1 October 2015 (Thursday) – Stuff
After another restless night I got up to find my little dog still snoring. As I was boiling up some toast he leapt up and charged to the back door demanding to be let out. He then flew round the back garden woofing like a thing possessed. I wonder what that was all about.
I didn't bother switching on the telly this morning. There is only so much "Toddlers and Tiaras" that one's nerves can stand. Instead I had a litttle look-see on social media. Some friends had been scoffing choccies, some were whinging about the neighbour's children. One had swatted a fly and photographed its eyes, and another had had her foot tattooed. There are those who loudlly decry Facebook. I think it is a wonderful way to keep in touch. But then again I am a very nosey person...
I set off to work and was a bit miffed to find several vacant parking spots outside the house. Last night when I came home I'd had to park three streets away.
I went to work via Godington Park for geo-purposes. As I drove to work the pundits were talking about the use of antibiotics in hospitals. The bloke speaking was obviously supposed to be an expert. He suggested that rather than doctors just randomly prescribing any old antibiotic, perhaps medical laboratories might start doing some tests to see which antibiotic would work on which specific germs any given patient has got. A sensible recommendation. It was a shame that this bloke clearly had no idea what he was talking about as this has been going on for years. It was already well established standard practice when I first started doing it myself in 1981.
Where do they get these so-called experts from?
And there was an interview with some woman surgeon who claimed she was the victim of sexual discrimination at work. Perhaps she was, perhaps she wasn't. I don't know.
However it does seem that I'm hearing about a lot of aggressive women playing the sexual discrimination card in all walks of life at the moment. And usually five minutes after their rant another woman in pretty much the same situation (except they are approachable rather than confrontational) turns up and says they have no problems in whichever situation is being discussed.
Pausing only briefly not to run over the sheep running wild on the main road just outside Canterbury I was soon at work. We had quite a busy day, including a case of malaria. (That is something we don't see anywhere near as often as once we did)
An early start made for an early finish, and once home I took "Furry Face TM" up to the Post Office. We had a parcel to collect. The "charming fellow" behind the counter made it quite plain he was in no mood to do anything helpful, and suggested I might come back tomorrow when there might be someone there who could be more inclined to get off their arse and go and get my parcel.
So we came home again. I would formally complain, but it would acheive nothing positive, and just ensure I never receive a parcel ever again.
We had a rather good bit of scoff for tea, then caught up on watching episodes of Downton Abbey. Goood stuff. If only I could remember what had happened in the last season of that show...
2 October 2015 (Friday) - Happy Birthday Jake
I slept for a long time, but another sleep wrought by dreams I'd rather not have had. I scoffed brekkie and then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We went back to the Post Office to see if they would hand over my parcel they refused to hand over yesterday. I walked in, smiled at the chap behind the counter and showed him the coollection slip. He grunted. I say "grunted"; it might have been a grunt, a burp or a fart. I smiled again and after a little pause this fellow bellowed "I.D.?!?!?". Still refusing to be fazed by him I politely exclaimed "Oh, you would like to see some identificiation would you?" I was in the throes of getting my passport out of my wallet when"Mr Cheerful" reached over, snatched it form me, glanced at it then threw it back at me before stomping off. After a while he grudgingly handed over a small package.
And Royal Mail wonder why the little delivery firms are doing so well at their expense.
We carried on our walk via the town centre to the park. As we walked we met a rather foxy traffic warden. Did you know that the traffic warden uniform has been changed? They now sport the sort of hat that DOnny Osmond made famous in the 1970s.
We got to the park and met a new tribe of dog-walkers. I thought we'd met them all, but this bunch were new to me. They were micro-managing their dogs at every step. The advent of a loose Patagonian Tripe-Hound was clearly the last thing they wanted. Recently I mentioned how he tends to shy away from other dogs. Not today. This time he caused mayhem.
Before they got too angry with us they were distracted by another dog. For some time I'd heard a barkig in the distance. There was a smalll dog barking at a tree. I haave no idea why; and all the new bunch's dogs joined in. Fortunately for me "Furry Face TM" had no interest in this tree so we walked off and left them all to it. They all barked for a good twenty minutes more.
We came home via Christchurch Road where the bin men wer doing their collections. Me and my dog weaved in and out of the bins left scattered on the pavement, but again the young mothers with push chairs were walking up the centre of the street as the pavements had been left impassable for push chairs.
My original plan had been to go see the birthday baby, but we didn't get home from our walk until 9.30am, and littlun had a birthday party planned at his mother & toddler group. So instead I took a leisurely drive to work.
As I drove to work the radio was playing "Women's Hour". Perhaps I'm an intolerant ot git, but more and more I find this show to be becoming more and more patronising. Today's show featured all sorts of shrieking harpies who were concerned about a public intolerance of extreme views. Apparently all sorts of public bodies and institutions are adopting "No Platform" policies in which they refuse to allow those they consider to be extremist to speak. However the trouble with this attitude is that one person's idea of extremism is another's idea of common sense.
After a minor geo-detour I got to work for the late shift. I did my bit, and (it is that time of year) drove home in the dark. I don't mind the late shifts but I don't like driving home after them. As I come along the A28 every evening there is always the same drunk driver who is swerving all over the road at 20 miles an hour. It is impossible to overtake them, so I am forced to keep a decent distance. They eventually turn off at Wye (as they did again this evening), but they add twenty minutes to an already very late finish.
With "er indoors TM" putting the birthday boy to bed I found myself "home alone" yet again. So I treated myself to a KFC and watched Star Trek. Not a bad way to pass an evening, even if a tad lonely....
3 October 2015 (Saturday) - Wingham Wildlife Park
Over brekkie I saw some of the Kentish cachers were having fun in France. Some were in Vancouver a little while ago. Social media is great for following (or cyber-stalking) what people are up to. And with brekkie scoffed I walked "Furry Face TM" round the roads. He likes his morning perambulation, and (for once) today's passed off without incident.
Once home again we packed a picnic lunch then set off to Folkestone. The motorway was again blocked because of whatever nonsense the French were up to this time. It rather annoys me that whenever the French have niggles and squabbles they blockade Calais which then brings most of Kent to a standstill.
If we as a nation are going to continue with France as a trading partner then traffic needs to get to and fro.
Realistically the time has now come to tell the French that they can p*ss off and either cut off all relations with them and close Dover-Calais route altogether or send in the army and the navy to re-open the lines of communication.
The current arrangement simply isn't working for anyone.
We eventually got to Folkestone where we collected baby Jake (and assorted entourage). Since yesterday was his birthday, today we had a little birthday trip to the zoo. "My Boy TM" and his contingent eventually met us there; having had a terrible time trying to get out of Ashford (again thanks to the French).
Seven bigguns and three littluns then had a day at Wingham Wildlife Park. We watched feeding time for otters and penguins, we watched the antics of coatis and meerkats. We avoided getting tiddled on by tigers (they do that). We fed the fish and the peacocks and the goats. We ("My Boy TM") tried our hardest to get pecked by a flamingo. We even saw two pontypines (!) and laughed at the small child who was (quite literally) crapped on by a lemur.
Several of us took the makings of a pic-nic. Despite three sittings we didn't get it all eaten.
After four hours we'd eventually seen it all. Money was then squandered in the gift shop, and we set off on our various ways homeward. We returned the Folkestonians from whence they came; and despite having scoffed far too much we had coffee and cake before coming home again. Getting home from Folkestone is rarely a problem, but as we drove up the motorway there was nothing coming down the other way as the motorway was still closed.
Once home I uploaded the photos I'd taken. I took one or two whilst we were out.. That took some doing. A shame Facebook didn't upload them all. I wonder why?
And then I got some "Found it" logs from the geo-series I put out last week. And a complaint or two. Seems I got my left and right mixed up in the descriptions. Woops!
4 October 2015 (Sunday) - Wedding Anniversary
Yesterday I mentioned how social media is a great way to keep up with the mundane trivia of everyone else's life. Over brekkie I activated my lap top and caught up with more. Such as discovering that after a busy day yesterday at the zoo spent scoffing far too much pic-nic, little baby Jake had a bout of chocolate cake flavoured sick last night.
I also found out that my kite-flying friends were camping out at the South of England show at Ardingly. Last night was apparently especially cold. I did whinge a little that it would have been nice to have been told about the Ardingly thing... but then I suppose if I'd paid my subs to the kite club then I would have been told about it.
Yesterday (at least) two groups of people walked my new geo-series. As I scoffed toast I read the reports they had posted. Following exactly the same instructions one group had gone astray whilst another group had no problems. Strange... I've amended the description a little.
With brekkie scoffed we collected the rest of the team and set off to Eastling for the traditional Sunday geo-stroll. Some days we go mob-handed, other days not with quite so many. Today was a "not quite so many" day. The day started badly with Suzy pup seeming to have problems with her paw. We couldn't see anything wrong with it, and decided to carry on and keep a close eye on her. We didn't keep as close an eye on her as we might have done; when our attention was distracted she got wind of a pheasant and shot off. There was a slight (fifteen minutes) hiatus whilst we searched for her. In the past Fudge has disgraced himself by running off. But he's rarely taken as long to find. Suzy did a good job of running off. "Furry Face TM" stayed on the lead for much of the walk; there were loads of pheasants and he was obviously tracking them for much of the way.
I say "pheasants" - at several points of the walk I heard branches breaking and something larger crashing about in the woods. i could be wrong but I think there were deer about.
It was a really good walk; about six miles, and perfect walking weather. Not too hot, a gentle breeze, and the ground dry enough to sit down for a pic-nic. Geocachically there was a mixture of hides ranging from dead simple "film-pot-under-rock" to rather cleverly hidden tricky ones. One of these had us stumped, and we only managed to claim a find by the cachers following us catching up and finding it for us.
As always it was good to meet fellow tupperware-hunters and chat.
We drove home via one or two other concealed sandwich boxes. I've only got one left to find within four miles of home.
I took some photos as we walked. I do that. Once home I uploaded these to cyber-space. I don't know if the world wants to see my random photos, but I know my mum likes seeing them. And I get unlimited photo storage with Facebook anyway.
Realising that bonfire season is nearly upon us I then checked the diary dates. There's nothing (within reasonable distance) happening next weekend, but the weekend after is Hastings bonfire parade. That's a must-do event. And Rye bonfire is on 14 November. That's a must-do as well.
Right - decent bit of scoff now and a decent bottle of plonk. Today's a special day you know...
5 October 2015 (Monday) – Stuff
I woke in a cold sweat at 5.30am this morning following a nightmare in which a seldom-used reactivation clause had been invoked recalling me back to active duty in the Scout Association. I was required to oversee a Scout trip to America for which I was struggling in vain to acquire twenty thousand American dollars at incredibly short notice.
I hoped toast and coffee would calm my nerves. As I scoffed brekkie I watched "Dad's Army". The SkyPlus box has started recording it again now that it is not recording the same episode of Doctor Who from two different channels at the same time.
In today's episode it came to light that Private Godfrey had been a conscienscious objector during the First World War. For those of my loyal readers who are unaware of the term, a "conscienscious objector" is one who refused milatary service because they had qualms about going out to kill someone with whom they have no personal grievance purely because the current government says they should.
That got me thinking for much of the day. Nowadays such objection would be accepted without question. However I can remember a conversation with my grandfather (many years ago) when I had similar reservations myself should I ever be (hypothetically) called up for military service. Could I actually shoot someone?
Grandad said that when he was called up and sent out to kill (lots of) Japanese soldiers very few people actually thought about the morality of going out and shooting the enemy. You just did as you were told. It was the done thing. Not joining up was seen as cowardice, and people were ostracised for it.
Being a conscienscious objector took some serious moral courage back then.
I wonder if I would have acutally been brave enough to have said no to the draft (had it ever happened)
As I drove to work the radio was interviewing the author of a biography of Margaret Thatcher which will be published tomorrow. Like her or loathe her, she certainly made her mark on the nation. The chap being interviewed was making great show of how much respect Margaret Thatcher had for the Queen, and how the Queen in turn respected Mrs T. I wondered if this was some attempt to re-write history; at the time it was widely reported that both had little love for the other.
There was then nostalgia for her legacy and how the Conservative Party is now claiming to be the party of the working people. There was also talk of how Lord Adonis has resigned the Labour whip to head up a new Government initiative on something or other. I don't remember what it was; the details are trivial. The important thing is that a Conservative government are involving a Labour politician in a senior position. The Prime Minister has chosen who he sees as the best man for the job. If this is a sign of things to come then things are looking up for British politics.
And (realistically) it is the only way that the Labour party will get any sniff of policy-making all the time Jeremy Corbyn is their leader.
There was also a lot of talk about how supermarkets now (by law) have to charge for carrier bags. It is something of a rip-off really. Supermarkets have obviously factored the cost of their carrier bags into their prices already. Effectively we as consumers are now paying for the same thing twice. Morrisons in Canterbury this morning had big signs up effectively apologising for having to charge, and saying that all the money raised would go to charity.
It struck me that in Morrisons it wasn't really being enforced. You could easily not pay for the bags.
The whole idea is (supposedly) to encourage recycling. The obvious thing to have done was to have outlawed non-recyclable or non biodegradable bags.
I got to work; did my bit, then came home again. I do that. As I arrived home the neighbours who aren't a *serious* cause for concern were looking out of the window with their baby. I waved and pulled faced and got smiles from baby. I collected "Furry Face TM" for his walk and he had a woofing fit at them. I wish he wouldn't. There are not many people he doesn't like. It is such a shame he has taken such a visceral dislike to the neighbours we get on with...
6 October 2015 (Tuesday) - Delivering Stuff
I spent a little while on Amazon dot com looking for a new e-book for my Kindle app as I scoffed my toast this morning. Last night I finished "Aurora" by Kim Stanley Robinson. I've read some of his stuff before, but this book was really good. I thought the ending was a bit of a shame; I *think* the author was being metaphorical. Eventually I settled on "Night of the Triffids" which was billed as an official sequel to John Wyndham's "Day of the Triffids".
Interestingly Amazon dot com then sent me an email recommending several books I've already bought from them.
As I took "Furry Face TM" for our morning walk I had what I can only describe as a "Swadelands flashback". As we left the house the children were congregating over the road waiting for the arrival of the bus which would take them directly to Swadelands secondary school. Back in the days when the fruits of my loin went to that school I used to pay hundreds of pounds every year so that "Daddies Little Angel TM" would have a seat on that bus. And every single day she would deliberately conspire to miss that bus. Swadelands school is ten years ago, but still the memories haunt me.
I walked "Furry Face TM" round the park without too many problems, and with him settled I set off to Folkestone. The littlun (and his associates) are being relocated in the next few weeks. So in order to make things easier, whenever I'm passing I load the car up with assorted goods and chattels to make the actual moving day that much easier. The plan for this morning was to load up a car full.
I arrived and drove round several times but after twenty minutes I still couldn't find anywhere near their house to park. I parked up at the closest spot (ten minutes walk away) and phoned "Daddies Little Angel TM". After a few rings it went through to her answer-phone. I rang again. And again. After the tenth time of phoning her I gave up, drove round to her house, stopped in the middle of the street outside her house and blasted on the hooter until she came out.
We loaded up as best we could, then I drove off to park three streets away and came back for a cuppa.
Littlun actually walked a few steps today. He stood up and chased Sid (the pug) until he fell onto his bum.
As I had a few minutes spare I thought I'd have a look for sandwich boxes in Hawkinge's Lidl. If nothing else it was something to do before work, and I can always hide sandwich boxes under hedges. The shop was much the same as Lidls everywhere except in one respect. This one had a distraught little old lady telling the world she had forgotten what she'd come to the shop to buy. I smiled politely, suggested jam, peanuts or coffee, and then left her to the assistant manager. As I left I could see the assistant manager regretting he'd ever got involved.
I got to work, actually surprised everyone (including myself) by doing some, then set off on an errand. Usually I'd go to the weekly gathering of the clans on a Tuesday but not gettng away from Canterbury till late meant I'd be arriving at about the sort of time I'd actually be wanting to be going home. So instead I took a little diversion into Chartham to deliver candles for "er indoors TM"
I got to where I was supposed to be delivering to find an unlit house in an unlit street. No one home. That boiled my piss.
I should really have unloaded the car when I got home. But by then it was 9pm. I'll do it in the morning....
7 October 2015 (Wednesday) - DCXXVII + MLIV = ?
Over brekkie I watched the latest episode of "The Last Man on Earth". It is a gentle-enough show; the sort of thing which most people have probably missed. But it is worth giving a go. "Furry Face TM" snored through most of it, then when he thought I wasn't watching he sneaked upstairs to sleep on my bed.
I then quickly checked my emails to find that Amazon dot com was again suggesting I buy stuff I'd already bought from them.
When I came home last night I couldn't park anywhere near the house; this morning there was a large space outside. So I fetched the car round and unloaded all the luggage I'd collected from "Daddies Little Angel TM" yesterday. It was with something of a sore back that I then drove off to work.
As I drove I listened to the radio.
A prominent policeman was being interviewed about the findings broadcast on last night's "Panorama" program on the BBC. Journalists have found that the police are far too eager to believe any and all allegations of child abuse and that innocent people really have had their lives wrecked because of these unsubstantiated allegations. It was claimed on this morning's radio show that the police themselves have named various celebrities and politicians who later turned out to be utterly innocent (but by then the damage has been done)
I've been ranting about this for years.
The policeman being interviewed felt it important that all people when abused as a child should feel able to go to the police about their terrible experiences. Within reason I agree. But there must be some defence for the innocent, and there must be a point at which these victims must realise they have had forty years to say something and they have left it too late.
There was also a lot of fuss made about how in the next few months Britain is finally stopping all foreign aid to India. The pundits on the radio wheeled on someone from "Save the Children" and my heart bled at the tales of poverty and malnutrition she told.
Then the pundits pointed out that India has more millionaires and billionaires than Britain, and they then broadcast some radio footage from India's recent successful mission to Mars. Perhaps India should get their own house in order rather than expecting us to bail them out.
Despite its best efforts, a Euro-Flooring lorry failed to run me off the road. For some reason I got to Canterbury really early so I took the opportunity to got some petrol and then went to work.
Eight hours later I then had something of a busy evening.
First to Chartham to deliver candles. Then to Oak Tree Road to swap baby clothes for paint. Then round to see "My Boy TM". Lacey was having problems with her homework. She'd been assigned Roman sums. Roman sums aren't as easy as you'd think. Try adding DCXXVII to MLIV and see what you get.
What with one thing and another "Furry Face TM" was nearly an hour late getting his walk. It's the Bake-Off final soon... I wanted the foxy Lithuanian one to win. Shame she got chucked out a few weeks ago.
8 October 2015 (Thursday) - Poor Rolo
In theory the Northern Lights were visible from home. In practice it was too cloudy to see anything.
This morning over brekkie I watched a new show I'd recorded. "Bubble Gum" is about a young girl struggling whith life having had it effectively stuffed up by religion. It is a comedy but I recognised several themes from it; having (in retrospect) had by own youth blighted by crackpot religion... if one can call the Methodist church "crackpot".
And talking of my own youthful experiences of religion, as I drove to work the radio was telling the news of Bishop Peter. When I was in my most religious phase in the early 1980s Bishop of Lewis was effectively the chap to whom everyone in the local churches aspired and deferred. In the circles in which I moved at the time there was more than a bit of hero worship about the chap.
In the 1990s it was reported that he'd interfered with a young monk. Yesterday he went to prison for interfering with several young monks and with a child. Whilst the monks were of age (if arguably vunerable), the child on whom he performed indecent acts was only twelve years old.
Whilst that is inexcusable, it actually happened in 1978. On the one hand it made me sit up and think. I was fourteen at the time. I could possibly have been one of his victims. On the other hand I am now fifty-one. Why has this taken so long to come to the attention of the legal process?
As I say, the bishop went to prison yesterday. He's now eighty-three years old. He must serve at least sixteen months of his sentence inside prison and the rest of the sentence will be on probation in the community *if* he survives the time in prison. Like many others I doubt he will.
It is frankly cruel sending a man of his age to prison. if we are going to punish someone for an offence which took place so long ago, then let's just execute him and be done with it. That would be far more humane than the slow death which prison will bring him.
Great issue was made of today being National Poetry Day. Have I ever mentioned that my daughter is a published poet? Back in the days before she and organised secondary education had their final bust-up she won a competition, had a poem published, and met the (at the time) Poet Laureate.
For myself I've often found poetry to be either ridiculous or pretentious. The morning's thought for the Day was in poem form today; I have no idea whether or not it was a good poem as it totally failed to grip my attention.
The morning news also had something which made me sit up and pay attention. The pundits were talking of a revolutionary new blood test which can tell whether or not someone's chest pains are due to a heart attack. It has been suggested that the likes of me start measuring Troponin levels.
I've actually been doing that for years....
Once at work I did some troponin assays, and spent much ot the day thinking and worrying about my smallest grand-dog. Little Rolo was due to go to the vets today for the removal of his "flowers and frolics". Poor little thing. Fortunately for my nerves Cheryl sent me updates throughout the day.
I went home via the Cheapo-Bargains shop to get some tennis balls. I had this idea that we might play "fetch" with my dog on our walk this evening. As we walked I remembered why I gave up playing "fetch" with "Furry Face TM". I threw the ball once; he chased the ball then refused to give it up. He carried it for several hundred yards then randomly dropped it. I threw it again for him. He chased after it and carried it again. He then got *very* possessive of his ball when we met other dogs, and then every time I threw it he just chased the ball but didn't pick it up again.
And to add insult to injury the throwing of the ball has upset my tennis elbow...
9 October 2015 (Friday) - Sorting Bullies
Over brekkie I watched the second episode of "You, Me and the Apolcalypse". I'm not sure where the show is going to go, and I'd be intrigued to see what happens if it gets a second series.
I then checked some emails and my piss boiled. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that over the last few months (using geocaches) I organised a guided walk around the Bethersden area. It seems there is a perceived problem on part of that walk.
There is actually two problems, each compounding the other. The first is that the route goes along official footpaths, but one of the farmers doesn't like people using footpaths on his land.
The second is that many people who go out hunting tupperware have taken up this hobby with absolutely no experience of walking in the countryside and do not understand the concept of "official footpath".
One such geocacher has encountered one such farmer this week and apologised humbly to him and has suggested that I've made a mistake in route-planning. Let's be clear about this. Farmers don't like people using official footpaths in the same way that (hypothetically) I don't like people walking down the street in which I live. When a farmer says to someone that he doesn't want people using a given official footpath, if polite platitudes don't placate him, the correct response is "if you don't like it, you can kiss my arse, dogbreath!" People have every right to use official footpaths.
Rant over... I expect I shall have to go out and sort it all out in the next few days....
As I drove to work I found myself behind an MW Sweepers roadsweeper van. This vehicle was proudly bearing signs saying that the general public might follow MW Sweepers on Facebook and Twitter. Why on Earth would anyone wish to follow the exploits af a roadsweeping firm?
I've started following them just to find out what I might be missing.
I got to work, and as a special treat I got myself a lump of flapjack from the League of Fiends (sic) shop. Much as I liked it, it gave me guts ache. And I have a lot of guts to ache...
I then spent most of the rest of the day whinging (to anyone who would listen) about my guts ache.
I also felt rather worn out today. What wit the vagaries of night work and having taken holiday, this is the first time for some months that I have worked five days continuously. I don't like it very much.
Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. As we walked there was one horrible child in the park who was menacing and bullying some smaller children. My dog ran up to this bully and barked at him. He started crying, and his victims then laughed.
Good boy Fudge....
10 October 2015 (Saturday) - Family Day
Over brekkie I found out that the local council has given a bung of one hundred and twenty thousand pounds towards renovations of a local church. Supposedly the whole community will benefit because brownies meet in the building once a week as does a mother and toddler group. One hundred and twenty thousand pounds... how many people go to church these days? Far better spend the money on building a purpose-built community centre.
In previous years today would have involved a mission to Eastbourne to scoff ourselves silly on ice cream and/or go to the Eastbourne beer festival. A good friend went to that beer festival on Thursday. Perhaps I'm mean, but I feel that a six quid admision charge is just a little bit excessive. Sill, as "er indoors TM" says, it keeps the riff-raff out.
Instead we went down to Folkestone. Leaving "er indoors TM" still in pyjamas I collected "Cake James" and we were soon in Folkestone. Some of us painted walls, some loaded up the car with more stuff to go into storage. and with the first coat of paint drying we walked up to town for some McLunch and a little bit of shopping. You can't beat McLunch. We came home via a geocache (it had to be done) and a rather good slide.
The second coat of paint went on the wall as I slept, and so did the third.
I'd read that there was an accident blocking the motorway near Ashford. Sat Nav said to take the motorway to junction 9 and come off there. I tried to do that. As I came past it the actual exit at Junction 9 was blocked by a train of foreign lorries. About fifty or so of them; all travelling at about fifty miles per hour; all about six feet from each other. Being unable to get to the slip road I had no choice but to queue in traffic for an hour.
Once home I got the car emptied and put some of the stuff upstairs into storage. Some of it is still in the living room. There is only so much my poor old back can do.
And with "er indoors TM" off doing whatever it is that she does (and lacking any better offer) I had a look at the bank accounts (not good, but are they ever?), programmed "Hannah" for tomorrow's geo-mission and fell asleep in front of the telly whilst listening to "nutty next door" shouting.
The daytime was good today, but the evening was a bit dull really...
11 October 2015 (Sunday) - Earthcache Day
Earlier in the week I mentioned I'd bought the e-book "Night of the Triffids". I've finished it now. It was actually a good read written in the same sort of sexist 1950s way that Wyndham wrote "Day of the Triffids". But (and in my world there is usually a "but") I did think that six quid was just a little bit expensive for what it was. I can understand that a physical book costs money to produce and distribute, and that book shops have running costs. But e-books don't have anywhere near the same overheads.
Regular readers of this drivel may recall that a few years ago I did a course on astro-biology. The chap who lead that (free) course has written a book on the subject. I looked at getting that book on my Kindle app. It is currently on offer on Amazon dot com at a sixty seven per cent reduction. But even with that reduction it is still nearly forty quid. Forty quid. For an e-book?
Over brekkie I had a look-see on social media and got into a minor squabble on the Ashford Kent Today group. Someone was trying to do a "Power Of The Internet" thing in which she would use the power of the Internet to find the owner of some stuff for which she had accepted delivery. Personally if the postman tries to deliver something which isn't for me I refuse delivery. Or if he's stuck it through the letterbox I write "not known at this address" and stick it back in the post box. I asked why anyone would accept delivery of something when they had no idea who the recipient was. Apparently I wasn't being helpful (!)
My back and elbow were a little painful after yesterday's heavy lifting, but I'm not one to give up at the first twinge. Today is International Earthcache Day in which hunters of tupperware do their geology homework for which we all get an e-souvenir. Being rather keen on earthcaches meant I'd done most of the nearby ones so we set off to the closest one for which I was eligible which was at Dry Hill which isn't a million miles from Biggin Hill.
We met up with several like-minded friends there, and having found one sandwich box at the base of a tree we did our geology homework. There's no denying I got something of a muddy bum as I skidded to the bottom of the incline doing mine.
With phase one of the day's plan done some of our number went off to take the boys to play football. Some went off to do a few drive-by geocaches. and some of us then went a mile or so down the road where there was a trail of fifteen geocaches leading us round a rather beautiful walk; we only lost our way once.
As we walked there were several pheasants who were making the dogs very over-excited. I've often wondered what would happen if "Furry Face TM" ever actually caught a pheasant. Now I know. He was on the lead, but the lead does extend. And in my defence "er indoors TM" had hold of the lead. But there wasn't really anything she could have done. He shot into the hedge and came out with a freshly killed pheasant in his mouth. The thing's neck was clearly broken so it had been a clean kill (which was probably for the best), and with it removed from the hedge he started to rip the feathers out. We took a few photos, and made our way on to the pub.
We'd arranged for everyone to meet up at the Woodman at 1.30pm; once there and with everyone together I downloaded the untappd app which Mark and I had been chatting about. And then something odd happened. I had no problem downloading a 16Mb app, but I couldn't connect to register what beer I was drinking. Or the next one. Or even the third.
From the Woodman we made our way back to the cars then relocated another mile down the road for the third part of the day; another (slightly shorter) geo-walk. As we walked I wondered if we might see the Avro Vulcan XH558 which was having its farewell flight today. I've no real interest in the plane myself but everyone else seems keen on it. However I will say that over the last few months this plane seems to have had quite a few farewell flights. Perhaps there are several of them? I don't know.
We got back to the cars just before 5pm. Although we'd had a walk of three halves today, we still walked just over ten miles. And my face was glowing; I'd really caught the sun. We said our goodbyes and made our ways to our various homes. I took a few photos as we walked. Once home I popped them on-line as my killer hound snored.
Downton Abbey's on in a minute...
12 October 2015 (Monday) - On the Late Shift
After a rather restless night I got up. I found a small dog next to me which probably explained a lot. Over brekkie I saw that social media was alive with the vulcan bomber XH558. Yesterday I mentioned that I didn't really know much about the plane so over brekkie I corrected this gap in my education. Unless I'm missing something I can't see any reason for the thing's popularity. It hasn't really done or been involved in anything of historical importance that I can see. So why has it gripped the nation's interest?
I asked this question of a few people today, and it seems to me that everyone I asked was watching it because everyone else was. Mind you several people were rather aggressive about the thing. Why is it that so often people can't understand that disinterest doesn't equate with dislike and/or contempt. I have no real interest in the vulcan (or in rugby, football or soaps). Doesn't mean I dislike any of them.
Most people can't see that...
With brekkie scoffed I fed some grubby laundry to the washing machine and took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. As we walked round through Bowens Field and the park I watched my dog "like a pork" (to coin a phrase). After his episode with the pheasant yesterday I wasn't taking any chances. But our walk passed off uneventfully.
Once home I gave him his brekkie, hung out the laundry, and then went to Folkestone to see the littlun. Several people have recently asked about the little baby with whom I appear in photographs on Facebook. And one or two have refused to believe he is my grandson as (apparently) I'm not old enough to be a granddad.
I smile about that.
Me and littlun watched "Clangers" this morning, I had a cuppa, then me and his mother loaded my car with stuff for the tip. I was sure I knew where Folkestone's tip was... It seems that what I thought was the tip was actually a sports club. But not to worry... I knew of another tip in Densole... Or so I thought.
I've still got a car full of rubbish I need to unload somewhere. If all else fails I know of a hedgerow near Barham where other people chuck their unwanted rubbish.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were discussing the public perception of history. Most people have a somewhat warped view of history based on what they see on the telly. Some professional historian was ranting that TV producers and authors had a duty to be historically accurate. The pundits then wheeled on TV producers and authors who pointed out that the reality of history was rather dull and they were in the business of entertaining people. After all, are people *that* stupid that they beleive what they see on the telly?
As it all descended into name-calling I turned the radio off.
I had few minutes before work so I downloaded another e-book. I've heard good things about "Emanations". I've read stuff by this author before. He writes in a style which isn't entirely unlike John Wyndham; I've liked his previous stuff so I thought I'd give it a go.
And if I don't like it I shall ask the author for my money back.
I wonder if he can sign an e-book?
13 October 2015 (Tuesday) - Nudey Ladies
I slept like a log and woke feeling raring to go. I looked at the clock and saw it was 1.10am. I then just dozed fitfully for the rest of the night; finally giving up and getting up shortly before 6am. I set the washing machine loose on my smalls and then threw honey all over the kitchen floor. Having a small dog comes in handy for clean-up.
Over brekkie I watched last night's episode of "The Last Man on Earth" and then "Toddlers and Tiaras". One of the toddlers today was names Cearliegh which was (apparently) pronounced "Curly". I did laugh when that one was called up to collect her prize. Having first seriously gloated at her competitors she then ran to the podium and fell flat on her face.
As I drove to work I listened to the radio. The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, has surpassed the expectations of even his staunchest critics. Having refused to join the Privy Council because he won't bow to the Queen he has (quite rightly) not been allowed the title of "Right Honorable" and now has decided to demand the place on the Privy Council that he refused to take last week.
It never fails to amaze me how the one party which stands for common decency has the ability to deliberately make themselves unelectable time after time.
There was a report from the scene of the current test match. Did you know there was a test match going on at the moment? No - neither did I. Pakistan are playing England. The chap giving the report pointed out that there were only about fifty people in the crowd watching the match. He then wondered if such a poorly supported event should really get coverage on prime-time national radio.
So did I.
But surely the most important news of the day is that Playboy magazine is going to stop publishing photographs of nudey ladies without any clothes on. Apparently people aren't paying good money for nudey pictures when serious filth is freely available on the Internet, and Playboy wants to become a serious respected publication.
Good for them. What is the moral high ground for, if not for claiming?
I got to work after forty minutes driving. If I leave home at 7.15am I get to work shortly before 8am. If I leave at 7.30am it takes nearly an hour. I'd rather get there early and spend time reading my e-book rather than spending time burning petrol and boiling my piss listening to the radio in traffic jams. After all, I'm usually up early enough.
I read my e-book, did a little work, and came home again. I do that.
I came home to find "Daddies Little Angel TM" was visiting. She'd done a little tidying up so once she'd set off home I spent a little while finding where everything had gone. I then wasted a little time fighting with domain names, and as "er indoors TM" went off to the Tuesday gathereing I ironed a few shirts. Tonight's gathering was to be a late start; what with the 1am wake up this morning the clans were gathering at about the time I would be nodding off so I gave it a miss.
I could do with a good kip tonight...
14 October 2015 (Wednesday) - A Bottle of Wine
In complete contrast to Monday night I slept well last night. After about seven hours sleep my back was hurting too much to carry on laying in bed. Backache is usually a sign that I've been in my pit for too long. I got up, and spent a little while trying to find where "Daddies Little Angel TM" has put everything. I *hate* being tidied up. I might live in a total mess, but I know where everything is. An especially valuable geocaching trackable was on the living room table when I left home yesterday. It has gone now. I've even emptied the bins across the floor searching for it. The thing has travelled a thousand miles just to have the most recent fruit of my loin "tidy it up"
When I finished swearing I watched yesterday's episode of "Chewing Gum" in which Tracy tries to get on with her life despite her religious family background. It's actually a very good comedy, but I recognise so much from my own "religious nut" days. The line "I don't neeed to read the Bible because I go to church" rerminded me of so many people I've met. And I did giggle when Tracy's boyfriend turned out to fancy Jesus.
I had a quick look on-line. Amazon dot com was still trying to sell me that which I had already bought from them. I wish they wouldn't do that.
As I drove to work I found myself being tailgated by a lorry from Qik toilet rentals. If any of my loyal readers ever want to rent a toilet, I'd suggest renting from someone else.
Despite running the risk of a portaloo up the khyber I listened to the radio as I drove. And again the Labour party shows how it has gone from being a plausible government to being a laughing stock by having a U-turn on supporting the government's deficit policy.
Surely it makes sense not to spend more money than you've got? they government is trying to make it illegal for any UK government to spend more money than they have (in "normal" times). It strikes me to be common sense, but apparently the crackpot loonies who now form the Loyal Opposition think it is a bad idea. Or some of them do. The more sensible ones are looking set to vote against their party.
I know - I should have stood for parliament.... Maybe next time...
I stopped off at Morrisons on my way to work this morning. As well as razor blades I got a box of choccie biccies for work (as it is Hastings Day today) and a bottle of (supposedly) decent red wine as it was up for sale at half the usual price.
I came home through the rain and took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We only went round the block, and both came home soaked. "er indoors TM" eventually came home and over a rather good bit of dinner we had that bottle of wine I got this morning. In retrospect that bottle was over-priced at six quid. In fact it was bloody awful.
I'm glad I didn't pay the full price. Last week's bargain rot-gut was far superior. But that's wine I suppose. Why is it that a bottle of wine that costs four pounds actually tastes better than something which costs thre times the price?
And in closing today our old friend science has found some aliens. It's a shame they are so far away...
15 October 2015 (Thursday) - A Day Off
My piss boiled (just a little) as I read social media this morning. One of the signs of getting old is exasperation with the younger generation. This is human nature; Pliny the Younger commented on it two thousand years ago so I am in good company. I get very wound up when.... well, I won't say who but I'm sure there are those of my loyal readers who know a certain someone in his early twenties who spends his every waking hour pontificating bollox on Facebook whilst spaced out of his skull on funny fags having deliberately made himself unemployable by dresssing as Coco the Clown.
I agree with him that in a perfect world people wouldn't judge others by their initial appearance. But this isn't a perfect world. If it was, young lads wouldn't lay around all day spaced out of their skulls on funny fags having deliberately made themselves unemployable by dresssing as Coco the Clown.
I took my dog for a walk. I was gripped by uncertainty as to where we might walk. In the end I decided to track down a geocache in the Shadoxhurst area. I’d seen this one go live a few months ago. Having had plans to put out a geo-series first in Chilham then in Bethersden, Kingsnorth and Aldington only to be scuppered by other geocachers, I hadn’t been best pleased to see this one go live right in the middle of where I was about to put out a series.
I *could* have put caches out around any of these locations. But when I put out a series I don’t want other cacher’s efforts around what I am doing. If their efforts are crap I get tarred with the same brush in everyone’s minds.
We parked up not a million miles away from where I used to go fishing, and walked along a bridleway for about three quarters of a mile. It was a rather wet and muddy bridleway, and there were a few too many pheasants for my liking (and my dog’s nerves).
We eventually got to where the cache allegedly was; near a memorial to a crashed plane. It was a rather beautiful site to visit. It was a shame that a thirty minute search turned up no hidden sandwich boxes.
We gave up, and took a slightly different walk back to the car. In all we walked about three miles. There could easily be a series of fifteen to twenty caches along that route. Part of me wants to put one out; part of me still feels the area has been taken.
We came home via the tip; on Monday I’d loaded up the car with a consignment of rubbish from "Daddies Little Angel TM"; I got rid of it today. And with the car unloaded we went home where Furry Face TM" had a bath and I hung his lead out to dry.
Seeing today was a day’s holiday (work operates a “use it or lose it” policy) I treated myself to a KFC lunch which I devoured whilst watching the third episode of “You, Me and the Apocalypse”.
I then spent the afternoon playing on the computer. I put up a small album of photos I took this morning whilst we were out then messed about with my latest project “mankybadger.co.uk”. I *think* I’ve stuffed up the web forwarding. Unfortunately it can take up to a day for the changes to take effect. I shall have to stage the grand opening some other time. In the meantime I've emailed the nice people at 123.reg to tell them exactly what I think I've done wrong and to ask for their input.
Rather than carrying on stressing I carried some of "Daddies Little Angel TM" paraphenalia out of tthe livinng room up to the loft into storage. I managed four up-and-downs before a combination of heavy lifting and dog pulling after pheasant made my elbow too painful to continue, so I settled down in front of the telly and alternaately solved geo-puzzles and dozed until "er indoors TM" finally came home.
I might have a bottle of beer with dinner if only to try out my untappd app...
16 October 2015 (Friday) - mankybadger dot co dot uk
My dog looked absolutely knackered as I scoffed my toast this morning. Perhaps he's getting old, but I don't think he's a "morning" dog.
As I scoffed toast I watched "Toddlers and Tiaras"; I *lve* that show. Today's installment was focussing on a family who run a turtle farm in the back of beyond in deepest Oklahoma. The mother seemed to have a nervous twitch and a very loose head. She was ranting that every small girl should have beauty pageant experience in her portfolio (whatever that is supposed to mean). She also was very keen that her child should become Miss America, and (for some reason) the show's producers introduced mother to Mrs Oklahoma who said that she'd never dream of entering her own children into a beauty pageant. That went down like a lead balloon.
I'd never heard of "Mrs Oklahoma" before; apparently she is the MILF version of Miss Oklahoma. One learns something new every day.
It was rather dark and dismal as I left home this morninig. I drove to work through torrential rain whilst the radio's weather forecasters were raving about what a beautiful morning and day we were going to have today. The radio (as usual) spouted the standard stream of news and opinion. Israelis and Palestinians continue to kill each other. They have been doing that for as long as I can remember and show no signs of stopping. The Turkish are being made all sorts of promises about EU membership provided they keep all the Syrian refugees to themselves.
I went via the petrol station where I got petrol (obviously). Usually petrol prices are very competitive. Today Morrisons were knocking the stuff out three pence cheaper per litre than the Esso station not half a mile up the road. It pays to shop around.
Work was busy; I spent much of the day looking out of the window at the rain. Usually the BBC's weather forecasts aren't too bad. Today they were just a little off the mark. The rain didn't let up all day, and was still pouring hard when I came home.
I popped the leaed onto "Furry Face TM" and walked him round the block. We both came home soaking wet. Once home and dried I had a look on-line. During the day the nice people at 123-reg had worked their wonders and www.mankybadger.co.uk is now all circuits go. There's not actually very much there yet; at the moment it is little more than an archive for nine years of blog rantings. But I expect I shall do something with it eventually; if only put up photos of my dog...
I'm off to bed in a minute. I've nearly finished the e-book I bought the other day. I had a little trouble keeping track of who was what in the plot, and it is obviously building up to a climax.
I wonder when the second book will be released.
17 October 2015 (Saturday) - Hastings Bonfire Parade
I woke at 3am and lay awake, bursting for a tiddle, for half an hour. I finally got up, did my thing and went back to bed where I lay wide awake. After an hour I got up and head an early brekkie whilst watching South Park on the telly. The idea was that after a llittle fiddling about I might be tired and want to go back to sleep. It was an idea that didn't seem to work.
I eventually took myself back to my pit just after 5am, and I surprised myself by nodding off.
I emerged from the land of nod a few minutes before 9am, and was surprised to see "Furry Face TM" was still asleep. I waved his collar and lead and him, and he heaved himself up. We went for out usual walk round the park; I'd forgotten that being a Saturday the joggers would be out in force. We got to the park and found it was skin tight lycra and bouncing boobies as far as the eye can see. It was a good job I'm a paragon of virtue and not some sad old pervie.
Mind you, as always, there must have been over a hundred people jogging and not a single one looked to be enjoying it. Every single one looked to be in serious pain.
We came home where my dog got his brekkie, and as he scoffed I popped down to Tesco for some bits and bobs. At the checkout was a rather burly-loking thug bellowing into his mobile that he didn't want to do that because he didn't want to get stabbed again. I was intrigued as to what it was that he didn't want to do, but I thought better of actually asking him.
Once home I had a quick look-see on-line. A few days ago our old friend science found some aliens. This isn't the first time that science has found aliens, and usually having found them, science then publishes a retraction. But so far there has been no retraction. Perhaps there really is an enormous starbase in orbit around KIC 8462852 some one thousand five hundred light-years away. Perhaps there isn't. But is is quite possible that this will be the only way we'll ever have any dealings with aliens; just seeing something inexplicable in the *far* distance.
I also fiddled a little with my wherigo-in-progress, and then spent a little while playing with geo-puzzles. Some I solved, and some I didn't.
Jimbo and Steve arrived, and we sset off for Hastinigs. We stopped on the way for geo-purposes but soon enough we were in the Old Town. A few beers were sunk in the FILO (stranger thinngs have happened), and soon the family arrived. We cheered the bonfire parade, and then we wandered down to the sea front where we watched the fireworks.
It was an excellent display, but on reflection it was clear that a lot less money had been spent on fireworks this year compared to previous years.
I took a few photos whilst we were there, and slept most of the way home. I shall have a headache iin the morning..
18 October 2015 (Sunday) – Whitfield
I felt a little ropey over brekkie this morning; can't imagine why. As I devoured my toast I spent a few minutes wracking my brain. My attempts to solve a geo puzzle are faltering. I know the puzzle is based on Mah-Jong, but all my attempts to solve it aren't working. I've event resorted to non-traditional means (i.e. to blag it) but no one who's actually logged it as found has either solved the puzzle themselves or will tell me how to solve it.
I let "Furry Face TM" out for his business (its a dog thing) and on seeing how it had rained overnight I thought I might use my gaiters on today's walk. I then wasted half an hour trying to find where they had been hidden. I found one. Having only one is no use to me. I shall get some more gaiters; that is a sure-fire way to make the missing one appear.
The plan for today had been to hunt for sandwich boxes in Alkham and then Samphire Hoe but with a sizeable proportion of the team crying off with various maladies we had a last-minute change of plan.
We took my dog for a walk round Whitfield. We started off at the church where we had to solve a puzzle based on the tribulations of the Cross family. There is a gravestone in the churchyard which lists the deaths of the eleven children of that family. The longest surviving child was only five months old when she died. It was a rather sad tale.
From there we had something of a stroll to find another puzzle cache. I'd actually solved this puzzle some time ago. Regular readers of this drivel may recall 23 August last year when I'd narrowed the location of this sandwich box downn to one of a dozen possible places, and whilst checking all twelve places "er indoors TM" lost her phone. None of those places were right, but shortly after that I found the error of my ways, and today we went back and did the secret geo-ritual.
We made our way back to the car via a farm shop where we stocked up on cheap vegetables, then went into Folkestone for a walk round the harbour with Baby Jake and his entourage. I had no idea that the end of the harbour arm has been renovated and now featured stalls and live music and a double-decker bus which has been converted into a Greek restaurant. I will certainly be going back there soon.
It was only a shame that Buster (Kat's Staffie) and Fudge had to have the mother of all ding-dongs once we got back to the flat. Both dogs were fine but at the time it looked rather nasty. And it pains me to admit that my dog was one hundred per cent to blame for the fracas...
I took a few photos today; once home I put them all on-line. There are those who decry Facebook. It is worth its weight in gold if only for the free photo storage. I then fed my undercrackers to the washing machine and spent a little longer wrestling with the Mah-Jong-based puzzle I mentioned earlier.
It's giving me a headache now....
19 October 2015 (Monday) – Kermit
Despita a fidgetting dog I slept better than I usually do when "Furry Face TM" has sneaked up during the night. He really should spend the nights in his basket, but am too soft on him. I finally woke when next door's baby started crying around 6am. There are those who would whinge about it; I think its quite sweet really.
Over brekkie I watched "Dad's Army" in which no one liked it up 'em. I then hadd a quick look-see on-line. There were some really nice words said about the Wherigo I put out in Canterbury a couple of months ago. It is a shame that only two people have had a look at this; it took me many hours to create. Still, such is life.
There were also yet more complaints about the early stages of the geo-walk I put out round Bethersden. I've now officially disabled that part of the walk and will go out and have a look-see tomorrow.
And so to work. As I drove the radio told me what I'd missed in the wider world over the weekend. Terrible news (!) McDonalds' days are numbered. There has been a staff survey taken recently in which the rank and file "Johnny-no-stars" have expressed no confidence whatsover in the management of the organisation. Apparenlty the decision to do all-day breakfast has been a bad thing.
It is no secret that I love McDonalds; it would be a disaster to see it go. Mind you it is so popular I can't see it going soon. It is a sad reflection of our times that meaningless nonsense behind closed doors in boardrooms is taken far more seriously than the core business of the company (i.e. feeding the masses).
Also the Government has got the arse since the Department of Work and Pensions has put an awful lot of effort into making a website of advice about pensions which no one is accessing. I suppose if the Department of Work and Pensions told their target audience (i.e. me) about their website then people might have a look. People don't go looking for websites about which they are utterly unaware.
I stopped off at Morrisons for some stuff. I carried my stuff out in a "bag for life"; they cost ten pence as opposed to a standard carrier bag which costs five pence. Since supermarkets have to charge for carrier bags I've taken to buying "bag for lifes". It feels as though I now have more "bag for lifes" than sense. I've counted. I have four, so I probably really have got more bags than sense.
I got to work, did my thing, and came home again. As I do. Once home I took "Furry Face TM" round the block, and with "er indoors TM" off to the bowling league's bunfight I made a start on making five gallons of stout for Christmas. And with the stout in the barrel I watched the first episode of the latest resurrection of The Muppets. I quite liked it... but I will say that for all that it was billed to be on from 8pm till 8.30pm I think the show itself actually ran for less than twenty minutes.
20 October 2015 (Tuesday) - Back to Bethersden
The cries of next door's baby woke me again this morning. I woke with a smile as I heard mum and dad next door who didn't sound too happy. When you actually have a crying baby it can be frustrating and can make you want to cry yourself, but looking back it is for such a short period of time which passes far too quickly.
I got up, and had a quick brekkie. Yesterday I bought some raspberry jam from Morrisons for the simple reason that I hadn't had any for ages. Over brekkie I realised why I hadn't had any for ages; it is bloody awful stuff.
I then put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we drove down to Bethersden. As we drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing Lord Warner. Once a Minister of State in the Department of Health under Tony Blair he's formaally resigned from the Labour Party bcause he maintains the Labour Party doesn't have a "hope in hell" under the present leadership. Interestingly he too has cast doubt on the validity of the election of Jeremy Corbyn.
I must admit that he was elected under a rather strange system in which anyone who wanted to have a secret vote could buy one for just three quid. Surely it doesn't take a genius to realise how easy it would be for opponents of the Labour Party to secure the election of someone who would not only take the Labour Party down the toilet but pull the flush as well.
Having parked up in Bethersden we then walked down the middle of the road because the pavements were full of children waiting for the school bus. I seriously considered phoning Homewood school in Tenterden to have a whinge, but I had to seriously question myself if I was old enough to be quite such a misery-guts.
It was a bright morninig, a little cold but not too bad for a walk. There had been a heavy dew; soon I was glad of my wellies, and my little dog was soaked (not that he seemed to mind). Regular readers of this drivel may recall I'd hidden a series of geocaches round Bethersden a month or so ago, and there had been a few issues with one of them. Today's walk was to see what the problem was and to (hopefully) sort it out.
We got to the back of beyond and reviewed the situation. Again there was no farmer to be seen; other people seem to have had run-ins with someone on a quad-bike. We've never seen anyone there. Looking at exactly where the problematical pot was, and on zooming in on "Hannah" it is possible that I might not have been as "on the footpath" as I thought I was. But bearing in mind that other people seemed to have had issues with the farmer in that field I moved the cache onto another footpath about a hundred yards away. I *think* all is now well, but I thought that on my first recce mission some months ago.
As we walked back to the car I took the opportunity to re-hide the other caches in the series that had been left out in the open, and we took a slight detour to fail to find the elusive sandwich box by the church.
We came home; my home brew seems to be fermenting nicely. I had a bite of lunch whilst watching this week's "South Park" and "The Last Man on Earth" then took myself off to bed for the afternoon.
I'm off to the night shift now....
21 October 2015 (Wednesday) - Waste of a Day
There's no denying that I hadn't been looking forward to last night's night shift. I don't know why; I quite like the freedom I have at work at night being on my own and being able to work (within reason) at my own pace doing my own thing. And I certainly like being at home with my dog during the week (which goes hand-in-hand with night work). As it happened the shift went well; rather quiet really,
Perhaps I shouldn't have the radio on at night; its constant stream of drivel does wind me up. Last night's stream of drivel certainly did. There was a major tirade about the state visit of the Chinese premier. On the one hand there was a State banquet; pomp and circumstance. On the other hand pretty much everyone sees the Chinese premier as Satan incarnate, holding him personally responsible for all sorts of human rights atrocities and for the collapse of the British steel industry. Prince Charles refused to show up for the bunfight, and everyone who was even remotely civil to this bloke was effectively being accused of collaboration with the enemy.
With such international squabbles going on, very little air-time was given to something of major importance. If the proposed sugar tax does go through (the intention is to combat the rising tide of childhood obesity) the co-co pops monkey will be banned together with Tony the Tiger and Snap, Crackle & Pop.
I must admit that in the early hours I gave up with Radio Four and listened to ELO albums on You-Tube for much of the rest of the night.
I came home, collected "Furry Face TM", drove out to the garage where we left the car (for its service) and we walked home through the drizzle. We went via the pet shop where I got my dog a bone for his brekkie. As he munched his bone I had my morning ablutions and took myself off to bed.
I had a rather vivid dream that "Daddies Little Angel TM" was shrieking at me, and woke to find that I was sitting up in bed with my phone to my ear and "Daddies Little Angel TM" was indeed shrieking at me.
When she paused for breath I went back to sleep until I was again woken with the obligatory "your windows computer am send the virus what is the windows password" phone call.
When Liam phoned with a whole load of lies about his PPI-related scam I saw red and told him to stick it up his arse. (I get grouchy when I'm tired). He didn't like that and he got rather lippy with me. I wasn't having any of it and told him that seeing how he had my phone number he probably has my address and so if he'd like to come round I would shove it up his arse for him. He hung up then.
Finally the garage phoned with a list of all the failings of my car. The rear light unit is split. It has been for some time. Various bulbs and wiper blades need changing. The tyres and brakes are good for a few thousand more miles. All rather routine. And some good news; one of the rear seat belt clasps hasn't been working for some time. I was expecting that to be a costly job. It turned out that there was a five pence coin wedged in the works. I said I would come and collect the car; they said it wasn't ready. They were just phoning me for.... well, I have no idea why they were phoning me. I'd taken the car there for them to fix it. If they wanted a conversation they should have had that when I dropped the car off.
I looked at the clock. I'd only been in bed for two hours. Why won't people let me sleep? I tried to get back to kip but it wasn't happening. I gave up trying to sleep and got up for a rather late brekkie only to find we had no bread for toast.
Corn flakes just aren't the same.
I assumed that as the garage had phoned then they were about to start on the car and that it would be ready soon. I assumed wrong. I then wasted the afternoon waiting for the garage to phone. Eventually they did; they were worried because they couldn't find the log book. It wasn't where I told them it was.
Seeing how it was raining I rang the taxi company to get a lift to the garage. They said they would be about half an hour. I walked; it was quicker.
Once at the garage I produced the log book from where I said it was, and then waited for far too long for them to fill in the log book. I paid up, went to drive away, and immediately an alarm went off about a failure in the parking brake. So I went and got the nice man from the garage. He took the car back to the workshop and after forty minutes they discovered that they had stuffed it up when moving the car. They tried to imply that the problem was my fault because the car is a Renault and they are different to Volkeswagens.
I had planned to go to a geo-meet in Northfleet this afternoon. By the time I was back in possession of a working car I was an hour and a half too late. So I came home, gave myself a haircut and sulked until "er indoors TM" came home. She was just as stressed as I was, having just road raged some normal person whilst trying to park.
Over a rather good bit of dinner we watched Saturday's episode of "Doctor Who" . In previous years I've been rather disparaging about the show. I've watched it because I want to like it even though I didn't.
I think I'm quite warming to Peter Capaldi.
And finally today was "Back to the Future Day". I'm sure everyone's seen the hype. I've only actually seen the "Back to the Future" films once. It was on Saturday 4 February 2012, and what I remember most is that haivng watched all three films back-to-back we came out to the car to find heavy snow. Reading my diary for that day I see that "I'd heard mixed reports about them (the films) during the week, but was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually liked them".
Perhaps I should give the films another go because that certainly isn't how I remember them.
22 October 2015 (Thursday) - Broken Wellies
I popped over the road immediately on getting up; we had run out of bread. Annoyingly the shop over the road doesn't open until 8am. They are open till midnight every night selling tins of lager to Eastern Europeans who congregate outside the shop till all hours but not open for brekkie essentials. That's annoying.
So I went a little further up the road to the shop that has been there for years.
Last night we had a bottle of wine with our dinner. This morning over brekkie I ran the label through my new wine-searcher app. Last night's bottle was quite nice really. I paid a fiver for it, and my app tells me that is the going rate.
I rooted through the recycling and dug out the bottle we swilled last week. I scanned the label into the app. I'd bought that bottle at a bargain price in Morrison's last week. My app tells me that this wine currenttly retails for about twenty five quid. I honestly think the cheaper stuff actually tastes better.
After brekkie I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for a liittle walk in the countryside. I've been asked to organise the New Year's Day geo-event and so I thought I'd best start making preparations. I'd had a route in mind for some time. I went there today...
One thing which *really* annoys me is footpaths which aren't clearly marked. I found several of those today, but after a few hours we eventualy had the makings of a four mile walk. It still needs a little work; that will give me somewhere to walk next Tuesday. That is providng the pub I'm basing the walk around get back to me. I phoned them on Sunday and they assured me the manager would contact me. She hadn't. I phoned today and was given an email address to contact. I've sent them an email. They have until the weekend to reply. If they don't I'll have to have a re-think.
There was a minor hiccup as my wellies seem to have sprung a leak. I shall have to get some new ones.
Once home I had a spot of lunch then spent the afternoon working on my upcoming presentation to the astro club. I'm not really happy with how it is coming along, but I've really left it rather late to throw away and start again. I shall just have to blag it on the night.
We watched the film "Pitch Perfect" this evening over a curry. Both were rather good...
23 October 2015 (Friday) - Lots of Walking
My piss boiled over brekkie over some sexist cleptrap I read on social media. There was a load of rubbish about how a man's day off is his day off whereas a woman's day off is always spent doing housework.
What a load of crap.
If anyone of any gender wants to spend a day doing housework that is entirely their choice. When someone dies with an immaculate house are they going to be remembered for having an immaculate house? No they are not. They will not be remembered at all. No one will even know they existed because alll they ever did was housework. I am reminded of my Aunt Gwen who (following her husband's death) lived alone for thirty years. She got up every morning and hoovered, went to work, and then hoovered again every evening. She did nothing all her life but work and housework. She could have done so much more.
I don't mess about with housework. Anyone who's been to my house can see that. Life really is too short.
When my heartbeat and blood pressure returned to some sembalnce of normality I put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we walked up to the train station. On arrival we turned round and came home because I'd forgotten my wallet. We then went back and met up with baby Jake who was ably assisted by Sid and "Daddies Little Angel TM". We have been missing our walks; we used to walk a lot in days gone by, so today we had a little walk round Newtown and back via Asda where we scared the dogs of the normal people.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" had various missions for the day, and so we walked round to where I'd left the car, and they went their way and me and "Furry Face TM" went ours. We went via one of the most difficult geocaches there is; a 5/5 for which I realised I qualified. We then went on to Beacon Wood. There is a series of geo-puzzles there; each puzzle being dependent on the solution of the preceding one. All of them being ultimately determined from a phone number. I'd spent a little while struggling with Google Street View but had been unable to make out the number. So I drove past and took a photo.
I then drove on to Tonbridge. there was a formal geo-meet planned for later, but I fancied a little walk before it took place. I'd arranged to meet Aleta at 2.30pm; I was there at 1.30pm. So rather than messing about I wandered about and got some clues for a geo-puzzle and whilst I waited for her to arrive I had a go at solving that puzzle.
Aleta soon arrived and seeing that the geo-puzzle wasn't close we thought we'd do that later. We set off and had quite a good walk. We were shouted at by drunk tramps, we got a little muddier than planned, we had serious problems crossing rivers and railway lines, but that was all part of the fun of the afternoon. We'd set out with about seventeen geo-targets and the only ones we didn't find were the ones with a river in the way.
We could have gone to and fro once we found a bridge, but time was pressing so we made our way the the meet-up. After all we had covered about seven miles.
The meet-up was very good. Talking tupperware is never dull; there were about a dozen of us. I did smile when one car pulled up and a young mother and child got out. Mum looked rather dubious, the little boy announced "Look Mum - its Fudge" and he immediately started trying to teach Fudge to sit.
The plan was that after the meet we'd go off and find that cache the puzzle for which I'd solved earlier. This plan came up in conversation with the chap who'd hidden it. It turned out that despite the fact that I am a genius (something I try hard to hide) I'd completely stuffed up the solving of the puzzle. I was told of a better place to go looking, and soon we had that last cache in hand.
We said our goodbyes, and soon we were home. "er indoors TM" had left instructions about boiling up some scran from the freezer. I pretended not to have seen those instructions and went up the KFC.
I then spent the rest of the evening plugging phone numbers from Beacon Wood into puzzle solutions and not getting exactly that for which I had been hoping. As I did this my dog was curled up next to me snoring loudly and twitching in his sleep. He was obviously dreaming about all those pheasants and squirrels he'd been trying to catch earlier.
"Gordon Tracy" has just messaged me. Could I solve a geo-puzzle for him. This one seems to be in Cornwall. Are we going on holiday?
24 October 2015 (Saturday) - A Day At Work
I slept like a log last night. Probably not surprising bearing in mind that yesterday had involved rather a lot of walking. Unusually the alarm woke me, and having turned it off I sat for a few moments with absolutely no idea what day it was or whether I was up for work or for something else.
I was utterly disorientated. That rarely happens, and I didn't like it very much.
As I scoffed my brekkie so my little dog was snoring. He too must have found yesterday to have been a busy one. As I so often do, I watched "Toddlers and Tiaras" for a while. I quite like watching the thwarting of the mouthy and pushy mothers and today's episode had a treat in store. One particularly nasty mother (five feet tall and six feet wide) was incensed that her little brat had been disqualified from the pageant because she had turned up too late. The event organisers had been calling for the child for some time, but the obnoxious mother hadn't heard because he had been too busy bellowing orders at all and sundry. She was particularly angry because she was clearly a bully who was used to getting her own way, but in this case had no grounds on which to argue since the whole thing had been recorded by the television cameras.
I did laugh, but was reminded of an ex-cub's thirty-stone mother who was forever ranting at the teachers (about trivia) when I used to collect the fruits of my loin from Victoria Road Primary School many years ago.
And so to work. Working this weekend has its advantages in that I've had time off in the week and will have time off next week. But it did mean that there was stuff I would miss.
I would really have liked to have gone to the geo-event in Tenterden today.
I really should have been in Dartford where the astro club was putting on a display for the good people of Dartford. (Even though I can't help but feel that we should be doing that sort of thing in Ashford).
And I had (very) vaguely been toying with the idea of going up to a sci-fi convention in Hull.
It must be ten years or more since I did the whole sci-fi convention thing. Would I want to do another? They were becoming very commercial when I last went to one and having seen the photos of today's one I couldn't help but feel "been there, done that". But it might have been fun, if only for old time's sake.
It was a very dark morning as I drove to work. I will be interested to see the difference an hour makes when the clocks go back tonight. As always I had the radio on.
The pundits were talking about the ash dieback; apparently over the next few years the UK looks set to lose ninety per cent of its ash trees to this disease. But not necessarily to the actual disease. It turns out a lot of the trees are resistant but foresters are running out and cutting down all the ash trees just in case and are (it would seem) cutting down the resistant trees as well as the blighted ones. The pundits wittered on for fifteen minutes at the end of which saying it was best to let nature take its course. As someone who is often in "The Great Outdoors" I wonder if I will notice the difference. Mind you I can't tell one tree from another...
There was also a lot of talk about cyber crime following the hacking of several million people's data from TalkTalk. The pundits wheeled on a so-called expert who was of the opinion that SmartWatches and contactless payment and the like are being brought out faster than the security people can actually make them wholly secure. He didn't actually advocate going back to a system of hard cash and bartering, but he did have a point about the recklessness of having a financial system which is so open to fraud and having your entire worldly worth accessible through (relatively) untested toys.
Pausing only briefly to visit Morrisons (where the priority was clearly on filling shelves rather than allowing me to buy anything) I was soon at work. I did my bit despite a very painful right elbow; several miles of a dog pulling with all his might (to get at squirrels and pheasants) had taken its toll. As I worked I watched the world outside the window. It was a grey day, and as the day wore on so the rain started. I've noticed that it often rains when I am working at the weekends
I'm working tomorrow as well... I wonder if it will rain again?
25 October 2015 (Sunday) - At Work (Again)
I woke in something of a panic following a rather vivid dream in which I'd foolishly agreed to go on an epic pub crawl round Cornwall (all of it) knowing full well that I needed to leave home before 7am this morning to get to work. In my nightmare I was faced with an array of pump clips and no one sober enough to do an eight hour drive in fifteen minutes.
It was with something of a sense of releif that I woke to find I still had an hour before I needed to leave home.
Over brekkie I watched "Toddlers and Tiaras" whilst feeding toast to a small dog. I know he shouldn't really have toast, but he seems to like it. And I'm not a fan of this raspberry jam wheras he seems to like it.
It was a bright morning as I drove to work; the hour's difference in moving the clocks back made a very noticeable difference. As I drove the pundits on the radio were wittering on about the importance of lichen to Britains woodlands. I'm sure it is important stuff but I couldn't work up the degree of enthusiasm about the stuff that the people on the radio did.
Being Sunday they then wheeled on the obligatory vicar. I say "vicar" - this one was a priest. (Apparently there is a difference). Said clergyman was pontificating on the edicts from the latest Synod of the Catholic church from which there seems to be a more relaxed attitude to divorce and homosexuality. Personally I see that as a good thing, but (as always) these religious types seem to apply a random morality with no regard to what their bibles actually say. I wonder if some of them have actually read their bible? I have.
There was then quite a lot of talk about misprints in the bible sparked by the sale of the 1631 "sinners bible" in which a misprint has the Seventh Commandment reading "Thou shalt commit adultery"
It was something of a shame that the radio wasted so munch time on religious twaddle. They didn't mention something of real importance; namely the global shortage of Lego.
Now *that* is important.
I then had a rather long and busy shift at work...
26 October 2015 (Monday) - The Essex Way (Part 1)
The alarm woke me at 5am. A tad keen perhaps. Over brekkie I had a look on-line. I love Facebook at brekkie time. Perhaps I'm nosey but I do like seeing everyone else's business all over social media.
At first sight it may seem that I too stick my business all over the Internet in this blog, but rest assured that this is "edited highlights". I wonder if grandchildren and great-grandchildren yet unborn will read about dead Grandad without ever realising that his blog is just "the good bits"?
I spent half an hour searching for (and not finding) my missing gaiter, then pausing only briefly to collect more of the crew we set off to Essex.
The trouble with hunting sandwich boxes for a hobby is that you can only hunt each one (successfully) once.
There is a limit as too how close together they can lurk, and unless more new ones appear it doesn't take long before you've effectively cleared out the local ones and find yourself having to travel further to secure finds. So we were zooming up the motorway well before 7am. We met Fran at where we planned to end our walk in Chipping Ongar, and leaving one car there we all piled into Fran's car and drove twelve miles away to Epping where we met Matt (who had had traffic troubles).
Fiveof us (and two dogs) set off along the Essex Way. Needless to say there were one or two geocaches along this long-distance footpath. There is actually a series of caches named "The Essex Way"; they start from #1 at Epping railway station and go up to #450 at Harwich some eighty miles later. Today we planned to go hunt the first forty-six caches from Epping to Chipping Ongar. The instructions said that there were one or two extras to pick up along the way; We found twenty five extra ones including a loop round Toot Hill and some interesting caches hidden in honour of Pi day.
We stopped for a few minutes in the Essex village of Coopersale. I'd known for some time that my family came from that area (many years ago) and I'd been told there were family graves in the church there. As luck would have it our route took us to that church where right outside the church door was the grave of my great-great-great grandparents.
I was glad to see it was being well maintained.
We started walking just after 9am; we finished just after dark shortly after 5pm. The planned route worked very well. Footpaths were well marked, the weather was just right for a long walk, excellent company and there was even a pub at our lunch stop. And the last geocache was only a few short yards form where the car was waiting for us.
We drove back to Epping where the other cars had been left; said our goodbyes and came home. Google Maps told us the drive would be an hour and a half; it wasn't far off.
As a treat we had KFC for tea. I took a few photos whilst we were out; with tea scoffed I put them on-line.
And now... the last few geocaches we visited had clues for a rather fiendish geo-puzzle. It *looks* as if the solution to that puzzle won't be very far from where we will start walking the next section of the Essex Way. I've got photos of those clues. I need to start puzzling over them now...
27 October 2015 (Tuesday) - Dull Day
I was aching when I woke this morning. Perhaps I overdid it yesterday? Certainly "Furry Face TM" was out for the count when I got up.
I put some washing in (I've let the laundry slip recently) and over brekkie had a look-see on line. I'd been asked to take part in a survey about workig in the NHS. There are those who would take this as an opportunity to stick in the knife. It's no secret that I would be tempted to do so, but I didn't. I was honest.
Following a suggestion from Team Buttermoon I then made plans for a walk on Sunday prior to the planned geo-meet. If any of my loyal readers fancy coming for a little wander on Sunday morning followed by roast dinner in the pub and an afternoon spent talking tupperware, this weekend is your big chance.
Hoping for a bright day I put washing out onto the washing line and then took a tired little dog out. After over a week of emailing and phoning I've finally got a response from the pub aroound which I was planning to host the New Years Day geo-event. Mind you when I say "response", they've actually said "Hi Dave, how can I help?" I had planned to go back out there today to finalise the route. I'd rather wait until they've given me the thumbs-up before I put any more effort into it. So instead I took my dog elsewhere.
Last week I'd had a message that someone had been unable to find one of my geo-puzzles. I went to have a look-see. It was where I'd left it. But bearing in mind it's only been found once all year it was in a sorry state so I replaced the entire lot with a new one for now. If it doesn't start attracting more custom soon I shall replace it with a traditional film pot under a rock.
Not a lot else really happened on our walk other than "Furry Face TM" getting particularly aggressive with a passing Labrador. As he gots older he seems to get on less and less well with other dogs. Whereas once he would play, now he just seems to ignore other dogs or to try to fight with them.
Once home I had planned to carry on with the washing but my plans were thwarted by the fact I'd forgotten to tell the washing machine to tumble-dry my undercrackers. The plan was to come home to dry undercrackers then set about the muddy stuff. How sad to have my days plans disrupted by laundry trivia.
as the washing machine dried my smalls I syphoned the Christmas stout out of the bucket and into the barrel, and then spent an age doing the ironing.
The cover on my ironing board split during my ironing extravaganza. Obviously it can't keep up this non-stop lifestyle.
Once "er indoors TM" was home we popped round to see Lacey and her associates. Little Rolo has a "bucket of shame" because he's been licking his bits. if I could lick my bits....
After a quick chorus of the "catch the rabbit" song we drove down to the Admiralty where the ChromeCast game was on the blink, and I then slept through one of the worst episodes of "Star Trek". I suppose the only saving grace was that i didn;t have pictures of myself fast asleep spread all over Facebook. I *hate* that!!!
We came home to find several new geocaches had gone live. Once I would have chased out for a First to Find. Now I don't...
28 October 2015 (Wednesday) - Before the Night Shift
I was sleeping very well last night until the sound of the rain woke me. It was really loud against the window. I had been sleeping really well up until this point. I lay awake for a while, then got up shortly after 6.30am.
Over brekkie I read something which struck a chord. I've often suspected that as a lapsed Christian myself very few Christians bother reading the Bible. It turns out that this is actually true. The article I found went on to say that over three quarters of the American public feel the Ten Commandments should be posted at all public venues but only just over half of the same Americans can list only half of these Commandments.
I also read that Morrisons are setting up halal-only sweetie counters.
This is the twenty first century and still the world is hung up on silly superstitions. Is it surprising that humanity is at each other's throats all the time?
With toast scoffed I looked out of the window. It was still raining, and the rain was forecast to be pouring until mid-afternoon. Small dogs don't really understand weather forecasts, so I coated up and we went for a shortened walk.
Or that was the plan.
As we left home the rain stopped, so I took a chance and we walked all the way out to Singleton Lake and back. The walk passed off pretty much without event despite "Furry Face TM" hankering after ducks in the lake.
Once home I had a look at the astro club accounts; having been in Norfolk during the last meeting I only got the cash tin back yesterday. We seem to have too much cash, but I'm sure it will all sort itself. Over a little lunch I watched this week's installments of "Chewing Gum" and "The Last Man on Earth" and then took myself off to bed. I set the alarm on my mobile, and as an experiment I set my mobile to "Do Not Disturb" mode.
I slept for twenty minutes after which my dog went absolutely mental at the person who stuck some junk mail through the letterbox. After that he was put on the bottom of the bed and both of us slept well. Mind you it was as well that I woke before the alarm; "Do Not Disturb" mode turns off alarms.
Off to the night shift...
29 October 2015 Thursday) - Cheeky FTF
Last night I arrived at work a few minutes early and so had time to have a look on Facebook on my phone. Terrible news...
In a previous life I was a manager. Over twenty years I employed many people and trained them up to state registration. I remember them all; most with affection. I certainly remember... well, I won't name this person, but she was a lovely person to work with. Aimiable, willing, keen. She soon passed her exams, and secured promotion to a managerial position of her own in another place of work.
She's been victimised and sacked on trumped-up charges. Having "been there done that" myself I immediately sent her a message of support, and spent a little while messaging to and fro. Having had a little experience of this I thought I might be of some help, but realistically all I could say was that after four years it doesn't hurt *quite* so much. I wish I could do more to help.
I went into work, and bearing in mind how quiet the last few sessions were, I had a surprisingly busy night. As I worked I listened to the radio. In amongst the usual drivel in the middle of the night was a reading from a new James Bond book which included some previously unpublished work by Ian Fleming himself.
Having read all the original James Bond books this one didn't sound too shabby at all. But ten quid for an e-book is not cheap.
My phone beeped a few minutes before 7am. A new geocache had gone live not far off of my way home. I didn't think the First to Find would still be there by the time I might get there, but it wasn't too far out of my way to have a look. I had a look; no one else had gone for it. So after making very hard work of it I manaaged to claim a cheeky FTF.
I came home and took "Furry Face TM" round the park. We walked slowly; my dog tends to straggle. I was fiddling about on my phone whilst we wandered off of the lead. As I fiddled I heard a screech of bicycle brakes and turned to see a young lady cyclisst who had clearly had to stop far too quickly. She smiled politely at me; it *might* not have been him wandering under the bike again but he does seem to make a habit of doing so.
Once home I had a spot of brekkie whilst watching this week's episode of "The Muppets" and was then in bed fast asleep well before 11am. For once the phone didn't ring all day long.
I slept for nearly six hours, and over second brekkie watched "Upstairs Downstairs". Miss Elizabeth had taken on Mrs Fellowes who wasn't up for much beyond cutlets and trifle, but what do you expect for thirty quid a year.
Much as I like the night shifts it does make for dull days...
30 October 2015 (Friday) - The Planet Pluto
On my way to work last night I popped into Morrisons. I needed coffee; supplies were running low. I get the instant stuff because I like it. There are those who prefer to fart around with cafetieres. As one who farts around with the washing up I tend not to fart around with cafetieres. And instant coffee is a hot drink whereas cafetiere-farted coffee is tepid at best.
A jar of decent instant coffee was over six quid. The same amount of the same brand in a packet (not glass jar) was over two quid cheaper. Bearing in mind that when I get the stuff home I just dump it in the coffee jar and throw away whatever it came in, it will be packets all the way for me from now on.
I also needed a shoe horn. Morrisons didn't have any shoe horns, neither did the cheapo-bargains shop. The young girl behind the counter in Boots looked at me in blank amazement when I asked for a shoe horn. I explained the concept, and she admitted that it sounded like a good idea but she'd never heard of them. She then pulled out her phone and looked them up on Google.
The nice lady in Go Outdoors didn't have any shoe horns. She made the helpful observation that not many people sell them. I shall try eBay.
Whilst I was in Go Outdoors I got myself some new gaiters, and then went on to work.
Twelve and a bit hours later I came home. As I drove through Chartham I saw a hitch-hiker. There are those who equate hitch-hiker with axe-murderer, but I gave the bloke a lift to Ashford railway station.
I can't help but feel that if more people did this sort of thing there would be a lot more axe-murderers on the loose.
Once home I said hello to "er indoors TM" as we met in passing. I took "Furry Face TM" round the block for our walk. Other than trying to pick a fight with OrangeHead's dog our walk passed off quiter than many walks.
"My Boy TM" then came to visit. I'd asked him to help me with some heavy lifting, andd once we'd lifted we went to Bybrook Barn. The American Diner was doing a deal on fry-ups. They seemed incredibly cheap, and if you bought one you got another at half price. Two of us ate better and cheaper than we have in many other places.
We then checked out the large pots in the garden centre, and I spent the afternoon in bed. Such is the aftermath of night shifts.
Usually before astro club I'd meet up with Jimbo and Stevey for McTea, but not this time. Apparently economies have to be made for Jimbo's new front door. I didn't want to go on my own, so instead I made do with coffee and toast whilst watching Upstairs Downstairs on the ITV Encore channel. Captian James had got Sarah into trouble. He was supposed to be an officer and a gentleman, but he was actually a beast.
I then went off to Woodchurch. It's no secret that I'm not as keen on the astro club as I have been. I'm not entirely sure the club's going in quite the right direction, and over the last few months I've been feeling (more and more) that I'm giving up my time just to be rudely blanked. So it's no secret that I went expecting the worst, but I was wrong. I was pleasently surprised. The meeting went well. It was good to meet friends, and the talk was interesting too.
Mind you, as I was fully expecting, I did get deliberately blanked. I would have thought that the correct response to "Hello Emma" (to pick a name at random) would be "Hello" or "Good evening". Apparenlty it is not... Perhaps being civil causes physical pain?
I was persuaded against tweeting about the matter..
31 October 2015 (Saturday) - Rather Busy
After a rather good night's sleep I read something over brekkie which made me smile. Basically big breweries are getting the hump with smaller breweries because the smaller ones get tax breaks which makes a pint of (say) Timothy Taylor unable to compete price-wise with a pint from a small artisan brewer.
I've been saying for years that I can make a pint of half-decent ale in my kitchen for less than twenty five pence whereas in the pub I'm paying nearly four quid for something which (quite frankly) isn't as good.
I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. On the way he fought with a Labrador and waved his "lipstick" at two other dogs. I wish he wouldn't. As we walked I saw the scout group's paper collection was happening today. And for all that I've not been a part of that grop for over six years my piss boiled. I had to stop myself from going over to the young mother struggling with bags of newspapers (and two small children and a push chair) and having a rant.
In theory the paper collection is a good plan; the entire scout group is asked to go and collect and recycle newspapers to raise money for the scout group. In practice most of the parents refuse to get involved because they would rather just pay more subs money. When I was a leader we charged £1.50 per week when all other local activities were asking for over a fiver.
And as for the paper collection itself... a handful of young mothers with small children and three or four pensioners break their backs all day long moving several tons of newspaper to subsidise people with far more money than they have got.
I ranted about it for ten years but still the thing goes on. They must love it.
I then went over the astro club's accounts. They agreed to the penny; a couple of days ago I had over one hundred pounds too much. I also had a look at the household accounts. They could be better; they have certainly been worse.
I then decided to actually finalise a venue for the New Year geo-event. Having emailed and phoned the Farrier's Arms daily for three weeks I have decided they clearly don't want our money. I thought about the Queens Head in Kingsnorth; we went down there. They didn't actually say "Get Knotted Baldy" but from their attitude they didn't really need to.
Bearing in mind I needed a pub from where I can stage a three to five mile new geo-series, my options were rather limited. In desperation I tried... well, I won't say where I tried yet. I don't want to give anyone else ideas for where they might get in first. But I could have kissed the girl behind the bar. Friendly, welcoming... we chatted for a bit and she called over the boss.
A venue is finally sorted.
We then drove down to Folkestone to see the littlun. He's not well at the moment, so after a little shopping we took him for a McFlurry. McFlurry cheers everyone up.
Once back home we had a rather good bit of scoff watching this week's episode of "Big Bang Theory" and I then spent an hour or so sending my ideas for New Years Day to the geo-Feds. Here's hoping for a thumbs-up from them too.
Now to program "Hannah" for tomorrow...