Wednesday, 22 December 2010

I FOUND MY LEGO!!!! (Or, 'The Railtons Do Christmas')

Pretty much the first thing I did upon getting home was FIND MY GODDAM LEGO. Therefore, logically, the obligatory festive blog post is going to be told via the wonderful medium of lego knights.

I try to do some work

See. Working. Working very hard indeed.

It's alright. I think they sorted it.
A caffeinated beverage is require. Dragon slaying is tiring.





Argh! Get it off! GEDDITOFF! *flail*
 Yeah. I wasn't doing much work.

I moved to attacking Christmas decorations.
I is in your Advent Calender, eating your chocolate.
 Little bastard ate my Twirl.

Vague Father Christmas abuse.

Quite serious baby penguin abuse.

OK, OK. When I first took this I really didn't consider the *ahem* slightly NSFW aspects of this photo. I am really quite thick when it comes to making mistakes like this. My excuse: the polystryene underbelly was the only place I could get the sword into. (I am not a baby penguin deflowering lunatic and do not endorse such activities.)
How to ask for stuff for Christmas

It's simple. Just leave catalogues lying around with helpful annotations.
I also quite fancy one of those cool fire-making thingys on the bottom of the page. I could then carry fire on my keyring! Then if someone was like "Oh, I really wish I could light a fire right now" I could be like "I HAVE THE POWER!".


But mainly I want a hammock (who doesn't?).

How to deal with The Dog

I have a bit of an issue with the dog. It keeps staring at me. I think it's due to the fact that I wasn't around when she was a puppy, so now I'm some sort of weird evil dragon lady or something.

That and I tried to put lego on her and photograph it. That didn't go down well. Not in the slightest.

But anyway, the dog hates me. Her method of attack? Intense staring.

Staring. Always FUCKING STARING.
 I tried reasoning with her.
 Eventually, I did what any normal person would do and ran in the face of such powerful hatred rays.
 She doesn't just reserve this staring thing for me though. A couple of days ago she came into my room where I was actually doing some work (I know!!! :-o) and proceeded to stare at the radiator for a good minute or so.
 A minute is actually a long time when your just looking at an inmovable object which is, to be perfectly honest, very unlikely to do anything interesting any time soon. But that is what she did.

She eventually decided it wasn't going to eat her and fell asleep in front of it.
I don't understand dogs at all.

Decorating a Christmas cake (The Railton way)

The lego tried to help, but to be honest they were a bit crap. They've just not got the dexterity in those little hands of theirs.
OMFG! "Regal-Ice" means it belongs to me, right?
A really unhelpful attempt at cutting the cake

The marzipan MUST DIE.

Om nom nom nom.
 So yes, they turned out to be quite shit at cake decorating. Plan B: Intense Railton Concentration Face.
Must. Knead. Icing. Well.

My sisters didn't quite grasp the gravity of the situation, deciding to play with my camera instead.

This one doesn't even wear glasses. Even the dog is confused. And still staring.
SIBLINGS: If you take stupid pictures of yourselves on my camera, they are going to end up on my blog, OK?


But anyway, that icing was very well kneaded. By the power of my Concentration Face. That is one powerful concentration face.

So, lots of INTENSE CONCENTRATION and two hours later, the sum total of the Railton family's efforts is this, The Christmas Cake 2010:
The dog is STILL STARING!!!!

(I made the rug, sofa and clock. GO ME! :-D)
 The binge-drinking Merlin is unlikely to form part of the cake on Christmas day. Mainly because he's scared shitless of that massive, staring icing-dog.


Anyway ANYWAY. I'm tired and need sleep. There's only one thing left to say and that is I hope you all have a great Christmas and aren't all screwed over by National Rail/BA/Eurostar etc. in your various bids to get home.

See you in the New Year! (There are going to be T-SHIRTS!!!)

All the best,


Sunday, 19 December 2010

Trains trains trains

The time came when I needed to head back to Brum and go home for Christmas. However, the atmosphere saw it fit to drop a megaton of snow all over the country the day before I went. Awesome.

I decided that it was best to take no chances with Cross Country Trains. If anyone was going to left stranded in the middle of some field in the middle of nowhere because my train had caught fire for no reason, it was going to be me. I was going to be prepared goddamit. PREPARED. Screw you Cross Country Trains. If you're going down because of some frozen water, I'm not going with you.

Therefore, for my little excursion from Cambridge to Birmingham New Street I saw it fit to pack:

  • 1 headtorch (50 lumens don'tcha know)
  • 1 leatherman (with awesome attachment bits! And a saw. And some surprisingly excellent scissors)
  • 1 box of matches
  • String. Obviously.
  • 1 boat tie (I didn't have any rope)
I also had a bit of an issue because there was no food AT ALL in my house. Except porridge. But I also obviously needed to take food with me. What if I was stranded for six hours in Peterborough or something? PETERBOROUGH? However, all of my tupperware either tasted of jelly or peppers. Not good accompaniments to porridge. But I did have this.

I have porridge in a golden syrup tin and a titanium spork. Officially ready for anything.
Did get some bloody funny looks while eating it though. Eating stuff out of golden syrup tins is apparently not very normal.

But anyway, you know it's bad when you have so little faith in the train network that you take the means to start a fire with you just in case they leave you in the middle of the British countryside in sub zero temperatures.

Oh and I also wore A LOT of clothes. Just in case, you know.

Life lesson: these are great. They fit in the overhead bit on trains, you can fit loadsa stuff in them and they last forever. And they're a tenner. And no one messes with you if you've got one. AND you can use them as pillows when everything just gets a bit much at the National Watersports Centre.

But anyway. After The Travel Gods had decided that the train I was going to get at 0920 no longer existed, I eventually got on some train going in the vague direction I wanted. Hurrah! I ended up having on of those rare experiences: a random conversation with a stranger on a train. It was awesome. He was at least 70 and was something in the British Medical Society and had a bar of dairy milk in his bag. He had a nice reminisce about when he was at Cambridge.

Around Nuneaton, a big family got on, with four really chavy c. 7 year old boys got on. I'll admit it, I was worried.
However, they turned out to be impeccably behaved, and one of them was completely awesome. The train went past a massive pit with loads of piles of rock lying about, big conveyor belts, that sort of thing. The little guy got really excited:
Ye, this boy came out with a brilliant socioeconomic history of some random pit near Nuneaton. I was impressed. He then proceeded to play with the time-zone function on his phone.
Honestly, I just hope he doesn't leave school at 16. That would make me very sad indeed.

I do love it when people completely don't live up to expectations. Case in point, I was in Bayeux looking at the tapestry (Get me! I do cultured stuff!) and there was a really biker-looking fellow avec leathers and that. He turned out to have an excellent grasp of Latin :-)

But anyway, train journey done etc. I got home. And home was full of exciting things like Christmas trees and a really fluffy dog. AND FUCKING EDIBLE BALL BEARINGS.

There was a pot of the damn things next to the coal scuttle.

I lol-ed.

I was home :-)

Thursday, 9 December 2010

On buying a sword

So my random, impulse 'WFT?!?!?!?!?' purchase of the week the year MY LIFE has been this:

Look! It's got numbers on it and that!
So yeah, I bought a bayonet.

*DISCLAIMER* I am not a homicidal maniac, honest.

There's a really crazy shop in Cambridge which is full of stuff like this. It's a pawnbrokers, which are always a little weird (and a bit sad too), but this one is EXCELLENT. There's all the usual stuff in there like Xboxes and DVDs and about 100 electric guitars but also things like antique fountain pens and a suit of Kendo armour (seriously!) and a lute. And this bayonet. I had a little episode shall we say when I saw it.

This makes a little more sense when you learn that I spent my entire childhood completely obsessed with  knights and Romans and Vikings etc. Anything that involved swords and suits of armour was, in my opinion, MADE OF WIN.

I completely loved my lego knights. Especially this one, with his FUCK-OFF MASSIVE SWORD:
There is literally no chance that I'm not going to try and find this guy when I go home for Christmas.
 I also made one of my action men a suit of armour and a sword because I though guns were lame and you can only get action men with guns. He even had a red velvet cloak. AND MY MUM THREW IT AWAY! Bad times. But anyway, yes. I was not a girl who played with Barbies. Unless it was using them as catapult fodder/target practice or for learning the fine art of burning stuff with magnifying glasses with.

I naturally had a couple of variants:
When I was 16 it was no longer really socially acceptable to do this anymore. Now I'm 21 and don't give a shit what people think I can re-live this a bit.
It got to the stage that the first thing I did when we got to a campsite/whatever on holiday was to sit down and craft some sort of weapon. (I can still whittle a mean piece of wood). And then to build a den to defend, naturally. The brilliant thing about having 3 siblings is that whenever you go anywhere you automatically have your own private army a group of friends with you. And four people can make a damn site better den than one person.

I look at all the 13 year-olds who wear make up and dress (and look) older than me and wonder what the rush is to grow up. Why would you want to be an adult? Being an adult is shit. You have to deal with things like banks and paying bills and dealing with rude shop assistants and making sure the house doesn't run out of loo roll. When you're a child, you can spend all day hauling branches around to create a fortress, climbing trees and run around pretending you're a goddam knight and no one judges you for it.

Now, I am almost certainly going to die for doing this, but the facebook "photo memories" section threw up this today and it made me laugh. A lot.
It was taken at Kenilworth castle back in the day (that's a good castle - they used to do some really great reenactment stuff. Whenever I smell woodsmoke I'm immediately dragged back to this castle full of medieval-ly tents and people carrying halberds around). And I look like such a massive twat in it (I've never been the photogenic type!) :-D

But yes, when I go home for Christmas, one of my siblings is going to kill me for this (sorry guys, I thought it was funny). 


My god.

I cried with laughter earlier. ACTUAL TEARS FELL FROM MY FACE.

(Random aside: the wrath of my brothers and sisters is going to be nothing compared to the massive slap round the head I'm going to get off my mum for giving the new family car an inappropriate name. We've recently had this change of car:
Well, I am please to announce that FARC has stuck. And now it's on the internet so it's official. That's the last time my mum asks me for advice :-D).

But I appear to have digressed MASSIVELY and reminisced about my childhood for quite a bit. You want to know why THE FUCK I bought a bayonet. (I also haven't written a word about rowing.... hmm, sorry).

Well, it's the closest I'm realistically going to get to a genuine sword without robbing a museum. And I really really like things with history attached to them. Like second hand books with the names of their previous owners in them:
And who knows where that bayonet went or if it was ever used in anger. All I know about it is that it's probably about 100 years old and is probably French, and that's all I'll ever know. That's awesome.

So that's my attempt at convincing you I'm not about to go postal in Cambridge with a blunt bayonet.
I did have a small issue in trying to buy it though:
I shit you not. These where her exact words. She reminded me that I needed to be 18 to buy it, upon which I triumphantly produced my driving license (which also helpfully has my fucking GENDER on it in case people are confused). Not my finest hour, I'll admit.

I got mistaken for a 17 year old boy. Bad times :-(

But I do now own a sword and can do this:

Oh yeahhhhhhhhh.