The Meerkat Muse – 31st May 2023

I have been sent back in time to protect you

So, here we are at the halfway point of 2023. Well, sort of. We’re halfway in terms of months, but not days. In a non-leap year, such as 2023, the halfway mark is actually the 2nd of July, so whether we’re actually halfway through depends upon how you are measuring the passage of time.

Nonetheless, we have completed six months of the year with the conclusion of today. Let us dive into the Meerkat Muse, and see what has led us to this point.

School Reports

My daughter had her parent’s evening the other week. She was reasonable keen to talk to some teachers, and less so with others. As is seemingly customary for any school, some teachers have a reputation for being miserable, and no one – least of all the students – wants to speak to them. In fairness to my daughter, those teachers taught subjects that were of no concern to us either way, so we focused on subjects like English, Maths, Science, Music, PE, and French.

My daughter loathes PE, and I can relate to that, as I don’t exactly have warm and fuzzy memories of PE lessons. Cross-country runs across cold, wet fields taught me that I didn’t enjoy running across cold, wet fields, and little else. I was never sporty, and my hand-eye coordination could be better.

Overall, her report was good. Her English teacher is of the view that she should be moved up a few sets, but the Maths is where there is a bit more of an issue, and her school won’t move her up in just one or two subjects, due to how the time-tables work. It’s a shame that she might be held back from her full potential in some subjects, because of one subject. There will be a few discussions around that, and we will see how it all goes. I am proud of how she is conducting herself. With the exception of PE, her effort and her well-behaved manner is a credit to her.


To celebrate my daughter becoming a teenager (I mean, whaaaaaaaat?!) we took a family trip (that saw the numbers rapidly grow) to a Comic-Con at London’s ExCeL Centre. This particular Comic-Con is known as MCM, and it was all to do with anime and pop culture. Anime is one of my daughter’s big interests; I am prepared to admit that I know virtually nothing of it, beyond the shows my daughter watches, and even then, my understanding is, shall we say, restricted?

The variety of costumes is incredible, and one of the best things about these events is that all the people who might stop and stare are smiling, because they love it. Comic-Con is geek central, so I am very much in my element! There were also display stands, and numerous stalls selling various wares. My daughter spent a heap of birthday money on anime figures, but it’s her birthday, so she is free to spend it on what she wants!

I have no idea who this is.
I obviously know who he is!

I got directly involved in one event, namely world record attempt for the most Zelda cosplayers in one place. Dozens of Links, Zeldas, and a smattering of a few other characters, gathered in a hall, and honestly, seeing so many other fans was such a heartening sight. It was absolutely wonderful.

These are my people.

The world record was 250 cosplayers. We… didn’t break the record. I thought I heard the announcer say 232 people, the guy next to me heard 233, but either way, we fell just short of the target. Still, to have so many fellow fans in one place… it was a great moment of kinship.

Among the other highlights was a drink – that none of the group were willing to try!

Yes, that does indeed say ‘sea salt cheese flavour’.

I cannot fathom what sea salt cheese sparkling water tastes like, and I hope in time that I forget it ever exists.

Classic coin-op machines made an appearance.
This did not look comfortable!

It was a long day, and a very tiring one. It was obviously a lot of fun, but these events do knacker me. There are so many people, and there’s a lot of noise, and you have to be prepared to get bustled about. Still, it was fun, and it was a nice way to mark my daughter’s ascent to teenager-hood.

Baby Meerkats!

I urge you to check out the link, but be prepared for a cuteness overload! As I mentioned earlier, my daughter is now a teenager, and that’s surreal to me. I still remember the moment my wife told me she was pregnant. I still remember, clear as day, the moment my daughter arrived into this world. She was, and still is, perfect. She is, and always will be, my baby.

The Pollen Scourge

We’re definitely starting to hit hay-fever season. My eyes have started to water, and I’m pretty sure I’m sneezing a little bit more than usual. Things are not yet at their peak, yet I am already making use of the medication. I don’t like hay-fever medication, because it often leaves me drowsy, but the alternative is to suffer like mad. I need to bite the proverbial bullet on this one, and overall, I’d rather be drowsy than snotty.

The End

No, not the end of this blog don’t worry! I am referring to the end of the frankly lamentable 22/23 football season. From narrowly missing out on a quadruple of trophies last season, to failing to reach to the Champions League this season, things have been pretty forgettable from a Liverpool fan’s perspective. There are few highlights, and all too many disappointments, and it’s a case of some serious rebuilding for next season. Still, Stevenage won promotion to the third tier of the English game, so it’s not all doom and gloom.

This Distraction

There’s a popular morning TV show on ITV, called, err, This Morning. There’s been some controversy surrounding now-departed host Phillip Schofield, and an alleged affair he had with a much younger man whilst working on the programme.

Is it good of him to cheat on his partner? Obviously not. However, this story is not the big story it has become. It is yet another distraction, one the BBC is parading around, devoting page after page to (as is the case in the newspapers), when there are far more important matters to consider. It would also be wise for the media to recall the tragic case of Caroline Flack, who took her own life following a similar media hounding. Our press is not good at learning lessons from the past, but there is a first time for everything.

The Day Trip

On the very day of publishing this, my parents came down to see us, and we took the train to Southend for the day. Immediately upon arriving, my daughter declared she was hungry, so we went to a fish and chip shop, before taking a leisurely walk down the seafront for fudge, and ice cream. We then proceeded to visit a bookstore, because naturally, after getting books for one’s birthday, my daughter required more books!

You cannot beat fish and chips!
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