31 July 2014 (Thursday) - An Anniversary

Over brekkie I watched something new (well new to me); a series called "The Trip" featuring both Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden. I've always been a big fan of anything with Steve Coogan; I'm afraid this was a disappointment.

As I drove to work the news was all of a-twitter about the profits being made by British Gas. The pundits were of the opinion that British Gas should lower its prices as that would be the decent thing to do. And my piss boiled.
As a card-carrying leftie during the Margaret Thatcher years I was rather vociferous about turning public services into profit-making businesses. In retrospect I backed the losing side. Public-spirited decency was comprehensively beaten by wanton greed some twenty years ago. It is now far too late to be bleating about what the power companies should and should not be doing. They are now there purely to generate a profit. If anyone feels they should be putting civic duty first.... (takes a deep breath....) there will be an election next year... ?

Once at work I did my thing. For no adequately explored reason my heart wasn't in it today. To be honest it rarely is these days, but today I was more morose than usual. Silly really; my job's not bad at all really...
I had another dietary revelation at lunch time. rather than my usual bag of Walkers crisps I had a bag of Sunbites. "Sunbites crisps are a whole grain crispy snack that makes a delicious easy healthy snack option for you during the day. Sunbites are bursting with 6% ... " blah de blah de blah. I *thought* they would be an ideal addition to my new diet; but they are only twelve calories less than my usual bag of Walkers crisps. This so-called "healthy eating" is rarely what you'd expect.

Sax practice went reasonably well; the afternoon dragged a little, but soon enough I was home and walking "Furry Face TM" round the park. We had a fun episode with a Red Setter; the Red Setter made off with Fudge's ball, so this dog's owner offered to give us his dog's tennis ball in exchange. I explained that Fudge needs a solid ball as he will eat a tennis ball. This idiot explained to me how a dog cannot eat a tennis ball, and then his mouth fell open as Fudge's jaws crushed the tennis ball flat.
We got our ball back...

And in closing today I'll remind my loyal readers of a blog entry from a couple of years ago. Two years ago today I went for a walk with my Ham Street Lover. As we went past Kingsnorth church he told me about a geocache which was hidden there. He'd been telling me about that hobby for months; I'd been telling him to get a life for about the same length of time. Grudgingly I agreed to go look for that geocache...
In the next year I found two thousand two hundred and ninety of the things, and a year ago today I wrote "I wonder how many caches I'll find in this next year". Now a year later I have my answer; it was one thousand four hundred and sixty eight.
It's not a bad hobby; it's kept me out of mischief for a couple of years.

30 July 2014 (Wednesday) - Flapjack

I was rudely woken at 5.30am by "Furry Face TM" who had declared "Red Alert" for no apparent reason. I went down to see what all the fuss was about; he was running round the kitchen clearly anxious to get out. I opened the back door and he sprinted down the garden; woofing all the way. I expect the neighbours loved that (!)
I went back to bed and through the wonders of CPAP hoses I actually got back to sleep. I got up shortly after 7am and came down to find my dog fast asleep.

A swift bite of brekkie, and then I took my dog for a walk. A while ago I hid a geocache round the road. I say "hid" - it's attached to a rubber duck floating in the river. Hardly hidden; the thing is rather obvious. No one's reported it as found or not found for ages. I went round to the river to find that you can't get within ten yards of the river because of six-feet high stinging nettles. Oh dear!
We carried our walk on to Frog's Island where we played "Fetch". I say "Fetch"; it's more like "Chase". I throw the ball; Fudge chases it until it stops bouncing at which point he either attempts to rip the ball to shreads or he just leaves it where it lands for me to pick up and throw again.

I took a scenic route to work. I finally remembered to deliver a cheque for the astro club, and I got some petrol. Whilst getting petrol I realised part of the reason why I'm putting on weight. Whenever I get petrol I get myself a flapjack. I like flapjack, and you would think it's healthier than chocolate. A slice of flapjack contains nearly four hundred calories (!)
I stopped off in Chartham on my way to work; there is a geocache there that I've been meaning to pick up for some time. Today I finally did. I then revisited old haunts by popping in to the cheapo-bargains shop. The staff there were all utterly oblivious to the needs of any of us customers; they were all wrapped up in their own private conversations.
I have missed that place *so* much.

The rest of the day was rather dull in comparison. A shame when the day has peaked by eleven in the morning...

29 July 2014 (Tuesday) - Making a Complaint

As it wasn't so hot last night the bedroom window stayed closed for the first time in a while. And for the first time in a while we had no nocturnal woofing fits. I wonder if the two were in any way connected. Mind you "Furry Face TM" seemed very subdued yesterday evening and he didn't get up for toast this morning.
As I scoffed all of my toast this morning I watched the latest installment of the documentary about Royal Marine Commandoes. There seems to be a load of shouting for no real reason at soldier school.

I spent a litle while solving a geo-puzzle for no other reason than that I could, and then set off to work. A relatively uneventful journey, and there was absolutely nothing memorable on the radio.
I hadn't been at work long when I had a phone call. Yesterday I complained about how long it was taking to get a date for the surgical re-bore of my nose. Today I had a rather snotty call from a rather snottier receptionist telling me not to make complaints. There are (apparently) thirty four more urgent cases than mine awaiting the knife, and was told (in no uncertain terms) to wait quietly until the snotty receptionist decides to make an appointment for me. "Snotty" then announced that I need an anaesthetic review and she's told me that it will be in two weeks time. I got the distinct impression that this is nothing but a delaying tactic on her part to prove that it is she who will decide the timetable of my operation.
I'm rather confused by all this. On the one hand I have a consultant ENT surgeon telling me I need urgent surgery by the end of August. On the other hand the one making the appointments for the surgery will do so in her own sweet time. And I can't complain; I've been told not to.

Sax practice went relatively well. I'm learning a very well-known jazz tune at the moment. I have no idea what the name of it is; it's that one that goes "da-da-da-da-de-dah-de-dah-dah". I've mostly got it right; just a tricky B-flat/C-sharp transition to master. Mind you on the way back into waork after sax practice I met yet another twit. This one was ranting at me about why all the signs directing people around the hospital are inside the building. Why does no one think about those people who want to find their way around the hospital from the outside? I smiled sweetly at the nice lady, suggested she asked a member of staff, and ran away.

"Furry Face TM" enjoyed his walk this evening; apart from running into a fence whilst chasing a cat the walk passed off mostly without incident.
Being Tuesday the clans gathered in Queen Street. We scoffed ice cream, guzzled lemonade, bandied insults, watched ironing being done, and after a mistaken download (oo-er!) I fell asleep whilst everyone else watched Star Trek Voyager...

28 July 2014 (Monday) - Oh Frack

I spent a little while playing with the maps this morning over brekkie. I'm still working on planning our road trip for later in the year; Dave had suggested Avebury in Wiltshire as a rather scenic place to stop off. Through the wonders of Google technology I have determined that Avebury is only three hours away. We could set off shortly after brekkie and be there for late morning. We could then spend an afternoon and an evening playing tourist, doss down somewhere overnight (Swindon or Devizes look good), and be in Tintagel in Cornwall for lunch the next day. All that remains is to find somewhere we haven't been in Dorset for the way back, and the plan will be complete.

Off to work; as I drove the talk on the radio was about how half the country is now fair game to be fracked. It would seem there are untold fossil fuels waiting to be had from a mile or so underground. Mind you the experts being interviewed were under the impression that current fracking technology is only good for getting about five per cent of the stuff to the surface. Another pundit pointed out that the sunlight falling on the planet in one hour is more than enough to meet our energy requirements for a year, and then went on to whinge about how inefficiently we are using solar panels.
It strikes me that common sense says it's better to use solar power and wind and wave power than to pollute the world by pumping up gunge which is best left buried, but what do I know?

I stopped off in Morrisons on my way to work, did shopping, went to work, and came home again. I walked "Furry Face TM" round the park. Yesterday was the "Create" music festival in the park. In the past the park has been left in a terrible state; today it didn't look *too* bad. Last night's rains have gone some way to restoring the scorch marks left by the disposable barbecues.

We got home and I got the hose pipe put away just before the rain started. And with "er indoors TM" off bowling I had a rather busy evening. More work on the astro club's survey, sussing out the takings at last Friday's astro club, ironing shirts and generally skivvying.
Rather dull really...

27 July 2014 (Sunday) - Pooh Bridge (Virtually!)

Despite a good load of ale having been sunk last night, a hot humid night interspersed by "Furry Face TM" having woofing fits put paid to having much in the way of sleep. I gave up shortly before 6am and came downstairs to find my dog in his basket, wide awake, looking suitably subdued.
Over a spot of brekkie I watched "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo". I've not seen that show for a while. Today Uncle Poodle was visiting. Uncle Poodle is gay, and apparently anyone who is gay is called "Uncle Poodle" by Honey Boo Boo. It turned out to be a term of endearment, which was nice for Uncle Poodle.One lives and learns.
I then spent a little while working on the membership survey for the astro club; these things take ages to compile.

We then set off to collect Suzy (and entourage) and we drove off to deepest Sussex where we soon met Dave. We found Pooh Corner (you know - as in Winnie the Pooh) and walked down to the actual bridge where (nearly a hundred years ago) A.A. Milne and Christopher Robin first played Pooh Sticks. I say "the actual bridge" - it looks like a new bridge to me; but the location is where it all actually started. Needless to say we played Pooh Sticks ourselves, and "Furry Face TM" upset the normal people by jumping in the river and grabbing their Pooh Sticks as they floated underneath Pooh Bridge.
As we walked I learned the difference between sessile and English oaks, we saw pheasants and partridges, we had a really good walk. After six miles we were nearly back at the start. We had lunch, looked at the clock, looked at the map, and organised another six mile hike. We then followed a disused railway line, found a nice lady fast asleep on a footbridge, and even exchanged pleasantries with two nice ladies who had matching bicycles (to go with their comfortable shoes!). I did wonder what term of endearment Honey Boo Boo would have had for these two - Auntie Poodle perhaps? But the highlight of the afternoon's stroll had to be our visit to the charming village of Balls Green. What a wonderful name for a place!

It was a warm day; we had regular water stops for the dogs, and we even had a pub stop for ourselves. A pint of Thatcher's Gold went down very nicely. For all that I make a lot of noise about ale, you can't beat a cold cider on a hot afternoon. We had a really good walk; it burned off (about) one thousand seven hundred calories, and we even found thirty six geocaches on what was a really good amble. We even found a virtual geocache, and for those of my loyal readers who roll their eyes at the entire concept of hunting plastic boxes, a virtual geocache is slightly more rare than rocking horse poo; there are only three of the things in both Kent and East Sussex combined. I've now found all three.
I even remembered to take some photos this time...

At the end of our walk we saw the village shop was open; we had ice creams. Even the dogs had some. We said our goodbyes and set off on our seperate ways home. For all that I kept nodding off in the car I couldn't help but notice that the closer we got to home, the wetter the roads were. Once home I went to get my washing in; it was dripping wet. We'd had a glorious day in Sussex; it seemed to have rained hard for much of the day in Ashford.
It didn't take long to pop the washing through the spin drier and hang it round the house. Mind you for all that it apparently rained today, it didn't top up the fish pond much so I ran the hose pipe out and left that running for a couple of hours. The pond's much fuller now; I shall put that hose pipe away tomorrow; it's all wet now...

26 July 2014 (Saturday) - Burp!!

I slept for over seven hours last night. Amazing!! I shared my morning toast with "Furry Face TM" as we watched "Family Guy" over brekkie. I then checked out the Internet and my piss boiled. A prominent Conservative MP is advocating that astrology be taken seriously and be incorporated into modern healthcare. I'm sory but David Tredinnick MP is talking out of his arse. I *really* cannot put this any other way. He is quoted as having said "there is no logic in attacking something that has a proven track record" whilst he is defending something which has long been exposed as wrong at best, and deliberately misleading at worst.
It's bad enough that the ordinary man in the street beleives this patent rubbish; but to have an elected MP spouting crackpottery in the twenty-first century beggars beleif.

Whilst I waited for "er indoors TM" to emerge from the pit this morning I mowed the lawn. It took some mowing, and I took the skin off of my knuckles whilst trying to put new line into the strimmer too.
We then set off to Sheerness. We've not been to Whelans for ages and I wanted to get my brother a garden bench as a pressie. Whilst we were there we got one or two other things as well including a stone skull for "My Boy TM". Cheryl says he's not allowed a skull. I'm leaving the thing on the living room table; I've told him where it is, and I'm not getting into this fight (!)
I also got myself a new water feature to replace a broken one.

Once back home I popped down the road to the chemist. I needed some campden tablets. The chemist down the road told me that "you can't get campden tablets any more - not since Millets closed". One lives and learns. Obviously no one has told that to the Home Brew shop where I then got some from.
Interestingly the Home Brew shop is closing down in three days time. They are moving to Folkestone; their lease on their shop is up and the landlord has told them to either sign a twenty-five year lease or to buy the place. So they are moving to somewhere in Folkestone which is bigger and cheaper.

I then went round for my sax lesson. This week I am mostly being Glen Miller. And having Glen Millered I came home and poured campden tablets into the garden's water features; they were getting a little whiffy. I got rid of the wreckage of the broken water feature and put the new one into place, and then we wandered round to Queen Street for a summer's afternoon and evening sat in the sunshine drinking beer and talking twaddle.As one does...

25 July 2014 (Friday) - Camel Leopards and Chicken Eagles

The router gave up the ghost again this morning over brekkie. Perhaps I'm imagining things but the thing did seem to be a little bit warm. Maybe it is on the way out? Having said that my mobile seems to be hot a lot these days and it's only a couple of months old.
As the pre-recorded episode of "Family Guy" finished I saw that the UK Gold channel was showing a televised version of the quiz show "Just a Minute". Featuring Nicholas Parsons and Paul Merton "Just a Minute" was hilarious as a radio show, but just cringeworthy as a TV program. So many things work on the radio but not on TV. Look at the Grumbleweeds for example. Well, don't look at them. Listen to them. The radio show was really funny; the TV show perhaps one of the worst programs ever made.

Off to work; as I drove I listened to the radio. The pundits were interviewing the founder of Wikipedia - apparently there are moves afoot to change the law regarding how history might be recorded on-line. There are concerns that major search engines might have the power to censor history. There wasn't a word of thanks about how these companies are recording it in the first place though.

I did my bit at work, and after a rather varied day I came home and met Stevey at the station. From there we went to McDonalds where we met "er indoors TM". McChicken McWrap was a couple of hundred calories less than a McBurger, but was still enough to push me over the day's calorie limit. Having eaten hardly anything today and still having eaten too much it's not surprising that I've put on weight.

Astro club; for all that we had a very disappointing turn-out we had a very good night. Loads of things of interest in the news; I learned lots about spectroscopy, I flogged raffle tickets. And I learned the difference between a constellation and an asterism.
Personally I feel that a chicken-eagle could easily have a camel-leopard in a fight, but apparently the matter is still a topic of astonomical conjecture...

24 July 2014 (Thursday) - An Eyeful !!

Yesterday I was whinging about the pond's fish poo filter being overdue for replacement. Last night we struggled to get on-line as the router was playing up. I think that thing's days are numbered too. I eventually bashed the router into action and carried on smurfing the net before not having quite as early a night as I was hoping for.

We had a rather restless night with "Furry Face TM" having two woofing fits at silly o'clock for no discernable reason.
After a bit of brekkie I had another look at the maps I was studying last night. I think I might have the beginnings of a plan for a road trip holiday - we will take two days to get to Tintagel in Cornwall and then take two days getting back home again. I'm now looking for places to visit on the way there and back. I'm vaguely thinking of stopping off at somewhere/something touristy in the New Forest on the way there and visiting Wookey Hole on the way back. Or that is I was thinking Wookey Hole on the way back until I saw the prices. I'm now thinking English Heritage places all the way (as we can get a joint membership and save a fortune).... providing we can find somewhere we actually want to go to that is an English Heritage place.
If any of my loyal readers know of anything or anywhere interesting in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset Devon and Cornwall, do drop me a line.

I stood on the scales this morning and gave myself a shock. I now weigh just over sixteen stone. Regular readers of this drivel may remember that a couple of years ago I lost over five stone in weight. In the meantime I've put half that weight back on again. Diet time!! I've dusted off my old MyFitnessPal accound and downloaded the app.
Everyone has a weight loss plan they swear by; and generally the less weight someone has to lose the more vociferous they are about the whole weight loss thing. Over the years I have tried all the diets and found that (for me) the only one which works is calorie counting and feeling constantly hungry.

Off to work; on the way I found a virtual mystery munzee which had appeared overnight in Kennington. Once at work I did my bit, and didn't have a Chomp bar with my lunch. That saved one hundred and ten calories.

Once home I walked "Furry Face TM" round the park; thereby shifting two hundred and fifty calories. Whilst in the park we spotted some hippies. What is the place coming to?
I then drove round to Malcolm's old flat to help move out the last few bits and bobs; a freezer and a large plant. Having unloaded them at Matt's flat I was waiting to drive off when a rather attractive young lady minced up the pavement toward me. Her blouse was rather loose and flowing and probably about three sizes too big. A freak gust of wind took the thing nearly (but not quite) over her head, thereby exposing both the fact that she had no bra and both of her more than ample charms.
I did smile. She didn't...

23 July 2014 (Wednesday) - Making Plans

I slept reasonably well. Most people wouldn't be pleased with only six hours sleep; for me that's loads. CPAP machines are wonderful things for blasting air through blocked sinuses. Of course I wouldn't need a CPAP machine were my nose re-bored. I'm getting a little hacked off with the whole "blocked nose" thing. Since I first went to my GP about it last November I've only actually got anything from the health service by constantly phoning them and chasing them and contacting the complaints department.
At the last time I met with the specilaist he promised I would have surgery withing two months, and it's now been three weeks since I saw him. I *really* don't want to make another formal complaint, but that seems to be the only way to get any results.

Off to work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were lambasting the Prime Minister. He's publically attacked the French for defying the international accords by selling warships to Russia. He was today somewhat embarrassed to find his own government was allowing over a hundred arms deals to be going on between the UK annd Russia. I don't suppose for one moment that he was trying to cover anything up when he said he was unaware of what was going an and that all these deals will be investigated. But I am reminded of the old addage that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. A Prime Minister is in many ways living in the biggest glass house of them all.

Apart from rescuing an errant sparrow from the workplace (which was then subsequently eaten by a cat - alledgedly!) my day was much the same as ever. And with my bit done I came home and walked "Furry Face TM" round the park. Apart from interrupting a couple of young Poles who were demonstrating their passion for each other al-fresco our walk was relatively uneventful. We came home, and whilst I was hosing the muck out of the fish pond filter a certain Patagonian Tripe-Hound fell in said fish pond.
The fish pond filter's doing quite well considering the plan was to have the thing replaced some three years ago.

I then spent a little while working on a survey for the members of the astro club; attendance is down. I wonder why. And then after a rather good bit of tea I had a look at the English Heritage web site. We're planning a little holiday in September; I'm thinking of something of a road trip. I need to plan a route...

22 July 2014 (Tuesday) - More Stuff

I fell asleep in front of the telly last night several times, and eventually gave up and had an early night. I slept through till 5am, and then got up and watched this week's episode of the documentary about trainee Royal Marine Commandoes. As I watched "Furry Face TM" scoffed the crusts from my toast, and I rubbed ointment onto my stings. As the most badly stung area on my right leg is getting less painfiul so I am discovering other stings here and there which I never realised that I had.
I have formally declared war on wasp-kind. In the past I have always had a "live and let live" attitude to them, but after last weekend I've had a change of mind.

And so to work. i listened to the news; the international comunity seems to have double standards. Russia faces all manner of sanctions for its perceived support of one war. At the same time Israeil is allowed to bomb children with impunity in another.

Once at work I did my thing. Apart from spotting the world's worst wig the day passsed off relatively uneventfully. I came home again along some of the roughest roads known to science; so much for road repairs.
I took my dog for a walk. In the Bowens Field Wetlands Fudge dropped fudge in a bramble bush, thereby making extraction of said fudge rather problematical. We then walked round to Viccie Park where two more Munzees had been secreted over the weekend. I soon did the Munzee thing with them, and we came home for a rather good bit of tea. You can't go wrong with a pork chop.

Being Tuesday we set of to the Admiralty where the clans gathered. Having put the world to rights we then watched the latest installment of "The 100"; or "The 93" as it should be retitled.
The show has promise, but so far I'm not finding myself warming to any of the major characters. Or disliking any of them either. I shall give it a little moore chance before totally dismissing it out of hand...

21 July 2014 (Monday) - Stuff

Last night I started watching UK Gold (or whatever they call themselves now)'s broadcast of Monty Python's last live broadcast. I started watching it, and I soon stopped. There were two reasons for this. Firstly for the same reason that I didn't like the most recent "Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" film; namely because there was nothing new or original; I'd seen it all before. And secondly Dara O'Briain's leading a gaggle of sycophantic celebrities just boiled my piss.
I then had a rather early night; the constant aching and itching of the wasp stings was rather wearing. I slept fitfully until being rudely awoken at 2.30am by the squawking of seagulls. One can't help but wonder what seagulls were squawking about at that time of night.

I got up at 5.30am, and watched the first episode of the new season of "The Mill". I do like a period drama. "Furry Face TM" had some of the crusts of my toast and then jumped up on to my lap to be combed. I've been a little worried about that dog; he's been incredibly quiet and subdued since his little holiday last weekend.

The morning's surf of the Internet wound me up. A month or so ago a couple of us were planning a geo-competition for a bit of fun. Twenty-four hour's geocaching with prizes for most finds, most distance travelled, etc. Having been rather rudely told that this was all against the rules, Geo-HQ in America has in its latest blog advocated setting up events just as we had planned (and had been told "NO!!")

And so to work. For all that I could remember the radio might just as well have been saying "blah blah blah" the whole way; there was nothing memorable said in the entire journey.
I stopped off at Morrisons for some fruit. I also got a bottle of cheapo Australian wine (for £3.80) and tried to get something for my still throbbing wasp stings. I asked an assistant; he stared at me with a blank expression (in much the same way that a corpse would). Eventually I got the concept of "wasp" through his thick head, and he knew exactly what I needed. He took me straight to the sun creams and smiled hopefully.
Mind you, look at the photo above; that was how they put out the fruit bags....

I suffered in silence through the day and went to the Boots pharmacy on my way home from work. Interestingly billed as a "midnight pharmacy" they don't open until 9am. I suppose that's because they are tired after their late night?
I got some cream which seems to be doing some good. Yesterday I was stung all over; today the stings have mostly subsided except for those half-dozen on my right thigh and ankle, both of which were red hot and swollen like balloons. They are slowly subsiding; if the cream hasn't got them completely under control by tomorrow morning I shall leave for work early and go to the Accident and Emergency department and see what platitudes they will blather at me.

20 July 2014 (Sunday) - Wasps

"Daddies Little Angel TM" stayed with us overnight last night; our not getting home till 1am made it the sensible thing to do. I heard her get up to the toilet six times during the night. When I finally did doze off I soon woke finding myself tangled in the hose of my CPAP machine.
Dog babysitters needed to be releived, so we took the Folkestonians home. As we were in the area we picked up a new geocache which had appeared there over the weekend, and then came home. As we drove we had a phone call from "My Boy TM" - did we fancy a fry-up brekkie. We met him, Cheryl and Lacey at the cafe.

With brekkie scoffed we rallied the plastic-hunters and set off to Harbledown for a geo-stroll. Only a short one of five miles, but a walk is always good. As we walked we could hear the thunder rumbling all around us, but fortunately the rain held off.
Mind you there was one very iffy incident. I was doing my thing hunting plastic. According to the GPS I was only five metres from my target when I suddenly felt as though I was on fire. Somehow I was attracting wasps, and in the space of some ten seconds was stung over fifteen times. Suzy-Dog was also stung. For all that I was in serious pain I felt for the poor pup. She couldn't understand what had happened. But neither Fudge nor the other four people in our group got stung.

It *really* hurt....

We got back to the car just as the rain started, and it was at that point that I realised that I hadn't taken a single photo of our walk.

Home again; where I hosed the mud from a very grubby Fudge-pup and then had a shower and a rub-down with germoline for myself.
I had all sorts of things I could have been getting on with this evening; I merely sat in front of the telly and sulked about the pain I was still suffering from a score of wasp-stings.

And on a less trivial note (after all what is a wasp sting in the great scheme of things) it is now forty five years since the first man to walk on the Moon actually did so.
Bearing in mind what a wonderful acheivement it was at the time and how excited I was as a five-year old, am I wrong to be somewhat disappointed with how the future has turned out...?

19 July 2014 (Saturday) - My Brother's Wedding

I would have sleppt through last night's storms had "er indoors TM" not left all the lights on. It was that which woke me. And having been woken I couldn't get back to sleep. I was watching "Toddlers and Tiaras" at 7am. Have you ever seen that show? It's an eye-opener.
One thing on that show gave me pausse for thought. One mother on that show was banging on about her religion. Apparently her religion dictates that she should pray for absolutely everything she wants or needs or aspires to in her life. If she gets her way then that is part of God's holy plan for the universe. If she doesn't , then God has something else in mind. So if God has it all mapped out, why is she praying in the first place?

I then sat about frankly wasting time waiting for everyone else for a few hours. I *hate* this early waiting; by the time everyone else is getting up I am bored senseless. Taking "Furry Face TM" round to Singleton for his sleepover came as a blessed releif.
Ass I drove I was amazed at how many trees had come down in last night's storm; Tithe Barn Lane was blocked in two places.

Home to collect "er indoors TM", and then we went on to find "My Boy TM" and the rest of the tribe. With everyone gathered together the taxi soon arrived and we set off to Hastings for a family wedding. The womenfolk went to my brother's house to do whatever it is that they do prior to a wedding. We went to the Duke in Silverhill for a quick shandy to calm pre-nuptial nerves.
There's no denying that my final shot of whisky was something of a mistake; the four pints of ale and copious amounts of Sambucca were a carefully considered decision though.

To the church, where I met up with aunts and uncles I've not seen for ages. It was really good to catch up. After a little while the bride arrived with a gaggle of bagpipers and the service started. It all went very well; only a minor hiccup when one of the witnesses forgot he was being a witness (ahem!). Fortunately Cheryl realised what had happened and bellowed at me to take my place.

I then shouted at the assembled throng to organise them for photos; someone had to, and who better than someone with a big gob? And with everyone photographed we all moved on to the reception. A wonderful spread, good speeches, and a disco that was "none too shabby". A shame the ale was sour and the bar staff were short-changing, but you can't have everything.
I expect there are photos of the bash on-line somewhere; what with all the excitement I never actually took any myself. Well, I took one photo. I should have taken more...

18 July 2014 (Friday) - Heatwave

I slept for nearly six hours last night, but had a lonely breakfast as "Furry Face TM" slept through toast time. I rather suspect yesterday evening's hike through the jungle was more wearing for him than it had been for me. I left him asleep and set off to work.
The plan was to get some petrol on the way to work as I had a few minutes spare. However my plan was thwarted as the cheapo-petrol shop was closed. I had time this morning. This evening I would have to make a special journey to get petrol. Or I could stick with my plan of re-fuelling before work and buy the expensive stuff from Morrisons. A dilemma.
I drove to work utterly undecided as to whhat I shoud do about petrol.
In the end I went to Morrisons. Buying the expensive stuff cost me forty one pence extra. Why do I get so wound up about petrol prices?

And so to work where the day wasn't as dull as it might have been; I got to see duck juggling which is actually not quite as dull as I thought it might be. I suspect duck juggling with real ducks might be more interesting, but plastic ducks were good enough to be getting on with.

Despite the heatwave I had a sax practice at lunch time. I must admit I didn't last long; it was too hot. We've actually got an official level two heatwave going on at the moment. I did a little research but couldn't find what constituted a level two heatwave; nor howw one differed from a level three or level four heatwave.

An early start made for an early finish; I came home and took my little dog for a walk. It was probably far too hot to be taking him out, but he doesn't understand level two heatwave alerts. We played "Fetch", we ran like a mad thing, and we flatly refused to come out of the river when we found how cool it was in there.

With "er indoors TM" off on a beano I foraged for work. Curry and chips might have given me something of a guts ache. And then whilst a serious storm raged I set about ironing shirts. Rather dull really..

17 July 2014 (Thursday) - Goodbye Malcolm

On May 14 one of my Facebook Friends posted something about wine. He wrote "Cheap wine is good! It reminds me why I pay that bit extra. Wine is a living, breathing creation. It should not reek of sulphides and other chemicals. It should not be homogenised, acidic or a means to an end. It should be unique, reminding one of geography and history. It should explode in the mouth, should taste of sunshine and nature and love, and bring a smile to the face." Over last weekend whilst we were camping I had a glass of wine with him. I had ben looking forward to tasting a wine he recommended. It was a nice enough wine, but in all honesty I couldn't taste any difference between that expensive red wine and the bottle we had last night which cost £3.80 from Morrison's cheapo section.

A glass or two of plonk is usually somewhat soporific; but I did wake with a start when "Furry Face TM" had a woofing fit at 2.55am. I then dozed fitfully before giving up trying to sleep at 5.30am. Over brekkie (much of which was eaten by my dog) I watched a documentary about new recruits joining the Royal Marine Commandoes. I sometimes think I would like to have been in the armed forces... but re-read that. The operative phrase is "have been". I don't think I would actually have liked it at the time.

To work where I did a little work. We spent much of the time waiting for a phone call from the school; a colleague had sent her five year old off to school in fancy dress to comemmorate World War One. The children were supposed to go as soldiers or refugees. This lad had gone in his Spider-Man costume.

I came home early, and we set off to Hawkinge. Today was Malcolm's funeral. The afternoon started with an open-air burial which was surprisingly well attended. A short but moving service in glorious sunshine.
From the cemetery we adjourned to our old church in Folkestone for a service of remembrance. There was over one hundred and fifty people in attendance there. The service was really well done; led by an old friend. I was Best Man at the vicar's wedding some twenty five years ago. Over the years we've rather lost touch, but it was good to catch up again.
There was a wonderful spread in the church hall, and we sat and chatted and remembered Malcolm. A brief toast to him was had in the garden of the Royal Cheriton Hotel over the road from the church, and then we said our goodbyes.

"Furry Face TM" needed a walk, so this evening we took him on a circular stroll round Ivychurch on the Romney Marsh. By an amazing co-incidence our route took us past a couple of geocaches. One was actually good fun; however the other was a utter disgrace, the sort of thing which gives the hobby a bad name.
And so home. "Furry Face TM" now needed a bath. Over a rather good omelette we watched "Hoarding: Buried Alive". That program bothers me. It can only be a matter of time until our house is that bad.
I shall start throwing things away...

16 July 2014 (Wednesday) - Back to Work

It was a rather hot and humid night last night; I had just over five hours' sleep. It's a lot better than I've been having, but not really enough. Rather unlike a certain small dog who has slept somewhat constantly since our little walk yesterday.
Over brekkie "Furry Face TM" dragged himself out of his basket, scoffed the crusts from my toast, and then went back to sleep on my lap as I watched the last episode of "Reggie Perrin". Billed as one of the classics, it's not really stood the test of time. The first series was entertaining enough, but the second wasn't as good, and this last one was really rather lame.

I checked my emails. A couple of years I wrote a couple of short stories, and in the meantime I've been tweaking and adjusting and totally re-writing them. I submitted them to a short story competition organised by Fantastic Books Publishing. Both have been reviewed by the judges, annd both have got to the first shortlist. I'm feeling rather pleased with myself about that.

Going back to work came hard; and it was rather obvious at lunch time that I'd been neglecting my saxophone lately. Whilst having a tootle I had a minor ding-dong with one of the normal people. Some woman didn't like the fact I was practicing my sax in the car park (as I do). She felt I was taking up a parking space unfairly. She conceded that I had a permit to be in that car park, and she also conceded that had I gone foor a walk at lunchtime or were reading a book then she would have no problem with my being parked there. But the fact that I had my car boot open (to get to my sax box) was boiling her piss. She had no problem with me takking my sax to work, or even storing it in my car. But if I was gong to practice the thing I should take it somewhere else. Apparently it stood to reasson that I was abusing my car park permit by practicing a musical instrument in the general vicinity of my legally parked car.
I can't understand it either...

Home, and I took "Furry Face TM" out. It was a hot evening so we didn't go far. Only as far as the co-op field where we lost his ball. We came home and I spent a little time updating the other pages of this blog (see the links above) until "er indoors TM" came home.
I then dozed off...

15 July 2014 (Tuesday) - Burwash

I usually take the Tuesday after the Brighton Kite festival off work just iin case. If we come home with wet tents I will need the time to dry them. Today I needed a day to do stuff - I had a myriad of things to do. I needed to chase the garage about my iffy air conditioning in the car. I had astro club cheques to pay into the bank. I had a weekend's worth of grungy laundry to do. The lawn needed mowing. I needed to chase the hospital about the planned surgical re-bore of my nose.
I decided that all of that lot could get stuffed and I went geocaching instead.

Steve called round shortly after 7.30am and we went for a fry-up. Steve said everyone else seems to go for fry-ups these days and he was feeling left out. e had a good plateful of sausages, bacon, eggs, beans, mushrooms. And with those scoffed we popped home to collect "Furry Face TM" and we set off to deepest Sussex. Pausing only briefly to dispatch parcels to Cornwall we were soon in Burwash where we had a little stroll. We saw sheep, horses and cows. We found a minature village in the middle of nowhere. We found a beautiful gate leading to the middle of nowhere. We found random doors in the middle of fields. We even found someone's laundry on a rotary drier in a corn field half a mile from the nearest house. Fudge sniffed at (and was very good with) a very small calf, a donkey and a hedgehog.
We were hoping to see a TV celebrity; when "er indoors TM" did this walk last October she told me she'd met "you know - him of fthe telly. He's been in all sorts". We didn't see the celebrity,

It was a very hot day. Steve ran out of water; I took two litres for me and "Furry Face TM" to share; it wasn't quite enough. And despite the eminently superior mapping abilities of the Neon Geo app there's no denying we went adrift a couple of times. It's only when you go to foreign parts (like Sussex) that you appreciate just how good the signing of footpaths is in Kent.

Billed as a walk of twelve miles we walked up hill and down dale, and I think that the advertised twelve miles was probably about right. We went with fifty geocaches in our sights; we found forty-nine. We were both pretty sure the elusive fiftieth had disappeared. Probably trampled by cows.
I took a few photos whilst we wallked. I think you need to be on my Facebook list to see them though..

I did ache when I got home, but after a quick shower and a bite to eat we set out to the Tuesday gathering of the clans; this time in Arden Road. After a general natter we watched the latest episonde of "The 100". Following on from my concerns of last week that there seemed to be a high attrition rate among the protagonists, the writers would seem to have employed the old trick of bringing the dead back from the grave. I wish they wouldn't; it doesn't make anyone inclined to stick with hte show if such cheap tricks are to be employed...