1 August 2015 (Saturday) - The UK Mega
After a very restless night I got up rather earlier than I might have done and watched a fight on "Toddlers and Tiaras". One of the mothers apparently suggested some new dance moves to a competing brat whilst its mother wasn't looking. Said brat then added the dance moves to its routine which (according to its mother) completely ruined what was originally a perfect dance routine.
I can't help but feel that aggrieved mother probably had a point. I never saw the original unadulterated dance routine, but in the knobbled one the child looked like a hippopotomus with epilepsy.
I missed an anniversay yesterday; yesterday was the third anniversary of the discovery of my first geocache. My Ham Street Lover had spent six months prior to that trying to turn me to the dark side. Eventually on 31 July 2012 I succumbed to his wiles. In the intervening three years I've found 5 242 caches,, and what better way to start the fourth year by going to the National Convovation of Tupperware Hunters.
The 2015 UK Mega had been going on all week, but today was *the* big day, and having collected the crew we set off. Pausing only briefly for two First to Finds on the way we were soon in Essex for the event.
There was a little confusion about getting to the designated parking spot; and having parked there was a little more confusion in finding where we were supposed to be. But when all else fails we read the instructions and were soon on the right track.
First of all we had to sign in. Whilst doing so I met a Wherigo-maker with whom I've spoken on-line. It was good to meet in person and talk for a few minutes. We also met several of our Kentish friends, and after a little chat we wandered on and decided on our plan of action for the day - contrary to popular opinion I don't make (all of) it up as I go along.
First of all we wet off for a little geo-wander; the dogs didn't understand why we weren't going anywhere and were getting restless. We walked for about a mile or so meeting other hunters of tupperware as we went. One of the caches on this route was up a tree. I climbed up several yards, and just as I was about to do the secret geo-thing a voice shouted up "It's all right - I'm a tree climber" and some chap scrambled up the tree after me with a rather frightening display of idiot enthusiasm.
As the chap clambered up so he demolished many of the less-suspecting branches which were on (or in) his way. Having nearly plummeted to his doom several times he then announced to the world that most of the tree was dead. Seeing he'd got himself settled I made my way back down as quick as I could whilst there were still a few branches left.
After a quick conversation with a micro-lite pilot we made our way back to base camp. I felt peckish, and went up to the catering stall. I fancied the curry. It wasn't ready yet. Paella? Fifteen minutes. Burger? Not yet. When I asked what was ready there was an embarrassed cough and the chap said they weren't actually open. Why didn't he say that right at the start?
We then did a spot of geo-shopping and I got myself a new T-Shirt. We then met Rob and Lizzie and we went back to the caterers. Paella was... it wasn't bad. But it wasn't good either and it wasn't cheap.
And then the rest of the day was something of a blur. Around the site were ten lab caches. A lab cache is the holy grail of geocaching; out of the over five thousand of the things I've found, only thirty-one of my finds are lab caches. Today's ten had a James Bond theme. One involved a serious climb; I've never done a climbing wall before. Others involved Chirp technology, dynamos, scrabble boards, magic eye pictures and even rubber ducks. In between this we fitted in more shopping, ice creams and a Punch and Judy show (which the dogs found fascinating).
Pausing only briefly to send Rob into the river we made our way to the bar for a crafty half. We met more friends there, and as Rob and Lizzie set off for a Wheri-adventure we sat chatting for a little while before setting off home.
We did get stuck in motorway traffic on the way home, but bearing in mind what the M20 has been like lately that is hardly surprising.
I took a few photos whilst we were out. We had a great day. I had been offered the opportunity to have been there for the week. Do I wish I had actually been there for the week? Possibly.
Next year's National Convovation of Tupperware Hunters is in North Wales. Plans are afoot...
2 August 2015 (Sunday) - Happy Birthday
Yesterday must have been more tiring than I realised; it was after 9am when I finally came down for brekkie. We had a little birthday card opening session (today is "er indoors TM" birthday) whilst "Furry Face TM" sat on the back of the sofa and growled at the world.
As "er indoors TM" had her brekkie I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. We met a Fudge lookalike and had a minor run-in with a Staffie before coming home again. As I walked my arm was giving me gyp. It's not been right for some time. I've looked on the Internet and I think I might have tennis elbow.
Father-in-law visited the birthday girl and we put the world to rights for a bit. As we chatted I set the lap-top downloading Windows 10. Part of me wondered if this was a good idea, but after all is said and done, Windows 7 won't keep going for ever and this lap-top's getting more and more clunkier. Perhaps a whole new operating system might sort it out. Or so I thought.
The Download Windows 10 app told me that everything was ready to go and that it had to analyse the system. It told me it would take ten seconds. Ten seconds !!!! So I pressed the "Get On With It" button and it then said "Working on it" until we were about to go out. So I left it doing its thing.
We drove round to collect "My Boy TM" and his entourage and we then went on to the Kennington Carvery where we had a rather good roast dinner. As I went up for second helpings so there was a woman causing a ruckus wanting to know why there wasn't a vegetarian alternative. Am I completely wrong in thinking that the vegetarians going to a roast meat carvery (which makes no secret of the fact that it is a *meat* carvery) really ought to give the people behind the counter the ten minutes notice (that they actually ask for) when dealing with vegetarians.
The plan was then to drive on to the Weald of Kent Steam Rally. But when we called up the place's website for sat-nav details we saw it was going to cost the best part of forty quid to get us all into the place. We phoned some relatives who were there who told us it was so packed they could hardly move.
We decided against going there.
Instead we went out to Rolvenden to have a look round the pond shop. I've not been there for years. The pond filter upgrade I was going to buy four years ago (when my life took an unexpected nose dive) is now forty quid cheaper than it was. "My Boy TM" saw a huge water feature (small pond) he liked so he bought that. What with the excitement of buying the huge water feature (small pond) we never actually walked round the ponds for which the place is famous (which was why I suggested going there in the first place).
We then went on to Tenterden garden centre for a look-see. They had the very same huge water feature (small pond) that "My Boy TM" had just bought in the shop down the road. However he'd bought it one hundred quid cheaper than the price that Tenterden garden centre was asking for.
By now the double helping of roast dinner was beginning to settle, and so we popped into McDonalds for a spot of afters. A raspberry flake McFlurry went down very well. There are those who run down McDonalds but I can say in complete confidence that those who would sneer at a raspberry flake McFlurry have never actually had one.
We then came back to the abode of "My Boy TM" where we played with Rolo for a while before coming home with a tomato plant. "My Boy TM" has loudly given up with growing vegetables because they mostly seem to rot before he can pick them, and when they don't rot no one wants to eat them. He's given his mother a tomaoto bush as a present. I confidently predict the thing will be dead by next weekend.
We came home and after seven hours my Windows 10 upgrade was still "Working on it". I rebooted the lap-top and re-started the Windows 10 upgrade. I then sorted out the astro club's money after Friday's meeting; I'd like it to be properly accounted for before I finally spit my dummy out.
And with Windows 10 still failing to load I spent a rather frustraing hour or so with the temperature of my piss going through the roof over what I was reading on Twitter...
Mind you it wasn't a bad birthday...
3 August 2015 (Monday) - My Dog's A Hero
Upgrading to Windows 10 just wasn't happening yesterday evening. According to the upgrade app the reservation is confirmed and the download is complete. I was then asked to click on "Ok, let's continue" and I was told to expect a ten second prep of my device.
What actually happened was nothing. Nothing at all. The thing just hung. It hung all of yesterday afternoon when I tried to upgrade. I re-started it yesterday evening and it did nothing. I re-started it at bed time and left it going.
I was woken at 1.30am by a commotion outside. The garden of a house a few doors up the road had caught fire and there were fire engines and flashing blue lights and all sorts of fuss. Perhaps that had upset the upgrade. I set it going yet again and went back to bed. The fire brigade finally shoved off at 2.45am, and I eventually dozed off only to be woken by the sound of the door bell and "Furry Face TM" barking. I came down to find no one at the door and my dog fast asleep. I must have dreamt it. And Windows 10 still wasn't happening.
I was finally woken by a text message at 7am. I gave up all attempts at sleep and I got up to find still nothing had happened with the so-called upgrade. I've given up on it now.
I think the dishwasher must be on the blink as well. When I put the thing on for the one hour setting a count-down timer activates. It counts down from sixty to zero as it washes, but actually takes about two hours to do so.
After brekkie I put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for a walk round the park. Some of our walks are eventful; others not so. Today's was one of the quieter ones. In fact other than a run-in with a black pug and Fudge being startled by a young girl singing along with the strange voices in her head the walk passed off uneventfully.
I took a circuitous route to Canterbury via Folkestone to see the baby (and his crew) this morning. Littlun was fine, as was Charlie, Sam and "Daddies Little Angel TM". From there I drove up to Hawkinge. I needed some fruit for lunches during the week. I would be driving straight past a Lidl so popping in made sense; in future I shall carry on driving straight past that Lidl. Their fruit looked manky. Mind you there was a geocache in the car park so the trip wasn't entirely wasted.
Once at work I spent much of today in a rather reflective frame of mind. I *could* have been starting work on a secondment to the hospital lab on the Island of Saint Helena. I turned that option down. I can't help but wonder what might have been...
Once home after the late shift I found out that my dog is a hero. Apparently when "er indoors TM" let him out for a tiddle late last night he was the first one to see the flames of last night's fire, and it was his woofing that raised the alarm.
Good boy Fudge !!!
4 August 2015 (Tuesday) - More Allegations
I had a better night's sleep last night than I did the night before; I could hardly have had a worse one. Over brekkie I watched an episode of Dad's Army that the SkyPlus box had recorded for me. The BBC seems to be showing them in order and now that the black and white ones have all been shown we are now on to the episodes I've seen dozens of times already.
As I watched them not liking it up 'em "Furry Face TM" looked hopefully at my toast; he didn't get any (well, not much).
As I drove to work I listened to the radio. The crisis in Calais is apparently under control according to the Prime Minister despite the fact that there were getting on for nearly two thousand attempts to break into the channel tunnel complex on Sunday night and that the security staff are having rocks thrown at them.
Why on Earth are these people not rounded up and taken home? There was a feature on the radio last night about boatloads of these people being rescued in the Mediterranean. If they were all truly refugees then there would be families and people of all ages; they would not pretty much all be young men.
And its been a little while since allegations of paedophilia have been cast about, so raking the dirt on a long-dead celebrity is long overdue. Former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath is the latest name at which mud is being thrown thrown. It transpires that four police forces are investigating various allegations about him.
I can't help but wonder why?
Even if he actually was guilty of molesting children, what are the authorities going to do fifty years after the event and ten years after his death? Exhume what's left of his corpse and send it to prison?
I would like the cost of Kent police's investigation made public and my council tax reduced accordingly. The time to harangue Sir Edward is long past.
I got to work, did that which I couldn't avoid and had a rather slow journey home. The circus is in town, and when it is at rush hour the ring road and bypasses are used as race tracks for horse-drawn carriages. Four of them were competing tonight effectively bringing the town to a standstill.
Don't get me wrong; I'm not for one moment saying it was the delightful traveling folk who were causing mayhem. However horse racing round the town never happens when they aren't here.
After yesterday's heroism, "Furry Face TM" blotted his copy-book somewhat this evening. He completely disappeared on our customary walk round the park. I couldn't find him anywhere. He would not come when called. After ten minutes I had a plan. I noisily started making a fuss of another passing dog. My jealous dog appeared in less than five seconds.
And then, being Tuesday, we gathered with the rest of the clan. Tonight we were in Somerset Road where we played Chromecast games. I did rather well until I fell asleep...
5 August 2015 (Wednesday) – Stuff
"Furry Face TM" had a woofing fit at 3.45am. Something outside had bothered him. In the past it was uncomfortable having him on the bed, but when he was there it was easier to quiten him down than it is when he is in his basket. I didn't really get much sleep after that.
Over brekkie I watched Billie Piper's stunt double "flopping them out" (to coin a phrase) in "Secret Diary of a Call Girl". As I scoffed so I brushed my dog. He's a short-haired breed; all the books say he shouldn't need quite so much brushing but he seems to like it.
I set off to work and found my car right outside the house. That was odd; I can distinctly remember parking it a hundred yards up the road when I came home yesterday evening.
As I drove the radio was abuzz. The knives are out for the corpse of Sir Edward Heath; but one of the people being interviewed actually admitted that any investigation of his supposed wrongdoings with children was going to be hampered by the fact that the's been dead for ten years and it all happened fifty years ago.
It struck me as amazing that this needed to be pointed out. I've often remarked that (like so many others) I wouldn't be above accusing (for financial gain) a celebrity of having interfered with me. If only I could find one who would have had the opportunity but would have no hope of securing an alibi. I've finally found someone. A celebrity who was a household name and who was demonstrably in my vicinity when I was a child.
There are a few people who remember a supermarket in Hastings called "Dickies Discount" It was formally opened in 1974 by the wombles. I was there. They arrived on a double decker bus, and in all the excitement Wellington Womble took me to one side had his wicked way with me.
Or (to be precise) let's see him try to prove he didn't...
I got to work, and didn't really put myself out much. I did do some homework at lunchtime; I've decided to get my brain going I've started working on a diploma in biomedical science specialising in biochemistry and transfusion science; areas I'm not especially strong in. It keeps my brain going, gives me something to do and at thirty quid for three years its somewhat cheaper than fifty quid a month on saxophone lessons.
Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. We met a pug called Leroy and played with him for a little. There was nearly an embarrassing incident in the co-op field where my dog mistook golf practice for "fetch", but fortunately the kids involved picked up their golf balls.
As I walked I got a text message from the mobile phone people. A few weeks ago they gave me a portable phone charger which when exhausted they claimed I could take into any of their shops to get a fully charged one. A couple of weeks ago I whinged that I couldn't actually find any of their shops willing to honour this agreement. Today they messaged me to recall the charger; apparently the things overheat and explode. They claim the fault is restricted to batch E1-06 which is the very batch my one is from.
"er indoors TM" phoned; a new geocache had gone live. I suggested she chase the FTF on her way home without me; I was feeling rather tired. Had my dog not declared "Red Alert" at 3.45am things might have been different. But she got it.
Over a rather good bit of dinner we watched the last episode of "Humans"; they've left it open for a second series, but it was a shame that in the end BattleStar Galactica did it better...
6 August 2015 (Thursday) - Windows 10 (Finally!!!)
I woke rather later than usual today; I was rather tired last night. Over brekkie I again tried ti upgrade my lap-top to Windows 10. This time it got past the spinny-wheel thingy; it got as far as saying it had encountered an unknown error and had failed. Ith then started a 2Gb download again. I thought I'd give it one more chance then give up on Windows 10 as a bad idea. This lap-top must be seven years old (at least); I doubted it was up to the new operating system.
Today I spent a little while reflecting on what might have been; in years gone by the Thursday before the second weekend in August is driving out to Teston and settting up for camp. Nowadays camping's not allowed before Friday.
I like camping, and we've had fun at Teston; but there's no denying that the camping arrangements aren't what they might be. The water is too far away, and there is no distinction between campsite and picnic area. We've had to chase normal people out of the camp before. And bearing in mind there was a fist fight there last year.... I can't help but think it's had its day. And I wouldn't have been much good putting tents up; not with my ongoing dodgy tennis elbow (ouch!)
I took "Furry Face TM" for his morning walk; as we went we met several nutters at various stages of our stroll, all chattering away to the strange voices in their heads. Was it national "Talk to the Strange Voices in your Head Day" today?
There was nearly a nasty incident at Bowens Field; some twit tried to refuse to let us in to a public park because he wanted to walk in there with his dog. Apparently (in this chap's world) only one dog is allowed in at a time. As his and my dog sniffed each other amicably (as dogs do) I told him he could come in after us if he liked, and we pushed past him. He chose not to follow us; instead he walked off the other way shouting about how unfair it was that I pushed in. If he thinks I am supposed to take turns in going to a park he can think again.
As we went through to viccie park we saw the fun fair had most of its flashing lights going. What a waste of leccie. We also met several other dogs and their owners. All the owners knew Fudge by name. How do they know his name? Is he that notorious?
I got home to find my Windows 10 download was at fifty-eight per cent so I left it running, settled my dog and drove off to Folkestone to see the baby before work. As I drove the radio was frankly depressing. An article was being broadcast on the right of teenagers with terminal conditions to choose to die.
I got to Folkestone, eventually found somewhere to park, and spent a fun ten minutes winding up the littlun before then making my way to work. This time the radio was playing something about women who were forced to have abortions in the 1950s.
What was it with Radio Four this morning?
Having a few minutes to spare I thought I might have a crafty impromptu geo-mission. So I set off to hunt down a geocache near Barham.
Having been hidden by someone who is something of a newbie, its difficultly was grossly overestimated. Having been given a difficulty rating of 3.5/5 I think it fair to say thet 1.5/5 would have been an overestimate; it was rather obvious and could be seen from yards away. Mind you perhaps the increased rating was to take into account the fact that the GPS co ordinates were about twenty metres out. (or perhaps I'm just being an uncharitable old misery again)
I got to work, did that which I couldn't avoid, and came home to find my laptop claimed it was ready to have another go at Windows 10. After two hours I am now transmitting to the world from Windows 10.
Can any of my loyal readers notice any difference...
7 August 2015 (Friday) - This N That
Another good night's sleep was rudely aborted shortly before 5am by a certain Patagonian Tripe-Hound's declaring "Red Alert". The trouble with living on a main road is that there are people coming and going at all hours. Whilst I'd sleep through it, dogs don't seem to do so.
After watching Billie Piper's stunt double failing to flop them out in today's installment of "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" I then sparked up Windows 10. So far it seems to be working reasonably well even if the laptop did get a little bit hot last night. I shall put that down to the over-excitement of the upgrade.
Over brekkie Facebook was awash with the photos of the Hastings pram race which took place yesterday. It is something for which many friends and family prepare for months, and I find out about after the event. It would have been nice to have been told it was happening. I suppose I could periodically check various on-line diaries to find out for myself. Or perhaps (being paranoid) I wasn't told about it because I wasn't wanted there... every year I whinge about missing this event.
Off to work. Earlier in the week I was ranting about the stupidity of the police's investigations of Sir Edward Heath who has been dead for ten years. Today's radio brought news of a chap who lived locally who had been found guilty of raping his five year old child. In this case the chap is still alive so at least he can be brought to justice, but again this crime was from forty years ago. How can there be a fair trial after this time?
Come to that why is it that so many people feel that a fair trial is unneccassary? Is the simple allegation of child abuse *really* enough to prove guilt? I personally know of a case where scouting friends were accused of all manner of foul acts by a child who later subsequently admitted to having made it all up because of some trivial incident that happened at scout camp.
I've also been ranting about how the county has been brought to a standstill by the migrant crisis in Calais which has effectively closed the motorway. The pundits on the radio were telling of how the amounts of fines issued to hauliers has massively increased recently. I suppose that the lorry drivers have to make sure they aren't bringing in people with or without their knowledge. But the radio featured an interview with a chap who having driven from France to England thought he could hear movement in the back of his lorry. He turned his lorry around, drove to the customs people at Dover docks and told them he thought he had illegals in his load. The customs officials opened his lorry, found eleven illegal immigrants, and then fined the driver thousands of pounds for bringing them into the country.
This chap told the interviewers that next time he will let the illegals out at the first motorway services he finds. Can't say I blame him...
On my way to work I stopped off at Morrisons for crisps and stuff for the evening; it came as something of a shock to find that Morrisons charge two quid for something I could buy in the shop over the road from my house for only one quid.
Whilst I was there I saw a CD I quite liked the look of : "Number Ones from the Seventies". It wasn't expensive so I bought it and I then drove on to work singing along to Elvis's "The Wonder of You", Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" and Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive". I might not be utterly impartial, but I thought I gave a good rendition of these songs.
The random thought occurred to me that I might actually be rather good as a drag singer?
I popped out for a walk at lunch time. I'd received word that a geocache I'd hidden near the hospital had gone walkabout. It hadn't. It was exactly where I'd put in in April when I put it there because its predecessor had gone missing. Funnily enough its once-missing predecessor was also there as well. It certainly wasn't there in April but today both caches were within two inches of each other. What was going on there? Had someone taken the original home to show their mum and brought it back later?
With "er indoors TM" off to Harrogate to monger candles I was left to my own devices this evening. So I we had a little game of cards. I haven't played cards for ages; I really like the game even though I'm not actually very good at it. Straight flushes, full houses, chocolate frogs... must do it again soon...
8 August 2015 (Saturday) - On The Beer
Yesterday morning I set my alarm for 6am as I needed to be up promptly for work. I forgot to un-set it, and it woke me at 6am this morning. With "er indoors TM" away for the weekend I'd let "Furry Face TM" sleep at the foot of the bed and he was raring to go. So rather than farting about we went out for a little walk. Bearing in mind his propensity for causing mayhem I think I may well take him for more walks at 6am. No one else was awake. Apart from two attempts to roll in fox poo the walk passed off completely without incident.
Once home I watered "er indoors TM" 's tomato plant. There's no denying I'm amazed it has lasted a week. I can't say I'm impressed with it, but I'm not having it die whilst she's away; I'd be dead as ice cubes. I then got out the shears and gave myself a quick haircut then scoffed a quick bit of brekkie. As I scoffed and watched "Family Guy" I sorted the undercrackers I put on to wash last night. There can't be many people sorting undercrackers so early on a Saturday morning.
I then ironed shirts to "Toddlers and Tiaras"; I've blogged about this show before. In today's episode one of the judges openly admitted that the top prized usually go to those children who've had most money spent on them. Bearing in mind the parents fork out thousands I'm glad that "Daddies Little Angel TM" stuck with her baton twirling. That was judged on merit. I know that because she won *loads* of trophies and I didn't spend a bean.
I then wasted an hour trying to wrestle AVG anti-virus into Windows 10 only to eventually find that he built-in anti-virus would automatically disable any anti-virus I might try to install. I wish it had told me that right at the start.
I then wasted more time by submitting readings from the leccie and gas meters. I'd had an email asking for readings. I logged into my account which told me I was one hundred quid in credit; I read the meters and entered the figures on the website. Suddenly I was twenty quid in the red.
After a minor squabble with the most recent frui of my loin about the difference between Kate Bush and Dana (One is hyper-sexy with zips on her tits and the other is a hippy) I then popped to see the neighbours a few doors down to complain about their tree. Well, not so much to complain as to tell them that him-next-door had told me to complain; I wasn't going to lie to them.
I then set off on the main business of the day... I walked up to the railway station where I met Steve and Sarah. We got the train southwards and it all becane very vague...I took a few photos whilst we were out. Perhaps they will give me a clue as to what happened...
9 August 2015 (Sunday) - Samphire Hoe
I suppose its hardly surprising I slept well last night. "Furry Face TM" sneaked upstairs in the night and woke me when he had a sneezing fit shortly after 5am. I then dozed on to 7am when I finally got up. Over brekkie I watched "Dad's Army"; today's episode was really dated by its beinng all about red telephone boxes. Who uses them these days?
When it finished there was some crackpot American religious nonsense on the telly. I gave it five minutes and then turned it off. I watered "er indoors TM" tomoato plant, fed "Furry Face TM" and we got ready for the day.
Some time ago Stevey had planned a walk along the coast for today. Over the years we've often tried to walk from Folkestone to Samphire Hoe only to be thwarted by the tide. Stevey had checked the tides...
Four of us (and two dogs) met up by the drive to the Little Switzerland camp site and soon were on our way. We walked down past the camping site and were soon on the sea wall. The beach by Folkestone Warren really is one of the county's (if not the country's) hidden treasures. There is a firm path for about three quarters of the way from Folkestone to Samphire Hoe, and the scenery at the foot of the White Clifs is spectacular. Being a hot day it was rather hazy and so we couldn't quite see over to France; neither did we see any adders or seals. But as we walked we saw slow worms and lizards on the rocks, and house martins nesting high up on the cliffs.
It took us about an hour and a half to get to the Hoe; and once there we had a very quick geocaching session. By one of those odd co-incidences a geo-meet had been arranged at Samphire Hoe today. We didn't actually go caching as such, but finding ourselves arriving at the far end of Samphire Hoe from everyone else (who had driven there) and finding ourselves only seventy meters from a geocache which had only gone live twenty minutes previously it would have been daft not to have chased the FTF. We did; we got it.
We then walked up to the visitor centre where Sarah was waiting for us; we sat with the geocachers and chatted. We got given tea, we had our sandwiches, we had ice creams. After about an hour we decided that if we didn't start walking back we never would. Leaving the rest of the geocaches for another day we set off through the Hoe back to the beach and home.
As we walked we came back through the nudey beach. On the way there we'd only seen one bloke and his "junk". On the walk back there was another bloke laying back, legs gracefully (!) akimbo holding his willy up so as to allow the sunshine to get to his "bits" and we even saw a nudey lady without any clothes on. Both dogs went and made nuisances of themselves around the nudey lady (which was something of a result).
At one point along the beach there was quite a serious campsite going on. About half a dozen tents, with quite a lot of camping gear, and the closest road over a mile away. How on Earth did they get all their kit there? Perhaps they brought it all in by boat; a little later we saw a small boat landing supplies for picnicers.
After a couple of hours we were back where we started; it had been a lovely walk even if a warm one. Having driven people home I then bathed "Furry Face TM". He had been in the sea, was covered in sand, and had been rolling in something which was either an extremely dead fish or seal poo.
With dog bathed I gave him his tea then popped up the road for some KFC for myself. I had earlier formulated a vague plan to invite myself round to "My Boy TM" for dinner, but we'd had (nearly) a ten mile walk in very hot sunshine. I felt as though I needed a rather quiet evening. I'd taken quite a few photos whilst on today's walk; more than I usually do. I put those on line then I spent the evening watching drivel on the telly.
Last week's "Dark Matter" was quite entertaining. "Star Trek V" might not be everyone's favourite film, but Star Trek is Star Trek after all. "The Last Ship" is a series which over the last few weeks seems to have lost its way; tonight's episode seemed to favour the concept of having things exploding over having a plot. I was also disappointed by the latest episode of "Dominion" which again seemed to be making very little sense. When "The Sky at Night" proved to be little more than hot air I turned the telly off and went to bed...
10 August 2015 (Monday) - Upsetting the Baby
Last night I spent a little while planning a geo-walk in September only to get up this morning to find it clashes with a previously organised event. I really should pay more attention to what's going on. Before I could find another date I had a message from Yorkshire from "er indoors TM" to say that the candle-mongers were about to set off for civilisation so I spent a few moments tidying the mess I might (just possibly) have made whilst she was away. I certainly made a point of again watering that tomato plant.
I then took "Furry Face TM" for a llittle walk. We went out through the co-op field and the plan was to visit "My Boy TM" to see him, his entourage and his sparkly new water feature. I suppose two out of three ain't bad; Lacey and Cheryl were up and about and the water feature looks good. But he was still in bed. I said not to disturb him. I suppose a lot of people are still in bed at 8am. Perhaps it really is just me who is up at sparrow-fart every morning?
On my way to work I stopped off at the nearby Tesco for petrol. Normally I'd go to Morrisons in Canterbury, but things were getting low in my tank and I didn't fancy conking out half way down the motorway. I also got sugar (as ordered) for "Daddies Little Angel TM" and then went to Folkestone to see the littlun and his mummy.
It's always good seeing the fruits on my loin; especially when they can get out of their pits. Today I went to visit both (at various times) and had a fifty per cent succes rate.
If only they didn't have to say the "F" work quite so often we could probably say twice as much to each other.
I hadn't been there long when I upset the littlun....
Whilst holding him he was (as "Daddies Little Angel TM" so succinctly puts it) "flidding about"; he was just generally wriggling and struggling and thrashing about as littuns do. His head bumped mine rather painfully. I told him to steady on. He turned to look at me with the most accusing stare; and after a second or two his eyes filled with tears and he sobbed. He wasn't physically hurt but Granddad had told him off.
He was distraught.
He eventually stopped sobbing and I cheered him up by throwing him at the ceiling. He likes that. I then set off to work.
Once there I did my bit, but my heart wasn't in it today. Don't get me wrong; I've not got a bad job, but more and more I am coming to the conclusion that since I took up full time employment for the first time in the summer of 1980 I've really feel that over the intervening years I've done quite enough work and I am now seriously ready to retire.
A lot of the problem I have is these night shifts; I actually love them because when on shifts I work longer sessions, and consequently work fewer of them. Last week I went back to day shifts for a while and it was the first time for several months that I actually worked five consecutive days. I've rather got out of the habit of doing that.
I wonder how I go about getting early retirement... ?
A few days ago I sent the leccie and gas meter readings in to the power company. From being comfortably in credit I suddenly went to being overdrawn. Over brekkie I checked my emails to see that they've reviewed my readings and decided not to change my monthly payments at all. I wonder what that was all about.
I then spent a little while feeling jealous. Some geocaching pals are currently on holiday in Vancouver. It's a lovely place. I've been there twice with the scouts and had plans to go back there again when finances allowed. Unfortunately I doubt they ever will now.
I set off to work through the rain. Today was rather damp. I can't really complain; the weather's been really good recently but there are so many who never seem to remember the weeks of sunshine.
As I drove the radio was fussing about the price of milk. Apparently there is consternation because milk is being sold in supermarkets for less than it costs to produce the stuff and consequently milk producers are going out of business. I can't see how this works. Surely market forces would prevent this if people truly want millk? Or (just perhaps) the entire concept of "market forces" on which our capitalist society is founded is seriously flawed?
Something else which is seriously flawed is the way in which people from overseas are entitled to no end of benefit handouts. For all that the Government are trying to stop this, it turns out that the only way to prevent it happening is to cut all benefits to everyone. Apparently it is illegal to give handouts to deserving British citizens (who have lived in the UK) for years and not to those who've just arrived because that is discriminatory...
I got to work, and for the morning I was "sexy office girl"; a role at which I was surprisingly good. At mid day I left and went to another hospital where I had an appointment.
Some months ago I went to my G.P. about a lump in my neck under my chin. A couple of months ago I saw the cancer specialist at the hospital who referred me for an ultrasound guided aspiration of the lump. That took place a little while ago; at the time the ultrasonographer had a good scan all round the sides of my neck. He was especially thorough, but after some fifteen minutes I suggested he might like to have a zap at my windpipe (which is where the lump was). He declined; apparently air-filled structures don't respond to ultrasound visualisations. The fact that my lump is actually up against my windpipe (hence the pain on swallowing) didn't cut any ice with this chap. He assured me that a palpable lump is probably "referred pain".
After a lot of ultrasounding he announced that I had some lymph nodes in the side of my neck and asked if they were troublesome; I said no. He said that I'd come to have an ultrasound-guided aspiration and so he was going to aspirate those nodes. I suggested he might prefer to aspirate the lump I'd actually complained about in the first place, but his mind was made up.
It turned out that the aspiration of the nodes which seemed to be fine was inconclusive, so the specialist sent me back to the ultrasonographer for an ultrasound-guided biopsy today. After a little waiting around the chap had a good scan all around the sides of my neck again and announced that the nodes he was worried aboout a month ago are now insignificant. He said they were too small to biopsy; apparently the dangers of doing so outweighed any potential benefits (the BMA frown on mishaps involving the jugular vein).
So I've had the all-clear. But...
It's an all-clear on someething that was never actually a problem in the first place. The lump under my neck still hurts when I swallow. I have another appointment with the specialist in a fortnight or so. I'll see if I can get him to have a look at the lump about which I went to him in the first place...
Perhaps I should have gone back to work after the appointment but I came home; I wasn't feeling up to being sociable. I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk to gather my thoughts, and as I walked so my piss boiled.
The shop over the road was having a delivery of crisps. Only the van delivering the crisps wasn't a crisps van. It was from a "specialist in retail snacking solutions".
And then not fifty yards up the roaad a council van pulled up. This van had an equally ludicrous title emblazoned over it. "Bus stop cleaner" would have been a more apt description.
Personally I would have thought that bus stop maintenance would have been down to the bus companies but it's not. Bus stop maintenance is something the council contract out.
We didn't walk for long, and once home I dozed in front of the telly. I'd only had an ultrasound zap of the neck but I felt drained.
I could have gone out to the Tuesday gathering this evening but what with my experiences of the day I wasn't feeling up to the late night. Instead I stayed home and slobbed in front of the telly. James Bond is on in a minute. I shall sleep through that...
12 August 2015 (Wednesday) - Buster (Bloodvessel
I've somehow burst a blood vessel in my eye. Excessive blood pressure from yesterday's ranting perhaps?
I slept well; the alarm woke me which is unusual, and I got up to find the dishwasher hadn't been as thorough on the crockery as it might have been. More salt perhaps?
Over brekkie I watched an episode of "Family Guy"; somehow the SkyPlus box has recently recorded over forty episides of the show. I didn't tell it to do that. I wonder what tthat device is up to. I then checked out social media; yesterday I organised a walk for the upcoming Bank Holiday and suggested it to a few people. This morning I was rather surprised at how many people have taken me up on the idea.
And so to work. As I drove the news mentioned (in passing) the problems of the local health authority who are facing a forty million pound shortfall.
Interestingly the health authority was quoted as saying "... a national shortage of doctors and nurses makes it difficult to recruit permanent staff in some areas, which means .... we have to employ very expensive agency staff." This has been a common feature of all hospital work for at least thirty years. The pay you get in the NHS isn't that bad, but you can get far more doing the same job if you work through an agency. The reason... no one wants to work for a hospital because if you make the slightest mistake you find yourself publically crucified on the altar of outraged media opinion (I might have mentioned this before, not that I'm in any way bitter). Consequently there are usually un-fillable vacancies and agencies offer to fill those vacancies... for a price.
That would be market forces in action again. Are these market forces *really* as good as the capitalists would have us believe?
As I drove it was raining again. The BBC weather forecast was telling of the lovely clear morning in south east England. I sometimes wonder about suggesting to the BBC that their radio people might do better betting their weather forecasts from the BBC's own weather website. The BBC website's weather forecast is usually different to that broadcast on the radio. The radio is always wrong; the website more often right than wrong.
I got to work and did what I had to. Several people commented about my eye. It looks a lot worse than it is.
Getting home was a problem; road works at one of the busiest junctions made me half an hour late gettinig home. On the plus side "er indoors TM" was able to meet me and "Furry Face TM" as we had our little pootle round the park.
It's tea time soon. There's a box of wine in the fridge left over from the party a couple of weeks ago. It needs drinking up....
13 August 2015 (Thursday) - Torrential Rain
I slept like a log and woke totally refreshed only to see it was 12.15am. I'd been asleep for just over an hour. After that I slept well, but the night was filled with vivid dreams in which I was randomly being hunted by all manner of minorities for having created the worlds most politically incorrect joke.
I'm actually working on creating the worlds most politically incorrect joke as a protest about Twitter (it's a long story) but I've stll got a little way to go. If any of my loyal readers can think of any obscure minorities that I might have overlooked, please don't hesitate to let me know...
I got up shortly after 5.30am and came downstairs. I opened the curtains to see the people in the house over the road were decorating their living room. Windows wide open, no curtains, all the lights on and it *looked* like they were doing the decorating in the nudey. I watched for a few minutes but couldn't conclusively decide one way or the other.
Over brekkie I watched this week's installment of "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" in which Billie Piper's stunt double was definately nudey. I then thought I'd have a little look at the Internet. There was a minor delay as my FireFox browser updated itself to be able to cope with Windows 10. I would have thought it would have realised this change happened a week ago but perhaps (like me) this sort of this just passes it by.
Seeing not a lot had happened overnight I set off to work.
I got to work; not a lot was going on, so I took the afternoon off and came home through some of the worst weather I have ever seen. The A28 was more like a river than a road.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" and littlun were visiting; we had lunch and seeing how the rain had seemed to have abated we had a plan to take the dogs for a walk. As we walked out the door so the rain started. After twenty yards we were soaked to the skin so came home again. We chucked wet clothes into the tumble-drier and watched "Toddlers and Tiaras" until the rain stopped properly. We then had our walk.
It wasn't that long ago that I regularly walked round the park with "Daddies Little Angel TM"; today was the first time for ages. Certainly the first time with littlun along. We had a good walk; we met Ralph the pug. I've met Ralph before; "Daddies Little Angel TM" hadn't and she was in raptures about the little black pug.
As we walked it was clear that "Furry Face TM" had been missing Sid; and he expressed his affection in the way that only an over-amourous Tripe-Hound (that was never confused) could. I wish he wouldn't do that.
I offered to take "Daddies Little Angel TM" home and we took a scenic route back to Folkestone; firstly via McDonalds for McFlurries. As we drove we were nearly (but not quite) driven off of the road by a van belonging to "Supercups Vending". As I have remarked before, if you are going to drive with absolutely no regard for anyone else around you, it is best not to do so in the works van.
Suitably McFlurried we then queued in Argos for the new baby-car-seat. We were not happy that we were order #220 but orders up to #224 were served before us. As I explained to the chap behind the counter this would never have happpened under a Labour government, and I assured him that I was going to write a letter of complaint to the Minister for Argos.
The poor chap behind the counter smiled sweetly. He seemed frightened.
I hope this rains stops soon....
14 August 2015 (Friday) – Cobham
Over brekkie I was mooching through Facebook and I saw a photo of myself from three years ago. I was seriously thin then. It was amazing what a combination of being constantly hungry together with eighteen months of life-changing stress did.
Now things have regained a semblance of normality the weight has piled back on. I wish I could keep the weight off. It is not as though I don't do any excercise.
A couple of days I mentioned the dishwasher has been rather lax in the performance of its duties. Today the inside of the thing was decidedly greasy so I gave it a good squirt of fairy liquid and set it on a wash cycle. There are those who thought that was a mistake. All I can say is things certainly got frothy and the grease problem isn't what it once was.
I then got "Furry Face TM" into the car and we drove up to Cobham where four of us (and two dogs) met up for a morning's geocaching. Earlier in the week I'd seen a post on Facebook's "Geocaching in Kent" group asking if anyone fancied going for a walk today. I did. I like these mid-week walks. It seems there are usually a few people free and it is often a different few peeople.
Bearing in mind yesterday's rain I thought I might give my new gaiters a trial run. As it happened I didn't need them; they just made me hot and I took them off after a mile or so. I hesitate to say that was ten quid down the drain... but we shall see.
After a little while we saw a familiar face catching up with us, and then there were five of us (and two dogs). We had a good walk; beautiful views, excellent company. I had a little hiccup with some geo-sums along the way but nothing that proved to be an insurmountable problem.
I took a few photos whilst we walked; the walk was billed as being about three miles and after two (and a bit) hours we were back at the car park saying our goodbyes. there is talk of another such walk early next week if any of my loyal readers are up for it.
We came home, and as is so often the way I then spent an afternoon putting the washing machine through its paces. Unlike the dishwasher, it is living up to expectations.... provided one selects the one hour quick cycle. None of the other settings (apart from spin and tumble dry) seem to do very much any more.
As I ironed my shirts "Upstairs Downstairs" was on the telly. Frederick disgraced himself with Lady Dolly. The beast (!)
"er indoors TM" came home and opened the parcel the postman had left on the doorstep for her. In it was a nice print-on-canvas of baby Jake, some photos of his Christening, and some photos of some normal people and their dogs. I wonder who those normal people are. And I wonder if they have any of our photos.
"er indoors TM" then took a spaanner out to her car to fix it. I left her to it; I had absolutely no idea what the problem with the car was and even if I did I wouldn't have any idea how to fix it.
I do the ironing; I shall stick to what I know....
15 August 2015 (Saturday) - Warden Point
I slept well; brekkie was relatively uneventful, and once it was scoffed we went for a mini-road trip to Sheerness. We've not been to Whelans for a while. We needed new sails for the garden's ornamental windmill; they didn't survive the power washer. We picked up a few pressies whilst we were there, and as we were in the area we drove out to Warden Point to do the Earthcache that was there.
If you do the secret geo-ritual near an Earthcache at the moment you get an e-souvenir, and seeing that my closest unfound one was on the isle of Sheppey it made sense to do it whilst we were (relatively) nearby.
We came home; "er indoors TM" drove off to the family party that was going on this afternoon. I went to bed prior to the night shift. Earlier in the year I'd kindly offered to swap shifts so's a colleague could be off work today. I didn't realise there was a party I'd be missing.
I ddidn't sleep well. A noisy salesman from Zenith windows, anonymous phone calls and dogs with sneezing fits saw to that.
I shall show my face at the party on the way to work. Wish I never offered to swap now.....
16 August 2015 (Sunday) - Hiding Tupperware
As I drove home from work the radio was talking about the seventieth anniversary of the defeat of Japan at the end of World War II. The Japanese Prime Minister was in the news about the matter; whilst in no way belittling the atrocities, he's refused to make any more apologies about the Japanese involvement in World War II. He was quoted as saying "future Japanese generations should not have to keep apologizing". I realise that I am in a minority of two (me and the Japanese Prime Minister) but I think the chap's got a point.
I really wanted to do something today; the trouble with the day between the night shifts is that it can easily be a non-event. Bearing in mind I needed to put the finishing touches to a geo-series which I am planning for next Saturday's geo-picnic I thought I'd geo-go and geo-do that this morning.
Feeling somewhat tired I co-opted "er indoors TM" to do the driving, and we took "Furry Face TM" as he is apt to get a tad fractious if not regularly walked to destruction. And talking of being walked to destruction, my dog hurt his leg whilst we were out. For a little while he seemed to be limping. I picked him up and gave him a once-over. Something seemed to fall from the problematical paw and then he was fine. I think he must have got a stone stuck in his foot.
We were only walking for an hour or so; all the geo-stuff got done. I even took a few photos whilst we were walking.
We came home, and after a spot of lunch I took myself off to bed for the afternoon hoping for a better kip than I had acheived yesterday. I slept like a log until the alarm went at 5pm.
A rather good bit of tea, then off to work for another night shift...
17 August 2015 (Monday) - Bit Tired
On Saturday afternoon whilst I tried to sleep all the family had gathered and were having a barby. I went along for half an hour on the way to work, and then left them all to it. Everyone else had an afternoon and an evening on the beer and on the barby; I was there for half an hour and had a glass of pop and a couple of burgers.
Talking to the first fruit of my loin it seems that everyone else has been fine; I was the only one to have spent most of yesterday running to the loo.
I was rather grateful that for the duration of my twelve hour night shift last night I was never more than twenty yards from the toilet. But there's no denying that I wasn't looking forward to risking the drive home.
However things seemed to have settled somewhat, which was for the best.
As I drove I saw something you don't see very often these days; a hitch-hiker. I used to hitch-hike myself in years gone by and will always offer a lift if I am going where they want to go. I picked this lady up a couple of miles outside of Canterbury and took her to the M20. She was hoping to get to Epsom (of all places).
Once home I decided that my innards had finally settled and so I thought I might go for a walk. After all, it is not possible to explain dodgy guts to "Furry Face TM" so we scrounged a lift with "er indoors TM". I had a plan to get a lift to the other side of town with her and then geo-stroll home past a few new geocaches which had appeared over the last couple of weeks. As luck would have it two new ones appeared on our route this very morning. They went live just as we left the house.
Two First to Finds was a nice bonus.
We made our way home via three more caches; it might have been four but we were quite a long way from home and my guts suddenly took a turn for the worse. So rather than taking a diversion to the tip we came home through the park where we meet Ralph the Pug.
Once home I put some washing on to scrub, and over a bit of lunch I had a look at everyone's photos on Facebook. As well as missing out on a family barby on Saturday, I also missed the chance of a trip to the wicked city yesterday.
Earlier in the year I was asked to swap my weekends so's a colleague could go to a party. I agreed; had I known what I was going to miss I wonder if I would have been quite so willing to be helpful.
I spent the afternoon snoring, and then solved a few geo-puzzles until "er indoors TM" came home to cook my tea. I'm sure she had other reasons for coming home, but I know what my priorities are. and with "er indoors TM" off bowling I spent the evening dozing on front of the telly.
18 August 2015 (Tuesday) – Farningham
I slept like a log last night; I do that after two night shifts. "Furry Face TM" was all a-quiver wheen I got up; he was clearly expecting a walk. I tried to explain that the walk would be later but I don't think he understood.
After brekkie I scrounged a lift into town with "er indoors TM"; my freebie phone charger had to go back to the shop. The company had issued a recall on account of the things seem to periodically explode. They grovellingly apologised that they couldn't replace it as they'd run out but said they would text me when they had some in stock. They then gave me a voucher worth twenty quid to spend in their on-line shop.
I shall spend it on a phone charger that doesn't explode.
I came home via Iceland where I watched some delightful toddlers dropping cartons of eggs on the floor, and then I made a detour to the milk shake shop. This is a wonderful place that makes milk shakes out of anything and everything. Creme eggs, black forest gateau, werther's originals, bakewell tarts, pickled onions... there is nothing from which they won't make a milk shake.
However the place does have one major drawback.... it is rarely (if ever) open. It was closed today as I walked past. I wish they would open. They used to do so in the past.
Once home (to my dog's terror) I ran round with the hoover (this hoover is made by the Dyson corporation). I then loaded the dishwasher. Perhaps I shouldn't have done that. Just recently the thing's been rather lax in the performance of its duties. Stuff comes out grubby and greasy. I even gave it a good dosing of fairy liquid to no avail.
I've finally realised that when the cycle finishes the stuff is cold. The heating element would seem to have packed up. "er indoors TM" says she will find out if it is still under warranty. If not I suspect it would be cheaper to get a new dishwasher than to have the old one repaired.
After a bite of lunch I put the collar onto "Furry Face TM" and we drove to Farningham. There was a geo-meet planned there for this evening, and so we'd arranged to met a friend at Farningham, go for a little walk and so (hopefully) be back in time for the meet-up. I set off a little earlier than I might have done. The word was the motorway was partially blocked because of an accident. It wasn't. We got there in plenty of time. After my dog had barked at the children playing in the river we met Aleta and went for a walk. We had a rather good walk; just under seven miles. Some wonderful views, beautiful scenery, and we even saw a couple of alpacas as well. And (guess what) - I brandished the camera too...
We were back in time for the meet. Being a little way from home this meet-up wasn't attended by the usual faces we see at geo-meets. I was going to whinge about the meet.... but I won't.
But I will say it gave me a few ideas for the geo-meet I am hosting on Saturday.
19 August 2015 (Wednesday) - Coming Out
After another good night's sleep I woke ten minutes before the alarm was due to go off. Over brekkie I watcheed an episode of "Dad's Army" in which the vicar was startled during evensong. He didn't like it up 'em. I then had a mooch on-line. Not a lot seemed to have happened overnight, which was probably for the best.
As I drove to work my piss boiled as I listened to the news. Despite leaving university with a lifetime's worth of debt, only half of graduates are actually doing anything with their degrees.
I blame the schools. When I was at school the careers teacher could only give advice on what university one might attend. "Failures" went into the army or banking. And that *really* was the attitude; no secret was made of the fact that the school expected you to go to university. If you didn't go to university you were openly seen as a failure. And so we have a generation with degrees that they don't use, effectively the ability to fart in Latin, and more debt than sense.
There are also calls from those who know no better to have the NHS paying for e-cigarettes for the masses.
Leaving aside the obvious argument of why should my taxes pay for their e-fags, and why don't their taxes pay for my new walking boots, this is a typical example of all that is wrong with the NHS. Yet more things for the NHS to be providing, and no funding for it to be doing so.
Something else equally cheeky is a scheme from several local councils which involves local councils giving council house tenants forty thousand pounds toward the cost of buying their own house.
Since having announced the plan Canterbury council has backtracked somewhat saying the sceme is only open to the first ten applicants. However that's stil the best part of half a million quid being given away.
I got to work, and my piss cooled as I pootled about my daily round. With my daily round done I came home.
The original plan for the evening involved going to the Venetian fete in Hythe, but that was not to be. Instead I came home and walked "Furry Face TM" round the park. As we walked I had a message.
Someone I've known for years, a very good friend, has finally plucked up the courage to tell the world that they are gay. I won't say who she (or he) is. Realistically whether or not that person is or is not gay is a matter of absolutely no importance to anyone but that person. To me some people are left handed, some have beards, some are clever, some not so, some are gay. All these quirks and foibles have absolutely nothing to do with me or how I get on with that person.
It is really wrong that people feel that they cannot be open about their sexuality and that they will be rejected by friends. And on serious reflection I don't know whhich is worse; to make jokes in bad taste about the matter, or to pretend to some politically correct agenda which just draws attention to matters which are nobody's business.
And now telly. Yonderland and Bake-Off.... Oh yes !!!!
20 August 2015 (Thursday) – Hungry
Another good night's sleep; again waking just before the alarm. I got up, and as the dishwasher is on sick leave I did the washing up myself.
Over brekkie I watched "Secret Diary of a Call Girl". I know this series is based on true stories, but do people *really* have spare thousands of pounds to squander on ladies of loose morals? Even if my back was up to it, my budget wouldn't go much over a fiver.
And so to work through a very wet morning. I had the radio on as I drove. Yesterday I was ranting about how many people are taking unnecessary degrees. Today's radio show featured interviews with two people who had such degrees.
There was an interview with a chap who had a degree in designing road layouts for new towns (I forget the exact title). He seemed to think that there would be endless opportunities in designing new towns from scratch. He had been rather surprised to leave university to find that towns had already been built and no one was interested in bulldozing them and re-building them from scratch to his design.
He is currently working for a telephone sales company trying to sell stuff no one wants to people who don't want it.
There was also a girl with a degree in primate studies who wanted to become a monkey-ologist and was shocked to find that studying monkeys wasn't going to make her rich. She is currently doing voluntary work in the field of marine biology as she seems to think there's more money in fish.
Neither are going to be in a position to pay back their student loans any time soon. And for all that they are clever enoght to get a degree, both must be rather stupid. Why does anyone run up terrible debts studying such subjects that clearly aren't going to have any practical application?
I got to work and after five minutes i felt rather odd. I think I might (just possibly) have had a mild heart attack. It was a weird sensation; it felt as though I had cramp of the heart. It only lasted for a few seconds and went as quickly as it came. Let's hope it's nothing to worry about. It didn't play up for the rest of the day so I'm seeing that as a good sign.
I got home safely, which was surprising. I was tail-ended for fifteen miles along the A28 by "Ashford Man & Van". The chap doesn't seem to have an on-line presence at all, which is a shame. I could have given him some nice reviews (!) But if any of my Kent-based readers need the services of a man & van I really couldn't recommend this one; I doubt anything he transports could ever arrive safely.
I walked "Furry Face TM" round the park; we met Marley (a dog-relative) and chased a squirrel up a tree. And then I found myself "home alone" as "er indoors TM" zoomed off to do "Daddies Little Angel TM"'s bidding. I think this particular bidding involved relocating a rabbit; I could be wrong.
All I do know for sure is that my dinner doesn't cook itself, and I'm hungry....
21 August 2015 (Friday) - Iced Frappe
Anyone who claims they've never watched "Thunderbirds" is just pretending to be cool. We've all watched it. But how many of us have noticed the major flaw in Thunderbird Two's pods?
When the pods are loaded they are wheeled underneath Thunderbird Two between the support strut leg things. There's is plenty of space between the support strut leg things for pods to pass. But when Virgil lands to save the day (unlike the rest of his lazy brothers) when he uses the support strut leg things to deploy the pod they are to the sides of the pod. They would be in the way of the pods as they were wheeled into place for loading.
This is of vital importance. Why has it taken me fifty years to realise this?
I asked this very question on Facebook last night. I was surprised at the amount of reaction it generated.
As I had my brekkie this morning I became increasingly worried about my dog. he seemed very listless and showed no interest in scrounging for toast.
"er indoors TM" got up and explained why he was so withdrawn. Apparently he'd been up most of the night woofing and would seem to have worn himself out. I must have slept through it all.
I wondered if he fancied a walk: I showed him his collar and lead and he got very over-excited. There was nothing wrong with him.
As we walked we met the local vicar. Our local vicar scares me. He wears open toed sandals all year long. (I judge men who wear open toed sandals). The vicar said "Good Morning" to us... I say he "said" it; he actually barked and snarled it in the same way that a skinhead thug would ask "Who You Looking At?" before administering an old fashioned bunch of fives up the throat.
I couldn't scurry away quickly enough.
Once home I set off to work a little earlier than I had to; I took a rather circuitous route. Usually I'd go harass "Daddies Little Angel TM" and the baby before work, but on Fridays they "Mother and Toddler", and there's no space for a Granddad there. So instead I resorted to hunting for tupperware for an hour or so.
A few new geocaches had gone live the other side of Canterbury in the week, and one had appeared this morning. I quite like a little walk round Canterbury before the late shift. If nothing else I have little worry about being late for work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were re-uniting guards and inmates from the Guantanamo Bay prison, so I turned the radio off and listened to my awful music instead.
I soon parked the car in Canterbury and had a rather poor geo-stroll.
I found the first one pretty much straight away; the second one was far too close to someone in their back garden for my liking, and I gave up when I saw that the third one was probably amongst the druggies' discarded syringes.
So, sulking about my thirty-three per cent success rate, I then went to McDonalds for some McBrekkie. I do like McBrekkie. The only people who ever say bad things about a sausage and egg McMuffin are those people who've never had one. I also treated myself to a caramel frappe. And then to a second one as I liked the first one so much.
And that was pretty much it for my day. I went to work, did what I couldn't avoid, and came home a lot later than I'd have liked (given any choice in the matter). A quick trip to Asda, curry, a bottle of plonk, a cyber-squabble.... another day in the life really....
22 August 2015 (Saturday) - Geo- Meet, Stefano's
I had a terrible night's sleep; After a nightmare in which "er indoors TM" was attacking me with an ironing board I woke in a sweat at 3am and then lay awake for the rest of the night. I gave up trying to sleep shortly after 6am and got up. "Furry Face TM" was still snoring, and he carried on snoring whilst I did the dishwasher's work for it; the poor thing is still on sick leave.
I had a spot of brekkie, then saw the eleven caches I'd hiddedn for today's geo-meet had been published. And before long I was seeing that people were successfully solving the puzzles I'd set. Eventually "er indoors TM" came up with the right answer, we loaded up the car and set off for Challock.
Every month the local hunters of tupperware meet up; today it was my turn to host the gathering. Rather than meeting in a pub (which gets expensive if you drink like I do!) I thought we might meet on the village green at Challock and have a picnic. I'd got permission from the local parish council and so I dropped "er indoors TM" and "Furry Face TM" off with a gaggle of hunters-of-sandwich-boxes who were going to find what I'd hidden. Whilst they scoured the countryside I set up shelter and a table to act as a base so people could see where to meet.
It took me ten minutes to set up, and then I settled down for an hour's peace and quiet in the sun. After half an hour I had a phone call; I'd stuffed up the sums on one of my field puzzles. Despite hardly any phone signal I managed to put things right just as people started arriving for the meet.
I can hardly be impartial, but I thought we had a good meet. I think we had about fifty people along in total, Rebecca made some rather good cakes, everyone chattered with everyone else in the sunshine; two hours passed very quickly. I took a few photos whilst we were there; I wish I'd taken more.
After a couple of hours people started drifting away; we packed up and came home. I struggled a little; my tennis elbow was really playing up.
After a little scrub-up we collected Martin and drove off to Hawkinge to visit my Ham Street Lover. He was opening a new private cocktail bar "Stefano's". Specialising in the more obscure drinks such as "Shrek's J*zz" and featuring live music, I shall visit his back garden again soon.
In a novel break with tradition I was driving and "er indoors TM" was pouring the drink down her neck. Not sure I'm too keen on this way round...
I also had the opportunity of a pool party today at the home of someone with whom I used to work. There just wasn't time to go there.
Why do these things always happen at once?
23 August 2015 (Sunday) - Back to the White Cliffs
My dog had a woofing fit at 2.20am. I settled him, and he had another at 2.45am. After he started shouting at 3.10am I brought him upstairs where it is easier to shush him. He didn't bark after that, but did keep jumping on and off the bed. Consequently I had another sleepless night.
Over brekkie I read something interesting. The BBC is to change the supplier of its weather forecasts. It's very obvious their TV, radio and website already get forecasts from different sources. The website is quite reliable; TV and radio always differ from the website. Perhaps they might start using the BBC website?
I then checked my emails.... One of the things which rather niggles me about geocaching is that whenever one finds a cache or attends a meet-up, one is expected to produce a nice little written log of the episode. Personally I do a "copy & paste" pointing people to this blog. It's not that I can't be bothered to make the effort to write nice things (sometimes I do) but I honestly feel that geocaching is a treasure hunt, not an excercise in creative writing. Not everyone is good with words. I *really* think it should be optional...
However, having written nice words (or copied and pasted trite platitudes like I do) the person who hid the cache or organised the meet gets an email to tell them that someone's done so.
Yesterday a series of eleven new caches of mine went live and I hosted a geo-meet. This morning I had two hundred emails telling me that loads of people had found caches and attended the meet. If nothing else this shows how successful yesterday's event had been. I spent much of the day being smug about that.
I popped out to my car; the public dustbin which lives fifty yards up the street had been dragged and abandoned a hundred yards down the street. Probably by the drunks going home last night. I expect that was what made "Furry Face TM" bark in the night.
As I was taking the bin back to where it lives our "delightful" neighbours were coming out of their house. She made her usual point of ignoring me but then did a double take when she saw I was carrying a public dustbin over my shoulder. I gave her the most sickly of smiles and kept going.
We got our gear together, got into the car, collected the crew and set off on today's geo-mission. Two weeks ago we walked along the bottom of the cliffs from Folkestone to Samphire Hoe and back; today we walked along the top of the same cliffs from Capel (East Folkestone) all the way to Dover looking for geocaches..
Because the walk was a line and not a circle there was a minor hiccup with the possibility of finding ourselves at the end of the walk and seven miles from the car. But this was easily sorted. When I first proposed the walk (a while ago) there was a lot of interest so I suggested that anyone driving down might drop their passengers at the start of the walk. Drivers would go on the the end, then all the drivers could come back in one car.
I rather hoped we'd have enough drivers willing to do this.
I dropped my passengers off on Capel and drove on to the car park in the Western Heights where Fran and Aleta were already waiting. As Mark was the last to arrive we said that as he was still in his car he could drive us all back to the start.
He seemed happy with that scheme.
Soon we were all assembled back in Capel and thirteen of us (and four dogs) went for a walk. I've mentioned before how beautiful the scenery is around the White Cliffs. As we started walking we could see the coast of France across the channel. And as we walked we went through the battle of Britain memorial. We posed for some photos there. We went past the garden of a chap with whom I used to work until he retired several years ago. He was in his garden; we had a chat. We collected clues for puzzles; we successfully hunted tupperware.
We knew it was going to rain at some point; the rain came somewhat earlier than expected. I had this plan to have lunch where I knew there were wartime tunnels that the more adventurous of our number might want to explore. Just as we arrived at the lunch stop so the heavens opened. Those who wanted to tunnel did so, and the rest of us got rather wet.
The rain only lasted for half an hour or so, but it was enough to get the grass very wet; we did get damp on the final stretch. But not that wet that it dampened our spirits. It was a really good walk with really good company, and as is usually the case I took a photo or two as we walked...
After (about) seven miles and (about) five hours we got to the car park at the Western Heights where most of the cars had been left. Aleta had space in her car to take Mark and his crew back to where we'd left his car, and so our transport plan was a total success.
We said our goodbyes, and pausing only briefly to take a photo or two of the harbour we set off home. The plan was to come home; but we took a quick detour to Samphire Hoe. After all their salted caramel ice cream isn't to be turned down lightly.
Once home I had a quick shower and with "er indoors TM" off bowling I found myself at something of a loose end for the evening. Normally we wouldn't be home quite so early on a summer's afternoon, but we had got rather wet whilst out.
When I'm at a loose end I usually do the laundry. It keeps me out of mischief; I don't mind ironing shirts, bandanas really do need to be ironed, and my smalls don't deal with themselves....
24 August 2015 (Monday) – Raining
I finally got a night in which dog woofing wasn't a major part of the action; perhaps walking him to excess before a sleep is a good idea? However I sometimes wonder if our nutty neighbour has invested in a high-pitched whistle to upset Fudge. It sounds paranoid but I really wouldn't put it past the chap.
Mind you the night was filled with rather vivid dreams in which Adolf Hitler had replaced one of my colleagues with a Mr Humphries ("Are You Being Served") look-alike as part of an obscure plan to take over the world.
I eventually woke shortly after 6am and lay awake listening to the sound of the rain. I didn't really have much special planned for the morning but walking the dog, mowing the lawn and drying wet laundry all hinge on not having heavy rain.
I got up, and despite the rain put the washing on to scrub. "Furry Face TM" carried on snoring as I scoffed my toast. Other than having another thirty emails singing the praises of Saturday's geo-fun not a lot had happened in cyber-space overrnight really.
I read an interesting article that the actor Tony (Baldrick) Robinson is trying to resurrect a new "Blackadder" series. I can't see it happening really. Leaving aside how disparaging he was to fellow star Hugh Laurie (in that article), the original four "Blackadder" series were over twenty years ago. Look at the most recent "Red Dwarf" series; what a disappointment. I don't think a remake of "Blackadder" would work. But if there is the possibility of money to be made, then it will certainly happen.
Despite the rain I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk if only to stop him getting fractious. We took a rather different route to any of our usual ones. Yesterday I had a messaage that someone couldn't find one of my "Fudge's Folly" geocaches. The "Fudge's Folly" geocaches are five *really* easy to find caches. The one that was supposedly missing was exactly where it was suposed to be; magnetically stuck on the back of a road sign. The other four were all in place too.
Mind you we did get wet as we walked. As we came by the park I thought I'd let my dog have a little run. What was supposed to be a two minute run became half an hour's soaking as he ran here and there at will; flatly ignoring my calls. Oh he was in trouble when passing dog walkers captured him and brought him back to me.
We came home and I got changed. Absolutely everything I had on was soaking wet. Once dry I looked at the monthly accounts. Could be better. I watched this week's "The Last Ship" (which finally seems to be getting somewhere) then spent the afternoon in bed alternately dozing and listening to the rain.
I gave up trying to sleep at 5pm then made myself quiche and chips (in a previous life I worked in a restaurant kitchen for two years) then scoffed said quiche and chips whilst watching last week's "Dominion" (which isn't really going anywhere).
Night shift now.... I wonder how flooded the A28 will be...
25 August 2015 (Tuesday) - Still Raining
I had the radio on as I drove home after a surprisingly busy late shift. As I drove there was an interesting article on the radio. It was being proposed that fees be charged for children re-sitting exams that they have failed.
From what I could work out one of the pundits was saying that an absolute fortune is being spent on marking GCSE papers written by children who are as thick as two short planks and that said money would be better spent elsewhere. Another pundit was saying it was every child's God-given right to sit an exam that they didn't have a hope of passing.
It strikes me that whilst the teachers really shouldn't put a child up for an exam they know they are going to fail, it's a short step from this theory to having no free education for anyone.
Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. Rain was forecast later in the morning so I thought we'd get round before the heavens opened (like they did yesterday). We walked out to the ford and back. There was a relatively new geocache in the area. I couldn't find it.
My dog nearly got into a fight with an Alsation and a Labrador (at the same time), and I managed to get him onto the lead before we had an episode with Orangehead.
Other than copping myself in the goolies with his lead, the walk passed off relatively uneventfully.
Once home I was feeling a llittle tired so I had a litlle lie down. I woke up six hour later to the sound of torrential rain. I then checked my emails; I had one from a geocaching child who lives in the Canterbury area. His mum has been ranting on-line; the kid's spent a small fortune on buying sandwich boxes only to hide them and have them all go missing.
In his email said kid told me that (apparently) there is a pattern to these disappearences (!) and they can be attributed to the last people who logged a find on-line who this kid asssures me stole them. He's emailed me to warn me as my caches in Canterbury will be next on their list.
I've had a look-see and these same people have indeed been to one of my geocaches near the hospital. I wonder if that one haas been stolen too? I shall have a look later.
As I was slobbing in fron of the telly the door opened. I say "opened"; it sounded as though it was being kicked off of its hinges. "My Boy TM" was coming round "quietly" (as he thought I'd be asleep) to collect some fishing baits he's left in the freezer. I'm not sure what these baits were, but I do know he's not allowed to use his own freezer. he looked wet. Soaked in fact. He grumbled about not wanting to go fishing in the rain tomorrow.
And so off for another night shift. Through the rain Hope this headache goes soon...
26 August 2015 (Wednesday) - Double Oh-Dear
On the way to work yesterday evening I popped into Morrisons last night to get some supplies for the night shift. I hadn't been in the store for more than thirty seconds when some rather loud woman stopped me and started ranting about how I would never believe what a rude husband she had. A slightly smaller version of her (presumably her daughter) was standing at her side and nodding in agreement. After a few minutes of my trying to escape the smaller one (presumably the daughter) announced "THERE HE IS" and the loud one stopped in mid-sentence and the two of them flew at a rather frightened-looking mouse of a man who was quivering by the yogurts.
I took my chance to escape, and (with a basket of stuff to scoff overnight) I soon took my place in the queue at the checkout. Just as the chap in front of me was about to be served he walked away. The checkout girl and I watched him walk out of the store, then we both looked at the gallon of milk and two gallons of cider he'd left on the counter. I shoved it out of the way of my shopping, and I was just finishing paying for my stuff when the bloke who'd left his shopping appeared again. Apparently he'd left his wallet in his car and wasn't happy that I'd not waited for him before pushing to the front of the queue...
I stopped off on my way to work in South Canterbury Road. Yesterday I mentioned how someone new to the world of hiding tupperware had warned me that the felonious miscreants who had stolen his geocaches had been to one of mine.
He seemed convinced that it stood to reason that if a geocache had gone missing then the person who took it away can only be the last person to have logged a visit to that cache on geocaching dot com. I did suggest to him that if someone was going to go out trashing geocaches then they would be hardly likely to take the trouble to record anything on geocaching dot com. I also explained how people new to the game often take caches home to show their mum, and how people rarely put the caches back exactly where they found them.
But he wasn't having any of it.
So I went and had a look at my cache. The last people to visit his caches had certainly been to mine. But my geocache was exactly where it was supposed to be. Had these people decided not to destroy my one? Did they have a personal vendetta againsnt my new-found friend?
Or were they (as I had said) actually utterly innocent of any geo-crimes?
I suspect this was a whole load of fuss over nothing. Life usually is.
I got to work and had a rather quiet night shift. Probably just as well; I wasn't feeling on top form. But I did my bit, and then came home via the petrol station.
Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a quick walk; a walk which we curtailed as the rain started. Today's walk was quite uneventful; we met Leroy the pug but other than that we didn't see any other dogs.
We got back just as the heavens opened, and I then took myself off to bed. After a couple of hours my dog declared "Red Alert" for no reason that I could fathom so I got up to settle him, and then over a late brekkie I watched the latest episode of "Dark Matter" which has now started to get quite interesting.
I then had an idea for a new Wherigo project; for all that I have filled Ashford with the things there are none in Canterbury. I started working on a James Bond themed Wherigo. The time flew by; I spent five hours working on it.
And after a rather good bit ot tea Brian and Rachel came round. Ostensibly to buy candles; the evening became rather boozy. Should do that more often...
27 August 2015 (Thursday) - More Rain
I slept well last night. I suppose it's only to be expected after two night shifts and a drinking session with an old drinking buddy. "er indoors TM" alarm woke me shortly after 7am; probably just as well. I would have slept on till much later but I had to be up; the dishwasher doctor was due sometime between 7.30am and 11.30am.
I got up, had brekkie, and checked out the Internet. Seeng how what I'd posted to the astro club's Facebook page last night seems to have passed the new guidelines I made the effort to post more stuff. There was an article about how all the names assigned to features on the planet Pluto during the recent New Horizons fly-by are totally unofficial and how the International Astronomical Union don't agree with them.
Mind you the IAU seem to have a history of talking twaddle.
I *tried* not to over-excite "Furry Face TM" this morning. He somehow knows when I'm not working, and on those days he's come to expect that the first thing we do is go for our walk. Today's walk had to wait. But not for long. Mr Fixer arrived at 8.30am and he was gone by 9am. The heating element had an open circuit apparently. Presumably it now has a closed one.
So, having said goodbye to the dishwasher doctor I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We didn't go far as we walked into torrential rain. We went round the block and came home again to find the postman had been. He'd delivered a letter from the council which was dated from the twenty-first of this month. It had taken six days to get to us. I wrote a reply and took it to the council office myself. Even with "Furry Face TM" stopping to sniff every ten yards we still got to the council offices in under fifteen minutes.
I told that to the nice lady on the desk. She didn't *actually* tell me that she didn't care; she didn't need to.
We came home through the torrential rain, and as "Furry Face TM" slept I had a bite of lunch and watched another fan-made Star Trek rip off. Star Trek Hidden Frontier is.... what can I say? I suppose it would be better if the lead character wasn't obviously suffering from stage fright. But the first episode wasn't *that* bad. Apparently there are fifty episodes of the show. I shall see how it turns out.
I then spent another five hours programming James Bond into a Wherigo. Programming isn't easy. If only it would do what I want it to do and not what I'm telling it to do.
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner, and we caught up with some of the stuff we'd recorded onto the SkyPlus box. Last night's Bake Off was very good, and then we watched the last episode of Yonderland. Hope they make more of that show...
28 August 2015 (Friday) - Change of Plans
I woke to the sound of the dustmen making enough noise to wake the dead. For some reason "Furry Face TM" didn't bat an eyelid at that racket. I got up to find him still asleep.
I checked out the Internet to find not a lot had happened overnight, then hopped into the car. I wasted a few minutes trying (and failing) to find a geocache over by the tip, then made my way to the foundry where I met Steve for a spot of brekkie. You can't beat a fry-up.
As we scoffed my phone beeped. I'd sent a message to Chris asking about where that elusive geocache was. He'd found it before and he sent me a hint. And so with brekkie scoffed I went back and still couldn't find it.
The original plan for the day had me going for a hospital appointment this morning, but with less than a day to go the hospital had phoned to cancel so I took "Furry Face TM" for a little walk round Great Chart,
Eighteen months ago I put out a series of puzzle geocaches. Today I put them all into the archive for dead geocaches. The series never really worked. The puzzles were too hard, the route went through a farm with uncontrolled dogs being loosed at random intervals, the cache hides were too difficult, the brambles and stinging nettles were too wild, and just recently muck spreading and building work have been the final nails in the series's coffin.
I went out with my dog to retrieve the eleven caches; we only managed to find five of them. The other six have gone into the ether.
Once home I hosed the mud from Furry Face TM" and mowed the lawn. I've not mowed it for a few weeks and it showed. I could probably have done a better job but a bad back and a worse elbow made me want to give up.
I gave up, and had a bag of crisps and a glass of Doctor Pepper for lunch. As I scoffed I watched more Star Trek: Hidden Frontier. I wasn't overly impressed with the episode I watched yesterday; this one wasn't much better. But I shall perservere.
The plan for the afternoon had been a geo-wander around Wye. But a combination of my geo-compadres being unavailable together with the actual geocaches in Wye suddenly being temporaroily disabled put paid to that idea. Instead I stayed in and put the finishing touches to my James Bond Wherigo. It only took three hours.
Now I have to get actual GPS co ordinates for the start and the finish (I shall do that tomorrow morning on the way to work) and then create web pages on geocaching dot com and Wherigo dot com. Only about another hour's work and it will be ready to go live.
Much as I like creating the Wherigos I must admit that (having spent the morning bringing in a whole load of puzzle geocaches) I find myself wondering if I'm using the right "hiding the geocache" strategy. People who hide geocaches fall into two camps. Those that want the things found, and those that don't. I *want* people to go and find what I'm hiding. But it is no secret that people (generally) *don't* go looking for mine. When I put out a geocache I usually don't actually say exactly where it is. Instead I set a puzzle to be solved or a GPS adventure to be played. And people (frankly) don't seem to want to fart about like that. Six months ago I put out a Wherigo I was rather pleased with. The game takes about two to three hours to play, it really makes you think, it took me about thirty hours to program and test. It has only been found five times in those six months.
I've since spent forty quid on a puzzle cache that has elicited absolutely no interest whatsoever.
In the meantime a film pot that was stuck under a nearby rock a couple of weeks ago has now been found fifteen times.
Perhaps I should just hide film pots under rocks. It seems to be what the public wants...
"er indoors TM" came home and we set off to astro club. We had a summer social in the woods. It was quite a good evening; shame I had to come home early. Got to be up early for work tomorrow...
29 August 2015 (Saturday) – Working
I'd set my alarm this morning, and as is usually the case when I have an alarm set, I woke well before it was due to go off. I gave up trying to sleep shortly before 5.30am and came downstairs. After my morning shave "Furry Face TM" was itching to go outside. I warned him to be quiet (not that he understands) and I went into the garden with him. He started to bark, looked at me, and shut up.
He had no interest in doing the sort of thing I'd actually let him out to do. He just ran around the garden like a thing possessed for thirty seconds, then went back inside. He then tried to scrounge my toast, and sat on my lap to be combed whilst I watched "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" in which (somewhat disappointingly) neither Billie Piper nor her stunt double flopped anything out.
I took a very minor detour on my way to work; thirty seconds after I'd arrived home from work on Wednesday morning a new geocache had gone lilve in Godmersham. I'd actually driven past it on my way home then, and so this morning I went to find it.
I found it, Happy dance.
As I then drove on to work the radio was broadcasting from an orchard which was only ten miles away from where I live and from where I work. There was a radio program about the Kentish apple industry. As anyone who's been to the county will know, apples are big business locally. The farmer being interviewed was saying that it was his goal to have as much as sixty five percent of the apples eaten in the UK to be actually grown in the UK. But apparently this will only happen if the British apple-eating community will go for it. i.e. pay for it.
I then stopped off at Morrisons where these same Kentish apples were (weight for weight) three times the price of bananas grown in Africa. How does that work?
I would have asked the nice assistants, but they were all busy having a squabble. The manager had been bellowing down the store for some time. She then stopped shouting at Rachel and screamed at Terry to tell him to ask Rachel how many times she had to be shouted at before she'd reply. Poor Terry totally missed the sarcasm and went up to daydreaming Rachel (on the fags counter) and actually asked her that very question.
I carried on towards work, stopping off to hide the Wherigo cache I've been working on all week. And I then spotted two minor problems.
Firstly the rules say that caches have to be a certain distance apart. My intended spot was too close to another one I'd hidden some time ago. I found another spot, but I shall have to re-jig the programming when I get home. Secondly the cache I was going to hide was silver in colour and it did stand out somewhat.
So I took it with me, coloured in in black marker pen, did a day's work and fully intended to hide it on my way home.
I'll do it in the morning...
30 August 2015 (Sunday) - Still Working
I was again up at silly o'clock and in the garden supervising a (supposedly) tiddling dog before dawn. Over brekkie I watched one of my favourite shows; "Toddlers and Tiaras". In today's instalment there was consternation as one of the toddlers was continually punching all the other toddlers. This brat's mother though the child was "sassy".
I was reminded of my nephew trying such a move with me at a similar age. I grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, upended him over the toilet and threatened him with a bogwash. He's never punched me since.
Mind you he's getting bigger; in a couple of years time he will be bigger than me. I wonder if he's biding his time.
As I drove to work the pundits announcing the news on the radio were somewhat contradictory. They started off by saying how Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill both liked a little nap in the afternoon, and how research has now shown that such a nap actually reduces the risk of heart disease.
However they also said that slobbing about in front of the telly increases your risk of a life-threatening thrombisis.
Presumably as long as you fall asleep in front of the telly all will be well?
Being Sunday the radio mostly featured articles of a religious nature. The output seemed to be thought-provokingly inspiring, but was actually utter twaddle.
Most people probably wouldn't have realised that it was utter twaddle because most people tend to stop listening to anything religious or spiritual after a few minutes. In the early 1980s I was seriously considering becoming a vicar (really!). Perhaps I should have done. I could have given such wonderful sermons. The good thing about a vicar's sermon is that clearly no one listens to them because they are filled with such contradictory nonsense. Vicars can say any old rubbish and get away with it.
Take today's vicar; the (ex) Bishop of Louisiana. The chap was in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina. He was able to quite glibly gloss over the actual hurricane itself as being nothing to do with God. But apparently one of the wonderful things about the church's ministry in the area after the hurricane was that far fewer people their rent their homes and far more own them. Presumably the hurricane was planned so that God could wipe out the lower orders.
Another religious type actually said the hurricane had been sent by God as a punishment for some gay pride rally which was going on at the time, but completely missed the fact that about the only area of the town which wasn't devastated was the area where the gay pride rally was taking place.
There was then an interview with a "reverend professor" (how does that work?). Academics at Durham University have been given a grant to improve scientific literacy among Christian leaders.
Apparently most religious leaders see science as a competing religion. The idea of the grant is to explain to them that science isn't actually yet another crackpot sect competing for dwindling congregations. Science is in fact an attempt to explain the universe in which we live.
There is probably some mileage in explaining this to the general public as well.
I'm personally of the opinion that any fool could see that science is actually something which will blow religions out of the water, but what do I know
I got to work and spent much of a busy day sulking that I wasn't with everyone else enjoying an afternoon's barbecue in Steve's garden. Mind you the day passed quickly and I was soon back in Ashford. Rather than going straight home I popped to the Riverside. "Access All Areas" were playing and most of the usual suspects were in attendance. It was good to catch up.
I was smiled and and grinned at an awful lot whilst I was there. It always amuses me when the younger men look at me and smile in a rather embarrassed sort of way. So many of them must have been ex-cubs and remember me. I don't look *that* different. I wish they's say hello and tell me who they are. I remember them all, but in my mind they are all still nine years old.
The plan was to only stay for a swift half; I downed four pints. Hope this rain clears up soon; we're supposed to be going for a walk in the morning...
31 August 2015 (Monday) - Monkey Puzzle Tree
The plan for today was originally to be a walk around the Biggin Hill area. Periodically I organise a walk for a time and a place that suits me (because I'm selfish like that) and open it up to whoever is up for it. I do it as a Facebook event as that way people can use the page as a way to communicate about the walk. Sometimes people can do it, sometimes not. Being a Bank Holiday today there were over twenty people signed up for it.
Last night I posted on the Facebook event page that the weather was looking iffy. Despite four pints of ale last night I was still awake before 7am this morning. So I got up and checked the weather forecast for Biggin Hill. Heavy rain was forecast until mid afternoon, and then lighter rain for the rest of the day. Bearing in mind how wet I got when walking Fudge round the roads for just an hour or so last Monday I decided to back out of today's walk. I posted that on-line and went back to bed.
I was woken a couple of hours later by the first thunderstorm. I say "first"; it was the first that I'd heard. Apparently I'd slept through others in the night. So I got up and over a spot of second brekkie I checked out the Internet. Pretty much everyone else had backed out of today's planned walk except one brave soul who'd not checked the Facebook event page. Woops!
By mid morning the rain had abated somewhat so I took "Furry Face TM" round the block. We only went round to The Riverside and back via the horses; a fifteen minute walk, but in that time the little dog got soaked from the wet grass. And within ten minutes of us getting home so the torrential rain started again.
I spent the remainer of the morning putting the finishing touches to my latest Wherigo. I've even added the World's Sexiest Hat into it seeing how the actual hat has vanished. (I suspect foul play!)
With no real plans for the day we went out for lunch. I know that McDonald's isn't everyone's idea of fine dining, but compared to most other places, the food arrives quicker, tastes better and is cheaper. It always amazes me that the place's most implaccable critics have never actually eaten there; prefering to beleive the urban myths.
With McDonald's scoffed we then did the old people's thing of going to a garden centre. It will soon be "My Boy TM"'s birthday and for his birthday he wanted a phormium. Apparently a phormium is some sort of reed-like plant. To me all the plants at the garden centre looked the same. They were all green and leafy. I couldn't tell one from the next. Or that was until I met Dave. I brought Dave home with me; he now has his own Facebook page. Dave is a monkey puzzle tree. He's currently in a flower pot in the back garden; I need to find a huge pot and relocate him to the front garden.
I then spent a little while looking at ordnance survey maps planning a walk for tomorrow. I missed going for a good walk today; the weather forecast for tomorrow is much better.
And finding myself "home alone" yet again I settled down in front of the telly... it doesn't watch itself.