July 31, 2015

So this week rather than it being a traditional day of rest, Wednesday saw us going to the National Mining Museum with two kids in tow. Our original plan to head to the Maize Maze was , sadly, in tatters following what could be described in correct meteorological terms as a fuck-ton of rain. So plan B was to spend an hour and a half underground in the company of a old miner from Barnsley who had a very distinctive use of the English language.

Basically, if you wanted to find a stereotype, then he was it. He was it with bells on. He was throwing expressions and Yorkshire-isms left, right and centre, but for me the best part was that by the end of the hour and a half of spelunking in a coal mine he’d managed to convince a child (precocious, know-it-all smart arse) that coal isn’t pronounced like coal but is, in fact, pronounced like coil.

So that was fun.

But, as with everything Carole and myself do that involves an elderly person – I refer you to the Greyfriar’s Graveyard incident of 2013 – things became somewhat repetitive.

There were 19 of us on the tour. That number never changed. Nineteen went in, nineteen came out. At no point were any of those 19 people from Barnsley. That was established right at the begin when Dobbin (our tour guide, so called because he used to work with the horses) asked if anyone was from Barnsley. And we all said no.

A little later on, he asked us if anyone was from Barnsley.

Now, unless some other people had joined us, maybe having been living in the mine for a while or something, it was unlikely anyone was from Barnsley. And again we said no.

And then a little bit later still… there was stlll no-one from Barnsley on the tour, but he had to check again.

Other than that it was a good tour and another underground place I can add to the caves in Kent that they filmed old episodes of Doctor Who in (the walls still sparkle) and a hydro-electric plant in Scotland as somewhere I have been. And, sort of, one of those places that I want to go back to when we’re not accompanied by children and have a proper look at some of the things on display and I know Carole wants to go back and have a hunt for a relative who was injured in a mining accident.

I say mining accident. A wall fell on him at a mine. It’s not quite up there with the great colliery disasters of all time, but still if there’s a record of it to be had it’s more than likely going to be there. And if we can find it without a child looking bored or looking around for something to eat, we’ll be on a winner.



July 30, 2015

I’ve left this blog til really late
Distracted by You Tube
I’ve been watching CosPlay vids
And seen a lot of boob.

I’ve watched for research purposes
To see what we could be
When we go to London Comic Com
For our anniversary.

Carole wants to wear something
That takes it to extremes
A massive flowing sweeping dress
Is one of her cosplay dreams.

Me, though, on the other hand
I really want a gun
A sword would do at a push
Either one would be quite fun.

A swashbuckling hero
Is what I fancy being
And Carole as a kick-ass bitch
Would certainly be worth seeing.

So many ideas have passed my eyes
Sometimes more than once
I’ve got some great ideas now
Just swimming round my bonce.

It’s Been A Slice

July 29, 2015

Today I learned that juggling
Is not a good idea
Particularly with a tin can
When no-one else is near.

I was going to the recycling
When the can fumble occured
And for anyone in earshot
A few choice words were heard.

“Shit the bed!” I think I said
All overcome with pain
As I’d sliced my finger open
Clumsy Jake again.

So arm held high above my head
And wrapped in kitchen paper
I began to search for plasters
To cover my latest injury caper.

You know in packs of plasters
You get all kinds of size
Well here’s something now that I have found
A lesson to the wise.

Those little ones are all that’s left
Designed for tiny cuts
Or those really, really massive ones
That you use if you are nuts.

I wanted just a normal size
I didn’t want to make a fuss
But with a really really small one
Who’s going to notice us?

I want to bask in sympathy
I want to be looked after
I want to sct like I’m in pain
And try to win a BAFTA.

But truth is, once the blood had stopped
Which really took a while
My finger is just fine you see
Now I don’t cry, just smile.

(Apart that is, for the cut
The slice into my finger.
I think the wound might hang about
I reckon it will linger.)

Yellow. You Can Eat It. (9)

July 28, 2015

A conversation overheard
Told in poetry form
It wasn’t something I’d heard before
Definitely not of the norm.

“I’ve been for a carvery,
It was really, really nice.”
“Oh, I like a carvery,
I’ve been once or twice”

“I had beef and turkey
And potatoes – roast and mash
And carrots, gravy, yorkshire puds
Great value for my cash.

And I had some yellow stuff
It’s a vegetable you can eat.
Oh man, I can’t remember it
It’s like corn, but kind of sweet.

While I can’t remember that
I had stuffing balls as well.
And that yellow vegetable.
Oh what’s it called? Oh hell…

How can I not remember it
It’s not like I’ve just been born
I had it at the carvery
But what was it, oh SWEETCORN!”

Six Thirty Wake Up Call

July 27, 2015

There’s something that I’m doing wrong
I’m missing all the tricks
Because I don’t have someone to phone
Every morn at half-past six.

I can barely function at that time
My brain’s stll coming round
The last thing that I want to do
Is make conversational sound.

But lots of people do it
A man does every day
He phones his wife at half past six
Just to tell her “hey!”

Sometimes he complains that she
Is not terribly receptive
The fact that he is wide awake
Is somewhat quite deceptive.

Or there’ll be other people
Who always have a chat.
I’m sorry but if I was in bed
I’m be like “screw that!”

Just because you’re wide awake
Doesn’t mean they are too
They’re probably snuggled fast asleep
Content not being you.

Because you’re up at the crack
As dawn breaks over the land
Phoning people at half past six
I just don’t understand…

Oh Hell No!

July 26, 2015

So, Sharknado 3. That was a thing that happened.

And it was just as terrible and therefore good as the other two. And the ending… well, who saw that coming?

But all that was ruined for me by one thing.

The Hoff. Not his being in the film. But his departure from the film.

I mean, I knew from the get go that he wouldn’t be taking part in the happy family climax (again… that ending…) but the plot hole he fell through to end up there bothered me more than sharks surviving in the clouds, in space or making it through re-entry. Unless you’ve not yet seen in in which case, what the hell am I talking about? None of that happened. I mean, as if.

But anyway… you have enough fuel to make it from a floating defence platform to the moon, which was a long way away. But not enough to make it from a floating defence platform to the space shuttle which was not a long way away. I mean, what? Also, presumably you saw the shark go through the space shuttle – you’d really think NASA would design them to withstand shit like that – so why the hell are you standing on the moon saluting when you should – theoretically – be mourning the death of your son, daughter-in-law and as yet unborn child.

I’ve once before been massively jolted out of a film/tv show by something that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief for. The BBC’s adaptaton – cruelly cancelled adaptation – of Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently saw the pilot episode revolve around time travel. The pay-off to this was the discovery of the dead man’s cell phone still working after however many years. It was an iPhone. He could have gone back in time to the morning of the same day it was turned back on and you’d have still been lucky if it had any juice left in it. But after years and years in a box of stuff? Sorry, even I can’t suspend my disbelief that far.

And it was the same with Sharknado 3. And you know when you start questioning that part of it that there’s no hope of you going back..

Anyway, there’s a fourth one coming. And I’m still very excited about it. I mean, I have no idea where it can possibly go next. Or what they can use to defeat the Sharknado this time round as they’ve pretty much dialed it up as much as they can go.

Maybe a man-made tornado filled with dolphins? I mean, they are great at twatting sharks… and if you strapped a chainsaw to them…

Mr Ferguson

July 25, 2015

I think I’ve always liked the idea of Comic Con. I’ve always been aware of ones that I’ve missed – which would be any up to today – and paid attention to things that have happened there, guests that have visited and things like that. I’ve heard and seen tales of the sort of a camaraderie that you get there, and I’ve always thought that’s a really rather good thing.

So, today, our Comic Con cherry was popped with a trip to the MCM Comic Con in Manchester.

And, I have to say, from the very first moments of following Princess Leia (and her McDonald’s Breakfast) down the road to the venue, the whole thing was excellent. Absolutely excellent. In a way that, say, the Eurogamer Expo just isn’t. Comic Con had a feel about it. A very distinctive feel. Everyone there had something they loved, and everyone’s thread of love for a particular character, show, comic or whatever wove together to create a sort of blanket which made the whole of Comic Con feel, I don’t know, cosy. And nice. And warm. And friendly.

Essentially, at it’s core, you’re in a large room with a multitude of strangers. There’s no denying that. But it doesn’t feel like that. It doesn’t feel like you’re surrounded by people you don’t know. They’re not strangers – they’re friends you haven’t met yet. Which sounds all pathetic and twee, I agree. But it’s true.

In what other environment, for example, would you get a conga line going – and rapidly growing – made up of anyone who is dressed as anyone from the Doctor Who universe? Or a small child and an adult zombie – who didn’t know each other – standing and having a chat about their costumes and posing with each other for photographs? Or an impromptu gathering of Green Arrows to form a great little group shot. Or, at the most basic level, people taking the time out to tell other people that they really like what they’ve done with a costume.

Or Batman eating a packed lunch.

And it doesn’t just end at the Comic Con. Because we had a ride back on the train with Mr Ferguson. A man from York who talked to us all the way from Manchester to Huddersfield about all sorts of sci-fi relayed shenanigans – albeit a lot of which centred around women he found attractive. And much as it pains me to say it, I didn’t even have the usual “oh god, it’s a talker” reaction that I would normally have in situations like this. The one word “yes” and “no” answers fell by the wayside. I’m not saying I’ll be making a habit of that, because a leopard can’t change his spots too much, but I think that even that was the Comic Con effect.

We are going back. We are going to soak up the atmosphere and the fun and the friendship next year. And we’re doing it in costume. Yeah, that’s a thing that’s happening.

Mr F even had some great ideas about who or what I could go dressed as next year. No, really, great ideas

Thanks a bunch, Mr Ferguson.