1 July 2019 (Monday) - There Was Cake
I went to bed feeling like death warmed up last night. But after a good night’s kip I woke feeling rather better.
I got up, and nearly tripped over Fudge who was fast asleep on the landing. When he saw me he started making odd squeaking noises. He does that, and Treacle does too. They really do seem to be speaking. I wish I knew what they meant.
I sat with him for a few minutes then got on with my morning round.
Over brekkie I watched an episode of “Good Girls” in which our heroes are getting deeper and deeper into the mire.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were interviewing the DJ Paul Gambaccini who (together with Sir Cliff Richard) was launching a campaign to change the law. Both Paul Gambaccini and Sir Clif Richard have had their reputations destroyed by baseless allegations of sex crimes despite no charges ever having been made against either. Both are pushing for a change in the law by which the accused are guaranteed anonymity until such time as formal charges are actually made. Is that *so* unreasonable?
At the moment there is nothing in law to stop all sorts of allegations being broadcast despite there being no evidence for them whatsoever.
There was also an interview with a woman who had recently taken her dying husband to a clinic in Switzerland where he was helped to die with dignity. It is patently obvious that the woman had done the right thing from a moral standpoint, but from a legal standpoint she is risking a prison sentence.
British law, eh? When my number is up, I want my plug pulled long before I become a burden. My grandmother took two years to die; towards the end keeping her alive was an act of cruelty.
I got to work; we had cake. I don’t know who made the cake, or why. But I ate it anyway.
As we worked one of the girls got rather miffed. A patient asked about her children. She replied that she didn’t have any children. The patient was sorry to hear that. My colleague explained that there was no need to be sorry; she had never wanted children. The patient immediately apologised because he didn’t realise she was a lesbian. Apparently the only women who don’t want children are lesbians (!) Apparently this is a well-known fact(!)
And this wasn’t from a bigoted middle-aged man – this was from a little old lady…
As the day wore on I had a flurry of messages asking about the dogs. The Ashford Facebook pages were awash with reports of dogs in our road barking constantly. I was sure it wouldn’t be my dogs; they just sleep during the day. And it wasn’t my dogs. One of those whinging on Facebook gave new-next-door’s address as the source of the noise.
There’s no denying that their dogs bark. But it doesn’t bother me (in much the same way that not-so-nice-next-door’s piano doesn’t bother me). All the time the neighbours are making noise they can’t complain about me.
"er indoors TM" popped round to tell them about the Facebook posts. The dog has fallen silent.
Mind you it amazes me that the keyboard warriors post all over social media, but not one will approach anyone who could actually do anything.
"er indoors TM" has gone bowling. I wonder what’s on telly…
2 July 2019 (Tuesday) - Stuff
I went to the loo in the small hours, and when I came out I tripped over Fudge. I know the way from bed to the loo and don't bear need the light on to walk it... but I rather assume that the dogs will be asleep. Fudge wasn't, and I didn’t see him. I fussed him a bit and he followed me to the stairs. He wanted to go up, and he knows that I will carry him up.
So I did.
I then spent a few minutes rearranging "er indoors TM" and the hounds so that I could have some space on the bed, and slept reasonably well for what remained of the night..
Finding there wasn't much milk I made some toast and scoffed it whilst watching an episode of "Good Girls". It's a good show, but today's was spoiled for me somewhat. A character was shot and was bleeding. Supposedly. Have you ever seen blood? Perhaps I see a *lot* more of it than most people, but it isn't bright red. It is a very dark colour. More dark purple or almost black. It certainly isn't cherry red. The chap with a bright red stain on his white shirt looked far more to be the victim of a leaking pen than he did to be the victim of a gunshot wound.
As I left the house I saw a new geocache had gone live not far from work. I say *not far* - it was on the other side of Maidstone from work. Had I left home when I got up I might have chased the First to Find, but the roads would be quite busy enough without trying to drive through central Maidstone at rush hour. Hopefully I'll have the chance of another this month.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were interviewing the presenter of "Women's Hour". Apparently the BBC have released figures about how much their TV and radio presenters earn. Jane Garvey (the presenter of "Women's Hour") has been pushing for transparency in how much radio presenters earn. She was happy to say that she gets one hundred and twenty-one thousand pounds a year for presenting "Women's Hour" five times every fortnight. And when I say "Women's Hour" you need to bear in mind that fifteen minutes of each show is a radio drama. So she's presenting for forty-five minutes five times a fortnight. Not a bad little earner. I would do that for a quarter of her wages. Perhaps the BBC might consider saving money by employing me.
I got to work and had a rather hellish day. During breaks I finished my latest e-book. “Why Mummy Drinks” is one of the better books that I have read recently. I didn’t download the sequel – I shall save that. instead I downloaded another sci-fi book which (so far) seems OK.
With work done I came home, and "er indoors TM" and I took the dogs round the park. As we walked we met an old friend who was supervising the cubs doing their sponsored walk round the park. I’m feeling far too old to consider being a scout leader again; Di is over twenty years older than me and is still going strong.
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of scran. We devoured it whilst watching the second “Bridget Jones” film. I rather lost interest after a few minutes…
3 July 2019 (Wednesday) - Station !!!!
I slept reasonably well; I got up to find Fudge asleep on the landing again. Does he like it there? It's not as though he sleeps there as he gets there and can get no further - there is a little basket in the corner of the bedroom for him as he can't jump on to the bed.
Yesterday as I left home I mentioned that I saw a new geocache had gone live not far from work. It was still unfound when I went to bed last night, and I found myself wondering... I checked my phone when I got up - the thing still hadn't had a find logged. So as I scoffed granola I planned my mission. Parking, how to walk from the parking, and with plans made I left home when most people would have still been fast asleep.
As I drove up the motorway the pundits on the radio were trying to make light of the fact that the BBC are now seen as Public Enemy #1 following yesterday's revelations about how much they pay their top stars. And those revelations have been further muddied by the fact that apparently only *some* of the fees paid have been disclosed. And it doesn’t help that the poorer pensioners now have to pay for the BBC licence which previously they got for free.
I'm sorry, but this shouldn’t be an issue. All the time the BBC is paid for out of public money they simply cannot pay big bucks for the celebrities. After all it isn't as though they need to. Go to any amateur local theatre group or local radio station. There are dozens of people in every town who would be every bit as good as those that the BBC employ, and would do a better job for a fraction of the price.
Can you *really* justify paying someone twice the Prime Minister's salary for an hour or so a few times a week?
I did think my FTF hopes had been thwarted when the traffic on the motorway came to a standstill. But two minutes after stopping, all the traffic started again for no reason that I could fathom. I followed my sat-nav's instructions and soon I was in a back street in Loose. After a little wander up and down the road I found the footpath I needed. I went sown a rather steep hill and soon found the little film pot I wanted. It had been there since Monday night and no one else had been near. That was a ridiculously long time for a cache not to be found in a very FTF-competitive area such as Kent.
I felt rather pleased with myself as I made my way back to the car. As I walked I posted to the local Facebook geocaching page to gloat.
That was a mistake.
I went into work for the early shift. At tea break my phone beeped. The chap who had hidden that cache that I found this morning was full of sarcasm about how he felt that I'd posted spoilers about his hide by the photograph I'd posted on Facebook. I hadn't, but I deleted what I'd posted to Facebook (just in case). I also amended the written log I'd made. Rather than a few lines of "copy and paste story”, I changed what I had written to "TFTC". In theory this stands for "thanks for the cache"; in practice it is see as an insult to whoever put the cache out.
This petty trivial little bit of nonsense bothered me far more than it should have done. I then spent much of the rest of the day wondering if I still want to be part of the "Geocaching in Kent" Facebook group. When I first started sticking film pots under rocks that group was a source of help and friendship. People would organise outings and trips and events through the page. I used to run at least one such outing a month (every month for several years)
But over the last few months that Facebook group has gone really downhill. The friends I’ve made over the years post less and less, and more and more the page is attracting the half-wits and the “special” ones and the keyboard warriors who are out to cause a fight.
Only the other day someone who'd never posted anything there before was being rather nasty to a friend who has contributed so much to the hobby. A few weeks ago I was made to feel heartily sorry that I'd bothered putting out a series of caches round King's Wood - and it was a reviewer (one of the high-ups in geocaching) who had made me feel that way. And then someone appeared from nowhere and claimed that I was deliberately feigning illness rather than repairing broken film pots(?)
It never fails to amaze me how people can get so nasty over such trivial matters. But for some years the "Geocaching in Kent" Facebook group has risen above that sort of thing. Perhaps it will do again? But I’ve decided that (as far as I am concerned) the thing is on its final warning.
I did my bit at work; an early start made for an early finish. I came home, and took the dogs round the park. As we walked we met a few people who wanted to fuss all the dogs. They liked that. And then we met a child who… I can only describe his actions as saying that he had a spazzy fit. On seeing the dogs he started screaming and thrashing his arms and screaming. His mother told me that he didn’t like dogs. I said that my dogs probably didn’t like him either. The child stopped his stupidity immediately; clearly no one had ever spoken to him like that before. I pointed out that the dogs were a good ten yards away from him, and we walked off leaving the mother shrieking at the child for no reason that I could fathom.
We came home. During the day the dogs had had biscuits down for them. They had all ignored the biscuits so I fed the biscuits to the koi. Suddenly all three wanted the biscuits.
"er indoors TM" then boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we washed down with a bottle of plonk whilst watching “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey”.
I’m reliably informed that filming has started on the third “Bill and Ted” film…
4 July 2019 (Thursday) - Whitby Buns
I slept reasonably well but was still up rather earlier than I might have been. Over brekkie I watched an episode of "Good Girls", then set off for work.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing one of Boris Johnson's henchmen. With only two candidates left in the race to be the next Prime Minister, one of them (Jeremy Hunt) is on Radio Four's news all the time. However the other (Boris Johnson) flatly refuses to appear. The chap who had agreed to be his stunt double this morning got rather angry with the constant questioning about why Mr Johnson wouldn't appear on the radio.
Eventually the chap was quizzed about Mr Johnson's pledge to increase the police force by some twenty thousand plods within the next two years. It was suggested that this would just be reversing the cuts he'd made when he had been Mayor of London, and there was a lot of hot air made by Boris Johnson's lackey to try to justify this. But no one seemed to want to address where these extra police officers were coming from. There is a world of difference between waving a magic wand to create a job, and actually being able to fill the position.
There was also talk of delays in the administration of antibiotics to patients presenting with sepsis at hospitals. This may well be an issue, but again the media was quick to pick up on any possible way to run down the NHS.
I got to work; I had my annual appraisal today. It seemed to go well; nice things were said about me. It was suggested that I begin to formally look into planning for retirement. I'm quite keen on that idea. I'm booked to go to a pre-retirement seminar in September.
Mind you I am *very* sceptical about the entire appraisal process; I can remember going through one (only a few short years ago) when I was told how wonderful I was, and how brilliant I was at my job only to be sacked (a few weeks later) for being supposedly utterly incompetent. A glowing appraisal carried no weight when faced with someone who is determined to stick a knife in your back.
At tea break I was given a Whitby Bun. Have you ever had a Whitby bun? It as rather good. If you could imagine a rather not-spicy hot cross bun with thick lemon icing and filled with lemon curd.
I rather liked it.
I did my bit at work; coming home was problematical. For no reason that I could fathom there were terrific delays on the motorway, and after half an hour of being near stationary, whatever the hold-up was just disappeared. I got home forty minutes later than usual.
Dinner, ironing, rubbish on the telly… soon be bed time.
5 July 2019 (Friday) - Before the Night Shift
Over a bowl of granola I watched another episode of “Good Girls” in which our heroines again supposedly “did the dirty deed” whilst fully clothed. Not that I wanted to see them running round “in the nip”, but I wasn’t convinced they’d done anything at all other than wriggled and shouted a lot.
I then set off to Margate.
As I drove I listened to the radio. There was talk about how Jaguar Land Rover are planning to make electric cars in the Midlands. However for all that people are keen to make electric cars, no one seems keen to make the infrastructure to support electric cars. An electric car would be no good to me if I couldn’t charge the thing. This is a widely realised problem, but no one seems to want to undertake the expense of creating a nationwide (or world-wide come to that) network of charging stations. Local councils feel national government should get involved. National government feel it should be down to private enterprise. Private enterprises don’t want to undertake the financial risk, and feel that the public sector should get involved.
Meanwhile people remain very reluctant to buy a vehicle that won’t go very far, and journeys have to be planned from power point to power point.
There was also an interview with yet another apologist for Boris Johnson. After they had (again) been through the rigmarole of why Mr Johnson won’t appear on the radio there was a lot of talk about whether or not he had been denied access to security briefings when he had been Foreign Secretary.
Was he denied access? I don’t know. Possibly. I can’t help but feel this is just another attempt to smear him.
I got to Margate. "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" and I loaded up the car with assorted rubbish and we did a tip run. Margate’s tip is much like Ashford’s in that it attracts the nutters. Every tip I’ve been to seems to have one idiot with a bag of rubbish which he has to empty piece by piece; kissing goodbye to each scrap as it goes.
With tip run done we did another, and I dropped her off at the cash and carry. She needed to do a big shop and had arranged for a van to collect her stuff. Last Sunday’s little shop took two runs in my car.
I should really have activated my sat-nav right away; I took a rather circuitous route home via Dover (not through choice).
I collected the dogs and we drove down to Orlestone Woods where we had a little walk. Not as long as we might; Pogo and Treacle both walked out along a log over a pond then mistook pondweed for a hard surface and both fell in some rather stagnant water. From there they supddled in rancid mud, so we came home for a wash.
I had planned to go to Matalan and to mow the lawn, but time was pressing so I watched last night’s “Catch 22” as I scoffed a sandwich, and went to bed for the afternoon.
I then spent about an hour trying to program “Hannah” for tomorrow. It took some doing – the lap-top wouldn’t recognise the sat-nav. GSAK said to put “Hannah” into mass storage mode (?) After an age I activated Garmin Express and it seemed to work. I just hope I can get stuff back out of it tomorrow.
Perhaps the thing is poggered? It is now four years old and it gets intense use every week. I wonder how long they should last for? A new one won’t be cheap.
Hopefully "er indoors TM" will be home to make my tea soon, and then it will be time for the night shift. Hopefully I will have time to pop in to Matalan on the way. The lawn will keep for a day or so…
Yesterday just before I left home I read something an ex-colleague had posted on Facebook. I spent much of the night in something of a reflective mood.
This person was someone I employed as a trainee blood-ologist some twenty years ago. She stayed in the job for a while, but I rather lost track of what she was doing after I left working with her. She periodically posts on Facebook. I knew she'd moved into a beautiful converted oast house near Rolvenden a while back. She's now announced she has bought a farmhouse in the Dordogne (in France!), renovated it, and is now hiring it out as a holiday location. It looks wonderful.
Meanwhile I carry on testing blood and can only dream about the lifestyle she is living.
I wonder where I went wrong. If indeed I did. Mind you I'm not grumbling. I'm quite content with my lot in life... I just want more. I don't *need* more. I just *want* it.
I also saw quite a few friends were at Brighton Kite Festival this weekend. That kite festival was a large part of my life for many years. I *could* have gone this year… but not in a tent. Tents are hard work, and a caravan isn’t very practical.
As I left work I realised I hadn’t brought anything to scoff on the way home (I get hungry) so I had a look at the snack bars in the works branch of “Costa”. I think I actually swore out loud when I saw their prices, and bought far more far cheaper from the works M&S.
I could have gone home via Linton and chased the Fist to Find on a new geocache there, but I decided against doing so.
As I drove home the pundits on the radio were talking about the ongoing election for the next leader of the Conservative party (and by extension, the next Prime Minister). Apparently a lot of those eligible to vote have been sent more than one ballot paper. Officials in the Conservative party are trying to make light of the matter. But (can you believe it) this election has no official oversight. The Electoral Commission have no jurisdiction over it.
"er indoors TM" and I took the dogs up to Tunstall where we met Karl and Charlotte. We went for a little geocache-led walk. It was a good walk. The dogs were able to be off the leads for nearly the entire route.
Mind you we did have a little altercation with some silly woman. Pogo had a woof at her dog, and she went nearly hysterical; ranting about responsible dog owners should have their dogs on leads. That is certainly one theory. Another theory might be not to try to hide your dog from all other dogs and let them meet and play. Perhaps if more people had the faintest inkling of what goes through a dog’s head, there might be a few less squabbles. After all, after the initial woof, it isn’t (usually) the dogs who are squabbling.
We had a rather good walk; I got to climb a tree. Our sat-navs did think that some of the given co-ordinates were a tad awry, but we found them all.
And with the walk done we adjourned back to Karl and Tracey’s. Tracey was a little under the weather, so we went round for an afternoon in the garden. It was an ideal afternoon to sit in the garden. Beer, burgers, watching the antics of the dogs…
I took a few photos today. Today was a rather good day. I intend to sleep well tonight.
7 July 2019 (Sunday) - Surprisingly Busy
Ignoring a dog scrap and a trip to the loo in the small hours, I slept for eleven hours last night. It’s amazing what a night shift and an afternoon in the sun on the beer can do.
Over brekkie I pondered what we might do today. It is very unusual that I don’t have plans for a weekend day. We had thought about joining friends for a kayaking mission down the Medway, but that would have meant leaving the dogs alone for too long. "er indoors TM" had been talking about hiding a series of geocaches that she’d been working on, but that would have needed an early start. Simularly for all that I would have liked to have had a day trip to Brighton kite festival, by the time we’d fiddled about we wouldn’t have got there until the afternoon.
I then spent a few minutes fighting with Amazon dot co dot uk. On Friday I’d had issues with my sat-nav. I finally got the thing to work. Yesterday it worked perfectly when I used "er indoors TM"’s cable. So I thought I might get a new cable for it. Usually ordering things on Amazon is painless. This morning I struggled. Eventually it turned out that the cable I wanted was only available as an “add on” item. You had to buy it together with something else. So I ordered a different cable and found that I couldn’t have it delivered to the Amazon locker at work; that locker was full.
Hopefully the new cable should arrive at home in a day or so. If it works, all is fine. If it don’t I’ve only wasted three quid.
I went out into the garden and had a little potter. I ran out the hose to top up the pond, and I pulled out some of the pond weed. I then gathered up the dog turds and mowed the lawn, and trimmed back the overgrowth from not-so-nice-next-door before watering the pots.
After a couple of hours work it looked just the same as it did last week. Gardening is an ultimately futile exercise.
Interestingly I found what looks like hedgehog turds in the garden. Hedgehogs? I would have thought that they wouldn’t have come anywhere near what with the dogs.
I also spent a few minutes looking at my monkey-puzzle tree. It’s getting bigger and bigger. I wonder if it needs a bigger pot? I did notice that it had quite a few spider webs over it. The internet says that this is from spider-mites. The best way to get rid of spider mites is to zap them off with a high-pressure hose. It was a shame that I didn’t read this until *after* I’d put the hose pipe away. I spent a few minutes looking up monkey-puzzle trees on the Internet; no two people agree on anything about them. I think I shall just carry on treating the thing as I have done for the last four years. Since we got the tree (August Bank Holiday 2015) I’ve basically left the tree to its own devices and it seems to be doing well.
Its even got its own Facebook page.
We had some beans on toast for lunch, then took the dogs for a walk. A little while ago we’d got all the clues for a geo-puzzle in the Hythe area and thought we’d go find the final cache today. We couldn’t remember whether we’d got the clues earlier this year, or was it last year? According to my diary we found all the required information on 6 November 2016 (!)
We had a rather good little walk along the military canal, but for me it was rather spoiled by the miniature railway. Have you ever been on the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch railway? It stinks. It has a foul burned-oil smell that always makes me feel rather nauseous. And (it has to be said) it was a shame that Pogo couldn’t have been better behaved. Such a shame that he feels the need to shout at other dogs. Not all of them; just a random selection.
We found the cache that we were hunting for. Pogo and Treacle both jumped into the canal (I wish they wouldn’t), and we failed to find the first part of another geo-puzzle. Bearing in mind that people have been posting on-line that they thought that this first part of the puzzle was missing for over two years, our hopes weren’t high. With no finds in two years the thing must have been missing, and the person who’d hidden it must have long since given up with the hobby. We had a good search and could find nothing so I posted that it needed to be archived. Within five minutes the chap who’d hidden it posted that he’d archived it. What was that all about? Clearly he’d been getting messages about that cache. So why hadn’t he done anything about it over the previous two years?
We drove home via Dymchurch and via another geocache in Washford Farm. This is one I can’t find at all. I’ve been out at least once every two weeks for the last four months and had no joy. Both of us drew a blank today.
Once home I spent an hour or so writing up CPD. A dull job, but one which needs doing (from time to time). I then slobbed in front of the telly until "er indoors TM" dished up a rather good bit of dinner which we devoured whilst watching “Dragon’s Den”. I quite like that show – everyone has a get-rich-quick scheme that simply won’t work…
We did quite a lot today on a day in which we had nothing planned…
8 July 2019 (Monday) - Screaming at a Dog
I slept well but woke feeling rather grim. Perhaps too much sun (and beer) after a night shift was still taking its toll?
Over brekkie I had my usual rake around the internet. It looked like yesterday’s canoeing trip had been fun. I would like to have gone, but from the photos I saw that they were paddling for over six hours. Add to that time to drive there and back and to set up the kayak, and that is just far too long to leave the dogs.
And I read something which reminded me of an old argument from my days as a scout leader. Someone was asking if anyone might take their beaver scouts geocaching. I can remember being told how difficult it was to retain the interest of the twelve-year-olds at scouts because no matter what activity was presented to them, they’d already done it in the beavers when they were seven years old.
I had an email from George Smailes (?) who had seen my LinkedIn profile and wanted to talk to me about a job opportunity. His firm was advertising a vacancy for the position of manager of a London-based medical laboratory. A few years ago I would have been up for that. Nowadays I quite like not having the managerial responsibility. Perhaps I should be more ambitious? But I’m content in my job. And looking back I wasn’t content at work for over twenty years. Do I want to start up a new job in London? Quite frankly, I don’t.
I spent a little while trying to sort out a little geo-adventure for the way to work, then took the dogs for a walk. It didn’t start well. As we walked past the bus stop one idiot child grabbed Pogo’s head and screamed full in his face. The child’s mother told me that this was because she is afraid of dogs. I pointed out the error of the idiot child’s ways (in no uncertain terms) and we carried on with our walk. But the episode had unsettled Pogo. He’s a jumpy enough dog at the best of times, and we were over half way round our walk before he finally stopped barking at everyone and everything. This isn’t the first time that this has happened to us. Are children being taught to do this at school or pre-school?
With our walk done we came home. I harvested the dung from the garden; I only cleared the garden of dog turds yesterday. How can three small dogs generate so much crap? I then posted onto one of the local Facebook groups about Pogo’s being screamed at. I’m not sure why I posted. I fully expected to have to delete the post because it would descend into a squabble, but I felt I should say something to the world at large. Children *really* shouldn’t be screaming at dogs unless they want to be bitten.
With the dogs settled I set off in the general direction of work. I took a little diversion on the way to see if I couldn't find a geocache that hadn't been found for over a year. I parked up and found myself at a dog poo bin. I gave the outside a cursory once-over, and looked over the nearby rubbish bin and found nothing on that either. Bearing in mind that no one had found this cache in over a year, and that the person who'd hidden it hadn't logged on to filmpotsunderrocks.com for over five years, I suggested to the geo-feds that the listing be archived.
I've suggested that quite a lot recently.
I got to work; being on a late shift I went to the canteen and had some vegetarian quiche thingy. As I scoffed it I finished the e-book I was reading. "Proxima Rising" by Brandon Q Morris was an odd book. It was all building up to something which never actually happened. I'm told that there is a follow-up sequel being released in a couple of months. That might be interesting to read; if only to find out what all the build-up was about.
I then had a look at that Facebook posting I'd made earlier about Pogo's little episode. By the time I left work this evening over a hundred and forty people had reacted to the post, and over one hundred and fifty people had posted comments expressing their astonishment.
I was planning to take the dogs out again tomorrow morning. But that bus stop where the idiot child waits for the bus is directly between home and the co-op field. Maybe I might leave home a little later tomorrow morning?
9 July 2019 (Tuesday) - Bit Dull
I slept rather well. I woke about six o’clock to the sound of a dog crying. Treacle was on the floor clearly wanting to get on the bed. Had Pogo chased her off? I told he she could come up and she stomped over my head before finally settling down. I got another hour or so’s snoozing before getting up.
As I scoffed toast I saw that people were still commenting on that posting I’d made on the Ashford Facebook group about Pogo’s episode yesterday. And amazingly no one was trying to start a fight.
I then had a look on Amazon. I’ve got a vague idea that I might like a Kindle. But a Kindle reader is more expensive than the Amazon fire tablet that does *so* much more. What’s that all about?
I checked my emails. I had one from the geo-feds which effectively put the kibosh on the plans I had for a new series of geocaches south of Canterbury. Apparently there is a world of difference between forestry commission land and land covered by the Countryside Rights of Way Act (?) Ho hum… Still, at least this time I discovered the problem *before* I’d wasted hours working on it.
I had an email from the building society telling me all about someone else’s financial matters. This someone has a name which is not unlike mine but is not identical. And he lives in Portsmouth. I would have thought that this would be different enough for them not to get us mixed up. This isn’t the first time the’ building society has told me all about this chap’s private information. I’ve told them of their continuing mistakes and asked what reassurances they could offer me that they haven’t given my information to anyone else. I wonder if they will reply?
I also had a message that the cable for my sat-nav (that I ordered on Sunday) should be arriving today.
I took the dogs for a walk. We left home a little later than yesterday. Thankfully no one was at the bus stop. The walk passed off mostly well, but Pogo did have a shout at another dog as we walked past the allotments. Sometimes I can see why he barks. His eyesight isn’t what it might be (or he doesn’t pay attention) and other dogs get very close before he realises they are nearby. He is wary of unfamiliar dogs. If the dog reacts to him, then he reacts back. He doesn’t like other dogs on leads. And sometimes he just goes totally shouty for no reason that I can fathom.
We’re getting there with Pogo, but he is still a work in progress.
We came home, and as the dogs all snored I watched an episode of “Good Girls” before going to work. I didn’t take any diversions today; I went straight to work.
I did my bit and came home to find my new USB cable had arrived. I used it to plug my sat-nav into my lap-top. It all worked. That was something of a result.
Today has been rather dull.
10 July 2019 (Wednesday) - Before Another Late Shift
My lap-top took an absolute age to start up this morning. Being a Wednesday it had its usual little fanny-around to waste loads of time updating itself to end up seeming exactly the same as it was before.
Eventually I got the thing working and saw that Facebook was heaving with comments about the motorway being closed and heavy traffic on the A-roads. Google maps showed no problems at all. What was going on there?
I didn't want to get off the sofa this morning - Fudge was in a cuddly mood. That happens less and less these days. But I had to go to the hospital for a check-up as a prelude to getting my nose surgically re-bored.
As I got into my car I realised something was wrong - the car's fan would only work when on full power. I really should get that fixed soon.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking to the ex-Prime Minister Sir John Major who was being rather scathing about Boris Johnson. As this leadership race (for the leadership of the Conservative party) progresses it seems that there are no end of sensible reasons for voting for Jeremy Hunt (even though he wouldn't be my choice), and no end of sensible reasons for *not* voting for Boris Johnson. But it still seems to be a foregone conclusion that Boris Johnson is going to win.
As I drove I found that the roads weren't that busy at all. So much for the dire warnings all over Facebook.
I got to the hospital; I waited for my turn. After an age I was led into an office where they checked over my details. I pointed out (for the third time this year) that they had my phone number wrong, and then I went and waited some more. Eventually I was weighed and had my blood pressure taken. Apparently neither had changed since the last time they were measured. The nice nurse then spent ten minutes doing an ECG whilst telling me what a horrible place to work that hospital had become (!), and then I was sent on my way.
What a waste of time. Surely they could have done all that at my previous appointment?
If I'd had time I would have gone home and spent an hour walking the dogs round the park. But I didn't have that much time, so (bearing in mind what I'd heard about the motorway earlier) I took the A20 to Maidstone. I stopped off on the way for geo-purposes. One cache was found rather easily; the other not so. I had to scramble into a *very* overgrown thicket to find a tumbledown shack. It was quite the adventure; no one would know this shack was there. The cache... wasn't quite as described, but I found it anyway.
I then went on to work and did my bit…
…And now I shall take a little digression... In the past I was a cub scout leader (for thirteen years). I was reminded of one of the hundreds of children who I looked after today. This particular lad was a happy chubby fellow. On one hot day at cub camp he refused to drink squash as he "only drinks fizzy drinks" (we soon changed that). He was particularly kind to a lad with a paralysed leg. He was very keen with his camera. I took him with us on our trip to Canada and America in 2004.
"er indoors TM" came home to walk the dogs at lunch time today. She parked the car on the double yellow lines down the road from our house for thirty seconds while she collected the hounds. She came back to her car where she saw that ex cub-scout. He has grown up to be a traffic warden, and he'd given her a parking ticket.
No good deed goes unpunished...
11 July 2019 (Thursday) - So Dull
After a rather traumatic nightmare in which a good friend had taken to keeping alligators and one of them had eaten Fudge I woke about three o’clock and lay awake for an hour or so. I hate when that happens. So I got up, had a shave, went back to bed, and slept like a log until the alarm went off.
Over brekkie I watched an episode of “Good Girls” then sparked up my lap-top to see what I’d missed overnight. I hadn’t missed much.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were interviewing Michael Howard; ex-Folkestone MP and ex-leader of the Conservative party. He wittered on for ten minutes, saying a lot without saying anything. And then much of the rest of the air-time was given up to the allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour party. And again there was a lot of talk and very little substance.
I stopped off at Aldi for some supplies, then went in to a rather busy day at work. During a tea break I checked my phone and saw I had a message. Someone had tried to do one of my Wherigo geocaches and hadn’t been able to work the thing. I was being messaged to tell me there was a problem which needed to be fixed.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had such a message from this person. I’m of the opinion that the thing worked fine in intensive trial runs, and since it was released to the general public sixty people have managed to complete it. Therefore it works. (The four people who failed did all the Wherigo bit but got to the end to find the final film pot had gone walkabout). However I’ve been told that if this chap can’t do it then the thing itself is at fault.
I resisted the urge to be rude.
With work done I had a rather warm journey home (the car’s fan hasn’t miraculously fixed itself). "er indoors TM" boiled up some scran and went off to craft club leaving me with the snoring dogs. I fed shirts to the washing machine and will spend the evening ironing them.
Today was dull…
12 July 2019 (Friday) - Rostered Day Off
The dogs were restless last night. I say “the dogs”; Treacle was squeaking. But it only takes one dog to keep me awake. She eventually shut up some time just before three o’clock.
Over brekkie I had a little look at the Internet. Nothing much had changed since last night on Facebook, but I did have a flurry of emails to read. LinkedIn wondered if I knew Anthony Keenan. So did I. Apparently we both studied at the Open University. Looking at his profile photo I was studying pure mathematics with the OU at the same time that he was being born. I ignored the connection request.
NHS Jobs wondered if I might be interested in a job in the Royal London Hospital. I’m beginning to wonder if I might approach the job market again. This idea of eking out my time until retirement is no way to waste the next eleven years. Whilst I don’t dislike my job, I’ve been doing it for *so* long. I wonder if I might spend my (hopefully) last working decade doing something utterly different. Forest management, selling ice-creams… perhaps I might have a word with a careers advisor?
Three new virtual geocaches had gone live (but none within a hundred miles of home).
Amazon was recommending all sorts of stuff that didn’t interest me.
And I got an email from the British Blood Transfusion Society that *really* boiled my piss. I rarely blog about work, but sometimes needs must. In my work I provide blood for transfusions. I sometimes flippantly describe it as “hours of boredom interspersed by moments of stark terror”, but it really can be like that. With no notice at all I may be called on to provide massive amounts of compatible blood. If I don’t get my arse into gear right away, people may die. But that is what hospital work is all about.
This morning the BBTS sent an email asking for nominations for an award which “will recognise the ‘behind the scenes’ staff who contribute directly or indirectly to the care and continuity of transfusion support”. This annoys me. The day after my son was born I was on duty for twelve hours because no one else was available. During that time I ensured the compatibility of over fifty units of blood for cases involving someone with a major intestinal bleed, various people with anaemia and a patient whose aorta had ruptured. I missed my daughter’s first eight birthday parties so that there would be someone in the blood bank outside of routine working hours. But (quite frankly) this is nothing special. People in hundreds of blood transfusion labs across the country do the same and have done for years. But now nominations are sought for “the best”. And everyone else’s efforts are automatically cheapened.
Once I’d calmed down I got dressed and took the dogs out. We drove along the route I take when I am working in Pembury but veered off and parked up in Hemsted Woods.
We had a rather good little walk though the woods. As we walked we met a few other dogs. And I had something of a revelation. When Pogo meets other dogs there is sometimes a bit of a woof, but it usually passes rather quickly. If the other dogs are off of the leads, the shouting (from both sides) is all over and done with within minutes. If the other dogs are on leads then there are often bitter words from the people holding the leads. But… Perhaps the dogs are OK? Perhaps the dogs are just doing what dogs do? Perhaps it is just people who are a problem? Take for example the only “episode” we had today. One silly old bat was walking her dog on a very short lead about a mile from the nearest road. Why not let the dog have a run? Pogo and Treacle ignored her dog, but she went hysterical when Fudge walked within five yards of her mutt. Fudge had previously in our walk porked other dogs (who were off the leads) and everyone had a good laugh.
As we walked today Fudge rolled in the dust, all the dogs had a good run. Everyone (except me) spuddled in mud, and I did the preliminary leg-work from a new series of geocaches; hopefully twenty-three of the things over four miles.
I came home and made a start doing all the admin and paperwork involved with turning this morning’s walk into a series of geocaches. After three hours I was in a position to contact the geo-feds to ask if the locations were suitable and (more importantly) to ask that the locations be reserved until I can go put the caches out.
I’m not spending money on buying the pots until I’m sure the locations are OK – I’m mean like that.
I then spent a couple more hours getting pictures and working out the descriptions for the cache pages. Being all written in html script takes some doing.
I had planned to clean out the fish pond’s filter and get the lawn mowed, to say nothing of attacking a ton of ironing, but time just ran away with me this afternoon. I looked at the clock to see that six hours had passed whilst I was fiddling about creating web pages… and I’ve only got one of twenty-three done. (To say nothing of ordering all the bits that I need).
"er indoors TM" came home and boiled up some fish and chips which we washed down with a bottle of plonk.
I really should see about writing up those other twenty-two cache pages…
13 July 2019 (Saturday) - Wedding Reception
I’ve noticed that the dogs are rather restless in the middle of the night, but seem to sleep quite well from five o’clock onwards. So we had a little lie-in this morning. Perhaps I should have kept them active yesterday afternoon?
I sparked up my lap-top like I do most mornings but had a warning that the firewall subscription had expired. What was that all about? According to the provider’s web-site it isn’t due to expire for over a year. Eventually uninstalling and reinstalling solved the problem, but it wasted half an hour.
I finally got to peer into the Internet. Last night’s squabble on Facebook was still going on. If you rummage under a rock for a film pot and don’t find one, should you replace it? According to “Da Rules” the answer is a big resounding “NO!!!”. According to “Da Rules” you have to tell the person who stuck the film pot under the rock and let them sort it out.
Usually when I’m going to rummage in the undergrowth I look on-line. If other hunters of Tupperware have said that they couldn’t find anything I message the person who hid the thing and ask them if they’d like me to replace it if I don’t find it either. Personally if someone offers to replace one of my missing pots I’m only too happy about it; it saves me hours of effort to wander out to the back of beyond.
It’s an argument that has been going on for years and last night’s squabble won’t resolve anything.
I prepared another four web pages for my new geo-series (only seventeen more to do) then went into the garden. I tried to strim the lawn’s edges and had quite a fight with the strimmer. I’m wondering if it isn’t more cost effective to throw away the strimmer and get a new one when the strimming string-stuff runs out rather than fighting to try to load up new stuff into the machine.
Eventually I got the edges done, then mowed the lawn, pulled weeds out of the gravel, and spent a rather unpleasant hour cleaning out the pond’s filter. It’s not a nice job, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it is better to do it regularly when I have time rather than waiting until the thing gets blocked solid with Koi poo and having to find an hour when I have other things to be doing.
Again I spent three hours on garden stuff at the end of which the garden looked pretty much just the same as it did when I started.
After a quick Belgian bun we took the dogs round the park. Some of our walks are good; this one wasn’t one of the better ones. All the “delicate blossoms” were taking their precious pups out and Pogo was like a bull in a china shop.
On the plus side, as we walked we met two different groups of friends out hunting flilm pots under rocks. It was good to catch up.
"er indoors TM" set off to collect "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". I stayed home and (once I’d set the washing machine going) I slobbed in front of the telly. I put on an episode of “Good Girls” and dozed off.
I woke to the sound of Fudge being sick.
With dog vom cleared the family arrived. There was a rather traumatic half an hour while everyone got dressed. Things might have gone faster had "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" not been trying to put his head through the arm hole of his shirt. But eventually we were organised, and we drove up to the Kennington Carvery for "My Boy TM"’s wedding reception.
From what I remember of it, it was a good night. I took some photos, and woke up on the sofa just after two o’clock.
14 July 2019 (Sunday) - A Day WIth Stormageddon
Yesterday I saw on Facebook that someone with whom I used to work was flying out to Longyearbyen. It is the world’s most northerly settlement of any type, and somewhere I’d like to visit. I was rather jealous.
As I had a cuppa this morning I saw that my ex-colleague had arrived there, but his luggage hadn’t. What do you do when you arrive in the back of beyond only to find your undercrackers have gone walkabout?
"Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" had stayed with us overnight. He and his grandmother came downstairs, and eventually we got ourselves organised. Quite a few of the family had stayed in the Conningbrook hotel after last night’s party, and we’d arranged to go have brekkie with them.
To be honest the full English wasn’t the best I’ve had, but It was good to catch up with family. It would have been good to have spent longer with them, but nephews had girlfriends to go see, and grandson was getting fractious. We said our goodbyes and went our different ways.
"er indoors TM" and I took littlun to the garden centre. We started off looking at the tropical fish; he was enthralled by the water snails. We then perused the pond fish and the water features before going outside to feed the ducks. The garden centre operates this racket by which you pay them to feed their ducks. For twenty pence you get a handful of duck food which is probably about one tenth of a duck’s dinner and which lasts about ten seconds. "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" wasn’t sure if he preferred feeding the ducks or the carp in the pond, so we kept going until I had no more twenty pence coins left.
Despite not having any more twenty pence pieces I still had other money, and we bought toy cars and a torch on the way out.
"Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" announced that he wanted to go exploring in the forest (!) so from the garden centre we went home to collect the dogs, and then went on to the Warren. Littlun used his torch to peer into hollows and nooks and crannies in trees hoping to find bugs. Trees were climbed (by small boys and small dogs alike), and I even took a few photos too.
We came home for a cheese roll for lunch, then headed to Folkestone to take grandson home. We stopped off on the way at the Home Bargains shop to get Treacle a new bowl (her old one got broken this morning). Whilst in the shop we got some sweets.
We got back into the car to have grandson announce “I don’t like these sweets. You can put them in the bin!”
Bearing in mind he’ taken an age to choose what sweets he wanted…
With littlun dropped off we came home via Hythe and Westernhanger. Geocaching dot com is running a scheme over the next month whereby you can get e-souvenirs. We stopped off in Hythe where we found a rather novel cache which was rather obviously tied to a fence. It was a shame it was broken, but it was perfectly serviceable, and we got the first souvenir. We stopped off in Westerhanger and found another plastic pot which got us some way to the next e-souvenir.
Rather than hunting out more geocaches we spent half an hour in a traffic jam on the motorway and came home.
I spent an hour solving a geo-puzzle which is in the Arctic circle (I might get there one day) until "er indoors TM" boiled up some dinner.
I think I might have an early night… I’m feeling rather washed out…
15 July 2019 (Monday) - This n That
I had a reasonable night’s sleep. It would have been better had I not been fighting one or other of the dogs for bed space in the small hours.
I got up a little earlier had I had intended and watched Saturday’s “Thunderbirds Are Go!” over a bowl of granola, then fired up the lap-top to see what had happened in the world overnight. A *lot* of people had liked the photos I’d posted on-line over the weekend. Other people had been busy this weekend; out walking, or flying kites, or posting wedding photos. I do like seeing what people get up to.
Amazon was having a sale today. They were selling Fire tablets for thirty quid, and Paperwhite e-readers which do far less for fifty quid. What was that all about?
I checked my emails – I had a *lot*. Loads of “Found It” logs from people who’d found the geocaches I’d hidden over the last few months and years.
And then (taking care not to wake anyone) I got ready for work.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about how fifty years ago this week Apollo 11 took the first men to walk on the surface of the Moon. They spoke about the bright new future of space exploration that was envisioned and that didn't happen. I must admit that I don't remember Apollo 11 (but I do remember Apollo 13), but I've always been disappointed that the future didn't turn out quite how I thought it might. The pundits on the radio played part of a speech by the American Vice-President (whoever he is?) in which a return to the Moon was promised, and they spoke a little about the planned missions to Mars without (for once) treating the whole thing as faintly ridiculous.
After this they wheeled on Sir Oliver Letwin who droned on about Parliament and Brexit and completely lost my attention. I returned to the radio in time to hear allegations of racism being levelled at President Trump. Have I ever mentioned that Mr Trump reminds me of Zaphod Beeblebrox (President of the Galaxy in the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Universe). As President his job wasn't to wield any power at all, but to draw attention away from those who actually did run the show.
I suspect Mr Trump is doing a *very* good job of this.
Having made good time up the motorway I went on to Sainsburys where I got petrol, and then went in to work. I collected my camo tape from the Amazon locker, and then made a start on the early shift. Usually an early start makes for an early finish, but not today. I wasn’t *that* late getting out though.
Once home I ran the dogs round the co-op field, and once "er indoors TM" had boiled up gammon and chips she went bowling. I did the ironing whilst catching up with telly that I’d missed. The last episode of “Gentleman Jack” was entertaining enough, but the first episode of the new season of “Poldark” was a grave disappointment. Far from flaunting a heaving bosom, Demelza seems to have taken to wearing a hessian sack.
Such a shame…
16 July 2019 (Tuesday) - Fixing The Fence
I was woken shortly after two o’clock by "er indoors TM" telling Fudge to be quiet. I couldn’t hear him, but when I listened closely there was the tiniest of whimpering. Since I was awake I went to the loo. Fudge ran after me – he wanted a tiddle too.
Over a bowl of granola I watched an episode of “Good Girls” then resisted the temptation to look at the Internet. Instead I went to B&Q as I needed some planking to fix the fence between our house and not-so-nice-next-door. At the weekend I’d heard Fudge barking in the garden. I went out but couldn’t see him anywhere. I could hear him though. I called him, and he burst through the fence (like a tank) in a manner of which Oliver Hardy would have been proud. I temporarily blocked the hole, but it needed a more permanent fix.
I found the planking I needed. It was the right width, but far too long. I asked the nice man in B&Q if he might cut it for me. He couldn’t. The plank was too narrow for the shop’s electric saw. The nice man showed me why it was too small. Sure enough it was; it didn’t fit on the saw’s shelf-thingy without wobbling all over the place. However probably about ninety per cent of the wood in B&Q would be too narrow for that saw. I pointed this out to the nice man who admitted that this was the case.
The electric saw in B&Q is a huge thing; it must have cost thousands of pounds. Why didn’t they get one that would be able to cut the wood they sell?
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about how President Trump is unrepentant in his racist attacks. I suspect that being politically incorrect and insulting minorities is probably a vote-winner, and he knows it.
There was also talk about how having spent years breaking up the national railways into autonomous companies, the government’s advisors now feel that a national railway policy might be a good idea…
Despite the traffic lights at Brookfield being broken I got to work where I had a rather good day. And then I came home again.
As I parked up, not-so-nice-next-door parked her car behind me. I’ve mentioned before that her piano playing is abysmal, but it is perfection compared to her driving. She actually came alongside my car *on the pavement* in her attempts to position her car at the edge of the road behind my car. I honestly don’t think she’s passed her driving test; her driving is *that* bad.
"er indoors TM" took the hounds out whilst I got out a saw and carved up my plank. In a novel break with tradition I used a spirit level to put the planks across the hole, but the wood was a tad thick for my electric screwdriver. I’ve bodged the hole closed; that will do. If not-so-nice-next-door had a problem with it, she can tell me. But bearing in mind she doesn’t speak to us, that’s not likely to happen.
I wonder what’s for dinner?
17 July 2019 (Wednesday) - Bit Dull
I had a rather good night until Pogo sat on my head shortly after five o’clock. I wish he hadn’t done that. I got up, and as I scoffed granola I watched an episode of “Good Girls” the plot of which has taken an interesting twist.
I then sparked up my lap-top to see if I’d missed much overnight.
There were quite a few photos of last night’s lunar eclipse. Back in the day there would probably have been organised eclipse-spotting events. And talking of the Moon there was a surprising amount of posts from people questioning if the Moon landings ever actually happened.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were interviewing some policeman or other who was expressing concerns about just what is in the vape liquids that people are vaping. I don’t vape, but I am reliably informed that you can spend good money buying vape juices from a vape shop, or you can get *supposedly* the same stuff from dodgy adverts off of the Internet for a fraction of the price. Needless to say, when you go to a proper shop you have some vague idea what you are getting. The stuff of the Internet might be absolutely anything at all, and (apparently) frequently is.
The policeman being interviewed might have made a better and more convincing case had he spoken in English rather than insisting on using meaningless acronyms. The presenter questioned him a dozen times on what he meant by JJD, FZY, CPD and IBMS.
There was also talk about how our daily lives are being more and more monitored by video cameras, phone tracking apps and the like. Personally I can’t see the harm in it; I’ve long known that when I finally flip and murder someone I should leave my phone at home to support the story that I was fast asleep at the time.
I got to work; we had a rather busy time of it today. So much so that I was an hour late getting out. Mind you the roads were a *lot* less busy at half past six, so I wasn’t *that* late home.
"er indoors TM" boiled up some sausages for dinner, and we slobbed in front of the telly for the evening.
Today was rather dull… but on the plus side the geo-feds have given me the thumbs-up (in theory) for the new series of geocaches I’m working on. I’d better get those web pages written…
18 July 2019 (Thursday) - Home Alone
I woke at some unearthly hour to find one of the dogs was on top of me. I was about to grumble at the errant hound when I realised the dog in question didn't have a curly tail. It was Fudge. Bearing in mind that Fudge can do no wrong I went back to sleep.
Over brekkie I watched the last episode of "Good Girls". The show has been very watchable, and it seems to have reached a sensible ending. I did hope that the writers would leave it there, but I hear there's to be a third season. Here's hoping it will be as good as what has gone before.
I set off to work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the planned national water supply... or lack of one. Gas gets pumped the length of the nation, but there are no similar pipes for water.
Yesterday the government spokesmen seemed to be thinking about having a sensible railway policy. Today there was talk of treating water as a valuable and limited resource rather than as something from which a profit might be made. It’s about time.
Perhaps those in authority are finally seeing the short-sightedness of Margaret Thatcher's policies of selling everything off? I thought it was a daft idea thirty years ago...
There was also an interview with one of the new French MEPs. I think she summed up the feelings of the world when she said that Brexit has dragged on long enough and expressed the sentiment that the UK should effectively either crap or get off the pan. (I paraphrase her words)
I stopped off at Aldi as I had a few minutes spare. I wanted to use their cashpoint machine; it was broken. I would have got in and out quicker had the resident weirdo not been in the way. Most mornings there is some very strange fellow at the front of the queue that forms before the shop opens. He takes it onto himself to direct everyone into the shop and doesn't take "p*ss off and leave me alone" for an answer.
I got to work and had a rather good (if busy) day. I did my bit and was only two minutes late getting out. Once home I took the dogs for a little run. The walk went well really. I would have liked to have had longer in the co-op field, but some looney was walking his dog there. Because this chap’s dog can’t be trusted the dog has to stay on the lead. Because this chap wants his dog to have a run, the dog has a long lead. A *long* lead. It is a length of rope at least fifty yards long. Needless to say you can tangle a lot of things with that much rope.
We came home.
With "er indoors TM" off on some works jolly I fed the dogs, then made myself some toast. I’m happy to eat decent meals, but (quite frankly) cooking them is too much of a faff.
With toast scoffed I ironed some shirts whilst watching “The Last Man on Earth”; my SkyPlus box has recorded eighteen episodes of the show.
That was very thoughtful of it…
19 July 2019 (Friday) - Out For Dinner
I woke far too early this morning; after laying wide awake for an hour I gave up trying to sleep and got up. Over brekkie I watched another episode of "The Last Man on Earth", then found myself transfixed by some gung-ho idiot who was terrorising piranhas on one of the more obscure TV channels. I gave it ten minutes, then had my usual trawl around the Internet. So many people were posting from their foreign holidays. I suppose it is the middle of July. It is holiday season. I went to Turkey only a few months ago.
But I was still jealous.
I got myself ready for work, and spent a couple of minutes getting to my car. On Fridays the bin men come round. About four hours before the bin lorry comes round, the vanguard of the bin men comes round moving the bins into positions that make it easy to get the bins to the lorry. However this means that the pavements are totally blocked by bins, and bins are wedged in between all the parked cars. I pulled bins out from in front and behind my car, and then drove round to the co-op.
I needed to use their cashpoint machine. Again the thing had no receipts in it. Again I complained to the co op staff, and again they expressed their utter indifference on the matter.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were discussing the plight of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU. What will happen to them after Brexit? Several so-called experts were wheeled on, all of who took an absolute age to say that they didn’t know. What a waste of air time.
I got to work, and unlike earlier in the week an early start *did* make for an early finish. I came home, collected the dogs, and we all drove out to Kings Wood. One of the geocaches I’d hidden there had supposedly gone missing. I couldn’t find it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. I’ve replaced it; I’m now waiting for someone to whinge that they’ve found two pots.
We came home past the Conningbrook hotel; "er indoors TM" had had her work’s beano there and needed fetching home. As part of her works beano there had been a barbecue. The dogs had quite a bit of leftovers from that.
We came home, and once the dogs had scoffed far too much leftover meat we settled them and went round the corner to the Riverside. Chris was having a birthday, and a few of us were getting together to celebrate.
I only had a couple of pints… but (like the dogs) I ate *far* too much
20 July 2019 (Saturday) - Busy Busy
I was woken at three o’clock by the sound of torrential rain on the windows. As I was awake I thought I’d use the loo. It was only as I waddled to the chodbin that I realised that there was quite the lightning show going on. It amazes me that the dogs go absolutely mental if someone walks down the street on the other side of the road, and they go totally bat-shit-psycho at the sound of next-door’s gate, but they sleep through a full-blown thunderstorm.
I went back to bed and got up shortly after six o’clock. I watched more of “The Last Man on Earth”, then set off in the general direction of Margate. On the way I failed to find one geocache, but successfully located two others, and it wasn’t long before I was at the Westgate Minimarket.
Eventually "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" got herself organised and we drove up to the cash and carry. As we drove there was a minor commotion. A car sped past with sirens and blue lights blazing – but it wasn’t police or ambulance or fire brigade. It was the coastguard. What were they doing up the high street and not out at sea?
We got to the cash and carry. That place amazes me. Some things there are ridiculously cheap. Others are more expensive than Tesco’s retail prices. As we walked round, the most recent fruit of my loin seemed to know everyone, staff and customers alike. She seems quite content over in Thanet.
We loaded up the car with supplies and took them back to her shop. "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" wanted to go into Margate so we drove to the town centre, and I stopped to have a Subway with her. Have you ever had a Subway in Margate? I can thoroughly recommend it. You get to choose just what you want in your sub, it’s really reasonably priced, and you can sit in the shop’s window watching the world go by. There’s the posh people, and the drunk tramps. The young girls in fluffy slippers and the young lads with their trousers round their knees. I love people-watching.
I left "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" at the nail bar getting “stuff done” and drove home.
Once home I helped "er indoors TM" change the bedding, then we farted around watching previews of Netflix through the Firestick and Amazon Prime (because we could).
Eventually the novelty wore off, and we had a dull afternoon shopping (like the normal people do). First of all to B&Q to get a new gas canister, then on to The Range in Folkestone where we wasted half an hour looking at stuff we had no intention of buying. We came home via Home Bargains whose gazebos were overpriced, and via Smyths who didn’t have the 2019 Lego lunar module (such a shame).
Once home I went into the garden, harvested the dog turds, fed the fish, and pulled Pogo out of the pond(!) Pogo and Treacle then had a rather nasty fight over one of the toys that we’d bought for them whilst we’d been out; that toy is now in the bin. With a toy each, why can’t they be content and not have to squabble for the one that someone else has got?
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner, then she went to the “Create” festival in the park. I stayed at home and watched more telly. I thought about going to the “Create” festival, but I was feeling rather washed out.
I wish I knew why…
21 July 2019 (Sunday) - Sissinghurst
Sometimes I wonder what goes through my dogs’ heads. At three o’clock in the morning Pogo insists he must be on my pillow with every extremity stretched to its fullest extent and all thrashing about as though he is having a fit. At seven o’clock he is happy to be curled in a tight ball at the end of the bed.
I got up and made my toast. As I scoffed it, I had a look at the Internet. There were a few photos from the “Create” music festival which took place in the park yesterday. I’m no expert on the subject but it does seem odd that the council plan the “Create” festival to clash with a similar event in Maidstone. And it niggles me that there was an almost identical festival in the north park last week which was self-funding, but the “Create” festival gets fifteen thousand pounds of council money.
I also saw the trailer for the new Star Trek series: “Star Trek: Picard”. It looks intriguing, but isn’t it a sign of our times that the show will be aired on Amazon Prime? Personally I don’t care – as of yesterday we can stream shows on Amazon Prime to our telly. Bearing in mind how for many years I’ve been advocating recording TV shows and fast-forwarding through the adverts, I wonder if those in the TV industry have finally wised on to this, and free-to-air TV has had its day?
I spent a few minutes writing web pages for the geo-series I’m currently planning. All the web pages are now written. I’ve got my pots and camo tape and paper logs from Amazon; I just need to put them all together, and (if all goes to plan) I will go shove them under rocks on Friday.
I then hung out some washing, and got ready for the day’s mission.
With all of our gear and all of our dogs organised we drove out to Sissinghurst. A month or so ago a new series of geocaches had gone live out there. As luck would have it I was actually not far from there at the time they went live. I managed to get got First to Find on one of them, but thought that I wouldn’t bother hunting for the rest there and then. I thought I might come back with company on another day. However, by doing this I rather annoyed another hunter of Tupperware who clearly was hoping to get First to Find on the entire lot of them. But… I must admit I’ve given this (rather trivial) matter a lot of thought over the last month, and I’ve decided that the day when that chap actually contributes to the hobby is the day when I will listen to what he has to say.
We had a very good walk today. The terrain was mostly flat with only a few ups and downs. The dogs liked to run and dig in the woodlands, and all of them seemed to enjoy eating sheep dung (I wish they wouldn’t). As we walked we met other dogs. Pogo had one or two “episodes”, but none anywhere near like those that he used to have. As we walked we found some picnic tables in an orchard so we got to sit nicely to have our picnics. As we picnic-ed the dogs found fragments of a pheasant (yuk!) that they thought they might have for lunch, but we put those up an apple tree where they couldn’t get at them. And we found collapsible fences too. Rather than climbing over a stile, the fence pushed down. Sheer genius – I’ve never seen anything like it before.
Geocache-wise some of the hides were rather tricky, and (to be honest) I would have put a few more caches in the series. Billed as a walk of two and a half miles, our sat-navs all measured the route as being just over four miles.
I took a few photos as we walked.
After three hours we found ourselves back where we’d started. We adjourned to the pub and despite the best efforts of the local people we got a pint. Why do some people insist that they sit at the bar when the pub is at its busiest? Why can’t they take their drinks and go and sit somewhere else where they would not be in everyone’s way? Interestingly they’d cleared off when we came back for a second pint.
We found a rather pleasant table in the garden away from the normal people. It was a shame that the dogs (Fudge) wouldn’t stop barking at the aquatic chickens and maritime turkeys (ducks to most people), but the waterfowl had realised that they were safe behind their fence and were deliberately provoking the dogs.
We came home, and "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching two episodes of “Red Dwarf” that I don’t remember having seen before.
I’m not feeling quite on top form… I wonder if I’ve had too much sun today? I seem to be feeling like this more and more just recently…
22 July 2019 (Monday) - Carrying Bog Roll
Despite an early night I didn't sleep that well. Although the dogs were settled (yesterday's walk helped there) I was haunted with nightmares of having got my car physically wedged in the channel tunnel, and the only way to extract it was with the help of a bunch of half-wits who wanted to put the car on roller-skates.
Sometimes I wonder what goes through my head to provoke this sort of thing...
Over brekkie I watched an episode of "The Last Man on Earth" at which I actually did laugh out loud, then I set off in the vague direction of work.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how the Iranians have seized a British oil tanker in what is clearly a tit-for-tat retaliation for the British having seized one of theirs two weeks ago. Some military expert was wheeled on who was explaining that the reason that the Foreign Secretary is pushing for a diplomatic resolution to the matter is that sending in the SAS and the SBS one won't work. The claim was made that the British Navy is no longer capable of defending British interests. Rather harsh? Perhaps. However certainly not the sort of thing that should even be hinted at on national radio?
There was then a *lot* of discussion about how British government departments have been talking about throwing the UK's armed forces in with the American military recently. It seems odd that one of the arguments in favour of Brexit was that the average Brit didn't want the British armed forces going into some amalgamation with the European forces, but now it seems everyone is happy for them to be subsumed by the Americans?
There was a hold-up on the motorway as I drove up. A lorry had stopped having had one of its front tyres explode. The fragments of tyre which were left on the front wheel looked as though the blow-out had been rather impressive.
I took a little diversion into Langley for geo-reasons; we needed to find one specific geocache to get the second of the current bunch of e-souvenirs. Every summer geocaching dot com release a load of e-souvenirs which you can get by rummaging under rocks for film pots. Personally I feel that they would be far better advised to spend their time making their existing infrastructure fit for purpose rather than fannying about, but what do I know?
I then drove up to Aylesford to get petrol. As it was nearby and as I was rather earlier than I had intended to be, I popped into Sainsburys to get bog roll. As one does. As I tried to leave the shop, some interfering old bat tried to show me the correct way to hold a multi-pack of bog roll. Apparently shoving it under your arm is *so* wrong that she felt she had to say something.
I didn't actually tell her to get knotted, but surely she must have had better things to do than to take exception as to how I carry bog roll?
I got to work... there was cake. I'm quite a fan of the stuff, and having cake made for a day that was not too shabby.
I got home at the same time as "er indoors TM" and we took the dogs for a little walk up to the co-op field. It was a shame that Treacle had to jump into a ditch full of stagnant black water, and an even bigger shame that she had to jump up at "er indoors TM".
Once home Treacle was forcibly bathed whilst I washed the windscreen of my car. As I’d driven home I’d driven through a swarm of tens of thousands (if not more) of some sort of insect. They made quite the mess.
"er indoors TM" went bowling. I fed the last of the leftover meat to the dogs and settled down to watch last night’s “Poldark”. Demelza’s bosom was rather demure. Elizabeth’s heaved quite spectacularly. Such a shame she’s dead…
23 July 2019 (Tuesday) - Rather Dull
I had an early night last night and slept like a log. The dogs were settled, and I was fast asleep for over eight hours. So why did I wake feeling like death warmed up?
Over a bowl of granola I watched an episode of “The Last Man on Earth” then sparked up my lap-top. Eventually the thing rated working. As always the Firefox browser was slow to the point of not actually doing anything and after five minutes a pop-up appeared saying that a script was slowing the window, Did I want to stop the script. I clicked the “yes – dur!” button and the thing started working fine. This is *exactly* what winds me up about IT people. Whatever that script was doing was probably a minor miracle in IT circles, and worthy of praise and adulation if you know about that sort of thing. But the practical upshot of said script is that it makes the lap-top not able to do the very job you want it to do.
Ironically pretty much nothing at all had happened on Facebook overnight, and I had no emails that were wroth having either. Mind you I was rather amazed at one of the emails I had. The nice people at Nectar were offering me their credit card. If I run up two thousand pounds of debt with them, they said they would give me one hundred quid. That’s a bargain(!)
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were interviewing the new leader of the Dribbling Democraps. Having done far better in the Euro elections than anyone might have expected, Jo Swanson seemed full of enthusiasm despite the fact that her party is clearly now a one-policy party, and if the Prime Minister designate (Mr Johnson) succeeds in achieving any form of Brexit, then the Liberal Democrats will be left high and dry. If I was Boris Johnson I would unilaterally announce that the UK was out of the EU as of tomorrow if only to utterly destroy an entire rival political party.
Mind you I'm not sure that Ms Swanson is cut out to be a political leader. She got rather aggressive during her interview, and blamed absolutely everything that her party did wrong whilst in coalition government (with the Conservatives) on the Conservatives.
Work was work; I came home, and "er indoors TM" and I took the dogs round the co-op field. Unlike yesterday Treacle stayed out of the slimy ditch. We had a rather good bit of dinner and a bottle of plonk, and we watched some episodes of “The Umbrella Academy”. I say “watched”; “slept through” was a better description. I started watching the show a few months ago and gave up with it. We tried again… it didn’t captivate me in the slightest.
Such a shame…
Today was dull.
24 July 2019 (Wednesday) - Before The Night Shift
Just as I was scoffing my toast my phone rang. For some long-winded and tortuous reason "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" was fifty yards up the road with no way of getting back to Margate until mid-morning. Was “Dad’s Taxi” heading in that direction?
As I got dressed she arrived, and I loaded dogs and daughter into the car. She was full of talk about McBreakfast in Ramsgate, but fell asleep, and woke up when we got to the shop. Which was probably for the best. McBreakfast with a wolf-pack in tow isn’t easily managed.
I dropped her off and headed to Challock and Kings Wood.
We arrived at the car park to see some normal people flapping round their car which had a flat tyre. As I said to them I would have helped if I could, but I really wouldn’t have the faintest idea what to do. I suggested they phoned their breakdown insurance cover people or a garage, and I set off into the woods with the dogs. We didn’t go far. It was getting hotter and hotter, and Fudge was straggling. When he is on the lead he has no trouble keeping up. When he is not on the lead he stops and sniffs every five yards, and then runs off backwards. I don’t like having him on the lead when the other two run free, but it is getting so that he is either on the lead or he doesn’t come out. (And he is the one that fusses to come out).
The people with the flat tyre had gone when we got back to our car. Presumably they sorted their problem.
We came home. I pootled in the garden for about ten minutes but it was too hot. So I came in, and made a phone call.
My piss had boiled somewhat as I looked at my emails this morning. Over the last few months I’ve been getting messages from the building society about a chap with a similar (but not identical) name who lives in the isle of Wight. Last weekend I was promised that the mix-up had been resolved, but again I got another email intended for him. I phoned the building society to tell them (again). I’m sure this chap doesn’t want me knowing his business, and I can’t help but wonder if the building society have mistakenly emailed anyone else with information about me.
As I put the phone down to them the double glazing people phoned. Following some rather bad experiences in the past I took to using Everest as they are an established firm. But on June 20th they rather pissed on their chips. The front door lock was poggered. Everest couldn’t quote a price for fixing it, but they wanted a minimum of a hundred and forty quid and couldn’t do anything for at least two weeks. A local chap had the door sorted within the hour. I told them that they’d had their chance to retain my custom and had blown it. They offered to fit some windows with forty-five per cent off of their usual price, but had to admit that this was still far more than what their competitors charge.
Daughter-in-law sent a message. Did I fancy a holiday in Cyprus next year? It was odd that she messaged at exactly the same time that I was messaging an ex-colleague who was in Oslo on his way back from Longyearbyen (in the Arctic circle).
Following discussions with (getting orders from) "er indoors TM" I’m told that next year’s holiday is Cyprus. So I had a look at the geocaching map.
But if any of my loyal readers have a spare two weeks and a spare four thousand pounds and fancy a boat trip to the Arctic Circle, I’m keen.
I got in one load of washing and put out another, had a spot of lunch and went to bed for the afternoon. I didn’t sleep that well. The temperature of over thirty degrees saw to that. But I managed a couple of hours before getting the laundry back in.
I looked at the gardening jobs I wanted to do, but it was still too hot to be outside, so I watched the last few episodes of “The Last Man on Earth”, There is a fourth season; I shall watch that at some point.
"er indoors TM" will be home soon. Hopefully she’ll do me some dinner then I’m off to the night shift. I hear the motorway is blocked. Again…
25 July 2019 (Thursday) - Too Hot
The night shift was hard work; I didn’t stop at all. I was glad to see the relief arrive.
As I drove home the pundits on the radio were talking about our new Prime Minister. I got the distinct impression that pretty much everyone has given up with Boris Johnson before he has hardly started. There was a lot of criticism for his having replaced most of the existing Cabinet; I thought the etiquette was that given a new Prime Minister the old guard would resign to let the new boss pick his (or her) pick their own team.
I can’t help but think that Boris Johnson has become Prime Minister three years too late. He led the “Leave” campaign; when his lot won, they should have seen the job through there and then. He might make a go of leading the country; he might make a total balls-up. Time will tell – it always does.
Rather than coming home I drove t the garage. The air blowers in my car packed up a couple of weeks ago and the three lowest settings don’t work. It has two settings; off or hurricane. The idea had been for "er indoors TM" to meet me at the garage with the dogs and we would walk home. But when I got to the garage it was already twenty-eight degrees so I told "er indoors TM" to leave the dogs at home and the nice garage man drove me home.
I got home to frantic barking; the dogs wanted to go for a walk, but they were all panting with the heat, and that was just in the shade of the living room. We didn’t go out. I had a shave and went to bed. I slept for three hours until Fudge had a barking fit when the postman delivered a load of junk mail.
I made a late brekkie, then decided against doing some ironing. Instead I watched last week’s episode of “Catch 22”. As it finished I saw that “Four In a Bed” was starting. With it being far too hot to do anything I carried on staring at the telly. I do like “Four In a Bed”; have you ever seen the show? Those who run guest houses go round to slag off the opposition. One of the guest houses featured in today’s show was in Rye. I do like telly filmed in places where I’ve been; but claiming to be in Rye, footage filmed came from Rye, Playden, Winchelsea and Hastings.
I spent a little while checking over the web pages I’d created for the new geo-series that I’ve been working on. I found a few mistakes and put them right. I expect there’s more mistakes waiting to be found; there usually is.
I had such plans for the afternoon, but what with today being the hottest day the UK has ever had (apparently) I pulled all the curtains and slobbed in front of the telly. I found something new on Netflix; “Another Life” stars Katee Sackhoff (out of BattleStar Galactica) and featured her running round a spaceship in her undercrackers within minutes of the start of the show (result!). Mind you, if you take out Katee Sackhoff running round in her undercrackers, there’s not a lot left in the show.
According to Wikipedia the show was actually released today so for once I’m in at the start. Usually I find out about TV shows long after everyone else.
"er indoors TM" came home; the plan had been to take the dogs down to Orlestone Woods, but with the temperature still over thirty degrees at six o’clock it was still too hot for the dogs.
Today is probably the first day of the year that they haven’t had a walk. Maybe we’ll have a walk tomorrow – to the garage to get my car possibly. If it gets fixed…
26 July 2019 (Friday) - Still Hot
It was a hot night last night, and matters weren’t helped by Fudge who decided to spend the night guarding the front door. He declared “Red Alert” at every shadow, and there were a *lot* of shadows.
The plan for today had been an early start and a drive out to hide geocaches for the new series I’ve been planning, but with the car still in the garage, that wasn’t to be.
Bearing in mind it was supposed to be getting hot later I took the dogs round the park fairly early. Pogo barked at the first few dogs that we saw (to the owners’ disgust) but once we were through Bowen’s Field the novelty of woofing at everyone wore off, and from then on we had a good walk. We chatted with other dog owners in Viccie Park, we had a spuddle in the river, and when we lost Fudge a passing toddler told us in which bush he was lurking. We even exchanged pleasantries with OrangeHead in the co-op field.
Once home I fed the pond fish whilst Pogo growled at the plastic heron. We’ve had a plastic heron by the pond for years to deter real herons from taking the fish. We’ve never had a problem with herons, so it must be working. However over the last week or so, Pogo has taken an intense dislike to it, and whilst Fudge and Treacle bother the fish, he snarls at the plastic heron.
I then gathered dog turds (of which there were many) then wondered what I could do with the day. With no car I was restricted to only being able to go as far as I could walk, and it was too hot to walk anywhere or to be gardening.
So I fed laundry into the washing machine and settled in front of the telly.
I watched a few more episodes of “Another Life”. For me good sci-fi works by having believable characters in relatively credible situations with the sci-fi element being at least plausible. However this is the minority view. The people who made “Another Life” clearly feel that the most important element of a sci-fi yarn is having women running round in their undercrackers. Now, given that your spaceship has been invaded by some strange alien monster I can imagine that time would be of the essence. But if the men have had time to get dressed, why haven’t the women?
After a few episodes of this I had a spot of lunch, then ironed some shirts. I then logged into my bank account and did the monthly accounts. Ironically I found I was rather flush and seriously considered driving up to Bluewater to treat myself to that Lego lunar module model that I have been hankering after… Then I realised that I couldn’t go to Bluewater because my car was still in the garage. And I couldn’t afford that Lego lunar module because my car was in the garage.
And then the garage phoned. My car was ready, and would I like them to send the nice man to give me a lift? In the past I’ve walked the dogs over to collect my car, but it was rather warm and walking three dogs into the garage is hard work. I accepted the offer of a lift. I was told the nice man would be along within the hour – he arrived five minutes later.
I got to the garage – apparently the resistor package had gone (?). Fixing it and re-gassing cost me the thick end of four hundred pounds…
This is the point at which I find myself bombarded with tales of people who know people who have friends who could have done it for fifty pence. Do you ever find that whenever you have something that needs fixing, no one has *ever* heard of a mechanic or of an electrician or of a plumber. But once you’ve shelled out good money, everyone knows someone who could have done it cheaper.
With car fixed I took it for cleaning. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does I go to the cleaners in Ellingham. They’ve changed their advertising slogans recently – for years they claimed to be the “best hand job in Ashford”. Mind you, they did a good job; the car is immaculate, and unlike other car cleaners they don’t charge extra for hoovering out dog hair.
I came home via the shop over the road where I got myself a Del Monet lemonade ice lolly. Have you ever had one of those? They are not too shabby at all.
I then watched two more episodes of “Another Life”. "er indoors TM" came home and boiled up a rather good portion of fish and chips.
I could have done *so* much today. Hiding caches, mowing the lawn, doing the ironing… Rather a waste of a day off…
27 July 2019 (Saturday) - Early Shift
I was sleeping like a log when Pogo kicked me square in the nuts at three o'clock. That woke me with a start. I would have returned the favour, but he's had his removed. I managed to get back to sleep, and got a few more hours shut-eye.
I came downstairs to find Fudge guarding the front door again.
Over brekkie I watched another episode of "Another Life" in which the protagonists all kept the clothes on (for once). Much as I'm a fan of ladies running round in their undercrackers, in TV circles it is usually the last resort of a desperate scriptwriter and doesn't *really* make for quality viewing.
I left "er indoors TM" and the wolf-pack snoring and set off to work. Having had something of a heatwave over the last couple of days and having spent four hundred quid getting the car's air-con fixed, this morning was cold and wet. Far from needing the air-con, I had the hot air blowers on to de-mist the windscreen.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing some vets who operated in the west country and specialised in sheep. I listened for a few minutes, then turned over to my rather odd choice of music.
I got to work, and had a phone call from my brother. What with the heatwave and the storms that came with it, the flights to and from Spain have been disrupted. His Spanish holiday has been forcibly extended by (at least) four days. Apparently thousands of people are affected by this.
Personally I'd see that as something of a result, but he doesn't. I suspect that this, his first foreign holiday, will be his last.
As I left work I popped into the league of fiends (!) shop to get a flapjack bar. As I was paying, some silly old woman was whinging on about the rain “Typical British weather, no summer” she ranted. I quietly pointed out that just two days ago had been the hottest day on record. She had completely forgotten about that.
I came home to find "er indoors TM" had gone to Margate to visit "Daddy’s Little Angel TM", so I settled in front of the telly, and as the dogs slept I watched the last episode of "Another Life". That’s the entire series binge-watched in three days. It wasn’t too bad. I wonder what I can watch next?
"er indoors TM" came home and we popped to B&Q. She wanted a little garden table. It made for a nice birthday prezzie for her. Personally I think the thing will have rotted away and be in the tip by Christmas, but it should see out the summer. Hopefully.
We had a lazy evening in front of the telly. I’ve programmed “Hannah” for tomorrow. Maybe an early night? I shall guard my “tackle” tonight…
28 July 2019 (Sunday) - Farningham
As I perused the internet over brekkie I saw that I had received a friend request on Facebook from one Rory Stuart. His name was followed by some Chinese symbols that translated to “Chinese Fire Dragon”. I wonder who he is?
I had a little look at the Internet as I do. Not much had happened overnight which was a shame really. Once social media was a good way of seeing what family and friends were up to. Nowadays it is more and more silly memes about cats and rants about Donald Trump. I must admit it is the seemingly constant stream of rants about Donald Trump that boils my piss most. I have over five hundred people on my Facebook friends list of which only three live in the USA. And those three rarely mention the chap. Why do so many British people get *so* wound up about President Trump when we have enough idiots of our own we might rant about?
We got the dogs organised and went out for our traditional weekend walk. Today was the monthly meet-up of hunters of Tupperware, but we decided against going. What with the recent heatwave the dogs haven’t had a good walk for a little while. They would have got rather fractious sitting round waiting whilst we sat round talking.
We drove round to the co-op to get some cash from the machine. *Again* it didn’t give me a receipt.
We then drove up to Farningham where we met Karl, Tracey and Charlotte. Eight weeks ago we started walking a series of geocaches, but we were taking our time, and when we got about half way round we felt it was rather hot, so we stopped off at the pub.
We went back today to finish the series.
We had a rather good walk. The route was one we’ve walked at least twice before. There were a couple of rather noisy stretches along the main road and along a path near the motorway, but there were miles along which the dogs could be off the leads and running free. And we didn’t have any aggro with cattle or horses at all either. Mind you the route did end up with us walking along the river Darent, and the hounds do like a dip. In fact the river ran through the garden of the pub where we ended up. That gave Fudge a reason to keep shouting until he was allowed to go for a paddle.
Three pints later we made our way back to the cars, and took a rather slow way home stopping off to pick up one or two drive-by caches on the way. I say “drive by”; I hadn’t really looked into what was involved with the last one. It took a little effort to get to the footpath along which it could be found. And when we got to where we thought we might start rummaging we found a tunnel.
I’ve not been tunnel-ratting for years.
It was rather good fun; getting on hands and knees and scurrying along fifty yards of tunnel. And then back
again. The dogs thought it was a great game. And finding the cache in the tunnel was an added bonus.
I took a few photos of our adventures.
We came home; the dogs slept most of the way. "er indoors TM" boiled up a good bit of dinner, and as we scoffed it we watched some police thing on the telly. I have no idea what it is, but "er indoors TM" seems to like it.
I did have a vague plan to do the ironing this evening… it will still be there when I get home from work tomorrow…
29 July 2019 (Monday) - No Knickers
I rather ached when I got up this morning. Perhaps I’m getting too old to be scrabbling about in tunnels?
Over brekkie I started watching the first episode of the new season of “Orange is the New Black”. I watched for about half an hour; an hour is rather long for an episode. I’m hoping the Netflix app remembers where I got to.
I had a quick look at the Internet – having been invited to join the astro club’s new Facebook page I had a look-see at it. There wasn’t much on it. Apparently following yet another behind-the-scenes squabble someone with admin rights deleted the club’s old Facebook page, so they have set up a new one.
One post caught my eye. I particularly liked the bit about “We pride ourselves on running an open and friendly group, and we would like to keep it that way”.
At every club meeting for the last two years of my involvement, the person who wrote that line would turn up, see who I was talking to, walk over and stand between me and them with her back to me. She would loudly then start her own conversation with whoever I’d been talking to whilst deliberately blanking me.
I can’t help but wonder if this sort of rudeness still goes on, or was it just purely directed at me?
I shall watch what happens on the Facebook group for a while, but I don’t really want to get involved with the club again. It just became one big argument. Rather like the new secret geocaching Facebook group I joined and left yesterday. I posted one comment to the group and was told to stop whinging and whining, and to shut up. I’ve since been asked to re-join that group. I must admit I’m not keen.
The trick to disagreeing is not to be disagreeable as you do it.
Social media could be *such* a good thing…
I set off for work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing some fifteen -year old child who had just won a million quid in the world championships for some X-Box game or other. And he didn’t even come out on top. Others won even more. Doesn’t this speak volumes about our society in that prowess in a child’s game is valued more highly than being a surgeon or a judge.
There was also an interview with a pair of parents who are trying to have school assemblies banned. Their child hasn’t gone to the school assemblies for years. Being excused from assemblies isn’t a new thing; there were children who didn’t go to assembly when I was at school fifty years ago. But the parents were quite rightly saying that assemblies are predominantly a religious thing. The same teachers who are teaching maths and science and literature are spouting pure fairy-tale gibberish in these assemblies. The parents are taking the line that by pointing out the patent nonsense of the religious claptrap undermines the teachers. If the religion is nonsense, will the children trust the teachers when they deliver proper subjects?
I got to work; there was cake. Today wasn’t a busy day, and I spent much of the day peering out the window. There is a grassy area outside where I work. A lot of people picnic there and sit about. One young lady was there today. With legs that went all the way up to her bum, her skirt was about eighteen inches too short, and it was no secret to anyone that she wasn’t wearing any undercrackers.
It made for entertaining viewing.
With work done I came home. "er indoors TM" and I walked the hounds, then as she sorted diner I unblocked the dishwasher. A tedious job, but one which didn’t involve any arguments. Quite frankly I’m fed up with life’s squabbles. I’d rather unbung the dishwasher than make any more futile attempts to be sociable.
Today was all rather negative, wasn’t it? (Apart from the cake and no knickers bit…)
30 July 2019 (Tuesday) - Early Shift
I was pleased to wake before the alarm this morning. I was embroiled in a nightmare in which we'd been out walking, and the dogs had eaten their leads. For no explicable reason I had to knit the dogs new leads from a barbed wire fence. Only I could see what a stupid idea this was.
I got up, and over some brekkie watched another half of an episode of "Orange is the New Black". There seems to be far less nudity and mucky stuff in this series compared to what I remember of the last ones, which is probably for the best. If I don't take a moral stance, who will?
I quickly had a look at the Internet. Judging by what I saw on Facebook my cousin seemed none the worse from her ordeal yesterday in which she got a lifetime ban from the Carphone Warehouse. Following a squabble about her bill she told the manager that he couldn't tell his head from his arse. I must admit to a degree of admiration; I've never heard of anyone getting a lifetime ban from the Carphone Warehouse before.
And with no emails at all I set off to work.
As I drove up the motorway I saw that several of the motorway signs were bearing warnings about a "Report of Obstruction". With the amount of cameras up the motorway you would think that the people who control the motorways would have been able to have seen for themselves whether or not there was an obstruction, wouldn't you? I didn't see one, but I did see a Highways England car reversing down the motorway's hard shoulder at great speed. I wonder what that was all about?
I got to work and did the early shift. Disappointingly there was no cake, but being on an early shift meant I got out early. I came home and took the dogs round the park. Pogo didn’t bark at anyone or anything. He did tiddle on Treacle’s head, but that was her own silly fault really.
With dogs walked we came home, and I got the lawn mowed before the rain started. Just as I was putting the lawn mower away, "er indoors TM" sent a message. She was meeting up with her pals this evening so it was up to me to feed the wolf-pack (and myself). They did alright for themselves; I did myself some toast and scoffed it whilst watching more “Orange is the New Black”.
Some of the Lego I ordered on Sunday has arrived…
31 July 2019 (Wednesday) - Stuff
For some odd reason I didn't sleep well last night. The dogs were settled, but I wasn't.
Over a brekkie of toast and home-made blackcurrant jam (very tasty!) I watched half of an episode of "Orange is the New Black" in which our heroes all got their kits off for a gratuitous shower scene.
I then had a look-see at the internet. Not much had happened on Facebook, but eBay had sent me an email suggesting I bought my bogroll from them. They were offering it considerably cheaper than Aldi. I wonder if Amazon are as competitively priced? I could have my bogroll delivered to the Amazon locker at work. I shall have a look-see.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about global warming. According to recently released figures the ten warmest years on record have all been since 2002, and the half of the ten coldest years on record were in the century before last.
It amazes me that this is presented as news. There used to be ice fairs on the frozen river Thames in years gone by. When I was a lad the snow would fall and would hang around for weeks. Has our old friend Science only just figured this out?
I must admit that my piss boiled at the next bit on the radio. There was an interview with some car manufacturer who was talking about the factory he owned in South Wales. He's going to close the factory if it is unprofitable after Brexit. Surely he's going to close it if it is unprofitable either way? Or would he continue running the factory at a loss if the United Kingdom remains in the European Union?
With a few minutes to spare I drove up to Sainsburys to get petrol. There was quite the queue; I stood in line, and realised that the people behind the till were asking the female customers if they had a nectar card, but not the male ones. And they seemed rather surprised when I brandished mine.
Don't men have nectar cards? Do all the other blokes point and laugh when I brandish my card?
I got to work and had a rather bad day. I don’t dislike my job, but there is a lot of pressure. If I get it wrong, people’s treatments are affected; people really may even die. Perhaps I should jack it all in and do something marginally less stressful?
Does anyone have any suggestions?
I came home and took the dogs to the co-op field. We hadn’t even got there when Treacle tried to pick a fight with a passing dog. And because she’d started, Pogo started too. I turned round and marched them straight home.
"er indoors TM" came home and boiled up dinner. She had some prawn thing; I had steak and chips. I liked that…
And my second consignment of Lego has arrived. Three time as much as arrived yesterday for the same price…