Friday, 21 April 2017

Invasion of the Killer Jellyfish

Friday, woohoo. If it wasn't for my generosity in offering to replace the absent 'Riley' for tonight's dazzling production of 'Wind in the Willows', I'd have had an empty day. Well, as you may know, I'm not allowed any empty days because I only fill them up with Minecraft.
cockle pond walpole park gosport
So I crafted awhile as housework went on around me until noon when he said off we go then. Normally I cannot stand secrets and demand to know everything even if it ruins the surprise, but this time we'd practically reached the Gosport Ferry terminal before I realised that we weren't going to the local park.
gosport sumbarine museum fortificationsIt's always nice to cross the water (it's shorter by water) and we saw HMS Iron Duke in harbour and some Police launches and barges and on the Other Side, walked along to Haslar Marina and saw some yachts being painted.
Just over the promenade from there we met some listless teenagers and Bastion #1. This old disused fort is overgrown and covered with trees and its tunnels are pretty small and mostly blocked off. But we climbed it and met some Scouts camping at the top, with decent tents and a fire.
Just the other side is Cockle Pond (part of Walpole Park) which was experiencing heavy yacht use: some old geezers were having a toy yacht race - although these toys were about 5 feet tall and very techy and advanced.
lakeside cafe bar cockle pond gosportHaving used the roundabout and climbing frame and zipline and rowing machine, we crossed the Queen's Causeway to the café on stilts (well, the one with the balcony visible in the yacht race picture). And half way across, he said what's that in the water, then.
Now I may not have travelled the world and met interesting creatures and killed them, but I know a jellyfish when I see one, even though I've only ever seen them on TV. And there seemed to be several in this isolated lake with only yachts and swans for company.
So we just had to visit the café (because one must) where I had a fortifying slice of 'Fridge Lumpy Bumpy Cake' and then we went hunting. Over the other side of the lake we found a veritable swarm, nay, a cloud of throbbing jellied invaders. We surmise that a few jellyfish larvae entered the pond by way of the overflow pipe which is open to the sea at high tide, and survived the winter in the protective environment, and started breeding.
Now, they have bred quite a lot and there are millions of them, although they must be quite inbred, which is normal for Gosport. At first, I was afeared of the globular alien entities, because they are known to haunt the tropical seas and kill sharks and humans with their stinging tentacles. Hmmm. Singing tentacles. That gives me a fancy-dress idea.
jellyfish cockle pond walpole park gosportAnd once Bud had picked a few out of the water to show me, I came to believe that they were not in fact deadly Portuguese men'o'war, but some harmless undulating transparent blobs of gucky mostly-water that just sat there going woing woing and getting stuck in the seaweed. And before long I had got over my tentaclophobia and was pulling them out of the water myself and hunting for the biggest specimen and teaching a passing kid to do the same and in no time we were practically having a jellyfish fight with blobs of whiffy goo flying through the air with added laughter.
No jellyfish were harmed in the making of this afternoon's entertainment, but I insist that it was a bizarre experience, especially when Bud was trying to take a picture and I put a jellyfish on his head. Then I did it again, for I am not a messiah, I am a very naughty boy. Sometimes we go searching for Bizarre, sometimes Bizarre-osity finds us. Apparently, jellyfish are pointless and devoid of nutritional value and have infinite lifespans, ie they don't die unless they're killed, either by being chomped up in a ship's propellers or air-drowned when they wash up onto a beach, for they are even more stupid than me. And all the way home I loudly called him Slime-Scalp and Jelly-Head, for I am a lovable and loving #1 son that is hardly going to get spanked to kingdom come at all.
jellyfish invasion walpole park gosport tidal lagoon
sketch pad prize for design competitionLater I had luxury fish pie for late lunch and I am assured that no added marine monstrosities of any type found their way into the meal, very fishy, mmm.
This, and Minecraft, gave me the strength to play Portly, the Youngest Otter for the second last time, and a welcome chance to act onstage with Sydney for the only time in this run of performances. I stood near her for many scenes and we exchanged smiles. At the end, I got my own bow.
So, nobody will remember, but there was a competition to draw a design for Toad's car. He is the star of the show and as a convicted neophile, obsessively desires anything new and interesting. I came second in the competition and won a chunky design notepad with added Packet'o'30 coloured pencils!
My car 'Toadiacar' has a cowcatcher and rear spoiler.
And because this is a smaller, local theatre, it needs to post cute kids at the door with collecting buckets for the theatre restoration fund (entirely unlike churches, the biggest landowners in the country), we had an unofficial competition between blue, purple, red, green and yellow groups, and Blue won! As I am a Red, but subbing for Blue because of covering for Riley, I got an extra bag of sweets. And tonight's performance had the biggest audience yet, over 100, so the lucky viewers could hardly move without infringing on somebody's personal space. All in all, a compete victory! The clapping went on long after we had left the building. Life: I recommend it.

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