1 June 2013 (Saturday) - Gotham, Honey Boo Boo
Again I was awake and doing my morning ablutions at silly o'clock. I don't know whether or not getting up or lying there is the best thing to do in the small hours. I'd rather not have to make the choice but sleep through, but there it is.
Over a spot of brekkie I did the astro club's accounts. despite a rather low turn out last night we took quite a bit of money. Having our gallant kitchen staff doing hot dogs and soup turned quite a profit. Personally I like having soup and hot dogs available - it saves me the hassle of sorting an evening meal (which can be a rush). However it is not fair to expect people to spend their evenings slaving away in the kitchen.
Kalle arrived, and we set off to collect the rest of the troops. Five of us and two small dogs made our way to the Sussex village of Gotham (it really exists!) for a walk. And whilst on that walk we thought we might find a geocache or two along the way. One of our number had been in contact with the cache owner of a series of caches down that way and we'd been asked to replace any caches that were missing, so we were guaranteed of a clean sweep of caches.
We started walking shortly before mid day, and were out for almost six hours. We'd gone a long way to do this series, and in retrospect I must admit that this wasn't one of the better series of caches that I've been on.
The footpaths and bridleways were not at all well marked. The cache hides were perhaps not really suitable for a series of twenty. When hunting out twenty caches on a route one needs straight-forward hides. Under rocks would be ideal hides. Caches randomly stuffed into hedges take a long time to find. And the DNFs... We'd been asked to replace any missing caches as we went. We made seriously intense searches for each cache, but ended up replacing about a third of them because as well as our being unable to find them, these ones had not been found by a lot of previous searchers.
And so home. With er indoors TM" off to the film night I settled down with the Rear Admiral and "Daddies Little Angel TM" to watch "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo". It is perhaps one of the best shows I have ever seen. Featuring what would appear to be some of the most scary freaks on the planet. It is billed as a reality show. It just can't be reality. It's got to be made up. Go on, loyal readers, give the show a try. It's genius...
2 June 2013 (Sunday) - Sugar Loaf Hill
I was rather aching this morning; I’m a little surprised really. Yesterday’s walk wasn’t especially arduous. I struggled out of my pit after a good night’s sleep and after a quick bit of brekkie we had a message. A cancellation. So a reduced contingent set off to the Admiralty where we collected more, and then on to the Valiant Sailor (oo-er!) where we rallied the last of the troops.
In a novel break with tradition today wasn’t about geocaching. Instead we went for a walk around the hills across the top of Folkestone. Six of us (and three small dogs) strolled along the footpaths across the top of Crete Road East and down to the top of Crete Road West where we looked across to Sugar Loaf Hill. As I wrote last week, Sugar Loaf Hill is where they got the idea for Mount Everest from. There were the more sensible amongst us who took the level route which cut out a lot of the hill. There were also those who thought that you couldn’t say that you’d climbed the hill unless you had done so. From the bottom. In retrospect that was one of my sillier ideas.
Once at the top we spent five minutes gasping for air, and then found the geocache at the top. (We had to do one!) And then we had a spot of lunch. The views from the top were spectacular.
We then came partly down and followed the path along to Caesar’s camp, scaring the long-horned cattle as we went. The long-horned cattle amazed me. For large animals with particularly vicious looking horns they are incredibly timid. Fudge slipped the lead (when I fell down the hill) and chased one. This cow was a hundred times his size and was equipped with two-foot long daggers on its head, but it ran away from the dog in terror.
Bearing in mind that it is a long time since we last went underground, the idea was to do a little tunnel-ratting as we went, and having Furry Face along helped our mission. When caught red-handed on the wrong side of barbed wire fences (labelled “keep out!”) it is often difficult to explain one’s self. However had we been rumbled today we could have claimed we were retrieving an errant Patagonian Tripe-Hound.
We got close to our two subterranean targets. But only close. Both had been sealed to keep the likes of us from going underground. So we conceded defeat and made our way slowly back to the Valiant Sailor (oo-er!) for a crafty pint. There are photos of our walk on the internet. Quite scenic ones too, even if I do say so myself. There’s some wonderful views for be had from above Folkestone.
Finding ourselves back home several hours earlier than has been usual on a Sunday recently I mowed the lawn. That was hard work. It’s some time since the lawn was last mowed, and whilst having a go at it I found an old bone that Fudge had been chewing. Or that is the lawn mower found the bone. It did make a noise. Whilst the damage to the lawn mower is quite severe, I think that it will live to mow the lawn again. It will just do it *very* noisily. I then got the strimmer out to do the edges, and that struggled to the point of collapse. If any of my loyal readers have any lawn-attacking implements surplus to their requirements, I’m your man (!)
With ‘er indoors TM off bowling I set about the monthly accounts. Could be better; could be a whole lot worse. But what is money for; if not to squander on a new lawn mower…
3 June 2013 (Monday) - Busy
Over a spot of brekkie I had a look at the asro club's accounts. I bagged up some of the money and took it up to the bank. I don't like having too much petty cash kicking about the place. I arrived at the bank a few minutes early and found that some of the bank staff were waiting to get in as well as the customers. One of the staff was rather impatient, and was hammering on the window and bellowing to be let in. I wasn't impressed at that.
I took my place in the queue outside. I was third in the queue. As the door opened we all walked in. The idiot who had been first in the queue made great show of his dramatic entrance. And as he played to a crowd that was blatantly ignoring him everyone walked past him to the tills. When he realised that his little performance had gone unnoticed he then started ranting at an uninterested world that he had been first and now was last.
I paid in loads of dosh and then went round to the pound shop to get some more magnetic key holders. The pound shop had sold out. That was a pain. They did have insoles for shoes at a pound each. That was also a pain as I'd just paid five pounds for a similar thing in the shoe shop.
Home where I collected Furry Face and we went for a walk round the park. There was a caravan parked in the middle of the park. A pikey invasion? I hope not. I wonder what's going on there.
We then came home and I did some more of my psychology course. Today we covered superstitions and their psychological causes. Fascinating! It was at this point that the front door opened and the birthday girl came in with Sid. We exchanged insults and set off on a mission. We took a bin load of garden rubbish to the tip (seemingly at the same time as the rest of humanity) and then went on for some McDinner as a birthday treat.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" and Sid then went off on their merry way. Finding that (for once) I had been able to park the car outside the house I took the Hoover out to it and had a bit of a clean-up inside my car. A job which was long overdue. I then sorted my undercrackers and exchanged insults with some passing geocachers who were investigating my garden. They told me that the cache of mine in Banks Road that I'd replaced only a few weeks ago had gone missing again. So I put Furry Face's lead on him and we went on a walk to replace the missing cache only to find it was where it was supposed to be.
I then got the laundry on from the washing line and spent two hours doing ironing. We had tea, and with er indoors TM" setting off bowling I settled down to watch "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo". There was tragedy in tonight's episode - Glitzy the pig got his marching orders. He farted after Mumma got him agitated,and Mumma couldn't cope.
Personally I'm not sure that a pig would make a good house pet but Honey Boo Boo was heartbroken.
4 June 2013 (Tuesday) - Stuff
This morning over a spot of brekkie I watched one of my psychology lectures. Today we were covering memory and the concept of deja vu. Perhaps I might have been mistaken whenever I think I've been somewhere or done something before.
And then my piss boiled as I had deja vu again properly.
The plan for the week was originally to be preparing for the kite festival at Teston. The arrangement for many years has been that we put on a weekend long show for the county council; they allow us to camp out for the weekend. The council have changed that arrangement. They want us to pay them one thousand pounds for the right to camp in the field whilst still putting on the show for them at our own expense. Consequently camping won't be happening this weekend and the event was cancelled. Or so I thought.
Some kiters have decided to put the kite festival on after all. They will drive for hours, fly the kites on Saturday, drive home in the evening, drive back again and do it all again on the Sunday. The council were against camping in the first place. They only allowed camping because it was the only way to get the kite fliers along. And now there are those who have rolled over and are giving the council what they want. Free to the council and at not inconsiderable expense to themselves.
Surely this is the death knell for Teston Kite Festival as it has been. From here on in it will be a day's kite-flying event; the long weekends camping with friends will be no more; just as the council has wanted.
What particularly boils my piss over the whole sorry saga is that with kite festivals dying all over the country, those who are going to put on this show really can't see that it is they themselves who have killed off this festival.
I then had a look at my emails. A new geocache had gone live in Magazine Road; which is on my morning's drive to work. I set off fifteen minutes earlier than usual and soon had that cache in my hand. First to Find as well. That cheered me up a little.
I popped into the Cheapo Bargains shop on my way to work. Another example of psychology in action. Because the place has got "Bargains" in big letters on a sign outside the place, one thinks one is actually getting bargains. Whilst some things there are cheap, much of it is at supermarket prices; if not more expensive
There was something interesting on the radio as I drove.
Apparently a company has set up in business reclaiming dumped supermarket trollies, and has an app you can download to your phone which you can use to report unwanted trollies. I might just download that.
After a rather eventful few days, today was rather dull...
5 July 2013 (Wednesday) - Stuff
This on-line psychology course has made me think. Did you know that just by seeing a word written down you would subsequently be more likely to choose that word in preference to others when given a choice. Which is how advertising works. If you see a particular brand name written on billboards, or posters for a politician there is a marked subconscious effect. You don't need to hear or see anything other than the name of what is being touted, but when you come to vote, or buy your new telly your brain remembers what its seen and you are more likely to choose what you've seen advertised. Even if it's rubbish you will still want to choose it over ones you haven't seen; purely because your brain is more familiar with seeing one word rather than others. It turns out that, given the choice, human nature will have us choose something we know we actively dislike over something we don't know.
It's called "Mere conditioning", and it's made me wonder just how much I do because I honestly want to, and how much I do because that's the way my subconscious makes me.
As I drove to work I had a wry smile. For the first five miles of my journey I had some fool driving not six feet from my rear bumper. He overtook (dangerously) at the first opportunity that he had, and then tailgated the next car. However I caught up with him at the road junctions in Challock (three miles later) and Thanington (six miles later) and at the traffic lights in Wincheap (eight miles later). He'd driven really dangerously to no advantage to anyone. the government is going to increase penalties for such stupid driving.
And with everything of interest over and done with by 7am the rest of the day was rather dull...
6 June 2013 (Thursday) - GPS, Committee, Chips
er indoors TM" came home with a new hand-held GPS unit last night. You know you've arrived in geocaching circles when you have one of those.
Personally I'd like to have one purely for the gadget value, but I can't see the advantage of them over my phone. My phone is connected to the Internet so I can geocache as I go whenever I like. GPS units are not connected to the Internet so you have to research the area where you are going caching beforehand. Which means that you can't go caching randomly wherever you like. And not having an internet connection means you have to muck around recording your finds when you get home; something that GPS-ers often put off and is a topic which causes a lot of whinging on geocaching forums. Admittedly the storage capacity of these GPS units is phenomenal, but people will load up a thousand caches and sit back; seemingly oblivious to the fact that caches get disabled (which won't show on stored details), or that new ones go live when you are out and about. This regularly happens at cachers meetings where GPS-ers are seen with sheets of paper with the co-ordinates written down for them.
GPS units also require one to fart around producing PQs to do searches which involve far more fiddling around than pressing a couple of buttons on the phone. The maps on the GPS units don't come close to the ordnance survey maps I use. I like seeing where footpaths and bridleways go on a map as opposed to just seeing a green blob of woodland. And the GPS units aren't actually any more accurate or precise than my phone.
I've been watching these GPS units in action for several months now. I've lost count of the amount of times that I've heard GPS-ers announce that they haven't got particular caches loaded when we are out and about. I've watched GPS-ers spend large parts of walk transmitting cache details from one unit to another because people haven't got cache details. I've even seen GPS units being unable to determine what side of a river a certain cache is on.
Admittedly the GPS units are rather robust and they have a far better battery life than a phone, but other than that I can't see why people rave about the GPS units After all, I have a pocket full of spare batteries. Having been giving the matter serious consideration for many months I really can't see what I can do with a GPS unit that I can't do quicker and easier with my phone. As I watch what er indoors TM" does with hers I shall either see the error of my ways, or I shall gloat.
And then I sulked. The plan for today was to be driving off to Teston Bridge picnic site to be setting up for a weekend's camping. Not only has that been cancelled, I seriously wonder if there will be any more camping weekends there. The arrangement has always been that kite fliers put on a show for the public and the council allows them to camp for free. The council's made no secret that they don't like people camping, and have been difficult enough to cut the camping down to once a year. So as a protest (!) some of the kite fliers are going up there this weekend to put on a kite show. With a thousand fields in the county in which to have a protest kite-fly they have chosen the very one they should be boycotting.
Are these people really that thick that they can't see that the council (who doesn't want camping there anyway) has got what they wanted all along? If any of my loyal readers could explain the logic behind this, please let me know.
I put the lead on to "Furry Face TM" and took him out for a two-hour walk. He was mostly good as we walked. There was a little episode when he wouldn't come back when called. However in his defence he'd found some frogs to terrorise and was rather distracted.
After our walk we came home to domestic trivia. Hoovering and washing and ironing. All very dull, but all jobs that needed doing. With the chores out of the way I got the latest batch of beer out of the bucket and into the barrel. This beer should do us for Brighton; that's one kite festival which won't be undermined by misguided well-meaning intentions.
I really need to be thinking about getting another batch of beer on the go for our summer garden party. I sent the invites to that out via Facebook today. Or that is I sent the invites to those people on my Facebook list who might be able to get along. If I've missed any of my loyal readers out, please drop me a line and I'll send through details.
And then I set off out. First of all to Tesco, which was surprisingly dull and uneventful; or so it seemed until I came to come out. As I walked toward the door the alarm went off, and a delightful couple (who I can only describe as "being somewhat council") started pushing their trolley a lot faster. The store detective, aged about twelve, gave chase. As I walked passt the argument it was bordering on fisticuffs.
On to the astro club's committee meeting. Lots planned - the future looks interesting.
And home via the chip shop as a treat. The chip shop was advertising the fact that the packaging they use is recyclable. This was apparently something remarkable. I didn't have the heart to tell them that the newspapers that wrapped chips forty years ago were 100% recyclable...
7 June 2013 (Friday) - Elvis
I had a late night last night, finally turning in about 1am. I woke at 2.30am, and lay rather restless for the rest of the night. I streamed some Sparks albums from You-Tube on my phone, but I couldn't get back to sleep. I finally got up at 7am; sulking that I wasn't in a field like I really should have been. I had a day's leave booked for today specifically because I was supposed to be in a field. Oh well; a day off when the weather is good is never a bad thing.
I did more on-line psychology over brekkie. It's a good course but it is slightly marred by the fact that the course tutor is a "pushy" vegetarian. If people choose to be vegetarian then that is their choice. However there is a vocal minority of vegetarians who push the fact and seem to delight in trying to lay guilt onto non-vegetarians. I can't help but feel that there is no place for pro-veggie propaganda in an on-line psychology course, but what do I know?
I also did the "half-way" test for the course. I don't think that as an examination it was very good. It merely asked for a lot of recollection of specific facts and didn't test any understanding at all.
I then put "Furry Face TM"'s collar and lead on him and took him for a walk. He was off the lead for a lot loger than usual today. He was mostly well behaved, but while we were out he did think that he'd saved the world from three joggers, two postmen, three cyclists, two motorbikes, an old lady's shopping trolley, a man wearing a silly hat and a dustbin lorry. I wish he wouldn't take it on himself to have woofing fits at anything which moves.
Whilst we were out I hid a geocache,and found one which had been eluding me for over a month.
Home again - I put more laundry into the washing machine. Dull I know, but it won't wash itself. And as the afternoon wore on the clans gathered. Eight of us then set off to meet even more at the New Chimneys for a birthday meal, a few beers and Elvis. I do like an Elvis tribute, even if he is doing Dusty Springfield songs.
Perhaps I'm getting old - after three pints I came home and went straight to bed...
8 June 2013 (Saturday) - The Speldhurst Stroll
I woke shivering at 4am having somehow thrown all the covers off of me. As I tried to sort out the mess I'd made of the bedding I had the shock of my life. "Furry Face TM" had somehow sneaked upstairs in the night and had made himself a nest inside the covers I'd thrown off of myself and over him. He sprung from a tangled blanket and licked my nose. Try as I might I wasn't going to get back to sleep after that fright.
Over a spot of brekkie I listened to next door clanging on their piano. There is an old adage "practice makes perfect". If only it were so. In several years of clanging, practice has so far not even got as far as "not bad". But I'm not complaining. All the time they clang that piano morning, noon and night I have no qualms about making as muck noise as I like.
With er indoors TM" off candlemongering I set off on a geo-mission with Lisa. First we went to Pembury to see if we could find one of the county's oldest geocaches. We found it, as had some "normal people". Someone had written in the log "I have found your stuff in this box I think you are f*ing strange". Which was nice.
From there we went on to Tunbridge Wells for the monthly cacher's meeting. It was good to meet up with friends, and after an hour or so spent chatting eight of us went off on a geo-stroll of about five miles and twenty-something caches. Some tricky cache hides; the GPS co ordinates seemed to be variable. At one point I was up a tree; at another I was nearly breaking my neck. There wasn't too much mud, and on the way one of our number found his two thousandth cache.
I do like these monthly cachers meetings. It's an ideal chance to meet up and chat with with like-minded people and go for a stroll with friends old and new. Today we had a really good gossip, and had a good walk in the sunshine with others who don't think there's anything wrong with hunting out plastic boxes in the woods
With the walk done we went back to the pub for a crafty half and then came home. I walked "Furry Face TM" round the block, and with er indoors TM" off to the film night I settled down in front of the telly for a slob-about and to recharge my batteries for more geo-nonsense tomorrow.
My neck really aches now. I wonder if I ricked it earlier when nearly breaking it...?
9 June 2013 (Sunday) - Biggin Hill
Three of us and two small dogs went to Biggin Hill today. As we drove we saw a stall selling asparagus. Apparently it is in season now. Personally I wouldn't know the first thing about asparagus. I'm told that it is well regarded in posh circles. I shall consult "the Man with No Alias (patent pending)" and get his august advice on the matter.
Once in Biggin Hill we set off on a five mile guided walk. I say " five mile guided walk" - regular readers of this drivel will know that it was a series of geocaches. "Doris's Right Old Mixture" was (and is) a series of twenty three caches through some rather scenic countryside. Quite scenic views; some clever geocaching. We found all the caches, and at the end of the walk was a pub. Ideal for a pint to wash down our sandwiches. Because I'm polite I asked if they minded us having our picnic in their garden with the beer I was about to buy. The spotty young oik looked down his nose at me as though I was something Fudge had just plopped onto his carpet and patronisingly conceded that he couldn't stop us.
And they wonder why the pub trade is dying on its arse.
It was only a short walk back to the car. From there it was two minutes to Charles Darwin's house. There is an Earthcache in the grounds of that place. An Earthcache is a special type of geocache. In over two thousand finds I've only found one of those. We thought we'd go for the Earthcache. We arrived to find it was in an English Heritage site and that it would cost us ten quid (each) to get near the Earthcache.
We didn't bother, Instead we went for another series of geocaches; "Doris's Break Out". Based in the general vicinity of Jail Lane, "Doris's Break Out" is a series of seventeen caches along five more miles. We failed on a few of these I'm sorry to say. Whilst out and about we found ourselves at the back door of the gardens of Charles Darwin's house. The gates were open and unsupervised. It would have been really easy to have sneaked in, done the secret geocaching ritual, and sneaked out again. I seriously considered it (for about five seconds) but thought better of it. I shall go back at some point and do the Earthcache properly and honestly.
And then - would you believe it - I got kicked. By a horse. It &@*! hurt and still does.
We were minding our geocachical business, walking along a footpath. The footpath was clearly marked, and our GPS-enabled ordnance survey maps confirmed we were on a public right of way when a horse came up to me and kicked me on the thigh. Hard. Fudge wasn't bothering the horse in any way, nor was I. It was an unprovoked attack. The horse then seemed determined to push on at me. I hollered obscenities at it; in retrospect I wonder if I should have punched it. By now Fudge was upset, and as Hurksy distracted the horse I bundled up Furry Face and got him (and me) to safety.
When I got home I phoned Kent Police to report the incident. I had taken accurate GPS readings of the field where the incident happened and photographs of the animal in question. The police made it clear that (like with pretty much everything else) they weren't interested. I was under the impression that the landowner had a duty of care to people using the footpaths across his fields. For example one would not expect to find tigers loose in a field traversed by a public right of way. And by the same token if my small dog should playfully nip a child then he would be put down. The police explained that dogs are (apparently) unique in the animal kingdom in that the law expects them to be controlled. All other animals are by definition wild and can do whatever they like.
My piss boiled. And it still boils. Let's be quite frank here. That horse is dangerous. If I had I taken my grand-daughter caching today and if the horse had struck her at the same level it struck me, the blow to the head would probably have killed her. There is a horse loose in a field near Biggin Hill that should be put down. The police have made it clear that they don't want to know anything about it.
I might just go back there with my cooking hammer. That should do the trick...
10 June 2013 (Monday) - My Leg Hurts
I had a rather disturbed night's sleep. I think I would have slept well if not for my equine altercation yesterday. Every time I rolled on to my right side I yelped in pain. Not good(!)
Over a spot of brekkie I looked out of the window and wondered about what might have been. The original plan for the weekend had us camping. The weather at the beginning of the weekend was good. Yesterday was cold. Whilst out walking yesterday I was searching through my pockets trying to find gloves. Which is not really the sort of thing one does less than two weeks from midsummer's day. There had been a geocacher's camp at the weekend - I'd seen the photos of people there huddled up in the cold. One of the attendees reported that the first thing they did when they came home was to turn on the heating, and that her husband had gone to bed with a cold.
This morning was rather chilly, dark and overcast. Perhaps it was for the best that we didn't go camping.
I had a look at some of the photos from the people that did put on a kite show at Teston over the weekend. It looks to me as though there were hardly any of the normal people there on Saturday despite good weather on that day. Whenever I've been at Teston on a non-kite festival day there has never been many people using the place either. This makes me wonder why the council are asking for so much money for us to stage a kiting event there. Clearly it's not as though the field is in use for anything else.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" arrived shhortly after brekkie and we took the dogs for a walk. Or she and the dogs walked. I alternately hobbled and staggered. My leg was rather tender after yesterday's equine incident. It's got scarring and the bruising is starting to come out. I phoned the doctor for advice. As I was able to stand he thought it unlikely that the leg was broken. He suggested ice packs to relieve the swelling. I phoned the land owner to see what they had to say about their wild horse. After a lot of unanswered calls someone answered the phone. I described where the incident had happened and the horse in question, and the chap on the phone admitted that it was their animal on their land. I suspect that he will regret that admission.
He then said that the boss was away until Saturday and I should ring back then. I assured him that I would, and in the meantime I suggested that he might like to do something about what was demonstrably a dangerous animal. He didn't seem very inclined to do anything but wait for the arrival of his boss.
During the day several of my loyal readers have offered suggestions and advice for which I am very grateful. I've now handed it all over to "suethem.com" and am awaiting developments.
It was interesting that the chap at the stables should take the stance that he did. Today's psychology lecture described his attitude perfectly.
Apparently most people seem to be happiest when they are deferring to higher authority. Just like the bloke at the stables did. Today's psychology lecture had yet another blatant pro-vegetarian advertisement. I think the chap's rather naughty to be using the course as a vehicle to push his views in this way...
11 June 2013 (Tuesday) - Slow Worms, Ghosts...
I slept well for a change. After a spot of brekkie I scrounged a lift to town. I had a cheque to pay into the astro club's account. Whilst in town I had a mooch around. It looks like the old hardware shop opposite the NatWest is closing down. I suppose they just can't compete for prices with the superstores. I popped into Wilkos for the makings for some ale for our summer party. They were having a sale on the home brew stuff. I got the ingredients for five gallons of mild for £6.28. That works out at less than sixteen pence per pint. That'll do me. I also got a Euromillions ticket. Winning that would do me as well.
I then went round to the pound shop for a look-see. There were bargains to be had, and I had some. There were also wall-to-wall screaming harridans, shrieking harpies and squalling brats as well. For all that I like the pound shops they can be just a little bit "council". But what does one expect for a quid.
I came home and mowed the lawn. Having nearly exploded the lawn mower last week I was wondering how the poor thing would cope today. It did quite well really. Whilst trimming the lawn I found a slow worm. In years gone by we used to have loads of them in our garden; we rarely see them nowadays. Which is a shame.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" arrived with Sid, and we put Fudge's lead on him and took the dogs for a walk. Whilst going round by the Shetland ponies we had a surprise. We met Cheryl. I didn't recognise her. That was thick of me. We went on with our walk round to the park. Fudge was again mostly well behaved when off of his lead; even if he did vanish into the undergrowth for longer than I would rather he did.
There was someone with a power kite and buggy in the park. We watched for a while, then came home. By then it was mid day. As "Daddies Little Angel TM" vanished off on whatever it was that she was doing, I had a spot of lunch whilst watching my on-line psychology lecture. Today we looked at the Stanford prison experiment
It was scary. In 1971 experimenters set up a fake prison and volunteers played the roles of convicts and guards. Those playing the guards went from being decent citizens to sadistic bullies in a matter of days. Which goes to illustrate something I've said for years - those seeking power over others should not be allowed that power.
I then got my five gallons of mild into the bucket to start fermenting. I'm hoping for good things from this stuff. Pausing only briefly to return the most recent fruit of my loin to Folkestone I then set about Bubble Witch Saga games on Facebook until the clans gathered for the Tuesday evening session. After bandying insults we watched "Being Human" which was good; but not the same without ghost Annie making tea...
12 June 2013 (Wednesday) - Stuff
Following a few day's break from work, I went back to the grind today. And my insomnia returned with a vengeance. I went to bed at 11.30pm last night and woke feeling fully refreshed at 1.40am. I then lay away before finally giving up and getting up shortly after 5am when I felt like death warmed up.
I seriously considered phoning in sick and spending the day in bed.
I came down to find that the bucket of beer I set fermenting yesterday afternoon was bubbling well. I was pleased about that. I then watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica. Having finished the Babylon 5 DVDs some time ago i thought I'd try the Bat Glak again. Perhaps I was prompted by the cameo appearances of Katee Sackhoff in episodes of Big Bang Theory. I can remember that it was eminently watchable. That is Battlestar Galactica and Katee Sackhoff were both eminently watchable. Mind you she spends more time in the bath and in the nip on Big Bang Theory than she ever did on Battlestar Galactica. Perhaps I've chosen the wrong series to watch?
I didn't get chance to do any of my psychology course today. Which was probably for the best. Mind you as I drove to work I learned that a recent study has shown that the Lego corporation are making more and more of their mini-figures with angry faces. Apparently pirate lego and Harry Potter lego are rife with grouchy looking characters.
Experts seem to think that angry lego characters will affect the development of the children that play with lego. It may well do so. I'd never really considered the expressions of the lego figures. Now that I have I know that they do have an assortment of grimaces I've decided that I want some angry and miserable ones for the lego train set that I plan to build.
They can be waiting for the train which is running late...
Whilst at work I learned something new. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that I've been ranting about Kent County Council who want the kite fliers to pay an absolute fortune for camping at Teston Bridge picnic site. It turns out that (as always) there is more to this than meets the eye. A colleague who lives in the area told me that much of the land owned by Maidstone council has a problem with ex-council house tenants who have found life to be much cheaper when one operates out of a tent. Apparently tents are springing up all over the Maidstone area. Maidstone council aren't too pleased with this. Presumably if these campers see us in our tents they will join in, but unlike us won't go home at the end of the weekend.
I wonder if other festivals suffer from hangers-on...?
13 June 2013 (Thursday) - More Stuff
Having slept like a log I got up and watched another episode of BattleStar Galactica before my beloved emerged from her pit this morning. As I scoffed my toast Furry Face made himself comfortable on my lap. He's quite funny really. When he sits on me he usually brings one of his toys with him and drops it on the sofa somewhere near where he has plonked himself. If I move that toy off of the sofa he goes and fetches it back. Even if he's fast asleep he immediately wakes to go retrieve it.
And so to work. As I drove I listened to the news. Tree-huggers are up in arms about mobile phones.
Apparently less ethical twitchers are using apps to mimic bird calls to attract rare species to be photographed. This is frowned upon in ornithological circles because it upsets the birds being attracted. I don't see it somehow. It's hardly news, is it? Isn't this what duck hunters have been doing for years? I can remember Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny with a duck caller over forty years ago. Mind you Elmer was intending to blow those birds away with a shotgun, but the principle is the same.
With a few minutes spare I stopped off at the cheapo-bargains shop as I was driving past. Having waited until the stroke of 9am to be allowed into the shop (so that the staff could finish their cigarettes) I was rather miffed to find that their sugar was half the price of the stuff that I'd bought in Wilkos on Tuesday. But I got a bargain on eight tins of Spitfire that I shall guzzle at the weekend. Some with my Ham Street Lover on Saturday, and if any are left then I might have those on Sunday.
And so to work where I did my bit, and came home again.
And today I shall leave my loyal readers with a moral psychological dilemma. Talking totally hypothetically of course.. Imagine that you had been knifed in the back viciously and in an unprovoked way (in a metaphorical sense), and you knew the person who had done it to you. And then you found yourself in a position to do exactly the same nasty and vindictive thing back to that person.
Would you do it? I don't think I can because I would like to think that I am a better person than one who would do that. Or should I say "could", as we are talking hypothetically...
14 June 2013 (Friday) - Ramsgate, Dungeness
I was up with the lark and watching the antics of Apollo and Starbuck at 5.30am today. It's only recently that I realised that the chap who played the part of Apollo in the original 1970s BattleStar Galactica played the part of the arch-nasty in the recent re-make.
And so to work. I say "work" - I was on a course today so I wasn't at my usual haunt, but in Margate instead. As a treat I arrived early and had a fry up. I have often thought about adding a page to this blog entitled "the Perfect Fry-up". I've had excellent frips (to coin a phrase) in all sorts of places. I'm afraid today's wouldn't rate highly though.
I did my course which was on the dull side. It finished at mid day, and I'd arranged to take the rest of the day as holiday. By an amazing stroke of luck the course was held just up the road from a shop in Ramsgate which sold geocaching supplies. I'd arranged to call in to see them. Firsttofind.co.uk was a rather impressive name for a web site. But as a shop - I was disappointed. Whilst their stock is good, they are really an on-line business. I had been hoping to have a mooch round a shop and have a good browse. Instead when I finally found the place (it took some finding) it was effectively just a counter. They probably had loads of stuff, but weren't geared up for passing trade, which was a shame. But I found the cache just down the road from the place.
Whilst I was in the area I picked up a puzzle cache I'd solved some time ago and was saving until such time as I was passing (like today)
The puzzle was reasonably straight forward, and (I think) that this cache will stay in my cacher-stats for some time as it is the most easterly cache in the UK for miles around. I had planned to go on to Ramsgate harbour to hunt out some caches there, but what looked like a short walk on the map looked a bit further in reality. So I contented myself with watching the kite surfer for a few minutes.
And so home to find my lego train tracks had arrived from eBay. I would have got the tracks out but "Daddies Little Angel TM" was in residence and Skinhead was visiting. Much as I enjoy embarrassing the fruits of my loin, I wouldn't want my Dad to get his lego out when my mates were about.
Once er indoors TM" came home we got "Furry Face TM"'s lead on him and went to Dungeness for a walk. It was a really good evening for a wander; we had the entire area to ourselves. "Furry Face TM"' did disgrace himself when he got a whiff of a rabbit, and there's no denying that I wish he hadn't been carrying a fish head around quite so much, but you can't have everything...
15 June 2013 (Saturday) - Dover, SingStar
I was really late to bed last night, and had no burning need to be up particularly early. But still I woke at 4am. I pootled about for a bit and watched some DVDs until my beloved emerged from her pit.
The Lisa-mobile arrived and we set off to Dover. There is a geocache in the drop redoubt rated 5/5 - very difficult terrain; very difficult to find. Bearing in mind that the drop redoubt isn't open very often we thought we'd try for it today. 5/5 caches aren't common and we didn't want to turn down the chance to find it. It was actually a relatively easy cache to find.
We'd taken Furry Face with us. Dogs were allowed in. I've been there beefore so I knew what to expect. For some reason I didn't think they'd be doing re-enactments. They were. The bangs of the rifles terrified the poor pup. I took him out, but he was shivering in fear. I sat quietly with him, but he was inconsolable, actually having a tiddle acident when one particularly loud bang went off. Poor pup.
We soon left the drop redoublt and wandered the Western Heights looking for other caches. We found three more. One of which was particularly ingenious. I had hoped to do a bit of tunnel-ratting, but someone had securely fastened the entrance to the St Margarets deep shelter, which was a shame.
There were picnic tables at the car park and we watched the ferries coming and going before moving on to Samphire Hoe for a wander. Samphire Hoe is rather scenic, but it is also very windswept.
And so home. I mucked about ordering more lego on-line for a while, and then the clans gathered. We then wandered round to Denmark Road for an engagement party. Cans of spitfire were poured down necks along with lager and sambucca. There were rumours of mankinis, but only rumours.
We got the Singstar out. I lost comprehensively - even at Wizzard and Sparks when singing against someone who wasn't born until twenty years after Wizzard and Sparks heyday.
And so home. Leaving the womenfolk crashed on the sofas I tootled off to my pit, hoping that over a gallon of booze would have a soporific effect. It usually does.
16 June 2013 (Sunday) - Fathers Day
Over a spot of brekkie I reflected on the date. Today is the start of the coarse fishing season. In years gone by I would have been dashing out to go fishing. Fishing is something I've let slip recently. The coldblow syndicate would seem to have ended. A shame really; but I only used my coldblow membership once last year. Twenty quid for one afternoon is a bit steep. In fact I think I've only been fishing twice over the last three years.
And then Fudge started woofing. There was someone in the garden. A geocacher looking for the cache. I went out and had a chat, as you do. It was someone I've not seen at any of the meets, but a name I recognised, and it was good to chat.
"My Boy TM" called and we set off. There was a "Dad's Day" event organised for the fathers in the family. Over a dozen of us met up at Uncle Fred's yard and once the rain had passed the sun came out. We had a wonderful afternoon picniccing in the sunshine, flying power kites, playing rounders, having a barby. I particularly liked the barbecue which was cunningly made out of the drum of an old washing machine. I might just have to copy that idea for myself.
I fell asleep in the sunshine; and woke to find people saying their goodbyes. We went on to Dan-World where we watched Man vs Food and had take-out kebabs. Very nice,
I think I ricked my neck when I fell over playing rounders. It hurts to move my head...
17 June 2013 (Monday) - Bins
I got some petrol this morning on my way to work, and then popped in to Morrisons to get some shopping. As I was walking out something in the newspaper stands caught my eye.
In Ashford we are about to get a lot less dustbin collections and instead have a lot more recycling. We will have to separate recyclables from rubbish, and put our food waste in different bins from perishables. Blue rubbish will have to go into the yellow tub whilst red waste will have to go into the aquamarine receptive. And so on.
This kind of active sorting of waste has been going on for some time in Canterbury. And now it turns out that despite people's best efforts to sort refuse into its constituent rubbish, when the bin men collect it, they just chuck it all into the same skip.
Apparently three bin men are up for the sack because of this revelation. Personally I can't help but wonder if this is for their chucking the various flavours of tat all in together, or if this is because they got caught doing so.
And then my phone rang. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that I got hoofed (literally) by a horse a week ago. Last Monday I contacted "sue them dot com". Today the legal-eagles at "sue them dot com" phoned me back to say they weren't interested in my case, but wondered if I wanted to have a pop at my bank for mis-sold PPI insurance.
So, to recap... I was the victim of an unprovoked attack from an uncontrolled horse on a public right of way. Whilst I survived the incident, it was purely luck. Had the blow hit my shin then a bone would have been broken. Had the blow hit a child it could have killed them. The landowner doesn't care, nor does the owner of the horse. The police are utterly disinterested, as are "sue them dot com". The Ramblers Association don't want to get involved; they have referred me to the local council who have still to get back to me after a week's inactivity.
Perhaps I should go turn that horse into glue and/or dog food and then see if everyone is still unconcerned...
18 June 2013 (Tuesday) - I Told You So...
A bit of a rant today, I'm afraid. But it does lead on from yesterday's witterings...
Yesterday I whinged that no one was at all interested in dealing with the feral horse that savagely attacked me the other day. There are those who mock my being savagely attacked by a feral horse; but what do they know? It's something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.... I've spent forty years mocking the equinophobic but now I'm conceding that they might possibly have a point, but I digress. Again.
Amongst those who couldn't give a stuff about feral horses are Kent Police. I shall rant about them (again) today...
Being able to say "I told you so" might be satisfying to the person saying it; but it is always something of a pyrrhic victory. Regular readers of this drivel may have worked out that I am not a fan of the local police force. Over the years they have made all sorts of blunders to which I can personally testify. They have wrongly arrested people dear to me; and then (having released them with no apology) made it clear that that wronged individual is not to make a complaint. They have refused to charge security staff at Ashford International Station who were recorded on closed circuit TV assaulting a member of my family. They have refused to investigate a break-in to a family friend's car, saying that CSI-style investigations is something they only do when they aren't busy elsewhere. They have cautioned people for trivial offences despite those people having plenty of witnesses to testify that they were miles away at the time of the alleged incident. They refuse to go take a look at a dangerous horse in a field near Biggin Hill (!)
When I have sent written complaints to the Chief Constable about these and other incidents I have had phone calls from the police telling me that they are the police, and I should learn my place and not complain.
For years I've publically run down the Boys in Blue, and now it seems I was right all along. They *are* rubbish. I heard on the radio this morning that finally their failings have been recognised publically.
H.M. Inspectorate of Constabulary has found that Kent Police wrongly classified a quarter of the crimes recorded on their books; among these mis-classified crimes being rapes and robberies.
This is terrible, but in Kent Police's defence (and it pains me to defend the 'bules) it would seem that they have been running an "institutional bias towards chasing numerical targets for solving crime". The media reported this as though it was some sort of revelation. This is the cause of the sorry state of our police force; needless paperwork.
It is far easier for a copper to nick a tramp for vagrancy or to nick some dopey students smoking kippers in the park than it is for them to catch burglars hours after the event. Because an easy nick is a quick nick and it looks better when counting the nicks. And in this age of league tables of course the police are going to go for the easy option to get to the top of the pile.
As a society we should realise that it is time to abandon scoring policing on crimes solved in this way. That way the police can stop fannying about on trivial incidents that don't warrant investigating (like formally investigating an allegation that I murdered someone's wife ten years before I ever met that person). The police might then be able to concentrate on the important stuff.
However I doubt this will happen. League tables are politically correct at the moment. Schools have been playing silly beggars to score well in league tables for years; even though everyone thinks they are a bad idea.
Meanwhile in more trivial circles my neck still hurts. Too much rounders I expect. Mind you the aching leg is getting better.
Not that I will be shutting up about that horse any time soon...
19 June 2013 (Wednesday) - Dodgy Guts
I slept reasonably well last night, but woke this morning feeling decidedly iffy. I then spent a rather unpleasant ten minutes in "trap one" trying to decide which end I should point at the porcelain. Gastro-intestinal difficulties are (in my experience) a subject of hilarity; albeit in rather bad taste. Unless (of course) it's me with the icky guts.
I had seen the weather forecast for the day - glorious sunshine. So I had planned on an early start. A long walk for "Furry Face TM" and home before the day got too hot. But overnight the weather forecast had changed. At 8am the sky was black and rain was predicted from 10am onwards. So with bad weather coming and my guts not being on top form I abandoned the idea of a long walk and we just went round the block.
As we came home so the sun came out. I put some washing into the washing machine and gardened for a bit. lawns don't mow themselves, nor do fish pond filters clean themselves. With gardening done I put the washing on the line, filled the toilet for the umpteenth time (yuk!) and took myself off to bed for an hour. When I woke Daddies Little Angel TM" was in residence. She was shouting into her mobile to "fams" and "bluds". I wish she wouldn't. I brought in dry washing, put more wet washing onto the line, filled the toilet again and went back to bed.
The afternoon was equally dull. I got the beer out of the bucket and into the barrel. I got a dozen shirts ironed and I watched a psychology lecture before going back to bed. er indoors TM" came home and we took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We could have walked further but I wasn't feeling one hundred percent. We came home and I slept for an hour before tea.
I didn't eat as much as I would have liked to. "Furry Face TM" was also sick this evening...
20 June 2013 (Thursday) - 5-H-T
I went to bed last night still feeling icky. I slept till 2.20am, then dozed fitfully for the rest of the night. I finally got up just after 6am still not feeling one hundred per cent. I came downstairs to find that Fudge also seemed under the weather. Poor pup.
Mind you I'm wondering if my dodgy innards were more to do with the chocolate limes I scoffed on the way home on Tuesday evening, or having had my evening meal at 11pm for two nights running. As for the cause of the dog's malady I expect he's eaten something else that he shouldn't have.
Fudge then helped me eat my morning's toast (he likes toast) as I watched my dose of BattleStar Galactica, and as DLA arrived, so I set off to work. I needed an apple to go with lunch, but I couldn't be doing with calling in at the farm shop. Supermarkets do apples which are of better quality than the ones at the farm shop, and are cheaper too. Sad, but true. Whilst in the supermarket I looked for a yo-yo (for geocaching purposes). I couldn't find one, so I asked an assistant for help. This request foxed her, and she called over some colleagues. None of them had ever heard of the concept of a supermarket selling any sort of toy (let alone a yo-yo), so I gave up. The nice lady in the cheapo bargains shop was insistent that they had yo-yos. She had no idea where they were, and she couldn't locate them, but she was sure that they had some somewhere. Perhaps they have.
And so to work. I was greeted by a colleague who looked stressed. She stopped me and asked me if I thought she looked stupid. I wasn't getting involved, so I told her I was taking the Fifth Amendment (the right to remain silent) and left her to it.
A little bit later I took the opportunity to fan the flames by asking her if she had got the answer to her question. Mind you, it turns out (so she told me) that she is extremely intelligent, but she hides her light under a bushel. I do much the same. It is best to conceal the fact that one is a genius; society expects much less from tattoo-ed bald thugs than it does from geniuses.
Talking of geniuses, I was asked today which animal was it that only had one leg. My inquisitor was sure that there was a species of fauna that only sported one leg. She maintained that there was a colony of whatever-they-weres at Blean bird park.
And so home, where I am hoping for a good night's sleep. A colleague swears by 5-hydroxy-tryptophan which he assures me gives him a good sleep every night. He's given me some of the stuff to try. It comes from Holland and Barrett so it must be good sh*t (!) According to the Internet as well as aiding sleep, 5-hydroxy-tryptophan has all sorts of other benefits including curbing the appetite, reducing the symptoms and complications of cerebellar ataxia, lessening the symptoms experienced during alcohol withdrawal and reducing symptoms of mania. That's a result.
Mind you the stuff isn't without it's down side. Reported side effects include heartburn, nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, muscle cramps, gas, bloating, and lack of sexual desire (which is probably for the best!)
I've taken the tablets. Let's see what happens.
21 June 2013 (Friday) - Busy, Busy...
Last night was something of a test for 5-hydroxy-tryptophan. Did the stuff do the trick? Difficult to say, really. I woke at 3am, and several times after that/ but I got proper sleep, with some rather vivid dreams. The experiment was rather messed up by the shop over the road having a very noisy delivery at 4.30am. I shall try again tonight and see what happens.
After a spot of brekkie I took "Furry Face TM" for aa walk. This morning's constitutional was quite eventful. Fudge had a serious woofing fit at a vagrant in his sleeping bag in Bowen's Field wetland park. And I had a serious woofing fit at the fit (in more ways than one) young mother who came jogging past with a push chair. As well as transporting the littlun, she was using the push chair as some sort of exercise device. Periodically she would stop running with the push chair and start pulling various contortions over and about it. It was quite entertaining.
And so home, where I did my homework for the on-line psychology course. i had to choose a topic about how mankind interacts with animals and write a short piece on it. I chose "zoos - good or bad". I have a couple of days until the thing is to be handed in, so if any of my loyal readers would like to offer any comments or advice I'd be very grateful.
I then took the seats out of the car in readiness for the evening's plans. The seats are heavy - I weighed one. It weighed two and a half stone. That's a lot. And then I realised that in the last two years the amount of weight I have lost is equivalent to two car seats. That really is a lot to be lugging about.
After a spot of lunch I put the lead on "Furry Face TM" and took him ffor another walk. It's odd - no matter how little or how far we walk in the morning, in the afternoon he's still desperate for a walk. But when we go he is obviously aching and seems like he can hardly move. I wonder if some cod liver oil in his food might help him?
Whilst out we met a colleague who is hoping to move to the area. I replaced one of my geoccaches which I found had gone missing a few days ago, and we made our way home via the Bowens Field Wetland Park. "Furry Face TM" went straight into the swampy bit and came out smelling as though something had died. I'm not sure what it was that had died, but something had. My dog had found one of its bones. Recapturing the pup was then quite tricky as he seemed convinced I was after his bone.
And so to Smarden (via four geocaches) to collect the camping gear. We don't need it for a little while, but I was at a loose end today so together with the Bat, er indoors TM" and the Rear Admiral we got some of the gear together. I need to go through the shed to see what else we have, and what we need. Once home we put the gear away, and put the top box onto the car for the summer.
And with all the jobs done a lot earlier than expected we went out for a little drive. One of my geocaches had been reported to have a wet log so we went out and replaced one dry log with another. And then we went on to three more caches.
Home for a curry, and more 5-hydroxy-tryptophan...
22 June 2013 (Saturday) - Birthdays
5-hydroxy-tryptophan came up trumps last night. Six hours of unbroken sleep. That is unheard of. I was well pleased with that, and felt quite smug as I watched my morning's fix of BattleStar Galacticaa over toast and coffee. I wasn't quite so smug about the weather though - mid summer and torrential rain.
We drove down to Folkestone to see the birthday boy, and then went shopping. A gas barbecue from Tesco, and we ordered a new wall unit from the hospice's charity shop. It will (hopefully) be delivered on Wednesday.
Home for a spot of lunch. We bandied insults with "Daddies Little Angel TM" and the Rear Admiral, and then took "Furry Face TM" round the block. He likes that. Once home er indoors TM" prepared for the new wall unit by shifting the clutter from the old broken one whilst I did more on-line psychology. Apparently 5-hydroxy-tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, low levels of which are common in people with depression. So as well as sleeping better I might stop being such a mardy old git (!) And then I played silly on-line games until it was time to go out.
The Bat arrived, and we went to the County Hotel where everyone gathered for a belated birthday meal. Two pints of very black beer, and an "all you can eat" buffet before going to Queen Street (oo-er!) for coffee and cake. Wonderful food with wonderful friends. Mind you, the problem with an "all you can eat" buffet is that it encourages you to see just how much you can eat. I felt rather bloated as I lay down to sleep...
23 June 2013 (Sunday) - The MBHW Series
Another success for 5-hydroxy-tryptophan as I had another good night's sleep, not waking till nearly 6am. Perhaps a lie-in one Sunday might be nice, but laying about in bed is really only any use if you want to waste your life that way (!) So a spot of brekkie was scoffed, and then we went out promptly.
We'd arranged to do the "May Bank Holiday Weekend" series of geocaches; we'd arranged this a couple of weeks ago. But what with one thing and another I hadn't really done my homework. I'd downloaded all the caches to my phone, but it wasn't till we were within a few miles of the start that I realised my mistake. It was only then that I realised where we were going. These caches were around the Haywards Heath area. I should have rallied the Sussex chapter along. By the time I had realised this, it was too late. Next time I will be more organised.
We parked up and set off on our walk. To begin with I think it's fair to say we struggled a little. GPS kit was thrown by overhead power cables. And we never seem to have much urgency when we are out. With a series of seventy caches (plus five others along the way) we should really have been much further on than cache #11 by mid day. But even if it is all about the numbers, it's not about rushing. We had a great time. We saw deer and foxes. We had a picnic by the river. I shouted abuse at the steam trains (I *hate* steam trains) The forecast rain never came. Suzy Woo was off of her lead a lot - she's getting really good at that now.
The cache hides were good. Relatively easy; but then that is what one wants when there's lots to be found. Mind you I did think some of the hides were a bit cheeky. We'd walked the area two months ago, and quite a few of the caches we'd found then had been archived. The caches we were hunting today had been released a week or so after we'd last been there. I recognised several of today's hides as being exactly the same as ones we'd found last time. The old archived hides had been resurrected. It certainly made the last part of the afternoon easier when we were running short of time.
We started walking at 10.30am, and according to the wonders of the technology we carried it would seem that we walked for about six hours, and we were still for three hours. That seems to be the going rate for caching hikes - two thirds of the time is spent walking and one third hunting and doing secret geocaching rituals. We covered nearly seventeen miles; which is probably the longest walk I've done for some time.
I *really* ache now...
24 June 2013 (Monday) - Stuff
Following three successes for 5-hydroxy-tryptophan, last night wasn't quite such a victory for the stuff. I woke at 3am, but got back to sleep only to wake again at 5.30. Mind you I did have an alarm set, and I've mentioned before that having an alarm set does stuff up my chances of sleeping. Still, I shall persevere with the 5HT for a little longer and see what happens.
Fudge sat with me as I scoffed my brekkie. I was still aching from yesterday's walk, and he seemed to be aching too. Perhaps he might benefit from cod liver oil? I shall speak to the vet. Talking of which we got a text from the vet yesterday saying that we hadn't collected his anti-flea treatment, and would we collect it urgently. I collected it only the other day. I phoned them to see what was going on; the nice lady at the vet's said she was fed up with people phoning because they'd got a text from them. Apparently their computer system takes it upon itself to randomly text people all sorts of messages. The nice lady told me that she wished that the computer would ask her first.
And so to work. Today wasn't a bad day really. It was in many ways a good day. But after the really good and eventful last three days I really wasn't feeling the entire "work thing" today. I wonder just how early an early retirement I can get away with? I did my bit, and came home listening to the radio as ever. The latest celebrity to have been supposedly abusing children is none other than the Italian premier. He's been sentenced to prison for seven years. He denies the allegations, as one would expect him to. Interestingly the girl he supposedly paid to podger also denies the allegations as well. If the alleged injured party is denying all knowledge one can't help but wonder what is going on.
Something else to winder about is the latest discovery of our old friend science. It turns out that there is a correlation between lowering of pollution levels and the advent of increasingly worse hurricanes. Perhaps it's time to throw the rubbish back in the river...?
25 June 2013 (Tuesday) - Goodbye Mick...
The night before last wasn't a triumph for 5-hydroxy-tryptophan; last night was better. I slept until ten minutes before the alarm was dur to go off. I got up and over a spot of brekkie I checked my emails. Frustration. there is a puzzle-geocache beased in the general vicinity of Dungeness Power Station. the puzzle is based on the fact that one TV channel has featured link pieces based on footage from the area. I *think* I know what the channel is, but I'm having problems solving other parts of the puzzle. So I emailed the cache owner to check that my initial assumption was right. he emailed back to say he wasn't telling.
On reflection I suppose that it is his right to do that. However it's not as though I just gave up and asked him to tell me where the cache was; all I wanted was one small hint. He says he's looking forward to seeing my "Found It" log. I suspect he's going to have a long wait. I've wasted enough time on this cache; there's plenty of others out there I shall go for instead.
The news seriously bioled my piss this morning. Twenty years after the Stephen Lawrence affair teh establishment is waking up to the fact that there was (just possibly) institutional racism in the police of the 1980s.
The pundits on the radio were calling for independent investigations to review the policing of the time. Are they serious. A friend of mine resigned from the Met in 1983 because he didn't like the fact that black lad were regularly beaten up in the police cells. Another friend of mine saw the same happening in the cells in Sussex police stations at the same time. The chaps of afro-Caribbean origin with whom I went to college were no friends of the police having had first hand experience of what the police of the time were like. It's well established that if you were a young black lad in the 1980s the police would have given you a slap.
It's no secret that I'm no fan of the Boys in Blue, but I'm pretty sure that this institutional racism is firmly a thing of the past. It happened, but after various riots it stopped. There's plenty of things wrong with the current police force for independent tribunals to investigate. Why bother wasting time investigating that which we all knew happened and have now stopped?
Being Tuesday the clans gathered; today at Arden Drive. Insults bandied, telly watched. I missed last week's meeting; it was good to get along tonight.
And in closing today spare a thought for the family of Professor Mick - he died today...
26 June 2013 (Wednesday) - Furniture
5-hydroxy-tryptophan worked its wonders again last night - six hours unbroken sleep. I wonder if that will be my last good night's sleep. I've run out of the small supply that I had and am wondering about whether or not to continue with it. I have a serious aversion to taking any kind of medicine on a long term basis; if I did have any deficiency, this little course of tablets should have corrected it. At thirty quid for a rather small bottle, the stuff isn't cheap. And for all that I sleep well, I have been waking still feeling tired.
In the interests of long-term health (and short term economy) I shall give up with the stuff for the time being.
I spent the morning productively (for a change). An hour's homework, then a psychology lecture. Last week I wrote an essay for that course - today I had to mark the essays of six other students. Some had made a good effort; some had made piss-poor attempts. And then the door bell rang. Our new wall unit was being delivered. Oh how I laughed.
The two delivery chaps were pleasant enough, but thick. The unit came with removable glass shelves. Neither of them had thought to remove the glass shelves and so were surprised to find one had shattered when they dropped it. We arranged for me to get some sort of a discount, and they drove off. "Daddies Little Angel TM" helped me get the new unit in place. Firstly we removed the old unit. In fragments. Oh, the clutter we found on it. Six tins of hot dog sausages and four tins of soup all seven years past their expiry dates. Countless baseball hats. Fishing rod bags. The Guinness Book of Records 1998. The Top Ten of Everything (1996 edition). My bronze swimming badge from 1975. Countless sets of luminous flashing rabbit ears, eight tiggers, All manner of tat. And when we had finally made a space for the new unit we had a surprise. The unit was too big. Eventually through forcing, heaving, straining and pure brute force we got the new thing in place. But it gouged a lump out of the ceiling as it went in. And it is now permanently in place. It will not be coming out again in this life.
After a spot of lunch "Daddies Little Angel TM" went up to town to get her new phone. her old one had been somewhat problematical since she dropped it in the sea last weekend. I went to the glazier to sort out a new glass shelf for my wall unit. Thee new glass shelf cost a quarter of the amount I spent on the wall unit. I am undecided what to do about the bill for this shelf. On the one hand it was clearly the fault of the delivery people; they admitted as such. On the other hand I bought the thing from a charity shop. I feel guilty asking for them to stump up for the shelf.
Once we'd done our respective chores we plugged "Daddies Little Angel TM" new phone in to charge and whilst we waited for PUK codes to do their thing we took the dogs round the park. We struck up a conversation with some nice ladies who were playing with their dog in the river. Fudge and Sid would paddle, but weren't keen on going in too deep. So "Daddies Little Angel TM" hoiked Fudge into the deep bit to prove he could swim. He'd been rolling in fox poo, so it was river or bath for him.
On the way home we met up with some geo-pals who were off to find the latest cache that I'd hidden. We exchanged pleasantries, then made our way home where I intended to do more on-line psychology, but actually played Bubble Witch and Candy Crush Sagas.
The plan for the evening had originally been to go on a walk with the arky-ologee club. But the house was such a mess following the aftermath of the new unit;s installation so we stayed home and er indoors TM" sorted out some of the stuff. If nothing else I have found my "Kiss Me Quick" hat and a false beard. Whilst she sorted stuff that really should have gone in a bin ten years ago I fed hot dogs from ten years ago to "Furry Face TM". Inn the meantime next door clanged scales out of their piano. you would think that after all these years they would be showing some improvement on the thing. But sadly not.
As they clanged I got my recent eBay purchases together and assembled my lego train track. It's almost there - I just need a few more sleepers to build a second loop, then I can measure up and see if I can't make space for a table somewhere.
Meanwhile my dog is really farting badly now. I wonder why...
27 June 2013 (Thursday) - Stuff
The first night for a week without the magic tablets and I slept well; waking just before getting up time. Let's hope this is the way of the future. Furry Face was sleeping too well to come and see me as I scoffed my toast, which was a shame. He's taken to helping me with the crusts. Oh well - his loss.
I had my brekkie and set off to work.
As I drove the talk on the radio was of "fracking" which I once thought was a swear word on the BattleStar Galactica. It turns out that "fracking" is a way of extracting natural gas from deep underground. In years gone by the NIMBYs would have opposed any drilling anywhere; nowadays communities are competing to have their fields drilled up as there are financial incentives to have drilling in your neighbourhood and getting your rocks fracked. I say "financial incentives" - you actually get a bung. They can frack my garden if they want to.
Mind you I'm rather amazed by the whole fracking thing. On the one hand there is (apparently) far more shale gas to be had from fracking than there was ever North Sea oil and gas to be had. Cheap fuel is always good. It will last my lifetime, so I'm all right (!) On the other hand in this high-tech twenty first century shouldn't we be using these irreplaceable reserves sensibly (and getting energy from renewable sources) rather than just burning gas?
And so to work where I did my bit whilst hobbling around. Somehow or other I did for my right knee yesterday. As the day wore on so my knee got progressively worse.
I don't know what I did to it; if I did know then I would be sure not to do it again. I hope it gets better soon. I have plans for walking dogs tomorrow, and plans for a rather ambitious hike over the weekend. I don't want to be mucking about with a gammy knee. It hurts.
And in closing here's something to make you think. Two new burger chains are on their way to the UK from the USA. Shake Shack and Five Guys are about to open. Featuring burgers that cost a tenner they are looking to cater to the sort of punter who likes paying way over the odds for their shopping. For no adequately explored reason the words "Sainsburys" and "Waitrose" spring to mind.
I shall be sticking to Maccy D... unless I can persuade the Man with No Alias (patent pending) to go out for dinner...
28 June 2013 (Friday) - New Bins, Astro Club
As I scoffed my brekkie and watched DVDs I wondered if today was "Blue Box Friday". I checked the website and found that it was. I also found that there is an Ashford council recycling app. I downloaded it and shall fiddle with it later.
I set off early to the glazier to get the replacement shelf for the new wall unit. An small glass shelf cost seventeen quid (!) There was a minor mishap when I spent too long chatting and gassing with the people in the glaziers that I actually left without picking up the glass shelf, but it didn't take too long to go back and get it. Woops. Fortunately the thing fits nicely where it should.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" arrived. She was very excited about her latest money making scheme - "Extreme Couponing". She's been watching the Honey Boo Boo channel and had this theory that she could save a load of money by using money-off coupons when she goes shopping. She was rather vague about where these coupons would come from; but had some idea that you could get them by being pro-active. Personally I wish she's stop being pro-active and start being quiet, but what do I know.
I suggested that when the money-off coupons came through the letter box she might use the coupons in the shops and not use them to line her guinea pigs' cage. This idea came as something of a revelation, and she started looking at the clutter that had just come through the door with a view to saving on her next shopping bill.
We took the dogs for a wander and came home via Pets at Home. I'd phoned them to see if they had a starter unit for the fish tank light. They'd told me that they had the one I needed, and even quoted a price. When I got the the shop they were insistent that they didn't do starter units for fish tank lights. They were adamant that no one had spoken with me on the phone, and even showed me all the lighting section to prove that they had none.
And so home where I had more dealings with doombrains. I arrived home to find our new recycling bins were being delivered. For some reason we only had half the amount of bins that the neighbours had been given. I asked the chaps doing the delivering why this was. They didn't know and fetched the supervisor. This half-wit (and that is a kind description) told me that bins were allocated following a review of the amount of waste put out by each individual house. I asked said half-wit how such an analysis of rubbish output could be conducted, bearing in mind that on bin days we have been putting our rubbish in a pile with rubbish from several other houses. He had no answer, so I phoned the council and complained. Half-wit will be dispatched with more bins for us.
Interestingly these bins were put in our garden; somewhere that previously bin men have never dared to tread. Hopefully in this new world order of bin collections they will actually be able to collect the bins rather than just leaving them like they have done in the past.
I spent an afternoon doing dull washing and ironing and sorting undercrackers, and then set off to astro club. An interesting talk; a chance to meet up with friends. I won a voucher for the chip shop in the raffle. good times.
Mind you attendance at astro club is down on what it has been. I wonder why - I think it's every bit as good as it ever was.
Meanwhile, unlike trans-Atlantic knees, my knee seems to be on the mend. I shall be grateful for small mercies...
29 June 2013 (Saturday) - Shadoxhurst Dog Show and Fete
Another good night's sleep, even if I was up with the lark. After a quick fix of BattleStar Galactica Steve and Sarah arrived and we popped round to the Foundry for a spot of brekkie. You really can't go wrong with a fry up.
And so to Shadoxhurst. The astro club had been asked to put on a stall to entertain the punters again, and we did. After an initial bit of to-ing and fro-ing with a rather officious twit in a hi-Vis jacket we were soon organised and ready for the punters. We had an array of scopes set up (including the solar scope), hand-outs and magazines on display, and we spent much of the day chatting with the normal people about things astronomical.
In between entertaining the masses we soaked up the ambiance. there were cake stalls and tat stalls. I bought a book from one of them - "How to Hypnotise a Chicken". There was a pet supplies stall who gave me some free samples and can deliver food to the door at half the price I at which get the stuff from Pets at Home. There was a home made ice cream stall. There was a beer tent. there was even a ditch in which you could tiddle - the event was let down by the lavatorial facilities.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" and the Rear Admiral and Sid came to visit our stall, and helped us out for a bit. In between astronomisng we watched the dog-related run. There was an entertaining five minutes in the agility event when a dog got stuck in the tunnel and a small child had to be sent in to retrieve said pup. There were also several CrackWatch opportunities in the tug'o'war; if only I'd been quicker with the camera. And we even had a visit from a llama. I took one or two photos of the day and have put them on-line.
Home, and we took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. He seemed to like it. After the walk and after tea I tried him on some of the free sample of dog food I'd got earlier in the day. He absolutely loved it. I'll see how he gets on with the rest of the stuff. I may well be going over to that stuff on a permanent basis.
And with er indoors TM" off out for the evening I settled down in front of the telly for a DVD-o-thon. Sometimes you can't beat a good slob-about.
30 June 2013 (Sunday) - Strolling round Somerhill
Yesterday was something of a milestone. Yesterday 's witterings was my two thousand five hundredth blog entry. I've recorded history (as I see it) daily since 10 September 2006. That's over six and a half years. Not bad going really.
I gave Fudge some of his new mixer for his brekkie - he yummed it up. Maybe he'll be getting that stuff more often.
And so out for a walk. What else would we do on a Sunday? Originally the plan had been a walk round Ringmer, but Ringmer is a long way away, and it would be daft to go there when the Brighton contingent are deployed elsewhere. There was talk of going on a geocaching mission round Robertsbridge, but instead we went to Somerhill near Tonbridge.
It was a sunny day; perhaps a tad warm to be walking, but it was good to be out walking without being so cold that my nose was constantly running. We started off by walking a series of eighteen geocaches; Mole's Somerhill Stroll. Not a bad walk really. Billed as six miles it came out a shade under nine miles. One thing I have learned about series of geocaches is that the distances given are always seriously underestimated. Whilst we walked the dogs attempted to chase rabbits, we saw wrens and buzzards, and we caught the sun qite spectacularly.
Regular readers of this drivel may recall that a few days ago I was whinging about my knee hurting. It was getting better. I say *was* - I think today's stroll hasn't done it much good. It's rather tender again. On the way back to the car we found a geocache specialising in trackables - it had four. I've never seen so many in one cache before. There are some photos of our walk here.
We had planned to go on to pck up a puzzle cache on the way home, but we had a problem. Our planned solution involved answering questions about a nearby hospital to get some numbers. With those numbers we would do some sums to work out the co-ordinates of the hidden cache. My calculations had one of the digits as being minus two. Something was obviously wrong. I emailed the cache owner, but had no reply so we didn't bother with that cache. We might try again when we are next in the area.
We came home via Wateringbury; a new cache had gone live there during the day and there was just the outside chance of getting a "first to find". We didn't FTF; we were beaten to it. Mind you I had a result in another way. I say "result" - it wasn't really. Something negative is hardly a result. Some time ago I hid a geocache and submitted it for publication. It was turned down because it was too close to a nursery school. I would have thought that it was quite far enough away not to cause any problems, but I was over-ruled. Shortly after that I had another cache turned down because it was within sight of a play park. I suppose it was. If you had a rather powerful telescope.
Since then I've been keeping a little list of newly released geocaches with fail the "playground rule". I would suggest that the one we found today fails in that the suggested parking is in the car park of the local scout hut. Personally I couldn't help but feel that a recommended parking place should be near the cache, and it was rather annoying having parked half a kilometre from the cache to walk past several good parking places.
And so home. I am finding more and more that having walked for a few hours and then having been driven home I can hardly move when the car stops. Old age, perhaps? But it really hurt to get out of tha car and hobble the few yards to the front door. Daft really, as I'd walked nine miles earlier. With er indoors TM" of to a meeting of the Honourable Association of Candlemongers I spent much of the evening falling asleep in front on on-line psychology lectures. Tonight we were touching on hypnosis and childhood development. it seems that there are various stages of mental maturation that we all go through as we grow up. I'm not sure I've done quite as many of those stages as I might have done. Which would explain a lot...