The Compostual Existentialist

Wordpress flavour with added crunchy bits


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In Alton Towers you Will find you can leave your cares behind

Apart from when Mrs Gnomepants V1.0 and I visited in the early noughties, and when Mrs Gnomepants v2.0  and I went swimming there in 2016, the last time I was in Alton Towers was when I was 14. So what poetry it was to take my 14 year old niece there as an Uncley Treat.

Of course, when I was 14, my fun Aunt had passed away a couple of years previously and my remaining grandparents were too frail to attempt the trip, let alone the standing around waiting for young me to get off the rides. Instead I had to wait for the school to take me which, tradition dictated, they did with all the other boys as an end of academic year treat right through secondary school, although during following years they offered other trips such as climbing mountains or some such.

So it seemed right that I took my niece to the Earl of Staffordshire’s pile where upon I took great delight at having her walk well over 9 miles in a day without actually realising. Hah! Alton Towers, for those not in the know, is the UK’s premier rollercoaster theme park. Or at least that’s what it claims to be. Set in the gardens and grounds of the ruins of a former stately home, some enterprising cove set about building elaborate nests of  twisted metal upon which people can sit and experience accelleration and exhileration at high speed with the associated pull and tug of gravity on their leathery chops.

One such ride is Oblivion which teeters on the brink of an iron precipice before plummeting its screaming riders into a pit of darkness. There was no way I was going on that.

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Death by splat

Another such ride was Nemisis which Mrs Gnomepants V2.0  claimed was “Nice and smooth” which must be the alt-fact definition of “OMG I’m going to die” as I found out. As for Smiler, well I’m quite attached to my legs so I didn’t fancy going on that and I also didn’t fancy whiplash so I avoided Rita too. However, I did manage Hex, Thirteen and Grand Canyon Rapids so I think I got my £30’s worth. Especially as I was also tricked by Mrs Gnomepants V2.0  to go on Enterprise which by all accounts was just a tumble drier simulator.

Of course Alton Towers is not just death roulette machines, its acres and acres of picturesque landscaped gardens. Some of the ruins belay the once grand manse that was Alton Towers. Summer houses and decayed greenhouses now overgrown with vegetation while here and there are hidden speakers piping irritating music into area where irritating music shouldn’t be.  The cable cars over the area do give you a better, plinky-plonky-less experience.

If you’ve ever played the PC classic Rollercoaster Tycoon or early nineties Bullfrog classic Theme Park then, like me, you’d probably have spent the day imagining people walking round with think bubbles saying things like “£2.75 is too expensive for a bottle of pop” or “I feel sick” while sporting green pukey smileys above their heads. Or looking skyward in the hope of spying a pair of pincers dropping in a new ride or even imagining that the popcorn tasted good because the themepark management AI decided that it could do with an equal mix of salt and sugar.

In all though it was a most enjoyable day out. I can’t wait to do it again when my nephew is a little taller/older, but probably by that time the rides will all be different again.

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International I Haven’t Bred Day

family-mulitigenerationalSo mums have Mother’s Day, dads have Father’s Day and grandparents get both the gender specific card selling day AND Grandparent’s Day.

Hurrah!

Well done. You’ve bred. You’ve contributed to the gene pool. You’ve created another mouth to feed. Another housing and clothing need.

Congratulations for contributing to the overpopulation of the world.  Have a day of adoration. Have special cards, gifts and a shiny new hat.

Well done.

And what do the rest of us get eh?

Month-of-SundaysWhen I was younger I asked my parents “When is it Son’s Day?” to which they replied “Everyday is Son’s Day”. Imagine that. A month of Son Days….

Now I am older I see the injustice of it. Those that breed get recognition; those that don’t, don’t. Moreover, there are “FAMILY FUN DAYS”, “FAMILY SIZED PORTIONS”, “FAMILY RESTAURANTS” and “FAMILY TICKETS” and other such discounts. Those that don’t breed get to luxury of having to support the entitled discounts for those that do. Fair? Not very.

But what seems fair is that there should be a day where all those that haven’t bred receive recognition for their act of selflessness and their increased costs for sustaining those that do breed. A day where those that have bred send those that haven’t cards of thanks, gifts and specifically targeted benefits. Reader…I give you

INTERNATIONAL I HAVEN’T BRED DAY

Thanks and  recognition at long last.

I propose that this day should be celebrated annually on the last Sunday of  July. Which should give those that have bred plenty of time to think of gifts and remember to pop cards into the postbox for their friends that, as yet, have not spawned a new generation of people that will one day require a pension, a house, transport and food.


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Grapes

Spring flowers are blossoming everywhere lately. The Camilia at the front of Gnomepants Manor is a shock of pink and looks very pretty. Furthermore, the well tended gardens at the front of the town hall in Barnsley are awash with fragrance and colour. As the daffodils of March die back, the tulips of April thrust skywards bold and proud and here and there blue flowers mix with yellows and light reds. It’s such a lovely sight to see.

Such sights remind me of childhood haunts. One being the hidden garden in Reynolds Park, Liverpool. The garden is a walled enclosure which traps the variety of strong fragrances and the warmth of the Equinoxal sun. Paths lined with memorial benches twist and turn between the flower beds. The benches remind the living of those who have passed before and how much they too loved the area.

Indeed, the gardens in Liverpool’s Calderstones Park, though a shadow of their former self, also pay tribute to those who seek sanctity and serenity in such locations. If you know where to look, there are walled gardens and forgotten Victorian hot houses brimming with fragrance and colour.

It should also be noted that at this time of year the colour green is a lot more vivid than at other times. The new leaves of the privet and yew hedges are striking and the twists and turns of climbing rose bushes ready themselves for their May blossoms.

Do you have a secret garden near you? Do you visit gardens such as these? If not why not? Simply saying “I don’t go to such places because there aren’t any near me” is just a cop out. Get out this weekend. Go see natures show. Rest a while in the sun, breathe in the scents and think momentarily, how people love these places.


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Cigs

I also enjoyed 5 hours of smoking in the pub. I did so so I could say I smoked in pubs on the day before the Smoking indoors Ban came into effect. When they ban cigs all together (they will. No..seriously they will. Eventually. And then they will start on beer, followed by coffee….then antidepressants…) I intend to buy another packet of cigs and smoke them the day before too. You watch me…even if I’m dying of emphasemia I will be chuffing away on the last day enjoying my eroded democratic right. And nobody can stop me….not even you pesky kids with that damn dog.