Sunday, 24 August 2008

Er... yesterday didn't exist, right?

Current mood:  tired

Well, I said I would catch up with this blog first thing yesterday morning.  But Mum got up early too, and wanted the computer practically all day.  In fact, she was still using the computer long after I went to bed at about 1am!   Anyways, I've got it off of her now, so let's see how far I get with this.
After walking around Redwings, we left via their charity shop.  Instead of setting prices, they ask you to donate what you think the item(s) you buy are worth.  I was disgusted to see a couple of women taking advantage and "buying" piles of stuff for a bit of loose change.  There was a G1 bridle (the one that came with the Show Stable) in the toy box, so I wonder if somebody had got a load of ponies for a pittence too?
Next to yet another churchyard to look for some more graves, including two really important ones.  There was a map at the entrance, but none of the sections were properly marked out.  David went where he thought the graves should have been, but we couldn't find them.  I pointed out that the sections were long and thin, so we should continue further.  He couldn't be bothered though, and insisted we'd already covered the areas, so the graves must have deteriorated.  Mum pointed out that one of the people we were looking for was a soldier who died as a result of the Great War, meaning his final resting place would have been looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and MUST still be there.  But David's phone was ringing now - ah, it was one of his non-paying ex-agency "friends" asking for some advice on their latest project, which he was more than happy to give, of course.  So he went thundering back towards the gate, not looking where he put his feet and occasionally tripping over bits of semi-decayed gravestones that were jutting out of the grass here and there.  Fortunately, as I watched a rabbit bounding away from David's clumsy feet, I noticed a clump of war graves to the left of us, and by absolute fluke, the first one I looked at was the one we were looking for!
Photograph taken for Mum's friend in Arkansas, we moved on to Great Yarmouth for more coin operated kiddie ride photographing.  David really thought we could get the whole seaside resort covered in about an hour.  Oh please!  I was pleased to get back there though, as I lost all the pictures I took on that coach trip last year when the old computer packed up.  While we're on the subject of that coach trip, do you remember how I said (in my blog about said trip) Great Yarmouth wasn't as big as we had remembered from our weekend away there in the late 90s?  Well, we discovered the reason.  When Mum got so tired last year we gave up walking along the promenade, thinking we'd reached the end of the amusements anyway.  Which meant we never saw the pleasure beach at all!  And, by looking through my old photos of the 90s weekend, that's where a lot of the old rides were.  Unfortunately, that's no longer the case, although I saw a couple of old "friends" there.

(AGH!  I just looked up my blog on Great Yarmouth last year, and found out there were rides on the pier, which we didn't go on this year, due to lack of time.  Can we not get everything done just once?)
Well, needless to say, in the hour David had set aside we only got about halfway along the promenade (although from the other end to last year), and had to agree to come back the following day.  Right now we had to get to Little Chef before it shut.
We ate the same as we had the previous night, but this time David decided to surprise me by getting one of the cookie ice cream desserts I like....right after I'd just told him I was "too full to take another bite"!  Of course, I had to be polite, and at least try to eat it, but I felt sick after about half of it, and he ended up eating the other half.  Oh well, maybe he did know what he was doing after all!   Mind you, I don't see why I should feel bad.  The reason I felt so full up and was unable to eat the ice cream was because I'd drunk almost two pints of chocolate milk that day.  Reason for that?  David had bought apple juice drinks (diluted apple juice) from Tesco rather than real apple juice, only to dilute it further in a volvic bottle for me while I was getting dressed in the hotel bathroom.  Um...  Didn't he notice it was an unusally pale colour?
On top of that, since he didn't have any scissors, he had somehow opened the carton with his TOENAIL CLIPPERS.  Was I really supposed to drink the liquid that came out of that carton?
While we're on the subject of his toenail clippers, that night I came out of the bathroom to find him sitting on the end of the double bed Mum and I had to share (with Mum already under the cover), clipping his toenails, and piling up the clippings on top of her duvet.  Eww...
Anyhow, I kicked up stink, made him move to his mattress on the floor, removed our double duvet, and got out the spare single duvets which the hotel provided.  These seemed to be even hotter than the double duvet so, unable to breathe in bed, Mum ended up sleeping on the hotel floor again!
The following day (Saturday August 16th) Mum apparently had another boot sale planned, but David spent hours in the bathroom showering again, then went to breakfast late, making sure we couldn't go.  By the time we got to breakfast, a messy whirlwind seemed to have swept through the place.  All the spoons were CAKED in old cereal, the bowls were in a similar state, and the tables were sticky.  David chose then, when Mum was already in a bad mood, to ask her "Why ain't ya wearing yer mid-distance glasses?"  Well, maybe the fact she left those at the optician while they change the frames might have something to do with that, David?  Do you really only listen to TV and radio, and not know the first thing about what's going on in reality?
Needless to say, Mum got really upset, stole some croissants and chocolate muffins for lunch ("Well, we're paying enough for this bl**dy stuff.  £7.50 for a bowl of Rice Krispies?!", as she shouted across the room), thoroughly embarrassed David who was eating a huge cooked meat breakfast by telling him "I don't know why the woman behind the bl**dy counter gave me a strange look when I put these in my bag.  Bl**dy expensive - and FILTHY conditions - here.  We might as well make the best of it!" , then went back to our hotel room so as to get everything together ready to leave.  I called the lift, got inside, only to see Mum dashing back into the breakfast room.  The doors were closing, but I managed to hold them open and get out again.  The man who was already in the elevator looked up from the map he was studying, and looked at me as though I was mad.  I muttered an apology at him, and dashed after Mum.  "What are you playing at?" I asked her.  "What are YOU playing at?"  She answered with a question. "I didn't think you'd want to get in a lift with a strange man."  One of the weirdest arguments I've ever had ensued, and continued for quite some time before she started ranting at ME about what DAVID had said about her glasses.  Eventually, I convinced her to get in a lift and go back to the room.
When David finally finished his breakfast and followed us upstairs, we found out the real reason he hadn't wanted to go to the boot sale.  He'd parked in a different car park with a flat rate fee for all day, so if we'd left Norwich it would have cost more to come back, if you get what I mean.  Mum was still annoyed though, and said that if that was David's plan, he must take me to a boot sale on Sunday when we got back.  (Boot sales are my only interest, you see? )  He then lead us to one of the dirtiest car parks I've ever seen.  I mean, it stank of urine, there was graffiti on all the walls, and beer bottles and needles everywhere.
Fortunately, the car was safe.  We loaded up the car (having to leave all our belongings in the nasty place) and wandered into town.  Mum wanted to see the Coleman's Mustard Shop, but was "disappointed" when she got to it.  I thought it was pretty good actually, with Coleman's mustard merchandise for sale, and little museum type cabinets everywhere with old packaging and so on.
Next door there was a small toy shop.  No new ponies but there was a really sweet sign on the shelf with a cute picture of Cheerilee with the words "Cheerilee is the story teller" underneath.  I guess there must be one for each of the Core Seven, and the toy stores must get a set to hang wherever they like.  I was going to take a photo, but just then a member of staff came up and offered me a lollipop.  Hmm, weird.  How come whenever I try to dress up slightly nicer than usual they think I'm about five years younger than my real age?  Oh well, never mind.  A free lolly is nothing to sniff at, eh?  And better to look younger than your age than older!  You're never going to be younger again, but you'll be older for a lifetime! 
Next we went to Norwich Castle Museum.  I think David heard the word "castle" and thought it would be one of the nice old ruins he loves so much, so he got a nasty surprise to discover it's mainly a museum, and he didn't have time to get into the actual ruin bit.  I loved the teapot gallery there, but Mum had trouble seeing it because of her eyes.   Mainly, it was just a couple of very badly dubbed presentation videos, with sign language that didn't appear to fit the words either.  Mum actually went to sleep while the videos were playing!
There were huge gangs of gothic teenagers (like 100-200) in the grounds outside the castle - I've no idea why they were there, but the looked a rough bunch, challenging anyone who walked by.  They had piercings and tattoos everywhere, and most of the boys periodically took off their shirts and threw them on the ground.  All very odd...  Most of the people of Norwich seemed quite rough though.  Not that I'm picking on any individuals who come from there, of course.  We may have just been unlucky.
Back to the car park, where another pool of vomit had appeared in the entrance (in broad daylight, obviously).  Then back to Great Yarmouth.  Mum was upset that David hadn't taken the time to check the time of the seal boat trip the night before, and we had just missed it.  We walked along the rest of the promenade, me really trying to hurry with taking the photographs, because I knew Mum wanted to get to see Lowestoft.  I guess that's why I forgot the pier.
We did stop off once to look at a little seaside shop which sells bags and purses.  Mum's been going on about the "dog bags" she saw there ever since last year, but when she got another look at them, she realised they were "too girly" for her.  Oh well, I got a really nice shoulder bag with an alsatian on one of the pockets.  I don't know how long it will last - it looks pretty cheaply made - but I will use it when we move house for as long as I can!
I was relieved to find that Sarah the Seahorse and Willy the Worm were still there, having lost those pictures I took last year.  Willy in particular looks really old and bashed up now, so I don't think they'll be around much longer.

We dashed along to Lowestoft next, but it was already too late.  The shops were closed.  David said we should walk up the parade anyway, but I couldn't see any point in seeing all the shops we couldn't get into.  Especially seeing all the mad skateboarders who were running around everywhere!  I think we'd have got run over if we'd tried.
So we just went on the other pier (Yes, Lowestoft has two piers, we discovered!) and I found out that a few of the old rides I remembered were actually there.  Something sad occurred to me then.  The "old rides" that are still there are the ones that were brand new when I was little.  The ones that have gone were the "old rides" back then.  But the thing is, the "old rides" when I was little dated back twenty or thirty years.  Now we're talking about ten at the most.  I just don't think parents teach their kids to respect other people's property any more, and that's why everything gets smashed up these days.

We went down to the beach so that Mum could collect a hand full of "Lowestoft sand" for her friend in Arkansas. (It's going to be her Christmas present, don't you know?! ), and then we got some chips.  David sulked, saying we'd "chosen those chips to spite him because he couldn't get fish there".  Er, no.  We picked those chips because we weren't hungry before we reached Lowestoft.
Then we set off on the long journey back to Grottsville.  We stopped off at a service station about halfway there.  I asked David to stay in the car while Mum and I went in first, so that I could leave my heavy bags behind.  Unfortunately, this didn't work, because I needed the camera.  No, not for another ride!  (Although there was a different ride there, but there were endless kids riding it, and I couldn't be bothered with waiting! )  You know those machines that dispense little toys, usually in plastic "Kinder egg"-type balls?  Well, I spotted something in the display case at the top of the machine at this service station!

See it?  No.  Clue: Look at the large ball.  Yes, that IS a MLP in a hammock.  Minty, to be precise.  They actually had MLP balls in the dispenser!

Disappointingly, there's nothing actually inside the balls.  They're just soft bouncy balls with pony pictures on them.  I can't quite figure out when they were designed because they seem to be mid-transformation between the old Ponyville and the Core Seven.
1. Toola Roola (Core Seven version)
2. Scootaloo
3. Starcatcher
4. Cherry Blossom (Yes, Cherry Blossom!  NOT Cheerilee! )
5. Minty
6. Pinkie Pie
7. Rainbow Dash
8. Rarity
9. Royal Bouquet
10. Wysteria
11. Sweetie Belle
12. Star Song
I knew there was no way I could get all the balls out.  Those machines are addicitive though, and I poured in every pound coin I had, as did Mum.  David gave me a couple too.  We had fifteen, and one of those kept being rejected by this machine.  And with twelve balls to collect, the chances of getting them all were very slim.  I knew there were pony merchandise collectors who would probably like any duplicates I got though, and pay me back for them, so I took a chance.  Amazingly, one after the other I kept getting different ones!  Soon I had ELEVEN of the twelve!  The only one I still needed was Rarity.  Next ball I got was Rainbow Dash - my first duplicate.  And then Sweetie-Belle again.  *Sighs*
I put my last coin in the slot, and saw what looked like Pinkie Pie pop out at the bottom.  I picked it up.  Well, it was a pink pony anyway...
How lucky is that?  I got all twelve with only two doubles!  Now the question is, does anybody want these two duplicate balls.  As I already mentioned, I have a Rainbow Dash and Sweetie Belle.  I think RD has a slight scratch somewhere, but apart from that, they're pretty good condition for those dispenser toys.  Send me a message if you're interested.
Right, Mum wants to send another couple of e-mails now.  So I'd better give the computer back to her.  See you later...I hope.  If my Mum doesn't get too much fanmail today, that is.
Bye for now!  xxx

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