16 March 2018 (Friday) - DNF Friday

I slept like a log last night; night working does that for me. I woke shortly before "er indoors TM"’s alarm was due to go off.
As I scoffed my toast I had a look-see at the Internet. It was much the same as it had been last night, but overnight a new puzzle geocache had appeared not too far from Faversham. I puzzled it out and got the “thumbs-up” from the checker. I was rather pleased with myself about that, and I was feeling rather smug as I took the dogs out.

Fudge tried to pick a fight with a bus as we walked up the road. We got rather soggy in Bowen’s Field which was a shame. It was shortly after this that we met Lacey and both dogs jumped up at her and covered her in mud.
As Lacey set off to school we went on for a quick circuit of the park. Treacle saw a squirrel; the poor thing ran like a bullet from a gun. Treacle had a fair turn of speed as she chased it.

With dogs walked I settled them. Back in the days before Treacle I would take Fudge for a geo-walk. But having two dogs is too much like hard work. One pulls like a train; one has to be dragged along behind like a sack of spuds. They were both soon snoring in their beds and with a few minutes spare I thought I might chase the First to Find on that puzzle I’d solved earlier.
I was soon at a very likely-looking spot near Faversham but could find nothing. After fifteen minutes I checked my calculations. I *was* in the right spot. I hunted some more, but to no avail. In desperation I messaged the chap who had hidden it only to find there had been a mini balls-up. This cache wasn’t supposed to go live until tomorrow, and consequently hadn’t been hidden yet. All the paperwork and websites were done, ut the sandwich box I was hunting was still in Matt’s car several miles away.

I drove on out (sniggering at myself) to Betsham. As I drove I recognized a number plate on a car. It was Dick’s car. I followed him to Betsham where we met Gordon and also the chap who had hidden all those boxes in Beckenham that we hunted for the other week. Together we had a rather good walk….

Let me qualify that.

I had a very good time walking with friends today, and I met a new friend too. I like meeting up with buddies; and we had a good catch-up today. But the walk itself was something of a disappointment. It was effectively a walk of two geo-series.
The larger walk was the one we did first; a circuit along roads and paths along roads. The cars flew along the part of the walk on lanes, and bit along the A2 was *very* noisy. We found human turds in a carrier bag in a rather nasty area where dozens of parked truckers had effectively trashed an area. (Someone *really* had crapped into a carrier bag and hung it from a fence)
Geocache-wise this part of the walk was rubbish. The chap who had hid them seems to have given up with the hobby. Many of the caches were missing with us being the latest of several people logging “did not find”.
A torrential rain shower half way round (soaking us all to the skin) really didn’t help. We were all set to go home, but reasoning that we needed to dry out a little we decided to carry on and do the smaller nearby walk. It was a straight line of four caches; fiendishly difficult ones of which we only found one.
Usually on a walk of twenty to thirty caches you expect to find the lot. Just one “Did Not Find” is cause for sulking. Today we logged DNFs on nine out of twenty-five. Probably my second- worst success rate ever
I took several photos as we walked. I still do that despite my camera having packed up.

We said our goodbyes, and I came home. Bearing in mind I was on a rest day today "er indoors TM" hadn’t come home at lunch time to walk the dogs. I took them round the park again. They like it, and (to be honest) so do I. We have a rather good park in Ashford.
With walk over I watched more “Star Trek: Discovery”. I’m hoping that by watching it all in rather quick succession I might get more “into” it. Having watched it all once, I was conscious that I was watching it because that was what trekkies do, rather than because I liked it.

"er indoors TM" came home and boiled up some fish and chips. It was rather good, but it put back on half the calories I’d walked off in over four hours’ walking earlier. That’s the trouble with these calories; they go in far easier than they come off…

15 March 2018 (Thursday) - After the Night Shift

When I took over from the late shift last night I heard something which made me smile. People have been talking about me at work. When I was working week day shifts I had my shirts on. When working nights and weekends I wear polo shirts which are short sleeved. With these my tattoos are visible.
Apparently not only am I the most tattooed person in the department, I am also the person least expected to have tattoos. Despite one of the busiest night shifts ever, I chuckled for much of the night shift on hearing that.
And again, like yesterday, the early shift was stuck in traffic and I was late getting out.

Last night on the way in to work I hid a puzzle geocache. I drove home past the thing this morning in the hope of seeing someone going to find it. As I drove past I saw someone loitering around it in a very suspicious way. I considered stopping for a chat, but I didn’t recognize them and the rain was heavy so I kept going.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were all atwitter about the recent death of Russians in the UK.  From what I can work out it looks like the Russian government arranged to have someone murdered in Salisbury. For all that the world is condemning Russia, it doesn’t look like the Russians care.

I got home and decided we wouldn’t go for a walk. Fudge decided differently. When I come home he just shouts at me until we go out. He was rather noisy this morning, so we went for a walk.
Bearing in mind that Bowens Field was a swamp yesterday and it has been raining, we walked a different way. Going into the park through the bottom rather than through the top meant I could have a look-see at one of my geocaches that had been reported to be missing. I originally put the thing out over five years ago; it was a little tube hanging (rather obviously) in a tree. I saw *was*; it had gone. I thought about replacing it but the thing had run its course; only half a dozen finds last year; everyone who was going to look for it had already done so. I created a whole new listing on geocaching dot com. I wish more people would do that rather than slowly strangling the hobby by keeping alive film pots under rocks that everyone has found years ago.

As we walked across the park so my shoes leaked and the rain started again. We were all rather wet and grungy by the time we got home. Mind you, Treacle has learned something. On the last few walks round the park we’ve got so grubby that the dogs have needed their bellies hosing off. Today when we got home Treacle went straight to the bathroom and jumped in the bath to be washed.
I hoiked Fudge in with her, scrubbed the dogs, then scrubbed myself and took myself off to bed.

After two night shifts I was hoping for a decent kip; I got two hours before fudge started barking at shadows. Having been woken I couldn’t get back to sleep. I had some toast, then did the ironing whilst watching the first episode of Altered Carbon. I’d heard good things about this show, but I’d been misled. It was yet another “whodunnit” police show. With the first episode watched I deleted it from my “continue watching” list. I shan’t bother with any more of that show.
Instead I started re-watching “Star Trek: Discovery”.

"er indoors TM" came home and boiled up some rather good scran. We scoffed it whilst catching up wth episodes of the current series of “Benidorm”. The Chuckle Brothers appeared in one of the episodes. I thought they’d retired years ago…

I expect I shall nod off soon…

14 March 2018 (Wednesday) - Between the Night Shifts

I had a rather busy night; it never fails to amaze me how busy the night shifts are these days. Back when I first started night work in hospital laboratories (in 1985) we would be called in from home for specific cases, and it was not uncommon not to be called between midnight and nine o'clock the next day. Now the work is constant all night long. How times have changed.
Night work also plays havoc with the diet; if only for recording what food you have at what time. What do you call the meal you have at three o'clock in the morning? I'm going with "lunch" as I was asleep when I would usually be scoffing that. But what do you call the toast you have in the late afternoon after being asleep all day?

It was with a sense of despair that I took a phone call shortly after half past seven this morning. With only minutes till the relief was due to arrive, the chap on the early shift was stuck in traffic. Overnight a manhole cover had collapsed in Colt’s Hill and blocked the road.
I wasn’t *that* late in getting out; but it would be today that the barrier on the car park decided to be problematical. Eventually I set off homewards. I drove to work in darkness last night; I much prefer the drive home in daylight.

As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the death of Professor Stephen Hawking. As a young man he’d been given two years to live; he went on for over fifty.
I got home and took the dogs out. I guessed that the tree surgeons would have been finished in the park. I guessed wrong. But at least the mud through which we had to walk had dried out somewhat since yesterday.
And with dogs walked I went to bed for the day.

I got up after five hours sleep. More would have been nice. I spent a little while working on creating a geo-puzzle. After all, today is “Pi Day”; that fact might help in solving the puzzle. I wonder if it will get much interest?
I also had a few emails telling me that some of the geocaches I hid round South Ashford a few years ago are in need of attention. I shall look at those tomorrow during the dog walk.

"er indoors TM" will be home soon. With any luck I’ll get some dinner and then I shall be off to work for another night shift. There isn’t anywhere (other than the co-op) on the way to work where I can get scoff. I used to get myself a cheeky McDonalds before the night shifts in Maidstone. Usually only a McFlurry, but even a McFlurry is four hundred calories.

I’ve mentioned before that the day between night shifts is often very dull.