09/08/2020

A WORRYING RUMOUR

There is a worrying rumour circulating on Social Media to the effect that Wilson is opening a Camel Sanctuary in the back garden!

That would certainly explain the tons of sand, but it would be a disaster for all my lovely flowers… and what it the camels weren't properly, um, well, 'house-trained'?
I know Wilson has a bit of a soft spot for camels – remember Colin the Knitted Camel? – so this scheme is not quite as unlikely as it might seem.
 
I needed to get to the bottom of this so, danger or not, I insisted on being let into Nërp's workshop to see for myself what was going on.
 
I feared I'd find partly-built Camel Enclosures, but my mind was set at ease when I saw the finishing touches being applied to a Beach Hut.
 
I demanded to know what the sand was for, and Wilson replied simply, 'Well, it's for the "beach" obviously – what did you think it was for?'
 
I made no mention of the purported Camel Sanctuary lest it give him ideas… 
New Readers Start Here Nº 13
THE sTONE BROTHERS
• Wilson bought sTony then sToneye as garden ornaments – at first Antony and TT used to be terrified of them, but now they've accepted them as members of the family.
• They are both charming and very friendly, despite their alarming appearance.
• The door handles glued to their heads date from the time Wilson tried to use them as Curling Stones during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics – they're both a bit resentful about the handles still being in place…
 

08/08/2020

MODEL DESERT

Everyone – even Uncle Zoltan! – is busy transforming the big pile of sand on the front drive into a big pile of sand in the back garden, where I imagine it will kill the grass.

Perhaps they're building a scale model of the Sahara or, appropriately for the scorching heat, Death Valley
 
The sTone Brothers, being immobile, are unable to contribute much, so they're pretending to be on holiday in the quarry/gravel pit in Wales where they spent all their childhood holidays – if it would only cloud over, get a lot colder and rain their happiness would be complete!
 
Wilson is remaining tight-lipped as to the purpose of the mini-desert, and even Byron, usually so amenable, is refusing to give me so much as a hint.
Nërp will sometimes accidentally let something slip, but on this occasion refuses to say anything unless I can give him the 'secret password' – which of course I don't know.
 
He insists that keeping secrets is part of his obligation under the umbrella of Asimov's Laws of Robotics.
 
Honestly, you'd never guess that this is my house – I'm treated more like a lodger… and chauffeur, of course.
New Readers Start Here Nº 12
PTERRY
• Pterry – a young pterodactyl – was born in Wilson's Museum, hatching from an egg which everyone had believed to be an exhibit.
• The first person he saw after hatching was Wilson so, assuming W was his mother he follows Wilson everywhere and calls him 'Mummy'. It's called 'Imprinting' and is common among birds.
• Pterry is too young to really do anything, but cries if he's left alone.
 

07/08/2020

SAND AND DELIVER!

I don't know why delivery drivers start work so early.

Whenever something big gets delivered it seems to arrive at daybreak, and today was no exception.
 
It was barely light when I was cruelly snatched from sleep by the sound of a truck engine revving and people shouting: things like 'Back a bit… a bit more… more… too much!'
 
I pulled on my jeans and rushed downstairs to find an enormous truck delivering a huge load of sand – dumping it all over all over the front drive – with Wilson, Byron and Nërp apparently supervising.
 
I demanded to know what was going on, but Wilson just said that everything was under control and there was nothing for me to worry about.
 
If only I could really believe that…
New Readers Start Here Nº 11
NEIL THE SLOTH
• Neil came to live with us at Xmas four years ago.
• He was a gift from Wilson's friend Dennis, a Giant Anteater who lives on the Isle of Wight.
• Neil used to live in the Zoo Gift Shop.
• He speaks s o o o s l o o o w l y that it took us two days even to learn his name – we still don't know much about him, but he seems happy here.
 

06/08/2020

ROBOTS AT WORK

Nërp and Jīqìrén are in the workshop with Wilson and Byron, building the beach hut.

All the plush toys have been instructed to remain outside as it's been deemed 'too dangerous' for them to enter.

There are many alarming noises coming from within – sounds of sawing, welding, grinding and occasionally cursing…

So much for the 'couple of cardboard boxes and some Sellotape' that I'd envisaged – this promises to be on an altogether more industrial scale.

I hope it won't need Planning Permission – although, with Dominic Cummings' new Planning Permission rules, it seems as though anyone can build anything anywhere they choose, and no-one can object, appeal or do anything about it…
New Readers Start Here Nº 10
DAVE THE PIG
• Dave's official title is Guard Piglet, having been selected by Wilson to guard his doomed Pick-Your-Own Tomato Farm against tomato rustlers.
• He was persuaded to wear wings and masquerade as a 'Tibetan Flying Pig' in Wilson's 'Wildlife Petting Farm and Anteater Experience'.
• Dave played a central role in Wilson's unsuccessful Pig Yoga enterprise but is not very good at Truffle Hunting.

05/08/2020

CHARITY AUCTION

The boys are holding a Charity Auction to raise money for what they are evasively describing as a Very Good Cause.

They are selling the original of Byron's 'Dead Pixel' piece – Byron is the auctioneer while Wilson is handling Telephone Bids and Nërp is in charge of Internet Bidding.

They're quite good at it, which makes me suspect they've all been watching way too much Dickinson's Real Deal, Bargain Hunt and Flog It! on daytime tv…

When pressed, they eventually admitted that the so-called 'charity' is, in fact, the Vermilingua Family Beach Hut Fund.

I pointed out that we already had many suitable cardboard boxes and offered to donate a roll of Sellotape, but Nërp explained that cardboard was unlikely to survive more than a couple of days of the English Summer before it turned into a puddle of papier mâché, so he was planning a 'more durable' construction method which, regrettably, would be 'slightly' more expensive than cardboard.

It looks like our Amazon Cardboard Box Mountain is here to stay… ☹️


New Readers Start Here Nº 09
MOLE THE MOLE
• Mole came to live with us shortly after Wilson first learned about moles and thought he'd like a pet one.
• He decided to return to the wild shortly before learning about Xmas, and changed his mind.
• Says that central heating and a mixed diet is far better than living underground in the damp on a diet of worms.
• He is called Mole because, living such a solitary life in the wild with no-one to talk to he had no need of a name, and was actually unfamiliar with the concept.

03/08/2020

BEACH HUT BRIEFING

Following my suggestion to Wilson yesterday, he has called a Family Meeting in the garden where he is explaining this fantastic idea he has had to build a beach hut in the garden so they can all pretend they're on holiday at the seaside.

'His' plan is being pretty well received, so perhaps I've done something good for once!

I just hope they keep it nice and simple – a couple of cardboard boxes (we have plenty to choose from, thanks to Amazon!) and maybe a bit of paint to jolly it up would be great!

When I was Wilson's age I had a lot of fun playing in cardboard boxes and pretending I was in a submarine or a space ship or something similar – although those were much simpler days…



While I think of it, there probably won't be any posts tomorrow but we'll be back on Wednesday all being well.
New Readers Start Here Nº 08
THE JOHNSON BROTHERS
• Johnson Major [R] and Johnson Minor [L] are the adopted children of Polly and Billi.
• They are in fact Ladybirds but are being brought up as bees, being schooled in Nectar Collection, Waggle Dancing etc.
• Neither of their parents will acknowledge that they are not actually bees. – I hope this doesn't lead to tears, and therapy in later life…


02/08/2020

BEACH HUT THERAPY

Ever since Wilson came to live with me we've always had several holidays each year.

Apart from anything else, they use up his energy and keep him out of trouble, but this year we can't have a proper holiday because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and Wilson is really missing the opportunity to get away – he's moping around and looking a bit miserable most of the time.

Ever since we visited Southwold – home of the world's most expensive beach huts – a few years ago, W has had a bit of a yearning to own a beach hut, so this morning when I found him lounging about in the dining room looking a bit down I suggested that perhaps he could build a little beach hut of his own so he could pretend to be at the seaside – nothing too elaborate, perhaps just a couple of big cardboard boxes Sellotaped together.

I'm sure Nërp could help with the dangerous bits like cutting out the door…


New Readers Start Here Nº 07
JĪQÍREN
• Nërp’s niece, supposedly here on a Work Experience Placement with her uncle.
• Sullen and uncommunicative, she does not play well with others but does watch a lot of tv.
• Nërp promised us we’d 'love her' and she’d be 'useful around the house' but I’m sure he’d never met her before she arrived here.


01/08/2020

BEES' BLOG – THE SKIFF

Hello etc, we are the Bees and this is our Guest Blog.

What with all the artistic activity going on, and after the picture we did last month – which was quite good fun – we thought we'd do another picture this month!

Especially now that the weather has improved, we can't think of anything nicer than a lovely socially-distanced trip on the river.

Billi did all the rowing because, well… just because she's Billi really, while I sat under my parasol and worried about what our two boys were getting up to – that's what mothers do…

So we've been the Bees and we'll see you again next month – until then, stay socially distanced and wear a mask!


New Readers Start Here Nº 06
NËRP
• Originally employed to work in Wilson’s BitCoin Mine and carry out light duties around the house. Never lifts a finger.
• Likes Eurovision Song Contest, graffiti and playing with Wilson and Byron.
• Many of his essential modules have not been installed, for reasons he is unwilling to discuss.

31/07/2020

THE LAUGHING ROBOT

Perhaps as a result of seeing Uckfield Gothic, Jīqìrén has decided to try her hand (manipulator?) at classic painting re-creationsions too.

Once she'd finished she took her uncle Nërp for a Private View, and the rest of the family was admitted once the picture had received Nërp's approval.

When I first saw it, I thought Jīqìrén looked a tiny bit like a Lego figure (though I'd never dream of saying that out loud) but I admit the Cavalier Moustache is a very authentic touch…

Actually, I think I'm warming to it! 🤔 😀

Well Done Jīqìrén! 👏


Tomorrow it's The Bees turn to blog – before that, here's a chance to get reacquainted:
New Readers Start Here Nº 05
THE BEES – POLLY AND BILLI
• BILLI: radical feminist, but she’s mellowed a bit since marrying Polly.
• POLLY: very motherly, exercises a calming influence over everyone.
• Both bees enjoy dressing up as nurses, and are parents to the Johnson Brothers – Johnson Major and Johnson Minor.


30/07/2020

JOB OPPORTUNITY


According to SKY News* Boris Johnson is advertising for a spokesperson to front new televised White House-style press briefings.

The post is allegedly 'a unique opportunity to work at the centre of government, and communicate with the nation on behalf of the prime minister' and although the salary is not specified it is 'certain to be in excess of £100,000 pa'.

Wilson is sorely tempted to apply, saying, 'In just ten years I'll be a millionaire!'

Byron, Billi and Antony are doing their very best to talk him out of it: 'You'll just be a patsy, Bro!' Byron told him earnestly, and the others agreed.

'A pasty?' Wilson asked, incredulously, 'What, like a Cornish pasty?'

'No, you twonk' Byron replied, 'a patsy, a fall-guy, a scapegoat – someone to blame when it all goes wrong!'

Billi joined in, saying, 'you'll have to stand up in front of everyone, on national tv and tell people liesyou'll know they're lies, the people you're telling them to will know they're lies, everyone will know they're lies! You'd be just like Donald Trump's Press Secretary…'

Antony added, 'And you won't get to be a millionaire because they'll sack you after a couple of months – that's if you don't resign first out of shame and embarrassment…'

Wilson nodded glumly and said, 'I suppose you're right. I'll forget all about it.'

I think he'd been looking forward to standing behind that lectern and saying things like, 'That's a very good question, thank you for asking it. It's a very important question' before proceeding to not answer it…

New Readers Start Here Nº 04
TINY TOY aka “TT”
• Antony’s plush toy and constant companion – is it usual for plush toys to have their own plush toys?
• Spends most of his time sleeping.
• Stand-up comedian.


——
* Here's the link, in case you fancy a life of duplicity among a nest of vipers: https://news.sky.com/story/number-10-wants-to-smash-the-lobby-in-hunt-for-pms-new-163100k-a-year-spokesperson-12038741

29/07/2020

UCKFIELD GOTHIC

Taking a break from marketing termites, the boys have been relaxing by re-creating another classic painting.

This time their choice is Grant Woods' American Gothic.

As soon as they'd finished it they promptly hung it in the gallery and for some reason invited Jīqìrén in to see it.

The young robot had never been inside the Vermilingua Contemporary before, but if either of the gallerists were hoping she would be impressed, they would have been gravely disappointed.

The young android stared at the painting for several minutes before asking, 'What is its meaning? Its purpose? Its significance?'

Byron immediately started to explain all about the artist and the painting, but I fear Jīqìrén remained unconvinced…

New Readers Start Here Nº 03
ANTONY
• Wilson’s plush toy, confidant, consultant and constant companion.
Occasionally acts as Marketing Manager, Publicist, Editor and CEO when required.
Encyclopaedic knowledge of the History of Film.





28/07/2020

FREE REPLACEMENT POSTER

To make up for the disappointment of receiving a poster with mistakes on it, here is a new version for your postering pleasure.
 
As usual, Wilson requests that you put it up somewhere the maximum number of people will see it, thereby increasing sales and hasten his journey to millionairehood…
 
 
New Readers Start Here #02
KENNETH BYRON EUSTACE VERMILINGUA (BIRO)
Wilson's half-brother [technically his uncle, but Wilson doesn't like to talk about that], art authority, artist and published author.
Intellectual, introverted and a bit less impulsive than Wilson.
Hasn't made any unrealistic promises about becoming a millionaire.
 

27/07/2020

GUERRILLA ADVERTISING

Assisted by Nërp (but not by Byron, who wisely wants to keep out of trouble with the law) Wilson has embarked on what he calls a 'Guerrilla Advertising Campaign'.
 
He says that this kind of publicity carries the most 'Street Cred' which is why clubs and record companies always use it.
 
I had naïvely assumed they did that because it was cheap, but clearly I'm no expert…
 

Starting today we're running a new feature to introduce all the members of Wilson's family, some of whom may be less familiar than others. We're starting with Wilson, then moving on to introduce you to everyone else in his family!
New Readers Start Here:
WILSON BOO VERMILINGUA
Philosopher, entrepreneur and inventor, Wilson labours under the heavy burden of a promise he unwisely made to his Mum, Mrs Vermillingua, that he would be a millionaire by the time he was seven.
That time has been and gone, but he is keeping his age a secret from Mrs V until after he's made his first million – Mrs V has so many pups that she long ago lost count of their ages (and names) so this isn't as difficult as you might imagine! I think she may be part of a Tamandua Breeding Programme, but I have never mentioned this to Wilson…
Fun Fact: one of Wilson's Great, Great… Grandfathers was Alberto Victor Gutiérrez-López, the legendary Blue Baron who fought in the Great Ant Wars of 1921!