Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Yesterday, lured into action by the fact that it was not raining and we might actually finish something we started, Len and I hauled half my half-finished kitchen worksurface out into the yard and relentlessly sanded it with a big belt sander for a couple of hours. The work surface is made from thick thick tongue and groove pine floorboarding and in the year or so it has been sat, unfinished in my kitchen it has slowly warped into something resembling a ploughed field. Ridge and furrow ridge and furrow. Yesterday we got the bugger flat again.

We bought it inside and using copious amounts of glue (most of which went where we wanted) and a couple of sash cramps and every large G cramp I have we got glued together and flat. We left the glue to harden overnight.

Today too was bright and sunny. We freed it from its clamps, hauled it back outside again onto the tressles and sanded it once more with the belt sander but with a finer grit paper this time. Then we sanded it by hand with an even finer grit paper. It's not perfect by any means but has a nice smooth finish now. I brushed it down, then wiped it with a damp cloth to get rid of the last of the fine saw dust. Then I gave it a good coat of clear polyeurethane.

Then a bird shat on it.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I survived the teaching gig and got paid. Merriol's Mum and Dad arrived last night and Holly is not feeling too well. That pretty much sums up the last couple of days.

Oh, we went to a car boot sale today and I bought 23 CDs when Merriol wasn't looking. I have to get a grip, I have to get a grip. I wonder if there is such a thing as CD buyers anonymous...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

She's a Normal Person, Her Name Is Invisible And She's Not Feeling Very Well Today

Another Blog entry within two days? - The man must be indulging in online displacement behaviour. Correct! Give yourself a pat on the back, a cocoanut, or a Kewpie Doll depending on how you are feeling today.

The truth is that tomorrow, as part of a day long reading day at the local High School, I’m supposed to be teaching three classes of 11/12 year olds the joys of reading. Another job I owe to my pimp Ilona. Thanks Ilona.

My lesson plan at the moment (with less than 12 hours till I actually have to face the first load of the little darlings) is to run into the room throw some books at them and run out again shouting “Read more books, you little buggers!” .

I’m supposed to be introducing them to the joys of reading Movie scripts on the tenuous basis that I worked in Post Production on a couple of movies and know which way up to hold one. Oh God. Why do I do this sort of thing? (If you didn’t say “Money” hand back the cocoanut now!). Oh crap! I’m running out of things to footer with. Last night I actually managed to convince myself that watching Thunderbirds are GO was a sensible thing to do.

THEN! I had to write a review of it for the IMDb….

I was about six when it came out and I remember a friend of mine having a huge plastic “Zero X", The Spaceship from the movie. I was so jealous. It was the sexiest thing I had ever seen (this was long before I knew what sex was or what 'sexy' meant).

I loved the TV show (I was six I was a boy!) but I never saw the film and when Merriol bought me a DVD copy at a garage sale, I was awash with nostalgia. A feeling of warm happiness that lasted for at least 7 minutes into the film... my god, it's so incredibly boring! After a while the only entertainment value I could drag out of it was spotting new ways the filmmakers avoided having to have their characters walk anywhere. During the TV shows walking was suggested by having the character puppets jog up and down as they moved forward. Fine within the limited frame of a TV screen (especially the scritty little fuzzy Black and White things we peered at back then) but a similar motion on the big screen would, at best, look ludicrous and, at worst, induce motion sickness. In a film where supersonic aircraft stay rigidly in the centre of the frame having the "actors" bounce around like ping pong balls causing pre-teen moviegoers to vomit over their neighbours would be distressing.

Tonight I find myself edging towards a Polish film M from Palimpsest sent me as a swapsie for a William Gibson book she couldn’t get in Poland. I love knowing nothing about a film before I watch it. This one I can’t even read the title, let alone the blurb. All I know about it is which way up the DVD goes in the machine… and it’s in Polish - with English subtitles. That’s the only bit of the box I could read: “English Subtitles”.

OK, It’s now getting LATE and I HAVE to do this thing…

Sunday, February 12, 2006

I can't get that fucking image out of my head! It's the shoes - the little girl is wearing wellies for chrissakes! and the suits wrinkle up below the knees - so either they aren't their suits - they've just borrowed them for the weekend from some other equally weird (but taller) family - or they weren't meant to be worn with any footwear. So where could you wear them barefoot? In the house? Then why go outside to have the photo taken?
On the beach? You'd roast! Maybe not in a cold climate. Maybe these are suits for southern nudists to wear while visiting their friends in the north.
"Come on Pedro let's take the kids for a brisk walk along the nudist beach."
"But Sven! it is freezing outside."
"No it isn't. It's hardly snowing at all. Tell you what - I'll lend you lot the fuzzy suits..."

That works for me.

I spent this afternoon in the Fort watching Markens grøde - Norwegian silent movie with live orchestrial accompaniment. Lovely way to spend a wet Sunday afternoon(and I get to pop the cherry of another movie on

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I was going to write a long, informed, and interesting blog entry tonight but I saw this photo and I have totally forgotten what I have spent the last 12 hours doing. Be warned: this is very disturbing on all sorts of levels...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Mummy, Did You Wear These Slippers When You Were a Dinosaur?

OMG! It a whole week since I posted anything here, where does all the time go? The schools are giving themselves a few days off this weekend so I get to spend even more quality time with my darling daughters - and take that note of irony out the way you just read that.

Tonight I sat down and watched: Maciste e la regina di Samar (1964) which sounds very impressive and interlechual, I mean, foreign films and that! But when I tell you it's English title is Hercules Against the Moon Men and consisted mostly of bad fighting between a well-oiled and hugely muscled italian bloke with a bouffant and about 7 stuntmen who swapped mustaches between shots you will understand where my brain is at the moment.
As I wrote somewhere else, this sort of movie is great for when you are too tired to think and you don't want to - even by accident.

Though, having said that, any movie that contains the line:

"Hurry! To the Mountain of Death! Hercules is already on his way! Let's go!"

Has got to be worth watching once.

Friday, February 03, 2006

We're Having A Conversation About Literature And Music - And You're Eating Foam!

Mike came round this morning with his boys, Holly, Daisy and Finn went upstairs and had a picnic and Mike and I drank vast amounts of coffee and talked about Music, and Movies, and Literature while Jude ate chunks of a foam toy while we weren't looking. A really good morning.

Merriol came home for lunch took one look at Holly and said "What are you still doing here?" - I had forgotten to take her to nursery!

Daisy spent the afternoon filling her welly-boots with crayons, then taking them all out again.

A typical day; though I did discover during the course of it that if, when asked the question "What are you doing?", a three year old answers "I don't know", it's a bloody good idea to go and investigate.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Testosterone Day!

For some reason I woke up this morning with Man Juice® flowing through my veins. I spent the day using real Grrrr! POWER TOOLS! and sawing wood and wearing plaid shirts! Grrrr!

Strictly speaking the washing machine, the vacuum cleaner, and the dishwasher are power tools too but they didn't count today - girly power tools. Anything you have to put soap in was out. Whirring, pointy, dangerous, and messy were in. I spent most of the day in the kitchen turning half an old door and some bits of the original ceiling of the house into the bottom half of an antique church pew. Wouldn't fool anyone it's old for an instant but it does help stop the kids' toys from skiting about all over the place.

I feel great!

Tomorrow it's back to Mom Mode. Not Grrrrr!

It is three years to the day since I had a drink.

Hurray for me!

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