Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Blob Thing Learns The Language Of The Barnacles Of Blackpool

Blob is very tired today so he isn't going to write much.  He wants to finish relating his adventures on the Fylde coast today though so he can start a new fabulous [and possibly not entirely accurate in his person's opinion] tale on the first day of a new month.  Hence this post.  His person is tired too and not quite in the mood to type what he says.

Blob and Winefride came back last night from several days away.  They were incredibly busy and did some quite unexpected things.  Blob's person and his creator were incredibly busy too.  Blob and Winefride got very tired because they did so many things but today they are full of energy again and Winefride has been getting very flappy and bouncy thinking about the last few days while she watched Blob's person put all the photos onto the laptop ready for Blob and his person to blog about.  Blob had busy days and slept all night once his person finally agreed that they could all go to bed which was much later than usual.  Fancy keeping someone as young as Winefride out at that hour!  [It's okay for you Blob, I'm glad you're refreshed.  I'm not yet.  You slept well for the nights we were away.  In a period of five nights I probably got less than ten hours sleep.  And that last night in the tent?  You were wrapped up really warm in lots and lots of layers but even wearing a jumper and a coat and a gorgeous new woolly hat I was still very cold in the tent and my nose was probably a very frozen colour.  You might be bouncing around.  I'm full of aches and need another good night of sleep.]

Blob tells his person to stop moaning about it because he says she has had a marvellous time and wasn't melty or panicky for that much of it and was happy flappy and full of joy for some of it too.  That amount of joy is worth getting a cold nose for.  That's what Blob says.  [But what does Blob know about cold noses?  He doesn't have a nose.  [How does he smell? ...]]

Blob wants to start talking of all these recent adventures tomorrow.  It'll be September.  It's true that he hasn't even finished writing about his adventures in June yet but he wants to jump forward.  The earlier adventures will still be there for him whenever he wants to write about them.  And he enjoyed attending the Greenbelt Festival so much that he just wants to infodump about it - just as his person and his creator infodumped about him and Winefride to a woman in a queue for a show.  She was very nice and had her picture taken with him too and thought his fur was very beautiful indeed.

But back to June.  Blob, his person and his creator had finally escaped from the land of Fleetwood.  They had tried very hard to escape and everything they tried had failed, whether it was digging a tunnel or whether it was bribing a ship owner to hide them and smuggle them out.  In the end the intrepid trio had escaped by a comparatively simple means:  They had caught a bus to Blackpool.

On arrival at Blackpool they checked the times of trains to escape still further, until the Fylde coast was just a distant memory never to be returned to again until they fancied a trip out to such places again.  They had quite a wait so decided that the time would be better filled by walking to the seaside on a pleasant evening than it would by sitting in a crowded and not particularly attractive railway station.

The tide was out so everyone could walk along the beach.  Before them stretched exactly one imperial mile of golden sand.  No more and no less.  This was the famous Golden Mile of Blackpool.  A mile of lights and shows and crowds and attractions.  A mile which Bill Bryson called "gloriously tacky."  Blob is unsure of that description.  At first glance it appeared to him that perhaps Bryson was only half correct.  It certainly all looked quite tacky.  But Blob couldn't quite see the glory.  Maybe one day he will find it.  Lots of people obviously can see the glory, otherwise there possibly wouldn't be so many of them doing their best to enjoy themselves with or without the addition of copious quantities of alcohol.

It seemed to Blob Thing that on that night a lot of those people must have been in desperate need of those copious quantities because it was obvious that they had consumed amounts that could only be described in such a way.  Why else would people drink so much if they were having fun and enjoying themselves and being free without it?  Blob seems to think that the only reason people get drunk or drink such quantities is because they don't quite know how to have a good time without filling themselves with chemicals.  Blob says that where there is freedom and the joy received in freedom there is never a need to use alcohol or drugs to have a good evening.  Blob's person thinks that he may have oversimplified things with such a view but agrees that he does have a good point.  She wants to go to an evening out in Newcastle sometime at which drugs and alcohol are banned, where the only highs people have come from dancing and freedom and from the chemicals their own body produces.

Blob Thing didn't drink alcohol that night.  He stood on the beach and marvelled at the sand and the sea and the sky and how cold it felt in the wind.  Blob's person remembered the last time she had stood on the beach at Blackpool.  That had been a wonderful time.  That had felt like heaven.  And it had been much, much colder.  Blob knew about that day already because his person has a card with a picture of the scene.  It looks amazing to Blob.  Even though it looks as though it was snowing quite hard.

Blob looked round and behind him he saw a giant tower.  One day he might climb all the way to the top.  On that night though it was just an excuse for another photo opportunity.  First he had his picture taken with his person.  You can see just how windy it was because his dress is almost blowing away so much that the photo might have had to be censored if Blob was ashamed of his naked form - a form that will never be fully naked because his dress is sewn into place.

And then Blob sat himself on the beach for a solo photo.  The sand felt very funny.  On a warmer day he would have liked to have sat with the sand and played.  He had experienced a lot of sand already that day on the beach at Fleetwood.  But he hadn't had time to stop and experience the sand fully because he had been desperately trying to dig his escape tunnel.  He didn't have time in Blackpool either because they would all have to head back to the train soon.

Before leaving the beach, Blob's creator had a superb idea:

She would teach Blob how to listen to barnacles.  She would teach Blob's person too.  Blob's creator said that if you sit with your ear up to the barnacles and are very quiet then you can hear them talking.  Blob's person didn't believe that was possible but Blob had no doubts at all.  So when they tried it Blob's person got a big surprise.  Blob wasn't surprised but he was happy to be doing this new thing.

He listened closer.  Closer.  Closer still.  The barnacles were talking with each other.  Blob is a very quick learned and a proficient linguist and it wasn't long before he began to understand the language of the barnacles.  It turns out that barnacles have a complex philosophical and religious system based largely on the sea and the tides.  They are nature worshippers.  Blob quite liked the sound of their faith.  He wouldn't like to join them though because that would entail becoming a barnacle and he much prefers being a Blob.  Barnacles don't get to travel to Greenbelt with their person.  Wow!  The way that Winefride was dancing on Monday night was incredibly joyful to watch.  Blob loves his sister.  Blob says he doesn't want to give away many of the secrets of the barnacles, who had been in the middle of some kind of church service at the time.  But he will say that they said a prayer during the service for the sea to come again, wash over them, and feed them.

It was time to leave Blackpool and catch the train.  The day had been very variable.  For all three travellers the worst was yet to come.  The train journey.  Very crowded.  Very loud.  Many people who obviously needed or at least desperately desired the addition of those copious quantities of alcohol in order to have a good time.  For three autistic travellers, already overwhelmed from the day and already very tired, it is a horrible way to travel.


But they survived.  Which is just as well otherwise Blob would never have met Winefride and they would never have visited Greenbelt together.  Blob wants to go back there next year with Winefride.  He loves his sister.

[1587 words]

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Blob Thing Reconciles Himself To A Life In Fleetwood

Blob had arrived back in Fleetwood.  His escape attempt had failed.

He looked back at the ship that had been his hope of freedom and which had ultimately brought him back.  He sniffed one tear and then turned and smiled.  The attempt had failed.  But he was still alive.  And where there is life there is hope and beauty and freedom.  Very often, Blob says, we can created prisons for ourselves that don't really exist.  We trap ourselves in situtations.  We bury our dreams in thought processes that speak of hopelessness and self criticism and lots of other things that aren't the truth.  Some prisons are real.  Blob had seen them.  He had imagined what it would be like to be on the other side of the wall, to be in a real physical prison.  Some prisons are not.

Maybe, just maybe, Fleetwood itself would turn out not to be a prison at all.  Maybe Blob could find freedom here.  Inner freedom and the deepest of joy that can only come from contentment of mind and heart.  Life might be in Fleetwood for the foreseeable future.  But that didn't mean it had to be terrible.  Here there would be sunsets, and eccles cakes, and cafes.  There would be market days and climbs up The Mount.  There would be friendships to forge and even Fleetwood could have an almost infinite scope for new adventures.  Blob was determined.  Life would be happiness.  Whatever place he ended up in.   Even Fleetwood.

And so he stood up proudly by the ferry and smiled his biggest smile and sighed in expectation of the future.  Or rather he was held up by his creator because it was very windy and he didn't want to risk falling into the water.

Blob told his person and his creator that things would work out.  He said that they shouldn't look so sad about being back in Fleetwood.  At least this was a place where hungry dogs aren't turned into statues for stealing a biscuit.  Blob's smile and his enthusiasm were infectious and pretty soon his person and creator were smiling too.  Fleetwood wasn't so bad.

Together they stood by the dock and watched the ship workers prepare their ship for departure.  And then it left.  Blob knew that he might never see that ship again and he waved his best wave.  It wasn't a particularly good wave because he hasn't got a hand to wave with.  Blob's person waved a much better wave because Blob told her to.  The ship got smaller and smaller.  At least that's how it appears and right now Blob wants to go into an extended monologue about how perspective makes things in the distance look smaller but Blob's person isn't going to let him because anyone reading this probably knows about such things already.

And then the ship was gone.

Gone.  And just for a moment a great darkness seemed to fall across the face of Blob.  Just for a moment.  Then life was bright again.  The sun shone and the birds still sang.

The three friends stood for a while longer by the dock considering their lives.  How was it that everything had led up to this moment?  And what would a future in this land hold for them?  They stood and watched the water and believed they would stand and watch nearby waters many times again.

Then they turned with their heads held high and walked back into the town.

It didn't look bad.  It was true that all the cafes were shut and they desperately needed a drink.  Just when it looked as though thirst would defeat them they saw a big sign up ahead.  "North Euston Hotel."  They were saved.  Surely they could get a drink in here.  It did look like an interesting building.

The three walked in and were greeted by an old man who said some very strange things.  Blob decided that this man must be the person employed as the town fool.  He was very friendly.  He beckoned them into an area with lots of chairs and there was a man there behind a counter selling drinks.  Fortunately Blob's creator still had enough cash to acquire a drink.  The next day they would all have to look for gainful employment.  Maybe they would all get jobs as swan feeders on the local lake.  That would be good.  They sat and drank and started to make plans for the future.  If they were truly stuck in this town for the rest of their lives then some pretty solid plans were needed.  Blob was quite impressed at the results of the planning meeting.  He hasn't got time to tell you about it but promises you that it was a good meeting with a lot of actionable outcomes as business people put it.  Blob doesn't like the word actionable.

Feeling a lot better and wonderfully refreshed by the local tea, the friends got up to leave the North Euston Hotel because they didn't have the spare cash to rent a room.  The town fool was still there and greeted them again on the way out.  He spoke some more strange words.  Then he said the most profound thing anyone had heard that day.

He said, "The Fleetwood Ferry tram and bus stop is where they come.  The Fleetwood Ferry tram and bus stop is where they go.  In and out.  In and out.  They get off the tram, get off the bus.  And they get on the tram or the bus again.  From elsewhere they arrive.  To elsewhere they leave."

Could it really be true?  Was it really that easy?  Was it possible that Fleetwood wasn't a prison at all and that all one needed to do was get on a bus at a specific place and time and escape would be secured?  Really?

Blob Thing said that they had to try it.  What did they have to lose?  He would be able to forge a new life in Fleetwood but he didn't really want to.  He wanted to be able to go home to where his soft toy friends lived.  Blob's person said, "No, it can't be true.  Not after all we've gone through."  But Blob was adamant.  And when Blob is adamant there's no point saying no.

So Blob Thing, his person, and his creator left the North Euston and walked back to Fleetwood Ferry, to the place they had spotted a tram stop earlier.  And they waited.  Hardly daring to hope that the old fool had spoken a truth in his crazy ramblings.

But he had.

A bus arrived.  A bus.  The companions boarded the bus.  Their passes still worked.  They could leave Fleetwood.  The bus driver didn't even know it was a prison of any kind because she had been bringing people to Fleetwood and taking them away again for years.

Blob Thing had escaped.  It only remained for him to return to Blackpool and from there he would be able to return to his creator's house and rest from his adventures.

Note:  Blob will be taking a little break from his Blog for a few days because he's currently on holiday having more adventures and doesn't have the time to write anything even if he had the opportunity.  He's just got one more adventure to tell you about from his day on the Fylde coast.  It's one that he found very exciting.  His person found it quite exciting too.

[1245 words.]

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Blob Thing Hears Distressing News From A Dog In Knott End

Blob Thing was feeling wonderful.  He had staged a successful escape from Fleetwood and was now totally free to live in the Republic of Knott End.  He says:

Oh yes.  That was a thrill.  My first attempt to escape Fleetwood had failed.  I'd tried to dig myself a tunnel from the beach but it would have taken a very long time.  I think my person and my creator would have got very bored sitting there waiting for me to finish.  It would have been a scary escape too because I don't think my tunnel would have been quite wide enough for my people.  I would have had to escape alone and then hope I could send back help later from the far side of the world.  They would have remained in Fleetwood with only the special eccles cakes from the Home Bakery to sustain them.

But my second escape attempt had worked.  I had managed to find a ship whose captain was willing to smuggle us out of the city.  It had been quite frightening arranging passage and trying to get to the ship without being apprehended.  But we had done it.  The voyage was quite thrilling and we were even allowed to look out of the windows.

Here we all were in Knott End.  Freedom at last.

I sat on the ground near the water and basked in the the atmosphere.  Don't you think that even the air smells different when you're free?  It's as if the world around you knows your freedom and adjusts accordingly.  Flowers smell better.  The birds sing better.  Apart from seagulls.  They weren't singing better that day.  The sun shines with a different shade of flame.  And the wind sings a happier song.

It was certainly windy that day.  Just look at my dress.  If it wasn't sown in place I could have lost it entirely.  And look at the way the sunlight is beaming in those clouds.  The sun knew.  The clouds knew.  Together they played and celebrated my freedom that day.

Knott End.  An entirely new world.  What would I find there?  The answer turned out to be this:  Not much at all.  Maybe if I had more time I'd find the adventures.  Maybe I could follow the footpath signs we saw.  Maybe I could meet the sorcerer.  Maybe I could have discovered the house of Kitty Wake and learned the secrets of alchemy.  Or discovered a lost and forgotten part of the kingdom in which soft toys are treated as equals.  All soft toys.  Harmonious together without any oppression from human beings.  Do you know that some of us are forced into unwanted hugs?  That some of us are just thrown away?  Some of us get ripped apart to make bedding for humans and some of us get burned or buried with all the rubbish.  It's not right.  Maybe in that part of Knott End I could find the place where soft toys can live free.  Maybe.  I don't believe I am going to be burned or ripped apart for bedding.  My person would never do that.  Winefride is safe too - even safer than I am because of her reins.  And all my friends here are safe.  They are all very fortunate to live in my house.

As I wandered round Knott End I made a friend.  Here he is.

Yes.  He's a dog.  He was very sweet and stood totally still so I could climb onto his back.  It was quite difficult because of the wind.  I fell off several times before I could get my person to take a picture of us.  I enjoyed my new friend.  Until he revealed things to me that I could hardly bear to hear.

First he said that Knott End wasn't entirely a place of freedom.  It was a place where the justice system could be cruel.   He had been very hungry one day because his person had forgotten to feed him that morning.  All he did was steal one biscuit.  Just one.  And he left his paw print as a promise to pay the owner of the biscuit later.  The justice had been brutal.  It turned out that the reason he didn't move was because of the punishment.  He had been glued to the ground forever.   Even in the coldest winter and the fiercest storm he had to stand on the spot.  The dog hoped that one day there would be some reprieve, some mercy shown and that he could run around again.  If that happened he said he would leave Knott End as quickly as he could arrange it.  Possibly he would follow one of the footpaths and see whether a place like Lancaster or even Cleveleys would be a better place for a dog like him.

And then he gave me some terrible information.  Terrible.  I'm not quite sure how he knew this, but he turned out to be correct.  He told me that my escape from Fleetwood had been discovered.  He told me that the authorities of Fleetwood weren't happy.  He told me that an extradition treaty exists between Fleetwood and Knott End.  He told me that armed soldiers were already on their way and that I wouldn't be able to avoid them.  My person, my creator and myself would all be returned to Fleetwood on the next ship.

Sure enough.  The ship was approaching.  And I could see that the dog was entirely correct.  There was no point in fighting any longer.  I would return to Fleetwood.  I would experience that town and I would enjoy it.  I had to.   Sadly I walked down the slipway to the ship and surrendered myself to the care of the ship's captain.  He promised to take care of my throughout the voyage.  I could see that my person and my creator were already on the ship.  They looked a little sad but I told them to smile because they had a voyage to look forward to and even in Fleetwood they would have the illusion of freedom.

As the ship left Knott End we looked back to the land.  The place where we thought we would be free.  The place of dashed hope.  It was all very sad.

Now I am Blob Thing.  I have a certain personality.  And that means I can't be sad for long.  I much prefer to smile and find joyful things in life.  So I smiled through the voyage and looked at the sun on the water and looked out at the sea.  It was very beautiful.  There is always beauty somewhere if you can see the sky.  There is mostly beauty somewhere if you can't.

By the time we returned to Fleetwood I was feeling pretty happy inside.  If this was my future then this was my future.  I would live it.  I would like it as fully as it was possible to live it.  I would see the North Euston.  I would go to a show at the Marine Hall.   I would definitely feed the swans on the boating lake.  I might even get a job working for those fisherman's friends.  This was Fleetwood.  And I would live here.  Every other day I would walk and see the sea and I would watch the sunset as often as I could.  It would be okay.  It would.  Yes.  Fleetwood isn't Newcastle.  But I would prosper in it and encourage my person and my creator to do the same.

The ship pulled into the dock.  It hadn't been long ago that we had all walked down that ramp and onto the ship to stage our escape.  I asked the captain whether he would get into trouble for smuggling us all to Knott End.  He said we would be forgiven if he donated the fee we had paid to a local charity.

I was in Fleetwood again.  A new life was waiting for me.  If my person could survive living here for so many years then I could do it too.

Look out Fleetwood.  Blob Thing is here.  Watch out.  Your life is about to get exciting!

[1351 words including the 100,000th word of Blob's blog.  A boring word.  It's "a".]

Friday, 26 August 2016

Blob Thing Stages A Daring Sea Escape From The Land of Fleetwood

It's fair to say that Blob wasn't having the best of days.  He was in Fleetwood.  And that wasn't turning out to be the most exciting place for adventures.  Blob's person tried to tell him that adventures were possible even in Fleetwood.  She had lived within the boundary of the town for several years and had lived to tell the tale and even had a few adventures of her own while living there.  Blob finds that hard to believe.  No matter how much he is told of Fleetwood Market or Tram Sunday he can't quite believe that a town with a main street as dead at Fleetwood's was on a Saturday afternoon could be a lively place.  He's glad that he lives in Newcastle rather than Fleetwood.  Blob asks why Fleetwood isn't more like Southport.  That's not a wildly bustling metropolis but you can certainly get a wide range of ice cream there and Blob likes to relax by the sea there.  At least, he would enjoy relaxing by the sea if he ever visited when the sea wasn't out of sight from the shore.

Blob was just thinking that there couldn't possibly be any adventures to have in Fleetwood that day when his person and his creator discovered an adventure.  Just for him.

The adventure was this:

They would escape from Fleetwood.  On a ship!

Blob became very excited by this news.  He hadn't been able to tunnel his way out of Fleetwood.  But now he was presented with a different way out.  A ship!  He could hardly think about it for fear of being disappointed.  What if the ship wasn't there after all?  What if he remained marooned in Fleetwood for the rest of his life?  A life with no adventures was almost too painful to consider.  Fortunately, Blob didn't have to risk considering it for long because there before him was a sign.  And beyond the sign was the ship.  Salvation.   Blessed salvation from the dead streets of Fleetwood.  Blob spotted that there was even a tram stop named for the ship.  It was called "Fleetwood Ferry" but that's not what Blob's person kept calling it.  She seemed to think it was known as "The Knott End Ferry."

Blob began to dream about it and the journey they would undertake to the end of Knott.  Or to the place that was not the end.  Blob wanted to know what the place was not at the end of.  His person told him that that's not what the name meant.  He then kept asking what they would find at the end of Knott.  Would they find a pot of gold like at the end of the rainbow?  Or would they find something even better?  His person told him that that's not what the name meant either.  So Blob asked her what the name truly meant.  She had to confess that she didn't know.  It was the end of something.  Maybe the end of the land, since it was the point at which the land met the sea.  But she didn't have the faintest idea why it was called Knott.

Blob resolved to find out for himself.  But by the end of the day he was so tired that he quite forgot to find out and weeks after the adventure he can't be worried to find out.  He doesn't feel that researching the history and lore of Knott End would greatly benefit his life.  He considers that it wouldn't be much more exciting than what he discovered at Knott End.  And on a scale of one to ten excitements that had ranked somewhere towards one.  Maybe if he had more time to explore he would have discovered stunning adventures in Knott End.  Maybe.  Blob Thing confesses that he has some doubts about this.

Blob, his person, and his creator walked past the sign announcing the presence of the ship and they walked down a ramp.  They needed to pay a ferryman in order to proceed to wherever the ship would go.  Blob thinks it fortunate that the ferryman needed to be paid in cash rather than in the souls of dead ocelots.  If he had wanted to be paid in ocelot souls that would have proved more than problematic because Blob didn't know a single ocelot and even if he had known an entire circus troupe of ocelots their souls would be their own, rather than an acceptable currency for ferryman payments.  Blob doesn't ever want to steal the soul of an ocelot trapeze artist or hustle an ocelot clown in a game.  It wouldn't matter at all whether the game were pool or polo.  Hustling ocelot souls is just not cricket.

Blob was very excited.  His person was excited too.  And so was his creator.  They were going to escape from Fleetwood.  True, the walls weren't quite so high and thick as the walls of Castle Colditz or Monte Cristo and if there were any armed guards they were of the invisible or camouflaged variety.  But at moments that day escape had seemed impossible.   As the ship pulled away from the shore of Fleetwood, Blob and his creator posed together, blissful that they were actually doing this.

The ship crossed the choppy waters known as The Wyre Estuary and the three companions looked back on the town that had until recently been their prison.  It actually looked quite pretty from out on the water.  Blob could hardly believe the escape was proceeding so well.  He thought that at any moment sirens would sound and searchlights would shine out in all directions from the Pharos Lighthouse and the ship would have to return and Blob would be taken off and cast into a dark prison, guarded for all eternity by tormentors who would never be his allies no matter how much they sided with any fisherfolk in adjacent cells.  Yes.  The prison would be ruled by those fisherman's friends.

No sirens sounded.  No searchlights lit up the ship.  No helicopters armed with missiles appeared over the horizon.

They had done it.

Blob, his person, and his creator had actually done it.

They were free.

Blob Thing cheered and cheered and cheered and was raised up high in triumph.  Far in the distance, Fleetwood was just a memory now.  And life was good again.

Blob stood on the shore of Knott End and smiled.  This could be the start of a new life.  He was filled with hope for his future.  Or at least for the rest of the day.

Little could Blob Thing know that his hopes were to be cruelly dashed.  Little could he know that his freedom was just an illusion and that soon he would have to return to Fleetwood.

[Note:  Blob has since escaped from Fleetwood for much longer and he knows that going back there one day won't be the end of the world or even the end of the Knott.  You probably know that he has escaped properly because of everything he's said in his blog since the day he rode to (temporary) freedom on the Knott End Ferry.  Quite how he escaped, and why he had to return to Fleetwood at all, is a subject for another day.]

[1205 words]

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Blob Thing Burrows Through The World To Escape Fleetwood

Blob wants to write a few posts today.  His person says that they don't have to be long posts.  She's the one who has to type everything and she might have other things to do today than spend lots of hours having a small pink soft toy dictating his thoughts to her.

He wants to write several posts today because he is going on a little holiday tomorrow and knows that it will be impossible for him even to look at his blog when he is away, let alone to write anything.  He is doing something that he has never done before in his life, which admittedly isn't a long life yet.  He's going to a Christian festival.  It's called Greenbelt and he's a little worried because he isn't a Christian.  Blob's person is going too for the first time.  Because six months after quitting church and dropping the self-description 'Christian' the thing that is normal to do is to suddenly go to a Christian festival.  Or not.  Blob's person doesn't always do things the completely normal way.  She's a little worried by the whole thing too but people have assured her that Greenbelt is the kind of Christian festival where atheists and non-theists feel at home and don't get told they need to repent and turn to Jesus or get punished.  Greenbelt is a Christian festival for the nice Christians and for other people.  Blob's person confesses that when she was one of those strong evangelical types she was among the people who sometimes protested that Greenbelt wasn't a proper Christian thing at all because it didn't do God right.

Apart from all the worrying aspects, Blob Thing is looking forward to Greenbelt.  He wants to have lots of adventures there.  He's taking Winefride with him too and they'll be with Blob's creator.  It's going to be good.  And none of them will be going anywhere near Fleetwood.

Blob visited Fleetwood a while ago with his person and his creator.  He's already told you something of his trip to Cleveleys.  That had been interesting.  Kind of.  And eating chips by the sea was pleasurable.  The ice cream afterwards had been tasty too.  It's a pity it had been such a small portion and had cost too much money.  But it was tasty and Blob hadn't been paying for it.  The three friends had seen everything they wanted to see in Cleveleys.  That hadn't taken long.

Now it was time to go to Fleetwood.  Blob's person used to live there.  Perhaps the most annoying thing about living in Fleetwood is that if you are in a room containing two or more other people and say you live in Fleetwood at least one of them will say "Ooh, Fleetwood Mac."  They will then laugh out loud at their fantastic and original wit as if they've just made a joke that nobody has ever thought of before and which would almost certainly win the best joke award at the Edinburgh Festival.  Blob's person always found that annoying.   At least that doesn't happen when you live in Newcastle.  It's true that some people do suddenly attempt a few words of Geordie dialect and accent when they learn you live in Newcastle.  It's true that those people invariably completely fail in their attempt.  It's true that their attempts are painful to the ears and mind.  But only some people do that.  It's not like living in Fleetwood and having people constantly making the same joke that isn't a joke.  Blob trusts his person in this but has no personal experience of the Fleetwood failed joke because Blob was created many years after his person lived there.

Blob Thing arrived in Fleetwood with the hope that the entire town wouldn't turn out to be a failed joke.  He got off the bus to find that the main shopping street was almost completely deserted on that Saturday afternoon.  There were charity shops to visit though and some of them contained cheap clothing.  Blob's creator was a little unhappy to find that she had trained his person too well.  When they met Blob's person wasn't as good at finding the ultra-cool clothing that Blob's creator wears every day.  And she would always check out the books before the clothes.  In Fleetwood, for the very first time, Blob's person checked the clothes first and found a dress that Blob's creator would have bought.  That's the result of good training.

Blob and the two humans continued walking along Fleetwood's main shopping street, visiting each charity shop in town.  As they progressed things got quieter and quieter.  By the time they reached the far end of the street, closer to the market - which didn't seem to open on a Saturday - and the library there was almost nobody to be seen.  Nobody.

It was as if the town had died and been left to be swallowed by the elements.  Every now and again they saw another person, appearing like tumbleweed through a town in an old Western movie.  And then the person would be gone again having left no mark upon the streets.  It was all very strange indeed.  This was a Saturday afternoon.  This was the busiest time of the week in most shopping streets.  But in Fleetwood there was an atmosphere of death and sorrow.  Mostly.  The one exception was in the Home Bakery on Lord Street.  Blob's person was very glad to see that it was still open.  She was even gladder to find that it still had some eccles cakes.  Blob is of the opinion that the Home Bakery on Lord Street sells the best sold eccles cakes in the universe.  It's a view that hasn't been proved wrong by any other eccles cake she has encountered.  She is open to people trying to change her view by feeding her more eccles cakes.

After a while Blob wanted to get off the shopping street.  The Western atmosphere felt too much.  It was as everyone had cleared out and pretty soon a group of bandits would appear on the street with only a lone sheriff to stand in their way and shoot them all.  And was that passing man in black actually the town undertaker?  It was time to leave.  Quickly.

Blob felt a bit better about things when he reached the sea.  He had been hoping to visit Fleetwood Pier because in his research for the day he had found an old leaflet claiming that the pier was "a fun day out for the whole family."  That sounded good.  But the pier was nowhere to be seen.  The fun day had vanished.  Blob wondered whether things in the nuclear power station visible across the water had gone very wrong and whether everyone in the town had been forced to move out because of a cloud of radiation.  For a moment he was worried whether the radiation levels were safe enough for a day visit.  Would he be poisoned by it and turn a different colour?  Blob's person told him that there hadn't been any accident involving nuclear power and that it was a fire that had stopped the pier from being a fun day out for the whole family.

Blob has to be honest here.  He wasn't particularly enjoying being in Fleetwood.  He sat himself down on the sand and looked out to sea.  So far that was the best thing about being in the town.  But he knew he could do the same thing in many places.  Blob didn't have to travel across half a country to sit on the sand.  He could just go to Tynemouth.  Or Cullercoats.  Or Witley Bay.  Or he could get the bus and go back to Alnmouth.  Alnmouth had been a stunning experience and he wants to go back there soon.  He would like to go today but he has blog posts to write before going away tomorrow.  [Yes Blob.  You do.  And they are meant to be short ones.  You said so at the beginning and this one is turning out to be quite long.  Can the others be short please or you won't get to write them at all.]  Blob thinks that his person is a bit mean sometimes!  [No Blob.  I'm just being practical.  If they're long posts there just won't be time to write them.]

Blob turned to his person and asked whether it was time to leave Fleetwood yet.  She said it wasn't.  But Blob wanted to leave and even the promise of some eccles cake didn't make remaining seem like a good option.

There was just one thing to do.

He would dig his way out.  Through the sand until he had dug all the way to the other side of the world.  And so he dug with all his might and his skill.

Soon he was in a very deep hole.  It was quite tiring doing all the digging.  Digging is hard work when you have nothing to dig with.  Blob didn't have a spade to dig with.  No shovel.  No trowel.  He didn't even have a spoon.  And he had nothing to hold a spade with.  In such a situation it's not the easiest of things to dig through an entire planet.

Blob was exhausted.  And in a deep hole.  He could still see the sky above him.  The Fleetwood sky.

"How much further is it until I'm somewhere else?"  he called from the bottom of the whole.

"Well, you've dug down over a foot already and you only have another ten thousand miles to go," said his person.

Blob sat and thought.  That would be a lot of digging.  He had already spent fifteen minutes digging his tunnel.  He had progressed over a foot and that seemed like solid progress.  Something to be proud of.  But there was a very long way to go.  Even at his rapid pace it was going to take him several weeks to tunnel through the first mile.  And then there would be nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine to go.  That would take at least a month!

It was impossible.  Blob didn't want to spend a month in a hole.  He was sure that he wouldn't be spending a month in Fleetwood.  He would have to give up on his enterprise and just cope with whatever the town threw at him.  Maybe it would give him a nice surprise if he was patient with it.

At this point Blob Thing realised that he had a slight problem.

He couldn't get out of the hole he had dug.  The sides were too steep and even his best bouncing didn't quite get him to the top.  He was stuck.  Thankfully his person and his creator were still there.  They could rescue him.  So he called out for help.  And after a lot of work Blob thing was freed from his tunnel.

After such a fright, Fleetwood didn't seem as bad.

As the trio left the beach, Blob decided that a view like this was preferable to the view in a dark tunnel to another country.  He looked at the building and decided that it was actually quite attractive.  Maybe he could visit it later.  And with the sun shining down on him, Blob felt happy again.  Fleetwood wouldn't be forever.  And it did have a beach.  And it did have charity shops.  And later that day Blob would discover something very exciting indeed.

He'll talk about that another day.  This short post is already too long and Blob's person doesn't know how he's going to find time for all the writing he wants to do today if he talks so much about little things.  Blob's person is also finding it hard to concentrate.  She hasn't had breakfast yet and all this talk of the Home Bakery eccles cakes has made her belly rumble louder than the loudest thunder storm ever to hit the rain forest.  [No Blob.  It hasn't.  You're exaggerating again.]

[1998 words.  You call that 'short' Blob?  Because I don't.]

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Blob Thing Encounters A Giant Sea-Ogre In Cleveleys

Blob Thing is asleep.

This means that his person has the chance to write a short post for the blog without Blob talking about all kinds of crazy things.  She would apologise for the presence of purple polka dot uniformed janitors in the last post.  Except she does know that there are tunnels under the city of Newcastle.  So maybe there is an element of truth to the story.  She wants to take Blob and Winefride out to explore one of the tunnels one day.  There's an element of truth to that too.  The full truth is that she wants to take herself out to explore the tunnel.  She's just using Blob and Winefride as an excuse to finally get round to it.

Hmm.  Blob and Winefride may be asleep but Blob's person is currently being stared at by six of their friends who are all wondering what she will type next and whether she will spoil Blob's blog in his absence.  She's been known to muck things up before!  They are sitting there on the sofa watching her.  A bear, a monkey, a panda, a tiger, a hippo, and a giraffe.  Blob's person could almost start a zoo.  Almost.  Except she only has one of each animal.  So that wouldn't be good.  In any case, soft toy friends do not belong in a zoo.  It's worrying enough when they get old and are forced to retire and live locked away on the shelves of museums.  Putting them in a zoo - even if it was a petting zoo - wouldn't be right.  They are friends.  Not exhibits.

Five of the six animals continue to stare.  The sixth, a hippo named Buttons, has drifted off.  He's looking up at the ceiling.  Blob's person guesses that he is lost and content and focused on the bumps and patterns in the artex ceiling.  Blob's person doesn't like artex ceilings but confesses that there were plenty of times in childhood when she lay in bed and played happily in the shapes above her head.  She would be joining Buttons in playing the ceiling games if she wasn't meant to be writing Blob's blog.  Buttons wouldn't mind.  But maybe the tiger and the panda would cross the room and annoy her until she drifted back into a state in which she could type again.

Today Blob's person wants to talk about a little adventure Blob had.  He had been on holiday with his person and his creator and they had all taken a trip to the Fylde Coast.  Together they had gone to explore the exciting charity shops in a place called Cleveleys.  Cleveleys.  What a funny word.  Blob thought it was hilarious.  It reminded him of handkerchiefs for some reason and he imagined that a giant had been walking along the Fylde coast on a chilly winter day.  The wind was blowing fiercely.  Just to the north, in Fleetwood, the wind often blows fiercely.  The giant had felt a tickle at the back of his nose and it got increasingly tickly until he knew that he had no option but to sneeze.  It was then that he realised he had dropped his handkerchief in a murky black pool and it was still soggy and covered in algae so he couldn't use it to catch his sneeze.  Instead, the giant sneezed out an entire town, which in time grew to be the place it is today.  The original name was handkerchief.  History records it then progressed through, kerchief, kerchiefley, kerchieveley, chieveley, and eventually became known as Cleveleys.  Most people have forgotten the original derivation and prefer to imagine the word comes from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning a wood by a cliff slope.  Blob prefers his story.

The story of the giant hasn't been totally forgotten.  It's true that it has transformed a little.  It's also true that only some of the local artists and bards remember it at all.  And it's true that in most surviving versions of the tale the giant has become a different creature.  Blob Thing was very pleased because while he was in Cleveleys he found evidence of the story.

Yes.  It's true.  The giant had become a Sea-Ogre.  An ogre who had planted the first woods on the cliffs near the town - woods that you won't see now because he also harvested the wood to build himself a thirty-eight bedroom mansion in the nearby swamp land.  The ogre didn't disturb the people who settled the area very often apart from stealing the odd sheep and getting drunk once every seven months at the local inn and breaking a chair.  He was very good about paying to replace the chair.  He was very bad at replacing the sheep.  But who is going to argue with a Sea-Ogre about the odd sheep?

But then in the nineteenth century the swamp was drained to make way for more houses and for farming.  The ogre couldn't cope with living in the middle of a dry field and he went on a rampage, destroying half of the town, before slinking off in a sulk back into the sea.  His mansion fell into disrepair.  If you can find them, the foundations are still just about visible at the edge of a car park on the way to Fleetwood.

The ogre has hardly been seen again but sometimes in the storms, when the wind is just right, the people of Cleveleys can hear him singing a lament for his lost swamp.  He sings a verse for each of his thirty-eight bedrooms and another one for the outside toilet.  And then he is silent.  Most local people don't know what the song is and assume it's just the whistling of the wind.

In 1956, Albert Brown, who had moved to the area from India, started a fund to create a brand new swamp for the ogre and build a new house for him.  But the people didn't contribute much.  They preferred to forget about the ogre who had stolen sheep and broken chairs.  Evidence is still there to be found.  Blob Thing had found the evidence.

He believes that the stories he told that day are confirmed.  There was a giant.  There was a sneeze.  There was a lack of a clean handkerchief.  Blob believes that.  Unless he has changed his mind since that day in Cleveleys.

Near to the mention of the sea-ogre, Blob spotted a very tall sculpture.  He doesn't know whether it had any connection to the ogre story or whether the shapes at the top are some surreal representation of the ogre heading off to sea in his sulk.  Blob doesn't know.  The internet claims that there is no connection.  Then again, the internet has no mention of the story of the giant.  It just goes to show.  You can't trust everything you can't read about on the internet.  The internet does mention that there is a four metre high representation of a sea-ogre near the beach at Cleveleys.  Blob Thing didn't see it.  But he's very glad that the stories are not entirely forgotten.

Blob likes stories.  He doesn't mind whether they are true or not.  That only matters when people go further with them and form religions or creeds around them.  Then it becomes a matter of faith that the story has to be true.  Jesus must have done this.  Muhammed [PBUH] must have done this.  Krishna or The Buddha or Thor or whoever else must have done this.  It's a matter of faith and stories that are often magically beautiful truths become killed when they are seen as the truth.  Blob likes to hear stories and tell stories and he's very glad that his person lets him and that she's able more and more to join in with the world of the story.  Blob's person says that she likes a writer called Madeleine L'Engle who said that a good story is truth, whether or not it is true.  Blob isn't sure he agrees.  A good story might not contain much truth at all.  It might just be an adventure.  But a good story must touch us in some way and make us pleased to have read or heard it.

Blob's person and his creator sat on Cleveleys seafront.  They had bought themselves a portion of chips each for lunch.  The portions were enormous.  Blob's person had also ordered a portion of scallops and that was enormous too - with more scallops than expected too.  If you're thinking that they were all being very posh to order scallops to eat on Cleveleys seafront, they weren't.  In the language of the Fylde and some places beyond it a scallop is a slice of potato deep fried in batter.  The portions were so enormous that Blob's person almost wished she hadn't asked for scallops but it was all very tasty so she only almost wished.  Blob was there and he got through quite a lot of the chips himself but found the scallops a bit difficult to manage.

Afterwards they sat and looked out at the sea.

Blob was enjoying himself.  Any day with chips by the sea can be a good day.  And this was an extra special day on which he had learned two different stories of the foundation of Cleveleys.  It didn't matter whether they were true or not.  They were stories.  Stories that had touched Blob.  They had amazed him and made him laugh too, almost as much as the name of Cleveleys itself.

The day wasn't over.  Soon the three adventurers got up and continued their explorations.  They would go to Fleetwood.  It might be excellent.  Or it might turn out to be a bit crap.  Blob didn't know.  He was very eager to find out.

Blob Thing is still asleep.  His person hopes he's not disappointed in what she has written for this blog post.  The monkey and the tiger seem to approve.  The hippo is still lost in the patterns on the ceiling.  Good grief.  Wouldn't it be a thing if Buttons turned out to be autistic too?  Maybe he is.  He's totally gorgeous though and there are plenty of friends to look after him if he needs any help.

[1705 words]

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Blob Thing Loves That His Head Wouldn't Fall Off In A Comedy Club

Blob Thing has spent several days telling you about his exciting trip to the Literary and Philosophical Library in Newcastle.  It was obviously very exciting because he had fallen asleep and his person had fallen into an even deeper slumber.  Blob thinks it's almost a miracle because she normally finds it very difficult to get to sleep.  Blob thinks it's very funny because his person had a bump on the back of her head for almost a week from where the librarian hit her with a large hardback book to wake her up.  He's sitting there now, laughing his head off.  It is unclear what he is laughing his head off from as his head isn't attached to a neck, let alone a separate body.  Maybe that's one of the advantages of having a head and body all in one, of being a special kind of blob.  It means that you can't literally laugh your head off.

Humans of course don't have this advantage and when particularly hilarious comedians appear at a comedy club like The Stand in Newcastle**, they very often have to pause their act so that people can get up and find their heads and fit them back on again.  Sometimes that can become funnier than the comedians because the headless people bump into each other.  It gets so madcap that more people lose their heads over it.  Then the staff at the comedy club blow a big hooter and tell everyone to sit down on the floor while a group of janitors dressed in purple polka dots go round and try to match up heads to bodies.  It is unclear as to why the club thinks that purple polka dots make a good uniform and it's unclear as to what the janitors are doing during the rest of the evening as their sole job front of house is head sorting.

It is suspected that they voluntarily inhabit a back room in the club where they spend their time writing poetry for fun and hit situation comedies for cash.  Another theory says that the janitors are sorcerers from another world who appear only when needed for their head attachment role.  A third theory says that there is a secret tunnel leading out from the club and heading deep under Bigg Market and eventually under the Tyne to Gateshead where they work as security guards in a shoe shop.  Nobody knows which, if any, of these theories are correct.  The janitors refuse to say.

Any mistakes can be sorted out at the end of the show.  The janitors usually get it right with the help of the heads telling them roughly what body to look for.  But sometimes they get it very wrong indeed.  The man whose bulging head, bald save for a grizzled beard, should have been paired with the body of a six foot ten body builder was the most difficult case the club had seen.  The janitors attached his head onto the body of a proverbial eighty-nine pound weakling.  He got very angry indeed and went on a rampage and tried to break up the bar.  Being an eighty-nine pound weakling he couldn't do much damage.  The actual head of the weakling - weak only in body, his mind was one of the most powerful in Europe - stood and watched in disbelief and then flexed his muscles for a while.  It was the first time he had flexed his muscles.  Eventually the body-builder's head calmed down and both men were offered tickets to another show and a free meal from the rather gorgeous restaurant at The Stand.

On one occasion someone tried to get away with leaving the club with their head attached to someone else's body.  She decided that having the kind of figure that could adorn the front cover of Vogue might be nicer than having the kind of figure that the fashion industry thinks is inferior.  Silly fashion industry.  Fortunately that woman was stopped at the door and the rightful owner of the body had it restored to them.  The woman was later sentenced to 240 hours community service and had to go on a re-education course about why being skinny doesn't make you a better person.

And then there was the time that a caretaker was sweeping up late at night after a particularly funny improvised show and found a head under the table.  The staff were all called back and the building was searched but no body was to be found.  When police examined CCTV in the small hours of the morning they discovered that a headless body had been carried out by a group of people who looked to have had possibly half a drink too many.  A body hunt was started and the police were considering trawling the River Tyne.

They were just about to call for the search vessels when the club received a very sheepish phone call from a woman.  She had woken up that morning with a terrible hangover and her husband wasn't in bed with her.  She was worried by his absence.  Then she was surprised and a little distressed to find him sitting downstairs on the sofa without a head.  It took a while but the events of the evening came back to her.  They hadn't even realised they had left the club in a group of five bodies but only four heads.  That's what booze can do.  Blob says [yes, this is his blog even though he hasn't been mentioned] that a little bit of alcohol in moderation is fine even though it's a poison.  But getting drunk is something that Blob would advise everyone not to do if they can help it.  It can lead to scenes such as leaving your head in a comedy club.

**Disclaimer: Much of what you have read may not be 100% the literal truth.  So don't go forming a religion around it or start worshipping purple polka dot wearing janitors.  If you much form a religion, don't split into different sects and have religious wars arising from strict dogmas about what the janitors are doing on their day off.  What is true is that The Stand is in Newcastle, has comedy nearly every night, much of which is very funny, and that the food and drink in the restaurant upstairs is worth visiting for.  That bit is true.  Don't doubt it.  Even if you doubt the rest of it.

Blob thinks it could all be true though because why else would there be phrases like "laughed his head off"?  Blob isn't great with idiom.  He's not great with metaphor.  He is rather literal minded, which he puts down to being autistic rather that it just being one of those things.  He's probably right, because autistic people are often very literal.  Even Blob's person struggles with idiom and metaphor sometimes after decades of learning what they all mean.  She's quite good at inventing her own idioms and metaphors though.  Which is great.  Except that nobody knows what she's talking about.

Blob has stopped laughing his head off now.  His person has told him that the bump on her head had hurt quite a lot and it meant that she couldn't lie on her back without wincing visibly from the pain.  It had been a very big book and the librarian had hit her harder than necessary.  Blob says that it was entirely necessary because smaller books and gentler knocks hadn't woken her.  Blob's person is skeptical at this moment.

Blob's blog has gone a little astray today but he thought it important to talk about important things.  He is not surprised that people's heads don't often fall off in the street.  Many of them aren't smiling at all.  Many of them look as though they're not enjoying life at all.  Blob advises that if you're going to laugh so much that your head falls off you shouldn't do it at the top of a hill in the countryside.  If that happened it might take days or weeks for you to find your head again.  And what if it fell into the fast flowing river at the bottom of the hill and was swept out to sea and swallowed by a Leviathan and then vomited up again three days and three nights later in Nineveh, like Jonah's head was when it was still attached to his body?  What would you do then?  It would be terrible.  Blob Thing is glad that kind of thing could never happen to him.  People say to "hold onto your hats."  Blob advises holding onto your heads too.  Don't lose them.  And don't ever screw them on backwards.

Before discussing his adventures, Blob Thing would like to point out again that he has a sister and that he loves his sister.  She's called Winefride.  And she was named after a woman whose head actually did fall off and rolled down a hill.  Well it didn't quite fall off did it Blob?  It was chopped off by a nasty man called Caradoc who wanted to lie with her - as the Bible phrases it - and then got cross because she didn't want to lie with him.  Blob thinks that the Winefride in the story was sensible.  Even if she did lose her head for a while.  Maybe Saint Beuno, who put her head back on later, was actually a purple polka dot uniformed janitor.  Maybe.  It's not much more farfetched than the rest of the legend.

Today Blob Thing wants to talk about a visit to another library.  A very big library.  A library which looks very old but is much more modern than the Literary and Philosophical Library.  It's in Manchester.  Blob wants to talk about his visit to the John Rylands library and about all the interesting things he saw there.  Then he wants to talk about the rest of that day.  It was an extremely exciting day.  He saw Roman ruins, drove a tank [or so he claims] and even sat with the Blue Peter dog. [Blob's person can verify that claim.]

Blob wants to talk about that.  But he's not going to talk about it are you Blob?  Because you've already talked too much today.  It's time to stop.  Blob's person is going to allow him to share just one photograph from that thrill packed day.  Just one.  Choose carefully Blob Thing.  "Choose your next photograph carefully Mr. Blob.  It may be your last." [Slightly dented gold painted star for anyone who understands the last two sentences and knows who once said similar words.  Clue: His star would have been much nicer than the one Blob Thing is pretending to award.]

And here, after much deliberation, is the photograph Blob Thing has chosen of his trip to the John Rylands Library:

[Oh, Blob Thing.  Why did you have to choose that one?]  Blob Thing says it's because this photo was a result of his person's rebelliousness.  There was a specific sign saying that it was against the rules to photograph this toilet.  And she did it anyway.  Blob's person is a criminal.  Blob hopes that she doesn't get into too much trouble as a consequence of Blob Thing publishing her photograph.  [Okay, Blob.  Another photo.  This time use one that has you in it.  That's what people want.  A picture of you.]  Blob is sitting thinking.  There are several pictures to choose from.  He's looking at all of them very carefully.  Which one is best?  Which ones does he want to save for when he talks about the library?  He's choice is made.  At last.  This one:

A good choice Blob.  Good choice.  You might even want to use that one again when you manage to write a post and focus on the subject at hand.  People do need to know about the janitors but they don't want to getting so off topic every day.  Blob Thing agrees.  Next time he will stick to the theme.  Maybe.

[2000 words.  Exactly 2000 words.  Yay!]

Monday, 22 August 2016

Blob Thing Apprehends A Thieving Giraffe In The Literary And Philosophical Library

The chase was on.

Blob Thing didn't know quite how it had happened.

One moment he had been sitting at a table, drinking his cup of tea at the Literary and Philosophical Library.  And then he must have fallen asleep.  It was the middle of the day and Blob doesn't usually sleep in the day.  It can't have been just any average kind of sleep either.  This must have been the kind of deep and contented sleep that only occurs when surrounded by books.

Ah yes, the soporific effect of the printed page.  It works in many ways.  Some people fall asleep in front of any open book, bored into sleep by the words in front of them.  Others just embrace the relaxation which comes from the songs sung by the pages themselves:

We are the dreamers and the keepers of the night.
We are the stories of sunsets and storms.
We tell of the fight between darkness and light.
We are the plays curiosity performs.

We are the lives of the writers in paper and ink.
We are the holders of all truths and of lies.
We balance the scales of thoughtless and doublethink.
We grant you peace and bring sleep to your eyes.

We evangelise, catechise, surprise and terrorise,
Talk of french fries, custard pies, exercise.
We propagandise, scandalise, hypnotise.
But we never would think to televise. Never, not ever.

Blob Thing slept.  He doesn't know how long he slept for.  The books washing over him in song, in word, in the beautiful colours of the imagination.  Sleep Blob, sleep.

Then he woke with a start to see a giraffe standing facing him from the other end of the table.  The giraffe was just standing there, motionless.  He was smiling at Blob.   It didn't look like a friendly smile.  Blob yawned and rubbed his eyes.  [No, don't ask how he rubbed his eyes when he hasn't got anything to rub them with.  That's not relevant right now.]  He looked at the giraffe.  The giraffe looked back and smiled wider to reveal a gold tooth on one side and a large piece of leaf stuff on the other side of his mouth.  This was not a giraffe who practised good oral hygiene.

Blob yawned again.  The sleep had been wonderful and he had dreamed of cruising down a beautiful river with his creator.  Winefride had been there too and they had all been eating a fabulous liquorice ice cream and watching the sun setting over a spectacular view of a mountain plateau.  The dream would have been perfect had it not been for the inclusion of a seagull which kept pecking at Blob Thing's chest for some reason.  Perhaps it had been the final squawk of the bird which had woken Blob.

He looked again at the giraffe who, apart from the change in smile, had not moved at all.  And that's when Blob noticed it.  The giraffe was holding Blob Thing's badge.  His "Autistic" badge.  His unique badge, made for him by his creator.  The giraffe had stolen it.  Blob shouted out "Thief!"  The giraffe continued to stand there as if he were completely unworried, as if he knew that the staff of the library wouldn't even notice him there let alone apprehend him.  The staff didn't even seem to hear Blob.  He shouted again, "Thief!  Thief!" but nobody moved.  Nobody came to his assistance.

Not even Blob's person who had fallen asleep too.  Blob nudged his person several times.

"Wake up.  Wake up.  Help me!"

Blob's person didn't move.  The books had taken her into a deep dream world and no amount of nudging and shoving by a small, pink soft toy was going to rouse her from the depths of a book induced sleep.

There was only one thing for it.  Blob Thing would have to catch the thief himself.

Blob stared at the giraffe.  Blob didn't blink once but kept staring as he slowly inched his way round the table towards it.  The two kept their eyes locked even though the food stuck in the giraffe's mouth was quite distracting and more than a little disgusting.  Slowly, slowly, Blob drew closer and still the giraffe stood.  Motionless apart from moving its eyes to keep holding the gaze of Blob.

Blob was almost close enough to touch the fiend and then ...

The giraffe suddenly turned and ran.

And the chase was on.

[Note:  These photographs were not taken during the chase.  You will be able to surmise that it's the case because Blob is wearing his badge in all of them and is looking quite happy.  You will also be able to work out that it's the case because throughout the chase Blob's person remained fast asleep and unable to take pictures.]

[Note:  The events in this post are in no way to be taken as indicative of a condemnation of all giraffes.  This giraffe was just one particularly mean example of a giraffe and one mean giraffe does not imply a view that all giraffes are mean.  It does not imply that all giraffes have bad oral hygiene either.  As this tale is being written, Blob and his person are sitting with a giraffe called Gerry.  Gerry is a particularly friendly giraffe and his oral hygiene is wonderful.  There's no food stuck in his mouth and his breath never smells in the slightest bid bad.]

[Note:  Later you will see another reason why these events could never in your wildest imagination be taken as a condemnation of giraffes.]

[Note:  You will also spot that in the photos Blob Thing is wearing his "Autistic" badge.  He wants to let you know at this point that it's the original badge and that he managed to get it back from the giraffe in the library.  Blob didn't want to leave you in suspense for any longer than he needs to.  You may already have guessed that this story has a happy ending from the title of the post.  You clever person!]

[Note:  The photos follow the exact route of the chase.  Once Blob's person finally woke up - and that didn't happen until a librarian hit her on the head with a particularly large volume and said words along the lines of "Hey! You can't sleep in here." - Blob told her about everything that had happened and once Blob had relaxed about it and had a massive hug he took her round the chase route and posed for the photos.  Blob was quite proud of getting his badge back and immensely proud of pinning it back on his dress.  [Again, please don't ask how he managed it.  It's not relevant right now.]]

The giraffe turned and ran from the table and into the corner of the library between the bookshelves.  Blob followed, sprinting hard up to the shelves.  He waited for a while by the end of the shelf to see whether the giraffe would come out.  Blob would then be able to pounce on it, rugby tackling it to the ground and holding it down until it gave in.  But the giraffe did not appear.

Blob had not choice but to choose and end of the shelves and run round to try to catch the giraffe.  He chose the direction that the giraffe had run in from - assuming that the giraffe would guess that Blob would try to catch him on the way out and would thus run out the way it had run in.  Blob shouted out, "Right, I'm coming in to get you now and you had better give my badge back or you'll be in big trouble."  He then crept up to the corner of the shelving unit and ran into the space.

The giraffe was nowhere to be seen.  Blob looked back round the shelves into the library.  The giraffe wasn't there either.  For a moment it appeared that the giraffe had vanished.  Blob looked back round the shelf, puzzled.  It was then that he saw the giraffe's tail dangling down from the shelves above.  The giraffe was climbing and had nearly reached the top of the book case.  Blob had no choice but to climb too which is quite a struggle for such a toy as him.  He has to jump up one shelf at a time and grab hold with his mouth or squeeze himself into the gaps between the tops of the books and the bottoms of the shelves.  It's hard work.  You try it sometime, climbing a book case with no arms or legs.  Just try it.

Blob reached the top of the shelves just after the giraffe, whose climb was a little slower because somehow its neck kept getting in the way.  Blob was just about to jump on the giraffe when it made a massive leap onto the top floor of the library.

Whatever was Blob to do now?

He's good at jumping and often gets bouncy when he's happy flapping.  But he knew there was no way he could jump all the way to the top floor.  It was impossible.  And for just a moment he wished that he had proper jumping legs like a giraffe.

Poor Blob.  He sat there for a while and felt like crying.  The giraffe watched him from the top floor.  Then it blew a raspberry at him and shouted at him that he was useless and just a stupid little blob who shouldn't even be allowed in a library.

Blob felt very angry.  Who did the giraffe think it was to say such things to him?  Didn't the giraffe know that Blob wasn't stupid?  He might be small, but he wasn't stupid.  He even had his own blog and sometimes said quite clever things - more clever than his person says.

Then Blob noticed a spiral staircase leading up to the top floor.  He quickly climbed down the shelves and bounced his way up the stairs.  In other circumstances bouncing up a spiral staircase would have been particularly fun, but Blob wasn't in any mood to enjoy the sensations.  Blob Thing chased the giraffe round and round the balcony on the top floor.  They even ran and bounced round the balcony in the other big room of the library.  No matter how hard he tried Blob wasn't quite able to catch the giraffe.  And then the giraffe jumped back down onto a shelf.  It was a downhill leap so Blob risked doing it himself.  Success!  And then they were back to ground level.

The chase continued in and out of the shelves.  They passed fiction books, religious books, history books and politics books.  They even passed some big books about art and some music too.

Blob would have liked to have explored the library at a much slower pace.  He would have liked to have seen everything while not chasing a giraffe thief.  And then things took a turn for the worse.

Just as Blob rounded a corner near the comfy chairs - on one of which his person still sat, sleeping and snoring - a puffin stepped out and tripped him over.  The giraffe was getting away.  The puffin just laughed.

Blob was determined not to be beaten.  He picked himself up and gave chase.  But the time he reached the children's library the giraffe was right at the other end of the library.  And the puffin was flying across the library to meet it.  They were a team.  That wasn't fair at all.  Blob didn't have a helper.  He would have to do this alone.

And then something surprising happened.  The puffin grabbed hold of the giraffe's neck and pulled.  The neck had a zipper on it.

It was a costume!  Fancy dress!

The puffin continued to pull the zipper and pulled it all the way down the giraffe's neck and down its back.  It wasn't a giraffe after all.  It was a dragon.  Now Blob had two flying fiends to deal with.  This was almost intolerable.

Blob noticed that he was standing by someone named Matilda.  She was stuck on a piece of paper trapped in plastic so couldn't help with chasing but he asked her for some ideas.  Matilda was a very clever girl indeed.  She was written that way so it's nothing to be proud about!  She had a very good idea and taught Blob Thing exactly how he could set up a trap in which to catch both the dragon and the puffin.  The puffin wouldn't be able to peck its way out.  And the dragon wouldn't be able to use fire.  Matilda gave Blob exact instructions and showed him where in the library the materials were kept.

Blob quickly gathered the materials and prepared the trap.  All this time the giraffe that was really a dragon - or the dragon that wasn't a giraffe - and the puffin stood and chatted and laughed lots and sometimes made rude wing symbols at Blob or taunted him with names.  They kept saying things too like "Whatcha doing rubbish pink thing?  Whatcha playing at with all those things?"  And they blew lots of raspberries and played a catch game with Blob's badge.

Blob tried to ignore them as he worked and pretty soon the trap was constructed.  [Don't ask the exact nature of the trap please.  It's not relevant.  Just accept that it was a trap and that a library has sufficient trap materials.  And that a picture of Matilda can give clear verbal instructions about trap construction.  Just accept it.  It's easier that way.]

Blob looked at the trap and nodded and smiled.  Yes.  It would work.  He just had to chase the two criminals and the trap would work its magic.

Blob set off again at a sprint.  He was glad of all the walking he had been doing with his person.  Without all that exercise he might not have been fit enough for this.  He was just reaching the dragon and the puffin when they took off and shouted at Blob that he was inferior because he couldn't fly.  Blob disagrees with that assessment.  They flew at speed down the library laughing because Blob couldn't catch them.

But that was Blob's plan.  Matilda watched and grinned because it was working out so well.

The dragon and the puffin reached the trap.  It was sprung.  And they were caught.

Oh how they struggled but the more they struggled the tighter the trap became until they had to stop moving and give up.  Blob walked up to them and told them they were very bad creatures indeed.  He said they would never be allowed out of the trap unless they gave him back his badge and promised never to behave in such a way again.  So they had no choice and gave Blob back his badge.

At that point - finally - a librarian appeared to find out what all the fuss was about.  She looked down at the dragon and the puffin and said, "Oh dear, it's you two again.  What mischief have you got up to this time?  Thievery?  Hmm.  That's the last straw."

The librarian grabbed hold of the pair and opened the trap.  They were very glad to be released because it had been very uncomfortable in there.  The librarian asked them whether they had learned their lesson.  They nodded sadly and said sorry to Blob.  The librarian then told them to go back onto the covers of the books they had come from - a pair of children's books.   She then put a big plastic library cover over the book so they couldn't get out again.

"Just in case," she said.

Blob put his badge on.  He was tired.  He was still quite scared and full of soft toy adrenalin.  The librarian took him back to his person and woke her up.

Blob's person was very surprised to hear about all the goings on while she had been fast asleep.  Blob was shaking by now and she gave him a massive hug and rocked with him in the comfy chair until he felt better.  And then the librarian gave them both a free cup of tea and some extra special biscuits.

The moral of all this, Blob thinks, is that you should never fall asleep in a library.   Next time, he's going to stay wide awake and if he feels drowsy he's going to get up and run down the aisles shouting "Wheeeeeeee!" until he is wide awake again and everyone else in the library is wide awake too.

[2763 words]

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Blob Thing Encounters An Evangelical Phone Box But Is Not Converted

Blob Thing's person is far too exhausted this evening to type a blog post for him.  She felt rough this morning but still went out and socialised with people.  She's glad she did it but is now shattered inside through making such an effort.  Visiting a graveyard on the way home helped her and she took some pretty pictures there.  But it wasn't enough to overcome the drain caused by the social.

Blob wants to share something today that's already been shared by his person on Facebook.  He says that his person should be able to cope with a post that just includes what's already been shared because she has already typed it.  Blob says that he hopes to be able to write a proper post of his own tomorrow.  He might not post about the Literary and Philosophical Library though unless he can remember the exact details of his adventure there.  He knows it involved a chasing game with a dragon and a puffin.  And he knows that the chief librarian told them all off and threatened to throw Blob Thing out of the library and forced the dragon and the puffin to get back onto the covers of the children's books they had escaped from.  But Blob is a bit hazy on the details right now so he might write about something else - another adventure involving a chase, and one which he had with Winefride.  That was a very exciting time.  But it was just a little bit more than scary for a while because Winefride was worried that they would be sent to prison!

Today Blob thing says that he wants to reproduce this:

This is the evangelical phone box of Settle.

Blob's person photographed while at Autscape‬.  On that day she had gone walking with Blob's creator and they had taken Blob and Winefride along with them.  On that day they all ate ice cream, played by the river, and went to a play area.  It was lovely.  On the walk back from Settle to Giggleswick they saw the evangelical phone box and because Blob's person is still a bit obsessive about the God she doesn't believe in any more and the faith she no longer practices they all had to go and look at it.

Yes.  An evangelical phone box.

Inside the box were some leaflets about God and Jesus and church things, and a walking guide to the area in which you stopped off at various important spots and at every single church.  At every stop there was a little prayer.

Also inside the box was a quotation.  A direct quotation.  From God.

'Life is short, eternity is not.' - God

You may wonder about the veracity of that quote because it isn't in the Bible or in any other of the main books that God is alleged to have written.

But Blob's person - with a bit of help from Blob - has been looking carefully into events and can report that it is not invented.

The evangelical phone box got the direct quote from God after he won an amazing treble, scooping the 50p first prize at each of fudge making, the large vegetable competition, and the adult sack race. That was at a local festival in 2011.

Afterwards God said to the phone box in an interview for the BBC (filmed but never broadcast) that he was very proud of his achievement and would treasure his winner's cards for "a very long time because although life is short, eternity is not."

The interview was later printed in a local paper and God is pictured with his cards. Next to him is a local dignitary who is holding up God's enormous cucumber above his head.

God has since sold his house in ‪#‎Settle‬ and moved north to Dentdale. He wanted to downsize and live somewhere quieter. He hasn't bothered pinning up his cards in the new house. They're in a box up in his attic. Forgotten.

So God didn't keep his promise. But the evangelical telephone box carries on quoting him. And the quote was out of context to begun with. Evangelical telephone boxes will do anything to sell a message.

It is good to know the truth about these things. Otherwise people might continue to doubt that God ever said these words in Settle.

There's that phone box again - an inside view.  In the corner of the picture you can see a little piece of Blob's creator.  He hastens to say that all the other pieces of his creator were safely attached to that piece.  The evangelical phone box had not cut her into pieces.  So don't worry!

Blob quite likes the message that "God heart you."  He doesn't believe it though because he doesn't believe in a sky God being who actively loves.  Blob does believe in love though.  He agrees with the Bible that God is love.  He just doesn't believe in a theistic interpretation of what God is.

Blob Thing would say that wherever love is to be found, that which we may call god is to be found.

Blob would say that whenever we express true love, we express that which we may call god.

And thus the god of love, love itself, is found within and without, in the depths of our beautiful hearts and in the awesome wonder of the world around us.

Blob would say that god is love.  He would also say that god is not just love.  In the grandeur of the mountain there is no love expressed.  And yet god is there too.  God meets god when we express love and adoration for that grandeur.

That's what Blob says.  And because he says all that, it's possible that he doesn't quite believe all that he and his person wrote on Facebook about that direct quotation in the evangelical phone box - any more than they believed the can of Irn-Bru they saw today that claims it's "been bru'd to a secret recipe since 1901" and yet contains such wonderments as Ponceau 4R, a synthetic colouring that is banned in the USA, and Sunset Yellow.  [Also note that it says bru'd.  The drink was once called Iron Brew.  But they had to stop calling it Brew because it's not brewed.

The Food Standards Agency asked food manufacturers in 2008 to voluntarily remove additives such as these from foods.  But they're still in Irn-Bru.  The manufacturer agreed to remove them.  But that was in January 2010 and they haven't done it.  Naughty manufacturer.  This does not stop Blob's person from drinking the stuff every now and again.  It may have all kinds of crap in it.  It may contain 32 flavouring agents and Blob would suspect that not all of them were in the 1901 recipe. 

But it's tasty!

Blob's person has learned while reading about the 32 flavouring agents about the transphobic advertising campaign that ran for Irn-Bru.  Maybe it's time to stop drinking such utter crud.  Blob is instructing his person:  Never drink Irn-Bru again.  Blob thing points out too that the only iron in irn-bru (which was advertised as "made from girders") is in the form of a 0.002% addition of ammonium ferric citrate which isn't usually what girders are made from.  Blob is doing his very best to convince his person not to drink the stuff again.  She's complaining because it is tasty and she likes it.  But Blob is adamant.  Adamant.  This argument will run well past a blog post.

Blob wishes to apologise that his deep thinking about spirituality suddenly turned to talking about a soft drink.  Blob Thing has never drunk Irn-Bru.  He never will.  He doesn't like the colour.  Tea has good colours.  Hot chocolate has wonderful colours.  But he doesn't like the way Irn-Bru doesn't just look like rusty iron, it looks like luminous rusty iron.

Blob doesn't think the saying "God is luminous rusty iron" is quite as catchy as "God is love."

He's going to stick with "God is love."

[1343 words]