1 June 2016 (Wednesday) – Yawn
I did the night shift; much as I say I like the night work it can be rather lonely. Just as I was leaving to come home this morning my phone beeped with an email. A friend from years ago had contacted me throught LinkedIn. I first met Phil at Red Lake Primary School some time in the early 1970s. We went on to Hastings Grammar School together and were in the Boys Brigade. We spent many nights fishing on Hastings beach, and did a *lot* of under-age drinking in Ore village's lamented Hare and Hounds.
We rather lost touch when Phil emigrated to Sweden in the early 1980s; and I last saw him some time in the early 1990s.
It made me think about so many other dear friends I've lost along the way.
I came home from work and took myself off to bed for a while. When I woke I took "Daddies Little Angel TM" to the hospital for "girls things". I have no idea what it was all about: I drove her there and slept until she'd had enough.
We came home via a rather circuitous route which took us paast McDonalds. "Daddies Little Angel TM" devoured a Big Mac; I climbed outside of a McTexMex and a McHoneycombe McFrappe. Very tasty.
We came home and collected "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" and the dogs and went for a little walk and went round to South Willesborough where we chatted with the goats for a while.
"er indoors TM" came home and went off to aqua-aerobics, and I watched Monday's episode of "Game of Thrones". For once I didn't fall asleep half way through. Nudey-Dragon-Girl kept her charms under wraps in this episode. I thought that was a shame...
2 June 2016 (Thursday) - New Bin
I suppose that after two night shifts it is to be expected that I slept well. I got up and had a look on-line to see what had changed overnight. I had a friend request on Facebook. My mate Phil (from Sweden) has added me. I got to see a photo of him. He's changed... but in the twenty-odd years since I last sw him that is only to be expected.
But he still has most of his hair and (unlike me) he's not piled on the pounds. That would be the Swedish lifestyle. I can remember him telling me off the last time we met. We went for a meal - he had a jacket potato and I had chips. He wasn't impressed with the chips "So British" he said. In retrospect he was right
I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we set off. I had intended to use the dog seat belt today, but the thing's straps need a little attention (i.e. need to go back to the shop). But despite this minor setback we soon made our way to Downe where we met Gordon and Norton. The threatened rain held off and we then had a rather good walk through the countryside. I was rather pleased to find that the field puzzles I'd attempted from the comfort of home had all been blagged correctly and we found all that we set out to find.
There was an interesting episode when we found two caches within twenty yards of each other.... I suspect the geo-police will soon be on the case.
After our walk we popped in to the Queen's Head in Downe for a crafty pint of British Bulldog before taking a rather circuitous route home. There were road works on the way home that Google Maps didn't know about and the sat-nav was insistent on driving me along closed roads. I eventually got home via Bromley and Sidcup.
Once home "Furry Face TM" had a bath (he had a rather grubby tummy) and as the washing machine wrestled with my shirts I watched Monday's episode of "Gotham". It was rather good.
I then had a little look at the geo-map to see if I could find somewhere for a walk next week, then ironed some shirts whilst watching a classic episode of "Upstairs Downstairs". Mrs Bridges had run amok. She does that from time to time.
"er indoors TM" came home and announced the garden waste bin had been delivered. It was in the front garden. From now on I won't have to do tip runs every time I mow the lawn. In my world this is rather exciting. I posted a photo of the new bin on Facebook. Although there were one or two who appreciated it, I don't think the world at large quite appreciated just how monumental a new dustbin can be.
With dinner scoffed we went out for the evening "Rogue Princes" were playing for the first time everr at the Windmill. On arrival we met several friends, and then I bought what I can only describe as a rather overpriced pint of beer which was well past its best. We chatted for a bit, and as the band was about to start I asked for a pint of lager and was given cider.
The band started. I think there was something wrong with the sound system. I couldn't hear the singer at all.
I came home and had an early night. I was suddenly feeling like death warmed up...
3 June 2016 (Friday) - A Birthday
I had an early night last night. I woke at 4am and sprinted to the loo. I'd had some peanuts yesterday; was it those which had made me feel so grim last night?
I tried to get back to sleep; I gave up shortly after 6.30am. Over brekkie I had a look on-line. Some Portugese lady had sent me a friend request on Facebook. There is no denying that she had a quite spectacular chest but there is more to life than epic bazoomas and so (in a rare moment of morality) I deleted her request. I suspect that she would only use her "charms" in a shallow attempt to sell me stuff. There's a lot of that about.
My new dustbin came on for some criticism; it was branded a fire hazard. Apparently grass cuttings in those bins start to ferment and get rather hot. One lives and learns.
I walked down the road to the doctor’s. They open their phone lines at 8am so I had this idea to be on the doorstep as they opened and so beat those making the phone calls. I got there ten minutes early only to find I was fourth in the queue. However the three people in front of me were all offered an appointment at 8am; all three turned it down, preferring to wait till later in the morning. (What was that all about?) I snapped up the chance of getting seen early.
But despite having the first appointment I was still five minutes late in getting to see the doctor. Mind you I was in and out in five minutes. For all that my bruise has subsided I have a quite substantial lump where the bruise was. Bearing in mind lumps are always best checked out I thought I’d better get it seen to. It turns out that I have a subcutaneous haematoma - thrombosis which will go on its own over the next few weeks.
I came home via the bakery, collected "Furry Face TM" and (after a quick spell in Trap One) went round to see "Daddies Little Angel TM"; today was her birthday. The birthday girl was in fine form and we walked out to McDonalds. Regular readers of this drivel may recall we walked out there on Monday and it was still being built. Apparently it opened on Tuesday.
We had McBreakfast and came home. As we came home me and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" blew raspberries at each other. He is quite good at doing them.
On the way home I stopped off at Pets at Home where I went to the vet’s section and got my dog weighed. He’s lost one tenth of a kilogramme since his last weigh-in, which is something of a result.
Once home I put some washing on, scoffed the cake I’d bought earlier and had a rummage through my letter rack. For once there wasn’t really much of note in it. I then went to the loo for the thirty-fifth time today and thought about having some lunch. I thought better of that idea. The earlier McBrekkie had been somewhat anmbitious; I settled for a bit of ice cream then set about the ironing.
I suppose several trips to the loo did add to the amount of time I was ironing. I've not done any for a while; it had somewhat piled up. As I ironed I watched a film. I'd recorded "24 Hour Party People" beccause it starred Steve Coogan. Usually I like things with him in them. But this film was something of a disappoinment.
Eventually the ironing was done and I got the hoover out. The carpet was covered in fragments of things the dog had destroyed. How can such a small dog make so much mess?
I then spent a couple of hours on my latest Wheri-project; it is now ready for field trials. And just as I was finishing the thing "Daddies Little Angel TM" phoned. Dinner would be ready soon.
I wandered round to Newtown and we spent a rather good evening winding up "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". Not only does he put his hand up when I shout out "Hands up who loves Granddad" he now blows raspberries when I ask "What do we say to Nanny?"
He's a good lad...
4 June 2016 (Saturday) - A Day at Work
As I slept last night I felt my little dog sidling up to me. His stomach was gurgling just as much as mine was. Perhaps he has a dodgy tum too?
I slept fitfully, getting up shortly after 5.30am, and over brekkie had my customary nosey on-line. I had an email from the power company. Sometimes I wonder what idiots work for them. They run a daft scheme by which I pay a set amount to them every month. But this doesn't pay my bill. This goes into some holding account and sits there (presumably earning them interest) and every so often they then dip into this account to actually pay my bill. Yeterday they cleared that account out to pay the bills I've incurred from February to May. However that holding account didn't have enough money in it. It was £10.44 short. So they are now *decreasing* the amount of money they take from me by five pounds each month.
I don't understand this at all. I'm using more leccie and gas than I am paying for so they are going to charge me less? How does that work?
I then did a little emailing here and there. The astro club has been offered a speaker. Not a bad chap, but he wants ninety quid for showing up. If we paid this every month we'd soon go bankrupt. Whenever I've given a talk about things astronomical I've never charged a penny. What is the going rate for this sort of thing? I have no idea. I asked the luminaries of the astro world. I'll be interested to hear what they say.
As I drove to work the pundits were discussing a speech made yesterday by the Justice Secretary Michael Gove. He was speaking about how Britain should leave the European Union. When challenged to name just one respected authority who felt Britain should leave the EU he said that he felt it was good that there isn't any respected authority which actually felt Britain should leave the EU (Not one - none at all!)
I'm not quite sure how anyone can feel that their point has been proved by having pretty much everyone disagree with you, but what do I know?
I'm getting a little sick of this EU (so-called) debate. On the one hand we have a status quo which (while far from perfect) isn't that bad. On the other hand we have utter uncertainty at best and utter disaster at worst. For all the talk being bandied about there are no actual plans for what happens should there be a Brexit, and the only non-disprovable reason anyone seems to have for leaving the EU is that those who want out don't seem to like foreigners.
Pausing only briefly at Morrisons for supplies I soon got to work where I did my thing. As is so often true when working at the weekend I spent quite a bit of time glancing out of the window. "er indoors TM" and "Furry Face TM" were off for a geo-walk today. It had stayed dry for them; even if the weather could have been better.
Just as I was having something of a busy spell "My Boy TM" phoned. He'd been round home (for no apparent reason) and found a dead koi laying in the garden. He thought he'd let me know. When I asked him to get rid of the thing for me he explained that he'd seen it when he was in the garden, but that was an hour or so ago.
Oh how I laughed...
I stopped off in town on the way home. Loads of friends were having a meal in honour of Sarah's birthday. I popped in to say hello, but didn't stay long. For all that I like my worrking pattern of working long days because I get more days off, the long days are a tad tiring...
5 June 2016 (Sunday) – Vimto
I had an early night but didn't sleep well. I was plagued by nightmares in which I had been selected to organise the British geocaching swimming squad which would participate in the 2020 Olympic Games. Far from being an honour it was rather hard work because no one would swim in trackable swimming trunks. It was with something of a sense of relief that I woke when a wet nose was thrust into my armpit.
I was up at 5.30am, and over brekkie I watched an episode of "Upstairs Downstairs" in which Mrs Van Gruben was having a rather unhealthy relationship with young William.. Young William only appeared in the one episode, which was probably for the best. Not being able to get jiggy with young William, Emily did herself in at the end of that episode, and that sent Mrs Bridges round the twist.
As the episode ended (with Emily done in and Mrs Bridges round the twist) I spent a few minutes perusing the geo-map trying to work out where I might plot a series to go along with my August geo-meet. And then, pausing only briefly to dispose of the carcass of a dead fish I set off to work.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were interviewing some odd chap who was ranting that domestic cats are far more dangerous than sparrowhawks. I'd missed the first part of the interview; but it was clear this chap had an axe to grind. He seemed to have a rather high regard for sparrowhawks. Each to their own, I suppose.
And there was a lot of talk about how popular the soft drink Vimto is in the middle east, and how sales will go through the roof during the upcoming Ramadan. Personally I've never much liked the stuff. Apparently the stuff sold in the middle east is made to a different recipe so it tastes better...
I got to work and again spent quite a bit of time looking out the window. Yesterday was a rather grim day. Today was much better. I had a little sulk (but only a little one); several friends were hunting a geocache up a tree today. This tree climb would require ropes and harnesses and a lot of farting about.
I must admit that whilst this sort of thing is great fun when you are up the tree, it can become a little dull for the audience. And I'm not really of a ropes and harnesses physique any more.
Perhaps it was as well that I was at work...
I've worked for two days... I need some time off....
6 June 2016 (Monday) - A Day Off
I slept reasonably well. However my nasal polyps seem to have returned. Despite its best efforts my CPAP machine can't blow air into my nose if it is completely blocked. It is only eighteen months since I had that nasal re-bore. (One of the advantages of having a diary is that I can look back in history)
Perhaps I should go back to the doctor and ask for another?
Whilst I was rummaging in the archives over brekkie I saw that it is two years to the day since I last saw my old mucker Tim. I worked with him for twenty five years until he retired. He used to be a regular at the astro club. wonder how he is these days?
I also saw that three years ago today was the meeting of the astro club committee at which it was first suggested (by me!) that we might build an observatory. At the time there was all sorts of ideas and plans being bandied about. My initial idea was that we did some fund-raising; for a hundred thousand pounds we could have bought a small plot on Romney Marsh and have it done up to our specifications. This sounds like a lot of money, but scout groups raise this sort of amount for scout huts all the time. And I've been part of a group which fund-raised to raise thousands of pounds to take scouts to Canada. Twice.
The observatory project started well; we had all sorts of offers of help, moral, physical and financial. We were even offered thirty thousand quid for a spanking new telescope. It was suggested that we inform the council of our plans... and that is where it all went wrong. The council hijacked the plans and now use them as an agenda item for endless meetings. The actual idea itself (my idea!) now lies moribund.
Such a shame. Had we not involved the council, the thing would be well on the way to completion. It could have been something really good.
Being up early I had some time on my hands so I went outside and mowed the lawn. Such a futile task; unless mowed weekly it just reverts to being a jungle. I also trimmed back next door's clematis. For all that he asked me to formally complain about the tree two doors down the road he's done nothiing about sorting his own garden.
I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we met up with "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". We went for a little walk. We headed to the park where a mother and toddler group were doing open air gymnastics. We came by the river where we met OrangeHead and her gang. Chunky Little Friend's dog seems to be on the mend
My dog nearly caught a rat at Singleton Lake, both "Furry Face TM" and Sid scared the normal people at the environment centre.
We found a new playpark at the back of Singleton. Jake played with the sand diggers and had goes on the swings. I went up the climbing frame.
We were all rather worn out by the time we got home.
I had a quick sandwich for lunch then drove down to Rolvenden to the aquatic shop. The pond filter isn't doing its job. I had this idea to replace it with an all-singing-all-dancing new filter. I had intended to do that in the autumn of 2011 but my finances took a turn for the worse just then. I spoke to the chap in the shop; what I thought might do the trick turns out to be not what I need. He suggesteed either replacing the gubbins inside the exisiting filter or replacing it with a new one of the same model. They were out of stock of what he had in mind so I said I might come back in a day or so.
Whilst I was there I popped to the cafe next door. I fancied an ice cream. I'd not been to Lilly's cafe before. I shan't go again; it was rather scary.
I stopped off at Tesco on the way home to see f I could get anything to shrink these naasal polyps. The pharmacist didn't actually say "get knotted" but he certainly wasn't very helpful.
Once home I cleaned ot the existing pond filter; it was rather grungy. I thought about fixing it up but over the years the thing has rather bent out of shape and the lugs for getting to the UV light are rather worn. It needs to be replaced.
New ones have a tap for emptying out at cleaning time too.
"er indoors TM" came home, boiled up a rather good bit of scoff then went bowling. It was a clear evening; I could have driven down to Folkestone and got the telescope out with Stevey. If I'd had more than an hour or so's notice I might have done so.
But instead I setled down in front of the telly. If Ihave a good sleep through Game of Thrones I shall be awake for Gotham later...
7 June 2016 (Tuesday) - Clowes Wood
Yesterday evening I could have gone out telescoping but having had a busy day I just wanted to slob out in front of the telly. This morning's haul of emails brought advance warning of a telescope session in a few weeks time. Clouds allowing I might just be up for that.
I also received an exclusive invitation to participate in a live webinar led by the De Vere group. Aparently this would "allow me to see what a typical day of working for the group consist of and the earning potential. They would also outline the desired skills that they are looking for in me. This might allow me to gain a deeper understanding of what they are looking for and whether I think this amazing role is a perfect fit for me".
I think I will pass on that one.
I then spent a few minutes putting the final touches to my latest Wheri-project. I say "final touches" - as yet I have no actual final location but as far as the programming goes an actual location is just piddling details.
Realising that today was one of my rostered days off I'd booked an appointment with the dentist. He rummaged around inside my gob and gave me the thumbs-up with the proviso that I visit the hygenist in a week or so.
Once dentally approved I came home and did some weeding in the garden until my trousers split. They obviously couldn't stand the strain. I've got one side of the garden weeded, but it is only a temporary fix. Many years ago (3 November 2006) I had a couple of tons of brindle chippings (red stones) delivered and on 3 March 2007 I used them to gravel the sides of my lawn. (I can pinpoint these dates you know - isn't recording history useful !)
In the intervening years grass and weeds have grown through the wed-resistant membranes and gravel. The bamboo edging has fallen to pieces and the edging stones are now listing at forty five degrees. I need to spend a day rebuilding the garden. I need to pick up those tons of brindle chippings then replace the weed-resistant membranes, re-point the edging stones and re-lay the brindle chippings.
And then I need to re-bury the membranes round the pond (the stones have gone all over the place) and make good the little wooden box the leccie is in by the pond. I'll also need to get more shingle and sort that lot too. And there's a broken fence panel behind the shed which needs replacing.
I've some holiday coming up.... I might just do that in early July. If any of my loyal readers fancy a day's back-breaking work for the price of a pint or two...
I changed my T shirt and put the lead on to "Furry Face TM". Gordon soon arrived and we drove out to Clowes Wood where we met Matt, Sid and Sam. Five of us (and three dogs) had a rather good walk around Clowes Wood; even if the dogs did get a little grubby.
From Clowes Wood we drove up the road for a little way. There was a cache there for which I'd spent ages searching a few months ago. Despite no apparent intervention from the cache owner I saw the thing had been found a couple of weeks ago. I found it within a few seconds today. I suspect shenanigans - it certainly wasn't there last time, and the one I found only had one previous finder.
Flushed with success we then drove to the coast. There is a multi-cache which requires visits to several locations. I'd actually been to those at various times before work over the last few months. It turns out that I wasn't alone in having done this. So having already collected the clues we all got to do the secret geo-ritual at the final location.
Ice creams, a little stroll along the prom, an hour's geo-wander around Tankerton, and then home.
I'd taken a few photos whilst we'd been out. Once home I popped them on-line for the world to see, then I saw I had an email. The secretary of Challock Parish Council has given permission for me to stage a geo-picnic, so I did the paperwork and hopefully it willl be published and in everyone's diaries soon.
I'm glad she's given permisson; I've put quite a bit of effort into my latest Wheri-project hoping that Challock would be good. I've now put the first version of it on my phone; I intend to test it out tomorrow - weather permitting. And while I'm there hopefully plan out a new geo-walk to replace the one I put out last summer.
We settled "Furry Face TM" (not that he neded much settling) and went round to Someset Road for the Tuesday evening gatheing of the clans. We watched a rather good episode of "Gotham" and while we waited for the storm to abate we watched "oddbods". Baby Jake likes it, and so do I....
8 June 2016 (Wednesday) – Challock
Last night just as I'd uploaded yesterday's blog entry I got an email. I'd got the thumbs-down on the geo meet that I was hoping to stage on Challock ViIllage Green (in the middle of a field). In the instructions that I had written I'd said "blah blah blah... Meet up at the listed co ordinates from mid-day ... Bear in mind that this is the village green..."
I'd had my meeting turned down because of a perceived problem with the location. The email I got which listed the problem with what I'd organised said "can you check the coordinates as the event appears to be in the middle of a field".
I sent back a message saying that the location was correct. I didn't mention that the middle of a field was a traditional place for a picnic; I didn't want to labour the point.
The morning's haul of emails brought one from the South East Group of Astronomical Societies. They've got what looks like a rather good weekend conference coming up. However it is only five weeks away. It clashes with a stag do and with Pug Fest (!) Surely this event was planned some time ago; why are we only hearing about it now?
I had planned to go Wheri-testing and planning out a new geo-walk around Challock today, Despite the heavy rain overnight I decided to go ahead with my plans. The mud was quite thick, but the Wherigo worked well. It needs minor tweaks, but found somewhere for the end-point so that worked well.
As for planning the geo-walk...
I shall be positive. I had a route in mind. I followed that route. It (mostly) works. However there are a couple of places where there may be issues. At one point although the footpath is well marked, the crops are over head high and the footpath through the crops isn't as wide as it might be. The crops were very wet from last night's rain and consequently I got soaked as I walked through.
And there is another point where the footpath is well signposted, and after a hundred yards it is obvious where the footpath goes. tanding at the top of the hill looking down you can see where the footpath goes off into the distance. But the footpath is not at all obvious for the first hundred yards.
I've given the matter some thought. Geocaching requires a certain level of being able to use maps and GPS units. If people *seriously* have issues with this two hiccups then they really should question if they might not be better off taking up flower arranging.
We got back to the car sooner than I tought we might - I found twenty potential places to hide tupperware over a route of just under five miles. We were walking for two and a half hours.
Once home "Furry Face TM" had a bath. When I am out and about usually take some photos; today was no exception. Once I'd posted those photos on-line I took myself off to bed for the afternoon despite next door's clanging on their infernal piano. She has been practicing at it for ten years and has shown absolutely no improvement whatsoever in that time.
I slept for a couple of hours until my phone woke me with a message that the internet provider's bill was ready to view. I wish they wouldn't send those messges. I tried to get back to sleep but it wasn't happening. So I got up and made all the required changes to my new wherigo and started looking at what I shall need to get together to organise this geo-series.
I'm off to the night shift now....
9 June 2016 (Thursday) - A Slow Worm
I stopped off at Morrisons on my way to work last night. As I stocked up for the night I saw they were knocking out lemonade in two-litre bottles for seventeen pence. Seventeen pence !
I got some - it wasn't *that* bad.
Yesterday I was somewhat sarcastic about the nice man whose job it is to review what I'd set up for the August geo-meet. The chap had queried whether I had selected the right location; I intimated that picnics are usually held in fields. In retrospect I didn't actually say "dur!" but I rather implied it. Imagine my embarrassment when someone else queried the location last night and I realised I was wrong and I'd actually published directions to the wrong field.
I grovelled somewhat....
On my way home this morning I had a rather odd experience. I thought I might pop in to the pond shop (South View Koi) as it is on my way home. I turned my car off the road in to the place only to find it has gone. There is now a fence shop where it once was.
I phoned them only the other day. I wonder what happened there.
I came home to find "Furry Face TM" was still in bed. He soon got up when he got wind of a walk, and we went through Bowens Field to the park. OrangeHead was holding court near the swings; it is amazing how she manages to block the entire path with her little gang of friends.
With walk walked "Furry Face TM" had his brekkie and I spent half an hour pulling weeds out of the garden's gravelled areas. As I worked I found a little slow worm. Fudge found him fascinating.
I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped, but there is always tomorrow. A quick shower, then I took myself off to bed.
I got off to sleep but was woken by the seemingly endless phone calls. I really should unplug the house phone when I next try to get some sleep during the day. It's not as though anyone ever rings the landlline other than people trying to sell us stuff.
I suppose I got four hours' sleep. I woke to a message from Cheryl who'd been to the vet's. Apparently they'd cancelled all of my dog's policies. I phoned them and we had the usual confusion because he was first registered under Cheryl's name and it is not possible to transfer him to my name... except that one of the staff tried and managed it with one of the policies. The nice lady one the phone said that it would make sense if all the policies were in my name. I took a deep breath and pointed out that I've been saying that for the three and a half years that he's been with us.
I've been trying to pinpoint exactly when he came to stay with us. Looking back it seems he was shared between "My Boy TM" and us on and off for a while; a blog post from July 2012 makes interesting reading. Did I ever say I never wanted a dog?
I then spent a little while making preparations for August's geo-meet and the new cache series I plan to hide. Bearing in mind how comprehensively I stuffed up organising a location for a picnic I'd really better take care on what I'm doing. I wrote a few (twenty) cache descriptions; the sort of thing to which you'd nortmally never give a second's thought. A trivial little task that took about an hour and a half.
I'm now off to the night shift. Via the vets to sort out this paperwork...
10 June 2016 (Friday) - This n That
As I worked last night I had half an ear listening to the radio. Much of it was repeating what was on earlier last night or the previous night. But a news item in the small hours made me think.
Two jurors have been found to be in contempt of court and have been given suspended sentences.
The first case is one with which I have every sympathy. One of the jurors did his own research on the chap over whom he was sitting in judgement. And having found this chap already had a criminal record he then told the rest of the jury about it. The judge got wind of this and decided that the trial had to be abandoned at a cost of eighty thousand pounds. Apparently jurors aren't supposed to do that.
I must admit that from my personal experience of the legal system, those advocating for and against the accused never seemed to actually want to get to the truth of the matter. They seemed far more interesting in posing and making themselves look good in front of the judge. Actual facts were somewhat secondary to their posturing. If I were I in a jury the sole purpose of which was to be an audience to such showmanship I can't help but feel I'd want to do my own research.
The second case is perhaps slightly less black-and-white but still understandable. A juror who felt the accused was not guilty was in the minority. The majority of the jury felt the accused was guilty, a majority verdict of guilty was given, and the accused went to prison. The juror who disagreed with the majority then wrote to the chap who'd gone down. In her letters she apologised that he'd been imprisoned and she assured him she'd fought for him in the jury room.
I've never done jury service. From what I've heard both in the media and from people who have I can't help but feel the system needs a shake-up.
With a rather busy night shift done I made my way home. As I got home my phone beeped. "Daddies Little Angel TM" was raring to go for a dog walk. So I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and set off to meet her.
We ran into each other just by Asda. I had something of a shock. Liitle "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" has had a haircut. He looks so different; he looks so grown up.
We then took a rather circuitous route to the e-cigarette shop. As we walked we met a nice lady with two rottweiller-akita-cross puppies. They were six months old, really sweet and playful, and the size of cart horses. She seemed worried that we might have an issue with her dogs, and she was delighted when we suggested that all the dogs might like to play together. The dogs were having a whale of a time when some silly old prat appeared from nowhere. He had two small dogs on leads; both dogs were clearly straining on their leads wanting to play with our dogs. But this old prat was having none of it, and started screeching that our dogs should all be on leads - "It's the law" was his catchphrase. I tried to explain that dogs are allowed off the leads in that park, and that dogs like to play but he was having none of it. He just stood like a stuck record spouting "It's the law". After a few minutes I gave up and told him (rather abruptly) that laws he makes up in his head don't apply to me and I turned my back on him.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" didn't actually tell him to get knotted, but the sentiment was there.
The nice lady with the rottweiller-akita-cross puppies seemed pleased we'd stood up to this twit; I got the impression that he's bullied her before and she wasn't sure of herself enough to argue with him.
We eventually got to the e-cigarette shop and once equiped with e-baccy we came home where I then went to bed.
I got up shortly after 4pm, then carried on with "project garden". I mowed the lawn and strimmed the edges, then carried on pulling the weeds out of the bridle gravel. I got one of the garden waste dustbins scrubbed; I now need to start scooping the brindle chippings into said bin with a view to making the gravelled areas good again.
Whilst I was pootling I turned on the water features. Two seem to have packed up since I last turned them on. They will needd fixing aat some point.
After a rather good bit of dinner "er indoors TM" went to the Windmill for Sam's party. I'd sent my apologies. I'd also declined the offer of a game of cards this evening. These last two night shifts have taken their toll, and I've been asked to cover tomorow's day shift. I need to be out of the house before 7am tomorrow.
I think I might have an early night...
11 June 2016 (Saturday) - Get Outdoors Day
Despite having done two night shifts I was still wide awake before 5am this morning. Over a spot of brekkie (shared with my dog) I watched "This is England 86"; all of the "This is England" series have recently appeared in the box sets sections on my SkyPlus box. Today's episode was actually set on June 11 1986; *exactly* thirty years ago to the day. I quite liked the program; it was only marred by the fact that when "Lol" got out of bed the soles of her feet were absolutely black. Clearly she'd not really just had a "romp" but had actually been walking round on a rather grubby studio floor. I've noticed this quite a bit on the telly. Watch any character getting out of bed on any show or film - the soles of their feet are often black. Who *really* goes to bed with such filthy trotters?
Before I left home I quickly checked my emails. I had a friend request on Facebook from Tracey StripesBarbers Watkins. Judging by the mutual friends we have in common it looks like she's a relative of some sort... If any of my loyal readers know who Tracey StripesBarbers Watkins"might be please let me know.
I set off to work just before 6.30am. I wasn't pleased about this; I originally had plans for the day. EI had arranged a geo-event for today but I was told earlier in the week that due to sickness there was a problem covering today's day shift. My innate sense of professionalism came to the fore and so I abandoned my plans and said I'd cover the shift. I'm good like that.
Mind you today was "Get Outdoors Day" so I really had to go locate some Tupperware before work. I made a quick find in a location where I'd previously drawn a blank, then headed off to work. As I drove I was tail-ended by some twit on a motorbike. For the entire way from Hythe to Canterbury this idiot remained a few yards behind my car. When I slowed to let him pass so he slowed too; when I speeded up so he speeded up. Always keeping the same (far too close) distance between us.
And people wonder why motorcyclists get involved in such horrific accidents.
Today was also World Gin Day. If I hadn't been working I could have been part of a rather stupendous booze up.
I got to work and did my bit. There's no denying that I spent much of today sulking. I had made plans for today and didn't like cancelling them. But the time passed quickly enough, and as the day wore on so the rain started. Perhaps not the best of days to have been out and about.
It was soon home time. I whinged my discontent at the poor girl who was my relief and drove homewards. It had stopped raining...
12 June 2016 (Sunday) - Wet in Wye
I took myself off to bed relatively early last night and slept through till 7am this morning, despite the night being plagued wiith nightmares about the garden pond and "mud is the new water" (whatever that was supposed to mean).
Having a look on-line over brekkie it would seem that "er indoors TM"'s geo-meet went well yesterday. I'm still sulking that I missed it.
Also in the morrning's look on-line I got an email from Nadia Alfaleh who apparently is heir to fifty eight milion dollars in gold bullion but is too young to manage the account. If I were to fly out to the Republic of Benin (wherever that is) and marry her she'd get access to the money and she'd give me a bung.
It is years since I first got one of these scams; do people *really* still fall for these?
The plan for today had been a serious geo-mission round Godstone, but the weather forecast for Surrey wasn't that good. So last night Karl suggested Wye instead. Godstone is fifty miles from home; Wye is five miles. Wye seemed good. If nothing else we could leave home a little later.
I spent a few minutes trying to remeber what I'd done with my walking boots and we set off.
Usually on a Sunday we drive for over an hour to get to where we have chosen to walk. Ten minutes to Wye was a novelty. We soon met up with our crew, and ten of us (and two small dogs) set off on a geo-stroll. We knew the weather would be against us; we'd given up on Godstone as that was expecting heavy rain all day. Wye was expecting light rain at first, and a couple of hours of drizzle later and that was what happened. We also knew the terrain would be against us (well, I did - I've walked round Wye before); there was a *lot* of upping and downing. But we had a really good walk. Despite the low clouds there were some stunning views to be had - as we'd walked I took over fifty photos. You can see them by clicking here.
There are those who wouldn't appreciate sheltering from the rain under a tree covered from head to foot in waterproofs whist having a picnic. Personally I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Billed as a walk of eight and a half miles my GPS unit (Hannah) measured the distance walked as a shade over eleven miles.
Geocache-wise the walk was.... I've thought about how best to describe the geo-series. It was a good series. The hides were imaginative. GPS co-ordinates were spot-on, and the caches were hidden in such ways that whilst some were quite easy to spot others really were tucked away and were challenging. Waypoints were provided to guide us round and they were appreciated. Don't get me wrong - I liked the walk.
But... (without wishing to give offence) I came away feeling it was still something of a work in progress. Geo-law says that caches cannot be closer than one tenth of a mile from each other. That works out to one hundred andd sixty one metres apart at closest. Wiith that in mind, over the last few years I've put out series in which I aim to have caches *about* two hundred to two hundred and twenty metres apart. (I'm actually working on one such at the moment).
Having caches close to each other not only increases the geo-score you accrue, but also breaks the walk up. You don't have to go *that* far before you get a breather. In all honesty I struggled today; I had to do too much walking and not enough stopping for a rest. None of today's caches were very close together. Many of them were double the distance apart that I would have put them. Some were six hundred metres apart, and there was one stretch where there was an absolute genius cache which was then marred by a walk of a kilometre to the next hide. We walked a series of twenty-four caches; I honestly think there could have been forty along that route; maybe even more.
Having said that, this is a matter of personal opinion. When we got back to the car park we met a chap wringing his socks out. He recognised me as a geocacher (everyone recognises me; I never recognise anyone) and he said he'd just walked the same geo-series as us. He was effusive with praise because he felt that so many geo-series these days are put out with hides too close together and he liked having them spread out.
Usually we'd adjourn to the pub for a crafty half after a walk, but everyone was soaked. The rain hadn't been heavy but the long grass had been wet enough to give everyone wet trousers and wet socks. So we said our goodbyes and came home.
It was quite a novelty to be home so quickly.
Once home "Furry Face TM" had his bath, and so did I. I then sat on the sofa with a wet snoring dog whilst next door clanged on her piano. For once she wasn't playing scales but was performing what I can only describe as a piss-poor rendition of "Oh what a Friend we have in Jesus". Perhapss she's either got religion or got a job playing at a nearby church.
And as she clanged and the washing machine washed the mud off of our waterproofs so the sun came out.
With "er indoors TM" off bowling I then spent much of the evening researching astronomical events for the next few months. At the last astro committee I said I'd sort something so's we'd have notice of eclipses and the like. I've found some information - I just need to bodge it into the club's website...
13 June 2016 (Monday) - Late Shift
Another good night's sleep. Over brekkie I spent a little while wrestling with the laptop. Because I am something of a cheapskate I don't have MicroSoft Office. Instead I have OpenOffice which does pretty much the same thing and has the added bonus of being free. However over the last few months the spell checker has died. I've tried pretty much every fix there is but to no avail. I tried some more this morning and it either recognises every word as being spelt correctly or is thinks every single word is wrong.
So (despite my proof-reading) when you find spelling mistakes in these blog entries, that is my excuse.
Being on a late start I had some time on my hands, so I took "Furry Face TM" round the park for a walk. We had what I can only describe as a "near miss incident" with a jogger. Fudge doesn't seemm to like fast moving things and he expressed his dislike. The jogger tried to get arsey but I told him to take his earphones out, look at the world around him, and to try to avoid running right over the tops of small dogs. Suitably abashed the jogger went on his way.
Fudge then got rather wilful. Something in a bush had his attention. I tried to call him away but he ignored me. He can be quite funny when he tries to ignore. He takes no notice of what I say, but when I say his name his tail starts wagging. Clearly he could hear me but was ignoring me.
We had what I describe as a "quick" walk but we were still out for about an hour. Once home "Furry Face TM" had his brekkie then I ran round with the hoover, organised a walk for Friday, and set off to work.
I left for work a little earlier than I really might have done, but today was a geo-calendar day. I had planned to go somewhere near Etchinghill, but just as I left home my phone beeped. I had a notification about a new geocache in Herne Bay. I thought I might chase the First to Find so I set off to the coast.
As I drove "Women's Hour" was on the radio. This is a show about which I have been rather scathing in the past but today's episode was quite interesting. Mary Berry (of "Bake Off" fame) was the guest editor. She started off with talking about the fun she'd had as a child in the Guides. There was then something about how she loves her garden. Normally a dull subject but she brought it to life. This was followed with something of a rant about how texting can never replace a well-written letter, and she ended by talking about the increasing popularity of all sorts of crafts.
It was a rather interesting three quarters of an hour, marred only by the fact that I got to Herne Bay to find that someone had beaten me to the FTF.
I made my way to work via McDonalds for a McPiriPiri wrap, a caramel McFrappe and a McSulk. Mind you I shouldn't grumble; I needed a geo-find today and I got one.
Once at work I did my thing. And we had a visitor. The inestimable Soup Boy called in. He worked with us for a while, and is currently on a sabbatical with a view to becoming a professional runner. He called in to say he has decided that he won't be returning to us.
I was rather sad to hear that; I like my mate Soups, and miss I him.
Soon enough it was home time. "Game of Thrones" is on in a minute...
14 June 2016 (Tuesday) - Code Red
Unlike the previous few nights I had something of a restless night last night and was up at 5.30am and watching "This is England 90" which the SkyPlus box had recorded for me. One of the characters looked incredibly familiar... one of my pet peeves is when people are watching the telly and are more interested in recounting what shows certain actors have been in rather than watching the show which is currently on the telly. I found myself doing that this morning, and actually stopped the playback to have a look on the Internet. "Kel" was actually "Katie" in "Trollied". I thought she looked familiar.
I finished watching the show, and then had a look-see on-line. The Euro-in-out debate continues, and I'm getting a llittle sick of it. It doesn't take much effort to realise that there are no hard and fast answers for whether we are better in or out. And how do we judge what constitutes "better"?
However here's a list of the wars that England got involved in up to the act of union, and here's a list of wars fought after. As you'll see we've fought with our European neighbours an awful lot up till recently. The last couple of generations of Kent and Sussex men are probably the first that haven't looked across the English Channel wondering when they will be ordered to fight a war which is realistically nothing to do with them.
Eventually I realised that I couldn't spend the day sitting on the sofa with my dog, and set off to work. (Mind you as time goes by I am feeling more and more that I can't be arsed to get up off that sofa in the mornings)
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were interviewing the blind paralympian Simon Goodall. The chap was campaigning against Reading council's decision to remove the traffic lights which allow pedestrians to cross the city's streets. Apparently this has made much of the town a no-go area for the blind and partially sighted. Surely it makes sense to help these people cross the road safely? The pundits also interviewed some idiot from that council who was spouting some frankly stupid idea that traffic lights were bad. Apparently motorists don't like being controlled and removing traffic lights makes them happier. This twit went on to say that the more restrictions that are removed from the roads the better. Personally I would have though that anarchy on the roads was a bad idea, but what do I know?
I got to work and did that which I couldn't avoid until the earliest time at which I could reasonably get away. I was nearly involved in aa car crash as I drove home. There is a crossroads on the A28; traffic on the A28 has priority, traffic from Wye and Boughton Aluph are supposed to stop. Some silly woman was heading from Wye towards Bougton Aluph and didn't stop. She didn't even slow down. I did an emergency stop and missed her by inches. Silly cow !!
Once home I took "Furry Face TM" round the park. As we walked I watched a small boy putting a flimsy branch across a ditch. He tried to use it as a bridge and when he was half way across the branch snapped and he fell into the ditch. He was standing knee-deep in muddy stagnant filth when he pulled out his mobile phone and announced "Code Red". I thought about offering help but he seemed more keen to be declaring a Code Red" than he was on getting out of the gunge, so I left him to it.
Being Tuesday the clans gathered. Tonight we watched Supergirl. I can think of worse things to watch...
15 June 2016 (Wednesday) - Poorly Pup
I woke to find my little dog was not on the bed. I came downstairs to find him curled up on the sofa. He immediately trotted to the back door and I let him out. Once I'd shaved I saw he was still in the garden. Just sitting on the lawn. I called him; he wouldn't come in. I went to him and he cowered. I fussed him a little but he still was very subdued. I tried to pick him up but he backed away.
I came in and then I saw what the problem was. Four rather large piles of dog sick. He'd had a pork bone for his tea last night. There was a lot of meat and soft crackling and fat on it; it had been too much for him.
As I cleaned up the sick so he sheepishly came in and looked at me from a distance. Poor little pup.
With dog sick eventually cleaned up I set off to work. As I drove I was conscious of a white van only a few yards behind me. This van kept its (far too close) distance until the dual carriageway on the town's ring road when it came alongside me. I did chuckle when I saw the van. It had a large logo of "Centrex Safety First" on its side, and the passenger door was stoved in where it had obviously had a previous accident.
I was listening to the radio as I drove. Clement Freud (now six years safely dead) is the latest celebrity to have his name dragged through the mire. He has been accused of having interfered with two children. Once in 1952 and once in 1974. On the one hand I would say that his accusers have left it far too late to say anything. On the other hand the fact that his wife has issued an apology rather than a denial makes me wonder if she knew something was going on but said nothing.
Like all of these cases I can't help but feel that there is no hope of proving anything (one way or another) from such a far remove in time.
I got to work and did the early shift. I quite like the early shift - I'm an early sort of person. I quite like starting at 8am. I'd start earlier given the choice. And an early start makes for an early finish.
I came home to find my little dog was still rather subdued. Normally when I come home he doesn't stop barking until we go for a walk. He didn't make a sound this evening. We went for our walk, and he stayed at heel for nearly the entire walk.
Once walked I got the lawn mower out; it was a bright evening and lawns don't mow themselves. Now I've got the grass short I hope to keep it that way.
Mowing the lawn worked up a sweat; just as I got out of the shower the doorbell rang. Some newbie geocachers had managed to open the geocache in my front garden and thought they'd say hello. I was impressed. Finding the box is easy; it is *huge*. Opening it however is a difficulty five puzzle. These people had it solved (with just tthe teensiest help) and have a geo-score of less than twenty.
Whilst "er indoors TM" was at aqua-aerobics I sat with my (still quiet) dog and watched another episode of "This is England 90". I've nearly watched all of that show now; I wonder what drivel I can watch next.
"er indoors TM" will be home soon. I wonder what's for tea...
16 June 2016 (Thursday) - Cream Tea
I slept reasoonably well. I wish I could sleep better and longer though. I spend most of my lunch hours dozing over my Kindle app. Perhaps I might be better going to my car at lunch time and having an hour's sleep. Perhaps two shorter sleeps a day might suit me?
I got up taking care to let a sleeping dog liie and over brekkie ahd a look-see on-line. Nothing much had changed since I last looked. LinkedIn were trying to chum me up with people I don't know. I'm told it's called "networking". I've seen this "networking" before- I don't understand it. People act naturally when out and about socialising but put on a show transparently pretending to be something they are not when "networking". LinkedIn were also trying to get me to apply to join the navy, and Amazon were suggesting I buy e-books I'd already bought from them.
There was something which caught me eye; a recommendation for songs to which you should listen when you are sad based on your zodiac sign. Usually I treat all this astrology stuff as a load of crystal balls but I thought I'd give it a go. (Us Pisceans do that) My recommendation was "Linger" by the Cranberries. i thought it was a rather irritating dirge, which really proves what I've always saiid about astrology.
I took "Furry Face TM" for his (and my) morning walk. We went round the park. Once off the lead my little dog immediately acquired an audience of admiring small girls. You should have heard the squeals of delight and disgust (in equal amounts) when he stopped and did a poop. The children watched in absolute fascination as I picked it up.
A little later we met another Jack Russell. Both dogs ran about playing chase until a third Jack Russell arrived. The woman with this dog could see us from several hundred yards away and made a point of coming past (with her dog on a short lead) and shrieking when her dog was straining at the lead wanting to play with the others.
If she doesn't want her dog to associate with other dogs why not walk the other way? The park is big enough.
Today was a geo-calendar day. Yesterday a new puzzle cache had gone live in Badlesmere. It was still unfound this morning so (having blagged the puzzle at home) I drove off in hope of an FTF. As I drove I was tail-ended all the way by a van from Southern Water. I can understand (to a degree) people driving like idiots in their own cars, but why do so when you've got your firm's name emblazoned all over your vehicle?
I found the cache; but I wasn't the first one there. I'd missed that by a couple of hours. So I went back to the car and headed in the general direction of work.
I stopped off at the new aquatic centre in Challock. I got talking to the people in the shop about pond filters, but they didn't have what I needed. It was only when I was five miles down the road that I remembered I needed fountain pumps for the water features too.
I had some time on my hands so I pulled in to Badger's Hill Farm and treated myself to a cream tea. Very nice. I got chatting to the nice lady there - the place has a petting zoo. I may well go back with "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM"
And so onward to Canterbury where I filled the car with petrol and got stuck in a traffic jam. And as is so often the way when on the late shift my day was pretty much over by 11.30am...
17 June 2016 (Friday) - A House Guest
Despite a relatively late night and the best efforts of my CPAP machine I woke at 5am unable to breathe. The CPAP helps, but it can't do much when my nose is completely blocked. This is especially annoying on days like today when (being on a rota-ed day off) I had no need to be up so early. I got up, and spent a few minutes searching for my dog. He'd chosen a rather odd place to sleep; I was beginning to panic when I couldn't fiind him.
Over brekkie I watched the penultimate episode of "This is England". This episode was something of a disappointment. There was little in it other than one long argument.
With telly watched I spent an hour or so doing on-line preparations for the new geo-series I have planned to release over the summer. It is amazing how long it took to acheive so little.
I then popped the lead on to "Furry Face TM" and we set off to met friends. As I drove Warwick Davies was being interviewed on the radio in "Desert Island Discs". I've mentioned before what an odd show this iis. Sometimes it is really interesting; other times third-rate has-beens pretend to be pretentious. Warwick Davies was really interesting. He spoke openly and franklly about his dwarfism, and chose eight musical pieces that people actually listen to.
We got to Headcorn, parked up and soon found everyone else. Five of us (and two dogs) went for a little geo-stroll. We started on a busy road, but soon found ourselves on rather pretty lanes. It wasn't the longest of walks, but it was ideal for the morning. A walk in the coutryside with good company is always an excellent way to spend time.
Once home I had a bite to eat then seeing how the forecast rain hadn't arrived I carried on with the current garden project. I need to lift the brindle chippings so the fruits of my loin can help me lay fresh weed-resistant membranes. I'd got about a quarter of the job done when the rain started.
I've filled one of the garden dustbins with brindle chippings. If any of my loyal readers have a spare dustbin I could borrow for three weeks to put more into...
I then cracked on ironing shirts. They don't iron themseves. And with shirts ironed I carried on with the preparations for the summer's geo-picnic. I've now sent details of nine possible hides off to the reviewer to see what he says.
I then spent a little time telling the world about next week's meeting of the astro club. I wonder if the world will take notice.
Jimbo and Stevey arrived, and we went round to Steve and Sarah's for a bit of Chinese followed by an evening of cards. Arses were handed (on plates) in various directions, and it was suggested that having the seven of clubs was reason enough to win a hand.
When I got home I saw that our house guest haad arrived. We are dog-sitting my great-grand-dog Rolo. Rolo is my grand-daughter's dog. He is about a quarter of Fudge's size but is very obviously top dog in the family pack hierachy. He is with us for a week. Let's see how this goes...
18 June 2016 (Saturday) - Airport Run
Usually when I have brekkie "Furry Face TM" is either asleep (as he was today), doing his own thing, or curled up quietly next to me. Rolo was entirely different; he spent the entire time demanding fusses and attention. I suuppose he is young, but he is a very over-active little pup.
I had a look-see on-line. Not much had changed overnight really. I put up an advert to the astro club's membership about next weekeend's stall at the Shadoxhurst dog show. Despite a shaky start for the club's stall, the dog show has become a regular fixture in the astro-calendar. However it worries me somewhat that over the years the regular fixtures for an astronomical society have become things like the local dog show whilst (despite my best efforts) that we've never actually organised anything for an eclipse or a transit or a meteor shower. However the club has a new committee and we shall see. All we need now is an eclipse or a transit or a meteor shower.
I spent five minutes brushing the dog hair out of my car, then drove round to "My Boy TM". His tribe were off on their holiday and I's agreed to chauffeur them to the airport. We set off; three counties later we arrived. The drop-off was rather busy and rushed, and pausing only briefly for a geo-church-micro we were soon home again.
Some geo-friends were in the garden trying to open the huge geocache. We chatted for a bit, and brought the dogs out to say hello. Robbie picked up Rolo who promply tiddled down him. Rather embarrassing.
I had a rather good bit of cheese on toast for dinner then experimented with RSS feeds for the astro club. I've got something working; rather basic at the moment. Rather basic, but it will do for now bearing in mind I doubt anyone will ever actually look at it.
I spent much of the afternoon in bed, and I'm off to the night shift now.....
19 June 2016 (Sunday) - Fighting with a Swan
Apart from spending five minutes chasing an errant pigeon, the night shift went as well as night shifts go; if nothing else I had some time when I could have the radio on. Tony Hancock, Alan Partridge and Doctor Who were my companions for the small hours.
I had a little trouble getting home. Some organised group of cyclists had taken over the entire A28 to be their race track. These cyclists all thought they were on a par with cars; all cycling in the middle of the carriageway. I eventually navigated my way past them all and got home where I spent ten minutes clearing dog poop from the garden, hanging out wet laundry and loading the washing machine.
Whilst I waited for "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" to arrive I had a look on Facebook. The pro-Brexit brigade were posting on-line in force. They amaze me. Most people who loudly advocate leaving the EU cite reasons which are absolutely nothing to do with the in-or-out referendum. Admittedly immigration by a points system (like Australia has) would be nice, but that is not on offer. Illegal immigration is a problem, but leaving the EU will not affect it. Apparently the elected European Parliament is not democratic whereas the unelected House of Lords is. People want British laws for British people whilst not realising just how few of the laws in the UK come from Brussels. And many of the nastier comments are prefixed with "I'm not a racist but..." as though claiming not to be racist allows you to be as racist as you like.
I've often said that I don't beleive in democracy. The EU referendum is a classic example of why I don't. So many people clearly don't understand what they are actually voting for.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" soon turned up. I'd had an idea to drive down to Hastings to see my Dad for Father's Day but having been up all night meant I was probably a little too tired to drive. So instead we took the dogs for a little walk through the park to the lake to feed the ducks. It was a warm day, "Furry Face TM" and Sid roamed off the leads; Rolo stayed on his lead. He is still something of an unknown quantity.
Once at Singleton Lake we fed bread to the ducks whilst "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" fed bread to the dogs. We were having a good time until Rolo picked a fight with a swan. We made a strategic withdrawal at that point.
It was then that we noticed that "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" had lost his teddy bear. We retraced our steps and eventually met up with "Orangehead" who had found the teddy. How embarrassing.
Pausing only briefly for Rolo to try to fight with two Alsatians we returned homewards.
As I was hanging the washing out on the line I heard a plopping sound and some frantic splashing. Rolo had fallen in the garden pond. Silly dog.
Despite having been awake all night I managed five hours sleep. Longer would have been nice, but it wasn't to be.
I'm off to another night shift now. Hope "er indoors TM" gets that washing in from the line...
20 June 2016 (Monday) – Yawn
I could have taken a circuitous route to work last night for geo-reasons. I could have gone chasing a First to Find. The thing had gone live at 9am yesterday morning, and when I left home at 6pm yesterday evening it was still unlogged. I decided against going after it and instead went straight to work. It was as well that I did; at 10pm someone finally logged that they had found it at 5pm... Why wait so long?
Work was somewhat odd... the lab in which I work has quite a few windows. And for all that today is the longest day of the year, last night was the shortest night. It didn't get dark outside until past 10pm, and dawn was breaking before 4am. Consequently the early part of the evening dragged, and it felt as though the day staff took an age to get in.
As I worked the radio spewed its usual brand of drivel. Having said that, one article amazed me. It is traditional to despair for the younger generation. It always has been. I can remember being told by my Latin teacher that this was nothing new - Pliny wasn't impressed by the youngsters he saw, and that was two thousand years ago.
But things *really* have changed. The youth of today are behaving themselves. Teenage pregnancies and crime rates are falling rapidly. More and more people in their early twenties are teetotal, and very few smoke. Truancy from school is at an all-time low.
The pundits on the radio were considering why this might be. All sots of reasons were given, but for myself I don't really care why. It is good enough that things are looking up. When the time comes (and it won't be *that* long) I can croak without having to worry (too much) about the state of the world that my grandchildren are inheriting.
I did my bit, and came home once the day shift had rolled up. I had arranged to go for a walk with "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" but the heavy rain put paid to that idea. Instead I took myself off to bed for the morning. Much as I do like the night work, it it tiring.
I slept till mid day. I would have slept more but I forgot to turn the house phone off, and someone from Mumbai phoned ostensibly to have a friendly chat. I told them to piss off, had a spot of lunch, and on seeing the rain had stopped took the dogs round the park for a walk.
The walk itself was uneventful, but I do find Rolo to be hard work when he is on his lead.
Once home I set the washing machine loose on my undercrackers then spent the rest of the afternoon reprogramming one of my Wherigos. Some time ago I offered my Wherigos to the national week-long geo-meet which is happening in North Wales this summer. After a few hours work I got one done for them. I emailed it through and it immediately bounced back. As did all other messages to that email address.
But the two night shifts had taken their toll. I sat in front of the telly and woke up three hours later with Rolo fast asleep on top of me.
"er indoors TM" brought some curry homee for tea. A bottle of wine, "Tattoo Fixers" on the telly... can't be bad...
21 June 2016 (Tuesday) - Rostered Day Off
Yesterday evening I watched little Rolo with amazement. Fudge always has a few biscuits in a bowl down for if he is hungry. Most dogs would wolf them down. Fudge never has done so; he leaves them and just has one when he is peckish. Yesterday evening Rolo took several of those biscuits and hid them in various places round the living room. This morning he went round to his hidey-holes and ate them.
I then had a look-see on-line. It rained yesterday and social media was awash with everyone grumbling about typical British weather. This morning no one was saying anything; I wonder just how many people realised how good the weather was today.
I put the leads onto two dogs and then walked round to meet "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". "Daddies Little Angel TM" was rather concerned about a potential zombie apocalypse and had some theory that it might be prevented by nanobots created from puffer fish stem cells. Apparently her ideas had a factual basis in science (!) I took the line of least resistance and just agreed.
We walked round the back of the Stour Centre almost as far as the rugby club, looped round the town centre and discovered a new field which led us to Godinton Road. We came home through the park where I finally plucked up the courage to let Rolo off of his lead. He was really well behaved; played "chase" with Fudge and came back when called.
The plan was to go our seperate ways, but on hearing that I was intending to crack on on the garden "Daddies Little Angel TM" came home with me and helped rake up brindle chippings. We probably spent an hour or so tidying up and getting ready for a concerted garden day in a couple of weeks' time. As the most recent fruit of my loin worked I played silly beggars with Jake, the dogs and the fountain; I put up a video of what we did. And then "Furry Face TM" had to have a bath.
As a reward for all our hard work I got us some KFC. I didn't get exactly what I'd asked for. And when they gave me half of what I'd ordered and I asked for the rest, they tried to charge me five quid more. I tried to argeu wit them, but after five minutes struggling I realised that life is too short to argue with someone who hasn't got the faintest idea what you are saying. (Am I being very nasty and racist when I say that for all that I do like KFC, in thirty years of living in the same road as that shop they have *never* employed anyone who speaks English with any degree of ability?)
But what we did get was rather tasty and we scoffed it whilst watching SpongeBob.
The younger two generations set off homewards, and I mowed the lawn and scraped a few more brindle chippings. I would have liked to have done more, but there is only so much scraping that one can do. So instead I consoled myself by zooming round the living room with the hoover before spending an hour or so on astro club bits and bobs. As I bitted and bobbed I discovered a problem with emails sent to BT Internet addresses; they all seem to bounce back.
I then slobbed front of the telly for a bit watching last night's episode of "Game of Thrones". After several episodes of absolutely nothing happening, last night's episode had quite a lot of fighting and battles. It was all rather exciting (even if absolutely nothing was "flopped out"); mind you I'm not entirely sure who is squabbling with whom and why they are squabbling. There is only one episode left in this current season. I can't help but feel that once I've seen that it wouldn't hurt to watch the entire lot from the start.
Being Tuesday the clans gathered; tonight in Willesborough. We put the world to rights then watched The Flash take on a mutant rampaging gorilla. Sooner The Flash than me...
22 June 2016 (Wednesday) - Wiltshire?
I got rather cross over brekkie. Absolutely anything happening in our street provokes Rolo into a frenzy of barking. And when he starts woofing Fudge feels he has to join in. Consequently I spent the best part of an hour telling dogs to shut up.
In between shouting at dogs I had a look-see on-line. Needless to say tomorrow's referendum was on everyone's mind. After so many months of campaigning to an electorate which (in the large part) hasn't the faintest idea what is going on, I'm getting a little sick of it now. It rather bothers me that money and racism are being given (by both sides) as the main reasons to stay and/or leave. And it seriously bothers me that the third most popular answer given when the public are asked why they are voting a certain way (I won't say which way it is) is that all their friends are voting that way.
I would ask that people spend an hour or so doing a little research, and that if you honestly thing that the UK is better off in the EU then vote to stay. If you honestly thing that the UK is better off out of the EU then vote to leave. And if you honestly don't know, then don't vote. Maybe spoil your ballot paper as a protest perhaps, but don't vote if you haven't a clue what is going on.
I then took the dogs for a walk. Oh it was frustrating. One dog would squeeze out a drop of tiddle. The other dog would then have to sniff it for thirty seconds then squeeze out a drop of tiddle on top. The first dog then had to sniff it for another thirty seconds before adding more tiddle. And so it would go on until I chivvied them forward. We would go maybe ten yards befre repeating the performance. This conitued until Fudge decided to join in with a group of dog walkers going the other way and refused to come back when called. I saw red at that point, put both dogs on their leads and frogmarched them home.
I settled them down and set off to work. I stopped off at Bybrook Barn to have a look at the stuff I shall need for the garden's forthcoming makeover. It looks like I will need to spend about fifty quid on materials to make the shingled areas good again. That's about fifty quid more than I wanted to shell out. I thought I'd do a price comparison so I had a look in HomeBase as well. Substantially the same stuff would cost about twenty quid more there.
Bybrook Barn it is then.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing Annabel Croft who was banging the drum that women's tennis doesn't get as much coverage as men's tennis. Having absolutely no interest in tennis whatsoever I thought it was something of a waste of air-time, but what do I know ?
Just as I was about to start work my phone beeped. The astro club had got an email; there is a competition to win the chance of a dirty weekend away in Wiltshire. All you have to do is.... join the astro club. I'm not telling the world about this competition because that would scupper my chances. I quite fancy a dirty weekend away in Wiltshire. I've told the membership about the competition by email. One of the things we need to do with the astro club is check just how up-to-date the email list is. The more out-of-date the better for my chances of a dirty weekend away in Wiltshire.
All I need is someone who's up for a dirty weekend away in Wiltshire. If all else fails I shall take "er indoors TM"
23 June 2016 (Thursday) - Bikes in Trees
My alarm woke me this morning. That rarely happens. I got up and for all that "er indoors TM" and "Furry Face TM" were snoring, little Rolo was raring to go. He didn't seem at all bothered by the torrential rain outside, and after five minutes I had to go out to fetch him in. It was only when I went out that he actually started doing that for which I'd sent him out. He'd just been playing in the rain.
Over brekkie I watched the episode of "Dad's Army" that the SkyPlus box had recorded last weekend. It kept me amused for half an hour. I then sparked up my lap-top and was rather disappointed to find that the email I'd sent trying to win a dirty weekend in Wiltshire had bounced back. I sent another email from a different email account, and that bounced back too. Oh well, I doubt my back would have been up to the stresses of a dirty weekend in Wiltshire anyway.
I popped up the road to the polling station to cast my vote. Whilst I was there I watched a minor commotion. Some idiot was loudly shouting that his allocated polling station was fifty yards in the wrong direction; he was walking past this polling station on his way to work. Why couldn't he cast his vote in this one?
I watched the spectacle for a while. I was tempted to make the observation that the polling station we were in was actually fifty yards in the wrong direction for me as well. Maybe we might do a swap?
But I'd already drawn my "X", and what is fifty yards for democracy anyway?
I then made my way to work. As I drove the radio made the announcement that most gay people are still afraid to tell anyone that they are gay. Is our society still so intolerant?
I got to work where there was a slight kerfuffle. "Luscious Luke" (as he calls himself) had been harangued on his way to work by a gaggle of children who had got a bicycle stuck up a tree. It never occurred to Luke to ask exactly how these children got the bike stuck up a tree, nor why they expected him to retrieve it for them. But he spent ten minutes getting it out for them, and then spent a little while regaling us with the story.
Had I been the one asked for help I would have taken a photo or two...
And that was my day.. but I shall still have a little rant. Today was the euro-referendum. Some voted in, some voted out. We'll know if the right choice was made tomorrow. But in the meantime there is uproar about pencils being used in polling stations. Apparently using a pencil makes it easier for MI5 to change the votes which have been cast.... (takes a deep breath)
Now I have no idea which utterly brain-dead retard first came up with this pathetically ridiculous notion, but it worries me just how seriously such half-witted rubbish has gained popular acceptance. Just think it through. Take Dover for example - purely because it was the first one that came up on a Google search. There are over fifty polling stations in Dover. Each one with (at least) two members of staff on duty. So if there is shenanigans at that point there would be a lot of people in the know. A lot of peoople to be bribed to keep quiet; surely too many to bump off without things looking susspicious.
Each station will (when polling closes) have the ballot boxes sealed before collection, and inspected on arrival at the counting centre. This would (in my opinion) be the best time for MI5 to nobble the ballot but there is a rather stringent process in place to specifically avoid such nobbling.
And again with so many boxes being collected there would be a lot of people in the know. A lot of peoople to be bribed to keep quiet; surely too many to bump off without things looking susspicious.
As for the counting, it is done in the open under the supervision of accredited observers of both sides. It would be difficult to maintain the secrecy of anyone fiddling the result there.
And that's just Dover. The process is repeated all over the country. Just how many peoople would have to be in on this to actually affect the outcome of the result? And if vote-rigging actually was going on, just how likely is it that not one person wouldn't let something slip? Does anyone *seriously* think that enough people could secretly be in on a vote-rigging scheme that would actually swing the result?
But *loads* of people have been expressing concern about pencils in polling stations. For myself I'm used to it. after all I've been voting for over thirty years.
It strikes me that there can be only two reasons for anyone to find voting by pencil surprising. Either they've not voted before... or...
24 June 2016 (Friday) - The Day After
It was a very warm night; I didn't sleep that well. I eventually gave up trying to sleep and came downstairs shortly after 5am. I let Rolo out to do his business, and once I'd done mine I went out to find him. He wasn't in the garden. I spent a frantic five minutes trying to find him only to discover he'd gone back to his bed.
Over brekkie I watched the most recent episode of The Sky at Night which I'd recorded onto the SkyPlus box a while ago. It featured the whirlpool galaxy; it was rather good. That's something I've not said about his show for some time.
Being a geo-calendar day I set off to work rather early. There was one cache which was vaguely mid-way between Ashford and Canterbury. I say "vaguely" - in the back of beyond would be closer to the truth. I navigated the back lanes and finally found my quarry in a rather pretty valley.
Feeling flushed with geo-success I thought I'd get a second cache. Today is the last calendar-filling day when I am scheduled to be at work, and there was a cache near work which I had been holding in reserve as a back-up plan (even though I've failed to find it three times previously). I'd seen it had been recently replaced to I went and thought I'd have a go. After five minutes I gave up with the GPS and went with the hint which had been given, and found it some fifteen metres away on the other side of the road from where the GPS would have me looking.
I got to work and cracked on with the early shift. I had a rather busy day. Can't say I liked it very much. I consoled myself with McScoff then went on to astro club. It was a very good evening. An excellent talk, and an excellent stallarium show from Stevey. Things seem to be looking up with the club.
Oh - and the referendum results are in. I feel it speaks volumes that Nigel Farage (who was one of the leading llights of the "out" campaign) is disowning statements made by his campaigners, people who voted "out" have changed their minds less than a day later, and sterling has plummeted to a thirty-year low.
But what's done is done. Generations yet unborn will look back on today as being momentous. I *really* hope those generations will see today's result as having been the right one. Of course we will never actually know as we will never be able to compare what happens with what might have been.
But those who propose future referenda would do well to reflect on today. Those who were in the majority were not gracious in victory; those who were in the minority were bitter in defeat. There is now seriously bad feeling where there was once friendship.
I suppose that it will all blow over. Time will tell. It always does...
25 June 2016 (Saturday) - Rain, Airport Run
A restless night; I gave up trying to sleep just before 6am and got up. I nearly fell down the stairs as I tripped over Rolo who was fast asleep half way down the stairs.
I spent a few minutes having a look on social media. The aftermath of the referendum is still reverbarating. Of the people I know personally, several who voted out were now vocally wishing they'd voted in. Some who'd not voted at all were ranting about the result seemingly oblivious to the fact that they should have actually voted. Others who'd not voted at all (and some who'd voted remain) were ranting about the failure of the opinion polls because they'd missed the chance to be on the winning side.
Perhaps most worrying is that some people with whom I'd worked for years no longer feel safe in the streets, and I am very concerned that one chap actually left the astro club's Facebook page because (to quote what he posted) "I now feel unsafe in this country (I have autism amongst other less serious conditions) as the UKIP / Brexit mob beleive people like me are not employable or even worthy of basic rights."
There are those who might sympathise with this view and there are those who would dismiss it. However it is clearly the honest feeling of some people for whom I can vouch. How many others feel the same? I am pretty sure that the family friend who has been assaulted in my own town by Brexiters for daring to voice a different opinion would agree. I wonder if future historians will record these details?
I had the usual haul of rubbish emails. LinkedIn spouted its usual irrelevant drivel with adverts for jobs in which I had no interest whatsoever, and Google was emailing me to tell me what was in my diary for the weekend. I did have an email from "All About Space" magazine offering me (and any members of the astro club) a cheap subscription. I forwarded the email to the astro club membership, but I shan't be taking up their offer. I don't see what they can offer that I can't already get free with two minutes on Google News.
I loaded up the car and set off to Shadoxhurst. The astro club was putting on a show for the Scouts' dog show and fete. Having the event shelter I felt I ought to get there early as we needed to get that up first. I arrived, and was very soon set up. I moved my car to the designated car park, and as I was walking back past the beer tent I jokingly asked if they were open. They offered me a pint; I took it, and went back to out stall. I then spent a rather good ten minutes enjoying that pint whilst watching the world go by.
Everyone soon arrived and it wasn't long before telescopes were all over the place. We got the solar scopes focussed up on the sun (in between the clouds) and talked astro to the passers-by (including the Mayor). We had a light shower, but it soon passed. And once the sun came out again I had a rather good chili wrap and a pint of red top. Another shower, more sun, more talking astro.... and then the heavens opened. Torrential rain, thunder, lightning and half an hour of the worst hail I think I have ever known. The ground became waterlogged, and then flooded. When the rain finally abated we packed up the wet gear and went home.
I took some photos whilst we were out. You can see them by clicking here.
Once home I stuck the wet stuff into the shed. I shall see about drying that out later. I put my trainers in the tumble drier; I think they are now fit for the dustbin but I'm hoping they can be salvaged. They are only a month old. I had a shower, and then sat down. For all that I had really enjoyed the fun in the rain at the dog show it was good to be warm and in the dry.
I then wrestled with my phone. I think some of the rain got into the thing today; it doesn't seem to be quite right. It seems to be having a problem with charging (in that it doesn't). I've had a look on Google; Google says to dry it out and hope for the best. There isn't much else I can do with it really.
"er indoors TM" came home, made the coffee and took the wolf pack for a walk. I didn't fancy going with them. If nothing else my shoes were still awash. So I had a cuppa and a slice of cake whilst I waited for them to return.
Once they were home we settled the dogs and went out to play. Today was a geo-calendar day and was also the day came back from holiday. So needing to go to Gatwick Airport to collect him we made a sligt diversion to Guildford for geo-purposes. There was one virtual geocache there I'd had me eye on for some time for Jasmer pruposes (don't ask!). Whilst in the area we thought we'd try three other caches. We found one of them. I am quite sure the others have gone.
We had a rather good bit of curry at Cobham services then made our way to the airport. I've never been to collect anyone from the arrivals department at Gatick before. It was quite an adventure watching everyone. And "er indoors TM" discovered that a packet of Polos is thirty pence cheaper in Boots there than it is in WH Smiths.
We waited for just under an hour, "My Boy TM" and his crew arrived. We paid twelve pounds (each!) to get out of the car park and set off home. As we'd driven up the weather had been awful and we'd seen two serious accidents on the M26. We headed home to find the M26 closed. Somewhat inconvenient... by the time we'd detoured and taken people home I got into bed just after 2am...
26 June 2016 (Sunday) - Back to Teynham
There is a virtual geocache in Guildford.... The idea is you go there, find a particular landmark of interest and answer a question about it. I'd looked the place up on Google images some time ago and thought I had the answer. I had since revisted my findings and confirmed my answer. Yesterday evening we drove a round trip of close on two hundred miles to get there and claim the find. On arrival I had a good nosey about. I found that which I was expecting to find from my research, and despite a good search I didn't see anything new to me or unexpected. So I sent an email with my answer to the chap to whom the answer was to be sent.
This morning's haul of emails had his reply: "Sort of coulda guessed that… but I’ll let you have it… "
Clearly I've missed something. I'm intrigued as to what.
The Internet was quiet on the referendum's aftermath. Probably just as well. I programmed "Hannah" for the day, solved a geo-puzzle that we actually found on today's walk, put the wet stuff from yesterday out to dry and we set off.
Loads of us met up in one of the back streets of Teynham, and then made our way along the road to meet loads more. I've rather lost count of how many of us came along on today's geo-expedition.
We had a really good walk. When we started I made a point of putting on my wellies (bearing in mind the torrential rain of yesterday). But I was wrong to have done so; there was only really a couple of muddy points on the walk. Thirty-odd geo-finds, a cock on the church (oo-er), a picnic in the sun and even a pub half way round. A good way to spend the day.
And with the walk done we popped into the Swan in Tenyham for another crafty half.
I took a few photos whilst we were out. I put them on-line whilst watching the live coverage from the Glastonbury festival. The Electric Light Orchestra were playing live.
As a child my old mucker Dave Thornton introduced me to ELO. Over the years their music has always featured prominently in the noise I play in my car. I was quite excited to see they were playing live... I was rather disappointed.
Only one member of the original line-up was on stage; I had no idea who all the others were, and I did notice that the obviously foxy ladies playing the violins and cellos all looked rather disinterested. And whilst the songs were all my old favourites, I felt vaguely disappointed.
I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I was expecting more...
I've now got to re-program another Wherigo for the national geo-congress in August .
27 June 2016 (Monday) - Bit Dull
I woke this morning to find I ached. Much as I like the walks on a Sunday I do ache on the following Monday. I struggled to get my carcass down the stairs, and over a spot of brekkie depressed myself by reading what was going on in the world of social media.
The aftermath of the referendum is going to take a long time to settle. A *lot* of those who voted out have loudly made it clear that they didn't vote for racism-motivated reasons. I suspect that many of them didn't. However the morning's news brought reports of a tirade of racially motivated name-calling, grafitti and even physical attacks happening all over the country. The mayor of London and the British Muslim Council haveas has the Polish embassy in London.
Some of this may well be anti-Brexit proopaganda, some of it (including the ones personally know about) is not.
As a child I had such high hopes for the future.
I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. As I put the lead onto him I noticed it was rather tight. He is supposed to be losing weight...
We went for a wander round the park. As we went I saw a woodpecker and I admired its beauty. They seem to be becoming more common in the park. My dog saw a squirrel and saw red. He set off in hot pursuit through a bush. I'm sure there used to be more squirrels in the park.
We also met a posse of dog walkers. Those who were never in OrangeHead's little gang seem to be forming their own clique. Whether it is just a mutual friendship or rivalry against Orangehead's chums is as yet uncertain, but this lot seem friendlier to me than Orangehead does.
I wore the trainers that got absolutely soaked on Saturday. They have dried out but seem to have shrunk a little. Maybe they will stretch again?
Once home I popped more stuff out to dry in the garden, and then chivvied my dog out of the gravelled areas. Having spent hours moving the chippings about, that dog had pushed them all back again.
I also looked at the washing line. It snapped under the weight of the event shelter yesterday. Getting a new washing line is easy enough, but I need a ladder to put it in place. My ladder "went into storage" when "Daddies Little Angel TM" moved out of Folkestone. "My Boy TM" claims he knows where it is. I sent him a text on the matter.
I then ran round with the Hoover. That is on the blink. Whilst it does suck stuff up it doesn't seem to move across the floor as easily as it once did. I've had a look at the thing but can't see anything wrong with it. I might give it a clout with my cooking hammer. That usually sorts things out (one way or the other).
I wasted ten minutes looking at the geo-map trying to plan for the weekend, then shouted at "Furry Face TM" who was going ballistic because the postman had arrived.
I set off for work a lot later than I usually do and pausing only briefly in Morrisons I was at work with minutes to spare. And as is often the case when on the late shift, everything worth mentioning today happened before 11.30am...
28 July 2016 (Tuesday) - WTF is Going On?
I was worn out when I took myself off to bed last night. However I was stil wide awake at 5am this morning. Over brekkie I watched last night's episode of "Game of Thrones". Despite a marked shortage of anything being flopped out it was rather good. However I watched it with very much a sense of "WTF is going on?" I *really* need to watch the entire lot again from the beginning (in quick succession) so I can find out just "WTF was going on".
And talking of "WTF is going on?", as I drove to work the pundits on the radio were asking that very question of the prominent Labour MEP Richard Corbett and the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. Both made the same (rather valid) point. Last week the country voted to either remain in the EU or to leave the EU. In retrospect this question was rather simplistic. Had the "remain" side won then we would probably still have had all the nastiness we've had, but the country would have carried on pretty much the same.
However leaving the EU means radical change. Various flavours of change had been offered by two independent leave sides in the run-up to the vote. It is now becoming clear that many of the proposals offered by the "leave" sides were actually mutually contradictory. The savings made be leaving the EU can only be spent once; not multiple times. And Britain can either remain part of the European trading bloc (and have to accept all the associated rules) or it can leave. It can't do both. And no one seems to be brave enough to even mention the whole sorry topic of immigration.
It was made quite clear that until a new Prime Minister is appointed the only certainty is uncertainty.
Much hated Minister for Health Jeremy Hunt (and now a wannabe Prime Minister) has even proposed a second EU referendum in which the country will decide exactly what we do want having left the EU, and was talking about not actually leaving for another four years.
I got to work and had a rather busy day. I didn't like that very much. Mind you in between working we all found our our stripper names. Apparently your stripper name is the colour of your undercrackers followed by the last thing you ate. I was "blue biscuit". However the winner was undeniably the "black sausage" with "grey cheese sandwich" as runner up (for no reason I could fathom).
During the afternoon tea break the famous tennis player Annabel Croft was on the telly beiing interviewed about tennis (obviously!). During the late 1980s she was on telly all the time, and (quite frankly) made the thing worth watching.
Bearing in mind she's only two years younger than me I think it fair to say the years have been far kinder to her than they have to me....
29 June 2016 (Wednesday) – Stuff
I was again up far too early this morning, and on finding no episodes of Dad's Army on the SkyPlus box (Saturday's episode was cancelled because of the tennis at Wimbledon) I put on an episode of the Irish equivalent of "The Joy of Painting". Effectively it was Bob Ross with a brogue... in the past I've been scathing about the program but it grows on you.
Today the star of the show was painting over the top of a pre-existing picture. An interesting idea; I should get my paints out again and have a go.
I set off to work. The news was abuzz with all sorts of stories. The referendum has caused some chaos; not least of which in the Labour party. The leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has been told in no uncertain terms to resign by pretty much all the Labour MPs. But as he was elected by a landslide majority of the membership of the Labour party he was refusing to go.
I'm sure he's a decent chap, but the press have clearly decided against him. There is never a news article about him in which he is not made out to be an idiot. And there was a *lot* of scandal following his election with all sorts of allegations that loads of Conservative supporters had joined the Labour party purely to elect a twit as the leader.
It is sad that history repeats itself. In the 1980s the Labour party deliberately made itself unelectable, and it is doing so again.
There was also talk of loads of deposits of helium having been found in Tanzania. That will put a spanner in the works for the space program. With a world wide shortage of the stuff helium mining on the Moon looked to be the only way to secure a supply of the stuff, and consequently something in which private enterprise might invest.
But Tanzania is much easier to get to...
As I drove along the A28 this morning I was very conscious of a van not five yards from my back bumper all the way. if any of my loyal readers need new floorings I wouldn't advise Clarks floors & carpets.
I got to work, and spent quite a bit of the day looking out the window. The morning was one of bright sunshine and the forecast rain which was due to start at mid day didn't start. There was a geo-walk planned for the afternoon. I would have liked to have gone along but getting the afternoon off had proved to be a tad problematical.
Mind you the rain did start when I was on my way home, and I got rather wet whilst walking "Furry Face TM" round the park this evening.
I then spent a little while planning for the weekend's geo-rally. We've not had one of those before. I *think* we can visit eight counties...
30 June 2016 (Thursday) - Got My Ladder Back
Despite having spent much of yesterday yawning and telling everyone just how tired I was I only slept for about five hours and lay awake stroking a sleeping dog for an hour or so before finally getting up well before 6am. I'd slept with an ear full of olive oil (having had the thing bunged up all week) and it finally seems to have cleared.
Over a bit of toast I had a look-see on-line. I got just the teensiest bit cross. Last week we had the in-out Euro referendum. Thee "outers" won. Like it or not, that was the result. This morning (only a week later) many of those who (loudly) voted "out" were posting pro-remain propaganda on social media and also posting rather hateful stuff about those who'd led the "out" campaign.
Anyone who reads this drivel will know that I don't agree with democracy because a large part of the electorate (often including me) really don't have a clue what is going on.... I might have mentioned this before...
I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for a little walk round the park. It had rained overnight and everwhere was wet. So my dog chose the soggiest place imaginable to "drop his load". And he has developed an annoying habit in that when he "drops his load" he drops one bit then walks on before dropping the next bit, eventually leaving it along a trail of six feet or more. It takes some clearing up; especially when in grass taller than the dog is.
As we squelched on with soaked trainers we met OrangeHead's dog who was being walked by someone who looked like a younger version of OrangeHead. A Mark II version perhaps?
We also met lots of young families on their way to school. Some of the smaller children were on bikes and were being constantly shrieked at by mothers who were concerned that the children were too far ahead of them. I watched one such family with amusement. Mother was forever screaming for the child to slow down, and the child was forever falling off of the bike.
Have these mothers never cycled before? It is *very* difficult to cycle at a walking pace; probably beyond the ability of the average six year old. These mothers should either cycle alongside their children, or leave all the bikes at home.
However, apart from "Furry Face TM" trying to pick a fight with a bus, our walk passed off relatively well. Once home my dog had his brekkie and I drove off to meet "My Boy TM" for a spot of brekkie. You can't beat a fry-up. Or "frip" as they are known.
With brekkie scoffed out plan was to go to Cheryl's grandfather's farm where much of "Daddies Little Angel TM"'s stuff had been stored when they moved house over the last winter. By a process of elimination I'd determined that my ladder was either there or it was lost. I'd last seen the ladder at their flat in Folkestone and I was sure it had gone to the lock-up. Cheryl was adamant it was not.
We arrived, opened the lock-up, and the first thing I saw was my ladder. Finding my ladder was like being reunited with an old friend...