1 September 2021 (Wednesday) - Bit Dull



After a better night’s sleep I opened up a new razor (new month -new razor blade). As I scraped I wondered if I might get razor blades cheaper on-line. Those things ain’t cheap.

I made toast as my COVID test incubated and scoffed it whilst watching another episode of “The Chair”, then sparked up my lap-top to register yet another negative test result. Facebook was much the same as ever this morning, but I was amazed by a distant cousin who was posting about having finally moved in to her new house. With no urgency to vacate the old place or get in to the new place she'd decided to save on moving expenses and to move herself. She claimed she'd finally moved the last bit of stuff into her new home having done fifty-two car trips. Fifty-two. I'd pay a removal firm and think that was money well spent.

And some Australian chap was posting on some group or other about how he had planned to move to the UK but since Brexit his Australian HGV licence is no longer valid in the UK. However he claimed he could move to France and drive a French lorry into the UK on his Australian HGV licence. Can he? It would go a long way to explain the shortage of drivers at the moment if it were true.

I swapped a few messages with Gordon who was planning to walk my geo-series in Kings Wood today, then got ready for the off.


As I drove up the motorway the pundits on the radio were talking about how some new-age hippies from the Extinction Rebellion movement had occupied the offices of old-age hippies of the World Wildlife Fund. I did chuckle - some things never change. I can remember back thirty-five years ago when our old landlady (who ran the first vegetarian restaurant in Dover) was a leading light in “Save The Whales” and seemed to spend far more time arguing and squabbling with other charities than she ever did on cetacean well-being.

There was also a lot of talk about the future of Afghanistan. With the allied forces now having walked away from the place, all sorts of politicians and do-gooders were talking about how the western governments will force the new management there to dance to the western tune. None of them seemed to realise that evacuating all the western presence has effectively removed all western influence. But when have politicians and do-gooders ever listened to reality?


Work was work. I did spend a bit of time peering out of the window though. Today was supposed to have been a rostered day off for me, but seeing that we looked a tad short-handed I offered to come in instead.

Ten years (and a bit) ago I worked somewhere else. If that workplace was on fire I wouldn't piss on it, but I am very happy to help out where I now work. It is amazing the difference having a manager who isn't nasty makes.

But I was still glad when home time came around. Today had been rather busy.


I came home to an empty house. “er indoors TM” had taken Pogo and Treacle out. I pootled about until they came home trying to sort out the documents on my lap-top. I really could do with being a tad more organised.

I wonder what’s for dinner…



2 September 2021 (Thursday) - Before The Night Shift



Treacle spent much of the night jumping off the bed then crying to be helped back up. When she finally settled (at half past four) so “er indoors TM” started snoring. I’d finally managed to nod off when “er indoors TM”’s alarm went off. 

Leaving everyone else asleep I made toast and peered into the Internet. There was a post one of the local geocaching pages telling everyone to play nicely after yesterday’s spat. There had been a good spat on there yesterday afternoon in which someone had the arse because someone else had reported him to Geo-HQ for some trivial infringement of the rules. The infringement was very trivial, and had been blown out of all proportion. I know what side of the spat I would have been on, but (amazingly) someone taking the opposing viewpoint had posted about how we shouldn’t be nasty to each other. This was the very same person who made a rather bitter, nasty, and utterly unprovoked personal attack at me on one of the national geocaching Facebook pages a few months ago. Yesterday I mentioned how the noble pursuit of hunting Tupperware is dying on its arse; internecine squabbling isn’t helping.


I sent out a couple of birthday wishes to people I’ve not seen for years then took the dogs down to Orlestone woods for a walk. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking to a surgeon who has turned down the chance of being evacuated from Afghanistan. Instead the chap is going to remain in his clinic where he fits prosthetic artificial limbs to people who have lost them during the various conflicts. He remarked on how so many of his patients suddenly realise just how petty and trivial their religious and political differences are once their leg has been blown off.

We got to the woods which were rather busy today. We met six other people walking dogs. Six!! That’s unheard of. There was a little woofing but the walk passed off with no “episodes”.


We came home, I set the washing machine loose on some grubby clothes then mowed the lawn. Only a week since I last had a go at it, and the cuttings half-filled a dustbin. I hung the scrubbed washing out to dry, put dentist and optician dates into the diary, and then saw I had some emails. From both the people who administer my professional registration and from my professional body. I had to re-register with the first lot, and in doing so I had to agree to two things. Firstly was I keeping up to date with current trends in the world of testing blood? Well, yes I am. I write a blog to document what I do. Secondly I had to agree that I had professional indemnity insurance. Which I have through my professional body. Having said yes to both, I then had a look to see what my professional body wanted. They had written to say they were stopping the professional indemnity insurance from the end of this month.

That’s a bit of a nuisance.

I then spent a few minutes solving a geo-puzzle. I might go looking for it when I am next heading off in that direction in a couple of months’ time.

And suddenly the morning had just gone and it was bed time.


I went to bed to find Treacle had beaten me there. I stayed in bed for four hours; probably sleeping for three of them. Hopefully “er indoors TM” will boil up some dinner soon, and then I will start my standard “going to the night shift” routine. I will drive up the motorway singing along to my strange choice of music. I will go to Sainsburys where I will get a bottle of wine, shower gel, jam and marmalade to bring home and a sandwich, bar of crisps and four huge biccies for overnight. I will then drive to the works car park and park up in the spot closest to the hospital’s back door where I will drink a bottle of “Shaken Udder” salted caramel flavoured milk shake. I will then do the night shift, come out and wish I’d parked close to the car park exit as it will take an age to get through all the cars swarming round the car park.

I’m something of a creature of habit…



3 September 2021 (Friday) - Bit Tired



As I drove home after one of the busier night shifts the pundits on the radio were talking about how English law is changing. Stealing a dog is now a criminal offence. As it should be.

I came home and went to bed where I slept for an hour or so until the dogs went berserk. My next batch of COVID tests had been delivered and the dogs certainly let me know. As I tried to get back to sleep so they kicked off again at the postman delivering some letters. I was wide awake by then so gave up and made some toast.


As I scoffed it I peered into the Internet.  A friend had shared (on Facebook) the album of photos I’d taken when we went out to see the sea forts. Was that really three years ago today? How time flies. We had such a good day going out to log finds on two geocaches out at the sea forts in the Thames estuary. But one of the things which sticks in my mind over that outing was the people who didn’t go. There were twelve spaces on the boat trip that I organised. I knew that if I did my usual trick of asking the world and his wife then the outing would be massively over-subscribed, so the trip was by invitation only. But word of the trip spread (as it does). Before we went out I had no end of messages from people I didn’t know who told me that they were coming and wanted to know who they should pay. After the event I had loads of messages from people who hadn’t seen the trip advertised and told me how I should have organised the advertising. I was asked (a few times) why I thought that it was up to me to decide who went and who didn’t. I gave all of these the same reply. I gave them the details of the boat on which we sailed and told them that they too could charter the boat and organise their own trip.

Looking at the logs on the geocaches we went to, not one of those people has done so…

There wasn’t a lot else happening in cyber-space so I set the dishwasher going and took the dogs out.


We went to Orlestone woods again and arrived to find an empty car park. We started our walk, and after five minutes Pogo suddenly started barking. I couldn’t work out what had upset him, but after a couple of minutes I saw there was some odd-looking chap lurking in the undergrowth. I called out a cheery “hello” and got glared at before the chap carried on with what he was doing. He was photographing something low-down that I couldn’t see. Was it a strange orchid, unusual insects, or a nudey lady without any clothes on? We’ve seen people photographing all of those there before.


With walk walked we came home and I got the ironing board out and ironed like a thing possessed whilst binge-watching episodes of “Privates”; a TV show from the BBC set in 1960 which follows the antics of eight privates who are part of the last intake of National Service. I thought it was a new thing; it was eight years old and starred him out of “The Office”. It took me two hours to realise it was him out of The Office” and not him out of “Waiting for God”.


“er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whist watching more episodes of “House of Games” without falling asleep. Not falling asleep was rather amazing after a night shift and only an hour asleep.

I’m going to bed now as I’ve an early start tomorrow…



4 September 2021 (Saturday) - Early Shift



I woke in the small hours to find that Pogo was laying across the bed at right angles to me, and consequently taking up far too much space. I tried shoving him, but he is quite the lump to shove. Especially when he has made himself comfortable and doesn't want to shift. I gave up shoving and made the most of the small amount of bed that I had.


Over toast I watched the last episode of "The Chair". Having started watching it I felt I had to see the thing through. I won't bother with the second season though (if there is one). It had been billed as a comedy-drama. There was precious little comedy and not much drama. It was more of a vehicle through which the writer could push their personal political agenda. Had I known it was one of those programs which is constantly shouting on about minority rights I wouldn't have bothered with it. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for equal rights for everyone but I'm not personally responsible for the state of the world and get a tad tired of the looney leftie scriptwriters who try to make me feel guilty about stuff which is not my fault.

Perhaps if the leading character was more human and less akin to a plank of wood I might have warmed to the show more.


I set off to work a few minutes early and stopped off in Godinton where I capped a few Munzees in the desperate hope of getting a qrate (as some people do). I got two which was something of a result, then I set off up the motorway listening to the pundits on the radio who were interviewing a raspberry farmer who had lost all his workforce. Rather than letting his crop rot, this chap has offered the raspberries free to anyone who can be bothered to go and pick them. Why was he giving them away? Because he can't get anyone to pick them for him. In the past there were no end of immigrant Eastern European workers who were happy to work for peanuts to harvest his crops, but now that "we have taken back control", in this post-Brexit world the ex-workers know where they are not welcome and have all gone home.  It was claimed that fruit picking is something of a skilled job - the average person can't pick more than ten punnets of raspberries an hour, and selling them picked at that rate brings in less money than it costs to pay someone (and that's paying at minimum wage!)

The farmer said he's advertised for more workers but got no applicants. Not one. He said he'd contacted his MP and was told that he should never have been dependent on an underpaid immigrant workforce in the first place.

The obvious answer is to run a "pick your own" scheme and not be dependent on paying your workers such a pittance... but what do I know?


I went to get petrol before work. I've had a few little episodes there recently with one of the card readers at the tills not working. When I came to pay this morning I was called up to the card reader that doesn't work, and again it didn't work. I suggested we try the other card reader and all was fine there. I remarked to the woman behind the till that this is a regular occurrence, that her colleagues have told me before that the card reader doesn't work, and we all had a good laugh.

As I walked out I saw the supervisor come running over hissing about not telling the customers that the card reader doesn't work. Had I got them into trouble? Should I have said something?

Not my circus... not my monkeys.


Work was work. It was rather good today; we had cake. And with work done and cake scoffed I came home and set up the event shelter in the garden. “My Boy TM” and Cheryl (and Ro-Ro) came round for a rather good al-fresco bit of dinner. Rather good – but rather cold. Perhaps we won’t be doing that again this year…



5 September 2021 (Sunday) - A Rather Sunny Day



I spent much of the night in a loosing battle trying to wrest some of the bed space from the dogs. They aren’t big dogs but can spread themselves out quite impressively when asleep.

In a novel break with tradition “er indoors TM” got up first this morning. She’d arranged to collect a load of shopping from Asda. Asda, like many supermarkets, have this thing where you go on-line, tell them what you want, and they provide you with some stuff which is almost (but not entirely) utterly unlike that which you ordered.


With “er indoors TM” returned with a whole load of God-only-knows-what I made toast, registered another negative COVID test and had a look at the internet. My piss immediately boiled as I opened Facebook. Some time ago a friend started up a mindfulness page on which various people post all sorts of twee memes. There is nothing more annoying than being told that “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” from people who have life served up on silver platters.

There was an interesting post on a Facebook page that I help moderate. There have never been any audio books of Julian May’s “The Many Coloured Land” series of books, and people were talking about the possibility of creating some. Nothing will come of the discussion, but (as always) the chat was good-natured and friendly. If only the rest of Facebook was so amiable.

My Facebook feed was filled with adverts for garden waterfalls this morning – I looked at those on eBay last night. Big Brother certainly is watching me.

I sent out birthday wishes and then got ready for the off.


The original plan for today was to go down to Walmer to join in with a tidying the beach session that had been planned for today by some of the geo-gang. But for all sorts of reasons we didn’t really want to be too far from home today, so we met up with Karl, Tracey and Charlotte and started provisional planning for a possible new series of geocaches. I won’t say where we went; I realise just how pathetic this sounds but there really are those people who will be looking at the photos I took today trying to work out where we walked, and then trying to find today’s route desperately rummaging round hoping to locate any geocaches we put out today. For some the need to be the first one to say they found it is a rather powerful addiction.

Wherever it was that we went we had a really good walk. The dogs chased pheasants, we saw no end of joggers, and we even got to see some very small baby cows too.

After a couple of hours we were back where we started and having started by a pub we thought we’d have a pint or two. As everyone else changed their boots for more comfortable shoes so Charlotte and I went into the bee garden to bag a table. In doing so we upset the normal people. We sat at a large table under a tree, and as we were giving the dogs a drink so the chap who was at the next table when we arrived announced to his mate (very loudly) that he wanted to sit at the table in the shade under the tree, and then glared at me. Well… why didn’t he then? The table was empty when we arrived and saw him sitting at his table.

Fortunately him and his mates didn’t stay long. We had a few pints and some rather good pizza before wending our way home.

I took a few photos as we walked. It don’t take Sherlock Holmes to work out where we went.


We came home and put away the event shelter that we’d had out yesterday evening. As we had a cuppa so we realised that new Munzees were appearing outside.  A friend was in the area having a cheeky deploy so we sent a message and she came in for a cuppa. It was good to catch up. 

“er indoors TM” and Cheryl set off to see some drag queens and I settled down in front of the telly with the dogs. They slept the entire evening; showing no interest in having any dinner. I wonder what that’s all about…



6 September 2021 (Monday) - London Calling



I woke with a seriously stiff neck. That was handy for today !

Over some toast I watched an episode of “Drifters”, sent out some birthday wishes, and got ready for the off. Having completely missed that there was a geo-Mega event in London last week I thought I might pop up to the wicked city on my day off and do the temporary Adventure Lab caches before they get archived next week.
I'd asked on the local geocaching Facebook group to see if there was any interest. There was some interest. Unfortunately quite a few people couldn’t make it as they were on holiday already, but there was enough interest to make me want to go ahead with a day out.


I got the train to Waterloo from where (after a quick solo virtual) I wandered down to the Jubilee Gardens by the London Eye (it is HUGE!!) where I soon met Pam and Brian and we set off on a little walk along the Thames. Before long we were joined by Richard and Millie and together we had a rather good (if tiring) day walking over thirteen miles.

Our route was laid out by the four series of Adventure Lab caches, and as geocaching so often does, we were taken to the oddities. The weird and wonderful places and things that the tourist guides never mention. I had no idea that there are sand beaches along the Thames. What was that amazing boat/ship thing near the Golden Hinde? The artwork in the underpasses was amazing. We found several hidden gardens and statues that most people would walk past without even seeing. We found rather odd chicken footprints across the pavements not far from Tower Bridge. I found the actual Savage Garden. I took photos of Mary Poppins and of Darth Vader. I got a selfie in the Iron Throne (from Game of Thrones) and a selfie with Mr Bean. And I’d never had a walk round the docklands developments before today.

We took in a lot of the regular tourist stuff too. We walked across Tower Bridge and round the Tower of London. We walked past (but not up) the Monument. We saw the balloons in Chinatown. We walked across Horse Guards Parade. We peered up Downing Street. We stared in admiration at St Pauls and the Shard. We rather upset the security at the Bank of England who didn’t like us looking at the engravings on their door. We got treated like dirt by the police pushing the proles out of the way so that some politician or other could be driven out of the Houses of Parliament.

We had coffee at Bankside and overlooking Trafalgar Square. Seeing the prices of food in the pubs (pie and a pint for seventeen quid!) we had a lunch from a burger van at Tower Hill.


I took quite a few photos as we walked today. Over a hundred!!

Amazingly for a day’s geocaching in London we stayed very focussed on our target which was the Adventure Lab caches: it is so easy to get geo-distracted in London. And after seven (and a bit) hours, thirteen and a half miles, forty-eight geo-finds and two geo-souvenirs we were back where we’d started and we said our goodbyes.. for this time. We will certainly be back.


I’ve done trips like this to London before. The trick to a day’s geocaching in London is to have a route and a plan, and there are several geocaches and series of geocaches in London which lend themselves to a day out.

On 5 February 2016 thirteen of us travelled all over London; on foot, on the tubes and on buses looking for the London Rainbow caches including the zebra crossing at Abbey Road as we went.

On 1 November 2016 a group of us went up the monument and to the source of the great plague looking for the Catastrophe, Calamity, Cataclysm series of caches.

On 4 December 2017 a load of us took a rather tortuous route from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace via all sorts of places following the Central London Team Quests.

On 20 February 2018 half a dozen of us went in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper and finished off finding the last part of a twelve-stage trip round London pubs.


There’s other geocache missions still to do. There’s  loads of Adventure Lab caches which lend themselves to a day out. There’s a thirteen-stage multi which involves hunting aliens which goes all over the place in London.

But right now I’m looking at a ten-stage multi going to various sites in London. Starting at Tower Bridge the route goes through to the British Museum. I’m tentatively thinking some time in November for that one, but right now I’m thinking about how my legs ache, and whether I will be able to get off of this sofa…



7 September 2021 (Tuesday) - Early Shift



I don’t know whether “er indoors TM” and the dogs had any spats during the night; I was out like a light for seven hours.

As I made toast so Treacle came trotting downstairs closely followed by Pogo. I thought it rather sweet they were coming down to be with me… then “er indoors TM” came through to the loo. Both dogs followed her to the loo, then followed he back to bed. There is no secret as to who their favourite is.


As I scoffed toast I watched another episode of “Drifters” (in which our heroes had scabies) before peering into the Internet. The photos I’d posted on-line last night had come in for quite a few favourable comments. And there was a rather amazing squabble on one of the Sparks-related Facebook pages. Someone else who has followed them for fifty years was being accused of “Gatekeeping”. I’d not heard of this one before and had to look it up – apparently having been following a band or doing a hobby (or even have been alive) longer than someone else is in some way patronising and offensive to the newcomer, and is (supposedly) valid grounds for taking offence.

Some people would seem to descend to any level just to have an argument!


As I drove up the motorway I couldn't help but notice how busy it was. I have seen it busier, but not often. Such a contract to the trains and London yesterday which were the quietest they've ever been.

As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the situation in Afghanistan. Having withdrawn all the western forces, the Taliban have now effectively re-taken control (despite some local opposition). The general consensus was that this was inevitable; the only way to have kept the Taliban out of power was to have kept up the military presence. And just how long can you keep that up? Longer than people will cling to crackpot ideas? Hardly?


I got to work and did my bit. One of the things which makes my job different to that of other people’s is the various hours I work. Today was effectively my Monday morning. Traditionally everyone whinges about Monday mornings. And having had a particularly good weekend involving a very good hike round the countryside, an incredibly good session with friends over a pub lunch, and then a frankly epic day in London yesterday there’s no denying that today was something of an anti-climax. But today there was none of the “I really can’t face going to work” feeling that plagued my life for years.


And with my bit done I left. Being on an early shift wasn’t such a good thing today; the car’s thermometer said it was thirty degrees when I came to leave. I thought about having an ice cream; someone has kindly paid for an ice cream van to be in the works car park giving free ice creams to hospital staff. In theory this is a very generous offer; in practice I couldn’t be queuing up in the blistering heat for twenty minutes waiting.


I had planned to take the dogs out for a walk when I got home  but it was still far too hot. I sat in front of the telly and fell asleep.

“er indoors TM” woke me when she came home after a dog walk a few hours later. I feel like death warmed up – did I have too much sun yesterday?



8 September 2021 (Wednesday) - Bit Dull Really



Despite having turned off my phone’s internet connection last night, the thing spent much of the night beeping with messages it was receiving through that turned-off connection. I gave up trying to sleep, turned off the phone’s alarm, and shortly afterwards that alarm went off anyway. That phone seems to have a mind of its own.

I made toast and scoffed it whilst watching an episode of “Drifters” before sparking up my lap-top. It too had a funny five minutes; having updated its web browsers overnight the things weren’t working. Eventually they got going, and I tried not to laugh at a post on one of the work-based Facebook groups in which various people were quarrelling about various features in a photo of a blood film. I find it best to keep quiet on those work-based Facebook groups. As is so often the way, the more vocal the people posting, the less they actually knew.

With not a lot else going on in cyber space and bearing in mind how busy the motorway was yesterday I set off for work rather early.


As I got into my car I watched not-so-nice-next-door going off on her morning constitutional. Every morning at half past six she goes up the road in a rather odd way. Slower than running, faster than walking. You really would think she'd crapped herself judging by the gait, only she was heading away from her house rather than toward it.

Pausing only briefly to post a nephew's birthday card I was very soon being tail-ended by a lorry of the Southern Fencing Company. Having been dangerously close to me going up the motorway's slip road they overtook like a maniac, then drove all the way to Maidstone never more than a hundred yards in front of me. What was the urgency to get in front of me all about?


As I drove, the pundits on the radio were talking about the announcement of the new government in Afghanistan. A lot of concern has been expressed internationally how no minorities or women are part of the new Afghan administration and how people that western governments have wanted to question are now in positions of authority. I didn't quite laugh out loud, but what did the international community expect. Having spent twenty years using military force to keep the religious extremists out, the west has walked away leaving the door open to those they were keeping out. How can anyone spend twenty years forcing an extremist organisation into hiding, then walk away and act surprised that this extremist group stops hiding?


There was also a lot of talk about the government's new tax to pay for the NHS and for social care. As far as I am concerned the only surprising thing about it is that people are surprised by it. The world is slowly recovering from a pandemic, we've had to use the NHS and social care like never before. Of course it costs money. But the politicians are being rather stupid about it. Of course the Prime Minister has broken manifesto pledges... when he wrote them he had no idea there was going to be a pandemic. And why are the Labour party having a go at the Conservative party for raising taxes? How would the Labour party pay for the costs of the pandemic? With shirt buttons? Speaking as a life-long-leftie, the current Labour party are something of an embarrassment.


Work was work, but being in an early start meant for another early finish. And again I came home to find it far too hot to be taking the dogs out. So instead I pondered the geo-map and have worked out a route through London starting at Tower Bridge and taking a convoluted route to the British Museum hopefully finding about fifty geocaches as we go.


“er indoors TM” is boiling up dinner; I’ve got my eye on a bottle of plonk…



9 September 2021 (Thursday) - Honesty Table(s)



It was a hot night last night. Despite sinking a bottle of red wine I didn’t sleep very well, seeing every hour of the night.
Over brekkie I scoffed toast whilst watching another episode of “Drifters”. As I watched, another negative COVID test incubated. I did wonder if I might have had a positive one for a change; not that I feel ill, but I did wonder if going to London on Monday had been a good idea. I might have caught the sun in London, but it would seem I didn’t catch the ‘rona


I had a little look at the Internet. There is talk of a camping weekend being organised by and for the local geocaching fraternity. I might have been up for it had it not been planned for next April. I’ve camped in April before – April nights are *far* too cold to be in tents. I’ve done that before – the days are hot enough to get sunburn and at night there is frost in the tent. I’ll just pop down for the day though. I’d like to support the event. I don’t think the local geocaching scene has will survive much longer unless positive steps are taken. The first, second and fourth most prolific local hiders of Tupperware have effectively given up doing so. No one seems to be keen on organising local geo-meets. It used to be such fun… it can be again. If I can get this geo-walk from Tower Bridge to the London museum off the ground that will be a step in the right direction. I’m rather concerned that hunting Tupperware in Kent has gone the same way as it has in several other counties – I’m reliably informed that there are large part of the country where people don’t go hunting for Tupperware; they just sit about whinging about how good it used to be.

It *did* used to be good – and can be again!


I then sent out some birthday wishes and sighed. My nephew was doing a birthday fundraiser for the hospice where my mum died earlier in the year. I know he means well but I won’t be giving to it. This is something about which I feel very strongly… (engage rant mode…)

When that hospice started it was effectively a part of the NHS. Today only a third of its funding comes from the NHS because the government know that well-meaning people will pay the rest through charity donations. And this isn’t party political; it happened through the Labour governments too. No government of any party is ever going to pay for anything when someone else is paying for it for them. Look at the schools where the parent-teacher associations are fundraising for the text-books. That *can’t* be right. I’m all for charities – when they are set up as charities. For example there’s the goat sanctuary, the Scout Association and Guide Dogs; none of which are publicly funded.. But subsidising a government institution *isn’t* a charity.


I set off to work about an hour later than I did yesterday and was amazed that the roads were quieter. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how the Home Secretary has announced plans to have British ships on patrol in the English Channel looking for boats of illegal immigrants. Apparently according to international law these British ships can turn the illegal immigrants around and return them to the French authorities… provided the French authorities will accept them.

The French have said they won’t.

You really have to laugh.. The whole Brexit thing was (in large part) about controlling immigration. When Britain was a part of the EU Britain was one of twenty-seven countries with a shared immigration problem. Now that Britain is not part of the EU, the remaining twenty-six have a ready-made solution to their immigration problem; send the immigrants on their way to Britain.

Did no one else see this coming?


I got to work where I spent much of the day giggling. New porters were being shown round the hospital. They were brought into the lab, shown to us and they were told “These are the scientists. They are very nice”.

No one else but me thought this was hilarious.

Mind you one of the girls at work wasn’t laughing. She’d had a message from her son’s school telling her that tomorrow was a non-uniform day and that as part of it she was expected to contribute to the “Honesty Table”, but was admonished that only quality offerings would be accepted. I’d not heard of an “Honesty Table” before.

Apparently they are a self-service jumble sale where you put out stuff and others come along and pay what they feel the stuff is worth. The thing is unsupervised, hence the “Honesty” bit.

When I was a lad every day was a school uniform day. We didn’t mess about with “Honesty Tables”. We did our lessons and anyone who didn’t got a crack on the arse. Simpler times…



10 September 2021 (Friday) - A Wedding



I woke to the sound of the dogs crashing off of the bed as they chased after “er indoors TM” who had gone to the loo. When I get up in the night they just move into the warm space that I’ve left; when she gets up they are heartbroken.

I got up, and as they all went back to bed I made some toast, watched an episode of “Drifters” and had my usual peer into the internet wondering if I’d missed much overnight. I had a message via geocaching dot come about a Wherigo game I’d set a couple of years ago. “Hiya a great quirky series, exasperated one moment, laughing the next, great fun, thank you for putting it on.👍🏻😀”. Exactly what I’d hoped for when I set the series. I hadn’t missed much else though. Glossing over a sea of twee memes I got ready for work.


The motorway was far quieter than it had been yesterday. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how President Biden has had enough with the anti-vax brigade in America and is now talking about compulsory COVID vaccinations and testings. The chap has a point, but he is up against stiff resistance. It is the fundamental right of all Americans to be free... and unfortunately that includes being free to make frankly stupid life choices.

And our old friend science has issued a tsunami warning for Scotland. When the ice sheets in Greenland fall into the Atlantic they look set to make quite a splash.


I got to work and did my bit. Today wasn't a bad day really. We had cake, and a day when we have cake is always one of the better ones. As I scoffed cake so I reached the end of my current e-book. A couple of weeks ago I downloaded and read "Ender's Game" which was frankly excellent. I downloaded the sequel which I finished today. It was one of those books which I read purely because I felt that it might eventually perk up. It never did; frankly it was crap. Sequels of books rarely live up to their promise, and this one certainly didn't, which was a shame. I've now downloaded "The Forever War" to read yet again. Much as it is a good read, I find more and more I'm re-reading books that I know are good stories rather than wasting my time on books which turn out to be tripe. If any of my loyal readers can recommend a good book, I'm all ears.


The plan for today had been to go to a wedding, but I couldn’t get the time off work. So with work done I hurried home, we settled the dogs and drove down to Hythe for the evening party. Friends and family had gathered to celebrate Glen and Matt’s wedding and we had a rather good time. Though it was probably as well that we’d only been able to get along for the evening. With a malibu and coke going for nine quid it could have been a rather pricey day.

And the hotel’s band made me think. Fronted by someone I can only describe as “Adam Ant’s Granddad”, why do all the live bands I ever see play music originally performed by people about thirty years older than themselves? 

And in closing, today is something of an anniversary. It marks fifteen years of my writing a diary.



11 September 2021 (Saturday) - Early Shift



We got home rather earlier from the wedding last night than we might have done, and I went straight to bed. I’d come home with something of a headache. Why do all live bands think that they can increase their quality by increasing their volume? I slept for a couple of hours until Pogo had a barking fit at quarter past two, and I didn’t get back to sleep after that. After three hours of laying awake I gave up and made brekkie.


As I peered into the internet there was quite the argument kicking off on one of the local Facebook pages this morning. As I drove home last night there were half a dozen crackpots waving anti-vaccination placards at passing traffic in Chart Road. A frankly frightening amount of people had been posting on-line in support of the anti-vax movement. Whilst these people have the right to their opinion, their opinion is factually wrong. Let’s be crystal clear here. Anti-vaccination is up there with flat Earth theories, homeopathy, astrology, the canals on Mars, and ideas about the Sun going round the Earth and fairies living at the bottom of the garden.  It is factually wrong. There is an abundance of reliable and repeatable evidence to prove it is wrong. And just because someone chooses to believe it doesn’t give it any credence whatsoever.

It bothers me that in today’s society the considered opinions of educated people formed over years of study and reasoning are of no more worth than the whim of a half-wit. And it also bothers me that there is no longer any shame in proudly showing ignorance and frank stupidity.


As I drove to work there was some nonsense on the radio. The "Farming Today" program was talking about de-carbonising the fishing industry and about how much time and effort had gone into looking at alternative fuels for smaller fishing boats. Amazingly no- one had considered sails or oars like my Dad used on his small boat for many years.

There was also talk of Franklin's Bumblebee. Not having been seen for fifteen years it has been declared as "endangered". How long do these things have to be missing before they are officially extinct?

I turned off the radio. It was winding me up. Instead I sang along to my "Ivor Biggun" CDs as I drove to work.


Work was much the same as ever. I don't mind working at weekends when I'm not missing much. The weather wasn't good, and much of the family was somewhat under the weather after the wedding yesterday, so it wasn't a bad day to be at work.

Today was my fifth consecutive day at work. What with the vagaries of my shift patter I rarely work five consecutive days; it has been rather tiring. 


I came home to find the bathroom floor wet. “er indoors TM” had taken the dogs down to Orlestone (together with Ro-Ro) and they’d found a swamp and needed bathing. Seeing they’d had a walk already I settled down and looked at geo-puzzles with a view to going for a walk tomorrow. I didn’t solve many puzzles, but I eventually got “Hannah” programmed for tomorrow. It took some doing. Whilst I wasn’t looking the software on the lap-top had upgraded itself. It is probably now a wonder of technology probably doing all sorts of amazing things that would impress IT gurus. But it now does its actual job far worse than it used to and isn’t really fit for purpose any more. Much like all IT upgrades… (not that I’m cynical…)



12 September 2021 (Sunday) - Hadlow to Dene Park (And Back)



I had a better night’s sleep last night. Much of it was down to having the dogs settling. Over brekkie I peered into the Internet. Last night I’d asked a question on one of the Facebook geocaching-related pages about the intricacies of programming a GPS unit. It is always a mistake to do anything like that . For every one person who actually has anything to say there are a dozen keyboard warriors who want to heap sarcasm and scorn safe in the knowledge they will never have to face the person with whom they are trying  to strike up an argument.

There were quite a few comments about how Emma Raducanu had won the US Open (some tennis competition) overnight. I did chuckle as several of the people posting on Facebook about this were those who are regularly posting jingoistic hatred on-line. Either these people didn’t realise that Ms Raducanu came to the UK from Canada (having been born from Chinese and Romanian parents) or (like with football players) are immigrants who are good at sport exempt from being despised?


I had an email which make me choke on my coffee. It was from “William, a famous Medium and confirmed Expert Psychic”. He claimed he inherited his gifts with a great capacity to love and help others and he knows I need his help because he had precious revelations about me. If he did, he would know exactly what I think about him. Like anti-vaxxing and 5G-crackpotism, mediums and psychics are a load of crystal balls.


We got ourselves and the dogs organised and got into the “er indoors TM-mobile and set off. I had been hoping for great things this morning. Usually when we go anywhere in the “er indoors TM-mobile we have a running battle to keep the dogs on the back of the car. Yesterday “er indoors TM” had spent twenty-five quid on some dog pen thingy which goes on the back seat and is tied around to head rests and stuff and keeps the dogs where they are supposed to be (so the manufacturer claimed). Pogo was out of it in a matter of seconds. That was money well spent.


We got to Hadlow and soon found where we were supposed to park. Treacle then did the tiddle she’d been whinging about for some time (she will only go on grass), then together with Karl, Tracey and Charlotte we went for a little walk following (as always) the geocaches. We had a very good walk along the paths and across the fields, seeing a horse on a diet and watching a spitfire doing aerobatics. Personally I wouldn’t want to put too much strain on an eighty-year-old plane but that’s just me.

Finding that we’d made rather good time and were half way round our planned route by half past eleven I suggested a minor detour on to Dene Park. Everyone else was up for it, so we added about a mile and a half (maybe two) to our trip. I’d never been to Dene Park before; it is not unlike Orlestone Woods. I’d certainly walk the dogs there regularly if it were closer.

After an hour and twenty minutes we were back on our planned route. Narrowly avoiding a fight with a St Bernard we admired the gorilla and tiger and then found a clearing with loads of stumps which was ideal for lunch. It has to be said that our picnic lunches are one of life’s high points, but (just possibly) I’m getting too old to be sitting on the ground. It was rather good to have a seat today, even if it was just a sawn stump.

We then carried on through beautiful countryside walking alongside (and in) streams and balancing up fallen trees. We spent a few minutes admiring a little memorial which had been set up for a local chap who’d died recently. That was rather sad.


Geocache-wise the walk was something of a mixed bag as we were looking for geocaches hidden by different people. The main route was the first route put out by a chap who is relatively new to the game, and there was an obvious problem in that three consecutive hides had been archived by Geo-HQ because of some complaint about their being on private land. Were they? I somehow doubt it. If they were on the path we were walking (which they must have been) they would have been along a public footpath and hurting no one. Geocaching HQ certainly wastes no time in shooting themselves in the foot whenever the opportunity allows.

The mini-series in Dene Park were (perhaps) trickier hides. But as a stand-alone small series that works fine. We chose to make them part of a bigger walk.

We couldn’t find two caches. Both of them were “stand-alone” caches not part of any other series. One would seem to have been hidden by someone who has only logged three caches this year, and the other by someone who’s not logged a find in over a year. Neither of these look set to be maintained any time soon and will probably just be archived by the reviewers, which will be a shame. Whilst I‘m all for regularly replacing series of caches (to keep the hobby alive), some older ones need to be kept going too. Ones like these two…


After nearly nine miles we got back to our cars and said our goodbyes. Amazingly I stayed awake for the drive home. I’d taken a few photos as we walked. Once home I put them on-line whilst “er indoors TM” drove down to Folkestone to get shopping for “Daddy’s Little Angel TM”. As I fiddled about posting logs and geo-stalking the owners of the caches we didn’t find so both dogs snored.  They’d had a really good walk, and were worn out.


Just as I’d finished doing all the geo admin (and writing much of today’s blog instalment) so “er indoors TM” came home. She’d come home via the KFC which was something of a result. We scoffed the KFC whilst watching this week’s episode of “Lego Masters”. Much as I like that show I struggled to stay awake.

Perhaps an early night might be a plan?



13 September 2021 (Monday) - Not On The Dartford Crossing



I slept like  a log; nearly nine miles walking yesterday had taken its toll. I watched an episode of “Drifters” as I scoffed toast, then peered into the Internet. The photos I’d posted yesterday had a fair few “likes”.

I saw that as we’d been walking my cousin had been to a stage show in London, and afterwards had met quite a few of the people who had starred in it. She’d posted a lot of photos of the celebrities onto Facebook and (fortunately) had captioned who they were. I’d heard the names, but she really could have posted up photos of random people in the street for all that I recognise any of the celebrities these days.

Also whilst we’d been walking yesterday, other people had been walking round the series of geocaches I’d out in Kings Wood and had said nice things about them on-line (which was a result).

I had an email. Interestingly my credit score (at Credit Karma) has gone down another five points. That’s a drop of about twenty points over the last couple of months. I wonder why? – I’ve not done anything different recently.

I sent out birthday wishes, and taking care to let sleeping dogs lie I got ready for work.


Pausing only briefly to cap a couple of Munzees I was soon on my way to work. I managed to get onto the motorway despite the queue of lorries seemingly deliberately blocking all traffic coming up the slip road, and after two miles I was able to get out of the fast lane. The slow lane was full of lorries going at fifty miles per hour, and the middle lane was full of lorries going at fifty-one miles per hour.

I've ranted about this before.

As I drove the pundits on  the radio were were talking about how the leader of the Scottish Nationalists Nicola Sturgeon is calling for another independence referendum for Scotland,  but not until the COVID crisis has been resolved. Talking about some time in 2023, she ain't daft. She's seen how Brexit has lost Cornwall a hundred million quid in funding form the EU and she wants the English tax-payers to bail out the Scottish NHS in the short term.

Talking of which  there was quite a bit of NHS bashing on the radio today. It was claimed that one in five patients have been forced to go private to get treatments.  Well, the NHS is under pressure because of the global pandemic, but here's a question. Has anyone noticed that the doctors you see in the private clinics are the same ones you see in the NHS hospitals? If a specialist is too busy to see you in the NHS hospital, why isn't she too busy to see you in the private clinic? Money talks... and to many people it is saying "piss off, pauper!"


I stopped off at the petrol station to fill up the car. Amazingly the card reader machine worked. I commented about this to the spotty oik behind the till who pretended that there had never been an issue with the thing. Obviously he'd had a talking-to from his manager since I was last there when he told me how bad the thing had been.


I got to work for the early shift and did my bit. Today was a rather good day. What with a colleague having had a birthday and another colleague having returned from maternity leave we had more cake than sense.

At lunch time I had a message from “er indoors TM”.  Why (and how) did I go across the Dartford crossing only once (heading south) on June 2nd of this year. Checking my diary and my Google timeline it would seem I didn't get any closer to the Dartford crossing than Maidstone. Obviously the automated number plate recognition gadget had gone wrong. I wonder how many other people have had this happen to them and have been billed for crossings they didn’t make?


With work worked I came home. I did have a plan to take the dogs out, but “er indoors TM” had plans for a Munzee mission so she took them out whilst I cracked on in the garden. Cutting back the overgrowth from not-so-nice-next-door, mowing the lawn… it all takes time and with storms forecast for tomorrow I thought I’d better get on with it whilst I could. And with lawn mowed I spent an hour or so fighting with programming coding in GSAK and eventually got my GPS working how it should be working despite (rather then thanks to) the dedicated Facebook help group. 


I wonder what’s for dinner…



14 September 2021 (Tuesday) - Before the Night Shift



There was quite the squabble kicking off on a 70s-related Facebook group this morning which I read as I scoffed my toast. Some chap called “Dan” had posted something or other. However his profile picture was that of a woman. He had been accused of being an “anonymous twat” by someone who was looking for a fight, and the argument just descended from there.

There also was a post on Facebook from “Jesus Daily” that had appeared (uninvited) on my feed. I had a little look at “Jesus Daily” to find out more. It is some religious Facebook page on which people post up pictures of suffering children, elderly people and dying pets. We are all supposed to pray for them. Amazingly loads of people were posting prayer-like comments. I don’t understand… this god of theirs lets nasty and cruel things happen. We then pray and Jesus sorts it out if he can be bothered? But judging by the amount of obituary posts on that page, he don’t seem to be bothered that often. Am I missing something here?


I got the dogs on to their leads and we drove down to Orlestone Woods for a little walk. We arrived to find the car park nearly empty, and we did our usual circuit of the woods without meeting anyone until we were only fifty yards away from the car where we met the little old lady with the poodle and the Jack Russell.

Treacle amazed me. We walked with the little old lady with Treacle cowering in terror from the poodle, then when we got to the car Treacle and Pogo jumped into the car’s boot. We always have a treat when we jump into the boot as that encourages them not to mess about but to get into the boot. Seeing that dog treats were going, the poodle came over. All her cowardice vanished as Treacle chased the poodle away; she certainly wasn’t sharing the treats.


As we’d come to the end of the walk so I’d felt some spots of rain. The rain picked up quite substantially as we drove home; I’d been right to have mowed the lawn yesterday evening.

We came home, and as the rain poured down outside I fiddled about on my lap-top as I do. I geo-puzzled for a bit, then went to bed for the afternoon. Despite the dogs declaring two formal “Red Alerts” I got four hours in bed of which over two were spent asleep. I then did another geo-jigsaw, scoffed some dinner, and now I’m off to the night shift…

I shouldn’t be.


Today is something of an anniversary. Forty years ago to the day I started working at the (now demolished) Royal East Sussex Hospital as a junior medical laboratory scientific officer, and I’ve been wondering if I’ve left it rather late to think that was a bad move.

Back in the day we all started off in the job having done rather badly (or having failed) at “A”-levels and went to technical college on day release for two years to get an ONC and then for a further two years to get an HNC. At this point we would be formally assessed by the professional regulator and would (if we passed) become state registered. We then had the opportunity for further study (up to masters level) if we wanted it; all paid for by work. But about twenty-five years ago the rot set in.

Most health-care professions stopped taking school-leavers and wanted graduates. Rather than taking people on and paying for their training, the government of the day wanted to employ people who had already paid for their own training. So students took the biomedical degrees (with little idea of what the job for which they were studying entailed), ran up incredible debts whilst doing so, then looked at jobs in hospital laboratories and laughed. “My Boy TM” drives a fork-lift truck about and he earns far more than I do. A train driver (with twelve weeks training) earns more than my boss’s boss.

Graduates have far more expectations than school-leavers; effectively we went from a system of bringing in people who’d done badly at “A” levels and had lifted them up to a system of trying to bring in graduates and dragging them down. People looking at the job today realise that opportunities for advancement are few and far between, with many hospital laboratories merging and the pay differential between bands isn’t worth the extra hassle of the additional responsibilities.  They don’t want to be expected to be available for work at all hours day and night. (I don’t have a weekend off in this next month at all. I missed my daughter’s first eight birthday parties and can’t remember when I last had a complete Christmas break).

Always at the back of your mind is the worry that if you make a mistake, you might kill someone. And when that happens no one remembers all the effort that you put in over the years; you find yourself dumped and unemployable by managers desperate to cover their own backs (not that I’m bitter).

You are legally expected to create something like https://adulldayatwork.blogspot.com (maybe not as a website, but you have to do all that CPD for no extra pay). It is no secret that biomedical scientists are top of the United Kingdom Shortage Occupation List.

 But what’s boiling my piss today is that on my first day, as part of the introduction, the senior chief medical laboratory scientific officer asked if I would like to join the NHS pension scheme. He actually advised me against doing so. He claimed that most people in this line of work died before getting their pensions (things were very different back then). But he was crystal clear that if I joined the pension scheme I could retire after forty years’ service. I can distinctly remember him telling me that the first day of my retirement would be the 14th September 2021. So I joined the pension scheme.
After a couple of months he asked me why I’d joined the pension scheme when they didn’t accept anyone under eighteen years of age. My retirement got put back to my fifty-eighth birthday (and that was six months of contributions down the drain).
A few years later I found out that the rules had changed and I couldn’t claim a full pension until my sixtieth birthday (two years of contributions down the drain).
Now I’m told I can claim *some* of my pension if I retire on my sixtieth birthday, but I’ll only get the full amount if I work till state retirement age (whenever that will be). I estimate I’ve been cheated out of nine and a half years of retirement.

Forty years ago I started paying for a pension in good faith. It’s like buying a bag of chips, and as you walk down the road scoffing them, so the chip-shop owner comes chasing you saying he’s put the price up.Not that I’m bitter… What’s another nine and a half years…

Mind you if I've got to do another nine and a half years I will be doing it in the company of the best bunch of people with whom I have ever worked. And (at times) that's up against some pretty stiff competition.



15 September 2021 (Wednesday) - Bit Tired



Last night’s night shift wasn’t so much “busy” as “constant”; the work kept coming all night long. It was with a sense of relief that I watched the early shift arrive.

And having been up all night providing vital services in an acute hospital I drove home wondering why I bothered. The pundits on the radio were talking about the government’s plans to offer vaccination to everyone over twelve years old. They were interviewing some twelve-year-olds and their parents. One of the parents felt the government had a duty to make all the facts available. She seemed concerned that as well as facts, the government should also present rumour, half-truths, disproved crackpotism and frank nonsense. And having a myriad of options (of which reality was only one) the children could then choose the one that they most liked the sound of. Evidence-driven health care was only one of many life-styles and was of equal worth as magical crystals and faith healing to this woman.

They let these people vote, you know.


I got home and went to bed for three hours; woken shortly before mid-day by not-so-nice-next-door clanging away on her piano.

I got up and took the dogs to the co-op field where we played a game of “Fetch”. We played nicely for three goes; I would chuck one ball in one direction for Treacle, and the other ball in another direction for Pogo. On the fourth go Treacle grabbed Pogo’s ball and ran off with it in her mouth as she went to fetch her ball and Pogo soon lost interest.


I started the afternoon by doing the ironing. As I ironed I watched episodes of “Four in a Bed” in which rival B&B owners try to out-do each other. This show seems to have become something of a favourite with me. I do like the way so many of the contestants are in denial. One will flatly deny there is any dust whatsoever in her bedrooms when another contestant has just drawn a picture in that dust whilst the cameras filmed her doing so.

Feeling a tad tired I then sat quietly and did two two-hundred-piece on-line jigsaw geo-puzzles which took an hour apiece to do.


Once she’d walked the dogs “er indoors TM” boiled up sausages and chips which we scoffed whilst watching “Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back” in which he tries to do what Esther Rantzen gave up doing years ago. It was OK I suppose; exposing insurance rip-offs was laudable enough, but then he rather embarrassed himself by claiming that Lego and Playmobile weren’t inclusive of minorities and wasted quite a bit of air-time before finding that they were.

There’s something called “British as Folk” on now. So far it’s a bit crap…



16 September 2021 (Thursday) - Late Shift



I slept like a log, waking after eight hours asleep. I made toast and made my sandwiches for work once I’d found where the peanut butter had gone. Jam, margarine and marmalade all stay where I leave them, but peanut butter really does grow legs and walks away.

I made brekkie and rolled my eyes as I read Facebook. Some of the questions on the work-related Facebook pages amaze me. In the UK we have national standards of how to operate in a blood transfusion laboratory. Reading the Facebook pages it would seem this is not the case in America with each lab doing its own thing, and several people asking advice and opinion on what is (over here) established protocols.

American healthcare – paying a small fortune for something far inferior to what the UK offers for free… (!)

A cousin of mine was having a bit of a rant on Facebook this morning too. There is a chap who sits on the pavement in Ore Village (in Hastings) with a begging bowl. Every day this fellow comes into the shop where she works; her boss has an arrangement with him that he can change up the coins he is given for bank notes. The beggar doesn’t want to carry loose change about as it is so heavy; the shop owner doesn’t want the arse-ache of going to the bank for change. Everyone is happy with the arrangement… except the shop staff who can see that this chap makes more money in a few hours begging than they make in a day working. And those working in the shop have to pay tax too. To add insult to injury the beggar (apparently) regularly refers to begging as “his job”.

Perhaps this chap is truly needy? Perhaps he really can’t get “proper” employment? But there’s clearly something wrong when you can get more money by holding your hand out than by doing an honest day’s work.


I spent half an hour geo-jigsaw-ing then got ready for the morning. I put on a pair of the new socks I bought on Tuesday evening (rather flimsy!) and Munzee-ed my way to the town centre capping enough bar-codes as I went to open a qrate and even get a new one (as you do).

It wasn’t long before I was at the opticians. In the past I’ve always gone to SpecSavers, but regular readers of this drivel may recall that the last time I went there they didn’t realise that one of my ears is higher than the other. Their ill-fitting glasses gave me double vision and a week off work.

As the nice people at Brownbills looked at my glasses this morning they asked how I got on with them; specifically the varifocal bit. On reflection I said that I did feel I had to tilt my head back rather a lot for it to work. The nice lady showed me how the varifocal bit of my specs was a fraction of the size it was supposed to be, and also showed me how my glasses should be sitting on my nose. SpecSavers are all very well *if* you want cheap. But demonstrably (in my case) cheap doesn’t actually do the job.

I had my eyes photographed and pressure-tested, then had a serious session with the optometrist. My distance vision is fine, but my close-up vision prescription had changed somewhat. It was almost as if I’d spent two years with no close-up bit on my glasses (!)

I must admit I sat up and took notice when I got the bill for new specs but, as I’ve found to my cost, if you pay cheap you end up with double vision, a week off work on sick leave and a place in the emergency eye clinic at the hospital.


As I walked home I phoned my dad. He’s doing OK. My aunt was visiting and I wound her up rather impressively. I’ve always made a point of calling her “aunty” because it makes her feel old. I deliberately didn’t today and she took the bait. She asked why I hadn’t called her “aunty so I said I didn’t think she’d want to be called “aunty” by someone who is a grandfather. I did laugh at her reply.

I came home via the corner shop where I got pastries to scoff with coffee. As I scoffed I did more geo-puzzle; a four-hundred-piece puzzle of SpongeBob SquarePants. A rather dull way to go geocaching, but there it is. Until the puzzle is solved (or blagged) the location of the final film pot remains a secret.

After an hour I got rather bored, put on my new shirt that I bought on Tuesday evening (not too flimsy) and set off to work.


As I drove up the motorway I caught the end of some utter drivel on the radio. It was claimed that  Mongolians are becoming world-famous as opera singers and sumo-wrestlers. Apparently the wide open steppes improves the baritone notes and muscular build? I turned the radio off and sang along to my rather odd choice of music, then (once I'd scoffed a bag of fish and chips flavoured crisps) I got on with the late shift. There was no cake, which was something of a disappointment. In fact the late shit was rather dull, and by the time I'd navigated the diversion caused by the closed motorway, got home, finally found somewhere to park the car and had a very late dinner it was nearly bed time.

The late shifts are all very well, but they do mean  that the day is effectively over by the early afternoon.

I’ll spend another half-hour on that jigsaw puzzle before bed…



17 September 2021 (Friday) - Puzzles Solved



I slept like a a log last night despite the dogs having something of a scrap in the small hours. I wish they wouldn’t do that.

I made toast and scoffed it as I watched an episode of “Drifters” and as another negative COVID test incubated, then I turned on the lap-top. I had a friend request on Facebook from someone claiming to be called “Miethkea Shovda”. Wearing little more than a  “Get It Here” expression in her profile picture, “Miethkea Shovda” suggested I might like to “join an established WhatsApp group, there are many hot girls in this group who need it. , so if you want raunchy women by your side, join our group because it's all free with no money”. Not that I want to appear judgemental, but if the hot girls are anything like “Miethkea Shovda”, the “it” that they need is to put some clothes on.

Pretty much nothing else at all had happened overnight so I spent a few minutes on that SpongeBob geo-jigsaw. When the thing’s clock told me I’d spent a total of four hours on it (over the past few days) I saw that as a sign to go get ready for work.


As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about how half the GP appointments in the UK are conducted over the telephone these days. The leading light of the Royal College of General Practitioners was being interviewed on the matter, and he didn't really come over as well as he might have done. Several cases were cited in which people might not have died had they actually seen a GP rather than spoken to one over the phone, and one woman was on the phone to the radio show saying how a phone-diagnosed supposed muscle strain was actually a blood clot which moved to her lungs and nearly killed her.

I suppose the problem is the old problem that GPs have always faced. I once read a GP's biography in which she claimed that out of every hundred patients she sees, ninety get better and eight die regardless of anything that she does. The clever bit is to be able to spot the two per cent on which the GP can have any influence, and the obvious way to do this is to get rid of the time-wasting ninety per cent. I'm reminded of an old bloke I once met in a GP's waiting room who was loudly telling his mate that there was nothing wrong with him, but he came to see the doctor every Tuesday as he had paid his national insurance and he was entitled to do so.


There was also talk about how the French have got the arse over a new deal in which the UK and the USA will supply Australia with "at least eight" nuclear submarines. Apparently the French had a contract with the Australians but have been gazumped?

Bearing in mind the UK has only got four of the things, perhaps we might buy some off the French to keep them sweet? I'll put myself down for a couple of Skydivers if that's OK with the Ministry of Defence?


I stopped off at Aldi on my way to work. The place was surprisingly busy with dozens of customers. All blundering about, all utterly oblivious of everyone else in the shop, and not one looking where they were going. I got my shopping and got out as quickly as I could. I got back to my car and headed to work where I had a minor disaster. As I parked so the car’s parking brake refused to come on. The footbrake worked fine but the parking brake wasn't having it at all.

I spent an age phoning round trying to find a garage who could sort it. Eventually I found somewhere that would do it on Tuesday. No one else could do it any sooner.

With work done I came home… having completely forgotten about the troublesome parking brake. My memory wasn’t jogged because the thing had started working again. The car alarm did exactly the same thing a few months ago. Bearing in mind the foot brake works fine and the parking brake wasn’t attempting to work but is now fine, I suspect an electrical problem.


And I’ve now completed that SpongeBob geo-jigsaw. Only took four hours fifty-three minutes… And with all one hundred and thirty SpongeBob geo-puzzles solved maybe it is time to go searching for the geocaches?



18 September 2021 (Saturday) - Rocketman



Despite a rather vivid nightmare in which I’d been acclaimed leader of a post-apocalyptic band of Armageddon-survivors I slept rather well. Over brekkie I watched an episode of “Drifters” in which our heroes were “doing the dirty deed” with varying degrees of success, then watched as my lap-top struggled into action. Last night it had done a Windows update, thereby leaving itself unable to do anything whilst the update sorted itself out for what seemed an age.


Eventually it got going. I saw that Gordon had been to Wales and been on that rather impressive zip-line. I quite fancy that, but don’t fancy going all the way to Wales. I’m told there’s one at Bluewater – and it would seem I’m not too heavy for it. Does anyone fancy a day out?

There wasn’t much else happening on-line. I had over seventy emails to say that people had found some of the geocaches I’d hidden, but on closer inspection they’d found them in May but had taken four months to tell the world. I wish people would log finds more promptly; I see a “Found It” and assume that all is well. I haven’t got time to fiddle about reading each and every log.


As I drove to work so the farming program was on the radio. The presenter was talking about how potatoes are a "high risk" crop. What can be "high risk" about a spud? I had a look on the Internet and I'm still none the wiser.

There was also an interview with a dairy farmer who has had to chuck out days loads of milk as the dairies can't provide lorries to come fetch the stuff. This was brought up in a wider context of shortages of all sorts of farm workers. The government were invited to send someone for an interview; they declined but gave a statement saying that they were aware of shortages of staff all through the farming industry. the obvious answer is to improve the worker's conditions and to pay them more money.

The farmer being interviewed said he'd re-advertised jobs for which he'd had no applicants offering ten per cent more money but still wasn't getting any interest. I suppose he'll have to offer even more cash - after all ten per cent of sod-all isn't much. Mind you where will that pay rise come from? How much will you pay for your dinner? A pig farmer being interviewed was saying that she couldn't compete with the price of imported pork.

I suppose UK farms are facing the consequences of having relied (for decades) on cheap foreign labour all of whom have now gone home.


And the French are getting more and more wound up about the USA – UK - Australia nuclear submarine deal. Apparently they found out that they'd lost the contract from reading the newspapers (which didn't impress them much!). There are loads of British people who will shed no tears over the French being upset. I'm just waiting to pay the price. *Every* time the French get the hump over anything at all they take it out on the British by causing delays at the ports, and so the lorries will queue back up the M20 again; poggering my journey to work.


I got to work for yet another weekend shift and did my bit. There was cake, which is always good, and at dinner time I went to the works canteen for lunch. Cherry pie and custard - very nice. But... when you have any sort of pie with custard how do you prepare it? Surely the pie goes in the bowl first and then the custard goes on top? What strange sort of person fills the bowl full of custard then tries to float the cherry pie on top? And then has to wipe all the custard off of the pie ladle?


At going home time I remembered the car’s parking brake had played up yesterday. It hadn’t played up on my way to work this morning and it didn’t play up on the way home. As I was driving past the garage who were going to be looking at the brake issue on Tuesday I thought I’d pop in and have a word. I explained that it played up once and now seemed to be fine. The chap behind the counter at the garage said that this is a common feature of electric parking brakes, he said that the one in his car does it all the time, and he asked why I was bringing my car to them when they aren’t able to deal with electric parking brakes. I suggested that maybe when asked if they could fix electric parking brakes they might in future say “no” rather than “yes”. Next time I’ll go to my usual garage. There is clearly a reason why my usual garage is booked up for the next two weeks whereas other garages aren’t.


Once home “er indoors TM” and I took the dogs down to Orlestone woods. The dogs wallowed in two separate swamps, and each ate half a dead rabbit. They never do that when I take them on my own. 

Once the dogs had been bathed “er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we followed with stilton and biccies; all washed down with a bottle of Sainsbury’s home-brand claret as we watched “Rocketman”. It was OK… it was actually very good. It would probably have been better if I’d known more of Elton John’s music. But I stayed awake for it, and that was something of a result.



19 September 2021 (Sunday) - A Day Off



I woke after ten hours sleep feeling rather grim. For all that I obviously needed a good night’s kip, I often find that I feel worse after a long sleep than after just a few hours.

I made toast… eventually. “er indoors TM” won’t hear a word against the toaster but the thing is fit only for the dustbin. Today it would only toast for up to ten seconds before spitting out the slightly warmed bread. I forced the thing to work by physically holding the lever down. I’m told that the thing is very pretty; it may well be, but it is of no use whatsoever.


With thunderstorms forecast for the afternoon we’d not planned a major hike for today. Instead we took the dogs down to Lydd for a shorter walk following a Wherigo that had been created in April. We parked up, activated the “Where You Go” apps on our phones and took the dogs on a little guided walk round Lydd. I’ve not really been round Lydd much before – it reminded me of Hastings in that you go from the incredibly posh parts with detached houses and manicured lawns to the council estates with piss-stained mattresses in the garden (and back again) seemingly in the blink of an eye.

We had a good little walk; the game started us off chasing a squirrel, and then we were challenged to work out which kind of station we’d found; fire, police or space. We then found a lost puppy, gave him some steak, took him home, and was rewarded with the location of a tiny little geocache. It was really good to do a Wherigo that wasn’t the generic downloaded one that comprises most of those that are active in the UK, or one that wasn’t ”blah blah dull history”.

We were about half-way round when the rain started, but that shower didn’t amount to much, and we were able to finish in the dry.


Geocache-wise I loved it, but we were only the fifth group to do the thing in as many months. People either love or hate Wherigo. Having created sixty of the things (with six more currently under construction) I’m seen as something of the go-to person for Wherigo locally and I really can’t understand why they aren’t more popular. People whinge about Wherigo:

I don’t have the app” – well get it free from the Play Store

I don’t know how to do Wherigo” – have a go and find out. It’s not hard.

Too much walking just for one smiley” – Walking about is what the game is!!

People who won’t (not can’t) do Wherigos miss so much – this walk round Lydd was ideal for a dull morning before the forecast storm.


We came home through light drizzle and had sticky toffee pudding with custard for lunch. “er indoors TM” served the custard as God intended (i.e. custard on top of pudding) and with lunch (pudding) scoffed I set the washing machine and dishwasher doing their things. Seeing the rain hadn’t amounted to much, I went in to do a little gardening. I picked fallen leaves and weeds out of the gravel, pruned the potted shrubs and mowed the lawn as the drizzle got heavier. Just as I was finishing there were a couple of rumbles of thunder in the distance.


I came in and perused the geo-map. Flushed with enthusiasm after this morning’s Wherigo walk I was determined to find somewhere to put out the new series I’ve been working on. Having made several field trips and spent hours (days) programming the thing I’ve given up on where I had in mind. Needing landowner permission, I’ve given up on Natural England as they only reply to maybe one email in ten. But (hopefully) I’ve found somewhere else that might do for a walk.


I then geo-puzzled a little whilst “er indoors TM” took the dogs chasing Munzees during a break in the rain, and once she’d come back, “er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching a frankly amazing program about the construction of a floating house on one of the country’s canals. We then cracked open a bottle of port and downed it with roulade and stilton whilst watching the semi-finals of “Lego Masters” in which the frankly obnoxious little sh*t got knocked out.

We’ve shifted three quarters of that bottle of port. I shall feel it in the morning…



20 September 2021 (Monday) - Before the Night Shift



I woke in a cold sweat at half past four after a nightmare in which I had been appointed leader of the Methodist Church which had staged an uprising and had seized control of the UK. Why me - (apparently) I never cancelled my membership of the thing forty years ago. Part of my duties as supreme bishop were to blather platitudes whist going round the country expunging common sense and reason as I found it.

I went to the loo and came back to find two dogs where I had been sleeping. I didn’t want the aggro of waking them, so I squeezed myself around them and tried to sleep.


I gave up trying to sleep, made toast, and had my usual peer into the Internet. This morning seemingly every other post on my Facebook feed was from “Daily Jesus” who were asking for my help for various very ill children. And these posts summed up entirely why I stopped going to the Methodist church forty years ago. Does Jesus want my money to help the ill children? If money is the cure, where does Jesus come in to it? Or am I supposed to pray for the children? If so, why? To tell Jesus about the sick children? (doesn’t he know about them?) Or to beg for him to do something about it? (so he knows but does nothing until we beg?) There were also a lot of obituaries being posted on my Facebook feed where children had died and we were asked to pray for them in the afterlife. Surely (because the church is still going after two thousand years) this all makes sense to someone, but it makes no sense whatsoever to me.

There was quite the argument kicking off on one of the local Facebook groups. Some people are fed up about the boy racers who use the A2070 as a race track late into the night. This has been going on for years, I hear it most nights, and (quite obviously) the local police have no interest in doing anything about it. Some of the locals were whinging about it. Others were adamant that the police *would* do something if they were told (they have been told, they haven’t done anything). Others were denying there was a problem at all, and the whole thing had descended into name calling.


“er indoors TM” gave the dogs their breakfast, and we went for our walk. Yesterday I’d found some woods on the map that might be good for my latest Wherigo project. I’d had a look on Google Street view and found somewhere to park and what looked like the beginnings of footpaths. It didn’t take *that* long to drive out to the back of beyond and I parked up in the spot that I’d seen on Google Street View.

The plan was to walk the footpaths in an anti-clockwise direction in a circular way, but we fell at the first hurdle. Where there was a clear track marked on the map there were trees, brambles and stinging nettles in reality. So I thought we might go clockwise and find where the track was by coming from the other end. We got a few hundred yards before that track disappeared beneath the brambles and stinging nettles.

I should have given up at this point, but we went back to the car and relocated to the backup parking spot from where we found all the paths there equally impassable. All the bits of path we could find were littered with shotgun cartridges, the place was crawling with pheasants, and it was at this point that I realised I’d not seen a single “public footpath” sign.

We gave up and came home.


I made a cuppa and peered into the Internet again. I had an email. Back in April I’d mentioned on here that the pub in Hastings that our family has frequented for over fifty years was up for sale. I posted a link to the details of the place; this morning I had a polite message from the estate agent asking me to remove the link. I did so, but that place was a part of family history. I can’t help but wonder why they wanted the link gone. Probably didn’t want to be associated with this blog… I can sympathise…

I then spent a while looking for somewhere else for my Wherigo project. I’ve found somewhere. I shall have a walk round the place in a few days’ time. I then CPD-ed but fell foul of the “Red Alert” simulator. I “think” the thing might be lacking information on the Lutheran blood group system, but that could be said of most people, couldn’t it?


I took myself off t bed for the afternoon. Pogo came up as well and made himself comfortable. Once he’d had a little sleep and went downstairs again I got some sleep too.

After a couple of hours I woke up and spent a little while on my latest Wherigo project. It was all a bit “normal so I’ve added some humour to it (that usually winds up the normal people). Hopefully “er indoors TM” will boil up some dinner soon, and then I’m off to the night shift.



21 September 2021 (Tuesday) - Bit Tired



As I drove home from a rather busy night shift the pundits on the radio were interviewing Kwasi Kwarteng (Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy). Amazingly the chap made a lot of sense this morning. He was being given a load of stick about the national shortage of carbon dioxide (which goes into packaging to keep food fresh and puts the bubbles in your fizzy drink among loads of other industrial uses). Why is there a shortage? Because the two factories that make it have stopped doing so. Why have they stopped making it? Because there is no longer any profit to be had from it. It costs too much to make.  Mr Kwarteng said he was looking at a range of ways forward. On the one hand was having the government do nothing, on the other hand was to nationalise the loss-making factories, and there were several options between. Mr Kwarteng was in a rather difficult position; a fundamental part of a capitalistic system is that loss-making companies go to the wall. And if no one can make a profit out of manufacturing carbon dioxide, then no one will make it. A Labour government would get stuck in and make the stuff, but that *isn’t* what Conservative governments do. That’s what we all voted for wo years ago. Didn’t the pundits realise this?


I got home and went to bed where I slept like a log. I woke to find both Pogo and Treacle fast asleep with me; having arranged themselves into the ample free space on the bed (rather than trying to shove me off). I got up shortly after mid-day, made toast and peered into the Internet to see an attempt at an argument had kicked off. On one of the fishing-related Facebook groups I follow someone had posted a picture of a flatfish he’d caught in a river. Several people told him he was a liar and he hadn’t caught that fish there, claiming he’d carried the fish for miles just to fake a photo. I made the mistake of replying that I’d once caught a plaice in the River Tillingham. I must admit if I hadn’t caught it myself I wouldn’t have believed it, and quite a few other people had the same sentiment. Many of them said that the fish I’d caught wasn’t a plaice but had been a flounder. I know what I caught; I was there and I’d seen it. But nevertheless half a dozen people were very vocal in telling me the identity of a fish they’d never seen.


I then set about the ironing – the afternoon after a night shift is usually spent doing the ironing. As I ironed I watched episodes of “Four In A Bed”. Today’s show featured some arrogant woman from Lancashire who wouldn’t shut up about how high her standards were and how no one can compete with how brilliant her B&B was. As she ranted on, so the show showed footage of other contestants writing in the dust in her rooms, and wobbling her toilet which wasn’t in any way secured to a wall, the floor or anything at all. Some other chap was running a rather grim hostel complete with (quite literally) piss-stained mattresses and was charging more than a hotel wanted per night. Mind you this wasn’t just any old hostel – the chap running it had proudly boasted that they had plates, so we were talking top of the range(!)


I then had a little fiddle about on my next Wherigo project. The basic Wherigo itself (the bit that leads the punters to the geocaches) is pretty much complete. Or would be if I actually had some locations for the geocaches. This afternoon I spent time putting in the nonsense and the knob jokes that people either love or hate. Those that love them will get me a pint at the geo-meets; those that don’t love them don’t go to the geo-meets, so that’s their loss.


“er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching the first episode of the new series of “Bake Off”. It was rather good.

I’m off to bed now. I’m a bit tired from the night shift… and I’ve got guts ache. I hope it settles by the morning.



22 September 2021 (Wednesday) - Stomach Ache



I had perhaps the worst night ever last night. With feet like blocks of ice, my head was sweating and the dogs were taking up ninety per cent of the bed space. Though I have to wonder if it was my own fault that I was feeling grim. In the past I’ve been rather unwell after scoffing Sainsbury’s granola slices, and so on Monday night I got some before the night shift as a bit of an experiment. I think I’ve conclusively proved that Sainsbury’s granola slices don’t agree with my insides.


I made some toast in the naïve hope that it might settle my stomach (it didn’t) and watched an episode of “Drifters” in which our heroes were attempting to “do the dirty deed” with varying degrees of success, then sparked up my lap-top. As I peered into Facebook I was immediately presented with an advert for “Fairies and Fairy Magic Diploma Course”. For a mere thirty quid I could learn all about “the world of folklore and theories surrounding fairies and their activities in the British Isles. You’ll learn about their history and origins, varying types, magic, homes and lives, and even how to meet and communicate with them”. People pay good money for this, you know; I’m just miffed that I didn’t think of it first.

I had an email from Geocaching HQ saying that they’d improved the search feature on the geo-map. I tested it out by typing my home postcode into the search bar and the thing immediately centred the map on the middle of the North Sea. That’s working well, then.


I drove up a rather foggy motorway this morning (farting like a thing possessed). As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing one of the leading lights of "Insulate Britain"; the bunch responsible for all the delays and closures on the M25 over the last week or so. Apparently their protests are rather dangerous and may well cause injury or death (by having protesters sitting in the motorway). The woman being interviewed made a rather poor show of presenting her case. Flatly refusing to answer any question put to her, she had a pre-written statement and just read it out (time and again) in response to everything she was asked. Given a prime slot on national radio to discuss one of the most serious issues of our time, this woman just came over as a bit of a twit. Such a shame.

Apparently another of these protesters stormed off of the set of Breakfast TV this morning. Banging on about sensible energy use it transpired that this chap's London home is single-glazed, has no cavity wall insulation and uses gas central heating.

These eco-warriors have such a good and worthy cause, and do their level best to make themselves a laughing stock.


I got to work where I did my bit with varying degrees of stomach ache. Last night I had wondered if I would be taking today off work as sick leave, in retrospect maybe I should have done.


I came home to find the postman had been. With a little over two months to go until the start of Advent, my Advent Calendar has arrived. I really should open it up and see what is in there, but I won’t. I shall open each window on the correct morning and stare at whatever is inside wondering just what I am supposed to do with it.

I can’t wait…

I also can’t wait to stop farting…



23 September 2021 (Thursday) - Early Shift



I had a better night last night, despite a rather vivid dream in which I caused consternation on the set of “Upstairs Downstairs” when I told them that they weren’t real but just characters in a TV show that had been cancelled forty years ago. That revelation was rather upsetting; I suppose it would come as a shock if you didn’t realise that.

As I scoffed toast I realised that my stomach was far more settled than it had been recently, which was a major result. I watched an episode of “Drifters” then peered into the Internet. The photo of my Advent Calendar had received over forty clicks of the Facebook “like” button.

I had a message from “Duran Hancock” who saidhello I'm a woman”, followed this with a little photo of a union jack, and then said that she was “thirsty for sex” and had followed this with a web link about which she said “look I'm not wearing panties here”. I decided not to look.

My piss boiled somewhat when I tuned into the Munzee clan chat. Playing Munzee isn't just about scanning bar codes stuck to lamp posts, you know. For me a large part of it is the monthly "Clan War" in which we team up in groups of up to ten players and together have to achieve certain goals and targets (both as individuals and as a team) for which we get in-game rewards and credits. Whilst it gives me something to do on the way to and from work, more and more I'm feeling that the "team" aspect is somewhat missing. More and more it is me and “er indoors TM”  (and one or two others) doing the lion's share of work for the team targets, with some others very noticeably doing bare minimum effort. One of them posted in the clan chat late last night. It was rather obvious that she was struggling to meet her individual requirements and had been asked if she needed any help. In her reply she mentioned that she was happy to use the in-game credit she'd built up but didn't want to spend real money.

I spend about a tenner each month on that silly game, as does “er indoors TM”... Perhaps we won't next month...


Making a point of pretending not to see not-so-nice-next-door starting her strange fast walk (which she does every morning at half past six) I set off to work.

As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how half a dozen power companies have gone bust this month. Millions of people have been left wondering who they are now having to pay for their gas and electricity. And all the remaining power companies are desperately hoping it won't be them. Why don't they want more customers? The power companies are having to pay rapidly increasing prices for the power they get, but there is a limit (enforced by law) on how much they can charge the customers.

The whole point of the government's selling off the nation's power providers (all those years ago) was so that someone (the people in the government and all their chums) could make a profit. But if you are buying something for a quid and being told you can't sell it for more than fifty pence then there's not a lot of profit to be had, is there?

Did no one else see this one coming?

And  the Prime Minister has upset the French even more. With them already up in arms about the ongoing Australian nuclear submarine row,  he's said: “I just think it’s time for some of our dearest friends around the world to ‘prenez un grip’ about this and ‘donnez moi un break’.

On the one hand it is a firm and deliberate kick in the goolies to UK/EU relations. On the other hand it is a sure-fire vote winner for  the Prime Minister. Whilst I wish he hadn't said it, I can't help but chuckle. This is typical of  the Prime Minister, isn't it? He knows just what to say to impress the masses who will lap this up.


I got to work for the early shift and got on with that out of which I couldn't skive. I had my annual appraisal today. It seemed to go well; the boss seemed impressed with me. But I couldn't really take it seriously. I can remember another appraisal ten and a bit years ago which also gave me a glowing report only to then get sacked for (supposed) gross incompetence only a few short weeks later. Looking back from this remove in time I'm pretty sure that the (admittedly serious) mistake I made at the time was used as an excuse for a rather incompetent manager to get rid of someone who she didn't like. Again looking back I could probably made a case for constructive dismissal. But ten years on I am in a far better place than I was. As Wallace once said to Gromit "all's well that ends well".


With work done I came home and took the dogs down to Orlestone Woods. We had a little explore and went down a little path I’ve not followed before. In the depths of the woods we heard voices, and then saw a couple of lads on OneWheel Pints. I’d never seen one before. A OneWheel Pint is an off-road electric toy – a sort of a cross between a skateboard and a Segway. The lads were over a mile from the closest tarmac path so the things must work well off-road. I had an idea of getting one for myself; with a top speed of sixteen miles per hour I could zoom about after the dogs on it rather faster than I do at the moment. With a range of twelve miles it wouldn’t let me down half-way round the woods. I then came home and looked them up… They only cost a shade over a thousand quid…

Maybe I could buy one from the money I stop spending on Munzee?



24 September 2021 (Friday) - Rostered Day Off



I slept like a log last night, When the dogs don’t try to crowd me out, things are just peachy. After nearly nine hours I got up, made toast and had a look at the Internet to see if I’d missed much. I hadn’t really. I saw that a friend was having a birthday today; I sent my usual birthday video and found myself rather thoughtful. I first met the chap (who was having a birthday) over twenty-five years ago. He came along to the Tuesday night Trekkie-club that I used to organise; we had so much fun together over the years including two week-long caravan holidays in Dorset. But apart from two chance meetings in the street I’ve only seen him twice in the last five years. Over the years I met so many people through Trekkie-ing and we had such good fun. But looking back there were two or three of us who would organise, and two or three dozen who would enjoy the efforts of that two or three. As the few stopped organising things (for one reason or another) so the whole Tuesday Trekkie-ing thing died.

This is the story of my life, isn’t it? The snake club, kite club, Trekkie-ing, works football club (yes I ran a five-a-side club once!), summer camping holidays, mid-week weekly geocaching events, the social side of the Astro club (which only last week I was told is now moribund)… I’m tired. Can’t someone else organise something?

I had an email from the Credit Karma. My credit rating has gone up five points but is still nine less than what it was in June. I wonder why? Nothing had really changed in that time.


I loaded the dogs into the car and drove out to… I won’t say where. I was hiding some geocaches, and there is great kudos in being the first one to find them. There are a few people who lives locally who have what I can only describe as an addiction to being First to Find. In the past people really have been out and found two entire series of the things “er indoors TM” hid before they were officially published by following my blog posts and Facebook photos. I’ve had this on caches I’ve hidden before, as have friends and acquaintances who have also been stalked. It’s all caused no end of bad feeling over something which is supposed to be a bit of fun.

Unbelievable, isn’t it…

But we got to wherever it was that we went and had a very good walk. As we approached the corner of a field so Treacle ran forward and adopted a “hunting dog pose” and started snarling. I looked round the corner to see a herd of a dozen deer scampering off.

Part of our route went through someone’s garden. The footpath really does go through a garden. A bit of a pain but there it is.

After an hour (or so) and two and a half miles we were back at the start. As we’d walked I’d found hides for fourteen geocaches. The Wherigo I’d got ready to go had six stages so will need a little re-writing *if* the geo-feds are happy with the locations.

I took a few photos as we walked; the terrain is flat; the views are lovely. Ideal for dog walks.


We came home and I left the dogs with “er indoors TM” whilst I popped to the vets for Treacle’s flea and worming treatments, and then went on to the local bakery for cakes for lunch.

We scoffed the cakes; they made an excellent bit of lunch. As I scoffed I did the monthly accounts. The app via which I get an e-copy of my payslip seems to have failed. Probably just as well. This month featured our pay rise which seems to have been more than taken by all sorts of other expenses. I would ask (in all seriousness) that the next time there is one of these (frankly embarrassing) stand-on-the-doorstep-and-clap-like-a-thing-possessed things organised, rather than joining in, people go to their local hospitals and throw money.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not (entirely) pot-less. But surely the idea of a pay rise for a health service which has bust a gut for over a year during an international pandemic (from a nation which won’t shut up about how grateful it is) isn’t just to keep up with inflation?


I then cracked on with the geo-admin that goes with the project I’m working on. The bit I needed to show to the geo-feds only took two hours, then I started working on the Wherigo cartridge. Creating eight new zones only took two more hours.


“er indoors TM” boiled up fish and chips, and as we scoffed it we watched a film. “Yesterday” features a struggling musician who wakes up in a world in which no one had ever heard of the Beatles… and so makes himself a fortune. It was quite a good twist on a very old idea.

Today has been rather busy…



25 September 2021 (Saturday) - Lazy Day



I slept like a log despite a rather vivid nightmare in which an old work colleague “attempted to get jiggy”. I wasn’t having any of it though; if I don’t take a puritanical stance, who will?

I made toast and peered into the Internet. It would seem that yesterday’s nationwide panic-buying of fuel (for no reason whatsoever) was carrying on. Or was it. People would report hour-long queues at Tesco or Sainsburys to Facebook only to have other people say there were no queues at all.

I really couldn’t help but laugh – two days ago some people had posted photos to social media of petrol stations with closed pumps. This morning the very same people were lambasting everyone else for panic-buying. 

There was a knock at the door. It was the birthday boy. “My Boy TM” and his entourage were off to Chessington for the day and we were dog-sitting for Ro-Ro. There was a minor bit of excitement in that at the last minute Lacey had dropped out of the trip and did I want to go in her place. Did I?! Just as I was about to sprint upstairs to get ready so Cheryl pointed out that the spare ticket was a child’s one and I wouldn’t get in on a child’s ticket.

They set off leaving us with Ro-Ro and me in a bit of a sulk.

“er indoors TM”  prepared for a geo-maintenance run whilst I worked on my Wherigo, and once she was ready we drove up to Badlesmere where we made sure all the geocaches that “er indoors TM” had hidden there were all in good order.

They were.

Apart from the first part of the walk being over-run with pheasants the walk went well. Ro-Ro was a little bit of a princess and had to be carried over the ploughed fields, but other than that he seemed to like the walk.

As we’d driven out we’d seen cars queuing up Brookfield Road waiting to get into the petrol station. As we came home we saw the BP garage at the top of Beaver Road had closed off its forecourt (presumably having run out of petrol).

Apparently there is no actual petrol shortage; it’s just that people think there is and are panic-buying presumably to create one.


I then spent the afternoon alternately working on my latest Wherigo project and shrieking at Treacle who would not stop barking. After several hours of effort I had a first simulator trial which failed halfway round because I had forgotten to add my seventh input to my dialogue (as one does).


It was at this point that “My Boy TM” and his entourage arrived back from Chessington to collect Ro-Ro. We chatted for a bit, putting the world to rights before they set off to see if they’d left it too late to go panic-buying petrol.

“er indoors TM” set off to a party, but I decided to give it a miss. I’ve an early start tomorrow and having an ale apocalypse probably isn’t conducive to that. So I spent a little more time working on my Wherigo… It’s kept me out of mischief these last few days and is now all but ready for field testing.

I’ve had something of a lazy day today… more and more these days I feel that is want I want.

Soon be bed time



26 September 2021 (Sunday) - Quiz Night


I had an early night and woke full of energy and raring to go at two o’clock. I then dozed fitfully; finally getting up feeling like death warned up at half past six. I made toast and as I turned on the telly, rather than watching my usual drivel on Netflix I found myself wrapped up in “Ancient Aliens” on the Sky History channel. There was a lot of talk about J Allen Hynek who was involved in all sorts of UFO research in the 1960s including the famous “Project Blue Book”. Apparently the chap started off very sceptical about UFOs but after having investigated twelve thousand reported UFO sightings he had over seven hundred cases he couldn’t explain. To my mind that’s where the “U” in “UFO” comes from (unidentified). Somehow or other though J Allen concluded it was aliens. The crackpots on this morning’s show didn’t think it was all aliens though. They had a theory that it was all stuff from another dimension. However it struck me that the problem with this theory was that no one really knew what the phrase “from another dimension” actually meant. Or even what a “dimension” was.

UFO crackpots annoy me. They take a serious issue and reduce it to stark nonsense. UFOs clearly exist. There are thousands of sightings of things that can’t be explained. But are they “really” flown by aliens from the planet Spodulon?

There was a minor row kicking off on one of the local Facebook pages. Someone was offering a lift to work for any key workers who couldn’t get petrol, claiming to have been preparing for fuel shortages since the Brexit referendum. Had she been stockpiling petrol for five years or was she just talking bollox?

It certainly seemed to be the morning for it.


I had a friend request on Facebook from Missy Charlotte this morning. I have no idea who "Missy Charlotte" is, but she was wearing clothes which is a step in the right direction for many who send me friend requests on Facebook. She didn't seem to be overtly peddling filth either which was also a point in her favour. But I have no idea who she is. If any of my loyal readers might know why a rather foxy twenty-something wants to chum up with a fat bald nearly-sixty, do let me know.

I did another (negative) COVID test. Just as I recorded it I got a text reminder to do it.


Pausing only briefly to cap a greeting card (it's a Munzee thing) I set off to work. At eight o'clock on a Sunday morning the radio often broadcasts a church service. Sometimes it can be inspiring and uplifting. But today wasn't one of those times. Today was a Harvest Festival service in which the theme was "get your sorry ass down to the church and suck up to God or else it's famine for you sinners".

I've often mentioned that I don't understand religion. As a child in the Boys Brigade I was rather indoctrinated with it and eventually became a Steward in the Methodist Church. But looking back that was pretty much because that was what happened in my social circle. When I moved away from Hastings and all my friends and acquaintances in the Church, I actually thought about what the Church was teaching. And I suddenly realised that I didn't actually believe a word of it; I just went along with it because everyone else in my world did, even though it was all rather nonsensical. The basic premise of the Christian Church is rather bizarre, isn't it? We supposedly have a loving God who allows all sorts of evil things to happen. And it is our fault that this God lets the evil things happen. And this loving God wants nothing more than to be told how marvellous it is.

Christianity would seem to be up there with panic petrol buying and UFO crackpotism... but I'm willing to be proved wrong.


Talking of panic petrol buying I drove past two petrol stations today. The one in Brookfield Road had a sign up saying it had no petrol and diesel.  The one I usually go to in Aylesford had a queue of cars a hundred yards down the road. Oh well... I didn't need petrol today. I think my car is good for petrol until Wednesday. We shall see what happens then.


I got to work and treated myself to the cooked breakfast, then got on with the morning shift. I had a rather good shift really; it could have been a whole lot worse. And in addition to the cooked brekkie there was also cake too. Bonus!!


With work done I came home… I say “home” I didn’t go into the house. “er indoors TM” had settled the dogs so I met her outside and she drove us round to see “My Boy TM” and we spent the afternoon in his garden in honour of his birthday yesterday. It is possible that I might have had one bottle of ale too many as when we came home I slept like a log. Fortunately I woke in time for the monthly family Zoom bingo and quiz night… which we now do on Microsoft Teams.



27 September 2021 (Monday) - This n That



I was up rather earlier that I might have been this morning. I watched an episode of “Drifters” then had a little look at the Internet to see what I’d missed overnight.


Last week I saw an advert on Facebook for a for “Fairies and Fairy Magic Diploma Course”. This morning as I peered into Facebook I was presented with an advert for a “Unicorns and Unicorn Energy Diploma Course”. Reduced in price by nearly a hundred quid, for only thirty quid I could “journey through the Kingdom of Unicorns and examine the myth, history, legends and perceptions of unicorns and the hopes humans connect to them. Receive guidance through the unicorns’ connection to the inner realms. Discover how to connect with my unicorn and activate my sixth chakra, mythical imagination, and spiritual intuition – to purify the poisons and venoms of my mind, heart, and body”. I would point and laugh, but nearly five hundred people have already enrolled on the course, and it has a 4.8 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot. Am I missing something?

There was also a row kicking off on one of the Hastings-related Facebook pages where people had taken offence about photos of Gary Glitter who had appeared on Hastings pier some time in the 1970s. I’m not defending the chap, but I don’t understand this current trend of trying to expunge so much from history. If we don’t learn from the past, we will just repeat it.

I had an email from the nice people at Credit Karma who congratulated me on having paid my credit card bill. They do this every time I pay the credit card bill. I wonder how they know about it? I wonder who tells them?


I set off to work through the drizzle. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the ongoing Labour party conference. The Labour party was getting itself embroiled in squabbles about cervixes, internal voting processes and all sorts of trivia whilst seeming to be deliberately avoiding the major issues facing the country. I’ve said before that it bothers me that the Labour party make no effort whatsoever to be seen as a credible alternative to the current government.

Pausing only briefly for Munzee purposes near junction eight of the motorway I was soon in Ayelsford and at twenty to eight I joined the queue for petrol. Perhaps I shouldn’t have done so with half a tank of petrol, but I get through the stuff at quite a rate. I’d left home far too early and (in all honesty) had nothing else to do. As I queued the pundits on the radio were talking about the reasons why there is a major panic-buying of petrol at the moment. No one seems to really know why but everyone had a theory. Part of that theory was the ongoing shortage of HGV drivers which the government is planning to address. However the government’s plans is to recruit people on short term visas. Having told people who have lived in the UK to piss off back home (which was what actually happened to thousands), they are now being asked to return – for three months. Who’s going to leave the job they’ve got in their home country to come back here for three months? As the Dutch HGV driver being interviewed live on the morning’s radio saidYou are turning to us European drivers to drag you out of the shit you created yourselves”. (I did chuckle at the interviewer’s embarrassment at that one).

After twenty-five minutes I had petrol and was on the way to work.


I again paused for Munzee purposes on the way home. As I pulled up I saw “er indoors TM” and the dogs going for a walk. So with a relatively quiet house I phoned the bank to ask how the people at Credit Karma knew about my credit card payments. After all it’s only me and the bank’s automated system who know when I make a payment.

After twenty minutes I got through to someone who didn’t really speak English at all. I asked her how Credit Karma got this information. She put me on hold for five minutes and then rad out what I can only describe as “bank standard reply #5” whilst addressing me as “Mr Johnson”. After a few minutes the woman to whom I was speaking realised she didn’t have a clue what I was talking about  and put me through to the fraud prevention department. I spoke to two people there, neither of whom could speak any English that wasn’t in their pre-prepared scripts. I suggested that they might get someone from the bank’s local branch to phone me tomorrow; they were quite clear that this was beyond their ability, and some chap claiming to be called “Molly” suggested I took a day’s leave to go into the branch myself. After thirty-five minutes I hung up.

I’m not at work tomorrow – I might go in to the branch and close the account. In the meantime I’ve sent the bank a message via Facebook messenger. If nothing else they can run it through Google Translate. 


“er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whist watching the final of “Lego Masters: Australia”. I did like that show – I wonder when the next series is on?



28 September 2021 (Tuesday) - Rostered Day Off. (Day Off ?!)



I spent a few minutes peering into the Internet as I scoffed toast. Some chap I used to know forty-five years ago had been posting photos to my old school’s Facebook page. I suppose it is a sign of our times that photos are far more readily available (to create and to share) these days, but my old school’s Facebook page really does sum up one of the fundamental principles of that school. If you weren’t good enough to be in the spots team then you could f… off. There are quite a few photos on that Facebook page… mostly all of the same dozen faces. When I was at the school there was (about) seven hundred and fifty boys there. You’d never know that looking at most of the remaining photos.

Are schools today like that?

I saw an ex-colleague was spreading anti-vaccine conspiracy theory bollox based on the principle that modern science is a fabrication made up by the big pharma companies who are trying to sell their products. I chuckled and resisted the temptation to point out that big pharma companies are big because their products work. Unlike the supposedly cancer-curing products my ex-colleague tried to sell until she went to prison for selling unlicenced crackpot cures (that didn’t work).


Once the dogs had scoffed their brekkie I took them out. Having spent quite a bit of time creating a Wherigo cartridge the thing was ready for testing. So we took a little drive out. As we drove there was more talk on the radio about the recent panic-buying of petrol. This made me think.

I spent twenty-five minutes queuing for petrol yesterday. It wasn’t that bad. But something’s occurred to me. The government wants the sale of petrol and diesel cars to have stopped by 2030. Whilst there will still be petrol and diesel cars about, more and more electric cars will be the norm.

So… where will we charge the things? New houses will be legally required to have a charging point for an electric car. But my house doesn’t have one and there’s no point installing one as I’ve no guarantee of parking the car outside. As I type this, my car is parked about two hundred yards away. I will have to use some public charging point. As will thousands of other people.

The electrical infrastructure for anything like enough charging points simply isn’t there so I shall be queueing up for some time to then sit about waiting half an hour for my (as yet unbought) electric car to charge. And as my (as yet unbought) electric car will have a range of about half that of my current car, where I currently spend about five minutes a week fuelling the car, in future this will be a chore of several hours twice a week. I suspect the advent of the electric car (and demise of the petrol one) will force me to move house or into retirement.


We got to where we wanted to be, and I started up the Wherigo cartridge. We walked for two and a half miles and it was a good walk. Apart from a roll in fox poo the dogs were as good as gold. The field testing of the Wherigo cartridge worked well. There were a couple of mistakes I’d made in it which were easily corrected, but it has got one problem in that whenever a typed response is required it gives a “scan QR” button. I wish it wouldn’t.

As we walked back to the car so the dogs started pulling like things possessed. Someone had left a dressed rabbit on the side of the path. Not a dead rabbit covered in gore that a fox might have had. A dressed rabbit, perfectly skinned like you might see in a butcher’s shop window. What was that all about?


We drove home through torrential rain; we’d been lucky. If we’d walked for five minutes more we would have been soaked through. It didn’t take *that* long to scrub the fox poo off of the dogs. I put a load of washing in to scrub, ran round with the Hoover and made a start correcting the mistakes in the Wherigo cartridge. As I fiddled on-line I had an ongoing Facebook messenger row with the bank who seemed to be determined to log a complaint on my behalf about the bad service they felt I’d had from their telephone helpline. They seemed to be utterly unwilling to address my actual question (NOT complaint) about why they were sharing confidential information about my accounts with third parties. Eventually they effectively admitted that there was no such thing as banker-customer confidentiality and that they would tell anything to anyone who asked, but refused to say anything more unless I lodged a formal complaint.


By then the washing was done. I hung it out round the house and ironed shirts whilst watching a film. “Wild Rose” was… I won’t say it was good and I won’t say it was bad. I will say it was incomprehensible. With many of the leading characters speaking in a thick Glaswegian accent I couldn’t understand any of what was being said so I turned it off half-way through.

I spent a few minutes (over an hour) sorting out the cache pages for my latest Wheri-project then looked out some pots to use as the caches. It was at this point when “er indoors TM” came home. I had intended to mow the lawn and clean the pond filter today but never got round to it – where did the day go ? For a rostered day off I’ve been busier than if I’d gone to work.

But we’ve got a bottle of rioja ready for dinner time…



29 September 2021 (Wednesday) - Bit Dull



After one of the worst night’s sleeps I’ve ever had I surrendered whatever little bed space I still had to Treacle and got up. I made toast, watched an episode of “Drifters” and then sparked up my lap-top as I do most mornings and waited for yet another negative COVID test to incubate. A friend of mine wound me up. She was posting twee memes about how to lose weight in a desperate attempt to sell some diet milk shake thing she’s pushing. She claims she’s lost a lot of weight with it. She may well have done. I’ve tried all the weight loss tricks I can find – the only one which works for me is having the will power to remain constantly hungry. Many people have told me that being hungry is no way to lose weight. If that is true then I personally have no way to lose weight.

Another friend was still spouting anti-vaccination propaganda. She was absolutely adamant that the COVID vaccination was all part of some huge conspiracy but was utterly unable to explain anything at all about the conspiracy. Much like all conspiracy theorists.

I sent out some birthday wishes, set the dishwasher going, and got ready for work.


I walked out to my car on a very wet and murky morning and set off to work. Seeing the epic queue of cars along Brookfield Road (presumably queueing for petrol?) I took a little diversion (only a mile out of my way) to avoid the traffic. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about Greg Rutherford. Mr Rutherford won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games for long jumping and he's looking good to be a bobsleigh-er at the next Winter Olympics. Personally this is a matter of the utmost indifference to me, but I can only assume that millions of people must be enthralled by this for it to warrant mention on prime-time national radio.

I've mentioned before that I really don't understand the fascination that so many people have with sport.


There was also talk about how the French are up in arms again. According to the terms of the Brexit agreement, in order to get permission to fish in UK waters, French fishing vessels have to show evidence that they always used to fish there before Brexit. Dozens of French fishing vessels have been refused permission to fish in UK waters because of uncertainty as to whether or not they used to fish in what is now UK waters.

Am I the only one who feels that there is no uncertainty and that this could be settled in five minutes? Call up the Google timeline of anyone who works on any of the ships in question. My Google timeline has a very detailed track of my movements over the last seven years. This would provide an answer right away. But I suppose that an ongoing argument is preferable to some, particularly right now bearing in mind Anglo-French relations.


There was also talk on the radio from the Labour party conference in which consternation was being expressed by many that the Labour party is becoming increasingly more "Blair-ite". I have no idea what that is supposed to mean, but it was being seen as a bad thing by many of those at the Labour party conference. Thinking about it,  it probably is terrible for the Labour party. In all the years during which I have been eligible to vote, the only times that the Labour party has won a general election was when Tony Blair was in charge. Obviously doing anything remotely "Blair-ite" will improve their chances at the ballot box and make them more likely to have to actually take responsibility. I've mentioned before that this is demonstrably the last thing that they want.


I got to work and had a busy day during which my D-dimers turned orange and my thermals needed adjusting (it’s a haemostatic thing!). But there was cake. Cake is always good. And (much as I like where I work) so is home time.


“er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching the latest episode of celebrity “SAS Who Dares Wins”. I quite like the show – I’m treating it as just another series of “SAS Who Dares Wins” as I have no idea who the so-called celebrities are.

I’m thinking of having an early night as I’ve got an early start tomorrow and I feel like death warmed up right now… Today was rather dull.



30 September 2021 (Thursday) - Early Shift



Nowadays the nights (when I’m not working) seem to follow the same pattern. I sleep for a couple of hours then go to the loo. When I come back I have to shift Treacle out of the warm space I’d left, and in doing so I disturb Pogo who then takes umbrage. What could be a two-minute-tiddle becomes a full-blown “dog episode” and it is rather difficult to get back to sleep after all the excitement.

I didn’t really get back to sleep after last night’s “dog episode”.


I got up whilst it was still dark, and watched an episode of “Drifters” before having a look at the Internet. There was a little to catch up with on one of the Munzee chat threads (I’m leading a Munzee clan again next month), and there were a lot of updates about which local petrol stations had run out of petrol (all of them).

As I walked to the front door so my hand brushed against the radiator. It was warm. We have the things on a thermostat and (apart from cranking it up once a month to make sure it works) this is the first time since last winter that it has been on. Winter must be coming!


It was rather cold as I drove off to work as well. The car's thermometer was reading four degrees and I had the car's heater going for most of the trip to work. This morning there was no queue of traffic up Brookfield Road like there was yesterday, but there was a car parked outside the petrol station pointing against the traffic with its headlights on full beam. I slowed, but being unable to see any reason for the car's dazzling headlights, I turned mine on to full beam too. Whoever it was in that car took the hint and turned their headlights off. As I drove past that car I saw a closed petrol station. I wonder what that car was playing at with his headlights? Silly buggers, probably. It is a game which gets played quite a bit these days.


Amazingly the pundits on the radio were claiming there is no shortage of HGV drivers, and that hauliers are using their extra drivers having leased the government's emergency tanker fleet. Personally I consider this to be a load of old bollox - I don't think that the current government is organised enough to have an emergency tanker fleet, but what do I know?

There was also a lot of talk about student loans. Back in the day only the cleverest of kids went to university, but this was seen as elitist. Every college and polytechnic then got re-branded as a university and suddenly loads of students went to uni... which cost the country a fortune in student grants. Nowadays students get a loan which they repay when they get a job which pays enough, but it would seem the bar has been set too high. It was claimed that fifty-three per cent of student loans never get repaid as the ex-students never get a job which pays enough to reach the repayment threshold.

The obvious answer is to ask why these kids are going to university in the first place. If they are going to get a degree which is of direct relevance to their chosen career then that makes sense. But so many careers these days are "graduate entry" regardless of what degree the students actually have. I've heard that fifty-two per cent of biology graduates go into banking, and that less than two per cent of history graduates do anything remotely historical.

Why don't employers go back forty years and take on trainees with "A" levels (or whatever they call "O" levels these days) and send them to the universities on a day-release option? Like I did? The cost of the education is paid by the employer as part of the student's wages. As a trainee my money wasn't brilliant. In fact at the time I was matey with a chap who worked in an abattoir who earned far more than I did. But as a trainee, part of my wages was having someone else paying for the courses I was studying (and much of the associated costs too).


I got to work for the early shift and had a relatively good day. As good a day as we could have without cake. At lunch time my phone pinged. A new geocache had gone live only three miles from work. As I left work I saw a “Did Not Find” log on that cache. Someone had been out and couldn’t find it. The First to Find was still up for grabs. Mentally composing a rather gloating FTF log I took a minor diversion on my way home and after fifteen minutes scrubbling on the roadside I had to concede that I couldn’t find it either.

Amazingly I was stealthy enough not to attract the attention of the police who were hammering on the door of the house directly over the road from where I was scrubbling.


I came home and collected the dogs. There was a dodgy moment when I opened the car’s boot and, in her impatience, Treacle head-butted the opening door as she leapt in. That made it open a lot faster. She seemed unharmed, but I kept an eye on her as we walked.

We went to Great Chart and walked from the cricket pitch up to the river and back (not going int the river today – too cold). As we walked we saw a few other dogs and all but one encounter passed off well. Each time another dog came close I made the dogs sit and I blew the whistle. My dogs’ attention was on getting a treat, and the other dog walkers could see we were doing something and gave us a wide berth… all but one plank who deliberately led his dog up thinking that there might be a treat going for his dog too. When it all blew over I explained (in a tone of voice that I would use with a petulant toddler) that my dogs can barely share with each other; let alone some dog they have never met before.

We walked out at Great Chart because I had some geo-maintenance to do. Some time ago (9 June 2020) I hid some geocaches along part of the Greensand Way. Supposedly easy to find, one seems to be more difficult than the others. With seven consecutive “Did Not Find” logs over the last two months I thought I’d better go have a look-see in case it had gone missing.

I saw the thing from several yards away, hanging in the hedgerow where I’d put it last June. I checked the location with my geo-app – when I took the photo of the thing my phone said I was three feet from the posted location. That’s about right. So why can’t people find it?


We came home where “er indoors TM” made me a cuppa. I took one sip, threw it away and made another. The milk I’d bought on Tuesday afternoon had gone off. The milk we get from the shop over the road never lasts more than a day or so.

“er indoors TM” also made a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching the first episode of the new series of “Taskmaster”. I’ve heard of one of the five celebrities in this series, which is something of a result.

“er indoors TM” is now fighting with the dogs. I’m not getting involved…