30 August 2013 (Friday) - Astro Club

Another night's sleep wrecked by a certain dog. When ‘er indoors TM finally staggered home last night she took Furry Face TM for a walk. When she came home she left his collar on. So when he sneaked upstairs at 3.30am and started scratching, the tags on his collar seemed to make enough noise to wake the dead. They certainly woke me. After trying and failing to get back to sleep I got up for my morning's sci-fi fix.
If you ask anyone about Blake's Seven as a show, those that remember it will say that it started well and got worse. I think I've now got to the part where it is getting worse. Today's instalment featured the chronic coward character being somewhat heroic and even having his wicked way with the ladies. Quite out of character from what we've seen in the previous twenty-odd episodes. Mind you today's space baddie was a particularly camping-it-up Colin Baker. That was rather entertaining.

To work, via Little Burton Farm for a pre-work geocache. Only one more for this month's challenge. As I drove I listened to the radio. The news was all about the fact that the UK is not going to go to war in Syria to the apparent dismay of our international allies.
For all that I sympathise with the plight of those in Syria, I don't really know whether getting involved in somebody else's fight (yet again) is a good thing. I suspect not.

Once at work I did my bit and then left early for astro club. Tonight's meeting was a Summer Social. Personally I remain unconvinced about "socials". At the risk of appearing anti-social I went along feeling that I would rather have had a normal meeting with a talk followed by either telescopes or a planetarium show. But tonight we had a social. In a pub. The World's Wonder have been pushing for us to meet at their pub for ages. I must admit that having run the snake club in a pub for many years I wasn't keen on meeting in a pub. You feel obliged to spend money you haven't got on overpriced drinks you don't want. And you have to put up with the normal people who are there, getting in the way, and often resentful of what they see as strangers intruding into their territory.
But my fears were unfounded. The pub’s management was very welcoming, and we had a really good meeting. In retrospect I think I was just worried about doing anything to change what has been (for five years) a winning formula

And tonight there was the announcement about the future of the astro club. Change is seriously on the cards.
The plan is to build our own premises which will include an observatory in which we can set up dedicated telescopes. Ambitious perhaps? But certainly achievable. After all we raised thousands to take scouts to Canada. Twice.
For myself I will support the club's venture wholeheartedly... with one reservation. Whilst this plan is laudable, we mustn't lose sight of the fact that we need to look out for the interests of the "armchair astronomers" who do form a sizeable part of our membership. Whilst I am all in favour of getting our own premises, as far as the observatory bit goes, I will be working toward it for everyone else. It's no secret that I have little interest in actually looking through a telescope. Our observatory must be an add-on activity to what we currently do; not a replacement.
Mind you, in re-reading that last bit it would seem that I am already talking about what we will do with our new headquarters when (*not* if) we’ve built it. The time scale is five to seven years. Tune in sometime in late August 2020 and we’ll see…

29 August 2013 (Thursday) - Cold Calling

After a week's holiday with reasonable sleep I was expecting a bad night before going back to work today. It would probably have been better if "Furry Face TM" hadn't crept up the stairs, sat on the bed and started fidgeting half way through the night.
I gave up trying to sleep and was watching my DVDs by 5am You can't beat a bit of late 1970s sci-fi.. Blake was still absent, but his remaining henchmen have found two replacements. All of them were stuck in a black hole which was seemingly under the command of what I can only describe as a renegade Oompah- Loompah. Fortunately for the future of the series everyone escaped except the renegade Oompah- Loompah.
I must admit that renegade Oompah- Loompahs are nowhere near as good at being space baddies as the scary dominatrix they usually wheel on in Blake's Seven.

And so to work via Little Burton Farm where I completed day twenty nine of the August geocache challenge (at 6.45am). As I continued my journey I listened to the radio. The news was depressing; war, conflict, fighting. Mind you there was an article which promised to be interesting; the pundits were talking about nuisance phone calls. I get these at home with annoying regularity. The chairman of the committee for banning nuisance phone calls whinged that she was sick of nuisance phone calls. The chairman of the association of people who make nuisance phone calls assured the world at large that there is no such thing as a nuisance phone call (!) He went on to claim that everyone receiving such a phone call trying to sell them something receives that call because they want it. Apparently it is a proven point of law; this chap was crystal clear on the matter.
Both sides squabbled for a bit; the upshot of all of it was that nuisance phone calls are totally legal; and if you don't want them, don't have a phone.
I couldn't help but feel that wasn't as helpful to me as I had been hoping for.

I popped into Morrisons on my way to work. Sometimes a source of entertainment, amusement or frustration; today it was dull. Much as the rest of my day really. After a week of doing my own thing I rather resented having to do someone else's thing. The highlight was an impromptu gathering for a chp who was leaving today. He's going on an apprenticeship to become a plumber. I felt just the teeniest bit jealous that he was starting something new. It's not that I dislike my job; far from it. It's just that I've been doing it for so long.
I can't wait until retirement; if all goes according to current plan that will be in ten and a half years. I suspect things won't go to that plan...

28 August 2013 (Wednesday) - Walking

Over brekkie I watched the antics of Blake and his four. They finally found that for which they had been searching for several episodes and were about to blow it up only to find that to do so would leave the way open for inter-galactic invaders from Andromeda. It turns out that inter-galactic invaders from Andromeda aren’t good, so instead of blowing things up, Blake had a fight instead.

It was shortly after this that "Daddies Little Angel TM" and Sid arrived, and we went for a walk. Down through South WIllesborough to an area we call “legoland” (because the houses look like they have been made of lego), and then somewhere new. Rather than coming home through Park Farm we tried a new route. Up through Cheeseman’s Green and across the footpaths back to Willesborough. There was a minor hiccup following the footpaths as we found a sign saying that footpaths had been diverted, but no signs marking said diversions.
I expect it’s nothing that a complaint to the local council won’t sort out. I wonder what response I will get…

Home, and as "Daddies Little Angel TM" started tidying the kitchen I started on the ironing. As I ironed I watched more of Blake and his four. I say “Blake”; after his earlier set-to with inter-galactic invaders from Andromeda all sorts of things got blown up including the Blake-mobile. Blake is currently missing in action.

After two hours of ironing I finally got to the end of it all. Lisa was keen to go for a walk, so I put "Furry Face TM"’s lead on him and we walked out to Great Chart and back through the environment centre (via the pub). It was a lovely day for a walk. Two hours later we came home, and after sleeping in front of the PC for half an hour er indoors TM" came home and we set off to the evening's meeting of Kent geocachers. We went via a rather unusual cache and MacDonalds, and spent an enjoyable evening chatting with old and new friends.

It would have been good to have carried on to the midnight caching session; but having helped lay out the trail during the afternoon it wouldn't be fair for me to do so. So I stayed in where "Daddies Little Angel TM" was watching absolute drivel on the telly. I soon put a stop to that and got her to go through the Sky Plus box and delete all the rubbish.
We more than tripled the available space on the thing...


27 August 2013 (Tuesday) - The Hench Beast

I woke in the middle of the night last night feeling the call of nature. Perhaps I’m getting old but it is so much easier to get up from a bed than it is from the floor of a tent. I set the washing machine going and went back to bed until the pain of my bad back stopped me from lying down any longer.

I got up and watched the antics of Blake’s Four on DVD. Somehow or other the baddies had developed long distance space hypnosis and had tried it on Blake. It sort of worked for long enough to make a half decent stab at having a plot for an episode until our heroes saw through the ruse. I then checked the Internet and saw that little had happened overnight, and with more washing on the go I abluted.

I got two beer barrels washed out and then took "Furry Face TM" for his morning’s constitutional. A new geocache had gone live in Kennington and I thought I’d get it for today’s attempt at the August geo-challenge. We soon found the cache. The customisation of the container bore an uncanny resemblance to ones I’ve hidden. I shall hope that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Home, where I washed out a third beer barrel and mowed the lawn. I have decided to tidy up the mess of the garden and of the shed. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that on 8 June 2008 the first fruit of my loin brought home what he described as his “hench beast”. He intended to screw it on his car somewhere and it would make a noise. After over five years of waiting the thing has stayed in my shed and hasn’t been screwed on to anything. I have nagged him incessantly about it, and he has long since washed his hands of it; saying I should sell it. So after four and a half years of whinging at him I decided to take him at his word.
I put photos of the thing onto some selling pages on Facebook. One chap expressed mild interest, at which point "My Boy TM" announced how low a price to which he was prepared to go.
I didn't realise I was selling it on his behalf. Oh well - I shall charge a hefty agent's fee if the thing ever sells.

The doorbell rang. There was someone from Zenith Windows trying to sell their product. He started off with some cock and bull story about doing some work up the road and not wanting to disturb me with his noise, and then tried to force his wares on to me. I wasn’t interested and said so, but the bloke wouldn’t take no for an answer. What do you do with pushy salesmen? I just closed the door and walked off.

And then I had an interesting phone call. Apparently the astro club has an active Twitter account. One lives and learns. This week’s meeting is taking place in a local pub and I’m reliably informed that the plan is to tweet to the world from the meeting. In order to do so, wi-fi would be useful. The question was asked if the pub had wi-fi. I phoned them and in all honesty I think the phone was answered by the village idiot. Apparently they might have wi-fi, but if they do it's not something that they know about.

I spent some time sorting undercrackers and ironing shirts, them my email pinged. A new geocache had gone live. One that was of special interest - featuring a Tree Cow. People say there is no such thing as Tree Cows. People know nothing. You can find Tree Cows on the Internet so they must be true.
I set off hoping to be First to Find - I missed out on that by one minute.

And being Tuesday the clans gathered. Today in Somerset Road. We bendied insults then sat to watch telly. Merlin was in all sorts of trouble this evening. Not least of which was explaining why his boss was wearing spectacles some three hundred years before their first recorded use...

26 August 2013 (Monday) - Back Ache

"Furry Face TM" was upset by something in the night and had a woofing fit at silly o'clock. I then lay awake until seven am when I got up, used the Turdis, and went for a spell of early morning fishing. We came back to camp around nine am to find little movement, and then started a leisurely packing up.
At kite festivals we are packed up and gone by mid day; often well on our way home by mid day. At Bat-Camp we are always some two hours later in packing up than we are at kite festivals. Packing up is easier; we don't have to consider how to load our cars; we just chuck all the gear into a barn for the winter, but still we take ages.

Whilst putting my tent away I felt the muscle in my back go. It does that from time to time. In retrospect I should have sat back and let everyone else do the heavy lifting from that point, but I didn't. I carried on with the packing and loading. I shouldn't have done that.
We left the farm just after one pm, which although later than I would have hoped, was about what I was expecting.

Once home we were soon unpacked. We had a late lunch, then took "Furry Face TM" for a little walk down to Park Farm where I got the day's "geo-thing-that-we-dare-not-mention" and up past Kingsnorth church. I felt my back complaining as we went, but it was a lovely afternoon; too good to sit indoors whinging that I had backache...

I think I will have an early night tonight. My back hurts...


25 August 2013 (Sunday) - Custard !!!

The rain continued for much of the night, but having slackened off just as it got light I thought I'd have a spot of morning fishing. Having had a day of torrential rain the pond side was a quagmire and the fishing tackle was awash. But despite all odds I was soon bashing tiddlers like a thing possessed.

After a little bit of brekkie (camp brekkie is always excellent) shopping missions were dispatched as were caching missions. And after discovering that "Furry Face TM" is partial to Benenden sauce we made the most of the good weather by continuing our work with the duck houses. We got the duck houses onto a trailer, took them down to the yard and gave them a good hosing down. There is something very satisfying about hosing duck dung with a power washer.
And with duck houses glistening like new we had another beer, and enjoyed the afternoon. Some took pot shots at targets with air rifles, some went off to the nearby hippie-fest. Me - I alternated between beer and dozing in my chair in the sunshine before going fishing. Fishing was fun. We didn't catch much but we got to laugh at the Rear Admiral's phone which hadn't really enjoyed having been charged and was having a sulk. A sulking phone is a sight to behold. As is someone attempting to do anything with such a phone. I suspect there is an app for sulking phones. However I defy anyone to download it; especially with the Rear Admiral's phone when it is having a cob.

Chip visited. as a stalwart af previous Bat-Camps it was a shame he couldn't have been along for the entire weekend. And as we waved goodbye it was tea time.
Tonight's tea was something new - pork steaks. Very good. Very tasty. And as the beer got to the point of being far too much we had cake and custard. As it was said at the time, what's the point of being sensible if you have custard. We sat around the camp fire drank port, and dozed off.
Good times...

24 August 2013 (Saturday) - Emergency Plan "B"

We had all seen the weather forecasts. We knew today was not going to be a good day weather-wise. I woke to the sound of rain on the tent in the middle of the night, and lay awake listening to the rain for much of the rest of the night. It was too wet to go fishing, so I didn't bother. I had a bit of a lie-in, as did everyone else. It was gone ten o'clock before brekkie was done.

We got washed up, and shopping missions were dispatched. With a restless dog and the rain slackening off to a medium monsoon I thought I'd take "Furry Face TM" for a walk. I needed to get a cache for the day anyway. I got the cache just as the rain started. By the time I was back at camp I was rather damp. As was "Furry Face TM".
Lunch was announced, and with little else to do we declared Emergency Plan "B". As emergency plans go, "B" is my favourite, involving (as it does) copious amounts of beer.

Steve and Sarah arrived to visit for the afternoon and evening. It was really good to see them, it was just a shame that the weather was against us. We spent much of the day tipping rain water from where it was pooling in the tent. Mind you, we did have sweeties and cake. And beer.

The evening meal was good. We'd not had stew with dumplings at camp before. I think we should have it again. But next time we should stir the stew. The washing up took some serious elbow grease this evening. And having worn myself out doing the washing up we had a beer or three more and just the tiniest soup├žon of port. Hic...

23 August 2013 (Friday) - Duck Houses

I think it fair to say I had far too many peanuts yesterday. They have a rather dodgy effect on my innards. After a fifteen minutes sit-in at the smallest tent on the camp site (the Turdis) I discovered that during yesterday's setting up we hadn't dug a poop pit. So at 6.30am I was getting busy with a shovel. I had stuff to bury. As did Lisa - while lamping in her Foo-Foo the Bunny Rabbit costume she's trodden in something that should have been in the pit I was digging. Yuk!

With no one else emerging from their pits I wandered up to one of the ponds for a spot of fishing. The fishing started slow, but soon picked up. After an hour the Rear Admiral and "Daddies Little Angel TM" arrived with coffee for me, and we fished for another hour with varying degrees of success until the summons came for brekkie.

There was a bit of a problem with brekkie - it was all still in the freezer. So we made do with omelettes. Very good omelettes.
As I was washing up so the sun was coming out. It looked like being a bright day. Some of our party set off on a shopping trip. Others of us set off to the pub via Dering Wood where it was rumoured that there was a solitary geocache. There was, and from there we carried on to the pub. But not the pub we had originally planned. The Dering Arms was several miles away; the Mundy Bois was just down the road from where we were. So once we had got some phone signal we told the shoppers about the change of plan and they met us for a second pint before walking back to camp with us.

Once back at camp we felt we ought to earn our keep. The duck houses needed their annual maintenance so our job for today was to get the duck houses out of the water and to leave them by the pond side to drain. Regular readers of this drivel will know that I have had dealings with duck houses before. So knowing what to expect I went along wearing my swimmies, and (as I had expected) immediately slipped in the mud and was waist deep in a pond.
"Furry Face TM" excelled himself with duck houses, having swum across a pond to one and having found a three month old addled egg inside promptly broke it open and rolled in the gunge. I'd not taken my dog camping before. This is one of many reasons that taking Patagonian Tripe-Hounds camping is not a good idea. And having created one of the worst smells in the known universe, he went on to exceed the expectations of even his staunchest critics by disappearing into the last duck house and coming out a few moments later in hot pursuit of a duck which was stupid enough to still be in that house.

Some of the swimmers of our party went back to the farm house for a shower. Me and my dog got hosed down in the farm yard. And after a rather good bit of tea we sat round the camp fire drinking to excess. So much so that I fell asleep and missed out on the port...

22 August 2013 (Thursday) - Off to Camp

Last night was the Hythe Venetian fete. It was rather worrying that a teacher on my Facebook list referred to the event as the "Vanician Fete".
Despite the light drizzle this morning I put the lead on to "Furry Face TM" and took him for a little walk through Willesborough. Had I left five minutes later I would have seen an email and would possibly have had a "first to find" on a newly released geocache. But I didn't. Such is life.
This morning's walk was something of a pain. I lost count of the amount of cyclists I nearly fell over because they were on the pavements with earplugs in which effectively made them deaf. Cyclists should be on the road; not the pavement. It says so in the Highway Code.

Martin arrived, and we set off to shopping. First of all to the fishing shop. I was amazed to see perfectly good polaroid sunglasses for sale for fifteen quid. If I want prescription sunglasses the polaroid bit costs sixty quid alone. And I can get the whole (non-prescription) lot for fifteen quid. I'd like to think this isn't blatant profiteering from the optician...
After a brief stop at Tesco we made our way to a certain farm in Smarden where clans gathered and we set up camp. We arrived in rain, and started setting up camp in the rain, but the rain soon petered off. And having set it up we repaired it. The mess tent has some life left in it, but I think it' s fair to say that the gazebo is now fit for the bin.

A few beers were sunk, and after a flying visit from Foo-Foo (the bunny rabbit) er indoors TM" arrived just as it was getting dark and announced that we (I) had forgotten all the cooking pans. Woops. So after an impromptu drive home we finally had tea at about 10pm. I staggered off to bed somewhat the worse for wear as others went lamping. Lamping apparently is an obscure country tradition by which you wave lights around in fields in a fruitless attempt to catch wildlife which is nowhere near as daft as you might imagine it actually is.

21 August 2013 (Wednesday) - Damp

Over a spot of brekkie I was bandying insults here, there and thither with the world at large over the social phenomenon that is Facebook. And I found myself guilty of having double standards (again). I quite like being a grandfather. However I am certainly *not* middle aged. Can I get away with being both? I don't really think so.

"Daddies Little Angel TM" arrived and we took the dogs for a little walk up to the railway station where I needed to get some information to solve a puzzle I had been set. And with that information we then carried on with our walk into Newtown and down to Frogs Island and back. Sid's behaviour was impeccable, but "Furry Face TM" disgraced himself by running off with another dog's ball. I wouldn't mid so much if he ever played with the balls he steals. He doesn't. He just destroys them.

I left "Daddies Little Angel TM" at McMunchies burger van where she assured me she would only be five minutes. I then went home and made a start loading up the car for the upcoming camping trip. After an hour I had the car loaded. After an hour and five minutes "Daddies Little Angel TM" returned home to help me load the car(!)

I had a bit of toast in lieu of lunch, and then went out with Lisa. Two weeks ago I went down to the marsh looking for a geocache I couldn't find. On 7 August I wrote "At 5.15am I was lurking by a drainage ditch two miles the other side of Bilsington. I had a good rummage, and despite nearly falling into said drainage ditch twice I couldn't find the cache in question. I gave up after twenty minutes searching I shall have to go back with reinforcements. So I drove on another half a mile and found a cache near another drainage ditch. I didn't fall into that one".
On reading subsequent logs of people who did find it, it was apparent that had I fallen in the drainage ditch I would have found the cache. So having enlisted the moral support of someone else who doesn't mind falling into drainage ditches I did what I said I would do and went back with reinforcements. Having failed to find the cache last time we saw it right away this time. It was huge. I am loathe to describe what happened in too much detail because I don't want to spoil the fun for subsequent cachers. Let's just say that I took my swimming trunks just in case, the water wasn't quite up to my goolies, we did need the towel I'd packed, and rumours that I dropped the cache into the river are quite unfounded.

Home, where I put my swimmies and the towel through the washing machine, and then I took Fudge for another walk. Having solved the puzzle at the railway station this morning I thought I'd go discover the cache associated with that puzzle. The idea was that having located it today I could do the secret geo-ritual with it tomorrow for my one-a-day (having already got today's find).
I soon made my way to where I thought the cache was, and found a young family obviously searching for something. I said hello, and they pointed at my dog, screamed, and all ran away. After a brief search I found what I was looking for. I shall go back tomorrow and do my thing with it then.

Home again, and with "Daddies Little Angel TM" holding court in the living room I was again banished upstairs. Candy Crush Saga and a little doze went down well, then I did the hoovering (with a Dyson) and then had a look at the household accounts. I renewed my annual subscription to geocaching dot com, It was fifteen quid last year - now it is twenty five quid, there's inflation for you. The combined gas and leccie bill has gone up twelve pounds each month too.
Oh well... what is money for if not to squander foolishly on trivia.


20 August 2013 (Tuesday) - Crimmos

I had a terrible night's (so-called) sleep. I went off to bed shortly after 11pm last night and was woken shortly after by "Furry Face TM" jumping onto me. I dozed off only to be woken by er indoors TM" crashing home from her evening out. And then it seemed to be one disturbance after another for most of the night.
I gave up trying to sleep and was watching my DVDs by 5am You can't beat a bit of late 1970s sci-fi.. Blake and his four were having problems with a treacherous uncle, a wanton cousin, and "crimmos". "Crimmos" are a new breed of evil space baddie to me. They seemed rather stupid as evil space baddies go; but not quite as stupid as Blake and his few remaining associates. Given that a "crimmo" is trying to kill you, you are obviously faced with a life-or-death struggle. Personally if I were contending with such a "crimmo" I would kill them to death with my space laser from a comfortable distance. I would not leave my space laser in its holster and try to have fisticuffs with them.
But what do I know? Mind you the wanton cousin was interesting. I always thought Blake had been podgering the bimbo who drove the spaceship, but he seemed rather enamoured with his cousin in today's episode. In fact he qot quite carnal with her at one stage. Shocking, really!

I then set off to work at 6am. Needing to find a geocache before work as part of the August cache-a-day challenge I thought I would go for one in Boughton under Blean before work, and then get shopping and petrol for the car on my journey through Wincheap. For those of my loyal readers who aren't sure about Kentish geography, Boughton under Blean is in the general vicinity of Faversham. My sat-nav had several false starts, took several wrong turns, and eventually gave up the ghost entirely leaving me somewhere on the M2. I suspect that things might have turned out differently had I been able to concentrate on sat navs rather than on the road. I'm sure that nearly getting squished by a juggernaut on the roundabout at the top of the M2 didn't help either. But somehow or other I found myself on completely the wrong side of Canterbury and running out of time before the start of my shift. In the end I headed to work, stopped off in Canterbury city centre and told my phone to find me the nearest cache, and not to play silly beggars about it.
Probably feeling remorse for the M2 episode it told me there was a cache not one hundred yards away, and I soon had that one in the bag. I suppose I can draw consolation from the fact that the cache in Boughton under Blean remains for me to find another day.

And so to work where I did my bit on what turned out to be rather a good day. It was a pain that my trip home was delayed because I had to stop off for petrol. The plan had been to get petrol on my way in to work, but that plan had unfortunately gone west. Plans do that with annoying regularity.
And so home where the clans had gathered. Insults were bandied, and we watched more Merlin. And I stayed awake. Good times...

19 August 2013 (Monday) - Walking

A surprisingly good night's sleep, but a disaster at brekkie. With enough jam to feed an army (provided an army would be content with four jars of jam) we had no marmalade. I like marmalade on my peanut butter in the morning; today I had to rough it with jam. Just jam on toast. No peanut butter with the jam - that would be silly.

"Daddies Little Angel TM" and Sid arrived. They had an errand to run, and then would be looking after the burger van for five minutes whilst "Jimmy Fingers" ran an errand of his own. After an hour I got bored of waiting for them, and drove down to the van. After another half an hour Jimmy returned and we set off on our own errand. Rather than sending a cheque to pay for the astro club's hall hire fees I thought I'd pay in cash. That way I am saved a trip to the bank to pay in cash, and I am saved the job of chasing round for signatures for a cheque.
The nice lady to whom I gave the cash had a husband who was rather good with watercolours, and we spent a little while talking art. And then we took advantage of a glorious day and being in the countryside to take the dogs for a walk somewhere different. We had a minor hiccup driving to our starting point, but having driven in circles for a few times we eventually found somewhere to park. We then had a lovely walk across fields and woodlands to High Halden. I had hoped for a crafty pint in the pub before we walked back, but the pub had closed down again, so we walked back thirsty.

Once home "Daddies Little Angel TM" set off on a mission. We hadn't walked that far this morning, so I took my dog and walked him up to Little Burton Farm and back. And once back I went for another walk round Coleman's Wood and back - it was too lovely a day to be in.

I had planned to spend the evening catching up with ironing. I didn't. Perhaps I did too much walking today; I just slobbed in front of the telly...

18 August 2013 (Sunday) - Perry Wood

My little dog is absolutely rubbish at pretending to be asleep. This morning, like most mornings when I come down early, he made a point of not moving from where he had spent the night. He watched me with one eye until he thought that I was looking at him. He then hurriedly closed that eye. But he gave the game away when I walked near him by lifting his leg so I could rub his tummy.
The front end which feigns sleep is always given away by the soppy rear end.

I spent a little while before 6am this morning scanning documents for a colleague. She needed some paperwork scanned so she could email it. I have a scanner, and am glad to be able to help. Everyone was happy.
Scanning took longer than expected so I didn't have time for an episode of Blake and his ever diminishing number (he started off with quite a lot of sidekicks, hangers-on and assorted henchmen you know), so over brekkie I watched re-runs of "Coogan's Run". I quite like Steve Coogan's characterisations; Alan Partridge is a particular favourite of mine.

I set off rather earlier than usual when working on a Sunday. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that there was a particular multi-cache which had been giving me grief over the last few days. And with the ongoing August cache-a-day challenge I needed to get one cache on my way to work. A few days ago I had totally failed with this multi. Yesterday I eventually found the first part, but not the second. Today with a concerted effort and a cacher's eye after ten minutes of rummaging I found what I had been looking for.
Mind you, as is so often the way with this silly hobby, it's not only about finding the tupperware box. This troublesome multi had taken me to Perry Wood. This is somewhere I'd never been before, and would probably never have found if left to my own devices. It's a very scenic place to be, and is somewhere that I could well take a certain small dog for a walk in the near future.

As I drove I listened to the news. Today's news was all a-twitter with revelations that the Metropolitan Police are investigating fresh evidence concerning the death of Diana Princess of Wales.
Interestingly no one seems to know exactly what this new evidence is, or what it proves. She's been dead sixteen years; why can't the media let her go. What on Earth is the point in raking up a court case which cost more than four times the price of Margaret Thatcher's funeral.

Once at work I did my bit, and then I came home again. As I drove the evening's radio show was running down the NHS; specifically the 111 helpline. My piss boiled somewhat. What do people really expect from a phone helpline? If you are truly ill, go to hospital. If you are going to survive till the morning, turn up at the GP surgery ten minutes before they open and demand to be seen. If you just want to talk to someone (which so many of these 111 calls are all about), that's what social media is for.
Bearing in mind how quick the general public are to cast blame and find fault with the NHS is it really surprising tha the vast majority of 111 operatives want to cover their own backs by sending their callers to actually see a doctor there and then?

17 August 2013 (Saturday) - Muffin



Up with the lark and bearing in mind the old maxim, I let my sleeping dog lie. Over a spot of brekkie I watched the antics of Blake and his four on DVD. He's only got four henchmen now. One croaked whilst doing battle with space baddies. I would have though that would have been an object lesson in life - don't do battle with space baddies. But Blake doesn't seem to have learned anything from the sad demise of poor Olag Gan (A.K.A. "Meat Shield #5") and he was having a set-to with some sort of intergalactic lizard thing today. Sooner him than me. Meanwhile the evil space baddies which did for the one who croaked were at each others throats.
Today's episode was rather poor. Having the main protagonists behaving at odds with their established personalities doesn't make for believable viewing. Two characters who were once best of buddies could now conspiring against each other because of their duplicitous nature. Or they could be given decent scriptwriting. This morning's episode merely had pretty much everyone acting towards each other in a completely different way to how they were doing so in the last episode. It didn't make for plausible viewing and so today's episode didn't really work; which was a shame.

As I got into my car I saw Martin heading off up the road. It was 6.50am. He does seem to love his early starts on a Saturday.
Regular readers of this drivel may recall that I looked for a multi-geocache on my way to work on Thursday. Looked, but didn't find it. Today I went back and had a proper look. After ten minutes I found the first part of that multi-cache. I was a little confused about the directions given; it seemed to be sending me to one of two points, both of which were within a few yards of each other, but neither were especially close. I tried both locations. I'm pretty sure I was in the right place because there was a wonderful viewpoint nearby. It's the sort of place where people put caches. But I didn't find it. On reflection I have a sneaking suspicion that I know where I went wrong. If I am up early enough tomorrow morning I shall go back.
Mind you I did find the cache which was hidden by the nearby pond so the expedition wasn't entirely wasted.

As I drove to work I listened to the radio. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that a while ago I mentioned the fracking for gas that is going on in Sussex.
I had a wry smile as I listened to the advocates for and against fracking who were expounding their viewpoints on the radio today. Both sides claimed to be representing the majority view.
I can't pretend that I know whether there are more of the public who are in favour of fracking or who are against it. However reading various postings on social media from friends and relatives who live near the fracking site, I think it's fair to say that the opinion of those being fracked (!) is that they hold the protestors in very  low regard. I am informed by these locals that environmental protestors come in two forms; unwashed workshy layabouts funded by dole handouts, and vastly overpaid celebrities who are posturing for the publicity. I'm sure that neither description is in any way fair. I'm sure that everyone who is protesting about the fracking is doing so for valid and heartfelt reasons. Mind you from what I have seen on social media I am also sure that the protestors are not getting their message across.

And so to work. I did my bit. I don't really mind working at the weekends. In fact I actually prefer working at the weekends to working during the week. With a skeleton staff I get far more variety in my daily round. And being a weekend I get more of a bung for showing up. It's just that when I am working the weekend I find I do miss out. Today I could have been at the monthly conglomeration of Kent's geocachers for a meeting which looked to be great fun. And then I could have gone on to visit the first fruit of my loin who was staging a barbecue in the garden. Or I could have gone to the theatre with friends to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Instead I found myself spending much of the day looking out of the window fretting about what might have been. I probably do that too much.
Mind you when the rain started in the late afternoon I did wonder if I had been in the best place today. And then my colleague didn't want the toffee muffin she'd brought in for her evening meal. In a fit of feeling rather public spirited I ate it for her...