Thursday, 31 October 2013

Hallowmas: the Souls of Dead Trees

october storm 2013 fallen tree milton park portsmouthJof went to work but I didn't. It's still tidy-up week, something I was doing to earn money for the Lego Star Wars battlecruiser, so I chose to do the loft. As soon as I saw the ladder, I lost my nerve and ran away. Being called Scaredy-baby doesn't help.
fallen tree log after october 2013 stormInstead we trod the highway in search of dead trees, to collect their errant souls for Soul Cake Thursday at Bens' house tonight. Straight away we found a dead birch tree which was suddenly really easy to climb but the others were all fragmented so weren't really dead, and were un-reapable. We counted 5 damaged trees in Swingpark alone, but it's clear that the council had cleared most of them up by the time we got there. We met Harry and he said the park was closed the day after the storm because of all the damage so we missed out on a few Dryad wraiths there.
It's tough waiting for the Halloween PuddleParty so I got out all my toy cars and made a traffic jam in my room, complete with abuse being shouted from vehicle to vehicle.
For a while there it rained but eventually the time wandered around and we walked to Bens' (checking out the trickle treating roads, many illuminated pumpkins were in evidence) where I met Erin and Elizabeth but no JBs, 3 of us were skelingtons but Erin was the skelington of Lady Gaga, one-upmanship there. BensMum had party games lined up and eerie phantasms covered the walls to protect us from vengeful spirits. The Mummies sang dead'n'buried songs because wine makes them do that.
halloween get togetherparty before trickle treatingThen we went trickle-treating. The roads around my school are historically very profitable and soon our little booty-buckets were full. I reckon we tried 30 houses but half of them had run out. Additionally, being only a group of 4 nominally under the control of 2 drunken laughing Mummies made us a better donation prospect than the mob-handed vagabonds and bandits that were knocking on our home door. Poppy and co were a group of 7, the others were in sixes so our supply of sweetie-bribes was decimated in no time.
We ended up at Erins' house which is always good for running around space and beer and even older songs for the talls. Various tricklers came and we handed out all the existing stocks, and started giving away our own profits from our hard-won buckets! Being kind is one thing, I reckon Jesus has got nothing on us. Jof joined us for several beers and she was dressed as a very convincing witch but we broke her broom. We played nicely so they kept on nattering and we got home at 10.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Chunder-Pumpkin Society

cutting pumpkins and gourds for halloweenSo the time is here again. Jof took me to childminding and I elected not to do the all-day Blue Reef Aquarium trip as A) I did it, like, 2 days ago and the invasive aroma of un-toilet-trained otters haunts me still and B) I found many joyous items on the list to do without having to walk anywhere.
Primarily I did Monster-making but some random 3 year-old totally destroyed it, as they do.
But Costume-making was better. I decided to be King (who else) and made a Royal Mace with accessories ie removable Golden Fist of Doom, and some smoke bombs for Ninja escapes. It comes with lasers and force-field fitted as standard, Satnav on the SE models only. Eva and Poppy C and Stanley and a few others helped me, a much better showing than yesterday.
We played hide-and-seek and I got to be Toy-boy King with an older Queen. Then at last he picked me up and we followed Jofs' orders.
Many people have done vomiting Pumpkins, and all of them are better than ours, I'm sure. But I really enjoyed designing the faces and stabbing them with the SAS knife and scurfing out the innards with a giant spoon.
carved pumpkins vomitingOK, so I don't really like pink Sambuca because of the aniseed but I'm good at sticking out my tongue. The alien gourd was too tough to cut so had to pretend to be a Halloween limpet mine. I personally added the stringy bits coming out of the nose for I will experience nasal ejecta later in life if I choose the loser/boozer route.
Jof helped me with the homework which is making many many words ending in -le. I suspect that you could just Google it but that'd be obvious. Jof did a hundred of the easy ones in about 10 minutes because she's really good at word games, Bud did a load of strange science-based ones and I was left to fill in the obvious ones that nobody else had thought of.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Strike while the ion is Positive

#538 bus sign going nowhere in particular funnyNice relaxing morning apart from where I had to get up. The childcare of the day was right near Jof's work so she took me in.
There were 61 people in YMCA today, you could have hidden half that amount in the vast pile of coats and bags, should have got a picture of it. Eva of Wimborne was there with me but that's it.
I was in the clay model-making class, most of us turned out exhibits that look suspiciously like those little curled-up dog poos. I signed mine 'Max Worms' having Anglicized the original Maximilian Würms.
ymca daycamp activity clay model makingAt Gymnastics the GymnastiGirlie took us to one side afterwards and said I was old enough to go into the next class. To be fair, even for someone as vertically challenged as me, I was the tallest and a clear foot over the only other 2 boys in the group. I will get to use the vaults, bars, beams, jumping boards, and other complicated equipment.
As soon as we got back I folded myself up on the sofa for an hour. When supper was called I emerged and suddenly my legs started to hurt again. However much I cried into my supper, I elicited no sympathy from Jof! I couldn't believe it. I dribbled and burbled and cried and coughed and dripped but she just got angry and sent me to an early shower and bed, no supper, with a toxic addendum of no TV forever, in fact, not even allowed in the lounge. But after my shower she came upstairs and I won her over using only my smiling face, earnest laughter and a Mother's undying love.

Monday, 28 October 2013


corniche coast road closed in high windsA day off.
As promised, we used up the free Blue Reef ticket that Jof got from her work. Parking miles away to avoid paying the meter, we battled against storm force winds along the seafront. Hardly anyone was hardy enough to be out there, apart from lots of workmen dismantling the Great South Run fencing and hospitality tents. The seafront road was closed due to the inclement weather but we didn't mind it, I wore a woolly hat with extra ear covers. I am reminded that Erin likes pinging my ears (which stick out a bit) but I get her back by clamping her bottom with my Action Man grip-action hands.
The sea was so full of waves it had extensively remodelled the shape of the beach and had thrown up lots of debris and seaweed miles from the shoreline. If you throw an item straight up into the air, it goes up and then 50 yards sideways. We surprised some distant seagulls by throwing a blue washing-up glove at them in this fashion.
walk through fish tankAt the Blue Reef aquarium, I marvelled at all the fish and reptiles and amphibians and was reminded just how cute, playful and terminally whiffy the otters really are. The shop had run out of the very good cups with Nemofish in them so I despondently bought a rubber stingray for bath fizzer nights, and some fossilized sharks teeth, never know when you'll need them.
On the way back to the car, we got totally Napoleon Blownaparte and he attacked me with flying seaweed from 50 yards away, what few people were on the promenade nearly got hit as well.
We continued our Giant Lego Challenge (another 2 hours of stiff joints) and waited for the delivery man with our new mattress. Anywhere between 2pm and 9pm, how helpful. It was 930 when Jof phoned them to enquire casually when they planned to deliver it, they said Yes, Madam, you're booked in for next Monday, we did tell you. Oh dear.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The BUPA Great South Run 2013

A little tiny bit windy and rainy last night but nothing compared to the hurricane we're promised tonight. The BBC weatherguesser says do not go out unless absolutely essential so that clearly means go directly out and look for fallen trees, upside-down yachts on the motorway and sea creatures unknown to science stranded in Canoe Lake.
The clocks changed so I was up pestering Jof about what chores I could do to earn Lego money (only £93 to go) at 0715: apparently if I do that again I will only have £193 to go.
Then all of a sudden he was in running shorts again and on his bike, looking for a job. I think that's what he said. Jof and I pootled about a bit and then walked a carefully chosen route to the seafront avoiding my nemesis pavement, where bad things always happen. We had planned to meet Elizabeth in the same place as we failed to last year.
I walked a long way to get to the sea, I'll have you know. I deserve praise. Anyway, Mr StupidHead ventured past us on schedule as planned but we never saw Elizabeth or her Mum. We crossed the road by the lovely cricket pitch where Ben and the JBs introduced me to decent cricket training and we saw him again coming the other way but the gale-force wind had taken its toll. That was the least pleasant part of the 10 mile gruelling slog, as the wind practically made the runners float backwards. Incidentally, if you look in the background of the photo in front of Mr Orange shirt, between the 2 cars on the other side of the road, you will see Elizabeth waving and her mum in her striped scarf. But we never met them, because we were the other side of the road from last year, and they were the other side of the ... oh dear. Also, a wardrobe malfunction in which the shorts appear to have significantly grown in waistline since he took up running.
st helens parade runners in 10 mile road race portsmouth great south run
Then I was tired and hungry so I polished off a rather decently priced plate in Debenhams cafeteria and we bought him some chilli sauce and got a bus home.
Jof required lonesome-time at the supermarket so I did Lego with him and we made a Star Wars Battle-Cruiser of epic proportions that I want to enter into the next competition. Is there one? I'm still smarting from when the Museum Exhibit people rang me up to ask if my Dr Doofenschmirtz tower was still intact.
Then I locked all the doors and windows because of the impending cyclone. The downstairs bathroom nearly didn't open again, maybe we ought to fix the lock.
BTW. Run result - 1 hour 16 mins, 4 mins better than last year.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Praise be to Gourd

blues brother sunglasses on cool dudeJof fed me because he was at work. I got out of the terrible chore of walking to the park by opting to go shopping with Jof. She has a bus pass but it's one she had to buy because she isn't 60 yet.
We walked to the bus stop which is further than the park and I gibbered and pranced and quacked and capered all the way. In Southsea we wandered from shop to shop and used a local greengrocer to buy our pumpkin. He had gourds of many surreal shapes and colours so we chose one each.
I am now saving up all my money to get the big Star Wars set (£102), only £94 left to go! Once we got home I volunteered to clear shelves and cupboards to earn money. The big shelving unit in the lounge yielded many out-of-date vouchers and old letters and birthday cards and 6 pairs of glasses of various prescriptions and 2 cat towels and a cork with a 5p in it.
a pub in your shed garage dartboard football flags I enjoyed the 3 OHP lenses of epic proportions and the 74 pens and the spare shoulder strap for a bag that we took to the charity shop months ago and the dead rubber bands and the small plastic nob of unknown derivation. However anything that I myself made (such as a Mother's day card from 3 years ago) I will defend to the death and moved them all to my room. I am supposed to tidy my room as part of the great recycle/tidy drive but I always get distracted by Lego, you know how tough it can be.
Later I played a bit of darts in the pub at the bottom of the garden. I'm not really very good yet but did enjoy telling him he was no good either.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Tough on Sanity, and the causes of Sanity

lolcat video cat jumps on cat playing funny
Since a year before I was last born, I have been collecting coins etc from the highways and byways of my area and have amassed a decent bucket of money for when I need it most (when I buy a house). In all that time, there are 2 things we've never found: a £50 note and a wallet with money in it. Yesterday we broke this deadlock by finding a loaded wallet. A cursory examination showed it belonged to (out of a world of possibilities, FFS) Dear Blog Follower Martin, so under Rule 3 I was not allowed to scarf the contents and returned it unmolested.
Mufti day at my school so chose to wear red, as befits. As it's half-term (woo-hoo) I brought back bagfuls of quality workmanship that the teachers don't want to fill the bins with and I won some sweeties but not as many as Ben (he has a massive packet) and I was one of the exclusive recipients (the whole class) of a ticket to the Polar Express which will be visiting my school shortly and which enables me to wear pyjamas on that day and also bring in my green security blanket. You can bring in a teddy bear but Bud has advised me to never reveal the existence of said blanket (made by Nanna for my most recent birth) in case my classmates say what Johnny said about 3 years ago ie ner ner you've still got a baby blankie. It could have been an error of Boblical proportions.
Anyway, although I swam merrily and found pennies on the changing room floor and wondered why there was a girl getting changed next to me and I told the swimming teacher how to get to my blog and stuff, nothing worth reporting happened so that's it. Apparently my ghost writer is even more ghostly as he starts work at 0500 now and does Saturdays because of overtime. He goes to bed before me, aha.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Eat Sleep Park Repeat

agency healthcare research and quality go see a doctorEngland continue their World Cup qualifying campaign against surprise new entrant Serboatia and HerzeBosnica. This team may be unknown but international players in the squad include:
Defenders Boylt Cabbic and Mödl Villic, midfielders Rapen Pillic and Dedi Nadic, and Captain Sven Yuric.
Bonus item today was an open afternoon. Bud picked me up early from a French lesson (I really should have told him I was learning French) and we walked past Erin playing tennis in the quad to my classroom.
boy roaring at suspended dragonThe format is pretty similar to my last school: we all have a gaily decorated named plastic drawer to keep our books in, wall displays with our reading progress, a class homepage with Ben getting an award for football and reading (are these not mutually exclusive?) and a stiflingly hot and humid atmosphere with gruesome undertones of gym plimsoll and the sweat of thousands of past pupils.
writing books year 3 pop-up card spelling booksI showed him my drawers (one item of particular interest to koumpounophobics) and the cushioned 'Chill-out Zone' in the corner with its Bedouin veils. We toured the school to discover:
The music room was shut
Mr Thingy the drum teacher was wearing Tudor costumes, as were the rest of the Year 5 + 6 staff faculty
milton barn amateur dramatics associationThe school is fairly symmetrical but toilets are unevenly distributed
In the IT lab I tried to log on to my own blog. Blogs and forums are blocked by policy.
I scooted home and Thursday Park was cancelled as everyone else was absent. We took a football to the park and kicked it about and threw it at each other on various obstacles and met someone from JB's school and played a game called Bushwhacking and The Punishment Conker in which we did ball-passy (like keepy-uppy) and whoever lost the ball in the prickly bush got the punishment conker thrown at them. This was quite good until I got one in the nip and we stopped.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Skeleton Contest

kids t-shirt with unicorn rainbow and stars go to hellAll hail the day of the school Halloween party! I have rifled through the remaining fancy dress costumery and selected a skeleton one-sie with added Skeletor mask and sword (you have to have a weapon). All the rest of the silly costumes have been thrown away. I wanted to use smoke bombs (the ones you use to determine whether the chimney needs cleaning) to make a special entrance. It always looks great on Scooby-doo when the evil Ninja (Bob the Janitor in a silly costume) throws a smoke bomb and it instantly fills the room, not like reality at all in which you have to stand there fighting with a cigarette lighter, 3 1/2 wisps of smoke come out and get blown out of the door, and all the fire alarms and sprinklers go off, not to mention the suspension from school.
In school we made cupcakes and pop-up Secret Garden cards and 'Lightcatchers', plastic flowers with artistically arranged coloured tissue paper haloes, to look good up against the light. I declared I'd come top and gained 2 house points for mine.
chasing a squirrel up a conker treeNo sooner had I scooted home, it was time to don my terrifying skeleton suit and set out again. Just when we got to the school road, BensMum poked her head out of an unexpected Evie's house and said you're half an hour early, doncherknow. So I took Ben to Mad Hospital park (St James' playing fields, strong on dog walkers and summer fetes, mushrooms, escaped Victorian asylum patients and squirrels) where we climbed on the wooden obstacle course for a bit until we spotted a squirrel.
halloween skeleton and axe murderer executionerHaving chased it up a tree, we bombarded the area it had long vacated with conkers and sticks; few people are happier than boys throwing sticks, especially ones dressed as skeletons and executioners.
At the Halloween party I was not the only skeleton but there were many zombies, several Munch-screamers, witches, Harry Potters and black cats and one traffic cop, who may have been at the wrong venue.
I came second in 'Scaring' with my fearsome speech and Troll-bridge stomping action, but one on my team totally walked into the broomstick in the limbo so I cheated by lifting it with my sword.
I was disqualified from 'Dancing' because I was too hot. (Sweaty, not Twerking with a wrecking ball).
At home it was obvious I was tired with the indecision about food and shower, I'd got to howling and coughing and leg massage before the magic of Calpol kicked in and I babbled aimlessly for ages, just when Jof really wanted to sit down.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Gathering Storm

cheese eating surrender monkeys french white flag on moon funny
Very wet start to the day but also hot. I believe it is the monsoon season, lent to us by Bangladesh in return for Wrong Direction tickets.
halloween home made poster witches cyclops pumpkin demonsToday I display my piece of resistance, hauntingly entitled "Happy Halaween", which is the muslim equivalent. Replete with all the usual iconic paraphernalia from levitating humans to unhappy cats, flying witches to sine-waving Cyclopes, it features a rather gaunt goast and demon informing the levitating humans that they will obay.
alexandra park mountbatten centre portsmouthThe afternoon was hot and dry with no hint that it had been wet. I failed to achieve my next gymnastics badge because I just can't balance my frog for long enough. I did not get angry: I got even and went straight to the park for arm exercises. I fervently believe that if I can do 2 chin-ups and 2 press-ups then I will balance my amphibian successfully, so I started there.
laundrette scales for weighing human or laundryThis would have made us quite late home so we compounded this by getting stuck in football traffic and going to our beautiful laundrette. We had a load to pick up, it wasn't just to see the young ladies with their advantageous curvology but when I weighed myself on the scales, one of them decided to try it as well. Even in my shoes I only made 60 pounds (27 1/2 kilos) because I have such a little bottom.
Later we watched the thunderstorm briefly but I get bored if there isn't lightning every 4 seconds because I could be watching TV instead. The rain came down lots and certainly tested out our new drains and made League 2 side "Wycombe" feel not the slightest bit welcome on the south coast. They abandoned the game, nice going, storm.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Man of Bronze (Hemimetic polyalloy)

googling on facebook funny failBit of a rush this morning what with discovering the unopened letter in my school bag and having to buy the ticket for the Halloween disco at the last minute. I didn't have any money in my school satchel (spent it in the tuck shop) and Jof only had £2 spare (needed to buy bus ticket) so I had to go back to the office after hours with the extra £1.
Today we did a rehearsal for the Year 3 play (The Secret LadyGarden) in which we all had to line up while the teacher called out bingo numbers and pretend to be: hedgehogs both hungry and hibernate-ey, foxes both slinky and growly, butterflies both couchant and rampant, trees - well, deciduous and coniferous I suppose, and frogs, moist and ribbetty. I am assured that this will make a generally acceptable display, you're not looking for Olivier at this stage.
beaver scouts saluting for promise I am allowed Ben back again. My week of self-imposed exile (an auto-Coventry) has finished, with only a few social slip-ups (Thursday Park with the whole gang, Ben and Erin at school the whole week, Ben at Beavers, double Poppy) which are mere postscript-details in the grand scheme of things.
So although he arrived late and scooterless (terminally kaputzki scooter) we Legoed very happily until it was time to run to Beavers. Ben can run further than me but as he wants to be a policeman who plays for Manchester United, he'll have to be fit to chase bank robbers (Liverpool).
We did the chase-attack game and Bud tripped me up deliberately and I banged my nose on the woodchips and started to cry. Ben said O I see he's crying again and miraculously I stopped immediately.
chief scout bronze award for badges bluebird presiding portsmouth scoutsDuring Beavers, about 4 of them got notice that they will be promoted to Cubs after half term, 2 new ones did their promise and then I was one of 4 that got pulled to the front for Badge-time! I got the Chief Scout's Bronze award which was hand-sewn by Bear Grylls himself while hanging upside down by a liana in Ecuador. You only get it if you have all the Diamond achievement activity badges.
In Cubs you get the Silver, Scouts the Gold and if you go up to super-adventurous extra scouts, you can get the Platinum and the Queen's award. OBE from Buckingham Palace, here we come.
I declared I'd had a great 4 days, with 3 kinds of swimming and lots of victory.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Pyramid of Success

indoor swimming fun waterslides wave machineNobody moved until 10am today so I watched TV quietly.
Today was the promised trip to the Pyramids waterfun centre to make up for failing to go last week. I stepped out of the door and nearly got struck by lightning. It rained heavily upon us, chasing us from the watery environment of the car park to the even wetter swimming pools.
One of the pools was closed due to staff shortages and I didn't go on the red waterslide but I did go on the blue one (for smaller people) and showed off my new abilities of swimming underwater, trying to do handstands and jumping in pretending to get shot.
giant ships anchor on southsea seafront
Total anchor
I was there for several wave alerts and did some floating. Jof is a champion floater, she just lies there and is buoyant. Bud sinks. I am somewhere in between, but definitely erring on the floaty side. I can do a really good impression of "dead body in sea" so I should be in demand as an extra in future films involving naval battles etc.
Well, we got nearly 2 hours swallowing poolwater I suppose but then Jof got hungry so we hit the Wimpy by Pirate Pete's for some chicken nuggets of a certain quality. I threw a few rocks and played on the arcade games, winning one small teddy bear and 2 cupcakes, cast in resin and painted exuberant colours. No idea what I'm going to do with them.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Last Round Table (Stanley, Tyrrell, Newell)

inappropriate greetings card for terminal cancer patient goodbye grandmaIt's not big. It's not clever. But it's quite possibly the last chance I have to sit around a table with Grandma. We took Jof this time.
First up, we did the bottlebank walk and delivered BethsMum's birthday present. I found a Famous Five book in the charity shop for only 40p that had 4 books in it! Feeling victorious, we lashed out £20 on flowers at the designer florist with the really ugly dog and I wrote out the card to go with them.
While it's great to allow the child to write the card because you can all say "Oh isn't his handwriting good/isn't he such a sweetie/Grandma will like it better coming from him" etc, you do have to understand that us little people are often brutally honest and don't exactly hold back on niceties.
grove place romsey coffee salonAnyway, having been there a few times, I was official tour guide. I showed Jof around the apartment, and when Grandad came to see what I was doing, I showed him around as well. We delivered some more scented candles and my school mugshot and some very special Nepalese Temple incense and our smiling faces.
At lunch, I had the all-day breakfast and we talked to the waiter about the wasted food. Every bit of leftover food is binned and on Sunday lunches the amount that goes in the bin is, frankly, criminal. So I said about when I was a public schoolboy at a preparatory school in Hertfordshire in the 70s and that we had some pigs in a shed in their own field in the corner of the estate and how if you fed the pigs all the leftovers from the school dinners, at the end of the year there would be more, fatter pigs and that you got a free pig or two for the xmas roasty. The waiter went and talked to the chef who said he'd talk to the farmer by the railway line who's got pigs and so we did our bit for recycling.
heavily parasitised trees mistletoe grove place hampshireThen I showed Jof around the very posh Elizabethan snooker room with its snooker table you could play tennis on and the library and bar and film room and coffee room and Tudor fireplaces you could roast a wild boar in and she loved it. The trees by the front gate are covered in mistletoe, enough for one of those special Roman parties where you've got it wrong if you wake up with the wife.
Then while the old people snored, I swam with Jof and we turned on the super-bubblies in the spa whirlpool and threw the ball and snorkel at each other and we loved it. An elderly man told us off for not being in there with a resident but Jof is extremely adept at dealing with crusty objectionable old folk so she mollified him.
Eventually we left and spotted Poppy and family going into the park so I hastened to have a slow snack and joined them for chasing, swinging, laughing and all the other stuff us youngsters get up to.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Possession with intent to supply

russian policeman jumps through car window anti-terrorist funnyA many years ago (38), Grandad was
 Fingered by a Copper's Nark
 Busted in a raid by armed Police
 Chucked in the Slammer
 Charged with Possession with Intent to Supply
Sprung from Jail by der Man.
Now this may seem highly unlikely for a Chartered Engineer of limited height but it's all true - it just the way you tell 'em.
Libya, 1975. Grandad has always enjoyed a glass of his favourite tipple, as have we all. But Libya was an Allah-fearing nation where the demon drink was illegal. Thus he brewed his own. This is not unusual, and saved having to speak to a man about a dog in a climate of uncertain legality. He brewed "Washing-up liquid" in a variety of Islamic countries.
enormous shop display wine glass funnyThe desert nation-state had its own police force: but there was a seamy underside of paid informers who, having run out of Grandmothers to sell, would inform on any criminal in return for Dirhams, Dinars or Denarii. The one that got Grandad simply saw the empty bottles at the back of the house and assumed he was dealing with a narcotics case.
Having been tipped off, the Police took away the evidence and due to the sheer number of bottles, felt that they were looking at a drug dealer rather than just a user, and charged him forthwith under the "Chief of Police needs a really big Bribe" rule.
We contacted the British Consulate and the nice Embassy diamond geezer came and had a word in the Law's shell-like and Grandad was released with only a stinging sensation in the wallet and repressed memories of a Libyan prison cell. I bet all the PuddleDaddies are quivering in their Demi-johns, just waiting for the local stoolpigeon to sniff out their empty beer bottle collections.
He's cut right down to only one glass a day, now.
Anyway, today was a nice day. We put down mouse poison, made our own pizzas and talked about acting in the shower. From the original 'Round and round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows' (from the fairground spinning-wheel game) to my lead role in the 3 Billy Goats Gruff production at my infant school, we improved my acting talent until I could fluently say "Crip crap, crip, crap, Who's that Cwip-cwapping across my Fwidge" which of course made us both dissolve into paroxysms of giggles until it was time for me to get my finger- and toe-nails cut. Cue extreme tragic death-of-swan event. Nothing like variety. Next I may play a Klingon warrior, today is a good day to et tu Brute.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Mixed Messengers

life cycle of zombie funnyAnother great day at school apart from when Ben ran outside to tell on me for having messed up attaching wings to a bug-shaped invitation to the parent's evening next week. So because he "went on about it" I cried half the way home. Another friend used to do this to me but I don't want to do it back because I can see it's pointless and nobody listens to 7 year-olds anyway.
So he said: given this blubbing, shall we use the copious free time in the lovely sunshine to go to the seafront or a totally different park and have our own private Thursday Park without any of these rampant transgressors. No, I said, I still want to go and play with Ben and Erin and the high-maintenance one and the twins that crashed my bike last time.
Last weekend I banned Ben from my bedroom forever but wanted him to come back the next day. Jof said let's have a week without friends but straight away I went to Beavers with, like, 9 of them. Today Ben made me cry but I went straight out to play with him. Mixed messages indeed. Perhaps it's all my fault and I have heightened emotions.
pile of branches and sticks for camp building
We cycled to Yellow Plum Park and played a bit of football but then the girlies (of which there were many) found a pile of branches in the corner and started making a camp.
wounded soldier being rescued Then basically we all spent an ecstatic hour and a half dragging sticks and branches to this camp, building a den, firing at each other through it, and rebuilding it in new and interesting ways. One amongst us is designated idiot so we christened him "Mr Maker" for he made branches for us. The park officials had pruned back the thickets and used the dead trees to block up the secret entrance to the back of Ben's old school. Our job, as we saw it, was to pull them out again.
He untangled dead trees, and by dint of many shouted orders and teamwork, we dragged them past the smoking teenagers with their exciting vocabulary and phraseology (who had stolen our usual bench) and installed them in our den. One by one, we played 'Man Down' and were rescued by shock troops through the Sallyport.
And at the end, all the locals had gone home and us Puddlers stayed on till the last. If it wasn't for sunset, we could have stayed all week, all arguments forgotten. We hadn't gone on one single swing or slide, and had to stop off in normal swingpark on the way home for a quick monkey-bar. Why can't all days be like that?
civil servant finance directorate office cartoonCourtesy of the late Blind Uncle Len, the final visit to the Civil Service bean-counters of the past sees Hodgman's Grand Circus. No doubt all these permanent private secretaries and other senior officials were well-known in their day, but now it's just a little bizarre.
I wonder if there is a place for them in Whitehall?

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Castigated by Termagant: Go back 3 spaces

failing F for sex underage id card funny failLast night Jof played me at Charades. I had a gamely stab at it but I simply don't have the life experience to get very far. If it was all about Dr Doofenschmirtz and the Marvellous Avengers I'd be OK. Speaking of which, I was watching said Avengers yesterday when the Unbelievable Hulk said "We require a contingency plan". Most un-Hulk-like, if you ask me.
All day it rained horribly but I'd booked a clear ride home so it was lovely and sunny and all the Mummies waiting in the playground in their giant overcoats got very hot.
I brought home: a flyer for the Portsmouth Summer Fair, Lord Mayors Bike Ride and Picnic (21st September 2013). I really want to go to this event 3 weeks ago.
I also brought back my official school photo (individual, not group) which I think I'll take to Grandma this weekend.
schoolkids in bedroomAnd I brought back one item that's even better-looking than a photo of me (if that's possible) - a Pops. Haven't had her in weeks, er, so we arranged all my toys on the floor and made a train track.
Henry the 8th got top billing and we made an impregnable castle and shot airborne invaders with a telescope.
During the search for suitable castle-building equipment, I discovered an unopened box of Snappits (twisted bits of paper with sand and cordite that you throw to make bangs) and decided to bin them. Perhaps I was being unduly influenced by Pops.
I have several spherical magnets that are supposed to be for fridges etc but they're nowhere near as good as our disc drive magnets, so they live in my toybox. I discovered that if you stick 2 magnetic balls on the outside of the front of your trousers, and all the rest inside, they will stick there and you can jiggle your balls at the ladies and make them both turn their eyes skywards. It's a boy thing.
civil service financial mismanagement office cartoon
The second showing of Blind Uncle Len's office cartoons sees the storyboard of the film that was never made. It's got everything - great white elephants, armed robbers, faceless men in suits, explosions, girlies, enraged bulls and accounting errors. Those Magnificent Men and their Adding Machines have a lot to answer for.
So after supper, I was babbling as usual and some wag in the audience said "On and on and on he goes, when he'll stop nobody knows".

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Harangued by Harridan: lose 20% Health

happy manhole cover with funny face
'Tis said that we cannot choose what we are. And yet what are we, but the sum of our choices? Shall I awake in thirty years' time in a McJob with fewer career girlfriends than I have limbs, full of tortured inadequacies and missed opportunities, my memory wiped of how I got there? Will I sing on the outside with Edvard Munchs' inspiration on the inside?
Let's find out.
Anyway, lovely sunny day so I had a decent snack before my 3rd Gymnastics lesson of the day. We had double PE in school so going to real Gym seemed unrequired, and indeed it was as Badge Assessment Day was postponed for yet another week.
civil servants and financial mismanagement war office admiralty air ministryHere is the first in a short series of "Office Cartoons" drawn by the late Blind Uncle Len. Once he had finished shooting people in the war, he became a senior civil servant and had to run bits of the country, and make sure it didn't run out of money. They were a cynical lot because that's what money does to you, but the suited ones had a lot of jolly japes and high jinks about financial mismanagement in high places.
"The Great Shortfall Mystery" appears to have been created either during the final stages of the war or very soon afterwards, as all things military are strung throughout. The Air Ministry, Admiralty and War Office all come in for a slating.
hades joke cerberus and charon on river styx cartoonGrandma is not having a good time. As per her request, today we got her some special incense of inestimable quality, little aromatic balls that you could imagine gracing a Nepalese Temple somewhere. Let us hope they make her feel better.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Hectored by Harpies: lose 2 goes

kronenwetter man mistaken for squirrel news tv funny fail
Began the new week with a clean slate and got on with Ben just fine. The alleged argument of Saturday was all just a bad dream so I will never mention it again.
Was sent back in to get the homework I forgot at the weekend. I know I'm supposed to have a little drawer or tub or box or whatever in which to secrete all of my equipment, but it's amazing how many times I can wander up and down in the deserted school looking for my book. The man had locked the gate by the time I emerged blinking into the unreasonable solar radiation.
mungo military vehicleOn the way home I was showing off my cunning stunts on the scooter (which means swinging it up into the air and banging it wheel down onto the pavement) when some bits fell off it. He says he might not buy me the big swish one that Cal has got if I treat my stuff like that.
But I had to complete the homework and so I did the silly sentences and wrote out the instructions for brushing my teeth, if only I followed them.
Last night I was playing Top (Ace) Trumps with Jof, the military vehicles version. Never guess what one of them is called. I don't remember licensing my name for an airborne vehicle (looks a bit heavy to fly).
After Beavers Ben said could he borrow my scooter. I said no, because I was under orders not to see him outside of work, even though I'd just spent an hour playing with him. This is a HAL9000 error, and as confusing for me as it was disappointing for him. On the way home, the park gate was locked. This will come as a shock to those clearly visible dog walkers and teenagers we could see in there.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

A Pyramid of Fails

composite picture of doodlesUp late due to a busy day yesterday, what are Sundays for.
Jof needed some JofTime so she went shopping for hours, leaving strict instructions to do something together.
But I wanted the bath fizzer night I was owed from last night and thus, between noon and 1pm I had an hour in the bath singing to my toys. Then we did drawing even though I had crinkly fingers.
Our tried and tested method is as follows. I come up with something strange and he has to draw it: repeat process until the A3 page is full. Thus we have started with a My Little Glitterpony, a dog with a violin bow for arms playing a violin, a bird eating breakfast cereal and a bow and arrow shooting a dartboard.
We got all the winter stuff out of the loft. I've got an awful lot of coats, hats, scarves, gloves etc.
Ages ago I won a free family pass to the Pyramids Centre (indoor swimming pool with wave machine and waterslides) and today was the day I was going to take Ben, the arguments of yesterday conveniently forgotten. For ages we searched and finally found it: the ticket ran out 6 weeks ago so I have extracted a promise to go next week at full price. Humph.
I am full of contrition for getting Bob in the face with Lego, a friendless life would be dull.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Fiesta de la cerveza ... número tres?

her majesty dockyard portsmouthirving brewery groundlings theatre beer festivalDue to the early morning sensitivities of the beer drinkers I have been specifically requested to be quiet and play Lego rather than jump on beds at the crack of dawn. So I ran up and down shouting about Lego from 8am, is that OK?
anchor outside royal naval dockyard portsmouthToday is another disjointed day due to the 3rd annual PuddleDaddies Beer Festival so don't expect much sense from this.
royal naval dockyard model exhibitionAs soon as we'd parked (6th floor of the multi-storey) we hit the dockyard and met Ben and the JBs.
Elizabeth's mum had put on a special exhibition of ships and Lego just for us so we built and marvelled and wore the hats.
Obviously I invited them round to mine for more Lego and that was great until 2 of them had to go downstairs for being bad and Bob kicked me right in the bedroom because I got him in the face with some Lego so Jof said I can't have any friends for a week: this will be difficult as I work with them.