1 June 2017 (Thursday) - Between the Night Shifts
As I drove home from the late shift the pundits on the radio were discussing last night’s television. The leaders of all of the UK’s main political parties had featured in a live debate. All but one… The Prime Minister didn’t show.
That surely speaks volumes.
I didn’t come straight home; instead I picked up "My Boy TM"; I’d dragooned him into helping me for a few minutes. I needed help carrying a fence panel home from B&Q; he was adamant that it would fit in my car. However he was also of the opinion that fence panels were seriously cheap in B&M Bargains as was fishing bait.
We drove to B&M Bargains to find that not only were the fence panels far too big to fit in my car, but B&M Bargains wouldn’t open for another half an hour.
We went to B&Q, got the fence panel and carried it home. I wasn’t going to pay them twenty quid to drive it round the corner. We walked back to B&Q’s car park to get my car, and I drove "My Boy TM" home then came home myself.
Fudge still isn’t right. I fed him his brekkie and slipped a tramidol into it. He then wandered around in a dopey daze; periodically yelping in pain as he walked awkwardly. I settled him in his basket and told him to stay put.
I made myself a spot of brekkie and had a look-see on-line. My piss boiled somewhat. A few years ago I received a formal written warning from my then-employer for bringing the hospital in which I worked into disrepute. My crime was that I posted a photo of myself taken during a night shift with the caption “tired”. Yesterday people working for that same employer posted all sorts of derogatory things in a thread basically saying what a grotty day they’d had. And to add insult to injury, rather than taking a firm line. senior managers had seen it and clicked the “like” button.
I wonder if I really had been singled out?
I took myself off to bed and slept for five hours. Not too shabby at all. I woke and watched an episode of “Archer”; I’d seen adverts for the show. It looked funny but it wasn’t. It was just American rubbish with canned laughter played at random intervals. What a disappointment.
I put on some old clothes, and got another fence panel painted before "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner.
I’m off to another late shift now. Historically the day between two night shifts was always dull, and it seems that nothing has changed…
2 June 2017 (Friday) - After the Night Shifts
As I drove home the pundits on the radio were expounding on the news that as the Conservative’s lead in the opinion polls shortens, a hung parliament is looking more and more likely. There was talk of another coalition, and talks of inter-party deals to make a minority government a practical proposition. Key to any such coalition or deal would be the Scottish Nationalist Party, and their leader was interviewed on air this morning.
She spouted an awful lot of drivel without actually saying very much of consequence.
This is the trouble with our parliamentary system. It is all very well all the time one party has a majority in the House of Commons, but when there is no one with a clear lead a disproportionate amount of power is suddenly in the hands of the vanishingly small minorities.
I got home just as "er indoors TM" was going to work. I put on some old clothes and had a little while in the garden. I got the lawn mowed, got two loads of washing onto the line to dry, and got more fence painted. But after two hours of painting I started to wilt so I came in and had a late brekkie whilst watching “Detectorists”. I’d forgotten that him who plays the part of Negatus in “Yonderland” was the nemesis of our heroes in “Detectorists”.
I then had a quick look on-line and my piss boiled. Last night during a break I had a look-see on Facebook and saw a posting of a small turtle being killed in a microwave. I won’t post the link; it was horrible. I reported it to Facebook and this morning they said they weren’t going to remove the item as it didn’t breach their community standards (!)
I also saw something which rather amazed me. A chap I vaguely know was again posting all sorts of jingoistic racist “Britain First” rubbish. I’ve often wondered why he does this as his wife is of European extraction. Someone had commented about just how nasty the stuff he’s posted was; his response was that he’d probably stop doing so when his family move to mainland Europe. Following the Brexit he so loudly advocated his entire family are leaving the UK, and he’s going with them. What’s that all about?
I was just about to go to bed when "My Boy TM" sent me a text. He’d gone fishing today. I could have gone with him, but having just done two night shifts I decided against it. He said to check out his Facebook page. I did and saw that he’d caught a carp which was about three times bigger than any carp I’d ever had. I wish I had gone with him.
I took myself off to bed for the afternoon with something of a sulk.
I forgot to set the alarm; I slept for much longer than I intended. Night shift does wonders for sorting the insomnia, then I got more fence painted. I’m rather pleased with today’s progress. I’ve now got as far up the garden as the monkey puzzle tree. I thought about heaving it out the way so I could continue, but decided that this might just be God’s way of telling me to stop. So I stopped.
"er indoors TM" boiled up some fish and chips and we scoffed them watching old episodes of “Bake Off”. I then had a look at the household accounts. Pay day was last week and I’m already looking iffy.
And then I had a message. One of the lads with whom I worked when at Canterbury has died. He didn’t turn up for the late shift yesterday, and today his mother phoned with the sad news. He couldn’t have been any more than twenty-one or twenty-two.
Makes you think…
3 June 2017 (Saturday) - Birthday, Fence, Theatre
Bearing in mind how early I usually wake I had intended to get a good two hours fence painting in before "er indoors TM" surfaced from her pit. However I’d not considered the after-effects of a couple of night shifts. Despite being bitten on the arse a couple of times during the night (either by "er indoors TM" or the puppy; I’m not sure which) I didn’t wake until gone 8am.
I got up and had a quick look-see on-line over a bit of toast. A few ex-colleagues had commented on the death I mentioned yesterday. I’ve been thinking about the chap who died. He was an odd lad; something of a loner. I can remember making several overtures of friendship to which he never really responded. He didn’t seem to have any close friends in the workplace. I wonder if the management under which he worked had noticed that?
I also read quite a bit of political stuff on Facebook. It would seem that a lot of younger people of my acquaintance have decided to find out for themselves the ins and outs of politics. It is interesting that (without exception) all of them feel that the Labour party is the one with their interests at heart. Perhaps Mr Corbyn’s message is getting over despite the best efforts of the national press. Or perhaps it is because the Labour party are the only ones who are actually being seen to offer anything. All the pro-Conservative stuff I’ve read basically either says “Vote for us because we’re better than Labour” without any details to back the claim whatsoever, or just tries to appeal to people’s natural greed.
On a happier note quite a few people were commenting on "Daddy’s Little Angel TM"’s birthday; which was kind of them.
And talking of which we then collected the birthday girl (and her entourage) and drove down to Broccoli Park (as "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" calls it) and we had a little walk. I was glad that for once it wasn’t our puppy disgracing herself. For all that she’s not averse to eating poo, at least she picks it off of the ground. This morning her brother Pogo ate it fresh as it emerged from Sid’s bum; so fresh that it didn’t even touch the ground. How feral is that? "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" went seriously mental at little Pogo. I did laugh; mainly because it wasn’t my dog.
We walked round the lake and looked at the fish, then had a little birthday picnic. It soon became apparent that not only had Pogo eaten poo, he’d also rolled in it. So we walked back round the lake where he “accidentally” fell in.
Ironically Pogo was sick in the car only two minutes before we got home.
Once home, ably assisted by “nice next door” I set about fixing the fence. I say ably assisted by “nice next door”; in fairness he did all the work. We got the new fence post support in place as well as the new panel, and I was able to salvage enough out of one of the old panels to be able to fix the custom-sized one (which was a relief). And I got the custom-sized panel pretty much fixed. I would have liked to have got it painted but I just had time for a quick shower and scoff before Steve and Sarah arrived.
We settled the dogs, collected Chris and set off to Whitstable where we discovered a new micro-pub. “The Twelve Taps” had twelve taps all dispensing a different ale. I had a rather good pint of stout followed by a citrussy light ale. My Ham Street Lover then arrived with Julie and a littlun, and Matt and his family weren’t far behind.
As luck would have it, “The Twelve Taps” was right next door to the theatre; "er indoors TM" had organised for us to go see “Avenue Q”. Tonight was the fourth time I’ve seen it live. But I’ve got the CD; I know all the words to all the songs. It was an absolutely brilliant production. Can’t wait till we go again; I wonder when that will be…
4 June 2017 (Sunday) - Westerham to Limpsfield Chart
Despite a really busy day yesterday I was up silly-early this morning. As I scoffed my toast I saw that overnight there had been another cowardly so-called terrorist attack on innocent people going about their business in London. People again used vehicles to mow down passers-by.
What do they hope to achieve with all this? When the IRA mounted its terror attacks forty years ago they had a clear agenda, they warned the authorities of an attack so that property was destroyed but people could escape harm, and you had a vague idea of what was going on.
The current spate of attacks are just mindless thuggery. Are they being made by Islamic terrorists? That seems to be the general consensus of opinion. But with no one declaring responsibility it is just mindless murder.
Last night I posted a status update on Facebook: “Here we go... What do you do with a BA in English?” It was a direct quote from the musical we were on the way to watch. “What do you do with a BA in English?” is the first line in the second song in Avenue Q. The posting got an amazing number of comments from people who clearly didn’t get the reference.
Seeing how it was still well before 7am and it was a bright morning outside I got some old clothes on and set about garden work. Yesterday nice-next-door helped me move the monkey-puzzle tree; this morning I got the fence behind the tree painted, and I also got the bit of fence painted that I fixed yesterday. I might be able to put that back into place tomorrow. We shall see.
Fudge wanted to come out today, but he wasn’t up to it. We gave him his tramidol and settled him in his basket, and we then set off. We went via the co-op where I was massively over-dressed (everyone else was in their pyjamas) to Hosey Common near Westerham where we met Tracey, Karl and Charlotte. We then went for a little geo-stroll round the W2LC (Westerham to Limpsfield Chart) series of geocaches.
It was an ideal day to be walking; not too hot and a gentle breeze was blowing. As we walked we saw cows in a river, and a heron. Treacle ran in terror from other dogs, and we met the sweetest pair of dachshunds. We had fun exploring an old folly, and we found several ant-hills. We even took a little diversion into Westerham for a couple of pints.
Geocache-wise this was a good walk. Some of the hides were “film pot under a rock”, some were more challenging, and some were very difficult. Some were very imaginative. But we found all of them. Mind you (not counting our little diversion to the pub) there were twenty-four caches along a route which could have had thirty-five or so; they were a little spaced out. That’s not a bad thing, but I found myself wondering if we were walking past the end points of geo-puzzles without realising it.
Also, like so many other geo-circuits we felt the distance quoted was underestimated. Admittedly we took a diversion to the pub, but that couldn’t have been more than a mile in total. The walk was billed as approximately five miles, “Hannah” (my GPS unit) measured the total distance walked at a tad over eight and a half miles.
As always I took a few photos as we walked.
I slept all the way home; I had intended to paint more fence, but by the time we got home my heart wasn’t in it. "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner and went bowling. I settled down in front of the telly…
5 June 2017 (Monday) - Baby's Operation
This morning as I scoffed my brekkie there was a lot of anti-religious sentiments being expressed on Facebook in the aftermath of the London terror attacks. A couple of points raised amazed me.
There was a vicar who (in amongst the nonsense he was spouting) said “for the past 40 hours I have literally been on my knees praying for a change of heart for all humanity!” and he went on to say ”I can't make anyone but then if He doesn't exist we only have a hate and an evil created by ourselves.” I can so relate to this. This is the very reason why I gave up with organised religion. I was once incredibly religious (I was a Steward in the Methodist Church) but I stopped all of the religion when I finally realised that I didn’t actually believe a word of it; I was just desperately hoping that there was a God who cared (despite the apparent evidence to the contrary) because the thought of a universe without a God like that was rather scary.
How is it that religions seem to have captured the moral high ground anyway? Surely people can do the decent thing without an all-powerful supernatural force in the background forcing us to do its version of "right"?
Several other people were making calls to “send them all back where they came from”. A rather easy statement to make, but in the first instance who are “they”? And where is it they come from? It worries me that many of those being seen as targets for public hate are UK citizens who are part of families that have lived here in the UK for many generations. Most of the people in the UK are descended from immigrants at some point or another. I can trace my family as UK natives back to 1760; I wonder if those banging the racist drum can do so?
I then wasted half an hour trying to find my electric drill. Eventually I gave up. I then took Treacle to the vets. Today was the day of her operation. Spaying day. I took her in to the nurse, did all the admin and left her there. The puppy seemed so happy. I wasn’t.
I then crossed the road and took my stress out on the incompetent supposedly running the hardware section of B&Q. He can gossip with his cronies in his own time. I got myself a cheap (very cheap) drill and then went on to the dentist for half an hour or torment with the hygienist. My gob feels better for it, but the time in the chair wasn’t fun.
Once home I took Fudge for a walk. A very small walk; ten minutes. But it was his first walk for ten days, and he seemed to manage it all right. There were no whimpers of pain. Hopefully he’s now on the mend.
I then used my new drill to put screw holes into the custom-made bit of fence that I wanted to put back in place this morning. I got the screw holes drilled and wrestled the bit of fence into place. It’s not quite right; it needs a push from the other side. I’ll get nice-next-door to do that when I next see them.
I then loaded up the scraps of the old fence panels into my car. As I was doing this the chap who played “Rod” in Saturday’s production of “Avenue Q” walked by. I stopped him and told him what an excellent show they’d done. Then I set off to the tip. If only the bin men would take fragments of fence away.
I got to the tip and found the place was rather crowded, and pausing only briefly for a spot of McLunch I then did a rather busy late shift.
A late start made for a late finish. "er indoors TM" had collected the baby form the vets. She was rather subdued, but still more lively that I would have expected after having had a total hysterectomy.
Poor little thing… it’s a bit late to be having second thoughts about having had her done…
6 June 2017 (Tuesday) - This n That
The puppy had a good night; which is more than I did. I saw every hour of the night. I know we did the right thing in having her spayed; we are in no position to have litters of puppies about the place. But I still feel (very strongly) that I’ve done something horrible to the little dog.
I’m silly like that.
Over brekkie I watched the second episode of “Jamestown”; a drama set in one of the first colonies in Virginia four hundred years ago. This morning’s episode featured women being accused of witchcraft following sickness in the village, and nearly being burned alive (by the local vicar) for having a birthmark. Fortunately the day was saved when it was discovered that the local drinking water had been contaminated by sewage. It is rather worrying that his sort of thing really happened four hundred years ago. And even more worrying that in the meantime many people still cling to such ridiculous superstitions.
I sparked up my lap-top and had a look-see. I had an email about a supervisor role in the sister hospital of the place where I work. Did I want to apply for the position? Not really. Having been in supervisory roles before I’ve never been as content in a job as I am right now, I’ll stick with what I know.
The South Ashford Community Forum email arrived. The Travis Perkins yard up the road is to go and be replaced with thirty-one apartments, and there are plans to build a café down the road.
I then set off to work on a rather wet morning. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the recent terror attacks, and talking about how they have supposedly been using social media for organising themselves as the encryption is so good. There were various theories as to whether the authorities should be able to snoop on private messages. On the one hand people’s business is private. On the other hand the stuff I put to friends on Facebook Messenger is hardly earth-shattering.
Perhaps if we stopped pussy-footing around with these terrorists…?
I got to work and did my bit. I came home through torrential rain and rainbows, and once home I took my convalescent wolf-pack for a walk. You wouldn’t think that only a week ago Fudge could barely walk and Treacle had had a hysterectomy yesterday.
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good dinner, then (seeing how it was Tuesday) we set off to Willesborough where the clans gathered. We fussed the cat, and watched “Blake’s Seven”; an early episode in which there was Blake, and there was seven of them…
7 June 2017 (Wednesday) - Heaving Bosoms
Over brekkie I watched the third episode of “Jamestown” in which the villagers fought with the local Indians (for no apparent reason) and in which bosoms heaved (also for no apparent reason). Mind you it made for entertaining viewing (the bosoms, not so much the Indians).
With a little time to spare I got my lap-top going and stared into cyber-space. I had a letter from geocaching HQ telling me about this summer’s geo-souvenirs. That will be a little project to keep me out of mischief. I was about to have a look at Facebook when my lap-top died with a message “Attempted execute of noexecte memory”. The thing booted up again, and I set McAfee loose on it in a desperate hope to sort it out.
I set off to work; as I drove my local MP Damien Green was being interviewed on Radio Four. He was being asked about all sorts of national security issues, and in true political fashion he managed to go for nearly fifteen minutes saying a lot without actually saying anything.
I got to work, and had a rather good day. I get far more of those than I ever used to only a few months ago. I made good time home, and once home walked the dogs round the road.
When we got back we saw that Shrub’s mum had called and had left baby-grows for the puppy. The “bucket of shame” hasn’t worked to stop the puppy from worrying her operation scar; she ate quite a lot of it (the bucket, not the scar). The idea is that wearing a baby-grow will stop her chewing her stitches.
I then phoned Scottish Power to complain. When "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" lived in Folkestone they supplied the power to her flat. She moved out on 8 December 2015 at which time she settled all outstanding power bills, and (while she was in temporary accommodation) used our house as a temporary mailing address.
Scottish Power have been mailing her (at our house) three times a week ever since demanding payments for her old address, even though all the payments have been made. She’s given up trying to talk to them; the people at their end know the payments have been made but are unable to sort out their computer to stop the demanding letters. I’m getting rather sick of the letters and phoned Scottish Power to ask (tell) them to stop sending their bills. Their automated system said they would phone me back in sixteen minutes time.
Half an hour later a most incompetent chap phoned back. He blathered platitudes but made it clear he would do nothing. I told him that from here on in his company’s letters would be returned unopened.
Why do these people always want an argument?
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good dinner which we devoured (with a bottle of plonk) whilst watching last Saturday’s “Doctor Who”. Not one of the best episodes of that show.
I think I deserve an early night…
And in closing, tomorrow is the general election. Here's my take on the choice we as a nation have to make.... (sorry if it offends) Rather than getting bogged down in a myriad of specific policies, let's take the choice down to first principles:
Realistically the country will be choosing between Conservative and Labour. There is quite a bit of bad press circulating about the leaders of both parties. Of the two leading candidates for the position of Prime Minister one has consistently voted against every anti-terror measure proposed in Parliament, and the other hamstrung the Metropolitan Police force when she got rid of twenty thousand police officers when she was Home Secretary. Neither would seem to be blameless. But I know which one I would prefer because my conscience and love for other people, far exceeds my greed for more money.
8 June 20107 (Thursday) - Polling Day
Over brekkie I had a look at Facebook. There is a group for old boys of the school in Hastings that I used to attend. I saw a chap who was in the year below me at that school had died yesterday. There was a lot of crocodile tears from people who’d not clapped eyes on the chap for over thirty years.
Mind you I found myself looking through that group; there were a lot of names that I remember from the late 1970s and I found myself calling up several profiles of people to whom I’ve not given a thought in years. So many of them have small children now. I couldn’t imagine having small children at this stage in my life.
Being election day there was a lot of political stuff on Facebook. In the past I’ve been rather vocal and I’ve been told that I’ve been intimidating on things political on social media, so this time I’ve kept (mostly) quiet. Several people were complaining about there being too much of the stuff; I’d say there was too much ill-informed rubbish. With so many issues unaddressed by the masses I still feel the election will be won or lost by the public’s perception of Jeremy Corbyn; I have not seen or heard a single reason for voting Conservative that isn’t based on the premise that they aren’t as bad as Mr Corbyn.
Interestingly "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" has announced there is a lot of merit in the Green Party. I never had her down as a tree-hugger. Perhaps I need to see what they are up to?
I put on some old clothes and set about painting more fence, despite the “help” of my dogs. At one point I had to pull the baby’s head out of the paint pot. I don’t think they got any paint on them, but I wouldn’t swear to it.
Whilst I had the old clothes on I got the lawn mowed, and cut back more of the overgrowth from next door’s jungle before taking my dogs round the road for a short walk. The puppy pulls like a train; you really wouldn’t believe she had a total hysterectomy on Monday. Fudge straggled; in part because of his bad back but mostly because he felt the need to sniff absolutely every single thing we passed.
Once home I had a cuppa and spent a few minutes talking about Wherigos (on-line) to a nice lady. Like most people she’d made the mistake of thinking that the official app and associated stuff made by the parent company of geocaching was fit for purpose. Hopefully I managed to give her a few pointers.
I also had a message from "My Boy TM". Having spent thirty quid buying a new fishing brolly, his mate is now selling the same thing for a tenner…
I settled the dogs, and set off on a little pre-work adventure. Firstly to the polling station where I marched in. It was only when all the pensioners glared at me that I realised I’d been whistling “The Red Flag”.
I then drove over to B and M bargains for cut-price fishing bait before setting off to Maidstone. Petrol followed by chicken McNuggets and fries, and then off to work for a rather busy shift…
I wonder who will win the election…?
9 June 2017 (Friday) - A Day Off
I had something of a restless night mainly because the dogs had a restless night.
Over first brekkie I watched the start of an old episode of “Dad’s Army” but having seen it so many times I knew exactly what was going to happen so I turned it off and set off to collect "My Boy TM".
We were at McDonalds having a sausage and egg McMuffin (and a toffee latte) shortly after 6am and once we’d scoffed we set off towards Tenterden.
In retrospect I have no idea why we went to Tenterden. I should know that the first fruit of my loin isn’t the world’s best geographer. Eventually we ended up not far from Cranbrook having taken the seriously scenic route t get there.
We unloaded all the fishing tackle and lugged it half way round the lake to where we soon set up. Today we tried a different style of fishing; we floated dog biscuits on the surface of the lake and watched for the fish to take them. Before today my biggest carp was six pounds in weight. I soon had an eight pounder, and half an hour later I had a nine pounder. By 10am I had caught one over ten pounds in weight.
By mid-day the wind direction had changed so that we could hardly see our floating dog biscuit baits because of the ripples, so we relocated. We were in a more scenic place to fish, but the overhanging trees did take their toll on floats, hooks and assorted equipment which is now twenty feet up in various branches.
"My Boy TM" then caught the biggest fish of the day…
We soon both lost count of the number of fish we’d had. Probably nowhere near as many as we have had on days at Shirkoak, but far bigger fish. By late afternoon my elbow was incredibly painful. We packed up about an hour earlier than we might have done, but used the time constructively.
Hartley Lands Farm Fishery has recently been taken over by new management, and we thought we’d have a wander round the complex. The lake we fished in was very good; we found four other lakes in various stages of construction. They looked good, but will look far better when finished. It was only a shame that the four proto-lakes were awash with goose shit.
We then came home in a rather smelly car. We are used to coming home smelling of fish, but today’s journey home had a certain je ne sais quoi about it. We eventually found it was all the goose shit we’d trodden in.
Once home I got out of the fishy clothes and had a rather good bit of scoff then uploaded the photos I’d taken while fishing.
Charlotte then arrived. She’s taken over from me as secretary of the astro club, and wanted a formal hand-over even though there wasn’t really anything to hand over. We ended up having a rather good evening putting the world to rights whilst playing with puppy.
And it would seem the election results are in. Something of a disaster for everyone. Far from getting the landslide victory for which the Prime Minister had been hoping we’ve ended up with a hung parliament with no one party having a clear majority.
Word is the Conservatives are going to carry on pretty much as they have been with the Democratic Unionist Party (who?) bailing then out as need arises.
This hardly seems practical…
10 June 2017 (Saturday) - A Party
Another terrible night’s sleep thanks to the restless puppy. Over brekkie I watched the fourth episode of “Jamestown” in which bosoms again heaved. As I watched the heaving so the washing machine did its thing despite "er indoors TM" having somehow punched its dial in (literally).
When the telly finished and the bosoms had heaved their last (for this episode) I hung the washing out after wasting five minutes trying to find what the puppy had done with my garden shoes.
I then sparked up my lap-top. The photos of yesterday’s fishing tip had elicited quite a bit of interest. I had hoped that overnight a new geocache might have popped up on the way to Maidstone, but nothing had, and with no emails of note I set off to work.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were speculating endlessly about the shape of the future government. Now it is clear that the Prime Minister’s gamble has failed the general consensus was that she should resign, but there was no mention of a successor (yet).
It will be Boris Johnson, won’t it?
There was also talk about how the Conservative party could form a minority government. There is precedent; it has been done before. This talk of an alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party (Christian crackpots) isn’t quite the done deal it appeared to be yesterday. Mind you if it does happen then that would be one up the bum for democracy, wouldn’t it? According to Wikipedia the DUP only got just under three hundred thousand votes; about half the votes that the Green Party got, and now it looks like they will be in power.
I got to work where I did my bit on a rather busy day. I eventually managed to make a getaway, and once home I got another fence panel painted.
"er indoors TM" came home from shopping, and we took the dogs for a short walk. As we walked we met Lorraine who was an assistant cub scout leader with me many years ago. It was good to catch up for a bit.
Treacle enjoyed the walk; you wouldn’t believe she’s supposedly still convalescent. Fudge needed carrying for a bit, but he still managed a roll in fox poo in Bowen’s Field. As we walked we met a young lady whose breasts were clearly trying to escape from her unfastened blouse. As a spectator sport I found it rather entertaining.
The Bat arrived, and we went up the road to the British Rail Bowls Club for what tuned out to be a rather awkward evening.
Sarah was having her fiftieth birthday party at the British Rail Bowls Club. I wasn’t going to go as there would be a lot of members of the astro club there. I’ve given up with the club as one of the leading lights (who was once a dear friend) has made his contempt for me very public. I’ve heard how much he detests me from a range of sources (including family members) and I’ve walked away rather than continuing to offend by just existing. I was told this chap had asked if things would be awkward if he attended (you think ?!) and he had decided not to show. If he had shown up I would just have gone home again.
It was good to meet up with people from the club, but there were a couple in attendance with whom I’ve never really got on. Following a rather petty disagreement a few years ago (which most people would have forgotten in five minutes) they’ve not spoken to me since, and last night they made a point of blanking me in front of friends on several occasions. They’ve been doing that at club meetings for years and it is rather embarrassing. Especially as pretty much all of the membership know what is going on and no one is prepared to do anything about it.
A lot of people were asking when I was coming back to the club and saying how it wasn’t the same without me, whilst looking sheepishly at those to whom I was invisible. I must admit I’ve taken the thing to be a popularity contest, and I’ve admitted defeat with good grace.
But “Access All Areas” were playing; as bands go they put on a good show. Usually. However the British Rail Bowls Club has a noise meter openly visible on the wall; when the volume reaches ninety-five decibels for any length of time the electricity to the stage is immediately cut off. This makes things rather difficult for any kind of music (live or recorded) as the meter reads between seventy-five and eighty decibels when people are just in the hall and chatting.
As the band played there was a continual stream of hall staff running out to shush the band. Matt the singer did his best to keep the noise down, but when the audience joined in, the meter hit the one hundred level. The management then pulled the plug because Matt had the audacity to try to make light of it.
I can’t help but wonder why these people offer halls for hire when they don’t want people in there…
11 June 2017 (Sunday) - Samphire Hoe; Fishing
I was woken by a wet nose being thrust up my bum shortly after 6am. The puppy has a unique way of attracting attention.
I had a bit of brekkie whilst the washing machine did its thing. As I scoffed I had a look into cyberspace. Little had changed overnight, so I put on some old clothes and got on with painting fence until "er indoors TM" emerged from her pit.
Usually on a Sunday we'd go for a serious walk. But our usual walking companions were off at a course about kicking people in the throat. Or doing karate. In my world the two are synonymous. Also what with having two convalescent dogs a major walk wouldn't be a good idea. So we thought we'd have a little stroll round Samphire Hoe; after all it is rather pretty there. (Samphire Hoe is a rather pretty place in the summer; rather desolate in the winter. It is an artificial park built just off the White Cliffs near Dover made from the spoil created when they dug the Channel Tunnel)
We picked up "My Boy TM" and Lacey (Cheryl was working) and set off. We made good time despite the road works, and soon met up with Jimbo in the car park.
And then five of us and four small dogs walked to the far end of the Hoe and along the beach for a bit. I thought I'd have to carry Fudge but he did really well even if he did struggle in the shingle. And (would you beleive it) we found three geocaches there as well.
Just as we were leaving the mist was rolling in. Really pretty. It would have been good to have stayed longer but Lacey had a better offer for the afternoon so we had an ice cream, said goodbye to Jimbo, and came home.
Five minutes from home "My Boy TM" suggested an afternoon's fishing. Bearing in mind my plans for the afternoon were cleaning the fish pond filter and more fence painting I jumped at the opportunity. "er indoors TM" didn't complain; she's really good like that.
We had a good afternoon at Shirkoak; no seriously big fish, but probably twenty or thirty (each) weighing about a pound, and a couple (each) closer to four pounds.
We got there shortly after 2pm; we left at 6pm. An excellent way to spend the afternoon. I came home to find that having damaged the washing machine's dial yesterday, "er indoors TM" had totally destroyed the thing this afternoon. So I painted more fence whilst I pondered the matter, and then phoned the fix-it people. They gave me a reference to give to the people who will (hopefully) actually do the fixing. I’ll sort that out tomorrow.
"er indoors TM" boiled up a good bit of diner, and we scoffed it whilst watching yesterday’s episode of “Doctor Who” on the SkyPlus box. It was surprisingly good…
12 June 2017 (Monday) - Washing Machine
I woke a little earlier than I might have done. Over brekkie I watched the fifth episode of “Jamestown”; I’ve been watching it on the catch-up TV thingy on the SkyPlus box. But even so a forty-minute show downloads together with twenty minutes of adverts. I had to fast-forward through three minutes of crap before the show even started.
I’m surprised that TV adverts are still a current “thing” and haven’t disappeared into memory with beta-max and the Sinclair C5. After all who watches TV as it is broadcast anymore? Doesn’t everyone record what they want to watch and fast-forward through the adverts?
With telly watched I sparked up the lap-top. Pretty much nothing had happened worthy of mention on social media overnight, and I had no emails worth mentioning either. So I got some of the details about the washing machine (that "er indoors TM" had broken) and once I’d made a fuss of my dog I set off to work.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were all of a twitter about things political. They were interviewing one of the leading lights of Sinn Fein who was rather concerned that the Conservative party’s recent alliance with the DUP would put the Irish peace process back by years. The Sinn Fein chap was taking the line that if the British government was in cahoots with the DUP then the British government could hardly be neutral with regards to Irish politics. Sinn Fein conveniently glossed over the fact that they want Irish reunification whi;st both the DUP and the British government don’t.
In a welcome break from things political the pundits then wheeled on some old duck (I can’t remember who she was) who was having an ongoing fight with pretty much every university in the land. She was a leading writer of historical fiction, and she said that because history doesn’t record the petty details, she makes them up. The universities don’t like this as the general public are forming a view of history which is totally at odds with what actually might have happened.
This is nothing new; think about Captain Bligh on HMS Bounty. I bet you picture a short evil little git. The reality was rather different (leaving aside the facts he was a lieutenant and the Bounty wasn’t an HMS) but everyone pictures the Hollywood representation.
It took me an age to get to work; the traffic was terrible. Once there I took a few minutes to finalise the arrangements for fixing the washing machine, and then had a rather good day.
Once home we walked the dogs. As we walked some little shit on a pedal bike shouted “Oi Baldy” at me as he passed. For all that I try to make light of it I actually hate, loathe and detest being a slaphead. Had the child been going any slower I would probably have physically yanked him off his bike and given him a slap.
With dogs walked I washed some shirts. Despite the washing machine being all but destroyed "er indoors TM" has figured out a way to get the thing working by ramming a screwdriver into the works. It made some odd sounds as it churned, but I eventually got eight shirts scrubbed and I ironed them whilst watching another episode of “Jamestown”.
I’ve now caught up with catch-up TV. The next episode s on Friday. In the meantime I think we’ll l eave the washing machine alone…
13 June 2017 (Tuesday) - Stuff
I’m not sure who caused the most fuss during the night. The puppy was quite restless, but then again "er indoors TM" was hardly silent in her fighting with the puppy. Eventually both protagonists declared a truce and I got an hour or so asleep.
Over brekkie I watched the fifth episode of “Detectorists” then had a look at the Internet. There was something rather sad on one of the Ashford-related Facebook groups. The off-licence round the corner is closing down. Several people were posting about how they were glad that it was closing down as they didn’t like seeing people sitting round the area drinking in public. I did snigger; are these people stupid? There are two other shops less than a minute’s walk from the off licence which stay open later than the off-licence and sell drinks cheaper than that off-licence ever did.
Interestingly there was an email from the South Ashford Community Forum about the offy closing. It’s going to be turned into a house. There were also emails offering me interviews for jobs in Norfolk, Huddersfield and Dumfries.
I also had a message via geocaching dot com telling me that one of my caches had gone missing (blah. blah… I can’t find it therefore it ain’t there) and two emails saying that other people had found that very same cache on the day that someone else didn’t.
I had a look-see before getting into the car. It was there.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about new laws coming into force which govern how one brings up children. Bringing up children isn’t an easy thing to do. There is a wealth of stuff written about it in books and on the Internet; all seemingly from people who’ve never actually met a child. But what particularly worried me was one bit of the new law which says that if anyone tries to pass the blame for their failings then they will get a stiffer sentence.
Is that fair?
What if there *is* blame to be passed?
This struck a chord. Six years ago I made a serious professional mistake for which I was brought up before the professional regulator. It was truly horrible, but I shall gloss over the specifics. A week after I made my mistake there was another mistake in the workplace for which I was given the blame for what someone else did. In retrospect I think that was deliberate nastiness to stick the knife in, but again I shall gloss over the specifics.
Eventually the matter was reviewed in London where after a two-day trial I was (effectively) given a conditional discharge. But one of the chaps on the panel told me that they had held against me the fact that I didn’t meekly take the blame for the second incident.
I then spent much of the day re-living something I’ve spent years trying to forget.
But an early start made for an early finish. I came home to a beautiful afternoon. I walked the dogs round the block. A ten minute walk took twenty minutes as one of our number felt the need to tiddle every few paces.
I then got more fence painted, and thought some more about my next garden project. I want to re-landscape the area behind the pond to get rid of the splash pool (which just accumulates green slime) and replace it with a little stream. But to support the earthwork I will probably have to build a brick wall.
Where do you get bricks from?
"er indoors TM" came home. She had a dog-ladder to help get up and down from the sofa. I don’t think he quite got the idea; he and the puppy seemed more interested in ripping up the box it came in.
Being Tuesday we went down to Folkestone where we sat in the back garden of the Admiralty and listened to the local chavs having a fight. A passing social worker tried to justify their feral actions to us; I don’t think he realised that we didn’t really care…
14 June 2017 (Wednesday) - More Stuff
Over brekkie I watched the first episode of the third season of “Dark Matter”. The first season was really good, and when the second season aired I was a tad disappointed. For all that the show was good, the plot relied heavily on what had gone before and not remembering what had happened rather detracted from my enjoyment.
Today’s episode was even more marred having not remembered the first season and not understood the second. But it was a good way to wake up slowly.
I then had a little look at Facebook and my piss boiled somewhat. A vague acquaintance was having a grumble about all the ongoing political posts appearing on social media. The gist of his rant was that voting made no difference because all the political parties were all the same. And on reading his rant “all the same” meant “not interesting to him”. I’ve now defriended the twit (I never really knew him that well anyway). He was continually posting half-baked nonsense proving he had no understanding of current affairs. I think he might have been one of those who (seriously) was ranting about the recent British participation in the Eurovision Song Contest as a thinly veiled attempt to repeal the Brexit referendum.
And they let people like this have a vote which is worth the same as that of someone who takes hours researching the issues at hand…
I also saw ex-colleagues posting about the downgrading of the hospital where I used to work. It would seem I was right to have jumped before I was pushed.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were discussing the terrible fire in a high-rise block of flats in London. As a child I can remember seeing a similar block of flats in Hastings and realising that with only one staircase, anyone above any fire was going to burn. Also I can remember wondering why the thing was built far higher than any fire hose could spray water. Surely this isn’t rocket science? And there are flats like this all round the country.
The pundits also interviewed some woman about something or other. I have no idea who she was or what she was talking about. She just mumbled and muttered for ten minutes. What a waste of prime radio time. Don’t the radio people tell interviewees to speak up and enunciate?
I had intended to go to Aldi before work but I made such good time that I was there long before opening time. I went to Sainsbury’s in Aylesford instead. When I came to put my purchases through the self-service till some interfering olf busybody (in Sainsbury’s uniform) snatched my shopping and ran it through the till for me in a rather patronising manner. I considered telling her to knack off. I considered telling her that not everyone is as thick as she clearly was. But I didn’t. I just smiled sweetly.
I got to work early and did my bit. Once home I ran the dogs round the road. I say “ran”; it was a rather slow dawdle. "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good lasagne and we scoffed it whilst watching telly…
We do that.
15 June 2017 (Thursday) - Cheeky FTF
For once I slept like a log, and as I scoffed my brekkie my dog came out of his basket to see me. He’s not done that for a while. I gave him a good combing as I watched the second episode of “Dark Matter”. Fast-forwarding through the adverts cut sixty-four minutes of recording down to forty minutes. However it was a shame that the advert breaks hadn’t been planned by the broadcaster. The show had obviously been made with natural breaks where an advert break might be slotted in. But the sci-fi channel people had ignored that and had just randomly stuck adverts in anywhere, breaking the show seemingly at random.
With “Dark Matter” over I watched a little bit of “Total Fishing” (with Matt Hayes) then sparked up the lap-top. Little had happened overnight on Facebook, and I had no emails of note.
With a little time on my hands I thought I’d have a little geo-adventure on my way to work. Last night a geocache had gone live near Langley and seeing no one had logged a find overnight I thought I’d go for a First to Find.
I got the First to Find but…
Geocaching *is* fun but it sounds lame. And (to be blunt) caches like the one I found this morning do little to improve the hobby’s standing. I had a feeling it was going to be at the poorer end of the spectrum when I read the description. The on-line description of “colins tracable hotel” only had thirteen words written by the child who’d hidden it. Three of them were spelt wrongly.
The thing wasn’t hidden at all; I saw it openly at the side of the footpath from twenty yards away.
Billed as being a trackable hotel (*not* tracables”!) there weren’t any.
The cache had been put out by someone who clearly had very little experience of hiding and seeking sandwich boxes, and it came as no surprise to see from their profile that they had a gra
nd total of zero geo-finds.
I can’t help but feel that the reviewers should do more to improve the quality of the hides. In this case they might have suggested the chap hiding the cache ran his words through a spell-checker, or at the very least re-read what he had written. (And to stem the critics who are itching to shout “dyslexia”, the dyslexic C.O.s of my acquaintance make the effort to check what they’ve written and to get someone to check it for them).
And they might have suggested that the C.O. find some caches first so’s he’d have an idea of what the hobby was about.
I see that during the day the cache has been re-named “colins stuff box” and that some trackables have been ordered…
I don’t want to discourage the kid, but he needs someone to give him some pointers.
As I then drove on to work the pundits on the radio were discussing Tim Farron. Until yesterday he was leader of the Liberal Democrats but he’s been having trouble reconciling his religion with today’s society. I must admit I think the chap is right to stand by his principles. All these gay Christians boil my piss. Have they ever read the Bible? It says quite clearly that being gay is wrong. So are these gay Christians picking and choosing which aspects of Christianity suit them and ignoring the rest?
For myself I’m all for gay rights. But (let’s be clear here) the Bible isn’t. And fair play to Tim Farron for sticking to what he believes in (even if it is patently nonsense).
I got some petrol, and made my way to work. I had a somewhat dull day today, and came home to find "er indoors TM" already home. We walked the dogs round the park. This was the furthest Fudge has walked since he hurt his back in the river three weeks ago.
We had a rather good bit of dinner, and then I spent a little while with needle and thread. I have an old pair of trousers I wear when painting the garden fence but the gusset has had it. Not much is kept concealed when I sit down to paint. I don’t want to scare the nice lady next door...
I shall test my needlework in the morning.
16 June 2017 (Friday) - A Pint or Two
Another relatively good night’s sleep. I wonder if this is connected with my sleeping *on* the bad as opposed to *in* it?
I woke a couple of hours later than usual, and over brekkie watched an episode of “Dad’s Army” in which Captain Mainwaring was looking at the womenfolk’s bloomers. Nice work if you can get it…
Mind you despite something of a lie-in, I was out in the garden and painting fence shortly after 7am. I got one panel done whilst "er indoors TM" farted around in the shower, then I used the bath to clean out the fish pond’s filter. The pond water is rather green; I need to replace the ultra-violet bulb. And with the filter cleaned (and me smelling of fish poo) I got another two fence panels painted. I would have done more had I not had to continually pull dogs heads out of the paint pot, and pull dogs off of wet paint. I did have plans to mow the lawn and cut back the crap hanging over the fence on not-so-nice-next-door’s side but time was pushing on. So I stopped and looked at the garden and reviewed the situation.
I have plans for the garden… I want to take up all the shingle behind the pond and lift the weed-resistant membranes. With that done I can re-landscape with a view to replacing a fence panel (much of which is currently buried) and building up a mound behind the pond on which I can have a stream from the filter feeding the pond.
I want to lower the fence at the end of the garden and put trellises up.
I want to look at the possibility of building a gazebo to go over the pond to reduce the green algae.
I want to get some planters to go at the house end of the garden to make a feature behind a tired water feature.
However the most difficult part is going to be getting not-so-nice-next-door to repair their broken fence.
I had a quick shower, and on the stroke of mid-day the doorbell rang. The washing machine fix-it people said the chap would be along between mid-day and 2pm. He was prompt. The dogs set about “helping” him, and I left him to work his magic. He was done in half an hour, and left us with some stuff to de-gunk the works.
Jimbo arrived, and we took the train to Wye for a beer or two. The train got us there us there a few minutes and we walked up to the Barber’s Arms. Billed as one of the best micro-pubs in Kent the place is rarely open, and again we found it closed. So we carried on to the Flying Horse where we sat in the garden and had a pint of Whitstable Bay whilst some ill-behaved brats screamed in the background for no reason than that they could.
From here we walked down to the Kings Head and sat in a rather uninspiring concrete courtyard where the same round cost two pounds more. Mind you there was a rather raucous piss-up going on which was being led by a vicar. I suppose they kept their prices up to keep the riff-raff out.
We took a little stroll downhill to the Tickled Trout and sat by the river. The beer garden here was full of children, but they were all playing nicely and having fun. Not one felt the need to scream continually, which was a bonus. One child was a little concerned about a big fish she’s seen in the river. She told me it probably wasn’t a shark, but she wasn’t sure.
Pausing only briefly to admire the hat and tie worn by the normal people we had a few pints of Trout Pout and Slap & Tickled and we had a rather nice cheese board in lieu of a packet of crisps.
As I came back from the loo I had something of a (literally) sobering episode. Six years ago I had a nasty little episode at work in which I really did find out who my friends were. One chap with whom I had worked for over twenty-five years completely turned his back on me at the time. When I asked him for help he flatly refused to do anything, and told senior management that he wouldn’t help me. I met this chap in the Tickled Trout today; he grabbed my hand and pumped it like I was his best friend.
We had a few more pints then made our way to the railway station where we woke up a nice lady before coming home.
I got a kebab to share with the dogs, and we all scoffed it whilst watching “Little Shop of Horrors”. I had planned to do the ironing. It will keep…
17 June 2017 (Saturday) - Geo-Maintenance
I didn’t sleep that well; it was a hot night. I woke shortly after 6am to see my little dog standing on the bed looking over the edge. He clearly wanted to get down. I took him to the garden where he did his thing, and I made myself a spot of brekkie and had a look into the Internet. Yesterday’s adventures had attracted a lot of attention on Facebook; they often do.
I also saw I’d got the offer of a boat trip. There is a virtual geocache in the Solent on an island once used by the military and is now a wildlife reserve. There is talk of a boat trip out there in September. If tides and work shifts allow I would be up for it.
With little else happening I put some old clothes and went to paint more fence. I started at 6.50am (which was perhaps a tad keen) and within five minutes had burst the gusset of my trousers (which I only mended the other day). I managed to paint three fence panels, a small shed and a little box thingy. But by 9.30am I was getting a tad uncomfortable. Getting up and down to get to the panels hurts.
We got ourselves together and set off to Bethersden. A geocache of mine had gone missing. Rather than anyone doing the decent thing and replacing it, people had just been whinging. Hiding geocaches is odd; I have thirty-eight in that series. The ones relatively near roads seem to be bomb-proof; it is the ones that are half a mile from the lanes that have issues. But a stroll across the fields and woods made for a good walk for the dogs. They even got to paddle in a small stream too.
Fudge’s back didn’t seem to bother him. He straggled; he doesn’t walk very fast. But he gets there in his own time. We walked out to the woods where there was no sign of the cache, replaced it, and came back to the car.
We then replaced a couple of "er indoors TM"’s missing caches too. However her problem ones were all roadside ones.
We came home, had a Belgian bun for lunch, then I took myself off to bed for the afternoon. I got a couple of hours sleep, but it was too hot to stay in (on) bed for long. I got two more fence panels painted before "er indoors TM" came home. She’d been to the optician and had had a haircut.
I’m off to the night shift now. Perhaps it might be cooler tonight.
18 June 2017 (Sunday) - Hoath
During a break on my night shift I read something on the Internet which amazed me. A couple in Australia claim they haven’t eaten for years. Instead they get their energy directly form the universe (!)
I did a little research. People actually believe this rubbish. People who advocate it are called “Breatharians” and despite every leading proponent of the fad having been exposed as frauds, stupid people still lap it up.
As I drove home I lost count of the number of cars which had pulled up on the motorway’s hard shoulder. Why were so many people stopping at 8am on a Sunday morning.
I got home and was promptly mobbed by my dogs. I had my ablutions, and over brekkie I prepped “Hannah” for the day’s adventure. I then looked at my dogs…
The forecast was for a hot day. Really they should have stayed indoors... But they knew we were going out; clearly they were expecting a walk. So we loaded up with lots of water and set off with the idea that if it all got too much we’d abandon and carry them back to the car.
In the week Karl had suggested a short walk around Hoath. Several geocaches had appeared round there over the last few weeks. A short walk would be ideal for today bearing in mind I’d been up all night and it was baking hot.
We met up, and once we were all smothered in sun cream we set off on a little walk.
We knew it was going to be hot; possibly too hot for the dogs? I don’t know but I do know they would have sulked if we hadn’t taken them. We had this idea to periodically drape the dogs in wet towels to cool them down. We draped them; I don’t know if it helped or not.
As we walked we took a little diversion into a wood for a cache which was only a hundred yards out of our way. As we hunted for it a voice called out “bet you’re looking for the same thing as me”. It was a fellow geocacher; someone I’d not met before. She’s been caching for three years longer than me, but has found eight thousand two hundred caches less. (There are those who say I am obsessed with hunting Tupperware). It was good to chat with a fellow cacher, and after a few minutes we went our separate ways.
As we came to the end of our walk we paused. The footpath went across a small runway, and we watched a light aircraft taking off.
Our last geo-find had us puzzled; we were all sure it was on private land. But with the last find found we made our way to the local pub for lunch.
A combination of glorious weather and Father’s Day meant the place was heaving, Even all of the tables in the garden had been booked. We drove up the road to another pub where one of the locals took offence that we didn’t want to sit in the smoking shelter (as that was the only available table).
Eventually we made our way to The Crown in Sarre. Unfortunately we’d arrived too late for dinner, but on reflection that wasn’t quite the disaster it seemed. It was so hot I wasn’t hungry. Certainly for myself three pints of ale and a bag of crisps was an elegant sufficiency.
You really can’t beat a pint of beer with friends after a rather good walk. We’d only walked three miles today. Nothing really compared to what we often walk, but the heat and the night shift had taken their toll on me.
I slept most of the way home.
I took a few photos whilst we walked. Once home I posted them on-line. If nothing else my mum likes to see what I’ve been up to. I looked at the garden fence and decided against painting any of it today. Beer, heat and lack of sleep made me realise the fence will still be there tomorrow. Instead I slobbed about indoors until "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner. She does that you know. And with her off bowling I spent the evening ironing. A dull chore but one which needed doing…
19 June 2017 (Monday) - Rostered Day Off
I slept really well despite the heat; post night shift does that. Mind you when it came to heat my piss boiled over brekkie. As I had my morning drag through Facebook I lost count of the amount of people spreading bitterness over yesterday’s Father’s Day. Just because they had a relationship break-up doesn’t make all men evil. I can hardly claim to have been (be) the best father in the world, but I’ve had a fair crack at it, and I do find all this man-hating vitriol rather offensive. Do people really not see that by saying “my ex is a git” they will garner sympathy, but declaring “all men are bastards” is just offensive?
I considered doing a little fence-painting after brekkie, but I decided against it. I didn’t have enough time before I was due at the dentist.
I got to the dentist with time to spare; after all it is only just down the road. I went straight in to the chair; the chap rummaged about in my cake hole and after a few minutes declared all was well. That was me done for another six months.
I drove round to collect "My Boy TM" and together we drove out to Sheerness to Whelan’s. Whelan’s sell the most amazing garden ornaments. Today we got all sorts of bits and bobs as well as the three garden planters I wanted. Over the years "er indoors TM" has planted all sorts of triffids in various plastic pots. They always die and the pots end up full of weeds.
We have nice planters now, She can plant nice bedding plants and look after them.
We were going to come home via Hastings and seeing my mum, but that was probably too much of a detour, so we went to the McDonalds in Bobbing instead. Once she’d taken our money the aggressive harridan in charge of the place announced that there was going to be a minute’s silence at 11am. We got our food, sat down, and she loudly announced the minute’s silence was starting. She then glared at me as we scoffed our dinner. Had we known they’d wanted us to have had cold food we wouldn’t have had dinner there. By the same token if we’d wanted to take part in a minute’s silence we wouldn’t have had an early lunch.
As it was (sort of) on the way home we stopped off at Bybrook Barn garden centre to look at the trees which go in pots. I’m still undecided about getting another potted tree. "My Boy TM" thinks I should get a palm tree. I don’t dislike the things, but I can’t say I really want one.
We came home and unloaded the planters. They were (and still are) heavy and awkward.
Although I’d got the planters today, in theory I wasn’t going to be putting them into action for a few weeks. In theory, today I wanted to get a new fence panel, dig out the old one and replace it, then do some landscaping.
In practice, the thermometer in my car said it was thirty-four degrees hot. Heavy work could wait. So I did the planters this afternoon. Firstly I had to prepare the area where they were going. That involved painting two fence panels. That would have taken an hour and a half had my dogs not been quite so helpful. (I use the word “helpful” in its canine sense here). As I painted I had the hose pipe topping up the fish pond; the water level was a few inches down.
With panels painted and hose pipe run out I then pressure-washed the planters. They had gotten surprisingly grubby in Whelan’s yard.
I then heaved the planters into place, put away the hose and washer and loaded an amazing amount of rubbish onto my car for a tip run tomorrow.
"er indoors TM" came home; what I had intended to spend a couple of hours doing had taken closer to six hours. She then took the dogs for a walk whilst I had a shower and a collapse.
I had intended to go over to the Windmill this evening; a friend had taken over the running of the place today. But I was just hurting too much to do anything other than sit in front of the telly.
I quite like sitting in front of the telly…
20 June 2017 (Tuesday) - Before the Late Shift
I slept well despite the heat. Over brekkie I saw that this blog had got a comment. Every entry has the option to leave a comment; sometimes people do so. The entry from 8 September 2010 had a comment today. On 8 September 2010 we had a new boiler fitted. Someone commented about that entry by telling me all about SEO Sparks of 385 Redding Rd #207, Lexington, KY. Apparently they drive targeted marketing to websites. Or just randomly spam blogs from eight years ago, depending on your perspective.
I took the dogs for an early walk; the idea being to get done before it got too hot. As we walked up the road we met a small child who said hello to “blue dog” and “pink dog”. This boy told me that my dogs are named after the colours of their collars and leads. That’s nice for them.
As we walked through Bowens Field we met a mad old woman who started screaming because my dogs were off of their leads, and she snatched her (leaded) dog up presumably before my slavering wolf pack ate her precious petal. As she ranted about how dogs should all be on leads I smiled sweetly, and made the observation that some people shouldn’t have dogs.
We walked slowly. Fudge was straggling. Just at the point where I thought I should pick him up he saw some other dogs of our acquaintance (a hundred yards behind us) and he set off to bother them like a bullet from a gun. He *can* put on a turn of speed when it suits him.
We came home; I put on old painting clothes and got another fence panel painted. I think I’ve got twelve more to do, and one to dig out and replace and then paint.
As I painted Treacle dug two separate holes in the lawn. Admittedly Fudge was a couple of years old when he came to stay (permanently) with us, and Treacle is only a baby. But Fudge *never* dug holes in the garden.
With the dogs settled I drove round to the tip. I seem to spend too much time there; I seem to feel somewhat possessive of the place. Today there were so many normal people about; all swarming. Not one was looking where they were going, either when carrying rubbish about or when driving in and out.
From the tip I went up to Aylesford pond shop for a new ultra-violet light for the pond filter. I also got some jollop to clear the green algae. But (as the man said) the sunlight is the cause of the algae. I have a plan to build a protective pergola over the pond.
Are any of my loyal readers any good at carpentry?
I was hungry so I went to the Aylesford McDonalds. The idiots in front of me had to be seen to be believed. The bloke had to repeat everything the assistant said to his girlfriend. they he had to poke her to get her attention and repeat himself again. Every sentence from behind the till was repeated, then (after a poke) repeated again. If only she'd put her phone down and ordered the food herself we could all have been out so much quicker.
It was ironic that once their order was complete she then had a major hissy fit because the boyfriend had paid and she had wanted to use her new credit card. I considered making the observation that it is amazing what you miss if you don't stay alert, but I thought better of it.
I got to work a few minutes early. It was as well that I did; the car park was full. I eventually found a space, and as I walked through he car park to work I was amazed at just how many people were sitting in their cars with the engines running. Presumably to get the benefits of their cars' air conditioning?
Once at work I did my thing (as I do). Having a late start meant that I could get so much done before work, but a late start does make for a late finish…
21 June 2017 (Wednesday) - Before the Night Shift
Despite sleeping well I did have several vivid dreams last night. Waking at 6am to find my car wasn’t sinking in a swamp came as something of a relief. I got up and over brekkie watched an episode of “Jamestown” in which bosoms heaved and antimony was mistaken for silver. I’m reliably informed that this is a common mistake in certain circles.
When telly was over I went straight out to the garden and put the new ultra-violet lamp into the fish pond filter and chucked in the stuff to sort out the algae. I got a fence panel nearly painted when "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" texted to say she was on the way round. I got cleaned up and we took the dogs to the river. The idea was to get the dog walk done before the day got too hot, but despite being earlier than usual it was still hot.
The dogs enjoyed playing in the river, but Sid did struggle with the heat.
Pogo and Treacle played like mad things; I heard Fudge yelp as though in pain a couple of times and I assumed the puppies had crashed into him. But I was rather suspicious when he yelped when I could see the puppies were twenty yards away in the other direction. So I watched my dog intently and a few minutes later I caught "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" kicking him. Little brat!
His mother unleashed some serious whoop-ass on him; he won’t do that again.
There was a minor catastrophe when I got home; there was water all over the floor. I cleared up the mess and spent a few minutes trying to find where it had come from. I suspect the dogs’ water bowl got knocked as the washing machine seemed fine.
I got another fence panel painted before it got too hot to continue, so at that point I sparked up my lap-top and had a look-see at the Internet.
I’ve had to make a tweak to the settings of this blog. If anyone wants to make a comment on my rantings they will have to log in via their Google account to do so and use the verification thingy; I had half a dozen spam comments overnight and I don’t want to encourage them.
Mind you on a more positive note I got asked if I would share my Wherigo wizardry with a chap in Australia. I was only too happy to do so. I wonder what the Aussies will make of playing Snakes and Ladders?
With the hottest part of the day past I went off to bed for a couple of hours. I had hoped to have slept longer but it was too hot. Rather than laying awake sweltering I went out to the garden and pootled. I got another fence panel painted and cut back the jungle pouring over the fence from not-so-nice-next-door.
"er indoors TM" came home with some bedding plants for the new planters. In retrospect buying them at lunch time and leaving them cooking in her car for the afternoon might not have been the best way to have transported them, but they are now in the planters. I wonder if they will survive?
I’ll have a look in the morning after the night shift…
22 June 2017 (Thursday) – Three
Yesterday was the longest day of the year; consequently last night was the shortest night. The night shift certainly didn’t seem that way. Following a particularly quiet night shift last Saturday I had to do a serious amount of work last night.
As I drove home the pundits on the radio were talking politics; the proposed alliance between the Conservative party and the DUP is looking rather iffy. The DUP are demanding vast sums of money for Northern Ireland, and who can blame them?
I got home just as "My Boy TM" arrived. He was dropping off our house guest; little Rolo is staying with us for a week or so whilst he goes off on holiday. Treacle got incredibly over-excited about Rolo, but eventually she calmed down.
I had this plan to got to sleep right away before the day got too hot; I got a couple of hours sleep before the thunderstorm woke me at mid-day. Over a very late brekkie I had a look-see at the Internet.
Facebook was entertaining; there are some people on there that I have known for years and who I see on a regular basis. There are others I rarely see, and social media is a good way to keep in touch. And there are those who put every single sordid detail of their soap-opera lives up for all to see. I have a few people like that on my friends list and it makes for such entertaining reading. Some people really do believe that Eastenders and Coronation Street and “reality TV” are real and they too try to lead their lives in such a way that even going to the toilet is cause for drama.
One such chap has been kicking off for the last day or so; having been jilted by a girlfriend he has publicly fallen out with the girlfriend’s family, posted pictures of his progress through a bottle of whisky, posted rather sad attention-seeking videos, and was at mid-day posting remorseful stuff about how his boss had sent the social workers and the police round to his flat.
This evening he posted an apology for his carrying-on. He shouldn’t apologise – I love it. Is that mean of me?
I then turned the telly on and watched a drama based on the exploits of Sir Ernest Shackleton; the Antarctic scenery made an interesting contrast to the ongoing heatwave. But the storm soon passed, and I realised that the fence wasn’t going to paint itself. Two hours (or so) saw two more fence panels painted, and it was time to drive out and collect "er indoors TM" and take her to the garage where her car had been in for a service.
We walked all three dogs round the park. Rolo seems to be constantly harassed by Treacle. He goes out of his way to pick fights with massive dogs, but lets Treacle terrorise him.
I think I’ll have an early night – I’m worn out.
23 June 2017 (Friday) - Five Months On...
I slept like a log last night. I came down to find little Rolo waiting at the bottom of the stairs. He could have come up to spend the night upstairs if he’d wanted to, but I suspect he wouldn’t have dared. When I put on the telly to watch “Detectorists” over brekkie he settled down on the sofa and went to sleep.
Fudge didn’t stir from his basket at all. And the puppy remained asleep upstairs.
I then had a look into the Internet before going off to work. This morning social media was dull; no one was craving attention for a change. And with no emails that didn’t go straight to the bin I set off for work early in an attempt to avoid the traffic queues.
Whilst I did avoid the traffic queues I did encounter an idiot driving along Brookfield Road. Having dangerously overtaken me he then found himself behind me after the small stretch of dual carriageway leading up to Matalan. However another dangerous overtake put him in front until the dual carriageway by Waitrose where I found myself in front of him. Mind you he got back in front of me by going through the red light at the cows roundabout.
I wonder if his employer (WCB utilities) know how badly he drives. I’ve often mentioned that driving like a half-wit is best done in unmarked vehicles.
As I dove to work there was a lot of talk about the Chagos Islands. Controlled by the UK, Mauritius has a legal claim to them, and a vote in the United Nations has gone badly for the UK. The pundits on the radio were wheeling out all sorts of Little Englanders who were acting surprised that Britain no longer rules the globe.
I got to work where I had a good day. Usually I gloss over my working day. In a previous life I once posted a selfie at 6am, and got a formal disciplinary notice for having done so. (Apparently a 6am selfie brought my employer into disrepute!) and consequently I’ve steered clear from mentioning anything work-related here.
But today marked my fifth complete month at my new place of work. Today was much like any other day in the new job, and utterly unlike the last five years.
I went in. I was given a job to do, and was trusted to get on with it unsupervised. I *wasn’t* watched like a hawk by a boss who was openly looking to find fault. *No one* went through every little thing I did trying to spot anything I might have done differently to how they might have done it.
I like working where I am now. I *don’t* feel sick with worry every morning fretting about what pettiness I’m going to be lambasted about. And I very much doubt that were I refused promotion I would not immediately be asked to do the job for which I was turned down because the person they appointed (instead of me) was not capable of doing that job.
Not that I’m in any way bitter. (Is my smiley face still on?)
Interestingly I had an email today from an ex-colleague. I’m not the only person to have left where I used to work. Strange, that(!)
I came home, and after a quick tea "er indoors TM" shoved off out (as she does). I had thought about an evening’s fishing, or staging a poker night. But instead I got out the Ronseal and set about more fence. I’ve now only got five and a bit panels left to paint, but they are the more inaccessible ones.
With those done I’ll really need to paint the shed as it looks awful compared to the fences. And then landscaping. I’ve had a sudden brainwave that my monkey-puzzle tree needs a bigger pot; if I get a huge pot the excess soil from landscaping could fill it.
Where can I get a flower pot that is two to three feet wide and doesn’t cost a fortune?
24 June 2017 (Saturday) - Didn't Rain Too Much
I slept well until "er indoors TM" started fighting with the puppy in the small hours.
Over brekkie I watched this week’s episode of “Dark Matter”. I quite like the show; if only I could remember the plot’s twists and turns.
As I was up early I thought about putting on more telly but decided against it. Instead I started into social media. Last night I put on the first episode of the re-booted “Crystal Maze”. I loved the show when it first came out starring Richard O’Brien. For me it got better with Ed Tudor-Pole. I liked last year’s charity edition with Stephen Merchant. But last night’s episode…
I’m afraid the new presenter has no screen presence for me. Richard Ayoade failed to take command of the show, and he was completely overshadowed by one of the contestants (Louie Spence) who upstaged him at every turn. I could have put up with Richard Ayoade’s dismal performance, but it was Louie Spence’s over-the-top camp act that made me turn off half way through.
It would seem that despite the rave reviews of the TV critics, the people on my Facebook list didn’t think highly of the show either.
I set off to work; as I drove the pundits in the radio were interviewing some rather disgruntled fishermen from Aberdeen. They’d all voted in favour of Brexit so’s that the foreign fishermen would no longer have access to what they saw as their fishing grounds. They did so with heavy hearts as they could see all sorts of advantages to remaining in the EU, but for them exclusive fishing rights was a deal-breaker.
The pundits then wheeled on some foreign fishermen who were adamant that they were going to carry on fishing in Aberdeen’s waters anyway. As they said, who is going to stop them?
They then cut back to the Aberdeen fishermen who were asking what was the point of going through with Brexit if they weren’t going to get what had been promised.
A very good question; yet more people having been misled.
I got to work, did my bit, and came home through the rain. We had planned on a little geo-walk this afternoon but the weather was against it. After the walk was a geo-meet in a non-dog-friendly pub and sitting outside with the dogs whilst everyone sheltered indoors wasn’t a good idea. So we took the dogs round the park (in the drizzle) to tire them.
Once home we settled the dogs, and drove through black skies to the meet (pausing only briefly for a Wherigo on the way).
The weather was odd; black skies and rain in Maidstone and Ashford; dry at Paddock Wood. But it was as well we’d not walked with the dogs and gone straight to the pub; they stopped serving food in the pub garden at 5pm. We met up with all sorts of friends in the pub, and then had a rather good dinner with Karl and Tracey and Wayne and Lynne. Sitting at table 73, no one else could remember the Sandwich Quiz.
I slept all the way home…
25 June 2017 (Sunday) - Rather Busy
The puppy woke with one loud woof at 6am. I wonder what had bothered her. I dozed fitfully for a while, and finally gave up trying to get back to sleep just after half past seven. Over brekkie I stared into cyber-space with a bit of a sulk. I’d had a *really* good evening yesterday, but it seemed that ninety per cent of the universe that hadn’t been in the pub with me had been to the Electric Light Orchestra concert in Wembley. Would I have wanted to go? At two hundred quid a ticket... probably not.
I expect the DVD will be released soon…
I drove down to Folkestone; Steve and Trudy were in the throes of moving. My elbow really stops me doing much in the way of heavy work these days, but I got a couple of tip runs done. I can take stuff to the tip. I’m not sure what I was expecting to do, but I had been expecting to have done more. I was on my way home by 11am.
I came home to find "er indoors TM" washing the carpets. I took a few minutes to fix the front fence. Clouting it with a hammer worked wonders. I then got another fence panel painted before lunch.
After a bit of cheese on toast we went on a little shopping mission. First of all to B&M bargains where I got more fence paint at half the price that Tesco sells it for. I also got some weed resistant membrane, and I looked at the price of planks of decking. I want a humungous flower pot but the ones I have in mind cost hundreds of pounds. If I saw up some lengths of decking I can make a wooden planter for about fifty quid. That might be a way forward.
We then drove round to Bybrook Barn garden centre where I got a couple of large-ish plastic flower pots. If nothing else they will act as soil storage whilst I’m landscaping over the next week or so.
And we stopped off at B&Q on the way home too,
Once home we took the dogs round the park where "er indoors TM" met OrangeHead and her Chunky Little Friend. I say “met”; Chunky Little Friend was civil enough but OrangeHead looked down her nose at us as she usually does.
I was amazed that "er indoors TM" had never met the Queen Bee of the Viccie Park dog walking clique before.
With walk done I got my paint brush out and set about the fence. As far as painting it, the end is in sight. Not counting the panel I want to replace I have three and a bit panels left to do. But they are big ones, and inaccessible too. With those painted I really need to paint the shed, then look to re-landscape the end of the garden with a view to digging a fence panel out. With that panel dug out I need to replace it. Then I’ve got to make good all the digging and do something with the displaced soil.
And I want to build a pergola over the pond too. Never a dull moment.
Over dinner we watched yesterday’s episode of Doctor Who. It was rather good. And with "er indoors TM" off bowling I watched the last episode of “Jamestown”. The story has been left wide open for a second season.
I then spent an hour or so working on my work-related blog. I really should keep that up to date more than I do…
We didn’t go for our usual big Sunday walk today. I quite missed it…
26 June 2017 (Monday) - Sore Bits
For all that I slept well I woke with quite a bit of pain in my dodgy elbow. I lay in bed hurting for a bit, but soon gave up sulking and came downstairs. I had a little look-see on Facebook and saw I’d upset someone last night. Yesterday evening I read a post about “the 2017 British & Irish National Geocaching Awards”. Personally I’m against this sort of thing. You could make a case for local awards because it would be reasonable to expect people to have seen everything locally that was to be judged. But how can anyone realistically vote on stuff spread all over the country. I doubt anyone would have first-hand experience of that about which they are being asked to vote. It is not fair for me to try to form a considered judgement on 30+ people, things and places when I only have any first-hand experience of only two of them (I counted).
And singling out half a dozen people’s efforts automatically dismisses everyone else’s efforts. Last year I must have organised thirty (or more) caching events, and over the last few years I’ve created over twenty Wherigos (and made some for other people). I bet this committee has never even heard of me.
I said as much yesterday when I was asked to vote on things about which I have no experience whatsoever, and this morning. I think I hit a nerve…
Mind you as the day wore on I had several messages telling me that I was right to have taken a stand against these awards. I didn’t realise that “the 2017 British & Irish National Geocaching Awards” have been a bone of contention for some time. Among the messages sent to me were the following questions:
Who are the committee who drew up the short list, let alone the categories?
What were the criteria for shortlisting?
Are all regions represented on their committee?
Who selected them?
Can they be called representative when only 800 out of 160,000 UK cachers have voted?
I asked; basically it seems to be the pet project of three self-appointed people. I suppose I should wish them luck; they are trying to do something constructive. I decided not to get more involved than I was already. Life is already one big fight.
I also sent out a message to several people about this Friday’s proposed geo-mission to London. Several people had said to me that they were going but never replied to the invite. Others said they weren’t going but had said “yes” to the invite. Most had said nothing… I shall be going to London anyway (I expect) but it would be nice to know if I should be waiting for anyone.
I got the strimmer out and then the lawnmower, and sorted out the lawn. Our lawn is in a terrible state; I blame the puppy. As well as holes where she digs there are bald spots which (I think) is where she tiddles; I can remember reading somewhere that there is something in girl dog wee that kills grass.
I then spent ten minutes cutting back not-so-nice-next-door’s jungle and took Fudge to the vet’s.
The vet’s surgery has had a make-over. There are now two distinct waiting areas; one for dogs and one for animals that are scared of dogs. A good idea; there has always been an aura of incipient fight about the vet’s waiting area in the past.
We soon got in to see the vet. Fudge has a habit of dragging himself along the floor and he’s made the area around his “thingy” rather sore. The vet shaved the fur around the area. The sore bit was far more extensive than I thought. He cleaned it up and put some anti-inflammatory on it. We’ve now got to wash the area every morning and apply cream twice a day.
I then took all three dogs for a walk. We went to the co-op field where we met OrangeHead. She was on her own, and was as nice as pie with us. I must admit I found three dogs hard work.
Once home I cleaned up the back yard somewhat. I bagged up loads of rubbish then had a go at the fence. The panel I painted had been painted a light yellow before. It didn’t paint up as well as it might have done so I gave it a second coat. It looked better for that. I might go back and do some of the other panels.
As I painted my idiot hound carried on dragging himself around the grass on his stomach. I can see some enforced cage rest being necessary to heal his sore bits.
I had some lunch, and went to bed for the afternoon. I got three hours sleep with my puppy asleep on top of me. I got more fence painted, and "er indoors TM" boiled up some tea.
I’m off to the night shift now… probably via McDonalds. I hope it’s not as busy as last time…
27 June 2017 (Tuesday) - After the Night Shift
The works car park empties onto a short stretch of dual carriageway leading to some traffic lights. I had been sitting on that stretch of dual carriageway for ages this morning going nowhere when a bus driver walked over to the police car which was in the queue in front of me. Being a naturally nosey person, I turned the radio off and wound down the window to see if I could hear what was being said. (Tell me you wouldn’t have done the same!) Apparently the traffic lights just ahead of us were broken. Every direction had the traffic light stuck on red, and the junction was in a state of mayhem with everyone taking pot luck on going through the red lights.
If nothing else that explained why we were moving so slowly.
We eventually got to the traffic lights and got through. And the police car kept going. I would have thought that this was somewhere that the police should have got involved and taken charge. Obviously these Boys in Blue thought differently.
I came home to dog mayhem. All three were running riot. I suppose it was a good sign that Fudge wasn’t sulking. I eventually managed to get him to roll over, and with the help of "er indoors TM" I washed and cleaned his tummy which was looking rather red.
"er indoors TM" set off to work; I set off to B&Q where I met Sam. As I’ve mentioned I needed a new fence panel. A fence panel costs nineteen quid. B&Q want twenty-five quid to deliver the thing. It took us ten minutes to carry it home. "Daddy’s Little Angel TM", Sid and Pogo met us outside B&Q, having just delivered "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" to nursery school.
My arm was rather numb by the time we’d carried the fence panel home, so "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" made a cuppa and I explained my plans for the garden before they went off on their way and I went to bed for a couple of hours.
I woke, and had some strawberry conserve on my toast for brekkie. I got the strawberry conserve from Aldi last night before work. It is basically jam for people who like paying twice the price. I’ve often wondered what strawberry conserve is; now I know.
I put on some old clothes and had a look in the garden. One thing rather led to another. Having planned to do the landscaping work on Thursday I thought I might save a little time by raking back the shingle in readiness. That only took a few minutes so I thought I might lift the membranes too. And then I thought I might shift some of the soil. And then I thought I might as well see if I couldn’t dig out that old fence post that was supposed to be Thursday’s project.
As I started digging I found an old met-post sunk in the ground. Regular readers might recall that I put this met-post into place on 8 October 2006. The post was still perfectly functional, and it took me about two hours to get out. But I got it out. Eventually.
I then turned my attention to the post I actually wanted to remove. I spent about an hour before giving up. There is a problem getting this post out in that once I’d dug sown some eighteen inches I saw some obstacles in the way of removing the post. On one side is a tree root about as thick as my arm. Of the other is the concrete pillar holding in the fence post that I don’t want to damage.
I gave up. Sam’s going to fight with it tomorrow. If he draws a blank I shall take a hacksaw to it, and if that fails Gordon has an angle-grinder.
Whilst I was in a working mood (don’t happen often) I thought I’d paint the fence panel we got this morning. If all goes to plan I shall be putting that into place later this week. I got it half done when the rain started.
With "er indoors TM" off out this evening I had been left to my own devices. I fed the dogs, then foraged for my dinner in the general direction of KFC. As I scoffed my KFC I watched the film “Platoon”. An odd film; I had to read Wikipedia to see what the plot was (if indeed it had one). Rather than having a plot the film seemed to rely on explosions and swearing to entertain.
I turned it off half way through.
I think I need an early night. A night shift last night and an afternoon’s hard labour… I’m worn out.
28 June 2017 (Wednesday) - Bit Dull Really
I slept rather well last night, but it hurt to move this morning. I looked out of the window to torrential rain. Somewhat ironic; weeks of dry weather, and on the one day I lift the garden membranes we get torrential rain.
The weather forecast is that it will all dry up in time for me to carry on in the garden tomorrow… here’s hoping.
Over brekkie (strawberry conserve) I watched an episode of “Detectorists” which was rather entertaining, and then I caught the end of “Thinking Tackle”; yet another fishing show presented by people with absolutely no TV presence whatsoever. There are a lot of fishing programs on the telly these days which are presented by people who seem hard pressed to string a few words together. I’ve often said to "My Boy TM" that we could make a TV fishing show. Perhaps we should?
I left home slightly earlier than usual; I went via B&Q for some hacksaw blades in the naive but optimistic hope that I might use them to saw out the post at the back of the garden that is giving me grief if the angle grinder fails. Realistically it's not going to come out by digging.
I then set off to work through the rain, and along rather busy roads. As I drove the pundits on the radio were discussing the failure of ten years of the nation's forced austerity. Despite endless savings and cutbacks, national debt continues to grow. Apparently for every hundred quid the government raises in taxes it still spends one hundred and two quid. There is a theory that all the financial calculations were done on the assumption that the economy would be doing far better by now than it actually is. I'm reminded of my endowment mortgage. I was promised endless riches when that thing matured; in fact I ended up out of pocket. Perhaps the government should take a leaf out of my book and not spend whet it doesn't have?
They were also discussing how the Prime Minster seems to have found money to throw at problems in Northern Ireland far out of proportion to problems in the rest of the UK presumably in a shameless bit to keep the DUP on her side. It seems there *is* money to be had then?
I got to work, and did my bit. Perhaps somewhat less than my bit as I was aching rather a lot. And with my bit done I came home. The plan had been to go to Rye for a meal with father-in-law this evening, but for various reasons he wasn't able to get along. So once home I spent an hour firstly finishing painting the new fence panel, and then giving two other panels a second coat.
As I painted all dogs tried to “help” me…
"er indoors TM" did a rather good bit of dinner, and we scoffed it together with a bottle of plonk whilst watching stuff off of the SkyPlus box.
Today was something of a dull day. If I wasn’t quite so tired and aching it might have been better…
29 June 2017 (Thursday) - Rostered Day Off
I was sleeping like a log when Treacle and Rolo decided to play chase all over the bed and Treacle woke me by treading on my goolies. I wasn’t going to get back to sleep after that.
Over brekkie I sparked up my lap-top and started into cyber-space.I got a little hacked off when I saw that the government is not relaxing the cap on public sector wage increases but still manages to find a billion quid with which to bribe the DUP. It amazes me how the Conservative (sort of) won the election when they openly pull this sort of stunt. Is such a blatant misuse of public money *really* less of a worry that what that so-called nutter Jeremy Corbyn *might* do?
Have I ever mentioned that I don’t agree with democracy?
I took the dogs round the park. As we walked Rolo reduced one small child to tears by simply walking in the child’s general direction. Rolo is perhaps the smallest dog you’ll ever meet and he walked within five yards of a child who went absolutely hysterical; pointing at the dog and screaming in absolute terror.
As we walked through the Chinese garden there were a couple of people playing badminton. They’ve been there for the last week or so; they seem to love playing badminton there. Treacle tried to make off with the shuttlecock, but I was too quick for her.
We came home and crapped in the garden (the dogs, not me!). I cleared up, hung out washing, and set about fixing a small hole in the felt on the shed roof. Just as I got that done the door bell rang. Gordon had arrived with an angle grinder. Have you ever ground an angle before? It is rather exciting. We ground for about fifteen minutes with sparks flying in all directions until we managed to blunt the blade. The angle grinder itself was getting rather hot too, so we let the thing rest whilst we wandered round to B&Q to get a new grindy bit.
The new grindy bit did the trick; it wasn’t long before the problematical post was out of the ground. Or (to be precise) the bit that could be seen was out of the ground. We had a cuppa, and Gordon went on his way. I am *so* grateful for Gordon’s help today; without him I would still be there with a hacksaw.
With post removed I then got the new fence panel in place. Oh… how easy it is to write that. The old one had rusted in place and had to be removed in pieces. And then once I’d dragged and heaved the new one into place I realised that the screws I had to fix the panel in place weren’t long enough. So I went to B&Q, came back with the wrong screws and went back again.
Having wrestled the new fence panel into place I then put down new weed-proof membranes, re-laid the old ones and scraped as much of the shingle back into place as I could. I need some more shingle.
I thought about re-potting the monkey-puzzle tree but decided to paint the shed instead. That took three hours. As I painted I saw a seagull dive from the sky into the garden pond. I’m not sure if he got a fish, but this has convinced me to build a pergola over the pond sooner rather than later.
I finished painting the shed just as "er indoors TM" came home at 6pm.
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner; I’m going to ache in the morning. It’s something of a nuisance that I’ve still got physical jobs to do tomorrow…
30 June 2017 (Friday) - Another Rostered Day Off
I slept well; over brekkie I suddenly realised I’d missed the meeting of the South Ashford Community Forum on Wednesday evening. Woops. Mind you I suppose it might have been for the best that I wasn’t there. It strikes me that the South Ashford Community Forum offers untold opportunities for petty bickering, and quite frankly I’m sick of arguments.
I exchanged a few messages with a friend too. Someone with whom I used to work has been up before the Health and Care Professions Tribunal yesterday. Not that it is much consolation for her, but her hearing took only six months to be convened. Mine took eighteen months, and in that time the stress helped me lose nearly six stones in weight. Having been there myself, I’d offered to be available for her if she needs someone to talk to about it but I’m very conscious that there’s not a lot I can actually do. She said it helped to speak with someone who’d been through it, so I suppose I’ve been some help.
I won’t go into details about why she was there, but I can say that (having been there myself) it would have been a truly horrible experience for her. She’s told me she’s been suspended from practising for eighteen months and has to provide evidence of her re-training before being reinstated on the professional register. Unless she can find someone who’s good enough to provide such training, effectively that’s the end of her career. (I was lucky)
However, if nothing else, she will find out who her true friends are. I did.
The plan for today had originally been geocaching in London. Having organised a route and having organised a Facebook event the idea seemed rather popular. But as today got closer and closer, so everyone backed out.
And the weather forecast for today wasn’t good either, so I cancelled.
I got the leads onto the dogs, and we went round the park for a walk. As we walked, little Rolo was set about by a much bigger dog. Fudge and Treacle leapt to his defence, and I got all the dogs away before any harm was done. Fortunately the bigger dog was on a lead; even if he nearly did pull his owner over. The silly woman holding the lead then had a whinge at me for not letting her dog play with my dogs. I explained that when playing, small dogs do not scream in terror. But she wasn’t having any of it, and followed behind us telling the world how mean I was for not letting her dog play with mine.
It was as well that we walked faster than she did; we soon left her behind. However we were soon stopped by some other idiot who insisted on picking Rolo up to fuss him because (as she told us) she was “dog mad”. When she moved towards Fudge I told her in no uncertain terms she was not to touch him because he had a bad back, and when she looked at Treacle I told her that Treacle bites. I suggested she might like to have a go with the murderous hound that was following behind us.
We then had to make a slight detour to avoid the drunks in the Chinese garden who were as pissed as farts at 8:30am.
Some days our walk round the park is dull. Other days not so.
Once home I loaded up my car with the broken fence panel that I extracted yesterday and quite a bit of other assorted rubbish, and went to the tip. Having met no end of nutters at the park, the tip was disappointingly dull. From there I popped round to Bybrook barn to price up their shingle, and (pausing only briefly for geocachical reasons) then went on to B&Q to compare the price of their shingle. Bybrook Barn was far cheaper.
Whilst in B&Q my piss boiled. I have a plan to make a pergola above the garden pond. B&Q sell the metposts I need to make one. However they don’t sell wood that fits the metposts. When I queried this, the idiot assistant suggested I took a rectangular plank and sawed it to size. I asked if he knew anything about metposts; it was clear he did not. Pergolas are going to have to wait.
I came home to finish painting the shed.
Just as I finished painting, Cheryl phoned. They had got home at 7am and had a bit of a snooze. Did I want to fetch Rolo round?
I loaded his bed and stuff into the car, and I went round for a cuppa. I thought that as I was out and about anyway I would pop back to Bybrook barn to get the rock and shingle I’d seen this morning. On hearing my plans "My Boy TM" came for the ride. I was glad to have him along; he helped with the heavy lifting. He helped me choose a tree. And once we got the stuff home he also helped me get my new huge flower pots in place.
I dropped him home just as the forecast heavy rain started. Rather than carrying on it the garden I got some lunch and ironed shirts whilst the DVD player played “Layer Cake”.
"er indoors TM" came home and then shoved off down to the chip shop to get some cod and chips for dinner. Not too shabby at all. But for desert I had a load of cherries from "My Boy TM"’s cherry tree.
I’ve got stomach ache now…