Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Good Afternoon, Sir

american high school student girl hot pants hung upI have been working very hard towards a special goal recently and at last I have finally achieved my boyhood ambition, like a necrophiliac who rises through the ranks to become coroner. I have been getting up later and later and today I missed morning entirely and got up at 2 minutes past 12.
bransbury park milton portsmouthI wasn't allowed to stay in all day so we scooted down to Tunnel Park and my new, bigger scooter is quite hard work so we kept swapping scooters.
Scampi made a change from all that turkey and then we saw Star Wars #4 (New Hope) with the benefit of having seen the first 3 at last. We still don't know how the 2 Skywalker siblings will ever find out the truth about their relationship as so far, everyone that knew is dead.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Perfect 10

Well, I'm not saying I'm absolutely perfect. Just a definite 10.
So it was around that time I awoke and downstairs, there was a little pile of birthday cards for me, many with £10 notes inside, although one was a £10 postal order, didn't think such things existed any more. Grandad gave me a book called My Family and other Animals, don't know what he's getting at there but he liked 1956 and he's sticking with it.
southsea promenade sea wall damage pyraminds centreThe breakfast bacon was not even frying when Bud got home from his day at work, all the more time to serve me. Then he forced me to get on my bike and buy a sieve, of all things, but also 3 booster packets of Pokémon cards with my new birthday Pokémoney and we were only out of the house for 40 minutes so I only spent 30 minutes complaining.
investigating sea wall erosion storm damage portsmouthI'd floated the idea of going to the Pyramids with the JBs and they took the bait so we ran to look at the hole in the sea wall which had expanded pleasingly. Lots of the red pavement has been eaten by the sea and the corrugated iron retaining skirt has burst satisfactorily but the long concrete blocks remain hovering in mid-air like some kind of Minecraft construct IRL.
We viewed it from a few angles and went swimming. The attendant lady said it was so busy there was a 40 minute wait and the inflatable wasn't working and the waterslides weren't working so we went to play 'It' in the sunken sub-tropical water gardens next door for the duration of the specified delay.
This splendidly peaceful area contains many paths with switchbacks and dead ends and bushes and trees of all nationalities and exciting pond obstacles and gnarly trees all at 4 different levels, so an ideal location for a game of 'It'. We designated Jof as 'It' and off we went, scampering through the undergrowth, disappearing into thickets, meeting to exchange whispered intel on the last known sighting of Jof which always seemed to be '20 minutes ago, heading in an away-type direction'.
lego heroes building competitionThose of you who know Jof know that she is a hardened attack-style stealth commando who will sneak up on you silently from unknown directions using secret portals and inhuman speed, so we capered and hid and traversed the many paths in terror and you know, we hardly ever saw her, which proves how good a tracker she is.
But then the attendant said 'Oh yes, it's all open, you could have gone straight in' and we did. There followed 90 minutes of freestyle water-action with a surprisingly good game of catch with a beanie ball and lots of jumping in and underwater hand-stands but eventually we had to go home and Robert watched 12 minutes of 'Night at the Museum' before joining us 10 year-olds upstairs with the Lego Heroes, which had to come down out of the loft.
We shot them with my new Nerf guns and shouted and traded rude words and played Army and snacked and were happy, just like the old times which have never really gone away. Just before my birthday dinner of macaroni cheese, I actually voluntarily cleaned up my own room. Us 10 year-olds are grown up. With chocolate, "Aching Leg Syndrome" and persuasion, I managed to delay bedtime to half past midnight, who needs acting lessons when the dark side is in-built?

Monday, 28 December 2015

Pokémoney and the Sprout Bomber

man falls off ladder cutting tree branches funny failI think they've got to the point in the extended holiday period when they've just got tired of the endless timeless days and yearn for structured agendas again. I was woken up at 1030 and told to actually eat breakfast instead of heading straight for the Minecraft computer.
So Jof wanted to take clothes back to M&S (I think they're a clothes-buying service, but you can get food there as well, very confusing) so we tagged along and I bought 5 packs of Pokémon cards with my Pokémoney.
Traditionally, British people buy inedible miniature cabbages called "Brussels Sprouts" at Xmas time, serve them up with the turkey and then hide them in the leftovers and assume that the vitamins have somehow leached out of these bitter cellulose bombs into the surrounding food, so you don't have to actually eat them.
Thus, we had a bagful of unused, uncooked and unwanted sprouts so we took them with us to feed to the animals in Victoria Park.
These caged beasties are probably fed by the park staff but have a never-ending supply of cabbages and carrots from well-meaning schoolchildren.
animals in cages victoria park portsmouth
Thus the rabbits are so terminally obese that they can hardly move and if they ever require food, they just roll over by the fence and some enterprising child will insert a carrot with minimal difficulty to the rabbit in question.
So we shoved some sprouts through the mesh. It's just the right size so if you shove your sprout parson's nose first, the last 2 pairs of leaves will open up and wedge the sprout in the mesh so the intended rabbit can nibble away in prime photography pose.
As usual, the rabbits did not even wake up, let alone heave their bulky bodies towards us. But the guinea pigs waddled over purposefully and appeared to enjoy them so we stuck a few in at pig-level and shoved the rest through from 4 foot up, trying to bomb them from above with some notable successes. Our evil work done and our bag empty, we had to wait for only 45 minutes before Jof got out of the huge queues in the shops and met us. It is my last day of being 9. Later I played the X-Box motorbike racing game that Jof got me but however hard you wang the joystick to the side, you just drive onto the grass and crash so I went back to Minecraft.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

The Hole in the Bottom of the World

disney star wars sith childrens costumeWell, outstripped myself with another wake-up call after 11am. These late mornings really take it out of you.
So last night I thought I'd try on my new Sith Darky-Lord costume because the first time I tried it on, it was far too small and I couldn't do the belt up. This time, of course, I'd replaced it with a bigger one and wasn't it funny seeing Grandad standing in the Disney Store in Southampton, well outside his comfort zone looking lost, surrounded by 12 year-olds taller than him and dressed as princesses or Darth Mauls or whatever.
sea wall defences washed away portsmouth seafrontSo this one went on fine and YES it looks cool and I've got the Light Sabre to match and NO the socks in the picture are not regular official Sith-issue socks and NO I still couldn't do the belt up even though it's age 11-12 but poo to you, these Sith geezers are the wrong shape.
So I went into the kitchen all togged up and scared Jof, being evil is hard work but it does have its paybacks.
southsea battlements sea wall damagesI was naturally looking forward to another day of Capture-the-Minecraft-Flag and cooking batches of Golden Elixir to get a Level 9 Town Hall and chocolate biscuits etc and when he said let's have a bike ride to see the hole in the bottom of the universe I saw that as a threat to my planned day and got quite shirty.
But I was cleverly side-swiped by a dangled carrot. We can cash in your lottery winnings, he said, and that will give you £43 to spend on Pokémon cards although Jof tempered this by saying I could only buy 5 packets.
And so it came to pass that the Lord Your Mungleton cycled to the seafront and only got tired and had to stop once, when we went up the slight incline by Canoe Lake against the wind.
Outside the Pyramids Centre we found where the naughty sea had pulled away the corrugated iron retaining curtain, exposing the concrete underbelly and allowing the sea to smash rocks against the gravel overlay, excavating a big old hole down which some pavement and one of those big metal seafront bins had fallen.
The 20-foot concrete block at the top (behind the talking telescope) is sagging dangerously and may not last the night.
lottery scratchcards winning slip receiptMany people like to watch the world burn and this was a moister experience but many had come to see it anyway, including yours truly, the little blue bloke on top of the sea wall.
We watched the waves and went woo when they came over and saw the concern on the faces of the Council officials in their yellow hi-vis jackets and went home after a bit because I was thirsty. Having a drink before you go out is desperately uncool, I assume you know that. But we stopped off at a corner shop and exchanged all my scratchcards for £43 and a little pink payment slip!
video
For good measure I also add a video taken from the railings by the white flag saying danger. Don't worry. I'm a professional. Later, Jof went to the gym and we took advantage by watching Star Wars 3: The Creation Of Lordy-Lord Vader-Vader. It was equally loud and you can see how they gradually introduce the familiar shapes of the Stormtroopers and Tie fighters and Wookies and stuff. We were definitely right about ArchChancellor Lipoprotein and I'm sorry to report, laughed at Crispy Fried Lord Vader-Vader. Gosh, these days off are boring.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

God Bless This Tree

engrish funny merry christmas
Some kids at this time of the year get up at 0500 and noisily open presents and shout out 'Look Mummy what Santa hath brought me' etc and then the parents have to make the kid put on some socks and then you might as well get up. I, on the other hand, woke up today at 11. Next time I have this much time off, I might go to bed 2 hours later every day, see if I can work my way around the clock.
painted tree in st james mental hospital grounds portsmouthSo it was a big surprise when Jof said let's all do something together and a bike ride was chosen.
We did a big wandering wiggly loop around Tunnel Park and ended up by some allotments and discovered 3 new passageways between houses in a forgotten corner of Eastney and saw a squirrel in the Mad Hospital.
This is also where we saw a tree with nicer-than-average graffiti on it. Yellow Plum Park was full of kids but as soon as we got there they all left so we all climbed the twisty poles with varying degrees of success.
I elected to go home at this point but I sent a Scout to the seafront and he discovered that the winter storms have destroyed the sea wall again just in front of the Pyramids. At high tide it used the abundant large rocks to pull away the retaining metal fence and undermine the wall, some of the pavement has fallen in and you can see daylight through it!
Of course, the nice man from the council has put up fences but you can see where it's collapsed and this one'll take a time to fix.
global warming southsea promenade storm damageLater we watched another Star Wars (Attack of Clones) and Jof said it was too loud. It made a bit more sense than the first one but there were still many terrible accents and amusingly shaped life forms and one-liners from C3PO and gunfire. We were right about Emperor Palpitation and Anakin has a Terminator hand Where Count Doobrey cut it off.

Friday, 25 December 2015

Scooter Evolution

trolling funny dog goes through catflapWe were all good little boys and girls and all got up simultaneously at 10am. I'd got to sleep at one minute to midnight so I qualified for a visit from a rotund genial mince pie thief going Hohoho but in the end I know it was Jof.
The stocking yielded a pack of Quality Footpath (the fun-size of Quality Street) and 3 more packs of Pokémon and a green Minecraft Creeper. The Pokémon packs enabled me to evolve some of my existing pocket monsters but when talking about evolution, I call it Evulsion, to rhyme with that kind of paint.
opening presents xmas dayBy noon we'd finished toast, bagels or showers, whatever's your poison, and I opened the present opening with a short official Presidential Address from my Creeper standing behind the Quality Footpath, like that nice Obama chap does when he's announcing another mass school shooting.
I got a Nerf Gun and another X-box controller and 2 racing-type games (not GTA etc) so I can play against Jof and oodles of chocolate and I declared it to be 'good enough, I suppose' and 'Better than nothing' because I didn't get the giant Nerf Sniper Rifle like Johnny did. But they got a drumkit too which should be interesting in their street.
2 years ago it was Scooters'n'Scratchcards and Bud did not disappoint so we scratched away with our free 10ps for ages and some of those cards are very complicated and Jof won £7 and I won £42 and she said £40 of it can go into your savings but I knew full well that all of it would go on Pokémon cards, can't believe she didn't realise that.
ten eighty giant new adult scooter for xmasI'd completely forgotten to open the largest box which turned out to be my new, evolved scooter. It took ages to put together but eventually we hit the park and we all had a go and it's quite hard work and a massive contraption with brakes and big wheels, look at how much bigger it is than my old one, even the blue one is an adult scooter, can't wait to pose in cool fashion at school and show it off. It made a big old mess of the hall carpet and we have to take it through the back gate from now on. Jof served up Xmas dinner at 4 and we all had to spend hours on the sofa with internal rupture and DVDs. Happy Xmas to all!
During enormous supper (the only meal of the day) I said that my favourite part was being together as a family. Crude, naff, but true. We then proceeded to spend the rest of the day in different rooms, Minecrafting, washing-up, and watching ABBA historical documents on TV (guess who). I had my traditional drunken help showering and it won't be long until I am the physical masculine master of this house, measuring day is but 4 days away. Happy Tomorrow!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Heave @ the Carwash

football soccer funny failToday is Christmas Eve, something I only found out at about 4pm. But it was just another day off so we motored east to meet Obscure Cousin Margaret.
It takes planning to achieve an hour-long carwash and that's what we did. The nice weatherguessers had predicted a wide stripe of rain with a central stripe of very heavy rain, moving east across the country, with nice weather behind. So we left the house at 1030 which was right in the heaviest spludgiest bit of rainstorm and kept pace with it as we drove, meaning that for the whole journey, the windscreen wipers were on super-frantic setting and the roads were covered in foot-deep puddles that made the wheel arches go scurf and chumf and trying to grab the steering wheel off Bud.
It isn't pleasant driving in low visibility conditions but I didn't mind as I was busy playing Klash-of-Klans on the tablet. We actually got there 7 minutes early which is probably because the rain washed the car which was then lighter after the loss of so much dirt.
union jack flag adverse weather conditionsLast time we met OC Margaret, we planned to eat lunch on Worthing Pier which is shaped like an ocean liner but they were closed for the duration so we battled our way back off the pier in gale force winds.
Worthing may be a colony for old people but they did have a shop selling Pokémon cards and I posted some of my school photos to Grandad because we forgot to take them yesterday and then we found "Poppins" and popped in there for lunch, which was standard café fare and quite large with it. At the multi-storey car park, the number plate recognition system refused to believe we existed so while Bud was at the security desk, Margaret and I watched a drunk man as he ran across the grassy knoll and tried to insert himself under our wheels.
Back at hers, OC Margaret gave us a paper shredder (deceased), as you do, and a bottle of wine from the estate of her dead friend who doesn't need it any more.
It seems he fell down the stairs, put his hand through a glass cupboard, and retired to bed where he bled to death and wasn't found for 2 months. He'd have an ideal new nickname 'Maggots' or Uncle Fester, but again, he doesn't need that either.
On the way home (bright sunshine) we nipped into Bud's work and picked up the first 6 Star Wars films on DVD, because if we're going to see #7, we have to know who the characters are. I must say that SW #1 was slightly contrived pants but by the end we could more or less work out who was doing what to whom and why.
Happy xmas to all and I'm already negotiating about how noisy I can be, how early, and where my stocking shall be well hung.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Doing the Rounds

in-bus cctv camera footgae of traffic accidentAs is traditional at this time of year, one must visit or at least make contact with all members of one's family.
The remaining member lives not 40 minutes away so we got up at 9-ish and drove over to see him. Grandad doesn't care that he's 86, it's just a number. A former university lecturer, he likes giving me information so we took the globe so I could point to various countries and work out from first principles which way round the Earth rotates and what time it is in New Zealand when it's noon here and all that kind of stuff.
tuition using a rotating globeI have discovered a foolproof way of locating Africa, which is to find where it says "South Africa" at the bottom of one of the sticky-out bits of land and you're there!
Normally, we find a country pub in which to have lunch but this time we had a reason for going into Southampton. My new Dark Sith Lordy-Lord costume is very nice but all the Siths are thin due to evilling being so energy-intensive so my normal-sized body didn't fit into it. We parked in the free-for-2-hours space at the Majestic Wine Warehouse and walked to the Disney shop where the nice lady exchanged the costume for one sized for 11-12 years and I even managed to persuade Bud to buy me the Light Sabre, a must-have accessory for the Sith-about-town.
Filling my normal-sized belly on exactly the same pasta at exactly the same restaurant as 3 days ago, we dropped Grandad back at his mansion and I looked through the new Pokémon cards I managed to sneak-buy when the costume was being exchanged. I got a Tyranitar which is a mega-EX and I sang about it the whole way home.
Then Jof phoned to say don't buy a light sabre because she'd got one.
 

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Film Failures: Bugsy to Ho Malone

kids park port solent portsmouthSo today was a day with Jof as he had to work so we didn't get up on time and the car repair garage had to ring us and say are you bringing your car, then, for that MOT appointment you booked.
But then Ben rang to inform me that we were going to the cinema. This is always a hoot and I'm really good at hooting so our plans were set.
The JBs were part of the improved deal so we vamoosed en masse as only 4 boys can do.
kids bedroom plastic gun gamesThe cinema was in Port Solent this time (it's like the Tardis, and does not always occupy the same space-timeline) and the ticket machine wouldn't help us and even the humanoid ticket dispenser said you can't have 6 tickets in a row for the film "Snoopy" because we're sold out so we had to go and play in the little swingpark for an hour, because deep down we're all dogs and need to have our exercise.
So we all came back to my house which meant the lads could all try out Box 10 - see "Cardboard, Joy of Box" link on the right of the page.
kids drawing of pokemon cardBut because we hadn't factored in a luncheon slot, Jof made us emergency sausage rolls and mince pies and Jaffa cakes and blueberries and we reconfigured my bedroom to make a better army base and shot each other right through the house for a while and sat down for a film.
After only 20 minutes we had a not-quite-quorum on "Bug's Life" so we sat and watched quite a lot of it until we got the guns out again and took all the sofa cushions upstairs and had an epic pillowfight against direct instructions.
This meant we had to partially disrobe and expose a few peanuts but we're all good friends so why not (no footage available). They had to go home eventually (boo) so I cheered myself up with Capture-the-Minecraft-Flag and Bud went for a run in the dark and then went out to meet Dear Follower Martin at the pub because he's 46 today.
46 is not as important as 10, which I'll be next week.
In other news, I have invented my own Pokémon who is called Ognertonics. I've done his ID card like all the rest and you'll see he has a decent HP and attack damage, and a splendid attacking move called Teeth Wind, backed up by Curling Wings which offer considerable health benefits. Last night I watched Home Alone, tonight Bud didn't come home at all.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Alpha Tunneller

portsdown hill radio abandoned bunker Today Jof had to go to work but us boys didn't. So we did what any self-respecting un-chaperoned chaps would do, and got up at 1030. It was a relatively slow start to the day but once I'd had Breakfast 2, we got in the car and drove north.
A few short days ago, we took a train to Southampton, from which I was able to see the abandoned military fortifications in Hilsea and nearby, that we used to visit from time to time, even taking Ben once.
portsdown hill bunker So we went to the Paulsgrove chalk pit which is the massive cliff you can see from the motorway, extended in height since they reopened the quarry to get the chalk to build the motorway flyovers and embankments, enabling you to be high enough to see the chalk cliff.
investigating tunnels old militery fortificationsOf course, it was raining and the wind was far too strong but that didn't deter us. What it did do, was make the whole area very slippery so we had to try 3 different routes to climb up the cliff wall to enter the old world war 2 radio station bunker.
There are many warning signs about falling rocks and there are quite a lot of rolling boulders littering the base of the cliff and a little one did indeed come down past us but once we were inside we were safe, if muddy and chalky.
Last time I was here we found some playing cards and 10p in one of the recesses in the bunker but what we found this time was graffiti of limited inventiveness but much rudeness, of course the first time I climbed up here I was 3 and unable to read it out loud.
underground bunkers defensive positionsThe descent (in the howling wind) was hairy, as were the 2 dogs that greeted us as we slithered down the slope and I fell down and banged my bum and got prickled by the gorse and we were too muddy to go to Pizza Hut for lunch so we went to the Hilsea Lines.
vaulted brick bombproofed ceilingsThese abandoned military bunkers and cannon-ports are great places for dog-walking and graffiti-spraying and having parties with cider cans and I first went there when I was 2 but I didn't do any of those activities.
We went to the old favourite which is a massive gun room with stables and gunpowder stores and a cookhouse and drifts of bricks but the pallet truck we found last time had gone. See "The Castles of my Dreams" page of this blog, link on the right of the page.
hilsea lines defensive fortsBut this was only a basic tunnel investigation to keep ourselves in trim so we walked back over the railway and drove home, where we changed our clothes which were comically chalky and muddy and wet, but that is what boys are. I'm sure puppy dog tails are involved somewhere.
Lunch was at the Harvester because I understand it. I had 2 bowls of salad for openers, some child-size goujons and another bowl of salad for dessert. This left me free to play Capture-The-Flag on Minecraft for the rest of the day, an epic day off for me.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Wardrobe Malfunction

star wars disney official costume sith lordHooray for Sundays because I do pretty well nothing.
There was some eating, but without true direction as I had to be reminded to have lunch at 430. There was a lot of Minecraft, because it's the holidays. But the disaster came at high noon when I put on my Sith Dark Lord costume to impress Jof. It seems that Siths as a species, or perhaps it is just the Dark Lord subsection of their esteemed society, are malformed in some way and the costume was not adapted for my current corporeal form and I have to take it back and exchange it for a larger one.
It's a well-constructed costume with at least 6 components (and so you should hope for £36) and we deliberately chose the one for the right age and height, but it's only compatible with those nancy-boy slim Dark Lords, I guess they're just not formatted for a heavenly body of my stature and girth, I mean, I couldn't do the belt up and all the little Velcro bits at the back kept coming undone.
Faced with being too fat for my own costume (and I was honest and annoyed about it), I employed feminine logic and remained sofa-bound for the entire afternoon eating chocolate until my tummy hurt. Still, that's the Deathly Hallows Part 1 watched again.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Snorlax: The Quest Continues

At last! The first day of the holidays. Thus I let him sleep in and Jof went to work and I Minecrafted.
But once the laundry was done and the dishwasher was on and all these other little things I know nothing about, we donned our coats, left the house and walked to Fratton Station.
bella italia restaurant above bar southamptonRandomly, a train arrived and took us to Southampton, which was actually what we wanted. The commercial centre of this buzzing and boozing metropolis was very busy indeed with the same street vendors as you find in Pompey but even more, and the list included a street performer painted silver (one of those statue people), merry-go-rounds, Santa Grotto, Gluwein dispensary, read-your-palm merchants, mobile phone cover-sellers, lots of tired-looking chaps on benches with only Carlsberg Special Brew tins to keep them warm, girlies in heroic heels handing out flyers, roving groups of Southampton Football Club supporters going 'Hruh! Hruh! When the Saints go Marching in, Hrurgle rah rah!' etc.
Mr Google had told me that a place called Rock Bottom Toyshop in the Marlands shopping centre was the world epicentre of Pokémon card supply. So we walked there and they said, no, love, but Hawkins' Bazaar downstairs sells them. So I didn't mind travelling 30 miles to get cards if they could be found in a branch of the same shop we have here in downtown Pompey.
I bought 5 packs and found something I didn't know existed. The Disney Store does what it says on the tin and you can buy all manner of cartoon-based paraphernalia at Dumbo-shaped prices and they had the new Sith light sabre with the sticky-out bits at the side that light up and of all the possible costumes on show, I chose to be a Sith Dark Lord at only £36. This is why I didn't get the Light Sabre at a mere £25 because of not bleedin' likely, my son. I don't think the Dark Sith Lord has a name, perhaps we shall dub him Rodney or Gerald.
disney merchandising outlet southampton
You can't go all that way without climbing the castle and the Titanic in Houndwell Park so we did that and had lunch at Bella Italia where I had cheesy hammy pasta with extra calamari and you get to keep the straw and I sorted through all my Pokémon cards and pulled out the duplicates and babbled and sang and talked drivel for about 5 hours.
The train back was emptier so I got out all my cards again and looked at them while wearing my new Dark Lord Sith helmet, I do the Darth Vadervader breathing even though I'm not sure that Rodney has breathing difficulties. I did take it off to go to the toilet, though - I have a habit of Number 2-ing in strange places so add 'Passing through Bursledon Station' to the list.
alumni of puddleduck nursery priory crescent portsmouthI had very tired feet. But I wasn't allowed to rest for long as the JBs had invited me to watch the parents drinking beer to celebrate xmas. We arrived what turned out to be 3 1/2 hours late and there were secret Santas and extra-Santas (left over from where the real actual Santa didn't turn up to our school fair) and we ate pasta and chocolate and Ben and I played throw-the-bouncy-ball-under-the-dining-table with the chocolate skateboards as cricket bats and we watched Top Gear and hardly kicked each other in the legs at all and I really didn't want to go home and I really didn't want to go to bed without a bath at 1130 but Jof told me to.
We're all starting to grow up in new and interesting ways and sometimes this is a help, sometimes a hindrance. But I can rely on my friends.

Friday, 18 December 2015

The Magikarp Strikes Back

girl with hair on fire funnyI wish every school day was like this one. We watched the rest of Star Wars (New Hope) and even got part way through Star Wars (Empire Strikes).
I liked the Sith mega-ship because the normal star destroyer has a bay full of tyre fighters but the mega-ship with the two sticky-up bits at the front has a bay of tide-fighter-carriers so if you get close to it, like, 100 miles away, you'll get totally covered in tile fighters and you'll die lots.
There was so much free time I swapped out all of my duplicate Pokémon cards and also swapped lots of my collection for fewer cards! That's the way it works, right?
We had a Year-Group general knowledge quiz and we came second or fourth depending on how many chocolates I've had.
adult scooter with xmas decoration battery powered lightsAnyway, today was Wear-a-stupid-xmas-jumper day and the one Jof got for me fits fine, but it also fits quite a few other people in my class so we were like the 2 ladies at the races in My Fair Lady where we're embarrassed to have the same outfit. Mine didn't have the dangly flashing carrot above the Gentleman's area or the matching snowballs in the Ladies' area but it passed muster.
That is it for this term and not before time, now starts the long slog of sofa-time and chocolate biscuits. I celebrated by playing 3 different Minecraft server games and going to the final normal swimming lesson of the year in which we did relays and my team came first or third depending on how many yogurts I've had.
Jof was very tired after making a mistake at work (not often) and staying late to fix it so we snuggled seriously upon the sofa she bought specially and we miraculously found a channel showing Star Wars (I find your lack of Pants disturbing) and taxing heavily the Xmas chocolate supply.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Vileplume: A New Hope

recycled water used in toilet system failSo school was a busy and disorganized affair with lessons over-running or finishing early and we managed to watch the first bit of Star Wars (a new hope) but we haven't yet found out what the hope is.
I took in my 2 duplicate Pokémon cards and came away with 6, due to my negotiating prowess. But I also took in what turned out to be a really valuable card and swapped it for a rubbish one, because I freely admit I don't really know what I'm doing. Bud says I ought to only take in my duplicates for swapping purposes.
Jof had attached a battery-powered string of little green tree Xmas lights to my scooter and if you press the button they light up so on the way out I flashed at Mrs Pops, and she liked it.
hmv record store gunwharf portsmouthThursday is traditionally a day off but I took a sabbatical yesterday so we drove to the theatre (free parking) from where we walked through to Gunwharf in the rain to seek Pokémon cards. Mr Google says that HMV (formerly a record store, now a purveyor of T-shirts and comical mugs) sold Pokémon cards but the lady behind the desk said that's not been true for 15 years but would I like an alien mug and we left.
waterstones book shop commercial road portsmouthParking in the swimming pool car park (free parking), we walked through (in the driving rain) to a nerdy game shop where the Chief Nerd told us that 'Waterstones' the bookshop might have them, and that's where we struck lucky. I got 3 different packs.
Back at the pool car park, we had to wait until some teachers left because the security gate had shut on us and we couldn't get back to the car. I now have 4 duplicates to take in tomorrow, and a new hope of where to get more.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Talking Turkey

cat in a rucksack with viewing windowYou can't always get what you want, the Stones tell us. And we didn't get the promised Star Wars film because some pupils hadn't finished all their work and half the day was taken up with Xmas dinner.
Practically the whole school opted for the traditional Xmas lunch with turkey and roast pots and carrots and peas and a sausage (but not the nasty type) and chocolate shortbread for dessert. This shortbread is a secret school recipe which has been closely guarded by generations of catering teachers since the time of the Black Death, or so they said, the sauce modelled on the pustular weepings of plague victims.
Anyway, it was all so wonderful I asked nicely and got seconds!
FOMS junk cupboard meon school portsmouthWe also took time out (do we ever get time to learn?) to see the Year 3 Xmas Nativity play and the 3 wise men (I played Gold King 2 years ago) and they were wearing the same costumes (but not the £800 worth of gold chains I wore) and I heard the teacher telling them where to stand and they didn't do it properly but the production was great, marred only by Child A (in my year) booing them and doing the thumbs-down. He was spotted and has multiple detentions.
Jof tasked us to go into the Friends-Of-The-School store cupboard (under the staircase on the northeast corner) and retrieve the Santa sacks of unused presents from when Santa failed to show up at our Xmas fayre. We know now, of course, that he was also booked to appear in 163,000 malls, shopping precincts, kiddies parties and school events during that same minute and the Elf cloning technology can only go so far. So we rooted around in the cupboard while the 4th years thundered down the stairs above us and stacked up some trestle tables that had been used for the dinner and grabbed Santa's sack and off we went.
I knew I had an online appointment to play Clash-Of-Clans so we took a week off from Wednesday Park, bought the dining room light fitting and ran home. My playing partner was not there, surely you can trust a 9 year-old to do what he says? So that left me in the dark (you have to turn the lights off to change the light fitting) so I couldn't see my Pokémon cards and the computer was busy so I X-Boxed and got quite miffed and nothing went to plan and we were both tetchy.
Chocolate pudding fixed that.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Vingt-et-un Detentions

dog shit kids homework funny failGolly gosh, some people can be horrible. We were playing Mathematical Pac-man and the teacher asked a question and the answer was 21. One of my co-conspirators answered the question correctly, which (in the game) gives him a chance to knock other players off. But, because he meight possibly have a teensy-veensy bit of en eccent, half the class laughed at him and said "Tventy-vun" in a variety of vowel-mangling accents like when the whole chimp troupe goes off screeching all at once.
Well, the teacher totally went off on one and all the miscreants were kept inside all break and they could only sit and stare at the wall, without even a book to stave off the boredom.
I don't yet have a fancy-dress costume for the new years' eve party and in the past I was an epic Terminator so I donned my balaclava and we drove to Southsea to buy a leather jacket. A charity shop had one that was only slightly too big and it was only a tenner so Bob's your second cousin. We were due to buy a light fitting for the dining room but traffic was building and I wanted to buy Pokémon cards so we set off an hour early for gymnastics, to go via Toys'R'us, which is where Ben said he gets his fix, sorry, his cards.
cry charity shop southsea jacketsStraight away the roads were jammed. It was immediately clear we weren't going to make Toys, let alone the light fitting shop so we joined the queue, which was static.
It's lucky I spent 5 years as a Cabbie after leaving the Air Force, because I know all the unused domestic roads through the north end of the island. After some creative driving, we popped out 40 yards away from the Gym road, and upstream, so we could float down towards it, without annoying any of the static drivers. By then, the crowds waiting at bus stops were spilling out onto the pavement and some cars were running out of petrol in the queues for the petrol stations. I remember the fuel crisis a few years back when the newspapers said fuel was running out, but it turned out to be caused by all the cars filling up because they thought fuel was running out. And the time of the Great Cold, when cars were abandoned on the motorway, and the time of the Visit from Southampton Football Club, when our fans decided to trash the city.
toys'r'us pokemon yu gi oh cards portsmouth ocean park
Turns out, a woman had been found dead on the motorway which had totally clogged the whole area. What a terrible place to keep a body. Do I keep my dead bodies there? Not on your Nibelungen. That's what the chest freezer in the garage is for. Anyway, because of Mrs Stiff the whole island was locked down and I was the only gymnast to turn up for my session, and as I was waiting to go in, someone from the previous session finally made it, 4 minutes before the end. Gradually, up to 3 others arrived and we trampolined, played in the tractor inner tube and generally messed around on all the fun kit and I was sorry to leave.
By then, Corpserella had obviously gone to a better place and the traffic was moving so we employed further creative driving techniques to reach Toys'R'us and it was deserted. It closes at 10pm, for those more desperate kids. They didn't seem to have the promised 10-card packs for £3 but there were a few bumper tins with complicated selections. I got the smallest tin and had 2 duplicate cards in the 2 packs contained therein. You've got to start somewhere.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Gotta catch 'em all! But where?

funny product name fail Anus Calatayud Old Vine MacabeoIt was a day of religious instruction. Because we'd got so much RE to get through, that's pretty well what we did all day. But all good things come to an end, and then so did school.
ebay pokemon cards bundleBen has a new interest which is Pokémon cards. Therefore, I have the same new interest. Now, I know what you're thinking, but no, this is completely different to Match Attax cards. That was a transient craze that we all went through, the parents said it was a waste of money and I'll get bored after 2 months, I spent what money I had on it and we swapped duplicates and everyone else seemed to have all the star bonus rarity value players and I ended up with a booklet of low-to-middling value cards that suddenly went obsolete when the football season finished. I don't actually care about football either. But Pokémon is totally different. It's very important, I like it and there are lots of cards of various values and for only a few quid you get 10 cards!
milton st james parish 5th scout group
So we tried 2 independent newsagents, and they said no. The lady in the Co-op hadn't seen them in years and I struck out in Tesco too. If only I could travel back in time to July when I sold a massive job lot of Pokémon cards and associated ephemera on ebay, because at that time mine eyes had not been opened to the majesty of fictional Japanese pocket monsters.
In Scouts it was the Xmas party and all the little Beavers were there too. Father Christmas was a girl but she gave me a present and it's the suit that matters. We played Pin The Tail On The Reindeer and football and musical bumps and catapults and had hot dogs and cake, which is why I didn't finish my supper.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Practice Day

Soonish I will have a whole bunch of time off. Thus I treated today as practice for the upcoming holidays. 2 fried eggs gave me the energy to play Minecraft and I was hardly annoyed at all when they said we all had to go shopping. He did all the boring normal-shopping, we took a second trolley and filled it with chocolate, not kidding! OK, so there were some biscuits, and I'm sure that Jaffa Cakes qualify as a cake for tax reasons, but you get the drift. On the way up, we discussed how we were going to get dropped off at the Harvester pub for lunch, and walk back. But gradually we demoted this to "we'll drive there at some point", it all sounded far too much effort.
At Sainsbury's, our bags were packed by the 64th Scout group who I met at the Scouts Swimathon and I spoke to the resident SpokeScout and we compared badges. He seeme to have a lot but only one Year-of-Good-Service badge, also I suspect he has a professional seamstress in the family as his badges were aligned and horizontal, not random and drunk like mine.
b&m home stores farlington portsmouthNext to the supermarket is a new store and we thought we'd have a look. It's a Pile'em high, sell'em cheap outfit with a lot of normal things you see in any supermarket, but with the accent on Large. So, you don't just get a bumper pack of 12 packets of crisps, you get 60. This seemed to suit the customers, many of whom had bumper-pack waistlines. We loved the plus-size Xmas decorations of style and sophistication, such as the Santa-on-motorbike rope light set, the munching reindeers and flashing trees of many colours. But we bought kindling and logs for the fire and got stuck behind some expansive ladies arguing about the glitter on the unicorns on the Disney Frozen hair gel and bath set.
Back at home I basically alternated between TV and Minecraft, just laying down a few guidelines so the parents will know what I want to do this Xmas. Then Bud went off to the Scouts Xmas dinner (no pies for me, I notice) and I was still up when he got home at 1045.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Landing an Epic 540

boys playing on carpetI started the day with a bacon sandwich. This is the latest thing I've inherited from Jof, and why not.
Acting was good, because I was in a good mood and was welcomed by Sidney the girl who likes me. Our group practised the panto which is Jack and the Beanstalk. I played the roles of Jack and the Giant, which was fine until I had to kill myself in the epic swordfight so Jasmine took over the role of Jack and I died a proper Giant's death with lots of thrashing around and threats of doom. We used the real swords and I nearly chopped some of the scenery.
Sourcing lunch from Tesco, we were quick to munch because I had a Ben. He turned up like a lost waif and showed me a new game on his phone where you control a skateboarder and you do jumps and turns (of 180, 360, 540 and upwards) and twists and score points in 3 minutes.
terrace bar pyramids centre southseaThen we played it in the car and I kept failing to land properly after a trick and crashing my avatar but then I beat his high score. The journey took us to the Pyramids where we splashed and attacked Bud and got thrown in the air and fought over the floating frogs and it was Wave Alert and we went into the corner and tried to drown in the waves but it was over all too soon.
To make ourselves feel better we had a snack which was a giant sausage meal deal with chips and we talked about Wieners and we went home to play Minecraft so a joyous day all round, really. As he was leaving we even managed to wrestle on the carpet, and it's better doing it on a soft surface, I can tell you.
For Saturday-Night-is-Film-Night Jof chose 'Back to the Future' which recently had its special anniversary and so she'd bought the box set. But it turned out to be the Blu-Ray box set so no good for us, and we watched 'Ratatouille' instead, in which an animated rat evades kitchen hygiene inspectors to become head chef of a Parisian restaurant.