Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Closing the Window on September

art class erect penis paintingFollowing a repetitive play injury on my shoulder, I elected to stay indoors during second play today and offered to sharpen all the pencils. I don't mind doing this sort of thing but it turns out that this task is the #2 punishment (ie you bad person, stay inside during playtime and sharpen pencils), leaving the teachers with no choice but to tell parents on bad pupils and hope the parents punish the pupils, caning by proxy. autoglass windscreen repair serviceAlso, it had been House Captain Election Day so I got to tally up all the votes for Warrior House. The boys were all quite close but the girls had a clear front runner and one poor girl only got 2 votes, one of them mine. She asked me how she'd got on and I told her she was close. In music I pretended to play the trumpet but was really just tooting with my mouth so they gave me a drum and cymbal instead. skatepark milton park portsmouthThe man from the Auto repair place came and fixed the window on Jof's car. It looks funny when it's lying on his workbench, so we left him to it and hit the park for well over 2 hours. It was sunny so we ate Jaffa cakes and Pringles, scooted around, played football and Sticky Slide Tennis Ball Tag, Swing Kickball and Hanging Basket Ball Attack and then branched out into the skatepark. sophie ann weller milton park portsmouthThe skatepark has recently had some new slides, ramps and jumps fitted and we didn't try them because they were covered in youths with straggly beards doing complicated jumping. The air was full of the fug of the cigarettes with no name but we didn't inhale, restricting ourselves to the simple ramps where Ben could go up and down quite well and Johnny ran up and down them with his long legs and I did the junior slopes. We finished with round-the-circuit scooter races. I went against Ben and he totally cheated by taking the inside track on the bends, cutting me up and not letting me overtake. This was very unfair, you wouldn't see this kind of play in the Formula 1 or anything like that.
But deep down it was really time to go and all 3 of us are quite tired.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Nuclear Weapons Platform 9 3/4

american tv news stupid headline failAn excellent day at school, I was quite ebullient at kickout time, even if I can't particularly remember why.
Jof had visited her workplace on her day off and found them to be in total disarray, which of course pleased her immensely as she didn't have to clear up after anyone as she was off-duty.
But sadly, this carefree feeling was not to last. It was only at that time that we found that somehow, as if by some vandal-related hooligan magic, the back window of Jof's car had been shattered completely. It was still there in its original shape, but as soon as we opened the door, the window fell in showering the back seats and the road in a twinkly plethora of little shiny hexagons of glass, which I insist do cut you, even if they look like they're not going to.
vandals broke car window ford escortAs we stood there with dustpan and brush, many helpful people passed by (it was school kickout time, remember) offering helpful platitudes such as 'What happened?' and 'Oh dear'. One lady told us at great length where she lived and what colour her car was, which was nice, but she also revealed that 2 other cars in the same road had suffered the same fate on the same day.
throw away child car seat when tall enoughThe hooverbag is now full of little faux diamonds and we filled half a bucket when we swept up.
But not to be downtrodden, Jof said she'd accompany me to gymnastics and go swimming. That was when I remembered I am 9 3/4 today, and got measured. Now, I am not a Ben or a Robert so am not already 6 foot tall, I've got short stubby parents so the 2.7 centimetres I grew in the last 3 months is really good for me, and it meant I qualified to lose the kiddie car seat.
Now, I am not an Erin or a James so I didn't lose the car seat 37 years ago, but it was a rock-on granite milestone for me and I was happy. In gymnastics I achieved Badge #1 and crunched my shoulder trying to do a convincing cartwheel. Now, I am not a Poppy so I haven't been doing cartwheels since I was in nappies, but Badge #1 is good for me and I was proud if knackered. So I had big pasta and lots of cheese and yogurt and milk, just like the Dutch who are now the tallest race on Earth because of their national culinary obsession with cheese and milk and yogurt.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Is being Green with Envy Ecologically sound?

engrish product translation failSo today people were ripping the Michael out of me for having a girlfriend. Is it my fault that I'm capable of conversing with the opposite sex rather than simply remaining a one-dimensional football- or Glitterpony-obsessed machine? They are just jealous, I notice that all the mick-takers haven't got friends of their own. And I'm not the only one in my class to have a special friend ...
scout jamboree trade in neckerchiefsWe also got the proofs back for our official school photos (individual, not group). The school's decision to make us wear our jumpers has backfired terribly as we all look big and frumpy, nothing like our usual selves.
Anyway, in Scouts I donated my sack of cheap tinned spuds and we played Nocturnal Murderer where they turn the lights off and you move around obstacles (chairs) silently (fartily) and I always win because I fell in the nightvision cauldron as a baby and I see all, like the Terminator on whom I model myself.
scout group presentation of world jamboree japanThen our very own Venture Scout did a big presentation about his trip to Japan for the Scout Jamboree. This was designed to encourage us to attempt it ourselves in future years.
He showed us many slides on the OHP, most of which were the right way up, and he explained all about their adventures and how he swapped badges and stuff with Scouts from across the world.
venture scout presentation japan jamboree souvenirsHigh on the list were the old bomb site at Hiroshima and Tokyo's biggest Pokémon museum and some Shinto Temples and the aerobatic display team and the really really quite massive jamboree.
They all played many games and it's nice to see that the ideas of one Baden-Powell have spread globally. He got to go on a bullet train and see the earthquake research centre and Hong Kong and brought back some sushi for us to try, I didn't as I couldn't be sure how old it was.
We all looked at his extensive collection of goodies but I must admit there was extensive shuffling of uncomfortable botties during his brave exhibition. Afterwards there were questions, most were about the Pokémon display.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Spud U'd Better Like

boy cub scouts harvest festival donationOver another bacon and egg breakfast, he gave me the good news. I was to go shopping with him. Normally I'd be able to fob off this pathetic gambit with a direct refusal and retreat to the Catacombs of Minecraft.
But the Harvest Festival is next week and the Scouts - which have church links as one of their cornerstones - always join in. I could attend the church service or just send in a packet of harvest-related goodies for distribution to the local food banks. Now, Jof does this anyway and I have watched with wonder on numerous occasions as she gathered one or 2 basketfuls of decent foodstuffs at the supermarket for only a tenner and put it in the Food Bank Bucket.
My mission (and I did willingly accept it) was to make £3 go as far as possible, with extra kudos for inventive or thrifty ways to extend the bounty. I took my own trolley and a calculator and headed off on my own. In the end, I barely needed the calculator, because everything I found was 20p or so, and I kept count in my head. I hit the £3 right on the head. So here is my trolley-load entry for the "3 Quid Harvest Challenge". We have done a similar exercise at school so this was child's play. So the pile is large, but you must notice that it's Root Vegetables'R'Us, with only the barest hint of biscuit.
sainsburys basics tinned potatoes carrots for food bankJof always says that she's working from the inside to increase the amount of vitamins consumed by food bank customers, I personally will increase starch levels in the potato-obsessed.
In the car I educated Bud on the Joy of Blocks. In my Minecraft world, I recently discovered a ravine (cave) which allowed me access to many ores and secret abandoned mineshafts and mod spawning points and Silverfish and Ender pearls and Zombies and Redstone and Herobrine's Lair and the Stronghold and Obsidian formations and Cave Spiders and he seemed to take it in but doesn't realise how important it all is.
Anyway, the whole of Southsea seafront was blocked to traffic for a mammoth bicycling event. In the beautiful autumn sunshine, cyclists young and old paraded along the parade, perhaps that was what it was for before the invention of the motorized charabanc. Jof and I chose the sofa option. Later, we saw Mission Impossible 3 which has skyscraper entry via the roof, moles in the agency, lots of dark whispering in dark corners and treachery and secret weapons and it's much like the previous 2 in that regard.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Step Back in Time

bare plasterwork for painting boy with chimney sweeps brushOh I do like a Saturday. We got fed bacon and eggs (I got a double-yolker!) on toast by a surprisingly alert Bud and Jof started to pull the kitchen apart to see behind the cooker, because there was bare unpainted plaster behind it, just like behind the wine cupboard.
We bought this large range cooker in situ with the house 2 and a half years ago and haven't pulled it out since the chimney sweep came in April last year. Jof was expecting to find dead mice and dried leeks and fossilized peas and desiccated mushrooms and all those other things that fall off the cooker and are lost down the back when you're cooking with gay abandon. 2 years ago, a passing bird dropped a chicken bone down the flue, that's why we asked the roofers to put a cowl on the chimneypots when they replaced the roof.
harvester restaurant dessert eastern road portsmouthBut in the end it was just a load of chimney dust and a small plastic thing of unknown origin. I got in behind it and looked up the hole.
My acting lesson today was chimney-sweep related. As part of my upcoming role as flea-bitten forelock-tugger, we have a song to perform called Step in Time. We made up lots of complicated dance moves and practised repeatedly. Then we tried to do it in time with the actual music and found that we'd made far too many moves because the music was too quick. So we redacted extensively. I took along my Mary Poppins genuine chimney-sweep brush which was very useful as it is exactly the same as the one everyone else has, but newer. Plus, the Theatre props department didn't have enough for all of us so me bringing my own was twice as good.
Meanwhile, Bud bought 6 more funny foreign coins for my collection (now up to 989 coins) and Jof mopped the kitchen floor and hoovered up the water, which stopped the hoover.
moneyfields recreation park baffins portsmouthAt home, we decided to cycle to lunch at the Harvester on the Eastern Road and we pigged and pigged and 2 of us had the kiddie's chocolate sundae, I'd hate to see the adult version. On the way home, we stopped off at Rude People Park. Also known as Moneyfields Lane Recreation Area, it is bordered by 2 fields of allotments and every time we go there, it is full of Yoofs and Yoofesses going "I Farken tole 'im, ar did, annee wunt faarken listen so ar forken decked 'im, roight" and similar tortured phrases liberally bedecked with fakns and winkers. It is right next to the school in which Bensmum is head teacher so that explains it.
We moved on. Jof went to buy some paint and painted the cooker alcove and then I demanded Harry Potter and the Dragon Competition as Saturday night viewing. We were so full from giant lunch, we could only eat a couple of platefuls of chocolate cake and biscuits. Pompey football club is top of the league. OK, so we're top of league 7, just above the Post Office league but who cares.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Fiends with Benefits

trye repair shop exploding tyreA much better day although I did get injured again. I was just sitting on a bench when a schoolfiend thought I was playing tag and totally clocked me on my injured shoulder.
hand drawn love heart schoolkidsAnyway, it was the giant coffee morning today and everyone except me got to go into the assembly hall and buy cakes, I had the money and I was willing, wanting and waiting but in Year 5 you're only allowed to go if accompanied by a parent. Gosh, these people with unemployed parents are lucky. Jof's flapjacks sold really well, the box came back empty after, like, 20 minutes and one boy bought one and went back for a further 5, even though they'd put the price up. Just goes to show that the secret ingredients in Jof's cookie mix make all the difference, made the afternoon fly by.
My girlfiend and I have been exchanging hand-drawn tokens and this is her latest message to me. In other upcoming news, the Scouting Association Swimming Gala will return in a couple of months and I look forward to the chance to swim against the fiendish JBs again. I can't wait. The benefit is, I'll be a year older and uglier, last time I was the youngest.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

A Wattle of Bills

big favour to ask dog can't lick its ballsSchool was disastrous. I'm never playing football again. Because I'm not destined to play for Manchester United like all my mates, I get put on the same team as the girls (which at least scored me a girlfriend last week) and Harry and Ben and Gene and James are on the other side and of course I'm going to get crushed underfoot by the advancing armies of the future Mancunians.
My shoulder got hurt and then I tripped up over my own foot on the way to the library and sat on my leg and later I discovered 2 mosquito bites on my ankle. I don't believe a day could be any worse.
lollipop sticks pipe cleaners and wet clay school projectSo on the way home it started to rain heavily and it was certainly raining in my heart. I tried to elicit sympathy but he didn't seem to believe me. I knew that a tragedy such as this should get me out of any scheduled jobs and onto the sofa with Minecraft for the duration, but he didn't see it that way and I had to go to bed in protest. A battle of wills ensued.
Then he started doing laundry to pass the time and said I wouldn't get anywhere near a screen until I did some work, so I broke up some damaged pallets for the upcoming Scout camp fire and bought some soft fruit for my pudding and it wasn't so bad.
Jof helped me do a Viking dwelling-unit for my school topic. Built of clay, lollipop sticks and pipe cleaners, the authentic structure wasn't going so well and Bud helped by making a roof, we figure that if we use dried Pampas grass from our own front garden, we can cover up the fatal design flaws with some superficial ones. And we can put a small plastic goat in the doorway to say he's going inside, to distract attention from where the door doesn't meet because we ran out of lollipop sticks. My job was to roll out poo-shaped bits of clay and tell Jof that she was doing it wrong.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Double-Bubble Day

secure seatbelt before takeoff commercail airlinerToday, everything was in doubles.
First, we had double Literacy, in which we had to write our first paragraph of our 'New Adventures of Beowulf'. Given the size of our class and range of abilities contained therein, one must expect the unexpected for this 'Beowulf - the Story Continues' lark. Perhaps he will discover the end of the Earth, perhaps Australia. He will no doubt meet assorted new and interesting monsters, and kill them. He will overcome adversities galore in the shape of Minotaurs, Delhi Belly and Wi-Fi dead spots.
Then it was double Music in which we made teams, one team mimes the actions of aliens and humans locked in eternal battle (War of the Worlds) and the other team has to come up with an evocative soundtrack to the action using the instruments available, from drums to guitars. Bud said I should be soprano bottie-sphincter due to my existing talent, or do the music from Jaws.
sunny day for equinox after school playgroundIn double Art, we made the figureheads for our Viking warships. James did an epic one with octopus tentacles but mine is slug-like, has an anteater snout, raised wings and T. rex arms. We had to leave them all in a protective atmosphere ie a damp washing-up bowl with a wet cloth over the top to stop them drying out before we add the detail next week.
My packed lunches are variable but I did say I'm going off pork pies because of the petroleum jelly. Why is he laughing?
For Wednesday Park it was sunny and busy and I met all the usual gang and we played Swing Football, Tennis Ball Tag, Cops'n'Robbers on Scooters, Hide'n'seek on Scooters and we ran around in the warm equinox sun for 1 and 3/4 hours, nice work if you can get it.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Flailing Flapjacks!

diet water engrish product failIn playtime at school, we were doing this game where you all join hands in a line and the one at the end pulls hard and my arms were pointing a bit backwards when the pull came and I graunched my shoulder socket. No, I didn't see it coming, and yes, it is a normal game.
Anyway, Jof spent the day at home making flapjacks for the giant coffee morning this Friday. You hear about Americans having 40 shots of Espresso, a giant coffee like that can't be good, particularly if you have a dicky ticker.
britains great coffee morning flapjacksIn the afternoon, I'd only been playing Minecraft for an hour and a half when it was time for Gymnastics. I managed the warm-up and some of the balancing tasks but my shoulder gave way and I had to do stepping exercises and stuff for the rest of the session. But I did win another badge, and that takes me onto Bronze Badge, the one where you see Zen Buddhist kids flying through the air on rings and parallel bars and so forth.
So on one hand, I have a new gymnastics badge, but a note excusing me from PE.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Dick van Dyke would be Proud

firefighters putting out factory fire funny newspaper headlineAt school today every playtime was wet play so I managed to do my week's homework before going home. Result!
So, every day I have to go over my lines for my next scheduled performance, same as any other stage artiste. The part of "Bandy-legged Victorian Street Urchin" has many lines, mostly chimney-sweeping related but including a smattering of topical political commentary and amusing allusions to dodgy goings-on in the corridors of power as well as the pillars of the community.
Of course this all has to be done in a Cockney accent and this is where it falls dahn. I simply haven't spent enough time gettin' a whisper abaht an 'orse off old Arfur in the Elephant, 'agglin' over a pahnd of winkles in Billinsgate, losin' a pony on a dog at Catford or just trying to stay alive after dusk in the mean alleys of Shoreditch.
vinnie jones lock stock and 2 smoking barrelsSo my accent (while keen and loud) is mostly informed from the odd domestic phrase ('That's fightin' talk, mah son, an' you wiv'aht any mates, an' all') and the odd Simpsons episode where the action takes place anywhere in England, because we all talk that way in the Simpsons. So Mr van Dyke would be proud of my strangled accent as I massacre my mother tongue. I need to source my Cockney vowel sounds from somewhere new. How about Lock, Stock and two Smoking Barrels? That's just full of lovable rogues. I can see it now ... "Would you like your chimneys swept? Just sixpence for you kind sir. Whatcha mean, no? Oi, get back 'ere you f***** c***, giz a tenner or I'll give yer a right f***** spankin', yer w*****"...

Sunday, 20 September 2015

It's Better to Burn out ...

eagle and swastika minted coins wartime nazi pfennigsYet another pyjama day. I could seriously get used to this. Jof managed to call for a bacon sandwich in bed and some emergency chocolate fingers by noon but gave up at 2 and went back to bed.
That gave Bud and I the chance to eat pizza and watch Highlander again, there can be only one unless you watch it twice. I saw no need to get dressed and had to be told to read a book after 5 hours of Minecraft but at least I spent some time learning my Chimney Urchin lines. So for no other reason, here is a picture of the latest additions to my coin collection, thanks ebay.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

A Random Owl

groundlings theatre victorian festival of christmas actorAs a 9 year-old, I'm supposed to have a relatively simple life, but it doesn't seem to work out that way.
pet owl in coal echange pub emsworthWe parked in town (£1.50) and went to the shoe shop to get me some clumpy boots for my starring role as Chimney Sweep and I was just beating him up when he pulled my trousers down and I got angry. At the theatre the lady said no, I've got no record of the appointment for a fitting session you made over the phone but I'll squeeze you in. I put on my thermal undies behind a large wooden cow and stood there while they added more and more raggedy clothes until I was a fully-fledged Victorian street urchin.
long pond emsworth swans and ducksThe acting lesson itself was at the hotel again so we met Bertie and walked round there and we have some new starters and people on try-outs. Immediately afterwards we drove to coastal village Emsworth and it was farmer's market day so everywhere was packed and we had lunch in the Coal Exchange again and a lady had an owl and we talked about owls and how every owl claims to be Hedwig and they eat mice and and turn their heads all the way round because they can't swivel their eyes.
plastic bow and arrowEmsworth has a long pond so we fed some ducks and swans with leftover ciabatta (only the best for them) and there were so many seagulls they scared off the moorhens.
At home we found the broadband and TV were cut off which was annoying and the JBs had left a message saying come round for a barbecue so we did that and Jof went out with her work friends.
We played jousting on the plastic motorbikes using oars and armour and watched a film and wrestled for ages with Elizabeth who is quite a fighter.
At home we watched Beverly Hills Cop and I turned off my light at 1123 but Jof didn't get back until 2.

Friday, 18 September 2015

A Brush with Destiny

yoga position cute girl remote controlled truckThey say the best prison is one in which the prisoner thinks he's free. And that jesus loves a sinner.
Jeez, gotta love this freedom.
Today we had our official photos taken at school and we all had to pass through the production line of teachers trying to make us look presentable. Jof had specially saved a clean shirt but that made no difference as we had to wear our sweaters. That's why I had to lend mine to 2 other people who hadn't brought theirs.
school newspaper articles beowulk Our Beowulf newspapers are now up on the wall and mine is next to Bens' again. It's just so much more difficult to publish a hand-pencilled broadsheet than it is to publish a colourful magazine-style post. GIFs work, for a start.
You know in those old 'Top Gear' episodes where the terrible threesome have to pick a crap car for £1000 and drive it to a skittles competition in Andorra, or similar? Well, I'm sure Jeremy Clarkson always ended up with the Alfa Romeo and then went on about its cute personality failures, so for example you'd see him switch on the radio and the windscreen wipers would come on, and not go off again until he was past Bordeaux.
mary poppins chimney sweepers brush with drain rodWell, a couple of years ago Jof bought our big long car and while she was busy paying, I was busy investigating all the little cubbyholes and pull-out flaps and secret lift-up compartments.
dashboard compartment of ford focus estateToday, the securing clip on the big secret compartment on the dashboard died, so the flap lifts up and doesn't click back down again. So you have to drive along with a big erect wing blocking your view. We glued it shut using old wood glue applied with a stick of pampas grass (what else?) and added a big cross of 3 inch brown tape to encourage it to close, gosh, we're mending our car with duck tape. How Redneck.
But possibly the best part of the day apart from Minecraft was the present that Bud had 'hidden' in my room. I have won a part as Senior (not Señor) Chimney-Sweep in the Victorian Festival of Christmas and already have the threadbare underclothes, and will get the ragged street urchin apparel tomorrow. So what fundamental item did I require? Yes, a Mary Poppins Sweeps' Brush off Ebay. I ought to learn to twiddle and brandish it, be a real pro.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Boy Meets Girl

funny builders error staircase to nowhereI know you have many entertainment choices so I thank you for choosing Mungleton for your comedy needs.
The day started confusingly. Jof told me off for not getting her a birthday present, not even a card. From this I was able to deduce that it was a special day for her (news to me), although I thought that 39 was a low-key event.
Anyway, at school we did a lot of PE, which took up most of the day. One of the tasklets was football. Now, I am not a natural born footballer, nor do I possess dazzling ball skills or go out of my way to join in the playground matches, although I defend or go in goal if forced into it. I think the teacher knew this, and put me in a team of 3 with 2 girls, playing against a team of 3 girls.
This did not put me off, as I was now the best footballer on the pitch, hurrah! So while Lucy and her team were busy making inadvisably long passes to one another, I was able to nip in and steal it from them, scoring 3 of the 5 goals we posted, against their 1.
I found myself doing some epic teamwork with one of the girls on my team and afterwards she said that was rather good, do you want to be my boyfriend and I said why not, so that was sorted, nice to get that stage out of the way with minimum difficulty, don't know what the fuss is about.
Some bad news for Ben the real footballer is that Year 5 are banned from footballing for 2 whole weeks for arguing. This leaves Year 6 with the entire playground to themselves.
coco the chocolatier marmion road southseaSo after school we drove to the King's theatre where the DVD of my performance had finally arrived. I shall watch myself later.
We also nipped in to a very complicated chocolate shop and obtained a solid dark chocolate cat, some dark truffles (2 with pistachios), some coffee beans in dark chocolate and a slab of dark chocolate with nuts in it. They had all sorts of other stuff like Eiffel Towers, dogs, shoes, skulls, fish, frogs and monkeys all in handmade chocolate heaven. Then we visited Jof at her workplace and she came out and graciously accepted the choccy tribute and a hug with hardly any pointed comments about forgetting her birthday.
In B+Q we were proper chaps because we bought a small plumbing accessory without asking the assistant, found it didn't fit and mended the kitchen tap anyway by removing the washer.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Lego Ruminology

peaceful like fries the chicken river engrish menu item failAt school we did a mini spelling test and I got 100%. But then we did a decimals test and I got 0.3.
parents at school pickup time wet asphaltWe studied War of the Worlds and saw a bit of footage of the interplanetary invasion and were asked to draw a scene and act it out musically in groups of 4: with Ben and Erin and Harry in my group we should win. I drew a tank shooting a bullet at one of the droids, but because we own a few High Explosive rounds such as the 20mm and the 37mm Pom Pom, I know about the button on the front of the projectile that sets it off and incorporated this detail into my sketch. This made it look suspiciously like the tank was shooting a giant willy at the Martian invader, bet they never thought of doing that.
boys gathered around pc screen for minecraftWednesday Park was OFF due to excessive weather so the Lego Room was open for business. Problem was, I was busy Minecrafting when the JBs arrived and it's just so difficult to escape the orbit of Planet Minecraft. Bob kept saying let's go and play Lego and I kept saying I've got to show you this bit first and look what happens if I try it in Survival mode and guess where I've put my waterfall etc but we did get all the Lego track out, and then go and play Hide'n'Seek.
We got an hour and a half of manic mayhem and it was still raining when they went.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Asset Strippers

newspaper headline funny fail obviousMaybe I'll open a basement Pole Dancing club called Asset Strippers in Central London where all those hard-working bankers can go and dance with Poles (and Croatians).
At school we read Harry Potter 1 again, but I'm 3 books ahead. I was also given a flyer for drama classes but I can't spare the time as I'm on stage.
accelerated reading pupilI am the "Class Reader". This is not like a barcode reader or an Adobe reader, just the star pupil who has read the most. I celebrated this by immediately going onto the Minecraft tablet for 2 hours the second I got home.
I gymnastics I am just about to be on the cusp of almost nearly achieving the next badge, honest. Then Jof wanted me to do some Viking homework, what do I employ these people for, FFS.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Normality is Relative

airports authority of india funny sign failSo, on paper at least, this week is the first normal week for ages. 5 days, all regular extra-curricular activities resuming, nothing added or taken away. Well, I do have a costume-measuring session booked before my acting class, where they will try and make me into the most well-presented, thermally insulated freelance Victorian Chimney Sweep, complete with Gorblimeys, rickets and pulmonary oedema due to repeated exposure to micron-sized soot particles.
aqua garage eastney road milton portsmouthIn school we underwent a maths test so that Mr E could get an idea of how stupid we are. I got 3/12 and I was by no means the worst. We might have to go back to the old conkers-onna-string abacus.
While delivering some catering equipment to the Scouts lock-up, we nipped across the road to the nice garage that fixed the car for us last week. As you can see from their façade, steel beams are an integral part of their building so we gave them a stack of our super-magnets to say thank you (we did pay them as well).
5th portsmouth scout group milton st james churchBut we were chased home by the weather, which is making up for accidentally giving us 3 hot days this year by starting the winter storms early.
In Cub Scouts we played Dodge-ball and I got a Camping badge, it's been months since Jof had something in her sewing queue. Cubs is a good crossover because there are people in my class and people from my old school.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

The Nerf is Not Enough

montezuma chocolate emporium chichesterGot up, played Minecraft. Forced into going shopping so stayed in the café and read Harry Potter rather than help shop. Jof got a Nerf Gun for the school fayre and I said I wanted it.
Watched Minecraft videos. Jof wanted me to help make my homework (Viking house) so I spludged the paint until she did it for me.
Played Minecraft. Jof demanded I do some housework in return for the Nerf Gun, I mean we are talking dusting here. So I realised I didn't value the Gun that much (not en-Nerf) and played Minecraft instead.
german 1 pfennig nazi swastika emblemHere is what remains of the super-fancy chocolate Jof got from the highly hoity shop in Chichester, and here is one of the smaller coins I got from the Leprosy Mission yesterday. It has the special badge that was only issued in the 1930s and 1940s.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Your Mission, should you choose to infect it

stamp and coin fair drift road evangelical church clanfieldOver the last 10 years, I have been collecting funny foreign coins. Not in a serious way, you understand, just cheap stuff at knock-down prices to keep as a novelty reminder of the past when we've all gone cash-free and we pay for things with a thumbprint.
Recently we found a 1 kg pot of coins in an antiques shop in Emsworth that had a sticker on from the Leprosy Mission of England and Wales. We don't do religion (so much as laugh at it) but when we looked at their website and found they were doing a coin and stamp fair only 12 miles north of our location, we had to go. I had a giant pot of duplicate coins for swapsies and basically it's just been sitting there doing nothing, so we thought why not donate that lot to the Mission, and buy some more at the same time.
numismatists drift road evangelical church clanfieldSo this morning we drove to Clanfield which is right by Buster Ancient Farm where I went on a school trip and we found Drift Road Evangelical Church and went in. In a small room, we found about 15 people intently sifting through huge boxes of stamps and postcards and thimbles and medals and matchboxes and banknotes and other vitally important ephemera like that.
I handed over my pot of coins (weighing six kg) and asked for our box back. Then I bought 2 one-kilogram boxes of random coins and on the table I found a set of reproduction Roman coins out of a museum shop and got them as well, to show off at school. We asked about the "50 coins from 50 countries" bag that we'd bought in Emsworth and he said it was actually an old cereal box offer, collect the coupons and get coins, from years ago.
Our business complete, the nice man said thank you for the approximately £50 his charity would make from our exchange and that it would help save people in hot countries from getting leprosy.
Then it was acting lessons and hey presto, I am a chimney sweep in the Festival of Christmas! I've got lots of lines to learn, but I can give you a sneak preview: Top of the morning to yer? Would you like your chimneys swept? Just sixpence for you kind sir. And there's a couple of little stories about folks tying a string to the feet of a goose and sending it up, and one where a boy gets stuck and years later a skeleton comes back down.
festival of victorian christmas royal naval dockyard portsmouthI have to buy extra clothes to keep me warm on those long Victorian winter nights. I was commanded to buy woollen tights, thermal underwear and stuff, to wear under my chimney-sweep costume. I said I can never admit to wearing tights to my schoolfriends but Bud said chill out my son, they're used to you being weird and anyway, warm willocks are more important. So I made up a thing about one of those angry crowds waving placards that say "We Want Warm Willocks! When do we want them? Now!" although for the Now! I substituted Miaow!
We went to H&M and Primark and we clearly didn't know what we were doing so had to ask a nice girlie to help us and she looked at the shopping list the theatre had given us and in the end we got most of it at M&S, because that's a shop we understand. Football meant that we had to park miles away and started eating lunch at 330. I tried on my new thermal undergarments and found them to be strangely pleasant, felt like I was wearing nothing at all ... so I posed for a chimney-sweeping picture and yes, I know that a besom broom is no good for chimneys.
Film Night was 'Airplane!' during which I correctly recognised Leslie Nielsen and laughed at the silliness.