31 July 2016 (Sunday) - Splat ?

I had a rather restless night. However having lain awake for an age I got up, walked about, went back to bed and nodded off right away. I have a theory that my nasal polyps swell up when I lay down (and wake me up because I can't breathe) and on getting up the swelling subsides. I can then breathe again and so getting up solves the problem.
I'd rather not get up in the night though.

I resisted the temptation to fiddle with my new laptop over brekkie. "er indoors TM" collected it for me yesterday. I'd left it with PC World on Friday to let them do the awkward fiddling about and setting up, and "er indoors TM" had plumbed it into the home network yesterday. I had a little mess about with it on-line last night, but I've still got a load of farting about to do with it. I need to copy over a ton of stuff from the old laptop... but before I do that I need to go through the old stuff and see what is worth keeping and what is not. Then I need to see what apps and programs I need. FireFox, Paint Shop Pro, Urwigo and GSAK are musts that immediately spring to mind. I also need to get to grips with the new version of Microsoft Office. I spent eight years on the old laptop fannying around with OpenOffice. It was a good enough freebie, but had many limitations; for example it had no spell checker. So now (if nothing else) future blog entries might not have quite so many howlers in them now that I'm back using proper Office.
But with so much to do I thought I'd best leave it till I had some time. Instead of farting about with a new laptop I watched "Dad's Army" instead. Private Pike got his head stuck in some railings. Stupid boy !

And so to work. I'd made a point of remembering where I'd parked and so didn't waste any time like I did yesterday. The pundits on the radio were talking about some chap who did a world record sky dive yesterday. He went up in a plane and jumped from twenty five thousand feet. But he jumped without a parachute. Instead of a parachute he aimed for a large net. Fortunately for him (and the spectators), he landed in the net.
There was then something which made me ponder. Apparently there is a census going on in Australia soon. The Australian Atheists Brigade (or whatever they are called) are calling on the public to fill out the census properly.
Apparently if someone puts their religion as "atheist" or "no religion" then the census records it. But if someone treats the question as a joke and puts their religion as "Jedi" or "football" or something else equally silly then the census does not record it. They just treat it as nonsense. (But having an invisible friend is taken seriously. Go figure!)
The head honcho of the Australian Atheists Brigade was on the radio saying that at the last census "no religion" got twenty two per cent of the religious vote; only three per cent behind Catholics (which was the highest-rated religion in the census).
But for all that (supposedly) thousands put down "Jedi" or "football" or something else equally silly, the actual figure wasn't recorded. If these people would put down "no religion" or "Atheist" then Catholics might get knocked from the number one spot. This is a matter of some importance for the Australian Atheists Brigade.
Personally I would have thought that these people might have had something better to do with their time. I'm an accredited minister of the Church of the Apathetic Agnostic, and those who aren't apathetic about their disbelief wind me up . So many atheists get just as confrontational in their non-beliefs as the religious-types do with their beliefs.

I got to work and sulked. I don't mind working at the weekends when it is raining. To be honest it often rains when I am working at the weekends. But today was rather sunny. And was rather hard work too...

30 July 2016 (Saturday) - e-souvenir

I set the alarm for 6am today; I was wide awake at 5.30am. For me that's not bad at all. I got up, abluted and had a look-see on-line. I banged off a quick email of thanks to the chap who'd spoken to the astro club last night. I thought he had been rather good. We'll have to have him back again.

I then wasted twenty minutes aimlessly roaming the local streets desperately trying to remember where I'd parked my car last night. Eventually I found it and set off to work. As I drove the radio was broadcasting its usual tripe. One article made me think. Since supermarket have been charging five pence for carrier bags, supermarkets have apparently used eighty five per cent less of the things. Clearly the general public are re-using their bags; which is what the idea of charging for them was all about. All I can say is I'm not. I still forget to pick one up when I go out and end up buying one. My locker at work is stuffed full of them.
Mind you I've always maintained I'm in the minority and here's another example...

I took a rather circuitous route to work today. Every summer you can get e-souvenirs from geocaching dot com for doing certain geo-things on certain days. Today if you logged a find on a cache with ten or more favourite points you got one of these e-souvenirs. In the great scheme of things it is (probably) an utterly worthless object to possess, but having one does give you bragging rights over those that haven't got one.
There was one such qualifying cache in Badlesmere so I went a few miles out of my way to get it this morning. Bearing in mind my trainers leaked on last weekend's geo-sortie, I put on wellies before crossing the fields today.
The grass was bone dry.
But I eventually found my prey, and was soon back in the car. e-souvenir got. Job done. Now to brag.

I made my way to Morrisons to get lunch. As I drove the pundits on the radio were making great show of the fact that today is the fiftieth anniversary of England's 1966 World Cup victory. They would not shut up about it.
And (to my mind) this is *exactly* what is wrong with our country today. We as a nation live on past glories. So many people take national victories that happened years ago so personally. I know of several people who still crow about this 1966 football success as though it happened yesterday. My own brother often harps on about this football match referring to it as when "we beat the krauts" even though he was born five years after it happened.

Whilst those on the radio were harping on about what a great victory "we" had had, I went into Morrisons and got some bog roll. To my mind I had the better victory. What happened in 1966 is long past. I shall need bumwad in the very near future.

And so to work... I spent much of the day looking out of the window thinking about what else I might have been doing. The astro club was running a stall at the New Romney country fayre today. I would have liked to have gone to that; those things can be good fun.
There was a mega-geo-event in Hertfordshire today. I would have liked to have gone to that as well.
Mind you it was raining by mid-afternoon... perhaps being at work today might have been the better option.

29 July 2016 (Friday) - Another Day Off

Over brekkie I perused the geo-map vaguely making plans. I then posted a comment on-line asking who was free for a walk a week tomorrow. Maybe I might get some takers.

I put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went out to meet up with "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" . We went round to the park and wreaked havoc in the play-park. Then the dogs had a swim... well Fudge had a swim. Sid watched from a safe distance. We then fed the ducks. All passed off relatively peacefully. Something of a shame really as I made a little video of our walk and was hoping for something exciting to have hapened. Never mind - the video wasn't that bad. You can watch it by clicking here.

I then had a spot of lunch whilst watching "Game of Thrones". I had to rewind it twice as I fell asleep. And then I sat about waiting for Jimbo to arrive. Apparently he wanted to collect something. After a wasted hour I found out he was collecting something from somewhere else.

I drove out to Tesco to get more petrol as the car was nearly empty. The petrol pumps at Tesco keep stopping whenever I use them. After a *lot* of struggling I got enough petrol to get me to Morrisons and decided that would do. Their petrol pumps work. And their petrol is cheaper.
I went into Tesco to have a look at new laptops. They were all boxed, and with no assistants to be seen I drove over to PC World. Or that was my plan. I got to where PC World used to be. It had gone. Whilst looking at an empty building I met Gordon of all people (he lives in Battle !) He reminded me that PC World relocated about a year or so ago. They are now by the vets just near my house. Woops!
So I drove to where PC World actually is. I found a really helpful assistant. After half an hour I gave him lots of money (that I couldn't really afford) to set up the new laptop which I shall collect next week.

Once home spent a little sorting out a mistake on the astro club's web site. Then I spent a little while rummaging to see how many bisons I had got (it's a geo-thing) before setting off to McDonalds. I met up with Jimbo, Stevey, Sarah and Steve. We sat outside where I couldn't hear a word being said because of the screaming of the ill-behaved brats who were running riot.
We then went on to astro club. We had a really good meeting; a guest speaker who was excellent, and Stevey's talk was really good too. If we can carry on in this vein then I'd say we would be back on track.

28 July 2016 (Thursday) - Otford Hills

I slept for over eight hours last night. It is amazing what two night shifts can do. Over brekkie I had a look-see on-line and got a little bit cross. Lloyds bank are axing three thousand jobs and closing two hundred branches. They are blaming the decision on Brexit. Perhaps the decision to leave the EU is to blame for the job losses. Perhaps it is not. I don't know. But the decision to leave and he decision to axe has been made.
I shall allow allow myself an "I told you so" rant. But not about the rights and wrongs of Lloyds, or the decision to leave the EU. Instead I shall rant about those who made the decision to leave the EU.
What bothers me is the reaction (on social media) to today's news of some of those who loudly voted for Brexit.
One was bewailing Lloyd's decision and ranting about why the new government is actually going through with Brexit when "everyone *knew* the UK would never leave regardless of the referendum's result". She had voted "out" as some sort of protest; safe in the knowledge that the UK would stay in the EU (which was what she actually wanted).
And another chap (who at the time didn't understand the issues and so voted out because his mum ordered him to) was ranting about why didn't "they" see this coming. This chap is now (too late) in the "remain" camp because his mum has changed her mind.
Have I ever mentioned that democracy is wasted on the electorate?

I programmed "Hannah" for the day's geo-walk then spent a little while struggling with (and solving) a geo-puzzle. It was a level five difficulty. I felt rather pleased with myself.
Flushed with success then spent an hour or so in the garden. I replaced the electrical connector (for the UV light extension) I got from B&Q with a new one from Homebase. This seemed to work; I was pleased about that. Hopefully the pond electrics are now sorted for a little while. And so having freed up the extension cable I use for the lawnmower I used said cable for the lawnmower. If only I can mow the lawn weekly then it doesn't get too bad.
I strimmed the lawn edges in record time as well. I've often griped that the strimmer's cable doesn't last. When using it I'm replacing it every thirty seconds. "My Boy TM" suggested using cable ties in place of strimmer cable. They lasted about a minute. So I had this idea to use left-over washing line. It is rather thick and it goes through the grass like a rubber duck. What usually takes twenty minutes was done in two.
I then did a little preparation for the geo-meet I'm staging in August; it is amazing how long it takes to write a simple web page. And with a few minutes spare I had a look-see on-line at prices of new lap-tops. My current one is about eight years old and needs replacing. I've been recommeded the Samsung xe700t1 and the Dell XPS13. Neither are cheap.

I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM", drove down to collect Lisa, and we set off to Otford. Earlier in the week I'd asked if anyone was free for a walk. Six of us (and two dogs) had good walk up hill and down dale. Bearing in mind we finished where we started, somehow there was a lot more "up" than "down". We met a rather threatening herd of cows, Fudge rolled *near* fox poo and I inadvertently dragged him through it. And I even manged to take a tumble at one point. But it was a good walk; being out in the countryside with friends is always good. I took a few photos whilst we walked. I do that...
After three hours (and five miles) we were back at the cars. We said our goodbyes and an hour later I was bathing my dog. If he will roll in fox poo he must pay the price.

"er indoors TM" did a rather good bit of dinner this evening. We had a bottle of proseco with it. For all that everyone raves about proseco I found it rather tasteless. And as we scoffed and guzzled we watched a film. For all that everyone raves about The Hunger Games, it has ben playing for over an hour and nothing has actually happened yet...

27 July 2016 (Wednesday) - Fudge-o-Vision

Last night I stopped off on my way in to work. The was a new geocache near Bridge. I couldn't find it. I then went into work and had a rather busy night.

Yesterday I mentioned something I heard on the radio about how in the more remote parts of Malawi some men are paid to be "Hyenas". People who live there believe that immediately following the onset of their first period, young girls must have sex with a "Hyena" or calamity and disaster will befall the entire family. And (for exactly the same inexplicable reasons) newly widowed women must have sex with a "Hyena" before they can bury her recently deceased husband. And all these sexual encounters must be without condoms or they "won't count"
There had been interview with one such "Hyena" who was HIV positive. He was quite open that he didn't want this fact made public as it was bad for business. It turns out that it wasn't just me listening to the radio that night. Last night's radio carried the news that the Malawi government had heard it too. The chap who was interviewed has been captured and arrested.

As I worked I got a pointer about that geocache I couldn't find. So I went back and couldn't find it again. Someone else had clearly been there in the meantime and had a serious rummage around the area. As I looked another geocacher arrived. He couldn't find it either.

I came home and took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. Something of a lonely walk as "Daddies Little Angel TM" had taken "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" to "brat brigade". She does that on Wednesdays. So as we walked I took a few video shots of my dog using my phone's camera. Once home I used the video-making app on my PC to bodge together a litle movie. The PC said it would take a little while so I left it going, I put the grubby racks from the barbecue into the dishwasher and went to bed.

I woke three hours later to find I'd blocked the dishwasher. So I spent a few minutes unblocking it. Dishwashering the grubby barby grills had seemed such a good idea.
I then had a look at my video. I'm quite pleased with "The Adventures of Fudge #1"; I may well make some more. Mind you having posted it on Facebook I was rather disappointed with its apparent lack of popularity.
And with dishwasher unblocked I put some shirts into the washing machine, and set about the ironing.

With ironing done I then dozed in front of the telly until "er indoors TM" came home. And I then spent much of the evening dozing too..

26 July 2016 (Tuesday) - For Sale

I stopped off at Go Outdoors on my way to work last night. Pretty much every member of staff asked if they could help me. They always do that when I'm just browsing. When I want help, they don't come anywhere near me.
As I browsed I saw someone who looked incredibly familiar. I watched from a distance and eventually realised it was a chap with who I'd worked many years ago. Probably about seven or eight years older than me, he'd married the older sister of an old primary school friend of mine. The last I'd heard of him he was still living in Hastings; I wonder what he was doing in Canterbury.
Mind you this chap was one (of several) who'd made my three years of working at the Royal East Sussex Hospital an absolute misery. He hadn't noticed me so I made a point of not letting him notice me. Mind you I'd recognised him after thirty-odd years, I doubt he would have recognised me.

I got to work; I was having a sulk. For all that I really don't mind the night shift when I get there, I wasn't keen on actually going and doing it. But it's not a bad game. I can have the radio turned to Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra all night long. I don't think anyone would put up with that if I wasn't alone.

The radio droned on in the background as I worked. There was a documentary about Hilary Clinton, there were tales of Dick Barton. And there was something which frankly amazed me. In the more remote parts of Malawi some men are paid to be "Hyenas". People who live there believe that immediately following the onset of their first period, young girls must have sex with a "Hyena" or calamity and disaster will befall the entire family. And (for exactly the same inexplicable reasons) newly widowed women must have sex with a "Hyena" before they can bury her recently deceased husband. And all these sexual encounters must be without condoms or they "won't count"
There was an interview with one such "Hyena". Needless to say this chap had recently had an HIV test and was HIV positive. He was quite open that he didn't want this fact made public as it was bad for business.
FFS!!! This is the twenty-first century. Do people *really* believe in this crap?

With work done I made my way home. I saw the house next door is up for sale - the one with the decent neighbours. That's a shame.
I set the washing machine loose on some whites and then took "Furry Face TM" for a little walk. We wandered rather aimlessly, ending up at the vets where I popped him on the scales. He's not gained weight since the last weigh-in, but neither has he lost any. His weight remains constant at almost eleven kilogrammes. Which is at least two too many.

Once home I hung out the washing and saw the nice lady next door. She's expecting another baby and the two-bedroomed house is too small for them. Mind you they like the area and are only moving round the corner. I wonder who will be next in that house?

I spent the day in bed... another night shift awaits...

25 July 2016 (Monday) - Before the Night Shift

I slept better than I might have done, put some washing on, and over brekkie I had a little look-see on line. There is one chap who appears on some of the natonal geocaching Facbook groups from time to time. Either deliberately or inadvertatly, he seems to give offence at every turn. Whe he joined the Wherigo group (which I started) I was warned about him (and if he pisses about in there once more he's out). I won't say who he is, that might be mean. But I had a little smile this morning. Having seemingly spent all year alienating himself he's going to tthe national week-long meet-up next week, and was asking (on a nation-wide forum) if anyone would buddy up with him.
I hope he finds a friend. He certainly seems to need one.
I then had a look at the pond as I hung the washing out. Having got the UV lamp going yesterday and having run it for a day was hoping for rather clearer water. Perhaps it is time to resort to chemicals?

I then walked "Furry Face TM" round to meet "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". We walked along one of our favourite footpaths (which was rather overgrown) and "Furry Face TM" chased frogs. We found a play-park but "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" was more interested in watching the nearby bulldozers.
It was a good walk, but it was a hot day. Probably too hot for little Sid; he was puffing and wheezing as we came home.

Once home I put the finishing touches to the introduction talk for Friday's asto club talk, then organised a little geo-walk for later in the week.
I then watched last night's episode of "The Last Ship" and took myself off to bed for the afternoon. Despite the heat I slept rather well. An episode of "Upstairs Downstairs" and then I'm off to the night shift...

24 July 2016 (Sunday) - Family Barby

I suppose I slept reasonably well; I woke at 7am unable to breathe despite the CPAP machine's besst efforts. I'm pretty sure that I need another nasal re-bore (like I had two years ago).
I got up and over brekkie spent a little while putting the word out about this week's astro club meeting. And then I had a little look-see at the travel news. There are serious delays at Dover at the moment due to the increased terrorrist threat. Interestingly all those people who only a few weeks ago were shouting about how important it is to leave the EU to have strong border controls were today grumbling all over Facebook about the consequences of having those strong border controls.

I got dressed. I had intended to go straight to work in the garden but my dog had other ideas. So I took him round the park for a walk. All sorts of people in hi-vis jackets (with council logos and council vans) were clearing up the carnage of yesterday's "Create" festival. Fudge tried to content himself with hoovering up the scraps of food which were everywhere. I *think* I stopped him.

We came home and had a look at the pond's new filter. I thought the ultra-violet light wasn't working; I've been grumbling about it for a few days. The things are suppsed to glow. It wasn't glowing.
I took it all apart and put it back together and plugged it into the extension cable I use for the lawnmower. It glowed brightly. I put it back onto the electrical extension I'd wired in on Friday and nothing happened. It is bodged with the lawnmower's cable for the time being. I'l sort it properly later in the week.

"My Boy TM" and Lacey arrived and the idea was that we would drive round to see "Daddies Little Angel TM". My mum and dad were visiting "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" . But it turned out that they only intended a flying visit and were gone before we could get there.
We had planned to go to Folkestone in the afternon to see the Alice in the Coastal Park show. But the chaos on the motorways made going to Folkestone an impractical idea. So we had a family barby in the garden instead. I took a few photos - not a bad way to spend the afternoon. Having spent so much time, effort and money getting the garden half-way decent we might as well use it...

23 July 2016 (Saturday) - FTF in Bonnington

It was a rather hot and sweaty night. I woke up feeling rather bleaugh at 3am and lay awake; finally giving up and getting up at 5.15am. I went straight outside and had a little look round in the garden. For all that we'd worked endlessly yesterday, there wasn't really that much to see. This is why I dislike gardening so much; you bust a gut just to stay where you are.
Over a spot of brekkie I had a look-see on-line. Little had changed overnight. But I did see that the new geocache which had gone live in Bonnington on Thursday morning was still unfound. Bearing in mind that Bonnington is six miles in the wrong direction for work I set off about an hour earlier than I needed to. Two minutes later I came back home to collect my wallet. Fifteen minutes later I was in Bonnington.

There was a puzzle to be solved before I could find the cache. I had to find a footpath number (from a sign) and do some sums. Those sums involved a zero being divided by a zero. Now having a degree in maths I knew that wouldn't work. So I guessed that the answer was actually supposed to be one and I got some co-ordinates three hundred yards away. I walked those three hundred yards and found I was randomly in the middle of a field full of bleating sheep. My guess was wrong. I'd woken all those sheep for nothing. Have you ever woken sheep? They are rather noisy first thing in the morning.
So I guessed again that the answer might be supposed to be zero, and re-calculated. Eighty yards later I found myself at exactly the sort of place where I might hide a small plastic pot. Personally I felt that the sheep's jaw bone sitting fairly close to where I needed to search had been deliberately placed as a marker. I had a rummage and sure enough I was in the right place. I found the cache - no signatures on the log before me. I was the first one to find it. Happy dance... at 6.30am. Mind you it was a multi-cache. Getting First to Find on those is relatively easy; no one ever goes after multis (which is a shame).
It was also a shame that my trainers had leaked and I had wet feet from the dew. They stayed damp all day.

I then made my way to Canterbury listening to the radio as I went. As I drove the radio was broadcasting the farming news. Apparently there is some new GPS gadget for tractors on the market which records which bits of fields have been crop-sprayed. Using this, farmers don't spray the same bits of the fields ten times and not spray other bits at all. This was presented as being a wonderful innovation; I would have thought that such a device would have been invented years ago.

I stopped off at Sainsburys for the makings of lunch, then went in to work. I often say that when I am on the late shift the fun part of my day is effectively all over by 11.30am. Today that was 7.45am.
I then spent much of the day sulking. Today wasn't a day on which I was rota-ed to work. I'd done a swap. But for all that the swap had actually suited me, "er indoors TM" and everyone else had gone off canoeing today.
And I'd had an invite to a barbecue in Brighton today.
I also could have gone to the beer festival in Canterbury. In fact that beer festival was only a mile away from where I was working. I *could* have rallied the troops and gone for a few pints after work. But I know what I'm like at a beer festival. Bearing in mind that money is tight at the moment, shelling out fifty quid just to feel ill the next day probably isn't a good plan.
For some reason these sorts of things always happen when I'm working.

Mind you I suppose today was a better day to be working. Ashford's "Create" music festival was taking place in Viccie Park today, and I was better off away from it. In previous years I've ranted about this music festival. There was a privately organised music festival in the North park the other week. Talking to friends who were there, that seemed to pass off fine.
However the "Create" one is run by the council (at rate-payers expense) and I don't like how it's run. Because it is only a couple of minutes walk from home I feel as though I should go to it. And I go there to resent being body-searched by paid thugs before being grudgingly allowed into the park which I walk round five times every week. I also resent not being able to walk in with a bottle of ale whilst drunk teenagers stagger in carrying slabs of cans of lager. And I get arsey wasting my time and money watching on spotty dimbos who clearly cannot work the ice cream machines they are paid to operate. And my piss seriously boils when much of the park is fenced off for a week whist the set-up and take-down is going on.
I ranted about it six years ago and I'm still ranting now. I suppose I should just suck up the fact that the masses like it, and as usual I'm in the minority and shut my rattle.
But what is life without a good rant from time to time.

22 July 2016 (Friday) - A Day Off ?

It was as well I didn't go to the midnight showing of "Star Trek" last night; when I went to bed I was out like a light for over seven hours. That *never* happens.
Over brekkie I had a look at my accounts. Having had last week's pond failure has taken its toll. The idea was that having done a bonus Saturday as overtime (a few weekends ago) I was supposd to be rather flush. The reality is that after payday (in two days time) I will have nine quid left. Oh well; I won't be replacing this lap-top any time soon. But I shouldn't grumble. Things could always be worse...

I put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we walked out to meet up with "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" . The most recent fruit of my loin had ordered some stuff from Argos, so we walked over to Willesborough to get it. I did think that her shorts were a silly idea, an a field full of stinging nettles proved me right.
We got to Argos; I had a look in their catalogue. The mini -shed in which the pond's electrics are housed is a little knackered. Regular readers of this drivel may recall me getting that shed on the day on which Michael Jackson's death was announced. Looking back at that blog entry I saw that I wasn't impressed with it at the time, and thought it would only last a year. It has lasted seven years...
Argos's catalogue has a small cupboard which would do to house the pond's electrics, but it cost forty quid. I thought I might shop around. Wickes had the same thing for over double the price... I decided that the shed might last a little longer.

We came home, and it wasn't long before Sam joined us. Sam carried on the job of firming up the edgings on my lawn whilst I tidied up the pond's electricals. "Daddies Little Angel TM" made a seemingly endless supply of iced tea and iced coffee (I have recently become addicted to iced coffee) whilst "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" played in the paddling pool.
With lawn edgings edged and electricals tidy, Sam helped me (i.e. did all the work) take up the stones from around my big dragon garden ornament, lift the membranes, re-landscape,replace membranes and generally restore the little shingled area to its former glory.

Kat, Sam and Jake then really had to go home. But I was so grateful for their help; we'd got loads done in the garden. Sam helped me load my car with loads of rubbish and they went their way and I went mine.
Their way being homeward and my way being to the tip.

After the tip run I had a look at the mini-shed in which the pond's electricals live. It was knackered. And then I had a closer look. The shed itself was fine; it was just the roof that was knackered. So I had a rummage in the shed. I had roofing felt left over from when last fixed the main shed's roof. I had a little measure-up and popped round to B&Q for a roof-shaped lump of wood, then spent a happy half hour bashing roofing felt onto said lump of wood. Clouting things with a hammer is always fun, and I soon built new shed roof. An hour's work had given me a perfectly servicable shed again. Bearing in mind I realistically expected to have to replace the entire thing five years ago, I'm seeing this as something of a result.

I spent half a hour hunting out my secateurs, then made a start cutting back the jungle which flows over the fence from our troublesome neighbour's garden. After a couple of hours I looked at my watch. It was 6pm. 6pm ? The plan had been to garden until about mid-day.
I had hoped to lay the shingle I'd bought yesterday and to level up the new filter box. Also for all that the electricals have been tidied I really need to plumb them back into the wateproof housings. And 'd plpanned to iron eight shirts.
But all of that will have to keep to another time.

I popped up to the KFC to get some dinner. "er indoors TM" was out at her work's summer party. Her works parties don't take prisoners (!) so I wasn't expctinng her home any time soon. KFC was devoured whilst watching the fifth (or was it the seventh?) episode of "Game of Thrones". For all that I *really* do like that show, this episode was somewhat akin to a porno version of American wrestling.

I *could* have gone to see the "Star Trek" film this evening; Steve had phoned to ask if I was up for it. But I'd declined. A day's hard work in bright sunshine has taken its toll. I think an early night might be in order.

A day off? I've not worked so hard in years

21 July 2016 (Thursday) - Empty Pond

"er indoors TM" woke me at quarter to midnight. She'd been to look at the pond and seen the top of the filter box had been knocked off. Consequently water wasn't being filtered and returned to the pond but was pouring away. By the time she'd seen the problem the pond was three quarters empty.
This has never happened before in nine years of pond-ing. The obvious answer is that "Furry Face TM" got tangled in the cable when chasing cats. The cable is about small-dog-chest-height because the new cable is shorter than the old one. And this is why I was in B&Q buying stuff to connect electrical cables (to make it longer) yesterday.
By the time I'd run out the hosepipe it was well past midnight. We stood watching water trickle out of the hose for five minutes, then wet back to bed.
If only I'd made that cable longer bd buried it in the shigle yesterday evening like I'd planned to do... Mind you I have speculated on giving the pond a change of water. If nothing else that is one job less to do.

Surprisingly I then slept through until after 7am. I got up to see that the pond was filling well. I then spent a couple of minutes making mental notes of what I might take to the tip later. And my dog then tiddled on each and every item I planned to take to the tip. I suppose he thinks he's being helpful.

Over brekkie I then carried on with with some geo-puzzles. Having wasted no end of brain-ache on vignere ciphers last night I suddenly realised (when I was told!) that cistercian and subsitiution was the way forward. After seriously straining my brain I finally ended up with the same decoding that Jo had got. I'm not saying we've got it right, but at least we are both wrong in the same way. So flushed with success I carried on decoding for a few minutes as I scoffed my toast until "My Boy TM" phoned. He'd seen the photos of pond disaster on Facebook, and he was instrumental in digging the pond all those years ago.

I took "Furry Face TM" for his morning walk; as we went we met "Daddies Little Angel TM" 's old friend Kevin and his dog. We also met a Dalmation who Fudge tried to hump, and we met a furry little thing with an injured paw. This dog has his front foot bodged up in a makeshift bandage and his owner warned us of broken glass near the KFC. I must admit I'm too concerned about my dog getting hold of stray chicken bones near the KFC to worry about glass; I shall pay more attention in future.
Just as this dog's owner was trying to claim the vet had charged three hundred quid just to bandage up the foot, both dogs started playing and the bandage fell off.
I beat a hasty retreat.

Once home I emptied my car of the tat which has accumulated in it over the last few weeks and then loaded up garden rubbish to take to the tip. The smelly part of the old filter went, as did the rotten garden edgings and the light fitting which blew our fuses the other day.
I saw the pond was full so I turned off the tap. That took nine hours to fill. I left home leaving the filter running, wondering what I might come home to.

And so to the tip. As usual the people emptying their rubbish were bumbling about with no regard for anyone else, and the tip staff were looking down on everyone with utter contempt. Some things rarely change; Ashford's tip is one of them.

I then drove on to Bybrook Barn garden centre. I wanted some beach shingle; they only did coloured stones. So I drove out to Chartham garden centre. Thirty quid for six bags of shingle... this garden lark isn't cheap. As Ark Aquatics was there I got some finer filter mesh for the new filter. I had planned on a cuppa and a bit of cake, but time was short.
It was at this point that I realised I'd left my sandwiches at home so I made a flying visit to Morrisons and arrived at work one minute late.

I did my bit, and came home to find "er indoors TM" had got the hairdresser in. So I sat about for over an hour waiting for the hairdresser to finish... I'd vaguely speculated on going to the midnight showing of the new Star Trek film. Hairdresser seemed to think this was pehaps the craziest sugestion in the history of the universe.
I don't think she gets out much...

20 July 2016 (Wednesday) - Police Chase

Despite a hot and humid night I slept through until nearly 5am. I got up, and went to have a look at the pond. It as pretty much as I'd left it last night. I'm not sure what I was expecting but I was somewhat releived to see the filter was still doing its thing. As I came back in to the house "Furry Face TM" started a woofing fit. I wish he wouldn't try to fight the local cats nearly two hours before most people get up.
Over brekkie I watched an episode of "Dad's Army"; it's back on the telly now the tennis has stopped. I then wrestled with a rather fiendish geo-puzzle. I *think* the thing involves a vignere cipher but I'm rather stumped with it.

There was some excitement as I drove to work this morning. Just as I was driving on to the ring road so a car sped out of one of the car parks hotly pursued by a police car. Within seconds a second police car sped past me with only inches to spare. I've since read on-line that this was supposedly some police training exercise, but friends of friends who saw this little episode within minutes of me seeing it mentioned that one car was deliberately trying to ram another. Surely police training exercises don't have innocent motorists scattering in all directions to avoid the chase? If what I saw was truly a training exercise I'd suggest whoever is in charge of the local police's training ought to have a re-think.

And (as always) I had the radio on. The latest brainwave from the government wound me up somewhat. Basically if you are healthy you will need to make sure you are registered with a G.P.; moves are afoot to have G.P. surgeries de-register people who've not visited a doctor for five years. So people will effectively be penalised for being healthy. Being de-registered will mean that people will not be able to get to a G.P, when they need one most. More strain on already over-worked hospital A & E departments.... If nothing else it will generate more paperwork as people get de-registered and seek to be re-registered. And there are those who thrive on paperwork.

I got to work, had another busy day, and came home. To my annoyance I came home via B&Q. The cable for the ultra-violet light on the new pnd filter isn't long enough. I phoned various shops, but unfortuately B&Q was the *only* place that claimed to have something to connct electical cables which will be outside and subject to the weather.
I got to B&Q and the young lad assisting me was useles to the point where I almost pointed and laughed at how little he knew about attaching one electric cable to another.

I came home, ran "Furry Face TM" round the park, then mowed the lawn. That worked up a sweat. Whilst I was there I had a look in the pond. Whilst it is far from being crystal clear it is certainly better than it was.
I could have done more in the garden, butdecide against it.
I wonder what's for tea?

19 July 2016 (Tuesday) - Jubilee Clips

Lat night I slept better than I had done for some time (not that this is saying much) and over brekkie I saw that my SkyPlus box had spotted something that I had not. The third season of "The Last Ship" started on Sunday evening. I'd not seen that advertised but my wonderful SkyPlus box had. Being able to fast-forward through the adverts, a recording of an hour and five minutes took forty minutes to watch. It might have been better if I could have remembered what had happened in the last season, but I thought it was a rather good show anyway.
My litle dog watched it with me; just lately he's not got up in the mornings. I liked having him with me today. He looked hopefuly at my toast, but did't get any. Vet says he gets too many scraps and treats.
I then had a little look on-line. Social media is at its best when people post photos of what they have been up to. I can then sulk when I see what I've missed.
I watered my tree and set off to work.

Bearing in mind yesterday evening's fun with the pond hoses I thought I might well be needing a couple of jubilee clips so I stopped off at B&Q before work. The service there is variable; today they were utterly disinterested. I couldn't find the jubilee clips, asked for help, and was told "probably aisle seven" by an assistant who clearly had better things to do with her time.
If I'd had more time I would have gone elsewhere. As it was I eventually found what I needed. As I paid the woman on the checkout made a point of directing me to their website to rate the service I'd received.
Something of a mistake on her part...

I got to work, and had a surprisingly busy day. I was glad when home time arrived. I went home via the pond shop; I'd phoned them during the day about my discrepant nozzle sizes and the nice man had found just the adaptor I needed, and threwin some extra hose for free.
My plan was to go home and crack on with the pond stuff. I got home to find "er indoors TM" , "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" were messing about in the garden with the paddling pool. I worked around them (which is easier said than done) and got the new filtration system up and running. It isn't very pretty - it needs a bit of fidling around and lansdscaping, but that can wait.

Ordinarily we would have gone to Folkestone this evening, but Jimbo's guts are still recovering from his bout of the "two-bob-bits".
So instead we had an evening in. I'm thinking of having an early night...