Saturday, 31 January 2015

A Stag Do in Brighton

brighton stag weekend holiday Today Jof had to work so we planned something interesting to do while she was out of our hair, natch.
This time we visited Obscure Cousin Margaret. But unfortunately, he didn't wake up till 930 so I wasn't awake until 10 something and I didn't eat my breakfast and you know the way it is on Saturdays.
Eventually we were zipping along the road by Fontwell racecourse and we could see snow! I mean, it wasn't much, only driblets in the hedgerows, you couldn't have made a Snowman, maybe a SnowMeerkat if you made a team effort. But it was snow.
reception suite brirghton pavilion no photography areaThen we saw why the Police car had overtaken us with such keenness, a traffic accident involving a car and a very big, very dead stag. This magnificent yet not road-trained creature would have netted us a few quid and a decent wall ornament if we'd thought to stop and retrieve it, but opportunities come, and go.
We got to Margaret's and she had a tapestry easel to give us, as you do, and a box of assortimenta for the jumble sale. We headed into Brighton and it looks all very nice with its substantial detached residences and far too many pointless hills and one-way systems and we had to park in a puddle under an office block in the wrong end of town.
medina soukh old town narrow cobblestone lanes Never mind, we sploshed, as we nearly caught malaria from the puddles, we found a lovely Italian restaurant near the Brighton Dome called Pinocchios which served us quickly and efficiently and I pigged on Pizza even though Jof had said find something more interesting than Pizza this time.
Then, bellies full, we hit the Brighton Pavilion which is a decaying monument to the financial and culinary excesses of the Regency period, and quite fun with it. They are yet another attraction with a no-photography policy so we sneaked one in the lounge but mostly admired the Chinoiserie and bamboo-styled staircases and gilt everything and millions of copper saucepans and lots of doors we weren't allowed in.
u-boat deck gun round katana shop brightonJof had told us to be on the lookout for "The Lanes", an old-town network of narrow streets like the maze of any old Arab town, usually called a Soukh or Medina. We found the first one but it was mostly full of very little jewellers shops but we did find one Militaria shop and I admired the U-boat deck gun round (£1400) and a lot of swords and helmets, but he didn't buy anything because nowadays we know what the values should be.
I tried a couple of touristy shops but my heart just wasn't in it and the cold north wind was right in our faces as we walked bleedin' miles back to the car, still in its toxic miasma dump.
Brighton does not seem to have nice easy-to-read 'Out of city' signs so we toured Hove and Upper Portslade for a bit until we found the motorway home.
For normal evening-time we ate pizza (again) and watched Harry Potter 7 1/2 while unreasonably bullying Jof. I'm sure I got to bed this side of midnight.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Biting the Dänglers

dog chases laser pen dot on penis biterQuite a normal day at school, the 8 of us were playing Army in which Finlay was in charge of the Cybermen and Oakley led the Human-Ood alliance. I was a bionic spy and caused the downfall of the human race, and when Oakley found out his base was breached, he scratched Finners all over but didn't suspect me, how long can I get away with being a 5th Doric columnist.
I barely received any intel on last night's egalitarian performance of 'Myschool's got Talent'. It was NOT a competition so there were NO winners or losers and everyone got a gold star for joining in.
A couple of Year 3s got in a huff when they made mistakes and an entire group got stage fright and scarpered but that's about it.
In swimming we tried a new stroke called the corkscrew which alternates half backstroke and half crawl, continually revolving about your central axis. We screwed up and down the pool with joy.
Jof got sad that I didn't finish the luxury meal she'd made for me so I re-ingratiated myself by eating the dangly strings that pull her hoodie tight.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

The Quest for the Holy 100 Talents of Brass

you only had one job stupid funny failBud was still at home when I woke up, wonder if he tested positive for cholesterol at the docs. Jof certainly tested positive for eyesight yesterday, she has to have Moleman spectacles.
Today is Myschool's Got Talent, for which I have not entered, too demeaning. Jof drove me to school and we delivered 200 hot-dog rolls for the hungry and overestimated audience.
fox and sons southsea portsmouth estate agents immobilier real estateBut one should never finish a day without doing at least 1 strange thing, so (once we'd warmed up from the sleet specially imported from Gdansk or Archangelsk or Blodsk or whatever) we went to the estate agent to tell her we really were who we said we were, and also that we indeed had well over half a billion Vietnamese Dong in the petty cash account so could afford the house without the lightbulb in Bed 3. I looked through the adverts for flats and houses in the front window while the lady with the implausible accent battled with the photocopier.
6 inch rusian artillery shell climbing wall scout meeting
After a surprisingly early fish supper, we proceeded in a westerly direction to Her Majesty's Warship Repository where I was to play Laser Quest with my Scouting fiends. And friends.
But first we nipped into the antique shop with the ambitious prices and guns and swords that Ben and I had laughed at so much last Saturday and swapsied our duplicate shell cases for the big Russian 6 inch shell we liked so much, all in a day's work. It was much taller than the others so Adam and I and the Girl with the Big Eyes posed with it by the climbing wall for the official Scout Laser Quest picture.
laser quest action stations portsmouth dockyardMy team used tactics with 2 beaters flushing out the peasants sorry pheasants into the waiting jaws of our fire-trap. We also did steaming, like those nice people at the Notting Hill Carnival. I did really well, but perhaps I just took one for the team as I came second-last again, my natural position in this game, above Abbie, the Girl with the Big Eyes. I celebrated with luxury Marmite sandwiches, having lost my voice shouting myself hoarse. Went to bed with a hot water bottle, a rubbery companion.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Waney Weedy Weeky

icelandic elf sex expert made up jobSo the nice estate agent with the comedy northern accent phoned up and said the seller has accepted your offer on the house with the missing lightbulb in Bed 3. So we said 'I think at this stage in our relationship we should be free to see other properties, see how it goes'.
But the news of the day is about the Year 4 play. Ages ago I was the Troll in the 3 Goats play, the baddie is always the best part but my teacher didn't let me ham it up with all those shenanigans you get before a professional wrestling bout. I have also played the gold Wise Man in the Nativity, and stood there dripping with over £800 worth of real gold necklaces etc.
schoolfriends playing legoBut this time I am - 'Trainer/Narrator' in the epic folk tale "Going for Gold". I haven't got the script yet but I am told I've got 40-something lines, way the biggest part, perhaps the casting director teacher has noted my ability to talk more than anyone else.
metal ornamental pencil sharpener collection for show and tellTo much acclaim, I did 'Show'n'Tell' on my collection of copper pencil sharpeners, as you do.
For my application form for a class trip to an art gallery next month, it says will the child have to take his asthma inhaler. I put that I don't inhale, although I am aware this defence hasn't always worked in the past.
fitted kitchen in investment property for rent to familiesTook Ben home for chocolate and we made a base and a Lego train track and lots of noise for a couple of hours and as soon as Jof got home we drove to yet another house where I strode airily and said how long the corridor was.
This one was quite nice in that the kitchen was good but there was a bathroom in it and also a small cat which slyly inveigled its way in by purring at Jof, who cannot resist. But the house was very narrow and awfully close to the wilderness and you just can't have a bathroom in your kitchen any more, your meat and 2 veg might get mixed up at suppertime. So we said sorry to the estate agent and argued about how many goats and cats and pigs we'll have when we finally buy the big house in the country.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Mack The Disability-Access Box Cutter

disney frozen film vibrator for young girls funnyIn another blow to self-determination, the Health and Safety brigade have been at it again. Now, the nice black and yellow safety knives (I use one regularly, usually for cutting up boxes) have been removed from a well-known local employer for safety reasons.
slice auto-retractable ceramic blade box cutter red dot design award disabled usersIn their place - a ceramic-bladed box cutter for disabled people. Push the thumb-grip forward, and a half-inch blade appears. Let go, and it jumps back inside like Arkwright's cash till. I was quite rude about it, shaped like the question mark on its very existence. I suppose if your employees are likely to attempt to eat their own tools, or use them to scratch their itchy necks, then fine. Give them rubber scissors, like I had in kindergarten. The creeping cotton-wool-isation of modern life continues ...
And I read Harry Potter 7 on the way to gymnastics and back. These little opportunities must be taken.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Unready Jedi? Panickin' Skywalker

engrish funny bar pub nameSo at school, Ben and I were playing Pearl Harbour Strafe Attack with our new pencil sharpener planes when I cut my hand on mine and his propeller came off. Why aren't these £3 Chinese-made ornaments more sturdy?
At home he forced me to do my maths homework (times tables grid) until I'd finished the whole thing, but I won't need these in the future because everything will be done for me so what's the point.
I spoke to Grandad which made him happy but as soon as he started trying to teach me about phases of the moon etc I suddenly got tired and had to eat pasta.
milton 5th scout group portsmouthWe were supposed to go and see the house on our road with lots of cupboards for a second viewing but someone bought it over the weekend. That's the third time this has happened in about 2 weeks so we're not doing very well, have we bought that mop for nothing?
Cub Scouts was trying to gaze at stars and possibly any asteroids near-missing Earth, for our astronomy badge. We might have to gather our own zodiacal gemstones for our Astrology badges next week. But it was cloudy (no meatballs either) so we didn't even go outside and started on our fitness challenge badge. I have to record my food, snacks, exercise and sleep patterns for a week, learn how I'm getting it wrong and lifelog another week in the future to see how I've improved. The 16 choc brownie bites I had after supper may be an issue. But the best bit is I got on the backup list for Laser Quest and hey presto, I'm in!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Minecraft Art-building Competition

Awoke to find Bud on my floor fixing the Lego train. I helped and discovered I'd made a mistake in original construction, I also drove it off the table last week so I have in fact built the same train 3 times. All items have been repaired.
minecraft house with moat and lavaJof wanted to buy 160 hotdogs (for the School's Got Talent competition next week) and take some (duplicate) Lego back so we drove to Giant Tesco in Paulsgrove where they have a lot of heavily tattooed security guys on walkie-talkies trying to stop people shoplifting.
Because one batch of stuff was for the school and another batch was for the rental house that I'm sure we'll buy at some point and there's always a few things you forget the first time, we actually did 4 shops and got 3 of those 'X amount of pounds off your next shop' tokens but you can't use them the same day.
In the afternoon I hid away and because I wasn't being seen or heard, I got hours on Minecraft where I entered an arty building competition and did a house with lava and diamonds and fountains and even got mentioned in dispatches by some visitors.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Butt, Plugged

bransbury park spaces for sports portsmouthHooray for Saturdays because I got straight on Minecraft and played paintball to get crystals to get a sniper rifle. I have a kill-to-death ratio of only 0.38 but gradually I killed enough people to get my gun and it was rubbish. It means I'll have to save up for a bazooka.
Did the bottlebank walk (utterly unlike doing the Lambeth Walk) and met Harry Mac at Tunnel Park so we went in and played football and penalties. Joined by a Year 5 and a Year 3 and Harry's little brother, we were the group to be in so I left and met Finlay and bought blood sausage and beat Jof home.
At last Ben was delivered unto me and we all took the bus to the dockyard which is why we were late and missed the first booked game of Laser Quest. But because we'd sneaked into Action Stations without paying, we flew a helicopter for a bit and did the flight simulator for free.
laser quest action stations boathouse 6 royal naval dockyard portsmouthIn Laser Quest you get to choose your own name but 'The Terminator Twins' was too long so Ben chose to be known as 'Bottoms' for the duration while I chose to be 'Butt', as you do. We ran around and shot everyone but the blue team went around as a group and did flying wedges everywhere and they won but it was epic and we absolutely have to go back. Ben was better than me but we didn't exactly light up the sky with our sniping skills. In the shop I got 2 more copper pencil sharpeners for my collection and we got one for Ben as well and Jof got lots of rubbish.
royal naval dockyard portsmouth shopAt the Georgian tearooms we had chocco muffins and were the biggest kings in the world on the fancy sofas and then ran off into the antique shop and oohed and aahed at the guns and swords and pickelhaubes and there was a clock for £13750 and a 15cm Russian naval shell for £210 so we didn't buy that either. But Jof found us and we couldn't understand why.
Now, you may not know us personally but if you did, you'd know us to be restrained, shy people, quiet as little mice so Jof opted to go shopping in Gunwharf rather than listen to any more of our incessant babbling about nothing and we took the bus home and sat at the back so we could play roaring planes with our pencil sharpeners.
At home we got them all down and made a base and had armed battles, because that is what you do when you're 9. Later we watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and I cried a lot when Snape killed Dumbledore. Then I knocked Jof's large glass of wine all over the sofa and the carpet and he shouted at me and kicked my Lego train to bits in retribution so I cried about that as well.

Friday, 23 January 2015

That's a Negatory, Captain

skittles game gone wrong bowling ball failI suppose I have met colder days than this, but -2°C seemed unreasonable. Jof told me to wear a hat and I spent so much time searching for my more trendy balaclava, I ran out of time and had to go hatless.
At school today we played 'Knives' where we (6 boys) had to stab each other. I got punched in the chest 3 times and retired hurt just when a huge pall of smoke drifted over the playground, lucky I was inside. But then I tripped over a blanket anyway and banged my head.
On the way home I stopped off for a Grade 2 haircut, lucky Bud had brought a woolly hat to go over my woolly brain.
house bought for student letsJust when I found a new Minecraft server that does paintball, out we had to go to view yet another house. Well, this one was at the other end of our road (I liked it so much I bought it twice) and we walked there and met the agent on the doorstep and the house has a lot of wood and plenty of nooks, crannies, unexpected cupboards and a full wall mural that I think will have to go. Plus the toilet was my size.
So for Friday-night-is-film-night we had little-known straight-to-Betamax movie 'Avatar'. I didn't finish it.
My swimming lesson is the last of the day and afterwards is a session for the cerebrally challenged, always something to look forward to with more helpers than patients. One is the really fat bloke with dangly breasts who smells like last month's laundry basket who insists on bringing his daughter into the boys changing room, and a not-all-there chap who just sits there playing with his willy while his social workers try to take his socks off.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Political Prisoners: The 'Disappeared'

garage repair bill funny women driversWell it was a bit cold this morning and we had to scrape the frost off the car so we were a bit tight for time so Jof pulled in outside the school gates and that's when the police vans hemmed us in and the Obergruppenführer stuck his head in the window and said 'We know you done it, miss, 'cos we saw yer' and we had to drive round the corner and the Sturmabteilung let me go and the last I saw of Jof was when she shouted 'avenge my death' and I had to cross the road by the lollipop lady with black unmarked Stasi helicopters hovering menacingly overhead.
So for the rest of the day I didn't know whether she'd been put on a cattle train in an easterly direction or had done that thing out of the Cannonball Run where you undo your top, lean forward and say what seems to be the problem, officer. Personally I think it's persecution of the family because they know that Ben 2 and I are writing Harry Potter 8 which must be a proscribed book, fit only for burning in the town square.
Well, that's what I told everyone in class.
So at going-home time I collected Ben 2 and we had the usual joint flight-of-fancy stream of consciousness all the way home but this time about spells. We have jointly invented Expelleondia which shoots icy daggers and extra syllables, Vine-ra which summons vines from the ground to entrap your enemies, Runro and Slowro which changes the speed of the user relative to his surroundings, and Bildo which makes a building out of blocks, although that one needs batteries.
looking up harry potter spells on the internet
As soon as he saw my house he kept saying how he'd never been in such a big house full of stuff so I didn't let him forget that by banging on about flexible accommodation and wealth of original features.
But soon enough we turned to the magic internet and sourced (or sorcered) a wider range of pre-wrought spells from Anteoculatia which turns your hair into antlers to Epeco Pratronom which repels Dementors. Spelling is not important to us Wizards, it's the flick of the wand and confident pronunciation of the spell.
And we pigged Maltesers and Haribo and he was retrieved by one of his mothers. Jof did return and apparently didn't even get a ticket because she looked trustworthy.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Painting the Town Beige (with a nice tiled surround)

colege gradute american idiot failToday I took Harry Potter and the Half-Wit Prince to school and finished it in guided reading! This earns me the 6th film and the right to start Harry Potter and the Deadly Hellos (number 7) and continue to write Harry Potter and the Professor of Combat (number 8).
But that doesn't matter because today was Take Your Ben to Home Day. We always have a long, loud and pointless conversation all the way home in which we make plans to blow something up, kill all humans or make a Lego creation bigger than the known universe.
boys playing lego trains on bedroom floorAt home we remade the Lego Electric Train track into a new configuration, pigged out on muffins and played trains and sidings and stuff.
As soon as Jof got home we all went a few roads south of our location to view another house. The show-lady had a funny pretend accent like RobertsDad and I strutted around saying how well built it was. I explored everywhere with my giant torch and got more than a bit fixated on Bedroom 3 which had no light bulb.
buy to let house investment refurbished terraced houseBut luckily they took my advice and offered cold hard cash for the joint although one would think warm cash might have been nicer. On the way home I wittered about what Lego object I wanted to build next and bleated incessantly about having to clear up the Lego so Zoe could hoover, why did they tell me to shut up? What's more important, buying a house or building a Hogwarts Castle? Philistines.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Fame (Fortune later)

optimist pessimist opportunist make money from stupid peopleThe park was all white this morning with frost. We rushed through so it didn't rub off.
Ben 2 and I are collaborating on Harry Potter 8 and he brought in the reworked front cover, reproduced here and © us.
Against my better judgement I agreed to rip up the Lego railway track that Ben 1 and I had spent so much time making, so Zoe could hoover. But tomorrow we'll put it all back in a new and interesting format.
home made harry potter bookMeanwhile Bud was in the doctor's waiting room for his NHS Old Person's Health Check for 50 minutes before called in, so fell asleep. Just like old people, in fact, if the woolly hat fits.
At gym today one boy in another group recognised me from this my wonderful online publication and called me Professor! Had to happen sooner or later, I suppose.
Anyway I was awesome and came first in re-grasps or forward diving lunges or flying reverso-cantileverets or whatever they were, while the sleet started outside.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Pick a god, any god

wobbly eyes on a card earthquake In school today, we had to pick a god, any god, and write a little descriptive essay about it. I chose Zeus, but other gods are available, all imaginary.
But onto the main event. Over the Xmas holidays, we were all challenged to read a lot. Ben said he'd read the most but spent the entire hols on the DS and only remembered at the last minute so only scored 30 pages.
Lucy came second with 400 but I wiped the metaphorical floor with my 500 and something pages, all Potter. The teacher awarded me a WHSmith pre-paid gift card, but it doesn't say how much money is on it, it could just be an empty card for all I know.
Then we had some kind of pantomime, put on by a visiting peripatetic troupe of turnpike troubadours who jumped, acted and sang. I'm sure it had kings and princesses and bad guys in it, but I'll be blowed if I could remember what it was, something like Peter Pan but not ...
Recently we bought a 15 centimetre Russian artillery shell together with a 15 centimetre Imperial German shell case dating from 1917, as you do. But when they arrived, it was immediately obvious to the trained eye that the German shell was in fact only 10.5 centimetres, and we've already got 3 of those.
trying to send a brass shell case by parcelforce
So after much haranguing and renegotiation, we agreed to ship it back to the original vendor (did I mention he lives in Holland?) for a refund. Having packed it beautifully, we took it to the Post Office who said yes, sir, that'll be £37. We informed her that verily, she could insert said shell, by jingo, forsooth, but she may have been a trifle deaf, because she looked quite pleased.
So we brought the shell right back home again, both a failed arms importer, and a failed exporter. Then the nice estate agent rang to say that the house we were going to view this evening had been sold to someone else over the weekend. Then the online payment for a real actual 15cm shell failed because the bank system refused to recognize Belgium as a country, something they've had trouble with before.
Then Grandad rang to say he'd phoned an old friend from 1956 who didn't remember him, but also could not recognize England, although he may have been imagining it. I have all this to look forward to. Later at Cub Scouts my name was drawn out of the hat to go to Scout Laser Quest at the Royal Naval Dockyard. But it clashed with my swimming lesson so Bud wouldn't let me go. I couldn't faerie queen believe it, and it took prawns, prawn crackers and a promise to Quest on half-term with Jof to mollify me.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Splashy Birthday!

mountbatten centre portsmouth main poolYesterday on the train I ate an entire box of 'Mikado' chocolate stick thingies, which loosened an already wobbly tooth. At six o'clock this morning that tooth fell out and so I took it in to show Bud but he wasn't as pleased as I expected.
The day was lazy. I did very little because I was waiting for my birthday party and because of traffic we were nearly late. Ben and I hired the Mountbatten Centre main swimming pool for an inflatable pool party supreme at vast expense.
I first met these when one of the Scout group won a prize and hired the pool. It was totally epic so I had one for my last birthday party at Havant Leisure Centre pool but this time the Mountbatten had bought another inflatable after their last one died.
mountbatten centre portsmouth inflatable pool partyWe all gathered, got changed and had to prove we weren't going to drown by doing one length of the pool and by treading water for a couple of minutes. Holly and other Ben failed this task and were deemed unfit to go anywhere near the bouncy castle, which put a real crimp on their party experience.
But the rest of us went round and round and battled and fell off and pulled each other off and there was always a queue to get back on again and the pool helpers got stuck in as well and it was 45 minutes of fun, over too soon, although it is knackering.
mountbatten centre portsmouth pool partyOnce we'd all got changed and played with the hairdryers we trooped up to the party room which was far too big for our meagre requirements and the catering staff had got the food time wrong and weren't ready.
We had to play games like statues and stuff while they cooked it all and then we had our burgers and chips or sausages or chicken lumps and ice cream and muffins but pretty soon some of the boys started playing rugby with a balloon and others started playing chase with bits of string and the party meal broke up and the staff cleared it away.
We did get cakes and 18th birthday candles (2 x 9th birthdays) and sang happy birthday and gradually the kids drifted away and Ben and I got lots of presents.

Saturday, 17 January 2015


imperial war museum londonUp at 7-something on a Saturday? I couldn't believe it. Rescuing me from Jof's grasping arms, the taxi ran all the red lights to the station where I got a chocolate bar and he got an all-you-can-dribble coffee.
Once we'd got away from the coast, the countryside was distinctly frosty with frozen ponds, but I read my Harry Potter book to pass the time. Witnessed sunrise at about 0800.
15 inch naval guns war museum londonSnacking gently on sausage rolls, I had a few walks up and down the 12-coach train and ignored West Byfleet, Egham and Ashford as they were artefacts of a diversion to avoid engineering work at Wimbledon.
Bune (45) and Cameron (9) met us at Waterloo and we travelled vertically downwards to the London Underground network which I totally love. One stop away is Lambeth North where we found the Imperial War Museum with its twin 15" naval guns parked outside.
boys having fun on london transit systemInside is a large internal space with a V2 rocket, and a V1, Spitfire and Harrier jet suspended in mid-air on wires. Cameron and I loved the tanks and swords and the 8.8cm flak gun and the nuclear bombs but I was frankly bored by the art. One floor seems to be all depressing paintings and I really didn't like the fried plastic corpse representing the futility of nuclear warfare, but we did go in the holocaust exhibition (suitable for over 14s only) and the top floor which is about Victoria crosses and who won them. Cam and I played sillies in the lifts but if you used the stairs like the boring people you could get there 10 times quicker.
sir christopher wren monument london doric columnI liked the tiled wall of Saddam Hussein and the trashed Japanese fighter plane and the mini-tanks and motorbikes and the SAS machine guns and kukris but I categorically state that the shops are rubbish.
No Lego whatsoever, and Cameron and I looked everywhere but there wasn't anything at all we wanted to buy.
boy in stone alcove christopher wren architectSo we grizzled and moaned and whinged all the way back to the underground station about how tired our feet were. This is when we found the train with rubber separators between the carriages, a bit like Boris' bendy buses.
If you wedge yourself in the gap and put one foot in either carriage, they move independently and stretch you and squish you and it was epic and we didn't want to get off because we had to hold the carriages together to avoid an fatal accident. But at little-known station 'Monument' we found some 330 year-old pile of stones called the 'Monument' to the fire of London in 1666.
spiral staircase christopher wren architect monument londonFor only £6 we went in and started climbing the internal cantilevered stone spiral staircase. The walls have alcoves you can stand in but after you've climbed 10 circuits, the alcoves have shrunk to nothing, it all looks much the same, and your legs fall off.
I reached the top in severe pain having counted 305 steps (Cameron gave up counting after 200) but the brochure says it's 311. It was windy on the viewing balcony and there's a big metal net to stop you jumping off and a new office block is being built right next to it, you could wave to the guy in the crane.
natural history museum kensington londonStill, you get a decent view of Tower Bridge. Having descended, we had absolutely bags of free time so decided to do the Natural History Museum, as you do. Bune and Cameron went home, no staying power, these guys.
There was a long queue but I amused myself by chasing the innumerable pigeons, checking out the quality gargoyles on the excellent brickwork and looking at the 2 policepersons with submachine guns guarding the French embassy opposite. In fact the façade was so impressive I daintily asked whether I could use swearwords.
Inside was the famous Diplodocus skeleton and some huge fossils and bears and turtles and rocks and I loved the sharks and the snakes and the crabs and the squid and don't even talk to me about the life-sized blue whale and the mastodon tusks.
blue whale life sized model london natural history museumThe human body section was quite fun and I pulled the levers and pressed the dingers and rang the bells and giggled at the sperms and the willies and the brains, but only because I pretended to be the Predator taking out King Willie's spinal column.
The Blue whale has a notice saying please don't bung stuff on his tail as it can damage this historic model but the tail is covered in coins! I mean, there's a £1 coin on there! What desecration of a perfectly valid coin.
But sometimes an interactive learning experience with flashing penis and light-up hooters just isn't enough, even with Mr Charles Darwin presiding, and we checked out both museum shops, wallets bulging from not spending at the War Museum. While I'm sure they're very nice, I don't need a museum key-ring or luminous skeleton or skull moneybox or any more morsels of magnetite.
natural history museum london human ammmal exhibitsThere was no Lego. I was getting withdrawal symptoms. We didn't buy anything.
Opposite South Kensington tube station I saw the magic word 'Pizza' over a little restaurant called Love's Fresh Pasta next to a Sushi bar and Starbucks so we waited ages for a table. Eventually enough Sloane Rangers left to generously allow us to sit down and we had pepperoni pizza that was really good but had too much cheese (a recent complaint) so I scraped it off and we emerged fatter and rested, although the toilet confused me.
Because we still had lots of time we used the magic underground card and got out at Westminster and looked at the very big fence around the Mother of all Parliaments and they didn't have any Lego in the Houses of Parliament Shop either, OMG WTF FML, but we saw the Cenotaph and Whitehall.
charles darwin position natural history museum london
Our last trip on the underground took us back to Waterloo where we still didn't get any Lego but bought Belgian lager again and found a train willing to take us home and we got on with 27 seconds to spare and we departed into the spreading night after 6 hours in London.
palace of westminster london englandWas it a success? Well, we saw many things, visited many places and got very tired feet. But apart from pictures and memories, what did we have to show for our trip? The only thing we bought in the 5 shops we scoured was ... a tin mug with a Spitfire on it. None of the places I visited had a squash-the-penny machine.
I suppose I did read 94 pages of Harry Potter, possibly worth carrying it around all day. Jof picked us up from the station and as if by magic, she'd bought me some Lego.
One was the Star Wars Walker-bot that was not in fact Lego, but it had actuating gimbals and a shooting-weapon so who cares. While we ate sausages we spoke of the victories of the day and then I played Lego Nuclear Attack until shower-time and read Harry Potter until 1130, who's counting.

Friday, 16 January 2015

The Lightest Dusting of Powdered Moonlight

A very long day at school but who cares, I can already feel the hangunder on this Friday afternoon.
girls cant even bangs head on glass window by doorBen and I have discussed our addition to the Harry Potter series and my design of 'Dead wizard with broken wand motif' is to be used on the back cover, with a giant flying scorpion (no soft Euro-rock) adorning the front.
My opening paragraph has been accepted by the editorial team (Ben) and we have already got a cast list including Austin Potter (1.3 hatchback), son of Harry and Ginny, and Ruby Weasley, daughter of Ron and Hermione. These cousins will grow up together, getting private Defence against the Dark Arts lessons from Harry, who will inexplicably rise to the position of Headmaster in his second year, busting Snape right back down to Potions.
Incidentally, I still cannot pronounce Hermione: attempts are variable, often coming out as Hero-moaner with as many as 3 spurious additional syllables spread randomly throughout the name. Today was a bright day, but a cold one. As soon as it darkened before my swimming lesson, you could see a sprinkling of moonbeam powder settling on exposed surfaces, expect frosticles tonight!
Anyway, it's tomorrow I'm looking forward to.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Harry Potter and the Professor of Combat

cheap father christmas chocolate figurine penis willy shape funny product failJof had a learning-course to attend today so had set her own alarm to catch a train. Sadly her other self does not like alarms so switched it off, lucky Bud took her a cup of tea to wake her up. Then he took me to school without panic and I read Potter.
front cover for home made harry potter sequel bookThis is now a large part of my life and Ben in my class also loves a bit of Potter so we are going to write a book, 8th in the series.
Harey Pooter and the Professor of Combat is going to be a joint venture of indifferent spelling where I will write the story and he will illustrate.
105mm 4 1/2 inch 12 cm bofors 155mm russian brass shell cases collectionTo start it off, I drew the front page with a 3-D table as background. The broken (and still fizzing) wand represents the death of the ex-practitioner of magic who has just succumbed in some epic duel or other: his (or her) dead hand also figures with blood, burns and bruises to underline the seriousness of the Combat role. Potter and Ginny will have a son, spoiler alert.
We drove to the train station to spend £55 on tickets to get us to our weekend destination, more on that after the event.
Another gun shell arrived today, a World War 2 Russian 155mm, and very heavy it is too, they keep getting bigger. Then we drove back to exactly the same railway station to pick Jof up which was extra kind of us because it hailed on us as we got home.