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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The good thing about having no social life is that you can spend New Year's Eve on the sofa with a laptop, redesigning your blog, without fear of being invited out to a party. Suffice it to say, it's been a productive evening.

In fact, the whole day's been quite fruitful. My parents have a pole with a hook (which reminds me of Lech Walesa in the shipyards) which they use to open the living room curtains. They don't have high ceilings, they just can't get within six feet of the window without a fork lift truck and a hand from Kim & Aggie. So having dragged myself out of bed this morning, I handed the pole to Amelie, told her to draw the curtains, and successfully photographed her being a shepherd...

Shepherd SpyShe's even got the Bo Peep ringlets.

Coincidentally, that photo pretty much sums up my life at my parents' house: remote control, laptop, bass guitar, Pringles, and a pin cushion with a picture of Amelie. It's the acceptable face of voodoo.

As it happens, Lisa had a bad night last night. She kept being woken up by Amelie singing. So she's spent a lot of today catching up on sleep while I mind our three-year-old vocalist. And I minded her quite a lot, if I'm honest. My Mum and I took her to the park this afternoon, where she successfully intimidated a small boy off the swings just by humphing and stamping her feet, after which she informed me that she's the most special girl in the world. I agreed with her just to avoid an argument.

Back home, she and I spent a good three hours (it felt more like six) playing games together on my laptop, the highlight of which was our discovery of Bus Driver Gold, a public transport simulation from the Czech Republic. No, really. As this fantastically written entry on Wikipedia states, "Despite being a Czech game, many of the bus stop names are named after insignificant places in Greater London, England, such as Debden, Collier Row, Feltham, Potters Bar and the terminus Westminster". You can't get more insignificant than Westminster. It's where a lot of great journeys come to an end.

Now, admittedly I'm not living my life at the cutting edge of modern video gaming, and to me, 'Call of Duty' is just the task of taking Amelie to the toilet, but I have to say that I love Bus Driver Gold. You can download a time-limited free trial from the internet, after which you either have to pay through the nose for the full version, or do a thirty-second search on Google and download it illegally for free. I'm not saying which of those I did, but it was Amelie who talked me into it.

She and I spent an hour and a half playing it this evening, and we haven't laughed so much in ages. Basically you get points for driving safely, signalling correctly and arriving at your destination on time, while you lose points for speeding the wrong way down a dual carriageway, making your passengers scream in terror, and smashing into cars, lamp-posts and bus shelters. We finished one game with a score of minus 4,850. I had to abandon another after Amelie dragged a telegraph pole across country and grounded our bus on a mountain.

But despite that, it's enormous fun. In fact, if I dared to leave my co-driver for more than a minute, this is the treatment I got...

She's like Blakey from 'On the Buses'.


Phil's Mum said...

She's lovely really - or she will be if she manages to stay asleep all night!

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Patent Attorney said...

Ah, the perks to having a lacking social life! Sounds like you've got a lot done in preparation for the New Year!