1 September 2014 (Monday) - Trees in Gravesend
Yesterday I had something of a rant about the standard of written literacy on geocaching dot com. There's no denying that the standard of literacy here leaves a lot to be desired. Partly because I can't find a UK spell checker for OpenOffice and partly because the keyboard on my laptop is on the way out. If any of my loyal readers could recommend a decent laptop, I'm all ears. In the meantime I am bodging through with a US-based spell checker so please bear with me.
Over brekkie "Furry Face TM" chased a spider round the room and I put some laundry in to wash. When we moved "Daddies Little Angel TM" the other week we brought home some bags of unwanted clothing. We thought we might wash them and take them to a charity shop. So I set to washing the stuff. I've now found where all of my missing socks went. What was that girl doing with my socks?
I put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we drove down to collect Lisa, then it was on to Gravesend Golf Course. We'd heard of some new geocaches having gone live up there recently; ones which were a little way off of the ground. It wasn't long before we were at the foot of a pine tree. We couldn't see any sign of a cache, but the thing had been listed as having a high terrain rating (i.e. difficult to get to); 4.5 out of a possible 5. So obviously the thing was going to be "up". The difficulty setting was rather low, in fact it was the easiest rating there is. And sure enough the cache was dead simple to find; if only you climbed high enough up that tree. The cache description said the cache was about seven metres up the tree; I would in all honesty have said that this first one was a tad higher.
The second cache was entertaining; we were deciding which tree to climb (to be honest on a day like today we would have climbed all of the trees; finding a geocache at the top was just an added bonus) when I heard someone telling my dog off. A passing normal person was shouting "Bad boy Fudge". Fudge wasn't doing anything wrong... that is my Fudge wasn't. His was. We'd met another dog called Fudge; this one was a Golden Retriever.
Once the normal people had cleared off, Lisa voomed up the tree to get the cache and bring it down. Once we'd done the secret geo-ritual I then "elegantly ascended" into the canopy to replace it.
This second tree wasn't quite so high as the first.
We then did some "usual" (*not* "normal") geocaching in which we both independently got stuck inside a bramble bush, and then found a "base of tree" cache before again scrambling some ten metres up a conifer; Lisa collecting the cache and me returning it. As I scrambled down I saw that Lisa was talking to some normal people. They were interested to know what I was doing up the tree. I made some glib comment about hunting for truffles. For all that everyone knows truffles are found underground, have *you* ever actually gone looking for a truffle underground? No - you haven't, have you? They may well be ten metres up a pine tree mightn't they? People believe any old drivel all the time that you spout it confidently enough.
We came home via McDonalds in Bobbing. We weren't hungry, but a McFlurry always goes down well.
Once home I put the photos I'd taken up on the Internet - I remembered to take some photos this time. I then did some C.P.D. (it's a work thing), ran round with the Hoover, and set about the ironing.
I always seem to do ironing when I have a day off...
2 September 2014 (Tuesday) - Another Day Off
I am reliably informed that "Furry Face TM" spent much of the night at the foot of the bed fidgeting restlessly. He didn't disturb me; I slept right through his scritching. My dog shared my toast, and then we went for a little walk. Down through Park Farm, out through the fields at the far end along to South Willesborough and home through Newtown. For those of my loyal readers who don't know the area very well it took us about three hours.
As we went through Park Farm I did a little checking on some of my geocaches. Most seemed all right; one had gone missing. The one which had gone missing hasn't had any logs of any sort for over a year. I don't think people can be bothered with the Park Farm Pootle Bonus, so I have archived it.
As we came up into Newtown I activated my Ingress app; there are no portals of any sort in Park Farm. But I was able to thwart the evil machinations of the blue scum as we got closer to home. Much as I do like geocaching, playing Ingress is a much more dynamic thing to do, even if it does eat up my data allowance.
Once home I went to put the washing on the line, and realised that I hadn't put it in the machine before we went out. Woops. So I set the sheets to be scrubbed and uploaded a little video I'd taken whilst we were out. As we were approaching the "three miles done" stage of our morning's walk I filmed "Furry Face TM" having a little run about. You'd think that being small and having short legs he'd tire rather easily wouldn't you?
You can see the video by clicking here; but I'll be honest... most people would consider it rather dull. Even the staunchest supporters of the antics of Patagonian Tripe-Hounds will be disappointed. But I like the video; I would - my dog stars in it.
I then washed the bathroom light shade ("er indoors TM" said she would break my face if I didn't) and I got the hoover (Dyson) out. Yesterday I mentioned that the keyboard on my laptop was on the way out. Whilst doing domestic drudgery I hoovered all over the keyboard (with a Dyson) and the thing is now showing a marked improvement. That's one little bonus, and several hundred pounds saved.
With my little dog settled I walked into town and did a circuit of the charity shops. The new music stand I bought only a few months ago has broken because (like all new music stands) it is cheap and plastic-y. I've now got a decent proper traditional metal one. I also tried to get a cheap table, but no one seemed to have any.
Once home I had all sorts of plans for the afternoon; but I fell asleep.
Once I was awake "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of tea, and we then congregated round Romney Road where we had a real good nosey round a new house and then watched an episode of "Star Trek".
Should watch more of that ...
3 September 2014 (Wednesday) - Still on Holiday
My nights these days are generally better than they have been for some time, but occasionally I get a bad night. Last night was one such. Having woken at silly o'clock and lain awake for an hour I was up and having brekkie before 5am. Having watched Saxondale, Family Guy, Smallville and a documentary about Spandau Ballet I was going stir crazy by 7.30am.
My dog finally got up, and we went for our walk shortly before 8am. We hid a geocache just round the corner from home whilst we were walking. There used to be a puzzle cache of mine in that very location, but only one person had logged the thing in the last year so I assumed people aren't interested in urban bonus caches. I've replaced it with a novelty cache; a cache with a difference. The difference being it is just the same as all the others locally.
We continued our walk along Noakes Meadow through Singleton and out to Great Chart, coming home via the Environment Centre. A round trip of two and a half hours. Whilst we walked I played Ingress and captured large parts of the town for the forces of good. I also got myself up to level six; an achievement which took some doing.
For lunch I thought I might treat myself, so I went up to the KFC. I fancied a boneless box. After five minutes I walked out of the shop, went to the corner store and got myself a large bag of crisps. There wasn't anyone on duty in the KFC who could understand (let alone speak) English.
I munched my crisps whilst watching something I'd recorded onto the SkyPlus box; a dramatisation of Jane Austen's "Emma" which I watched without nodding off. And then I spent an hour or so in NeverWinter; I used to spend days in there (at a stretch). I should go there more often.
Another good day off...
And in closing did yo know that today is something of an anniversary? It's three years since I first met "Furry Face TM" when he was first adopted by "My Boy TM" . Three years ago today I wrote "I’m told Fudge will come visiting from time to time". I had no idea he would become my dog.
Did I ever mention that I never wanted a dog...
4 September 2014 (Thursday) – Avebury
Over brekkie I watched one of the Matt Hayes fishing programmes. In years gone by I've always been a fan of Matt Hayes. Now.... There's no denying that the way he was gaffing those rays was just plain cruel.
With brekkie scoffed we loaded up the car and did something we very rarely do. We went off on holiday. We're having something of a road trip, and we set off up the motorway. Our first port of call was Bracknell in Berkshire where we stopped for McDonalds. After a little messing about (and sending for a translator) we established that I wasn't asking for a cabbage McFlurry. I was glad to find it wasn't just the fast food establishments at home that had problems with staff not being able to speak English.
From Bracknell we then moved on to Avebury in Wiltshire. We'd had a recommendation that we should visit Avebury. There's no denying that at first I was disappointed. Until we actually moved into Avebury proper. Neolithic burial mounds, stone circles... all rather good really. We even found one or two geocaches in the area as well.
We then moved into Swindon where we checked in to the hotel - the Lydiard House Conference Centre. I'm afraid to say that I took an instant dislike to the place.
We drove out to find somewhere for dinner. The Sun at Lydiard served some frankly wonderful food. And "Lancaster Bomber" on the hand pump too. I would have liked to have stayed their for the night, but we came back to the hotel for a final drinkie....
A decent bartender knows that bottles of ale aren't kept in the fridge...
I took a few photos of the day. Uploading them on the hotel's wi-fi took some doing...
5 September 2014 (Friday) - Tintagel and Boscastle
Yesterday I mentioned that I didn't like the Lydiard House Conference Centre hotel. Perhaps I was being harsh but I now realise where I've seen the place before. It is a carbon copy of the university halls of residence in which I stayed when doing Open University courses. And not entirely dissimilar to where Alan Partridge lived. Being on holiday I was rather hoping to stay in a hotel; not a barracks.
I don't stay in hotels much, so I might be being unfair about the place but we were promised a decent Internet connection. The one at the Lydiard House Conference Centre was shabby, to say the least. And I don't expect the dustmen to start clattering about at 5am.
We got up and went down for brekkie... Oh dear. I didn't expect the coffee cups to bear the coffee stains left by the dribbles of the last person to have used that cup. Nor did I expect to find the left over jam that said previous diner didn't want.
I couldn't get out of that place quickly enough.
We set off on the next leg of our journey. Down the M4 to a motorway service station near Bristol where we found a geocache, did a munzee and hacked a portal. Heaven !! We carried on down the motorway and saw a sign saying "Welcome to Somerset" which was confusing; isn't Bristol in Somerset? So we stopped at the next service station to get another geocache just in case. One needs to get at least one per county. And bearing that maxim in mind we also stopped at Exeter services in Devon for geocachical reasons. We had intended to eat at the Exeter services, but it was heaving with normal people; far too busy for our liking. So we contented ourselves with picking up several munzees in the car park (there were *loads*) and with only one brief hiccup in navigation we made our way to the furthest part of our road trip; Tintagel in Cornwall.
Two hundred and fifty miles from home; the furthest I've been for ten years.
We've based this road trip largely on the recommendations of friends; and we'd been told that Tintagel was particularly scenic... but there wasn't an awful lot to do there. Bearing in mind the flying visits we are making on this trip, that suited us ideally.
After nearly falling off a cliff (for geocachical reasons) we went into Tintagel Castle.
Tintagel Castle... isn't an actual castle. It's a very large rock just off the Cornish coast connected to the mainland by a bridge. We spent a couple of hours looking round the place before making our way to the gift shop where we had a traditional Cornish clotted cream tea. Very nice.
We then moved on to Boscastle which we had heard was especially pretty. It was. It's one of those places that few people have probably heard of, and the entire lot can be seen in fifteen minutes, but it is well worth a visit. The harbour appealed to me; most harbours open directly onto the sea. This one had a little river leading to the sea. I risked life and limb clambering up the cliffs to get some scenic photos of that little river. It has been asked if I would have made that scramble had there not been a virtual geocache at the top. The answer... probably not. But I am glad that I did; the views were spectacular.
We then walked into Boscastle and found the Cobweb Inn where we had a rather good piece of steak pie each washed down with some very good Cornish cider.
And then, feeling suitably replete, we drove a very short way inland to Tregatherall Farm where we are currently staying.
The bedroom is lovely, the bathroom without equal. The guest sitting room (where I am typing this) is particularly comfortable. And the wi-fi, whilst a tad slow, actually works.
I used it to put up the photos of the day. There were a lot...
6 September 2014 (Saturday) - Exmouth and Portland
Despite a very busy day yesterday I didn't really sleep well at all. I blame the new surroundings; much as I preferred them to the last hotel.
Whilst waiting for "er indoors TM" to emerge from our pit I had another look at the map from Boscastle to Weymouth. I figured out that with just a "slight" diversion we could do a webcam geocache. And then I realised that going to Penzance would add three hours to our journey. We decided against that plan and went for brekkie. Brekkie was particularly good; even if the hippie lesbians were something of a disappointment.
We located another webcam on the map - this one near Exmouth but it didn't seem to be working at first. But randomly pressing the buttons on the phone looked like it would allow us to access the web cam. It was only a few minutes out of our way (or so we thought); it might be fun.
So we said goodbye to a foggy Cornwall and made our way to Exmouth. As we drove we went right past the Commando training school that featured on the TV show I've been watching recently, so we took a few photos.
We used the geo-navigator to get us to the specified location for the webcam cache, and after a little fiddling about we eventually managed to get a screen shot of us standing about. In retrospect we had gone quite a long way out of our way to do this webcam cache, and taken a lot of trouble to try to get the photo, but what can I say - there are probably only a dozen or so webcam caches in the entire country. It was well worth our effort... if only the C.O. agrees and doesn't delete our log.
I shall cry if he does.
From here we made our way to the Old Inn at Kilverton where we scoffed cheesy chips and/or a stilton ploughman's and then feeling set for the afternoon we went on to Chesil beach for an impromptu geography lesson before spending the rest of the afternoon at Portland Bill where I risked life and limb clambering over a sea stack.
Mainly because there was a sign saying that it was dangerous to do so.
I took some photos of the day and got them on line
Pausing only briefly to get a few Munnzees in Fortuneswell we then moved on to our base for the evening; the Florian Guest House in Weymouth. A quick wash and scrub and then we walked down to The George for our evening meal.
The George has changed beyond all recognition since I was last there; a rack of ribs went down very nicely. We then went round to The Boot which was one *the* ale house to visit. Nowadays it seems to be a haven for undesirables. (Perhaps I'm just developing standards?)
So we passed on a second drink, and came back to the guest house where, having transmitted gibberish to the world, we watched a film. "Road Trip" - how appropriate...
7 September 2104 (Sunday) – Lulworth
A reasonable night's sleep at the Florian Guest House in Weymouth; even if the seagulls were a tad noisy at times. I suppose it's my own fault for not thinking to close the window I opened yesterday evening.
Brekkie was particularly good; marred only by Radio 2's Sunday morning religion show which I felt was rather too much forcing Christianity onto the masses. Mind you I did feel for one sad act who had emailed the presented to say that today was her birthday and she was up before 9am on a Sunday preparing the vegetables for the family's dinner. Bless her; if that's what she does as a birthday treat I dread to wonder what happens on dull days.
With brekkie scoffed we set off to nearby Lulworth where we did the touristy things. Having parked up we walked UP the coastal path to Durdle Door. We enjoyed the views, had an ice cream, and made our way to Lulworth Cove. We walked around and about. "er indoors TM" admired the scenery. I admired the bikini-clad lesbians who were snogging. Whilst "er indoors TM" had a paddle I scrambled up to the far end of the cove to get some more photos. As I scrambled I was startled by a lizard. And another. There were several; including one which was probably the largest lizard I've seen wild in the UK; he was easily eight inches long.
From Lulworrth Cove we drove round to Lulworth Castle which was a tad dull. From there we found something rather amazing. Tyneham Village was once hoe to a thriving community of over two hundred people. In 1943 the entire place was evacuated for secret military reasons. The locals were told they could go back after the war. They didn't, and now the place is something of a ghost town.
We spent rather longer at Tyneham than we had planned, and by the time we'd got stuck in traffic jams near Southampton we didn't get home till nearly 10pm.
I spent a few minutes uploading a photo or two of the day, and then it was bed time... I've got to go back to work tomorrow...
8 September 2014 (Monday) - Back to Reality
Being back in my own bed gave me a relatively good night's sleep. I had a lonely brekkie and set off to work a little earlier than I might have done. As I drove the talk on the radio was all about next week's referendum on Scottish independence. The pundits today were drawing parallels with similar referenda in Quebec where certain elements of the Quebecois have been contemplating leaving the rest of Canada for some time.
When I was in Canada with the scouts fourteen years ago I got talking with the locals about the referendum of five years previously in which the Quebecois had voted to remain with Canada, but by a narrow margin.
What I remember most about the matter was the attitude the average Canadians had formed about the Quebecois following these moves for separation. The average Canadian felt offended by those wanting to go their own way. The separatists were hated and despised and there was even talk of the rest of Canada having a referendum to get shot of Quebec.
And this was coming from the kind of kind-hearted public-spirited people who run scout groups. I wonder if the Scots will be as popular with the rest of the UK after their little referendum?
I needed some shopping from Morrisons. And how my piss boiled when I got there. I arrived at that supermarket about five minutes before they opened and found that there was a gaggle of shoppers waiting to get in. One chap in particular was rather vociferous about being kept waiting. When the staff finally opened the door, this prat made a point of standing in the doorway and making a speech. He only shut up when another shopper physically shoved him out of the way. This noisy prat then ran to the baskets and made a point of blocking the next set of doors. The chap who'd shoved him earlier asked him if he was looking for trouble.
I could have stayed and watched; instead I got my apples and bananas and left them squaring up for a fight. I was on a mission.
Yesterday on our drive home from Dorset I had an email to say that a new geocache had gone live not five minutes walk from work. We were the other side of Southampton when I got the email; this morning that cache was still waiting a First to Find. So I thought I'd see if I could get the FTF; I chased it, and at quarter past seven I got it. Happy dance.
I did my bit at work, and at lunch time had a blow down my saxophone. I've been neglecting that whilst we were on holiday. Whilst tootling at the far end of the car park some normal people drove up to me, glared at me, and drove off again. I wonder what that was about?
After work I went round to see "My Boy TM" and collected my dog, who had been having a little holiday of his own.
We've had a letter from the neighbours. On one side people have come and gone; on the other side is a family who have been there for nearly twenty years. The last few years have been somewhat fraught. After a load of problems about ten years ago (culminating in letters to and from solicitors) we've not really been on speaking terms.
Today we've had a letter saying that he would like to put t he past behind us and reach "some sort of understanding".
What can I say... Whilst I don't like the unpleasantness, I can't see that we would ever be best buddies. And we've had this sort of overture before which has never amounted to anything.
I wonder what will happen this time...
9 September 2014 (Tuesday) – Stuff
Over brekkie I turned on the telly and saw that whilst I was sleeping my SkyPlus box had a software update. Not only does it tell me what new programmes are on, but based on what I watch it now makes recommendations for what I might like. Bearing in mind that these days I seem to watch little else but puerile swearing cartoons and period dramas, I wonder what the thing will come up with for me.
We also had a little episode with "er indoors TM" 's new laptop. She got it yesterday and it's broke already.
I took my pup for a walk round through the park. As we went he met several other dogs onto which he climbed and attempted to have his wicked way. Interestingly we met up with a bible basher by the fountain who was lecturing the world on the evils of sin. I wonder if he had my dog specifically in mind.
Whilst I walked I had my Ingress app open. I saw that "er indoors TM" had been out Ingress-ing last night and had taken quite a lot of South Ashford for the blue scum.
I shall have to do something to redress the balance.
Being on a late start gave me some time before work; I started working on a new Wherigo cache to go around Viccie Park. Hopefully it should be ready in a week or so. I hope.
I then set off to work. The radio was full of talk of next week's Scottish vote. The pundits were rather concerned about some recent research which has shown that opinion polls bias voters; apparently given an opinion poll that says that "A" is more likely to get more votes than "B", people will then tend to vote for "A" because to vote for the loser is to waste a vote. It really does seem that many people would rather vote for a winner rather than vote for that in which they believe. It's actually quite possible that people will vote for an independent Scotland not because they feel that it would be for the best, but because thy feel everyone else will vote that way.
And people wonder why I don't agree with the democratic process.
I stopped off on my way to work to beef up a portal in Godmersham. Whilst I'd been on holiday the blues had captured it. It's back with the right colour now.
I also made a point of getting a geocache as well; this one has (vaguely) been in my sights for a year or so; today I found it.
I must admit I went to this one expecting the worst. It was hidden by someone who has given up the hobby and moved away a couple of years ago. All their other caches have fallen into disrepair. This one was in perfect condition; even if it was laying on the floor rather than in the obvious hole in the tree above it.
Mind you the last finder (who found it in May) left a note to say they'd done some serious maintenance on the thing. I can't help but wonder if that is a good thing. Unless that well-intentioned cacher is prepared to keep up their good work all they have done is to delay the inevitable.
From there I came to work past the cricket ground where I found a branch of Sainsbury's not five minutes walk from work. It's not as convenient to get to as Morrisons, but I may well pop in from time to time. Especially bearing in mind that there are two portals nearby.
Once at work I did my bit, and at lunchtime had a reasonably successful saxophone session. "John Brown's Body" and "The Teddy Bear's Picnic" are coming along nicely. Mind you I think that "Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside" leaves a lot to be desired. It doesn't help that the music for that tune goes across two pages.
This evening the clans gathered in Arden Drive and after I'd slept through "The 100" I introduced the assembled throng to the televisual feast that is "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo". I stayed awake for that...
10 September 2014 (Wednesday) - More Stuff
I slept right through until my alarm went off this morning. That's happened a few times lately. I'm quite pleased about that. I got up, had brekkie whilst watching "Saxondale" and then checked my emails.
One of them was from the leccie company. They have reviewed my power usage and have reduced my combined leecie and gas bill by twenty quid per month. I wish they'd stop messing about like this; they do the same thing every six months. I use more power in heating and lighting over the winter so they see that and increase the direct debit in March. And then over the summer I use less (because it is summer) and so they put the bill down again in September. You would think they'd take summer and winter usage into account when they work out the bills; after all we get summers and winters every year.
And there were more emailed replies to the survey I've sent out. Using SurveyMonkey I've circulated a survey on behalf of the astro club committee to see what the punters make of what goes on at astro club. I've had twenty-odd replies so far... and one whinge from the obligatory plum who can't get the thing to work.
I get almost identical gripes from people who can't solve some of the geo-puzzles that I've set; what do you say to people like this. Everyone else can make the thing work. Clearly it's not what I've done that is at fault....
I set off to work listening to the radio as usual; there was little of note. The Scottish independence vote still commands the headlines even though most people are now getting bored of hearing about it. Shares in Scottish businesses fell at the weekend when the "Yes" vote got a boost in the polls. All three major British political parties are against the idea. The Queen would seem to be pro-unionist and now even the Welsh premier says he's against Scottish independence too. There are a million and one reasons why it's a silly idea (for Scotland), and only misplaced national pride in favour of it (for Scotland). The sooner the idea gets thrown out the better.
Arky-ologists have discovered another Stonehenge just two miles from the first. This one's underground. Perhaps that's why they've missed it for so long.
And I had a wry smile when I heard that the power companies are being forced to pay money back to customers they overcharged. Perhaps this is why my leccie company is forever fiddling with my bill; they are terrified of being accused of profiteeering.
Once at work I did what I could. A colleague had brought in cake; that went down very nicely. And lunchtime's sax practice was OK too. As I was walking out to do sax practice I heard my name being called. It was someone I used to work with; someone I'd not seen since the fruits of my lion were in nappies. And she's been working just down the corridor from me for these last three years. It's amazing what you miss when you don't pay attention.
Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. I repaired some of the damage that the blue menace ("er indoors TM") had done to South Ashford. And my mummy phoned. Someone ("My Boy TM") had told her that I have already had my surgical nasal re-bore, and she wouldn't believe that I hadn't until I reminded her that I would be sure to let her know because I would expect a "going in to hospital" present. (hint! hint!)
11 September 2014 (Thursday) - A Walk before Work
In the past I've been quite happy to drink Morrison's "two bottles of plonk for a fiver" stuff. Many have told me that this is not something about which I should boast, and so over the last few weeks I've mentioned my attempts to develop a better appreciation of wine.
Last night I went to an off licence in Canterbury and bought a bottle that wasn't cheap. It tasted no better than the cheap stuff, and gave both me and EI a headache this morning.
Most of my morning's toast went down the neck of a little dog who is looking decidedly porky, and with toast scoffed we went for a little walk round Newtown. As we walked I realised that an observation that MB made was correct; namely that FF doesn't like wheels on anything other than cars. He is fine with cars, but barks at any other wheeled object.
Whilst he woofed at cars I played Ingress. Both of us were content for an hour while we walked off the toast. And with the walk done we came home and I spent an hour working on my latest geo-project. Hopefully I should have another Wherigo (my fifth) ready to go live by the middle of next week. The basic programming has been done by the nice man in America; I've tweaked the storyline to make it how I want it to be; now I just need to add some piccies and re-program the GPS co ordinates to a different continent. A few hours work; if nothing else it will stop me playing Ingress.
As I drove to work there was talk on the radio about the Gilgamesh project in which scientists are investigating the possibility of making immortal people. Whilst rather interesting, I think they've missed the obvious; quite frankly an immortal person would need to be an indestructible person; history tells us that anyone left long enough will start a fight with someone else.
Being on a late start I had a few minutes to go play silly beggars, so I thought I'd do a little geocaching. I went for two caches; I found both. One was in memory of an airman who'd crashed his plane just south of Canterbury during the second world war. that cache hadn't been found since March, but was in surprisingly good condition, clean and dry.
The second was typical of so many caches in East Kent. Having had a "Needs Maintenance" log first posted some months ago it has had several more posted since. The last time was a month or so ago when the finder mentioned the state of the thing. Today I found it wrapped in a dog-dung bag to protect it; the cache itself was broken and the contents sodden. Should I put up a "Needs Archiving" log? After all it's scratty caches like that which give the hobby a bad name.
I got to work and realised I hadn't brought a shirt. When on a late I start off in an old T-shirt and change later. Today I spent the day in that old t-shirt. I might wear t-shirts more often; they are easier to iron than my usual shirts.
And, as is so often the case on my late shifts, all of note on my day had happened before 11am...
12 September 2014 (Friday) - Bit Dull
Over brekkie I watched more of the period drama about the life and times of Lillie Langtry. In today's episode she was nearly podgered by the King of Belgium, and had to fend off unwanted advances from Oscar Wilde. I always thought that it was a matter of historical record that Oscar Wilde "baked a moist sponge and bowled from the pavilion end"; perhaps the writers were using artistic licence. Or would a TV drama not be brave enough to tackle "that sort of thing".
I checked out the Internet; nothing much of note had happened overnight. And on my morning drive to work there was very little of interest on the radio, The squabble about Scottish independence goes on. And what a daft squabble it is. Apparently the vast majority of common sense is so against the idea that even the Royal Bank of Scotland is making plans to move to England should the vote go in favour of independence.
As I drove I was amazed at the piss-poor standard of driving shown by some of my fellow road users. I can understand how some drivers get a little stressed at some of the idiots on the road, but if you are determined to drive like a cock, it's always best to do so in a vehicle that *doesn't* have your company's name emblazoned all over it. I would suggest that employees of both Watling Tyres and CannonHygiene.com might like to bear this in mind. Because those people I watched getting mowed off of the road today know to whom to address their complaints.
I got to work, did my bit, and came home again. I took “Furry Face TM “ round the park where we met a Gurkha family. And (as usual) they were terrified of my dog. The adults were shying away from him and trying to pull the children away too. One of the littluns knelt down and, to his mother’s horror, stroked my dog. He made quite a fuss of the little pup and told his mother “it’s only a dog”.
Mother remained unconvinced.
I spent much of the rest of the evening working on my latest Wherigo. Rather a dull day really. And then the phone rang. “Daddy’s Little Angel TM ” thinks her contractions have started. Bearing in mind she’s not due for three weeks I think it’s wind…
13 September 2014 (Saturday) - Rather Tired
I was told off for daring to insinuate that the most recent fruit of my loin had wind last night. "er indoors TM" took her off to hospital shortly before midnight and I tried (and failed) to sleep only to find it really was wind; baby is still safely ensconced where 36-week gestation babies should be.
Despite the trauma of the night, or perhaps because of it, I was wide awake at silly o’clock, and having watched Ricky Gervais on the telly I took "Furry Face TM" round to the park to test out the software of my latest Wherigo project. It all works fine; however the place where I hoped to install the final part is currently fenced off with building works going on. Those of my loyal readers who enjoy a Wherigo (or even know what one is) will have to wait a little longer I’m afraid.
As I walked round the park I was amazed at how many nutters were about at silly o’clock. There were a fair few Gurkhas doing their morning aerobics. And I found myself being followed by a pair which I can only describe as the village idiot’s grandparents.
(A little description might help the non-geocachers here… A Wherigo is a GPS based game played on your SmartPhone. So when playing one (or testing one) any onlooker will wonder why you are wandering around seemingly at random. Especially so when you are trying to get out of a virtual maze which you can only see on your phone)
The village idiot’s grandparents watched me for a bit. I gave them a sickly smile and hoped they would piss off. They asked if they could help me. I thanked them for their offer and politely declined. They insisted that they could help me. I insisted that they could not. They demanded to help me. I told them that they didn’t want to help me at all; they just wanted to know what I was doing. They went red and hurried away.
I came home and mowed the lawn. It was rather damp and rather long; it hadn’t been mowed for two months. It took some mowing. And then having mowed and raked I mowed and raked again. I then put the washing on the line; I felt exhausted. I hadn’t stopped.
It wasn’t even 9am by then.
I wasted the morning pootling about on the Internet; buying geo-supplies on eBay and archiving old geocache whilst "er indoors TM" had a tidy-up. And having scoffed a cream cake for lunch I set off out on a little mission. Two of my geocaches had been reported as needing maintenance. Both allegedly needed new log books. I'll concede that one of them did. The other... I would have said that with seventy five per cent of the paper still available to be written on, there was no immediate need to log a "Needs Maintenance".
I struggled to find the one that didn't need the log changing; someone had moved it about ten metres from where I'd hidden it. But they'd found a better hiding place; we'll run with that one.
I then went on to my sax lesson. Teacher made the observation that no matter what I play, I play it at the same speed; rather too slowly. I think she has a point.
Bearing in mind "Daddies Little Angel TM"'s exploits at the hospital overnight we went down to visit. And bearing in mind my early start I spent most of the visit fast asleep on the sofa whilst Charlie watched "Uncle Grandpa" on the Cartoon Netwoork.
And with "er indoors TM" off to the film night I ironed my shirts, watched "Starship Troopers" and had an early night...
14 September 2014 (Sunday) – Alkham
I woke feeling rather rough this morning, and as I shared my toast with "Furry Face TM" I watched "Toddlers and Tiaras". That program is such an eye-opener; in many ways it's got to be a form of child abuse. So many of the kiddies don't want to do the pageant thing; they make no secret that they feel they are being forced into it by their parents.
We rounded up most of the usual suspects and set off on our Sunday Geo-walk. We didn't go very far today; just down to the Alkham Valley which is just outside Folkestone. We did a short walk of about three miles, then relocated for lunch and another short stroll
As we walked the weather wasn't too hot; in fact we had a few drops of rain over lunchtime. As we walked we had some good views, but surprisingly not as many as you might think. Even the top of the Alkham valley is lower than other nearby hills. There was a particularly unsettling bit when we searched for one cache in a church graveyard.... it *was* a church graveyard, but the church itself has been turned into a private house. I didn't feel especially comfortable in what might have been a graveyard or might equally have been someone's garden.
And talking of churches, one of the caches was at Alkham church, so we popped in to be nosy. There was a little notice inside claiming that the running costs of the church were fifty quid per day. Per day!!! How can it possibly cost that much too run a church?
But it all added to the experience of the day; and we saw a buzzard and "Furry Face TM" tracked a pheasant.
As for the geo-bit; we found most of the caches we went for; we couldn't find two. We were pretty sure both of them had gone. I've since found that one of them was there all along and we actually missed it. Still, that's what this silly game is all about.
We were somewhat misled by the D/T settings on some of the hides; a cache at the top of a hill which has you gasping for air is more than a 2/5 terrain. And on others the given cache sizes were confusing; something labeled "small" should still be large enough to fit more than just the paper log into. But that is just being picky; we had a good walk. And that is what the Sunday walk is all about.
And (as I do) I took a few photos whilst we were out.
Once home I did the geo-admin work, and found that one of today's caches had been a minor milestone for me; my three thousand nine hundredth cache. I really should give some thought to doing something special for a four thousandth cache. And after a really good bit of dinner "er indoors TM" set off to bowling.
I phoned the mobile phone company and had a whinge. "Everything Everywhere" is actually "Nothing in most places". After a minor kerfuffle I got through to someone who spoke English who explained to me that it wasn't possible to get a mobile broadband signal outside of a built-up area. I asked him how Vodafone seems to achieve this; he then changed his tack and said I had no agreement with EE; my agreement was with the shop who sold me the phone. I shall have to find five minutes to get to the shop and complain to them.
In the meantime I would suggest that any of my loyal readers who want to have a mobile phone that gets an Internet signal might bear my experiences in mind.
I then sorted out more laundry (my undercrackers) and watched "Starship Troopers 2". I'd not seen that film before; it's arguably the worst film I’ve ever seen.
15 September 2014 Monday) – Bone
I had a rather good night's sleep, which is always a good thing. Mind you I didn't feel too good when I woke. In addition to the muscle in my right leg still aching, I think I ricked my back yesterday. And the nasal poylps were rather painful too.
"Furry Face TM" didn't stir for brekkie, and after watching "Family Guy" I checked out the Internet. An email. One of the logs I wrote about a geocache yesterday has been deleted. Obviously I hit a nerve when I asked for a missing cache to be archived. Perhaps this might prompt the chap to go replace it. Mind you he didn't do anything about the other four he let fall into disrepair.
And so to work on a rather depressingly dismal grey morning. As I drove it rained on and off. I turned off my Ivor Biggun CD and listened to Radio Four's morning news program. The radio's news had little of note. Apparently those who would vote "No" in Thursday's referendum in Scotland are accusing the BBC of bias in their reporting. Personally I've not noticed any particular bias on this matter, which is unusual for the BBC; their reporting is usually very opinionated. But it does seem daft that they should be penalised for favouring something which isn't patently stupid.
As I pulled into Morrisons for some shopping I saw the Park & Ride bus come past. They were advertising that they offer free wi-fi on their buses. Free wi-fi on a bus - that's a sign of the times.
Interestingly the morning's news carried an article that travelling on public transport was less stressful and better for your health than driving to work. Personally I'd rather keep the Great Unwashed at arm's length but what do I know?
I was at work fifteen minutes early for the early shift, which is unusual for me. Back in the day I used to be very early for work every day. But nowadays I seem to roll in right on the stroke of start time. I did my bit, and at lunchtime had a blast on my saxophone. I've managed to speed up my tempo a little; but I do seem to trip over my "tiddly-om-pom-pom"s a little too often for my liking.
Some days I get quite enthused about my sax, other days I wonder if I shouldn't just pack it in. Perhaps I should do more than just one practice per day. If only "Furry Face TM" didn't feel the need to sing along with me whenever I tootle at home.
Bearing in mind that the mobile phone people told me that my problem with them was down to my local EE branch I phoned that branch today. After a lot of waiting about I finally got through to them and they told me that my gripe was with EE's central offices, not them.
They gave me another number to try: 07953 966 250. So I tried it and it just connected with the same number I'd rung yesterday. They didn't really care, so I shall write them a letter before shoving the handset up their collective bums.
Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We went out through Newtown where he barked at several bicycles and tried to eat a dead mouse. We came home via "Pets at Home" partly because he's lost the hang of visiting the vets, and partly because he deserved a new bone (for being a good dog)...
16 September 2014 (Tuesday) - Toilets, Fit Birds....
Over brekkie I saw that a cousin was selling his old toilet on eBay. I can't help but wonder what sort of person would buy a second-hand toilet from eBay, but I suppose if it sells it will have made him a few more pennies.
I took "Furry Face TM" round to the park for our morning constitutional. on the way he fought with a bulldog, did surprisingly well in a race with a greyhound, and found (and subsequently lost) a lilac golf ball. He also seemed to have developed dire rear overnight. Either that bone I got him yesterday has disagreed with him, or I wasn't quick enough in getting the dead mouse from him last night.
As we walked I checked on the location in which I plan to hide a geocache. It was still fenced off. It looks like those fences will be there for some time. All that work programming a Wherigo... I shall have to have a re-think.
Being on a late start I had time on my hands so I went and did a little geocaching before work. It passes the time... or so I thought.
I found both my targets. One was in a clump of stinging nettles; one was in a tree thick with hawthorn brambles. I spent much of the rest of the day worrying at itches and scratches.
From there I did a spot of shopping. I went to the Canterbury branch of Pets at Home where I got a seriously chunky ball that "Furry Face TM" shouldn't be able to eat in a hurry. I was going to get another ball chucker from them (as a back-up) with which to propel his new ball. But the pet shop charge three quid for those things; the cheapo-bargain shop sells them for seventy five pence.
I then went on to the cheapo-bargains shop. There was little of note in the shop; but the tills were interesting. They had a "trainee fit bird" (patent pending) learning how to work the till. "Fittie" was operating the till; four young spotty chavs were supervising her. They weren't *quite* drooling, but it was rather pathetic to watch.
And so to work where I had quite a busy day. My lunch time sax practice went relatively well. I have solved the problem of my sheet music blowing in the wind; I've deployed a paper clip. My "tiddly-om-pom-pom"s are still somewhat lacklustre, but they are improving. Mind you I am rather pleased with my rendition of "The Teddy Bear's Picnic" which has speeded up somewhat.
I phoned to chase up about my forthcoming operation. Apparently there is a delay because of my "cardiac history". I didn't know I had one.....
17 September 2014 (Wednesday) - A New Ball
I had a rather good night's sleep, and over brekkie I watched Kate Winslett in "Extras" giving advice on phone sex. A rather odd show for 6.30am.
Apart from someone trying to email me a virus there was little of note on the Internet, and I set off to work on a rather dismal morning. The news was all of Scottish independence; the vote is tomorrow and the pundits feel that the result is too close to call. I find myself in an odd position on the matter. I can't pretend to like the Scots; for many years they have collectively boiled my piss. I live in Kent. All the Scots I encounter are so fiercely patriotic and all vehemently hate the English... so why are they all living in Kent?
However common sense and history both tell us that politically we are better off together than separate.
And (come to that) why do so many Kentish-born-and-bred types all claim to have some vague Scottish heritage which should make them eligible to vote in the independence election? If Scotland truly is so wonderful and people really do feel so strongly for their homeland, why not go and live up there?
The leaders of the "Yes" and "No" campaigns were interviewed live on air this morning. The leader of the "Better Together" campaign was erudite, and answered questions honestly and candidly. I felt he was a tad smarmy, but he made his case well. The leading exponent of the independence movement, the Scottish First Minister, was (I felt) rather evasive. In fact he spoke rubbish. Having been told that an independent Scotland would need its own currency he still intends to use the pound. Having been told an independent Scotland would not automatically be a part of the European union he insisted it would be. I found myself wondering if black could be white if he said so.
Who will win? Time will tell.
I stopped off for petrol at Morrisons which is still cheaper than Ashford's cut-price fuel station, and which still has trouble accepting my credit card. That machine has been on the blink for three years; you would think they'd have got it fixed by now.
I got to work, did my bit, and sulked a little as I could have spent the day fishing with the first fruit of my loins today. It's probably over a year since I last went fishing. Instead I consoled myself with saxophone practice at lunchtime. Today's tootle went reasonably well. As I played away in the car park I was approached by a managerial-type who told me that she thought that it was good that I played my saxophone in the staff car park at lunch time rather than wasting my time in a non-constructive manner. I smiled politely and waited for her to go away before I continued.
Once home I took "Furry Face TM" out to play with his new ball. He *really* doesn't get it; I threw the ball; he chased it, picked it up and carried it for the rest of the walk. He refused to let me have the thing to throw it for him again. Silly pup.
Whilst we were out I saw that the railings were still blocking my Wheri-plan (it's a geocaching thing) so I hunted out a new cache hide for my Wheri-project. And I found one too. We came home and I did some hasty re-programming and uploading. I shall field-test the 1.1 version tomorrow morning and then hopefully spring the thing on an unsuspecting public...
18 September 2014 (Thursday) - Telly, Wherigo
Over brekkie I watched the first episode of “Revolution”. It was among the freebies on the SkyPlus box; I’d heard good reports about the show. This first episode seemed OK; mind you I’ve always liked post-apocalyptic fiction. One of the leading actresses seemed familiar. I thought I’d seen her on “Star Trek”; she’d actually been on “Lost”. Either way... I would (!)
I then took "Furry Face TM" round the park to test out Wherigo Mk II. It worked well; completely according to plan. Whilst we were out we met another “plum”. What is it with me? - Do I have an idiot magnet? Sometimes it seems so. This bloke was walking his dog. I say “dog”; the animal was at least three-quarters rhinoceros. I suppose I have seen chunkier animals; just not chunkier dogs. It wasn't especially big, or fat, just epically chunky. The dog's owner started shrieking when Fudge and the "rhino" approached each other. He had fits when they started playing nicely. I *really* couldn't see what his problem was, so I smiled sweetly and left him to his hysteria.
Once home I did the geo-admin for my new Wherigo, and then I set off to work. Over brekkie I had noticed that a new geocache had gone live on my way to work. I didn't fancy setting off to work four hours early, and I had thought I might pick it up on my way in to work. So I went to work via Challock, and after a little walk I was rather surprised to find that no one else had already been for this cache yet. I was First to Find. Happy dance.
I would have done a little Ingressing in Challock had there been any EE Internet signal. Yet again "Everything Everywhere" is demonstrably "Nothing In Most Places". I really should complain again
As it was on my way I popped in to the pet shop. "Furry Face TM" is getting very fussy about what he will and will not eat, so I've bought some different dog foods. I've found that if I mix two foods he doesn't like, he often scoffs them up in combination.
Mind you for a dog which doesn't eat very much he is becoming remarkably rotund.
I also checked on a geocache I'd hidden by the pet shop some time ago. I'd had a few messages to say the thing needed a little attention. I had a look-see. It seemed fine to me.
Work was work, and at lunch time I blasted away in the works car park on my saxophone. I didn't realise that a colleague has mucking about in her car nearby. After lunch break she was rather complementary, and actually identified the tunes I had been strangling. I was quite pleased about that...
19 September 2014 (Friday) - Oh So Dull
After a good night's sleep I woke to remember some silly little tweak I wanted to put into my latest Wheri-project, and so I was on-line shortly before 6am. Over brekkie I watched episode 2 of "Revolution". I quite like it so far; but (like all telly these days) does it *really* need the brutality and violence? A good plot works well without that.
I then had a quick check of email and social media. Not that much of note had happened in my world overnight.
To work; the radio had news from the wider world. The Scots have rejected the calls for Scottish independence. I am pleased that this is all over. Democracy has spoken; the nationalists have lost. And one really has to respect the Scottish First Minister who has had the good grace to resign following his defeat.
There was absolutely nothing else on the news at all....
I did my bit at work; I practiced my sax. A colleague who heard me identified (not guessed) the tune I was murdering.
I came home again and walked "Furry Face TM" round the block.
And in closing... did you know that today is national "Talk like a Pirate Day". It was once quite a big event; it's mostly died a death these days. Which is something of a shame. It might have livened up an otherwise dull day.
20 September 2014 (Saturday) - Geo-Meet
Last night I felt *really* tired and had an early night; I was asleep shortly after 9pm. Consequently I was awake and watching "Revolution" at 4am. The chap who was the baddie in "The Tomorrow People" has now appeared in the show; he's a baddie again.
I went back to my pit and dozed fitfully until 8am when I then took "Furry Face TM" round the block for a walk. As we walked we upset a cyclist, he glared at me because my dog was in his way on the footpath. Cyclists boil my piss. There are cycle paths all round Ashford which have been built for them at considerable expense. Do they use them? Of course not. They would rather cycle down pavements expecting pedestrians to get into the roads to get out of their way, or cycle down the middle of the road (at 10mph) thinking that they are a car.
We came home, and after a little fiddling about I took "Furry Face TM" to the vets for his annual M.O.T, We were a little late getting in as they'd had two emergencies, but bearing in mind that "Furry Face TM" himself has had such an emergency I didn't complain. Once in with the vet he had his heart and lungs checked, his dew claws clipped, his bum done (oo-er!! - it's a dog thing) and his booster shot given. There's no denying he wasn't keen on the vets, but you can't really blame him.
And having had fingers up (some of our) bums we set off to Sevenoaks for the monthly cacher's meet-up... What can I say? For those who don't relish hunting tupperware in the forest it must sound really lame. But for myself I had a wonderful time. There were stalls selling geo-things. I got to meet up with dozens of like-minded people. I had far too much to drink. And having had far too much to drink, a dozen (or so) of us set off to a nearby wood where we sought (and found) a dozen geocaches over a short stroll of a couple of miles.
The smaller ones among us enjoyed taking "Furry Face TM" 's lead. Me and "er indoors TM" were glad for the smaller ones taking "Furry Face TM" 's lead (so everyone was happy). I must admit I missed not having my saxophone lesson today; but the monthly geo-meet-up has become something of a highlight in my calendar.
After such a good day spending the evening ironing shirts came as something of an anticlimax...
21 September 2014 (Sunday) - Visiting Relatives
After a good night's sleep I was raring to go. No one else seemed raring, so I wasted an hour or so checking out Facebook and emails and the like. There wasn't really a lot going on in the world.
I had a mooch through my Facebook friends list. I saw I've been de-friended by someone with whom I thought I was on reasonably good terms. I wonder what I did to give offence there? In years gone by I *really* did try to be everyone's best buddy. Now I've come to conclude that this simply isn't possible. Oh well, one person don't like me... over four hundred people are still on the friends list.
We collected "My Boy TM" and his entourage and we set off to Hastings. First of all to visit various relatives. And with relatives visited we had a little picnic on the West Hill. It was a shame that passing dog-walkers didn't have the common sense (or decency) to drag their dogs away from the picnic. I honestly think that one epically fat dog-walker thought that we were there to feed her dog.
Despite scrounging dogs we enjoyed our picnic, and then whilst everyone else went into St Clements Caves I took "Furry Face TM" for a little walk (as dogs aren't allowed in the caves). Me and Fudge had a little geo-stroll. I must admit that I was disappointed to only find two out of five caches. One of the three I didn't get was broken, and two would seem (from the logs) to have been missing for some time. Perhaps I was being rather cynical when I whinged that it would seem that geo-maintenance isn't something that goes on much on the West Hill in Hastings.
With the caves visited I met up with those who had gone underground and we then had a quick five minutes in the play park. We might have given it longer, but the sky was black. So we visited more relatives, and I wound up my grand daughter.
Twenty seven plus nuffink equals nine. Lacey didn't agree, and tried it on her caclulator. She got a different result to me, but I used my brain to think (ouch!) and so I am confident that twenty seven plus nuffink equals nine.
Once home "er indoors TM" set off bowling. I treated myself to KFC, watched another episode of "Revolution" and realised the spell-checker in OpenOffice would seem to have died. Apologies if this doesn't read quite as well as it might do. I then organised a provisional geo-stroll for next Sunday; if any of my loyal readers fancy hunting tupperware and haven't seen the event advertised elsewhere, drop me a line for details.
22 September 2014 (Monday) – Hungry
This morning's brekkie was odd. Rather than the usual coffee and toast I had a "healthy and nutritious shake". A chap a work is selling herbalife stuff and I didn't have the heart to tell him I wasn't interested so I bought a three-day starrter pack. Thhe idea is I have a shake at brekkie time and another at mid day and I won't be hungry right through till the evening. Or that was what was promised...
With shake guzzled I then watched the next episode of "Revolution". The fit one croaked in today's show. Bearing in mind the amount of mindless violence that features in that program, if the show is to have any plausibility it was time that someone (who wasn't an extra) croaked.
There wasn't much on telly after "Revolution" finished. Bearing in mind I'm now on a healthy eating kick it seemed somewhat strange to find myself watching an infomercial for "nutribullet"; which seems to be a vastly overpriced food blender. "Nutribullet" was being flogged for just under a hundred quid; I found simular things on eBay for a quarter of the price.
The presenter of this informercial seemed incredibly enthusiastic about the product. I suppose she is paid to be. She looked familiar; five minutes on Google told me that she used to be the "Yes Car Credit Bimbo".
I then spent much of the rest of the day giggling. I wonder if many of my loyal readers remember "Yes Car Credit"? They were a company which offered loans to the lower orders; their target audience being the kind of person who would never usually get a loan. Their adverts featured various scratters asking if they could have extended credit, to which the "Yes Car Credit Bimbo" would answer "Yes you can". That was her only line, and she would repeat it like a stuck record.
As a catch-phrase it wasn't one that the company had thought through. At the time I found it rather amusing during the adverts to ask the telly various foul, perverted pornographic suggestions to which the "Yes Car Credit Bimbo" would invariably answer "Yes you can".
At the time I thought it hilarious. And (to be honest) I still do.
After a hungry morning I had my coookies and cream shake for lunch, had a sax practice, and then bought a flapjack as I was so hungry.
I came home and took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We went out through Newtown and investigated the new footpath which opened last week. A geocache had been hidden down there over the weekend. Apparently. I couldn't find it.
I scoffed fish cake and chips (for tea) like a thing possessed, and with "er indoors TM" off bowling I solved three geo-puzzles then settled down in front of the telly. It doesn't watch itself.
And in closing have a look at this link. I'm going to be a published author. I'm feeling rather pleased about that.
23 September 2014 (Tuesday) - In The Nip
I went to bed shortly after 11pm last night, slept until 2.25am, and then was awake for much of the night after that. I wish I knew why (despite the CPAP machine's best efforts) some nights I barely sleep.
I gave up trying to sleep and got up just before 5.30am. It was a tad chilly today; for the first time this year I turned the bathroom heater on.
I had my morning herbalife shake; I'd made it last night and popped it in the fridge because that supposedly makes it thicker. And as I guzzled it I watched another episode of "Revolution". It started well; I'm rather concerned that the program has now reached the point that its lost its way. For a team of die-hard desperadoes, the main protagonists seem to spend a lot of time on general irrelevant do-gooding. And the main bimbo was wandering around in the nip for no adequately explored reason. Generally a show is struggling when the leading lady flops them out.
Mind you a leading lady with *them* flopped out was far more entertaining than the interview with Stephen Fry which came on the telly next.
It was still cold as I drove to work; I had the heater blowing to warm me up. But I suppose it is technically the first day of autumn.
As I drove I listened to the news. I do that; sometimes I think I shouldn't. People continue to fight, squabble and cheat each other as they have done for thousands of years.
The Americans are picking yet another international fight.
Tesco would seem to have been somewhat dishonest in their practices.
And the English delegation to the UK Parliament is in uproar wanting what has been promised to the Scots. The fact that the Scots have a Parliament and the English don't might be an obstacle to this, but what do I know?
Mind you Emma Watson (of Harry Potter fame) is to have nudey photos of her plastered round the Internet so realistically the day wasn't such a bad one.
I suppose that the day's news, like episodes of "Revolution" has to resort to nudity when all else fails to grip the audience.
And so to work for another hungry day; these herbalife shakes aren't cutting the mustard for me. Perhaps I'm just greedy?
Mind you it's quicker to gulp a shake than it is to eat a sandwich, so I had a few minutes longer to practie my saxophone. Practice went well; I'm reasonably pleased with my "Tiddly-om-pom-pom"s now.
And I feel I should mention that the inestimable Soup Boy has had a haircut; he now looks like a Romulan. I think it suits him.
I came home to find "My Boy TM" ransacking the house. He thought I might have a spare woggle; he didn't realise that it's probably five (or more) years since I packed in being a cub leader.
I took "Furry Face TM" round the park. There's a fun fair setting up in Viccie Park.
We had tea, then set off to Folkestone where we went up the back passage, and had a glass of port. After insults were bandied and birthday cakes were scoffed I slept through an episode of "The 100". I now have absolutely no idea of what is going on in that show.... but in a blatent act of jumping on the bandwagon the leading actress got her kit off too...
24 September 2014 (Wednesday) - Home Grown Cucumbers
After a better night's sleep I watched "Revolution". In today's episode everyone kept their kit on; which was probably for the best. Mind you in this morning's show it was rather obvious that the leading bimbo was wearing make-up. Bearing in mind that the basic premise of the show is that they are living in a post-apocalyptic world with no electricity and in which modern society has collapsed, and that our heroes are on the run; where does she get a regular supply of slap and lippy?
"Furry Face TM" was hoping for toast; he was unlucky today. Mind you he did seem subdued this mornning. There was a dog barking down the street at 6am. We could both hear it, and for some reason the sound seemed to upset my dog. Perhaps he knew it was wrong and thought he might get the blame?
Off to work. The Prime Minister would seem to be "Mr Popular" at the moment on the radio's news; despite having had his private conversations spread all over the news he still seems to be riding high after the victory over the Scottish Independance-ists last week. Meanwhile Ed Milliband tried to be clever by giving a speech "off the cuff" and forgot to mention the most burning issues of the day.
Mind you, does anyone really have any interest in the antics of the Prime Minister and the Leader of tthe Opposition? To quote Hanna Toms (Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Truro and Falmouth)
talking about the deficit "For most people, they don't understand what it [the deficit] is anyway" and in all honestly I think she might be right. not only about the deficit but on a much wider scale. I suspect few people have any real grasp of the country's political situation. Least of all the Prime Minister and the Leader of tthe Opposition.
I did my bit at work, and came home again. I took "Furry Face TM" round the park for a rather uneventful walk, and once home I struggled to get our old mattress into the back of my car. I've been trying to get rid of it for some time; we finally found someone who wanted a mattress, but had no transport. So I drove the thing to Arlington.
Whilst we were in the area we delivered birthday stuff to "My Boy TM" who will be twenty seven tomorrow, and then helped him eat turkey steaks and beef burgers and veg from his garden. Very tasty. Especially his home grown chili which gave me hiccups.
We were home rather later than expected; Dara O'Briain was spouting drivel on the telly, aand my dog was farting. Perhaps I should have stayed with "My Boy TM" and his various vegetables...
25 September 2014 (Thursday) - Social Attitudes
I had another decent night's sleep; and being on a late shift I didn't stir until nearly 7am. That is a serious lie-in for me. In a break with recent viewing I watched Les Dennis in "Extras" today. It struck me that this episode will quite likely be of interest to future historians if only to show how quickly social standards change. Today's episode featured Les Dennis as a fading pantomime star openly expecting sexual favours from the various young women he encountered through his celebrity status; because that was the public expectation when the show was first released in August 2005. Today that sort of behaviour (which was clearly seen as acceptable nine years ago) is seen as grounds for jailing celebrities.
I got "Furry Face TM" into his collar and lead and we went for a little walk. A couple of days ago I mentioned a new local geocache I couldn't find. We went back today and still couldn't find it. My High-tech GPS device (phone) led be to the middle of a new footbridge. With the cache having an "easy peasy" rating it should be a cinch. I couldn't find it. Again. I have some theories.... either the co ords are way out, it's gone, or I'm just being thick. Mind you I do have a suspicion where it might be, but that would involve a spanner and disassembling part of the bridge. I'm not sure I want to do that.
We gave up and continued our walk, and on aanother bridge we met a "plum". I *really* must have an idiot magnet. The footbridge between the Riiverside Inn and the Outlet Centre is eight to ten feet wide. Me and my dog were walking along the far left hand side with the furry one sniffing the raillings (as you do). A clearly retired idiot had a properly nasty whinge that the little dog was in his way and was taking up too much of the width of the footbridge.
One day I will stop smiling sweetly at these people.
Off to work. As I drove "Women's Hour" was on the radio. They had an interview with the UKIP Deputy Chairman Suzanne Evans. In a ten minute interview she didn't actually say anything definitive or actually commit her party to anything. Instead she waxed loquacious about how wonderful everything would be if we sent all the foreigners back on the next banana boat. In fact she got rather over-excited about that. It amazes me how well this lot are doing in elections and opinion polls without actually having any policies. I suppose it just shows how much of the general public want nothing more than to send all the foreigners back on the next banana boat.
And there was also a recorded interview with the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire (She died yesterday). In the interview she was asked about Adolf Hitler; apparently she once met him. And here is another example of changing social attitudes. It wasn't that long ago when my grandmother wouldn't even allow the name to be mentioned; today people are fascinated by personal recollections about Hitler.
Whilst I was out I went and looked for a geocache before work; unlike earlier I found this one. And on finding it I also found a disused railway and what appeared to be a disused railway station in surprisingly good condition just down the track. I was about to go trespassing to investigate when I suddenly realised that far from being a disused railway station, it was actually someone's house. Woops!
I got to work; on arrival I found two blokes nearly coming to blows over their mobile phones. One was convinced he could tell what mobile network someone was on from the colour of the mobile phone. The other was convinced the first was a prat. Neither liked the other's attitude.
I did my bit at work, and today I had a proper lunch. Sandwiches and the like. I've had the last of my herbalife shakes, and much as they were tasty, they weren't very filling. We also got home made cakes in honour of an upcoming birthday too. Cake is always good. And then having caked myself out I waddled to the car park for the lunchtime sax session. I'm getting there with "Oh I do Like to be Beside the Seaside" but my "Teddy Bears' Picnic" has gone somewhat west.
And I'm afraid that the rest of the day was something of an anticlimax after I heard the news that the parents of Honey Boo Boo are getting a divorce.
Last night we had a bottle of plonk with dinner, and as there was a little bit of cheese I had a glass of port with it. Consequently I felt a tad rough this morning as I watched "Revolution". It has got one or two plot holes, but as these shows go, it's not bad.
I scoffed my brekkie as my dog snored and then set off to work.
As I drove I listened to the radio. Nigel Farrage, leader of UKIP was ranting. He does that. Yesterday I expressed amazement at how well his party was doing despite having nothing to offer the electorate other than unbridled jingoism. Today he was again doing the same; painting a picture of a Britain utterly perfect in every way financed by our leaving the European Union.
I was also amazed at the story of the seventy-year old chap in prison in Pakistan having been shot by one of the guards whilst waiting for execution for blasphemy.
It's easy to forget that large parts of the world are still in the dark ages.
And Parliament has been recalled to discuss bombing somewhere else in the Middle East.
A year ago the same politicians were talking about taking a stand against the lot we are now supporting. Does anyone understand what's actually going on in the Middle East? I certainly don't.
I got to work, and did my bit. After I'd scoffed my sandwich I went to the car park and had what I thought was a reasonable sax practice. The passing proles didn't think so; one spotty oik walking along a nearby footpath bellowed "Oi mister.... you're rubbish" and then ran off as fast as he could.
I spent the rest of the afternoon giggling about that.
After work I set off to McDonalds where I met up with "er indoors TM", Jimbo and Stevey for some McTea, and then it was on to astro club. We had a good talk tonight about the spin-offs from the space program which have benefitted society at large. And after cake for McMillan's Day Stevey gave a rather good talk about four things can be found in the sky using the pair of squegasus as a point of reference. Pausing only briefly fo confuse Uranus with Neptune Stevey gave a really good talk.
It was only a shame that the attendance wasn't what it once was. Where we used to have a turn-out of over seventy; tonight's show saw only about forty people. And despite clearing skies no one seemed to want to telescope.
27 September 2014 (Saturday) - Home Alone
There was no burning reason for me to be up early this morning. I don't know why, but I was wide awake at 4am, and I was up and watching "Revolution" on the telly before 6am. Much as I do like that show, it does ocassionally lack plausibility. In today's episode our hero had the baddie in his sights. Literally. And then did something utterly unbeleivable. Having walked from Chicago to Philadelphia (750 miles according to Google Maps) our hero had a rifle pointing at the baddie (at a distance of five yards), and then threw the rifle away to have a sword fight with said baddie. And acted surprised when the baddie got away.
Would you do that?
The second wash load was into the washing machine by 6.30am. Being bored I thought up my top ten album list and posted it onto Facebook (for want of anything else to do)
I then got the washing on the line and took "Furry Face TM" for a little stroll round the North Park where he woofed at some ducks. We came home in time to say goodbye to "er indoors TM" who was off to a family bash. Perhaps I should have gone along too, but I'd got my sax lesson booked and I didn't really have enough notice to cancel it.
I then took a car load of rubbish to the tip, and once home again I mowed the lawn. With lawn mowed I set about the monthly accounts, and then did the same to the astro club's accounts. Both are reasonable, but both could be better. Whilst ploughing through my letter rack I found a money-off voucher for Matalan. Result !
I popped round to give Jason some money he was owed by the astro club, then went round for my sax lesson. The lesson went well; my homework pieces from last time came out OK; this week's homework is rather tricky though.
I then went to Matalan to squander my new-found money off voucher. I needed some new trousers for work, and I got a new slob-about fleece as well. My current slob-about fleece (the Grumpy one) is ten years old, discoloured and has several holes. It's had a fair innings, and needs to be retired.
Once home I then heaved the rear seats back into my car. They've been out some time, and were in the way where they were. What with shifting garden compost to the tip this morning and moving the car seats this afternoon I think I might have strained my back.
I put "Furry Face TM"'s collar and lead on him and we went for a little stroll. As we walked through Newtown I heard a commotion from an upstairs window. As I looked up I caught the eye of a potentially foxy young lady in that window who was wearing nothing but a rather saucy bra and a rather sour expression. As she turned away she shouted "F*!@ off - I'm not interested". To be honest that came as some relief; my back wasn't up to dealing with a bra like that. I then heard a muffled man's voice say something and said bra-wearing lady turned to look into the room and shouted "well stick it up your...".
I walked away giggling.
As we walked past Asda I thought we might try for that geocache I failed to find twice earlier in the week. My GPS app told me I was within two yards of where I needed to be when I was harangued by a passing idiot who was pushing a wheelbarrow full of rubbish. He was having a rant about all the rubbish that he'd picked up, and loudly announced that he'd been spending years clearing up after people like me. I told him that I'd only walked down the path for the first time only five days ago because the path had only been open for less than two weeks. The idiot took no notice and carried on ranting, so I walked away. As I went he shouted after me that there were no dog dung bins along the new path, and I might like to put some out.
I mooched for twenty minutes and then returned to the geocache's general location hoping that the idiot had gone. He had, and I met some geo-buddies who (like me) were after this elusive cache. After a little to-ing and fro-ing it turned out that my initial idea of where I thought it was had been utterly wrong. The thing was actually a far easier hide than I had been expecting it to be.
We then geo-chatted for a little while, and then I took my dog home past the pet shop where I got him a bone for his tea. I got myself some kebab meat and chips, and with both of us fed I settled down to iron all that I'd washed earlier.
I know how to live on a Saturday night...
28 September 2014 (Sunday) - West Hythe
I slept through till 7.30am this morning. That is unheard of. I was well pleased. I got up and found my dog on the sofa equally sparko. Bearing in mind the relatively late start I didn't put anything on the telly; I just had a look-see on-line. Not a lot was happening, really. I messed about with my next geo-project for a while, but after an hour I was *so* bored.
I took "Furry Face TM" for a little walk round the park and then on here, there and thither. Whilst out we Ingressed a little. There's no denying I'm getting a little bored with that game now. In order to actually *do* anything in the game you have to collect stuff from virtual portals that you find as you are walking about. You only get a couple of things from each portal you pass, so you find yourself doing quite a lot of walking about to collect very little stuff. And you then wake the next morning to find that overnight the opposition has smashed up all that you worked hard to set up.
I suppose it's something to do whilst walking my dog, but more and more I find myself walking that dog with the phone in my pocket and the Ingress app turned off.
We then drove down to the furthest southerly reaches of Ashford where a geocache had apparentlly been stuck up a tree. We saw it from twenty yards away; and I got to within four feet of it. I just couldn't get any purchase on the tree trunk to get myself up the last few feet. Maybe next time...
We then drove down to West Hythe where we had a little geo-walk round a lake, then we walked down the sea wall for a mile or so.
I took a few photos whilst we were out.
Whilst we were out I got cross with my sat-nav app. When we are out in poor quality internet signal areas it *always* wants to download a high quality voice file which is 100Mb in size. When we get home and on to wi-fi it denies all knowledge of any add-on voice files. It tried this trick again today and I called its bluff. I started the download whilst we were out, then I stopped it and continued it on the wi-fi once home.
I wonder if it worked. I shall try it out on the way to work tomorrow.
After a rather good bit of scoff "er indoors TM" set off bowling, and I set about the laundry. Shirts and undercrackers. As I ironed I watched "Jeeves and Wooster" on UK Gold. Bertie got bashed up off of Honoria Glossop, then had an altercation over a cow creamer with Sir Watkyn Basset.
They don't make 'em like that any more. Which is probably for the best....
(Is it just me, or does Totleigh Towers look just like Downton Abbey?)
29 September 2014 (Monday) - Bad Knee
I woke in some pain this morning. Lifting heavy rubbish to the tip, mowing the lawn and tree climbing over the weekend would seem to haave taken their toll. The insides of my thighs are bruised, and my left knee is *really* painful.
I watched "Revolution" over brekkie. I suspect the show has now got to the stage that they have run out of plot and are filling air time with gratuitous violence, but I shale persevere with it.
I then checked out social media, and unsubscribed from yet another on-line geocaching forum. Geocaching is an odd hobby in many ways. Not least of which in that it uses state of the art GPS technology to hunt the sandwich boxes, but then expects everyone to waste hours messing about using antiquated technology to record what they've done afterwards. Those of us who use current technology to record what we are doing as we actually do it are in a tiny minority, and are openly looked down upon.
I packed up with the Geocaching UK forum. I'd found myself embroiled in a thread about why people like me who don't want to waste their time (and make the effort so that they don't have to) should actually make a point of wasting hours messing on a web site because there is some obscure merit in doing things the hard way.
Life is too short to piddle abbout.
Off to work. Yesterday I mentioned I'd downloaded a high quality voice for the sat-nav. I tested it this morning. It sounds absolutely identical to the old one. Mind you I've not been anywhere near Gravy-Send or Row-Chester yet.
As I drove I listened to the radio. The pundits were discussing the ex-Conservative MP Mark Reckless who has now joined UKIP.
At least he is now doing the decent thing and is seeking re-election as a UKIP candidate rather than retaining his seat in the House of Commons. He hopes that he will be re-elected. Somehow I doubt it. Nowadays who votes for a person? I have no idea who my M.P. is; all I know is that he is the Conservative one. I suspect Mr Reckless will find the same. No one voted for him,; everyone voted for the colour of the rosette he was wearing.
I stopped off at Morrisons this morning for some shopping. In a novel break with tradition, absolutely nothing of note happened there. I got my stuff, paid for it, and got off to work utterly uneventfully.
Work was far from uneventful; it was a rather busy day. Sax practice was tricky; I prefer learning new songs to which I know the words. Today's new tune is completely new to me.
Home again, and with "Furry Face TM" walked round the park and tea scoffed I set myself in front of the telly for a telly-a-thon. "Big Bang Theory", "Revolution", "Family Guy"... I love my SkyPlus box...
Mind you I couldn't really domuch else this evening. My knee's not got any better as the day's gone on...
30 September 2014 (Tuesday) – Stuff
When "Daddies Little Angel TM" was small she would creep into our bed in the middle of the night and slowly but methodically push and push until I was hanging over the edge and she had all of the space in which I was once sleeping. By doing it slowly she wouldn't actually wake me whilst she was taking over the bed. Instead I would eventually wake up hanging over the edge of the bed having lost all of the covers.
"Furry Face TM" did much the same thing last night.
I got up, and nearly went arse over tit down the stairs. A certain dog had arranged all his toys at tthe top of the stairs. Over brekkie I watched the latest episode of "Revolution". I say "latest"; I mean "next". Having spent months walking hundreds of miles, our heroes now seem able to cover the same distance in a few scant hours. And despite being able to shoot villanous henchmen (cowering behind shelter) from hundreds of yards away, they are unable to shoot chief baddie (who is in the open) from a distance of five yards.
And then I spent ten minutes watching the "Nutribullet" infomercial. If any of my loyal readers haven't seen it, it's amazing. Not the product; the advert itself. It features some chap with a very odd facial hair arrangement waxing lyrical about a food blender whilst a rather hot bimbo drivels of about a rainbow of nutrition and a spectrum of flavours.
Personally I would struggle to spend more than a minute talking about a food blender; they don't shut up. If I knew their address I'd tell them they could buy the same thing for a fraction of the price on eBay.
As I drove to work I was amazed by the news. The one-time leader of the Conservative party has threatened the business community and told them that they should keep their noses out of politics. Speaking about a possible referendum about Britain's continued membership of the European Union he apparently said “The only answer for all concerned is for big business to keep out and not express a corporate view.”
So much for democracy. I would have thought that those with real-life experience would be better placed to make reasoned judgements than Westminster's gasbags, but what do I know?
Equally amazing was the revelation that we've just had the driest September since records began. Was it really less than a year ago that much of the country was flooded. I can remember going round Ashford and photographing our usual walks which were at the time under copious amounts of water.
I got to work, and my new trousers were noticed. I told the girls that they were my "Mr Sex Trousers" and I was wearing them to show the ladies that I meant business.
I soon found myself regretting that foolish bravado.
I also spent much of the day regretting having done my knee by climbing that tree at the weekend. But (as I said to one of my critics) if God hadn't intended for me to climb that tree he wouldn't have put it there in the first place. He would have put a sofa and a telly there instead.
Despite the gammy limb I struggled out to the car park at lunch time to tootle away on my saxophone. "The Wild White Rose" sounds awful, and I can't get more than six bars into "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". I really struggle when I don't have a tune to which I can sing along.
Home, and I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. This time I took along his ball and ball chucker. I had given up on the ball chucker as every time I chuck the ball he runs after it, gets it, and then won't let me have the thing back. He would rather carry the ball for the entire walk; which rather defeats the purpose of taking a ball with which to play.
But (as "er indoors TM" said) if he has his ball in his mouth he can't be eating crap from the pavement (such as KFC chicken bones, other dogs' turds and dead mice) as he has occasionally been known to do.
There's no denying there was a lot less farting from that dog this evening...