thought it was TV time, we went down to the park because it wasn't raining.
milton park portsmouthI met Harry and Sam and Alfie and we played Goblin Attack and shot at each other across the park and Mr Never-Helpful pushed us on the Swinging Vomitorium for ages and when we left we were hot and thirsty.
my scooter is bigger than yoursPops was still out so I Legoed. He rang the JBs and they scooted round and I wowed them with my collection of giant insects in resin and we built Lego constructions with drills and chains and then we realised it wasn't raining so we scooted to the park. There we did all the usual running around shooting at Bud with Bob's real actual cap gun rifle and soon the whole park reverberated to the sound of small arms fire.
playing games in playparkFor no apparent reason we invented a sports day. We scooted circuits, but singly, not in races. We ran circuits. We did sit-ups, push-ups, pulling/pushing yourself along the bench seats like that angled board at the gymnastics centre and tired ourselves out. Bob had brought a belt to secure his cordite-powered rifle and we used it in a variety of interesting ways (not including tourniquet).
We totally have to tell Ben about this randomly invented athletics competition, it was all self-inflicted, nobody told us to do anything.

over and under .410 shotgun and boy in thomas the tank engine hatHobbit Corner
This episode concerns a question that vexes us all at some point in our lives. If you are the Landed Gentry (Farmers, estate owners, small holdings etc) then you may need one or more firearms for vermin, driven game and home security. But which one? Having purchased a converted farmhouse in half an acre of Dorset countryside, bordered on 2 sides by open fields and 1 side by a disused equestrian centre, Grandad decided he had to pack heat, and got himself a little over-and-under .410, mainly to pick off the odd pigeon sitting on the roof. He rarely used it and bagged a pigeon infrequently but did keep it loaded by the back door, just under the open box of shells, just right for any intruders to pick up on the way in. This is why it got quite rusty, but it was still functional. I first met it (unloaded) when I was 2 and the last time I was there we blew holes in some old cardboard boxes again, a splendid activity that has nothing to do with my penchant for making shooting noises all the time.
Of course, he couldn't take it with him to the old folks' home, so gave it back to the nice policeman when his licence ran out. This makes the whole world a safer place.