22 May 2019 (Wednesday) - Another Late Shift


I woke to find I was cuddling Pogo as though he was a teddy bear. He seemed to like it. Silly pup.
I got up and went to move my car. The trouble with getting home after ten o’clock is that usually the only places left for parking are those in which you can only leave the car until eight o’clock.

With car moved I sparked up my lap-top and peered into cyber-space. Not much had happened really. Those few people posting odd memes were mostly re-posting what others had already put up. And with no emails of note I got dressed and (pausing only briefly for Fudge to be sick) took the dogs for an early walk.

We went round the park. Pogo was again far better than I had expected. Regular “sit” to watch other dogs go past seems to be working. Fudge however disgraced himself twice by trying to pork passing hounds. As we walked we met OrangeHead’s Chunky Little Friend. There would seem to have been a falling-out there.
We also saw loads of children who were on their way to school. School must start earlier these days. It never fails to amaze me how many mothers take children to school with the children on bikes and scooters but the mothers themselves walking. Obviously the bikes and scooters go faster than walking pace, so the mothers are constantly shrieking for the children to slow down, and the children are constantly falling off and crashing into fences, parked cars and passers-by because it’s not possible for a five-year-old to cycle at walking pace.
I did tell a couple of children off for screaming at my dogs. As I said to the mothers, if they are frightened of the dog, then they should ignore the dog. Screaming at the dog is going to provoke a reaction. It was rather clear that this had never occurred to the mothers.

We came home. The dogs had there usual mad sprint up the garden. Fudge leads the mad sprint; if he doesn’t, Pogo and Treacle go to fetch him. We fed the fish, and I wasn’t long before the dogs were snoring.

I went to Sainsbury's to get some petrol. I arrived to find my way blocked by some old idiot who was making a great show of being unable to work the petrol pump. As my piss boiled I watched the fool making a complete twit of himself until the chap at the adjacent pump drove away. I was then able to get to the pump in front of the idiot where I filled my car with petrol.
Just as I was about to go to the kiosk to pay, the idiot loudly announced that he was ready to go and that I was in his way. I didn't actually say anything out loud, but I nearly did. He didn't have to wait *too* long for me.
And again no one asked if I had a Nectar card.

Yesterday I spotted some geocaches which were up for resuscitation. Once I'd got petrol I drove out to Hawkhurst to see if I might find some of them. These ones looked to be ideal candidates for a successful resuscitation. One (which hadn't been found for over a year) couldn't be found until you solved a field puzzle which was inside a second geocache (which also hadn't been found for over a year). That second one hadn't been found for over a year for the simple reason that it was a mile's walk from the nearest road, and there were no other geocaches near it. I parked up as close as I could, put on my wellies, and had a rather good walk across the fields and woods to where my GPS said to look. The clue said to look deep into a hole in a tree. At the designated spot was a tree with a great big hole in it. I looked- I saw what I sought, Happy dance.
I got the information I needed to solve the field puzzle, and soon had  the GPS co-ordinates for my second target. It was the best part of a mile away, but I had this idea that rather than following the footpaths I might follow  the farm tracks to save some time.

In retrospect I should have known better. This is an idea I've had many times over the years, and it has *never* worked. Today was no exception. Eventually I scrambled over some barbed wire and waded through a quagmire to eventually find myself half a mile south of where I wanted to be. After a *lot* of effort I finally got on to the public footpath that I needed.  It went through the gardens of a very posh house; the owners of which clearly wished it didn't. As I walked up the path, two Labradors flew out of the house and started barking at me. I could see I was being watched by some crusty old woman nearer the house, so I knelt down and made a very noisy fuss of the dogs (which they loved). I then called out to the woman to tell her what lovely dogs she had, and that they would make sure I stayed on the path. She had a face like a smacked arse as I walked up the public footpath and straight past her with the dogs following me (with something of a look of adoration in their eyes).
Leaving the dogs and the old bat behind I soon found my second geo-target, and then followed  the path back to my car.

As I sat in the back of my car pulling off my wellies I watched a car go past. It had a bike on a rack on its boot. The bike fell off just as the car came past me. It fell on the road and was immediately flattened by the car coming behind it.
On the one hand the bike should have been secured properly. On the other hand, the person coming up behind shouldn't have been so close to the car in front. As an independent witness I could see that there was blame on both sides, but as voices rose and tempers flares, I realised that it wasn't my circus; it wasn't my monkeys. And I was running out of time and had to get to work.

I got to work to find the car park was full. I drove about and found the hospital has got an underground car park. I never knew that. And the exit from the car park into the main hospital takes you right past the canteen. I had some rather good stuffed mushrooms and chocolate pudding with custard.

The rest of the day was something of an anticlimax...

21 May 2019 (Tuesday) - Late Shift


I was rather worried that my lap-top would never start this morning. Last night I’d told it to do an update, and this morning it took an absolute age to get going, and it is now noticeably slower in every way. This *really* sums up any kind of I.T. upgrade. The software may well be doing amazing things in the background, but in the foreground the hardware is actually less able to do the job.
I eventually got the thing working and had a look at the Internet. A lot of people were grumbling about the last episode of “Game of Thrones”. Working on the principle that people have (probably) had long enough to see the episode it strikes me as rather odd that the one who came out on top was the one who was dropped from an entire season as his character was so boring.

I had a little look at the geo-map to see if there were any potential geo-resuscitations that might not be too far off of my way to work today. I saw there was one or two.

I then took the dogs round the park. Pogo amazed me. I was expecting the worst after his little altercation yesterday, but he was fine. He sniffed other dogs nicely, and even played with one or two. There were no scraps at all. Having Pogo sit to have his lead put on and taken off, and when crossing roads, and to watch big dogs go by seems to be working.
As we came home we met an ex-cub’s mother. One of my ex-cubs is now nearly thirty years old and is running a pub in Cornwall. His mother has acquired (been left with) both of his dogs and the associated vit bills which are currently running at over four thousand pounds.

We came home. I’d had an election communication for the upcoming European elections from UKIP. It was an A5-sized piece of paper which said nothing but how UKIP will fight for Brexit. Now it is a simple matter of fact that whoever wins the European elections can have no effect on Brexit whatsoever, so clearly whoever wrote this rubbish is playing on people’s ignorance. It bothers me that people will read this and vote for them; utterly oblivious to the fact that those for whom they have voted are unable to deliver what they have promised. Democracy, eh?

Leaving the dogs fast asleep I drove south. I'd swapped geocaches with Chris a couple of months ago only to find that the one in Park Farm that I'd given him wasn't actually there. It was only fair that I replaced the thing.

I then headed off for that geo-resuscitation I'd spotted earlier. As I drove "Women's Hour" was on the radio. They were talking about bowel cancer; I listened with interest. What with my upcoming appointment at the arse clinic (to say nothing of intermittent blood in the chuff department) I found it was all rather relevant to me.
There was then an article about how difficult it is for a pregnant woman to get a job. Despite there being all sorts of laws and legislation, no one wants to employ someone who is about to go off for months of maternity leave. I was getting ready to shout at the radio (as I do) but amazingly no one pretended to be surprised about this. Mind you, one or two of the panel being interviewed really did try to blame it on Brexit.

I got to Staplehurst; I eventually added another one to my list of geo-resuscitations. And as I was in the area I took a slow drive along the country lanes picking up another four geocaches as I went. One was rather poignant, placed at the spot where Pilot Officer John Kenneth Grahame Clifton's Hurricane P5185 crashed, having been shot down by enemy fire on 1st September 1940. He was only twenty-one years old.

After four geo-finds I realised that time was pushing, so narrowly avoiding pranging the car in Goudhurst I set off in the general direction of work. As I drove I realised that my car's journey trip-meter and predicted miles-of-petrol-left-ometer had reset itself. I wonder what that was all about? I do hope the car's on-board electronics isn't on the way out. I'm desperately hoping I mistakenly pressed the reset button whilst fiddling with the windscreen wipers.

I got to work easily enough, then spent an age trying to park the car. Finding a parking space at mid-day is always tricky.

Being on a late shift I went to the works canteen for lunch. Vegetable lasagne and blackberry tart (with custard) set me up for the late shift.

As late shifts go it wasn't that bad really. Certainly better than some shifts I've had recently. It was only a shame that I finished the shift so late in the day and so far from home. But I'm not complaining; I knew this would be the case when I applied for the job. And I'd far rather be where I am now than where I was (both figuratively and literally).

20 May 2019 (Monday) - Still Hanging


I slept like a log last night; but my nose does get very sore from the CPAP machine. After three or four hours it is rather tender. It was *very* sore this morning.
As I scoffed my toast Fudge sat on the sofa with me as we watched Treacle. Treacle usually pootles about doing her own thing and not bothering anyone *until* "er indoors TM" shows up. Then she is continually running off with stuff she shouldn’t have. She will ignore a bottle of perfume on the table for hours until "er indoors TM" comes along. Then she jumps on the table and runs off with it. And if there is no reaction she keeps showing off what she’s got and dabs people to provoke a reaction. It’s quite amusing really.

I sparked up my lap-top and had a look at Facebook. The photos from the weekend had got quite a lot of favourable comments, and I had a couple of friend requests from friends of friends who had seen them. I also had a friend request from a rather saucy looking young lady with a particularly epic chest but I didn’t respond to that (the friend request or the epic chest).
I sent out some birthday wishes, then checked my emails. Someone had logged finds on a geo-series that I archived months ago. Some people do take an age to do their geo-paperwork, but something seemed odd about this one. I had a look at this person’s geo-profile. They are a premium member of geocaching dot com (so they’ve spent money on it). But they’d supposedly found caches a hundred miles apart on the same day in April?
There are those who delight in policing other people’s geocaching finds. I wonder how long it will be before the geo-police get involved with this one?

I was wondering about where to walk the dogs today. In the end I went with our usual route round the park. Over the weekend a new geocache had appeared not far from the dog beach in the park, so walking there and back made for a good route. We got to where we were going; we soon found the cache. But as we turned to walk back I could see that Fudge wasn’t happy. He likes a circular walk. Walking somewhere then turning round and walking back really throws him. He always has a “WTF?” expression when we do that.
We were on the home stretch in Bowens Field when I was just thinking how well Pogo had been when an Alsatian attacked him. It was all shouting; he wasn’t hurt. The Alsatian just came from nowhere, pinned him down and snarled. I physically threw the Alsatian off of him and snarled at it. But the episode did for all the socialising training we’ve done over the past few weeks and months. Whereas earlier in our walk Pogo was ignoring other dogs or playing with them, he started woofing at them (obviously defensively). Oh well… such is dogs. I shall just persevere with him.

We came home and hung out one load of washing, then fed another load to the washing machine.  I loaded a load of rubbish into my car and set off on a tip run. I went via “Pets at Home” where I met an idiot. Sometimes it worries me that no one else seems to find these people. Have you ever been to “Pets at Home”? It is a huge self-service supermarket. I queued up at the tills to pay for my fish food. When the twit in front of me got to the till he pulled out his shopping list and announced his requirements. He wasn’t at all impressed when he was told where the various things were. He had no intention of going off and getting them, and felt that there was nothing wrong with everyone standing around waiting whilst the assistants went and got his shopping (whilst everyone else got their own). Presumably he used to go to the pet shop in the town centre which used to pander to the likes of him? (It closed last week)
Fortunately another till was opened to which everyone else went. The chap who had been working on idiot’s till announced that he was going on a break, leaving the idiot standing on his own.

I went on to the tip via two geocaches (that weren’t there). I got to the tip to find a new development. They now have local radio playing at deafening levels. I wish they wouldn’t.
Once home I hung out more washing and fed the last of it to the washing machine. I had managed to get the laundry basket empty. I like it when that happens. I scoffed a quick sandwich then ironed shirts whilst watching last night’s last ever episode of “Game of Thrones” which was nowhere near as bad as you might have thought it would be, bearing in mind just how awful the most recent episodes have been.

I did have plans for the afternoon. I did a bit of gardening (but only a bit) until the grey clouds put me off. I spent a couple of hours catching up on episodes of “Jamestown” in which Jocelyn’s bosom was rather obstinately not heaving in the slightest. Seeing that the forecast rain hadn’t happened I got a bucket of water and washed the bird turds from my car. They had accumulated somewhat.

"er indoors TM" came home and mopped the kitchen floor with her new mop and bucket which she managed to break on their first outing. She wasn’t happy.
Once she’d boiled up a rather good bit of dinner she went bowling. I watched last week’s episode of Victoria which tried to end on a cliff-hanger with Prince Albert collapsing. But bearing in mind that they had just walked out of the Great Exhibition (May 1851), history tells us that Albert’s good for another ten years.

It’s not been a bad day’s holiday today. I booked the day because I thought I might need it to recover from the weekend.
I did…