1 October 2022 (Saturday) - Dog Club & Family Reunion

 

 

Once I’d “done the puppies” I made toast and had a look at the internet. Overnight one person had de-friended me on Facebook. I’ve long had this (utterly unreasonable) idea that if you are not my Facebook friend, you are my Facebook enemy, and the number of my Facebook enemies has gone up by one overnight. I shall gloss over the fact that my Facebook enemies rank in the millions.

Not much else had happened really.

Being the first of the month I did the admin for the Munzee Clan War in readiness for the new war starting on Monday. I’m going to Munz a little harder next month and will be running a Level Four clan. To the uninitiated this means putting quite a few more bar-code stickers on lamp posts.

 

With dogs fed, “er indoors TMorganised Treacle and I set off with the puppies to the weekly meeting of the Kent Dachshund Society. As I drove I listened to Steve on the radio. “Guess The Year” was 1992; I thought it was 1990 until there was talk of the Queen’s “annus horribilis”. For all that two of her children had marriage breakdowns and Windsor Castle went up in flames that year, I do think her late Majesty made a mistake in talking about an  “annus horribilis”. If she’d said “it’s been a shitter of a year” everyone would have sympathised, but even now, thirty years later, people still laugh about her horrible anus.

I did chuckle as Steve read out the travel news. Finding myself going nowhere in a traffic jam I could see that the M20 wasn’t as easy-going as he would have had us believe. I sent him a message, and I was soon mentioned on the radio.

The traffic jam did delay us somewhat; we were only forty minutes late to Dog Club. But we made the most of it, and I took a few photos too. We had a very good time… I did chuckle; the last time we were there we met a chap whose dog wouldn’t leave Treacle alone, and when Treacle told the dog off this chap had a whinge about her on-line. Today his same dog wouldn’t leave Bailey alone. I was *so* pleased she didn’t react.

 

We came home, and I spent a few minutes sorting the pond. One of the filters had bunged up yesterday and I had planned to un-bung it. The old filter used to take about half an hour to clean out; the new filter boxes un-bung in about five minutes.

 

We settled the dogs and “er indoors TM and I drove down to Hastings (well, St Leonards) for a family reunion. In years gone by “er indoors TM’s tribe used to have annual reunions at which I would regularly embarrass various members of her family by knowing their family tree better than they did.

I still do.

There’s talk of this being an annual event again… if this comes off I shall insist that the fruits of my loin go along. It *is* their family after all…

 

There was talk of the afternoon being a family meal… there were some crisps and peanuts… so we stopped off at the Chinese takeaway on the way home.

I’ve got guts ache now…

 

 

2 October 2022 (Sunday) - A Birthday

 

 

As my lap-top oh-so-slowly started itself up, the McAfee thingy told me my September report was available. I had a look at it… when I say “I had a look at it” I mean I clicked on the button and absolutely nothing at all happened.

Whilst it carried on doing nothing I had a look at the rest of the Internet. Two Facebook friends had a birthday today. Both got the video. Other  than that, there wasn’t much else happening on-line. I installed the RingGo app, and played Bubble Pop for a while until the washing machine finished.

 

“er indoors TM set off to Folkestone to collect “Daddy’s Little Angel TM”, “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TMand “Darcie Waa Waa TM”. Once I’d ironed shirts and trousers I settled the (sleeping) dogs and set off myself. We were taking “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TMto the Sea Life Centre for a birthday treat as he’s into fish at the moment. The idea was that “er indoors TM would collect the kids, I would follow later, and we would all arrive at the Sea Life Centre at about the same time. We actually ended up following each other’s cars in Rye, and arrived at the car park at exactly the same time as “Daddy’s Little Angel TM”’s mate (and her family) who were with us for the day. I had a successful first go on the RingGo car park app, and then off we went.

 

Five bigguns and four littluns set off on a rather good day. We went into the Sea Life Centre had had a rather good time. There’s lots to see in there. As well as the fish and sea horses they’ve added a reptile room too. I took a few photos in the Sea Life Centre; for some odd reason I stopped taking photos when we came out.

 When we’d gone in, it was raining. The rain had stopped when we came out, so we walked along the prom to the Fishermen’s museum, then had cockles, then went to the Old Town Fryer for chips. Forty-two years ago The Old Town Fryer was the Harbour Restaurant, and I worked there for two summers. Paid at a pound an hour it was hard work, but great fun. I couldn’t believe how the place had changed. But we got our chips and scoffed them sitting outside.

 

From there we crossed the road for a tiddle and to spend time (and money) in the amusements before scaling the West Hill. We’d bought the all-inclusive tickets which allowed us into the Caves and the Castle as well as the Sea Life Centre. The caves were every bit as good as I remembered them being. Some of our number were a little frightened of the dark to begin with, but they soon realised it was fun.

It was a shame that we got to the castle only to find it was closed. It was also a shame that some arrogant DFL (as the Londoners invading Hastings are known – “Down From London”) got rather mouthy at “Daddy’s Little Angel TM”; as he was so busy fiddling on his phone he nearly went arse over tit over “Darcie Waa Waa TM’s pram. I told the DFL to get knotted and he got rather aggressive until he saw the rest of our party. Faced with a bloke half his age and twice his size he soon shoved off.

We made our way back to the car park via one of the ice cream stalls where we filled up with ice cream and doughnuts.

 

“er indoors TM took the kids home; I came straight home, woke the dogs and together we fed the fish. I’d spent most of the time away from home fretting about the dogs… and they’d been fine.

It’s been quite a busy weekend… I’m worn out.

 

 

3 October 2022 (Monday) - Boss and Misses

 

 

Being up rather early I thought I might make the most of the morning. I got the puppies sorted, scoffed toast, and set off on a pre-work Munzee mission (as befits my role as the numero uno honcho of a Level Four clan!) I capped fifteen Points of Interest and three Qrewzees before work.

 

As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how the Prime Minister is at the Conservative Party's conference.  When challenged about the debacle that her government has made of the economy she has said that they should have "laid the ground better" for her mini-budget, after it sparked days of absolute chaos. Apparently she has "learned from that", but went on to say that the decision to cut the top earner tax rate was a "decision that the chancellor made" which was not discussed with the whole cabinet beforehand. Is she getting ready to stick the knife into the Chancellor? It strikes me that she's decided that someone's got to take the blame, and it certainly ain't going to be her...

There was also talk about how the French aren't pulling their weight in the ongoing war against Russia (no one was making any secret that it is the entire West and not just Ukraine who are fighting the Russians).

 

During tea break I had a look at Facebook and my phone went mad with notifications. Yesterday I mentioned that I took the smallest grandchildren to where I used to work. We had chips in what is now the Old Town Fryer and last night I posted about the place on the “Historic Hastings” Facebook page.

Quite a few other people remembered the place too.

 

These days it’s a chip shop, but when I worked there forty-two years ago it was a restaurant owned at the time by Salvatore Moscatelli and his wife Catriona (“Boss” and “Misses”), and their children would hang around the place too.

I liked their daughter who refused to argue with her mother in Italian; she would always shout her side of the arguments (and there were a lot!) in English so that we could all “understand what a stupid mother she had”. There was the boss’s son who really could have benefitted from a slapped arse (on more than one occasion). 

 

Our target customers were the coachloads of Londoners who would get off the coach in the coach park just over the road. “Boss” used to say that if the tourists liked their dinner then that was nice. He also said (in a thick Italian accent) that if they didn’t “then fockem”. He took the line that the average tourist wouldn’t remember their bad experiences and would come back next time anyway. (This was thirty years before websites like TripAdvisor… or any websites at all come to that).

When the restaurant wasn’t busy “Boss” used to send me to do his gardening; no one else was daft enough to climb the ladder and trim his hedges.

“Boss” and “Misses” had a few full-time staff.

 

The chief cook (Mark) has now died.

His brother was the washer-upper who was paid daily; every evening putting all his wages into the fruit machines until nothing was left.

The assistant cook (whose real name was Chris) was known as “Willy” for reasons which were never explained. I have a vague feeling that he died quite young.

The head waitress won the Sun (newspaper) bingo, resigned, blew the lot in a couple of months, and soon came back again.

There was Mr. Gustav. Years past retirement he used to arrive at the restaurant first thing in the morning and peel and slice potatoes until he had a dustbin full of chips ready for the day.

 

The rest of the dozen or so staff were like me; sixth-formers earning pocket money.

There was my mate Kev and his sister Karen. .

There was one girl (what was her name?) who could have been a supermodel, was going out with the school bully, and would show off the nudey drawings the school bully’s mate had done of her.

There was another girl (what was her name?) who used to boast of three-in-a-bed romps.

There was “dustman’s daughter”, so named by “Boss” because she was the daughter of the restaurant’s dustman.

There was one who used to stand by the cold drink dispenser and cry a lot.

There was one girl I knew from primary school.. Diane something-or-other.

There was one girl with a face like a smacked arse who never once smiled. I quite fancied her (!)

There were loads of others… I can remember their faces… but the names have gone.

 

Only one of the old gang has commented on my Facebook post. But someone who worked there ten years after me posted up today’s photo… Both “Boss” and “Misses” lost a lot of weight in that time… I understand “Misses” dies a few years ago and “Boss” has gone to live with his daughter.

I wonder where the rest are now?

 

 

4 October 2022 (Tuesday) - Before the Night Shift

 

 

I had something of a lie-in today. only until eight o’clock, but a lie-in nonetheless. I made toast and had a look at the Internet. There were plenty of memes knocking the government this morning; its handing (stuffing up) of the economy and its U-turns. I know I’ve had a go at them myself  recently, but most of those ripping the piss this morning are those who have never actually stood up to do anything themselves. Perhaps I should put my money where my mouth is?

There wasn’t much else going on in cyber-space so I stopped Bailey chewing a pair of rather sharp scissors (dogs can be a bit thick sometimes) and got dressed. Once dressed I found Bailey and Morgan both eating one of my socks.

 

I loaded the dogs into the car’s boot and we set off. As we headed to Challock I was listening to the pundits on the radio who were also ripping the piss out of the government. It has to be said that pretty much everyone felt that Boris Johnson had hit an all-time-low of political ability but Liz Truss seems to be astounding even Boris’s most vocal critics.

 

We drove up to Kings Wood for our walk. It is usually about this time every year that I abandon Orlestone for a place to walk. The woods there are pretty, it is (usually) idiot-free, but from this time of the year onwards it gets *very* muddy. Today we got to the car park in Kings Wood, walked for nearly two hours on gravel and didn’t get muddy at all. There are muddy parts of Kings Wood; I expect we will find most of them over the next few months. But the half-mile closest to the car park is usually mud free.

We had a good walk. As we went round we saw a couple of joggers who just nodded politely.

We saw one other dog who started barking, but it was the owner who over-reacted, not the dog. He got himself so worked up over his dog barking and wanting to say “hello”. We just walked past; I was all for saying “hello” but that might have wound him up even more.

We saw a father and small child who both seemed terrified of dogs, but were both very taken with Bailey; as father said, how can anyone be scared of a dog so small?

We met OrangeHead’s posse (minus Orangehead). Presumably they had left her in Viccie Park?

Surprisingly we saw three cars driving round the woods as we walked. Very occasionally we will see Forestry Commission vehicles… but three? That was a lot.

 

We came home and didn’t need a bath, which was a result. It wasn’t long before the dogs were all snoring. As they snored I wrote up some CPD. Dull, but I feel I should. Every couple of years all professional blood testers have to renew our professional registration and as part of that we have to confirm that we are keeping up to date in professional matters. The registration body checks up on one in twenty of us to make sure we are. If I’ve got my CPD blog up to date then I’ve got evidence…

 

I spent the afternoon in bed where I managed a couple of hours asleep, then sat on the sofa with the dogs (who were all still worn out from this morning) watching more episodes of “Better Than Us”. The series started well, was amusing for some of the iffy translations, but as it goes on I’m watching it with a sense of “WTF is going on”.

 

Hopefully “er indoors TM will be home to cook my dinner soon, and then I’m off to the night shift. Even though it is our wedding anniversary.

Looking at the diary I’ve done the night shift on four of our last six anniversaries…

 

 

5 October 2022 (Wednesday) - Watching the Telly

 

 

Having spent much of yesterday in something of a sulk about not wanting to do the night shift, the night shift was nowhere near as bad as it might have been. But I was still pleased to see the relief arrive.

Just as I was walking to the car “er indoors TM sent a message. Little Morgan had asked to go outside and had done a poop in the garden. Some of my loyal readers might think this a matter of the utmost triviality; others might just think “too much information”. Personally I’m seeing this as a seriously major result.

 

I drove home listening to the pundits on the radio spouting their drivel. They were interviewing ex Prime minister Gordon Brown who spouted a lot without saying anything. And then they interviewed James Cleverley (the new Foreign Secretary) who didn’t really say very much at all. I felt rather sorry for the chap; he was quizzed on no end of subjects and every time he tried to answer so the interviewers interrupted him with another question. I have to wonder why they invited him onto the morning news program if they weren’t going to let hm speak.

 

With rain forecast for later in the day I thought we might get a big walk in earlier rather than later. This would also have the added bonus of the dogs (hopefully) being tired when I was trying to sleep. Bearing in mind what a good walk we’d had yesterday we did the same walk round Kings Wood again today, and had another good outing. As we walked we met several (much) bigger dogs who all played with the puppies. It was so good to see the little ones and the big ones all playing chase together.

Our walk was a circle following the gravelled track from the car park to the deepest part of the wood and back again. When we were about a minute past the furthest point from the car park we met a chap with two lovely French Bulldogs. As the dogs all played the chap commented that he supposed we weren’t far from the car park. He must have noticed my expression; before I could reply his face dropped and he suggested that we were nowhere near the car park. I tried to be encouraging and pointed out that there were parts of the wood further from the car park… but not many. The poor chap had lost his bearings and had walked the best part of a mile in completely the wrong direction. I suggested he and his dogs might like to walk with us back to the car park, and we had a good chat as we headed back to the cars.

As we walked this chap told me that he was in the wood today because of today’s train strike stopping his usual commute. He said he normally takes the high-speed train to St Pancras which takes less than forty minutes. But today the only train route he could take involved going via Hastings and Croydon and would take three and a half hours. He said he’d got a quote from a local taxi firm… they were asking for four hundred quid. As this usually costs under forty quid, the taxi firms are clearly profiteering from the train strike, aren’t they?

 

We came home. As we drove home ”Women’s Hour” were speculating on whether or not the Prime Minister was having her menopause. Is nothing sacred to these people? I turned the radio off and sang along to Ivor Biggun songs.

With dogs settled I slept for three hours, and then spent the afternoon tacking the ironing whilst watching the last few episodes of “Better Than Us”. If you’ve not seen it I’d suggest giving it a go, but I’m not alone in suggesting watching it in the original Russian with subtitles rather than the dubbed version.

Apparently there is to be a second season; this one to be made in Mandarin.

 

I then watched this week’s episode of “House of the Dragon” with very much a sense of “WTF is going on”. I hear there is to be a second season of this show too. The second season was announced days after the launch of the show when everyone was hyped up about it; am I being cynical in wondering if the same level of hype is still there?

And then I followed this up with two episodes of “The Empress”; a Netflix period drama which is quite entertaining for all that (like with “House of the Dragon”) nothing much seems to be happening.

 

Part of me feel that much of today was somewhat wasted by staring at the telly. But I quite like staring at the telly whilst buried under a pile of dogs… it was only a shame Bailey had to go berserk every time a horse appeared on the screen. And there were quite a few of them.

 

 

6 October 2022 (Thursday) - Rostered Day Off

 

 

I took the dogs to Kings Wood again this morning. As we drove there was an article on the radio about the Knights Templar. I’ve heard so many talks and lectures on the subject, and every time the person speaking takes an interesting subject and kills it stone dead. After five minutes I turned the radio off.

 

We got to the woods and did the same walk we’ve done on the last two days. A good walk. Treacle ran into the woods and played with the puppies today which was a result; the last two times we’ve been there she barely left my side.

We chased squirrels and pheasants. We barked at passers-by. We ate horse poo. Some passing dogs played with us; others were leaded up and dragged away. I’ve often wondered why so many people put a dog on a short lead so far into the woods…

 

After an hour or so we were back where we started. We came home where I settled the dogs and then (as they snored) I drove up to the town where I used my RingGo app to park. I had a quick Munz, then had a rather frustrating hour.

Firstly in the post office where I queued for seemingly ages where only one of four windows were open.

And then in the bank where they (the only chap in there) flatly refused to honour a cheque made payable to dad’s estate. Mind you, have you been into the Ashford branch of HSBC recently? It’s all automated. And I mean *all*. Everything is self-service machines and there is one poor chap running round like a headless chicken trying to deal with all the issues that can’t be sorted by the automation.

I came home and phoned the bank. When I spoke to them last week they told me they *would* honour a cheque make payable to “The Executor of,,,”, but today they were telling a different story. Since my name isn’t “The Executor of…” I can’t have any cheques made payable to that. I wonder how other executors cope?

Once all of Dad’s estate is settled and sorted I’m going to change my bank. I’ve not been happy with them for years. When you phone them you just get someone who can barely speak English who is reading from a script. Up till now I’ve always contented myself with the knowledge that if the worst comes to the worst I can go to the local branch. Clearly that’s no longer an option.

 

I phoned the TV licencing people – the cheque I’m having trouble with is the refund of Dad’s TV licence. They were really helpful and said if I could send it back to them, they would send out a cheque payable to me.

So I wrote a letter.

In fact I wrote two as Dad’s pension people have offered to pay a “bereavement grant” to go toward the cost of the funeral (even though Dad paid for it years ago). Two letters… how quaint. Who writes letters these days? Fortunately in the stuff I found in Dad’s living room (when we were clearing out) were two books of stamps…

Then the funeral director phoned. We were going to pop in with photos of Dad for the service sheets… I thought we’d dropped them off already. I emailed them some photos.

All trivia, but trivia which took over two hours to sort.

 

“er indoors TM  is boiling up some dinner. I think I might crack open that bottle of Hock I bought before Tuesday’s night shift. For a day off, today has been hard work.

 

 

7 October 2022 (Friday) - Pre-Work Road Trip

 

 

I woke this morning feeling like death warmed up. What was that all about? I made toast and had a look-see at the Internet. It hadn’t gone anywhere and hadn’t changed. Trivia and squabbles abounded; there was one interesting argument on one of the dachshund Facebook groups in which a person had posted a video of her dog supposedly having some sort of fit. She wanted to know if anyone else’s dog had had a similar fit… All of my dogs do what her dog had been doing; her dog was clearly dreaming. But there were those who couldn’t cope with the concept of a dog having a dream… I didn’t get involved. But I did get involved in the puppies’ argument. With dozens of toys, they both wanted to play with the same one. The toy in question being whichever toy the other one had. Sometimes they can be rather quarrelsome…

Pausing only briefly to collect a carrier bag of old newspapers from Paul (always useful!) I set off on a little road trip. As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing the leader of the Scottish Nationalists Nicola Sturgeon. Despite having had their arse quite comprehensively handed to them on a plate in the independence referendum of eight years ago, they won't take "you lost" for an answer and were again trying to get another referendum. If the government won't allow it, Ms Sturgeon was expounding a frankly ridiculous suggestion in which the next general election would double up as an independence referendum. If the Scottish Nationalists won in Scotland, then that should be taken as a result of an independence referendum in favour of their leaving.

This was followed by "Desert Island Discs" which featured some doctor who started a charity by which doctors in war zones could phone medics in safe zones to ask for second opinions.

Sadly this chap had a diabolical taste in music. People on that show usually do.,

 

I stopped off at the Rolvenden pond shop for a bell fountain attachment. I also stopped about a dozen times because of endless road works. I say "road works"; perhaps a third of the coned off and traffic light controlled areas actually had people working. Most were just sections of the road which had been coned off for no discernible reason.

But it wasn't that long before I was at my brother's house, and from there a short hop to the East Hastings Angling Society's club house. We met a few people to finalise arrangements for next week's funeral, and then it was on to "Road Trip Part II" from Hastings to work.

 

There were just as many road works between Hastings and Maidstone as there were between Ashford and Hastings. And just as few people actually working in them. I was rather knackered by the time I got to work, which seems to be a theme of late shifts.

Perhaps I shouldn't do quite so much before them?

 

 

8 October 2022 (Saturday) - Dog Club, Stuff

 

 

I woke at half past seven in a cold sweat after a nightmare in which I was in no end of legal trouble after “My Boy TM” had sold my services as a hair donor (!) and needless to say all his clients felt they’d been short-changed.

 

I made toast and had a look at the Internet. I had a friend request on Facebook from “Godness Nita” who is apparently “looking for a good, honest, truthful, obedient and understanding slave”. I told the world about this (here and on my Facebook feed) in the full knowledge that in the past it has been quite acceptable for the likes of Godness Nita to peddle filth, but my pointing out that they are doing so breaches Facebook’s Community Standards.

Something else which really should breach Facebook’s Community Standards is the amount of religious crackpotism I find on my feed. A month or so ago I made the mistake of pointing out that the concept of God as portrayed by the Christian church needs an awful lot of excuses. This morning some American Baptist nutcase was telling me that his god is nowhere near as loving as it is vengeful, and I should be scared. I asked if it was going to get its mates the Easter Bunny, Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy to all gang up on me. So far I’ve had no reply.

 

“er indoors TM was off to craft club today, so I left Treacle with her and took the puppies to Dachshund Club (Treacle doesn’t like Dachshund Club). As I drove I listened to Steve on the radio until the signal gave out. I heard far less of the show this week that I did last week as the traffic was moving this morning.

Dachshund Club was rather good. It was a shame that Bailey had to roll in something disgusting, but she wasn’t the only one. The dogs all enjoyed themselves… mostly. There were a couple of times when one chap broke up whatever game the dogs were playing to drag his dog away. Admittedly some of the games were a bit rough-and-tumble, but if any dog doesn’t like it they are free to join in another game elsewhere in the field.

Eventually this chap put his dog on a lead and the poor thing watched all the other dogs playing (with a rather sad expression). Why bring a dog to a play-day and not let them play? Mind you this was the same chap who a few weeks ago had whinged on-line about how horrible Treacle had been, when all she’d done was tell another dog not to get in her face.

 

We came home where Treacle gloated whilst the puppies had a bath, and once clean we went into the garden for a bit. I mowed the lawn, and then fiddled with the pond. It had lost quite a bit of water over the last week. I think (hope) it might have been to do with the spray-head-fountain attachment on the fountain pump, so I replaced that with a bell fountain. Hopefully that will do the trick.

Whilst I pootled in the garden so the puppies dug in the newly-mown lawn. I wish they wouldn’t do that.

 

With a little time on my hands I wrote instructions for “er indoors TM and “My Boy TM”. Bearing in mind the “fun” I’ve had sorting Dad’s estate I thought I might make things easy for them by detailing how the household accounts work just in case I should croak. After all, I’m going to eventually.

“er indoors TM saw this for the sensible move that it is, but the first fruit of my loin has taken it somewhat to heart and is convinced I’m on deaths’ door. I tried to make light of it by saying that I’ve already bought a Lego Advent Calendar so I’m expecting to have at least three months, but I don’t think that helped very much. “er indoors TM says I’m not to wind him up and con him into getting me that rather (very) expensive Lego roller-coaster for what I might persuade him could be my last Christmas.

And then I sparked up my brain to solve a geo-puzzle that had gone live this morning. It didn’t take *that* long to get an answer, so I loaded the dogs into the boot of the car and we drove down to the marsh.

Had I sparked up my brain before writing instructions I might have got a First to Find…

 

I feel really grim now… I wonder what that’s all about?

 

 

9 October 2022 (Sunday) - The Brick of Doom

 

 

I wasn't feeling one hundred per cent when I went to bed last night. I wasn't feeling much better when I got up this morning. But I got up anyway, tiddled the puppies and opened the door to upstairs. They love to spend the last couple of hours of the night on the bed with “er indoors TM. Treacle isn't so keen, but she's slowly warming to the idea. Or (at least) growling less.

 

I made toast and had a quick look at the Internet. It was still there. Many of the Star Trek related pages were running the latest trailer for season three of Star Trek: Picard.

I won't lie. I thought it looked to be a load of old rubbish. Since Star Trek came back to telly in strength for the most recent time none of it has been what I would call "Star Trek". The original has a certain something about it. Whoever is making the new stuff saw the word "star" in the title, watched several generic sci-fi film and series and made their own show. To be fair to them they have looked up the original on Wikipedia and thrown in a few names from that original to make it look like they are paying attention, but they aren't fooling anyone who was part of the Ashford Star Trek fan club of twenty-odd years ago.

 

I left home whilst it was still dark. I saw lights on in not-so-nice-next-door. She seems to be up incredibly early most mornings; I wonder why.

I walked seemingly miles to find the car, and set off up the motorway. I've got something of a game I play going up the motorway. I drive at the speed limit of exactly fifty miles per hour (according to my speedo) and see how long it is before I'm tail-ended by a huge lorry which is flashing its lights and blowing its horn. Today's arrived after about eight miles. After I'd beeped my hooter back a couple of times the lorry overtook. This one was French... I've reported the UK ones to their head offices before (and got apologies) but it is a waste of time complaining about the foreign ones. You'd think the police would send unmarked police cars to sort this out, wouldn't you? I expect they don't want  the arse-ache.

 

I got to work an hour earlier than I needed to be there, drove straight past, and went on for half a mile where there were several Munzees  that hadn't been munzed for over a year. If you munz those ones on a day of the month which is divisible by three you get a hundred points for each.  (Never a dull moment in my world...)

I munzed five of those and stuck out eight new ones of my own. In a year's time they will be worth a hundred points too (!)

 

Work was work, and with work done I munzed on the way home, and once home I dozed in front of the telly under a pile of dogs whilst “er indoors TM boiled up dinner.

We scoffed it whilst watching the first episode of the new season of “Lego Masters: Australia”. Good stuff, “Lego Masters: Australia” – this season has introduced the Brick of Doom…

 

 

10 October 2022 (Monday) - A Bit Dull Really

 

 

I was still feeling rather grotty when I woke - did I pick up some lurgy at Saturday's dog club? I thought about phoning in sick, but decided against it. I got up and tiddled the puppies. This morning the got on with it and did what was expected of them. Some mornings they mess about; not today though.

I settled them with “er indoors TM, tiddled myself (as you do) and sparked up the telly and watched the first episode of "Stranger Things" on Netflix. I've heard a lot of good things about the show. So far it seems rather good, but the first episode of a four-season show is rather early to be making a judgement.

 

Completely forgetting where I'd parked yesterday I wandered the streets pressing the "unlock" button on the car's key until I heard the clicking of the locks in the fourth street I tried. Oh well... I only wasted fifteen minutes finding it…

As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the Ukrainian situation. Someone has bombed the only bridge connecting Crimea to Russia, and the Russians have got the arse. There were a lot of explosions going on in Kiev, and no one would hazard a guess at what that was all about. Does it really take Sherlock Holmes to figure out what's going on here?

There was also talk about whether or not benefit payments should rise either in level with inflation or in level with wages. The government's view is that they should go up with inflation... Is this to curry favour with the unemployed and those receiving benefits? Bearing in mind all the strikes going on and being voted about, I'm getting the impression that those in authority value those who don't work more than they value those who do.

 

The works car park was rather busy this morning when I arrived; it took a few minutes to get in. What was that all about?

Before I started work I had a cuppa and looked at the Internet. I had an email from the nice people at Credit Karma who told me that despite absolutely nothing having changed to my financial status in the last year or so, my credit rating had gone up by five points. I'm convinced they just make it up as they go along.

I also had a message from "Vacarcuic Maria" who was offering me unfettered access to her website featuring various women of dubious morals. That was kind of her, wasn't it? Perhaps she's heard about my increased credit rating?

 

With work worked I came home, and once “er indoors TMhad sorted scran she went off bowling. The dogs slept on my lap as I watched this week’s instalment of “House of the Dragon”. In the last few weeks the show is leaping forward several years with each episode, and so the characters are either played by different actors, or the actors are heavily made up. I haven’t a clue who is who anymore… I think I shall watch the lot from the start again at some point…

But not just yet.

 

My Boy TM” went fishing today and posted today’s photo quite early in the morning. It’s rather pretty, isn’t it. I wonder if he will ever realise I’ve blagged it…

 

 

11 October 2022 (Tuesday) - Destroying Lego

 

 

I felt a bit better this morning when I got up. With puppies sorted I watched more of  "Stranger Things" which (being set in the early eighties) is a nostalgia trip if nothing else.

I then sparked up the lap-top and had  a little look at the Munzee Clan War. There has been something of a major result or major disaster in the Munzee world, depending on your personal perspective.  Every month Munzers band together in groups of up to ten in order to achieve certain individual and group tasks. And (up till now) every month it is the same... a small minority puts in all the effort and two or three do the group tasks that up to ten should be doing. And at the end of the month those who've done the bare minimum join in at the last minute and reap the benefits of the minority's efforts. But yesterday Munzee HQ announced that from here on in everyone's got to put in the effort; if you aren't in by the twelfth of each month then you can't join at all. Being the clan leader, last night I invited all the other Munzers who were rota-ed for the clan, and to my cynical surprise everyone’s making an effort.

However this month I’m in a higher-achieving clan. I wonder what will happen at the lower levels. Will this encourage everyone to make more effort, or will this discourage some and make them throw in the towel? We shall see...

I also saw a friend from fifty years ago was on holiday in Kefalos. That's a place in Kos - I've been there; there was a castle and a geocache, and one of our buggies broke down there. However he shouldn't have been on holiday in Kefalos. He should have been on holiday in Kefalonia; a five hundred miles flight or a thousand miles mile drive (taking nearly a whole day) away. Woops.

 

I set off on a cold morning to find my car. I found it quicker than I did yesterday. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Yesterday the Russians gave the Ukrainians a severe arse-kicking with cruise missile attacks on several of their cities. Most of the rest of the world were rather taken aback at this. I'm not defending the Russians in any way, but isn't this what war is all about? It's not some squabble confined to a certain area, is it? It's one big all-out fight. Isn't it?

I suppose the obvious next step is the Western world (who have been funding the Ukrainian war effort all along) will now supply the Ukrainians with cruise missiles of their own... and then the shit really will hit the fan.

 

Work was work, and being on the early shift I came home early. I got the dogs into the boot of the car and we went to Orlestone. I would have preferred Kings Wood, but by the time I get home from work getting to Kings Wood takes over twice the time that getting to Orlestone takes.

Mind you we had a good walk… mostly. Morgan didn’t run off *too* much, and apart from him and his sister getting too involved with a squadron of greyhounds, the walk passed off pretty much without incident. I did chuckle when we got back to the car though, As we got back to the car so another chap was setting off on his dog walk. Two minutes later his dog came flying back to the car park hotly pursued by the ill-behaved dog of a rather posh lady.

There is a certain satisfaction when it is someone else’s dog that is playing up.

 

“er indoors TM boiled up a very good bit of scran (she does that!) which we scoffed whilst watching another episode of “Lego Masters: Australia” in which the contestants made some rather spectacular models which then got destroyed with a bowling ball. The explosions looked rather spectacular in slow motion… I wonder if I might do something along those lines with “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM”…

 

 

12 October 2022 (Wednesday) - Something Monumental

 

 

I didn't sleep well; I was rather restless for much of the night. I gave up trying to sleep and chased the puppies round the garden before watching an episode of "Stranger Things" which was rather good despite not much at all actually happening.

 

Today I remembered where I'd parked last night and so found my car much quicker. I set off to the back end of Singleton where I had a little Munzee mission capping Evos like a thing possessed, and after I was done I had a little episode with the car.

I couldn't get into it. The door wouldn't open. I tried the key a few times and the lock sounded very quiet and the door wouldn't unlock. After a few minutes I realised that whenever I pressed the remote unlocking button the reason the lock sounded quiet was because the lock was about ten yards away... I'd been trying to get in to the wrong car. Woops! It was as well that no one saw me.

 

As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about the latest financial disaster to hit the country. Apparently the Bank of England has announced that whatever it is that it is doing to save the country from disaster, it is going to stop that on Friday, and the rest of the financial world has three days to sort itself out. In the meantime despite the country's finances being firmly sailing up shit creek and all paddles having been thrown overboard, the Prime Minister has announced that she isn't going to cut public services.

It amazes me that in any other profession there is a need for qualification and experience before one can advance to any position of seniority or authority (no matter how junior) but when it comes to running the country, demonstrably any old half-wit can have a go.

Meanwhile NASA have said that their attempt (a week or so ago) to shove an asteroid in a different orbit worked.

At the time I was amazed at the lack of public awareness of this. Being able to shove space rocks about is of monumental importance. What happened to the dinosaurs won't happen to us. Mind you it is only a matter of time before some nutter realises that shoving an asteroid so that it won't crash into the Earth is in principle no different to shoving an asteroid so that it does crash into the Earth.

Now we really are in the territory of James Bond villains.

 

Work was work... I did what I could amid a flurry of phone calls about the arrangements for tomorrow. And at rather the last minute I got the confirmation for the funeral's live streaming. I say "last minute" - I'd had them a while ago but hadn't actually read the email properly.

 

I got home to find “Daddy’s Little Angel TM and “Darcie Waa Waa TM home. “er indoors TM  sorted out KFC, and we watched “The Lego Batman Movie”. “Daddy’s Little Angel TM has taken “Darcie Waa Waa TM to bed.

I shan’t be long… busy day tomorrow…

 

 

13 October 2022 (Thursday) - Dad's Funeral

 

 

I lay awake for much of the night listening to the rain on the window. When it eventually stopped (at half past five) “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” went for a tiddle and Pogo started screaming. Much as I love him, I’m so glad he lives with his mummy these days.

Brekkie was entertaining this morning; “Darcie Waa Waa TM had banana porridge which (according to the packet) contained banana. Would you believe it? Mind you I am reliably informed the stuff was more like concrete than brekkie.

 

We settled the dogs in the kitchen and “er indoors TM drove us down to Dad’s house where the tribe gathered. Because of the funeral we opened a rather special bottle of whisky that Dad had in the cupboard; when else would we have opened it? I must admit I’d been looking forward to trying it … and it was bloody awful. The stuff sells at eighty-five quid a bottle; it really was foul.

 

The hearse arrived, and we drove up to the crematorium. The place was filled, and Jonathon Mendenhall gave a very good eulogy. From there it was all down to the East Hastings Angling Club for the wake. The people at the angling club put on a really good spread… The day flew by in something of a haze.

It was good to catch up with cousins and aunts and uncles; it’s such a shame that we only meet up at funerals these days…

 

 

14 October 2022 (Friday) - Politically Correct (?)

 

 

I made toast and had a little look at the Internet. I was pleased to see that the squabble on the Lego Maxifigure page had settled. Someone had posted a picture of the “215: Red Indians” Lego set. It features Lego figures with a reddish-brown hue rather tan the standard yellow. Some chap new to the group had taken offence and was being incredibly abusive, claiming that anyone who didn’t throw those figures away was a neo-nazi and supported genocide. He’d gone on to say that he rather expected this of the group as it wasn’t overwhelmingly American. Apparently most European people don’t really understand how offensive they (we) can be… or so we were told.

Amazingly it transpired that the chap causing all the aggro was posting from a fake Facebook account, (being too cowardly to put his own name to his ranting) and it was that transgression of the rules that got him thrown out.

Back in the day I would have laughed and asked how a harmless child’s toy could cause such bad feeling. But (it turns out) that the term “Red Indian” *is* offensive to some native Americans. When I took scouts to Canada a few years back the native Canadians we met assured me that they weren’t at all bothered by the phrase.

But I *really* don’t want to give offense. And I *really* don’t want to get sacked.

Seriously. In these days, saying things on-line which doesn’t go with the politically correct agenda (for want of a better phrase) would seem to leave you open to a charge of professional misconduct. It really does (click that link to see!) I shall be keeping an eye on the HCPC’s hearings page to see what the outcome is. Does one’s on-line non-politically incorrect rantings seriously amount to misconduct? If so,  George Orwell’s Thought Police aren’t as fictional as we might have hoped. This isn’t the world I was hoping for my grandchildren…

 

I got the dogs together and we drove up to Kings Wood. As we drove some rugby player or other was being interviewed on “Desert Island Discs”. I have a theory about that programme… the more interesting the speaker, the less of their eight music choices actually gets played. There was far more of the four bits of music I heard as I drove played than there usually is.

We got to the woods; we had a good walk. The puppies said “hello” to all the dogs we met, and Treacle studiously ignored them. There was a minor episode with one toffee-nosed woman with two dogs on leads about a mile from the car park, but the puppies came when I whistled.

 

With walk walked we came home where I hung out laundry and opened up the rat grave. “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” had the corpse of Boris in her freezer (poor thing), so I dug out the hole in readiness. It took a lot less time than I had expected.

I then spent a little while ironing shirts and watching episodes of “Stranger Things” until “Daddy’s Little Angel TM”, “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TMand  “Darcie Waa Waa TM arrived with the corpse of Boris. We had a little rat funeral and buried him, then got some KFC after which “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TMgot progressively more and more over-excited.  

 

“er indoors TM drove them home, and I had a fight with GSAK. The freeware that makes sat-navs do geocaching seemed to have given up the ghost since I last used it. It only took two hours to sort it out… and that was through resorting to the ultimate geo-fix… emailing Gordon.

I hope the fix worked… I shall find out tomorrow.

 

 

15 October 2022 (Saturday) - Cooling

 

 

Yesterday was Hastings Day; the nine hundred and fifty-sixth anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. My Facebook feed was alive with that yesterday and today… purely because I come from Hastings and have a lot of friends who live there. Schools in Hastings drum “1066 and all that” into you. One of the most amazing things I learned when I moved (less than) thirty miles away to Ashford was that apart from the people of Hastings, no one knows anything at all about the battle, and no one really cares.

 

The dogs weren’t keen to go out this morning as it was raining, but they had no choice. My heart sank on seeing the rain, but the forecast was good, so we hoped for the best and carried on with our plans.

We set off up the motorway listening to Steve on the radio. The signal gave out just as the new recently rediscovered Queen song was being played. Have you heard it? I predict it will soon be number one in the charts, but there’s a reason why the song never appeared on any of the albums…

 

It didn’t take *that* long to get to Cooling where Karl, Tracey and Charlotte  were waiting for us. The sky had become a beautiful blue; we put on wellies and set off on a little stroll. It has been ages sine we last went out for a walk; I’ve rather missed them.

As always our walk was guided by a series of geocaches. We set off down a quiet lane and across some pretty fields. We found a rather knacked bit of what was once farm machinery on which to sit and have lunch; I sat on my new collapsible stool; fully expecting it to collapse. But it held up well. It was a shame that the puppies had to go onto their leads as we scoffed lunch; but several hundred yards away on the other side of the field was a road along which vans and lorries were driving, and both Morgan and Bailey had taken offence at them.

As we scoffed we admired the rather pretty herringbone clouds which (according to Wikipedia) portend “a continuation of good weather”. Five minutes after we finished lunch, so the sky turned black and the rain started. Weather forecasts, eh?

 

The rain didn’t amount to much; it soon stopped. We walked back to the cars, changed our boots and walked down the road to the Horseshoe and Castle. It was as well that it was a bright afternoon; the puppies had spent much of their off-lead time rolling in something foul and they stank. We sat outside and had a pint (or two) and some of their nuts. Have you ever had smoked peanuts? Imagine a smoky bacon flavoured peanut. I was impressed.

 

We said our goodbyes and headed home, Munzing as we went. We stopped off for petrol on Bluebell Hill, and got some chocolate too. Cadbury’s have been running a competition recently (which I had completely missed) – they had two chocolate bars imaginatively named “Mystery Bar One” and “Mystery Bar Two”. The idea was that you scoffed them, then went onto the website and said what you thought the flavours were.

I honestly thought “Mystery Bar One” was what Bailey had been rolling in, and that “Mystery Bar Two” was something far more foul. But it transpired that the competition was over. The first was actually Rhubarb and Custard, and the second Blue Raspberry Slushie.

One lives and learns.

I took a few photos as we walked. Once the dogs had been bathed I put them on-line and three snoring dogs cuddled up to me. They can’t have walked much further than we have been walking round Kings Wood recently, but they were all absolutely shattered. Going for a walk mob-handed is clearly far more fun and tiring for a dog than just going with boring old me.

It would have been good to have gone to the Hastings bonfire this evening but I don’t like leaving the dogs (even though they were fast asleep). And we got the message  that the fireworks might have been cancelled because of the high winds anyway.

“er indoors TM boiled up sausages and chips and we scoffed them whilst watching last week’s episode of “Bake Off”.

I must admit I feel rather tired…

 

 

16 October 2022 (Sunday) - A Lazy Day (?)

As I had my morning ablutions there was uproar in the kitchen as “er indoors TM caught Morgan red-handed (red-pawed?) chewing the new kitchen door. She wasn’t amused; either at Morgan, or at me for laughing.

I had my usual root around the Internet, and was amazed at a comment on a photo of me taken yesterday. Someone who has known me for twenty years said that I never seen to age… I’m not sure if that is good or bad. As time goes on I find the face in the mirror is looking more and more like my grandad.

There were also quite a few photos from last night’s Hastings Bonfire; although the fireworks didn’t go off, the procession and bonfire did, and from photos and comments from friends and family it would seem that it was only pure luck that prevented the Old Town from burning down what with all the flaming embers flying around. Much as I love the bonfire parades (not that I’ve been to one for years), it can only be a matter of time until there’s a very serious accident at one of them.

 

“er indoors TM  did a rather good fry-up (or “frip” as “My Boy TM” used to call them) for brekkie, and then I got on with what was supposed to be a lazy day. As I was getting stuff out of the shed ready to sort the garden so we noticed that the shed fridge wasn’t working again. Changing the fuse inside (where the cable to the outside plugs in) didn’t help, so I had a little look at the cable. Not being able to see anything amiss I got the ladder out and had a look at the bit of cable that went across the flat roof.

Oh dear…

It was in a sorry state; half melted and half chewed. Had a seagull or a rat had a go at it after the really hot summer we had? Whatever the problem, the cable needed replacing. But replacing it wouldn’t be a straightforward job. Short of dismantling the new kitchen we’d have to use some of the existing cable and replace the poggered bit, so I went round to B&Q for some DIY ingredients.

 

I knew *exactly* what I needed, so I asked the assistant for *exactly* what I needed. He said they’d got the stuff, but he wondered if I would prefer getting a professional electrician to do the job? I said I wouldn’t. He said he preferred only selling electrical things to professional electricians.  Resisting the temptation to point out that I wasn’t as stupid as he clearly was, I asked why they had the stuff on sale to the general public if they weren’t prepared to sell the stuff. He had no answer for that. I suppose I should have told him to stick it and gone to Wickes, but by then I’d wasted quite enough time.

There was another idiot on the tills. Having said a very patronising “namaste” to the Nepalese chap in the queue in front of me, she wasn’t at all happy to get an “all right?” in response.

 

I came home, unplugged the iffy cable, cut it off where it was still good (and un-melted), connected up ten yards of new cable and stuck on a new socket. Thirty seconds to type; over an hour to do. And flushed with success I repaired the water feature cable that Morgan had chewed through a few weeks ago. That took an hour as well.

I got out the rake and raked up dead leaves, pulled weeds out from between the slabs in the front garden hung the little ornament that used to be on the front of my Dad’s house… After four hours I was knackered.

 

“er indoors TM wanted to go into town to the craft shop… did I fancy a trip? With the dogs all asleep and nothing else that couldn’t wait, I thought it might be something to do…

I rarely go into Ashford, and again I confirmed that I was missing nothing.

I had hoped to have a look at the Lego in the toy shop, but it was closed. Apparently “The Entertainer” toy shop doesn’t open on a Sundayso staff can spend time with their family and friends”, or so the religious owner says. For all that people have religious reasons for not working on Sundays, no one has religious reasons for not needing the police or the fire brigade or hospitals on Sundays, do they? Do all the staff turn up for all the hours the shop is open working six days every week? Of course they don’t. They work some sort of a rota, don’t they? So why not employ a few more staff and have a rota so that people take turns working on Sundays (like I do)? Mind you, “The Entertainerdoesn’t stock Harry Potter stuff either as this “could attract children towards the occult”…

This is England in the third decade of the twenty-first century; not some banana-republic in the middle-ages… isn’t it?

To console myself I went to the Chili-Time milkshake bar where I treated myself to a Battenburg and Galaxy chocolate milkshake.

We had a look in Macknade as I’d heard so much about it. I’d not been there before… and won’t be going again. It strikes me it is the sort of place that appeals to people who like spending far too much money on stuff you can buy far cheaper elsewhere..

 

Once home “er indoors TM took Treacle out for a little Munzee session. Bearing in mind the puppies were both fast asleep and I was feeling a tad worn out, she went without us. Within (quite literally) five seconds the puppies were crying. Actually sobbing inconsolably. They would not settle, so after five more minutes I got their leads onto them and we walked in the footsteps of “er indoors TM capping her scatters (it’s a Munzee thing).

I wonder if she noticed.

 

“er indoors TM boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching more “Lego Masters: Australia”.

Today was supposed to be something of a lazy day… I’m worn out.

 

 

17 October 2022 (Monday) - This n That

 

 

The puppies weren't at all keen on being hoiked into a wet garden to do that what was expected of them this morning. I can't say I was overly keen on going out with them, but better a little rain outside than a lot of tiddle inside, eh?

Eventually  they did that what was expected of them and were rewarded with being allowed upstairs and bothering “er indoors TM.

I made toast and watched another episode of "Stranger Things", then set off to work.

 

There are road works at the bottom end of my road, and it is now one-way. The fact that it is one-way didn't stop the half-wit element from driving through the "No Entrance" signs though. The half-wit element bothers me... I seem to encounter them in so many places; no one has ever told them that they aren't anywhere near as clever as they think they are. And that’s not just me being nasty, it is a scientific fact!

 

Having been delayed whilst idiot drivers drove where they shouldn't, I then spent quarter of an hour at a standstill on the motorway for no apparent reason. I really should check the travel news before I go up the motorway. I'm getting stuck in hold-ups so often, and it is only when I can see the queue going on for miles in front of me that I think to check the traffic layer on Google Maps.

Mind you as I sat and waited the pundits on the radio told me that it was a bright sunny morning in Kent, and five minutes later they said that there was heavy rain in Kent. I'm not a fan of weather forecasts at the best of times, but today they really were making it up as they went along.

As well as getting the weather right and wrong by pot luck, the pundits on the radio were spending a lot of their time talking about the new Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt. I must admit that in my experience the fellow was universally despised when he was Minister for Health, but I don't suppose he can balls the economy up any more that Kwasi Kwarteng has ballsed it up already (can he?). It was claimed that his policy is to undo pretty much everything that Mr Kwarteng did. I would have thought that sending Mr Kwarteng a bill for what he cost the country wouldn't be a bad idea either... heaven forbid that politicians should be accountable, eh?

I then laughed out loud at "Thought For The Day" in which a half-wit vicar (I said the half-wits plague me, didn't I?) was claiming that all the ills of the country are down to everyone doing what they felt was "the right thing to do". He went on to say that there was only one "right thing to do" and that was doing whatever he said; whatever he said being prompted either by his God, or by the strange voices in his head.

 

Work was work; in between peering down a microscope I managed to pay Dad's gas and leccie bill (it was far less than mine!), and I made a phone call about a life assurance policy of Dad's that has come to light. It might not be for much, but it will reimburse me for his gas bill.

 

“er indoors TM came up with a very good bit of dinner, then went bowling. Once the dogs finally settled I watched the penultimate episode of “House of the Dragon”. It was rather good up until the last five minutes when all plot was abandoned in favour of leaving the viewers thinking “WTF was that all about?”.

Perhaps next week we (I) might find out…

 

 

18 October 2022 (Tuesday) - Getting Scammed

 

 

Bailey seemed a little out of sorts when I let her and Morgan out of their crate this morning. She didn't seem to want to go outside, but not going outside first thing every morning isn't an option for small dogs. As I carried her out I thought she felt rather bloated. Her stomach gave the most almighty rumble and she vomited a pile of semi-digested dog turd onto the kitchen floor.

I mention this in case any of my loyal readers are ever tempted to get a dog after reading other instalments of this drivel. Never let it be said that I don't tell dog life as it is... Bailey is a sweet little thing, but she can be rather foul.

Once we'd been outside there was a minor delay as I cleared up... hard floor tiles and no carpet is *such* a bonus.

I made some brekkie and watched more "Stranger Things"... I know it's a TV show and make-believe, but if you were on the run from a clandestine government laboratory, you'd actually run from it, wouldn't you? You wouldn't set up a little camp a stone's throw away and stay close for a week or so, would you?

 

Forgetting to pick up lunch I set off up the (clear)  motorway to work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the Prime Minister. She's been in office for one month. She's done one thing (and one thing only). It turned out to be an unmitigated disaster for which she did exactly what any right-minded person would do; she looked for a stooge to take the blame... and that was the end for Kwasi Kwarteng.

Yesterday the new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced to the House of Commons that he was scrapping all of her policies, and she sat next to him (with a face like a slapped arse), taking it without a word. Love 'em or loathe 'em, Boris or Maggie wouldn't have stood for that, would they?

Ms Truss has been in the job for a month and there is already talk of her replacement. She's looking set to be the shortest serving Prime Minister on record and will probably beat the record of one hundred and nineteen days set by George Canning when he dropped dead in 1827.

Mind you if she does get the heave-ho who will they replace her with? None of the candidates who stood against her only a few months ago are being mentioned; are they now all spent forces?

The leader of the Dribbling Democraps (whoever it is these days) was wheeled on to the radio, and he wouldn't shut up about how the Prime Minister should call a general election.  Like that's ever going to happen with the Labour party thirty-six points ahead in the polls.

 

I got to work and got my priorities right; I filled out some leave application forms then got on with that which I couldn't avoid. But (as always) an early start made for an early finish. I came home, loaded up the dogs, and with only an hour or so of daylight left took them to Orlestone for a walk.

There was a near-miss as we walked out of the car park. As we’d got out of the car I could hear voices so I didn’t let the dogs run. Just as well – the couple with the utterly-out-of-control dog the size of a cart horse were standing (with said dog) twenty yards along the path presumably waiting for other dogs for their dog to kick off at. I dragged my three past as their dog as it glared at them. Perhaps they were just trying to get the dog used to others? Why not ask – we’d happily walk with them.

 

Fifty yards later my phone beeped. A message ostensibly from one of the fruits of my loin. I can understand how people fall for these scams. Most people wouldn’t hesitate to phone right back if a child is in trouble. But if either of the fruits of my loin needed me in an emergency they would phone, not send a message.

Needless to say, the message was a scam.

But the walk was mostly good, if muddy. Morgan stayed close for much of the walk, but did run amok somewhat toward the end. He’s funny. He’s quite a gannet-ous dog in the house, but when outside he’d far rather run amok that come to get a treat. He understands whistle training, but only comes to the whistle when it suits him.

 

Wonder what’s for dinner…

 

 

19 October 2022 (Wednesday) - Phone Calls, Poo...

 

 

I watched the last episode of the first season of "Stranger Things" as I set about brekkie; I watched it with an air of "WTF was that all about?" Presumably subsequent series will shed light on WTF that was all about, but for now I haven’t a clue.

I then set off for work just as not-so-nice-next-door was coming out of her house, and so I made a point of fiddling about on the phone whilst I watched her "coming out the door ritual". it is rather comical, really. Every time she comes out of the door it is opened a hair's breadth and she peers through the crack. It is then opened to the extent of the chain holding it whilst she surveys the scene. Once it is clear (without the shadow of a doubt) that there is no axe murderer lurking, she opens the door properly, but still has a serious look around before she sets foot outside of the house. She then steps out of the house as quick as lightening and the door is locked behind her (quite literally) in less than two seconds of her coming out.

Her husband (who hasn't been seen for years) used to do exactly the same. He also used to comment about having roses growing up the back fences to keep intruders out; I sometimes wonder if they were moved to Ashford (all those years ago) under some police witness protection scheme. Why else would they be so paranoid? Just who do they think wants to get in their house?

 

As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about the rate of inflation which is now running at over ten per cent. There was talk about whether or not the government would honour a promise to increase pension payments in line with inflation, but (so it was claimed) Downing Street currently refuse to discuss any specifics of any policy.

Strange, that (!)

There was then an interview with a Sunderland-based cheesemonger which wasted ten minutes of prime air-time as the fellow mumbled incoherently. Why don't the BBC teach these people how to speak clearly, and into a microphone?

 

I got to work. It was much the same as ever, but there was a minor episode in the early afternoon when my phone rang. What with all the stuff of Dad's estate needing sorting I had the thing on and thought the phone call might be something to do with that. It wasn't. It was someone claiming to be "Denzil from Currys - PC World" with a bargain for me. Would I like his i-phone or his android phone at a cut-price rate? It had to be one or the other; my not getting a new phone wasn’t an option in his world. But I wasn’t having any of it. I told him I was pleased that he'd called as I had a one-time-only offer for him. Would he like to piss off, or to get knotted? "Denzil" didn't seem to understand this, so I told him that I would put him down for  "piss off", and I blocked his number. I do wish these tele-sales people would leave me alone. I've signed up for all the "cold callers blocked" options, but still they phone up with annoying regularity.

I then had a message from “er indoors TM. She'd taken the dogs for a walk and Bailey (the one who'd eaten all that poop yesterday!) was smothered in fox poo. That was really funny – it is always funny all the time someone else has to sort out the aftermath of a turd-encrusted hound.

 

I came home… arriving home in the dark. I couldn’t believe my eyes. A hundred yards down the road from my house was a house with its Christmas decorations and lights up. There are over two months to go yet… isn’t this a bit keen? It’s not that I don’t like Christmas, but when it starts this early, but the time Christmas actually happens I’m fed up with it.

 

“er indoors TM sorted dinner which we scoffed whilst watching yesterday’s “Bake Off”, and then I spent some time fending Bailey off; she wanted to play and was getting very over-excited.

She does that…

 

 

20 October 2022 (Thursday) - Before the Night Shift

 

 

The plan for the morning was a quick brekkie then to take the dogs to Kings Wood. But the rain was the heaviest I’ve ever seen it, so that plan got abandoned pretty quickly.

I made toast and tried to have a look at the Internet, but sadly the Firefox browser had updated itself overnight, rendering it utterly unusable. This seems to be a feature of pretty much every upgrade I have ever seen on my laptop. I do wish IT people would leave things alone.

 

Eventually the thing got working; the Internet was much as it ever was. Squabbles and trivia abounded. There was quite a bit of consternation being expressed about road works not a million miles from work in which one bunch of contractors had the road up and were diverting traffic into a road which had been closed by another bunch of contractors. Is there *really* no overall control of the traffic in Kent?

I then spent what seemed to be an age using the bank’s app on my phone to pay two cheques into my account. It was probably easier that going into the bank, but only because the local branch is utterly automated and consequently f… all use to man nor beast (to coin a phrase).

 

During a lull in the rain I marched the dogs round the block, and then into the garden to do their thing. I was rather disturbed to see that since the weekend the pond level had dropped by about eight inches so I turned the filters off. Having spent about two hundred quid landscaping a new cascade I’m fast coming to the conclusion that the new bit must be the cause of the ongoing water loss.

When I get a minute I shall disassemble it and have a major re-think.

 

I then settled the dogs and went out for the morning. Inspired by the house down the road I got a few Christmas pressies then drove down the motorway (through torrential rain) to see the Folkestone branch of the tribe. “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” was having a driving lesson and I was on babysitting duty. Much as I love the littluns, I must admit I was a bit nervous about the idea; previous attempts have been rather fraught. But the littluns were as good as gold. “Darcie Waa Waa TM fell fast asleep laying on my chest, and with her on top of me and Pogo curled up next to me, we watched “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TMshowing us how to play the X-Box. He started off with some shoot-em-up game featuring some impractically epically-chested character. After ten minutes of that he brought up the “Goat Simulator” in which “Smashy the Goat” wreaked havoc in a virtual city; I can only describe it as the ungulate version of “Grand Theft Auto”. After that was a few minutes in Minecraft, and we ended up in a rather good game in which we had to puzzle-solve our way through a virtual world.

Must find out what that last game was called…

 

I came home with a naïve idea of taking the dogs out again, but the rain had come back (with a vengeance), so I fussed them a bit, then took myself off to bed where I dozed fitfully for a couple of hours.  

I was woken by a phone call from someone claiming to be acting on behalf of a bunch of solicitors who were sorting out the gas and leccie bills of Dad’s house. They wanted me to make a final payment of half the amount that I actually paid to British Gas on Monday. They told me they weren’t trying to scam the bereaved… I told them that they would say that, wouldn’t they?

They assure me that they will get back to British Gas and let me know the outcome in writing. I wonder if they will?

 

 

21 October 2022 (Friday) - Bit Tired

 

 

As I drove home from a particularly busy night shift the pundits on the radio were all a-twitter about the Prime Minister’s announcement that she’s resigned. Which was probably for the best; she was a bit on the crap side, wasn’t she?

Amazingly there are calls for that idiot Boris Johnson to come back; it was claimed that over a hundred Conservative MPs want his return. Being a showman, the (equally idiot) general public love him, and seem to be quite prepared to ignore that he acted illegally in forcing his Brexit plans through. Or he lied so much about so many things that if you type “Boris Johnson’s lies” into Google, the first website you get is actually boris-johnson-lies.com. Or that he staged piss-ups for his mates in Downing Street during the pandemic whilst everyone else was forced to live in isolation. It is widely felt that the charm of this incompetent liar is enough to overturn the Labour party’s thirty-six point lead in the opinion polls.

Democracy… it presupposes those casting votes are competent to do so.

There was then an interview with Ben Elton who is fronting the one-off return of Friday Night Live. I’m afraid I wasn’t impressed. I once saw Ben Elton live at the Marlowe theatre in Canterbury where he was brilliant. This morning he was nowhere near as good; trying to give some scholarly explanation of his brand of comedy was very much on the dull side.

 

I got home and went to bed where I slept for a couple of hours until the bashing of not-so-nice-next-door’s double glazing replacement woke me.

As “er indoors TM took the dogs for a walk I had a look at what the postie had left me.

HM Revenue and Customs had written to tell me that Dad had overpaid his income tax and would be sending me a refund. Presumably the refund I paid into the bank yesterday?

I had a letter from a solicitor; it turned that the bunch of scammers who phoned me yesterday about Dad’s gas bill were actually genuine. It seems British Gas farm out all their bereavement-related work to a subcontractor (can you believe it?).

And I had a bill for my car’s road tax. Twenty quid for the year. That’s not bad, is it?

 

“er indoors TM and the dogs returned. The dogs were worn out from their exertions, so we settled them and (on the spur of the moment) went out to the Beefeater at Hothfield for dinner. We’ve not been there for a while, but a starter of chicken wings, a rather good curry and a caramel apple Betty to end with… and change out of twelve quid (each). It was only a shame that the old biddies at the next table had to be trying to out-gross each other with their various medical problems, issues and ailments.

From there we had a look at bathroom shops. We’ve a vague plan to do the bathroom out in the near future but… Have you looked at new sinks recently? Pretty much all of them have one mixer tap in the middle *exactly* where I want to stick my head when having a shave. I want a sink with separate hot and cold taps off to the sides (as God intended). No one seems to make these any more.

 

Yesterday I mentioned a video game that “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM had been playing. I found out what it was…  “Human Fall Flat” is far more difficult than my grandson makes it seem; five minutes into the game and I’m stuck.

 

 

22 October 2022 (Saturday) - Aliens Did It

 

 

There was no time for telly this morning. One of the puppies had a "potty emergency" overnight. Sorting the mess wasted half an hour.

Leaving them asleep with “er indoors TM (and their bedding churning in the washing machine) I drove off to work listening to the farming news. The Labour farming spokesman was on the radio banging on about how a Labour government would have food production as the number one priority for farms. You'd think this would be rather obvious, wouldn't you? However it was pointed out that many farmers currently make more money from planting trees or having solar panels on their land than they ever did from "proper" farming. And this was followed by an interview with someone whose farm isn't so much a working farm as a holiday camp for inner-city schoolchildren who go there for "the farm experience". The woman interviewed implied that they kept enough livestock and planted enough crops to impress the schoolkids, and the government subsidised any shortfall.

Funny old world...

There was then a lot of talk about the selection of the new Prime Minister. I listened with something of an amazed air. Choosing Liz Truss took two months. We were assured time and again that it was not possible to get the election done any faster, and it all turned out to be an utter disaster anyway.

It was said this morning that the next Prime Minister will be in place within a week or so.

How does that work?

 

I got to work just as dawn was breaking. I didn't really want to be at work today. I would much rather have gone to "Dog Club" (the weekly dachshund meet-up) and then come home via the geo-meet-up in Mote Park which had been scheduled. But there it is... I've been working weekends on and off all my life. You'd think that after forty-one years I'd stop whinging about it, wouldn't you? And for all that I had to work Thursday night, I had a good morning with “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TMand “Darcie Waa Waa TM  before it, and yesterday “er indoors TM  took the day off and the day was rather good. It's just that work is rather dull in comparison... even if I did spend (possibly) far too long today peering out of the window watching the goldfinches bathing in the puddles on the flat roof. There is a flock of them who live in the tree opposite the blood bank window; they love wallowing in the puddles that form on the roof after the rain. But they are funny... they are quite content to be watched; seeing people watching them from the window doesn't bother them at all. But they *are* bothered by any cameras. They *really* don't like being photographed having their bath.

Bit like most people really, I suppose.

 

I did my bit; I came home. I came home to a letter from the funeral director with their final bill. I paid it; to be fair they did an excellent job. They had also sent on a couple more donations for the hospice… Dad wanted any donations from his funeral to go to the local hospice. But the funeral directors aren’t allowed (by law) to forward the cheques to the hospice. They have to send them to me so that  can send them on. They admit it’s daft, but it’s the law.

 

I slobbed in front of the telly for a bit watching “Ancient Aliens” is a complete load of old tripe in which pretty much every single event in human history is claimed to be the result of aliens farting around for no adequately explored reason. Have you ever seen it/ it is so bad that it is hilarious…

Perhaps those turds I found this morning weren’t anything to do with the puppies… Perhaps it was aliens?

 

 

23 October 2022 (Sunday) - Rainy Day

 

 

I slept for over eight hours last night: that was a result. It was a shame that I came downstairs to see it raining outside. Apparently the best of the weekend’s weather happened yesterday when I was working.

I made toast and had my usual look at the Internet. Trivia and squabbles abounded as they do. This morning there was consternation being expressed about the changes to colours of the lids of milk bottles. Have you notices that some supermarkets have white lids on their milk now? It turns out that the coloured lids weren’t recyclable… even though we’ve all been dumping them in the recycle bins for years. A little-known fact is that much the same happed to the labelling of blood for transfusions after the First Gulf War when it turned out that no two countries in the world had the same colour coding for blood groups (don’t say I never learn you nuffink!).

 

Seeing a lull in the rain I got the dogs onto their leads and took them for a short walk round the block. They were as good as gold with Morgan only pulling intermittently.

I did ponder on revamping the landscaping round the pond and re-arranging the filters, but five minutes after we got home so the torrential rain started. Ho hum.

I filled out more of the paperwork for Dad’s estate. So many forms want to know details of the solicitor dealing with the estate. We’ve not appointed one; I expect that when we sell the house we will need to, but so far there’s been nothing to do other than fill in seemingly endless forms. Forms which can be filled in by one of two methods.

Either by myself (for free) whilst “er indoors TMwatches various comedians on the telly.

Or by a solicitor at over two hundred quid per hour.

I know which option I’m going for.

 

I wrote up a little CPD, played a little “Human Fall Flat” then spent a while solving geo-puzzles until there was another lull in the rain when I took the dogs round the block again.

After a little walk they settled. We put on posh clothes (relatively) and drove out to Tunbridge Wells for a wedding reception.

 

Charlotte looked beautiful in her dress, but (so like her!) on seeing her she gave me a little speech about the practicalities of having a tiddle in a wedding dress. Apparently it takes some doing! I caught up with old friends from hunting Tupperware, work, and the old astro club. It was only a shame the music was so loud. Acoustically most pubs are a disaster; you can hardly hear yourself speak above the noise of everyone else. Add to that the disco playing far too loud…

 

We got home five minutes after the KFC closed. Their loss. I got kebabs and we watched the last episode of Jodie Whittaker playing Doctor Who. I must admit that she’s not been one of the better Doctor Whos, but her last performance was actually one of the better episodes.

Let’s hope the show’s writers have found their way again…

 

 

24 October 2022 (Monday) - Rostered Day Off

 

 

What with getting home late, kebabs and watching Doctor Who it was gone midnight before I got to bed last night. But I wanted to watch the Doctor Who episode before I looked at Facebook this morning and got told all about it by those who so loudly shout about not wanting spoilers (as has happened so many times in the past).

I made toast, wrote yesterday’s diary, then had a look at Facebook to see that I was right to have watched Doctor Who last night. Had I not done so, after reading the Internet this morning I wouldn’t have needed to.

 

I then had a decision to make. When would we go for our walk? I looked at the weather forecast and rolled my eyes. At nine o’clock there was a seventeen per cent chance of rain, and the forecast icon had a raindrop on it. However if I waited until early afternoon the weather icon didn’t have a raindrop. But it did have a twenty-four per cent chance of rain.

How did that work?

I decided to go with numbers rather than pictures…

 

As we drove up to Kings Wood the pundits on the radio were banging on about the upcoming race for the leadership of the Conservative party. Rishi Sunak was the obvious candidate; several people were saying that he’d been the obvious candidate all along and it was hinted that the only reason that Liz Truss beat him was that the rank-and-file Conservative party voters voted on racial grounds. Did they? Whilst that is wrong, it is the sort of thing that sadly still happens. It was mentioned that last week there had talk on the radio of him being the first Prime Minister “of colour”, and the BBC had then received endless complaints claiming that Disraeli had actually been the first Prime Minister “of colour” because he was Jewish. Perhaps working where I do with people from all around the world of all shapes and colours and creeds has rather shaped my world view, but why do so many people still make such a fuss about anyone else who is in any way different to themselves?

We got to the woods and did our usual circuit. A walk of about four miles (must take “Hannah” next time and measure the distance!) took us an hour and a quarter. As we walked we only met three other people (and their dogs). I’d go there all the time for walks if getting there was easier, but the drive to Orlestone Woods takes less than half the time.

 

We got home just as the rain started. I popped up the shop to get a sandwich for later, then cracked on with the ironing. It only took two and a half hours to do. Whilst I ironed like a thing possessed I watched all four episodes of “Living Universe” on the “Yesterday” channel. It wasn’t a bad show, but took over three hours to sum up what could have been done in fifteen minutes… much like telly in general really, I suppose.

I then had a look at my accounts. Not too shabby; they could be a whole lot worse. But I found that I needed to speak to the bank about one trivial matter. From my previous experience with them I know that the one chap in the local branch is too busy to spend any time with me, so I phoned the bank and after forty-five minutes got through to someone who suggested I had a look at their website and sort it all out myself. When I suggested that I wanted help and advice he became rather rude, finally asking what I expected him to do. I said he might arrange for a senior manager to phone me and assure me that they want my custom. Needless to say, no one phoned.

More and more everything with the bank is self-service these days, Are all banks like this? I’ve been with the current lot for over thirty years but I think I’m reaching the point where I’ve had enough of them. Can any of my loyal readers recommend a bank that isn’t entirely rubbish?

 

“er indoors TM sorted out a rather good pizza dinner which we scoffed whilst watching more “Lego Masters: Australia”.

A walk, ironing, accounts, telly… Not a bad day, really.

 

 

25 October 2022 (Tuesday) - Bit Dull Really

 

 

Morgan went outside and did that which was expected of him this morning. And I prevented Bailey from eating it too. Something of a double result!! Much as I do love the puppies, they are foul creatures.

Talking of puppies, sister-in-law's dog had five of the things overnight...

 

I settled the puppies (ours, not hers) with “er indoors TM and watched last Sunday's final episode of "House of the Dragon" which was... I think the word I'm looking for is "tedious". The episode just dragged on. "House of the Dragon" does rather follow its parent show "Game of Thrones" in never hesitating to put on endless battle scenes when the scriptwriters haven't got enough plot to eke the show out. This season of ten shows could have easily (and better) done is six. I also can't help but think that Matt Smith might have used his time more productively being in the weekend's "Doctor Who" special, but I suppose he went where the money was.

 

It was rather dark when I left home. As I dove there was no topic on the radio being discussed other than the succession of Rishi Sunak as our new Prime Minister. He's become Prime Minister according to the long-established law of the country, but still there were those who showed their ignorance and were complaining that there hadn't been a General Election.

I was driving to Pembury today; as always the frankly dreadful driving I saw everywhere reached something of a climax at Goudhurst (as it so often does). Have you ever driven round Goudhurst? If you do, don't be afraid to drive up the pavements. Everyone does, and oncoming vehicles expect you to do so. I must admit I'm not keen on it, but it was either up the pavement or a head-on collision for me this morning.

 

I got to work; I hadn't been to Pembury for a few months, and so I spent a little while wandering round catching up on the gossip; the major bit of gossip being the demise of the tea club. In the past for a quid a week I could have as much coffee as I wanted, and someone else would ensure the plentiful supply of coffee, sugar and milk. But since I was last there, this has come to an end. I've now got to go to Tesco to get my own supplies. That's a pain in the glass (as “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TMwould say).

Bearing in mind the thirty-third Rule of Acquisition I spent quite a bit of time sucking up to the recently-promoted boss. She was having something of a dilemma in that her horse is currently depressed. It turns out that horses get seasonal depression. My Fudge used to sulk, but I don't think we've ever had a depressed dog. I couldn't help but wondered if dogs get depression too? It turns out that they do.  So... as well as stopping them from eating each other's turds and chewing the door frames, here's something else to worry about.

 

It was dark when I got home too…

 

 

26 October 2022 (Wednesday) - Some Sulking, Some Coffee

About twenty years ago I appointed a trainee blood tester. A lovely little girl; keen and eager to please. This morning I saw photos of her new house. She’s moved into an epic mansion which (quite frankly) would put Downton Abbey to shame. In the last twenty years her boyfriends (now husband) built up a rather successful plumbing business.
I could have done the same… but I didn’t. I worked every hour of the clock, nights and weekends and bank holidays and Christmases, missing children’s birthday parties… and now work for an organisation which is actively recruiting from overseas as British workers won’t work for it, and regularly tells the staff where the local food banks are.
Consequently I was in something of a jealous sulk for much of the day. 

My piss boiled even more (if that was possible!) as I drove the dogs to Kings Wood. In less than a day our new Prime Minister has already embroiled himself in scandal, having appointed Suella Braverman as Home Secretary. Did no one tell him that she was sacked from that job a week ago because she was sending confidential government documents to people who had no business with them. The Foreign Secretary was interviewed on the matter this morning and said there was no problem with her appointment to the post as she's apologized for what she's done wrong. And he was serious about it. He said on live radio that you can deliberately and intentionally send confidential government documents to anyone (quite possibly breaching the Official Secrets Act) and it don't matter *IF* you say you are sorry.
If you have a look on-line you'll see that one professional blood tester was struck off (and stayed struck off) for not paying for a car park ticket... I had such high hopes for this new government…

We got to the woods and had a very good walk. The only real "episode" was just after Treacle had done a tiddle. She was a tad vigorous in kicking the leaves over it and buried poor Bailey who had gone for a sniff.

It was a shame I'd left the sat-nav at home; I'd been planning to measure the distance that we cover on what has become our regular route.
Just as we finished our walk and were doing "boot dogs" I smelled something. That familiar whiff of fox poo. Bailey was covered in it. So we came home for a bath which she didn't like.  

I then set off to the late shift. I took something of a detour as there was a couple of new geocaches the other side of Tunbridge Wells that had gone live at brekkie time and which hadn't had a First to Find logged when I left home. A cheeky FTF would have been nice... I didn't get one.

I then went to Tesco for this and that. Yesterday I mentioned the demise of the works tea club. Today I discovered that Tesco sell sachets containing coffee, sugar and milk. All three - in the one sachet. Oh brave new world. Admittedly they are seventeen pence each... but that's far cheaper than the works Costa.It is only a shame that they taste like being seventeen pence's worth. I shall have to try the more expensive Kenco ones…

 

 

27 October 2022 (Thursday) - Level Four

 

 

Once I’d “done” the puppies this morning I made toast and had a little look at the Internet to see what I’d missed. Being late home last night I hadn’t given it the attention it might have deserved.

Being a very nosey person I had hoped to see the latest news and gossip from friends, colleagues and acquaintances, However my Facebook feed was mostly adverts this morning, many of which were blatant links to website featuring nudey ladies without any clothes on performing quite unhygienic activities. I reported them to the Facebook feds (not that I expect they will do anything).

One of the few adverts not featuring nudey ladies without any clothes on was an advert for a gay Harry Potter website. Apparently Harry Potter should have “got jiggy” with Draco Malfoy and ideally Hermoine would have “done the dirty deed” with Luna Lovegood. I reported that one too.

There was the same post to half a dozen Sparks-related Facebook pages; some woman in Germany had named her cat after Russell Mael and the cat has gone missing. I can imagine that she is distraught, but was that the place to be posting about it? And the rest of the Internet was rather dull.

 

As I drove to work I found out why I'd seen so many (utterly irrelevant) adverts on Facebook this morning. It would seem that Facebook as a company is only worth a third of what it was worth at the beginning of the year and the value of its shares are plummeting.

It was claimed  that in the past the head honchos of Facebook took on people who knew advertising, but more recently they've preferred to employ IT specialists instead, and consequently the advertisers' money is being wasted... This explains a lot; have you seen Facebook adverts? No matter what the advert, you can click on a "Why am I seeing this advert" and it will tell you who the advertiser is trying to target. Take (for example) adverts I've seen recently for saucy underwear,  for holidays on trains, for crackpot religions, for thingies that scrape the wax from your ears, and for the local theatre. They all have the same two criteria for their target audience; that you are aged between eighteen and sixty-five, and that you live in the UK.

Which is (arguably) why I never see an advert that actually interests me but I'm plagued with adverts featuring schoolgirls brandishing their chests. And why advertisers are taking their money elsewhere.

 

The pundits on the radio also made an interesting point about our new Prime Minister. In the previous election for leadership of the Conservative party (and by implication Prime Minister), all the candidates said what their policies were, and defended them in debates and in the media. But this didn't happen last week when Liz Truss got the heave-ho. Instead whoever it is that organises elections for leadership of the Conservative party (and by implication Prime Minister) said "who wants to be in charge?" Over the last weekend Penny Mordaunt and Rishi Sunak both replied "yeah - go on then!" and then Penny Mordaunt changed her mind.  With no one else fancying having a go Rishi Sunak got the top job by default, and consequently didn't have to have any actual ideas or policies. Consequently he can do whatever he likes, and no matter what he does he can't be accused of breaking any election promises. Because he didn't make any.

Did I ever mention that democracy isn't all it is cracked up to be?

 

Work was much the same as ever. I got home before “er indoors TM and took the dogs outside. Some did what was expected of them; some came back inside to do it where it was warm. Once I’d shouted at Morgan I then found a turd (presumably one of his) that “er indoors TM must have missed earlier.

Who’d have dogs.

 

With nothing defrosted “er indoors TM went foraging for dinner in the general direction of the KFC. We scoffed it whilst watching Tuesday’s episode of “Bake Off”, then “er indoors TM set off to the Outlet. Apparently they are open late tonight and she wants a new coat…

 

Oh, and our Munzee clan reached Level Four today. That was something of a result; we’ve never got that high before…

 

 

28 October 2022 (Friday) - Late Shift

 

 

 

Yesterday I mentioned that I saw an advert for nudey sauce romps on Facebook and had reported it. This morning as I scoffed toast I was presented with the same advert. So much for reporting filth and Facebook’s “Community Standards”, eh? As I’ve mentioned before it seems fine for porn-mongers to advertise their wares, but whenever I’ve pointed this out on my own feed I get a formal warning. This morning I contented myself with making a comment of “which one do I get to pork?” and left it at that. 

 

Once the dogs had scoffed their brekkie I took them up to Challock. As we drove the pundits on the radio were quite open that there have been no new developments in Ukraine overnight, but that didn’t stop them jabbering on about it.


We got to Kings Wood rather later than planned, but we still had a good walk; if perhaps a tad more eventful than I might have hoped. Having got rather over-excited at a spooked pheasant that went (flew) straight upwards the puppies then set off in hot pursuit of a squirrel that didn’t. And there were several somethings in the tree-tops squawking like things possessed. Were they parakeets? Fortunately all the hounds responded to the whistle and came to me so I could be sure they didn’t get in the way of passing horses and cyclists, and (unlike on Wednesday) we managed to avoid rolling in fox poo and in a dead hedgehog.

 

We did have one “episode” though. There was some woman walking a slavering vicious rather nasty dog (on a lead), She had two toddlers with her. Bailey went up to say hello to the toddlers and they had a complete meltdown. How does that work? You have absolutely no problem with mother’s death-hound which is trying to take lumps out of all and sundry, but you are terrified of Bailey? (For those of my loyal readers who have not yet met her, Bailey is just like a real dog, only much, much smaller. Probably weighs about five pounds. Certainly smaller than the average cat

 

We came home, and I did the dogs’ flea treatments. I did Treacle first so she didn’t realise what was coming. Morgan had his done without problem, but Bailey seemed a tad suspicious of the idea. But with flea treatments dobbed on their necks, the dogs soon settled as I had a cuppa.

 

I got up without disturbing Treacle, and carried the sleeping puppies to their crate, then set off west-wards to Pembury. As I drove it seemed to be "National Drive Like An Idiot" Day. Not only were ongoing cars going far too fast up the middle of the road, cyclists were going the wrong way round roundabouts, and people older than me were randomly flying across the road on electric scooters.

I think I either drove incredibly skilfully or was incredibly lucky to get to Pembury without crashing into any of them. 

 

I popped into Tesco at Pembury again; the place was heaving. Does every pensioner for miles around *really* have to go for their weekly shopping mob-handed at mid day? And if they do, why can't they go round the shop, put what they want into the trolley and then take all of it to the counter in one go (like everyone else). Why do they have to have the husband at the checkout jealously guarding it from all-comers whilst the wife dashes from aisle to till and then back to another aisle getting and paying for their shopping one item at a time?

Once I finally got to the head of the queue there was another delay. The woman on the till felt that more tills needed to be opened (they did) so there was an argument amongst the five till operatives on duty as to who needed to call over the tannoy for backup. Everyone agreed they needed help; no one wanted to be the one asking for it. I wish I didn't have such a powerful idiot magnet.

 

I got to work; it was much the same as it ever is. As I worked I had a phone call. “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TMwanted to know who would win in a fight between a microwave  and “Darcie Waa Waa TM 's bum, and “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” had the sulks as something has eaten all of her neons. The jury is still out as to exactly what has been doing the eating, but I am reliably assured it wasn't Pogo. 

 

I quite enjoyed the morning's walk round the woods, but the flip side of a late start is the late finish. Leaving Pembury after nine o'clock at night can be something of a pain in the glass. Especially as the A28 at Bethersden was closed and I had to take a diversion down a road we know as "Earl's shortcut". Whilst half a mile shorter than the bit of the A28 it cuts out, the country lane is narrow and twisty and used as a rat run by all and sundry... even at half past nine at night.

And it didn’t help that the diversion to avoid the road works had a road closure of its own half-way along it. I wonder whose genius idea that was… and how much they get paid. 

 

 

29 October 2022 (Saturday) - Busy, Busy

 

 

The plan for today had been to go on a geo-walk which had been organised in Tenyham for this morning. But what with getting out of work late last night and roadworks it was rather late when I finally got to bed last night. I woke this morning at about the time we would have had to be leaving for Tenyham… 

 

I made toast and had a look at Facebook. This morning’s adverts were for applicants for the post of researcher for the Church Army, for holidays in Belgium and for jumpers like my granddad used to wear.  I also saw there was a Lego festival in Milton Keynes today. Had I known about it…

Mind you in a novel break with tradition there was no filth being advertised this morning. 

 

Bearing in mind the dogs needed an outing we took them up to Kings Wood. It was the weekend; I really should make allowances. But carpark was full and the normal people had their dogs running loose round the car park. And we saw more people (fighting with dogs on leads) in the first two minutes of our walk than we usually see on the entire walk.


But after a little while we were away from the car park area, and away from where the normal people walk. We did our  usual circuit of the woods and (once more than two minutes’ walk from the car park) the people with dogs all knew what dogs are like, and we had a good outing. Admittedly a slow one; “er indoors TM was collecting chestnuts. Again I had to snigger at the normal people; every chestnut within a couple of hundred yards of the car park had long since been foraged. But once you’ve walked more than five minutes from the car park there were thousands of chestnuts waiting to be had.


As we passed the halfway point we had a message. Karl wondered if we were in Ashford as he had been dragooned into taking the girls shopping at the outlet. After a few messages (which takes some doing in Kings Wood where there is precious little signal!) we made plans.

 

We came home, had a quick tidy-up, and went round to Singleton Barn where we all met up over a couple of pints and a spot of lunch. Very tasty. It was only a shame that the puppies had to bark whenever the dog at the other end of the pub barked. Some half-wit at the bar made some comment about it being a pub and not Pets at Home. I smiled, and thought better about asking what sort of sad sack sits on his own in a pub on a Saturday afternoon being ignored by everyone else in the pub. 

 

After a couple of double ports (massively under-priced – result!) we said our goodbyes. We came home, I went into the garden, got the lawnmower out and scalped the lawn. It needed doing; the grass was higher than Bailey. With shorter grass Morgan might be more inclined to *do* things out there rather than indoors.

I’m not sure who was the most tired this evening… me or the dogs.

 

 

30 October 2022 (Sunday) - Wet Sunday

 

 

The clocks went back last night. I have probably ranted about daylight saving before; it’s all a bit silly really. It doesn’t save any daylight really, does it? It just makes the mornings lighter for a couple of weeks and brings sunset forward. But it gives you an extra hour in bed… I suppose.

I had a little longer in bed listening to “er indoors TM snoring, but got up anyway as small dogs in their crate don’t understand “daylight saving”. I got up at about the same time that I would have turned up at work had a colleague not asked to do my early shift today (result!) and took said small dogs outside only to find it was raining. They both scooted back inside, so I frogmarched them out and closed the door behind us. We all got rather wet until Bailey finally did that which was expected of her. Morgan didn’t; he can be rather stubborn at times.

He eventually pissed on the bathroom floor an hour later.

 

Whilst the puppies went to bother “er indoors TM”, I made toast and had a look at the Internet as I do most mornings. It was still there. The sarcastic comments I’ve been adding to the Facebook porn adverts had got quite a few reactions and comments in the same vein.

There was quite a lot of griping on some of the Hastings-related Facebook pages. There were several photos of the villages outside Hastings featuring shops, garages and local businesses, all of which  have now closed down. People were bemoaning how the villages outside Hastings now have houses and absolutely nothing else… I found myself thinking about the (so the signs say) “family run filling station” on the way to Biddenden where you pay vastly over-inflated prices for attitude rather than service. These little shops and garages used to be all very well for those who could afford to use them.

I also saw that “er indoors TM had given me a pressie: A Munzee flamingo. It hops round the world from lamp post to lamp post waiting to get capped on (as flamingos do!)

 

Daddy’s Little Angel TM” needed some tropical fish, so armed with her shopping list we went to Bybrook barn to get some…

I found myself getting an inquisition from some spotty little oik. How big was the tank? Spotty demanded to know *precisely* how big the tank was. How long had it been running? “Ages” was not an acceptable answer; he wanted to know how long to within a day or so. I wouldn’t have minded quite so much if I hadn’t been keeping tropical fish for over twice as long as he’s been alive, and to add insult to injury, pretty much all of the fish in their tanks were in quarantine and weren’t for sale until Tuesday anyway. He suggested I came back on Tuesday. I told him I would go to Dobbies instead where I could get what I wanted cheaper and with less attitude.

And that is what I did…

 

As we arrived at the abode of the most recent fruit of my loin I opened the car boot to something of a shock. There were only two dogs present. Since leaving Ashford we’d lost a dog. How was that possible? I called the dog register… Bailey was definitely absent.

Just as panic was about to set in, I found her… on the back seat of the car. How had she escaped from the boot?

 

Daddy’s Little Angel TM” was pleased to see us, as were “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TMand 

Darcie Waa Waa TM. Pogo wasn’t pleased to see the puppies; there was a near episode ending with poor Pogey being locked in the bathroom until he had calmed down.

Whilst “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” got excited about her new fish, “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TMplayed Minecraft at me and showed me how to use an axe to turn a sheep into a pork chop.

The original plan had been to go on to Herne Bay for the Dachshund walk, but the weather forecast had got worse… there will be other Dachshund walks. We came home via the bargain shop. I amused the dogs whilst “er indoors TM went shopping. She came out with three cases of wine and a case of cider for herself, and a packet of dishwasher tablets for me.

I know my place…

 

We came home; the rain had slackened off to a drizzle, but still too yukky to spend time in the garden, so I ironed some shirts and slobbed in front of the telly watching some wildlife program from Patagonia which looked far more interesting that I expect the place actually is.

 

“er indoors TM boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching “Lego Masters: Australia”. As always the sow was rather good. But as today has worn on I’ve felt progressively more and more grotty. I wonder why?

 

 

31 October 2022 (Monday) - Halloween

 

 

I wasn’t feeling on top form when I went to bed last night. I felt marginally better this morning, though only marginally. This morning Facebook seemed to feature little else than people arguing over garden ponds and goldfish. Why do people have to squabble all the time?

With toast quickly scoffed I got the dogs onto their leads and we drove out to Kings Wood. You could tell half term was over by how many more cars were on the roads.

As we drove “Thought for the Day” was on. Some vicar was blathering about Halloween and saying that all the ghosts and monsters and stories were all make-believe. Perhaps they are; but I’m not quite sure how he would have us think that the fairy stories he was peddling were real though.

 

We got to the woods  and had a rather uneventful walk. We saw (and bothered) a few other dogs, but all three came back to the sound of the whistle (which was something of a result). The dogs did get grubby though, and all needed a paw wash when we got home.

 

All were soon snoring and I got changed; putting on a winter shirt. I have “summer” and “winter” shirts for work which come in and out of use when the clocks go forwards and backwards.

And with the dogs asleep I set off for work.

I got some petrol on the way. It pays to shop around when getting that stuff; the price varies quite a bit depending on where you go. I then had quite an easy trip to work - I don't mind working at Pembury really; the drive is very pretty in the daylight.

I got to work, and grumbled to anyone who would listen that I didn't want to be there; no one really listened, but on the plus side there was cake. That chirped me up;  you can never grumble when there is cake.

I did my bit until the night shift arrived. I must admit I’d been dreading Halloween in the blood bank, but it wasn’t as bad as it might have been.

 

Rather than taking the diversion round the road closure that I thought I should take (and finding it wasn't a diversion at all) like I did on Friday night I drove my normal route home and thought I'd follow the actual diversion (rather than what I thought was the diversion). The actual diversion goes off in the general direction of Plurenden dairy. I say “in the general direction of” because after a mile or so none of the various crossroads and branching lanes have any diversion signs. It was as well that I know the area reasonably well, wasn’t it?

 

I would say that today was dull, but we had a good walk this morning, and there was cake. The day could have been a whole lot worse.