1 March 2024 (Friday) - Battle Abbey, Pressure Washing



Yesterday I wrote “I had an email about a new virtual geocache at Battle Abbey. I thought about chasing to be First to Find but thought better of it. It would involve an hour’s drive along country lanes, and I’ve done enough of that already this week”. What I didn’t write was that being the first one to find a virtual geocache takes some doing as they are very rare, and getting one gives you serious bragging rights amongst Hunters of Tupperware. I spent much of yesterday wondering if I’d made the right decision. I checked the on-line listing probably every half-hour with a view to going down early this morning even though the weather forecast wasn’t good.

er indoors TM was off out with her mates yesterday evening. When she came home the FTF was still unclaimed. Did she fancy a little road trip? We pondered and thought about it,,, and at half past eleven last night we decided we might as well… it wasn’t as though we had anything better to do.

It has to be said that I don’t think the dogs were impressed…


There was a minor hiccup on the thirty-mile drive down in that the sat-nav wanted to do as much of it as possible on single tracked country lanes, and when we finally persuaded it to take wider roads it wanted to take closed roads. Avoiding the badgers, rabbits and foxes we drove through the rain and got to Battle Abbey shortly before one o’clock where we had another minor hiccup. To claim a find we needed a photo with the gatehouse in the background. Well… the gatehouse was most definitely in the background but you couldn’t see it because it was too dark. So since no one was watching we moved the car so that the headlights lit up the gatehouse (a bit) and photographed like things possessed in the desperate hope that we’d get a decent photo before the rain started again.

We got one or two… Bearing in mind that were taken in pitch darkness they aren’t a good as they might be,

There was fog on the way home… And all the traffic lights that I’ve whinged about before. By the time we’d got home and I’d done the on-line geo-things in was half past three before I found myself fighting the dogs for bed space.


I woke at half past eight this morning; I might have slept longer if not for the sound of the rain. Over brekkie I had a little look at the Internet. It was still there. I sent out birthday wishes to two Facebook friends.

My piss boiled somewhat at an advert I saw on one of the fishing Facebook groups I follow. I’ve mentioned in the past that fishing tackle manufacturers get tents, re-brand them as a “bivvy” (because most people can’t spell “bivouac”) and quadruple the price. But the latest racket is to knock out a sleeping bag and camp bed as a “sleep system” and watch the punters hand over their money as fast as they can.

There wasn’t much else on-line really, which was probably for the best.


Usually I would take the dogs out first thing, but the dogs were fast asleep after last night’s adventure and the rain was torrential. I had a vague idea to get the pressure washer out because it makes loads of mess which the rain would wash away, but it was too cold and too wet for that idea, so I spent an hour doing CPD then got the pressure washer out anyway. The ground of the front garden is supposed to be a light brown/tan sort of colour, but it was black. It needed a scrub. In the past, passers-by have whinged about the mess the pressure washer makes (it makes a serious mess) but today’s heavy rain would keep passers-by to a minimum, and would wash away most of the mess.

As is always the case, the pressure washer took quite a bit of setting up, and once set up I scrubbed away. Two minutes scrubbing, thirty seconds brushing the water away. What the pressure washer does is to blast the dirt off of the ground, and it leaves you with a flood of foul-coloured water which needs to be swept away. Swept across the pavement into the gutter. It’s the brushing of filthy water across the pavement that winds up the passers-by. I had one once threaten to report me for getting muck up the side of the car parked outside my own house. The fact that it was my car was neither here nor there. I make a point of having my car outside when I’m pressure-washer-ing so’s none of the normal people can complain that I’ve made a mess of their car. Not that I ever have.


With pressure-washing done the rain cleared up I took the dogs to the park. We got half-way there before getting caught in a downpour which turned into a hailstorm, so we came home.

I had a little doze in front of the telly, then watched some episodes of “Four In A Bed”. The first B&B was run by a pair of old biddies who prided themselves on running something that my gran’s gran would have appreciated, and when asked why the wi-fi didn’t work, they said that having crap wi-fi was a feature, and that decent customers don’t want wi-fi..

The second place was a rather average B&B run by some odd chap who hated criticism; odd really when he had so much in his place to criticize. The third so-call B&B was an eighty-one room hotel run by someone with a passionate hatred of the chap who ran the second B&B. And in one of those strange quirks of fate the fourth B&B was not a hundred yards from where we’d been taking photos of Battle Abbey last night. Strangely this was the only place to which all the contestants said they would return, but the place still came second to last. Perhaps if the young lady running the place had kept her chest under wraps?


“er indoors TM boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we washed down with a bottle of plonk whilst watching Johnny Vegas’s “Carry on Glamping”.

For some reason I’m feeling rather tired

I hope the torrential rain eases up for Dog Club tomorrow morning..



2 March 2024 (Saturday) - Awaiting Waa-Waa's Arrival



I woke with quite a headache this morning. We won’t get that brand of red wine again. I made toast and looked into the Internet and rolled my eyes.  American football player Tyler Owens has revealed that he does not 'believe in space or other planets”. Seriously. Just look up at the night sky… The chap also seems to think the flat earthers are making some serious points. Not only is this chap allowed to vote and do jury service, being a sports star, gullible people will listen to his drivel.

Here’s a suggestion. When people reach adulthood they should sit an exam. If they pass they are allowed to join in with society. If they fail, they become effectively a “protected citizen” looked after by a state to which they are demonstrably unable to contribute. It’s an old idea in sci-fi, but surely one with merit. How can our current democracy work when the opinion of someone like this is of equal value to someone who actually believes in reality.


Being Saturday I took the hounds round to Dog Club. Just me; “er indoors TM was off to Craft Club. I had wondered whether I would be taking them this morning after yesterday’s rain, but the rain had eased up a little. The ground was still muddy though. We had a great time. Honey who started only a month ago and had been oh-so-timid came straight up to me to say hello. Bailey had a go at “fetch” in that she chased after the ball, but lost interest when it stopped bouncing. Fudge used to do that – I think he was colourblind. Is Bailey too? Treacle did her usual trick of carrying a ball and prompting me to try to take it. And then Morgan and Bailey joined in with the bigger dogs playing chase in the mud.

As we drove home so the rain got worse. I got the mystery year competition on the radio right. What year was the TV adaptation of Brideshead Revisited released? 1981.


We came home for a serious scrub. All three dogs got far filthier after half an hour at Dog Club than they ever do after hours in the woods.

With dogs scrubbed I put my trousers though the washing machine – they were filthy too. I then sent out messages about next week’s geo-meet to fifty Hunters of Tupperware. Hopefully that should drum up the numbers.

And talking of numbers I then struggled with a new geo-puzzle that went live this morning.


er indoors TM returned, and as the rain stopped so I got the pressure-washer out again and had a go in the back garden. I got quite a bit cleaned, but there’s still a lot more to do. I could have carried on pressure-washing but the lawn was awash where I’d been at the stepping stones, so I packed up for today.

er indoors TM went off again to get glasses, so I sparked up the telly and laughed at Ancient Aliens on the telly. Rather akin in intellectual ability to the American footballer who boiled my piss this morning, the people who made this show wanted to attribute absolutely everything to aliens. Given a dog turd in my garden, and three guilty-looking dogs, these people would have you think some hyper-intelligent alien species flew half way across the universe to dump on my lawn. And these idiots would do anything to discredit the obvious explanation.


er indoors TM returned again, this time with “Darcie Waa Waa TM” in tow. Littlun is having a sleepover. So far we’ve done dog-snogging, had a tantrum over not wanting our dinner, eaten a bag of Christmas (crisps) and a bag of party rings, and as I type littlun is having her grandmother walk her up and down the stairs.

Much as I love her, she’s hard work. I can’t remember “My Boy TM” and “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” being anything like as tiring.



3 March 2024 (Sunday) - Late Shift



I can always remember the golden rule of toddlers being that you never let them have a nap. “Darcie Waa Waa TM had a nap yesterday evening and consequently was screaming for much of the night. Fortunately she, “er indoors TM and the dogs were up in the attic room, but the noise got so much that Treacle decamped to my bed at half past two just to get some peace and quiet.

I woke at eight o’clock, and with everyone else finally asleep I made the most of the peace and quiet, made brekkie and peered at the Internet. Today people were deliberately trying to pick fights about daleks and Amazon deliveries. Always something new to quarrel about, eh? There was also a question about people’s favourite format for the story of The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. To me it is a radio program; that is how it first started. The books and films and TV series have been made for those who don’t/won’t listen to radio. In much the same way that the Harry Potter films were made for people who don’t/won’t read a book. But I thought better of voicing the opinion.


Making the most of the peace and quiet I had another look at the geo-puzzle which had me stumped yesterday. I’ve got to find two numbers. The first “is a funny one really and only consists of three characters”. I know that one. I won’t give it away, but I will say that it was part of a geo-puzzle to which I got the answer a week or so ago. The other one has me stumped. With five or six (can have either!) characters, it “was once used as a number before more modern (and more sophisticated) numbers were discovered. Nowadays it is more often used in a recreational context”. If anyone knows what it is, feel free to let me know.


With everyone else still asleep I spent a few minutes pootling in the garden. A bit of tidying up... once dog turds were gathered it was mostly emptying rain water out of buckets and pots, and getting ready for the next bout of pressure-washing. There's probably a car-full of rubbish in the shed to take to the tip at some point as well, but I decided to worry about that another day.


er indoors TM and “Darcie Waa Waa TM” emerged from their pit, and I spent a few minutes with littlun looking round the garden. She seems to find it fascinating. But all too soon it was time to set off to work. I went via a dozen dull Points of Interest (now the Munzee Clan War has started for this month) to the Sainsbury's petrol station where in a novel break with tradition absolutely nothing out of the ordinary happened. I mentioned to the woman behind the till about the old bat who works there during the week and bends over backwards to be unhelpful. This got them all giggling behind the tills; they knew exactly who I meant.


As I drove west-wards to Pembury I listened to "Desert Island Discsfeaturing Rita Rae who is a Scottish lawyer and judge who has a fascinating life story and a frankly dreadful taste in music.  Her choices of music weren't songs; they really were strange howling noises. I turned off half-way through and sang along to Ivor Biggun songs instead.


Work was work. I always say that working in a blood bank is hours of tedious boredom interspersed with moment of stark panic. Somewhat flippant perhaps, but not entirely wrong. It certainly summed up today where time dragged up until the last hour when things suddenly livened up.

I was very glad to see the night shift arrive.


I came home to a rather good pork chop. er indoors TM certainly does boil up a good bit of scran.

Daddy’s Little Angel TM” has announced she wants to start buying storage lockers full of crap and selling it at a profit. This sounds like an awful lot of farting about to me, but once she gets a daft idea in her head… she is very much her father’s daughter…



4 March 2024 (Monday) - Squirrels, Pressure-Washers



The internet is an amazing thing… This morning on my Facebook feed a vague acquaintance announced his amazing discovery that so much of it isn’t actually free but is paid for my advertising. Which is why there are so many adverts on it. How can supposedly intelligent people take so long to realise this? And some American evangelist was claiming that atheists ate deep-fried embryos whilst his own Twitter feed was offering that the chap would pray for you for a price.

Meanwhile I had an email – my credit rating has gone up again. That was nice.


Seeing the sun was out for a change (he typed cynically!) I got the leads on to the dogs. Morgan wasn’t keen on the idea. Strangely he never is. He clearly loves the walks when we get to the woods, but never wants to actually go.

As we drove up to the woods the pundits on the radio were talking about how today marks the fortieth anniversary of the miner’s strike. Several experts were wheeled on including Neil Kinnock who was the leader of the opposition at the time.  The observation was made that the leadership of the miners made a bit of a balls-up in waiting until the country had stockpiled loads of coal and waiting until the worst of the winter was over before starting the strike. Neil Kinnock made the observation that everyone involved in the coal industry knew its days were numbered and it would have been far better had everyone made the effort to invest in transitioning away from coal than in flogging a dead horse. At the time the country was divided on whether or not to support the miners; I think my father summed it up when he made the observation that it was already cheaper to import coal from Poland, and then the miners chose to go on strike anyway.


We got to the woods and walked one of our usual walks. As we went the dogs found a dead blackbird to roll in. And after one of their mad charges into the trees, Morgan came back carrying a dead squirrel. He got to within ten yards of me, looked very sheepish and ran into a thicket where he dropped it. Bailey picked it up and seemed very pleased with herself.

I managed to get it off of her and I put it up a tree where the buzzards will see it off.

I’m pretty sure Morgan just picked up a dead squirrel and didn’t kill it himself; in the past when Treacle, Pogo and Fudge had small animals, the things would be twitching for some time after death. This squirrel wasn’t twitching at all.

Dogs can be foul creatures…


We came home where I made a cuppa, then I went into the garden, cleared the patio area, set up the pressure-washer, turned it on… and nothing happened. I gave it a clout and it made an odd noise. So I unplugged it and attempted to take it apart to see if I could fix it. The screws holding it closed seemed rusted in place. I gave it another clout, plugged it back in again and it worked perfectly. I got the patio and the area outside the kitchen window scrubbed, but it took some doing.

Have you ever pressure-washed a patio? After a very short bit of pressure-washing the ground is soon awash with filthy black water which needs to be swept away. Sweeping it down the drain is OK for five minutes, then the grate over the drain blocks up and needs unbunging. By the time I’d washed, swept, washed, swept and tidied up, a couple of hours had passed. I put everything away and found that after all the exertions I could barely move.


I settled myself in front of the telly and watched episodes of “Four in a Bed” in which those claiming to have years of experience of running five-star hotels were outdone at every turn by those running a B&B for fun.


er indoors TM” boiled up dinner and went off bowling. I sparked up Netflix and watched a film. “The Mercy” starred Colin Firth as a competitor in a single-handed round-the world yacht race in 1968. I won’t say too much about the film for fear of giving spoilers, but I will make the observation that with today’s technology you would have been far more alone sailing the world alone then than you would be now.



5 March 2024 (Tuesday) - Aching, Jigsaws



I hurt when I woke up. More and more I seem to be constantly aching. Perhaps I should have done all the semi-retirement time off forty years ago when moving about didn’t hurt so much?

I made toast and scoffed it as I peered into a dull internet. Today’s squabble was between Doctor Who fans. People who discovered the show recently feel the old episodes dragged on and on interminably. People who’ve been watching the show for years think the new episodes are over too quickly. Both sides have a point.

And now that Doctor Who has been bought by the Disney corporation there was talk of the rumours that Warner Bros are planning the buy the Star Trek franchise from Paramount. Are they? It is easy to forget that what I see as entertainment is primarily a money-making business.


I got the leads onto the dogs and we tried to set off… Sadly the road was gridlocked because of four-way traffic lights at the Chinese take-away. And as is always the way, no one was actually doing any road work.

We eventually got going. As we drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how there are calls in Russia for them to attack the western countries that are supplying the Ukrainians with weapons. I can see their point. If one country bombs another, that’s an act of war. But what if one country gives another country a bomb with the sole intention that this other country is going to use it?

We got to the woods and had a rather good walk into a part of the woods in which we’ve not been for some time. We won’t be going back to that art in a hurry… it was on the muddy side. Whilst we were there we barked at a horse (who was minding his own business in a field) and we hid another geocache. To get the final location you have to do a jigsaw puzzle. You can do the jigsaw puzzle by clicking here if you fancy a go.


We came home, had a bath, dog brekkie, a cuppa and a Belgian bun and I unwrapped my Amazon delivery. I’ve got fed up with aching all the time, so I’ve got some thirty days worth of Seven Seas joint care supplex and turmeric with glucosamine, omega-3 vitamins C and D and manganese. Go me(!) I doubt it will do anything, but (if nothing else) in a month’s time I can complain on here about what a waste of money it was.

I then I loaded the car with rubbish and set off again. Through the traffic lights to B&Q where I met someone with whom I used to work. We chatted for ages, then I got two tubs of fence paint, then drove through the traffic lights and set off to the tip. Usually if you want to meet odd people doing strange things, the tip is the place to go, but today things were thankfully rather dull. I drove in, dinged out my rubbish and went. If only all tip visits went that easily.

Pausing only briefly in the town centre for Munzical purposes I drove over to the hospital for my pre-operative assessment. My weight was a tad high, but you can tell that by looking at me. My blood pressure was148/88 which I was told wasn’t anything to worry about but Google says that’s a tad high too. Bearing in mind how much I walk with the dogs I would have thought it would have been lower.

Perhaps I need to lose weight…


I came home through the rain via Pets at Home where I collected the dogs’ flea treatments and got them a chew treat each. And once home I got the message that the geocache we’d hidden earlier had received the thumbs-up from the geo-feds.

As the dogs chomped on their treats I made myself a cuppa and guzzled it with a chocolate hot cross bun (rather odd!) and sulked. I had plans for the afternoon. I wanted to change the ultraviolet bulb in the pond’s filter and start painting the shed, planter, pond leccie cupboard and fences, but it was hossing down.

So I settled in front of the telly with a sleeping Morgan and watched more episodes of “Four In A Bed” in which the hatred between some of the contestants was tangible.


As I watched so my phone beeped. That geocache we’d hidden earlier had been found for the first time. Someone had seen the notification, solved the puzzle, driven nine miles to the woods then stomped through a mile of mud to where we’d hidden the thing all in under two and a half hours. The pull of being First to Find is strong…


er indoors TM is Zooming at her mates. I’m going to have a look at the geo-map in Kings Wood. The puzzle series of geocaches I put out a year ago has been found eighty times. It’s good for this summer, but in the autumn I will probably need to re-vamp it. And that will take some doing.

Meanwhile one of the dog’s anal glands needs doing; there’s a distinctive smell about the place. I wonder which dog it is… I’m not keen on sniffing too closely.



6 March 2024 (Wednesday) - Painting Shed and Fences



After a good night’s sleep I sparked up the lap-top and scoffed toast as I peered into the Internet as I do most mornings. This morning’s petty squabble was about ex-Blue Peter presenter John Noakes and his dog Shep. Was the dog the property of Mr Noakes or of the BBC? Bearing in mind the dog died thirty-five years ago you would think people would have better things to argue about, wouldn’t you?


I took my Seven Seas mineral supplement and we drove up to the woods where my watch assures me we walked for four miles. Or Treacle and I walked for four miles; with their zooming to and fro Morgan and Bailey must have covered five miles, if not six.

Sadly my idiot magnet was at full power. As we walked down one slope to walk up another we met a young lady and her dog wading through the mud in the valley. She looked at my boots and gaiters, looked at her pink-princess trainers, and then looked at the mud in the valley in front of her as though she was going to cry. I told her that there was a lot less mud on the higher ground; this came as a major revelation to her. Don’t people realise that water runs downhill?

And we met the old couple with the beagles on the leads. We’ve seen them before. The old woman with one of the beagles isn’t strong enough to control the dog and gets dragged all over the place by it, so we always give them a wide berth. Seeing them coming we turned off along another path, but Morgan wandered up to say hello. I whistled at him and he stopped. The old bloke clearly didn’t realise that Morgan had stopped and started ranting loudly at his wife (deliberately loud enough for me to hear) that whistling doesn’t control dogs, and all dogs should be on leads at all times as that is the only way to control them. I whistled again and Morgan ran to me, and we went off on our way. As we walked I could hear the wife saying something to which the old bloke told her not to start.


We came home to wash the mud off, and after a cuppa I went outside. I got the front fence, shed and the fence panel behind the shed painted. It only took hour hours to do. I’ve got the leccie box by the pond, a few planters and a couple of dozen fence panels still to paint. In the past I’ve averaged an hour and a quarter to do one fence panel, so I’ve still got a lot to do. And once all the painting is done I need to look at the shed roof and I want to build a couple more planters. And put rockery plants round the bog filter. And get the pond filter’s bulb changed.

I also noticed that the instructions on the paint have changed. The last time I painted fences the stuff reckoned it was good for up to five years; now it says it is good for up to two years. So I need to be doing those fences every year. Not once every four years – the last time I painted them was August 2020.


er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching the last episode of Johnny Vegas in “Carry on Glamping”. We quite fancied the idea of a weekend away in one of his buses or helicopters or boats. On the one hand the place is dog friendly and isn’t ridiculously expensive. However on the other hand it is nearly a four hour drive away. Probably just as well the place is pretty much already fully booked for this year.



7 March 2024 (Thursday) - World Book Day



I woke to find Morgan’s head pressed up tightly to mine. The two of us lay there for seemingly ages; him snoring and me not wanting to wake him.

I eventually got up, took my Seven Seas joint tablets, made toast and had my usual peer into the Internet. I received a “Top Fan” badge from the Facebook page “Save us from fukwits – 2” this morning. I have no idea what I did to earn that accolade. I sent out a birthday wish, and looked at all the pictures of small children dressed as characters from children’s literature, nursery rhymes or TV shows. Today is World Book Day and rather than reading anything, children are encouraged to dress up. I’ve ranted about this before… there’s adverts on the telly at the moment from McDonalds who are raising money to increase literacy in children. They claim one in five children don’t even own a book.

In the past I’ve come up with a list of my top ten books for World Book Day. You can see it here. On reflection I don’t think my choices have changed since last year.


I took the dogs up to Kings Wood. On Monday I wrote “As we went the dogs found a dead blackbird to roll in”. On Monday I buried the thing under a huge pile of leaf litter. This morning one of them dug it up, and all three rolled in it.

Dogs are foul creatures.

As we walked we exchanged pleasantries with a few other walkers, but there were no episodes, for which I was grateful. In fact the only real incident was seeing a spaniel dragging half a tree which was tangled in his fur, and the dog’s mummy whinging that she would need to cut the dog free of the tree when she got home

We came home; I had a quick cuppa then cracked on in the garden. I got three fence panels painted. It really does look an improvement on how it was. Rather than painting more, I mowed the lawn, and decided that over four hours gardening was enough for today.


Having been out with the dogs for a couple of hours this morning and been working in the garden this afternoon I’m not hurting anything like I thought I might be. I ache, but nowhere near as much as I’ve done in the past. Are these Seven Seas joint tablets working? Bearing in mind how sceptical I am about that sort of bollox, it would really boil my piss if they were.



8 March 2024 (Friday) - Early Shift



Having been sleeping rather well all week, with an alarm set I was wide awake from three o’clock this morning.

I gave up laying awake, took my Seven Seas stuff. made toast, and watched an episode of “Friday Night Dinner” in which “Horrible Grandma” came to visit. Then I had a quick look at the Internet just in case anything revolutionary had happened overnight. It hadn’t; it rarely does. The only thing of note was quite a bit of consternation being expressed over the local branch of Peacocks closing down. Peacocks is a local store which caters for people who like to dress as though it was still 1980. The observation had been made that you can get better stuff cheaper from Amazon, and there were those bleating that not everyone can shop on-line. Seriously? I’m sorry, I don’t want to come over as rude or uncaring but we are half-way through the third decade of the twenty-first century. Not being able to order stuff on Amazon is akin to not being able to read or write. I’m a sixty-year-old grandparent and can manage. I know people twenty years older than me who can use the Internet easily enough.


I set off to work via some Munzee Points of Interest as I do. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how ITV are looking to make savings. Profits are down because advertisers aren't keen to throw money at them anymore. It would seem that, like me, more and more people have discovered the "fast-forward" button and aren't actually watching the adverts anymore.

There was also talk about how ex-Prime Minister Theresa May has decided to stand down as a Member of Parliament at the next general election. Faced with an almost certain fall from Prime Minister to obscure opposition MP, I can't say I blame her. It was nice of her to give the news to her local newspaper and let them have the exclusive story.


I got to work. I'd not been to Maidstone for nearly three weeks. I found I rather missed the place. Compare that to other places I've worked where I felt physically ill at the prospect of going in.

As I did my thing so my phone beeped. All the geocaches I'd prepared in readiness for tomorrow's geo-meet had gone live, and within an hour or so they were all found for the first time. That showed the puzzles were solve-able and that the co-ords were right.


Being on an early shift was a result. I got home and with “er indoors TM off to see her mum I cracked on with the ironing. As I ironed I watched a film on Netflix: “Spaceman”. According to Wikipedia it “follows an astronaut sent on a mission to the edge of the solar system who encounters a creature that helps him put his earthly problems back together”. According to me it was a right load of old tripe.

I seem to think that about more and more films these days.

er indoors TM is coming home with KFC for my tea… with any luck.



9 March 2024 (Saturday) - Geo Meet



For some really strange geocachical reason I needed an empty sweetie tub this morning. I’d seen one in the shed on Thursday… it wasn’t there this morning. I wonder where that went.

I made toast and had a little look at the Internet. It was still there. I sent out some birthday wishes, and read on Facebook that the Now Show on Radio Four is coming to an end. Presented by Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis it used to be funny many years ago, but like so much on telly and radio it has been flogged to death. I once saw them live many years ago at the Leas Cliff Hall when they were hilarious. I saw them again at the Gulbenkian when I could only describe them as smug and self-satisfied. Sadly, like me, they lost the spark over the years.

There wasn’t a lot else going on on-line. So I zoomed round the garden and harvested a bumper crop of dog turds… then zoomed round again and got even more. You’d be surprised at how elusive a dog turd can be.


We got ourselves organised and set off to Dog Club. Dog Club was much the same as ever… loads of people standing in a field making polite conversation whist the dogs did dog things. It sounds dull, but it is one of the highlights of the week. The field is slowly drying out, but there’s still enough mud to get the dogs grubby, especially when Kai and Roo lie down in it. There is something strangely satisfying when someone else’s dog does something daft.

As we drove home I got Steve’s Mystery Year competition right – the Queen’s “horrible anus” – 1992. Much as I loved and admired the late Queen, she did rather score an own goal with the annus horribilis” comment. At the time the royals weren’t overly popular, no one speaks Latin, and coming out with a comment like that was really giving ammunition to her detractors.


Once home “er indoors TM dealt with the dogs and I popped up the road for pastries. As I crossed the road some woman in a car beeped at me and waved frantically. I wonder who she was? Mookie in the shop said she drives past regularly shouting abuse at passers-by.

I got me a croissant for myself and a pain au chocolat for “er indoors TM, sent out a Munzee birthday card, and as I  got ready for the next adventure so “Found It” logs were arriving in my in-box from people out doing the geocaches I’d set for today’s geo-event.


er indoors TM drove us all round to Singleton Barn where I was hosting this month’s meet-up of Hunters of Tupperware. We had a rather good meet. Attendance was down on previous meets, but it was good to catch up with old friends, and meet some new ones. Sadly the ale on the pub’s pumps was a tad past its best, but having made the wise decision of asking for a taster first I went for the bottled stuff. And we had some cheesy chips too. “We” being both me and the dogs.

The geo-meet was rather good; talking about things geocachical. I got a pointer about a geo-puzzle which had had me thinking for some time. I mentioned this puzzle a week ago when I said “I’ve got to find two numbers. The first “is a funny one really and only consists of three characters”. I know that one”. “Well, it now turns out that I had that wrong.


Having been the first ones to the meet, after four bottles of ale we were the past ones to leave. We came home where I had a little snooze, and whilst I was sparko “er indoors TM slipped out and picked me up a pressie. Someone locally was selling Lego. Apparently his daughter had grown out of it. I hadn’t.


er indoors TM went off to her mate’s party. I sat with sleeping dogs and watched a film on Netflix. “Bull” was a rather good film right up until the last five minutes when it suddenly went all surreal. But it was better than a load of stuff I’ve watched recently.

Today was rather good.



10 March 2024 (Sunday) - Mother's Day



I woke listening to the sound of the rain on the bedroom window, and lay there listening to it.

I got up, made toast and peered into the Internet.

Yesterday I ran the monthly geo-event. The thing was open to all, but I sent out about sixty personal invitations to Kentish Hunters of Tupperware. Quite a few people came along. A lot of people had other things to do which was understandable; things always clash. But some of the people I thought might be along didn’t reply to me, and all went to Coventry for a huge Munzee event… about which I knew absolutely nothing at all until this morning’s rummage round the Internet after it was all over. Perhaps I’m being paranoid, but this isn’t the first time this has happened.

Would we have gone to Coventry if we’d known about it? Probably not, but it would have been nice to have known about it. It turns out there’s a calendar of these events. You’d think someone would make the effort to publicise these events, wouldn’t you?

I also saw a lot of photos of breakfasts in bed and pressies and stuff for Mother’s Day. Not that I was particularly close to her, but I miss my mum…


I then spent a little while chasing my tail on eBay. Yesterday “er indoors TM came home with some little Lego houses. They were part of a series of a promotion run jointly by Weetabix and Lego. I thought there were six sets in the promotion. There weren’t. After seemingly ages I found that there were only three. And “er indoors TM had picked up a complete set at a bargain price.


I nipped out to the car and drove round to Pets at Home to get dog food. Whilst I was at it I thought I might get dog treats too.

I then came home, and in a lull in the rain we walked the dogs round the block having a little Munzee session in which I unlocked one Qrate, got another and our clan got our first monthly achievement. On the flip side, two of those supposedly going to be in our clan this month did rather well at yesterday’s Munzee event (the one about which I knew nothing) and have chosen to go with another more adventurous clan. That leaves us with the same amount of Munzing to do with only two thirds of the people Munzing that we’d planned to have.


With walk walked we had a cuppa. I could have made a start on waking the pond for this year. I could have painted the fence. But with the drizzle getting worse I settled myself in front of the telly and watched a film we’d recorded some time ago. “Four Weddings and a Funeral” is now thirty years old. To me the thing which showed the film’s age the most was that at the weddings everyone had cameras. These days people would use their phone to take a photo. With one or two notable exceptions, who has a camera these days?

We then watched the New Year’s episode of “Taskmaster”; one round featured scoffing poppadoms. We got peckish“er indoors TM found some poppadoms and lime pickle in the cupboard.


Seeing it is Mother’s Day “er indoors TM was ordered round to the abode of the first fruit of our loins, and I cracked on with my latest project.  

The first time I went to a meeting of geocachers there was a walk organised before the meet. If you turn up in the back of beyond and see others gathering for a walk, then it is a fair bet that you are in the right place. However when you walk in to a pub there’s all sorts of groups here and there, and you really don’t want to approach the wrong lot. Back in the day there was a banner for county geo-meets which we would display so people new to the game knew where to go. Sadly the banner fell apart. I have a plan to make a new one… if it don’t cost too much. I drew up a provisional first draft for a design, and sent it off to the local sign-making company to get a quote.

I then wrote up some CPD and watched the dogs. Yesterday when “er indoors TM was out with her mates the dogs slept. But they’d had a busy day. They’d only had a short walk this morning and had slept for much of the afternoon, and so were alert to every sound; waiting for her return.


er indoors TM eventually returned and set about dinner. Once I’ve scoffed it I’m thinking about an early night. For all that I’ve done nothing all day, I’m feeling all in.



11 March 2024 (Monday) - Princesses



Again with an alarm set I saw pretty much every hour of the night. I gave up trying to sleep at five o’clock and watched an episode of “Friday Night Dinner” in which Martin was claiming innocence about various misdemeanours and blaming his brain for making him do them.

I then had a little look at the Internet where people were quarrelling about whether or not a narwhal could successfully breed with a Beluga. Long story short – they could. To the vast majority this would be a matter of the utmost indifference but some people were getting rather nasty about the matter.

I sent out birthday wishes to friends whose birthday was today, then set off.


I drove through a rather dark and foggy morning. After I'd done my usual haul of Munzee Points of Interest I headed off to work. The motorway was surprisingly busy at half past six in the morning.

As I drove the pundits on the radio were spouting their usual drivel as they do. Apparently the world is up in arms because the Mother's Day photo of the Princess of Wales and her children was supposedly faked.

Whether this was to cover up her illness or to make the family look better remains unclear. It looks fine to me, but what do I know? Personally I would have thought there were more burning issues in the world to be addressed.

And there was an interview with someone or other about the state of the country's schools. Yet again the pundits on the radio couldn't find any so-called experts on education who could pronounce the word "curriculum". With all of the country's education experts talking about the "kriklum" is it surprising the schools are in such a state?

Mind you I did find myself thinking of an old mate's sister who fancied herself as an expert on rocks but would speak about the science of "Jolly G", and of another old mate (sadly dead these last fifteen years) who, on the strength of his wife's working in the pharmaceutical industry, considered himself an expert on "ibooferen".


Work was much the same as ever. I came home via the dentist. I’d spent much of the day trying to reschedule an appointment. Each time, after fifteen minutes holding on the phone I was told they were busy and got cut off. So I walked in to find three receptionists gossiping.

I made an appointment for next Thursday, then headed home.


With “er indoors TM off at the bowling league’s booze-up I settled on front of the telly with the dogs and watched a film. “Damsel” is currently the number one film on Netflix at the moment. I can only describe it as a rather poorly thought-out version of “Dungeons and Dragons” with more holes on the plot than there are in my pants, but it was quite entertaining nonetheless. A Princess as princesses should be – running round in her undercrackers belting things with a great big sword.


A film on Netflix that I liked… there’s a novelty.



12 March 2024 (Tuesday) - A Bottle of Plonk



Five people on my “Facebook Friends” list had a birthday today. “Facebook Friends” are odd things; only one of these five has made any effort whatsoever to keep in touch over the last few years.

After my usual dull morning routine I set off. I didn't go round the town Points-of-Interest-ing this morning. Instead I drove up the motorway and into Aylesford where I capped a Qrewzee and deployed a carrot on the appropriately named Bailey's bridge. There's never a dull moment when playing Munzee.


As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how the Princess of Wales has admitted to tweaking up her family photo that was all over the news yesterday. I can't help but feel that real princesses run round in their undercrackers bashing things with a great big sword, and don't ponce around with PhotoShop. That's what real princesses have flunkies for.

And there was a lot of talk about how much vets are charging for their services. It was mentioned this morning that fifteen years ago ninety per cent of UK vets were privately operated. These days most are part of large corporate chains, and don't actually advertise that most or all of the vets in any given area are all part of the same company. They certainly don't advertise that they have a monopoly and so can charge what they like. Back in the day when Sid needed his teeth taking out, “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” shopped around for the best quote, and there was quite a bit of difference in the prices being quoted. But nowadays with every vet being operated by the same bunch, they are all going to quote the same price, safe in the knowledge that they won't be undercut.

Some woman phoned in to the radio this morning claiming she'd just spent seven hundred quid having her dog's teeth cleaned. My cousin is facing a two thousand pounds vet bill at the moment.

Vets have never been cheap (My little Fudge cost me a small fortune towards the end) but their prices are getting rather out of hand.


I got to work; there was cake. Chocolate ring donuts. Given a choice, chocolate ring donuts would be a long way down on my list of preferences, but the choice I was given was "have it or go without", so I had one. It was rather good actually.


I came home to find “er indoors TM had the builders in. She wants the bathroom doing. I don’t. I want the bathroom done. A subtle difference. The kitchen is rather good now it has been done, but the actual doing was rather painful.

er indoors TM boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we washed down with a bottle of cheap plonk which was certainly better than stuff three times the price. And with dinner scoffed I shared cheese and biscuits with the dogs. They had biscuits, I had cheese. Sadly just mousetrap. The camembert I’d had my eye on expired three months ago and smelt rather grim.

And again Treacle showed how she understands every word I say. When all the biscuits were gone I saidall gone”. Morgan and Bailey hung around looking hopeful; Treacle immediately went off to sit with “er indoors TM. She understands every word. Treacle that is; not “er indoors TM.



13 March 2024 (Wednesday) - Walk, FTF, McDinner, Fence Painting



As I scoffed brekkie I peered into the Internet. I saw I had an e-invitation to sign a petition to get the Eurostar to stop at Ashford (like it used to). I didn’t sign it. The Eurostar not stopping in Ashford is just like all these pubs closing; if something don’t get used (and therefore don’t make money) it gets the chop.

If enough people had got on the Eurostar at Ashford it would have kept going. It wasn’t making enough money to pay for the border force people and ticket offices and so it closed. For all that I liked the idea of being able to walk up the road and get a train to France, I actually did it once, and that was when work was paying for it.

There was also an email about a new geocache not very far from where we were going this morning. But by the time we’d done dog breakfast and got dressed and farted about it would have been found by someone else… in any case the local king of the First to Find was probably already on the way by the time I’d seen it (or so I thought).


So I put that new cache out of my mind, and once the dogs were all ready I took them for their morning constitutional. As we drove to the woods the pundits on the radio were talking about why so many local councils are going bankrupt. They were interviewing some Conservative politician or other; I don’t know who he was but he made a good point.

If you aren’t feeling well you go to a doctor who has been to medical school and who has then acquired many years of experience. If you need work doing on your house you have a look on review websites and pick the best person for the job. But when it comes to running a local council we all vote for whoever stands up and says “vote for me; I’m not as crap as all the others”. Even though they probably have absolutely no experience of running anything at all. And then we all act surprised when they can’t do the job to which we all appointed them even though they were utterly unqualified.

When you think about it, this is no way to run a council, is it? And we run the country that way too.


We got to the woods, and had a good time. We played with other dogs. We rolled in a dead blackbird. We did some filming for the movie I’m planning to make for this year’s “Geocaching International Film Festival”.

After four miles we got back to the car. I had a look at the listing for that geocache which had gone live earlier… still no finds and it was only a mile away… The call of the FTF was strong.

It wasn’t long before we were very suspiciously rummaging in someone’s front garden. As we rummaged so a voice called out: “You’re the first”. I’ve been first to find a geocache two hundred and seventy-eight times before, but there is nothing like that smug satisfaction I had this morning when I realised I was first one to find it for the two hundred and seventy-ninth time. Mind you I logged it at 10.25am; two and a quarter hours after publication. Round here, that’s an eternity.


We came home for a bath, then leaving the dogs under the supervision of “er indoors TM I drove down to Folkestone. “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM had gone to school, but “Darcie Waa Waa TM had had “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” up quite literally all night. We went for McDinner to calm their nerves. “Darcie Waa Waa TM likes pressing the buttons on the food ordering machine at McDonalds and letting her do so gives you the added excitement of not quite knowing what you going to end up getting.

I had a Big Mac with extra pickles. Littlun doesn’t like pickles; she threw hers at random passers-by. You can get away with doing that when you are two years old.

We went back to theirs for a cuppa and to fuss Pogo. “Darcie Waa Waa TM was impressed that I could catch a ball, and I spent far too long throwing a ball into the air and catching it to her frank amazement.


After a rather busy morning I returned home, and seeing the forecast rain hadn’t appeared I went into the garden and painted more fence panels. In the past I’ve averaged one panel every hour and a quarter; today I got three panels done in two and a half hours. I was impressed but ached somewhat afterwards.

I came in just as the doorbell work. The bathroom man was bringing samples of wall and floor tiles. It looks like this new bathroom is going to happen. I pootled on the lap-top for a little while, then tried to move… and couldn’t.

I think I might have overdone it today. But this is silly. A walk round the woods, McDinner, and painting three fence panels. I can’t really do much less in a day, can I?



14 March 2024 (Thursday) - Busy, Busy



I managed something of a lie-in this morning, staying in my pit until eight o’clock which was something of a result.

I made brekkie and had my usual look at the Internet. I sent out four birthday wishes to friends having birthdays (the friends not having birthdays can wait their turn) and had a look-see to find out if I’d missed much. I find myself intrigued by the antics of Matt Hayes these days; again his Facebook page was rather active. Twenty years ago he made fishing programs for the telly. He’s coming back by popular demand, but the “popular demand” has a different perspective on Mr Hayes’ fishing programmes to that which Mr Hayes has. They see it as entertainment. Mr Hayes sees it as livelihood and expects to be paid for making more telly programs. I suppose he could make them in his spare time for free and on the cheap, but that’s not what professional celebrities do, is it?

I also got the notification that our Munzee Clan has reached level two, and we are half-way to our monthly target. A result for those who like sticking bar codes on lamp posts.


With “er indoors TM at her office today, she set off to work. I put washing into the washing machine and took the dogs up to the woods where we had a good walk… once we’d evaded the chap with the Akitas. That bloke is an idiot. He’s got two dogs that are far stronger than he is, and they drag him all over the place. When he sees us coming he makes a point of being where we are going to walk and shouting that we should give him a wide berth. When we turn and take another path he runs to be in front of us again. Fortunately I saw him first today.

We met a couple of other dog walkers, we posed for photos, we ate horse poo. Quite a good walk really.


We came home and had the mud hosed off of our bellies, I did the dogs’ flea treatments, hung out washing, had a cuppa and went into the garden. Bearing in mind that it is getting warmer I thought I might activate the pond’s filter. Take out the old ultra-violet bulb, pop in the new one, turn it all on. Ten minutes maximum.

Getting the filter open took some doing. And when I found the glass thingy which holds the uv bulb it was rather stiff. I gave it some welly and as it came free so it smashed the old uv bulb, leaving the plug bit wedged into the socket. I eventually prised it out, got the new bulb in place, turned it all on, and had a smug smile as I saw the glow of the new bulb from it’s port-hole and watched the water flowing.

And then the water stopped flowing and the glow from the port-hole wasn’t there any more.

And then I saw an O-ring laying on the decorative bridge which hides the pond filter.

I took it all apart again and saw the watertight sleeve in which the uv bulb sits was full of water. I cleaned and dried it all out, put it all back together again this time with the O-ring in place and this time it worked.

I then cracked on with painting fence panels until I couldn’t move. I would have got on faster had I not been fighting Treacle for the kneeling pad for much of the time.

Remembering what we used to do last year I loudly announced that I was going to feed the fish, the dogs charged up the garden to the pond. It is some months since we last did that, but they remembered.


As I ached somewhat I settled in front of the telly and watched episodes of “Four in a Bed” in which people started off best of friends but soon got nasty with each other.

er indoors TM” came home and boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we scoffed watching “Taskmaster: New Zealand”. We’ve also got episodes of “Lego Masters: New Zealand” on the Sky-Q box to watch as well. For all that New Zealand is geographically much bigger than the UK, it only has half the population of London. How do they generate so much good TV?


This is my third week of semi-retirement and I feel that I’m going to work tomorrow for a rest.



15 March 2024 (Friday) - A Rest Day



Apart from a vague recollection of “er indoors TM quarrelling with Treacle in the small hours I slept well. I had my usual morning routine, made toast, watched an episode of "Friday Night Dinner", Munzed as best I could from the sofa, then went out to have a look at the pond. It was a tad clearer than it was yesterday but was till a tad murky. The fish are a tad more active than they were yesterday, but the main thing was that the pumps were still running and I could see the uv bulb glowing through its port hole.

I set off to work through the rain.


With the Aylesford Sainsburys service station still closed I went to Ashford Sainsburys for shopping. The petrol might not be as cheap as up the motorway, but I get Nectar points... not that I ever do anything with them.

I went into Sainsbury's main store first. I couldn't find what I needed so I asked an assistant. She pointed out the sign saying "deodorants". I told her that I could see the sign, but where were the actual deodorants? They weren't anywhere near the sign. She directed me to the next aisle. Several other things had been moved about too.

I then went across to the filling station where some chap was trying to chat up the woman behind the till (not the one with a face like a smacked arse), and as he finally walked away he crashed into the people queuing behind him. This chap had absolutely no idea that there had been anyone else in the kiosk other than himself and the woman around whom he had been sniffing.

When I came to pay, the woman with the face like a smacked arse refused to honour any of the vouchers I'd just got from the Sainsbury's main store. Ho hum...


The rain got worse as I drove up the motorway. Narrowly avoiding getting blatted by the lorries I listened to the radio as I went. There are elections in Russia this weekend to choose the country's leader. The choice of candidates is Vladimir Putin and a couple of no-hopers. Anyone who might be a credible opposition is dead, imprisoned or exiled. Perhaps not a triumph for democracy, but as we've seen from all the failing councils in the UK, just because someone can say what the masses want to hear is no guarantee that they can actually govern with any competence.

And there was talk about one of Gordon Ramsey's children who is zooming about in a car which cost someone two hundred thousand quid. Did she buy it? Was it a present? Here's a thought... for all that there are no end of people running down the Royal Family and saying what a bad thing their inherited wealth is, you never see anyone whinging about the money that celebrities pass on to their family, do you?


Work was work. Compared to the last couple of days in my life it was something of a rest. At tea break there was cake. You can't go wrong with a jam doughnut.

And with work done and doughnut scoffed I came home and got another fence panel painted before “er indoors TM went off shopping. I dozed in front of the telly until she came home with fish and chips.

I like fish and chips… but prefer doughnuts.



16 March 2024 (Saturday) - Dog Club, Gardening



This morning amongst the various rantings and ravings on Facebook I saw something that made me smile. And then think. The calls for Britain to pay reparations for the slave trade are growing. I’m in no way trying to belittle the horrific trade that went on for years, but I didn’t do it. I’m in no way responsible, and I’m being asked to pay for something which happened hundreds of years before I was born. So… the suggestion has been made that the UK funds its reparations by suing Norway and Italy for the Viking and Roman invasions.

Why not?

If I’m responsible for something that is nothing to do with me and happened hundreds of years before I was born, then so are today’s Italians and Norwegians. And if that sounds ridiculous, then so is expecting me to take responsibility.

And then there was someone asking for prayers for her dog who had a kidney infection. Recently the same dog has had liver issues, surgery to remove a toy that he’s swallowed, and back problems. Why pray to a god to solve an issue that this god could have prevented in the first place?

Meanwhile there was quite a bitter argument kicking off about whether the cartoon character Scrooge McDuck had ever fathered children.


We got the dogs organised and set off to Repton and Dog Club. As we drove we played Steve’s “Guess the Lyrics” competition on the radio. I hadn’t a clue; “er indoors TM thought it sounded familiar. “Mother's got her hairdo to be done. She says they're too old for toys”. It was the Pet Shop Boys.

There was a road accident on the way to Dog Club which delayed us; there was quite a queue of people waiting to get in when we arrived. Dog Club was great fun. One of our regular attendees described it as “Disneyland for Dogs”. The dogs had great fun, and bearing in mind it is actually “Ashford Dog Socialising Club” we had one or two results as well. Dogs who previously wouldn’t leave their owner’s side were wandering around with the others. Dogs who really didn’t like other dogs were playing. When she first started Treacle really hated us having anything to do with other dogs; now she tolerates them, and joins the throng when treats are being dished out.


As we drove home Steve was doing the “Mystery Year” competition on the radio. The music sounded familiar, and in the news that year was the opening of the UK’s first nudist beach. I remember that place opening; it wasn’t far from the disused sand quarry where we used to play as kids, and a dozen or so of us would regularly traipse down to the nudey beach at Fairlight Glen in the vain hope of seeing some really foxy young ladies in the nip. All we ever saw was fat old blokes; one of whom would regularly partake of an al-fresco joddrell, but we weren’t deterred.


We had a cuppa and a bit of cake then I made a start in the garden. Not-so-nice-next-door’s tree had dropped white petals all over the place so I got the garden vacuum out and voomed around. Then went round with the lawn mower; if nothing else dog turds are so much easier to spot in a mowed lawn. I then pulled weeds from gravel and bodged a repair to not-so-nice-next-door’s fence. The thing is slowly collapsing; I’ve offered to pay to have it replaced but I think my doing so caused offence.

As I kicked shingle about to cover the bare patches, I saw Bailey nosing at a small hole in the fence. Fortunately I could see the hole was far too small for her to get through. I carried on with what I was doing, and five minutes later I watched her climb back into our garden through that hole.

I’d saved some slats from a poggered fence panel which we replaced a while ago; they came in handy today. Building a stopper for that hole only took half an hour.


I then drove “er indoors TM to the station. Together with her mates she was off to London for some big Abba tribute concert thingy. Dressed in what I can only describe as a “wipe-clean” outfit, had it been “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” I wouldn’t have let her out of the house.

We dropped “er indoors TM off; the dogs all started crying. They were sobbing; they were so heartbroken that she’d gone. We came back, then after another cuppa and more cake I cracked on with fence painting. As I painted so the dogs would come to see what I was doing then go back inside. I went in a couple of times to see what they were doing; they were sleeping. After four hours and five panels painted I reached a sensible stopping point so I stopped.


I cleared up, washed the paint off of my hands then spent an hour or so ironing whilst watching episodes of “Friday Night Dinner”, then over a dinner of KFC I watched a film on Netflix. “Three Day Millionaire” was a comedy. I know it was a comedy because it says so on Wikipedia. I’m glad Wikipedia told me it was a comedy; I would never have known.


And then a message. er indoors TM was on the train home. Could I collect her from the station. I popped a fleece over my pyjamas. I had a plan to leave the dogs sleeping, but they saw me putting on the fleece, so I took them for a little ride.

er indoors TM had a good day. I did too, but I suspect hers was rather more relaxed.



17 March 2024 (Sunday) - Family Dinner



I slept reasonably well but woke in the small hours needing the loo. I came back to bed to find no space whatsoever. Eventually I secured a few inches along the edge and dozed fitfully in between nightmares about Martin opening a café for space aliens over the road, and “My Boy TM” choosing to identify as a six year old pirate, dressing himself in an old curtain and brandishing a rusty bread knife at the normal people.

I gave up trying to sleep and thought I might get some more paint onto the fence. I would have done had it not been raining hard. The weather forecasters are rubbish, but today they got it right.


I made toast and peered into the Internet. Not a lot was going on really, which was probably a good thing. I had an email from the power company saying that the price of power was going down, but there was no mention of my monthly payments going down though.

I had a quick Munz from the comfort of the sofa, wrote up some CPD, then took the dogs for a walk. The idea was a quick circuit of the park. We got a quarter of the way to the park and were soaked. The rain was that annoyingly deceptive fine rain which doesn’t look to be much but gets you wringing wet in seconds.

Once home we towelled the dogs off, and I made the most of the rain water by sweeping the yard and front garden. 


After a little while spent fussing the dogs “er indoors TM sent me shopping. Aldi was surprisingly busy this morning. Apart from substituting carrots for parsnips I got all I was sent to get.


My Boy TM” and Cheryl came round, We had a rather good dinner scoffing far too much and putting the world to rights. The fourth can of London Pride and the fifth helping of pudding was perhaps a tad too much though…



18 March 2024 (Monday) - Volunteering



Once I’d scoffed toast and watched a bit of telly I had a quick look at the Internet. Several people were crowing that cash is king following Sainsbury’s episode over the weekend when their IT systems went tits-up. For all that a five pound note can’t go down, I’m reminded of a mate who had several hundred quid in cash stolen; you can cancel a credit card. You can’t cancel a nicked fiver.

The chief executive of Sainsburys had emailed me this morning to say sorry. That was nice of him; he’d written a great big letter which didn’t actually say anything.


I had a quick Munz session, then set off to work. Again much of the way out of Ashford was bunged up because of road works in which no one was actually working. The traffic going up the motorway was especially slow as well for no apparent reason.

As I drove the pundits on the radio were spouting their usual drivel. Apparently Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, is starting his election campaign for a third term of office. Despite being in office for nearly ten years there is still loads wrong with London. Mr. Khan was being interviewed live on air this morning, and he was laying all of the failings of his administration firmly on the Conservative government. Well he would, wouldn't he? But one thing made me think. He was blaming knife crime and youth gang culture on the cuts made to social services and youth workers which have consequently made youth clubs close.

What's that all about?

When I was a lad there was a youth club over the road from our house. For a while I went to PAC (Physical Activities Club) which operated up the road. I was in the Salvation Army's youth club for a while, and the Barbarians swimming club and St Mark’s youth club. I was a cub scout, and was in the Boys Brigade for years. None of these had any government funding. All were run by volunteers. Like I was a volunteer during my thirteen years as a scout leader.

Doesn't anyone run youth activities voluntarily any more?


I got to work. In between work I had a meeting with the boss to discuss the hours I work; or more specifically how lates on Mondays and day shifts on Thursdays are difficult. Fifteen years ago my work was pretty much my life. These days work seems to just get in the way.



19 March 2024 (Tuesday) - Woods, Painting Fence...



I had something of a lie-in. I came downstairs to be told by “er indoors TM that she had fixed the dishwasher; the implication being that I had somehow poggered it. As I had a shave Bailey was getting told off for eating Treacle’s poop; that was somehow my fault too.

I had a quick look at the Internet over brekkie; three Facebook friends were having birthdays today. Not one has made any attempt to contact me in over seven years. I like Facebook in that it is a good way of keeping in touch, but for all that there is one person posting content and things of interest, there are twenty just watching. There was a petty religious squabble happening on of the Facebook pages I follow, but this morning the Internet was relatively quiet.


With “er indoors TM off to the office today I took the dogs up to the woods where we had a rather good walk. Again we saw the bloke with the akitas before he saw us. We saw a pair of young ladies with their dog on the end of a twenty-five metre-long lead. The dogs all played together; their dog had one of our dog treats. As we walked off so their dog made the most impressive know with the lead that you ever did see. There is a place for twenty-five metre-long leads, and it is in the dustbin.


As we drove home again listened to the radio for five minutes and then found myself thinking. There was a program on the radio: “Young Again”. What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

Given the chance I’d say take your (my) schoolwork seriously. Back in the day I did very well at “O”-levels, but made a total arse of “A”-levels. I did homework on a Monday night. Tuesday night was pub night at the Hare and Hounds (pissed and change out of a quid). Wednesday night was Boys Brigade band. Thursday night was bible club. Friday night was Boys Brigade. Saturday and Sunday were working all hours at the Harbour restaurant. Hardly surprising I bombed out of “A”-levels after the first year with an average exam score of twenty-eight per cent’ is it? Those of my old muckers who did their homework did so much better in life than me. Or if not better, ended up in bigger houses taking better holidays and retiring years earlier than me.

Mind you it was through the religion that I met “er indoors TM so it wasn’t all bad (he smarmed).


I got home, opened the back window so that I could hear the radio, and turned Alexa to Radio Ashford. Sadly it wasn’t gripping. I turned to “Classical Music for Dogs” and got on with painting the bit of the fence closest to the house. I had this idea that if I got it done whilst “er indoors TM was in the office I wouldn’t be disturbing her by farting around right outside the window where she works. But to get to that part of the fence I had to move the lock-ups with all the camping gear in them. They were heavy.

As I painted I remembered Nutty Noodle who used to live next door. I often wonder what happened to him; looking back I suspect he was clinically insane. In years gone by when painting the fence he once leant over the fence on his side and bellowed at me to stop painting immediately because I’d made a serious mistake. I was painting the fence in “Dark Oak”. He assured me that everyone knows that there is only one colour to paint a fence, and that is green. When I asked him why B&Q have such an extensive range of colours, he replied (in all seriousness) “that’s what I’d like to know”.


With that bit of the fence painted I collapsed on the sofa with the dogs and watched episodes of “Four In a Bed” in which the woman who complained about how crap everyone else’s bed and breakfasts were had far and away the worst one of the lot, the ones who found fault with everyone else’s cooked breakfasts were the people who only offered bread and croissants, and the winners were the people who had twenty-three staff doing all the work for them.


er indoors TM” returned and boiled up a rather good bit of steak for dinner. We scoffed that with a bottle of merlot whilst watching “Taskmaster: New Zealand” and “The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin”. For an obscure program on an even more obscure platform it’s got quite an impressive cast.



20 March 2024 (Wednesday) - Spring Equinox



As I scoffed brekkie there was a conversation on one of the lest contentious Facebook groups I follow about the House of Lords. It was being suggested that it should be abolished as those in it are not democratically elected. It struck me that all the time that flat-earthers, religious nutcases and evolution deniers (to list but a few of those who shouldn’t) are allowed the vote, the House of Lords acts as a rather useful check on that which is voted in by those who shouldn’t. But what do I know? In any case I resisted saying anything. Those who shouldn’t be allowed to vote are quick to take offence.


I put a geocache container together, got the dogs organized, and took them up to the woods. As we drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how the rate of inflation is only three per cent (or thereabouts) and how the government was hoping that this might get them a few votes. Personally I can’t see how. A year or so ago this same government was claiming that runaway inflation was due to market forces, and now they reckon they’ve got some control of that over which they’ve said they haven’t.

As we drove I couldn’t help but notice how quiet the roads were. But the woods were rather busy. We managed to keep away from most of the other groups, but we must have seen a dozen or so other dog walkers.

We walked to the far end of the woods; yesterday I realized there was a tree stump in exactly the right place in which I might put a geocache. The rules are that the things have to be a tenth of a mile apart, and there’s no denying that I have saturated those woods with caches, but yesterday I found somewhere. I thought I’d put out a two-stage puzzle. The geo-feds were happy with what I’d done and we agreed that if I put the thing out early this morning they would set it live at eleven o’clock.

We hid the thing, came home, and as I had my cuppa so my phone beeped. As arranged, the cache was live.


I cracked on with painting the fence. There is something satisfying about starting with a tatty-looking panel and ending up with a nicely painted one. The whole fence on not-so-nice-next-door’s side needs replacing, but a lick of paint does make it look better.

After two hours my phone beeped. A fellow hunter of Tupperware had solved the puzzle that you had to figure out to locale the cache we’d hidden this morning. That was good to know – at least all the on-line stuff was working.


After two fence panels and two trellises painted I packed up, and set off on a little geocaching mission. If you find three geocaches this week you get a souvenir in honour of the spring equinox, so I went hunting for three geocaches. The first two had been hidden by someone relatively new to the game, and sadly it showed. The co-ordinates of the first one were about twenty yards out; I found it by searching the only obvious place to hide a cache in the area. After all a tiny magnetic geocache named after a road is far more likely to be stuck to the sign bearing the road’s name than it is to be in the middle of the road. And the second one was in a rather unappealing hedge.

The third one was in Hythe and was almost on top of some road works, but I found it.


From there I went on to visit the most recent fruit of my loin. Together with “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM” and “Darcie Waa Waa TM we went out for a bit of scoff. In a novel break with tradition we gave McDinner a miss and went to Taco Bell instead. “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM” was very keen to go there as apparently you break the toilet afterwards, or so he assured me. I’d not been there before; I had no idea what to expect. We all had volcano burritos, fries, bottomless soft drinks and some dessert thingy with a caramel dip for about ten quid less than what just me and “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” had in Maccy D last week.


I came home and put washing in to scrub. For some inexplicable reason quite a few of my T-shirts have fence paint on them.

I feel worn out. This being semi-retired lark is hard work…


That geocache I hid earlier hasn’t been found yet…



21 March 2024 (Thursday) - Walk, Painting Fence, Dentist



There was quite the argument happening on one of the Hastings-based Facebook pages I follow this morning. Some family of four have parked their caravan and a derelict bus by the park there and are living in the caravan whilst they are doing up the bus with a view to eventually be moving into it. Apparently this is just one of several loads of people living in caravans in the area. I can’t say I blame them; why live in a house and pay council tax, or live in a caravan and pay site fees when you can just park on the roadside.

The locals are understandably up in arms about it; but no one seems to be prepared to do anything other than whinge on Facebook.

All the time the knacked bus is parked outside someone else’s house, no one cares. This sort of thing has been going on for years… I can remember back in the early eighties when a gaggle of “caravan dwellers” moved into the staff rest room of the now-demolished Royal East Sussex Hospital and we all had to take our breaks in the public waiting areas.

And I had an email. The geocache we hid yesterday was found for the first time this morning at ten to eight. To get there for that time the chap who found it must have left home before seven o’clock. On reflection that’s probably a rather good time to be going through the woods. I was once up there at six o’clock with Pogo and Treacle; the mist was beautiful and we saw deer too.


I took the dogs up to the woods for our walk. Yesterday the place was having with people; today we saw one woman on her mountain bike, and an organized hiking group who looked like they were kitted out to climb Everest, and no one else at all once we were more than a hundred yards from the car park.

We had a good walk; the dogs didn’t see any squirrels, but I saw quite a few.


Once home, after a cuppa I cracked on in the garden. More fence painting. So quick to type, so tedious to do. I got five panels done in four hours, then went down the road to see the dental hygienist. She gave my gob a serious seeing-to and said I should make another appointment for six months time. So I made an appointment. The receptionist asked if I wanted it before or after my appointment with the dentist in six months time. I told her that was a decision for them; she said it didn’t matter. I said it did; some dentists insist I see the hygienist before them, others say after. The receptionist and her mates laughed; all the dentists have different opinions.

You’d think they’d make a decision, wouldn’t you?


Another cuppa, then we did the feeding the fish ritual. The dogs get rather over-excited at the prospect of some dried koi food.

With fish fed I looked to feeding us. Bearing in mind some of us have more time on our hands than others it has been suggested that I might like to boil up scran from time to time. I had a vague idea to make a right balls-up of it and not be asked again, but that runs the risk of a kick in the nads and being told I need the practice.

I nearly fell at the first hurdle; where do the saucepans live? And the new cooker isn’t the easiest to operate. Eventually I boiled up leftovers into a half-way decent curry. I’m not sure that “er indoors TM was impressed but I quite liked it. Next time I’ll used diced chicken rather than whatever I randomly find in the freezer.

We followed it up with Christmas pudding and cream. The Christmas pudding was rather rubbery; after I’d scoffed it, “er indoors TM announced it was a year out of date.

Oh well… I survived the volcano burrito…



22 March 2024 (Friday) - Attracting the Loonies (Again)



As I scoffed my brekkie I had a look at Facebook as I do. A couple of weeks ago a cousin posted up a photo of what she was up to. Nothing really major or earth-shattering; just an insight to her day. The sort of thing that a nosey person like me likes to see. This morning she’s found that the Facebook Feds have taken the photo down as it breaches their community standards on cybersecurity.

A friend was complaining about the cost of the mechanics of moving house; the shifting of all her stuff from Kent to Norfolk won’t be cheap. Quotes were coming in at four thousand quid. Is that a lot? I really don’t know. The last time we moved was over thirty years ago. We moved a few hundred yards up the road and we paid a removal firm two hundred quid to shift all our stuff.

Best two hundred quid I’ve ever spent.

I sent out birthday wishes; one to a colleague who is approaching forty, but looks twenty years younger. And another to an old school friend who despite being a month younger than me, has always seemed to be twenty years older.


With rain forecast for mid-morning I took the dogs out earlier than we might have gone. As we drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how children these days all have mobile phones and how it isn’t necessarily a good thing. With instant communication, squabbles that would be forgotten by the net morning now can carry on endlessly.

I found myself rather wrapped up in this since “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM got his first mobile yesterday. “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” has put all sorts of safeguards on it, but still it is cause for concern. There was all sorts of talk about the government brining in legislation to control the social media on which children bicker, but as was pointed out, all the time these social media companies aren’t based in the UK, there’s not a lot that the government can realistically do other than ban them altogether.


We got to the woods and after a couple of miles had an “episode”. Morgan and Bailey were charging about like they do. They never go more than fifty yards from me, but they have a great time. As we were exploring a new path I heard a rather grumpy voice shouting “Go Away!!  Clear Off!!” As I turned the corner so there was some chap about thirty yards away with Morgan and Bailey some fifteen yards from him just looking on. The chap saw me and immediately changed his tune. “Good Morning Sir” he announced; all smiles and pleasantries. We walked along the path away from him.

Just as we got back to the car (after four and a half miles) so the drizzle started.


Once home I gathered up various odds and sods for a tip run, then seeing the drizzle has stopped I voomed round the front garden with the Bionic Burner. I got the thing a year ago… the adverts implied that one zap and I would never need to do any weeding again. The adverts lied. I need to voom round with it every three weeks or so; but it is certainly easier to do that than to get on my hands and knees and pull the weeds out manually. As I bionically burned a passing nutter asked if I might like to clear the weeds from his garden as well. Apparently he’s had a letter from the council telling him to sort his garden out. Apparently the council watch his garden from helicopters. This looney went on to say that his neighbours keep putting lettuce up his garden to entice his pet rabbit away, and that he’s put four doors in his garden to keep the neighbours out.

Eventually he shoved off. I then mowed the lawn, and seeing the drizzle had stopped entirely I got one and a third fence panels painted before the rain started again.

I gave myself a haircut, had a cuppa and a croissant, put the washing on the clothes horse then went out.


First of all to the tip where I did my unloading in the rain. Then on to the co-op where one of the normal people was having issues with the self-service till… not so much “having issues with it” as “had totally poggered it”. And having totally poggered it, was actively preventing the store staff from getting to the thing to repair it.

From there I went to Pets at Home to get dog biscuits. There was a woman in there with a dog almost as big as she was. The dog was clearly stronger than her, and was helping itself to all sorts of dog treats. The poor woman bleated pathetically, but the dog wasn’t having any of it. Her husband took over, but the dog was stronger than him too. There is nothing more satisfying that seeing someone else’s dog causing the problems.

I then had a look in B&Q for lengths of timber with which to bodge repairs to the more poggered fence panels. Sadly B&Q didn’t have anything.


I came home and wrote up CPD until “er indoors TM went out. Together with Steve and Sarah she was off to see Iwo Graham at the Marlow in Canterbury. Apparently he’s a comedian?

I had a quick shower, hung a second load of washing round the radiators, put a third load in to scrub and stared at the telly. “Three Body Problem” is rather good and rather thought-provoking. And it stars Eddie Hitler from “Bottom” and Cakehole from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”. There’s eight episodes; so far I’ve watched three. If the dogs stay quiet I might get a few more done before “er indoors TM comes home.



23 March 2024 (Saturday) - Early Shift, Games Night



I didn't sleep very well; I gave up, got up, made toast and watched another episode of "Three Body Problem" which was rather good. I suspect that I'm helped quite a bit by having read the book first; the plot does make sense; even if it does jump about rather a lot.

I had a quick look at the Internet. Facebook was free of squabbles this morning... or it was at six o'clock.


Pausing only briefly to scrape the ice from the car I set off to work. The re-activation of Operation Brock for absolutely no reason at all rather hindered my journey, as did having to go several miles out of my way due to road works between Junctions six and five on the motorway.

As I drove I listened to the radio. There was some strangely interesting article about how Ordnance Survey maps aren't designed with donkey trekking in mind. This was followed by consternation from farmers who've been told that if their farms are so unprofitable that they need to claim benefits then they need to look at doing something else to earn a crust.  And there was a lot of concern about the Princess of Wales who's announced that she too is being treated for cancer. I found myself rather intrigued by her being described as a young mother. She's forty-two; hardly young?


I got to work. This week is a three-day week for me. I worked the early shift last Monday. Yesterday was a day's leave, and I was on the early shift today. I *really* didn't want to work today. The weather forecast had been wrong again, and I spent quite a bit of time this morning looking out of the window at a glorious day and sulking about missing Dog Club and the quizzes on the radio. Mind you the weather had turned by mid-day, and the afternoon saw torrential rain interspersed with hailstorms.


With work worked I came home. I had a cuppa, and fell asleep on the sofa. I woke five minutes before Chris arrived with the Infinity Table, and shortly after that Steve and Sarah arrived.

We had a rather good evening chatting and putting the world to rights and playing “Ticket to Ride”. There’s no denying that I came last in the first game, but in the second game I managed a respectable third place.

And just before we packed up we had a very quick game of “Snakes and Ladders” in which my pink princess avatar came last.

I rather like our game nights…



24 March 2024 (Sunday) - Busy, Busy



I slept well probably because the dogs slept well too. Over toast I peered into the internet. This morning’s petty bickering was on one of the geocaching pages where those who contribute absolutely sod-all to the hobby were telling those who make the effort where they were going wrong and what more they might do.

There wasn’t a lot else going on, so I got dressed and ready for the day.


As I waited for “My Boy TM” to arrive I cracked on with more fence painting. As I painted I could hear some choral singing getting louder and louder. I had a look up the road; a rather pitiful procession of twenty or so were walking down the pavement lead by some vicar and a strange pair who were waving palm fronds.

As I remarked to “er indoors TM, back in the day we used to go round the streets on a Sunday morning with drums and bugles. And it was the streets too. Getting in the way of cars; not the pavements. We didn’t mess about in the Boys Brigade band.


The first fruit of my loin arrived, and we went to B&Q for shed roof felt. As always B&Q had no staff on the tills, but had three standing watching people struggling with the self service tills.

We got what we needed, then went back to his house to repair his shed roof. It’s an easy enough job when there’s two of you, but a bit like hard work for one.

We got to the point where he didn’t need me any more; I came home for a quick cuppa and got two more fence panels painted whilst “er indoors TM sorted her bowling stuff, then we went for a little walk. Bearing in mind that Kings Wood would be heaving we drove up to Badlesmere and had a little wander along familiar footpaths and found one or two new ones. Bailey ran amok at one point; not as seriously as she might, but enough to be a worry.


We came home, and I sat down and had a look at my accounts. The whole idea of semi-retirement was that my pension should top up the half-wages I would get for only working half the hours. In theory it is a good idea… in practice it depends on the pension actually paying out. I shall phone someone about it in the morning. But I have been worse off and survived.


“er indoors TM” boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watched The Traitors: Australia”. A rather odd program; by day twenty-odd people work together on various activities, by night they have to guess who is part of a secret cabal with absolutely no evidence to back up their suspicions whatsoever.


I feel all in… what with painting fences and shed roof and walking dogs I think I’ve caught the sun.



25 March 2024 (Monday) - Fences Painted



I woke feeling full of energy and raring to go… at half past midnight. I then dozed on an off until  five o’clock when I gave up trying to sleep, got up and watched an episode of “Friday Night Dinner”, then had a little look at the Internet in case it had changed overnight. It hadn’t.


I set off to work. With Operation Brock in place on the motorway again (for no reason that anyone can fathom) I set the car’s cruise control for fifty miles per hour and drove up the motorway in convoy with all the other traffic in the slow lane. Despite being at the speed limit and moving with the traffic, I had a succession of foreign lorries tail-ending me; some dangerously close despite my being unable to go any faster.

This Operation Brock is dangerous.


As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how more and more pubs are closing earlier and earlier. It was claimed that in many places it is unusual to find a pub open after eight o'clock in the evening as there's no customers. That's not "not many customers"; that's actually "no customers". On the one hand it would be a shame to lose pubs. On the other they are fast becoming a luxury that we can't afford.

And there was talk about how many of the foreign nurses who've moved to the UK are now moving on to other countries for better pay. Coming to the UK is just a stepping-stone in their long-term plans, or so it was claimed. When you consider an hour of a trained nurse's starting pay in 2000 would have bought eighty-one chocolate frogs whereas now it would only buy forty-three, you can see why they are jacking it in. And why no one has money to squander in pubs.


I did a morning’s work, then slipped out early to use up annual leave. I came home and seeing that “er indoors TM had already taken the dogs out, I cracked on in the garden. I got the last of the fence panels painted, then had a go at the wooden cupboard in which I hide the plugs for the pond’s electrics. I started off painting it Harvest Gold (yellow), but it looked dreadful, so I had another go at it with green. Now rather than looking dreadful, it just looks nauseous. I gave up painting as I was beginning to ache. The bench by the pond needs a lick of paint too. I might give that some green, and stick another coat of green on the wooden cupboard, and if they still look grim I’ll go ever them with the dark oak that is on the fences.

Mind you, the pond’s looking clear.

Garden Phase One is complete. Phase Two involves painting up the edges of the lawn…


er indoors TM” went off bowling. I sat myself in front of the telly and watched the last two episodes of “Three Body Problem”. It was rather good, and has been left open for a sequel. Having read the books I know what happens next (I think); I hope the sequels get made.  



26 March 2024 (Tuesday) - Another Day At Work



Again with an alarm set I was wide awake for half the night. Over brekkie I watched an episode of “Friday Night Dinner” and polished my walking boots, then had a quick look at the Internet; if only to check the traffic update. Whichever half-wit which was allowed to reinstate “Operation Brock” has certainly ballsed up. Mind you, that’s democracy for you. Perhaps if we elected the right people to run Kent County Council (i.e. capable of running a council)…

Apart from a surprisingly heartfelt squabble about whether “Logan’s Run” was best watched on Blu-Ray or DVD there wasn’t much happening on-line so I got ready to see if Google’s traffic predictions matched reality.


It turned out that Google Maps was right - the traffic on the motorway was moving, and moving better than it had been yesterday. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the amount of foreign students in UK universities. It was claimed that some universities get up to eighty per cent of their income from overseas students. I can't help but wonder if this implies that a university education isn't something the average Britisher can afford any more?

There was also talk about the future funding of the BBC. Heaven forbid the BBC should have adverts. There was a lot of talk about how the BBC have gone into partnership with Disney to produce Doctor Who. How times have changed since the 1990s when Doctor Who was cancelled despite it being the Beeb's biggest moneyspinner. It simply wasn't the sort of thing the BBC wanted to be seen to be doing; regardless of the profit.  And there was a lot of consternation about the future of the BBC World Service; it turns out that those who fund the BBC (through the TV licence fee) aren't at all keen on funding the BBC World Service which for the most part isn't even listened to in the UK. The most surprising part of this revelation was that it came as a surprise.

And meanwhile our old mate Science is looking set to save the world by turning carbon dioxide into methanol.

What we do with tons of methanol rather than tons of carbon dioxide is yet to be announced, but I suspect that is just a piddling detail.


Work was work; I spent quite a bit of time bothering the people who are supposed to be paying my pension. And with work done I came home where I shall be for the next six days. The journey home was nowhere near as easy as the journey into work; sitting in stationary traffic on the motorway looking at the torrential rain.


er indoors TM” boiled up a good bit of dinner as she does which we scoffed whilst watching more of “The Traitors: Australia” in which people professed friendship whilst stabbing each other in the back. It’s rather entertaining.



27 March 2024 (Wednesday) - Banner's Arrived



This morning there was a message on my phone. Despite my having turned the wi-fi off before I went to bed last night, it had decided to scan the wi-fi at half past midnight and told me that it was safe to use. I wish it wouldn’t keep doing what it pleases.


I had my usual look at Facebook over brekkie. A friend who organizes Ghost Walks had been approached by the BBC asking if he knew of any haunted toilets. In one of the hospitals where I work there is a haunted toilet. Seriously!! For years there would be all sorts of toilet noises coming from the next cubicle even though no one was ever in it. After a few years I came out of that loo and turned left and left again (rather than my usual right) and found there was a ladies that I didn’t know about which was on the other side of the wall.

I’m rather disappointed that the loo wasn’t haunted…

I had some emails. The nice people at Credit Karma told me my credit rating was excellent, and my next update would be sixteen days ago(!) I also had a string of “Found It” logs from someone who had walked round my geocaches in Kings Wood and had found some of them. They’d also logged “Didn’t Find It” on six of them, so that was my morning sorted.


I picked up six replacement geocaches, loaded them and the dogs into the car and we set off to Kings Wood. As we drove I listened to the radio. It would seem that the general public’s satisfaction with the NHS is at its lowest ever. Public opinion is a fickle thing, isn’t it? A few short years ago the masses were on the doorsteps clapping like demented sealions about how brilliant the NHS was; now they think it’s a load of crap. The trouble is that the masses want more and more whilst spending less and less. Someone or other being interviewed on the radio hit the nail on the head. This woman pointed out that the NHS is a victim of its own success. Now that people aren’t dying of preventable diseases in their youth, and now they’ve seen the folly of smoking things which will kill them, people are living longer and longer. Money spent on curing patients with one set of ailments is effectively giving a whole load of patients with another.

Perhaps I have a vested interest, but for those who would find fault with the NHS I’d suggest going private and seeing how much that costs you.


We got to the woods and took a little walk around those geocaches which had been reported as being missing. Three were missing; three were exactly where they were supposed to be. Finding myself with a spare geocache in my pocket I found somewhere at the very far end of the woods where I could hide a new one, and hid it. To find it you need to solve a very simple puzzle.


We came home for belly washing, and I then painted the garden pond cupboard and the bench which goes by the pond. I used green as a bit of a contrast to the fence colour, but the green paint is a bit watery. Maybe after three of four coats it might look half-way decent.

I then made a start at disassembling the old garden table. It has to be said I never liked the thing, and I’m glad it’s gone. It was rather mildewed and mouldy. The new garden table arrives at the weekend apparently. The old one is in large bits at the moment. I got it so’s I could stack the components against the shed for disassembly, popped to the loo, and the rain started.

I’ll take it apart another day.


I then drove out to Henwood – the geocaching banner I’d ordered was ready. It looks rather good.

As the rain fell so I cracked on with ironing whilst watching episodes of “Four In A Bed” in which a pub with rooms, a glamping site, a castle and an American Diner competed. The people who ran the castle had been doing so for forty years and felt they would win because of their experience; everyone else had been in the game for only a few months. The people running the castle came last.


er indoors TM boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we washed down with a bottle of plonk whilst watching more “The Traitors: Australia” in which various idiots have to root out a secret cabal using nothing more than guesswork. It is strangely engrossing.



28 March 2024 (Thursday) - Posting a Turd



After a rather good night’s sleep I made brekkie and saw I had an email. Well, four emails. The geocache I hid yesterday had been accepted by the geo-feds. I had an email to tell me that the reviewer had accepted the thing, another to say that he’d written a note to say that he’d accepted it, another to say that my geocache had been accepted, and a fourth to say there was a new geocache in the area. Geo-HQ does fart about sometimes.

There was an interesting thread on one of the local Facebook groups about the best places to feed the ducks. Places in Maidstone and Hythe and Canterbury and Romney Marsh were being recommended… why did no one suggest any local lakes to which people might walk? I was reminded of a chap with whom I used to work who (as a matter of principle) would never buy anything from any shop within twenty miles of his house. He really did seem to think that the further away something was, the better it was.

I sent birthday wishes to one of my nephew’s three Facebook accounts


With rain forecast for later I got the dogs into the car and we set off for our walk. As we drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing Angela Rayner, the deputy leader of the Labour party. I can’t remember what she was being interviewed about; all I can remember is her voice. She doesn’t so much talk as shriek; she always reminds me of collecting the fruits of my loin from school when the mothers at the school gate were always screeching at each other over matters of utter triviality. You really would think that someone who is looking set for a position of real authority would have an elocution lesson or two, wouldn’t you?

We got to the woods and walked for just over four miles without seeing anyone once we were more than fifty yards from the car park. Mind you the car park was very quiet today. Half a dozen cars on our arrival and only eight when we left an hour and a half later.

We walked a rather different route to our usual ones. I’ve noticed that the dogs assume where we are going and occasionally walk a bit too far ahead, so I took a few surprise turns to keep them alert. I shall do this more often – back in the day Fudge became so set in his ways that we had to do the same walk every time as he would refuse to go any other way.


We came home, and after a cuppa and a croissant I set off to post a turd. Quite literally. I’d had a parcel through the post from the bowel cancer screening people. Would I please send them some turd? Personally I’d rather have cake, but if they want a turd, they shall have one.

I then drove to Folkestone through the rain. I found “Darcie Waa Waa TM having a bit of a melt-down, but she soon chirped up once we left her house. She seemed quite happy to tell me it was raining, and once in Taco Bell she munched on a cup full of ice; ignoring her taco-burrito thingy and chips. She seems to like cold. Me and “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” went with a volcano burrito (oh yes!) and Big Jake had a huge box of something or other.

Sadly for all that their food is rather good, the only pudding they do is churro. Which is dull. So we went over the road for McFlurries. It was at this point that “Darcie Waa Waa TM ‘s father pointed out that she bears a more than passing resemblance to Jimmy Neutron.

He’s got a point.


With scoff scoffed we said our goodbyes and I headed off to ByBrook Barn (which hasn’t been called that for years) to get some saxifrage. And rocks. And pot stands. And cake as well. I came home via B&Q where I got a trellis. I don’t actually want a trellis. I want the battens it is made out of so’s I can repair fence panels.


Getting the stuff into the house took some doing. I had to stop for a cuppa and some of that cake before cracking on in the garden. I lasted for two minutes before I gave up because of the worsening rain. Instead I cracked on boiling up dinner. It turned out rather well (he said modestly!)

We scoffed it whilst watching more episodes of “The Traitors: Australia” in which the contestants have taken to brandishing a lot more chest than they might do.


The word on the street is that volcano burrito has given “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” the two bob bits…



29 March 2024 (Friday) - Good Friday



I had something of a lie-in today, finally getting up about nine o’clock. I had a minor plumbing disaster when I found the bathroom sink wasn’t draining so I got jiggy with the plunger.

Facebook was something of a minefield this morning. The god-botherers were out in force today as were those poking them with sticks. I resisted the temptation to poke any of them myself, but it never fails to amaze me why all religious are so popular when nothing of what they advocate stands up to any considered thought at all.


In recent years (relatively speaking) Good Friday would be spent pouring far too much beer down my throat at the Chambers Br beer festival. Before that, traditionally Good Friday is when I start in the garden. This year I’ve been on the go out there for some time, and I carried on this morning. I got the old picnic bench to pieces, sawed it about a bit and made a stand for a couple of wooden boxes I made some time ago. Where those boxes sit on the patio they get rather wet; lifting them up might stop them rotting through.

I took apart the trellis I got from B&Q yesterday, then popped the saxifrage plants round the rockery by the pond. I might re-pot them; I might not. We shall see.


We then took the dogs out. Today to Ham Street Woods. er indoors TM had reports that the paper logs in her geocaches there were wet. The only way they get wet is people not putting them back properly, but they needed sorting. It made for a good, if muddy, walk. As we walked we found some normal people who were making great show of having special precious dogs who couldn’t possibly have other dogs anywhere near them, and also making great show of seemingly guarding the entrance to the woods.

Some people can be hard work.

We eventually evaded them, and pausing only briefly for Bailey to chase rats, we came home for a cuppa.and cake. I then got another coat of paint onto the garden bench. There’s still loads of stuff to do in the garden, but I came in and sat with the dogs whilst “er indoors TM went shopping.

I took the opportunity to slob on front of the telly whilst the dogs snored.


er indoors TM” returned from shopping and boiled up a steak dinner which we washed down with a bottle of plonk whilst watching more of “The Traitors: Australia”. It’s a rather good program which sadly demonstrates the worst of human nature. Given the opportunity to either help someone or to piss on their chips, how many people *really* would help someone else?



30 March 2024 (Saturday) - Dog Club, Badlesmere



I realized something in the night… the dogs take a while to settle. If I go to the loo about three o’clock they all move into the warm space I’ve left. If I go after four o’clock they are all too fast asleep to realise I’ve gone.

As I scoffed toast there was quite a lot of indignation being expressed on-line about some ex-teacher who’d been sacked for using the wrong pronoun with relation to one of his pupils. Having been a girl for years this one now thought it would like to be a boy and the teacher either didn’t realise or didn’t care. Trans right is a rather contentions issue. The vast majority of people feel it is a bit silly but aren’t really that bothered. A vanishingly small minority see it as the number one issue in the world today, make loads of noise and get listened to. As Ford Prefect once remarked “You can’t win against people who care”. Personally I identify as a millionaire, but until such time as the bank give me that million I shall take the whole identifying thing with a pinch of salt.


Being Saturday we set off to Dog Club. As we drove Steve was doing the “Guess the Lyrics” competition on the radio. I got it right.

Dog Club was fun. Loads of chasing about, loads of running after tennis balls. Quite a bit of wading in swamps. As we Dog Clubbed so my phone beeped; another friend request from a young lady with more chest than sense.

From Dog Club we drove out to Badlesmere listening to the mystery year competition on the radio. A rather obscure sone from Sweet which I can distinctly remember being released in 1972 was actually released in 1975. Woops!

We met Karl and Tracey and went for a little walk. Not so much a walk as a preliminary recce for a new series of geocaches of the May geo-meet. And with walk walked we went back to the Red Lion; a very good pub which does rather good food and has a very good ale selection. And mild too. And they put up with over-tired dogs as well which in my world is a bonus.

I took a few photos of our day whilst we were out.


We came home via the pet shop. After a quick cuppa and cake I cracked on in the garden. The lawn got mowed, and I cleaned out the pond’s filter. Ten seconds to write; an hour to do.

er indoors TM went off to see Neon Street playing at The Chimneys. I stayed at home and dog-sat. I’d caught the sun earlier and perhaps a drinkie or two in the pub earlier was taking its toll. I watched some of “The Gentlemen” on Netflix. It’s rather good; a shame I had to have the volume so loud to make it heard over dog snoring.


And in closing, today would have been my parents’ sixty-seventh wedding anniversary. It’s been a little while but I’m still not used to being an orphan…



31 March 2024 (Sunday) - Woodwork, Folkestone



What with Daylight Saving the clocks went forward an hour overnight. Why? No daylight was saved. It is darker in the mornings and lighter in the evening, but the total hours of light and dark don’t change. So why do we fart around doing it?


I made toast and had a look at the Internet. Several people were wishing the world a Happy Easter; easter clearly being about scoffing far too much chocolate in the minds of most. I can remember as a scout leader one small girl telling me that we had to eat loads of chocolate at Easter because the baby Jesus got nailed to a tree. I didn’t disillusion her. As a child I was brainwashed into religion… sadly that’s what the Boys Brigade was actually all about. It took me a long while to see through it all… Christianity in particular makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and doesn’t stand up to any thought at all. God becoming human and dying for all that we did wrong… not that we had any idea that we were doing wrong in the first place because that god didn’t tell us the rules.

There might be a god, there might not. I don’t know. But the Christian idea isn’t it.

I saw that my brother and nephew were off to watch football. Having driven for an hour to get to Brighton they were then on a five-hour coach trip to Liverpool.

Two friends had birthdays today. One I’ve not seen for a little while. We used to walk to school together many years ago. We were in the Boys Brigade together. He’s been living in Sweden for some years now. He doesn’t come back to the UK very often as the UK-Sweden ferries stopped ten years ago. Now he faces an eight hundred mile car drive which takes fourteen hours whenever he wants to visit old haunts. The old haunts we both used to frequent are less than an hour’s drive from me, and I don’t frequent them very often myself.

And I saw that “er indoors TM had received the thumbs-up from the geo-feds about the meet she is organizing for May. A minor result, bearing in mind the fights she usually has with the geo-feds.


I hung out washing then cracked on with up-cycling. A couple of days ago I took the poggered picnic bench apart. On Friday I made a base for the garden boxes with some of the wood. Today I sawed some of the planks into precisely measured (!) lengths then screwed those lengths into four box-sections. That only took three hours. It has to be said that my efforts were hampered because I was actually recycling the bench I used to use as my working surface for garden projects. The next stage is to secure the box-sections together into a box, put on a base, line it, and move one of the potted shrubs into it. I’ll do that later.

I’ve got three potted shrubs in circular pots, but two of the pots are poggered. And being circular means I can’t get the lawn mower behind them. I shall replace the circular pots with straight edged boxes. However being a skinflint I’d rather not spend too much money on it.

If any of my loyal readers have any poggered wooden garden structures they don’t want any more…


I stopped for a spot of lunch. A Mars bar. From the Mars bar cupboard. I never knew we had a Mars bar cupboard. See what you miss if you don’t pay attention. It was a shame it was three months past it's "scoff by" date but I scoffed it anyway.

We then popped down to Folkestone where we met the most recent fruit of my loin and her entourage and we went for a little wander up the Leas. It was a shame that Morgan was in “dire-rear mode” as “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM informed me.

The plan was that we would walk up the Leas and have an ice-cream. Sadly none of the usual ice cream stalls were open, and there were no ice cream vans to be seen. Because it is Easter Sunday pretty much the entire world shuts down. However Maccie D didn’t let us down; milk shakes and McFlurries saved the day.


We came home. I got the washing in and had a look at the pond. The leak in the bog filter seems fixed; I *think* the outlet was silting up and making the water level too high. I raked the silt out yesterday, and this afternoon the bit that had been wet from the leak was dry.

I looked at the box-sections I’d made this morning, but decided against more woodwork.


I downloaded Candy Crush Saga onto my phone and played that until “er indoors TM sorted out lamb chops. We scoffed them whilst watching the final of “The Traitors:Australia”.

How many people would you stab in the back to end up with more money than sense?


What with all that was going on today I never got round to scoffing my Easter egg. Egg. Singular. Back in the day I would have got a dozen. Not that I’m sulking…

Oh – and my brother and nephew travelled all the way to Liverpool to watch their team lose.