11 December 2018 (Tuesday) - Out for a Meal

I slept like a log; waking ten minutes before the alarm to find I was cuddling Fudge as though he was a teddy bear. Sometimes that dog can be incredibly soppy.
I scoffed a bowl of granola for brekkie whilst watching an episode of “F is for Family” then opened my Lego Advent Calendar. A train… that will give me something to think about today. I peered into the murk of cyberspace. It was much as I’d left it last night. But I had an email from Nectar saying that if I bought something in Sainsburys in the next two days they would give me five hundred Nectar points.

As I walked out of the house I saw the cars outside were covered in ice. My car (twenty yards down the road) wasn't. What was that all about?
As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how the Prime Minister has delayed Parliament’s vote on her Brexit withdrawal plan. Bearing in mind that everyone considers the thing to be down the toilet (with the turds), she has gone off to Brussels to beg the EU top-dogs not to pull the flush on it just yet. Even though the EU top dogs have told her to get bent. More than once.
The pundits were interviewing all sorts of people who were saying the Prime Minister should resign and were suggesting all sorts of people who might take over. No one actually wanted to be in the hot-seat themselves though. Who would?

There was also talk about how the Church of England has devised a religious service to celebrate the transition of transexual people from one sex to another. What is that all about? Presumably God stuffed up in the first place by putting them in what they see as the wrong body? So why would anyone thank God when they themselves have put right the mistake that they feel God made?
I don't understand religion.

I went to Sainsburys. I got some sugar and some sweeties for work (I'll dosh them out later in the week). I thought I might redeem my five hundred Nectar points that I'd had an email about. There was no five hundred Nectar points. Just like there was no hundreds of Nectar points when I connected my eBay account with my Nectar account.
The people at Nectar have promised me a lot of things... they haven't delivered on all of them. Yet.

I did my bit at work, and came home. I got to Ashford in the usual time; it then took me longer to get half a mile from junction nine to the Drover’s roundabout than it had taken to drive twenty-five miles from work.

This evening was rather good; we’d arranged a pre-Christmas meal. A dozen of us turned up at the French Connection. Burgers, beers, trifles, insults… not a bad way to spend an evening. Really should do it more often… 

10 December 2018 (Monday) - Late Shift

I slept reasonably well; though some nights my CPAP machine does give me a sore nose. Last night was one of them, and I did wake with a rather tender beak.
Over brekkie I had a look at Facebook. It suggested I joined a group supposedly concerned with traffic and travel in Kent. Bearing in mind the fun I’ve been having with the M20 and A21 recently I thought that might be a good idea… I had a look at the group. It was one big row about Brexit with neither side having the faintest idea about what the thing was actually about. Why is it that seemingly no one can get along without squabbling?
I saw that I had received a message through LinkedIn. Someone called Adam Walker (who apparently spends his time “bringing excitement to business through motorsport”?) wanted to know if I had arranged my Christmas do yet and wondered if I would like to zoom around Buckmore Park at high speeds. I had another contact request from someone involved with the management of football clubs in the South London area.
LinkedIn *really* is rubbish. I’m told it is “Facebook for professionals” but the closest I’ve ever come to any kind of professional contact is job agencies asking if I want to take up jobs based hundreds of miles away.

I got the leads on to the dogs, and we went out. Walking up the road was tricky. With the “terrible twins” on the double-ended lead and Fudge on a “standard” lead seemed a sensible proposition. But Fudge kept walking between the twins and knotting all the leads together. I wish he wouldn’t do that.
It was good to get to the park; what with longer working days last week and rain it is some time since I’ve been up to the park. We had a rather good walk; mainly because I watched Pogo like a hawk, and we kept well away from any other dogs which were on leads.
When I used to walk with just fudge it was delightful (mostly). When we added Treacle it became more like hard work. But with three, it is fast becoming a chore. Such a shame; Pogo is such a lovely dog. He’s loving, friendly, does as he’s told, and absolutely *hates* any other dog he sees which is on a lead.

With walk done I settled the hounds (who were already fast asleep) and drove into town. The roads round the town seemed bare without the Snow Dog statues. I had to visit the bank quickly, and then with the bank banked I drove up to Platt's Heath. The daughter of an old friend has moved there and we thought it would be really fun if I just turned up unannounced as she gets really bored during the daytime. I first met her when she was five years old; I've not seen her for ages. Her face would be a picture when she saw me...
I turned up to an empty house; she'd taken the baby out somewhere. Such a shame; I'd not seen her for years and was looking forward to seeing the baby too.

From Platts Heath I drove to Ditton. There is a geocache there that I've tried to find and failed. Armed with a little hint I eventually found the thing today. This one has a reputation for being hard to find... it wasn't *that* hard to find really. It was just a very good hide but with the given co-ordinates being about twelve metes out. But I found it - happy dance! I then spent a few minutes watching the trout swim past in the nearby river.
Mind you the happy mood soon ended at the petrol station. I'd got my petrol at the Aylesford Sainsburys (still cheaper than Ashford) and was about to drive off when some idiot woman flew through the forecourt, recklessly parked her car blocking absolutely everyone in, and then took an age to fanny around getting her petrol in her own sweet time. If any of my loyal readers know who drives the car SE07 OHY, please have a word.

As I was near the place I then popped in to Sainsbury's. I got a couple of bottles of wine and a Christmas cake. And a Christmas pudding too. The nice Sainsburys lady was giving away free samples. I had a rather huge one and felt I should really have one of her puddings. And buy a Christmas dessert too...

And so to work. In the past I would have had McLunch. These days I go to the works canteen. "Feathered steak" was rather good, and it set me up for a rather busy shift…

9 December 2018 (Sunday) - Early Shift

I woke up full of beans and raring to go only to find it was eleven minutes past one. I then dozed intermittently for four hours. I didn’t have toast for brekkie as I couldn’t find any margarine to stick in it; I considered going to ask "er indoors TM" what she had done with it, but I thought she might not be overly approachable at half past five.
Mind you I found some raisin and almond granola in the cupboard. No full fat milk, but it’ll do. If only can get more than four servings out of the packet I might be on to something.
As I scoffed the granola I watched this week’s episode of “The Good Place” which was rather good. After a couple of rather lame episodes the show has perked up. I would have liked to have watched more, but Netflix are doing this “normal telly” thing where they are only releasing one episode per week. I wish they’d put out the entire season.
As it was far too early for anyone to have put anything at all onto Facebook I set off to work.

It was dark when I left home. Again the street lighting failed to illuminate anything. The roads were quiet as I drove to Pembury, as well you would expect before seven o'clock on a Sunday morning. Being a Sunday the talk on the radio was all of a religious nature. There was talk of the ex-catholic bishop of Birmingham being complicit in a cover-up. It was alleged that the son of author JRR Tolkien was a priest who'd used his position to abuse children, and that the bishop knew of this and tried to hush it all up.
Did the son of "Lord of the Rings" author take advantage of children? Did the bishop know about it? I don't know. I'm not trying to defend or accuse either of them, but we have a (sort-of) celebrity who has been safely dead for fifteen years being accused of all sorts of stuff that happened sixty years ago. How can anyone really have any sort of accurate and reliable memory of what happened so many years ago? I've said before (many times) that if I could find anyone still alive who was in the pantomimes at the White Rock Pavilion in Hastings in the late 1960s I will accuse them of doing all sorts of things to a rather small me. At this remove in history they would be utterly unable to provide any sort of plausible defence or alibi and would settle out of court to avoid the scandal.

The pundits also wheeled on some woman who was rattling on about the ethics and morals of journalism. Apparently a paid journalist working for a national newspaper can rant and take the moral high ground on a range of subjects whilst clearly and demonstrably talking out of their arse. Why? - because there is some ineffable quality about being a paid journalist working for a national newspaper which gives them a God-given right to do so. Apparently. However (so this woman said) one of the many ills of today's society is the upsurge of opinionated nobodies on the Internet writing daily blogs in which they make uneducated and ignorant make comments on things they clearly don't understand…
That's me told, then...

I got to Pembury in the shortest time I have ever done so. It took less than an hour - apart from red traffic lights I didn't actually stop once. Unheard of!

Once at work I made a bee-line for the canteen. They do a rather good cooked brekkie, you know. A plate of sausages, bacon, beans, mushrooms and hash brown set me up for the day; it was two hours after my first brekkie, after all.
I went into action and had a rather busy day. I sulked a little as I worked; it was a bright day outside, and today was my brother’s annual extended family get-together. It would have been good to have got along. "er indoors TM" told me it was a rather good session.

"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good lasagne this evening which we washed down with a bottle of “Dark Horse” Cabernet Sauvignon (posh red wine) while watching the last episode of the current season of “Doctor Who”. This episode wasn’t bad, but (in all honesty) it didn’t really have much with which to compete. Which is a shame.