Saturday, 27 February 2016

Sir Legolot's Castle Part 1

In an attempt at some light hearted relief from recent topics, I'd like to piece together some updates of the theme of Lego- reinvention. To recap, I received a Lego present from my wife at Christmas and was then accurately informed that Lego is good for me.

Since then, I've made a decent stab at what is known in Lego circles as an MOC (my own creation - I wasn't up with the latest jargon either). Unsurprisingly I've gone with what known and decided to build a huge castle.

The first thing that I've learnt is that so much has changed via the evolution of Lego since I  last purchased Lego sets, making it such an easier thing to find inspiration for and then to actually purchase than it was a quarter of a century ago. The internet has revolutionized this with images, clips, blogs, Tweets, YouTube videos, Facebook Groups, Pinterest Boards and Fan Documentaries all contributing to the creative stratosphere that is Lego. I never used to have a problem coming up with ideas, but it sure helps to get some visual stimulation along the way.

I quickly discovered, after a few days of fiddling with the bricks that Alison bought me, that if you are in the market for specific bricks (i.e. you are building an MOC rather than a pre-defined set) then Bricklink is the place to go. What a fantastic site – great database broken down by brick type, an Ebay style supplier network and all integrated with PayPal. It actually becomes an art to understand the brick codes and categorization, whilst trying to find the cheapest supplier across a combination of required brick types in order to reduce the number of separate postage fees. It’s almost a hobby in itself to master the system – if this had been around thirty years ago I would have been an avid disciple.

So anyway, it was always going to be a castle… here’s the very first attempt at the frontage (multi-colour bricks are the R&D elements whilst the structure gets off the ground…




Here’s the first tower starting to pan out…




Front taking shape with stone gargoyles either side of the second floor window…




Sir Legolot the knight and guards…




Top of the first tower…




The men of the castle…




This thing is SUCKING up bricks, but it’s a good start. More to follow (and I’ve got a King and Princess now ordered). It's the minifigures that interest Em and the building that I like. All together a nice blend...

Monday, 22 February 2016

Emilia's Teeth. A Five Year Cycle...

Last week during half term, within a day or two of each other, both of Emilia's bottom front teeth fell out, having been precariously wobbly for several weeks.

Times clearly change because the protocol is now for each tooth to be placed on a special tooth pillow and left outside the Tooth Fairy's door (this appears above the skirting board in a selected room of the house several hours before the tooth finally falls out). Not only that but the following morning the tooth has been replaced by a shiny pound coin. Inflation, expectation and imagination all combine here to excellent effect. And I'm genuinely not being ironic or bitter: creativity is a beautiful thing.

The thing is that this little tooth (well, both of them - all of them in fact) has such history. As anyone who has read these pages will know, teething has played an extraordinary part in our lives - for both of our daughters - and is still not finished. I can associate events to periods of disrupted teeth over the past five years and when I say disrupted sleep, I'm talking about a nuclear level of sleep deprecation. These two little moppets have had nights where they have screamed for hours, despite the intervention of Calipol, hugs and Bonjela. In describing the details of these nights, parents of similarly-aged children have stated at me in horror, reinforcing my belief that we have experienced the more extend end of the teething scale.

I've never sought to wish my life away but it is fair to say that when Em's twentieth tooth broke through (Liv currently has sixteen by the way in anticipation of the obvious question) we were overjoyed at the prospect of sleeping through the night. Little things please little minds...

So much has since come to pass, but when the dentist suggested to Alison that Em was teething, there was a sense of deja vu that temporarily masked the realisation that our daughter is growing up. It never occurred to me that children teethe with adult teeth as well as baby teeth. 

It was just over five years ago that Em first started teething and her first two bottom front teeth appeared. And here we are five years later and they've fallen out. It might seem like nothing, but it really is an emotional thing to witness when so much is represented by something so tiny and so seemingly mundane.

And here is the first precious tooth...