Monday, 31 October 2016

Blob Thing Unexpectedly Goes To War And Drives A Tank

It's not fair.  It really isn't.  My person has written thirteen posts on her own blog in the last week.  Thirteen!  And how many have I been able to write?  I'll tell you how many.  None.  None at all.  She keeps writing her own blog and then doesn't help me with mine.

I should say in her defence that it hasn't all been bad for me and Winefride.  We've had some fun in the last week.  We've been to Durham on an adventure.  Winefride has flown on a unicorn.  We've both swung in a hammock.  Winefride fell out unfortunately - and after my person said she would be okay too.  Silly person.  Today I have posed with a giant fungus.  We've had some fun.  My person went to a museum today.  I think she should go back so that Winefride and I can have some big adventures there.  I'd like that.  There was such a lot to see there and I think Winefride would especially enjoy it if our person took us to see the planetarium at the museum.  She would love it I think.

Today I want to tell you more about my adventure - before Winefride was even born - along the water from Manchester to Salford.  I was now officially in Trafford and we could see a very famous place called Old Trafford.  It wasn't the famous place called Old Trafford where people dress up in white and play a game for five days and then announce that the game was a draw because it rained.  Not that one.  It was the one where people dress up in red and get paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to kick a ball around for an hour and a half once a week.  I don't really understand sport but I am told that people get a lot of enjoyment watching people kick a ball around or try to hit a ball with a stick.  Anyway, this Old Trafford place is very famous apparently and important to a lot of people.  76,000 people can watch a ball game there.  Only 26,000 can watch a ball game in the other one.  I don't know whether that means there are 50,000 disappointed people whenever the ball and stick game is played or whether less people want to see the ball and stick game than the game with just a ball.  And some nets.  I understand that game has nets too.  I just don't understand it.  Playing on the swings is far more fun than watching people kick a ball.

So I was in Trafford with my person.  And we were walking alongside the water.  The other side of the water wasn't Trafford.  It was Salford.  Both of them are fords though so they might be similar.  We were glad to see Salford because it would be the end point of our walk and I wanted to have a rest and put my body up and have a nice drink.  I actually thought that there wouldn't be any more adventures that day because I had already had lots of adventures and I could see the end of the walk.  I was wrong.

As we walked we passed this building.  It's full of offices but I really liked it.

And then we found a museum in an even more spectacular building.  My person was obviously very tired because she didn't walk all the way round the outside and take photos of it.  One day she will because I want to take Winefride there and show it to her.  I want to show her all sorts of things.

This was the Imperial War Museum North.  I don't like war.  War is horrific, no matter the motives humans have for entering into situations in which they blow each other up.  Why do humans do that?  They're a very strange species.  Nobody in my species has ever harmed another from my species in any way.  Of course, my species only numbers two.  Winefride and me.  But we would never hurt each other and if our species grew to be a million small soft toys we wouldn't have a war.

This was a whole museum about war.  My person decided we should go and see what was inside because the building looked interesting and because it was free admission.  I didn't really want to go and learn about war but she insisted and I am glad that she did.

The building was wonderful.  I recommend visiting too.  Even if you don't look at any of the exhibits it is worth visiting just for the building.  I want to go back and get my person to take lots and lots of building photos.  And I have to say this.  Even though I don't like war I was very impressed by the museum.  It didn't proclaim that war is wonderful.  In fact it often said the opposite and there were sections looking at the suffering caused to ordinary people when there is a war.  There are lots of wars going on now and people killing each other for lots of reasons which seem to make some kind of sense to them.  I don't think my person would ever want to fight in a war.  She bought a book today about Quakers and I know they wouldn't want to fight.  I want to go back to visit the Quakers soon.  They were nice.  Winefride might not cope with the worship though.  I wonder if they would let her go and take part in the children's meeting and whether they would take photos of her.  She might like that and they're very inclusive.

On the wall of the main exhibition hall - which is an incredible room - there was this sculpture.  I really like the shape and all the prickly bits and the colour and the way it shines in the light.  I'm not quite sure what it's meant to be though.  Probably I could have found out and I know there was some information about it but I just wanted to look at it shiny and bright and full of shapes.

We saw lots of things as we walked round.  Some of the photos didn't come out well because it was quite dark in places and my person didn't want to use flash on her camera.  She didn't know whether she was actually allowed to take photos.  Here I am in front of a car.

This is me in front of a firewatchers shelter.  The sign behind me says that nobody is allowed to stand on the plinth.  But I am standing there.  I hope they don't find out or I might not be allowed back into the museum.
And then I saw something very impressive.  An armoured killing machine with a massive gun on the front.  This was a tank.

I asked if I could go and explore the tank and that's what I did.  I don't think I was meant to but I'm small and wasn't spotted by a security guard.  So I climbed up onto the tank and climbed in.  It smelled very funny in there.  I pressed and pulled levers and buttons and drove the tank all the way round the museum and then had to carefully steer and drive it back to where I started.  At least I think I did because I did lots of pressing and pulling.  I know for sure that I drove skillfully because when I climbed back out of the tank it was back where it had started.

Driving a tank was ever such an exciting experience.  I was very good though and didn't fire the big gun.  I didn't want to destroy the Imperial War Museum because that wouldn't have been fair at all and because it is in such a nice building.  Here's a picture of me posing in front of the wheels of the tank.  Aren't they big?

One last photo of the museum.  We have lots more on the computer and I like looking back at old photos of me.  Hey, it's my birthday today.   Did you know that?  I am ten months old today.

This is me in front of an aeroplane of a sort used in wars.  You can see that shiny bright sculpture behind it.  I knew what the aeroplane was.  But I preferred the sculpture.

It was time to leave the museum and head to Salford.  Journey's end.  And even there we would find more adventures before finally sitting down with that cup of tea.

I am glad my person agreed to help me with a blog post today.  Maybe in November she will be a bit better about helping me rather than getting distracted by her own blog post or by difficult things in her life.  I think I deserve to be helped and I was told yesterday - by a writer no less - that my blog is excellent.  I certainly like it.  I wonder what I'll talk about next.  I think I should talk more about God and autism and flowers and creativity and beauty and giraffes and I saw a narwhal today.  I did.  I saw a narwhal.  And a rhinoceros.  And a dinosaur.  And lots of birds on a lake.  And it was really enjoyable being out and the sun was shining.  That's a strange phrase too isn't it.  The sun was shining.  Well of course it was you silly!  It doesn't stop shining.  It's not as if the sun ceases to burn at night or goes out whenever a cloud is in front of it.  It's a silly phrase and I'm a bit embarrassed to have used it.  The sun was visible in the sky.  There.  Although: don't look at it or you'll hurt your eyes and might end up with Medjugorje Syndrome and you wouldn't want that would you?  Yes, it was a lovely day today in Newcastle.  Lovely.

Right.  That's it.  My person is telling me that I have to stop because she needs to put food in the oven otherwise nobody here will be eating tonight.  That would be sad.  I don't want to miss my dinner tonight because we didn't get fed when we were out.  My person didn't even buy ice creams for Winefride and me even though we passed a perfectly good ice cream source in the park.  Next time person, you should indulge us.  Thank you.

[1737 words]

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Blob Thing Pushes Barrels And Gets Chained Up At Praed Road

Blob speaks:

This is my 101st blog post.  I was wanting, having posted for the hundredth time, to get back to posting things every single day.  But my person hasn't been doing very well in the last few days.  It's been a real struggle for her head.  I've had to look after her and all our friends are chipping in to caring for her so that her head can get through everything and recover.  Got A Warthog and Amethyst have been doing an excellent job at night, with Portal helping out when they've needed a rest.  Even Buttons and Gerry have been active and have shown that they're worth far more than their weight in stuffing.  I haven't been asking my person to write with me every day but this morning I think it might be good for her.

Yesterday I colluded with my creator and strongly encouraged my person to go on a little adventure.  It was amazing.  We visited the Lady of the North.  I've been to see her before but Winefride hasn't.  She wanted to run out to where it was dangerous.  I think she wanted to stand on the tip of the lady's nose and then roll right down her face.  But it was very steep and I didn't want her to get hurt.  We took some pictures.  I'll show you them one day.  Then we went to Plessey Woods and had a walk in the trees and by the river.  My person walked along a path she possibly wasn't meant to walk on and was very tempted to just keep on walking in the hope that it came out somewhere.  It was very pretty even if we weren't meant to be there.  And then the three of us went out for lunch in a tiny little cafe above a new age shop.  The food was very nice.  I think some people were there to have some kind of readings done by some kind of psychic or intuitive.  My person quite likes tarot cards.  She keeps saying they're pretty.  She doesn't think they are of any use in predicting the future though.

It was a very good adventure yesterday.  I sat on a giant toadstool too.  Winefride had her picture taken with some real fungi and I was very glad that she didn't try to eat them.  She can be crazily bouncy enough without accidentally eating hallucinogenics.  I don't want to imagine Winefride on drugs.  Or even worse, the fungi might have been poisonous and then she would have had to go to hospital.  We were going to hospital anyway but having one member of the family there is quite enough.  Yes, it was a very good adventure and we got home in time to go and see my person's wife in the afternoon.

But that's yesterday and I'm not talking about yesterday today and won't be talking about yesterday tomorrow either.  Today I want to tell you more about another big adventure.  I won't tell you much because my person's head is not coping well and she's finding it hard to focus.  I think she needs a big squish hug from someone special.  Someone special isn't here so she'll just have to have one from Got A Warthog.  He's a very special warthog.  I don't think there are many songs about special warthogs.  Not many.  But there are songs about warthogs of course.  Why wouldn't there be?

Got A Warthog has not got a pink satin dress with blue bows.  I wonder how smart he would look in such beautiful clothes.  It would make me sad if he went out dressed up like that and nasty people insulted him for being a boy warthog in a dress.  Got A Warthog says that he much prefers that warthog song to this one.

He doesn't want me to look further on YouTube for warthog songs because he just spotted a link to something very frightening.  It was a video of a warthog being eaten alive.  Got A Warthog is feeling bad now and has his head hidden under the bed covers.  I hope he'll be okay.  I'm glad that there are so many other friends here because he'll be looked after well.  Yes, here come Stillness and Pain to give him a big cuddle.  Stillness is an elephant.  He was rescued from the shelves of a shop on the same day as Without Names.

So yes.  I was with my person and we had been walking from the centre of Manchester along some water.  We had nearly reached the end of our journey but still had many adventures left.  As we walked we came to an industrial sculpture area.  It was great fun to play on some of the sculptures except I couldn't play as much as I wanted because it was raining and I don't have any waterproof clothes.  We looked in the hiking shop but they didn't have any Blob sized jackets.  Even the extra small ones for human children were far too big for me.

This first photo is rubbish.  I don't know why my person was holding the phone camera at that angle.  I don't want to insult my person, especially when her head is so sore inside.  But it is a rubbish photo.  The best thing in it is me!

The rest of the photos are much better.  It's a big shame that Winefride wasn't with us that day.  She would have loved it there.  She would have been jumping around on everything and would have had so much fun and I would have enjoyed seeing her smile and hearing her excitement.  Maybe one day I can take her there.  She is amazing.  The way she finds joy in nearly every situation is brilliant.  Yes, she can't talk.  Yes, she's severely autistic.  But she's absolutely wonderful.  Of course there was a reason why Winefride didn't come out with us that day.  She hadn't been born yet.  That night when she was born was the most exciting of my life.

I have got a lot to say about these photos.  I have the version of events that my person remembers.  But there's also another version of events that's equally exciting.  Let it just be said that I got completely stuck in the chains.  I couldn't get out and the whole situation got more than a bit fraught.  My person couldn't help me either and she tried everything she could think of.  In the end I was freed through the combined efforts of the fire brigade, the army and a helpful pigeon named Persephone who lent the aid of her beak.

I'd tell you all about it but my person is really not feeling good and she needs to stop typing now.  Hopefully she will have enough energy for my blog again soon.  I might get her to write it for a while rather than me dictating.  I think it helps her when we get into discussions about my adventures.  Especially when she doesn't remember them properly.  And especially when we get sidetracked in our discussions and start writing about other things.

Yes.  Time to stop typing.  My person is very tired.  I hope you enjoy all the pictures.  They've all got me in them.  In my next post I'll tell you about how exciting it was to drive a tank and might tell you about my part in winning a war and how I attached loudspeakers to the top of my tank and played "Give Peace a Chance" and how I adjusted the big gun to shoot white poppies and bubbles.  My tank was the only peace crusader tank in the whole war and when the enemy saw it they laughed and decided that bubbles are better than bullets.  Their country stopped producing bullet guns and everyone got issued with a bubble gun, a sparkly wand, and a kite and the country devoted itself to spreading pacifism.  It's a shame no other country has listened and it's a shame that their country had too many people shouting about how bubbles were for babies and how it was their divine right under God to bear arms because an ancient piece of paper seemed to say so.  Silly people.  They got into power in the end and that country became miserable again.  I might tell you all about that adventure.  If my person lets me.

Enjoy the photos.

[1403 words]

Friday, 21 October 2016

Blob Thing Goes Hospital Visiting In A Week That Was Not As Planned

Blob Thing says:

This is my one hundredth blog post.  Isn't that amazing?  My one hundredth blog post was meant to be a big celebration.  A massive party in honour of me!  And of Winefride too.  It's important to honour her because my sister is amazing.

But life doesn't always work out as planned.  My person was going to help me with this post at the weekend and now it's the end of the week.  So this is my post and it's not a joyful celebration of me.  Because things happened and my person didn't manage to find the time or the energy for my blog.

On Saturday my life was being very good.  I went out with Winefride and my person to meet up with a friend we all knew from Autscape.  We went to the Literary and Philosophical Library and I tried not to have flashbacks of my last visit there - the one in which a dragon dressed up as a giraffe stole my Autistic badge when I fell asleep.  My person helped me write a blog post about that.  We went to a very good photographic gallery.  And we sat in Super Natural cafe for ages.  During the day this photograph was taken.  It was an accidental screenshot.  Sometimes very exciting photos happen when accidental screenshots happen on the phone.  Sometimes very boring ones happen too.  This is one of the best.  Don't worry.  The vampire bunny didn't manage to bite me.  I have not become a blood sucking small pink soft toy.

Everything was very happy.  But that changed.

On our way home we learned that my person's wife had suffered an accident.  She was at the hospital being checked out.  That was on Saturday.  It's now Friday and she is still there.  She fractured her spine.  So my life this week hasn't included writing happy blog posts.  My person might have been able to find the time for them but she didn't have the mental energy to help me.

Today she's agreed to help me and I'm going to share some photos from my week.  It hasn't all been bad.  I've had some fun too.  And my person's wife is going to be okay which is a big relief to everyone.  Winefride and I have been hospital visiting every day too.  Here we are in one of the wards of the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle - a place where the staff are all doing a wonderful job looking after my person's wife.

My person has taken quite a few photos of the prettier part of the hospital.  On one day we had some food in the cafe.  We might have some more later today.  The cafe is in the prettier part, which also houses the Great Northern Children's Hospital.

Here I am sitting on a ledge by our table.

And here's a view from a walkway we use on our way to the ward.

It's a very nice place even though it's a hospital.  But from there we have to walk through a very long corridor to get to the ward.  Maybe this afternoon, if the weather is fine, my person can go to the hospital a different way and avoid the corridor.  Maybe we can also go and see some ducks in a nearby park too.  I'd like that.  I like ducks.  I had an adventure with some geese once and I'll tell you about that one day.  They didn't think our pea snacks were tasty but we didn't have any proper goose food and they were all very insistent about being fed.  There were dozens of them gathered around us.  I have to admit that I didn't like the pea snacks either.  I don't think my person was that keen either because she didn't eat all of them.

It's not all been hospitals this week.  Not for me.  It's all been hospitals for my person's wife though.  She hasn't left the hospital yet.  She hasn't even been able to visit the pretty part of the hospital.  And she has had a lot of pain.  It's all been very worrying.

My person has also been able to give me a few adventures.  Little ones, but for me a little adventure is better than no adventure.  Here I am with Winefride.  This amazing creature is on a wall in central Newcastle.  It was very friendly and told us a very interesting story about its place in the history of the city and about how it came to have such a fabulous tale.  Gosh, it was a brilliant story teller.

Here we are again.  We're back at Super Natural cafe.  I thought the books were quite interesting.  Mr. Hitchens made some very good points in his book but sometimes spoiled them by using some very mean insults that I don't think were called for.  We've only just started Mr. Holloway's book.  He seems a lot more calm about the whole thing than Mr. Hitchens.  We've been enjoying Mr. Hitchens though.  Well I have.  Winefride hasn't.  She doesn't want to sit there and have our person read big books to her.  Why would she?  Sometimes I think that she's far more sensible than both of us and that her priorities are far more what life should be about.  She's amazing and so full of joy and love and excitement.  I love my sister.  But my person is still a little obsessive in her thinking about God things and I've picked up some of that too.  I spend quite a bit of time in rooms that contain a lot of God books and I read some of them.  But Winefride can't read.  She can't talk either.  Or she doesn't talk.  It's hard to know which.  But she can laugh and smile and let out big whoops when she's excited.  She's amazing.

Here I am a few days ago.  We went to Whitley Bay.  My person knew that the Amazon delivery person was somewhere in the street just now and she was right.  She couldn't see him but could hear the bass of the music coming from his car.  That Amazon delivery person has a particular tone of bass noise coming from his car.  Sorry for that sidetrack.  The Amazon person has gone now.  Yes, we went to Whitley Bay.  Just a quick visit to help my person stay calm by doing something other than being at home or at hospital.  We visited the charity shops.  All we bought was that book by Mr. Holloway and a book containing the Dhammapada with a commentary on all the words and their meanings and how they all fit in with Buddhist philosophy and practice.  I did say my person was still a bit obsessed with God type things.  She probably always will be, no matter what she decides to believe in ten years time.  I am going to enjoy watching her continuing to grow in the ability to be lost in wonder at the things around her.

So that's my one hundredth blog post.  It's not what I wanted it to be.  But that's okay.  I can have a big celebration of the wonders of my life at another time.  When my person started this blog she was just going to share a photo of me and say where I was when it was taken.  She didn't expect that I would find my own voice.  I am very happy with the way it turned out.

[1246 words]

Friday, 14 October 2016

Blob Thing Enjoys Himself Walking By The Canal To Salford

Hey.  My person is a bit silly!  She's got the title of this post wrong and she's not letting me change it.  There might be pictures of Salford here and we might have ended our walk in Salford but we didn't get there in this part of the day.  No.  We didn't realise it at the time but we got to Trafford in this part of the day.  And that's a totally different thing.  My person is excited.  She's discovered a 57 mile walk round the outskirts of Salford and she wants to explore it.  None of the walking I will tell you about today was inside the outskirts.  It was Trafford.  We went back to Trafford last week and my person took a photo of a green telephone junction box.  That was a good evening.  I got mentioned in a talk at an autism event.  I don't think it'll make me famous and I'm not sure whether I would want to be famous anyway.  It seems like a lot of hard work having to deal with strangers wanting to talk to you all the time.  I think I'd get overwhelmed and I don't know how Winefride would cope with it all or whether everyone on Twitter would be kind to her.

There are good people who use Twitter.  And there are mean people too.  I saw some things that a Republican candidate to be President of the United States of America wrote on there and I was quite shocked.  He seems to be a very mean person.  I saw him on television too and one night when my person had insomnia I heard him in a debate.  It makes me sad that people still want this man to lead their country even after all the mean things he said about all kinds of people.  It seems he reserves nice words mainly for members of his political party and not for people who disagree with him or have a different coloured skin.  I called my person a meany bum for not helping with my blog enough.  I take it back.  It's that horrible man who is the real meany bum.  His meany bum is so big I am surprised there is any chair in the world big enough that he can sit in it.  As for skin. Well, I've got fur.  And my fur is one colour.  Winefride's fur is a different colour.  What does that matter?  It doesn't change the way I love her and it would be a totally crazy thing if it did.  We're different.  But we're not superior and inferior and we're not inferior and superior.  That's what I say and I'm sticking with it and if anyone disagrees they'll have to argue with my person because she agrees with me.

But my walk.  Oh yes, I was walking wasn't I?  I am quite glad that man wasn't walking with us.  I think I would have had to tell him to shut up lots of times.  There are other mean people.  It's not just him.  I saw some a few weeks ago in Newcastle.  Some openly racist people had a march and said some very nasty things.  Unfortunately the not racist people who also had a march said some very nasty things too and I was in tears about it all and we had to block Winefride's ears and hold her tightly all evening because she was so upset that supposedly nice people could scream in the streets of Newcastle and encourage human beings to kill themselves.  My person says she isn't going to go to the rallies and marches any more because she got very upset by it too.  When the nice people become monsters what hope is there?

At least I can still walk.  And I can smile.  And I can sing, and dance and write and play and find divinity and beauty and think of the thousands of good things that still happen.  We watched a man playing the piano and singing on the internet last night.  He said to think of the good things and sometimes to switch off from the bad.  He then said that we should be creating the good things.  I agree.  As a small pink soft toy I'm not in a position to create very many but I want to create some.  And experience others.

That day was full of good things.  Here's one of the good things:  My person was smiling.  Here she is, at the start of our canal walk.  We're still right in the middle of Manchester.  Not far away are big railways and big roads but this place was quiet.

My person is telling me to get on with it because she says I talked too much about that meany bum American person.  The next picture is of me.  I had to be held very carefully because there was nothing safe for me to sit on and I didn't want to fall into the canal.  It's not a very good picture but my person says it's quite hard to hold me and take a picture of me while making sure the camera is straight and making sure to press the button without changing the angle.  Personally I think that just means she needs more practice.  Lots more pictures of me please.  And lots of pictures of Winefride too.

Hey, yesterday was good.  First we got taken to a cafe because my person could get us some cake for free.  And then we got shown round a multilingual library which was a brilliant place.  She got photo practice there and I'll be blogging about it soon.  My person says that next week she will go back and join the library because it's such a good thing and also because it would be a quiet place to sit when she gets too overwhelmed in town.  It's near an art gallery shop too and she's promised to take us there soon.  My person doesn't like being in shopping malls but that little section is quite nice.  The library did have some quiet music playing.  That's not normal for libraries.  My person says it was by Kathryn Tickell who is a local woman who plays Northumbrian pipes.  She says we have some of her albums but she's not playing one now.  She's currently playing, yet again, The Four Seasons by Vivaldi.  But this is the version by the Jacques Loussier Trio.  I like it too.  I think Winefride would prefer something playing that's easier to dance to.  She loves dancing to music.  This is good to sway and rock to and to close your eyes and fall into but it's not good for wild dancing.  We danced to the piano player at Greenbelt.  I still need to finish blogging about that.  I got half way through and then we kept going away and my not meany bum person kept not being able to help me with my blog and then I didn't get back to it.  I hope we go again next year.  We need to book.  One disabled person.  One carer.  And two soft toy tickets.

Oh yes.  This next picture is of me.  Aren't I wonderful?!

Then we started to walk along the canal.  I like this bridge picture.  I like bridges in general and I think I want to see more.  It's amazing but my person still hasn't taken photos of me with all the bridges crossing the Tyne in Newcastle.  I have photos of myself and bridges on the Wear, except for that one which doesn't yet exist.  But not the Tyne.  Except for the Millennium Bridge.  We took photos of that a while ago when we all went on an adventure in the Baltic art gallery and I nearly fell into an eternal pit.  There I was nearly falling for ever and my person just smiled and took pictures.  Can you believe that?  I think my person wants to use this picture for her blog too.  But I got there first.

We're walking into Trafford in this photo.  Trafford.  Not Salford.  We're already past the point at which my person made sandwiches and dropped them in a puddle on the towpath and had to leave them for the grateful birds.  It was being a lovely walk and we weren't getting wet either which pleased me.  I am glad my person did not decide to jump across to the other side.  I don't think she would have made such a daring leap and then we would all have got very wet.

Yes.  We were in Trafford.  We didn't know that then because our Greater Manchester geography knowledge isn't very good.  But we could see Salford.  Here's some of it across the water.  All those buildings are in Salford Quays.  People look at Salford Quays and think that Salford is a posh, upmarket place now.  It isn't.  Just bits of it.  There is a lot of deprivation in other parts of the city and a lot of people are struggling in big ways.  The Quays are posh.  A public face of investment and that's good.  But the money hasn't quite trickled down to the poor estates, including ones very close to the Quays.

You can see from these photos that the weather wasn't being perfect.  It was very pretty though.  You should have been there.  Unless you're reading this and you're that presidential candidate I was talking about.  Then you shouldn't have been there because you would have only spoiled things.  You won't make America great again.  And you wouldn't make Salford of Trafford great either.  I'm glad you weren't there too if you're a vocal supporter of that man.  You would have spoiled things too.  The quiet of the water and the amazement clouds can produce should not be spoiled with racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, or any of the other things I've seen that man display.  Sorry.  I'm talking about him too much aren't I?

Big clouds!  And it was starting to rain a bit.  But I'm Blob Thing.  And I can still smile and enjoy myself.  I was a little worried because if it rained too much then I would have had to go and stay in the warm and dry bag and I'd miss things - including everything in my next blog post.  I didn't want to miss out on seeing it.  Here I am near the water and behind me is Salford.  I wasn't in Salford.  No.  I was in Trafford.  Don't forget that.  It's important to me.  Even though it wasn't important enough on the day to know where I was.

Here's my person again.  I don't need to talk about this photo.  It's of my person.  That's all I need to say.

And this last picture is of me sitting on a big wheel.  We were entering an industrial area and I was going to have a fun adventure there.  I hadn't expected that.  Or that I would drive a tank before finally crossing the water.  That's what I said before.  If you don't know where you're going or what's there then sometimes the surprises can be stunningly wonderful.  I'll tell you all about my industrial adventures next time.  Not Greenbelt.  That will have to wait.

[1877 words]

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Blob Thing Is Forced To Shelter From The Storm In A Bar Called Barca, Manchester

Blob Thing is only being allowed to write a short post today.  He's got a little carried away with himself in the past few days and hasn't always been completely kind about his person.  So she's in control of things today and Blob isn't going to say much because his person has a life of her own.  She's also a bit cross with Blob because he laughed at her for a while earlier today.  She went all the way to Sunderland for a writing workshop and discovered she had mixed up the times.  He laughed and couldn't quite stop laughing about it quickly enough when he spotted that she was sad about it and a bit overwhelmed by things.

So a short post.  It's going to contain facts.  Yes Blob, facts.  Actual facts.  Not a flight of fancy about beheaded bishops and hurdy-gurdy bruises.  None of that was true was it Blob?  No, it wasn't.  It's all very well you telling me you wish it was true and that it would have been far more exciting if the history of Manchester included that tale.  The point is that it didn't happen.  At least his person thinks it didn't.  Blob asks her what she knows about it and is asking her how many actual books she has read about the history of Manchester.  She has to admit that she hasn't read any.  Blob wants to know how she can be certain that his story wasn't historically accurate if she hasn't read the books.  Blob's person says that isn't the point and she'll get annoyed with Blob if he doesn't behave himself.  Blob says he'll be good if he can dictate his own blog again tomorrow.  And she agrees.  Blob's smile is now broad again and he's quite excited because that means he gets to tell you all about his walk along the canal to the sculptures and possibly even to his adventures driving a tank.

Yesterday Blob eventually told you about the Roman ruins he visited with his person.  Together they wandered on towards the start of what had been their planned adventure for the day before getting distracted by book shops, libraries, sheep and Romans.  They walked down the hill to the canal, ready to walk along it as far as their legs would carry them in the time available before a dinner appointment.  Well, when you just read "their legs" it has to be remembered that Blob Thing does not possess any legs.  It's just a phrase.  Nothing was meant by it.  But Blob has rightly pointed out that the phrase does exclude some people and that in this case the phrase excluded precisely fifty percent of the people having an adventure.  Blob's person apologises and asks whether he wants another word for walk too.  Blob says that would be silly and that it can be called walking even though he hasn't got legs.  It's amazing how Blob Thing manages to propel himself and keep up with his person.  Amazing.

The area around the canal was pretty, and pretty interesting too.  Above the canal were the road and the railway as if a transportation enthusiast had been confused as to which transport should use the area.  All three seemed to be a bit excessive to Blob but he has to admit that it was quite exciting and that he rushed around and got very flappy about things because he was happy.

Blob's person had to tell him to calm down and when he wouldn't she actually had to hold onto him for fear that he would rush about just a bit too much and fall into the canal.  She's pretty sure she would have been able to rescue him but it wouldn't have been a pleasant experience for either of them.  Blob's person had to admit that it was all amazing and that she was very pleased to be there.

Let the walk begin!  Except, no.  Don't.  Because it was that point that - contrary to the received wisdom of the weather forecast provided by the Meteorological Office - it began to rain.  Just a bit of drizzle at first.  And then it was as if God had decided the canal was too empty and needed to be refilled as quickly as possible before he looked away and forgot about it.  It rained.  Hard.  Blob and his person sheltered under one of the bridges and watched the pretty raindrops fall  and collide with the ground and the water.  It was quite beautiful in its own way.  Blob would like to point out two things at this point.  (A)  He could have happily watched the water all day because the patterns the rain made on the canal were so very beautiful and the sound was somehow very calming.  (B) He was glad that he had spent so much time talking with Ted Roocroft's sheep and hoping for a sign of Uncle Adrian's emergency welsh sheepdogs that he was at this point able to shelter under a bridge rather than being a mile up a towpath with no hope of shelter.

Then the warm weather turned cold.  And it got windier.  And the rain direction changed.  The bridge was no longer a suitable spot for shelter.  Blob and his person were getting wet and were quickly getting wetter and they was no sign that the rain would stop soon.

It was Blob Thing who got them out of their soggy pickle.  He pointed ahead to a sign for a bar and asked whether it would be a good idea to go in there and have a drink - to unexpectedly spend some money - and wait out the storm somewhere dry.   Blob's person tried to come up with an argument against that idea.  She was worried that the bar would be too noisy or that the drink would be too expensive.  But Blob kept asking and his person finally agreed, secretly happy that she wouldn't be getting much wetter.

The two friends entered the bar.  It was called Barca.  It looked quite posh - or at least posh in Blob's person's eyes which probably doesn't mean posh to anyone else.  She was pleased because it was quiet in there, not peak trading time.  There was music playing but it wasn't noisy music and it didn't have a horribly intrusive bass line or beat.  It was some nice jazz songs and Blob's person knew she would cope better with the bar than with the rain.

She found a cosy seat to sit on - and very comfy it was too - and then went to buy a drink for Blob and herself.

It really was very nice in Barca.  The man at the bar was friendly too and Blob was very glad that he had bullied his person to go there.  You never know until you try.  That's what Blob is saying his motto is.  Blob's person is suspicious of that because she has never heard him say that before.

They drank their drink, listened to the music and read for a while and pretty soon the rain stopped.  Hooray!  They would be able to walk along the canal after all.  As it turned out they did get a bit wet later but nothing like as wet as they would have got in that little iota of storminess.

Blob left Barca and looked up at the sky.  How could this sky be the same one that had forced him to shelter in an unexpectedly pleasing bar?  It was a stupendously gorgeous sky and it had a heron in it too.  Blob thinks it's a heron in the photo anyway.

So Blob and his person walked back down to the canal.  It was going to be a good day.  They had decided.  It had already been quite a good day but together they resolved to make the rest of the day as wonderful as it possibly could be.  Nothing could break their resolve.  Not even when Blob's person made up her sandwiches by the canal towpath and immediately dropped them in a puddle.  Even that mishap wasn't going to spoil the wonder.  Not that day.

[1362 words.  Looking at my photos makes me want to post about the day myself and show off the pictures that don't contain the smiling face of Blob.  It was a lovely day and it was a privilege to share it with him.]

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Blob Thing Visits Some Roman Ruins And Talks Of Barrels And Bishops

My person is letting me write something today.  She's been busy for the last few days.  I'm quite proud of her because she's made a lot of progress in the last year.  On Saturday she went to a writing group in Sunderland.  She would never have done that a year ago.  She wouldn't have gone to anything for writers because she didn't know she was one.  She's learning.  My person shows that even in old age people can learn new things.  [I'm not old Blob, that was a bit rude.]  Sorry person.  But you have to admit that you're much older than I am.  I'm not even a year old.  I hope I have a party for my birthday.  It's on December 31st.  If anyone wants to send me cards and presents or even a nice little message then that would be wonderful.  My first birthday.  Put the date in your diary now, it wouldn't do to forget it.  My person is MUCH older than I am.  I'm not going to tell you how old she is but her age is in double figures.  Yes, she's that old.  Isn't that amazing?

And my person came back from the writing group with some more material to play with.  Not velvet and satin.  Don't be silly.  Not that kind of material.  Word material.  Between moving large mahogany sideboards, drinking tea and eating too much of her liquorice sweets, she got enthusiastic about an idea that was formed in the group.  So my person took herself off to be alone a few times and she's started to write a monologue.  It's not something she's ever done before.  She hasn't ever written a thing as if someone else was talking.  It's a new adventure for her.  And I'm proud of her for trying it.  So far she's written 4,500 words which is about enough for 25 minutes of speech.  She doesn't know how fast her character is talking.  She's quite enjoying it I think although she needs a rest after writing each part.  It's all about a murderer.

This isn't some comic short about someone eating the washing.  I liked that one.  It was funny.  I think someone should find it and make it into an illustrated children's book.  I'd buy a copy.  I would.  Except I haven't got any money.  Maybe I need to take that up with my person.  She should give me pocket money.  Winefride too.  It's not that we need lots of things but sometimes it would be nice to have the choice and have our own money to spend when we're in a charity shop or see something pretty.  She's typing all this of course so the seed is planted and maybe she'll come to us next week and pretend that she invented the idea all by herself.  This morning I think my person needed not to think about her fictional killer for a while and that's why she came rushing to me and said "Blob, let's go write a blog post for you."  I suppose I should start writing it now.

We left the big library in Manchester and started to walk along a big and busy road called Deansgate.  I think in the past Manchester had big gates to get into the city and each gate was for a different type of person.  I think Deansgate was the only place the original cathedral deans were allowed into the city.  If they had tried to come in by another gate they would have been shot by archers protecting the city.  Greater Manchester had some very specialised gates didn't it?  They must have needed a lot of gates unless there was an "Everyone Else Gate" somewhere.  But can you imagine the furore if a dean had tried to enter at Bishopsgate?  It would have been a catastrophe if he had succeeded.  The entire system of church government would have been destroyed and there would have been such big riots in the street that the entire city would have burned down.  No wonder they shot arrows at the cathedral dean.

Of course, bishops weren't ever shot with arrows at Deansgate.  That would just be silly.  At Deansgate there were soldiers armed with swords and their job was to chop the heads of any bishop trying to enter the city through the wrong gate.  There was one time when three visiting bishops from Derby tried to use Deansgate and for the sake of the church two of them accepted their deaths graciously - bishops believe in grace - but the other one escaped and rode on his horse all the way to Chester.  There was almost a big war about it all and it was only at the last moment that the Archbishop of Canterbury intervened by pointing out that the Battle of Manchester-Chester was a rubbish name for a battle and anyone involved would get laughed at.  Peace prevailed and it was decided after much negotiation that the rules about who could use a gate would be relaxed.

The gates aren't there anymore but there names survive and I think somewhere there's a memorial plaque commemorating the two bishops who lost their lives.  The soldiers who defended the gates had to retire of course and they became travelling folk singers and one became a dare-devil who was the first person to ride down High Force in a barrel.  The folk singers split into two camps at that point.  One group sang a song about the bravery of the man.   The other sang a comic song asking why anyone would be crazy enough to even think about riding down a waterfall in a barrel.  It was lucky they had all had their arrows and swords confiscated as part of the Treaty of Bishopsgate or things might have got difficult.  As it was, the worst that happened was one of the singers getting a bad bump on the head when they were struck with an errant hurdy-gurdy.

Greater Manchester had some other gates too.  I'm sure Bishopsgate and Deansgate can't have been used much because there aren't many bishops and deans to use gates.  But on the way to Bolton there's a gate that wasn't used once in three hundred years before being destroyed in a fire that many suspected was started deliberately by a bored guard.  This was Moses Gate.  It was built for Moses.  The man in the Bible.  If ever Moses passed through Greater Manchester he would use his gate.  Of course, he never did pass through.  Because he had died.  A long time ago.  And if he had passed through Greater Manchester he would have stuck to the main road or possibly ridden down the river Irwell in in basket.  Winefride and I had an adventure by the Irwell just nine days ago.  I'll tell you about it sometime.  I don't think Moses would have used his gate at all.  And then there's Didsbury.  That had something called the "Gates to Hell."  I wonder how many people used that one.

So I was on Deansgate.  I think I got the story right.  I was as accurate as I could manage anyway but if I got any part of it wrong you can correct me.  I'm glad the original gate isn't there now because then my person and me might have been shot with arrows and that would have made me sad.

Nobody shot us!  My person wants to go back and take lots of pictures.  I made her take these two pictures of the street.  It's very big.  Very busy.

The big building is Beetham Tower.  It's got 47 floors.  That information seems to please my person a lot.  It's currently the tallest building in Manchester and can be seen from miles away.  It won't be the tallest for very long.  It might be the only building in Britain that makes a noise that sounds like a UFO landing.  That's what someone said anyway.  I'm not sure how they know what sound a UFO makes when it's landing.  But they must know or they wouldn't have said it.  Therefore UFOs must exist.  Therefore there is intelligent life on other planets and aliens visit us here.  There's proof.  The existence of a tower in Manchester is proof.  Something like that anyway.

We turned off Deansgate because it was noisy and we found somewhere quieter and prettier.  I was meant to be writing about this place today but I've said quite a lot already so I need to be quick.  We found some actual Roman ruins and I got to play in them.  It was a lot of fun.  I met some sheep too but I already blogged about that.  Back then I was never allowed to dictate my blog to my person.  She always worked out the words.  I think she would like to go back to that sometimes.

This post is all about the Roman ruins but I think I've said a lot already and my person looks like she wants to go and unpack her bag from her most recent Manchester trip.  She bought herself new clothes and bought things for my creator too but she didn't buy me anything and didn't buy anything for Winefride either.  That's why we need pocket money.  So we can buy ourselves things like stylish hats and maybe a little swing to play on.  But we don't get pocket money even though we go shopping with our person lots of times.  It's not fair.

Here are some pictures of me playing in the ruins.

I don't think the castle is an original Roman castle.  I think it got built much later to show what Roman castles were like.  I think anyone friendly would have been allowed in these gates because cathedral deans hadn't been invented yet.

These last two photos aren't of me.  This one shows some of the ruins and in the background is a railway.  I don't think the Romans rode on electric or diesel trains.  They had caravans though.  I might be wrong.  After all, Rome has trains and that's where Romans came from.

And this photo has some of the ruins and in the background is Beetham Tower.  It's much taller than anything near it.  I wonder what the view is like from the very top.  I'd like to find out one day.  I think someone should build a helter skelter all the way up the side of the tower and then charge 50p a go to ride down it and carers and soft toys should all ride for free.  Maybe it could pass through the middle of the tower half way down and people could have the option of stopping there for a cup of tea.  I'd like that.  If you know someone in the Manchester planning office please could you forward my suggestion.  Thank you.

[1810 words.  I think it's likely that Blob Thing wasn't entirely accurate in his reporting of historic events.  We won't be going searching for that memorial any time soon because I don't think we would find it.]

Friday, 7 October 2016

Blob Thing Visits The John Rylands Library In Manchester

My person doesn't want me to just dictate my blog today.  She says that she wants to be in control and edit everything I say.  She wants to have the control.  She says that I've been very mean to her in my last two posts.  She says that I shouldn't have forced her to help me talk about the Blue Peter garden last night when she was so tired.  And she says that I shouldn't have called her a meany bum so many times in the previous post.  Especially not when showing just how many adventures she takes me on and how I get to take Winefride too.  So she wants to be able to stop me today if I start calling her names again.  But this is my blog.  MY blog.  It's not hers.  So I should be able to say whatever I want.  That's free speech.  She doesn't have to read it if she doesn't like it does she?  It's not as if my words about her ever descend to the level of a hate crime.  I'm not into hate crimes.  And she was a bit of a meany bum to not help with my blog much.  After she promised to write nearly every day.

I have promised to behave very well though.  No calling her names today.  Apart from that meany bum name I just used.  So she has agreed that I can talk and she will type and it will all be okay.  It feels like I'm on some kind of probation though and that she might change her mind and wrest control from me again.  If only I could type my own blog but even with a pointer tool it would take me a very long time.  I'd use a speech to text tool but for some reason they don't seem to understand my voice.  It's lucky that my person understands me so well.

Yesterday [when keeping me up late, thank you Blob.]  Sarcasm?  [Oh well done Blob you spotted it.]  More sarcasm?  [Oh, noooooo, not that time Blob.]  Well thank yooooou!  [We had better stop this.  We're both being sarcastic now.]

Yesterday I told you about my visit to the Blue Peter garden.  Today I want to tell you about the start of that day's adventures.  I confess I've already told you about one adventure I had that day - the time when I met Ted's sheep in the middle of Manchester.  If uncle Adrian's emergency Welsh sheepdogs had been there then they could perhaps have herded all the sheep into a beautiful sensory room.  It's possible.  Stranger things have happened.  You don't know about uncle Adrian do you?  Or his emergency Welsh sheepdogs.  I feel sorry for you for not knowing such things.  But I don't feel sorry enough to explain everything to you.  You might want to know.  But you don't need to know.

I'd gone into the centre of Manchester that morning with my person.  We were going to go walking later in the day but first she wanted to find bookshops and look for some good books filled with walks in the local area.  First we went to the tourist information centre.  They would know about walking in Greater Manchester wouldn't they?  No.  They wouldn't.  Information centres only seem to be able to tell you about expensive things to do, not free things like walking for miles.  They couldn't help us at all and didn't even have a map of the area except for a not very good city centre map.  So we went to seek out bookshops, the start of our pre-walking delays that turned out very useful because when it rained very heavily later we were still close to somewhere we could shelter.  I'll tell you about that in a couple of days.

After that we wandered some more.  My person suddenly shouted out, "Look!"  Everyone stopped and stared at her.  Then they turned and stared at the thing she was pointing at.  And then they stared at my person again wondering why she was pointing at this thing and telling everyone to look at it.

It's just a building.  And they, mostly being residents of the area, had seen it before lots of times.  My person had seen it before too but she's not perfect at knowing where everything is in Manchester so she was happy to see it again.  She began happy flapping in the street and got ever so excited.  Some people continued to stare because she was putting on such a display.  And then she said to me, "Let's go in."  Now, I know some things about buildings.  And one thing I know is that you're not allowed to just enter them uninvited.  And this was a big and imposing building.  Surely we wouldn't be allowed into this one.  There were probably security guards and perhaps it would have it's own police force too and big dungeons and they would throw trespassers into a big pit filled with slime and if we entered the building we would be thrown into the slime too and meet the man called Albert who got thrown there three years earlier and he would sing us long songs about his three years of misery.  And that would be made much worse because Albert can't sing in tune and his songwriting skills are dreadful.  Seven hundred verses of misery.  Out of tune.  And all of them almost exactly the same because there's not a lot of variety when you're alone in a slime filled pit dungeon.  So I told my person that we shouldn't attempt to enter this building because I didn't want to get covered in slime.  I got quite worried about it.  What a sight we must have been.  There was my person happy flapping and almost jumping up and down in excitement.  And there was me fretting and panicking and being quite close to a full scale meltdown and the prospect of the slime and the difficulties of getting clean even if the queen of the matriarchal society inside the building ever let me out of the pit which I didn't think was very likely.

My person eventually saw my difficulties and she calmed down and held me tight.  She told me not to worry because we were allowed to go into this building.  It was a library.  We wouldn't be breaking any rules by going in and having a look round.  We wouldn't break any rules.  She promised.  She promised.  I calmed down too and was able to smile at her.  A library.  That sounded good.  I like books.  My person said that this was the John Rylands library.  It wasn't just any library.  It had lots of old books and it had some rooms which were also museum displays.  We would be able to see the oldest surviving fragment of the New Testament in the world.  And we would be able to look at lots of old books about demons and witchcraft.  Or at least see them.  We wouldn't be allowed to handle them or read them because they were far too precious.  That all sounded good.

So we went into the library.  And my person broke her promise.  Straight away.  It was okay though.  It was quite funny.  I'm making her show the next picture and I hope she doesn't get into trouble or have to go to prison or be thrown into the stocks that are actually a pillory at Hexagon.

It's a toilet.  It was down a staircase at the back and it's a very old loo.  There was a sign outside saying that you weren't allowed to take pictures inside.  My person ignored the sign.  She says that she wouldn't have taken that picture at all if the sign hadn't been there.  That's my person.  She's a rebel.  She takes illegal photos of toilets.  A rebel and a meany bum all wrapped up in one woman.  [Don't call me a meany bum again in this post Blob.]

My person used the toilet [People don't need to know that Blob.] and we walked back up the stairs.  First we looked at that piece of Bible which was very old indeed.  I couldn't read it because it was in Greek and lots of the words and characters were missing.  If I was God and I was personally inspiring every single word people wrote down to form a Bible, if I was breathing them out, then I would have been a lot more careful about it and made sure that people would know what the right words were even two-thousand years later.  I wouldn't have done such a shabby job in preserving my words.  I'd have spoken clearly too and not put anything in that people could easily use in order to own slaves or persecute people of colour, women or gay people.  Or trans people like my person.  If I was God I'd have done a much better job at dictating my book and I'd have planned it a  lot more carefully.  But maybe God didn't breathe the Bible at all.  Maybe people wrote it based on their own ideas and cultures and beliefs and their own seeking after the divine and mystical experience.  And maybe what they wrote contains errors and biases and all kinds of things among the human words.  I don't want to be definite about that here in case someone gets very grumpy at me.

Then we looked at the books about demons and witches in Medieval Europe.  They were quite interesting.  And then we walked into a gigantic hall full of books.  There was stained glass and a very high ceiling and a statue of this man.  This is John Rylands.  John.  An ordinary name.  There's also a statue somewhere of his wife, who started the library in his memory.  Her name was Enriqueta Augustina.  A less ordinary name.  It's lucky that my sister wasn't created the day I went to the library or she might have been called Enriqueta instead of Winefride.  

We walked behind Mr. Rylands and I had my picture taken showing the length of the hall.  It was massive.  I found it quite hard to balance on this post.  I'd have held on with my teeth but it's uncertain whether I have any behind my beautiful smile.

This is another picture of the hall.  I'm glad there wasn't anyone here to steal my "Autistic" badge like there was in the Literary and Philosophical library.  I think I would have got very out of breath if I had to chase a disguised dragon round a hall this big.  I'm still not clear as to why the dragon had disguised itself as a giraffe or why it tried to steal my badge.  Some things perhaps are better left as mysteries.

And another picture of the hall.  My person took lots of pictures of the library.  She wants to use them for a blog post of her own if she every manages to get round to writing lots of blog posts for herself.  She says that sometimes she's too busy helping me with my blog to be able to write her own.  I think she's just making excuses and could write far more than she does.  Especially if she just got on with things.  She could write in the morning.  And the evening.  And the afternoon.  It's not as if she has to work in an office or a shop for sixteen hours a day.  I keep telling her to write more and she keeps promising she will.  But sometimes it seems to me like her promise is like the one she made about rule breaking in the library.  I need to bully her more and get her writing.  Her blog.  Lots of stories.  Poems.  And I know she wants to start writing the story of her life.  I think it was remembering the time a man called Iorwerth confiscated a small packet of non-toxic crayons so she couldn't kill herself that finalised her decision that she will write her story just like everyone keeps saying she should.  She is still not sure how she would have managed suicide with a small packet of non-toxic crayons and she has had maybe twenty-four years to think about it.

We left the hall and walked around the rest of the library.  Apart from the bits we couldn't go in.  There were some "No Entry" signs in places and there was a special section of the library just for members.  We didn't go that way because I still didn't want to get thrown into the slime pit.  My person tried to tell me that there wasn't a slime pit and I wondered for a moment why we weren't going into the forbidden places if there was no slime to be thrown into by the queen's police.

I asked for a picture to be taken on these stairs.  I was quite safe but it doesn't look that way.

I thought that this corridor looked like the cloisters of Durham cathedral.  It was very pretty and there was no giraffe in sight.  I wonder if I could have had a chase game with the dragon giraffe up and down this corridor.  Or we could have played a ball game.  Or maybe, and this would have been brilliant, we could have used the corridor for a game of ten pin bowling.  My person could have been the person standing up all the pins and bringing our balls back to us.  I'm sure she wouldn't have minded.

It had been an amazing visit to the library and we left the building happy.  I wasn't covered with any slime at all and hopefully there won't be any slime as a consequence of sharing that toilet photo.  I was glad that we had visited John Rylands in his library.  I might go back one day but there are so many other things I want to do in Manchester first.  I haven't even been to the Hidden Gem yet.  Or to the Working Class Library in Salford.  The John Rylands library doesn't seem working class even though working class people are allowed in.  I want to go to see the Working Class Library.  I think that would be just as much fun as the John Rylands Library even though the buildings and contents are so different.  And maybe a working class giraffe dragon would be more friendly than the one that stole my badge.

[2417 words]