1 March 2022 (Tuesday) - Bit Tired



When I first started doing night shifts, the shift went from five o’clock in the afternoon round till nine o’clock the next morning, and (on average) I would have done far less work in any of those sixteen hours than I did in the first hour of last night’s shift. It was with something of a sense of relief that I greeted the early shift as he came in.

The radio was talking about nothing but the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine this morning; the general consensus is that the Russians are finding the Ukraine a far tougher nut to crack than they had expected it to be. I rolled my eyes when there was talk about the refugees – the British Government is supposedly putting obstacles in the way of those wanting to flee to the UK to escape the war, and the general consensus of the British public is that the British Government is not doing anywhere near enough to help. What is it about this conflict that makes the average Brit want to help those in need? Only three months ago a crowd of people stopped the launch of Hastings lifeboat for fear that it might help refugees.


Mind you the average Brit isn’t always the sharpest nail in the box. I came off of the motorway to find gridlock. Have you ever driven round Ashford’ Cows Roundabout at rush hour? I wouldn’t if I were you. With traffic coming from five directions, everyone is pressing for advantage and no one is prepared to give any space. So everyone facing a green traffic light can’t go anywhere as their way is blocked by someone who jumped a red light. Each cycle of the lights was allowing (at most) only one car through, with many cycles allowing no one. I drove the twenty-something miles from Maidstone to the Cows Roundabout in less time than it took me to drive the couple of hundred yards across it.

The annoying thing with this roundabout is how quickly it fills up; had I not chatted for ten minutes before leaving work I would probably have missed the queues.


I got home and went to bed for a couple of hours; despite the dogs having two separate “Red Alerts” in that time. I’d decided to walk the dogs after I’d had a little sleep as the weather forecast had been better for later in the day. I think it fair to say that it wasn’t. But we didn’t get *that* wet as we went round the block.


Over a late brekkie I prepared the Munzee clan for the forthcoming Munzee Clan War (which starts on Thursday), and recalled all my Rovers. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that last month I bought a pack of virtual dogs to use in the Munzee game, and so far they haven’t done very much. When the Clan War starts on Thursday I shall try again with them. Perhaps they need to start further from home?

I also acquired two sham rocks as I Munzee-ed. I wonder what they are all about?


Usually after a night shift I do the ironing whilst watching two and a half hours of episodes of “Four In A Bed”. Whilst I do like that show, at least one hour of that two and a half hours is adverts, and usually these adverts are for suffering animals and children. This afternoon as I ironed I watched more “Trailer Park Boys” as the dishwasher and washing machine both did their things.

Until they stopped.

I thought that both machines were quiet; the power had failed on both. I pulled the plugs out, plugged them both back in, and both were working again. What was that all about? 


As today is pancake day “er indoors TM” sorted some out for dinner. I think I had eleven… I’ve got a stomach ache now…



2 March 2022 (Wednesday) - Before the Late Shift



I slept for over nine hours last night; finally waking with backache. I came down to be mobbed by dogs. Pogo seemed in fine form bearing in mind one of his dew claws came off last night. “er indoors TM” said he’d been worrying it, and when she looked it came off in her hand.

I made toast and had a look at the Internet as I do every morning. A friend had said yesterday that he was giving up social media for Lent as he found it depressing. Is it? To paraphrase my old music teacher, social media is like a dustbin; you only get out of it that which you put in to it. Too many people use social media as a platform on which to moan; it can be so much more than that.

For example an old friend I’ve known since the late 1970s posted on Facebook this morning. Last night was his daughter’s last night at Air Cadets, and he’d posted several photos of her time in the cadets. It looked like she’d done so much in a few short years. It is a shame that people don’t realise just how much the cadets do, and at so little cost to the parents since much of what they do is subsidised by the Ministry of Defence. I can remember talking to a cadet leader when I was a leader in the Boys Brigade many years ago. His cadets had been offered a week-long summer camp on a military base featuring flying in planes, shooting on rifle ranges, going on military assault and obstacle courses. Our week-long summer camp featured whatever we could improvise in a farmer’s field in Smarden, and both cost the same price.

My old friend (with the daughter) is now employed by the Ministry of Defence to oversee the activities of the cadets. He’s a Wing Commander…

And here’s something of interest that I found from what a friend had posted. My local MP has claimed for his electricity bill, gas bill, water bill, telephone and broadband, and council taxes on his parliamentary expenses. I don’t doubt that doing so is totally legal… but I’ll just make the observation that I can’t claim for mine.


I bought three timeshares and another Skyland, redeployed and unleashed four of my five Rovers in readiness for the Munzee Clan War which starts tomorrow.

Seeing the rain had eased off I took the dogs out. A month or so ago Pogo seemed to be going off of the idea of walks, but that silliness has passed, and he now loves going out. Even if we do have to stop for a pee every few steps. He never used to do that. When he was younger he would pee like a fire hose (once!) and that would be it for an hour or so. Nowadays it is a couple of drops every few paces. He learned that from Fudge.

We got to the park, we played ball for a bit, but the recent rains had turned the park into a swamp, and soon both balls were filthy and both dogs were more interested in whichever ball had least mud on it.


We headed home sniggering at the young mother and child twenty yards in front of us. Mother was shrieking profanities into her phone, and the child was following behind on a bike. I say “following behind”; “wobbling precariously” would be a better description. He wasn’t the world’s best cyclist, and it didn’t help that his attention was very much on the dogs and not on his bike. Every time he crashed into a parked car, mother went ballistic. However it never once occurred to her to put the phone away and supervise her child.


We came home, cleared dog turds from the back garden, loaded up the dishwasher and watched episodes of “Trailer Park Boys” whilst sorting undercrackers until it was time to go to the late shift.


I drove up to the co-op to get some lunch. Have you ever been to the co-op in Brookfield Road? Despite the car park *never* having more than two empty spaces, the place rarely has more than two or three people in there. What's that all about?

With utter drivel on the radio I sang along to my frankly amazing choice of music as I crawled up the motorway; you really would think that whoever it is that organises the motorways would have sorted out "Operation Brock" by now, wouldn't you? You never hear about the utterly poggered M20 on the news do you?  And it is worse the further down you go - the A-road it leads to has (literally) miles of lorries queuing to get into Dover and has had for years, but that never gets into the news, does it?


I got to the works car park and eventually found somewhere to park; the place was amazingly full today. I phoned my dad (he seems OK)... and that was the day's excitement (such as it was) all over and done with.  I had a busy late shift, there was no cake, I came home... all rather dull really.



3 March 2022 (Thursday) - Munz-ing Before Work



I think I slept well; I have a vague recollection of having had a fight with Pogo in the small hours, but it may well have been a dream. When I got up at half past five this morning Pogo was at the foot of the bed seemingly sleeping the sleep of the just. His sister was snoring like a thing possessed too.


I watched a rather good episode of "Trailer Park Boys" as I scoffed toast but rather than sparking up my lap-top after telly, I set off on a little mission. With today being the start of the Munzee Clan War I had a couple of things to do. First of all I drove down to Wooton Road in the search for a couple of Qrates. I found a gold one and a diamond encrusted one as well (which was nothing like the result you might think it would be; in fact this was something of "a pain in the glass" as “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM”  would say), and deployed some evos at the same time (as one does).

From there I went up to the town centre to cap some Points of Interest. For all that they are called "Points of Interest", they are not at all interesting; in fact they were rather dull. From there I drove up to Repton Park where I deployed cards and barns and treasure chests (and even a Skyland) like a thing possessed. After an hour's concerted Munz-ing I'd got a serious amount of this month's requirements done, had accrued far more points than sense, and then headed off up the M20 dual carriageway (it *isn't* a motorway any more!) to work.


As I drove the pundits on  the radio were talking about the ongoing war in Ukraine. There was an interview with one of the head honchos of the European Union who was talking about how the EU is trying to decrease Europe's dependence on Russian gas. I must admit I was wrong in one of my rants of last week: the UK only gets five per cent of its gas from Russia. I thought it was far more than that. However Germany gets over half its gas from Russia and (obviously) doesn't want to piss on its own chips with any sanctions it imposes on Russia by having Mr Putin turn off their gas supply. The chap being interviewed made the observation that in buying Russian gas, the EU are actually financing the invasion of Ukraine that they are protesting about.

There was a lot of talk about how Europe is going to massively increase its use of renewable energy, import more gas from the USA, and possibly ramp up the use of nuclear and coal powered power stations. It was suggested (and not denied) that the COP-26 agreements of last year are out the window because of this. So much for stopping global warming...


I got to work, had a cuppa, and then got on with that which I could not avoid. At tea break I finally got round to having a look at the Internet. It would seem that today was “World Book Day” in which children across the country pretend to have some degree of literacy by dressing up as their favourite film or TV character in the forlorn hope that it was originally based on something out of a book. It is just as well this is a relatively recent development; had it been something that was done in the 1990s “My Boy TM” and “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” would have been sent to school in their usual attire with instructions to tell the teacher they were the little boy and little girl whose daddy couldn’t be bothered.

Three years ago I came up with a list of my top ten books for World Book Day; I think it probably fair to say that the list is probably still good.

And I saw that Facebook have had an about turn in their Community Standards. Last night I squealed up some epically-titted bimbo who had sent me a message offering me a free nudey sauce romp. The Facebook Feds agreed with me that peddling filth did breach their Community Standards and they had censored the smut on her profile picture.

I’m seeing that as a victory for puritans everywhere!! 


As I type this Pogo is going absolutely ham (to coin a phrase!) – he seems to have developed an irrational fear of the dishwasher…



4 March 2022 (Friday) - Unlocking A Gold QRate



Finding myself wide awake far too early (again) I got up, started another negative COVID test going, and set about my morning scrape. I don't really like shaving, but I like having a beard even less, so a morning scrape is the lesser of the two evils.

I made toast and watched an episode of "Trailer Park Boys" in which Bubbles introduced his old friend Shitty, so named after a childhood accident. I did chuckle about that; over forty years ago we had a lad in our class with a not dissimilar nickname following an unpleasant incident in the school shower after a games afternoon.  That chap went on to the police force - I last saw him in 1982 in uniform in Brighton. I wonder where he is now. His father was a policeman too and was something of a local hero having once jumped off of Hastings  pier and saved a drowning child one cold November day.


Taking care not to disturb the sleeping dogs (or “er indoors TM”) I got dressed and had another pre-work Munz-ing session capping nine "Points of Dullness" and deploying ten weapons (maces, longswords and broadswords!) around the Orchard Heights estate before heading to work.


As I drove there was a little talk on the radio about the by-election in Birmingham in which the Labour party held the seat and increased its majority to slightly more than half of the votes cast... but with twelve candidates standing and a turnout of only twenty seven per cent (as opposed to fifty per cent at the general election three years ago) I think it fair to say that the real winner was apathy. Those numbers really need looking at, though. The MP for  Birmingham Erdington has been elected by (and so represents) less than fourteen per cent of the electorate. Eighty-six per cent of the electorate either wanted someone else or couldn't be arsed to vote. This is not unlike many other parliamentary constituencies - the voting figures are freely available.

And people bang on about what a good thing democracy is. The will of the people, eh?

But the main focus of the news was the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine in which Russian forces have made a bit of a faux pas by shelling a nuclear power station. I think it's fair to say that if there is one thing that shouldn't be targeted in a war, it is a nuclear power station. Most of the so-called experts wheeled on to the radio seemed to agree with this... The power station is now under Russian control; I wonder if there will be any attempts to recapture it? One of the pundits being interviewed seemed to think that if it went up it would be ten times worse than the explosion at Chernobyl all those years ago... And at the time the radiation from Chernobyl was measurable in Kent. I measured it!!! It caused quite a scare at the time.


I got to work and cracked on with the early shift in the desperate hope there would be cake at tea-time. There was, so the day wasn't a bad one really. And (as I have said many times before) an early start made for an early finish.

My plan was to come home and walk the dogs round the park. I left a dry Maidstone, and as I drove down the motorway so the drizzle got heavier. I wouldn’t say the rain in Ashford was torrential, but it was certainly raining hard. I crept in, woke the dogs, and it was clear they wanted to go out. So we did…


We walked up the road, then we came to cross at the road junction I told the dogs to sit. Pogo sat, but Treacle wouldn’t. She was growling at another dog walking away from us on the other side of the road. Pogo then realised that Treacle wasn’t happy and started barking too. I got them to stop the excessive noise, but they were both snarling and growling at the dog on the other side of the road who had now stopped and was also making a fuss. At the other end of this other dog’s lead was what I can only describe as an idiot child who was staring at my dogs as though they were some sort of entertainment, seemingly oblivious that her dog was also kicking off. After a few minutes I asked this idiot child if she wanted something or was just trying to provoke all three dogs. At this she seemed to wake up and realise she was supposed to be taking a dog for a walk, and then hurried off away from us.

Why do I attract these nutters?

We only went round the block, but it was enough of a walk for us to come home soaked.


Once home we towelled off, then I capped the Tree House and in doing so unlocked the Gold QRate I’d acquired yesterday (and apparently spelled wrongly in yesterday’s blog!) and released a Maintenance Bot Cubimal (there’s never a dull moment in the world of Munzee!)


“er indoors TM” boiled up some fish and chips which we scoffed whilst watching a couple of episodes of “Yonderland”.

I’m feeling tired… these early starts are all very well, but I’d rather not be awake *quite* so early.



5 March 2022 (Saturday) - Early Shift



Finding myself wide awake far too early (yet again)  I made toast and watched another episode of "Trailer Park Boys" before setting off on yet another little Munzee mission. I've got this theory that if I "go ham" at the Munzee Clan War requirements over the next few days I can take it easy later in the month. It was rather dark as I set off, and once I'd  capped nine points of interest I saw it was just getting light as I was sticking bar codes to ten lamp posts in the Orchard Heights estate.


The motorway was surprisingly busy for a Saturday early morning; I suppose only having two lanes (and them both restricted to fifty miles per hour) didn't help. I caught the tail end of a piece on the radio about how much farmland is turned over to producing red meat and how it would be far more productively used growing vegetables. It may well  be more productively used growing vegetables, but I quite like scoffing red meat.

There was a lot of talk about the ongoing war in Ukraine. The global opinion is against Russia, but Russia doesn't seem to care.

There was very little air-time devoted to whatever it is that has pranged into the Moon. The consensus of opinion is that it was a Chinese rocket; even though the Chinese say it wasn't. Whatever it was that pranged did so at some speed though, and apparently scientists are looking forward to see the dust cloud generated; I suspect they don't get out much and are easily amused.


I got to work and did the early shift which was far busier than I would have liked it to be, with too many distractions from the C, S and K blood group antigens (as happens in my world). As I worked “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” phoned. She is trying to persuade “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM to have a haircut, and he’s not keen on the idea. Apparently I was cited as one who isn’t overburdened with hair; he replied that if I didn’t have Lego I wouldn’t have anything.

Mind you, with his long hair, SBOD looks more like his grandmother every day.

With work worked I came home missing “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” and “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM by minutes. Whilst “er indoors TM” drove them home I fell asleep watching an episode of “Trailer Park Boys”.

The dogs woke me with their commotion when “er indoors TM” came home. I spent a little while getting “Hannah” ready for tomorrow’s planned walk. “My Boy TM” phoned – did we fancy going out for a curry with them. Usually I would, but I really wasn’t feeling it this evening.

I’m feeling rather washed out…  



6 March 2022 (Sunday) - Meopham



Some nights I lay awake unable to get to sleep. Other nights (like last night) there is an endless commotion of dogs falling off the bed, dogs crying to get on the bed, of snoring,  of stomping about the bed, of quarrelling with whoever it is you’ve just stomped on… why can’t everyone just find a bit of bed and sleep quietly? It that so much to ask?


I again gave up the battle of trying to sleep, made toast and peered into the Internet; what with early morning Munzing missions, I’ve not done that for a few days, and hadn’t really missed much. Since the flurry of photos of children dressed as their favourite TV character for World Book Day (last Thursday) very few people had put much up on Facebook at all, which was a shame. I’m nosey and like to see what other people are doing. Pretty much everything on Facebook this morning was the same picture of a fish posted to all the fishing groups, the same picture of a recently deceased dog posted to all the dog groups, the same picture of Lego for sale posted to all the Lego groups…

I read an email about a geo-meet planned in a few weeks’ time in Seaford, had a little look at the Munzee map (to plan a possible little mission for mid-week), capped the Tree House, and then kicked everyone else out of their pit. Why should they be asleep when they’d kept me awake for most of the night?


It wasn’t long before we were on our way up the M20 (Munz-ing as we went), and were soon in Meopham where met up with Karl Tracey, Charlotte and some random old biddy who had latched on to us in the mistaken belief that we were the local chapter of the Ramblers. (Do I look like a Rambler?)

We sent her up the road to some other group that looked like they were going for a walk. Were they The Ramblers? I have no idea, but whoever they were, they took the old biddy with them in the opposite direction to the one in which we were going, and that was seen as something as a result by all concerned. (Well… by me at least).


With the normal people out of the way we set off on our walk. Pausing only briefly to rummage very suspiciously round the flag pole at the nearest windmill, we were soon out of the village and following paths and lanes as we love to do whenever we can. As we walked we met some very friendly horses who really didn’t deserve the reaction they got from Treacle. We saw a garden pond undergoing some serious maintenance; I say “garden pond”; the island in the middle of this garden pond was bigger than my garden pond, and I stood for five minutes in frank admiration and jealousy of what everyone else probably saw as a rather large hole in the ground.

We had our picnic lunch as we do; for some reason we seemed to find it hard work to sit down on the ground today, and I for one certainly struggled to get up again. What was that all about?

Bearing in mind how warm it had been when we walked round Kings Wood a few short weeks ago, it was really cold today. The fields were waterlogged in many places, and the footpaths were quagmires. But we made the most of it.


As always our route was laid out for us by a series of geocaches. Billed as a walk of five miles, “Hannah” measured it at just over seven and a half miles. It was a good walk but…

There is always a “but”, isn’t there?

The only criticism I could really level against this geo-series is that we did find some of the hides rather tricky. That isn’t a bad thing, but the most difficult ones weren’t where I would have put them. One was overlooked by a house, one was in a busy suburban area and one was on a (admittedly quiet) country lane. Personally I would have put the harder hides out in the countryside along a footpath where you can spend an age rummaging in the undergrowth. But I am just being picky here; it was a good walk across some beautiful scenery. I am very grateful that someone has taken the time and put in a lot of effort to give us a really good guided walk.


Mind you I must admit that it was with something of a sense of relief that I got back to the car; the elastic in my undercrackers had given out rather early in the walk and had made for a rather uncomfortable day. Have you ever tried climbing over a broken stile with your pants south of your chuff? It isn’t something I would recommend.

We said our goodbyes, and Munzed all the way home. It was something of a novelty for me not to sleep after a walk.


Once home “er indoors TM” scrubbed the dogs whilst I uploaded photos to show the world what we’d been up to today. I took a few photos as we walked (as I do), and today my camera took them as .jpg files which my laptop understands, not .huic files (like it did last time) which my laptop does not.

Once “er indoors TM” had scrubbed the dogs, I then scrubbed the bath.


Both dogs are snoring, and I am reliably dinner won’t be long…



7 March 2022 (Monday) - Before the Late Shift



A good walk yesterday had everyone sleeping well last night. I woke at eight o’clock to see “er indoors TM” and Treacle had got up but Pogo was still snoring at the foot of the bed.

We got up and finding “er indoors TM” in the shower I skipped having a shave, made toast and peered into the Internet once the laptop’s browser finally started working. More and more I find that I click the icon and the thing does nothing but sound like a helicopter taking off. It is clearly doing all sorts of things in the background, but *not* doing the job I want it to do. This seems to be an “IT thing”; people who know IT seem to think there is some strange merit in having a computer not actually able to do the job it is intended to do.


I eventually got to see what was going on on-line. The photos I’d posted yesterday had been liked by quite a few people. Other friends were on holiday in Ely and in Cornwall and looked to be having a good time. Being nosey I like seeing what other people are doing.

I saw that the March Geo-Meet has been announced… on a weekend that I can’t make.

And I saw that someone had been out walking the series of caches I’d hidden in Hemsted Forest and had been less than complimentary about some of the hints that I’d given. What did the chap expect? The place is a forest; there aren’t many places to hide a film pot other than at the base of a tree. So if a film pot is hidden at the base of a tree, I can’t really say much else for a hint other than “base of tree”, can I?.

Mind you he’d replaced one of the missing caches, so I shouldn’t really grumble.


With “er indoors TM” out of the way I had my shave, then walked the dogs round the park where my idiot magnet was working at full power. First of all we attracted some woman with a baby in a pram and a very over-excited spaniel. This woman loudly announced to her spaniel that my dogs would like to play “ball” with him. It came as something of a shock for her to find that my dogs won’t even play “ball” with each other; let alone with some strange dog they’d never seen before. Whilst I was refereeing this set-to, some other idiot woman arrived with her two dogs on the longest extending leads you ever did see. Her dogs soon tangled her, the woman with the pram, the pram, me, and all of the dogs into the biggest knot in the history of knots.

There is a place for extending dog leads, and it is *not* wrapped around my ankles.

We came home to find a geocacher rummaging in the box in the front garden. Geocachers do that.


I harvested a bumper crop of dog poo, then sat on the sofa (with snoring dogs) and fiddled on my lap-top (which was now working) as the washing machine did it thing. I saw a friend had posted on Facebook about the stupidity of teaching schoolchildren about “fronted adverbials” (whatever they are) and how teaching the kids something useful might be a good idea.

The article was written from the arts point of view, but much the same is true in the sciences too. I was talking with a tutor at the University of Westminster a few years ago (in 2005!) who told me that the first term/semester of a particular biosciences course had been changed to being purely remedial/catchup sessions covering all the stuff that the students hadn’t been taught in “A” levels any more

I had a quick go at “Sweardle” and “Lewdle”, wrote up some CPD, sent out a birthday wish to someone who is two weeks younger than me (and not several years older as I always thought), and seeing both dogs were fast asleep I got ready for work…


And that was it for the day. The late shift was horrible (I had to do work!) and got home far too late to do anything…

Same again tomorrow…



8 March 2022 (Tuesday) - Quite Odd (!)



The dogs and “er indoors TM” slept well, and consequently so did I. I set another negative COVID test going, made toast, and had a little fight with my lap-top. It wasn’t keen on getting started this morning. Eventually it staggered into action. I think the poor thing is getting old, but what with spending out on new cam belts and new kitchens I’d rather not replace it just yet.


I peered at the Internet to see what I’d missed (if anything) overnight. Facebook gave me ten notifications; sadly not one was worth the electricity it had taken to generate.  There was a rather sad attempt to start an argument on one of the Radio Four related Facebook pages in which someone who is always arguing about trans rights was trying to turn a post about financial controls into an anti-men rant. Fortunately no one was taking the bait. There was quite a good a squabble on one of the Hastings-related Facebook pages in which someone was organising an event (this coming weekend) in which the masses would march up and down Hastings sea front in support of the Ukrainians whose country has been invaded. Some people thought the march was a good idea; others didn’t. Personally I suspect that Vladimir Putin is going to be forever unaware of a couple of dozen people walking along Hastings sea front, but I didn’t say as much, plenty of other people had already done so. However I did make the mistake of saying that I found it rather ironic that this march is taking place in a town which only a few short months ago saw a load of residents trying to stop the life boat being launched for fear it might be saving drowning refugees.


“er indoors TM” was getting rather paranoid this morning; not having seen a “I Can Has Cheezeburgers” meme for months, they were mentioned on some quiz show or other at the weekend, and apparently her Facebook feed is now filled with them. Apparently one of the devices in the house is obviously spying on us. Whichever it is, it obviously doesn’t consider me worth spamming, does it?


I took the dogs to the park. They were as good as gold. They played “ball” for a bit, then walked  (off the leads) perfectly at heel. I could see other dog walkers watching in amazement at how well behaved my two were today.

As we walked home down Christchurch Road a passing mad woman told me my dogs looked “quite odd”, then hurried away at the insistence of her husband. It was probably as well that she hurried away(!)


Once home I filled the dishwasher, spent five minutes plunging the bath’s plug hole, played “Sweardle” (which I got right on the fourth attempt) and “Lewdle” in which I failed entirely. Apparently “Gonzo” is now a rude word? I thought “Gonzo” was a chicken-obsessed muppet? After a quick go on the blood transfusion compatibility simulator (good old CPD!) I watched the “Trailer Park Boys” and polished my walking boots whilst trying not to wake the dogs who were snoring on either side of me.


Leaving the dogs snoring I set off to work. It didn’t take *that* long for me to remember where I’d left my car last night. And I wasn’t stuck in a traffic jam on the M20 for *too* long really.

I got to work… and the rest of the day was dull. Incredibly hectic,,, but dull nonetheless.



9 March 2022 (Wednesday) - Road Trip



After a night spent asleep (and not listening to snoring, quarrelling and growling) I made toast and peered into the Internet, and rolled my eyes. Only a few short years ago one of the main reasons the UK left the EU was that the British public didn’t want foreigners coming into the UK without any sort of control. And now the same public is up in arms because that policy is actually in place and refugees need visas. Yesterday I mentioned that the town that tried to stop the lifeboat from saving refugees is now marching in support of them. What is the point of democracy when the electorate doesn’t actually know what it wants?


Five friends had a birthday today; unusually all five people were people with whom I have actually spoken in the last few months, and all got the birthday video. I redeemed some Sham Rocks (it’s a Munzee thing) then we went to the park…

We got there without incident and whilst Treacle carried her ball Pogo alternated between playing catch and sniffing the dog pee on all the trees. Just as we were walking through the Chinese garden we had fun (!) Treacle was cowering up against me as some huge fluffy dog was towering over her. There was some odd-looking chap at the other end of this dog’s lead and I asked him to drag his dog away. Rather than replying he made some odd sound which was half-way between a laugh and a cough. So I repeated myself and told him to take his dog away before Treacle nipped it. He made the same laughing-coughing noise and seemed utterly unconcerned when Treacle did nip his dog (like I warned him). We hurried off; he followed us. We turned right; he followed us. We turned left, he followed us. We met some other dog walkers and I warned them of this bloke and dog; the woman replied “what, him there?” and pointed at him, and said that she too had had issues with him and his dog as well. Eventually we shook the bloke off by loudly announcing “will you stop f…ing following us” and going back the way we came.

The child that shouted at Pogo on the way home was a mere trifle in comparison.


We hadn’t been home long when “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” arrived for the start of our little road trip. First of all to the petrol station (Sainsburys in Ashford) where it turned out that they were selling the cheapest petrol we saw anywhere today.

From there we popped to the hospital for a quick check-up; favourite youngest granddaughter is still smaller than the average unborn baby at her stage of pregnancy. The littlun’s mother, grandmother and great grandmothers are all short-arses but I’m not sure that has been taken into consideration. She’s got a scan booked for tomorrow – you’d think they’d have done it all in the one visit today, wouldn’t you?

We then popped to Tesco for Belgian buns, drove home to collect the dogs, and set off to Hastings to see Dad.


It didn’t take long to get to the old homestead. We had a cuppa and scoffed the buns and put the world to rights. Dad seemed reasonably well.; he’s being messed about by his local hospital though. If he doesn’t get any sense from them in the next day or so I shall kick some arse.

The dogs were well behaved, but after a while they got restless so we said our goodbyes and took the dogs for a little walk.


Bearing in mind today is a Qrewzee day (it’s a Munzee thing) and there were quite a few of them at Winchelsea Beach, we went there. We walked (and Qrewzee-ed) from the car park up to the old lifeboat station and back. It was a lovely walk; a distance of just over two miles. Nothing to what we used to walk back in the day, but turned out to be quite far enough when your unborn granddaughter is playing football with your daughter’s innards. It was a shame that one of the dogs’ tennis balls got lost, but there is only so much following round behind dogs picking up their balls that you can do.


From Winchelsea Beach we followed the coast road through Rye, Camber, Lydd and Dungeness to Folkestone where we dropped “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” home, and also dropped Pogo off. He’s having a little sleepover with his mummy today. I’d rather he didn’t, but he is “Daddy’s Little Angel TM”’s dog and is (in theory) just having a prolonged holiday with us.

Shortly after we’d said our goodbyes I slammed on the car’s brakes to avoid crashing into a car, the driver of which had decided not to slow down at all for a roundabout, but just took it at breakneck speed expecting everyone else to get out of her way. Fortunately everyone did, even though the etiquette is that that people slow down when approaching a roundabout…

I squealed her up to rate-driver dot com, and then the car’s tyre pressure warning came up for all four tyres.


We came home, I had a cuppa and pootled on the Internet a little whilst I waited for the car’s tyres to cool down, then went out and used the gadget “er indoors TM” had got me to check and pump the tyres. All were just on the border of what their pressure should be, so I put a bit more air into them (as you do) then ironed shirts until “er indoors TM” came home.


For a rostered day off, today has been rather busy…



10 March 2022 (Thursday) - Early Shift



With Pogo off on a sleepover with his mummy there was some bed space last night. I did get some sleep but finding myself wide awake far too early yet again I made toast and watched another episode of "Trailer Park Boys" in which Ricky's brain told him to go on an epic drinking session. Ricky seems to have a love-hate relationship with his brain; at the moment they aren't getting on very well.


Leaving “er indoors TM” and Treacle snoring I set off to work and watched with frank amazement as the driver of one small van deliberately dangerously cut in front of another at the Cows Roundabout, and then both drivers deliberately tried to ram each other and drive each other off of the road. Fortunately one managed a decoy move to send the other up the motorway slip road (and away). It was quite amazing to watch, but at the same time rather scary to be driving behind.


As I drove to work the talk on the radio was about the situation in the Ukraine... and nothing else. Admittedly the situation in the Ukraine is dire with the invading forces supposedly now bombing a hospital but back in the day the morning news used to cover a range of stories. This morning there was no mention of the discovery of Shackleton's ship Endurance found at the sea bed a century after it sank. There was no mention of the ongoing disastrous aftermath of Brexit that I suffer every day in "Operation Brock" or the ongoing miles of queues of lorries at Dover, and even coronageddon is very much yesterday's chip-wrappings even though another peak is expected.


I got to work for the early shift. Today wasn't originally an early for me, but I'd been asked to step in at short notice, and seeing how I am usually up early anyway, getting out of work nearly two hours early is always something of a bonus.

I did my bit, and came home arriving just as  “er indoors TM” and Treacle came back from their walk. “er indoors TM” then set off to the kitchen shop to mess about with their kitchen simulator. I stayed home and did the ironing, then fell asleep with Treacle.


“er indoors TM” eventually came home with a kebab (very nice!) which we scoffed whilst watching more episodes ofYonderland”.

I’m going to have an early night… as the day has gone one today I’ve felt progressively more and more grim. I wonder if I’m sickening for something?



11 March 2022 (Friday) - Having A Malfunction



I woke feeling full of energy and raring to go only to see it was twenty past one. I then dozed fitfully for the rest of the night listening to Treacle sucking the duvet and feeling progressively more and more grotty as time went past.

I thought better of saying “sod it” and phoning in sick, got up and watched an episode of “Trailer Park Boys” which (it has to be said) after eight seasons was getting to be rather “more of the same”.

I sparked up my lap-top and peered into the internet. Facebook told me that I had been made a “top fan” of Viz comic’s Facebook page. I wonder why? I can’t say I look at that page from one week to the next. And my MP had been out and about. He’s quite active on social media. He actually does very little himself, just seems to use Facebook to somehow take the credit for what other people have been doing.


I had an email from geocaching HQ. They’ve added something to their Adventure Lab so that you can now select a theme for any Adventure Labs that you have built… A theme ?! Seriously? Their messaging system is still crap (at best), their official app is inferior to every other geocaching app there is, you can’t load caches on to your GPS without third party software, they don’t have the ability to stop people cheating on the GPS-based part of the game, in order to even do the hobby (without *major* inconvenience) you need to buy someone else’s software, and still they fart around with utterly irrelevant fripperies like “themes”.


I set off west-wards to Pembury on a rather bright morning. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the Ukrainian situation and about precious little else. Whilst the situation there is dire, of the one hour and twenty minutes or radio that I listened to this morning, about one hour and ten minutes was focussed on the Ukraine. I listen to the morning radio to find out what is going on in the world; not to become an expert on the BBC's spin on one small part of human activity. Mind you there was a five minute section on the massively increasing price of petrol. Here's an eye-opener. Take a litre of petrol:


Current (this morning) average cost 159.57 pence.

Of that:

Wholesale price (oil production & refining) 56.38 pence

Wholesale biofuel price (that goes in with it) 10.7 pence

Delivery and distribution costs 1.7 pence

Retail margin (forecourt costs & profit) 5.59 pence

Duty 57.95pence

VAT (20%) 26.59 pence

Greenhouse Gas Obligation & Development Fuel Obligation 0.654 pence


So the litre of petrol costs about seventy-four pence, and  about eighty-five pence of the price is tax. Over half of the cost of every litre of petrol we buy is tax. There's something to write to your MP about.


I wasn't originally supposed to be working in Pembury today, but I was glad that I was. I got to stop off at the little shop in Sissinghurst which has a rather good beer selection. And with beer bought I then got to watch the rather good road rage which kicks off at that bottleneck where seemingly no one is prepared to give way to anyone else.


Work was work. It would have been a quiet day had we not spent most of it having a malfunction (as you do).

And with work worked I came home. “er indoors TM” boiled up dinner and we watched the second episode of the second season of “Star Trek: Picard”. Bearing in mind what a disappointment the first season turned out to be, so far this new season is rather good.



12 March 2022 (Saturday) - Playing Games and Watching Telly



I slept through till nine o’clock this morning, set a COVID test going, made toast, and sat and watched my lap-top doing absolutely nothing at all. The poor thing is getting slower and slower to start; so much so that it is not far from being fit only for the dustbin.

Eventually it got going and I had a look at the internet. Five friends had birthdays today… I sayfive friends”. One actual friend that I’ve known for over forty years. Two childhood friends of “Daddy’s Little Angel TM”  who in my mind are still misbehaving children and can’t possibly now be in their early thirties. Someone with whom I used to work, helped massively back in the day, and haven’t heard a thing from in over ten years, and someone who (I think) used to be big in the local geocaching scene years ago.  Not much else was going on in social media this morning and there were no emails of note at all.


“er indoors TM” set off to spend the day in Folkestone with “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” and “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM. I didn’t go; I stayed with Treacle. I don’t like leaving the dogs even though they only spend most of the day asleep.

I set the washing machine going and we went for a little walk. Without her brother along, Treacle walked very well (with no pulling at all) and we walked a little circuit round South Ashford Munzing as we went. We munzed enough to open the two Qrates I got on Wednesday (which was something of a result) and didn’t have a single “episode” at all. In fact we got barked at by several other dogs and it was quite nice not to be the one having to tell the dog off.


We came home to find the washing machine still going, so while it did its thing we went into the garden. I harvested the dog dung, and seeing how the garden was suddenly devoid of the stuff, Treacle did some more. Oh how I thanked her for her contribution(!) I got the lawn mowed, then cut back more of that plum tree at the back of the garden. The plums are always too high to pick, and they just fall onto the shingle and attract wasps. The tree took some cutting, but between a saw and a pair of secateurs I got the biggest branch down and cut it into bits which were small enough to go in the garden waste bin.

I then washed the back windows as “er indoors TM” had threatened dire retribution if I didn’t.

It was all rather hard work; I ached somewhat after an hour or so of chopping and snipping and sawing and washing, so I got a spot of lunch and scoffed it whilst watching an episode of “Trailer Park Boys” in which all of our heroes agreed that Ricky needed to sort his brain out.


I spent the afternoon playing an old favourite game. “Star Trek: Elite Force” was state of the art when it was first released… twenty years ago (!) Now… I still like it. There’s a video of the complete game on You-Tube and it plays for over four hours. Looking at that video it would seem that I spent all afternoon to get about a quarter of the way through the game. But it kept me amused.


“er indoors TM” came home and boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching episodes of Yonderland”. I’d forgotten that Stephen Fry had been in the last season as “Cuddly Dick”.


Today has been rather busy. I did think today would be rather dull but it hasn’t been too bad really,  even if lots of it was spent in computer games and watching the telly…



13 March 2022 (Sunday) - Late Shift



I slept in until nine o’clock again, which was a result. I got up, and as I emptied the sink as I shaved, rather than draining away never to be seen again, all the water came up the bath’s plug hole.

Oh dear.


I made toast and sparked up my lap-top which seemed far more keen on doing stuff today than it had been yesterday. There was a photo on one of the local Facebook pages that made me think. It was a photo of the chap who used to organise the Ashford carnivals (years ago) standing in front of the float which used to carry “Miss Ashford” in the procession. That procession used to come up our road and past our house; sadly I can remember “Miss Ashford” having to be behind a screen of chicken wire because local thugs used catapults to fire pennies at the girls. There hasn’t been an Ashford carnival for years… purely because no one could be bothered to organise one. Having been involved in this sort of thing in the past, I’m certainly not volunteering(!)

There was consternation being expressed over the admission that the government is not keeping any formal record of the ongoing freight delays at Dover. Of course they aren’t. You don’t generate evidence showing that your policy didn’t work, do you?

And a friend was grumbling about her bad neighbours… I couldn’t help but think about not-so-nice-next-door and the fun we’ve had over the years. Over twenty years ago I offended him in the way I brought up my children, in the way I mowed my lawn, by having friends visit, by having builders work inside *my* house without his permission, by being liked by other neighbours… Among other craziness he formally accused me of murdering his first wife who had died ten years before I ever met him.
After a lot of nastiness (involving the police and solicitors) I was eventually told that it was agreed that I should agree to everything he demanded because not doing so offended him, and a policeman formally cautioned me that I would be arrested if he took offence again.
Years later… h
e’s not been seen for ages, but she’s still there. However it would seem that being civil causes her physical pain. I tried to be pleasant to her last year; she didn’t actually sayf… off fatso” but I could tell that was what she was thinking.
I see the recent storms have damaged the roof of her house. I wonder if she has noticed? I really should tell her, but I suspect if I do so she really will think that I did it.

With the lap-top telling me that rain was on the way I went into the garden to have a look at the drains. They didn’t seem blocked; all seemed fine. I filled the bath with water; that drained away without problem. I flushed the loo; that too drained away quickly.

I wonder what the issue with the sink this morning was all about.

Feeling spots of rain I closed up the drain and quickly zoomed round the garden gathering turds. With only one dog currently in residence there is a lot less dung… but more than you might expect.


I had planned a quiet hour to myself for the last part of the morning, but “er indoors TM” was getting fractious. She’d bought a lap-top for “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” to use whilst she was working, but her contract came to an end when the government abandoned all COVID restrictions and so the lap-top was spare. “er indoors TM” had this idea to replace her (frankly knackered) old lap-top with the new one, but the new one is in “S” mode. I didn’t know that lap-tops can have “S” mode (not “safe” mode; “S” mode). When a lap-top enters “S”-mode it becomes utterly useless and unable to do absolutely anything at all, Whilst coming out of “S”- mode is apparently an irreversible thing to do, it isn’t easy to do. You can get quite stressy trying to do it.

Whist lap-tops flatly refused to leave “S” mode I spent a few minutes rummaging round a Klingon spaceship in “Star Trek: Elite Force” before it was time to go to work.


I set off through the rain to work, listening to "Just A Minute" on the radio as I drove. Sue Perkins was doing her best to fill the huge gap left by Nicholas Parsons (who died over two years ago!), but despite the able assistance of Stephen Fry and Paul Merton, the show lacked something. It wasn't so much entertainment as listening to other people enjoying themselves.  A subtle distinction, maybe, but the contestants on the show weren't really funny; I would best describe them as being self-satisfied and perhaps even smug. I can't help but wonder if after fifty years the show has run its course? It should have gone with Nicholas Parsons, really.


I got to work and went straight to the works canteen. Fish fingers and chips followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate custard set me up for the late shift. I'd rather not have been working today, but I did get some comfort from looking out of the window at a wet afternoon. I wasn't missing anything.  Back in the day a Sunday afternoon shift would (generally) be dull to the point of being tedious, but that was when hospitals were effectively closed at the weekends. Nowadays there are quite a few clinics going which generate work for me, and I was rather busier than I had really hoped to be.

I’ve got another late shift tomorrow…



14 March 2022 (Monday) - It Rained



The bathroom sink was draining incredibly slowly again this morning. Perhaps it is time to stick some “Mr Muscle” jollop down it (again)?

I made toast and had a look at the Internet. I was able to do so on my lap-top; the one “er indoors TM” has blagged from “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” is still stuck in “S”- mode and is consequently “f… all use to man or beast” (as my brother used to say). The internet was still there. Not many friends had posted much to social media over the weekend which was a shame, though I did see one group of friends had braved the rain and the mud and had gone for a walk yesterday. I rolled my eyes when I read one of the “Doctor Who” Facebook groups I follow, With only a squillion “Doctor Who” Facebook groups to choose from, someone has now started yet another one and was trying to get people to join it but wasn’t having much luck. With his every posting written in block capitals and filled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors he came over as a rather thick schoolboy who wasn’t trying very hard. Why do people make such piss-poor postings to social media when there is no end of software available which spell-checks and looks for problems in the grammar? Does it really take *that* much time and effort to re-read what you’ve typed out and ask yourself if it conveys what you intend it to?

Four friends were having birthdays today. I sent the birthday video to each of their Facebook pages, and got ready to take Treacle to the park.


I got dressed… and wasn’t at all happy about how my new trousers fitted. The legs were far too long. I measured them; they were exactly the size I ordered… inside leg twenty-nine inches. My inside leg has been twenty-nine inches since I told my mum I was old enough to buy my own trousers over forty years ago. I measured my inside leg… and measured it again… and measured it again with a different tape measure… and got “er indoors TM” to check. My inside leg is now only twenty-eight inches. I then measured my height. I have been five feet ten inches tall for years. I am now only five feet eight and a half inches. I’m not bowed over or stooping… I have shrunk.

Apparently this is not unusual; people  typically lose half an inch every ten years after the age of forty. I wonder how much more I will shrink?

Wasn’t there a film made about this sort of thing?


I set the washing machine going then took Treacle round the park. Despite being without Pogo (who is still on his holiday) she took the opportunity to bark at a passing dog (from the safety of the other side of the road), but other than that her behaviour was perfect. Which was more than could be said for a passing brat who tried to grab Treacle as though she was a rag doll. The brat’s mother seemed very surprised when I asked how many times her brat has got himself bitten by attacking dogs in that way; it never occurred to her that a dog would see be3ing roughly grabbed by a stranger as an attack. I patiently explained how to ask a dog’s owner if they might stroke the dog, and mother and brat looked at me as though I was the stupid one.

As we walked round the park there were signs up. The council has said that they will not tolerate verbal and physical abuse of the gardeners in the park. I suppose if the council wasn’t hell-bent on chopping down quite so many healthy trees there wouldn’t be an issue.


Rather than walking home we only walked a third of the way home and drove the rest of the way. Last night when I came home after the late shift I had to park four streets away as there was nowhere closer to home to park. For all that “er indoors TM” wants a new bathroom and a new kitchen, I’d rather move house to somewhere with parking. Every late shift is the same… I drive past the front door about twenty minutes before I walk through it as it takes than long to find somewhere to park and then walk back home.


Once home I finally got round to trying to book tickets for next month’s Sparks concert. They are playing in Bexhill… and all the tickets have sold out. I really should have booked a long time ago; who would have thought that such an obscure band would be so popular.

The washing machine had done its thing so I hung clothes out on the clothes horse, activated the dishwasher, and spent an hour on the sofa alternately cuddling with Treacle and playing “Star Trek: Elite Force” as I listened to the rain outside. And all too soon it was time to drive to work through that rain… even though the BBC forecast said that at that moment I should expect sunny intervals with only a five per cent chance of rain.


Pausing only to brave the monsoon at the co-op I was soon on my way to work. As I drove I couldn't help but reflect on just how crap the weather forecast was today. I once made a serious error at work and was crucified for it, but when the weather forecasters get it wrong, everyone laughs... because no one really expects much from them anyway.

Yet again I find myself questioning my career choices... 



15 March 2022 (Tuesday) - A Last Day



The bathroom sink drained away nicely this morning after I had a shave, even if it did make some rather loud gurgling noises.

I made toast and watched an episode of “Trailer Park Boys” which did make me snigger, then I sparked up my lap-top to peer into the Internet (as I do most mornings). It was still there. Not much was going on in social media really. I had a couple of emails telling me of two new geocaches just that little bit too far away to go chasing First To Find. I had an email telling me about a job as a blood tester where I used to work in Canterbury. As if I’d want to go back there… And I had an email from Sky telling me they are putting their prices up. All rather dull.


It was a rather bright morning as I drove up the busy motorway this morning. As always these days for the first half of my journey there were only two lanes on the motorway in use in either direction, and a speed limit of fifty miles an hour on them. There are loads of signs saying that this speed limit is for the safety of those working on the motorway and I would be in complete agreement with that speed limit... *if* I ever saw anyone actually working on the motorway. Currently there is about ten miles of the M20 with speed restrictions (in both directions) and I've not seen anyone working on either side of the motorway there for weeks.


As I drove the pundits on the radio were saying how over forty-three thousand people in the UK have offered space in their homes for refugees fleeing from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That's quite impressive bearing in mind that only a few short months ago British people tried to stop the launch of lifeboats about to rescue refugees.

What is it about the Ukrainian situation that has captured the public's sympathy? There are twenty countries in the world currently engaged in wars (that's over ten per cent of the countries of the world); no one is clamouring to look out for the people of Cameroon or South Sudan, are they? And the UK's treatment of many of the people that were abandoned following the start of the Afghan civil war was frankly abysmal. So what is it about the Ukrainians that makes us sit up and take notice? Is it the worry that this time next year the Russians will be invading us?


As I got to work my phone pinged. The nice computers at Munzee HQ have awarded me ZeeQrew status. If you go round sticking bar-codes to lamp posts and dog poo bins, then this is a big thing. It is akin to getting a knighthood in the real world. If you don't go round sticking bar-codes to lamp posts and dog poo bins (like most people don't) it is a matter of the utmost triviality.


Work was a bit sad today; it was a colleague’s last day. She brought in cake (which was very well received), but it was sad to see her go. She's off to East Anglia, so I will (quite possibly) never see her again outside of my Facebook feed.  And this made me think. How many other people are just like her; a major part of my life for a few years, and now just a name on social media that (at best) stirs a faint memory. I have half a dozen people on my Facebook list like this; I *think* I worked with them years ago (judging by mutual Facebook friends), but I have no memory of them, and if I saw them in the street I would walk straight past them without recognising them.

That's rather sad really, isn't it?


I wished her a happy life at going home time, then came home through ten miles of speed restrictions despite no one being there to benefit from the traffic having slowed down.

I came home to find an Amazon delivery. The new Blokus set had arrived… smaller than the old one was. But I expect it works just the same. 


“er indoors TM” boiled up a rather good bit of chicken katzu which we washed down with a bottle of Liebfraumilch (old skool!) as we watched the final of “Lego Masters: Australia”. That was a really good show. It is a shame it’s now over, but I’ve downloaded he first episode of the second season of “Lego Masters: USA” to watch with our next bottle of plonk.



16 March 2022 (Wednesday) - Before the Night Shift



I slept well last night. I would have slept longer but “er indoors TM”’s phone started having notification buzzes every five minutes from six o’clock onwards.

I got up, had a shave (in a sink which drained afterwards), made toast and had my usual rummage around the Internet. I sent out two birthday wishes, and then had a look at Facebook. There was a rather idiotic argument kicking off on one of the “Doctor Who” related groups about some scientific inaccuracies in the program. One chap was ranting that the intricacies of nuclear physics aren’t exactly as portrayed in an episode from the 1970s. Another was ranting that it was just a TV show and the first chap should get a life. Personally I felt the second chap was in the wrong for being so stupid that he didn’t realise that the first chap was also a thicko too.

And there was a frankly ridiculous squabble on one of the “proper science” Facebook groups about a space-rock thingy that crashed into the north Atlantic a couple of days ago. Described as “half the size of a giraffe” no end of people felt this was a rather stupid description of size, and no end of equally laughable alternative units of measurement were being offered.

I also saw there was a beer festival in Tenterden being advertised for later in the year. I’ve not done a beer festival for years; I was set to organise a mass trip out to it… and then I read the rest of the advert. Live music was an attraction. Oh dear… It’s not that I don’t like live music; I *love* live music when it is done well, however it is rarely done well. It is usually done very badly by people who are nowhere near as good as they think they are, and who turn up the volume to try to compensate for a lack of talent. I’ve heard live music at beer festivals before and with one exception (Dover) it has all been terrible. Live music isn’t supposed to give you a headache.


Rather than walking round the park today I had an idea that we might try Orlestone woods. Orlestone is less than ten minutes from home, we rarely see anyone else on the walk and it is a pretty place to walk. But Orlestone is only any good during the summer months. We avoid it during the winter as the mud is too thick, and it was really muddy today. As we walked we met two other dog owners. One encounter passed off fine, the other was something of a disaster. Three huge dogs came bounding up to Treacle as the dogs’ owners shouted out that all was well because their dogs are friendly. I shouted back that all was not well as Treacle is not. If another dog walks past she is (usually) fine. If another dog comes up slowly to say hello she tolerates it. But if a huge dog (or three) bound up to her and tower over her getting in her face she is terrified. And nips.

The other dogs soon pissed off, and we continued our wallow through the swamps. For some strange reason half of the car park had been roped off. I wonder what that was all about?


We came home and once Treacle had her bath she was soon snoring on the back of the sofa. I set the washing machine loose on laundry, booked a slot at the tip in a couple of weeks’ time and spent half an hour writing up some CPD.

As I played with the blood bank simulator so there was a rattle of the letterbox. Treacle went berserk because the postman had been. He’d delivered the council tax bill for the next year. It wasn’t as bad as I had been expecting, but it has gone up by more than my wages have gone up.


I went to bed for the afternoon and slept for about three hours, then spent an hour or so leading the Hazard Team round a Borg cube in “Star Trek: Elite Force”, then with “er indoors TM” home I smiled at her in the hope of getting some dinner.

I’m off to the night shift in a minute… I need to get petrol on the way. Petrol prices have gone through the roof, but I have a plan. When I come to pay I shall stand at the till and clap. Seeing how the government expected me to take that instead of a pay rise last year, let’s see how much the clapping is worth in real terms, shall we?



17 March 2022 (Thursday) - Bottle of Plonk



After a busy night shift I was glad to see the early shift turn up. I drove home listening to the radio, and there wasn’t an awful lot to listen to. In a novel break with tradition there wasn’t endless talk about the ongoing situation in Ukraine; instead the pundits on the radio focussed on the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who has been held in prison in Iran for many years (for “allegedly plotting against the Iranian government”). However rather than giving any actual news, they kept repeating how her family was pleased to have her home (as though that was a surprise to anyone) then interviewed the Minister of State for Europe and North America who kept repeating that all the details of her release are confidential and he couldn’t say anything.


I got home, had a shave and went to bed where despite Treacle’s barking at shadows for much of the morning I managed three hours asleep, finally getting up at mid-day. I made toast and scoffed it as I peered into social media rather later than usual. One friend was having a birthday today, and a few people (who live locally) were pretending to be Irish in honour of today being St Patrick’s Day. This boils my piss. (Sorry!) These are the same people who pretend to be Scottish on Burns night and at New Year despite having no Scottish heritage at all either. I once challenged one of these people asking why (if your Celtic heritage is so important) do you live as far away from Scotland and Ireland as you can possibly get whilst still being in the UK?

I never got a reply.


There had been talk of me driving “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” to the hospital for another scan this afternoon, but having heard nothing I popped the lead on to Treacle and walked her up to the park (leaving the washing machine having a go at some laundry). On the way there she grumbled at a couple of other dogs from the safety of the other side of the road, but once at the park we walked round as good as gold; which was something of a bonus. As we walked I did a little crafty Munz-ing but my Munzee app has developed an issue. It is fine immediately after the phone re-starts, but when I go back to the app after a few minutes the icons and text are all huge. I wonder if there is an easy fix for this?


We came home and I cracked on with the ironing whilst watching episodes of “Trailer Park Boys”, then got the lap-top out and as the washing machine did its best with my undercrackers I played “Star Trek: Elite Force” as Treacle sucked on my T-shirt (for some strange reason).


“er indoors TM” came home and boiled up a really good bit of dinner which was washed down with a rather good bottle of Sainsbury’s Hock as we watched episodes of “Yonderland”. Sainsbury’s Hock isn’t at all shabby – and it is less than a fiver for a bottle.

I shall get some more of that stuff.



18 March 2022 (Friday) - This n That



Apart from one particularly vivid nightmare in which I had been conscripted (by the Prime Minister) to lead a group of Cub Scouts who had joined the Open University (?) I slept soundly for over nine hours last night. I eventually woke at half past seven feeling like death warmed up. I came downstairs where the smell of “er indoors TM”’s tea nearly (but not quite) made me throw up. The smell of tea first thing in the morning always does that to me.

Pausing only briefly to run out of shaving gel, the bathroom sink worked fine this morning, and soon I was peering into the Internet scoffing toast and swilling coffee (*not* tea!)


Facebook was surprisingly busy this morning. Last night seemed to be “post your old school photos” day to one of the Hastings Facebook pages, so I’d posted a photo of our class of ’75 in the hope that some old school friends might see it. Of the twenty-nine other people in the photo three are in my Facebook friends list, and I could name a dozen others, Mind you I don’t remember that photo being taken and I’m not sure which one was me. Someone who once was on my Facebook friends list and defriended me (no idea why) said she could name twenty-two of the people in the photo… but didn’t actually do so.

A friend had gone to see a live band playing locally last night and had posted up a little video. I’d like to think that it was his phone that hadn’t done the band justice; all I could hear was a bloody awful noise.

And there was a lot of talk about a march of support this weekend for the sacked P&O workers. P&O ferries have sacked eight hundred workers and has replaced them with people who will do the job cheaper. I suppose that now that the UK doesn’t have to mess about with those annoying European laws about workers’ rights, this is the free market for you… it is only a short step from this to sending children back down the mines, isn’t it?


I took Treacle for a little walk. Bearing in mind the state of the woods on Wednesday we just did a quick circuit of the park which passed off without incident. Treacle is as good as gold *if* she is left alone by those that she doesn’t know. She walked perfectly at heel all the way carrying her tennis ball, perfectly happy.

We came home, and I started “preparing for inspection”. I can vividly remember trying to tidy the house when the fruits of my loin were young. Back then “My Boy TM” flatly refused to co-operate in any way at all, repeatedly sarcastically asking if the Queen was coming. Nowadays we have to tidy up before he comes. He wanted to borrow a chess set today as he has decided to teach Cheryl how to play chess. I can just imagine her reaction to being told that a prawn goes all the way and becomes a queen. And then it can go any way it likes(!)

Just as I’d sorted out the landslide of carrier bags that collapsed when I pulled the Hoover out my phone beeped. He wouldn’t be collecting the chess set today after all.

I was vaguely disappointed by that. As Treacle snored on the sofa next to me, I played “Star Trek: Elite Force” for an hour or so and then (leaving her fast asleep) set off in the general direction of work. 

I drove up to the co-op where the car park was heaving. The car park for the little row of shops there is nowhere near big enough. I went into the co-op and fought my way through a sea of schoolgirls. What were they doing in the co-op at mid-morning? Why weren't they at school?


I got a sandwich, set off up the motorway and took over twenty minutes to travel two miles. The traffic wasn't actually at a standstill, but was crawling oh-so-slowly. And after two miles of single-digit speeds the traffic then sped up to its usual pace with seemingly no reason for the delay at all. I had planned a little geo-mission to give me something to do before work, but the time I'd set aside for geo-mission was more than taken up by the traffic delay. So I went straight to work where I learned something.

Did you know that modern driving licences are only valid for ten years? I didn't know that. A colleague found out today that her driving licence expires next Monday. (Woops!) Suitably panic-stricken I checked my driving licence. Mine is good for another twelve years  (until my seventieth birthday). The colleague whose licence expires on Monday had a good laugh at my driving licence; it was issued before she was born.

I felt old…



19 March 2022 (Saturday) - Dismantling the Arbour



I slept well. As I scoffed my toast I watched “Trailer Park Boys”. Ricky is now living in a barn “like people used to before houses were invented” and had found a goat (which he thought was a “double unicorn”).

I sparked up my lap-top. Facebook was still there, but not a lot was happening quite so early in the morning. One friend had had a bad night with a drunken neighbour making noise until the small hours. We had that many years ago from the side where the neighbours change regularly. One chap would come home drunk and play his noisy music which would continue after he’d fallen asleep. After the second or third time I hammered on his front door at six o'clock the next morning and told him that if he wanted to have his music on in the small hours then he would be woken after only two hours sleep. He started to argue; I explained that whatever he said was fine, but the price of his music was only two hours sleep, and that was not negotiable. He never did it again and moved out shortly after, never to be seen again.

Nothing else was going on in the Internet, so I got ready for work.


I set off to work, and after a couple of miles I realised I'd forgotten the swipe card I needed to get into the works car park. It didn't take that long to go back home to get it. 

As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about how President Putin is to be charged with war crimes. I'm not saying that what the Russian forces are doing in Ukraine is within the remit of international law, but I have difficulty with the concept of "war crimes". Surely the whole point of a war is that any attempt at reasoned discussion and legal process to sort a disagreement has failed, and force is being used to impose your will on your enemy. War is per se illegal, isn’t it? Can you really "fight nicely"? The entire concept seems to be something of a non sequitur to me.

There was also talk of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge having run into problems on their tour of the Caribbean. It is all very well for Prince William to be spouting his high ideals and green visions; he’s not poor. Unlike the villagers who can’t afford to face the consequences of what he has in mind.

Meanwhile science has discovered Star Trek's Mirror universe.


As I drove up the motorway I saw there were people actually working in the ten mile stretch that has been cordoned off along the motorway. There were there at half past seven on a Saturday morning, and they were also there at half past nine last night.

Mind you there was no one to be seen in the entire ten miles as I came home at half past one this afternoon.


I came home and mowed the lawn, sprinkled out some lawn food and pulled weeds out of the shingle, then stared into the pond. It is incredibly clear right now; you can see right to the bottom. I fed the fish, then had a little look at the arbour. Despite “er indoors TM” giving the thing a serious overhaul two years ago (when I put my arse through it), it was poggered. I thought about trying to effect more repairs to keep it going, but it had had it. There is only so many bits of perished wood you can screw together. We originally built the thing on 8 April 2007 (to be honest, Jose built it) so we’ve had our money’s worth out of it.

My Boy TM” called round to collect the chess set, and once he’d gone I set about  dismantling the arbour. A little judicious screwdrivering ably assisted by some wanton hammering soon had the thing in pieces. Some of the fragments will go to the tip; some will be recycled into a garden screen to hide all the tat stuffed down the side of the shed.

I’m reliably informed the new garden bench will arrive tomorrow evening.


“er indoors TM” made pizza (from scratch!) which we scoffed whilst watching the latest episode of “Star Trek: Picard” in which our heroes travelled back in time because… because that’s what you do in Star Trek. Last week’s episode of “Star Trek: Picard” was rather good. This week they did the same old story which has been done better at least a couple of dozen times already.


I’ve programmed “Hannah” for tomorrow. I might make a sandwich for tomorrow before I go to bed… Or I might not.



20 March 2022 (Sunday) - Marden to Hush Heath (and back)



I ached when I got up this morning; taking that arbour apart yesterday must have been more like hard work than I realised.

I made toast and watched an episode of “Trailer Park Boys” in which Bubbles was terrorised by a samsquanch (!) then I sparked up the lap-top as I usually do most mornings. I had some messages – yesterday I saw that there are a few geocaches on today’s walk which looked to be missing, and I asked the owners if they would like us to replace them if we couldn’t find them. They all saidyes please”. According to the rules, replacing a missing cache is the responsibility of whoever hid it; according to common sense why should they give up a couple of hours to make a special journey to do what we can do in less than a minute?

There wasn’t *that* much kicking off on Facebook this morning. Perhaps I was too early on a Sunday? There were on or two amazing things being asked on some of the work-related Facebook pages though. In the UK there are national standards concerning all aspects of blood transfusion; in the USA it would seem that every individual lab makes it up as they go along and there were “how do we…” and “do we have to…” and “the lab down the road says…
All were questions about things which in the UK are standard practice, and have been for years.


With “er indoors TM” off to visit “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” and “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM I got Treacle into her new harness, and we set off to the car. As we walked down the road there was some strange woman  dragging half a dozen tree branches down the road. Each must have been over five metres in length. Assuming she wanted them as firewood I wondered if she might want the fragments of the arbour I disassembled yesterday, so I asked her. After a few minutes it became clear she didn’t speak English. At all. This (sadly) isn’t uncommon and bothers me. I like to think I’m not racist, but how can anyone live in a country where they don’t speak the language (not even the tiniest amount)? It just can’t be practical, can it?


We drove out to Marden; I’d deliberately set off early so that we could drive to a couple of locations to collect information needed for a field puzzle, and having counted bollards and found the right telegraph pole I sat in the car park with Treacle working out the puzzle until Karl, Trace and Charlotte arrived.

We set off on our walk. The ground was nowhere near as muddy as we thought it might have been. We had a good walk with very few hills. There were perhaps a few too many stiles, but Treacle managed them without too many problems. Mind you we did have one or two issues with Treacle. She was continually stopping; wanting to pick up bigger and bigger sticks. And there was a “near miss” event when a Dalmatian got in her face. If the dog had come up slowly, all would have been fine.


We had another “episode” at lunch time. Having found an ideal spot about twenty yards from the road we had just sat down to have our picnic when some “delightful fellow” walked up and told us we were trespassing in his woods. I think he was looking for a fight and he wasn’t quite sure what to do when he didn’t get one. Seeing we weren’t the gang of vagrants and ne'er do wells I think he was expecting he said we could stay and have our picnic. Which we did. Though to be honest if I was that fellow, I would sell the woods and use the profit to buy a full set of teeth.

Shortly after lunch we walked past the Hush Heath winery. We considered having a look at their shop; I’m glad we didn’t. have you seen their prices? At thirty quid a bottle, they ain’t giving it away.

As we walked I found myself looking in admiration at the amount of frankly wonderful garden ponds we saw, and we all spent a few minutes looking at the model railway set-up someone had going round their garden; complete with railway bridges over the pond. The very next house had alpacas in the garden…


Geocache-wise, the series we followed was perhaps not the easiest. Many of the caches were in places that were rather overlooked. Some of the hints didn’t seem to make much sense to me. And we felt that some of the GPS co-ordinates were a tad awry. But a bit of a challenge is never a bad thing. Someone had taken the trouble to set out a guided walk for us in a rather pretty area, and I am very grateful for that.

After having walked the series we hunted out two multi-caches.

One of them was one we didn’t find when we were last in the area since it had been almost (but not quite) in someone’s back garden and had been “muggled” (found by the normal people and thrown away as rubbish). Since our last visit it has been relocated and we found it deep in a thicket.

The other was one that hadn’t been found in over a year; we found it. Because it hadn’t been found in over a year it qualifies as a “resuscitation” and there is all sorts of gloating that goes with that (if rummaging in hedgerows for small pots floats your boat).


I took a few photos as we walked. Once home, as Treacle snored on the sofa next to me, I posted them on-line.

“er indoors TM” came home, and hot on her heels was the builder chap who is going to be fitting the new kitchen in a few weeks’ time. They made all sorts of plans; I agreed to everything. And shortly after the builder went so someone else was at the door. I was thinking it was the new garden bench. It was actually the grocery delivery. It turns out that the new garden bench hasn’t been ordered yet. Yesterday when I wrote “I’m reliably informed the new garden bench will arrive tomorrow evening” it turns out that I had been reliably informed that the groceries would be arriving.

It’s amazing what you miss when you aren’t paying attention…



21 March 2022 (Monday) - Another Diet



I didn’t make toast this morning. Instead I had a delicious and filling Slimfast shake (!) Periodically the voices in my head tell me to go on a diet, and that is what they have been saying for a little while. I’ve always been fat, and I hate it.

“er indoors TM” has bought some Slimfast kits, so we are giving these a go for a couple of weeks. The trouble with diets is that I’ve tried so many, and few work for me.. Five – two, Atkins, keto-generating, no-farting-on-a-Tuesday… over the years I’ve tried so many diets and I’ve found that nothing helps me lose weight as much as being constantly hungry. But I shall give this Slimfast diet a go though, and see what happens. I stood on the scales this morning and was seventeen stone and one pound. That’s ten pounds up on when I last weighed myself.

Let’s see how much I can shift.


As I enjoyed my delicious and filling Slimfast shake (!) I watched an episode of “Trailer Park Boys” in which our heroes were up to their usual antics, them went on-line for a bit. I spent ages being unable to log into my “MyFitnessPal” app until I hit on the frankly genius idea of turning on the phone’s internet connection. That did the trick.

I then had a little look at Facebook (as I do every morning). I posted up a photo of what I’d had for brekkie, then had a look to see what I’d missed overnight.

A month ago (on 22 February) I was whinging about a friend request I had received via Facebook. Someone had sent me pure filth. I’d reported it to Facebook, and I wrote “Over brekkie I saw that Facebook had again reviewed “Margaret Tello” (the porn-monger who sent me a friend request) and again confirmed that sending links to mucky websites didn’t go against their community standards. They did however give me the opportunity to appeal to their Oversight Board, so I’ve sent them a message. We’ll see what comes of that, Not much I expect”. This morning I saw that Facebook’s Oversight Board had chosen to do nothing about the wanton hawking of smut. I also saw that the porn-monger’s  Facebook profile is still active, and still advertising very unmoral (not to say unhygienic either) activities. So much for taking a moral stance.

Nothing else seemed to be going on in the Internet, so I got ready for work.


For all that yesterday was supposedly the first day of spring, I had t spend a few minutes scraping the ice from my car this morning. As I drove up the motorway I listened to the pundits on the radio who were spouting their usual brand of drivel. This morning there was talk that the Prime Minister is now regretting his remarks made over the weekend, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer didn't agree with him at all. Apparently that idiot Johnson was trying to draw parallels between Britain's leaving the EU and the Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion, and in doing so had given more fuel to his detractors. It strikes me that the only similarity between the Russian invasion of the Ukraine and Brexit was that both seemed a good idea at the time to those who instigated them, and both could really have done with having been thought out a little more than they actually were.

It bothers me that I really do now see our Prime Minister as "that idiot Johnson". Like them or loathe them, a Prime Minister should really command respect, shouldn't they?


I got to work for the early shift, and did that which I couldn't avoid. There was cake today, but I ignored the stuff.  Mind you I say "cake" - it was doughnuts. Doughnuts are strange things. If you get a jam doughnut from Tesco that is good for two hundred and eighty-nine calories. But the same thing from Sainsburys is only two hundred and twenty calories. So it might be argued that getting your doughnuts from Tesco is healthy eating.

I didn't have any doughnuts.  Instead I had an apple at morning tea break (sixty-three calories), a "very berry meal replacement bar" (!) for lunch (two hundred and twenty five calories) and a miniscule bag of sour cream and chive pretzels at afternoon tea break (ninety nine calories)


As I worked I exchanged a few messages with “Daddy’s Little Angel TM”. Pogo has developed a very sore nose which wasn't getting any better, so I suggested he went to the vet. Because he is registered with our vet she brought him up on the train and took him there. I was glad she took him and not me; she could have the argument about how overweight he is.

I managed to sweet-talk the boss into letting me slip out a few minutes early; for all that “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” had got to the vet’s, she also had a load of shopping to collect from Asda and needed to be there promptly, so Dad’s taxi came to the rescue. Eventually. I was rather thwarted by the ramp onto the motorway being blocked, and a police car going down the motorway at a sensible speed (who *ever* overtakes a police car?)


We were only a few minutes late getting to Asda; it was a shame that when Asda get your shopping order together for you they don’t put any of it in bags. We just filled the back of my car with it all loose, and drove that back to “Daddy’s Little Angel TM”’s flat.

As shopping was being shifted about I had a look at Pogo’s nose. It is far worse than it appears in the photo. Apparently he is allergic to something he’s been sniffing in (the beach, maybe?) and the allergic rash has got infected. Poor pup. He’s now on anti-histamines and antibiotics and wearing a cone of shame.

Pogo was funny this afternoon - for all that he has been living with us for years, he makes no secret who is his favourite person. He follows “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” like a second shadow, and whenever she disappears he cries and gets very agitated until she re-appears.


Pausing only briefly to do the geocaching Adventure lab that “er indoors TM” set up only a hundred yards from where “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” lives I came home. “er indoors TM” boiled up a really good dinner (six hundred calories) and has gone bowling.

I shall spend the evening playing “Star Trek: Elite Force” I think…

Surprisingly despite ending the day nearly three hundred calories under my daily diet goal, I’m not hungry…



22 March 2022 (Tuesday) - Diet Day Two



Again I gave toast a miss this morning. Instead I had a “high protein summer strawberry flavour shake” which was surprisingly filling and a hundred less calories. I watched another episode of “Trailer Park Boys” then sparked up my lap-top.

Facebook was remarkably dull this morning. There was a bit of an argument kicking off about the way in which you have to book appointments at the tip days in advance. Some people love it, but it don’t work for me. I don’t know when I’ve going to have a load for the tip, or whether it will all go in one car full or not. Apparently the council are keeping the appointment system because of the findings of a public consultation they held… Public consultation? That was a well-kept secret.

I sent out two birthday videos, then had a look at my emails. The nice people at Credit Karma told me my credit rating had gone up by three points this week, but seemed to be utterly unable to explain why. When I clicked the “Find Out Why” button absolutely nothing happened.


I found where I'd parked my car yesterday (two streets away) and set off to work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the ongoing situation in Ukraine in which neither side looks as though they are going to make any concessions. One side wants to take over the country; the other doesn't want them to. Both sides have got a long way to go before any agreement can be reached. And (as always) it is the innocents who will suffer.

Meanwhile (at first sight) it seems that the Japanese are having problems with Russia too. The Japanese are trying to draw parallels between how the Russian Army had "manoeuvres" on the Ukrainian border before invading Ukraine, and how Russia is now holding military exercises off the coat of the Kuril Islands. However these islands haven't been Japanese islands ever since Russia was given them after the second world war, and the fact that historically they were always Russian until the Japanese captured them in 1904 (and held them until 1945) seems to have eluded everyone.


It took a little longer than usual to get to work today. The ten-mile stretch of fifty miles an hour has been extended to twenty with the overnight reinstatement of “Operation Brock in the expectation of problems following the unpleasantness in which P&O Ferries sacked all their staff and got people who would work for less money.


I got to work for the early shift and did my bit. As I worked I did chuckle about a visiting engineer who seemed to spend most of the shift shouting into his phone about how he needed to make the C.U. visible. He might have had more (any) success had anyone other than him known what he was talking about.


With work worked I drove up to Meopham as I had somewhere to go. I’d programmed my sat nav to a post-code, and I had a house number. You’d think that would be easy enough, wouldn’t you?

In most streets the house numbers start at one, and go up as high as there are houses to go up to. However in the place I went to, the houses are all custom-built on random plots of land, and seem to be numbered in order of being built. The road started with house thirty-seven and counted down (with some missing numbers) to twenty-two… then shot up to sixty-something. I saw a chap in his garden and asked if he knew where number six was. He laughed and said it could be anywhere. His house was fifty-four but he openly admitted that the number was utterly meaningless.

I eventually found where I was supposed to be; the nice lady knew that visitors had problems and was waiting in her garden. I’d gone up there as a few weeks ago I’d seen an advert telling of jackshunds  for sale. Yesterday the advert was still on-line. Fudge was a jackshund. Do I want another one? To be honest I’m not sure. But with Pogo making no secret that he would rather be back with “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” I think it fair to say there’s a vacancy for a dog in our house.

There were two puppies to be seen. One is a dead ringer for Fudge, and for all that I wanted a boy, looking so much like Fudge I would subconsciously be expecting that dog to be my Fudge, and that wouldn’t be fair on him. The little girl is a sweetie, though.

I shall go back with “er indoors TM” in a few days’ time.


I came back home down the motorway and through “Operation Brock”. On what would normally be the coast-bound carriageway were four miles of a double queue of lorries.

“er indoors TM” boiled up an incredibly low calorie dinner which I followed up with a Muller Light yogurt (fat free!) and ended the day over two hundred calories under my daily allowance. Result!



23 March 2022 (Wednesday) - Before The Late Shift



I slept like a log last night and woke at half past seven still feeling tired. What was that all about? I didn’t make toast; I had another Slimfast shake thingy then had a look at the Internet as I do.

It was still there,

I saw a friend had started a business in which people pay her for the privilege of sitting around in the village hall whilst she makes all sorts of odd noises by running a wet finger round the edges of various large pots and occasionally clouting them with a drumstick (the pots, not the people). She calls it “sound therapy” and the masses can’t give her their money quick enough. I suppose I’m just jealous that I didn’t think that one up.

And I was rather sad to see that geocaching HQ have announced a new load of souvenirs for the next few months – you go out and find some (thirty) geocaches in April and May and you’ll get a couple of e-souvenirs. I suppose I will play the game, but it bothers me that there is so much more that the paid staff at geo-HQ could be doing. I’ve ranted about this before, but this e-souvenir for going and finding caches is just a re-hash of something they’ve been doing for some time now. Looking at the public profile of many of my friends who used to be active in the noble pursuit of rummaging for film pots in hedges it is clear that a lot of them didn’t bother with the last load of e-souvenirs.

Such  a shame geo-HQ won’t do something more original that might bring back the punters that are leaving geocaching (in droves) to go play other silly games.


As I got up from brekkie (Slimfast), Treacle was rather funny. She (and all the other dogs) have never made any secret that “er indoors TM” is their favourite, and they follow her like second shadows (all the time top favourite person “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” is elsewhere). But Treacle was all over me this morning. She knows who takes her up the park in the mornings of a late shift.

I filled the washing machine, and we set off.

We had a minor “episode” as we walked up Christchurch Road. Some woman was walking along the pavement toward us. Clearly she didn’t like dogs, or was scared of them. Surely the obvious thing to do was to cross over the (very quiet) road when she was still fifty yards away. But instead she waited until we were walking past her (with me between her and Treacle) when she screamed and leapt into the road. I pointed out that it was a rather small dog on the end of the lead, and not a tiger, and we carried on our way, leaving her standing in the way of oncoming traffic.

And then as we walked round the park we saw a woman with a russet-coloured spaniel. As we passed she did the biggest fart you ever did hear. I hurried away gripped with a fit of the giggles.


We came home. Treacle was soon fast asleep, and I emptied the washing machine and set a second load going, then made a cuppa and with it I had a Slimfast choc caramel treat. It was surprisingly good, lasted far longer than a biccie, and was less calories.

I wrote up a little CPD, but soon lost interest in it. It is on the dull side. Instead I solved the puzzle for a puzzle geocache that had gone live this morning. I thought it might give me a little adventure before work until I discovered that finding it would mean a twenty-mile diversion. I thought better of that. Had I been working in Pembury today, things might have been different. Instead I spent a little while looking up suitable names for a small white dog (for no reason at all!) and found pretty much every suitable name had already been taken by either a colleague, friend or granddaughter.


Leaving Treacle snoring and dreaming (dogs really do have dreams!) I set of to work. There was something on the radio about men who use violence against women, and (as always with this sort of thing) I formed the distinct impression that those talking held me personally responsible for every bit of abuse that has ever happened. So I turned it off and howled along to my own choice of music as I crawled up the motorway to the petrol station.

Usually when on the late shift I would get a sandwich and a grab-bag of crisps for lunch when getting petrol but being on a diet I gave that a miss, and drove to the works car park where I read my Kindle app for a bit and scoffed a “Very Berry Meal Replacement Bar” before going in to work. 

And that was it for the day really. A very busy late shift, and then a diversion round Hermitage Lane meant I was ten minutes late getting to the motorway along which I crawled home.



24 March 2022 (Thursday) - Rostered Day Off



I slept through till eight o’clock this morning which was something of a result. I had a shave, set another COVID test going and cracked open a café latte Slimfast shake thingy which I scoffed as I peered at the Internet.

There wasn’t much going on with Facebook this morning. A friend had shared a memory of their having seen The ELO Experience a few years ago and was looking forward to seeing them in Whitstable next weekend. I saw them at the Sinden theatre in Tenterden about ten years ago and they were rather good. I was rather miffed to find out I’d missed the chance to get tickets to see them again - I follow them on Facebook and hadn’t seen any mention of their coming to Kent again.

Having got yet another negative COVID test I then tried to order up some more. I went through ten different screens before being told they’d run out. You’d think they’d tell you right away, wouldn’t you? I tried again (many times) through the day to no avail. I wonder what the boss will say tomorrow – it is on her orders that I’m doing so many.


Treacle was keen to go out, so I put the electric screwdriver on to charge (!) and we walked up to the park, did our usual circuit and came home again. We met no loonies or nutters, no one bothered us and we woofed and barked at no one.


With walk walked I got busy in the garden. At the weekend I took apart the old arbour we’d had for fifteen years. Much of the wood had rotted through, but the sides were still good, so I upcycled them. I’ve got all sorts of things in the garden that I use that don’t fit in the shed. The huge bucket/pot for cleaning out the fish pond filter. Various buckets of stones for future garden features. A dustbin half-filled with soil. The garden waste dustbin… all of which live down the side of the shed and they look awful. So using the planks from the arbour that weren’t rotten I built the slatted sides and backs of the old arbour into a screen. There was a minor mishap when the drill bit snapped, and another minor mishap when one of the screws got stuck half-way and wouldn’t budge. But nothing I couldn’t sort with a spare drill bit and a hefty clout with a hammer.

You can see a few photos of what I did here. The end result wasn’t too shabby. It would look better if attached to the wall or the shed… but that involves going to B&Q and spending money on parts. I did everything today from left-over bits and bobs.


I then had a look at the household accounts and totted up what I’d squandered over the last month. As always I’m nowhere near as skint as I might be, but nowhere near as rich as I want to be.

I scoffed a “Choc Chip Tasty Balanced Meal Bar” then played “Star Trek: Elite Force” for a while. I had intended to do more out in the garden, but I ached a bit, so I turned on the telly and watched more “Trailer Park Boys”  in which our heroes tried to capture a samsquanch (!) for financial gain. 


“er indoors TM” is boiling up dinner – the Slimfast recipe sheet comes up with pretty decent scran and change out of six hundred calories. I shall have a tin of diet coke with it – have you seen how many calories there are in a bottle of plonk?



25 March 2022 (Friday) - A Maze Ing



I was wide awake at half past three this morning and having lain awake for two hours I gave up with the idea of sleep and got up.

As I slurped my Slimfast strawberry wotsit I watched an episode of “Trailer Park Boys” in which Rick’s brain sadly let him down again, then had a look at the Internet (as I do). It was still there, but not much was going on quite so early in the morning. I had several emails about job vacancies; seemingly the world is crying out for quality managers. “Quality management” is something which boils my piss. You’d think it was all about making sure that a given workplace is performing to a high standard, wouldn’t you? It isn’t though. It is all about making sure that meaningless paperwork is all written in the right coloured ink.


I took something of a circuitous route to my car this morning capping and scattering as I went (it's a Munzee thing). As I drove to work I listened to the radio as I do most mornings. I listen to the radio as I want to know what is going on in  the world; this morning I didn't learn much. It really did seem to be "National Make Yourself Inaudible Day". The first chap being interviewed was the Shadow Secretary for Something or Other whose mobile phone didn't stop making a variety of odd beeping noises. This was followed by someone talking about the P&O Ferries scandal... I say "talking", "repeating the same meaningless catchphrases" would have been closer to the truth. And then there was someone with an accent so thick he could have been talking about absolutely anything at all. The only person I heard with any clarity was a bishop on the "Thought For The Day" who was talking about Mother's Day (which is this coming Sunday). Apparently mothers are positive proof of the existence of God; God sent mothers to help us all because everyone needs help in this crappy world. However the bishop glossed over why his God had made the world so crappy, and then rather disproved his own point by talking about a couple of people who are shining examples of decent people even though their mothers died when they were very young.


I got to work where I had something of a busy (if dull) day. And with busy (if dull) day done I came home. What with “Operation Brock” it took slightly over twice the time it usually takes to get home.


Once home “er indoors TM” boiled up a good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching the fourth episode of the new season of “Star Trek: Picard”. Two weeks ago I said that the show had picked up, and last week I said I wasn’t impressed. I’m wondering if this season has peaked rather too soon…


We then watched a film on Amazon Prime. “Dave Made a Maze” was rather odd. Have you ever seen it? Give it a go…



26 March 2022 (Saturday) - Bit Dull Really



I slept better last night, but was still awake earlier than I’d have liked. I scoffed the last of the diet brekkie shake thingies in my Slimfast box, then watched an episode of “Trailer Park Boys”. Two of our heroes had decided it was time to turn up the heat. However Ricky thought it was time for “turnips in the heat”. In the end they were distracted by an altercation with a porcupig.

Facebook was rather dull this morning as was my in-box, so taking care not to wake Treacle or “er indoors TM” I got ready for work.

As I drove up the motorway the pundits on the radio were spouting their usual drivel. In the past their usual drivel used to be a balanced summary of the day’s news. However these days their usual drivel is endless speculation about what is going on in Ukraine. Will the Americans do this? Why aren’t the Chinese doing that? There must be something happening in the world other than the conflict in Ukraine?

I got to work and had a far busier morning that I had intended to have. If anyone ever tells you that blood group O Negative can be transfused into anyone, ask if they would have liked my morning in which I had an O Negative patient whose blood would have made short work of pretty much most of the population. A long time ago I once described working in a blood bank as hours of tedium interspersed by moments of stark panic, and after many years’ reflection I think that is a fair summary.

I came home, woke Treacle (she was fast asleep) and took her round the block for a little stroll. Her flea treatment stuff was ready for collection from the vet so we went to get it. She wasn’t keen on going in there at all. She cried and wanted me to carry her and quivered in terror when the receptionist tried to pet her. Fudge never liked the vet either.

We came home and I had a little look in the back garden. It was as well that I did; the screen I built on Thursday had collapsed. That lasted a long time (!) I shall have another look at it in the week, but I think it might well be going to the tip. Rather than sorting it out I slobbed in front of the telly until “er indoors TM” came home. She boiled up a Slimfast recipe – a fry-up with sausages, bacon, fried egg and change out of six hundred calories.

As we scoffed it we watched the first of the Stand Up To Cancer “Celebrity Bake Off” episodes in which one of the celebrities started off by admitting that she wasn’t so much a baker as a cake enthusiast. A little later she said that some people were meant to be, and others were meant to be baked for.
I can agree with those sentiments. 

And my Munzee app told me we’ve got to our Clan War target for this month, which was a result.



27 March 2022 (Sunday) - Mother's Day



What with receiving a drunk phone call at one o’clock, listening to snoring, and Treacle slurping on the duvet for much of the small hours I didn’t have the most restful of nights. Having the clocks going forward an hour didn’t help much either.

Having run out of Slimfast shakes I had toast and coffee as I watched “Trailer Park Boys” before sparking up the lap-top. There was a minor squabble happening on one of the kite-flying Facebook pages in which there was consternation being expressed at people giving daily spoilers for the answers to Wordle.

I had hoped to see photos of what I’d missed yesterday; there had been a Kent county geo-meet while I’d been working but no one had posted any photos of what had happened.

And a friend’s band had been playing last night but no photos of that had appeared either.


We drove up to Meopham. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that last Tuesday I went to Meopham to look at puppies and I wrote “There were two puppies to be seen. One is a dead ringer for Fudge, and for all that I wanted a boy, looking so much like Fudge I would subconsciously be expecting that dog to be my Fudge, and that wouldn’t be fair on him. The little girl is a sweetie, though. I shall go back with “er indoors TM”  in a few days’ time”. In the intervening time I’ve been looking at photos of the puppies and decided that there are marked differences between the little boy and my Fudge. And seeing how the little girl seemed to be hiding behind her brother I wasn’t happy about separating the puppies. Seeing how no one had been up to buy them in the meantime I saw this as fate telling me to get both of them. The nice lady seemed delighted that brother and sister puppies would be staying together. I amazed myself by doing a bank transfer from my phone… and we collect the babies in a couple of weeks’ time. Hopefully by then we’ll have names for them. I was thinking “William” and “Spud” but have been told “No!” from pretty much everyone who has heard the suggestion.

I took a few photos of the puppies, and after half an hour’s fussing them we really had to make a move.


We came back to Ashford where we collected “My Boy TM”.  “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” has known all along about the puppies, but we decided that the first fruit of my loin might not be as receptive to the news as his sister. We thought it best that the news came from his mother rather than from me; the difference being his just laying an egg as opposed to going full-on bat-shit-mental at me.

We then drove down to Dymchurch where I’d been told there was a family get-together going on. Having been in a caravan for a girlie weekend Cheryl and Lacey were meeting us at the pub in Dymchurch…Having got to Dymchurch I then drove along the coast for several miles to where we were supposed to be.

It wasn’t long before a dozen of us were all together at The Neptune for Mother’s Day…


Have you ever been to The Neptune? Being right next to a caravan park it has a captive clientele and the fact that it has a captive clientele was obvious. The food was good; most of us had the carvery, but the staff were a tad hopeless. The chap dishing out the food was dealing with each plate as though that was the first one he’d ever done.

Bless him.


It was good to catch up with family, but after a while we all went our separate ways (as we do). We drove home, collected Treacle (once we’d woken her) then together with “My Boy TM” and Rolo we had a little walk round Singleton Lake. Treacle really enjoyed the walk. Having spent every single walk since Pogo went home last Monday stuck to my side it was good to see her running about and playing.


Having had a decent bit of dinner earlier we skipped tea (and had a cuppa and biccies instead) and watched an episode of “Richard Osman’s House of Games”.

Today has been rather busy.



28 March 2022 (Monday) - A Day Off Work



I woke feeling a tad grim. I had a shave as another negative COVID test incubated, then stood on the scales. Over the last week I’ve shifted four pounds in weight. That’s a result. But with no more Slimfast shakes just yet I made toast and had a look at the Internet.


Facebook presented me with two adverts today that made me roll my eyes. One was for a clinic in Madrid which specialises in making “lady bits” for/in/on (delete as appropriate) men who are wanting gender reassignment surgery. I can’t help but wonder how much these people spent on advertising their clinic, but it is clearly money down the drain as I don’t live anywhere near Madrid, and have quite enough worries with my own “tackle”, let alone having lady’s bits as well (or instead of – I’m a bit vague as to the specifics).

And the other advert… it was for a porno website. It had the “sponsored” thingy on which showed they had paid Facebook good money to run their advert. So much for their community standards.

I saw a new geocache had gone live near Orlestone Woods. Back in the day I would have chased after being First to Find, but I had things to do today. And (in all honesty) all the fun has long since been sucked out from being first anyway.


I took Treacle out for a little walk. She walked well, and shot away from my side twice to chase squirrels. I wish she wouldn’t, but probably nowhere near as much  as the squirrels wish she wouldn’t. Other than that, the walk passed off pretty much uneventfully. Mind you we did see one particularly “council” mother and four brats marching up Christchurch Road, all munching pies out of paper bags bearing the “Greggs” logo. I wondered what was going on there… the nearest Greggs is in the pedestrian area in the town centre, and they were walking in completely the wrong direction to have come from there.

We took a little detour on the way home to collect my car, and drove it home where I loaded it full of rubbish to take to the tip.


The tip was hard work. It was busier than it has been for a long time, and pretty much everyone had driven there with one small bag of tat and was emptying the tat one item at a time into the skips. And all were seemingly oblivious to the fact that anyone else was at the tip. If they didn’t walk into you, you found yourself falling over the tip operative who was clearly making a point of getting in everyone else’s way.


From there I went to the hospital for a post-op follow up. I got to see the ENT specialist today (and wasn’t fobbed off with his apprentice). He shoved an endoscope up my nose and after a (quite literally) eye-watering few minutes told me all was well, and suggested I come back for a check-up in a year’s time.

I then went to my car…

As I’d driven into the car park the barriers were being guarded by three hired thugs who wanted to know why I was going into the hospital’s car park. I told them because I was going to the hospital (I left off adding “dur!”). As I came out there was a fourth hired thug who insisted on operating the exit barrier for me. I asked him why there were four people guarding the barriers; he (very rudely) said that the barriers were being monitored. I can’t help but wonder what they were being monitored for? Who else but people attending the hospital wants to park in a hospital car park? And the entire thing is ticket controlled. The time anyone enters and leaves the car park is automatically recorded, as is the amount of people using the car park.

And they say the NHS is short of money…


Once home I had a Slimfast meal bar (still got some of those!) then had a pootle in the garden. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that last Thursday I built a garden screen to hide all the garden tat. Regular readers of this drivel may also recall that two days later it collapsed. So I put the ironing on hold, took the screen apart and rebuilt it with a right angle so it would be a tad more self-supporting. However there was a lot of unscrewing involved, and that seemed to take a lot more battery power from the electric screwdriver. But after a couple of hours farting about (interspersed with reading my e-book as the screwdriver charged) I came up with something perhaps a tad more stable than I’d had before.


I spent a few minutes playing “Worms”, then “er indoors TM” boiled up a dirty curry (!) which we washed down with a pint of stout (all told there was change out of eight hundred calories) whist watching “Richard Osman’s House of Games”; a TV show I quite like. 

I rather ache now – I think I overdid the carpentry in the garden today…



29 March 2022 (Tuesday) - Rather Busy



I again woke feeling like death warmed up and would definitely have phoned in sick had I been at work today. But by the time I’d got up, made toast and turned the telly on I was feeling fine.

I watched an episode of “Trailer Park Boys” I which our heroes got confused between zombies and aliens, then woke Treacle and took her out.


We drove over to the garage where the car was having “car things” done today. Whilst I have detailed knowledge and understanding of most of the surgical procedures that people have done to them, the car equivalents are a total mystery to me. We got to the garage a few minutes early and…

Poor Treacle. 

She obviously had associated the car drive as the forerunner of one of our weekend walks, and so she massively over-reacted every time a car or another person came near. However after initially getting very over-excited to see someone in the distance she then cowered in terror when she realised that it was a stranger and not a friend. I also felt rather sorry for the dog-lovers who had seen a dog apparently very keen to see them, coming up to see her only to find a dog cowering in terror and *seriously* not wanting to say hello.

We left the car with the nice people at the garage and walked home along the river following a walk I used to do with my Fudge back in the day. As we walked I remembered hm being smothered in fox poo as we walked that way, and someone insisting on stroking him and consequently getting fox poo all over their hands.


We got home where I set the washing machine  loose on shirts and then got the ironing board out and spent a couple of hours watching a film. “Disobedience” was a rather good film. Leaving aside the gratuitous girlie snogging it made me think. The film was all about a young woman who had eventually managed to escape her religious upbringing. I sometimes wonder if we hadn’t moved away from Hastings, would we still be wrapped up in the church?

I’d done ironing this morning since rain had been forecast. But seeing that the weather had ignored the forecast I went into the garden. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that a couple of weeks ago I disassembled the garden arbour. “er indoors TM” had bought a replacement bench from Wayfair, and I thought I might build the thing this morning. I expected it to take a couple of hours and involve a lot of swearing; the whole thing went together in about twenty minutes. It looks rather good, but is a tad on the flimsy side. The old arbour lasted over twelve years before I put my arse through it for the first time. I seriously doubt if this bench will survive the year. Time will tell; it always does.

I then ran round the garden with the lawn mower, and just as I finished so my phone rang. The car was ready for collection.


Seeing it was still not raining, after a bite of dinner I took Treacle to go get the car. We walked back the way we came. As we walked we saw a few other dogs; Treacle just kept away from them, which suited me. I’d rather she said hello and sniffed, but I’ll settle for just keeping a distance.

As we walked we saw “her from down the road”. “Her from down the road” lives down the road (obviously) and has a son who went to school with the first fruit of my loin. So we’ve been seeing her intermittently since the early nineties, and in all that time she has never once smiled. She *always* has an expression which really is that of a morose bulldog licking piss from a stinging nettle. And today was no exception. As we passed her in South Willesborough I smiled and said hello. She grunted, with a face (quite frankly) like a smacked arse.

We got to the garage and collected the car. The bill was two hundred pounds less than what they had told me it would be, which was something of a result. And the nice man at the garage was impressed when Treacle did “boot dog” and jumped into the car’s boot as he handed the key back.

As we drove home we saw “her from down the road” coming past our house, still looking rather glum.


Once home I sat myself down, and as Treacle growled bravely at the world from the safety of the sofa (safely behind double glazing) I spent an hour or so playing “Worms”.

Incoming !!!!


“er indoors TM” boiled up home made pizza again which we washed down with a bottle of “Les Calcaires Pinot Noir” which I can only describe as “not too shabby at all!” As we scoffed and drank we watched the first episode of the second season of “Lego Masters USA”.

Not a bad way to spend the evening…



30 March 2022 (Wednesday) - Lazy Day



With no tip runs or car services on the itinerary I had planned a bit of a lie-in. I stayed in bed until eight o’clock laying there with the most intense headache which went five minutes after I’d got up.

I made toast and had a look at the Internet. There were a lot of comments on the photo album I’d posted to Facebook on Sunday. Having gone two days with no one having commented, I thought something was odd… So last night I had a look and I learned something. If you create an album of photos or pictures on Facebook and have someone else contribute to that album as well, Facebook automatically sets that album so that only you and the other contributor can see it. If you want it to be visible to everyone you have to go into the settings yourself. I didn’t know that.

I also saw something on Facebook which made me think. Last October I had a little rant about a pub in one of the villages just outside Ashford which had been given a quarter of a million quid of taxpayer’s money to re-open. Today people in that village were whinging about what a shame it was that their village pub was closed. Is it still closed? People claiming to live near the pub maintained it was still closed. How long does it take to re-open a pub? From their Facebook group it seems the pub is now periodically operating out of the local village hall?

Interestingly when I had my little rant last October I’d seen photos of my local MP who was posing for the camera together with the people supposedly re-opening the pub. By co-incidence his constituency office shares the same post code as this pub.


I took Treacle for a little walk up to the park where she kept her distance from everyone and everything (as she does), and then went on a little shopping spree. I’d got a voucher for Matalan offering me twenty per cent off the bill if I spent more than thirty quid with them. I had a little look around and realised there wasn’t a single thing there that I wanted. I wonder how many people spend thirty quid on stuff they don’t want just to get the discount.

I then went on to Tesco for this and that. Tesco was dull; it usually is.


I came home to find postie had been and had delivered the deeds  to the house. The building society doesn’t want them any more now that the mortgage is paid off, and (apparently) the actual paper deeds are worthless as they official ones are now the electronic copies held by the Land Registry.

One lives and learns.

I had a little look at the deeds over a cuppa… they were on the dull side. I’m not sure what I was expecting from them, but I had been expecting more. 

And then I started wondering about vet insurance for the puppies. Fudge was insured, but the policy I bought was changed by the company after I bought it so that any condition that he had was only covered by their policy for a year after diagnosis. So toward the end I was paying seventy quid a month and pretty much nothing was covered any more as he’d had all sorts of things diagnosed in the past.
Can any of my loyal readers recommend a pet insurer who actually pays up? Or would I be better off  putting money aside into an account of my own and keeping the money myself just in case?


I then had something of a lazy day. I watched some episodes of “Four In A Bed” in which one chap proudly boasted of how all his cooking skills were self-taught, and then had the right hump when it turned out he was rubbish at cooking. The contestants in this show do make me laugh – they go on national television with a golden opportunity to advertise their business, and so many of them do little more than piss on their chips. 


“er indoors TM” boiled up a rather good bit of carrot soup which we scoffed whilst watching another episode of “Lego Masters: USA” which was rather good. The contestants had to make particularly good scenes featuring Lego superheroes which then got blown up (the scenes, not the superheroes). Rather appropriate as the host of the show is the chap who voiced Lego Batman in “The Lego Batman Movie”.



31 March 2022 (Thursday) - Busy Day



I found myself remembering old times as I read Facebook this morning. One of the NHS-related Facebook pages I follow was having the same tired old argument about the pay rates of NHS staff. Some were ranting about why NHS staff sit back and take it and were advocating wholesale strikes. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) working for the NHS doesn’t generally appeal to the sort of worker who goes on strike. Whenever there has been any talk of industrial action in the past, the first thing to be organised is cover for those going on strike, which rather defeats the object of the exercise, doesn’t it? I was part of an NHS strike nearly forty years ago. We staged a sit-in in the works canteen in the (now demolished) Royal East Sussex Hospital, and having been on strike for exactly one hour we all went back to work… and went home late having made up for all that we’d not done during the hour’s strike.

There were picket lines at the (now demolished) Royal East Sussex Hospital manned by nurses who all loudly advocated solidarity, and who all went back to work having accepted the (relatively) huge pay rise given to the nurses whilst the rest of us got sod all.

There was also once a picket line at the (now demolished) Ashford Hospital as well. I only remember the one. Everyone was standing around minding their own business when a coach load of miners turned up to “express their solidarity with the nurses”. Some of the miners then assaulted the bored policeman who had been watching the picket, and following that, everyone abandoned the picket line and all went home. I’ve often wondered if that coach really had been full of miners or if it had all been a set-up.

In any event, “solidarity” in the NHS is a bit of a joke. There are “doctors and nurses” and there is “all the other little people” and I know which camp I am in.

I sent out birthday wishes to two friends, then had a little look at my emails. Ironically the NHS Jobs Vacancy Service told me of quite a few openings and opportunities for blood testers.


Seeing the weather forecast had been wrong (again) I took Treacle up to the park. It was rather cold, and as we walked we saw a gaggle of schoolchildren out and about doing something or other. Whatever it was, they all had a worksheet to ensure that any fun was well and truly sucked out of whatever the outing was all about. Fifty years ago I used to have those. Whenever we went anywhere from school we had to complete an incredibly dull worksheet which (I am sure) was purely to keep us quiet.

With walk walked I scraped the mud off of “er indoors TM”’s walking boots, plungered the bath plug hole and played a round or two of “Worms” then set off on the business of the day.


I drove down to Folkestone to collect “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” and Pogo and, pausing only briefly to get her mother some flowers from Tesco, we went to the vet. Pogey’s allergy problem seems to have resolved itself, and his diet is going well; he’s lost a kilogram.

We then dropped flowers and Pogo at home (as he’s coming on holiday with us next week) and found ways to waste a couple of hours. We had a KFC lunch, then had a look at water features in Dobbies. I got some ideas for future projects, then we went round to Bybrook Barn where we made nuisances of ourselves in the shoe department before heading back to the Eureka park for McMilkShakes.


We then went up to the hospital for scans and seemingly endless waiting for midwives, then I drove the most recent fruit of my loins (and the granddaughter she is baking) back to Folkestone.

I came home via Sainsburys where I got some shopping and petrol, then came home where I set the washing machine going and did some more ironing whilst watching episodes of “Trailer Park Boys” in which Ricky was again having troubles with his brain. But being “a word of his man” he decided to “keep his friends close and his enemy’s toaster”.

I also watched a few minutes of channel 5’s “National Treasure, National Disgrace” which dished the dirt on disgraced celebrities Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall and Gary Glitter. All sorts of people from the entertainment industry were wheeled on to say just how evil these celebrities had been…  

I’m in no way defending them, but I can’t help but think that the main national disgrace here is why these people kept quiet about the criminal abuse for so many years.


“er indoors TM” came home rather late – she’d been talking to the kitchen people about our plans for a new kitchen. Being rather late she asked if I fancied KFC for dinner. Two helping of the stuff did for my diet today.

She claims she don’t read this drivel… let’s see who squeals me up…