Saturday, 30 April 2016

Excuse me while I kiss the Sky

groundlings theatre drama academy acting schoolSaturday is Acting Day and Syd emailed me to say she was making her own way there, I promptly forgot and got her "Create Account" screen ready and was miffed when she didn't turn up. I reckoned it was an ambiguous text, anyway, telling me she wouldn't be coming to my house.
woodchip safety layer park fun playIn acting we walked to Her Dear Old Majesty's Royal Naval Dockyard and acted in Boathouse 6 instead. Hey, any gig is work. Then I took her back to mine which is increasingly the norm, all my schoolfriends are jealous that I have an actual girlfriend not one of the made-up ones some of them have invented in retaliation.
We Minecrafted for ages and had sandwiches and Nerf gun fights and crisps and met her mum in the park. Taking it in turns to use the new-fangled ball-wanger, we tired Bella the dog out with our antics and did some swinging and were only scared away by a sudden rainstorm.
hungry horse beiderbecks eastern road portsmouthBecause Jof always has to cook (Bud is erratic in the kitchen) she decided to take us to the Hungry Horse pub thing up the Eastern Road, the one with the Pony Club soft play facility. It was busy, the possibility of extra clientele on a Saturday night escaping the management.
I got myself booked into the playzone which was lucky as we had to wait for well over an hour for the food on a table we cleared ourselves, not including the pile of pizza crusts on the floor below.
We finally managed to make the LED screen work and I took a snooker masterclass from my elders and worsers and I'm hoping for a Fu-Ding final. Bed 1047.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Face of Nails

happy idiot hound dog School. Well, it doesn't matter half as much as the rest of my time. This time I got to take Ben home which has been one of my special bonuses these last 6 years.
We spoke about rugby matches and football matches and the differences between the crowds, one drinks lager and fights everyone, and the other drinks real beer and gets on just fine thank you.
At home we sorted through the Pokémon cards (I have given up Pokémon but still hark back to days past) and he determined that my collection of X-Masters and Q-Shinies and Evolved-sets and Level-7-Awesomes might be worth £80. Of course, if the customer was particularly rich and stupid and drunk, that might be true.
science museum nails sculpture
science museum kensington londonThen we Minecrafted and got some sweeties from the cupboard and had a resultant sugar rush and ran around fighting alien invaders with the Nerf Guns and this was just practice for the laser-soldiery on Monday, honest.
Then he discovered the nails-in-a-matrix device I bought from the Science Museum and that kept us going for ages as we measured the naily topography of our faces, shoes and other parts of our bodies (photos not available) and it is these little things that us chaps like.
In the evening we saw Star Wars 7 with Kylo Ren and the temporary return of Solo the actual star and the brief return of Luke the past and future star.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Fountains of Gain

unfortunate funny name combination loony wardOne week ago exactly, we had our Computing lesson and I wowed the teacher with my demonstrably competent rendition of "The Snail" by Matisse. This week we had to make a 3-D bedroom, in the same way as the estate agents make those 3-D adverts of the inside of your house, or how the hardware store says this is what your kitchen will look like once it's finished.
Child A made his bedroom 19 metres tall with enough stacked bunk beds to house 240 children, because he wasn't taking it seriously.
Child B made his into a normal-looking public school dormitory with several boys in their bunk beds looking at a chap in the middle, in front of whom a kneeling girl had been cunningly positioned to be an unmentionable abomination to those religious types, but certainly a spectacle for the boys. And I thought I got to watch all the movies above my age range, but that's something I'd never seen.
victorious festival funded work taking coins out of a fountainI made a sensible-looking room with all the furniture in the right place and the mirror on the wall, not on the ceiling like in that song about hotels. The teacher said I was really good and might be a boss at computers when I grow up.
The dentist said I had to brush my teeth more and eat the naughty sweeties less, but they're paid to say that, I bet he's fibbing.
In swimming I swam a length underwater twice in one lesson, and afterwards we looked at the fountain in front of the castle built by Henry the 8th I am I am. It is due to be replaced by an interactive one with water jets and stuff, so it was empty. I wandered around in it and picked up a couple of dirty pennies before they were demolished too.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

You don't have to be mad to work here

toilet sex confusionFor a while there, we thought that Wednesday Park would be off due to adverse weather conditions.
But fortunately the fates smiled upon me once more and once I'd invited 2 friends to be X-box co-conspirators, I scooted to the park and met up with the usual suspects.
One of our games is kicking the big yellow tennis ball over the thatched roof but this time one of our team got it stuck up there. Most people would sulkily accept this but our house isn't far away, so a ladder was retrieved and Bud went up onto the roof.
On the narrow flat-roof area were: lots of branches and sticks and lumps of moss, our football, 3 tennis balls, another football (deceased) and a red light sabre.
milton barn thatched roof areachurch of st james milton parkAll of these were returned to the fray and nobody found it in the least unusual that a man was brazenly carrying a ladder through the park, because these things are invisible, the same as a man with a clipboard and a determined expression.
I scooted round the skate park and that's when we saw all the big black clouds that were trundling towards us on the arctic wind conveyor, and we ran away home like little scared people. But we did have our ball back.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

It's Snow Joke

engrish fail corkscrew mislabelledWell, school was acceptable and I had nothing to report apart from having emailed my homework to the teacher. He gave me the advanced maths test in return, not sure if that was a good deal or not.
But because of having to go and get my phone from the office and go back to the classroom for the homework sheet and go back to the office again for the cake tin from the cake competition and being told to look upstairs in the Room Of Requirement (not kidding, it's full of all sorts of stuff), I was last out of school, practically.
And on the way home, it snowed on me. It had hailed earlier in the day, mostly it was rainy with outbursts of sun, but this was cold and white and soft and covered me in white splodges that melted. Plus, it thundered just to make sure, while the sun was out.
coffee cup deckchair southsea seafrontIn Advanced-Level Swimming I forgot my float/flippers kitbag and blamed it on stupid Bud by permission but the teacher said it was my fault. Now we have to tie the 2 bags together so we don't out-stupid ourselves.
This is the giant novelty deckchair by the coffee place we use for Beach Wednesday. It is not strictly relevant to anything at all but here is some blue sky. Just behind the chair, the Isle of Wight was getting a thunderstorm.
I complained that my afternoon snack was miniscule and that I was being cruelly starved on purpose. It is lucky that Jof went out and bought cakes.

Monday, 25 April 2016

The Letter of the Law

welding with no protection failIn school we have pet tadpoles and seedlings and worms. So on the way home I was full of demands to have my own pet snail (I only need a shoebox and a lid of grass, honest) but Jof is apparently allergic to slugs and snails, opinion on puppy dog's tails unknown.
But I did secure permission to have a wormery in an old Coke bottle. But tasks got in the way.
We now have a personalized number-plate for the car. These things can be very expensive if it's got hardly any letters and numbers in it, or if it makes a word or name. For example the Dear Old Queen owns "A1" and you or I would not be able to afford it. And sometimes you can get a boring-looking one that changes if you move the space.
HiQ tyres and exhausts goldsmith avenue
For one registration year (H) you could get things like H1 JON but not everyone can afford H1 so you got things like H18 ERT or H17 ACK where they move the space along to make H1 7ACK and H1 8ERT. And you see these things all the time.
So we'd got the eligibility document from the government and went into the garage and they said not on your Nellie, mate, it's against the law. Turns out that people get the shuffled plates from disreputable online plate printers and have a spare pair of legal ones in the boot where they swap them back for the MOT test, because it would fail if it was shuffled. What a bag of poo, and a palaver.
Later, Flynn took me to Scouts because Bud was vomiting too much and I had a good time.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

1642 all over again

So today was going to be empty but then Sydney invited me to Little Woodham Living History Village, a place where it's always 1642.
It's in Gosport right next to the army training ground where we went metal-detecting for bullets and we drove there in the sun.
It was full of history being re-enacted and we spoke to the weavers and the loomers and the carriage maker and the potter and the sawyer and the quillmaker and lots of wenches and possibly a bawdy-house. We learned huge amounts about weaving and carding and how to hold an axe safely.
If we'd worn tattier clothing we could have had a go on the potter's wheel, maybe next time. We had a picnic by the bluebell wood and once we'd got back home we played on our Minecraft world again.
I make many demands and one of them was to have a family swim in the pool where I have spent so much time. So we all bagged up, and the man said no, there's a synchronised swimming disco practice going on so you'll have to come back in half an hour. So we did that, and swam and dived and I met Curly-Headed Sam from my old school and I showed off my diving prowess.

Saturday, 23 April 2016


Saturdays are days of big plans. But due to a self-inflicted beer-related head injury, one of our number didn't get up until 10 which meant that item #1 on the list (jumble sale at the church where I do Scouts) failed to happen.
But item #2 came along sharpish which was Sydney to get a lift to Acting. She had the choice of coming home with me afterwards or seeing her Uncle which happens only once in a blue moon and she chose wisely. In Acting we did our monologues about super-heroes and in 2 weeks time I will perform a poem hand-written just for me.
london underground duvet cover
She has taught me a new language called Lep. Basically, and this is the clever bit that has never been done anywhere in the world before, you translate any English word into Lep by removing the first letter of the word, sticking it on the end of the word, and adding Lep. So, for example, Bottom becomes Ottomblep, pronounced Ottom-Blep. I called her an Itchblep and she called me an Enisplep and it all went downhill from there, and I really do mean downhill, goodbye childhood. But we laughed all the way to the theatre and made everyone jump when we arrived with our raucous cackling. The fact that we both speak Lep makes us Lepers, or possibly Lepophones, but not lepidopterists.
Then we came back to mine and spent hours shooting each other with Nerf guns and playing double-ended Minecraft on the X-box. We have our own world with a big house, but separate beds at the moment. In the evening we finished the game of Risk with the inevitable victory by Bud and at more than one point I had trouble breathing because of laughing at my strange bantering parents.
I think our next house ought to have an airstrip because a Cessna is just the right stylish accessory for the debonair man-above-town.

Friday, 22 April 2016

The Worm that Burned

asian kid funny failHooray for Friday! Not only do we have seeds sprouting and tadpoles tiddling, we now have worms turning. The teacher brought in some tadpoles and we're all watching them develop their little legs unevenly and moving uncertainly around the tank.
finding coins on the street
The one that was moving a little less certainly than the others turned out to be dead but many others are still alive. We also made little worm-ariums which makes us little vermiculturalists or vermicultivators or Lumbrophiles or perhaps just worm farmers. I'm in a team of 3 Annelid-fanciers and my worm was the biggest, but I'm told it isn't size that matters. We put some scrunched-up dead leaves on top for humus, not hummus, because that would have been whiffy.
On the way home I found a £2 coin on the pavement which tips my all-time score (of money found on the pavement) over the £1500 mark, now tell me your life is better than mine. Some people laugh at some of the stuff I do but deep down I'll always be happy because I see a world full of joy: and you won't be, because nothing is ever good enough for you. But I'm not bitter. I don't even like beer.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Dear Old Queen: Poetic Injustice

cessna light aircraft attacked by arrowsWell, we have a very old Queen, 90 today. She is of course the only old Queen I've ever known apart from that nice old chap who did the directing at that theatre I visited.
Anyway, today was the first round of the poetry recital challenge. We all did our recitals in teams of 1-4 and then came the ranking. Normally, one would expect the teacher or Special Guest Judge (another teacher) to make a short but genial speech about how everyone's a winner and then choose the best 4 performers. But this time it was down to the popular vote amongst my peers, which means everyone votes for their favourite person, regardless of talent, ability or, indeed, the strength of their performance. Thus, Child A, who had promised me his vote, decided to vote instead for the team containing his girlfriend, even though they came last and were patently rubbish. I missed out on going through to the next round by 1 vote and will never forgive him: I have decided to give up Pokémon as a direct result of this betrayal.
We were offered another new after-school club - The Magic Club. Is this your card, sir? No, it's not.
In Mega-Swimming I used my flippers for the first time and they're epic. We had to swim as far as we could underwater and do front crawl to the end once we'd surfaced. I did my length upside down and looked up at the others as they swam along the surface.
school art project on google draworiginal signed matisse snailOne of them looked down at me looking up at her and was very surprised, as I pretended to be Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger) cutting his way through bars at the beginning of True Lies. I was the only one to finish the whole length underwater.
Plus, we had to make our own version of the Henri Matisse masterpiece "The Snail". Mine was declared the winner. Can you guess which is the masterpiece and which is by Matisse?

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Memory Deleted

old timers disease memory lossAn epic day again. Because Jof was cycling to work for Earth Day or similar, I got dropped off only half-way to school and walked the rest of the way on my own and used my new phone to contact the mother ship with news of my safe arrival.
So straight away I felt better, although you do have to relinquish phones and other devices to the reception ladies once you get there. I didn't tell them about the bug in my skull.
park view through treesIn Literacy we practised our poetry recitals and I was concentrating so much on the script I forgot to gesticulate and emote. In the afternoon we went to the park to identify and measure trees. OK, we had a chart for identification.
We weren't allowed to cut down any trees to count rings so we had to measure the circumference of the trunk and read the approximate age off a species-specific graph, and for the height we measured line-of-sight against a stick, put the stick horizontally and had a colleague walk away from the tree until he was a stick's length away - height measured!
rope climbing frameI announced that I wanted to take my phone to the park. He suggested that might be a risky idea for an uninsured contract-based phone with breakable parts that could easily be lost or stolen. I may possibly have huffed at this, why am I not allowed to have fun etc. But by the time we got there, the huff was forgotten and we fought in the sun.
I did a tour of the outer margins to wipe my mind of the huff, he said try vodka next time and Child B said he'd seen a YouTube video of a Russian gentleman who chugged a whole vodka bottle and then used 2 toilets at once, one at either end. What fun!
In the end about 57 known faces were in the park with us. Supper was roast chicken that we didn't get on Sunday because Jof fell asleep and then I chose little-known comedy flick "The Terminator" for my pudding viewing, because I can.
Lance Henriksen (funny cop #2, as well as Bishop in Aliens) is signing autographs at the Bournemouth film festival this September, might get him for my collection. Also on the guest list - Carl Weathers (CIA agent in Predator, as well as the guy that beat Rocky up) and Kristanna Loken (Terminatrix in T3), looks like an Arnie full house.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Incredible Cake

you had one job funny failSo we have a poem-reading competition at work. You can choose any number of people in your team up to 4 so naturally I chose a team size of 1, and I still remembered more of my longer poem ("The Incredible Cake") than the team with 4 members and 12 lines to recite between them.
I just need to make it through the group stages.
fraky doll tedy bearsThen I got 11/10 on a maths test. This may seem like a dubious statement (as in "This statement is not true") but there was a bonus point available on the last question, much like where you can get 101/100 on shooting if you put all your rounds through the central dotted hole.
Then we had the school jumble sale. This was perhaps not as well advertised as other events so the giant piles of bric-a-brac and DVDs and dollies and sweeties went relatively unmolested. Jof is a helper so I went in to say hello and she was on Dollies and Board Games so I helped by selling a large number of both.
boy helping mum sell goodsclub swimming kit float flippers bagYou know how sometimes you look at a dolly and just want to burn it or stab it or otherwise destroy it in the fires of infernal damnation? Well, there were a couple of good ones today. But instead of dismembering them, I sold them. The customer will just have to napalm them for me.
Using my primary budget of £2 (still more than the defence budget for Andorra) I went to the sweet stall and bought 10 Strawberry Whips, 3 Cola Whips and 70 Cola Bottles. Yes. I made one of my classmates stand there and issue 70 Cola Bottles from stores at a penny a go. I look forward to many inappropriate sugar rushes.
I took my new swim kit to advanced-level swimming and it was fun, although I didn't get to use the kit. If I ever need it, it'll be ready for me.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Latex against the Skin

engrish cartoon translation funny failI had the most epic science lesson today. We had to dissect a dandelion flower, isolate and label all the sexual organs. I got some pollen on my finger and wiped my face by accident and sneezed, like, 6 times in a row.
My dissecting partner does survival with the army and he said that one of his mates chopped his own arm open with a machete during a jungle-clearing exercise and while they gave him kid's paracetamol and vodka for the pain, they also wiped the latex sap of 16 dandelions all up his wound because it stops the bleeding. So I wiped dandelion latex into the scratches on my legs to heal them.
binbag of bottles and rubbish from bushes in front gardenThen we played golf because there's an inter-school competition coming up and a nice lady from the club that's won gold medals came to give us some tuition and the chance to wave our golf bats around a bit.
Next year we all have to decide which school to go to. Thus, I brought home the handout where it said we are holding a Taster Day for Year 5 girls, we would like to invite your daughter to join us. I'm really not sure if I want to spend a whole day tasting Year 5 girls so I am sternly instructed to bring home the right handout tomorrow.
At home we cleared the front garden a bit. I found 2 bottles of cider, some beercans, some random plastic bags of which not all were empty, 100 million woodlice and Dilly, who waved to me from across the street. It's never going to win any prizes but it's all a bit tidier.
I changed my Minecraft skin to "Fire Dude" and tried out the new swimming equipment that arrived today. I have some bright orange rubber flippers and they felt strange and I had to walk like a wet cat (not an Egyptian) so as not to fall over my own feet.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Eye Spy: an Oddly Specific Roadsign

specsavers kids eye test portsmouth commercial roadNobody wanted to get up today. But eventually they joined me downstairs and I was on a Minecraft mission to spend the whole day in BlockWorld.
road sign on fratton bridge portsmouthI didn't quite manage it because I had an eye test. Taking the tablet for those little moments in between reading out strings of letters, the EnderCreatures never quite left my side. Doing everything the Optician told me, she said my eyes had actually got better since last year, a nice trick if you can do it.
I sat in on Bud's eye test to see someone else getting it wrong and the Optician said he used to be in the 8th Scout Group. We walked home because that was the choice - cycle both ways or get dropped off and walk home - and I explained all about the new Minecraft update with exploding swords and the HardCore version where all the mods have double HP and you can't train a dog, well you can, but it dies immediately, which is a waste of skeleton legs.
That took us past the oddly specific road sign that Sydney and I saw yesterday. I don't know why we should be warned about shimmying cars for exactly 1277 yards, it doesn't seem to match up with any sensible distance like 2/3 of a mile or anything.
Anyway, I bought lots of vitamin juices in LIDL and settled down to Minecraft for the rest of the day in one form or other.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

How to get over a Huff

I had a lovely morning. There I was, almost wearing a dressing gown, having been fed marmite on toast when he said better get dressed, Sydney will be round in a minute to go to acting with you. That's when I got the Huff. So I walked as slowly as possible and refused to do my teeth and jumped around in my room naked until she arrived.
cocktail sausages for lunchShe had been in her own, independent Huff earlier as well, but as soon as we were together once more, the Huffs evaporated and were blown away and lost forever in the gales of laughter. We drove to the theatre through some very slow football traffic. Plymouth, our opponents, represent another heavily fortified naval port so naturally we hate each other and hordes of extra Police were drafted in to keep the baying mobs apart. As we drove, we had to drive onto the pavement for 3 angry Police cars, 2 angry Police vans, and 2 angry plain-clothes cars all with woo-woos and flashing lights. In fact, it would have been easier to drive the whole way on the pavement, or issue the cops with cop copters. Syd wants to be a Police horse when she grows up. Our jokes and conversations are getting much ruder although we have an almost complete lack of knowledge so our innuendoes are more like innuendon'ts.
Anyway, we laughed our way through acting and we have some lines to learn for next week. Then because of why not, we totally abducted her again and got lunchables at the Co-Op and watched Night at the Museum 7 and then Minecrafted together in blissful stereo until her mum broke it up 5 hours later, I guess it had to happen. Jof was doing a pub quiz with her work-friends so we drove her to Fareham although she couldn't find the right boots or the right jacket or hand cream or glasses or and I just think it's not worth it being an adult. Long may Syd and I be innocent together.
Supper DVD was 'Starship Troopers' because of all the blood and guts, hurrah.

Friday, 15 April 2016

All Change: The Last Purple Hat Brigade

drugged stupid cat fails funnyOne of my schoolfriends had all his Pokémon cards nicked from his classroom tray so I gave him some consolation cards. I mean, they were only duplicate crap ones, but it's the thought that counts.
We watched an art film about some kid trying repeatedly to draw a decent butterfly such as a migrating Monarch, and doing badly but improving with every re-try. I chose to do a monkey and the body was good but the head was way too large.
throbbing purple helmet boyDue to temporal compression, I had an hour and a half of my hour-a-day's computer time before swimming. This particular swimming is the one with the coloured hats. You start on Red Hat and I have diligently moved up to Purple Hat which is one away from the top rung, and I was inches away from becoming Silver Hat anyway.
But I've been picked up by the Network ie the proper actual swimming club so these Hat lessons are no longer required. I shall miss them, and the gallon of pool water I often consume.
To mark the demise of Hatted Swimming, I donned my Purple Helmet one last time and discovered that if you put it right over your nose, you can breathe out through your somewhat squashed nostrils and partially inflate the hat. In fact, if you breathe in and out, you can make it throb which was very funny indeed, well at least he laughed a lot. In order to gain further computer time, I had to do some homework. It was a price I was willing to pay. Hooray for the weekend!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

All Change: A new kind of Swimming

engrish product name fail funnyIt was all-change at school today, I might never get used to it. Normally we have ICT, French and then PE but this time they scheduled French first! We are all suffering post-traumatic stupidity disorder and 3 had to go to the sanatorium with sphincter palpitations, honest. But the world is a noodle-bowl of chaos and I will scoop out all the goodness.
At last, our car ownership documents came through from the government, only 32 days after applying for them. Normally, this sort of glacially dull thing would pass me by with an interest level of Nope, but this means we can now apply to have our special numberplate (hand-carved from an original stone tablet found halfway up Mount Sinai) assigned to it.
Following discussions of childhood obesity and the addictive nature of computer games, on the BBC and stuff, I have been given a daily limit of 1 hour on the screens of my youth, ie Minecraft and Dragon-death etc. So I used it all up in one go before swimming.
dvla v5c document
This is the new, bigger swimming which is twice a week and you don't have to wear a brightly coloured hat to tell everyone how good you are. The tall bearded tutor (who looks suspiciously like the other tall, bearded tutor but isn't) said I did really well but I have to buy some kit. You always have to buy some kit. Every new activity involves the official T-shirt or your own lifejacket or stage make-up or to be driven 75 miles a week, or in this case, floats and flippers and a bag.
On the way home I started a massive argument about wanting more Minecraft time and locked myself in my room but in the end I just tidied my pencil case and got rid of 3 pairs of scissors, 3 sellotapes, 3 pencil sharpeners and a paintbrush. At chocolate time I wondered, if you eat something and nobody sees you, does it contain any calories?

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

First Park of the Season: Metal AF

beach house carryout steamed crabs
In school 4 of us got full marks on the maths test so we were set an additional project while all the others got to do colouring-in.
We were given a word-statement such as "Two + Two = Four" and then we had to assume that, let's say, the o at the end of Two represents a number, and that the r at the end of Four was another number. So if o + o = r, or T + T = F, find all numbers for which checksum = True. As a team, we were quite good, and it made me feel good to be part of the top table. Algebra and quadratic equations, here we come!
Anyway, we had lunch outside in the sun and it was still sunny at hometime so Park Wednesday was ON. No more the endless (and enjoyable) roundelay of 'whose house are we destroying this week?', this was back to playing in the sun and getting all that Vitamin D we've been learning about this week. In fact I did a poster about Vitamin C deficiency with a bloke with a ruddy face, sodding hair and a bloody mouth.
The park was busy. We did some Giant-Tennis-Ball-Tag but a parent complained that we'd hit a girl on the head.
milton park schoolkids after school session
She was quite big enough to take it like a man but we had to stop and take it outside so we kicked balls over the barn roof and footballed and chased and ate Jaffa cakes and we ended up doing the same thing that we used to do about 5 years ago, Red Bench Shuffle. You queue up on the red bench and when you get to the front you announce what kind of jump you're attempting such as double back flip 360° with half-pike and sturgeon, and then you leap into the infinite void while Owen tries to kill you with the ball. I went home after an hour and a half having met LittleMax, Zak, Ewan from my acting lessons, Poppy who has broken her leg AGAIN, 2 different Emilies and a host of others. I could have stayed on, but Minecraft and Dragon Attack both have special offers on at the moment, you know the way it is.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

All Change: Last Gymnastics

funny kid sucks socks I felt much better today having actually got enough sleep. The Year 3 kiddies have 'Paddington Bear' as their topic so they performed a series of traditional native Peruvian dances for the delectation of the school. They leapt. They jumped. They went "Hah!" in unison but we couldn't hear them because the music was so loud.
self assembly flat packed furniture failThen we had a demonstration film of our previous entry into the inter-school street dance competition in which senior dancers leapt and bounced and flipped and then we all had a taster session and because I am a current gymnast, they made me do headstands and handstands which made my head go whoosh.
Funnily enough, due to scheduling clashes, it is my last gymnastics session tonight, so I could have kept quiet and got away with it.
At home, my gamer's chair had arrived. I helped inasmuch as I briefly posed for this photo. In the same way as other well-known European suppliers of flat-packed self-assembly furniture, the Songmics LYY10 comes with instructions in a variety of languages similar to your own. During the assembly process you make and un-make the product numerous times, putting it together upside down, back to front and eventually, correctly, although the adjustable footrest has only one position.
By the time you're finished, you are at one with the item of furniture, you know its personality intimately and you really need a sit-down, lucky it's a chair. The manufacturers know this, witness the first stanza of the instruction leaflet -
portsmouth gymnastics centre t shirtalexandra park mountbatten centre portsmouth"When assemble the chair, please insert all screws into the initial positions and then fully tighten them one by one. Otherwise, the situation that the screws do not correspond with the holes may occur".
We got to my last gymnastics lesson early enough to spend some time in the adjacent park, in the sun. I demonstrated my soon-to-become-redundant skills and then rolled down the bank by the giant swimming pool, you're never too old to roll down a hill, until you're 46 apparently.
Whenever anyone leaves Gymnastics you get a handshake from everyone but the teachers forgot and I didn't mind and we sped off into the night and I sat in my new gamer's chair and read a book, because I'd already had all my screen time allocation. It's quite a big chair.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Warning. Trousers can go Down as well as Up

terminators dvd unlicensed productWell, that was an unpleasant shock. After 2 weeks of getting up at tennish and only possibly getting dressed before lunch, it was back to a 7am alarm and mandatory clothing. But thereby hangs a tale.
In the rush, I put on my school trousers only to discover that they had shrunk over the holidays. The same thing had happened to the next 2 pairs so in the end I was lucky that pair #4 were unaffected by the bizarre paranormal shrinking disease, or trouser-obsessed poltergeist, I shall call him the Trousergeist, or the Pantergeist, for my American readers. Or Colin.
naughty school trousersI am told that ladies sometimes have this unexpected trouser reduction syndrome, possibly during the early stages of pregnancy. I only had my first proper cinema-date with Sydney last Friday so I doubt that I am already pregnant.
So anyway, I had a double lesson in Religion ('Imagine you are a christian and the government bans christianity. How would you feel?') and spelling tests. We saw an epic film called the Swiss Family Robinson although the name doesn't sound Swiss. They had a holiday in Papua New Guinea and got shipwrecked and had to blow pirates up with gunpowder salvaged from the dead ship.
On the way home we bought extra trousers and I decided on my new swimming club and my acting summer school and the man came to collect the trailer and it was Scouts. I got miffed at their disobedience and lively spirits and am very tired.

Sunday, 10 April 2016


dual mode minecraftDeep down we all knew it was the last day of the holidays. Therefore we all sat around waiting for the other guy to move first, not wanting to take the blame. So I didn't get dressed until 2 something (there is nothing wrong with naked Minecraft) and by the time we'd looked up Havant leisure centre opening times, it had closed, and so had the Pyramids. So, checkmated into doing nothing by our own crapness, I played Jof at Minecraft and kept killing her by dropping lava on her. At suppertime we randomly dropped into a film called Jurassic World in which drippy woman didn't want to kiss Bear Grylls and everybody kept crashing and letting out even more dinosaurs and dying in droves. Gosh, how we laughed when Mosasaur came up and grabbed Genetically-modified-osaurus and now I want to see Jurassic Park.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

A Trail of Rocks

man pulling trailer with boy in itSaturday, so I didn't. Sydney had wanted me to attend a Circus Skills workshop in the Community Centre and I did fancy clowning around with her but the advertised start time of 0930 meant I was an hour late and still in bed.
So gradually the household stirred and eggs with toastie soldiers were forthcoming and so was Minecraft and it was all going quite well until he said that we had to go back to the Vicar's garage to get the old Scout trailer out, for it is to be sold off. None of us fancied the task but it's my fault he's a Scout helper so off we trundled.
man pulls car trailer with passengerThe garage is a maze of spider-webs and long-forgotten farming tools and strange things we couldn't even identify so we battled the spare pews and backup pulpits and got the trailer out. Of course, our car is nobless. If you don't have a nob you can have one installed for a couple of hundred quid so we said no thanks, we'll drag it home ourselves.
This was a splendid opportunity to get in it and be paraded through the park like the High Panjandrum in his palanquin so that's what I did. Once the many spiders had been evicted, I was the centre of attention as dogs gazed in awe and Emma from my old school laughed and I threw a rope around my slave-stallion and went mush mush and it was all rather funny and worth doing. We all got dusty and spidery.
And that was it, as far as I was concerned. I'd done my duty, got some sun and adulation, on with the Minecraft. But when Jof was at the gym he said let's go to the beach and look at rocks. Srsly? I was doubtful. But ice creams were promised and so I graciously allowed it.
southsea sea defences rocks by pyramics centreWe parked up by the Pyramids and walked through to the seafront where the council had been forced to mend the sea defence wall after winter storms had breached it, and it was once more unto the breach, dear friends as the sea had killed a little bit more pavement. But the target was the huge pile of giant granite rocks brought in to defend the sea defences.
pile of granite rocks by pyramids centreI clambered up and he leapt around on the vertiginous boulders like a goat possessed. Bit by bit, I reprogrammed my brain to ignore precipices and learn to love them. And then I could leap like a boss too. It was epic! Hurrah for the simple things in life, like me and him.
Then we found some bits of wood trapped in the rocks and dug them out and had a swordfight on top of the rocks using all my swordfighting skills from the theatre and we broke the longest plank in half and cricketed stones into the sea in the sun and all of this cost nothing.
loving memory of betty and garth goddard plaqueLooking more closely at the planks, they turned out to be part of a bench that the angry sea had chewed up and destroyed, so will the executors of the estate of Betty and Garth Goddard please replace the memorial bench. At home we played a bit more Risk and I played Minecraft, not that I'm obsessed or anything.