Sunday, 9 July 2017

July 2017 1/4

Life begins at 11
Bet you didn't know that, with all the old people saying life begins at 40 or 50 or whatever, trying to justify their own miserable existences.
This week I got a tryout session at my new Big School. For 2 days, I attend the Big School in question, yet retain my youthful looks and current school uniform. I have been looking forward to this with trepidation and mixed emoticons, and set my alarm particularly early to compensate. Sydney came to walk in with me and I was just saying how I'm not going to know anybody when a whole crowd of known faces met us on the pavement.
mad cat triple strength catnipThese included Jack W from my infant school, Lily the Pink from acting classes (just like Sydney but smaller) and more people that she knew and by the time we'd got to Woodstock we were half a million strong, with many members of my Scout group and old infant school mates. But Flynn was not one, as he is moving to a school in Gloucestershire, must have got his postcodes wrong.
First, we went to an abandoned classroom and were given our tutor group IDs. I am in a different group to Syd but made a new friend 'Molly'. I once spoke to a local artist (and the one that did the number rocks) whose name is Pete Codling, and suggested that if he ever had a daughter, he should name her Molly. I don't think it's the same one.
This school has a new behavioural profit'n'loss points system called ERA. Not Exemplary Reward Accolade points, but Enjoy-Respect-Achieve points. I put that I enjoy computing, respect Grandad and achieved victory in the regional finals of the Lego League.
friends of meon junior school helpersThen we had a history lesson about the Titanic. We were all captains and had to do the multiple choice, I got 18/24 which I thought was good. The second lesson was Food Tech and my partner Molly and I made sweetcorn and cheese tortilla wraps and had them for lunch. They were better than pasta, which is saying something, I wanted to eat 25.
For break we played tag in the tennis centre and then went to a music lesson. The teacher has his own video on Youtube called the Rhythm Café and it is truly dreadful but quite funny if you used the wrong mushrooms in Food Tech. Later we had a PE lesson with cyclic never-ending dodgeball with new and interesting rules. A prefect (Year 11) joined in and wrecked us totally but I did get her back later.
barcelona escalator honestyThen I walked home with the Krewe (via the sweet shop). Jof was very late home, turned out she was buying the entire fruit'n'vegetable section of Tesco to feed the 5000 (well, the 279 children of the Year 3,4 and 5 summer disco-a-rama), see how our bespoke handmade fitted kitchen groans under the weight.
Toe-torture Tuesday was a reprise of yesterday but with different activities. Walked in with the Syd Krewe (a giant quacking entity that babbles and jabbers and doesn't look when crossing the road) again and got to know my tutor group which contains Tall James, and began to see numerous other ex-Wimbornians, I suppose it is the same catchment area.
Today I did some science, in which we dropped coloured powders into 'Glass Water' and watched little filamentous crystals form, English in which we basically played class bingo where you had to collect someone in every category. I could not complete the task because nobody else has a birthday in my birth month, so the teacher let me off, not my fault.
school disco fruit selection meon juniorThere was quite a lot of scheduling and getting-to-know type things and a maths quiz where each different classroom had an answer and you had to navigate the school to find them. Eventually the day finished, but not for me.
Jof has been a keen member of the 'Friends-of-the-school' for a few years now, which is why Bud and I have been roped into running the hook-a-duck stall at fayres, selling drinks, lucky-dips and air fresheners, and cleaning out the dreaded cupboard under the stairs when rodent activity was detected.
The fact that Jof is allergic to children has made this a greater act of volunteering and determined self-immolation than most, probably my smiling face that has kept her going.
So today, having finished at Big School, I got changed and walked to Medium School, where I doled out the fresh fruit and cucumber (lovingly prepared by Jof with just a smidgeon of cyanide in each bite) and helped with the burgers and sausages and helped myself to a couple en route. All the other child helpers failed to help and sloped off to play football, only I stayed the course.
priory school portsmouth welcomes year 7 startersWhen we returned home, we brought 3 cucumbers, a box of cooked assorted processed reshaped items of animal origin and 27 apples, which is a staff benefit.
But that was not the end. Syd (sans Krewe) picked us up and we walked back to Big School for the Headmasters' presentation. He was very pro-joining in, and school trips, and homework and being nice to each other, and very anti-less than 100% attendance and disrupting the learning of others.
It was in the big hall with the big roof, and then some prefects came on to make worthy speeches which we couldn't hear, and some recent joiners spoke also, although we couldn't hear them either because they mumbled downwards into their scripts, instead of talking to the microphone with an open face and a clear voice. I shall do much better when it's my turn.
priory school portsmouth inner yardThen we got a little 37-on-one session with my new tutor, and broke up for uniform purchasing. I lost both of them in the flowing tides of humanity, then Bud took me to the wrong sports hall and Jof bought me cake and squash and I became somewhat grumpy because of the long day and lack of deserved screentime.
But eventually the very very long queue in the correct sports hall digested us and spat us out at the business end, where I got a jacket, 2 sets of PE kit and 2 ties, a bargain at only £63. The Edwardian brickwork looks quite attractive in the evening sun, see why it's called Big School.
90% of weird shit comes from japanMy current Medium School has only 3 rooms on the 2nd floor, look at this one with the big-ass 3rd floor and proud buttresses and chapel and a century's worth of higgledy-piggledy extensions.
My poor little feeties only just got me home. Lucky life isn't like this.
Transitional, Elementary
Gosh. Such a long week and it's only Wednesday. My 2 transition days at Big School were a snip compared with the transitional periods of others, who have to spend the whole week getting to know their Alma Futures, must either be slow people or slow schools.
So when we did the Lion King rehearsals (I did the whole day off-script) we had many missing players so teachers and pupils had to cover, which is why Miss B was Young Simba and Sham was a Tree.
Later, we got a dead fridge from the Scouts (generous lot) and Jof invented Spaghetti Burgernaise. Because of the leftover food from yesterday, we're all eating cucumber and apples like there's no tomorrow, and Jof chopped up the burgers to make a Bolognaise sauce for my daily pasta ration. This wartime spirit of making do shows why she's Cordon Aquamarine. Or is it Bleu Cheese.
Flying Ant Day
death by electrocution signOK, so that was yesterday (not the Foreigner song), but I don't mind if you don't. All day the dratted insects bumbled around tickling your hair and walking up and down the windows and stuff. And on the late-night news we could see that the tennis matches at Wimbledon were similarly infested. Do you know how every single ant across the entire country knows to come out on the same day? They arrange it on the Anternet.
Anyhoo, school was just a whole buncha Lion King. We sang the songs. We spoke the lines. We did the dance. Actually, I don't have to dance. This is probably a good thing and I most certainly don't mind. Plus, in centuries past, it used to be that Polite Society would dress for dinner. At suppertime in Mungle Manor, it was still very hot and sultry and we noticed that between us, we added up to one set of clothes. Apart from pants. We all had pants.
Frying-pan Friday suited me fine, as I remembered to wear shorts. School was almost entirely Lion King, I spent most of it on the Chromebooks as I'm only in 4 songs, enjoyed a free 'Rocket' ice lolly kindly donated by Miss M and had PE in the park again.
long haired dog funnyThis involved 'kick-rounders' which is like baseball but you kick it: I have a natural advantage because I'm crap at kicking. All the football-mad people boot it miles, just to where all the fielders are waiting with open cupped hands. But when I'm battist, I deviously kick it along the ground the wrong way and that's how I managed a home run. Plus our team was full of girls so we won. In Gardening only us two sensible Year sixes were allowed to weed the nettlebed, but we still both got stung.
nerf pistols nerf rifles collectionThe call went out from the Beaver Scout Group asking for Nerf Guns for a hunting-related outdoor activity at camp (they have to shoot their own supper or go hungry). It just so happens that I have a wide variety of nervous weaponry and am currently going through a mental re-organization.
When I was a child, I spake as a child: but now I'm moving up to Big School to become a man, I wish to leave behind childish things and re-purpose my bedroom accordingly. So offloading plastic toy guns could fit into this new cultural narrative quite well and I gathered them all up (and tried them all one last time) ready for the Beaver Leader, who is a special type of engineer who already works with certain weapons. I'm only wrapped in a duvet because nakedness on blogs is a nono.
Sunny Saturday started quietly as Jof was at work. I took full advantage and didn't even Skype any Minecrafters, just got on with my own thing, with only Pambled Eggs to keep me going.
5th portsmouth scout group beaver campLike a bottom-produced gas expanding to fill the space provided, we had so much spare time, 1pm took us by surprise.
spinnaker tower portsmouth glass floorThen there was a mad panic and rush getting food and my acting bag together and we stood outside waiting for hot date 'Sydney'. She didn't show up, and we were just deciding to go without her when she phoned and said I'm 11 miles away, not coming in today. We drove madly-fast without her.
Arriving at Theatre slightly late, my co-workers and I rehearsed the next play (did I say I had the lead role?) while Bud took the dead Scout fridge to the tip and delivered my Nerf Gun collection to the Beaver Scouts, who had to contend with a lovely 3 days in the deep wild countryside. See how the little people are having the time of their lives.
vue cinema gunwharf quays portsmouth despicable me 3And, for no apparent reason, here is a picture of the Emirates Spinnaker Tower from beneath. That window you can see is the glass floor, hope everyone's wearing pants.
Film night was 'Forrest Gump', because it can't be Pulp Fiction and Predator every week. It made us all cry secretly. I don't know half of the historical figures in it, but I'm learning.
Sunday is my day off. So I play Minecraft ALL day. Apart from where Jof took me to the cinema to see Despicable Me 3, and took me for my yearly trip to MacDonald's afterwards. One of the groups enjoying the abundant sunlight on the seafront was a posse of naked cyclists. They had a Police escort, also on bikes. The Police escort wasn't naked.

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