1 July 2018 (Sunday) - Another Hot Day
Even though I slept well I was still up and watching “Trailer Park Boys” at seven o’clock this morning. As I watched I set the dishwasher and washing machine to do their things. Dull, but they needed to be done.
The dishwasher worked hardest and finished first; as I waited to the washing machine to finish doing its bit I checked out the Internet. Not much had changed overnight really.
Continuing the theme of the week I did some dull housework. I emptied the shed of as much as I needed to (and as little as I had to) and got the new lino in place. As I fought with it I managed to drop a set of shelves on my finger. The nail has gone a rather impressive shade of purple.
I then turned off the pond filter and (with the help of "er indoors TM") got the splash pool out and pressure-washed it. I had hoped to remove as much of the stringy pondweed as possible; the pressure-washer didn’t touch the stuff. I had to pull it off by hand.
With "er indoors TM" off to Tesco I set up the garden for the afternoon; it wasn’t long before she returned, and hot on her heels were "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" together with Sam and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". We had barby, we had beer… "er indoors TM" made some rather good skewers. After a little while Rachel and Brian joined us. We had more barby and more beer and put the world to rights. You can see what we did by clicking here.
Not a bad way to spend another of these hot days…
2 July 2018 (Monday) - Yet Another Hot Day
An hour after new-next-door’s dogs had had a nocturnal woofing fit, our wolf-pack kicked off for no reason. "er indoors TM" went and sorted it; I kept quiet; Someone had to. They all (eventually) went back to sleep leaving me wide awake.
I gave up trying to sleep and watched an episode of “Trailer Park Boys” until everyone else got up.
I did my usual look at Facebook over brekkie, and my piss boiled (it does that). Some people use Facebook to tell the world what they have done, some use it to share jokes… more and more I’m seeing less of the fun and more of the attention-seeking and self-pity.
It can be rather depressing.
It strikes me that in life we all have a major decision to make. Everyone’s lives can suck sometimes. We either make the most of it, or we don’t. I too *could* whinge incessantly. Most of the time it hurts when I move. It is only a matter of time until my left knee needs surgically swapping out, and at that point it would make sense to replace my left hip as well as that give my gyp too. I *could* fuss incessantly with one of these memes about no one knows what anyone else is going through, or I *could* make the most of the (relatively) few years left to me. Whichever I chose will still leave me hurting when I move, but one of the choices will have me smiling more than the other.
I got all three dogs leaded up and we went for a walk. As we go up the road every morning various dogs often bark at us from the safety of their windows. After the umpteenth barked at us today I was struck by a revelation. When we walk we meet some dogs; a couple of dozen maybe. But nowhere near as many as bark at us from various windows. Over the last few months and years we’ve walked at all sorts of times during the day. Bearing in mind that Viccie Park is *the* obvious place to walk a dog, why haven’t we met more dogs? Don’t all these dogs that bark at us get to go for walks? Thinking about it I’ve not seen new-next-door take their dogs out. Four neighbours ago there were three dogs living next door who were the size of cart horses; they *never* went for walks.
Are all these people neglecting their pups, or am I walking my hounds too much?
Bearing in mind today was supposed to be another hot one we’d started our walk early so we could finish our walk early. And with our walk done I hung out washing, emptied the paddling pool, scrubbed out the barbecue and loaded up the car with rubbish for the tip. Fifteen seconds to type; an hour to do. I was glad to do a tip run today; over the weekend I used the sun’s heat to dry out those half-dried tins of paint so I could legally dispose of them (as opposed to just chucking them in the bin like everyone else does).
I had some geo-maintenance to do in the Park Farm area, so whilst I was there I went to Tesco to get new trainers for work only to find they didn’t have any. Tesco doesn’t cater for anything over a size eight in a man’s shoe. They claim they do, but they never have any. They are the same for trousers. Nothing they sell comes close to my midriff.
So I went to Matalan. I should have gone there as I drove past the place when I was driving to the tip. Whilst in Matalan I also got the DVD of “Trainspotting II”. I watched the film over lunch, and with lunch scoffed I watched it as I did the ironing. The film wasn’t as good as the original, but it wasn’t bad. Which is probably what can be said for most sequels.
Having emptied the paddling pool in the morning it was ready to deflate by mid-afternoon. It was surprising how long it took to put away. I got far hotter doing that job than I intended; I spent much of the rest of the afternoon dozing until "er indoors TM" came home. She boiled up pizza and chips, then went bowling. I took the opportunity to turn on the telly and watch Demelza’s heaving bosom. For me, that is the star of Poldark…
3 July 2018 (Tuesday) - Back to Work
When the dogs (ours or new-next-door’s) weren’t barking in the night, "er indoors TM" was snoring. I didn’t sleep at all well.
Fudge seemed rather soppy this morning; he wanted to come into the loo with me this morning, and his ears were right back. I wonder what’s up with him?
I had my usual rummage round the Internet over brekkie, and with not much happening there I took the dogs round the park for a walk. Rolo picked fights with dogs far bigger than himself (as he does) and despite being told expressly “no!” Fudge and Treacle went for a swim.
As we walked we met OrangeHead and her posse. OrangeHead was walking with a stick; I didn’t like to ask why.
We got home before it was *too* hot outside. It can get too hot for dogs, but ours would rather walk and get warm. And they did get to go in the river.
Once home we all had a drink. The dogs were asleep within seconds. I got changed and set off in the general direction of work. As I often do I had a little geo-mission on the way to work. Using Google Street View at home I was able to blag the required information for the Village Sign geocache in Hothfield. I was a tad worried when I got to Hothfield and saw the road sign from which I had blagged the information had been changed since the Google car had driven past, but it had been changed recently. The info I'd blagged was good, and soon I had the geocache in my hand. Happy dance.
Flushed with success I then drove on down the road where I soon round another cache. This other one gave me pause for thought though. Today on a bright summer's morning it was idyllic. However it was different when the thing first went live. The log of the First to Find mentioned taking a 4x4 for a spot of caching in the snow. Only two days before that log I'd been stranded overnight in Pembury; the snow was that bad.
I've mentioned before (and been rather casually dismissed on the matter) about how the urge to log a First to Find can be rather dangerous. If the main road from Ashford to Tonbridge Wells (the A262) was near-on impassable and dozens of people were spending the night away from home because of the conditions, why on Earth would anyone mess about in a country lane hunting for a film pot under a rock?
I went to McDonald's for lunch. I wish I hadn't. I've always been the world's biggest McFan, but after today... I asked forMcScoff and McChips and a McFlurry. They made the McFlurry instantly and left it on the hot plate. Twelve minutes later the McScoff and McChips came out. As they handed it to me I gave the now liquid McFlurry back explaining that it had melted in the heat of the day and the heat of the hot plate. The chubby spotty oik behind the counted grumbled about making another one. I sat down to eat and realised they hadn't given me a straw. for the McFizz. Then the Chubby spotty oik brought over the very same melted McFlurry I'd given back to him.
I quite like the hospital canteen - the food comes out quicker and is cheaper... I shall start going there more often.
And so back to work. What with night work, rostered days off and a week’s holiday it seems like I’ve been away from the place for ages. Originally I was supposed to be going to Turkey for a week with "My Boy TM" but "er indoors TM" couldn’t get the time off work. I wish I’d gone anyway. Mind you I had plans for my time off, and I got quite a few of them done. Two decent geo-walks, a day’s fishing, a geo-road trip. I got to pressure-wash the back yard and the pond’s splash-pool. I got the new lino in the shed and painted the front of the house. I didn’t get to put out the new geo-series I was planning, but it was too hot for that,
Whilst I can’t say I was desperate to get back to work, I *certainly* wasn’t feeling physically sick at the thought of going back to work which I would have been (and was) two years ago.
Work was actually rather busy; I was a little late getting out. As I came home it was obvious that the England football team were playing; I could hear football-related shouting and screaming coming from all directions.
I wish I understood the attraction…
4 July 2018 (Wednesday) - Airport Run
It turns out all that screaming and shouting I heard last night *was* football-related. This morning my Facebook feed was crawling with comments and memes about how the England football team is doing. So many people were caught up in the hype including many people who I know have no interest in football at all. I’m reliably informed that by not shrieking banshee-like at the telly I’m being unpatriotic. So why is it not unpatriotic not to know that the English competitors do well at other international sporting competitions like squash, kite-surfing, conkers, tiddlywinks, caber tossing, toe-wrestling, lawn-mower wrestling… the list goes on.
I had a few emails. Several people had been out hunting my geocaches over the weekend. Some were impressed; some not. Several need some attention; I shall have a look-see at them over the next few days. Or that is my intention.
I had several notifications about jobs in Essex; there seems to be loads of job vacancies in Essex.
I took the dogs for a walk round the park. Getting to the park was a tad traumatic. Why is it that whilst on the way to school and nursery so many small children feel the need to scream at the dogs and shout at then in stupid put-on voices? So many times the mothers apologize and relate some bad experience the child has had with a dog, and then admit that had the child not screamed and shouted in that stupid put-on voice at the time then said bad experience would probably never have happened.
We got to the park; we had a walk. We met OrangeHead (without her posse) who was walking without a stick today; she was chatty as she often is when on her own.
As we walked I checked on two of my caches which had been flagged as needing a look-see. They got a look-see.
We came home. I fed the fish, the dogs barked at them; Fudge got his nose sucked. With a little time spare I watched an episode of “Trailer Park Boys”. "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" has started watching that show; she’s hooked.
I settled the hounds and eventually found where I'd left my car, then took a little diversion down to the most south parts of Ashford to check on a Wherigo. Having had a "didn't find" log yesterday I went out and determined the reason for that log. It was missing. I replaced it, then (as I often do) I had another little geo-mission on the way to work. Today's theme was "finding ones I've failed on earlier". There are two along the A20 which I have singularly failed to find before despite extensive searching. Today I found both in a matter of seconds.
I drove up to Sainsbury's for petrol. I had hoped to get the car washed too. I can distinctly remember there being a car wash in the car park at Aylesford Sainsbury's. There wasn't.
Bearing in mind yesterday's debacle I drove straight past McDonalds and had dinner in the work's canteen. Cauliflower cheese with beans and change out of three quid. Can't be bad...
I did my bit at work; yesterday's shift was hard work. Today's wasn't so bad, but I've had better. And with work done I didn't come home. I'd arranged to do a late shift this evening as "My Boy TM" and his entourage were flying back from holiday this evening and if I did the late shift I could go straight from work to collect them.
I finished my shift about two hours before the plane was due to land, and I work about half an hour from the airport. So I had this plan to drive to Clackett Lane services, get a cuppa and a lump of cake, and read my Kindle until I got a phone call to say that "the eagle had landed". I would then drive to the airport and they would all be standing waiting in the pick-up zone.
What a good plan it was...
Like all plans that I make it fell at the first hurdle. I got to Clackett Lane services at quarter to ten only to find that they weren’t open twenty-four / seven as billed. The WH Smiths and McDonalds were open; everything else was shut. I had a burger and fries and explained the entire concept of McDonalds to some normal people who were utterly out of their depth without a knife and fork.
I had orders to get bread and milk for the returnees; there was none at Clackett Lane. I tried the filling station; the oik on the counter explained that whilst they never closed, they didn’t sell anything but petrol at night. He explained this in between spraying his chicken sandwich everywhere. Clearly his mother had never taught him not to speak with his mouth full. It was rather disgusting.
I eventually found bread and milk in a filling station in Crawley.
With only minutes until the flight was due to land I thought I might park up at the airport and wait in the arrivals lounge. The car park was amazingly busy, but I soon got sorted, and found a Costa that was open. I got a coffee and a bakewell tart (and almost change out of a fiver). I devoured them whilst pretending to read my Kindle app. Whilst pretending to be engrossed in the second book of “Game of Thrones” I was actually engrossed with the bum of the rather fit young lady whose shorts didn’t actually cover her bum.
In between Kindling and bums I found also myself watching the police with sniffer dogs and semi-automatic guns. I can see the need for them; I just wish there wasn’t a need for them.
"My Boy TM" eventually arrived; their flight had been delayed by an hour. We made our way to the car park where I was amazed to find that an hour and half’s parking cost thirteen quid. Thirteen quid !!
I came home as quiet as a mouse and fell over all three dogs who had camped out by the front door waiting for my return. That probably woke the entire street.
I got to bed just after two o’clock… Mind you, the airport run was quite the adventure.
5 July 2018 (Thursday) - Bit Tired
Despite being over three hours later to bed than usual last night I lay awake for some time. Perhaps the excitement of the airport run had been a tad much? I probably slept for about three hours; I was wide awake and raring to go at half past six this morning.
Over brekkie I heard that a friend of a friend had also flown in to Gatwick last night; their flight was three hours late. I can remember flying home from Vancouver eighteen years ago when the flight had been delayed for seven hours. Last night’s delay of just under an hour wasn’t *that* bad really.
I also had an email to say that someone had found that geocache I’d replaced yesterday, and also found one that was possibly missing. That’s one maintenance run I won’t have to do. However on the flip side they marked another as being possibly missing so what you gain in one hand you lose from the other…
I had thought of asking for a late shift today; bearing in mind I was raring to go so early in the day I was glad I hadn’t. I set off to work and listened to the radio. What with having the car out of action and late and weekend working I’d not listened to the morning news for over two weeks.
There was a lot of talk on the radio about how the boss of the car giant Jaguar Land Rover had announced that Brexit was damaging their company and how the firm was talking about closing plants in the UK. The pundits on the radio then wheeled on some pro-Brexit windbag who ranted that if he was the boss of Jaguar Land Rover then he would see Brexit as an opportunity, but didn't actually give any tangible reasons for saying that, nor did he in any way contradict what the boss of Jaguar Land Rover had said. It never fails to amaze me how these people can witter on loudly and confidently without actually ever saying anything.
There was also consternation about how two people in Wiltshire seem to have come into contact with the nerve poison Novichock. Again the matter was discussed at length, but the fact of the matter are that two people have been done in by the stuff and no one knows how. All else is speculation. Worrying speculation, but only speculation.
And there was all sorts of things being said about the NHS today on its seventieth birthday. Some were celebrating it, some were running it down. I for one think it's a rather good thing; I'd challenge its detractors to piss off and see if they can get such a good deal elsewhere.
I got to work and had a cuppa before getting on with the day's round. I was offered the chance to be on the telly as part of the “NHS at Seventy” thing the BBC were doing, but I thought better of the idea. I've been on telly before; fame is over-rated.
As part of the “NHS at Seventy” thing, some kind soul had made a cake for all the hospital staff. It was a really thoughtful gesture; such a shame they underestimated just how many people work in a hospital.
Once home again I took the dogs out. "My Boy TM" had been round to collect Rolo; it is amazing how much easier the walk is with two dogs rather than with three.
As we walked I saw a squirrel. Neither dog noticed the squirrel and both walked straight past him. It was only when the squirrel ran up a tree that either took any notice. I took a photo, and logged the squirrel using my “mammals” app.
"er indoors TM" came home with curry. As we scoffed it we watched the semi-final of “Bake Off; The Professionals” and the week before last’s episode of “Humans”. George Ten would seem to have arrived.
6 July 2018 (Friday)- Before the Night Shift
After the airport run on Wednesday evening I slept for four hours and woke up raring to go. Last night I slept for nearly nine hours and woke feeling like death warmed up.
As I scoffed toast I had my morning root around the Internet. I was rather amazed by the enthusiasm that several people were showing about this plan to fly a giant inflatable kite effigy of Donald Trump to take the piss out of him when he visits the UK. With so much wrong in the UK, why are so many people getting so worked up about Donald Trump. A little protest and a little effort could bring awareness to UK problems and maybe even achieve something. No amount of kite flying in the UK will do anything to resolve the problem of Donald Trump.
I also had an email from the pet microchip people to check that the details they had about Fudge were correct. They were. When we got Fudge we had him scanned and it was quite a performance to get his details updated. All the information on-line from his chip referred to his old home. It is all correct now; I wonder how many pets are chipped, but the information is never updated.
I got the dogs organized and we drove out to Great Chart. I had a couple of geocaches out that way which needed attention. We parked up and walked out towards Godinton. I had a Wherigo out there I’d been meaning to have a look at for some time (over a year!) It had gone. As had what I’d hidden it under. As Fudge did his own sweet thing I hunted about for a better hiding place; eventually finding one.
We walked on up to the river where both dogs spuddled, then walked on to one of my “Worten Wander” geocaches. As I’ve said before, when you hide a series of caches, it is the one furthest from the roads which gives you the problems. Worten Wander 11 had gone missing. We walked out there, and after quite the hike we found why people had been logging DNFs; the stile under which it had been hidden had been replaced with a kissing gate.
We (I) sorted the problem, and we (all of us) came back to the car via the river, and then drove out to another problematical film pot under a rock. This one had been hidden under a stile with a view to people then crossing the stile and following the footpath. However the footpath goes through someone’s garden, and that someone had large dogs running loose in the garden. I re-routed the geo-series and wrote in the cache description “do not cross the stile” but people weren’t reading the instructions. Does anyone *ever* read instructions? I generally don’t.
Hopefully moving the cache fifty yards away from the stile will stop people crossing it.
We came home. I found the back seats of my car were wringing wet where two damp dogs had been in the river. I expect it will dry out.
I did the geo-admin to tell the world what we’d done on our walk; two caches were easily sorted, but I had to log a ticket (as one does) about my Wherigo as I was unable to upload a valid GWZ file.
If any of my loyal readers have experience of uploading valid GWZ files…
I popped up to the corner shop to get a sandwich for lunch, and scoffed it whilst watching this week’s episode of “Gotham”. It was rather good; I just wish I could remember what was going on.
With “Hannah” programmed for tomorrow’s planned excursion I went to bed and (despite the heat) slept for a couple of hours. I then watched a few episodes of “Trailer Park Boys”; our heroes were having problems with “zomblies”.
"er indoors TM" should be home soon. She promised to boil up some dinner before I have to go to the night shift…
7 July 2018 (Saturday) - Fordwich
As I drove home I actually laughed out loud when I heard the pundits on the radio talking about the latest developments with the Brexit debacle. I don't pretend to understand the finer details of international law, but from what I could work out it seems that after Brexit, the UK will still have to comply with all the EU's rules for international trading. If the UK don't then the EU won't trade with us. End of.
I can remember several people on the lead-up to the Brexit vote being *extremely* vociferous about "not being beholden to foreigner's rules", and here we are. Every bit as "beholden to foreigner's rules" as we were before Brexit, but no with absolutely no input to the making of these rules (which we *did* have before we voted it away).
If I didn't laugh, I might cry.
I had a quick look-see at the Internet over brekkie. Yesterday I mentioned that I'd emailed geo-HQ about a problem I was having with a Wherigo GWZ file. Geo-HQ had emailed to say that they didn't support the entire Wherigo concept any more. That's handy... I'm just glad I hadn't embarked on the hundreds of hours of programming for the Crystal Maze - based Wherigo I'd been thinking about.
There were also a few postings from Stanmer Park where Brighton Kite Festival was taking place. In years gone by Brighton Kite Festival was a big part of my annual calendar. It was suggested that we went there this year; it might have been fun, but I've not flown a kite for a few years. I can't help but feel it would be taking the piss to turn up just for the cheap camping.
We got ourselves organized and drove out to Fordwich where we met Tracy, Karl and Charlotte. The dogs were equipped with their cooling bandanna-collars (as It was a hot day) and we went for a little walk. The “Woodland Walk” series of geocaches was ideal for today; a relatively short walk most of which was under tree cover. We saw the biggest monkey-puzzle tree you ever did see. We played on rope swings. We completely lost the footpath. We met several people on horses.
Today’s walk was only a short one; we were soon back at the cars, and a little walk from where we’d parked had us at the Fordwich Arms. A rather good pub; as well as four decent ales on the hand pumps they had home-made pork scratchings and vegetable crisps. We had a good time in the beer garden scoffing and drinking
I took a few photos whilst we were out.
What with the night shift and the heat of the day and the beer I slept most (all) of the way home. I then slept some more until Sarah and Nick arrived for the evening and we had a rather good time making plans for next weekend.
I have often said that God laughs when we make plans… we shall see…
8 July 2018 (Sunday) - Your Enemy's Toaster
I was woken by my alarm today. It is very rare that an alarm wakes me; usually if I set one I am awake ages before it Is due to go off, but a combination of a night shift ad a day in the sun had taken their toll.
I got up; Treacle was fast asleep on the bed with "er indoors TM" and Fudge was snoring in his basket. I scoffed brekkie whilst watching “Trailer Park Boys”. Employing the old maxim “keep your friends close and your enemy’s toaster”, our heroes were attempting to steal Randy’s toaster.
I had a look at Facebook as I do. I was surprised at just how few photos had been posted from Brighton Kite Festival. It looks as though not that many of the kite-fliers had actually gone down for the weekend. I understand there was a big falling-out in the kite world a few years ago. Is the squabble still on-going? No matter what you do in life, there is always petty bickering.
As I walked down the road to my car I saw that someone had twisted my car's wing mirror right back. And not just the one on my car, but on all of the cars up the road. Fortunately no damage was done. I've noticed that this happens from time to time; usually (like last night) when the England football team has a victory. For some reason the brainless oiks seem to think that bending back wing mirrors is some form of celebration.
I wish they wouldn't.
I turned on the car’s radio. Those who delight in mischief were trying to stir discontent by claiming that Boris Johnson didn't agree with the Prime Minister's Brexit plans, even though he's said he does.
And after ten minutes of their trying to make a story out of nothing they handed over to the religious types who again were banging on about how the concept of gay marriage causes divisions in the Christian community. I don't see why it should cause any divisions at all. The Bible is clear on the mater - all Christian teaching says it is wrong. End of.
Personally I disagree with Christian teaching and he Bible. Personally I also think that those so-called Christians who were on the radio disagreeing with Christian teaching *really* ought to find out a thing or two about their choice of superstition before going on national radio to show their ignorance. But what do I know?
I *could* have had McBrekkie this morning, but I've got the hump with the Aylesford McDonalds. Instead I went to the works canteen where I had a rather good fry up, and then I got on with my work. Whilst I have had worse shifts, today's wasn't one of the better ones. I was pleased when the late shift came in, and doubly pleased when I got to walk out.
I came home to find "er indoors TM" was on an errand for her sister, so I took the dogs round the park. It was rather warm, but I took some water for the pups and we kept to the shadier parts of the paths.
As we walked I was conscious of a commotion behind us. A father was trying to get a small daughter to cycle; she wouldn’t come within fifty yards of the dogs without becoming hysterical. You would have thought with all the park to cycle in they didn’t need to follow us, wouldn’t you? They finally came past us when the dogs went into the river at the dog beach; father was smiling sheepishly and the little girl was glaring daggers at me. I suppose that at the end of the day the little girl is the one who loses out.
If that had been me and a younger "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" I wouldn’t have pandered to her and would have insisted she stopped being so silly. Mind you a younger "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" would probably have punched me up the throat.
We came home where we all had a sleep until "er indoors TM" came home with KFC. Very tasty. She then went off bowling. I watched more “Trailer Park Boys” then “Poldark”. I wasn’t the only one with an eye on Demelza’s heaving bosom; it can only be a matter of time before Dr Ennis “has a portion”. The beast!
9 July 2018 (Monday) - This n That
My alarm woke me again this morning. I was in the midst of a rather vivid dream in which I had started a business in which I was employing the local Nepalese community to be pumpkin farmers to feed the inmates of a rabbit farm on the Moon because (since Nepal is *really* high and Gurkhas are double-hard) the Nepalese didn’t need space suits. Neither did the rabbits (for no adequately explained reason). It was with a sense of relief that the alarm woke me.
That’s twice I’ve been woken by the alarm.
Leaving "er indoors TM" and the dogs asleep I watched an episode of “Trailer Park Boys” over some toast, then sparked up my lap-top to have a look at the Internet.
I saw several posts on Facebook about the perils of walking dogs in the heat. There are those which show paws with horrific burns from asphalt which is supposedly too hot for dogs. I’ve taken my hounds out despite the heat - perhaps people feel I am an irresponsible dog owner? They get very fractious if we don’t go out, and neither Fudge nor Treacle will walk on grass if there is asphalt available. If either was uncomfortable they would make it clear. They have certainly let me know if they’ve twisted an ankle or got a thorn in the paw. And, as Snopes says, “while it is indeed possible for dogs to sustain paw burns under conditions of excessive heat, it’s unlikely this situation would escape the notice of an attentive walker.” Am I being over-sensitive in thinking people are having a dig at me? Probably…
With no emails of note I set off for work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were abuzz with the news that the Brexit secretary David Davies had resigned overnight. In his resignation letter (amongst other stuff) he wrote "... as I said at Cabinet, the "common rule book" policy hands control of large swathes of our economy to the EU and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense...."
The chap is absolutely right. The Government's proposals do amount to little more than doing what the EU tell us. This *isn't* what the country voted for. Mind you I think that what most of the electorate voted for was a return to the colonial era when Britain ruled most of the planet. and that ain't going to happen either.
I think Mr Davis has done the right thing. He don't agree with what the Prime Minister is doing and so has resigned.
There were calls for Boris Johnson to do the same. I did think he'd really left it too late to do so without looking like he was pushed rather than that he was jumping, but as the day went on so he too resigned
I've said it before (so many times) Brexit has *not* been thought out at all. With the Prime Minister now appointing a new Brexit supremo with less than a year until the thing happens, disaster looms even more than it did before.
During breaks at work I found myself following a rather nasty squabble on the Facebook “Geocaching in Kent” page. I’m sure that no offence was actually intended but to give but one example from today’s squabble: when one comments that one’s point of view is about “showing respect” the implication is that those with a different opinion are disrespectful. The “debate” continued along those lines; one chap was trying to force his idea by belittling others.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been rather rudely criticized in that Facebook group by this fellow for finding fifty caches in a day and for posting generic logs and for my choice of wordings. He would do things differently to me, therefore I am wrong. I have felt some of his recent postings have been in a very bullying turn of phrase.
When I was at the Hastings Academy for Budding Geniuses (in the mid-1970s) I was taught the fundamentals of reasoned debate. The trick lies in presenting your idea and giving evidence to support it. The fact that someone feel something is true does *not* lend it any credence whatsoever, as any reader of my rantings can clearly see.
The way to progress any disagreement is to say “I disagree with you for the following reasons…” (and then give some reasons). Taking the line “I disagree with you therefore you are wrong” is confrontational at best.
This evening I saw he’d made what I could only describe as a “throwing toys out of pram” posting and had left that Facebook group.
Such a shame – if only people could disagree without being disagreeable…
10 July 2018 (Tuesday) - Before (and after) The Late Shift
As I scoffed brekkie I saw a picture on Facebook which boiled my piss this morning. You ca see it by clicking here. I can’t pretend to be a fan of the England football team, and it seems that neither can anyone who likes to think that they are Scottish.
I know several people who like to think they are Scottish. I seem to meet them everywhere I go. They are all very similar in that they are about as Scottish as my arse, but claim to be a Scot because of some vague family connection, or that they like whiskey, or that their auntie’s cat once took a day trip to Kilmarnock. These “fake Scots” are all very vocal in their disparaging anything English but what *really* boils my piss is geography. Look at the map. *All* of these wannabe-celts live in Kent. You can’t live on the same island as Scotland and get any further away from it than Kent. *If* Scotland is so bloody wonderful, why do these people live four hundred miles away from the place?
I took the dogs for a walk. In a novel break with tradition we went clockwise (as opposed to our usual anti-clockwise) through the co-op field, into the park and back through Bowens Field. As usual Fudge straggled and sniffed dog tiddle every few steps. Treacle however was rather willful today, and even charged off after a rabbit at one point.
As we walked we met other dog walkers at their dogs. We chatted, played, humped and ran in terror in equal amounts. There was a young lady doing boxing practice with some epically muscled chap by the fountain. Neither were wearing anything like what might be described as “adequate” clothing; It would have been rude to stare and take photos, but it took super-human efforts not to do so.
We came down past the KFC to be harangued by a drunk. There is nothing quite as pathetic as an old woman who is as pissed as a fart at half past nine in the morning. She stood up, fell over and shouted at the world that she wanted to fuss my dogs. I made it clear we weren’t stopping and kept going. She got up, fell over again, and (in between various repeats of the f- word) told me I didn’t have to be in such a rush. I told her she didn’t have to be drinking extra strength lager at half past nine, and left her to fall over for a third time.
The motorway was something of a mess as I drove up it this morning. The slow lane was coned off for the first few miles for no apparent reason. There was also a sign saying the slip road at junction nine will be closed tomorrow evening. I bet I forget that tomorrow when I'm off to do the night shift.
I came off of the motorway at junction seven, and (narrowly avoiding being run off the road by some Cornish HGV) I drove up to the back of beyond for geo-reasons.
I parked up and went for a little wander. Would you believe there were two geocaches near where I'd parked?
My first geo-target was one which hadn't been found for a year or so. It hadn't been found for a very good reason; it wasn't there. Or so I thought. I found the obvious hidey-hole, but no cache. I logged a DNF and put it on a watch list (as one does if one is that way inclined) and I thought I might await developments. Developments developed... The chap whose cache it was went out for a look-see. It *was* there.
I might go back tomorrow evening...
The second one was not far away. To find out where it was you had to solve a rather fiendish puzzle, and then (once you got to where you'd been directed) it was rather obvious where you had to go.
I looked up at the tree. I looked down at myself. Just lately I've managed to defer most tree climbing to my stunt double, but today it was just me. I looked up the climb again; how hard could it be? On the one hand the tree looked dead and rotten, on the other hand the fall wasn't *that* far and the ground wasn't *that* hard. As is so often the case in my world, idiot enthusiasm triumphed over common sense and I shimmied up the tree.
I was soon doing the happy dance as best I could several feet off of the ground.
Interestingly the chap who'd claimed the First to Find on the paper log wasn't the person who'd claimed it on-line. Interesting... There are those who would quibble about that, but I'm taking the line "not my circus, not my monkeys..."
Walking back to the car was uphill; I was rather warm by the time I got there. I was glad I'd had the car's air-con sorted a few weeks ago. I then drove on to Sainsbury's in Aylesford for petrol. On the way I actually drove past a petrol station on Bluebell Hill. I was glad I didn't stop there; petrol in Aylesford (only five miles further on) was five pence per litre cheaper.
As I filled my car there were some drunk thugs sprawled around the forecourt of the filling station screaming that football was coming home. I smiled sweetly at them and they all gave me the thumbs-up. Better a thumbs-up than a punch up the bracket.
On to work. Again I drove straight past the Aylesford McDonalds. Instead I went to the works canteen. Chili and rice, bananas and custard. All washed down with cherry flavoured diet coke. I might not be eating in McDonalds, but I can still kick eating healthy into the long grass.
I spent much of the afternoon farting for no adequately explored reason...
With my shift done I came home. I listened to the news. Jeremy Hunt has been promoted from health secretary to foreign secretary to replace Boris Johnson. Presumably this move to the foreign office is so that Mr Hunt can be hated by the rest of the world; not just by the British. Mind you, much as it pains me to say anything positive about Jeremy Hunt, at least the chap has had a haircut recently. Quite frankly Boris Johnson looks like... what I was going to say might have been construed as being libellous or defamatory. But let's just say that he looks a mess. A serious mess. He may well claim that his appearance is his trademark but as far as I'm concerned, whilst such an appearance is quite acceptable in a scarecrow which has has had a heavy night on the piss, one expects a better turnout from a minister of state. (Or am I just hopelessly old-fashioned?)
(And before I get accused of political bias, Jeremy Corbyn could do with tidying himself up a bit too...)
Two people I've never heard of have been appointed to replace Jeremy Hunt and the ex-Brexit secretary David Davis. I had been hoping to hear some updates on what was going on in the government, but instead the radio was broadcasting claptrap about insomnia. I know quite enough about that already without some vacuous windbag telling me to have a glass of warm milk. I switched the car stereo to my Ivor Biggun CD and sang rude songs all the way home…
11 July 2018 (Wednesday) - Before the Night Shift
I slept through till after half past eight this morning. Something of a result.
I had a look at the Internet as I scoffed my toast. It was much the same as ever really. There seemed to be quite a lot of excitement about Donald Trump’s visit to the UK tomorrow. Admittedly the chap seems to be a twit, but is he *really* as black as he is painted? He’s been in business for most of his life, and I can’t help but wonder just how many journalists and press barons he’s had run-ins with and upset over the years. You would think that *someone* would have a good word for him?
There was also loads of “Come On Ing-ur-lund” for tonight’s upcoming World Cup semi-final.
No one seems to be aware that the Government is teetering on collapse…
"er indoors TM" went to work. I got one load of washing on the line and put a second load into the washing machine then took the dogs for a walk. Regular readers of this drivel may recall I had a fight with one of my Wherigoes last Friday. After a little struggling and wrestling with the software I emailed Geo-HQ. They said that they had lost all interest in the entire concept of Wherigo and suggested I might try Googling internet forums.
That was helpful(!) – It *they* can’t sort the problems with their own website, who can?
So I took the dogs out for a little walk, fetched back the new cache I’d put out last Friday and put another new one as close as I possibly could to where the old one was. I then wrote a description on the cache page to explain what the software won’t do. Let’s hope this fix works.
As we walked Treacle was a problem. Usually she is the one that stays close and it is Fudge who wanders off. Treacle scrambled through fences into fields of cows on three separate occasions today. She is terrified of pretty much everything; what has got into her?
We came home; I hung out more washing and fed my undercrackers to the washing machine. Whilst it chewed on them I downloaded some PQs to pass the time, farted about on GSAK (as one does) then popped up the corner shop for a sandwich which I scoffed whilst watching last night’s episode of “Gotham”. It was rather good, but the plot does seem to have slowed down a little. Perhaps it might make more sense if I binge-watched the lot.
I then went to bed for the afternoon. I would have slept more if Fudge hadn’t kept barking at shadows all afternoon. After three hours I gave up trying to sleep and came downstairs to shout at Fudge. As always he looked rather taken aback; he couldn’t see why I had the hump with him.
By now the washing machine had done its thing with my undercrackers, and I sorted them whilst watching “Trailer Park Boys”. With undercrackers sorted I got the washing in. By now both dogs had forgotten their telling-off about barking and so were again woofing at absolutely nothing.
I GSAK-ed some more… "er indoors TM" will be home soon. I’ve had a look on-line. The England football match is starting at about the time I need to leave for work. The roads should be quiet if nothing else.
I wonder if the football will make for a busy night (whichever way the match goes…)
Yesterday was rather eventful. Today was a typical “pre-night-shift” day; basically watching the clock until it was time to go to work.
12 July 2018 (Thursday) - After the Night Shift
As I drove home after a rather busy night shift I listened to the radio with something of a sense of disbelief. The pundits on the radio were interviewing the new Brexit secretary about today’s publishing of the government’s formal Brexit strategy. When you bear in mind that the Brexit referendum took place on 23 June 2016, it has taken the Government over two years to devise this plan.
This morning on the radio it was suggested that those who are for Brexit don’t like the government’s White Paper since it doesn’t actually get rid of all the European laws and oversight that doing Brexit was all about. It was also suggested that those who are against Brexit don’t like the government’s White Paper since it will cost the country a fortune. And it was also suggested that the thing was already dead in the water as it contains many concepts and ideas that the EU negotiators have already thrown out. During the interview, the new Brexit secretary blathered a lot but didn’t actually deny any of this.
It seems to me that when the vote was taken, the UK had three years to come up with plans. It has taken over two years to come up with a suggestion that is already (seemingly) dying on its arse before it has even started …
Once home I took the dogs round the park. As we walked Fudge made off with another dog’s tennis ball. I got it back before he destroyed it, but there were one or two bald bits where he’s chomped it. The nice people whose ball it was were very good about it; I suppose it’s a dog thing. You either get it or you don’t.
As we came through the co-op field we had an “episode”; Treacle ran into a hedge, and two seconds later I heard a sploshing sound. Two more seconds later she emerged from the hedge seemingly unscathed.
Then I looked closer.
The trouble with having black dogs is that the dirt doesn’t show. As I looked so I could see foul black ichor dripping from her belly. As I got closer I could smell what she’d fallen in. It might once have been a deep puddle, but now it was a stagnant hell-hole that had been left to rot. The only thing I have ever encountered that smelled worse was a months-dead fox that Fudge once rolled in on a hot day.
Treacle stank to high heaven.
We came home and had a bath. I say “we”; Fudge stayed well clear; Treacle was actually in the bath, but I got just as wet as I scrubbed.
I settled her in her house and popped into town. I had to go to the bank to get some Euros for the weekend’s planned road trip.
I rarely travel abroad. Over the last several years I have tried to get Euros from the bank on three separate occasions. I can never remember it being easy. In the past they have sold out, the person who does international stuff wasn’t available… today my local branch had lost all the Euro-passwords and were waiting for Head Office to email them new passwords. I suggested I might come back in fifteen minutes; I could see from the expression of the woman behind the counter that fifteen minutes or fifteen years were all the same to her. There was no way that she was up to selling Euros.
I went up the road to a little kiosk in what was once the Tufton Centre where I got Euros (with no quibbling) at a better exchange rate than the bank was offering.
I also saw Matt in town. I’d not seen him for ages; we had a good gossip. And as I was in the area I went to the Chili-Time milk shake bar (they were open for once) where they made me a custom milk shake. Milk, ice cream, two large slices of Battenberg cake all got blended together. Very nice.
I came home and as I opened the door I was faced with the stink of stagnant pond water. Poor Treacle still reeked of whatever it was she’d fallen in. She got a second bath, then I took myself off to bed for a few hours.
I woke feeling like death warmed up and did the ironing whilst watching a film. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” was a rather formulaic American teens-at-school film – the sort which if you’ve seen one of the genre, you’ve seen the lot. But it was watchable. However I did spend much of the time trying to work out who one of the actresses was. It turned out that one of the leading actresses was Emma Watson – “Hermione” from Harry Potter.
"er indoors TM" came home with a pressie for me – a rather meaty power pack for my phone and “Hannah” for when we are away on holiday.
Talking of which I then completed my epic GPX file of the Dunkirk-Lille area of France and Belgium in readiness for the weekend. I shall watch some “Trailer Park Boys” then I really should have an early night. I’ve got a busy day tomorrow…
13 July 2018 (Friday) - Mega Road Trip (Day One)
There is a chap on my Facebook list (I have absolutely no idea who he is) who had posted a link to Facebook this morning. Having paid out good money to find out if he was descended from Vikings, it turns out the people who took his money were making it all up.
Surely it doesn’t take a genius to realise that anyone alive today is descended from someone who was alive in Viking times. And surely it doesn’t take a genius to realise that the historical record is so sketchy that your ancestors of a thousand years ago could have been farmers, blacksmiths, the local tribe leader or the village idiot. At this remove in time pretty much no one except the Royal Family knows which of their antecedents were what back in the day. I can trace my family name back to 1760. That is *far* more than most people can do, but not even a quarter of the distance in time needed to see who was a rampaging Viking and who was cowering in the mire.
Mind you all the time people are daft enough to pay to find out if they are descended from Vikings, other people will take their money.
I took the dogs round the park for a walk. Again we went clockwise (unlike our usual route) as I had a plan that going this way would be easier to divert Treacle away from the foul mire she wallowed in yesterday. It was a plan which worked. Instead of rolling in stagnant muck she was fussed by allotment-keepers; not that she accepted the fuss. She ran in terror as she so often does.
The local allotments always amaze me. Judging by the smell of the place I would assume you have to be a fan of the “herbal cigarettes” to be allowed in to the place. And for all that I have heard (from several sources) that there is a waiting list of years to get an allotment, there seems to be a *lot* of pitches there which are seriously neglected with weeds three feet high. Presumably because the keepers of those plots are ripped to the tits on whatever drugs it is that they are so blatantly smoking?
We walked on through the park and back through Bowen’s Field. As we walked a young mother asked if her toddler could stroke the dogs. The toddler seemed happy dabbing at the pups, but was totally confused when both dogs started licking his chops. As was the mother. I explained that was how dogs kiss, but I’m not sure she understood.
Once home I packed my gear for the weekend. Usually after a walk both dogs go straight to sleep; this morning they wouldn’t leave me alone. Do they know they are going on a little holiday of their own?
I watched a couple of episodes of “Trailer Park Boys” then got the dogs and their weekend gear together and we went out.
Firstly we went to see "Daddy’s Little Angel TM". We took the hounds for a little walk; "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" came on his bike. He’s getting good on his bike; he only crashed into his mother once and only fell off twice. The dogs had a good spuddle in the river, and once back at the "Daddy’s Little Angel TM"–arium we realised she’d lost the keys to her flat. Fortunately a neighbour had found them, and with the river water washed from the dogs we all had blue raspberry ice pops.
Treacle seemed settled fighting with her brother Pogo, so I left her there and took Fudge round to "My Boy TM" where Lacey took command of him.
I came home, did the last of the packing, and once "er indoors TM" was home we awaited the arrival of Nick and Sarah. They soon arrived and we set off to the docks. We got a few hundred yards down the road, then had to turn around. There was a rather serious accident by B&Q.
We were only delayed by minutes, and soon we were at the ferry terminal in Dover. Have you ever been to the ferry terminal in Dover? I hadn’t before. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was expecting more. I’ve seen airport terminals, and the terminals of the Channel Tunnel. The ferry terminal had a Burger King, a WH Smiths and a closed bureau de change.
We had a Burger King dinner whilst waiting for our ferry (which was delayed by an hour). Once aboard the ferry we made ourselves comfortable and scoffed cake and custard and drank coffee and played pontoon until the ferry arrived in Dunkirk.
We drove through the night, singing along to the album “That’s What I Call Dad Rock”; two hundred miles after leaving home we arrived at our hotel in Charleroi. By the time we’d had a shower and unpacked I turned the bedside light out at three o’clock…
There’s photos of the day here…
14 July 2018 (Saturday) - Mega Road Trip (Day Two)
I crawled into bed this morning at three o’clock. I’d set the alarm for half past six… we had a busy day planned. We got up, had some rather strong coffee (much needed) and then set off on a rather extreme geocaching bash.
We were on the road by half past seven.
For all that I take great delight in hunting Tupperware, I tend to gloss over the finer details for my loyal readers (as most of them wouldn’t take a road trip round Europe hunting film pots under rocks), but today was rather special if you are that way inclined. Today was a mega-meet-up of geocachers. Our plan was to take a rather circuitous drive from GC40 up to the event (in Dunkirk) to arrive at the meet-up in the early afternoon. We’d driven down to Charleroi to be within striking distance of GC40. GC40 is the oldest geocache in continental Europe (there is one a few days older in Ireland), and a hunter of Tupperware going to GC40 is akin to a Roman Catholic visiting the Vatican – it really is that big a deal. After an hour’s drive fomr the hotel we found it, did the secret geo-ritual, posed for photos, all felt rather pleased with ourselves… and cracked on. Time was against us.
After an hour or so we stopped at a lay-by somewhere in Belgium. Our second target of the day proved to be a challenge. I mistakenly thought it was in some bushes. There was a little trail leading into the bushes where I found copious amounts of used condoms and human turds in equal amount. How delightful.
Our third target was in a filling station and was an easy find. As we were doing the secret geo-ritual we saw another hunter of Tupperware rummaging behind the tree from which we had extracted the cache. We wasted a few minutes of his time before handing it to him. He didn’t so much laugh as smile sweetly and mumble incoherently.
As we drove on there was a minor hiccup which we turned to our advantage. Google told us the road ahead had delays because of an accident, and it suggested a different route. Looking at the map we realised that it wouldn’t be *that* much of a detour to go into Holland to find a geocache in yet another country. So we did. That was a result. An easy find, another souvenir, but time was slipping away from us.
As well as the mega-event and GC40, another “must-do” for the weekend was the webcam-cache in Zeebrugge. Webcam-caches are rather obscure. There are only eight in all of England, and in over ten thousand finds, this webcam in Zeebrugge was only my sixth one. We went to where our sat-navs said, called up the web-cam feed on our phones, and waited for the web-cam feed to catch up with reality. As we posed for the web-cam all the locals watched us wondering what was going on. Clearly they had no idea there was a web-cam there.
Eventually we were able to take a screen shot and hurry on.
We found a Belgian supermarket, got supplies, and narrowly avoiding running over a cyclist (she wasn’t happy!) we made our way to a virtual geocache at a war memorial. We took a photo, read the information boards, and tried to imagine what it must have been like during the wars.
I was at this point that we took a few minutes out for bread and cheese, some ham and tomatoes, and some wrap-thingies (I can eat continental!).
The plan had been to then visit a war cemetery but time was running away with us, so we drove straight to the mega-event…
I’ve been to five other mega-events. They are meetings of hundreds of hunters of Tupperware, there are activities, there are walks, there are talks, there are all sorts of things to see and do. Or that was what I’d been expecting. We found half a dozen stalls run by rather bored-looking shopkeepers. There were some lab-caches (lab caches are rather unique special things you only ever see at a mega-event) but by the time we got there, those lab caches which weren’t broken were being shut down. By judicious geo-skill (!) we managed to do what was required with the lab caches, but another thing I didn’t like about them was the time frame they allowed for us to do what was required. Usually mega-events allow you to get home and do it all from your living room via the Internet. Not this time – the deadline was mid-day tomorrow. So we sat outside and got busy on our phones.
By now we were worn out. We drove to our hotel in Dunkirk, I put on a clean shirt, and we went for a little walk.
As we walked we wandered past a few geocaches (obviously!). We met some fellow hunters of Tupperware from Finland; one of whom had a trackable tattoo. She was amazed to see mine; she thought she had the only one. I didn’t have the heart to tell her there was a Facebook group for people like us (!)
But time was pushing on, and we were hungry. “Les 3 Brasseurs” looked reasonably priced and had a brewery on site as well. They did a little taster-thingy where you could get a small glass of four different beers, so I kicked off with some wheat beer, a light ale, a ruby ale, and some stout.
And then dinner… apologies to my vegetarian friends, but I had the “butcher’s platter”. Three different steaks with more chips than sense. I washed it down with a litre (none of this pint rubbish!) of the ruby ale and rounded it all off with a caramel sundae. As we scoffed we saw so many other people who had been to today’s mega-event. Despite the language barrier, we chatted with loads of people. It was rather funny watching the staff and the non-geocachers in the restaurant; they all knew that there was some connection we all shared, but they had no idea what it was.
Pausing only briefly to collect an Earthcache (blah blah blah sandstone) we wandered back toward the hotel. Sarah wanted an early night… but I fancied a nightcap. "er indoors TM", Nick and I walked fifty yards down the road to a quiet little bar where we drank amaretto and Bailey’s (once we’d explained what it was) and watched the French normal people doing whatever it is that French normal people do.
To bed just before eleven o’clock… there’s photos of the day here.
15 July 2018 (Sunday) - Mega Road Trip (Day Three)
Yesterday had been a rather busy day; I fell in to my pit feeling rather exhausted last night. I didn’t sleep well though – the hotel room was *so* hot.
As "er indoors TM" got herself sorted this morning I wandered down to the restaurant where I met Nick. He was just finishing brekkie. I had a rather good brekkie of croissant, brioche, pancake-thingie, and something which looked like madeira cake (but wasn’t).
Sarah and "er indoors TM" soon joined us, and with brekkie devoured we set off. Having had to cut our trip short yesterday we drove out to the war cemetery to have a look-see. This war cemetery was yet another triumph of geocaching. We would never have gone there if not for the virtual cache there, and we arrived to be fascinated. It was a war cemetery for the German dead. So many young boys had died.
There was a little walk round the nearby woods where there was an old bunker from the war still there, and you could still make out the lines of the trenches. It was such a quiet, tranquil, beautify place. You couldn’t imagine the carnage of a hundred years ago.
The plan had been to help at the geocaching CITO. A CITO (cache-in-trash-out) is all about tidying up an area, but to be honest everywhere we’d been had been *so* tidy (except yesterday’s condomshitestrasse) that we thought we’d skip the CITO. Instead we used the geo-map as we have done before, and picked out random geocaches in the hope that they had been placed where there was something interesting to see that we wouldn’t otherwise find.
We found a rather pretty little chapel. We found a rather pretty beach (where we got a parking ticket). We found a huge statue of ear trumpets (can you believe it?) We found a war memorial to the fallen British troops. We found a golden bear in a flower garden. We found a statue of some seals. We found *so* many obscure and odd things. But time was pushing on…
We drove on to the ferry terminal. On Friday I whinged about how disappointing the ferry terminal at Dover had been. In retrospect it was streets ahead of the one at Dunkirk. The terminal at Dunkirk had some vending machines, and that was all.
To make up for this we had dinner on the ferry. Fish and chips – very nice.
Almost exactly two days after Nick had picked us up he dropped us off at home. A round trip of about five hundred and fifty miles. You can see the photos of day three here. It was a rather good weekend away. I wonder when the next international mega-event is taking place?
We unloaded our bags, then visited the fruits of our loins to collect the hounds. Both seemed to have had a good weekend; both slept for the evening despite the noise from new-next-door. Over the years we’ve had all sorts of people in that house, but these are far and away the noisiest. They were having some party this afternoon. Did they need the music to be *that* loud? On the one hand I don’t think I want to live next door to people who are that noisy. On the other hand it gives me carte blanche to be as loud as I like.
16 July 2018 (Monday) - Gone Fishing
We had a *really* good weekend away, but you can’t beat your own bed. And when I got up this morning I relished my morning shave. I’d forgotten to take my razor away with us and I do like to shave every day.
Over brekkie I watched some “Trailer Park Boys” and (having loaded up the car last night) I drove round to collect "My Boy TM". The plan was brekkie then fishing, but his eagle eye put a spanner in the works. The front tyre of my car was rather flat. So we drove round to the garage and pumped it up. I say “we”; he did all the pumping; after all he did a mechanic’s course at college for a year. The tyre *seemed* to pump up without problems so seeing how Kwik-Fit didn’t open for a couple of hours we drove round to Rocky’s for a fry-up.
Rocky’s do a good Full English Breakfast, and with it scoffed we came out to find the car tyre seemingly OK. "My Boy TM" kicked it (I said he’d done a mechanic’s course at college) and said it seemed OK.
I took that as expert opinion and we drove out to Hartley Lands fishery.
Regular readers of this drivel may recall a month or so ago I spend ages trying to get a trolley for all my fishing gear. Today was the trolley’s maiden voyage, and it seemed to work rather well. It didn’t break, collapse or fall over, and it was easier to drag than it is to lug all my tackle about so I saw that as a result.
We set up and started fishing…
Today was a day of two halves. We started off facing the sun, blinded by the sun. I caught a tree and a duck and a goose. In nearly fifty years of fishing I’ve never caught a duck or a goose before (I tangled one once) but today I did it twice. I was swelteringly uncomfortably hot, and we decided to move across the lake.
The afternoon was *so* much better. In the shade, away from overhanging trees… I still didn’t catch anywhere near as many fish as the first fruit of my loin, or any which were anywhere near as big as his, but we had a good day. You can see the photos here.
We got back to the car to find the tyre was fine.
Home; just as I finished unloading the tackle, "er indoors TM" came home. We took the dogs round the park. Taking them out with an assistant is *so* much easier. As we walked we got the latest update from "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" who was laying an egg about the nursery.
Apparently the nursery teachers have been told to “do their thing” on the right-hand side of "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" because he is deaf in his left ear. That came as news to us all, but apparently was common knowledge at the nursery since they did hearing tests on all the children at Christmas time.
"Daddy’s Little Angel TM" had promptly marched "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" to the doctor who couldn’t find anything wrong with his hearing. To be on the safe side the doctor has asked for a formal audiological review at the hospital but, as he said, for non-urgent cases this could take months.
But the boy isn’t deaf. I wonder what’s going on?
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner, then went bowling (as she does). I did the geology homework for the Earthcache we did in Dunkirk. I was very good and wrote a little more than my usual “blah blah blah sandstone”.
I really should have an early night, but the SkyPlus box was good enough to record “Poldark” for me last night, and if I don’t take a moral stance about the heaving of Demelza’s bosom, who will?
17 July 2018 (Tuesday) - Jubilee Clips
I had an early night last night; however that isn’t always a good thing. I was wide awake well before five o’clock worrying about my car’s tyre. I went and had a look at it and it seemed fine.
I then stood on the scales. I’ve rather left the diet slip recently. I am going to go back on the diet for a while and see how much more weight I can shift. Currently weighing in at sixteen stone I’ve put on six pounds since I last weighted myself.
Over brekkie (toast, jam and coffee, three hundred calories) I watched “Trailer Park Boys” who had gone to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida for no adequately explored reason, then I had a look at the Internet.
Facebook was awash with the usual racist lies and self-pity, but glossing over that I saw that I saw that Nick had posted up his photos of the weekend’s road trip. I particularly liked them; I always like someone else’s photos of something I’ve done. I like seeing the thig from a different point of view (both figuratively and literally).
I also had an email from the bank. How would I rate the way they dealt with the phone call I made to them on Friday?
Oh my piss boiled.
With minutes to go before our European road trip last Friday I realized that if I suddenly started using my credit card all over France and Belgium the bank might think something odd was going on and might cancel the card. So I thought I might tell them I was going on a road trip round Europe and I might be using my card overseas. It would take five seconds for me to say that, and it would take them five seconds to say “OK”. Or so I thought.
The person I spoke to was either incredibly difficult or incredibly stupid. A conversation which didn’t need to take more than ten seconds dragged on for over fifteen minutes, and at the end of it the bank wouldn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t just stop the card anyway.
I gave their e-survey the big thumbs-down, and made great show of saying that had the branch not been so thoroughly useless on Thursday then I wouldn’t have had to have phoned them in the first place.
Mind you I doubt anything will come of this; what can come of it – it is all too late now anyway.
I settled the hounds and went out to my car. I was relieved to see the tyre was still looking OK.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about a scheme to replace the nation's copper phone lines with a future-proofed fibre-optic system. Concern was expressed as (apparently) no one knows exactly what the current copper-wire system is plugged into, and more than a bit of concern was expressed that seeing how private companies are going to do the upgrade, bills will rise by about a fiver per month to pay for it.
Personally I can't see why anyone would be surprised at this. If a nation sells off its infrastructure, those who take it on do so with the intention of making a profit from it, don't they?
I seemed to catch every red traffic light as I drove to the motorway. The roads were rather busy today. As I drove up the motorway there was a lot of talk on the radio about President Trump's meeting with the Russian premier.
The general consensus is that for someone who has made a trademark out of being a loud-mouthed loose cannon, President Trump rolled over and sucked up to the Russians like a wimp. This has fuelled the rumours and speculation that he is in their pay, having got into office through the Russians alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential elections. Is it true? Somehow I doubt it, but you can't help but wonder why he acted as he did.
I got to work and did my bit. I came out only to get stuck in traffic. The Maidstone sink-hole continues to bung up the roads.
Once home I was met with disaster. There was no water circulating through the pond filter even though the pump was obviously working. The problem was obvious – the jubilee clip holding the water hose to the pump had worked loose. The fix was similarly obvious – replace the jubilee clip. A trip to B&Q and some time spent wrestling with a pond-slime encrusted hose and a screwdriver eventually had the problem fixed. Whilst I was at it I ran out the hose pipe – the recent hot spell has caused quite a bit of evaporation from that pond.
I can’t help but wonder why the old jubilee clip worked loose, but I have a vague recollection of it happening before. There is probably a blog entry about is somewhere…
18 July 2018 (Wednesday) - Early Shift
Over an early brekkie I watched the second episode of "Trailer Park Boys - Out of the Park" in which our red-neck heroes go on a road trip round America.
The show isn't working for me.
Over twelve series the show built up a cast all of whom had distinct personalities and worked well together. In this spin-off they have taken just the three main characters and put them on a road trip round America. Bearing in mind for twelve years they have been penniless wastrels, how can they afford a road trip like this? Added to which they are all acting completely at odds with their established characters... I'm hoping it will get better.
As I drove to work I listened to the radio. The pundits on the radio were interviewing some politician or other about the shambles that is the ongoing Brexit negotiations. The woman being interviewed made the point that the only real thing that was decided by the Brexit referendum of 2016 was "we want out!" There are so many possible versions of what "being out" entails, and there is no majority of MPs for any one version. It was suggested that bearing in mind the disarray that both the Conservative and Labour parties find themselves in, and also bearing in mind that we have a minority government, perhaps it might be better all round to for some sort of coalition in the national interest. In theory an admirable sentiment; in practice everyone feels that their personal view is the only one which is in the national interest, whereas the fact of the matter is that they are all wrong. It is me who is right (!)
And the last coalition pretty much did for the Liberal Democrats.
There was also consternation being expressed about a careers open day being held in Farnborough in which an arms dealer was actively recruiting from school leavers. They interviewed someone who was trying to make the case for the arms dealer, but the chap rather pissed on his chips by trying to claim that someone whose business is bombing children is an ethical employer.
Being on an early I had hoped that the motorway might be a bit quieter than usual. I hoped in vain. Just as I passed Leeds Castle I read the motorway notice board saying there was a thirty-minute delay between junction six and junction four. bearing in mind I was aiming for junction five that wasn't what I wanted to see. I managed to get off of the motorway and get to work via the back roads before everyone else thought to take the short cut and make it even more congested than the motorway.
For all that I am far happier working at Maidstone than I ever was in Canterbury, getting to and from the place is far more difficult.
I had a rather trying day; I may well blog about it elsewhere (eventually), but an early start made for an early finish. I came back home, scrubbed my teeth, and went to the dentist. She started off with an X-ray, fixed one iffy fang, and put a filling into another. By the time she’d finished, the X-ray was ready and I’ve got to have a root canal filling done in a couple of weeks’ time. That will be something to look forward to.
I walked the dogs round the park as the anesthetic wore off. As I walked I looked at my phone and saw a minor row was kicking off on Facebook. Someone had posted about possible cheating on the local geocaching page. Can you believe people lie and claim they’ve found a film pot under a rock when they haven’t?
Someone had posted on the local geocaching group about what a good time they’d had walking in a certain village, and half an hour later they were whinging about alleged cheating. However in that half hour the name of the village had changed. The last person to go aching in the village with the second name used was me (and my geo-associates).
Sometimes life is just one big squabble…
I wonder what’s for dinner?
19 July 2018 (Thursday) - Squabbling
Last night’s squabble on the Geocaching in Kent Facebook page went on for much of the evening. It didn’t need to; it was over something rather petty, and (needless to say) those accused weren’t as black as they had been painted. These arguments *always* are over something rather petty, and those accused are *never* as black as they are painted.
In order to attempt to restore some sort of harmony to what was once a rather good group I’ve suggested a group walk this Sunday. It might do some good, it might not. I hope it does; over the years I’ve walked away from the snake club and the astronomy club and the kite fliers because of the endless bickering.
Perhaps I need to be looking for yet another hobby on which to waste my time.
I also saw something which was unfortunately a sad sign of the times. There was a lot of grumbling on one of the local Facebook groups because the William Harvey pub had shut down. So many people were bemoaning the demise of the British pub. Whilst I sympathise, pubs are an expensive proposition. A round of drinks in the average pub comes to over twenty quid - you can go to Tesco and be drinking at home all night long for that price.
It would seem that for all that the population of Ashford want the William Harvey to remain open, very few of them have handed any money over its counter in the last few years, and until the proprietor can pay his debts of forty thousand quid, the place will stay shut.
I set off for work. "My Boy TM" had given me instructions to check the car’s dodgy tyre's pressure this morning. I gave the thing a kick just like he did, but the kick told me nothing. Presumably you have to be trained to know what you are expecting when you hoof a tyre?
I drove to Brookfield garage where their air pump told me the pressure was twenty. I could picture my old primary school teacher Mr Jarvis asking "twenty what? - Units, you nit!" However I did know that twenty wasn't good. It was supposed to be thirty-two somethings (meganewtons per cubic parsec?).
I filled the thing to the required pressure, then drove home again; I'd forgotten my phone.
I drove to work slowly. As I drove there was consternation being expressed on the radio. Something else which hasn't been thought out about Brexit is that when the lorry drivers go abroad they need some permit or other (I didn't quite hear exactly what it was). You get the permit from the post office. Currently there are about a hundred thousand of these issued every year. After Brexit there will be a need for about seven million every year. No one would seem to have addressed that increase either in logistics or workload.
I got to work and (during a break) phoned the nearby tyre centre. They said they could do me this afternoon, so I did my bit and set off to the Aylesford Tyre & Auto Centre where we met with disaster. There is some special gadget that is needed to get the wheels off of my car. It is unique to my car. I thought it was in a compartment in the boot. It wasn’t. The nice man at Aylesford Tyre & Auto Centre had a poke around and said he could overinflate the tyre so I could get to the Renault dealer where they could order me a new gadget. He suggested I could leave the car with them for the five days it would take for the gadget to arrive. With absolutely no alternative I set off for the Renault dealer.
After two minutes I had a stroke of genius. My car had been in the garage a couple of weeks ago for a new wheel bearing. Perhaps the nice people at the garage still had the gadget. I pulled up and asked them.
They didn’t have it.
As I turned off my phone there was a shirty tapping on my car window. Apparently I’d inadvertently pulled up on the forecourt of the Waitrose distribution centre. There was no one else within twenty yards, but the jobsworth security guard on the gate had sent over a rather petty-minded driver from the Muller corporation to tell me to sling my hook. I tried reason, but the rather petty-minded driver from the Muller corporation wasn’t having any of it. So I told him exactly where he could stick his fruit corners. He said he didn’t like my attitude. I said I didn’t much like his but I had the advantage that I wasn’t acting like a cock whilst wearing a company uniform. I also asked if he would kindly tell the jobsworth security guard on the gate to get knotted as well.
If any of my loyal readers fancy a yogurt, there are plenty of other brands to buy… and plenty of other shops to buy them from.
As I drove up the road I thought I might pull up and have one last look for the special tyre gadget thingy. I found something metal in the glove compartment, and drove back to the Aylesford Tyre & Auto Centre. I showed my thingy to the nice man. Being experienced in thingies, the nice man was able to tell me that it wasn’t what we wanted. He suggested he helped me look, and he found the gadget we needed in a secret compartment in the car that I never knew existed.
I was on my way fifteen minutes later. There had been a nail in the tyre causing a slow puncture. They charged me ten quid. I can’t recommend the Aylesford Tyre & Auto Centre highly enough.
Once home I took the hounds round the park. As we walked we met a gaggle of young lads drinking some cans of lager. One of them pointed at Fudge and said “I want to be that dog. I could p*ss where I want and sh*t where I want”. He then pointed at me and said “And that bloke will sort out all my problems and worries”. We all laughed, and I shook his hand.
After a rather good bit of scoff this evening "My Boy TM" texted. It’s thirty-two *pounds per square inch*… apparently.
20 July 2018 (Friday) - Tra-La-La...
I went to bed rather earlier than usual last night. I slept for three hours (or so) until new-next-door’s dogs had a woofing fit. That set Treacle off. By the time they’d all eventually shut up, Fudge woke, and he tried to join in.
I dozed fitfully after that; finally getting back to sleep just before the alarm went off.
Over brekkie I watched the third episode of “Trailer Park Boys: Out Of The Park”. It’s not as good as the original.
I then did my morning trawl round the Internet. It was much the same as ever. Those that weren’t squabbling were attention-seeking. And with no emails worth the electricity it took to send them I got ready for work in something of a sulk. Today is Canterbury Beer Festival. In years gone by I organized outings to that on the Friday afternoon (as it is free admission on the Friday afternoon). What with other plans for last weekend taking priority I’d rather forgotten that the beer festival was on today. Mind you, that was probably for the best – what with the expense of last weekend and the car’s recent episode I don’t really have a spare hundred quid to piss up a wall right now.
I set off for work; as I drove the pundits on the radio were talking to the parliamentary chief whip of the liberal democrats. There has been some scandal in which some conservative MP broke his pairing arrangement with a liberal democrat MP. “Pairing” is a frankly ridiculous way to run a country. The law says that for a Member of Parliament to be able to vote they have to be physically present in the House of Commons when the vote is taking place. Obviously no one can be present for all votes, so what happens is that MPs chum up with someone who thinks the direct opposite to what they do. If both voted their votes would cancel out, so neither turns up, neither votes and everyone is happy. Except when one of the pair is off doing whatever and the other shows up at the House of Commons and votes.
Obviously the answer would be not to try to run a twenty-first century world by using an eighteenth-century way of government, but is there any room for common sense in Parliament?
I got to work and had a rather busy day. Far busier than I would have liked. As I left to come home I popped into Marks and Spencer (one has recently opened at work) and got myself some posh dinner as "er indoors TM" was off out on her works Beano this evening.
I came home and took the hounds round the park. Today our walk was utterly uneventful. Mind you it was raining. Rain! We’ve had something of a heatwave recently – there are those who love it; I’ve had enough of being far too hot now.
With walk done I fed the hounds, then after a quick shower I scoffed my Marks and Spencer posh dinner. It cost me ten quid and it was crap. I could have got twice as much food in a really good kebab for half the price.
As I scoffed I watched the first episode of “Final Space”. It was billed as a Netflix original comedy – I’m glad the write-up said it was a comedy as I wouldn’t have known otherwise. But not wanting to utterly dismiss it out of hand I watched more as I ironed my shirts. I wish I hadn’t.
I then watched some of the Epic Tales of Captain Underpants. That was better, But not much…
21 July 2018 (Saturday) - Short Circuit
I stood on the scales this morning - I've lost two pounds since the beginning of the week. I saw that as something of a result, and then watched an episode of "Captain Underpants" as I scoffed toast. Hardly cerebral viewing, but then for all that I am a genius, I'm hardly a cerebral person.
I set off for work. The plan wasn't originally for me to be working today, but a colleague needed to get out of her shift today. And if I worked this morning she would work on one of the days in August when I was scheduled to work both days of the weekend. I rather saw myself getting the better part of that deal.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were discussing the ethics of factory farming. (I thought factory farming had been banned years ago) The discussion rather summed up the entire concept of my experiences of "discussion". On the one hand there was someone making money from factory farming who was (rather confrontationally) saying that if we in the UK didn't use factory farms, farmers would do it overseas and flood the UK market with their cheaper products. On the other had was someone from the league of ethical farmers (or whatever they were called) saying that this theory had been proved not to be the case and gave a few examples to prove his point. Needless to say the first chap wouldn't have any of it.
I was reminded of a conversation I'd had yesterday in which I was told (quite firmly) that I was wrong when I'd asserted that the British population had been asked about membership of the Common Market and I was that assured (rather aggressively) that the referendum in 1975 about the UK's continued membership of the common market never took place. Even though it did and it is in the history books.
What can you do when someone flatly refuses to accept factual evidence?
There was also talk of Brexit. there is talk of little else on the radio these days. It seems that the consensus of opinion (amongst those who know about this sort of thing) is that no deal will be reached between the UK and the EU before the deadline for the UK's leaving is reached. Most people with any vested interest in the matter are preparing for the UK to "bomb out" of the EU next March. However the politicians being interviewed seemed to feel that a "no deal" status would be an incredibly temporary position as having a deal is in everyone's interests. Everyone was of the opinion that finding themselves with no international trading deals, the EU and the UK would very quickly cobble something workable together.
If that actually is plausible, why is the UK farting about wasting three years before actually implementing the departure?
I got to work. I did my bit. At tea break I scoffed a chocolate croissant that the boss had brought in. Work wasn't too bad today - but what with the vagaries of my shift system today had been the fifth consecutive day I'd been at work. Whilst most people work five consecutive days every week, I find that rather hard these days.
I came home and hunted for somewhere to park. The council's "Create" festival was taking place in the park today and some idiot at the council had made a rather serious mistake on the map they'd drawn giving directions to the park. If you used this map to get to the festival from the general direction of the Outlet centre (like hundreds of people would) you would find yourself wrongly directed up past my house to get there.
I got home to find an empty house - "er indoors TM" had taken the dogs out. I took the opportunity to have a little doze in front of the telly. I wasn’t feeling one hundred per cent.
They all came home; we had some dinner, settled the dogs and set off out. I was in two minds about going out as was feeling iffy, but I’m glad I went out. Steve and Sarah gave us a lift down to Dover where Matt and James’s latest band “Short Circuit” were having their first gig. Playing songs from the eighties they were rather good. Mind you I did find myself biting my tongue; I’ve been following their bands for twenty years and I’ve always hollered “show us your tits” at Matt. Bearing in mind their new young lady singer I thought that might be a tad inappropriate (I can do tact, me).
Again, though I was amazed at how quiet the pub was (apart from the band and followers). Had the locals not come in because of the band? There weren’t many people who weren’t there as a friend of the band.
Matt (the lead singer of tonight’s band) once told me that getting in a band was the death knell of any pub – a last desperate attempt to get punter in. He may well be right…
22 July 2018 (Sunday) - Littlebourne and Canterbury
I woke this morning with a rather serious headache (too much beer last night) and a face glowing as though I’d been n the sun for too long (inexplicable). I fed grubby laundry into my washing machine, and whilst it chewed the fish slime out of my trousers I prepped “Hannah” for today’s planned adventure, then had a look at the Internet.
The videos I’d posted from last night’s band gig had received quite a few views. Surprising for videos; whilst people like to look at photos on social media, it has been my experience that videos don’t get such attention. Probably because they go on for too long?
I had quite a few emails; none worth having though. I turned off the lap-top, hung out my de-slimed trousers to dry, and got ready for the day.
Earlier in the week I’d posted on the “Geocaching in Kent” Facebook page asking of anyone fancied going for a little stroll today. A dozen of us (and three dogs) had a rather good walk along the “A Little Wander” geo-series in Littlebourne. Footpaths, fields, woods, a country lane, splashing in a river… all rather pretty. I’ve not been on a “mob-handed” walk for some time; it was rather good to catch up with friends. It was a shame we didn’t see the “keep your dogs out of the river” sign until *after* they had all had a good swim, but such is life.
After five miles and twenty-four geo-finds we were back in the village of Littlebourne. The pub had closed down years ago but having just walked off a hangover I was happy to settle for a tin of Dr Pepper from the village shop.
We sat and chatted whilst we scoffed a picnic lunch under the shade of a tree on the village green, and then we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Having been keeping an eye on the weather forecast all week my plan had been a short(ish) walk in the morning before the forecast heat of the afternoon. There are those who would say that five miles is anything but short, but what do they know (you know who you are!!)
However, reality hadn’t taken any notice of what the BBC had said. I’ve always maintained that the BBC weather forecast is definitive. In cases of discrepancy, reality has got it wrong. Reality had got it wrong today. Rather than having bright sunshine, the afternoon was somewhat overcast. With "er indoors TM" needing to find a few more caches before she got her World Turtle (I got mine last weekend) we drove into Canterbury, parked up in Zealand Road and went on a rather pretty walk through the orchards.
This second walk of the day really did sum up the magic of geocaching, Having been driving to and from work through this area for over five years I really had no idea that there were orchards anywhere nearby; let alone how pretty they area is.
This second walk was one of seven geo-finds over a mile and a half. A rather short walk (for me) but one I would heartily recommend for anyone contemplating hunting Tupperware for recreational purposes.
It was only a shame that the corner shop we’d parked by had closed when we came back to the car. I’d been looking forward to an ice cream.
We headed homewards. But seeing how we’d be in the general area of Chilham, and also bearing in mind we’d logged a DNF there the other week (something one tries to avoid) we went back and found the cache we’d missed last time.
I took a few photos whilst we were out. We’d had a rather good day today. I had wondered if it might have been too hot for the dogs, but their cooling bandannas seemed to work as did regular drinks of cool water. They didn’t seem at all fussed by the heat.
I did have a plan to go to the geo-meet this evening. But by the time we’d got home, fed the fish and got the washing in, the meet had already started. I checked Google Maps - the meet was nearly an hour’s drive away and it finished at seven o’clock I sent my apologies.
The timing didn’t really work for me, but as I once said to the organizer it is impossible to time any sort of event to suit everyone. It is probably for the best to organize such an event at a time that suits yourself and hope for the best. That’s what I do.
Rather than going to the meet we scoffed some tea, and with "er indoors TM" off bowling and the dogs snoring I settled in front of the telly.
I woke up three hours later…
23 July 2018 (Monday) - Pensioner ?
I slept like a log last night. I woke at one point to find I was twisted into a rather awkward position as Fudge had made himself comfortable where my legs should have been. I didn’t have the heart to disturb him; I soon nodded off again.
I got up, set the washing machine going and stood on the scales. A week’s concerted effort has got me back to the weight I was when I last lost interest in dieting. It strikes me that the weight doesn’t go on *that* quickly… I just need to have a serious diet more often.
Over brekkie I saw I had several notifications on Facebook; the photos I’d taken yesterday seemed to have been well-received by the world at large. Sometimes I wonder if I put too much on to social media. The first fruit of my loin once commented that I don’t so much fart without telling the world about it. I have noticed several memes on Facebook recently about how some people post up so much dross. I’ve also noticed that these people never actually post anything original.
I looked at the photos of last night’s geo-meet in Herne Bay. There were several people in kayaks. I didn’t realise the boats were coming out. Had we known that we would probably not have gone for that walk round Canterbury and got the boat out instead as we’ve not got the thing out for ages.
I got the washing on to the line, settled the dogs then drove out to the garage where I collected "er indoors TM". Her car was in for a service. I took her to work and dropped her off with strict instructions to ring "My Boy TM" to tell hm I was on the way.
I went round for "My Boy TM"; the drive took ten minutes. I arrived to find him not ready. As I was fussing little Rolo so his phone rang. It was his mother to tell him I was on the way!
We loaded up the car and drove out to Harley Lands fishery. We set up and cast out. In a rather welcome change with tradition I caught the first fish. And the second, third and fourth too. The fifth catch was his, but it wasn’t a fish. It was a goose. The stupid thing would not be shoo-ed away and it got a hook in the leg. I got the job of freeing the stupid bird. There was a lot of quacking, but the goose was soon on his way none the worse for wear. Word must have then got about the avian community as we didn’t have any more problems with ducks or geese at all after that.
I did laugh when the baliff came round to take our money for our fishing. At some lakes you pay for the year, at some you pay for the day. I prefer lakes where you pay for the day. It is cheaper, you don’t feel you have to keep going back to the place to get your money’s worth, and Hartley Lands charge me a reduced rate day ticket because they think I’m an old age pensioner. In the past we’ve often wondered why we get so much change from the baliff. Today we actually looked at the ticket – they charged for one adult and one “concession”. On the one hand do I *really* look as though I am sixty-six years old? On the other hand my day’s fishing is three quid cheaper than my son’s.
I’ll take the three quid if for no better reason than that it boils his piss that I get it cheaper.
As the afternoon wore on I noticed three lads walking along the bank. They looked familiar. I looked closer – it was my brother and my two nephews. He’d finished work early and thought they’d pop out to see us. We told him he should have brought some rods. We chatted and bandied insults for half an hour or so; my nephew Jamie landed two carp for me; one of them over ten pounds in weight.
My other nephew sulked and made no secret that he didn’t want to be there. He would seem to be the odd one out – in a family of fishermen he has absolutely no interest in a crafty carp.
I took a few photos whilst we fished. Usually we would have fished longer, but the "er indoors TM" – mobile had to be collected from the garage. I dropped the first fruit of my loin at his house and collected "er indoors TM". We drove to the garage where there was consternation. They had been able to sort the air-con and the iffy tyres but had been unable to do the service as the dipstick had gone missing.
How can anyone lose a dipstick?
We came home, woke the dogs and walked them "er indoors TM" round to the park where we met "My Boy TM" who had similarly woken Rolo to take him for a walk. Rolo got very over-excited; I am reliably informed that Treacle is a bad influence on him.
With "er indoors TM" off bowling I’m going to watch all the telly I slept through last night. I wonder if I will stay awake?
24 July 2018 (Tuesday) - Water Meter, Light Switch
I slept as well as I could in the heat. This heatwave has been going on for a month or so now, and I for one have had enough of it.
I got up and put more laundry in to wash. If nothing else I can use the heatwave to dry my washing. I then had my morning’s look at the Internet to see what I’d missed overnight. Not much had happened on social media, but I did see that some new geocaches had gone live near work. I also saw that Hayley Murphy had added connections I might know on LinkedIn. Bearing in mind I have no idea who Hayley Murphy is, I found that rather unlikely.
I got the dogs organized and we went for a little walk. We barked at buses before chasing cats into allotments. We met Ralph the pug at the co-op field. As we walked round the park we saw a rather well-dressed young mother taking a littlun to play school. Mother was obviously dressed to go into a posh office and was swigging a can of Foster’s lager as she walked. How delightful.
As we came past the Hubert fountain there were still quite a few bags of rubbish laying around left over from Saturday’s “Create” festival. I’ve seen rats in that area before, and we saw them again today. I was rather surprised – the council usually do a really good job of keeping Viccie Park tidy.
Once home I hung out the washing and harvested the dog poo. I wonder if any theoretical physicists have ever studied a dog’s arse? For all the talk of creationism and big bang theories, has our old friend science not realized that far more comes out of the back end of a dog than ever goes in the front?
I then sparked up Netflix and watched an episode of “People Just do Nothing” – "My Boy TM" recommended it yesterday – it is quite good.
Just as I was getting ready to leave for work there was a knock on the door. There was a nice man from South East Water who said he *thought* he'd turned my water off - could I check. I turned the tap. Nothing came out. I told him so. He then asked (with a rather smug expression) if I realised we had a shared water supply with not-so-nice-next-door. I said I knew that, and he was rather surprised. He then had a little rant and wanted to know how long had we had had this shared water supply; he wasn't at all impressed when I said it had always been like this.
Apparently not-so-nice-next-door had a water meter fitted months ago and he'd been sent to find out why her water bill is about three times what it should be. The man from South East Water said that our having a shared supply would explain some of it. Quick as a flash I said that having new-next-door on the same supply as well (which they are) would explain the rest. All three houses are on the same supply. They always have been. I've known this since 1991 (when we moved in). Apparently this is news to the people who supply the water though, and it wasn't received well. When the nice man from South East Water finished his second rant I made the observation that this shared water supply was the reason that South East Water wouldn't let us have a water meter; they said "no" when I asked for one a few years ago.
I thought the poor bloke's brain was about to explode when I told him this. For everyone's peace of mind I closed the door on him at this point and finished getting ready for work.
I settled the dogs, and as I walked down the road to my car I tried not to laugh out loud at the nice man from South East Water who was stomping up and down the street shouting profanities into his mobile phone, and I set off in the general direction of work.
I stopped off in Aylesford to hunt for for those three new geocaches that had gone live this morning as no one had logged a First to Find. Had I not been on a late shift I would have probably been there in time to have got a First to Find on one. But I got there to find that someone had FTF-ed the lot but not said anything. Mind you it was a pretty walk along the river and it filled what might have been an otherwise dull hour or so.
Having parked in the local picnic area I popped into the little cafe to get an ice lolly on the way back to my car. There was a rather council young mother fighting with some feral children by the ice cream freezer. I got what I wanted, left them fighting and went to pay for my lolly. However the rather council young mother seemed rather miffed that I'd gone to the till before her. I didn't get involved, but when challenged by the cafe manager she had to admit they were nowhere near ready to choose what they wanted; let alone pay. I got the distinct impression that the cafe manager didn't want their sort in his establishment... I got my ice lolly and beat a hasty retreat.
I drove past McDonalds and went to the works canteen for lunch. Quiche, broccoli and baked beans followed by yogurt. Very healthy.
A late start made for a late finish. Mind you with a late finish the traffic is quieter so I do get a better run home... until I get home when I then play "hunt the parking space". In 1991 we deliberately moved to where we now live as we didn't have a car then, and a house with a parking bay wasn't an issue.
Now it is.
As I put on my pyjamas I suddenly had a revelation. The upstairs hall light was working. That has been broken for months. "er indoors TM" fixed it when I was out on 19 May and she’s been waiting to see how long it would take for me to realise it was fixed…
25 July 2018 (Wednesday) - Vets, FTF
We managed a while night without a single woofing fit last night. Can you believe it?
I had to smile when I looked at Facebook this morning. There were endless warnings about the supposed dangers of dogs burning their feet on tarmac pavements. There were no end of alerts about not over-filling petrol tanks because the petrol would expand. So many people were banging on about the dangers of giving dogs ice on hot days…
Despite all of these having been shown to be wrong, people continue to circulate this rubbish..
I took the dogs round the park before it got too hot. There was a minor episode when Treacle ran into a play park and came out with what I can only describe as an elephant’s vertebra, but other than that our walk was relatively uneventful (for once).
With our walk done I ran out the hose pipe and topped up the garden pond, emptied the dishwasher, settled Fudge, and took Treacle too the vet’s; she’d developed a strange protuberance on her chest. I thought it was a tick, but the vet had a look and didn’t think so. He took her into his den and came back five minutes later having pulled a rather big thorn out of her side (followed by a small river of pus). She’s now on anti-inflammatories and antibiotics for a week.
We came home where I had the job of administering the first dose of each. The antibiotic capsules are *huge*; I wondered how I would fight it into her. I wrapped it in some cheese and it all went straight down.
Neither dog took much settling, and I drove out to Great Chart for a spot of geo-maintenance. When I’d done it and got back to my car I saw another car was pulling in behind it. The driver and his mate got out. "Hello Dave" they said. I didn't recognise them, but they clearly knew me. "What you up to?" I cheerfully asked. If they mentioned my nearby geocaches then that would be how they knew me. One of them opened the boot of his car and pulled out a metal detector and told me about a nearby Saxon burial site. I managed not to mention the TV show "Detectorists" and I drove off none the wiser. Who were these people? How did they know me? Kite-flying, scouting, snake club, astronomy, any of the myriad hobbies I've taken up and dropped over the years. I have no idea.
I drove up to Aylesford. A puzzle geocache had gone live this morning. I'd solved the puzzle over brekkie but what with having taken Treacle to the vets I didn't think I had any hope of a First to Find. I walked along the same pretty river I walked yesterday, went a bit (a lot) further, rummaged in the undergrowth, and I was the first one to find it. Happy dance!
As I walked back to my car I saw a young mother and daughter pouring over a mobile phone. The child was loudly describing a nearby geocache and asking if they'd logged it. I cheerfully smiled and asked if they were geocaching. The child hid behind mother, and mother snapped "yes" and both ran off as though I was an axe-murderer.
Oh well.. I suppose I would run if I was approached by me.
I drove on to work where I had chicken and bacon pie and baked beans (rather than McBurger) and had a rather busy day at work…
Treacle seems none the worse for her ordeal…
26 July 2018 (Thursday) - Still Too Hot
On the one hand there was no barking frenzies until five o’clock this morning. On the other hand there were quite a few barking frenzies after five o’clock. I did think about the neighbours but one side has their own dogs barking at night, and I will listen to the other side’s complaints about noise when her infernal piano falls silent.
Perhaps things might have been less woofy had "er indoors TM" not opened the window I deliberately closed.
I gave it a couple of hours then got up. I had my morning look at the Internet over brekkie. Nothing of note was on Facebook. I had a look at LinkedIn for once; they are forever bombarding me with emails so I thought I would have a look-see. It was filled with people posting supposedly inspirational bollox. Do people *really* believe this sort of meaningless management-ese rubbish? I don’t know *anyone* who doesn’t just roll their eyes at the drivel I read this morning.
Surely LinkedIn is “The Emperor’s New Clothes” for the twenty-first century.
Since the weather forecast was for it to be rather hot by the mid-morning I took the dogs out early. Yesterday I mentioned I met someone who knew me; that happened again today. As we walked from Bowens Field toward the park some woman smiled and said hello. She clearly knew me – I had no idea who she was.
I got to the park to see a poster on the park’s notice board saying that the Friends of Victoria Park had started a Facebook group. I’d join it if I could only find it. Mind you I’ve emailed the Friends of Victoria Park before and had no reply. A shame really – a “friends of the park” group could be such a good idea.
Mind you it could equally well be one big argument.
It was starting to get hot when we got home. The dogs had a drink (as did I) and then it was time for Treacle’s medicine. Yesterday’s antibiotic capsule went straight down with a piece of cheese. Today’s didn’t - she spat it out. Twice. So I pinned her down and rammed it down her throat. She didn’t like that very much. The Metacam is easier to get in to her, being in liquid form. The veterinary nurse had suggested I squirt it on her food; I squirt it down her throat – that way I can be sure she’s had it.
I then did a BTLP-TACT exercise for CPD (as one does when one feels the urge) and with that done I turned the telly on.
I quite like “People Just Do Nothing” on Netflix even if it is *so* obviously based on Ricky Gervais’s “The Office” (even down to the David Brent character). Perhaps I watched a tad too much telly this morning – usually I have a little adventure before the late shift, but today was just too hot to do anything.
I set off for work. As I drove up the motorway I was again amazed at the miles of barriers and bollards which were closing off the slow lane. I couldn't help but wonder why - there wasn't anyone working on that stretch of the road.
I drove into Aylesford Aquatics to get some jollop for clearing the garden pond - yesterday I noticed that it was getting rather murky. I blame the excessive sunlight of this recent hot spell. It was *hot* when I got out of my air-conditioned car. I was glad I'd decided not to go do anything before work.
I went into work where I went to the hospital canteen for the third consecutive day. McDonalds would have been cheaper, but the hospital canteen is quicker and has the element of surprise - you don't know what's on the menu until you get there. Today it was some chicken-y-pasta-y thing. It went really good with runner beans and carrots. I wonder what it was?
I then did my bit (as I do) and came home as the temperature began to cool.
Today was dull…
27 July 2018 (Friday) - Thunderstorm
There was only really one dog altercation in the night for which I was probably partly to blame. I woke to find Treacle was fast asleep on my head. I hoiked her off and inadvertently dumped her on top of Fudge who wasn’t best pleased to be so rudely awoken. But it all blew over as quickly as it started.
I got up shortly before the alarm was due to go off, and over brekkie watched another episode of “People Just Do Nothing”. I quite like this show. As I watched it so Fudge came and sat with me. He can be rather soppy when he thinks no one is watching. I then sparked up my lap-top to see what had happened on-line overnight. Several people I know seem to be on holiday in Norway at the moment. The photos look impressive; maybe that might be a future place for a week away?
With no emails of note I carried Fudge upstairs and then set off to work.
As I drove up the motorway I counted a total of four people working in the miles of motorway slow lane which had been closed off by barriers and bollards. I say "working" - it looked like a lot of talking was going on.
As I drove I listened to the radio. What with time off and late shifts I've not heard the morning news for a while. It would seem I'd not missed much.
President Trump's ex-lawyer is apparently prepared to make statements on oath which imply that President Trump lied about his not knowing about having the Russians digging the dirt on Hilary Clinton.
For any other president this would be an earth-shattering revelation. But Trump isn't any old President; he seems to be more of a comic relief poncing about on the world stage diverting attention away from those who actually wield power (much like Zaphod Beeblebrox did in the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy).
Anything which keeps President Trump in the press limelight is good for him in that respect.
And our beleaguered Prime Minister Teresa May's Brexit plans would seem to be dead in the water. She was facing all sorts of arguments about the suggestion that supermarkets should be stockpiling food in the event of a bad outcome. Stockpiling food - has it *really* come to that? Wasn’t Brexit supposed to save the country a fortune?
It strikes me that the whole idea of Brexit has gone tits-up in that no one who advocated the thing is now actually seeing it through. Handing its implementation to people who never wanted it is surely a recipe for disaster. If the nation seriously needs to stockpile food for Brexit, then surely Brexit needs to be put on hold and re-thought. Right now.
I got petrol on the way to work, and then went on to Aldi for some supplies. As I queued at the till my piss boiled. There was some bloke in front of me who was making a serious mess of paying for his groceries. Whilst watching him I formed the distinct impression the chap had never actually paid for anything at a shop till before; the entire experience was clearly utterly foreign to him. How can anyone get to past retirement age and not have a clue about how to behave at a supermarket check-out?
Work was work; I did my bit. Once home the dogs were itching to go for a walk, but they were disappointed. It was far too hot to go out, and within half an hour of my getting home the thunderstorm started.
As the storm raged I ironed shirts whilst watching a film. “Extinction” was a Netflix original film. Released today, it was entertaining enough, but covered territory that has been done to death in sci-fi.
I’m hoping this storm will be the end of this heatwave.
28 July 2018 (Saturday) - Thoughful...
I slept well last night mainly because the dogs slept well - the rain seemed to have cleared the air. Over brekkie I watched more "People just do Nothing" before driving off to work.
As I got in my car there was some drivel on the radio about how many farms are starting up doing bed and breakfast as a way of trying to get people interested in farming, but the farmers being interviewed were rather disappointed. They were only attracting holidaymakers.
What did they expect?
With twenty minutes of "Farmers' Twaddle" still to go on the radio before the news started, I turned to my frankly awful music and I howled along as I drove up the motorway. I intended to turn back to the news when it started at seven o'clock, but I forgot. As I drove much of the motorway was still shut off. I wonder why - I can't find any explanation of what's going on anywhere on the Internet though.
Just as I got to Maidstone the heavens opened, and I did the last ten minutes of my drive in torrential rain. Once parked I sat in the car and waited for the rain to stop. After a while I realised I was going to have to bite the bullet, and I ran into work from the car park. I got rather wet and spent most of the morning drying out as I did my thing.
At tea break I saw something on my phone's Facebook app which I thought was rather sad. I spent much of the rest of the day following the post and thinking about it.
I follow several work-related Facebook groups because I find I can learn a *lot* from other people's experiences. From time to time I've shared various experiences myself on such sites, and many people have commented favourably. However this morning there was consternation on the New Medical Laboratory Science Facebook group.
During the week I saw a case study posted up in which the patient's name was just about visible. Someone in America had photographed a lab report and had tried to obscure the patient information with thick black marker pen. But she hadn't realised that the camera flash she'd used had made the original writing on the paper visible; specifically the patient's name. (That's why I produce my case studies as word documents with made-up patient names.)
On realising her error, the person who'd posted the offending picture immediately removed it, but not before some rather small-minded nasty person did a little research, found out exactly who it was who'd made the error, and reported her to her employers for a breach of patient confidentiality. She was promptly sacked.
OK - patient confidentiality had been breached. That is one of the worst things a hospital worker can do. When working in a hospital you find yourself privy to all sorts of confidential information, and keeping your mouth shut is a major part of the job. But this case wasn't a deliberate breach of confidentiality. It was an honest mistake made in an effort to share knowledge and experience.
I've spent much of today reflecting on this episode. Had I been her employer, having been formally told of the incident I would have had to be seen to do *something* - I would have taken her into an office, closed the door, and given her a telling-off. It was clear she'd realised her mistake - and it was an honest mistake. A quiet word, probably a few tears, and all that would have been the end of it. However her employer saw fit to sack her for what was a simple oversight. Was that *really* necessary?
And now I'm pondering on what I share. Over the years I have shared much of my CPD blog to various professional groups. Should I stop doing so? And if I stop sharing interesting cases will others do likewise? How can we learn if not from the experiences of others?
I can't help but wonder who was it that reported this poor woman. Whoever it was must have been a fellow blood-tester; all of the posts on that Facebook group are rather technical and frankly meaningless to anyone who doesn't have post-graduate qualifications in blood testing.
I *really* want to know what possessed them to be so nasty to a colleague. Did they have any idea of the consequences of their action? Do they subscribe to the naive notion that everything in life is a learning experience and people won't be victimised for errors? (not that I'm at all bitter here). Or do they just delight in being able to do someone a bad turn?
Reading some of the follow-up posts on that Facebook group was an eye-opener. There were some *really* nasty comment being made.
"My Boy TM" tells me I should spend less time on social media because of all this sort of nastiness. I try to rise above it. Sometimes it is difficult to do so…
29 July 2018 (Sunday) - Raining
There was so much I could have done last night; I had several offers, but I turned them all down. I was feeling rather rough so I stayed in and did the ironing.
I woke feeling marginally better that when I went to sleep last night, but still spent much of the day feeling iffy.
I got up and saw it was raining. Rain had been forecast, and we’d cancelled our plans because of the rain. On the one hand I was glad that we’d not cancelled for no reason. On the other hand I’d rather it wasn’t raining so we could have gone out. It had been dry all week; did it *really* have to be so wet today?
I sparked up my lap-top and had a look to see what I’d missed. A friend was having a birthday today. Facebook told me she was thirty-four. I’d often wondered – she could be anything from nineteen to forty, but I didn’t like to ask.
I also saw something which was a sad sign of our times. Today’s Mail on Sunday was running a feature on Andrew Beattie. The article’s headline was “Meet the man who’s aiming to earn £60k just for flying kites”. A rather sensational headline. I know Andrew Beattie – he’s on my Facebook list. He is laughing about the article because the headline was entirely made up.
Don’t believe what you read…
I then spent a while going through my finances. I like to check that what appears on my bank statements is something I’ve actually spent. Over the years I’ve not found anything that I’ve been billed for in error, but there have been a couple of things that I’ve spent money on for which I’ve never been charged (a tankful of petrol and a round of drinks).
The job of checking my accounts would be easier if the credit card receipts were produced in some sort of standard format rather than every business seeming to have made up its own design.
This month I found a little surprise waiting for me in the details of the accounts. Perhaps I’m naïve, but I didn’t realise that I would have to pay a transaction fee every time I used my credit card when we were abroad a couple of weeks ago. I used the card five time on just under a hundred and fifty quid’s worth of stuff, and got billed nearly a fiver for the privilege. Bearing in mind I wasted fifteen minutes on a *very* frustrating call to the bank before I went on this trip you think they might have warned me.
With the rain still falling I thought I might as well muck out the fish pond filter. It wasn’t *that* mucky, but it still stank. It took an hour, and with the thing back in place I saw the rain had slackened off to a medium monsoon. So with nothing else on the agenda I got out some secateurs and cut back quite a bit of the roses and clematis flowing over the fence from not-so-nice-next-door. I got two dustbin-fulls before the novelty wore off. I then tidied as best I could before the rain got too much for me.
Over lunch I looked at the geo-plan for a couple of weeks’ time. It has been suggested we go on a wander round the firehills of Hastings. I’ve solved a few puzzles in the area, but the caches there look rather spaced out and have some serious hills on the way. Still, it will be better than sitting indoors looking at the rain.
Seeing how the rain had stopped I popped the leads onto the dogs and took them out. I got as far as the co-op field before the rain started again. Within seconds I was soaked, but faced with the option of going home or carrying on I decided to carry on. Despite being soaked to the bone we had a rather good walk. Not many other people were braving the elements, but we did meet one other dog walker. It was a shame that Fudge had to pick a fight with his Alsatian.
As we walked round the park yesterday I saw that a tree had fallen and blocked the path by the dog beach. Today (less than a day later) the council were out removing the fallen tree. They were out and working on a wet Sunday; I was impressed.
With walk done I put on dry clothes and spent a little more time looking at that walk in Hastings. With a little genius and a little “non-standard-puzzle-solving” I’ve got a route of about thirty geocaches sorted. All I need now is to find a better parking spot – the suggested parking place is at the highest point on the walk. I’d rather walk down to the end, not climb up to it.
And today was something of the end of an era – the last of the current series of “Poldark”. Whilst I expect I will watch the new series when it comes out (if only for Demelza’s heaving thingies) I can’t help but wonder if the BBC are flogging a dead horse. The show’s reached a natural finishing point.
Time will tell – it always does.
Today has been rather dull…
30 July 2018 (Monday) - Early Shift
Neither our dogs nor new-next-door's dogs made a sound all night long; it was a shame that the rain was so loud against the bedroom window that it kept me awake for so much of the night.
Over brekkie I watched an episode of "Trailer Park Boys - Out of the Park". It wasn't really funny; none of the "out of the park" episodes have been. Such a shame when compared with what went before.
In today's episode our heroes went to Memphis where they met Alex Lifeson who apparently was the lead guitar player in the 1970s band "Rush"? Perhaps the show might have been better if I had ever heard of this bloke? The Internet says he is quite famous. It is amazing what you miss if you don't stay alert.
I set off to work on a damp and dismal morning. As I drove I found myself seemingly continually stopping. There are sixteen sets of traffic lights on the two and a bit miles from home to the motorway (and eighteen on the way back). Whilst not *all* of them were red, the vast majority were.
As I stopped and started the pundits on the radio were talking about the ethics of withdrawing life-support for people in long-term vegetative states. Some advocated pulling the plug, others felt those in comas should be kept alive in case they recover. There were convincing arguments made for both sides. I'm just glad that I don't have to make such decisions.
On a much lighter note there was quite a bit made of the fact that "The Beano" was eighty years old today. I was amazed to hear that it is still going strong with sales increasing every year. I used to get the thing weekly when I was a boy.
There were two interviews with some of the major people at "The Beano"; one was with one of the artists was interesting and enlightening. The other interview was utterly unintelligible. The chap being interviewed had a rather thick Scottish accent and he mumbled and muttered. I've often wondered why Radio Four doesn't give these people a dummy run before broadcasting and weed out those who can't be understood.
(Is that discriminatory of me?)
I got to work for the early shift and did my bit. Work was rather trying today, but at lunchtime there was a rather interesting presentation about malaria. Most people wouldn't be that enamored with a particularly vicious little parasite which has probably killed more people than anything else in human history, but I suppose I'm not "most people".
An early start made for an early finish; the journey home was in many ways a reprise of morning's journey. Whilst there's only seven sets of traffic light between work and the motorway, most caught me, and a seriously high proportion of the traffic lights in Ashford (two more on the way home than on the way out) were against me too.
Once home I took the dogs round the park where Fudge again tried to pick fights with other dogs. I wish he wouldn’t.
And with "er indoors TM" off bowling I settled in front of the telly. "My Boy TM" has suggested I watch “Orange is the New Black”. Whilst it seems to be rather good, I was surprised to read that it was described as a comedy. I shall watch some more episodes and see if I laugh now I know I am supposed to…
31 July 2018 (Tuesday) - Cucumber and Foliage
Another night during which neither our dogs nor new-next-door's dogs made a sound all night long; I like this.
Over brekkie I watched more of "Orange is the new black"; I'm getting to like the show, but I don't see why it is described as a comedy - it isn't funny. There is a minor drawback in that each episode is an hour long so I don't have time to watch a whole episode before work. Half an hour was good though.
I set off for work; as I drove up the motorway through the torrential rain there was a lone motorbike driving up the miles of the slow lane which have been cordoned off for no reason. On the one hand he wasn't supposed to be on that bit. On the other hand there seems to be no reason why miles of the motorway are cordoned off, and being on a motorbike in the rain he was probably safer on the closed section.
The rain was rather bad this morning with the section by junction six actually under water. I was amazed at how a relatively raised part of the road could be under water.
As I drove the pundits in the radio were doing their thing. They were interviewing the education secretary who has made the apparently incredibly brave announcement that the government intends to help parents so that by the time their children go to school they are able to speak. Amazingly twenty-five per cent of five year-olds going to school can't communicate. There were those who were complaining about the government intervening in the lives of private individuals; I can't help but feel that if someone has let a child get to five years old without teaching it to speak, then some intervention is necessary.
There was also consternation expressed from the national executive of the Labour party who are blaming Donald Trump for all their troubles. I get *so* cross with the Labour party. It is *such* a good idea in theory, but in practice it is just a shambles. It could be so much better.
I got to work just as the rain was stopping. I got out of my car and stepped into a puddle. i found myself thinking that in years gone by the last week of July was cub camp. I wonder if they are camping at Bilsington again this year?
I had a rather busy day at work today and was glad when home time came. An early start meant for an early finish, and once home I took the dogs round the park. Fudge tried to fight a motorbike on the way to the park, and once at the park both dogs had a swim in the river.
I did chuckle as we walked past the playpark when I overheard one young boy talking to his mother: “Look at than man with the dog and the baby bear” he said.
Presumably Treacle is the baby bear?
With our walk done I spent a little while messing with a new app. I’ve used the NeonGeo app for geocaching for some time, but I’m told that there was some issue with it along the lines of whoever made the thing never got permission to cobble it to Google maps (or something). Whilst mine is working OK, it seems that other people’s versions are stopping working so I thought I’d be pre-emptive and see if I could get something which would make a good replacement.
For me the main priority is the ability to use ordnance survey maps in the app. There are so many other maps available, and none come close to ordnance survey. A fellow hunter of Tupperware told me about an app called GCdroid. I’ve installed it and got the maps working. I shall give the thing a field test tomorrow before work and see how it goes.
Being Tuesday the clans gathered. We watched an old Star Trek Deep Space Nine episode, and put the world to rights. We should do that more often.
As we watched telly "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" was sending me updates on my most recent grandchild. "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" has some new pets. He has three slugs. “Gertie”, “Laura” and “Snorloc” live in a sandwich box and have been fed cucumber and foliage.
One can only hope that slugs eat cucumber and foliage or "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" is not going to be happy. Presumably “Gertie”, “Laura” and “Snorloc” won’t be too chuffed either…