Sunday, November 25, 2007

This Is How To Mine Your Own New Bedroom

Back to below stairs and now I have to work fast to make a new room because the baby-child is bearly here. I do not know what Harry Potter was whingeing on about because apart from the vacuum cleaner (which I have re-invented as the 'Radivac' so that it is tuned into Radio 4) there is quite enough room to sit down and have a think, without even the bother of having to talk out loud. Still, there is not quite enough space for my sticks or my life size poster of Buzz Aldrin or actually a bed. So the plan is to go downwards. For this fantastic endeavour I have borrowed:

- a toasting fork
- two serving spoons
- Mum's trowell
- one of Dad's dental drills (he has a sad collection of them and will never notice)

I already have my underpants/mining lamp torch which still fits my head. I did think about inviting Dexter to help me but then he was ill with a sick bug. It is probably just as well.
This is how to mine your own new bedroom in three steps.

1. Rip up the existing floorboards using available tools. This is a tough job but the woody evidence can be hastily burnt on the fire in the sitting room.
2. Sift through layer of rubble for interesting artefacts and store for a later understairs world museum (you never know what you will find). Place uninteresting rubble in fire in the sitting room.
3. Dig out bare earth to required depth. This may take some time. For disposal, see above.

By the time Dad calls me for tea, I have disposed of the wood and 42 trowell loads of rubble. Time for a well deserved break.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Do Not Let Dexter Anywhere Near

So, here is how you sort out stick insect poo from stick insect eggs.

1. Remove your sticks from their house (they will be quite unhappy about this and will show it if you look closely)

2. Tip out assorted eggs/poo onto some plain paper (newspaper gets really confusing).

3. Get bowl of water and drop some in. The eggs will sink and the poo will float. Remove eggs and leave to dry (do not use a hairdryer, like Dexter did).

4. Or, make a shape sorter. The poo is smaller than the eggs and will drop though a household sieve and leave the eggs (wash it afterwards but not with the eggy/poo water, like Dexter did)

5. Do not let Dexter anywhere near either of these processes.

6. Do not let Dexter do either of these processes in your guest bedroom.

7. Do not let Dexter do either of these processes in your guest bedroom and then get the vacuum cleaner out.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Job Done Then

Two disasters have ocurred and they are nothing to do with me. I left Dexter in charge of the sticks while I was in New York.The Parents had given Dexter's parents a key so they could come in and make the house look busy while we were away. Turns out Dexter's parents left that job to Dexter as well.
So the first disaster was that the house seemed to have exploded.
'It's a well known burglary prevention method,' he explains. We are perching on the hall welcome mat which is the one tidy space in the house. Mum is waddling around, trying to put things back in cupboards and drawers.
'That was very kind of you, Dexter,' she says and if teeth can really be gritted, then hers were all ready for severe winter weather. 'But did you have to make everywhere quite so messy?'
'The thing is,' says Dexter, 'our house has been burgled twice and it's always really tidy not like your house.'
'Thankyou, Dexter and there was me tidying up before we left,' says Mum and she gives a hysterical little laugh.
'So, I thought I would make completely sure that any burglars would not even bother with your house because they would not want to sort through all the piles and stuff.'
Mum is rubbing her enormous stomach. 'Very thoughtful of you but you shouldn't have gone to so much trouble - I think I have to lie down now.'
'But were you burgled?' he asked.
Mum sighs and shakes her head.
'Job done then,' says Dexter.
I pull him up the stairs to my room. Inside, I point out the stick insect tank. 'I quite like the new non tidy arrangement,' I say to him lulling him into a false sense of me being happy to see him.
He shrugs his shoulders in a modest sort of way.
'But I do not like the fact that you were so busy untidyting the house that you forgot to feed the sticks.'
'Ah,' he says. 'Are they all right?'
We both peer in through the glass. The sticks are plastered to the side in a desperate sort of way. They have nibbled all the greenery I left for them.
'Look there,' I say pointing at the bottom of the tank.
'It's covered.'
'Covered in poo and EGGS!'
I sigh and lift the lid of the tank. 'The sticks were so stressed they all had babies and now YOU are going to sort out the babies from the poo.'
He pulls a face but does not run away. 'Poo eh? And babies? Hmmm.'
And I am not sure wether it is the poo or the eggs that interests him most. All I know is that there are four million of them and they all look nearly but not actually, the same.
Get that job done then.
P.S. The camera containing photos was almost instantly lost when we walked in through the door but hopefully not forever.