21 October 2017 (Saturday) - Bit Tired

The night shift was surprisingly busy, but during a break in the small hours I saw a series of thirty geocaches had gone live nearby. When the day shift arrived I charged out as quickly as I could. Those thirty caches will make a good walk in the future, but one cheeky First to Find would make a nice reward for doing the night shift.
I’d looked on the map and worked out which cache would probably be easiest to park at. And being toward the middle of the series I thought it unlikely that anyone else chasing FTFs would be at #10 at silly o’clock in the morning. So you can imagine my surprise when I pulled up at the given GPS co-ordinates just as two geo-friends walked up. We chatted for a bit; it was suggested that I walked on with them. But my bed was beckoning.

As I drove home the pundits on the radio were discussing recently released statistics which claimed that the perpetrators of ninety per cent of the burglaries in the UK never get brought to justice. They wheeled on some chief constable who blathered platitudes for ten minutes. Mind you, what can the police do? In many cases these burglaries are done by organised gangs and by the time the crime has been discovered, the guilty scum are a hundred miles away.

A quick bit of toast, then I went to bed for the morning. I set the alarm for mid-day; if I slept any longer I wouldn’t sleep at night, and I’d waste the day.
"er indoors TM" had vouchers for the café in the WyeVale garden centre so we thought we’d use them. We drove up the A28, and paused to look in a bus shelter. Five years ago I hid a geocache in that bus shelter, I’d had a message that it had gone. It had. I’ve now archived it. It was on the way to where I used to work and so looking after it was easy, but now it is in completely the wrong direction.
We went on to Fat Fish Tackle where I got myself a new landing net. My old one was too deep. Let’s see how this one does. I also got some weights and floats and stuff… it is so easy to run up a big bill in fishing tackle shops. When I was a lad I could pay for tackle from my pocket money. You couldn’t do that today.

We got to the garden centre and after a look-see we went to the café. Oh dear… I wish we’d gone to McDonalds. People take the piss out of my going to McDonalds but had we gone there we would have been in and out in the time the woman on the till took to make a cup of coffee and a cup of hot chocolate. You get better tasting stuff in McDonalds, and even allowing for the WyeVale money off voucher, McDonalds is cheaper.
On the way out we looked at their clothing as Wyevale were having a half-price sale. Even at half price their stuff was twice the price that I was prepared to pay.

As we were in the area we went into Canterbury to Go Outdoors; they’d sent me an email saying they had increased their range of clothing to cater for the more rotund physique. I got a pair of trousers (which were rather expensive) and a pair of walking shoes reduced from forty quid to fifteen. Result!

Once home we took the dogs for a wander round the park; we had hoped the intermittent rain had stopped. It hadn’t. Mind you, we didn’t get *that* wet.

Originally I was planning to go to Mersham this evening to see “Access All Areas” playing at the Royal Oak, but last night’s night shift had left me somewhat knackered. Instead I sat in front of the telly and slept.
I should have an early night really…

20 October 2017 (Friday) - Lonely

My piss boiled this morning as I looked at Facebook as I scoffed my toast. Figures were being bandied about concerning the levels of crime in various parts of Ashford. I’ve seen these sorts of figures before, and like all statistics, they can be misleading.
Basically the crime figures for Ashford claim that the central parts (where I live) are akin to Dodge City whilst the outskirts are a utopian paradise. But… the central parts include the town centre and the outlet centre, so all the shoplifting crimes get lumped into the statistics for our area. And the town centre has all the pubs and night clubs so we get all the aftermath of the drunks staggering home (towards the outskirts of the town) pissed as farts in the small hours. On occasion I’ve followed some of these drunks at a safe distance (as have others I know). Having thrown their pint glasses at a front door in Christchurch Road these drunks then wander back to their nice homes in Singleton and Godinton and Repton (all the places with supposedly low crime rates) where they behave themselves. It’s basically an old concept called “not shitting on your own doorstep”.
I did consider rattling the South Ashford Community Forum’s cage about this, but I decided not to. Do I want to get involved with setting up a local neighborhood watch scheme? Not really; it would just be one more big argument. These things always are.
I also read that Julian May had died. She wrote some rather good books over the years. It’s a shame she’s gone; now I’ll never meet her, and she won’t be writing any more.

I popped the leads onto the dogs… I often type that. It sounds so easy: “​I popped the leads onto the dogs”. I’m now trying something different at lead time. I’ve got a little sick of how it has been. Up till recently I’ve put Fudge’s collar and lead on him first; the whole time he is pulling his head trying to have a pop at the puppy who mocks him when he has his collar put on. And then when it is time for Treacle to have her collar put on she snatches something she’s not allowed to have and runs off and hides.
I’ve decided that from now on the dogs will sit nicely at lead time. So far it’s not working.
We did our usual circuit of the park. Fudge tried to fight with a bus and two cars and the puppy nearly ran under a street-sweeping thing that was clearing up in the park. We also managed to upset one of the normal people who wanted to stroke the dogs; neither dog wanted to be stroked. We didn’t meet any of the uual dog-walking suspects. I wonder where they all were.

Once home I ran round with the hoover; how can we generate so much mess? I then set about doing the ironing. Dull, so dull. To ease the monotony I sparked up the telly. I started off with last weekend’s episode of “The Last Ship”. There are two more episodes of this season to go; I’ve stuck it out for so long it would be a shame to give up with the show now (tempted as I might be). And then I watched episodes of “Red Dwarf” on Netflix until the ironing was done.
I made myself some toast for lunch and scoffed it whilst watching another episode of “Gotham”, then pulled the living room curtains (so the dogs wouldn’t bark at nothing) and took myself off to bed for the afternoon.

After a couple of hours I got up and watched more “Gotham” then microwaved some dinner which I scoffed as the dogs ate theirs. Even more “Gotham” and now I’m off to the night shift.

It’s been a lonely day today… I spent about an hour arguing with "er indoors TM" this morning, I spent two minutes listening to some nutter in the park grumbling that the dogs wouldn’t let him stroke them, and I spent a few minutes messaging (not actually speaking though) with Jose.
It looks like my biggest conversation of the day will be asking for a McFlurry when I stop off on the way to work…

19 October 2017 (Thursday) - Computers, Machines...

I went to sleep last night with Fudge's chin on my shoulder, I woke to find the puppy was there this morning. They must have swapped in the night.
Over brekkie I watched another episode of "Red Dwarf", and seeing nothing much had happened on the Internet overnight I set off to work rather earlier than I might have done. I was taking no chances with the traffic.

As I drove the pundits on the radio were discussing the Brexit negotiations. There is a growing feeling that the European negotiators are deliberately dragging their heels and that Britain should make the announcement that there will be no agreement when the UK leaves the EU so that businesses can prepare for the worst. The implication was that any agreement that might be reached in the meantime would be a bonus. Would it be? I don't really know. But it does amaze me how these things can just drag on.
Mind you, what with rising inflation and Sterling falling, several independent international experts are recommending that Britain not go through with Brexit at all. Personally I can't help but think it is too late for that. As a nation we've made a rather stupid decision. But having gone this far the UK needs to go through with it. Going back on the scheme will leave the UK with no credibility in the EU at all.

Meanwhile the boffins at Google have created an artificial intelligence which really does learn for itself. I wonder if this effectively makes all the hot air about Brexit and other political trivia somewhat redundant?

I had a good run to work, but I wasn't impressed when I got to Hermitage Lane. There wasn't a single person working at the road works which are causing the delays. There rarely is. There are often people in hi-vis jackets standing around the area talking to each other and into their phones. There are often people in hi-vis jackets over the road in McDonalds. But people in hi-vis jackets getting their hands dirty by actually doing the road works?
The sooner there's one or two more there, the sooner I can get to work in less than an hour.

I got to work, and did my bit. I got to work much earlier than I had originally intended. I had been expecting to be on the late shift today, but late yesterday afternoon I was asked if I could swap my shift. Being an obliging kind of guy I agreed. Much as I like the late start of the late shift, the late finish can be just a tad too late. What really bugs me about the late finish is driving round the roads at home at nearly ten o'clock at night desperately hunting for a parking space, and then finding the only place I can park is three streets away from home.
In much the same vein of being helpful I've agreed to do tomorrow's night shift as a colleague has gone down with the two bob bits.

With my bit I came home. Again there was no one doing any work on the road works in Hermitage Lane. What could be a five minute journey takes half an hour because of the absentee workmen.
Once home I took the dogs for a short walk. Fudge had a funny five minutes at one point. When we were at the furthest point from home he stopped and refused to take another step. He simply would not budge. After a little coaxing and cajoling I carried him for fifty yards before trying him again. He then walked fine. I wonder what that was all about?

"er indoors TM" boiled up some dinner, and we scoffed it whilst watching the telly. Not a bad way to spend the evening…