• neil

Day 24 (10 April): Keeping it all together

Grooming. In the acceptable sense.

My girls are grown up and I’m between relationships (about five years between and counting), so its just me and Alfie at home.

In more normal times we both maintain the vestiges of normal behaviour as we are constantly exposed to others.

Alfie is somewhat more exposed than me as she walks round wearing only a little collar.

But now that we don’t see anybody at least one of us is becoming a tad eccentric.

I have acquired a pill drawer and a creams shelf. I never used to. I have hand cream and face cream. I take resveratrol, curcuma and NAD pills to stay young and I use two types of hair conditioner.

I follow a super strict time controlled vegan diet - I don’t eat breakfast until 12:00 and I have a light dinner at 19:00. I run most days, I do yoga and meditation every day. I’m grooming my beard with sandalwood oil and wearing only the most refined of non-pig poo based perfumes.

Where is the logic?

I’m not seeing anybody. I could look like Wurzle Gummage and Alfie wouldn’t complain. But, dear reader, does this mean she’s indifferent? Does she really not care what I look like? Is this what happens after five years?

Perhaps I should just let myself go. That would teach her.

Creative stuff for kids

For those of you who have young children or grandchildren at home the challenge is to keep them engaged, happy and occupied.

So, on your behalf, I could scarcely contain my delight when I was shown an article produced by the Arts Institute of Chicago. I thought this will be a lifeline for readers with kids. But first I’ll check it out myself.

I began to worry when I saw that the activities are suitable for children of 7 years old and up. Why do they have to stipulate that? It makes me feel so inadequate and depressed when I inevitably go on to make a dog’s dinner of their projects.

The first section to catch my eye was ‘Design Your Suit of Armour’, which helpfully states that

“….symbols of virtues such as faith, prudence, and justice were etched in the metal to signify the virtues of the knight wearing the armor. Consider which virtues would represent you and how would you symbolize them, and design a suit of armor for yourself.”

Faith, Prudence and Justice?

At age 7 I would have assumed they were three kittens.

But no - here we go asking your 7 year olds to symbolise these virtues in the engravings on their armour (It's where you left it! Ask your Dad!).

If you thought it was challenging dragging kids round the shops under normal circumstances just wait until they are wearing 25 kilos of plate armour. Although Wikipedia reassures me that “the wearer remained highly agile and could jump, run and otherwise move freely. So, all in all, a bit like Tampax.

I digress. Back to the kiddies who are staggering down the produce aisle like exhausted survivors of Agincourt:

“Keep up children!

Remember your engravings - "Fortitude" and "Courage"!

No you can’t behead that little girl. I don’t care if she is a strumpet.”

Methinks the author has too much faith and not enough prudence.


I then turned my attention to “Bondage 101”.

Which turned out to be the somewhat less interesting “Bonding 101”. These glasses are one long disappointment.

I was immediately informed that:

"When we think about bonding or gluing things there are several questions conservators ask. What materials we are trying to join? Are they alike or dissimilar, porous or smooth? Is the surface area large or small? Are they sensitive to heat or solvents? "

“Jamie, is Lizzie sensitive to solvents? You should know by now. She's been sniffing that pot for ten minutes!

Oh, you stuck her head to the wall? In spite of the difference in surface areas?”

The author goes on to explain:

“Ordinarily, we never proceed with a bonding operation without having carried out trials and test fits to ensure that our joining will be successful.”

Which did leave me wondering if I’d stayed back to the bondage bit but no - It turns out she is mending a plastic dumper truck with her child.

“The injection molding process produced a too-thin fluke which, being brittle, ….even my high-performance epoxy was bound to fail. I still wanted the compatibility of an epoxy but needed it to be applied in a functionally different way. And so I chose an epoxy putty to surround and encapsulate the damaged fluke…..Luckily I have access to high-performance epoxies, with viscosity ....”

Lucky indeed. I could hardly contain my relief. I had to walk twice round the garden before coming back to my laptop.

I must text this charming, intelligent and well intentioned epoxy expert to explain something from Parenting 101.

You tell Jamie that Papa threw the dumper trunk in the garbage. And then you explain that you would never do something horrid like that.

Mother/son bonding with no glue needed.

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