Saturday, 31 August 2013

Naked Planespotting: Bums and Bombers

fort cumberland sea wall eastney portsmouthHurrah for Saturday, although boo for being the last weekend of the holidays.
We did do the bottlebank walk after some initial objections to having to move off the sofa, I bought 6 toy cars and a pair of trousers, as you do. After that, we hadn't got anything on the list at all so we fitted a doorbell and looked up the tide tables.
The selected website confidently predicted low tide was about 37 minutes away so we hurriedly got our stuff together and Jof dropped us at the nudist beach. This may seem a non sequitur of classic fruitloopery but we were there to attack the waterfall with the new army spade, as promised. BTW, we got a parking ticket for being in the road opposite our house (1 hour only). If you pay a pony quickly you don't have to pay £50, where are we going to get an equine quadruped at this time of night, FFS.
swimming in the sea off eastney hayling island in backgroundThe army spade unfolds from its own carry-pouch and has a serrated edge and wide flat bit and is just the right length for someone of my height. I never looked back. We loosened and removed blocks, bricks, rocks, big bits of metal and other detritus from the sump under Fort Cumberland until we just couldn't reach any more. This is when we discovered that the website in question lied like a cheap watch, as the tide was coming in rapidly. We abandoned ship and suddenly I really had to have a poo.
There was no toilet nearby apart from the sea. So I removed my clothes and ahem yes well anyway. I guess if you're going to remove your clothes then a nudist beach is a decent place to be indecent.
anti-tank concrete blocks on landing beachOur civil engineering job done, and my jobbie done, I swam naked the 300 yards back to the section of beach that wasn't just populated by elderly queens and both of us played happily in the surf in birthday suits (and hats).
That was when the one remaining airworthy Avro Lancaster Bomber flew slowly over us on the way to the Bournemouth airshow, possibly to mark the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid. You have to salute these guys for they saved our botties in the war, and many botties were grateful and indeed, on show. However that did mean that the only picture we got was somewhat after the event. Then sadly our time ran out and Jof picked us up for an afternoon of doing not much.
I have a new Lego project but it may take some time to complete. It requires music. But then he introduced me to well-known board game "Risk" while Jof was napping. Obviously, I woke her up and I got to bed at 11pm, having made up several new 4-letter words (they are a required part of Risk) such as 'Splut', 'Plunt' 'Krum' and 'Plart'. Exact number of letters is unimportant, they are a measure of quite how aggrieved you are when Jof takes Egypt from you. While I still need training on how many dice to throw, I have got right into it and now hold Africa and Asia, pending restocking.

Friday, 30 August 2013

The Seven Seas of Rhye

breaking news mistake newschopper 2 funnySo. We have investigated the Camp mentality of childcare. From the 1950s, care was either the upper-class arranging lower-class permanent-daycare or the Butlins-related 'Week's holiday for a week's money' internal holiday. But now we have moved on. In the Good Ol' USA, the summer camp led to Lord Of the Flies and Camp Granada from yesterday.
This one has been different and totally wonderful. I can fully recommend the Portsmouth Outdoor Centre and their schedule of manic marine activities, in fact, I shall return with as many of my associates as possible.
sailing club repair workshopToday we had the other side of the mirror. When the average student says "Oh dear, I have double mathematics followed by double History", and graduate to deep depression, I had double Sailing and Double Swimming followed by Double Cricket.
portsmouth cricket club ground kids sessionHoly poodling-moley. We started with Sailing 1. We sailed against the buoys and my team did well. We only capsized several times. We eventually made the round-the-buoys course but the capsizing and the bloke that got ditched into the sea when we were jibbing or tacking and he got totally splanched by the jibbing mast and got knocked into the sea and we all went in at some point and it made our day, er. I also practised swimming in the sea.
past cricket match of the season
Later we had lunch and went out again for lesson #2, in which we didn't capsize but laughed even more.
So, you think this should be enough. But no, he picked me up and we sped across town (traffic jam) to SWIMMING LESSON.
This is my last week as Yellow Hat and I was only 7 minutes late.
Hot foot to cricket on the seafront. It looked normal but at the last minute, just when a lot of the PuddleParents had joined us expecting a quiet beery time, it was declared Parental Join-In time (like last week) and it restarted. Ben lent us his bat. I played 5 matches with Stupid-Head on my team and we lost in the final for the second week running. Later Ben and I cricketed and ate sausage inna bun at the other side of the pitch. It was dark when we left after 2 1/2 hours, double cricket if ever I saw one.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah

don't tell women what is correct because she thinks she is
Hello Mudda, hello Fadda,
Here I am at Camp Granada.
Camp is very entertaining,
And they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining.

I went hiking with Joe Spivy;
He developed poison ivy.
You remember Leonard Skinner;
He got ptomain poisoning last night after dinner.

All the counselors hate the waiters,  And the lake has alligators,
And the head coach wants no sissies,  So he reads to us from something called "Ulysses".

Now I don't want this should it scare ya,  But my bunk mate has malaria.
You remember Jeffrey Hardy,  They're about to organize a searching party.

Take me home, oh Mudda, Fadda,  Take me home, I hate Granada!
Don't leave me in the forest where  I might get eaten by a bear.
lonely boy in unmanned reception deskGot to the Watersports Centre before the staff, as usual. I sat in reception and guided people, as is my way.
Today we did crabbing and this was a chitin-plated opportunity to get my only dry pair of shoes full of stinky seaweed. We filled buckets with spiky crustaceans and put them all back later.
kids on bunk beds in pink roomThere was a football tournament and at one point my team lost 12-5 because we were all tired.
A couple of days ago a meeting with pint-sized Prima Ballerina "Pops" was arranged by shouting out of open windows at traffic lights - the parents followed each other up the Eastern Road one morning. So we walked the 200 yards only to find Pops was already entertaining Trampolining Kiera so I joined them and played Night Garden shops and pink castle love-in and Unicorn fruit exchange and all those other strange things you have to do when outnumbered by girlies.
Pops is sporting the tousled look while I am Ridiculously Photogenic Sea Captain. The oriental Dora the Explorer is nothing to do with me.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Everything's coming up Mungles

toy train track shaped like willy penis and balls genitalsAnother early start, but I'm getting used to it. We were first to the Watersports Centre again and that's exactly what I wanted to be as I enjoy helping the teachers get all the stuff ready.
I specially asked to be in a different group to Alannah, whose Mum has had a talking to by the staff following the performance yesterday. This is a shame but I guess I just drive the girls wild.
After morning games we split into 2 teams and each lashed 3 inverted canoes together with log supports. These became our bases and once togged up in wetsuits we attacked, defended, sent spies and eventually our pincer movement with sneakiness ditched all of their biggest soldiers into the water and we won. We also saw harbour seals gambolling, hope they're over 18.
portsmouth outdoor centre daycare
A variation on climbing led us halfway up the rock wall where we had to balance (harnessed) with only 1 foot until only one person remained un-collapsed.
The crate race consisted of teams stacking crates to climb as high as possible against the clock, I was only standing on level 4, the winner turned it up to 11.
Finally we played Wizards, Giants and Elves. This is simply a bigger version of Rock Paper Scissors: the teams line up like an All-Black Haka and take prisoners depending.
Schedule: 0830 - 1700, fun in the sun. 1730 - 1800, sulk on the sofa. 1830 - 1900, kill Jof at Monopoly.
**Bonus** I now have a bedside reading lamp and concealed desk lamp! Does it get any better?

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Just how DO you like them apples?

child christmas desires funny
Forced out of bed with a 7 in the time. I thought I was supposed to be on holiday.
We arrived at the Outdoor Centre first, the gate wasn't even open, so we wandered around a bit, saw the mudflats at low tide, read the helpful Nature Reserve info-poster about the life cycle of Brent Geese (they pair for life, you know) and eventually a minibus of staff turned up and let us in.
For a while I was the only paying member so we had a scout around. We brought a large box of assorted strange items (in the way only we can) for the supervised cutting/sticking session before the main activities began.
But then Alannah turned up which meant a handful for the staff so we played outside instead.
Today we had a minibus trip to Staunton Country Park and we saw the hothouse flowers and fed some animals (llamas, goats, deer, ostriches, poultry) and saw the butterfly museum.
langstone harbour at low tideThere were no butterflies at all. There were gallons of pupae, but they just look like chocolate pods or Ergots so less interesting. We went back outside and the air was full of wild butterflies and wasps. I distracted the wasps from my lunch by casting out my black grapes onto the grass. I notice they also like apples, particularly if one bite has been taken from them.
In the woods we had a campfire competition and my group's fire won (I have extensive experience of fires) as all of our sticks and leaves were consumed.
Back at the ranch, we played football (or rounders if you didn't like football) and while racing down the wing with arm outstretched for a pass, I caught Alannah out in her rounders game.
We had to go cross-country to reach gymnastics and the pupils were as naughty and disruptive as they had been at the Country Park.

Monday, 26 August 2013

The Wol of Death

portsmouth outdoor activity centreBank Holiday Monday. But did I get a day off? Did I Bantocks. I was turfed out of bed with an 8 in the time and bundled off to the top of the island with only avocado and kiwi to keep me going.
The Portsmouth Watersports Centre does exactly what it says on the tin. By the time we'd reached the front door, we'd counted 8 different types of boat, watercraft or similar, and there were delicious hints of safety harnesses and gung-ho instructors from within. I don't think I'm going to get away with papier mache here.
Once we'd signed in the first thing we got was attacked by Alannah. This naughty but nice high-pitched maniac was in the class next to mine at my old school and our parents had collaborated somewhat to coincide our visits.
portsmouth outdoor center and watersportsBut the instructors split the 22 of us up into groups and our first task was the climbing wall. This mural monstrosity is 10 metres in height, and I made it to 7 metres before my little arms just couldn't reach the next nob. I floated earthwards in delight.
The next one was a giant pole with various handholds and I made it all the way up and took advantage of the harness again by leaping off to no doom at all.
After lunch it was Raftbuilding. I had been pre-warned about this and have made a special effort to study raft construction but today we had set recipes and components. It's like, 3 barrels on each side and 2 lashed poles and a couple of planks for the top. All 3 groups finished building and we all clubbed together to drag them down to the water under the dutiful yet inactive gaze of the instructors.
We had to wear wetsuits that zipped up at the back and it made me feel like a girl, not absolutely sure why, may have been something to do with Stupid Flanders saying "Feels like I'm wearing nothing at all....." but maybe I'll develop one of those special interest dressing-up hobbies in the future.
red sunset through telegraph poles and chimney pots
What does tomorrow promise?

Somehow one of the other team contrived to wedge an oar right in between Barrels 1 and 2 on the LH side and got his wetsuit caught on the pommel - anyway, the lengthy lever split the raft asunder and they all had to sit on the RH side and paddle frantically around in little circles. My team was emergency waterbus rescue and we ferried the survivors to shore past the shark-infested waters and then I made a heartfelt speech and jumped in anyway.
Sounds like an easy day. But I have four more days...
Meanwhile, it was hoovering day and little jobs day at home. The letterbox shines once more. The loft is swept. The garden is strimmed. The chicken was roasted. But true to form, B+Q DIY superstore was tricky. Jof got me a bedside lamp, but the wrong bulbs. And a desk lamp, but the wrong sort. And a doorbell, button only, no actual bell. It is not fair.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Swimming Back in Time

Up late. Much quietness from all of us, following 2 days of intense activity.
royal navy kids topI had the rather spiffing idea of going for a fun swim: this meant the Pyramids of course but as I'm Yellow Hat at the swimming lessons, I pay already so I'm free at the normal places. The venue was switched to Eastney Pool where Erin does her lessons and the deal was done. We just had to wait until 7pm to do it.
Jof cleaned the windowsills. This took an hour and she only did upstairs, shows you how much slate dust the roofers have left everywhere. We did a quick park just so we'd been out and eventually the evening arrived. The streets were deserted as we drove down and there were only about 5 other people in there.
small local swimming pool eastney portsmouthThey don't really have lockers like my pool, they have these giant metal coathangers with baskets for your shoes and then you take them through to poolside. Jof says she remembers these quaint antiques from when she was a little girl in Olden Days. The nice lifeguards told us the place was built 105 years ago and it's nice that they have left it exactly the same. I was allowed to have a sausage float and a hoop to dive through and we messed about for the 40 minutes and I did 8 lengths!
It was all rather fun and then we investigated the outside of the building and the old wartime gun emplacement that it's built next to. Supper: oodles of noodles.

Saturday, 24 August 2013


hms warrior portsmouth historic dockyardThis day was so hectic I shall have to embroider it tomorrow.
However I can tell you that I have pegged it as my second-best day ever and here are some of the highlights.
MINE HUNTING. Action Stations was our first port of call after the initial stalls where I promised I'd buy a bath fizzer later. I detected mines in a sandpit using only a paintbrush and I think the heavily tattooed soldier thought he had a new recruit until I said I'd never be a soldier due to the risk of being shot dead.
MISSILE ATTACK. Bud bought one of those fold-up army spades for our beach work. It will be much better than the trowel we use now. There's a place upstairs where 2 GPMGs or similar are mounted in front of a large screen and you play the role of machine gunner at the side of a Type 23 ship. Helicopters and missiles come at you and you have to destroy them. We killed one of each.
large queue to get on nelsons flagshipHELICOPTER SIMULATION. A nice if shouty lady flies you and some hostages down a winding ravine to escape the nasty people with AK47s. I loved it but one of our number suddenly got very very seasick, a condition which persisted for at least 5 hours.
HMS VICTORY. The queue for this museum exhibit was so long we gave up.
anchor in front of hms victory portsmouth historic dockyardHMS DARING/WARRIOR. I like this ship. I particularly like going below sea level and counting the plastic rats which abound thereupon. I always call it HMS Daring because that's what's printed on my shirt. We missed the 1400 harbour tour.
While he had Spanish sausage inna bun, Jof and I had a proper sit-down meal of fish'n'chips. That's when we met the PuddleParents, who had ditched the kids to go and replenish their stocks of Vitamin Beer. Ex-Puddler Hannah was there but I missed her. This picture is included to prove that it's not just me that sticks my tongue out while moving in mysterious ways.
Then we braved the endless queue at HMS Victory and saw it all. It's smaller, older and more brutal than the Warrior and I liked the leg irons and the barrels and the guns and knives and the low head height doorways and the massive blocks of wood holding it all together. It's not bad for 250 years old.
Outside I brushed up on my circus skills. From there the shops beckoned and I got a blue top with Royal Navy on it and after tea and cake we looked through the gun shop at the guns and knives and Hitler memorabilia and shells (both sea and artillery) and paintings and diamond rings and vintage toys and all of it is overpriced if rather good.
I got a reproduction medal and will have to buy a new shirt to display it on. We discover that our German Iron Cross medal (second class) is probably worth about £100.
royal navy top and headphones in disco environment
I bought my bath fizzer and Jof got 3 handbags to add to her collection, we may have to buy a bigger house so she can have a handbag room.
I watched some buskers perform their own songs on guitar and bongos.
This time we got on the harbour tour (last sailing of the day) and saw a banana boat (England eats 49 million bananas every 3 days) and an American nuclear submarine and some destroyers that really need a paint job and lots of the navy ships I've been on and an Omani training vessel and a Police launch and Rat Island and no international ferries at all.
It was very windy on the top deck and my Navy top was pressed into service early.
SILENT DISCO. Erinsmum texted us and we found the PuddleParents in an abandoned concrete warehouse a la 80s rave scene with black lights and a disco ball and expensive beer. The large crowd was silent apart from every now and then sporadic outbursts of singing would catch you unawares. Then the nice lady gave me some headphones and suddenly it all made sense.
low tide in portsmouth harbourThe music came through the headphones so you were in your own little world of music, along with everyone else. It was hilarious. I showed off my dance moves and I believe I pulled that night. But of course if you want to talk to anyone you shout because your brain thinks it's loud in there, even if it isn't. Jof went home but I didn't. We checked out the outside stage where I found Genevieve and Flynn from my old school and we went back to the disco of silence a further twice before catching a bus home for supper. I'd done nearly 9 hours out of the house.
FROZEN DRINK. The big metal drinks canister goes in the freezer for an hour before I go to daycare to keep it fresh. However if you forget it totally, it makes an interesting conversation piece the next day. We took it to the dockyard and it supplied us with ice cold juice throughout the entire day, and very welcome it was too. I didn't have to buy beer once.
BATH FIZZER NIGHT. Double fizzer after a great day. Perhaps this is why I am so attractive to wasps.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Yorkers, Googlies and Chinamen

safety feature industrial freezerManaged to get to the sweatbox on time, even though we gave Jof a lift to work as well. It's very ... enclosed in comparison to the weekly outward bound camp I did last week and the one I shall do next week. I'm surprised I haven't contracted Scrumpox, Scotomy, Phossy Jaw, Quinsy, Dropsy or the Bloody Flux, or indeed come down with Scrivener's Palsy writing about it.
Today I chose Naval Base Film Society and games. Many of my associates were there again.
portsmouth cricket club southsea seafront st helens paradeBut then it was "All change, end of the line" and next door for my swimming lesson. I was splendiferous. Just when you thought it was safe to get out of the water, it was "All change, off to new activity!" - Cricket.
shiny chocolate box lidThe cricket club on the seafront has been a favourite of Ben and the JBs for a year and a half. We are latecomers but OBoy, it's good. We are considering Membership for next season - no weekly subs, all the ball fun you need for a whole year, and I need it.
This time the parents were strongly encouraged to join in. We did the picking teams thing and I was on a different team to Bud. 6 teams did their stuff and as I was promoted, he was demoted (extra laughter there). There was a 5 minute break for beer (sorry, liquid refreshment) and then right back into it.
In the end my team came 4th and his 2nd, but I have hopes for next week's competition. I sulked at the final whistle which was when it got dark. Jof worked hard to Taxi us home and make supper, all hail mummies who make the world go round. She did not have a good day at work and yet managed to play with me because she loves me. Amazingly I qualified for chocolate.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Rogue Purple Unicorn

illuminated neon sign funny failFirst day back at the sweatbox (daycare in town) where we arrived a few minutes early and got to play football.
As part of our Community Care badge we dressed up in our Grim Reapers outfits and stood over the road from the old folk's home, waving at them.
It is nice to see familiar faces in this our little community (300,000 in Pompey) such as Poppy C, the JoniBobs, Alfie from Beavers, Aimee from old school etc.
Apart from the swimming option (I'm still not allowed in the deep end even though I get taught there every week) we played games and I won "Sleeping Lions" by apparently rendering myself unconscious so I didn't notice the rancid shoes being put in my face, the pretend spiders on my ear, etc. Later we threw Cabbage Patch Kids up through the basketball hoop until one got stuck on the backboard. Bobert and I bombarded it with plastic babies. When we ran out of babies I had to use a My Little Purple Unicorn, the only time I shall be seen with such a device until I have daughters of my own.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Calshot Castle and Gang Warily

henry 8th castle southampton waterIn 1540 or so, King Henery The 8th I-am I-am struck a heroic pose and said "Buildeth me a bijou castellette, not too fancy and at reduced rates. Don't go overboard with the stonework but stick a couple of decent cannons on it, enough to put one up the Frogs if they invade".
And thus was Calshot Castle born. Situated right at the very end of a long spit of shingle, it's a pocket-sized fortress that could happily contain up to 14 soldiers if they were very good friends, and one commander as long as he was quite short and didn't have a dog.
calshot castle coastal defencesAs it happens, so little happened for the next 400 years that practically nobody occupied it properly until recently when English Heritage rented out the Governor's apartment to whoever wanted to live in a castle, as long as you don't mind the view of Fawley Power Station and Fawley Oil Refinery and their many chimneys, and the adjacent RNLI radar tower.
english heritage historical siteWhen we got there we parked in the pay car park miles away at the other end of the shinglespit as opposed to the actual free carpark right next to it. I was tired when we got there, and had been harassed by several wasps which no doubt thought I was made of jam due to my strawberry-flavoured shower gel.
painful insect bite raised weltWe sat on the sea wall for a picnic and watched warships, ferries, yachts and a seaplane go past. The castle itself was quite nice if you don't require a lot of space. There was one staff member who looked quite happy to see customers, we were the only people in that day. Plastic rats hid on every shelf and lintel to remind you of the companions of the past. Having toured it twice (20 minutes) we hit the shop (cupboard). I got a Spitfire and a cannon, and we walked back to Calshot Activity Centre which is a massive aircraft hangar with huge climbing walls and dry ski-slopes and cycle track and just as we were about to go in, my arm exploded in agony of the boiling electrified aqua regia type.
Just like back in a Latin lesson in 1981, a wasp had crawled up my sleeve (unbeknownst to me) and stung me when my shirt moved. This pointlessly aggressive action by this pointlessly pugnacious insect caused me a lot of pain, a couple of tears and now a lot of paranoia when any passing breeze lightly tickles the nape of my neck. We are not amused.
I sent him to get the car while I sheltered from the striped swarms.
On the way back we saw a swing park, and you can't not go in, can you. Gang Warily (yes, that is its name) is a community centre in Fawley with 2 skate parks, football pitches, swings, golf and a pond with nice wide open spaces. We tried them all out.
When we got home the roofers were clearing the yard, at last we can get the man in to dig it all up again. My clearance job (to coincide with Recycling Bin Day and an approaching new academic year in a new school) was to ditch most of my schoolwork from my last school. Of course, Mummies always say "Oooh, I remember when he did that" and want to keep everything. But you can't so I made full use of the binbags. This one gem (I had to fill in the blanks) shows why I've outgrown it all .....
My name is                                     -      max  .0
My favourite colour is                    -    orinj
My favourite food is                       -    spgete and metborls
My worst food is                            -     unyons
I like to play                                   -     Ƨnacso and lados
My favourite cartoon is                  -   tom and jere
My favourite toy is                        -     my dinasors the hav ploingts
When I grow up I'd like to be        -   a totruck

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Rampant Naked Pool Party

grove park retirement community fitness centreToday we wished Grandma a happy 83rd by visiting her and giving her 3 grabbers, all different.
The big attraction about this visit was the swimming pool. We'd investigated it on a previous visit and today we arrived with my swimming kit, I was supposed to go in with Grandad while Bud looked after Grandma. This plan worked out perfectly well until it came to putting on the swimming trunks. I know we had them. They were orange, to match my shoes. I know they were there. But were they there? No.
empty swimming poolOptions included swimming in pants and going home commando, but that would be boring (and chafing) so I went in wearing only goggles. There were some of those long coloured floats and some flat floaty-boards with the 2 handgrips and 2 unknown devices and 3 sausages which were just the long coloured floats in ten inch sections. In a noisy echoey hour-long session I quacked and dived and floated and laughed and brought happiness into Grandma's life, because nowadays she mostly just sits there quietly.
Nobody else came in at all, so nobody noticed I was naked. I also tried out the spa hot bubble-tub and it was only later we saw the sign that said due to safety concerns, nobody under 18 is allowed to use the spa pool. I'm only under 18 in this incarnation.
After lunch I read more Horrid Henry. When we got home Grandad phoned to say the swimming trunks had been found nearby, maybe I'll use them next time. Maybe I won't.
The scaffolding has gone. Our house looks like a house again, but we've got nowhere to do chin-ups.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Military Surplus

photo-me picture booth coin operatedThe builders returned and promised they would be finished today. Then we shall be free of the scaffolding!
But uninteresting task of the day always comes first. Passport photos. They cost £5 now, completely unreasonable. I could barely stop myself crying as I put in all the coins, gently fondling a bag of Lego games we'd found in the charity shop.
royal marines museum eastney portsmouthIn the end I had to kneel on the little stool so that I was high up enough for my face to be in the on-screen oval. I pulled as dull a face as possible and note that it is practically identical to the one I took when I was 2, just a bit more attitude in this one.
medal display cabinetsLater we did the promised first trip to the Royal Marines Museum on the esplanade at Eastney. I've lived here all my life and it's just one of those things that you never visit local attractions. I did the assault course outside.
eastney esplanade royal marines museumThe zipline has a bit too much friction on the runner, too much safety but not enough fun.
Inside the museum we saw guns and knives and medals and silverware and paintings and uniforms and swords and maps and a snake and rum barrels and model ships and surgical tools and banknotes and a minstrel's gallery (minstrels not included) and a tree with £20k worth of silver in it and a shop. I wanted the cap badges but had to settle for the cheap Chinese-built tank set. He got 1 bullet. But even I saw how much effort our soldier chaps had made to get the 8,000 medals in the medal room of the museum.
After another go on the assault course we investigated the fenced off fort and went home for lunch (3.30 pm).
Bud died totally at late-night Monopoly but I might live yet. Having defended Portsmouth Harbour with this Egyptian 20mm I might get some medals. Grandma might not, she is reported to be unhealthy.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Beware of falling Bats

hovering frisbee ring Not sure what to do today so played cricket in the park again. Jof has bought a new set: the bat is quite good but the stumps are a little stumpy.
I bowled with only a few grumps about the straight arm thing. Then we noticed a Frisbee ring in a tree and retrieved it with the cricket bat. This was much more fun so we threw it miles past each other for ages. It is difficult to control and goes really far and then rolls around in a big circle or the wind catches it and it rolls straight on for miles, and just when you're all 200 yards apart, it plonks straight down and doesn't roll anywhere.
eastney nudist beach in front of fort cumberlandWe all got lots of exercise. When Jof went to get the car back from outside Elizabeth's, we carried on and had to employ the bat a further 3 times, throwing it up into trees various and trying not to get fatally struck on its way down.
derelict radar station After his run we went to the nudist beach again. There weren't so many this time but we weren't there for the feeling of freedom, sandy clefts and incorrectly positioned earrings, we were there with a bucket and trowel to make a dam at the waterfall. The tide was coming in so we did get wet but started to excavate all the giant rocks and chunks of brick and metal girders that we have previously put in it as part of our civil engineering. We shall return to complete our work.
Couldn't help but notice the hole in the fence at the abandoned military listening station so had a scout round the old spy hideout. Several outbuildings have been torched by naughty youths, and none of them by us. Even the blasted heath in front of Fort Cumberland was worth investigating, fennel and blackberries grow wild there. I have inherited a healthy hatred for aniseed (and therefore fennel) from Jof.
Later I challenged them to even more Monopoly but had Sulko Extraordinaire when things didn't go my way. I only sing when I'm winning.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Other Nappies of Time

moses basket with pillows and sleeping child3 years ago today, Bensmum suggested I start a blog, and it's been a stellar burst of pretentious poetry and prose ever since, no doubt.
But as she started a blog for Ben pretty well from his birth, I arrived very late on the scene in comparison. So I wondered what it would be like had I travelled down the other trouserleg (nappy) of time and started one from my own birth, just a couple of weeks before him. Here are a few choice excerpts from my could-have-been Birth Blog.
Day 26. I have been telling them I need a burp as loudly as I can for 3 hours now and I can no longer detect them in this room. Gravity on this planet is too strong for me to even stand up, let alone chase them.
Day 75. Have mastered the art of saving a crap for when they have just changed my nappy. They always make funny noises when I do that. Coincidentally, I cannot stop dribbling. They say I may have to be returned to factory settings.
surprised baby boyDay 162. The mush that is my food has started to get bits of red pepper in. Yum! Later, I shall tell them that I hate it. I have also tried something called Lego. It is nobbly and tasteless and I shall shun it forever.
Day 193. I have said my first official word, by accident. I was just standing there centre stage, vocalizing, the way you do, and I said "Yabba Yabba ana yaya eweemeemee ororo titipoopeear rer rer rer canabolo eeepee nigger!" This got a big laugh.
Day 194. Today I shall try very hard to say anything other than the word "Mab".
Week 85. My favourite word is "Barbats" and I say it all the time while rocking.
Week 86. My favourite word is "Barbat-she". I say it frequently with the accent on the second syllable, and the dribble on the third syllable.
Week 87. My favourite word is Ba-barbat-she" and it is freaking them out, for they cannot decipher the code, and it is not Fermat's last theorem.
Week 88. My favourite song is Bar-bar BAT sheep and now we all sing it. My favourite thing is where he is changing my nappy and he makes telephone ringing noises and then he indignantly answers my foot, and says there's nobody there. I laugh so much I get hiccups. Like many boys, I was late ditching the nappy forever. But that gave me access to the one in-built toy all chaps have .....
morecambe travelling fans division 2Today Pompey play Morecambe, a sleepy seaside resort up north somewhere, which just so happens to be the town of origin of JoniBobsDad, and he still supports their team. Yesterday at cricket, we discovered that of the 4 (count them, 4) tickets sold, he had bought 3 of them, one each for him, Johnny and Bobert. The other one went to some bloke in a wheelchair. This was so funny it actually made the national newspapers. We thought we ought to go along as well, swell the ranks a little and abuse the northern monkeys but were unable to buy tickets at the away end, for police reasons. So we got 2 in the south stand, near Elizabeth.
funny sign at football club groundThe match was really funny, we got 3 goals and they had a player sent off and we all laughed. At half time I lent Beth Blind Uncle Len's binoculars and we could see the JBs sitting disconsolately in the middle of an empty stand with about 40 northerners for company. The second half was more boring and I ended up standing on my chair crooning like a Mogwai.
Then Beth invited us to a post-match Puddle-Party so we drove there. It is not far but we had to carry so much beer that we would never have made it.
We spent a lot of time watching Nanny McPooshooter and similar, picked at our food and raced round in circles. I think I've left my coat at the cricket club.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Migs, Tigs and Arcs

man hiding in dead leaves and beach ball joke funnyNear us is a welding shop. I haven't bought any welds yet, but I'm keeping my options open. Do you Mig or do you Tig? asked Grandad. I'm an arse man meself, I said, although I may have mispronounced it.
Today at Daycamp I finished off my artwork projects and even got some signed material from the in-house rent-an-artist who has his own website.
portsmouth cricket club youth trainingThe bus (not the gargantuan inter-galactic vessel but a much reduced cost-saving charabanc) dropped me off a mere 25 minutes late (due to watching a play called Hairspray), lucky we had anticipated this chronological error and gone for a different bus stop, so I got to swimming lessons with time to spare. Spent allocated time dealing with Gastric Explosions, but who's counting.
southsea seafrontJof met us and we hit seafront Cricket again: I did some serious net practice before the structured tip'n'run competition and then I had a hot dog and mini-match with the JBs until hypoglycaemia and week-long tiredness caught up with me and there was a Sulkus Maximus and home for sandwiches and bed.
Actually not bad overall, have to learn to fit in with everybody else's requirements: difficult for us 7 year-olds.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Mushroom Cloud Computing and Crowd Sorcery

ford focus suicide mode engagedThe penultimate day of super-camp. Maybe I'll actually need to use the spare clothes I've been dragging back and forth all week.
The roofers came back today and so are really really nearly finished, I suppose it depends on how many more days off they have.
Upon alighting from my Royal Chariot, I expressed genuine remorse and regret that I wasn't in the group doing kayaking and river zipline-crossing and rock-climbing and all the other joyous outside activities I'd seen happening through the window of the art room. To be fair, I painted some leaves today and that was nice.
Then he reminded me that I had been sent on the all-singing, all-climbing multi-activity frenzy week but had chosen to abscond and design my own papier mâché insect. I will do better next time.
hi honey i'm homeFirst thing in the morning, though, I'd played cricket. I batted and got 20 runs (no boundaries, the only way you can get a boundary is to hit the tent) and took over as wicky - the batsman skied it and I took it gratefully in my baseball glove to much cheering and adulation. I also got an assist on a runout due to a good return.
On the way back home I swung with Honey (Year 3) and we pretended to vomit out the side of the basket.
vinnie jones 2 shotgunsLater I hatched a plan to turn water into wine as a customs and excise tax avoidance scheme. Simply import some quality Sicilian water, do the old Mungle-Mumble and Shazam - premier Nero D'Avola for the PuddleMummies!
Next week it is Grandma's birthday and she has specifically requested 2 grabbers for her present. Of course I had to try them out first so here is me doing my impression of Vinnie Jones with his 2 shotguns. I haven't got the hang of evil yet, currently it's a cross between extreme constipation and a phosgene gas attack.