1 September 2018 (Saturday) - Not a Sausage
I had a rather bad night; laying awake for much of it. I finally dozed off shortly before the alarm went off at 4.30am. Over a bowl of Golden Nuggets (ewww!) I watched some utter rubbish on the “Eden” channel about how continental drift is supposedly reflected in the anal fins of cichlid fish (or so some nutter would have me believe).
One lives and learns…
I got dressed and left home whist it was still dark. I collected "My Boy TM" and we went to McDonalds for McBrekkie. We sat by the window to eat brekkie so we could keep an eye on the thugs who were loitering round the car park, then we set off to Cranbrook and Hartley Lands fishery. The idea was to be first one at the gate waiting for them to open; we were first one at the gate, beating my brother and nephew by two minutes.
The bailiff soon arrived and let us in and following his guidance we set up on the “Bramley” lake. I laid out the new unhooking mat I’d got last Saturday. I set up my new pod system I got on Tuesday. I deployed my butt grips that arrived yesterday, I activated my new bite alarms that came with my brother today, cast out and hoped for the best.
There’s no denying that I dozed off once or twice, but that wasn’t a problem. Should any errant haddock take my bait, the buzzing of the bite alarm would wake me. In between dozing we had a good laugh, and watched kingfishers and herons flying about.
I took a few photos of the day, but the photos rather lacked something which is usually considered central to any fishing trip; namely fish. According to the snoopers at Google we arrived at the fishery at 06.34 am and left at 18.05 pm. In that time I had one bite that didn’t lead to anything, and that was the sum total of our piscatorial prowess today. Four of us fished (with two rods each) for eleven hours and we caught nothing. Zip! Nada!
Mind you it was good to be out in the sunshine with family. Next time we’ll try a different lake. One with fish in it, maybe? I jokingly said that to another fisherman today, and it turns out that I wasn’t far off the mark with that comment. On 9 June 2017 together with the first fruit of my loin I’d walked round Bramley lake whilst it was still being dug out. Only a year or so ago… apparently once it was filled the lake was stocked with one hundred and fifty carp. Now when you think that the lake is about the size of three or four football pitches that’s an awful lot of space for relatively few fish.
That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
On the minus side I did put my bum through my fishing chair today. I rescued my fishing chair from the tip some time ago. I had this theory that if I bought a new one (a “proper” fishing chair costs about a hundred pounds!) I would not want to get it grubby. But if I had an old tatty one I wouldn’t care about it getting covered in fish slime. It was a theory which worked until I put my bum through it today.
I need to find another knacked fishing chair…
We came home, unpacked the fishing tackle and I went to the kebab shop. "er indoors TM" had gone to sister-in-law’s birthday for the evening. I did have half a plan to follow on after fishing, but I’d probably had a tad too much sun, so I got kebab and shared it with the dogs as I watched telly.
My dogs like kebab...
2 September 2018 (Sunday) - Bridge to Adisham (and back)
I slept well until the dogs had something of a “Red Alert” when "er indoors TM" came home in the small hours. I slept rather fitfully after that.
Over brekkie I had a look-see at the Internet. I believe the football season started yesterday? Several people were commenting on Facebook about how their favourite football teams had fared. “We” did this, “we” won, “we” lost, “we” beat “you”. People take the thing *so* personally. Over the years I’ve watched so many football games; at best I find it tedious. I wish I understood the attraction.
I also saw an acquaintance was selling a broken rabbit hutch. From the photos it looked as though the thing was fit for the dustbin. It *probably* could be repaired, but who is going to shell out good money on old rubbish when for ten quid more you could get something bigger, better and brand new from the pet shop? Selling knacked things on social media is a sad sign of our times. In years gone by you’d give your tat to the scouts or the boys brigade for their jumble sale. Nowadays you sell it yourself and pocket the profit. When did you last see a jumble sale?
"er indoors TM" and I got the dogs organised and we drove out to Bridge where we net Karl, Tracey and Charlotte. It has been quite a while since we had a walk together, and Fudge got rather over-excited as he does. I did feel sorry for any locals trying to have a lie-in; he would not stop shouting.
We then set off on a little walk. Needless to say there was a series of geocaches leading off from where we’d parked. Over fifty of the things; each one having a puzzle that we’d had to solve before we knew where to find it.
We had a rather good walk along lanes and paths and fields and tracks. As we walked we met sheep and horses and a rather friendly little donkey. We collected conkers and listened to the skylarks. We investigated old WWII pill-boxes. We climbed onto trig-points and dug in the dirt. And just a few hundred yards from the end we found a pub. We sat in the afternoon sunshine and whilst some of our group had a few beers, others spent the time barking at the pub’s dogs.
It had been a rather good walk; I took several photos.
Once home "er indoors TM" had a quick shower and went bowling. I made myself a cup of coffee to slurp with the last of that rather good banana bread that "er indoors TM" made the other day, and I fell asleep.
What a waste of an evening…
3 September 2018 (Monday) - Sea Forts
The banana bread lay heavy in my stomach last night and I didn’t sleep well. I finally nodded off just before the alarm went off at 3.30am. I got up, settled my errant stomach with some toast and coffee and set off to Sittingbourne for Karl.
More coffee, a quick tiddle, and then off to Queenborough for the main business of the day.
In the middle of the Thames estuary are old sea forts left over from the war. There is a geocache tied to the landing gantry of one of them, and there is a virtual geocache associated with another a few miles away. Earlier in the year I had an invitation to go out to the forts with an organised group but (in all honesty) I didn’t want to go along just to make up the numbers, so I turned down the offer. (In retrospect that was a wise decision as the boat broke down on that occasion).
Instead I contacted the boat people directly and organised a trip of my own. A dozen of us met up at the landing stage in Queenborough and we boarded the X-Pilot just as the sun was rising.
Our first target was the Red Sands Fort. We set sail at six o’clock and arrived after an hour and a half; those sea forts are amazing when seen close-up. After a little to-ing and fro-ing our boat was moored to the landing platform, and by popular acclamation I was the first person to board the fort. Five more friends (and the tour guide) joined me and we spent a few minutes having a look-see (and doing the secret geo-ritual) before hopping off the platform and letting everyone else have a go.
In total we were at the Red Sands Fort for about half an hour; it was amazing how much the tide fell in that short time.
We then sailed on to the forts at the Shivering Sands where we didn’t board the forts; all that was required for geo-purposes was a selfie. But again it was great to be there and see the things. They look impressive when seen on the horizon from the coast. Up close they were amazing. And as we sailed away we saw a seal in our wake.
We sailed back to harbour past the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery; a wrecked American Liberty ship the masts of which are still clearly visible. It was built during World War II and was used to carry cargo during the war. The ship was wrecked off the coast of Sheerness in 1944, whilst carrying about one thousand five hundred tons of explosives which are still on board and dangerous.
I took quite a few photos as we sailed. Once ashore I took another photo of the late brekkie that we had, and then we said our goodbyes and went our various ways. Pausing only briefly to drop Karl off in Sittingbourne I came home and took the dogs out. As we walked we tried to fight with a car transporter and a dustbin lorry, and we had a good swim in the river too.
We came home, and we all dozed in front of the telly for five minutes before the dogs charged up the garden barking at shadows. After the twentieth time I closed the back door to stop them bothering the neighbourhood and went back to sleep.
"er indoors TM" came home, made a rather good bit of dinner and went bowling. The intention was to watch some telly, but having set the alarm for before four o’clock this morning had taken its toll. I really should have an early night.
Oh - and in closing today marked the seventh anniversary of Fudge joining the family. Seven years ago (to the day) I wrote “…to his credit Fudge is a quiet dog…”
How things have changed…
4 September 2018 (Tuesday) - A Walk round Godinton
I often intend to have an early night; I did so last night and was sleeping like a log when my phone decided to give me a flurry of notifications at five past six. Even though it was completely disconnected from the internet. I wish it wouldn’t do that.
I got up and sighed. On Friday I’d emptied the laundry basket. It was full again. Still, it isn’t as bad as it used to be – I’m only washing for two these days. Back in the day the fruits of my loin would generate *far* more washing than I could cope with.
I fed a load into the washing machine and over brekkie I had a look-see to find out what my phone wanted to tell me.
There had been a lot of interest expressed in the piccies of yesterday’s boat trip to the forts. A lot of people were envious of the trip, but two had asked how they might organise such an outing of their own. I’ve told them what I did. It wasn’t difficult; I contacted the nice people at Project Red Sands to find what dates they had available, chose a date which suited me, and then asked individuals who I thought might want to go along. I soon filled the boat. The biggest problem was having “normal people” finding out about the plans, *telling* me they were coming, and then getting arsey when I explained the boat was full.
I hope more people do organise trips to the forts. It was a good place to be. And if people organise trips to the forts they may well organise trips elsewhere and I could go along.
I got the leads on to the dogs and we went for a little walk. We drove out to the Godinton estate, parked up, and went for a little walk along the Greensand Way, and back home via a diversion into Ripper’s Wood. It was a good walk. It would have been better if the dogs could have been off the leads for more of the walk, but there were a lot of sheep and cattle. Treacle isn’t good with farm animals. Fudge generally ignores them, but Treacle is the archetypal bully; she tries to run in terror from the cattle but wants to chase the sheep. She worked herself into quite a frenzy (several times) over the sheep.
As we came to the river we stopped for a spudle and a drink. It was only when the dogs were in the water that I noticed the pike. It was probably about as big as Fudge, and only a couple of yards from them. It didn’t seem bothered by the dogs; I don’t think they even noticed it.
After swimming with pike, the walk back to the car was relatively uneventful.
We came home, and over a sandwich I watched more “Orange is the New Black”. At the end of season four our heroes staged a prison riot. I’m now half way into season five, the riot is still going on seemingly because the writers have run out of ideas.
I then spent a bit of time fiddling on the geocaching website and playing with GSAK. As we walked this morning I checked out some possible locations for some new geocaches. I’ve figured out a twenty-one-cache route of straight-forward film-pot-under-rocks with a half-dozen trickier puzzles for those that like that sort of thing. I need to tell geocaching dot com about them, but I can do that later.
I realise that in trying to keep everyone happy I will probably please no-one, but such is life.
I mowed the lawn; "er indoors TM" came home and boiled up a rather good bit of scran. Having heard nothing about a Tuesday gathering we cracked open a bottle of plonk and watched “Bake-Off”.
5 September 2018 (Wednesday) - Resuscitations
I found myself wide awake in the small hours so I got up, watched telly for an hour or so then went back to bed where I nodded off again. I would have slept better had the canine half of the family not commandeered my side of the bed. I *could* have hoiked them off, but I let sleeping dogs lie.
I woke up a few hours later an had a look at Facebook as I scoffed toast. Facebook was alive with photos of youngsters going back to school. I quite like the school photos; being a nosey sort of person I like seeing what other people are doing, and I did have a chuckle at one or two people who’d posted loads of photos of their little darlings when in the past they’ve flatly forbidden any and all use of a camera anywhere within a hundred yards of their offspring in case this somehow encourages paedophiles to abduct them.
There were also those who in the past have been very scathing about the “back to school” photos who are now very happy to show them off now they have children of their own.
I then managed to destroy all the hard work I did yesterday afternoon. There is a geocaching app called “GSAK” which, whilst rather wonderful, doesn’t work with any logic at all. If you use it, whatever you do *never* open a file. To the rest of the universe “open a file” means “open a file”. To GSAK “open a file” means “take that file and mix it irretrievably in with the one you currently have on the screen”. When you want to open a file you have to create a brand new virgin file and then open the file you want to use on top of it. Oh how I laughed as yesterday afternoon’s work went down the toilet.
Eventually I managed to salvage what I wanted from a backup.
That wasted quite a bit of time…
Bearing in mind it was raining I thought I might delay the dog walk by driving down to visit my mummy. Mum and dad seemed well, we had a cuppa and a cake, then I drove my dogs out to Rolvenden. There were three geocaches in the area that hadn’t been found in over a year; I thought I might do some more resuscitations.
Our first target was one which someone had logged that they didn’t find it a few months ago. I found a rather obvious hidey-hole, but there was nothing inside.
Our second target was just up the road; a quick find. Interestingly someone had signed the paper log to say they’d found it last August, but not done so on-line. I wonder why not.
Our third target was to be our main walk. I parked the car in Iden Green and me and my dogs walked along lanes and footpaths out to the back of beyond. The dogs seemed to like walking somewhere new; lots of interesting things to smell. Eventually my phone said I was within two metres of my quarry. The given hint said “tucked well back inside hollow base of large ash tree by fence”. I found a large ash tree by a fence. I found a great big hollow in it. I couldn’t find a film pot, sandwich box or anything hidden inside. Just as I was about to give up I saw something. A great big sandwich box laying out in the open at the base of that tree. I opened the log book to sign it and saw that no one had written anything in it for nearly two years. Another resuscitation. Happy dance.
As we walked back to the car we walked past a geocache that I’d found on the morning of 4 June. It was laying out in the open. I hid the thing properly and called up the information on the website intending to have a moan at whoever found it last and hadn’t hidden it properly. I was rather embarrassed to find that no one else had been near it since I logged that find. Whoops. However on the plus side I hadn’t realised that that no one had logged a find in the fifteen months prior to my finding it in June. Another resuscitation – one I’d done without realising.
We came home just as the rain started again. I scoffed some lunch whilst watching “Orange is the New Black”. The plot was rather exciting; several storylines were taking unexpected twists and turns when (purely for reasons of filth and depravity) our heroine and her girlfriend took off their clothes and had gratuitous sex in the shower. Don’t get me wrong; I like filth as much as the next man (provided the next man actually likes filth) but smut purely for smut’s sake in what could otherwise be a rather good TV show?
Perhaps I should re-launch neo-puritanism.
I went out into the garden and trimmed the edges of the lawn until the rain started again, then came in and dozed in front of the telly until "er indoors TM" boiled up dinner. As we scoffed it we watched this week’s episode of “Krypton”. It’s not that good…
6 September 2018 (Thursday) - Busy, Busy
I’d set the alarm for this morning, but as always when I’ve set an alarm I was wide awake well before it was due to go off. I came downstairs and found Fudge laying on the door mat fast asleep. Against my better judgement I left him there; he has taken to guarding the hallway and going absolutely mental every time the slightest sound comes from next door.
I made myself some toast and had a look at the Internet so see if I’d missed much overnight.
As usual there were those still pedalling racial hatred on Facebook. All these memes about how illegal immigrants get ten million quid a day whilst the war-hero-pensioner doesn’t get a pot to piss in… they are *all* lies. Just copying the key words of the hateful memes into Google and adding the word “snopes” is usually enough to give you a link to a reputable website which shows what a pack of lies these memes are.
I challenged a couple this morning and got the reply “I just copied it from someone else”. This begs the questions why are people believing this sort of rubbish, and from whom are they copying these lies?
It has been my experience that there *are* a lot of immigrant workers in the UK. And it has been my experience that they are doing the jobs that the average Brit won’t do. Once they’ve all been sent back on the next banana boat and there is no food in the shops as no one will harvest it and we are all dying of rickets and scurvy (in our mid-twenties) because there’s no doctors left, I shall take great delight in saying “I told you so”.
I also had an email from LinkedIn telling me about the latest antics of Nicholas Hill, Steven Turner, Ross Harrison and Ron Roser. I wonder who those people are? Mind you LinkedIn had also emailed me to tell me why my flight is always so full, so (bearing in mind I’ve been on two aeroplanes in the last ten years) I think it fair to say that LinkedIn was talking rubbish. Again.
There was a lot of that on the Internet this morning.
I woke the dogs (Fudge was raring to go; Treacle not so) and took them for their morning constitutional rather earlier than usual. My car had given me a “check emissions” warning message a few days ago so I’d made an appointment to have it checked. As I pulled off I noticed the warning had gone. Mind you, these things are best checked out.
I left the car with the nice people in the garage and I and the dogs walked home. As we came through Frog’s Island a passing thug took a shine to Treacle and warned me that when my staffie grows up she won't get on with my dachshund. His face was a picture when I thanked him for his advice and assured him I would avoid those breeds
We walked home past the road works. Part of our road is blocked off for “emergency road works”. I posted on one of the local Facebook groups to ask if anyone knew why the road was closed. Within ten minutes I had replies that the road was closed because there were road works. (These people are allowed to vote and do jury service!)
After a few more minutes someone who *wasn’t* a total doom-brain posted that the road had been closed for emergency gas repairs as there was a gas leak somewhere near the bakery.
We got home and I fed the dogs. Treacle flatly refused to touch her food until Fudge had finished his and gone back to his basket.
I put some washing on and did some dull gardening. I got the lawn mowed and cut back some of the roses and various shrubs hanging over the fence from next door. Then I was rather petty… The clematis from next door was climbing all over the arbour by our pond. I wish it wouldn’t do that. I’ve whinged at next door several times only to be completely blanked, so I intricately cut each tendril of clematis that was holding it to the fence between our gardens, then hoiked the entire lot over to her side. I *know* it is petty, but what else can I do? If I don’t do something about their greenery it takes over our garden (we’ve had rose vines reaching literally half-way across our garden in the past). I’ve tried speaking to her; she looks at me as though I am the shit on her shoe and she walks away. Hopefully this might have some effect.
I hung out the washing and put more in to scrub. Whilst it scrubbed I got a coat of paint onto the front of the house. It doesn’t really look any different to how it was before, but if I can get a coat on there once every six months it might stop looking any worse.
As I painted the world and his wife walked past and suggested I might like to paint their houses for them; each person feeling they were oh-so-funny and that their comment was oh-so-original.
Half way through my lunch sandwich the garage phoned. They’d given my car a good going over and found a couple of faults on the fault detector gizmo, but each fault triggers the other so they didn’t know what the actual fault was. They suggested that they reset the fault detector gizmo and that I took the car and bring it back the very moment it gives an alarm so they know what the fault is.
I walked the dogs over to get the car, and seeing how it was still only early in the afternoon I had an idea to drive the car to Folkestone, walk the dogs a little, and drive back to see if I could get the emissions alarm to go off again. We drove to Folkestone; I had this idea that some of the geocaches there might mark out a walk for us.
For once they didn’t.
We started off following a series of caches called “It’s a Bug’s Life”; probably good fun insect-themed containers when put out, it didn’t help that the first two were missing. It also didn’t help that the footpaths marking the route were little more than thinner parts of bramble patches. After the second failure I called up all the details of the other caches on my phone… I *should* have done my homework and checked out the route *before* we came down to Folkestone. Of the twelve caches in the series one had been logged as broken over a year ago, two had already been archived, one has had a building site spring up around it… I gave up on that walk.
As we were in the area we had a look for a cache in a nearby church. This one involved getting some information in the graveyard. I failed here too, but I did find the grave of Samuel Plimsoll – him who invented the “Plimsoll Line”.
We then made our way back to the car. As we walked past a school some little brat pulled Treacle’s tail. The brat’s mother looked round and asked why my dog was yapping at her brat, and frankly refused to believe that her brat would ever pull a dog’s tail. I wasted a few minutes trying to be polite, then said a swear word (or two) at her and marched off. Eventually we got back to the car - it took some doing. A building site had sprung up blocking our footpath.
We got home; I got the washing in and sparked up the telly as the dogs snored. It wasn’t long before I too was snoring. Today’s been rather busy.
"er indoors TM" will be home soon. I wonder if she’ll notice I’ve painted the house?
7 September 2018 (Friday) - Margate
I slept reasonably well; even if after a rather vivid dream in which there was a hurricane going on I woke to find my CPAP machine had slipped somewhat.
Over brekkie I had a look at the Internet. After yesterday’s little tirade of hate-posting, this morning was rather more sedate. And with no emails of note I had a look at the geo-map to see if I might have a little adventure this morning on the way to Margate. I chose a geocache which looked to be a little off the beaten track. It looked as though I would have a little walk to get to it; a little walk is always good. The cache description gave a starting point for the walk at the beginning of a footpath so I set the sat-nav and off I went.
As I drove I listened to the radio. Being on a little holiday I’d not heard the radio for some time. One of the leading lights of Ofsted was being interviewed. Despite having had their budget halved, Ofsted's chief inspector, Amanda Spielman was maintaining all was peachy at Ofsted whilst answering every question with a random selection of management catch-phrases. Management catch-phrases boil my piss; for many years I worked in an environment in which I really could (and did) say things along the lines of “let’s run it up the flag-pole and see who salutes” and not one person present realised that by doing so I was laughing at them. Management catch-phrases only work with people who lap up that sort of thing; they *certainly* don’t work on national radio.
There was also an interview with Tony Blair. Love him or loathe him, he led the Labour party to three consecutive victories. He didn’t *actually* say that Jeremy Corbyn had shoved the Labour party down the toilet and was vigorously pulling the flush on it… What is it with the Labour party? Such a brilliant idea in theory; such a disaster in practice.
I got to the start of the footpath for my little walk. It was at this point that I saw that getting to this cache didn’t involve quite such a little walk. My sat-nav said it was a walk of over a mile and a half to get to it. So I didn’t bother. Instead I drove into Pegwell Bay where I failed to find one stuffed in some ivy.
I drove into Margate, parked up and went to a certain shop. "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" was ranting at a supplier; eventually "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" was persuaded to put on some trousers and we walked up to the Best Westbrook café for a spot of brekkie. Eventually "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" persuaded his mother that he didn’t want apple juice, and he got the cup of tea he wanted. He was even allowed to add his own sugar. But there’s no denying that he had a total meltdown when he wasn’t allowed mustard with it.
I plumped for the full English, and very nice it was too.
Suitably replete we wandered back to base. Sam set off to the cash and carry, and I helped "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" doing a little tidying up. I say “tidying up”; we just did a tip run, then went to help at the cash and carry.
The morning in the shop is usually quiet; things pick up in the afternoon, so I shoved off, and pausing only briefly to fail to find a geocache in what seemed to be a tramp’s bedroom I came home.
I got the leads on to the dogs and we set off round the park. Half way round we had the sudden realisation that we’d forgotten a nephew’s birthday on Sunday, so I hurriedly diverted to the corner shop where I got a card and some stamps, and then we went to the post office in the town centre to be sure the card would get there in time.
As we walked home I let the dogs off the leads as much as I could. One small child went hysterical at the sight of “loose dogs”, but she was far enough away that I could plausibly pretend I hadn’t seen her, so I pretended I hadn’t seen her, and we carried on homewards.
Another day which was rather busier that a so-called “holiday” should have been…
8 September 2018 (Saturday) - Brede
Finding myself wide awake at two o’clock I got up and watched the first episode of season six of “Orange is the New Black”. The show seems to have taken a new turn as there was absolutely no filth whatsoever in this episode. I then went back to bed and slept through until nearly nine o’clock.
I got up and immediately fell over Treacle’s food bowl. She carries it around and plays with it as though it is a toy. She must have lost interest in it just before jumping on the bed last night.
Over brekkie I had a look-see at what was going on in the Internet. A lot of people seemed to be celebrating wedding anniversaries today. My cousin was whinging about having injured her “clopper” whilst riding a bike yesterday. Life goes on…
We got the leads onto the dogs and drove down to Brede. As we drove through Tenterden there were Morris Dancers doing their thing. The dogs barked at them; I was pleased about that.
Before we started our walk we took a little diversion to hunt out a cache that hadn’t been found for over a year. As we started we saw a couple of kids who were oh-so-obviously geocaching. I told them that I knew what they were doing; they sheepishly admitted they were geocaching but hadn’t found any. Ever. They were amazed when I rummaged under a rock and produced one, and were absolutely gobsmacked when I suggested they signed and dated it. A shame that the lad used his birth date rather than today’s date, but you can’t have everything.
We then relocated to Brede where we thought we’d hunt out some more really old geocaches. We made our way to the Church where we solved two puzzles. One was rather fiendish and led to me getting my hand ripped to shreds (to no avail). The other was based on the rather sad tale of Damaris Richardson; an orphan who lived nearby which we also failed to find.
We walked on to Brede water works where we found our second resuscitation cache of the day. However we didn’t see any dodos. There are those who subscribe to the theory that dodos are extinct. All I can say (in all seriousness) is that on a couple of occasions I’ve seen birds near Brede water works which look *identical* in every way to the stuffed dodos in the Natural History Museum.
From the water works we continued a rather circular walk back to the car, taking a diversion on the way to pick up our third geo-resuscitation of the day. This one was rather special… well worth going to have a look at (if ammo cans in trees is the sort of thing that floats your boat). Mind you with no other caches within half a mile of it, it was somewhat “old-school”, and perhaps that is why it gets so few visits.
As we walked "er indoors TM" got talking with a passing normal person who was picking mushrooms. He offered he some which he assured her were quite edible; thankfully she declined his offer.
I took a few photos as we walked; we got back to the car to find we’d walked over four miles.
Once home we had a cuppa and cake, and I sent a message to the chap who’d hidden the caches we couldn’t find. Were we in the right places? Had they gone?
I then wasted an hour or so playing “Bubble Witch Saga” in the lap-top. Something of a waste of time perhaps, but sometimes sitting and wasting time isn’t a bad thing.
"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner, and as we scoffed it we watched a film on Netflix. “The Beyond” was a watchable sci-fi story. I quite liked it, but I was rather conscious that the story was one which (in large part) Fred Pohl told over forty years ago in his novel “Man Plus”.
There seem to be very few original stories left to be told…
9 September 2018 (Sunday) - Oldberry Hill
I slept reasonably well and didn’t trip over anything left laying around by silly dogs when I got up this morning.
As I scoffed brekkie I had a look at Facebook. "My Boy TM" had been fishing yesterday with some of his mates. They’d been to some match lake. I don’t like these match lakes – so many rules and regulations suck the enjoyment out of it. But he’d caught some big catfish, so he’d had a more productive session than our trip out last Saturday.
I was then rather surprised to find that I’d been made an administrator of Brookfield café’s Facebook page. In fact not just an administrator, but the *only* administrator. I wonder how that came about; I’m hardly the man for the job. I’ve been there once this year, and I can’t really claim to be a big fan of the place. It’s not bad but given the choice I would go to Rocky’s or the Old Foundry or the American Diner or even McDonalds before them.
I also had an email from the chap who hid the caches we couldn’t find yesterday. It seems we were in the right location for both. Maybe I might go back and have another look?
I then played “Bubble Witch Saga” for half an hour before getting myself organised for the main business of the day.
We got ourselves organised and drove off. We then came back home again as I’d forgotten “Hannah” (my GPS unit) and drove to the car park at the co-op. Bearing in mind that the cashpoint machine there has *never* given me a receipt I walked across to the petrol station and got money from there. We then went on to Oldbury Hill.
Regular readers of this drivel may recall that I walked the series of geocaches there exactly a month ago. Karl had suggested we walked this route today. I was keen; it had been raining when we walked it and I wanted to see the place in the dry. And (for various reasons) we wanted a short-ish route today. When we walked it a month ago the walk took us three hours. The hides were all clever and tricky, and one eluded us altogether. Today we walked the lot in two hours finding all the hides pretty much immediately and I found the one that we spent over half an hour on (before giving up) in less than a minute. In many ways I was disappointed; knowing where most of the caches were, I had been looking forward to doing my usual grinning smugly whilst everyone else struggled. But no one struggled.
As we walked I took a few photos as I seem to do
Oldbury Hill is a rather good place to be. The dogs liked the walk, and with walk walked it was a very short hop to the nearby pub. We were rather disappointed to see they only had one ale on the hand-pump, but Doom Bar isn’t a bad drop. We got chatting with the barman who told us that they only have one ale on at a time as they don’t shift enough of the stuff. We shifted some. But they did have bottles of “Goose IPA”. I shifted quite a bit of that; at 6% ABV I probably shifted too much.
We said our goodbyes; bearing in mind we were only fifteen miles from a puzzle geocache I’d solved over a year ago and was now up for resuscitation we drove out to find that (for bragging rights) and then I slept all the way home. 6% ABV beer does that to me.
I played a little more “Bubble Witch Saga” until "er indoors TM" doshed out a rather good bit of dinner. Then, with her off bowling and the dogs snoring, I watched more “Orange is the New Black”. I’m now up to episode three of the sixth season. With only ten more episodes left to go I really should be thinking about what my next binge-watching-on-Netflix should be…
10 September 2018 (Monday) - A Little Stroll
I didn’t really sleep well last night. Perhaps I should have got up and watched telly at three o’clock rather than laying in bed trying (and failing) to nod off.
Over brekkie I watched more “Orange is the New Black”, then sparked up my lap-top to have a look-see at what had happened on the Internet overnight. Those who would spread discontent were banging on about “Share if you think British history should be taught in our schools again” even though it is. I wish people wouldn’t subscribe to this “I read it on Facebook therefore it must be true” mentality.
I then played “Bubble Witch Saga” until I got had off of a Doom Bubble (as one does from time to time).
We got the dogs organized and drove out to Rolvenden. "er indoors TM" wanted to hide a geocache or two in the area, and me and the dogs came for the outing. It was a rather good outing too. We had a very good walk along well-marked footpaths and lanes. I particularly liked the bit early in the walk when we went through the orchards – you can’t beat a fresh apple. Unfortunately it was at this point that Fudge stopped and refused to move. He eventually started again when I pulled a large thorn out of his paw. If only he could tell me what the problem had been…
There was one part where our route went awry though. As we were walking up a clearly marked footpath we met some half-wit with a bow and arrow who was randomly shooting arrows into the sky. Fortunately he was well away from the path. We came to where the footpath joined the road and found a locked gate barring the way. We back-tracked a little, but the GPS on the sat-nav was definite. We *were* on the footpath and someone had deliberately blocked it up.
It was at this point that the half-wit with a bow and arrow’s gran came out of a nearby cottage and politely explained we were on private land. I equally politely explained that we were on a public right of way and showed her the GPS evidence. She waved it away claiming that everyone thinks the well-marked footpath is a public right of way, but she claimed it wasn’t.
It was as well that we met the half-wit with a bow and arrow’s gran as we were able to re-route the geocaches away from the half-wit with a bow and arrow and from his gran.
As we walked we met loads of wildlife; some friendly cows, and some *incredibly* friendly cows. We met horses and sheep. There were llamas, and we even got to see a grass snake. We didn’t see any foxes, but there was evidence that they had been nearby. Fudge found the evidence… and rolled in it.
I even took one or two photos as we walked.
Having done this walk before we knew it would take a while… I thought we’d be done by early to mid-afternoon. We got home just after six o’clock. "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner and went bowling. I turned the volume up on the telly and watched “Orange is the New Black” as the dogs snored.
They seem to have had a tiring day…
11 September 2018 (Tuesday) - Rather Dull
I was sleeping like a log when Treacle came up, stomped all over me, pushed me with all her might and made herself comfortable on my pillow. I hoiked her out of the way, but I was wide awake after that little episode and didn’t really get back to sleep.
I got up, fed grubby laundry to the washing machine and had a look at the Internet.
Yesterday evening I had something of a revelation. I’d forgotten that yesterday marked thirty-seven years (to the day) since I first started working in blood testing. With one rather nasty exception it hasn’t been a bad old game.
But… I went for a little walk in the countryside yesterday. I saw some rather beautiful (almost palatial) houses as we walked. These houses had their own lakes, tennis courts, swimming pools...
I’ve worked hard these thirty-seven years. I work weekends and nights. I work on Christmas day. I missed my daughter’s first eight birthday parties because I was working. I still live in a terraced house.
I asked on Facebook if I had I left it too late to become ridiculously wealthy? Quite a few friends kindly but firmly told me to shut my whinging and be grateful for what I’ve got.
I suppose they are right. I don’t have a bad old life really. But I *really* do want to have far too much money.
I got the leads on to the dogs and we went for a little walk. We drove out to Lenham for geo-reasons, finding one cache and not finding another. And with our walk taking far less time that I had thought it would I drove down to Brede to have another look for that cache we didn’t find on Saturday. I found it after about two minutes. We then drove into Westfield and had a little pootle about before coming home where both dogs went to sleep.
As the dogs snored I got the washing in. Despite the BBC giving a two per cent chance of rain, it was raining. And then my phone beeped. Yesterday we met someone who claimed that the footpath through their land wasn’t a public right of way. Yesterday evening I sent the council an email about the matter and they had replied:
“blah blah blah… Would you be able to clarify a point for me please? Is the landowner disputing the existence of a path across the land at all or that there is no link from the footpath on the road through to the footpath through the buildings.
If it is the former then it is something that we need to, and will follow up, if it is the latter then he is correct – there is no recorded public right of way between the road and the footpath, the stile having been installed for private access to the land.”
Am I missing something here? How can there be a footpath which leads for a mile or so across fields, woods and a river up to a road, but has no public right of way from the end of that footpath to the road?
I then watched two episodes of “Orange is the New Black” as the dogs lay either side of me on the sofa. I amazed myself by staying awake throughout the lot.
"er indoors TM" came home. After dinner we went round to Arden Drive as we do. It was good to catch up with friends, and then I slept through “Bake-Off”.
I’ve had a rather good little holiday, but today was dull…
12 September 2018 (Wednesday) - Snow Dogs
The idea of having had the last week or so off work was to go on holiday to Turkey. Or so I thought. Somewhere along the line there was a mis-communication and no one else in the family had ever heard about going to Turkey this last week. Still, I’ve had a good few days off. I led a trip to the Red Sands Fort, I got a day’s fishing in, I hunted Tupperware, I got the lawn mowed and the house painted.
On the minus side I didn’t do pond maintenance, and I didn’t get the foreign day trip I’d hoped for, but you can’t have everything.
Over brekkie I had my usual look at the Internet as I do. Racial hatred was being posted here and there. It amazes me how people feel it is OK to post racial hatred on social media if they prefix it with “this is not racist” when clearly it is, or pretend there was a soldier involved. I told two so-called “friends” the error of their ways. I’ve told these two the error of their ways before.
I then messed about with “Bubble Witch Saga” for five minutes whilst Fudge snuggled up to me. He was particularly soppy this morning; I wonder what that was all about?
Despite the rain I got the leads on to the dogs and we went for a little walk. As we left the house I had a bit of a sulk on. Maybe I could have found a geocache for us to hunt out? A plain walk round the park was going to be dull…
Or so I thought.
When we got to the fountain I found a Snow Dog. Local businesses have sponsored the creation of a couple of dozen painted dog sculptures which have been put all over the town. Having found the one in the park I downloaded the app to my phone, and we spent an enjoyable hour or so hunting some of them out. I say “an enjoyable hour or so”; I enjoyed myself. A guided walk with a purpose is always good in my world. As we walked I took some photos. You can see them by clicking here and as you can clearly see, whist Treacle wasn’t really bothered one way or another, Fudge seemed totally bored with the things. Mind you he did piddle up a few of the Snow Dogs.
We found nine on today’s little walk. I believe they are in place for a month or so before they get auctioned for charity. I might find more on future walks.
We came home via the corner shop (I wanted a sandwich for lunch) and just as I got home my phone beeped. Yesterday’s blog entry had received a comment. Sometimes people comment on what I write; I welcome comments, if only so I don’t feel I’m ranting at myself. However you do have to log in via Google to comment otherwise I get inundated with spam. I deleted the comment I received today as it wasn’t really the sort of thing I like to get. However if any of my loyal readers would like to spend good money on a nudey sauce romp with a rather immoral young lady from Karachi do let me know and I will forward her details.
I took myself off to bed for the afternoon; I slept reasonably well. I would have slept better had the dogs not been constantly barking at shadows.
"er indoors TM" will be home soon. A bite of dinner, then I’m off to the night shift…
13 September 2018 (Thursday) - Between the Night Shifts
During a tea break on my night shift I finished my e-book. I've now read the first four "Game of Thrones" books in e-format. I went to download the fifth... and stopped. The fifth e-book in the series costs fifteen quid. Fifteen quid - that's just a tad excessive, isn't it? Especially when there are plenty of other books to be read. I usually spend (at most) less than three quid on an e-book. Fifteen quid... I shall read something else. I will probably come back to "Game of Thrones" when it is a tad cheaper.
As I drove home the pundits on the radio were interviewing the Brexit secretary. With a “no deal” Brexit looking more and more likely the Brexit secretary has announced that in the event of a “no deal” Brexit, Britain won’t pay the forty billion quid it owes the EU. Politically it is a master stroke; all the chaos and disaster will be totally overlooked by the masses as they gloat at not paying this money to “Johnnie Foreigner”.
Once home I took the dogs round the park. As I posed the dogs for a photo of the fountain and the nearby snow dog some rather irate-looking woman marched up to me and wanted to know what the snow dog was all about. She seemed to think that because I was taking a photo of it I was in some way responsible for it. I explained all about snow dogs; she explained what a waste of money it all was. I speculated on what a miserable world it would be without the wonder of things like snow dogs and left her to her grumbling.
Silly old bat.
I went to bed. Today I tried something different. Usually when I go to bed during the day I give the dogs the run of the house. When they have a fit of the barking I then have to get up to tll them to shut up. Today when I went to my pit they came with me, so I closed the bedroom door. We only had one barking fit, and that was promptly shushed.
I got up after six hours and watched the last of “Orange is the New Black”. That’s seventy-eight episodes in six weeks; not bad going.
Finding myself now needing something to watch as well as read I’ve downloaded the e-book of “Orange is the New Black”. I just need to find something to watch now.
I spent much of today’s “awake time” being rather conscious of the date. As a child one of my favourite TV shows was "Space 1999" the first episode of which was supposed to be on September 13th 1999. The show first aired in 1975, and back then 1999 seemed so futuristic. Moon bases and regular space flight... the future hasn't turned out quite how we thought it might.
I got the DVDs of the show a few years ago... and promptly sold them on eBay - they hadn't stood the test of time.
I’m off to another night shift in a minute..
14 September 2018 (Friday) - Snow Pups
Last night’s night shift was rather quiet, which was probably for the best. As I drove home the pundits on the radio were spewing gloom and doom as they so often do. I mentally tuned them out.
Once home I eventually managed to park. Some days Beaver Road is empty, other days it heaves. This morning it was heaving.
I took the dogs round the park. As we walked I saw that there was a little van driving round the park – one of those with the little brush thingies attached sweeping the paths. As it came past I couldn’t help but notice it had the logo of the borough of Barrow in Furness emblazoned all over it. What was that all about? Doesn’t Ashford have one of those sweepy-van thingies? And if not, isn’t there one any closer that Ashford council might borrow?
We then had what I might best describe as a “near miss event” in the co-op field. As we were approaching the gate out of the field some old twit was coming in with two dogs both on very long leads. (I say “we were approaching”; Treacle and I were; Fudge was a hundred yards away). Treacle isn’t good with other dogs and on seeing the other dogs she started cowering. Rather than pulling his dog away, this old twit started laughing out loud at how scared Treacle was as his dog towered over her. He was so pleased with himself as he told me how my dog needed to “grow a pair”, but the smile immediately fell from his face when Fudge appeared from nowhere like a bullet from a gun. The dog which had previously been menacing Treacle ran in terror, and the old twit suddenly became apoplectic.
I suggested his dog might like to “grow a pair”; and went on to intimate that Treacle wouldn’t like to do so as she is a girl dog. We left him blustering as his dog ran off into the distance.
Once home I settled the dogs and drove up into town. I went into the County Square car park, and immediately came out again. I only wanted to park for an hour, so I went to the car park in Vicarage lane (a couple of hundred yards away) where I parked for less than half the price. One pound ten pence as opposed to two pounds eighty pence. It isn’t as though I couldn’t afford the one pound seventy pence, but it was the principle of the thing.
I then had something of a waste of time. But only something of one. I had driven into town to buy a snow dog ornament from the tourist information office and to treat myself to a milk shake from the Chill Time shake bar…
I activated my snow dog app and planned a route around the snow dogs along which I could get my shake and ornament, but I didn’t get either. The tourist information office was closed and as for the milk shake…
I got to the Chill Time place and saw the assistant was sitting behind the till. I stood and waited for him. And waited. And waited. Eventually I got tired of his pretending not to see me and I loudly asked if they were open. He grudgingly got up and made a great show of pretending not to understand what I was saying until I went away.
Mind you I did get to see more snow dogs round the town centre, and I even found two litters of snow pups. It was a shame that the “rather council” mothers were encouraging their “delightful children” to use some of the snow dogs as climbing frames, but such is life.
As I walked I met several other people who (like me) were “doing the snow dog app thing”. There was a gaggle of people at every snow dog I found. People either love them or stand about grumbling about the things. I love them!!
I came home and slept for a couple of hours. I got up, and over a very late brekkie had a look at the Internet. Yesterday I mentioned an old favorite TV show of mine; Space 1999. Over brekkie I learned that one of its stars had died. I was rather amazed to learn that Ziena Merton was seventy-two…
I then got out the ironing board and squeezed the wrinkles out of two weeks’ work of laundry whilst watching Wallace and Gromit dealing with a were-rabbit. The voice of the vicar in that film sounded familiar – it was the voice of Mr Rumbold from “Are You Being Served”.
And with ironing done I found something new on Netflix to watch. “The Job Lot” is entertaining enough.
"er indoors TM" boiled up some fish and chips for tea. I’ve programmed “Hannah” for tomorrow’s adventure. I think I might have an early night. I often say that, but I think I shall go to my pit before I fall asleep on this sofa. Again.
15 September 2018 (Saturday) - Hurst Green and Battle
I actually did have an early night last night, and apart from a trip to Trap One at four o’clock I slept like a log for ten hours until my phone’s alarm woke me playing the “Tiswas” theme tune.
Over brekkie I had a look-see at Facebook. It reminded me that a year ago I was on holiday in Greece. Today it seemed everyone else was on holiday with pictures coming from Budapest, Cornwall and all sorts of places. Mind you having taken the dogs out for a rather cold seven o’clock tiddle I wasn’t envious of those who were on camping trips today. In the past I used go camping several times a year; nowadays I can’t help but feel “been there, done that”. There is camping and there is roughing it in a tent. Camping takes too much hard work in setting up, and I’m too old to rough it in a tent.
On checking my emails I saw that my professional body had emailed me asking me to complete a survey saying what I thought of them. I suppose most professional bodies are the same; run by the people at the top of the profession the focus will be on those matters which are relevant to them. I didn’t actually say “screw you and screw the horse you rode in on” but having spent twenty minutes detailing their failures in graphic detail, perhaps I might as well have done so.
I then realized that today was the county geo-meet. I must have missed that; I do need to sort out my diary.
Forgetting to pack the extending leads we put the usual leads onto the hounds and set off to Hurst Green where we met Karl, Tracey and Charlotte. We had a rather good wander round the fields and woods before eventually ending up back where we started. Ending up back where we started is to be encouraged as that was where we’d left the cars.
We then drove down to the Royal Oak in Whatlington for a pint (or two) of lunch. The Royal Oak in Whatlington is somewhere that I’ve driven past many times but have never called in to visit before. It was a rather good place to visit; friendly staff, rather good dog treats, a very good garden. It was clearly more a restaurant than it was pub, but we had a crafty couple of pints in the garden before moving on to Battle Great Woods for another walk.
Regular readers of this drivel may recall I’ve walked the paths round Battle Great Woods before. It was on Sunday 4 January 2015 when that day’s blog entry was entitled “Seven Miles of Mud”. Whilst today was nowhere near as muddy, it was muddy enough. There was also a wheelbarrow twenty yards up a tree too, but we didn’t dwell on it. It wasn’t bothering us, so we didn’t bother it either.
Again we had a rather good stomp about, and again after a rather good stomp about we went back to the Royal Oak in Whatlington for a couple of pints and a dog treat all round. Treacle seemed more interested in burying her treat rather than eating it, but each to their own…
I took a few photos as we walked and drank. I do that…
Geocaching-wise today was very much a walk of two halves. The first set of caches in Hurst Green were tricky to find. With difficulties rated between two and three out of five, I couldn’t help but feel that they should have been rated between three and four. Mind you I think we all felt rather smug that we found all of those ones.
The second set of caches in Battle Great were far easier to find, but each of these has some Cluedo cards in them. As we walked round we found ourselves playing a game of Cluedo. Having solved who did the murdering, where, and with what we then had to solve a little puzzle to find the final geocache. I was rather disappointed to find that it *wasn’t* Corporal Clott in the lavatory with the loofah, but I wasn’t that far off. Mind you having solved the puzzle we then got a little confused when it became apparent that we’d solved it wrongly, but on phoning a friend it turned out that the mistake we’d made was thinking we’d made a mistake.
We were rather late home, so we thought we’d get take-away for dinner. In a triumph of idiot enthusiasm over common sense I persuaded "er indoors TM" that she might like chicken kebab.
16 September 2018 (Sunday) - Late Shift
I slept like a log last night, finally waking after a solid eight hours snoozing. I came downstairs to be welcomed by both dogs.
I did snigger as I made my toast. "er indoors TM" was giving the dogs their brekkie but Fudge was being fussy. And if Fudge doesn’t eat, Treacle won’t either. After a few minutes "er indoors TM" fed Fudge his brekkie one morsel at a time. Sometimes he will only eat when being hand-fed. Is he being fussy? Does his neck hurt to reach down? Is he just being awkward? Or does he prefer having a servant feed him each scrap?
As I scoffed my toast he came and sat with me and farted quite impressively.
I had my morning trawl through cyberspace. Facebook reminded me of a rather good walk I went on six years ago, told me of a (distant) family birthday, and gave me all the dirt on an acquaintance’s rather tangled love life. And (for once) no one was spewing racial hatred. Facebook can be quite fun sometimes. Mind you I didn’t see many pictures from yesterday’s geo-meet. I saw quite a few piccies from people who might have gone who had been elsewhere though. Was it *not* just me who hadn’t seen it advertised anywhere? But the pictures I did see looked as though the meet had taken place in an ice-cream parlour. I think I missed out there.
Looking at my emails confirmed my theory about yesterday’s geo-meet not being publicised. I had *loads* of emails about people who yesterday had found the caches I’ve hidden locally; many of which were people who I would have thought would have been at the geo-meet.
We got the dogs onto their leads and went for a little walk. Today we went up past the station, past the civic centre and home through the memorial gardens and Viccie park on a mission to find a few Snow Dogs. All were rather wonderful, but I did think the one by the remembrance monument was rather poignant (as well as being one of a small minority on which Fudge hasn’t tiddled. I wish he wouldn’t do that). We found fifteen today – I’ve updated my Snow Dogs photo album. It looks as if I’ve found all of the Snow Dogs and Snow Pups in the town centre; just a few to find over in the outlet centre now.
As we walked through the park we met a young chap who looked familiar – he was an ex-cub with three children of his own. When he told me his name I immediately remembered him and two other lads performing a rap song about a fox at a cub camp some fifteen years ago. Over the years I must have had over a hundred boys and girls come through the cub pack. I remember every one of them – but in my mind they are all nine years old. So often as I walk through the town I get shy smiles from people in their twenties and thirties; I wish they would introduce themselves.
I set off to work hoping for the best but expecting the worst. The motorway had been closed for the weekend between junctions four and six in both directions, and bearing in mind I take the motorway to junction five for work I thought my journey might be somewhat problematical.
As usual Google Navigation let me down. That app is excellent for navigating and finding better routes when there is congestion, but it sees a closed road as a freely moving road and so always directs you into the closure. I drove up the motorway expecting to come off at junction six; I found traffic queued back as far as junction seven so I came off there and struggled my way round Maidstone. The roads round Maidstone were already congested due to the ongoing repairs to the roads caused by a huge sink hole.
When you bear in mind that the roads round Maidstone have been in chaos (because of the sink hole) for over three months you really have to wonder just why anyone would allow the motorway to be closed today.
Ashford is just the same with road works pretty much everywhere too.
Now I'm no expert on the subject, but why doesn't whoever it is that oversees road works implement a scheme whereby (apart from emergencies) no road works are allowed within (say) five miles of any other road works. Rather than having loads of gangs working on loads of road works, we might have all the available road workers working on one set of road works. That way each job could get done faster and be finished before starting on the next, and towns wouldn't be absolutely blocked solidly as Maidstone and Ashford currently are.
I got to work and had some lunch in the works canteen. Broccoli cheese and chips went down very well.
I then had a rather busy shift. During a break in the work I had a look at my phone. A month ago I wrote a nice little story about my (and the dogs) adventure with one particular geocache on the way to visit my mum in Hastings. I was rather pleasantly surprised to see that my write-up had been voted "Log of the Month" by the Sussex guild of the hunters of Tupperware.
I spent the rest of the shift feeling somewhat smug (if also feeling a bit busy)…
17 September 2018 (Monday) - Resuscitation Rocks
I didn't sleep well. Many years ago I worked for a boss whose initials were "D.G." Many was the time we pondered over what the "G" stood for. I think the fellow was called "Derek Godfrey", but many suggestions were made; none of which were very complimentary. He died a couple of years ago, but last night he came back to my nightmares telling me his name was "Dead Guy".
I woke in a cold sweat.
Over a rather early brekkie I watched another episode of "The Job Lot" when I had another flashback to where I used to work. One of the characters was portrayed as rather nasty, bone-idle and workshy. In fact it was uncannily a dead ringer for someone else from that workplace of years gone by.
Neither "er indoors TM" or either dog had stirred whilst I'd been pootling about. I left them all fast asleep and went on a little geo-mission before work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the ethics of pre-natal gender determination. It is possible to tell whether an unborn child is male and female *very* early in pregnancy, and in certain cultures female fetuses are being aborted because there is far more kudos in having a son than there is in having a daughter.
Can you believe it? We are in the twenty-first century, not the dark ages. Aren't we?
The pundits then played an interview they had recorded with the Prime Minister. She was talking about her plans for Brexit and (bless her) was doing her very best to polish a turd. Perhaps history will judge her better, but as Prime Ministers go she is in the wrong place at the wrong time. The nation voted for Brexit... or (to be more precise) the nation had a choice between staying in the European Union or "something else". They nation voted for "something else" and Mrs. May is trying to come up with a "something else" that she hopes will suit everyone but seemingly suits no one.
She didn't come over very well on the radio. Love her or loathe her, Margaret Thatcher commanded respect. Mrs. May comes over as a bit of a twit. She's probably a very nice person, but she's not up to the job. But (as I said) she is in the wrong place at the wrong time. No one would want to be Prime Minister right now. Once Brexit has actually happened there will be no end of people after her job trying to clear up the mess she never made.
I'd driven out to Hadlow this morning as there was a geocache there that hadn't been found for eighteen months. In order to find it you needed to solve a puzzle; the clues to which come from other geocaches that have been archived for over a year. Consequently it's not surprising that no bugger has found it for eighteen months. I solved the puzzle ages ago (on March 22nd 2015) , but only realised last night that I still had the solution.
Pausing only briefly to rip a hole in my trousers I soon had the thing in hand. Happy dance.
Another resuscitation cache – bearing in mind I only really got into these a month ago, my resuscitation list is rather impressive… If you are impressed by that sort of thing… Which I suspect most people aren’t.
As I drove on to work I pulled up in a lay-by to pick up another geocache. Just as I was finishing the secret geo-ritual a car pulled up and the driver wound down his window and stared at me like I was the shit on his shoe. I smiled at him (in a rather sickly way) until he cleared off, then I went on to work.
I did my bit at work, and came home via Bowen’s Field where a friend had been gardening. She’d excavated a dozen large rocks from her garden and wanted rid of them. I can use them as part of a garden project I have in mind. All I had to do was hoik them into the back of my car, drive them home, pop them into the back garden, given them a zap with the pressure washer, and off I go.
How easy it is to type that… I had help with the “hoik them into the back of my car” and I just about managed to “pop them into the back garden” before my back gave up.
I’ll do the rest later… I wonder if I have any decent trousers for work tomorrow. There’s a great big hole in this pair.
18 September 2018 (Tuesday) - Rather Dull
I slept reasonably well last night, but was still wide awake rather earlier than I might have been. I blame my phone bleeping about emails even though its internet connection had both been turned off.
I got up and watched an episode of “Gotham”; the SkyPlus box told me the show played for an hour and four minutes but I shaved twenty-five minutes off of that by fast-forwarding through the adverts. Perhaps I should watch the show on Netflix – no adverts there.
I sparked up my lap-top and had a quick look at cyber-space. A particularly vindictive row was kicking off on one of the geocaching pages I follow on Facebook. What is the most film pots under rocks you have found in one day? Mine is one hundred and forty-seven. That’s not much compared to some people… or is it? We got that total in Cornwall over a twelve-hour period when we were on a serious mission and we were finding them at a rate of about one every five minutes. If it was possible to keep that up then we might have found three hundred that day. There were those who were claiming to have found over a thousand in one day. A thousand? Now I have a degree in maths, so perhaps I have an advantage here, but finding a thousand film pots under rocks in one day is finding them at a rate of one every minute and a half. Is that physically possible? I don’t think so. However is that worth having a rather bitter and nasty argument about? I don’t think so either.
Why is it that people want to squabble all the time? Be it keeping snakes, looking through telescopes, flying kites… no matter what the pastime there are always those who want to reduce it to an argument.
This morning I had an email from British Gas suggesting I made an appointment to get my boiler serviced (oo-er!). It turns out a free servicing is included in my customer service agreement with them. I was rather pleased to learn this; especially when you bear in mind that I’m not a customer of British Gas. I asked them for more details, and then got myself ready for work.
There has been a wooden cot in our hallway for a month or so. A couple of days ago I found out I was supposed to be delivering it to Sofia in Tenterden. (No one tells me anything) I loaded it into the car, and spent a few minutes looking for the screws that would hold it together. There weren't any. It turns out that they are still in Margate.
And so to work. As I drove I was being tailgated by a van from the firm of T Kirwan. He's tailgated me before. Dangerously overtaking me just outside of Great Chart he then tailgated the car in front until he dangerously overtook that one too. I wish he wouldn't do that.
As always the pundits on the radio were spewing their nonsense. This morning they were talking about the Russians who have got the hump. Whilst it is quite acceptable (in their Slavic minds) for them to spray nerve poisons around Salisbury, they weren't happy to have had one of their spy planes shot down. They claimed it was the Israelis or the French who did it. The Americans said it was the Syrians. Will we ever find out? Somehow I doubt it.
There was also an interview with Vince Cable (the outgoing leader of the Liberal Democraps) who was trying to pretend that the Liberal Democrap party isn't dying on its arse. With the Conservatives at each other's throats and the Labour party in total disarray, if the Liberal Democraps can't organise a piss up in a brewery now, they never will.
There was also an interview with Nigel Farrage (who seemingly becomes more odious every day), and to top it all off the Chief Rabbi tried to persuade us to be thoughful when we pray, and not to pray for stupid things. Because the world really would be in a sad state if God answered the prayers of idiots. I didn't quite laugh out loud, but this pre-supposed two frankly ridiculous propositions. Firstly that there is a God that answers prayers, and secondly that this God answers any old prayer (despite evidence to the contrary on both scores). I was disappointed; his predecessor used to be quite insightful.
As the rain started I decided against rummaging in hedgerows for film pots that had laid not bothering anyone for over a year. Instead I went to Tesco. I got some plum jam. You can judge how dull my life can be when plum jam is a highlight of my day. I also got armpit-squirt but forgot the biscuits and the bumwipe. I can live without the biscuits, but I may well be calling in to Tesco again tomorrow morning (if not before).
I got to work and did my bit; all the time aching from yesterday's hoiking rocks about. And with my bit done I came home through the drizzle.
Bake-Off is on in a minute… Today was dull…
19 September 2018 (Wednesday) - Still Dull
I had some of my plum jam on my toast for brekkie this morning. I’d been looking forward to it; there’s no denying it was something of a disappointment. Perhaps I should go for something in the “not cheapskate” range next time?
As I scoffed jam on toast I watched the last episode of the fourth season of “Gotham”. It was rather good, but for all that the leading protagonists get in to all sorts of scrapes, the trouble with a prequel show is that you know that all the leading protagonists are going to survive whatever the show throws at them.
I then had a look at the Internet. Facebook was relatively calm for once for which I breathed a sigh of relief. And I had an email from British Gas. Yesterday they’d offered to service my boiler for me (!) and I’d asked them why they’d made such an offer. I’m not a customer of theirs, and it turns out they’ve mixed up my personal details with a chap with a similar (but *not* identical) name who lives on the Isle of Wight. They emailed me his details when I asked for what details they had for me. Whilst I realise that this is an honest mistake, in today’s rather petty world of compensation and data protection and other such office-mentality-rubbish I wonder if I might be able to claim compensation for having my data mixed up with someone else’s.
As I drove to work (not tailgated by anyone for once) the housing secretary James Brokenshire was being interviewed on the radio. I was quite impressed at how he spoke eloquently and at length without actually addressing any of the specifics about which he was being asked.
There was also an interview with the ex-Brexit secretary who wasn't so much slagging off the Prime Minister's "Chequers" plan for Brexit as singing the praises of his own plan. Which is entirely the problem the nation faces. A friend of mine has recently announced that he is having a Brexit moratorium on his Facebook page, and anyone mentioning it will be de-friended. Whilst I can sympathise I can't help watching the unfolding Brexit debacle with a rather morbid sense of amazement and fascination. The most important and far-reaching thing to happen to our nation since the second world war is being bodged together (rather badly) as it goes along. Future historians will be scathing; I'm keeping abreast of what goes on, if only to answer the unbelieving questions of great-grandchildren yet unborn.
Once at work I downloaded a new book to my Kindle app. Over the weekend I’d got the e-book that the TV show “Orange is the New Black” had been based on. For all that Piper Kerman is a leading light in prison reform, her book didn’t do it for me.
I’ve now downloaded something sci-fi-ish to pass the time during tea breaks. It might be good, it might not.
We shall see.
Work was work; I came home and walked the hounds round the park. It was getting dark as we were walking. I wonder what I did with their illuminous collars?
Yesterday was dull… today wasn’t much of an improvement.
20 September 2018 (Thursday) - Signs of our Times...
I woke feeling full of beans and raring to go… until I looked at the clock and realized it was only seven minutes past two. I tried to get back to sleep, but only dozed a bit. I eventually got up after a few hours feeling like death warmed up.
Over brekkie I watched an episode of “The Job Lot” whilst scoffing my toast. Fudge lay with me as I watched telly. Sometimes (when no one is looking) he can be rather soppy.
With a few minutes spare I had a look at the Internet. This morning Facebook seemed to be full of wedding anniversaries. LinkedIn had sent me an email. Ryan Baker has got a new job. That’s nice for him (whoever he might be), and presumably bearing in mind I have no idea who Ryan Baker is, it was suggested I chum up with Steven Turner (?), Colin Edwards (?) and Colin Swaffer (?). I declined the offer.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were broadcasting from Saltzburg where the Prime Minister had gone for a bit of a jolly with the other leaders of the countries of the European Union. Personally I've never liked work jollies, and have turned them down whenever I could. I've always thought them to be rather sad affairs.
I suspect Mrs. May would have given this one a miss if she'd had any say in the matter.
Apparently the Czech and Maltese leaders are on the same works outing as she is, and they are calling for the British to hold a second Brexit referendum. Whilst I think it is rather nice that they don't want us to leave, and whilst I think it quite likely that there is now a majority opinion in favour of remaining, I can't help but think that a second referendum wouldn't be a good idea. The decision to go has been made. Britain would command no respect whatsoever in the European Union if after two years of farting around we suddenly announced "we ain't leaving after all".
Mind you having spent a lifetime finding (time and again) that my viewpoint is that of the minority, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the country does have a second referendum.
I got to work and I had a look at Facebook on my phone. Doesn't everyone? I saw a link to some rather clever caricatures of today's society clearly seeing the instant communications offered by our mobile devices as a bad thing. Are they bad? Through Facebook (and the like) I keep in touch with family and friends far more than I ever used to. I see their photos and their rants and their knob jokes on a daily basis. Do we really want to go back to the bad old days? I would walk a quarter of a mile (through the rain) to the phone box and queue up to take my turn, all the time desperately hoping that whoever I was phoning hadn't gone out. I love the instant communication that today's technology offers. Take being a Star Trek fan as just one example. Back in the day I used to subscribe to fan-made newsletters. I would post what I had to say (in an envelope with a stamp) to the editor. A month later they would print my drivel. Another month later in the next edition would be a message from someone who'd taken offence at what I'd said. And so. a squabble would drag on over years. Today I can piss people off instantaneously.
I did my bit at work; I saw a Dohle body (as one does!) and with my bit done I came home again. I managed to find Fudge’s light-up collar but not Treacle’s. We had a good walk round the park, and over a rather good bit of scoff we watched “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. I’ve never really watched that show before… I’m getting quite into it…
21 September 2018 (Friday) - Friday - At Last...
I watched "The Job Lot" as I scoffed brekkie. Whist I quite like the show, one of the characters in it strikes a chord. Over the years I've worked in a few places where is is a member of staff who is utterly self-centred, universally despised, and utterly oblivious to the feelings of anyone around her. There is such a character in this show; her behaviors and mannerisms are *so* like those people I've known who have made a misery of the lives of so many others. The writers have deliberately put this person into the show - are these obnoxious toxic people everywhere?
Fudge got up just as I was about to go to work. He stood at the foot of the stairs and looked pathetically at me, so I carried him up to the bed where he settled and immediately went back to sleep. I wish I could have done. With the vagaries of my work pattern this was my sixth consecutive day at work, and I was feeling the strain this morning.
Managing to avoid the bin men who were strewing recycling bins everywhere I set off to work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were (by some odd co-incidence) talking about recycling. It turns out that there are as many rules and regulations about the recycling of stuff as there are councils to make them. Apparently there is a *lot* of confusion about what can be recycled and what can't, and what goes into what bin is becoming one of the leading causes of domestic arguments nationally. It ain't in my house.... knowing that I'd get it wrong I leave that sort of thing to "er indoors TM" .
There was also a lot of talk about Brexit. The rest of the European Union have given Mrs. May's "Chequers" Brexit plan the bum's rush; the sticking point seems to be the Irish border. Which we all knew it would be. No one really seems to have any way forward now. On the one hand no one wants a hard border in Ireland. On the other hand no one wants no border controls at all.
I can't help but feel that if Mrs. May's minority government wasn't being propped up by a handful of opportunistic bandits from the Democratic Unionist Party (to paraphrase the rest of the Irish politicians) then this might be a far less sensitive subject.
I got to work where I'd hoped for a rather good day. I'd decided I was going to have a good day, and sometimes (but not always) the day goes to plan. We had aa rather good day; it was a shame that we had a “brown alert” just on going home time.
Eventually I got to come home. I walked the dogs round the park (with both wearing illuminous collars). As we walked u the road we saw a young couple having a blazing row outside their house. It ended as the young lady stormed into the house and slammed the door. The chap pulled out his phone and I slowed down so I could be nosey. But I had to hurry off to laugh when I heard “will you stop shouting – all I wanted was a blow job”.
We had intended going to Chippy’s birthday bash this evening… by the time we’d had dinner it was half past ten. Where did the evening go?
22 September 2018 (Saturday) - Dahn to Margit
Finding myself wide awake at three o’clock I got up and over a rather early brekkie watched an episode of “The Job Lot” in which the actress who plays the obnoxious jobsworth also played another character; an equally pedantic jobseeker. The interplay between the two (both played by the same actress) was rather well done. It is amazing how well some people can act. I rather detest the jobsworth character, but it is clearly just a part that is being played.
I then had a look-see outside the house to see if I could move my car from the restricted parking up the road. There was a space. As I went to get my car I was again amazed at just how ineffectual the street lighting now is.
I went back to bed and dozed for a few hours until "er indoors TM" alarm went off. I got up and drafted another letter of complaint to the council. They last time I whinged about how the ineffective street lighting I was told that my complaint had been referred to the appropriate councillor. I’ve contacted the appropriate councillor directly. Will it achieve anything? At the moment the street lighting is just a waste of money; it clearly is burning electricity which must cost, but isn’t lighting anything up.
"er indoors TM" set off to the garage. I loaded the ladder and the hounds into my car and followed. Leaving the "er indoors TM"-mobile for servicing we all then drove out to Margate to visit "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" and her crew. We arrived and once all four dogs had run riot we were soon put to work. The ladder was needed for decorating, but before decorating could be done, the old wallpaper had to be removed. Removing wallpaper is something that I can do, so I got busy. As we decorated one of the dogs pooped (prime suspect – Pogo) and one tiddled (prime suspect – Treacle). I had a crafty fart when I thought no one was listening, but "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" heard me. Rather than giggling (like I would) he told me in all seriousness that if I had to force it, it was probably going to be a poo.
Before any of my loyal readers have any ideas, I have already sent this sage advice to Viz magazine. If anyone’s getting to steal someone else’s idea, it’s going to be me.
After a few hours all the wallpaper was stripped, "er indoors TM" had hoovered, and "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" had had a little kip. Pausing only briefly for "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" to destroy a venetian blind we walked up the road to the Best Westbrook café. I’ve had the full English breakfast a few times here, and I’ve looked at the dinners that others have eaten with some envy. Two o’clock in the afternoon is a tad late for a breakfast… or is it? I went for the “liver breakfast”. Liver, bacon, onions, mushrooms, chips… it was lovely.
With dinner scoffed we said our goodbyes and drove home through the rather heavy rain. I dropped "er indoors TM" off to collect her car and took the dogs home. Treacle wouldn’t settle until "er indoors TM" came home.
"er indoors TM" then set off. Her and much of the women of the family (and a few of the blokes) were doing the “Night to Shine” sponsored walk, despite the rain. I stayed home and ironed shirts.
As I ironed the door bell rang. New-next-door invited me round for drinks. I would have gone but didn’t want to leave Treacle. She hadn’t eaten her tea, and she spent the evening laying in Fudge’s basket looking rather sorry for herself. She looked a little bloated, and her stomach has been gurgling rather noisily. If she is still iffy in the morning we’ll go see the vet…
And in closing it was rather ironic that we’d been “dahn to Margit”; Chas (from Chas and Dave) died today…
23 September 2018 (Sunday) - Still Raining
Finding myself wide awake in the small hours I watched a couple of episodes of “The Job Lot” and went back to bed. I was eventually woken by the sound of the rain on the window at nine o’clock.
As I scoffed my toast I had a look at the Internet. Apparently a looney had run riot in the town centre with a chainsaw; wreaking havoc on Coral’s betting shop and a lamp post. I was glad he’d not damaged any of the snow dogs.
I spent much of the morning playing “Bubble Witch Saga”; with torrential rain outside there wasn’t much else going on. Yesterday I mentioned Treacle didn’t seem well; this morning she ate both hers and Fudge’s breakfast, did a humungous “business” in the garden then came in and crapped on the carpet so I’m assuming she’s on the mend.
With nothing else on the itinerary for today we loaded the dogs into my car and drove down to Hastings to see relatives. My mum and dad were well as was mother-in-law. And with the rain subsiding somewhat we walked the dogs round Alexandra Park.
Hastings’ Alexandra Park is crap compared to Ashford’s Viccie Park. In Viccie Park the dogs can run riot. In Alexanrda park the dogs are only allowed off the lead in certain areas, and there is a thousand pound fine if the dogs go in any of the ponds or streams. What’s that all about? What’s the point of taking a dog to the park if they can’t run riot?
We walked rather sedately for fifteen minutes and found a couple of film pots. One under a rock, one up a tree. We stopped off on our way home to fail to find another cache, and then my piss boiled…
We drove at about fifteen miles an hour for five miles between Newenden and Rolvenden as there was an organized cycle race taking place on the main A28. We knew it was an organized cycle race as we’d been stopped by the race’s stop-go road signs in Newenden, and we were stopped from going any faster than fifteen miles an hour from Newenden to Rolvenden by a car (with registration V8 8HYS) which had large signs saying “Caution – Cycle Race” and was making sure that no one could get past. I didn’t think cycle races were allowed on the main roads?
I would have squealed them up to the police had their on-line squealing-up website not required a ten-stage squealing process.
Once home we fed the dogs, and they both soon settled. We then popped round to see "My Boy TM" and his chapter of the tribe. Yesterday I’d suggested going out for dinner; this morning Cheryl said she’d do dinner. Cheryl come up with a rather good chicken dinner.
For all that it has been a rather wet weekend, it hasn’t been a bad one…
24 September 2018 (Monday) - Stuff...
Having watched the last episode of “The Job Lot” yesterday evening I was wondering what drivel I might binge-watch next. “Vanity Fair” from the ITV hub seemed interesting so I tried the first episode. Much as I like a period drama (oh how those bosoms heave) the first episode did seem rather formulaic. Mind you it might improve.
As I watched it, Fudge snuggled up to me. Was he being soppy, or hoping for toast?
I then had a little look at the Internet as I do most mornings. There was very little of note on Facebook, and equally little of note in my inbox, so I set off in the general direction of work.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were discussing (lambasting) the Labour party's seeming indecision about whether or not to have a second Brexit referendum. Apparently the Labour party are holding off making any sort of firm decision and are preferring to have a "wait and see" attitude instead. Much as it pains me to say anything positive about the Labour party these days, they are probably right to do so; with the ongoing Brexit negotiations obviously being made up as they go along, anything might happen in the meantime. Why have a formulated policy which may well be redundant in a few weeks' time? Mind you why have a Labour party when it is already redundant?
My piss boiled as I listened to the talk about the public inquiry into the so-called blood scandal of forty years ago. Some people who had transfusions of blood products in the late 1970s and early 1980s have since developed HIV infections and hepatitis-C infections. Bearing in mind that thirty seconds on Google will show you that HIV wasn't discovered until 1983 and hepatitis-C wasn't discovered until 1989 is it really fair to expect the blood service of the late 1970s to have been able to have tested for unknown diseases? And anyway, surely common sense tells us that any sort of blood transfusion comes with risk?
The pundits on the radio were talking about how contaminated American blood was brought in to the country back in the day as though this was some sort of scandal. What did they expect? The UK has never paid blood donors and consequently there aren’t enough of them. The USA pays blood donors and consequently those who want a quick buck can’t part with the stuff quickly enough. It ain’t rocket science…
The pundits on the radio this morning made it clear that this public inquiry was looking to assign some blame for the debacle... isn't that entirely what is wrong with today's society?
I got to work and had a rather good day. I came home, and we had a little walk round the park. Fudge tried to fight with a bus as we walked. I wish he wouldn’t.
After a rather good bit of dinner"er indoors TM" went off bowling and I watched another episode of “Vanity Fair”. I must admit I am disappointed by the scarcity of bosoms (heaving or otherwise)…
25 September 2018 (Tuesday) - Family Birthdays
As I scoffed brekkie I watched the third episode of Vanity Fair in which "everyone is striving for what is not worth having". Doesn't that sum up so many people's lives today every bit as much as it did two hundred years ago when the book (on which the show is based) was written?
I watched the show with something of a picky attitude this morning. Bearing in mind it was mentioned in today's installment that Napoleon had escaped exile, that dates the show to 1815. I thought that hairbrushes had been invented long before that, and so I couldn't work out why everyone had such disasters of haircuts. But Wikipedia says that the hairbrush wasn't invented until 1898, so the show was historically accurate.
Mind you I did keep laughing at one of the leading characters. I'm hoping for great things from Captain Dobbin but suspect I will be disappointed.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were broadcasting from the Labour party's annual conference. There was uproar as one of their leading lights has described their official position on Brexit as "bollocks". That would seem to be a fair description of their policies on quite a wide range of matters these days.
Ten years ago the Labour party had won three consecutive general elections. Today they would be hard pressed to tell their arses from their elbows without recourse to anatomical diagrams.
The vicar blathering on the "Thought for the Day" bit was talking about the ongoing investigation into how so many haemophiliacs contracted HIV and hepatitis in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I am *amazed* that this is being presented as news. When I was at college in 1981 it was no secret that the UK had to import blood products. And it was no secret just how unsavory were the people giving the blood from which the products were being made. I can't see how there can be any sort of cover-up of something which has been a matter of common knowledge for so long.
There was also talk of how sales of fishing licenses are down by fifteen per cent on last year. Does this mean less people are fishing, or less people are shelling out the license fee? Bearing in mind just how much fishing tackle costs I can't help but wonder if the average angler is trying to make an economy by not squandering hard-earned cash on what is seen by many to be money down the toilet.
I stopped off at Aldi on the way to work to have a look-see. They had almond butter for the same price as peanut butter. Bearing in mind the bitter disappointment that was last week's plum jam I thought I might try some almond butter... until I realised that although the stuff was the same price as peanut butter, the almond stuff came in a jar half the size.
I went on to work and spent much of a rather busy day wishing I'd bought the stuff. Sometimes I can be such a cheapskate.
Once home I walked the dogs round the park. There’s another fun-fair setting up there. We came home, and the dogs had a rather good dinner and then both had a large rawhide chew as it is Treacle’s birthday today. We are a bit vague as to Fudge’s birthday – sometime at the end of August we think. Effectively the dogs now share a birthday. We remember the date as it is the birthday of the first fruit of my loins.
Fudge enjoyed his chew; Treacle is crying because she can’t stuff hers down the back of the sofa.
26 September 2018 (Wednesday) - Bog Roll
This morning’s episode of “Vanity Fair” took a welcome turn for the best as Beccy cranked her bosom up to full power. After all, isn’t that what period dramas are all about? George was certainly impressed, but Amelia wasn’t having any of it. Perhaps if more people took the moral stance (like Amelia) the world might be a better place; albeit one with less bosoms heaving.
Mind you, for an episode in which all the menfolk were supposedly in an army en route to the battle of Waterloo there was an awful lot of balls and dancing and frivolity going on.
For once there was very little of note on Facebook, but the nice people at MyFitnessPal dot com had emailed me to say that doing sit-ups is bad for my back. That was useful to know; periodically I have spells of doing sit-ups. I had this theory that they might shift my gut even though they never have in the past.
I also had a message from someone who was demanding to know when I would replace the geocache I disabled last night. As I walked past it with the dogs yesterday evening I saw the thing clearly laying on the floor. It was broken so I’ve fetched it in. I’ll sort it in a day or so; when I get round to it. I wouldn’t mind *quite* so much had this self-appointed geo-policeman found more than one geocache. One – that’s all he’s done, and he’s demanding I get on with sorting this one. Bearing in mind there’s over a hundred within an hour’s walk…
I’ve also been told that my account with Munzee dot com has been put into “inactive” status as I’ve not Munzed for eighteen months. Hunting for film pots under rock is sad enough but I’ve decided to draw the line at scanning bar codes on lamp posts.
I quickly drove round the corner to Bond Road to replace that iffy geocache, then set off to work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing the deputy leader of the Labour party. They wanted to interview the leader himself, but Jeremy Corbyn was either too busy, too important or too afraid to put in an appearance. The chap they interviewed had a fair stab at covering up the failings of the Labour party and tried to make light of calls for a general strike to topple the government. He didn't really help himself by admitting that he didn't really know where Jeremy Corbyn was or why he wouldn't appear on the radio. To be fair to the chap he tried to make the best of a bad situation, but with the current state of the Labour party, you can't polish a turd. Which (as a life-long leftie) is a great shame.
I stopped off at Aldi where I bought that almond butter I didn't get yesterday. I also got a job lot of bog roll, and we had to wait at the till for five minutes whilst I got the manager's approval before I could buy the stuff. In the same way that you need manager's approval to buy beers, wince, spirits and tobacco, you also need it to by toilet roll in Aldi. Apparently. Or maybe it was just me - possibly they thought I was the sort of person that might run amok with a job lot of bog roll.
If any on my loyal readers know just how I might run amok with a job lot of bog roll please let me know; I'm intrigued by the prospect of doing so and would like to have a go.
I got to work and did my bit. During the day I had an email; the hospital is talking of forming a choir. Was I interested. I quite fancied the idea of standing in the hospital foyer squalling Christmas carols at a disinterested public at the top of my voice, so I've signed up. Mind you the idea might have fallen at the first hurdle as there is talk of a five quid subscription to the thing. Personally I remain hopeful, if unwilling to pay that fiver.
Will anything come of it? Time will tell - it always does.
27 September 2018 (Thursday) - Late Shift
I had some of that almond butter for brekkie… it’s not all that good. As I scoffed it I had a look at Facebook to see what I’d missed overnight. I hadn’t missed much. My in-box was also dull but I had one email from someone who was rather scathing about one of my Wherigoes, and then complained to tell me about an issue with one of my other geocaches. I wouldn’t have minded had this issue been valid. However I’d given written instructions so’s people would avoid the error he’d made. What can I do if people don’t read the instructions?
I had a load of freshly laundered undercrackers to put away. When I picked them up Treacle leapt up and responded in much the same way that I would if someone was brandishing a large cream cake. Putting my socks away without her running off with them took some doing.
I then took my dogs round the park. Sometimes I wonder why I take Treacle. Fudge clearly enjoys his walks. He shouts to be taken out, and when we go out he does his own thing and clearly has a good time. Treacle however rarely (if ever) ventures more than a few yards from me. She cowers in terror from all other dogs. She will chase a squirrel with the best of them, but only for ten seconds after which time she comes running back looking for me. Similarly in the co-op field she will play “chase” with Fudge, but only when she can see where I am.
Did I ever mention I never wanted dogs?
I drove round to the Outlet centre which was the quietest I've ever known it. There were three snow dogs and six snow pups there which I hadn't seen. I photographed them all, and then got into an argument with a sour-faced passer-by who claimed that snow dogs were a waste of money. I told him the error of his ways; he seemed to be rather taken aback that I didn't share his curmudgeonly attitude. Miserable old scrote!
I've now seen all the snow dogs and snow pups and registered them all on my app, and am feeling at something of a loose end.
Mind you, one of the snow dogs has been moved. The “infinity dog” was in the local churchyard until a few days ago, but it has been re-located following a complaint from one Mr. Chris Cooper (a local trouble-making religious nutter) who said that he is not against the snow dogs and went on to say: "I don't enjoy these battles, I don't have time for them. But you can't let these things go because when you do that things just get worse. The Snowdogs are fine. I have no problem with them, in that I'm by no means a puritan, but it's like a weed. When's a weed a weed? When it's in the wrong place. If they're in a public space there's no problem, but it's all about where you put it because they belong in certain places".
It bothers me that the thing was moved following just one complaint. A quick Google search shows that the bloke complaining has a history.
Five years ago he was forcibly ejected from a local annual parochial church meeting.
Eight years ago he staged a protest about the church’s trying to modernise.
Fourteen years ago he was sacked as a bell-ringer at the church.
Why should hundreds of decent people have to have their fun spoiled and be obliged to pander to one deranged looney because he has voices in his head? I must admit I’m rather intolerant of religions. If one has a moral or ethical issue and can discuss it reasonably, then that is to be encouraged. But to spout patent nonsense on the so-called prompting of a god that no one can see or hear but the looney spouting said patent nonsense is hardly a defensible position.
I then popped to Sainsbury's for some petrol. As I paid there was something of a rumpus going on at one of the tills. Some idiot had managed to use his credit card to pay for fifty quid for petrol he hadn't actually had. He was trying to enlist other customers to testify on his behalf about how difficult it was to operate the card machines at the pumps. Bearing in mind that no-one paying at the till had paid at the pumps (obviously!), he was struggling to get anyone to put in a word for him.
From Sainsburys I set off to Badlesmere. "er indoors TM" had hidden a geocache up there a while back which had gone missing. As it wasn't *that* far out of my way on my drive to work I thought I might replace it for her. Whilst helping others out is frowned upon amongst those who get their thrills from looking for film pots under rocks, I'm not averse to making myself useful. If only on the off chance that someone else might reciprocate.
And I know who cooks my dinner...
From Badlesmere I then took a country lane down to the A28 along which five more geocaches were hidden. Some were easy finds, some were in a right old state, one was being sat on by a hippy (I shall go back for that one tomorrow).
I had a few minutes to spare, so I called in to the Aylesford branch of Smyths. I'd been in there yesterday after work but was pushed for time then. With a little more time on my hands today I wanted to look at the "big boy's lego". They had some rather good kits for sale. They weren't cheap, but what is money for; if not to squander foolishly on lego.
Mind you I can't help but wonder what would happen if I got one of those expensive kits. How much of it would I build, and how much would Treacle eat?
I got to work I parked my car, and as I walked in to work I was struck by the lack of smell. No one was smoking cannabis in the works car park. They never do, but this morning I'd noticed that distinctive smell in Godfrey walk and Bowen's Field park. One of the fun-fair bods had been puffing a "funny fag" as had the gardeners at the William Road allotments. Shoppers in the Outlet centre had been indulging as had someone in a caravan at Badlesmere and the hippies in a picnic area near Lenham.
Was today "national smoke weed" day? It certainly smelled like it.
I went in to the works canteen where they were staging a "pie day". I like a pie, and I've taken to using the hospital canteen rather a lot when on a late shift. But I'm wondering if this is an economy I might make. Pie, chips and beans followed by a pot of yogurt all washed down by a bottle of fruit juice was eight quid.
Is that expensive?
I then got on with work as best I could. Somehow I managed to knack my back today. It really hurt. I wish I knew what I'd done to it; I wouldn't do that again.
28 September 2018 (Friday) - Another Late Shift
Last night as I left work last night my phone beeped. I had a friend request on Facebook from someone claiming to be “Maria Tensriana” from Lewisham. Bearing in mind that “Maria” looked suspiciously like an effeminate young lad in a skimpy bikini I thought it best not to get involved and I ignored the request. As I had my morning rummage round the Internet this morning I saw that “Maria” had sent me a link to a web site featuring quite a few nudey ladies of presumably dubious morality. Bearing in mind that “Maria”’s Facebook page was featuring a close-up picture of some woman’s clopper and some people doing something rather unhygienic I reported “Maria” to the Facebook feds for “a breach of their community standards” and for “posting inappropriate things”. Mind you I’ve reported breaches of their community standards to Facebook before and they’ve not shown much interest. I don’t think they’ve set the bar very high for morality. However I’m hoping they will take a firm moral stance with “Maria”; if a publicly posted photo of a pork sword up the brown-eye isn’t “inappropriate”, I’d like to know what is. (Actually… on reflection – I wouldn’t!)
I didn’t have any of that almond butter for brekkie today. "er indoors TM" did; she says it smells of old socks. If any of my loyal readers would like a tub of almond butter…
I took the dogs out for their morning constitutional. Before we’d even got to the park Fudge had picked fights with a huge Rottweiler and a bus. Treacle had had a snarl at a sparrow and a motorized wheelchair. Once we got to the park Fudge trailed about fifty to a hundred yards behind and I tripped over Treacle. Twice. We had a dodgy five minutes when Fudge ran into the fun-fair which is currently set up on Viccie park’s main green and piddled up one of the caravans, but fortunately no one saw him. I worry about Fudge going near the caravans of the fun fair folk. Perhaps I’m prejudiced, but I’ve seen the film “Snatch”.
I set off for Charing. "er indoors TM" has a couple of geocaches there which needed a little attention. It was more on my way to work than yesterday's maintenance had been, but I'm not complaining. A little mission before the late shift is always good. I found the troublesome sandwich boxes and made them good. Not an arduous task (if making sandwich boxes good is your forte), and then I went hunting out some other geocaches. My first target boiled my piss somewhat. The whole idea of the geocaching lark is that the GPS takes you to the thing. You might obscure the location with a puzzle, but even so, you end up with a set of GPS co-ordinates which tell you the location of what you are looking for. The idea *isn't* that you get to within half a mile of the thing and then blunder about randomly rooting under hedges. Mind you, watching the way I do it you might be forgiven for making that mistake... anyway...
Today's first geocache had a clear description about a small tree. The GPS co-ordinates took you exactly to that tree. But there was nothing there. Bearing in mind the thing was described as "large" it wasn't as though it had been cleverly hidden. I looked at what other finders had said and widened my search. For all that the GPS is good, any given location is never more accurate than to within a few yards. An accuracy of four yards is realistic. Having said that, co-ordinates which were ten yards out would be frowned upon by those who brandish sat-navs. I eventually found the cache I was looking for. It was *huge*; one of the biggest I've ever seen. A cube, about two feet along each side. It was a shame it was about fifty yards from the posted location, but you can't have everything.
I can't help but feel that had the people who'd hidden it found more than three caches themselves (yes - three!) they'd have more idea what they were doing.
I blame the geo-feds for letting such inexperienced people loose with film pots and sandwich boxes.
My next target was along some rough country tracks; I gave up and sought out an easier quarry. Those farm tracks will be a good walk for another morning before another late shift. I then headed off to work. I stopped off at McDonalds. Last year I went there all the time; I can't remember my last visit to Aylesford McDonalds. For all that dinner was only seventy per cent of the cost of dinner in the works canteen, I couldn't recommend what I had today. The fiery buffalo chicken wrap wasn't enjoyable; it made my eyes water, my nose run, and my mouth burn. And (like an idiot) I forgot to tell them no salt on the chips and so was thirsty for the rest of the day.
I got to work and did my bit. It wasn't a bad late shift; it went marginally better than yesterday's had gone. But I was glad to get home. My silly dogs were sitting by the front door waiting for me.
I see “Maria”’s Facebook page is still there, pork swords, brown eyes and all. So much for my neo-puritanical stance…
29 September 2018 (Saturday) - Busy Busy
Finding myself wide awake at half past three I got up and watched the first episode of the new season of “South Park”. Today’s installment was rather scathing about the seemingly prevalent attitude in America that the right to walk round carrying a gun is so important that having loonies shooting up school children is no reason to ban guns. The show was entertaining enough, but like all “South Park” I’m sure that unless you are incredibly up to date on American news an culture, mush of the show goes over your head. Interestingly the episode ended with #cancelsouthpark. After twenty-two years have they finally flogged the thing to death?
I went back to bed, and woke four hours later cuddling Fudge like a teddy bear. I made some toast and had a look to see if the world had turned again without much help from me. It would seem to have managed admirably.
Treacle came charging into the living room with a mouthful of my socks. I couldn’t be bothered to chase her. After a minute she came and waved the socks at me. When I didn’t react, she started dabbing my leg to get a reaction. Silly hound.
I spent a few minutes looking at the household finances. I get cross with the letters that the insurance people and the utility companies send me. All the information I actually need can be summarized in one sentence. So why do they send a dozen sheets of A4 filled with corporate twaddle that neither I nor anyone else will ever read?
We set off to Margate to visit the most recent fruit of my loin. "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" had had a haircut. I thought it suited him, but the haircut was a matter of some delicacy. Apparently he had told the barber he’d been given a “short back and slap”; and I was in the dog house for telling him about “short back and slaps”.
We went up to the Best Westbrook café for a spot of liver and onions. "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" kicked off because he wasn’t allowed to pour sugar into his can of Fanta, and once we’d all scoffed our dinner he threw his opened can of Fanta across the table because he could. I didn’t quite laugh out loud, but he is definitely his mother’s son.
I then spent a couple of hours painting the walls of the flight of stairs up to "Daddy’s Little Angel TM"’s flat. When she moved in the previous occupant had painted them a rather hideous bright yellow. I got a couple of coats of magnolia (yuk!) on; it has dulled the yellow if nothing else.
We came home and walked the dogs round the park. The fun fair was in full flow; some of the rides looked scary to the point of being dangerous. Whilst I’m sure they are perfectly safe, I wouldn’t go on something which hoiks you twenty yards into the sky before spinning you round.
We came home; I spent a few minutes editing Wikipedia, then played “Bubble Witch Saga” for a few minutes.
I then drove round to Chris’s to watch the re-make of Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. It was rather good…
30 September 2018 (Sunday) - Rolvenden
I slept reasonably well. I got up just after seven o’clock and was rather surprised to see that (according to our smart meter) we’d already used nearly a quid’s worth of power. How did we manage that?
I sparked up my lap-top and was amazed to see that “Maria Tensriana”’s Facebook page was still available for all to see. Three days ago I’d reported it for “inappropriate content”, and you can’t really get more inappropriate than what “Maria” was doing in those photographs of her and her friend’s willy. Or perhaps you can? If so, please don’t let me know the details. Maybe you might tell “Maria”? Or the people at Facebook who *really* should be taking a firm line about that sort of thing.
I got myself and the dogs organised. It took some doing. Usually "er indoors TM" does all that stuff but today she wasn’t coming out with us. She had a better offer and was off to the O2 arena to see “Soft Cell”. I managed to get organised reasonably well; even if the dogs didn’t eat their brekkie. Mind you they rarely do if they think something is going on.
Karl, Tracey and Charlotte arrived and we set off. We could have gone to London with friends, but the trains aren’t as good as they might be on a Sunday. We were planning to wander round a cache series that they hadn’t done in High Halden, but our phones started beeping telling us of new geocaches so we took the opportunity of doing "er indoors TM"’s new cache series.
We got to Rolvenden, parked up, and set off up hill and down dale. We met cows and sheep. We saw quite a few buzzards, and what was it with the pheasants? – I’ve never seen so many. The orchards were rather beautiful, but with the fruit pickers out in force I didn’t fancy getting caught scrumping. We had a rather good picnic; the dogs eventually ate their breakfasts (that I’d brought with us). We even got to ford a stream. Fudge got rather excited at the stream; he does over-react to water. Treacle climbed trees; I wish she wouldn’t.
Geocache-wise it was a rather good walk. Having managed a rather prompt start we got quite a few First to Finds on the beginning stretch, and (I must admit) got to feel very self-satisfied over a later First to Find. Another very experienced cacher had started the route on the half way point and so from half way was ahead of us. But we managed to find one cache he didn’t.
This chap had a second one he couldn’t find. He couldn’t find it because (in all likelihood) it wasn’t there. The camouflage was there; the film pot wasn’t. We phoned "er indoors TM" just before she was about to leave for Greenwich, and after a little discussion we hid another film pot under a rock ten yards from where the one had gone missing. "er indoors TM" said that she’d had a previous cache go missing from the very same place, so a new hidey-hole was a good idea. And replacing it there and then was a *very* good idea bearing in mind that if we didn’t replace it right at that time, I would be dispatched tomorrow morning to do it on my way to work.
After five hours we were back at the car. By one of those odd co-incidences we’d parked at a pub. We sat in the garden and had a pint of Larkin’s traditional followed by a pint of the Old Dairy’s Summer Top ably accompanied by pork scratchings and cheesy biscuits and nuts.
I took a few photos as we walked and de-briefed.
We headed home; once home I gave the dogs their dinner then foraged for some dinner of my own. I foraged in the general direction of the KFC and foraged quite successfully. I scoffed it, and as the dogs snored I ironed shirts whilst watching the DVD of “Little Shop of Horrors”.
"er indoors TM" won’t be home till late… what rubbish can I put on the telly…?