Friday, 29 January 2010

A wise man knows how much he doesn't know.

It’s Thursday evening, her royal gorgeousness is crashed out on the sofa, fortunately no talk of research or wooden Messerschmitt, and my poor feet are still recovering from walking millions of miles around London yesterday. Wednesday morning had me getting up at 05:30, dear god! So that I could be ready for Mickey’s arrival at 6 (am). He was 2 minutes early so off I trotted out to the car and we set off for Londonshire. The journey was fairly uneventful, except for Mike missing a turning! Whilst he was muttering something about finding a point to do a u-turn or cut across country to get on to the road that he wanted, I whipped out my spangly all singing phone, started the built in sat-nav and soon had a route sorted that didn’t need u-turns or driving through fields full of sheep. Mind you, we did at one point drive through a group of morons who had about as much road sense as a dead hedgehog, and all the courtesy of a, well, someone who’s not at all courteous. People were pulling out in front of others, no indication, they were using the hard shoulder to get further along the queue of traffic, and the concept of “right of way” was more a case of “might is right”. To be honest it was scary, I’m glad I wasn’t driving. Mike’s a braver man than I am. Anyway, about ten minutes on from motorway madness, we arrived at a car park near the O2 arena and walked to the tube station. I’ve been on the tube a few times in the past but never that early, 08:00, dear god there are so many people. After a glance around I think I may have figured out the etiquette for the tube in the rush hour. Firstly no one speaks, not even to someone they know, if you do speak to someone it’s only to say “excuse me” or “sorry” and occasionally “thank you” although I think the latter is considered to be an expletive. Secondly, where ever possible be reading something, or at least pretend to be. People seemed to be using the cover provided by a book or newspaper as a shield almost as if to say, “I have a book so don’t disturb me!” thirdly and, I suspect, most importantly, do NOT make eye contact with anyone! This is the most difficult one as the expressions people have on their faces fascinates me. The final one and I think this sort of ties in with the first, having a silly conversation with a travelling companion is also disapproved of. I was getting very unimpressed looks from the people stood next to me in the carriage after saying something about having my toes squished. SDC10526 We temporarily disembarked the tube at Westminster, the intention was to get some breakfast. Sadly there are no cafes of any kind in the area. We did see some people protesting about Tesco, but sadly we never really figured out what Tesco has done to warrant the protest. Anyway back on the tube to Olympia, when we arrived we found a swanky place to get nosh. After which we headed back to Olympia and in to the toy fair.

Sadly I don’t have much to report. I had planned on leaking some info about the forth coming Doctor who releases from Character Options, but because the shop doesn’t deal directly with them they weren’t prepared to admit us into the secure shed that house the doctor who merchandise. I was also hoping to get into the Hasbro display, but as we’re not a supermarket that orders around 60000 units, they gave me the brush saying that all the reps wouldn’t be available until after 6, odd as the place closed at 6. I know a brush off when I hear one. Had my badge read Tesco or Asda or the other one, I suspect I would have been having tea and biscuits with a rep and on first name terms with him. I did get a warm welcome from a guy called Oliver who was running the stand for a company called Esdevium, a long standing supplier of RPGs and CCGs in England. He showed me the most amazing boxed set for the new release of Warhammer FaFantasy_Flight_Warhammer_Roleplayntasy RPG,  with a retail of £60 it’s a bit pricey but it’s very well packaged and more than meets the high standards expected from a licensed GW product. It’s produced by a company call Fantasy Flight Games. They’re also producing some 40k tie in games, so they’re one to watch. The quality of the thing makes it worth any RPGer owning. I also discovered an easy to play card game called Jurassic jurassic_wars_box Wars. It’s simple but brilliant. Published by a company called Dice Maestro, it’ll be perfect for keeping the lads occupied whilst they’re waiting for a table to become free. It reminded me of a card game a friend discover at the last Gencon I went to. The game was called lunch money, and basically revolved around play ground fighting. It too was brilliant. I wonder if Chippy still has it. Mike and I left the Toy Fair at 14:00 and headed over to the Natural History Museum. We did, what I call “my guided tour” it’s an ideal way of seeing the main attractions of the museum. We started off in the Exhibition Road entrance; we had a brief look at some of the exhibits there, then up the escalator to the active earth gallery, volcanoes and earthquakes. Then we go to the earth’s treasury, precious stones and the like. Finally on to from the beginning, this is about earth’s history, from its formation to the present day and its future. This gallery also features some beautiful fossils including a croc skull from between 83 to 71 million years old, its right next to a tyrannosaurus Rex skull. Then we headed down to the marine reptile fossils. Then in to the central gallery, Mike’s a few years younger than me and he’s never been. It was quite a treat to see that he had exactly the same reaction as a 7 year old Jay did when he first saw the Diplodocus skeleton. After he’s picked his jaw off the floor we headed into the main dinosaur gallery. Whilst we wereSDC10589 walking along the raised walkway I was explaining the exhibits to Mike, we were about halfway along when I noticed that we had a bit of a following. We’d picked up a group of about 8 children and what appeared to be their teacher. They appeared to be quite captivated by what I was telling Mike. Then in to see the Animated Rex, He may be getting on a bit, he’s about 10 years old now, but SDC10603he’s still fantastic. The technology to make these things has come on in leaps and bounds. Last year Mike and I went to see the Walking With Dinosaurs Arena Experience, quite simply “WOW!” so I really do think that as lovely as  the museums Rex is, he’s well past an update. We then set off to see the blue whale, sadly the gallery is closed until March but Mike got to peek through a window to get a rough idea of the size of the thing. The fish gallery was next, well I say fish, it covers pretty much all marine life that isn’t extinct. This was also the location of my first oops. I was looking at a preserved Horseshoe Crab; it’s up ended so the underside is visible. It looks like an alien face hugger, as I studied the thing I said to Mike “that’s horrible!” this attracted the attention of a young fella who was sat sketching a crab. He looked at me a bit odd, so I clarified that I meant the Horseshoe Crab and not his drawing. He didn’t seem amused. Shortly after that I phoned Tea, during this time I said some, possibly, derogatory remarks about the Americans. These remarks attracted the attention of a young lass who glared at me even harder than the lad with the drawing. I suspect from the Paddington hard stare she was giving me that she may have been a resident of the colony. OOPS! Oh how I laughed. So after my efforts to further English/American relations and a coffee we headed into central Londinium and the Forbidden Planet. Apart from being located at what for me is a new premises on Shaftsbury Avenue, it’s pretty much the same. Staff who don’t want you to be there and seem to want to be somewhere else. The things they have for sale are mostly good, but some of it does seem a little over priced. Still I managed to get a future sonic screwdriver and aFSS Wonder Woman key fob for Trudes, apt I think! I also picked up two tins of skeleton mints for DTWP. As we headed away from TFP, Mike wanted to pop into a DVD shop, not wanting to myself I took advantage of the time to have a smoke, a habit I should be trying harder to quit. Whilst was doing so I looked across the road and saw a shop front decorated in black and yellow and called “Orcs Nest” I have been trying to find this shop for the better part of 25 years. I finally stumble over it purely by chance. Funny how things turn out! Back on to the tube for more train riding. By this time it’s 19:00. Where the heck do all the people come from? We didn’t get on the train as it seemed half of Londonville was crammed on it; the second one had the other half. The third train was less packed so we hopped on and after a quick change we finally arrived back at O2 and the car for the run home. An hour and thirty minutes later I got home, with sore feet, and aching back and a warm welcome from DTWP and Tea. Doogs had some mints; I gave missy her key fob and the tiger’s eye and rose quartz that I got for her at the museum. Eventually I went to bed leaving Trudes cooing over the star Images 2010 catalogue, bless!

Back to work this morning, my feet are still sore and I’m completely knackered but it was a good day.

So that’s it, I suspect this is the longest entry I’ve written, hope you have enjoyed it, I certainly enjoyed the events it covers. Although I now want to take Trudes and Ben to the NHM more than ever now. If anyone’s up for a trip one Saturday let me know. I promise not to be too geeky, well, I’ll try really hard not to, I can’t promise because I get so enthusiastic when I’m there.

TTFN for now may all your dreams be monster free!

Once upon a time, (or more specifically at the dawn of time), god—lower case "g"—was getting busy with creation, as the kids these days are saying. He gave Toad a clay jar and said,

"Be careful with this. It's got death inside".

Pleased as punch and oblivious to the fact that he was about to become god's fall guy on the whole death issue, Toad promised to guard the jar. Then one day Toad met Frog.

"Let me hold the jar of death, or whatever you call it", Frog begged. With a nod to Nancy Reagan's pearls of wisdom, Toad just said 'no'. But Frog was determined, and after much whining, Toad finally gave in.

"You can hold it, but only for a second", he said.

In his excitement, Frog began to hop around and juggle the death jar from one foot to the other.

Frog... was an asshole.

"Stop" Toad cried out, but it was too late, Frog dropped the jar and it shattered to the ground. When it broke open death got out and ever since all living things have to die. Makes you wonder how much better the world would be if Frog had stuck to hocking beer. So there you have it, the mystery of death finally revealed, we all die, some of us sooner than later. Hopefully mine will be much later!


Uji, Angel Izzy, Ziggy, Angel Bean, Hiro and Momma Tea said...

You do say the sweetest things babes
x x x x

Sue Banks said...

Couple of comments.
I remember taking school trips to the Natural History Museum....which to be honest was not "in favour" and finding that the kids were amazed that the skeletons were of "real" creatures and not just from sad.
I also used to travel on the London trains to work...many years ago. You NEVER make eye contact.
I envy you.
You had a brill day. I love the Natural History Museum more than any of the others.