Friday, December 21, 2007
Anyway, people seemed to like the twinkly effect of the candles and lighting up trees became the only way to look at a tree at Christmas time. This led to some fantastic tree fires which people were not so keen on, especially at Christmas. When electricity was discovered, fairy lights were invented. By 1923 the White House in America had its first outdoor tree with electric lights. All the poor people carried on having flaming trees for some time to come.
In America after one tragic christmas tree fire too many, somebody called Albert Sadacca got the bright idea of making safety lights for christmas trees. These did not catch fire but interestingly took afew years to catch on.
This year we are having our own real life baby-child in a manger bed. I have not seen any shepherds bringing mangy sheep to our door or three kings bearing gifts or even bright angels descending upon us but Mum and Dad have gone to the hospital, Grandpa Jack has lit up his stinky pipe and Mrs Next-Door has still not discovered the new and exciting underground door into her hall. All is well.
Friday, December 14, 2007
So, the mega-legus eating monsters pile through the hole. Dexter and me tumble backwards and I think that the creatures will fall on us and eat us right away. Somewhere, Mrs Next-Door is screeching like mad and will soon be another victim.
'It's drooling on me!' cries Dexter from beneath brown and matted fur.
'Try not to swallow! It is most likely poisonous!' I advise, helpfully.
Already the hot air down here is reeking of old meat and nasty wet stuff. I can hardly breath underneath it all. Four thousand claws scratch at my face.
'Sorry, Dexter!' I shout. 'At least we will not have to put up with the new baby-child!'
'It's licking me!' cries Dexter. 'Aghhhhhhhh!'
'WHAT ARE YOU BOYS DOING DOWN THERE???!!!' Mrs Next-Door bellows into the understairs void. She must have opened the door. Bad move.
There is a fantastic clawing and growling and scrabbling and the beasts fling themselves out of the under-the-stairs-cupboard and onto her throat. Probably. The door slams shut. There is silence whilst they devour their prey and then quite a lot of barking.
'Come along, boys!' chirrups Mrs Next-Door, who must still be alive. 'I don't know how you got into this house but now it's time for a bath!'
We crawl up to the hall and peek the door open. There are muddy paw-prints all over the hall floor, lots of jackhammer scratches on the parquet, a small hill of rubble by the front door and a mountain of mud that Dexter was supposed to be dealing with. I hear the car door slam outside.
'Right,' says Dexter, 'I think I'll be off now, you can keep the jack-hammer for a bit.'
And he runs out of the back door.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
So, we are busy under the stairs jack-hammering out the new bedroom. The hole is now impessively deep and Dexter and I are waist deep when we find the dinosaur bone.
'I think we are on to something here,' I say. I rub the dirt off- what is most likely- a bit of its leg.
'Here's another one,' says Dexter, hauling the other leg bit out of the soil.
We study the two legs.
'Do you think there's any more of it?' I whisper. 'I mean maybe we can get it named after us, like Wilfasaurus Dex.'
'Dextersaurus Wilf,' says Dexter.
'No, because that does not sound right and it is my house,' I point out. So we have a bit of a scuffle and I fall back onto yet another bone. 'It must be an arm,' I say, even though it looks like the other legs.
And Dexter gets quite excited and starts jammering the jack all over the place and the hole gets deeper much quicker. 'There's more!' he shouts and pulls out loads of bones. 'This dinosaur has alot of legs!' he says. 'The Mega-Legus!'
I crawl along into the massive tunnel to look for more dinosaur evidence and that is when I hear the noise; a sort of shuffling and growling, getting closer.
'There's something else down here,' I whisper. Dexter crawls into the tunnel. 'Listen.'
We put our ears to the wall of mud.
A hideous claw reaches through the tumbling dirt. There is some screaming, mostly from Dexter. We scrabble back too late. A pair of open jaws with long fangs clamped down over a Mega-Legus bone, shoves its way through the hole.
'There's masses of them!' screeches Dexter, 'it's an invasion!'
'WILFRED?!' calls a voice from above. 'WILFRED!' It's Mrs Next-Door.
'Get out of here!' I shout. 'Save yourself!'
Sunday, December 02, 2007
The problem was that I just happened to mention, in passing, that I was mining myself a nice new bedroom and suddenly EVERYONE wants to do it. I tried to pretend that I was only talking about a film I had seen but Dexter was not having any of it. He said, 'my Dad, Dave, is a builder and has loads of useful tools up his sleeve and I can borrow some without him knowing.' You might think this would be useful.
That Saturday, Dad is helping Mum into a coat-tent so they can go and for a hospital appointment.
'Mrs Next-door is keeping an eye on you, Wilfred,' says Dad. 'And she will be round soon, so get any ideas.'
'What sort of ideas?' I ask, casually.
Dad glares at me but before he can begin on a long and boring list of banned activities, the doorbell boings.
'Hello, Dexter,' says Mum. 'What have you got there?'
Dexter heaves a giant scraper-thing into the hallway.
'It's a jack-hammer,' he says out loud.
Dad's eyebrows are working overtime. 'Why do you have a jack-hammer in my hallway?' he asks. I try and give Dexter the shut up secret signal. 'Stop fidgetting, Wilfred!'
'Because I am helping Wilf dig out a new bedroom.'
Mum laughs and then after a pause Dad joins in.
'Oh, that's alright then!' She laughs some more and it is starting to get a bit disturbing, so Dad heaves her out of the door and looks back with an eyebrow glare.
'Remember! No ideas!'
When I have punched Dexter and we have eaten some biscuits, we get to work. A jack-hammer is an ace tool. It jumps up and down really hard on any surface and goes actually deeper than you think. We had to sort of start it in the hall and it bounced around on the parquet for a while before we could catch it. Then we took it under the stairs and really got to work.
And it would have been fine, had Mrs Next-Door and her small dogs not turned up. It really would.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
- a toasting fork
- two serving spoons
- Mum's trowell
- one of Dad's dental drills (he has a sad collection of them and will never notice)
I already have my underpants/mining lamp torch which still fits my head. I did think about inviting Dexter to help me but then he was ill with a sick bug. It is probably just as well.
This is how to mine your own new bedroom in three steps.
1. Rip up the existing floorboards using available tools. This is a tough job but the woody evidence can be hastily burnt on the fire in the sitting room.
2. Sift through layer of rubble for interesting artefacts and store for a later understairs world museum (you never know what you will find). Place uninteresting rubble in fire in the sitting room.
3. Dig out bare earth to required depth. This may take some time. For disposal, see above.
By the time Dad calls me for tea, I have disposed of the wood and 42 trowell loads of rubble. Time for a well deserved break.
Monday, November 12, 2007
1. Remove your sticks from their house (they will be quite unhappy about this and will show it if you look closely)
2. Tip out assorted eggs/poo onto some plain paper (newspaper gets really confusing).
3. Get bowl of water and drop some in. The eggs will sink and the poo will float. Remove eggs and leave to dry (do not use a hairdryer, like Dexter did).
4. Or, make a shape sorter. The poo is smaller than the eggs and will drop though a household sieve and leave the eggs (wash it afterwards but not with the eggy/poo water, like Dexter did)
5. Do not let Dexter anywhere near either of these processes.
6. Do not let Dexter do either of these processes in your guest bedroom.
7. Do not let Dexter do either of these processes in your guest bedroom and then get the vacuum cleaner out.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
So the first disaster was that the house seemed to have exploded.
'It's a well known burglary prevention method,' he explains. We are perching on the hall welcome mat which is the one tidy space in the house. Mum is waddling around, trying to put things back in cupboards and drawers.
'That was very kind of you, Dexter,' she says and if teeth can really be gritted, then hers were all ready for severe winter weather. 'But did you have to make everywhere quite so messy?'
'The thing is,' says Dexter, 'our house has been burgled twice and it's always really tidy not like your house.'
'Thankyou, Dexter and there was me tidying up before we left,' says Mum and she gives a hysterical little laugh.
'So, I thought I would make completely sure that any burglars would not even bother with your house because they would not want to sort through all the piles and stuff.'
Mum is rubbing her enormous stomach. 'Very thoughtful of you but you shouldn't have gone to so much trouble - I think I have to lie down now.'
'But were you burgled?' he asked.
Mum sighs and shakes her head.
'Job done then,' says Dexter.
I pull him up the stairs to my room. Inside, I point out the stick insect tank. 'I quite like the new non tidy arrangement,' I say to him lulling him into a false sense of me being happy to see him.
He shrugs his shoulders in a modest sort of way.
'But I do not like the fact that you were so busy untidyting the house that you forgot to feed the sticks.'
'Ah,' he says. 'Are they all right?'
We both peer in through the glass. The sticks are plastered to the side in a desperate sort of way. They have nibbled all the greenery I left for them.
'Look there,' I say pointing at the bottom of the tank.
'Covered in poo and EGGS!'
I sigh and lift the lid of the tank. 'The sticks were so stressed they all had babies and now YOU are going to sort out the babies from the poo.'
He pulls a face but does not run away. 'Poo eh? And babies? Hmmm.'
And I am not sure wether it is the poo or the eggs that interests him most. All I know is that there are four million of them and they all look nearly but not actually, the same.
Get that job done then.
P.S. The camera containing photos was almost instantly lost when we walked in through the door but hopefully not forever.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I ignore Jaspar's girl shrieks, take off my t-shirt and tie it round my nose and mouth. I can still hear the fire engine rumbling next door, putting out the bacon butty fire with real firefighters and professional water. I wonder for a second if I am doing the sensible thing. But HA! Is James Bond sensible? Is Superman sensible? Is Captain Underpants sensible? I THINK NOT. You would not catch one of them saying, "Hang on a mo, I had better leave this to someone who fights fires for an actual job."
Wilf the Wonderboy finds the back door and boldly knocks it down (it is open really). He strides like a complete non-sensible hero into a swirling fog of black smoke. He fights with a terrified wild animal and throws it into the wilderness (Blessed, the supremely fluffy white cat is a bit upset). He is about to hurl himself up the raging fiery stairway when he realises that there is no fire.
'PUT IT OUT!!' scream Jaspar from his bedroom retreat. 'I DIDN'T MEAN IT!'
I am utterly and absolutely amazed at what I see but first things first. I run up the stairs and just about drag Jaspar into the hall. 'I know what you were doing.'
Now it is Jaspar's turn to look utterly and totally amazed. 'You do??' He grabs my arm, 'you know about the first smoke-jack invented in 1770 by Peter Clare?'
I nod. 'I have made one of those but never that big and always in the back garden.'
'All that smoke, I thought I'd set fire to the whole house!'
'It is a hazard with this experiment,' I say, wisely.
There is the scrape of car tyres on gravel and the slamming of doors, followed by wailing. We both look at one another.
'My child! Where is my child?' MAC is on her way round the back.
'What about my child?' I can hear Mum saying.
Jaspar's eyes are big and round. 'You won't mention it then?' he says, 'Mum will FREAK!' I would quite like to see that but I can see he is close to pleading.
'Not for now,' I say. 'Not for as long as I can eat things without fear of bogies being added or go to sleep in beds free from toads and...'
'OK, I understand,' says Jaspar. 'It's a deal,' and he actually puts out his hand and we shake on it.
Jaspar and me reach the back door just as MAC and Mum turn up with a firefighter in tow.
'You alright, son?' he asks Jaspar. 'The smoke from these bacon butty fires can be quite nasty.'
'Yeah, I think it scared Blessed,' says Jaspar shuffling his feet around.
'What about you, Wilfred?' asks Mum.
'I was not scared at all, Mum,' I say, 'No we just fine, aren' t we, Jaspar?'
And I believe he smiles at me.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
1. I will be a hero but I will not brag about it, just let it seep out so that one day at school, Dexter will point at a copy of the Stroud News and Journal I have left lying accidentally around and cry, 'Wilf, did you rescue that boy?'
And I will probably blush a bit and do a down-turned grin and say 'yes, it was nothing' in an offhand sort of way, 'let us continue playing conkers and not think about my utter bravery'.
But Dexter will throw down his champion golden nugget conker at my feet and say, 'you are fantastic and everyone in the school will know it!' And he will hurtle round the playground informing the gobsmacked multitudes of my heroism in the face of evil.
Or something like that.
2. Jaspar will be forever and a day grateful and will no longer play tricks on me. I will not have to endure toads in the bed or bogie toast or 'my name is Wilf and I need a home' stickers stuck to my back. In fact, Jaspar will be so grateful he will defend me against my aunt's sniffiness and take me on fossil hunting/apple scrumping/dog teasing trips in illegal back gardens and we will become actual friends and he will let me stay with him when the new baby-child gets a bit on top of me and he will even get to love the lawnmower.
3. MAC will fall upon me and never go near my aura again. MAC is a great one for showing her emotions and so will probably want to instantly make me her new son and change her will and give me a new bike.
Jaspar is still yelling and spluttering but I need to think this through, so I start to ponder the non-benefits of rescuing him:
1. Dexter will not care less.
2. Jaspar will not care less.
3. MAC will care a great deal and not in a good giving-lots-of-things-to-me kind of way
This is quite a knotty problem. However, I sigh and get to my feet. 'KEEP YOUR PANTS ON!' I yell, 'I'M COMING TO RESCUE YOU!'
'WELL, GET A MOVE ON YOU £%^&&&**!' the ungrateful one shouts back.
He is a trial.
Friday, September 28, 2007
You may or may not be interested in what happened to my evil cousin, Jaspar. I will tell you anyway.
He had been allowed to stay behind and not go to the stupid fairy exhibition at the Stroud museum. He was allowed to do this because he said he was doing something Expressive of Himself. And since Mad Aunt Caroline is mad keen on children expressing their natural tendencies she thought Jaspar could stay at home and express his.
So here is what happened.
When I ran away from having my aura cleaned, I had no other place to go than back to my cousin's house (before my evil cousins moved in, it was very popular). It is a big old house at the top of a very steep hill and by the time I got back I had stopped running and started sweating. So, there I was sweating along the narrow lane leading to the house when I see smoke whirling its way into the sky. I am always keen on fires so I speed up a bit. I can see smoke pouring out of Mr Pyman's kitchen window. Mr Pyman runs the parish council and does not eat meat for a living. MAC says he is her spiritual twin. I run into somebody large and reflective.
'Look out, son!' says the firefighter. 'Someone's set their bacon butty on fire. You need to clear the area!'
Now I know that those are the type of words you normally only hear on the TV, along with stuff like, "he needs fluids - stat!" or "you've got 24 hours before we throw the book at you!"
So I know it is serious. I clear the area by jumping into the next door neighbour's garden. From here, I can get into MAC's garden, no problemo. I am working my way up through the area of reflection which is the scrubby bit at the bottom of the garden, when I hear a voice. The voice says, 'HELP!' in capital letters but you can only just hear it because of the noise from the bacon butty fire. It is then that I hit the fog. It is thick and grey and makes me cough. Not fog then. More like smoke.
'HELP!!' screeches the voice from above me.
'Who is it?' I shout. And, 'where are you?' Although I have my suspicions.
'It's me, your cousin, Jaspar, you **!"£$&**.' I peer up through the smoke. 'I'm stuck in my @&&**$£@ bedroom! Get me down!'
Jaspar is obviously very good at expressing himself. Question is, should I bother actually rescuing him?
Saturday, September 22, 2007
How many books do I have?
The Parents have at least 4 million books and most of those are stacked up on the stairs leaving only a tiny weeny gap to walk through. And, Mum goes mad if you dislodge her piles.
I actually have nearly 50 books and they are all on actual book shelves.
What was the last book you bought?
My quite nasty cousins, Skye and Jaspar, bought me a very bad baby-child book of inventions for my birthday (just gone). They did it on purpose and I even had to say thankyou which was evil. My proper present came fromGrandpa Jack and is about proper inventions made in the Victorian times.
Last book I read
I was force-read, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' by The Parents but maybe that does not count. Neither does, 'Maths - Excercises for Book 4' or 'Look Around! Geography Goes Wild' or 'What the Romans Really Did for Us' because these are all school books. The last book I actually chose to read was, 'Biggles Learns to Fly' and this was utterly fantastic.
The Parents read 'Mog' to me when I was a deadly annoying baby-child. I had to listen to Mog again and again and again until The Parents got so fed up they bought me an actual cat. We still have her and her name is, Serena which is a bit different to Mog.
'Moonfleet' has it all; smuggling, adventure, evil ghosts and action. I really liked it but Dad did not because he had to do at least 5 different funny voices in an old-fashioned english language.
It took a record six weeks for him to read. Actually I know Dad really likes it because he told me Grandpa Jack read it to him when he was a boy. So there we are.
Buzz Aldrin is very special for too many reasons to actually mention but here are a few. I will also go into space when I am a bit older.
I now have to let some other people have a go. So, Nicky and Horton and Alan might want to try.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I have managed to photograph my sticks. On the whole they do not seem to mind having their pictures taken; in fact they do not seem to mind anything very much. The first picture shows the back end of a stick and actually he is being quite shy.
ALL of them poo at an amazing rate and if I did not change the paper every week they would probably begin to mind that.
They also grow quickly. I will have to change the fishtank they are in very soon because it is actually meant for one small goldfish and not five 6cm long sticks. If I do not give them climbing room they will become stressed and their legs start dropping off like nobodys business.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
My smallest evil cousin, Skye insisted on only going round the fairytale art exhibition at the Sroud Museum. This was a tragedy, since it meant I did not get to see Edward Beard Budding and his lawnmower for any great length of time. I could not sneak off and gawp at what I wanted to gawp at because Mad Aunt Caroline insisited that we all fill out a museum worksheet (they were called funsheets but they were not fun) and discuss our findings with her and Mum. I do not know how my oldest evil cousin, Jaspar, managed to escape but he did. More of him, later.
Anyway, so we are at the Museum and I only catch little glimpses of the great EBB but there is ice-cream on offer at the end of the Museum ordeal. To speed things up a bit, I write down, 'I do not care' to questions like,
'How is red cloth dyed red?'
'What is your favourite fairy?'
and 'no' to commands like,
'Draw yourself as a servant in the eighteenth century'
'Dress yourself as an elf and then find a fellow elf to play with.'
MAC and Mum purse their lips like cats' bottoms when they examine my worksheet.
'You weren't really trying were you?' says Mum, sitting down in the tiny cafe and rubbing her now biggish stomach.
'Nope,' I say. 'I am on my holiday.'
Mum looks at MAC in a, 'see what I have to deal with' sort of way.
MAC plasters a smile on her face and says, 'I expect his aura is having a crisis.'
I notice that, Evil Cousin Skye has drawn stupid lines all over her paper. 'What about her aura?' I ask, pointing an accusing finger at Skye's worksheet. 'She's just scribbled all over hers!'
MAC looks as though she is about to faint and Skye actually gasps and says, 'these are my lines of wonderment!' she says it as though it is totally and utterly obvious to anyone what they are.
'Eh?' I ask in a reasonable way.
MAC fans herself with a paper napkin and Skye tuts. 'I take my pencil and I trace where my inner baby guides me.'
Even Mum looks boggled.
I laugh, long and loud. 'That is the funniest thing I have heard since we got into the Museum,' I sputter in a witty way.
MAC sweeps her orange sari around her. She pats Mum on the knee and looks at me. 'We may have to try some rebirthing for your son. It could be the only way to restore his balance.'
'I do not think I will bother with the ice-cream,' I say, 'see you back at the house.'
And I run.