Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Ich bin heiss für dich

drunk talking to siriThe week of SAT mock examinations continued. We will get our scores at the end of the week, something to look forward to.
lego gynaecologist chairBut once the work was over we once again made our way to the heavily shielded computer core where we worked on our Lego cybernetic world dominators again. We all have our specialist roles and I am Chief Design Engineer.
meon junior school year 6 lego league finalistsThis was a chance to get a group pic and also for me to show my alternative Lego creation which is perhaps half trebuchet, half disabled perambulator with a little bit of scorpionesque gynaecologist's chair thrown in. Not everything has to make sense.
At home the boilerman had turned up at last and was still there fighting with it. Now at last we are hot again and I look forward to a bath.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Too Fail to Big

A dreary and miserable day! It is lucky that I brighten the world just by being me.
brampton guardian headline funny failIn school we did some more Lego. In an ill-fated experiment to speed up our Lego Robot, we set the motor to 11 and it whizzed around. But it's supposed to perform tasks with the attachment (cunningly designed and built by me) and it slammed the grabber arm down with such force, the actual Lego broke, quite an achievement. I repaired it and we turned the motor down. I also made a non work-related Lego object and will take the camera in tomorrow to capture its likeness.
And because we are nearing our end-of-junior-school exams (SATs) we are doing mock examinations. Today we did English Comprehension with a 2-page passage and in-depth analysis of the text, and answers with evidence and so forth. They haven't been marked yet so I do not yet know if I am incomprehensible.
In Scouts I was a bit late and a Paramedic came to lecture us on saving lives. He taught us CPR: he said he did CPR on an old man and cracked one of his ribs, and if you shock them in the heart you only save 1 in 10 anyway.
church bells from the tower
And we all tried out CPR pumping and lung inflation on a dummy called Timmy. Timmy comes in a box called Little Annie, how posh. I guess being only a rubber dummy with slightly springy nipples, it can be a Timmy or an Annie depending on who's pumping it. Because I forgot to take my Little Scouting Book, I didn't get it signed off for my Paramedic badge, so I have to go to church parade on Sunday to get it signed there. Slightly against my religion, but what can you do.
And they've booked an hour's bellringing for a creative badge! This is in a church tower I've been to before - in fact, in the big picture at the top of the page I'm sitting in the bell room, looking down at the church from inside. That's where the Bell-Master sits so he knows when the priest has finished the service and they have to start ringing the bells. Look, there's me with the bells, from above.

Sunday, 29 January 2017


wide slots variable browning toaster technologyI was the first up. Even though I lay there and contemplated, and read for half an hour, it was still ages until anyone else turned up.
Jof had to persuade me to eat breakfast, and put on trousers, and eat lunch. Apart from a brief stint doing homework, I played Minecraft and watched my tablet all day. Therefore the most interesting thing to happen all day was when we noticed that Jof had bought an industrial catering toaster, for when your busy idealized family just HAS to all eat 17 rounds of toast all at the same time. It has a defrost setting, giant levers and a hint of menace. I love it, for toasters are life. Yes, I lived in my dressing gown all day.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

WTF Surinam

I apologize for some of the posts this week in which my superstar looks and winning smile were inexplicably missing, but sometimes I'd just be inventing a reason for a photo. Not so today.
So I'd had some croissants for breakfast, made even more delicious by strawberry jam purpose-stolen from a hotel in Majorca. And I moseyed into the dining room to play Minecraft and Bud was sorting out the latest delivery of funny foreign coins.
I have a collection of these, mostly started when we inherited some from Blind Uncle Len, and we always had a few of those old French coins and stuff in bottom drawers, the way we all do. But nowadays, every time we visit Lyndhurst or Chichester or Salisbury or Bognor, there are those special antique shops where you can riffle through the bucket of silly coins at 10p a go or buy the random Chinese take-away tub of coins for £5, and see what you get.
young numismatist coin collectionOver the period, we have gained many coins from countries far, some donated by friends, some collected off the street and some bought in shops for something to do. And whenever there is a new delivery, you sort them into countries, ditch the ugliest ones if you've got duplicates, then compare to the existing collection to see if you've got a new one, or a shinier version of one you've already got. Then you add it to the spreadsheet, and stick it in the little plastic wallet thing you can get from our mate in China and sent in the post.
So there is a process. And because this collection is nominally mine - Bud is just curating it for me, honest - I took an interest and sorted the Americas section and added them to the spreadsheet and inserted a line for the ones we didn't have, and determined that this one was shinier, and this one wasn't, and generally joined in with gusto, pyjamas and a magnifying glass.
And then we got one from Surinam, a square 5 Cent in faded aluminium. And we didn't have Surinam on the spreadsheet! I had to add a new country! I found this strangely exciting, oddly compelling. We now have over 2000 different coins, and laughed at the Belgians for having identical coins but some say Belgie and some say Belgique, and other little anomalies.
I tried on some clothes that Jof had got me for the 'Battle of Britain' topic - become a wartime evacuee. They are good, with a pretend tie and a baggy jumper. I already have the Cockney accent from my days as a Victorian chimney sweep.
university student film auditionThen we went to Portsmouth University. I am slightly too young to attend full-time but that is where Chinese Henry and his film director Gemma were holding auditions for a student film. The film is about a chap undergoing psychoanalysis and where the shrink has to say tell me about your mother and your childhood, they need some kid to play 'Younger Matthew', and I read the lines for the nice people and had to do it in a whiny voice and they liked me. But I won't find out if I've got the job for a while. We had to pay for a parking meter, silly given that we were a few hundred yards from my next appointment at the theatre. The Union was big and new and smelt of fags and there was a huge lounge with deckchairs.
At the theatre I met Sydney and we practised Wind in the Willows and stuff, and it was a good lesson. There is an audition for a Spielberg movie so I took the details. And while we were out, Bud had bought a knackered elderly suitcase for £5 out of an antique shop in Southsea so I have something to sit on, on the station platform waiting to take me to the countryside away from the Nazi blitz.
wartime evacuee suitcaseEven later, I met 26 other members of my Scout group for the swimming badge session. This event is at my old stomping pool and last time I did Badge #2 and that was fine but last year we didn't do it, just when I was being trained up by the proper swimming club. So this year I said stuff Badge #3, let's go straight onto Badge #4.
So I had to tread water for 5 minutes and do 5 lengths in 5 minutes and do 40 lengths without stopping and hold onto a float for 5 minutes and dive in a few times and Oh Dearie Me.
Due to certain talents I have, such as being wonderful and epic and so forth, I totally beasted it. I could have gone for Badge #5, roll on next year. James in my class did it too and Tall Luke, with whom I did the night-hike, tried Badge #5 but struggled, and won. The Badge-Meister will be busy tonight! Then we had 45 minutes of messing around with frog-shaped floats and diving etc, hooray. The boys' changing room was packed afterwards: only 2 people thought their way around the problem and used the ladies' changing room (no Scouts are ladies, ergo no occupants). The swimming pool was built 117 years ago for the Royal Marines, barracks just up the road. And the officers' changing room is now the ladies. That is why it's 4 times bigger and you could play tennis in it. On the way home we saw a head-on crash involving a Dominos' delivery car where the fronts of both vehicles were all squished up.
At home, Jof had made us a roast dinner and we hoovered it up like very hungry deserving people eat godly ambrosia.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Swings and Bandicoots

Thank me it's Friday! Anyway, I got 8/10 on the spelling test, getting 'Circumference' right, thanks to Grandad, who we forgot to phone this afternoon.
short sighted dog useless funnyIn PE, it was modern dance again in which we watched 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson: everybody in the class was freaked out by the rhythmic bleeding zombies and free-styling sodding corpses. In literacy we wrote our persuasive letters with drop-in clauses and parentheses and relative clauses (Santa Clauses not available at this time) and further grammatical semantic discussions.
We did our poster for the Battle of Britain topic: mine has a hammer on an idealized table with a corner peeled back to reveal the legend "Work Your Way To The Top" in true Soviet style.
In gardening we weeded and made cloches and planned our compost heap and all our seeds have gotten mouldy over the winter. Therefore we need a fresh batch of seeds and Bud said I've got just the seeds for you, but don't eat the fruits, mmm. I dug up some roots and Child B dug up a daffodil bulb and thought it was a dead rat.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Objects in Mirror are Stupider than they Appear

chinese villager uses grenade to crack open walnuts for 25 yearsWell, it's really starting to heat up in the Red and Yellow Card area. We now have 4 Reds in our class (not under the bed) and other classes have their contenders. Again, the usual suspects are the ones attracting the attention.
But now we have a new source of cards: some might say reminiscent of the strategically placed 'Cash Cow' road speed cameras. Our new pencil cases have a plethora of stringent rules surrounding their use, contents and storage. You can't touch anybody else's case, lose an item, add an unlicensed interloper, steal an item to replace one you lost, or sharpen your pencil too enthusiastically, thereby shortening its allotted lifespan. We have weekly inventory inspections. I can say, however, that they are all labelled with the splendid labels Bud brought home from his last work, making him an accessory.
We are approaching the mock mock maths exams: soon we will be doing the SATs and are preparing to sit a practise exam, for which we are getting practise. I have the 3rd best grade-point average, and that's not a post-truth alternative fact, it's all there on the averages.
And apropos of nothing, we all have intestinal gas that we must rid ourselves of, some more weaponized than others. Others may choose to release a series of little gaseous anomalies in the hope of evading detection, but I prefer to discharge a single methane maelstrom, preferably when sitting on Jof, poor girl.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Blue Ice

google blurred face of a cowIt was a normal-ish day at school until the blue ice dropped from the sky. Like the Michael Caine film of the same name, this suggests an unexpected event such as the frozen flushings of an aircraft lavatory landing on you. Of course, planes do not routinely jettison their bilges, they have them hoovered out at the airport. It's trains that say please do not flush in a station.
paramedic badge in scoutsI may not run marathons or Scout cross-country races but I certainly run about in breaktime. It's the usual story, Child A chases Child B, then vice versa. But this time I tripped over a discarded school jumper and twisted my ankle. Child B laughed at me which makes him more of a C.
Jof was summoned and had to leave work and she took me home and administered the magic Calpol and before long I was bouncing around again, not just because it was Lego building in the afternoon. So I got a free lift back, and a free lift home again, to give my injured limb a rest. Ironically, the only lesson I missed was PE, which I wouldn't have been able to do anyway. So here is an unrelated picture from Scouts a couple of days ago where we bandaged ourselves up and claimed horrific injuries.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Seeing Red

hitler costume fancy dress funnyAt last! We have seen the first Red Cards in my class. These new-fangled deterrent devices lead to detention and further scrutiny in case of repeat offending.
Child A got his Red Card for basic straight-up abuse of a teacher. Child B got his for non-stop nattering with every other child in the class, stopping anyone from concentrating because of the babble.
If you know either of these newly convicted criminals, you will know that Child A has a long and loud history of exactly this crime, and Child B, well, him too. So these endorsements have been handed to the right people for the right reasons, in the eyes of the Law.
And we continued our literacy project which is to write persuasive letters to the inhabitants of the street outside our school to ask if they wouldn't mind awfully if we closed the road and had a street party for our 'Battle of Britain' topic. This is the one where we have to dress up as evacuees, needing a costume. My theatre rents out costumes, but instead I forced Jof to trail round the charity shops looking for tatty clothes from the Olden Days.
The boilerman says we need a part, but they all say that.

Monday, 23 January 2017

A Fog of Alternative Facts

rear ended car shunt failMostly a normal day with maths and suchlike but the bit I liked the best was Lego. Members of the Lego Team go to the Lego Room in pairs as there's not much space, and Paige and I have been sneaking off together for weeks. But once we'd finished our 45 minute session, the next lot arrived to take over and we had to stay on. Because I am the Master Builder, I needed to make and modify 3 new claws, and Paige is the starter-offerer so she needed to be there to give the spark of life to the Lego Drones as they went about their business, with my new, modified claws attached. So in the end we got an hour and a half Lego-ing!
I suppose the other item of the day was the fog which was thick enough to warrant using my phone light going through the park. Plenty of crashes on the motorway as well, apparently. Our road looked quite funny, reminds me of my days as a Dickensian street waif.
portsmouth fogbound viewAnd so many of the 'Alternative Facts' presented by our newest global celebrity sound familiar in shape and theme. As soon as anybody says anything, he tweets that they're wrong, they're liars out to get him and it's unfair, it wouldn't be that way if he was in charge, they're wrong because I'm right, and so forth. I venture that the Man Trump is not in fact 70 but is a child. Or he has eaten some special untested medicine designed to extend the lifespan but side effects mean he has regressed to a childlike state. As long as he doesn't have access to Twinkies and nuclear weapons we'll be OK.
In Scouts we will be visited by a Paramedic next week so we practised by wrapping ourselves in bandages and making up reasons for our terrible injuries. I have been lacerated by numerous flying shards of glass, and have an exploded ankle.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Right in the Popsocket

A nice late start but straight onto the tablet for the usual. I get angry when torn from the cyber-teat that gives me succour but even I know the homework won't do itself. But I can't remember which is a pseudo-co-ordinating subjunction and which is a subordinating preposterous conjunction, and the parents didn't have to learn this stuff ever, just learn to speak English, so no help there. I got subordinating conjunctivitis.
mandala popsocket for mobile phonePops and Erin have got these things called popsockets attached to their phones which are little mushrooms that stick on the back and wedge between your fingers so now you don't even have to hold your phone as you wander around with your head in another world. Does popsocket sound rude to you too?
So woo-boy next door spent all day going woo woo woo crashpoptinkle, and I fidget and snort while on the tablet so Jof got grumpy and went swimming instead. This gave me the chance to play Minecraft while listening to Dinosaurs of Rock III on Youtube.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Brass Monkeys

'Twas another day of complicated calendars. First we put on some really big coats and drove to Hilsea Lines, which are the tunnels and defence mounds started by Henry the 8th I am I am and now a good place for dog walking.
portsmouth scouts hilsea lines
The Scouts district bloke had organized a cross-country race for every local Scout group, with races for Cub Scouts, Scout Scouts, Explorer Scouts and even some adult Scout helper people. Now, I am going nowhere near this kind of activity because I am not stupid, but Bud qualified so we hoped to win some points for the team in the same way as my backstroke medal won us some points in the Great Scouting Swimathon last year.
adult scout helper explorer scouts run
The car said it was 3 degrees C but we knew it was lying because of the frozen ground with puddles of ice and stuff. The Cubs went first with a blast on the hooter and we waited for them to cross the Peronne Road bridge but they never did and that was a shame as it would have made a good picture.
ice covering fountain pondThen the Scouts went and I cheered on some of our team and then Bud went with a load of 6 foot 17 year-old Explorer Scouts and they ran along the moat and back along the top of the tunnels with all the brambles and fallen trees and dogs out for a nice icy walk and he overtook some Scouts from the earlier race and came back first which was nice and the Team scored some points for that no doubt. Later we found a blackberry thorn in his ear which bled copiously and we watched the Monty Python sketch 'Death' in which a convicted criminal chooses the manner of his own execution and is chased off a cliff by a dozen topless girlies, as you do, mmm.
pizza party for 11 year oldsSo then it was acting in which all us regular drama school actors auditioned and got a part in the new production 'Wind in the Willows' but we haven't yet found out what character we are playing. Chances are those of us who are capable will learn the whole script and fill in as required depending on whoever else has turned up. There was a new student called Harry (but not Football Harry or School Harry) and they asked me to be his new friend to help him adjust to life at the theatre. I got an award (sportsman's) called 'Best Facial Expression' for the second week running. It is good to have a face, a portable talent.
Meanwhile, the effects of the unpleasantly keen east wind were seen in the fountain in front of Southsea Castle, also started by Henry the 8th I am I am. The ice had been broken but was still widespread, and you just know it's gonna re-freeze tonight.
After acting we took Sydney home and because of the fractious nature of being, we had about 30 minutes to eat, recharge the tablet and go to possibly my oldest mate Ben's house for his 11th birthday party. As you may know, we don't really do the structured party thing like we used to 7 years ago, but we were blessed with the re-appearance of Original Puddler Poppy, and we were 7 again, like we were back in 2010.
helicopter mummy blowing out candles for her own kidBut now, the girls broadly stayed downstairs and practised gymnastic dance moves, and we stayed upstairs and played X-box, and I stayed on the sofa and watched Youtube.
But we also had pizza and some chocolate ice cream cakes cooked by Robertos and we played hide'n'seek and the adults drank beer and played long-forgotten vinyl records. We watched Bensmum blow his own birthday cake candles out for him, who needs to be blown by his own mother srsly, and we had to rely on Jof picking us up because she had toothache and we got a lift with JoniBobs-Dad and I was in bed for 10, could have been worse. Lights-off was elevenish so I'm not complaining.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Amphoteric Apothecaries

funny cat video Yet another chilly morning where I was glad of my new marshmallow coat: I was a scintillating point of warmth in an otherwise frozen landscape.
Today we had PE with added dance where we were told to be fireworks. Now, some of us see PE as sport, some as torture, and some as team activities with co-ordinated movement and suchlike, so dance almost qualifies.
boy giant penis pain antibiotics VDBut as for being fireworks, that's a little like 'everybody pretend to be a tree in the wind' from Year 1 acting.
Us playground professionals, however, already have a firework-related co-ordinated group effort called the Rocket. We all bunch up, run in the same direction with a big whooshing noise, and at a pre-arranged point, split up and explode in all directions going weeooo bang scream etc like the Mighty Snorting Powder Rangers. But this self-invented flashmob was deemed a Red Card offence by the border-guard teachers at breaktime, who are restricted to manning the perimeters, being unable to offer better policing. Too loud, apparently.
And we had a spelling test with Grade 7 words like acquisition, peripatetic and antidisestablishmentarianism, even Golden Girl Lucy only got 8/10. I limped in with 5, although numerous colleagues got 0.
At work, Bud made contact with the guy that wraps pallets so we got some more cardboard bazooka tubes for the next Scouts camp. I don't know what I was thinking when I chose to pose for this pic. Antibiotics, anyone?

Thursday, 19 January 2017

See a Penny, pick your Nose

christmas walnuts failWell, a pretty normal day at school with a maths test and all the usual fun of the unfair.
Further notes to the new Detention regime: Yellow Cards dissolve after 1 day, so you'd have to try pretty hard to upgrade one to a Red. But somebody in another class got a Red today, and they don't dissolve until they've been worked off in Detention.
Some old bloke came to our school and talked about the war and about the Satan bomb which was very big and was dropped on Portsmouth and the kids having to wear gas masks for maths lessons and the baby-carrier gas mask where you put the baby in a box and pump air in.
On the way home I met Johnny at the Zebra Crossing. He is at big school now and I bet he hasn't been in detention. But he did say that he has actually had to do some work. I think his via canaliculata has recovered from the pounding it took at the Guildford Spectrum Leisure Centre a couple of weeks ago.
Then I found a pound coin in the road. Perhaps now I can afford that brain augmentation operation my mental wellness case officer has been going on about.
Jof was brave and went to the gym which meant us chaps could eat pizza while watching TV, she was doing the hard work so we didn't have to.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Detention Cordiale

grocers apostrophe on official signpost failThe Head-Teacher called a pressing conference with us all today. Shortly, us Year Sixes will all be going up to Secondary School, because we don't have the keep-you-back-a-year option that they have in other countries. But, he said, our behaviour is so appalling that were we to be in that school now, we would all be in Detention every day. Thus, he has elected to start training us to be better people by detaining us now. Apparently the secondary school I have chosen (but not yet been accepted for) is really strict and you regularly get an hours' Detention after school writing lines.
So, we have a new regime (Year 6 only, may be rolled out to other Year Groups depending on success rate) with the old Yellow Card/Red Card system. A minor transgression such as tardiness or laziness will earn you a Yellow, two Yellows or a gross misconduct such as shouting at a teacher will earn you a Red.
invasion overworld confronting dragon battle nether gameknight999A Red will get you a missed lunch break where you have to sit with a teacher in silence and eat but not play. Three Reds in a fortnight gets you a parental phone call and two [3 Reds-in-a-fortnight] gets you a Saturday in Detention. At home, my current owners have mixed views about discipline, one favours 'talking about it' and 'negotiation', while the other is Bring Back The Cane. Both may be mildly pleased by this new, if complicated, detention system, stricter than it was before. About 6 members of my class already have Yellows.
And the Head-Teacher says we can pop back next year and visit if we miss the old Alma Mater.
Anyway, last Saturday I bought some Minecraft Fan-Fiction books which I look forward to reading. But to my dismay, they were books 2 and 3 of the series so nice kind Jof got on Amazon and bought me #1, Invasion of the Overworld. Let the Crafting begin!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

An Uncommon Endorsement

birdshit looks like bird winLego has made a complete circuit. Originally, it was the gift that you keep being given. For actual years it was pretty well the only thing on my list of evil desires and very easy it was for Santa, too.
flick drummond letter from house of commonsBud used to get me random mini-figures from Tesco and Jof used to get me little motorbike sets and occasionally there'd be a bag of random bits in a charity shop and every xmas and birthday I'd save up all my money and buy a Lego electric train or a Millennium Falcon or Titanic or whatever, and spend hours building it, and nobody had to give me complicated presents, just oodles of money.
But now Lego is the gift that keeps on giving, because following our victory in the Regionals, our Honourable Member of Parliament has sent us a special missive by special messenger to congratulate us personally, paying special attention to our ages, as we are significantly younger than the opposition. It's the first time I've got a letter on House of Commons headed notepaper, apart from the time the Select Committee thanked me for saving the world. And that thing from the Queen doesn't count.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Marche! Mallow

dementia alzheimers disease forgetfulnessFirst up: this is a plastic bag that Jof found on a park bench, where someone had got up and forgotten to take it with them. How ironic, of all the old bags linked to forgetfulness.
Anyway, school was normal but with an added piquant flavour of Lego. Winning the Regional finals was all very well but now that we're on to the Nationals, we're up against the big boys and have to raise our game. Looking at the winning scores from all the other Regionals, our 88 is definitely in the upper top half but does not compare to the winning 160. We set to work adding mini-missions to our existing circuits. Paige was the programmer and I, as Chief Prototype Design Engineer, built a new tool to manipulate point-scoring materials and try to get us in the top 10 finalists.
scouting activity making plane models
And I also found that my walking-to-school friend did not know what a facepalm is, and that Sham has the same coat as me. I wore my new coat in today and it is my marshmallow coat, big and puffy and a stalwart defender against all weathers. We are the Marshmallow Brothers.
In Scouts we did a quiz about countries and flags and the Scout Leader was surprised that only one person knew about the Manneken Pis statue in Brussels. Then we started some Airfix models of warplanes: I got the Douglas Skyhawk and cut my finger on the knife, and had to go in the accident book. We were using glue and every boy sniffs but that's as far as it went.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Sugar Coated Micebergs

sainsburys farlington in store cafeWell, we all got the sleep we needed and I got up at 1030. I had already voted to buy myself a new warm raincoat at the supermarket instead of at Marks and Spencers' yesterday, partly because I get on so well with their in-store café where I now order my own breakfast. In the car park there is a new signpost which reads your car numberplate as you go in and flashes it up on the screen to tell you that you're being watched. I like it because I can see my name up in lights.
We found the coat section in amongst the 17 sections devoted to womenswear and I said it's because women wear so many more clothes than us chaps. There was a choice of coats, one for 7-8 years and one for 13-14, and as this new garment has to go over my school jumper, the outsize one was chosen as I can grow into it. It's very big and warm and padded with a hood so I won't get a wet neck like last Thursday. After macaroni and cheese with garlic bread, I helped at the checkout and the till lady remembered me from when I was a little person sitting in the trolley. The rest of the day was my own and I filled it with Youtube and Minecraft, as is my way.

Saturday, 14 January 2017


After my busy day yesterday and the fact that I was slightly under the weather and didn't even finish my pasta, I was looking forward to an easy day. Spoke to Grandad who determined that I could guess the compass direction to both Bristol and London. And I used a new Minecraft Mod in the Tinkers Construct stable called stickyweed or muddyfoot or something where you can jump around, and loved the way you can enchant a frying pan and give it, like, 1 million attack damage.
But we had to do the bottlebank walk and found that local T-shirt printers "Vintage Pig" could laminate my newspaper article from yesterday for £1.80, still more expensive than doing it at Bud's work, but that was then, this is now.
waterstones books commercial road portsmouthThen I went to acting. I was full of trepidation about a new group with new people at a higher level, possibly with no silliness whatsoever. The group was missing some people but it was 5 girls and me, gotta love those odds. This group is 11 - 14 so while at the moment the girls are just other people in my class, it may not always be that way. We acted out some scenes from The Wind in the Willocks and I played Moleman and a weasel but we don't audition properly until next week so we were just generic animals. It was the best lesson I've had all year, and my trepidation has gone. Another change is that we no longer have to say 'Oh Poo, dearie me, I must have got that wrong', we can say 'Well F**k that for a c**ting laugh you cockwombles' and it's just part of the lesson. Later we walked into town and I got 2 more Minecraft Fan-Fiction novelettes because the last ones were funny.
Even later I did my spelling homework and Mr Stupid-Head destroyed my efforts with such Angus Deayton-esque acid that I hiccupped and burped and nearly vomited with laughter. And I Minecrafted to the heady tunes of Dinosaurs of Rock II on Youtube, meanwhile Ben was the Pompey Mascot of the Day and got his picture taken with the team for his 11th birthday, why can't I have decent stuff for mine.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Gardening. Not an Uphill Struggle

duck sliding on ice lake pondSometimes the waiting is the worst part, and I'm not talking Silver Service here. Over the holidays I was told to choose an after-school club to fill at least some of my afternoons with something other than Minecraft and racy Youtube videos, having given up swimming, extra-swimming and gymnastics. So I chose gardening, not only because it was the least ominous of the choices, which ranged from drama (do it already) to street dance (sounds dangerous), cheerleading (do not even) to football (no thanks). The other reasons were that I quite like gardens, having been brought up in a nice one, and that they have been using the same old stock photo on the gardening website for years and I reckon I could be the new face of horticulture, and get my image on a website, for that rarely happens, mm.
meon junior school bee hotel projectAnd after school we started the first lesson in which we planned papier mache bird feeders with lollipop sticks for the customers to perch on and Pringles tubes as the seed hoppers and it was quite fun actually. So here is an unrelated group picture from last year when we made bee hotels with the gardening teacher.
Incidentally, my crush revealed that she liked me all last year because I wasn't a common or garden rowdy shouter who only cared about football. That makes me the thinking crumpet's man, methinks. In school, we used to have a lesson called Team-Breaking. It was supposed to be Team-Building but we always ended up arguing more than at any other time so we re-branded it. This has now finished, to be replaced by Boy-Friendly Dancing. Now, funnily enough, all the girls were bang into it and pranced around merrily (handbags not included) and all us chaps stood moodily around at the peripheries trying not to make eye contact and failing entirely to join in. It can't get any worse than this, surely?
boy gets his name in the paperschool lego robot newspaper articleAnyhoo, when Bud got home he mentioned that he'd been buying the paper all week, waiting for me to be in it. And Holy Poodles, was I in it today. Our rampant team victory last Friday at the Lego Robot competition did not go unnoticed by our local news distributor who did us proud with a 2/3 page with 3 pictures, all our names and descriptions of how we bravely battled against much older kids to lift the trophy. And, just like when I have had such a busy day it's a delight to write my blog-post, the editor of the paper himself did an editorial saying how nice it was to be able to report on young people doing splendid things, and not about some bunch of chavs getting drunk and breaking bus stop windows again. I immediately texted all my Lego team-mates to tell them to buy the paper.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

A Snortle of the White Stuff

bedroom sales sign failGot my order form at school for the next round of the Lego League. It's in Bristol, so a challenging distance, although parents are allowed to help transport kiddies to offset the cost of the private helicopters we'll need.
During Extra-Maths, I had to run to the toilet across the playground because you're not allowed through the classrooms. Then, immediately upon my return, they said can you go and get the SATs question papers from the office, which meant another diagonal scuttle across the asphalt. Because it was hissing it down, the 2 return journeys were enough to soak me through.
After school I took Sham home and we ran because it was raining and I didn't have a hood on my coat so we got soaked again. But the perplexing thing about the precipitation was its relative solidity. At last! Snow!
snowflakes at nightWe haven't seen proper snow since the Week of Ice in January 2010 when our car door froze open and all work was cancelled apart from mine, because the PuddleDuck Day Nursery was still open. Ah, good times, although some of them were a bit cold and we didn't have enough gloves to go round.
Sham and I ate all the chocolate but ignored the grapes, and watched a Youtube video about films where the good guys killed more than the bad guys. Rambo did well in some of his outings, as did John McClane in his. Arnie killed many a rent-a-soldier in Commando and I've heard of Deadpool but not the rest. All good fun.
Speaking of killing, I wonder if all that blowing one's own Trumpet might not be good for a newly arrived politician. And will he end up being killed by his own security detail, like JFK?

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

That Time of the Month

werewolf bait
underage sex book fail titlescout shop west sussex scouting suppliesQuite a boring day at school apart from all the bad things that happened. We were playing Tag-Rugby in PE which is where you run with the ball and if someone grabs one of the little plastic handkerchief things (tags) you have to dangle from your pockets, you have been tackled, and you have 5 seconds to throw the ball to a team-mate.
Maybe I won't represent my country (or home planet) at Rugby any time soon although I give it a go. But I was put on the Keen Team not the Relaxed Team by mistake and when I dropped a difficult pass they shouted at me.
And I had an argument with a friend in French (in English, but in the French lesson) and broke up with him because he blabbed a sort-of secret that I didn't want him to tell. And in the end, he cried, and later, the secret came up to me and said she quite liked me too so yah boo sucks.
I blame it all on the full moon, these rampaging beasties. Later, we started to design our poster for our next Lego League campaign, maybe Your Country Needs You or the Hang-in-There Kitten. We will also work on the actual Lego, honest. And my new Scouts shirt arrived, thankfully the right size this time and not one that doubles as a tent.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

You Gotta Hold on Me

child abuse sex fail bookTold Jof off again for not getting up when her alarm went off. So what that she'd spent half the night coughing and needed the sleep, and that it's her day off today, mere details.
The most interesting thing at school today was a kid in Year 5 who got some other kid in a chokehold and ran away when the teacher caught him. This is splendid gossip fodder for us as we all speculate how many birch twig thrashings he'll get, or whether he'll get suspended, or suspended by his trousers over the lunch break. Personally I vote for 4 hours of lines every evening after school.
And in the afternoon, I elected to go upstairs and read. While this might seem like a breakthrough, the book is a Minecraft one so no leopardy spots have really changed. It gave me a quandary at bedtime when I only had 1 Minecraft book left before being forced to go back to the Narnia series, and nobody likes a quandary just before bedtime.

Monday, 9 January 2017

The Victorious Return

book tilte fail bondageWe were feted today in assembly for having won the Lego League regional cup. But half of the kids thought winning a cup for Lego was silly, and they laughed. I won't be laughing on a morning in February when we have to travel to Bristol for the National Finals so will have to be in school by 0600. The teacher said we could bring a book. I wonder just how long my tablet will hold its charge.
Funnily enough, Bud started a new job today in which he had to fix tablets with an extra battery so they'd hold their charge longer, but these ones were for Bingo.
And Scouts started up again and I had to wear my giant shirt that has to last me 3 years but is still way too big. When we got there, the Cub Scouts were learning knots by tying each other up with lengths of rope, mmm.
I got my 5 years badge and we voted on new activities we wanted to be added to the Scouting calendar such as Paintball and Go-Kart badminton.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Revenge of Hairybone

minecraft fan-fiction herobrine's revengeA much better start to the day with an invitation to go to the supermarket and get myself breakfast (macaroni cheese with garlic bread) while reading my latest Minecraft fan-fiction novelette, with Hero-Brian.
And we only had to wait for an hour until Jof was ready to come with us and I finished my book just as Bud finished the shopping. Then Jof did her shopping and I met my Scout Leader who had already 'liked' my photo of the beach cleaning party yesterday, and we met Mad Rosie too. And that was it for activity apart from spending hours creating Parkour challenges in Minecraft and waiting for somebody to 'like' them. Nobody did, even though I go around 'liking' all the Mine-challenges I play on. Who are all these ungrateful people? Children?

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Life's a Beach and then you Dive

litter pickup session on southsea beachPart 1: Picking and Grinning
He woke me up at 9 to feed me and take us to the beach. My Scoutmaster Skip had emailed through a volunteering event that would count towards the 6 hours of service that I need to get the Community Scout Badge, which is one of the ones you need to get the Chief Scout Gold Award badge which is on my hit list.
And it's all very well agreeing to such a noble task but it's a little different at 9 on a Saturday morning when he's saying get a move on, and take your gloves. This event is a locally organized one where volunteers go on their Facebook page and sign up to do 2 hours of litter-picking on the beach, to save the wildlife and clean it up and generally be nice to the environment where we live.
scout badge volunteering litter pickThey provide the binbags and the grabber rods and even some calendars and wildlife identification charts and stuff, all we have to do is show up and pick up litter for 2 hours. I have been using this beach since I was 8 months old, so I guess I owe it a bit.
And you know, it wasn't that bad at all. I became King of the Random Strips of Rubber Tyre, but I also found a glove, several shotgun shells, a lot of fireworks and tin cans.
Jof favoured long bits of hairy rope and bottletops, Bud got a sock, bits of caravan and millions of little bits of those bright green ropes that never rot. In the end our binbag was very full and we have made the world a better place. And we met Sydney's mum walking Bella the dog.
Part 2: Pushing those Personal Boundaries
I had my birthday recently and now we are possibly a bit old to have a party in Pirate Pete's or Krazy Kaverns, it has become the norm to find a new and interesting venue and have a boy's day out, perhaps with chips.
Last year we did Romsey Rapids and that was very nice with the waterslide and mill-race with bubble attack and a pub lunch afterwards. And we would probably have done it again had we not found the Guildford Spectrum Leisure Centre with its numerous waterslides of all nations, wave alert and the trio of diving boards, each higher and more terrifying than the last.
So we picked up Ben and the JBs and drove towards London with the 3 tall ones in the back jabbering on in their heathen lingo, recording it all on Ben's phone, and with the Dinosaurs of Rock CD playing at considerable volume. Johnny plays gittar and many of the tracks were just for him.
wimpy ice ring guildford spectrum
Guildford is quite far away but we still got there in the middle of a sentence, and without going wrong this time. Our pre-booked swim session started at 230 but we got in there 20 minutes early as a bonus. Straight away we did some watersliding but then the boards beckoned.
They have a 1 Metre springboard, a 3 Metre springboard, and a 5 Metre concrete one. Last time, I bounced the 1 Metre a few times and jumped off the 3, but never liked the look of the 5. This time we had 3 extra contenders with us and I don't think any of them had met boards of such threatening dimensions.
We all started with some 1s. Ben did dab-jumps and I did a couple of real dives and the JBs did big flap-doodle jumps and we all messed around a bit, for it is fun. But then we joined the big boys queue, because the 3 and the 5 come off the same ladder so you get to choose which one you're going to do while still queuing up.
Before long, we'd all done the 3. But that 5 was sitting there mocking us with its easy availability and no shortage of other kids jumping off it. I broke first, and climbed the heady heights, marvelling at its own personal cloud system and really quite large drop to the water below. I did hesitate. I've seen Bud do it many times and the trick is to go in straight, with both hands protecting the willocks. This way you can actually reach the floor, even though the water is 4 metres deep.
guildford spectrum leisure centre ice hockey league
But I overcame considerable self-doubt and did it, because it is basically the 3 but with a bit extra, same theory, greater impact speed. And I did it again. Ben saw this as we egged each other on, a team effort to overcome our terror demons and have a shared experience of personal victory. Ben jumped the 5 after just a little bit of hesitation and we all cheered, after all, it really is quite big.
Then Johnny took the stand and he did a bomb. He bombed off a 5 Metre board, his first time off a board of that height. And everyone around pulled faces and went holy poodles are you sure you wanted to do that mate and Johnny came out and he pulled faces too and said gosh darn it, my bottom hurts quite a bit.
And we were all very sympathetic, and so will his first girlfriend have to be, for his rear end is no longer the pristine paragon of virtue and purity it was before that watery deflowering, just saying.
And having stared death in the face, we went off and played tag in the main pool and got some wave alerts and just messed around for the rest of the 1 hour 50 minutes and that is why we shall always be best buddies because what more do you need.
Eventually the tannoy called for the yellow wristbands to get out and we went to have a look at the ice rink and the ice smoother-truck came out and smoothed it and we had chips and burgers and chicken lumps and threw ketchup everywhere and Ben had 2 cokes and Johnny doesn't like ketchup and I forgot to order chips and you know, whatever.
boys party at swimming pool
By now there was an actual ice skating match in progress so we watched that a bit, it was pucking funny with the little guy falling over a lot, and we looked at the pools from above, even though you can't see the main waterslide pool or the diving pool because of bikini and photography issues.
The journey back was no quieter and I've learned some new words and basically we all talk rubbish for ages, but everyone has to have a hobby. Ben gave me a Minecraft Creeper and Ocelot set and a tenner and they all gave me a fun day out and we have all done new things in new places and extended our personal boundaries and hooray.