1 August 2014 Friday) - Weight Loss

 

 

Part of being on a diet is a weekly weigh-in to see how (or if) the weight loss is progressing. In this new diet I've decided to have the weekly weigh-in on a Friday morning. That way I can pig out at the weekends and diet during the week. In this first week my weight's dropped from a shade over sixteen stone to just over fifteen and a half stone. That's seven pounds off thanks to calorie counting and being constantly hungry.

I'm a quarter of the way to my target weight of what I was after the last diet. The first week's weight loss is always the most impressive; let's see how it continues.

 

I had my usual breakfast of jam on toast. "MyFitnessPal" (dot com) doesn't make allowances for your dog having the crusts; buut they can't be more than fifty calories at most. And with toast scoffed I set off to work. The morning's news really came as no surprise; those who have whistleblown in the public sector have generally not received the legal protection they should have. Instead they have been the victims of "shocking bullying and harrassment"... The sad take-home message here is that one should keep one's trap shut. Too late for many of us now though...

 

I stopped off at Morrisons for some loo rolls and diet sugar (yes- it exists), and then did a day's work before coming home again. The evening's news was depressing. War and plague. This is the twenty-first century and history is just repeating itself. We may have instantaneous communication, high speed travel, wonderful technology, but as a race we are just the same as we ever were.

 

I came home via "My Boy TM" where I emptied my car and collected the gas-barby, aand once I'd walked "Furry Face TM" round the co-op field I had a rather dull evening of domestic drudgery. Household accounts, ironinng, assoorted dull until "er indoors TM" came home with fish and chips.

So much for the diet...

 

 

2 August 2014 (Saturday) - A Party

 

 

I actually managed something of a lie-in this morning havving discovered sommething overnight. I have elucidated the cause of "Furry Face TM" 's nocturnal woofing fits. When I went for a 2am tiddle my dog was laying on the front door mat. Clearly he guards the door and being on a main road there are noises; and any one will set him off. I moved him into his basket and we had a quiet night.

 

I collected "Daddies Little Angel TM" and came home to find "My Boy TM" setting up for the afternoon's party. Family and friends gathered together to celebrate "er indoors TM" 's birthday. It was a really good booze up which became progressiively more vague as the afternoon went on....

 

 

3 August 2014 (Sunday) - Feeling a Bit Rough

 

 

It has to be said that yesterday was something of a blur. I woke this morning in front of the television fully clothed at 2.20am.

I had a shower, went to bed, and slept as best as I could until waking shortly before 7am. It was hot, and someting didn't feel right. As I pulled off my CPAP machine so blood flooded from my nose. I'd developed a nose bleed overnight and the CPAP device had been blowing the blood back up my conk. I came downstairs to find our house guests were all up and about and tidying up. I watched them doing my housework for me whilst I waited for my nose to stop bleeding. It was a rather serious bleed; lasting for over half an hour. I found that standing in the cool garden helped it stop.

As we tidied outside I was very conscious of our "delighttful" neighbour glaring at us from her upstairs window. I smiled sweetly at her and she hurriedly looked away.

 

A concerted effort had much of the mess sorted by 9am. We had a bite of brekke, and as "er indoors TM" sorted the last of the tidying I took the Folkestonians home. I returned to find "My Boy TM" and Lacey had come round, and they helped me with the gazebos.

 

We cooked up some of the barbecue stuff and scoffed it for a spot of lunch. Kim and Andy arrived, and we set off to collect Suzy and her associate. After all today was Sunday; walk day.

Today's geo-walk was deliberately low-key. I thought some of us might be under the weather after yesterday's booze-up, so today I planned a mission to collect geo-souvenirs. Periodically Geo-HQ issue e-souvenirs for if and when you do something geocachical. There are seven souvenirs to be had this month for finding certain types of geo-wotsits. Today we got our planned five. (We'll get the others next Saturday) And we had a gentle stroll too. We had a minor hiccup when we took our lives in our hands crossing the world's most ricketty stile only to find we were going the wrong way, but we soon recovered.

Just recently our Sunday walks have been ten hours and sixteen miles; today was a couple of hours and a couple of miles. It made a gentle change.

 

"er indoors TM" went off bowling and I fell asleep in front of the telly, ending the day much as it started...

 

 

4 August 2014 (Monday) - A House Guest

 

 

I had a lonely brekkie this morning; "Furry Face TM" looked at me and then carried on snoring in his basket. The recent hot weather has taken a lot out of him. As I had my toast I watched the latest episode of "The Mill"; I do like that show. Featuring the rise of the Trade Union movement it's really interesting to watch the rise of something which was once wonderful but now sadly seems to have had its day.

 

I hung my laundry on the line and set off to work; the news was full of doom and gloom; which was a shame on such a beautiful morning. As I drove I was thinking of Lacey who would be waking up in her tent in Bilsington. She'd spent the night with the Beavers at cub camp with my old cub pack in our old camp site. For a moment I had a pang of nostalgia; but on reflection would I want to go back to camping with the Cubs? I did it for thirteen years. That was quite enough.

 

I stopped off at Morrisons for a spot of shopping. I parked up my car, and as I got out so I saw a dog in another car. The dog saw me, threw himself at the car's window in an attempt to bite me, and in doing so set off that car's alarm. I did laugh.

Morrisons had no shower gel. What was that all about?

 

Once at work I did my bit. I was rather industrious (for a change). Lunchtime sax practice went well; I got a glare from a normal person who came up whilst I was tootling, sat in her car, ate her lunch and looked daggers at me for half an hour. Mind you I would probably do the same if all I wanted was a bit of peace and quiet and I had me making a god-awful racket on a saxophone.

There's no denying that my rendition of that tune that goes da-da-da-da-da-dee-dee-doo-doo-dah leaves a lot to be desired, but I do a half-way decent stab at the theme from the Great Escape.

 

I came home to find it had been raining; my laundry was soaking wet. I put it in to spin and took "Furry Face TM" round to the co-op field to play ball. We would have gone on to the park, but the rain put paid to that plan. Instead we came home to find that "er indoors TM" had come home with our house guest. One of our walking buddies is staying overnight. She was no trouble during the evening as I did the ironing. I wonder what she will be like overnight...

 

 

5 August 2014 (Tuesday) Stuff

 

 

I had a terrible night's sleep. I say "sleep"; when Suzy-pup wasn't barking she was alternately growling or whimpering. I gave up any attempt at sleep at 5am and watched telly whilst she continued to bark, whimper and growl. In between various noises I watched the latest episode of the documentary about trainee Royal Marine Commandoes. I wonder if things had been different could I have been a career soldier? I don't think so somehow.

 

I then broke one of my resolutions and spent half an hour (or so) squabbling about trivia on social media, and then took both dogs for a walk. We didn't go as far as I had planned; both pups were trying to pick seperate fights with other dogs (in different directions) so we came home again.

As we walked through the park we encountered a rather fat chap doing sit-ups on a park bench with a ghetto-blaster playing Bollywood tunes at full blast. We've not seen him before. And as we came home along Christchurch Road we saw the police hammering on the door of the house out of which a lot of shouting and swearing was coming last night. I had a sly smile about that noise on yesterday's walk; after a torrent of "F- this F-that" another voice bellowed "OK now shut it" and there was silence.

This morning the 'bules are out. I wonder what is going on there?

 

I left a little early for work; we'd run out of Koi food and yesterday I drove straight past the Koi shop having forgotten all about getting some scoff. I made a point of stopping there today; I looked at the expensive food and laughed. I then looked at the medium priced fish-scran and thought about it, and finally settled for a bag which was five times the weight of the second cheapest stuff for just over half the price. Let's hope they eat it; in the past they've turned their noses up at the cheap scoff. But in these days of austerity it is that or nothing; my dog has the crusts off of my toast now.

 

I then drove on past work and kept going. Whilst I'd been out with the dogs earlier I'd had an email to say that a new geocache had gone live a few miles past Canterbury. I like doing something in the morning before work, and chasing an FTF is always fun (if you like that sort of thing). I chased it; I got it. Happy dance.

From where I was the way back to work took me through Sturry where a few weeks ago I'd failed to find a cache hidden there. I failed again on this one today. I shall cheat - a geo-buddy found it recently. I shall send her an email.

 

I then stopped off in the sub Post Office in Sturry to get some sweeties (diet, pah!) and was harangued by a pikey. She'd had a note through her door to tell her to collect a parcel from the Post Office, and so there she was. If I had been brave enough I would have said she was at the wrong Post Office, but I didn't like to tell her that.

She was incensed that she couldn't just turn up at any old Post Office; she thought it was utterly unreasonable that she had to go to a specific Post Office. I would have thought it would have made sense to have gone to the Post Office where they had told her that her parcel actually was; but what do I know?

 

Work was much the same as ever, and I came home to find our emergency back-up dog had returned home and that the clans had gathered "chez nous". Being late I missed much of the insult-bandying, but sat with a dog on my lap for this week's installment of "The 100". I counted the deaths - it's slightly over ninety now...

 

 

6 August 2014 (Wednesday) - This n That

 

 

Over brekkie I watched Steve Coogan in "Saxondale"; it's a new series to me; I quite like it. After that I caught the end of an episode of "Smallville". It looked quite interesting. It's a series I've meant to watch, but this one was episode seventeen of season nine, so it's hardly surprising I had no idea what was going on.

 

Yesterday was a lovely morning; this morning was grey, overcast and raining. As I drove to work I listened to the radio. The news was full of doom and gloom. The war in the Middle East drags on; a truce has been called, but for how long will it last?

The big televised debate about Scottish independence apparently descended into something of a squabble with neither side being particularly outstanding in its presentation. Mind you the take-home message from the televised debate has to be that you couldn't follow it on-line; apparently the Scottish IT servers weren't up to the demand.Prophetic, perhaps?

Leading medics are suggesting that well people in their fifties (ahem!) should take aspirin regularly "just in case" as a preventative measure.

Personally I'd rather take as few medications as possible.

 

Work was rather traumatic today; we had the inspectors in. This was a bad day for one of the trainees to announce that she suffered from peladophobia - the fear of bald people. Surprisingly enough she wasn't scared of me - she hadn't realised I was bald. In fact the only slap-head in the place. She hadn't realised that.

 

I did my bit, an early start made for an early finish, and me and "Furry Face TM" were soon round the park. We met a new dog on the park's dog circuit; a three month old springer spaniel named Winston. Winston was being walked by a small girl (aged about eight) who apologised to me when Winston tried to hump Fudge. "He does that all the time" she told me. Without really thinking I commented that it was a boy dog thing. As quick as a flash she asked why was it that only boy dogs did that. Seeing that there was no hole to swallow me up I smiled sweetly, made some excuse, and hurried off as quickly as I could.

 

Once home I took the top box off of my car; it won't go through a barrier I'm going to drive through on Saturday. I've always said that the car's top box isn't so much heavy as awkward; it was heavy enough to make me wish I'd got some help to put it away. I think I might have pulled something...

 

 

7 August 2014 (Thursday) Gasometer

 

 

The original plan foor today was to be taking a day's holiday which would be spent loading the car in readiness for a weekend camping at Teston kite festival. But this time I couldn't get the holiday either before or after the weekend. It was suggested I went up Saturday morning and came back Sunday evening, but it would have been a lot of effort for just one night away.

I suppose I could have taken a lot less gear, but there is a difference between "camping" and "roughing it in a tent"; I've done minimalist camping a couple of times and it's simply no fun. Especially in the rain; and we've had several wet days at Teston over the years.

So like any other day I was up and about far earlier than most people would be. Even "Furry Face TM" was still asleep as I scoffed my toast whilst watching new episodes of "Family Guy".

 

And so to work on a bright morning. Or bright for me. It's not so bright for those in Africa where the ebola epidemic is rampaging unchecked. My piss boiled when the radio wheeled on some academic twit who was bleating on about the need for "ethically controlled evidence" when an experimental drug has been shown to help ebola sufferers. These people are dying (horribly) and people in ivory towers want to mess around with silly experiments. Give the drug. Now.

 

And I couldn't quite work out what was going on as the announcement was made that far from being affected by the international sanctions, the average Russian seems blissfully unaware of any of their effects. In order to punish them for their alleged involvement in Ukrainian wars the western governments are trying to make things difficult financially for Russia. However it's not working. In response Russia has enforced its own sanctions against those who would take up sanction against them. And it is the rest of the world which seems to be suffering from Russia's tit-for-tat reprisal sanctions. One of the big-wigs at the construction machinery manufacturer JCB said they may well end up going out of business through Russia's actions against the west.

As Fergal once said; the greatest risk of striking out is the risk of being hurt.

 

I did work, I came home again. Finding that "er indoors TM" was home we all went for a walk round the park together. We played "seagull skittles" in the co-op filed when "Furry Face TM" set them all flying. We scared a small Scottie, and I even spotted Ashford's elusive gasometer...

 

 

8 August 2014 (Friday) - A Game of Cards

 

 

We must have forgotten to close the living room door last night; "Furry Face TM" was having a woofing fit at the front door at 2.55am last night. I wish he wouldn;t do that. Whilst I was up I let him out into the garden where he had another woofing fit. I tried to get back to sleep, but couldn't. I dozed fitfully until I finally got up at 5.30am.

Friday morning is weigh-in time. Weight loss this week was disappointing after last week, but that is how weight loss goes. I watched "Family Guy" over brekkie; the dog who had been so lively three hours before was now fast asleep.

 

And so to work on a rather damp and murky morning. Had I been going to Teston today (as had been the original plan) I would have been be looking at a wet weekend; perhaps not going was for the best.

Mind you I did wonder how the event was going to be funded. Last year we had been told that the bill for the weekend would be over a thousand pounds which was to be financed by the camping attendees.

I offered several fundraising suggestions, none of which were taken up. I wonder how (or if) they raised the money.

 

As I drove to work the radio was talking about how the American air force is air-lifting humanitarian supplies to beleaguered minorities in the Middle East who are under fear of death because of their religious beliefs.

Sometimes I really despair. This is the twenty-first century. We have the technology to put people on the Moon. half the UK population can realistically expect a university education. Higher education is becoming the norm the world over and *still* we go to war over differences in superstitions...

 

I got to work for the early shift, and did my bit. I spent much of the day looking out of various windows whilst reflecting on how today would not be the sort of day best spent shivering in a field.

Sax practice was particularly overcast; it would have gone better had some random child not appeared from nowhere and offered me sage advice. Said child claimed to be able to play the saxophone really well and was self-taught. I smiled, and eventually he realised I was ignoring his wisdom.

 

I came home via the cheapo petrol station (which was today even cheaper than usual) and after quickly running "Furry Face TM" round to the co-op field five of us had a quick game of cards. With "er indoors TM" off at the annual convocation of the guild of candemongers we were having flushes and straights until midnight.

It's nearly eighteen months since I last played a game of poker. Really should do it more often...

 

 

9 August 2014 (Saturday) - Busy

 

 

When I went to bed at 1am last night the rain was torrential; I would not wanted to have been out camping in that downpour. I got up shortly after 5am to find that although the rain had finally stopped, everywhere outside was completely soaked.

I did a few household chores, shared brekkie with "Furry Face TM", watched "Family Guy" and had intended to go back to bed for a bit. But by the time I'd then unloaded the dishwasher, put some laundry in, printed off a few bits for today's geo-meet, loaded up the car, taken my dog for a walk, prepared a picnic, hung the washing on the line, farted about and heaven only knows what else I did... it was suddenly half past nine. Four hours had just vanished.

 

I made myself a cuppa, loaded up the car, and me and Fudge set off to Orlestone Woods. Every month there is an official meet of the county's geocachers; this time I had volunteered to organise the event. Usually it is in a pub or a cafe or a place of interest or something like that. But for this meet I thought we'd go minimalist. We had a picnic; and at Orlestone Woods there are absolutely no facilities whatsoever. We were going to have an old-school picnic - bring your own tables, blankets, chairs, whatever. I realised that this wouldn't be to everyone's taste, and I was expecting a dozen or so people might turn up. I think we had over sixty. People came down from the Medway towns, and came up from Hastings. People came from as far west as Margate and as far east as Battle and Paddock Wood. There was a lot of people who had come from Sussex too.

I was really pleased with the turn-out. Apart from a minor incident with a frog Fudge was as good as gold. I met loads of people I only knew by name, and I was really pleased to learn that for a lot of people this had been their first geo-meet; having been rather nervous about coming, they all left feeling really happy and looking forward to the next meet.

I took a few photos of the picnic whilst I was there...

 

From the geo-meet I drove down to Camber where "My Boy TM" was on holiday at Pontins with his tribe. The plan had been for me to spend some time with them, but the spotty toothless YTS trainee (in security costume) on the gate wouldn't let "Furry Face TM" (or any dogs) in.

Instead everyone came out to see me and we went for a little walk round Camber before coming home again. "My Boy TM" had a minor cob - they'd been to the beach earlier and he'd been stung by a jellyfish. On the tit. I was reminded of my episode with being attacked by a swarm of wasps a few weeks ago; all very entertaining all the time it is somebody else who is in pain.

 

I felt a tad peckish so thought I'd nip down to the take-away for curry and chips. The man-mountain behind the counter recognised me; fifteen years ago he'd been one of my cubs. When he told me his name I immediately remembered him; he once (at cub camp) went building bivouacs in the woods in his pyjamas because I'd told the cubs to wear their oldest clothes and his pyjamas were his oldest clothes.

With curry and chips scoffed I settled down for an evening spent doing more washing and ironing. Eventually I got fed up with ironing and gave up; there is loads of that left but the laundry basket is now empty.

 

It has been a rather busy day today...

 

 

10 August 2014 (Sunday) Rain

 

 

I woke at 6.30am, got up, shaved, had brekkie and was bored by 7am. I looked out the window and saw the rain was still hammering down. Judging by the puddles in the road it must have been raining for most of the night. To pass the time I solved a couple of geo-puzzles, and then spent nearly two hours applying to join a professional association. A dull, but necessary chore.

By 9am I was going stir crazy, so I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We were only out for just under half an hour and we got soaked. We came home and I set about the ironing that I gave up on last night. It didn't take long, and for once I could say there was no washing or ironing in the house to be done.

 

The sun came out just as I was ironing the last T shirt, but by the time I'd put the ironing board away the rain was pouring again. Usually on Sundays we go for long walks but with everyone else busy and the bad weather still continuing I was at a loose end.

It was a shame that "My Boy TM" was away for the weekend; I would have invited myself round for lunch. They had invited me down to spend the day with them at Pontins but I didn't want to leave "Furry Face TM".

I *could* have gone to Teston to visit the campers but much as I'd like to see friends, shivering in a tent or caravan is no fun. And my dog would have got filthy. Bearing in mind how bad the weather had been it was as well I hadn't gone camping.

I've since heard that Teston stalwarts were abandoning the festival and going home at mid day when normally they stay till after 7pm.

 

Mind you this is the first time I've missed the Teston kite festival in ten years, and it was just my luck that I missed the fight. Apparently there has been fisticuffs. Someone drove a 4x4 on the field nearly hitting people. It got stopped and one of the campers let the tyres down, another speared the vehicle with a metal stake and a third camper thumped the driver. I would like to have seen that. I've heard there is a video which will be put on-line soon; I'm looking forward to seeing it.

 

A cinema trip was suggested for the afternoon, but everyone else had had the same idea and the place was already booked out. I had a bit of lunch and as the rain slackened off I put the collar and lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for a little wander. Today is "Sidetracked" day in the geo-world. If you log a find on a "Sidetracked" cache today you get a geo-souvenir so I went to my nearest such geocache which was in Tenterden. As luck would have it the two geo-puzzles I'd solved this morning were within a couple of miles (or so) of that cache so it made for a nice little walk of an hour or so during a gap in the rain.

Just as I got home so the torrential rain hit again.

 

I bathed the mud off of my dog, watched a bit of telly then put on long trousers and a fleece, settled "Furry Face TM" down, and went outside to wait for Steve to arrive. He was soon there and we went down to Folkestone where there was an observing the moon session because of today's harvest moon. A dozen of us watched the moon for an hour or so.

Quite fun, but rather cold. Mind you I was just glad that the rain had stopped.

Once home I got into my jim-jams... and now there's more stuff in the laundry basket again...

 

 

11 August 2014 (Monday) Stuff

 

 

I had a particularly vivid dream last night in which my dog had developed the power of speech and was continually crying "please don't hurt me Granddad" which I found to be very upsetting. As if I'd ever hurt that soppy pup.

I was woken by the alarm (which very rarely happens) and went downstairs to find "Furry Face TM" had had a little "potty accident" in the night and he was looking incredibly upset and worried. Bearing in mind my dream I was rather spooked by this.

 

I watched "Family Guy" over brekkie, fed my toast crusts to "Furry Face TM" who was still rather subdued, did a little tidying, and set off to work on what was a beautiful morning compared to yesterday. Yesterday I was tearing my hair out in boredom with the rain; today was glorious sunshine.

As I drove I listened to the radio. I say "listened"; one of the first items was the morning's sport update. Sport has no interest for me, and I don't really listen to that. And having lost concentration on the sport I didn't really pay much attention to the rest of the program until the pundits were crucifying some bigwig from the RSPCA. Apparently the RSPCA have had a cat put to sleep for having long hair.

As always there was far more to the story than the sensationalist headline, but during the interview it came to light that the RSPCA are facing a funding crisis. Their income from donations is plummeting as more and more people feel the RSPCA are less interested in animal welfare and more interested in playing silly political games.

I had a wry smile over this. From 1984 to 1986 we lived in a flat the landlady of which was an active member of a crackpot-lefty-greenie-tree-hugging-animal-rights-political-activist bunch. Such groups were rife in the early 1980s. I can distinctly remember a conversation with her when she told me that her group would never have any respect from the public, that they were seen as being a bunch of loonies, and that she and others of her group were all going to seek office in the RSPCA and use that as a platform from which they would be able to get taken seriously. Looks like they've finally achieved their goal.

 

I stopped off at Morrisons for a little shopping before work. It wasn't so much a supermarket as a children's play area. I nearly got mowed down by brats on scooters. Several times. There were no parents to be seen, and the staff didn't seem bothered. Perhaps the staff use the store as a playground for their children during school holidays?

 

To work, which was much the same as ever. Lunchtime sax practice was odd; I was in mid toot when I felt a spot of rain. In ten seconds (literally) the sky went black and torrential rain hit; complete with thunder and lightning. I dived into the car and carried on blowing ion there for twenty minutes until the storm stopped every bit as quickly as it had started. This was just as well - I could now get back to work without getting soaked.

 

Home (through the rain) for lamb chops and jacket potatoes. Very tasty. And with "er indoors TM" off bowling I settled down on the sofa with my dog and caught up with "The Mill" which I'd recorded last night. Esther's had a baby.... where did that come from?

 

 

12 August 2014 (Tuesday) - White Van Man

 

 

I was up relatively early and came downstairs to find "Furry Face TM" asleep. No "potty accidents" last night; for which I was grateful. I watched another episode of "Saxondale" over brekkie, checked the Internet and saw Robin Williams had died. Facebook was heaving with tributes to the chap. Personally I always found his humour over-rated. Yet again I am in the minority.

 

I walked into town to Enterprise-rent-a-car (what other firm could I use?) and after less than five minutes had the van keys in my hand. This is the second time I've used this firm and so far they have been really good. I had a dodgy few minutes trying to work out where to stick the keys, but soon enough the van was parked up outside home.

"er indoors TM" had just emerged from her pit, and a quick phone call woke "My Boy TM" who was soon with us. We loaded one or two odds and ends into the van and set off to Folkestone where "Daddies Little Angel TM" was relocating from the War Bunker (!) to somewhere more salubrious.

 

I've helped friends and family move before. I have memories of sofas wedged in hallways, of freezers still full of food, of people honestly expecting me to move wardrobes stuffed full of clothes, of endless flights of stairs. If more moves went like today's I'd be more inclined to get involved with more moves.

We arrived to find taht everything was packed and it really was as simple as moving all of the stuff out of the War Bunker and into the van. Unloading at the new place was rather tricky as the road was narrow and with nowhere to park we had no choice but to stop in the middle of the road and whenever a car came I had to do a "round the block" with the van. We unloaded in a fraction of the time it took to load up, and went back for the heavy stuff. It was heavy, but there was a lot less of it; and all the actual moving was done by mid day.

We had a quick spot of lunch, moved teh heavy stuff to where it was needed, put some beds together and left them to it.

 

The van hire agreement was that I put as much fuel into the van as I had used; I thought a tenner's worth of diesel would be fair so we stopped off at Sainsbury's filling station to get fuel. There was a minor hold up at the checkout. The woman at the front of teh queue was having a major cob. Someone else had paid for her petrol and had since driven off. The spotty girl behind the counter felt that if said woman paid for the petrol that the chap who had settled her bill had taken all would be well. However the bloke who'd paid for this woman's petrol wasn't daft. He'd put fifty quid's worth into his car and paid for thirty quid's worth. The woman holding the queue up was happy to pay for the petrol she'd taken but wasn't going to pay twenty quid over the odds. Spotty checkout girl wanted her till not to be twenty quid adrift.

These things are always amusing to watch... all the time it is someone else in the thick of it.

 

Once home I phoned the vet's. I'd had a message that "Furry Face TM" was due his annual once-over. The nice lady told me that he wasn't due until mid-September and they didn't like doing dogs early. I did toy with the idea of suggesting that if they didn't want me to book early then they shouldn't contact me early. But I bit my toungue and made an appointment for six weeks time.

I then took that dog for a walk, and came home to a rather good bit of tea washed down with a bottle of plonk. I went on-line and squabbled about how phones are better for geocaching than GPS units, then we went out for the Tuesday gathering. I actually stayed awake for this week's installment of the100. I'm not sure about this show; it doesn't actually have any likeable characters in it. There are either outright villains, or characters about which you just don't care. But I shall give it a little longer before dismissing it out of hand...

 

 

13 August 2014 (Wednesday) Haroldslea

 

 

I watched "Family Guy" over brekkie, and then spent a little while watching another on-line geo-squabble. Some chap whose command of the English language leaves a little to be desired was ranting about the cost of a premium membership of geocaching dot com. At fifty pence per week I think its good value, but he was whinging about the cost being too much. I got the distinct impression that he was looking for some sort of a subsidy on the money he spends making geocaches. (I might be mistaken here; his written English isn't good) Whilst I sympathise with his sentiments, the nice people at geocaching dot com are doing it as a business; and if we don't like it, that's our tough luck. It's called "capitalism".

 

And talking of geocaching I loaded "Furry Face TM" into the car, drove round to collect Lisa, and after a minor diversion to the electric fags shop we were soon on the motorway. With a day's holiday I'd looked on the map and found a little loop of thirteen geocaches along three miles of lanes near Crawley. Using judicious map reading and idiot enthusiasm we were able to expand this walk to about five miles to incorporate some high terrain caches; one up a tree, one underground in a tunnel. And even that holy grail of geo-finds; a D5/T5 (didn't actually find that one!)

Our underground excursion was interesting; the tunnel was not built with the more rotund frame in mind, and half way along that tunnel was the skeleton of what I think could only have been a triceratops.

Going up the tree was fun; from the ground I could see what I was sure was the cache. it was only on climbing that I found the actual cache was a lot lower than I was expecting; what I could see was a huge pine cone. It was when I was two thirds of the way up that tree (about twenty metres) that my knee became *really* painful. There are those who say I'm too old to be free-climing trees. They may have a point.

 

We had a really good walk; I even took some photos of our exploits. Mind you I must admit today's exertions tired me more than I was expecting. Two weekends with no major hikes have certainly left me out of practice. However, once home I knew that I wasn't finished yet.

I took my car round to the garage (to have the air-con sorted) and walked "Furry Face TM" home from there.

 

Once home I scoofed some chocolate coated peanuts. "er indoors TM" had bought them for me as a pressie. They were nice; they lasted me for about ten minutes. They conatined over a thousand calories. In fact about the same amount of calories that I'd burned off during today's walks.

 

And with my dog fast asleep and snoring I set off to the astro club committee meeting. Tonight was a meeting of the new observatory steering group. It probably didn't help that my knee was still playing up from when I strained it earlier, but tonight I had no enthusiasm for the new observatory project. All I wanted to do was put my knee up and sulk. Perhaps I should mention it at tomorrow's hospital appointment?

 

And in closing today And in closing today ..... I've retrospectively censored this...... in years to come I might say why

 

 

14 August 2014 (Thursday) - Hospitals, Vets

 

 

I slept through till 7am this morning. That's nearly eight hours sleep. Just like the normal people do. As I started to walk downstairs my knee gave a really painful twinge. I hope it stops doing that soon. I eventually hobbled downstairs to see my little dog seemed equally still this morning. I checked out the Internet over brekkie; not a lot seemed to be going on, which was probably for the best.

My mobile rang; it was the garage who had found a leak in the car's air-con. They seemed surprised; I thought it was rather obvious that the thing had a leak; that's why the last re-gassing had only lasted for a week. They then phoned back fifteen minutes later to tell me that they needed to get a special part from Renault which they wouldn't get until this afternoon.

 

I put the washing on the line, settled "Furry Face TM" and walked to the hospital. Today was my anaesthetic review prior to the surgical rebore of my nose. I arrived at the out patient deparrtment with time to spare, and waited for a few minutes for the receptionists to finish their gosssip about someone who had been bought Thornton's chocolates. After a little wait I then fiilled out a questionnaire asking all the questions I'd answered at the last two out paatient appointments and I then sat with a nurse who told me what the specialists had told me at the last two out paatient appointments.

I then went round to the cardiology department for an E.C.G., which is standard practice for the over-fifties (!) I wasn't overly impressed with having to have little patches shaved off across my chest, and in all honesty the cardiographer didn't fill me with confidence. Firstly her cardio-gizmo was spewing paper like something out of a Carry-On film and she had no idea how to stop it, and secondly she didn't know her P-waves from her isovolumic contraction. I tried to spark up a conversation about my ECG printout and it was painfully obvious that I knew far more about it than she did.

 

I then walked home again. I stopped off in Newtown to get a sandwich. I won't be going back to that shop. The shop itself was passable; but there is something fundamentally wrong with a local shop being filled with middle-aged women drinking Stella and Special Brew from the can.

 

Once home I scoffed my lunch whilst watching more "Family Guy" until Lisa came round. We had a plan for the afternoon. First of all we went up a tree to find an arboreal geocache. That didn't do my bad knee any good. Then we jumped a fence and went off in search of an underground bunker we'd heard about. The hill we found took its toll on my knee as well. Our instructions for finding the entrance to the bunker had been rather vague, but soon enough we found a likely looking tunnel and scrambled inside. It was either the entrance to a wartime bunker or it was a sewer. It didn't smell too bad so we thought we'd taake a chance. After twenty yards the tunnel opened out into a couple of rooms and we spent a few minutes looking around. I took a few photos whilst we were inside, and then we made our way back to the car and home.

 

Once home (a la recherche du temps perdu (!)) I sparked up my old favourite pastime "NeverWinter Nights" and had a wander round Castle Never until the garage phoned to tell me my car was ready for collection. "Furry Face TM" and I walked over to Willesborough to be told my seal had been leaking, and if it does it again I should take the recalcitrant component back to them.

As my dog jumped into the car my eye was caught by the sores on his back. I knew he had bald patches; I'd been putting cream on to them recently, but I had no idea how bad they had become.

We went straight to the vet.

We try to walk into the vet's at "Pets at Home" once a week so he gets used to it. He is fine in the shop area and in the vet's waiting zone. But the moment the consulting room door opened he tried to escape. He was terrified.

But I'm much bigger than he is, and he had no choice. He was scooped up and unceremoniously dumped on the vet's table. After a little rummage the vet announced his anal glands needed "doing". Rubber gloves, fingers where they shouldn't be, a fishy smell. The problem was cured but his back remains sore. He's been given a steroid shot which may well leave him "out of sorts for a day or so" and he's been given a course of antibiotics. He's also been declared to be overweight and, like his Granddad, he has to go on a diet.

 

I bought him a large chew-bone for being a good dog at the vets, and he spent much of the evening chomping away at said chew-bone. We had been thinking of going for a walk this evening, but I'd already walked to the hospital and back and to the garage; all of which probably wasn't a good idea with my knee aching. And also bearing in mind the intermittent rain and a dog which had been medically declared to be "out of sorts" we decided to have a quiet night in. So we slobbed in front of "Little Shop of Horrors".

Well I liked it.......

 

 

15 August 2014 (Friday) - Here's Another Game to Play

 

 

I didn't sleep especially well last night and was watching the documentary about Royal Marines in training before 6am. As I watched the telly I saw the bin men coming up the road. According to the council's web site we can leave out a bag of textiles for collection. We left them a bag; they left it behind. Quite frankly I expected nothing else from them. If you try to ask them why they aren't doing the job they are paid to do they always have endless reasons for why they should do as little as possible.

It's easier to just take the rubbish to the tip myself.

 

We then set off to a meet-up of geocachers which had been specifically organised for the purpose of gathering geocachers for a geocache search... despite section II 2.6 of the rules which says "An Event Cache should not be set up for the purpose of gathering geocachers for a geocache search". Much as I like going hunting tupperware, the hobby would really benefit from having a fair-handed application of the rules.

Today's meet was specifically for people to meet up to go off to Germany for the giga- geo-meet over the coming weekend; and for anyone else who was interested to come along to wave them off. I'd booked today off work months ago specifically to go off to Germany with them. It looked like being a rather cheap weekend away until I realised that all that was being offered on the deal was the coach trip; accommodation was to be extra so I decided against going.

 

The meet-up was at the Eureka park just off of Junction 9 of the M20; chosen as an ideal place for people to meet up to get on to the coaches going to the event in Germany. A couple of dozen of us met up to wave goodbye to those going to the Giga-event. We stood around chatting for some time, and eventually the news came through that the coaches (which had set off originally from Milton Keynes) had been delayed. Gradually everyone went their seperate ways, "er indoors TM" set off to work, Lisa, "Furry Face TM" and I went over to McDonalds for McBreakfast leaving those who were going to Germany waiting for the coaches.

 

Having a dog with us we sat outside Maccy D's to hace our McScoff, and with McBrekkie scoffed there was still no sign of any coaches so we went off for a morning's geocaching round Lydd. We had a good walk and found a few caches; eventually giving up just before the forecast rain hit.

 

Once home I did some fiddling about with the monthly accounts (skint) and then had a look at what might just be the next craze. Ingress is.... well, I'm not entirely sure what it is. My cousin said to sign up to it because he gets freebies if I join. So I joined. It looks like a GPS based augmented reality game. All I knew for sure was that there was a portal held by my faction just up the road, and an unclaimed portal at work.

I had a run through the tutorial; it seemed fairly straightforward so I took "Furry Face TM" for a mission. We went along Torrington Road where we set up a control field (!) and then moved on to Bowens Field where we captured a portal (oo-er!). Within an hour we had four new portals taken for our side, and had established control of great swathes of Ashford from the International Station to Christchurch and also half of Viccy Park was under our flag. Flushed with success I mounted an attack on the enemy encampment at the chip shop and had my arse handed to me on a plate.

When I have figured out how to do it properly I have decided to deploy a portal outside the house of "The Man with No Alias" before he starts getting lippy. After all it worked in geocaching.

 

Once "er indoors TM" had come home we took a birthday pressie round to Cheryl and on the way back we stopped outside the college where I showed "er indoors TM" how to activate a neutral portal (!) Having activated it for the correct team I suggested she might like to attack it. She did. It attacked her back. Well, she is on the wrong team....

 

 

16 August 2014 (Saturday) - More Games

 

 

I woke a lot earlier than I would have liked this morning. Even earlier than "Furry Face TM". I had my brekkie whilst watching "Family Guy". I then tried watching an episode of "I Dream of Jeannie" which was on the UK Gold channel but I soon turned it off. That show was bad enough fifty years ago and it hasn't stood the test of time.

Having tricked my dog into taking his antibiotic tablet (I hid it in a lump of cheese) I took him for a little walk up to the railway station and then on to Frogs Island via the McArthur Glen Outlet Centre. As we walked I had my scanner active; I charged some portals, captured one and set up a control field over Upper Denmark Road. Go - Go Team Green !!!

I'm qetting quite into this Ingress game. Must go attack the chip shop again.

 

When I got home I saw a new geocache had gone live. I had a plan that this afternoon I would find the three closest caches to home and would then have found all the caches within five miles of home. Here was a new one only one mile away. I hopped into the car thinking I would chase an FTF. I chased it.. and got it. Not bad for International Geocaching Day.

This one was an excellent cache. Some geocaches are manky wet scraps of paper in broken sandwich boxes under rocks. This one wasn't. It was.... well I won't spoil the surprise but let's just say that it is a work of genius. However I will say that (like all "clever" caches) I suspect this one will be high maintenance for the chap who hid it.

 

I came home, haad a cuppa, then voomed round to help my brother with some heavy lifting. Then after a Belgian but for lunch (259 calories) it was time for sax lesson. Every week is the same; I do my saxophone homework (set pieces to learn). I can do them very well at home. I show teacher what I can do, and it all goes to pot.

Apparently my rhythm is lacking; to allieviate this shortcoming I have downloaded a metronome app. Let's see if it helps.

 

We then put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and went for a short walk around Brook. He always likes a walk, and so do I. We found the geocaches we were after whilst we were out, and "er indoors TM" mounted an attack on a portal in a pub; which I thought was harsh. She's jumped on the Ingress bandwagon too, but has joined the wrong side.

Once home I was slobbing about (as one does) when I had a flurry of messages from my Ingress app. Yesterday afternoon I went out and claimed much of Viccy Park for Team Green. Some git from Team Blue has gone out, blown away all that I did yesterday and captured the park for his side. I shall have to work out what I do about that. Mind you I have recruited acquired daughter to the cause; and the last I heard she was off on a mission of her own to attack something blue which was six hundred metres away.

I can't help but wonder how she got on...

 

 

17 August 2014 (Sunday) - Doing the Family Thing

 

 

Yesterday I scrambled up a tree in order to chase a geocache. I think I must have strained something when I did that as my side felt very bruised and painful this morning.

Over brekkie I watched an episode of "Saxondale" and I combed my dog. "Furry Face TM" likes being combed, and whenever I stopped combing he would whinge until I started again. I kept combing whilst watching Challenge TV. "Fun House" and "The Crystal Maze" were both entertaining, and passed the time until the washing machine stopped.

 

With washing on the line I went to play Ingress.... erm.... I took my dog for a walk. OK - so I played Ingress as we went. I established control over much of the area between home and the International station, and I've taken over the portal outside Chippy's house. Mind you an enemy portal outside the Stour Centre did take a pot shot at me as I walked past.

I had a lot of messages via the Ingress app overnight... "MooseofDestiny" had been attacking me (!) I can see this silly game taking up a lot of my time; it's just as well I walk round Ashford for at least an hour every day.

 

I came home, had a quick cuppa, and set off to the family meal a little earlier than I needeed to. The meal was in Kennington; only a mile from where a new geocache had gone live. I chased the new cache, got First to Find; did the happy dance and the secret geo-ritual, and then went on to the Kennington Carvery for Cheryl's birthday dinner. I'd never been there before. I shall certainly be going back. Four roast meats, eight vegetables, cauliflower cheese and parsnips. All you can eat; and if you can't get all you can eat on your plate you can go back. And all for a tenner.

Twenty of us sat down for a scoff; and what a scoff it was.

 

We had a lovely meal, said our goodbyes and went down to Folkestone where we found "Daddies Little Angel TM". I spent a few minutes winding up Charlie and then we went down to the Coastal Park where we met Jose.

Alice in the Coastal Park was intended to be a live-action Alice in Wonderland re-enactment. We went to last year's production and it was really good fun. As we arrived at the coastal park the heavy rain started. Literally hundreds of people were hurrying out of the park, and as we too hurried away so the rain became torrential and in ten seconds I went from being a bit damp to being soaked.

We retreated back to the maisonette where I dried out whilst asleep in front of episodes of Bear Grylls on the telly. A great shame - I'd been looking forward to this for months.

 

On the way home we stopped off to try to find a geocache. It went live on Friday. No one had yet found it. We didn't either.

We also stopped of at McDonalds. Still stuffed from the lunchtime carvery we didn't fancy anything for tea, but a McFlurry might just hit the spot. It did.

 

Once home "er indoors TM" set off bowling. I took "Furry Face TM" off to South Willesborough where, feeling flushed with success after woofing at a cat, he nearly got involved in an altercation with a goat. He was playing his games, and I was playing mine. I captured four more portals for the Enlightened faction. Mind you whilst I had been out and about today some cheeky devil had liberated the area between home and the International station which I had captured this morning.

Talking of which... yesterday I finished by saying that Lisa was off on a mission of her own to attack something blue which was six hundred metres away. I've not heard from her since. I wonder if she's OK...

 

 

18 August 2014 (Monday) - Walking... Lots...

 

 

Yesterday when I had lunch with "My Boy TM" he was having a whinge that he was being taken to bingo and he didn't want to got. It turned out that he is now president of the bingo fan club having won five hundred pounds at yesterday's little session.

 

As I scoffed my brekkie this morning I noticed someone looking rather suspicious in my front garden. There is a geocache out there; periodically I see people going for it and I pop out for a chat. Today I met some people who were over from Australia and were caching round Ashford. Australia - that's quite a distance for a "furthest find from home". My furthest find from home is Southampton.

Whilst chatting the Aussies told me that they couldn't find my cache that I'd hidden on a road sign by the dentist's. Sure enough it had gone missing again. That one winds me up. I walk past this cache at least three times a week...... and at least three times a week I turn the cache around. For a magnetic cache to work the magnet on the cache has to be in contact with the metal that is magnetic; not the aluminium bit which is not. Is that *really* such a difficult concept for people to grasp?

 

I popped up to Ashford to pay a couple of cheques into the bank for the astro club; I took a rather circuitous route there and back because I was playing Ingress as I went. Once home I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and took him for a litle walk. We went down to Brittania Lane where (for the first time) I destroyed an enemy stronghold (oo-er!). From here we came home via Coulter Road, the Environment Cente and Viccy Park where we rolled in something foul.

For those of my loyal readers who don't know the area, that route is akin to going from London to Brighton via New York.

 

After nearly four hours walking we came home. My dog curled up on my lap and went to sleep. I downloaded the new Savlonic album; as a Kickstarter supporter of theirs I got a free download. I quite like thier stuff. A quick sandwich whilst watching "Family Guy" and then I had a go at the astro club's accounts. All the money which is supposed to be there is there.

 

I thought I might catch up with some stuff I'd recorded onto tthe SkyPlus box, but fell asleep in front of the telly. Woops. And then bearing in mind what a good dog "Furry Face TM" had been at the vet's last week I thought we might just go back to Pets at Home (the vets is in there) and get him a treat. The idea being he will associate the place with getting treats, not injections and fingers up his bum. So we walked to Pets at Home along a rather roundabout way, and in doing so captured much of South Ashford for Team Green. I'm getting rather into this new game.

 

"er indoors TM" set off bowling, and I then spent the evening ironing shirts. Rather dull... Mind you for all that "er indoors TM" claimed to be bowling I could see from the Ingress app that she was off attacking portals; specifically the ones I set up earlier...

 

 

19 August 2014 (Tuesday) - All Over the County

 

 

"Furry Face TM" seemed rather quiet this morning. He's not tried to sleep on our bed for some time, and this morning he didn't get out of his basket to share my toast. He eventually got up to get the small piece of cheese inside which I'd concealed his antibiotic tablet, and then he went back to his basket.

 

Eventually he heaved himself up and having an hour or so spare I took him for a little walk. As we walked I let him off the lead where I could, and at one point he was rooting in an upturned dustbin near Bowens Field. I called him away, and a spotty, greasy haired oik (with no two teeth pointing in the same direction) stopped his bike and asked me what my problem was, and did I want to make something of it. I told him I was calling my dog and this chap's face went white. He mumbled something about dogs and not wanting any trouble and peddalled away as fast as his scrawny little legs could propel him.

I wonder what that was all about.

 

Lisa called round and we spent a couple of hours driving here and there round the county capturing portals for the green side. The north Kent coast had rather meagre pickings, but we did manage to establish control over a huge area from Hothfield to Headcorn.

The original plan for the day had been geo-maintenance, and so finding ourselves not a million miles from Pluckley we parked up in Little Chart and walked my stretch of the Pluckley Plod series of geocaches. One was wet, one was missing, most were absolutely fine despite all the whinging messages I'd been getting. So what if the original log is full but someone else has put in a replacement log? I'm grateful that people would be so helpful.

And with my geo-maintenance done we walked up to the Black Horse for a swift half, then walked back to the car via a few more caches. I even picked up one I hadn't found before; I now only have one unfound geocache within six miles of home.

 

We came home to have a quick Ingress round Ashford only to find that whilst we'd been gone the blue scourge has taken over the town.... I would say more but on getting home I found myself mentioned in what I thought was a rather mean Facebook comment. Someone I hardly know (but respect) was getting fed up with seeing my continual posting about Ingress. I was then subsequently de-friended over the issue.

What can I say.... what do I need to say? Seven photos over five days is hardly "continual", is it?

 

On reflection I don't think many people actually understand the whole "Facebook thing". What is it all about? No one is forced to actually look at Facebook or to read what's on it. I have certainly never asked anyone to read my drivel on there.

Facebook is a way to see (at a glance) what other people are getting up to. It's an ideal way to keep up with people with whom you might not meet up very often. I find it invaluable for finding out with what my cousins are doing. I followed a good friend's journey to Hull and back over the weekend via Facebook. Personally I *love* seeing what people are doing because I am fundamentally a very nosey person.

Where people go wrong with Facebook is that they don't realise it's not supposed to be a substitute for watching the telly or for reading a book or for doing things yourself.

What is posted on Facebook is not intended to be entertainment. If people want entertainment they might try the cinema or the telly, or even going out and doing something... astronomy, arky-ologee, blowing into a saxophone, brewing and/or drinking beer, going for bike rides, going camping, hugging trees, flying kites, fishing, ironing, hiking, geocaching, munzeeing, painting (oils, emulsion and gloss) or even (dare I say it) playing Ingress.

The possibilities are endless... as I have found out.

 

Being Tuesday the clans gathered; this time in Folkestone where the Rear Admiral had invited all and sundry to use the back passage. For all that I was taking the mickey I know from experience that it's only when your front door breaks in the closed position that you realise just how much you use the thing.

Still, I scoffed his sweeties and then slept through this evening's episode of "The 100"...

 

 

20 August 2014 (Wednesday) Bubbly

 

 

With the little holiday over it was back to work today. And an early start. I woke shortly after 5am to find "Furry Face TM" asleep at the foot of the bed. It's been some time since he's sneaked up in the night. I came downstairs, had a shave, and found my pup had come down too. He helped me eat my toast; bearing in mind the vet'ss said he's to lose weight perhaaps I should put a stop to that?

 

And so to work. Via the chip shop and the bakers which had both fallen to the green side overnight. And then via the Mormon church in Kennington from where I consolidated the green hold over much of the northern part of town. I also stopped off at the Bilting cattery to have fun playing silly games of make-believe.

 

Sometimes I wonder if just maybe the world might be a better place if more people played silly buggers from time to time. As I drove I was listening to the radio. In the Middle East an American journalist has been beheaded because religious extremists don't like the actions of the American government. Somehow these people feel that chopping someone's head off and putting videos of this on the Internet are in accord with the tenets of their supposedly peaceful religion.

Interestingly a friend of mine had blogged about similar religious intolerance in America; a friend of hers felt that providing free meals for school children during school time was fundamentally wrong. This friend apparently describes herself as a Christian.

When I took cubs and scouts to America I met people there with similar views; people who loudly made great show of being Christian who felt that being poor was God's punishment on the feckless and that helping those in need was actually an insult to God.

I don't understand religious people. The more I look into it I become convinced that those who profess to be an adherent of a religion (no matter which one) have no understanding of the tenets of the belief which they claim to follow.

 

I eventually got to work. Not including shopping at Morrisons I only stopped six times on the way.

I've only been off for six working days but it seemed like an age. Work was good and I did my bit. At lunchtime I was sorely tempted to go off on a mission for Team Green, but Canterbury is a blue stronghold for the Ingress-ers so instead I had a go on my sax; I've rather neglected that recently.

I activated my metronome app and had a toot. After five minutes I turned off the metronome; I just didn't get on with it at all. Rather that helping my rhythm is completely stuffed up "Santa Lucia" and "The Great Escape". I didn't let it anywhere near "Oh I do Like to be Beside the Seaside" as that is quite bad enough already.

 

Once home and with pup walked we had a rather good bit of tea; there was good news to be celebrated. So we opened a bottle of bubbly. I've blogged about expensive wines before; this bottle of champagne retails at about thirty quid (I looked it up) and in all honesty I prefer the Australian red that I get in Morrisons for less than a fiver.

Mind you the stuff did have me fast asleep in front of the telly for the rest oof the evening.

 

 

21 August 2014 (Thursday) - GPS Games

 

 

I was sure I could feel "Furry Face TM" fidgeting at the bottom of the bed during the night but when I got up he was curled up in his basket. I wonder if I was dreaming; perhaps it was the effects of that champagne?

Over brekkie I gave telly a miss; instead I caught up with recording and writing down yesterday's history (as I saw it). As I was fiddling about on the laptop I got a notification; an email or two. Well twenty-five to be precise. A whole series of geocaches had gone out along the white cliffs. That will be a walk for the next month or so.

 

I put the lead onto my dog and we went for a little walk round to Newtown. He likes a walk, and since I've started playing Ingress we now seem to walk to different places every day, depending on where the blue scum (!) have been active overnight. I suspect the blue scum are now also walking to different places every day depending on where me and my dog have been for our walk.

As we walked I saw what looked to be one of my closest pals driving past. I waved frantically; and he waved back. I say "he"; it was only when they got close that I realised it wasn't who I thought it was. It was actually a big fat lady in a flowery dress.

I won't say who I thought it was...

 

Once home and dog breakfasted I drove off to work. Ideally on the Thursday before August Bank Holiday I would be going camping, but this year I wasn't able to book my holiday in time. Such is life.

Being a late start I had a couple of hours spare so I thought I might go geocaching. There are several "stand-alone" caches within ten miles of work that I am slowly picking off. I found two of the three I went for this morning; the third eluded me. It was probably on top of an old World War II bunker somewhere near Littlebourne. Or (to be precise) it was on top of the thing once. Whether it still is or not is anyone's guess.

The area around Canterbury seems to be littered with geocaches that are hidden by people who then lose interest in the hobby and they then just accrue "Did Not Find" logs.

As I drove I got cross. Not the radio this time; it was other drivers. Particularly one who was driving (as the most recent fruit of my loin would so succinctly say) "like a dildo". When one is driving behind a dustbin lorry one really should take the opportunity to go past said dustbin lorry when one is given that opportunity. Especially when one is given that opportunity several times. Furthermore it's not really good advertising to drive "like a dildo" when one's van is emblazoned with one's company details, phone number and website. So if any of my loyal readers are thinking of buying a sectional building I can let you know of a company to avoid.

 

To work. Once there I checked my locker. I *had* left my wallet there. I thought I had, and was rather relieved to find that I had. I then did my bit until lunch time when I had a tootle on the saxophone. This week's homework "I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside" and "The Teddy Bears' Picnic" isn't coming together at all. I'm beginning to wonder if I've reached my limit on the sax.

 

 

22 August 2014 (Friday) - Tyler Hill and Blean

 

 

A reasonable night's sleep; I spent a little time over brekkie watching a documentary about the 90s kids show "Fun House". Apparently no one ever told the studio cleaners the format of the show, and so copious amounts of gunge were cleaned up by two little old ladies with mops and buckets. What looks on screen to be a quick snappy show was in reality incredibly slow to make - there was regularly two hours between scenes as the little old ladies couldn't mop fast enough.

I always liked Fun House. I wonder what happened to them all...

 

I took "Furry Face TM" for our outing. His morning walk and my morning game of Ingress. As we walked through Bowens Fields Wetlands I noticed something. There used to be a fallen tree there. A large thing, about ten yards long. "er indoors TM" had hidden a geocache inside it. That fallen tree wasn't there any more. After a short search I found it. It was almost (but not quite) in the pond. Moving that would have taken some serious effort; if not a bulldozer. I can't help but wonder who moved it and why. In any event it's done for that cache.

 

Once home I gave "Furry Face TM" his breakfast, settled him down and set off on my morning's pre-work mission. First of all to get petrol, and then on to Blean for a spot of geocaching. Yesterday I went for three and got two. Today I went for six and found five.

I started off with a puzzle I'd solved some time previously, and then went on a little wander around Tyler Hill woods. One of the caches there was in a sorry state. From that little stroll I moved on to Blean church where I found one, but couldn't find the one that was supposedly attached to a bench. That one has had previous "Did Not Find" logs. I had an idea to give the C.O. a week to do something and then I was going to log a "Needs Archiving". But (to his credit) the chap who hid that cache has already posted that he's going to sort it out.

I find myself more and more becoming the Geocaching Police in East Kent. There are so many caches which have been set and then left to rot. The caches themselves have long gone, as have the people who hid them, but their footprint remains on the map both wasting everyone's time in looking for them, and in blocking a decent space for someone who might actually want to do the hobby properly. It's good to find someone prepared to do maintenance.

 

Despite ripping a hole out of my leg on barbed wire (who needs stiles?) I got so enthralled in my walk that I was almost (but not quite) late to work.

I did what I could, and had something of a busy day. A busy day made for a late lunch; but not too late not to have a saxophone practice. Yesterday I was getting rather despondent with the thing; today's rendition of "The Teddy Bears' Picnic" was flawless; albeit a little slow. I'll persevere with that sax.

 

Once home I checked my emails. A couple of months ago I entered a couple of short stories I'd written into a writer's competition. A few weeks ago I was told that both had made it to the first shortlisting. Today's emails brought the news that both stories have made it through to the next stage.

I'm feeling quite pleased about that. I really should dust off that novel I've been writing on and off for a couple of years...

 

 

23 August 2014 (Saturday) - Hic !

 

 

A reasonable night's sleep marred only by my dog having a "potty emergency" sometime whilst we were all asleep.

Over brekkie I saw I'd been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge in which I am supposed to empty a bucket of ice over my head to raise money for the McMillans charity. I'm not going to take this one up.

I would do it for a "proper" charity. I'm sorry, but I feel (very strongly) about things like this. Why should any government of any political persuasion pay for any service which someone else will fund for them? Cancer care, air ambulances.... where will it end? Why don't we ask everyone who gets paid to work in the public sector (in any position whatsoever) to go and get a proper job and then come back and do their work in an unpaid capacity in their spare time?

Look at the state that schools are now in; dependent on parent-teacher associations to hold jumble sales to finance the text books for the children. Books that were once paid for by allocated funding.

I've since been told that I can choose a different (proper) charity.... and that a bucket of ice is coming my way whether I like it or not. That's told me (!)

 

To cool my boiling piss I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We went up into town and through the Memorial Gardens where we kept quiet; we didn't want to wake the tramp who was still asleep on the park bench. As we walked we both pursued our mutual hobbies; I tried to repel the scourge of the blue scum (it's an Ingress thing) whilst Fudge tried to eat last night's vomit left by numerous pissed teenagers staggering out of night clubs.

We came home through the park where we met four other Patagonian Tripe-Hounds; dogs exactly like mine. Different colours but all of the same body shape. Mind you I say " the same body shape"; there's no denying that my dog was far and away the chubbiest. I think the vet was serious when he said it was diet time for that pup.

 

Once home I phoned the mobile phone company and had a whinge. Far from being "everything everywhere" I find them to be "nothing anywhere". I get some mobile internet signal in towns, but nothing indoors at work or in the countryside where Vodaphone seems to excel. The mobile phone people have doubled my allowance, for what its worth.

I then solved a few geo-puzzles for a walk which we'll do over the next few weeks. We then drove out to Bonnington to pick up one particular geocache; I have now found every cache within six miles of home. We came home via Tesco where we got suppllies for the afternoon's barbie.

 

The Rear Admiral arrived and we went round to Steve and Sarah's for that barbie. We had an excellent afternoon; a dozen of us sat in the sunshine (desipite a couple of rain showers), scoffed food, drank beer, and just enjoyed the afternoon.

There are those who would say that having had four pints of stout, going on to a beer festival wouldn't be the most sensible of ideas. But in my world (and this *is* my world) common sense rarely triumphs over idiot enthusiasm. "Access All Areas" were playing at the Riverside Inn's beer festival. It was only round the corner; it would have been rude not to have put in an appearence. Whilst there I met two ex-cubs; one now eighteen; the other now twenty-seven. Where do the years go?

More of our number arrived, and we bandied insults and collected photos for "Crackwatch" until the band started. Perhaps I'm a tad biased, but "Access All Areas" are rather good. It's been said (many times) that I don't like live music. That's probably true in the most part because most live bands cover up their inadequacies by turning up the volume. And the more rubbish a band, the louder they play. "Access All Areas" were good; I particularly liked their guest singers this evening.

There's no denying that by the time I reached the ninth pint of the day things were becoming rather vague...

 

 

24 August 2014 (Sunday) Langdon

 

 

You know you've got dodgy guts when your own farts wake you even though you are wearing a CPAP machine bringing air from some little distance away. I got up and spent a little while (far too long) working on a geo-puzzle in the general vicinity of Dover. With plans to go down to visit the geo--campers today I thought we might go for this geo-puzzle whilst we were nearby. It was a particularly nasty puzzle in that having been set a rather fiendish clue to decypher I was then faced with a dozen possibilities. And having made the schoolboy error of confusing East with West I found my entire IP address blocked by the checker.

What especially boiled my piss over this one was that I then went on to discover that this was yet another geocache put out by someone who has since given up with the hobby. For all that the cache is being found intermittently, the chap who hid it hasn't logged in for over four years. Clicking on the chap's geo-statistics I saw that of the dozen caches he'd hidden nearly all of them have been disabled and archived by The Powers That Be because he'd left them to fall into disrepair.

(Haven't I done this rant recently already?)

 

We had an early lunch of coffee and cake and drove down to Dover. We did a couple of geocaches as we went. One was listed as having a dozen travel bugs inside but in fact only had one. Another was listed as being near a windmil; there were no windmills to be seen. One was near a lovely goldfish pond; "Furry Face TM" jumped in. We were actually driving down to visit people staying at geo-camp; it was only haf a mile's walk from the pond to the camp, and so "er indoors TM" drove on down whilst I walked the wet dog there.

We found the geo-campers; we had tea and savouries. We sat in the sun and chatted for an hour, and then went to look for that puzzle cache I was ranting about earlier.

I had a dozen possible locations along half a mile of country lane; it wouldn't take long to check them all. All of them were on private land, only one wasn't in the middle of a field well away from any kind of cover, and that was didn't have the cache there. If any of my loyal readers fancy having a crack at the puzzle, it's here. let me know if you find it,

From here we did one last geocache (by a bomb hole) and then decided that we were tired and hungry and came home. We'd had a good day; I even took a few photos whilst we were out.

 

We got back to Ashford, popped round to the designer outlet centre and realised that "er indoors TM" had lost her i-phone. So we mentally retraced our steps, and on confirming that the thing wasn't left at geo-camp we eventually narrowed possible locations down to a couple of miles of countryside.

To cut a painfully long story short we found the phone in the last place we looked... I hate that phrase. Of course the thing was in the last place we looked; we would hardly carry on searching after we'd found it, would we?

 

Home (three hours later than planned) and over tea we watched yesterday's episode of "Doctor Who". I was interested to see how Peter Capaldi would do in the role. After all, I was sure he couldn't have been any worse than Matt Smith. He probably wasn't any worse, but he certainly wasn't much better.

Since the show came back to our screens we have seen four actors playing the lead role; all of whom seemed to think they were playing the part of the village idiot.

Oh well, I shall have to wait patiently for the fifth one...

 

 

25 August 2014 (Monday) - Wet Bank Holiday

 

 

It was dark when I got up this morning. Not completely dark, but noticeably blacker than it has been. The days are getting shorter. Over brekkie I watched the last of the current season of "The Mill"; our hero is facing transportation to Australia. In the era in which this show is set going to Australia was a bad thing. Personally I wouldn't mind going.

"Furry Face TM" joined me for the end of the show. Too late for him to have any toast though, which was probably just as well for his waistline.

 

I checked my emails; no new geocaches had appeared overnight so I set off to work shortly before 7am and took a rather circuitous route to Canterbury via Dobbies garden centre and Boughton Aluph war memorial in a vain attempt to curb the excesses of the blue scum. They get everywhere, you know.

I've been told that my latest silly craze (Ingress) is actually a clever tool used by Google to monitor people's movements. It may well be; but it seems an odd way of doing it. If the nice people at Google really want to know where I go and what I do, they can read this blog. Or even just ask me. I make no secret of where I go.

Also if anyone wants to track me without my knowledge it would make far more sense to sneak something into the software of (say) my Kindle app or my diet-diary app. Putting it into Ingress is daft; the only reason I went to Dobbies garden centre, Boughton Aluph war memorial and the Bilting cattery this morning was because there were parts of the Ingress game there. It was Google who took me there; common sense tells us that if you make certain places key to a GPS-orientated game then people are going to go to those places.

 

I got to work and spent much of the day looking out of the window at the rain. When I wasn't looking at the rain I was listening to the rain hammering on the windowns and skylights. There had been two possible camping trips planned for this weekend. One never actually happened and I turned the other one down as the timings were wrong for me. It was as well we didn't go camping; we would be taking down wet tents.

I didn't mind working today; usually the August Bank Holiday Monday is spent on physical labour anyway; when camping we would spend the morning (until early afternoon) taking down a camp and the afternoon (until early evening) putting all the stuff away. Only working till mid afternoon actually made for a more restful Bank Holiday for me.

 

I did my bit at work on a surprisingly busy day, and then came home. I did have vague plans to pick up a particular geocache on the way home, but I didn't want to traipse across three hundred yards of field after it had been raining all day long. Instead I Ingressed along the A28 capturing great swathes of Chartham and Godmersham for the forces of good. (Well...green anyway)

I also had formed a plan to take "Furry Face TM" for a walk around the Romney Marsh this evening but again a day's rain would have made for a miserable wet stroll. So I slobbed about and did a little puzzle solving for a possible walk on Sunday in the general vicinity of Dymchurch.

And then we had an evening in. We watched the Johnny Depp WIlly Wonka film over a rather good curry and a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape. Recently I've had a lot to say about expensive wines not being anywhere near as good as cheap Australian red wine. This Chateauneuf du Pape is rather good stuff. I shall have a look in Morrisons tomorrow and see if I can get some more...

 

 

26 August 2014 (Tuesday) - Still Raining

 

 

Up with the lark, and over brekkie I watched more of the documentary about Royal Marines in training. This week many of them passed their final tests and got their green berets. I say "many of them" - over half of those who started the training had dropped out over the six months training before facing the final assault courses.

I then checked my emails and seeing little of note I started planning a geo-walk for this coming Sunday. I'm not sure what the weather is going to do, but it doesn't hurt to make plans. If the worst comes to the worst we can just postpone for a week or so. Mind you bearing in mind the rain of yesterday and today, somewhere off of fields and on to tarmac would probably be a good idea.

In the past I've just randomly selected somewhere to go, and off we go. But bearing in mind my experiences round Kent lately I thought I'd check out any possible geo-targets before we set out to Dymchurch. I'm glad we did. Two of the weekend's possible geocaches we might have searched for would seem to have long since vanished. Again these had been originally hidden seven years ago by people who've not been active on the geo-web site for years. So I squealed them to the geo-authorities.

 

Off to work. As I drove the radio was abuzz with the latest debate between the pro- and anti- factions concerning Scottish independence. The feeling was that the argument was won by the pro-independence bunch, but that it was more of a petty squabble rather than a reasoned debate. Which is both rather typical of all politics and is also a sad indictment of the political process.

 

I stopped off at Morrisons on the way to work. I got apples and bananas and armpit squirt. Yesterday I mentioned that I might get a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape. I might have done; I could get five bottles of the cheap stuff for the same price. I got a bottle of the cheap stuff; we shall see what that is like. I then went on to work where I did my bit. In a novel break with tradition I didn't do sax practice; for the first time in months rain stopped play. Instead I sat in the staff room and fell asleep whilst reading my Kindle app. Which is the very reason I prefer playing the saxophone at lunch time; I'm fed up with falling asleep during the day time.

 

There was a lot of talk today about the ketogenic diet and how it is a wonderful way to lose weight. It sounds counter-intuitive; one scoffs cheese, sausages, bacon and cream and looses weight. Apparently. I might just give that a go.

I then came home and ran "Furry Face TM" round the block. We would have had more of a walk but we got as far as the Bowens Field Park and the rain started so we came home again. I completed my plans for a geo-walk around Dymchurch on Sunday; if any of my loyal readers fancy coming along, the more the merrier.

 

Being Tuesday those of the clans that weren't stuck on broken trains in the channel tunnel gathered at Beaver Road. Tonight we watched another episode of "The 100". For all that the show has a good premise and a good plot, it could do with characters. So far there's not a single person in the show that I am warming to.

I wonder if it has been cancelled yet...

 

 

27 August 2014 (Wednesday) Egerton

 

 

I woke at 5.30am and got up. Whilst this is a lot earlier than many people get up, these days I am sleeping through till gone 5am without spending much of the night wide awake. This is a vast improvement on how things used to be.

Whilst I had got up, my dog hadn't. He wagged his tail sleepily at me when I fussed him, and he went back to sleep as I scoffed toast and watched the latest episode of "Family Guy" which I'd recorded over the weekend.

 

I set off to work; as I drove the talk on the radio was about the forthcoming Scottish independence referendum. It would seem that everyone who is anyone in the world of business has signed an open letter claiming that independence will be incredibly bad for the Scottish economy. As time goes by I get the distinct impression that the whole independence thing is preying on an overblown sense of national pride at the expense of common sense. I can see the "Yes" vote winning, Scotland going independent and going straight down the pan, and in five years time the rest of the United Kingdom refusing to take Scotland back; not wanting to bail out a bankrupt economy.

 

I stopped off at Morrisons for some shopping and had a minor row at the till. Dog food billed at "Two for eighty pence" was not being sold as such. The assistant had a right cob when I insisted on that discount and she had to go round to the dog food aisle to check. She was not happy when she had to refund my thirty two pence.

Mind you she had her revenge when I tried to send her back to the toilet roll aisle because she was trying to charge me ninety pence more than the advertised price. Apparently the price advertised for the bogroll I was buying was actually for a different bogroll. I could have pursued the issue, but by then I'd wasted too much time so I stupmed up the difference and contented myself with rubbishing the shop on Facebook.

 

Work was surprisingly busy, but having a bright day (for a change) meant I could practice on my saxophone. The tunes are mostly there, but are oh-so slow.

 

The plan for the evening had involved me being left to my own devices as "er indoors TM" was going to stage some girly jewellry party, but the jewellry-monger's gran was taken poorly at the last minute. So we took "Furry Face TM" out in the car to Egerton where we parked up by a geocache and walked for a mile or so to another one. And then walked back again. It was a really good walk, but in the end we were racing the fading light. We got back to the car just five minutes before sunset.

You know you are getting old when you comment on the nights drawing in...

 

 

28 August 2014 (Thursday) - Moving House

 

 

Last night whilst scofffing tea we watched "The Great British Bake Off". It's a bland enough show in which a variety of normal people (!) bake various things (as the name might suggest). It is banal enough viewing for when one has downed half a bottle of wine and is on the point of snoozing, but is it *really* peak time viewing? Apparently so. I found myself getting rather hooked as the show went on. I was rather disappointed that the fit one didn't win, but there's no denying that I was glad that "beardie" got the bum's rush. I'd taken an instant dislike to him.

After "Bake Off" was yet another repeat of the last ever Monty Python show, and I then found myself waking up in front of the telly a couple of hours later.

I felt rather rough when I get up this morning.

 

"Furry Face TM" had the crusts off of my toast as I watched "Saxondale" and "Family Guy" and then I checked out tthe Internet to see what had happened overnight. More people have done the ice bucket challenge. Whilst I'm all for charitable work, there's a lot of bad things being said about the charity benefitting most from these ice buckets. Are they true? I don't really know, but it never fails to amaze me how few people actually take the time to examine the so-called charities which they are so quick to support. Have a look at this list here... I suppose that back in the day popular TV such as that presented by Esther Rantzen were quick to expose the chalatans whilst today we are too busy watching people baking cakes.

 

As I drove to work the talk on the radio was about the terrible child sex abuse scandal in Rotherham. I'm not defending what happened in in any way, but I couldn't believe what I heard on the radio. The woman wittering on during the "Thought for the Day" was saying how difficult it is for children to be taken seriously, and her implication was that the law should be changed so that any allegation made by a child concerning sexual abuse implies immediate guilt on the part of the accused. It should then be up to that accused person to prove their innocence.

Oh my piss boiled. Has this person never actually encountered a child? Doesn't she know that there are many children who might just take advantage of such a legal framework?

The sad thing is that (speaking as a loony-leftie-crackpot myself) some of these loony-leftie-crackpots really don't understand the implications of the drivel they preach and then get elected to positions of authority.

 

Lunchtime sax practice was entertaining. Despite having set up as far away from anyone as I could, some twit drove his car to park next to mine and then played his radio at full blast to try to prove some point. After fifteen minutes of his glaring at me (and me smiling back) he gave up and drove away.

As I walked back to work I realised that all the nearby workmen were whistling "Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside". If nothing else they must have recognised the tune I was trying to master.

 

I didn't go straight home from work. I went round to Queen Street where the O'Latas were moving house. We piled boxes and things into two white vans, drove them round to Willesborough where we unloaded, then went back for more. Easy to type out; took three hours to do. Pausing only briefly to take a saw to a sofa in half we came home via the KFC; it was too late to be cooking.

 

 

29 August 2014 (Friday) - Feeling Grotty

 

 

My CPAP machine helps me sleep by pushing more air through airways which are being consistently blocked by nasal polyps. However for it to work there needs to be *some* space for the air to pass through. Consequently when I have nights like last night when the insides of my sinuses are so swollen that they hurt there are no air spaces and so the CPAP thing can't help me.

Despite an evening's heavy lifting yesterday I didn't sleep at all well last night. I was loading laundry into the washing machine at 4am, and pegging it on the line shortly after 6am.

 

As I drove to work there was the usual sort of drivel on the radio. The Member of Parliament for Clacton has resigned and has joined UKIP. Then the pundits revealed that a lot more Con-Servative MPs are getting ready to jump ship and join UKIP as well. All apparently after having been wined and dined by some wealthy businessman. I can't help but wonder how our political system can possibly claim to be "democratic" when clearly those with money are calling the shots.

There was also talk of an "art installation" on Folkestone's Golden Sands. I didn't know that Folkestone had any "Golden Sands". Apparently someone else with more money than sense had buried lumps of gold (real gold; each lump worth hundreds of pounds) in the sand on Folkestone beach so that us proles would go out and dig them up. The deal is that if you dig up some gold you get to keep it, and by 8am this morning there were already hundreds of people on that small beach; digging away like things possessed.

Personally I feel rather strongly that if people have got money to burn they should waste it on burying gold on the beach rather than trying to influence elected politicians.

 

I popped into Morrisons on the way to work. I keep griping about that place, but it is conveniently placed on my morning's drive. A couple of days I mentioned that they weren't selling their bogroll at the advertised price. They were doing the same today with doughnuts. Billed at 1.35 for two packs, at the till they charged me 1.00 for two packs. So I got lots, then as I was walking out of the shop I mentioned their pricing discrepancies to a spotty oik in a suit, and as he blustered I smiled and kept going.

I bought a load of cakes for the people at work today; I'm on holiday next week, and next Monday is the third anniversary of my transfer to working at Canterbury. I thought we all deserved cakes to mark the occasion.

 

Once at work I did my bit. In retrospect I wonder if I shouldn't have given work a miss today and taken a day off sick. I'd not slept well, my swollen sinuses were hurting, I ached from all the moving I'd done yesterday, and I had a nagging headache which lasted all day. Added to which my right knee developed an odd clicking whenever I walked about.

Things hadn't improved by the time I left work. Despite the noisy knee I put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for our walk. We got as far as Bowens Field when the phone rang. "er indoors TM" had locked herself out of the "er indoors-mobile TM" so we drove round with the spare key. By the time we got back to finish our walk time was pushing on so I decided to give astro club a miss. There's no denying that I wasn't keen on having the meeting in a pub anyway; but I was feeling seriously grotty this evening.

I spent a quiet evening in doing some of the ironing and then had an early night. Rather dull, really...

 

 

30 August 2014 (Saturday) - New Mattress

 

 

Yesterday I whinged that I wasn't feeling quite one hundred per cent. After a good night's sleep I was feeling a little better. I loaded laundry into the washing machine and after a quick bit of brekkie took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. Three new geocaches had gone live within a mile of home this morning. Two were ideally placed for a walk with my dog; one was on its own near Kingsnorth church. I thought I'd chase the First to Find on that one, and leave two FTFs for other people. I am kind like that.

We chased the FTF; we got it and did the happy dance and the secret geo-ritual. Or, to be precise I did the happy dance and the secret geo-ritual. Fudge just tried to roll in various piles of unspeakable stuff.

 

We then continued our walk into the town centre where the blue scum had been making serious in-roads into the area (it's an Ingress thing). Whilst we were out I checked on one of my geocaches as we were passing. And my piss boiled.

This cache is dead simple to find; it's a magnetic key holder on a sign about seven feet off the ground. A couple of weeks ago I replaced it with a new one because the old one had gone missing. This morning I had a look - there were two caches there. All I can imagine is that someone must have found the original and then taken it home to show their mum and brought it back later after I'd replaced it. Interestingly the last person to find it before it went missing had a cache find count of less than ten so I can only surmise they don't know the proper etiquette.

When we were about as far from home as we were going to get on this morning's walk the heavens opened. So having set out with good intentions I came home with a stuffy nose, a gammy knee and was soaked as well.

 

Once home I did dull. I hung out wet laundry and looked at the household accounts. They could be better.. they could be a whole lot worse. I pushed the hoover (Dyson) round the house, and watched Martin walking up the road some three hours later than he usually does on a Saturday morning.

Usually I would have done more on a Saturday morning, but a general spirit of lethargy had seized me and I slobbed about on the laptop until mid day.

 

Sax lesson went reasonably well, and then... I still can't quite beleive the antics of the afternoon. For reasons that wouldn't surprise anyone who reads this drivel I need a cheap table and a music stand. So hoping to save a bit of money we had a look in the charity shop in Brookfield.

Whilst browsing we were approached by a passing Geordie who asked us if we wanted to buy a mattress. "er indoors TM" has beeen looking at mattresses recently so she knows a thing or two about them. "Bonny Lad" took us to his van in the car park where he had several brand new mattresses which would normally retail at about a thousand pounds each. Apparently some local families had ordered them and had changed their minds and didn't want them and he needed to get them out of his van so he could load up some other cargo to take back to Newcastle.

 

Sounds plausible? I didn't beleive a word of it either.

 

I wasn't at all interested, and so he slashed his asking price. I still wasn't interested, so he slashed it even more, and offered imediate delivery. So I hopped in the cab with him, he drove it home and I gave him a hundred quid. We had something of a struggle getting the mattress into place, only to find that the thing was a tad wider and a lot deeper that the old mattress. But five minutes in Dunelm Mill saw us with a new fittted sheet.

I've since had a look on line. It really does seem that we've got an orthopaedic mattess at about a tenth of the going rate. Result!!

 

Yesterday I turned down going to astro club as I wasn't feeling especially sociable. A blocked ear, swollen sinuses and ongoing headache wasn't making me the best of company today so "er indoors TM" set off to a family barbecue without me.

Instead I took "Furry Face TM" for a little walk to pick up those two geocaches I didn;t chase this morning. I had planned to spend the evening writing up homework and ironing. I did neither. I got some curry and chips from the shop down the road and slobbed in front of the telly. Last week I didn't like the episode of "Doctor Who". Tonight's episode was a great improvement...

 

Off to bed.... I wonder what that new mattress will be like...?

 

 

31 August 2014 (Sunday) Dymchurch

 

 

The new mattress isn't bad. In all honesty it seems very little different to the old one apart from the fact it's six inches higher. That six inches would seem to have thwarted a certain dog's ability to get on to the bed.

We now have a mattress surplus to requirements. As everyone knows, no home is complete without a discarded mattress in the front garden, so if any of my loyal readers need one, just drop me a line.

 

After brekkie I hung the washing on the line. As I did this "Furry Face TM" stalked the fish pond as he does. To my amazement he caught a Koi this morning, actually having the fish's head in his mouth. I shouted at him and he dropped the fish back into the water. I wonder if it will survive its ordeal.

 

We then drove round to collect the Roddericks and made our way to the car park by the Martello Tower in Dymchurch. They wanted more money than I had in change for parking. I tried to use the automated system to pay on my credit card, but the technology just wasn't up to it. So we drove round the corner and parked free in one of the side streets.

Having met up with Jimbo and Stevey we then got on with the business of the day; basically having a geo-wander around Dymchurch. We didn't get quite as far along the sea wall as we might have done, but by the time we called a halt we had found every cache in Dymchurch, including a cheeky FTF on the way. We found out about the Littlestone Water Company and bananivorous animals. We had a harrowing twenty minutes when we lost "Furry Face TM" in a field of wheat. We had a pint of cider and a bag of beans on cheese on toast crisps (which were really rather tasty). We had a particularly good amaretto ice cream. And we even laughed at the pissed tarts who were having a competition to see who could shout the"C" word the loudest.

We ended the afternoon at a geo-meet where loads of hunters of tupperware got together for a crafty ice cream and gossip.

 

Home, and once I'd washed the fox poo of of my dog I had a look on-line. Oh dear... why do I do it? On-line discusion forums are just one big fight.

Earlier in the day I was looking at a geo-puzzle just of the North Kent coast. I can't solve the puzzle because I can't understand it. The words are in English; but the sentences are not. So often this is the case; a lot of time and effort goes into hiding a geocache but al the good work is undermined by the dreadful way the thing is presented to its target audience. So I posted onto the forum supposedly used by those who decide whether or not a geocache is up to scratch "Just an observation - more and more of the cache descriptions I'm reading seem to be written by a six year old. Atrocious spelling, appalling grammar, frankly meaningless sentences. Are there no minimum standards of literacy for cache descriptions?"

Oh - I got some nasty replies. I posted that comment intending no insult or disrespect; after all, having written something, does it really take that long to re-read what you have actually written? And if you know you are not the world's most literate person, why not have a friend proof-read it for you?

 

Mind you, for all the stick I've got on the subject, over twenty people have "liked" my comment, including "The Man With No Alias (Patent Pending)".

One cannot help but wonder what "The Man With No Alias (Patent Pending)" is doing lurking on geo-forums.. Perhaps he's seen the light...