Sunday, 7 May 2017

May 2017 1/4

escaped prisoner in orange jumpsuitBack to school with a clang, because the 11+ exams are just around the corner. Reportedly, 'Football' 'Arry went to a rugby match between the Army and Navy and came on at half-time to do a mini-tournament. That's where he met (and high-fived) Prince Harry.
And visible yesterday at many stalls at the Fayre, the new must-have toy is the fiddler, or the spinner, or the Fidget-bit or whatever, a small moving device for little itchy fingers. And Okely Dokely fiddled with his one so much it pinged up and hit me in the eye, bet the manufacturers never saw that one coming, hoho.
throw alligator through drive through wendy windowAfterwards, Jof got home from work on her day off and we played 'Game of Life' (the new version) and I was a homeless Lawyer living in my car with 6 kids and invented a new fruit, a chimeric half-kiwi, half-banana called a Kinana, possibly a monstrous aberration against nature.
Wednesday was dull with maths and the like, and coding where we had to make a Mars lander walk about, avoid rocks and eat Martian apples, and French where we learnt about Le Motorcar. I try to forget French instantly because it's rubbish and I know I'll never need it. And lastly, PE which was the last one for a while because we've got SATs next week, a bittersweet victory there. But I did get 40/40 on the maths test for the second time ever, just the right time to start winning. Incidentally, we bought this house 4 years ago today.
plastic tub of crapOne of my classmates is going on holiday to Turkey to relieve stress. Not only in term-time, but just before the SAT exams. I expect they'll get fined, after that nice man on the Isle of Wight thoroughly tested the law against taking your kids out of school for a vastly cheaper holiday. Coincidentally, today I got yet another 100% attendance certificate for the last 3 months. Considering that I did the Lego League National Finals on a Sunday, should I not get 101%? Just asking.
Grandad phoned in the afternoon and taught me more about maths, for which we needed graph paper and a globe. And Bud went out to a Scout meeting so I got to use the computer for longer.
Toeing the Leonine
spin fiddler toy for kidHooray for Thursday. Well, Star Wars Day. Since 1743, when 2 alien ships had a battle off the coast of Hartlepool and one fell in the sea, the country has celebrated Star Wars Day. In fact, it is surprising that it took 234 years for anyone to take advantage of this rather promising yet unregistered trade mark and release a film in honour of that glorious day so many years ago.
Then, following lots of boring revision, we did our auditions for the Year 6 Play which is of course the Loin King. I have played various Liony roles (and some loiny ones) in previous productions and had my heart set on the baddie, because the baddies always get the best part, or the most enjoyable one to play.
We don't get to find out what (if any) role we get until after the exams. Sixty or so kids are chasing 18 speaking roles, I guess I have to hope I'm not cast as 'Baobab Tree #4' or 'Rock'. In my first play (I was the Troll - lead character and a baddie as well) some poor classmates were cast as 'Grass' and some as - dare I say it - 'Brick'. They were not speaking parts, but at least the Grass had to wave in the wind a bit. Poor old Brick.
kids toy made from laboratory partsAnd now that the 'Fidget-Spinner-F***ing-Button-Fiddler' is de rigeur for every pocket in every playground, can I point out that one was built for me personally in about 2009. OK, so it's not a pocket toy, sitting about 8 inches high on its Perspex base, but it has a variety of twiddly things, tactile zones in a range of textures and finishes, moving parts and places for little fingers to investigate.
home made toy for kidoriginal fidget spinner toyIt also weighs in at a little over 1.4 Kg, and don't expect to be able to take one in your hand luggage as it might look a trifle suspect on the X-ray scanner. Named the 'Mungo Robot', it sits on 2 Perspex squares separated by 4 steel rods. Inside is a nuclear reactor (all fissile material has been removed) surrounded by a ring-fence of gold-plated electrodes, with a forward-pointing laser beam generator.
Each supporting steel rod has a copper sheath that moves up and down freely. The upper floor has 2 lateral spinning aluminium rings and a single bullet-shaped skyrocket for aerial defence, and spider-web shaped fan protector beneath. But the piece de resistance is an old CPU housing with integral cooling fan above, which still moves smoothly and silently.
This aluminium block retains its original heatsink and gold pin contacts for the CPU, and some pins have been selectively removed to spell out 'MUNGO ROBOT' for those blessed with the ability to read. The CPU compartment is accessed by turning the red handle which unclips after a 90 degree turn and the whole thing pops open and folds back on a spring-loaded axle.
And because this was hand-made from old engineering parts salvaged from the test and research laboratories of a company that has since gone into liquidation, nobody else in the world has one. So poo to you and your Spyn-Fidlers.
I Guess that's why they call it Blue Day
dam inside wall destruction funny fail
Meon junior school blue day Last day of school before the exams. In a truly vast team effort, the entire country of 11 year-olds will be doing the exams at the same time apart from the one kid at Dogger Bank Junior School whose settlement is 1 hour ahead of GMT. If you know her, ask for the answers.
So some of the roles for the Year 6 after-SATs play 'Lion King' we handed out, but I haven't been given one yet and the role I'm hoping for hasn't gone, so there is hope for me yet. Our PE lesson was in the park again and I was on a rounders team with Erin and Ben and they were part way round the bases when I finally connected with a ball flung at me by Okely-Dokely. My team-mates were supposed to continue their run around and complete their circuits but I was on a flier and went straight to 4th base with Erin, overtook them both, and got them both out when I scored my home run. This attracted abuse, meh.
And it was Blue Day with the chance to wear blue regalia for a £1 donation to the Tom Prince Cancer Trust. I did so. The dentist told me I'd been brushing better this year but please reduce my sweet intake, tell that to the Chocolate Salesman. He still painted my teeth with the fluoride guck that makes you unable to eat sweets for half an hour. Friday-Night-Is-Film-night was "Escape Plan", the 2013 DVD release from Schwarzenegger and Stallone where they had to break out of a secret prison ship using only a Koran, a drain cover and a pair of glasses. I did that in Marrakech in 1942 but does anybody remember? Do they panties. It was nice to see Vinnie Jones still working in Hollywood as a particularly ugly prison guard.
Achtung Acting!
Today I was looking forward to going back to acting even though it's only been a fortnight since I last trod the boards in anger. The morning was all about Minecraft and Sydney arrived just about on time with some new purple glasses. Our group was missing Harry but gained 2 new girls and we did comedy with outsized movements and crazy impressions and a new game called Bunny Boilers or something.
You have to say Bunny #1 Bunny #1 calling Bunny #3 and then Bunny #3 does similar and it goes round the room which isn't much as there were only 5 of us including the teacher, although we did it outside. So gradually Syd and I injected humour and LSD in equal proportions and by the end we'd invented a class dance and variety of dubious gangland accents, This is Bunneh Numbah 2, Bunneh Numbah 2 callin', and then at the end we took some wood home for the Beaver Scout camp. This picture of the Spinnaker Tower can only be taken at low tide, given that the camera position is beyond the Gosport Ferry Dock.
Pompington was busy with happy loud people because of the end of the football season and the Footing-ball Authority had set all matches to begin at 530 for extra pub time before the games.
portsmouth pfc FA cup run 2008Due to last night's Film Night, we had another Film Night and due to the recent theme of prison-related films, we went for the K├╝hlschrank Connection, or was it the Sheepshank Reduction, or the Samizdat Injection. Something about sheep-dip anyway, with Morgan Freeman as the man who can get stuff, the Kurgan from 'Highlander' as Guard #1, and the Demolition Man Police Chief as Warden, amongst others.
Shawcross Credentials was quite long with a certain amount of man-on-man bullying and Alpha-Male baton charges, but I am now mature enough to realize that where I'd seen '500 yards of poo-pipe' in Phineas and Ferb, this film was the origin, not the cartoon. Apparently there are many more 'Educational Films' such as The Italian Job, 2001 Space Odyssey, Forrest Gump etc where you just have to see it to understand chunky bits of modern culture.
And all the while, Pompey fans kept up a decent chant of all of the special football songs, right up until Plymouth failed to win, and relegated Hartlepool beat Doncaster, so we rampaged at home 6-1 to take the championship. So the hoorays from the local pub continued until 11pm when I took over with my Lion Kong medley from the shower room. Here is a picture of when Pompey did some stuff in 2008, I was a little smaller. I still have that flag.
Karma, and Despicable Breadcrumbs
For some reason, Jof insisted on doing the weekly shop, nothing to do with the 17 tubes of 'Little Teeth' toothpaste in my cupboard, I'm sure. But that left me free to play Minecraft and now that I have been banned from a server for griefing, I felt more community-minded and rescued a newbie from some kind of rock dungeon that was hopelessly unqualified to enter.
throwing breadcrumbs birds milton park portsmouthIf you're only Level 4 or similar, the Zombies will soon knock your block off hoho, and I saw this player in distress and totally chopped all the Zombies and he gave me some emeralds to say thanks and we Skyped for a bit.
Bud made me distribute breadcrumbs to unemployed local birds and I stalked them through the park and successfully targeted many starlings and blackbirds and other wing├Ęd denizens. On the way back, raucous Pompey supporters waved beer bottles and their feet at us from passing cabs and it was not until Bud got back from his run we found out that the Champions Cup had been shown off to the fans on the seafront with parades and live bands and we'd missed it.
Jof promised me Despicable Me 3 at the cinema but it had finished: all the swimming pools were doing water polo so there was no playtime anywhere and we were foiled.
clarence pier southsea seafront golfSo she said let's go to the seafront now we've missed all the action and we played Pirate Golf on the newly resurfaced course. Even the skeletons have had some life breathed back into them, the cannons and balls repainted, and it's all looking much better. After an ice cream we tackled the beach and arcades and soon I will go back and do the walk through-the-sky thing.
SATs (11+) is next week. I do not fear them. But I am nervous about what part I'll be given in the Lion King. Even as I went to bed, the Pompies were still singing lustily from the pub garden.

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