30 December 2016 (Friday) - Old Wives Lees



I had something of an early night last night. After an hour or so I was woken by a scrubbling sound. "Furry Shark TM" was trying to get on to the bed. Still half-asleep I reached over the edge of the bed and lifted her up. She immediately burrowed under the covers and bit me on the arse.
I took her back downstairs to "er indoors TM" who *said* she was wondering where the puppy had gone but looked to be enjoying the peace and quiet. I went back to bed, but couldn’t settle. Eventually I found myself out of bed and watching a documentary about the making of the National Geographic Mars show. I’d liked that show but for all that it was supposed to be realistic, some bits weren’t. The director of the “making of” show all but admitted that scientific accuracy doesn’t make for good viewing.
I eventually took myself back to bed shortly after 3am and got three hours kip.

Over brekkie I sparked up the lap-top and had a look-see on-line. I had a “notiication” supposedly from PayPal that my “acount” had been “susspended”, and asking for all my log-in details. You’d think people trying to perpetrate these scams would at least check their spelling.  
Facebook was quiet today. For once people weren’t pretending to be surprised that celebrities eventually die.
As I looked into cyber-space on my lap-top "er indoors TM" did so on her phone. Her lap-top is currently out of action on account of “someone” having chewed through the cable.

We got the leads on to the dogs and set off to Old Wives Lees. A couple of days ago a new series of geocaches had gone live there. I’d been intending to go for a geo-walk today and having seen someone else suggest this series I was only too happy to join in. Seven of us (and two small dogs) went for a walk. It was a good walk, even if a little cold and foggy. I rather liked this walk; for the most part it was quite close to my morning drive to work. I had no idea these beautiful places existed. I even took a few photos as we walked.
Geocache-wise it was a good walk. A mixture of hides; some easy, others not so. Our route took us past one cache I’d visited before and failed to find; I was pleased that we unearthed it today. However they were rather spaced out. The route was one of sixteen caches; it could easily have been one of thirty hides.

A couple of the hides had been rather challenging; we were out for rather longer than we’d expected and were rather cold by the time we got home. Both dogs had a shower; it was puppy’s first bath-time. It went rather well.

The afternoon was then a rather lazy one. I had a look at the household accounts. I can account for every penny that I’ve spent; I could just do with having more of them. And I spent half an hour sorting out my undercrackers. I shall need my red ones for tomorrow (what with it being New Year) and they took some finding. Mind you I did find *loads* of undercrackers and socks. Why do I keep buying new ones when I have so many?
I also signed up for the “walk 1000 miles in 2017 challenge” – a friend has done it this year. It isn’t about raising money for “charidee”; it is all about feeling better. Supposedly. Personally, I’d be interested to find out how far I do walk. I’ve measured our standard walk round the park at being one mile; I shall take the GPS unit out when I go with "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" and see how far we go. I suppose that the target is to do 1000 miles in the year. That’s do-able – isn’t it?

Over dinner we watched a few episodes of “Timeless”. It has been advertised an awful lot lately; it is quite a good show but rather derivative of all sorts of other sci-fi shows and books. The first three episodes were OK; we’ll see how it pans out.

29 December 2016 (Thursday) - Beer

I slept reasonably well, but was till up shortly after 6am. I tiddled the dogs (who went promptly back to bed) and then watched telly. “Dad’s Army” and “Mutiny on the Buses” passed the time until "er indoors TM" surfaced.
As I watched Blakey (who still “ates you Butler”) my new phone beeped with a friend request from Facebook. I thought that was odd as I’d turned off the thing’s mobile data and wi-fi last night. Sure enough they were still off. The phone couldn’t connect to the Internet, but somehow it had received the friend request and also an email or two. I wonder how it does that. I turned on the Internet connection and had a look on-line. As always Facebook amazed me; if nothing else it shows that I truly have nothing in common with some people that I’ve known for years. I particularly get wound up by people posting these self-improvement memes which imply that absolutely anyone can be utterly successful in anything they try. They are always posted by people who’ve never had life truly piss on them. Some people are lucky; other are not. And it is really unfair that the fortunate imply the less fortunate are in their various predicaments because of some failing on their part.

"er indoors TM" eventually got up. I say “eventually” – in fairness she probably got up about the same time that the rest of the world would have done, but by then I’d been up for ages and was bored shitless with sitting about waiting.
We took the dogs round the park. It was a rather frosty morning, and the walk was somewhat delayed by pretty much everyone we encountered wanting to fuss the puppy. Mind you, apart from a minor incident when "Furry Face TM" tiddled on "Furry Shark TM"’s head, the walk passed off reasonably well.

We came home for cake, then set off to the train station where we soon found Steve and Sarah. The train was on time and it wasn’t long before we were in the Bridge cafĂ© with Jimbo scoffing a rather late brekkie. And with brekkie scoffed we went to the Firkin where we met Stevey. We also met a pint of Bunny Hop and Lemon Dream and some tropping shollies (!)
From the Firkin it was only a short walk to an old favouite; the Chambers. A pint of black IPA (abv 5.8%) went down very nicely. We could have stayed longer, but the Chambers isn’t the cheapest of ale houses so (pausing only briefly for geo-reasons) we went on to the Guildhall for Harvey’s Best, pool and a very saucy photograph in the gent’s lavatory.
The Pullman was only a short hop from the Guildhall. They were serving Educated Guess from the Mad Cat brewery. There was a serious “real ale twat” on the next table, but (to be fair) he seemed to be harmless enough.
Time was pushing on, so we made a bee-line for Kipps alehouse and a pint of Brewdolph (from the great Orme brewery). And with that guzzled it only remained to get a kebab and go home. And in a novel break with tradition I stayed awake long enough to get off the train at Ashford.

I took a few photos of the afternoon… I wonder if I will get up for the walk we’ve got planned or tomorrow…?


28 December 2016 (Wednesday) - New Phone



I had a relatively good night’s sleep, but even having had six hours sleeping still had me wide awake before 6am. I watched a Christmas episode of Dad’s Army and last Saturday’s episode of Thunderbirds then I had a message. A new geocache or two. In fact fifteen of the things all on my way to work. Somewhat ironic that I’m now on a week’s leave. If only they’d gone live yesterday…
One of them involved a puzzle to be solved. Five minutes thinking gave me a solution which was several miles off the coast of Ramsgate in the North Sea. I checked my sums – the error was in the setting of the puzzle. I emailed the chap who’d set it. There is quite a difference between co-ordinates of E000 and E001.

I then walked into town. I’d been due an upgrade on my phone for some time and hadn’t been sure what to do. In years gone by I hadn’t been at all impressed with EE. When it came to internet signal, far from being “Everything Everywhere” they were “Nothing Anywhere”. But over the last few months their coverage has improved. Last night I sought opinions and most people seemed to rate the Samsung S7 phone. So I got one.

I came home, we had a cuppa then drove down to Hastings to see my mum on her birthday. She’d gone out. What was that all about - she never goes out.
We drove back to Ashford, had a quick McLunch then gave Cheryl a lift home and walked the dogs round the park. "Furry Shark TM" is getting better at the whole “walkies” thing; even if she does insist on harassing passers-by.

With walk done "er indoors TM" took Cheryl shopping. Their new car arrives on Friday; in the meantime they are having issues with shifting the carcass of the old one, and will insist on spending out on taxis. We are intently trying to head them off whenever we can.
I then sat down (with a small dog on either side) and had a look at my new phone in earnest. Various accounts to set up, message alerts to customise. A lot of the battle was deciding what I *didn’t* want on the new phone. Over the years I’d downloaded all sorts of apps I never use. Rather than generally copying the lot I tried to be somewhat discerning about what I have got on the phone. Funnily enough getting my geo-app sorted was the work of minutes whereas sorting my SmartWatch was rather painful.
As I fought with the device the doorbell rang. It was our new next door neighbour. She’s apparently got a problem with rats. We’ve had rats in the past; I thought the problem was solved. Mind you it has been cold lately; perhaps the rats have come inside to where it is warm?
Before I knew what was going on it was 6pm… where did the afternoon go? I eventually got the new phone (mostly) exactly how the old one was. I’ve now got a spare galaxy S4. I might just hang on to it as a spare GPS as I doubt it has much in the way of a resale value.

Over a tea of bubble and squeak we watched the “Paddington” film, and we’ve got time to watch another film from the SkyPlus box. That thing is now sixty per cent empty.
We might be in a position to get a SkyQ box soon…