1 April 2016 (Friday) - Before the Night Shift

 

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My little dog spent the entire night downstairs on the sofa last night. I wonder what that was all about. Perhaps he was sulking about having been forced to walk through all that mud yesterday? Perhaps he was tired after walking through all that mud yesterday? He came and sat with me as I scoffed my toast, and he was snoring noisily within minutes. Perhpas yesterday *was* a bit too much for him?

With my dog's chin on my left hand I spent a few minutes perusing the geo-map making vague plans for future outings. If I don't plan, nothing will happen...

I've an idea to go on a ghost-hunt round the City of London; I've spotted eleven of them in the area.

I also toyed with the idea of spending a day doing geo-selfies on webcam caches. That's not going to be quite so easy; there are only twelve in the country and I've already done five of them. The closest to home that I could go for is only two hundred and thirty miles away in Leeds. There are another two a little way on from there in Liverpool. Maybe a road trip later in the year?

 

I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for a little walk. We went round to Newtown to meet "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". They had an appointment in town so we walked into town with them, then came home via the post office. I had a parcel to collect.

I've ranted about Ashford's sorting office before. Today they were just as I have found them to be in the past; surly and un-cooperative. But I got my parcel from them. Eventually.

 

We came home and I mowed the lawn. Just a cursory haircut but I worked up quite a sweat. As I went for a quick shower I noticed the central heating was still on. Not only had I not changed the clock on the timer when British summertime started last weekend, but the timer was on for too long anyway.

I made some adjustments to the thing. That might save a bob or two in the long run.

 

Last night I saw that I'd missed something new on the telly. Many years ago I read an Arthur C Clarke book called "Childhood's End". It was rather good; and it had been made in to a TV series. No one told me... However through the wonders of catch-up TV I was able to download the series. I watched the first episode over lunch. It was quite good.

 

I spent the afternoon asleep. Or as asleep as I could be with Fudge constantly declaring "Red Alert" for no reasons that I could fathom. I gave up trying to sleep shortly after 4pm and watched the second episode of "Childhood's End" instead.

Ironically a certain dog slept through that without making the slightest sound.

 

I'm off to the night shift now...

 

 

2 April 2016 (Saturday) - Devastatingly Dangerous

 

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As I drove home from the night shift it became apparent that I'd missed something. Apparently it was national "drive up the middle of the road" day. I found myself mounting the pavement several times to avoid colliding with other road users who seemed blissfully aware of what side of the road on which they were supposed to be.

 

I got home and made straight for the loo. Last night I saw butter flavoured toilet roll in Morrisons. I was rather curious so I bought some and this morning I had a "Go Compare" moment with the various bogrolls in Trap One. Without going into graphic detail let's just say that butter flavoued bogroll was something of a disappointment.

 

Over brekkie I saw something which made me check the date. But it wasn't an April Fool thing. Scientists have worked out a way of hiding from aliens.

One way to detect planets in orbit around another star is to measure the brightness of the light from that star. As any planet orbiting the star comes between that star and us the star's light dims. Not much, but noticeably. It is possible that aliens might find Earth that way. After all we've found lots of planets that way. However do we want aliens to find us?

Having watche far too much science fiction, supposedly reputable scientists have a theory that if we shine humungous laser beams into space they will counteract the dimming of the sun as seen from a distant planet when we transit our sun and so render the Earth invisible.

What they haven't realised though is that for this to work we need to turn the lasers on as we start to cross the sun (from the aliens' perspective) and turn them off when the transit is complete. But having no idea whatsoever where it is that the aliens would be watching us from, rather than hiding the Earth, chances are these lasers would act as a beacon to show where we are.

 

We popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and took him out for a little adventure. We drove out to Faversham to have a mooch round a ruined church. Once a Roman temple it is the only ancient church in England which started life as a Roman temple. Or so the sign said. The fact there was a geocache under a nearby rock was an added bonus. "Furry Face TM" seemed happy to spend ten minutes chasing down rabbit holes.

I was glad to get out and do something; otherwise I woul have just slept the day away. Having said that I slept for most of the journey home.

 

Once home we had a quick Belgian bun for lunch, then spent a llittle while working in the garden. Several years ago the more difficult of our neighbours planted clematis and roses against his side of the fence which seperates our gardens. He's left it to grow wild, and it had got so that it was effectively impossible to get past the garden pond. A few years ago our back garden was beautiful; these days it is something of a jungle. So I decided to reclaim the back garden and we hacked back his overgrowth.

As I hacked I was expecting him to appear at any moment, frothing at the mouth and ranting. He didn't but I'm still waiting to hear from him.

In the past he has turned up on the doorstep demanding that I go tell the people who live on the other next door to him to sort themselves out because leaves from their tree has fallen in his garden. But he sees nothing wrong with his shrubberies overhanging over four feet into my garden.

 

I then drove a car full of cut down clematis to the tip. Having cut back all the clematis we've actually been able to get to the arbour by the pond. I toyed with the idea of getting the pressure washer out and giving the arbour a good scrub.

Instead "er indoors TM" took "Furry Face TM" for a walk and I had a couple of hours sleep. I then made some plans for a little walk next Friday. If anyone fancies wandering through the Kent mud, the more the merrier.

 

I watched the last episode of "Childhood's End" then spent the rest of the evening applying for promotion. Do I want promotion? I don't know. But it doesn't hurt to try. Will anything come of the application? Possibly. We shall see. Time will tell. It always does...

 

Meanwhile I've got the jingle to the the daring, dazzling, death-defyingly dull, devastatingly dangerous, delectable, delicatessenable, divinely decadent Sandwich Quiz stuck in my head...

 

 

3 April 2016 (Sunday) - Golden Cross

 

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I slept like a log, but woke to find both my hands were in pain. Closer inspection showed both were filled with small splinters and thorns; presumably from having done all that gardening yesterday. I got a needle and spent a few minutes trying to get out as many as I could.

I didn't get them all.

 

"Furry Face TM" was something of a problem this morning; he wouldn't eat all of his brekkie. After a while I gave up chivvying him; he never wants to eat when he knows we are going out. Instead I popped his lead on and, pausing only briefly to collect his canine sidekick (and her associate), we set off to Sussex.

Eleven of us (and three dogs) met up to walk round the footpaths and lanes surrounding the Sussex village of Golden Cross. It was rather swampy in places; and we did acquire more dogs at various points of the walk.

It can come as no surprise to regular readers of this drivel that we were hunting tupperware; geocache-wise this was very much a walk of two halves. We'd gone out knowing that we were planning to do two seperate series of caches. The larger series of caches round Golden Cross were easy to get to on clearly marked footpaths and in good repair (even though some were rather tricky hides). The smaller series in the Chiddingly area were somewhat more hit-and-miss with at least one seemingly randomly placed a long distance from any public right of way and most of them seeming to be in need of a little maintenance.

Mind you the threatened rain held off until five minutes after we finished, and the day was warm enough to be walking in T-shirts.

And (as always) there was a photo or two taken as we walked.

 

Although we'd parked up by a long-closed pub we found our route took us right past the Six Bells in Chiddlingly so we stopped off for a pint. Or two. Somtimes the pubs we find on our walks are rather up-market. Other times they can be a little bit "council". But this pub was really good: it was here that we transiently aquired another dog. "Diesel" joined us for dog treats and then carried on doing his doggy thing.

 

With ten miles walked and thirty-eight geo-finds logged (including one seven thousandth find) we said our goodbyes. We drove home through the rain (which stopped as quickly as it started).

 

Over a rather good bit of tea I watched an episode of the BBC's series "Moving On". This series is a seemingly unconnected load of dramas which are quite well done. Very thought-provoking. What would *you* do if you found a load of diamonds in an old lady's house when you were doing her a favour and she clearly had no idea they were there?

I then sparked up my laptop. Having been shown the error of my ways by "er indoors TM" I can now directly upload my field notes via GSAK. And so I did if for no other reason than that I could.

Have you ever uploaded a field note via GSAK? I can heartily recommend doing so. Provided (of course) that you actually have a field note.

 

As I fiddled about my little dog snored. Immediately on getting home he'd had his bath and his tea and he had taken himself off to bed. (My bed!)

Sometimes I worry that I'm walking that little dog too much. Perhaps I should ask the vet's opinion. Mind you the vet wouldn't beleive how much we walk; the vet would just tell me he's overweight (again)...

 

 

4 April 2016 (Monday) - Before the Night Shift

 

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I slept like a log last night; waking shortly before 7am to find myself cuddling my dog as though he was a teddy bear. He really should spend the night in his own bed. Mind you I was glad to have slept all night. Yesterday evening those of my friends who live about ten to fifteen miles away were telling tales (on social media) of epic storms. Either these storms never came my way or I slept through them.

 

Over brekkie I saw I now have a page of my own at a publishing house. I had a little smug smile about that.

I then made a few plans for a walk in Sussex that I will probably organise for some time in May. The walk will involve going underground...

 

I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we walked round to collect "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". We had a little walk. I had some geo-maintenance to do in Park Farm and we all needed a walk so we combined the two.

As we walked we met a dog. "Winnie" was a black labrador who was friendly enough, but he was running loose. At one point he ran into the road as the cars swerved around him. His owner commented that he wished that Winnie wouldn't do that as Winnie had been run over by a car at Christmas time. I thought about suggesting the method by which I stop my dog getting flattened; namely a dog lead. But I thought better of saying anything. Some people do take the blindingly obvious to be intended as sarcasm.

 

Pausing only briefly to find one cache (today was a calendar day) we made our way home via the old A28.Today's picture above features that road. It is now effectively a footpath; to the right of Fudge you can see the white line that used to mark the centre of the road.

We stopped off at the bakery where "Daddies Little Angel TM" bought her old dad a cream bun, then said our goodbyes and I scoffed my cream bun over a cuppa. Very nice!

 

I took myself off to bed for the afternoon and made a point of putting "Furry Face TM" at the foot of the bed. If he is left downstairs during the day he just finds things at which to bark. After three hours I woke and then watched thee last two episodes of "Killjoys" which the SkyPlus box had recorded for me. It has been something of a variable series, but I hear they are making a second season.

 

I'm off to the night shift now...

 

 

5 April 2016 (Tuesday) - A Day Asleep

 

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As I drove home after a rather busy night the radio was spouting its usual blend of drivel and opinion. However there was something rather interesting this morning. There has been some major leak of confidential financial documents and it now seems that the Prime Minister's late father ran a multi-million pound business that never paid a penny of tax to the UK Government in thirty years.

The Prime Minister has said that he doesn't have anything to do with this business (well he would, wouldn't he?) but apparently he is rather miffed that this has all been spread all over the news. He seems to think his family's financial affairs should be private.

Is he *really* that thick? If anyone's life must be an open book it is the Prime Minister.

 

We got home, and fleetingly saw "er indoors TM" as she went to work. After a few minutes "Daddies Little Angel TM" arrived with "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" and we had a little walk round the park. As we went we met Leroy the pug who has been on something of a diet (at the vet's orders). Comment was made that all vets do is shove fingers in unmentionable places and tell dogs to go on diets.

 

With our walk done we wasted ten minutes trying to find Sam's shoes. "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" tried to make off with the SkyPlus remote control, and then once he and "Daddies Little Angel TM" had set off, I went to bed for the day.

I was out like a light for six hours...

 

Up at 4pm, a spot of dinner scoffed, drivel on the telly watched... I'm off to the night shift again. The day between the night shifts is usually something of a non-event. Today was no exception...

 

 

6 April 2016 (Wednesday) - Geo-Maintenance

 

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As I worked last night I had the radio on. One article struck me as being a sign of the times.... Apparently the Butlins holiday camp has caused upset. As part of the entertainment for the masses was a wrestling match. I've seen this sort of thing before; it is all good fun. But was this match? It featured some hero-wrestler "Tony Spitfire" (clad in Union Jack attire). When Tony entered the ring the crowd were encouraged to chant "England! England! ". His opponent was some chap called Hakim who was waving some flag which was (apparently) instantly recognisable as being Islamic, and the crowd was told to boo and jeer at him.

Whilst this shouldn't have happened, bearing in mind the international climate is anyone surprised?

 

There was also something which made me sit up and take notice. I have always said that history is written by those who can be bothered to write it down. (i.e.me!) But it turns out that historians are now re-thinking Churchill's role as war-time leader. For all that he did a wonderful job, history overlooks the team who helped him. And why is that? because (apparently) historians studying the second world war seem to use books which were written by Churchill as a major reference.

Churchill himself once said "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it"


I came home to find
"er indoors TM" was rather concerned about "Furry Face TM". He hadn't eaten his tea last night and he'd spent the night on the sofa rather than going upstairs. I thought he seemed rather subdued yesterday, but when he saw me this morning he went ballistic.

I popped his lead on him and we drove out to Bethersden for a little walk.

About six months ago I hid thirty eight geocaches in a circular walk around Bethersden. Over the winter the floods had washed one away. It would be the one which was furthest from a road. We stomped across the mud, found where it used to be. Sure enough it had gone so I replaced it. As we walked I took a photo of the woods and posted it on Facebook with the caption "Geocaches don't maintain themselves".

And then I pondered...

When I go for a geo-walk I do my homework. If any seem to be missing before we go out I message the chap who owns the missing cache and ask if they'd like me to replace it. If when I am out I can't find one and I'm sure it has gone I'll replace it (and message the owner). If the paper log is wet or damp I'll replace it. Everyone is *always* grateful for my efforts; from the perspective of the people who are supposed to do geo-maintenance the caches I find *do* maintain themselves.

It's just the ones that I hide that don't.

 

We got back to the car just as the heavy rain started. It was as well I'd put a towel on the passenger seat; being low-down my dog does collect the mud. But bathing him didn't take long, and within minutes of his bath he was snoring.

I did myself a little toast, then went to bed at 11am with the intention to be up by the early afternoon. I slept a little longer that I had planned.

Having woken feeling something like death warmed up I set the washing machine loose on my smalls then spent an hour or so writing another blog.

 

"er indoors TM" came home and boiled up a rather good bit of scoff which we devoured whilst catching up with stuff the SkyPlus box had recorded for us. That SkyPlus box is good to us...

 

 

7 April 2016 (Thursday) - Busy, Busy...

 

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I woke feeling rather rough. Was it the two recent night shifts or the two bottles of stout last night? I'm finding that (more and more) I'm feeling rough after not very much beer.

Over brekkie I watched "Raised by Wolves"; the last episode of the current season. I hope they make more of that show. I then had a little look-see on line and got just a little bit cross.

I'd not heard of countryside access wardens before. In theory it is a good idea. Unpaid volunteers walk the Kentish footpaths and deal with any access and right-of-way issues they find. However when I was a lad this was a full-time profeessional occupation. This was someone's job. I actually considered it as a career. Now it is something done by volunteers in their spare time. This is no different to the volunteer librarians and how the library service is dependent on volunteers about which I was ranting a week or so ago. Am I the only one who doesn't see the bigger picture? Where will it all end?

Take today's strike by junior doctors - the answer is obvious. Sack all of those doctors who work in A&E departments (and the nurses too) and have St John's Ambulance volunteers running the places. Do we need an expensive police force? Why not just have vigilantes laying down the law as they see fit?

 

I took a deep breath and drove round to collect "My Boy TM". We had a quick fry-up then came back home. Together we moved the arbour away from the fence, spent ten minutes setting up the pressure washer, then scrubbed down the arbour. "My Boy TM" seemed quite taken with the pressure washer. Most people seem to be when they have their first play with one.

 

I then took "My Boy TM" back home. We took the pressure washer with us; he's borrowing it for a while.

Having made a start in the garden I continued. I got the strimmer out and edged the lawn, then found the secateurs and cut back more of the stuff hanging over a yard into my garden from next door. I *almost* got finished, bbut the rain got too heavy so I gave up.

I popped up the shop to get a sandwich. Whilst in the shop I struck up a conversation with the locals who were asking about my nutty neighbour. Apparently he's been going round telling everyone that his wife has left him (even though she hasn't) and has been telling everyone how much better the world was when Tony Benn was Prime Minister (he never was).

 

With lunch scoffed I set about the ironing. as I ironed I watched the last ever episode of "Extant". In the past I've mentioned that his series has been rather variable. Last week's episode was rather good. This final one was.... well.... it wasn't a bad epiisode. Its story just bore no relation to what had gone before.

With "Extant" watched I put on a DVD. "Master and Commander" kept me occupied until I finally finished the ironing at 4.30pm.

 

I shall program "Hannah" for tomorrow... and maybe have an early night. I've been busy today.

 

 

8 April 2016 (Friday) - Underriver... And The Mud.

 

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The plan was to have an early night last night. I was just about to go to bed shortly after 10pm when chaos erupted. "Daddies Little Angel TM" arrived not only with "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" but also with Brian and Rachel in tow. Things could have been messier; but it was good to see everyone.

Mind you I slept well after that. So did "Furry Face TM" who spent the entire night on the sofa.

 

I got up and had a spot of brekkie. As I scoffed I had a look-see on-line. Apparently there was a geo-meet last night in Folkestone. No one told me. It's amazing what you miss when you aren't paying attention. I wish someone (anyone) had mentioned it.

I also had an email from LinkedIn. In an attempt to widen my professional circles they asked if I know Mike, Richard or Vicki? One of them is a Capacity Analyst (what's that ?), one takes photographs for corporate I.D. badges (don't machines at the train station do that?) and one is a dinner lady. Mind you it did suggest I cyber-befriend Steve from the astro club. I might just do that. Then he could recommend me for my skills in things about which (with no disrespect to Steve) he has no experience whatsoever. Just like all my other contacts on LinkedIn have done.

I'm glad I don't pay anything for this LinkedIn thing. I'd be asking for my money back.

 

"Furry Face TM" got rather excited as I popped his lead on. We drove up to Underriver where we met Gordon and Aleta. Just as we were solving a puzzle in a churchyard someone came up to us. It was the chap who'd set the geocaches we were off to find. He felt he should be sure that we were aware just how muddy it was going to be. We exchanged pleasentries and thought how nice he'd been... fifteen minutes later we found he wasn't just being polite. There was some *serious* mud. Fudge was almmost swimming in it.

But the mud was only for the first mile or so; it soon abated. We had a really good walk in some rather beautiful scenery. I took a few photos as we walked.

I can thoroughly recommend the geo-stroll around Underhill (near Sevenoaks). We did pick up one or two extra geo-targets on our walk, but seventeen geocaches in an hour and a half over three miles made for a rather good way to spend the morning.

 

We said our goodbyes and came home. I treated myself to KFC and scoffed it whilst watching a documentary about girl recruits in the Army. It was quite good.

I then spent a little while fiddling about with the astro club's accounts. I shall be handing over the club's accounts to the new treasurer at the end of the month; it would be as well to have them in order.

And with only twelve quid for which I couldn't account I then looked at a potential geo-mission for nxt week. If any of my loyal readers would like to mess about in a river next week drop me a line.

 

"er indoors TM" came home with fish and chips, and with that scoffed I examined my dog's willie... I'm no expert but it doesn't look quite right...

 

 

9 April 2016 (Saturday) - A Day at Work

 

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I've been threatening to have an early night for a few days now... I finally got one last night. I slept for nearly eight hours; unheard of for me.

I got up and found my dog was asleep in his basket. He's been sleeping in his basket overnight a lot more than he used to; I keep worrying about that silly pup. He carried on sleeping as I scoffed brekkie. He didn't stir for toast crusts as I watched the Muppet Show as it played from the SkyPlus box.

 

Being a geo-calendar day I set off to work a little earlier than I needed to. I had a geo-target in Kennington. "er indoors TM" had set a puzzle which I had solved a while ago and so I went out to find the cache this morning. I won't say it wasn't there, but I will say that I couldn't find it.

That left me rather scuppered for getting a find for today. In the end I reluctantly picked up a cache which wasn't that far from the hospital. I'd been saving that in case of a geo-emergency. But now I've had my geo-emergency (and used that cache) I'm rather left without a backup plan for future failures.

Still... I only have fourteen more calendar days to go. And only six of those are on work days...

 

As I drove I was rather amazed by what I heard on the radio. Apparently the Archbishop of Canterbury is the love-child of his mother and one of the late lackeys of Winston Churchill (I say "lackey" - the chap had a knighthood). What particularly amazed me wasn't so much the news itself as the fact that it had been made public by the Archbishop himself. Apparently he'd been approached by the family of his biological father who had their suspicions. DNA tests were done and the Archbishop made the announcement.

Why has he done this? It is absolutely no-one's business but his own. And how must his eighty-six year old mother feel to have this spread all over the news? Had this appeared as a tabloid scoop then the Archbishop would have had the sympathy of the public. Having made the revelation himself he has made the tale a legitimate target for speculation and gossip.

I can't help but wonder what's been going through his head. Mind you I can't help but wonder what goes through the head of any Archbishop.

 

I got to work and did my thing. As I did so I found myself looking out of the window. It often rains when I work at weekends; today was no exception. I didn't just look at the rain; I spent much of the day listening to it. It was rather hard against the window.

 

The rain had eased up a little by going home time. I came home via the petrol station. I had planned to get the petrol in the morning but events had conspired against me. I see the price of petrol is slowly creeping up again.

I could have gone home via Lyminge; "Access All Areas" was playing a gig there this evening. But I would have got there late, I would have got home even later, and I've an early start tomorrow...

 

 

10 April 2016 (Sunday) Money

 

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I woke rather earlier than I needed to. Trying not to wake my little dog (who was asleep on top of me) I got up and went downstairs for morning ablutions. Over brekkie I watched last night's episode of "Dad's Army" in which the Verger was being beastly in the vicar's bedroom. They don't write them like that any more. Which is probably for the best.

Just as I was setting off for work "er indoors TM" got up. She was rather scathing about my inability to find her geocache yesterday. Apparently she went out and checked up on it after I logged my failure, and shortly after that someone else logged that they had found it.. She showed me a photo of where I should have been. It didn't look familiar - the photo wasn't where I'd been. I think I got my geo-sums wrong. Woops.

 

I scraped the ice from the car and set off to work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were all a-twitter because the Prime Minister has made his tax affairs public. Since it had been revealed that not only was his father on the fiddle but the P.M himself had (allegedly) benefitted from his father's dealings he felt he had to do something to try to prove he hadn't got his hand in the till.

There is now uproar because his mother has recently given him a present of hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash. My first reaction was "so what?"; those with spare hundreds of thousands of pounds can do whatever they like with it. (Much as I'd like some of it)

But the pundits were asking if this was some sort of tax avoidance.

 

It transpires that if anyone's mum gives them a bung (*and* then lives for another seven years) then that's all very nice. That money is a present; the tax man doesn't get anything in inheritance tax.

(Inheritance tax being forty per cent of what you inherit -over a certain threshold)

But if anyone's mum croaks and leaves them money in her will then that money is fair game for inheritance tax.

I didn't know that subtle distinction. I'd never have thought of that. Which probably explains why I don't have any spare hundreds of thousands of pounds laying about.

 

This has given me some rather mercenary thoughts. My parents are both having major surgery in the near future. They wouldn't be having joint replacements and heart bypasses if the surgeons thought their numbers were up. Obviously they have a few years left in them. Perhaps I could convince them to make over their goods and chattels now so's I (and my brother) don't have to pay any inheritance tax.

Perhaps I might persuade them to work out what they are worth....

 

However I don't want to. It's not a nice thing to do, is it?

I then spent much of the long shift at work wondering if perhaps that's why I'm scraping a living working on a Sunday when everyone else is out and about; whilst other people are Conservative Prime Ministers being lambasted in the national press for their apparent greed at seemingly having done the tax man out of eighty thousand pounds.

Much as it pains me to admit, I always thought he was one of our better Prime Ministers up till now...

 

 

11 April 2016 (Monday) - Damp in Dartford

 

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Over brekkie I saw something which disappointed me. The astro club has been offered the option of having a stall at Ashford's Festival in the Park. We would be running something which would need to be staffed from (about) 7-8 am until (about) 8-9 pm. Obviously this would need volunteers to help run the stall. And so the committee asked the club membership for help via the club's Facebook page.

Out of the over three hundred people who could have offered we have had offers from five. And those five were people who already get their hands dirty for the club on a regular basis.

Needless to say this stall won't now be going ahead.

 

I scoffed brekkie, then set off to Teynham to the shop that sells workmen's clothing. Having picked up three hi-vis vests (rather cheaply) I went on to Dartford where I met up with Jo and Susan. The plan for today was a spot of rather specialised geocaching.

Every geocache had two numbers associated with it - D and T. D is difficulty; how hard the thing is to find. T is terrain; how hard it is to get to where the thing is hidden. Both numbers range from 1 (easy) to 5 (fiendish).

Today we were hunting some high-T low-D ones. Ones which were rather obvious but not that easy to get to. We had six geo-targets and thought we'd pick up any other caches we might be walking past.

Bearing in mind that we were going to be looking *very* suspicious we put on our hi-vis vests. Have you ever worn a hi-vis vest? They are just like Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility. No one ever looks twice at what anyone in a hi-vis vest is doing. They were ideal for today.

 

Our first target was T5 D1.5. Very difficult to get to; but when you are there easy to find. We got to where our GPS said the thing was.... we looked about. then realised we were on a boardwalk. We retreated a little, put on wellies then walked along the riverside to underneath where we'd been standing.

A quick geo-find and on to the next target.

 

The next target was only a minute's walk away. T5 D1. Very difficult to get to but one of the the easiest to find caches there are. This one was incredibly easy to find - we saw it from twenty yards away. But...

In all honesty we went to this one knowing we probably wouldn't actually be able to claim a find. The rules are that you have to get to the thing and sign the piece of paper inside. We'd planned today to be at the first cache at low tide. That worked; at low tide that one was an very easy find. However this second target was different. It was on the other side of the river at the top of a rather odd wooden structure. I thought about swimming over the river, but had I done so i would still have had to scramble up the wooden thingy.

The other side of the river wasn't easily accessible; there were a lot of industrial units and metal fences in the way. But I had an idea. We walked to the nearest bridge (picking up the cache that was on the bridge), crossed over and walked to as close as we could to the cache. I then went up to the nearest site office (in my hi-vis vest), waved my sat-nav at the site foreman and loudly asked if I could get to the river though his yard. I gave him a load of old flannel about it only being fifty yards away and the tide was too low for a boat.

The foreman waved us on without batting an eyelid.

We got to within ten yards of the cache but couldn't get to it. However having seen it from every angle we now know how to get to it... with a ladder and a boat... Next time...

 

We then drove for ten minutes to get to our next two targets. Target three was T5 D2. Very difficult to get to, but not quite that easy to find. I saw it right away; underneath a footbridge. But could I reach it?

I handed my phone to Susan. Not so much for heer to keep it dry as for her to use it to collect evidence. She did that very well.

I'd come along with my swimming trunks under my trousers so I popped my trousers off and put on a pair of wet-shoes. Jo put on her waders. They were very high waders. (You'd be amazed how much water you can get into a pair of waders). I gently tested the river for depth; I had this theory that although the edges were shallow, the sides might slope away rather quickly. But before I could expound this theory Jo proved it was right. I won't say she fell in; technically she didn't actually fall in. But there was a rather spectacular slip and skid (accompanied by a most impressive squeal) after which she was waist deep in the river and almost (but not quite) perpendicular to how she had been standing two seconds previously.

It was as well I had one hand on the bridge's girders and one hand holding her.

I did laugh!

With Jo rescued I thought I might continue gently testing the depth myself. One moment I was shin-deep in the river, then next I was armpit deep. It was at this point that I saw the problem faced by the aquatic geocacher. For all that I was now directly under the cache I sought, it was four feet too high for me to reach. But I had a plan. Jo had brought some steps along...

It wasn't the best plan I've ever had. I won't say that Jo's steps sank beyond trace, but recovering them wasn't easy. There was talk of Jo sitting on my shoulders to reach the cache (presumably whilst I drowned) but fortunately that idea wasn't followed up.

Some people read this drivel to get spoilers on finding geocaches so I won't say exactly how we got to the thing. But I will say that we signed the log and did the happy dance in five feet of rather smelly water to the tune of pints of water being emptied from waders.

 

The day's fourth target was a little way further along the river. T4.5 D2. Rather difficult to get at; not that easy a find when you get there.

This cache was in a tunnel which took a river underground. Getting into (and out of) the water took some clambering; it was as well that I'd not left Jo's steps to drown. And once in the tunnel the going wasn't easy. I had this naive idea that I would just march down the middle of the tunnel.

There was a five minute delay whilat I retrieved my shoe from the mud. The mud in the middle of the tunnel was three feet deep in places. We got through by keeping to the sides of the tunnel. The cache itself was quite obvious; hanging in clear view some forty yards inside this tunnel. I quite liked this cache find if only for the fact that the clean running water washed some of the stagnant smell off of me.

 

I'll allow myself a little whinge here - don't get me wrong - I'm in no way being critical of this cache but I would respectfully disagree with the grading it has been given. The cache itself was visible from quite a way away so I would give it a D rating of 1 or 1.5. But the terrain... 4.5 is perhaps an under-estimate. I certainly couldn't have got into or out of the river without help. T5 wouldn't be unfair.

 

At this point the plan had been to relocate to do two more river-based caches. But I was rather damp, and I was reliably informed that what had once been a nice pair of white knickers was now rather black and silty. Turning your white knickers black and silty is God's way of saying "Go Home!" So we did.

In retrospect it was as well that we went home when we did; within five minutes of saying our goodbyes the rain started.

We'll do those two other caches another time. Probably when we go back for the one we didn't get today.

 

I'd asked Susan to take a few photos as we'd splashed about in the water. Once home, showered and disinfected I put them on-line. Whilst we were out we'd picked up eight caches in total. I was aware that I'd clouted my head on one of the easier ones. Looking at the photos I seem to have done three caches on which I risked life and limb without injury and given myself an inch-long scar from a film pot under a rock.

 

I then took "Furry Face TM" round the park. We didn't go quite as far as we usually do; the rain was against us. We came home and watched "Upstairs Downstairs" - that show never gets old.

"er indoors TM" boiled up a decent bit of dinner, then as she set off bowling I spent the evening designing an advert for the astro club to stick in the programme for Ashford's Festival in the Park.

It took some designing...

 

 

12 April 2016 (Tuesday) Aching

 

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I had a great time yesterday but the physical excertions have taken their toll. I was suffering somewhat today. My right foot and right elbow are rather sore and aching. And the lump on my head is rather painful,

There are those who would say that being fifty-two (and one sixth) is too old to be scambling about in rivers getting my pants soaking wet. They may have a point... but I don't see me stopping doing this sort of thing any time soon.

Whatever happened to my rubber dingy? I shall need that soon (and when the tide is right).

 

I spent a little while messing about on the Internet as I scoffed brekkie, then I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went out to meet "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" . She wanted to go on a walk past the bakery; I wasnt going to argue with her. Suitably equipped with cake we walked out to Singleton Lake and back through Viccie Park. As we walked "Daddies Little Angel TM" had a phone call. Sam had taken Buster (the big dog) to the vets. Sam wasnt happy because the vets wanted a sample of his poop. I dont see that as a big deal, but then I suppose I am used to that sort of thing.

 

Once home I got out the shears and cut back more of the greenery which was overflowing the garden fence. Every time I go near that fence I expect our delightful neighbour to appear; ranting and frothing at the mouth. But there was no sign of him.

 

I then nipped up to the corner shop to get a sandwich for lunch. As I scoffed it I watched a film Id recorded a few nights ago. The Divide was utter rubbish. I turned it off half way through and thought I might carry on in the garden. I loaded up loads of garden rubbish and took a car full of tat to the tip, then came home and mowed the lawn. The lawn mower collapsed at one point. I *think* Ive bodged it back together; time will tell.

And having got the garden into a semblance of tidiness I set up the garden lounger, got myself a tin of lemonade, and slobbed about in the garden until it got too cold to stay out there.

I quite enjoyed that; I should do it more often.

 

Normally on a Tuesday the clans would gather, but what with Matt having the lurgy plans were put on hold. "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good beefburger and we washed it down with a bottle of plonk whilst watching bake-off.

But I still ache...

 

 

13 April 2016 (Wednesday) - This n That

 

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I woke feeling full of energy and raring to go only to see it was still dark and the clock said it was 3am. then dozed fitfully finally getting up (feeling like death warmed up) at 6.30am.

 

I had a look-see on-line over brekkie. The European Union in-out referendum debate continued to amaze me. Either staying in the EU or leaving the EU is a rather monumental decision. We (as a nation) need to make the right choice here. At the moment I'm leaning towards staying in purely because I've yet to see any valid reasons for leaving. But I am very much aware that my opinions are always in that of a vanishingly small minority. Last night I posted on Facebook that from what I've seen and heard over the last few months there are a *LOT* of good and valid reasons for staying in the EU (and several daft and invalid ones too), but *ALL* of the reasons I've seen for leaving boil down to the fact that those who want out don't seem to like foreigners very much.

I asked to be proved wrong.

Overnight I got a few replies, one from someone who was quite open in not liking the foreigners, a couple from people who would seem happier to take orders from Americans than from Europeans, and one who advocated leaving for the simple reason that the Government feels we should stay in (!). If the Prime Minister was to make the announcement that he spends a lot of time breathing I wonder how many people would then promptly die of asphyxiation as a point of principle.

Have I ever mentioned that I don't beleive in democracy?

 

I did see something that made me smile. In the past I've whinged about the organised jog-a-thon that effectively makes Viccie Park a no-go area every Saturday morning. It seems that there are simular runs organised across the country and one council in Stoke Gifford (it's in Gloucestershire) has decided to charge the joggers for the disruption they cause. The joggers are up in arms about it.

I don't know what the joggers in Stoke Gifford are like, but the ones in Viccie Park on a Saturday are generally rude and obnoxious; running six abreast, forcing everyone else off of the paths and swearing at other park users for daring to use the park. I wonder if the joggers have brought this on themselves?

 

I then had a look-see at my diary. I was rather amazed to see that I have stuff planned every weekend for the next few months (and that is pretty much both days of those weekends). At the moment I have one Saturday and one Sunday currently free between now and August. There's never a dull moment in my world.

 

I took "Furry Face TM" out for a walk. As we went past Asda there was a rather nervous looking woman. I say "nervous" - whe was twitching and seemed on the brink of tears. I asked if she was all right. She pointed at my dog (who was straggling some ten yards behind me) and said she had a really strong phobia of dogs. She looked *so* releived and was very thankful when I walked back and picked him up.

We met up with "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" and walked off in the direction of Little Burton Farm. But when we were half way to our destination we reallised just how close we were to the American Diner. So we went and sat in the garden outside the place for twenty minutes. When we arrived I went inside and said we's like to order. The chap behind the counter gave us menus and said that they would take our order shortly. The place wasn't busy; there was only one table occupied inside. After twenty minutes we gave up waiting.

I do like the American Diner; the food is excellent. I *love* the ambience. But the service is so slow.

 

We came home via McDonalds where we got a chocolate milk shake each. I know the place has its critics, but there is very little waiting for McScoff.

 

I spent the afternoon in bed trying to get some sleep.... I'm off to the night shift now.

 

 

14 April 2016 (Thursday) - A Day Asleep

 

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As I left work I turned on the radio in the car. Apparently Britian contributes one seventh of all the money that is spent worldwide in overseas aid. One of the pundits on the radio was expressing conccern at just how much money goes overseas. Apparently Britain is paying aid money to India and China; both of which have enough money of their own to finance their own space programs And of those countries which actually do need help it was alledged that they get so much money given to them that they cannot properly account for where the money actually goes.

A representative from Oxfam was then wheeled on who said he felt proud that we as a nation give so much, but when challenged he couldn't deny that our money shouldn't be subsidising those with enough to send rockets to the moon, or that there really is no accounting for much of the money.

What worries me most is that this fact is being bandied about as a valid reason for Britain's leaving the European Union even though our overseas aid donations is nothing to do with the EU.

 

There was also consternation at the boss of the oil giant BP being paid nearly fourteen million pounds per year when the company is losing money hand over fist.

Apparently sacking him would make the company even less profitable. Funny old world...

 

I didn't go straight home; I went to the local hospital for the results of my recent sialogram. The specialist asked how my lump had been since I was sialogrammed. Funnily enough the lump has been a lot less troublesome. It turns out that injecting and extracting the X-ray opaque dye is often enough to wash out the troublesome stones. This seems to have happened to me; I've now been discharged from the clinic.

Mind you my jaw aches at the moment so I took the opportunity to have the maxillo-facial expert give it the once over. Somehow I've strained a muscle in my gob.

 

I then took my dog for a walk. "Furry Face TM" antagonised the scotties and the spaniels that he usually antagonises, and because I wasn't paying attention I found myself tangled up with OrangeHead's posse. They were (for once) unusually civil. Chunky Little Friend's dog was in a dog push chair. The poor pup has had major surgery. We chatted for a while about forcing dogs to rest; it was quite nice to be accepted by the main momma of the Viccie park dog world for once...

It was only a shame that my dog then tried to hump her dog.

 

We came home for a spot of brekkie, then I went to bed. After listening to my dog shouting at every passer-by I came down, picked him up and sat him at the foot of the bed. With him finally settled I then slept like a log for most of the day.

 

I'm off to another night shift now...

 

 

15 April 2016 (Friday) - Tennis Ball

 

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As I drove home from the night shift the pundits on the radio were interviewing one of the leading lights in the "leave the EU" campaign.

I find myself leaning more and more towards the "stay in the EU" mindset; in many ways because of the propaganda of the "leave the EU" bunch. Today's interview was a classic example. The woman interviewed started off by quoting a figure of how many millions of pounds it costs Britain to be in the EU. She was immediately challenged and was told that the actual figure was a fraction of what she had quoted. This woman didn't deny the corrected figure. She then went on to say that he NHS was on the point of immenent financial collapse because of all the money that goes to Europe. She was again immediately challenged and told that this was not the case, and again accepted the correction because (again) her facts were demonstrably wrong. This woman then tried to compare the costs of the NHS and the EU and was again shown to be miles out with her figures.

Having been publically shown to be factually incorrect in every aspect of her argument this woman changed tack entirely and (effectively) said that no matter how big or small the sums of money were, she'd rather they were spent on British hospitals than spent on the foreigners in the EU.

I find it difficult to give any credence to a bunch that seem to randomly make up the numbers as they go along, but it is a sad sign of our times that they will get the votes of the masses by just taking the xenophobia line.

 

I got home and took "Furry Face TM" for a little walk. We didn't go far; just to Newtown and back. Some walks are uneventful; today's wasn't *that* exciting but we did see one looney singing along to the strange music in his head, and another who was having a fist fight with himself at the bus stop.

We didn't walk far. Somehow I hurt my right hip during the night shift (I have no idea how), and it was gettng more and more painful. I cut short my plan to walk up to Hythe Road.

 

As we walked "Furry Face TM" found a tennis ball. He didn't have it when we left home, but shortly after we started walking I saw he was carrying one. He carried it all the way home. As I scoffed brekkie so he started ripping the ball to shreds. He seems to llike destroying tennis balls.

As he shredded the ball I watched a film. "Hope and Glory" was the tale of a young boy's experiences during the war. I quite liked it; I suspect "er indoors TM" wouldn't have.

 

I had this idea to go to bed for a couple of hours; I slept for four. I could have rolled over and gone back to sleep but had I done that I would not have slept later, so I got up and put the finishing touches to my current Wheri-project. It is amazing how much time and effort it takes to acheive so little with those things.

 

"er indoors TM" came home. We had intended to go for a little walk this evening, but it had been raining all afternoon and the weather showed no sign of cheering up. So plans for a walk were abandoned.

After a rather good bit of scoff I was left "home alone" as "er indoors TM" went to Dover for a card party (?). I vaguely toyed with the idea of going out on the razzle but it was still raining and I was still rather tired. So I slobbed about in front of the telly. I do that too much....

 

 

16 April 2016 (Saturday) - Deer and Beer

 

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I had something of an early night last night, and was wide awake at 3am. I gave up trying to sleep, got up and had a shave and a spot of brekkie. As my dog snored I watched the second episode of a documentary about young girls joining the Army, and went back to bed at 4.30am. I slept like a log until 9am.

 

Over brekkie I checked my emails. I can't help but think that Amazon need to sort their web site out. They keep sending me emails recommending e-books I've already bought from them, and emails asking me to rate e-books I've already rated on their website.

 

We then popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and took him for a walk. Both "er indoors TM" and I had a geo-calendar day today so I suggested a cache out near Blean. It was half a mile into some woods so I thought it would be a good dog-walk too. As we went we saw some deer; I took a few photos of the deer; my dog wasn't at all sure what to make of them.

Our geo-find was straight-forward enough; on the way back to the car we went near one of the waypoints of a multi-cache. This one was all to do with a bus route. Near the waypoint was a number magnetically attached to something supposedly best seen from the top deck of a bus. I spent five minutes stealthily trying to climb onto the roof of a bus shelter until the chap in the house over the road asked if I would like to use his ladder. So I used his ladder to get on to the bus shelter. I didn't find the number I was after.

I've since been told it was half way up a lamp post.

 

We came home; a certain dog had his bath. I was amazed at how much mud was rinsed from him. A pizza was scoffed, then we collected Jimbo from the station. "er indoors TM" drove me and Jimbo to Wye and abandoned us there.

We had a mini pub crawl.

 

Our main target was to check oout the micro-pub in Wye; the Barber's Arms. It's no secret that I'm quite a fan of micro pubs. Not this one however. I've called in there in the past only to find it closed. Today they were open but the chap running the place was disinterested to the point of rudeness. And his beer was overpriced.

We moved on to the New Flying Horse. The Spitfire Gold wasn't the best pint I've ever had, but the stout is always good. After a pleasent hour slobbing in comfortable arm chairs the lager louts arrived and (rather politely) asked if they could put the telly on so they might shout at the football. We took this as our cue to move on.

The King's Head wasn't bad if only for the oyster crisps. Have you ever tried oyster crisps? They taste just like cardboard but (strangely) in a good way.

The last port of call was the Tickled Trout. Usually a good place for a crafty half. The Trout Pout was an odd-tasting beer, but the Wantsum's More's Head Ale was not too shabby at all.

 

"er indoors TM" arrived to fetch us; the plan for the evening was dinner with Steve and Sarah. It was a good plan... it was an excellent evening.

However my memory of the evening is rather vague for some inexplicable reason...

 

 

17 April 2016 (Sunday) - CITO and a Bat

 

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I would have expected to have slept well last night having downed a gallon of ale. However my dog spent much of the night pushing and kicking me whilst making himself comfortable. I *know* I should have taken him back to his basket, but he's such a little sweetie.... (Did I ever mention I never wanted a dog?)

 

Over brekkie I swallowed coffee like medicine. There's no denying I was feeling a tad under the weather. Whilst I will strenuosly maintain that I am not too old to go geocaching up trees, in rivers or underground, I can't help but wonder if going out for a serious pub crawl is (more and more) a younger man's game. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that Saturday always used to be pub crawl afternoon. How did I ever manage it?

I tried to have my usual mooch round the Internet, but struggled somewhat. A little while ago our Internet connection was flaky to the point of being unusable. We upgraded to fibre-optic and it has been far better. But this morning it was having troubles. I wonder what that was all about.

 

We collected Suzy and her entourage and set off on our usual Sunday geo-mission. But today was a geo-mission with a differennce. Today was the monthly geo-meet, and today we'd been asked if we wouldn't mind helping out with a party of volunteers working on the Drop Redoubt at Dover's Western Heights. Thhis was CITO weekend in whiich geocachers around the world were asked to get involved in tidying up where we could.

We met up with everyone and after a quick pep-talk we werer asked to divide oursellves into two gangs. One gang would be doing clearances of brambles; I went with a smaller group who would be doing heavy lifting inside the redoubt itself.

 

I actually said at the time that it would be so easy to write "half a dozen of us carried fifty scaffold boards up sixty six steps, then down eighty steps". And I was right. *Very* easy to write it; *incredibly* hard work to do. But despite the wheezing, gasping for air and chest pains it was fun. We did have a laugh. And with scaffold boards shifted we fetched and carried some more.

 

We were then sent for a spot of lunch. But seeing how the other gang were still hacking the brambles, Karl and I found a vantage point from which we had a wonderful view, and sat and watched the world go by over a bottle of ale. We could see the harbour spread out below us, and with it being such a bright day we could clearly see the coast of France in the distance.

We joined everyone else for a spot of lunch (and another bottle), then being gluttons for punishment we left those doing serious gardening to their hacking and we went back to the redoubt. For the afternoon we were asked to move a load of bricks from one place to another. We had quite the chain-gang going. Jason bashed the bricks together to shift the loosee dirt then passed them to Karl who loaded them into buckets. Karl then lowered the buckets of bricks to Gordon. Gordon then lowered the buckets (on a rope) to me. I then unloaded the bricks and passed them to Aleta who then stacked them where they were to be stacked.

After half an hour of this I had a little surprise. There was what looked like a leaf on one of the bricks. A furry leaf. A moving furry leaf.

 

On closer inspection I saw we had a little bat in our bucket. He'd survived the bricks being knocked together, passed around, loaded into buckets and lowered about on ropes. We immediately stopped work and had a little conflab. Realising I was probably breaking the law I picked the bat up anyway. He seemed quite content to be handled; I carried him to the brick pile from where he must have come. We made a little shelter for him (a bat-cave!) and I tried to put him in there. It took some doing; he didn't want to let go of my thumb, and because he was so small I was very conscious that I might hurt him. I took a few photos of him before he finally let me go.

 

I had another bottle of ale to calm my nerves after this ordeal, then we went to join the other working party. They'd done amazing work. What was originally a bramble-ridden thicket was now completely cleared. I chipped in for a few minutes scraping soil away to expose a set of stairs which were two hundred years old

By now most people had gone home; where we'd started with over fifty people we were now down to the last dozen. And realising that we didn't want to get locked in we said our goodbyes and came home.

 

Once home I put some washing in (laundry doesn't wash itself you know) and I then did a little bat-research. I did know that it was illegal to handle a bat. However it says on the Internet "It is illegal to handle a bat unless to rescue it from danger". That little thing was certainly in danger where we were hoiking the bricks about. I don't think I'll get in too much trouble from carrying him to safety.

 

With "er indoors TM" off bowling I settled in front of the telly. I turned up the volume so's I could hear the telly over the sound of my dog's snoring aand watched a film. "Ender's Game" was something I've been meaning to watch for some time. It was something of a disappointment....

 

 

18 April 2016 (Monday) - Bit Dull

 

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I suppose it's no surprise that I ached somewhat when I woke this morning. But I struggled up. There was a minor hiccup when I discovered that what I thought was a new tin of shaving gel was actually deodorant, but I rose above such adversity. Over a spot of brekkie I watched Saturday's episode of Dad's Army, and then had a look-see on-line. Little had changed.

 

I spent a few minutes scraping ice from the car's windscreen (it was cold this morning) and then set off to work. As I drove John Redwood MP was being rather scathing about the latest financial forecast from the Treasury. Apparently (so-called) official figures now show that should Britain leave the EU our economy will be officially down the toilet by 2030.

He's right to take this line. No one can have the faintest chance of making such a prediction for fifteen years into the future. Both pro-and anti- EU brigades are now making such ridiculous scaremongering statements. And for all that he European parliament and courts are far from perfect, every criticism of them could also be made about the British parliament and courts.

I'm still struggling to form a fair opinion on whether or not we should stay in the EU. I think the bottom line will be are we better together with all the other European countries or would we be better off on our own? (In which case Scotland and Wales should automatically be cast adrift). The average Brit doesn't lke foreigners so the "out" campaign will win.

 

Bearing in mind I'd run out of shaving gel I stopped off at Morrisons for supplies. Some days Morrisons is quite the adventure, some days dull. Today was dull. Generally the loonies who brighten the place up are still in bed at 7am.

 

And so to work. I did that which I couldn't avoid, and came home again. Once home I popped the lead onto my dog and we walked round the park. As we walked we met the two scotties withh whom "Furry Face TM" often fights. It was odd; we see these two scotties (with a woman) when we walk in the mornings. Then the scotties are always on leads, and there is usually something of a fight. Today they were with a bloke and off their leads and all played nicely.

 

"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of scran then went off bowling. I settled down in front of the telly expecting to do my usual Monday night telly thing... But tonight was the last Muppet show and the documentary about trainee sailors has finished. Mind you Gotham is on later.

 

And in closing do you like the piccie above? I've been giggling about it all day.

 

 

19 April 2016 (Tuesday) - Goodbye Blake

 

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The last thing I did last night was to tighten up the straps on my CPAP machine; it's been a bit loose lately. With it fitting more snugly I slept like a log. Mind you I was *seriously* aching when I woke; I must have overdone the fetching and carrying at the weekend.

 

Over a spot of brekkie I watched last night's episode of "The Last Man on Earth"; the show started very well, but it seems to have rather lost its way at the moment. I then got a text from "My Boy TM" - he's on a little fishing holiday and he's caught a rather substantial haddock (as one does).

I also checked out my emails. Yesterday evening on our dog walk I put out the cache for my latest wheri-project (A Knight's Quest) and sent it in to the geo-feds for approval. The thing went live later yesterday evening and the local FTF-hunter ran straight for it out and was battling virtual trolls and rescuing virtual princesses in the park. He finally found the fiinal part shortly after midnight. If nothing else it has proved the thing works.

I've now not got any wherigos in progress. I have an idea for one based on the game of "Battleships" but can I be bothered making any more?

Much as I enjoy designing the things they are a *lot* of effort which is reallised by a very small number of people. Take my James bond themed one for example. It's been live for eight months and only four of the Kent-based cachers have found it. Or my Batman based one; I am very flattered that some people really have travelled hundreds of miles to do it; however the locals find it at the rate of one find per month.

I asked this very question on one of the geocaching groups several months ago. many people were very encouraging, but those locals who were the most vocal in telling me to continue haven't actually gone out and found any of the things in the meantime.

 

I left for work half an hour later than I did yesterday. The roads were so much busier. What a difference half an hour makes.

There was a surprise revelation on the radio that our old friend science had discovered that the asteroid that hit the Yucatan peninsula sixty five million years ago probably didn't do for the dinosaurs quite as comprehensively as we once thought it did. Science has supposedly recently discovered that dinosaurs were on the way out long before that. Or so the pundits on the radio claimed.

What winds me up is that this isn't news. I've known this for years.

Why does the radio presenters persist in touting established facts as news?

 

I got to work and spent a little while being preached at by the resident Christian. Why do these religious types always try to claim the moral high ground? Why does having an invisible friend make you a better person?

After a surprisingly busy day I made my way home and took my dog for a walk round the park. It was a lovely evening; the joggers were out in force. We met a few dogs as we walked but had no inciddents whatsoever. In fact the only fly in tonight's ointment was a tramp who seemed to be rather scared of "Furry Face TM".

 

Being Tuesday the clans actually did gather despite Matt's cough. We scoffed far too many sweeties, and bearring in mind Gareth Thomas had recently died we watched the first episode of Blake's Seven. Regular readers of thiss drivel may remember I've got that series on DVD and have watched it a few times.

It's a classic...

 

 

20 April 2016 (Wednesday) - A Fountain

 

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Yesterday I had a bit of a moan about a Christian. This morning over brekkie I found another one who wound me up. You can see the article which boiled my piss by clicking here (but be warned - it is full of adverts). Basically some American woman (with voices in her head?) feels that those who don't beleive in her god are fundamentally unable to express gratitude. Her reasoning goes something along the lines of her god is the only reason that good things happen. She is grateful for good things because they remind her of her god. However if you don't beleive in her god then there is nothing for which you need to be grateful. She has this theory that no one does anything good of their own accord; they only do it because her god propmts them to do so. Consequently those who don't beleive in her god are therefore unable to do anything good. (no - it doesn't make any sense to me either)

She went on at great length about the matter.

She's allowed to vote you know; and quite probably is eligible to serve on juries. Did I ever mention that I don't beleive in democracy?

 

I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for a little walk round the park. Whilst off the lead he played nicely with a beagle and the two scotties he usually terrorises, and on the way home (and on the lead) he nearly hung himself as he wrapped another dog's lead round his neck (several times).

Whilst out I created a place on Facebook. I must walk past the Hubert Fountain at least five times every week. So I created it on Facebook. There's quite a bit of history about the thing; you can read up about it if you are bored. I must admit to having a soft spot for the fountain ever since a seven-year old "Daddies Little Angel TM" fell into it. I did tell her not to reach over; I warned her. And when she fell in I did laugh.

I wonder if I've any photos of her in the fountain.

 

Once home I activated the dishwasher. I'm good like that. I then watched a bit of telly. "Plebs" is something I've been meaning to watch for some time; mainly because I like Joel Fry. It was quite entertaining; I've told the SkyPlus box to download more episodes.

I then set off to work. Ideally I would have spent today with "er indoors TM" visiting Canadian relatives, but I didn't even ask about getting the day off. I could see that wasn't practical.

 

And as is so often the case on the late starts everything worthy of note today happened before 11am...

 

 

21 April 2016 (Thursday) - Happy Birthday Ma'am

 

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I woke in something of a panic. I'd been having a nightmare in which I was charged with supervising half a dozen illegal immigrants all of whom were akin to unruly children and thought that running away was a great joke. It was with something of a sense of releif that I woke to see it was 5.30am.

Over brekkie I watched another episode of "Plebs"; I think I'm quite getting into that show.

 

I then had a look-see on line. The morning's haul of emails included one from the power company. Last year I spent 465.69 on gas and 523.74 on leccie. Next year they estimate that over the entire year I shall spend fifteen quid more on leccie and eight quid less on gas. Bearing this in mind together with how they have operated over the years I expect they will increase the monthly direct debit by about ten quid.

 

The radio spewed its usual blend of drivel as I drove to work; I stopped off at Morrisons for cake. Being the Queen's birthday today we all brought in cake to work to celebrate. There are those who say the country can't afford a Monarchy. Those who say that are wrong. The most recent figures I can find show that the Queen was given 37.9 million in 2014-15 to do the Queening which was expected of her.

In the same year the revenue from the Royall Estates which was given to the Treasury totalled 285 million. So the country actually makes a profit of over two million pounds a year out of having a Queen.

 

I'm quite a strong supporter of Her Majesty. Mind you I have reservations about the next in line. Prince Charles today was broadcasting reading some Shakespearian tribute to his mother. Whilst it was probably amusing and touching *if* you are into Shakespeare, the vast majority of the population aren't. I for one was wondering what he was blathering on about.

The public (generally) love the Queen. I wonder if our future King has the common touch? I don't think he has.

 

We had been thinking off going for a little walk this evening. The Heaths Countryside Corridor people had organised an evening of newt-spotting. But by the time we'd got home and walked "Furry Face TM" my heart wasn't in it.

Instead I munched on a cheese scone and planned a little geo-excursion for Saturday morning whilst "er indoors TM" boiled up some dinner.

I shall scoff that in a minute...

 

 

22 April 2016 (Friday) - Frogs and Twin Oaks

 

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I was *so* glad that today was a day when I was rota-ed not to be at work. What with the vagaries of my shift system I've been on "not-nights" this week. Those are shorter shifts and consequently I do more of those to make up the total hours worked.

Having worked four consecutive days has proved to be something of a strain.

 

Over brekkie I watched the last episode of "Plebs" that was on the SkyPlus box. To me it is not unlike "Raised by Wolves" and "Detectorists"; a wonderful show which has been toally overlooked by the masses.

I then set AVG scanning the laptop and had a little tidy-up of the coffee table; it is amazing just how much crap accumulates on there. I now have space to put down my coffee cup. The same can't be said about the rest of the house but such is (my) life...

 

Being on a rostered day off I had planned to for for a geo-walk today. But my usual mid-week companions were both busy and no one else had taken me up on the idea. So instead me and "Furry Face TM" met up with "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". We went for a little stroll down through Willesborough Dykes and into Park Farm then back home through South Willesborough following a route we've walked many times in the past. We'd not walked this way for at least six months; in the meantime new playparks have been built and new houses and fences have appeared.

It rained a little, but not *that* much really. We came home past "Pets at Home" where I asked if "Furry Face TM" could stand on the scales. He's lost 0.2 kilogrammes; I saw that as a result and as a reward he got a vegetarian dog treat.

 

I intended to mow the lawn next, but it was a tad damp from the rain. Instead I made a start on disassembling the broken fence panels we replaced a month or so ago. For some reason I thought there was only two panels to shift; there was actually five. I got two disassembled and into the car (together with a bin of garden rubbish) and did a tip run. Once at the tip I realised I'd forgotten all the other stuff I said I'd get rid of. Woops!

From the tip I popped into town. Film pots are always useful and Boots give them away. I also had a look for cheap DVDs in the CEX shop, and I asked the mobile phone shop how long I had left on my contract. There is still a month to go before I am free of them. Can any of my loyal readers recommend a decent mobile phone network. I'm particularly interested in the mobile broadband coverage. "Everything Everywhere" has (in my unfortunate experience of the last four years) actually been "Nothing Anywhere" and I intend to change provider at the first opportunity.

 

Once home I had a bite to eat and watched the first half of one of the DVDs I'd bought. "Platoon" was a tad dull... I say "dull" - that is probably not the best word, but the film seemed to be somewhat lacking a plot. After a while I turned it off, set the washing machine loose on my shirts and did the monthly accounts.

I always say the accounts could be better. There's no denying the could be better, but they could certainly be a whole lot worse.

And with accounts done I thought I might iron the shirts I'd washed. However the washing machine was still busy with them. So I watched the second half of "Platoon". The second half was much like the first half - guns and blood and explosions and very little else.

 

"er indoors TM" came home and we went out. She had a geo-calendar day and wondered if I fancied coming out with her to locate some tupperware. I'd had my eye on a cache near Staplehurst for some time for Jasmer reasons (Jasmer is a rather tedious geo-thing). So we popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and drove out to the back of beyond. We had a rather good walk through orchards and woods filled with bluebells and past lakes befoore finally finding a rather manky plastic box. A couple of yards away we found the thing's lid. Normally I'd suggest it be archived, but (for Jasmer reasons) I replaced it with a new one.

We made our way back to the car; getting to the car just as the rain started.

 

I took a few photos of our walk. Once home posted them on-line as I know my mum likes seeing what I get up to. Sausage and chips for tea... and I'm worn out. For all that today was a day off I started off feeling tired and I didn't stop all day...

 

 

23 April 2016 (Saturday) Bodiam

 

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Over brekkie I saw that there is now a paperback version of the book in which my stories were published. You can buy it on Amazon by clicking here. Ok it's not cheap but if any of my loyal readers get a copy I'll sign it for you. And (at a stretch) I can probably get one of the other authors to scribble on it too....

I then read something which made me a little sad. There are plans afoot for a new Star Trek series to be released next year. In the meantime those who own the copyright to all things trekkie are clamping down on the unlicenced use of their stuff. Whilst it is their right to do so, I wonder if they are pissing off the very people to whom they are trying to cater. Mind you the fan-run Star Trek themed pub in London was closed down years ago for breach of copyright. Fan-run conventions done for fun don't happen any more. It has *always* been about the money. Shame, really...

 

My dog eventually woke, and he came and sat with me on the sofa generally being soppy. As I did I reflected that a cat would only be soppy for a few minutes before either biting or clawing me.

 

With brekkie scoffed we popped the lead on to "Furry Face TM" and went for a little walk. Both "er indoors TM" and I needed to find tupperware what with today being a geo-calendar day for both of us. We drove down to Bodiam, parked in the car park (three quid please!) and went for a little stroll.

First of all we went down to the steam train. That would have been rather nice had I not clouted my head on a sign and had we not found a dying duck. The poor duck had obviously been hit by a car. My initial reaction was to put it out of its misery, but "er indoors TM" thought we should give it a chance so I carried it to a nearby field where it sat looking rather the worse for wear. I suspect a fox has now had it.

We then walked back to the castle's grounds where I told the nice lady from the National Trust that I was *not* going to pay 9.15 to walk along a public footpath. She tried to claim that where we were standing was not a public footpath. I conceded that specific point, but pointed out that one hundred yards along from where we were arguing *was* a public footpath and the only reason we hadn't followed that path from its start was that someone from the National Trust had blocked said path off with a fence.

The nice lady's position wasn't helped by her refusal to look at my interactive map and she soon conceded defeat.

We followed the public footpath up past the castle and up the hill where there were some rather spectacular views to be had. You can see some of them by clicking here; as always I took a few photos as we walked.

 

It would have been good to have walked longer and further... but that was not on the cards for today. Probably just as well as the rain started as we drove home.

Once home there was a sausage sandwich for lunch and I had a minor victory. It has taken some effort and quite a bit of swearing, but I can now upload my NeonGeo field notes directly into logs via GSAK. I did so as part of today's geo-jasmer-calendar day. (I can speak fluent geocaching you know!).

 

I then took myself off to bed for the afternoon. A bit of dinner - time for the night shift...

 

 

24 April 2016 (Sunday) - A Day Asleep

 

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I did last night's night shift; as I did my thing I listened to Radio 4 Extra - plays, comedies, quizzes, documentaries and even an episode of the Twilight Zone. Not a bad way to spend the night really.

And with my thing done I came home along a rather circuitous route via Junction 11 of the M20. It was only five miles out of my way. But today was a geo-calendar day and with half a dozen caches in the area that I'd not found I thought this might maximise my chances of a find. Despite the rain I drove down there hoping it might dry up. It did.

I wasted five minutes trying to find one cache which had eluded me before. I still couldn't find it today. So I drove on for another half a mile and soon was doing the secret geo-thing watched only by some sheep.

 

I came home and said goodbye to "er indoors TM" and "Furry Face TM" as they went out. Ideally I would have been off out with them; a session of climbing trees had been arranged for today near Sevenoaks. But what with today being the day between two night shifts that wasn't a practical option, so I stayed home and sulked. It had been raining overnight, so I consoled myself with the thought that it wasn't really tree-climbing weather.

 

I had this plan to carry on disassembling broken fence panels and mowing the lawn and then have a spot of brekkie. It was a good plan. I got the lawn got mowed, and the broken fence panels are now in pieces ready to be loaded into my car to be taken to the tip. I'll do that tomorrow.

I then had the planned brekkie and tookk myself off to bed for the day.

 

Five hours later I woke, had a cuppa and watched a few episodes of "Red Dwarf VIII" on the "Dave" channel. Had I known it was on I would have recorded some episodes that had been on whilst I was asleep and watched those so I could fast-forward through the adverts.

"er indoors TM" and "Furry Face TM" still weren't home; the house is a lonely place without my little dog.

 

Time for another night shift....

 

 

25 April 2016 (Monday) - Another Day Asleep

 

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As I did the night shift last night I listened to Radio 4 Extra again. Mike Batt (of "Wombles" fame") expounded on his favourite record, David Attenborough listed his favourite eight records on Desert Island Discs (does *anyone* really like the classical drivel he was playing), there were quite a few comedies.... but two hours worth of air time was repeating what was broadcast on the night before, and an hours worth in the small hours was repeating what had been broadcast only a few hours previously.

I've emailed the BBC to complain about the matter of the repeats. It was probably just as well that listening the radio wasn't my only reason for being up all night.

 

With work done I came home. Ironically just as I got home I got an email telling me that a new geocache had gone live not five minutes away from work. Something not entirely dissimular happened yesterday too. Some people would fid that frustating; in my world it boils my piss.

 

I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we walked round to Asda where we met "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". He really has got the "hands up who loves Grandad" down to a fine art. "Daddies Little Angel TM" had some shopping to get so we walked through Willesborough Dykes to Tesco. As we walked we met a couple off bulldogs. I can only describe them as "hench" (as "My Boy TM" would say). They were rather rather chunky. "Furry Face TM" seemed to feel rather threatened by them. Usually he'd pick a fight; he seemed terrified.

Once at Tesco I supervised the dogs whilst shopping was bought and after spending ten minutes watching the rats playing in the fields we came home via the bakery. Belgian bus are always good.

 

"Daddies Little Angel TM" took "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" home. I had a lot of stuff to do, but having been up all night I though I really should get an hour's shut-eye; I woke five hours later.

 

Yesterday I mentioned that I have fence fragments to take to the tip. Yesterday I put that job off to today; today I put the same job off till tomorrow. It was raining. Instead I spent a few minutes applying for a job I'm not sure I want, and then spent a few minutes making plans for the future; walks don't organise themselves.

 

Pie and chips was scoffed, "er indoors TM" went bowling, and now it's telly time. Gotham is on later and Game of Thrones is back in an hour.....

Much as I like the night work it sometimes leeaves me feeling that the days after the night shifts are days wasted....

 

 

26 April 2016 (Tuesday) - Housework (and stuff)

 

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I slept llike a log until the small hours when I felt my dog jumping on top of me. He then made himself comfortable leaving me to sleep as best I could under the circumstances.

I got up shortly after 7am and did my morning pootling as best I could whilst "Furry Face TM" shouted out of the window at every single passer-by. He was in a very shouty mood this morning.

Over brekkie I had a mooch on Facebook and realised I'd missed an opportunity. With a little effort I *could* have watched the first episode of the new series of "Game of Thrones" over brekkie yesterday rather than waiting till the official broadcast at 9pm yesterday evening. And then having watched it early I could then have told "certain people" what was going to happen. Like they "kindly" told me what happened in the latest Star Wars film before I had chance to watch it.

Mind you it's not as though much really happened in last night's episode. As the show has gained in popularity so the stars have made it a stipulation in their contracts that they keep their clothes on. This has (in many ways) detracted from the appeal of the show. Don't get me wrong - it's quite a good programme *if* you've paid attention since the very first episode. And for a show involving an extremely complicated plot, loads of blood, and lots of random tits being flopped about it takes a lot to beat. But more and more the tit flopping is taking a back seat.

 

I took "Furry Face TM" round the park for a walk. It was a cold morning; we didn't meet many other dogs which was (as always) probably for the best. Mind you we did meet OrangeHead's Chunky Little Friend (minus OrangeHead for once). She was pushing her dog push chair with her little dog trotting along quite happily behind. He seemed to be on the mend after whatever it was that put him into his dog push chair, and he played quite happily with "Furry Face TM" for a few minutes.

A jogger jogged past and said hello to me. I looked again - it was someone with whom I used to work many years ago. She's been on my Facebook list for some time; we chatted for a while.

 

Once home I did that which I had been threatening to do for some time. I loaded all of the fragments of broken fence into the back of my car. I then went through the living room like a dose of salts and got two bin bags of assorted rubbish together. Admittedly the new Hoover is a tad smaller than the last one but I managed to Hoover up enough stuff to have to empty the thing twice.

It is such a shame that despite all that effort the living room still looks every bit as cluttered as when I started.

 

I then did a tip run to get rid of all the rubbish. As always the idiots were out in force at the tip. My piss particularly boiled at one fool. He had parked his car in such a way that he had blocked most people's way. Not happy with this, he was carrying his rubbish to the various skips one piece at a time. And then every time he came back to his car for more rubbish he spent a couple of minutes arguing with the woman sitting in his car's passenger seat.

Perhaps if he carried more rubbish each time and perhaps if she had got off her arse then everyone could have got their jobs done quicker.

 

Home again to find someone had parked in the space right outside my house. This was no real problem; I found a space not ten yards away. But as the chap who'd parked outside my house came back to my car I made a point af asking why he hadn't used the car park of the shop he's been to. The bloke was quite apologetic; he didn't know the place had a car park.

People park in the street near our house and go to the ironmonger just up the road all the time. The place has its own car park. No customers *ever* use that car park, but the shopkeeper gets *really* abusive when locals park in it overnight when his shop is closed. I once used that car park to turn my car around in one evening, and the shopkeeper actually threw himself in front of my car screaming that I couldn't use his car park.

 

Just lately the local bus shelters have all had adverts about a three quid deal available from the KFC so I thought I'd treat myself this lunch time. I got to the KFC and found that this deal was actually three quid for not very much so I got a mega bucket instead. As I devoured it I watched the last episode of the documentary about girls joining the army.

I then started the ironing as I watched the first two episodes of "Flowers". It wasn't so much alternative comedy as an alternative to comedy. But it filled an hour.

As I ironed my phone beeped. An email. I've been invited to an interview for a management position. As part of the interview I've got to give a presentation entitled "Given the challenges within the NHS, how do I motivate others and take them with me."

So once the ironing was done I spent the rest of the afternoon making a start on this presentation. If any of my loyal readers have any thoughts on the matter please don't hesitate to drop me a line.

 

Jimbo called round to collect the astro club money. We spent a few minutes putting the world to rights, then I spent a few minutes programming "Hannah" for the weekend. "er indoors TM" came home and boiled up a rather good bit of dinner, then the tribes gathered. We watched a rather good episode of Supergirl, then teased "Furry Face TM". He seemed to like the attention.

 

Bed time... My stomach don't feel right and I've had a few nose bleeds today. I wonder if I'm sickening for something...

 

 

27 April 2016 (Wednesday) - Late Shift

 

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It starts getting light shortly after 5am these days. I was wide awake long before dawn this morning. I gave up trying to sleep and was shaved, eating brekkie and watching "Plebs" before 6am. With little else to do I took my dog for a walk much earlier than usual.

As we went out I could see my car was covered in ice. We went up to Bowens Field where we met some strange woman who was shrieking at her dog and at every other dog within shrieking range. She kept screaming at me to ask if my dog was all right. I gave her a range of answers; I don't know what answer she was hoping for but it was obvious I never suppplied teh right answer.

We also met the two old blokes who insist on giving treats to every dog they meet. I wish they wouldn't. Once given a treat "Furry Face TM" will then follow them rather than going where he is supposed to go. I could see the dog treats in their hands; I managed to herd him away before he saw the treats.

Whe came home after an hour's wander, once home I noticed that the ice on my car had melted. Mind you it still felt very cold.

 

I set off to work a little earlier than I needed to; as I drove home on Monday morning after the late shift a new geocache had gone live along my drive to and from work. This morning (two days later) it was still unfound so I thought I'd try my luck. I parked up about five hundred yards from where I needed to be and (having got my wellies on) I walked through the woods to where I hoped to find hidden tupperware. It was a good morning to be out and about; I even saw a couple of deer as I walked.

 

My hopes weren't high when I saw the GPS was pointing over a barbed wire fence ten yards into an open field. The hint given said "under ivy at base of tree" - there was one obvious ivy covered tree the base of which had clearly been recently ransacked. I had a look there and elsewhere but after half an hour decided I'd drawn a blank.

Oh well... it had been a pleasant walk.

 

I then drove on to Morrisons. As I drove "Women's Hour" was on the radio. I've been less than complementary about this show before. Today they were up in arms because only one in six entries on Wikipedia are about women. I would have thought that (bearing in mind entries on Wikipedia cover pretty much absolutely everything and anything) one in six was a rather high proportion.

 

I got to Morrisons, got supplies, and moved on to Go Outdoors. I've been after a cheap inflatable boat recently. They had inflatable canoes for two hundred and fifty quid, and air beds for a fiver.

I shall go sailing on an air bed....

 

And so to work. As is so often the way when on a late shift, most of the day's excitement was over by the time I'd got to work. I did what I had to, and came home again.

 

The astro club had been asked to put on a starggazing show for a load of French schoolchildren (who were staying locally) this evening. But being on a late finish didn't make going practical for me. Next time maybe...

 

 

28 April 2016 (Thursday) - Little Bit of Politics

 

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For some inexplicable reason I was again wide awake at silly o'clock, and was up having brekkie and watching "Dad's Army" before 6am. My dog joined my half way through the program, but after a few minutes took himself back to his bed.

I then had a look on-line. Over the last few weeks I've been looking to complete my geo D-T grid. One of the D-T combinations I need is D4.5-T4.5. There aren't many of those. The one I had my eye on seems to have gone walkabout, but overnight the chap who owns it saw that I was keen and has asked me to replace it for him. I've very happy to help out, especially as replacing it means I get a guaranteed find. Some say that's a bit cheeky of me. I don't. I shall do that next Thursday. If anyone would like to join me you can see all the details by clicking here.

 

I scraped the ice from my car and set off to work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing the Minister of State for Employment. Ms Pritti Patel was taking a very anti-European Union stance and was going on at great length about how she is very much against the EU because of all the rules, regulations and red tape that they force on to the British against our will. However when asked to give specific examples of these rules, regulations and red tape she was utterly unable to give a single example. Eventually she came up with the European Working Time Directive as being a good example of a European idea forced onto an unwilling British population, but was then rather embarrassed to have to admit that several polls have shown that the average Brit quite likes the idea of the European Working Time Directive since it stops us having to work every hour God sends and gives us holidays too.

I'm finding it more and more difficult to find any valid reasons for leaving the EU. It speaks volumes that a Conservative Prime Minister and the leader of the Trade Unions Council have issued a joint statement supporting continued EU membership.

I'm fast coming to the conclusion that the whole anti-EU thing is just a scam stirred up by Boris Johnson. If he can play on the inherent xenophobia that exists in far too many people then David Cameron will lose face in a humiliating referendum defeat and Boris will be ideally placed to become the next Prime Minister.

 

I got to work, did that which I coouldn't avoid, and came home again. Once home I walked "Furry Face TM" round the park. He played nicely with lots of other dogs. Not a single scrap.

 

We had a rather good bit of dinner - a roast dinner. Don't get those very often these days...

 

 

29 April 2016 (Friday) - Off to Cornwall

 

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As part of the preparations for our Cornish adventure I took "Furry Face TM" round to stay with "My Boy TM" yesterday evening. When we got up (at 4am!) this morning the house seemed very empty without him. "My Boy TM" has promised updates but I was *seriously* missing him after he'd only been gone for a few hours.

 

We loaded the last few bits and pieces into the car, set off for Suzy-puo's accomplice (this time without Suzy-pup) and set off for a little holiday. We'd arranged a trip to Cornwall with some geo-friends and so we'd agreed to meet up for brekkie at the Hog's Back Cafe (along the A303). We all met up shortly before 7am; the place was closed. So we drove on to a place Nick knew. They did a rather good brekkie; I had the full English before we drove on. After a couple of hours we stopped somewhere near the Hampshire/Wiltshire border where we stopped for coffee. I say "coffee"; the machine gave me a cup of warm milk. But I guzzled it nonetheless.

 

As we drove we saw pretty much every sort of weather there was. Sun, rain, hail all came in equal proportion as I counted down the counties to Cornwall. We arrived at the Ruthern Valley campsite at mid day and set up camp.

This was a different camp to how we usually camp. This one was based on Jo's camper van. Consequently I didn't realy know how to put the tents up and I felt rather useless. Usually I am the one who knows how every aspect of the camp goes together. I felt rather helpless as we got the camp together. But camp was ready in just under two hours; far quicker than camp usually goes together.

We had a quick spot of lunch and then set on with the business of the weekend.

 

In Cornwall some kind soul has hidden three hundred and sixty puzzle-geocaches. The puzzles are straight-forward and having got the lot solved all we then had to do was go find them all. Easy!

Our camp was closest to cache #241 so we decided to start there. There was a minor disaster with the A30 having serious road works going on. Effectively we couldn't get to cache #241 easily so we started at #260 (at 3pm) and off we went.

 

There was some parts of our route where we walked, but this geo-series was mostly designed to be done in the car. But we found ourselves going to some rather beautiful places. Having said that there was a rather worrying episode where we found some quite amazing wood carvings on the road side. We stopped to admire them, and found ourselves in conversation with the carvers. The chaps who carved the wood were charging about ten times what I was prepared to pay, and were grumbing that they's not made a single sale since Easter. Their every other word was "F" and between them they probably had three quarters of a full set of teeth. I was glad to get away from them in one piece.

 

We'd started caching at 3pm; by 8.30pm it was beginning to get dark and we found ourselves having to leave the car and go walkabout in the woods. Enough was enough so we gave up and headed back to camp. But looking at how many caches we'd found we made a point of stopping off to collect some roadside ones that we were driving past so that when we got back to camp we were pleased to have found one hunded caches.

 

Once back at camp Nick cooked up a rather good bit of chilli for dinner. We scoffed that with gusto, and then I washed up. If someone else is happy to cook for me I am very happy to do the washing up. And then having washed up I had a shower. I do like a camp site with running water and showers...

 

 

30 April 2016 (Saturday) - Most Caches Ever !!

 

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Being on a camp site with electricity I was able to have my CPAP machine with me. However the night was a cold one; After a couple of hours I took the thing off as it was just making me colder and colder.

 

I got up at 6.45am and spent a little while looking at Facebook; the camp site had wi-fi. There were several piccies from people getting ready to go on the mission which had been organised to go to the Natural History Museum today. I'd had to sadly declline that one. Much as I was enjoying Cornwall I was sad to have missed the London trip. Sadly I couldn't so both.

But Nick was soon up and about and cooking brekkie. And a rather good brekkie it was too.

 

With washing up done we set off caching again. We went back to the woods were we had stopped yesterday and we got going. On the other side of those woods we found a rather large disused airfield. I say "disused"; the horses and sheep living there seemed to be making good use of the place.

We cached like things possessed; eventually we all felt hungry, and so had a five minute break. It was a lovely day and we found a rather beautiful spot where we scoffed our sandwiches and admired the views.

 

Pausing only briefly to rescue two lambs which were running loose on the roads we found cache after cache until we arrived at Phoenix Mill; a now disused tin mine. We all agreed to have a little break whilst we played tourist. I for one really liked looking round the tin mine; it brought back memories of "Poldark".

 

We were on a roll, but soon it was time to stop. We'd arranged to meet some Cornish friends for the evening, and having found one hundred and thirty one caches (a new personal best) we made our way back to camp. Having found our friends they led the way to a nearby pub where we had a rather good meal (and a couple of pints too!)

 

Back to camp and (once the young lovers camping nearby had finished fornicating in the facilities) I had my shower and was in bed for 11pm.