1 April 2014 (Wednesday) - Feeling Grotty

 

 

I woke this morning feeling rather grotty; but when faced with the choice of getting on with life or sitting and sulking I decided to get on with life. I've only got a cold, but colds are *only* colds when you don't actually have one.

 

I spent a few minutes spotting spelling mistakes on recommended websites on the Internet before taking "Furry Face TM" for a walk. He did seem rather tired and sleepy over brekkie; the moment I stood up he leapt into action obviously expecting to go out.

We first went to Bowens Field Wetland Park where I saw that the supermarket trolley had again been thrown into the pond. I've already fished it out twice in less than a week and I couldn't be bothered to make a third effort this morning. I left it there. Was that wrong of me?

We then carried on into Viccie Park where we terrified a dog which looked to be the big brother of a Siberian timber wolf. We played nicely with a greyhound and a springer spaniel, and we ran in terror from a rather effeminate-looking chihuahua before coming home.

 

Once home "Furry Face TM" had his brekkie and then curled up in his basket and was snoring within a few seconds. I turned on the laptop and checked out the Internet again to see if anything had happened since brekkie time. It hadn't.

I seriously considered phoning work to say I'd be off sick, but thought better of the idea.

 

I set off to work via a spot of window shopping. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that on 27 October 2014 I bought a new ironing board from the cheapo-bargains shop. At the time I crowed about what a bargain it was. I spoke too soon. I've given it a fair trial for six months and it is crap.

Yesterday as a special pressie "er indoors TM" bought me a new ironing board (from Sainsburys) and at the risk of appearing ungrateful, it too is crap. I stopped off a Dunelm on my way to work. Since I was last there the place has dropped "Mill" from it's name; however they still employ the same disinterested-to-the-point-of-rudeness staff. And all of their ironing boards are crap as well. Even the ones costing over seventy quid are worse than useless to me.

It transpires that all modern ironing boards are crap.

Not that many people do ironing any more, but when you iron, you need a flat surface on which to work (this is the "ironing board"). However all modern ironing boards are riddled with holes for no apparent reason, and using one is akin to ironing on a cheese grater. I shall take the new ironing board to a traditional hardware store and see if they can cut me a lump of hardboard to shape which I can then fasten to the frame of the new ironing board. Or failing that I shall either have a rummage round the charity shops or steal my mother's one.

 

I got to work, again I wondered if I should have phoned in sick. I did my bit on a rather busy day. At lunchtime I had sax practice. Not as much as I probably should have done but it was rather cold and it's difficult to give a faithful rendition of a musical score when you are so cold you can't feel your fingers.

The rest of the day got busier and busier, and I was glad when it was home time. However I'd forgotten that "er indoors TM" was staging a make-up party. Some very hopeful agent of ""make-up-R-us" was trying to push vastly overpriced slap onto a less than convinced public. Apparently the stuff goes on as a cream and comes off as a powder.

It was at that point that I nearly choked on my tea...

 

 

2 April 2015 (Thursday) - Still Feeling Grotty

 

 

I slept reasonably well; I woke with a mild backache shortly after 7am. The mattress seems to have developed something of a crater where I kip. I *thought* a super-wonderful memory-foam mattress wasn't supposed to do that. I suspect this is what happens when you but hookey mattresses out of the backs of vans outside the co-op.

 

I got up and had a fifteen minute coughing fit. The cold seems to have got worse overnight. I felt rather grim over brekkie, but small dogs don't understand illness. We went for our walk.

As we walked we met and played nicely with an Alsatian, and then with a greyhound. I say " played nicely"; whenever "Furry Face TM" plays nicely it sounds as though he's about to tear the other dog's throat out. The greyhound and Fudge were both growling and snarling (as dogs do). Most people would be really alarmed at the noise, but that really is how he plays nicely.

The nice lady with the greyhound remarked on how terrible it all sounded but her dog plays noisily too; and remarked that it was nice to met someone like me who understands dogs. She then went on to relate a run-in she had yesterday with some really nasty dog-owner and then gave a perfect description of OrangeHead.

Shortly after that I saw OrangeHead coming towards us. I got Fudge onto his lead. For some inexplicable reason he always seems to want to join her posse. Her posse has grown since we last encountered them. In addition to the Chunky Little Friend there were half a dozen other hangers-on. OrangeHead actually said hello today; I was honoured.

As we walked we saw several joggers. Usually I'm not a fan of joggers, but today was different. Today seemed to be national "Go Jogging With No Bra On" day. We encountered several epically-breasted young ladies all running along with their jugs flailing in all directions. One particularly wanton hussy was jogging along with her hands held behind her head and with her shoulders pushed back whilst flagrantly waggling her "charms" at an unsuspecting public. I would have video-ed her on my phone, but by the time I'd stopped staring she was long gone.

 

After a couple of hours we got home again. "Furry Face TM" had his brekkie and went to sleep, and I embarked on a coughing fit which lasted until I was completely breathless.

Being my last full day off before my shift pattern puts me back on to a month of five-day weeks I had been hoping to do something with the day. Instead I sat down in front of the telly and felt sorry for myself. I suppose the telly needed to be watched; there was a lot of stuff on the SkyPlus box with which I needed to catch up.

 

I started off with watching "Extant". A series which started really well a few months ago is now not actually going anywhere. "Coalition" was a docu-drama about the events immediately after the last general election which led to the formation of the current coalition government. It was actually rather good. "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" is always entertaining if for no other reason than Billie Piper getting her kit off. "Raised by Wolves" is fast becoming one of my favourite shows with Aretha being stabbed by "shit-nan" during a family game of Monopoly, and Mrs Slocombe was having pussy problems in "Are You Being Served".

Having spent an entire afternoon watching and deleting my stuff off of the SkyPlus box we now have eight per cent free space on the thing. I need to record some episodes of "Poldark" and "Game of Thrones" before "er indoors TM" fills it with "Gogglebox".

 

I phoned my internet provider; the internet had died shortly after lunch time and was still kaput at tea time. After a lot of hanging about waiting for someone to answer the phone I eventually selected the option for closing the account. My call was was immediately answered, my monthly bill reduced by a fiver and a new router promised.

My call was then transferred to someone who barely spoke English who would investigate the current problem. His solution was to unplug the router and re-boot it. He was not happy when I told him I'd done this six times already. He then said to hold the line and I did so for an interminable length of time waiting for something to happen. Whilst I was waiting the internet connection came back (seemingly of its own accord), and then ten minutes later the engineer chap said that he'd logged into my router and found that my password on it was wrong (yeah - right!). I asked if that was techno-speak to cover the fact that he hadn't a clue was was wrong to which he proudly replied "yes that is correct".

 

Normally on a Thursday I would go off for an early evening saxophone lesson, but I'd texted teacher to cry off. I can't blow into a saxophone when I am continually coughing. I stayed in, and actually perked up over a glass of red wine...

 

 

3 April 2015 (Friday) - Crap Friday

 

 

Last night we watched some of the televised political debate featuring the leaders of the UK's seven leading political parties. (And then we turned over to watch "Big Bang Theory")

The morning's news was abuzz with the matter. A lot of people criticised the debate as being one big squabble (which in large part it was) but it is the sort of thing which should be compulsory viewing for anyone who's actually going to be casting a vote at the upcoming general election. Do the electorate realise how much power these minority parties now have? It looks fairly certain that neither the Labour party nor the Conservative party will be able to govern alone, and so they will be dependent on one of more of the smaller parties to help them.

In the last election the Liberal Democrats went in with the Conservatives. The Dribbling Democraps had a golden opportunity to push for their policies, and they threw it all away. The only demand they made (and stuck to) was for a referendum on proportional representation that the electorate comprehensively dismissed.

The other minority parties have learned from this and are getting ready.

I would advise my fellow Englishmen to be prepared to be bled dry by opportunistic Welsh and Scots in a few short weeks time.

 

I had been toying with the idea of going to the morning's geo-meet which had been planned near Sittingbourne. A whole load of new geocaches were to go live as part of an official geo-meet at lunchtime. But the weather was on the damp side and if I went I wouldn't be able to have stayed long as I need to spend the afternoon in bed. And I still fely grotty. So with "er indoors TM" off out hunting tupperware I took "Furry Face TM" for a quick walk.

 

I thought I might go for the local geocache that I can't find. We got there, I slipped on wet concrete and clouted my head on a fence as I fell and hit the ground (like a rubber duck to coin a phrase). We limped home and I spent the rest of the morning sulking (and coughing).

I did try solving a geo-puzzle involving tracing a maze. I couldn't do it, and after an hour I got cross with it. Then on tripping over "er indoors TM" tape cassettes (yes - tape cassettes) for the ten thousandth time I got even crosser, dumped them all in the bin and stomped off to bed.

 

After four hours I got up, and took the tape cassettes out of the dustbin and had another look at the geo-maze puzzle. Realising that the way I was solving it gave me several possibiliities I tried again and got the thumbs up. My happiness at that was short-lived; I then received an email about one of my geocaches being missing and saw that the person who couldn't find it had posted up a photo showing the world where it was supposed to be hidden. So much for the etiquette of no spoiler photos....

I archived that cache hide in a fit of pique.

 

I then wasted a couple of hours watching episodes of "Big Bang Theory" (with my dog) whilst sulking. Often Good Friday is a beer festival day. Today's wasn't. Today's was spent coughing (as I have been most of the week) and aching from the earlier fall. In the past Good Friday has been a good day. Today was rather shite; the only redemming feature of the day was my dog, and to be honest he didn't actually do very much other than sleep on me.

 

I'm off to the night shift... perhaps the day might perk up now...

 

 

4 April 2015 (Saturday) - Thunderbirds (Are Go)

 

 

I wasn't a happy bunny yesterday as I drove to work. My mood was not helped when at the checkout in Morrison's whilst getting some supplies for the night shift. I didn't have a lot of stuff to put through the checkout, but just as I was unloading my basket some weaseley-looking chap loudly announced that I wouldn't mind if he jumped the queue. The woman on the checkout also told the world that I wouldn't mind if he jumped the queue, and this bloke then did just that. I could be wrong but I got the distinct impression that he and the checkout girl were known to each other.

I don't think the checkout girl realised that I never said a word to her during the entire episode or when I eventually got to pay for my shopping; she was that disinterested.

I suspect she'll sit up and take notice when the store manager reads the written complaint I've put in about the incident. Waiting in queues is what being British is all about (!)

 

I got to work and cheered up; I actually quite enjoyed doing the night shift. For once the radio didn't boil my piss. In fact with one exception it was all rather dull. The exception was probably a typical sign of our times. "Book of the Week" was "Landmarks" by Robert MacFarlane which among other things is supposedly a field guide to the literature of nature. In today's except the remarkable claim was that whilst over nine out of ten children can identify a dalek, less than three out of the same ten could identify a magpie.

I suspect that any child who says they could identify a magpie would be just as much a target for bullying as would a child that said they couldn't identify a dalek. Most kids know what is safe to own up to knowing. I certainly do.

 

With my bit done I came home and after a spot of brekkie I went to bed where I slept like a log. I woke at mid day to find an empty house and that the internet connection had again died. Just as I was on the phone to complain again so it started working again.

 

Being Saturday we had a Belgian bun with a cup of coffee of lunch. I had hoped to go out Wherigo-ing in the afternoon, but the weather wasn't good. A geo-walk is supposed to be fun; not a chore. And it will still be there next time. I was in two minds about cancelling the outing, but as the afternoon wore on I was glad I had. I was still a tad tired, and the coughing hadn't entirely subsided. With a restored Internet connection I did the geo-homework necessary for upcoming walks (whilst I still could)

We then went to Tesco for a little shopping. It was difficult to get round the place though. Why do so many of the "colourful" families treat a trip to Tesco as a family outing. I lost count of the amount of tribes who had double-figure contingents present. Everyone in the family including Gran, Grandad, mother, current boy/girlfriend, uncles, aunts and varying amounts of children all clustered around the same trolley.

 

From Tesco we went to Ashford's cheapo-bargain shop and then home to watch the all-new Thunderbirds. A lot of people didn't like the Thunderbirds re-boot. Personally I loved it. I'm not sure about the shapes of Thunderbirds Two and Five, but I liked seeing Thunderbirds One and Three actually doing something. And it was good to see Thunderbird Four being retrieved. I also liked the fact that Lady Penelope now has a pug.

 

With telly watched we took "Furry Face TM" round the park for the most uneventful dog walk we've ever had. We met no one else and "Furry Face TM" didn't get up to any mischief. More 6pm walks round the park might be a good idea.

 

And then over a rather good bit of chilli (and red wine) we watched the BBC's dramatisation of Noah's Ark. That was some boat he built...

 

 

5 April 2015 (Sunday) - A Christening

 

 

I must have been tired last night; my alarm woke me this morning. Whilst not a regular occurrence, it's nowhere near as rare as once it was.

We got up, scoffed hot cross buns for brekkie, put on our glad rags and set off to church (!)

 

Back in the day (in the early 80s) I'd seen the light and was a regular church-goer. During my stay in Folkestone (Sept 1983 - June 1985) we went to church weekly at St Andrew's Methodist Church in Cheriton. Now twenty years later by one of those odd quirks of fate one of my oldest friends (and Godmother of both fruits of my loin) is superintendent minister of Folkestone (the Methodist equivalent of Bishop) and is the minister at St Andrews. We went to St Andrews today where Rev Sam christened Baby Jake.

All of the family assembled for the service, and a lot of friends too. Everyone had their best finery. The service was really good; cheerful, inspiring and uplifting. The only fly in the ointment was that Baby Jake screamed through the entire show. But seeing how he was being christened it was his show to scream through.

Ironically he shut up and went to sleep just as we all recited the final "Amen".

 

After the service there was tea and coffee for all the church-goers. "My Boy TM" led a contingent to the nearby pub. Seeing how the contingent included my brother, father, father-in-law, assorted nephews and an acquired daughter I thought it would be rude to let them wander off unsupervised; they might not find the pub.

Whilst there we were joined by the Rev who had a crafty half with us. It was really good to catch up.

 

We then went back to the church hall. Most of the congregants had disappeared to wherever it is that church-goers go when not going to church. We then had a rather good post-christening lunch. Actually it was extremely good. I for one scoffed far too much.

It was a shame that not everyone was able to stay for food. A lot of people had come a long way to the christening and needed to get back home; others had other committments for the afternoon (including other christenings). One had left a boyfriend in the car. There's no denying that we'd catered for too many people; but such is life.

But personally when putting on a spread I like to see two things hapen. Firstly I like to see people tucking in (they did) and secondly I like to see stuff left over (there was). Some see that as waste; it is to an extent, but food left over means that everyone has eaten their fill. Everyone has been fed; and no one is going home hungry.

No one went home hungry today.

 

We tidied the church hall, closed the place up and having delivered the star of the show home we came home ourselves. I uploaded a few photos of the day, and we then took "Furry Face TM" round the park and on to Singleton Lake for a walk. On the way he played nicely with a labrador and terrorised another Patagonian Tripe Hound; a baby one which was only nine weeks old.

 

Once home I showered and then spent a little while listening to the nutty neighbours ranting before making a rather good dinner out of left over gateau and cream. So much for the diet...

 

 

6 April 2015 (Easter Monday) – Leigh

 

 

I woke feeling rather rough. This bug is certainly taking its toll. I checked out the Internet over brekkie to see that not a lot had changed overnight

 

We collected "Gordon Tracy" and set off for deepest Surrey for today's geo-mission. Every week when we go on these walks we invite loads of people, but for all sorts of reasons people are often busy, or have done the walk before. Today was different; a lot of people were free. Fifteen of us (and three dogs) met up in Leigh. We didn't take long to boot and gaiter up, and soon we were off on a geo-stroll. We found the first two caches without incident, but at the third cache we suddenly realised one of our number was missing. Having just been loudly announcing that I liked going caching mob-handed because the crowds act as a magnet to Fudge it was only to be expected that it was my dog that had vanished. I eventually found him down a hole two fields away. He got seriously "crumpled at" for that.

 

As we walked there was one cache that I could see from ten yards away. However those ten yards were "up"; and we had a very entertaining ten minutes getting everyone on top of a nearby pill box to get to the cache.

 

Half way round (after conceding defeat and loggng one DNF) we took a little detour for a church micro and some lunch. Again my dog disgraced me. To see him looking at the other picnic-ers you would thnk I hadn't fed him for six months.

Only one GPS unit was left behind (and that not for long), and just as we were coming to the end of the walk I had a close encounter with a deer. He was too quick for me to photograph though.

Our last cache of the walk was Church Micro #3. There's thousands of caches in a nationwide series associated with churches. The one up the road from me is #1967. We ended our walk today at #3.

And having said our goodbyes four of us then went on to the Holy of Holies; Church Micro #1. There's no denying I was expecting something akin to St Peter's Basilica; I wasn't disappointed.

 

I took over fifty photos today. I've put them on-line. It was a good walk today; and I really liked going mob-handed. I hope we can do that more often...

 

 

7 April 2015 (Tuesday) - Not Much Happened

 

 

After a frankly awful night's sleep I was up and watching "Dad's Army" shortly after 6am. As I watch this show I've taken to watching what goes on in the background. It's quite surprising how whilst the main characters are doing the show, the minor characters and those in the background are quite blatently doing their own thing with no regard for the camera.

 

I set off to work shortly before 7am, and was delayed by ten minutes whilst I scraped the ice off of the car. I thought we were too late into the year to still be having an icy car; I was wrong about that. I then had a rather slow drive to work; really thick fog today.

As I drove to work the pundts on the radio were talking about the latest election pledges from both of the major parties. Both are promising various flavours of more access to GP surgeries in evenings and weekends.

It amazes me how the media take no responsibility for the current state of the NHS. Having spent so long trying to find fault and assign blame and hound anyone and everyone associated with healthcare in the UK and seemingly deliberately fostering an atmosphere of permanent witch-hunt, the same media is desperately tring to ignore the fact that it's become rather difficult to staff a service in which there are nowhere near enough workers.

 

As I so often do I stopped off at Morrisons. I had a better time there this morning than I did last week, and then went on to work. I'm now back onto daytime shifts for a few weeks. I much prefer the night work.

At lunchtime I saxed. Despite the cold start the weather today was glorious. As I saxed in the car park so quite a lot of other people were sitting in their cars all pretending not to be watching me. I suppose if some odd chap was randomly playing a saxophone (rather badly) I'd be tempted to stare as well.

 

Being on the early shift meant for an early finish. The option of getting out of work early was completely wasted by sitting in queuing traffic. The journey into work this morning took forty minuutes; the trip home took nearly an hour and a half. And I had teh air-con going too.

Once home I took "Furry Face TM" round the park. On the way we met an ex-colleague and we chatted for a bit. We met a girl labrador and the nice lady with the girl labrador got quite shirty with me about what she claimed my dog was doing to her dog. I had to explain that despite his enthusiasm my little dog couldn't actually reach.

 

As we came through the co-op field we saw something unusual; a gang of kids were climbing a tree. It's a tree I've often looked at myself. Generally these days kids don't climb trees. I felt glad that this bunch were doing so.

Being Tuesday the clans gathered; today at Somerset Road. We had three rounds of ChromeCast quiz and then after scoffing biccies we watched "The Zoom Zoom Show". "The Flash" is quite entertaining, but it's one of those shows in that once you've seen one episode you've pretty much seen them all.

 

And having announced she's getting married, "Daddies Little Angel TM" wants my telephone.

 

 

8 April 2015 (Wednesday) - Car Wash

 

 

I was sleeping like a log when a certain dog declared "Red Alert". I wish I knew what it was that possesses him to have woofing fits in the middle of the night. I didn't really get back to sleep after that. I finally got up shortly before 7.30am feeling as though I hadn't slept at all.

Over brekkie I checked out the Internet (once I'd got the thing working). Little had changed in social media overnight which was for the best. I did see that plans were afoot for the May county geo-meet. A series of geocaches was being planned for that meet. It's a trivial little point but one that winds me up. The rules say that I can't put out new geocaches for a geo-meet that I am running. I've been told that by those who enforce the rules. The same enforcers don't seem to have any problems with anyone else putting out new caches for their geo-meets. It's only me that's not allowed.

 

I took "Furry Face TM" round the park for his morning walk. As we walked he got told off by a poodle. That seems to be happening more and more these days.

I tried to post a photo as we went but to no avail. The mobile broadband service I get isn't reliable. Neither is the home broadband. Both work or don't work seemingly at random. I phoned to complain and got fobbed off, so I told them that I was giving them formal notice that they were in breach of contract by not providing the service I'm paying for and consequently I can leave them at any time I choose.

They didn't care.

 

I came home and decided that I'd done enough sulking for the day; it was only 9.30am and I'd done nothing but whinge over trivia all morning. So having forced an idiot grin onto my chops I set the washing machine loose on my smalls and set off to work. Before I left I checked the BBC's travel news. There was no mention of the road works which delayed me yesterday. I had been considering a ten mile detour to avoid road works on one of the county's busiest roads but I trusted the BBC.

 

I spent a couple of minutes re-loading the dustbin bags as I left the house. The local cats do love to rip them open. I have no qualms about my dog woofing in the night when the local cats are so feral.

I took the newly-filled bags off with me and got to the car to find even more seagull crap encrusting the thing. So I went off to the Polish car wash. It was just the teensiest bit misleading to see a sign up advertising "Car Wash £6" and then to be asked for ten quid, but I wasn't going to argue with a gaggle of muscle-bound young lads. And they did make a good job of my car. It is clean for once.

 

Then it was on to the tip to get rid of bags of rubbish (rather than letting the cats have another go at them). What could have been a thirty second job took far longer because of the rather self-centred parking of my fellow unloaders of rubbish. But such is life. I didn't have to wait too long I suppose; I just wanted to get in and out quicker than everyone else, and was just jealous that everyone else had the same idea and had beaten me to it.

 

As I drove to work I found that the road works that had held me up yesterday were still there despite what the BBC's travel news said. And there was another set of the things as well just down the road from the first lot. Neither had been listed on the BBC's travel news alerts.

I was rather disappointed to have been let down by the BBC; it's rarely failed me before.

 

Once at work I did my bit. I was still feeling a little under the weather. This cold has really dragged on. I wonder if it's actually a mild form of 'flu, or whether I'm just getting old. And talking of the weather, the weather was rather good at lunchtime; ideal for blowing a saxophone in a car park. Being on the late shift I was having my lunch hour at about the time when a lot of the part time people were going home. It never fails to amaze me how many people parked within ten yards of the car park exit feel the need to make a several hundred yard circuit of the car park just to have a nosey at the saxophonist in the far corner.

 

And in closing my geo-app map circuit has died. I'm hoping not permanently. If it has then that's it for geocaching for me. OS stands for "Ordnance Survey"; not "Old Shit".

Mind you it's filled three years. Time for a new hobby with which to waste my time perhaps?

 

 

9 April 2015 (Thursday) - This n That

 

 

I had a terrible night's sleep. I blame my dog. When he sleeps at the foot of the bed all is fine. When he decides to try to push me out of the bed then that's a different matter. Perhaps he should start spending the night in his basket?

 

Over brekkie I watched the latest episode of "Raised by Wolves" in which Grampy refused to watch "In the Night Garden" and baby Maria got her revenge by filling Grampy's pockets with custard. Aretha then helped Germaine out of the closet.

The show is actually much better than it sounds.

 

The morning's haul of emails included one from St Helena asking me to reconsider my decision not to spend a year on a rock in the South Atlantic. I must admit part of me is still tempted to take a sabbatical.

 

I then had another look at my geo-map problem. Perhaps I've been spoiled by having the (perhaps illicit) use of decent maps for a couple of years. I've figured out how to get the use of OpenStreetMaps. I suppose I should make the most of these maps; everyone else seems to manage. But then from discussions I've had it would seem that few people can actually read what I would call a "proper map"; most people are happy to have an arrow pointing in a certain direction and blindly follow it. Unfortunately I am not. Given a decent map I can see hills and valleys, churches and windmills, all sorts of features to help me find my way around. I've often said that so many people seem to make hard work out of geocaching; without a functional map I'm beginning to see why this is the case.

I shall give OpenStreetMaps a go before I dismiss them out of hand; but with no contours or landmarks and only a fraction of the detail shown on a "proper map" I can't see them working for me.

 

As I drove to work through thick fog the news wound me up. There are plans to replace the UK's nuclear-capable submarines. Apparently with 17000 nuclear weapons in the world it is vital that the UK have a nuclear deterrent. As a lad I was a member of the campaign for nuclear disarmament. At the time the whole argument for having nukes seemed daft. And it still is today. The whole concept of a nuclear weapon being a deterrent didn't deterred the attack on the New York Trade Centre in 2001, or the July attack on London, nor does it deter anything at all, as evidenced by the ongoing war against terrorism. If Islamic State were *really* a concern, why not nuke them? Environmental concerns because nukes are so bloody dangerous? Then why have nukes at all?

 

I got to work, and whilst there did several wet ones (it's a serological thing) and then over lunch practiced my saxophone. "Moon River" doesn't sound at all like a wet one any more. Talking of sax, I didn't have sax practice tonight; the music school was closed for Easter. Instead we had our walk round the park rather earlier than we might have, and "Furry Face TM" got told off for being willful. Some times that dog can be a handful.

 

Once home the postman had been. Our new router has arrived. It plumbed in reasonably easily but the ChromeCast seems to be having issues. Nothing ever is straightforward, is it?

 

 

10 April 2015 (Friday) - Being Served?

 

 

I wasn't feeling quite one hundred per cent last night. Perhaps that's why I slept right through until the alarm this morning. I woke, abluted and used the last three slices of bread; two for sandwiches and only one for toast. A hungry brekkie, but probably not as hungry as ‘er indoors TM   would have had after me.

As I scoffed toast I watched telly. I'd recorded episodes of "Are You Being Served" onto the SkyPlus box; during the week BBC2 has been having a Lame-o-thon in the afternoons. You can't beat rubbish 1970s sit-coms. Mrs Slocombe had been having problems; her corsets had been down all week (woof!).

 

I set off to work; as I drove the news wasn't especially inspiring. The pundits were broadcasting an election special from Thetford near Cambridge (of all places) where there seems to be issues with immigrant workers. There was an interesting interview with potential UKIP voters. The locals are all for UKIP; wanting to send them all back on the next banana boat. And if the next banana boat doesn't come soon enough there were plenty prepared to pay for one out of their own pocket.

There was then an interview with a local grower of asparagus who employs loads of immigrant workers for the simple reason that the locals do not want to work on his farm. As he said, what is he supposed to do when he advertises a job and no one applies? There were then interviews with other local employers who said much the same.

 

The pundits then totally contradicted themselves by saying on the one hand that the Tories smear campaign against the Labour party leader has actually backfired because the masses don't like name calling which is putting the Labour party ahead in the polls, and then on the other hand they went on to say that the Labour party faces wipeout in Scotland.

The whole Scotland thing amazes me. How can the Scottish nationalists be doing so well having been comprehensively defeated in the recent independence referendum?

 

I got to work, did the bare minimum, and finding myself bored with my current sax homework I had a crack at “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” which came out a lot better than it might have done.

 

And with  ‘er indoors TM  off flogging candles I’m about to catch on on TV viewing. I’m behind with “Gotham”, “Extant” and “Poldark”. I’ve also got shirts to iron and a new ironing board on which to iron them.

Never a dull moment…

 

 

11 April 2015 (Saturday) – Newhaven

 

 

I didn't sleep well; with "Furry Face TM" off staying with "My Boy TM" the house seemed empty. Luke Warm soon arrived; we collected Gordon Tracy and set off to Newhaven where we'd agreed to meet Dave and Richard. As we arrived so it started to rain. But with utter confidence in the BBC's weather forecasting abilities we went into a nearby garden centrre confident in the knowledge that the rain would have stopped in the time it would take to have a cup of coffee and a bun. We had that cup of coffee and a bun, and went back outside to find the rain had indeed stopped.

 

We set off up to the South Downs and went for a little wander. The trouble with the South Downs is that the name is only half correct. For every bit of "Down" there is a corresponding bit of "Up"; but it was certainly worth it for the views.

We set off on a little geo-trail based on the constelation Orion; and after a couple of hours we then adjourned to the nearby Hampton Arms. I had a rather good ham ploughman's washed down by a couple of pints of ale. We then went for another little stroll not far from the wonderfully named hamlet of Tarring Neville, and then on to the top of Stanmer Park.

 

Finally "walked out" we came to Dave & Tracy's. Tracy hadn't come walking with us; instead she had excelled herself in the kitchen. A wonderful cottage pie was followed by one of the best desserts I've ever had.

 

A day's walking, excellent dinner with wonderful company, three pints of stout and far too much port took its toll. I was soon fast asleep

 

 

12 April 2015 (Sunday) - The PuCK Butterfly Series

 

 

I was very comfortable in the caravan last night but I didn't sleeep well. The reason - entirely my own silly fault. I whinge so much about my CPAP machine but for all that when I am wearing it I feel like an old man on his death bed, it keeps me asleep. I'd left the thing at home, and consequently my sleep apnoea kept me awake. And when I'd finally dozed off, the alarm on my phone that I'd forgotten to turn off woke me.

 

I got up and it wasn't long before everyone else was up as well. Dave provided some rather good coffee and Tracy gave us bacon rolls which we all scoffed. We then drove up to Ditchling Beacon where nine of us met up to do the PuCK Butterfly geo-series.

The PuCK Butterfly geo-series is something I've been working on for some time. It consists of thirty geo-puzzles supposedly designed for children. I must admit that although I solved all tthe puzzles I found them difficult (and I've got post-graduate qualifications). But I'm not complaining; an easy puzzle is no challenge.

 

It was windy as we started walking; but we were at one of the highest points in Sussex. Last week one of our number had had a miishap with barbed wire and I had openly laughed. Today karma came into play with a vengence as I too ripped my trousers open; and for good measure I took a serious tumble skidding in (and getting smeared with) fresh cow poo.

As the day went on I also twisted my ankle as my knee bend backwards as my foot went down a rabbit hole.

 

We had a good walk; as we went people found milestone caches. At one point we had a joint 500th/1500th find. I especially liked the route; it's not offten that you find a route where you can look back and see where you were several miles previously. As we made our way back to the car park we could hear something noisy. The local bonfire society was practicing their drumming. We all found ourselves whistling along to The Souceror's Apprentice.

And once at the car park it was good to discover an ice cream van; even if Dave's cone did collapse.

 

Before we'd set out we'd done our homework. Reports of how long the walk would take varied. Some claimed the walk could be done in four hours; others said they'd taken eleven hours to get round. In the end we took just over five hours to do the walk. That would have been shorter had we not diverted off to pick up a couple of other caches and had we parked at the recommended spot. However the instructions did say that the recommended spot only had space for two or three cars. Our party had five cars.

As we walked past I think we could all have comfortably parked there.

 

There was a geo-meet we could have gone to this evening; instead we came straight back to Ashford. We collected "Furry Face TM" who had apparently been a very good dog. Once home I soon uploaded a couple of photos I'd taken over the weekend and then had a rather good bit of curry for tea.

Early night I think - I ache...

 

 

13 April 2015 (Monday) - "Fetch"

 

 

I slept rather well, but was still awake by 6am. There is usually rubbish to be watched on the SkyPlus box, and so I watched "Dad's Army" and "Are You Being Served" in which Mr Mash had something to stick up Mrs Slocombe's corsets. Like Corporal Jonnes, Mrs Slocombe didn't like it up 'er either.

 

I set off to work; I listened to the radio as I drove. Hillary Clinton is hoping to become the next President of the United States. She's sixty seven years old. She must be mad. I'm nearly twenty years younger than her and I'm ready to retire.

I stopped off at Morrisons to get fruit. I also got jam and marmalade as we seemed to be getting short of the stuff.

 

Once at work I spent more time organising my rota than I did on anything else. Swapping night shifts isn't as straightforward as you might think.

At lunchtime I had a blow on my sax. A sound which has progressively been geetting worse and worse was improved beyond all recognition by replacing the reed. Reeds cost pence and are supposed to last for a few weeks. Being an old meanie I'd made one last for about three months. I should have thrown it ages ago.

Mind you I'm still struggling with a dodgy triplet on a bridge over troubled water,

 

I came home to find we'd actually got plenty of jam aand marmalade and also to find a letter from the people who'd recently fitted the new back door. Apparently I needed a form of planning permission to have a new back door, but because the buch who fitted the door are a fenestration self assessment registered authority all is well and they've done the legal stuff for me. (You couldn't make this crap up, could you?)

 

I then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. Just lately on our walks he's been asking for a ball to play with. We took a ball. I threw it. He ran after it and tried to eat it. He then carried the ball for much of the rest of our walk. I actually got to throw it about half a dozen times. He'd rather chew it and carry it than actually play "fetch".

 

My phone pinged. Was I going to this weekend's geo-meet? Could I help with a gaggle of scouts who are doing some geocaching before the meet?

It's been a while since I was involved with scouting. I'll give it a go....

 

The new series of "Game of Thrones" starts in a few minutes. i wonder if nudey-dragon-girl will get her kit off again. Here's hoping...

 

 

14 April 2015 (Tuesday) - An Inspiration (Me, That Is!)

 

 

 

Last night saw the start of the new series of "Game of Thrones". I've watched the previous four seasons in quick succession so at the time I didn't have time to forget what had happened in the previous episodes. But that was some time ago. I can remember that it started slowly, got good and the fourth season dragged somewhat. Last night's first episode of the fifth season was... well, I suppose if I could remember what had happened in the previous four seasons then I might have liked last night's episode rather more than I did.

There's no denying that after twenty minutes I was only watching out of a sense of hoping that "nudey dragon-girl" would get her kit off. In fact she did get her kit off; but "they" did not get "flopped out". Let us hope that this isn't a harbinger of disappointments to come.

 

I got up, cut myself shaving and then over brekkie watched "Raised by Wolves" inwhich the kids were tricked into watching war films by being told that they were just like Star Wars. Hitler was Darth Vader and Churchill was R2D2, and the fact that there was no Harrison Ford was a sad lesson in life. As a reward for watching war films the kids were allowed to watch Watership Down and they got into an argument about which one was the sexiest rabbit.

 

I set off to work. I took the time to wipe the condensation from the windows of my car, then was nearly run off the road by some elderly fool who had not. He wound down his window and was very apologetic about the matter until I suggested he wiped his windows so he could see out of them.

He then got rather abusive.

 

As I drove there was an interview with the country's only Green Party MP. To hear her speak was interesting. In broad principle she sounded just like the Labour Party of the early 1980s who (at the time) seemed to be making great effort to make themselves unelectable.

Apparently the Green Party is currently going through an upsurge in popularity and in the opinion polls. Listening to the drivel spouted this morning I can't help but wonder why. The most convincing reason I've ever heard anyone give for voting Green is that they are a friend of the local candidate.

 

I got to work, did a little, then at lunchtime had a sax practice in the car park as I do. I feel my tunes are recognisable, but then I know what they are supposed to be. I wonder if all the people who also spend their lunch breaks lurking in the car park recognise the tunes. Personally if there was some bald twit strangling a saxophone in a car park I'd park elsewhere. But there seem to be plenty of people who find me fascinating to watch. I suppose it livens up an otherwise dull part of the day.

Mind you today of of those people came over and told me that she likes listening to my music every lunchtime, and told me that I was an inspiration.

That was nice.

 

Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for his walk. Some of hiis walks are dull; others not so. Today's was quite fun really. Despite a bad start in which I mistakenly threw his ball in the river (and watched it sail away) things soon perked up with the advent of a gaggle of "Yummy Mummies" all of whom were wearing little more than a smile, and all of whom wanted to fuss my dog. After this we met the mad person dancing in the middle of the park to the strange music in his head.

 

And with "er indoors TM" off flogging candles I caught up on the backlog of recorded episodes of "Poldark". I think I shall have an early night now... feeling a bit tired...

 

 

15 April 2015 (Wednesday) - Tear-Jerking

 

 

After a reasonable night's sleep I got up and thought I'd give myself a haircut. For about fifteen years I've been using a set of Wahl hair trimmers but they finally gave up the ghost, and for Christmas "er indoors TM" got me a Babylis hair trimmer. At the risk of appearing ungrateful I hate the thing. It doesn't actually trim or cut anything, it just pulls the hair out. It hurts to use it; it's had a fair trial and if any of my loyal readers want the thing, it's yours.

 

Over brekkie I saw a new geocache had gone live near Appledore. They don't seem to appear as regularly locally as once they did so I thought I'd chase the First to Find. However being unprepared to charge out of the house at a moment's notice and then drive at breaknecck speed meant I was (yet again) beaten to the FTF by a few minutes.

Most (pretty much all) geocaches within fifteen miles of home are found within an hour of publication by the same team who seem happy to drop everything and run out of the house the very second a notificiation email appears. When I first started chasing the FTFs two years ago there were at least half a dozen people who would also chase after them. There was quite the element of the fun of the hunt. Now everyone else has given up chasing them and I too don't think I will bother any more.

 

As I drove to work for the late shft there was an interview on the radio about a chap who was composing music for Charlie Chaplin movies which are apparently having something of a resurgence.

I've never like Charlie Chaplin films; I've never liked Charlie Chaplin. Apparently over one hundred years ago he was the best of friends with a cousin of my grandmother. They were all living in the east end of London; all *very* poor. The young Chaplin was helped out and looked after by so many people. But when opportunity knocked he immediately turned his back on them all.

I'd like to think that if I were in his position I wouldn't. I wonder...

 

I got to work; I did my bit. At lunch time I went out to the car park to do my saxing. As I set up I saw there was a chap sitting on the car park's kerb about twenty yards from me. He looked rather morosse. As I started off with "Bridge Over Troubled Water" so he held his head in his hands. And when I played "Moon River" he started crying.

I cut my practice short and went inside. Quickly.

 

 

16 April 2015 (Thursday) – Stuff

 

 

I suppose "Furry Face TM" should really spend the nights in his basket; but I don't really mind if he's quietly snoozing at the foot of the bed. But I can't say I'm happy with him walking all over me for much of the night

 

Over brekkie I watched the last episode of "Extant". the series started good, but didn't go anywhere for mnay episodes. In this last episode basically two thirds of a season's action happened in one episode. I hear there is to be a second season. I will probably not bother watching it.

 

I then spent a little while playing with a new toy. When geocaching I've been using the app NeonGeo for some time. It has one over-riding advantage over all other geocaching technology; the use of decent maps. A week or so ago something changed which meant that rather than having useful maps it has completely useless maps. Admittedly Open Source maps are "industry standard" in geocachical circles, however in map reading circles they are "crap". So a re-think of my geo-strategy is in order.

Most people seem to use dedicated GPS units. I *really* wish I knew why. Without going into tedious details the things seem to make hard work out of really simple tasks and they too generally have crappy maps. Everyone who I've asked hasn't come up with any reason that makes me want a GPS unit and I'm not going to spend hundreds of pounds on something which is a backward step.

I've found an app called Cachesense; I've been giving it a try and seeing how I get on. So far field trials seem to be going reasonably well.

 

As I drove to work there was an interview on the radio with the chap who was once the top boss of the NHS. He was concerned that none of the political parties seem to understand the problems facing the NHS which cannot be solved by simply throwing more money into a bottomless pit. His words summed up the fears of many: “So I think there’s a real danger here about shifting the responsibility for the total funding of the NHS from politicians whose responsibility it is to deliver the total amount of money for the NHS to the people who are trying to make the best of that resource in the service as a whole.”

Personally I suspect this is a deliberate decision by the politicians. Isn't this the entire basis of our political system at the moment. No politician seeks to solve a problem; instead they seek to assign blame to someone else.

 

I got to work a few minutes early and went for a little walk. I'd had a report that a geocache I'd hidden near work had gone missing. It hadn't. It was where it was supposed to be. I thought it would be; but it was a good opportunity to try out my new app to log an "Owner Maintenance"; which is often easier said than done.

 

As I practiced my saxophone at lunch time I felt I was being watched. I often get that sensation as I am often watched.

I looked up, and not twenty yards away was a vaguely oriental-looking chap who was contentedly dancing to the music I was making. I must admit I was rather worried. He seemed so engrossed it his dance that I was worried what his reaction might be when I stopped. Fortunately "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has several rests in the score, so I was able to experiment with dragging out the rests so he got used to breaks in the music.

Mind you he was *not* happy when I put my saxophone away at the end of lunch time.

Why is it that for everyone else a saxophone is a musical instrument whereas for me it is an idiot magnet?

 

 

17 April 2015 (Friday) - #wantmorekebab

 

 

After nearly a year on the CPAP machine there's no denying I sleep a lot better than I used to, but I stil sometimes have bad nights. I suppose most people do. Last night was a bad one. despite being rather late to bed I was still wide awake shortly after 4am, and (for want of anything better to do) up and solving geo-puzzles at 5am.

I then watched a little telly. "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" is always entertaining. Despite Billie Piper running round in the nip, today's installment was most memorable for the mobile phones. It's only when you see them on the telly that you realise how fast the technology moves on. The show was quite dated by the old Nokia phone.

And then seeing how it was still only 6.30am I put on an episode of "Are You Being Served" in which Mr Granger was lax with his timekeeping, and Captain Peacock squealed him up to Mr Rumbold.

 

As I drove to work I listened to the news. There was talk of the latest Star Wars film and even rumours of a new blockbuster Hollywood Doctor Who film. It rather saddened me that as a life-long sci-fi geek neither really enthused me. Star Wars was always lame, and Doctor Who has been done to death over the last few years.

There is so little sci-fi that is original; it's all re-makes.

 

I got petrol for the car; it was getting low. Co-incidentally there had been a discussion on the radio only a few minutes previously about how the falling international oil prices hadn't actually been reflected at the petrol pumps. Market forces go out the window where falling profits are concerned.

 

Work was work; and at lunchtime I had a disappointingly dull sax practice. No one called me an inspiration. No one cried. No one danced. I just make a noise and then went back to work for the afternoon.

 

I came home, got changed and went off for a night on the beer in Folkestone. Whilst waiting for Jason at the railway station I (quite literally) nearly bumped into who I am sure was Nigel Farage who arrogantly marched out of the station, surveyed the scene and drove off in a taxi.

By chance we mett Matt on the train, and bandied insults as we went to Folkestone Central. From there Jason found his first geocache and we wentt on to the Firkin for beer and cheese. Usually a really good place to drink; tonight it was heaving with the masses. We didn't stay long; we went on to Chambers where we met up with Stevey. Chambers bar is usually a good place for a drink; since when have they had door staff?

Our thhird port of call was the Guildhall. For years it has been on the Folkestone list; on our last visit the landlord told us he was retiring and new people were coming in March. As I was having a tiddle in their facilities a Dutch chap was whinging about how he didn't like the new owners. They seemed friendly enough to me.

Another pint and a pickled egg in Kipps, and then on for a kebab. There were soldiers of dubious gender in the kebab shop. Jimbo didn't want to mess with them; personally i would have been up for it.

 

As luck would have it we got the last train home with only a minute to spare.

#wantmorekebab

 

 

18 April 2015 (Saturday) - Herne Bay

 

 

I felt a little rough when I woke this morning. Can't imagine why. As I checked out the Internet over brekkie I saw that the New Horizons space probe has got the first colour photos of the planet Pluto. Quite impressive; if you are impressed by that sort of thing.

 

The phone rang. Andy and Kim had changed plans and would be coming with us today. We got ready, picked them up and set off to Herne where we met Mountie, Phoenix and the scouts for a little geo-session.

We didn't cache for long; only an hour. But it was fun. The scouts were real characters; Chloe had a proper scream when she thought a fake snail was a real one. And she wasn't impressed when a rather muddy "Furry Face TM" jumped up at her. The rest of the scouts were wonderful kids; fun and chatty. One was telling me all about his GPS unit; I told him about my phone.

I found half a dozen caches using my new app; it seemed to work reaonably well.

 

We then drove into Herne Bay where we met up with the rest of the geo-brigade. We had planned to meet up in the local Wetherspoons, but three days ago they cancelled our booking for no reason. if any of my loyal readers are in the Herne Bay area might I ask that you *don't* spend any money in a pub calleed the Saxon Shore; instead go in there and tell they why you are taking your money elsewhere.

But fifty or so of us met up on the beach. The Fruitcakes stood us some chips, Nick organised a barby, my dog ate too many scraps and was sick. Personally I love meeting up with like-minded people. The Followers of one of our friends made great fuss of our dog; I got soaked by a crashing wave. And I think I caught the sun just a little too.

 

After a couple of hours we wandered off to catch up with Kim and Andy and we set off home. Annoyingly I slept of most (all) of the way home. I hate that...

Once home I did the final part of the geo-farting-about with my new app and it again seemed fine. Mind you the thing had taken a lot of power and data out of the phone today so I spent two minutes setting it to off-line mode for tomorrow. Or that was the intention. Two minutes became two hours due to the inability of geocaching dot com to provide me with a .GPX file. "er indoors TM" and I did *exactly* the same things; she got a file; I did not.

I *think* the thing is rigged for off-line action toomorrow; we shall see... This could be a deal-breaker for CacheSense.

 

We then went round to Steve and Sarah's for a birthday Chinese. Very tasty. But you know you are getting old when most of the conversation is discussing mutual ailments and medications...

 

 

19 April 2015 (Sunday) – Trosley

 

 

I had a frankly awful night's sleep last night, wide awake with the guts ache at 3am. I blame far too much Chinese last night. I finally dozed off only to be woken by the alarm and a wet nose in my armpit. I got up feeling really ill with the world's worst hangover. A worse hangover from Doctor Pepper than from stout? Something odd here.

 

I spent a little while playing (fighting) with the CacheSense app on my tablet. What it does on my phone (without any problem) it won't do on the tablet. What is acheived by pressing a button doesn't happen the next time the same button is pressed. There is no sense to it; and cannot ask for help as the CacheSense forum has identified my email address as a malicious source and has rejected it. After an hour's frustration I got it working by pressing the same buttons I'd pressed in the first place. Very frustrating...

 

The original plan for the day had been a quiet one doing the family thing. But mid-week the option for a walk presented itself, and as time went on so I fancied a walk more and more.

We set off a little later than expected, but were soon at Trottiscliffe (pronounced Trosley!) country park car park which was the meeting point for today. We arrived to find a minor disaster; one of the tyres on the Moonstone2001mobile was flat. Fortunately it was only flat on the bottom and the problem was soon resolved.

 

Before long everyone was together and we all set off. We'd gone to Trosley where there were three geo-walks which (supposedly) could be combined into one big walk. Most of our number went along only intending to do one loop, but five of us (and two of the dogs) thought we might do all three walks.

In retrospect it was a rather ambitious plan; and bearing in mind that the car park would be locked at 8pm put a definate time scale on the day. It was when we realised that we'd only done twenty of the one hundred (and more) targetted geocaches in one third of the available time that we admitted we'd have to re-think the plan.

 

We had a rather good picnic lunch eaten sat on the steps to Trosley church. As we scoffed we chatted first with the vicar and then with the churchwarden; neither of whom seemed at all bothered about half a dozen of us (and two small dogs) picnicing on their steps.

Dave had a phone call; he'd not realised he was supposed to be at kite club committee. Woops.

We looked at the maps and revised our plans. By judiciously revising our route we could leave little series of geocaches which we could find in future walks. So we did that; and made our way back to the car park by a rather circuitous route. On the way we bumped into those who had started with us earlier in the day. We also found Coldrum Longbarrow; and spent a few moments having a look-see before making our very own shortbarrow.

 

We were right to have cut our route short; by the time we got back to the car we'd done over thirteen miles and it was past 5pm. It had been a good walk; and having only (!) found fifty-one geocaches we've plenty of scope for a return visit.

I think it's fair to say I'd given my new geo-app a serious workout today. It seems to do the trick, but off-line mapping and waypointing still need to be refined. In order to get the maps working I had to piggyback my tablet off of my mobile phone's wifi hotspot, which is all very well if you can do that sort of thing. Luckily I seem to be able to do so.

As I so often do, I took a few photos whilst we were out.

 

Once home "Furry Face TM" had his tea, took himself to his basket and slept like a log. I set the washing machine onto my smalls and watched some telly. I say "watched some telly"; the telly was churning out drivel. I didn't really take much notice; I was busy solving geo-puzzles for next weekend's geo-expedition until Poldark came on.

I do like Poldark. In tonight's episode Jud got the heave-ho for being pissed-up, and Miss Verity ran off with a sailor. Mr Francis got knobbled and spilled the beans on Captain Ross. Meanwhile wanton bosoms heaved in the general direction of Doctor Ennis, but things turned nasty when Karen's sordid secret was uncovered..

Some people have all the luck.

 

 

20 April 2015 (Monday) – Stuff

 

 

I wasn't feeling quite one hundred per cent on Saturday and following that with a rather strenuous walk yesterday I slept like a log last night; finally waking just before the alarm. I woke to find I was cuddling my dog as though he were a teddy bear. He really should spend the night in his basket.

He actually took himself to his basket as I had my brekkie, and he snored whilst I watched "Dad's Army". Today's episode was lamer than usual; and that took some doing.

 

As I drove to work one of the leading lights in the Scottish Nationalist party was being interviewed. It was amazing how he flatly refused to answer a straight question despite having been repeatedly asked that question. I suppose it's what politicians do. And we keep electing them.

 

I stopped off at Morrisons for some shopping. There was one manned till open and there were half a dozen people queuing up the aisles to be served to be served. The self-service checkouts were deserted. I went to the self-service checkouts and on the third attempt found one that worked. I got myself a couple of shopping bags ready to fill, and the sour-faced harridan charged with overseeing the self-service area promptly tidied them away from me. I made the observation that it speaks volumes the people would rather queue for fifteen minutes than use the self-service machines that don't work. Sour-faced harridan launched a bitter tirade at me. I'm tempted to put in another formal complaint to the store's head office. It might get me another money-off voucher.

As I drove away I realised I'd not got the drain unblocking juice I went in to get.

 

I got to work a few minutes early, and sat in the rest room for a bit. Breakfast TV was playing an article about low self esteem in women. Having comprehensively attacked the cosmetics industry they then had a commercial break filled with adverts for every form of make-up known to science.

 

The weather was particularly good today; very warm as I had my lunchtime sax practice. As I made a noise two rather fierce-looking car park attendants came over and glared at my parking permit for ten minutes. Neither actually said anything but I could see they were itching to find some fault. Eventually they wandered off to bother someone else and I carried on making my noises.

 

Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. As we walked so many other dog walkers greeted my dog by name. How does everyone else know his name? He then ran up to a group of young girls who were cooing about how sweet he was. He got to within two feet of them, stopped, squatted, and poured out a generous quantity of dire-rear. Charming. Who'd have a dog?

 

After tea "er indoors TM" set off bowling and I firstly sorted my undercrackers then ironed shirts. This was rather dull, but with dull domesticity done I watched telly. Gotham and Game of Thrones - and I stayed awake for the lot.

 

 

21 April 2015 (Tuesday) - B.O.G.O.F.

 

 

I again woke just before the alarm to find I was cuddling my dog as though he were a teddy bear. This is becoming something of a habit. It's not very macho, is it?

 

Overnight the bathroom plughole seemed to have unblocked itself. This is one small mercy for which I shall be grateful. On the flip side the drain of the dishwasher has bunged up. God gives with one hand and slaps with the other.

I then had brekkie. As I scoffed it I watched the last episode of "Raised by Wolves"; it's a shame this has come to an end. Today's episode featured music by Sparks which made it especially good.

I then watched an episode of "Are You Being Served" in which Mr Granger had a cob-on because Captain Peacock had been awarded the key to the executive washroom. Quality stuff.

 

I drove to work; I listened to the radio. There was more news of the terrible loss of life when the boat load of refugees sank in the Mediterranean. Nearly a thousand people died. But I can't help but feel that the Italian government has a point when they say that sending out naval patrols to rescue the refugees just encourages them to make the dangerous journey in the first place. If the political climate is against taking in endless amounts of refugees, the obvious answer is to put a naval blockade on the coast of Libya. Arrest any ships full of migrants; take them back to the coast of Libya and offload the refugees then scuttle the ships.

Or sort out why they are fleeing in the first place.... but that has been tried before.

 

Former Prime Minister John Major was talking sense. It looks like the upcoming General Election will end up with the Labour party trying to form a minority government. And in order to do so they will be beholden to the Scottish Nationalists which can't be a good thing for anyone but Scottish Nationalists.

People wonder why I am against democracy.... we have a (effectively) minority interest party which represents about five per cent of the UK electorate which realistically has only one policy. There was a referendum about that policy only a few months ago in which the electorate comprehensively rejected it.

So how on Earth are the Scottish Nationalists currently looking set to effectively rule the UK?

 

I had a wry smile about the revelation that "Which" magazine is issuing a super-complaint to the advertising watchdogs. Its no secret that every supermarket has deals and bargains. Only yesterday the washing powder I bought was at half price. That offer was straight-forward. Other stuff was up for sale at buy-one-get-one-free rates, or three-for-the-price-of-two. I had to exert two seconds of thought to work out whether the offered bargain was actually a saving over other brands. However it is very easy to overlook the fact that I am actually a genius.

"Which" magazine has found that the average shopper is too stupid to work out just how much of a saving is being made in these deals and feels the supermarkets are using these deals to bamboozle the public.

How about rather than banning these deals, why not educate the public?

 

Bear in mind that in only a few short weeks these same stupid people who can't understand the economics of buy-one-get-one-free get to vote....

 

I got to work; I did my bit. The day was relatively uneventful; even the sax practicing passed off without incident. Mind you I did see several people having their lunch in their cars as I saxed. I suppose I ruined their lunch breaks.

 

Being on an early start I had an early finish and so we started our evening walk a little sooner than usual. Those few minutes made all the difference; we didn't see another dog at all on this evening's walk. Tonight I took a ball along and as we walked we played "Fetch" - the game where I throw the ball, my dog barks and runs off in a random direction and I then go and fetch the ball.

 

Being Tuesday the clans gathered at our house. We played ChromeCast and then I slept through "The Flash". It's a show which started well enough, but doesn't seem to be going anywhere...

 

 

22 April 2015 (Wednesday) - Magic Eye

 

 

Yesterday's unbunging of the dishwasher's outlet left me with a leaking dishwasher. Overnight I had a stroke of genius about how I might fix it, and when I got up I spent a little while putting that idea into action. I then set the dishawsher onto last night's mess to see how I'd done.

 

Over brekkie I saw I'd been invited to an event; all the local candidates for the upcoming election were taking part in an evening's arguing just up the road from home. I was rather surprised to see that it was happening this evening. I would like to have gone to that. However I do need time to organise shifts.

 

I then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park where we played "Fetch Doubles". In the past "Fetch" first started as me throwning the ball and my dog eating it. It then became me throwing and fetching the ball myself. The game has now evolved into one in which we both participate. In "Fetch Doubles" I throw the ball and "Furry Face TM" woofs loudly and chases after it. He then picks up the ball and runs off with it in any direction other than the one in which we are walking. After a hundred yards he then drops the ball and I go fetch it. We played this for over half an hour this morning, and he got quite vociferous when I stopped.

 

We came home to find my repairs (bodges) to the dishwasher seemed to have been successful so I set a second load to wash whilst I backed up some old blog entries and then failed to solve geo-puzzles. If any of my loyal readers can do "magic eye" pictures perhaps they might care to glance at this one here and tell me what they can see.

When I say " tell me what they can see" I'm hoping it starts with "N", then a string of digits, an "E" and then more digits. Please don't tell me you can see pink and grey splodges; I can see those for myself.

 

I set my PC doing a virus scan, and whilst it did its thing I watched more vintage comedy from Grace Brothers. "Are You Being Served" is a classic (or so I'm told). In today's episode Mr Lucas tried for sick leave having had an encounter with Mrs Plunkett from the cleaning department. Captain Peacock tried to get Miss Brahms to pull his cracker in the fitting room, and Mr Granger had the two bob bits. For no reason I could fathom Mrs Slocombe then threatened to have Mr Lucas in front of Mr Rumbold after a mishap in ladies underwear.

 

Mind you in all seriousness I was rather amazed when Mr Lucas was rather frisky with Mrs Fox (out of "Dads Army"). What was portrayed as family entertainment and comedy thirty years ago is today being punished as criminal behaviour...

 

And so to work. The initial plan for the day involved calling in to visit the baby in Folkestone but a complicated combination of circumstances conspired against that.

As I drove to work there was a tedious play about soldiers on the radio. So tedious that I turned it off and put on my Ivor Biggun album instead. I drove to Canterbury singing along to rude songs as I went.

 

I stopped off at the cheapo-bargains shop on the way. I've noticed that when I play variations of "Fetch" with my dog he doesn't always seem to see the ball very well. He seems to see the ball better when it's moving than when it is stationary. I've often wondered if he's colour-blind? With that in mind I thought I'd get a variety of coloured balls with which we might play. He might see different colours easier

The balls in the cheapo-bargains shop all smelled very strongly of dangerous chemicals; I didn't get any. Instead I got a packet of dark chocolate Rolos (which I'd never seen before), scoffed the lot in five minutes and gave myself a guts ache which lasted for the rest of the day...

 

 

23 April 2015 (Thursday) – Balls

 

 

I had a rather late night last night, and after only three and a half hours I was wide awake. That's not as common as once it was, but when it does happen it's a nuisance.

 

Over a very early brekkie I caught up with some of the stuff on the SkyPlus box. I started off with "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" in which Billie Piper flopped them out. It was quite entertaining if you like that sort of thing. I can't say I'm averse to it.

I then watched "Are You Being Served". In this episode Grace Brothers were having a German-themed week. More and more I find myself watching this show as a social commentary on the times in which it was made rather than for the show itself. Today's episode was rife with glorifying sexual harrassment which today would put the actors into prison. And the show gloried in xenophobia. How times have changed.

 

I set off to work early; I was on the early shift. As I drove I had a wry smile at the radio. Experts have announced that exercise is no way to lose weight. Apparently they have discovered that no matter how many miles you walk, no matter how many hours you spend in the gym, exercise is no substitute for not eating pies. The cake-hole remains far bigger than the arse-hole.

I've been saying that for years. The only way to successfully lose weight is to be constantly hungry. Thin peple are lucky that for them hunger doesn't hurt.

 

I got to work; I did my bit. I spent quite a bit of time in a reflective sort of mood. My job's not a bad one; but sometimes I wonder "what if".

I fell into my line of work having abandoned "A" levels half way through after a disastrous set of end of year exams. The reason they were disastrous was not that I was too thick; the reason was that as a lad my every waking hour was spent wrapped up with the Boys Brigade. Sometimes six days a week I'd be doing BB things.

Had I not put quite so much effort into what turned out to be a frankly dangerous religious trap (that I only narrowly escaped) I might have been the company director of bank manager that my best friends at the time ended up being.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not unhappy with my lot. But sometimes I wonder "what if".

 

At lunchtime I saxed; being somewhat sick of "Moon River" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" I only gave them a cursory once through in readiness for this evening's lesson. I then had a go at "Mull of Kintyre" and "Yesterday". They were in the song book, and neither seemed to involve too much fannying around with sharps.

I was quite pleased at my first attempts. It's a shame that "Mull of Kintyre" is in my top ten worst songs of all time; but you can't have everything. On the plus side at tonight's sax lsson teacher has assigned me "Yesterday" as part of this week's homework.

 

I'd gone to the music school via the pet shop to get some new tennis balls for my dog. After the lesson on tonight's dog walk we took a new ball with us; a pink one. My theory that he couldn't see the green balls very well seems to be a good theory. It was obvious he could see the pink ball better. It was only a shame that the pink ball lasted for four minutes before it was ripped open.

As we walked we went past a young family. The father pointed out my dog as being a sausage dog. I had to look away when father was corrected by his small child. The little boy patted my dog on his head and announced "No daddy. He's not a sausage dog. His name is Fudge and he's a Patagonian Tripe-Hound".

I don't remember that child but he clearly remembers me. Or (to be precise) he remembers my dog.

 

Yesterday I asked my loyal readers to have a look at a magic eye picture. I had this idea that I might get the co-ordinates for a geocache that way. Many thanks to everyon who went cross-eyed on my behalf... It was a good idea with only one drawback... I now have several sets of co-ordinates; all different. I wonder which set is correct...

 

 

24 April 2015 (Friday) - Astro Club

 

 

With the vagaries of my shift system this week involves working shorter shifts this week, but more of them. Most people work a five day week; I did it myself for years. I find it rather hard going; I much prefer working longer (but fewer) shifts. Unusually for me it was had work to get out of my pit this morning.

 

Over brekkie I watched the last episode of "Are You Being Served" that was on the SkyPlus box. Just lately I've mentioned this show several times and mentioned how it wouldn't get made nowadays. This morning I found myself comparing it to contemporary comedy. Last night we watched "Ballot Monkeys". Billed as a political comedy set on the campaign buses of the main parties as they battle their way through the chaos of the election campaign each show is still being written on the day of broadcast so that it is topical and on the cutting edge. However it is lacking one vital element from "Are You Being Served"; back in the1970s they made comedy shows which were actually funny.

 

As I drove to work I listened to the news. The news of the impeachment and dismissal of the mayor of Tower Hamlets made me think. It's been proved that as well as election rigging, corrupt and illegal methods ensured the chap's election to power.

There was an interview with one of the people who brought the case to court. Apparently all the local officials and relevant authorities knew the entire election had been rigged but no one was brave enough to speak out. The whole sorry mess was only brought to light by a brave few souls. The chap interviewed said he was glad to have proven the allegations in court; otherwise he would have been liable for court fees of about a million quid.

It makes me wonder how many other corrupt practices are going on in public life purely because decent people can't afford to put them right. Surely the fact that we have to pay for justice in the first place means we live in a corrupt society?

 

The news also carried the announcement that Chinese scientists have made the world's first genetically modified human embryos. They have apparently successfully replaced the gene which causes the horrible disease beta thalassaemia with one which does not. What they have done isn't technically that amazing; it's effectively been done before. The amazing thing in the story is that it's been done to humans.

Those who don't understand what has been done feel we shouldn't meddle in things that they don't understand. But realistically curing thalassaemia bet getting rid of the causative mutation is no different in principle to curing an infection by getting rid of the infecting microbe. Are antibiotics meddling with nature?

In a hundred years time will the Western world still be putting up with cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, Downs Syndrome and the like whilst the Chinese are not?

 

I got to work, went to put my sandwiches in the fridge and realised I'd left them at home. Woops! So part of my lunchtime was spent getting replacement sarnies before having a sax practice. I now have new homework. "Yesterday" is coming on nicely (apart from a tricky G-flat), but "A Whiter Shade of Pale" has a lot way to go before it skips a light fandango; let alone turning cartwheels.

 

With work done I set sail for McDonalds. The last Friday of the month is astro club, and prior to astro club is McScoff. The official food of astronomy (in some circles).

Astro club itself was good; as always. Good talks, good fun. We had an AGM; I was again elected treasurer for another year. We had cake and hot dogs.

And did you know the Hubble Space Telescope has now been in orbit for twenty five years?

 

 

25 April 2015 (Saturday) - Busy, Busy...

 

 

I woke far too early and having watched all of my pre-recorded rubbish on the SkyPlus box I watched a little "Toddlers and Tiaras" on the TLC channel. "Toddlers and Tiaras" is always fun; most of the children clearly don't want to be there; most of the parents are horrible people. One mother was forcing a fifteen month old child into beauty pageants; claiming the only reason she had a child was so she could force the child into beauty pageants.

Mind you I can't help but wonder how much of this is really "reality TV" and how much is scripted like any other soap opera.

 

I then walked up to the Stour Centre. The astro club was helping out with the British Astronomical Association's one day event they were holding in Ashford. I arrived a little early and met the woman from the B.A.A. I must admit I didn't really warm to her; and I can't help but feel that a roped-off half of a sports hall wasn't perhaps the best of venues. I wasn't impressed with the hand-torn half a sheet of A4 programmes for the day. And I did feel that as we were the club which was providing all the kit for the day, they could at the very least have got the name of our club right.

I helped set up, and when others arrived I said my goodbyes and went to the Gorge with Steve and Sarah for a spot of brekkie.

 

As I walked home I had a pleasant surprise. The lady walking toward me looked just like my aunt Jenny. And the people with her looked just like my aunt Sylv and my aunt Jean and cousin Helen. I've not seen them for ages. They were having a day out; it was good to catch up.

 

I then went to Chatham. Following a mix-up with dates for a geo-event I needed to speak with the organisers of the upcoming mega-event. I knew they would be at a CITO event so I popped up to have a word.

I hadn't planned on going to the CITO event. CITO stands for "Cache in Trash Out" and is supposed to be time spent tidying up an area of land. Fields, parks, woodlands.... I've been to two in the past and wasn't impressed with either. I had made a decision not to waste my time on any more CITO events; but as I was going to be there I thought I'd give it an hour of my time; it would have been rude not to have done so.

 

We were helping to tidy up Fort Luton today. It's the sort of place where I've been known to trespass in the past. An old Victorian fort. having been left to decay; it's currently in private ownership and is being slowly renovated. Thirty or so of us got stuck in today. Hedge trimming, paint stripping, pressure washing, painting general tidying all needed doing. I explained to the organisers that seeing how I was one of the older ones it was be nice if I could have one of the less physically demanding jobs. So I ended up on the gang that was putting in the fence posts; the most physically demanding job of the lot.

Mind you I'm not complaining; we had a great laugh. Especially when we realised four of the posts needed to be dug out and done again properly. As I said I only intended to make a flying visit; I was there for the duration of the event. There's talk of a return visit; I would be up for that.

 

I came home and walked my dog round the park. We took a pink tennis ball; he played nicely with it. And once home I played with a gpx file for my new geo-app. What was an hour's fight last week took five minutes today. And with "er indoors TM" off to film night I set about the monthly accounts. Could be better. I ironed shirts, then fell asleep whilst watching James Bond on ITV.

 

Today had looked set to be rather dull. It certainly wasn't...

 

 

26 April 2015 (Sunday) - Green Street Green

 

 

I slept like a log last night and woke a little while before the alarm went off. I really ached; I can't imagine why. I then wasted a few minutes trying to find what I'd done with a coat, then watched Bill Oddie presenting a documentary on velociraptors. Mr Oddie was surprised that pretty much everything that everyone knows about dinosaurs was actually made up in the imagination of the people who made "Jurassic Park".

I thought that was well known.

 

Being Sunday we did our usual Sunday geo-thing. We collected "Gordon Tracy" and set off; this time for Green Street Green. Green Street Green is a village in North Kent in the general area of Bromley. We arrived, and soon met Mr Moonstone (it's a geo-thing). Before finding our first geocache we failed on two others; not an auspicious start. But the rain eventually stopped and we had a really good walk.

 

We started off walking the GSG geo-series; mostly straight-forward geo-easy. About half way round we saw there was another little geo-loop. Since we were passing we thought we'd do that loop; it would only add half an hour to our day.

I should have done my homework better; that little geo-loop only had half a dozen caches but there were some really fiendish hides; some tree-climbing, and it took us to a HUGE redwood tree.

 

With our little geo-diversion done we got back onto the planned route. As we walked through the golf course we joked about how funny it would be if the dogs ran off with a golf ball. Suzy-pup then did just that. The golfers were really nice about it; but then with good reason. I am assured that the rules of golf allow for dogs; if a dog moves the ball it has to be played from where the dog drops it. Suzy-pup had carried the ball thirty yards from the rough onto the green.

 

As we walked on we had spectacular views of Canary Wharf, Crystal Palace and The Shard; and there's no denying I was starting to ache when we got back to the car after twelve miles of walking.

We'd set out hoping to find as many geocaches as we could; we found forty-three. There were three that eluded us; one for which we couldn't solve the puzzle, and one we could see but couldn't climb the slippery tree up which it had been put.

As always I took a few photos whilst we were out.

 

Once home we had a rather good but of curry for dinner and caught up with stuff recorded onto the SkyPlus box. Whilst my dog snored...

 

 

27 April 2015 (Monday) - This n That

 

 

What with an afternoon spent building fences on Saturday and a twelve mile hike yesterday I suppose it's hardly surprising that I ached (just a little) when I woke this morning.

My dog must have been aching too; he didn't stir from his basket as I scoffed my brekkie. As I scoffed I watched a vintage episode of Dad's Army in which our heroes were given the job of guarding telephone lines. It strck me as a rather made-up scenario; did the army *really* guard miles of phone lines during the war?

In the end Private Pike saved the day with his porridge. As one does.

 

As I drove to work I had the radio on. I heard the news that another classic is returning. (Sort of). The cinema at the Bluewater shopping centre is having an evening of Laurel and Hardy films in June to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Stan Laurel's birth. I'd be tempted to go up to it if I didn't have all their films on DVD.

I've always said that Oliver Hardy was the greatest comedian who ever lived.

I also heard that the Prime Minister is ecstatic that five thousand small businesses have signed a letter saying how wonderful the coalition government has been.

The pundits presenting this news then pointed out that in fact some five point two million small businesses were actually eligible to sign that letter. Five thousand signatures sounds really good; an uptake of one tenth of one per cent isn't quite so impressive.

I got to work and did some. At lunchtime I saxed. "Yesterday" seems to be going quite well. However I do seem to get out of breath towards the final tum-te-tum bits. I shall persevere.

And with work done I did a little shopping. Firstly to the vastly overpriced "Go Outdoors" for waterproofing for my walking shoes. And then to Argos for new hair trimmers.

A week or so ago I mentioned that Babylis hair trimmers don't cut; they just pull the hair out. Today I got a set of Wahl clippers. Reduced from forty quid to a tenner they did the job perfectly..

 

As I drove home there was a bunch of UKIP supporters waving at cars as they drove through Kennington. They all smiled sweetly at me; I gave them all (collectively, and individually) the two fingers.

If they are ardent UKIP supporters they are either incredibly stupid, or incredibly nasty. By their looks I think these ones were stupid ones.

 

I then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. The second pink tennis ball has lasted to its third day. And other than that there was really not a lot of note on our walk this evening; probably for the best.

 

With "er indoors TM" off bowling I settled myself in fromt of the telly for my Monday fix. "Gotham" and then "Game of Thrones". Apparently the actress who plays Nudey Dragon-Girl has become so famous she's now refusing to get her kit off any more.

There's no denying the show has suddenly lost a lot of its attraction... but what are hashtags for if not to bandy. #getyourkitoffdaenerystargaryen

 

 

28 April 2015 (Tuesday) - Before Work

 

 

I woke to find I was still aching after a rather physically exerting weekend. Mind you it didn't stop me speculating about another ambitious walk.

There is a series of geocaches in Essex which covers eighty-one miles. With some six hundred caches on the way it would be a serious undertaking. Over the last few months I have idly speculated on the possibility of doing these over a week. I'm not alone in these idle speculations. A little preparation needs to be done, but its (just) possible that this mission might go ahead. Five days of sixteen miles with four overnight stays in guest houses, hostels or even under canvas... could be done. If any of my loyal readers are up for this I'm provisionally looking at the end of July.

 

I took my dog for a quick walk. As always he didn't really look where he was going. Dogs don't understand cyclepaths, and he managed to crash two cyclists. Each time the poor cyclist was really good about it. Were it me coming off the bike because of a dog wandering amlessly I don't think I would have been so calm.

My dog only had mild altercaions with two other dogs today, which is an improvement on his usual average. And he's made another variation on the game of "Fetch"; in which he races the ball as I throw it. Invariably he wins the race, and keeps going.

 

I then drove down to Folkestone where I got lost delivering a birthday card to an address where I've been going to on a regular basis for at least ten years. Next I stopped off to spend a bit of time with my grandson. Despite having arranged to be calling, everyone was fast asleep when I arrived.

Littlun's growing; he can now crawl. I say "crawl" - he shimmies along on his tummy. And he farts on his old grandad too.

 

Just as I was leaving I checked my emails; a new geocache had gone live half way between where I was in Folkestone and where I was going to work. I thought I'd chase the First to Find (even though I've said I don't do that any more), but didn't get it. I arrived at the cache at the same time as another cacher. I got talking with him. He apologised that he'd not found many caches. Why do people apologise for that? How many caches people have found is a matter of the utmost triviality.... all the time I've found more (!)

Still it was a good trial for my new app. I think it's fair to say the new app on the tablet is a no-no purely because the tablet's GPS leaves a lot to be desired. But on the phone it's not too shabby at all.

 

And then to work....

 

 

29 April 2015 (Wednesday) - Not At Work

 

 

I woke to find my left arm was cold. It was out of the bed and holding my dog's paw. I suppose the only good thing about his is that the dog is still outside the bed. He needs to spend the nights in his basket.

 

I got up and checked the Internet; not much had happened, so I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We did our usual circuit of Bowens Field, Viccie Park and the Co-op field. As we went he bullied a chihuahua and attempted fornication on a nondescript fluffy brown dog. I tried playing "Fetch"; It wasn't a success. It rarely is. Today's variation in the theme involved woofing at the ball when I threw it, then letting me fetch it..

 

I came home to find "My Boy TM" poised like a coiled spring. I'd co-opted him to help with the heavy lifting. Or not so much "help" as "do it all". With his help we got the job done in less than an hour; on my own I would have taken all morning to fetch and carry.

I then had a visit from some chap canvassing for the Conservative party. He was canvassing for the candidate in the local election rather than the general election. I didn't even know we were having local elections.

I must admit that his main reason for voting for his candidatre was rather weak; apparently she's lived locally for longer than the Labour candidate. He was surprisingly likeable; and we had a good discussion for fifteen minutes. At the end we both agreed that it made a change to be able to seriously disagree without falling out, and we shook hands before he went on his way.

If more people could do that the world would be a better place. Even if they did vote Conservative.

 

I then went up the road to the corner shop to get a sandwich for lunch. There were several people in the shop chatting about the news that the local church is going to close. The news came from the chap who's uncle is the bell ringer so it is from an unimpeachable source (!)

With lunch scoffed I set about washing and ironing; it is traditional for my days off to do laundry. As I worked I watched Stephen King's "The Stand" which I'd recorded onto the SkyPlus box some time ago. And I then spent a few minutes seriously getting to grips with my new geo-app. I've been getting cross with its shortcomings over the last couple of weeks. Desperate times called for desperate measures so I bit the bullet and read the instructions. I can now do pretty much all that I could (legally) on the old app. Or (to be precise) I know the theory. I shall have to test that theory...

 

 

30 April 2015 (Thursday) - Off to the Mega

 

 

The day started much as any other; we had a dog walk in which Fudge only fought with one other dog; he did however crash a cyclist.

 

The Rear Admiral arrived a few minutes late; having had a minor episode in Tesco's (Apparently these things happen from time to time). We collected Tony and set off for the Hop Farm in Paddock Wood where we were camping for the weekend.

We knew we'd be arriving early; normally check-in is after 9am but we'd arranged with the nice lady that we'd be there early. Unfortunately we were met by the sour-faced misery-guts who made great effort to put on a show of deliberately ignoring us until the nice lady arrived.

 

Eventually we got checked in and set up camp on a very windy morning. So windy that my tent ripped (a little). But "er indoors TM" was soon on hand with tent repair kit. And a spare sleeping bag for one of our number who'd forgotten to bring one.

 

With camp set up we opened the home brew. Not too shabby at all (!) An evening meal of chicken carbonarra went down very well, and I particularly liked the fact that being on an organised camp site meant that there were proper washing-up facilities in which I could do my thing

 

As the evening wore on so other friends came to visit, and the beer flowed freely. A fire pit appeared, as did port and cheese, and it all became very vague...