Super Bowl!

Winston just popped in to say it’s Super Bowl Day. What’s that? I asked. He says he doesn’t know, but maybe we should see if we can find our own Super Bowl? Well, why not, let’s have a look.

Ratvaark and Winston are talking

Hmm. It’s a bowl. It’s nice enough, but I don’t think it’s Super.

They look at a vaark scale sugar bowl

No, Winston, not that one.

They look up at a toilet bowl

No, this is just a cereal bowl.

They look at a small bowl with tubs of cereal in the background

Just bowls for mixing in.

they look at a stack of mixing bowls in a cupboard

Those are the bowls the Humans have their supper in. Supper bowls. Too many Ps.

They look at a stack of pasta dishes

What’s that Winston, you think you’ve found it?

Winston looks at a bowl, and we can see an S painted on the side

Ah. No. Nearly, but not quite.

The bowl is turned round to reveal the word Soup.

Well, I don’t know if we’re ever going to find one Winston.

Ratvaark and Winston talk to each other

Winston? What are you looking at behind me?

Winston is looking at something behind Ratvaark. We see the edge of a bowl

Well! That’s what I call a Superbowl! Hooray!

They look at a huge bowl, full of biscuits

Right, Winston, you go and fetch the clan. I’ll watch over the Superbowl.

Ratvaark tells Winston to go and fetch the others.

Nom nommmfffmfm nnffmmfmf.

Ratvaark is head down in the bowl of biscuits

Advaark 2020 Day 20: Colouring the light.

Today, we’re going to make some ‘stained glass’ decorations! We need some squares of paper, a craft knife and some double-sided sticky tape. Oh, and some coloured cellophane wrappers from chocolates. We had to eat the chocolates. The things we do for Art!

Winston, Matilda and Dim have all the things they need , including a stack of cellophane sweet wrappers.

First of all, we’re drawing shapes on our paper to cut out. We’re choosing designs that will suit the colours of cellophane we’ve got.

The vaarks draw shapes on the paper, including a bell, a star and a Christmas tree.

Now we need to make the back of the paper sticky, with the double-sided tape. Before we peel the back off, we’re going to cut out the shapes we’ve drawn.

The vaarks stick double sided tape on the back of the paper

Winston uses the craft knife to cut out the shapes through the paper and tape

Then we peel the backing off the tape. What a fiddly job it is! Er, Matilda, are you stuck there?

The vaarks peel away the backing paper

Matilda has one of the pieces of paper stuck to her snozzle button

Now, we put the cellophane on the sticky side, and press it down. And then trim the extra from round the edge.

The vaarks stick the cellophane down to the paper

Dim trims the edges of the cellophane with scissors.

So here we are! These look nice hung up in a window, where the sun can shine through them. And if you like, you can draw extra details on, like Matilda did with her Father Christmas. Ho ho ho!

The vaarks pose with their decorations, a Santa, a star, a bell, a sweetie and a tree

Matilda shows off her Santa shape, which she’s drawn a face on to.

Advaark 2020 Day 19: Going to print

Winston, Esther and Gino are going to do some printing! They’ve got various things to make stamps from, and paint to print with.

Winston, Esther and Gino have gathered together paper, paint, a sponge, a potato, all on a sheet of newspaper.

Winston found a proper stamp and an inkpad, so he thought he’d see what it was. Oh! Well, that’s one way to get an S right!

Winston has a rubber stamp

Winston stamps the stamp on an inkpad

Winston prints on paper

The stamp is an ornate letter S

Right, lets start printing some designs. Winston has carved a tree shape onto this potato half. That looks lovely in green! 

Winston has a half potato with a tree shape cut into it

Winston has printed lots of green trees on paper

I wonder what Esther is printing in red? Ah, it’s a ribbon or banner. Lovely decoration.

Esther dips her half potato in red paint

Esther prints a waving banner shape on paper

Gino found a piece of foam packaging to cut his shape into, a lovely star.

Gino has a star cut into some foam

Gino prints golden stars

Hello, says Winston, what’s this pattern?

Winston looks at some pairs of oval blobs printed across a piece of paper

Gino! You’ve walked in the paint! You better go and wash your feet off!

The blobs lead to Gino, and are the same shape as his feet.

Advaark 2020 Day 17: Play with clay!

Today, we’re going to be doing some pottery! We’re using plasticine, but you could use air drying clay, or even salt-dough. Of course, if you have real clay and a kiln, even better!

Ofelia sits at a table with a ball of clay, a rolling pin and a craft knife

Ofelia is starting off making some hanging decorations. She’s rolling the clay out, and cutting a shape. Then put a hole in for a string before it bakes, and there you have it!

Ofelia is rolling out the ball of clay

Ofelia cuts a star shape with the craft knife

Ofelia has a clay star with a hole in one point.

Peggy is having a go at a “thumb pot”. Just poke your thumb (or in her case, your hand!) into the ball of clay and shape it up as much as you need!

Peggy has a ball of clay on the table

Peggy pushes her hand into the ball

Peggy has a shaped pot on the table.

Ernest’s turn now. He’s going to make a coil pot. Roll your clay back and forth to make a sausage, and then roll it more and more to make a long snake. Then start to coil the snake round to make a base and up the sides.

Ernest rolls a sausage of clay

Ernest has made a long snake of clay

Ernest starts to coil the snake

Ernest builds up the sides

Careful you don’t coil your snozzle in there Ernest! Ah, well done, a handy pot to keep things in!

Ernest’s long snozzle is entwined in the clay snake

Ernest has a finished coil pot

Good lord! Winston has a potter’s wheel! We never knew. See how he shapes the clay up as it spins. He makes it look easy, but it’s quite a skill to master.

Winston sits at a potters wheel with a lump of clay in the middle

Winston starts to shape the clay up into a cylinder

Winston shapes the cylinder and it starts to form curves.

Good lord! Winston, you’ve made an urn! Oh yes, he says, I’ve made loads of them over the years…

Winston has made a greek urn, suspiciously like the ancient one he sold for millions.

Advaark 2020 Day 13: Fold and crease.

Vincent, Winston and Nano are going to have a go at some origami today. They’re starting with a square of green paper, I wonder what they’ll make?

Vincent and Winston have a green square of paper, and Nano sits on one corner

First of all they fold two corners into the middle and make nice creases.

Vincent and nano fold in one corner, and Winston creases the otherVincent and nano fold in one corner, and Winston creases the other

Now, turn over and fold the corners in again…

Vincent and Winston push the corners in, and Nano pulls them down

Now, tuck one end under and put a pleat in the whole thing…

Vincent and Winston tuck one end under

they stand the piece up with a pleat across the middle

Oh look, how clever, it’s a tree!

Vincent and Winston admire the finished origami tree

Um, Winston? Says Vincent, where’s Nano? Er… I dunno!

Winston looks at the tree as Vincent searches around on the ground

What’s that nibbling noise? Oh! It’s Nano, he got folded inside and had to nibble his way out!

Nano looks out of the top of the tree, and little shreds of paper lie on the floor under where he has nibbled

Winston and Vincent look at Nano poking through the top of the tree

The Grand Opening!

It’s today! Everyone is wondering what we’re going to find out. Ah, here’s Winston.

The vaarks turn to listen to Winston.

Nano is enquiring whether there will be any snacks. Winston says it’s all in hand. And if we’d like to follow him, it’s just a short walk.

Nano asks Winston a question.All the vaarks follow Winston.

Can you see anything through the knot hole Hypno? No, it’s not big enough….

Hypno and Ernest are next to a wooden fence, with Hypno trying to look through a knot hole.

Well, this seems to be it! Winston’s all set up for the unveiling. Nano is hoping it’s a biscuit factory.

All the vaarks are gathered at a corrugated metal gate in the fence. A sign on top of the gate is covered with a cloth.

Nano talks to microvaark

So, with a flourish, Winson pulls the cloth off the sign.

Winston starts to pull the string to remove the cloth

The cloth starts to pull away revealing the letters W and Us on one side of the sign

The cloth pulls further to reveal Wins and Used

The cloth is almost off and we can read Winston and Used ca

Ta da! He’s bought a used car lot! He says it’s always been his dream business. So, let’s all go in and have a look!

With the cloth off, the sign reads Winston’s Used Cars

Winston opens the gates and they all go in.

And now he’s open, Vincent can put out the whirly-round Car Sales sign.

Well look at this! Lots of forecourt space, and a little sales cabin. All very convenient. And he’s got set up with some good stock by the look of it.

The vaarks spread out looking at the cars in the yard. A little cabin has a sign saying Sales Office

The vaarks look at the cars

Ofelia wonders if many latest models have starting cranks these days, but she’s not going to say anything.

Ernest and Ofelia look at a very old fashioned truck with a sign on it saying “Latest Model”

Peggy likes this one, as long as the mileage really is low!

Peggy looks at a blue car with a sign saying “Low Mileage”

Bernard thinks there’s something for every budget.

Bernard looks at a tiny yellow car priced at £135

Vincent is explaining that he is Valeting and Services Manager. In other words, he washes the car and sweeps the yard. And Fury looks after all the mechanicals and does any servicing or welding needed.

Ratvaark talks to Vincent who has a bucket and sponge.

Fury is doing some welding on a car

Bernard asks if he can see in the office, so Winston takes him to have a look.

Bernard and Winston go into the sales office

Well, it all looks very professional in here, says Bernard. I see you’ve got all the IT covered.

In the office is a desk with a laptop and desk organiser on it, a noticeboard and calendar on the wall, and a hat rack with Winston’s pork pie hat hanging on it.

Yeah! says Winston, just look at thi… Oh! That’s Vincent playing again!

Winston opens the laptop to find it showing a Solitaire screen

Anyway, I can use this to find new stock, and keep on top of all me paperwork.

Bernard and Winston look at the laptop which shows cars for sale on Ebay

There’s a noticeboard, where Winston can keep notes, and all the keys for the motors.

Bernard looks at the notice board, where bits of paper are pinned up and keys hang on hooks.

But Winston says, he’s most proud of his executive toy. It proves he’s made it!

Winston shows Bernard the Newton’s Cradle executive toy on the desk

Outside again, Nano says it’s all very impressive, but is there anything else he’d like to show us? Anything… edible?

Outside, Nano talks to Winston

Oh yes! Winston’s laid on a special Grand Opening biscuit feast! What a wonderful day this is. Winston is so proud of it all!

Winston has set up a table outside with piles of biscuits and a bottle of champagne

What’s Winston up to?

Oh, hello! Here’s Winston, Vincent and Fury having a meeting. I wonder if it’s about Winston’s new business venture?

Ratvaark spots Winston Vincent and Fury having a meeting. They have papers, and a flip chart that says Stock plus Premises , Launch and Profit.

Hello you lot. What are you talking about?

Ratvaark speaks to the three, who look at him

Not saying? Oh! It’s a secret? Well!

The three sit on their papers to hide the contents

I’ll leave them to it then. Unless…

Ratvaark leaves them to talk

Perhaps I can hear what they’re saying from here.

As the three talk, Ratvaark tries to listen in from a distance

*Nonchalant whistling*

It’s no good, I’m not going to find anything out. I’ll just have to wait and see!

The three look at Ratvaark as he whistles with his nose in the air.

Winston’s on the up!

So after all the excitement yesterday, I was up early, but Winston had already got up and gone out according to Vincent. He said something about suitable attire. Oh, here he comes now!

I say! A camel coat! Winston says all the best legit businessvaarks have camel coats. And now he’s going to be moving in those circles, he’ll need it. I wonder what his big plan is!? He says we’ll have to wait and see…

Winston enters wearing a camel coloured coat like the sort worn by salesmen.

A close up of Winston in his coat


Going, going, gone!

Well. You remember that urn Winston got in a job lot, and took to the museum and it turned out to be really old and valuable? Well, we’ve come to see it auctioned! Turns out Arnold has a job as security at the auction house.

The vaarks have gathered in a panelled room with a podium for an auction

The auctioneer has started. There are a few lots to go before the Urn so we’ll just sit and enjoy watching the auction.

The auctioneer stands behind a podium, marked “Vaarkebys”. He wears glasses and has a gavel and a phone.

The first lot is this Landscape, in pencils. The auctioneer opens the bidding at £1000!

The first lot, a picture goes on a plinth beside the auctioneer. Arnold stands guard.

“Are you bidding sir?” “No! Says Arnold, I’m just amazed at the value!”

Arnold’s ears fly up in surprise and the auctioneer looks at him

Ofelia suggests that Arnold wear his Easter bonnet to keep his ears under control, but he’s not sure it suits his working image. So Ernest fetches his motorbike helmet, which is more in keeping.

The landscape sold to a bidder at the back of the room. Next up, a… well, I think it’s a portrait. It’s a bit odd. Apparently it’s by a very famous painter though, and it sold for £10,000!

Ratvaark looks closely at a painting in a Picasso style with eyes, nose, mouth and ears all over the place

The next item is a very ancient cannon, recovered from a shipwreck. The auctioneer looks a bit worried being at the business end! Fury says she’d buy it, if only she had the money, but it’s too valuable for her.

Now, some sculpture. Peggy wants a closer look, but Gino doesn’t think it’s suitable for a lady! He can be a bit old fashioned.

Peggy looks at a sculpture of Michaelangelo’s David, but Gino puts his hand in front of her face. Gino’s nose neatly obscures David’s genitals.

Right now, it’s time for the urn. Winston is quite nervous now! The auctioneer describes it as a fine example of Early Greek Vaark era ceramic, embellished with heroic figures, in perfect condition.

Oh! The phone’s ringing, It’s a phone bidder from overseas. How exciting!

The auctioneer has picked up the phone handset and is listening.

It STARTS at £10,000! £20,000! £30,000 Oh my! Oh my! It just keeps going up! £500,000! Still going! £750,000! £1000,000! In the room. Is that it? Any more bids? Yes, the phone bidder is back! £1,250,000! All done? Going, Going… GONE! Down comes the gavel.

Everyone watches as the auction proceedsThe auctioneer brings the gavel down, still on the phone.

Oh heck. Winston’s fainted again. Ernest fetches the smelling salts, but he’s still out cold.

Winston has fainted flat on his back

Ernest tries to revive Winston with something from a dropper bottle

Fury says she’ll sort it. Not sure she ought to be throwing water round in here, but anyway…

Well, that woke him up. He whispers “Is it all a dream?” Ofelia brings him a cup of strong sweet tea and reassures him that it’s really happened. He’s a millionaire!

So while Arnold mops up the water, the auctioneer explains that the money, minus commission and fees of course, will be cleared in a few days. The urn has sold to a very important collection overseas.

Bernard says that if Winston wants any investment advice, he’d be happy to help. Winston says thank you, but he’s got a business plan he can finally go ahead with now!

Bernard talks to Winston

And so, back home, to celebrate an astonishing day. Winston’s still in a bit of a daze.

Er Nano, I wouldn’t sit there if I were… Oh!

“Wheeeeeee!” says Nano, “What fun!” What fun indeed!

Nano is flying through the air

A Valuable Trip to the Museum!

Do you remember that old pot Bernard spotted on Winston’s stall at the fete, that he thought might be quite old? Well, he’s made an appointment with the curator at the Museum to check. They’ve come early to look round. Vincent’s tagged along too.

Winston, Bernard and Vincent stand outside an imposing door wirh Museum of Vaark History written over it

Winston’s wrapped the pot up to protect it. Bit of a struggle getting his trolley in up the steps though!

The three vaarks manhandle a shopping trolley with the urn wrapped in bubblewrap through the door

Wow. The first thing you see in the entrance is the huge Vaarkosaurus Rex. Imagine a time when these creatures roamed the earth. Millions of years ago. They went extinct when a meteorite wiped out all the primeval biscuits.

The vaarks look at the large vaark skeleton on a stand labelled Vaarkosaurus Rex

And to think, the Vaarkosaurs laid eggs! How colourful their nests must have been!

These fossils are even older – before the vaarkosaurs even! Vincent reckons they look like the sort of thing Matilda would sell on her crystal stall. Winston thinks they look like raisins.

the vaarks look at some shell and ammonite shaped beads

What’s this? Ah the Natural History section. All sorts of taxidermy. Vincent says the armadillo looks like Bernard’s stripes. And the elephant reminds them of Ernest. Even the seal is a little bit vaarkish, with it’s dumpy body.

the vaarks look at a selection of toy animals and a doll

But really, human beings are the oddest looking creatures!

the vaarks look up at a male dolls house doll.

Ah now, we’re onto the Vaarks Through the Ages Gallery. Here’s a prehistoric cave vaark. Dressed in fur and wool and feathers. Vincent thinks it’s amazing how they managed to do so much with just axes like that.

Oh! The Egyptian era now. The magnificent Tut-anh-vaark-mun sarcophagus. Awesome. And so much gold!

the vaarks look at a large blue and gold vaark shaped sarcophagus

The vaarks look at a pile of gold nuggets at the foot of the sarcophagus

Bernard explained that the mummies kept their organs in jars like this. Vincent said he’d seen Dim playing the organ and it would never fit in there.

Vincent and Bernard look at a big jar next to the sarcophagus

Winston was surprised by the Sphinx. He’d always thought it would be bigger.

Winston peers at a tiny model of the Sphinx

What next? Ah, yes, the Romans. A fine recreation of a Centurion. Vincent likes the shield, even if he could barely see over it.

the vaarks look at a mannequin in centurion helmet and cap with a curved shield

Winston wondered if they’d run out of them little stones for the mosaic? But Bernard explained that it’s very old, and it’s got damaged over the years, probably by drains and such like.

the vaarks look at a mosaic, which has chunks missing, depicting a vaark with a sea serpent tail,

Here is a depiction of Christopher Columvaark. He discovered America, and therefore cookies, by accident. He was trying to find a new route to China by going the wrong way. What luck!

The vaarks look at a mannequin in a doublet and medieval hat, which is looking at a globe

Next, a Victorian crinoline. The chaps looked at it, and agreed it was a frock, and moved on.

the vaarks look at a mannequin in a crinoline dress

Ooh, more up to date vaark fashion and culture now. Vincent said it reminded him of Fury, Winston asked Bernard if he’d ever been a punk…

the vaarks look at a mannequin in a studded and zipped leather jacket. It has a mohican hairstyle and a safety pin through its nose

“God lord no, what makes you think that!”

winston and vincent look at bernard whose normally neat crest is raised up in spikes

The last ‘costume’ exhibit is the famous space suit, in which Ratvaark did his space walk. Winston pondered what happened if you flicked the switch. Bernard moved him on swiftly.

What’s next? The Ceramics gallery. Vincent likes this big jug. Careful not to jog the stand Vincent!

the jug starts to topple


Phew! Well caught. Move on quickly!

Bernard and vincent catch the jug between them

all three vaarks leave quickly


This exhibit reminds Winston of his suitcase stock. Bernard remarked that it’s because they are all telling different times…. Talking of time, it’s time to go to the appointment with the curator…

Winston and Vincent reckon the chairs in the waiting area are quite grand – but Bernard tells them to get off the Charles Rennie Vaarkintosh exhibit!

winston and vincent sit on two of three chairs, which are all designs by rennie mackintosh

Ah, and here’s the Curator. He says his name is Henry, and they should bring the urn into his office.

the vaarks are met by the museum creator vaark

Henry looks over the urn very carefully, and finally tells Winston that it is indeed a very rare Grecian Urn, and extremely valuable. Maybe thousands of pounds!

the urn is unwrapped and placed on the desk as the curator looks closely at it

the curator talks to winston

Good grief Winston’s fainted! He’s never had anything really valuable in stock before!

winston has fainted

Henry fetches him a reviving cup of tea, and says he can recommend a fine art auction house to handle the sale. What a turn up!

winston is revived with a cup of tea

the curator talks to winston