1 October 2019 (Tuesday) - Nasal Re-Bore
Finding myself wide awake at two o’clock I got up and spent a couple of hours working on my latest Wherigo project. By half past three the second game (of sixteen) was written, tested and ready. In this one you get to “follow the Yellow Brick Road” together with some really irritating music.
Flushed with success I then built the first brainteaser game in less than an hour.
I was rather impressed with how quickly this all went together compared with the hard work and disasters I’d had with the first game.
I went back to bed just before four o’clock, finally falling asleep five minutes before the alarm went off at half past five.
We got up, got ready and "er indoors TM" dropped me at the day surgery unit at the Kent and Canterbury hospital. Today’s operation had been scheduled for January 2017, but as I was starting the new job I’d asked if we could put it off a little. What with one cock-up after another by the admin I finally got the nasal re-bore today.
I sat and waited with the Great Unwashed, and tried not to laugh out loud at some of them. One bloke loudly announced that he was going to get his wife a bar of chocolate as she’d not eaten since yesterday. He got rather aggressive when the nursing staff told him that she wasn’t to eat anything. He said that chocolate didn’t count as food, and then listed every single brand of chocolate bar know to science just in case one might be permitted. Finally he conceded defeat, and said he’d just get her jelly babies and walked off (presumably in the direction of a shop).
I got called through to a ward where I went through all the paperwork with the nurse, and chatted with the anaesthetist and the surgeon. I then got into the surgical gown, got my book out and waited. There was a lot of waiting today. Mind you I think I waited better than some did. After five minutes the chap in the next bay changed out of his surgical garb back into his clothes and went up to the nurses’ station. He loudly told them that because he was psychotic he was going out, and that they could ring him on his mobile when they were ready for him.
Another argument kicked off.
And then there was a third set-to when some chap was furious to be told that he couldn’t drive himself home after a general anaesthetic. Despite having been told this months ago, he’d driven to the hospital anyway, and was frantically phoning everyone he knew as the staff were refusing to operate unless he could give them details of who would be driving him home.
And these people are allowed to vote, you know…
My time came. In the past when I’ve been knocked out it has been in a side-room. Today I was taken into the operating theatre to be gassed. I must admit it was rather daunting, but an hour later I was sitting up in the recovery suite chatting with the staff. I was amazed that my nose was clear and that I could breathe, and I was also amazed at how well I seemed to be compared to everyone else who hadn’t come out of the anaesthetic quite as well as I had.
I was taken back to the ward where I sat and waited. I read my book for a bit until the surgeon came for a chat. All had gone well. He’d removed three polyps; each the size of a golf ball.
Drips were removed, I got dressed. It wasn’t long before Cheryl was outside to drive me home.
Once home I slobbed in front of the telly for a while. I felt rather spaced out; apparently once all the surgery was done they’d dusted the inside of my sinuses with cocaine to restrict the bleeding.
I dozed in front of the telly for quite a while. I hope this cocaine wears off soon.
2 October 2019 (Wednesday) - Feeling “bleaugh”
I woke at four o’clock feeling a little more with-it than I was when I went to bed last night. I still felt rather “bleaugh”, and wondered if washing the gunge out of my sinuses might chirp me up. Part of the post-operative recovery is saline sinal douches over the next few (sixteen) weeks. I made up some salt solution, stood over the bathroom sink, and (using the syringe they’d given me) I squirted a load of salt water into my conk.
It went up, I squirted more. There was a most odd taste of salt around my right eye, and within a few seconds the sink looked like a scene from that classic move “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”.
Whilst all that gunge needed to come out, I can’t say that the process has chirped me up in any way, and I went back to bed feeling considerably more “bleaugh” than when I’d got up.
I then spent five minutes wrestling with Treacle trying to get some of the duvet. I’ve often heard people say that their dogs know when they are ill. My dogs may well know that I’m not feeling at all right, but Treacle is certainly making no concessions over the matter.
I dozed fitfully before finally getting up just after seven o’clock. Over brekkie I took my newly-prescribed tablets. Another week of steroids (I’d rather not) and antibiotics. The antibiotics had a stern warning that the dose must be taken evenly throughout the day; the dose being one tablet a day (!)
Yesterday when in hospital I’d had a thought about my new Wherigo project – are the picture puzzles going to be visible on a phone screen? Are they going to be too big? I programmed in a quick dummy zone (only took an hour), put my new bootlaces into my boots, and walked the dogs out round the co-op field to test it.
The testing went well; the walk could have gone better. Feeling under the weather I didn’t want to be mixing with all the normal people this morning so I thought we’d avoid them if we stuck to the co-op field. It was a shame that OrangeHead had to come through as Fudge always wants to walk off with her and has to be dragged back in his lead. And then five minutes later her Chunky Little Friend came through too.
Following the success of wheri-testing, with the walk done I spent a couple more hours programming Wherigo until it was time to take Fudge to the vet; he had an appointment to have his blood pressure measured. We arrived and went straight in, and Fudge had the cuff wrapped round his tail. Eight measurements were taken over ten minutes; apparently in dogs only the systolic measurement is noted. I had mine measured many times yesterday and it averaged about one hundred and twenty mmHg. Fudge’s averaged at about a hundred and fifty. The given reference range was between one hundred and twenty and one hundred and thirty, but no concern is really expressed on measurements below one hundred and sixty as being at the vets stresses dogs out anyway.
We came home; Treacle was very indignant about having been left home-alone, and told me so in no uncertain terms. Over a spot of lunch I watched the last episode of “Nightflyers”; a series which started badly and got progressively worse as it went on.
I then took shirts out of the washing machine and ironed them as I started watching “Pride and Prejudice” on Netflix… but that can be our little secret. The instructions I had when leaving hospital yesterday specifically said that I was not to use a washing machine for twenty-four hours after being discharged. To be honest I was intrigued as to why I shouldn’t use a washing machine, and was determined to find out why. Nothing went wrong (which was probably for the best). Flushed with success at washing shirts I stuck a load of undercrackers in to scrub.
With shirts ironed I made myself feel ill by washing out my sinuses again, then settled down to program more Wherigo. Having found out what a “rebus” is from Monday’s crossword puzzle, I decided to incorporate rebuses (rebi?) into the project. Having done so, I’ve now included a shooting gallery, another mind-teaser, and think I know the way forward for putting in a cockney rhyming slang dictionary.
"er indoors TM" came home a tad earlier than expected, and we phoned "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" who was five today. We’d decided against going to see him – he doesn’t need too much distraction on a school day.
We had a rather good bit of dinner then watched a couple of episodes of the new series of “Plebs”. I think an early night as definitely in order. As well as all the excitement of yesterday I’m feeling a tad iffy. "er indoors TM" bought me a tub of Quality Street as a get-well pressie and I scoffed the lot…
3 October 2019 (Thursday) - Still Feeling Grotty
I slept for six hours last night, and woke feeling rather chipper. I got up, make up my saline solution, washed out my sinuses, and felt worse than I did when I came out of that anaesthetic a couple of days ago. I went from feeling fine to having headache, dizziness, toothache and intermittently pouring blood-stained snot from my nose for the next hour.
Still, judging by the amount of muck that comes out of my conk when I give it the douche, I dare say it is better out than in. And this is only day two - I’ve got a couple of weeks before I need to be well enough for work.
I had a little look at Facebook over brekkie and sniggered. There seems to be a growth industry in pages devoted to traffic and travel in which all sorts of people offer all sorts of suggestions about the best way to drive down a road. Very few of these who are offering such sage advice would seem to be acquainted with the tried and tested Highway code. One chap in particular appears over many of these pages. Being a lorry-driver he seems to have a great chip on his shoulder about the matter. Why do people hate lorry drivers he asks? From what I read on these pages, people don’t dislike lorry drivers in general, they dislike him being a twit. Given that he is driving from one point to another some fifty miles away, why isn’t he taking the motorway rather than ranting about how narrow the country lanes are when he has no need to have his lorry on a country lane?
I also had an email from Amazon asking me to rate my recent transaction. Perhaps my head was still spinning, but I sarcastically waxed lyrical about the rapture that was a new pair of bootlaces. Isn’t this a sign of our times; you can’t just buy a pair of bootlaces; you are expected to judge the quality of the entire “buying bootlaces” experience.
Despite my better judgement I took the dogs out for a walk round the park. As I walked into the park my phone rang. It was the local hospital’s waiting list department who wanted to arrange a date for my polypectomy. I suggested that we might go with last Tuesday. They had no record that the surgery had already been done. With that level of incompetence it is hardly surprising that I waited nearly three years for the operation. When I was at the hospital two days ago I could not fault the place in any way. But actually getting the surgery booked took some doing.
As we walked round the park I got chatting with OrangeHead who had spotted Fudge’s shaved areas. Her dog has an enlarged liver, but rather than treating him with tried and tested medicines, she’s giving him some homeopathic rubbish. Although it has been proved to do sod all, homeopathic stuff does have the advantage of being cheaper than effective medicines.
As OrangeHead receded into the distance my phone rang again. It was the vet. She said that Fudge’s blood pressure was borderline, and she didn’t want to start him on medication for it just yet. I was pleased about that, but when the time comes we will have proper medicine.
We came home and fed the pond fish. Having got over-excited barking at them, both dogs ran round the house for half an hour barking at anything and everything until they finally wore themselves out.
I ran round with the Hoover and did a bit of washing. With two weeks sick leave I have so much I might be doing, but these doctors know what they are talking about. They’ve given me sick leave because they knew I wouldn’t be good for much. After I’d hung out the washing I felt like death warmed up.
I made myself a cuppa, then continued with my Wherigo project. I can do that when sitting quietly. In addition to the yellow brick road, shooting gallery and several brain-teasers I thought I might include a bingo hall. This kept me constructively occupied up till lunch time. Over a bite of KFC I watched the second episode of “Pride and Prejudice” then incorporated a quadratic equation and a petting zoo into my Wherigo. The quadratic equation took half an hour; the petting zoo took most of the afternoon.
As I wrote logic tree after logic tree my canine associates guarded the front window. If anyone so much as walked past the house on the other side of the road, the pair of them went ballistic. Despite feeling rather grim I spent much of the afternoon sniggering; the dogs were utterly unaware to two blokes from the water board who were in the back garden trying to sort out the back-up from next door’s drainage disaster.
By the time "er indoors TM" came home I was beginning to feel more human. I made up some more salt solution to wash out my conk and made myself feel ill again. I like being able to breathe again, but this constantly feeling ill is getting rather wearing…
4 October 2019 (Friday) - Wedding Anniversary
I slept for nine hours last night. I must be ill. I got up feeling relatively alive, and thought I might spoil everything by washing out my sinuses. But I had a theory; a little less salt in the washing solution made for a much less nasty experience. I shall bear that in mind.
Over brekkie I peered into the Internet. It was much as it has been. A minor squabble was kicking off about the “shared space” area in town which cars and pedestrians can both use at the same time. Obviously when walking in the area one does run the risk of being run over by a car. However if the relevant authority declares that this is officially “safe”, then “safe” it is, and no amount of complaining and protesting will ever achieve anything.
Despite not feeling on top form I took the dogs out. We walked past some of the places which I shall be using as final locations in my Wherigo project, and I took some photos of exactly where the geocaches of the Wherigo will be hidden. In my newest Wherigos I’ve taken to giving a photo of the final location as well as GPS co-ordinates to try to help people get to where they are supposed to be.
People tend to get a tad precious over GPS co-ordinates. Despite it being pretty much impossible to get any two location-measuring devices to agree within five metres, everyone is insistent that their personal gizmo is spot on, and everyone else’s is rubbish. So, as well as giving GPS numbers, I’ve taken to putting a picture as well. There are those who are saying that in doing so I’m making it too easy. Ironically it is the very people who quibble about the co-ordinates being inaccurate who don’t like the spoiler photos. Ho-hum…
As we walked through the park the dogs chased a squirrel. The squirrel ran, and jumped on a bench where it stopped (obviously feeling it had eluded canine pursuit). Its face was a picture when Treacle jumped onto the bench too.
We came home to find next door in our garden. They are having trouble with their drains and had the nice man from Southern Water sending an aquatic camera down in amongst the turds. Apparently something has collapsed in their drain and there is now a load of rats and shingle down there (in with the turds).
I can remember when (four sets of neighbours ago) their extension was built and I was dubious as to whether they’d be able to access their drains.
As next door and Southern Water played poo-submarines, I came over very hot and felt quite ill. But then, that’s what being on sick leave is all about, isn’t it?
So I sat and carried on writing Wherigo. I incorporated a running bit into the maze. Given a certain time to get between two points judges whether or not you win that part of the game. The running bit is about thirty seconds; the coding took two hours to write.
I got myself a sandwich, and watched an episode of “Pride and Prejudice” before spending the afternoon writing a virtual metal detector. I think I got myself convoluted in layers of programming as I certainly made hard work of it. Having eventually sorted it out I watched more “Pride and Prejudice” (in which Mr Wykeham acted in a most egregious manner) before writing out a virtual general knowledge quiz in just over an hour.
"er indoors TM" is boiling up dinner. It’s our wedding anniversary today…
5 October 2019 (Saturday) - Linton
I woke up feeling not too grim. Not wishing to spoil anything I decided against sloshing salty water up my nose today. That is guaranteed to make me feel ill.
Over brekkie I saw I had a friend request on Facebook from “Bonnie Decosta Hilda”. Judging by the photos on her profile (in which she was engaged in some rather un-moral activities) I decided to keep her at arm’s length. It never fails to amaze me that the authorities at Facebook clearly make no attempt whatsoever to keep the porn-merchants out.
I then read something that made me think. A friend had copied someone else’s status in which they were posting about a motor-home having been stolen. Motor homes are *huge*. There is supposedly number-plate recognition technology all over the place on our roads. Is there *that* much of a market in breaking down motor-homes for spare parts? I wouldn’t have thought that stealing a motor-home was a practical proposition?
Despite not feeling quite the full one hundred per cent we got the dogs organised and drove out for an adventure. As we drove we listened to the local radio; we’ve become quite fascinated with the presenter who runs the show on a Saturday morning. Her continual hesitancy is slowly getting better, but her chronic gasping for air is getting worse. This morning was particularly amusing; following a big build-up to an interview with a local author something went wrong. The author being interviewed could be heard; the asthmatic interviewer could not. She wasn’t quiet; she was utterly silent. From the author’s comments I could guess at what was being asked, but it didn’t make for the sort of radio station that it might have done.
I can also guess at how long this state of affairs will be allowed to carry on during prime-time local radio…
We got to Linton where we met Karl, Tracey and Charlotte. As well as me with my nose and Fudge with his kidneys, Karl was suffering with a rather nasty bug too, but it was ages since we’d last had a good walk, so we soldiered on. And the paths around Linton are rather pretty. We’ve walked there before, and I expect we will walk there again. As we walked we put the world to rights, and saw the deer, and some alpacas, and got to spend a few minutes in a goat sanctuary.
Our lunch stop was particularly special. Earlier in the year I was given the opportunity to have a virtual geocache. I used mine in the local park on the Hubert fountain. A fellow hunter of Tupperware used hers at the church at Boughton Monchelsea (which is where we were today). There is a bench overlooking a huge deer enclosure and it has one of the best views to be had for miles around. We sat there for quite some time; it is a rather special place to be.
With walk walked we came back to The Bull at Linton. The views from the beer garden over the Weald are to be seen to be believed.
I like our weekend walks; I like a pint with friends too. And I took a few photos whilst we were out as well.
I must admit I had been in two minds about going out today. Not having been out for a decent walk for ages meant I was going stir-crazy. But only being a few days post-surgery meant that I was probably not well enough to go for a decent walk. We walked five miles; our walking time was actually under two and a half hours. I was *very* glad to have gone out, but in retrospect I might just have overdone it a tad.
I think it’s fair to say the dogs had overdone it; as we ate a rather good fish and chips dinner "er indoors TM" pointed out that the dogs were both too tired to scrounge.
I might fall asleep in front of the telly in a little while…
6 October 2019 (Sunday) - Getting the Recipe Right
I woke at four o’clock, and had this idea that I might slosh out my sinuses and go back to bed. I squirted salt water up my nose and made myself feel incredibly ill. Feeling nauseous and having given myself really bad toothache I lay in front of the telly for half an hour until blood-stained salty snot stopped pouring out of my beak.
I went back to bed just before five o’clock and slept through until nine o’clock.
Over a rather late brekkie I peered into the Internet. I saw that “Access All Areas” had been playing locally last night. I’d forgotten about that, but I don’t think I would have been well enough to have gone anyway.
Seeing how the forecast rain had fizzed out, we took the dogs round the park for a little walk. The walk went well; no fights or scraps is always appreciated. We came home to a cuppa and a cake, and "er indoors TM" then drove off to Margate to visit "Daddy’s Little Angel TM". I thought about going, but instead stayed with the dogs. I sat myself on the sofa and sweated with a pounding headache.
I did a little more Wherigo programming to take my mind off of feeling quite so grim, and by mid-day I was starting to feel more human. I got myself a bag of crisps for lunch and scoffed it whilst watching the last episode of “Pride and Prejudice”, then was struck with divine inspiration. As all else had clearly failed, I re-read the instructions for this salt-water nasal washing malarkey. It turned out I’d been using far too much of stuff that I had made to be far too salty.
No wonder I’d been making myself ill.
I tried the required dose of one squirt of twenty millilitres (*not* a pint) of stuff that was rather dilute (*not* “stronger than the dead sea”) and it wasn’t entirely dreadful. I didn’t spend the next hour in serious pain.
With nothing else on the agenda I then sat on the sofa, and wrote more Wherigo for most of the day. I got to the point that all I needed was to get one photograph of a final location and so I took the dogs out to get that photo.
As we walked we had “an episode”. Treacle stopped to have a dump. As I was about to clear it up some chap came up the road with some rather odd-looking children. The more weird-looking child tried to rudely barge through where we were standing. “Look out” I said. “You are about to walk through a load of dog shit”. The chap (who looked rather “special” himself) then got rather aggressive about why I was being nasty to his child. Apparently it is every freak’s God-given right to blunder wherever the voices in their heads should lead them. After a lot of squabbling this chap eventually realised why I’d stopped the child, but he did say that he thought I hadn’t been very clear in what I’d said, and that I’d offended and upset his child.
If any of my loyal readers know a clearer way of warning about dog shit than saying “Look out! You are about to walk through a load of dog shit”, please do let me know.
We came home, I incorporated that photo into the Wherigo, and then I drafted a rather bitter whinge to put onto the local geocaching Facebook page.
Basically someone had been having a dig (on-line) at a series of geocaches a friend had hidden a little while ago. There seems to be a growth industry in this, and (as is the case with most hobbies) the less someone contributes to a hobby, the more critical they are of those who get off their bums and do things. Someone had boiled my piss recently in this way. The chap who rattled my cage has only ever hidden twenty-seven caches in total. Only one of these has been hidden in the last seven years, and only three of them are still active. Mind you he’s found over eleven thousand of the things. He certainly gets a lot out without putting anything at all back in, doesn’t he?
In the past few weeks and months I’ve had my failings listed and explained to me by several people of this ilk; those who’ve found thousands of caches without putting out a single one.
Bearing in mind how few film pots are getting hidden under rocks these days you’d think those who get their thrills from hunting them wouldn’t want to discourage others from hiding them, wouldn’t you?
In the end decided not to post the whinge (even though part of me thought I should). Life is too short for squabbles.
And in closing today was National Grandparent’s Day… did anyone else notice that one?
7 October 2019 (Monday) - Still Feeling Rough
I woke after eight hours sleep. That’s not too shabby at all.
Over toast I peered into the Internet as I do most mornings. Not much had changed overnight really which was probably for the best. Bickering about Brexit continued which is getting rather tiresome. Apparently the latest scare story is that a no-deal Brexit will give rise to a lot more dogging in Kent. But other than that, there wasn’t a lot of note. There were a few people posting on Facebook this morning, but quite a bit of what I read was frankly incomprehensible. Is it *really* unreasonable to expect people to re-read what they’ve written to check that they aren’t transmitting utter gibberish to the world?
I saw an advert for the Kent geocaching meet that is taking place this Saturday. Again it is in a place which isn’t open to dogs. Do we walk the pups, then bring them home and drive forty minutes to arrive late, or leave the dogs at home all day? With *so* many dog-friendly venues available in the county I’m getting a tad paranoid. Am I being deliberately excluded? But, on reflection, why is the meet taking place all afternoon? Why not have the meet in the evening *after* everyone has actually been out doing the hobby instead of during the time when people would want to be doing it?
Geocaching locally seems to be dividing into three camps; those that do it, those that meet up to talk about it, and those who post on-line about it but don’t actually do it.
I got the leads on to the dogs, and we went for a little walk. We did final testing of my new Wherigo, and hid the five new geocaches. As we walked I had an email on my phone. A new Wherigo had gone live only ten miles away. But on closer inspection it was yet another re-hash of the generic one that everyone seems to copy. I don’t think that there are many people who actually write their own ones like I do. I wish more people would make the effort.
As we walked we met a mother and toddler. Toddler wanted to stroke the dogs, and as she fussed the hounds she told me all about them. Apparently Fudge likes to go for walks, and Treacle likes to do great big poos. I laughed, but the mother was mortified.
By the time I got home I was really hot and sweaty. I thought having two weeks sick leave was going to be a good skive; I wasn’t planning on being ill for it.
Feeling iffy, I sat down and did the admin for my Wherigo project, then played Lego. A month ago I’d bought a Lego set on eBay and thought that it might fill a morning when I was convalescent. I had this idea that I might build it slowly, photograph each stage and make a little video of it. As a first attempt at a stop-motion video it wasn’t too bad I suppose. It took about an hour or so to make, and the video I made plays in less than a minute. To be honest I could have made the car in a fraction of the time had I not needed to keep popping to my Lego store to get spare parts. Am I being unfair in expecting that when I buy a Lego set from eBay, it should be complete? When the thing was finally together there was a *lot* of bits left over, but there’s no point in chucking in all sorts of spares if you don’t include the actual parts that you need.
Just as I put the little video onto You-Tube my phone went mad. The geo-feds had published the Wherigo project I’d been working on for most of last week. That was quick of them.
I got myself a sandwich and scoffed it whilst watching new episodes of “Big Mouth”, then drove the dogs over to the garage. My car is due for fixing tomorrow. We walked home past two of my geocaches with which problems had been reported; I sorted the problems (one way or another), and just as we were half-way home so the rain started. We didn’t get *that* wet.
Not having learned from this morning, I was again incredibly hot and sweaty when we got home. But illness notwithstanding I got the ironing board out and ironed whilst watching two episodes of “War and Peace” which was available on Netflilx. I could remember enjoying it when it was on telly three years ago, so I had had a look to see if it was on Netflix. It came up as a “seventy-four percent match for War and Peace”.
So if “War and Peace” is a “seventy-four percent match for War and Peace”, I’m intrigued as to what a one hundred per cent match would be.
"er indoors TM" came home and boiled up some iffy chicken then went bowling. I watched another episode of “War and Peace”. As I watched my phone beeped. Hunters of Tupperware had found the Wherigos I’d hidden earlier today.
I then had a look at the geo-map. This Wherigo project that I finished today was supposed to have kept me occupied for the entirety of my time off sick. I’ve still got a week to go. I wonder if I’ve time to create another set of Wherigos somewhere?
8 October 2019 (Tuesday) - New Specs, Adventure Lab
I slept like a log again. Fudge came and sat with me as I scoffed my toast this morning. He seemed particularly chirpy; I wonder what brought that on? "er indoors TM" has a theory that it is the new food he is on. We are trying him on all sorts of specialist kidney-friendly food trying to find a brand he likes. Mind you since this kidney problem has come to light he seems to be far less fussy over what he eats.
As I scoffed my brekkie I realised that I was right to have taken my car to the garage yesterday afternoon for today’s fixing; as I scoffed a notification appeared on one of the local Facebook groups saying that a lorry had just wedged itself under the road bridge between my house and the garage. That would have slowed me up.
And then my phone beeped about a trivial email despite my having turned off its Internet connection. Every night I make sure the thing is disconnected from the Internet, and every night it re-connects itself.
I got the leads on to the dogs and we went for our morning walk. We hadn’t walked for more than a few yards when we met Dan-Dan and Bella. We chatted for a bit whilst Bella bossed the dogs about. She might only be five years old, but I can see a future matriarch of our family in the making.
Dan-Dan and Bella caught the bus; we carried on with our usual circuit of the park. We walked past a few people, but the dogs didn’t bother anyone, and no one bothered us. It was a very peaceful hour. It was perhaps dull, but that’ not always a bad thing.
We came home; I settled the dogs, and went in to town. As I walked up I met Bernie who was doing work experience with a traffic warden. He seemed happy with the arrangement; I can’t say I was impressed.
I had a few minutes to spare, so I had a look round Ashford to find places of note. Geocaching dot com has given me an Adventure lab thingy and I needed to find five locations of interest on which to base it. I found a statue in the memorial gardens, the site of the old jail, the birthplace of Francis Epes (who?), the tank, and the building with the fake first floor.
And with my locations located I went on to the opticians to get my new specs. They look just like the old ones; I doubt anyone will be able to tell the difference. Things do look a tad sharper with them on (I’m told my prescription had changed quite a bit over the last two years). As I tried on the new specs and the nice lady fussed about, a minor riot was kicking off at the counter. Some young mother had turned up with what I could only describe as “the family from hell”. This young mother could see nothing wrong with letting a swarm of toddlers run screaming round the waiting area whilst she had her eyes tested, and she felt the shop staff were being very unreasonable in insisting she sorted out her own child care arrangements.
I came home via the bakery where I got myself a rather good steak and stilton slice. As I headed home a voice piped up “hello Dave”. I smiled and said hello. We had a rather good chat about this and that. I said what I’d been up to, whoever it was told me what he’d been up to. I have no idea who it was, but clearly he knew me very well…
Once home I made myself a cuppa, and as the dogs snored I put together all the information I’d got earlier and made my Adventure Lab caches. It took an hour or so. The finished result is OK I suppose. It is a tad “normal” but there’s not really that much scope in there for knob jokes like there is when making a Wherigo.
Still, I’ve got it done now.
I scoffed a sandwich, and fell asleep in front of the telly. I slept for a couple of hours until "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" phoned. She’d just had trouble with a customer in her shop. This customer had the hump because he was too stupid to operate the door. Apparently opening the door was beyond this chap’s abilities, and he thought that "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" was being unfair to him to expect him to be able to operate such a complicated device.
I walked down the road to the doctors to collect my sick note. I got to the surgery to find that collecting a sick note was not the ordeal I had been expecting it to be. With sick note collected I came home and sat in front of the telly (with my dogs) for an hour or so. With so much I might be doing with this time off, I seem to be spending a lot of it just sitting about feeling washed out.
As I sat feeling sorry for myself the garage phoned. They’d found something or other wrong with the car’s oil pump. Hopefully it should be ready tomorrow. That suited me – I didn’t fancy going to get it today.
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner; we scoffed it whilst watching “Bake-Off”. I like that show…
Maybe I might feel up to doing something constructive tomorrow…
9 October 2019 (Wednesday) - Blown a Fuse
I woke in the small hours and went to the loo only to find the bathroom light switch was poggered. Apparently "er indoors TM" told me all about it last night? I think I must have been asleep.
I watched an episode of “Big Mouth” as I was awake. I went back to bed and slept through till eight o’clock.
Over brekkie I checked my emails and saw that I had received a reply from my query to geocaching dot com. Yesterday I mentioned that I’d created an adventure Labs tour of Ashford. The whole idea of the thing is that you tour round Ashford. Within hours of it going live, some chap from Finland had hacked the system and logged it all. Bearing in mind that he had been claiming to be finding physical geocaches in Finland at the same time, there was some cheating going on. Cheating is rife in the geocaching world, but it seemed to me that the people at geocaching dot com should be made aware there was some problem with their system if someone could claim to be in Ashford when they were actually a couple of thousand miles away.
The people at geocaching dot com said that this chap had clearly hacked their system. But they had no idea how he’d done it and had no way (or inclination) to remove his clearly fraudulent logs.
The people at the head office of geocaching dot com boil my piss. They have such high-flying plans, and such poor capability. What they have created is basic in the extreme, and you *really* can’t play the game without recourse to third-party apps and software because what they have simply isn’t fit for purpose.
I sent out a couple of birthday messages via Facebook, then read the latest doom and gloom about Brexit. Apparently the nation is about to run out of bog roll.
I took the dogs out for their morning constitutional. We went up through Bowen’s Field and into the park. As we walked we met a geo-buddy who was full of praise for the Crystal Maze Wherigos I’d been working on recently. I was pleased about that. A little later we met another friend, and Fudge played with her dogs. It was a shame that Treacle cowered in terror, but Fudge enjoyed himself.
We came home and I was again sweating and worn out. I was hoping for so much more from this being off work on sick leave.
I checked my Euro-millions ticket. Yesterday I’d bought a ticket on the hopes of winning one hundred and sixty million quid; this morning I saw I’d won nothing. I wasn’t expecting to win, but it would have been nice.
I hung out washing, then had a look at another Wherigo project. Three years ago I wrote a rather involved Wherigo. It has been played sixty times, but it is a *lot* of effort just to get one smiley face. With a couple of days re-programming I might be able to re-vamp it to take in half a dozen geocaches on the way. So with little else to do I made a start.
After a couple of hours I stopped for lunch. And with lunch scoffed I thought I might fix the bathroom light switch. I got rather cross as the dogs tried to help. Every time I tried to move I tripped over a dog. I finally got everything sorted, I turned the mains power back on and the lighting fuse blew. So I sorted it again (tripping over dogs at every turn), and again the lighting fuse blew.
I phoned for an electrician; he’s coming in the morning.
It was then when my phone rang. My car was ready. I walked the dogs over to the garage. Apparently there was an oil leak around the pressure sensor. That would explain why there was an oil pressure fault.
We came home; once home the dogs went to sleep. I worked on my new Wherigo for a bit… but I must admit I’m not happy with it. My plan is to replace several local caches with stages of a Wherigo adventure but… a couple of the stages would involve replacing existing caches in the Ashford Green Corridor. To replace them I shall need permission from the council. They want me to fart around filling in all sorts of trivial paperwork. I don’t like trivial paperwork; it encourages those who do. And the other stages of the Wherigo would be *very* spaced apart as I would be fitting them around existing geocaches. I might just relocate the entire lot out into the countryside somewhere.
With "er indoors TM" off out I fed the dogs, then fed myself, and watched the last episode of “War and Peace”. I can remember the show as being rather good when it came out three years ago; I was rather disappointed by it. None of the characters were really endearing, and not a lot really happened.
I then watched more episodes of “Inside No 9” and dozed on and off.
I might have an early night; I’m still feeling a bit iffy.
10 October 2019 (Thursday) - Lego, Sleeping
I had a little chuckle as I scoffed my toast this morning. Someone had posted onto one of the work-related Facebook pages. There was a photo with some work-related paperwork in which there was a silly spelling mistake. No one seemed at all bothered that the word “thermometer” had been spelled wrong, but there was quite a bit of consternation being expressed about the font which was being used. It brought back memories of hours spent in management meetings in which endless discussions really were held about which font to use for the more meaningless of the paperwork.
I don’t miss those days.
I then saw a Facebook post from a friend whose car had been clamped. He’d not paid his road tax. He was whinging that “I thought it was automatically done as everything is online these days and by direct debit”. An honest mistake, but I don’t think it is one that I would make. I go through my bank account every month and account for every single penny that comes in and goes out (I am incredibly mean like that). It amazes me how many people don’t.
The door bell rang; it was the electrician. He came in, took off his shoes, and Treacle ran off with one of them. Fortunately he laughed. In twenty minutes the chap had the bathroom light fixed. I have no idea what I’d done wrong yesterday but having blown it up (twice) I’m a great believer in paying someone who knows what they are doing.
And you don’t realise just how much you use a bathroom light until the thing is broken.
With the electrician having done his thing I then chased Fudge round the garden in an attempt to collect some of his pee. The vet wanted some, and I got a decent amount from him.
We then went for a little walk round the park. As we walked we met one or two other dogs. Fudge played nicely with them; Treacle played half-heartedly. But she had a go and didn’t run in terror which was something of a result.
With our walk walked I sat on the sofa and sweated. I regularly walk seven or eight miles at the weekends; why is walking round the park so arduous?
I took Fudge to the vet. We delivered his pee sample, and they took some more blood. That was a *very* quick way to get rid of two hundred pounds.
I could have had something of an adventure today. I did have the opportunity for a day’s hunting Tupperware in London. I’d thought about it, but I’m still not feeling on top form (not that I ever do). Realistically by the time I’d got the train to London I’d be ready to come home again. Six hours stomping round the capital followed by a formal meet-up might have been a tad ambitious today.
I did have a plan to walk the dogs out to the countryside and get a few locations for geocaches for another Wherigo project. But I’ve Wherigo-ed myself silly over the last few weeks.
Instead I went up to the attic room and played Lego for an hour or so before lunch. After lunch I watched a film on Netflix. “Victoria and Abdul” was something we’d seen a lot of advertising for when we were at Osbourne House a couple of years ago. The film was OK I suppose.
And then I slept for much of the afternoon and evening. I woke a few times, but felt rather rough and went back to sleep.
I think I’ve had enough of feeling rough now…
11 October 2019 (Friday) - Pouring Hard
Over brekkie I saw that Facebook was crawling with people “doing a brother check in”; the idea being that you make a great show of being available for others should they need someone. I did roll my eyes somewhat and didn’t join the craze of copying and pasting. Saying that you will be there for someone, and actually being there for someone are two *very* different things. Some time ago I found that when I really needed help it was the people that I barely knew that were there for me. Friends of more than twenty years turned away and told me to go whistle. Some of them of whom I had such high hopes then had the cheek to set up a Facebook account, add me as a friend, then re-post this very meme.
With toast scoffed I looked out to see it was raining outside. I did have a plan to walk the dogs somewhere different this morning, and bearing in mind the rain was forecast to last all day I decided to go with my plan. We drove out to the back of beyond. Where I’d planned to park the car was a swamp, and the footpath I had intended to take was overgrown to the point of being totally impassable. I gave up on that idea, and we drove down to an old stomping ground and had a walk round the back of Park Farm. The paths were clear, and we didn’t meet anyone else at all. It was a good walk. And I found some possible locations for a new Wherigo series too.
We came home; I settled the dogs.
I drove down to Hastings to visit parents. I would have liked to have gone earlier during my two weeks sick leave, but a combination of feeling grim and not having a car had put paid to that.
Mum and Dad were well. They were talking about having a stair lift installed. Those things aren’t cheap, you know. I wonder if we might look forward and consider moving to a bungalow before too much longer?
I came home, and after a bit of lunch I made a start making a geo-series from the locations I hunted down this morning. First of all I got in touch with the geo-feds to see if the locations were viable. If they aren’t then there’s not a lot of point in continuing.
I then put “Bottom” on Netflix and spent the afternoon asleep in front of the telly until "er indoors TM" came home, and then spent the evening awake in front of the telly.
Today was dull… I think I must be on the mend because I realised that today was dull.
12 October 2019 (Saturday) - Geo Meet
Fudge sat with me as I scoffed my toast this morning. I must admit I started the day in a bit of a sulk. On Wednesday I set up the Adventure Lab caches I was lucky enough to be awarded. This morning over brekkie my finger hovered over the “delete the lot” button. They’ve each been logged ten times. Three by local cachers who’ve actually done the tour, and seven by people who live thousands of miles away and haven’t logged a physical cache within a thousand miles of these lab caches. It didn’t take more than thirty seconds to see that these seven people have logged hundreds of these adventure lab caches. Clearly these people have figured out how to set up a VPN and are cheating. I’ve brought this up with the authorities at geocaching dot com who have made it clear they condone this cheating, and that they intend to do nothing about it.
I mentioned about this on one of the geocaching Facebook groups last night. A friend had commented. I shall let these Adventure Lab thingys stay for now, but if this cheating continues I shall delete the lot… what’s the point of setting up a tour of the town if people are just going to blag it from home?
I spent a little while working on a new Wherigo project. Rather than totally re-writing one from scratch (which would take an absolute age) I’m re-working an existing one. It will still take a long time to do, but it keeps me occupied. Just moving the locations from what I had originally to my new locations took over an hour to do.
As I fiddled about so "er indoors TM" tried to get the dogs to eat. Fudge scoffed his brekkie but Treacle was being fussy. As Fudge has become more and more of a gannet (because of his kidney issues) so Treacle has become more and more of a picky eater.
I drove the dogs down to Park Farm; I’d forgotten to get the GPS co ordinates of one of the locations I’d chosen. It didn’t take long to get the number we needed. Whilst we were there we had a little wander about. Back in the day, Park Farm was the posh part of town; today the pavements were strewn with dog turds, and many of the houses had harridans shrieking out of the windows.
We came home, settled the dogs and drove out to Cobtree Park where we met Karl and Tracey. Usually we’d have a decent walk at the weekend, but today it was raining. Being Earthcache Day we thought we’d do the geology homework exercise that was the Earthcache there, then go on to the monthly meet-up of hunters of Tupperware.
We met up at some odd statue and answered various questions about it. I *think* I got them right, but I’m no geologist. We then went on to the geo-meet-up. The Brewers Fayre at Leybourne is always a popular venue for these meets. At the risk of sounding negative, I wish it wasn’t. The bar staff are *incredibly* slow, and they insist that the ale be served ice-cold. The more you try to tell them that it isn’t supposed to be ice-cold, the more they insist it should be. But useless staff notwithstanding we had a good meet-up. It’s always good to catch up with friends.
Three pints and two double ports later we said our goodbyes. I slept much of the way back to Ashford where we stopped off at Sainsbury’s. "er indoors TM" has been reading up on what treats are good for dogs in renal failure. We got some special flour with which we (she) can bake something or other, and we got him some bananas and carrots too. We’ve got this plan to bake the bananas, and the dogs seem to be quite keen on the raw carrots.
"er indoors TM" has gone off to film night. I shall sleep in front of the telly.
13 October 2019 (Sunday) - Kimberley
What with "er indoors TM" making off with much of the duvet and Treacle spending the night stomping about, I didn’t sleep very well last night.
Over brekkie I did the geo-admin for yesterday’s Earthcache and meet-up as geocaching dot com’s website was broken yesterday. For a hobby with is based on incredibly hi-tech stuff, geocaching dot com is an *very* basic and clunky website. They could really benefit from employing some tech people who actually have got a clue.
I then had a look at Facebook as I scoffed my toast. One of the fishing-related Facebook groups I follow was singing the praise of the late Jack Hargreaves who was one of the first celebrity anglers. My grandfather once spent eight hours in a small boat off the coast of Hastings with him and was always very vocal about the chap. Apparently if you wanted to get every angling line in the boat into a knot, then my grandfather couldn’t recommend anyone better to do the job. I thought about sharing my grandfather’s memories with the Facebook group, but decided against it. These celebrities are always loved by people who don’t actually know anything about them.
With "er indoors TM" and the dogs all snoring I carried on with my latest Wherigo project. I wasn’t entirely sure if I would want to make another one just yet, but at yesterday’s geo-meet I got talking with several people who were full of praise for the three series I’ve done recently, so I found myself somewhat re-enthused.
I created spoiler pictures and sets of co-ordinates to put (as pictures) into the new Wherigo game. Those sixteen pictures took an hour to make.
"er indoors TM" eventually got up half an hour after she was supposed to go to Margate. She was whinging that although the dogs liked the dog biscuits that she’d made last night, she’d broken the soup-maker in the process. (Yes – I know… I didn’t like to ask).
As she got herself organized I walked the dogs round the park. As we walked toward the park we met several groups of rather tearful children walking away from the park. Sunday morning is the children’s fun run round the park. I say “fun run” but I don’t think it is much fun for the children. Have you ever seen the Sunday morning children’s fun run? Parents who love running bully their children to run round the park. Some of the children like it. Some don’t, and spend the entire time crying.
We missed the run itself today but saw quite a few kiddies sobbing about it on their way home.
We came home, and I sat down and carried on writing Wherigo. The time flies when I’m doing that. Seven hours passed in seemingly the blink of an eye.
As I programmed Wherigo I got a message on Facebook. I had a friend request from “Kimberly”. I don’t think I know any “Kimberly”s, but this one wanted to be *very* friendly. She asked if I want to be a member of her WhatsApp sex group. Apparently there are many beautiful women in this group who need sex. And (she claimed) I would not regret it. Her sex group was free …because (as she says) “everything is free without any money”.
I turned down her kind request as I’m not up to it (I’m still off work on sick leave). But if any of my loyal readers would like to “do the dirty deed” with Kimberly I’ll pass on your details… Or I would have done so if her Facebook account hadn’t been closed down within half an hour of her making her offer.
Pausing only briefly to get dog food all over my pyjamas I fed the hounds their tea. Treacle is being rather fussy these days, but Fudge scoffs up his special kidney-friendly food. And then they both got dog treats. Having spent years and small fortunes on dog treats that neither like, we discovered yesterday that both dogs enjoy nothing better than crunching on a raw carrot.
"er indoors TM" came home with fish and chips. We scoffed them whilst watching “An Idiot Abroad” which is rather entertaining. Have you seen it? If not, give it a go…
14 October 2019 (Monday) - Last Day Off Sick (for now...)
Treacle was restless last night, but I can’t really complain. There is a world of difference between being woken a couple of times and laying awake for hours.
Over brekkie I peered into the Internet as I do most mornings. There were one or two things worth seeing, a couple of jokes that were vaguely amusing, and no end of bitterness about American and Scottish politics. I can’t see why people who live in Kent seem to concentrate so much on the politics of other countries whilst ignoring the disasters running riot in their own country.
I had an email from Amazon saying that based on what I’d been looking at recently, I might want to buy a toy train set. Amazon’s suggestions of what I might like are rather dubious. The other day I typed “1970s Lego” into the Amazon search; maybe one in four of what came up was actually 1970s Lego.
I got the dogs’ collars and leads on. That took some doing. For all that they get very excited about going out, they flatly refuse to be still to get their collars on. What could be done in ten seconds takes five minutes as both charge around barking.
We drove out to Park Farm. Yesterday I amazed myself in getting all the Wherigo programming done for my new Wherigo series. This morning all that remained was final testing of the thing and putting out the caches. The testing worked well. The caches got hidden as well as any film pot can be stuffed under a rock. It was just a shame that the weather was against us. Rain had been forecast, but I’d hoped we might be lucky.
We were about a quarter of the way round when the heavens opened. Because we’d started I decided to push on and finish, but we were soaked through by the time we got back to the car.
We came home, and whilst we were still wet we went into the garden to feed the fish. Or that is I went into the garden to feed the fish. Fudge went into the garden to shout at the fish, and Treacle just followed because she does.
We found the nice people from the water board were in the garden sending submarines down the manhole to investigate next door’s drains again. They seem to do that rather a lot.
I then spent a surprisingly long time making last minute tweaks to the Wherigo stuff before telling the geo-feds all about it.
I had a sandwich, and as I did the ironing I watched a film on Netflix. “The Space Between Us” was utter tripe. I’ve seen some bad films in the past, but this was absolutely awful. An astronaut leaves Earth bound for Mars only to find she is two months pregnant. Really? Phone calls from Earth to Mars with no time delay at all. Really? It was *so* bad that I watched the lot just to see what would come next. If ever you get the chance to watch it, don’t bother.
I then spent ten minutes rummaging in my Lego spares boxes. At the weekend I’d seen a 1970s Lego car and caravan sell for eighteen pounds. I thought that was a tad steep; after a few minutes digging about in the spares box I made a virtually identical car and caravan.
Flushed with success I then watched the Christmas episode of “Trailer Park Boys”. That was rather good.
"er indoors TM" came home, boiled up some dinner and went bowling. I watched the first part of a documentary about Sir Ernest Shackleton; the bloke was rather amazing, wasn’t he?
I should really have an early night; I’m back to work tomorrow…
15 October 2019 (Tuesday) - Back to Work
After two weeks sleeping well, I set an alarm, and was rather restless for most of the night. It must be having the alarm set that stops me sleeping.
Over brekkie I watched another episode of “Inside No 9” then had a quick look at the Internet (as I do every morning) to see if I’d missed much overnight. "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" had posted something rather special on Facebook. For all that she is a rather noisy and somewhat opinionated thirty-something, she’ll always be my little angel. When I finished blubbing about what she’d posted I made a comment and she immediately phoned me (at six o’clock this morning). She was rather over-excited about new-age hippy numerology nonsense. I didn’t have the heart to argue with her.
I also saw one or two adverts for “No Bra Day Chat Group” on some of the work-related Facebook groups I follow. As you could probably imagine, “No Bra Day Chat Group” wasn’t really the sort of thing you’d want to see on social media. I reported it to the Facebook Feds for “nudity” and “sexual content”, but I would bet good money that the authorities at Facebook won’t have any problems with it. In the past they’ve told me that child pornography and animal abuse don’t breach their “community standards” so I imagine that a “No Bra Day Chat Group” would be very tame in their world.
As I drove to work so the pundits on the radio were talking about how today was going to be a dry day, but there might be one or two isolated showers. I think one of those isolated showers followed me from Ashford all the way to Pembury.
I've missed my drive to work as it is my big chance to listen to the radio and catch up with the news. Today the news was about how the NHS is struggling like it has (supposedly) never struggled before. Ironically this was followed by an interview with this week's Foreign Secretary (!) who was banging on about how much the Americans spend on defence, and how the UK should spend a similar proportion of its wealth on killing people. I would have thought that maybe the UK might take a step back from killing people and spend a little more money on making people better (but what do I know?) It strikes me that what with the nation’s education and welfare and health all clearly underfunded, do we as a nation *really* need to go round the world getting involved in other people's wars.
I then laughed out loud at the patent nonsense that was presented in the "Thought for the Day" section. Some vicar was talking absolute rubbish. He'd married a Jewish girl and they were raising their children to be joint Christian and Jewish. He claimed the children were happy with this arrangement, and the fact that the two religions spout mutually contradictory gibberish would seem to be no barrier to believing any of it. Perhaps the vicar didn’t actually realise this? Many proponents of religions don’t really know very much about that which they profess to believe.
As I drove my phone beeped. The Wherigo project that I'd finished yesterday had received the "thumbs-up" from the geo-feds and had gone live. I was pleased about that.
I stopped off at Tesco for some shopping. Again I didn't get asked for my Clubcard. I never do; I don't think the assistants ask men about those things. I thought about getting some cakes to take into work; it was as well that I hadn't as someone else had already done so.
I got to work and did my bit. I tend not to mention work that much, but I will say that whilst I hadn't been actively looking forward to going back to work, I certainly wasn't dreading it like I was after I had my nose done last time. I'm so much happier working where I am now as opposed to where I used to be a few years ago.
As I left work my phone beeped. A friend was struggling with my latest Wherigo. Had he found a glitch in t that I’d missed? It was with a sense of relief that I got home just as he messaged me that it had all worked fine in the end.
I took the dogs round the road. Bake-Off is on telly soon. It is only a shame that "er indoors TM" has gone swimming with Cheryl. She’s left instructions for how to cook dinner, but I feel the responsibility might be too much for me…
16 October 2019 (Wednesday) - Rostered Day Off
Having had two weeks off sick I went to work yesterday, and then had a rostered day off today. Not that I’m complaining…
I had something of a lie-in this morning (as did the dogs). Over brekkie I had a look at the Internet. There was a minor row kicking off on one of the national Facebook geocaching groups that I follow. This one has some rather nasty arguments for the simple reason that if all the contributors live hundreds of miles apart then they can be as nasty as they like to each other, secure in the knowledge that they will never have the embarrassment of actually having to face each other. As always, something trivial generated quite a bit of animosity.
My piss also boiled when I looked at one of the dog-related Facebook pages I follow. Someone was asking for prayers for their dog. The hound had eaten a load of chocolate and had made himself very ill, and the dog’s family were asking for prayers for the dog.
How does this work?
I *really* don’t understand this? You pray to whatever deity to ask it to fix your dog when (presumably) this same deity could have stopped the dog getting ill in the first place?
The plan for today had been to go fishing but bearing in mind the weather forecast "My Boy TM" had gone in to work instead. And bearing in mind that the weather forecast had been right and it was pouring hard I didn’t fancy taking the dogs out to get soaked. However they felt differently about the matter, and pestered me to go out. It was clear that they wouldn’t settle, so we went round the park. It wasn’t *that* wet, but it was wet enough to deter other dog walkers and so we had a relatively undisturbed walk.
We came home and I towelled off the dogs. They have very different fur; Fudge gets soaked right through; Treacle’s fur seems to be water repellent. The rain is *on* her fur as opposed to soaked right through like Fudge’s.
With walk walked I went through my Lego spares looking for clear pieces; I had this idea to make a lake from the blue and colourless clear bits. That kept me occupied for a while. As I sorted, "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" phoned. She seems to be obsessed with some new-age numerology rubbish. Apparently it is patently obvious that she is going to become a multi-millionaire from the number eleven(!)
I got myself a sandwich and watched a film on Netflix. “In The Tall Grass” was better than quite a few films I’ve watched on Netflix recently, but being a horror film a lot of the action was set in night time in the dark. Consequently you couldn’t see what was going on. Once it had finished I looked it up on Wikipedia to get an explanation of what had happened. I got a summary of the plot, but there was no explanation. I suppose it wasn’t a bad film really, but I am still thinking “WTF was that all about?”
I then played Lego for an hour of so. Some time ago I was given a Lego beach house kit and today I finally got round to making it. The plan was to then make a Lego lake or sea to go with it (with all those clear bits I sorted earlier), but making the house took a little longer than I was expecting. I shall make that next time.
"er indoors TM" came home and boiled up some pizza for dinner. As we scoffed it we watched “Plebs” and the last part of “An Idiot Abroad”. That was made seven years ago – how did we miss that first time round?
That pizza has given me guts ache…
17 October 2019 (Thursday) - Late Shift
Over brekkie I was rather short with my father in law. He was re-posting some utter rubbish about 5G phone signals killing trees. Even though this has been disproved (and he’s been sent the evidence) he still persists in spreading this misinformation. Why do people do this? There is so much on the Internet which is patently untrue, and which only takes a few seconds to disprove, but still people persist in spreading these lies.
But take a moment to look at the link he shared. It reads “No need to read it all,…. No need to go to town with too much data/detail either”. Really ?! Doesn’t this sum up what’s wrng with the Internet?
I also saw on Facebook that this same father in law has bought my niece a car for her birthday. He can be a very generous man… with some of his grandchildren.…
When my piss cooled I then had a little look on eBay to confirm some suspicions I formed last night. If you type “old Lego” into the eBay search bar you find thousands of Lego sets up for sale. If you type in “vintage Lego”, “1960s Lego” or “1970s Lego” you get substantially the same things coming up in the search results, only cheaper.
I took the dogs out for a little walk. As we went up the road we met Dan-Dan and Bella at the bus stop. Bella fussed Fudge; Treacle hid from her. Dan-Dan told me they’d been waiting an hour for the bus, and then three arrived at once.
We walked on round the park. We managed to avoid most of the other dog walkers as we went, but we did meet OrangeHead in the co-op field. As we walked I was rather worried about Fudge; he seemed to be walking very awkwardly. But once we got to the co-op field he took off like a bullet from a gun and chased Treacle round the field a few times. For all that he is not a well dog, perhaps I fuss too much?
With a little time to spare, I wrote up some work-related C.P.D. As I typed, the door bell rang. It was the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Looking back at our conversation, I think it fair to say that I had them on the ropes. The nice lady had to admit that she did spend a *lot* of her time making excuses for her God. And she had no explanation why we should pray to God in the crappier times rather than expecting God not to allow the crap to happen in the first place. She looked visibly shaken when I told her that I was once a Steward in the Methodist church (I was!) and that *if* there is a God, demonstrably it is at best disinterested in humanity, and probably rather cruel. I told her that perhaps it was here who might like to reflect on what I’d said, and I closed the door.
As I drove to work so the sun came out. Women's Hour was just finishing on the radio, and was followed by "From Our Own Correspondent" which featured snippets about current affairs in Canada, Ethiopia and Hungary. It was rather interesting in an obscure sort of way.
With a few minutes spare I thought I might hunt out a geocache which had gone live (a few weeks ago) which wasn't *that* far off of my way to Pembury. I got to where the I could park the car. I walked to within a yard of the cache, and the heavens opened. I had a quick look, but I didn't want to spend the day in soaking wet clothes so I abandoned and ran back to the car. I can hunt out that one some other time. By the time I'd driven two miles I found I was again in glorious sunshine.
I got to work and went to the canteen. Chicken curry followed by sponge and custard set me up for the day. I spent much of a rather busy late shift wondering if I really want to carry on actually doing this job. At the moment my long-term plan is to carry on doing the same job for the next four and a third years at which point I become eligible to get some of my pension. I then intend to go part time. However at all times I’m in a rather stressful environment. If I make a mistake I really can kill someone, and (as I know from bitter experience) if I make a mistake I will very much be on my own.
Yesterday I had a message from two friends who were trying to head-hunt me to be a lab tech in a school. For all that the hours are shorter and I’d get the school holidays, weekends and nights off, the money isn’t all that. To be honest I didn’t really fancy it.
Mind you I also saw an advert for a job which pays more than I get; being a train conductor. Doesn’t it sum up what is wrong with our world when a train conductor with a few weeks training gets paid far more than a registered biomedical scientist with six years’ formal training, very active ongoing continual training, and decades of experience?
18 October 2019 (Friday) Chicken & Banana Dog Biscuits
I didn’t have a good night; I spent much of it hanging on the duvet with a grip of iron to make sure I got some of it.
Over brekkie I looked at the Internet and rolled my eyes when I saw the latest squabble kicking off on one of the national geocaching Facebook pages. Someone was banging on about how they go geocaching without a phone or a GPS. They rely on paper maps, struggle a lot, and made the implication that this made them better than everyone else, and anyone who uses some sort of gadget is cheating. This post was followed by a flurry of other equally idiotic postings about how there is far more skill involved in finding the right rock under which a film pot is stashed when you can only be accurate to within fifty yards.
Some people really do live for the argument.
As the rain had stopped I took the dogs out for a walk. As we walked up the road I saw one of the cub’s mothers cycling past. I said hello; she blanked me as she always does. She is an odd woman. Apparently her husband made it crystal clear that he never wanted children, and that if they had children it would up to her to see to them. She had two boys. Both were in the cubs when I was a leader there. The oldest was a very stupid child, and really would stand for hours just staring into space. The youngest was rather nasty and delighted in the misfortunes of others. His signature move was to disrupt any activity he could by sprinting (in a straight line) as far away as he could thereby making leaders abandon what was going on to go and retrieve him. I used to hate it whenever they came on days out anywhere as mother would never collect them at the agreed time. She would always be at least an hour late; the excuse being that father was busy doing his own thing (usually playing golf) and he felt it was very unfair of us not to fit in with his schedule.
But now they’ve left the cubs and I’m no longer a leader, I’m of no use to her, and she has ne need to be civil to me.
We walked round the park. Although the rain had stopped the grass was very wet. The dog with the water-repellent fur (Treacle) kept to the tarmac paths. The dog that gets soaked to the skin (Fudge) was wading shoulder-deep in the long grass.
We came home. I sat on the sofa and wrote up more CPD. As I wrote so the dogs barked at everything that came past the house in the first five minutes before both settling and going to sleep.
As I drove to work so the sun was glorious bearing in mind the torrential rain earlier. I drove out to the back of beyond to hunt out that geocache which I gave up on yesterday. It wasn't a difficult find, but I think I was right to have given up. Getting the paper log soggy isn't a clever thing to do.
With my geo-nonsense done I headed towards Pembury. As I drove "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" phoned. She's got a new regular customer. Some tramp comes into her shop several times a day for a cup of the coffee she sells. She sells cups of the stuff for a quid each, and this vagrant is having several every day. I wish I could afford that.
I drove on to work, and after a rather good plate of fish and chips I got with another busy late shift. And I learned something; we had a case of weak D. Weak D is... let's just say that blood groups aren't as simple as you might think they are.
I came home to find "er indoors TM" had the hump as her new food mixer was broken when she unpacked it. But knacked food mixers notwithstanding she was boiling up some home made dog biscuits. Banana and chicken flavour. I tried one – I wasn’t convinced. But our resident wolf-pack love them…
19 October 2019 (Saturday) - Playing James Bond
I got up after a better night. Mind you I got up to find the toilet was making an odd noise. It does that from time to time, and in its place I would probably do the same.
The cistern hadn’t filled because the water was going straight down the pan. I fiddled with the thing and got it working, but I wonder how long it will last?
Over brekkie I had a look at the Internet. Some chap was posting on one of the local fishing-related Facebook pages bemoaning the Carp Society. Apparently there is a “Carp Society” and once a year it has a big get-together. One of the highlights is when those who’ve caught the biggest fish tell everyone else about what they caught. But it would seem that this year’s show isn’t going to be very well supported; mainly because no one likes listening to pompous windbags banging on about how good they are at fishing when the truth of the matter is that they weren’t any better; they were just luckier.
As I scoffed, someone who lives on Park Farm was posting on the local geocaching pages asking what Wherigo was all about. I hope I explained it properly; for a high-tech hobby, Wherigo takes some explaining.
In the meantime the dogs played tug o’ war with an old sock. Mind you Treacle cheated; with both dogs pulling the sock with their teeth, she put her paw on Fudge’s nose and pushed.
It was good to see them playing; it was only when "er indoors TM" posted a video (on Facebook) last night of them playing that I realised that Fudge hasn’t played with Treacle for months. Was it because the insidious onset of the kidney problem was making him feel ill? I’m taking this playing as a sign that the new diet and medicines are working.
"er indoors TM" popped up to town. Her intention was to shove the broken food mixer up the bum of the shopkeeper from whom she’s bought it. I wrote up a little more CPD whilst the dogs played tug o’ war with a pair of "er indoors TM"’s less racy undercrackers.
I managed ten minutes CPD before losing interest, then had a little root on-line. A couple of weeks ago I built a Lego Cadillac, Someone had posted a piccie on-line of the same car; only blue. I had a plan I might make one out of my spares, but I wasn’t sure how many bits I’d need before I went rummaging in my spares box. Mind you, five minutes on Google came up with this website. Now I know what to rummage for, and what to order from eBay. I ordered quite a bit…
We drove out to Park Farm. There had been talk of going out for a walk near Sevenoaks, or on the Romney Marsh. But with the weather being as iffy as it has been we thought staying relatively close to shelter wouldn’t be a bad idea. We arrived early, and as we waited for everyone to arrive we listened to local radio, This has become something of a standing joke for us; the Saturday morning local radio is -um- -yeah- (gasps for air) something that -um- has to be heard – yeah- to be (gasps for air) to be – um- believed.
We met Karl, Tracey and Charlotte at Sheepfold Lane and played the James Bond Wherigo that I created last week. We had a rather good walk, and as we walked Tracey worked out how to get street maps onto the Wherigo app. I’ve been creating Wherigos for six years and for all of that time I thought that this would be an amazing thing to have. I learned something today.
With Wherigo Wherigo-ed we adjourned to the Singleton Barn for a spot of lunch. A few beers and some beef sandwiches went down very well. As we put the world to rights so the heavens opened; we were right to have stayed local today.
"er indoors TM" dropped me and the dogs at home; she’d had a message that new food mixers had arrived in Argos. We came in and put the kettle on; "er indoors TM" arrived soon after with another food mixer that didn’t work.
The plan had been to go to Hastings bonfire parade tonight, but with the dodgy weather forecast and having an early start tomorrow, we thought better of it.
I would have liked to have gone to the bonfire parade, but it makes for a late night…
20 October 2019 (Sunday) - A House Guest
I didn't sleep well; I saw every hour of the night and it was such a shame that the alarm went off when I was actually fast asleep. I came downstairs and said hello to Fudge. Seeing I was up he took the opportunity to ask to go out in to the garden to play silly beggars. He didn't actually "do" anything that you might think he would; he just ran round the garden for a bit before going back to his basket and going to sleep.
I watched an episode of "Inside No. 9" then set off.
I walked down a very dark road. And Bond Road was even darker. It amazes me that there isn't any public outcry on any of the local Facebook groups about the utterly inadequate street lighting we have.
As I drove to work there was some nature program being broadcast on the radio. Stone Curlews sounded to be rather amazing; odd what you can find interesting at six o'clock on a Sunday morning.
With curlews done. they then talked about the news. Over a million people marched in London yesterday protesting against Brexit. Parliament apparently has thwarted the Prime Minister's scheme and he has had to write to the European Union asking for yet another extension to the Brexit deadline. The word is that he's sent two letters. One which is asking for a Brexit extension (because he is legally obliged to do so) which he hasn't signed, and another letter saying he thinks an extension is a bad thing which he *has* signed.
This whole Brexit thing is getting on everyone's wick now.
If we as a nation aren't going to revisit the entire concept of Brexit properly (and with no lies from either side), I can't help but feel that it's now time to either just do Brexit right now or give up with it.
Mind you, bearing in mind that what is being offered is in no way remotely similar to that for which everyone voted, is a second referendum such a silly idea?
I got to work; I thought about having a cooked breakfast. I decided against it. The last one I had at work wasn't that good. I got on with a rather busy morning, saw something rather interesting down the microscope, and came home again.
Once home I walked the hounds round the park. We had a relatively good walk; we chased a squirrel up a tree.
We came home to find Pogo back in residence. "er indoors TM" had been over to Margate. "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" needs a little break, and so we’ve got Pogo for a while. I can’t say I’m pleased about the arrangement, but there it is. It’s not as though I had any say in the matter… To be fair to him, he’s a loveable dog… he’s just rather high-spirited. I shall persevere with his training…
"er indoors TM" went bowling. With three dogs snoring I had a pomegranate. Three dogs soon woke up when there was food about; they didn’t get any.
As I scoffed pomegranate I watched “Living with Yourself”; a new thing on Netflix. It’s got here who used to be in “Trollied”, but apart from her in the nip in the shower, so far not a lot has happened.
I wonder how well Pogo will sleep tonight…
21 October 2019 (Monday) - Late Shift
The night went better than it might have done with three dogs. I was expecting it to be somewhat akin to the first night of cub camp, but everyone slept reasonably well. Even if (like Treacle) Pogo was sucking the duvet.
I got up, had my morning ablutions, and as I sat down for brekkie, so Fudge came down and sat with me. Treacle and Pogo followed hot on his heels, and Fudge gave them a look of utter contempt from the height of the sofa.
As I scoffed my toast I found that I had a friend request on Facebook this morning. Someone claiming to be called “Jennifer” suggested I might like to join her WhatsApp group which (so she claimed) had lots of women in it who wanted me to “do the dirty deed” with them. At the risk of disappointing Jennifer’s friends, I turned down the offer, and reported her to the Facebook feds.
Mind you, for all the stuff and nonsense, I do like Facebook. It is a wonderful way to keep in touch with people and see what they have been up to. This morning I saw several photos posted by an old schoolfriend of mine. Over the weekend he had taken part in the National Town Criers Championships. He did well; he came fourth. But I rolled my eyes in despair when I realised that this doesn’t actually mean he’s the fourth best in the country. He’s the fourth best in the Loyal Company of Town Criers, This bunch should certainly not be confused with the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers who are a completely different load of town criers.
It never fails to amaze me how people can squabble and fall out over the most trivial of things. Keeping snakes, flying kites, fishing, stargazing have all been good for an argument in the past. Now it seems that town criers have argued enough to set up two rival organisations.
You couldn’t make this up, could you?
With rain forecast well in to the afternoon I decided to walk the dogs straight after brekkie (when we usually go out). But three very wet dogs wouldn’t be fun, so I insisted that they wore coats. Fudge was *not* impressed at having to wear a coat, and immediately went into “statue mode”; when he has a coat put on, he refuses to move at all. But he eventually realised that he had no say in the matter.
I took the dogs up to the co-op field, round it and back home. I wasn’t going to go further today. When we had Pogo last time he could be problematical with other dogs. We were making improvement with him when he went back to "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" but that was two months ago, and I wasn’t going to be messed around in the rain today. Walking three dogs on my own is hard work; let alone when one is trying to pick fights with everyone and everything and in the rain too.
The walk went as well as could be expected. We didn’t meet anyone else (human or canine) which was probably for the best.
We came home; getting coats off without getting water everywhere was a mission in itself. I then put a load of washing in to scrub and fed the fish (with canine assistance).
I then spent a few minutes reviewing some e-books on Amazon. Perhaps I was a tad harsh? The etiquette of posting book reviews certainly seems to be to only say good things because bad reviews are really damaging to an author but… The first book in the series can be seen by clicking here. They make a rather good story, but each book can be read in an hour. Why is the story broken up into six short books if not in an attempt to maximise profit?
I then wrote up a little more CPD, and then my phone beeped. I had an email. Because I am a member of the Lego VIP club (anyone can be – it’s free) I’ve been invited to go to a pop-up Lego store in London where I can buy a limited edition collectable for only one hundred and ten quid. I have no idea what this limited edition collectable thing is; that remains a secret. So… by the time I’ve paid for a train ticket to get there and had a bite to eat, I have the chance to shell out the best part of a hundred and fifty quid with no idea what I’m buying.
Much as I like Lego, I declined their kind offer.
With the washing machine having finished I hung out the washing on my clothes horse, and set off for work.
As I drove to work, Radio Four was broadcasting the reading of a book. It was about some poor Irish girl trying to escape from the religious superstitions of her family. It was rather engaging and I found myself rather caught up in it. It was then followed by a rather interesting article bemoaning the lack of numeracy that so many people seem to have. Apparently whilst most people with a credit card can do arithmetic, most have no idea of how to apply arithmetic. For example imagine that you spent twenty pounds on a pair of trousers costing nine pounds ninety nine pence and bought a bar of chocolate too, and received eight pounds fifty in your change. How much did that chocolate bar cost? The claim was made that most of the credit card wielding population wouldn't know how to work it out.
That's rather frightening if true.
I took a rather circuitous route to work via Benenden where I hunted out a roadside geocache. I found the thing, emptied out all the rain water that was in it, and put it back upside down so it wouldn't fill with water again. I then went on to work.
With "er indoors TM" off on a beano this evening (and therefore not on cookhouse duty) I thought I'd better get dinner from the works canteen. I went for the fish pie. It was incredibly good, but where I was expecting to find fish, there was egg.
I did my bit on a rather busy late shift, then came home. As I drove through a rather dark Goudhurst I saw something which made me sit up and take notice. There is a house there with its Christmas decorations already up. I could see the fairy lights on the Christmas Tree. And it is still October...
22 October 2019 (Tuesday) - Rostered Day Off
I came home from work last night feeling washed out. I had an early night and slept like a log. I think I’m still not completely recovered from that nasal re-bore of three weeks ago.
I got up, made myself some toast and had a look at Facebook. Someone was selling a pair of Wilko headphones for three quid. Three quid… is it worth the aggro of creating the listing and dealing with all the idiot emails that such a listing will generate? And who’d go to go out of their way up to Repton Park to collect them when you can get brand new ones in the town centre for not much more? Mind you there seems to be a growth industry in using the Facebook selling sites rather than a dustbin these days. I suppose if you can sell a dustbin’s worth of rubbish (rather than chucking it), it’s all profit, isn’t it?
I also read that there was a cow loose on the road a mile south from home…
Not being at work today I drove to Margate. I arrived a little early so I went for a walk up the sea front. I discovered that Margate has got a tidal swimming pool. I also discovered a film pot under a rock not far from it.
I then spent an hour or so with the most recent fruit of my loins. She filled me in with all the gossip. Like most gossip there was more rumour than truth, but that’s the good thing about gossip. For example it is common knowledge that her local milkman is getting his milk from the cash and carry rather than from the dairy from which he picks up his milk float every day. The fact that he is selling the dairy’s brand of milk rather than the cash and carry’s doesn’t seem to abate these rumours in the slightest.
As I came home there was an article on the radio which made me sit up and take notice. There was an interview with a forensic scientist. She’d provided evidence for a court case which proved the guilt of the accused beyond any shadow of doubt. There was no way that the accused could possibly be innocent. However the jury found the chap “not guilty” because the child he’s supposedly (actually) raped didn’t cry that much when being questioned in court and the jury had taken a dislike to her.
British justice, eh?
I got home; I cleared up the humungous turd that Pogo had laid. I l know it was Pogo as the turd was bigger than Fudge or Treacle.
We then did our trick of “Boot Dogs” and all drove out to Ripper’s Wood. One of my geocaches there had gone missing and needed replacing, and Ripper’s Wood has the advantage that you can walk right round without meeting anyone else. Thinking about it, I’ve never met anyone at all when walking there. Perhaps that’s a tad antisocial of me, but sometimes I like just being “me and my dogs (plus one)”.
With dogs walked I had a spot of lunch. I watched ten minutes of the third episode of “Living With Yourself” on Netflix, then turned it off. I realised that I didn’t relate to any of the characters at all. A sign of good drama is how you react to the characters. You might like them. You might loathe them. But you react to them. There wasn’t a single character in this show who had prompted any reaction from me at all.
Instead I watched the 2004 film version of “Vanity Fair” on Netflix. To be honest that wasn’t *that* good either, but it was something to watch whilst I did the ironing. No day not at work is complete without doing the ironing.
Bake Off’s on telly soon… I think I might crack open a bottle of plonk…
23 October 2019 (Wednesday) - Doughnuts
I slept like a log. Over brekkie I watched an episode of “Inside No 9” which was rather good. I then sparked up my lap-top for my usual root around the Internet. Nothing at all (for once) had happened on Facebook, so I checked my emails. I had quite a few emails about people having found geocaches that I’d hidden.
And that’s when my piss boiled…
A group of people had come to Ashford over the last weekend specifically to do my new Wherigos. I won’t go into excruciating details, but I just wish that when people find a film pot under a rock and write their “found it” log to tell the world about it, they might re-read what they’ve written. And then ask themselves if what they have written actually conveys their meaning? Specifically will it leave people feeling more or less likely to be bothered to put out more caches? (bearing in mind that they clearly like going to find caches and that they are pissing off one of a very small group of people who has taken the trouble to put out a cache …)
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were again talking rubbish about Brexit. The latest seems to be that having had his plans for a fast-track Brexit thwarted, the Prime Minister now wants a general election. However no one else seems keen on the idea, presumably because whoever wins will have to sort out Brexit which is demonstrably un-sortable.
There was lots of talk about Brexit on this morning’s radio - the only bit of the morning's radio which wasn't was the "Thought for the Day" bit which was all about some vicar or other taking on a refugee child. The refugee child just wanted to play. and the vicar was banging on about how he was thanking God for the child's playful and happy nature. He somehow drew a veil over the reason why this child was a refugee, and his God had nothing to do with the death of the child's family
I got rather fed up listening to the drivel on the radio this morning. Being at Maidstone today meant I'd gone up the motorway. I should have left home earlier; the roads were incredibly busy. The journey which sometimes takes thirty-five minutes took over an hour and a half this morning.
But I got to work, and there were doughnuts for tea time.
As I worked I had something of a shock; the elastic in my undercrackers went. there's nothing quite like a busy day at work with your pants slopping all over the place.
I came home to find "er indoors TM" getting the leads and illuminous collars on to the dogs. We took them round the park (in the dark) for a walk. As we walked we found someone’s train pass laying in a puddle. I picked it up and posted on four local Facebook groups to tell the world that I had it if the owner would like to get in touch to arrange collection.
I wonder if they will…
24 October 2019 (Thursday) - Fudge Brownies
I didn't feel that good when I got up this morning. I considered phoning in sick. Instead I made up some salt solution, syringed out my sinuses, and managed to blast out some rather huge lumps of scabby yukky gunge.
That perked me up somewhat, as well it might. I suppose it is only three weeks since my operation... I'm supposed to do this up till Christmas.
As I scoffed granola and watched an episode of "Inside No 9" so Fudge woke, got up from his basket and stood by the living room door. Rather than sitting with me, he wanted to go sleep on the bed upstairs. As I got up to see to him, so "er indoors TM" came downstairs and took him upstairs.
I then had my usual rummage round the Internet; I had been hoping that overnight someone might have claimed the train pass card that we found yesterday evening. No one had. So much for the power of the Internet...
I did have a flurry of emails. Four different groups of people had been out doing my newest Wherigos yesterday. Unlike the people who visited last weekend, yesterday's visitors were somewhat more complementary in what they had written. I do like reading a "Found it" long on a cache of mine that leaves me thinking "that's nice" rather than one which has me feeling "sorry I bothered".
Sometimes I can be a rather sensitive little petal...
I set off to Pembury on a rather murky morning. As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about how our old friend science has shown that people with arthritis suffer more pain on wet days than on dry days.
Is this news?
My gran complained that bad weather gave her gyp fifty years ago.
There was also talk of a possible upcoming general election. They wheeled on the chairman of the Conservative party onto the radio. He wouldn't deny that his bunch's election propaganda actually contains lies about the Labour party. You would have thought that Mr Corbyn had already dug a big enough hole in which to comprehensively and permanently bury the Labour party without anyone needing to make up lies about them, wouldn't you?
I made better time to Pembury today that I did to Maidstone yesterday. Mainly because I didn't have to contend with the mayhem on the motorway. And now that the mayhem is at its peak it would seem that the entire concept of a "smart motorway" is to be shelved.
About time too... Such a shame that so much money had to be wasted on it though...
I got to work; I did my bit. Over dinner and tea breaks I finished my latest e-book. The "A World Torn Down" series of e-books was something of a disappointment. The story is set in Humberside after a plague has wiped out most of the human race. But despite being entitled "A World Torn Down", most (if not all) of the action takes place within a very small area around the Humber bridge (from the author's website, this would seem to be where she lives) and this is a shame. The story would have benefited from the scope that travelling a post apocalyptic UK might have offered.
The story followed the adventures of various characters (some believable, some not so). For some odd reason the most interesting characters were dropped half-way through, and the promised sequel threatens to pick up some of the duller ones.
I had a serious issue with one of the major protagonists who might be best described as a "psycho-bitch-from-hell". Marching round shooting all and sundry with a crossbow and selling children into slavery, why were none of the other characters prepared to actually kill her (which I would certainly have done)? And if no one is going to do for "psycho-bitch-from-hell", it is rather implausible that it would never occur to anyone to relocate well away from "psycho-bitch-from-hell". If there is some bitch-queen marching round with a crossbow shooting people for sport, would *you* live within walking distance of her for three years (bearing in mind that most of humanity has been wiped out and you can go wherever you like?)
I didn't really like this story. What really hacked me off was that the story was broken up into six books. Was this to extort more money from the readers? Together they made one book of seven hundred pages, but having to make six purchases it cost eleven quid.
I've just taken pot luck and bought an e-book that came up on my Facebook feed. Five hundred pages for one pound ninety-nine pence.
As I finished that rather turgid book I scoffed a chocolate brownie. A colleague had made cake. I like cake. The rest of the day was rather dull after cake…
25 October 2019 (Friday) - No Cake Today
Again I didn't feel that good when I got up this morning. But five o'clock is early; who does feel in top form then? I again considered phoning in sick, but instead made up some salt solution, syringed out my sinuses, and managed to blast out more rather enormous lumps of scabby yukky gunge.
Better out than in, eh?
Over brekkie I watched another episode of "Inside No 9" then had a look at Facebook. There are several people that I keep as "Facebook Friends" purely to watch their antics. One of these (who is currently trying to sell her house for half a million pounds and regularly pleads poverty) was transmitting to the world from yet another foreign holiday. This woman makes me laugh. Having posted all over Facebook how others are paying her daughter's five-thousand-pounds-per-term school fees because she is so poor, she never seems short of money for a holiday.
I also had an email to say that a bracelet I'd bought for "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" had been posted and should arrive today. It’s some new-age hippy thing; hopefully she’ll like it.
Before I set off to work I spent a couple of seconds dragging the recycling bin onto the pavement. Everyone else up our road had moved their bins to the edge of their front gardens last night, and the jobsworths from the bin company had then moved them all to strategically block the pavement. However we'd not moved our bin forward the requisite six feet to the front of our garden, and so the people who move the bins had left it. I moved our bin onto the pavement since the bin men are demonstrably incapable of walking the six feet from pavement to bin.
I've complained to the council about this before, but the bloke at the council says we have to "appease the contractors".
If you want a laugh it is fun to complain about the bin men on the local Facebook pages. One of the bin men has appointed himself the social media spokesman for the local bin men, and he gets rather vocal if anyone says anything about the bin collection which isn’t absolutely glowing with praise. I'm sure his manager has no idea of this, or he would surely have been sacked for some of the things he posts.
As I drove to work (quite a bit earlier than usual) the pundits on the radio were playing extracts from "Yesterday in Parliament".
What a load of hot air.
I've been saying for years that I don't believe in democracy, and our parliamentary democracy is a shambles. These so-called "debates"... No matter what they are "debating", whoever is talking merely repeats the tired old arguments that their particular party has been repeating for decades. And the winner of the "debate" is whichever party gets the most people to show up for the vote at the end. No one comes up with any sensibly reasoned arguments that aren't party-politically motivated, and no one ever says to anyone else "that's a good point - I hadn't thought of that".
We as a nation *really* need a new political process.
Ironically there was then talk about the Prime Minister’s plans for a December general election. I really did laugh out loud as I drove. One of the problems of having a general election in December (according to the experts in holding elections) is that the nation has over the last few years replaced pretty much all the street lighting with these L.E.D. lights which are widely accepted (by pretty much everyone except those who are responsible for street lighting so it would seem…) not to actually illuminate anything. And apparently a December election would mean the expense of illuminating the polling stations and the streets round them.
I might have mentioned these L.E.D. lights before?
I got to work for the early shift, and did my bit. I spent much of the morning looking out of the window at a rather bright morning. I was rather jealous that a group of friends had gone off for a walk today. I thought it would have been good to have gone along until I saw the wind and rain that came an hour or so later.
With work done I came home. I found that "Daddy’s Little Angel TM"’s bracelet had indeed arrived. I can’t work out why a bracelet only three inches in diameter had to come in an envelope far too big for the letter box though. I also had a parcel containing four Lego wheels (each only two inches in diameter) which was even bigger than the envelope the bracelet came in.
I took the dogs for a little walk up to the co-op field. We had a good stomp about up there. Fudge enjoyed playing ”chase”, but he is obviously getting more and more awkward as he moves
"er indoors TM" should be home soon… I wonder what’s for tea….
26 October 2019 (Saturday) - Late Shift
I suppose it would have been a good night had I been getting up at five o’clock. But chucking Treacle out of the bed because she was scratching my bum just made space for Pogo to come and scratch my bum. And then Fudge made himself comfortable by curling the duvet round himself and off of me. When I did finally nod off my brother then sent a flurry of text messages about the family Christmas party. It’s been planned for a day when I’m working. Again.
I got up and over brekkie had a look at the Internet. A friend was posting on the local Facebook geocaching page suggesting he might organise weekly walks.
I used to do that for a few years. I gave up partly because my work pattern changed, and partly because of the negativity I got. Leaving aside the rather rude way the walks were dismissed by many, what got me was how a surprising number of people would send me messages saying that they would only come if such-and-such wasn’t invited. And because I was trying to be inclusive and open to all, those who didn’t like such-and-such would take against me.
Toward the end I found that trying to organise a walk was a good way to fall out with people…
I also had an email saying about how people have added “favourite points” to some of my geocaches. (I think I’ve had that every day for the last week). For every ten film pots you find stashed under a rock you get a “favourite point” which you can allocate to a cache that you think is in some way outstanding. Over the few months I’ve hidden quite a few geocaches and seem to have accrued quite a few of these “favourite points”. I don’t think it is because what I’ve hidden is particularly good; it is just that very few other people are hiding anything.
But better a “favourite point” than being told where I’ve gone wrong by those who think they know better.
We took the dogs out for a little walk round the co-op field. We had a rather good walk without meeting (let alone upsetting) any other dog owners. To be honest the walk would have gone better had a cat not made a point of sitting on a fence and deliberately provoking the dogs, but such is life.
As we walked, so the vet phoned. There was a problem with the insurance claim I'd submitted over two weeks ago and it had been sent back to the vet. Could I pop in and sign the new claim form?
It was a shame that the insurance people couldn't have mentioned this some time ago.. Working as I do in an acute hospital environment I'm used to things being dealt with right away. I have trouble understanding why a problem would take two weeks to come to light. Am I being cynical in thinking that if these insurance people find enough petty reasons to send back the paperwork, then people give up bothering to claim? It's not as though the claim is for a *lot* of money on its own, but in a month which featured a car service, a car breakdown, a broken boiler timer, far too much spent on Lego, and new specs, as well as Fudge being ill, I rather want that bit of cash.
So with our walk over I popped to the vets to sign another bit of paper. I did chuckle when I got there. Our vet is in the back of "Pets at Home". The nice people at "Pets at Home" were having a "Meet the Retired Greyhounds Day". There were six retired greyhounds sitting in the front of "Pets at Home" with which every dog going to and from the vet tried to pick a fight.
You would have thought that someone might have thought this one through, wouldn't you?
From the vets I drove on to Tunbridge Wells and the late shift. As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing some MPs about what a hard life they have. I don't think any of the MPs persuaded anyone that their life is anywhere near as arduous as they would have us believe. Everyone thinks they are hard done by at work, and MPs live in a glass house and should know better than to throw stones.
This was followed up with an interview with an Icelandic journalist who says that the Icelandic Prime Minister's phone number is in the telephone directory, and if you want to talk to her, you can just phone her up (and apparently people do).
There was then an article about the collapse of the payday lender QuikQuid. Payday loans are coming under pressure from the government as they just encourage people to get into debt. The entire concept of a payday loan is a bit dodgy, isn't it? Because you don't earn enough, should you borrow money? I can't help but think that the fact of the matter is that if you don't earn enough money you should spend less and be more frugal with that which you do have. Harsh? Perhaps. But that was the line I took when my finances collapsed a few years ago. A business model which is based on persuading people to live beyond their means is no way forward, is it? If you need to borrow money for a one-off expense, go to the bank. If you need to borrow money every month, then this needs to be sorted. It ain't rocket science, is it?
I got to work and went to the canteen. There was a rather good steak and dumplings thingy on offer today. It was not too shabby at all. I then got on with the late shift. As I'd parked my car so there had been a few spots of rain. As I worked I looked out at the rain (which was rather heavy by then). I don't mind working at the weekends *that* much if I'm not missing anything. And I think it fair to say that I would not have missed much today.
But today was dull…
27 October 2019 (Sunday) - Pegwell Bay, Mowing the Lawn
The clocks went back last night and so I had the chance of an extra hour in my pit… I got up at half past seven as I was wide awake anyway.
As I scoffed toast, Fudge sat with me. I had my usual morning rummage round Facebook. Not much had happened overnight. To be honest it looked as though when it rained yesterday everyone had a rummage in their shed to see what they might find to sell. This morning my Facebook feed was heaving with silly little things for sale; all under five pounds in price and not one worth having.
I had a flurry of emails this morning. There were fifteen new geocaches within an hour’s drive of home. Mind you some of these made me laugh. Some of them were extending an existing series. For some reason the geo-feds have allowed the creation of geocaches #12 - #16 of a series whilst having disabled #1 of the same series for want of maintenance.
With a little time on my hands this morning I went out into the garden and mowed the lawn. Well…I say “mowed the lawn”; “scalped it” would be a more accurate description. The lawn hasn’t been mowed for some time, and if it didn’t get done today I don’t know when I would have a chance.
It was probably too wet to be mowed, but it had to be done. As I mowed, in my mind I could hear the rants of our ex-neighbour (the looney one) who used to get incredibly angry when I mowed the lawn when it was wet. There were several times when he formally ordered me to stop mowing the lawn because it was too wet. With a face as red as beetroot he would scream at me that it was he who has to look at that lawn.
I wonder whatever happened to him? The police refuse to tell me. I suspect he’s in a secure mental hospital somewhere.
We then took the dogs round the park for a little walk. We had a couple of minor episodes with other dogs as we went, but nothing serious. Dogs do that, and anyone who understands dogs realises that. As we walked we met OrangeHead with her posse, and exchanged pleasantries. There were no episodes with Orangehead; Pogo seems to respect her, as well he might.
Once home the dogs soon settled, and leaving them asleep we drove out to Margate to visit "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". Littlun then took me all round their shop showing me the cake and sweets and toys.
We then took "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" out to lunch. I suggested McDonalds, and he readily agreed. For all that I have something of a reputation of being a McDonalds aficionado, I don’t think I’ve had McLunch for months. I had some swiss cheese burger thingy which was rather tasty (if rather tiny). S.B.O.D. had a Happy Meal with chicken McNuggets and chips and a strawberry milkshake. He didn’t really eat much of it, and seemed to get more enjoyment from putting its constituent parts into the correct recycling bins. But we did have fun with the McHallowe’en app. We got some photos from that.
From McDonalds we went on to the Viking Longship at Pegwell Bay. We thought he might be interested in it, and we thought we might do the virtual geocache that was there.
He wasn’t, we did.
We delivered "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" home, and came home ourselves. Having scalped the lawn earlier I then scalped it a second time. I was planning on a third mowing, but by the time I’d mowed and raked up, my back was aching somewhat. Instead I tidied up and had a look at the Munzee app. "er indoors TM" had taken the dogs for a walk and had said she was going to put out some munzees.
She had. I got First to Find on one of them. But only one; I left the rest for others.
Have you ever played Munzee? If not, I wouldn’t bother. It’s a bit like looking for film pots under rocks, but with no film pots and no rocks.
I then spent a little while looking at the household accounts. As always I accounted for every penny I spent in the last month, and found that I’m not poor, just nowhere near as rich as I would like to be. Mind you I will share one little snippet of my regular monthly expenses…
Each month I spend eight pounds ninety-nine pence on Netflix and thirteen pounds twenty pence on the TV licence (BBC). One I can cancel at any time. One I am legally obliged to pay all the time I have a television…
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner. We scoffed it whilst watching “Tattoo Fixers” and whilst trying to work out which dog has got the stinkiest bum. I think they eat all sorts of foul stuff when we are out. Must keep an eye on that…
28 October 2019 (Monday) - Seeing Double
I slept well; over brekkie I watched the last episode of “Inside No 9” which featured Nigel Planer. I’ve not seen him in much on telly recently.
I then had a look at Facebook. Those who would have me believe they are far poorer that the bulk of humanity were transmitting to the world from their current holiday which is in in the Sierra Nevada. And there was a petty squabble kicking off on one of the Lego Facebook groups I follow. Having asked how to clean up Lego bricks *without* using hydrogen peroxide, the world and his wife was posting the best concentrations for using hydrogen peroxide.
I had a few emails; people have been adding “favourite points” to my latest Wherigos (which is rather good). And I had an email from LinkedIn. There is a chap on my LinkedIn list… forty years ago we were best friends. When I last saw him (in 1995) he treated me like I was the sh*t on his shoe. He’s now the Managing Director and Global Head of Cloud Business Office at some company or other, and was advertising for a “Senior Enterprise Security Architect”. What does that even mean? Perhaps if I knew that he might still talk to me.
Mind you, looking at his LinkedIn profile he would seem to have dyed his hair a *very* unconvincing colour…
Rather than going to work today, I walked down the road to the doctor’s. As I drove home from work on Saturday night my eyes weren’t right. Yesterday as "er indoors TM" drove us to Margate, for each car that I could see in the opposite carriageway, I I could see an identical one coming head-on toward us. I could see two of each bridge that we drive under too. This double vision came and went yesterday, but this morning my vision was decidedly blurry. If I close one eye, then the vision in the other eye is fine (bearing in mind my right eye had never worked properly). But the two don’t seem to be working together as they used to.
The doc thinks I’ve possibly somehow strained a muscle, and has put me in for an urgent referral to the hospital. Because I’m struggling to see a computer screen (typing this I’ve cranked the font size right up) the doc has signed me off work until next week.
I came home, and took the dogs round the park. As we walked my vision wasn’t that bad, In fact it was much the same as it usually is. We had a good walk, and the dogs completely ignored the looney who was singing to the fountain.
With walk walked I thought I might spend a few minutes rummaging in my Lego spares. A little while ago I bought a red Lego Cadillac from eBay, and saw that someone had made a blue version from their spares box. I wondered if I might do the same, so I had a rummage. It looked like I had the right bits, and I and came up with a fair approximation of what I was after.
As I was playing Lego so Treacle came and sat with me. Good girl!
Ironically my eyes were fine when playing Lego but they played up quite a bit when I tried to watch telly as I scoffed some lunch. My eyes improved so that I could mow the lawn, but again were problematical as I tried to watch “Daybreak”; the latest thing on Netflix.
"er indoors TM" came home, boiled up a rather good bit of dinner, then went bowling. I ironed a few shirts without any problems, then tried to watch telly and gave myself a headache…
29 October 2019 (Tuesday) - Twisted Specs
I slept well. I went to the loo at three o’clock and when I headed back to bed so Fudge came out of his basket and stood at the bottom of the stairs. He looked at me as he does when he wants to be carried up to sleep on the bed. I went to pick him up and he ran back to his basket and settled himself.
When I got to the top of the stairs I turned round and saw him standing at the bottom of the stairs looking rather plaintive. So I went to fetch him, and he ran back to his basket.
We carried on like this for ten minutes before I gave up and went back to bed.
Over brekkie I had a one-eyed look at the Internet. Yesterday I’d posted a photo on Facebook saying why I was feeling sorry for myself. I was rather flattered to see it had attracted quite a bit of “likes” and comments.
Someone with whom I used to work was bemoaning how fat she thought she was. Perhaps she *does* think she’s fat, but she isn’t. As a life-long porker I get rather wound up by people who are (at best) a few pounds overweight who grumble about how obese they are. Unless I am on a diet which leaves me constantly hungry, I am always a few stones overweight.
I took the dogs for a walk. Eyesight which was decidedly iffy indoors was much better outside. As we walked I had the Munzee app open on my phone (I could see it with one eye closed). On Sunday "er indoors TM" had put some Munzees along our usual dog walk. At the time I got “First to Munz” on one and had left the rest for others. Seeing how a couple of days had passed and no one else had been near, I claimed “First to Munz” on a few more.
As we walked we had an “episode”. We met another dog walker in the Chinese garden who went hysterical because my dogs wanted to play. She couldn’t understand why my dogs couldn’t completely ignore her dog like people ignore each other… doesn’t that totally sum up all that is wrong in our world?
Having settled the dogs I walked up to the town. Bearing in mind my iffy vision I’d made an appointment at the optician. I’d picked up new glasses a couple of weeks ago and (to be honest) hadn’t been happy with them. At the time I’d been told that my prescription had changed quite a lot and I’d thought that it was the strain of new glasses that was making me unhappy with the things.
The moment I sat down, the optician commented that my glasses weren’t sitting right. She took them and mauled them about so that they fitted my head better. Thinking back, when I picked them up I’d just put them on, said they seemed OK, and off I went.
The trouble is that my ears aren’t level. One is a good half an inch higher than the other. Consequently my glasses weren’t sitting right; one eye had been looking through the distance vision bit and the other had been looking through the varifocal bit. And so all had gone to cock. Hopefully after a day or so things should go back to how they once were.
I came home via a couple more of "er indoors TM"’s Munzees. The GPS was somewhat out on them. Massively out, but that’s the Munzee app for you. The GPS has never been good.
Just as I got home my phone rang. It was the hospital trying to arrange a date for my nasal surgery (yes – that operation I had four weeks ago). This is the second call I’ve had since the operation trying to arrange it.
I explained that I’d had the surgery and tried to suggest to the woman on the phone that there was something wrong with their system which allows this to happen. To say that she was utterly disinterested would be an understatement. She didn’t actually say the words “I couldn’t give a shit” but that was certainly her sentiment. So I put in a formal complaint. As I said in my email “The ENT people are doing an excellent job but are being sadly let down by the team which arranges their schedule”.
I scoffed a sandwich, then got on with the ironing. As I ironing I watched a film. Because I’d watched “Pride and Prejudice”, Netflix had suggested that I might like the film “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”. I thought it was going to be a period costume drama.
It was a tad saucy.
So I watched more “Daybreak” instead.
"er indoors TM" is boiling up dinner… the bottle of plonk has been uncorked… it’s the “Bake-Off” final soon… I hope I will be able to see it…
30 October 2019 (Wednesday) - Munzing
As I scoffed my brekkie I peered into the Internet. A family member was again posting rubbish on Facebook. Like so many other people he believes everything he reads on the Internet. Those who know nothing at all would seem to have taken against the 5G phone network because they simply don’t understand it and believe each other’s misconceptions. They then repost (on social media) the inaccuracies they have read, and so the it becomes common knowledge that “eating turnips gives you piles”.
Why don’t more people take thirty seconds to type whatever fallacious claim they have just read into Google and find out the truth of the matter for themselves?
There was also quite a bit of talk on the Facebook page for the Old Boys of the school I used to attend. This year sees the four hundredth anniversary of the school’s founding, and those who haven’t been back to the place in forty years are up in arms about how little is being done to commemorate the event. There was talk about a reunion… I probably wouldn’t go. Realistically anyone from my schooldays who wants to get in touch with me has already done so via Facebook.
I took the dogs for a walk round the park. As we walked through Bowen’s Field Pogo tried to pick a fight with another dog. I wish I had some idea what provokes this. He sometimes just goes completely mental for no reason that I can work out.
As we walked we met OrangeHead and her posse. They told me how they too had met the “special” lady yesterday who couldn’t understand why dogs need to sniff and bark at each other.
I also found the Munzee that eluded me yesterday
We came home; I settled the dogs then went up to the opticians. When I was there yesterday I’d meant to pick up a copy of my prescription. I’d forgotten so I went back today. I got what I needed; as I walked back I took a little detour down past Kent Wool Growers; they’d had a fire yesterday and I thought I’d have a nosey.
There wasn’t much to see.
As I walked I deployed a Munzee. On 5 July 2015 I was given a little packet of Munzee stickers which has been in my wallet ever since. I thought I might put one out today. And I did. I wonder how long it will be before anyone goes hunting for it?
I had a spot of lunch, and then I struggled to watch the telly. Bearing in mind that I can see things at a distance far better than close up I took the dogs out again. We had a rather longer walk this afternoon. It would have gone better had some epically fat bloke not tried to latch on to us. The chap never said a word, but it was plain he was following us. I couldn’t work out if he wanted his huge dog to play with my three, or to fight them. I put the leads on to my dogs, marched off, and the fat bloke simply couldn’t keep up. If he’d just said “hello” it would have made all the difference, but he was decidedly creepy.
Whilst we were out I deployed a virtual munzee. Go me!!
We came home. I watched the last two episodes of “Daybreak”. It was a good show. I just need to re-watch it whilst being awake for most of the episodes now.
I then binge-watched the entire first season of “The End of the Fxxxing World” because the second season starts next week and I could remember it being a good show.
It was a good show; I’d just confused it with “You, Me and the Apocalypse”.
I just wish the telly would stop moving in and out of focus…
31 October 2019 (Thursday) - Hallowe'en
I didn’t have a good night; when the dogs are restless, no one sleeps well.
Once I’d hosed out my sinuses (yuk!) I sat down with my lap-top. After a couple of minutes I realised that I wasn’t peering at it with one eye shut. It was still rather blurry using two eyes, but I could see it with two eyes which is an improvement on the last few days.
As I peered into the Internet Pogo scrounged shamelessly. I wish he wouldn’t, but he is such a greedy dog.
As always I found something to boil my piss on Facebook. A few people who spend all year long pretending to be new-age witches were now taking umbrage at children enjoying Hallowe’en.
I did have a load of “found it” logs on my geocaches in Kings Wood. Someone had been out two days ago and had found the lot. They were gushing with praise for what I had done. But (yet again) here was someone who clearly gets a lot from geocaching whilst contributing nothing. Over a thousand finds and not a single hide.
I took the dogs for a walk. As we went I amused myself by reading the signs attached to lamp posts (mainly because I could!)
We had a good walk; no episodes at all.
With walk walked I fiddled about with Lego for a bit. A little while ago I made up the Lego beach house; today I made a beach to go with it.
I then popped down the road. For a change I thought I might get lunch from the bakery. I’d not been there for a while, and now I remember why. It attracts the “special” element. When I arrived there were a bunch in yellow hi-vis jackets trying to work out what cake they wanted. The nice lady behind the counter was naming every cake they had, and it was only when the cake was named that the “special” people knew whether they liked it or not. Am I being harsh in wondering that they might have had more of an idea had they not been stinking of “herbal cigarettes”?
I got myself a ham roll, and as I scoffed it I watched “Snatch” on Netflix. An excellent film – I’ve seen it so many times. Can you believe it is nearly twenty years old?
When it finished I didn’t want to disturb the herd of sleeping dogs which had made themselves comfortable on me, so I watched another film that Netflix had recommended for me. “The Guvnors” was utter tripe. It was during this that Fudge was sick. He’s been farting quite impressively all afternoon, and I think he might have eaten something disgusting up the park this morning. Still… better out than in, eh?
I activated the pumpkin candle light thingy and put it in the window to let the local littluns know that trick or treaters were welcome. After two hours the doorbell rang.
Over the evening we had half a dozen groups of trick-or-treaters. The kids seemed to be enjoying themselves… I rather hoped we would have had more…