31 October 2015 (Saturday) - Rather Busy

After a rather good night's sleep I read something over brekkie which made me smile. Basically big breweries are getting the hump with smaller breweries because the smaller ones get tax breaks which makes a pint of (say) Timothy Taylor unable to compete price-wise with a pint from a small artisan brewer.
I've been saying for years that I can make a pint of half-decent ale in my kitchen for less than twenty five pence whereas in the pub I'm paying nearly four quid for something which (quite frankly) isn't as good.

I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. On the way he fought with a Labrador and waved his "lipstick" at two other dogs. I wish he wouldn't. As we walked I saw the scout group's paper collection was happening today. And for all that I've not been a part of that grop for over six years my piss boiled. I had to stop myself from going over to the young mother struggling with bags of newspapers (and two small children and a push chair) and having a rant.
In theory the paper collection is a good plan; the entire scout group is asked to go and collect and recycle newspapers to raise money for the scout group. In practice most of the parents refuse to get involved because they would rather just pay more subs money. When I was a leader we charged £1.50 per week when all other local activities were asking for over a fiver.
And as for the paper collection itself... a handful of young mothers with small children and three or four pensioners break their backs all day long moving several tons of newspaper to subsidise people with far more money than they have got.
I ranted about it for ten years but still the thing goes on. They must love it.

I then went over the astro club's accounts. They agreed to the penny; a couple of days ago I had over one hundred pounds too much. I also had a look at the household accounts. They could be better; they have certainly been worse.

I then decided to actually finalise a venue for the New Year geo-event. Having emailed and phoned the Farrier's Arms daily for three weeks I have decided they clearly don't want our money. I thought about the Queens Head in Kingsnorth; we went down there. They didn't actually say "Get Knotted Baldy" but from their attitude they didn't really need to.
Bearing in mind I needed a pub from where I can stage a three to five mile new geo-series, my options were rather limited. In desperation I tried... well, I won't say where I tried yet. I don't want to give anyone else ideas for where they might get in first. But I could have kissed the girl behind the bar. Friendly, welcoming... we chatted for a bit and she called over the boss.
A venue is finally sorted.

We then drove down to Folkestone to see the littlun. He's not well at the moment, so after a little shopping we took him for a McFlurry. McFlurry cheers everyone up.
Once back home we had a rather good bit of scoff watching this week's episode of "Big Bang Theory" and I then spent an hour or so sending my ideas for New Years Day to the geo-Feds. Here's hoping for a thumbs-up from them too.
Now to program "Hannah" for tomorrow...

30 October 2015 (Friday) - The Planet Pluto

On my way to work last night I popped into Morrisons. I needed coffee; supplies were running low. I get the instant stuff because I like it. There are those who prefer to fart around with cafetieres. As one who farts around with the washing up I tend not to fart around with cafetieres. And instant coffee is a hot drink whereas cafetiere-farted coffee is tepid at best.
A jar of decent instant coffee was over six quid. The same amount of the same brand in a packet (not glass jar) was over two quid cheaper. Bearing in mind that when I get the stuff home I just dump it in the coffee jar and throw away whatever it came in, it will be packets all the way for me from now on.

I also needed a shoe horn. Morrisons didn't have any shoe horns, neither did the cheapo-bargains shop. The young girl behind the counter in Boots looked at me in blank amazement when I asked for a shoe horn. I explained the concept, and she admitted that it sounded like a good idea but she'd never heard of them. She then pulled out her phone and looked them up on Google.
The nice lady in Go Outdoors didn't have any shoe horns. She made the helpful observation that not many people sell them. I shall try eBay.
Whilst I was in Go Outdoors I got myself some new gaiters, and then went on to work.

Twelve and a bit hours later I came home. As I drove through Chartham I saw a hitch-hiker. There are those who equate hitch-hiker with axe-murderer, but I gave the bloke a lift to Ashford railway station.
I can't help but feel that if more people did this sort of thing there would be a lot more axe-murderers on the loose.

Once home I said hello to "er indoors TM" as we met in passing. I took "Furry Face TM" round the block for our walk. Other than trying to pick a fight with OrangeHead's dog our walk passed off quiter than many walks.

"My Boy TM" then came to visit. I'd asked him to help me with some heavy lifting, andd once we'd lifted we went to Bybrook Barn. The American Diner was doing a deal on fry-ups. They seemed incredibly cheap, and if you bought one you got another at half price. Two of us ate better and cheaper than we have in many other places.
We then checked out the large pots in the garden centre, and I spent the afternoon in bed. Such is the aftermath of night shifts.

Usually before astro club I'd meet up with Jimbo and Stevey for McTea, but not this time. Apparently economies have to be made for Jimbo's new front door. I didn't want to go on my own, so instead I made do with coffee and toast whilst watching Upstairs Downstairs on the ITV Encore channel. Captian James had got Sarah into trouble. He was supposed to be an officer and a gentleman, but he was actually a beast.

I then went off to Woodchurch. It's no secret that I'm not as keen on the astro club as I have been. I'm not entirely sure the club's going in quite the right direction, and over the last few months I've been feeling (more and more) that I'm giving up my time just to be rudely blanked. So it's no secret that I went expecting the worst, but I was wrong. I was pleasently surprised. The meeting went well. It was good to meet friends, and the talk was interesting too.
Mind you, as I was fully expecting, I did get deliberately blanked. I would have thought that the correct response to "Hello Emma" (to pick a name at random) would be "Hello" or "Good evening". Apparenlty it is not... Perhaps being civil causes physical pain?
I was persuaded against tweeting about the matter..

29 October 2015 Thursday) - Cheeky FTF

Last night I arrived at work a few minutes early and so had time to have a look on Facebook on my phone. Terrible news...
In a previous life I was a manager. Over twenty years I employed many people and trained them up to state registration. I remember them all; most with affection. I certainly remember... well, I won't name this person, but she was a lovely person to work with. Aimiable, willing, keen. She soon passed her exams, and secured promotion to a managerial position of her own in another place of work.
She's been victimised and sacked on trumped-up charges. Having "been there done that" myself I immediately sent her a message of support, and spent a little while messaging to and fro. Having had a little experience of this I thought I might be of some help, but realistically all I could say was that after four years it doesn't hurt *quite* so much. I wish I could do more to help.

I went into work, and bearing in mind how quiet the last few sessions were, I had a surprisingly busy night. As I worked I listened to the radio. In amongst the usual drivel in the middle of the night was a reading from a new James Bond book which included some previously unpublished work by Ian Fleming himself.
Having read all the original James Bond books this one didn't sound too shabby at all. But ten quid for an e-book is not cheap.

My phone beeped a few minutes before 7am. A new geocache had gone live not far off of my way home. I didn't think the First to Find would still be there by the time I might get there, but it wasn't too far out of my way to have a look. I had a look; no one else had gone for it. So after making very hard work of it I manaaged to claim a cheeky FTF.
I came home and took "Furry Face TM" round the park. We walked slowly; my dog tends to straggle. I was fiddling about on my phone whilst we wandered off of the lead. As I fiddled I heard a screech of bicycle brakes and turned to see a young lady cyclisst who had clearly had to stop far too quickly. She smiled politely at me; it *might* not have been him wandering under the bike again but he does seem to make a habit of doing so.

Once home I had a spot of brekkie whilst watching this week's episode of "The Muppets" and was then in bed fast asleep well before 11am. For once the phone didn't ring all day long.

I slept for nearly six hours, and over second brekkie watched "Upstairs Downstairs". Miss Elizabeth had taken on Mrs Fellowes who wasn't up for much beyond cutlets and trifle, but what do you expect for thirty quid a year.
Much as I like the night shifts it does make for dull days...

28 October 2015 (Wednesday) - Before the Night Shift

I was sleeping very well last night until the sound of the rain woke me. It was really loud against the window. I had been sleeping really well up until this point. I lay awake for a while, then got up shortly after 6.30am.

Over brekkie I read something which struck a chord. I've often suspected that as a lapsed Christian myself very few Christians bother reading the Bible. It turns out that this is actually true. The article I found went on to say that over three quarters of the American public feel the Ten Commandments should be posted at all public venues but only just over half of the same Americans can list only half of these Commandments.
I also read that Morrisons are setting up halal-only sweetie counters.
This is the twenty first century and still the world is hung up on silly superstitions. Is it surprising that humanity is at each other's throats all the time?

With toast scoffed I looked out of the window. It was still raining, and the rain was forecast to be pouring until mid-afternoon. Small dogs don't really understand weather forecasts, so I coated up and we went for a shortened walk.
Or that was the plan.
As we left home the rain stopped, so I took a chance and we walked all the way out to Singleton Lake and back. The walk passed off pretty much without event despite "Furry Face TM" hankering after ducks in the lake.

Once home I had a look at the astro club accounts; having been in Norfolk during the last meeting I only got the cash tin back yesterday. We seem to have too much cash, but I'm sure it will all sort itself. Over a little lunch I watched this week's installments of "Chewing Gum" and "The Last Man on Earth" and then took myself off to bed. I set the alarm on my mobile, and as an experiment I set my mobile to "Do Not Disturb" mode.
I slept for twenty minutes after which my dog went absolutely mental at the person who stuck some junk mail throug the letterbox. After that he was put on the bottom of the bed and both of us slept well. Mind you it was as well that I woke before the alarm; "Do Not Disturb" mode turns off alarms.

Off to the night shift...

27 October 2015 (Tuesday) - Dull Day

I was aching when I woke this morning. Perhaps I overdid it yesterday? Certainly "Furry Face TM" was out for the count when I got up.
I put some washing in (I've let the laundry slip recently) and over brekkie had a look-see on line. I'd been asked to take part in a survey about workig in the NHS. There are those who would take this as an opportunity to stick in the knife. It's no secret that I would be tempted to do so, but I didn't. I was honest.
Following a suggestion from Team Buttermoon I then made plans for a walk on Sunday prior to the planned geo-meet. If any of my loyal readers fancy coming for a little wander on Sunday morning followed by roast dinner in the pub and an afternoon spent talking tupperware, this weekend is your big chance.

Hoping for a bright day I put washing out onto the washing line and then took a tired little dog out. After over a week of emailing and phoning I've finally got a response from the pub aroound which I was planning to host the New Years Day geo-event. Mind you when I say "response", they've actually said "Hi Dave, how can I help?" I had planned to go back out there today to finalise the route. I'd rather wait until they've given me the thumbs-up before I put any more effort into it. So instead I took my dog elsewhere.
Last week I'd had a message that someone had been unable to find one of my geo-puzzles. I went to have a look-see. It was where I'd left it. But bearing in mind it's only been found once all year it was in a sorry state so I replaced the entire lot with a new one for now. If it doesn't start attracting more custom soon I shall replace it with a traditional film pot under a rock.
Not a lot else really happened on our walk other than "Furry Face TM" getting particularly aggressive with a passing Labrador. As he gots older he seems to get on less and less well with other dogs. Whereas once he would play, now he just seems to ignore other dogs or to try to fight with them.

Once home I had planned to carry on with the washing but my plans were thwarted by the fact I'd forgotten to tell the washing machine to tumble-dry my undercrackers. The plan was to come home to dry undercrackers then set about the muddy stuff. How sad to have my days plans disrupted by laundry trivia.
as the washing machine dried my smalls I syphoned the Christmas stout out of the bucket and into the barrel, and then spent an age doing the ironing.
The cover on my ironing board split during my ironing extravaganza. Obviously it can't keep up this non-stop lifestyle.

Once "er indoors TM" was home we popped round to see Lacey and her associates. Little Rolo has a "bucket of shame" because he's been licking his bits. if I could lick my bits....
After a quick chorus of the "catch the rabbit" song we drove down to the Admiralty where the ChromeCast game was on the blink, and I then slept through one of the worst episodes of "Star Trek". I suppose the only saving grace was that i didn;t have pictures of myself fast asleep spread all over Facebook. I *hate* that!!!

We came home to find several new geocaches had gone live. Once I would have chased out for a First to Find. Now I don't...

26 October 2015 (Monday) - The Essex Way (Part 1)

The alarm woke me at 5am. A tad keen perhaps. Over brekkie I had a look on-line. I love Facebook at brekkie time. Perhaps I'm nosey but I do like seeing everyone else's business all over social media.
At first sight it may seem that I too stick my business all over the Internet in this blog, but rest assured that this is "edited highlights". I wonder if grandchildren and great-grandchildren yet unborn will read about dead Grandad without ever realising that his blog is just "the good bits"?

I spent half an hour searching for (and not finding) my missing gaiter, then pausing only briefly to collect more of the crew we set off to Essex.
The trouble with hunting sandwich boxes for a hobby is that you can only hunt each one (successfully) once.
There is a limit as too how close together they can lurk, and unless more new ones appear it doesn't take long before you've effectively cleared out the local ones and find yourself having to travel further to secure finds. So we were zooming up the motorway well before 7am. We met Fran at where we planned to end our walk in Chipping Ongar, and leaving one car there we all piled into Fran's car and drove twelve miles away to Epping where we met Matt (who had had traffic troubles).

Fiveof us (and two dogs) set off along the Essex Way. Needless to say there were one or two geocaches along this long-distance footpath. There is actually a series of caches named "The Essex Way"; they start from #1 at Epping railway station and go up to #450 at Harwich some eighty miles later. Today we planned to go hunt the first forty-six caches from Epping to Chipping Ongar. The instructions said that there were one or two extras to pick up along the way; We found twenty five extra ones including a loop round Toot Hill and some interesting caches hidden in honour of Pi day.

We stopped for a few minutes in the Essex village of Coopersale. I'd known for some time that my family came from that area (many years ago) and I'd been told there were family graves in the church there. As luck would have it our route took us to that church where right outside the church door was the grave of my great-great-great grandparents.
I was glad to see it was being well maintained.

We started walking just after 9am; we finished just after dark shortly after 5pm. The planned route worked very well. Footpaths were well marked, the weather was just right for a long walk, excellent company and there was even a pub at our lunch stop. And the last geocache was only a few short yards form where the car was waiting for us.
We drove back to Epping where the other cars had been left; said our goodbyes and came home. Google Maps told us the drive would be an hour and a half; it wasn't far off.

As a treat we had KFC for tea. I took a few photos whilst we were out; with tea scoffed I put them on-line.
And now... the last few geocaches we visited had clues for a rather fiendish geo-puzzle. It *looks* as if the solution to that puzzle won't be very far from where we will start walking the next section of the Essex Way. I've got photos of those clues. I need to start puzzling over them now...

25 October 2015 (Sunday) - At Work (Again)

I woke in something of a panic following a rather vivid dream in which I'd foolishly agreed to go on an epic pub crawl round Cornwall (all of it) knowing full well that I needed to leave home before 7am this morning to get to work. In my nightmare I was faced with an array of pump clips and no one sober enough to do an eight hour drive in fifteen minutes.
It was with something of a sense of releif that I woke to find I still had an hour before I needed to leave home.

Over brekkie I watched "Toddlers and Tiaras" whilst feeding toast to a small dog. I know he shouldn't really have toast, but he seems to like it. And I'm not a fan of this raspberry jam wheras he seems to like it.

It was a bright morning as I drove to work; the hour's difference in moving the clocks back made a very noticeable difference. As I drove the pundits on the radio were wittering on about the importance of lichen to Britains woodlands. I'm sure it is important stuff but I couldn't work up the degree of enthusiasm about the stuff that the people on the radio did.

Being Sunday they then wheeled on the obligatory vicar. I say "vicar" - this one was a priest. (Apparently there is a difference). Said clergyman was pontificating on the edicts from the latest Synod of the Catholic church from which there seems to be a more relaxed attitude to divorce and homosexuality. Personally I see that as a good thing, but (as always) these religious types seem to apply a random morality with no regard to what their bibles actually say. I wonder if some of them have actually read their bible? I have.
There was then quite a lot of talk about misprints in the bible sparked by the sale of the 1631 "sinners bible" in which a misprint has the Seventh Commandment reading "Thou shalt commit adultery"

It was something of a shame that the radio wasted so munch time on religious twaddle. They didn't mention something of real importance; namely the global shortage of Lego.
Now *that* is important.

I then had a rather long and busy shift at work...

24 October 2015 (Saturday) - A Day At Work

I slept like a log last night. Probably not surprising bearing in mind that yesterday had involved rather a lot of walking. Unusually the alarm woke me, and having turned it off I sat for a few moments with absolutely no idea what day it was or whether I was up for work or for something else.
I was utterly disorientated. That rarely happens, and I didn't like it very much.

As I scoffed my brekkie so my little dog was snoring. He too must have found yesterday to have been a busy one. As I so often do, I watched "Toddlers and Tiaras" for a while. I quite like watching the thwarting of the mouthy and pushy mothers and today's episode had a treat in store. One particularly nasty mother (five feet tall and six feet wide) was incensed that her little brat had been disqualified from the pageant because she had turned up too late. The event organisers had been calling for the child for some time, but the obnoxious mother hadn't heard because he had been too busy bellowing orders at all and sundry. She was particularly angry because she was clearly a bully who was used to getting her own way, but in this case had no grounds on which to argue since the whole thing had been recorded by the television cameras.
I did laugh, but was reminded of an ex-cub's thirty-stone mother who was forever ranting at the teachers (about trivia) when I used to collect the fruits of my loin from Victoria Road Primary School many years ago.

And so to work. Working this weekend has its advantages in that I've had time off in the week and will have time off next week. But it did mean that there was stuff I would miss.
I would really have liked to have gone to the geo-event in Tenterden today.
I really should have been in Dartford where the astro club was putting on a display for the good people of Dartford. (Even though I can't help but feel that we should be doing that sort of thing in Ashford).
And I had (very) vaguely been toying with the idea of going up to a sci-fi convention in Hull.
It must be ten years or more since I did the whole sci-fi convention thing. Would I want to do another? They were becoming very commercial when I last went to one and having seen the photos of today's one I couldn't help but feel "been there, done that". But it might have been fun, if only for old time's sake.

It was a very dark morning as I drove to work. I will be interested to see the difference an hour makes when the clocks go back tonight. As always I had the radio on.
The pundits were talking about the ash dieback; apparently over the next few years the UK looks set to lose ninety per cent of its ash trees to this disease. But not necessarily to the actual disease. It turns out a lot of the trees are resistant but foresters are running out and cutting down all the ash trees just in case and are (it would seem) cutting down the resistant trees as well as the blighted ones. The pundits wittered on for fifteen minutes at the end of which saying it was best to let nature take its course. As someone who is often in "The Great Outdoors" I wonder if I will notice the difference. Mind you I can't tell one tree from another...
There was also a lot of talk about cyber crime following the hacking of several million people's data from TalkTalk. The pundits wheeled on a so-called expert who was of the opinion that SmartWatches and contactless payment and the like are being brought out faster than the security people can actually make them wholly secure. He didn't actually advocate going back to a system of hard cash and bartering, but he did have a point about the recklessness of having a financial system which is so open to fraud and having your entire worldly worth accessible through (relatively) untested toys.

Pausing only briefly to visit Morrisons (where the priority was clearly on filling shelves rather than allowing me to buy anything) I was soon at work. I did my bit despite a very painful right elbow; several miles of a dog pulling with all his might (to get at squirrels and pheasants) had taken its toll. As I worked I watched the world outside the window. It was a grey day, and as the day wore on so the rain started. I've noticed that it often rains when I am working at the weekends

I'm working tomorrow as well... I wonder if it will rain again?

23 October 2015 (Friday) - Lots of Walking

My piss boiled over brekkie over some sexist cleptrap I read on social media. There was a load of rubbish about how a man's day off is his day off whereas a woman's day off is always spent doing housework.
What a load of crap.
If anyone of any gender wants to spend a day doing housework that is entirely their choice. When someone dies with an immaculate house are they going to be remembered for having an immaculate house? No they are not. They will not be remembered at all. No one will even know they existed because alll they ever did was housework. I am reminded of my Aunt Gwen who (following her husband's death) lived alone for thirty years. She got up every morning and hoovered, went to work, and then hoovered again every evening. She did nothing all her life but work and housework. She could have done so much more.
I don't mess about with housework. Anyone who's been to my house can see that. Life really is too short.

When my heartbeat and blood pressure returned to some sembalnce of normality I put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we walked up to the train station. On arrival we turned round and came home because I'd forgotten my wallet. We then went back and met up with baby Jake who was ably assisted by Sid and "Daddies Little Angel TM". We have been missing our walks; we used to walk a lot in days gone by, so today we had a little walk round Newtown and back via Asda where we scared the dogs of the normal people.

"Daddies Little Angel TM" had various missions for the day, and so we walked round to where I'd left the car, and they went their way and me and "Furry Face TM" went ours. We went via one of the most difficult geocaches there is; a 5/5 for which I realised I qualified. We then went on to Beacon Wood. There is a series of geo-puzzles there; each puzzle being dependent on the solution of the preceding one. All of them being ultimately determined from a phone number. I'd spent a little while struggling with Google Street View but had been unable to make out the number. So I drove past and took a photo.

I then drove on to Tonbridge. there was a formal geo-meet planned for later, but I fancied a little walk before it took place. I'd arranged to meet Aleta at 2.30pm; I was there at 1.30pm. So rather than messing about I wandered about and got some clues for a geo-puzzle and whilst I waited for her to arrive I had a go at solving that puzzle.
Aleta soon arrived and seeing that the geo-puzzle wasn't close we thought we'd do that later. We set off and had quite a good walk. We were shouted at by drunk tramps, we got a little muddier than planned, we had serious problems crossing rivers and railway lines, but that was all part of the fun of the afternoon. We'd set out with about seventeen geo-targets and the only ones we didn't find were the ones with a river in the way.
We could have gone to and fro once we found a bridge, but time was pressing so we made our way the the meet-up. After all we had covered about seven miles.
The meet-up was very good. Talking tupperware is never dull; there were about a dozen of us. I did smile when one car pulled up and a young mother and child got out. Mum looked rather dubious, the little boy announced "Look Mum - its Fudge" and he immediately started trying to teach Fudge to sit.
The plan was that after the meet we'd go off and find that cache the puzzle for which I'd solved earlier. This plan came up in conversation with the chap who'd hidden it. It turned out that despite the fact that I am a genius (something I try hard to hide) I'd completely stuffed up the solving of the puzzle. I was told of a better place to go looking, and soon we had that last cache in hand.

We said our goodbyes, and soon we were home. "er indoors TM" had left instructions about boiling up some scran from the freezer. I pretended not to have seen those instructions and went up the KFC.
I then spent the rest of the evening plugging phone numbers from Beacon Wood into puzzle solutions and not getting exactly that for which I had been hoping. As I did this my dog was curled up next to me snoring loudly and twitching in his sleep. He was obviously dreaming about all those pheasants and squirrels he'd been trying to catch earlier.

"Gordon Tracy" has just messaged me. Could I solve a geo-puzzle for him. This one seems to be in Cornwall. Are we going on holiday?

22 October 2015 (Thursday) - Broken Wellies

I popped over the road immediately on getting up; we had run out of bread. Annoyingly the shop over the road doesn't open until 8am. They are open till midnight every night selling tins of lager to Eastern Europeans who congregate outside the shop till all hours but not open for brekkie essentials. That's annoying.
So I went a little further up the road to the shop that has been there for years.

Last night we had a bottle of wine with our dinner. This morning over brekkie I ran the label through my new wine-searcher app. Last night's bottle was quite nice really. I paid a fiver for it, and my app tells me that is the going rate.
I rooted through the recycling and dug out the bottle we swilled last week. I scanned the label into the app. I'd bought that bottle at a bargain price in Morrison's last week. My app tells me that this wine currenttly retails for about twenty five quid. I honestly think the cheaper stuff actually tastes better.

After brekkie I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for a liittle walk in the countryside. I've been asked to organise the New Year's Day geo-event and so I thought I'd best start making preparations. I'd had a route in mind for some time. I went there today...
One thing which *really* annoys me is footpaths which aren't clearly marked. I found several of those today, but after a few hours we eventualy had the makings of a four mile walk. It still needs a little work; that will give me somewhere to walk next Tuesday. That is providng the pub I'm basing the walk around get back to me. I phoned them on Sunday and they assured me the manager would contact me. She hadn't. I phoned today and was given an email address to contact. I've sent them an email. They have until the weekend to reply. If they don't I'll have to have a re-think.
There was a minor hiccup as my wellies seem to have sprung a leak. I shall have to get some new ones.

Once home I had a spot of lunch then spent the afternoon working on my upcoming presentation to the astro club. I'm not really happy with how it is coming along, but I've really left it rather late to throw away and start again. I shall just have to blag it on the night.

We watched the film "Pitch Perfect" this evening over a curry. Both were rather good...

21 October 2015 (Wednesday) - Waste of a Day

There's no denying that I hadn't been looking forward to last night's night shift. I don't know why; I quite like the freedom I have at work at night being on my own and being able to work (within reason) at my own pace doing my own thing. And I certainly like being at home with my dog during the week (which goes hand-in-hand with night work). As it happened the shift went well; rather quiet really,
Perhaps I shouldn't have the radio on at night; its constant stream of drivel does wind me up. Last night's stream of drivel certainly did. There was a major tirade about the state visit of the Chinese premier. On the one hand there was a State banquet; pomp and circumstance. On the other hand pretty much everyone sees the Chinese premier as Satan incarnate, holding him personally responsible for all sorts of human rights atrocities and for the collapse of the British steel industry. Prince Charles refused to show up for the bunfight, and everyone who was even remotely civil to this bloke was effectively being accused of collaboration with the enemy.
With such international squabbles going on, very little air-time was given to something of major importance. If the proposed sugar tax does go through (the intention is to combat the rising tide of childhood obesity) the co-co pops monkey will be banned together with Tony the Tiger and Snap, Crackle & Pop.
I must admit that in the early hours I gave up with Radio Four and listened to ELO albums on You-Tube for much of the rest of the night.

I came home, collected "Furry Face TM", drove out to the garage where we left the car (for its service) and we walked home through the drizzle. We went via the pet shop where I got my dog a bone for his brekkie. As he munched his bone I had my morning ablutions and took myself off to bed.
I had a rather vivid dream that "Daddies Little Angel TM" was shrieking at me, and woke to find that I was sitting up in bed with my phone to my ear and "Daddies Little Angel TM" was indeed shrieking at me.
When she paused for breath I went back to sleep until I was again woken with the obligatory "your windows computer am send the virus what is the windows password" phone call.
When Liam phoned with a whole load of lies about his PPI-related scam I saw red and told him to stick it up his arse. (I get grouchy when I'm tired). He didn't like that and he got rather lippy with me. I wasn't having any of it and told him that seeing how he had my phone number he probably has my address and so if he'd like to come round I would shove it up his arse for him. He hung up then.
Finally the garage phoned with a list of all the failings of my car. The rear light unit is split. It has been for some time. Various bulbs and wiper blades need changing. The tyres and brakes are good for a few thousand more miles. All rather routine. And some good news; one of the rear seat belt clasps hasn't been working for some time. I was expecting that to be a costly job. It turned out that there was a five pence coin wedged in the works. I said I would come and collect the car; they said it wasn't ready. They were just phoning me for.... well, I have no idea why they were phoning me. I'd taken the car there for them to fix it. If they wanted a conversation they should have had that when I dropped the car off.

I looked at the clock. I'd only been in bed for two hours. Why won't people let me sleep? I tried to get back to kip but it wasn't happening. I gave up trying to sleep and got up for a rather late brekkie only to find we had no bread for toast.
Corn flakes just aren't the same.

I assumed that as the garage had phoned then they were about to start on the car and that it would be ready soon. I assumed wrong. I then wasted the afternoon waiting for the garage to phone. Eventually they did; they were worried because they couldn't find the log book. It wasn't where I told them it was.
Seeing how it was raining I rang the taxi company to get a lift to the garage. They said they would be about half an hour. I walked; it was quicker.
Once at the garage I produced the log book from where I said it was, and then waited for far too long for them to fill in the log book. I paid up, went to drive away, and immediately an alarm went off about a failure in the parking brake. So I went and got the nice man from the garage. He took the car back to the workshop and after forty minutes they discovered that they had stuffed it up when moving the car. They tried to imply that the problem was my fault because the car is a Renault and they are different to Volkeswagens.

I had planned to go to a geo-meet in Northfleet this afternoon. By the time I was back in possession of a working car I was an hour and a half too late. So I came home, gave myself a haircut and sulked until "er indoors TM" came home. She was just as stressed as I was, having just road raged some normal person whilst trying to park.

Over a rather good bit of dinner we watched Saturday's episode of "Doctor Who" . In previous years I've been rather disparaging about the show. I've watched it because I want to like it even though I didn't.
I think I'm quite warming to Peter Capaldi.

And finally today was "Back to the Future Day". I'm sure everyone's seen the hype. I've only actually seen the "Back to the Future" films once. It was on Saturday 4 February 2012, and what I remember most is that haivng watched all three films back-to-back we came out to the car to find heavy snow. Reading my diary for that day I see that "I'd heard mixed reports about them (the films) during the week, but was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually liked them".
Perhaps I should give the films another go because that certainly isn't how I remember them.

20 October 2015 (Tuesday) - Back to Bethersden

The cries of next door's baby woke me again this morning. I woke with a smile as I heard mum and dad next door who didn't sound too happy. When you actually have a crying baby it can be frustrating and can make you want to cry yourself, but looking back it is for such a short period of time which passes far too quickly.

I got up, and had a quick brekkie. Yesterday I bought some raspberry jam from Morrisons for the simple reason that I hadn't had any for ages. Over brekkie I realised why I hadn't had any for ages; it is bloody awful stuff.
I then put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we drove down to Bethersden. As we drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing Lord Warner. Once a Minister of State in the Department of Health under Tony Blair he's formaally resigned from the Labour Party bcause he maintains the Labour Party doesn't have a "hope in hell" under the present leadership. Interestingly he too has cast doubt on the validity of the election of Jeremy Corbyn.
I must admit that he was elected under a rather strange system in which anyone who wanted to have a secret vote could buy one for just three quid. Surely it doesn't take a genius to realise how easy it would be for opponents of the Labour Party to secure the election of someone who would not only take the Labour Party down the toilet but pull the flush as well.

Having parked up in Bethersden we then walked down the middle of the road because the pavements were full of children waiting for the school bus. I seriously considered phoning Homewood school in Tenterden to have a whinge, but I had to seriously question myself if I was old enough to be quite such a misery-guts.
It was a bright morninig, a little cold but not too bad for a walk. There had been a heavy dew; soon I was glad of my wellies, and my little dog was soaked (not that he seemed to mind). Regular readers of this drivel may recall I'd hidden a series of geocaches round Bethersden a month or so ago, and there had been a few issues with one of them. Today's walk was to see what the problem was and to (hopefully) sort it out.
We got to the back of beyond and reviewed the situation. Again there was no farmer to be seen; other people seem to have had run-ins with someone on a quad-bike. We've never seen anyone there. Looking at exactly where the problematical pot was, and on zooming in on "Hannah" it is possible that I might not have been as "on the footpath" as I thought I was. But bearing in mind that other people seemed to have had issues with the farmer in that field I moved the cache onto another footpath about a hundred yards away. I *think* all is now well, but I thought that on my first recce mission some months ago.
As we walked back to the car I took the opportunity to re-hide the other caches in the series that had been left out in the open, and we took a slight detour to fail to find the elusive sandwich box by the church.

We came home; my home brew seems to be fermenting nicely. I had a bite of lunch whilst watching this week's "South Park" and "The Last Man on Earth" then took myself off to bed for the afternoon.

I'm off to the night shift now....

19 October 2015 (Monday) - Kermit

Despita a fidgetting dog I slept better than I usually do when "Furry Face TM" has sneaked up during the night. He really should spend the nights in his basket, but am too soft on him. I finally woke when next door's baby started crying around 6am. There are those who would whinge about it; I think its quite sweet really.

Over brekkie I watched "Dad's Army" in which no one liked it up 'em. I then hadd a quick look-see on-line. There were some really nice words said about the Wherigo I put out in Canterbury a couple of months ago. It is a shame that only two people have had a look at this; it took me many hours to create. Still, such is life.
There were also yet more complaints about the early stages of the geo-walk I put out round Bethersden. I've now officially disabled that part of the walk and will go out and have a look-see tomorrow.

And so to work. As I drove the radio told me what I'd missed in the wider world over the weekend. Terrible news (!) McDonalds' days are numbered. There has been a staff survey taken recently in which the rank and file "Johnny-no-stars" have expressed no confidence whatsover in the management of the organisation. Apparenlty the decision to do all-day breakfast has been a bad thing.
It is no secret that I love McDonalds; it would be a disaster to see it go. Mind you it is so popular I can't see it going soon. It is a sad reflection of our times that meaningless nonsense behind closed doors in boardrooms is taken far more seriously than the core business of the company (i.e. feeding the masses).
Also the Government has got the arse since the Department of Work and Pensions has put an awful lot of effort into making a website of advice about pensions which no one is accessing. I suppose if the Department of Work and Pensions told their target audience (i.e. me) about their website then people might have a look. People don't go looking for websites about which they are utterly unaware.

I stopped off at Morrisons for some stuff. I carried my stuff out in a "bag for life"; they cost ten pence as opposed to a standard carrier bag which costs five pence. Since supermarkets have to charge for carrier bags I've taken to buying "bag for lifes". It feels as though I now have more "bag for lifes" than sense. I've counted. I have four, so I probably really have got more bags than sense.

I got to work, did my thing, and came home again. As I do. Once home I took "Furry Face TM" round the block, and with "er indoors TM" off to the bowling league's bunfight I made a start on making five gallons of stout for Christmas. And with the stout in the barrel I watched the first episode of the latest resurrection of The Muppets. I quite liked it... but I will say that for all that it was billed to be on from 8pm till 8.30pm I think the show itself actually ran for less than twenty minutes.