1 October 2017 (Sunday) - Early Shift
The puppy was restless last night. A combination of being unable to breathe (because of the cold) and being stamped over by a small dog meant I didn’t sleep much at all last night.
I got up at 5.30am because I simply couldn’t breathe laying down, and over toast and coffee I watched the third ever episode of “Red Dwarf” on Netflix.
I set off to work shortly after 6.30am, and as I drove the radio was playing some wildlife documentary presented by the late David Bellamy. It turned out that show was first aired in 1971. You’d think the BBC would have had something more up-to-date to present, wouldn’t you?
Having had a grim night and having to work today meant I felt I deserved a McTreat. McBreakfast is always good. I ordered my sausage and egg McMuffin meal from a spotty oik who warned me that it might take a while to prepare as he was on his own. No one else had turned up to work and everyone had phoned in sick. Or so he claimed. I counted five other people working in the place. I wonder what he was gibbering on about.
With McBrekkie scoffed I went in to work. As I walked past the Costa I noticed that one of their coffees cost more than my entire McBreakfast (which included coffee).
There’s no denying that I’d not been looking forward to working today; Sunday early shift can be *busy!*. But today’s shift was one of the quietest I’ve known. I even managed to find time for dull paperwork.
With work done I came home, and wasted ten minutes trying to find somewhere to park. Parking is getting tight round our way.
We took the dogs round the park. I didn’t realise that "er indoors TM" had already taken them out, and didn’t find out until I’d got their collars and leads on. It was a shame it started raining after five minutes, but such is life.
With dogs walked I had a cuppa, and "er indoors TM" asked me to finish off one of her uneaten Easter eggs. Easter eggs are wasted on her; I’d scoffed mine by mid-day on Easter Sunday; she’s still got hers now. She’s gone bowling…Netflix time…
2 October 2017 (Monday) - A Third Birthday
I had a better night's sleep than the previous night; not good, but better. Over brekkie I watched an especially lame episode of "Dad's Army" then checked the Euromillions ticket I bought on Friday. Gordon had told me the jackpot was over a hundred and fifty million quid. I can't pretend to be poor, but more money would be good. Money might not buy happiness, but it does allow you to be miserable in extreme comfort. Am I being greedy in wanting that much money?
Needless to say I didn't win anything, but I might have done. I'd certainly made plans as to what I would do with that amount of money. The first thing I would do (if I won millions) would be to smile.
I set off to work on a rather overcast and depressing morning. Bearing in mind that two weeks ago we were all in Greece I was rather concerned to hear the news on the radio that the nation's fifth-biggest airline had just gone tits up. Over a hundred thousand people have woken up in holiday resorts up and down the Mediterranean only to find that Monarch Air is no more. It turns out that the biggest repatriation of UK citizens in peace-time is now under way as all these people need to be brought home. I couldn't help but wonder what I would have done if I'd been told that our airline had gone bust whilst we were away. Probably panic, I expect.
It turns out that one of my colleagues had booked a holiday to Grand Canaria with Monarch. She was wondering where she stood.
I got to work, and had a message from Cheryl. There had been talk of going to Jamaica for next year's holiday. That was out the window as Jamaica ain't as cheap as we had been led to believe. Despite airlines going west I still fancy more foreign holidays. There is now talk of Turkey.
It's daft, but it looks as though a foreign holiday is cheaper than one in the UK...
I did my bit at work, and on the way home I popped in to see "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM"; today is his third birthday. He’d got a decent haul of pressies, and was playing very nicely with a racing car track.
We spent a little while there, and as time was pressing "er indoors TM" got us KFC for tea. When she’d gone bowling (Monday is bowling league night) the puppy dared to scrounge for left-overs and before I could stop her she scoffed a sachet of salt.
She’s been at her water bowl on and off most of the evening…
3 October 2017 (Tuesday) - NCC 1031
I slept like a log last night and woke feeling refreshed and raring to go. I looked at the clock to see it was only half past midnight. I then saw every hour of the rest of the night and finally got up (feeling like death warmed up) at 6am.
Over brekkie I watched the most recent episode of “The Last Ship”. The first couple of seasons of this show were rather good, the third was OK… this fourth season is rather two-dimensional and rather poorly thought out. It is far more of a wartime propaganda film than entertaining viewing. I suspect it probably works better if you are American as it portrays all Americans as super-good heroes and everyone else as untrustworthy scumbag villains.
I’m rather tempted to give up with the show now I’ve got a ton of stuff I could watch on Netflilx.
I tried not to disturb "er indoors TM" as I left for work. She was having a day off work today to fix the leaking toilet. I wouldn’t have a clue what to do and she’s fixed it before.
It was cold as I set off to work this morning. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had made the news on the radio. He had been banging on about how wonderful unfettered capitalism was. I wonder how much comfort that had given to those who’ve lost their livelihood following yesterday’s collapse of Monarch airline. Similarly talking out of his arse was one of the officials of America’s National Rifle Association. With gun crime in the USA being worse than pretty much all of the rest of the world put together, the NRA were trying to claim that the mass shooting that happened yesterday was nothing to do with the ready availability of guns.
Once in the works car park I phoned the bank. Last week I sent them a formal complaint about the timing of my statements and how they didn’t honour my credit card. I came home yesterday to find they thought I was complaining about a “Verified by Visa” password.
I finally got through to someone who agreed that the letter I’d received in no way answered the complaint I’d made, and I was assured that my concerns would be dealt with. Hopefully this time by someone who speaks English.
I had a busy day at work, and came home to find the chod-bin wasn’t quite as fixed as it might have been. Mind you I wasn’t going to complain. Whilst "er indoors TM" boiled up dinner I spent a little while chatting to various people on Facebook messenger.
Dinner was rather good; as we scoffed it we watched the third episode of “Star Trek: Discovery”. On the one hand there are several links to what has gone before (Star Trek; Enterprise). On the other hand there seems to be no understanding of what hasn’t yet happened in the timeline (Star Trek: Everything Else).
Mind you it’s not a bad show… even if NCC 1031 is the ugliest starship I’ve ever seen…
4 October 2017 (Wednesday) - Before The Night Shift
I slept reasonably well, finally waking just before 7am. Over brekkie I had a look at Facebook and in one of the Ashford groups I read a thread about a local driving instructor who seemingly deliberately reversed a car at someone’s dog, and then shouted at the dog’s owner telling her she was scum because she lived in a housing estate. From the physical description that followed I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the same driving instructor who slagged me off to (at least) three of his pupils earlier in the year following a rather trivial squabble.
I got the leads onto the dogs and we went for a little walk round the park. The squirrels were out in force gathering the fallen acorns. Both dogs seemed oblivious to the squirrels, which was just as well.
As we walked we met OrangeHead who was clearly in a rush to get to the park. I’ve often wondered about her and her posse. Do they have a formal meet-up time and venue, or does she just go to the park and rally whatever followers she can muster?
We came home, and I spent a couple of hours doing dull housework. Firstly the harvest of dog turds in the garden needed to be gathered in. And with that lot shifted I mowed a rather wet lawn. There are those who say you shouldn’t mow a wet lawn. These same people never have any suggestions as to how you can dry the thing, and waiting for it to dry just means it gets longer and longer and consequently has less chance to dry out.
I hung out washing, then cleared up all the fragments of dog toys which were littering the living room. With them out of the way I then hoovered (with the Dyson), and then spent fifteen minutes clearing all of the crap out of the Dyson’s works.
I then prepared some pocket queries (it’s a geo-thing) and tried to print out the booking stuff for our upcoming weekend break. I do struggle with the Internet connection to the PC in the back bedroom. There are too many brick walls for the signal to go through. It really needs a physical cable to work properly. And I struggle with the printer too – it just doesn’t actually print. I gave up in the end; I’m not sure I need any hard copy.
I also backed up the last month’s worth of blog entries. I don’t know if anyone ever looks at the backup site, but it is there if anyone wants it.
Over a spot of lunch I watched the latest episode of the Channel 4 program “Electric Dreams” which starred Timothy Spall. He’s lost a lot of weight. I then went to bed for the afternoon and slept for a few hours until the puppy wanted to play.
An episode of “Gotham” on Netflix (which is getting *really* good) and hopefully "er indoors TM" will be home soon to make my dinner before the night shift.
It’s a shame I’m working on my wedding anniversary, but it could be a whole lot worse…
5 October 2017 (Thursday) - Bit Tired
The night shift went well; it could have been better but it could certainly have been a whole lot worse. As I drove home the pundits on the radio were holding what I could only describe as a post-mortem on the Prime Minister. She gave a speech to the Conservative party conference yesterday that didn’t go down very well. Not only did she cough through the entire lot, some prankster appeared from nowhere and handed her a P45. Listening to the discussion on the radio the vultures are circling and it can only be a matter of time until she gets the heave-ho. Who will replace her? Realistically it should be Boris Johnson. After all he got the country into the current political mess that it is in.
Interestingly his name isn’t the one being mentioned seemingly constantly by Conservative politicians though. Jeremy Corbyn is the name on all of their lips. Like him or loathe him, he’s certainly got the Tories worried.
Once home I took the dogs for a walk. As we walked up the road Fudge tried to fight with a bus, and a little later Treacle tried to (half-heartedly) pick a fight with a dog ten times her size before jumping up at me in terror. We saw two jays having a scrap, and again saw OrangeHead on her own.
It was a shame that the rain started when we were so far from home; we got rather wet.
We dried off, and with the dogs settled I went off to bed. I got five hours asleep which (for me) wasn’t bad. I’d been a bit cold yesterday as I slept during the day so I took a hot water bottle to bed. I woke to find the puppy fast asleep on top of it. I’m glad someone got some benefit from it.
Over a rather late brekkie I watched another episode of “Gotham”; at the moment I’m quite keen on Netflix. I then packed for our weekend away; did I *really* need so much just for two days?
I spent a little while struggling with a geo-puzzle. If any of my loyal readers can solve this one please give me a hint. I’ve been wrestling with it for a few months now to no avail. I *think* it is only a short walk from where we are staying at the weekend which is rather frustrating…
"er indoors TM" should be home soon; my tea don’t cook itself. And then I’m off to the night shift. Some people work whole weeks of nights; I wonder if I could…
6 October 2017 (Friday) - Off To Havant
The night shift went rather well. I came home, and after very little farting about we set off on our little weekend break. "er indoors TM" drove, and I dozed as best I could until we got to our first stop. We were going on a little geo-ghost hunt.
Our first port of call was Goodwood race course. Needless to say we had geo-business there. There is a trig point overlooking the race course; the most spectacular views, and even concealed Tupperware too.
From here it was a short hop to Goodwood aerodrome. There was a statue of a famous pilot (I won’t say who), and the graves of some of Britain’s top Formula One drivers. And then we went into West Wittering to find a plaque commemorating one of Britain’s more famous engineers.
By then we were hungry. We thought we’d picnic on the beach. The signposted beach wanted to charge us four pounds to park up. Four pounds! – sod that. We drove for a few hundred yards and parked for free. We found a rather good beach overlooking the Isle of Wight and had a rather good lunch. It was only a shame the waves were so loud.
From here we drove to our hotel in Havant. Have you ever ben to Havant? I thought it was posh. It isn’t. We had a little wander, spectacularly failing to get anywhere with that geo-puzzle I thought I’d solved yesterday.
We went back to the hotel for a crafty pint, then "er indoors TM" went off Ingressing and Munzeeing whilst I went back to the room for a little snooze. I was tired after the night shift. I thought I’d have a quick shower… disaster. My shaving foam canister had exploded in my wash bag. Fortunately the wash bag contained it, but there was shaving foam everywhere inside the thing. Woops.
I slept for an hour or so then got up just as "er indoors TM" returned. We went down to the bar where we met Mark and Sam. We had a crafty pint then went through to dinner, where I was amazed.
When we’d arrived the hotel staff made a big point of saying how full the hotel was, and how we needed to book for dinner, and how if we didn’t we’d go hungry. We walked into an empty restaurant. That’s not “not very busy”; that’s “empty”. Bearing in mind the place was supposedly full I wonder where everyone else had dinner; Havant didn’t seem to have anywhere else to eat.
Dinner was rather good, and with dinner scoffed we walked up the road to a sixteenth century pub that "er indoors TM" had found. That was something of a disappointment; it had been refurbished inside and it didn’t look sixteenth century at all. But we had a good time, and pausing only briefly for geo-reasons we made our way back to base.
The bed’s a bit soft… but I’m rather tired…
7 October 2017 (Saturday) - And On To Shanklin
I slept like a log, waking shortly after 7am. I clumped and clattered about the hotel room until "er indoors TM" woke, then we went downstairs for a rather good brekkie. Our room had been rather good; Mark and Sam hadn’t had such a good experience. Chatting over a full English you wouldn’t have thought we’d stayed in the same hotel.
We’d talked with Mark and Sam about our abject failure at the nearby puzzle cache yesterday, so (seeing how it was so close) we went back and this time solved the field puzzle in seconds. And a few minutes after that saw us with the final prize in hand.
We then drove the short distance to Portsmouth harbour, parked the cars, and from there wandered down to the harbour, collecting a few geocaches as we went. There was one at the harbour’s railway station, and it was there that we met quite a few other hunters of Tupperware.
A geo-event had been arranged for today. There is one particular cache which is really difficult to get to which lies on an island in Portsmouth harbour. You aren’t allowed on the island; the idea is you get as close as you can via boat and take a selfie. A few months ago I’d read that a boat was to be chartered, and did anyone want to buy a ticket? Knowing that tickets would go like hot cakes I snapped up two, and today we sailed with everyone else who’d got a ticket. There must have been thirty of us at least. Some people were old friends, some were people we’d seen here and there, and others were complete strangers. But with a mutual interest everyone got on famously.
The sea was remarkably calm. As we sailed we went past HMS Queen Elizabeth II; the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier. In fact it is the Royal Navy’s biggest ship ever. It was *huge*. We saw other warships, and decommissioned fleet auxiliary vessels too.
We got as close to the island as the ship’s captain would sail, we took loads of photos, then sailed back to the quay. As we went back the littuns went round offering sweeties.
It was at this point that we said goodbye to our friends, and pausing only briefly to nip to HMS Victory we made our way back to the car. As we were waiting to validate our car parking ticket we met a poor family with the world’s most ill-behaved brat. The child was rolling round the floor having a screaming fit whilst the family let it play up. At the very least I would have dragged it out of everyone’s way were it my child. But then both of my brats knew that such behaviour would have got them a firmly slapped arse and so they wouldn’t have been rolling round screaming in the first place.
I set the sat-nav for the ferry terminal, and I quickly realised my mistake. I then set the sat-nav for the nearby ferry terminal (and *not* the one on the Isle of Wight) and within five minutes we were sailing across the Solent.
I’ve wanted to go to the Isle of Wight for geo-reasons for some time. On the geocaching statistics page you can see a map of the UK, and the counties in which you’ve found caches are coloured. Most of the south of England (and France, Belgium and Greece) appear in shades of green. But the Isle of Wight has been an annoying white colour on my maps.
Not any more…
There is a cache within a couple of hundred yards of the ferry terminal. We found that, and then followed a route south to Blackgang Chine picking up another half-dozen on the way. At Blackgang Chine we did a little field geology lesson, then drove to our hotel in Shanklin.
We settled in to our room, then took a ten minute stroll down the road into the town. The hotel staff told us of some good places to eat in the town and we thought we’d go take pot luck. We liked the look of “Decades” restaurant and thought we’d give it a go. It was excellent. I had the fish platter and it was excellent. "er indoors TM" had the steak pie ad struggled to finish it. The home-made cheesecake was wonderful, and they served ale brewed on the island too. I can thoroughly recommend the place.
Mind you other people have slated the place on TripAdvisor so maybe we were lucky? Again my thoughts come back to the hotel we were in last night. We had a good experience; Sam and Mark did not. Hotels and restaurants can be so hit-and-miss.
Suitably stuffed we wandered on and found a touristy sweetie shop where we got some pressies for the dog-sitters, and we had a pint in the Village Inn; a rather good pub which reminded me very much of my late grandmother’s living room.
We wandered back to the hotel; I thought about a little drinkie, but (call me old-fashioned if you will) I draw the line at Worthington’s Cream Flow. Instead I plumbed the lap-top into the wi-fi and sorted out the geo-admin for today’s mission.
I’m feeling a bit tired (i.e. absolutely knackered). The mattress seems a bit tough though…
8 October 2017 (Sunday) - The Needles, Osborne, and Home
I slept like a log and woke raring to go only to find it was a quarter to three. I then lay awake for much of the night on a bed that was on the “rock hard” side. I gave up and got up just before half past seven, and just as I started my morning shave so my razor snapped in half. Bearing in mind my shaving gel exploded yesterday and I’d shaved using soap and water I’d got some more shaving foam last night. I had been looking forward to a good scrape this morning…
"er indoors TM" woke… I say she woke. I made enough noise so she would wake and we went down for brekkie.
The guest house did a rather good brekkie. A choice of cereal followed by a choice of cooked brekkie, all with toast. Muesli followed by a full English is always good. The do-gooding healthiness of the muesli counteracts the cholesterol of the fry-up, whilst the cholesterol of the fry-up counteracts the do-gooding healthiness of the muesli, and all is well. The toast is neutral in all of this, which is why I usually have toast for brekkie.
We packed our stuff, said goodbye to the Somerton Lodge Hotel (I’d certainly go back!) and we went on a little road trip. With seven hours until the ferry sailed we had time on our hands. So we went on a little road trip across the Isle of Wight from Shanklin in the east to Freshwater in the west, picking up random geocaches as we went.
Once at Freshwater we carried on to the Needles tourist park. We went there when the children were small, and (to be honest) the place hasn’t changed much. We had a look about, then took the chair lift down to the beach. I can remember taking a very small "My Boy TM" on that chair lift years ago and he was terrified of it. Watching the general public on that thing I think it’s safe to say people are still scared of it.
We had a little wander round the bottom of the cliffs looking at the famous coloured sands before taking the scary lift back up the cliff to where we had an ice cream.
From the Needles we drove (without stopping for geo reasons!) to Osborne House. It was pretty much the only tourist attraction we didn’t visit when we were last on the island, and I wanted a look-see. After all, I have been getting very keen on ITV’s docu-drama about Queen Victoria.
Osborne House was quite interesting if you like that sort of thing. To be honest I could have rattled round in half the time; paintings of dull subjects and sculpture of nudey people without any clothes on soon pall.
It would have been good to have taken the coach trips across the estate to the private beach and the Swiss cottage, but time was against us.
I feel I should point out to any of my loyal readers who might be going to the area that the place wasn’t cheap. Their website said that the price of admission was twelve quid per person. They charged us eighteen.
Fortunately the ferry terminal at Fishbourne was only five miles away and soon we were sailing back across the Solent. After a brief stop at Clackett Lane services for McDinner we were soon back in Ashford. We visited both fruits of our loin to collect the wolfpack, and were home just after eight o’clock.
I quickly unpacked, and as I uploaded photos of the weekend (you can see the photos of today’s exploits by clicking here – the others are nearby) I suddenly realised how quiet it was. Both dogs were fast asleep. They’ve obviously both had good weekends too…
9 October 2017 (Monday) - A Day's Fishing
Much as I enjoyed our weekend away, you can’t beat sleeping in your own bed. After a rather good kip I woke and had a shave. What with shaving foam exploding on Friday and razors breaking yesterday it was good to finally have a shave this morning.
Bearing in mind the fry-ups of the last two days I had a rather subdued brekkie of toast this morning whilst watching “Dads Army” who were playing cricket, then I struggled to find my old fishing shooting jacket. In the end I made do without it.
I drove round to collect "My Boy TM" and Lacey and we went to McDonalds where Lacey had a McSulk because there were no McPancakes. She had no choice but to rough it with a sausage and egg McMuffin (as did we all). Lacey had to go to school, so we dropped her off on our way. What should have been a five-minute drive took nearer twenty minutes due to the road works; Ashford is a nightmare for road works at the moment.
And with Lacey dropped off we drove out to Chequertree fishery for a day’s hunting the haddock. We arrived to find there were already loads of people fishing. We found a space on the lake, set up, cast our lines, and waited. And waited. After half an hour I caught a roach. Not a very big roach, but a roach. After another half an hour I had a carp of about six pounds. Rather good as carp go (for me), but that was the biggest fish of the day for either of us, or of anything we saw landed by anyone else (and that wasn’t much). I probably had about a dozen fish through the day; a few carp, mostly tiddlers. "My Boy TM" had much the same; perhaps a few more tiddlers.
At four o’clock the rain started. We decided that was God’s way of telling us to go home.
Don’t get me wrong – we had a good day out. In all honesty if you are going to go fishing you have to go fully prepared to spend all day at the water’s edge and catch nothing. Anything you catch is a bonus. But it speaks volumes about the place that I went home with a right elbow that wasn’t hurting. I’ve caught so many on trips to Hartley Lands fishery and to Shirkoak that my right elbow has ached for days afterwards.
I’ve decided that I don’t much like Chequertree fishery. Fishing-wise it seems to be far inferior to everywhere else we’ve fished. And the place is busy too. It has caravans and camping and mobile homes and chalets and there are always people bustling about. Fishing is supposed to be peaceful.
I came home, put my fishing gear into the shed and opened it all so’s it would air out, then walked the dogs round the block. We didn’t go far because of the drizzle, but small dogs would rather walk in the rain than not walk at all.
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner, and with her off bowling I set about ironing loads of shirts whilst catching up with stuff the SkyPlus box had recorded for me.
I’m a bit tired: I really should have an early night…
10 October 2017 (Tuesday) - Visiting My Mummy
I slept like a log last night. I have a vague recollection of having been chewed by the puppy at some point in the small hours, but only a vague one.
For some reason I woke feeling profoundly miserable. I *think* it is waking whilst it is still dark outside. I’ve noticed over the last few years that waking when it is light outside does give me a more positive frame of mind.
Over brekkie I cheered up somewhat, and I saw I had three friend requests on Facebook. Three people who’d been on Saturday’s boat trip had asked to be my cyber-friend. Had they been any of the people I’d actually chatted with I would have been inclined to have added them to my friends list.
Why do people do this? They wasn’t to be your e-friend, but won’t so much as say hello in real life.
I drove round to collect "My Boy TM" and Lacey, and once Lacey was delivered to school we waited near the Outlet centre for "Daddy’s Little Angel TM". After a few minutes we got fed up with waiting and had a crafty sausage and egg McMuffin. After a few more minutes we had a message that "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" was being somewhat fractious, so we drove up to the nursery to collect "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" from there. We knew when they were on the way; we could hear "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" long before we could see him. He had a right cob-on, but "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" wasn’t having any of it, and unceremoniously dumped him in the nursery where he promptly shut his noise and joined in with what was going on.
We drive down to Hastings to see my mummy and daddy. Coffee, cakes, and a couple of hours talking filled the morning. We came home via the seafood stall in Rye where we each had a bowl of cockles. Once home I took the dogs round the park. The walk passed off relatively uneventfully, which is always good.
And once home again I spent a few minutes making a little video based on something "My Boy TM" said about Treacle. You can see the video by clicking here… I posted it to Facebook earlier, but hardly anyone has reacted to it. It’s odd how videos on Facebook never seem to get anywhere near as much attention as photos get.
The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up with the ironing; a day’s leave is never complete without doing the ironing.
"er indoors TM" came home and announced we were going to change the bedding. Whilst we were at it we flipped over the mattress and replaced my knackered pillow. That might make for a better night’s sleep. We scoffed scran, then made our way to Chris’s for the Tuesday gathering. Insults were bandied, and then we watched the latest episode of “Star Trek: Discovery”. It was rather good; even if the same story was done better in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Equinox” some eighteen years ago.
11 October 2017 (Wednesday) - Late Shift
I woke at 3am finding myself far too hot and pinned into the duvet with a sleeping dog on either side. I should have remembered the old maxim about letting sleeping dogs lie; I didn’t. It is always a mistake to wake the puppy as she spent the rest of the night wanting to play. She finally settled five minutes before the alarm went off.
Over brekkie my Fudge-dog cuddled up next to me. For some inexplicable reason he was incredibly soppy this morning, wanting cuddles rather than his breakfast. I had a look-see on the Internet as I scoffed my toast. As always Facebook amazed me. One chap had made his first posting on the Geocaching UK Facebook page, and for every constructive reply there was a sarcastic one. Some of the rudest replies came from people who should have known better. There was also a lot of negativity about Star Trek: Discovery.
I then read a little article about depression and it seemed to ring a few bells. Perhaps I should stay away from such depressing stuff on the Internet?
With a little time on my hands I took the dogs round the park for a walk. Treacle is getting braver; she will now sniff round people and other dogs before running away in terror. Fudge made a nuisance of himself around OrangeHead who was again on her own with no posse.
As I walked I phoned the mobile phone people. Over the last few weeks it has become apparent that the deal I have sucks compared to everyone else. So I phoned and had a whinge, and the nice lady at the other end of the line increased by data package by an extra fourteen gigabytes each month. Bearing in mind I used a quarter of this month’s allowance in three days last weekend, that fourteen gigabytes will come in handy.
Once home I fed the fish, and tried to stop the dogs form eating all the fish food. I popped an episode of “Gotham” onto Netflix and watched it whilst fussing my hounds.
As I drove to work there was a documentary on the radio about the Russian revolution of 1917. The chap presenting the documentary was making the point that the Russian revolution had world-wide consequences. He claimed that it was this event which allowed the UK's Suffragette movement to secure votes for women in 1918, and he claimed it effectively started all the "green" and environmentally friendly movements that are gaining popularity today.
Was he right? I don't know. For all that I write the stuff every day I don't really know much about history.
I always though the Russian revolution was about a bunch of commies doing away with the Tsar. And being a bit of a commie, I too would probably have done away with the Tsar (if I could have done so).
Wouldn't we all?.... all the time we aren't the Tsar.
I stopped off on my way to work and marched deep into some woodlands for geo-purposes. Yesterday when having a look at my geo-stats (as one does) I saw I was only half a dozen specific finds off of completing my D/T grid for the second time. Most people don't know what a D/T grid is. It is a very few people that actually have a D/T grid, let alone even complete it once. Getting it done twice would be something of a result so I've targetted a few specific geocaches I need. I got one of them today. I have plans for another in a week or so, and a third for when I next visit my mummy.
Today's cache was something of a disappointment. When new it was a work of genius. I could see how the thing was supposed to operate, but it had long since broken. This is the trouble with these so-called "clever caches"; they are usually broken within a couple of months.
I then went on to McDonalds for McLunch, and suitably fed I went on to the late shift. What with a packed weekend followed two days leave it seems like I've been off work for ages.
12 October 2017 (Thursday) - Before the Night Shift
I was a little worried about Fudge this morning. Last night he’d not come up to bed, but instead he’d stood at the bottom of the stairs and cried. I carried him up, but this morning I found him on the sofa looking very sorry for himself with a rather hard stomach. He tenses his stomach when his back hurts him.
Mind you he scoffed his brekkie without any problems.
I spent a little while solving geo-puzzles (only to find I had already solved them), then with "er indoors TM" off to walk I tried to get dressed. Eventually I retrieved my socks from the puppy, and I took the dogs out.
We did our usual circuit of the park. As we walked Treacle approached a few dogs. Usually she runs in terror, so I took that as a good sign. Fudge straggled behind as he does; I wish he’d keep up. As we walked we met OrangeHead; she warned us of something in a hedge in the co-op field. Most people wouldn’t care two hoots about things in hedges, but things in hedges can be very distracting to dogs.
This was the third or fourth time we’d met OrangeHead walking her dog on her own. Usually she has quite a gaggle of other dog walkers in tow; I wonder if there has been a squabble?
We came home; I got the Dyson out and did some hoovering, I mowed the lawn, I got a haircut, I went through the contents of my letter rack. There was quite a few letters in there; none really worth the paper they had been written on. Sorting the letter rack bothered me a little. Most of the letters went into the bin. Some (dull utility paperwork) needed filing. I wasted a valuable half an hour on that rubbish; half an hour I could have spent staring at the telly.
Over a lunch of toast I watched another episode of “Gotham” then went to bed for the afternoon. As it isn’t as warm as it could be I took up a hot water bottle, and found myself fighting the puppy for the thing. Tomorrow I shall put it where "er indoors TM" usually sleeps and that way the puppy won’t be pushing up against me all the time I’m trying to sleep.
I got a couple of hours of shut-eye and then watched another episode of “Gotham” before perusing the geo-map. After yesterday’s little geo-mission before work I am only four specific D-T combinations away from sorting my D/T grid again.
Gordon is C.O. of a D1-T5 cache; I wonder if I might go on a maintenance mission with him at some point.
"er indoors TM" has done a D2-T5 cache which involved a tree climb. I wonder just how hard it was.
There are a couple of D3.5-T5 caches in a river not twenty miles from home; time to get the kayak out.
The D4.5-T4 looks to be tricky – there’s one near a church near Knockholt or one up a tree near Ewhurst or one on the South Downs which might just be do-able.
"er indoors TM" came home and boiled up some dinner… I’m off to the night shift now.
13 October 2017 (Friday) - Between the Night Shifts
The night shift went reasonably well; I generally don’t mind the night work; it’s just that the day off before and after (when I can’t really do much) can be rather lonely.
(Having said that, tonight’s will probably be horrific…)
Mind you getting home from work this morning was terrible. What with the road works in Hermitage Lane it took seemingly forever to get from work to the motorway. What can be a five-minute trip took over an hour.
Once home I walked the dogs round the park; we didn’t meet any other dogs, the Jehovah’s Witnesses weren’t there, the walk was really uneventful. Which wasn’t a bad thing. With walk done I did my morning ablutions and went to sleep for as much as I could.
I got up just after four o’clock and watched an episode of “Gotham” then had a quick look at the Internet to see what I’d missed.
I see that the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is to return to the radio next year. My initial reaction was (to quote the bowl of petunias) “Oh no, not again”.
I first heard the radio show in the late 1970s. I say “radio show”; my best friend at the time would make tape recordings and I would listen to those.
Then the books were released. The later ones were rather good, but the first ones were re-hashes of what had been on the radio.
Then there was a TV series for people who can’t listen or read (!) which was by now just the same old story.
And after a break of several years there was a movie which was again the same old story with the same old jokes.
I’m told that next year’s radio is to feature new material. I hope so. The original stuff has been done to death.
As I mooched round the Internet my mobile went mental with texts from the vets about how the dogs are due for their flea treatment. Their system sends these texts at random; I’ve complained to the vets before and they say it is nothing to do with them. I tried phoning their head office this afternoon; they gave me an email address to contact. I dropped them a line – I wonder what will come of it.
I’m off to work again soon… once "er indoors TM" has done dinner. I wonder how busy the roads will be…
14 October 2017 (Saturday) - Hastings Day
As I drove home from a rather busy night shift the pundits on the radio were discussing how the first scheduled flights to the island of St. Helena are starting this week. A couple of years ago I had the chance of a six-month secondment to St Helena. I seriously considered a prolonged holiday on a rock in the south Atlantic; in the end I decided against it, but still I wonder “what if?”.
The pundits were also discussing the stalled Brexit negotiations; pretty much every so-called expert that the pundits wheel on to interview is rather downbeat on the subject. Even those who were all for it in the run-up to the referendum are now far more cautious in what they say. It’s interesting that everyone interviewed on the matter (be they pro- or con-) only considers the financial implications. I suppose that is a sad indictment of today’s world.
I spent a little while looking at Facebook. Friends are in the Scilly isles… I wonder if we might have a week away over there at some point.
I then took myself off to bed for the morning whilst "er indoors TM" had a go at tidying the living room. I woke a few hours later to find an empty house, so over some toast I looked at the geo-map and solved a couple of puzzles.
I was just about to do something constructive when "er indoors TM" phoned. She’d taken the dogs for a walk and Fudge had gone missing. I got dressed and was just about to set off to help find him when she messaged to say he was found. He does this so often - he just bimbles off on his own without a care in the world. Calling him achieves nothing; I’ve studied dog psychology – when you call his name, that just reassures him you are still around.
They all came home shortly after that, and we had a late lunch. As we scoffed we watched the first episode of the new series of Red Dwarf. Red Dwarf XII was entertaining enough, but (like I said yesterday about the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) in many ways it was just more of the same. I liked it, but it was just like what had gone before. I suppose that’s a good thing really.
We got the dogs settled, and drove down to Hastings. It was a shame we had to park so far out of town, but the walk down to the Old Town was easy enough. We soon met Ken and Jane and their family in the Pump House, and after a few pints we wandered out to watch the bonfire procession. As we waited my nephew walked past. I greeted him cheerfully.
The procession soon came past. As it did I saw an old schoolfriend walking along with it. Paul Goring was with me at the Hastings Academy for Budding Geniuses in the late 1970s and although we’ve kept in touch through the Internet, we’d not met in person for years. I *think* the last actual meeting was a chance encounter on Hastings sea front in 1983.
After the procession had passed we went on to watch the fireworks which were excellent (as always) and then we met up with another old friend. I first met Phil Crosby in my first class at primary school in 1969. He moved to Sweden thirty years ago; it was so good to catch up.
We got home just before 1am…
15 October 2017 (Sunday) - I Fell Over
We had a slightly later start than usual today; probably for the best bearing in mind the late night we’d had. As I scoffed toast my stomach was gurgling; I blame the last pint last night; I thought it was a tad dodgy.
My piss boiled somewhat as I looked at Facebook. A friend had posted one of these made-up memes about how illegal immigrants live high on the hog whilst pensioners haven’t got a pot to piss in.
It took about thirty seconds to come up with the truth of the matter, but I can’t help but wonder why people post such hateful racist rubbish. Perhaps people are frightened of foreigners? Perhaps working in a hospital means I get to meet a wider range of people than most? However I will say that when I’m walking home from the car late at night I feel far safer walking past the Polish drinking beer outside the corner shop than I do coming by the British thugs by the KFC. And when my car broke down it was the immigrant community that stopped and helped me.
We got our gear (and dogs) together and was just about to set off to Gravesend when the phone rang. Our usual walking buddies weren’t able to come out to play today; they’d just got to their car and found that overnight someone had broken in to their car and garage. It later turned out that nearly a dozen garages had been done in the area.
I don’t know what boils my piss more, either the fact that organised mobs of scumbags are out stealing from decent people, or that the police still hadn’t shown their faces to investigate by five o’clock in the evening.
So being on our own we decided to change our plans. We thought we’d save the Gravesend walk for when we could all be together, and instead we went to hunt for Tupperware along a little series of geocaches in East Peckham (Maidstone, not London) that Karl and Tracy had done over the summer.
We started off with a bit of a mystery. At the location of the first cache we found two caches. Both relatively new, both rather obvious (if you know what to look for), both about a foot apart. I wonder what was going on there?
We then carried on down the hill, and followed footpaths and lanes for about four miles. We climbed trees, we jumped ditches, we heard skylarks singing, we even saw a frog doing his thing. It was only a shame that I tripped on some ground level barbed wire. For all that the fall put me into a bit of a strop it was probably very funny to watch; just a shame that no one saw it. As "My Boy TM" would say, I hit the ground like a rubber duck. I managed to wrench a knee which was already rather painful, got myself a rather nasty gash up the back of my leg, and I think I’ve bruised a rib or two.
And then I got bogged down in a swamp...
As we drove home "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" phoned, and we went round to hers for a cuppa and to scoff the cakes we’d taken on our walk with us for lunch but hadn’t eaten. She didn’t see that the cakes went past their best last week, but Bakewell tarts don’t go off, do they?
She asked if we wanted to stay for dinner; we decided against it. Probably for the best as I later got a message from her saying that her jambalaya was vile, and they had cheese on toast for dinner instead. Apparently "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" wouldn’t even touch the stuff.
Once home I sparked up the lap-top. I took a few photos as we walked, and I uploaded them. I do that. "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner, and with that scoffed she went off bowling. With both dogs worn out from the afternoon’s walk I settled in front of the telly and watched more “Gotham”. I do like that show, but today I realised that (as with any prequel) you know the heroes aren’t going to die so the perilous scenes are rather wasted.
I really should polish my walking boots…
16 October 2017 (Monday) - End of the World?
I slept like a log last night, but I did wake with a sore left leg. I must have really knacked it yesterday.
Note I say “must have” and not “must of”. It seems to me that most of humanity are using the word “of” when they should be using the word “have”. A trivial point, maybe, but it boils my piss.
Over brekkie I had a look at the Internet. Not much had changed overnight. I avoided most of the spoilers for the new episode of “Star Trek: Discovery” that was aired overnight. But only most of them.
My piss boiled somewhat as I read one chap’s posts on Facebook. Transmitting to the world from his hospital bed, all he could do was find fault with the place. I don’t know which hospital he is in. I’m sure he has every right to find fault with the place, but my personal feeling is that if anyone is unhappy with what they get from the NHS they should piss off and see what they get from the private sector for the same price.
I put the leads onto the hounds and we went for a little wander round the park. As we walked Treacle cowered in terror from a spaniel. The woman walking the spaniel is relatively new on the Viccie Park dog walking scene. We got chatting; she pointed out Fudge who was fifty yards behind and doing his own thing in a bush (as he does). She said that she often saw that little dog on his own in the park, and she hoped he was OK. It was rather embarrassing to have to say that he was with me. I wonder how many other people think he’s a stray because he straggles so far behind all the time.
We also saw OrangeHead (on her own again) wearing Wellington boots. I wonder if she knew something we didn’t.
As I walked my back was really painful…
We came home, and I did the dogs’ monthly flea treatments. Fudge has never minded his; Treacle didn’t seem happy about it. And with fleas hopefully repelled for another month I watched last night’s episode of “Victoria”. It was the last one of the current series. I’ve liked the show, and I’ve found myself looking up quite a bit of what happened on the show on the internet to see how historically accurate it has been.
I must admit I don’t know that much history. At school our history teacher was crap. His idea of teaching history was to have you copy out a text book; we did this twice a week until class 4B got too much for him and he got taken (by ambulance) from the school to the nut house. Consequently I gave up studying history at the earliest opportunity.
I think I probably missed quite a bit in doing so.
I set off for work. As I drove to work there was a documentary on the radio about the total hash that Britain and the winners of the first world war made in the discussions sorting out the aftermath of the war. I always thought the war ended in 1918; apparently in some parts of the world it effectively dragged on until 1923, or so those presenting the radio show would have us believe. The implication was that the winners should have waited for the war to actually end before divvying up the spoils.
The show was presented by the grand-daughter of someone who was on the committee that did the actual divvying up; she claimed that her granddad was ignored by the rest of the committee . But if everyone had listened to her granddad, then the world today would be a much better place.
Having had episodes with committees in the past, I can sympathise with her. Mind you having had a granddad myself (as well as actually being one), I'm not sure that they are always the best of people to listen to. (I can remember my granddad being very vociferous about opticians being a rip-off as there are only two lenses that fit the human eye (!), and he used to get his car serviced in Ham Street as he'd fallen out with every garage closer to his home in Hastings. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see him looking back at me.)
This (the radio, not my granddad) was followed by some lesbian comedian who was ranting about the idiocy of the hobby of hill walking. She was rather amusing, but I felt that her sexual orientation was a matter of the utmost indifference to me. Why did she have to keep mentioning it ad nauseum. OK so she's got a wife. So have I.
I took a little diversion on my way to work. Yesterday I'd had a stroke of genius and had solved a geo-puzzle. Today I drove to the general vicinity of Maidstone's Park & Ride and rummaged suspiciously in a hedge for ten minutes until I found the geocache I sought. This one was actually quite clever; it involved playing a reverse game of ker-plunk. I was so impressed that I used this as a reason to have a celebratory McDonalds.
I had an entertaining time at the counter when I got there. I wanted crispy strips. Oh dear... the girl behind the till was not impressed. "Crispy strips" is a KFC thing. McDonalds have "chicken select". In reality "crispy strips" and "chicken select" are exactly the same things, but calling it by the name used by the opposition is fighting talk. It's like ice-creams. I dare you to go up to a Mr Smoothie ice cream van and ask for a Whippy. I did once; I nearly got a punch up the throat.
And so to work. We had a rather good day; if somewhat worrying. Due to some untoward meteorological phenomenon (i.e. funny weather) the sky was an odd shade of yellow for much of the afternoon. We spent much of the time peering out of the blood bank's window wondering if it was the end of the world.
I hope it isn't. I'll let you know tomorrow...
17 October 2017 (Tuesday) - Bedfordshire Clanger
It turned out that yesterday wasn’t the end of the world; the yellow sky was caused by Saharan sand picked up by the hurricane that hit Ireland. These “end of the world”s are usually something of a disappointment.
Over brekkie my dog cuddled up with me; he has been rather soppy these last few days. As he snored I watched an old episode of “Dad’s Army”; it passed the time. I then quickly sparked up my lap-top and peered into cyber-space. Apart from friends going off on holiday, not much had happened overnight really.
I set off to work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about hate crimes. Apparently the reporting of hate crime is on the increase, but the rate of successful prosecutions in these cases are falling. I sometimes wonder if all of these so-called “hate crimes” really are what they are billed to be. I can remember a chap at work who was accused of one of these hate crimes. He was accused of being very terse and impatient with one particular chap. At the formal hearing the chap bringing the allegation claimed he was being victimised because of the colour of his skin. The accused pointed out that his own wife was of the same ethnic minority as the chap bringing the allegation. The accused went on to say he wasn’t being terse and impatient because the supposed victim was of an ethnic minority; he was being terse and impatient because the chap bringing the accusation was incredibly stupid. Documentary evidence of said stupidity was presented… it all got rather nasty.
I’m not saying that all hate crime is like this. I am saying that it is easy to accuse.
I finally got to work; it took over an hour and a half. I had a rather good day but for one phone call. Someone phoned wanting to know their blood group. It is policy not to give any blood test results directly to patients, or even to admit that a test has been done. We have no way of knowing that they aren’t a nosey neighbour, and the simple knowledge that a blood test might or might not have been done breaches all sorts of confidentiality. However this person was adamant I told her what her blood group was. Her friend’s child had chickenpox and she needed to know her blood group to know whether or not she was immune to chickenpox.
Most laymen would think blood groups – immunity to chickenpox WTF ?!?!
A laboratory full of biomedical scientists with a combined experience of over a hundred years thought that too.
With work done I came home. The roads were slightly better coming home; it only took an hour and a quarter. I came home to an empty house; "er indoors TM" had got home first and had taken the hounds for a walk. The house is eerily quiet without them.
I got a message. They were delayed as Fudge had wandered off in the dark as he does. Eventually he was located and they came home.
Usually on a Tuesday the clans would gather, but seeing how this would be the only night both of us would be home this evening we stayed in. We cracked open a twenty-quid bottle of plonk and watched yesterday’s episode of “Star Trek: Discovery”. It was clearly written by people who’ve seen a lot of Star Trek; there are so many references to what has gone before. *But* no one has said “f…” in Star Trek before.
We then watched tonight’s episode of “Bake Off”. Bedfordshire clangers ?...
18 October 2017 (Wednesday) - This n That
As winter draws closer the mornings are getting darker. I don’t like having to get out of my pit whilst it is still dark outside. I got up to find both dogs curled up together on the bed. They both looked at me, then went back to sleep.
I came downstairs and watched an episode of “Red Dwarf” on Netflix, then had a look at the Internet. I had a little look on Facebook. Last night I suggested going to Dover Beer Festival in February. This morning it would seem to have got some support. We may well be doing that again. I checked Google Maps to see how the traffic was. The route to work was already red by 6.45am. I set off to work expecting the worst.
The journey to work wasn’t as good as it might have been, but it was better than yesterday’s run. As I drove, the pundits on the radio were (again) running down the NHS. It turns out that only one hospital in the country has hit all the government’s targets. Only one? Unrealistic targets, perhaps?
Much of the radio this morning was “blah blah”, but I did listen to “Thought for the Day” with something of a sense of amazement. The twit presenting it was a professional religious leader, and people like that often present non sequiturs as they know that because no one actually listens to what they are saying they can present the most ludicrous rubbish and no one will quibble. He started off by saying how statistics show that there are more teenagers considering suicide than ever before. He somehow blamed this on his idea that teenagers go on Facebook, and having run down social media he somehow (in a complete about-face) presented the entire lot as proof that his god loved him.
It’s not enough that these religious types believe total nonsense; they spout utter drivel to try to support the untenable.
I got to work; I did what I couldn’t avoid. Just as I was walking out the door my phone beeped. A new geocache had gone live not a mile from work. And it was in the direction away from the traffic jams. Fifteen minutes later I was doing the First to Find Happy Dance.
Regular readers of this drivel may recall that a couple of years ago I set myself a challenge. On the geo-website there is a calendar showing what geocaches you found on what days. I effectively filled it in so that I had found a geocache on every day of the year (even if not the same year). Yesterday I was shown how I might revisit it so’s I could say that I had found a particular type of geocache on every day of the year. For the most common type (traditional) I’ve only got twelve days to fill. That is do-able. However for the next commonest type (unknown) I have one hundred and eighty one days to do, and after today’s crafty FTF I have only one hundred and eighty two days left on which to find multis.
I might not bother with this challenge.
Once home I walked the dogs round the block, and after an argument with "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" I watched another episode of “Gotham”. I might watch another in a moment; "er indoors TM" is off out tonight…
19 October 2017 (Thursday) - Computers, Machines...
I went to sleep last night with Fudge's chin on my shoulder, I woke to find the puppy was there this morning. They must have swapped in the night.
Over brekkie I watched another episode of "Red Dwarf", and seeing nothing much had happened on the Internet overnight I set off to work rather earlier than I might have done. I was taking no chances with the traffic.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were discussing the Brexit negotiations. There is a growing feeling that the European negotiators are deliberately dragging their heels and that Britain should make the announcement that there will be no agreement when the UK leaves the EU so that businesses can prepare for the worst. The implication was that any agreement that might be reached in the meantime would be a bonus. Would it be? I don't really know. But it does amaze me how these things can just drag on.
Mind you, what with rising inflation and Sterling falling, several independent international experts are recommending that Britain not go through with Brexit at all. Personally I can't help but think it is too late for that. As a nation we've made a rather stupid decision. But having gone this far the UK needs to go through with it. Going back on the scheme will leave the UK with no credibility in the EU at all.
Meanwhile the boffins at Google have created an artificial intelligence which really does learn for itself. I wonder if this effectively makes all the hot air about Brexit and other political trivia somewhat redundant?
I had a good run to work, but I wasn't impressed when I got to Hermitage Lane. There wasn't a single person working at the road works which are causing the delays. There rarely is. There are often people in hi-vis jackets standing around the area talking to each other and into their phones. There are often people in hi-vis jackets over the road in McDonalds. But people in hi-vis jackets getting their hands dirty by actually doing the road works?
The sooner there's one or two more there, the sooner I can get to work in less than an hour.
I got to work, and did my bit. I got to work much earlier than I had originally intended. I had been expecting to be on the late shift today, but late yesterday afternoon I was asked if I could swap my shift. Being an obliging kind of guy I agreed. Much as I like the late start of the late shift, the late finish can be just a tad too late. What really bugs me about the late finish is driving round the roads at home at nearly ten o'clock at night desperately hunting for a parking space, and then finding the only place I can park is three streets away from home.
In much the same vein of being helpful I've agreed to do tomorrow's night shift as a colleague has gone down with the two bob bits.
With my bit I came home. Again there was no one doing any work on the road works in Hermitage Lane. What could be a five minute journey takes half an hour because of the absentee workmen.
Once home I took the dogs for a short walk. Fudge had a funny five minutes at one point. When we were at the furthest point from home he stopped and refused to take another step. He simply would not budge. After a little coaxing and cajoling I carried him for fifty yards before trying him again. He then walked fine. I wonder what that was all about?
"er indoors TM" boiled up some dinner, and we scoffed it whilst watching the telly. Not a bad way to spend the evening…
20 October 2017 (Friday) – Lonely
My piss boiled this morning as I looked at Facebook as I scoffed my toast. Figures were being bandied about concerning the levels of crime in various parts of Ashford. I’ve seen these sorts of figures before, and like all statistics, they can be misleading.
Basically the crime figures for Ashford claim that the central parts (where I live) are akin to Dodge City whilst the outskirts are a utopian paradise. But… the central parts include the town centre and the outlet centre, so all the shoplifting crimes get lumped into the statistics for our area. And the town centre has all the pubs and night clubs so we get all the aftermath of the drunks staggering home (towards the outskirts of the town) pissed as farts in the small hours. On occasion I’ve followed some of these drunks at a safe distance (as have others I know). Having thrown their pint glasses at a front door in Christchurch Road these drunks then wander back to their nice homes in Singleton and Godinton and Repton (all the places with supposedly low crime rates) where they behave themselves. It’s basically an old concept called “not shitting on your own doorstep”.
I did consider rattling the South Ashford Community Forum’s cage about this, but I decided not to. Do I want to get involved with setting up a local neighborhood watch scheme? Not really; it would just be one more big argument. These things always are.
I also read that Julian May had died. She wrote some rather good books over the years. It’s a shame she’s gone; now I’ll never meet her, and she won’t be writing any more.
I popped the leads onto the dogs… I often type that. It sounds so easy: “I popped the leads onto the dogs”. I’m now trying something different at lead time. I’ve got a little sick of how it has been. Up till recently I’ve put Fudge’s collar and lead on him first; the whole time he is pulling his head trying to have a pop at the puppy who mocks him when he has his collar put on. And then when it is time for Treacle to have her collar put on she snatches something she’s not allowed to have and runs off and hides.
I’ve decided that from now on the dogs will sit nicely at lead time. So far it’s not working.
We did our usual circuit of the park. Fudge tried to fight with a bus and two cars and the puppy nearly ran under a street-sweeping thing that was clearing up in the park. We also managed to upset one of the normal people who wanted to stroke the dogs; neither dog wanted to be stroked. We didn’t meet any of the uual dog-walking suspects. I wonder where they all were.
Once home I ran round with the hoover; how can we generate so much mess? I then set about doing the ironing. Dull, so dull. To ease the monotony I sparked up the telly. I started off with last weekend’s episode of “The Last Ship”. There are two more episodes of this season to go; I’ve stuck it out for so long it would be a shame to give up with the show now (tempted as I might be). And then I watched episodes of “Red Dwarf” on Netflix until the ironing was done.
I made myself some toast for lunch and scoffed it whilst watching another episode of “Gotham”, then pulled the living room curtains (so the dogs wouldn’t bark at nothing) and took myself off to bed for the afternoon.
After a couple of hours I got up and watched more “Gotham” then microwaved some dinner which I scoffed as the dogs ate theirs. Even more “Gotham” and now I’m off to the night shift.
It’s been a lonely day today… I spent about an hour arguing with "er indoors TM" this morning, I spent two minutes listening to some nutter in the park grumbling that the dogs wouldn’t let him stroke them, and I spent a few minutes messaging (not actually speaking though) with Jose.
It looks like my biggest conversation of the day will be asking for a McFlurry when I stop off on the way to work…
21 October 2017 (Saturday) - Bit Tired
The night shift was surprisingly busy, but during a break in the small hours I saw a series of thirty geocaches had gone live nearby. When the day shift arrived I charged out as quickly as I could. Those thirty caches will make a good walk in the future, but one cheeky First to Find would make a nice reward for doing the night shift.
I’d looked on the map and worked out which cache would probably be easiest to park at. And being toward the middle of the series I thought it unlikely that anyone else chasing FTFs would be at #10 at silly o’clock in the morning. So you can imagine my surprise when I pulled up at the given GPS co-ordinates just as two geo-friends walked up. We chatted for a bit; it was suggested that I walked on with them. But my bed was beckoning.
As I drove home the pundits on the radio were discussing recently released statistics which claimed that the perpetrators of ninety per cent of the burglaries in the UK never get brought to justice. They wheeled on some chief constable who blathered platitudes for ten minutes. Mind you, what can the police do? In many cases these burglaries are done by organised gangs and by the time the crime has been discovered, the guilty scum are a hundred miles away.
A quick bit of toast, then I went to bed for the morning. I set the alarm for mid-day; if I slept any longer I wouldn’t sleep at night, and I’d waste the day.
"er indoors TM" had vouchers for the café in the WyeVale garden centre so we thought we’d use them. We drove up the A28, and paused to look in a bus shelter. Five years ago I hid a geocache in that bus shelter, I’d had a message that it had gone. It had. I’ve now archived it. It was on the way to where I used to work and so looking after it was easy, but now it is in completely the wrong direction.
We went on to Fat Fish Tackle where I got myself a new landing net. My old one was too deep. Let’s see how this one does. I also got some weights and floats and stuff… it is so easy to run up a big bill in fishing tackle shops. When I was a lad I could pay for tackle from my pocket money. You couldn’t do that today.
We got to the garden centre and after a look-see we went to the café. Oh dear… I wish we’d gone to McDonalds. People take the piss out of my going to McDonalds but had we gone there we would have been in and out in the time the woman on the till took to make a cup of coffee and a cup of hot chocolate. You get better tasting stuff in McDonalds, and even allowing for the WyeVale money off voucher, McDonalds is cheaper.
On the way out we looked at their clothing as Wyevale were having a half-price sale. Even at half price their stuff was twice the price that I was prepared to pay.
As we were in the area we went into Canterbury to Go Outdoors; they’d sent me an email saying they had increased their range of clothing to cater for the more rotund physique. I got a pair of trousers (which were rather expensive) and a pair of walking shoes reduced from forty quid to fifteen. Result!
Once home we took the dogs for a wander round the park; we had hoped the intermittent rain had stopped. It hadn’t. Mind you, we didn’t get *that* wet.
Originally I was planning to go to Mersham this evening to see “Access All Areas” playing at the Royal Oak, but last night’s night shift had left me somewhat knackered. Instead I sat in front of the telly and slept.
I should have an early night really…
22 October 2017 (Sunday) - County Geo-Meet
I slept for nearly nine hours last night. That wasn’t bad at all. I got up leaving "er indoors TM" and the dogs still snoring, and saw we’d run out of jam. Woops. So I spread the last of the honey on some toast and scoffed it whilst having a look-see at the Internet. It looked like I missed a good band do last night, but not much else had happened. So I spent a few minutes playing “Go” against the lap-top. It won every time.
We got ourselves organised, and with five minutes before we were about to leave, Fudge fell in the garden fish pond. Oh, how I laughed…
We set off to Canterbury; today was the county geo-meet and five miles down the road from the meeting place was a little series of geocaches laid out around a housing estate. A little walk away from the mud would be idea for the morning. We pulled up, and within two minutes Aleta was with us, and a minute after that saw Cliff arrive.
We had a rather good walk round the estate. Usually I’m not keen on urban caching; for me geocaching is a dog-walk. But this little wander fitted the bill ideally for this morning. An hour or so’s little stroll with friends before a meet-up was ideal.
We then drove up to Herne Bay where the ninety-seventh county cacher’s meet was taking place. Usually these are in pubs, but being in pubs means they aren’t cheap, dogs often aren’t welcome, and you are lumped in with the normal people. Today we met in a church hall. There was a bouncy castle for the kiddies, cake for the bigger kiddies. Much as I like a pint, this was one of the better meets. Everyone there was “one of us”, I chatted with old friends, I met new friends, I talked Tupperware. It was great.
The dogs were funny. As people were eating the cakes, Fudge was hovering to hoover up the crumbs; Treacle was trying her luck to get a whole cake.
And as we left we met Pam and Jane who’d been out for lunch. They’d got a doggie bag for their dog, but had several scraps of meat for my pups.
Pausing only briefly to call in to one of "er indoors TM"’s pals in Canterbury we drove down to the pet shop in Chartham. Treacle needed a new harness, and the pet shop there offered a fitting service. So often dogs have such ill-fitting harnesses. After five minutes the pestilential pup had a rather smart harness, and a new lead and collar to match. Personally I won’t use the harness. "er indoors TM" wants to walk her on a harness because the collar chokes her when she pulls. I prefer the collar for the same reason; she pulls enough even when she is choking herself. With a harness (and not choking) she will pull me over.
We then went on to visit "Daddy’s Little Angel TM". I played catch with "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM", had a cuppa, and promptly fell asleep for an hour or so.
We came home, I sparked up my laptop and somehow reset my Firefox browser back to its default settings. I wish I hadn’t done that. And with "er indoors TM" off bowling I watched more “Gotham” – there’s only three more episodes left to go.
23 October 2017 (Monday) - Bit Dull
I woke feeling full of beans at 3am; I then dozed fitfully for a couple of hours. I gave up trying to sleep at 5.30am and over brekkie watched an episode of “Dad’s Army”. In today’s instalment our heroes were throwing buckets of water around on a roof. I turned it off, and sparked up my laptop instead.
I got just the teensiest bit peeved when looking at Facebook this morning. Back in the day when you had had enough of whatever but of tat you didn’t want any more you would throw it away. Or if it wasn’t entirely fit for the dustbin you would give it to the scouts who would flog it in a jumble sale. Nowadays you don’t throw anything away and you certainly don’t give it away. Instead you offer it up for sale on social media and pocket any profit for yourself. Unwanted shoes, knackered beds, worn out kids toys… is there nothing that people won’t try to sell? I suppose enough of this rubbish must sell for people to carry on trying to flog it.
It was still dark when I left home this morning; dark and rather cold. As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were spouting their usual drivel. There was consternation being expressed by the Catalonian spokesman for foreign affairs who was discussing their sad state of affairs. I don't pretend to be an expert on the details of what is happening, but it seems that one part of Spain wants independence from the rest. And having actively sought it, the pundits on the radio were saying that this has prompted parts of Italy to also hanker for self-rule.
And so the European dream dies on its arse?
I can't help but despair. Surely the time for small-minded tribalism is past. Surely we should be working together rather than going our separate ways? There will be war in Europe again...
There was also consternation being expressed by the bleeding hearts about the announcement that people are going to have to prove they have been resident in the UK for six months before getting non-emergency treatment on the NHS.
Is this so unreasonable? Visitors to the UK will still get emergency treatment if ill, but people from foreign countries shouldn't be able to come to the UK for free midwifery and free joint replacement surgery.
The roads were nowhere near as busy as they have been, and I got to Maidstone in a fraction of the time it took last week. So, on finding Aldi hadn't yet opened, I went to Sainsbury's for supplies.
Their jam. marmalade and peanut butter were twice the price of Aldi. I don't know what I'm more upset about; having to pay double the price for my condiments, or that I know the prices of jam and marmalade in different supermarkets. My grandmother used to know the price of pretty much every item in every shop in Hastings. I hope I'm not going that way.
Mind you they did have dark chocolate Tunnock's caramel wafers. Not too shabby at all...
Some days in my life are good, others rather dull. If it wasn’t for the choccy biccie, today would have been incredibly dull…
24 October 2017 (Tuesday) - Still Dull
I slept well; I would have slept better if not for vivid dreams about being saddled with lost baby puppies needing milk and the whole world having sold out of the stuff.
Over brekkie I watched the most recent episode of “The Last Ship” in which again our heroes saved the day for the simple reason that they were Americans, and in which the baddies all died horribly for the simple reason that they were not. My dog sat with me for some of the show, and half way through something odd happened. Treacle came looking for him. Fudge was on my lap, Treacle came downstairs and made a squeaking sound at him, and the two of them trotted off upstairs to my bed.
Nothing much had happened on Facebook overnight (which was probably for the best), and with no emails of note I got dressed (without disturbing the dogs too much) and set off to work.
It was dark again this morning (well it would be!) but not at all cold like yesterday. Rather than going straight to work I took a little diversion to get petrol. Usually the old duck behind the counter in the petrol station has a queue of admirers; today there were none. It seemed rather odd. I thought she was giving me the eye at one point – I wasn’t having any of it.
As I drove up the motorway the pundits on the radio were interviewing some retired general or other. The government were making a great fuss of having increased the defence budget, but the retired general was having none of it. He maintained that by getting involved in all sorts of international conflicts that they weren’t funding, the government was effectively cutting the budget.
I suppose he had a point.
I got to work, did my bit, and then rather than going home I went down to Willesborough to see Chippy and Anne. Little Emily was down for half-term and a tea party had been arranged in her honour. It was rather good to catch up with everyone.
We came home, walked the dogs round the roads (trying out their new luminous collars) then watched the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery. The episode seemed to take a somewhat different direction from previous episodes and was effectively fanwank, which was a shame.
"Daddy’s Little Angel TM" has sent me my orders – I’m off to the tip tomorrow…
25 October 2017 (Wednesday) - Rostered Day Off
The idea was to have a lie-in this morning. I was still up before 7am. Over brekkie I had a look at the Internet. The Facebook group about the new Star Trek series wound me up. Most Star Trek fan stuff winds me up to be honest.
From forty-odd years of being a Star Trek fan I’ve found that most die-hard Star Trek fans have this idea of the show which always involves Gene Roddenberry’s utopian vision of the future, but which rarely has anything in common with the actual TV show. Again this morning people were complaining about stuff in the most recent episode of Star Trek: Discovery, claiming that certain things would never happen in “proper” Star Trek whilst totally oblivious to the fact that whatever they were complaining about was a feature of the show long before they were born.
I also found myself copied into an email that I guess should have gone to the astro club. A couple of years ago a decision was made not to use a certain speaker as he was far too expensive. I see he’s been asked to lecture to the club in a little while. Presumably the rest of the committee have forgotten that they told him to get stuffed a year or so ago as they all felt he was far too expensive.
Still, not my circus, not my monkey.
I took the dogs for a walk round the park. As we walked we met a rather small Jack Russell from which Treacle ran in terror. She’s not good with other dogs. Mind you, she chases squirrels like it is going out of fashion. Fudge straggled; I wish he’d keep up.
With dogs walked I settled them, then loaded the car with some bags of rubbish and then drove round to "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" to get her rubbish. I was under orders to do a tip run today. We filled my car to the gunnels with rubbish and went to the tip which was surprisingly quiet today.
"Daddy’s Little Angel TM" hadn’t been to the tip for ages; it showed. She insisted on kissing goodbye to each and every bit of tat, and she wasn’t impressed to find that her best shoes had been put in with what was being thrown out.
We came home via Asda. Like McDonalds, Asda has a drive-through. You send them an email saying what shopping you want, give then an hour or so, then turn up at their drive-through and they bring the shopping out to you. Ideal if you know what you want.
With "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" deposited back at her place I came home and had a look at the monthly accounts. I started off with an argument with the bank. I first became a customer of my bank in either 1984 or 1985, and for thirty-odd years they would send me current account statements and credit card statements on the seventeenth of each month. Just recently they’ve taken to sending current account statements on the twenty-fifth, and credit card statements whenever the mood takes them. I phoned to (again) ask for statement on the same date like they always used to, and they assured me that I can choose the date of the current account statement, but credit card statements come out randomly like they always have done(!)
I’d rather not move bank if I can avoid it, so the obvious answer is to use the debit card on the current account rather than my credit card.
I expect they won’t like that.
With argument over I actually looked at my account… I’m not skint. In fact I’m seriously in the black from where I was five years ago. However I’m nowhere near as solvent as I thought I would be on what must be the wind-down to retirement. I don’t *need* more money, but I seriously *want* more.
Having watched all of the third season of “Gotham” I found myself at something of a loose end, so over lunch I watched the first episode of “The Expanse” on Netflix. And then I watched some more. So far it seems watchable enough; not entirely unlike “Dark Matter”. After three episodes I was wilting so I had a bit of a doze.
"er indoors TM" came home. We settled the dogs, collected Cheryl and Lisa and set off to Maidstone. After a few minutes stuck in traffic we met up with the rest of the posse and ten of us went to the Hazlett theatre to see “The Wedding Singer”. It was an excellent production, but (like most live music) would have seriously benefitted from having had the volume turned down.
We came home rather later than planned to find nice next door’s burglar alarm making noise…
26 October 2017 (Thursday) – Squabbles
I was rather tired last night; it was a shame that the puppy chose to spend much of the night stomping over me. I got up and wasn’t impressed to trip over one of my shoes that she had been chewing.
Over brekkie I watched the fourth episode of “The Expanse”; I think I’m now at the stage where I will carry on watching it because I’ve come this far and it would be a shame to stop. It is entertaining enough, but in order to maintain an aura of mystery, the writers have created very uninspiring two-dimensional characters. The show might improve. Here’s hoping.
I then had a look at the Internet. I’d received a private message from someone who’d posted on one of the national geocaching pages. The chap had asked for advice, and I was the only person who hadn’t responded with sarcasm. Kite flying, snake-herding and astronomy in the past, Star Trek fandom yesterday, geocaching today… why does everything have to be one big nasty squabble?
I was particularly incensed about the geo-squabble though. One of the leading protagonists was (and usually is) one of the dozen or so national reviewers who really should know better.
And so to work through a very wet morning. As I drove it became clear that it wasn't just me who finds that social media is little more than arguments. The pundits on the radio were saying that more and more people are finding Facebook to be depressing. This is especially a problem with children who are finding it impossible to get away from the petty squabbles and niggles of school.
I'm reminded of the Babel Fish in the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy which, by improving communication beyond anyone's wildest dreams, was directly responsible for the worst wars in history.
But social media can hardly be blamed for human nature. I blame the schools.
Why can't people (from a young age) be taught how to conduct a disagreement. I was taught the principles of a reasoned discussion at school. "I disagree with you for the following reasons..." and then actually listening to the response you get rather than getting all personal and nasty because someone else thinks differently to you.
I might have asked this before... In fact I'm getting tired of asking this.
Once I deliberately had a very active social life. In the past I created clubs for astronomy, snake-herding, star trekking. I would organise all sorts of events and activities... and unfortunately an integral part of that was dealing with the squabbles that went with it. These days (more and more) I find myself actively avoiding any bickering by keeping to myself and a select group of friends and family. (And effectively working a five-day shift pattern has compounded this recently)
I must stop being so reclusive and start being more sociable again...
I was amazed to hear about how the Navy are dealing with cuts to the defence budget by selling three frigates.
Surely in this age of international terrorism, the national news is hardly the place to be discussing the country's defence strategy?
I got to work; we had a good day. I say "we" - I certainly did. There was cake. And with the good day done I came home, walked the dogs, and waited for "er indoors TM" and "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" to come home from shopping.
I’m in for a long wait…
27 October 2017 (Friday) - On The Sauce
I had a rather restless night. Usually I have no problem getting to sleep; staying asleep is the problem. But last night, nice-next-door were (rather noisily) “doing the dirty deed”. After quite a lot of screaming and grunting there was a strange crash, and things went quiet. Either they were done, or the wardrobe had collapsed. I didn’t like to enquire.
And then the puppy spent much of the night stomping about all over me.
I got up just before 5.30am and over brekkie watched an old episode of “Red Dwarf” in which Ace Rimmer appeared for the first time. A classic !
I then sparked up the lap-top. It took a little while for Firefox to install its updates (a bit like me, really). For once there didn’t seem to be many arguments happening on-line; after yesterday’s rant I was pleased about that. And on seeing there were no emails not destined for the waste bin I set off to work.
Being on an early shift I left home very early. The stars were beautiful at half past six this morning.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about the revelation that people who like Shakespeare get so worked up about it that watching one of his plays gets their heart going like it does for everyone else when having a workout on a treadmill.
I'm not sure I believe this, but until our old friend Science says otherwise, I shall take this as yet another reason to sit on my bum and watch telly.
There was also a lot of talk about the scandal in the Australian parliament in which half a dozen elected officials have been removed from office as they have dual citizenship. Apparently you can't stand for Australian office with dual citizenship, but several people have done so; claiming they had no idea they were citizens of two countries.
How could you not know that?
I got to work and the night shift was glad to see me. Or not so much glad to see me as glad that they could go home. I took the emergency bleep (don't like having that!) and did my bit. During the course of doing my bit the gusset of my trousers exploded, which was something of a nuisance. I don't think anyone noticed, which was probably for the best, but things were a tad drafty "down below" for much of the day.
As I'd stepped into the breach (as it were) last Friday night I had some time owing to me, so I slipped out an hour early. I hadn't intended going straight home, but I needed functional trousers. I tried not to disturb the dogs too much, and soon I was on my way to the railway station and on to Folkestone where I met Jimbo and Stevey. Stevey didn’t hang about long, he was going back to Ashford and on to the astro club, but me and Jimbo went on to the Firkin. An old favourite; they’ve moved premises to next door.
We had three pints before moving on to another ale house; the Bouverie Tap. I’d not been there before; not too shabby at all. But by then we were hungry, and when hungry there is only one place to go.
Over the road from McDonalds was a new drinking venue; the Rum Clinic. I’d not been there before. I won’t go back again. It was staffed by immoral young ladies who preyed on the likes of me. They flaunted their ample charms until we’d paid out nearly a tenner for two halves of lager at which point they put their tits away.
We didn’t stay long there.
On to Kipps for a pint, and then a kebab and back to the railway station. I said goodbye to Jimbo, and on finding I’d just missed the train I scoffed my kebab and watched “love’s young dream” snogging on platform one until the Dover train arrived.
In a novel break with tradition I stayed awake all the way home…
28 October 2017 (Saturday) - Dartford Marshes
I slept like a log until 3am last night. Not surprising, really. I went for a tiddle, and came back to bed to find I had to fight a wolf-pack to be allowed any space on the bed. I then dozed fitfully until the alarm went off.
Over brekkie I had a look at the Internet. One advert piqued my interest; there was a photo of a nearly naked Lucy Lawless in the clutches of a similarly un-clad lady with the caption “Lucy Lawless Finally Confirms The Rumour”. Being a very shallow sort of person I couldn’t help but wonder what rumours were confirmed, but hoped that being nearly naked and in the clutches of a similarly un-clad lady might have something to do with it.
The link went to some old rubbish about the TV series Xena Warrior Princess. That was two seconds of my life wasted. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so easily distracted by un-clad ladies.
I also had an email from the nice people at Pieroth inviting me to their wine tasting event next Sunday at the Ashford International Hotel. The part of me that went out on the beer last night wants to go. The part of me that lays awake at night worrying about money knows this would be a silly thing to do. Pieroth wines are good wines, but I’ve been to these events before. They offer “tastes” and within a few minutes you are at the point of having your pants as a hat and singing songs about sailors when out comes the order forms and you find yourself blowing over four hundred quid on a couple of dozen bottles of plonk that you don’t actually want.
I shall give that a miss…
We got our stuff (and dogs) together and drove up to Dartford where we met Karl, Tracey and Charlotte. On New Year’s Day we had planned to go there and to walk the geo-series that had gone out for the New Years Day event, but the weather was against us. During the year we made plans to go there, but for various reasons events conspired against us.
We finally got there today.
We met up at the recommended parking spot only to find that there were dozens of notices saying that you couldn’t park there, and a parked car had a parking ticket. So we drove up the road half a mile to somewhere where we could park. We had a rather good walk across the marshes, round the rather nice housing estate, and along the river Thames. The views of the Queen Elizabeth bridge were rather amazing; despite having been over it so many times I had no idea just how huge the thing was.
It was a warm autumn day; half way round we stopped an ice cream van; we all like ice cream. And three quarters of the way round we found the Pier hotel and had a well-deserved couple of pints.
Geocache-wise this was a rather good walk. We found all of our targets relatively easily. I say “found”; we went knowing that two were missing. We’d messaged with the chap who’d hidden them and arranged to replace the missing ones. One wasn’t actually missing.
I dozed most of the way home; once home both dogs had a bath. What with fox poo and river mud both were rather grubby. We had a rather good bit of dinner, and then with "er indoors TM" off out to the Saturday film night I settled in front of the telly to watch the 2005 film of “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. I turned it off after ten minutes.
I might watch more of “The Expanse” in a bit. Or I might just sit here and doze…
29 October 2017 (Sunday) - New Ironing Board Cover
The clocks went back an hour last night. But rather than having an hour's more shut-eye, I just had an extra hour listening to nice-next-door's baby crying. I don't mind babies crying in the night; I find it rather sweet really. But after a while I found myself wondering where the baby came from... they didn't have a baby last time I looked, and she never looked pregnant when I saw her the other day. I gave the matter some thought, and I have formed a theory that (just maybe) gestational duration is shortened by the amount of noise you make when creating the baby. Loads of screaming and "oh yes - oh yes... uh uh uh oh big boy!!!" followed by a few over-dramatic grunts and groans whilst doing "it", and the baby arrives in less than a week rather than in nine months?
If so that might explain a lot.
Perhaps it is a sign of the times that for the last twenty years I've heard many people "doing the dirty deed" in the bedroom next to mine, and over the years the volume has definitely increased.
I got up at 5.15 am (what my body felt was 6.15am) and over a bit of toast I watched an episode of Dad's Army. Mind you it wasn't any old toast; it was the last toast as there was no more bread in the house. I wondered about not scoffing it, but then I thought that I would be safely at work by the time "er indoors TM" emerged from her pit and found out, and she would have calmed down by the time I came home. So I scoffed it.
I set off to work in the rain. The drizzle persisted for much of the day; as I've said before I don't mind working at the weekends when it is wet outside.
As I drove to work there was some utter drivel on the radio about the general public's fascination with cars. I must admit it is a fascination I don't share. I quite like my car for the simple reason that it is *my* car, but I have no interest in other cars.
The drivel about cars finished, and the farmer's news came on. I turned the radio off and squalled along to my choice of music on the MP3 player instead until I got to Aylesford.
Aylesford McDonalds (like all McDonalds) does a good McBreakfast, so I had a sausage and egg McMuffin, McHash McBrown and McCoffee whilst I watched the sunrise. It was a rather spectacular sunrise this morning. As I watched the sunrise, friends were commenting (somewhat unfavourably) on McDonalds.
People do that a lot; generally, the less experience anyone has of the franchise, the more vocal they are against it. I like McDonalds as they do larger portions of food than most other places, served far faster and far cheaper. A poncey posh restaurant is fine if you have ages to sit around waiting and putting on airs and graces. Personally my few remaining years are too precious to waste on watching the pretentious pretending to be something they are not.
I got to work and leapt into action. The only problem with working on Sunday morning is that being on my own I have to actually do work. I can't hide behind everyone else's efforts. But having to work makes the time pass.
I came home, and "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner then went off bowling. I ironed shirts; using the new cover on the ironing board. Having a new cover for my ironing board was something of a highlight of the day.
And then Fudge was sick. Twice…
30 October 2017 (Monday) - Before the Late Shift
I found myself pinned in place for much of the night, with a dog fast asleep on either side. But not wanting to disturb them I let them lie.
Over brekkie (we have bread to toast now) I saw a new geocache had gone live. There was a puzzle to solve in order to find out where the thing was. I soon solved the puzzle… I did smile about the puzzle – it was a direct copy of an idea that "er indoors TM" had used on another local puzzle cache. I thought about chasing the First to Find, but instead walked the dogs round the park.
It was *cold* this morning; we did our usual circuit of the park, and as always, Fudge straggled a hundred yards behind us. But he wasn’t the problem. Every time I called him he would run toward us, and the puppy would run head-on at him. He would then change direction by ninety degrees to avoid collision and then keep going the wrong way.
And we were also seriously slowed down by people who refuse to let their dogs off of the lead. If they want their dogs to play with other dogs, then they need to trust the dog off of the lead. I get so cross when people keep calling my dogs so they can have every dog in the park within ten yards of them. This morning I had one silly old woman complaining at me when I called my dogs. “They are playing!” she announced angrily when I rounded up my dogs. I suggested that dogs play better when allowed to run free, to which she told me that her dog wasn’t the sort of dog that runs off of the lead.
The implication was that only dogs from the scummier end of the council estate do that. Odd how those dogs are allowed to play with her mutt…
We came home, and the dogs ran riot for a bit. Despite having ran riot on the walk, they did much the same at home. I had a quick look at my accounts, then ran round with the hoover and blocked it up.
Having unbunged the hoover (Dyson) I emptied the dishwasher. I’d washed up the dog food tin from the dogs’ supper last night. There was rust inside the tin. Perhaps that’s why Fudge was ill?
I took a rather circuitous route to work. A geo-friend had received a report that one of his caches needed a new log. Being laid up in hospital he was unable to sort it out, so since it wasn't *that* far out of my way I thought I'd be helpful. I soon found the cache; there was nothing wrong with the log. Far from being full (as had been reported) it was only full on one side, and there were just two signatures on the other. To the layman this state of affairs could be best described as "perfectly fine with f... all wrong".
Why do people log "Needs sorting out" on geocaches when there is absolutely nothing wrong with the things. I was going to put photos of the perfectly fine log all over the Internet, but in the walk from the cache to my car (five yards) I managed to lose it.
Mind you it was probably for the best; it would only have caused squabbles.
Finding myself in the back of beyond I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to try out my new "Find a McDonalds" app. The app soon located the McDonalds at Bobbing, and within twenty minutes I was shovelling McChicken Selects down my neck. And (as luck would have it) there was another piece of Tupperware hidden on a hundred yards from the McDonalds so that kept me out of mischief for a further two minutes.
I got to work with fifteen minutes to spare, and had a rather busy time. What with the clocks having gone back yesterday the nine o'clock finish seemed *really* late…
Just as well I have a rostered day off tomorrow.
31 October 2017 (Tuesday) - New Pants
I slept reasonably well; I was woken shortly before 7am by the puppy dabbing at my arm; she was awake and wanted to play. Over brekkie I had a look at the Internet. It was pretty much as I’d left it last night, but Amazon had emailed me suggesting I might like to buy stuff that I had already bought from them.
As I scoffed my toast the puppy was dragging the old ironing board cover about. I couldn’t help but wonder where she’d got that from; didn’t I throw it away a couple of days ago? But the puppy looked very pleased with herself for having found it.
The plan for today had been to drive down to the beach at Winchelsea to go look for seals (my cousin had spotted one there last week) but "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" was poorly. With "er indoors TM" at work and "My Boy TM" at a funeral I found myself at something of a loose end. So me and the dogs scrounged a lift with "er indoors TM" half way to her work, and we walked home (via two geocaches). We came home through the park where the dogs wanted to play in the river. I persuaded them not to.
As we came through the Chinese garden there was some musclebound thug shouting the f-word into his mobile phone whilst waiting for his Rottweiler to finish crapping by the children’s play area. I thought about offering him one of the many poo bags that I carry round with me, but decided that he might not accept the offer with good grace.
With the walk done I settled the dogs then went on a little shopping trip. Realising that tonight was Halloween and that the etiquette is kiddies don’t come trick-or-treating unless you have a pumpkin outside the house, I thought I’d better get a pumpkin. None of the local shops had one, nor did Asda, Tesco, or the co-op. Perhaps I’d left it too late?
Still, to console myself I bought some new pants in Tesco. I hope they will fit; I didn’t like to ask to try them on.
I came home and ran around with the Hoover (not blocking it this time), then spent the afternoon ironing. As I ironed I watched a fil on Netflix. “Jupiter Ascending” was a film I’d been looking forward to for some time; it was utter rubbish. The secret of half-way decent sci-fi is to base it on something which is plausible, if not actually scientifically correct. “Jupiter Ascending” was just nonsensical.
I then spent a little while looking at the Internet. Just out of interest I Googled the chap who stuffed up our loft conversion all those years ago. He’s still in business. I then messed about struggling with geo-puzzles until "er indoors TM" came home and boiled up some dinner.
We then went round to Matt’s for the Tuesday gathering. Matt had excelled himself and had put on a rather good spread. We scoffed ourselves silly whilst watching the latest episode of “Star Trek: Discovery”. I quite like the show… because it is Star Trek. But (with two exceptions) I’m not really warming to any of the characters in it yet…
And Matt handed over my advent calendar…