Sunday, 30 June 2013

Action Stations!

action stations hm dockyard portsmouthIn a panic, we arrived at Her Majesty's dockyard late. Bobert's party was at Action Stations which is a substantial building which has been converted to provide hands-on activities for busy boys, ideal for the ten or so of us. 
navy cadet firefighting drillUs PuddleBoys and some of their schoolfriends got to go on the climbing walls and the Harrier jump-jet simulator, we made bottle rockets and got painted faces. We had to name our rockets and they were all called Poo or Ploppy-poopants or similar. Mine came second. Every now and then the Navy cadets did a fire drill and we spent hours in there.
In LaserQuest all our Player Names were Ploppy-poopants or variations thereupon.

During the post-party party, we were playing sort-of football and birthday boy Bob (7) asked his Mum if he could say "That was a F***ing goal".
Consensus amongst the giggling adults was that no, he couldn't say that but it was nice he asked. Either I am a vocabulary virgin and this construction is not in my lexicon, or I am quieter about it.
On the way home we practised paratrooper bounce'n'roll landings in the park.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Just fink abaht der munny

Oh Boy, I got my designated sleep quotient as demanded. Jof said she had to leave for work but managed to continue washing net curtains etc right up until she was late and had to take the car.
grove place retirement village romseyWe bussed into town and visited the big Salvation Army charity shop that does furniture, looking for a booze cupboard. To be fair, we did find a couple of items that matched the parameters of our search, cupboard beneath, work surface for BensDad to do advanced drinks-mixing, coupla shelves above for beer festival glass storage and of the right size to fit in the kitchen. But they were ..... extremely seventies. While they were no doubt awesome in their time, our house is from 1911 so would probably not appreciate such a modern inconvenience. We moved on, and ran out of time due to diesel requirements.
Grandma and Grandad are now about 40 minutes away, much better than their previous 2 hours into the forgotten hinterland of Daaarzet. We tailgated somebody through the security gates with disdain and parked under the same shade tree we have always used.
british heart foundation gladys avenue north end portsmouthThey have done well. Many of their touristical tiles and plates have been nailed up in the corridor, reminding them that they had a real intercontinental life before they became incontinent. They have only a couple of cardboard boxes left to unpack, the contents of which will be added to the drifts of assortimentos lining the walls of the apartment so that Grandma can wheel herself around her sadly diminished estate without crashing into Tutsi ebony-carved heads and Ghanaian weaponry. We took a .410 shotgun cartidge off their hands, it will go in our shell collection, hoho.
purple bath saltsWe raced back to modern civilisation and acquired Jof, straight to the big British Heart Foundation charity shop outlet on Gladys roundabout. We went in searching for a booze cupboard. Oh, goodness me, said Jof. This wardrobe and chest of drawers match and look lovely. Plus this corner unit is groovy. I hid under tables while they did their strange adult renegotiation. We came out with these 3 items plus a massive Welsh dresser unit that will brighten up the kitchen, and I came out admonished for disobeying direct orders to STFU and come here, NOW!
This has saved us some considerable sums on the amounts we expected to spend in Renowned Local Furniture Emporium "Victoriana" so having spent only a monkey (£500) she can go to Victoriana and lash out totally, dude, on a feminin-ically complex dressing table in 7 dimensions and hopefully that will sate her evil shopping desires.
Got home. He went into the loft so we snuck out shopping and bought every curtain-related item she could find, which was a lot.
Bath fizzer night: left to my own devices - Zombie Night! Out by eleven-ish. Probably.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Moving In Day

Are you sure? Why, O why, I hear you cry, is today designated 'Moving in day' when you bought the house exactly 8 weeks ago?
Because, where the 8 rooms and 2 corridors have been extensively reworked, carpeted and painted, only now can the furniture and possessions come out of their hiding places in the loft, garage and shops. Last night there were furtive creepings in the loft and this morning there are lampshades and chairs, expect more later.
At school Erin and I are still arguing after the name-calling session yesterday. But hey ho.
lego collection in carpeted roomBecause we'd done sponsored bouncing (I got 77 bounces) I was already in Mufti so we sped down to the stripping shop and retrieved stripped pine door #5, which will adorn the bathroom. Then we popped into the large charity shop on Elm Grove to save having to do it tomorrow, for we seek a booze cupboard for the kitchen. No luck.
At swimming lessons the teacher said I was nearly good enough to progress to the next coloured hat! Just you wait until I am Mr Purple or Green or White or whatever is the next Reservoir Dog.
As soon as we'd picked Jof up from work it was straight to unpacking and redistribution of long-forgotten items of furniture from the garage and the loft. Well, it was for him, I slyly inviegled Jof into typing up my Pirate story about 'Slice Armstrong' and his exploits on a desert island with bountiful flora and fauna and a secret cave behind a waterfall which all may or may not be a blatant plagiarisation of a certain Tom & Jerry cartoon.
Still, I helped get stuff out of the loft like a new iron, ironing board, microwave, kitchen pan rack, boxes of Lego, gallons of dust, dirty handprints on the wall on the way down, all the usual stuff.
I emptied my giant box of Lego and sat on it. It's awesome. It's multicoloured. But it's a bit uncomfortable on the tailpipe.

Thursday, 27 June 2013


swedish railways funny sign balloons forbiddenToday is carpet day. While it is nice to have carpets for domestic comfort, noise reduction and not having to wear strong-soled shoes indoors because of the risk of treading on a nail, screw or random bit of plaster, I am mostly looking forward to getting my Lego back out again.
For weeks I have been planning to go swimming in my loose Lego collection, (Ben did breaststroke in the Orphan Box back in the old house) but Mash at Bud's work says why don't you have a bath in it, like baked beans? Tempting.
newly painted room having carpets fittedWell, strap me to a stripper and slap me with a kipper, but the Carpeteer and his Underlayers rolled up early. Jof organised them a bit and we left.
At school today we had Extra-Sports day and we did bean-bag balancing, bean-bag throwing, slug balancing, relays, run between the cones etc. My team came top and I got a certificate and clap from the assembly! Apparently it was Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week 2013 but for me it was just an excuse to win again, and get clap.
After school they were still hard at work carpeting so we left them to it and I cycled to Yellow Plum Park where Ben had called Thursday Park for a good reason I forget. It is nice to visit a different park every now and then. I don't think we did any swinging at all but we took it in turns to ride each other's bikes around, played frisbee and footy and hunt the twig and called each other names.
moorings way park milton portsmouth
I cannot do frisbee the right way round. I throw it like an assegai but get some serious distance on it, makes up for my lack of accuracy. I simply cannot get the idea that I'm throwing it backwards and get very angry when people show me their method as it's clearly what I'm doing. Our pet adult had to retrieve it from 6 bushes.
moorings way milton portsmouthLater all us boys climbed a Yellow Plum tree and wouldn't let Erin up it. She said I was an alien with big ears and I said her name was Erin 'All the rude words' H, because I don't know any rude words past poo. Although we were all equally guilty of being as nasty as possible, I expect everyone went home convinced they were the only true nice person being ganged up on by the others.
When Jof got home I unloaded my angst at great length, just what she wanted when she was trying to see our lovely new house fully carpeted.
We hoovered loudly for ages because the carpeteer's hoover had died, then we went into the loft and refilled my room with all its furniture and toys and Lego! I never want to leave my room again.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wooden it be lovely

newtons third law funny mad women hysterical emotionalThe last day of noisy bare wooden floorboards before the carpets are fitted tomorrow. I'm sure they're stylish and (in some cases) original to the house, but you can't walk anywhere quietly and more importantly I still can't get my Lego out. I lost a bit of Lego humanoid down a gap only last week.
house renovation project preparing for carpetsSome beleaguered American tourist has lost his passport, cards and $3k in Southsea and is advertising a 500 dollar reward for its safe return. I wouldn't mind the 500 bucks, but I'd get a new follower as well.....
In school naughty Kieron (Year R) got on the chair when the teacher was out of the room and unscrewed and fiddled with the gas box so gas escaped and we all had to have a real fire drill. I choked on my food a bit at lunchtime when the teacher made me laugh but I finished it all after school.
Meanwhile he did the last of the painting and even put some hooks up.
carpetright fratton way portsmouth flooring and remnantsOn the way to trampling I dropped the keys off at the carpet place and played with a giant bazookoid while he talked about Roundheads and Cavaliers, FFS.
OK. That's it, we've finished. As much painting as poss has been done. As much furniture has been moved out of the to-be-carpeted areas as poss. The yard has been swept and hosepiped clean, O for a bit more money to have the tuberculosis factory concreted over, the haemorrhagic fever dispersal unit blocked, and the Bucket'O'Ebola sanitised.
Jof tried the new upstairs fancy-shower. It has slightly confusing nobs but can be mastered with practice, happens to us all.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

They Said They Were 17, Officer

cheap version value food fail A quiet morning without builders! Site clearance man didn't turn up either so the yard is still full of rubbish.
At school we did another rehearsal for the play and I actually got to do my lines! I'm allowed to read them off the sheet because I'm a newsreader and they're allowed to read their lines. In addition, Buzz Lightyear and Spongbob Squarepants came to my school in person to jollify the Year R micro-kiddies, gosh, how young and green they are.
But following a familiarly painty pattern, getting home meant a decent snack and as much TV as I wanted before gymnastics, overload of teenage girlies today, must be some kind of local competition or tournament. I still didn't get my badge. toy car vehicle collection
I got ordered to STFU 7 times during supper. The 20-20 cricket was on and I have so many statements to make ("that man hit it very hard I think he's really good he went whack whack poot g'nard and the ball went oooeeeoo batangle wabber") and so many questions to ask ("If the goalkeeper eats the bat and gets on a train and it knocks the stumps off at the other end, is it still a wicket, also Jof, how many times have we won the world cup at badminton") so I was excommunicated to my room.
At least I managed to bully Jof into playing traffic jams with me while yet more paint was applied (some of it was varnish, must be from Varnland). The house is very empty and echoey and brightly whitely painted, like the medical facility in a plutonium processing plant.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Repetitive Brain Injury

happy gorilla funny win
In a few short weeks I shall graduate from the Infant School. Lucky, because I've had enough of having to learn stuff every day. Surely now I can leave school and find a job that suits my skill set? Maybe Lego tester, TV ratings advisor, tunnel examiner... Anyway, I won 2 prizes on the school raffle from the fete last Friday. They said I was a problem gambler, what with buying 5 strips of tickets with my last pound coins, but it proves I'm right.
 I got a car thing that lights up and an open-ended family ticket to the Pyramids, where we were yesterday. I can taste the chlorine already. We get to take an extra child, form an orderly queue, ladies.
When I got home the builders were packing up to go.
wood offcuts lino carpet builders detritus Dave the chippy was wielding the industrial hoover so I pestered him with tales of Lego at top volume to compete with the noise of the hoover, and I leapt out at him from behind doors until Bud sent me upstairs. Suddenly, they were gone forever. It was quiet. But they had left a massive pile of rubbish for their friend to pick up tomorrow. He painted. I got TV for an hour. Then it was Beavers time. Normally Ben comes round for some Lego but today the Beaver Patrol was to the Mad Hospital park and Bensmum was going to be an extra walking-adult so we met in swingpark for some flagpole climbing action before the session. I was chosen to lead the troupe and raddle me with a spokeshaver's coracle if I wasn't chosen to lead us back again after we'd climbed loads of trees. No badges for tree climbing.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

'King Cobra

This morning we were still without hot water because of the boiler malfunction and the lack of 24-hour callout chappies on a Saturday night. So Jof had a good idea and said let's go to the Pyramids because they have showers there, even if they're rubbish, and it's a good excuse to see all those dollarpounds of swimming lessons in action.
pyramids centre southseaSo we trundled off to the seafront and got partially naked even though one of us was liberally bedaubed with paint. I took a red plastic bucket to throw water at people but it spent most of its time on the side not doing anything. I did the green waterslide but it's very slow and I had to push myself along: he said why don't you try the red slide, for it is much better. You have to be 1.2M to go on it, they have a pen scribble on the wall to see if you're tall enough. I was! So I entered the dark tunnel entrance without trepidation, because he hadn't told me what it was like.
dulux one coat glossIt is predominantly red and dark and decorated like a snake, hence the name Cobra. It's much faster and there's a sudden drop towards the end which whizzes you speedily into the slow-down lake and I splashed lots. It was ... invigorating. So I ran over to Jof and told her all about it, and I went on again and I want to go back and do it more and I probably won't bother with the green one again because it is pedestrian and for little people. We showered and I took off my trunks and covered myself in glory and blue showergel and announced loudly to the suddenly full shower area that I had a blue end-bit on my willy and everyone else was diplomatically silent.
We got back in time for the emergency boilerman who turned the gas tap on and the boiler lit happily. We looked so meek he did not have the heart to charge us so we shall pretend that nothing happened, lucky we didn't have to pay £90 + VAT for someone to do that last night.
Then I helped paint. It's the super-glooper oil-based paint and I did the door to the understairs cupboard while Bud sang The Gasman Cometh from Flanders and Swann. There is paint everywhere and Jof said you have to stop it due to noxious fumes so I played computer games.
The Gas Man Cometh is so good it is worth reproducing here.
'Twas on the Monday morning,  The gasman came to call,
The gas tap wouldn't turn, I wasn't getting gas at all.
He tore out all the skirting boards, To try and find the mains,
And I had to call the carpenter to put them back again!

Oh, it all makes work, For the working man to do!

'Twas on the Tuesday morning,  The carpenter came round,
He hammered and he chiselled and said,
"Look what I've found! Your joints are full of dryrot,
Though I'll put them all to rights,"And he nailed right though a cable, (pop)
And out went all the lights!

Oh, it all makes work, For the working man to do!

'Twas on the Wednesday morning,  The electrician came,
He called me Mr Sanderson, Which isn't quite my name,
He couldn't reach the fusebox,  Without standing on the bin,
And his foot went through a window, So I called the glazier in!

Oh, it all makes work, For the working man to do!

'Twas on the Thursday morning, The glazier came along,
With his blowtorch and his putty,  And his merry glazier song.
He put another pane in, It took no time at all,
But I had to get the painter in,  To come and paint the wall!

Oh, it all makes work, For the working man to do!

'Twas on the Friday morning, The painter made a start,
With undercoats, and overcoats, He painted every part!
Every nook and every cranny, Though I found when he was gone,
bath fizzer nightHe'd painted over the gas tap, And I couldn't turn it on!
Oh, it all makes work, For the working man to do!
On Saturdays and Sundays, They do no work at all,
So 'twas on the Monday morning, That the gasman came to call!

The main reason I was annoyed at the boiler malfunction was that I missed bath fizzer night. So I had it tonight instead. The bath is an Adelphi L-shaped bath with folding glass splash screen and it slopes gently toward the head end. I prefer the shower end because it widens out considerably which gives me plenty of space to operate my bucket and spade on bath fizzer nights.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The Day of Fail

share the experience moonSaturday. Up at normal time but he wasn't, something to do with a bad batch of Vino Collapso last night. Breakfast Fail.
I played Lego Heroes with Jof and he emerged, cringing, and swapped doors with the stripping shop and took back 7 boxes of kitchen tiles (£269), returns win.
On the bottlebank walk we helped lots of little people climb the climbing rocks in Swingpark and I scored 1 and 1/2 Lego Bionicles in the charity shop and a giant sausage roll in the butchers, which is pretty well all I need, journey win. Jof took me to Southsea and spent a mere £30 on a Lego Police truck with added Baddie in getaway car with gold ingot: it did make me happy but took less than an hour to build, parenting win, and yet even so, Childcare Fail.
During this time, he painted.
Then Jof went for Girlietime. The idea was, eyebrow makeover and spraytan, in preparation for a night on the town with the twins from work. She was double booked, but did get the tan, in which she stood naked in a tent while someone hosed her down with brown stuff: decorum fail. She then stood like a Jesus drying off while other people came to look at her: privacy fail. Then they said well actually you can't have a shower for 9 hours or the eyebrow thing so please go home and stain your clothing pointlessly with the brown stuff, laundry fail.
pink raincoat ikea shelving unitWe went round to see Pops, she was out, which is her thing, GF fail. Further painting. Tried again, got a Pops, hooray! We played dogs and cats, hide and seek, annoy the Jof and many other household favourites. Jof left, paint pot ran out. Took Pops home, she didn't take off her pink raincoat the whole time, must be losing my touch, Valentino Fail.
Tonight was supposed to be the inaugural bath fizzer night for the new house, now that the bathroom is mostly finished not including the oil-based paint on the woodwork that takes a mere 16 hours to dry, reading the instructions fail. But that was royally scuppered when the boiler died. The builders had put on a radiator with the screw thing bent so it dripped and the system lost pressure. The boiler tried to light 5 times and failed, so went into extended sulk mode and wouldn't play unless we called out an emergency plumber at 9pm on a Saturday night. They were all unavailable, 24 hour callout fail. Bath fail, shower fail, washing up fail, possible plasterwork and ceiling fail where the radiator will leak for eternity, goodness me, this is fun.
Jof came home at 10pm (Nightclub Fail) and played with the boiler for a bit, no luck, cold shower for him. Countersunk willy fail.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Longest Day: Stage 19 complete (or not)

man has car door broken off in carwash trying to secure windscreen wiper funny fail
Today is builder's end (not builder's bottom). They are off to a new job on Monday so this is their last and longest day, although they may leave "Chippy" their carpenter behind to complete a few shelves and floorboards.
I for one will be glad to lose the constant plaster dust, sawdust and wallpaper shavings, and look forward to re-expanding into my own bedroom. Of course, the removal of all the builder's tools and bags of rubbish will mean more space for painting.
Well, that was the theory. What actually happened was I had a splendid day at school marred only by Standard Error #36. This error involves me arriving at school, resplendent in clean, newly pressed uniform only to discover it's a non-uniform day and I'm the only plonker in a class of successful style gurus. Fortunately I changed into my PE kit which meant I was not hot like everybody else.
wimborne infants school milton portsmouthIt was School Fayre Day so I had already bought 3 strips of raffle tickets by teatime. We ran home (150 yards), dumped my book bag etc and went straight back for fayre funtime after ascertaining the builder's progress (like Pilgrim's progress but with more plaster, less Pastor). They had not completed the final day's jobs.
The kitchen was mostly tiled but gaps remained. Our tiles are Baldocer Ceramicas (fabricado en Espana, variety 'Clays Cotto'. Upon seeing them I declared them boring but they'll probably be mildly acceptable once the whole room is done). The chief builder (Master Mason) said "Goodness me, old chap, for I have been hard at work all day operating the tile cutter and to be honest I have had it with tiles and I'm going home for beer". He then performed a special hand movement known only to advanced builders, passed down from the Masons of Pharaonic Egypt, and said Fruttocks to this, I'll see you Monday. The office was knee deep in sawdust where Chippy had been making shelves and a rather cute cupboard thing to hide the ugly wiring round the fusebox and the air was full of dust, as usual.
fairground attraction make-up stall
At the fair, I ignored direct orders to buy Bottle-tombola tickets and bought more raffle tickets instead. I'd better win those Paultons Park tickets (first prize).
Erin got her fingers painted which made her happy, that's girlies for you.
wimborne infants school fairI did manage 5 minutes on the bouncy castle, a go on hook-a-duck (I got the only losing duck) and a tub of 'Meadow Cottage' ice cream (the really good one I discovered at Petersfield Pond) but time ran out and we drove to the laundrette and the Strip Joint to deliver a door for stripping and to pick up the one we left there last week. They were closed. Frunticles, he said. Poldarks. Buntocks, for we won't be able to pick Jof up from work after my swimming lesson if we've got a door in the back, unless she wishes to recline thereupon like one of your French models.
Later, scrubbing of skirting boards and doorframes.

Thursday, 20 June 2013


newsreader news presenter costume for school playspeaking a foreign language funny fail It's been a tough 5 weeks since we moved, and very hard on me, for I've hardly seen my friends at all, unless you count the one carpet remnant I'm allowed to sit on, and my Lego Heroes (with added brick dust). So the best payback for this deprivation is Thursday Park.
The builders were very busy and I wasn't allowed in the kitchen due to tiling. They were sawing loudly in 2 locations in the house.
summer fun in milton park play area portsmouthI have been cast as "The Newsreader" in the end-of-year play and am required to wear a tie for the first time. My helper tied it on for me and I did my best serious-but-approachable presenter face. I chose shorts because they always sit behind a desk and you could wear a pair of stuffed gorillas on your legs as far as the audience is concerned, Jof thinks I might be one of those walking-and-talking ones but I see nothing wrong with being peripatetic in sensible legwear.
Fortunately the park beckoned and we ran there with my cardboard gun, for you never know when you'll need one.
Then basically we played football against the barn door (the barn door lost 7-3 on aggregate) for ages with added friends like LittleMax, Football Harrison, Curly Sam and others.
contractor refit of kitchen tiles washing machineLater we de-shirted (first time this year we've all gone topless en masse) and played wrestling and climb-the-flagpole and jumped around quacking as only veterans of the old regiment can.
I got my 2 hours of Vitamin D-filled sunshine but cried at going-home time because Bobert wanted Ben's football back. I took this as a mortal insult and kept the tears coming for a further 10 minutes in the hope that Jof would come home and make me feel better. When it was clear she wasn't coming, I gave up and was instantly happy again. The therapy worked.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

May we all get to Heaven before the Devil knows we're dead

human resources policy funny sign hanging employeesIn a couple of weeks I shall visit my future Junior school to check it out with my friends. The team will be back together again.
Parent's 15 year wedding anniversary today. Could have been out on parole with good behaviour in half the time.
Some of us had a terrible day. At going-home time, Bud had a flat tyre and having spent 40 angry minutes looking for the special adaptor for the complicated self-locking wheelnut, made it to school 1 minute before the doors opened with a spare wheel and dirty cut hands.
I already knew I was going home with Erin because of some form of not-picking-me-up emergency, so I had a HUGE huff when this turned out to be untrue.
kwik-fit tyres and wheels garage goldsmith avenue southseaWhen I had huffed and puffed home, it turned out that the builders had also had a bad day when they drilled right through a gas pipe buried in concrete, and a water pipe next to it, with the last 2 screws of the day, so everything had to stop while they summoned an emergency gasman.
But then Erin herself saved me and I went round to hers for ages and played very nicely, thank you. It was only when he came to get me for Trampolining lessons that I huffed again, and hid under her bed.
We collected a newly tyred wheel (£65) from the garage and I got Badge #4 in trampling! It's not so bad after all, apart from where I had some buttered potatoes and baby corn that I didn't like for supper. The first several bites are lovely. But when I get bored of them and want to save space for chocolate, I don't like them.
Later I painted wood primer onto skirting boards and my leg.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Floored by a flawed floor

slutshole lane hardon road fanny juggs crotch busty view titup hall drive funny rude road signsA naughty little Armadillo
From the desert town of Amarillo
Would puff upon a cigarillo
Having satisfied his peccadillo
                (just saying)
Tremendous Tuesday. Well, it was decidedly average until I remembered that the builders had painted the kitchen floor blue. This is not a style statement, the blue spludge dried hard and was all gritty like the edges of swimming pools, to aid adhesion when they put down the latex before the floor can be tiled. I think it'd be good to paint our feet blue, then we'd never fall down!
When I got back they'd poured a pool of dark green über-gunge on the concrete, to bring it up to level for the plywood to sit on. Of course, it was still wet so we can't walk on it and have to do a little dance around the edge to get to the toilet or the back door for egress.
I nipped to the toilet while looking for my shoes to go to gymnastics.
covering concrete in latex screedI didn't get my badge so will have to keep practising the Frog Balance which is really holding me back. When we returned, Jof had got home and seen the green gunge, and 2 little footprints that had miraculously appeared in it while we were out.
Personally I blamed foxes, I threw doubt on their status as footprints in the first place and also said the builders must have done it with their size 3 bootless feet.
kitchen floor preparation for tiling nicobond latex screedAs far as I'm concerned, it's an insoluble mystery. Jof has commissioned the upstairs toilet which will save a bit of time.
Last night there was a nocturnal toilet visit at 0200 which means finding suitable protective footwear against nails and rocks of plaster, making the 150 yard yomp to the downstairs toilet using only street lamps for navigation, and avoiding all those loose, missing, or squeaky floorboards any intrepid adventurer will likely meet on their travels. I also like to use the manual contact test to detect wet paint.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Wyatt's a boy to do?

don't show me this tip again
School happened, as it does. Afterwards, I interviewed the builders on how they were getting on. They have taken away quite a lot of their rubbish and have put skirting boards down and installed a sink in the new bathroom.
The carpenter was making a lot of noise sawing upstairs so I tried the computer. I was half way through the first level of Phineas and Ferb when one of the builders installed a lamp by the front door and turned off the electricity so he didn't die. This meant that my games session died instead so I tried the TV: no luck there, can't think why.
wooden bedroom furniture I tried to help Bud put stuff into the loft to clear the way for CarpetMan (next week) but the lights didn't work there either.
I was forced into my own bedroom and played Lego Heroes, western style. All my villains were cowboys like Cool Hand Puke and 3 Teeth McGinty and they all ganged up on Wyatt Burp and his posse of outlaw deputies or something.
But I was saved by the return of civilisation and watched TV till Ben arrived and we continued Legoing stuck on an island in my room. All the woodwork around the outside of the room is newly painted so we sat in the middle, inhaling all those lovely volatile organic compounds until Beavers. We scooted down the secret passage and probably would have failed a breath test.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Calpol is so passé, man, everyone's doing Briwax now

exposing floorboards house refurbishmentBy the time I got up, the paint was already being applied. Once the woodwork in the lounge and my bedroom had been cleaned and the kitchen ceiling painted, it was time for the doors. I helped by pulling up a load of the reddish carpet tiles (super-classy) in the lounge and filling a binbag so full it couldn't possibly support its own weight. The atmosphere is saturated with the dust of 60 years of out-of-date decor with tantalising hint of dog. briwax wood restorerThe doors are from the bedrooms. In the 1950s the style of the 4-panel Victorian solid wood doors went out of fashion, and everyone wanted flat doors. So the easiest way was to tin-tack a bit of hardboard to both sides of the door, hiding the panels and making it exceedingly boring. Nowadays, of course, the fashion is to remove the hardboard, strip the paint off the door, lament the damage caused by the tin-tacks, and to enjoy the wood as nature and the original makers intended. It helps if you wax them a bit to make the wood happier: the man at the Strip Joint told us to get BRIWAX, the best, apparently. Briwax is very whiffy stuff in a tin and it gives off noxious fumes that make your head go whizzy and flashy if you breathe it in. This is why it's banned in the States. Srsly, though, can you really imagine the youth of the USA loading up on Briwax at £12 a tin and going forth into the world to wreak havoc? (Woah, I got totally Briwaxed, man.....) Back in the 1970s the 'in' thing was to have a gobbet of glue in a crisp packet and to sniff it. Have we really moved on to furniture polish? Anyway, the doors look really good. raspberry cornetto soutsea seafront pyramids centerWhile Jof painted skirting boards, she said we really needed fresh air that didn't have Briwax in it, so we got my bike and made it out of the house for 530 pm or so and visited the Health Centre park (small but strong on giant climbing logs and teenage girls) and made the long hop to the Pyramids beach for a promised ice cream. Everything was shut so we climbed on the WW2 tanks and threw some rocks into the sea, finally finding a shop by the sunken garden and I had my raspberry Cornetto. On the cycle home I was again floored by my nemesis, the pavement outside the Old Gravediggers Pub. The gap between the man and the car wasn't quite enough and I crashed.
Later, the live band playing at the pub over the road were still going, and a fight broke out onto the pavement.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Sofa, so good

DFS hedge end southamptonSaturday so up at 9. He pulled the old "Exchange TV remote for empty breakfast plate" trick, finished 100% of food in 3 1/2 minutes: funny, that.
Jof has been harping on about sofas, wardrobes and dressing tables. I am interested in sofas: I like the 2-seater jobs like Elizabeth has. So the deal was struck: go to Hedge End (outside Southampton, don't talk about football) and spend a little time agreeing on a sofa set, then go to 3 swingparks as a reward.
First, we ditched the inherited TV, some foam, bottles, cardboard etc at the tip. Found the sofa shop and played hide-and-seek and Ninja attack in amongst the groovy selection of soft furnishings arranged for my personal delight. Actually, it didn't take long to identify a set (big sofa for Jof, 2-seater for me, chair for him and bonus footstool and 3 distressed tables) that didn't match the lounge decor but I bet ErinsMum will approve. At that price, I should coco.
hedge end recreation ground hampshire
The whole process (including Ninjas) took 1 hour so we all deserved lunch at the Giant Sainsbury's nearby. I had soss mash'n'peas with added choccie cake and I was stuffed. Then, while she went to Marks'n'Spencer, it started. 1. Hedge End recreation ground. An ace park. Full marks for this one, with the closed-at-weekends Citizens Advice Bureau car park right next door for easy access. It has an exercise park, splash-paddling pool with squirters, 16 boulders, zipline, beams, metal trains, swinging basket, ground-level trampoline, swings, 2 willow tunnels and a large spiderweb rope complex with climbing walls. This is a good park, highly recommended for little people tired of important shopping.
moorgreen park west end southampton hampshire2. Moorgreen Park, West End, Southampton. Rubber floored, this is a small local park only but is quite inventive in its facilities. The swinging bowl (smooth not roped) seemed a little risky and the climbing frame was small but the roundabout had a timid 5 year-old and his mother so formed an alliance immediately. We showed off our park prowess to great appreciation from the doomed duo, we could whizz the roundabout much faster than she could and we were soon the centre of attention with much adulation, applause and laughter, the way I like it. We did the seesaw, bouncing carriage and tripped over the camouflaged rubber tortoises and then the 2 teenage girlies vacated the boomerang swinger. We got on and messed about as only we can, he fell off and that left me with no opposing weight: I plummeted and skinned my ankle on touchdown. Much howling later, we left. It's a small park, not worth the journey on its own but was good until I got damaged.
hinkler road thornhill southampton3. Hinkler Road, Thornhill. Large, central to a dour council estate with forbidding tower blocks all about. The park itself was pretty good, actually, with exercise machines, well-appointed skate park, telegraph pole-style posts and rope pyramid of formidable construction. Very good, 8/10 and none of the feral youths attacked us at all although there were some unfamiliar words and phraseology. My damaged foot got much better. After losing each other in Giant Sainsbury's a few times, we made it home and they abandoned me and started painting again. But I didn't care because Jof bought me a Lego Hero.

Friday, 14 June 2013

A Mind like Mousetrap Cheese

Happy Friday!
Today Follower Fiona told us that for the last 3 days, the charity bucket in the foyer of Bud's workplace had a load of Lego kits in original boxes. The plan was, remove them all and compensate the bucket with banknotes in an envelope. However the delay in retransmitting the vital intelligence report meant that the charity van had taken the bucket away 30 minutes before my retrieval agent got there. I guess our minds just turn to Swiss cheese as we get old, lucky that'll never happen to me. And no, you can never have enough Lego.
swiss mouse trap cheese lump with holes in it as eaten by jerry mouseSpeaking of which, in Libya back in 1975 I referred to the cheese in the Tripoli Grand Hotel as 'mouse-trap' cheese, as you do. They all thought I meant 'Cheese of low quality and value that is fit only for a mousetrap', whereas I clearly meant the cheese with holes in it, like Mr Jerry Mouse always eats. Thus simple misunderstandings can span generations.
#stacked doors and wooden objects for reclamation refurbishment
After school it was the time I had been waiting for. Our 3 bedroom doors had been stripped of their 9 layers of legacy paint at "Strip Joint" so we got all squashed up in the car again and giggled our way through town with yet another door for him. On the way we passed Fawcett Road which is a perfectly good road with many second-hand shops for Studentland and tattoo parlours and shops to help people smoke herbs or buy wines of distinction. In fact it has a pub called the Fawcett Inn which makes the olds laugh, they once sold a fizzy beverage called "Fawcett Inn Cider", why they find that funny I shall never know.
dangerous position for child painting over open staircaseAnyway, I am not yet fully literate so pronounced it "Fawkitt" and thought this was so funny I wound down my window and shouted fawket fawket fawket in a variety of perilously close accents at all the nice citizenry with their lengthy tattoos and green dyed hair. At the door place we exchanged 1 for 3 (and £75) and I investigated one of his store-rooms and we got even more squished up for the return journey. The reclaimed doors do look rather good, actually. I'm looking forward to having a bedroom door again.
After swimming (Leyton from school has joined my swimming group, but only as a red hat. This means he is a swimming beginner, not some kind of cyberspace operative.
I hope that his surname is Buzzard or Stone or Orient) we picked Jof up and started painting. We had to do the ceiling and wall above the stairwell so we rigged up the 2 ladders plus a couple of planks thing (yes, we were the couple of planks) and I did some rollering without plunging into the 9-foot void below.
The builders have finished plastering at last and have done the banisters and the floorboards don't shift under your slippers any more and it's practically the Ritz.
Later, he painted, Jof cleaned everything in sight and I cleaned my own room!