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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yes... there's someone coming through... I can see a friendly face... light brown hair... maybe a sweet tooth... don't tell me, don't tell me... is it... Dougal from the Magic Roundabout?

Psychic Ammy
No, it's our good friend Marie! Although now you mention it...

Magic Roundabout
If I was a bit more embarrassed, we'd have one hell of a tribute act on our hands. The Tragic Roundabout. I think it could work.

Anyhoo, believe it or not, that photo on the right was taken by Amelie, who was standing on the sofa with my camera, directing us into position, and insisting that we all said 'cheese', with the kind of firm insistence not seen since Thatcher was in power. To be honest, it came quite naturally to her. And it's a good job it did, because when I was in charge of the camera, this was the best we could do...

No Choke
Three of us are doing a pretty good job of looking natural, but ultimately the eye tends to be drawn towards the one choking to death in the middle. It's like I'd issued some kind of gagging order.

But choking apart, as is probably obvious by now, we had a visit yesterday from Croydon's greatest export (which isn't saying much), the lovely Marie. Over the years, we've built up quite a collection of group photos, to which you can add the one from last time, and now the photos above, but to be honest, we still haven't achieved one that we're all happy with. I think it's some kind of collective body dysmorphic disorder. We all think we look fat. Which is patently ridiculous to anyone who knows us.

I realise the camera adds twenty pounds, but Amelie assured me I looked thin through the viewfinder...

Daddy's Girl. I mean Girl's Daddy.
I think maybe she was talking to Pingu.

Anyhoo, if you look at either of the group photos above, you'll see that Marie was standing next to a wise man. No, really. But if you ignore the one with the comedy gold, you'll see another with Frankincense on the shelf behind. That was knitted for Amelie last Christmas by a lady named Margaret, who lives next door to Lisa's Mum. Amelie calls her Margaret the Cabbage, for reasons less offensive than you might think.

About a month ago, the wise man suffered a hideous dismemberment which resulted in his hand falling off, and despite praying to the Baby Jesus for healing, he's been mostly armless ever since. But the good news is that I managed to perform a miracle of my own on Friday by remembering to buy some glue at Asda, so yesterday afternoon Marie and I settled down to play doctors and nurses, and perform a bit of surgery.

At which point we discovered that I'd spent two quid on an empty tube of glue. In sealed packaging. Frankly the only thing it could stick was in my throat. So I'm looking forward to returning that to Asda next week and cheerfully trying to convince them that my fully squeezed tube had been full of hot air all along. I imagine they'll respond to me in a similar way.

So finding ourselves stuck for some glue, Marie and I decided to take Amelie out to the park, while Lisa cleared away our lunch plates and prayed to Dr Atkins for forgiveness. We took with us a cuddly duck which Marie had kindly brought for Amelie, and which she claimed had hatched from the Easter Egg that she couldn't give her, on account of the fact that she'd eaten it herself.

In my day, playgrounds were full of slides and swings. Now it's all elaborate torture chamber equipment...

No pain, no gain.
... and S.A.S. assault courses...

Be the best.
But after a quick sit-down on a spike...

... and some soothing ice cream, we returned home, where I promptly proved my status as a child entertainment genius by inventing a brand new game. It's called 'Moo!', and if I'm honest, I wasn't so much trying to invent a game as throwing a stuffed cow at Marie, but let's face it, a lot of the world's greatest innovations have come about by accident. Just look at The Piglet Song.

'Moo!' essentially involves tossing a cuddly cow to Amelie whilst shouting "Moo!", then waiting while she does the same back to you. Lisa claims there's "not much to it", but to be honest, she said that about The Piglet Song, so she's clearly failed to spot the nuances in both. Amelie, on the other hand, loves it. I'm already working on a follow-up, provisionally entitled 'Quack!', so the way things are going, I could have a successful music, games & movie franchise on my hands. Years from now, kids will be going to Gardner World.


Phil's Mum said...

The trouble with long blogs is that, by the time you get to the end, you can't remember what was at the beginning, so I'll just comment on the last pictures and say, Yes I have noticed - and commented on - the change in playground equipment.  Does it say something about the world we live in?

Dave said...

<span>The trouble with long comments is you've forgotten the blog post by the time you've read them.</span>

jon the bassist said...

Long posts.... Long comments... Its swings and rounabouts really.
When you had your moustache, was that a zebadee look you were going for?