Monday, 30 November 2015

Chimney Chic

coke named cans make nativity scene funnyWell it was a bioshock to be back to reality after my lost weekend. Jof drove me to school and took in my boat which is a giant water bottle with large amounts of metal attached to the base using our giant magnets, and some bamboo with plastic sheeting as a mast. The poor competitors in my class looked aghast at my stupendous ship and the teacher had to put it on a high shelf to stop people fiddling with it, also because I told him the magnets are dangerous.
In Computing we played a multiplayer role-playing killer game so I just waited until people were fighting and went over and blew myself up at them. I've heard of this suicide bomber lark and as you know you'll re-spawn after 5 seconds, it's worth it. Lucky those angry men with rucksacks and no girlfriends don't get to do that.
sticking finger through hole in torn school trousersI did a mini show'n'tell on my acting exploits over the last 3 days and I showed them my security pass (I was screened by Lord Denning, y'know) and we looked it up on Youtube and it was all 'Cheeky Chipper Chimney Chappie in Theatrical Triumph' etc all day.
But then I had a trouser incident which was all about ripping in awkward places and nothing about unexpected toilet stops. My trousers have become too small and ripped before, I believe it's something that usually happens to middle-aged ladies, and after the last time which involved extreme exposure, I played it safe and put on my PE shorts, which did make for a breezy journey home.
While I was at Scouts, poor Jof cut her hand on some of our magnets, they're very strong and grabby and pinchy so she's got a big plaster and only one working hand.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Victorian Festival of Christmas: Day 3

victorian festival of christmas portsmouth historic dockyardGosh, I don't know what it must be like at home, so quiet and boring without the benefit of my radiance. Anyway, I know the drill now so Jof got me up quietly and we snuck around in silence and the roads were deserted again apart from the wind, and there was a lot of it.
victorian festival of christmas portsmouth dockyardThe dockyard is quite an exposed place for wind and we were gusted and buffeted all day, surrounded by all these punters with coats. But we had our nethers protected with thermal undies, cheeky attitudes and winning smiles, although we don't have traditional 19th century dentistry, in that we actually have teeth.
We did many performances with sessions of between 1 and 2 1/2 hours and there were many breaks as well. During one break I came up with the ruse of taking off my hat, looking penniless yet appealing and asking for money to buy food, please don't send me back up the chimbleys 'cos my lungs are all shot through, and all of a sudden, coinage of the realm started to arrive.
My co-sweepers joined in and between us, we scavenged £3.90 from the adoring crowd and Sweeper Leader took it to buy sweeties for us all.
In another break I positioned myself at the corner of Snowy Lane and started the old 'Come this way, Ladies and Gentlemen, much better stalls through 'ere, best shops in all of Pompey' and you know, I could get to like this street theatre lark.
During the day I saw Poppy C, Daniel from Gymnastics and Caitlin and Bo from school and it was all rather fun.
At one point I boisterously decided to try a new food item from a land far far away, it is called a Cornish Pasty. It was really nice but quite peppery so I need to wash it down with liquid.
Speaking of strong drink, I have technically lost an entire weekend, much like the man who loses a battle with a case of 12-year-old Glenfiddich.  When I got home I was exceedingly grubby and laughed at my own face in the mirror. I also didn't need supper because of the total pig-out earlier. I got paid with a giant chocolate coin nearly 4 inches across, but it won't go in the bank for a more secure future as I ate it in the car.
I do not have any pictures of today's performances but they're broadly the same as yesterday anyway. So I have added some supporting incidentals and associated evidence about the day. Here is HMS Warrior with a massive christmas tree of lights on its rigging. Here also is the seafront this afternoon with effects of the wind that was blowing me to shreds all day. And at the top, the banner from one of the food stalls.
It has been tiring, these 9 and 10 hour days. But worth it.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

The Victorian Festival of Christmas 2

victorian festival of christmas portsmouth dockyardOK, so I was deep in the land of Nod and had to be roused, but by 0745 I was ready to party.
I partook of a light breakfast only, knowing that I would porg myself on toast at the dockyard. The girls had promised to bring in sweeties and high-calorie delights for my team of hard-working street urchins so I grabbed a box of Jaffa cakes and hugged Jof and we sped along empty roads and I was at the theatre for 0850, looking forward to a top day of acting, eating and carousing with the prostitutes, with whom I have an understanding.
We dressed up in our thermals (believe me, very important to protect the peanuts against the chill wind of 1862) and had our faces painted but not in the same colours as the whores.
A band of Suffragettes asked for the vote and they had placards with one word on each, so if they lined up it said Free Votes For All Women. But they always lined up wrongly and said All Women For Free which sent out the wrong message. They were suffering in the wind, I say end suffrage for women.
victorian festival of christmas historic dockyard portsmouthChild A was bad again, and poked me in the back with his chimney-sweeping brush all the way to the dockyard and was generally a hyperactive ADHD pain in the butt for everyone. I have a problem with this because I am trying to get in character but my inner personality is not the one to put my fist through his mug although that is what he deserved.
Before one performance Bud and Jof turned up and I had a big cuddle and that sorted it out for me as Child A and his Dad got a big talk from the Sweeper-leader and he was taken away.
We did dances and songs and played games and after each performance we had to go round the grateful audience and shake hands and say happy christmas and people seemed to like that. It was very cold and the snow-blowing machines kept producing tickly snow all day.
street artists victorian festival of christmas portsmouth historic dockyard
I met my Scout helper-lady and we were not the only performance artists there. Other well-known 19th century cosplayers were:
2 angels on segways with hunting-trumpets and built-in loudspeakers, Scrooge in a bath-chair with his own microphone, extra teeth and cheeky interactions, assorted beggars, convicts with ball and chain, old crones with 3 teeth between them and an astonishing array of bubonic plague boils, Prince Albert (the actual Prince, not the body jewellery), a Judge in session who basically found everyone guilty of trumped-up charges including the green Santa of being too jolly, some thin-red-line soldiers in take-the-pith helmets, Queen Victoria, some sailors, some flower-sellers, a Peeler (early Policeman) on stilts and many others. There was a standing rule of the show in that whatever you were doing and whatever character you were playing, if you bumped into Queen Victoria (who toured and paraded throughout, and was played by our wardrobe mistress) you had to stop and bow down.
portsmouth harbour naval ships
Attractions included sausage or burger or ostrich meat stalls, fudge, candy and cheese outlets, handbag or ornament or vintage signpost emporia, liqueur or cider or chip vendors, a maze made of christmas trees, chilli chutney or dried fruit or wooden reindeer purveyors, an inflatable pub, an opportunity to write your name on a grain of rice and have it encased in an item of jewellery, a carousel, Morris dancers and some chimney sweeps, who were the stars of the event.
It kept raining so we did the hopping-in-and-out routine because our normal pitch in front of the christmas tree display was very exposed and I got paid fourpence in real actual money, my first actual earnings from the craft, just you wait until I'm being paid $20 million per movie, I'll treasure those four pennies.
christmas festival chimney sweeps performanceI was a little tired but we got the bus home and laughed so much everyone else on the bus was jealous and I had a bath with a very blue bath fizzer, and sang throughout.
Also purchased during the event was a wooden box called lobsters, some fudge, a christmas tree decoration with my name on, a pencil sharpener, some Kashmiri chutney and some cheese.

Friday, 27 November 2015

The Victorian Festival of Christmas

serves you rught bottle smasher sillyI totally skived school today! OK, so I had a sign-off or a pass-out or a licence to roam or whatever, I wasn't AWOL. The Victorian Festival of Christmas is an annual event held at Her Britannic Majesty's Royal Naval Dockyards just down the road.
Just in front of the Shipwright's Church on St George's Square is an informative signpost telling you where the harbour was in the 12th century, and surrounding the dockyard itself is a wall telling you about its 18th century origins and the whole place is full of history and absolutely ideal to pretend it's still in the Victorian era, it's almost as if it was built then.
mary poppins chimney sweeps brushes groundlings theatre portsmouth
So my theatre provides peripatetic actors who add to the atmosphere for the oodles of visitors and this time, I'm playing an ambitious orphaned street boy paying my own way by cleaning chimneys freelance, I do a bit of silver polishing on the side, I have a convincing Cockney accent, 3 teeth, ripped clothing wot I nicked off that dead geezer out the back of the knocking shop, and a host of colourful vitamin deficiencies.
Bud took Jof a cup of tea at 0555 and the day started. I was raring to go and we had been warned the traffic would be awful so we left early and I was signed in at 0740, a mere hour and a half before I was due in make-up.
The day did get better. Due to some islamic party-poopers over the Channel, there were a few more heavily-armed paratroopers than usual. Friday could easily be viewed as the practise day for the main event tomorrow and Sunday, it was fairly quiet. We set up shop in Snowy Alley and Child A was already being a pain in the butt, with the mischievous attitude of the untethered Year 3.
school project floating boat ship
We performed our set piece and dances and games and chats and in a rare half-hour break, we wandered up to HMS Victory (as you do) and I suggested we all sing 'My Bonnie lies over the Ocean' while two of our dancing girls did their turn. We got a big round of applause from our grateful public. Later, Child A was being such a wotsit in the thingy that I stormed offstage crying.
 That's exactly when the BBC camera crew filmed the Chimney Sweep Federation doing the 'Step in Time' dance, in traditional formation with a glaring gap where I should have been standing. Thus I failed to get on TV this week, bummer.
Anyway, I ate lots of toast and swept out a lot of chimneys and didn't get my pockets picked and I liked the Fagins and the Pearly Queens and Queen Victoria and the Judge and the prostitutes in the bawdy-house and the beggars and street vendors and piccolo players and you should all go tomorrow, it's ace.
At home I had very tired feet and deserved a bath. OK, so we had to remove the Good Ship Mungo from the bath before I could get in, it's my entry for the class naval architecture topic competition. Yes, it has a flag of convenience with little toilet logo.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Resurfacing my Brain

man arrested in complex maple syrup robbery funny newspaper headlineSchool was actually normal. I took an IT test, had some lessons, designed a house in French (because theirs are so much better) and in G-Mail class, Child A and Child B had a massive argument and Child B was sent out, but not before he'd kicked the bin and chucked a laptop and gone pink and generally drawn attention to himself.
Almost straight after school I have Extra-Swimming. Thus I hoovered up an avocado, a yogurt and some prawns with calamari (an obvious choice) in time to get there early. But they were resurfacing the road and we had to divert slightly, making us lose our advantage. Where I say slightly, the diversion was longer than the original journey.
colas ltd roadworks eastney road portsmouthI had a new teacher and he rapidly identified me as a star and I was demo-diver again and I did my underwater handstands because you just have to, and overall, it was Leg Day.
My homework is to make a boat capable of floating on Canoe Lake. Jof started hers with an old ice cream tub but Bud pooh-poohed her efforts and decided to make a rival vessel out of a 5-litre water bottle, a bamboo pole and some random bits of metal out of the recycling bin at his work.
Thus for a while we had competing shipbuilders in the dining room (I found this very funny) while I helped make Jof's one. Every seaworthy (or otherwise) tub from everyone in our class will launch next month, I hope mine doesn't get sunk by swans. Perhaps we need someone called Helen (to launch the 1000 ships).
I have a busy day tomorrow. Jof will get tea delivered at 0600, and she's allergic to anything before 9.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Dress Rehearsal (no, you don't have to wear a dress)

tractor digger used to bury dismembered corpsesWell, today I had a bright idea. We have a suggestions box with padlock and everything so it's completely anonymous. So I wrote a note fingering three Year 6 students for a crime against a friend's foam ball, which the aforementioned named students had completely pulverized in a fit of bullying.
The fact that I wrote my class name and initials on the note and 2 of my best friends are school councillors and can open the suggestions box may mean it's not quite as anonymous as I think. Let's hope I learn soon about the risks of being caught dobbing people in.
Pops turned 10 today. Some day I hope to, too.
I did attend Wednesday Park and played Swing-Kick-Ball with the usual 4 suspects but I had to go early because of my dress rehearsal at the theatre. But just as we were going, the JBs arrived.
groundlings theatre portsmouthThus we stayed on a little bit while we waited for the oven to heat up and we played more ball-tag and ring'o'roses and when we left it was dark anyway. But I did my new trick which is honking the Imperial March from Star Wars which made them all laugh, although I did sound a bit like my robotic alter ego "Norbertron".
full moon cloud coverIt was very busy at the theatre with thieves and vagabonds and cutpurses and orphans and prostitutes and body-snatchers, and that was just the locals in the moonlit car park. I had my genuine Mary Poppins chimney-sweep's brush, Victorian wind-up LED lantern, a sackful of thermal undergarments as worn by all authentic street urchins, and a positive attitude.
We worked on the scripts and the games and the dances and we've got call times for hair, make-up and costumes, rest periods and performances and a parade and they're going to be very long days.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Pulparindo Gigante!

blueberry muffin mis-spell errorI got 4 house points at school today for such diverse actions as holding open a door and answering someone else's questions in Guided Reading.
Last night during my Scouts meeting I was gyrating uncontrollably, as you do, when I stabbed myself in the head with my own fingernail, causing profuse bleeding as from a trepanning session with favourite Wessex Druid 'Eorl'. This head wound is visible today.
At gymnastics I did so many forward collapses and trampoline-rolls I hurt my heel landing. Plus, you know those buttons on the sofa? Well, I just kept landing right on one of those on the padded mat, however I tried to aim my body.
Meanwhile, Jof went to 'Toning the Other Cheek' beauty salon and had her hair 'Flattened'. I told her it wasn't good and she re-inflated it with the blow-drier at the swimming pool.
mexican tamarind fruit bar con fruta naturalThe Pulparindo Gigante is a Tamarind pulp candy bar with added iodized salt brought to our shores from Mexico. Made from fresh tamarinds, it has only 103 calories but I can't see it catching on as a playground snack in this country, although the surprise extra ingredient (ground chilli) might encourage ... extra activity.
Its name isn't quite as good as some other foreign sweet wrappers in my collection (eg Bugg, Plopp, Kack and Snöre) but if you're going to have a Pulparindo, make it a Gigante, that's what I say.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Homeless Dragons

water pistol with penis squirter button product design failToday I got a certificate at school for getting 100% in my Gmail assessment. This does not in itself make me a nerd but the potential is there.
The afternoon was a panic about Scouts. We'd somewhat forgotten about the homework which was to collect warm clothing and food parcels for the homeless, which my Cub Pack were donating via the Salvation Army at their secret location right next to where I was born this time.
So we nipped along to a charity shop and bought some huge warm clothes. While we waited for the previous customer to pay, we heard her story about how her kid (approximately 6 years old) woke her up this morning at ten to 6 by licking her face. Now, I do not do this, because I know that if they're still asleep, I can get Minecraft.
rowans hospice charity shop fratton roadAnyway, the clothes we got were very warm indeed and would fit anybody who is XXXL. ASDA is just over the road so I bought 5 tins of meaty soup for only £3 and when Jof got home she added a sack of assorted toiletries so not bad in total.
But by then I'd found a new Minecraft game on a new server. In this one, you lob hand grenades at people and try to kill them while summoning your own dragon and fly around dropping bombs. I join in with gusto and strange ululations but rarely actually score any points.
In Scouts we learned about just how many charities there are out there vying for our custom and we have some new Cubs.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Irritable Boy Syndrome

boat made out of plastic ice cream tubI got hours of Minecraftery in before Jof made me do maths homework. I objected loudly and it was a battle, that'll teach her to make me do stuff. Plus she got some of the maths questions wrong so that made me feel better.
AND she wanted me to start on my latest homework (making a boat) so I grudgingly painted an old ice cream tub and that was it. All I really wanted was biscuits and Trading Places and Finding Nemo and bacon and Minecraft videos.
In the end she sent me to my room. Her work boss suggested a punchbag, apparently her kid went though a similar phase and it was a way to release some of the anger to which I'm currently a martyr. So what I did is come back repeatedly (interrupting Apollo 13) and ask what I could do and that's why I was let back on Minecraft.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

The Scout Swimathon 2015

milton st james church portsmouthHooray for the weekend! I Minecrafted and then we offloaded some old fancy dress costumes at the charity shop and went to church.
Now, a rock god like me doesn't have to go to church but my Scout group usually have stalls including the roll-the-coin game. I took a bagful of coins but they didn't have that game this year so I threw balls through the chorister's mouth to win a bag of sweeties, as you do. Santa's grotto was in the vestry but I really don't do that anymore. I met several faces I knew and a woman with a very impressive beard.
But I had to go to acting and the theatre was abuzz with people decorating the set for the pantomime and we practised the Festival of christmas lines and songs and Bertie was in a bad mood so didn't pay attention. Fancy that, a 9 year-old being sullen, moody and intransigent. Didn't know it could happen.
They wanted me to get a lantern for the parade so Bud bought me a big wind-up one like my wind-up torch so you never have to buy batteries. I bet mine is bigger than everybody else's.
After a few hours of Minecraft, he made me go to the new Giant Tesco which has opened up on a former area of ex-railway disused land also formerly vital to the future expansion plans of the football club before they totally ran out of money and died.
It's a very big Tesco indeed and they'd given all the locals some money-off vouchers and we met Poppy C and Eddie W and Poppy H so they'd all had the same idea. But I couldn't find any Pokemon cards which is no loss as Jof had told me I couldn't have them anyway.
Then Jof came home tired and we put her on the sofa and slipped away into the night (at a mere 4 degrees C) to the Scout Swimming Gala. I did this last year and swam against Johnny and Robert and planned a victorious comeback. We had to park on the verge because it was so busy. You're not allowed any photos of the event because of little people in swimsuits so here's one from before it started. We do widths, the older kids do lengths of the further section. All the parents have to sit on the viewing seats on the right and you can only really communicate by shouting down from where I'm standing. The pool is very big and I like the roof which is curvy. I came second in my backstroke race by a Gnat's nether-whisker and progressed to the finals, as did J and B. I saw many many known faces at the event and wandered around being the life and soul, every time I walked past the JBs I got a horizontal hand-slap (like a high five but lower) which was nice.
portsmouth northsea simming pool mountbatten centre hilsea
But tragedy struck in the form of some really crap people in my relay race. I was awesome and epic, James T was pretty good but the middle 2 were totally pants so we came 4th. But at least we weren't like some teams who were still swimming minutes later.
When it came to my backstroke final my feet slipped on take-off and I came in 6th (last) but I don't care and it's all about the joining in and it was a splendid evening all round and we ran through the car park (3 degrees C) to the car. At home I had a bath, because I wanted to feel warm. Because it'll freeze shortly, we brought the cacti in from the garage and I gained extra chocolate time by watching 'True Lies' again, I've seen it 28 times so it's lost its edge but who cares when you go to bed at 1130 with a head full of Kit Kats.

Friday, 20 November 2015

I've always been Crazy but it's kept me from going Insane

toy aeroplane hits spectator funnyWell today was a pretty normal day at school with the wrong footwear because we were running late and I did better in the maths test but only got 2/5 on the spelling.
But I did get a certificate in the handout-assembly for generally being positive and answering a lot of maths questions and doing my required reading.
feeding squirrels milton park portsmouth
Jof has been going on about squirrels again because we still have those leftover brioche rolls. While your biology teacher will not generally list French bread products as a major part of the diet of tree-dwelling rodents, Jof is convinced of it so we took the remaining 4 chocolate-chip rolls (only slightly out of date) to the park and saw some target customers.
They were chasing each other round a tree so I chucked the cheeky tribute over the fence and they studiously ignored them. I laughed at their arboreal antics and moved on.
wild zebra outdoor play playground games
We did leave the last one for a family of deserving blackbirds that live in the Yew tree by the gate, let's hope the food isn't stolen by dogs.
In example 4 of 4, we see the last playground game is '4 in a row'. This one is at least quieter for the classroom behind the fourth wall, a more intellectual game requires a more balanced approach from sober, considerate players. What am I saying? These kids are 8!
Anyway, I had a blank period after school which was good for 2 hours of X-box Minecraft so I was well rested for Week of Wetness/Day 2 of 3. I blew them away in the pool with my sinuous movement, and I'm confident of a decent result tomorrow in the Swim-a-thon.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Week of Wetness: Day 1

candy section diabetes advert failThis morning at school drop-off time, Parent A (drives a truck, kid in my year) and Parent B (unknown variable) got into a loud fight, full of complicated wordology in the playground when one tripped the other up. They had to be separated by other parents and the Head-teacher had to come over and tell them off, for it wasn't just a "Oi wotcha fink yer doin', did you spill my pint" etc, punches were thrown, I saw them. Are we to expect a stern letter from the Head asking parents to refrain from engaging in fisticuffs in front of the children? Maybe a new sign next to the no-smoking sign, with a fist icon crossed out in red? Interesting that it's during anti-bullying week. I mean, it isn't the Bronx, that's over by the motorway.
This week I have swimming 3 days in a row so Jof said to go and try on some other swimming trunks she'd bought me, in case Pair #1 were not dry by Day #3. They were all exactly the same as Pair #2 ie too small, scratchy and overly clingy in the Gentleman's area. Try again, Mother, and don't get it wrong this time. No, my bottom hasn't grown, all the trunks have got smaller. Shrinky-trunks?
wild zebra outdoor play panel playground gamesThis is new playground game 3 of 4. Formula Racing is not milk substitute speed-drinking but a simple fun game in which you spin the wheel and your chosen car or motorcycle advances along the wiggly track to the chequered flag. The tracks are separate so you can't crash into your opponent or distract him with boobies but the classroom behind the wall is often distracted by enraged losers thumping their fists on the backboard panel. The classroom next to mine has the Flying Saucer panel game with the music from Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, very distracting for the pupils with the Year 3s going boop beep barp neep all the time, 'cos they have different break times to us.
In swimming I was epic and was used as the demonstration guinea pig again, did you know I still have to have 5 yearly checkups from those nice people at Porton Down after the guinea-piggery I did for them in the 1950s.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Officially Amazing!

chicken goujons fingers fail
In school Ben and I were on a Geographical Expeditionary team in which we had to find King's Lynn. We were first to do so, by looking it up in the index, which definitely doesn't count as cheating.
Jof left us a jobs list including feeding brioche rolls to the squirrels in the park, and doing my nautical homework. But all day Ben and I had been talking about Minecraft so I could focus on nothing else.
wildzebraoutdoorplay game panelsWe cancelled the park because of the squally, damp, dark howling conditions (and that was just me - the weather wasn't much better) and we searched through the detritus in the garage to find something useful to make a boat out of, well, he did that while I played darts. But then I was saved by Robert who phoned and asked me round so off I went.
We saw 'Officially Amazing' which is like Record Breakers and a lady contortionist who was also an archer did a handstand, bent right over backwards and went twang and shot an arrow right out of her quiver using only her legs at a target 9.5 metres away.
Then we barricaded ourselves in their room and played Minecraft, none of this being banned at their house.
Here is playground game 2 of 4. It's pretty well just a game of pinball but without the extra flap capability. You ping your nob and your balls go up and across and go jigger-jigger-jigger down between all the coloured stops and fall into a results bucket with 1, 2 or 3 points depending.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Custard Gannets (on the Cake again)

6 year old girl in purple t shirtRecently I have become a very emotional and empathic person, picking up on minor events and making a fuss. My mate Ben and I are Door Monitors. We have the honour of holding open the doors of the assembly hall and monitoring the activities of the moving carpet of little children as they stroll in.
The new head-teacher is very hot on politeness and manners and I fully support his cherished ideals in that everyone else should indeed be polite. So he cascades his orders through the teachers and Mr Ben and I count up the number of people that say Thank You to us for opening the doors. A similar Door Monitor Team operates on the other side, mostly catering to the Year 3s and 4s, whereas we mostly admit Year 5s and 6s.
fahr ace play playground panel memory game insertOut of approximately 180 entrants and potential Thank-You-ees, the other team scored 140 gratuities. We got 15, and I fumed and steamed and had strong words with the Minister Without Portfolio, sorry, the Head. Of course, it could just be that the younger Thankers just do what they're told and the older ones didn't ask us to open it in the first place, so are less forthcoming.
Here is Playground Game 1 of 4, that I told you about yesterday. It requires memory and reactions, and also that you press Start to begin, which foxes some of the younger players.
But then we saw a video interview with StampyLongnose (my hero, and an Archbishop in the modern religion that is Minecraft) in which he decried bullying and 'Griefing' and advocated being excellent to each other, and partying on, dude. In the same way as Caesar was a salad dressing dude.
In gymnastics I got a sore back after doing reverso-bridge flips and Jof has a sore knee after being 63 and Bud has a sore foot after running so we are the Achers, or possibly the Hectares.
When I sit on my dinner chair I can't quite touch the floor enough to shuffle-tuck-myself-in. So in order to lengthen my bones I am an official Custard Gannet with a dairy foods fixation. Long may I grow.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Unreasonably Close Encounters

ripley alien emerging from stomach funnyFor 2 days I have been going on about the new Nerf Gun that I want for Xmas. Setting aside any doubt about whether I'll get anything at all, it's the big Nerf Rifle with sniper add-on kit. Total value about £70, and I need it to shoot Bud in the butt-crack, a location with which I have an unhealthy obsession, long may it not last.
Anyway, school was pretty normal and we had to sing the Sing Sing Sing the Xmas Story thing again and the different year groups have different lines so we can do a breakdown like that old campfire favourite "London's Burning". Our line is bow down to jesus (I'm a little allergic to this concept) with a high note on the 'bow' so we ... make ourselves heard.
There are new games in the playground, quite possibly partially funded by the sterling work of the 'Friends of the School' and their inventive accountant Jof.
 I've only played 2 of them so far but the one with the crowd in front of it is a larger variant on the old Simple Simon game that looks like the Google Chrome icon. This one also asks you to follow the sequence of flashing lights and strident tones but the dead giveaway for this one is the correct tune is the one out of Close Encounters of the 3rd kind.
budget office equipment for school projectSo all through breaktimes we appear to be desperately communicating with aliens, which is sometimes not too far from the truth.
My homework is to fit out a new office space with retro equipment at low, low prices. Do you know how difficult it is to source a framed photo of Timmy Mallett? Yes, I could just print one out and stick it in a frame from a charity shop, but that's just boring. And sensible. So I drew the 3-D project and it's so good, I'll do it again. Note particularly the swivel-chair that resembles an ice cream cone with cherries.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

The Anechoic Chamberpot

relaxing on sofa in furniture shopThe day started well for me. The others weren't in a hurry to get up so I got more than my registered 2 hours of Minecraft in before there were 3 of us.
But then it just went downhill. I myself will freely admit that I have been a right royal pain in the arse with the answering back and the nihilism and the complaining and the attitude and unwillingness to do anything that isn't Minecraft but all this takes its toll. Maybe it's a hormonal surge, starting my periods or similar. I was sent to my anechoic chamber for refusing to do my homework, even after we'd been into town to pick up some catalogues and check out some furniture shops (homework is to source some retro office equipment at knockdown prices).
Jof said I wasn't to have any screen time until Wednesday and he made me help sweep the courtyard but every time nobody was watching me, I snuck back into the front room to pick up the tablet and re-enter the blocky cyber-world.
minecraft creative world on x boxSo Jof said she'd leave me to starve and I argued because I don't believe her and we were looking forward to an afternoon of friction and prickliness and it was clear that when Bud got back from his run, I'd be dead. Jof would have a lifetime as Prisoner Cell Block H for committing filicide (should be regicide, of course) and I'd have a lifetime of, well, being dead, which is a real drag.
But then Ben phoned to say he was bored and could I come over to play. Now, my son, I cannot understate just what a classy piece of epic timing that was, good old Ben saves the day again. So I hoovered up some mini-sausages and fled the crucible.
We went straight upstairs and fired up the X-box and Minecrafted for over 2 hours, not seeing any adults at all but cackling a lot. On my return, the atmosphere had thawed somewhat, looks like the respite care was useful, and I'm going to have to try extra hard not to be a teenager before my time. Bedtime viewing was Die Hard (again). Still funny seeing Professor Snape being evil.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Sausages and the Naughty Step

cardboard shipping box castle I'd raced through my 2 allowed hours of Minecraft even before I went to Acting.
I made a new friend which was the new very young boy and he prompted Bertie when he forgot his lines. I really didn't fancy walking to the butchers so we drove there in the drizzle and I bought stuffed chicken lumps wrapped in bacon because they looked good. Jof watched a foodie program that said supermarket sausages are minced hooves and lips but butcher-bought sausages contain real meat, so we took the opportunity to get black pudding and bacon and pies and all the usual fattening stuff.
cardboard box den castleBut after watching Despicable Me it was time to invest Box 10. I added some defensive capabilities while he added a door, often useful. This one is not strong enough to sit on or have fights in, but it is a single man's dwelling unit, good for those introspective moments when you want to be alone, and yet retain easy access to your Minecraft teddies. It may have a dual purpose in that I can now be 'Sent to my Room' in the same way as a Naughty Step.
Once in situ, it's quite unobtrusive, honest. The corner-located folding door closes with an invisible seam and I have installed a skylight so I can a) breathe and b) reach my books.

Friday, 13 November 2015

A Den fit for a Hero

napoleon swimsuit failLuckily, Jof opened the curtains in the lounge and saw lots of superheroes and kids in spotty onesies heading towards the school 87 yards south of our location and deduced that it was Children in Need Day.
Personally I am aware of needy children not because I need Minecraft, but because I have been brought up to do charity work and make donations where appropriate. But I did not want to be a super-hero and wore mufti and put my quid in like everybody else.
cardboard shipping pallet IBMOnesie-pyjamas do seem to be what the young people are doing in this day and age but I haven't owned one since I was 1, guess I'm out of touch.
Anyway, I still count as a minor so enjoying cardboard boxes is still within my remit. See the 'Cardboard, Joy of Box' link to the right for the cardboard castles you never had. Jof thought I'd grown out of them but I demanded a new one as a 'Privacy Den' where I could stash my private stuff and enjoy them. Remember, I'm only 9 so they're not THAT private.
So Bud brought one back from work which is not in the same league as the previous castles with turrets, crenellations and a 110-millimetre gun, but is just right for one small human to sit on his own and sulk, or just muse on the unbearable weirdness of being.
ideal country estate somersetIncidentally, the Euromillions jackpot is 91 million Pounds again so I dream of castles of my own, and the best Bijou castle-ette (in my humble opinion) is the wannabe-castle of Compton Pauncefoot just south of the A303 and only 7 miles from where Grandma and Grandad used to live. OK, so I may not need all of the 1275 acres or that many lakes but you've got to have somewhere to keep your goats and llamas and cats and geese and ducks and stuff that we've been promised if ever we have the property to accommodate them.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

During the War (Hold a Chicken in the Air)

An epic day at school. Normally, French is a chore and a bane to my very existence because it's boring and pointless and I know I'll never need it. I mean, I went to France once and I didn't speak to anyone, which totally proves my point.
no privacy in the toilet at workBut this time we had a guest teacher who just happened to be the same lady that was a guest teacher at the theatre once. So she did both French and acting, which was a surprise crossover. She did the warm-ups with us that I do every week so I knew them and nobody else did. So when she said what's the next line to Rubber Chicken, I knew the answer every time and in fact had to prompt her a few times, so she gave me extra house points.
We all got props from the very costume and props department I use every week and my prop was a pipe. So I did my old man impression, sucking in my lips over my teeth, stooping over and holding my back, and chewing on the pipe and babbling 'During the war ... legs up to 'ere, she had .. I blame the TV ... gord bless the old queen...' etc in a hoarse voice, like old men do. Anyway, I seemed to amass a total of 7 house points for this performance but Child A on the other table had one of those unfolding hand-fans and broke it and was given the Year 5 equivalent of multiple detentions and a stiff letter (+ bill) to Mummy.
In Swimming-for-the-talented, I did 14 lengths just for warm-up and did inverted breaststroke which is basically a jellyfish convulsing along upside-down.
After supper I was watching 'Jaws' when Jof said I have to watch Harry Potter instead.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

A Nightmare on Mine Street

realtor name funny wangLast night I had another bad dream. I know that a certain small percentage of dreams will be bad and that the brain uses locations, characters and storylines from its own past experience to generate the nasty scenario, which is why in the past I've been chased by Terminators.
autumn mushrooms in the parkThis one was much worse. I fell into the void beneath the Minecraft world and landed in lava which killed me. Then I respawned in the same place and fell to my death once more. This happened a few times until I'd run out of lives, at which point I was told that I was dead forever and I'd never be allowed onto Minecraft again, whether on PC, X-Box or tablet. It struck terror into my very being, for without the Craft, I am naught.
Anyway, I went to Wednesday Park and met LittleMax and Owen and our 2 new footballing friends and we did Naked Baby which is exactly like Swing-Kickball but the thrower stuffs the ball up his shirt, gives birth to it, and then throws it for us to kick. No, we didn't find it macabre, and no, we don't want to kill babies.
But after an hour of fresh air (and very little Vitamin D), Owen the Destroyer kicked the ball point blank right into my ribcage just when I was doing my lame goose impression and it hurt so much I went home, where Jof rubbed my intercostals better and the man came to install a new TV box although I still have to enter a PIN every time I want to watch a decent film.
Jof sneakily went to Meet-the-Teacher night. She was told my spelling could do with some improvement, so during supper, I had to pass a spelling test in order to access my chocolate sundae dessert! The ignominy! Don't I have vassals for these menial tasks?

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The Boomerang Table

mad old bag lady street signs funnySchool was pretty normal today: Grace and I were doing really well on our team topic paragraph but then we were lumbered with Child A and Child B, neither of whom have the ability or desire to apply themselves so our progress suffered.
Yesterday the Lego Crafting Table was dismantled having been made redundant in a company shake-up ie I don't play Lego any more. I'm sure there will be a time in the next several years when the hankering for blocks and minifigures will return, and we'll get it all back out of the loft again in an orgy of retro play.
But the table was now deemed superfluous so we drove it the 'The Ark', a charity shop right next to our old laundrette with the generously proportioned assistants, and coincidentally, right on the road where I found my first dead person.
ford focus estate with dining table in the bootThe Ark lady said the top was a bit scuffed and she thought that nobody would buy it, so we had to take it right back again, and book a trip to the tip tomorrow. This was a shame as we'd made the effort to recycle it but the Lego baseboards glued to it for the last 2 years had made too much of a good impression upon the varnish so we drove home again.
My old flames Kate-Lynn and Emily inspected it and understood because they've grown out of Lego as well. We removed the chunky legs from the pedestal for our Xmas fire in the front room and stuck an old bin from the garage in the boot.
All the way to the Gymnastics centre and back the dead bin squeaked and rattled and sounded like an excited chipmunk and I'll be glad to get rid of it all.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Thing Thing Thing the Cwistmas Stowy

sydney morning herald newspaper headline fail funnyNowadays we have musical assemblies. Thus we have been set a new song to learn called Sing the Xmas Story. They played it to us and it was clearly done by a bunch of Year 1s because they all had those high-pitched cutesy voices of the terminally young, where Rs are replaced by Ws, and mothers swoon with love for little Letitia and Tarquin.
fall leaves milton park portsmouthWe sang along which basically means singing it in silly voices, gyrating strangely with added Jackson-esque body rubs, and laughing. We were told off for mocking the new Company Song, even though we'd put a lot of effort into the frottage. I think we'll have to perform this dreadful er delightful earworm fairly frequently until the end of term.
Autumn is here. I know it's November but the week-long gales have really hammered the message home to our local deciduous trees and the park is liberally strewn with redundant former organic solar panels. But all I wanted to do was build a quiz-choice Minecraft world where you live or die depending on your ability to answer questions on Harry Potter, such as who is the first squib he meets and how do you spell Horcrux. I shall have to work on the questions.
bbc iPlayer tale of two theatres
Later I argued against standing still at the end of Scouts, homework, having a shower and fish pie. I wonder if anybody else my age is becoming argumentative for no apparent reason. Meanwhile Bud dismantled the Lego Crafting table and Jof phoned from the gym to say did I know that I was on TV again, learning stagecraft at my summer school week at the Kings. Typically, our TV box is offline so we can't record it. This is why I was watching Jason Statham in The Transporter for supper.