1 September 2013 (Sunday) - Tidebrook
I had intended to make copious notes about the various beers I drank yesterday on my tasting notes. However there were no notes supplied so I have no idea how much ale I sank yesterday. I would guesstimate it was somewhere between six pints and a gallon. Yesterday evening was all rather vague; I can remember saying goodbye to Terry; there is a faint recollection of bandying insults with the staff in Tesco, and I woke up with my lap-top on my lap in sleep mode just after midnight.
All things considered I woke this morning feeling surprisingly well. I got up and was rather impressed with the tower of plastic pint glasses we'd acquired. Having been told by the staff at yesterday's beer festival that hey were just going to throw the things away we made a point of salvaging one or two. I counted the pile that I'd brought home. Sixty eight. Can't be bad.
After a quick brekkie we set off out on today;s mission. As we walked down the road we saw that the cars which had been parked on the double yellow lines overnight had been ticketed. Again traffic wardens strike at overtime rates. You never see them during routine hours, but at weekend nights they are all over the place.
We collected a fellow cacher, and three of us and two small dogs set off to deepest Sussex for a walk. A walk which did feature the occasional geocache (twenty, to be precise). The walk was billed as being one of eight miles; those of out party who brandish GPS units were of the opinion that the walk was closer to ten miles. But it was a worthwhile ten miles. beautiful scenery, and ideal weather for walking too.
We started with a minor mishap as Fudge's extending lead wrapped around my ankles and gave me a rather vicious rope burn. And then in my hurry to stop my dog from rolling in fox poo I skidded in the stuff and went base over apex myself. But such is life when you have a dog. It was a really good day to be out and about, and we'd picked a good place in which to be out and about. The route took us through some wonderful scenery, but I got the impression that not many people walk these footpaths; under one of the stiles we found a nesting bird. We made a point of dragging the dogs away and crossing the fence several yards away as the bird had eggs in that nest. I would have thought it rather late in the year to be incubating eggs, but I suppose the bird knows what it is doing.
And for those who enjoy hunting tupperware, the caches were varied and enjoyable (if you like that sort of thing). I even remembered to take photos this time. It's ages since I last went on a serious caching mission. must do it again soon. Maybe next Saturday...
2 September 2013 (Monday) - Dull
I am on the point of giving up watching Blakes Seven. The first two series were entertaining, but it's now getting rather silly. Take this morning's episode. Our heroes were on the way to a fight (for no apparent reason) when the fit dominatrix tried to kill off a planetful of people and then got the survivors to make clones of her. Why? In the end the goodies thwarted the evil machinations of the baddies, which is all that seemed to be needed in the way of a plot.
This morning's news on the radio was revolutionary. Rather than teaching the kiddies namby-pamby arty-farty nonsense at schools, it's now going to be compulsory for children to have a basic grasp of English and Maths on leaving school. Apparently compulsory schooling in these subjects is seen as being somewhat radical, but I would have thought that being able to read, write and count was a pre-requisite for most things these days.
I got to work a few minutes early only to find that a new geocache had gone live near work. That never happens, so I slipped out in a shallow attempt to be First to Find. I failed miserably. Mind you shortly after I tried two other people failed to find it as well. It's either incredibly difficult (which isn't indicated by the D/T rating) or the C.O. has made a hiccup with the co-ordinates. I wonder which it is.
I did my bit at work, and left just a little too late for the astro club's committee meeting. A shame - I would like to have got along to that. Instead I had another try for that geocache near work (and failed again), then came home where I microwaved my scoff and fell asleep in front of more rather dire episodes of Blake's Seven with a small dog snoring on my lap.
The last few days have been really good. Today was a bit dull in comparison.
Historically reports in this blog about "Furry Face TM" have painted him as a manic beast; he has been described as "The Whirlwind" on occasion. However I think that the passage of time is having an effect; he's no longer quite the puppy he once was. When I came downstairs this morning he was fast asleep (on the sofa!) and didn't react at all until I had to move him to open the curtain. It wasn't that long ago that the sight of anyone in the morning would set him into a frantic round of activity.
As always I woke long before the time for which my alarm had been set. I did smile when my phone alarm went off - Fudge started howling at it. This is only the second sound that I have found which sets him off; I shall have to experiment with other ring tones to see if I can find more. His howling is quite cute really. And it sounds better than listening to the nutter next door screaming racial abuse at his Japanese wife.
And so to work. Yesterday I mentioned that I had failed (twice) to find a new geocache, and said that I hoped the person setting it had given the wrong co-ordinates. It would seem that he had. Revised ones went up today, so I stopped off before work hoping for a "First to Find". But the new co ordinates were no good to me; I had to give up after half an hour. I've since seen that those co-ords have had a third revision and the cache has now been found. Twice.
I would have had a go after work, but it was rather dark by the time I'd finished. I suspect all was fine in the first place; I just made a bog of trying to find it. I did have the opportunity for thirteen First to Finds; just before I left work a new series of caches went live. But they were the wrong side of town and it was rather late. So I contented myself with just a little detour and I went for a different cache on the way home.
It seemed odd that a cache with difficulty level 1.5 gave me such trouble this morning when I then went on to find a cache with difficulty level 3.5 in less than ten seconds of searching (in the dark).
Work was entertaining today; a colleague is learning French. So in a spirit of helpfulness I spent much of the day speaking to him in the language of his study. Malheuresment il ne comprehend pas mon espirit d'helpfulness. Entre-temps notre ami monsieur le singe est dans l'arbre encore un fois avec l'oiseau. Le singe n'aime pas l'oiseau. Il fais le peau-peau sur la tete d'oiseau. L'oiseau n'est pas chuffed. "Sacre bleu!" il dit. (L'oiseau, ne pas le singe), et il frappe le singe sur son ballons vigoureusement.
Is it only thirty-three years since I achieved a grade "B" in "O" level French?
4 September 2013 (Wednesday) - Rather Busy
In a novel break with tradition I slept through to 7.40am this morning. Absolutely unheard of. I had a quick spot of brekkie, and on hearing that “Daddy’s Little Angel TM ” was not visiting today I popped the lead onto Fudge and we set off on today’s Fudgey Adventure.
Regular readers of this drivel may recall that six months ago I hid a series of geocaches on the footpaths between Sevington and Mersham. They act as waypoints on a guided walk through some rather scenic countryside. I put them out hoping that other people might enjoy the walk. To date they have been visited by over sixty different people. And seeing that it is six months since they went out, and bearing in mind I had a report that one of them had a full log, I thought I’d do cache maintenance today. That entailed visiting each cache, checking it was still there, changing the paper log, and making sure the hide was good. When I hid the caches last March there was thick snow on the ground. Today was glorious sunshine. But the series did for me that which I intended it to do for others. It marked out a very good walk. Me and my dog had a couple of hours out in the sunshine. Fiddling about with plastic boxes was just an extra.
On the way home I popped off to find a cache for the day. Having found one every day in August I have this plan to see how long a “finding streak” I can manage. So far I have found a cache every day for the last thirty five days. And having got home I checked my emails only to find that I’d been within yards of a newly released geocache whilst I was out.
I zoomed back out and again failed spectacularly in my effort to be First to Find.
And so home again where I got the washing onto the line to dry. ‘er indoors TM arrived, and left. She had the afternoon off work to visit family for a barbecue. I would like to have gone along, but I had chores to do at home. Or I would have once assistance arrived. While I waited for assistance to arrive I ironed shirts and made a start on my latest on-line course.
I had enrolled in a course on Mathematical Philosophy which started a few weeks ago. I un-enrolled form that course last week. It was dull. Dull in the extreme. There was a very earnest German gentleman who was taking great trouble to prove the blatantly obvious. I really couldn’t stay awake though any of the lectures. And all of the lectures seemed the same – going into extreme detail in set theory to prove that which any reasonable person could see was self-evident. Perhaps it wasn’t self-evident. Perhaps my degree in maths isn’t as buried at the back of my mind as I thought it was. In any case I studied maths at degree level for five years. I’ve done that. With Coursera I want to learn new things.
Today I started Dino 101 an introduction not just to dinosaurs, but to paleontology, biology and geology. Well, at the risk of sounding egocentric I’m no stranger to biology, but the rest is relatively new to me. So far the lectures have kept me awake.
“My Boy TM ” arrived, and so I was able to get on with chores for which I needed help. First of all we got the top box off of my car for the winter. And then we looked at the back fence. It has developed a hole through which Furry Face TM escapes and terrorises the natives. We bodged a fix temporarily, but it is only a bodge, and a temporary one at that. Especially loyal readers of this drivel may recall me building that fence. Anyone else might like to call up the report on the day by clicking here and calling up October 2006. That’s where today’s photo comoes from.
I built that fence on Sunday October 8 2006, the day after I (allegedly) downed twenty one pints of London Pride.
It’s lasted seven years. I would have liked longer. But it needs repair. Or replacement. If any of my loyal readers have any fence panels they don’t want, or can get jiggy with a shovel I’m looking at doing the fixing a week this coming Sunday. Feel free to join in…
The provisional plan is:
It will be hard work so if anyone wants to help, or better still do the hard work for me, please feel free to join in. We might just have a barby afterwards.
And with ‘er indoors TM still out I felt peckish so I foraged for tea. In the diection of the KFC. The “Mega Bucket for One” looked interesting…
5 September 2013 (Thursday) - Stuff
Yesterday I mentioned that I was going up the KFC shop for my tea. The "Mega Bucket for One" was rather tasty. And at just over a fiver it wasn't especially expensive as a treat. However at one thousand two hundred calories it rather counteracted any healthy intentions I'd had on my walk earlier in the day. As I scoffed my "Mega Bucket for One" I watched a film I'd recorded onto the Sky Plus box - "Full Metal Jacket" is a strange film. It's effectively two films. The first part about an army training camp is quite engaging. The second part, about a war in Vietnam some time later isn't.
I then had a relatively early night, but I was still up and watching Blakes Seven DVDs before 5am. This morning our heroes were at each others' throats again. They seem to squabble a lot at the moment, but it passed an otherwise dull hour before I left early for work.
I took a rather circuitous route today; failing to find one geocache, but locating another. "Gunners" eluded me, but I found "Gunners 2". I can see (or know of) no artillery-related reference to the location in which the caches are hidden. I can only suppose that "Gunners" is a football reference. I hesitate to roll my eyes in despair, but even so...
What is it with football that people find so fascinating. I can understand playing the game; like I can understand participating in any sport, recreation or pastime. But watching someone else doing it? And declaring undying allegiance to some team based miles away; the members of which are utterly oblivious of your existence?
I wish I could see the attraction. After all millions of others do.
Mind you apparently four per cent of the British public think Elvis is still alive That's two million nutters... But I digress...
As I drove to work I could see autumn had arrived. Keat's "season of mists" was never more evident than along the A28 to Canterbury this morning. The fogs were particularly beautiful along the Stour by Godmersham. The same fogs also caused a pile-up involving over a hundred cars which constituted one of the most serious emergencies the county's emergency services had ever seen.
Bearing in mind the stupidity I see every morning with people speeding past me on blind corners, this pile up can hardly be surprising. Why do people drive so dangerously. Every day on my journey to and from work I drive at the speed limit on the ten miles along the A28, and there will be at least half a dozen people who fly past me at speeds in excess of seventy miles an hour.
As I drove I listened to the radio, as always. The pundits were wittering on about the antics of various politicians, and were treating this trivia with respect, regardless of the fact that in two weeks time no one will remember anything about what these politicians were up to.
Then there was an article about the latest findings in deep space. Astrophysicists have apparently mapped magnetic fields in the galaxy's core. There are untold implications for this news, not least of which is that understanding massive magnetic flows may ultimately help us fuel the space ships which will save the human race when the sun explodes. But the news pundits treated science as though it were mere vaudeville comedy. I've ranted about this in the past. The most fleetingly trivial antics of celebrities and politicians is always given centre stage by the media whilst that of importance is never treated with respect.
I suppose the media is pandering to those who follow football, drive like an idiot, or think that Elvis is still alive.
Once at work I continued assisting my colleague in his efforts to master the French language. Maintenant le poisson est dans l'arbre avec le singe. Le lapin est invitee dans l'arbre, mais il ne veux pas etre dans l'arbre. L'oiseau n'est pas dans l'arbre. Le singe a mange l'oiseau parce que l'oiseau a frappe le singe sur son ballons. Le poisson n'aime pas l'arbre. Et son velocipede, qui est dans l'arbre aussi, est plien d'anguilles.
It's all going on up that tree...
Needless to say my colleague is struggling with his studies. Perhaps I should stop helping him.
And so home where I found a very ill dog...
6 September 2013 (Friday) - Poorly Pup
Fudge didn’t get any better overnight. I decided to let him be, and I tried to sleep. At 5am I couldn’t leave him any more so I went to see him. I couldn’t find him. Eventually I found him – he’d made a nest under a table and was looking very sorry for himself.
Leaving him with ‘er indoors TM took my car to the garage to be with them when they opened at 8am. In March when I had the service done they advised I should have the brakes checked in September. So today they checked the brakes; or to be precise they checked what was left of them.
They had a gap in their schedule and suggested they did the fix-it there and then. They even offered me a lift home. So I left the car with them and came home.
My dog looked ill when I came home, so I took him to the vets to be with them when they opened at 9am. Perhaps I’m just getting old - the vet looked so young. But to his credit he was wonderful with Furry Face TM and gave him a once over. The vet found what I had found; that Fudge’s tummy was rock hard. It was possible that he has pancreatitis, but more likely that he’s eaten something that he shouldn’t have. The vet then explained the next steps in great detail, but I can’t remember all that he said. The bottom line was that Fudge was to spend the day in dog hospital where he would have blood tests, ultrasounds and X rays together with antibiotics and intravenous fluids.
I don’t think anyone saw me blubbing as I walked out of the vets. This is *exactly* why I never wanted a dog.
I then effectively wasted much of the rest of the day. With no dog by my side I didn’t want to go for a walk; and I had to wait for the garage to call to let me know when my car would be ready. They had told me it would be two hours; it was three. But to their credit they sent someone to give me a lift so I could collect the car. Over two hundred and fifty pounds later I was driving away.
I needed some campden tablets, and as I was in the area I popped round to the home brew shop. Whilst passing I had a look for that geocache I failed to find on Wednesday. Today I found it in less than a minute. Some days I can see the things; other days I can’t.
With heavy rain having set in I went back to the computer. On-line dinosaur lectures, Candy Crush Saga, and Facebook for the afternoon.
I saw something on Facebook which really boiled my piss. Kent Police posted something on their official page about catching dangerous drivers. In the comments on this posting various people gave them examples of other places where dangerous driving is rife. I myself cited the traffic along the A28 every morning at about 7am. Kent police responded with a wonderful line: “Police staff manage this page so we cannot take reports of crime or record specific local issue”.
So police openly admit they cannot do the job they are paid to do….
My phone rang - it was the vets. I could collect "Furry Face TM" at 6.15pm. The vet said loads more, but I couldn't take it in.
I was better when I actually went to the vet's. Fudge has had various blood tests that have ruled out problems with kidneys, liver, pancreas or any other organ system. The X-rays and ultrasounds showed nothing bunging him up. The vet was honest - he could find nothing amiss, He suspected that somehow the silly pup has poisoned himself. He often eats grass when he's out - it's possible he's taken in some insecticide or weed killer or something.
The pup's tummy is now nowhere near as hard as it was earlier, and his ears aren't as low down as they were. He's home for the night, laying on the sofa looking as pissed as a rat. I'm told this is the after-effects of teh pain killers and anaesthetics. He has a shaved tummy where the ultrasounds was done. He has some special tea for later, and an appointment back with the vet at 9am tomorrow...
So far this has cost six hundred quid.. In years gone by I would have blithely told others in the same position that I would have had the animal put down. Now I’m just thinking that it would be nice if the insurance covers the cost, but if it does, that would just be an added bonus to getting my dog back.
7 September 2013 (Saturday) - On The Mend ?
Another night spent listening out for sounds from the dog. I heard him chewing his cannula at 5am and I stopped that for him. I took him outside, and he tiddled; which was a good thing. I then laid him on the sofa, and he watched me watching Blake's Seven. Today's episode was an improvement on what has gone before. There is still no sign of Blake, and his five would seem to have blown up his space ship. We both had brekkie. I always scoff mine. I was so pleased to see Fudge scoff his up right away.
9am soon came; and we were on the vet's doorstep. We went straight in, and the vet was pleased with his overnight progress. Whatever was bothering his belly hopefully seems to be in abeyance. The pup was still shivering, but that was probably related to his medications. They took the cannula out of his paw, and gave him some more distalgesic which probably accounted for his being spaced out for much of the day. But not too spaced out to look hopefully in the direction of other people's toast.
The plan for the day had been a serious walk around the Sussex countryside, but the vet had advised against anything too strenuous. we will definatelly do that wallk another time. Instead we sat at home for a bit.
After an hour or so Fudge became very fractious; and was whimpering. I was all set to take him back to the vet, but er indoors TM" suggested that he was on the mend and was going stir-crazy. So we rallied some troopps and went geocaching on the Romney Marsh. We did half a dozen caches; mostly as drive-bys. None really needed much walking to be done, but getting out and about was enough for the little dog. As we drove about and walked about he visibly perked up.
From a cachers point of view, if ever you are on the Romney Marsh look out for any cache annywhere near a footbridge. They are usually something special.
er indoors TM" spent a little time looking at renewing car insurance. She's good at that. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing she saved nearly three hundred quid on the insurance on my car. I was quite pleased about that. It's effectively found half of the money I've spent on vets bills over the last two days.
I could have gone with er indoors TM" to the Saturday film show tonight. It would have been good to have seen a Star Trek double bill. But there was no way I would leave my poorly dog thiis evening. So I sat with him and watched some of the stuff I'd recorded onto the SkyPlus box. Some of what I'd recorded was quite good. And I watched the film "Alien Nation" for the first time. I say "watched" - I turned it off half way through. It was dreadful...
8 September 2013 (Sunday) - Challock Goose Fair
Our little dog spent the night downstairs where he should be last night. That was a good sign. He looked at me hopefully as I ate my toast, and I let him have a crust. Only the one. He slept on my lap as I watched Blake's Seven. I'm now on to the fourth season; the foxy bird with the haircut has croaked, and today our heroes have managed to steal someone else's space base. A space base is a useful thing to have, especially when your own has gone west.
Whilst I watched TV my little dog lay on my lap and farted a lot. He can be smelly, but this morning's were particularly pungent. I'm hoping this is all part of his innards getting back to normal. He took his medicines, but didn't seem keen on his breakfast. So I tricked him. I put his breakfast on my plate, put it in front of me and carried on watching telly. After a minute or so as a treat I offered him a little of it,and he yummed it up. Over the course of twenty minutes he ate the lot; being offered a morsel at a time.
Steve and Sarah arrived, and I went with them to Challlock. The astro club was running a stall at the goose fair. Or so we had arranged. We turned up to find they had no record of us at all. After a lot of fiddling about it turned out that they had us down as being "The A.A.", and our contact person was Geoffrey (!) Apparently we were "like the owls".
Eventually we found the area they'd set aside for us, and after a few minutes we were all set up and having coffee and doughnuts. There was a dodgy five minutes in which Steve lost his custard, but we were soon "all systems go" and dealing with the public. I was expecting some problems from the hippies in tthe stall opposite; they had some wierd angel costume made from a pair of seagull wings. But they kept themselves to themselves
We had dozens of peoople looking through our telescopes. The solar scope was especially popular; it was a shame there was so much cloud. It was an even greater shame that it rained several times. But we had a good time. I raided the stall of the Giggling Pig Company several times for their freebie samples, and had more than a few hand-outs from Rosie's chutneys. I took some photos of the event as well.
i met a couple of old friends from years ago at the event, and got some gossip. A mutual friend is apparently preparing to do a flit. A week on Thursday her and her entire family are decamping to Wiltshire (permanently!). And following much discontent all of the Beaver leaders from my old socut group have resigned and are decamping to another local scout group.
I have always said that there is never anything as interesting as someone else's life.
Home to an empty house. er indoors TM" had taken "Furry Face TM" for a walk. So being on my own I did a quick cache before they came home. And once home I learned something about my dog. He's clever. He had been out with er indoors TM" all day and had mostly been OK. On seeing me his behaviour reverted to being very sorry for himself and subdued. He was seriously attention-seeking. He doesn't do it for er indoors TM" because she don't put up wiith it.. He does it with me because he knows I'm a soft touch. With er indoors TM" off bowling I settled down for an evening of "Jeeves and Wooster" on UK Gold with a small dog asleep on my lap. Farting like a fruit bat...
9 Septemper 2013 (Monday) - Stuff
Blake’s four were having all sorts of problems with a booby trapped door today. In between the door which was rigged to a nuclear explosive which was going to explode within the hour they were scrapping with natives and getting jiggy with ladies who seemed more interested in getting jiggy with other ladies. I rather lost the plot about half way through; which is probably where the script writers lost it too.
I put “Furry Face TM “’s collar and lead on him and took him round to the vets. He seemed to be on the mend, and the vet agreed. We never did get to the root cause of what had laid him low, but the vet was under the impression that it was probably something that he had eaten. I didn’t realise that dogs actually have delicate stomachs; onions are poisonous to them as are leeks. The vet said it was probably best to leave off al vegetables.
I then took the convalescent dog for a small walk. A small series of caches had gone live yesterday and they made or a good walk for an hour or so. Or that is they would have done had it not been cold and raining. The convalescent dog in question had his tail between his legs for most of the walk; only perking up when we came home.
Once home I did the accounts. There’s no denying they would have been better had I not spent out on repairs to the car and the dog, but what is money for if not to spend foolishly on cars and dogs. And fences. Regular readers of this drivel may recall the fence is in need of repair. “My Boy TM ” helped me acquire much of the ingredients for the new fence I hope to build on Sunday. He’s a good lad.
And with my lap top going seriously west (user profile not found) I think I’ve found my third serious expense. They say problems come in threes…
10 September 2013 (Tuesday) - Broken
I woke at 3.02am this morning, and lay in bed wide awake for some time. I eventually gave up trying to sleep and got up at 4.50am. My little dog was still fast asleep as I did the washing up. I checked my lap top. Nothing had changed since last night. When I booted up I got the option to put in my password. I did that - correctly (!) - and it told me that it couldn't proceed. I had been given one or two pointers which I thought I might try out when I had a minute. But they all looked rather technical. So I had this rather better idea to smile pathetically in the direction of people who know about computers...
Over brekkie I watched some telly. Blake's cronies have found a friend; there are now five of them. They've also found an old enemy. Today they were helping various people blow up assorted swamps for no reason that I could work out. I watched their antics with a small dog curled up on my lap; spending much of the time squeezing his tummy in an experimental sort of way. That belly was rock hard last week; it seems to have gone back to normal now. Mind you, Fudge himself seems to be somewhat soppier than ever he was. I expect he's still convalescent, or he knows that he can get away with it with me.
I set off to work ten minutes earlier than I might have done. Having found a geocache every day for the last forty days I thought I might just get one more day on to this streak as I knew of a cache in Little Burton Farm I might try for. I was within twenty yards of that cache when my phone pinged that a new cache had gone live only a few hundred yards away. I abandoned the cache I was after (it will keep till tomorrow) and ran off on the chance of a First to Find. Having failed miserably to FTF twice last week I was rather smug this morning to get an FTF. Today's cache was... I won't spoil the surprise. I'll just say that it was rather out of the ordinary and I was amazed that I found it in less than a minute. In fact I was rather amazed that I found it at all. But I did. I was FTF at 6.46am; sixteen minutes after it was published. FTFs go quickly in Ashford... usually. Interestingly another cache went live in Ashford today. Five minutes before the one I found; a mile and a half from it. That one didn't get found so quickly. That one took twelve hours to be found for the first time. It's on my to-do list for Thursday; providing nothing else crops up in the meantime.
And then on to work . As I drove the radio spouted its usual tirade of drivel. Amongst this morning's snippets was something of interest. A recent survey of opinions of people in the UK has shown that as a nation we are becoming more tolerant of other people being different in a variety of ways, be it attitudes towards homosexuals, children born out of marriage, racial relations. And the Royals are more popular than they have been for some time.
Interestingly it turns out that as a nation we are more tolerant, but as individuals we aren't. The pundits on the radio were saying that it is the upcoming generation that is more accepting; the older generation is still stuck in its ways. Apparently the survey showed that most people seem to keep their opinions unchanged on a range of subjects for years.
Again I would seem to be in the minority; anyone reading this blog will know I change my opinions on all manner of subjects with annoying regularity.
Once at work I discovered that il y a un elephant qui veux manger le singe qui habite dans l'arbre. (Le pauvre singe). Heureusement le singe est tres vite et l'arbre n'est pas tres dur et l'elephant ne peut pas grimper à l'arbre. "Hurrah!" dit le singe et tous son amis. Les amis du oiseau morte ne dit pas "Hurrah!". Ils veux assister l'elephant pour manger le singe. Mais nous n' aimons pas les amis du oiseau parce qu' ils sont tous batards comme etait l'oiseau.
Or so I am reliably informed.
As well as finding out the latest developments in the tree I did my bit at work, and came home via Morrisons because they have the cheapest petrol for miles around. Despite having spent a small fortune on car and dog repairs and despite the possibility of having to shell out for a new laptop, I found enough cash for a bar of choccy whilst getting petrol. Petrol comes off of a different budget...
11 September 2013 (Wednesday) - Stuff
I came home last night to find the contents of the bin strewn across the living room, and also to find a very sheepish looking dog. Perhaps rooting in the bin last week is what made him ill. He's not been in bins before. We shall have to watch that.
I had a better night's sleep; I woke at 5am, and then decided against Blakes's Seven this morning; preferring to doze instead. I got up shortly before 7am to find a certain dog had spent the night on the sofa again. I had brekkie; or most of brekkie. Now that "Furry Face TM" is eating again he gets the crusts from my toast. He probably shouldn't, but it's good to see him eating something.
On checking emails I saw a geocache had gone live overnight. Not only gone live but had already been found. There are those in the geo-community who wouldn't bother looking for such a cache; for them the FTF is everything. For myself, an FTF is nice, but having someone else find the cache first means that I can be reasonably sure that the cache is actually there, and that the listed co-ords are good. So I left for work a little earlier than I might normally have done, and went to work via a minor diversion into Westwell where (after quite a serious bit of searching) I found the cache. Day forty-two on my caching streak sorted (!)
I then made my way to work. Slowly. As I drove through Challock I was amazed at how empty the village green appeared. Was it only four days since the place was alive with the goose fair? There was barely the slightest trace of it this morning.
I stopped off in the Canterbury branch of Staples to have a look-see. They had some interesting Android tablets. If they had one with wi-fi/internet and GPS I might have a use for it. Not right now though; I'm too skint. But it never hurts to see what is available. I looked hopefully, but none of the assistants wanted to come and assist. Oh well, that will be their loss. If and when I get one I shall take my money elsewhere. And that will be money; not extended credit. I looked at their credit agreements. They were advertising a laptop for sale at just under four hundred quid - available on easy terms; but when you finished paying those easy terms you would find that you'd stumped up over six hundred quid.
I then went into the Cheapo-Bargains shop. They were advertising singing model garden birds for sale. Two pounds each a few weeks ago; today they were reduced in price to fifty pence each. But they didn't actually have any. I refrained from asking what else didn't they have at rock bottom prices, and came to work.
At work I had a shock. Mon camarade me dit comme il est un ami d'oiseau est il pense que le singe est un batard. Moi - j'adore le singe. Je le dit que l'oiseau est un tres grand batard avec le sucre au-dessus. Mon camarade etait confusee parce qu' il ne comprendre pas "tres grand batard avec le sucre au-dessus".
Il a dit il y a un fete dans l'arbre ou le singe et l'oseau est amis. Aussi il y a un giraffe dans l'arbre maintenant. Qu' est-ce qu'il fait? Est ce qu' il est ami d'oiseau? Est-il un batard aussi?
Et l'oiseau... J'ai pense que le singe est mange l'oiseau le semaine derniere. Est ce qu' un autre oiseau ?
It has been suggested that I am confusing my French-learning colleague deliberately..
12 September 2013 (Thursday) - Dinosaurs, Vets...
I had a reasonable night’s sleep for once. I usually do when I have nothing planned for the morning. Over a spot of brekkie I saw that a new cache had gone live overnight some two miles away, so with little else to do I sped out in pursuit of an FTF. I failed. Again. I found what looked like the obvious spot, but no joy.
I came home, collected "Furry Face TM" and took him for a walk. As we went through the park I met up with a caching pal, and we chatted for a while. I was rather pleased that I had to put my dog on a lead; he’s getting back to his spirited self.
Whilst we were out I found myself rummaging in ivy in pursuit of plastic. And amazingly I found what I had thought was going to be challenging in less than a minute.
We came home, and over a spot of lunch I watched a film I’d recorded. “Neds” looked like it was going to be good. It wasn’t. Set in Glasgow the film needed subtitles to understand most of the dialogue, and the film got worse as it went on; ending with the hero being bashed up by Jesus who had climbed off of the cross specially. I then did on-line dinosaur lectures for an hour or so before scoring full marks in this week’s test. Did you know that dinosaurs probably had feathers.
Cheryl and Lacey called round and we went to the costume hire shop. I look the business in my suit; I won’t go into too many details – suffice it to say that I will touch on the costume in a future entry. And then we took Fudge to the vets. We completed the paperwork for the bills we incurred last week, and pup had his annual injections. The vet was especially pleased to see Fudge. As he said, he only gets to see animals when they are ill or for injections. Having seen how ill he was last week the vet was really pleased to see the improvement in him over the last week.
Fudge had his injection and didn’t bat an eyelid.
I ran Cheryl and Lacey home. In retrospect I sould have collected the barby whilst I was there. I didn't. Instead I came home for domestic trivia. Ironing, hoovering, washing up. And then er indoors TM" came home and boiled up a rather dcent bit of scran. She does that. We scoffed it whilst watching "The King's Speech" - which was rather better than "Neds"...
13 September 2013 (Friday) - This n That
I had a phone call from work yesterday to ask if I could do the late shift today. Being an obliging kind of chap I was happy to do so, and so wasn't out of my pit quite as early as usual on a working day. Over brekkie i watched Blake's Seven with a small dog asleep on my lap. Today our heroes were having a fracas with Space Rats. Space Rats were clearly supposed to be an inter-galactic version of Hells Angels. They were supposed to be scary. However they came over as being akin to the fan club of Co-Co the Clown's hypothetical stunt double which wasn't scary at all.
Whilst watching lame early 1980s sci-fi I was very conscious of today's date. September 13. The late 1970s lame sci-fi show Space 1999 all started off from the events purported to take place on September 13 1999.
When I watched that program on Saturday mornings as a teenager that date seemed to be so far into the future as to be unreal. Now it's fourteen years into the past. Where have the years gone?
As I had time to spare I took a scenic route to work (through the fog) via Elmstead where I picked up a geocache. The description of the cache said to look out for the llamas; I was rather disappointed not to see any.
As always I listened to the news as I drove. It is now official - the space probe Voyager 1 has left the solar system and is in inter-stellar space. The pundits made great show of the announcement, and glossed over the fact that the actual exit took place over a year ago. They also had tame experts being interviewed who explained about galactic distances and the impracticality of travel to other stars with today's technology. And in a novel break with tradition the people presenting the show took what was being said seriously.
The pundits rather glossed over proposed changes to the Post Office. Apparently "thousands of our remote communities rely on the national mail network as a lifeline". Really? In this modern electronic age do people really use snail-mail quite so much. And if someone chooses to live in the back of beyond then they must be able to afford to do so. Why should people who live in sensible places subsidise them? It transpires that it actually costs seventy quid to post a letter to the more remote parts of Scotland, but currently all that is actually paid on such a letter is the price of a stamp. Presumably everyone else posting letters to sensible places is subsidising those who can already afford to live in the back of beyond. Why should I subsidise those who are already demonstrably far better off than I am?
Meanwhile can anyone honestly say that they are surprised to hear that more money is to be milked from the Harry Potter franchise. Whilst Harry himself won't feature in this latest round, there will be enough of a crossover to ensure that millions of fans will hand over more of their hard-earned cash.
I wish I could come up with a money-making idea like Harry Potter. Somehow I don't think "Les Aventures Du Le Singe Et L'Oiseau (qui est un batard)" will somehow catch the public's imagination.
Talking of which my French-learning associate had a day off today so I was not able to inspire and enthral him with the latest exploits of our simian friend and its avian nemesis. I'm sure it will all keep till Monday.
Without being able to impart my linguistic skills, the day was rather dull.
As I came home tonight the weather forecast made me sit up and take notice. The BBC radio people said that Sunday would be torrential rain and howling winds all over the country. When I got access to the Internet I saw that the same BBC said light winds and dry until 7pm on Sunday on it's weather page. I wish they would either make up their minds, or be honest and say they have no idea what the weatehr is going to do...
14 September 2013 (Saturday) - A Party
The morning's sci-fi DVD fix was ludicrous. Blake's cronies would seem to have declared war on the fix dominatrix and so in their attempt tooverthrow the galactic ampire they are gatering allies. For no adequately explored reason they neded someone who specialissed in training monkeys. I rather lost the plot when the fix dominatrix caaptured the one with he gun andhypnotised her to kill th monkey trainer.
With er indoors TM" off to sell candles to the mases, I put the lead on to "Furry Face TM" and we went off for a wlk with Chris. Chris had thisidea to set a huge series of geocaches, but said (understandably) tat it was a huge undertaking. DId I want to assist with the venture? Yes - I did. We went out and between us we hid over twenty caches. I won't say where. Suffice it to say that there is still a third of teh ccircuit to be done, and what we did do took about four hours.
Whilst we were out I was so pleased to see that my little dog was well enough to roll in fox poo.
We came home via the day's cache, and then I hosed the fox dung off of the pup. an hour was wasted playing Candyy Crush Saga until er indoors TM" came home. We got on our glad rags and went round for "My Boy TM", and we all set off to my nephew's eighteenth birthday party.
We were told that fancy dress was optional. I thought we looked quite good as the cast of "Grease". About a third of the people the had made the effort to dress up in soe wy. Many of the younger ones had turned up in onesies for no reason that could detemine. My nephew looked wonderful as the Joker fro the latest Batman film. My brother looked remarkably at home in a sparkling dress. There was an interesting young lady in tight red knickers and very lttle else. There was a particulary interesting catwoman in a wipe-clean suit. And there was a coven of smurfs who were sitting in the corner radiating an aura of frank malevoloence.
It was good to meet up with many family mmbers that I haven't seen for years; being the designated driver it was entertaining to watch the antics of everyone else. There were those who patrolled the food, those whoo patrolled the jailbait Wario. It was quite funy watching seventeen year old blowing into the urinal (especially when they were not my problem). The music was far too loud; it always is. But they played soome good tunes that I knew.
All too soon it as time to come home. We staggered intto bed shortly after 2am. I wish I had taken some photos of the event.
15 September 2013 (Sunday) - Fence Fixing
Despite a late night I was awake at 7am this morning. Last night when we got home my phone had had a fit. The battery had gone doolally and despite a new geocache having gone live a mile away, my phone wouldn't have it. Over brekie another cache went live in Folkestone so with nothing else on the aganda for a couple of hours I thought I'd give the phone a field trial. It worked OK - and I got an FTF. Can't be bad. Mind you it still refuses to find that cache near the cinema. I wonder what that is all about.
Lisa then got the barby going and we had sossies and ribs and lager until mid-afternoon when everyone set off on their various missions.
16 September 2013 (Monday) - Bosoms, Sheep and Opportunism
Having woken before 3am and lain awake for a couple of hours I was up and watching the antics of Blake's Seven (well, five) at 5am. This morning they had rescued the woman from the gravy adverts of twenty years ago. I'm not quite sure what they had rescued her from, or what her role in the plot was, but having her waggling an epic bosom at the camera from time to time livened up an otherwise dull episode.
For any of my loyal readers who may be shocked at such unbecoming an action from the gravy advert lady, I can vaguely remember her doing much more graphic things with her "charms" in one of the "Confessions" films from the 1970s in which she was running round in the nip. Not that I am any expert on the waggling of epic bosoms.
I then had a look down the garden. The temporary fence we bodged into place had survived the night and was still standing. I suppose that is good; when we first put the temporary bodge in place yesterday it lasted for half an hour before collapsing. It's got to last until tomorrow; hopefully I shall be in a position to sort it properly then.
I set off to work. For today's geocache I tried one I couldn't find last time. Two weeks ago I tried to be First to Find, and despite several visits I couldn't find the thing. Today I found the cache immediately. How did I ever miss that?
As I arrived at the cache site there was a sheep loose in the road. By the time I'd parked up the sheep had wandered off, which was a shame. That would have made a good photo for the day.
As I drove I listened to the news. Today's news was being broadcast from the annual convention of the Dribbling Democrap party. And my piss boiled as I listened to them. Since abandoning any principles they may have had in a shallow attempt to be given political power at the last election, their popularity has dwindled. They have lost a massive part of the electorate's confidence and have also lost a third of their paid-up membership. The delegates being interviewed this morning made no secret of their current policies; namely to rubbish the two main political parties. This would leave neither of them capable of ever again being in a position to form a majority government. Therefore leaving Dribbling Democraps in perpetual power in various coalition governments with the political partners of their choice.
I might not like what the Con-Servatives stand for, or Labour come to that (!) but at least they both have the courage to have policies on which they will be judged. The Dribbling Democraps are rather making a mockery of the entire so-called democratic system. Given a hung parliament, the leader of a minority party will get to decide with whom he want to chum up, and consequently who governs the nation.
Once at work I did my bit, and then came home. I popped into Morrisons on the way back for petrol. And sweeties. As I drove home the pundits on the radio were discussing what was wrong with the National Health Service. As always they spouted fine-sounding platitudes whilst skirting round the core problem the NHS faces. Which is... let me use an analogy. Imagine giving your credit card and PIN to me, pointing me in the direction of the pub, patting me on the head, then when the credit card bill comes in pretending to be surprised at where all the money has gone.
Free healthcare for all is expensive, The NHS needs to either decide or be told what it can treat and what it cannot. And (for all that it sounds heartless) it needs to have a list of things it will not treat. I won't go into specific examples; I've done that before. We can all think of services which the NHS should not be offering.
And it needs less change. Not more. There has been too many shake-ups in the NHS over the course of its history; very few for anything than other than to pander to the current political fashion.
But knocking the NHS is always a good way to make content for news and current affairs radio programs...
17 September 2013 (Tuesday) - It Rained
I had a vague plan to lie in this morning. I got up at 6am which (I suppose) is a lie-in. Our sci-fi heroes were stealing crystals in this morning's sci-fi DVD installment. Stealing crystals is an old sc-fi theme; Captain Kirk did it twenty years before Blake's gang even thought about it. And like most sc-fi crystals, stolen ones explode rather more readily than the average crystal. But even the most gratuitous explosion won't make up for the lack of a plot.
er indoors TM" set off to work so me and "Furry Face TM" scrounged a lift part of the way with her. A new cache had gone live near one of the town's four McDonalds (I love Ashford!!) so I thought we'd have a go for it. We tried. And failed. When looking suspicious in a public car park it helps to have a small dog and some poo bags, but there is a limit as to how long you can lurk by a fence. We gave up and went for another cache.
There was one we tried for last Thursday (couldn't find it) and went back to on Saturday when we found the clue. Given the clue (and a hint), today I thought I'd get the cache. The clue led us to an obvious place, but I couldn't find the cache. I logged a third DNF (Did Not Find) and went home in a sulk. Mind you the sulk didnt last long. As we walked through the park I let "Furry Face TM" off of his lead and he immediately found a new friend; a small brown poodle we'd not met before. I know we'd not met this one before because I would have remembered the rather fit bird (patent pending) accompanying said poodle with whom I exchanged pleasentries for an entertaining ten minutes.
Campared to the rather fit bird (patent pending), Orangehead and her chunky little friend rather paled into insignificance.
When I was three quarters of the way home my phone beeped. An email. The chap who had hidden the cache I'd just so spectacularly failed to find had thrown me a bone. A small hint, but enough to make me realise that when I'd been searching I had gone along having already decided what I was looking for. And having decided to look for the wrong thing I didn't look for the right thing.
That all sounds rather cryptic, doesn't it.
I'm not going to give any spoilers, but if you read the cache description do you pick up on the same line that I did? Now that I knew that my initial premise was wrong we came home and (being rather lazy) drove back and found the cache in a matter of seconds.
This has taught me a valuable lesson about my caching technique. I assume an awful lot. Just lately I've DNF'ed quite a few caches because I get the idea that I'm looking for a fake leaf, or a magnetic keyholder when actually I should be looking for something completely different.
Home again, where there was a discarded supermarket trolley in the street. I stuck it in the front garden and used the "Trolleywiseon my phone to report it. I have now used this app to report eight loose trolleys. I don't know if any have ever been collected, but having left this one in the front garden I can keep an eye on it to see if this one gets collected. After all, every time I report a trolly it uploads the photo that I have to take of the trolley. And there is only so many megabytes I can waste on being environmentally friendly.
I then scared my dog. I found some cake in the kitchen and shouted "CAKE!!" at it. You have to shout "CAKE!!" at any cake you see. I don't know why; you just have to. That's the rules. It always has been. But today it rather scared little Fudgey. Either that or he was trying to join in by woofing at the cake. I gave him a little to calm his nerves. Perhaps I shouldn't have done bearing in mind how iffy his innards have been. But a tiny bit shouldn't hurt.
The plan was then to mow the lawn and to generally tidy up and make good in the garden. But rain stopped play. Instead I did the week's dinosaur lectures, watched more of the antics of Blake's henchmen and played Candy Crush Saga until Lisa and Earle came round to help me with the fence. I say "help me" - basically Earle did the lot in less than an hour. All that remains is for me to make a bespoke small panel to fill the remaining gap. I was so grateful for his help - when me and "My Boy TM" put up the first fence it took us all day. Someone who knows what they are doing can do a proper job in next to no time.
Being Tuesday the clans gathered; today at Somerset Road. We bandied insults, and after a little mucking about with an X-box that was sulking we watched "Merlin". Another series in which a plot is utterly unnecessary when you have serious over-acting...
I didn't wake until 4am this morning; I was relatively pleased about that; but I was still watching Blakes Seven on DVD by 5am. In the past few days and weeks I've been rather disparaging about this show. Today's episode scaled the heights of implausibility. I have always said that sci-fi shows by their very nature need a good plot and good characterisations so that your attention isn't occupied by the scientific impossibilities that are inherent in sci-fi. Today's episode was utter drivel. I've just watched had four seasons of a show in which the main protagonists are basically the good guys; if not heroes.
Yesterday I mentioned that I couldn't find a geocache which had been hidden near McDonalds. This morning I went back for it rather earlier than I had yesterday, and after a little rummaging I found the thing. There wasn't anyone about in the car park at 6.30am. Strange, that (!)
I am now on day forty nine of a streak of finding caches, and am seriously looking at the streak's end. I might just make it to the weekend. There are very few caches left within convenient striking distance of home or work. It is dark when I leave work in the evening, and it was only just getting light when I found this morning's cache. Rummaging in the darkness is a sure way to look suspicious.
As I drove to work I listened to the news. Two days ago I lambasted the Drippling Democraps for their shameless attempts to cling to power in continual coalitions. Today their leader publically told his party's conference (and by implication the entire world) that in any future general elections having one party being able to form a majority government would be a disaster.
Don't get me wrong; in theory coalition government could be a good thing for our country. Over the long term it could curb the excesses of either of the two main political parties who have dominated the political scene for years. However what we have at the moment is two large parties which may or may not be able to form a majority government, and one relatively large minority party which knows full well that given a minority government is elected, it has the ability to offer that government a majority.
And talking of political power, apparently there is exactly one year to go until the Scots get to vote for independence. The pundits were saying that that the current feeling of theScottish electorate is that they will want to remain part of the union. And rightly so. As a tiny nation akin to Luxembourg or Bulgaria they will struggle. Surely the way forward is is international union, not in going our own sweet ways. I've ranted about this before.
Once at work I was gived the responsibility of supervising a young lady who was doing work experience. I intoduced her to my colleague who is learning bad French. My young lady told me she didn't know much French, so I remedied that deficiency in her education. She seemed to be suitaby impressed.
Aussi je decovere il y a un matelot jolie dans l'arbre. Il est tres grand ami d'oiseau. Le singe n'avais pas un ami qui est jolie. Est ce que l'oiseau jolie? Entre-temps le matelot est attempte a manger le singe.
Having done my bit I came home. Yesterday I mentioned that I'd put a discarded supermarket trolley in the front garden and reported it with my Trolleywise app to see if it would get collected. It's still there...
I woke a lot later than usual - it was gone 5am when I woke; and I didn't feel one hundred per cent. So I lay in bed until 6.30am when I finally emerged. I couldn't face Blake's Seven this morning; instead I wasted some time on the Internet. As I sat on the sofa FF jumped up and snuggled. Anyone who meets my dog immediately comes to the conclusion that he is a mad thing bordering on being hyperactive. He isn't. Well, not all of the time. When no one is looking he can be quite soppy as he was this morning.
Yesterday I mentioned that I was struggling to keep my caching streak going as I was fast running out of local caches to hunt. Yesterday a new one went live which was right on my way to work. However it had been hidden by a chap who seems to hide them in such a way to leave me foxed. Certainly I've made hard work of his last three hides.
Bearing that in mind and consequently expecting quite a search this morning I left for work with plenty of time, and found the cache after about ten seconds of hunting. I have now done fifty continuous days of finding a cache.
Having found this morning's cache I was suddenly at a loose end; with over an hour before I needed to be at work. So I drove round Chartham and hunted out likely parking places for future walks with my dog. I also went in to the Cheapo Bargains shop. Ashford's Cheapo Bargains shop does two bottles of (fairly decent) plonk for six quid. The shop in Canterbury does the same two bottles for a fiver. So I got some of those. I would have got a new phone charger as well if the staff could have been bothered to show me where they were kept.
And so to work ou il y etait un piroquet dans l'arbre. Un piroquet (!) "Morbleu! Parsambleu! Sapristi! Tonnerre de Brest! Mille millions de mille sabords!" nous disons. Entre-temps le singe et l'autre oiseau doit marchent sur la planche. After all it was "National Talk Like A Pirate Day" today.
In previous years I've blogged about this. I won't go over the old ground; I'll just say that it was a fun idea at the time which has probably long since had its day. It's not been the same since it's founder Mad Cap'n Tom threw in the sponge.
An odd night. I woke about 2.30am and lay awake until ubout the sort of time I would usually get up (shortly before 5am) when I nodded off and slept right through till 7am. I got up and had my morning's fix of Blake's Seven. I then had a look on the Internet. I see the astro club is twitting. You can follow the astro club on Twitter, you know. Though (in all honesty) I can't see the attraction myself. Being limited in what you can write means that tweeters either have to be particularly concise in what they tweet, or that they dribble tweets all day long. Also in order to get round the limitations of characters there are so many @ and #. I can't work out what most of the tweets are about. For example I received this tweet the other day: "@manky_badger �� RT @elakdawalla: MT @SungrazerComets: Starting to see lots of really nice images (cont) http://tl.gd/mm9c84" . I have absolutely no idea what it means. Simularly the committee have received another tweet. Everyone else is rather excited about it. I expect I would be too; if only I knew what it was about.
I then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. With no new geocaches having gone live overnight I thought I'd clear one off my list which had been there for a while. I won't go into details about the cache in question; suffice it to say that it needs a little bit of effort, and the requisite apparatus. Being tackled up with the appropriate implement I eventually found my quarry, and so have now logged a find every day for fifty-one days. At the moment I think my caching streak will stop next Tuesday unless any other caches go live locally.
When I started this run of caches I never thought I'd complete the month of August, let alone get this far. Mind you what I have done is nothing compared to a chap in California who has logged finds every day since July 2003 until giving up last week - that's 3712 days.
With cache found we came home via the park in a shallow attempt to sniff round the fit bird with the brown poodle, but she was nowhere to be seen. Instead I ended up exchanging pleasentries with Orangehead's chunky little friend.
Once home I got the lawn mowed. I tried out my new strimmer too. It's not brilliant, but not bad for twelve quid. Bearing in mind the replacement strimmer line is over five quid, that's rather cheap. I then tidied up around the new fence. I would have built in a gate, but I'm not exactly sure what the holes Earle has drilled are for. I shall have to ask. I would also have put back all the gravel but because the new fence is further back than the old one the membrane doesn't quite reach.
I then tidied the garden and took rubbish to the tip. The tip is different; it's been re-built. I struggled to get rid of my rubbish because of all the normal people who were marvelling at the place. I got chatting with the people working there. They told me they have quite a problem with sight-seers; people who come just to marvel at the new tip and just get in the way of people like me trying to unload rubbish. Apparently they have people demanding that their children be shown behind the scenes, and these people get quite shirty when they are told to clear off.
By now my back was beginning to ache, so I had a cuppa, and then decided to look at cutting back the overgrowth pouring over the fence from next door. It was then that I realised that I still had all the old fencing that I hadn't taken to the tip. I didn't fancy a third trip. I shall do that all next week. And then all enthusiasm for gardening waned. And it the afternoon was mostly gone. Having mowed the lawn earlier I thought I'd give myself a haircut. Some eighteen years (or so) ago a chap I'd just met introduced me to his newsagent. And the rest is history.... but that newsagent sold me a set of clippers for a tenner. I got my money's worth out of those clippers. I've not been back to the barbers in all that time. Once a month I voom those clippers over my head. Can't be bad.
er indoors TM" eventually came home and we had a rather decent curry and a bottle of that plonk I brought home yesterday. It's not the best wine I've ever tasted, but at £2.50 a bottle it certainly isn't the worst.
Being awake at 3.30am I had this plan to get up, pootle about and then I might sleep after an hour or so's pootling. So I watched a DVD. The last ever episode of Blake's Seven. Blake came back. There are those who might feel that he'd left it rather kate, but better late than never. Immediately on meeting the first of his henchmen he handed said henchman to the authorities, and when the rest of his gang showed up they killed him before he could tell tham that he wasn't really a baddie. The whole lot ended up as a bloodbath, which was probably for the best. I then went back to my pit and lay awake before finallly emerging from that pit shortly before 8am.
I would have made myself comfortable on the sofa for brekkie, but my dog had made himself comfortable. I didn't have the heart to move him, so I perched precariously next to him and checked out what was going on in the world via Facebook. It turned out that not a lot was happeneing.
So with some time spare I put "Furry Face TM"'s collar and lead on him and we went for a walk up to Little Burton Farm and back. Probably a round trip of about four miles; it took us about an hour and a half. Whilst we were out my dog rolled in two seperate piles of fox poo and humped a King Charles spaniel. It's two weeks since he was ill; he seems to be firmly on the mend.
Whilst we were out we met so many members of Ashford's Nepalese community. At the risk of sounding racist, are all Gurkhas terrifed of dogs? We always meet Nepalese people when we walk. they are always polite, friendly, but all of them always seem to cower away from Fudge and from every other dog they see.
We came home, and I bathed my dog. I wish he wouldn't roll in fox poo; it just adds ten minutes bath time to the day's itinery. And then I couldn't beleive my ears. With over twenty minutes to go before Lisa would be picking us up, er indoors TM" announced that she was ready. Early (!) That *never* happens.
And so on with the main business of the day; the monthly meet-up of Kent's geocachers. Today we met up at Halstead; a rather obscure village near Sevenoakes. The meet was really good. I especially liked the mini ship selling trackables and geo coins. The venue was excellent; a really friendly pub with six ales on the hand pump. And the meet itself - -it was good to meet up with old friends who share a predilection for hunting tupperware in the woods. We even went out and found a dozen caches. If only we could get people to embrace the concept of "smug mode" - letting everyone find a cache. The first one in a group to find any given cache doesn't need to wave the thing in the air. They might let everyone have a go at finding.
A rather restless night. er indoors TM" snored rather excessively for several hours. When she finally gave up with that game a small dog bounded up the stairs, jumped on the bed and made himself comfortable by trying to push me off of it. I gave up trying to sleep and came downstairs. Once the washing up was done I scoffed brekkie whilst checking out the world via social media. I had another go at Twitter. I don't like it much. Over on Facebook the talk was about the latest video game - Grand Theft Auto Five. Apparently parents are now acting surprised to find that a game glorifying theft and murder isn't exactly suitable for small children. Did they really have no idea what the first four GTA games were all about?
We rallied the troops and set off to Capstone Country Park for a spot of geocaching with a difference; we did a Wherigo cache. It was one of the best caches that I have ever done. We dowloaded the Wherigo software to our phones and through the wonders of GPS technology once we were in the right place the software started. Our first task was to firstly walk round the lake to find virtual coins, and having found them go back to the start for further instructions. And so we progressed. The software would tell us places to go and would either navigate us there or let us find our own way. And once at the designated locations we would have tasks to perform; puzzles to solve, questions to answer. Eventually after a few hours effort (and several miles hiked) we had enough information together to allow us to actually find the hidden geocache.
A Wherigo cache isn't for those people who like counting the numbers; this one cache took over four hours to find. But it's not about the numbers. It took us all over Capstone park; to places I've never been before. And it was fun. I can't recommend it highly enough.
As is always the case the more effort someone puts into creating a geocache experience, the fewer people actually do that cache. No one had done this particular cache since May. A great shame. For myself I would like to find more Wherigos. I understand there are a few in the south east.
Whilst we were out we saw a familiar face - the chap who had designed and set this Wherigo had come along to see how we were getting on. It was good to meet up with Martin. And he was fair - he didn't give away anything as we went round
Having (finally) got through all of my Blakes Seven DVDs, this morning (5am) I was catching up with some of the stuff I'd put onto the SkyPlus box. There was a five part dramatisation of the life of Mrs Biggs; wife of the infamous great train robber Ronnie. I watched the first episode over brekkie. It was actually rather good.
I don't think my little dog was too impressed though. He hauled himself over to see me and expressed interest all the time there were crusts of toast going, after which time he went back to his bed where he went to sleep and snored.
Day fifty four of my caching streak saw me rummaging in the undergrowth near Little Burton Farm at 6.30am. I found the cache I was after - it was fairly obvious where to look; others had clearly trampled the area before me. Mind you I did spend the rest of the day worrying my ear where a stinging nettle had got it.
I know of Muslims who are decent people. I once took cubs to a Mosque where we were welcomed warmly. However in many years of listening to BBC radio I don't think I've ever heard a good word said about them in the news. Surely this must be BBC bias; I know for a fact that they are not all as bad as Radio Four would have us beleive.
As I'd left for work I noticed that the supermarket trolley was still in the garden. I'd logged it as having escaped from Asda using the Trolleywise app last Tuesday, and over the weekend I had given the Trolleywise people some stick on their Facebook and Twitter pages.
It wasn't that long before the Trolleywise people answered my question this morning - apparently they aim to collect trolleys within twenty four hours of their being reported; and they asked for my postcode so they could collect this errant trolley. I gave them my postcode, and they replied instantly with a promise to investigate and get back to me. They did so within an hour and assured me the driver would be collecting the trolley sometime during the afternoon.
I had a phone call - the nice lady at Woodchurch village hall wanted to confirm the astro club's hall bookings for next year. I've asked for the last Friday of every month for the whole year, and she agreed. Except for December - we agreed to meet on the 19th rather than on Boxing Day. I'm guessing we won't have built our science centre before then.
Apparently il y a un supermarche dans cette arbre maintenant ou on peut achete du pain et du lait. L'oiseau veux achete du pain et du lait pour son sandwiche. Il aime du pain et du lait dans son sandwiche parce que il est non plus tres stupide ou il est batard (avec le sucre au dessus)...
I watched more of the Mrs Biggs mini-series over brekkie. Our heroes, if that is the right word, were making a new life for themselves in Australia. And looking out for the police at every turn. I don't know how true to life the show is, and I don't know much about the real-life Ronnie Biggs. But I can't help but wonder what I would have done in his place. One night's work robbing a train to be financially set up for life. Would I have turned it down? I don't know.
And then I checked out social media. I say "social media" - I mean Facebook. Twitter remains @a ld f ld #cbblrs. There was consternation at the news that the BBC are thinking about axing one of their longert running TV shows "The Sky at Night". At the risk of again being branded a heretic, is that such a bad thing? For me it was never a program about the sky ay night; it was the Patrick Moore show. And in more recent years it was sad to see the once great man becoming more and more frail. Now he's gone maybe the show should be allowed to go too; it's not the same without him.
I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. He liked it. Whilst out we tried more whistle training. When we are doing whistle training for its own sake he does it perfectly. I let him bimble off; I blow the whistle - he comes running. It worked every time today. Probably because he never got into the sort of pickle I needed to extract him from at a distance. When he is up to no good I blow the whistle until I am blue in the face to no avail...
I then drove down to the golf shop to get a birthday present. I went via a geocache that had gone live a day or so again. Some caches are cleverly hidden so that they blend into the surroundings. Some are cleverly hidden in the surroundings. And some are just rammed under a hedge... But there won't be many normal people to disturb that hide I suppose.
As I drove down the A2070 I was eventually overtaken by a lorry belonging to the famous lock company Chubb. Before dangerously overtaking me on a corner, the fool driving that van had been less than ten yards from my rear bumper for several miles. It never fails to amaze me that people who have their companies names and logos emblazoned all over their vehicles make no effort not to drive like complete idiots. I certainly do not intend to ever use the services of Chubb locks again.
Once home I watched more of Mrs Biggs over lunch, and spent much of the afternoon working on my latest project. I won't go into too many details about what I have been up to. Suffice it to say that after a software failure I blagged something that was originally written in either Polish or Czecheslovakian and I've translated most of it. Not all, but enough to be getting on with.
Next door came home half way through the afternoon and started clanging on their piano. They must have been clanging on that piano on a daily basis for nearly ten years. They still sound just as bad as the sad day when that piano first arrived. I'd like to think that if I had made so little progress after so much practice I would cut my losses and give up. As they clanged their piano I did this week's on-line dinsaur lectures and scored 100% in this week's test. I felt rather smug about that.
Over a spot of brekkie I checked my e-messages. there was one to all the members of the astro club committee asking about our availability on Saturday for an event which runs from 10am to 5pm. I wonder what event that might be. I'm sure I've been told about it (whatever it might be) but have absolutely no idea what it is.
Something else about which I have no idea is a message I received from the astro club via Twitter. My phone told me that the astro club had Twitted at me, but apart from a lot of @ and # I couldn't actually see any message. I wonder what that was all about.
Yesterday I was rather cryptic about a project upon which I had embarked. I had a second field trial of that project today, and after one or two minor tweaks I have launched the thing onto an unsuspecting public. There are several types of geocache; the most obscure is the Wherigo cache. With only a dozen within fifty miles of home, I have created one. It's rather (very) basic, but it is intended to be one which is aimed at beginner level. Once my programming skills have advanced a bit more I might just embark on one which is a little more ambitious.
I expect some will love it and some will hate it. Much like the public's reaction to everything, really. So far only one person has downloaded the Wherigo cartridge, and she is still yet to actually try the thing out.
I played Candy Crush Saga for an hour or so until er indoors TM" came home from work earlier than usual. We put on our posh frocks and set off to Maidstone. Ten of us met up in the Muggleton Arms. I couldn't beleive the prices - A plate of steak and kidney pudding with chips and a pint of decent ale was less than a fiver. A pint of Adnam's Explorer (good stuff) was only £1.83.
We then brought on the birthday cake (complete with candles) for the birthday "(My) Boy TM", and after singing a rousing chirus of "Happy Birthday to You" we went round to the Hazlett Theatre where the youth theatre were presenting "Grease Is The Word". This is at least the fifth production of theirs that I have seen, and like all the others it was really good. Lacey knew the words to all the songs, and there's not many seven year olds that can say that...
Following a very busy and exciting and late night last night I slept right through until 5am this morning. I woke to find a small dog curled up at the end of the bed. He really shouldn't be there, but I let him sleep, and went downstairs for brekkie and the last episode of the mini-series of "Mrs Biggs". Charmian has now left Ronnie, and has made a life for herself in Australia. All seemed to be well that ended well. But that's TV drama. I suspect real life was different. As I mentioned the other day, having watched the series based on real people's experiences and crimes I can't help but wonder what I would have done in their position.
I then left for work slightly earlier than usual to hunt for the day's cache. It was still dark so I took a torch. I hate caching in the dark; you look incredibly suspicious and you can't actually see anything. I failed to find three different caches whilst scrubbling in the darkness in various places, and was nearly (but not quite) late for work.
Apparently the village hall had been booked for what seemed to be a bona fide engagement, but had been billed on muckier sies on the Internet to be something featuring spanking, flogging and "kink on a budget". I had no idea that bondage parties were booked into village halls. The good villagers of Trumpington were simularly ignorant and were shocked. And rightly so. Someone has to take a moral stance in these depraved times. And their doing so saves me having to make the effort. Mind you part of me can't help but wonder if they had actually done anything wrong.
The prude being interviewed on the radio tried to appear to be open-minded and claimed that her objection was that their hall was being booked for people who didn't live in the area. She claimed that they wanted the village hall to be used for locals. She didn't convince me of her sincerity.
It was a shame that this revelation was immediately followed by an article about an amazing discovery in space. Rather than talking about pulsars the pundits picked up on the fact that the discoverer of the first pulsar to be found hailed from Cambridgeshire, and would not shut up with implications of depravity.
And so to work, where the French lessons continued. Maintenant il y a un canard dans l'arbre. Le canard est bati un bibloteque pour les enfants. Il n'y a pas des enfants dans l'abre, mais l'oiseau est tres stupide. Peut etre il est capable a apprendre de la bibloteque pour les enfants. Aussi il y a un gendarmerie dans l'arbre just que l'oiseau est batard encore un fois.
In between telling the assembled throng about life in French trees I did my bit, and then came home the scenic route via Canterbury's city wall. In a complete contrast to the morning's caching fiasco I found two caches in as many minutes...
I slept through till after 7am this morning, and after a spot of brekkie "Daddies Little Angel TM" arrived with Sid and we went for a walk. Down through South Ashford to the Environment Centre and back home via Singleton Lake and the park. The walk was mostly uneventful, and we only had one "dog episode" when we encountered some mad woman being dragged about by a death-hound. This death-hound was on a lead, but was clearly out of control; the woman with it was shrieking hysterically at anyone who came close that hey should get away from her death-hound. For some inexplicable reason she took offence when I suggested the snarling slavering animal should be muzzled.
Once home I mowed the lawn and then got out the hedge trimmer and cut back all the overgrowth from next door's hedgerows. A few years ago I had a good garden. Now it is just a mess mainly because of all the stuff flowing over the hedge. Maybe clipping one or two clematis roots might solve some problems there.
I then saw red. having fallen over clutter in the living room for the umpteenth time i put a pile of tape cassettes into the bin, then got a black sack and just filled it with the rubbish that litters my world. Other peope live tidily. Why can't I?
And whilst I was seeing red my poor little dog got shouted at. He will not stop throwing himself at the fence and barking at next door's dogs. I finally had enough of this behaviour, and I bellowed at him for five minutes. He got the message.
And then on to astro club. I went via Appledore where I picked up the day's cache. Astro club was excellent this evening. We had a huge turn-out and really good talks. An update on things current in outer space, and then a review of sci-fi and how plausible inter-stellar travel really would be. Entertaining, educational and thought provoking.
The membership have taken our vision of builing a space centre to heart. Tonight we were presented with some preliminary design work and also a really good telecope and mount to auction to raise funds for the project. We'll have that thing built yet...
A restless night. I had a little grin when I heard my dog creeping up the stairs at 4am. He knows he shouldn't come upstairs so he tries to be stealthy, but there are some creaking floorboards which always give him away. He leapt onto the bottom of the bed, made himself comfortable and went to sleep. I really should have taken him back to his bed downstairs, but he wasn't hurting anyone by being there.
is from the people who wrote another favourite show of mine (The Royle Family). I hadn't seen it before. Featuring the mundane lives of some average people in a mundane pub it was absolutely brilliant. I couldn't believe that the program is ten years old. Why have I not seen this before? What other gems have I missed?
With a few minutes spare I had a look at the astro club's accounts. Before last night's meeting all the cash was accounted for. Last night we took money in the form of membership renewals and people joining. We took money from the raffle, and we spent money on the ingredients of refreshments. So why was it that when I counted up the cash we were nineteen quid adrift?
And so to work. There was a minor disaster as my car refused to start. I pressed the button to make things happen and all that actually happened was a clicking sound. A message came up saying to turn the steering wheel. I did and tried to start the car again, but to no avail. So I got out, closed the door, locked it, then unlocked it and tried again. This time all was fine. I wonder what that was all about. I do hope my car's not planning to start playing up. That would be all that I needed bearing in mind that the vet insurance has stumped up a lot less than I was hoping that they would after "Furry Face TM"'s recent hospitalisation.
Two days ago I tried to find a geocache on my way to work. In fact on Thursday morning I tried to find three, and didn't find any. This morning I had another look along Cheeseman's Green to see if I could find one of the ones I missed. I found it almost straight away. It's amazing the difference that being able to see what you are doing makes.
My piss boiled when I heard the morning's news. A member of the European Parliament has apparently made the announcement that "no “sane” person from a professional background would enter politics now because they face being vilified for holding convictions". Holding convictions!!! This chap obviously hasn't seen the dribbling partner of our current coalition government who would say that black was white to gain political office. I might not like the predominant party of the government, but at least they have policies and stick to them.
Once at work I did my bit. The day was busy, and for me it was rather uncomfortable. The elastic had gone in my undercrackers. Having my "junk" slopping here there and thither wasn't conducive to comfort, and I was glad when home time came.
I slept like a log last night. A day's hard work does that for you. I got up shortly after 6am and spent a few minutes (half an hour) over brekkie doing the paperwork and admin for eight geocaches I hid in the Pluckley area a couple of weeks ago. Chris and er indoors TM" have also hidden caches in that area; together they make up a circular walk of about four hours and thirty caches.
I then had a look on Facebook. I didn't go on there at all yesterday. There were several invites to walks and outings and the like. One of them caught my notice; an invite to what ostensibly seemed to be a day's geocaching fun but when you looked closely it was actually thinly disguised religion. I wonder how many people will fall for this ruse.
I found this particularly apposite as I listened to the news on my way to work this morning. Being Sunday the morning's radio was of an ecclesiastical theme. Today the pundits were talking about "National Take a Friend to Church Day".
Apparently today is "Back to Church Sunday", and the idea is that churchgoers invite a friend to go to church with them. As a seriously lapsed sunbeam I can't pretend to be a fan of organised religion, but I have far more respect for someone who actually openly asks me to church rather than for someone who tries to trick me by asking me to pursue a hobby and then slips religion in once it is too late to get away.
If someone had asked me to "Back to Church Sunday" would I have actually gone? No. Obviously not - I was working today. Had I not been working then... I don't know. Quite probably, I expect. If only to get something to blog about.
I'd left for work a little earlier than I would normally have done what with today being day sixty of my caching streak. On Thursday evening I'd located a cache near a phone box in Canterbury. It was a bit busy in that area on Thursday evening, so I thought I might do the secret ritual with it this morning; Sunday mornings are usually quiet. I got to the location. No one was there. Neither was the geocache. In the intervening three days the thing had gone missing. I checked my geo map and found there was another one only five minutes drive away. So five minutes later I was sitting by the riverside doing the secret geo-ritual before going in to work.
As always I did my bit at work. Over a tea break I checked my emails to see if the caches I'd submitted over brekkie had gone live. They had gone live mid afternoon. When I came home they were still awaiting a First to Find. Thirty FTFs going begging in Ashford. Amazing!
I woke at 4am today and rather than laying awake I got up instantly, pootled about for a bit and then tried going back to bed after half an hour's assorted chores. This experimentr was a qualified success; I slept deeply, but had a particularly vivid dream featuring "The Man With No Alias (patent pending)" who in this dream was wearing seriously thick make-up to conceal a black eye. He would not reveeal the source of this black eye, buut was unusually defensive about suggestions that he had been "bashed up off of a girl". Back in the days when I was a cub scout leader being "bashed up off of a girl" was one of the most seriously humiliating things that could ever happen to anyone.
Over brekkie I checked emails. Last night I mentioned that no one had found the geocaches that I had hidden. I was wrong. They had been found, but by people who use dedicated GPS units. One of the many problems with dedicated GPS units is that logging what you've done with them takes longer than it does with a phone.
I must admit that my piss boiled somewhat. Over the last year I have received a fair amount of sarcasm and rudeness about the sort of caches that I have hidden. Many of them have been deliberately simplistic so that they might be easily found. This way of hiding received some serious criticism so earlier this year I hid a few caches which were rather trickier and were intended to be more challenging. These harder caches haven't received many visits; one of them had no one go near the thing for over four months. Last week I put a *lot* of effort into making a Wherigo cache which has had a very disappointing reception.
With washing put out oon the line I put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for a walk around Little Chart. Whilst in the area I went for a new cache that had gone live overnight. It would have been nice to have had a First to Find; I was beaten to it. By someone who already had over twenty FTFs yesterday... But Little Chart is a rather scenic place to be, and my little dog was as good as gold on and off the lead. More people should walk in the countryside; it is truly wonderful.
We came home after an hour or so, and I took the bin of garden waste to the tip. I had planned to carry on making good in the garden, but the membrane I was going to use had been dragooned into use as a makeshift barbecue cover.
Lunch, and then I spent a little while working on another Wherigo cache. I say " a little while"; I completely lost track of the time. I had intended to iron during the afternoon. I stopped Wherigoing when er indoors TM" came home at 7.30pm.
Most of teh ironing will keep; I spent the rest of the evening ironing shirts whilst watching DVDs. Having watched Babylon 5, BattleStar Galactica and Blake's Seven, the next boxed set on my shelf was Brideshead Revisited.