Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Have Space Suit-Will Travel

Just take a look at this man in his spacesuit-ready for action and space and probably handy with a lawnmower as well. This looks like an old style space suit, the sort Granpa Jack would have chosen becuase there is room inside the helmut to smoke his smelly pipe. I would choose the space suit on the right. It's a bit more up-to-date and probably a bit safer in the big vacuum of space. Here's an interesting thought. Perhaps space is like a giant vacuum cleaner and the earth is in a constant state of being sucked up but because it's big- like those bits of lego and cat-food that get caught in the household cleaner- it actually just stays where it is.

Some day someone is going to work out how to unclog us from the vacuum innards and we'll probably go flying off into another cleaner universe. And all without the aid of a space suit.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Last Bit of Christmas Stuff

Below are some people trying to look good in boiler suits. I say don't bother. Boiler suits used to be for tough grimy jobs to do with boiling stuff - not for looking cool. Now you can wear them for anything messy which to my mind is just about everything that you do in the world. The best type of suit is of course a space-suit. ANYONE can look good in that. I'll show you a picture later to prove it.

So, I promise this is the last bit of Christmas stuff-for now.

The doorbell rings.
'Why don't you answer it, Wilfred?' says Mum. 'It might be for you.'
'It's a bit early for Dexter,' I say.
'Maybe it's not Dexter,' says Dad.
'But who else would come round this early on Christmas morning?' I am thoroughly confused.
The doorbell rings again. 'Maybe you should answer it, Dad, it might be a stranger.'
'Just answer it, Wilfred,' says Dad, pushing me towards the door.
I open it. Granpa Jack is standing in the snow with a blue scarf wrapped around something that is making his arms sag.
'Let me in, my boy,' he says, 'please.'
I let in in but don't say a word about how nice his old people's home is at, 'The Pit of Despair' and how awful he was to lie about it; I don't say anything mainly because I am not meant to be speaking to him. He heaves himself inside and underneath his coat he has an old boiler suit on. He winks at me. Then unwraps his scarf and out pops a small but powerful looking motor.
'Maybe I can help you put these two together?' He points at the sleigh and the engine. 'If you'll let a miserable old fool like me help you that is?'
I can't help it. I start grinning like a baby-child. I've got snow, a sleigh and now Grandpa Jack has come back to FIX A MOTOR TO IT. Dad has another drink in his hand but this time he's smiling.
'Thanks, Dad,' I say.
'Better get on with this, young Wilfred!' says Grandpa Jack, 'just bring that oilcan in here will you...'
Mum's eyes are going poppy as she looks at the engine on her hand-crafted fair-traded rug in the sitting room.
'Perhaps we should do that outside, Grandpa Jack,' I say quickly.
Dad claps me on the shoulder. 'Wilfred,' he says, 'I think you're finally getting it.'
I have no idea what he's talking about.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

What a Wonderful Present!

So this is it. The sleigh of my dreams, except for the dream where it has a motor attached to it and goes REALLY fast. It is the best.

I throw on my dressing gown and race downstairs. Mum is in the hall, humming happily to the vacuum cleaner, classic FM top tunes. Dad is bent over the hall floor. He is cleaning up some cat sick.
'Happy Christmas, Mum, Dad!'
Mum smiles. 'This is a wonderful present, Wilfred,' she says, patting the cleaner and her eyes are happy. 'Thankyou, dear.' Then I have to fight off her kisses.
'Father Christmas did come last night, didn't he?' and she's waves the pretend Father Christmas note at me.
'But I saw him!' I say. 'He's real! Really!'
'I know,' says Mum, 'don't we Dad?'
Dad nods. 'We had to open your present, Wilfred. We sort of guessed what it might be and then Father Christmas left crumbs all over the sitting room and the cat wasn't very well...'
I thought of the food mixture I' d given her. 'Ah, well, hmm,' I say.
Dad gives me a big hug. 'Come on, Wilfred we've got something to show you.'
In the sitting room the fire is burning, the radio is churning out gloomy carols and outside the snow is falling. It is perfect.
'Can I just go outside and play for a little while, before breakfast, please!'
'You might want to open this first,' says Dad and he drags a large parcel out from behind the tree. 'Then, when you are dressed you might want to take it outside with you.'
I stare. I gape. My heart thumps. It is wrapped in winking snowmen.
'Open it then,' says Mum.
I rip off the paper. Underneath it there is a wooden sleigh. It has iron runners and curved ends. And it is beautiful. I read the label.

'To Wilf, sorry it's not motorised. Love, Father Christmas'

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Cloudseeding-that's what it reminded me of (see right).When scientists wanted to make rain they could put chemicals in the clouds and whoosh! Rain. So when I woke up it was like a scientist had been really busy outside making snow, instant snow. And I know there are snow machines but this would have to have been a giant machine because the snow was EVERYWHERE and really deep. I think it is especially thick because Mrs Next-Door has chucked all her snow into our garden. And now the four million cats from our garden have all gone into Mrs Next-Door's garden. She won't like that.

There is something wrong. My eyes are open but all I can see is white. There is white falling outside the window. It's snowing. I suddenly remember last night and all those bright sparks falling from his fingers. White sparks like snow. . . It's snowing!
'IT'S SNOWING!' I yell and I sit up in bed.
'Jin-gle bells, jin-gle bells, jin-gle al the way,' sings Dexter the computer, except it does not sound much like singing but I don't like to tell him this.
'Happy Christmas, Dexter! The garden's full of SNOW!' I can't even see where Mrs Next-Door's specially reinforced concrete wall is.
'Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse o-pen sleigh-heh,' Dexter makes it sound about as much fun as eating cabbage. But I don't care-last night I saw Father Christmas.
I hear the noise of the vacuum cleaner singing. It's tuned to a classical radio station-Mum and Dad have opened their Christmas present already! And it works! YIPPEE!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I Dream of Small Grey Sheep

You may wonder about the small grey sheep. My screen saver is meant to be a 'magical Christmas scene' with LOADS of snow falling. But something has gone wrong and the falling snow just looks like grey sheep. It piles up at the bottom of the screen like a big sheep mountain-not very magical at all really.

'Happy Christmas, Wilf!' says Father Christmas and he turns to leave. 'I hope you get what you want!'
I panic. He can't go now, I have so many questions that need answering, questions like, 'how do you build an igloo big enough to fit an entire toy factory in?' and 'How do you manage to deliver billions of presents to billions of children in under 12 hours and where does Einstein fit into all that?'
But all I can manage is,
'Wait a mo! Where's your sack?'
He is quiet for a second and then he winks. 'Who needs a sack when you've got magic kiddo?'
And he waves a long, thin hand and white sparks appear all around him. They pop like bubbles and he is gone. Just like that. For a moment I cannot move. The room is back as it was, the tree, the lights, the cat licking her bottom. But nothing is normal, not now.
'I've just seen, Father Christmas, Serena. I'VE JUST SEEN FATHER CHRISTMAS!' Serena is disturbed mid-lick and stalks out of the room and I fly upstairs. I want to tell Mum and Dad, I want to tell Granpa Jack, I want to fling open my bedroom window and shout out the news! Father Christmas is alive! But Dad accidentally painted my window shut last summer so I have to just stare very hard out at the night sky, hoping for a glimpse of him.
'I've just seen, Father Christmas,' I say to Dexter, the computer.
'Does not com-pute,' says Dexter.
'Oh, yes it does,' I whisper.
And in my sleep, I dream of small, grey sheep falling from the sky.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fascinating Invention No. 5-The Vacuum Cleaner

The vacuum cleaner is an especially interesting invention to me as I am making a musical one for The Parents as a Christmas present. It is another amazing machine invented by the Victorians. Hubert Booth made the first vacuum cleaner after he saw an American machine in action. The inventor was trying to clean railway carriages by BLOWING the dust off the seats and Hubert decided it would be better if the dust was SUCKED. So, he tried out his theory - not at home, not in a laboratory but in a posh restaurant. He took out his hanky and sucked at the seat of his chair and nearly choked to death. This might seem a bit mad but when he turned the hanky over it was covered in trapped dust. He went on to make giant vacuum cleaners which rich people hired and made their servants use. They were so big they had to use really long hoses to snake in through the windows, after clearing away all aspidistras and small children. Luckily they were able to make smaller cleaners.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I Believe That Mincepie Was Meant For Me

(right) This is Gizmo from a film called 'Gremlins' that I am not allowed to watch. He reminds me of my friend, Dexter, especially about the ears.
(below) This is just like the gizmo, Father Christmas carried with him. How cool are those flashing lights.

'Hem hem!' coughs a quiet voice.
I jump and spin all in one go. A tall man in a metallic red jumpsuit stands next to the Christmas tree. In his hand is some sort of gizmo with flashing lights on it.
'I believe that mincepie was meant for me,' he says, sounding a bit American.
I'm not worried; he looks more like a hairy Buzz Aldrin than a burglar. I want to ask how the gizmo works but my mouth is stuck.
'In case you're wondering,' smiles the man. 'I'm Father Christmas! Santa Claus! St Nicholas! Take your pick!' His gizmo beeps and he punches a button. 'And I should have been in France nanoseconds ago.'
My mouth unglues. 'But, but you're not fat and where's your sack!?' I blurt out these crushing facts in a weird high voice.
He laughs and pats his flat stomach. 'We're all more streamlined these days, pardner!' He bends lower. 'Still got the beard though and I bet you can't pull this one off!'
'How do you know about that?' I ask.
'Didn't your parents tell you? I know everything, Wilf. Everything. I even know about Granpa Jack. Two naughty boys.'
That made me think.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Happy Christmas Serena

Apart from cream tea, the most disgusting thing in the universe to eat is a mincepie. Read on.
"Three centuries ago, a mince pie was a huge dish called “Christmas pye” and described as “a most learned mixture of Neats-tongues (ox tongue), chicken, eggs, sugar, raisins, lemon and orange peel, various kinds of spicery, etc.”

This is of course DISGUSTING but Dad (see right) thinks mince-pies are what beards were made for which is also DISGUSTING.

Serena is hungry, I can tell, so I crumble most of the mince pie onto a plate for her and leave a few crumbs on another plate. I pick out a glass and fill it with some of Dad's red drink.
She's really hungry. I pour most of Dad's red drink onto her plate and mush it up together with the mince pie.
'Happy Christmas, Serena,' I say, as she tucks into it.
I bite a carrot in half and leave that on the mantlepiece; I throw the other half in the bin. The cat's not really interested in healthy food. Finally I leave a note I typed out all ready. It says:

"Thankyou for the mintspie and the drink. It was kind. Bye.
From Father Christmas.
P.S. Your super son, Wilf let me borrow his computer to write this note. Get him a motorised toboggan next year"

There, that should do it. Mum and Dad can believe in Father Christmas again and also think that I believe in him as well! Sorted!