The Huddle

Now that’s how you do a huddle.

HU DD LE

Spelling has never been one of my specialities. So not a lot of help to a dyslexic son trying to memorise 15 words in the hope of getting at least 10 correct to avoid a school punishment. Now that’s a way to spend a Sunday. The approach Son has gone for is to break the words up into little words and the try to do a memory photograph of each little word in order.

Alliteration – ALL IT ERA TI ON

Advertisement – AD VER TI SEM ENT

Exaggeration – EX AG GE RAT I ON

It’s not the way I would try but his brain is wired up differently to mine. It delivered 11 out of 15 correct spellings last week. Which is fantastic. What’s frustrating is that it’s such a waste of energy. He can’t read or write any of the ones he got right just 7 days ago. Its achieving nothing. In a couple of weeks he is unlikely to remember any of these spellings. It’s not specifically tailored to help him read or to improve his writing or develop his knowledge or add to his independence or boost his confidence. It’s just about ticking a Government tick box. It’s the Government mantra. Even this week the PMs Dad callee the public illiterate as they probably even couldn’t spell Pinocchio.

GO VE RN ME NT

It’s times like this I really miss my partner. Maybe she would come up with a better solution. A way out of this educational quagmire. She certainly would be lifting all our spirits. She was brilliant at that. Making the world seem so much brighter than it should be. More hopeful. Making sure everyone is feels secure and warm inside. That’s what love is.

LO VE

It’s a new world now and you just have to make the best of it. Face up to the challenges which come your way. Learn to appreciate the small things in life again. Don’t be afraid to smile again.

SM I LE

Like watching the massed ranks of birds coming for their morning breakfast. How the larger birds wait until the little birds have had first crack. Must be some particularly fearsome little chaps..

Thankfully the Birds are happy to get stuck into another failed bread making venture. The humans in the house certainly wouldn’t risk it.

UN DE RB AK ED

Or smiling at the thought of that Amazon Delivery Mans face as he stood at the door waiting for us to answer. Looking at the pair of my underpants – frozen solid discarded on the path. Yes the dog still has a thing about socks and pants.

Or laughing at what the Delivery Man has brought us. A parcel containing a plate and cutlery set. Thinking this is much smaller and lighter than expected. Only to discover that bargain kitchen set was in fact a Kids Kitchen Dishes Playset. Thankfully we are not entertaining anytime soon. Dad is definitely a

MU PP ET.

Or even the sight of a really happy dog ripping apart a newly delivered election pamphlet from the Conservative Party. I’m sure it was full of lots of truthful facts and had absolutely stunning photos of our esteemed leader. To be fair our PM permanently looks well chewed.

BO RIS JO HN SON IS A LY ING TW AT

The boys are back town

The boys are back in town. Well I hope it’s ‘The Boys’ as we might get a plague of Gerbils soon.

Three is plenty. The pet shop certainly saw us coming with the line – they have always been together, such a shame to separate them. To be fair to the G Team (can’t believe someone came up with a rodent G Force before me) they are exceptionally friendly, clean and don’t eat much. When I say don’t eat much. They do shred cardboard. Epic proportions. They also do like to destroy gerbil houses. Good job we have started to make them ourselves.

Unfortunately some things you can’t make again.

Take a long hard look. A stunning Swiss Glacier. Many of these wonders have lost up to 2m of thickness just in this year. They have lost over 10% of their volume in the last 5 years. At current rates 90% of The Alps 4000 glaciers will be gone by the end of this century. Why? 2019 was the third hottest on record for Switzerland. 2018 was the fourth. 2017 the 5th. 2015 was the 2nd. In September a wake was held for another glacier which had been sadly lost. It won’t be the last.

Homeless

Pets have really worked with our son. They provide so much fun and relaxation to him. Since he lost his mum they brought noise and life into the house again. That’s before we even consider the help they have provided with his Aspergers. Best parenting decision ever to bring them into our house. Not such a great financial decision but fiddle sticks to that.

One day we will get a sensible pet. It certainly isn’t the walking dinner plate which is our boy cat. It most certainly isn’t the mad pup currently outside trying to play hide and seek with the butterflies. The hope was that the three gerbils would bring some much needed sanity to the house. Team Gerbils maybe a super hero team ready to assemble but they are also a unrivalled demolition team.

The first house they had was plastic and lasted minutes. The second house was compacted straw and met a similar fate. We upped the anti for the third house with a construction of wood and wire. It has lasted longer however last night Team Gerbils got to work.

To be fair to them they did stack what was left of the house neatly to one side.

Dad we need to get them a new house don’t want them to get angry. You wouldn’t like them when they are angry.

So it’s wooden house version 2.

Notice that in the time it took me to get my mobile to take a photo Team Gerbils have got stuck into the roof.

If this house fails then it’s a phone call to Tony Stark and it’s time for Ironman Armour.

Shopping

I ventured into a Supermarket today. What was I thinking about. Son wisely stayed in the car and watched Red Dwarf episodes. When I went shopping with my partner it seemed to insulate me from the madness occurring around us. Now as a single shopper I seem to absorb everything. It’s a truly bizarre experience.

First of all why do some supermarkets insist that they will only permit you to use one of the trolleys only if you first feed it a one pound coin. Could I find a one pound coin. Could I buggery. After 10 fruitless minutes ransacking the car I had to go into the supermarket to see if they would change a £10 note. “I’m sorry we are not allowed to give change”. So I bought the cheapest packet of sweets I could find. I fed the trolley it’s coin and off we went – in circles. Why is it of the 100 trolleys available I picked the one with the jammed wheel. So I tried again. This time the trolley went in a reasonably straight line but as I entered the shop the little blighter started squeaking. When I say squeaking I mean SQUEAKING. We are talking a 10000 opera singing mice squeaking through the Motorhead sound system. Too late to change as my first items are loaded.

I was going to get a melon but I watched as a chap proceeded to pick up every melon, squeeze them and then appear to smell them. Eventually he found one which he could love. Unfortunately I suddenly did not fancy a previously sniffed melon.

A little kid picking his nose ferociously within inches of the deli counter rather changed my view on lunch options.

Unbelievably I then watched as a woman started checking out every single cucumber. She was seriously squeezing each one. Some even got tapped on the counter. Strangely I crossed off Cucumber from the shopping list as I have a strict no purchase policy for all previously violated vegetables.

As I was trying to find just one tin of soup which was dairy free I heard a chap ask a Shop Assistant where the teabags could be found. The helpful advice the chap got was – well it’s not in this aisle it will be next to the coffee. When the chap asked where the coffee was he was told. It used to be in aisle 3 but they moved it. I’m sure you will find it if you keep going round the shop.

Then an old lady asked if I could pass her a tin of peaches down. I’m one 1/2 inch above average height. Why in God’s name do shops insist on having shelves where even an average height person has to go on tip toes to reach the stuff we are trying to buy. The poor woman who can’t be 5ft has got no chance shopping. Maybe the shop could hire stilts along with the trolley.

The aisle with the tomato ketchup and other sauces was cordoned off. Clearly a jar of something red had been dropped. However it must have been dropped with some force as most of the aisle resembled a scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That’s going to take some cleaning.

I then went past the discounted section. Not sure what produce was discounted as what appeared to be a team bus of local holligans where at least 3 deep around the area. That is going to be stripped bare.

The pet section had a deal on cat food. Everything seemed to be buy one get one free. Yet nothing for the dogs. Isn’t that discrimination. Plus how can gerbil bedding be so bloody expensive. It would be cheaper to buy them a proper duvet with matching cover. Or maybe just buy them a tree and let the Gerbils do the rest.

You make it through the pet section then you find the way blocked at the cereal aisle. An impromptu meeting of what appeared to be the bridge club had helpfully completely filled the walkway. Oh for a Battering Ram.

Special mention to the poor mum who had successfully navigated the supermarket carefully packing her trolley with the weekly essentials. Only to find out her toddler had been having a great game of putting any item in his reach back onto the shelves – definitely not in the correct position.

Then we come to the dress sense. Ok on the sartorial scale I’m near the bottom. But come on. One chap in a fine pinstripe suit with bright yellow training shoes. The lady in what can be best described as a ballerina costume. The young kid (maybe 8) with the f**k you T-shirt. Or maybe the chap walking around in what appeared to be a string vest which was probably last washed 10 years ago. Or perhaps the big chap walking around in Tour de France Lycra which was clearly on the point of exploding under the extreme pressure it was subject to. Wow what an old fart I’m becoming. To balance things out I was looking spectacular in my luminous green running shoes set against a blue and green relaxed fit T-shirt. My exploding lycra issue was tastefully hidden under matching black and white running shorts. I think the term your trying to think of is numpty.

The freezer section lives up to its name. The freezers are working that well that the surrounding air has been chilled to somewhere close to East Antarctic Plateau temperatures. You could see the colour literally being sucked out of the shoppers trying to reach the ice lolly section. To my cost I discovered how little insulation running shorts and Lycra provide. I will never look at frozen Brussels Sprouts in the same way again.

Then it’s time to pay. When I say time I mean that in the loosest sense. A long queue at every open till. Then they start to open another till. The start to the Monaco Grand Prix has nothing on the ensuing trolley carnage. I was expecting Kirk Douglas and Chariot to make an appearance. And then when we do get to a cash till. Of the 16 available why do I always pick the one where the poor cashier has the plague. 5 minutes of coughing and sneezing and blowing her nose. Deep Joy.

That’s why I am hermit….

News but not as you know i

Let’s try and lift the spirits from the last domestic post. Lonely does not want to meet the current news.

How often do you wake up. Make a cup of coffee. Then think I wonder what’s on the news. Then two minutes later you think – why did I bother. We live in a time of thoroughly dispiriting news. You also get the impression that the news has been carefully selected and filtered for you. If that wasn’t bad enough then often the news is the news. FAKE NEWS.

Well today we tried something different. No checking of the mainstream news. But what could we do instead. Let’s source our own news. That way we can live in whatever land or time or event or world we want to. Son got the first go.

Wrestling News.

  • Apparently a family has won the world thumb wrestling championship.
  • A good wrestler might go heel.
  • A bad guy wrestler might shave of his beard and go good.
  • Lots of wrestlers are going on a wrestling cruise.
  • Will the Demon fight another Demon at Summerslam.
  • A wrestler has a bad injury. But wait it’s a story line so they will be better for the next big Pay Per View event. It’s a miracle.
  • Another wrestler has a new hairstyle.

I can live with this. Absolutely no feeling of despair. Life is so much easier when it’s all a storyline.

Then we tried another type of News. Pokemon.

  • Pesky Team Rocket have apparently taken over lots of Poke Stops.
  • Apparently you can catch a shiny Koffing.
  • Lots of details about a Pokemon Go Community Day.
  • It’s your last chance to get an Armoured MewTwo. You have been warned.
  • Soon there is going to be a Sleep Snorlax Event.

Give me one good reason why this news world is not the one you should wake up to everyday.

Then I tried one. News on Captain Scarlet. Unbelievably nothing on the worlds greatest hero. What is the world coming to. So son tried another. Marvel

  • Endgame is the highest ever grossing movie beating Avatar. Is it me or was Avatar the most overrated pile of CGI pants.
  • Apparently Valkyrie’s real superpower is going to be revealed.
  • Black Widow is going to sort out Taskmaster. I thought she was dead…
  • Thor is coming back but this time Thor is a female. Cool.
  • The worlds funniest and greatest ever villain Loki is getting his own TV show. My toes are curling up with excitement already.

It’s a world of super intergalactic villains and with our planet repeatedly being almost vapourised by aliens. Yet every time larger than life heroes come to our rescue. Unbelievably that world sounds safer and less crazy than our own world.

One last news visit, let’s go Gerbil News. Expecting nothing but got a brief glimpse into a parallel universe.

  • Hungry gerbil rescued by Army Police in Derby.
  • Woman caught hiding 24 Gerbils up her skirt on a flight from China.
  • Gerbils replace rats as the main cause of the Black Death.
  • Richard Gere and the Gerbil. Don’t look this up but please tell me it’s not true.
  • Barnsley stages Olympics for Gerbils. 7 years ago but why wasn’t this subject to wall to wall TV coverage.
  • After the Mastermind Gerbil scandal we look at other game show fiascos.

So today we have completely avoided the fake news and feel so relaxed. I’m sure when we look again the world will be still messed up. It will still be burning. The rich getting richer and the poor still getting dumped on. Men with strange hairstyles and large egos will still be trying to take us back to the feudal times. But if we look just a little harder then the mist clears and the real world reveals itself. Tell me it’s not a better place.

Horror Show

So our glorious leader Bonkers Boris has held his first cabinet. And it is truly glorious

  • Leadership provided by Bluffer Boris a man sacked multiple times for lying.
  • The person in charge of domestic security was sacked for fibbing about holding clandestine arms deals meetings with a foreign leader. Clearly we all accidentally bump into world leaders on holiday and the subject strays away from the beach talk to weapon deals.
  • The chap in charge of our kids education was sacked (with calls for him to face criminal prosecution) for leaking official secrets.
  • Several of the team would love to bring back hanging and fox hunting.
  • The Foreign Secretary apparently thinks feminists are obnoxious bigots.
  • A transport secretary who has his own private jet.
  • A rich member who thought a dying benefit claimant who was sanctioned for being 4 minutes late for an appointment – should learn the art of timekeeping.
  • Another who has recently been found in to be in contempt of Parliament. Something which seems to be a badge of honour.
  • The person in charge of housing loves the idea of a bedroom tax.
  • A Security Minister who spectacularly cocked up his own Parties Conference security leading to a significant personal data breach for a number of high profile targets.
  • A multi millionaire who claimed expenses of 49p for some milk yet struggled to correctly declare £400000 of outside earnings.
  • Another rich member who thinks people using food banks are not poor.
  • And this obnoxious thing

But we have hope.

In a far off realm a group of brave heroes hold their first shadow cabinet meeting. Ready to come to our countries need in its darkest hour. Modern day King Arthur and his Knights.

Ok one of the heroes clearly keeps falling asleep. But it’s hard work being this good. And not a top hat in sight. I suspect it would be shredded within seconds.

Maybe you have similar heroes who are poised to save your country. I think we all could do with special ones who are beyond reproach and who we can truly believe in. We certainly need a smile at the very least.

Terrible Poetry the Rodents are here

The wonderful Chelsea Owens has a weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. This week she has openly said that she is trying to tease one of our entrants, but don’t tell him“. Just have a look at the topic.

“Hello poets, and welcome to the 31st Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

Read the basic how-to about what we do around here if you’re confused. If you don’t want to click a link and read an outline, that’s cool. You can also stay up all night and write whatever comes out before drinking coffee.

Besides that, here are the specifics for this week:

  1. Just to be inclusive, the Topic is small rodents’ opinions on political policies.
    I am a moderate and do not approve of anyone shaming, judging, hating, or blaming others for their views; but the politicians themselves are free game.
  2. Don’t filibuster for too long. Keep the Length to 200 words or fewer.
  3. Rhyme if it makes your constituents happy. Or, just promise to.
  4. Most importantly: Make it terrible. In fact, make “Make it terrible” your slogan. Slap “Make it terrible” stickers on babies and kiss their sweet mothers for the camera.
  5. I realize this sort of thing can raise some blood pressures, so keep your poem PG or cleaner. After all, in rodent politics they don’t actually want fur to fly.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (June 28) to submit a poem.”

**********************

The US wants to build a really big wall

It’s to keep bad folk out maybe like Darth Maul

Paris is a beautiful place full of Yellow Vests

A great city to visit especially if you like protests

Canada seemed to have a charismatic leader

Now he seems tainted to the lay reader

The UK is run by a bunch of useless buffoons

Soon to become no more than Trumps spittoon

Clearly we are being failed by our politicians

Yet our rodents have untapped political ambitions

They want to address Climate Change

Rodents want positive action not wasting time on the golf range

They are not happy with our leaders looking after the rich only

Rodents will favour the poor and make sure the rich feel very lonely

They see that nationalism has disastrous consequences

Rodents will build bridges not really big fences

Politicians like to feed on your souls

Rodents like to munch on your toilet rolls

The ruling elite need to tremble

As its time for the Gerbils to Assemble

Tell me why

In my voice – Tell me why

  • My partner was taken from us when she was so young.
  • The system continually fails our son.
  • The Government can find billions to bribe other parties to keep it in power but can’t find the money to fund education support for the kids who need it.
  • I don’t sleep anymore.
  • They say the world is getting smaller yet I feel so isolated.
  • Chocolate has so many blooming calories.
  • Hair doesn’t like growing on my head yet it sprouts like an Amazonian Forest on the back of the my hands.
  • The cat continually finds a way into the wardrobe.
  • I can’t find any socks in this house.
  • They never made a Captain Scarlet movie.

In our son’s voice – Tell me why

  • My mum had to die.
  • Both my grannies had to die.
  • My hamster had to die.
  • My girl cat who was like a sister to me had to die.
  • I can’t read.
  • Some people think I am stupid just because I am autistic and dyslexic.
  • Shops have to be so busy.
  • Hazard is leaving Chelsea.
  • Do people have to kiss in films.
  • Marvel Movies are way better than DC Movies.
  • Most kids don’t like rock music.
  • Broccoli wasn’t deemed an inedible plant.
  • My Dad can’t cook.
  • In our dogs voice – Tell me why
    • I get shouted at for pinching socks.
      I get shouted at for digging holes.
      I get shouted at for eating garden tools.
      I get shouted at for eating garden furniture,
      I get shouted at for digging up plants.
      I get shouted at for burying stuff like socks.
      I get shouted at for pulling bits of the apple tree off.
      I get shouted at for escaping.
      I get shouted at for climbing in the hedge.
      I get shouted at for eating cat poo, cow poo, sheep poo.
      I get shouted at for pinching food.
      My best friend isn’t with us anymore. I know I am a dog but she was a really cool cat.

    In our boy cats voice – Tell me why

    • My sister isn’t with us anymore.

    • My best friend, the really lovely woman has gone. I miss siting on her lap.
    • I get shouted at for missing the cat litter by several feet.
    • I get really shouted at for missing the litter by so many feet I hit the wall.
    • I get shouted at for sitting in front of the TV when a movie is on.
    • I get shouted at for sneaking into the wardrobe and getting white hairs on all the black clothes.
    • I get shouted at for falling in hot plates of food.
    • I get shouted at for always tripping people up.
    • I get shouted at for sleeping on the laptop.
    • I get shouted at for sleeping on the toaster.

    In our gerbils voice – Tell me why

    • We don’t live in a toilet roll factory.

    Monster Movies

    I’ve just pitched this blockbuster monster movie to Marvel. I think it’s a winner. Works on so many levels especially emotional.

    My deepest apologies – clearly I have now lost the plot. Officially cracked now. To such an extent that we are going to build our own movie franchise up over the coming months.