Oh good, you’re just in time for some mummyblogging. Gather round, mummies, and put on your fucken smocks or whatever is called for.
*except using Comic Sans MS as a legit font,
which is obviously an idea of timeless genius.
Craftblogging in particular has taken off a bit in the past few years (doubtless the catalyst being my feted mural made out of bits of old kids’ paintings I wanted to chuck out, or maybe the melted crayons inspired by the Virgin Mary herself). Look out because I’m going to take things in a new direction – whereby I don’t actually do the craft, I just have the awesome idea, and then hopefully someone else does it up right and points it out in a comment, and this post is forever linked to great examples of a craft I never actually did. I’ve been holding onto this logic for about eight years until I thought the internet could handle this sort of reverse psychology without breaking. PCCW breaks our internet enough without any help from my advanced metaphysical binar-ology.
There’s a park near us called the Sai Kung Nullah. (According to Wikipedia, “A nullah is a concrete-lined canal or an re-inforced creek bed used to contain run-off. Nullah entered the English language from Hindi. The word nullah is used almost exclusively in Hong Kong.” I wasted hundreds of dollars trying to get my Cantonese teacher to explain to me what nullah means in Chinese. You know, how all the words have a meaning, like the word for chewing gum means “fragrant mouth plastic”? When really I could have given HK$10 to the guy at the chapatti stand and got the answer AND dinner.) The council recently did up the Sai Kung Nullah. New features include grass, a little playground, and this big model ship.
Because I’m doing that big case involving ships at the moment, I can tell you with authority that this photo is taken athwartship across the midships from the starboard hull. And if you want to know anything else about ships, feel free to ask. At this point I know enough about naval specifications to make it a weekly column, though I’d have to make another header with pictures of me measuring aluminium thickness with calipers, performing crude fully-loaded inclination experiments on paper boats in our village creek, and wearing goggles and shit. *Files away for a rainy day*
The kids and I were recently loitering around the Nullah, trying to avoid the finger-wagglers who pervade this whole country making sure you don’t do anything wrong like touch grass with any part of your body. My eyes strayed to the plants lining the sides of the ship:
Not the plants so much as the round rocks they were all nestled in.
The next time the nearest finger-waggler was occupied with another recidivist grass trampler, I picked up a handful to inspect. They were really light and papery, and I was sure they were fake. Or else the work of a fibre-ridden marsupial with a particularly round arsehole. But actually it’s called scoria, a volcanic rock composed of glassy fragments. I found this out after the risky poo photo above which was brave. A lot of bloggers call themselves professional writers; I certainly don’t, but I AM prepared to go all the way when it comes to grabbing handfuls of putative shitballs for you guys.
I then realised that we could use the scoria balls to play marbles, classic children’s game since the time of flatcaps and pushing a wheel down the street with a stick! I’ve often wanted to get marbles for the kids but a few things have stopped me. Here are those reasons, and then the reason scoria balls don’t have the same pitfalls.
1. They’re dangerous and kids can choke on them. Looks like they’re too big to block a kid’s windpipe. Look at me doing real mummyblogging!
2. If anyone’s gonna do a pratfall on an errant marble, it’s me. These things would shatter underfoot before my legs shot out in front of me.
3. They’re in that category of kids’ toys that we all hate – ones that contain multiple pieces and even if you only have a pack of 10, one of them will turn up under the couch or in the fridge or in the washing basket every day for the next six years. These things are free from the park. When you’ve finished playing, chuck them straight in the bin. Just get more next time you’re passing a facility decorated with standard municipal flowerpots.
4. I don’t even remember how to play marbles. Hmm. Yeah this is pretty much still relevant to scoria balls.
No problem, though! Like pioneers we racked up a game on this handy pre-made square thing in the floor of the “ship” (reasonably confident it’s the limber hole for the bilge pump).
I quickly made up some rules that sounded feasible (I don’t think I actually ever played marbles – I was probably too busy playing elastics or making up dance routines to Girlfriend.) They involved flicking your marble into the rink, with the aim of either having the most marbles in at the end of the game, OR flicking out your opponents’ marbles. These seem kind of counter endeavours but that in itself wasn’t our biggest problem – we had three players with five scoria balls each, and by the end we had no idea whose were whose. I hastily called a three-way tie, and quits to the session. The finger-wagglers were approaching, and we had some council property to rack.
The next step is going to be to paint the scoria balls. This is not a step I’m going to actually do, obviously – paint is so messy and the whole process is just a pain in the arse. Can someone tell me if they do it and it works out? Also if you know the actual rules of marbles?