1 May 2016 (Sunday) - 147 In The Rain




My CPAP made my nose so cold that it woke me at 2am. I dozed fitfully until 5am when I got up for a crafty tiddle. I then went back to bed knowing I wouldn't sleep. I slept like a log and awoke to find Nick was alreay up and about. I found that not being the first one up was rather odd. I'm *always* the first one up.


We had a very good brekkie, and then as I washed up I found myself sniggering. The washing up facilities were next to the toilets and showers. Windows had been left open and what I could hear was rather entertaining. The "shower shaggers" were doing their thing again (beasts!), and two small children were having poos, each "plop" baing heralded with a cry of "Fire in the hold!!"


By 10am we were ready for the off; we had this vague plan to finish off the stretch of caches that we couldn't get to on Friday as our first targets. Again we struggled to get round the road works, but soon we were walking through the woods in the rain. Yesterday the weather had been glorious; today it was wet. Whilst the rain wasn't really heavy, it was a very fine rain that left you soaking wet. We exchanged pleasentries with some joggers, and with that section of the circuit done we then relocated to where we'd stopped yesterday.


We carried on caching (getting progressively wettter and wetter) until we found a rather scenic little area where a river crossed the road. We scoffed lunch there then carried on until (finally) all three hundred and sixty of the Compass caches were found. As well as those three hundred and sixty we'd also found eighteen others on the way. And today I'd beaten yesterday's record and acheived a new personal best of one hundred and forty seven caches in one day.


Back to camp; it was *so* good to get into dry pants.(And dry everything else come to that). Having had rain all day the evening was dry; very pleasent. We sat and watched the brave little robin hopping round looking for scraps where we were sitting, and then we scoffed some rather good fajitas for tea. And a couple of bottles of beer too. Perfect.


I washed up, and was in bed shortly after 10pm; I was worn out...



2 May 2016 (Monday) - 5:5 and a Cream Tea




It was much warmer last night; I slept through to 6.30am. Once up I started gathering together all my odds and ends and packing up as best I could. The new air beds took some packing away. They were cheap, they worked well. But getting the air out wasn't easy.


I think the weekend had taken its toll on all of us; we were all up an hour later than usual today. We had another really good brekkie, then just as I started the washing up so the rain started. And then the nice people from the next camping pitch asked us if we had any jump leads; their camper van wouldn't start. We didn't, but we thought we might be able to bump-start the van.

That added another hour to our day...


We packed up a load of wet tents and drove away from camp at mid day. We then drove down to a nearby village called Roche where there was an old church on top of a rock. It was wonderful; we had to climb a couple of ladders to get up to the ruins. It was only a shame the weather was so awful.

Mind you at the ruins were the clues for the location of a 5-5 geocache not far away. There was a dodgy five minutes when "er indoors TM" climbed the tree to get that cache only to fall out of the tree. She hit the ground rather harder than I would have liked to have done, but she claimed she was fine.


From here we drove down to Exmouth. We left a very wet Cornwall and again got caught in the road works on the A30. We arrived in Exmouth at 3pm where the weather was glorious. Cream teas went down very nicely; we'd been promising ourselve a cream tea all weekend.

Talking of cream teas I learned something from our Cornish friends. Apparently when in Cornwall one puts the jam on the scone first then adds the cream. However when in Devon one puts the cream on first because (so I am told) Devon cream is crap. I must admit that teh cream I had in Devon today was rather good.

We had a rather good tea. Personally I felt the waitress should have had a dress which actually covered her bum and her chest, but (as usual) moral stances were in the minority.


Bearing in mind the fun we'd had with road works we used Google's navigator to suggest the best way home. We went via several back roads through Somerset and Wiltshire. As we drove we saw road signs warning us of tanks on Salisbury Plain. That was an eye-opener.


The plan had been for the vehicles to meet up at Cobham services so we could say our goodbyes; we got to Cobham shortly after 8pm. I had forgotten just how far it was from Exmouth to the M25. KFC made for a rather good tea; even if it did taste rather odd.


Goodbyes were said, and we all went our various ways. We got home just before 11pm.

It had been a rather good holiday. I'd certainly do it again...



3 May 2016 (Tuesday) - Wye, Washing




Much as I liked our holiday there is nothing quite like your own bed. I slept very well, even if the house did seem empty without a certain little dog.

Whilst we'd been away "Daddies Little Angel TM" had been round and tidied up. She meant well, and she'd done a good job. It was only a shame she'd thrown away the stand for my razor and the washer which connects the hose pipe to the tap. Bearing in mind the hose pipe attachment is rather old they don't make those any more. I shall have to buy a new one. And an entire new razor as you can't get the stands on their own.


I'd taken one or two photos of our holiday. Over brekkie I put them where everyone can see them. I then put the wet event shelter onto the washing line and went and collected "Furry Face TM". Cheryl suggested we might go for a walk up to Wye Downs. So we collected "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" and all drove up to Wye Downs.

We didn't stay long. Let's just say that some of us are more "go outdoors" than others. Instead we relocated to Viccie Park where they have "proper footpaths made out of tarmac"


Home; and I then started on the washing. For all that the weekend away had been fun, it had been wet. I had quite a bit of laundry to sort. So I set the washing machine to scrub the first batch of stuff whilst I got in the (now dry) event shelter.

I popped the first load of washing on the line and had a bite of lunch. Over lunch I watched last night's episode of "Gotham", then put out the next load of washing. I then carried on preparing for next week's interview as the third lot chugged through the washing machine.


By the time "er indoors TM" came home I'd got three loads washed and dried and the washing machine was doing its thing with my smalls. "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of scoff and we set off to Willesborough via Kwik-Fit where Matt was waiting for us.

We had a rather good evening putting the world to rights before watching an episode of "The Flash" through which I didn't sleep for once...



4 May 2016 (Wednesday) - End of an Era?




I read some sad news on Facebook; St Helen's Methodist church in Hastings is closing down. Whilst this is a matter of indifference to most of humainty it really is the end of an era for me. I first went to the place in the spring of 1975 when a friend took me to the Boys Brigade company which met there. That place then became (effectively) the centre of my universe for the next nine years. I met so many friends there; we had so many adventures. At the time our Boys Brigade comany was the envy of the county. We did so many things; our marching band performed all over the place, And four of us even got the highest award the Boys Brigade had to offer; no one in the history of the 8th Hastings had ever got the Queens Badge before.

I met "er indoors TM" in that place; we got married there. The children were christened there. For a while I was even one of the church stewards (like a deacon in the Church of England).


Mind you I suppose I should really be surprised the place has lasted so long. The website for the place says they average eighteen people turning out every week. I can remember back in the early 1980s being told the place had running costs of over a hundred pounds per week and that the weekly collection rarely raised much over forty quid.


I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we drove down to Bethersden. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that about six months ago I hid a series of thirty eight geocaches in a loop around that village. One of those caches seemed to have gone missing. Personally I thought it was still there, but it doesn't hurt to check these things.

Well, these days it *does* hurt. Moving is becoming more and more painful, but we went anyway. It was as well tyat we went; it *had* gone. And it was a rather pretty place to go for a walk anyway even if my dog did roll in fox poo, eat horse poo, get straw stuck in his throat and spend five minutes quacking like a duck.


Once home I settled "Furry Face TM" and went shopping. I had intended to go into town but instead thought Tesco might do. I got petrol and the makings of a geocache for tomorrow's mission. I came back via B&Q where I got a new attachment to stick the garden hose onto the tap. I only needed a rubber washer but ended up having to spend ten quid on the entire assembly. I also got some new cord for the garden strimmer, and then spend an hour strimming and mowing the lawn. The new strimming cord wasn't very good. I shall have to get some *really* thick stuff.


With lawn mowed I then had a spot of lunch whilst watching this week's episode of "Game of Thrones". "Game of Thrones" has acquired something of a cult following; it is one of those shows that attracts the sort of people who take great offence at anything less than gushing praise being said about it. For myself I find it entertaining enough. I have heard it described as "Lord of the Rings" interspersed with soft porn, and in all honesty that is not a bad description.

Today's installment passed an entertaining three quarters of an hour. It was only a shame I didn't really remember who was who and what was what. I really need to watch the entire lot from the start again.


I spent much of the afternoon preparing for next week's interview and also organising something to do at the weekend. Silly ideas don't have themselves you know.


"er indoors TM" came home and boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we scoffed as we watched "Bake Off". We had a bottle of plonk too...



5 May 2016 (Thursday) - Jasmer, Fizzy and Committee




I woke up a little earlier than I might have done, and over brekkie I watched the most recent episode of "Plebs". I did snigger; Grumio had never seen a crab before and thought it was a pie with legs.

I then had a quick look-see on-line. Among the morning's emails was one from LinkedIn who were trying to chum me up with a commercial archaeologist and a third sector professional. (What do those do?)

I got notification that three friends had birthdays today. One of them was twenty years old; I thought she was probably about to take her GCSEs. Where do the years go?


I then popped up the road to the polling station. Today saw the election for Kent's police commissioner. There were various candidates standing on party political bandwagons. Naked greed and wooly-minded blathering had offered candidates as had well-meaning incompetence. The racist xenophobes had put up two candidates.

Personally I feel that such a position should not be anything to do with silly political games; it was a shame that the only candidate who wasn't openly advertising a political affiliation had published a personal statement that said a lot without actually saying anything.

I considered spoiling the ballot paper as a political statement, but that acheives nothing. In the end I put an "X" for well-meaning incompetence. I usually do that for the simple reason that their hearts are in the right place (i.e. not in their wallets, hugging trees or trying to charter banana boats)


And then on to Sittingbourne. There is a geocache there which was under a bridge. It has a rather unusual D/T; one which I needed to get. The thing had been reported as being missing so a few days ago I had a word with the chap who hid it and offered to replace it for him. He was happy for me to do so. A few days ago I'd also asked if anyone else wanted to come along with me. A few people were up for it. After a rather awful journey I parked my car just as Aleta arrived. We followed out GPS and found ourselves in the middle of a bridge over a busy A-road. The cache was underneath us.

We got to where we could see what was what and I had a go at waddling along the girders. I was a tad nervous on the girder; I was not at all confident in ducking under the support beams and so I waddled back to (relative) safety. Matt then arrived, took the replacement cache that I'd acquired, and he zoomed out to the middle of the underside of the bridge like a monkey.

Jamie then arrived and he too went straight out to across the girder and back again with no hesitation.

I thought again about going out myself. It looked so easy, and several friends had said it wasn't hard. It probably isn't difficult when you are half my weight and twenty years younger than I am.


We said our goodbyes and I moved on to my second D/T target of the day. This one was up a tree. I wasted ten minutes farting about up the wrong tree before a phone call to "er indoors TM" put me right.

I then spent ten minutes looking at a little snake at the base of the target tree, and frittered away another half an hour (or more) scrambling all over, up and down that tree before sending a message to the C.O.

Even armed with a rather serious hint I still drew a blank. I shall go back another day.


I'd gone out to fill some squares on my D/T/ grid. I was determined to do that. My backup plan was a drive to Guildford and a diversion to Hever Castle on the way home.

As backup plans go it worked well. A shame it took so long, but such is life.


I'd taken some photos of the day's fun. Once home I posted them on-line. Jimbo then called round after work. We took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park then made our way to Singleton Barn. Four bottles of assorted ales slipped down very nicely with some dinner, then we had the first meeting of the new committee of the astro club. The first meeting of which I had to take minutes...

My notes are somewhat cryptic. If any of my loyal readers can hazard a guess at what B.O.B is supposed to mean please drop me a line...



6 May 2016 (Friday) - Fairy Ring




I got rather frustrated when I had a look on Facebook over brekkie. A friend of a friend (who is no intellectual genius) had posted that she felt that Britain should leave the EU because she didn't want foreigners commanding the British army. I'm not sure where this flight of fancy came from, but it was then followed up by all sorts of nonsense about voting to remain in the EU being disrespectful to those who fought Hitler. Those posted on the thread were incensed about Britain having to comply with EU regulations whilst at the same time being unable to provide a single such regulation. No one actually said "I'm not racist but I don't like foreigners" but that was the gist of what many were saying.


I then had an email. A new geocache had gone live not five miles away. Looking at the map it seemed to be in the back of beyond so I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we drove off in hot pursuit of the First to Find. We got as close as we could in the car and then...

I was a little bit miffed. Geocaches have terrain ratings so you know how hard it is to get to the things. This one was marked as T1.5, the easiest you can do if you are not in a wheelchair. We walked for five hundred yards. Well marked footpaths got us to within eighty yards of where we needed to be and then we had to jump a small stream and hack our way through the undergrowth.

The cache was called "Fairy Circle"; I soon found nine logs laid out as a fairy circle. But the GPS was a bit jumpy. After seemingly ages I was about to give up when I could see people in the distance. Hoping it would be fellow hunters of tupperware I waited for a while. It was fellow hunters of tupperware. It was good to catch up with Paul and to meet his brother in law. Together we hunted for half an hour but to no avail.

I picked up my dog and carried him back through the thickets. He was able to jump the stream himself.


I had a vague plan to go to Dymchurch today but "Daddies Little Angel TM" had other plans, so we came home. I registered my geo-failure on-line then popped into town. I found the milk shake shop to be closed again (does it ever open?) and with the astro club stuff done at the bank (for the last time) I drove out to Argos to collect the rubber dingy I'd ordered.


With shopping done I watched a film over a spot of lunch. "Ex Machina" is a film I've wanted to watch for some time. It started and ended well. I'm not sure about the middle; I slept through that part.

I then wrote out the minutes of last night's astro club committee meeting and popped round to "Daddies Little Angel TM". She was staging a family meal. "My Boy TM" arrived and there was sad news. His beard had been put down. For some reason every time "My Boy TM" looked at "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" so the little one cried.


We had a rather good bit of dinner. Now to see if there are any leaks in that rubber dingy. best to test it first in the living room rather than have it sink on its maiden voyage on Sunday...



7 May 2016 (Saturday) - Kemsing




Over brekkie I had a look-see on-line. The chap who hid the geocache I couldn't find yesterday has put up another hint. Apparently he's hidden it under a rather enormous tree stump. I think it can stay where it is; I've struggled out there once already.


Yesterday I finished up by saying "Now to see if there are any leaks in that rubber dingy. Best to test it first in the living room rather than have it sink on its maiden voyage on Sunday..."

The dingy seems OK, but there was a split in the pump's hose. So we took the "er indoors TM" -mobile to the garage, left it there, and went on to Argos to register out displeasure.

To be fair the people in Argos were helpful and sorted us out a new pump (without a hole in it).


We then went for a little outing to Kemsing. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that a couple of days ago I spent half an hour scrambling all over a tree trying to find a geocache. I went back to that tree and found the thing in less than two minutes.

From here we had a little pootle through the woods then drove up to the village sign where we played a wherigo. I spend hours making these games for others, and rarely get a go at playing one myself. This one was not unlike one I wrote from scratch; you start off and it tells you how far away you are from the final geocache. That's all you know. So we started off and found we were a few hundred yards from where we needed to be. We chose a direction at random and (pausing only briefly for "Furry Face TM" to bark at the locals) walked for a hundred yards. We checked the game and saw we were a few hundred and fifty yards from the final location... And so we proceeded. To be honest there were only so many directions in which we could go, and it was a rather scenic village through which to wander.

It probably took us longer to complete the final twenty-five yards than it did the rest of the game.


We failed utterly at hunting down a cache hidden in a phone box, and after a quick ice-cream we drove off down the road for a mile or so. As we drove I got a little stressed at other drivers. Do they *really* have to be quite so close behind?

We parked up and walked across fields and woods filled with bluebells to sign a challenge cache. This was one you aren't allowed to claim until you have found (at least) one hundred geocaches twice in one calendar month. We did that last weekend in Cornwall.

We did another quick cache as we were in the area then made our way home.


As we drove we got a message. A friend of a friend's friend's cat's aunties next door neighbour's friend's friend had a canoe they didn't want. It was going free to a good home. Did I want it?

Whilst there are no hard-and-fast rules about aquatic geocaching I have formed the distinct impression that it is the done thing to take to the high seas in a canoe. Only the Great Unwashed set sail in rubber dingies, and consequently are somewhat looked down upon. So, having dropped "er indoors TM" off at the garage to collect her car I drove round to Birling Road to have a look at this free canoe.


Oh dear...


I must admit my hopes weren't high. When I arrived the girl greeted me with the news that it needed a little work doing. So I told her I had only one question; does it float? If it floats, all else is piddling details. On reflection her answer was something of a giveaway. She said "not very well". That doesn't really answer the question does it? Things float or they do not.

So we went to have a look at the canoe.

It was a bit tatty, but what do you expect for free. However the first thing I noticed about it was the foot long split along the top. And then I saw the gaping hole in the underside where a previous mariner had been torpedo-ed. This was no small leak; there was a hole beneath the water line through which you could stick both hands.

She seemed rather disappointed when I declined her kind and generous offer.


I came home, got a bucket of water, and washed the bird poop off of my car. I could have done a much better job of cleaning the car, but washing bird poop was good enough for me. I then tested out the new pump. It worked rather well.


"er indoors TM" then got busy in the garden. I got busy watching Star Trek...



8 May 2016 (Sunday) - HMS Badger




Some time ago I downloaded a little Star-Trek based game which is played on my phone. I lost interest after about two minutes. Periodically it sets off alarms to remind me to play it. It did one such alarm at 5am this morning.

I tried to get back to sleep, but it wasn't happening. I got up shortly after 6am and over a spot of brekkie I watched an old episode of Fort Boyard. Always an entertaining show even if Melinda's chest is a little distracting.

And then I had a look on-line. It seems that I wasn't the only one who'd had an eventful day yesterday. I quite like Facebook if only for the opportunities it offeres for me to be nosey. However my piss boiled a little as I read the blatently racist stuff my ex-brother in law (amongst others) was posting. Sadiq Khan has been elected Mayor of London. The chap was born in the UK... when the right wing racists finally start deporting everyone who doesn't fit their model of who should be allowed to remain in the UK just where will they stop?


I woke "er indoors TM", loaded HMS Badger (and pump) into her car, and (having settled "Furry Face TM") we were off. This morning's geo-mission was (again) gonig for combinations for terrain and difficulty that have so far eluded us. "High Terrain" caches are ones which are difficult to get to. Today's were in the river Teise.

Pausing only briefly to collect a puzzle cache five of us were soon inflating our flotilla; ably supervised by Jo and Ben who had come along to offer moral support (and to laugh). "HMS Badger" was the only rubber dingy; Gordon and Matt (and their crews) were in inflatable canoes. In retrospect HMS Badger turned out to be a disappointment. Its top speed was about one tenth of that of a canoe, and I seemed to spend an inordinate abount of time trying to extricate my vessel from various aquatic undergrowths. I shall replace it with a canoe at the earliest opportunity.

There was an embarrassing five minutes when the river was completely blocked by a collapsed tree. There was another embarrassing five minutes when I actually fell in the river. Mind you I'm not complaining. If the high terrain caches had been in trees then a fall would have hurt. Falling in the river was utterly painless, even if it does teach you the value of dry pants.

We went out with several riparian targets; we found three. I was impressed.


We only intended to sail for a couple of hours; once dried off we picked up another cache just up the road (as we were driving by) and made our way to Rochester where a geo-birthday event was taking place. A rather good bit of dinner, several pints, and the company of good friends. I can think of worse ways to spend an afternoon.


For some odd reason I slept much of the way home; once home we took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. He spent far too long playing silly beggars in the river. We have a new game for the river; he stands in the middle and I throw a stone in. He swims-jumps-runs in the general direction of where the stone splashed. And then he woofs until another stone is thrown in. And so it goes on.

I find it a tad dull, but he seems to love it.


We came home, put wet clothes on to wash and then had something of a lazy evening... I ache somewhat.

Do any of my loyal readers want to make me an offer on a rubber dingy?



9 May 2016 (Monday) - Geo-Broken




After the exertions of yesterday I had something of an early night last night. I slept like a log until 1am, then lay awake for much of the rest of the night. I gave up trying to sleep and got up shortly after 5am. I then wasted ten minutes trying to find where my sandwich box had been hidden. Whilst we had been on our Cornish holiday the girls had come round and tidied up. Whilst they did it with all good intentions I now can't find anything...

Over brekkie I watched "Dad's Army" then set off to work far earlier than I really needed to. Mind you I was at something of a loose end, and being a geo-calendar day I needed to go locate some Tupperware.


My first target was in the back of beyond along a narrow country lane. On arrival I could see the geocache; laying broken on the roadside. The thing was smashed in two. I couldn't say whether it was deliberately broken or not but I had my suspicions. This one had supposedly been hidden for the local scouts. From my own experiences of thirteen years as a scout leader I would *never* involve scouts in geocaching. Whilst most would enjoy the silly game, I can picture the faces of half a dozen who wouldn't rest until they had personally destroyed every last one.

It was as well it was still early; despite this minor setback I still had time to drive down the road a bit further to get today's geo-calendar filler. Only eight more days to fill now.


As I drove the radio was spewing drivel; having had a week's holiday I've got rather out of touch with reality (as dictated by Radio Four).

The Prime Minister was warning that leaving the EU may well destabilise Europe. His critics were decrying him, but I've said this all along. Just look at the history of Europe. Hundreds of years of war and now co-operation. Admittedly it may be co-operation about the standardisation of bananas, but it's not war.


There was also concern expressed that official figures about death rates in hospitals might not be quite as reliable as one might hope. It transpires that one is as likely to die over the weekend when in hospital as at any other time. In fact one of the pundits being interviewed (who was a professor-sir) said that in fact patients get better treatment at weekends; mainly because with far fewer out-patient clinics going on, staff can concentrate on the acute in-patients at the weekends.

However I got the impression that the whole discussion was more about political squabbling rather than about achieving anything practical.


There was also quite a bit of talk about today's transit of Mercury across the face of the Sun. An expert was wheeled on and the pundits asked him all sorts of facile and banal questions. I couldn't help but wonder if the people asking the questions really were as stupid as they seemed.


I stopped off at Morrisons for supplies, and then got some petrol. I was still far too early for work. So I sat in the car park and used my phone to have a look-see on-line for half an hour.

There was a minor embarrassment when I got to work; that missing sandwich box had been in my locker for the last week. Woops.

I got on with the day; work was much the same as when I'd left it before my week's holiday. And with my bit done I came home again.


I walked "Furry Face TM" round the park; "er indoors TM" drove round and picked us up just before the rain started. We had a rather good bit of scoff, then she went bowling.

I've made myself comfortable in front of the telly... Game of Thrones is on soon, then it's Gotham...



10 May 2016 (Tuesday) - Road Works




Last night's episode of Gotham was rather good, but there's no denying that Game of Thrones failed to grip me. I slept throough much of the show. In many ways it has become a victim of its own success. Like Heroes and Lost it started very well but it has now run out of story and the writers are obviously now making it up as they go along. We are now at episode three of the new series and nothing of note's really happened. (or if it has, I've slept through it)

I then had another terrible night's sleep, mostly spent listening to the sound of the rain. And I was again up at 5.30am watching drivel on the telly. After an hour or so "Furry Face TM" got up and spent a few minutes uncontrollably barking at absolutely nothing at all. I wish he wouldn't do that. Having barked himself silly he then went back to sleep. Funnily enough I felt like doing the same.


And so to work. It was a rather rainy drive; if nothing else the rain washed some of the dirt off of my car.

Those who would have us leave the European Union were on the radio making great show of how the Prime Minister has recently had to make concessions to the German Chancellor. This is apparently terrible....

I can't see it myself. The Prime Minister's job is effectively performing a juggling act trying to keep everyone happy. He has to keep all sorts of people sweet; for myself I have as much in common with the German Chancellor as I do an MP from Hull or Whitby so I don't really see any problem here.


And talking of Whitby the pundits on the radio have been touring the country getting the opinions of the Great Unwashed about the European Union. This morning they interviewed some fishermen from Whitby who claimed the European Union's rules on fish quotas are killing their livelihood.

They accepted there had to be a limit on how much cod they can pull out of the North Sea, but they didn't like the fact that the limit in question had been set by bureaucrats in Brussels.

However they made no secret that it would be perfectly acceptable to have to work to exactly the same limit had it been set by a bureaucrat in London.


I got to work little earlier than I needed to, so I spent a few minutes checking out the world via my phone's Internet connection. Several people were grumbling about the rain and calling it "a return to typical British weather". I was very tempted to ask when we last had heavy rain but resisted the temptation. After all having heavy rain is nowhere near as British as grumbling about heavy rain.

And I had a message that a possible family trip to Legoland had gone west.

I was rather disappointed about that; I've never been to Legoland.


Once at work I did that which I couldn't avoid and then came home again. The weather had chirped up a bit during the day. As I walked out to my car my phone rang. It was the BBC asking how Ashford's application for dark sky status was progressing. I wish I could have been more helpful but not actually knowing anything myself I couldn't actually say anything. I wonder if they will quote me...


I got home to find my road's been dug up. I wonder what's going on...



11 May 2016 (Wednesday) - Classic Literature




I slept much better last night; only waking an hour before the alarm was due to go off. Over a spot of brekkie I watched another episode of "Flowers"; a very odd show.

I quickly had a look-see on-line. Not much had happened overnight.


The morning's news gave me a wry smile. Not so much news as tittle-tattle really. Apparently the Quenn found Chinese officials to be very rude recently. She made a private comment to that effect, and it is all over the tabloids. Simularly the Prime Minister's private comments about corruption in Nigeria and Afganistan have been made public.

Interestingly no one is actually claiming that anything said by the Queen or the Prime Minister is factually wrong...

I've no dealings with the Chinese or the Afgans, but I distinctly remember a Nigerian chap with whom I worked telling me he thought the British system of working was odd in that managers in the UK (generally) didn't openly invite bribes for favours in the workplace.


I stopped off at Morrisons on the way to work to get some sausage rolls. We'd planned to have a picnic at work this lunchtime. Everyone had brought in all sorts of goodies to scoff. We had quite a feast piled up in the rest room this morning, and we all spent the morning glancing out of the window. The early torrential rain eventually subsided into a mere downpour. By mid day the rain had abated, but the ground outside was saturated so we had a picnic lunch inside.

We had far too much to eat; I spent much of the afternoon with something of a stomach ache.


I came home to find the postman had been. I've received a few copies of the book in which a couple of my stories were published. These ones are for family; my mum will actually like it, the fruits of my loins will pretend to like it, and "er indoors TM" is already using her copy to prop up a wonky table.

I must admit I'm a little disappointed that this book hasn't been the earth-shattering success for which I'd hoped. You can get it on paperback or in e-format from Amazon by clicking here. I'll even sign it for you. Twice...



12 May 2016 (Thursday) – Sulking




Another decent night's sleep; I woke only a short while before the alarm was due to go off. Again I watched "Flowers" over a bit of brekkie; again I watched it with a sense of "wtf was that all about?"

As the show ended so "Furry Face TM" wanted to go into the garden. I went with him to make sure he didn't run round woofing (as he does). I couldn't help but notice that not only does the lawn again need mowing but also the stuff flowing over the fence from next door needs trimming back again. I only did that last week.

If ever there was a seriously futile excercise it is gardening.


Over the last week I've been preparing for a job interview. That interview was today. I thought about all sorts of witty and erudite things I might write in today's blog entry. Then I didn't get the job and thought about all sorts of sarcastic and bitter things I might write in today's blog entry. In the end I decided not to write any of them...


Today was a geo-calendar day, so with a little time on my hands I put the lead onto my dog and set off in pursuit of a find. My first three targets had been randomly drop-kicked into hedges by Scouts... no luck. My next three targets eluded me; the GPS was a tad wafty and I had no hints. Targets seven and eight had gone missing (I had inside information on those).

Having located pretty much every errant sawndwich box in the area I was rather stuffed. So I relocated to Tenterden where after a couple more failures I finally found one on my eleventh attempt.

I've only got seven more of the "must-find" calendar days to go.


I wonder how long my sulk will last...?



13 May 2016 (Friday) - Tom Hanks




I sometimes wonder if having thicker curtains might help me sleep longer; I was awake with the dawn, and lay awake for some time looking at my sleeping dog. I say "sleeping" he was crashed out and snoring but his eyes were open. Do dogs sleep with their eyes open? My one seems to.


I sparked up my laptop and had a look-see on-line. Amongst the morning's haul of emails was one from my professional body asking me to cast my vote in the election for the body's governing council. I had to choose two out of four people of whom I had previously never heard. Three of them looked rather scary and the fourth looked like he/she/it was straining on a rather recalcitrant poo. Realising that if I didn't vote I had no grounds for complaint when the wrong candidates got elected I had a look at their election statements. Other than one of the candidates having nominated another (which I saw as somethong of an own goal) there was little to choose between any of them. So I didn't bother. I really couldn't be arsed.

There was also an email from Ryan (who apparently knows me through LinkedIn) asking if I want a job doing what I do but for more money in London. This made me think... Do I want a job doing what I do but for more money? I tried for one of those yesterday and am still sulking now. If I don't take Ryan up on his offer I can be sure of no future disappointments. But if I don't take him up on his offer I can be sure of not getting a job doing what I do but for more money.

It is odd really. Yesterday morning I was quite content with my job. I then had an interview for promotion, was unsuccessful and now am incredibly hacked off. In retrospect I've been a manager before; I didn't really like it then and (despite my current sulk) I quite like what I am doing now. Perhaps if I'd been offerd the job and turned it down myself (which I may well have done) I would now be in a rather better frame of mind.


I then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. We were almost home and I was pleasently surprised that the walk had passed off without event when a small child appeared from nowhere and charged across the road at us. This brat jumped at my dog; landing inches from him. Said brat then screamed at my dog and started play-attacking my dog with an invisible sword. I think "Furry Face TM" was quite within his rights to bark at this brat. After a while the brat's fat mother waddled across the road (with half a dozen other ill-behaved brats in tow all seemingly in a civil war). Before she could say anything I told her that most dogs would have bitten her brat for the way he was behaving. I also hinted that decent parents *don't* allow their children to run across streets, and walked off leaving her shrieking at her hoarde of brats.


I set off to work earlier than I might have done: EI wanted me to deliver candle stuff to her mate in Canterbury. As I drove my heart sank. "Desert Island Discs" was on the radio. Usually this show is a chance for various celebrities to try to make themselves appear far posher than they really are by pretending to like obscure classical music to which no one actually listens. Ever.

But this show was different. Tom Hanks was in the chair; he was rather interesting and (with the forgivable exception of "Thus Spake Zarathustra") all of his music selections were the sort of thing to which real people actually listen.


I got the candles delivered, then (as I was in the area) went for McBreakfast. Sausage & Egg McMuffin, hash brown, caramel frappucino. Not too shabby even if I did get a brain freeze from the caramel frappucino.


Pausing only briefly to watch some idiot woman reverse her car into another car I the made my way to work. And everything of not today was over and done with by 11am...



14 May 2016 (Saturday) - An Afternoon on the Beer




I woke shivering at 5am this morning. "er indoors TM" had wrapped the duvet round herself and "Furry Face TM" had plonked himself between us (thereby pulling the duvet tight). I *could* have chased the little dog back to his basket but I was awake and cold. So I got up and wasted time getting some preliminary ideas together for yet another Wherigo. Whilst I am aware that not many people actually go out and do Wherigos, those that do are prepared to travel for miles to do them. I have an idea for a really easy one that involoves a lot of travelling about. If nothing else it would be popular for those who fill geo-grids.


We then got into the car, and after a little detour to collect Suzy-pup we made our way to the saucily-named Thong Lane where we met Jo and Ben. There were some geocahes up trees in the area. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that I'd been there before. But watching other scrambling up trees is always entertaining.

From here we made our way to Borden where the geo-clans were gathereing. Once a month the glitterati of the Kent geo-world come together. Today Tracey and Karl had organised a meet-up. I like the monthly meet-ups; today's was somewhat reminiscent of the halcyon days of yore when I would spend the entire afternoon in the pub.


Having slept most of the way home I then spent the evening watching Sean Connery as James Bond in the film "Diamonds are Forever". I can remember my cousin whinging about not liking the film when it first hit the cinema in 1971.

He wasn't impressed forty-five years ago; it has not improved with time...



15 May 2016 (Sunday) – Polegate




Not quite such a cold night last night. But having determined that I needed to be up for 7am I was wide awake shortly after 5am. I gave up trying to get back to sleep and set the washing machine loose on several T-shirts.

Over brekkie I had a look-see on-line. I had to tell someone off on one of the Facebook discussion pages I moderate. Why do so few people understand the basic principle of a discussion. When faced with a difference of opinion the first line to take is "I disagree with you for the following reasons", *not* "I disagree with you therfore I shall prove my point by swearing at you". It was something of a shame that the chap I had to correct then illustrated his logic by posting a web link which actually proved he was wrong.


I hung my T-shirts out to dry, and failed to solve an on-line geo-puzzle. Rather frustrating...

We drove round to collect Suzy-Pup and her associate, then allowed the sat-nav to guide us to Polegate. I thought it took a rather convoluted route. Did we *really* have to traverse every narrow lane in both Kent and Sussex?

But we got to the Treacle Mine with five minutes to spare. We soon met our geo-buddies and pausing only briefly for a bit of cake we were soon off on our wanders. The "Woodland Wander" series of geocaches took us round some rather scenic places. Woodlands, fields, rather quiet country lanes. And the geo-element was rather good too - these weren't the average film-pot-under-a-rock hides; many of them were custom-made works of genius.

As we walked we heard a call. Would you beleive it; my brother was driving by on the way to a boot fair. What were the chances of that?


We found ourselves back at the cars by mid-afternoon. We'd asked the nice lady in the pub if we could her car park so we felt it would only be polite to have a pint there.

And with pint guzzled we set off on the main business of the day. We'd chosen to come to Polegate because just down the road was a geocache which was in a culvert under the road. We parked the cars and walked down to the river where we put on our wellies. Sam kindly found the deepest part of the river for us, and so (as she emptied her wellies) we then went in to the shallower bits and each of us scrambled through the culvert to do the secret geo-thing. I found it was a little cramped in there, but I'm probably showing my age.


The pub near where we'd parked our cars had a sign saying "no dogs"; with a quick Google search we found a pub not five minutes away that claimed to be dog-friendly. Just as well as we had three with us.

The Cricketer's Arms in Berwick was a good find. Beer poured straight from the barrel; helpful frfiendly staff. I felt for them when the wonderful food they served had cold chips, but that was soon sorted. Usually we don't hang about too long in the pub after a walk, and certanly not when so far from home. But today was different; we stayed for dinner. An wonderful meal with excellent company. I'd certanly go back there again.


I took a few photos whilst we were out; once home I put them on-line. I think I shall have an early night now... I'm feeling worn out.



16 May 2016 (Monday) - Chicken Bones





The weekend was rather a busy one; I suppose that it's no surprise that I slept like a log last night. Out cold for over seven hours. That rarely (if ever) happens these days. I got up and found my little dog was still asleep. After his tea he went straight to his basket last night and was still there this morning. He also had found the weekend rather wearing.


Over brekkie I had a look-see on-line. In addition to the Brexit-ers who've thought about their decision there seems to be a growing movement advocating leaving the European Union for the simple reason that the likes of the Prime Minister, ex-Prime Ministers and various prominent politicians feel staying in is the best option. The logical extension of this is that because the likes of the Prime Minister, ex-Prime Ministers and various prominent politicians advocate breathing, one should immediately drop dead from aasphyxiation.

I also read that one of the video feeds from the International Space Station has picked up a UFO, and that our old friend science has discovered lesbian gorillas.


I tried solving a geo-puzzle as well. I would have done better had my lap-top not been on a go-slow. It is not the most up-to-date device in the world. I'm beginning to wonder if it will soon be time to replace the thing with a newer model.


I gave up fighting with my lap-top and took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. As we went we had the usual episodes of my dog being scared of other dogs, my dog scaring other dogs, my dog humping other dogs. He tried to hump OrangeHead's dog. It was as well that at the time OrangeHead's dog was being walked by OrangeHead's stunt double. I'm assuming it was her daughter.

There was a worrying few moments when "Furry Face TM" was choking. I pulled chicken bones from his mouth. I must admit I like KFC, but I don't throw the bones across the park; especially not when there is a bin not ten yards away.


Once home I re-booted the lap-top and had another go at geo-puzzling; rather more successfully this time. I wonder if the thing realised I was getting a tad hacked off with it.

I saw a few messages from friends going off on a geo-mission today. It would have been good to have joined in, but I was on the late shift today. So I set off to work; still sulking somewhat. I've had the weekend to reflect on last week's interview. I *wouldn't* want to be in a manager's position again. But *I* want to make that decision, not have it made for me.


As I drove to work Women's Hour was on the radio. There was an interview with some bright up-coming young musician (I didn't catch her name). She is supposedly featuring live with Stevie Wonder among other famous musicians, and apparently Women's Hour was lucky to have her on the radio. She sounded quite interesting when interviewed. As a special treat for the listeners she then sang a couple of songs.

Oh dear....

She really didn't sing at all. It was best described as a howl. It was truly dreadful. To think people are paying good money to listen to her...


I got a bit of shopping in Morrisons. I noticed that armpit-squirt has dropped in price. Eighty-four pence today; the same brand was one pound fifty the other week. And as I was in the area I stopped off in Go Outdoors where I got a new picnic blanket and a seat belt for my dog. He won't like it.

The nice lady in Go Outdoors told me my Go Outdoors bargain card was about to expire; have I really had that thing for a year? It was somewhat ironic that as I arrived at work my phone beeped with an email from Go Outdoors with a promotional code offering me an extra ten per cent off of any purchase I might make today.


Once at work I did that which I couldn't avoid, and then came home as promptly as I could for my usual Monday fix of Game of Thrones and Gotham. Gotham was excellent; I can't reallyu comment on Game of Thrones; I slept through much of it...



17 May 2016 (Tuesday) - Body Parts




I was far later to bed than I should have been last night; my dog was asleep on my lap and I didn't want to disturb him. When I got to bed I slept well, but when I woke shortly before 5am my right leg was still very painful.

I've pulled a muscle down below my knee; it still hurts.


Over brekkie the SkyPlus box wasn't working at all so I pulled the thing's plug and re-booted it. Eventually I got it going again and I watched last night's episode of "The Last Man on Earth". It was the last one of the currrent series; it ended on something of a cliffhanger. I'm quite looking forward to the next one. I then watched the last bit of last night's Game of Thrones (the bit I slept through). I've not been overly enthusiastic about that show lately but last night's installment took an interesting turn. I think they must seriously have run out of ideas as they resorted to Nudey-Dragon-Girl getting her jubblies out (and to think I slept through that). Most entertaining, but no serious substitute for a plot.

I thought she'd got a clause in her contract about not having to get them out any more; perhaps the show really is struggling if they are having to resort to this level?


I quickly had a look-see on-line. Again LinkedIn was suggesting I might like to join the navy. I decided that if that was all the Internet had to offer I would set off to work and see what the radio had to offer.

The radio said that a survey has shown that women churchgoers live longer than us heathens. Much was made of the fact even though few few explanations or reasons were given


I was then rather worried by the fact that the police have been unable to track down the owner of a missing foot. A severed human foot was found near Bath some time ago and the Old Bill haven't managed to track down its owner. You would have thought that whoever it was might have a rather distinctive appearence?

Interestingly after I'd done my bit at work the evening's news told of a severed head which has been found in Cambridgeshire.

Something of a theme here?

Once home I took "Furry Face TM" round the park. As we walked we met a small beagle called Sherlock. The chap walking Sherlock was having a serious domestic with the small children in his care. They'd only come along to go to the playpark and had no interest in walking round (and I quote) "crap fields with that dog". Oh the joys of wilful children.

As we walked we saw some slightly older children laying on the grass and snogging. They do that...



18 May 2016 (Wednesday) - Another Dog ?




Having spent much of yesterday evening falling asleep in front of the telly I wasn't impressed to find myself awake at 4am this morning. I wasted an hour trying to get back to sleep before watching "Dad's Army" over brekkie. I then did a little channel-hopping and discovered "Irish Paint Magic". At first sight the show struck me as something of a Bob Ross rip-off.

It turns out that the chap presenting the show is actually a Bob Ross qualified instructor. Mind you whilst his painting was good, the chap doing the painting did seem to be somewhat stilted. As the episode went on it struck me the chap was trying to imitate what Bob Ross did in his shows. He would have been far better off trying to do his own thing.

I then spent five minutes solving another geo-puzzle before setting off to work.


As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were interviewing the editor of the Sun newspaper. His paper has fallen foul of the press regulator. A few months ago he published a headline story claiming the Queen was in favour of Britain leaving the European Union. This story was proved not to be true, and the Sun has ben forced to publish an apology.

The chap being interviewed was rather recalcitrant. He said they'd published the apology and the regulator's decision because they had to, but he remained adamant that his story was true.


I got to work and spent much of the day in something of a sulk. There was a geo-mission planned for today. Several of my friends were off to Essex. But taking the day as holiday wasn't practical. So I spent much of the day looking out of the window and thinking about what might have been.

Mind you the weather forecast had been for heavy rain for today; it did rain for most of the day. I suppose I would only have grumbled had it rained on me whilst I might have been out and about.


Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We were on the final stretch on the way home through the Co-op field when we had a little episode. On our walks my dog plays, scraps, fights and ignores all sorts of other dogs. So I didn't really think anything when he was playing with a rather small bundle of fluff. But when I put his lead on before leaving the co-op field the little bundle of fluff puppy started crying. It was then that I realised that no one was with this baby dog. I looked around, but no one was to be seen.


I stroked the puppy and she stopped crying; I stopped stroking her and she started crying again. So I had a look at her collar. There was a phone number. I rang the number three times; each time the thing rang and rang with no answer. There was a post code and a house number on the dog's collar so with a little help from Google I had an address which was a little way away.

I picked up the little puppy, tucked her under my arm and we set off to take her home.


I found the house and knocked on the door. I could hear movement inside and eventually a rather "council"-looking woman answered the door and asked what I wanted. I said "your dog...", whe replied "what about it?" in a rather confrontational way. So I waved the puppy a bit and asked it it was her dog. She looked at the dog (clearly not having yet seen her) and said that she was her dog. There was a silence which stretched for a while before I asked if she wanted her dog back.

Eventually this "delightful lady" took her dog and just stared at me. I stared back for a while, then walked away. As I walked she suddenly realised what had happened and called after me to ask how it was that I'd turned up on her doorstep with her dog. I explained that I'd found her dog some distance away, and had gone to not inconsiderable inconvenience to return her dog out of the goodness of my heart. She stared at me as though I was speaking in some foreign language, so I repeated what I'd just said. She then explained to me how far I claimed I'd walked with her dog, and asked me what her dog had been doing in the co-op field. Clearly she didn't beleive what I'd told her.

Looking back I should really have offered to have taken her dog home with me. Perhaps I should have a word with the local dog warden?


We came home, and I then drove round to Steve and Sarah's. I spent a few minutes enjoying their new sofa, then we carried the old ones to where they could be collected. The old ones weren't so much heavy as awkward.


A rather good bit of dinner went down very nicely, then we watched "Billy Elliott". I've not seen that film before. It was quite good...



19 May 2016 (Thursday) - Road Works




Apart from one trip to the loo I slept for over eight hours last night. Being on a late shift I hadn't set an alarm. I'm convinced that setting an alarm gives me a restless night. With no alarm last night I slept very well.

Mind you my elbow was incredibly painful this morning; carrying someone else's litte dog yesterday did it no favours.


I got up, ran the clippers over my head and sat down for a spot of brekkie. The morning's haul of emails was dull; LinkedIn was recommending that I be friends with people with whom I clearly had nothing in common, and Amazon was recommending that I buy the very e-books that I have already bought from them.

I then saw an article on social media which made me chuckle. It was talking about the shortage of trained blood testers in America, how so few qualified blood-testers are about, and how good the pay is. The artlcle was followed by a tirade of griping from actual blood-testers who absolutely crucified the article.

Don't beleive what you read...

I also saw the first teaser trailer for the new Star Trek series which is planned for next year. And already the so-called Star Trek fans were criticising in on social media. Such a shame.


Being in a late shift today I had a little spare time so I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. As we went up the road a nice lady in her car flashed her headlights and beeped her hooter and waved at me whilst grinning like a thing possessed. I wonder who she was. Two minutes later a young chap in the wetlands park a young chap (with a staffie) greeted me witha cheery "Hello Dave!". I had no idea who he was either.

As we walked we met OrangeHead and her gang of cronies. As is always the case when with her mates OrangeHead was rather aloof, but her chunky little friend was quite chatty. Her little dog's not doing too well.

As we came across the co-op field I kept an eye out for the errant puppy we found yesterday, but she was nowhere to be seen.


Home again, and my little dog took himself off to his basket. I set off for the late shift at work. I had a little trouble getting my car out of my road this morning. Last week the road was closed and dug up for electrical problems. Having filled in the holes and cleared off, today the water company were digging up the same bit of tarmac.

My father used to work for the department of British Gas that dug holes in the road twenty years ago; I can remember him telling me how there was no co-operation at all between hole-diggers back then, and how much time and money and effort could be saved if the hole only needed to be dug once.

I would have thought there would have been some co-ordination between those with vested interests in digging holes in the road, but apparently not.


As I drove to work "Women's Hour" was on the radio. They were discussing a novel scheme in which schoolchildren who wanted to discuss various social and emotional problems could now formally apply for an appointment with a school-based counsellor. Giving children someone with whom to walk was being heralded as a stunning innovation. All I can say is that when I was a child that was what the teachers were for.

I can remember being rather shocked at the lack of pastoral care shown by the teachers when the fruits of my loin were at school; and that was some time ago. Perhaps we are going full-circle?



20 May 2016 (Friday) - Worn Out




I was awake at silly o'clock (as I so often am) and with little else on the agenda I thought I'd watch a little telly. I'd recorded "Locked Up"; a Spanish show about a rather foxy prisoner who is having a tough time behind bars. Usually I'm not keen about watching shows with subtitles, but in this case I've made an exception. There was more than enough rampant jubbly-waving to make the subtitles irrelevant. I might even watch the second episode. I think it airs on Tuesday.


As I put my shirt on I watched my dog who was pretending to sleep. His head was down and every time I looked at him he closed his eyes to feign sleep. However a frantically wagging tail gave him away.


With the telly program finished I set off to work. As I droveI listened to the news on the radio. Apparently over two hundred assorted celebrities (including Steve Coogan, Sir Patrick Stewart and Brian Blessed) have signed a letter saying how they all feel that Britain would be better off remaining in the EU.

Information on exactly to whom this letter is addressed is rather vague, and the letter has been dismissed by the leave-campaign because they don't like it very much. The leave campaign seem to be doing this an awful lot at the moment.


There was also talk of who will take on the role of James Bond now that Daniel Craig is (apparently) standing down

There are those who feel that the time is right for a woman to appear in such a role. I thought this was something of a rather old idea; after all Modesty Blaise is older than I am (did you know that Sparks once recorded a theme song for a Modesty Blaise series that never aired) and April Dancer is even older.


I got to work for the early shift. With the vagaries of my shifts today was day five of a five-day week. I realise most people do five-day weeks all the time. I used to for many years but now I'm finding them very hard work.

Working longer days (but less of them) suits me far more.


After work I set off to McDonalds where I met "er indoors TM", Jimbo and Stevey. Whilst in the queue a random woman greeted me with a hearty "Hello Dave". I smiled sweetly and made some small talk; I had no idea who she was...

"er indoors TM" then went home to walk "Furry Face TM" and we went on to astro club. Tonight's meeting wasn't too bad at all.

Being secretary is somewhat easier on the club night than being treasurer was. Now to chase up a speaker for July and to sort out name badges for the committee...



21 May 2016 (Saturday) – Pears




A restless night; that dog really should stay in his basket. "er indoors TM" was up early and offered to cook my toast. That was nice. Over brekkie I did a little astro secretary-ing. The speaker we thought was long-since booked for the July meeting isn't replying to emails. I chivvied him from a different email account, then played about on badgemaster dot co dot uk designing badges for committee members.


"er indoors TM" said goodbye and set off. I would have liked to have gone with her; there was a lesson today in how to use GSAK. GSAK is a wonderful bit of software with which you can program your GPS unit with most (but not all) of the live geocaches in any given area, and even some of the dead ones as well.

But during the week things had taken an unexpected turn so I collected "Daddies Little Angel TM" and drove down to Hastings to see my dad instead. He's not been well lately.


Despite some iffy weather the journey to Hastings was uneventful. We arrived and it wasn't long before "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" had taken a bite from every bit of fruit in my mum's fruit bowl. To make amends "Daddies Little Angel TM" ate some of the fruit. She quote liked the pear. How can you get to be twenty seven years old and never had a pear before?

Dad seemed to enjoy our visit; he was looking better than he was the last time I saw him.


We had a rather good bit of dinner, then had to make a move. It would have ben goood to have stayed all day but today was one of those days when I was pulled in several directions. We then came home and made our way to WIllesborough where the clans gathered to say goodbye to Emily. Billed as a tea party I shifted four pints of ale before coming home and walking "Furry Face TM" into a thunderstorm.

Needless to say we cut our walk short...



22 May 2016 (Sunday) - Damp in Dartford




I slept like a log; I woke to realise that I should really have packed my rubber dingy during the week whilst it was dry rather than leaving it out to get wetter and wetter. It wasn't *that* wet as I stuffed it into a green sack and then loaded it into the boot of "er indoors TM" car.


We collected Suzy and her entourage and set off to Dartford. Regular readers of this drivel may recall I'd done a spot of extreme geocaching there a few weeks ago and said I needed to make a return journey.

We met up with the team and once everyone was together over a dozen of us set off to a bridge over a tributary of the river Thames. There was (and is) a geocache under that bridge. Jo and I had got to it before when we got to it by marching (somewhat gung-ho) into the river and reaching the cache from the river. There's no denying that at that time I was actually armpit-deep in the river, and it is just possible that Joe's comment of "is that a fish or a turd" might not have been the most encouraging thing to say. So today a different approach was taken.

Rather than marching (somewhat gung-ho) into the river and reaching up, ropes were strung up and hardy souls were harnesssed. Several of our number got to the cache that way. Personally I thought that they should have taken a dunking but what do I know?

As this went on "Furry Face TM" was quite contentedly digging into the side of the river. Something had got his attention; it was quite good that he was constructively ocupied and not getting into mischief.


From here we went along to a culvert through which another river got to the river Thames. There was a geocache about fifty yards into that culvert. Those who advocated messing about with ropes were somewhat scuppered here. There was no way a rope would help. There was no choice but to get wet.

The plan was that we would have got here at low tide, but the earlier messing about with ropes had taken longer than expected. I'd done this one when I last visited Dartford; today the water in the culvert was a *lot* deeper.


The chap who'd hidden these extreme caches had joined us today; from here he led us on a littlle extra bonus; ropes and slings up a disused telegraph pole. Several brave souls went up. I didn't. Realistically I think I could havee done it, but I know my limitations. I *could* have done it but I would have taken too long, and time was pressing. We needed to be elsewhere for high tide.


We made our way back to the cars, and pausing only briefly to climb a tree, we relocated to what was my prime target for the day. A difficulty one - terrain five cache. *Really* easy to see, a pig to actually get to. This one was attached to the top of a wooden thing in a river. Clearly visible from the towpath; only accessible by boat. T5-D1 was the *only* one of eighty-one possible D-T combinations I hadn't previously found; there are only two of these that don't involve *serious* tree-climbs within fifty miles of home. So getting that was a "must-do"


We arrived at high tide; I was amazed at how high the water was. It was probably twelve feet higher than when we were last there. On the last trip to Dartford we'd arrived at low tide. The wooden thingy was then standing in mud.

I got into "HMS Badger", a ten-yard sail and one wet bum later saw me doing the top-secret geo-aquatic-rituals. I was soon joined by a couple of geo-canoes.

After a while I got out of the dingy and others got in and had a go. We messed about on the river for a while before relocating again.


There was a cache a little way away under a bridge. Supposedly *very* hard to find. We'd got a hint or two from previous finders, but eleven of us (with a combined geo-score of about 48000) spent the best part of an hour in the river to no avail. So we went to another bridge and found a cache under that one instead.


We'd been rather lucky with the weather; we'd had a little drizzle toward the end of the day but it was only as we got back to the cars that the rain really started. We said our goodbyes and within ten minutes of setting off home so the torrential rain started.


Once home I gave my little dog his tea, he got a shower, and he took himself off to his basket where he went straight to sleep. He's had a rather busy day. as had I....

I put on-line the photos I'd taken during the day and realised I felt quite exhausted.

I only got to add four finds to my geo-total today, but it's not always about the numbers. Today was good fun. I quite like aquatic geocaching. Maybe I need to upgrade HMS Badger....



23 May 2016 (Monday) - Bruised Tum





My stomach muscles ached this morning; probably from where I fell through the second bridge yesterday. I can think of no other reason why I would have such an impressive bruise.


As my toast cooked I put some washing into the machine, and over brekkie I had a look-see on-line.


Yesterday "er indoors TM" posted one of the photos of yesterday's adventures onto the Facebook group "You Might Be a Geocacher if..." It was a picture of some of us waist deep in the water in the culvert. Some people were impressed, some were amazed. It rather niggled me that one twit announced that we were in a sewer and another thought we might contract polio from the Thames. Actually several people were rather negative in their comments. Mind you that Facebook group seems to attract those who feel that they lead a seriously crazy lifestyle by finding fifty film pots under a rock in less than a year....


While I waited for the washing machine to scrape the mud out of my trousers I spent a little while trying to solve geo-puzzles. Have you ever heard of a band from the fifties called "Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers"? No? - me neither. Which is probably why I struggled to solve the puzzles.


I didn't go to Canterbury for work today. I went elsewhere. Despite not having secured promotion at the interview of a couple of weeks ago I spent today at a course on "People Management". I won't dwell on it too much... 


The course finished a tad earlier than expected, and with a much shorter journey home than usual I was able to walk "Furry Face TM" round the park quite a bit earlier than I normally do. We did get caught in a downpour, but it stopped as quickly as it started so we just kept walking. Patagonian Tripe-Hounds don't seem bothered by the rain. As we walked we met some young joggers who were being shouted at by an older jogger. He looked like some sort of teacher; I thought it best not to get involved. We saw OrangeHead in the distance with a gaggle of cronies in tow; we kept away.


Once home I fannied around with laundry until "er indoors TM" came home. Socks to sort, and "Game of Thrones" will be on soon.... Normally I make all sorts of lewd comments about Nudey-Dragon-Girl's chest, but today I'm going to take a moral tone. After "Game of Thrones" I shall watch "Gotham". The girl in it who plays a young Catwoman had her birthday yesterday. She was seventeen and had a beach party. It was all over social media.


I would not have let my seventeen year old daughter post photographs of herself on Facebook with so little on. I used to tell her mates off for doing so...



24 May 2016 (Tuesday) - Genetically Modified




My bruised stomach was still rather painful when I woke this morning. I got up; my dog didn't. I had a rather lonely brekkie watching "Dad's Army". In today's episode out heroes had a fight with the Americans.


As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about genetically modified foods. Two points of view were offered. On the one hand it makes sense to make use of crops which have been modified so that that now yield far more food than their naturally occurring predecessors. On the other hand those who would burn witches at the stake were screaming about the dangers of genetic modification and were shouting that scientists shouldn't meddle with nature.

It rather annoyed me that these people are allowed to vote. Are they really that stupid? Do they not know the first thing about genetic modifications. We've been doing it for thousands of years. One obvious example of this is the rather small genetically modified wolf that sleeps on my bed most nights and goes pretty much everywhere (except to work) with me.

The process by which his genes have been modified was much slower than that employed in the laboratories; it took many generations to get there but the principle is exactly the same as making GM foods..


Talking of "Furry Face TM" I was rather worried about the next news item. Dog fights are on the increase in the UK. Those evil bastards who fight dogs against each other are coming from all over the world to stage their fights in the UK because the legal penalties are far less (should they be caught). Dog fighting only carries a six-months sentence in the UK but the same crime warrants a five year prison sentence in France


I stopped off at Morrisons to buy apples and bananas (which bore no relation to the original fruits of those names) and then went into work for the early shift. I did what I had to until I could go home. But an early start made for an early finish, and I was soon walking my little dog round the park. We met several puppies who wanted to play. "Furry Face TM" ignored them. Rather rudely I thought. He then got into a race that he couldn't win (with a greyhound).


We came home where "er indoors TM" was cooking up liver for my dog's tea. Not that he is spoiled at all. I then spent a little while going over my social calendar for the next few months. Some of the events I had pencilled in have since been cancelled, others have been re-scheduled. I've now only got three weekends with nothing planned in the next three months.

I got some of the dog's liver for my tea, then we went down to Folkestone for the evening. Not a bad way to spend the evening even if I did sleep through Star Trek...



25 May 2016 (Wednesday) – Badlesmere




I slept well, but woke to find my stomach hurt even more this morning. The bruising is becoming rather impressive. Over brekkie I watched an old episode of "A Bit of Fry and Laurie". I used to enjoy that series when it first came out. I was rather disappointed to find that it hasn't stood the test of time.


I then had a little look-see on-line. I got just the teensiest bit cross with what I saw. My ex-brother in law had posted something (rather hate-inspired) on Facebook whinging about how many Mayors of various places in the UK are Muslims. Personally I think the reason that so many Mayors are Muslims is because they are the ones who've got off their arses and stood for election and their religion is utterly irrelevent to being Mayor of anything (but what do I know?)

I also saw a post with the slogan "We didn't fight 2 World Wars to be ruled by the EU". Bearing in mind the most recent of these wars was over seventy years ago are we as a nation *really* this jingoistic? And do those how post this stuff have any idea which countries were on which side during those wars?

I resisited the temptation to get in to arguments (this time).

On a lighter not I saw that there is to be (another) Doctor Who spin-off TV series. Details are somewhat sketchy at the moment. Mind you my hopes aren't high. I never liked "Sarah-Jane Adventures" or "Torchwood".

And I saw what I considered to be a blast from the past. A restaurant in West Malling owes a butcher several thousand pounds. This butcher has got fed up with waiting for his money and has taken to standing outside the restaurant with a placard saying how much the restaurant owes him.

When I was a child the local corner shop would put up posters saying how much people owed them in unpaid bills when payments weren't forthcoming. It wasn't long between the shop's starting this policy and their going bankrupt. I wonder if this butcher will go the same way?


When I got into my car the radio was giving the hourly sports bulletin. I've always maintained that sport (of any flavour) is something you do, *not* something you watch or listen to. Consequently it failed to grip my attention. It wasn't till I got to work that I realised I'd not actually listened to anything the radio had to say this morning. (Which was probably good for my blood pressure)

Instead I'd been mentally planning out a Wherigo which I hope to release with the summer picnic that I'm organising for the geo-crowd in August. It will be (loosely) based on the beetle drives I used to do as a fund-raiser with the scouts in years gone by.


I went in to work; I had toyed with asking for today as a day off. I was glad I hadn't done that; it rained for much of the morning. But it brightened up as the afternoon wore on. After work I met "er indoors TM" and "Furry Face TM" at Badlesmere and we went for a little stroll looking for places in which to conceal tupperware. It doesn't hide itself you know...



26 May 2016 (Thursday) - Still Bruised




I was out like a light last night. I would have slept better had I not woken at 4am shivering because an alliance of "er indoors TM" and "Furry Face TM" had nicked all the duvet.

I wrestled some small part of the duvet back and slept through to 7am.


Over brekkie I had a look-see on line. Among my emails was one telling me of a vacancy at Maidstone hospital. I'm tempted to apply for that. And there was quite a bit of dross too. As well as Amazon trying to sell me what I've already bought from them there was the usual drivel from LinkedIn, an invitation to go on a geo-booze up in Croydon, a couple of requests for me to do on-line surveys and the usual helping of spam. However there was no email confirming the chap I was hoping might give the talk at astro club in July. I've emailed him a few times; I think that if he's not replied after three weeks of trying either I have the wrong email address or he's not keen. I've now stalked him down on Facebook and sent a message. Here's hoping. Failing that would any of my loyal readers care to give a lecture on any topic of their choice (as long as it is vaguely astronomical) on the last Friday of July?


I had a look on Facebook; one of my old muckers has had a hip relacement operation. My dad had that a couple of weeks ago. Now Adrian's had one done. He's only a month older than me. Makes you think, doesn't it?


I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. He mostly ignored all the other dogs who wanted to play. But I had a couple of incidents. At one point he was bimbling about some twenty yards behind me. I called to him "Come on straggler!" A passing normal person took offence at the term "straggler". Amd then a little later when preparing to cross Francis Road I told him to "wait up". Another passing normal person demanded that I repeat what I'd said to him. I would have thought that someone clearly in their seventies wouldn't be going round trying to pick a fight.


I came home and my dog scoffed his brekkie and took himself off to bed. I had a quick look-see on-line and then set off to work. Slowly. I went to work via McDonalds. It was a bright morning, and a caramel frappe together with a sausage and egg McMuffin slipped down very nicely. There are those who don't like McDonalds. I can't see why not. Good food prepared quickly which is not overly expensive is not to be sniffed at. It has been my experience that the entire family can eat at Maccy Ds for less than what one person would spend in a "proper" restaurant. And be seated, fed and out before the waiter of a "proper" restaurant would come over to take the order.

I also stopped off at the cheapo-bargains shop where I got half a dozen sandwich boxes (just in case).


I got to work with a few minutes to spare, and I did my bit. I spent much of the time wondering about the vacancy at Maidstone. Should I apply for it?

Over lunchtime I checked my emails (on my phone). A recruitment agency had contacted my through the much-maligned LinkedIn asking if I would consider working in the private sector's blood testing labs. Would I? I don't know. I didn't think there were many opportunities.


My bruised stomach still hurts...



27 May 2016 (Friday) - Dog Selfies




I woke probably an hour earlier than I needed to. Mind you my dog got up with me this morning and sat with me as I scoffed my brekkie. He didn't scrounge; he just put his chin on my lap and went to sleep. I sat quietly stroking his back reminding myself that I never wanted a dog.


It was as well that I was up early. Today was a geo-calendar day and bearing in mind how badly the last one went I thought I'd make an early start. After all I wasted over four hours on my last geo-calendar debacle

I set off to Junction 11 of the M20 and from there took the A-road. There were supposedly several easy-to-find caches along it.

My first target eluded me, as did the second. I was beginning to suspect the worst, but the third time was the lucky one.


I then set off toward Canterbury and work. Up till this point I'd had the radio off so I could hear the sat-nav's instructions. I turned the radio on to hear what I can only describe as stark staring nonsense. Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan, an influential Saudi cleric and a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars has proclaimed that taking selfies with cats or other animals is “prohibited" unless completely necessary.

In the first instance why on Earth would anyone ban selfie taken with an animal of any shape or form except for cases of extreme necessity. And secondly what constitutes extreme necessity when having a selfie taken with your pet?

Is God *really* going to smite me with a thunderbolt for having a photo taken with my dog? If so I have to question if I want anything to do with Him.


I stopped off at Morrisons on the way to work. Having run out of peanut butter at home I needed to get a sandwich. Morrisons was dull this morning. Probably not a bad thing.

I arrived at work a little early. Having time on my hands I wandered down to the minor injuries unit. It wouldn't cost anything to have my bruised tum checked out by a medic. You never know - I might have had a mesenteric thrombosis (look it up!)

I booked in and the receptionist took down my particulars (Oo-er!). I was rather vague about the exact circumstances by which I'd got the bruise; normal people don't understand the need to climb through a bridge into a river.

It wasn't long before a nurse was asking me to take my trousers off. Result!!

I had my stomach mauled about and after five minutes I was sent on my way with a warning to act my age and not be so daft in future. There's nothing wrong that time won't put right.


Just as I was about to go and do some work my phone beeped - an email. Yesterday I mentioned I was struggling to get in touch with the chap I thought had been booked to give the astro club's talk in July. I've now got hold of him. He had no idea we were expecting him, but all is now sorted (on the speakers front) at the club... at least until next March.

And whilst on the astro club, over lunchtime I got a mention for the club on the council's tourism website. I would have thought that with all the work the club has done for the local council over the last year or so they would already have made mention of us.

I wonder where else we might get a free plug.


I did my bit at work, and came home. I had several offers for the evening. "Access All Areas" was playing at the Farriers Arms. Had they been playing absolutely anywhere else I may well have gone along but I resented paying seven quid to walk through the door of somewhere that messed me about so much last year. There was a geo-meet in Bredgar supposedly organised for a geo-band. But if I was going to listen to live music it would be that of mates.

Instead "er indoors TM" came home with fish and chips...



28 May 2016 (Saturday) - Back to the Western Heights




"er indoors TM" had an alarm set. It woke me this morning. 8.30am !! Over eight hours asleep. Having done a full five days at work I must have been tired.


I got up and had a little look-see on line. Not much had changed in the big wide world. The European in-out argument continued all over social media. Pundits have been complaining on the radio all week about how ill-informed the public have been for this up-coming referendum and how right they are. So many facts and figures are being bandied about as reasons to stay in or leave. And pretty much all these so-called facts are unprovable speculation, and pretty much all these figures have been shown to be wrong.

But I remain convinced that facts and figures will have little (if any) bearing on the final result. I am sure that the "out" vote will win purely because the average Brit hates foreigners.


We drove down to Folkestone to collect Jimbo and Stevey and made our way to the Western Heights. The Western Heights is somewhere we go at least once a year. It has the most wonderful views across Dover and the English Channel. The wildlife is up there with the best you'll find anywhere in England; today we saw slow worms and a rather huge hawk.

And if you are prepared to go past signs saying "No Entry; Keep Out" there are some amazing places to see. All sorts of underground tunnels and bunkers. Not that I would dream of going past such a sign.


We parked up in somewhere that I describe as "The Dogger's Car Park"; I have no idea what it is really called, but when I say "The Dogger's Car Park" everyone knows where I mean. We wandered round admiring the views of the harbour and walked round to the Drop Redoubt where we looked at the hard work which the geo-gang had done at the CITO of a few weeks ago.

We found a rather pleasant spot high behind the redoubt and had a picnic overlooking Dover. And with lunch scoffed we then walked up past the detached bastion taking great care not to go past any signs which said "No Entry; Keep Out". Unfortunately dogs can't read very well (or that's my story) and so we had to go into the grounds of the bastion to look for my dog. (Or that's what I would have said had we been caught). It was a good place to go noseying... it was a shame that the holes through which I'd previously scrambled to get into the North Gate and the detached bastion had all been sealed closed.


We carried on walking and (finding two geocaches and quite a bit of fox poo on the way) soon found ourselves at an old wartime gun emplacement. There was an interesting hole in the ground under this fortification... I climbed in.

"Climbed" sounds rather graceful, doesn't it? Perhaps "splatted" might be a more truthful description. I scrambled and skidded about down into the darkness and soon came to another hole. I shone a torch into this hole. It looked interesting, but it was a hole which was less than a foot high and the ground here was muddy and sloping away at a forty five degree angle. I could *easily* have got into that next hole. Getting out however... I clambered out.

There was another such hole under the next gun emplacement. I scrambled into that one too. However the first hole had quite a few bolders inside which helped me climb. This one was just mud. I skidded in very easily. Getting out took some doing.


We came back past the Western Outworks. This place had some *serious* fences around it. Eventually we found where a hole had been cut in the fence. We were remarking on just how foolish it would be to go inside when a certain dog again shot off where he shouldn't have gone (or so the official story goes).

I'd not been in this place before. It was quite amazing. And criminal that such a place is just being left to decay. We spent quite some time looking about in all sorts of places that we really shouldn't have been.


But time was pushing on. We made our way back to the car and set off homewards; making a slight detour to Samphire Hoe for ice creams.


Once home I got the lawn mower out and had a go at the lawn. It hasn't been done for over a month, the lawn mower struggled. I shall have to have another go in the week. I then tried to do the monthly accounts and wasted an hour fighting with the PC. Somehow it had lost its start menu. Eventually I found it, and did the accounts. They could be better; they could be a whole lot worse.

I'd taken a few photos earlier. I then put them on-line for the world to see, then prepared "Hannah" for tomorrow's outing.

I might have an early night. I feel tired for some reason...



29 May 2016 (Sunday) - Teynham




I woke this morning to find my left arm was wrapped around my dog, and my right elbow was rather painful. Perhaps I overdid it somewhat yesterday?

Over brekkie I solved a few geo-puzzles and then checked my emails. One of them was something of a complaint about the series of geocaches I'd put out round Bethersden last year. The person writing to me was polite but they said "For me really, it was a bit too long, I had an operation for a new knee three months ago, so it really was a test, and there is literally nowhere to have a sit down!! A pub halfway would have been great, or even a bench. For our lunch we sat in a damp field to eat our sandwiches.... When we were halfway through I realised I had had enough, my knee was getting painful, but of course we were about 3.5kms from the car. We then had to decide to continue the route or take the quickest way back to the car. We chose the road, but it was very busy, not a pleasant walk..."

I took a deep breath. Geocaching is a hobby which requires a little skill with map and compass. You *don't* have to be Bear Grylls to look at an ordnance survey map to see there are no pubs on the route. And I clearly said in the instructions that the route was one of eight miles and the terrain was a tad challenging.

Is it *really* my fault if they didn't read the instructions or plan their day properly?


In a novel break with tradition "er indoors TM" was ready before me this morning. We drove round to the co-op, then on to collect Suzy-pup (and her entourage) before heading up to Tenyham for today's geo-adventure.


Relatively recently three series of geocaches had gone live around Teynham. I'd had chats with the chap who'd hidden them. He felt that each series could be done in about three hours. So the theory was we'd walk the first series, have a spot of lunch in the pub then walk the second series. If time allowed we would press on and do the third.... I thought this was a good plan.


We met up with the gang and immediately fell foul of some old bat who took exception to our parking on the public highway. But we treated her grumbling with the contempt it deserved and set off. We wandered down the main road a bit then turned into a footpath and....

I'd never seen stinging nettles quite like it before. It took an age to be able to move just a few hundred yards. Eventually the only realistic option was to hop over an electric fence and walk down a field. But once we were over the fence we were able to press on.

It was a lovely day for a walk. We saw all sorts of wildlife; hawks, lizards, viking horses(!) The scenery was beautiful. But we seemed to be taking our time. In theory we should really have been onto the second loop of caches by 1pm; not only be half way round the first one. So finding ourselves near a pub and bearing in mind it was gone 1pm we changed lunch plans and stopped at The Ship in Conyer for a pint and a cheese ploughmans. Very nice.


Eventually we moved on. We found some more caches; we plated flowers into our hair. The plan was to have finished the first loop of caches by about mid day. We actually finished at 3.30pm. Mark joined us and we adjourned to the pub where a pint of East Coast IPA went down very nicely.

Bearing in mind we'd over-run by a couple of hours we considered whether we should continue, but (as it so often does) idiot enthusiasm overpowered common sense and we set off up the road in search of more tupperware. This second loop of geocaches also took us to some rather pretty places. And to quite a few stinging nettles as well. There was a dodgy five minutes when (in a little aside to the geo-loop) we went in search of a geocache hidden by someone else. Eventually we (I) found it; it was in a little derelict house. But I came within six inches of falling in a pond utterly obscured by six-feet-high nettles.


It was a shame we had to give up on two of the caches on this second loop. Time was pressing and the light was failing. We logged our last find at 9pm; having (according to "Hannah") walked a shade over thirteen miles. We joked about doing the third loop by torchlight but it wasn't going to happen. We made our way back to the cars, said our goodbyes and came home.


A very tired little dog hungrily gobbled his tea and went straight to his bed. I won't be that far behind him...



30 May 2016 (Monday) - Before the Night Shift




I slept like a log last night. It is amazing how a full day's walking does that for you.; I woke to find myself cuddling a sleeping small dog as though he were a teddy bear.


Over a bit of brekkie I organised a littlle walk for later in the week, If any of my loyal readers find themselves at a loose end on Thursday, a walk round Downe might be a good way to spend the morning. I realise a lot of people will be at work mid week. But I won't be.


Bearing in mind that "er indoors TM" had plans to take "Furry Face TM" out today I walked round to see "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". We then walked out to the McDonalds in the orbital park only to find they workmen hadn't finished building it yet. It had recently been demolished to make way for a bigger one. As I drove past the othher day it had looked open. It looked like a building site today.

Instead we went to see the goats at the farm and went back to "Daddies Little Angel TM"'s flat for a cuppa and to watch a bit of telly. "Almost Naked Animals" was quite amusing; even if I have reservations about whether it makes suitable viewing for an eighteen month old.


I came home to find "er indoors TM" was out but "Furry Face TM" was in. I was rather cross; I could have taken him with me earlier.

I set about mowing the lawn; after half an hour's effort "er indoors TM" turned up; she'd been shopping. She then took Fudge off to the Bank Holiday geo-barbecue whilst I had a shower. As I got out of scrub my phone rang. "Daddies Little Angel TM" was in intense pain. She'd phoned 111 and they'd suggested calling an ambulance. I *could* have taken her to the hospital myself but (as she said) she'd get immediate service if she arrived in an ambulance. There are those who might feel that I should have taken my little girl to the hospital. However after all these years taking her to hospital has something of a "been there, done that" about it.

Instead I gave her instructions to text me any developments and I took myself off to bed for the afternoon.


I'm off to the night shift now....



31 May 2016 (Tuesday) - A Day Asleep





Last night as I worked I listened to the radio. There was a documentary on Dr Martin Couney who lived some time ago and specialised in the care of premature babies. Bearing in mind that America doesn't offer free health care and most parents of premature babies were faced with horrendous bills, Dr Couney had a rather unusual idea.

He charged the general public twenty five cents to come and look at the babies in their incubators. This fee generated enough income to pay for the care of the babies; the public couldn't get enough of staring at the poor things as though they were some sort of freak show.

And people have the gall to complain about the National Health Service...


As the day shift came in there was all sorts of grumbling about "typical British weather". The three bright days of the long weekend have been forgotten because of one wet morning. I came home through the rain, and once home popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and walked him round the block. We didn't go far; although the rain had pretty much stopped, the wind was fierce and I was rather tired. Night shifts do that to you.


With dog walked I had a shower then over a bit of toast I had a quick look-see on-line. My dentist had emailed me a reminder about next week's appointment. Emails from the dentist - that's new !

I took myself off to bed and slept for six hours.


I woke with something of a sore nose; my CPAP machine does that sometimes. I spent a little while working on my latest Wheri-project., then sorted my socks whilst watching a classic episode of "Upstairs Downstairs".


Off to the night shift now.... The days between the night shifts are usually dull.