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Dispatches from the War on Clutter

Since we had our loft boarded and smartened up a few years back, we've been merrily using it to store away the things that we don't need from day to day, or which don't belong in the library. Unfortunately, it's starting to get a bit full in there (what with ias's sewing stuff, my tools, Xmas decorations, the garklet's baby clothes, our suitcases, and so on), so we've been planning on putting some of Mr Kamprad's fine modular shelving solutions up there (specifically the GORM range).

Now, I could just have gone up there with a tape measure and an old envelope to note down how many of each item we needed, but the space is confined enough (and our need for storage great enough) that I am going to have to cut shelves down to fit. Version 1 of the plan was on the back of an envelope, but didn't have accurate measurements. Version 2 was in Illustrator - great for the plan view, not so good for working out whether it will all fit under the roof.

Version 3 is in Google SketchUp, complete with models of the shelves (rather than just bounding boxes). Fortunately, I stopped short of modelling everything in the loft so that I could plan how to fit things on the shelves.

In other news, we took the garklet to the cinema this morning - Harbour Lights (and some other cinemas in the Picture House chain) are screening episodes of In the Night Garden to get the little ones used to sitting quietly in a darkened room. He liked it greatly, and was so well-behaved that I'm toying with the idea of taking him to see Up.

Finally, I've also managed to get around to reading Brundibar to the lad - a Sendak-illustrated version of the Czech children's opera that was first performed in Theresienstadt in 1943. The story itself is charming, but Sendak's illustrations add another layer on top of this (Brundibar is pictured with a toothbrush moustache and side parting, for example) which make this more than just a children's book. I'm still quite surprised that Portswood library had a copy. Highly recommended.

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Impressive plan!

I'm so glad the garklet enjoyed his trip to the cinema. I cannot believe that he's growing up so fast.

Warnings about Up. It's not nearly as much of a kid's film as you expect (though it may make adults cry because of this) and all the showings round our way were 3D, so check if the 3D glasses fit on the garklet's nose (ie stick your glasses on him).

If they don't fit, he's old enough to find it annoying because the image without glasses is very slightly fuzzy. Unless they are running a non-3D version in your area, of course.


Yes, I'd heard that about Up. On the other hand, he doesn't tend to engage with things at a narrative level to any great extent, so it should be less of an issue.

re: 3D, I'd quite like to see it in 3D. We have a pair of glasses (that I kept after Coraline - I assume the surcharge is to cover the cost of the glasses, and not because they think that they can fleece the audience) and they fit him well enough.

A wise person going by the name 'nmg' recently wrote the following in a thread elsewhere about this surcharge:

“Given all this, a £2 per head surcharge for a 3D film seems entirely reasonable.”

I'd still like to see Up in 3D too.

"On the other hand, he doesn't tend to engage with things at a narrative level to any great extent..."

Dang. Not ready for Back to the Future yet, then.

He watched BttF2 until The Wizard of Oz started. Much better for the lad.


Flying DeLorean! Hell, eccentric scientist!

I thought you were taller, with paler hair...

Me? Dark brown hair (going white in streaks), but not that much taller; I'm only 5'9".

The cut-out is the default object that gets pasted into every SketchUp project. I decided to stick it in to give a rough idea of scale - if your rough idea of scale is taken from Land of the Giants. I can only stand up in the middle of the loft, so the standup is probably closer to ias in height.

Nice to see that you're using Google SketchUp to plan your outfits too.

Your cinema sounds much better than yours which showed so many ads before the kids films our elder one was bored before the film even started the first time we took him to one.

Picturehouse are excellent - largely borne of the collapse of the regional film theatre circuit (Harbour Lights was one of these), and filling the independent cinema chain niche left when the Robins Cinema chain collapsed. They're very much carrot cake film culture rather than popcorn (they're also licensed, and let you take drinks into the auditoria).

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