25 May 2018 (Friday) - Next Door

As I drove home from work this morning the pundits on the radio were talking about how the planned meeting of Donald Trump and Kim Jung-un has been cancelled. I can’t help but feel that an actual meeting is the last thing either of them want. The promise of a meeting which is forever on-again off-again would be far better for them – it will keep the public’s attention for ages.
There was also talk about the latest estimates of the cost of Brexit. Whether or not it was the right decision is irrelevant; the decision has been made. But it was an expensive decision especially when you bear in mind that it was sold to the masses as a financial saving. The Governor of the Bank of England says it has left households nine hundred pounds worse off, and there will still be twenty billion quid extra to find each year. In the lead-up to the referendum the leaders of the “Leave” campaign were crystal clear in their promises that Brexit would save the country money. Would it be *that* unreasonable for the government to bankrupt Boris Johnson and Nigel Farrage as a punishment if for no better reason than to make politicians accountable for making promises that they clearly cannot keep?

I took the dogs round the park; Treacle ran in terror from other dogs, Fudge humped and picked fights, OrangeHead’s posse were civil… a rather dull walk really.
As we walked I spoke with "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" on the phone. She’s been discharged from jury service. Apparently this isn’t the same as being expelled; it turns out they don’t need her. She was told that the courts don’t take on much work over the Bank Holiday period. It struck me that criminals work round the clock every day of the year and take maybe a couple of minutes do perform their nefarious acts. The courts on the other hand only work weekdays, have short working hours, clearly don’t put themselves out at weekends, and take ages to deliberate.
British justice(!)

We came home to see nice-next-door loading up their removal van. Today was their moving day. Such a shame…
We've not had much luck with our neighbours since we moved into our current house in the autumn of 1991. When we moved in there was a rather vicious nasty woman and her hen-pecked weasel of a husband in the house next door (going down the road from us). This was years before the bypass had been built, and (being obsessed with peace and quiet) they were not happy that they had moved in to what was then the busiest street in the town. They never forgave us for moving into the house where their friends had once lived and they made no secret of the fact that they despised children in general and ours in particular. I can distinctly remember having to reprimand "My Boy TM" and "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" (both aged about six and seven) for standing in the back garden singing (to the tune of the Australian soap-opera “Neighbours”) “Neighbours… we hate the f… ing neighbours”.
After years of her constantly complaining about trivia they moved out and were replaced with the current neighbours who I often refer to as “not-so-nice-next-door”. I honestly believe he is clinically insane; she looks at me like I am the sh*t on her shoe. Neither have hardly said a word to us since I had a solicitor write to them over ten years ago when they didn’t seem to realise that I don’t need their permission to lead my own life.
He hasn't been seen for over a year, and I am wondering what is going on. I suspect he might be in a secure mental unit, but I could be wrong.

The house next door up the road from us is a different story. No one *ever* stays for any length of time there.
When we moved in there was a little old lady who kept herself to herself.
She was replaced by the mother-in-law of the other neighbours. We got on well with her to the disgust of the other neighbours.
After her it is all something of a blur. I can't remember the exact order, and I may have forgotten some ...
There was the drunk Irishman who would play crap music at 2am.
There were two young Australian ladies who would sunbathe in the garden in the nip (I liked them).
There was a Nigerian family who would never pull the blind in their toilet.
There were two young lads who were great fun.
There was the Nigerian fellow who would regularly have a "crafty Joddrell" into the toilet in the evenings; the shadows of which on their bathroom blind were rather entertaining
There was the odd couple who tried to blame the flood from their upstairs bathroom on my downstairs washing machine.
There was the young family who ran away owning thousands (we had the debt collectors asking after them for months).
There were the people with three dogs each of which was the size of a cart-horse.
There was the nice couple who moved round the corner to Francis Road.
Then there was the lot who did noisy sex and who moved out today.

On Sunday 13 November 2016 I wrote about the most recent neighbours: “As we pulled up so our new neighbour was coming out of next door. We chatted for a few minutes; he seems pleasant enough. Here’s hoping”. Chatting with him I got the distinct impression that he feels that I had let him down. He’s moving to one of the new housing estates where he hopes there will be a sense of community that he feels is lacking in Beaver Road. I suspect he was hoping that when he moved in next door to us, his neighbours would also be his best friends; we were never home long enough to get chummy. Personally I subscribe to the “Good fences make good neighbours” philosophy. I’m an old misery-guts in that respect.
I suspect he is hoping to find a ready-made group of people to be his friends. Such groups are out there; you just have to find them… I *think* he is hoping that by moving house such a group will find him. I *think* he will be disappointed. Especially if she carries on screaming quite so impressively when “doing the dirty deed”.
That's a dozen sets of people who have come and gone next door. In between some of these, the house has been empty for over a year on two occasions. This last lot lasted eighteen months next door to us… that’s probably average for our neighbours. In the past, getting new neighbours has been a matter of great trepidation for me; now I can’t help but wonder just how transient this lot will be.

I took myself off to bed; I managed four hours sleep, then lay awake for a while. Eventually I realized I might as well use the time constructively so whilst the dogs snarled at the window at nice-next-door who were *still* moving out. The first time we moved house we did it ourselves; it was horrific. The last time we moved we paid professional movers and it was *so* much easier.
As the dogs grumbled I got the lawn mowed and then looked at the monthly accounts. Whilst I am far from skint I just wish I had a *lot* more money. Realistically I don’t need it. I just want it.

"er indoors TM" will be home soon. The trouble with night shifts is that I don’t really sleep much during the day and I get rather lonely. Perhaps if I was more chummy with the neighbours… ? I’ve met the new people – by an odd coincidence they have a jack russell and a spaniel. We’ve got a jack Russell and half a spaniel.
As I said on Sunday 13 November 2016 “here’s hoping”.

24 May 2018 (Thursday) - A Rather Dull Day

Over brekkie I read something on one of the work-based Facebook pages I follow which struck a chord with me: “Feeling discouraged...I’ve been in a toxic work situation for quite a while now. I’ve finally decided I need to change companies after years of trying to make it work out. Sometimes I think I’ve made the wrong career decision. However I’ve been in the same position for 10 years, so I know I haven’t experienced much variety out there. Could use some words of encouragement or advice.
I found myself having flashbacks. I worked with a toxic person for years, She was obnoxious and a bully who delighted in giving out personal verbal abuse. Eventually things got so she would do her work in a room on her own which suited everyone; she hated everyone else and everyone else hated her. On one occasion a trainee went to her for help; she told him her door was closed for a reason, and slammed it in his face.
Successions of managers tried to work with her and jolly her up, but she resisted all attempts to get her to stop being such a nasty person. But what *really* got me was that for all that everyone else would grumble and whinge about her, not one would formally complain. So when I eventually formally complained I was told that it was only me who had a problem with her.
I hear she is still a serious problem for the place’s current management.
I also read a post on Facebook from someone who still works in that place who was complaining that the hospital’s ultrasound machine was out of action, and was being rather disparaging about the matter. I see people who work there running the place down every week on Facebook. I once posted a selfie from the place in the small hours of a night shift, was told I was bringing the place into disrepute and received a formal disciplinary warning.
I’m convinced I would have had a case for constructive dismissal. But on reflection I am very glad to be away from that environment.

I got dressed; that is I got dressed once I’d retrieved my new pants from Treacle. I bought some new pants from Aldi yesterday. I wonder if they would be as keen to exchange them as B&Q were to refund my money on those shears yesterday? The whole idea of pants is to hold your “junk” in place. These new pants seem to be for decorative purposes and just let it all slop about. I shall wash them and give them to Treacle as a toy; she will think she is *so* clever running around with them.
Alternatively I shall let the gnomes have them – if they have finally figured out what to do with them.

Together with the dogs I got a lift half-way to "er indoors TM"’s work. We walked home through the new estate. I like the look of some of those houses there; how do people afford them?
Failing to find a geocache there (I promptly emailed friends for hints) we came home and I trimmed the edges of the lawn with that poggered strimmer. It trims well enough, but the cutting bit has had it. I am currently bodging it by using old washing line as the strimming edge; having to have three changes of washing line for each time I cut the lawn’s edges.
As I was finishing so the sky got rather black. I shall mow the rest of the lawn tomorrow.

Over a spot of lunch I put on a DVD. I’m sure I’ve watched “Interstellar” before; after an hour or so I felt myself getting tired. I do that before the night shift. I’m sure it is all in the mind, but just after min-day I get very sleepy. I went off to bed for a few hours, then watched the end of “Interstellar”. In many ways it was very like “Avatar”; the sort of film I thought I would like, and probably would have done had it been an hour shorter. Leaving aside the glaring plot holes, I was just waiting for the film to finally end. It had clearly modeled itself on the film “2001 – A Space Odyssey” and that film went on far too long as well.
(on checking it seems I watched the film on 8 May last year whilst doing the ironing – I didn’t like it then either).

Once "er indoors TM" has boiled up some dinner I’m off to the night shift…

23 May 2018 (Wednesday) - Another Late Shift

Treacle is a very nervous and timid dog… when we are out and about. At home she is rather more confident. She showed this by declaring “Red Alert” twice in the small hours of last night.

I looked at Facebook with a twinge of jealously this morning; Sparks’ UK tour started in Glasgow last night. There were several videos of the show being posted up; it looks like I missed something special. Bearing in mind they are based in America and are both in their seventies, I really should get a ticket for one of the shows before it is too late.
I had an email from the nice people who run the “Mammals” app. It seems they don’t accept any old rubbish and review the mammal sightings. They have accepted my deer sighting which I submitted on Saturday. It is good that they actually check the sightings. However what is to stop me reporting the same mammal several times? I suspect this will happen in Viccie Park – how many squirrels can there be in one park?
I also had emails from Orinta Murasovaite and Robyn Steel asking if they could join my LilnkedIn network. I can only imagine that my LinkedIn network must be something special - *so* many people want to join it.

I then took the dogs round the park. I’ve mentioned recently how there are those who take everyopportunity to run down the council’s care of Viccie Park. Again the lawns were being mowed before half past eight. Again the park was immaculate.
We walked round the park and home through the co-op field. Today we didn’t meet anyone else, there were no fights, nothing happened. As walks go it was a tad dull.

Regular readers of this drivel may recall that me and "My Boy TM" went to B&Q a couple of weeks ago when I bought some shears to (hopefully) replace the garden strimmer which is poggered. I tried them out at the weekend - they were worse than useless (the broken strimmer does a better job), and so I took the shears back to B&Q this morning. I went up to the refunds desk and asked for my money back because the shears don't actually cut anything. I was expecting a fight; the utterly disinterested assistant handed back the money without batting an eyelid. That went a *lot* easier than I had expected.

I then drove out to Ulcombe for a little geo-adventure before work. There is a very old geocache there. Five years ago we walked within five hundred yards of it, but thought it too far off of our route to visit. On reflection it probably was, but these older caches usually are on their own with none around them.
I parked up in a church car park five hundred yards away from my target (this being the closest that I could park) and walked along a rather overgrown footpath. After a while I came to a swamp. Fortunately the path went by the side of the swamp, and not through it. The first four hundred yards of the walk to the cache were a bit uninspiring, but the last hundred yards were rather pretty. I soon found the fifteen-year-old sandwich box and signed the log. A recent finder of this cache had written quite an essay in the log book, including a little bit about how Bill's son was a "hottie". I couldn't help but wonder who Bill was, or just how much of a "hottie" his son was.
Pausing only briefly to act very suspiciously round the village sign I then drove up to the church at Broomfield where (carefully avoiding the ramblers) I found a gravestone, solved a puzzle, and soon found a film pot behind a rock up a tree. As one does in my world.
When I walked back to my car I saw an elderly couple who were having a picnic in the church garden. We all looked at each other and all realised we were sniggering about the ramblers. I got chatting with the couple - they showed me their plan for a six mile route round the area starting from Leeds castle. I might just walk it and see if I can't find some rocks along the way under which I might put some film pots.

I then drove up to McDonalds for some lunch, and then popped into Aldi. Aldi - what a shop! I went in for biscuits and came out with a pair of secateurs and three pairs of underpants.

Work was work; as I drove home, the Mael brothers (them out of Sparks) were being interviewed on the radio. It was something of a disappointment.