31 May 2016 (Tuesday) - A Day Asleep

Last night as I worked I listened to the radio. There was a documentary on Dr Martin Couney who lived some time ago and specialised in the care of premature babies. Bearing in mind that America doesn't offer free health care and most parents of premature babies were faced with horrendous bills, Dr Couney had a rather unusual idea.
He charged the general public twenty five cents to come and look at the babies in their incubators. This fee generated enough income to pay for the care of the babies; the public couldn't get enough of staring at the poor things as though they were some sort of freak show.
And people have the gall to complain about the National Health Service...

As the day shift came in there was all sorts of grumbling about "typical British weather". The three bright days of the long weekend have been forgotten because of one wet morning. I came home through the rain, and once home popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and walked him round the block. We didn't go far; although the rain had pretty much stopped, the wind was fierce and I was rather tired. Night shifts do that to you.

With dog walked I had a shower then over a bit of toast I had a quick look-see on-line. My dentist had emailed me a reminder about next week's appointment. Emails from the dentist - that's new !
I took myself off to bed and slept for six hours.

I woke with something of a sore nose; my CPAP machine does that sometimes. I spent a little while working on my latest Wheri-project., then sorted my socks whilst watching a classic episode of "Upstairs Downstairs".

Off to the night shift now.... The days between the night shifts are usually dull.

30 May 2016 (Monday) - Before the Night Shift

I slept like a log last night. It is amazing how a full day's walking does that for you.; I woke to find myself cuddling a sleeping small dog as though he were a teddy bear.

Over a bit of brekkie I organised a littlle walk for later in the week, If any of my loyal readers find themselves at a loose end on Thursday, a walk round Downe might be a good way to spend the morning. I realise a lot of people will be at work mid week. But I won't be.

Bearing in mind that "er indoors TM" had plans to take "Furry Face TM" out today I walked round to see "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". We then walked out to the McDonalds in the orbital park only to find they workmen hadn't finished building it yet. It had recently been demolished to make way for a bigger one. As I drove past the othher day it had looked open. It looked like a building site today.
Instead we went to see the goats at the farm and went back to "Daddies Little Angel TM"'s flat for a cuppa and to watch a bit of telly. "Almost Naked Animals" was quite amusing; even if I have reservations about whether it makes suitable viewing for an eighteen month old.

I came home to find "er indoors TM" was out but "Furry Face TM" was in. I was rather cross; I could have taken him with me earlier.
I set about mowing the lawn; after half an hour's effort "er indoors TM" turned up; she'd been shopping. She then took Fudge off to the Bank Holiday geo-barbecue whilst I had a shower. As I got out of scrub my phone rang. "Daddies Little Angel TM" was in intense pain. She'd phoned 111 and they'd suggested calling an ambulance. I *could* have taken her to the hospital myself but (as she said) she'd get immediate service if she arrived in an ambulance. There are those who might feel that I should have taken my little girl to the hospital. However after all these years taking her to hospital has something of a "been there, done that" about it.
Instead I gave her instructions to text me any developments and I took myself off to bed for the afternoon.

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

29 May 2016 (Sunday) - Teynham

I woke this morning to find my left arm was wrapped around my dog, and my right elbow was rather painful. Perhaps I overdid it somewhat yesterday?
Over brekkie I solved a few geo-puzzles and then checked my emails. One of them was something of a complaint about the series of geocaches I'd put out round Bethersden last year. The person writing to me was polite but they said "For me really, it was a bit too long, I had an operation for a new knee three months ago, so it really was a test, and there is literally nowhere to have a sit down!! A pub halfway would have been great, or even a bench. For our lunch we sat in a damp field to eat our sandwiches.... When we were halfway through I realised I had had enough, my knee was getting painful, but of course we were about 3.5kms from the car. We then had to decide to continue the route or take the quickest way back to the car. We chose the road, but it was very busy, not a pleasant walk..."
I took a deep breath. Geocaching is a hobby which requires a little skill with map and compass. You *don't* have to be Bear Grylls to look at an ordnance survey map to see there are no pubs on the route. And I clearly said in the instructions that the route was one of eight miles and the terrain was a tad challenging.
Is it *really* my fault if they didn't read the instructions or plan their day properly?

In a novel break with tradition "er indoors TM" was ready before me this morning. We drove round to the co-op, then on to collect Suzy-pup (and her entourage) before heading up to Tenyham for today's geo-adventure.

Relatively recently three series of geocaches had gone live around Teynham. I'd had chats with the chap who'd hidden them. He felt that each series could be done in about three hours. So the theory was we'd walk the first series, have a spot of lunch in the pub then walk the second series. If time allowed we would press on and do the third.... I thought this was a good plan.

We met up with the gang and immediately fell foul of some old bat who took exception to our parking on the public highway. But we treated her grumbling with the contempt it deserved and set off. We wandered down the main road a bit then turned into a footpath and....
I'd never seen stinging nettles quite like it before. It took an age to be able to move just a few hundred yards. Eventually the only realistic option was to hop over an electric fence and walk down a field. But once we were over the fence we were able to press on.
It was a lovely day for a walk. We saw all sorts of wildlife; hawks, lizards, viking horses(!) The scenery was beautiful. But we seemed to be taking our time. In theory we should really have been onto the second loop of caches by 1pm; not only be half way round the first one. So finding ourselves near a pub and bearing in mind it was gone 1pm we changed lunch plans and stopped at The Ship in Conyer for a pint and a cheese ploughmans. Very nice.

Eventually we moved on. We found some more caches; we plated flowers into our hair. The plan was to have finished the first loop of caches by about mid day. We actually finished at 3.30pm. Mark joined us and we adjourned to the pub where a pint of East Coast IPA went down very nicely.
Bearing in mind we'd over-run by a couple of hours we considered whether we should continue, but (as it so often does) idiot enthusiasm overpowered common sense and we set off up the road in search of more tupperware. This second loop of geocaches also took us to some rather pretty places. And to quite a few stinging nettles as well. There was a dodgy five minutes when (in a little aside to the geo-loop) we went in search of a geocache hidden by someone else. Eventually we (I) found it; it was in a little derelict house. But I came within six inches of falling in a pond utterly obscured by six-feet-high nettles.

It was a shame we had to give up on two of the caches on this second loop. Time was pressing and the light was failing. We logged our last find at 9pm; having (according to "Hannah") walked a shade over thirteen miles. We joked about doing the third loop by torchlight but it wasn't going to happen. We made our way back to the cars, said our goodbyes and came home.

A very tired little dog hungrily gobbled his tea and went straight to his bed. I won't be that far behind him...

28 May 2016 (Saturday) - Back to the Western Heights

"er indoors TM" had an alarm set. It woke me this morning. 8.30am !! Over eight hours asleep. Having done a full five days at work I must have been tired.

I got up and had a little look-see on line. Not much had changed in the big wide world. The European in-out argument continued all over social media. Pundits have been complaining on the radio all week about how ill-informed the public have been for this up-coming referendum and how right they are. So many facts and figures are being bandied about as reasons to stay in or leave. And pretty much all these so-called facts are unprovable speculation, and pretty much all these figures have been shown to be wrong.
But I remain convinced that facts and figures will have little (if any) bearing on the final result. I am sure that the "out" vote will win purely because the average Brit hates foreigners.

We drove down to Folkestone to collect Jimbo and Stevey and made our way to the Western Heights. The Western Heights is somewhere we go at least once a year. It has the most wonderful views across Dover and the English Channel. The wildlife is up there with the best you'll find anywhere in England; today we saw slow worms and a rather huge hawk.
And if you are prepared to go past signs saying "No Entry; Keep Out" there are some amazing places to see. All sorts of underground tunnels and bunkers. Not that I would dream of going past such a sign.

We parked up in somewhere that I describe as "The Dogger's Car Park"; I have no idea what it is really called, but when I say "The Dogger's Car Park" everyone knows where I mean. We wandered round admiring the views of the harbour and walked round to the Drop Redoubt where we looked at the hard work which the geo-gang had done at the CITO of a few weeks ago.
We found a rather pleasant spot high behind the redoubt and had a picnic overlooking Dover. And with lunch scoffed we then walked up past the detached bastion taking great care not to go past any signs which said "No Entry; Keep Out". Unfortunately dogs can't read very well (or that's my story) and so we had to go into the grounds of the bastion to look for my dog. (Or that's what I would have said had we been caught). It was a good place to go noseying... it was a shame that the holes through which I'd previously scrambled to get into the North Gate and the detached bastion had all been sealed closed.

We carried on walking and (finding two geocaches and quite a bit of fox poo on the way) soon found ourselves at an old wartime gun emplacement. There was an interesting hole in the ground under this fortification... I climbed in.
"Climbed" sounds rather graceful, doesn't it? Perhaps "splatted" might be a more truthful description. I scrambled and skidded about down into the darkness and soon came to another hole. I shone a torch into this hole. It looked interesting, but it was a hole which was less than a foot high and the ground here was muddy and sloping away at a forty five degree angle. I could *easily* have got into that next hole. Getting out however... I clambered out.
There was another such hole under the next gun emplacement. I scrambled into that one too. However the first hole had quite a few bolders inside which helped me climb. This one was just mud. I skidded in very easily. Getting out took some doing.

We came back past the Western Outworks. This place had some *serious* fences around it. Eventually we found where a hole had been cut in the fence. We were remarking on just how foolish it would be to go inside when a certain dog again shot off where he shouldn't have gone (or so the official story goes).
I'd not been in this place before. It was quite amazing. And criminal that such a place is just being left to decay. We spent quite some time looking about in all sorts of places that we really shouldn't have been.

But time was pushing on. We made our way back to the car and set off homewards; making a slight detour to Samphire Hoe for ice creams.

Once home I got the lawn mower out and had a go at the lawn. It hasn't been done for over a month, the lawn mower struggled. I shall have to have another go in the week. I then tried to do the monthly accounts and wasted an hour fighting with the PC. Somehow it had lost its start menu. Eventually I found it, and did the accounts. They could be better; they could be a whole lot worse.
I'd taken a few photos earlier. I then put them on-line for the world to see, then prepared "Hannah" for tomorrow's outing.
I might have an early night. I feel tired for some reason...

27 May 2016 (Friday) - Dog Selfies

I woke probably an hour earlier than I needed to. Mind you my dog got up with me this morning and sat with me as I scoffed my brekkie. He didn't scrounge; he just put his chin on my lap and went to sleep. I sat quietly stroking his back reminding myself that I never wanted a dog.

It was as well that I was up early. Today was a geo-calendar day and bearing in mind how badly the last one went I thought I'd make an early start. After all I wasted over four hours on my last geo-calendar debacle
I set off to Junction 11 of the M20 and from there took the A-road. There were supposedly several easy-to-find caches along it.
My first target eluded me, as did the second. I was beginning to suspect the worst, but the third time was the lucky one.

I then set off toward Canterbury and work. Up till this point I'd had the radio off so I could hear the sat-nav's instructions. I turned the radio on to hear what I can only describe as stark staring nonsense. Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan, an influential Saudi cleric and a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars has proclaimed that taking selfies with cats or other animals is “prohibited" unless completely necessary.
In the first instance why on Earth would anyone ban selfie taken with an animal of any shape or form except for cases of extreme necessity. And secondly what constitutes extreme necessity when having a selfie taken with your pet?
Is God *really* going to smite me with a thunderbolt for having a photo taken with my dog? If so I have to question if I want anything to do with Him.

I stopped off at Morrisons on the way to work. Having run out of peanut butter at home I needed to get a sandwich. Morrisons was dull this morning. Probably not a bad thing.
I arrived at work a little early. Having time on my hands I wandered down to the minor injuries unit. It wouldn't cost anything to have my bruised tum checked out by a medic. You never know - I might have had a mesenteric thrombosis (look it up!)
I booked in and the receptionist took down my particulars (Oo-er!). I was rather vague about the exact circumstances by which I'd got the bruise; normal people don't understand the need to climb through a bridge into a river.
It wasn't long before a nurse was asking me to take my trousers off. Result!!
I had my stomach mauled about and after five minutes I was sent on my way with a warning to act my age and not be so daft in future. There's nothing wrong that time won't put right.

Just as I was about to go and do some work my phone beeped - an email. Yesterday I mentioned I was struggling to get in touch with the chap I thought had been booked to give the astro club's talk in July. I've now got hold of him. He had no idea we were expecting him, but all is now sorted (on the speakers front) at the club... at least until next March.
And whilst on the astro club, over lunchtime I got a mention for the club on the council's tourism website. I would have thought that with all the work the club has done for the local council over the last year or so they would already have made mention of us.
I wonder where else we might get a free plug.

I did my bit at work, and came home. I had several offers for the evening. "Access All Areas" was playing at the Farriers Arms. Had they been playing absolutely anywhere else I may well have gone along but I resented paying seven quid to walk through the door of somewhere that messed me about so much last year. There was a geo-meet in Bredgar supposedly organised for a geo-band. But if I was going to listen to live music it would be that of mates.
Instead "er indoors TM" came home with fish and chips...

26 May 2016 (Thursday) - Still Bruised

I was out like a light last night. I would have slept better had I not woken at 4am shivering because an alliance of "er indoors TM" and "Furry Face TM" had nicked all the duvet.
I wrestled some small part of the duvet back and slept through to 7am.

Over brekkie I had a look-see on line. Among my emails was one telling me of a vacancy at Maidstone hospital. I'm tempted to apply for that. And there was quite a bit of dross too. As well as Amazon trying to sell me what I've already bought from them there was the usual drivel from LinkedIn, an invitation to go on a geo-booze up in Croydon, a couple of requests for me to do on-line surveys and the usual helping of spam. However there was no email confirming the chap I was hoping might give the talk at astro club in July. I've emailed him a few times; I think that if he's not replied after three weeks of trying either I have the wrong email address or he's not keen. I've now stalked him down on Facebook and sent a message. Here's hoping. Failing that would any of my loyal readers care to give a lecture on any topic of their choice (as long as it is vaguely astronomical) on the last Friday of July?

I had a look on Facebook; one of my old muckers has had a hip relacement operation. My dad had that a couple of weeks ago. Now Adrian's had one done. He's only a month older than me. Makes you think, doesn't it?

I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. He mostly ignored all the other dogs who wanted to play. But I had a couple of incidents. At one point he was bimbling about some twenty yards behind me. I called to him "Come on straggler!" A passing normal person took offence at the term "straggler". Amd then a little later when preparing to cross Francis Road I told him to "wait up". Another passing normal person demanded that I repeat what I'd said to him. I would have thought that someone clearly in their seventies wouldn't be going round trying to pick a fight.

I came home and my dog scoffed his brekkie and took himself off to bed. I had a quick look-see on-line and then set off to work. Slowly. I went to work via McDonalds. It was a bright morning, and a caramel frappe together with a sausage and egg McMuffin slipped down very nicely. There are those who don't like McDonalds. I can't see why not. Good food prepared quickly which is not overly expensive is not to be sniffed at. It has been my experience that the entire family can eat at Maccy Ds for less than what one person would spend in a "proper" restaurant. And be seated, fed and out before the waiter of a "proper" restaurant would come over to take the order.
I also stopped off at the cheapo-bargains shop where I got half a dozen sandwich boxes (just in case).

I got to work with a few minutes to spare, and I did my bit. I spent much of the time wondering about the vacancy at Maidstone. Should I apply for it?
Over lunchtime I checked my emails (on my phone). A recruitment agency had contacted my through the much-maligned LinkedIn asking if I would consider working in the private sector's blood testing labs. Would I? I don't know. I didn't think there were many opportunities.

My bruised stomach still hurts...

25 May 2016 (Wednesday) - Badlesmere

I slept well, but woke to find my stomach hurt even more this morning. The bruising is becoming rather impressive. Over brekkie I watched an old episode of "A Bit of Fry and Laurie". I used to enjoy that series when it first came out. I was rather disappointed to find that it hasn't stood the test of time.

I then had a little look-see on-line. I got just the teensiest bit cross with what I saw. My ex-brother in law had posted something (rather hate-inspired) on Facebook whinging about how many Mayors of various places in the UK are Muslims. Personally I think the reason that so many Mayors are Muslims is because they are the ones who've got off their arses and stood for election and their religion is utterly irrelevent to being Mayor of anything (but what do I know?)
I also saw a post with the slogan "We didn't fight 2 World Wars to be ruled by the EU". Bearing in mind the most recent of these wars was over seventy years ago are we as a nation *really* this jingoistic? And do those how post this stuff have any idea which countries were on which side during those wars?
I resisited the temptation to get in to arguments (this time).
On a lighter not I saw that there is to be (another) Doctor Who spin-off TV series. Details are somewhat sketchy at the moment. Mind you my hopes aren't high. I never liked "Sarah-Jane Adventures" or "Torchwood".
And I saw what I considered to be a blast from the past. A restaurant in West Malling owes a butcher several thousand pounds. This butcher has got fed up with waiting for his money and has taken to standing outside the restaurant with a placard saying how much the restaurant owes him.
When I was a child the local corner shop would put up posters saying how much people owed them in unpaid bills when payments weren't forthcoming. It wasn't long between the shop's starting this policy and their going bankrupt. I wonder if this butcher will go the same way?

When I got into my car the radio was giving the hourly sports bulletin. I've always maintained that sport (of any flavour) is something you do, *not* something you watch or listen to. Consequently it failed to grip my attention. It wasn't till I got to work that I realised I'd not actually listened to anything the radio had to say this morning. (Which was probably good for my blood pressure)
Instead I'd been mentally planning out a Wherigo which I hope to release with the summer picnic that I'm organising for the geo-crowd in August. It will be (loosely) based on the beetle drives I used to do as a fund-raiser with the scouts in years gone by.

I went in to work; I had toyed with asking for today as a day off. I was glad I hadn't done that; it rained for much of the morning. But it brightened up as the afternoon wore on. After work I met "er indoors TM" and "Furry Face TM" at Badlesmere and we went for a little stroll looking for places in which to conceal tupperware. It doesn't hide itself you know...

24 May 2016 (Tuesday) - Genetically Modified

My bruised stomach was still rather painful when I woke this morning. I got up; my dog didn't. I had a rather lonely brekkie watching "Dad's Army". In today's episode out heroes had a fight with the Americans.

As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about genetically modified foods. Two points of view were offered. On the one hand it makes sense to make use of crops which have been modified so that that now yield far more food than their naturally occurring predecessors. On the other hand those who would burn witches at the stake were screaming about the dangers of genetic modification and were shouting that scientists shouldn't meddle with nature.
It rather annoyed me that these people are allowed to vote. Are they really that stupid? Do they not know the first thing about genetic modifications. We've been doing it for thousands of years. One obvious example of this is the rather small genetically modified wolf that sleeps on my bed most nights and goes pretty much everywhere (except to work) with me.
The process by which his genes have been modified was much slower than that employed in the laboratories; it took many generations to get there but the principle is exactly the same as making GM foods..

Talking of "Furry Face TM" I was rather worried about the next news item. Dog fights are on the increase in the UK. Those evil bastards who fight dogs against each other are coming from all over the world to stage their fights in the UK because the legal penalties are far less (should they be caught). Dog fighting only carries a six-months sentence in the UK but the same crime warrants a five year prison sentence in France

I stopped off at Morrisons to buy apples and bananas (which bore no relation to the original fruits of those names) and then went into work for the early shift. I did what I had to until I could go home. But an early start made for an early finish, and I was soon walking my little dog round the park. We met several puppies who wanted to play. "Furry Face TM" ignored them. Rather rudely I thought. He then got into a race that he couldn't win (with a greyhound).

We came home where "er indoors TM" was cooking up liver for my dog's tea. Not that he is spoiled at all. I then spent a little while going over my social calendar for the next few months. Some of the events I had pencilled in have since been cancelled, others have been re-scheduled. I've now only got three weekends with nothing planned in the next three months.
I got some of the dog's liver for my tea, then we went down to Folkestone for the evening. Not a bad way to spend the evening even if I did sleep through Star Trek...

23 May 2016 (Monday) - Bruised Tum

My stomach muscles ached this morning; probably from where I fell through the second bridge yesterday. I can think of no other reason why I would have such an impressive bruise.

As my toast cooked I put some washing into the machine, and over brekkie I had a look-see on-line.

Yesterday "er indoors TM" posted one of the photos of yesterday's adventures onto the Facebook group "You Might Be a Geocacher if..." It was a picture of some of us waist deep in the water in the culvert. Some people were impressed, some were amazed. It rather niggled me that one twit announced that we were in a sewer and another thought we might contract polio from the Thames. Actually several people were rather negative in their comments. Mind you that Facebook group seems to attract those who feel that they lead a seriously crazy lifestyle by finding fifty film pots under a rock in less than a year....

While I waited for the washing machine to scrape the mud out of my trousers I spent a little while trying to solve geo-puzzles. Have you ever heard of a band from the fifties called "Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers"? No? - me neither. Which is probably why I struggled to solve the puzzles.

I didn't go to Canterbury for work today. I went elsewhere. Despite not having secured promotion at the interview of a couple of weeks ago I spent today at a course on "People Management". I won't dwell on it too much... 

The course finished a tad earlier than expected, and with a much shorter journey home than usual I was able to walk "Furry Face TM" round the park quite a bit earlier than I normally do. We did get caught in a downpour, but it stopped as quickly as it started so we just kept walking. Patagonian Tripe-Hounds don't seem bothered by the rain. As we walked we met some young joggers who were being shouted at by an older jogger. He looked like some sort of teacher; I thought it best not to get involved. We saw OrangeHead in the distance with a gaggle of cronies in tow; we kept away.

Once home I fannied around with laundry until "er indoors TM" came home. Socks to sort, and "Game of Thrones" will be on soon.... Normally I make all sorts of lewd comments about Nudey-Dragon-Girl's chest, but today I'm going to take a moral tone. After "Game of Thrones" I shall watch "Gotham". The girl in it who plays a young Catwoman had her birthday yesterday. She was seventeen and had a beach party. It was all over social media.

I would not have let my seventeen year old daughter post photographs of herself on Facebook with so little on. I used to tell her mates off for doing so...

22 May 2016 (Sunday) - Damp in Dartford

I slept like a log; I woke to realise that I should really have packed my rubber dingy during the week whilst it was dry rather than leaving it out to get wetter and wetter. It wasn't *that* wet as I stuffed it into a green sack and then loaded it into the boot of "er indoors TM" car.

We collected Suzy and her entourage and set off to Dartford. Regular readers of this drivel may recall I'd done a spot of extreme geocaching there a few weeks ago and said I needed to make a return journey.
We met up with the team and once everyone was together over a dozen of us set off to a bridge over a tributary of the river Thames. There was (and is) a geocache under that bridge. Jo and I had got to it before when we got to it by marching (somewhat gung-ho) into the river and reaching the cache from the river. There's no denying that at that time I was actually armpit-deep in the river, and it is just possible that Joe's comment of "is that a fish or a turd" might not have been the most encouraging thing to say. So today a different approach was taken.
Rather than marching (somewhat gung-ho) into the river and reaching up, ropes were strung up and hardy souls were harnesssed. Several of our number got to the cache that way. Personally I thought that they should have taken a dunking but what do I know?
As this went on "Furry Face TM" was quite contentedly digging into the side of the river. Something had got his attention; it was quite good that he was constructively ocupied and not getting into mischief.

From here we went along to a culvert through which another river got to the river Thames. There was a geocache about fifty yards into that culvert. Those who advocated messing about with ropes were somewhat scuppered here. There was no way a rope would help. There was no choice but to get wet.
The plan was that we would have got here at low tide, but the earlier messing about with ropes had taken longer than expected. I'd done this one when I last visited Dartford; today the water in the culvert was a *lot* deeper.

The chap who'd hidden these extreme caches had joined us today; from here he led us on a littlle extra bonus; ropes and slings up a disused telegraph pole. Several brave souls went up. I didn't. Realistically I think I could havee done it, but I know my limitations. I *could* have done it but I would have taken too long, and time was pressing. We needed to be elsewhere for high tide.

We made our way back to the cars, and pausing only briefly to climb a tree, we relocated to what was my prime target for the day. A difficulty one - terrain five cache. *Really* easy to see, a pig to actually get to. This one was attached to the top of a wooden thing in a river. Clearly visible from the towpath; only accessible by boat. T5-D1 was the *only* one of eighty-one possible D-T combinations I hadn't previously found; there are only two of these that don't involve *serious* tree-climbs within fifty miles of home. So getting that was a "must-do"

We arrived at high tide; I was amazed at how high the water was. It was probably twelve feet higher than when we were last there. On the last trip to Dartford we'd arrived at low tide. The wooden thingy was then standing in mud.
I got into "HMS Badger", a ten-yard sail and one wet bum later saw me doing the top-secret geo-aquatic-rituals. I was soon joined by a couple of geo-canoes.
After a while I got out of the dingy and others got in and had a go. We messed about on the river for a while before relocating again.

There was a cache a little way away under a bridge. Supposedly *very* hard to find. We'd got a hint or two from previous finders, but eleven of us (with a combined geo-score of about 48000) spent the best part of an hour in the river to no avail. So we went to another bridge and found a cache under that one instead.

We'd been rather lucky with the weather; we'd had a little drizzle toward the end of the day but it was only as we got back to the cars that the rain really started. We said our goodbyes and within ten minutes of setting off home so the torrential rain started.

Once home I gave my little dog his tea, he got a shower, and he took himself off to his basket where he went straight to sleep. He's had a rather busy day. as had I....
I put on-line the photos I'd taken during the day and realised I felt quite exhausted.
I only got to add four finds to my geo-total today, but it's not always about the numbers. Today was good fun. I quite like aquatic geocaching. Maybe I need to upgrade HMS Badger....

21 May 2016 (Saturday) - Pears

A restless night; that dog really should stay in his basket. "er indoors TM" was up early and offered to cook my toast. That was nice. Over brekkie I did a little astro secretary-ing. The speaker we thought was long-since booked for the July meeting isn't replying to emails. I chivvied him from a different email account, then played about on badgemaster dot co dot uk designing badges for committee members.

"er indoors TM" said goodbye and set off. I would have liked to have gone with her; there was a lesson today in how to use GSAK. GSAK is a wonderful bit of software with which you can program your GPS unit with most (but not all) of the live geocaches in any given area, and even some of the dead ones as well.
But during the week things had taken an unexpected turn so I collected "Daddies Little Angel TM" and drove down to Hastings to see my dad instead. He's not been well lately.

Despite some iffy weather the journey to Hastings was uneventful. We arrived and it wasn't long before "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" had taken a bite from every bit of fruit in my mum's fruit bowl. To make amends "Daddies Little Angel TM" ate some of the fruit. She quote liked the pear. How can you get to be twenty seven years old and never had a pear before?
Dad seemed to enjoy our visit; he was looking better than he was the last time I saw him.

We had a rather good bit of dinner, then had to make a move. It would have ben goood to have stayed all day but today was one of those days when I was pulled in several directions. We then came home and made our way to WIllesborough where the clans gathered to say goodbye to Emily. Billed as a tea party I shifted four pints of ale before coming home and walking "Furry Face TM" into a thunderstorm.
Needless to say we cut our walk short...

20 May 2016 (Friday) - Worn Out

I was awake at silly o'clock (as I so often am) and with little else on the agenda I thought I'd watch a little telly. I'd recorded "Locked Up"; a Spanish show about a rather foxy prisoner who is having a tough time behind bars. Usually I'm not keen about watching shows with subtitles, but in this case I've made an exception. There was more than enough rampant jubbly-waving to make the subtitles irrelevant. I might even watch the second episode. I think it airs on Tuesday.

As I put my shirt on I watched my dog who was pretending to sleep. His head was down and every time I looked at him he closed his eyes to feign sleep. However a frantically wagging tail gave him away.

With the telly program finished I set off to work. As I droveI listened to the news on the radio. Apparently over two hundred assorted celebrities (including Steve Coogan, Sir Patrick Stewart and Brian Blessed) have signed a letter saying how they all feel that Britain would be better off remaining in the EU.
Information on exactly to whom this letter is addressed is rather vague, and the letter has been dismissed by the leave-campaign because they don't like it very much. The leave campaign seem to be doing this an awful lot at the moment.

There was also talk of who will take on the role of James Bond now that Daniel Craig is (apparently) standing down
There are those who feel that the time is right for a woman to appear in such a role. I thought this was something of a rather old idea; after all Modesty Blaise is older than I am (did you know that Sparks once recorded a theme song for a Modesty Blaise series that never aired) and April Dancer is even older.

I got to work for the early shift. With the vagaries of my shifts today was day five of a five-day week. I realise most people do five-day weeks all the time. I used to for many years but now I'm finding them very hard work.
Working longer days (but less of them) suits me far more.

After work I set off to McDonalds where I met "er indoors TM", Jimbo and Stevey. Whilst in the queue a random woman greeted me with a hearty "Hello Dave". I smiled sweetly and made some small talk; I had no idea who she was...
"er indoors TM" then went home to walk "Furry Face TM" and we went on to astro club. Tonight's meeting wasn't too bad at all.
Being secretary is somewhat easier on the club night than being treasurer was. Now to chase up a speaker for July and to sort out name badges for the committee...

19 May 2016 (Thursday) - Road Works

Apart from one trip to the loo I slept for over eight hours last night. Being on a late shift I hadn't set an alarm. I'm convinced that setting an alarm gives me a restless night. With no alarm last night I slept very well.
Mind you my elbow was incredibly painful this morning; carrying someone else's litte dog yesterday did it no favours.

I got up, ran the clippers over my head and sat down for a spot of brekkie. The morning's haul of emails was dull; LinkedIn was recommending that I be friends with people with whom I clearly had nothing in common, and Amazon was recommending that I buy the very e-books that I have already bought from them.
I then saw an article on social media which made me chuckle. It was talking about the shortage of trained blood testers in America, how so few qualified blood-testers are about, and how good the pay is. The artlcle was followed by a tirade of griping from actual blood-testers who absolutely crucified the article.
Don't beleive what you read...
I also saw the first teaser trailer for the new Star Trek series which is planned for next year. And already the so-called Star Trek fans were criticising in on social media. Such a shame.

Being in a late shift today I had a little spare time so I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. As we went up the road a nice lady in her car flashed her headlights and beeped her hooter and waved at me whilst grinning like a thing possessed. I wonder who she was. Two minutes later a young chap in the wetlands park a young chap (with a staffie) greeted me witha cheery "Hello Dave!". I had no idea who he was either.
As we walked we met OrangeHead and her gang of cronies. As is always the case when with her mates OrangeHead was rather aloof, but her chunky little friend was quite chatty. Her little dog's not doing too well.
As we came across the co-op field I kept an eye out for the errant puppy we found yesterday, but she was nowhere to be seen.

Home again, and my little dog took himself off to his basket. I set off for the late shift at work. I had a little trouble getting my car out of my road this morning. Last week the road was closed and dug up for electrical problems. Having filled in the holes and cleared off, today the water company were digging up the same bit of tarmac.
My father used to work for the department of British Gas that dug holes in the road twenty years ago; I can remember him telling me how there was no co-operation at all between hole-diggers back then, and how much time and money and effort could be saved if the hole only needed to be dug once.
I would have thought there would have been some co-ordination between those with vested interests in digging holes in the road, but apparently not.

As I drove to work "Women's Hour" was on the radio. They were discussing a novel scheme in which schoolchildren who wanted to discuss various social and emotional problems could now formally apply for an appointment with a school-based counsellor. Giving children someone with whom to walk was being heralded as a stunning innovation. All I can say is that when I was a child that was what the teachers were for.
I can remember being rather shocked at the lack of pastoral care shown by the teachers when the fruits of my loin were at school; and that was some time ago. Perhaps we are going full-circle?