Sunday, 31 March 2013

Mood Rabbit

baffins pond copnor portsmouth feeding ducksUp late, and slowly. It was 10 something but due to nocturnal temporal distortions, it was 11 something. Jof didn't want to get up. Eventually we made it to Baffins Pond to do my Beaver Scouts project, care of animals. My brief was to feed the birds.
baffins pond copnor portsmouth playpark slideThe first creatures we fed were squiggles, but they didn't count because those pesky naturalists didn't reclassify them as birds, like I demanded. But there were moorhens, swans, ducks, a dead frog, pigeons, a dead moorhen and seagulls. The geese were too far away so I couldn't claim them.
The swingpark there is great and the bouncy slide was very busy but in the end we got cold and went home. That's pretty well it for activities, we watched Galaxy Quest, cartoons, played computer games and researched Badgers for my school project. I could have had any nocturnal animal - spectacled bear, paradoxical frog, nine-banded armadillo, Hoffman's 2-toed sloth, Panamanian night monkey, Cyprus spiny mouse or great grey slug. But I chose badgers.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Beer, Bugs & Bouncing

loose feed pet shop bridge centre portsmouth fratton roadUp at 10am. This is the life.
Lots of plans for the day so loaded up on jammy bagels. Walked through swingpark alone but keeping in contact with walkie-talkie. Jof had to stay in to meet the removals man who said that we have to dismantle all the beds etc, so we went to Fratton road to get birdfeed. For my animals (care and appreciation of) badge in Beaver Scouts, I am tasked with feeding some birds, identifying them, noting their habitat etc. So we went to the pet shop by the Bridge Centre and they have a wide selection of birdseed and you just spoon it into a bag and one of them was actually called Swan & Duck so we said OK then and paid our 83p.
Not far away are some charity shops, you can never pass up the chance for you never know what you'll get. This time I got some bath fizzers, even though last night was the last bath fizzer night in this house. Then there were 2 bags of Lego Bionicles, hooray.
giant centipede scorpion stick insect collection
And this. A rock-on display case of insects in resin blocks so you can pick them up and get up close and personal without getting stung. Who else apart from Mr Museum has this in their bedroom?
kids on a green carpetThere's beetles and scorpions and grasshoppers and a stick insect. The first 3 have 'Giant' in their names. I am going straight to the top of the list in show'n'tell at school and I want to get a bigger animal badge than anyone else in Beavers. Even Jof thought they were cool, apart from the Yuck Factor which must be some kind of American TV programme.
Then Bud left for the pub and we went to Erins' house for 8 hours. We partied and watched endless films and did cutting/sticking and ate chocolate and got home for 20 to midnight. I didn't bother showering. I realise this is a precis version of a bodacious 8-hour event but my blogwriter was incapacitated.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Є Pluribus Bunum

Up annoyingly early with the refrain "It's Easter!" loudly upon my lips.
southsea castle portsmouth esplanadeIt wasn't long until Bune arrived. He is one of Bud's old schoolfriends and they are rude to each other all the time when they aren't laughing, which is all the time. Bune was also called Mavis at school because of the granny-like way he carried the plates when on serving duty. With him was 'Chelle, I watched them get married in Islington town hall and ran riot in there while they were doing the vows and sat in the Lord Mayor's chair and everything. With them was Cameron and Ellie who I've never met before because they were adopted from Walsall, so a step up there.
old fortress portsmouthImmediately Cameron (7) and I played Lego and Spinjago and left Ellie (6) to do stickers. In the park we blew bubbles and climbed and chased Sam from my school and let off some excess energy. After a finger-food lunch we hit Southsea Castle, because it has many cannons. In the tunnels I was a loud Zombie and made Ellie scared and we climbed on the battlements just where it said defense de grimper sur les murailles and we shouted and blew up passing ships with our guns.
In the shop we bought pirate rings and they became our King rings and I was King of Portsmouth and Cameron was King of London and the rings had lasers in so we went round destroying buildings loudly with our lasers because we were the Pirate Crew.
After some stone-throwing into the sea we got a bit cold 'cos of the wind from Denmark so went back into the castle for tea and buns and drawing pictures of Bud on the toilet in notebooks. They headed off to their holiday hotel in Dorset and we got home to warm up quietly. I hope they come again soon in the summer.
royal artillery pub milton portsmouth
I am 7 and 1/4 today so 'Measuring Day' revealed me to be about 3mm taller than I was 3 months ago. Oh dear. Everyone else may be bigger than me but I'm louder.
JoniBobsDad invited us to the pub, what can you do. I scooted there like it was summer again and everyone was there and we rejected the mini-cheddars and got extra crisps and drinks and then ate the mini-cheddars anyway. We threw debris over the pub garden fence into the street and some random teenagers stole Bobert's football and we played Uno and bounce-the-white-pool-ball and hide'n'seek and stuff'n'things. At home Jof had gone back to bed so I played quietly with all the games that Cameron had got out and, by jingo, what are these extended holidays for, if you can't just bottom about for several days.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

A Frosty Breakup

The last day of this term. Within a couple of days it'll officially be British Summer Time which is a bit of a poodle as it was icy this morning.
sister gives brother a boner funny fail autocorrect textSpeaking of poodle, more dubious meats have turned up in a Siamese take-away meal after genetic testing. Inspectors smelled a rat, could have been barking up the wrong tree or looking for a scapegoat. Aha.
chains cold on the hands in winterThis term, one of our topics has been the great fire of London. So, we made various cardboard buildings and today the topic culminated (and fulminated) when the teachers placed our city in some sand in the playground, set a 5 metre exclusion zone, and set fire to it. It may have been a cold day but the cardboard city went up in no time.
yellow curly game capture flagI have been qualified on bonfires for some years now, but the teachers ignored my entreaties and didn't let me burn anything. Something to do with health'n'safety.
breadsticks and jaffa cakesThursday Park went off as usual, but with extra layers of clothing. Can spring start sometime soon, please? Ben and the JBs joined me and we swung and climbed and did the battle over the curly slide. The idea is, rather like a paintball fight, to capture the opposing team's flag, or in this case, pile of wood chips. So there will be a certain amount of manhandling and roister doistering. I am quite small (if loud and bossy) so it wasn't long before my foot was twisted and I did the splits, cue howling.
It also wasn't long before I threw the tennis ball right into Ben's eye, cue not giving me any chocolate cake. These things having been proved equal and to be expected, we had a traditional picnic in the Radio Station and got home almost in time to clear up the Lego before Jof got home.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Easter Basket Case

easter baskets with eggs and chocolatedifficult rubiks cubeThis morning we took in the Easter Basket for the class competition. Mine has improved since last week and last night Jof even knitted it a crochet-handle. Erin reckons she'll win, but then her Mum is arty in that kind of way. Perhaps it'll be too highbrow - from the way Daisy won the self-designed medal thing last month, it may pay to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
lego nativity scene with animals guards jesusFather Paul from the Beavers church did a speech to us today to try and recruit more paying customers. I have declared that I believe in god and that he made the earth. This recently instilled belief (kids'll believe anything) does not sit comfortably with my own status as deity, nor with someone who knew that santa, ghosts, god and the tooth fairy et al were pretend from a very young age.
pile of loose lego randomWe were allowed back into school to see the easter basket selection. The whole school had entered and each class took up a whole trestle table. It was yellow fluffy things as far as the eye could see, apart from one inventive one in Lego, with 3 humanoids on crosses with guards of all millenia attending.
At home I was busy Legoing when Ben came to reclaim his Lego Hero Furno so we tipped the whole Lego crate onto the floor to search for Ninjago components. Later BensMum lost her phone so we searched the house to no avail. Turned out that Ben had nicked it and was in the toilet watching dodgy videos on it.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Secret Santas: Badfather

giant lego doofenschmirtz evil incorporated buildingMost of you have heard of the Secret Santa, and I expect many of you have participated in this silly seasonal game. Only 3 months ago I helped Bud find a suitable present for one of the PuddleParents; I distinctly remember the shop we went in being full of plastic willies and words and adult-oriented products I didn't know about. You buy an appropriate (and yet deeply inappropriate) present for a recipient that has been chosen for you at random, names out of a hat: limit £5.
Well, it's funny you should say that, because when I was a mere 359 days old, Bud's department at work did a Secret Santa and they opened their presents in the Sausage Pub in Emsworth, at the lunchtime Xmas office party. As his colleagues are such a jolly lot, he received a rubber willy. And not just any rubber willy. This one was realistic-looking, about 6 inches long (so out-sized), and it had a wide base so it could stand up. It came with 5 coloured rings: it was a humorous hoop-la game. I still have the rings, here they are on my arm. They have been in my bath toy collection for six years. So the sozzled sillies played willy-hoop-la in the pub for a bit, and again back at the office afterwards.
Then of course it just went on the top shelf of the metal racking by his workbench, because these things are very funny for a little while and then swiftly forgotten. After the Xmas break, it was still there, and about 3 weeks into the new year, Mick the Manager came round and said "Oi Bud, you ****-stabbing ****-jockey, take that ****ing ***** home, because every ****ing time I walk into the ****ing lab, there's this ****ing erect ***-end sitting there looking at me, saying 'I'm just a big pink ****-****, look over here, ****-hole', and there could be ****ing customers doing a walk-round, you **** ****-****er". Mick the Manager had a special way with words and could include surprising amounts of asterisks in the most unexpected places. But he was right, so home it came.
At that time, I had just turned 1 year old and I had an octagonal cage with a circus-style tent top and everything in my room. It wasn't much of a cage per se because I could open it, but I used to keep all my ball-pit balls and stuff in there, and I shut myself in and played safely and happily within until I decided to come out again.
baby playing with rubber penis cock office secret santaAnd because Bud is either 1) slapdash and lazy, or 2) a deeply twisted individual with a reprehensible, devious and psychopathic disregard for future psychiatric issues, he simply threw the rubber willy into the cage in passing, for me to discover later.
As we have mentioned, I was a little over 1 year old. People of that age are often teething.
I was teething. None of this is my fault.
chewing a rubber cock funny parenting fail office secret santa =================================================================
So anyway, Jof had a day-off-in-lieu (must be something to do with really needing the toilet) so the morning rush was a little easier. She chose today so that she could work on the new house, of course, but that was a little premature. When I got back from school (lost my hat with integral ear-warmers) he drove us straight to the bank to have an official witness to them signing the mortgage deeds, and then the completed document was delivered to the solicitors. You will appreciate that as a 7 year-old boy, this was all absolutely riveting to me so I sat in the back of the car with Jof and dictated my latest novel while she short-handed it into a notebook.
A brief synopsis will reveal a gargantuan battle between the allied Ninjas (of various colours) and their associated Dragons (of differing numbers of heads, as well as colours) and the Evil Clan of Snakes, with what they've got. Tales grew taller as tails grew longer (aha) and the battles raged with heads that shot guns and fire and an automaton and death and glory.
I'm not sure if I'll ever post the full text as the servers of the world may collapse under the strain of the endless terabytes of tortured text, priapic prose and garbled gobbledygook.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Leaping Leprechauns

girl stuck in chair funyHere is Elizabeth's mum while she was still at University, and her heavy friend.
Today the solicitor told us we'd have to wait at least another week before we could move house, and to be grateful for it.
lego tower lego heroSo as my next spelling test isn't until late April, we just got on with making the Doofenschmirtz Incorporated Lair of Evil while it snowed gently outside. In an hour and a half, we were satisfied and cleared up and I had supper #1, just in time, as Ben arrived with a large Lego Hero and a harassed mother. We started making a Lego platypus, which requires a little bit of imagination. We scooted to Beavers and deliberately went the wrong way round the park but that's no problem. We got to go in an ambulance as part of our Emergency badge and in the Goodbye Scrum at the end I was crumped on by lots of people (that's rather the point of a voluntary scrimmage) and came out howling. Didn't last long. Ben left his Lego Hero here but then he pretty well always forgets something.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Through the Spying Glass

easter basket with chicks and eggs for school projectNot quite as empty a day as last Sunday, but nearly. I did accompany him to the supermarket and followed our progress on the map. Learning cartography is fun. I can confidently predict the name of the next road we're going to go past before we even get there! But it was way too cold to go to a bonus swingpark so I guided us homeward and I challenged Jof to a Lego build-frenzy while he ran to keep warm.
We have made a torture'n'trap-house with various armed guards and secret cameras which defend the high priest with his wand of power in the sanctum sanctorum. There are spy-bricks (the ones with eyes) everywhere and no ninja could breach security, ever, even if he could get through the maze.
Then we made an apology for an easter basket for the school competition and we all settled down to TV, chocolate and computer games. It's been busy after all, and it may get busier next week if we can ever buy this house.
Jof took a nap so we destroyed the Lego torture chamber and started on Doofenshmirtz's Tower of Evil. It gets wider as it goes up and there will be patio doors to the large balcony and this time we're going for height.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Sun, Sand, Sea and Sausages

Coughed myself awake at 0400 but managed to sleep in till 8. Mr Nasty has devised a way to ensure I eat my breakfast - he turns off the TV, takes the remote and offers to swap it for an empty plate. In almost no time, the deal was done.
outsize wine glass recycled
high street emsworth from the seaOur morning bottlebank walk was brief. It was so cold my ears froze off and I barely finished the genuine strawberry whip from the sweet shop before we ran home. The charity shop did yield one winner, though, 2 wine glasses in Jof's favourite shape but much larger. The PuddleMummies will fight over them, for they take half a bottle each.
Last week my intrepid Lego-buyer visited little-known Metroplex 'Waterlooville' but it was a poor area and the charity shops were impecunious and smelly. So we decided to try a richer place, with shops of higher quality. Consequently, Emsworth was chosen. Jof used to work there when I was still inside her and it hasn't changed. The first shop had a box of Bionicles "Vultraz" who is an angry red baddie with his own jet fighter with self-reloading gunball shooter with 3 in the breech and 5 in the magazine! It was unopened, and £3. Next to it were 4 large bags of Lego, colour-sorted. I could have burst, and nearly did, but settled for incessant babbling in a high-pitched voice. One shop in the square is called Mungo's Emporium. Don't remember licensing their use of my name.
floating pontoon at emsworth inlet
We had a pub lunch in the Coal Exchange ( I had sausages) and went for a walk by Emsworth lake in the biting wind and threw stones into the gloopy mud - there was no sun, no sand and almost no sea, the tide was out so far. Jof had an out-of-date cereal bar in her cavernous handbag so we fed some swans with it. Some poor parking attendant is going to wonder why his ticket machine is full of 10ps from Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and Guernsey.
birthday parties at portsmouth gymnastics centreAll 4 Lego bags have been taken for the Mungleton Orphan Box but I got the Bionicle, until Poppy and Trampolining Kiera came to my door and invited me to play. Being half way through a Bionicle assembly, I was in 2 minds about going with them but Bud said never turn down 2 girlies at your door so off I went. We played families, Bud said I should be so lucky.
Just when I was reprising the role of 'Dog', he collected me and we drove to the gymnastics centre, which is playing an increasingly large part in my life.
party food and guestsWe jumped. We ran. We balanced. We slid. We hung there awkwardly. We trampolined (tramped?). We spotted an obvious target and chased him round and round the complex in sevens. Jof said he was like the pie-eyed piper, constantly followed by 7 girls in leotards all wanting a piece of him. I said he should be so lucky. Notice please that LittleMax (who has just bought a house in Highbury) and I are jammed together in a tight space with nine happy girlies.
lego bionicle vultraz 8698 mistra jet booster ball shooterWe got an hour of sweaty battling and retired, pink, to the food room where I actually ate food instead of just cackling. It wasn't long before we all saw the space in the middle of the table square as the 'in place to be' and it was 630 by the time I reacquired my bionicle and beer was opened. I built the bionicle with added jet attacker and it's awesome. What a boffo day so far! Bath fizzer night was its usual madnessfest and my youtube videos were House Explosion, Nuclear tests and Earthquakes. Bed at 1040. What more can a 7 year-old require.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Ebullient and incandescent (Sooty's magic wonder show)

woman walks in front of ski jumper and nearly gets hit
Friday at last! Well, I had a good day at school because I got a sticker for getting all my spellings right.
In today's enlightened age, candles (4) are retro or romantic and incandescent bulbs are out - you have to buy labour-saving low-energy, low-output nasty-to-recycle bulbs. Thus you can't buy incandescents any more, by law.
old style light bulbs largeThis is why Grandma and Grandad have a huge boxful of these naughty contrabands hidden away, enough to last them a lifetime. When we first bought this house a mere ten years before I was born, the large and dusty loft space had 2 of these bulbs in some authentically antique rusty fittings. At that point, the bulbs were probably only about 30 years old. 18 years on, and they're still going strong, the way the larger variety still do. These are bigger-than-normal Omega 150W/250V and still pumping out the wide-spectrum photons. We have decided to take them with us to the new house, I like a bit of antique glassware that you can't get any more.
I don't fancy going back up into the loft now we've replaced them with the new type - you can hardly see a thing!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

I like to drive at 105

cats getting into a cardboard box funny Thursday. My alarm (Jof) woke me up at 0840 when her alarm (clock) mysteriously failed to go off. It was like being dressed and fed by Vishnu himself with whirling multiple arms getting me ready and delivered to school on time.
Today was dentist day, an appointment booked back in the day of Wednesday Parks, not Thursday Parks. We tried all the remaining charity shops and got zero Lego again. The dentist painted some fluoride gunk onto my teeth and it made my mouth taste horrible. To add insult to injury, he then said I couldn't eat for an hour. Ben had terrible trouble with this rule only last week, for he gets angry and emotional when denied food.
lego fanatics at workWith some time to spare we popped in to see Jof whose bank was again bereft of customers. I believe they only pretend to be open and get paid for just standing there.
On the way home my chauffeur inexplicably failed to turn into our road and instead delivered me to the JBs house where Ben was already playing. Johnny has Gold Ninja and the Gold Dragon, this is absolutely bangin' news of the highest order even if my 'ghost writer' does not grasp the enormity of the situation. Because we were getting on so well, I was allowed to stay for supper and BensMum drove me home in the dreadful rain after hours and hours of play, all I ever wanted really. At home we all celebrated with ice creams.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Back to 3rd Grade

It has come to my attention that some Mummies seem to have a woefully inadequate amount of experience at being a 7 year-old boy. I assume it's a catastrophic cultural failure of the school syllabus in Yon Olden Times, when the Mummies were at school. So here is something to help them understand a boy's mind.

MUMMY SAYSCan you walk the last 200 yards home or do I really have to carry you?
[ X ]    I’ll be fine, + I’ll carry your handbag for you
[ X ]    I’ll be OK, Mum
[ ]      My leg is broken

MUMMY SAYSHave you got enough space for your vegetables or are you full?
 [ X ]    Yes, I can fit them in, I need all the vitamins I can get
 [ X ]    I’ll try my best
[ ]       I’m neeearly full, can’t possibly fit in any more veg, but if you put on the Dumbo DVD, I might just be able to force in 4½ pounds of chocolate biscuits

MUMMY SAYSIt’s way past your bedtime and my program is starting. Can you go to sleep by yourself or do I really have to stay with you and sing you lullabies?
 [ X ]    ZZzzzz
 [ X ]    I’ll try, see you in the morning
 [ ]      Gangnam style paaartay!

MUMMY SAYSDon’t sit on me, it can’t be comfortable, sit on your own chair
[ X ]     I’m sorry, Mother, I’ll go and play quietly in my room
[ X ]     Sorry, Mum, I’ll move to the other end of the sofa
[ ]       This is about reasserting my authority over you. But you’re right about it not being comfortable, put a bigger pillow on your face and I’ll sit back down

MUMMY SAYSThat’s a nasty cough, are you feeling well enough to go to school?
[ X ]     I’m fine. I need to protect my 100% attendance record
[ X ]     I’ll soldier on through
[ ]       I’m dying, go and buy me chocolate cake and stay with me all day

MUMMY SAYS You've been so ill, you’ll have to miss that  birthday party tomorrow
 [ X ]    Oh dear, maybe there’ll be another one next year
 [ X ]    Can I just go and watch
 [ ]      I’m fine, don’t know what you’re talking about

MUMMY SAYSRate the following in order of importance
 [ X ]    Eating up all your food
 [ X ]    Doing all your homework
 [ X ]    Putting your clothes in the laundry basket
 [ ]      I want a Lego Millennium Falcon
 [ ]      I want to go to Ben’s house
 [ ]      I want to watch Phineas & Ferb

I hope that this simple questionnaire helps illustrate the workings of our minds (or how to more successfully word your questions). There is an equivalent questionnaire for fathers of little girls but it's mostly about GlitterPonies and how much more pink there should be in the world, so I can't help you there.

college lecturer hung over during school day funny cartoonAnyway, after school we drove straight to Southsea to allow the solicitors to photocopy something properly, having done it in slapdash fashion the first time. Their waiting room had some really big chairs and several trophies of all sizes - seems they've been successful in the "Portsmouth in bloom" (industrial premises) competition over the years.
Then we drove to the row of charity shops and found no Lego. Jof was in her bank - 4 staff, no customers. She's always going on about how hard her job is, but whenever I turn up, she's empty.
octopus in a shamrock leaf designWe did a quick 20 minutes in the park because I'll miss Thursday park for rainstorms and a dentist's appointment. I made tracks all round the park, this section looked iffy for a while but is an octopus, honest.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The things I don't understand

dinosaurs going on a date before extinction funny cartoon All last night I was negotiating with Jof to get the Lego Millennium Falcon, bidding now at £1,550. She said she wouldn't buy it for me and that I didn't have enough money. OK then, I retorted, I shall use the £11 in my piggy bank to buy lottery tickets, and then I shall use the winnings to buy the Falcon. But ye shalt never win upon the MoronTax (aka the lottery) and in any case, as a minor, thou art not entitled to buy tickets. OK, I said, you buy the tickets and we can share the winnings. This did not work either. I don't understand.
Anyway, first thing this morning, Jof made the classic beginner's error and said I was perfectly well enough to go to school but if I felt sick then the teacher would have to ring her and she'd have to come home and collect me from school early and take me home*. So of course I felt dreadfully sick all day, don't know how I survived. I kept telling the teachers how dead I was and the lunchtime helper said go outside and get some fresh air (this is fine by me because food gets in the way of play) but I don't understand how nobody phoned anybody and I still had to do school like everyone else, even though I clearly had terminal Rigellian Flu, ulcerated leprosy and Baron Munchausen Syndrome.
Bud was quietly pensive this afternoon. Something to do with a strategic headcount reduction and review with compulsory redundancies. I don't understand this either. Hope it doesn't affect me moving house to a bigger Lego room.
Kids from the Junior school next door visited us to reassure us that our future was safe and we shouldn't fear moving to bigger schools. I knew them all anyway as they're only 1 year above me so there was Katelyn's sister and Honey (a definite sweetie, mmm).
In gymnastics I got better at handstands and afterwards demanded loads of sofa and TV time because of my near-fatal injuries. Or was it a cough. Well anyway. I got to bed at 8pm, a good 90 mins early.
* This may not be verbatim. But by the time it was processed through the waxy ears of a seven year-old boy, it was lucky she managed to send me to school at all, I should have been in that special hospital full of hot and cold running mummies and Lego and TV.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Klothni klothni, Baby, ela ilmbataar tonight*

car crashed into opticians shop funny fail
*From "Saudi Arabic for visiting businessmen" phrasebook. You never know when you'll have to ask someone to take you to the airport in Arabic
beaver scouts church hall chairs stacked upFor the last couple of days I have had a cough. My cough isn't the liquid gargly cough of the seasoned smoker or the dry pointless bark of the person at the back of the audience just when the play's getting interesting. I have whooping cough. I can keep up this terrible-sounding croup-hoot all night if required and Bud finally made a late bid for parental responsibility and rang the quack (opposite).
lego star wars millenium falcon sold on ebay for £1420Turning down the appointment offered (1030 am next Friday) we waited in the little hot room full of Romanian babies and grannies wetting themselves for a mere 50 minutes before the doctor called me in. I didn't have a temperature in my ear, there was enough oxygen in my thumb and my lungs sounded good through my tummy. Even though I hooted several times she (in a thick Arabic accent) still said no yellow medicine for you, my son, come back if it gets worse. I'd missed my playdate with Ben and nearly missed Supper #1.
In the corner of the Beavers church hall was a large tub of Lego. Surely I don't have to pay Beaver fees to play with Lego? But we did, and there were lots of bits I'd never seen before. Bud told me about a Lego 10179 limited first edition Millenium Falcon (unopened) that's 3 feet long when built, just sold on Ebay for £1,420. I said moo, why can't I have it. He said fine, old chap, you only have to get into the Golden Book one and a half thousand times.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Niets, Nada, Rien, Nichts, Niente, ništa

playing snap cardsBecause it's all going to kick off tomorrow, we had a real actual day off. We did nothing at all, not even a little bit. I made some Lego vehicles. We played cards. We watched a film. We ate chocolate biscuits. We played games on the computer. Jof hoovered a little, Bud saved some Dorset primroses into plant pots to take with us and I made up words.
I believe the highlight of the day was when Jof spilled Bud's tea all over the carpet. When the most interesting thing to happen all day is watching somebody else knock over a teacup, you know it's been lazy.
We sorted out the bag of funny foreign coins from the coffee shop. In it were many 5ps, 10ps and 20ps from places like Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and Guernsey. They are identical to English coins but theoretically they are not UK currency and shops do not have to accept them. So they have gone in the car. For the next time we are required to pay for parking, the meter will not know the difference.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Bonfire that nearly wasn't

portsmouth demolition milton park pile of rubbleJof had to go to work today so I got up late and we managed to choose a gap in the rainstorms to go for a walk. The pub at the end of the road has been destroyed (The White House). We don't mind because it was a rubbish pub anyway, and now it's a series of piles of recyclable materials - metal, bricks, carpets, cellars and wood. I'd like to take the cellar home but it's something I could never do. Few things are more tempting than demolition sites but we thought we'd probably better not slip inside to investigate.
Once Jof got back I sent out my intrepid foreign envoy to seek out new Lego in a new town.
Waterlooville
Waterlooville (W'ville) is a desolate town the other side of the hill. On the Old London Road, it has faded to black since the new bypass was built and has little to recommend it now. The most common shop on its deserted concrete high street was "To Let" and the merry-go-round was entirely without customers. One girl bounced lonesomely on the trampolines that would be busy in Gunwharf. The buzzing Metroplex that isn't Waterlooville does, however, boast 10 charity shops and an amount of mentally challenged individuals that far exceeds the average. But there's nothing like virgin territory for a Lego and bath fizzer hunt, and he came back with 1 Pseudo-Lego truck (compatible) and six fizzers.
This was never going to be enough so we hit Southsea and obtained yet more fizzers and a bag of Lego (many blocks and a Star Wars X-Wing fighter with R2D2, Luke Skywalker and light sabre) from some kind of cat sanctuary.
child destroying table with wooden stickThe planned day has finally arrived where we do the last bonfire and dispose of all the confidental waste from the office clearout. Just in time, it stopped raining. You can't just burn paper (that would be boring) so we also had Ben's old headboard, Nanna's card table, another table, a 3 foot high photograph of an oil rig (should go up well) some planks, a picture of some special niche-market mushrooms and lots of random bits. I set it off with the last of the white spirit and some out-of-date perfume, as you do.
 hashish pipe smoked by child oil rig picture bedpost
The corner-post from Ben's bed turned out to be the best whack-stick ever and it was the last item to go on, when the rain came down. There was (briefly) a Thai opium-smoking pipe, no idea what that was. All the rest of it went in and I was Thor's enemy battling all the cardboard boxes and golfing the 2 litre white spirit container and the Strongbow Perry cans and so forth up and down the fire-lit garden with my new temporary whack-stick, now defunct, of course. Nothing survives the Mungle-inferno, except us.
OMFG. We are into "Last" territory. The last major bonfire. The last major bath fizzer-and-potion night. Soon we will be in Mungleton Manor - and we've got to build it first! Oh poo!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Born with a Sylver Spoon

mountaineer falls off ice stalactite funnyToday is my regular swimming lesson. Through the week, I also attend Beaver Scouts, Gymnastics, and now trampolining. All of these paid activities miraculously come with official T-shirts and/or badges at a Certain Cost. Furthermore, the school (don't even talk to me about Nursery prices) regularly sends me on fact-finding junkets to Victorian farms, museums or observatories, festivals of singing or inter-school gymnastics competitions, all of which attract a "Voluntary Charge, without which the school will be unable to run the event". These are but the official outgoings. Then we come to the unofficial demands on petty cash such as the accidental Lego set Jof buys me for 'being good' or the Mungleton Orphan Fund Lego collection Bud is secretly buying me to allay the loneliness of moving house, or the irregular yet constant parade of birthday parties, ice creams and spurious £1 coins to spend at the arcade of flashing lights. Even Furthermore are the totally hidden underlying standard running costs of avocados, school uniform and central heating in my room, which could be rented out to at least 2 students.
Apparently there's something called the 25-year non-refundable life mortgage at the Bank of Mum and Dad, easy payment terms. In fact, as I'm racking up these immense debts at a couple of hundred a month, my Blue Chip investment portfolio continues to swell. Funny old world, isn't it?
Today the people selling us a house have written their names on some documents and posted them. We may be about to move, hooray, for then I get to investigate the Orphan Box.
Red Nose Day at school was great. The teachers had to do the Ministry of Silly Walks out of morning assembly and everything was fun with red clothes and hair. I got the Pupil of the Week for my outstanding improvement in literacy as befits someone with a blog of this quality.
Cheekiness
I am taught that if you ask politely, you may get further than you thought. At Buds' work there is a Costa Fortunum Coffee outlet, which is patronized by the numerous important international business travellers visiting all the hoity-toity companies at his Hi-Tech Enterprise Park. Thus, he reasoned, would they not have a bag of assorted funny foreign coins that might go into my collection? Yes. 10 Euros, £2 worth of valid UK currency, several dollars and 36 coins of all nations that my extensive collection was yet to acquire. My Blue Chip investments (detailed above) will swell all the more, and all for the price of a polite question in a glottal stop-free accent.
At home, ray-of-holy-sunshine Pops knocked my door and we made dens and played married couples and ate brioche and macaroni cheese before my swimming lesson. On the way to pick Jof up from work, a plump man and his ill-fitting tracksuit jogged down Osborne Road showing off all (and I mean ALL) of his ample and hirsute bottom. Given the musical-exhibitionist display Fraser and Thomas and I had put on in the boys' changing room, I am not one to talk, but really. Do we need to see it.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

What you see is what you get*

funny occupation label space lawyerWord reaches me that Grandad is angry with the world because he is having to empty the siege freezer in the garage (big enough to supply 1 couple with gooseberry crumble for 20 years, feed 1 army for a winter or keep 2 corpses in perpetuity), and giving away all the fruit and veg he's grown and frozen over the last 2 decades. 
Anyway, straight out of school we raced around to Ben's school and gained access by walking in the open back door. He was waving Duplo Lego around and came running when I called him, we nipped into his playground and had 5 minutes football while Bud told a teacher that we were abducting him. This is the 3rd time we've taken him from there without challenge.
moorings way primary school portsmouth
After only enough time to change into Mufti we hit the park and the JBs joined us and we swung and climbed and all played the 'get as many people on the curly yellow slide as possible' and tried to cling onto the turning wheel and all the usual in some chilly but bright sunshine.
red metal tubular bench in parkI howled when Bob threw some woodchips at my neck, when Ben made me do the splits and when I fell off the turning wheel. This is normal and none lasted long because there's always something else to do.
angled turning wheel play apparatusThis turned out to be - parents evening at my school. So Ben and I played scooters and giddy goats in my playground while Bud found out that I can now read and write. When we got home BensMum was there but she didn't stop us Legoing and making a quality den out of boxes and pink foam for ages.
I was so tired I only just managed to have a large meal, loads of TV and choc, shower, jumping up and down, etc...
* May depend on what you think you see

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

29 Palms



american high school college yearbook name fail funnyIn the early 1980s one of my previous incarnations lived on an expatriate company compound in Jeddah, half way up the Red Sea on the right. It's the seaport and airport for transfer to Mecca for the Muslim world when performing the Hajj so pretty well owes its ugly life to a nearby shrine to a venerated meteorite, 50 miles inland.
jeddah saudi 1980sIn the land of sand, their weekend is Thursday pm and all day Friday, instead of Saturday pm and all day Sunday. This made little or no difference to me, but it meant that Friday was drive-miles-to-the-beach day.
jeddah outskirts saudi arabiaThe thing about the Arabs was planning. They (and all their mates, nodnod, winkwink) would buy up patches of desert miles north of the town, put a wall around them and abandon them for several years, waiting for the town outskirts to catch up. The authorities (with their billions in Petro-dollars) would furnish the desert with miles and miles of roads, pavements and streetlights and curious monuments and surround the little walled-off bits of desert, which you can see in these pictures. So if you wanted to get to the beach, you'd have to go a long way, but at least the roads were good, until you got to the last bit where they'd just dribbled oil (quite cheap there - petrol was 10p per gallon) onto the sand which held it all together enough for a dirt track.
group of palm trees near the coastThe Americans recommended 29 Palms as a place where whites could go swimming without being surrounded by gawping locals (who aren't allowed to see women not wearing tents): there were indeed several palms with some stumpy ex-palms and good access to the reef, upon which I spent many happy hours collecting shells (I still have them). Every week we'd re-count to see if there really were 29 palms. It wasn't until I visited California/Nevada etc in 1985 that we realised the Yanks had simply named the beach after one of their Air Force Bases. I've had to steal somebody else's pics for this as Grandad still has all my ones.
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Dearest Followers Martin and Zoe are moving house as well! It seems like everyone's doing it.....
priory tennis school portsmouth trampolining sessionsMy new game at school is with Katelyn, LittleMax, Finlay, Erin ... the usual suspects. I play the golden eagle chick that Katelyn purchased from the shop for £1000. They protect me against Finlay the attacker, Erin is my Grandma, K is the Princess, Max my father. I hold the powerful diamond in the secret pocket under my wing, and my strong claws can pick up rocks and throw them, even though I'm only 2 months old and have to lie on the floor by the shed. Sounds just like the last game, but with extra family relationships.
Due to my awesomeness-iosity in the Gymnastics festival, I was awarded a free taster session in trampolining at Ruby's school. After delivering some highly interesting I'm sure documents to the solicitor, we got there and were greeted by Ruby (helping out) and Kiera (Poppy's friend). I bounced and jumped and straddled and piked and tucked and did some trampolining as well. I shall return.