1 November 2013 (Friday) - Delivery
For no reason that I could possibly fathom I had a terrible night's sleep. I would have thought that copious amounts of ale would have knocked me out. But I kept waking following nighmares in which I felt (very vividly) that I was falling. I wonder what that was all about...
I had the shock of my life as I went to shave. Feeling rather under the weather meant that I had the teensiest bit of a thick head. So I'd not really taken a lot of notice about how my head felt. I looked in the mirror to see it was completely bald. How did I forget that? I shaved. I had thought about doing Mo-Vember again, but decided against it. Last year I raised a couple of hundred pounds, but I *really* don't like having a furry face. One of those in the household is quite enough. Mind you many people have asked me if I was doing Mo-Vember this year; and funnily enough the vast majority of people who expressed extreme disappontment that I wasn't were people who never actually sponsored me last time. But if any of my loyal readers are fans of the face fungus, "The Man with No Alias (patent pending)" is growing a tash that can be sponsored by clicking here.
"Furry Face TM" was particularly quiet over brekkie. I also noticed that his ears seemed rather hot. He made himself comfortable on the sofa next to me and didn't stir when er indoors TM" came down. I imediately started worrying about the silly little dog.
I took "Furry Face TM" out for a walk and he immediately perked up. There was a slight drizzle when we got to the park. I had a plan to take a walk out past Singleton Lake, but the rain got heavier as we got to the ford (Ashford has a ford, you know), so we came back. And the rain eased up. For want of something to do I took a few videos of "Furry Face TM" in the park. Before I could stop him he was rolling in filth. I thought I’d video that, bat rather than just rolling in it, he started to eat it. I drew the line there, and took him home for a bath.
With a bathed dog I spent an hour doing homework, then got cross. On Wednesday I’d had a text saying that a delivery company had tried to deliver a parcel and failed. When did I want redelivery? I had to text “1” for yesterday, or “2” for today. I selected today. I then looked on the website to find the parcel was still in their office. I phoned to get through to someone in Maidstone who was utterly disinterested. She refused point-blank to give me the phone number of the delivery depot but grudgingly gave me their address. With that I had their phone number in seconds and I phoned them up. Apparently they could not post the parcel through the letterbox because that would be “fraudulent”. Apparently. I asked if they knew what the word meant, but they would not answer. Obviously they didn't. they did say that they could deliver it some time next week, or I could collect it. From Maidstone. A fifty-mile round trip. As I set off I received a text from the delivery company’s useless automated system telling me it hadn’t been possible to process my request.
I eventually got to their office and got my parcel. I told “young spotty” on the counter how useless his company was and just as I walked back to my car I thought I’d try my geo-app to see if there were any nearby geocaches. There was one not two hundred yards away. So I thought I’d find it. I did. Call me an old traditionalist, but there should be more to a cache than a soggy bit of paper in a plastic bag. Mind you the chap charged with looking after this geocache hasn’t logged on to the caching website for two years so I suspect it will only be a matter of time till this one gets archived.
As I drove home I saw that petrol was two pence per litre cheaper than in Canterbury. And that is quite cheap as petrol goes, so I filled the car. And then came home, terrorised the dog for a few minutes, and set about the household accounts. There’s no denying they could be a whole lot worse. I just wish they were a little bit better. There was a moment’s panic when I saw that no payment had been made for the house insurance. But on phoning it turns out that I only make ten annual payments for that; not twelve. That was an unexpected bonus.
I then did the last installment of my dino-course, and then slept for much of the rest of the afternoon. I *really* hate that. Why do I sleep when I have stuff to do and am wide awake most of the night?
2 November 2013 (Saturday) - Lunch, Fireworks
I think I rather over-exerted myself when going up the tree on Thursday. My right arm and stomach muscles *really* hurt. So much so that it was painful to even try to move in bed last night. I woke at silly o'clock as I so often do; then lay trying to sleep for over two hours, and was still watching DVDs before 6am.
"Earth 2" is quite watchable; the Wikipedia entry is quite revealing. The actor who played the little girl died some time ago. The actor who played the little girl's father was very active in trying to pay the medical costs ofr the girl who died. And the foxy one was apparently featured in a leaked nudey video with Miss Teen America (!)
I surfed the net for a while. Time dragged. I had an email - a new geocache had gone live only two miles away. Being rather bored I thought I might try for a First to Find. The cache description said "The cache is sneakily hidden so be sure to have a look around especially if something may look out of place or that you wouldn't expect to hold a cache", so I went along expecting not to find it. Mind you I called up the hint which basically told me where it was and what to look for. I saw the thing right away; and no one else had signed the log. First to Find. Secret geocaching ritual and happy dance too.
I came home, collected "Furry Face TM" and took him round the park. Some of our walks are dull; others more exciting. Today we (he) shagged three other dogs before we even got to the park, and in the time it took me to ask a steward what the one hundred or more runners were doing, Fudge disappeared.
It turned out that last Saturday a local running club started a Saturday morning run round the park. Now every Saturday anyone who wants to join in just turns up at 9am and runs a circuit of the park. There were loads of people running, from small children to pensioners. (Including one especially fit one in spandex)
Normally a fit one in spandex might have held my attention, but not today. My dog was missing. I couldn't find him anywhere. It turned out that in the twenty seconds it took me to find out what was going on, Fudge had joined in the race. After a rather worrying twenty minutes not knowing which way to go to find my dog he was brought back to me by Orangehead. She had captured him at the other end of the runners' race where he had left the race and attempted to shag the dog of her chunky little friend.
That was embarrassing. For me. "Furry Face TM" didn't seem at all fazed by proceedings.
The Bat arrived with Clive and we set off down to Rolvenden for a spot of lunch. The Ewe and Lamb is somewhere we've not been for a while. It was very good a few years ago, and it still is. I started off with a ppint of Cheddar cider from the hand pump. I remembered that stuff from a holiday in Weymouth. Strong stuff that looks like orange squash. The soup was wonderful, and then a plate of liver and bacon went down very well. I scoffed far too much, and slept most of the way back to Ashford. We came home via Lidls and Home Plus in torrential rain. Feeling rather replete and having a little time we thought we might grab a few moments of shut-eye.
Rather than having a few minutes of dozing we both slept for over an hour only to be woken by the door bell. Hosey had arrived to drive us to the evening's fun. We had a frantic five minutes getting ready, and then we set off to Steve and Sarah's for fireworks, We had a great time, excellent fun with friends, and such a good spread too. There was a minor hiccup when a bucket was destroyed along with the garden fence by a renegade incendiary. But that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Aparet from that fence and that bucket. They were certainly weakened in the impact.
3 November 2013 (Sunday) - Crowborough
As I shared my morning toast with my Patagonian Tripe-Hound I watched a rather lame episode of "Earth 2". For a bunch of pioneers exploring a planet twenty two light years away they are certainly finding a lot of people who seem to have got there first.
With brekkie scoffed we eventually found er indoors TM" wellie boots, and set off to collect the rest of our entourage. Three of us and two small dogs went to Crowborough where we played "Cluedo". A series of geocaches had been laid in which various Cluedo cards and clues had been concealed, and as well as caching we got to play Cluedo as well. I was Professor Plums. My dog was Professor No Plums (following a trip to the vet). It was a genius idea... provided you actually found all of the caches and all of the clues.
One cache was clearly missing (well, we couldn't find it) so when we got to the end we had half of the required co-ordinates, but the other half were rather vague. So we looked at the map, looked at where we might expect a bonus cache to be hidden, read the hint and trusted to luck. And we found that bonus cache. Even though I was prepared to abandon it.
We had one or two other "little episodes" on the way. The storms of the last week had brought down a few trees to block our way. At one point a farmer had deliberately blocked a footpath with a six feet high fence. I've emailed the chap who organised the geocache series about this; you find yourself obviously following the right route as you come to the geocache, then you are faced with a fence. You can either backtrack several hundred yards or climb the fence. We climbed it.
The mud was rather thick too. I fell on my backside twice.
With the Cluedo series done we walked around Crowborough for a bit, and then moved on to Eridge where we did an Earthcache. Or everyone else played on the rocks whilst I did geography homework (depending on your perspactive). To be fair the Earthcache was my idea. Getting one in Sussex bungs up my geo rating. I'm now a silver-level Earthcache master (!)
As always there are photos of the day on-line.
And so home, and with er indoors TM" off out with her mates and "Furry Face TM fas asleep I was left home alone. Which wasn't a bad thing; I had beer to get out of the bucket and into the barrel. Never a dull moment...
4 November 2013 (Monday) - Bit Dull
In a novel break with tradition I slept surprisingly well last night; waking just minutes before the alarm was due to go off. I abluted, and had all of my toast to myself; a certain dog was still fast asleep. Yesterday's walk must have tired both of us.
My morning's "Earth 2" was entertaining viewing. In this morning's episode the brain-wiped homicidal maniac was beginning to have flashbacks. This was widely regarded not to be a good thing in a homicidal maniac.
I set off to work in dark and rain. Really dark and very heavy rain. Last night a series of geocaches had gone live in the Canterbury area. No one had gone near overnight; I had the chance for a few FTFs. But it was dark and wet. I decided against going for them. It would have been a silly thing to do.
As I drove I listened to the radio. For all that the recent cases of child abuse have been very serious, I'm not at all sure that there has been a balanced reaction to the entire debacle. It would seem that it will soon be a criminal offence for anyone who suspects someone of being a child abuse not to blow the whistle.
How ridiculous is that? In the first instance how can anyone be accused of having suspicions about someone else that they didn't voice? And in the second instance is the mere random thought that any individual might be a bit iffy grounds to ruin their life.
Meanwhile it would seem that for all the jingoistic flag wavers might protest, the UK's remaining part of the European Union saves every household about three thousand pounds every year.
Or so the latest figures from the CBI would suggest. Interestingly the pundits seemed to feel that the same survey showed that jingoistic flag wavers would be un-swayed by such arguments. Are we as a nation still so insular and parochial?
Mind you back with the insular and parochial mind-set there is a school of thought that voting for Scottish independence may be a good thing in the upcoming Scottish referendum because losing the Scottish seats in the UK Parliament would pretty much guarantee a Conservative majority in perpetuity.
Please don't let the Scots go...
5 November 2013 (Tuesday) - Gunpowder, Treason and Plop
When we first took on "Furry Face TM" it was on the understanding that he slept downstairs in his own bed. More often than not I wake to find he has sneaked up the stairs in the night and is asleep at the bottom of my pit. Last night I was woken twice by the thump of him falling off of the bed.
That little dog was a little bit late in stirring himself out of his (my) pit this morning; had he been about two minutes earlier he could have shared my toast. He was too late.
In the words of the old adage "you snooze, you lose".
This morning I went to work through some of the heaviest rain I think I have ever seen outside of one of our camping trips. As I drove I listened to the radio (as I do). There is consternation in Germany as apparently a hoard of stolen art treasures has come to light. During the Nazi regime apparently a lot of valuable works of art were stolen from the Jewish community and many were "lost".
From what I could determine from the news article a load of paintings have been found in a flat somewhere in Germany where the supposed owner of said flat only appears once a year or so. This chap is eighty-odd years old, has no apparent means of financial support, and is the son of one of many Nazis suspected of having stolen valuable art work during the Nazi era. The implication was that this fellow was making his living by periodically selling off paintings which he had acquired from his (now dead) father who presumably had stolen them either from the original owners or through his involvement with the Nazis.
Those gripped with righteous indignation felt that this art hoard should be returned to its rightful owners. I suppose that might at first sight seem to be the right thing to do.
However German law has a Statute of Limitations concerning incidents from the Nazi times. From what I could determine, basically once such a crime is thirty years old there is no longer any legal recompense. Personally I think that is a good thing in general.Whilst what happened in history was terrible, there comes a time when we need to move on.
However in this specific instance is it right that someone is making a living on stolen goods?
I can't help but wonder how at this remove in time would anyone ever find the rightful owners of this art? I can remember my Aunt Joan had a painting which was supposed to be worth a bob or two. It had a lady showing off a nork. But I can't remember much more about it than that; and that was from the mid 1970s. I certainly couldn't tell it from any other painting of a wanton woman. How could anyone alive today realistically remember what they or their family once owned in the 1930s and 1940s? I doubt much in the way of certifying documentation was stolen together with these art works.
My piss also boiled at the news that India is sending off a mission to Mars. Most of my loyal readers might think that as an astronomical sort of fellow I would be pleased about this. Well, I suppose I am. But I've been reading an old favourite book of mine. Jem - the Making of a Utopia. In this book inter-stellar exploration and colonisation isn't done by humanity at large, but by nation states. And all that humanity does is take internecine squabbling and atomic warfare to a higher level.
If we don't make space exploration a common shared venture for all nations of the world it will just become something else for us to argue about.
And so to work. I pootled about until it was time to come home. It was nice to be able to see the fireworks at the Kent county cricket ground later in the evening. As I drove home I scoffed a curlywurly I had bought at the Cheapo bargains shop last week. I really should stop stocking the car with curlywurlies from the Cheapo Bargains shop.
And so to Queen Street where the clans gathered and having listened to the radio we watched "Merlin". My personal opinion is that Merlin could easily have Harry Potter in a fight...
6 November 2013 (Wednesday) - Out of This World
I slept well, and after a bit of brekkie (ably assisted by my dog) we went for a quick walk. The weather forecast predicted a dry spell for a couple of hours so we thought we’d get walked before the rain. As we walked a little voice called out to us. Cheryl and Lacey were on their way to school. Fudge jumped up and got Lacey all muddy.
We carried on with our walk through the park where “Furry Face TM “ tried to pork every dog in Ashford. I wish he wouldn’t do that.
We stopped for five minutes at the ford so I could get some information for my latest little geo-project, then carried on with our walk round Singleton lake. By now the rain had started. Somewhat earlier that predicted. By the time we got home we were both soaked.
Once home I put the washing machine to spinning the laundry I’d set washing when we went out. Rather than spinning, the machine washed it all again. I wish it wouldn’t do that.
I then did some homework, then some geo-project work. Before I knew it, it was 1pm. As a special treat for us both I went up the kebab shop for kebab and chips, “Furry Face TM “ likes kebab. He’s getting very fussy about what he eats, so it’s a pleasure to see him wanting to eat something. Over dinner we watched a film. “Hope and Glory” was a nostalgic British film. It looked like being the sort of film I love. It turned out to be about an hour too long. To stay awake I sorted my undercrackers whilst it played. Dull, but necessary. Most of my socks have holes, and more than one pant is lacking elastic.
Am I the only person who just puts up with substandard crackers?
As the day went on so the phone wouldn’t stop ringing from people trying to sell me rubbish. Mis-sold endowments, solar panels, computers spamming windows internet (!); you name it, I was offered it on the phone today. Despite my best efforts and endless complaints I keep getting these phone calls trying to sell me stuff.
Evening came and I set off for the reason I wasn’t at work today. A trackable is due to blast off to the International Space Station today, and anyone attending a geo-meet today got an e-souvenir. To the uninitiated that sentence probably doesn’t mean much, but it is of great importance to those who hunt plastic boxes in the woodlands.
I had this idea that organising a space-themed geo-event wouldn’t take too much doing; and volunteered to set one up. The World’s Wonder pub in Warehorne have been very good to the astro club lately; and they have dark skies too, so I approached them. They were very happy to have me organise something with them. So I did.
I had been wondering how much of a turn-out I would get for an astronomy-themed geo-meet. And seeing the dreadful weather there’s no denying that my hopes weren’t high. But I was wrong. We had an attendance beyond my wildest expectations. People travelled miles; from Sussex, from the Medway towns and even from North London. I counted over forty people.
I was so lucky to have Jason volunteer to talk; it was an excellent talk on a fascinating subject. Steve was on hand to help and assist; and we gave out astro club flyers and Stargazing Live booklets. Everyone seemed happy with what we had done.
And once home, thanks to the wonderful people at Tee-Bees dot com the trackable logging was but a work of a few minutes. Logging fifty four TBs one at a time would have taken an age.
It was a good meet. I was pleased with what I put on. But I am more pleased that I have wonderful people that I can call on to help me to do things like this…
7 November 2013 (Thursday) - An Anticlimax
I didn't realise just how much staging last night's little geo-shindig had taken out of me. I slept like a log, waking only minutes before my alarm this morning.
I got up and watched a rather lame episode of "Earth 2". The stories are getting rather shabby now. Having flown interstellar distances to a virgin planet, our heroes are finding more and more other intrepid travellers who have got there before. And the stories are getting silly. In today's story the lead character met someone whom she's hitherto nudey-sauce-romped in her dreams.
A rather tawdry premise which was dragged out over forty minutes.
As I watched the telly I shared my toast with my dog. He is rather lazy at toast time; it seems to be as much as he can do to open his mouth for me to put the toast in. I suppose that for him toast time is still at least two hours before breakfast time. In his world it is still the middle of the night.
Bearing in mind the dreadful weather lately I had a good drive to work this morning. As I drove I listened to the radio. There was a lot of unmemorable hot air, but one article made me sit up and take notice. It turns out that the Prime Minister was felt to have been evasive at yesterday's Prime Minister's questions. The deputy chief whip of the Labour party told the world about this via Twitter.
Am I alone in feeling that here is something fundamentally wrong for a leading politician to be communicating to the world in the way that a teenager would tell his cronies an item of the utmost trivia?
Personally I dislike Twitter...
And so to work. I did my bit. Perhaps not as much as I might have done, or as enthusiastically. Today was not so much dull as something of an anticlimax after last night's successful geo-astro-bash.
As I drove home I listened to the radio. There was an interview with the president of the court which considers complaints brought against the intelligence agencies. It could have been riveting. It wasn't. It was rather dull.
I drove home via Park Farm where I dropped off "Dobbie". "Dobbie" is a rather huge Dobsonian telescope which has been in the back of my car since Monday night. The idea was to have done stargazing with it yesterday, but the weather was against telescoping. Much as it is a good piece of kit it takes up space I don't have, and was glad to foist it back on to Denver.
Once home I popped the lead on to "Furry Face TM" and took him out. A new geocache had gone live during the day in honour of "National Church Micro Day". We couldn't find it. To be honest we didn't try that hard. I look suspicious enough when hunting out plastic boxes; let alone doing it in the dark on a playing field..
8 November 2013 (Friday) - Tears, Videos
I slept through until 7.30am this morning. I was very pleased about that. I checked out the news over brekkie. As always the day’s news boiled my piss. Apparently the NHS spends £700 on negligence cover for every birth that takes place. This is a sad indictment of our society. Heath care professionals do their best every day only to be hounded by ambulance-chasing scum who pounce on every trivial mistake in the hope of extorting compensation.
And these news agencies wonder why hospitals the length of the country face staff shortages. Who would want to work in a place where the most insignificant honest mistake is blown out of all proportion and emblazoned over the national press? Not that I’m in any way bitter…
I put “Furry Face TM “ ‘s lead on him and we went for a walk. Sometimes our walks are dull. Today’s was anything but dull.
At one point it was just a tad emotional. As we walked round by the lake I saw he was kicking up the grass. He does that after pooping; he’d peeled one out whilst I wasn’t looking. I went to clear up his mess, and there was loads of fresh blood in the recently-laid dog poo. I looked at my dog, looked at the blood and felt sick at the thought of him being ill. Up came brekkie. And then the thought that he was pooing blood really struck home. I started blubbing like a small girl. After five minutes of tears, snot and being frankly pathetic I thought I’d better clear up the offending poo. And then I realised there was no blood at all. The bright red colour was an autumnal leaf that the silly dog had kicked onto the poo.
I felt a little bit daft.
We carried on into the park where we met Orangehead and her chunky little friend. The last time we met Fudge expressed his love for chunky little friend’s dog in the way that only a saucy small dog can. He couldn’t do that today; there were several other dogs on that dog’s back already; all getting rather jiggy. Both Orangehead and her chunky little friend seemed rather alarmed at this; as did the owners of the jiggy dogs who were desperately trying to pull them off.
In the distance I could see a cyclist. We often see an old mucker cycling through the park in the mornings. It looked like our geo-buddy so I pointed at him and shouted “Attack!” Little “Furry Face TM “ set off at the cyclist in attack mode at top speed; woofing like a thing possessed.
Imagine the embarrassment when we realised the cyclist wasn’t who we thought it was; and was just some random passer-by whom we had terrified. Oh we did laugh. Eventually.
Whilst we were out I went for that geocache I didn’t find last night. Daylight is such a help for seeing things, and I found it after a couple of minutes. And I added this cache to a private list of mine.
Whilst this cache is not in a playpark, there is a playpark a little way away. Not especially close, but closer than one was to a cache I had turned down because the playpark was too close. I’ve now found a dozen caches with playparks nearby. Mind you I saw on Facebook last night that ‘er indoors TM found a cache on a roundabout last night; and that is supposed to be a “no-no” as well. I realise there are rules about placing geocaches; there have to be.
If only there was consistency in the application of those rules.
We came home and I had a spot of lunch. As I scoffed I watched a film. The film of “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” was rubbish; totally unlike the mini-series I watched a while ago. And after that I watched “Kill List”. Billed as a very gory horror film it was strange. It started off with a couple of wannabe gangsters and went all psychedelic. And at the point where the plot was completely lost they ran the end credits.
What with all that’s been going on in my life I’ve rather forgotten to do my annual video compilation of blog pix for a while. So here’s a selection of what’s happened over the last two (or so) years.
And before anyone starts bleating about breaches of copyright all of this content is freely available on line. All of it was either put up by me, or freely obtained with one mouse click…
9 November 2013 (Saturday) - Rye Bonfire Parade
More often than not I am up before 7am on a Saturday morning; I watch Martin going to the cafe for his brekkie. Today I wasn't up till gone 8am. I shared my toast with "Furry Face TM" and checked out social media. Not much was going on. And so with my toast scoffed I took my dog for a walk. Bearing in mind the shambles that we've made of recent walks round the park (and the fact that the runners would be out in force) we didn't go to the park. We went round Frog's Island instead. "Furry Face TM" barked at every single vehicle on every single road as we went; he seemed rather excited. Through no fault of his own he seemed to have put the fear of God up a passing Eastern European lady who screamed when she saw him from twenty yards away and then used her boyfriend as a human shield to protect herself from the dog. "Furry Face TM" ignored this silly lady entirely; but that didn't abate her terror.
Whilst we were out I did an informal maintenance check on my "Badger's Caches" series of geocaches. One of them was missing. On yesterday's walk I found that one of my "Fudge's Follies" caches had also gone missing. I've ordered replacements from eBay and will have a serious cache maintenance session sometime over the next week or so.
We came home fully expecting to crack on with the day. When we left for our walk er indoors TM" had been given instructions to be raring to go by the time we returned. We returned to find she'd gone back to bed. WHich was probably for the best. Within minutes of coming home the rain started. Really heavy rain which put paid to any plans involving being out and about. Which was a shame. Instead we did some dull shopping. To Matalan for some new trousers. Matalan had pretty much the same stuff we saw the other day at the MacArthur Glen outlet centre at a fraction of the price. And on to Tesco for various bits and bobs including cream cakes for dinner.
We scoofed the cream cackes whilst catching up with all sorts of stuff we'd recorded onto the Sky Plus box. We are now up to date with"Trollied" and "Downton Abbey".
Some of the clans gathered and three cars full of us set off to Rye. After a little mucking about en route we all eventually found Rye. Some went to the chip shop. Ably assisted by the Rear Admiral i found so many of my favourite pubs in Rye had shut down, but we eventually got a pint of rather grim Harveys and a second pint of not especially good Doombar from the Old Bell. Suitably refreshed we met up with those who'd taken the coach down, and we made sufficient noise to scare the normal people until the bonfire procession came past. An excellent procession; and following that we (eventuallly) reconvened by the bonfire site where we watched the conflagration and the pyrotechnics.
Rye bonfire parade has always been one of the highlights of my year, and was again this year. It's only a shame that the bonfire season is now over again for another year.
10 November 2013 (Sunday) - Essex
For many years I would go down to the Rye Bonfire Parade at about 2pm for a pre-parade drinkie; and be utterly wazzled by 4pm. Consequently the day after Rye Bonfire Parade was usually spent with a headache. Despite only having had four beers yesterday I continued the tradition of starting the day with a headache.
We had an early start today. Since the evenings are drawing in we thought that it might be a sensible idea to start our weekend expeditions earlier to make the most of the daylight; especially if we are going any major distance. And today we went quite some way. Three of us (and two small dogs) drove for over an hour and a half to the Wat Tyler Country Park where we were joined by an Essex Boy. Six of us then did a Wherigo.
Wherigos are a rather obscure kind of geocache which involves a lot of playing with a specialist app on your phone. There aren't many about locally; and most (all) of those which are to be found within twenty miles have been created by me. I really wanted to do a Wherigo, so we went to Essex to do one.
"The Devil's Porridge" was a very interesting insight into the explosives factories that used to exist along the south Essex coast. The style of the narrative in the Wherigo cartridge certainly brought the ghosts of the past to life. I especially liked the building with differing brickwork at either end because one half of it had been blown up. I was rather expecting to have seen more of the explosive works; it was amazing how much of it had gone and had returned to nature over the intervening years. In several places we had to force our way through brambles. My nose still bears the scars.
And as a Wherigo builder myself (!) it was an experience to actually do a Wherigo adventure. It would have been nice to have seen more of the Wherigo functionality used; but it was an excellent Wherigo; one I can thoroughly recommend.
We then completely failed to find a supposedly easy roadside geocache, and there was an embarrassing five minutes spent with my arm stuck in a hole in a tree. We then moved on to a Church micro where, as well as finding a geocache, I got a First to Find. Or "First to Munzee". I don't know if being first has as much kudos with Munzees as it does with geocaches, but I still felt rather smug.
Stopping only briefly to find a disabled geocache and to look at some chalk, we made our way round to Hadleigh castle where we had a rather good picnic. And, suitably refreshed, we wandered down and along a circular route of a couple of miles where we found several more geocaches. And also found we'd walked straight past one or two others.
Our early start paid dividends; we got back to the cars just as it was getting dark. We didn't find as many caches as we sonetimes do. In fact we only found fourteen today. (And three munzees) But those fourteen were rather special for anyone who hunts tupperware. A Wherigo; three Earthcaches, a difficulty level five cache. And a "First to Find" Munzee as well. As "My Boy TM" would say... "not too shabby".
As is often the case I took a few photos of the day.
I slept much of the way home; as did my dog. Once home I took that little dog into the shower where I hosed the mud from him. He then went straight to his basket where he snored soundly for the rest of the evening.
We watched the last episode in the current series of "Downton Abbey". Today they were gearing up for the village fete. I do like that show. It's a shame it's now finished for another year.
11 November 2013 (Monday) - Dull
I think my little dog was rather worn out by yesterday's walk; he slept right through the morning's toast time. As I left for work this morning my heart sank. The house next door is up for sale. I suppose that having new neighbours could be a good thing; it need not necessarily be bad.
It's just a shame we are losing the decent ones; it's just my luck that we are keeping "nutty noodle and the pianist".
I set off to work facing a very bright morning; a great improvement on last week. The sky was gloriously red, and there was even a rainbow. As I'd gone to bed last night I'd seen frost on the cars; there had been a thaw overnight. I was pleased about that.
I wasn't pleased about my fellow motorisits though. there was some twit who came up behind me just as I left Beaver Road and this chap was directly behind me all the way to Windcheap. He seemed to try to drive at a steady forty five miles per hour. At the strectches of the A28 when you can speed up he lagged a long way back; at the parts where the speed limit is 40mph he would be inches from my rear bumper.
Fortunately I lost him when I stopped off for the makings of some lunch at Morrisons. Mossisons was the same as ever; I had a plan to buy armpit-squirt there. It has doubled in price since my last visit. I shall eke out my remaining tin until their next buy-one-get-one-free offer, and hope my pits don't whiff too much in the meantime.
I went to work, did my bit, and came home again. As I left for home I got the news that a new geocache had gone live on my way home. I went for a First to Find but it was very dark and the rain was very heavy. There is only so much messing about one can do in a country lane in the dark in a monsoon. So I gave up and came home where I watched episodes of "South Park" until bed time.
Some days are *so* dull...
12 November 2013 (Tuesday) - Fleas, FTF...
I was woken at 4.30am by the snoring of a small dog. "Furry Face TM" had crept upstairs during the night and made myself comfortable with his chin on my shoulder and his beak pushed into in my left ear. I didn't bother trying to get back to sleep and got up. I came"Merlin" downstairs to find the lights on our router were flashing like things possessed. I glanced out of the window and saw the lights were on next door. I have a sneaking suspicion that "nutty noodle next door" has worked out our wireless router's password; hence the frantically flashing lights at the most obscure times. I pulled the plug on the router for ten minutes just in case.
Over a bit of toast I watched a rather dire episode of "Earth 2". Why do all series start so good and end up so lame? "Furry Face TM" came downstairs ten minutes too late for toast. I was glad he was up though. Being the twelfth of the month it was time to apply his anti-flea treatment. The stuff seems to work as I've not found a flea on him for months. I de-scaled the washing machine as well;
Fudge's de-fleaing and the washing machine's de-scaling is something of a double act in our household.
And so to work. Last night I rather gave up trying to find a new geocache. As it was on the way to work I tried again this morning. It's amazing what a little bit of daylight and the lack of torrential rain can do; you find entire footpaths that you can't see in the dark. Pausing only briefly to fall over in the mud twice I soon had the cache in hand. First to find. Happy dance.
I carried on to work; listening to the radio. The talk was of the disaster in the Philippines, and of the aid being sent by various countries. I have grumbled about the bad weather we've had recently. Listening to the horror stories on the radio made me feel somewhat more grateful for my lot in life.
Once at work I did my bit, and then came home again. Last night I had exhausted my stash of curly-wurlies so I stopped off at the sweetie shop for some white Maltesers. And the I joined the throng at Arden Drive where we watched "Merlin". Or that is everyone else watched "Merlin". I fell asleep...
13 November 2013 (Wednesday) - Movies, Lurgy, Beer
I had a worse night than usual; and that is saying something. I woke at silly o’clock feeling ill, and didn’t get any better as the night wore on. I finally gave up trying to sleep and was watching telly at 5am.
I was walking my dog by 7.30am; I was so bored. It was a very cold morning. We went through the town centre as I had a parcel to collect. I took “Furry Face TM “ into the collection office with me; there were no signs saying I couldn’t. And with dog walked we came home again where I spent an hour or so doing laundry and homework.
The plan had been to do something of a road trip today, but I wasn’t feeling one hundred per cent, and as I was debating whether or not to stick with the road trip plan the phone beeped. Cheryl had a driving lesson planned and Lacey was off school with the same lurgy I seem to have. Would I sit with her during the driving lesson? Of course! Fudge and I wnet round, and whilst driving lessons got driven, Lacey and I watched movies. “Thumbelina” and “The Cat in the Hat”. And after two movies we had bacon sarnies. Very tasty.
I then came home and spent an hour or so attacking the ironing whilst watching a documentary about John Le Mesurier. I’m basically a nosey person, and I do like biographies. And with the ironing done the Rear Admiral arrived and we set off to Folkestone where we met Steve at the Firkin for a pint of ale. It was a very nice pint, so we were cheeky and had another. And another.
Things got very vague…
14 November 2013 (Thursday) - Yonderland, Crackanory
I woke feeling rather grim. I'm sure I don't know why that might have been. I had a shave and some brekkie, and went back to bed. I managed to lie in bed until 9am before "Furry Face TM" licked me awake. I got up for a second time and took my dog for a walk. Today's mission was geocache maintenance. Over the last year I've hiddedn one or two of the things in the local area, and last week I noticed that two had gone misssing. So today I had a concerted maintenance mission. In all I visited eleven cache sites, replaced what needed replacing, hid what wasn't hid well, and generally made good for the winter.
With a couple of hours constructively passed I came home, and over a cream cacke I played with html programming and coding. html is something I can do after a fashion. I'm self-taught, and can bodge my way through, but I could do better. Perhaps I might see if Coursera do anything on htlm writing. I then looked at my social calendar for the next month or so and popped in one or to more events.
A few days ago I recorded the film "Bronson" onto the SkyPlus box. I watched it this afternoon; I quite liked it. And then I got a meessage that Saturday's planned geo-walk goes past six puzzle geocaches. I spent an hour puzzle solving. I have no idea if I got the right answers, but the co-ordinates I came up with are all along footpaths (which is a good sign).
er indoors TM" came home and we had a curry whilsst watching "Yonderland"; the latest fantasy series on Sky One. It has promise, but has a little too much sarcasm toward the fantasy genre for it not to alienate its target viewers.
I woke this morning feeling rather ill. I lay in bed feeling grim for a little while, but soon got up. I usually feel better when I start moving about. After a few minutes I felt a tad less grotty but I didn't feel right all day. I wonder if I've caught whatever lurgey it is that has laid Lacey low. Perhaps I should have phoned in sick?
Over a spot of brekkie I watched an episode of "Earth 2". It turned out that last week's baddie had been computer generated; which was a relief for all concerned. Except the one who's now on life support after the little contretemps with the CGI adversary.
And so to work. I had something of a traumatic drive today. When I wasn't being run of the road by rampant dustbin lorries in Ashford and Canterbury I was having to dodge reckless cyclists going wherever they pleased with no regard to the Highway Code.
As I drove I listened to the news. I know I shouldn't. Today the pundits were interviewing the Minister for Health who is making changes to GP provision in England. He had fine sentiments, but with no additional resources for the NHS it is doubtful if anything will be achieved from these latest reforms. It strikes me that the NHS has an impossible task. For it to work there needs to either be an increase in available resources or a decrease in demand. And bearing in mind there is no shortage of people being ill...
I am reminded of an incident which occurred when I myself was sitting in a doctor's waiting room a few years ago. One old fellow was loudly telling his mate that he always came to see the doctor on a Tuesday regardless of whether he was actually ill or not because "he'd paid his stamp". When his mate hinted that maybe an ill person had not been able to see the doctor because of this fellow's unnecessary visit, said idiot got rather aggressive about it being his right to see the doctor regardless of any medical need to do so.
Perhaps this is the problem. Perhaps people expect too much from free health care. Perhaps charging to see the GP before free health care is provided (and so discouraging the time-wasters) might be a better way forward. I have it on good authority that such practice works elsewhere in the world.
After the news the radio presented "Desert Island Discs" in which the pianist Alfred Brendel was asked to share his eight favourite pieces of music. I wouldn't say that his choices were dire bordering on to dreadful (which they were), but I would say that I do hope I never have to share his desert island. After all, who actually wants to listen to opera anyway?
I filled the car with petrol this morning. Petrol is the cheapest it's been for some time, so I thought I'd make the most of it in case the price went up again. And then as I was in the area I went into the Cheapo Bargains shop. The staff there were shrieking vociferously at each other across the length and breadth of the building. I somehow found that rather threatening.
Once at work I did my bit. One of my colleagues had been "energizing himself" with beef broth made from "O Negative bone marrow". He claimed it did the trick; I took his word and didn't enquire too closely as to what trick it might have done.
There was also talk of staging a world record attempt. It transpires that no one has ever managed to eat eighteen Jaffa Cakes in one minute. I'm game to give it a try, if only I could obtain sponsorship. I'm not going to pay for eighteen Jaffa Cakes. I did get given one though; which was something of a result.
Mind you, the more I think about it, the more do-able it seems. Eighteen Jaffa Cakes in one minute is only one every three (and a bit) seconds. If any of my loyal readers would like to give me eighteen Jaffa Cakes and the loan of a stop-watch...
With my bit done I came home. I'd bought a Snickers bar (Marathon!) from the Cheapo Bargains shop and had left it in the car for the ride home. It had been a cold day: that choccy bar was rather solid. I really shouldn't eat choccy bars so late in the day...
Yesterday I woke feeling a little under the weather. Today I got out of my pit feeling decidedly grim. But I carried on regardless. I decided against watching "Earth 2" over brekkie; instead I checked out a hunch I had about trackable logging.
For those of my loyal readers who have never logged a trackable, you should give it a go. Trackables are little plastic things that travel the world, from geocache to geocache and when you see one you log it. You can discover it, or if you are feeling brave you can grab it. Like a lot of things in the geocaching world there is great kudos in having logged loads of trackables; the website proclaims how many trackables anyone has found. As I type this my trackable count is two hundred and eighty two.
A couple of weeks ago I staged an event for which Joe kindly organised trackable logging on the Tee Bees web site. A few days ago one of the "old faces" on the Kent caching scene had somehow used that facility to log my personal trackable even though that person wasn't at the event. At first I thought this was an honest mistake and emailed him. After all when (not if) I make this sort of boo-boo I like to be told. And when I have made this sort of mistake in the past I've put it right.
But then I got thinking... The automated system which was used requires a password. To get the password you had to be in attendance at that event for me to give you the password. He wasn't there. How did he get the password? To be honest it's not a difficult one to get; did he try a few combinations? Or was someone else complicit in this?
I checked the logs on the geocaching website this mornning. Not only is that log on my personal trackable still there, this chap has also used the same system to log over forty other trackables at an event which he did not attend.
Should I make a fuss about this? On the one hand does it maatter? Who cares about how many silly plastic world-travelling toys someone has seen? On the other hand cheating is wrong; regardless of the circumstances.
I put "Furry Face TM"'s lead on him and we went for a little stroll out to the Swan centree and baack home thorugh Frog's Island. On the way he woofed at several buses, a few mopeds and three juggernauts. Whilst doing whistlle training another dog wised on to how whistle training worked. Every time the whilstle blew Fudge got a biscuit. We nearly came home with an extra dog.
Once home I had time for a quick change and set the laptop onto a disc defragment. We left it doing its thing whilst we went to the monthly county cacher's meeting. We soon found the place, and after a quick First to Find on a nearby Munzee it was good to catch up with like-minded people and have a pint with a spot of lunch. And then after lunch we went for a stroll. Yesterday I'd solved six puzzles which were in the area, and half a dozen new caches had gone out too. I made a general announcement that we were going for a walk; did anyone want to join us... eleven of us went on a mission.
It was a really good walk; chatting with new and old friends as we went. We only failed to find one of the new caches, but to make up for that we actually got a cache with an extremely high terrain rating which was intended only to be done by canoe. And we didn't fall in the river whilst getting it either. I was quite pleased about that.
We got back to the pub where we had a crafty pint wiith those left at the meet. Much as I like a pint I must admit I wasn't keen on the beer in that place. Three ales, all tasting just the teenseyest bit off. But it was good to again chat with friends; one of whom had found his twelve thousandth cache at today's meeet-up.
We left just as the light was failing. We'd got the clues to the bonus cache and wanted to find that before it became totally dark. We found it in the dark; meeting our new friends there. They'd left a litle while before us; but hadn't taken torches. And then there was another nearby cache we'd stuffed up some months ago that we wanted to go back for. We got it this time.
Once home we found tha the regular Saturday evening film night had been cancelled. After a little phoning about er indoors TM" set off to watch films elsewhere. I could have gone, but the day's exertions had rather taken it out of me and the cold I have was taking its toll. So I settled down in front of the telly and watched the film "Goodbye Mr Chips"; a particular favourite of mine...
First of all we made our way to Reculver where we did our geography homework. Earthcaches can be somewhat akin to homework, but I was in an interesting place learning about RipRaps; not every church has one. And from the RipRap we walked along the North Kent coast for a mile or so and came back through the countryside. it was rather beautiful countryside; not that muddy really. Those of our number that like looking for sandwich boxes found ten; those that like playing chicken with the waves got soaked to the fur.
There was a minor incident when one of our dogs (Not "Furry Face TM" thank heavens) startled a passing cyclist. To be fair to the dog she was a sensible and safe distance from the path, but for no reason I could fathom the cyclist looked at the dog, skidded and then went straight over his handlebars face first into the tarmac. I didn't actually laugh out loud (Earle did though).
We hurried back to the car and moved on to Margate. Last night I'd spent three hours on a puzzle cache. GPS + HUNT = CACHE. After three hours I solved this only to be faced with ANSWER = ABCDE. The solution was actually obvious. When you know the solution it is always obvious..
We'd seen that there was a terrain5/difficulty4 (nigh-on impossiible) cache nearby. It was apparently fourteen metres from us when we sat at the top of the cliffs and ate our picnic. I made the witty comment that it was probably in a tunnel in the cliff below us.
We went down to the beach where we did find a tunnel beneath where we had eaten lunch. We read the clue, and scrambled to where we thought the thing might be found. The chap who had hidden it said that if it goes missing again he will eat his hat. Whilst I wouldn't suggest he starts sprinkling salt and vinegar on his trilby just yet...
The birds were noisy in Broadstairs. They looked odd; yet familiar. I got the binoculars out. There was a flock of wild parakeets. I've never seen that before. But by now time was pushing on, so we made our way back to the car and came home. Via a graveyard. Did you know that the chap who wrote the song "Silver Machine" by Hawkwind was buried in Thanet? He died a long time ago. If anyone had asked me I would have thought he was still alive; he died round about when the fruits of my loin were being born.
And with the grave found we came home. Small dogs had sand and seagull poo washed off of them, and as er indoors TM" set off out with her mates I settled in front of the telly to watch the antics of Bertie Wooster. I do love an evening of Jeeves and Wooster...
My little dog was very subdued yesterday evening, and he was quieter than usual this morning. I do hope he's not sickening for something. Personally I think (hope) this is all because he's worn out from his exertions yesterday and from drinking sea water.
Over brekkie I watched another episode of "Earth 2" which seems to have forgotten all continuity with previous episodes, and then I set off to work. There was an embarrassing ten minutes whilst I walked the local streets trying to find where I'd parked my car. Having been all over the neighbourhood I eventually found it a few yards up the road from home. Woops!
There was a ten minute article about the show which featured various people from behind-the-scenes of the show, and at the end of ten minutes I realised that not one of them had actually said anything. I quite liked the recent short show featuring Paul McGann as the eighth doctor, but from what clips I have seen, my hopes aren't high for Saturday's threatened extravaganza.
There was a rather saddening article on the news about moves to lower the age of consent. There are all sorts of reasons for which the age of consent should be raised or lowered. All manner of so-called "experts" were invited to voice an opinion. The whole sorry subject descended into an argument about how young a person has to be before society feels they are too young for a celebrity to have sex with them; nothing else about the matter seemed to be worthy of mention.
I stopped off at Morrisons for the makings of lunch. And I finally realised something I should have realised years ago. Apples cost three times the price of bananas. Apples are grown in Kent; bananas are shipped half way round the world. What's that all about?
I had a worse night than usual; and that is saying something. I am fed up with my insomnia; I now dread going to bed as I know I will sleep for a couple of hours at best, and then lay awake for the rest of the night and spend much of the following day feeling knackered. I have tried all the old traditional remedies to no avail. I think I’m now at the point where I need to go to a sleep clinic. So I phoned the doctor’s surgery. My doctors are are… I won’t be negative. I’ll just say that if you want to be very unlikely to ever obtain an appointment with a doctor, and when you do get one you’d like to be faced with a doctor who is more interested in fiddling on his mobile phone than in talking to you, then South Ashford Medics is the place to be. I phoned them and told the receptionist that I didn’t want an appointment. I wanted a referral to a sleep clinic. She couldn’t give me a referral without seeing a G.P. first. I asked for an appointment to see a G.P.; she said I couldn’t have one.
It’s easier to get a check-up for my car than it is for me. Unfortunately my car needed a check-up. A month or so ago I had loads of work done to my S.L.O.W. (super-luxurious omnidirectional wassermerjigger as Lacey calls it), and since then the steering has developed something of an intermittent knocking. I took the car back to the garage today and left it with them, and then went on for a bit of a walk with “Furry Face TM “. We went up through Repton Manor into the Warren where a very aptly named geocache had been hidden. We found the cache, and then carried on walking through the woods. I would have liked to have let Fudge off of the lead, but they’ve recently released highland cattle into the woods, so I didn’t want him coming off the worst in a fight with a cow. We came home a rather circuitous way via the Sainsbury’s car park and the town centre.
Just as we got home the garage phoned. They had taken my S.L.O.W. (it’s a Cat in the Hat thing) for a test drive and had experienced the knocking in the steering. They had been all over the steering circuit, but couldn’t find anything wrong with it. So to be on the safe side they greased it all up and said we should all hope for the best. They did find that one of the light bulbs needed replacing. So we walked round to the garage to get the car. They only charged me for the new light bulb; I was pleased about that.
Home again, and over a spot of lunch I tried (and failed) to solve some puzzles. And I fell asleep. I hate that. I’d been wide awake for much of the night when there was nothing to do, and I had so much planned for the afternoon and slept through it instead.
I had a surprisingly good night’s sleep last night. A quick spot of brekkie and I took my dog for a walk. Whilst we were out I hid a geocache. Having seen some rather clever caches here and there I thought I’d do something not entirely dissimilar. It was a shame that it started raining whilst we were out. We did get rather soaked.
Having put up with “Furry Face TM “ barking at every form of transport known to man my patience was wearing thin. It was when he barked at a mobility scooter that I shouted at him. Rather forcefully. That made him jump; but I think it did the trick. A few minutes later he started to bark at a passing milk float and stopped himself in mid-bark and turned to me with a rather sheepish expression.
We came home and dried out, and then I went down the road to the dentist for my gob’s semi-annual service. Nothing needed doing, and I am not due back with the fangquack until next May; which is good. Whilst out I went on to Musgrove medical practice and filled out all the forms to transfer to them from my current surgery. I came home via the bakers shop with a Belgian bun for lunch.
I then spent a couple of hours doing the ironing whilst watching a favourite film of mine.I do like that film; but I have to watch it whilst doing something (like ironing) or I fall asleep. And then with laundry done I went into the garden. There is a load of work to be done out there, but just as I went out it started raining, so I contented myself with just turning off the pond’s pumps for the winter. Re-shingling and lawn mowing will have to wait.
I received an email. That really clever geocache on which I’ve spent several days preparing had been turned down. I won’t say why; suffice it to say that it got the thumbs-down, but two other caches identical in the crucial respect were recently allowed. I asked the reviewer why my one was turned down whilst these others weren’t and the reply was interesting (if somewhat rude). I was told that acceptance of one cache hide does not mean that others of the same ilk might necessarily be accepted. And I was given a link I might use to appeal his decision.
The original plan for the evening was astro club committee, but I had forgotten a special birthday, so instead we went round to Chiquito’s for Lacey’s birthday meal. Lacey enjoyed herself which was the main thing. Personally I thought it was overpriced; I would have preferred McDonalds, but Lacey wanted Chiquitos…
I took myself off to bed last night shortly after 10.30pm. I woke at 1.15am, and then lay awake until finally giving up and getting up just before 5am. The sooner I can change GP surgery and get referred to a sleep clinic the better.
When I came out of the bathroom after my shave I saw an incredibly tired-looking small dog on the sofa; he'd come down to share my morning toast. I (we) scoffed my toast whilst watching the last episode of "Earth 2". That series started well, but I'm glad it's run its course. I could never take the lead character seriously since I learned that the actor playing that part went on to do the voice for Mr Krabs in SpongeBob SquarePants. i wonder what series I will find next about which I can be disparaging.
I set off to work through a very damp and black morning. As I drove I listened to the radio. It would seem that journalists from the BBC's "Panorama" program have uncovered evidence of all sorts of military misdemeanours from forty years ago.
Whilst what the British Army supposedly did was very wrong, what does the BBC hope to achieve by stirring up this story. It all happened forty years ago. At best it will just be upsetting to all involved; at worst it may well spark off more sectarian violence. Those ultimately responsible for the crimes are probably safely dead.
I stopped off in Morrisons for some fruit on my way to work. They have their Christmas decorations up. It's good that this year people seem to have left it later before putting up the tinsel and baubles. Hopefully this year we won't be sick of Christmas before it arrives.
Once at work I did my bit as best I could. I did seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in "Trap Two". Having spent over fifty quid on eating out last night I seem merely to have left myself skint for the rest of the month and to have given myself a dose of the "two-bob-bits". We could have had better food in McDonalds on three seperate occassions for less expense.
My little dog was somewhat subdued last night. I came home to find that in a moment of laxity he had eaten er indoors TM" 's best pyjamas. She wasn't happy; and was even more enraged when he wagged his tail at her as she lambasted him for his lapse. He was in serious trouble. Poor little thing.
I woke this morning to see that the tricky geocache I'd been planning and working on had gone live overnight. When I found this out it had been live and unfound for seven hours. That is unheard of in Ashford.
I was worried; had I done something wrong? I checked. All was as it should be. Either no one had tried for it, or it had done what it was supposed to do and had foxed people. Eventually the cache was found for the first time shortly after 5pm. Nearly a whole day; that is an eternity in Ashford caching. Perhaps I *have* devised something fiendishly difficult?
And so to work. The journey took somewhat longer than usual; a learner driver was having a driving lesson, and drove the twelve miles from Ashford to Chartham at thirty seven miles an hour. The speed limit for most of that journey is fifty miles an hour. I watched a seemingly endless stream of people overtake the string of patient traffic behind that learner. Those overtaking took some serious risks for which the driving instructor must take some blame. I realise that people have to learn; but at rush hour on one of the busiest stretches of road in the county?
As I drove the presenters of the morning's radio show were interviewing someone or other; I wasn't really paying attention until I realised that whoever was being interviewed was becoming more and more evasive in his answers. As another presenter tried to bring the interview to a close the first presenter became more persistent in questioning her victim. When told that there wasn't time to continue with the interview she actually said (live on BBC Radio 4) "sod the timings". I did laugh.
And so to work. One of my colleagues (the inestimable "Soup Boy") claimed never to have heard of SpongeBob SquarePants. I don't think I made as good a job as I might out of persuading him of the merits of the show. Somehow he couldn't understand how a crab could have a whale for a daughter; nor could he get his head around a superhero called "Mermaidman".
We also investigated a wonderful website: www.famousbirthdays.com Whilst my colleagues shared birthdays with such erstwhile people as Mohammed Ali and Walt Disney, I am saddled with Michael McIntyre and Charlotte Church.
With my bit done I came home. I had half a mind to hide another fiendishly difficult geocache, but the lateness of the hour and the torrential rain put me off of that idea. Which was probably a shame...
After a surprisingly good night’s kip I found myself woken by having my nose licked. I can take a hint, so I took “Furry Face TM “for a walk. We were a little later getting going than usual so I thought I’d brave the park in the hope that the runners had already done their thing and had gone home. They had. Also being that little bit later we missed OrangeHead and her chunky little friend.
I had wanted to see the Doctor Who exhibition in Folkestone. The one earlier in the year had been… well, it had been a disappointment, but it had been a first. I’d hoped today’s show was going to be bigger and better. I was met from the train by the Rear Admiral and we made our way directly to where it was all happening.
As we walked there was a minor commotion. A woman was lying collapsed on the pavement. There were people with her seeing to her. I felt rather guilty walking past, but I couldn’t have done anything to help.
We soon found the exhibition where I was warmly greeted by the Cyber-Leader who (it turned out) is a person who is actually on my Facebook list. We chatted for a bit, then he went on to terrorising the children. It was good to be on first name terms with a Cyber-Leader, but today’s show was something of a disappointment. What was done had been done well, but there was only two cybermen, a dalek, K9, and a sickly-looking Davros. We gave it five minutes then wandered off. We listened to the Gospel choir singing carols for five minutes, then went round to the Firkin alehouse for a pint or two of lunch.
Kipp’s alehouse had a really good stout on; and then I turned the Rear Admiral to the dark side. There are four Munzees in Folkestone Harbour. I captured them all, and he downloaded the Munzee app and joined in. We had a celebratory pint in the Lifeboat, and then it was home time.
I came home to find ‘er indoors TM was still on her mission, so I took “Furry Face TM “ for a walk round the block and then me and my dog shared a kebab as we watched “Carry on Behind”; a rather lame film but it passed the time until the much-heralded Doctor Who anniversary special was on.
And the Doctor Who anniversary special itself.. I won’t go into too many details because I realise that a lot of people will have SkyPlus-ed it to watch later. In short I liked it. I didn’t think I would. I will watch it again with my finger on the “pause” button because a *lot* of continuity and fanwank (for want of a better term) has been slipped in.
After a good night's sleep I was raring to go. And so we went. In total five of us and two small dogs went in search of plastic boxes.. Firstly we tried for a First to Find and failed. Mind you that cache went live three weeks ago and many have tried. It's rated very easy so I'm sure it's gone missing.
We then moved on to Pegwell Bay where after a few minutes we found the way to the beach. Getting to the beach wasn't easy; it was actually a rather scary descent. Once on the beach we soon found the tunnel we were looking for, and having tunnel-ratted through some serious mud we found the geocache we sought.
And whilst the tide was still low we then hurried round to Botany Bay where we failed to find a geocache in a tunnel last week. Having spoken with the chap who'd hidden it we had more of an idea where to look. Well, we had no idea; all the chap had actually said was that where we thought was the obvious place was not the place to look at all. And so we did what we should always do when looking for something. We searched with open minds; not searching were we thought it might be and ignoring everywhere else. After a few minutes the elusive cache was in our hand. I was rather pleased about this cache; there aren't many with difficulty rating 4/5 and terrain rating 5/5. In fact this was only the third such I've ever found.
We then moved on to the main business of the day. Ramsgate. We sheltererd from the rain to have our picnic. As the rain became torrential we considered going home. But idiot enthusiasm triumphed over common sense, and the rain soon stopped anyway. We followed a guided tour of caches around Ramsgate taking us to sites wheere there used to be tunnels used for various purposes. We intended tunnel-ratting; but all of the tunnels had long sence been blocked off. Which was a shame.
At one point we heard a terrible noise and looked up. It was like something out of a horror movie. A 747 jumbo-jet was coming right for us. It turned out we were on the flight approach path for Manston airport.
We found the house in which Vincent Van Gogh taught in Ramsgate. We walked round the harbour and as far out as we could. We nearly (but not quite) got soaked by waves washing over the harbour arm. And when the fishermen weren't looking "Furry Face TM" ate some of their lugworms.
All too soon it was time to come home. By 4pm it was nearly dark, and so we came home where I washed the mud off of my dog who then promptly fell asleep. er indoors TM" set of bowlling, and having quickly checked cyber-space I settled down for my Sunday evening fix of "Jeeves and Wooster". I then followed that up with episodes of "South Park" and "Big Bang Theory" before falling asleep during a documentary about killer asteroids.
Another good night’s sleep. Wiith very little on the itinerary for today I took “Furry Face TM “ down to Park Farm. We like our walks, and there was geocache maintenance to be done in the area. About a year ago “The Man with no Alias (patent pending)” was rather disrespectful to the entire notion of hunting small plastic boxes with GPS technology and so I hid six of the things within striking distance of his abode. Like everything in life they need periodic maintenance and so that was my mission for the morning.
What can I say… We needed the walk, but it was rather frustrating to find that someone had already done the maintenance on all of the caches I’d set out to maintain. I’m not complaining as such; I am only too happy for anyone and everyone to do my cache maintenance for me. All I would say is that if anyone is going to save me time by doing this, I wish they would tell me that they’ve done it so I don’t waste that time going out to do a job that’s already been done for me.
We came home, and over a cuppa I did the monthly accounts. Oh dear. Over the last few months I’ve had serious car expenditure and vet bills. Perhaps discovering the ale houses in Folkestone last month wasn’t a good thing. And last Wednesday’s trip to Chiquitos was certainly something I won’t be doing again soon.
I then did some domestic drudgery. Hoovering (with a Dyson), washing and even sewing. I spent half an hour asleep with my dog on my chest, and then spent a little while reviewing my programming skills (such as they are). Much (all) of what I know about computer languages is all self-taught. All of what I know about computers is either self-taught or what I have gleaned from either watching Chris put the networking back together again or heckling as Jose repaired the smouldering carcasses of computers that I have broken. So I’ve decided I am going to remedy that deficiency. Starting In February I am going to learn all about the Internet. Why not learn with me? I’ve done three Coursera courses so far; this one looks interesting as well. And it’s free, which is a bonus.
With ‘er indoors TM of bowling, me and “Furry Face TM “ settled down to watch a film. “The Great Rock n Roll Swindle” isn’t to everyone’s taste. I suppose you had to be there really. I was - it was quite some time ago now…
After a swift bit of brekkie I took "Furry Face TM" on a walk. Today we did a rather standard circuit thought the park and on to Singleton Lake. I was expecting to run in to Orangehead, but neither she nor her chunky little friend was anywhere to be seen. Which was something of a relief. As we went into the Bowens Field wetland park I took the lead off of my furry associate, and the lead stayed off for about a mile. He was really good; coming back when called and not rolling in anything untoward nor shagging that which he shouldn't either.
Once home I did an hour’s homework, then went on to the doctors. I say “doctors” – I went along to see the nurse who would effectively give me an M.O.T. and see if I was worth the risk of taking on. The nurse seemed quite chatty. She weighed me (I’ve but a lot of weight back on) and took my blood pressure; it’s 130/70 which is better than it has been. But still there is room for improvement.
Notwithstanding all this she gave me the “thumbs-up” and I have been accepted at my new surgery. I now have to make a double appointment with one of the doctors who will review my medical history and my medication. I did gently hint that I’m not actually on any medication, but that would appear to be a piddling detail.
To celebrate I bought myself a cream cake. For all that the new doctor’s is only a couple of minutes’ walk away; it is next door to the chip shop and only a few yards from the bakery. I had my cream cake for lunch. It was most enjoyable. Whilst I scoffed it I watched a film. Following on from yesterday’s “The Great Rock n Roll Swindle”, today I watched “Breaking Glass” which is another old favourite of mine. Interestingly the DVD case still had the receipt from when I bought the DVD. That DVD was bought new in 2002. Eleven years ago a new DVD cost £12.99. I thought it interesting how DVD prices haven’t changed that much; if anything they have got cheaper.
And on watching the film I was again amazed and impressed at the skills of the saxophonist. I would like to learn to play the saxophone. I see that as one of my next great projects. So as a first step to this goal I need to obtain a saxophone. I had a look on-line; they aren’t cheap. If any of my loyal readers have a saxophone that they don’t use, could I borrow it?
The phone rang. It was “Edward” from the servers of the World Wide Web. Apparently he had detected my suspicious activities and he was going to “un-new the registrations of my computers” unless I gave him the passwords to every on-line account and profile that I had. I told him to get knotted and hung up. I did the 1471; he’d phoned from a London number (0207 9760 439) which (after a llittle Googling) I found was a known number from which many nuisance calls originate. I would report the all, but why bother. These people will just call from somewhere else.
I then checked my letter rack. I had a letter from the power company saying that he cost of leccie and gas was going up for which they were very sorry. They then gave a detailed breakdownn on how it would affect my bill. I didn't like to say anything, but the rate per unit that I will be paying from January will be cheaper than I am paying now.
er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of scran, and we set off via Queen Street to Somerset Road for the weekly gathering of the tribes. Insults were bandied and we watched the Peter Davison Doctor Who annniversary piss-take before settling down to an installment of "Merlin". In tonight's episode Sir Lancelot croaked. Personally I felt the chap was akin to bread and butter pudding with legs, but his being dead won't help the plot much. Wasn't he supposed to pork Guinevere?
My little dog seemed rather subdued this morning, but not so subdued that he wouldn't eat half of my brekkie. And having scoffed my toast for me he curled up on my lap and snored whilst I tried to watch "Day of the Triffids". It's an old series first shown on the BBC thirty-odd years ago, but I like it.
And so to work. You would think that anyone cycling on a main road (which has no street lights) half an hour before dawn would have lights and wear reflective bright colours. No? Well, I would have thought that. The two cyclists I nearly mowed down disagreed with me on that matter too.
As I drove I listened to the radio. The latest development in the campaign for Scottish Independence amazed me. An independent Scotland will apparently retain the pound as its unit of currency. How on Earth can they try to be independent of the rest of the UK when they will have their financial matters dictated to them by the Bank of England? Isn't the shambles of the Euro enough of an example?
And there was an interview with the leader of the UK Independence Party who was being questioned about his views on the Prime Minister's announcement that anyone immigrating to the UK will not be entitled to any benefits from now on.
I stopped off in Morrisons for some fruit, and then after having done my bit at work (and comparing notes about tattoos) I came home again. The radio was staging a debate about the role of the police in society. Should they be law enforcers or should they be guardians of public morality? Arguments were advanced for both points of view. For myself either would do. But in my experience currently they do neither.
I wasn't especially late to bed last night, but the gentle rythmic breathing of er indoors TM" woke me at 2.30am. Her gentle rythmic breathing was rather impressive. I eventually got up before 5am feeling rather rough; last night I'd had a couple of glasses of rose wine with dinner, and I woke with a rotten hangover that lasted most of the day.
As usual I shared my toast with "Furry Face TM". This morning I watched two more episodes of "Triffids". I do like the series but I have one niggle. (What is life without a niggle?) At one point the two main characters have a disagreement. Ten minutes lates the same disagrement arises, but with the two protagonists taking up what had been the other's side of the argument. There had been no change of heart; just a lapse of concentration on the part of the scriptwriter.
I checked my emails - a series of geocaches had gone live overnight. And they were only five miles from home; in Kings Wood. I had time to look for one before work so I went for what looked like being the easiest to get at. I had a look for it... but the GPS wouldn't settle down, and there's not much fun stomping about on your own in a known doggers' car park half an hour before dawn.
I shall go back when there is some daylight; it's amazing the difference being able to see can make. It later transpired that other people couldn't find that one either. If I had chosen another I might have got an FTF. Oh well... such is life.
I carried on to work listening to the radio. Yesterday I ranted about the proposed Scottish independence. Today that topic boiled my piss even more. For all that they pre-independence lobby wants Scotland out of the UK, it still wants Scotland to remain part of the European Union. How does that work? Giving up one union in favour of another? I can't help but feel that a lot of it is pure anti-English sentiment.I nterestingly the Spanish feel that if Scotland leaves the UK is automatically leaves the EU by default and should have a rather tricky time getting back in. Mind you the Spanish have their own secessionists to worry about so I suppose that in many ways they have a vested interest here.
Yesterday I was also rather disparaging about the police. They do themselves no favours. Today's news also told the sad tale of a chap who had been beaten and burned to death because the local scratters thought be might have been a paedophile.
The sad part of this story is that these allegations were known to the police; had been investigated and found to be false. And furthermore the unfortunate victim had already highlghted his ongoing harrassment to the police.
Once at work I did my bit and then came home again. Over a rather good bit of dinner we watched episodes of "Come Dine With Me"; we have over sixty episodes recorded on the SkyPlus box. Best get them watched...
I had a rather disconcerting dream last night. Hospital management had decided there was no money to be made from the healthcare business, and so from next Monday I was to be a professional cheesemonger. Whilst I can eat cheese with gusto, I haven't the faintest idea how I might mong the stuff, and I woke up in a panic at 2.25am.
The remainder of the night was rather restless. I got up before 7am, watched the last two episodes of "Day of the Triffids" and then phoned my new doctor's surgery. They gave me an appointment shortly after 9am, so I quickly took "Furry Face TM" round the park where he was incredibly well behaved; even off the lead.
Home to drop off my dog, and then on to the doc. After a short wait the doctor asked what she could do for me, and why did I need a double appointment? I told her that I was there at her instructions because as part of being a new patient she had to review my medication. She asked what medication I was taking. I told her - none. That stumped her.
She then said that my being there was rather a waste of everyone's time. I agreed. She did ask if I was generally in good health and I told her about my insomnia. She called up a web site and we did an on-line questionnaire, the outcome of which was that my insomnia was possibly indicative of an underlying medical condition that should be investigated. It was at this point that I turned to the doctor and said "over to you".
Before she could say anything I told her that this has been going on for ages, I've already tried Horlicks and hot milk, and maybe I might be referred to a sleep clinic. She readily agreed to this, and I am now waiting for a letter from the hospital.
I collected my dog, and we continued our walk. We went up to Kings Wood. We found four of the geoocaches which had been hidden yesterday, but the one I couldn't find yesterday still eluded me. Whilst we were out I fell over in the mud and "Furry Face TM" nearly (but not quite) got to roll in fox poo.
Once back home again I attacked the household accounts. Could be better. So in a fit of pique I spoke with the the mobile phone people to whinge at them. They immedieately agreed to give me more - I got 50% more data and 1000% (yes 1000%) more monthly call time for 50p a month less.
I had planned to do some ironing this afternoon, but the time had run away from me. It was time for astro club. Despite having no tin opener (!) we had a good evening; Steve talked about the Sun, there was news about the latest developments with the proposed observatory; I hawked the raffle. In a novel break with tradition the clouds parted and we got to see stars. For the first time I could make out the entire constellation of Orion including his spear and shield. And I could also see the crocodile out of which Orion was bashing seven shades of sh*t.
lI saw every hour of the night last night; eventually giving up and getting up shortly after 6am. I watched a couple of episodes of "South Park" that I had recorded onto the SkyPlus box. For no reason that I cold fathom Kenny had announced that he was a Japanese princess and had declared war on anyone who begged to differ. In doing so he was apparently at odds with the entire Microsoft corporation, but the senior executives of Sony had allied with him.
And so to work. Having had something of a hint about that geocache I couldn't find over the last two days I could have gone searching for a fourth time; after all it was (sort of) on my way to work. But I decided against it. I shall wait until revised co-ordinates are issued. At the moment the thing might be anywhere.
As always I listened to the radio as I drove. Peaches Geldof would seem to have caused a rumpus having tweeted the names of people she shouldn't have. Personally I'm amazed that Twitter allowed anyone to post anything as long as someone's name. I can't stand Twitter. I need more than 140 characters to be able to have a good rant. And others who tweet who also need more than 140 characters have to resort to tinyurls which could go absolutely anywhere, or to incomprehensible hashtags.
Comet Ison warranted mention Apparently it is now official that the thing broke up whilst going past the Sun, and whilst the largest remaining fragment is (only just) bright enough to be visible in a perfectly dark sky *if* you knew precisely where to look, it is dimming fast.
I arrived at work. I did my bit. In the past I've said that I don't mind working at the weekends. I suppose I don't really, but I wasn't feeling it today. Perhaps it was because this wasn't my scheduled weekend to be working (I'd swapped). Perhaps I was a little under the weather. But I was hardly the life and soul of the party. Perhaps I might have felt better about the whole thing had the weather outside been worse so I wouldn't have felt I was missing out on anything. And with my bit done I came home again.
And once home my piss boiled. Some plum has accused me of falsifying a geocache log. How petty. But in making this accusation and having deleted something I wrote over a year ago this twit has stuffed up all the scorings and numberings that I have done over this last year.