1 February 2024 (Thursday) - This n That



Another bad night – if the dogs sleep at the foot of the bed we all have space. If they want to sleep next to me (or on top of me!) we don’t. I gave up trying to sleep.

Being the first of the month I got out a fresh razor blade. For all that one lasts all month long, you can't beat having a scrape with a new one.

I watched an episode of “Peep Show” as I scoffed toast, then sparked up the lap-top. The Internet seemed to be fairly quiet. I sent out the birthday video to the one friend having a birthday today, and I saw that someone else had a birthday today as well. Bill Mumy (Will Robinson in the1960s show “Lost in Space”) was seventy today. During a rather busy career he’s been a lead character in “Babylon 5”, he was in “Star Trek”, he’s been in all sorts of things on telly as well as being a successful musician… and everyone thinks of what he did when he was ten years old. That must be annoying – I suppose this goes some way to explaining why so many child stars don’t carry on in show business. If you have effectively peaked before you have left school, you would probably want to try something else.

I then chucked everyone out of the Munzee Clan in readiness for the new game starting on Saturday then did more on my quality management course which is turning out to be surprisingly interesting.


Having kept me awake for much of the night I wasn’t impressed to see the dogs sleeping so peacefully as I got ready for work. And then I set off to find where I’d left my car. Every day I park the car somewhere in the general vicinity of home, and then promptly forget where that was.

I found the car just down the road... I nearly walked past it as I had a vague idea it was halfway to the scout hut. I set off up the motorway in daylight (for a change).

As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing one of the head honchos at the British Veterinary Association about the rules concerning XL Bullies that came into force today.

With the RSPCA claiming that tens of thousands of XL bullies may not have the now legally required paperwork (the estimated total in the UK being between fifty and one hundred thousand) it was felt that this attempt to control numbers of the breed is just pissing in the wind.

The RSPCA's estimate looks a tad high to me, but what do I know?

Meanwhile one of the elected ministers at the Ministry of Justice is standing down at the next election following threats and his constituency office having been torched. I can't help but wonder what the police are doing about this. This is clearly a success for terrorism, isn't it?


I got to work and did that which I couldn't avoid. If all goes to plan this would be the last ever Thursday on which I worked. I suspect things won't go to plan. I've heard it said that God laughs when we make plans. But as Thursdays go, it wasn't a bad one.

At tea break my phone beeped. I had an email from Kent County Council. Last week I wrote to them suggesting that if they close a road for road works then they work on it until the work is done, and not leave the road works unattended for days on end. Today they replied to say they'd got my message, and would reply by the end of the month. I wish I had deadlines like that...

Sadly having driven into work in daylight for a core shift it was dark when I left work. But the sunset shortly before home time was rather pretty.


er indoors TM boiled up a very good bit of scran which we scoffed whilst watching more “Junior Bake Off”.

I really should have an early night…



2 February 2024 (Friday) - Bit Tired



Despite all the dogs being settled I was still wide awake, scoffing toast and watching telly before six o’clock this morning. “Peep Show” was entertaining enough, and then I sparked up my lap-top.

Even more people had asked to join the Dog Club Facebook group. This has had loads of requests to join just recently; I wonder why; bearing in mind that for every twenty members of the Facebook group, about one actually shows up.

I did more of my on-line course, and failed the third module exam. Having copied my answers I pressed the “Try Again” button and having identified the ones I’d got wrong managed to pass on the second attempt.


I threaded my way in and out through the bins which were randomly scattered across the pavement where the bin men had left them as I went to find my car. I set off to work listening to the radio as I went.

It turns out that the chap who threw acid over a young mother and her children was a registered sex offender who was also an asylum seeker whose application had failed twice before finally being accepted. There was an interview with the local MP who seemed rather concerned that the media were describing the attacker as an asylum seeker as this would probably lead to innocent asylum seekers getting abuse. She's probably got a point...  Here's a suggestion (which won't get taken up). Why don't the authorities catch this chap, then hand him over to the sort of people who would give abuse to the asylum seekers? He wouldn't attack anyone ever again, and potential attackers would certainly be discouraged, wouldn't they?

And the Labour party were being accused of back-tracking on their twenty-eight billion pounds green investment plan. The poor chap being interviewed was trying to explain that until he saw the books he couldn't really commit to spending anything. He's probably got a point, but that's not what the masses want to hear, is it? The trouble with our political system is that the two sides try to outdo each other with impossible promises until the one with the most outrageous and unachievable goals gets voted into power by those who are gullible enough to believe them. And then the gullible get outraged when those they've voted it are not capable of delivering on the impossible promises they made.

Is waiting until he can see what he can afford such an unreasonable political stance to take? It's a sensible one, but it won't win many votes.

Meanwhile the Japanese are planning to put lasers into orbit to zap all the space junk. How long will it be before they zap the wrong thing?


I drove normally up the motorway for half of my journey this morning, and drove at a shade over sixty miles an hour for the second half. Finding myself behind a police car I wasn't brave enough to overtake it. Unlike the motorbike that came past slaloming across all three lanes and weaving in and out of the traffic whilst driving far too fast. I would have thought that the police would have taken off in hot pursuit. They didn't. I'd like to think that they were already busy on their way to catch murderers. I suspect they were on the way to join the early morning gathering of police vehicles in McDonald's car park.


Work was much the same as ever. There was no cake, which was something of a disappointment. At tea break my phone pinged with a message. The head honchos at Munzee HQ have changed the rules so that you can cap a Greenie every day. That's good news for the Greenies, but effectively puts the tin lid on Qrewzees.

It's another world when you go round sticking bar codes onto lamp posts.

And I had a friend request on Facebook too. But not the sort of dubious scantily clad object of questionable gender. This one was from some weirdo who was openly selling bitcoins, but not to anyone in the UK.

What was that all about?

For some strange reason I got home fifteen minutes quicker than I did yesterday. er indoors TM boiled up dinner then she set off out for the evening. I settled with the dogs and watched a film on Netflix. “The Bromley Boys” kept me amused; even if it was half an hour too long.

I shall see how much kip I can get before “er indoors TM comes home…



3 February 2024 (Saturday) - Rolvenden



It was a shame that again my phone decided to spend the night telling me about all sorts of trivial things to which it should have been oblivious (with its Internet connection switched off). I wish it wouldn’t do that.

I made toast and had my usual rummage about the Internet. A couple of days ago I mentioned the celebrity angler Matt Hayes. He’s now trying to make a comeback on the telly which he hopes to crowdfund. He’s asking for two thousand five hundred people to each chip in twenty quid. That’s fifty thousand quid to make a TV show. Is that how much it costs? Seems a bit expensive to me. Am I *that* naïve to think you could record it all on your phone and cobble the program together using Microsoft Clipchamp? After all, that’s what I plan to do for this year’s Geocaching International Film Festival (must get on with that project!)

And Facebook presented me with a lot of memories from Dover beer festival. In years gone by the first weekend of February was one of the highlights of the year – Dover beer festival. Fortunately for my head it isn’t happening this year as the venue is being refurbished.


Being Saturday we set off to the Repton estate. As we drove I noticed the car in front looked odd. There was a tree attached to it. I say “tree”; “sapling” would be a better description. Somehow when parked, someone had shut one of the larger branches of a small tree in the passenger side back door, and the driver had set off and pulled the small tree out of the ground; clearly totally oblivious to what he had done.

As we turned into the Repton estate so the squeaking started; the dogs know when they are going to Dog Club.

There was a relatively low turn-out at Dog Club this morning. Odd really when you consider that over fifty people have joined the Facebook group over the last week. Dog Club was fun… but the dogs were in an odd mood today. There were more quarrels than usual, and spring was definitely in the air with quite a bit of “dog piggyback” going on. Bailey escaped the field twice as well. We bunged up the holes in the fence through which she’d got out; I expect there are more to be found.


er indoors TM set off to her craft group. I took the dogs home; listening to Steve on the radio as I went. I got the mystery year right – when did pound notes go and when did Kylie Minogue first hit the UK charts? 1988.

Once home we had a minor laundry session. Morgan needed the mud washing off. Bailey needed the fox and bird poo washing off. And I needed clean trousers having been tiddled up three times.

I did a little more of my Quality Management course and wrote it up on another blog I write. And then turned on the telly and dozed through episodes of “Peep Show” until “er indoors TM came home with lunch.


We then set off to Rolvenden for a little Munzee session. We wandered around sticking bar codes onto lamp posts, and scanning them. No matter how I try to big it up it still sounds rubbish.. All I can say is that Munzee really is nowhere near as lame as it sounds. As we wandered and scanned we got nine Qrewzees between us, more Qrates than sense, and barked at some other dogs.


We came home. er indoors TM sorted out some rather good dinner which we scoffed whilst watching more “Junior Bake Off” then I fell asleep as we watched “Traitors”; a strangely popular program in which a couple of dozen people have to guess which four of them are actually a secret cabal using nothing more than guesswork and pot luck.

I spent much of the time staring at Claudia Winkleman’s haircut and wondering what she was thinking of.



4 February 2024 (Sunday) - Rather Dull Really



Apart from the obligatory trip to the loo in the small hours I slept for over nine hours last night.  I got up and fetched in a bumper harvest of dog dung from the garden before the hounds got up so that Bailey wouldn’t eat any. Five minutes later “er indoors TM and the hounds came downstairs, went outside, and “er indoors TM announced that Bailey had breakfasted on freshly laid turd.

She is a foul dog. If not rolling in turd she is eating it. And she looks such a sweet little thing too.


Over brekkie I had a minor sulk that no major outing was planned for today, then had my usual look at the Internet. A friend was having a birthday today. I sent birthday wishes, and spent much of the day thinking about this chap. For much of his life he was a naval officer; at one point commanding a nuclear submarine. He’s got an OBE too. When I was much younger I seriously considered a career as a naval officer. That could have been me.

Mind you for all that I grumble about my job, having worked a night shift at Christmas or a bank holiday it is a short(ish) drive home. A bit different if you are out heaven-only-know-where and twenty thousand fathoms under the sea.


er indoors TM popped out to meet up with mates for brekkie. I sat with the dogs. It was as well that I did. As we sat so someone noisily loaded up their car just down the road, and then someone else stood outside with toddlers which just shrieked for no reason whatsoever. Both provoked woofing fits that I managed to nip in the bud.

In between these episodes the dogs snored and I cracked on with more of my Coursera course. I can’t help but think that had where I used to work used such quality improvement methods such as involving people and team building rather than looking to assign blame, then things might have turned out rather differently for me.  


er indoors TM returned and we took the dogs for a walk. We didn’t drive anywhere; we walked south through the back streets past Angling Direct and through the footpath to the end of Kingsnorth Road, then home via Stanhope, Cuckoo Lane and Jennett Road; Munzee-ing like things possessed as we went. We walked about two thousand more steps than an average walk round Kings Wood and were out for over two hours. We did have one “episode” with the app, but I’ve sought advice from far more experienced Munzers.


Once home the dogs were soon snoring. “er indoors TM sorted out a cuppa and hot (cold) cross buns and we watched a few more episodes of “Traitors” which finally killed off any respect I might have had for the British judicial system. The game show involves two dozen random people going off to a castle in Scotland. Three or four of them form a secret group (the traitors) and each night this secret group gets rid of one of the other contestants. The next day everyone plays some activity or other, then they all sit round a table and in theory use their wit, ingenuity and wisdom to identify a traitor. However in practice rather than using wit, ingenuity and wisdom, contestants seem to queue up to show off how stupid they all are by making spurious unfounded random guesses. And without exception the more wrong they are in their wild guesswork, the more vocal they are about their being right. Bearing in mind these people are from the same pool from which courts draw UK juries …


As “er indoors TM went looking for something in the back bedroom (good luck with that one!) I set about more geo-puzzles. I solved quite a few until it was dinner time.

er indoors TM boiled up a rather good bit of scran (she does that). You can’t go wrong with a steak dinner. We washed it down with a rather good bottle of plonk (which we got as a Christmas prezzie) and as we scoffed we watched another episode of “Junior Bake Off”.


My plan is that bearing in mind I’m setting an alarm I won’t get a decent night’s sleep, I might as well get what sleep I can get from an early night.

I wonder if I will go up and have one?



5 February 2024 (Monday) - There Was Cake



Surprisingly I slept rather well, but ached when I woke. I seriously ached. What was that all about? If I'm going to be aching like that after a couple of hours walking yesterday, it don't bode well for the future, does it?

I made brekkie and turned on the telly. As I was about to turn to Netflix for "Peep Show" I found myself watching some infomercial for a mattress which was being advertised by the same woman who last week was flogging some food blender, and the week before was flogging something else I neither needed nor wanted. She seems to have claimed the "5.30am on the Obscure Channel" slot as her own. Mind you whilst it is easy to be sarcastic, in claiming it she has achieved far more than many other wannabes have done.

As I watched "Peep Show" I sorted undercrackers and socks, and again had an odd sock at the end. Odd socks amaze me. Where do the missing ones go? On reflection I think Morgan eats them.


I set off to work via a Tree House up Christchurch Road (it’s a Munzee thing), then came home for everything that I'd forgotten to collect when I'd first set off. Work pass, lunch... the stuff I really needed.

I then headed through the town centre to get a dozen Points of Interest Munzees, and with them sorted I headed up the motorway.

My piss boiled as I drove up the motorway. Partly because of all the lorries slowly overtaking each other thereby forcing all the cars into the fast lane, and partly because of the day's news. Apparently asylum seekers wanting to remain in the UK are abandoning whatever superstitions they brought with them and converting to Christianity in a shallow attempt to aid their applications. It speaks volumes about the sad state of the world that in the third decade of the twenty-first century people still take religious twaddle seriously.


I got to the works car park and spent ten minutes on a Munzee mission on one of the nearby estates deploying briefcases (as one does) before heading in.


There was cake at tea-time. And as I peered into Facebook at tea-time I saw something else that boiled my piss.

As a child I went to the Boys Brigade. Looking back, that was a mistake. The Boys Brigade was nothing more than a shallow attempt to brainwash small children into god-bothering. Shortly after I started I took a friend along with me. Looking back it is clear that this friend was exactly the sort of person that the Boys Brigade preyed on. His father had died when he was very young. When we were at primary and secondary school together he used to latch onto all the male teachers desperately seeking a father figure. He idolised the chap who ran the Boys Brigade, fell for all the religious twaddle, and is now a Baptist minister in the West Country. I follow his church on Facebook (I really shouldn't) and this morning he was leading their "Prayers at 10" live broadcast. I could see that this live broadcast had two viewers (I wonder who the other one was), and there was my old mate spouting complete gibberish, clearly loving every minute of it, and getting paid to do so. His broadcast finished at about the same time as my tea break ended, and then I suppose he was done for the day. Unless, of course, the need for an emergency platitude to be blathered arose.

I spent much of the rest of my day either doing blood tests or wondering which of me and my old mate was the daft one.


I came home and geo-puzzled until “er indoors TM boiled up dinner. Then with her off bowling I set about the ironing. That only took an hour. I then spent half an hour on my quality management course and got eighty-five per cent in this week’s quiz.

I’m going to do some more geo-puzzles, then see if I can get some kip.


And in closing, Ian Lavender died today. Famous for playing Private Pike in "Dad's Army", he was the last surviving main cast member of the series.  Like Bill Mumy who I mentioned the other day, it would seem he too peaked early in life. It must be so annoying to only be remembered for what you did fifty years ago.



6 February 2024 (Tuesday) - Goldfinches



I had a rather good night last night; when the dogs are still, so is everyone else.

I made brekkie, watched more “Peep Show” in which one of the more annoying secondary characters croaked (Good!) then had a quick look at the Internet. I saw one of my less well to do friends was on yet another foreign holiday. I suppose it is cheaper to go abroad than holiday in the UK these days.

Four friends had a birthday today. I sent birthday wishes to two, the third had set his Facebook settings to not allow birthday wishes, and the last was someone I *think* I knew from astro club but has made no effort to contact me in the last seven years.

I had a sneaking suspicion that an old friend from college had his birthday today. For two years Dave Ferrier was one of my closest friends. Together we were known as “Dave squared” at college. Every lunchtime we would have a minor pub session, and he showed me all round the lesser-known parts of Brighton where the tourists don’t go. Sadly when we left Brighton Technical College (in 1983) we rather lost touch. The last I heard (twenty years ago) was that he was somewhere in the Epsom area.


I had a quick Munz session, then set off up the motorway. As I drove the talk on the radio was about nothing else but the announcement that the King has got cancer. Despite all that was known was that the King had cancer, there was endless talk and speculation. There was a lot of reassurances offered, but doesn’t it speak volumes that the black (ginger) sheep of the family has flown home to see his father?


I popped in to Sainsburys to get a sandwich (as I’d forgotten to make one this morning). As always all of the tills were closed, but there were plenty of staff standing round laughing at the customers struggling with the self-service tills.


Work was work. Half way through the morning one of my colleagues had a phone call. Her husband was having a day off today and he’d had a message from his boss. This boss was about to open the shop (a branch of a well-known chain where he is the manager) when he heard voices from inside the shop. Rather than calling the police he flung the doors open and charged in… to find bailiffs who had forced entry and an electrician cutting off the leccie. Apparently there is an unpaid leccie bill of about twenty thousand quid.

Will the shop be opening tomorrow?

I spent much of the rest of the day watching the antics of the flock of goldfinches who live in the tree outside the blood bank’s window.


And with work worked I came home… eventually. With total mayhem at the junction where I take the motorway home, I drove five miles the wrong way up the motorway, turned round at the next junction and drove back past the junction which was horrendously congested for absolutely no reason that I could see.

er indoors TM boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching more “Junior Bake Off” which was rather good, and then the final of “Traitors” which wasn’t.



7 February 2024 (Wednesday) - The "H" Word



I would have slept better last night if not for the torrential rain. But once it finally stopped I nodded off shortly after two o'clock.

As I watched "Peep Show" this morning I remembered something I spotted on the Internet yesterday. Apparently there was a reunion of the cast last week...  a reunion at which most of the cast didn't show up.


With telly watched I got ready for work and set off. I took a circuitous route round Ashford capping POIs (it's a Munzee thing) before going to Sainsburys for petrol. With the Sainsbury's filling station near work closed for rebuilding I'm going to the Sainsbury's filling station in Ashford. I can carry on building up the Nectar points, and in all honesty it is rather amusing watching the attitude of the old bat behind the till. Some people really shouldn't work in retail.


Unlike the last couple of days the motorway wasn't blocked up with juggernauts slowly and dangerously overtaking each other. As I drove there was an interview with one of the head honchos of the British Dental Association who was being rather scathing about the government's plans to cajole dentists to move to the poorer parts of the country where dental services are lacking. The problem is that the NHS pays dentists for "units of dental activity", and there's quite a bit of disagreement about what should constitute a "unit of dental activity". Apparently dentists get paid the same amount for an NHS patient who only needs one filling as they get paid for an NHS patient who needs an entire gob transplant. Consequently there's little money to be made by dentists operating in the poorer parts of the country where the punters don't look after their teeth and are more likely to need entire gob transplants. Dentists would rather work in more well to do areas where the NHS patients brush their teeth and so require less effort on the dentist's part for the same money, or where the punters can pay for private dental care (like I do). 


There was then an interview with Sir Ed Davey, the leader of  the Dribbling Democraps, who was the minister responsible for the Post Office during the time of the Horizon computer system scandal.

To be fair to the bloke, he claimed that when post office workers told him their concerns he went to the officials responsible for the computer system. With hindsight it is now apparent that these officials lied. But at the time they said that all was well with the computer system. Who was Sir Ed supposed to believe? IT experts or people blaming the IT system? He was getting quite a load of stick on the radio this morning. On the one hand as the minister he was responsible for the failings of the IT system. On the other hand he cannot possibly be responsible for the functioning of the IT system; that's why the government employed the experts. Implicit in an expert being employed is the assumption that they won't tell lies.


I got to work and did my bit. At tea break I had my usual root around the internet; albeit a little later than usual. There was consternation on one of the "Dad's Army" related Facebook pages. Apparently you aren't allowed to mention Hitler over there. Bearing in mind when that show was set and who they were fighting against, I would have thought that was a name which would have come up with some regularity, but apparently not. Apparently the mention of the name sets off Facebook's automated censoring software and gets anyone mentioning it banned for a week.

And I saw some friends were moving house today. Going from Brighton down to somewhere in Somerset. I've seen precious little of Dave and Tracie over the last few years; I wonder when we will next meet up? This is the trouble with living where I do - everyone else is so far away.


This morning the motorway wasn't blocked up with juggernauts slowly and dangerously overtaking each other. As I drove home this evening it was.

I got home and spent a little while fiddling with the leccie to the shed. Somehow in the overnight storm it had all got unplugged and blown a fuse. It is sorted now, which is a minor result. I then spent a little while revamping the county geo-meet for March. I’d volunteered to organize it and had hoped for a picnic in Kings Wood following a litter gathering session. But the rules state that we would need the landowner’s permission, and (sadly) Forestry England have been less than co-operative over these last few weeks and months. It really was as though they didn’t want an army of volunteers clearing away litter.

Organizing another venue took five minutes. We’re going to the pub.



8 February 2024 (Thursday) - Rostered Day Off



I had a rude awakening in the small hours as Treacle got tangled up in the hose of my CPAP machine. Despite the noise of the rain on the window I eventually nodded off again and woke to see it was eight o’clock. I rolled over for a few more minutes kip and woke at half past seven. How did that work?


I made toast and had a look at the Internet. I sent out birthday wishes to a couple of friends, and then my piss rather boiled as I read an advert. My Facebook feed is often getting adverts from the MP for Milton Keynes. I have no idea why, but it is clear the chap has a very low opinion of the electorate. He really would seem to want to have us believe that pretty much everything good in the world (birthdays, summer picnics, little puppy dogs) is a direct result of Conservative policies. But everything bad in the world (debt, toothache and car crashes) is directly attributable to the Labour party. Sadly he’s probably got the right idea in that a lot of people will believe him. I remember my old mum once believing everything some politician or other said because she really thought that they weren’t allowed to tell lies.


Despite the rain I took the dogs out. As we drove the pundits on the radio were talking about shoplifting which is rife in parts of Britain. Organised gangs are targeting shops, no one wants a job as a security guard as it involves being threatened by the thieves, and the police are claiming to be too busy to get involved.

The answer here is obvious. Don’t hire security guards who are afraid of being threatened. Pay a thug (who likes a scrap) to be a security guard. Apparently they are allowed to use “reasonable force”. I’m sure that there’s enough who would be up for it.

We got to the woods and had a little walk. Ironically as we walked I met a pair of people doing some sort of a forest survey with a Forestry England van nearby. I got chatting with them and explained that I’d been trying to organize a litter pick in the woods but had given up as their admin staff operated too slowly. In my line of work I’m used to dealing with stuff which needs to be done right away. “Any time today” really is taking it easy; sometimes an hour later is too late in my world. The Forestry people were very nice, but they (very politely) pointed out that things are very different for them, and hinted that a year between my initial enquiry and getting formal permission might be more realistic.

I’m glad I decided to have the meet-up in a pub.

And as we drove home so my phone beeped to say that the meet had been accepted by the geo-feds. If you are at a loose end in a few weeks’ time…


We came home. The dogs had a hot shower and their brekkie and went to sleep. I got myself a bit of lunch and watched a film on Netflix. “Submarine” was described as a “comedy-romance”… but it wasn’t described as that by me. I would describe it as “a bit crap”.

With film watched bearing in mind that I’d had the thumbs-up from the geo-feds for my Plan B for the March geo-meet I started sorting out one or two of the details of that Plan B. That passed what might otherwise have been a rather dull afternoon. The rain which had soaked us this morning didn’t let up all day long.

I’ve set up seven new geocaches, one of which would seem to have already had the thumbs down from the geo-feds. I shall argue, but you win some, you lose some…


er indoors TM” came home and boiled up sausages and chips which we scoffed whilst watching another episode of “Junior Bake Off”. We are getting to the end of that series now; the kids in it seem to fall into two groups. There are those who just sail through somewhere in the middle, and there are those who are very good one week and very bad the next. One week they are star baker, the next week out on their arse.


It’s still raining.



9 February 2024 (Friday) - Young Ladies



Some nights “er indoors TM and the dogs come to bed making enough noise to wake the dead. Other nights they are as quiet as mice. I woke to the sound of rain at four o'clock to find them all fast asleep, and as the rain subsided so they all started snoring.

I got up and watched a bit of telly. I found myself engrossed in some infomercial about some gadget which vacuum-seals food. The grinning idiot advertising the thing made it sound rather good, but he was rather reluctant to say how much it cost. They so often are, and when they finally tell you the price it only takes a few seconds to find the same thing far cheaper on Amazon.


I watched an episode of "Peep Show" in which him out of "Ghosts" tried to pork Dobby. Not the Dobby out of Harry Potter; another one. To be fair to him out of "Ghosts", if my back was up to it I might try to pork Dobby too. Not the Dobby out of Harry Potter, that is.

With telly watched I sparked up the Internet on my phone. I had a friend request from someone claiming to be called "Goddess Tudde". Like so many of these supposedly women of dubious morals this one was wipe-clean, but was missing a glove. And (in all honesty) didn't come anywhere close to Dobby on the porking stakes (either the one on Peep Show or the one in Harry Potter)

I also saw a friend had commented about the Bash Street Kids (out of the Beano). "Fatty" and "Spotty" are now "Freddie" and "Scotty". Seriously?! Why not leave them alone? And why not call a kid "Fatty"? I was called that for years when at school. There was rarely any offence or bullying in being called that name, and on the very few occasions when there was, the one causing offence or trying to bully was shown the error of their ways. With a slap. I can remember one such wannabe bully going to show my mum the black eye I gave him.


I set off through the rain on a little Munzee mission. As I Munzed I had an errand to run. I had to post a letter. I went to the post office in the town centre; are there any post boxes any closer to home these days? I couldn't think of any.

And then it was up the motorway to work listening to the pundits on the radio asking if President Biden is too old for the job of being President. He's eighty-one.  Amazingly no one made the observation that his rival in the upcoming election (that idiot Donald Trump) is only four years younger. Bearing in mind that a term of office is for five years, if Mr Biden is too old, then so is Mr Trump.

Personally I'm looking to retire and I'm over twenty years younger than Mr Biden.


I got to work and cracked on with that which I couldn't avoid. At tea break my phone beeped with the news that an old mate's mum had died. But looking back Rene Small wasn't just my mate's mum. She was a dinner lady at school, she was one of the leaders when I'd been a kid in the Boys Brigade. She was a friend at church (before I saw the darkness). She was a fixture at the occasional meet-ups from the old days. She was one of those people in your life who are always there... until they aren't.

Then a colleague on maternity leave came in with her new baby... and I realised that Rene had to go to make room for the littlun (I suppose).

And mundane reality came calling as I had the news that despite my arguing, the geo-feds don't like fish ladders, and another young lady of presumably dubious morals sent me a message asking me to in-box her.

I didn't.


With work done I got home just as “er indoors TM was arriving home with “Darcie Waa Waa TM who had come up for a little sleepover. We had pizza and pasta, trifle, party rings and iced gems, and some of the kidney that was the dogs’ treat.

When “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” and “My Boy TM” were small they were in bed and asleep by seven o’clock. It is fast approaching half past ten and littlun is showing no signs of flagging.

I am… having a toddler about the place is hard work…



10 February 2024 (Saturday) - It Rained



With “er indoors TM, “Darcie Waa Waa TM and the dogs up in the attic room last night I thought I might get a better night’s sleep. Had they all stayed up there I might well have done. But they were up and down like things possessed. Or that is “er indoors TM” and the dogs were. I didn’t hear a peep out of “Darcie Waa Waa TM all night.


Once up I made toast, and peered at the Internet. Sylvanus had sent me a friend request on Facebook. “Sylvanus” claimed to be a professional dominatrix mistress who loves to humiliate and “pegged for my pleasure”. I found myself wondering that if he she or it does that nonsense professionally, what the hourly rate might be?


I went and woke the girls and the dogs. We got ourselves organised and set off to Dog Club. The rain held off for us, but the constant rain of the last few days had taken its toll on the field where we meet. It was muddy, to say the least.

Dog Club went rather well; the dogs had a great time, and we had three new dogs along today. One seemed rather more timid than the others; it is such a shame that when any dog shows the slightest fear then Morgan gets very over-excited. It was also a shame that Bailey had to roll in fox poo.


Usually as we drive home I try to guess the mystery year on Steve’s radio show, but by the time we’d loaded dogs and baby into the car we turned on the radio just in time to hear the answer being given out.

We got home just as the forecast rain started, so we had a cuppa. Littlun announced she wanted to go and wreak havoc in the attic bedroom, so whilst “er indoors TM and the dogs went with her to supervise I cracked on with my latest geo-project.

Having been told that a fish ladder wasn’t a suitable topic for an Earthcache I thought I might compare and contrast the limestones in certain structures not a million miles from where I’m staging March’s geo-meet. I got a first draft ready and sent it through to the appropriate geo-fed. Hopefully this will be acceptable.


I then did some more of my Coursera course until favourite smallest granddaughter came downstairs, and all too soon it was time for her to go home. As her grandmother loaded up the car, me and littlun stood in a downpour singing “Rain, Rain, Go Away”.


Whilst I waited for “er indoors TM to return I tried (and failed) to solve geo-puzzles. er indoors TM eventually returned and boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we washed down with a bottle of plonk whilst watching more “Junior Bake Off”.


Treacle is being rather quarrelsome this evening. Morgan is taking no notice, but I’m keeping Bailey with me; she tiddles in terror whenever Treacle has an episode.


And it is still raining. We could have done so much today if it hadn’t been raining since dog club.



11 February 2024 (Sunday) - Early Shift



If I wasn't listening to snoring last night I was listening to the rain hammering on the window. Part of me was glad we'd had the roof done recently; part of me was wondering if we'd had the roof done properly.

I gave up trying to sleep, made some toast and watched an episode of "Peep Show" before peering into the Internet. On-line was rather quiet, as you might expect it to be at six o'clock on a Sunday morning. Mind you as I set off to find my car I saw that there were lights on in not-so-nice-next-door. She keeps odd hours; the upstairs lights are on when I come home from work in the evening, and there's lights on very early in the mornings. Mind you I'm up to see those lights, so who am I to be judging?


I went on a little Munzee mission round town capping POIs. I've now pretty much done all I need for this month's Munzee Clan War. Some people in the team like to spread the requirements out over the month. Others (like me) prefer to crack on and get it done.

And with it done I set off to work up a very quiet motorway. As I drove the pundits on the radio didn't have very much to say for themselves. The King has made an announcement thanking everyone for all the kind wishes concerning his cancer diagnosis. That was good of him; I somehow couldn't imagine the late Queen doing that.

And in the aftermath of the attack on a woman and two children in Clapham earlier in the week, security camera footage followed the attacker to the Thames where it is now thought he drowned. Since then two bodies have been found in the Thames; neither of which were his. This rather begs the question "who were they then?", doesn't it? No one seemed particularly interested in finding out.

But it is amazing how many people just drop dead unnoticed. Many years ago when I was a lad there was an old woman who went missing near Rye. In the search for her the nearby rivers got netted and the bodies of two dead men were pulled out. No one ever seemed to bother about those two either. Funnily enough that part didn't appear on screen when her who played Hyacinth Bucket starred in a dramatisation of the affair.

My mother in law used to run a doss house in Hastings. London councils would pay tramps to relocate to the seaside; these people in their fifties and sixties would just turn up with all their worldly good in a carrier bag. Every so often one just wouldn't be there at breakfast time. No one knew where they went.

Many years ago there was the lower half of a human leg found on Dover beach. No one ever claimed it or found from where the thing had come.


I got to work and had a rather busy day. In between doing that which I couldn't avoid I peered out of the window at a day which was alternating between bright spells and blustery downpours. Having effectively been held hostage by the weather yesterday I could have done something today... most likely gone out during a bright spell and got soaked by a blustery downpour.

Mind you I found a couple of minutes to watch a pigeon having a wash in a puddle on the flat roof outside the blood bank window. That place isn't so much a flat roof as a bird bath, and can be quite entertaining.


I came home, and harvested some dog dung before “er indoors TM and the dogs came home. As I had a cuppa so my phone beeped, An email. My attempt to create an Earthcache has hit another snag. The idea of a geocache is that I give the masses a geology lesson. Having had a total thumbs-down on river erosion in Buxford meadow I’ve been looking at relatively nearby church. The paths to that church are one sort of limestone, and the war memorial over the road is another. But it isn’t enough to say “have a look at the two rocks and tell me how they differ”; I’ve got to pick out specific features… Ho hum… I shall persevere for now and make the observation that only ninety-eight of these things have passed the geo-feds in the UK in the last five years.


er indoors TM” boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching the semi-final of “Junior Bake Off” which I watched with a faint feeling of “I could do that” although I know I never will all the time I can buy cake in Sainsburys.



12 February 2024 (Monday) - An Afternoon Off



I had an early night last night, but woke at two o'clock and spent the rest of the night listening to snoring. I gave up with sleep, got up and made toast and scoffed it whilst watching an episode of "Peep Show". I do like that show but one of the main characters winds me up. A sponging freeloader who goes through life with his hand out shamelessly expecting everyone else to pay his way for him... Having met one or two of that ilk I can't help but wonder who the daft one is. Perhaps I should try it?


Bearing in mind that major road works were due to start today I set off for work early. And was immediately thwarted by my car which was covered in ice. A frost hadn't been forecast last night. After five minutes I'd scraped most of it away and was driving up the motorway listening to the pundits on the radio.

There was talk of the war in Ukraine this morning. It would seem the Ukrainian army is running short of volunteers. Bearing in mind how their President has been shamelessly demanding international aid to finance his war, I can see him demanding troops next.

And there was talk from the war in Gaza where it would seem that Israeli soldiers are torturing and humiliating their Palestinian captives and then being stupid enough to put their war crimes onto TikTok. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to remember that the Israelis went into the current bout of this decades-long war as the victims, isn't it?

Closer to home it was suggested that bosses of water companies spilling raw sewage into rivers and seas might not get performance bonuses in their pay packet... There's a novel suggestion, eh?


As I got close to work it was apparent that the major road works that we'd all been warned about hadn't started, and I drove straight through where there were supposed to be serious delays. Not that I'm complaining.


Work was work; I didn't do much today. With annual leave to use up and being on an early shift I was on my way home by half past eleven. Sadly there was little other than drivel on the radio so I drove home singing along to Ivor Biggun songs. I took a little diversion on my way to find one or two specific features of geological interest that I could include in my Earthcache write-up. I found something that should do the trick; but for the most part rocks are on the dull side.


I collected the dogs, and took them up to the woods for a walk. Usually we walk round Kings Wood fairly early in the day, and there is a reason for that. Generally speaking, the later in the day we go, the more “normal people” we meet.

Within yards of starting our walk today we met a group of “special people” and their carers. Some of them were making strange howling noises which fortunately the dogs ignored. But Morgan made the mistake of looking at one of them and this one went absolutely mental; constantly shrieking “it’s looking at me, it’s looking at me”. One of the carers looked at me in a pointed sort of way. I looked back, asked “seriously?” and we kept walking. I didn’t want to hang around, bearing in mind that one of these carer-types once attacked Pogo with a length of bramble and then reported us to the police because his “special one” was frightened.

We had a good walk round the woods; we met other dog walkers; some chatted, others blanked us. And as we came back to the car park so we had another “episode”. The one who had supposedly been so scared of Morgan erlier came running out of the car park at us making strange howling noises. When he got to within five yards of us he loudly announced “oh my God oh my God” and ran back to the car park. He then turned, and ran at us again making strange noises until he got close enough for the “oh my God oh my God” to start again. And so this continued until I got the dogs into the car boot. As I tried to give them a treat so this one was alternately sticking his head into the car’s boot making odd noises and then running away.

Bearing in mind the last time I had any dealings like this I ended up with a load of paperwork from the police I thought it best to just ignore what was going on, and hope it would all soon go away.

It did.

As the “special one” was driven away by the carer so I saw another dog walker coming out of the woods. “Thank f… they’ve gone” the chap exclaimed. Apparently they’d had an episode as well.


We came home where I re-wrote the verbals for my pending Earthcache, put the finishing touches to my plans for my geo-meet planned for March, and dozed underneath a pile of dogs until “er indoors TM went bowling.

I cracked on with ironing shirts until she came home twenty minutes later having totally forgotten that this week is half-term and they don’t do bowling at half-term.

Once the washing machine finishes I’ll hang the laundry round the radiators and have an early night.



13 February 2024 (Tuesday) - An Unexpected Early Shift



In between listening to the snoring last night I had an incredibly vivid dream in which I net up with someone with whom I used to work forty years ago. Known to all and sundry as “Frankie Abbott” (from The Fenn Street Gang) because of his endless telling of implausible made-up stories he didn’t drive and walked everywhere. Walking everywhere in Hastings involves going up a lot of hills and getting rather sweaty. “Frankie Abbott” was sweaty and smelly. He had a particular rather distinctive odour about him, and I smelt that in my dream.


I got up and made toast and watched another episode of “Peep Show” before peering into the Internet. It was still there. There was another memory form the old days in Hastings to be had this morning. An old friend from primary school was having a birthday today. I sent out the birthday video, and idly speculated on having a reunion of the old primary school gang bearing in mind we are all having a big birthday this year. There’s half a dozen people from my old primary school on my Facebook list. One is now a vicar in the west country, one is in Sweden… I won’t ever actually organize a reunion, but I can waste time thinking about having one.


The car had iced up again overnight, but this morning it had melted somewhat to something of a thick sludge. With that scraped I set off to work up the motorway.

As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the state of the country's finances. More and more people are in arrears with mortgage payments. I'm so glad mine is all paid off. As the conversations with various experts went on I found myself again thinking that I really should do a Coursera course in economics as all the talk of money on the radio leaves me baffled. I have formed the distinct impression that our entire society functions on the principle that those with loads of money lend it to those without, and charge them through the nose for doing so, and all else is piddling details.

It can't be that simple... can it?

And there was talk of Azhar Ali. Originally the prospective Labour candidate for the upcoming by-election in Rochdale, the Labour party have thrown him out. He's now standing as an independent as (legally) people get nominated, not political parties, and nominations closed some time ago and it is too late for anyone else to stand. He got chucked out for supposed anti-Semitic comments that he supposedly made... Did he? Yesterday I mentioned that Israeli troops in Gaza were filming war crimes and putting them on Tiktok seemingly without repercussion.  I've since heard that journalists who pointed this out have got in trouble for doing so and it is now claimed that this is propaganda by the Palestinian side.

It seems to me that it is rather difficult to get to the truth of the matter these days.


Work was work, but after a rather convoluted mishap I’d been asked to cover the early shift at short notice, so I got out rather early. It was a shame that it was raining, but you can’t have everything.

I came home and made a cuppa for me and “er indoors TM. As I brewed I discovered a jar for the decaf coffee. We’ve only had it for two years (or so I am told). It’s amazing what you miss if you don’t pay attention.

I sparked up my lap-top. I’d had a message from the geo-feds about my Earthcache project. There were one or two trivial things to adjust (which I did), and then I looked at a message I had from the council. A few weeks ago I complained about their allowing several sets of road works to be allowed in close proximity to each other, and then the road works being left obstructing the traffic with no one actually doing any road works. Their response was “blah blah corporate catchphrases” and they claimed they had done spot inspections and had always found someone working when they looked. I suggested they looked before 11.30am and after 2.30pm.


er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching the final of “Junior Bake Off”, and then more “Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly”. I finished my Coursera course on Quality Management and passed with a score of eighty four per cent.  And then I had a message. The geo-feds have given my Earthcache the thumbs-up. I’m quite pleased about that. That’s two elements of my plan for my March geo-meet sorted… five more to go.



14 February 2024 (Wednesday) - Valentine's Day



As I scoffed my toast this morning I sniggered at this morning’s petty squabbling on Facebook. Someone or other had pointed out a discrepancy in the fifty-year-old sci-fi show “Space 1999” in that the scenes filmed inside the cockpit of the eagle spaceships showed that the shape of the inside of the cockpit bore absolutely no relation whatsoever to the shape of the outside. A trivial point – does it matter? Clearly to many it did and there was quite a bit of consternation and a lot of hard feeling being banded about.

And on another page someone was bemoaning how difficult it was to find the original radio broadcasts of “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. Others were claiming it was rather easy, but no one was posting any links, preferring to argue instead.

Some people really will quarrel about anything.


With rain showing no sign of letting up I thought I might review old haunts. Back in the day I used to take my little Fudge to Viccie Park all the time. But I rather gave up on the place when Pogo came to us for an extended holiday; he could be something of a nightmare round the park, and being a stocky lump all the normal people thought he was a rottweiler or some other dangerous breed (as opposed to the pug/spaniel cross that he is).

Perhaps the rain work in our favour keeping the normal people away, but our walk went well. There was no belly-deep mud or fox poo or (surprisingly) no squirrels. There was quite a few new streams and ponds, but the dogs stayed out of them. We met OrangeHead and chatted for a bit. She sang the praises of the new café in the park, and when we went our separate ways she was incredibly impressed with how the puppies came running to me at the sound of my whistle. To be honest it is rather impressive to watch… when it works.


We came home and I made a cuppa for me and “er indoors TM and I then sat on the sofa with dogs snuggled up and sleeping next to me whilst I fiddled on the lap-top. Getting small geocache containers for my March geo-meet, paying dog club money to the paddock’s owner, vaguely thinking about another Earthcache, planning for the weekend, and doing some CPD until it was time to go to work.

Just as I was about to walk out of the door so my phone beeped. our Munzee Clan has achieved our second target of the month and as a reward I got a crossbow, a longsword, a western zodiac and a submarine too. There's never a dull moment in Munzee, you know.


The rain had got worse since we went to the park; I drove through a very miserable morning to the petrol station, and then up the motorway singing along to Ivor Biggun songs as I went. Seeing the traffic queued down the slip road onto the motorway at junction five I drove on to junction four and came to work from completely the wrong direction along the M20. Why was the road so busy? I have no idea.


Work was work; it usually is. But there was shortbread at tea time. Admittedly not cake, but it went down the same hole, and went down very nicely too.

I had a message from “er indoors TM. Once she'd finished work she took the dogs out. As it was dark they all wore their light-up collars (the dogs that is, not “er indoors TM). The idea of the light-up collars is that you can see the dogs and don't lose them. All three dogs came home, but Bailey's collar didn't. If you see a very small light-up collar on your travels...



15 February 2024 (Thursday) - Rostered Day Off



I slept rather well last night, which was something of a result. I got up when “er indoors TM’s alarm went off hoping to get into the kitchen first. I did, I made toast and then had my usual look at the Internet wondering if I’d missed much.

I hadn’t really.

Much of my Facebook feed this morning was adverts for members of parliament in the Milton Keynes area. They seem to be flooding my Facebook feed at the moment; I see these same adverts all the time. They all follow the same format promising to reduce the taxes that their government has put up over the years, and advocating voting Conservative because they are supposedly less crap than Labour. I would have thought that when the Conservative party paid good money to advertise their candidates from the Milton Keynes area they would have had Facebook only send these adverts to people in the Milton Keynes area. And not to me over a hundred miles away. I would also have thought that they would have turned off the commenting on these posts so that endless disgruntled locals couldn’t raise very valid examples of these MPs’ failings. In trying to advertise their MPs, the Conservative party has given a platform to their most ardent critics, and shown they are rather profligate with money.

Not that the opposition is any better…

I was then asked to take part in a survey for people living in Welsh Communities…

And this morning’s petty squabble was whether the movie or video game of “Tron” came first. Thirty seconds on Google would have given the answer, but who wants an answer when you can have an argument?


I got the leads on to the dogs… eventually. Morgan has taken to running away whenever we try to put his lead on. I have no idea why; he seems to have a good time when we are out.

We went up to Kings Wood where we met a load of forestry workers having elevensies. The dogs looked hungry and all got given some of one of the worker’s steak slice. And having been given steak slice they went and made nuisances of themselves with the next load of forestry workers we met.

We did a rather longer walk than usual; we went right across the woods to the North Downs Way where I managed to find a couple of geological features that I thought might make a good Earthcache. An Earthcache is a rather simple geology exercise for Hunters of Tupperware with both a little lesson and an example. I pointed out that flint and chalk form together, and that you see the two together off of the paths, but you only see flint on the paths as the chalk is soft and gets stomped underfoot.

As I hunted for examples of geological process Treacle waded in a swamp, Bailey rolled in fox poo, and Morgan climbed through the tiniest of holes in a fence to get where he wasn’t supposed to be.


With geology geology-ed we went on for a much longer walk than usual; covering over five miles. We came home for a rather serious session in the bath; all three dogs were filthy.

I made a cuppa for “er indoors TM and myself, then wrote up the web page for the Earthcache project. That only took two hours. As I nipped to the loo in between writing up Morgan snaffled my tomato soup. er indoors TM watched him… and took some photos.


No day off work is complete without doing the ironing. As I ironed I watched a film on Netflix. “Europa Report” was an entertaining enough sci-fi film, but covered ground that had been done far better in other films and books decades previously.

I then dozed in front of the telly until “er indoors TM went off out with her work mates. I turned to Netflix again. “30 Minutes or Less” was a comedy… or so it says on Wikipedia. It wasn’t so much “funny ha-ha” as “funny oo-er”.


As I watched the film I scoffed a bag of mixed nuts I found in the cupboard. They didn’t taste quite right. I wonder if that is something to do with its having gone past its “best before” date (last November).



16 February 2024 (Friday) - There Was Cake



I had a rather decent night's sleep... up until four o'clock when one of the dogs made a concerted effort to shove me out of the bed. I shoved back as best I could, but didn't really get back to sleep after that.

I made toast and watched the last episode of "Peep Show". It was a good episode; a good show really, but like so many TV shows went on for two or three more series than it needed to. There was definitely vibes of flogging a dead horse toward the end.


I had a quick look at the Internet; nothing of note had happened so taking care not to disturb “er indoors TM and the dogs I got ready for work. I walked out the front door just as the bin man was bringing our recycling bin back from the bin lorry. On seeing me he made a point of putting the bin back tidily... unlike the dozens of others he'd just strewn down the street. As I smiled at him and went off to find my car he grabbed two more bins and nearly (but not quite) bounced them off of parked cars as he took them to be emptied.


As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about the two by-elections that had happened overnight. Both were relatively safe Conservative seats, but many ex-Conservative voters had voted for other parties this time. More of these ex-tory voters voted for Labour than for any other party and so Labour didn't so much win the elections as the Conservatives lost them. Rather worryingly the Reform (right wing and nasty) party came in third place in both elections.

And that idiot Donald Trump was mentioned... He's suggested that the Russians might like to invade NATO countries who aren't paying their dues to NATO. Did you know that only about half the members of NATO pay up what they should?

Perhaps he's being a tad harsh, but Mr Trump might have put the wind up the cheapskates.


I went to work via Sainsburys where I got a load of cakes for tea time what with me having a birthday next week. I'm always quick to scoff a cake when there's some going so I don't mind getting one or two myself when it's my turn.


As I scoffed some of the cake at tea time so my phone beeped. The EarthCache I'd spent most of yesterday preparing had gone live.   Late last night I'd had the thumbs-down on it. I'd made a mistake with one of the waypoints (the one showing where the chalk was), it had been pointed out that I could be a bit more descriptive of what chalk and flint looked like, and my spelling of "Earthcache" was wrong. It should be "EarthCache".

There are those who think this might be a tad picky; personally I think this is a good thing. So often any old rubbish is accepted in geocache descriptions; raising the standard isn't necessarily a bad thing. My edits did the trick and it had gone live... and just under an hour and a half later I had a message to say it had been found for the first time.


In theory today was my last day of full time working and I worked all day long… Mind you over ten years ago I blogged about my last ever night shift and that turned out to be wishful thinking.



17 February 2024 (Saturday) - Asleep In Front of the Telly



With an alarm set for seven o’clock I woke at quarter to three. I lay awake trying to get back to sleep, but only intermittently dozed for a few minutes.

I gave up and got up at six o’clock, made toast and had a little look at the Internet. Three Facebook friends were having a birthday today. I sent out birthday wishes, then saw I’d been defriended on Facebook. The drag queen who entertained us at Matt and Glenn’s stag party a couple of years ago doesn’t want to be my chum anymore. I suppose he (she?) was a vague acquaintance at best and now that he (she?) has moved to Blackpool the connection is that much more vague. But being a very nosey person, I used to like following his (her?) adventures.

I had a little rummage through my emails. The power company sent me a very misleading email claiming that I was two hundred quid in credit with them. They’ve done this before. They take my monthly payments and stick them into a separate account, and then every so often use that money to actually pay the bill. In the past when they’ve told me I’m in credit, what they mean is that the separate account is in credit. So when I asked for a refund they happily gave me the refund… then asked for it all back to actually pay the bill.

I then geo-puzzled until I decided that “er indoors TM and the dogs had been in their pits long enough at which point I had the duvets off of them and stuck the covers in the washing machine.


Being Saturday we loaded the dogs into the car and drove off through the drizzle to Repton. As we drove Steve was doing the Guess the Lyrics competition. “Nothing last forever, of that I'm sure”. No?  “Same Old Scene” by Roxy Music. I knew the year and the album too…

We got to the Dog Club field where I opened up and it wasn’t long before mayhem ensued. Dogs charged about and we caught up with friends old and new. It was good to catch up with Sue and Chris – I’ve not seen them for some months. They had the latest addition to their dog collection. They found little Lilly running on the A28. She was all skin and bone, and for all that she has got a chip, there is not data on it. The law about chipping dogs is stupid; dogs have to have a chip, but the chip doesn’t have to be registered.


Just as our time was up at Dog Club so the drizzle got worse. We drove home listening to the Mystery Year competition – I got it right; 1977.

We came home and as “er indoors TM scrubbed mud from the dogs I hung out the first load of washing, but the second load in, and popped to the corner shop to get pastries. I geo-puzzled unsuccessfully for a bit until the washing machine stopped.


er indoors TM went off out with her mates crafting and I ironed shirts whilst watching telly. First of all the “On the Buses” film which was rather fun, and then “Dune” which I described on Facebook as “a load of tripe” and I stand by that. The film was an hour too long and was the sort of film you have to look up on Wikipedia afterwards to find out what it was all about. As the tripe film played, every half-hour I moved the bedding about on the radiators so it would dry out.


er indoors TM came home and we put the bedding back. She then laid an egg (big time!) because the bedding now has a blue tinge it never had before. Bearing in mind you don’t see it as it goes under a bedspread I can’t see the problem, but she wasn’t happy. I suggested that it matched the blue paint on the bedroom walls, but that was akin to a red rag to a bull. Or a once-white duvet cover to “er indoors TM”.


er indoors TM” boiled up a rather good curry which we devoured whilst watching more “Taskmaster: New Zealand”, and I then fell asleep in front of the telly. I’ve spent quite a bit of time sleeping in front of the telly today.

Perhaps if I slept when I am supposed to be asleep?



18 February 2024 (Sunday) - Edenbridge



I slept like at night for nearly ten hours. I wonder if the blue-stained duvet covers had anything to do with it? I woke to the sound of Treacle sucking the duvet. She does that. I hope the blue stain doesn’t do her any harm.

I made toast and had my usual look at the Internet. It was still there. There was some NHS-bashing going on in one of the Hastings Facebook groups I follow. Everyone is so quick to find fault with the NHS. It ain’t perfect but the public attitude to the NHS winds me up. One minute the masses are standing on the doorstep clapping like demented sealions, the next minute saying what a load of crap it is. I delivered my standard rant and checked my emails.

A ”tag” had been hidden in Benenden… and found eight minutes before I saw the email. A “tag” is part of the Snag The Tag game… Someone buys a tag, hides it and publishes the location on the website. People then charge out to get it and the first one to find it keeps it. And then that’s it. Game over until the next “tag” goes out. I’ve been told many times that I don’t need to hide a tag myself; just going out and finding them is perfectly acceptable. But I would feel the need to contribute to the game, and bearing in mind these tags were close on twenty quid each the last time I looked, I think I shall just carry on watching.


er indoors TM sorted bacon rolls, then I programmed “Hannah” for the day and we set off to Edenbridge. Pausing only briefly for a letterbox hybrid just off the M26 we followed “er indoors TM’s car’s sat nav to some obscure country land near Chiddngstone where it decided to lead us in circles. At this point we used my phone to take us on to Edenbridge.

We parked up and had a little walk up and down the village looking for specific geocaches for a little challenge we set ourselves today. Geocaches come in various types and we’d thought we might see how many different types we might find today. Having got a letterbox hybrid on the way we found an Earthcache, Adventure Lab and a puzzle at the nearby church. We then took a little walk down the road where (once we escaped from the normal people) we found a traditional and a multi, then went on to the pub where the monthly geo-meet was taking place. Back in the day there would be thirty or forty people at the monthly meet-ups. But since COVID the meet-ups are a shadow of what they once were. But today was like it used to be with dozens of people along. It was good to catch up with old friends and meet new friends.

I took a few photos – but only a few today.

As the afternoon drew to an end our phones all beeped with the same message – a new virtual geocache not two hundred yards away. We all hurried off together and all claimed joint First to Find. That, together with the meet put our icon type count to eight. It is rare that we get over three on one of our outings.


We used a proper Google sat-nav to get home. Once home “er indoors TM sorted a rather good bit of dinner, and I then slept for much of the rest of the evening. Three pints of porter will do that these days…

Today was rather good… must do it again.



19 February 2024 (Monday) - Week Off Day One



I slept well last night, which was a result. Having no alarms set makes all the difference. I made toast and peered into the Internet. Three more people had asked to join Dog Club… or that is to join the Facebook group that goes with Dog Club. With over a thousand members in the Facebook group maybe thirty or forty of them ever turn up in person. But that is today’s society, isn’t it? Everything virtual; nothing in reality. I see this on some of the Munzee and geocaching pages. Sadly the more vocal people on-line would pay money rather than have to actually meet anyone else in person.


I took the dogs up to the woods and we had an excellent walk. We met other dogs. We played nicely with those that wanted to play, and we came back when called (instantly) when it became clear the other dogs weren’t interested. So much better than the episodes we had in the pub yesterday. Mind you the pub dog was the size of a cart horse and simply wouldn’t piss off.

As we walked a buzzard swooped low over the dogs. But for all they have a huge wingspan, the bird’s body was about the size of Bailey. Hopefully this means they don’t see her as food?

We also saw a rather nice coat hanging in a tree. Someone had dropped it over the last few days. Perhaps I should have picked it up; as we reached the furthest point form the car park so the rain started. It didn’t last long and we didn’t get *that* wet really.


We came home and once mud was washed from paws and bellies I did Dog Brekkie then got pastries from the corner shop for “er indoors TM and me. As I had a little look at the Internet over coffee and pastries I saw a cousin was posting family news to Facebook. Apparently my great grandfather had a secret second family. Born in 1888 he would have been doing that nonsense between the wars. Was it easier to get away with that sort of thing back then?  Some friend of “er indoors TM had a husband who had a secret second family. From a purely objective point of view this sort of thing fascinates me.

How does anyone cover up the time required to be off with the other family?

Especially at family holiday time, Christmas and birthdays?

And the cost – how do you hide that level of expense from the other half?

Personally I’d rather have a bit of peace and quiet than double trouble…


I spent a little while preparing for the geo-meet I’m staging in March, then completely failed to solve a geo-puzzle about bell ringing. And then I had a message. “Lunay Camilla” wanted to be my friend on Facebook. Hailing from La Paz in Bolivia today she (I think) started working in the “pleasure management” department of one of the major hotels in Sofia. This one advocates “Less talk, more seduction 💋 I suspect that this major hotel in Sofia is completely oblivious to the antics of its latest employee. Let’s hope so…


I had planned to start tidying up the garden this week; I pruned some of the dead stuff flowing over the hedge from not-so-nice-next-door, then slobbed in front of the telly watching episodes of “Four in a Bed” in which everyone started off very chummy but progressively got nastier with each other culminating with one of the contestants turning up to payment day obviously drunk.


er indoors TM” went bowling (as she does) and I sparked up Netflix and watched the first episode of “Decline and Fall”. So far it doesn’t seem too lame… 



20 February 2024 (Tuesday) - Pub Dinner



I had a reasonable night even though the covers kept disappearing One of the dogs kept making themselves a nest. And when I did sleep I was plagued with nightmares about being forced to go on a church camp (to make up the numbers) and constantly hiding from some righteous crackpot who was using a guitar to beat sinners.


I made toast and had a look at the Internet as I do. A few weeks ago I mentioned about the TV angling celebrity Matt Hayes who had the arse that he wasn’t famous any more. It was suggested that he crowdfund another TV series, and he’s trying to do so…  You can see the details of the crowdfunding campaign here. Personally I’m not going to hand over any money. I had been planning to, but the crowdunder is set up in the name of someone of whom I have never heard. And according to what I can make out, most of the money will be spent on a custom-built van to drive around in. Am I really being that cynical in thinking they could make the TV show using the cameras on their mobile phones on their days off from a proper job. Like I did?


I took the dogs up to the woods. We had a good walk; the mud had dried out a bit since yesterday. We met several other groups and all the encounters passed off without incident. I do like our walks round the woods.

We came home where the dogs had a little wash to get the mud off their paws and bellies. They were nowhere near as grubby as yesterday.

I made a cuppa and sparked up the lap-top. I’d had an idea about one of the geo-puzzles I’d failed to solve yesterday. As I puzzled I had a message. Daborah Mary had sent me a friend request on Facebook, and had also given a list of her hobbies and favourite activities; some were rather mucky, some quite unhygienic and some anatomically not possible what with my back.

However she is into “findom”. Apparently this is a relationship in which one gives the other all their money.

I’ll quite happily accept any dosh she cares to give me.

After a couple of hours herculean brain straining I solved the geo-puzzle… It will now join the ever growing list of puzzles I’ve solved but haven’t got to getting the associated cache.

I then took Treacle to the vet for her annual once-over and jabs. The vet (who looked young enough to be one of Lacey’s mates) agreed with me that she is a tad overweight. We are going to run some of our walks in Kings Wood from now on.


I spent an hour or so pooting in the garden pulling the ivy off of the fence, then dozed in front of the telly until it was time to go out. A dozen of us met up in Singleton Barn for a joint 110th birthday bash as Matt is almost but not quite ten years younger than me…

I remember our joint 74th



21 February 2024 (Wednesday) - Happy Birthday To Me (!)



After a good night’s sleep I woke and lay looking at the clock feeling faintly miserable. Ever since I’ve had a phone of my own (since 1987) my mum phoned me every birthday at twenty past seven. Not quarter past or half past, but exactly at twenty past. Of course she hasn’t for the last three years…


I got up and opened a bumper haul of cards and pressies, then spent a couple of minutes updating the main blog page. The timer to semi-retirement has been replaced with one counting down to full retirement. Seven years… I wonder how those years will pan out? The first seven years at my current place of work went better than I could have ever expected.


We then spent far too long unblocking the Hoover. After “er indoors TM waved the thing all over the place it soon became apparent that it wasn’t actually sucking anything up. It was only after I had the thing in pieces that I discovered she hadn’t unplugged it… when it leapt into action and all but self-destructed without any of its retaining screws and bolts in place.  

But I got it all back together again; it was much the same principle as a Lego set really.


With torrential rain putting paid to any plans for the day we drove to McDonalds car park for a McTasty (which sadly wasn’t) and then went on to Dobbies. Our plans were to look at stuff for the garden; the dogs’ plans were somewhat different. Fortunately their staff assured us they were used to dogs taking a dump.

We came home and watched a film we’d recorded at Christmas then I slept until “My Boy TM” and Cheryl came round for dinner.

We had a rather good kebab. Can’t beat a kebab and chips… Today was a rather good birthday; if a bit quiet.


I’ll end today with a little reflection.… I’m now sixty. After this week’s holiday I go back to work as a part-timer being semi-retired.

I can remember thinking that being ten was old… But in all honesty I feel much the same now as I have done pretty much all of my life. The me inside hasn’t aged. I’m still trying to do the best that I can under less-than-ideal circumstances in a world that I didn’t design. I’m still the same as I ever was – a desperately immature child waiting for maturity that if it hasn’t arrived by now probably never will.

The only real difference between today’s taking on semi-retirement and my first day at primary school is that slowly but surely my body is beginning to wear out. The hair has gone. If I sit still for too long I seize up. Our longer walks round Kings Woods are perhaps a tad too long these days; I’m good for five miles, but eight is pushing it. I use the stairs to get from the promenade to the beach when at the seaside; I don’t dare jump down any more. My left knee could do with being replaced. If I have to get onto my hands and knees to pick something up from the floor, getting up takes effort. When I look in the mirror, my grandfather is looking back at me.

But I’d like to think that I’m good for a few more years yet.



22 February 2024 (Thursday) - Rain, Dozing




In between the McDonalds and the kebab yesterday I had far too much salt. I was laying in bed feeling particularly grim when “er indoors TM and the dogs came up at one o’clock. The dogs all got rather excited. I made the schoolboy error of nipping to the loo, and spent the rest of the night with six inches of bed.


Over brekkie as I peered into the Internet I saw that yesterday I’d had birthday wishes from one hundred and twenty-five Facebook friends which was something of a result. I also had a message from Facebook. A couple of days ago I’d been presented with a rather innocuous advert which when you clicked on it gave you a full-screen view of some lady-bits. I reported the ad, but Facebook replied “We didn't remove the ad. To keep our review process as fair as possible, we use the same Advertising Standards to review reports.

We've taken a look and found that this ad doesn't go against our Advertising Standards”. According to their Advertising Standards “Ads must not contain adult content. This includes nudity, depictions of people in explicit or suggestive positions, or activities that are overly suggestive or sexually provocative” but a full-on fanny is acceptable? Go figure.


We got ourselves and the dogs together for a very quick geo-session (despite the rain). There were a couple of geo-puzzles I’d spent ages trying to solve, and it now turns out that the chap who’d set the puzzles and hidden the caches has announced “I’m no longer supporting geocaching as a cache owner as I refuse to support an organisation with double standards and dishonest practices” and is in the process of fetching in all the caches he’s put out. Having spent ages finding the locations of two which aren’t that far from home I wanted to at least get those ones. There’s quite a lot of others I spent ages solving that are now archived.

Having messaged quite a few people, it seems that no one knows what the sulk is about, but I doubt the sulk will stop him going out finding the things.

We drove out to… where these caches were hidden, and the rain held off long enough for us to find them. Then we drove through the rain down to Folkestone to see “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” and “Darcie Waa Waa TM.


They were both well. We sang along to various videos before nipping to the KFC for lunch. The plan for today was to have a little walk along the prom, but the rain soon put paid to that. We scoffed KFC and sang songs until it was time to go home. It would have been good to have stayed longer, but “er indoors TM had to go to the opticians.


We came home. er indoors TM went to the opticians and I dozed in front of the telly until she came home when she boiled up fajitas which we scoffed whilst watching “Taskmaster: New Zealand” and I fell asleep again.

I do that a lot.



23 February 2024 (Friday) - Bit Dull



When we came home yesterday afternoon I had a letter from the hospital about a pre-assessment appointment at a rather inconvenient time. I spent an hour on the phone to them yesterday trying to get through before the line went dead when they turned it off at four o’clock. This morning I got straight through when I phoned over brekkie. I re-scheduled and then scoffed toast, fed the dogs, and took them on an outing.


As we drove we listened to “Desert Island Discs”. Today’s castaway was the vulcanologist Clive Oppenheimer who is the same age as I am, and would seem to have a frankly dreadful taste in music. Much like everyone on that radio show. Periodically I make a list of what tracks I’d play if I was the castaway.  


We got to Kings Wood and had our walk. Bearing in mind all the rain of the last few days we took a relatively longer walk today following the gravelled track. As we walked we met so many other groups of people. All with dogs on leads over a mile into the woods. And all the dogs had yellow leads and yellow harnesses. Bearing in mind the “Yellow Dog scheme”, I put my dogs onto their leads at every encounter. And every time the other person cried out “my dog is very friendly”. I told all of these people about the idea of Yellow Dogs; a yellow lead, collar or harness means the dog may be nervous, in training, recovering from an injury or illness or operations, being rehabilitated or simply prefers to keep their distance from people and other dogs. And consequently it means that other dogs should keep their distance.

Each person replied that that they are constantly being told about the “Yellow Dog scheme” but didn’t think it was for real.


We came home, had bellies washed, then I made a cuppa and peered into the Internet, and did something I’ve been meaning to do for years. Some time in 2020 (I think) the button on my GPS unit broke. Over the last few years I’ve been bodging it along; now to make it work I have to poke a pokey-thing through the hole to make it work, and obviously it is no longer waterproof. Having been told many times that I can send it back to Garmin for repairs I phoned the nice people at Garmin today only to find they don’t do repairs any more. They will allow me to trade in my current GPS for a new one and give me a thirty per cent discount… or I could buy a new one even cheaper from the Ordnance Survey website.

In the end I went on to eBay and bought a new button which I can glue into place on my currently poggered one.


I settled myself in front of the telly for the afternoon and watched episodes of “Four In A Bed”. The first B&B was somewhere that specialised in welcoming dogs, and (needless to say) was awash with dog hairs.

The second was run by people who’d taken umbrage at all the dog hairs at the first place, made great show of having high standards of cleanliness, but ironically had far more hairs and stains in their bedding than anyone else had.

Having announced how much experience they had in the hospitality trade, the third set made a total arse of brekkie, and the woman running the fourth B&B told the second that (judging by her appearance) she thought she had something wrong with her. Which was ironic bearing in mind the one making the comment had a head which was clearly several sizes too small for her body.

In some episodes of “Four In A Bed” they all are good buddies; today’s episodes were brilliant; they all hated each other and made no secret of it.


er indoors TM boiled up a very good bit of dinner and when it was scoffed I shared cheese and crackers with the dogs… I had the cheese; they had crackers. But they seemed happy with the deal.

er indoors TM is now watching Fred Dibnah on the “Yesterday” channel. He’s jumped from Cornwall to Tyneside in one change of scene… My Dad used to like the chap. So far I’m not keen.



24 February 2024 (Saturday) - Dog Club and the Pub



Having the dogs still and curled up tightly made for a good night’s sleep. I got up, made toast, and peered into the internet whilst it was still quiet.

I had another dubious friend request on Facebook. This one had more clothes on than most, but could still have done with doing up some buttons and covering up rather than waggling about.

There was quite a bit of talk about the Mount Pleasant pub in Hastings on one of the Hastings-related Facebook groups too. In my religious days I was at some event in one of the rooms in the church opposite one Saturday evening. In another room were a load of police (with the lights out) watching the pub like hawks. A few years later I went in there on my stag night, a mate had eleven pence in his pocket. He put ten pence in the fruit machine and was buying the drinks for the rest of the night.

Among this morning’s haul of emails was one from the Credit Karma people who told me that this week my credit rating had gone up by eleven points. I wonder why. Am I more credit-worthy now I’m semi-retired? If so, how do they know. I’ve not told the bank. Should I have done so?


Being Saturday we took the dogs to Repton for Dog Club. As we drove I had a go at Steve’s “guess the lyrics” contest on the radio, and I mistook E.L.O.’s “Turn to Stone” tor Rainbow’s “Since You’ve Been Gone”. But I got a mention on-air for having a go.

We had a rather good (if muddy) session at Dog Club. There were some new dogs along, and everyone charged around like things possessed.

As we drove away I missed getting the Mystery Year competition on the radio right by one year…


We drove up to Kings Wood where we met up with Karl and Tracey. We walked a circuit of the woods in glorious sunshine, and once back to the cars the dogs had a rather good dog-dinner and we got our muddy boots off. And on the very second that we drove out of the car park so the torrential rain started. Ten minutes later the hailstorm hit.

And it was all over in the five minutes it took to get to Badlesmere.


We got to the Red Lion. Not being at our usual table we were off to one side with a lot less going on to provoke the dogs and we had a very good bit of dinner. Washed down with copious amounts of ale, post and Drambuie.

I took a few photos of the day.

Amazingly I didn’t sleep all the way home.


Once home I spent a few minutes being diplomatic. Dog Club had a complaint. It would seem that one of the later groups had based themselves up by the gate today and there had been some barking. One of the residents wasn’t happy, but pissed on her chips by over-stating her complaint. There was certainly no barking before ten o’clock, and the dog club has been sound-checked before and found to be quieter than the Eurostar which regularly goes through. As is always the way, those with a gripe are always happy to gripe it on-line, hiding behind the curtains waiting for everyone to go away before saying anything.

I tactfully gave the sort of corporate reply that would be expected. Hopefully that should placate the natives.


We spent the evening watching Takeshi’s Castle – they’ve made a new series.



25 February 2025 (Sunday) - Another Pub



I slept until backache woke me this morning, which is usually a sign of having had a good kip. I managed to make myself comfortable again, but Bailey stirred, and started licking my hand in her sleep.

I got up, put a load into the washing machine, had a shave and cut a lump out of the side of my nose.


In between dripping blood on my toast I had a look at the Internet. It was still there. Yesterday’s squabble over the dog club seemed to have fizzled out. I hope it has; I’m not the most tactful of people and from what I can work out the squabble wasn’t caused by my group. And when I saymy group” I’m still not entirely sure how it has become “my group”. Having offered to open up for one week when the organiser was on holiday I’m now key holder, collector of money, admin of the Facebook page, and am meeting the land owner (supposedly as representative of the club) in a couple of days’ time.

I then reported yet more porn-mongers to the Facebook Feds. “Volleyball girls UK” claimed to be an insurance company, but it is actually peddling filth. “Business Money” claimed to be a business supplies service, but was certainly dealing in an entirely different sort of business. “Paradox Home” and “AWJR” claimed to be advertising agencies; one click took you to full-on lady bits.

And this morning’s petty argument blown out of all proportion held by people who will never actually meet was about whether or not there should be a remake of “Logan’s Run”. Ironically those against the re-make were all very happy about the series that followed the movie which was essentially a re-make.


I sorted undercrackers, hung out washing, and spent half an hour in the garden. The lawn was far too wet to be mowed, but I mowed it anyway. It had got too long to be able to find dog turds with any certainty, and it was so long that it wouldn’t dry anyway. As I gave the lawn its initial scalping I thought back to the days when the nutty bloke lived next door. He would get very angry and aggressive whenever I mowed my lawn. According to the strange voices in his head I was always mowing my lawn at the wrong time. It was too cold, too hot, too wet, too dry. He could never tell me when I should mow the lawn; only that when I was mowing the lawn was the wrong time.

I wonder whatever happened to him.

With lawn scalped I then pruned some of the dead stuff out of the pond’s bog filter, then we got ready for the day.


Knowing the dogs would need to run off some energy we drove to Benenden where there was a little geocaching Adventure Lab series. We spent half an hour wandering about finding things we would never otherwise have found.

From Benenden it was a short hop to The Peacock at Goudhurst where we met my brother, sister in law and oldest nephew and had a very good Sunday roast. Starting off with whitebait, then full roast beef dinner, and ending up with Crème Brulé, we (I) washed it all down with five pints of Masterbrew and a couple of glasses of amaretto.

Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.


Once home the dogs slept like tired things. Yesterday they were out like lights after our full-on day. Today was much the same. For them a busy morning is a couple of hours up the woods; they probably really do sleep for twenty hours every day. Six hours full-on wears them out.

With dogs sleeping we settled in front of the telly whilst the washing machine did its thing again.

I’ve had a rather good week off work – back to the grind tomorrow – part time…



26 February 2024 (Monday) - Start of Semi-Retirement



I woke in something of a panic at five to one this morning after a nightmare in which the world was being invaded by supposedly sexy aliens... I say "supposedly" - they looked like the sort of ones that send me dubious friend requests on Facebook, and I was the only person who could see what was going on... in that the weren't sexy at all and were incredibly dubious.

I didn't get back to sleep after that; I looked at the clock at least once every fifteen minutes from then until five o'clock when I gave up trying to sleep and got up.


I made toast and sparked up Netflix. It suggested I might like “Friday Night Dinner”. I’ve seen odd episodes in the past, but now I shall watch them in order.

With telly watched I had a quick look at the Internet. Following a long-standing ban of anything rainbow coloured in Saudi Arabia, apparently rainbow coloured kites are frowned upon in Kuwait, and kite-flyers of my acquaintance are looking to sell quite a few of the things. Apparently just looking at something rainbow coloured might turn you gay, or so those who give permission for kite festivals to be held in the middle east claim.

Funny old world, eh?


I set off to work rather earlier than I might. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how the younger members of the workforce are far more likely to be phoning in sick than the older ones. It was claimed that on any given day last year, five per cent of those in their early twenties were off sick. Some expert or other was wheeled on who explained that the snowflake culture really has created a generation who simply aren’t up to the strains of reality.

With a little time on my hands I took a little diversion for geocachical reasons. Having finally got the solution to a puzzle that has had me stumped for years I went and found the cache this morning. It is one of those that will probably be archived in the near future, so it was as well that I went and got it whilst I still could.


I went on to Tesco to get doughnuts for work. I’d taken cakes in to Maidstone on the Friday before last week’s holiday, so it was only fair to take some in to Pembury today. As I queued to pay, the woman on the till wasn’t happy. Apparently every Monday between seven o’clock and nine o'clock she is expected to man the till and the self-service machines because (so she claimed) all the other till-trained staff (including the manager) refuse point-blank to start work before nine o’clock on a Monday.

She asked everyone waiting to make a formal complaint on her behalf.


Work was work; I had something of a left-shifted day today (it’s a neutrophil thing). I came home, and “er indoors TM sorted a rather good dinner which we scoffed watching an episode of “Richard Osman’s House of Games”. I particularly like that show, but I always find myself thinking about some of the poor contestants. Supposedly all celebrities, some of them are in no hurry to conceal their ignorance and show off their stupidity. You would think their agents would advise them against going on national television just to show how thick they are, wouldn’t you?


And with “er indoors TM off bowling I set more laundry scrubbing, then sparked up Netflix and watched an old favourite. “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is a film I’ve seen so many times, but it never fails to keep me amused… it is only a shame that the ending is rather weak. That film will be fifty years old next year.  


I haven’t got to go to work tomorrow…



27 February 2024 (Tuesday) - First Semi-Retired Day



A few days ago I mentioned I’d finally got round to doing something about my broken GPS unit. The power button was poggered. Garmin don’t do repairs any more and had offered me a discount on a new one. After a couple of minutes I found that I could actually get one from the Ordnance Survey website cheaper than Garmin’s discounted price. But either option would cost hundreds of pounds. I found replacement power buttons on eBay, and one arrived yesterday. Yesterday evening I glued it into place and left it to set overnight. It don’t look pretty, and the button is rather stiff, but it has saved me quite a bit of money.


I made toast and had a look at the internet. I had a message from Facebook. A few days ago my Facebook feed gave me four adverts. Clicking once on any of them gave a full-screen picture of a lady's lady-bits. I reported them as sexually inappropriate and here's the response: “… We've taken a look and found that this ad doesn't go against our Advertising Standards”.

Funny old world.

I sent out birthday wishes to five people having birthdays today, and rolled my eyes at some of the nonsense being peddled on some of the crackpot conspiracy theory pages I follow. So many people want t believe rubbish which has long since been proved wrong. So many others are so quick to show their ignorance. So many are just plain stupid. And all are allowed to vote and do jury service.


Yesterday a new geocache had gone live a couple of miles from home. This morning it was still unfound, so I got the leads onto the dogs and we chased off for a First to Find… We didn’t get it. With a description of “The cache is within easy reach attached to something metal” I searched the obvious targets with no luck.

Having admitted defeat, looking at the map I saw we could either go straight back to the car, or take a circular route through the countryside following footpaths back to the car. So we followed the footpaths. Or that is we followed the clearly marked paths that people had obviously been walking. But using the maps on my phone I could see that those weren’t the actual footpaths – those were parish boundaries.

The first field we crossed was rather squishy swampy grassland. From there the track went up into a field of mud, then through a wood where the mud was ankle deep. We then went across a ploughed field, and as we walked along a fence by the side of a school so suddenly the dogs were on the other side of the fence and heading off in totally the wrong direction. I eventually found the hole that they’d gone through, whistled, and they came back immediately.


We came home for a serious scrub, then after a cuppa and a Belgian bun I went down the road to the dentist. There was an idiot in the waiting room grimacing at everyone who came out from seeing the dentist and asking why they weren’t smiling. And then grimacing at me as though I should agree with him. Ironically he came out from seeing the dentist with a face like a smacked arse.

The dentist seemed happy with my gob. I came home and spent an hour pootling in the gardens (front and back) before setting off on the afternoon’s mission.


I went to the co-op for a sandwich where I met another idiot. As I queued so the chap in front of me asked for forty fags. Getting no change out of thirty quid he then announced to the world in general how he and his wife get through a packed of fags a day each because of the stress of having the leccie company threatening to take them to court for their unpaid leccie bill. It clearly never occurred to him to knock the fags on the head.

I then went round to the Repton centre for a little meeting. The people there are happy with how things are going with the Dog Club – they’ve not had any complaints about us, and say they’ve rarely (if ever) found any errant dog turds

I didn’t realise that we are only one of three dog groups that use the field.

They did say though that the Repton Centre has ongoing costs and whilst they are far from skint, he is trying to encourage those who use the facilities to pay more if they can.

We agreed that putting our price up to £1.50 per dog wasn’t unreasonable, and encouraging people to pop a bit more in the pot if they can.

Personally I think that’s a bargain and will be bunging a fiver in the pot for my three each time from now on.

We also talked about the possibility of a working party later in the year (when it has all dried out) to give the field a deep clean and tidy up. And to bung up some of the holes through which Bailey escapes.


I came home via Shadoxhurst for geocachical reasons, and once home mended a broken dining chair (I didn’t break it…) then settled myself in front of the telly and watched episodes of “Four In A Bed”. The first episode featured a trip to a B&B run by a chap who was wearing the world’s worst wig. This was followed by a visit to a couple of lads who were half the age of all the other contestants and for all that I felt they were streets ahead of everyone else, their age was held against them. The third episode was hosted by a boss-eyed bloke who got incredibly defensive and aggressive about the same failings that he was accusing others of. And the chap running the fourth B&B went off sick half-way through his episode and everyone else all pissed off down the road to a café.


I put a load more washing in to scrub. er indoors TM boiled up dinner, and Treacle is currently sucking on my pyjama top.

I named yesterday’s blog entry wrongly… It should really have been “start of part time working”. Today was the start of semi-retirement. Walking the dogs, pootling in the garden, watching telly… I can do that.

Having said that, over the next few weeks I plan to paint the garden fences, start up the pond again, plant rockery plants round the bog filter, tidy, paint and re-roof the shed… I’ve plenty to keep me occupied.



28 February 2024 (Wednesday) - Frogs, Pangolins, Guts Ache



Last night I made a point of making sure my phone’s connection to the internet was switched off. And again this morning there were no end of messages on it. How does it do that?

I peered into the Internet over brekkie to see if I’d missed much, and whether it had been worth my phone’s effort to keep up with what was happening.

It wasn’t really.

I sent out birthday wishes to two friends on Facebook, and thought about Vivian Barr who was in my class at school for the seven years that I was at Red Lake Primary School. Today is her birthday. We weren’t particularly close during that time at school, and I think I’ve seen her once since I left that school in 1975, so why do I always remember her birthday?

One of the Facebook groups I follow (about AI generated pictures) was embroiled in a religious squabble. After something utterly unrelated some god-botherer had tried to claim the moral high ground, and had been asked why his god needs people to do its will. Why can’t it do stuff for itself? Sometimes I despair – large swathes of the world (including much of America) really are still in the dark ages.

Rather than mucky adverts, this morning my Facebook feed was filled with adverts about the plight of pangolins. Poor little things. I’m keen to make a donation to protect them, but I found myself with several competing charities and not knowing which one to support.


I didn’t have as much time on my hands today as I might have had, so we had a shorter walk than usual. We went to the park. The episodes which Pogo used to provoke don’t seem to happen with Morgan and Bailey, but we had a minor one this morning. As we walked past the playpark bit so some small child called to the dogs. Personally I quite like littluns petting them; it gets both sides used to the other. But before I could do anything, mother announcedgive them a snack” and suddenly Morgan and Bailey were scoffing heaven-knows-what. Seeing my face, mother said that it was OK, and it was only a snack. I asked if it was poisonous to dogs, mother announced that it was only a snack. When I told her that chocolate, onions, grapes and raisins are all a no-no, there was a look of horror followed by a stony silence.

The dogs seem fine; I’m sure they are. But I do wish people wouldn’t feed random crap to random dogs. I’ve had people in the park feeding Fudge chicken bones in the past.


We came home as the drizzle got worse. I gathered a bumper crop of dog turds from the garden, then set off to work (as today was a work day!) and sang along to my rather eclectic choice of music as I went. After a few miles I realised I'd not made a sandwich, so I stopped off at the shop in Sissinghurst to get some lunch. They do rather good pasties in there. They do a lot of good stuff (their beer selection is second to none) but they don't give it away. Today they were selling a particular brand of wine that is two quid a bottle cheaper in Sainsburys.

As I queued to pay so my idiot magnet kicked in. The old duck in front of me in the queue was jabbering on at anyone who would listen; seemingly oblivious to the world around her. Having been prompted to pay for her shopping (several times) she eventually handed over some money. And then just stood there wittering on. She had to be told (several times) to take her change, and eventually the woman behind the till decided that enough was enough, and loudly told the old biddy to pick up her shopping and go away.

It was with a sense of relief that I drove away.


I got to work where all the Munzees in the works car park looked rather odd when I called up the Munzee app. They all had a frog picture. Capping a frog gave you extra points today; it's a Leap Year thing.

Work was work; I spent the day with something of a stomach ache. Last night I finished off the stilton which I opened last week when I found it was past its sell-by date. At the time I thought it tasted a bit odd...



29 February 2024 (Thursday) - Leap Day



Last night I disabled all the internet connections on my phone and also the Bluetooth too. This morning it was oblivious to what had been going on on-line. I think my watch must be telling it stuff overnight. Which begs the question how does my watch know the password for the wi-fi.

I made toast and had a little look at the Internet through a connection that had my permission to be connected. It was still there. A mostly American Facebook group I follow had posted a rather idiotic quote from Donald Trump. As an outsider looking in at American politics, Donald Trump amazes me. I have never seen or heard anything about the chap which doesn’t reinforce the opinion that he comes over as a feeble-minded simpleton. But the chap is rich and successful, has been President of the USA once, and looks set to do it again. I must be missing something. I asked on that Facebook group, and sadly I think I got the answer. Everyone who posts intelligently and reasonably agreed with the idiotic character that I see in the media. However everyone who takes no effort to cover up their ignorance when posting thought the chap was wonderful and wouldn’t hear a word against him.

Is the character of Donald Trump a carefully choreographed act to appeal to the masses? I’m convinced Boris Johnson did just that.

I also had a dozen more adverts about the plight of pangolins.


I had an email about a new virtual geocache at Battle Abbey. I thought about chasing to be First to Find but thought better of it. It would involve an hour’s drive along country lanes, and I’ve done enough of that already this week. There was also a meet-up of geocachers to go tidying up a park in Tunbridge Wells this morning followed by a tidy-up in Frittenden, but again I didn’t fancy the driving.

Instead we went to the woods where we had a good walk. We chased squirrels; chasing squirrels is rather entertaining in that usually within a second of being spotted the squirrel zooms up a tree, but the dogs rarely notice that the squirrel has gone up. They fly off in the direction in which the squirrel headed, zoom past the tree, and after fifty yards run round in circles looking rather miffed that they have been outsmarted again.

We stomped through a swamp and rolled in fox poo. We didn’t see any normal people, but you can’t have everything.


We didn’t come straight home; if you log finds on four geocaches today you get a souvenir for the leap day. So we took a circuitous route home.

Once home it was into the bath for a scrub, washing went into the washing machine, other washing went into the dishwasher. I had a once-round with the Hoover and then it was out with the ironing board. As I ironed I watched a film on Netflix. “Vesper” was a total load of tripe which I found myself watching in the desperate hope that it might perk up a bit.

It didn’t.

I would have cracked on in the garden it it hadn’t been raining. Instead I dozed on the sofa underneath a pile of dogs.


Having plans for the evening, “er indoors TM set me up with some KFC and as I scoffed that I watched another film. ID is an old favourite of mine. Nearly thirty years old, you can pick it up on DVD for a quid from CEX.


Peering into the internet, a  dog walk, housework, and watching telly. Is this the future?