1 June 2019 (Saturday) - Rather Busy
Today is something of an anniversary… I’ve been meticulously recording the trivia of my life for twelve and a half years. When I started I said it was for the edification of generations yet unborn, but so far "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" (who was minus eight when it all started) seems singularly unimpressed.
I started off writing my rubbish on a Yahoo site, but Yahoo 360 closed down after a couple of years. So ten years ago (to the day) I moved to Google’s “Blogspot” and the rest is history. Or my rather hagiographed (look it up) version of it. I was going to say that on the whole it’s not been a bad ten years, but I’ve been rather selective in what history I’ve recorded. There’s no denying that some of those years weren’t quite what they might have been, and that I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy (and I can be a rather nasty and vindictive old git when I fall out with someone). But I think I’ve ended these ten years in a better place than where I started them.
So… enough of this reflective twaddle.
I slept for over eight hours last night. That was something of a result; it was a shame that "er indoors TM" had forgotten to turn off her alarm. I got up and made myself some toast. I shared the crusts with Fudge (who wasn’t even born ten years ago) and I had a little look at the Internet. Not much had happened overnight, but I did have a message that “Aslam” hd left a comment on my blog post from a couple of days ago. He started well by saying “Your blog really nice. Its sound really good. I am very time read your blog. Thanks for the sharing this blog with us. Keep it up” but he then went on to piss on his chips by trying to advertise his “best seo company in India” by posting a link which made my anti-virus software have a little fit.
So I deleted his missive, and phoned the mobile phone people. If I want to use the Internet on my phone whilst I am away on my upcoming jolly, they will charge me six quid per day. They will only charge me for the days that I use roaming data… but six quid a day is a tad steep.
The phone call might have gone better had I been able to understand more than half of what the nice lady had been saying.
"er indoors TM" set off on a mission to post birthday cards and get new tyres. I fed laundry to the washing machine and went out into the garden. The lawn needed mowing, edging stones needed straightening. The bottom of the fence panel at the end of the garden has broken. I looked at it for a bit, decided that the hole was nowhere near big enough for a dog to get through, and so thought I’ll worry about that later. I contented myself with running out the hose pipe and topping up the fish pond.
I came in to find the washing machine had given up the ghost with my smalls. For all that it said it had finished, the thing was still full of water. I set it to the spin cycle. After quite a bit of fighting with the machine I eventually flooded the kitchen. "er indoors TM" insists we use “colour catcher” things and all they do is get into the works and block up the pump that empties the drum. I finally untangled the pump even if I did have to use the dogs’ bedding to contain the floodwaters (again).
The dogs needed a walk. I’d had reports that some of my geocaches out on the Godinton series had gone missing. I had this idea that going for a walk to replace them might tire the dogs out so they would sleep this evening, so we drove out to the Godinton estate and had a rather good wander about. My geo-series around Godinton isn’t as dog-friendly as my one in Kings Wood, but it isn’t a bad stroll. It’s just a shame that what with all the sheep the dogs can’t be off the leads as much as they might be. In the end it turned out that three caches were missing. I soon replaced them.
As we walked back past the river we hoped to let the dogs have a spuddle. However there was a bunch of lads there fishing. I say “fishing” - I’ve never seen anyone use a spinner with a float before. Let alone having the spinner baited with bread. They told me they were fishing for pike. Have you ever seen a pike? They things have razor-sharp teeth, and mouths big enough to take your entire hand. Heaven only knows what tey would have done had they caught a pike.
I offered them a few pointers which they seemed to take with good grace, then one of the lads cast his tackle into the river… and missed. Now I’ve been fishing (on and off) for over fifty years. I’ve seen good fishermen and I’ve seen bad fishermen. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone quite as crap as these lads today. "My Boy TM" used to go fishing on his on at their age; he would have known what to do with a pike. It was good that these lads were fishing, and not lurking round street corners menacing the public. But they needed some help. Hopefully I’ve taught them something.
We came home, and I had another little set-to with the washing machine’s waste trap. I *think* the thing is sorted now.
Matt arrived, we settled the dogs, and drove off to Whitstable. We were soon in the Twelve taps where we met up with Steve and Julie, and Jose and Maria (and Enrique). After a quick pint of stout we went next door to the theatre where we’d got tickets to see “Little Shop of Horrors”. The theatre was packed. It was a really good show. And well priced too. Tickets were a fraction of the cost we’ve paid elsewhere. And the refreshments – a bottle of lemonade costing over three quid elsewhere was only one pound fifty. And the pots of ice cream that other places charge a fiver for were being knocked out at two quid. Bargain.
It was really good to have such a good night with old friends. We really should meet up more often.
And as we were leaving the theatre I met someone with whom I used to work over thirty years ago. "er indoors TM" and his wife were pregnant together; we went to the same ante-natal classes.
I shall program “Hannah” and then go to bed… it’s been a busy old day today…
2 June 2019 (Sunday) - Eynesford
Yesterday I started off by remembering ten years ago. I shall do so again today. Ten years ago (today) was the funeral of my old mucker Dave Morley. Dave was one of those larger-than-life characters. Everyone in his home town knew him. He was one of those people who made the world a better place. As teenagers we went to Boys Brigade together. He then became head launcher for Hastings lifeboat. He bowled competitively at county level. He was on the committee of the Winkle Club. He was secretary of his local working men’s club. For years he’d been a leader at my old Boys Brigade group. And he was a good mate – not just to me, but to the world at large. He would do anything for anyone, and he died of bowel cancer when only a shade over forty years old. His funeral was in one of the biggest churches in Hastings, and it was standing room only. I still miss him…
I didn’t really sleep that well last night. It was warm, and I spent much of the night trying to straighten an uncomfortable wrinkle in the sheet only to eventually find it was Pogo’s tail. And when I finally did nod off, the dogs sounded “Red Alert” when next-door went out at six o’clock.
Over brekkie I did my usual look at the Internet to see what had happened overnight… I expect that quite a bit happened. It’s just that not everyone records it quite as monotonously as I do. I then spent a little while fighting with a geo-puzzle, gave up, ordered a digital camera for next-day delivery on Amazon, and got ready for the off.
"er indoors TM" and I got the dogs and the requisite tackle into the car and we drove up to Eynesford where we met Karl, Tracey and Charlotte. I was a tad concerned when I saw everyone was in shorts. Was I overdressed? My trousers had removable legs… but rummaging in the undergrowth usually involves fights with stinging nettles so I stayed with the trousers.
We set off on out walk. Within minutes we met Wayne, Lyn and Dave who had randomly decided to do the same walk as us. We walked together; it was good to catch up.
Our walk was (as ever) dictated by a series of geocaches. It started off following a country lane along which cyclists were hurtling at speeds that I can only describe as “f…ing stupid”. If I had ever caught either of my children flying round blind corners of lanes at those speeds I would have confiscated their bikes and grounded them for a month. Why on Earth do these cyclists go so ridiculously fast when it is patently unsafe to do so?
After a mile or so the route moved onto footpaths, and everyone was happier.
We followed the paths on a circular route back into Eynesford and had lunch by the ford. It was a rather pretty place to have a sandwich. It was here that Pogo had his only bark at another dog. But (to be fair to Pogo) the other dog was clearly a malamute (or was a malamute cross) and bearing in mind that one of those savaged poor Sid I think that Pogo was right to raise the alarm. When you think that only a few months ago Pogo was barking at everything, he’s come on in leaps and bounds.
It was shortly after lunch that we said goodbye to Lyn, Wayne and Dave. We’d (nearly) walked one of two loops of the route of geocaches. They were going on to do the second. But it was a hot day, we were short of dog water… and a leisurely pint or two seemed attractive. We said our goodbyes and went into the garden of the Five Bells.
The Five Bells is… an odd pub. Bearing in mind that we usually try to walk on a Saturday as pubs are heaving on Sunday, we arrived to find we had the beer garden to ourselves. And there was only a couple of people in the pub itself. It was a nice enough pub; clean and friendly. Admittedly it didn’t serve food but was that any reason for the place to be so empty?
But we weren’t complaining. With no normal people about we could enjoy the day without worrying about upsetting the normal people.
Mind you when we were just starting the third pint a young couple arrived at the other end of the garden. They were very “lovey-dovey”, and when they thought no one was looking, the young lady of the pair would flash her “lady-dumplings” at her boyfriend.
We stayed for another pint, but when it became clear that she was being rather judicious in the direction in which she was flashing her “lady-dumplings” we carried on with our walk. After all, we weren’t far from the car. I took quite a few photos as we walked.
Geocache-wise it was a rather good walk. We found as many caches today as we did last Sunday, but in half the distance. We found one cache that we couldn’t find when we were hunting Tupperware in the area on 27 April 2014. We found two that I doubt will last very long; as we were doing the secret geo-rituals we were being watched from nearby houses.
We said our goodbyes, and sent off homewards. We hadn’t been driving more than a minute when we drove past other friends who were walking the same geo series. We beeped and waved.
Perhaps it was the heat of the day… perhaps it was the seven miles walk… just possibly it was the third pint, but I slept all the way home.
Once home we fed the hounds and settled them, had a quick scrub up, and drove round for dinner with "My Boy TM". Cheryl boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we soon devoured and followed up with ice cream. We talked wedding plans… a rather good evening to a rather good day.
Unfortunately when I got home I rather put “Trap One” through its paces. My stomach’s not right…
3 June 2019 (Monday) - New Camera
I think the rather busy weekend had taken its toll. I slept like a log last night. Mind you it was a shame that "er indoors TM"’s phone started coming out with a load of notification bleeps from half past four onwards.
Having been woken I tried to get back to sleep, but it wasn’t happening. I got up and made myself some brekkie. I scoffed it whilst watching an episode of “bonding”, then peered into the internet.
A row was kicking off on the Facebook geocaching pages. Someone who’s not hidden a geocache for years was banging on about what those who have hidden them should be doing. I drafted a reply… then deleted it. I had a good walk yesterday with good friends. That’s how I want to hunt Tupperware. Outside with friends doing it. Not squabbling over the Internet about it.
I sent a birthday message to "Daddy’s Little Angel TM", then got myself ready for work.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about President Trump's state visit to the UK that was starting today. It has caused a *lot* of upset among the general public. The trouble is that people see him offering opinions on UK politics, and trying to buy the NHS, and interfering with the Brexit process, and calling the Duchess of Sussex "nasty". For all that he comes over as a bit of a twit, people seem to see the person, and not the office he fills. Bearing in mind that the UK has decided to comprehensively piss on its own chips by turning its back on some of its staunchest allies, openly offending the precious few that remain can't be a sensible way to proceed. (Can it?)
With a little time to spare I went to Sainsbury's for a bit of shopping. Usually that place hasn't been *too* bad. But today the assistants filling the shelves ran me over with their trollies (too busy gossiping with each other they weren't looking where they were going). And when I went to pay for my shopping, the woman on the till was too busy chattering at the other customers that she ignored my Nectar card. When I finally shoved it up her nose, she looked at it (and me) like we were the shit on her shoe and said if I wanted the points I could go to the customer services desk. Her attitude and implication was that I could get knotted for all that she cared.
So I went to the customer service desk and made great fuss of getting two and a half pence worth of Nectar points, and told the manager there exactly why I was doing so.
Probably rather petty of me... but the silly old bat had boiled my piss.
I went into work, and spent much of the day wishing I hadn't. What with a busy weekend and (probably) too much sun yesterday I wasn't on top form today. I bided my time quietly until my phone beeped. It was as well that I hadn't phoned in sick. Yesterday I ordered a new camera on Amazon, and I was amazed to find that (for once) Amazon actually delivered on their promise of next day delivery. I walked the few yards to the Amazon locker at work to get my parcel, then went back and carried on biding my time until I could go home
Once home I walked the dogs up to the co-op field where Fudge was sick. As he was throwing up a dog the size of a rhinoceros came bounding up. Fudge was busy being sick, Treacle was terrified, and Pogo protected his pack. The idiot woman running after the dog tried to bleat on that he was friendly. I pointed out that he might be, but my dogs were terrified. She didn’t take the hint, but after a little while she took offence, and then went and terrorised other dogs who had been hitherto minding their own business.
We came home. "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner. Once we’d got it scoffed she went bowling, and I settled in for a marathon ironing session. As I ironed I watched last week’s “Jamestown” (which is going just a little bit new-age-hippy), and then I watched the first episode of “Gentleman Jack” which seems to have promise.
I then had a go with my new camera… the pictures aren’t all that good. Perhaps I need to fiddle with it?
4 June 2019 (Tuesday) - Virtually Rewarded
For once I slept right through until the alarm went off. Over a bowl of granola I watched another episode of “Bonding” then had a look to see what the Internet had done overnight.
I had a friend request on Facebook from “Sam Angling Baits”. Now I can’t help but wonder why Mr Baits wants to be my pal. Surely it isn’t a thinly veiled ruse to try to sell me something? I’m also wondering why this chap is clearly allowed to use a fake name when other people aren’t. I’ve not accepted the request – I have quite enough people with whom I can argue already.
My eyes then rolled when I was reading some of the comments about the death of Paul Darrow (who played “Avon” in “Blake’s Seven”). Those who’d met the chap were posting on various Facebook pages about their experiences of him. Those who’d openly admitted they’d never met him were trying to call everyone else racist for no reason that anyone could determine.
Social media is so often just one big fight. Such a shame.
I had a look at my emails – a new geocache had gone live. But it was on the drive to Pembury, not Maidstone. And it was a long way down a private drive. I will have a look-see there on another day.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were again talking about President Trump's state visit to the UK. Apparently the Queen told him off at some posh dinner last night? It would seem that this state visit that has been put on for his benefit is turning out to be more trouble than it is worth. Pretty much nothing else (at all) was mentioned on the radio. If nothing else it made a welcome change from Brexit drivel.
I did my bit at work. Half way through the afternoon I volunteered to go move some stuff about. No one else wanted to do it, I could take my time and have a bit of a skive (I made no secret of that), and I could check my emails. This afternoon at four o’clock geocaching HQ were going to announce who’d been lucky enough to win the chance to hide a virtual geocache. The last time they did this was something of a debacle, and I sulked. I’d determined that if I was one of the lucky winners this time, then that would be nice. And if I was unlucky then I would accept it with good grace.
Four o’clock came and went. I had no email, and had a serious moody.
Mind you as I walked to my car an hour and a half later my phone beeped. I had been lucky – I had got a virtual reward. To coin a phrase, I was like a cat with two cocks.
I came home, and together with "er indoors TM" we went for a little walk to have a first recce at where I’m going to site my virtual reward. I’m rather over-excited about it. I must admit I’m a tad miffed that "er indoors TM" didn’t get one, but she says that she is *very* pleased that I got one; I’m told that if I’d not been lucky the sulking would have been unbearable…
Where’s that bottle of wine…
5 June 2019 (Wednesday) - D Day Fly By
I woke with a very sore nose this morning. For all that my CPAP machine helps me sleep, it gives me such a sore nose.
I got up and once I’d fussed Fudge I watched an episode of “Bonding”, then peered into the Internet. Not much had happened overnight which was probably for the best. I did see that there is to be a re-make of that old TV favourite "Worzel Gummidge" starring Mackenzie Crook. That might actually be rather good.
I checked my emails. Bearing in mind that the new virtual geocaches were only awarded yesterday afternoon, seven of them had already been published. Some people don’t hang about.
And then I read an email which made me roll my eyes. Last week I had a petty squabble. One of the geocaches that I hid in Kings Wood had issues. I sorted the problem by putting out a new cache. This morning I was told that there was a big hole in that cache. A hole? How? The thing has only been there for a week.
What with holidays it’s going to be two weeks before I can do anything.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were again talking about President Trump's state visit to the UK. Yesterday the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was making great show of being at anti-Trump rallies having turned down an interview to have dinner with the President and the Queen on Monday evening. This morning Mr Trump revealed that Mr Corbyn had asked him for a meeting, and had been turned down. Good for Donald Trump (!)
I got to work; I did my bit. At tea break I gave up with my current e-book. I was then faced with a dilemma. Should I give it a review on Amazon? If I did it would be entitled "Crap!" and would say about how the plot was convoluted, jumping to and fro between rather confused scenarios featuring characters about which I didn't really care at all. However from what I can work out (from following various authors on Facebook) the etiquette is to only say nice things about books on Amazon. Bearing in mind that anything less than glowing praise is just potential for another argument, I kept quiet.
Instead I downloaded another e-book which (so far) seems far better.
At half past two we all peered out of the window. A squadron of various planes was flying over Maidstone on its way to the D-Day remembrance events. By quarter to three we were wondering what had happened. We had a look at the Internet and found the flight had been delayed. Eventually they came over shortly after four o’clock. Several of us took a late tea break I took a few photos as the planes flew over. It was a surprisingly good little spectacle.
I came home. We didn’t take the dogs out. It was raining and I didn’t feel very well. I spent a little while fiddling about preparing my geo-virtual until "er indoors TM" said dinner was ready. We scoffed a rather good bit of scran whilst watching the last episodes of “Ghosts” and “Young Sheldon”.
I really should have an early night… I’m feeling a bit iffy…
6 June 2019 (Thursday) - D Day Remembered
I woke in the night to find myself rather tangled in my CPAP’s hose. I was rather amazed at just what a knot I’d tied the thing into. Mind you I soon dozed off again, and slept right through until my alarm went off. That rarely happens.
Over a bowl of granola I watched an episode of “Bonding”. My Netflix app says that was that last one, but it didn’t seem like an end-of-season. Have I caught up with Netflix only releasing one episode per week perhaps?
I then have my morning trawl of the Internet. It was much the same as I’d left it last night. Mind you I did have a friend request on Facebook from “Toby Norris”. Do any of my loyal readers know who he is? His photo doesn’t look familiar. I don’t think I’ll add him to the elite group of people who actually want to know me on social media just yet.
I had a look at my emails. With less than a day and a half having passed since the virtual awards were announced on Tuesday, another twenty-seven new virtual geocaches had been published. Bearing in mind people have got a year to sort them out, some people don’t hang about. Having said that, mine is all but ready to go. But I think I shall wait until I’m back from holiday.
And I saw that my rantings of last Wednesday had attracted the attention of a handbag salesman from Zurich who posted a comment in a rather shallow attempt to get me to advertise his wares. I decided not to do so.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were broadcasting live from the D-Day remembrance events at Gold Beach in Normandy as well as from the London studio. Veterans from the day, currently serving soldiers, and various world leaders were giving speeches. It was quite good to be able to feel a part of what was going on as I drove up the motorway. Just as one of the old soldiers was giving a speech I noticed a load of poppies growing on the side of the motorway.
Mind you the broadcast was marred by one or other of the presenters who would occasionally talk over one of the speeches because their microphones hadn't been disabled. You can understand it happening once.. but several times? I personally would have expected better from the BBC
Work was work; I did my bit and came home. "er indoors TM" went out with her mates and I was left “home alone”. I foraged for my dinner (at the KFC) then scoffed diner whilst watching the second episode of “Gentleman Jack” before having a little fight with my phone...
My phone has gone west.
The GMX (email) app has packed up, as has Google Play. Oh well… they might miraculously come back to life. Or they might not. If they don’t I shall have to get a new phone. I’ll do that after next week’s holiday.
At the moment I am thinking Samsung Galaxy S10 from Vodafone because I like Samsung and Vodafone are doing it for fifteen quid cheaper than my current mobile provider. I’ll see it I can get a price match deal… after I’ve had a holiday.
I think it’s fair to say that pretty much everything is going on hold for a week or so…
7 June 2019 (Friday) - Fish n Chips
The dogs had a rather restless night last night. And when they are restless, so is everyone else. I lay awake from three o'clock last night. Eventually I gave up trying to sleep, and got up.
Over a bowl of granola I started to watch an episode of "South Park" that the SkyPlus box had recorded for me, but I turned it off half-way through. South Park used to be fun. Nowadays it tries to be very satirical of current American affairs. Consequently if you aren't up on American current affairs most of the show goes over your head. Especially when watching two-year-old re-runs referring to political trivia which is long-since forgotten.
I avoided looking at the Internet this morning. instead I thought I might hunt out a geocache and then get petrol before the early shift. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about a project in Sunderland. The people who do all the amenities there (gas, leccie, water etc) have struck on an amazing idea. They want to create a comprehensive map showing where all the gas pipes, drains, water mains, electricity cable and the like are. Apparently when one lot of engineers is digging up their bit they inevitably damage someone else's stuff. Having a map showing where everything is would prevent over a billion pounds' worth of damage every year (nationwide). Hasn't this been done already? Possibly not. I remember my father telling me about a novel innovation on the 1970s when underground gas and water pipes were given different colours as people would turn on their new gas cookers and water would come out. (He assures me he wasn't joking!)
Three was also talk of the Peterborough by-election in which the Brexit party lost by a very narrow margin. The winning candidate was on the radio talking about how democracy only works when the electorate speak. Bearing in mind that only forty-eight per cent of the electorate turned out in Peterborough yesterday, she's probably got a point.
They then wheeled that odious Nigel Farage on and spoke with him. The interviewers tried to give him some stick about his Brexit party's not having a manifesto. But then (as he said) who reads the manifestos anyway? And which parties actually deliver what they promise? He's got a point. He's very convincing. Am I the only one who sees the historical parallels here?
I got to just outside Maidstone. I found the geocache I was after. Happy dance. Now I don't have to worry about a slump while I'm on holiday (it's a geo-thing). My plan was to then get some petrol in Aylesford and be in early for work.
I didn't get petrol.
It took me an hour to drive the five miles from the M20's junction eight to work. I don't know what the delay was, but I certainly hope it has cleared by tomorrow.
Work was work; but an early shift meant for an early finish. I got petrol on the way home. Once home I took the dogs out. We got as far as the co-op field before the heavens opened, so we came home again.
I then packed my suitcase for tomorrow’s holiday, and "er indoors TM" boiled up fish and chips. After all it is national fish and chips day today.
Regular readers of this drivel will have to contend with a little hiatus now… The Rear Admiral is looking after the house and the dogs for the next week whilst we are off on a little holiday.
I’ll be back in a week or so…
8 June 2019 (Saturday) - Flying to Turkey
The dogs slept last night. And so did I. I woke to a dismal wet morning and over brekkie peered into the Internet. It was much the same as ever. I did chuckle when I read some of the fishing-related Facebook pages - I say “read”; “struggled to understand” might be a better description. Many of the posts to these pages are long-winded and written with no capitalisations, punctuation or spell-checking. If people are going to post stuff up on the Internet, you’d think they might want other people to be able to understand what they are writing, wouldn’t you?
With the Rear Admiral on his way to take over at home for the week, we settled the dogs and lugged our suitcases out to my car where (by a stroke of luck) Kirsty had just arrived. The three of us got all our gear into the car and drove round to the cashpoint in Brookfield Road where (by another stroke of luck) we bumped into Craig and Chris who were getting petrol. There were some very excited cheers from their families in their cars, and I think we rather upset the normal people as we all shouted excitedly at each other.
We drove up the motorway with the weather going from glorious sunshine to torrential rain (and back again) every few minutes, and we were soon at the car park that I’d booked. For “only” seventy quid we could park here all week. We got all of our gear out of the car and hurried to the coach that would transfer us to the airport.
And then I hurried back to the car – I’d left my phone behind.
There was a near-episode at the airport. As we were going to the check-in we were talking about how we would have liked to have had seats next to each other. Some chap in a uniform appeared from nowhere and said he would get us new seats and asked for our passports and boarding passes…
He might have been genuine. But I didn’t think so.
We checked in and made our way to the airport’s Wetherspoons for a spot of lunch. The queue was enormous; to expedite matters we downloaded the Wetherspoons app, ordered lunch, and as soon as we had a table number, food was with us right away.
Suitably fed we went on to the departure lounge where we (finally) got all of our contingent together. There were eleven of us travelling today, and we were together for about an hour or so until we were all split up when we boarded the plane.
I slept until take-off.
Unfortunately I found myself sitting next to a rather “normal” couple. When the trolley came round, the chap next to me wanted beer. He was told by his wife that he didn’t want beer; he wanted a nice cup of tea.
I had a small bottle of wine which clearly annoyed him.
Mind you I did have a minor result an hour later. I was first in the queue for the toilet. I was waiting for the one by the cockpit when the captain came out and asked if he could jump the queue. I told him that (quite frankly) the quicker he got back into the cockpit, the happier I would be.
We had a little laugh; I told him about the family wedding to which I was travelling. He had his tiddle and I had mine.
When I came out of the loo the stewardess was waiting for me to say that the captain had left orders with her that I should be given a complimentary bottle of champagne to celebrate the wedding. I was rather taken aback, but realised that I should share my good fortune and asked for a few glasses.
It was at this point that I realised that the normal person who had been sitting next to me was standing in the queue for the toilet and had heard of my good fortune. His eyes lit up a few minutes later when the stewardess came to my seat with the bottle of champagne and some glasses. Having ignored me for the entire flight he suddenly became very chatty; clearly thinking I was going to share it with him. I explained that there were eleven of us in our party, and I then wandered the length of the plane dishing out bubbly to our group.
What with that and the wine my head was spinning when we landed.
We were soon off of the plane and through passport control. Our suitcases didn’t take long to arrive, and after a fifteen-minute coach trip we were soon at the Holiday Village hotel in Sarigerme where "My Boy TM" and those of our party who’d flown out a couple of days ago were waiting for us. They’d got the drinks in. We had a minor celebration, and went to bed shortly after two o’clock.
We’d done nothing but travel today; twelve hours travelling. I was worn out. But I still found time to take a few photos.
9 June 2019 (Sunday) - Sarigerme
We woke to find that our room’s air conditioning was rather keen. I turned it down a tad, then stood on our balcony admiring the view, Spectacular!!
Using my WhatsApp app I messaged that I was rather hungry, and several of us went down for brekkie. I do like the all-inclusive holidays. All you can eat… I ate three brekkies. Mind you I was rather dismayed to see that I’d used up a lot of my data package. Last week when I spoke to the people at the mobile phone company they’d told me that Turkey wasn’t included in my data roaming package, but I could buy five hundred megabytes of data for six quid.
They’d got it wrong.
I could buy *fifty* megabytes of data for six quid… and in last night’s trip from the airport to the hotel I’d used forty of those megabytes.
Glen and Matt had planned to go to the market in Sarigerme this morning. We joined them. The taxi from the hotel to the village cost two quid. We had a rather interesting shopping experience. To be honest the local shopkeepers and stallholders spoil it for themselves. Everything is “cheap as chip” and “cheap like Asda price” whilst still being “not cheap shit”. There were stalls blatantly selling under the “New Look” and “Asda” brands when clearly they were nothing to do with those chains. Every stall was selling fake designer stuff. But what really boiled my piss was that nothing was priced. If you wanted to buy something you had to name a price yourself and then spend ten minutes haggling about it. I would probably have bought far more had I not had to mess about like that. I ended up buying a pair of shoes and a hat for the wedding (which I needed) and a wallet (which will go in the bin later).
And the shopkeepers haven’t really worked on their signage. What is a “boutique pension”?
Finding ourselves shopped out we stopped at one of the street-side bars. The shops were hard work; the bars were all rather good. We sat and had gin cocktails before going back to the hotel.
Once back at base we met up with more of our gang and had a little explore around the hotel complex. I topped up the gin with some vodka cocktails, and then sat by the pool for the afternoon doing crosswords with a suitably numbed head.
I went for a shower to find the maid had tidied our room, and then (after three dinners) several of us went back to the village for a little more shopping and some cocktails. Jager bombs, pina coladas, strawberry daiquiris, black Russians…it all got rather messy.
Being father of the groom I insisted on paying for the evening. Seven of us (I think it was seven?) got rather silly on only fifty quid.
Today’s photos are a tad out of order. The ones at the beach were taken on my new camera. They haven’t turned out too bad really…
10 June 2019 (Monday) - Pool and Beach
We had something of a better night having figured out how to set the air conditioning. Mind you we would have had an even better night had we not had normal people banging on the door at five o’clock. They’d got the wrong room. Woops!
Brekkie was rather good. I kicked off with a bowl of fruity loops, and then had a medley of pretty much whatever I fancied from the buffet, and then chased it all down with some fruit. (The fruit made it all healthy).
I then wandered down to one of the swimming pools.
It would seem to be something of a tradition at hotels to reserve your sun bed by chucking a towel on it. Our designated towel-chucker had bagged some sun-beds, but not enough for everyone. With about thirty of us in our party, bagging a large enough area would take some doing.
I found our area, grabbed a few more sun-beds, and sat and waited for the troops to assemble.
We’d chosen an area strategically placed equidistant to the pool, the bar, and the lunchtime restaurant. I got myself a lemonade and started on my book of crossword puzzles. Having (arguably) drunk far too much yesterday I’d decided to have a day on the soft drinks. But despite my good intentions I’d had half a dozen Malibu and cokes by the time "er indoors TM" had made her way down. As I was pouring the third (or was it the fourth?) down my neck I watched a little lizard running about the place. “Little” – it was probably about eight inches long.
In between crossword puzzling I helped our team with the general knowledge quiz that was taking place. The poolside entertainment featured a general knowledge quiz every day. The rules were that you weren’t to use mobile phones to access the Internet, but it was done on an “honesty” basis. No one was policing it. We scored fourteen out of twenty on some rather hard questions. Personally I suspect there was some shenanigans going on when the winners claimed to have got seventeen questions right.
We had a rather good dinner, then several of us took a stroll down to the beach. Craig and Chris hired jet-skis and flew around the coast for a while. Then five of us had a go on a UFO.
Have you ever seen the UFOs?
They are huge great inflatable thingies that you sit on whilst a speedboat drags them about. And when I say “sit on”, I actually mean “cling on to for dear life”. I got on to the thing and sat with everyone else. But I didn’t stay sitting for long. I was soon prostrate with the G-forces, and somehow or other I was sitting on my right hand. Looking back I think I was clinging too tightly with my left hand; it was some hours before I got any sensation back in it, or before I could actually use the arm in any way.
And I managed to burn my feet on the walk back to the pool. The sand on the beach was *hot*!
I made my way back to the pool where I had more drinks and did more crosswords for an hour or so before going back to our room where I did a little laundry. It was so hot that I could swill a shirt in the sink, hang it on the back of a chair on the balcony, and it would be dry in half an hour.
I sat on the balcony bar for a while where I met a rather lonely chap. He seemed very keen to strike up a friendship. I didn’t want to be rude, but there were thirty of us along for a family wedding; I really didn’t want to be picking up any strays.
We had a rather good (mob-handed) dinner, and with dinner scoffer we sat on the balcony bar until everyone eventually wandered off to bed. When there was only "er indoors TM", "My Boy TM" and me left we went down to the bowling alley for a quick ten pins.
Despite there being a lot of “young ‘uns” in our party, they’d all gone to bed. "er indoors TM" and I were last up, and sat on our balcony drinking cocktails until far too late.
For all that today was a rather lazy day, we’d packed a lot in. As you can see from the photos.
11 June 2019 (Tuesday) - Turkish Geocaching
Those who know me will realise that (on special occasions) I will look for film pots hidden under rocks. According to the geocaching map there were only four geocaches within two miles of our hotel. Back home I wouldn’t hesitate to go for a little wander to find the lot. But with the heat of the Turkish day being well over thirty degrees Celsius I wasn’t wanting to walk far. So finding myself wide awake just as dawn was breaking I thought I might walk half a mile down the road to see if I couldn’t find the closest one while it was still cool.
"er indoors TM" wasn’t overly keen on the early start, but it had to be done.
Even at quarter to six in the morning it was still hot. We checked out with hotel security who seemed amazed that we were up so early, and it didn’t take long for us to find a little plastic tube stashed in a rock which was only a little way off of the road. Having done the secret geo-rituals (albeit in English rather than in Turkish) we went back to the hotel and back to bed for a couple of hours.
With a party of about thirty (I’m not sure how many of us there were – I kept losing count) it wasn’t really practical to get everyone to do everything together. This morning it was just me and "er indoors TM" for brekkie. Grilled tomatoes, eggs benedict, crepes, omelette and pizza went down very well.
But for all that we’d had a fairly quiet brekkie we soon found quite a few of our group at the pool where I spent the morning alternately doing crossword puzzles and dozing.
I scoffed a chicken salad for lunch, then together with "My Boy TM", "er indoors TM" and I took a taxi to the village. There was another geocache not a hundred yards from the taxi rank. I thought I might go find it…
I eventually found it. It was up a rather steep hill. Some might describe it as a cliff... it was a tad steep. And there wasn’t a path as such. I just scrambled up as best I could. Perhaps flip-flops wasn’t the best footwear for the job? I did tread on a particularly vicious thorn that went straight through my flip-flop and drew blood.
To celebrate the find we went to the bar where we’d been drinking gin the other day. I had an amaretto sour. It wasn’t long before we met up with others in our group. "My Boy TM" and Craig hired quad-bikes and went off on a mission – we later heard that they had been stopped at the airport by the Turkish army.
We went on a little shopping mission with family. It was mostly a good afternoon, but there was one rather irritating episode…
Have you ever been shopping in Turkey? Nothing there has a price. When you ask how much something costs, the shopkeeper asks you to make an offer. He then rudely insults your offer and insists his obviously fake merchandise is worth its weight in gold. You then embark in a rather epic haggling session and end up paying what you offered in the first place.
One haggler got a bit too keen and demanding with us. Turkish shopping takes too much time. Back home you can go into a shop and buy what you want in seconds. You can’t buy anything in less than twenty minutes in Sarigerme.
We came back to the hotel, and I sat by the pool doing crosswords until it got too hot. I was heading back to our room when I met some of our number in the bar. I sat with Elliott for an hour or so drinking cocktails.
We had a rather late dinner today. As always the food selection was amazing, but on the stroke of nine o’clock the entire lot was swept away. How could so much food be moved so quickly?
The ladies and children went off to the resort’s amphitheatre where there was some children’s entertainment going on. Craig (father of two of the children) announced that he was going to do “man shit”. Several of us went to do “man shit” with him, and "er indoors TM" came with us too. In the end it turned out that “man shit” was bowling whilst accompanied by far too much lager.
I’m rubbish at bowling. I just watched.
With bowling bowled we then sat on the balcony bar (a favourite place) drinking brandy until midnight.
I took a few photos today as well…
12 June 2019 (Wednesday) - Mud Baths and Turtles
Unusually everyone was up promptly this morning and was breakfasted without delay. We all had a coach to catch. We were going on a little trip.
We assembled outside the hotel’s gate and were soon about the coach of “Basket Travel”. Our tour guide Deniz told us all about Turkey and the area and how the locals lived. Everything sounded to be so cheap, but he did gloss over how low the local income was too. I suppose that everything is relative.
After only fifteen minutes we were in the town of Dalyan where the coach parked, and we took a two-minute walk to the river where we all boarded boats. Our party was all together on boat 101. Not all of our group had gone on the outing, but there was about twenty of us along for the day. More than enough to outnumber the half-dozen normal people who were on the boat with us.
We sailed up the Dalyan river through some rather beautiful scenery, and after half an hour or so we moored up at the mud baths.
One of my very few regrets of the holiday was that I didn’t get photos at the mud baths. But being caked in mud didn’t really lend itself to camera-brandishing.
On arrival at the mud baths we stripped down to swimmies and flip-flops, and waded in to the mud pool. We then smothered ourselves in mud, and once completely covered, we got out and stood in the blazing sunshine until the mud dried. We then showered it off, and had a soak in a bath fed from the sulphurous volcanic spring. It did stink!
Just as we got back into the boat I quickly looked at the geo-map. Would you believe our boat was moored not five yards from a geocache!
We sailed back down the river to the Saeran restaurant. We moored on their jetty and had a rather good bit of dinner. The highlight of the dinner for some of our party was watching the local cats chasing a frog, but for me the best part was seeing the waiter drop a tray of dinners. I hope I didn’t actually cheer.
As we ate we looked across the river at the Lycean tombs carved into the sides of the cliffs overlooking the river. They are over two thousand years old, and were rather spectacular.
From the restaurant we sailed down the river to a crab farm where we looked at some rather aggressive crabs in a tank, and (having failed to find the geocache not twenty yards away) we piled back on to the boat and sailed down the river to the coast and İztuzu Beach. We moored up, and had two hours to do as we wanted. I spent twenty minutes hunting out the three geocaches that were there and had an ice cream before joining the rest of our gang. While some of our number sunbathed, others of us bobbed about in the rather large waves washing in from the Mediterranean.
It was at this point that I was inadvertently kicked in the balls by a passing German swimmer.
With half an hour to go we walked out onto the jetty. We’d bought some crab meat at the crab farm as our tour guide had told us that the turtles liked it. We were told that if we stood on the jetty and threw scraps of crab meat into the water we’d attract turtles. We attracted fish. Lots of fish. And seagulls. And suddenly there were turtles.
I was expecting to see creatures which were about the size of dinner plates. These turtles were about the size of dinner tables. They were “huge*.
With about five minutes before we had to leave, the heavens opened. All afternoon we’d been watching the storms rumbling in the hills around us, and when the rain started, it started with a vengeance. It was at this point that the boat’s rain covers were pulled down (I’d not noticed them before), and we sailed back to the coach singing a medley of various songs.
We got back to the coach; it was only a short drive back to the hotel where we were again dropped at the gate. *Not* the entrance... As we’d driven back, Deniz had told us that the coach wasn’t allowed through the hotel gate as the hotel management doesn’t like the people who ran today’s excursion. We wondered why. The answer was obvious really. We’d paid twenty pounds each for today’s trip. The hotel themselves run exactly the same outing for forty-six pounds each.
We went back to our rooms, washed off the last of the mud, and went for dinner. As part of today being “trip day” we thought we might miss the hotel’s main dining room and try their a la carte restaurant instead.
I’m glad we tried it, but (in all honesty) the hotel’s main restaurant was far better.
After a busy day, and an even busier one planned for tomorrow we thought an early night might be a good idea. We went to bed just before midnight.
I took quite a few photos today. And there’s even a video in there too.
13 June 2019 (Thursday) - A Wedding
Being mother of the groom, "er indoors TM" had wedding things to do with mother of the bride this morning. Being up rather early I found sister of the bride who was also at something of a loose end, so we went for a bit of brekkie. I’d not sat outside for brekkie before; it was rather entertaining. The hotel was home to a colony of semi-feral cats who were often patrolling hoping for food scraps. When the family on the next table left, the cats jumped up and had all the leftovers. They particularly seemed to like the left over milk in the cereal bowls.
Sister of the bride had things to do. I met up with "My Boy TM" (groom), best man, deputy best man, step-father of the bride, and the ushers, and we got a taxi into the village. We had a rather good full English, and then it was time for a pre-wedding haircut.
If ever you find yourself in Turkey I can thoroughly recommend the barber in Sarigerme.
"My Boy TM" and I went first. We were sat down. We were shaved and given a haircut with razors. The barber then ran over my head and face with what I can only describe as some sort of razor wire. (It drew blood on my nose). He then covered my ears with hot wax, and shoved hot wax-covered sticks into my ears and up my nostrils. Whilst the wax cooled I had a massage. I say “massage”… if it had been a fight then I would certainly have lost. The barber gave me a proper pummelling. And when he had finally beaten me into submission he yanked the wax off of my ears, and yanked the wax-covered sticks out of my ears and out of my nose. Oh that smarted! "My Boy TM" squealed. I didn’t actually laugh, but the ladies of our group who were in the hairdresser’s next door did. They came in to point and laugh.
I had a rather good going-over and got change out of seven quid. Can’t be bad.
"My Boy TM" and I went up the road to the café where the rest of the lads were already onto their second beer. We sent the next two for their bout in the barber’s chair, then the two of us took a taxi back to the hotel. I’d offered to iron all our shirts and there had been a little confusion over hiring the hotel’s iron and ironing board. Having booked it yesterday afternoon, I was then told (by one of the ladies of our group) that the hotel reception knew nothing about my having booked it. After a lot of confusion, I decided that the sooner I went to collect the iron, the sooner I could have the argument about it. But there wasn’t any problem. The reception staff had it all in hand and insisted that they would deliver the iron to my room. Which they did five minutes later, and even sent someone to do the ironing too. But I sent him packing. I was going to iron our shirts!
It didn’t take long.
It took longer to put them on and figure out how to operate our bow ties. And it took an absolute age to come to a consensus about how our braces should go.
Pausing only briefly to unjam "er indoors TM"’s zip, pretty much all of our group (except the bridal party) met up in the hotel lobby and walked across to the wedding area in the hotel next door. Turkish law is odd; you can’t get married in the hotel in which you are staying (so why does the hotel which does the weddings have a honeymoon suite?)
The area for the wedding was spectacular; and "er indoors TM" and the other ladies had busied about all morning making it even more pretty. I had a gin and tonic to steady my nerves, and suddenly Cheryl was there. She looks lovely anyway, but she was *so* beautiful. I must admit that I’d been a tad sceptical about having the wedding in Turkey, but at that moment I was so glad that we had done so. With my sunglasses on, no one could see how much I was crying.
The ceremony went well. It was quick and didn’t drag on like some weddings do. We had the wedding cake right then (was this a Turkish thing?) and champagne. We spent a little while posing for photos; I’m told I was in everyone’s way (sorry!). We then went back to the balcony bar for drinks. And drinks. And more drinks. After a bottle of white wine, two lagers and some Malibu (that was just me!) we went into the wedding meal. Again it was a rather good venue that the ladies had made super-special. We scoffed, we laughed and joked. The speeches went well. For me the whole thing was something of a blur. I’m reliably informed that there will be videos of the speeches; I’m looking forward to seeing them.
As I smoked my (rather epic) cigar so the thunderstorm hit. Turkish thunderstorms are rather impressive.
I eventually fell into bed about half past one.
I took a lot of photos today…
14 June 2019 (Friday) - A Boat Trip; A Meal
I woke in the small hours feeling like death warmed up. I wonder why (!) I had a bottle of water and went back to bed. I woke again at six o’clock, got up and had a shave… and went back to bed again. I think today was the latest breakfast of the week for me.
For some inexplicable reason most of our wedding party were also rather late for breakfast too. Mind you I still managed three courses of brekkie.
We went to our usual spot by the pool. During the week it had somehow become accepted that our gang had dibs on the corner spot by the bar and pool. We did our thing for an hour, then some of us went down to the beach for a boat trip.
A dozen of us got into a speedboat, and we were whisked along the coast. The views were stunning. We looked into a few caves, and we put a message into a bottle and chucked it into the Mediterranean. I wonder where that message will end up?
After a while our boat pulled up at a little cove. I’d brought my snorkel along just in case, and we spent a little while snorkelling and looking at the fishes. There were mullet, a couple of puffer-fish, and something that looked like a huge saltwater angel-fish.
There was a little bar in the cove; Craig got us all a drink.
There was a zip-line going across the cove. Chris was fist one to have a go. You zipped from one side to the other, and then back again. Several of our group did just that. I might have done if had I realised that this was going to be happening; there hadn’t been any mention of needing much money. It wasn’t expensive really, but everything is expensive when your money is back in the hotel room.
Craig then jokingly asked if there were any geocaches nearby. I had a look on the app. There were two – one on either side of the cove. Now I’m not saying that they had been placed just to get people onto the zip-lines, but it was rather frustrating that the zip-line operator made it clear (politely, but firmly) that I wasn’t going up to look for anything unless I paid the fee for the zip-line.
From the cove we sailed up the coast a little to where we could jump out of the boat, swim to shore, climb the rocks, and jump into the sea. Some of our number did just that; looking at the rocks I decided not to.
We then went back to base via Rabbit Island. Rabbit Island is a site of archaeological importance; you can’t land there. But you could anchor a few yards offshore and throw apples to the rabbits. Throwing apples from a boat to shore-bound rabbits was surprisingly far more entertaining than you might think.
I must admit that the people who ran the boat trip hadn’t done themselves any favours. We had a really good trip, but the trip had been billed as “Rabbit Island”. A lot of our party weren’t going to spend good money on throwing an apple at a rabbit (on the off-chance of also seeing a goat).
Had they mentioned the cove and the rock-jumping I think we would have had a lot more people along.
We went for lunch. Today there were curried sprouts on the menu. They were rather good. I washed them down with a few Malibu slushies, and did crosswords by the pool as it got hotter and hotter. The pool-side thermometer told us it got up to forty-two degrees.
After cooking all afternoon we went back to our rooms to change. I nearly overslept; but I got up in time. Being the last full day when all of our party were together, we’d arranged to go for a meal at Street 61. During the week Street 61 had become one of our favourite bars.
Once everyone was together we started off with drinkies. I had a strawberry daquiri (very nice) with a rather huge joint of lamb. However a combination of a busy day yesterday and too much sun today had taken its toll; as the evening went on I found myself wilting. Much as I had come to like Street 61, did they need to have both the music and the telly on? You can’t listen to both, can you?
From Street 61 the newlyweds went on to “Babylon”; a bar up the road. We walked up, said goodbye, and walked back to the taxi rank. Despite it being rather late, all the shops were still open. And all the shopkeepers were shouting at us that their goods were “cheap as chip” and “not cheap shit”. I was wishing they wouldn’t.
Once back at the hotel I got a lemonade (I *must* have been ill!). As I was waiting at the bar I saw a “rather delightful fellow” asking his equally “charming” children (aged about eight to ten years old) what they would like to drink. I didn’t hear what they asked for, but he gave them all a vodka and lemonade each.
I went to bed at eleven o’clock. I said I was ill… but not too ill to take some photos.
15 June 2019 (Saturday) - Last Day - Coming Home
I had a light brekkie this morning as I still wasn’t feeling quite right. However a light brekkie on holiday would class as a serious pig-out back home.
Once fed we went back to our room to do our packing. Mine didn’t take that long, and I had a little sleep whilst "er indoors TM" did hers. With packing done we handed in our room keys and moved our luggage to "My Boy TM"’s room, then joined everyone by the pool. I did crosswords until the poolside quiz was announced over the loudspeaker, and our crew managed to score fourteen out of twenty. Mind you some other bunch claimed nineteen out of twenty. Bearing in mind the rules did say not to use mobile phones, I would declare shenanigans (again).
We adjourned for a (relatively) light lunch and then sat by the pool again. As the afternoon wore on our pool seemed rather busier than usual. There were quite a few pools in the complex, but one had suddenly been closed due to a “code brown” alert.
You would think that if a child wasn’t toilet-trained you would either have the child in a swimming nappy, or not let them in the pool, wouldn’t you?
We had a rather lazy day; eventually it was dinner time. Saturday is Chinese day in the hotel restaurant. We had a really good bit of dinner. And then we said our goodbyes and three of us got on the coach for the airport. Glen and Matt had left yesterday. Others had gone during the day. Our pick-up was at eight o’clock in the evening.
In retrospect this wasn’t a good time to start travelling.
We got to the airport after only fifteen minutes and followed the swarm of people from our coach. The queue to the baggage check-in was endless. The process of handing in three cases took hardly any time at all. How could the chap on the counter be taking so long about it?
With our cases handed it we asked the baggage check-in bloke what we did next. He vaguely waved his hand.
I had a vague idea that passport control might be a good idea. We got through there quickly enough, but what a contrast to Turkish passport control coming in. On the way in we were met with smiles and friendly banter. On the way out the chap was surly and unco-operative. Had he smiled, his face would have cracked.
I was also rather amazed at the attitude of those checking our luggage. The woman supposedly looking at the monitor of the x-ray machine was swinging on her chair, looking around, looking up and down. Clearly utterly bored with her job, she was checking nothing. I could only liken her to “Lazy disinterested sixteen year old supermarket checkout girl” from Viz magazine.
We had been told our flight went at eleven o’clock; we had some time to spare. We’d also been told (by a *lot* of people) that Dalaman airport was the most expensive airport in the world. We’d been told that three meals in McDonalds would cost over fifty quid. I don’t know where people got that idea from; a quarter-pounder meal cost just over eight quid. Rather expensive, but that’s airports. I had a strawberry milk shake for two quid. That milk shake was the subject of my last photo of the last album of the holiday. I took just under six hundred photos when we were away.
We did a little shopping, and then thought we might queue for the plane. After a lot of farting around (and being deliberately blanked by several airport staff) we found the check-in for the Gatwick flight. We queued… and then we were told of a gate change. I asked a chap in airport uniform where the Gatwick flight was boarding from; he tried to put me on the flight to Germany. When I pointed out it was the flight to Germany he waved his hands and walked away.
We eventually found where we were supposed to queue for Gatwick. After five minutes some officious little twerp marched up and demanded that we all left the area so he could set up a security gate. Despite having had our luggage and ourselves already searched twice, we were searched a third time. I was thinking of suggesting that had “lazy disinterested sixteen year old supermarket checkout girl” done her job properly then we might have been spared this indignity. But I thought it best not to ruffle any feathers; I’d already had a near-miss with the chap searching me who got *very* over-excited when he found my nail clippers. He was clearly disappointed when I suggested that if they were an issue then he might just throw them away.
The flight was supposed to take off at eleven o’clock. We were finally airborne just after midnight. I had hoped to sleep on the plane. I did doze a little; perhaps I should have taken a travel pillow?
We landed at about two o’clock (UK time). Unlike Dalaman airport, the authorities at Gatwick airport had signs saying where you should go and what you should do. A novel approach, but one which worked. Looking back it didn’t take *that* long to get through passport control and to get our luggage. After less than two hours after our flight had landed we were in the scrum at the bus stop waiting for the shuttle bus back to the car park. After a rather traumatic time at Dalaman airport and a rather poor sleep on the plane I was ready for a fight, and the chance was clearly there. The attitude of the surly jobsworth driving the shuttle bus didn’t help my nerves either.
Finally we got to the car parking. The place had clear signs saying to leave your luggage outside when collecting your car key. I didn’t say anything to the family of five who had all gone in to the office with all of their luggage when only one person (without needing to take anything) could have done the job.
But I had my car key within seconds, and within minutes we were driving home.
Dawn broke as we came down the motorway. Kirsty’s husband was waiting for her at Dobbies, and we came home to some rather excited dogs.
And after eleven hours travelling we got to go to bed.
If any of my loyal readers are going on holiday, don’t take a night flight if you can avoid it…
16 June 2019 (Sunday) - Back Home
When we were away in Turkey last week our bed was *huge*. I soon forgot how small our bed is, and how much space is taken up by small dogs.
We had a few hours’ sleep. But not too much. I treated last night’s flight in much the same way as I would treat a night shift. If you sleep too much immediately afterwards you don’t sleep properly the following night, and so it goes on. If you have one tired day, then you get back into the routine of life so much quicker.
Or that is the plan…
I slept for four hours, then got up. Brekkie was toast. Just toast. When on holiday and presented with about thirty brekkie choices I went mad. Presented with frozen bread I just made toast. As I scoffed it I downloaded the holiday photos from my phone. I’d taken nearly six hundred (of which less than a dozen were that bad that I deleted).
"er indoors TM" was up fairly promptly too. She fed herself, and pausing only briefly to leave the mobile phoes at home we went out. Small dogs didn’t understand that we’d been travelling for two thousand miles and for eleven hours. Small dogs wanted a walk.
We drove to Godinton where we met Karl, Tracey and Charlotte. We’d wanted to have a walk today, but not wanted one too far from home. A quick wander round Godinton fitted the bill rather nicely.
We met up, we had a rather good walk along the series of geocaches I’d hidden a few months ago. Two weeks ago I’d replaced four of them. Three were still good; the fourth had been worried by the sheep. I’ve relocated that one and shall have to hope for the best for it.
I took a few photos as we walked.
With our walk done we went to the Chimneys in Godinton for a post-walk pint. The Chimneys is something of an odd place. Several people have told me that I should go there for the real ale selection. The place only offers one real ale. Hardly a “selection”? And for all that the place has a reputation of being one of the better pubs in Ashford, I’ve seen more obnoxious drunks there than I have in any other pub in town. There was one such kicking off as we arrived.
But we had a good couple of pints. For all that I’d drunk like a fish in Turkey, they didn’t have any decent beer there.
We came home where I made a start on catching up on writing blog entries whilst "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner. For all that we’d eaten well whilst we were away, she does boil up a rather good dose of scran.
As we scoffed it we watched an episode of “Bake Off – The Professionals”. We’d had some rather special cakes whilst we’d been away. Just like they’d been making on Bake-Off. I wonder if the chefs at the Holiday Village might like to take part in the next series?
I dozed off; I woke up feeling rather ill and confused. I went to bed at half past nine…
17 June 2019 (Monday) - Busy Day
I had a rather early night last night and slept well despite some rather vivid nightmares. Last night in my dreams I had been given the task of writing an essay entitled “Why the NHS *isn’t* A Load of Old Crap”. If my essay failed to impress the examiner I was going to be sacked, and the examiner was to be none other than Alexei Sayle.
It was with something of a sense of relief that I woke up at six o’clock. Perhaps a tad early, but I’d still had eight hours asleep.
I made some toast, put a load of washing into the washing machine and continued writing diary entries until "er indoors TM" got up. I then hung out laundry, put more in to wash and then took the dogs up to Kings Wood for a walk. I’d had a report that one of the geocaches I’d hidden there was damaged. I’d been told this two weeks ago and had hoped that some kind soul might have replaced it for me in the meantime.
No such luck.
Ironically it is the very one that I replaced less than three weeks ago, and within days somehow the thing had had a large hole bashed into it. Bearing in mind that only one person had visited it before I got the report that it was broken, I’m pretty sure I know where I might assign blame should I wish to stir up the hornet’s nest. But I won’t. As I’ve said before, Kings Wood is a good place to walk the dogs. And we had a rather good walk; even if Fudge did straggle.
We came home. I emptied the washing machine, put in a third load and hung out more washing on the line to dry. I wrote a little more history, then had a sandwich, set the tumble drier to work its magic on my pants and went into the garden. The lawn had grown rather a lot since it was last mowed.
So I harvested the dog turds (I brought in a bumper crop) and then got out the strimmer and the lawn mower. With the lawn being so long I didn’t so much mow it as scalp it. I shall give it another go later in the week.
By the time I’d taken the secateurs to the jungle which had come over the fence from next door I was feeling rather worn out. So I settled down to upload photos and write more diaries whilst all three dogs barked at their own shadows.
I then spent a while fighting with my PayPal account. PayPal had sent me a message saying my payment card was about to expire. The bank had sent me a message saying all was OK and the new card would just take over from the old. I couldn’t find any way to update the thing anyway. We’ll see what happens in a couple of weeks.
"er indoors TM" came home, boiled up some dinner, and went off bowling (as she does). I sparked up the ironing board and ironed through the two final episodes of “Jamestown” (in which Jocelyn’s bosom finally did heave again) and half an episode of “Gentleman Jack” (in which our hero became quite lesbidaceous).
It was just as I finished the last bit of ironing at half past nine when my phone rang.
"Daddy’s Little Angel TM" was rather distraught with earache. I drove over to her and took her up to the hospital where we were seen quite quickly. She was in and out in five minutes and is hopefully now on the mend.
I hadn’t been planning on having quite such a late night tonight.
18 June 2019 (Tuesday) - This n That
Another reasonably good night. It would have been better had I not had a flurry of text messages from six o’clock asking about "Daddy’s Little Angel TM". I messaged her over brekkie and she seemed to be on the mend. As I scoffed my toast I also had a look at Facebook and saw that the photos and videos I’d posted yesterday had received a *lot* of “likes” and reactions.
I saw that I’d had a comment on the blog entry I made on May 30th. In my world May 30th 2019 was rather dull. I walked the dogs, I found a geocache, and I had a guts ache. However the daily round of “Lovely Czech Woman” must be even more dull than mine. She’d said about that blog entry “Today, I visit your website and after reading your blog i realize that it is very informative. I'm highly impressed to see the comprehensive resources being offered by your site”. That was very nice of her, but she then went on to try to advertise various African tribal clothing. I deleted the comment; if any of my loyal readers want to buy cheap African tribal clothing I’d suggest eBay.
And I got a little bit cross. I had a flurry of “found it” logs on the series of geocaches I’d hidden in Kings Wood. When you hide a geocache you live with the constant worry of it going missing. A “found it” log tells you the thing is still there… Or that is the idea. However when I looked closely I saw that the logs I received this morning referred to finds made over two months ago. One of the logs was about a cache which has subsequently been replaced twice.
Why do people wait so long to write their electronic logs; especially when the entire process of writing them can be automated and hundreds of the things can be posted in seconds.
I got the leads onto the dogs, and we went for a little walk round the park. We’d not done that for a while; it was just like old times. The dogs were really good, we had no fights or squabbles at all. I did think we might have had an episode with one of the normal people who was flying a drone in the co-op field, but all three dogs ignored him and it.
We came home and I went round the garden harvesting dog dung. Bearing in mind I did that yesterday afternoon I was amazed at how much had been generated in the meantime. I can’t help but wonder if someone else is hoiking their dog’s turds into my garden. Surely three small dogs can’t make so much of the stuff?
Eventually the dogs settled, and (after a little pause for geo-reasons in Winchelsea) I drove down to Hastings; mum and dad wanted to see the photos of last week’s wedding. I showed them all five hundred and seventy-odd photos. They seemed impressed. Mum had put on a little bit of dinner; once we’d scoffed we said our goodbyes and I headed home… via Doleham. There was a geocache there which hadn’t been found for over two years. I parked the car, walked for half a mile, and found it wasn’t there.
As I walked back to my car I saw the way was being guarded by what I thought was a large dog. It wasn’t a dog; it was a large pig. The pig seemed happy rooting in the grass, and fortunately totally ignored me.
I came home, and spent a little while pulling the weeds from between the slabs in the front garden. It is a tedious job, but the garden looked better for it.
And then I had a look at my wardrobe and decided that I would ding out any item of clothing that I hadn’t worn in the last two years – I have four black sacks of clothes to take to the tip tomorrow,
"er indoors TM" messaged – she’d just parked round the corner. Leaving the dogs asleep we drove down to Folkestone for a flying visit. We came home via the chip shop, and with the dogs fed we watched more “Bake Off – The Professionals”. The more I watch that show the more I wonder if I might have been better off being a professional baker.
Is it too late to do just that?
19 June 2019 (Wednesday) - Raining Hard
Apparently there was a rather impressive storm last night? I slept right through it. I eventually woke about eight hours after going to bed; something which very rarely happens in my world. I made some toast and had a little look at the Internet. Not much had happened overnight, which was probably for the best.
There was a posting on the cache page of that geocache I didn’t find yesterday. I read “I will check when I am in the area. Phew! It takes some work keeping an eye on my 250+ caches. Future visitors, feel free to help me with their maintenance”. Whilst I agree (entirely) with the sentiment, whenever I’ve put such comments on any of my cache pages I’ve had the geo-feds on my case. You’re not allowed to say that. Or (as it would seem) *I’m* not allowed to say that. Demonstrably others can.
One thing I’ve noticed with the geo-authorities is that they are incredibly inconsistent with how they apply the rules. It really is one rule for some, and another rule for others.
As I looked at the Internet "er indoors TM" was pootling in the kitchen. The dogs had all had their breakfasts, but were hoping for more. Fudge and Pogo were just looking wistfully at the biscuit box, but Treacle had quite the little tantrum when biscuits weren’t forthcoming.
The dogs soon started bothering me to take them for a walk. They flatly refused to go into the back garden (because it was raining) but demanded to go out the front door for a walk. Despite the rain we went up the road and did our usual circuit through the park which again passed off painlessly.
My plan for the day had been to jet-wash the gardens. But it was raining… I had this theory that jet-washing makes a *lot* of mess, and the rain might wash the mess away. So I got out the jet washer anyway, scrubbed here and there, and hoped the rain might sort it all out.
With jet washing jet washed I loaded up my car with all the clothes that I’d sorted yesterday and took them to the tip. From there I went on to disappointment at the garden centre. When we’d been away last week we’d been really impressed with one of the local plants. It seemed to grow everywhere and was really pretty. I had a plan to have some in the back garden. But it would seem that Bougainvillea glabra doesn’t do that well in the UK where it is twenty degrees colder.
Such a shame.
I was hoping to have a hedge border behind the pond… I shall have a re-think. If any on my loyal readers know a privet-like hedge with pretty flowers…
I came home, and as the rain continued I spent a couple of hours doing the ironing whilst watching a film on Netflix. “I Am Mother” was rather good, but I couldn’t shake the idea that the robot protagonist looked very much like Marvin from The Hitch-Hiker’ Guide to the Galaxy.
I thought about painting the front of the house, but with more rain and thunderstorms forecast I decided against it. Instead I watched an episode of “Gentleman Jack” in which the Reverend Ainsworth had been unusually forward and intimate with Miss Ann (the beast!)
"er indoors TM" came home and boiled up some liver and onions. Very nice. We watched more Bake-Off on the telly.
I need to find the Vaseline for the morning… I wonder where it is?
20 June 2019 (Thursday) - At The Arse Clinic
I didn’t sleep well; the ordeal of the arse clinic was preying on my mind far more that I thought it would. I got up just before seven to perform the first “pre-procedural process”…
My daughter often tells me off. She says I have no filter; I just say anything. Perhaps she’s right. But if I am going to record history with any degree of accuracy, a filter would get in the way. So calling something a “pre-procedural process” does rather gloss over the reality of the matter. The “pre-procedural process” involved me laying down on the floor outside the toilet door, shoving a tube up my khyber and squirting about a pint of some odd liquid up there. I’ve never shoved a tube up my khyber before; the mechanics of doing so were rather tricky. I had considered asking "er indoors TM" for assistance, but I’d thought better of it. Looking back I’m glad the dogs were all asleep.
Having finally squirted the liquid I had to lay still for as long as I could before visiting the lavatory. I managed about seven minutes before succumbing to the inevitable. After one rather impressive fart, the “pre-procedural process” was done and dusted.
Usually I would have some brekkie, but the nice people at the arse clinic had asked me not to eat this morning. Finding myself moping about waiting for time to pass I decided to go to the hospital and wait for time to pass there. I got to the William Harvey hospital and parked up. It wasn’t long before I found the endoscopy department and once I’d signed in I sat and waited. And waited. A chap who was there asked how long he would have to wait; the receptionist pointed to a notice saying that the time mentioned in our letters was the time we were supposed to turn up, and that we should expect to allow four hours for the session. The receptionist was adamant that all patients were told this; the chap who was quibbling was adamant that this was news to him.
Nobody had mentioned anything about four hours to me, but I just waited patiently.
After an hour I was called. The nice nurse did all the paperwork, and gave me a sexy pair of shorts to wear. I’d worn my best pants for the event, but they had to go. Instead I had a pair of shorts with a slit up the back for easy access (!)
Clad in my sexy shorts I was let into a cubicle with half a dozen various medical people. Some said hello, some didn’t. I was told to lay on my side and suddenly a load of wet Vaseline was shoved on my crack, and a probe rammed up there (and they say romance is dead!)
As I lay on my side I could see my insides on a huge monitor. There wasn’t really that much to see. They found (and cut out) two small polyps, and told me that I had some diverticula which was a result of “wear and tear” (?)
However in order to see what was going on up my khyber, the medics had inflated my read end with copious amounts of carbon dioxide to inflate it. Feeling the urge to release a massive fart whilst someone was vigorously ramming a camera up my chuff (and cutting bits out of it) wasn’t the most comfortable of experiences.
When it was all over the nice nurse had the sense to give me a toilet to use as a changing room.
I came home, put “Trap One” through its paces and took the dogs round the block. We didn’t go far; I didn’t dare be far from a chod-bin.
I then did a little phoning around. "er indoors TM" had poggered the front door. She claimed it wasn’t her doing, but it worked fine earlier for me, but wouldn’t lock for her. I phoned Everest; the people who’d made and fitted the door. In the past I have had nothing but praise for them. However… when I finally got through to them they told me they would get the service team to phone me back. The service team phoned back about an hour and a half later. It was rather obvious that the lady from the service team had spent that time writing a script. Everything she said was obviously being read from a page. She wanted seventy-five pounds to make an appointment. The engineer would then charge me sixty-five pounds per hour (and that didn’t include parts), and she didn’t have anyone available for two weeks.
I phoned our house insurance people; locks weren’t covered.
I phoned a local locksmith; he arrived within the hour, and had the problem fixed within minutes. And he charged a fraction of what Everest wanted.
While I was waiting for the locksmith I’d been painting the front of the house. I carried on once he’d gone, then made myself some toast for lunch. As I scoffed it I watched the first episode of “Good Girls”; the latest Netflix “thing”.
I thought about taking the dogs out, and I thought about going to visit "My Boy TM" (who arrived home from Turkey last night), but I didn’t want to go too far from the toilet. So I cleaned out the fish tank (it was a tad grungy), and with tank scrubbed I clenched and popped round to “Pets at Home” for two more blackmoors.
In between running to the loo I dozed in front of the telly until "er indoors TM" came home. She boiled up a rather good pasta bake which we scoffed and washed down with a bottle of red wine whilst we watched the final of “Bake Off- The Professionals”. I do love that show, but I sometimes wonder what is a “ganache” or a “jaconde”?
I wonder how many times I will be up during the night?
21 June 2019 (Friday) - Longest Day
I slept like a log and woke feeling full of energy… at half past two. I then dozed fitfully wondering if I might relocate to the dog basket as Treacle and Pogo seemed to have a monopoly of any available space on the bed.
I got up. As I shaved I heard Fudge being sick outside the bathroom door. He then sat with me as I had my toast; he was well enough to have some of the crusts. As I peered at Facebook I saw that several people had made comments about today being a long day… what with holidays and hospital appointments I’d forgotten that today was the longest day of the year.
I’d also completely forgotten about today’s geocaching event in Sussex. I would like to have been a part of that, but by the time I remembered, I was four hours too late.
It was with a sense of disbelief that I saw that it was Alejandro’s twenty-fourth birthday. Twenty-four! I can remember going to visit only a few hours after he was born.
I got the leads on to the dogs and we drove out to Orlestone Woods. As we arrived there was an old woman acting *very* suspiciously around a parked car. She’d parked her car right in front of it, and was trying all the doors and windows, and peering in from all angles. She told me it was a suspicious vehicle which she felt she should report to the forestry commission because it had been there for too long. When I suggested that we might tell the police (and I pulled out my phone) she bustled away as quickly as she could. I wonder what that was all about.
We then went on with our walk. Other than that busybody we didn’t see anyone else at all on our walk. Which is *exactly* why we went to Orlestone Woods. As we walked we saw a new notice board. It had four rules for dogs. Unfortunately Fudge had already failed the first two; dogs are supposed to stay within the owner’s sight at all times, and are supposed to come when called. Both are beyond him.
Oh, how I laughed.
We walked for an hour, then came back to the car park to find that the suspicious-looking car had gone. We came home. I spent a while in the garden. Moring the lawn, trimming overgrowth, pulling weeds… it all took time.
I then drove round to the co-op. I’d given the last of my cash to the locksmith yesterday and I needed a bit of dinner. I chose what I wanted, and one of the staff came running up and told me that the wrap I’d picked up wasn’t in the meal deal. I thanked her for this information and went to get a bag of crisps. Said member of staff appeared from nowhere and started fussing that the crisps were in the meal deal, but the wrap wasn’t.
When I came to pay, this woman bellowed across the store to the woman on the till that what I had wasn’t in their meal deal. I told that woman on the till that I couldn’t care less, and paid. Perhaps I should have cared more; I could have got the same for half the price from the corner shop up the road from home.
I came home, and as I scoffed dinner I watched the first episode of “Catch-22”. I can vaguely remember reading the book many years ago. So far it seems to be OK.
Realising that all three dogs were snoring I left them asleep and walked up into town. I had a vague idea I might like a Kindle, and wondered if I might pick up a cheap second-hand one. Amazingly the Kindles which are just e-book readers are double the price of the Kindle Fire tablets and are far cheaper on-line. I didn’t get one. Instead I went to the milk shake shop, and after fifteen minutes I gave up waiting and walked home.
I then dozed in front of the telly until "er indoors TM" came home. She boiled up sausages and chips which we scoffed whilst watching “Junior Bake Off”. For someone who rarely cooks, I am fascinated by watching others doing so.
For a supposedly lazy day, I didn’t stop. I really should program “Hannah” for tomorrow…
22 June 2019 (Saturday) - Bluebell Hill
As I scoffed my toast this morning I looked at the Internet. The Facebook “Kent Traffic and Travel” page made me roll my eyes a few times; It sometimes seems that being utterly illiterate is a pre-requisite for being able to post comments on that page.
If a car drives into your car and then drives off, then you should make a note of the registration number and tell the police right away, *Not* wait several hours and then post a poorly-written rant on social media? Don’t you? I would.
If someone else asks if the traffic in a certain part of town is gridlocked and you don’t know, then say nothing. What does posting a load of sarcasm achieve?
The “Residents of Ashford” Facebook page was much the same. Some half-wit was trying to stir up a scandal from local councillors claiming legitimate expenses. Does “Uneducated of Kingsnorth Road” *really* believe that local councillors should fund their activities personally? Who would be able to do that? Do we really want a system in which only the rich can afford to be in public office?
So much for democracy (not that I believe in it anyway…)
The Internet is such a good idea, but what could be a useful resource has become a ranting-ground for the Great Unwashed. Perhaps more people might stick to posting dog-selfies. Like I do
I posted a dog selfie from the car as we drove up to Bluebell Hill where we met Karl, Tracey and Charlotte. We then went on a little wander round the area collecting geocaches as we went on a route which we rather made up as we went.
We walked our walk, and with the walk walked we made our way to today’s geo-meet at the Waggon At Hale. This is somewhere that we’ve been a few times. I must admit that for all that it is a regular venue in my world, I’m not keen on the place. The miniature petting zoo in the garden winds up the dogs, and the beer (in my experience) isn’t that well-kept. Our first two pints got sent back today (sour and cloudy), and after being given a half-pint (!) bottled replacement we heard that the ales were off whilst the pumps were being cleaned.
Now I would have thought that the time to clean the lines would have been before the place opened?
That all sounds rather negative, doesn’t it?
But the replacement ale wasn’t too bad. The stilton ploughman’s wasn’t too bad either, and it was good to catch up with friends too.
We didn’t stay as long as we might have done; the dogs were getting fractious, so we drove up to Capstone Country park and had a little wander round there with Jackie and Aleta joining us. It was rather good to catch up, and it wore off the dogs’ nervous energy (to say nothing of the beer).
I took quite a few photos today.
We came home, and as the dogs snored I watched “Celebrity SAS – Who Dares Wins”. Yesterday I saw some of “Celebrity Crystal Maze” and in the week we watched “Celebrity Gogglebox”. All shows about celebrities – I’ve never heard of any of these people…
23 June 2019 (Sunday) - Back To Work
Yesterday evening (about an hour after sunset) I had notification of a series of thirty geocaches going live. As they were all in the general direction of work I thought I might have the chance of a cheeky first to find this morning.
Other people had also seen them and had been out during the night and had found the lot.
Oh well... They will make for a good walk in a few weeks’ time in the daylight when I can see what is going on.
As I drove to work this morning I listened to the radio. I've not listened to it for the last two weeks. I see a holiday being a holiday from the world as well as from work.
Being a Sunday the news was of religious matters, and again my piss boiled as some some bloke was banging on about LBGT Christians. I'm sorry, but as someone who has studied the Bible and Christianity at some length, there ain't no such thing as an LGBT Christian. The Bible is quite clear on the matter. Don't get me wrong - I don't have a problem with LGBT people, but the Bible does. If you disagree, read it. And it you still think that anyone who is LGBT can still be a Christian, then please explain (rationally and logically) how you can pick and choose which elements of a religion to accept, and which bits to blatantly ignore.
(I don't make the rules, God does - and wrote the rules in the Bible... *if* you believe that stuff...personally I have a few reservations...)
And then there was talk about Boris Johnson's neighbour who has supposedly gone to the newspapers about an altercation he heard in Boris Johnson's house. If I was Boris Johnson's neighbour I'd be going to the newspapers every time Mr Johnson so much as farted until such time as the newspapers wouldn’t pay me to do so any more.
I got to work a little earlier than I might have done, and I wandered into the canteen for the Full English, and then got on with a morning's work. Doing a half-day at the end of the holiday eased me gently back into harness.
With the morning’s work done I came home, and solved a few geo-puzzles until "er indoors TM" came home. We then took the dogs out to Biddenden and did some maintenance on some of her geocaches. Someone had logged that there were issues with some of her caches. Personally I feel that people might spend their time far more constructively performing any geo-maintenance as soon as they find that it needs doing. But the majority opinion is that having spotted an issue (that you *could* fix yourself) you then leave a snarky message and leave the problem until the person who hid the cache can find time to sort it out.
On the one hand is a “jobsworth” strict interpretation of the rules which takes several weeks to solve a problem. On the other hand is a public-spirited approach which solves a problem in seconds and leaves everyone happy.
And as always, I’m in the minority.
Still, if nothing else it made for a good dog-walk.
Rather unusually "er indoors TM" boiled up a roast dinner this evening. It was rather good….
24 June 2019 (Monday) - Late Shift
Apart from a trip to “Trap One” in the small hours I slept rather well last night. It was a shame I was so rudely awoken when Treacle kicked me in the “pods” just before seven o’clock.
I made some toast, and as I scoffed it I had a look at the Internet. Nothing much had happened overnight on Facebook – for once I didn’t have a single notification. And with no emails worth the electricity it took to send them, I got the dogs organised for a little walk.
We did our usual circuit of Bowen’s Field, the park and came home through the co-op field. The walk passed off better than it might have done, but I have noticed that since we came back from holiday, Pogo has slipped back in to his old ways of barking at everyone and everything. I shall have to be more firm with him. He was doing *so* well.
We came home and I harvested what seemed to be several tons of dog dung from the garden, then (as the dogs snored) I had a little look at the geo-map to see if I might find a little adventure to have before work.
As I drove to work this morning I listened to the radio. "Women's Hour" was on, and there was an article about the state of mind of the children who face adoption. Apparently people have only recently cottoned on to the fact that these poor kiddies might be just a tad screwed-up. As a scout leader I realised that about twenty years ago. It was a rather depressing article, but I listened to it, and then to the "Book of the Week" which featured some woman trying to put on a brave show of coping with family life whilst struggling inside. A bit like all of us really... What I heard was rather good. I’ve downloaded the book so’s I can read it at leisure.
I got to where the sat-nav said my morning's geo-target was. Bearing in mind I was after a possible resuscitation and that the thing hadn't been found in eighteen months my hopes weren't high. Which was just as well because I didn't find it.
Neither did I find another cache which was then on my way to work which looked to me as though it had been drop-kicked into a hedge by a church. I did find another one by a storm drain, but it was at this point that the heavens opened, so I gave up and went in to work perhaps a little earlier than usual.
I went to the work's canteen; the mince pie wasn't too shabby at all, but I passed on the fruit pie and custard. I really should start thinking about a diet (again).
And after I'd read a little of my book (Kindle app) I went in to work, and had a rather busy late shift. To be honest it wasn't that busy, but it was certainly busier than I'd hoped it might have been.
My first full day at work… We came home from Turkey eight days ago. It seems far longer...
25 June 2019 (Tuesday) - Before the Night Shift
I spent much of the night listening to "er indoors TM" telling Fudge off, but I’ve no idea what he did wrong. Perhaps I should have defended my little dog?
As I scoffed my toast I saw that nothing much had happened on Facebook overnight, and I’d not had any emails of note either. Some mornings the Internet can be fun; some mornings it is rather dull.
I got the leads on to the dogs, and with a little time on our hands we drove out to Hemsted Forest near Benenden. It was somewhere that we hadn’t walked before, and I thought it might make for a good stroll. We hadn’t been walking long when my phone pinged. A new series of geocaches had gone live not two miles from where we were. We all hurried back to the car and drove those two miles. We wandered down a little lane to where the dogs could roam free whilst I rummaged in a hedge for one of the new caches. I soon found what I wanted – I had the cache in hand and First to Find too.
There is great kudos in getting a First to Find. There is even greater kudos in having a streak of at least one FTF a month. But to have such a streak you only need one a month. You don’t need all of them. I *could* have cracked on and hunted out more, but the rest of that series will keep for another time when we can walk the route with company. Much as I like hunting out these things, I much prefer doing so with company.
We came home where some of us barked at the koi in the pond. From the way the dogs react at fish feeding time you’d think the pond was only there for their entertainment.
I put a load of washing in and watched last week’s episode of “Gentleman Jack” as I scoffed a sandwich, and then I had a message. Someone else had seen that new series of geocaches that went live this morning and obviously had the hump that they didn’t get all the First to Finds for themselves. That someone else is a person who has made snarky comments about me before. Perhaps I’m over-sensitive, but it seems that no mater what I do in life there is always someone trying to turn it into an argument.
I took myself off to bed for the afternoon; I managed a couple of hours asleep.
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner.
I really should set off for the night shift; the motorway is closing for the night soon…
26 June 2019 (Wednesday) - Bit Tired
As I drove home from the night shift I listened to the news on the radio. I’ve not done this since before my holiday, and quite frankly I’ve missed nothing. I can remember when the latest Brexit delay was announced; at the time one of the leaders of the EU said that Britain should not fritter away the time, but should prepare for Brexit. But frittering of time is all that has happened.
Rather than having a quick transition of power from Mrs May to her successor, the Conservative party are taking an absolute age to do that which could realistically have been done in an afternoon. The blame for the entire Brexit debacle can fairly be laid at the feet of Boris Johnson, and having instigated the mess, he is the obvious person to clear it up.
So why waste over a month holding elections which could be had in an hour or so?
I came home, refereed a fight between Treacle and Pogo, and then took all three dogs round the park. Despite a lapse the other day, Pogo’s training seems to be back on track. As always when we walk, Fudge is the biggest problem. I can deal with Pogo’s episodes as they are usually close at hand. When Fudge blots his copybook he is usually over a hundred yards distant. Like he was this morning when he decided to declare his undying love of OrangeHead’s mate’s hound (as only a dog can)
With walk walked I locked the front door behind us, and we all went to the koi pond where there was a battle between the fish and the dogs as to who cold eat the most fish food.
I took myself off to bed and managed three hours asleep before waking.
Over a late brekkie I watched the last episode of “Celebrity SAS – Who Dares Wins” which was won by someone of whom I had never previously heard, and of whom I doubt I will ever hear again. Apparently the chap was a footballer?
As I watched telly my phone rang. It was the nice lady from the arse clinic. Last week when I had my appointment with them, they’d cut out whatever it was that they had found and had sent it off to the labs. Today they’d got the results back, and I had the all-clear. That was nice. It doesn’t explain the intermittent copious amounts of blood that I get down there from time to time; I asked about that, but the nice lady had her script, and the script said “all clear”.
I then put “Good Girls” on Netflix and did some ironing, then with ironing done I dozed in front of the telly until "er indoors TM" came home.
The day after a night shift is always rather dull…
27 July 2019 (Thursday) - Hemsted Forest
It’s no secret that I work odd hours. What with working this coming weekend, today is my Saturday. I had planned to go fishing, but "My Boy TM" was working today. I did think about a road trip to south Wales to find a particular geocache, but I couldn’t find anyone who was free to go on the adventure.
As I scoffed toast I peered into the Internet. It was much the same as it was last night. Not much had changed. There was a new geocache which had gone live a couple of miles from where I was planning on walking the dogs this morning. I *could* have gone running out to chase the First to Find, but I decided not to do so. I got one of those on Tuesday. Someone else can have the opportunity to keep their streak going.
I got the dogs organised and we drove out to Hemsted Forest near Cranbrook. There is a rather large forestry commission wood there which I thought might make for a good dog walk. We followed the well-marked footpaths, and as we went we met a few other dog walkers. One day I will go for a walk and *not* be asked what breed Treacle and Pogo are.
As we walked we met one nice lady who had half a dozen dogs in tow. We exchanged pleasantries and they went their way and we went ours. Two minutes later we encountered a rather harassed looking old battleaxe who was hurrying down the path. “Oh”, she exclaimed while looking at my wolf pack. “She didn’t take your dogs then?”. This old battleaxe then went off on a rant about the last woman we’d met. This one walks round the woods every day and (apparently) all the dogs in the woods leave their own group and follow her. The battleaxe then hurried off down the path screaming “will you b… well stop walking and give me back my dog you silly old….!!!!.”.
Realising I’d had a narrow escape we went off in the other direction.
I took one or two photos as I walked.
Quite a few of our walks are guided by geocaches. Today’s was no exception. There are two geocaches in Hemsted Forest. One has been there for thirteen years, one for a few weeks. The old one is in a bit of a state; the new one was twenty yards from where the GPS would have you think it should be. It struck me as odd that there were so few; if I lived closer I would put out a series of geocaches in those woods. There is probably space for about thirty or more. You would have thought that someone would have put some caches there.
Perhaps I might do so… it isn’t *that* far out of my way when I am working at Pembury. But I have already put out over fifty of the things this year. Is it *that* unreasonable to think that others might like to get involved in shoving film pots under rocks?
We came home; I hung out washing and put more in to scrub. With lunch scoffed I set about the monthly accounts. They are a whole lot better than they were a few short years ago, but still nowhere near what I’d like them to be. Is it *that* unreasonable to want to have far too much money?
As I looked at my accounts my phone rang. It was the local hospital who wanted to arrange my pre-surgical consultation for my nasal re-bore. I remarked to the chap on the phone that I was glad he called as I was about to put in a formal complaint about the matter. I’ve only been waiting for two and a half years for this surgery. He blathered a few platitudes, and I’ve got an appointment for a couple of weeks’ time.
With not much else to do, I spent the afternoon catching up on CPD before going to get the washing in. I then slept through heaven only knows what was on the UK Gold channel until "er indoors TM" came home.
Together we applied the monthly flea treatments to the dogs. Fudge isn’t overly bothered by it, but Treacle run in terror, and Pogo hides. You wouldn’t believe how well such a lump can hide himself. I wish I knew why – it doesn’t hurt.
We then had a rather good bit of dinner which we washed down with a bottle of plonk. Back in the day we seemingly lived off of German white wines; it was rather good.
As we scoffed and drank we watched another episode of “Junior Bake Off”. Another show in the “Bake Off” family; I quite like this one…
28 June 2019 (Friday) - Coconut Flavoured Bogroll
I had an early night last night and slept like a log right pup until Pogo started walking all over my head at two o'clock. I say "Pogo" - it could have been Treacle. They look very much alike; even more so in the pitch darkness.
I finally gave up trying to get back to sleep, and over some toast I watched last night's episode of "Catch 22" which was again rather good. For once I didn't bother with the Internet over brekkie. Time was short, and the Internet can be dull.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were interviewing someone or other from the Foreign Office. This person is supporting Jeremy Hunt in the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party for the simple reason that Boris Johnson is being seen more and more as something of an embarrassment. The claim was made that when the BBC were filming him he referred to the French as "turds" and his aides had to beg the BBC not to broadcast this (and several other gaffes).
Is this true? I don't know. Possibly. But if this is being alleged about a potential future Prime Minister it makes you worry for the future. This was the theme that some bishop took up for his "Thought for the Day" platitude. The bishop took the line that because it is a crappy old world, let's beg God to sort it out for us. Personally I would take the line that it is a crappy old world because God *hasn't* sorted it out and clearly has no intentions of doing so (if God is even there!).
Mind you the writer Pliny the Elder despaired for the future, and that was two thousand years ago and we are still here.
I stopped off at Aldi before work to get some supplies. I got there a few minutes before they opened, and as always there was some weird bloke trying to meet and greet everyone. Perhaps he is just lonely; perhaps he’s just odd… he certainly is no advert for the place.
I got my supplies. I got biscuits and granola. I got a nostril hair trimmer. And I got coconut flavoured bogroll. I’m not quite sure whatever possessed anyone to make coconut flavoured bogroll, but having seen the stuff, I certainly wanted some.
Work was work. Being a hot day a lot of people were sitting about in the hospital gardens. We spent a lot of time today peering out the window watching the antics of one rather delightful family. There were about a dozen of them; they were there for about four hours. The children were drinking coca-cola by the two-litre bottles; the mothers (in open-toed fluffy slippers) were blowing cigarette smoke into the faces of the babies.
What charming people…
As I left work I had a message to assure me that a geocache I’d hidden had gone missing. So I went to have a look only to find it was where I’d hidden it. It was at this point that I checked the geo-credentials of the person who’d messaged me.
I should have known better.
Only having ever found three of the things, the chap was clearly not as knowledgeable about the things as he would like to think he is.
It was at this point that my phone beeped. "er indoors TM" and Cheryl were taking the dogs to the river at Great Chart. Should they wait for me? I said I’d meet them there. We had quite a good half-hour watching the dogs playing in the water.
Not a bad day really…
29 June 2019 (Saturday) - Hot !!
I was out like a light when my alarm went off this morning. I woke to find that Fudge had spent the night upstairs on the bed. That was unlike him. It is odd that when only Pogo and Treacle come up there isn't room to swing a cat (or dog) but when all three hounds spend the night on the bed, I manage a good night's sleep.
Over a bowl of the granola that I bought yesterday I watched another episode of "Good Girls", then set off to work.
As I drove, “Farmer's World" was talking about the decline of curlews in the British countryside. I don't think I've ever seen a curlew. From what I heard on the radio it seems unlikely that I ever will.
Much of the morning's news was from the summit meeting in Japan where the world's leaders have got together for a bit of a conflab. Teresa May was telling off the Russian and Saudi leaders; seemingly oblivious to the fact that she is a spent force. Donald Trump *wasn't* being a total idiot (much to the amazement of all commentators).
From what I could work out there was a lot of hot air generated, but not much else.
I got to work and did my thing on what was a busy day. And it was only when I was done that I appreciated the air conditioning at work. Whilst I worked I’d been comfortable. When I came out it was *hot*.
I came home via Aldi (I needed to get some beer); I did laugh. As I queued at the tills a small boy was prancing about blundering into everyone and everything. After a few minutes of this some bloke dragged the child over to the area by the windows where there was a lot more space. “If you must be a f…ing retard, do it here” the chap loudly announced. I don’t think the child was one of his; mind you there didn’t seem to be anyone else supervising the wannabe ballerina.
I came home, and said goodbye to "er indoors TM" who was off to the cinema with Cheryl. I then had a look at Facebook. A friend was posting from hospital having had “a diagnostic procedure”. Some people have “a diagnostic procedure”: I have “a camera up the arse”… Perhaps I might be better off being the sort of person who has “a diagnostic procedure”?
I drove round to "My Boy TM". We sat in the garden putting the world to rights until Cheryl and "er indoors TM" returned from the cinema. We then scoffed ourselves silly on barbecue stuff before spending far too long in the hot tub. It was a good way to spend the evening… a shame something’s given me the farts…
30 June 2019 (Sunday) - Feeling Iffy
I didn’t sleep well; it was hot and my insides weren’t right last night. And I did worry about Fudge who was panting intermittently. It was a very warm night; probably too hot for Fudge.
I got up early, and over brekkie had a look-see at what was on the telly. There was an episode of “On The Buses”. I gave it ten minutes; it hadn’t stood the test of time.
Leaving "er indoors TM" and the dogs asleep I set off to Margate. "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" had been let down by a supplier or needed ice or… To be honest I don’t really know exactly what had gone awry. I was just told that I had to run her up to the cash and carry, and I did as I was told.
There are quite a few women in the family who I just obey without question (in fact I do that with all of them…)
As I drove I turned on the radio. There was some rather dull drivel being broadcast, so I turned it off and howled along to my rather personal choice of music. I had sussed out a geocache I might find as I drove through Birchington, but I couldn’t see anywhere I might easily park, so I just kept going.
It wasn’t long before I was at "Daddy’s Little Angel TM"’s shop. As I walked in, she was screaming at a customer. This chap had his earphones in and was playing some frankly dreadful music at a deafening level. He was asking a question, but he couldn’t hear the answer over the noise of his music. I would have thought that the obvious solution to his problem would have been to have taken the earphones out, but what do I know?
There was something of a problem; the chap who was supposed to be on duty in the shop hadn’t showed up for work. After a while the police arrived to say he’d been stabbed (and consequently wouldn’t be in!). So, having little choice but to close the place, the shutters went up, and we drove to the cash and carry.
Have you ever been to a cash and carry? I’ve been a few times. It all sounds rather exciting, but it is just shopping; albeit on a larger scale. But the nice people there give you free coffee (which is something of a result). We loaded up three huge trollies as we went round, and eventually we struggled it all into the car park and filled the car. However when the car was full we still had a trolley full of stuff to load up. Fortunately the nice lady at the cash and carry took pity on us and said she would guard our excess. I got the impression that this sort of thing happens rather a lot.
We drove back to the shop and unloaded. I say “we”; I did most of the unloading as "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" dealt with a seemingly endless stream of customers. It was as well we’d been for supplies.
As I struggled to unload the car she commented that I wasn’t as fast as I used to be. A factually correct observation, but one I found surprisingly hurtful. I have no idea why; I’m not usually so sensitive.
And with the car finally empty I drove back to the cash and carry to collect what we’d left behind. As I unloaded for the second time, Sid the pug wandered out of the shop and got in the way as best he could.
Eventually we had all the supplies in the shop. "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" was clearly busy, so I left her to it, and came home. Just as I pulled up I had a message that "er indoors TM" and the hounds were round the park. I *could* have gone to meet them; instead I went to bed. I was feeling rather rough (for no reason that I could fathom), and I slept until I was woken by three wet dogs when they all came home an hour later.
"er indoors TM" then announced that she was going to B&Q. With absolutely nothing better to do I went with her. "er indoors TM" wanted a “water-based wood preservative”. Have you any idea just how long you can take to choose a tin of varnish? For thousands of people, going to B&Q on a Sunday is the highlight of the week. I found it rather dull.
"er indoors TM" then went varnishing in the garden. I have no idea what she varnished; I stayed inside (still feeling iffy) and put together a Lego set that I’ve been meaning to put together for months. It is a pizza van – I already have a pizza parlour in my Lego world. With a little tweaking the pizza van could become an ice-cream van. That will be a project for another day.
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good dinner. As we scoffed it we watched a film. I’d recorded “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” was good, but like most films it went on for far too long. It could have bee at least half an hour shorter.
If I still feel this grim tomorrow I shall take the day off sick…