We went to watch football but loads of sweaties chasing a ball doesn't do it for me so I came home and got straight onto the computer and the afternoon was spent Harry Pottering. Anyway, I deserve the time off. So here's a picture from an earlier time when I brightened the Queen's day by visiting London. I'll be going back soon.
Sunday, 31 January 2016
Saturday, 30 January 2016
Nobody had to go to work today so I got up at a sensible time in order to max out my 1 hour screen time allowance before anyone else was awake, so I could play the innocent and have another one.
On the way home the town was filling up again for the FA Cup match against Bournemouth and there were Police Vans and Riot Cops and Police Horses and Cats and Dogs, but no matchstick men. This meant we had to park miles away.
I did my 2K run because fitness stops for no man and I was just looking forward to an afternoon of playing video games when Jof Had An Idea. Because of her unique position in the wider business community, she knows everybody and there is this one chap in Old Portsmouth who has opened a video game arcade in his basement using his world-class collection of vintage arcade games and elderly boxes that go buzz and tweet and their boxes say "The new game for the new decade" (1980's) and show families dressed in 1970s clothes looking overjoyed at the latest 8-bit technology.
But first, we killed a cat with an SAS-style survival knife, the nice ones with the double-sided blades. This one was delivered by post to Bud in 1986, consternation for the house-master at the breakfast table (we are talking boarding school here). You've just gotta do this every so often, but today, it was because one of the special chocolate things we got Jof for Xmas was too big. Now, you and I know that for a registered chocaholic, no chocolate item can be too big but this is a solid moulded cat and once you've bitten the head off and gnawed the legs a bit, you just can't get your teeth around the torso, and you're left with this massive lump with cannibalistic tooth grooves.
And we drove to Spice Island where we had to look the game place ("Game Over") up on Jof's phone because it can't attach a sign to the Grade 2 listed building so we couldn't find it. It is indeed in the cellar down some steep steps and the domed roof is fun and it's full of old tech and apparently the council want to borrow his collection for the museum and it's definitely way more than the Science Museum in London has got because we googled my old blog post from last year and showed him the image of the cabinet.
We all played about 6 different things in our hour (£3 each) and met Jack W from my old school and the SEGA was funny, Jof nearly died laughing at the 8-bit fighting dude who punches and kicks at headless purple guys and zombies and swooping dragons and dogs that jump sideways and when you kick enough blue dogs in the head, you evolve into a werewolf and meet the electric statue which morphs into a big bloke covered in ears and he throws heads at you until you die.
We never did make it past head-throwing geezer but we did laugh a lot. Jof even had a cup of tea there and you can buy Pokémon badges and sweets and cans of soda for a true gamers experience.
The gamers of yesteryear must have had fun with good old space invaders and the digging rabbit game but the little buzzing boxes were pants. A van had blocked us in which made Jof very angry indeed but when we got home there was a message from Ben asking me over for a sleepover so what can you do?
I showered and left home, that's what. Life cannot get any better.
Friday, 29 January 2016
A nice day at school with a chance to write a screenplay about a Star Wars character, I was R2D2 heading out over the wastes of Tatooine before capture, and later I was present at the battle of Darth Maul and I used one of my extendable probes to give him an electric shock up the bum which enabled ObiWan to chop his head off. Perhaps it was the first known use of the Taser, certainly the rectal Taser.
Anyway, after school I did my 2K run in the drizzle and it makes your nose run. On the way round we met my teacher, who said I was braver than him, not a bad recommendation.
But if you have a closer look, one may discover that the GS (2004) 622 bouncy-ball stress-relieving globe is a Chinese knock-off of dubious educational quality.
We've recently been learning about geography and Grandad is always banging on about working out which way the Earth rotates from first principles so here is my story of the countries and features of the GS Earth, told as the sun rises upon them, from the international date line onwards.
The sun rises over the ocean. First it strikes PAIKS and the COKAL SEA. In the south, the TASAMAN SEA and in the north, the YELLEN SEA. Gradually the light shines on islands such as BRUNEL and SINGAPORT, past the BAY OF HENGAI (I've seen enough Hengai to know where this is going) and inland, KASHKIN.
The ocean stops at MAURMUS and on land we find ALEREAUAN. The Red Sea stretches between ERMPEA and JOROAN, while Africa goes from LESOTNO to EGYPY via AURUNDI. But wait, above the BACT SED is EUOPE, from ESNMA in the north to PCEAND and SHAMVA, and in the far west, PRANCE, gosh, how we've missed it.
Meanwhile, Africa finishes with MORDCCO and GAPE VEROE which is on the same longitude as good old KELAND, in the north Atlantic. On the other side, the sun will first hit South America, home to PAPAGUAY, ARCENTINA, FERU and ECUAOOR. In the warm CARIRBEAN SEA we will find TRINIOAD and St Kitts + ENVIS, just above FRKNCH GUIANA. On the way to the G OF MCXICO is my best friend HAM and the DOMDOCAN REPUEUC, and then we're into NORTN AMERICA with the UNTTED STATES (don't even) and well-known Canadian district SCHEFENBE, O to tread the hallowed streets of Schefenbe once more.
From there, there is only FRENCH PPLYNESIA before the date line again!
But my day had barely started. I swam and dived against all the other Purple Hats and then rushed back to her Majesty's Naval Base where I snuck past an uninterested guard and lasered several people to death in Laser Quest, courtesy of Action Stations and the Scouts. I arrived half-way through a game but soon was as pink and sweaty as the rest of them. We came 5th out of 7 and sometimes we were epic, sometimes pants, but generally we worked hard and killed people for money and prizes, which is the way it should be.
Home by 9pm, I had a massive fill-up of top-quality food and watched Potter. Now, that's the thing I like about this century. OK, so the Roman period was warm enough to grow grapes. The 16th century was good for privateering in the Caribbean, but generally, I'm looking for epic Pottering on a dedicated channel on a big sofa with my Mum, because I too still need comfort-cuddles, even though I'm 10.
Thursday, 28 January 2016
The egg-throwing teacher has warned us that not every chuck will be the same, he might spin it, drop it, flip it or imbue the doomed ovulation with other plummeting characteristics, so our putative designs have to cope with unexpected turbulence like Thomas a'Becket when he was defenestrated in Prague after that joke he made about Kim Jong Un's hair. This project bears a huge likeness to the one we did in Scouts, only the egg was catapulted. Ben and I are team-mates and he's got a brand new bag for the parachute and I've got lots of bubblewrap and foam and cardboard from Bud's work.
It might be said that the best way to keep an egg safe is to keep it in the ovary, but that option is not open to us, as the ovaries are probably Chicken McMorsels by now.
Also, we were able to apply for roles in the Year 5 production, with singing and dancing roles, speaking parts, or 'Nothing at all'. I applied for everything except Nothing, er.
In Extra-Swimming we did special exercises that aren't in the book, apparently, although as I've never seen the book I can't confirm this. The Mother Superior made me swim on my side with a float in one hand doing the Man-From-Atlantis wiggle (and I'm a top quality wiggler) and then said I have a split personality. This is a slanderous and baseless accusation, none of my personalities are split.
But the sky looked bright and promising, like my future.
Wednesday, 27 January 2016
So once I'd had Snack #1, Robert phoned me and invited me round and we all picked up Ben from my school and that's when we all played the Starship game.
Much like old favourite Simple Simon, it has 5 coloured lights that flash and you have to hit them quickly for the reactions game, or copy the ever-extending sequence for the memory game. Like all the little people that play while waiting for the doors to open, we just batted all the buttons we could reach and it did the big 'X' sound like on Family Fortunes every time we got it wrong.
At their place, we filmed ourselves performing an action comedy with light sabres and cheesy lines and fights in the dark and one soldier wasn't dead enough so we killed him again, die, Jedi rebel scum, and we all laughed for ages.
I ran home and did my 2 kilometres round the park because it had stopped raining and we had the torch to see the puddles and I did 1 circuit without stopping, a personal goal.
Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Thanks to the Eastern Seaboard for today's weather, the remnants of the storm that dumped tons of snow on New York. For us, it was rain and once we'd all done a run around the schoolyard (a new thing to warm us up) we trudged the 17 miles to the swimming pool in the rain.
Because we have to travel at the speed of the slowest pupil, we are a very lethargic crocodile but things got better in the water. It was backstroke day and we gave each other advice and I swam underwater for miles and we might as well have swum back to school, we were just as wet.
Once I got home I had to do my homework, to design a Starbase with certain dimensions and buildings and sectors of set areas. You know when you just join up the lines that have missed by hand instead of using a ruler? Well that's why I did a rough copy first to make sure it was all going to fit inside.
Then it was time for my run, are you taking the micturition. Let's be honest, the weather was absolutely horrible what with the blustery sleet and we were the only people in the park who weren't wearing cagoules and walking a wet dog. I got hungry, tired and emotional but at the corner I beat the urge to quit and made the decision to voluntarily turn right for the second circuit, instead of going directly home, defeated. This was the moment I turned the corner, as it were, because the minute you justify stopping early because you're cold, or deciding not to go out today because it's gymnastics day or you don't fancy it, your laziness will have beaten you and within a week you'll not be going out at all.
We got to gym late because of the ambulance parked in the middle of the road. It wasn't for the girl in my class who missed the crash mats and banged her head. I ticked off lots of actions towards my next gym badge and at home we discovered 3 questions I hadn't done on the Starbase project. Will this homework never end?
Monday, 25 January 2016
Then we gathered in the schoolyard and set off for the train station, each class setting off at 5 minute intervals so we didn't totally overwhelm the pavements and stop the rush hour traffic for hours on end. Our trip to the Planetarium cost so much we had to have a sponsored sleepover to help pay for it but I knew it'd be ace because I've been there before.
One of our number only just arrived in the nick of time, he wouldn't want to be the only representative of Year 5 in school today, probably have to go in with the Year 3s and help change nappies or something. Once we'd got to the Planetarium we sat in the dome room with planets and constellations buzzing around our heads, quite like Stellar Cartography in Star Trek, but darker and with fewer Klingons.
Then we had lunch and I did the Scavenger-info-hunt with Ben and scored all the targets and then, believe it or not, we learnt about the sun and had to do class karaoke with such epic song lines as "The sun is a mass / of impenetrable gas". Then there was the mandatory gift shop where I totally missed the bag of £8 Bud had put in my bag and relied on the £5 that Jof gave me, which got me a bouncy globe, a golden pencil and a bookmark with astronaut hologram.
The return train journey was even louder and we did selfies and were on track to be late back from school but at the road junction right by our house, Bud was waiting and we all laughed at him and my teachers let me go directly home with him which saved me a good 20 minutes and a mile or so, which was splendid and everyone was jealous.
In Cub Scouts, the latest badge is a Personal Challenge Badge, and you can't get the Chief Scout's Silver Award without it. For it, I have to complete 2 challenges that are beneficial, and cost some real effort, rather than saying I challenge myself to eat 5 chocolate biscuits in 1 go. Amazingly, it just so happens that I was due to start my daily runs today, so I ran round the park twice which was 2 kilometres and yes, I did go pink and yes, I did have to stop to wheeze 4 times but I'm out there making the effort, getting the badges and shrinking my waistline. I just have to persist, that's all.
We take Flynn to Scouts now and all the way back we had a big discussion about the stamina levels of chickens and whether they'd be able to escape smart bullets by burrowing underground. He is deeply obsessed with chickens and their abilities.
Sunday, 24 January 2016
Well, it was a tough start to the day with the arguments about not eating breakfast but it rapidly got better when Ben arrived to take me away. Ben is a Star Wars fan and the thing he most wanted to do after watching Star Wars 7 was to see it again, but in 3D because 2 dimensions often aren't enough.
Saturday, 23 January 2016
I'd done my hour of Klash-Of-Dragons before he even got up this morning, all that Vitamin Beer must make you sleepy. In acting there was a little girl new starter and she really didn't want to join in and was all huffy but then turned out to be very good and won the Oscar, which is a bijou statuette in gold with very tight buns and a plinth. This is the new weekly award for best actor, I expect I'll win it next week, they just gave it to her to encourage her, honest.
This splendid edifice is the Wardroom of HMS Nelson, effectively the Navy social club with meals and sleepovers. It's a listed building with quality architecture from when the Navy was epic, at the turn of the last century. It's going up for sale, thinking of buying into that, just think how many bedrooms I'd have, we won £8.40 on the lottery yesterday, half-way there already. Or it'll just be expensive flats like the old Marines Barracks at Eastney.
Then I got 7 new Pokémon cards and Alien V Predator 2 for film night ("More action, more terror not seen at cinemas!") and then my life was made whole when Ben turned up with Pokémon and his tablet! We bred dragons and had a light-sabre fight in the dark and traded Pokémon cards and killed each other in Minecraft, all the usual stuff.
Later, I picked up a nice-looking girlie (Katie B) from the Hovercraft and took her and Jof to the pub for yet another Jof work night out. That meant we could watch Alien Versus Predator 1 while she was off the premises and it was scary and cool and now I know all about the Ripley Aliens. We looked up my exploits at previous Film and Comic Conventions and agreed to visit the upcoming London Filmcon next month, many well-known actors are available, I might get to complete my Red Dwarf set. Sang myself to sleep just before midnight, even though I have agreed an excursion with Ben tomorrow at an unearthly hour, first thing in the afternoon, you can still taste the toothpaste.
Friday, 22 January 2016
A few days ago some of our more classy and generous locals left a pig's head (with added swastika motif and some unproven allegations about Mohammed) tied to the railings of an islamic infant school just a few roads and a world away. Now, even I know that's a bit nasty. At least the police have some solid evidence to go on, they can take the mugshot round all the local butchers saying do you recognize this pig.
Yesterday Jof brought me a new coin to add to my collection, an Iranian 250 Rials. This is my first Iranian coin and topically notable as people are using them in the coin-operated machines in the supermarket because they're the same size as a £2 coin (but worth 1 penny), in the same way as the Thai 10 Baht coins are the same size as a 2-Euro coin, but worth 18p, and currently flooding European cities as counterfeit coinage.
News comes to me that a woman is in hospital in America after being shot in the cinema. Apparently a man in the row behind her was fumbling with his gun while watching the film and it went off.
In swimming I showed off my diving and comfortably beat my lane-mates.
Deep down I know that liver is a cheap yet excellent foodstuff and source of all manner of dietary delights, and demanded it be placed on my menu forthwith. So Jof cooked up a load of liver and bacon and mashed potato and guess what well-known offaly comestible I didn't like.
Here is a low-quality screenshot of my latest computer game 'Muddy Heights' in which you choose what to eat and poop from the top of a building onto passers-by. You can control consistency, trajectory and rebound and you get a higher score the more humans you hit. They run away most amusingly but also die in droves. Poops mean prizes! For once, I can be the pigeon ...
Thursday, 21 January 2016
Yet another normal day in which my team won 4-1 in Dodgeball, and the lady from my theatre group came back to my school as a visiting French teacher, I guess her speciality is Dramatic French, ooolala. I got one of the 3 'Star Pupil' awards not because I am a convincing Francophone, but because I bothered to look up words I'd forgotten in my notes from earlier lessons.
Grandad rang to say he'd been diagnosed with 3 cancers, he always has do outdo everybody else. The doc says he can have them lasered off though, gosh, it's crispy fried human 3 days in a row.
In Extra-Swimming we got taught to do breaststroke in a new way. Instead of going 'Stretch-Snap-Lubba-Lubba-Twist-Bang-Katanga', you now go 'Stab-Pull-Wave-Awooga-Awooga-Relax' and say Scooby-Doo to yourself and I found it difficult, because I've been Lubba-Lubba-ing all my life. But the pool was very busy and in the lane where Bud tries to do 91 lengths every week, a slow geezer was effectively doing 45 in the fast lane with a big queue building up behind him and Bud crashed into him and he shouted lots and it's all echoey in a pool so everybody stopped and looked.
But then I found a new online game called Poop Action in which you poo on passers-by from a great height and they fall down and lorries fall down and crash into them and you get points for death-by-poop. I mean, srsly, what more does a healthy young boy need (apart from choc bics)?
But then I found a new online game called Poop Action in which you poo on passers-by from a great height and they fall down and lorries fall down and crash into them and you get points for death-by-poop. I mean, srsly, what more does a healthy young boy need (apart from choc bics)?
Wednesday, 20 January 2016
Today we had a different set of special visitors for special people - the men from the railway. They did railway safety for us and explained how dangerous it is to play chicken on the railway lines and how many kids and teenagers think they can impress their mates by doing a funny dance and then getting splatted by a train.
The Manager bloke said he used to be a driver but he had to sweep up so many people and go into the bushes looking for their scattered body parts and cleaning up the crispy fried human when they'd electrocuted themselves and that he'd seen the fabled ghostly Wichita Lineman and he just got sick of it and got a job back at the train yard.
The drivers get a couple of days off whenever someone jumps in front of the train and they told us about suicides and how it makes all the commuters late, and many stories of kids breaking their ankles and not realising it takes the train 20 football pitches to stop and how one driver said what's that sticking in my windscreen wipers and it was some fingers of the guy he'd had to put into some bags the day before, giving a 2-fingered salute right to the end.
And then we did Wednesday Park. It wasn't particularly muddy but it was cold (the woodchips were frozen solid below a depth of 1 inch) so I put on some warm clothes (not including my new balaclava, which is too big and would be useful as an executioner's head-covering or for a re-enactment of the Norman invasion) and we got an hour and 20 minutes of exuberant play with the usual suspects and some hangers-on who realised just how much fun we can have with 1 giant tennis ball, 3 apple cores, some breadsticks and a bag of woodchips.
We played ball-tag while chanting spur-of-the-moment songs about breadsticks such as "I'm in the mood for Breadsticks" and substituting other words for 'Bread' in there, it's amazing how many words we know when we think the parents can't hear. We went home when it was dark and we'd outlasted all the other park-goers. Later I played Jof at Totopoly and all my horses died, not for the first time.
Tuesday, 19 January 2016
Minus 1! That was the temperature readout in Jof's car this morning, and we had to scrape ice off the windshield as well.
Ben has a Star Wars shoot'em-up game on his X-box and by the time he'd explained it to me, and it had been filtered through my imagination, it became a single-person shooter with squadrons of Stormtroopers for turning into crispy fried humans with your laser blasters and if you miss one of them they can see the trajectory of your shots and extrapolate your firing position and they move independently and it's epic. Thus, of course, I want it and it's only £50 so when I got home I checked my piggy bank and there was £34 so I got really grumpy with Jof who said she wouldn't buy it.
On closer interrogation by Bud, it became clear that I just wanted a first person shooter, didn't matter which one, so we'll check out the second hand shops first.
In swimming I showed off with my dives and swam 3/4 of a length underwater and they said they'd worked us hard this week with our 6 lengths - but in real swimming our warm-up is, like, 20 lengths so I laughed at the pathetic non-swimmers (Floaters) just hanging there attached to 17 armbands and noodles.
At gymnastics we saw where the man got electrocuted to death a couple of days ago but as soon as we got anywhere near the cordoned off area, a sparky policewoman charged out of one of 2 guarding-cars as quick as lightning and got very huffy with us so there is no picture. But there was ice in the puddles and the grass was crunchy.
Monday, 18 January 2016
Back to normality for a Monday which passed with few incidents. We are doing an advert for military hardware and so we did our first drafts with all the technical specs, we'll cut it down to fit in a 30 second or 1 minute slot, perhaps at half-time at the Superbowl.
As I'd had so much screen-time yesterday, I voluntarily cut my own daily allowance to 30 minutes (one day only, conditions apply, willpower may go down as well as up) and chose to start with homework.
This one is a numeracy task with angles and distances of various values but mostly is about geometric construction.
You have to plot a safe course between 2 points in space avoiding asteroids and planets, gravity wells and other spatial anomalies in order to leave Point-of-Origin A and arrive safely at Destination B. I imagined I was leaving Arrakis and smuggling a shipment of Melange (Dune Spice) to a distant planet full of needy customers with advanced chemical dependencies, and made it using only 6 hyperspace jumps, although you can do it in 3.
Later, I decided that half an hour on Klash-Of-Klans just wasn't enough and reneged on my own deal, let's hope I never take up smoking.
In Scouts we were naughty. Last week there was trouble and we had to re-affirm the rules and this week we had a gut-puncher and a guy that said "F*** you" to his friend and that's breaking the King's Rule (or perhaps the 'King's Rule) and at the end the Cub Leader said that if you don't want to be a good Scout then don't come back. But we also invested (welcomed, not saved for a rainy day) 4 new Cubs in case some of them take him up on the offer.
Sunday, 17 January 2016
But what I really wanted was somebody new to boss around. I do try with the normal boys on our frequent meetings, but they don't obey so much as ignore. But new fodder arrived in the form of Oakley from my class who came armed with the Blockopedia which is a Minecraft book telling you all about the powers and characteristics of all the various blocks, and not once does it mention that none of them really exist, it's the bible of Minecraft.
So we played on the X-box and shouted at each other, then we chased each other loudly with Nerf guns and we barricaded my room while shouting and generally being loud. We got 3 hours which is not bad for a first time and I might get to go to his place another time provided he doesn't have to have therapy after this visit.
Then he left and the house was quiet once more although the corridors were strewn with Nerf darts and weapons, I expect they will be picked up by someone else at some point.
Saturday, 16 January 2016
Well, despite the Team Deathmatch last night, we all got up and met on the landing at 0830, proving that we can all be boring even when we're not trying.
But there is no rest for the wicked or even me so I made some dragons have sex in the Dragon Kingdom game Elizabeth showed me last night and then I prepared for government by having an acting lesson. I used to rail and rant and rave against acting because I saw it as a threat to my ability to spend all day playing Minecraft but now that my futile resistance to it has faltered and failed, I find it to be extremely funny and refreshing and full of pretty young girls who are pleased to see me.
Today we played a variety of little sketches including the Arrival of the Queen of England in which I played the pivotal role of Gate of Buckingham Palace, still better than my Year R school play in which people had to play bricks (I was the Troll). Then we did Goldilocks and so many people chose to play the part of Bed 1, Bed 2, Picture on Wall or Door that there was nobody left over to play a bear, gosh, poor old Goldilocks had to really work that one.
But after only 2 hours of adulation, it was over and I chose a pub lunch in the Ship and Castle, which filled us all right up. From there we transferred to the Promised Cinema and watched 30 minutes of adverts that were so loud they made my ears tickle. We've been building up to Star Wars 7 for weeks now and have watched the first 6 in the correct order so that this one made sense. I know I'm literally weeks behind all my mates in seeing this movie but I don't care, I liked seeing the Tie Fighter up close and finding out that Finn was actually a Bogbot before he defected and Kylo's triple light sabre and the crashed Imperial Star Cruisers and the BB droid. Solo looks the same but Leia didn't, R2D2 spent most of the film asleep but the gay C3PO was funny and Luke did what he always did and looked meaningfully into the distance, Jof says let's hope he wasn't paid by the word. I have to assume that Luke and Chewie and the droids and Leia will be in the next one, Solo won't be. I bet that Rey is Luke's daughter, shame she had to fly all the way to Ireland to find him. Nice lichen, by the way.
Friday, 15 January 2016
It was a normal day at work with normal stuff and normal people doing normal things, for a given value of normal which isn't much.
But most of my cranial run-time was given over to planning the Team Deathmatch tonight. For 6 years or so I have been one of a group who reliably attend each other's birthday parties so that we never feel left out and the venue and style of each party has evolved over that period.
First we loved the soft play venues with the greasy chicken lumps for hot dinner as part of the party package, and we exhausted all local padded rooms from the little Sovereigns to the large Playzone with its giant slides, but by the time the Pyramids had built one, we'd grown out of it. Then we branched out into other activities such as Footballing at Rocco, Doughnutting in Southampton and Pool parties with the big bouncy castle but by the time the Pyramids had got one, we'd grown out of it. Boys and girls separated off into their differently-abled events, we don't go unicorn-shopping with them and they don't come zombie-killing with us.
So tonight, Ben wanted to have a serious Minecraft session with 10 minutes to build yourself a base in Creative, then all switch over to Survival and try to breach each other's defences and commit horrific acts of murder most foul with stone axes and stuff. We have generously allowed that the girls can exist downstairs having fun of their own. We planned our attack formations, I am Decoy #1 and Ben is Stealth Minelayer #1, although when we make user IDs, we are always called Buttbanger or PooBrain or similar, mostly butt-related.
We played Wii and X-box and Klash-of-Klans for ages while Erin and Johnny played guitar at us, an electric evening full of noise and trick birthday candles that re-light themselves. Jof picked us up so we didn't freeze on the way home. It was never going to snow but it did get cold.
Thursday, 14 January 2016
Today I returned to the scene of my latest victory which was the swimming pool, and did an hour's hard swimming with Mother Superior keeping a close eye on our progress.
She is a super-invigilator and central scrutinizer and eagle-eyed examinatrix from the swimming club, sent to root out failure and lax techniques, and also to espy and pick out talented individuals. I even had to keep my eyes front when doing the pencil jump, and there's me a qualified diver.
News reaches my hallowed ears that Jof has booked our next holiday in a hotel a mere 13 miles from the last one.
Erin bet me that there will be snow tomorrow so I'm going to wear 2 coats for Ben's party. The skies were certainly clear with a chill wind blowing nobody any good so I hid indoors with my friend the sofa. Phoned Grandad who taught me about European geography. And Professor Snape died but I also liked him in Die Hard.
Wednesday, 13 January 2016
A long time ago I was 1. I guess we've all got to be 1 once, and with it the howling when it's bedtime, or the filling of the nappy just after it's been changed, or the refusing to eat mushed banana one day and the refusing to eat anything but mushed banana the next day, and all these other delights sent to cheer our parents up at 4 in the morning.
Depending on age and development, you might get a first word, but then again, they might still be crawling. So an incident from my extreme youth (that my friends and I know about) was my first word, which was Negro. Well, it wasn't Negro, but a disparaging N-word about Negroes that is no longer acceptable in society, the way it was 60 years ago in Mississippi mob gatherings, or 20 years ago if you were a black gang member in Los Angeles. This was well before I could actually speak, so it does not reflect badly on the parents, nor does it really count as a first real actual deliberate word, just a funny story, like having 63% alien DNA.
I was standing on the sofa saying "bababa leooleoohamanama ee-ooo alawalalwala hona kalata nimmimitta " and many similar words and phrases because even then, I was a natural performer and liked to be the centre of attention. At some point I clearly decided I'd finished the speech because I took a deep breath and signed off with a really loud and decisive "Negro" or similar. It's not my fault, I was 12 months.
But this morning in Art class in school, Child A got into an argument with Child B, and when Child C (who has brown skin) took the wrong side, Child A shouted "You're a N..." and absolutely everybody heard it and he was taken away to the headmaster for severe shouting. Remember Argus Filch the dour kid-hating caretaker from Harry Potter? We have one of those at our school and Child A has been handed over to him for toilet and drain-cleaning duties for the rest of term.
And yes, many of us have indeed independently planned to have really big poos just before the lunch break and not flush, because while we may know the odd rude word etc, we know not to use them.
The park was a bit of a mudbath today so we had the boys round to my place and we ate sausage rolls and chased each other with swords and Nerf Guns and had another massive pillow fight. Every time we have a pillow fight, we fall down a lot and this shakes the light fittings of the dining room below and at least 1 bulb always dies. I got totally beaten up by pillows, I had to have pizza afterwards to recover.
Tuesday, 12 January 2016
Today was the beginning of another very wet week. I have been going to swimming lessons for some years now and have progressed through the various levels of achievements, measured here by the colour of your hat. I am Purple Helmet, no sniggering, and only the heady (hoho) heights of Silver Hat remain to be reached, and that's when you join a club, play water polo and become a lifeguard.
Recently I was headhunted into the 'Talent Lane' which is like a prep school for the Silver Hat group, and very tough it is too, with the extra hour of ploughing up and down. But today my class at school walked down to the pool and thus began the Sorting. First, the coach said all Purple Carapaces down to the other end while we sort out the lesser swimmers by hat colour, see what we're up against.
Then we did a few widths (yes, not even lengths) and waited for the assessments to filter their way down to the non-swimmers. There were about 10 of them. This is mildly sad in people aged 10 and let's hope that they get recruited into the splendid lessons offered by our local pools really soon, and they too can be Purple Domes in no time. Child O was wearing 4 armbands and had one of those giant noodles between his legs but he froze solid with fear, poor chap, and had to be escorted into the changing rooms, rigid noodle and all.
Then just before we left, Coach Jenny said have a quick dive and so I did that and they said who was that masked man with the Olympic-quality dive and they made me do it again so all the class could see and they filmed me diving so they could display my epic talents back in the classroom. It's just the same dive Bud taught me 18 months ago in Mallorca, but it works for me. I like being Poster Boy and Demo Model, first time for everything.
Incidentally, I have a Cool Mummy. She plays Minecraft with me on the X-Box and now she plays Pokémon against me too.
Monday, 11 January 2016
The visitor was from a space-based company but had come back to Earth for his holidays, probably, and to lecture us on the shapes of galaxies.
Apparently it would take a laboratory full of cosmologists a gazillion years to go through them all by which time the cosmologists and their entire species would be extinct.
So, they said, be a Mechanical Turk for us and sign in at Galaxyzoo dot org and start sorting through those spiral arms and gravitational lenses and stellar nurseries and supermassive black holes and filaments and clusters and see if you can't find us an interesting one, like the online app run by SETI borrowing office computers at night to look for candidate signals from ET.
I managed to swap out a further 20 Pokémon cards and I attempted to make a playdate arrangement with Child O but nobody had brought pen and paper so that failed.
In Scouts we took the new noticeboards with free pen selection and we had to line up for badge inspection because that's the new focus. Lets' hope the focus isn't too sharp as Bud now sews on my badges. I got Swimming III for being epic and Community Impact Staged Activity I for giving a rucksack full of warm clothes to the homeless shelter.
Sunday, 10 January 2016
I'd done about 3 hours on the computer when Bud said you'd better get dressed, Ben might turn up any minute. But actually he was being hailed on up the road watching the women's football team playing in the hail. I stood by the window waiting wistfully which wasn't so bad as there's a radiator so you can maintain a warm gentleman's area while watching bits of ice skittering down the road. Yes, they're Xmas pudding socks.
Eventually he arrived and we swapped some Pokémon cards and he went onto my Minecraft world and he's an accomplished builder. I'll get to build at his house soon.
I couldn't believe it was back to a 9pm bedtime - what am I, 5?
Saturday, 9 January 2016
Last night after being ditched by the parents for the Year 5 sleepover, we had a 'Rules and You' session which was basically no running around screaming. Then we had a mass game of Treasure Scavenger Hunt in which teams of 6 had to find up to 10 items and bring them back to the sign-in desk one at a time but in our full group - this was fatal to us as we had Child S in our group and he started a fight and so we only got 5 items.
Then we had Hide'N'Seek by classes, we found Class 1 in 5 minutes, Class 2 in 6 minutes and by the time it was our turn we'd noted all the best hiding places, I hid behind the piano but I was sitting on a radiator pipe so my bottom got cooked, one of our girls hid on top of the coats'n'bags cupboard and covered herself in lunchboxes so she was never found so we won!
Then we settled down in our sleeping bags and there were rules about not taking clothes off and we watched a film called Space Chimps in which the Grandchimp of the first chimp into space took 2 mates on a space voyage through a wormhole, defeated PigBeast who was leader of the planet they met and established Chimply law and order and returned home ChimpHeroes.
Bud picked me up at 0830 and I didn't feel bad at all. I had a bit of breakfast and some Minecraft and hot pasta and was really happy until I was again removed from the console and that's when I whinged and moaned about not wanting to do acting again.
Acting was ace. We had a new teacher and 2 new starters and we played a game for warm-up where you had to act out a scene and as soon as someone said freeze you were frozen in time and they replaced you and carried on in a new direction so the storyline kept changing.
I grudgingly admitted it was really good, I hate having to grudge, it's not cool. But he'd bought me 2 more packs of Pokémon cards and I got 7 new ones and 2 Voltorbs in one pack! You'll like Voltorb. He has a weapon action called Big Explosion which does 60 attack damage to the opponent, and 60 attack damage to itself. Given that Voltorb only has 60 HP (Health Points), he effectively does his 60 attack damage and kills himself at the same time. He is therefore a suicide bomber.
Then, in the street, we found a small bag of a special herb. This popular aromatic dried flowering top helps you relax like those purple bath salts so we gave it to one of our friends on the way home, waste not want not.
I can also tell you that the nice man from the council is hard at work in his digger repairing the sea wall with epic rocks. The concrete sea defence wall was breached on Boxing Day and the sea rapidly dug out a big bit of the seafront pavement and Something Had To Be Done, shame it was during the rock movement, like the Vietnam war getting in the way of the hippie movement.
So a giant pile of massive rocks has been delivered and a huge digger was busy putting them in front of the chasm, while the sea tried to dissuade the chaps in orange suits. The sea has also thrown up lots of dead starfish, maybe as an apology.
Incidentally, I spent the whole day (including acting lessons, going to Tesco for lunch and walking the streets picking up bags of weed) wearing the same stripey pyjamas I put on yesterday. I just didn't mention it.
Later the rain started and I settled down to a serious afternoon's work on Pokémon Voyage dotcom and then we all watched Star Wars 6 The Return Of The Jedi in which some tree-dwelling stone age Koalas helped kill some heavily-armoured Stormtroopers with actual rocks and nobody mentioned the incestuous snogging and Yoda died and VaderVader died and it was all rather fun until I had to go to bed. But I knew I had to.