1 August 2018 (Wednesday) - Field Trials
I was making the most of an opportunity to have a bit of a lie-in this morning when Treacle dabbed me awake to proudly show me the socks she’d just stolen from my sock drawer. She seemed so pleased with herself. I recaptured my socks and got up.
I sparked up my lap-top to look at the Internet. Nothing much had changed overnight really, which was probably not a bad thing. There is talk of an outing to one of the panic rooms in Canterbury; I’d be interested in that. Mid-week would be good as things like that tend to heave at the weekends.
Being on a late shift I took the dogs for a walk straight after brekkie. Our standard walk round the park is *so* much easier during the school holidays. We weren’t bothered by normal people anywhere near as much as we sometimes are. There was a minor incident when a Nepalese woman ran in terror from Treacle;’ so many of the Nepalese seen to be terrified of dogs. We chased a squirrel up a tree, and we had a chat with OrangeHead who was having a rant that the gate to the co-op field has been padlocked shut. Personally I see that as a good thing. There is still pedestrian access, but the gate being shut means cars can’t drive in there.
We came home and met new-next-door who was just going out. We had a chat. He is in the throes of digging up his kitchen floor and he’s found a manhole cover under it. He was surprised to find that a manhole cover for the main sewer had been blocked like that. I wasn’t surprised; the people who built the conservatory-kitchen blocked that up about ten years ago. New-next-door went off on one about how blocking the drains was illegal; all I could say was that I agreed with him, but this had been an argument between the people in the house (four or five residents ago) and the water company. I suggested he fought with them; he laughed,
I watched the second half of yesterday’s episode of “Orange is the new black”, settled the dogs and set off out.
As I drove off "Women's Hour" on the radio was talking about how "coercive control" was now an offence and was discussing the matter in very great and very depressing detail. I turned over to my awful choice in music and howled all the way to Allington where I planned to test out my new geo-app.
There is a geocache in Allington which required me to visit three separate locations, get some information, and from the dates I found I had to calculate the final location of the concealed sandwich box. The app worked reasonably well, even if I didn't find what I was looking for. I think I might have got one of the puzzles wrong; if any of my loyal readers know when the deepest floods occurred at Allington lock, please let me know.
Mind you I did test the thing successfully on the way back to the car even if I did (at first) find a bag of dog poo rather than the cache.
All I need to do now is figure out how to sort my trackables and I will be laughing (or giggling hysterically). I've emailed the bloke who made the app. I wonder if he will reply?
I got to work and had a rather busy late shift; I didn't like that.
Meanwhile, Gertie, Laura and Snorloc seem to be doing well. As well as cucumber and foliage, they have had soil added to their home.
The fortunate molluscs !!
2 August 2018 (Thursday) - Sleepover
I woke this morning to find Treacle was chewing my hand. She wanted to play. A shame it was still before three o'clock.
I lay awake until I had enough of laying awake, got up, and as I scoffed my toast I watched an episode of "Orange is the new black". I quite like this show - it does get a tad saucy in parts though.
Then (pausing only briefly to give "er indoors TM" her birthday pressie) I set off to work.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were discussing the revelation that moderate drinking in the fifty-year olds staves off dementia. I shall bear that in mind.
There was also talk about how the Prime Minister is planning to suck up to the French premier in an attempt to keep him sweet for a cheeky post-Brexit deal.
I can't see how any deal will ever get done with all the details being smeared everywhere by the media.
Yesterday I failed to find a geocache near Allington. Last night I saw that someone went for it after me and found it. I sent them a message and got a message back. Having a few minutes spare this morning and being armed with a hint I went back and found it. It was a relatively straightforward find *if* you ignored the bit in the description about not needing to cross a fence. Having been given a hint I crossed that fence and walked into a thicket to a point some twenty yards away from where the GPS would have had me believe the thing was hidden.
I don't like cache hides like that. The whole idea is that the GPS takes you to the exact spot (give or take a yard or so) then you have to search. Either for an easy find, or for a hide which is very well camouflaged, or for something rather clever.
The idea *isn't* that you are faced with a circle of twenty yards radius to randomly rummage through.
Having finally found the thing I went in to work and did my bit. I came home to find our house guests had arrived. "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" was having a sleepover with us, and he’d brought his slugs with him.
We fed the pond fish. We played Ker-Plunk, we had sausages and chips, we did jigsaw puzzles… not a bad way to spend a birthday evening really…
3 August 2018 (Friday) - At The Zoo
I had a rather good night. "er indoors TM" not so. She spent the night in the guest room with "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" . She’d had this brainwave that since the toilet was a bit far from the loft bedroom she’d take a bucket up to littlun’s room in case he was taken short. Littlun thought tiddling into a bucket was a great game, and spent far too much time with his bucket all night long. The dogs also thought having littlun staying overnight was great fun and joined in what was probably quite a circus.
I just went to sleep and left them all to it.
I had some brekkie before everyone got up. I got a little emotional as I read Facebook; there is a chap with whom I was in the Boys Brigade forty years ago and we’ve recently got in touch through Facebook. He’d posted saying how it would have been his son’s birthday today if he’d lived.
That put everyone else’s attention-seeking and petty gripes into perspective.
I had an email which made me sit up and think. Just lately I’ve been buying e-books rather than real ones for the simple reason that they take up a lot less space than real books. The fact that they are cheaper is just an added bonus.
This morning Amazon wondered if I would like to buy the Game of Thrones prequel e-book for fifteen quid. Fifteen quid !! – the hardcover version is only twelve pounds fifty.
"Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" and I took the dogs round the park. I only had to reprimand him once when he pushed Treacle off of a bridge. Other than that, the walk went well; as we walked OrangeHead had a little chat with "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" which was nice.
Once home we settled the dogs and smallest grandson and I drove down to Port Lympne. I had this idea that a day at the zoo might be fun…
Long story short – it was… with reservations.
I very nearly turned round at the door when I was charged forty-six quid for the two of us. Forty-six quid!!
The nice man on the till explained that the safari tour was included in the ticket price. It never had been before so I thought we’d do that first. The safari tour sets off every fifteen minutes. We missed the first one by seconds but were first in the queue for the next one. I did snigger when the safari wagon arrived and the child directly in the queue behind us announced he wanted to go to the toilet.
The safari tour could have been excellent. It takes about an hour to do, and goes through three distinct zones; South American, African and Asian. As you go you have the opportunity to see rhinos, giraffes, bears, ostriches, all sorts of creatures. Or (to be more precise) you have the opportunity *if* you sit on the left-hand side of the vehicle. We’d sat on the right and after fifteen minutes I could have got off.
If you’ve ever been to Port Lympne you’ll know the place is on a hillside. The safari tour drives you down to the bottom and you then have to slog back up on your own. Fortunately we were dropped off by the ice cream stall. A caramel ice cream each went down well. We then wandered slowly past so many seemingly empty cages. A passing keeper said that the animals tend to hide on hot days.
Luckily the plastic dinosaurs didn’t hide. The dinosaur wood made sure the day wasn’t entirely wasted.
And once we’d seen the dinosaurs Jake announced “I’ve had enough – where’s the car?” So we made our way back to the car via an orange Callippo and some Lipton’s iced tea. "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" was adamant he wanted iced tea. I’ve since been told he’s never had it before, but now seems to love the stuff.
I took a few photos whilst we were at the zoo. It was a good morning out, but not a cheap one.
We drove on to McDonalds where we met "Daddy’s Little Angel TM". McDinner went down rather nicely, then we all went back home to collect littlun’s overnight bag and his slugs. I had then intended to work in the garden, but it was far too hot, so I put the telly on. What’s the point of having a telly if not to put on?
After a couple of episodes of “Orange is the New Black” I went out to the garden. I mowed the lawn, topped up the water features, tidied up the graveled areas, dug out gazebos, chairs and stuff for Sunday.
"er indoors TM" boiled up some fish and chips, and seeing that there was a whole load of new puzzle geocaches near Canterbury I spent the evening puzzling…
I really should have an early night – I forgot just how tiring having a littlun can be…
4 August 2018 (Saturday) - Late Shift
I got up just after half past eight – having had "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" come to stay had been tiring. There wasn’t much that had happened overnight on Facebook, but I had a couple of emails that boiled my piss. One was a log on my Earthcache at Dungeness. An Earthcache is a little geography lesson. To qualify for this one you have to basically compare how far the tide goes out at Greatstone and compare it with how far it goes out at Dungeness. Someone from Germany had claimed a find, but from the answers they sent me (there’s an element of doing your homework involved) I’m rather sure they weren’t ever there. I’ve messaged them (twice), and will do so again if they don’t reply, but if I get no answer within a week I shall take the ultimate step of deleting their log. “Deleting a log” is akin to being expelled from school or bsing dishonourably discharged. It is the ultimate bad in hunting Tupperware, and not to be done lightly.
Interestingly the person I’m suspecting has claimed nearly forty thousand finds. A couple of years ago I found another “fraudulent” found-it log from someone who was in the country’s top twenty finders.
Do these people think that having such a high number of finds means the rules don’t apply to them, or is this how they get such a high number of finds?
I spent a little while pondering geo-puzzles with a view to going for a walk in a couple of weeks time then we took the dogs round the park. The walk went off far better than it usually does (which was something of a result).
I was interested to see a little van has set up selling teas and coffees; I wonder if they have permission to do so? I heard from a fellow dog-walker that a cup of coffee was three quid. We had far cheaper at home, and a Belgian bun too.
As I drove to work there was some travel program on the radio. It started off about the failed mining projects in Mongolia and ended up with an article about the mucky underwear industry of Albania.
This then gave way to what was described as a beginner’s guide to economics but was actually a rather disappointing platform for a failed economics graduate to attempt (and fail) to be a stand-up comedian.
As I drove along the section of motorway from junction six to Junction five I had to break sharply. A car (with registration M131 NKH) was blundering all over the place seemingly unable to choose a lane to be in. Having nearly side-swiped my car it then meandered all over the place. I suspect it would have navigated a straighter line had the driver been looking out of the window rather than conducting a physical fight with the small child in the passenger seat.
Once at work I went to the canteen and had chicken korma (and rice) with a yogurt for afters. It would have been a much better meal had some woman not been shrieking into her mobile phone at the other end of the room. Surely the whole point of a mobile phone is that you don't need to shriek - the person who you are phoning can hear you at quieter volumes - that's why we have phones?
I went in to work for the late shift. I've always said that given the choice I would rather have an early one, and even more so at weekends. As i did my bit I sulked at the fine weather outside. So many friends were in Yorkshire for the national geo-event there today. Whilst I probably wouldn't have gone, it would have been good to have had the option.
I did my bit, and just as I was walking out to go home my phone beeped. A new geocache had gone live not two miles from work; and as an added bonus it was (almost) on the way home. After a little farting about trying to find a footpath in the twilight I got to where I was supposed to be at the same time as a LooneyDrew did. We had a joint First to Find, and a little catch-up.
What with a cheeky FTF and getting petrol I was home rather late this evening…
5 August 2018 (Sunday) - Garden Party
Leaving "er indoors TM" snoring I scoffed brekkie then went into the garden. Clear up all the dog dung, then put up a gazebo and the event shelter. Easy.
I’d harvested all the dog dung that was in the garden on Friday; there couldn’t possibly be that much generated in the meantime, could there?
With the garden eventually clear I dragged out the gazebo and found an errant turd just where I wanted to set up. I got rid of that one, and came back to Find Treacle laying another.
Finally with the area clear I got the gazebo poles out and put them in place. Then realized I had the roof diagonal where the side horizontals should be. I put that right only to find the legs were now wrong. I looked at my watch and decided I would give it twenty minutes after which time I would throw it away and get a new one from Argos. With "er indoors TM"’s assistance the gazebo did make the deadline, but it has had it. The plastic is ripped and torn. I thought it would do for the afternoon; it can go to the tip tomorrow.
The event shelter went together so much easier.
I dragged out chairs and tables, and new-next-door lent us five chairs which was a help.
Karl, Tracey and the girls arrived, and we took the hounds for a walk. If they don’t go out Fudge does get fractious. We had a rather good walk round the back roads to the dog beach, and we came home past the bowling alley for an ice lolly. I didn’t realise they had a little kiosk where non-bowlers could buy stuff.
Home for the annual garden party. It went rather well I thought… even if it did get rather vague towards the end…
6 August 2018 (Monday) - Before The Night Shift
I woke feeling far better than I probably had any right or expectation to do so. Mind you my left knee was aching; I wonder what’s up with it.
I had my usual look at the Internet and saw that nothing much had changed overnight. It rarely does.
Seeing how the weather forecast said we were in for a hot day I thought we might do our walk round the park early. Today’s walk was hard work. Yesterday we walked with friends; there was an attraction for Fudge; a reason to stay close. Today was just the three of us, and Fudge straggled beyond the expectations of even his staunchest supporters.
As we walked we could see the fun fair was setting up in the park, and I found myself pondering on the logistics of running a fun fair. They open for business this coming Thursday and stay open until Sunday. Is this standard fun fair opening? If so how had they shut up shop so promptly yesterday to be in the park in Ashford before nine o’clock today? And there was only some of the rides and stalls present. Don’t they travel mob-handed? I always thought that a fun fair was one unit – perhaps I’m wrong? Do all the stalls and rides operate independently?
I wonder what kind of a life they have on the road moving from town to town?
I could do fun-fairs…
Once home I set about taking down the gazebo and event shelter we’d used yesterday. Despite having just been round the park and “unloaded”, both dogs managed to “produce” rather spectacularly which needed clearing before I could get busy. The event shelter went away easily enough, but the gazebo has had it. The material is ripped and fit for the bin.
I then fixed the water features that didn’t survive "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" ‘s intervention yesterday; something there was fascinating the dogs. I wonder what the attraction was.
And as an encore scrubbed out the barbecue. Both dogs seemed very keen to scoff up the scraps of burned and charcoaled meat that I pulled out of the thing.
I then had a little look-see on eBay to find out how much a new gazebo would set me back. It is as cheap to replace the lot as it is just to replace the ripped bit. I was rather surprised to see that some sellers offered “collection in store”; Argos are selling stuff through eBay!
I checked my emails – there is a new geo-series near Igtham. A walk of less than three miles. Too short for a weekend day but it might be good for a day when "My Boy TM" can’t come fishing. This Thursday might be such a day (if the weather forecast changes).
Over a lunch of left-overs I watched “Orange is the New Black” and an episode of “Gotham” from two weeks ago, then I took myself off to bed. I slept for an hour or so, but Fudge decided to start a barking match with new-next-door’s dogs. By the time I’d shouted at him all hopes of sleep were gone. So I got up and watched more “Orange is the New Black”.
I’ve had a rather dull day today. As I was “doing dull” Sofia has had her little baby, and Sam has pranged his car.
I’m off to the night shift soon… just as well I’m on nights – it is too hot to sleep anyway,
As I drove home after a rather busy night shift I found the morning’s news rather depressing. There was an interview with one of the leading lights of one of the many factions involved in the seemingly never-ending conflict in the Middle East. This chap had the solution to all the conflict in the Middle East; every other faction should just admit that they are wrong and that his bunch are right. The chap being interviewed conceded that everyone else involved in the Middle East felt that way, but insisted that everyone else should be ignored because they were wrong and he was right.
There was talk about how Katie Price had made forty-six million quid by getting her tits out, then pissed that forty-six million quid up a wall and is today going to be declared bankrupt.
There was talk about how Arsenal football club is to be sold; it is worth nearly two billion quid.
Meanwhile the climate is about to undergo irreversible change and the only person on the radio with any suggestions for putting things right was the idiot doing “Thought For The Day” who suggested we should pray. How does that work? I don’t understand prayer. You find yourself in a shitty situation (which presumably God could have prevented) and then you ask God to sort it out. And when nothing happens you blather platitudes to make excuses for God not doing anything. Or am I missing something?
This isn’t the future I was expecting when I was a lad. The planet is knackered but people are more interested in tits and football whilst society worldwide is still in the grip of crackpot religions. Are we in a new dark age? It certainly seems so sometimes.
I got home and took the dogs out. Fudge seemed to be determined to get run over by a bike; he flatly refused to get out of the cycle paths. As we went round the park we could see that quite a few more caravans had arrived in the park for the fun fair. All of them were running electricity from the grey leccie boxes in the park (despite the boxes being padlocked). I wonder if I might do that?
Pausing only briefly to exchange pleasantries with OrangeHead we came home, and I took myself off to bed.
I got a few hours sleep; not as much as I might have liked, but it was a hot day. I gave up trying to sleep in the mid-afternoon and watched “Gotham” and “Orange is the New Black” until it was time for the dentist. I had been threatened with a root canal filling, but in the end it was just (just!) a rather deep filling.
With tooth filled I walked the dogs round the park again whilst the anaesthetic wore off. Even more caravans and fun fair stuff had arrived. As we walked I saw several squirrels. My dogs didn’t. Sometimes they are so unobservant.
Today has been rather miserable. I’m off to another night shift soon. Let’s hope the Czech lorry from Marek transport with registration 6M2 6869 doesn’t try to run me off the road (like they tried yesterday)…
8 August 2018 (Wednesday) - After the Night Shifts
I had another busy night shift. It is commonly said that when one had a busy night shift, the next one is quieter; not so last night.
As I drove home the pundits on the radio were interviewing the political has-been Paddy Ashdown who was talking about the growing movement to form a new political party because neither the Labour nor Conservative parties are currently meeting the needs of the nation. It struck me as a sad indictment of the Liberal Democraps that their ex-Leader didn’t feel they were up to the job.
There was also an interview with Eric Pickles who felt that Boris Johnson’s comments about hijabs, niqabs and burkas weren’t very constructive. They probably aren’t, but in the great scheme of things they are probably another step closer for Boris Johnson to become Prime Minister.
Once home I took the dogs round the park. As we walked we met a new friend. Lola is a pure-bred pug who seemed to be covered in paint. I don’t know where the paint came from, and didn’t like to ask.
With walk done I put some washing on to scrub, then scoffed some brekkie whilst watching “Orange is the New Black”. Whilst I do like the show, it is a tad graphic in parts.
I hung out the washing, went to bed, and woke feeling like death warmed up four hours later.
Purely because I felt like death warmed up (and with a brain three quarters asleep) I thought that would be a good time to do a BTLP – TACT exercise. A BTLP -TACT exercise is a simulated blood bank emergency. Whilst I am (reasonably) confident with my abilities when bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I thought I would see how I would get on with a difficult case when I was feeling very much under par. I had this idea that I could learn an awful lot from the situation – with the added bonus that it was only a simulation. In my more flippant moments I have sometimes described my job as hours of boredom interspersed with moments of stark panic. I quite like having a panic simulator. It helps me gain experience.
I wrote up what I did in more detail here; basically I got it right. I was pleased about that.
Still feeling grim I spent an hour or so puzzling until "er indoors TM" came home. Over a rather bit of scran we watched “Star Trek Beyond”; it’s amazing what you find on Netflix.
I shall program “Hannah” for tomorrow, and then really should go to bed…
9 August 2018 (Thursday) - Oldbury Woods, Margate
One positive thing of having done two night shifts is that I then sleep like a log. However I did spend much of the night wracked in extremely worrying dreams in which a geo-friend had become a mass-murderer; his modus operandi was to shove a trumpet up the bum of his victim and play brass band music to kill them (as if a trumpet up the bum wasn’t lethal enough). I wonder if I should tell him about this. Or if not him, maybe a psychiatrist?
My piss boiled as I looked at Facebook over brekkie. Due to the wonders of technology invading your personal space, my Facebook feed usually features adverts for anything I’ve looked at on the Internet. Today I saw several adverts for sturdy gazebos. One piqued my interest; the advert clearly said fifty-three quid, but when you clicked on the link it said over seventy quid.
I’ve reported the advert as a misleading scam but I doubt anything will come of it.
I got myself and the dogs organized, and we set off for a little adventure. As we drove up the motorway the pundits on the radio were still talking about the moves afoot to form a new political party. However these moves have hit a snag. It turns out that none of those people who don’t agree with the Labour or the Conservative parties’ policies don’t agree with each other either.
We made our way to the car park in Oldbury Wood, and it wasn’t long before our friends joined us. Earlier in the week a new series of geocaches had gone live in these woods and I’d asked if anyone fancied coming out with me and my hounds to hunt them down. Eight of us (four humans and four dogs) had a rather good walk… I say *walk* - little Rocket was carried. He’s only a very small puppy and so was in the pup-papoose for the whole way.
Oldbury Woods are rather pretty – it was a shame that when we started the rain was persistent, and it got heavier as we walked. I would think those woods would be rather pretty in the sunshine. Mind you just lately it has been so hot and so sunny that we all agreed that one wet day wasn’t such a bad thing.
As is usually the case our route was prescribed by a series of geocaches. There were only a dozen… *only* a dozen. They weren’t the easiest to find. Whilst some were straight-forward, some took an age to uncover, and one eluded us entirely. I’ve always said that people who hide geocaches fall into two camps – those who want their caches found, and those who don’t. I think today’s were hidden by someone subscribing to the second theory.
That’s not to say anything against the series… Someone had clearly put in a lot of time and effort to create today’s little geo-series. It gave us a good outing for which I am very grateful. I can imagine on a dry day the challenge of the trickier hides would be fun. However when the water has got to your pants, patience tends to evaporate. But despite the rain we had a good walk. Walking with friends is always fun; it is good to catch up – and I took a few photos too.
We said our goodbyes and went our different ways. I took the dogs home, had a bite to eat, settled the hounds and set off to Margate.
For the last couple of years "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" has been banging on about starting her own business. Whilst I’ve thought it a good idea in theory, in practice I’ve probably taken a “yeah whatever” line. But I was wrong. She’s acquired a corner shop in Margate. However her stock room was running low, and what with Sam having pranged their car at the weekend, getting supplies was problematical. So – Daddy to the rescue. Or (more accurately) Daddy’s car to the rescue.
The trip round the cash and carry was quite the adventure; "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" only destroyed one melon, but (to be fair) when he destroys something, he doesn’t do any half-measures.
We then took the supplies back to the shop where (hopefully) they will be snapped up by the masses. I then had a little nosey round the shop and round the flat above the shop. The shop looks quite the Aladdin’s cave. The flat has promise. It looks something less than perfection at the moment, but flats always do when you move in.
The long-term plan is that the business will be such a success that I will be able to retire to a life of luxury courtesy of the most recent fruit of my loins.
Home again (through the torrential rain). Once home I got out the shears an gave myself a haircut, then fell asleep in front of the telly.
"er indoors TM" boiled up burger and chips, and we then slobbed in front of the telly with a dog apiece. You can tell when Fudge has had a good walk – he gets soppy in the evening.
10 August 2018 (Friday) - Rather Dull
Just as this morning’s episode of “Orange is the New Black” came to an end I heard the dustbin lorry come past. I’d been waiting for that. Some poor sod had been given the job of emptying our food waste bin, and now that it was empty I could clean it.
For all that I’m all in favour of recycling, recycling food waste isn’t such a bright idea. It has to be kept in its own receptacle and bearing in mind the heat of the last week it stank. And the food waste bin was crawling with maggots. Certainly thousands of the things. With the food waste gone with the bin men I went outside with a kettle of boiling water and had something of a maggot massacre. I then gave the maggots five minutes to drown and/or scald to death whilst I dressed, then I poured several thousand maggot corpses down the drain, and left the bin soaking in a cocktail of hot bleach and disinfectant.
Back in the day we used to dump food waste down the toilet. I might just go back to doing that. Recycling food waste in the summer is feral, whereas one flush of the chodbin and the job is done.
As I drove to work I couldn’t help but laugh at the radio. The pundits on the radio were interviewing a leading light from the Confederation of British Industries. Bearing in mind that one of the major reasons for voting for Brexit was so that we could send them all back on the next banana boat, the CBI are rather concerned that no one should be sent back on any boats (banana or otherwise).
If all the immigrant workers go back, who will do the work that they leave?
And following on from this bombshell it turns out that one of the casualties of Brexit will be professional football. The claim was made that one quarter of the players in the UK’s premier league would not qualify for work permits in a post-Brexit Britain. The point was argued back and forth; at the end of the squabble the only thing on which all sides agreed was that no one had thought the matter out.
I made good time to work, being a school holiday, the roads were rather quiet. I got to work and did my bit. The day started bright but got darker as the morning wore on. By the afternoon there was torrential rain.
Once back to Ashford I found myself parking by the Chinese take-away where I got myself some dinner. With "er indoors TM" off on a jolly this weekend I had to forage for food. I was rather damp once I’d ran from car to take-away, and was very wet once I’d run home.
The dogs didn’t get an evening walk tonight; it was too wet. Treacle didn’t seem fussed, but Fudge was difficult about the matter. He kept barking at me as though to tell me it was walk time, but when I opened the back door so he could go tiddle in the garden he would look at the rain and refuse to go out. And then go back to the front door and bark.
With (most of) dinner scoffed I ironed shirts whilst watching more “Orange is the New Black”. I’m now into the second season of the show…
Today was rather dull.
11 August 2018 (Saturday) - Rather Busy
I woke early to find Fudge had gone back to his basket overnight. At bed time last night he stood at the bottom of the stair and looked pathetically up them as though going up was akin to climbing Mount Everest. So I carried him up and settled him at the bottom of the bed where he obviously didn’t stay.
He does this so often – he wants to come upstairs at bed time, then after an hour or so goes back to his basket.
With things to do on the morning’s itinerary I walked the dogs earlier than usual today. Viccie Park is rather pretty at six o’clock with the mist rising from the river. As we walked we met dog walkers we’ve never met before, but not many. We didn’t meet many people at all compared to our usual walks. Six o’clock was good. We could just walk without all the dramas we so often experience.
Mind you we did meet one rather special person. Armed with a grabbing-stick and a black sack, a beetroot-faced fellow was ranting about the mess and what a terrible job the council does and how if he doesn’t clear the mess up, no one will. I smiled sweetly and bit my tongue. Didn’t this idiot realise it was half past six in the morning the day after the fun fair had been in full flow until all hours? And there wasn’t *that* much mess anyway.
We came home, the dogs scoffed their brekkie and I settled them and set off to Margate. As I drove the pundits on the radio were still ranting about Boris Johnson’s most recent faux-pas.
And there was also talk about the weed killer glyphosate which amazed me. Some chap in America has been awarded damages having claimed the stuff gave him cancer. Did it? I don’t know. The pundits on the radio wheeled on one of the top nobs at the firm that makes the stuff. This chap took the line that a court’s opinion on the matter outweighs any scientific evidence on the matter. Isn’t that a sad sign of our times?
I got to Margate, parked up, and found Sam in the shop. "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" had taken the dogs for a walk so I went over to the beach to find them. "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" was proudly brandishing a snail he’d captured; the boy seems to have developed something of a mollusc obsession.
We went back to the shop, collected Sam, and leaving Steve (whoever he is) in charge we went fifty yards up the road to the Westbrook café for brekkie. Sam and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" had poached eggs on toast; me and the most recent fruit of my loins had the full English, even if most recent grandchild did keep raiding it.
Once we’d scoffed I took "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" to the cash and carry. She loaded the trolley; I pushed it. I was amazed at what she was buying; the sort of stuff that appealed to me doesn’t sell whereas the stuff I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole flies out of the shop.
The plan had been to get to Bookers for opening time… we were only running two hours late by the time we’d paid for it all.
I would have liked to have hung around and got in the way at the shop, but time was pushing on so I headed home. I stopped off for petrol at Sainsbury’s, and wished I hadn’t. as I was queuing someone walked in and asked what he should do if he’d spilled some petrol. Immediately all but one of the petrol station staff went outside to have a look. The queue got longer and longer as the staff stood round a small puddle of petrol. Not one was actually doing anything, but they were all watching it intently.
I came home, and watched “Orange is the New Black” as I scoffed the sandwich I got at the petrol station. And with telly watched and lunch scoffed I got the dogs organized and we set off to Lower Halstow. With an hour or two spare before the evening’s geo-meet I thought I might walk the dogs round the area for a bit (using the local geocaches to mark out a walk for us) so that when it was time for the meet the dogs would be a little less excitable.
It was an idea which almost worked…
We soon got to Lower Halstow and had a rather good walk here and there. The views across the marshes were pretty; the dogs found black mud. As always the geocaches did mark out a route for us. We didn’t find all of them, but the walk was still good. We started the walk with very hyperactive hounds, and as I wandered up to the pub (where the meet-up was to take place) I could see the dogs were both very calm and subdued.
I was first one to get to the meet – I got a glass of pop and asked for some pork scratchings for the dogs. The nice lady asked it they might prefer hand made dog biscuits. I got them some blueberry and honey ones.
In retrospect that was my mistake.
I can remember taking cubs to Baden Powell House in London for an overnight stay many years ago. We’d had a long day, when we got to BPH the kids were worn out and dead on their feet. Just as they were getting into bed one bright spark gave out barley sugar sweets and the kids were up and running round like things possessed all night long.
This was *exactly* what happened to my dogs this evening. They sparked up immediately after they had those biscuits.
Five minutes later people arrived. I managed to give it half an hour - it would have been good to have stayed longer but the dogs were just too wound up. We came home where eventually they calmed down, and once they’d had their dinner we shared a kebab.
Today was rather busy. I took a few photos whilst I was out and about. I seem to have done an awful lot today…
12 August 2018 (Sunday) - Dodging the Rain
I didn’t sleep well last night. Just as I was dozing off I was woken by the sounds of Fudge being sick on the bed. He fetched up quite the mixture of semi-digested dinner, kebab, dog biscuit and chicken bones. Where had he got the chicken bones from? I managed to stop both dogs eating the pile of vomit and I cleared it up, but by then both dogs were full of energy again. Eventually everyone was settled, I then woke screaming (literally) three hours later. I wonder what that was all about?
Over brekkie I had a look at Facebook. It looked like I missed quite a good evening after I left yesterday’s geo-meet; had I known it was to be a sit-down meal I wouldn’t have taken the dogs along. It also looked like I’d also missed a chance to go get a certain geocache I’ve been hoping to get for years (one which needs ropes and stuff to get to). Had I known this was on the cards at yesterday’s open day I would have re-scheduled the cash and carry run to have got to it. No one told me about either of these…
For once the dogs ate their brekkie without problems, and I wondered what to do with the day. The plan had been to go on a long walk round the firehills between Fairlight and Hastings, but with rain forecast all day I didn’t want to go just to get soaked again. "My Boy TM" was “chilling” (I *hate* that expression) and Margate is (in all honesty) too far away to visit more than twice a week.
So I thought I’d go see my mummy and daddy.
I thought I’d stop off in Iden on the way to my parents’ house hoping that the geocaches there would lead us on a good dog-walk before the rain hit. My first target was one called “The Veg Hedge”. This is one which I’ve been looking at off and on for some years. It was (and still is) a two-stage multi-cache (two field puzzles to solve) so I knew it would take some effort. Also it is an old cache; traditionally the older puzzles involve a bit more walking than the newer ones.
We got to the start point; I had to find some dates from a grave. With notebook in one hand and dog leads in the other it was tricky. The obvious answer was to set the dogs loose, but I was operating under the gimlet stare of some nosey old biddy standing in the church porch. Eventually with dates obtained and sums done I set off to the next stage of this multi-cache. The next stage was (as I’d thought) some distance away. As I approached where the sat-nav said to go I was rather pleased to see a notice board. I needed one to get the next set of clues, and clearly I’d come to the right place.
With no nosey old biddies watching me I could let the dogs loose and have hands free to operate pen and notebook and sat-nav. I did the sums…. How far away ?!?! I did the sums again. It looked like a feasible point on the map albeit eight hundred yards away. But what is geocaching if not a decent dog walk. We set off, and pausing only briefly to take the wrong footpath we were soon where we were supposed to be. I looked at the given hint and within seconds a rather large ammo can was in my hands. We’d found the thing. And bearing in mind that no one else had logged a find in nearly two years I was able to claim “resuscitation” (an extremely obscure geo-thing which is only any good for bragging rights when talking to people with less resuscitations than you have).
We then walked back to the car… you could tell this was an *old* cache; anything hidden in the last five years would have had a series of half a dozen caches leading from the car to the cache and back again.
Once back at the car I opened the boot of the car so’s the hot air could escape, then rummaged under the stile by which we’d parked to get the cache which was hidden there. I could find nothing. Just as I gave up so I saw something laying on the floor. Bearing in mind this was a new cache only hidden five days ago I can’t help but wonder how long it will last if it is already laying out in the open.
I then tried to get the dogs into the car. Treacle jumped in easily enough, but Fudge wouldn’t. There was another dog nearby, and when there are other dogs nearby he tends to show off. Eventually the other dog cleared off and I was able exert some control over a rather willful Patagonian Tripe-Hound.
The plan had been to carry on hunting Tupperware round Iden, but we’d already walked getting on for a mile and a half, so we just drove off to Hastings.
I had this idea to pick up a cake from the farm shop in Icklesham. We’ve got cakes there in the past which were home-made and reasonably priced…
The farm shop in Icklesham has been knocked down and rebuilt into a poncey tea room run by a pair of idiots. They said they didn’t sell whole cakes, but as a special favour could sell me some slices of cake and wrap them up. Had I known how much they would cost I would never have bought them. Had I known how long it would have taken them to cut and wrap cake I would never have waited. But having waited nearly twenty minutes for them to cut three slices of cake I felt I had to hand over the money.
I won’t be going to that shop again.
However on the plus side mum and dad liked the cake. They seemed well; we put the world to rights for an hour or so. As I left it was starting to rain. I was pleased about that; we had been right to cancel our walk.
Bearing in mind we are hoping to do the firehills walk some time soon I popped up to North Seat to get some information for a field puzzle, and also popped into the helipad to check on the car park’s opening times.
I then stopped for geo-purposes at Pett Level and New Romney, and drove out Reading Street in the naïve hope of getting a second geo-resuscitation.
But it was a good second walk for the dogs. A kilometer through pretty farmland, fox poo for Fudge to roll in, and a rather good walk back again. We didn’t find any film pots under rocks that time, but you can’t get everything.
I took a few photos as we walked today. I do that.
We came home. I fed the pond fish. Fudge fell in the pond. I then had to waste ten minutes bathing him. I gave the dogs their dinner and they both promptly fell asleep. I scoffed KFC whilst watching last week’s “Gotham”, then did the ironing whilst watching “Orange is the New Black”.
I sometimes wonder if I should take the moral high ground about that show. I’ve often banged on about “heaving bosoms” in “Jamestown” and “Poldark” but in those shows there is an element of discretion. “Orange is the New Black” regularly features rather graphic full-blown lesbian sex. As a teenager I and my mate Douggie Small once acquired a mucky video (and borrowed his grandmother’s projector to watch it).
The filth that was “Gymslip Rampage” has nothing on what Netflix puts out…
13 August 2018 (Monday) - Cake
I woke half an hour before the alarm was due to go off to find Treacle had wormed herself up close to me overnight. She looked so peaceful it was a shame to disturb her. But I did.
We got up and went downstairs; Treacle then cuddled up to Fudge who was fast asleep on the sofa.
Over brekkie I watched half an episode of "Orange is the New Black", though anyone walking in unannounced would have been forgiven for thinking it was some sort of porno movie. I can't understand what the makers of the show were thinking about; usually filth is wheeled out when the writers have run out of ideas. The show doesn't need the smut. Perhaps the people who make it are just beasts?
I settled the dogs and went out to my car where I spent a few minutes watching not-so-nice-next-door attempting to turn her car. Her driving is like her piano-playing; after several years she is still terrible at it.
As I drove to work I listened to the radio. The pundits were discussing Doctor Hadiza Bawa-Garba who had been struck off the medical register in perpetuity following the unfortunate death of a child. Today the courts were to be ruling on whether a lifetime ban was too draconian a punishment. The dead child's mother was being interviewed and she was spitting bile about how the doctor should never be reinstated. The doctor in question was interviewed who was truly repentant, and there were reports from the time of the incident which outlined how all manner of circumstances in the hospital where the death had occurred had conspired against this poor doctor.
Is it fair that she should take the blame for the culmination of several systemic failings? Surely she should be reinstated? Surely no one is so perfect that they never make a mistake? I’m glad she won her appeal.
I got to work and did that which I couldn't avoid. Being on an early start I hadn't had time for my usual trawl round the Internet before work, so I had a look-see at tea break. It would seem I missed the kite festival at Teston country park over the weekend. I'd forgotten all about that. In years gone by that event was *such* a large part of my life. Would I have gone had I remembered? I wouldn't have camped out but being at a loose end (and rather bored) yesterday I probably would have gone for a look-see. Oh well... maybe next year?
As I perused the Internet I had a rather good cake; a colleague had had a birthday and had made us all sticky chocolate caramel cup-cakes. They were rather good.
An early start made for an early finish. I got home at about the same time as the rain started, and I took the dogs round the park. There had clearly been heavy rain in Ashford today. The river was very full, but still the dogs wanted a swim.
They had one.
We came home, and after a little fiddling about with printers "er indoors TM" boiled up pizza and chips before she went bowling. I stayed home and watched endless lesbian sex on Netflix. Mind you to be fair to the makers of “Orange is the New Black” there is a plot in between the nudey sauce romp bits.
I also paid the remainder of the boat hire money for the boat trip out to the geocache in the Thames Estuary that I’m planning for in a few weeks’ time. As is so often the case, my organizing this trip is fast becoming yet another example of the veracity of the two hundred and eighty-fifth Rule of Acquisition: “No good deed goes unpunished”.
There is a geocache (well, two actually) in the Thames estuary that you cannot get at without a boat. So I chartered one.
To offset the cost I offered out seats to friends and friends of friends. It is just a private venture, but word of this trip has got about and I have lost count of the amount of people (that I don’t know and have never met) who have given me a hard time about it. There are those who have messaged to tell me that they are coming and then taken offence when I have told them they are not. There are others who have messaged to tell how I should have advertised the event (when it was never a public event to be advertised in the first place). There are those who have taken their inability to secure a seat on the boat as a personal insult from me.
I would say that I am sorry that I bothered in the first place… but I’m not. I want to go on this boat trip. Those that have been left behind can easily organize their own trip. It’s not difficult to do… but I bet they won’t.
14 August 2018 (Tuesday) - Bit Tired...
When Treacle sleeps well, everyone sleeps well. Last night Treacle was rather restless. I eventually gave up trying to sleep and went downstairs where I tripped over a lump of parquet flooring which was laying on the kitchen lino; Treacle has taken to chewing it from the lavatory floor. I wish she wouldn’t. Fudge would never think of doing anything like that; Treacle’s behavior is far worse than his.
After I’d had my ablutions I went to do my usual kitchen routine; make sandwiches whilst toast cooked, but there was a minor disaster. We had no bread, so I roughed it with honey nut corn flakes with warm milk. A few weeks ago "er indoors TM" bought a new fridge with has two settings; tepid or frozen. It seems it is the fridge itself which decides on the setting.
I watched an episode of “Orange is the New Black”, and then had a look at the Internet. It was still there. Little had changed on Facebook, but I had a dozen emails from someone who had travelled quite a long way to Ashford to play some of the Wherigos I’d set. It was a shame he didn’t say nice things about them (or anything at all really) but you can’t have everything. At least he found them, which is more that I suspect “Vyrembi and Niggae” did with my Earthcache on Greatstone beach.
As I walked down the road to my car there was a young family standing outside one of the houses over the road having a full-blown "domestic" in the street. I did sympathise with the father when he asked if they couldn't have the row inside, and I sniggered when mother said no. I would have liked to have stood and watched how it progressed, but it's not really the done thing, is it?
Having had no bread to make a sandwich I popped to the co -op to get myself a sarnie. I got a rather interesting looking ham salad one, and risked life and limb as I waded to get a bag of their salt and vinegar crisps. Co-op salt and vinegar crisps are rather good, but there was a rather bored young lady who was washing the floor near the crisps - I say "washing the floor" - I've seen less water slopping about in lakes when I've been fishing.
With lunch acquired I set off up the motorway. As I drove I listened to the radio. There was talk about one silly old woman who wasn't happy with her recent holiday to Benidorm. She'd been horrified to find the place crawling with Spanish people. "The entertainment in the hotel was all focused and catered for the Spanish - why can't the Spanish go somewhere else for their holidays?" she asked. I thought this was all some sort of joke, but the old bat was for real. What *really* boils my piss isn't what she said, or her attitude (some people are just plain stupid); what boils my piss is that this woman is allowed to vote and do jury service.
Meanwhile the Canadians have found aliens. That's nice for them.
I got to work; I dd my bit and came home. For once "er indoors TM" had beat me home, and we took the dogs round the park. Despite the fun fair having shut up shop on Sunday, most of the stalls and caravans are still in the park. We managed to stop the dogs from tiddling up caravans (unlike yesterday) and kept them out of the river.
It would have been good to have gone round to the Tuesday meet-up, but time had really run away with us this evening. It was well past seven o’clock by the time we’d got home from the park. And I wasn’t feeling on top form either. A quiet evening in front of the telly and an early night… let’s hope Treacle settles.
15 August 2018 (Wednesday) - Bit Dull...
Yesterday evening I wasn’t feeling on top form; I was still rather grim when I woke. In addition to the seemingly constant pain in my left hip, left knee and right sinus I think I might be developing a cold too. As I watched “Orange is the New Black” over brekkie I realized I had two options. Either I could whinge constantly about it on social media or I could shut my rattle and get on with life. Either way will still hurt, so I shut my rattle and contented myself with having a little grumble here.
As I watched “Orange is the New Black” I had a little realization. One of the stars of the show is Kate Mulgrew who played Captain Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager. As I come to the end of the second season she is pretty much the only cast member who hasn’t either “flopped them out” or engaged in a nudey sauce romp with another woman. I wonder how long she will maintain standards.
I then had a little look at the Internet. Sure enough people were touting their maladies on Facebook. I glossed over that and looked at people’s holiday snaps. Much more fun. Mind you there is something odd about how my extended family, friends and acquaintances are holidaying this year. A month ago seemingly everyone was in Scandinavia on cruises. Two weeks ago several people were on various American road trips. Now three groups of friends are touring Europe.
Our holiday is still two months away…
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were interviewing the Latvian foreign secretary. Apparently there are one hundred thousand Latvians living in the UK and there is all sorts of uncertainly about their future in a post-Brexit world. Now this figure of one hundred thousand Latvians was mentioned several times. However according to Wikipedia Latvia has slightly less than two million inhabitants. Are five per cent of all Latvians *really* resident in the UK?
There was also an interview with the Secretary of State for Transport who was pontificating on the pay rises being suggested for railway staff. No one seemed to have told him that since the nation had sold off all the railways to private firms (years ago), their pay rises was none of his business.
I stopped off at Aldi hoping I might have a nosey at their bargain section. Sometimes they have rather good stuff in their bargain section. Today it was all pet stuff. I thought about getting my hounds something but decided against it. Getting them presents usually ends in a squabble. Instead I bought some bog-roll which is not only “delicately fragranced” but is also “enriched with lotion”. I wonder what lotion… I hope my bum’s not allergic to it.
Work was work; I did my bit and came home. "er indoors TM" had gone to Cheryl’s birthday meal. I would like to have gone but leaving Maidstone at half past five made getting to Dymchurch for six o’clock somewhat tricky.
I took the dogs round the park. As we walked Treacle met Percy. Percy is a pug (of sorts) and they played chase very nicely. Fudge had a dump very nicely too. Usually when he “goes” he leaves a trail of turds over a yard or so for me to gather up, but for once he made a nice neat pile. Just as I was about to pick it up, Treacle and Percy charged through the pile. Several times. That which they didn’t stamp into the grass they got all over their paws.
Percy’s mum wasn’t impressed. She tried to laugh it off, but I could see she wasn’t happy. Such a shame; Treacle so rarely plays with other dogs.
Some days in my life are exciting. Some are fun. And other days you find the highlight is dog poo and scented bog roll…
16 August 2018 (Thursday) - Boingy-Boingy
Last night I posted on an obscure thread on Facebook about the monthly county geocaching meets that I used to attend. I first started going along to these monthly meets regularly in 2013. Back then the format was that a series of caches would go live a day or so before the meet, and on the morning of the meet (usually a Saturday) people would get together at nine or ten o’clock, walk the new series of caches which would end at or near a pub where a mid-day/early afternoon meet up would take place. I would then drink myself silly whilst chatting with friends old and new and eventually "er indoors TM" would drive me and Fudge home.
About a year ago it was suggested the format be re-vamped. Over the last year there has been meets on Sundays as well as Saturdays, and some have been later in the day. Many of which have been on places with very little Tupperware nearby and the focus has moved away from going to actually look for film pots under rocks..
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not knocking the *idea* of change. If you read the posts in the local Facebook group about the matter you’ll see I was one of the main advocates for trying something different. But looking back it strikes me that I used to attend (on average) every other meet but since this change took place I’ve effectively stopped going to the monthly meets. I’ve been to four of the last twelve; the monthly meet-ups seem to be fast becoming “something else I used to do”, and I’ve spoken with several people over the last few weeks who feel the same.
Just before I went to bed last night it was suggested that I asked the local Hunters of Tupperware Facebook group if the new format of monthly meets was working for people, so (finding myself gripped by insomnia at four o;clock this morning) I did so. I then watched an episode of “Orange is the New Black” and went back to bed at half past five.
I slept like a log until Fudge had a woofing fit an hour or so later.
I got up and saw what I’d posted on Facebook had got some replies. (I thought some of them were rather harsh). Having asked the question “is the new format of monthly meet working for people?” I got the distinct impression that it isn’t, but no one really has an idea that will suit everyone (or even more people).
Personally I’d like to go for a walk then meet up with people after *or* have a meet-up then go for a walk. For some obscure reason there seemed to be a serious aversion to doing the hobby for which the meets are about. Oh well… the world will still turn without me, I’m sure.
We got the dogs organized and drove out to Shadoxhurst in the hopes of getting a resuscitation geocache. There was one there that hadn’t had a find logged in over a year. It involved a field puzzle which I was pretty sure I had solved. We found the cache – it was broken and unopenable; nailed to a tree on private land.
We left it and drove out to Kings Wood where we met "My Boy TM" and his tribe. We had a rather good wander round the woods; a shame the forecast rain came when it was supposed to, but you can’t have everything.
We came home and settled the dogs, then met up with "My Boy TM" and his tribe again at Subway for a spot of lunch. I had a rather good wrap; it might have been even better had I been able to understand a word the chap behind the counter was saying. A combination of too loud background music and his mumbling made him all but incomprehensible.
As we scoffed "My Boy TM" suggested we might go to “Flip Out”. With nothing else on the itinerary and having no idea what “Flip Out” was I agreed with idiot enthusiasm.
Have you ever been to “Flip Out”? It’s brilliant – it’s loads and loads and loads of trampolines and you get to boingy-boingy all over the place like a thing possessed. The only bad thing I could really say about the place was that I was realistically forty years too old to be in there, but the nice lady behind the till was happy to let me have a go provided I signed the disclaimer. I signed the disclaimer, put on the special socks (you have to wear the special socks) and within minutes I was boingy-boingy-ing all over the place like a thing possessed. I smacked my left knee several times as I leapt up onto various podiums. I smacked my head rather savagely when I fell over on the trampoline basketball court. I poggered my right nut when I vaulted elegantly (!) onto a vaulting-horse-thingy. I thought my back was going to snap when I catapulted myself into the foam pit. And I felt something give inside my right knee when I thought I was being rather demure and gentle.
I did snigger as I watched the staff; every time I took a tumble (and I took a *lot* of tumbles) they were poised like coiled springs to run out to me, and I could see the relief on their faces every time I heaved myself up.
We had an hour in the place. That was quite enough. We came out to torrential rain, and hurried to McDonalds for McFlurries. We all felt we deserved them. It was a shame "My Boy TM" didn’t get the flavour he wanted; like in Subway the staff in McDonalds seemed to have issues in making themselves understood.
We came home via the Cheapo-Bargains shop and the new Aldi. I was glad the dogs didn’t ask to go for a walk; they could ask all they wanted, I wasn’t capable of walking to the end of the garden, let alone the two miles round the park.
For some inexplicable reason I can hardly move now and my right knee is extremely painful…
17 August 2018 (Friday) - In Pain
Bearing in mind that (after yesterday’s trampolining) any movement hurt, I slept reasonably well last night. I woke just before the alarm was about to go off and hobbled downstairs. On Wednesday night "er indoors TM" came home from the family curry night with some left-overs and I scoffed curry for brekkie as I watched more “Orange is the New Black” before having a look-see at the Internet.
The pictures and videos from yesterday’s session at “Flip Out” had received quite a bit of comment, but other than that my world seemed relatively peaceful. However I did have an email suggesting that I book my Christmas shopping coach trips now so as to avoid disappointment, and another email from Currys-PC World saying that their computers had been hacked and that some felonious miscreants had gained access to my name, address, phone number, date of birth and email address. I can’t see that as being any big deal; after all they are all a matter of public record.
I got dressed and staggered down the road to my car. Why did I park it so far from home? As I drove to work I nearly flattened several cyclists as they flew in all directions. Cyclists really should be regulated in some way; if I drive like a dildo, my car has a registration number through which I can be traced. However a cyclist can do what the hell they like on the highway and get away scot-free.
Shortly after this I found myself stuck in a serious traffic jam on the motorway. I've since found that a lorry broke down in the middle lane whilst trying to overtake another lorry. I wish they wouldn't do that. I wish lorries were restricted to the slow lane of the motorway. Most mornings (when the M20 isn't bunged up with road works) there is ten miles of motorway along which the cars can only use the fast lane as the two slow lanes are blocked by slow lorries overtaking slightly slower lorries; each overtake taking about a mile to complete.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing an Italian astrophysicist who has discovered some of the universe’s oldest galaxies. Ten minutes was spent saying what a momentous discovery this was, but no time at all was spent on telling us why.
I got to work and had a relatively good day. Mind you bearing in mind that any movement hurt after yesterday’s trampolining and also that the breakfast curry wasn’t sitting well, I have had better days.
I calibrated my D-dimers (they don’t calibrate themselves, you know) and came home again. Getting home was a tad problematical as Chart Road was closed, but I eventually got home just as "er indoors TM" was taking the dogs out. I went with them.
I shouldn’t have done; my left hip was somewhat tender by the time I got home.
"er indoors TM" is off babysitting her mate’s littluns this evening. I shall spend the evening ironing my shirts (if I can stand up) and watching rather graphic lesbian pornography on Netflix… Have I mentioned the show “Orange is the New Black”?
I wonder if I will hurt less tomorrow…
18 August 2018 (Saturday) - On the Late Shift
My stomach muscles ached this morning before I even got out of bed. When I did emerge my right knew was still playing up.
In a novel break with tradition I had granola for brekkie. It was rather good, but I could sense the ghost of my grandmother as I scoffed it. Many years ago when eating muesli my grandmother discovered the concept of osmosis. In technical terms osmosis is the spontaneous net movement of solvent molecules through a selectively permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, in the direction that tends to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides of said membrane. (That’s science, that is!)
In reality osmosis is the reason raisins swell up when you put milk on them. And having realized that raisins swell up when you put milk on them, my grandmother decreed that when having any raisin-containing cereal, raisins should be left to swell to their full extent before being eaten. Consequently any bowl of raisin-containing cereal eaten by anyone in our family would be luke-warm and soggy before anyone was allowed to eat it.
I scoffed my granola straight away this morning, but not without a sense of guilt.
Not much had happened on social media overnight which was probably for the best. However the leccie people had sent me an email. Since February I have underpaid by forty-two quid so (starting next month) they asaid they were putting up the combined cost of my leccie and gas by sixty two quid each month. I used one of these on-line chat thingies to speak to someone called “Raina” at their end. “Raina” had a look and agreed that an increase of ten quid a month would be more than enough. It was easy enough to sort out, but it did waste fifteen minutes.
I then phoned the bank for trivia. They went through their security process and because I had no idea what my overdraft limit was they immediately locked my account. Eventually I sorted it all out, but again what could have been a call of seconds took nearly twenty minutes.
I then phoned the internet people. They supply our land-line phone. Bearing in mind we’ve not had a phone plugged into it since before Christmas I thought that getting rid of it might be an economy we might make. I managed to recoup ten quid each month. That will offset the increase in the leccie bill…
"er indoors TM" set off to Margate to see "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM", and I took the dogs out. We didn’t go on our usual circuit of the park; we would have coincided with the Park Run, and for all that they claim to be friendly and open to all experience has shown me (and many others) that this isn’t the case.
Instead we drove over to the new Finberry estate for a little walk. Finberry is an odd place – it is still being built. Some parts are really nice and posh; other parts are rougher than the grimmest council estate with weeds three feet high. There are two geocaches over there; I thought I’d get them seeing how it in International Geocaching Day.
I found one, but the one hidden by "er indoors TM" eluded me.
We came home; we’d only been walking for a mile or so (and all of that on the flat) but my stomach was rather tender and my knee was giving me serious gyp. I settled the dogs, and set off for work.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were playing some documentary about the life of Yves St Laurent. After five minutes I realised I wasn't hearing words; I really was hearing "blah blah blah" so I turned it off and turned to my rather unusual choice of music, and I howled along to that. With a little time to spare I drove down to Willesborough where "er indoors TM" had concealed a couple of geocaches; I found both of those, and another one too.
I then went to Sainsburys for petrol. As I filled my car I could smell something odd; the chap at the next pump was filling his car with petrol whilst puffing on a "herbal" cigarette and talking on his mobile phone. I thought about squealing him up to the petrol-station-feds, but I decided "not my circus, not my monkey".
I made good time up the motorway to Maidstone; so good that I had a few minutes to go look for a cache near the hospital. I've tried for this one before. Each time I've given up after a rather long search. Today I went straight to it.
Just as I was putting it back a rather huge dog came up to me and asked for a fuss, so I spent ten minutes fussing her. The hound's owner seemed amazed that I was happy to spend time with the dog. Apparently most people either swear at the dog or run away. I told the woman that I wasn't "most people"; in retrospect I think that scared her.
I went on to work and made a bee-line for the canteen. Over the last few months I've become something of a fan of hospital food. Macaroni cheese and chips went down very nicely. I then did my thing at work. In between I wrote one or two entries for another blog.
I also found myself going up and down the stairs between the various sections of where I work. Going up and down the stairs hurt.
With my bit done I came home. Alternating my right leg from the accelerator to the brake didn’t do my knee any favours.
I’m fed up with hurting now…
19 August 2018 (Sunday) - Victory Wood
Finding myself wide awake at four o’clock I got up and watched an episode of “Orange in the New Black” in which (amazingly) no one flopped anything out, nor did anyone do gratuitous lesbian sex with, to or at anyone else. Something of a first for that show.
I then went back to bed and slept through till nine o’clock. Perhaps I should get up more often when I can’t sleep?
Over brekkie I had a look at the Internet. Nothing much had happened overnight, and there were no emails which had been worth the electricity to send them.
The plan for today had been to go to Hastings to walk the firehills. But I’d backed out of that yesterday. Whilst my knees are certainly better than they were, they still aren’t fully restored to their former glory (!) and so a slightly easier (and flatter) walk was on the cards today. Bearing in mind what a good dog walk I’d had last Sunday (doing one “big long” geocache) I suggested we went out to Victory Wood (near Whitstable) where there was a puzzle geocache which was billed as taking less than an hour and involving a walk of less than two miles. We thought that might be something of a recuperative walk for my knackered joints whilst at the same time giving the hounds a run, so off we went.
The walk involved finding information at four different points along a walk, then doing some sums and walking to a final destination. We fell at the first hurdle when we had to find out how many guns were on HMS Victory. But talking to my friend Google saved the day. We got the next two bits of information easily enough, and our final port of call to find answers to questions was at a rather fine statue in the arse-end of nowhere. It was a very good statue; such a shame I had to clout my head quite so sharply on it. I smacked my bonce with such vigour that I felt quite nauseous, and the headache persisted until the late afternoon.
However with all questions answered and all information gathered we did the sums and plotted where the geocache was hidden. It was only half a mile away.
Looking at the map we saw there was another geocache not too far out of our way that we might collect on the way to the final part of this puzzle. Looking back this was our mistake… With no clear route to this extra cache we made our own way through woodlands; stomping through the undergrowth like things possessed only to fail to find this extra one. We found some rather odd gravestones and *lots* of ants, but no film pots under any rocks.
The ants there were rather savage; with "er indoors TM" being quite seriously bitten by them we gave up and resumed our search for the final part of the puzzle cache. Having stomped through woods to go out of our way we stomped back through woods to get back on to our way.
We soon found what we were looking for. We *all* found what we were looking for. "er indoors TM" and I were looking for a geocache; the dogs were looking for a rather stagnant stream in which to wallow. The dogs seemed very pleased with themselves to be chest-deep in the mire, "er indoors TM" and I were rather chuffed to find something which hadn’t been found in over a year; another resuscitation.
We took a wrong turn on the way back to the car; not too much of a wrong turn, but when your joints are iffy any wrong turn is a bad move. I was glad to get back to the car. I have always said that descriptions of geo-walks are underestimates. Today’s walk was supposed to be less than two miles taking an hour. Admittedly we did take a little diversion, but we walked nearly four miles in over two and a half hours.
Before we left home I’d pondered on a little geo-series not far from Victory Wood that we might have done if time allowed. Time allowed, but my joints didn’t. I didn’t so much get into the car as collapsed into it. We’ll walk round Crockenhill another time.
I took a few photos as we’d hobbled round. Victory Wood isn’t a bad place to go visit. Once home I put those photos on-line whilst "er indoors TM" bathed the dogs. Finding I’d regained the ability to move I thought I’d mow the lawn. I mowed the lawn and then found I’d again lost the ability to move. As I heaved the lawn mower back into the shed I felt some drops of rain. Rain? I again checked the weather forecast. There was a one per cent chance of rain this afternoon. Reality had clearly got it wrong.
As the aching in my legs subsided I perused the Internet working on my latest project. Yesterday I took on the “Ashford Amble” series of geocaches. They have been live for over six years and I think it is fair to say that anyone who wants to do them has had chance to do them. They run relatively close to my “Worten Wander” series of caches which I put out in February and (in all honesty) I’m not happy with. Much of that series runs along a busy road and one of the caches keeps going missing. I’ve a plan to incorporate the two series into one bigger walk much of which will be relatively easy puzzles and projections and four of the easiest Wherigos known to science.
I have a route in mind. I have puzzles in mind. I’ve written as much of the Wherigo programming as I can. I have a start point in mind. I’m off work for a fortnight in a couple of weeks’ time; I shall walk the route then to check it out, and at that point I can finalise all the details. If nothing else it will keep me out of mischief for a day or so.
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner, and she went bowling as she does on a Sunday. I settled myself in front of the telly, made my poggered knees as comfortable as I could and watched last week’s episode of “Gotham”.
I shall watch more telly in a bit I expect… It don’t watch itself…
20 August 2018 (Monday) - More Telly
I woke at the crack of dawn and lay watching the clock slowly edge towards getting up time. Eventually I gave up watching the clock and got up half an hour earlier than I might have done.
I stepped on the scales and saw that (amazingly) my weight is holding constant. Probably still several stones over what it might be, but constant is better than rising. Thinking diety thoughts I had a bowl of granola for brekkie. According to our old friend science this could be more healthy than toast.
As I scoffed I watched an episode of "Orange is the New Black". The writers had thought up a bizarre twist to the storyline in which the protagonists are now parading round in saucy undercrackers.
Whoever wrote that show didn't muck about.
With little happening on the internet I set off for work. I set off rather earlier than I usually do seeing how I'm on a two-week secondment to Pembury. Ironically as I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how more lives are being saved by the nation treating seriously injured people at designated major trauma centers rather than in local hospitals. There's no denying the figures; people do have a better chance of survival if shipped to a specialist centre. however (as I have found) working in one can sometimes be fraught.
The pundits were also talking about the complete shambles that the security firm G4S has made of Birmingham prison and how the prison has now returned to government control. By one of life's random co-incidences privately-run prisons is a topic currently being investigated in "Orange is the New Black". Surely even the most feeble-minded simpleton must realise that there is no profit to be made from running a prison properly, so why have the nations prisons been farmed out to the private sector?
As I drove I was conscious of a white van behind me. I couldn't miss it; it couldn't have got much closer without driving into my boot. It was a shame that the driver chose to overtake (very dangerously) one hundred yards before we met a road closure so that my being able to turn round first meant I had this idiot up my backside for a few more miles.
If any of my loyal readers see a van from the Enterprise company with registration HT18 ZPL, just hope someone else is driving it.
Before I'd left home I'd had a look at the geo-map. There was a geocache which could be found without *too* much of a detour on the way to work by solving a puzzle connected with a pub which closed years ago. I drove past where the pub was. It is now a private house that has kept the pub's name, and having found the pub's name and done a few sums I was able to park up, walk down a driveway and rummage rather suspiciously in a hedge.
It was a shame I didn't find the geocache I was looking for but rummaging in a hedge isn't entirely unrewarding. I did find a slug.
I got to work, and when I had a spare five minutes I phoned Enterprise Rent-a-Car and had a whinge about their van that nearly drove me off the road. They listened politely, but I don't think they were really that bothered.
However on the plus side of life I got to scoff home-made lemon drizzle cake at tea break which was something of a result.
I did my bit, and came home via the vets; the dogs' flea and worming treatments were ready to be collected. The tick collars weren’t; I shall go back tomorrow. Once home "er indoors TM" boiled up a decent bit of dinner and went off bowling.
I watched the first episode of the new series “Krypton” which is based on the sci-fi antics of Superman’s grandad. It was… I shall reserve judgement, but I will make the observation that all fiction works when one has believable characters doing believable things no matter how ridiculous the situation. So far Super-Grandad seems to be motivated only by doing whatever frankly stupid thing will move the show’s plot along.
I spent much of the evening sniggering at Treacle. When the dogs are given a treat they act *very* differently. Fudge scoffs his right away. Treacle hides hers and comes back to it later. Sometimes weeks later, but she comes back to it. However in a really doom-brained fit of idiocy last night she'd hidden her treat in Fudge's basket, forgotten she’d then moved it, and consequently spent much of this evening in a sense of panic every time Fudge went anywhere near his basket.
21 August 2018 (Tuesday) - Bit Dull
I was dead to the world at five o’clock when new-next-door went out. The sound of their gate always sets Treacle off, and she leapt up woofing at the world. I wasn’t going to get back to sleep after that, so I got up and scoffed granola (the new best thing in my world) whilst watching “Orange is the New Black” which has clearly now got a different writer as the characters are all acting utterly at odds to their established personalities. Mind you they are still flopping “them” out, so not everything has changed.
I sparked up the Internet and saw I’d been invited to a day out in London in a month or so. I then had something of a major sulk. Getting to London isn’t cheap, and one of the many ways in which this life hasn’t panned out quite the way I’d hoped it might is how I still have to worry about money. Through Facebook I see that many of the people with whom I went to school are now multi-millionaires. They could have their chauffeur drive them to London in a Rolls Royce which they could then throw away and they wouldn’t see the dent in their petty cash.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not poor. I get by. I just want a *lot* more. I’m greedy.
As I drove to work today’s van which was tail-ending me was from “Orchard Drives and Patios”. As I have often said, f you are going to drive like an idiot, don’t do it with your company’s name emblazoned all over your van.
Meanwhile the pundits on the radio were interviewing our new Foreign Secretary. He's got the arse that our European partners aren't following the USA in imposing endless sanctions onto Russia following the recent nerve agent incidents.
What does he expect? The alleged attack took place on British soil, and in declaring Brexit the UK has effectively told the EU to go get stuffed. Does the Foreign Secretary *really* expect the rest of Europe to do *anything* for the UK, let alone piss the Russians off?
Mind you (in my limited experience) he had no idea what he was doing when he was Health Secretary so why should he be any better in the Foreign Office?
The Thought for the Day bit then came on and summed up the entire concept of religious platitudes. Unlike most people I listen to vicars when they blather because their non-sequiturs can be hilarious. Most people don't though, and so over the years and centuries vicars have generally got used to spouting any old drivel safe in the knowledge that they don't have to make any sense because no one is actually paying any attention any to them.
The bishop of Manchester was transmitting from a studio in Exeter. I did wonder what he was doing in Exeter but I soon found out. He was wittering on about how he once saw a beggar and wondered if he should ignore this beggar. Conventional wisdom told him that he shouldn't give to beggars as it only encourages them. You might have thought that being a bishop he might have some idea about what the church teaches about charity and compassion, but what do I know? Eventually the bishop got talking with the beggar and it turned out that both were great fans of detective fiction. (Personally I would have thought that a beggar would be begging for money for life's necessities, not to buy Agatha Christie and Maigre novels but again - what do I know?) And then in a strange turn of events the beggar disappeared.
And that was it for the bishop's platitude. Was the disappearing beggar some sort of "Whodunnit"? Had the beggar croaked? Was it an act of God? No explanation was given, and it seemed that no explanation was needed or even sought.
WTF was that all about?
I stopped off in Sissinghust for geo-reasons. When I was there back on May 11 I couldn't find a particular geocache. Today I went straight to it. If nothing else it brightened up an otherwise dull journey to work. I made rather good time to work, and once there had a rather busy day. As I worked the vets’ receptionist phoned to tell me the dogs’ tick collars had arrived, so with work done I drove to the vets to get the collars.
Once home I took the hounds round the park. As we walked we met a couple of other dogs with whom we *didn’t* have a fight.
Usually Tuesday would be a meeting up with pals night, but by the time we’d got home it was nearly eight o’clock.
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good curry and we opened a bottle of plonk….
22 August 2018 (Wednesday) - Rostered Day Off
I woke this morning to find that it didn’t hurt *quite* so much when I moved. Then I had a realization that I walked the dogs all the way round the park without whinging yesterday evening. So now I know it takes about five days to recover from a session of trampolining.
Over a brekkie of granola and coffee I watched an episode of “Orange is the New Black” in which there was minimal filth, and then I had a look-see at the Internet. Seeing a new geocache had gone live only two miles away I leapt into action.
I was soon at the Warren car park and was looking for a “Twain Hut” (whatever one of those is). I met another hunter of Tupperware who had also come out for a look-see, but eventually he gave up. After forty minutes I found what I was looking for, probably about ten yards from where the GPS said it should have been. Randomly buried in the leaf litter it had been hidden by someone who had only ever found four caches, and (I’m sorry to say) was a perfect example of why people need to gain experience in finding film pots under rocks before they go hiding them.
I then drove out to Margate to visit "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". We had a cuppa and watched some rather strange cartoon on the telly before wrestling a fridge freezer down the stars. I thought I’d gone over to do some painting but that is for another time. All I had to do was dispose of the fridge freezer. I took it to the tip and came home again. I did stop off to hunt out a geocache or two (I do that). I found one; another seemed to be in someone’s back garden.
Once home I had a sandwich whilst Fudge squeaked and barked at me constantly. He’s got used to my taking him for a walk the moment I come home, and he has come to expect it. He won’t give me a moment’s peace when I come home. Treacle don’t care, but Fudge always wants to go out immediately.
Once I’d scoffed a sandwich I got the leads onto the dogs and we drove out to Brabourne. There are a couple of geocaches out in the woods which I thought might form the basis of a different walk for the dogs.
We had a rather good walk across and along the footpaths which were (mostly) very well marked. We did have a couple of episodes round Bircholt Court where a young spotty lad on a tractor tried to tell me I was trespassing. I explained I was on the footpath to which he said my map was out of date. I showed him the map on my phone coming directly from the nice people at Ordnance Survey. That took the wind out of his sails, and I went on to piss on his chips by asking if he might be mistaken, or if his boss had ordered him to lie. He didn’t actually crap himself, but he did go a rather vivid shade of crimson. Shortly after that we found a *huge* marquee being erected which was blocking the footpath. I got chatting with the blokes putting it up. They said they thought it was on a footpath, but they just put it where they are told.
As we walked Treacle was well behaved. Fudge on the other hand rolled in several different fox poos and tried to fight with a frog. Odd that Treacle was the one who smelled when we came home.
I’d planned the walk so’s we would come past “The Plough”; a pub which (twenty years ago) was the first meeting place for the (long defunct) reptile club. We got there to find the place closed with six-foot high fences cordoning the place off. Fortunately “The Woolpack” wasn’t too far away. The nice man behind the bar gave the dogs a bowl of water, and I had a crafty shandy.
Geocache-wise… Oh dear. The caches had been put out by a scout group, and generally caches put out by a scout group are put out in a hurry with pretty much no care in their deployment whatsoever. These two were part of a load of about twenty which had been put out a couple of years ago. Most of them have long been archived by the geo-feds and (quite frankly) I’m not surprised. I tried for some of them a couple of years ago with no joy. I did find both of my targets today, but only after having read what previous finders had said. One was thirty yards away from where it should have been, the other forty yards away.
On the plus side one hadn’t been found for over a year so I got to claim “resuscitation”. It was when I found this one that I realized I’d dropped my pen, so we backtracked to find it. We did find it… four hundred yards behind us.
As I usually do I took a few photos whilst we were out. Once home (and once Treacle had been bathed) I put them on the Internet for the delectation of the masses. I hope the masses appreciate them.
And with "er indoors TM" having a better offer for the evening I fed the dogs (and myself) and settled down in front of the telly for an evening of Netflix… I know what will happen. I will be asleep in front of the telly for most of the evening and I will be wide awake from three o’clock tomorrow morning…
23 August 2018 (Thursday) - Expensive Lunch
I didn't sleep at all well last night; a restless Treacle made for a restless everyone. I woke at one o'clock to see Fudge give me a very indignant glare before he got ap and went off to his own bed.
I got up ten minutes before the alarm was due to go off, and over the last of the cheapo-bargain shop's granola I watched this week's episode of "Gotham" which was rather good. It would probably make more sense if I could remember all that was going on in that show; I shall watch the lot one episode after another at some stage. Probably when I find myself utterly unable to move after I next go trampolining.
I set off for work; as I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing the shadow Brexit secretary who gave today's version of the Labour party's stance on Brexit. When challenged that what he was saying was completely at odds with what yesterday's Labour politician had said he just blanked the interviewer and repeated himself. Such a shame that this is typical of the Labour party at the moment; such a good idea in theory, such a stupid proposition in practice.
There was then an interview with the real Brexit secretary who was specifically asked about the nation's insulin supply, and who specifically refused to answer the question. This is entirely what is wrong with the entire concept of Brexit. It is being made up as we go along, and being made up by people with clearly no idea what they are doing. Politicians would be far more believable if they gave straight answers to straight questions or said "don't know". Lies and evasion convince no one.
There was also talk about the nation's GCSE results which were announced today. The windbag being interviewed implied that there are moves afoot to have no pass grades as such; instead the actual score required to obtain each grade would move up and down each year depending on whether that year's students are (on average) clever or thick. the idea being the top ten percent get the top grade, the next ten per cent get the next grade... the actual score required for that grade depending on the score achieved by those taking the tests. It really will be made up as it goes along.
Hardly fair... But then life isn't.
I stopped off in the general vicinity of Horsmonden to hunt out that geocache I didn't find on Monday. It had been replaced in the meantime and feeling very pleased with myself that I had found a film pot tied half way up a bush I walked back to my car.
It was at this point that "er indoors TM" messaged to say I'd left my sandwiches at home... So I got myself a sandwich before going in to work. What I could have got from the corner shop at home (or a certain supplier in Margate) with change out of two quid cost three pound ninety pence (not that I'm counting the pennies).
I did my bit at work. One of the drawbacks of being seconded to Tunbridge Wells is that the journey isn't a straight motorway run (and it is about twenty minutes longer) so it makes for a longer and more tiring day.
A bit of dinner and an early night might be on the cards…. I always say that – one day I’ll have one.
Yesterday was quite the adventure. Today wasn’t…
24 August 2018 (Friday) - PayPal
I woke in the small hours to find I was cuddling Fudge like a teddy bear. He doesn’t put up with that so much these days, but he was rather soppy last night. He has these moments.
Yesterday I used up the last of the granola from the cheapo-bargain shop and this morning I started the more expensive stuff. The cheap stuff was better. As I scoffed it I watched more “Orange is the New Black”. In the previous episode the show had a major influx of new characters. By the end of today’s episode Captain Janeway remained the only character not to have “flopped them out”.
I then got myself ready for work. I’d rather not have to do that, but bills don’t pay themselves.
I had a quick look at Facebook on my mobile as I walked to my car. Yesterday someone had posted some nonsense about how a school in Lincolnshire had allegedly been declared of being "too British" and several friends had shared it. As is *always* the case on Facebook there was no truth in the story, and last night it took me thirty seconds to find a link disproving the story. I posted the link here and there. This morning one of the friends who'd shared it replied saying he was only reposting what someone else had posted.
Why are people so quick to post up with this sort of rubbish without checking whether or not it is true? This one was harmless enough, but over the last few weeks and months I've seen a lot of nasty racist rubbish posted up which is equally without foundation
I needed some petrol so I thought I'd get some from the garage in Brookfield Road (as I drive right past the place). However I couldn't get in to it; there was a huge lorry (about six inches bigger than the forecourt) which had wedged itself in place and wasn't going anywhere. So I drove round to Sainsburys and filled up.
As I drove on to work the pundits on the radio were discussing yesterday's missives from the government about what might happen if the Brexit negotiations go belly-up (which is looking more and more likely). There were interviews with various windbags on the subject including a leading light form the World Trade Organisation. After quite a lot of hot air it seemed that no one really has any idea what is going to happen. So why not say "There's a lot of hot air being vented, f... only knows what might happen" and then broadcast something worth listening to?
Meanwhile President Trump was bigging himself up seemingly in order to avoid impeachment. From what I've heard on the radio it seems that funds earmarked for his election expenses were used to bribe women to keep quiet about what a beast he'd been to, with or at them. Did he know about the money being used to shut these women up? The pundits on the radio seemed fixated on that question, but surely that is irrelevant - he shouldn't need to be buying anyone's silence in the first place, should he?
Some vicar or other was then wheeled on to spout claptrap for the "Thought for the Day". He banged on about how crappy prison life is and banged on about how when Jesus died he descended to the dead... and then stopped talking seemingly in mid-sentence. There was no insight or anything to ponder on. Perhaps he thought no one was listening, perhaps there was a technical fault which cut him off half way through. Either way, this "Thought of the Day" thing on the radio every morning is just a waste of air time.
As I worked so my phone beeped. I had an email. Yesterday I'd bid on an unhooking mat on eBay (it’s a piscatorial accessory). At lunchtime I won the thing. "My Boy TM" also won some bits and bobs being sold by the same chap so we wondered if I might collect the lot and pay him in cash. For some odd reason the bloke don’t want cash. He wanted us to pay him through PayPal. It don’t bother me how I pay, but having paid using PayPal, *he* (not me) has to pay the fees. Admittedly it’s only just over a quid but it’s a quid he didn’t need to pay.
Why do so many people want to be paid with PayPal?
25 August 2018 (Saturday) - A House Guest
Finding myself wide awake and in some discomfort, I got up at three o’clock and went to the loo (tripping over Fudge as I went). The loo didn’t help, and being wide awake I watched an episode of “Orange is the New Black”. Just as the episode was ending I did the world’s biggest fart, and then went back to bed where I *would* have slept like a log had Treacle not thought it was play time.
Eventually she settled.
I got up just after eight o’clock and stood on the scales. No weight loss this week, but no weight gain either. I then had a look at the Internet. Facebook was much the same as ever with lies and triviality being bandied about in equal measure. I quite like the triviality, it’s the lies that boil my piss.
I spent a few minutes fighting with a geo-puzzle; eventually giving up and emailing the chap who’d set the puzzle. It turns out I had the right answer all along but the software wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do. Software rarely does.
I spent a few minutes doing dull BTLP-TACT (work stuff) in which I simulated an emergency, and then learned how to filter my GSAK. Filtering GSAK is something that most people learned years ago, but I’m still getting the hang of it.
"Daddy’s Little Angel TM" arrived and made off with a set of spanners, leaving "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" in her wake. He’d been looking forward to a weekend with us (apparently).
We started off with walking the dogs round the park. "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" came along on his scooter. You’d think some form of propulsion like that might have speeded him up, wouldn’t you? He probably could have gone slower if he’d really tried, but even Fudge was getting impatient with him.
As we walked we found some child’s party in full flow in the middle of the park. They had gazebos up, which is a big no-no with the council, and some of the children coming to the party were being driven directly to the party with cars driving down through the paths on which cars are expressly forbidden.
Eventually we got out of the park, through the co-op field and past the allotments where some people were growing “sensibles”. We eventually got home, but it took some doing. Once home we had a cheese sandwich each and I fell asleep waiting for "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" and "er indoors TM" to do whatever it was that they were doing.
Eventually we got out of the house.
We went to the co-op so’s I could use their cashpoint machine (and again the machine didn’t give me a receipt), and we then drove down to Burmarsh to Mini Moo’s Maize Maze and Fun Yard. We had a Groupon voucher for Mini Moo’s Maize Maze and Fun Yard and thought we’d have a go.
I don’t want to be negative about the place, but when we arrived it looked closed. There is a rather tired-looking play area with the sort of play equipment that you would have in your own back garden; none of it seems to be particularly heavy-duty.
There are a few bales of hay which for a sort of “water pistol arena” around which the children can charge whilst squirting the water pistols supplied by the place. The water pistols are filled from rather grubby-looking dustbins of water most of which were empty or swimming with hay. The biggest problem with the “water pistol arena” is that it isn’t cordoned off; anyone passing to and from the maize maze seems to be fair game for a good soaking.
We got to the maize maze. There were boards to find inside the maze; after half an hour we realized what the code on the boards was; if you are a super-genius you can work out how to get round the maze. We just blundered.
We had a little episode in the maze; in the middle was a platform the floor of which really could do with being nailed down. Stepping on one end of a plank of wood and having the other end fly up was rather disconcerting; even more so when it happened with several planks.
Having been rather disparaging about the place, I think it is only fair to say that "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" seemed to like it. He certainly lasted far longer there than he did at the zoo. I’d go back. Given a few years to find its feet, Mini Moo’s Maize Maze and Fun Yard may well achieve greatness.
We wondered what most recent grandchild would make of geocaching so we went to find a couple on the way home. He seemed quite taken with the idea.
We came home via Tesco; did you know they give free fruit to the littluns as they walk round? I didn’t. S.B.O.D. scoffed an apple as we shopped.
Once home I quickly excused myself and drove out to Warehorne to collect my eBay win. I had to go to “The Leacon, Warehorne”. Have you ever been to Warehorne? I think it fair to say that two-thirds of the twenty-odd houses there have “Leacon” in their address. Leacon House, Leacon Manor, Leacon Cottage, Leacon Farm, Leacon Farm Cottage, Leacon View… I eventually found the place, but it took some finding.
I came home to find that "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" had strewn Lego everywhere and "er indoors TM" was pulling Lego out of Treacle’s mouth almost as fast as Treacle was eating it.
Having been in the maize maze earlier it seemed only right that we had corn on the cob for tea, and fish fingers and chips for afters.
As I’m writing this blog entry our little guest is currently destroying some of "er indoors TM" candles whilst Treacle is eating the yogurt he’s left on the table.
He’s having a bath shortly… or so I’m told. I’m not getting involved!
It has been a rather full-on day today – there’s a few photos on-line; you tend to forget just how much hard work toddlers can be.
26 August 2018 (Sunday) - Hastings Hill Hike
I woke up earlier than I had intended, and over brekkie watched an episode of “Orange is the New Black” in which not a lot really seemed to happen. I tried to get Fudge to eat his brekkie, but he wasn’t having any of it.
With "er indoors TM" taking "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" to visit family today, Fudge and I set off on a little adventure.
As we drove the pundits on the radio were wittering on about religious stuff. First of all they were emphasizing the importance of youth in today’s church. They were going that forty years ago. As a religious nut in the early eighties I can remember forming the distinct impression that as far as the church was concerned, anyone over twenty-five years of age could get knotted.
There was then a lot of hot air about what the Pope should or should not say during his visit to Ireland, and this was followed by a frankly unbelievable discussion about the concept of “faith”. Having an unshakable belief in twaddle and crackpot-ery was somehow admirable.
We got to the helipad car park near Fairlight. Many years ago I was locked in the public toilets there by a passing maniac who thought me and my mate were going to vandalise the place. We were held there until a policeman arrived and told the passing maniac to let us go. I wish I knew who that idiot was; in today’s society I could sue him for millions.
Aleta and Jackie soon arrived, and we set off on a little walk. First of all along lanes and paths (that were very familiar to me) leading to Fairlight sand quarry; somewhere where I and many friends used to play wide games. I always say that Fairlight sand quarry is one of my favourite places; it was, but the last time I went back there was a couple of days before I got married. We used to play there all the time. Children clearly don’t play there any more – the place is terribly overgrown with weeds and brambles. Such a shame.
From the quarry we then tackled the Firehills. I wanted to do today’s walk because I can remember the Firehills from my youth. "er indoors TM" *didn’t* want to do today’s walk for exactly the same reason. The Firehills are pretty, but the operative word is “hill”. There are serious ups and downs.
At one of the hilliest points we saw someone had set up a tent overlooking the sea. What a beautiful place to set up camp.
As we walked we saw a couple of footpath closures. As we debated where to go, people walked out of one of the closed footpaths. We had a chat and were told that for all that many paths were closed, all were still passable. We carried on regardless – the paths *were* passable if a little steep.
We’d started walking at nine o’clock. The rain was forecast for mid to late afternoon. It arrived at mid-day just as we were at the furthest point from the cars. It didn’t help that I’d not packed a decent raincoat. But what can you do when caught in the rain? You can sulk or you can make the most of it… either way you end up equally wet.
Having said that we did cut out the last part of the walk in order to get back to the cars quicker.
It was a good walk - I took a few photos as we walked, but I pretty much stopped when the rain started.
Caching-wise… we knew that quite a few caches on the Hill Hike were missing. Originally we’d planned to go walking with the chap who’d hidden them and we would combine our walk with a maintenance run, but he wasn’t free today so we’d offered to do maintenance. We had to replace six caches and put new logs into three more. There are those who would whinge about having to do so; I was glad to help, and wish more people would help out in this way. The Hastings Hill Hike is now good to go again.
Of the caches that we did find some had been created by a 3-D printer. They were rather good. Two were little puzzle boxes that were tricky to open. I’m sure they are great fun in decent weather, but in the rain they were a game I could have done without playing.
Two caches involved solving anagrams. Do the phrases “Punky Carrot” and “Flamenco Nettle” mean anything to you?
And the last cache of the day hadn’t been found since July 2017 – another resurrection cache. That’s eight I’ve found in total; six in the last two weeks.
We got back to the cars, said our goodbyes and made our way home. As I drove I rather thought Fudge might have slept. He didn’t; He was poised and barked at every splash every time we drove through a puddle. I might just have driven through one or two more puddles than I needed to.
Once home I put on dry clothes. Much as I like going out for a walk, there is no denying the fact that I also like dry pants. Fudge ate the breakfast he’d turned his nose up at earlier, and I scoffed a sandwich before watching a bit of telly. It don’t watch itself, you know.
"er indoors TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" came home from terrorising the relatives, and as we scoffed dinner we watched some home videos, and then “Animals Close Up Through a Wide Angle Lens”. “Animals Close Up Through a Wide Angle Lens” is always popular.
"er indoors TM" is currently trying to settle "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". He’s not keen on the idea…
27 August 2018 (Monday) - Bank Holiday
Treacle woke me up by stomping all over me at three o’clock. I then lay awake for an hour before giving up trying to sleep. I got up and looked out of the window and saw a parking space up the road so I went out to move my car. I’d parked round the corner where parking is only allowed until eight o’clock so the car needed moving. As I walked to my car I was amazed at just how dark it was. Over the last year or so the council have replaced most of the street lights with l.e.d. lighting which is cheaper and very environmentally-friendly but doesn’t actually provide any useful illumination. As I looked up and down the street I could see one or two of the old-style sodium street lights – around them were small islands of visibility.
With the car moved I watched “Hot Lesbian Prison Action” (Or “Orange is the New Black” – the title Netflix eventually went for) then went back to sleep for a few hours.
There was a minor near-panic at brekkie time. Not wishing to disturb "er indoors TM" I’d moved her car too. I didn’t tell her; I’d let her sleep. Perhaps I should have told her before she looked out of the attic window and saw it had gone.
Over brekkie I emailed my local councillor to complain about the rather rubbish street lighting. I doubt it will achieve anything, but a whinge never hurts. As I griped, "er indoors TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" played with the Lego. They saw the Lego box as a toybox; Treacle saw the Lego box as her own personal sweetie jar. Much of our Lego now has teeth marks in it.
After two hours we were finally in a position to walk round the park. As we walked, mayhem ensued as it so often does. I made a little video of out antics; you can see it by clicking here.
We came home, had a sandwich, then drove round to "My Boy TM" who was staging a bank holiday barbie. A few beers, some chicken and burgers, a bit of cake… you can see some piccies from the day here.
I then slept all the way to Margate as we took "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" home.
I’ve had quite a busy bank holiday weekend… I’m looking forward to going back to work for a rest
28 August 2018 (Tuesday) - Pod System
I got up early; it was that or lie in bed wide awake. Totally forgetting all about granola (whoops) I made myself some toast and scoffed it whist watching "Orange is the New Black" in which our heroes seemed to have an awful lot of freedom to wander here and there doing their own things whilst supposedly under guard in prison.
Pausing only briefly to destroy the toothpaste (!) I then got myself together and set off for work. As I drove I listened to the radio, despite what it does to my blood pressure. Firstly there was a lot of hot air about the Northern Ireland Assembly. Supposedly the body which runs Northern Ireland, in practice the body hasn't met in over a year since with no political party having a majority no one seems able to form any sort of power-sharing arrangement. There were politicians on all sides squabbling live on air (like unruly children), but no one made any comment about how the day to day running of Northern Ireland seems to be carrying on just fine without any political oversight from them whatsoever.
There was also a lot of claptrap being spouted about the gang culture which has supposedly gripped the streets of London. Ex-policemen were arguing bitterly with community leaders and well-meaning do-gooders. I'm no expert but it seemed that despite their all getting very angry with each other, they all seemed to be in total agreement with each other and all were saying the same things.
As always I had a commercial van tail-ending me for much of the way to work. Today's van was from Storage Control Systems of Paddock Wood and again must have been driven by a dimwit; would anyone with any intelligence drive so badly and dangerously with their company's details emblazoned all over the van they were driving so dangerously?
I stopped off near Paddock Wood for geo-reasons before going in to work. There was supposedly a geocache there which hadn't been found in over a year. Another resurrection? Not this morning. The hint for the thing was "FPX" and it was described as being tiny and magnetic but not near the metal fence. I found a metal box clearly labelled "FPX" which was spot-on for where the GPS would have me go but it was right by a metal fence. There was nothing magnetic stuck to it, but there was however two sets of people peering out of their living room windows not five yards away from this "FPX" box. Not wishing to worry the normal people I shoved off to work, and logged a "Needs Archiving" - we can't have the normal people being frightened, can we?
And so to work. What with one thing and another I postponed my usual look at Facebook until I had a tea break. Someone had posted on the “Ashford” Facebook page. Living in Willesborough, their child had been allocated to a school in Finberry which is about a mile or so away through an industrial estate and across a very busy dual carriageway. With no public transport to Finberry at all this person was trying to line their child up with a lift. Bearing in mind that this new Finberry estate isn’t *that* big, what on Earth was the council thinking of when they built a school there? Clearly the expectation is that everyone has their own car to get to places where the buses don’t go.
I almost (but not quite) choked on my coffee when I read what a friend had posted up. I use the word “friend” in the Facebook sense in that anyone on my list is considered a friend. There are a few people on my “friends” list purely for the entertainment value they provide. One had clearly forgotten who her friends (and especially her husband’s friends) were, and another was banging on about what a bastard her ex- was when the truth of the matter was that she’d forced him away by trying to pressure him into a marriage he didn’t want.
People can be a worry, can’t they?
As I worked "My Boy TM" messaged me. His mate was flogging a “pod system”. A “pod system” is a glorified rod rest. I’ve got rod rests, but I’m told that one has to have the right stuff. I must admit I’m a tad miffed to have spent twenty-five quid on the thing only to find it is just the stand. There is nothing on which to balance any fishing rods. Mid you I’ve got some bite alarms somewhere I can stick on it (I think). All I need now is a couple of butt grips, but I think it fair to say that I’m not alone in needing a butt grip.
Mind you the “pod system” does look pretty damn sexy. It should impress the ladies… or those ladies that are impressed by things that stink of fish.
I woke in something of a muck sweat shortly after four o'clock having had something of a rather vivid dream in which I'd been telling an ex-manager to get knotted. To be fair it is something I'd wanted to do for a long time back when I worked "somewhere else". Over the years "Wing-nut" (so named because his huge ears made his head look like a wing-nut) time and time again showed himself to be an untrustworthy liar. It has to be said that I've come to realise that such a description can be applied to many people, but when I knew this bloke he was a leading light in the Kent scout association at the same time that I was a cub scout leader. All scouts had (and still have) to make a promise to keep the scout law which included something along the lines of "A scout is to be trusted". He clearly couldn't, and I held that against him. Call me idealistic if you will, but the scout promise meant something to me even if it didn't to him.
I've had nothing to do with "Wing-nut" for over ten years - I wonder what prompted that dream? I didn't get back to sleep again after that.
I remembered to have granola for brekkie this morning; I scoffed it as I watched more "Orange is the New Black", and then (leaving the family snoring) I set off to work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how French fishing boats have been harassing British fishing boats; going so far as to throw things at them and to fire flares at them. The British fishermen have asked the Royal Navy for protection... I've said before that Britain will be at war with France within my lifetime...
There was also talk about Prime Minister Teresa May's visit to Africa, and a prominent Nigerian politician was being interviewed. He trying to make light of how much of the foreign aid that Britain gives to Nigeria ends up embezzled. The chap admitted that corruption is rife in Nigeria, and I remembered my old colleague Sylvester who was from Nigeria. Fifteen years ago he once said that he liked me as a boss because I would grant his leave requests whereas his previous boss in Nigeria wanted a bribe of twenty quid before allowing anyone to take the annual leave to which they were entitled.
And people in the UK complain about their lot...
I stopped off at the shop in Goudhurst to get some lunch. At the till I saw they had white chocolate snickers bars. White chocolate snickers bars - who would have thought such wonders were possible?
Despite the rain I then made a little diversion (for geo-reasons) into Cranbrook. Looking at the map I could see there was an old geocache down a farm track. I drove as far as was safe, and then walked the last five hundred yards to find a sandwich pot cunningly hidden under a pile of sticks that hadn't been disturbed for over a year. Another resuscitation - go me!!
I went on to work; amazingly no one tried to run me off the road today. I did my bit, but after my morning, the day was haunted by memories of the times when I worked with "Wing-nut" and Sylvester and releasing that despite all my problems and hardships of the early years of this decade, things haven't turned out that bad for me. I try not to blog about work or mention it all all on any sort of social media because when I worked "somewhere else" I was once formally disciplined for posting a selfie at six o'clock in the morning and saying I was tired. It is only now that *I don't work "somewhere else" that I realise I should have left that place years ago.
I came home to find the garden in uproar. The nice people from the water board had taken down a fence panel to try to fix the drains. Apparently the drain has collapsed under new-next-door’s conservatory. I had a fence panel temporarily removed and a manhole cover up; no great hardship. New-next-door have got a hole in their kitchen floor. I can remember that conservatory being built several neighbours back. I said at the time that building over a manhole cover was a stupid idea, but the people in the house at the time weren’t overly burdened with common sense. We struggle with two small dogs – they had three the size of cart-horses.
The drain is supposedly fixed now… let’s hope it stays that way.
30 August 2018 (Thursday) - High Halden
When I’m not working I seem to have developed a habit of getting up, watching telly for an hour in the middle of the night, and then going back to bed again. I did that last night and probably had a better two sleeps than when I stay in bed all night long.
I got up properly at half past seven this morning and as I scoffed brekkie "er indoors TM" was running round with the Hoover. I had planned to do that later in the day, but she saved me a job. As I scoffed brekkie I found myself reading some utter claptrap on the Internet about how the Bible supposedly . This sort of nonsense would be far more entertaining if people saw it for the comedy and the piss-take it really is rather than the crackpot nonsense that their addled superstitions frighten them into thinking might be.
I took the dogs on a walk round the park. As we walked we met other dogs. Some were playful, some were not. For once the people with dogs that weren’t to mix with other dogs had the sense to have yellow harnesses so you could see at a distance to keep away from them. I wish more people took notice of scheme; we’d have a lot less “episodes” if they did.
We had an embarrassing five minutes near the swings when Fudge disappeared. It is odd how he goes forward at a snail’s pace but can go in any other direction at warp speed. We eventually found him bothering other dogs a few hundred yards away. Such a shame that OrangeHead’s posse had to witness his disgrace.
As we came past the allotments in William Road I noticed something odd. There was no overpowering scent of “funny fags” today. I walk past there five times a week and there is usually a distinctive aroma of “herbal cigarettes”. I can’t help but wonder if smoking them is compulsory for allotment-eers and if they grow the stuff on-site. But today – nothing.
We were almost home when I saw something that boiled my piss, There was a bus coming up the road. There was a chap ten yards from the bus stop hurrying to it as fast as he could; waving and shouting. I watched the driver of the bus deliberately look away from this chap and drive past leaving him not five yards from the bus stop. I stopped and chatted with the fellow; he is disabled and clearly couldn’t sprint to the bus stop. Fortunately I’d noticed that the bus’s registration was GN09 ANU. I told him so and suggested he put in a formal complaint. I have done so, not that Stagecoach seemed very interested. They told me that since it wasn’t me that missed the bus I can go mind my own business.
Once home I managed to pin Treacle down to apply her anti-flea treatment. Fudge doesn’t mind the stuff; Treacle hates it. And with dogs treated I went into the garden and spent some time repairing the carnage left yesterday by the nice people from the water board. It was a shame they couldn’t have left our garden as they’d found it. And what had they done to the yard? Earlier in the year I spent some time pressure-washing it. I had a go with broom and scrubbing brush but I’m going to need to get the pressure-washer out again to clear the mess they made. And did they need to leave *quite* so many shit-encrusted rubber gloves laying about the place?
I then had a quick review of my fishing gear to make a list of exactly what I needed from the tackle shop. Every time I go fishing I realise I am in need of whatever I need. Every time I go to the tackle shop I buy floats and hooks and weights but not what I actually need.
I settled the dogs and went to the co-op to get some cash. As always I told the machine I wanted a receipt, and as always it didn’t give me one.
My original plan for today was to go on a preliminary look-see round the Godinton – Great Chart area to plan for hiding a new series of geocaches, but given the opportunity to go out with friends hunting for the things I changed my plans. Six of us (and four dogs) had a rather good wander around the High Halden area rummaging in hedgerows as we went. For all that it is only a few miles away today’s walk took me to places I have never been before. Such beautiful fields and farms and woods so close to home.
Geocache-wise it was an excellent outing; most of the hides were straightforward, but with fun containers. Billed as an hour and a half’s walk we must have taken our time as we were walking for over two and a half hours.
We ended up at The Chequers pub where we had a pint, then most people went their various ways. Tracey and I stayed and had a rather good bit of lunch, then wandered over the road where a geo-meet was about to start. This was only the fourth one I’ve been to in six months; I really should get back into going to these meets.
while we were out today. Once home I zoomed the dogs round the park before the rain started (we didn’t get *that* wet) then showed the photos to the Internet.
"er indoors TM" came home with a ton of shopping (she does that) and set to boiling up a rather good bit of dinner (she does that too).
I think I caught the sun today…
31 August 2018 (Friday) - Butt Grips and Surveillance
I felt like death warmed up this morning. What was that all about? I heaved my carcass out of my pit and fed laundry to the washing machine, put what I *thought* was all the still-to-be-washed stuff back into the laundry basket then set about brekkie. As I scoffed I saw the dogs were playing a rather vigorous game of tug o’ war with one of "er indoors TM" best socks. As she unleashed whoop-ass on the hounds I kept quiet as to how they might have got hold of that sock whilst I looked at the Internet.
Not much was happening on Facebook, but I had an email. A few days ago I complained to my councillor about the ineffective street lighting up our road. This morning she emailed me to say that the responsibility for street lighting is shared between the local and the county councils and she will have words with both. I wonder if she will? Mind you I didn’t think I’d get a reply at all, and she didn’t tell me to go get bent (like the bus people did yesterday) so here’s hoping.
Talking of the bus people – they got in touch this morning as well. The chap who had been left behind by the bus yesterday had made a complaint himself and had cited me as a witness for the prosecution, and the bus people asked if I was happy to give evidence. All a bit “Crown Court” really…
I got the leads on to the dogs; as always it took some doing. Fudge generally is too over-excited at the thought of a walk to sit still to have his lead put on, and Treacle just fidgets. Once out we went up the road barking at pretty much everything that moved and most of that which didn’t. In Bowen’s Field each dog did more than its own bodyweight in dog-dung, and in the park we alternately ran in terror from, tried to pork and tried to fight with every other dog we met. And we met quite a few. I eventually got home with something of a sense of relief. And wet feet. My old shabby trainers had let the dew in, so as I hung out the washing the tumble-drier had a go at my socks and trainers.
I settled the dogs, put on dry shoes and went for a little drive. I collected "My Boy TM" and we drove out to Bethersden to visit a fishing tackle shop. “Carper’s Den” is an odd place. It caters for the specialist carp angler and (in my honest opinion) is rather over-priced, and somehow reeks of desperation – how many shops offer a cup of tea to shoppers?
We left here and went to Angling Direct (an old favourite) where we got some baits, then went to the co-op for a sandwich, and then home where I found that the postman had delivered my butt grips. I have high hopes for the things for tomorrow’s fishing trip, even if they did get quite a bit of disrespect when I posted a picture of them on Facebook.
I hung out washing, put more in to scrub, loaded my fishing gear (and butt grips) into the car, and then had something of a shock.
I thought I’d have a look at the website of “Carper’s Den”. I typed it into Google and was told “You visited Carpers Den on 31 August 2018 from 10:16 to 10:30.” This is true, but whilst I was there my phone didn’t leave my pocket. Is the thing tracking my every move? I was rather surprised to find that it is. I clicked on the “View in Timeline” link and I was presented with a detailed itinerary of my morning listing where I’d been and at what times, and a map showing where I’d been. Yesterday’s map had our dog walks and my jaunt round High Halden detailed. Tuesday and Wednesday’s maps showed my trips to work together with my diversions for geocaches… in fact Google has a detailed record of my movements going back to 17 May 2014.
I had no idea they were watching me like that. I wonder how I can stop this monitoring of my movements… or if I even want it stopped. Mind you, after a little fiddling about it seems that only me and Google can see where I’ve been. If noting else it makes for interesting reading.
I scoffed a sandwich whist watching an episode of “Orange is the New Black” and seeing how I’m on annual leave and I’m something of a traditionalist at heart I set about doing the ironing. As I ironed I watched several more episodes of “Orange is the New Black”. It’s rather a good show; drama, intrigue, suspense, with believable characters... but frankly all is undermined by the ongoing gratuitous filth.
I also watched this week’s episode of “Krypton”; it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, which is a shame.
I then had a little sleep, then had a fight with the geo-website. There is a magic app called GSAK which does pretty much everything a geocacher would ever want (including making the tea and feeding the dog) in the blink of an eye. Or that is it does pretty much everything (including making the tea and feeding the dog) in the blink of an eye for everyone else. For me it seems to involve an awful lot of farting round to end up with something massively inferior to what you can get off the geo-website in a matter of seconds.
I’ve sadly come to the conclusion that I’m not part of the in-crowd who is privy to the secrets of the thing (not that I’m paranoid).
"er indoors TM" is making banana bread. I’ve got my eye on a bottle of wine…