1 February 2016 (Monday) - Feeling A Bit Grim
I woke this morning feeling like death warmed up. I ached all over and I had the world's worst headache. I wondered if I had this latest bug that is doing the rounds. I lay sulking for a few minutes then decided to get on with the day.
Over brekkie I sparked up my lap-top. The program which I use for cropping and creating all the blog pictures simply refused to run last night. This morning it was fine. I wonder what went wrong there. Mind you I had a look on some of the Internet help forums and this seems to have happened to other people.
I also had a look at the geo-map. Unfortunately next Sunday's plans have gone west; the route I thought would make a good walk round South London looks as though it would be far better done in a car. I spent a little while pondering over the geo-map looking for somewhere else, and found myself stuck on a geo-puzzle. If any of my loyal readers know the gradient of Noah's Ark please drop me a line.
I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for a walk. As we went through Bowen's Field Wetland Park I was surprised at how wet it wasn't. Then I realised that since I was last there someone had dug out all the drainage ditches. It is amazing the difference a few ditches makes.
We carried on to Viccie Park. As we walked we had a fracas with a Beagle, and met Ralph (the black pug who is jealous of Sid). On the way home we met OrangeHead on her way to the park. It is surprising how civil she can be when she doesn't have her little gang of cronies in tow.
We came home to find road works in full flow over the road. Pneumatic drills at full power. I was rather glad I'm not on nights at the moment; aren't whoever's doing the drilling supposed to give residents notice?
I set off for work, and having driven for two minutes I did an about turn as I saw "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" walking toward B&Q. I stopped and bandied insults with them and then carried on to work. As I drove Women's Hour was on the radio. They were (seemingly deliberately) giving out mixed messages about the global zika virun pandemic.
They started off with indignation about the announcement from the Brazilian Government that women should avoid pregnancy because this virus causes microcephaly. That struck me as a sensible precaution to avoid misery, but an alliance of crackpots, bleeding hearts and religious nuts then came on and announced that such advice contravened people's inalienable human right *not* to have a healthy baby.
And then having given air-time to these loonies they then wheeled on a proper scientist who claimed there wasn't actually any proven link between the virus and the microcephaly outbreak anyway.
I wasn't entirely sure what I was supposed to think by the end of the article.
I got to work and had a typical day... as is so often the case on the late shift, pretty much everything of note in the day had happened before 11.30 am.
Having said that "Gotham" is on in a little while. I still feel rather rough... hope I stay awake for it...
2 February 2016 (Tuesday) Ė Sulking
I woke up feeling a little less grim that I did yesterday, but somehow overnight I seemed to have developed a pain in my left wrist. I wonder what that was all about. Over brekkie I watched last night's episode of "Crashing"; last week's episode was rather lame, this one was a vast improvement.
Apart from an email asking me to read my gas and leccie meters nothing else had happened on-line overnight so I set off to work.
As I drove to work the radio spewed its usual blend of drivel.
The Prime Minister is currently off visiting our European partners with a view to improve Britain's deal with the EU as an overture to a possible Brexit.
For myself I'm all for the European ideal. To those that feel that we are tied down by needless rules and regulations from Brussels I'd ask them to quote a few such rules that we *wouldn't* have to abide by should we decide to leave the EU. Whether we stay in or not, much of our international trade and our border issues will still be with Europe. By staying in the EU we at least maintain some say in these rules and regulations. By leaving we will find ourselves with our hands tied; in such a case should we wish to have anything whatsoever to do with the Europeans it would be *entirely* on their own terms.
There was also reports that a survey had pointed out that men aged between forty five and fifty nine have reported the lowest levels of satisfaction with their lives.
I can relate to that. I've been a right misery just lately. I have no idea what I realistically could have expected out of life but looking back to the sixteen year old version of me washing dishes in the Harbour Restaurant (on Hastings sea front) I'm sure that I was hoping for far more than I have ended up with.
I have been married for nearly thirty years, the mortgage is (mostly) paid off. Both children have turned out (reasonably!) well. I've three grandchildren. I've acheived quite a bit in life really. I've taken scouts to America, I've bred boa constrictors. I've been on national telly.
But I look at those with whom I went to school (on their six-figure salaries) and I want more.
If I had my time again would I have done things differently?
I don't know.
Things haven't turned out that badly. But they could have been so much better.
I got to work and had a rather bad day. For now I shall leave it at that.
Once home I read something interesting on-line. A national newspaper has published a list of its top ten places to live in the UK. It corresponds with the Rock Horror Picture Show's list of its top ten box office theatre takings.
The closest of these places is a two-hour drive away from where I live....
REALLY must cheer up.... !!!
3 February 2016 (Wednesday) - Leccie Bill
I didn't sleep that well last night; fretting about that over which I have absolutely no control. Some people have the ability not to worry about those sorts of things. I wish I could switch off like that. I lay awake stroking my dog for much of the night trying to sleep.
I gave up shortly after 7am and spent a little while seeing if geo-puzzles would take my mind off of worries. They didn't really.
I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. He's a funny little dog. Before brekkie I saw he had a very full bladder; it is rather obvious. I took him into the garden where he didn't really do that for which I had sent him out. But as we walked round the park so he emptied his bladder one drip at a time every few yards.
Admittedly we were out rather earlier than usual, but it was *cold*. As we walked people were scraping the ice from their cars. And even the slower parts of the river had a thin sheet of ice on them.
We came home and I told the power company our electic and gas meter readings. Having entered them onto the website the thing had a little think and then announced that I was over five hundred pounds in credit with them.
I sighed a little at this. This is an ongoing "thing" with the power company. At first sight I thought I was entitled to a serious refund. But a closer examination revealed a different story. Every monthly payment I make doesn't pay the bill at all. Instead the money goes into some sort of holding account where it stays until such time as their automated system says a payment is due. At that time it dips into the holding account for however much it wants. The power company doesn't seem to have actually taken anything since last August. I expect that far from being over five hundred pounds in credit, the thing will demand a payment tomorrow and then tell me that this £526.11 doesn't come close to what I actually owe.
We shall see.
Women's Hour was on the radio as I drove to work. I had half a mind to turn it off; usually that show is nothing more than a soapbox for opinionated misandrists. But today's was quite interesting featuring an interview with women survivalists preparing for armageddon. Apparently there is a growning number of women stockpiling tins of food and bottles of water in their basements in preparation for when the bomb drops.
I got to work and had a far better day than I was hoping for. I might blog about it over on adulldayatwork dot blogspot dot com eventually. But not now.
A late start made for a late finish. But despit the late finish we had a rather good bit of scoff and watched the Christmas episode of "Benidorm". I quite like that show...
4 February 2016 (Thursday) - Fox Poo
I was up early today and with brekkie scoffed I set off rather earlier than usual. I had an early start at work today, and with plans for the afternoon I needed an early start on this "geo-calendar" day. I'd staked out a geo-target not far from Hythe and not a million miles off of my (rather convoluted) route to work. I soon found the thing. From the on-line description I formed the impression that this cache was once actually a rather clever hide; but now it is broken and needing a little fixing. But a find is a find, and I am now another day closer to filling the geo-calendar. Only thirty three more days (over the next few months) to do.
As I drove on to work I listened to the radio. And got rather cross. There was consternation that some people in obscure rural communities are finding themselves isolated as the subsidies to bus services are being cut. On the one hand there is something of a problem in that people are finding themselves unable to travel as there are no bus services. On the other hand my taxes are paying for buses for people with better houses than I have and who live in far prettier areas than I do.
The answer is obvious.If you choose to live in the arse end of nowhere you need a car. And if people who live out in the sticks can't drive then they could sell their houses and move closer to civilisation (whilst making quite a profit whilst doing so).
There was also major concerns about the Shell oil company. Their profits are seriously down. Last year they only made ten billion pounds in profit. *Only*! Because of this they have made ten thousand people redundant.
I got to work, and pootled about until mid day when I left. With a "use it or lose it" policy for annual leave I'd booked the afternoon off.
As I drove home I stopped off at the village shop in Chilham. I drive past this place every day and thought I might pop in to get a sandwich. So I did. I won't do so again. They had som very good stuff... but it wasn't cheap. And the service left a *lot* to be desired. I won't be going back again. I can get simular stuff without the attitude down the road at Perry Court.
Once home I got the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went off to meet "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" . My dog barked at every push chair he saw until he spied them in the distance. He soon shushed his woofing.
We had a rather good walk down to Brittania Land and found a new bridleway that wasn't there a few months ago. But now we know it is there we shall certanly use it again. Especially as it leads to the Queen's Head.
We had a crafty half and then popped over the road to get some information for a geo puzzle. We then made our way home though Park Farm and WIllesborough Dykes. And when we were within ten minutes of home "Furry Face TM" smeared himself from nose to tail in fox poo.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" set off home. I set off home in the opposite direction, and on arrival spent rather a long time scrubbing my dog.
With dog scrubbed I then loaded up and charged the technology for tomorrow's geo-mission and then spent a couple of hours struggling with web cam apps on my phone in preparation for the geo-web-cam at Abbey Road.
I had planned to have an early night this evening...
5 February 2016 (Friday) - Geo-London
I woke at 4am and lay awake, finally dozing off ten minutes before my alarm then woke me. Over brekkie I posted yesterday's blog entry. I tried to do so last night and gave up (in a temper) after twenty minutes. Our internet connection simply doesn't work in the evenings.
It works fine most mornings, and over brekkie I had a look-see on-line. There were all the racist and small-minded nastiness posts on social media from "Britain First". Whilst it is common knowledge that all these asylum seekers are coming over here and living high on the hog at our expense, and using tax-payers' money to fund their twenty wives and hundreds of children (none of whom speak English) I defy those posting these lies to quote one case of which they personally have any knowledge (as opposed to the lies that they have read or heard about third-hand).
I then checked my on-line leccie and gas bill. A couple of days ago I was over five hundred pounds in credit with them. Now I've given them a meter reading I am only fifty quid in the black. Four hundred and fifty pounds for five months leccie and gas... is that good? I have no idea.
We settled "Furry Face TM" ("Daddies Little Angel TM" was coming to see to him later) and went to the railway station. Last week I'd confirmed the price of train tickets; today they were four pounds more than I'd been quoted. But I didn't make a fuss.
Three of us set off for London for a geo-outing, meeting Aleta at Maidstone. There was a minor hiccup as we got near Bromley. There was apparently an unexploded bomb near Victoria. But we were only delayed for ten minutes. And as we made our way to the tube we met four more of our number. And so eight of us arrived at our planned meeting point at Temple tube station only a few minutes later than planned.
There was then an embarrassing episode. We stood about waiting for the rest of our group to arrive. After a while I had a plan to go get the nearby geocache to save some time whilst we waited for everyone else to arrive. I turned the corner to find everyone else *had* arrived and had been waiting for us.
Thirteen of us then geo-wandered around London. Our plan was to follow the London Rainbow series of geocaches picking up a few others on the way. We had to tweak this plan somewhat when it became apparentl that we weren't getting along quite as fast as we might have been going. But despite staying focussed and not wandering here and there we still logged twenty six geo-finds each including my milestone #6000.
I must admit I was a little disheartened when the rain came at mid-day (some six hours earlier than forecast) but it didn't last for long. And as the rain stopped we found a wonderful little street with no end of rather good food outlets. I scoffed a very good baguette. And as I scoffed it we found the pub in which The Goons (Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe et al) used to drink. As as we walked round we also found the house where Lawrence of Arabia lived, and we even found the Vulgarian embassy (from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). Dave said it was the Albanian embassy, but I wasn't having any of it.
Once at Pimlico we had done the first leg of our day. We found the nearest tube station (Covent Garden) and then took the tube up to Camden. After a little walk we were soon in the market. We found what we needed for our treasure hunt, and I found a stall selling mulled wine. Only one glass, but it made for a rather good treat.
We then had the only real disaster of the day (and it wasn't *that* bad really). Our GPS told us we were quite some way from our next target in Abbey Road. So we took the bus. Or (to be precise) half of us took the bus. When half of us were on the driver closed the door on the rest of our party. So they followed on the next bus. in retrospect we should all have walked. the bus merely wasted twenty minutes of our time taking us to a point equally far away from our destination. Admitedly the bus took us to Abbey Road. However it took us to the wrong end of Abbey Road. And Abbey Road is a *long* road.
But it didn't take *that* long to walk to the Abbey Road studios. and just there is a web-cam. There are about a dozen geo-web-cams in all of the UK. And this one made for my six thousandth geo-find.
Another bus ride and tube ride had us at Paddington station. I had a much-deserved bottle of "bitter and twisted", then we went and found the bronze statue of Paddington Bear.
By now time was getting on so we made a couple more geo-finds then said our goodbyes and made our various ways home.
It was as well that "Daddies Little Angel TM" had seen to "Furry Face TM" as we were rather late home. But I still ran him round the roads quickly. "er indoors TM" got some fish and chips and we sat down for a rather good bit of tea.
I took quite a few photos whilst we were out. I put them on-line and looked at them for a while.
I've had a *really* good day out today...
6 February 2016 (Saturday) Ė Stuff
I wanted to get all the geo-admin of yesterday's walk done yesterday, and I had chosen a circuit which necessetated a *load* of geo-admin. So it was gone 1.30am before I went to bed. I slept like a log, finally being woken by "Furry Face TM" jumping on me at 9.30am.
I ached somewhat this morning. For all that we didn't actually walk *that* far yesterday compared to some of our walks, we did walk a long longer stretches between stopping for geo-reasons.
I thought my little dog woke me because he was busting for a tiddle. He didn't want to go into the garden; he just wanted a fuss. So I fussed him and took him for a walk. As we walked we met one of the astro bods and chatted for a bit. Being rather later than usual we missed all the joggers in the park, which was probably for the best. "Furry Face TM" had a nice little game with several other dogs and didnít disgrace himself (for once)
We came home and I spent a little while doing the astro clubís accounts. There was a tad more in the petty cash than Iíd rather be carrying so I bagged up five hundred quid to take to the bank.
I then had a look at the household accounts. Not bad reallyÖ but could be worse. There isnít the margin for disaster in the account that Iíd like to have, but I suppose not many people really do have that, do they?.
I donít want much money; just enough so that I donít have to keep counting it.
Is that so much to ask?
I again phoned the broadband people to whinge about the ongoing problem with the internet connection. The chap on the phone was very helpful; he said he would reset my profile completely and monitor the line. Heís going to phone back on Monday morning to see if the problem has been resolved.
And I booked the carís MOT as well. Hereís hopingÖ
We then drove into town to take the astro club's money to the bank. The Nat West's website said the Ashford branch was open until 4pm. I got there at five past two and found the place closed.
The sign on the door said they close at 2pm on Saturdays. I was a tad miffed about that.
As we were in the area we popped into McDonalds for lunch. They now have an automated system for ordering your food (a bit like the one in Argos). I don't like it. But I like McScoff so I suffered it. We then came home agani via the CEX shop.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" had decreed that she wanted her old matress for "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM"s new bed. "er indoors TM" then spent half an hour excavating it out from all the candles under which it had been buried. And with it excavated we then delivered it to her. A nice bit of lasagna, then "er indoors TM" drove little Charlie home whilst I stayed with "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" and fell asleep in front of the telly.
The Rear Admiral's band was playing in The Star tonight. I can't say I'm a fan of The Star. The place seems to be more of a freak show than a pub, and the ale usually leaves a lot to be desired. But I've been keen to see this new band for a while.
We got there... and... my suspicions were confirmed.
The Star defies logic. Whilst decent pubs are closing down hand over fist, this place keeps going.
It has a reputation of not cleaning their ale pumps. I don't know whether the reputation is deserved ot not but I took no chances and had a bottled ale. When I pour one a bottle of ale I have less than half a centimetre of froth. The twit behind the bar upended the bottle and gave me six inches of froth over what was then very flat beer.
The place prides itself on live music, but hid the band where they couldn't be seen.
And the clientele.... one woman was wearing some rather saucy stockings. They would have looked sexy on her grand-daughter. Someone should really have taken her to one side and explained. Also we've been watching "Benidorm" lately - this evening we saw a dead ringer for the aging transvestitie.
I was therefore expecting the worst when the band started. But despite the enormous drag facor of the venue the band was good. Unlike many bands they weren't deafening and the singer sang rather than shouted.
It was just a shame I only knew about a third of the songs...
7 February 2016 (Sunday) Ė Southfleet
Over brekkie I uploaded yesterday's blog entry. I tried to do that last night; however last night the internet connection simply wasn't working. This morning I spend a while going here, there and thither on-line with no problems at all for half an hour until the thing stopped.
Let's hope that whatever monitoring of the line that is being done by the Internet provider picks this up.
We got our stuff together and drove round to collect Suzy-dog who had also got her stuff together. We then drove up to Southfleet (in North Kent) where six of us (and three dogs) set off on a little geo-wander. We started off on one guided walk, and half way round diverted onto another, and from there on followed a route which I'd rather cobbled together from poring over the map for the last week. But it seemed to work well. I wasn't exactly sure of the route we'd take until we were actuallly walking; as we walked we tried for thirty-nine geo-targets, we got thirty-eight of them.
I quite liked this little walk. Fudge only disgraced himself by running off after pheasants once, and didn't roll in a single turd (fox or otherwise). As we walked we found tables for our picnic lunch, a supermarket that sold blister plasters and about two thirds of the way round we found a pub where I got a pint of a local ale. Very nice!
And shortly after this we met a little dog who looked incredibly like "Furry Face TM". His name was Banjo. Funnily enough we've met another Fudge-look-alike called Banjo before. I can't help but wonder if it is a common name for Patagonian Tripe-Hounds.
It was a very cold and windy day; but despite that we had a good time. There was perhaps a minute's worth of rain in the early afternoon, but it went as quickly as it came. And by one of those amazing co-incidences we got back to the cars about two minutes before the torrential rain hit.
I took a few photos whilst we walked. As "er indoors TM" set off to her Sunday night bowling I posted then on-line (as the Internet connection seemed to be working) and then scoffed some pizza whilst watching an episode of "Dad's Army" that I don't think I've seen before. Rather a good episode really. I then set GSAK doing my logging (it's a geo-thing) whilst my little dog snored. We walked over twelve miles today; it has been a little while since my little dog has done such a distance. And as he snored my face glowed. I caught the sun today. In February !!
"War and Peace" is on in a few minutes. I shall watch that as I stitch up the rip in my walking jacket. It is a nice jacket with lots of useful pockets. It should not be confused with a "gilet" which (contrary to popular opinion) is actually a form of frilly dress often worn with rather saucy ladies underwear.... (true fact!)
8 February 2016 (Monday) - Before the Night Shift
I took a little while settling last night. The noise of the rain kept me awake for a while. I suppose the two rather serious hikes over the last three days had taken thier toll.
I got up shortly before 7am and scoffed brekkie. I had it alll to myself as my little dog was still snoring soundly. I scoffed my brekkie whilst looking on-line. The Internet was working this morning (unlike late yesterday evening). Not much of note had happened overnight; the most exciting development was a rant about Bristol council banning the picking of blackberries. Bearing in mind we are still some six months from blackberry-picking season I couldn't help but wonder what that was all about.
I then spent a little while looking for a short geo-walk that I might do on Thursday (Thursday is a calendar day) and posted the idea on Facebook. I forgot to advertise yesterday's walk as widely as I might have done, and it turns out that there were people who would like to have come along, Woops!
I've come to the conclusion that a walk round Leybourne Lakes looks like a good idea. If anyone would like to come along (beaing in mind it is probably not wheelchair friendly) just join in the Facebook event.
I then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We went through the park where he was incredibly well behaved; actually walking at heel for much of the time. He put the fear of God up an Airedale terrier, and we had a near miss event with a dog the size of a cart-horse. He got very grubby chasing ducks through the mud at Singleton Lake, and we came back via the vets. He had an appointment for a booster for kennel cough.
He knew he had an appointment; normally we can walk into Pets at Home (where the vets are) with no problems. Today he wasn't having any of it. He was terrified. But for no reason. The vet was really good with him and very gentle as he gave the pup a once-over before squirting the vaccine up his nose.
My dog's in good health; the only problem is his weight. And (in all honesty) he has the same problem that all of have; his gob is bigger than his bum. He is now officially "fat".
I got home and had a phone call from the broadband people. First of all there was someone from the call centre in Bombay (who I struggled to understand) explaining that they'd tested everything with their technical stuff and it was all working fine. They were ratehr miffed when I said I'd tested it by using it and it didn't actually work.
They suggested an upgrade to fibre-optic and put me through to someone in Newcastle (whose accent was equally incomprehenisble) and they offered me a rather good deal. Or what may well be a good deal if it actually works.
The new router arrives in a few days time. Here's hoping.
I spent tha afternoon in bed where I slept soundly until finally woken by the rain at 4.30pm. I would have liked to have slept longer; I *know* I shall be feeling it later.
I'm off to the night shift now...
Last night as I worked the radio was on. My piss boiled at the news I heard. A former Pirelli model is suing her ex-husband. She feels she is entitled to more of his multi billion pound fortune than she currently has. According to the pundits on the radio this woman is already getting seventy thousand pounds every month from her ex-, and still she wants more. She may deserve it; she may not. I don't know.
But I will say that if what I heard is true, then every month she gets given more than most people earn in a year.
There was also an attempt to make a scandal about one of the stars of Gogglebox. Billed as being the current world Cluedo champion, great show was made of the fact there has only ever been one world Cluedo championship contest.
You would think that national radio would have better things to fuss about.
After a rather busy night with such drivel playing in the background I couldn't face the radio on my way home. So I put on one of my CDs and howled along to Ivor Biggun as I drove home through the rain. Just as I came into our road I waved to "er indoors TM" who was driving out. Despite the rain I took "Furry Face TM" for a short walk. We didn't go far and he got soaked.
Once home I got out of my wet things, had a shave and a shower and realised I'd put my glasses down somewhere. After an hour's searching I gave up trying to find them, had brekkie and went to bed. Despite having to get up to a woofing dog once, I slept for seven hours. I always feel that working nights gives me loads of time off mind-week. But the day between the two nights is usually one spent asleep.
I got up at 5pm and immediately saw my glasses in *exactly* the place I always put them. They certainly weren't there earlier. What was going on?
I had brekkie again. When on the second night shift you get two brekkies. One as first meal of the day and one when you get up. As I scoffed second brekkie I had my dog snuggling next to me. I was pleaased about that - earlier he seemed to be sulking at me for no reason that I could determine.
And now I'm off to the night shift. For all that I don't mind the night work I'm sulking a bit today. Tonight the clans gather for the Tuedsay thing and they are having pancakes...
10 February 2016 (Wednesday) - Bit Tired Today
I stopped off at Morrisons on my way to work last night. As I bought this and that I saw a mad woman loudly telling her invisible friends to wait for her by the bakery. As she walked off her invisible friends must have followed her as she took them back to the bakery and told them to stay put. She then went off on her errands again; periodically popping to within view of the bakery counter and shouting at her invisible friends.
I spent much of the rest of the evening sniggering about his.
After a rather dull night shift I turned on the car radio to find the pundits were transmitting from a hospital. They were running a big feature on today's strike by junior doctors.
Much as I sympathise for the doctors, they are effectively being faced with that which the rest of the hospital staff have had forced onto them over the last few years. All this talk of weekend working is utter drivel; hospitals have been working every hour of every day of the year for as long as I've been working on them. It *really* bothers me that those calling the shots for the NHS don't seem to realise this. But (quite frankly) I'm sick of hearing about it, so instead I turned the radio off and I listened to Ivor Biggun and sang along with rude songs as I took a rather long-winded drive home.
Being a geo-calendar day I needed to hunt down a geocache at some point today, and not really having much of a plan for the day I thought I might as well get my find earlier rather than later. Hastingleigh wasn't *that* far out of my way home, and having made my quick find for the day I came home and took my little dog for a walk. We met up with "Daddies Little Angel TM", "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" and Sid and walked with them for a while before leaving them to do their thing as we carried on with ours.
This morning "our thing" was checking on two geo-thingies of mine in the WIllesborough area. Other hunters of tupperware hadn't been able to find them so I was expected to go have a look-see. One was where it was supposed to be; one had gone walkabout.
As we walked home we found a random armchair on the pavement on Birling Road. I tried to get "Furry Face TM" to pose on it but he wouldn't.
As we came along the river "Furry Face TM" was straggling. As I do in these cases I shouted "come on you!" down the path at him. A passing looney took this as a chance to strike up a conversation and he spent five minutes telling me how he doesn't vote because he doesn't agree with the war that Britain has been fighting for the last thirty years.
If any of my loyal readers know what war this might be, please let me know.
Once home I was feeling a tad tired. Rather than falling asleep in front of the telly I thought I'd go to bed for an hour. But only an hour; I had stuff to do in the afternoon.
I woke up at 5pm.
I woke feeling rather groggy so I watched Monday's episode of "Gotham" and then had a look on-line. I'd had a friend request from Soo Law on social media. Not knowing anyone of that name I had a look to see who she was. Apparently I have four Facebook friends in common; none I've seen for three years. Apparently she is a kite flier. On-line kite fliers annoy me. Everyone wants to be your friend on social media but if you see them in real life most of the ones I meet won't even say hello.
I deleted the request. I'm rather fussy as to who I have on social media.
There was also consternation on the geo-forums. A few days ago I heard about some people based in Germany who were pretending to have found thousands of geocaches in the UK. Some of mine were amongst those they claimed. I'd been told they were lying about this so (out of interest) I went and had a look at the paper logs. These Germans hadn't signed my ones so I removed their e-logs at the time and posted about this on the Wherigo group I manage. Whilst a faked log on yet another film pot under a rock isn't a major issue, Wherigos take a *lot* more effort and so I thought the matter worth mention there.
The matter has now been blown out of all proportion. What particularly boiled my piss was that what I had originally written for one forum had been misconstrued and then re-posted elsewhere quoting me.
After all is said and done it was a matter of utter triviality whiich now looks as though I am being utterly pedantic over something which barely warranted a mention.
"er indoors TM" came home and picked up what postie had left. There was a letter from the garage reminding me the car's MOT was due. I shall have to phone them in the morning; haven't they seen that I've already booked it with them? And my geo-parcel has arrived. I can start on my new project soon.
We then had a rather god bit of dinner spent watchin more episodes of "Benidorm" and speculating on the career of Tim Healy. He's been in quite a lot of things I never knew about...
This morning I intended to go on-line as I scoffed my brekkie. I turned on my laptop and it immediately started updating itself. I wish it would ask me before doing that.
An hour later it had only got to thirty two percent done so I left it fannying about and scrounged a lift into town with "er indoors TM". I had the astro club's money to pay into the bank. I'd tried to do that on Saturday only to find the opening hours they advertised on-line bore no relation to reality, so having paid the money in I had a little whinge at the bank staff. A rather aggressive harridan employed by the bank wasn't having any of it. She told me (rather firmly) that she was sick of people looking up the bank's opening hours on the Internet and then complaining to her that they were wrong.
I gently suggested that the bank might do something about it but she didn't see it as the bank's problem in any way.
I made my way home via Burger King (and a frankly disappointing caramel latte). Once home I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we drove up to Leybourne Lakes. I'd heard good things about these lakes, and there were ten geocaches iin the vicinity. Seven of us (and two littluns and two dogs) met up and had a rather good stroll. The area was beautiful; the day was crisp and sunny and the company was excellent. We had a really good walk of a couple of hours around somewhere I've never been before.
And as an added bonus our last geo-find was in the immediate viciniity of a burger van. A sausage baguette went down very nicely as a spot of lunch.
Must go back there sometime.
I came home to find the laptop was *finally* finishing its update. It started the update at 7.20am; and finished it at 2.15pm. It took seven hours to seem no different to how it was before.
I then had my orders from the fruits of my loin. First of all I popped round to see "Daddies Little Angel TM" and Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" to drop off my drill. They needed to hang a few things and I'd persuaded them that clouting nails into the wall wasn't a good idea.
Whilst we were there "Daddies Little Angel TM" turned the telly on and showed me the recording of this morning's Jeremy Kyle show. I don't normally watch that sort of thing but this one *really* boiled my piss. A year or so ago a cousin's daughter married her girlfriend. They seemed happy; I was happy for them. This girl's wife then became pregnant; it was a planned pregnancy and they were both delighted. I was pleased for them. I must admit I was rather curious about the logistics of how it happened (as were many people) but in all honesty the mechanics of tthe deal were none of my (or anyone else's) business.
On this morning's Jeremy Kyle show the two of them appeared on national television and explained precisely how the deed had been done and outlined all the rights that the sperm donor might or might not have oveer the child. Jeremy Kyle asked all sorts of probing questions which they answered openly and in a very forthright way.
I can't help but think they will regret having made this TV appearence. They have taken a matter which (up till now) has been nobody's business but theirs and made it a matter of comment, discussion, debate and ridicule for all and sundry.
I then drove round to "My Boy TM" and we drove Lacey to her gymnastics lesson. As we drove we saw the wreckage of what must have been a rather serious accident on the ring road. I wonder what happened there?
"er indoors TM" came home and went out again. She does that. Being left home alone I found myself at something of a loose end. I had planned to get the telescope out this evening as the forecast had been for clear skies, and the sky was indeed cloudless. But a combination of waning interest in things astronomical, cold, and lack of company put me off the idea.
I toyed with the idea of going out for something of a booze-up, but I'd left it rather late to organise anything. I wasn't going to be Billy-no-mates on my own, and (more and more) I find myself fast going off the idea of spending a small fortune just to make myself feel ill.
So I spent the evening ironing my shirts whilst watching drivel on the telly...
12 February 2016 (Friday) - Fence, Poker
Over brekkie I saw a new geocahe had gone live in Lenham. That rather suited me as today waas a geo-calendar day. I resisted the temptation to go chase the First to Find; instead I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk found the park.
As we walked I noticed that white heron has flying around again. I've not seen it for a while. There were also blue tits in the trees. There's been a lot of those about lately. My dog was rather well behaved this morning; not getting into any trouble at all. That made for a pleasent change.
WIth dog walked I drove up to Lenham to get my calendar cache. It was an easy find, and I had been right not to go chasing the First to Find. Those who actively hunt FTFs had been there before I'd even seen the email about it.
I then made my way back to Ashford. As I came round the tank roundabout some twit in a Volvo XC90 (who had been in the wrong lane) cut me up then did an emergency stop, got out of his car and started threatening me for supposedly insulting him. As he got back to his car I photographed his number plate (just in case). He drove off and I followed as I wanted to go down Chart Road anyway. At the first roundabout we reached he made a point of doing a complete circuit so he was then behind me and he then followed me at a distance of a few inches.
He eventually lost interest and drove off in the direction of Clockhouse. I know his registration number; I shall give it a few days then go look for his car and post a dog turd through his letterbox.
I then collected "My Boy TM" and we went round to Brookfield cafe for second brekkie. I've not been there for a while; I'd heard the place had gone downhil. But today's fry-up was rather good.
We then made a start in the back garden. Two fence panels had blown down. On closer inspection two panels had been blown to destruction and the post between the two had snapped. We then consulted the nice lady next door to get her input before we ploughed on. She said she was of the opinion that it was our fence. I thought it was our fence. I *hoped* it was hers, but I thought it was ours. She said she was happy for us to fix it however we saw fit. I'm sure she will regret giving us carte-blanch in that way...
The nice lady went indoors and we reviewed the fence that I had now inherited. Two panels were in fragments. Another had been bodged together some time ago by the last people who lived next door. And five others looked as though they would fall apart if anyone was to fart in their general direction.
So we got the wreckage of the broken bits of into the car (that took some doing) and took it all to the tip. We then came back via B&Q where we priced up the job in hand. I was very surprised to find that it will cost me about a third of whhat I'd been expecting to have to pay. But rather than rushing the job we planned it out (wasn't my idea!). We thought we'd affix a temporary dog-proofing for now (to keep "Furry Face TM" contained) and do the proper fix when we had time to do so. Pausing only briefly to get some dog-proofing and a sexy green hammer (with thirty five per cent extra) we then returned to the back garden fence.
We still had a couple of hours spare, and the obvious first job was to remove the concrete in which the broken fence post had been embedded. So we dug. And dug. And heaved and strained. "My Boy TM" managed to get a rather serious cut to his hand and I've done something to my back. But after two hours we have exposed a lump of concrete which is about a foot square by about two foot deep. We can rock it, but we can't lift it.
With time running out we put a plank of wood over the hole in the ground and put some temporary fencing across the hole in the fence. I then drove "My Boy TM" home.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" currently has my drill. I've told her I shall need it back on Monday so's we can use it to drill the concrete. "My Boy TM" says that if we drill it to b*ggery we can then twat it to destruction with my sexy new hammer. I'm lucky in having a son who understands all the technical jargon.
As I'd messed around digging I'd got rather grubby so I popped my dirty clothes in the washing machine. I can't have done a very good job of emptying my pockets because when the machine finished I flooded the kitchen. I then messed around with towels whilst extracting several dog poo bags from the washing machine's filter.
I watched some drivel on the telly, and then went round to Steve and Sarah's. A bit of Chinese, then an evening spent playing cards. You can't beat a bit of poker...
13 February 2016 (Saturday) - Long Day At Work
Bearing in mind how busy yesterday had been I didn't really sleep at all well. I was wide awake from 4am, and gave up trying to sleep shortly after 5am. I came downstairs and pootled on-line for a little. Not much had happened overnight.
And so to work. Last night as I left from Steve and Sarah's I'd had to scrape ice off of my car. I was expecting to have to do the same this morning, but the temperature must have risen overnight. The car was thankfully ice-free.
As I drove I put the radio on. There was a load of drivel about the various problems facing British farmers. It could possibly have been interesting. But it didn't grip my attention so I turned it off and squalled along to my music instead.
Being a geo-calendar day I needed to hunt down a geocache at some point today, and being on a rather long shift I thought I might as well get my find earlier rather than later. So I took a rather long-winded drive up to Hastingleigh where someone had magnetised a little container to a road sign. That kept me constructively occupied for two minutes. I've not got any more geo-calendar days for two weeks, and have now only got twenty-seven more days in total to fill on that geo-calendar. Mind you twelve are on days I'm at work. And there are fewer and fewer targets between home and work.
I then drove on to Morrisons. As I drove I lost count of the amount of birds that nearly (but not quite) splattered themselves on my windscreen. The entire avian population of Kent seemed to have a death wish this morning. Once at Morrisons I got my shopping, and the whole experience passed off rather uneventfully for once.
I got to work and did my thing for twelve and a half hours. The "nights and weekends" cycle of my working pattern does give me a *lot* of time off, but when I work the shifts are rather long. Todays seemed especially so. I ached for much of the day. Presumably that was an after-effect of yesterday's efforts in the garden with the fence.
I also spent quite a bit of the day looking out of the window at the rain. There's no denying that I don't mind working at the weekends half so much when it is raining. Mind you I did have a minor sulk because not finishing work until gone 8pm meant I would be missing out on a party this evening that a lot of friends would be attending.
I came home to find "er indoors TM" missing (as usual) and my little dog too tired to move. Presumably he's had a good walk today? He didn't want to go out his evening, and that suited me.
A quick bit of tea, bed, and another twelve and a half hour shift tomorrow...
14 February 2016 (Sunday) - Still At Work
Another restless night waking long before I really needed to. Over brekkie I watched a rather lame episode of "Dad's Army" in which the writers hadn't really thought the plot through. Even though they didn't like it up 'em.
I then had a look-see on line and checked e-messages. And I sighed. Sometimes being in a minority of one does get tiresome. Why do people keep asking my opinion if they have already know what they want to hear?
As I fiddled about I was rather conscious of a smell. Before brekkie I'd done "Furry Face TM 's flea treatment. It involves putting a drop of jollop on the back of his neck. the stuff does have a strong scent. Usually I don't mind it, but today I found it rather overpowering.
I set off to work through the rain. This morning was surprisingly damp. As I drove the pundits on the radio were alll a-twitter that a previous Pope is alledged to have had a "lady friend".
The BBC has found some story digging the dirt on Pope John-Paul II. Bearing in mind the media's previous dirt-digging I suppose we should all be releived that he was alledgedly carrying on with a consenting woman of legal age as opposed to the usual sort of scandal that the pundits tout.
But (yet again) those that spread these stories wait until the star of their tales is safely dead before saying a word.
I got to work; and we didn't have the best of days. In much the same way as yesterday I spent probably too long looking out of the window. It rained quite a bit yesterday. Today was variable; alternately sunny then gloomy and overcast and rainy. It is amazing how much I notice the weather when I would rather be out in the stuff.
But the day passed. I came home to find "er indoors TM" hadn't gone bowling. Instead she'd boiled up a rather good bit of scoff. It went down rather well...
15 February 2016 (Monday) - The Big Bang
Over brekkie I had a look-see on-line. For all that I an an avid hunter of tupperware I don't actually go on many geocaching e-groups. Let's be honest; the hobby is a tad silly..... someone goes and hides a sandwich box and everyone else goes to find it. It always amazes me how so many people get so nasty about the topic. On Saturday nigt I read a particularly vicious rant from someone based in Brighton who was cursing a good friend of mine about being unable to find one such box. This morning I read a rather nasty squabble about who did or didn't get FTF on something in the Liverpool area.
I suddenly realised just how wonderful the Kent geo-group is. There is no nastiness. There are disagreements, but people disagree and give reasons and discuss the matter. The line taken is the line I try to take: "I disagree with you for the following reasons" not " I disagree with you because you are stupid".
In retrospect the Kent geo-group is probably the major reason why I keep up this daft hobby. Were the locals as argumentative as everyone else I would long since have packed up.
I get enough arguments everywhere else...
I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we walked over to Newtown where we met "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". Together with Sam, Sid and Buster we walked over to the orbital McDonalds. It was a cold day; we've been spoiled by the last few weeks being so mild. But McBrekkie warmed us all up, and we had a rather pleasent walk along the river on our way back again.
I had planned to spend a little time emptying the rubbish from the front garden this morning but "er indoors TM" had done that over the weekend. So instead I sterilised the beer barrel (a job I should have done a month ago), made a start on the laundry and then had a spot of lunch. I say "lunch"; I just scoffed whetever leftovers I could find laying round the kitchen whilst watching last week's episode of the re-booted "X-Files". I never really liked the original series of the "X-Files"; I'm not sure if I like this new version. But I shall give it a chance before dismissing it out of hand.
I then spent the afternoon learning. It has been a while since I did anything with Coursera. I've enrolled on a five-week course: "From the Big Bang to Dark Energy". It is provided free by the University of Tokyo. The first week was all about stuff I already knew, and today I completed the first week's worth of lectures and got full marks in the test. I was pleased about that.
Rather than carrying on with the second week's worth of lectures I had a little tidy-up. Or that is I intended to have a little tidy-up. I would have done much better had I been able to put stuff in the loft space. I couldn't do so as my ladder has gone walkabout. I can remember leaving it with "Daddies Little Angel TM" in her flat in Folkestone. When they moved there was talk of the thing going into storage. I wonder where it has gone?
And with so much more I could be doing on a precious day off I had a little sleep; night shifts, day shifts and poor sleeping had taken its toll so I took myself off to bed for a couple of hours.
I woke still feeling a tad grim, so I spent the evening slobbing on front of the telly. "Killjoys", a documentary about trainees joining the Royal Navy, and "Gotham" is on later....
16 February 2016 (Tuesday) - This n That
For all that I slept for over seven hours last night I still woke feeling like death warmed up. Perhaps I'm sickening for something?
Over brekkie I had a look-see on-line. A new geocache had gone live locally. But after yesterday's debacle I didn't go chasing the FTF. One went live yesterday afternoon and appeared to have been found within minutes. A couple of hours later I received a message from the supposed finder asking if I'd got the First to Find. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing it appeared that the thing hadn't been found at all, and I never did figure out why it had been claimed as found when it hadn't. It later transpired that it had actually gone missing before it was ever found.
I've left both of these two new ones. They will come in handy as calender-fillers.
I then drove over to the hospital for yet another out-patient appointment. I'd had another aspiration of my neck a few weeks ago. The one they did several months ago biopsied part of my neck with which I never had a problem but supposedly couldn't rule out anything nasty and so for the last eight months we've been messing about with a problem that (realistically) never existed. Today I saw a new chap that I'd not seen before. He gave me the all-clear, so having had the all-clear I politely suggested they might now examine the lump that *was* giving me grief. The specialist immediately found the lump. His immediate comment was that this was nowhere near where they've been biopsying.
I sighed, and explained that I've been saying that for months.
This chap sent me for an X-ray of said lump. The feeling is that his lump is a blocked salivary gland; not entirely unlike gall stones or kidney stones. I've got to go back for a dye injection and more X-rays. But at least the right lump is being investigated now.
I then drove round to see "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". My mum and dad were visiting; we bandied insults and when they wet off homewards I took a car load of their rubbish to the tip (including a broken chair). When we got to the tip the "helpful" tip staff watched me struggle to get the broken chair into the skip. They *could* have got off their arses and help. They chose not to. Whilst I struggled I managed to gash my hand on a broken protruberance on the chair. there wasn't *that* much blood.
I came home and took "Furry Face TM" round the park for a walk. As we walked I checked up on one of "er indoors TM"'s geocaches (we usually walk past it). It wasn't there. Mind you I soon located it. The previous finder had clearly thought it would be better hidden a little way away. I wish people wouldn't do that.
Other than that that the walk passed off without fuss. With our walk done I filled the washing machine and then scoffed a sandwich whilst watching this week's episode of "Mrs Biggs". I do like that show; Sheridan Smith is *very* good in it.
I hung out the washing then spent the afternoon on week two of my Coursera course. The lectures on creation of elements were quite familiar, but the ones oh the Higgs boson were not. The professor seemed to go from very familiar ground to stark nonsense very quickly indeed. But I passed the tests (which is the main thing).
I then spent a little while struggling with a geo-puzzle. I have a plan for a walk in a couple of weekend's time. There is a puzzle cache icon right in the middle of where I am planning to walk. After an hour or so I solved the puzzle only to find that we won't be walking within two miles of the actual final position.
Pausing only briefly to put salt on my pancake we had a quick bit of scoff before the clans gathered for the Tuesday thing. I've missed that quite a bit recently...
17 February 2016 (Wednesday) - Before the Night Shift
I woke in some pain this morning. My elbow plays up from time to time; I think I might have strained it hoiking a chair about at the tip yesterday. This morning it was *very* painful.
I had a quick look-see on-line over brekkie. A new Wherigo had gone live near Headcorn. I thought about chasing the First to Find but on reading the description I thought I might leave it until I had a little more time. Other than that, not a lot of note had happened overnight really.
"Furry Face TM" was rather excited as I put his lead on him. We had a little drive out to Great Chart. Regular readers of this drivel may recall I put out a series of geocaches round there for the New Year's Day geo-event I ran. Two of those caches would seem to have had issues recently. From the reports I received one had simply gone walkabout, and one had been buried.
Me and my dog had a rather good walk through a bright but cold morning. The walk was muddy, but not as muddy as it had been when I first put those geocaches out. Perhaps the mud's having frozen in the meantime had something to do with that. As we walked we saw the farmer muck-spreading. Or attempting to muckspread. His trailer was stuck in a quagmire of mud and cow poo. We smiled politely and didn't get involved.
Sure enough both caches reported missing had gone. I replaced one with a simularly sized cache; the other one I replaced with a smaller trickier hide. Some of my caches stay put for years without any problems. One of today's is on its third replacement in two months. Some caches are like that.
We weren't out for that long; probably about forty minutes. But it was long enough for my dog to get plastered in mud. So once home he had a bath.
In many ways a dog is like a toddler. Once they've had their bath they snuggle down and go to sleep. As my dog snored I put my own mud-encrusted trousers in to wash and I did the geo-admin to tell the world what I'd done. And then the boiler made a noise. It shouldn't have. And then I noticed the radiators were on. At 10.30am.
I then spent a few minutes re-programming the central heating timer. Rather than showing 10.30am on a Wednesday it was showing the time as 10.30pm on Monday. So the thing had been on when we aren't home, and I *thought* I'd been pressing the button for an extra hour's heat when I shouldn't have been doing so. Perhaps the next bill might be a bit cheaper now?
I had a couple of cold hot cross buns for lunch. I scoffed them whilst watching the new "Alan Partridge" show. It is available as a download on the SkyPlus box. A lot of people can't stand the character; I quite like him.
I then took myself off to bed for the afternoon and slept reasonable well (despite nightmares of the apocalypse); finally waking tangled in the CPAP hose.
I had a spot of tea, now I'm off to the night shift. I usually quite like the night work. I'm not feeling it today...
And my elbow still hurts.
18 February 2016 (Thursday) - Mostly Asleep
I've always said that I like the night work. Perhaps I'm getting too old for it, but the night work does seem to be getting busier and busier these days.
As I worked I had the radio on. The pundits were all a-twitter about the Prime Minister's meeting with the other heads of the EU countries. It strikes me as rather strange that Boris Johnson doesn't agree with him but Angela Merkel does. As do the French and Irish Premiers.
I don't envy the Prime Minister. His party made the European Union a scapegoat for all the ills of the world. And having done so they now have a mountain to climb to convince the general public that (for all its failings) we are *far* better off being a part of the EU than we are being out of it.
I got rather fed up with hearing about the euro-situation, so I turned off the news and listened to musicals on You-Tube during the small hours. "Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" was followed by "Little Shop of Horrors", and eventually the day shift came in and I went home.
Last night I'd popped into "Go Outdoors" and bought a small whistle. A long time ago "Furry Face TM" would come to the sound of a whistle. But I kept forgetting to take a whistle out. This one hangs on my key ring so I will always have it with me. I tried whistle training today as we walked. "Furry Face TM" has completley forgotten about whistle training. We shall have to work on it.
I had a bit of toast whilst watching more new Alan Partridge, then took myself off to bed.
Seven hours later I woke up again. A pizza, more Alan Partridge, and I'm off to another night shift. The days between the night shifts can be rather dull...
19 February 2016 (Friday) - Surprisingly Busy
I had a rather tiring night. Perhaps if I'd been a bit busier the time might have passed quicker? Mind you in my line of work quiet is usually good.
Rather than going straight home I went round to collect the first fruit of my loin. It was good to have brekkie with "My Boy TM" and Lacey. Much as I like the night work, it is a lonely pursuit. "er indoors TM" went off to work at 8.30am on Wednesday morning. Since then (other than professional handovers at work and pleasantries at the till in Morrisons) I saw "er indoors TM" fleetingly yesterday morning and I've not actually spoken to anyone for two days.
Together with "My Boy TM" and Lacey I went to the American Diner and despite having to wait for a while we had a rather good brekkie. I had the traditional fry-up; Lacey had pancakes with bubble-gum milk shake. "My Boy TM" only had a brekkie roll as he'd had seventeen chicken nuggets last night. And the whole lot cost eight quid. Bargain.
Pausing onliy briefly to buy a half-price tree in Bybrook Barn Garden Centre we went on to B&Q where I spent nearly two hundred quid on the ingredients for a new back fence, then we went home to crack on with phase two of "Operation Back Fence". Regular readers of this drivel may recall that a week ago "My Boy TM" and I were faced with a huge lump of concrete that we needed to get out of a hole in the back garden. At the time I wrote "...But after two hours we have exposed a lump of concrete which is about a foot square by about two foot deep. We can rock it, but we can't lift it.
... "Daddies Little Angel TM" currently has my drill. I've told her I shall need it back on Monday so's we can use it to drill the concrete. "My Boy TM" says that if we drill it to b*ggery we can then twat it to destruction with my sexy new hammer. I'm lucky in having a son who understands all the technical jargon".
It was a good plan in theory. In practice drilling the lump of concrete to b*ggery was easier said than done. IN fact it didn't get done. We didn't actually burn the drill out, but smoke was coming from the drill's insides and the lump of concrete was utterly unscathed. Simularly, repeated vigourous twatting with both my sexy new hammer and my more substantial cooking hammer didn't make the slightest impression.
Faced with such an intransigent boulder we dug and dug and dug. Eventually we had the boulder loose enough to rock it so we slipped an old belt around its base and managed to forcibly hoik the thing out.
It is so easy to type that; the sense of acheivement of actually doing so was indescribable. If either of of had been physically able to do so we would have done the happy dance. Instead we both collapsed.
I drove my assistants home, then took "Furry Face TM" round the park for a walk. By this point I was beginning to flag somewhat; being up all night combined with shifting the boulder had taken its toll. It was as well that he behaved himself on the walk.
Once walked I had a cold cross bun lunch and took myself off to bed only to be woken a couple of hours later by "er indoors TM" saying that Cheryl had invited us round for dinner.
I leapt into action... or that is I tried to leap into action. Leaping hurt somewhat. Oh how I ached. But we went round to see Dan and Cheryl. We had a wonderful tea, and then watched a film. "The Martian" has been on my list of films to see for a while. Apart from some glaring inaccuracies about the Martian atmospheric pressure (for dramatic effect) the film was very good.
Today has been a rather good day...
20 February 2016 (Saturday) - Geo-Meet
I slept like a log last night. hardly surprising bearing in mind what a busy day I'd had. On reflection yesterday was one of those wonderful days. It started off not looking all that special; a bit of gardening after a night shift, but ended up being great fun.
I got up to frustration this morning. There were three geo-puzzles I really wanted to solve before going out. I neeed to look up one or two facts, but (again) the Internet was slow to the point of being unusable. I took forty minutes to do what realistically I could have done in five minutes.
The sooner the fibre-optic thing goes live the better.
With the Internet finally hobbling along I had a little look on Facebook. A chap of my acquiantance had posted a little picture comparing the relative wages of train drivers and doctors; the gist of his posting being a rather good socialist rant that train drivers get an *incredibly* good deal by their being able to go on strike and stand up for themselves. Whereas hospital doctors get shafted by *not* going on strike. What particularly boiled my piss is the fact that this chap is actually a staunch and vocal Conservative supporter. Why on Earth do people vote for a certain political party (of any persuasion) when they clearly believe in the philosphy of another.
Have I ever mentioned that I don't beleive in democracy?
"er indoors TM" popped the lead on to "Furry Face TM" and we went out to Staplehurst for the monthly geo-meet. We met many old friends, and made several new ones. The ale was good, the food was also scoff-worthy. We did debate about leaving "Furry Face TM" at home; it was a shame he decided to disgrace himself by trying to pick a fight with a rather large Alsatian.
After a few hours we said our goodbyes and drove home; stopping off in Headcorn to try for (and find) the recently published Wherigo.
Being unable to find anywhere to park near home we drove round to see "Daddies Little Angel TM" and drop off Charlie's Christmas pressies. Better late than never! "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" was looking rather sorry for himself; yesterday he'd managed to tip his buggy onto himself and he'd cut his cheek and given himself a black eye. Silly boy !
We had a rather good bit of scoff for tea, and we cracked open a bottle of plonk. Wine is odd stuff; that which is expensive and comes highly recommended is often disappointing. That which is cheap is often far better. Tonight's bottle which we'd been saving was something of a let-down. But with that guzzled I had a bottle of stout which made up for the disappointment.
I quite like a bottle of stout...
21 February 2016 (Sunday) - Happy Birthday to Me !!
Despite having drunk rather a lot yesterday (by today's abstemious standards) I was surprised how chipper I felt this morning. I had something of a lie-in, and was woken at 9am by a succession of text messages wishing me a happy birthday.
Over brekkie I had a look on Facebook and saw another sixty birthday messages. I was really pleased to see so many people had thought about me.
We popped round to see "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". The littlun has learned a new trick; when I shout out "Hands up who loves Grandad" he puts his hand up. Good lad !
A quick coffee and cake, and we then walked a rather circuitous walk to the New Chinmeys. I had no idea where we were going, and the route we took kept me guessing right to the end.
We arrived, had a quick pint, and then to my surprise many of the very people I would usually be walking with on an average Sunday arrived. I wasn't expecting that; it was a wonderful surprise.
We then spent a really good afternoon with chat interspersed with ale and a rather good carvery dinner. I'd not been to the Chimneys for a while; I'd certainly go back.
Pausing only briefly to play pooh-sticks we said our good byes, and we came home and walked "Furry Face TM" round the park. It was getting cold by now, but he seemed to enjoy himself as he terrorised the other dogs.
Being rather full from excessive carvery we gave tea a miss. But we had a rather good evening slobbing about in front of the telly watching "Benidorm".
Quite a good birthday really...
22 February 2016 (Monday) - More Fence-Work
A rather good night's sleep. For some reason "Furry Face TM" didn't spend the night on the bed; instead he laid in the hallway all night long guarding the front door. Something there has been bothering him. "er indoors TM" thinks it was a spider.
Over brekkie I had a look-see on-line. Yesterday one hundred and forty seven people wished me a happy birthday via Facebook. One hundred and forty seven!! I was rather impressed with that total. Going through the list were work colleagues, ex-work colleagues, friends I see all the time, friends I see rarely, friends I've not seen for years, old pals from kiting days, old pals from snake-herding days... so many people; so many memories.
I had a text message; on Friday I'd ordered the ingredients for building our new fence and arranged to have them delivered today. The nice delivery man was on his way. And just as he dropped off all the bits so "My Boy TM" arrived to help. Bearing in mind it was pouring hard this morning I wasn't really keen to do the fencing today, so I suggested we popped round to B&Q to get the brackets to fix the fence panels to the posts. As it was on the way we also stopped off at The Works cafe for a bit of second brekkie.
"My Boy TM" was keen to crack on with the fence as the rain wasn't *that* heavy. (or so he said)
So.... we removed four old fence panels. They took some moving. There was something of a major disaster as we found another of the fence posts had snapped at its base. Replacing this one would involve moving next door's shed so after a bit of thought we decided to bodge it and buttress it with an old scaffold board. We struggled a little in putting a new post into the hole that we'd dug out last week, but we got it so it seemed to be OK; as I said at the time if it collapses again we'll just do it again properly.
The first fruit of my loin is convinced the fence isn't completely straight. He's probably right, but I told him that only dull and unimaginative people don't have a fence which carries an aura of rustic charm.
Three hours concerted effort had six new fence panels in place. But the rain hadn't let up and by the early afternoon we were soaked to the skin. There are still two more panels to replace, but those are ones which might need a little digging out and landscaping. We'd made enough of a swamp of the garden already, we didn't fancy stirring mud any more so we've decided to do that next Tuesday.
I drove "My Boy TM" home, then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. He gets fractious if not walked. As we went round the park we met a gaggle of schoolgirls under the supervision of a rather harried looking teacher. One of the schoolgirls asked me if she could take a photograph of my dog for her homework. As we got "Furry Face TM" into a pose this schoolgirl happily told me her homework was all about hazards.
I've never really considered Patagonian Tripe-Hounds to be hazardous. One lives and learns.
With a little time on my hands I did more of my current Coursera course. Particle physics has nver been my strong suit; and theoretical stuff about dark matter and anti-matter is quite heavy stuff. But it was rather interesting. And there were two tests as well. I got seventy-five per cent in one and sixty six per cent in the other. I may well have done better had I not fallen asleep.
"er indoors TM" came home from work, boiled up a rather good bit of scoff then went off bowling. I spent the evening slobbing with my dog in front of the telly. Alan Partridge, Ronnie Corbett, a documentary about sailors, and Gotham's on later...
23 February 2016 (Tuesday) - A Multi-Mission
I didn't sleep well, seeing pretty much every hour of the night. I finally got some decent sleep only to be plagued by nightmares about the difficulty of finding a child's garden slide in a post-apocalyptic disaster when the alarm went.
I got up and over brekkie checked my emails. I had one from the nice people at Coursera congratulating me on getting to the end of the first week of my course. I've actually done up to week three of the course material. You would think they might pay attention.
And then I set off (on my own) at 6am. I've been working on a particular geo-challenge for some time. It involves finding different numbers of different sorts of geocaches in a single day. I qualified for this challenge in all respects but one, so today I thought I'd rectify that.
I was lacking in not having found (at least) twenty one multi-caches in one day so today was to be a multi-day.
For those of my loyal readers who have better things to do with their lives than scrubbling in the undergrowth looking for plastic pots whilst raising the suspicions of the normal people, a multi-cache is effectively a puzzle you solve when you are out and about. The GPS unit takes to you a physical object such as a church notice board, a war memorial, a gravestone, commercial business... it could be anything. But once there there is a puzzle to solve involving what you see at that location. You get instructions of how to convert what you've found into a set of GPS co-ordinates. You then program your GPS unit and go for a short walk (about a couple of hundred yards from your initial target) to find the actual geocache.
Doing a multi is a bit of fun. That is.. doing *one* multi is a bit of fun. Doing two is something of a faff. Doing three is into the realms of seriously farting about. And very few hunters of tupperware would bother with a forth. I know several geocachers who ignore every multi they encounter because they are too much mucking about. Deliberately going out for twenty-one would be considered incredibly daft (and when hunting tupperware, standards of daftness are rather high)
But I wanted to get this challenge. Bearing in mind that not many people would want to go for multis, together with the fact that the route I had planned involved a *lot* of walking about, and I didn't really know the area, I went on my own. I arrived in Bexleyheath just as dawn broke and I had a little wander about. In two hours I got six of my seven geo-targets.
The next phase of my plan originally involved a lot of driving to and fro. But on discovering that pretty much everywhere in Welling was resident-only parking I managed to find somewhere to park and left the car and went on a five mile stomp. I found the seventh of my eight targets on this stretch at mid-day, and pausing only briefly to find a pub called "Fanny on the Hill" I ended up a mile and a half away from the car. Woops.
I then relocated to Belvedere and walked from another three or four miles; all the time sniggering about the place's name. Hugh Dennis once did a rather amusing sketch involving a fictitious child called " Belvedere". With nine geo-targets on this stretch I got the lot. I endded up with a total of twenty-two. I only needed twenty-one. Mind you I again ended up over a mile away from the car.
I had located a fourth target zone which wold come into play if I'd not been able to find enough but I didn't need to go there. I was pleased about that. I'd found my first multi at 7.36am this morning and I got back to the car for the last time at 3pm. You can get too much of a good thing.
I came home and took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. I had thought about taking him with me today, but I decided against it. I needed to be jotting and scribbling notes as I went; taking him would have slowed an already tedious adventure.
We went round the park where we saw a couple of young ladies who seemed to be in love. With each other. We then met a small child who told me my dog looked just like her friend Lacey's dog. I explained that I was Lacey's grandad, but I don't think she believed me.
And then I nearly got run over by a cyclist who doesn't understand the concept of "roads and pavements". What with these excitements added to a day's walking here there and thither I was glad to get home.
After a rather good scoff we weent round to Chippy's. A little chat, and then I slept through an episode of "The Flash".. I could do with a rest.
24 February 2016 (Wednesday) - Another Day's Holiday
In contrast to the previous rather restless night I slept like a log last night. I finally woke shortly after 7am with a cold wet nose in my left armpit. For some reason I ached. As I got up I looked outside; all the cars were covered in ice. Just as well I had my early start yesterday and not today.
As I scoffed my toast I had a look-see on-line. An email from LinkedIn told me that I should know the critical things that successful people do before 8am. In my blacker moments I realise I've not been quite the financial wonder that the younger me had been hoping for so I clicked on the link and I read the article. It started off with a whole load of motivational platitudes and then said that everyone who is anyone spends money in a certain high street coffee shop before they go to work. Not just any coffe shop, but one particular brand.
Well, that was two minutes wasted. And LinkedIn then had the cheek to email me to ask why I hadn't taken up their offer to upgrade my membership so that I would pay them for that sort of rubbish.
Cheryl texted; consternation reigns at the local primary school. Apparently yesterday one of the more dislikable nine-year-old bullies pulled a knife on one of its victims. The head teacher has blathered a few platitudes and is now trying to carry on as though nothing has happened.
I can't help but feel that if the kids were faced with the cane for so much as farting on a Tuesday (like I was) then this sort of thing would *never* happen. When I was a lad we were terrified of our teachers. If anyone put a foot out of line they got the cane. Consequently no one put a foot out of line. One boy (incredibly rarely) had a sore arse for a day; a thousand boys behaved themselves for two years. I think that was rather reasonable.
I walked round to Newtown with "Furry Face TM" where we met "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". We walked through Willesborough and back via Hythe Road and the path by the railway station. "Daddies Little Angel TM" thinks she's seen a UFO. She is somewhat vague on the specifics, but then most UFO sightis are somewhat vague on the specifics. I am hoping for updates.
Once home I had a look at the household accounts bearing in mind that today is pay-day. If I hadnít recently spent out on replacing much of the garden fence I would be reasonably set for the month. As it is Iíve been effectively financially wiped out. Again. But on reflection the new fence has probably cost me the price of three or four serious booze-ups.
And I have a new fence as opposed to three or four headaches and a simular number of bouts of diarrhoea.
Postie visited with a letter from the hospital. Apparently the experts had agreed that I (probably) donít have cancer; instead I have sialadenitis which is posh talk for a blocked salivary gland and which is also what I thought it was all along.
Iíve now got an appointment to have the lump in my neck injected with an x-ray opaque dye and then have x-rays of it done with a possible view to having the thing cut out. Canít say Iím looking forward to either of those options.
I was feeling a tad tired so I spent the afternoon slobbing in fronnt of the telly catching up on all the stuff I'd recorded onto the SkyPlus box. Alan Partridge, Extant, Jericho and Sorry! filled in the time whilst the washing machine did its thing.
I finally could cope with no more telly so I organised a geo-stroll for a a couple of week's time. If any of my loyal readers fancy stomping about Kent. Surrey and both East and West Sussex please drop me a line. And if you know the GPS co-ordinates of where those four counties meet I'd *really* find that useful....
25 February 2016 (Thursday) Ė Gardening
I slept well but woke with something of a back ache. I've been feeling rather physically rough for a couple of days now; perhaps I overdid the walk on Tuesday.
As I scoffed my brekkie I had a look-see on-line. Despite an incredibly slow connection I saw that Tony Blackburn (the famous disc jockey) has been sacked by the BBC following allegations of child molestation centred on an incident which supposedly happened in 1971. Mr Blackburn has denied the allegations and (from what I can glean from the news stories) there isn't any actual evidence against him. But even *if* he is as guilty as hell, why has it taken forty five years for these allegations to be made? Innocent? Guilty? How can there be a fair hearing from this distance in time?
The washing machine finished doing its thing so I put the wet stuff to dry (by the radiator) and took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. It was a cold morning; the weather forecast had been for sunny intervals. We had rain, hail and snow alternating at regular intervals.
As we walked I lost count of the amount opf people on bicycles who nearly ran us down. I was always under the impression that bikes should not be on the pavements.
As we walked we met a small dog that looked vaguely like my pup. The nice lady with the dog remarked on the simularity and asked how old Fudge was. When I told her she said her dog was a puppy and she hoped he wouldn't grow up huge like some dogs do. To illustrate her concern she pointed at a passing Alsation. I asked her if her dog was a Jack Russell. She said that was what she'd been told. After a little confusion it turned out she had no idea about breeds of dogs. She seemeed to think that all dogs grew to random sizes.
Just as I got home I received a text message saying that the fibre-optic broadband was live. So I plugged in the new router only to find it didn't work. I phoned the Internet company who told me it would go live at some point today. I pointed out to them (several times) that I had received a text saying it was live *now* and each time they ignored what I was saying. Eventually I got them to test the line and (sure enough) it wasn't ready yet.
I went out to the back garden and mowed the lawn. In years gone by garden work never started before Easter. Realistically I could have been mowing the lawn all winter long this year. It didn't take that long to do. Mind you I didn't really do a thorough job; just a scalping. I then scraped up the cuttings.
My plan was then to cleen out the fish pond filter but when I opened it it was pristine. I must have already done that job. So with a little time I made a start at cutting back the clematis which overhangs from our troublesome neighbour's garden.
The last time I spoke with this chap he was trying to enlist my help in getting a tree cut down. There is a tree in a garden several doors down the road. Apparently it blocks his light and some of the leaves from it fall on his lawn. As he told me about this he was becoming visibly angrier and angrier about the matter. His face was getting very red and the veins on his head were standing out. A few leaves from one tree thirty yards away is a *serious* issue to him. But he doesn't see anything wrong with having his clematis and roses and vines all down the garden fence overflowing into my garden by three feet.
I didn't like to touch his clematis, but it had become so bad that I couldn't actually get to my pond.
This bloke is something of a worry. I wouldn't say that he is clinically insane but he scares me. I would also say that when he finally does run amok and appears in the local papers and everyone appears shocked, bear in mind that I formally warned the police about him over over ten years ago.
With three dustbins full of garden rubbish I then drove up to the tip to get rid of it all. I treated myself to KFC for lunch, then watched a film I'd recorded. "This is 40" was something of a disappointment but it gave me something to watch whilst I did the ironing.
With ironing done (three hours later) I sparked up the lap-top again to see if the fibre-optic broadband was live. It was. Mind you for all that the speed test says it is running over twice the speed at which it used to run it isn't actually any noticeably faster.
Fish and chips for dinner, and then I fell asleep during "Benidorm"...
26 February 2016 (Friday) - Geo-Challenge, Astro Club
I didn't sleep as well as I might. I was expecting a phone call from "Daddies Little Angel TM". Her staffie Buster is not well. He's not moved since he got rather over-excited on his walk yesterday. I was half expecting to be driving his remains to a dog cemetary this morning. but it turns out he's probably just pulled a muscle or something. After all he's a big dog and he'd a bit old to be chasing round like a puppy.
This is probably not unlike what "Furry Face TM" did a couple of years ago. Very nasty at the time but nothing that enforced rest didn't resolve.
I scoffed some toast for brekkie and had a look-see on-line. Little had happened overnight. So I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for our morning walk. Today we had a little drive to get to our walk. Having finally qualified for a geo-puzzle last Tuesday we went out to collect it today. And having a little dog who needed a walk we made a little adventure out of it.
I'd looked at the suggested parking spots on Google street view and (in all honesty) didn't like the look of either. So I parked up at the nearest church and we waalked down through the woods and fields finding not only the target geo-puzzle but three others as well. As we walked there were horses and wookpeckers doing their thing. "Furry Face TM" had a near-miss episode with a pheasant and a very near-miss episode with a pile of fox poo.
I made a bit of a hash of getting home; having spent far too long in a seemingly endless maze of country lanes I eventually found myself gong the wrong way up the M20. But we got home, and over a quick sandwich I watched this week's episode of "Killjoys". The show is quite good, but doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
I then uploaded some photos I'd taken on our morning's walk. They went up very quickly on the new fibre-optic wotsit.
The phone rang. a heavily accented voice told me that he had good news if I could answer one simple question: his question was unintelligible. I asked him to repeat it four times. I *think* his question was "what was the best washing machine that you is preferring now?" I asked him what that meant, but he couldn't ask his question in any other way. I suggested he might like to phone back once he had got his script translated into English and hung up on him.
I had a plan to spend the afternoon in the garden trimming back the overgrowth that I was whinging about yesterday. But I ached a bit, it was cold outside, and I couldn't be bothered. Instead I spent the afternoon working on week four of my Coursera course. The first lecture was on the expansion of the early universe; I got full marks in the test for that, the second was on the future of the universe; I got sixty six per cent for that.
Overall I pased the course with a mark of eighty two per cent. Not too shabby.
I thenn drove round to McDonalds where I met up with "er indoors TM", Jimbo and Stevey and we had a rather good McScoff prior to astro club. I had a rather good evening there; much better than I have had over the last few months. There are still those who refuse to speak to me, but on closer observation they don't seem to speak to anyone other than a select few.
I'm probably just being a little over-sensitive...
27 February 2016 (Saturday) - Before the Night Shift
I had a rather restless night plagued with vivid dreams about how in an post-apocalyptic world I had somehow adopted an incredibly ticklish gorilla. I'm sure this probably reflects something deep-seated in my psyche. I'm not sure if I want to know what.
Over brekkie I had a look-see on line. Just lately Facebook has been bombarding me with adverts for a particular local computer company. The verbals about this company sounded really interesting, but on closer inspection it turns out that the whole thing is run by the father of one of my ex-cubs who until relatively recently sold kitchen tiles. His website claims he offers virus/spyware removal, system clean up, PC/Laptop repair and upgrade, network setup, broadband setup... in short not really very much more that I don't already do myself. Do people *really* pay good money to other people to do this stuff for them? Perhaps I should set up in business?
Perhaps I shouldn't beleive all that I read?
I did something to my right leg yesterday; the muscle down my shin hurt all day. This morning it was still painful, but my Patagonian Tripe-Hound wanted his walk. We took him down to Brockhill Paark where we had a rather good wander. "Furry Face TM" got into a race with a greyhound. Each of the greyhound's legs were longer than my dog. He didn't have a chance of keeping up. Mind you he would have done betteer if he'd saved his puff for running rather than for barking.
We then drove on to Folkestone where we had cake with the Rear Admiral and with Terry who was visiting. I would have liked to have stayed, but being on the night shift meant that I had an afternoon asleep ahead of me.
So I took myself off to bed for the afternoon. I woke to find the living room in uproar; "er indoors TM" was having something of a spring clean.
We then scoffed a rather good bit of tea, and I'm off to work now. I must admit that I would rather not be working tonight. I had an invite to go down to the Cheriton Festival of Lights and have a pint or two. And I had an invite to go off night-caching in Surrey.
Having just had a week off work when no one was doing anything, things always happen when I can't do them. Oh well... such is life. After all is said and done I'm not complaining. I much prefer not working the 9-5 routine so I shall take the rough with the smooth.
28 February 2016 (Sunday) - Between The Night Shifts
At 5am I had a five-minute break from work and had a look-see on-line. One of my friends was preparing to go on a fifteen mile long run and was saying he didn't much fancy it; it was too cold. Someone else had commented about how he could look forward to a hot shower after the run.
I've never understood the attraction of running. It is in a field of its own when evading tigers or getting to departing buses. But it speaks volumes that those who advocate running as a pastime all say how good it is when you stop. There is *never* anything else to be said about the activity other than the enjoyment of when it is all over.
Each to their own I suppose.
As I drove home I had the Sunday morning church service playing on the radio. There was talk of some monk who had spent forty years continually talking to God whilst working all hours in a monastery kitchen. Apparently such constant communion with tthe Almighty had enabled him to acheive a state of near-perfect serenity.
There's no denying that I could do with acheiving a state of near-perfect serenity. However I just get cross when I argue with the voices in my head.
Once home "er indoors TM" leapt into action. We popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and took him for a little walk up and down Appledore High Street. Perhaps not the first place which springs to mind when taking a Patagonian Tripe-Hound for a walk. But it was a geo-calendar day for both of us, and there was a geo-target not too far from there. And logging a geocache this weekend gave up both an e-souvenir too.
And with e-souvenir obtained we came home where I had a quite bit of brekkie and took myself off to bed for most of the day. I slept soundly and wokke shortly after 5pm to the clanging of next door's piano.
A brief bit of scoff whilst watching "Dad's Army" on the SkyPlus box, and I'm off to the night shift now...
29 February 2016 (Monday) - Leap Day
Last night as I worked I tuned in to Radio Four Extra. I've been doing that on the night shifts lately. Maggie Aderin-Pocock was on Desert Island Discs. I found myself wondering if I owed this lady an apology. I've often said that she is a very good reason for not watching "The Sky at Night" as she has always put me off the show. She has (to me) always come over as something of an excitable twit. But listening to her on the radio last night was an eye-opener. She seemed to be a very interesting person, and was one of a very small minority of people who when on Desert Island Discs didn't pretend to like all sorts of pretentious classic and operatic crap.
And her book choice was "Star Maker" by Olaf Stapledon. Whilst not a favourite of mine, it s certainly one to which I keep returning. I shall try watching "The Sky at Night" again and give her another chance.
Mind you I was rather disappointed by much of the rest of the output of Radio Four Extra. Much of it was a repeat of what they had broadcast on the previous night, and last night's 10pm show was re-run at 5.30am. You would think they could space the repeats out a little more than that.
From work I took my car to the garage and left it there for its MOT. It was a short walk from there to find "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". We walked to home to collect "Furry Face TM" and then went for a little stroll. Or, to be more precise, we went for what we call a little stroll. Most people would call iit something of a route march.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" wanted to go to Tesco; Asda have stopped selling burritos. "Daddies Little Angel TM" is up in arms about this and can get no sensible explanation as to why Asda have stopped selling burritos. I have a theory it is in some way connected with the UFO she thinks she's seen.
From Tesco we went to the playpark in Park Farm. There was some sign about no dogs, but there was no one else about...
We made our ways home, and over lunch I watched this week's episode of "Mrs Biggs" and then fell asleep in front of the telly. After a couple of hours I had a phone call to say the car was ready. A few light bulbs needed replacing but that was all. So I put the lead on my dog and we went to fetch the car.
Immediately on fetching it the old parking brake fault had returned. I *told* them not to fiddle with it!
There was an evening geo-meet planned for the evening in honour of the leap day. We spent a rather good evening in the pub talking tupperware with friends old and new.
Perhaps the fourth pint was a mistake...