Friday, 31 January 2014

Check, Matey

spurting cock and balls in fireworks funnySo we thought: what are we going to do tomorrow? Euro-Totty Kate-Lynn said she was going to Butlin's for half-term: this gave us an idea. The Butlins in Bognor Regis has a back door by the seafront where you can buy "Day Passes" and use the facilities without actually staying there, we found this a couple of years ago when we had a week there. This means getting into their waterworld splashparkzone thingy, and now I'm 2 years older and a competent swimmer so I could go on the big waterslides, and come home on the train. We checked, they don't do day passes for another couple of weeks.
Tell you what, we said, let's do Brighton. Compact, cosmopolitan, Bohemian and brash, there'd be a high probability of finding Lego in charity shops, food of all nations, and lots of swingparks and silly golf on the extended seaside and pier, good only if the weather is clement. We checked: freezing gales and torrential downpours are predicted for tomorrow.
genuine omani frankincense no.1 tub tourist muscat lego tower and bridgeSo we decided on a similar format to last week, cinema, travel and aimless wandering.
In school I was Maths Star of the Week again and got a football party invite from Harry, on the same day as my swimming party. Lucky it's in the right order so I can get muddy on the pitch and clean in the pool.
The journey home from school was horrible because of the driving rain. I couldn't keep up with him and my foot slipped off the scooter and I took my second tumble of the day (Ben slide-tackled me into a heap) and because of my freezing fingers I whimpered all the way home.
But then we checked in the loft to find the old Eiffel Tower for my French day. As a bonus we also found a Moroccan Berber sword (you can never have too many swords) and a tub of genuine Omani frankincense. This would have come in handy last month at the Jesus play, I might have been Gold Wise King with a rodding great necklace of real gold but at least I could have lent a further air of authentic realism to the proceedings with my plastic tub labelled "Frankincese". And we found an old reproduction wine advert in metal, with Soviet-style joyous worker, done out like a postcard. I shall place it in the garage afterwards for the adults to appreciate. Jof brought 4 non-functional obsolete keyboards home, which in any other household might seem strange, it certainly made the bus journey more interesting.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Devil made me do it the first time

temporary traffic control woman standing waiting on pavement sidewalk you wonder what's going through her mindAll day I was super-excited as I was due to take Pops home as her mum was doing something else. Imagine my joy when there were 2 scooters waiting for us after school! But this turned a bit sour when Popsmum turned up as well, having got off early. All 3 of us looked at her in a pointedly disappointed way and we got Pops booked in for next week instead (guilt trip).
I am trying to confirm my list of party-goers and as Jessica cried off, I lay in wait for my old black book favourite Kate-Lynn. She is half-French but doesn't hardly ribbit at all. Success there which will keep the female numbers up and give Erin an ally (not her mother Ally), and we ran off to Thursday Park.
I played with a random Year 6 kid for a bit but then we were looking after Bob again as Johnny is currently working through some issues and when Ben got in we tried to play football but the waterlogged ground did not lend itself to games of any sort (the whole place smells of fungal decay having been underwater for a month), so we played Army Base Attack and ate all Bob's Starburst sweeties and most of my crispy or chocolatey army rations and we were just organising a scooter-fest when it all went a bit wrong.
winter clothes at dusk sharing out starburst sweetsI'd said something silly at school and they called me on it. I could not think of how to back-track and got stuck in a HAL-9000 recursive feedback loop and they took the mick and I tried to hide by closing the face-hole on my Ninja Balaclava but that made them laugh more and Bob has an unusual take on reality and Ben wouldn't let it go and we ended up leaving early and shouting at each other over the fence.
As far as I'm concerned I hate everything and don't want anyone ever again but as Bud points out, that's going to be challenging. It's difficult to practise guitar when you're hiding under the bed with the lights off. I do not believe their solemn vow that all will be forgotten, like the last time I went off on one.
Sure enough, by bedtime I had torn off the top sheet of the lined pad ("I hate Ben and Bob") and replaced it with a seating plan for my party food bit in which Ben is sitting at my right hand, opposite Bob.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

There's no i in Teamwork (unless you're French)

giant door and hinges of bank vault circular doorI played the role of traitor today. Ben and TJ and Harry were in the boys' toilets planning a campaign against the girls. I overheard, and secretly swapped sides and fed the intel to the girls, who avoided the pincer movement and escaped. I then asked loudly how on earth they got out of it. The 3 boys got detention for chasing girls, and I wonder how long I can be a double agent.
I have not been chosen for the school gymnastics competition, even though I'm badge 4. This blatant snub is a first for me, so tomorrow I'll take in my previous medals and ask pointedly why I've been excluded.
separating foreign and domestic coins tokens medalsHolly phoned me twice. This is because I invited her to my swim-party so she has my number: is this the start of those interminable yet content-free teenage phone calls?
When we were ready to continue building the keyboard picture, I elected to go and sort my coin collection instead. The work is being done in my name, I could get used to this kind of teamwork. I have about 700 unique coins from about 100 countries.
We are all eating lots of fruit after Jof's slimming victory yesterday. You can't argue with fruit but there may be bottie issues.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Hot Cross Buns

funny tv news headline fail domestic violenceToday it rained a bit, which made a change. To protect my guitar, we actually drove to school and we had to hop over big puddles in the playground that blocked the route to the music block.
I am still practising 'hot cross buns' which is a simple melody for pickers'n'grinners beginners. I believe this may be a politically correct replacement for "3 Blind Mice" to avoid insulting our partially sighted brethren, in the same way as we all remember "Baa Baa Green Sheep" when insulting black sheep was unpopular. This is why Def Leppard has been removed from the shelves.
My teacher says if I do well I can move on to 'Are you going to Scarborough fair', although I'm not because it's too far up the grim north.
Tuesdays seem to be the day of unusualness nowadays. I wasn't on TV today but after Gymnastics (£2.70 for an achievement badge??) Jof prepared our supper and then abandoned us to get weighed and measured in the balance.
ivory coloured keyboards moonscape for home made artworkAs she has now lost half a stone in 2 weeks, she was Slimmer of the Week and won the fruit hamper so we now have to open a market stall just to break even. I may be Fatter of the Week, having discovered Oreos. While I was eating the Oreos, a carpenter came round to quote for tarting up our doorways, as you do. I had to shower and put myself to bed, and I'm a big old bossy-boots I can tell you.
Into the bargain (and in no particular order), we sorted out the keyboards for the Earthrise Project (does not involve secret visas for Nazi scientists) and determined that we needed 2 more ivory boards for the moon section. Jof independently brought 2 home from work, even though she had a day off. It was triumphant, dude. I unscrewed them and stripped out the keys myself.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Gordian? Or not...

clippit hated microsoft animated office assistant funny pegman
Found my Ninja Balaclava today so wore it to school. Some Year 3 Girlies said I was cute, I'm told this is a good thing but am not yet sure.
At home (once I'd finished Supper #1) we got started on the Earthrise project. I select keyboard keys from the old PC keyboards we destroyed, determine the optimum order, and he glues them onto an old damaged noticeboard. I'd first thought that this would be a 3 year project but once we'd got going, the rows just fly by and we're onto our third keyboard.
giant lego castle with towersBut then Ben arrived and we opened his new packets of Match Attax! cards and shared them out. Sadly we are partially obscured by Lego, but it is difficult to find a spot in my room where you are not.
Then, because we are 8, we played the old banjo. This red 4-string was for my birthday about 4 years ago and all the Puddlers have played it at some point, sometimes all together. Having moved on to an actual real 6-string, the old faithful red strummer was going to the charity shop but I have since decided that I shall keep it for my son or grandson, whichever comes first. We took turns playing it and singing for 2 minutes each, while the other danced.
At Cubs we got a mystery plant pot to keep moist that has nothing to do with Mother's day, honest. But the milestone was our investiture.
5th portsmouth scouts milton st jamesBaloo said he'd never had to inveterate so many cublets all at once. We practised the investment ceremony while waiting for parents to turn up as witnesses (Jehovahs go straight to jail, do not pass go) but not enough did so we went ahead and investigated anyway. We are now fully-inveigled Cubs.
Cubs is much more full-on, there's stand-at-ease and Pack Alert and Eyes Right and shouted responses and kneeling and recitations and a hierarchy. I am in Blue Six but Ben is in White Six. We saluted and held the flag and got our badges but they're just the signing-on badges same as the Beaver ones. I am determined to get my Silver award for getting all the badges.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Menagerie! Mungleton Fecit

Sundays are meant for relaxation and after the day I had yesterday, I was determined to follow through, er. It was a day of making things. A bit more on the Lego Castle and then Jof and I played Nanna's Fishing Game.
She invented it as a way to give me pocket money and teach me market trading without me noticing. 2 rods are strung with golden threads and a Blu-Tack hook for each grabs bits of paper of various values from the 'pond', then you add up the scores. I won 2-1.
Then we got a coffin-lid from the loft and used it to make a menagerie or global diorama, using my surprisingly comprehensive collection of small animals. I am not talking hookworms and lice here, but little plastic ones culled from charity shops. I have 2 pangolins (who needs 2?), 12 poisonous tree frogs and occupants of various ecosystems and habitats from open ocean to desert, freshwater lakes to veldt and glaciers.
home made school project in cardboard box lid
We used cotton wool and pipe cleaners, cardboard and sugar, and half the day. Watch this space for "Project Earthrise", for which we have destroyed a dozen scrapped computer keyboards.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Do you wanna build a snowman?

harbour view from portsmouth spinnaker tower dockyardToday Jof had to work, which was a shame on top of having to go out at 11pm last night to meet the policemen and turn off her work alarms, which had been annoying all the mini-skirted party-goers in Clubland.
Thus Bud took me to the promised land which was Gunwharf. Straight away we bought the cinema tickets ("Frozen" - the only kiddie film available) and wandered off to waste enough time for the scheduled film to actually start.
The Spinnaker Tower is the Portsmouth Logo nowadays, even more than the Anchor, bottle of rum and press gang. I've been up it a good few times but not for 3 years or so. We watched the Del Monte oranges freighter get tugged into port and it was sunny and calm. There are touch-screens for tourists but they don't mind being used by locals. The lift operator said the ticket gave us all-day admittance, as many times as you like, come back after dark for added effect.
metal staircaseThe local paper had printed the Scouts award ceremony at last, only 9 days after the actual event. My photo is not in it, but my name is. We had Pizza Express for lunch and I was foxed by the devilishly difficult puzzle on the kiddie menu; Fish the provided letters out of the lake and fit them into the spaces to create some well-known pizza toppings. M_ _ H _ _ O _ and _ _ E E _ _, provided letters USROMCHSE. This defeated me to the tune of uncomprehending exasperation from Bud: you should also know that this is the exact same test I failed at the Pizza Express in Arundel only a few short weeks ago. There was again the "Bambinoccino", fluffed milk with chocolate powder dusting, most unpleasant. Due to folk memories of tributes to fresh-water spirits, Britons still throw monetary offerings into water, fountains, springs etc. Thus the coin-related tragedy of Gunwharf continues. My fingers itch every time I see coins deliberately thrown away, this rock had us spellbound in its unfairness.
throwing coins in the fountain gunwharf quays portsmouth"Frozen". This heart-warming yet formulaic film seems to be set in Norway, 1831. There is a cuddly comedy snowman, evil Prussian Grand Vizier, an ultimate Ice Queen, treacherous social climber a la Kind Hearts and Coronets, honest prole with added nits and Skippy-the-Roo-alike reindeer, friendly trolls and they all sing far too much and use uncalled-for magic. But then again, I loved it, for I am 8. The adverts beforehand spoke of many animated stories, the one for Barbie-becomes-a-real-princess stood out as absolute dross with a standard well below that of the others, and that's saying something.
turn wheel and squash imprint onto 1 penny coinWe emerged, blinking, into the sunlight, which had deserted us, and been replaced by mist, drizzle and cruel squalls from Norway itself. Once we'd bought some antique glassware in the charity shop we used our free passes to gain re-admittance to the tower and stayed for so long it got dark while we were in it. At one point I left the building alone, to the consternation of the staff who tracked me by radio, it's ok, I know what I'm doing, I just look like an unaccompanied minor. The city looks good after dark and it was so windy the whole tower rocked and wobbled. Some kid wouldn't come out onto the top observation deck until I danced the silly in front of him, even then he crawled and ran back when the wind blew. There is a fake owl to deter pigeons.
I did the squash-a-coin machine and bought a copper skull-cum-pencil sharpener and went on the largest glass floor in Europe and got a marshmallow flapjack and watched the rainstorms and the flag-lowering ceremony on the aircraft carrier in the Royal Navy Dockyard and traced the outlines of the roads and the coast in street lights. The sea was full of flashing buoys (boo-ies if you're American).
Bus journeys are always manic occasions for me and when we fell in the front door, Jof was pleased to see me for her days are boring. We'd been out for 8 hours.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Incest Day: in Trouble with my Sibilants

back spin breakdancing korean dance performerThe double-width gap in my upper mandible has changed my accent significantly. I mean, you lose two top teeth and try to say "Susan Thistle the Special Assistant Speech Therapist Sucks" and thee how thilly you thound. I also had trouble with the word 'Antidisestablishmentarianism' although I find 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' easier.
usborne big book of things to make and do I note that Dustbin Beaver has been arrested for, well, being him. Can this now happen to Wrong Direction now please, so we no longer have to suffer the onslaught of Lube Direction songs my form teacher so loves.
It's yet another Inquest Day (teachers get days off for 'training') so Jof stayed with me all day. It never stopped raining. We made Dangly Monkeys and coloured them in.
A nice man at Bud's work has supplied us with 2 bits of plastic to start our Robot #3 project, so there was drilling from the garage while I had lunch circa 4pm. At swimming I said I was going to the cinema and Leo said I should watch 'Barbie kisses German Bottoms', not sure if that one's out yet.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Arnhem Maybe Desktop Icon II

wood fired cremation savour every bite funny sign position failGrandad has returned to the country from holiday in Gran Canaria. He flew nearly 1800 miles to just off the Western Sahara to get away (now that he is no longer chained to a wheelchair) and the weather was rubbish. He has bought me a gift and apparently had over 60 kilos of excess baggage! In the end he had to leave her behind ...
My clock radio woke me up at 0730 as planned. It wasn't the buzzer but Classic FM, a smoother start to the day.
I loved school and took my own football in. The teacher said could I leave the others to play with it and come back inside for 30 minutes' extra maths, I leapt at the chance for I love it.
milton park portsmouth orange swingsIn French we are learning about Marseilles and we had to make a restaurant menu for a putative outlet and my main course was Fish and Jam Pie, specialité de la maison popular in Languedoc.
I dressed warmly for the park and built a wood-chip bridge with Bob and when Ben joined us we played Army Mayhem Destructicon II in which the enemy had many troops that shot us full of holes and we operated the Water Blast Bomb and destroyed their bases and we all fell down and rescued each other. It doesn't matter to us that independent observers cannot make head nor tail of the changing allegiances and enmities, but it did make diplomacy more challenging when Ben called me a traitor.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Dilated Pupils: the Acid test

japanese engrish fail funny hotel signThey say the camera adds 10 pounds but nobody paid me. I don't think I'll ever be an obese child but I have certainly been getting wider. Does that make me a dilated pupil?
clock radios and digital tuners currys outletPeople did crowd around me a little today after my appearance on the news yesterday. But many of them didn't let me speak, I cannot believe that others have opinions of their own, so I was very sad all the way home and sulked.
I wanted to take Ben with us, but nothing was arranged. Can't you Tardis a playdate in retrospect?
kids with tv remote controlsteignmouth road play park recreation ground baffins portsmouthThis was supposed to be a quiet relaxing afternoon so straight away we went out to buy me a clock radio, in orange, with big illuminated numbers and a buzzer as well as multi-band radio facility. Curry's had some but not the right ones, PC World next door had exactly the same ones. Clutching my compromise-prize, we walked back to the car and failed to buy Match Attax! cards in a local newsagent.
Teignmouth Road playpark was our surprise extra stopoff.
It's an averagely sized park (that we hardly ever visit) next to some allotments, with similar climbing frames to Yellow Plum Park but nobody I knew. The occupants were arguing and using complex words and phrases I'm not allowed to use, so we went home where the Ben I so fervently desired was practically waiting for me. I played the clip of me on TV a few times for my fans and we ran around quacking as usual.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

My 15 Seconds of Fame

little prick funny engrish fail product nameThe air was heavy this morning with freezing fog and the sound of car windows being scraped.
The Fox, the Chicken and the Bag of Corn
Parent arrives home from work.
Parent dumps work bag and puts guitar and scooter in the car.
Parent drives to school and parks as near as possible, going round one-way system at least 3 times.
Parent leaves guitar but takes scooter, scoots remaining distance to school.
Obtain child. Child scoots home, parent runs behind. Ignore car.
Child changes into gymnastics shirt and Scout jumper. Retrieve jumper from where Mother tidied it.
Perform TV interview for BBC. Place empty plastic bottles and dead newspapers in recycling bin 5 times until lighting technician satisfied.
Child changes to normal jumper: scoot/run back to car.
bbc local tv reporter laura trant puts microphone on childTake guitar from, and place scooter in car. Walk remaining distance to school.
Child has guitar lesson, parent buys paper to see if child is in it (I wasn't), then loiters suspiciously by school gates.
Walk to car, insert guitar, ignore scooter. Drive home.
Have early supper. Both change into gymnastics/running gear. Gather sugar-rich food rewards and large juice.
Drive to gymnastics centre, child performs gruelling calisthenics routine while parent runs 6 miles up Portsdown Hill.
Get home, wonder what fuss is all about.
bbc local tv south today doing interview in kitchenWhen we got home from school, the BBC camera crew and council officials were further down our street pretending to inspect bins and deliver flyers. They were glad to get inside because it was still cold and we chose the kitchen to do the interview.
Jof surprised us by turning up just as we were setting up, she fussed and knocked things over and gave me a good luck hug. She was allowed off work early to see my moment of fame.
Bud tried to say a few things but mostly they talked to me, although I was a bit lispy due to missing teeth. We were both wired for sound like mafia snitches and the BBC lady (Laura Trant) kept giving me the thumbs-up from behind the camera. They were very interested in my Global Awareness Scout badge because it has a recycling component and they did a special close-up.
beaver scout does tv interview Afterwards I showed the reporter and the council ladies my Lego Castle, so there were 3 girlies in my bedroom going oo-er isn't it big. They were all jealous and the BBC girl told Jof she loved me. But then due to the packed schedule of a superstar, we had to run off to my guitar lesson and we were only 4 minutes late!
I got only 25 minutes to hoover up some food before Gymnastics but all's well that ends well because I won Badge #4!
After supper Jof left us to get weighed and we watched the news article. It was very short. They got so much material but ended up using possibly the most inane bit, hey, never mind, I was on TV, not a bad day.

Monday, 20 January 2014


breast agency engrish menu item funny fail'Cholesterol'
I used to eat Beef Jerky
But now I've gone Cold Turkey
(c) Professor Mungleton 2014
This afternoon I went to reading class with the Year 6 pupils. I'm not sure whether they're in remedial classes, I'm in super-advanced class, or something else.
gap toothed boy
Gap-Toothed Gargoyle
Still, I did my bit for my own income by losing yet another tooth: I therefore have a double-width gap, the day before the silver screen beckons.
After a bit of Lego castle-building, I got on Google Maps to plan my next bike ride, and asked to print it out. How was I to know I'd centred the map on a delightful country road south-west of Berne, Switzerland? It all looked so nice.
At last Ben and I have broken through the Beaver Dam that was holding us back. Our first full session as Cub Scouts was working towards our Creativity badge and we had to design, build, and operate a machine from scrap parts supplied: the aim was to propel an egg 10 metres without cracking.
We had to wear latex gloves, like a group of underage proctologists. What is the group term for proctologists anyway? A ring? A pile?
scout meeting in church hall milton 5th portsmouthOf the 4 teams, 2 were successful and I was not on a winning team. One lot built a bow and arrow: another created a ramp but were disqualified for not building a machine: yet another made a propeller and we did a catapult. When we activated it, my fellow team members were not paying attention so didn't hold it down for stability: the terrible trebuchet did a forwards flip and shot the egg into the ceiling.
Fortunately the eggs we were using were half a dozen rubber eggs from Jof's work (some kind of advert for savings plans - nest eggs) that we lent them, so nobody got yolked. Cubs is bigger, better, harder, later. Our discipline is much improved with proper saluting and Sergeant-Major shouting of orders. Resistance is futile! (And measured in Ohms...)
When I got home, it was as if the entire house had been dusted, hoovered and tidied, as if we had important visitors coming.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

At Sixes and Fours

lego ship and castleWent to wake Jof up and she said "Urrgh" so left her to it and continued building the D30 Type 45 Destroyer.
Not all parts were present so we had to use replacement parts from my existing collection and there were a few interesting leftovers, such are the chances you take with charity shop purchases. Eventually I settled on a finished format and very impressive it is too. The hull comes in about 8 sections so it's not one I can use in the bath.
In order to help Jof's diet I stole some of her breakfast and I was finally persuaded to leave the house (it was a lovely day) for football practice in the tennis courts. I met Poppy and Holly, they'd been cycling at the seafront, perhaps I should have done the same. But Jof's leg didn't last too long and that was the excuse I needed for TV.
tennis facilities in park by milton bowls clubLater we did even more Lego. The castle is coming on well and the King now has a decent Royal Navy and a considerable Air Force if you only want rescue helicopters. I made a prison. For a while there I supplied six-nobbers and four-nob thins for the newest tower, it has a jumbo jet wing built into it, so it isn't the East Wing, it's the Wing Wing.
Later, a car alarm went off between 0300 and 0315, which makes you appreciate sleep more.
Bud's old school (The Merchant Taylor's) has its origins in deepest London. In the 16th century, the river Thames was the rock-on transport highway and pecking-order precedence ruled. The MTs and a rival faction argued over who was 6th and who was 7th in the all-important order of priority on the river. The dispute came to blows and people were killed in a pitched battle of confusion: the Lord Mayor adjudicated and said you will take it in turns every year being 6th and 7th. This Gave rise to pluvial stability and the phrase "At sixes and sevens".

Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Lies of Communication

baffins pond recreational area tangier road copnor portsmouthWell, a relaxing start to the day. I failed to eat my breakfast again so we went out for the shopping and tasks circuit.
Baffins Pond is a haven for birds and squirrels. But we were there to feed neither: I have difficulty with swans - they always chase me - so I did the swingpark only. It scores quite highly on the City Council website (on number of play items, such as swings and slides) and we were the only ones there. Dogs argued loudly in the forest next to us but we didn't care. The large slide was slippery.
On Tangier Road is a shop called Penelope Ann that does school and other uniforms. I got my Beaver Scout blue top there 2 years ago, and I got my Cub Scout green top and shirt there today. We danced around the shop laughing at training bras and bobby socks and were probably caught on CCTV but we didn't damage or steal anything.
kurdish children support jesus is aliveOn London Road we visited the shop that promised us acrylic or Perspex offcuts for Robot #3. The owner was out and his colleague had deliberately emptied the offcuts drawer that very morning, just in time for the bin-men to take it all away. The journey was wasted and we were thwarted by lack of communication.
Over the road is a shop called Squirrels. They don't sell furry tree-climbers but it is an eclectic Aladdin's cave of film and celebrity paraphernalia. They are deeply religious and raise money to help Kurdish children displaced by Iraqi tribal warfare. I got a Libyan 5 Milliemes coin with scalloped edge and we got a sign for the Pub-Garage complex at the bottom of our garden.
Lego! Lunch! Then Ben picked me up for his party at Playzone and the Pizza Hut, what more could a little chap want?
hm armed forces royal navy type 45 destroyerWell, while I was out, the Elderlies raided local charity shops and got 'Big bag of Lego Bricks' (£5) and 'Lego-alike Type 45 Destroyer' (£10) so not so bad.
At the party we all did attack-chase and got sweaty and I had lots of pepperoni pizza. Thank you Ben for a great time. The party bags were Match Attax cards and I got 15 or so new ones, a splendid victory.
The Lego Destroyer comes with 5 humanoids and 3 missiles and the bag of bits was strong on blocks so looks like the castle will have even more towers than recently planned.

Friday, 17 January 2014

The Nuclear-Powered Buttzooka

member of public slipping on ice waving at the tv cameraPoor old Jof is still eating Grunties for breakfast (remember, roughage makes you poo) as part of her stalwart diet.
It rained successfully for hours and the park had major puddle alert. Jof could have stepped over one but chose to jump it (against my advice) and ended up landing in it.
acrylic perspex block steel pillars aluminium cpu housing heatsink cooling fanAbout 5 years ago, Bud made a Robot for me from offcuts, fragments and bits found in the metal bin at his work.
Constructed of 2 unrelated squares of Perspex with steel stand-off pillars making a sturdy box, it contains an inter-dimensional nuclear reactor cunningly fashioned from an old pressurised gas canister and surrounded by gold-plated connector pins and topped with a rotating fold-back CPU housing with heatsink and cooling fan. It is decorated with forward and upward-pointing missile launchers and moveable parts for little investigating fingers to explore.
2 1/2 years ago we had Robot #2 which lived and died during the firework display of November 2011. Today I sorted through the raw materials for Robot #3. We can't incorporate the Rivet Gun but that's great to play with, especially as it isn't loaded. But we've got some pressure gauges, adjustable rocket launchers, 2-way flamethrowers and many other titbits, so it remains to source some acrylic blocks tomorrow to build it on. I made a defensive wall of components on the dining table but had to take it down so we could have supper.
rivet gun gas regulator steel rings and standoffsAt swimming, Leo has moved up to Blue Hat and he was playing Nazi Guns against the Taliban in the car park with Thomas (pronounced "Taaaamss" like the well-known cartoon cat in Tom'n'Jerry, as voiced by the generously proportioned Maid of Colour) and Bud picked me up and attacked them with my bottom which farted and they said it was a 'Buttzooka' so I jumped on him in the driving seat and my butt set off the hooter and we all laughed so much I got hiccups again.
Then the nice lady from the council who gave us the prize for recycling said would I like to appear on BBC TV to talk about how good I am at recycling. My public awaits, Darling, tell you what, your people can call my people...

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Cardboard and Cabbage

funny highway signpost car wash by taco bellPoor old Jof is continuing with her Special Diet ("You can eat anything you like, as long as it's cardboard").
girl on pink bike and boy on blue scooter healthy travel to schoolIn French I got a Merit Certificate "For 10 points in French (outstanding understanding and use of French)" from Miss Z. Raveica, with my name spelt incorrectly on the certificate.
This is traditional from foreigners, and in fact a family trait: once upon a decade, Jof got a certificate from a Belgian entertainer working in Tangier in the name of "Jerry".
skatepark with big puddles asphalt floodedScooted home with Pops. She was on her bike but I could still keep up, she is the win to my wang.
Thursday park was somewhat curtailed (Happy Birthday, Ben) so we scooted round the usual lake in the skatepark in the rain but the olds gave up early. We both got wet socks, shoes, botties...
chief scout award presentation evening 2014 springfield school draytonSausages for supper #1 was followed by a rush to get to the Scout awards ceremony. Held at Springfield school near the supermarket, 85 Scouts of all ages were on the list for a certificate of varying rank. The room was suffused with the heady aroma of a Year 10 gymnasium and a million soaked raincoats.
It's the 10th time they've done an award ceremony, and the guest presenter was Council Leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson who is bang into the scouting movement and says his grandparents met that way. He has invited us to the Guildhall next time.
The Scouts were put on benches in a big horseshoe, with parents and leaders on chairs behind. Because my group has the lowest number, we were done first and I was #3 of 85 to be given my certificate (I got the Chief Scout's Bronze Award), 2 years to the day after joining. So pretty soon I was free to circulate, and I gyrated my way around the floor meeting and greeting, pressing the flesh, and practising slide tackles.
portsmouth 5th milton scouts group beavers cubs chief scouts awards2 Scouts were trying to raise £3200 each to attend the Scout Jamboree in Japan. BoyoBoyoBoy I'm looking forward to being a Cub and Real Scout - what with its abseiling, parachuting, Amazon exploring and stuff. When you're an Explorer Scout you probably have to fix the International Space Station, overthrow a small country or become Prime Minister.
There were friends from YMCA, my old school, and one from the JBs school. The newspaper photographer girlie (same one that took pictures of the PuddleDaddies at the Beer Festivals) snapped everyone in sight. By the time the circus had got 1/2 way round, most of my group had sloped off and by the time I went up to the free food for the 3rd time, I was the only representative left in the room.
The food made up for my lack of sausages (too spicy), yet another day in one of my busiest weeks ever.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Acoustic Ladyland

you only had one job meme mcdonalds restaurant failBit of a hurry this morning and in Maths, I reckon I could do Year 6 work if this easy-peasy stuff is all Year 3 has to offer.
Out of school I scooted to the Post Office and posted Jof's first novel. There were no stooped hirsute Grannies moving at half-speed whatsoever so our task was complete within seconds. I wore my Ninja Balaclava (Ninjaclava) even in the Post Office which is inadvisable as it looks like an armed robbery, but nobody noticed. I sped along the pavements of this world saying "Excuse me, Ninja coming through" which makes a mockery of the alleged invisibility of the Lesser Spotted Ninja.
pjs guitars highland road portsmouthThen we were Drivin' South, keepin' it between the lines like a bat out of hell along a dark desert highway. The guitar shop isn't far away and it is full of guitars and all associated paraphernalia. Also, inexplicably, it has a tear in the fabric of space-time and reality so is both a guitar shop and a moped shop, should you ever need to buy both at once. Buying a Marshall Amp? Then why not get a motorcycle helmet while you're at it?
Both shopkeepers had long hair like Johnny and Bobert's Dad, and one of them sold me a 3/4 size acoustic guitar made by "Valencia, since 1972". At only 150% of the price estimated by my guitar teacher, it was a bargain. I got to select 3 plectra of my choice: my favourite is red, and another is groovily translucent.
I think the shopkeeper rather gave the game away when he said his parents were thinking of fitting out the basement and soundproofing it for his musical benefit, and their continued sanity.
jimi hendrix screensaver like gary moore album coversI rushed home and strummed away happily in my room, (or rather clanged tunelessly) possibly in preparation for some hermit-like and hormonally challenged teenage years.
Now when I'm on the road paying my dues I've got something to hock when gigs are few and far between... all together now,
"Her neck was long and slender,
Her body curved so fine,
I weep when I remember
That sweet Rosalie was mine".
We picked up Jof from the supermarket because she has to buy a whole load of Dull-But-Not-Fattening foodstuffs for her new diet. I got far more carrots for supper than I'd bargained for but as long as I get the chocolate box afterwards I don't care.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Armoury of Damocles

el arroyo texan breakfast tacos funny signYou know that dreadful feeling you get when something is very wrong but your subconscious is hiding the terrible truth from you? It's like I've done something really bad and I'm about to be found out, or they've found out already and I'm walking the green mile, awaiting my just desserts and inevitable punishment. Like the sword of Damocles, but the entire infantry division.
Anyway, we entered a recycling competition (yes) with the local council and have won a £75 voucher for use in one of many local emporia. I wonder what I'll get, Lego, maybe Lego, and if I'm lucky, Lego!
Anyway, some actors came to our school and did Dick Whittington at us today. There was a Dick, his wife, mother-in-law, Pirate Captain and cat. The Captain swapped over the love-necklace and the cat sang "Like a wrecking ball" to get it back. The chorus line sang many Wrong Direction songs and have threatened to come back tomorrow and sing the entire No Direction back catalogue, something to look forward to there.
I scooted home. I ate quiche, and scooted right back again. My first guitar lesson was at a fairly unhelpful time, but one must suffer for one's art. As shift #1 left and shift #2 entered, there were 5 Cub Scouts in the foyer. Our sing-song round the camp-fire is going to be REALLY musical. Cub Finlay is in my group and he already has a big guitar strapped to his back, for he has been strumming awhile.
black balaclava kids size ninja mask mit neukunden-geschenk I have been given homework, which is remembering the string notes with this mnemonic: Elephants And Dogs Grow Big Ears, I'm virtually a virtuoso!
The teacher said I have a real talent and I have to get my own guitar before the next lesson. Erin wanted her own instrument but as she is learning drums, I can see why she hasn't got one yet.
When I'd scooted home again for even more food, the post had arrived with Germanic efficiency. My Ninja mask (cyclist's balaclava) has arrived and I tried it on and wore it all the way to gymnastics and all the way back again, which was not strictly necessary. I will become the Mysterious Masked Man tomorrow, and will be the Fortunately Warm Man if it ever snows. We also got a Neukunden-geschenk (freebie for new customer) of a superior gymbag in efficient black.
After supper Jof abandoned us for the Help You To Get Thinner group. Bud says they strap you to a chair, show you pictures of cake and electric shock you. I believe you sit in front of a conveyor belt with various foodstuffs on it, if you reach out for the cake, you get squirted in the face with a water pistol, if you DON'T reach out for the broccoli, you get squirted.
Lastly, we inherited a campaign map of the second world war from good old Blind Uncle Len. Made in 1944, it shows all sorts of facts and battles including "Japs attack", "Yanks invade" and some dubious place name spellings. When the framing shop re-opens, it'll go on the wall.
events since munich agreement coloured world map of second world war campaigns and battles