Thursday, March 13, 2014

wands, sand and fish

hello there

lo, behold and blimey, this may be one of them nonsense free updates!

i have not found the time or the energy to do the more immediate updates i once could, so apologies that a few days of stuff hits all at once here, those of the few of you who look for how things are all going right now. i am not sure that i have either at the moment, but let me give it a go!

last week saw World Book Day dawn and fade. the boys were invited to dress as their favourite characters from books for the day, which meant that a lot of children at their schools had some truly amazing outfits on the go.  the current favourite book (or book related, even perhaps book originating if it is such a phrase) character of the boys is out of them Harry Potter novels. and films.

the name of their preferred character out of Harry Potter escapes me for the moment, but i think it is one of them minor yet prominent ones. it's the kid that has the glasses, the scar on his head, the wand and the pet owl or something. anyway, i did my best to get them outfits to look like whatever his name out of Harry Potter is.



yes, those are indeed 'Knights' outfits as some, such as my mate Franny, have pointed out. they were the best, alas, i could do, since no store i visited (and there were several) offered for sale any wizard or magician like outfits. which is quite weird, really, but no matter - perhaps they are place out for purchase around Halloween and things. the Knight outfit featured, as far as memory served me, a look and logo (or emblem, if you like) that was to my mind rather like the one on the kit they wear in the world of Harry Potter when they play that fictional version of Qudditch. so i thought they would do.

Franny's comment was intended partially as a criticism of me, of course, for the lad revels in the chance of unpicking the threads of my existence and assembling them into a cloth of sheer fault. mostly, however, it relates to his infatuation with the world of Knights and his earnest, visible yet unexpressed desire to one day get a Knighthood. in this regard he is sort of like Mick Hucknall, only with better hair. Franny would view a Knighthood as recognition for the frontiers he reaches with all things bass, and indeed is of such a nature that he would declare it as being very much a "Knighthood for the whole of Manchester". or wherever he currently lives.

in regards of the rest of the outfits, a certain level of imaginative shopping was required by your humble narrator in order to perfect the look of that kid out of them Harry Potter books.



i had hoped to acquire some "fun" predominantly plastic glasses for the boys to wear as part of the outfit. i was, ladies and gentlemen, foiled in my efforts to find such items. to the rescue came some competitively priced "reader" glasses, which were 99p a go. the reader glasses featured a sort of magnifying powered plastic thing inside a metal frame. i had a go with them and my eyes hurt like they have not for a long time, probably not since i attempted to watch Avatar in truth. the lenses were popped out, then, and sufficient frames were created.

retailers on the whole do not, it is my finding, sell either wands or wandish like sticks in any significant number. in no number, really. a bit more creativity was required, which saw a set of paintbrushes purchased an the brush element removed from two. effective wands were thus created, even if the effective nature was limited purely to appearance. despite the best efforts of the boys, they have not yet cast any successful spells. unless of course someone out there with a name similar to mine has been surprised to find themselves turned into a toad or something.

the boys were happy with their outfits, and indeed they proved to be quite popular amongst their contemporaries at school. so suck that down, Franny.




onwards and, indeed, outwards then. we have not, to my memory, had rain or rain-like weather for somewhere over a week now. this has allowed for some rather welcome and indeed fractionally pleasant weather to come into being, something that has suggested itself as a grand platform for venturing out and about.

why would one not, then, head off to the tropics of Saltburn?





actually that question does have an answer from the boys, who indicated that they would really rather like to go back to Whitby. not that they have anything (so far as we know) against Saltburn, just that they had recent confirmation of sweets, toys and amusement arcades being ready for them in Whitby; those elements being unknown in respect of this Saltburn thing we spoke of.

a mild case of "toughies", alas, was in stock for the boys, as we had specific reason for visiting Saltburn. well, two, really, as one would be that it is class and the other was that we had hoped to meet a friend there. both of these were things that one could reasonably say were "met".

it would indeed have been a shame, one which we may never have sought nor been granted forgiveness for, if we had not taken the opportunity of being in Saltburn to recreate a  modern, up to date picture of one taken many years ago in the very same location. those who know of what i speak, and are familiar with the original, will no doubt understand the qualities of the below, then.



for those baffled, at a loss or otherwise for some reason interested, it's just that one of the best ever pictures of my (considerably) better half and i was taken on the pier at Saltburn.

pier sounds a bit like 'peer', and indeed a life peerage is one of the things that the previously mentioned Franny would undoubtedly be delighted to accept. as a staunch advocate of the preservation and perpetuation of the establishment, Franny would see such an award as confirmation of his dedication and allow him to join the system he so craves to be part of, rather than standing outside of it looking in, occasionally licking the window in order to satisfy his taste for such things.

despite the lack of video arcade thingies to shove two pence coins in, the boys were, i am delighted to say, thrilled with all they saw and found in Saltburn. the views were particularly impressive to them. Johannesburg, or if you like Gauteng, was not, is not and probably shall not be known for its rather more coastal offerings and areas, you see. so things like cliffs, beaches and the open sea appeal to them a very great deal indeed.


that the two of them quite liked standing and just admiring the view right there - and who would not - may allay some fears that many, in particular newspaper proprietors, might have in respect of "the youth of today". the kids today don't always need flashy lights and gadgets to be entertained; far from it. it just depends, i suppose, on which direction parents and that give them in what to value and appreciate in the world.

or something like that, i suppose. speaking of suppose, i dare expect at some point someone will cast doubt that i was ever in Saltburn, or that these pictures were taken there. i present to you, then, this next picture, which kind of does suggest that we were very much there.



as my skills with MS Paint are not all that good, i can assure you that the above picture is not doctored. i can also assure you that, as far as my research has taken me, coastal and seaside towns in England do not put up "fake" Saltburn features to pass themselves off as the place. i shall ask Spiros to head to Margate or perhaps Brighton to confirm this at some stage, just as soon as he has got his haircut thing all sorted out.

it being a lovely, sunny, partially windy-free and sort of warm day saw several people adopt a similar idea to us about the benefits and wisdom of a splendid Sunday in the surroundings of Saltburn. this was something that led to the fish and chip places being exceptionally busy. we did, however, manage to become part of the many who purchased fish and chips, and i can give you assurances that they were splendid. yes, i mention this part mostly as i note i put the word fish in the title. oh, and we walked on some sand, too.

also we had coffee, hot chocolate and things of such a nature at a most splendid cafe. James discovered that he really liked bacon baps too. for anyone thinking that the last part there was a euphemism of some nature, and Payney i am not accusing you specifically, it is not - i do mean fried bacon in a bread roll baked in the form of a bap.



for those who have somehow stumbled upon this blog looking for accurate information of what's going down at Saltburn presently, i can tell you that - sadly - the video arcade amusements on the pier remain closed down due to the wave and water damage, and will probably remain closed down for quite some time. the excellent cliff top lift thing, which i have heard spoken of as being "expensive" from the 1970s right through to the present day, is scheduled to be working once again as of Easter this year. which i think is in April.

a most splendid day out in a most splendid place, then, made all the better by meeting a good friend there. we shall head that way again soon, no doubt. and on the next trip i will probably take a step back from the wisdom of all that GPS business. my (considerably) better half was encouraged to reject direction suggestions from it by your humble narrator; a rejection that saw us taking an even more scenic route to get there. hey ho.


be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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