17 January 2018 (Wednesday) - The Good Place

I woke shortly after 5am feeling incredibly confused having ha a rather vivid dream in which I was jintly running an antique shop with Daisy out of “Upstairs Downstairs”, but rather than actually selling antiques, I spent most of my time avoiding her “unnatural advances”.
Over brekkie I watched the first episode of “The Good Place”; a rather good show about a woman who dies and (through some administrative blunder) finds herself in heaven when actually should be in the “bad” place. The first episode was rather good.

I then sparked up my lap-top. "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" had sent me a WhatsAp message. She’s found nice-next-door’s house’s details on an estate agent’s website. It looks rather nice in there. Mind you it looks far more like a show house than somewhere that people actually live, but some people like living like that.
I confirmed my interest on a geo-event planned for the weekend, and I got myself together and set off to work.

It has to be said I was feeling far more positive about the journey today than I was yesterday. It wasn't quite so dark this morning; I left ten minutes later today. I think I shall do so more often.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were still talking about the failed giant Carillion. The story of Carillion is a sad tale of our times. From what I can work out the Government tendered out all sorts of public jobs (cleaning of hospitals, running of schools and prisons, social services, etc) and awarded the contract to the company that said they could do the job cheapest.
It turns out that Carillion *couldn't* do the job cheaply, sub-contracted the work out, and went bust owing millions to its creditors. And so having forked out to pay for the public services the government has to fork out again to actually get the jobs done, as all the money that Carillion were given has somehow vanished. 
It was mentioned that the top boss of this company was on a six-figure salary and he still is getting paid, and also that other bosses have been awarded bonuses even though the company has gone tits-up.
Personally I can't help but think that the public sector should just get a decent management structure in place and not have private sector fat-cats siphoning off the money, but what do I know?

There was also talk of how nurses are leaving the NHS in droves.I wonder what the situation is for pharmacists, physiotherapists, dieticians, biomedical scientists, radiographers... But then again, we aren't nurses. No on cares.

I got to work and had a rather busy day. I like that.
I had a quick look at Facebook during tea break. One of the "pages I might like" featured a first aid course for dogs. Presumably the course is for humans to learn to apply first aid to dogs, not for dogs to actually do the first aid? But at fifty quid I think I will give it a miss...

Once home "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner. We scoffed it whilst watching this week’s episode of “Star Trek: Discovery”. The show is now watchable; a shame that they waited until episode ten before taking this revolutionary step…
A bottle of wine, a decent swig of the amaretto… I might have an early night…

16 January 2018 (Tuesday) - Flu Jab

I woke feeling more tired than when I went to bed, having spent much of the night in a vivid dream in which my father had been promoted to “Eddie the Eagle”.
I *really* didn’t want to get up this morning, but I forced myself from my pit. Over brekkie I watched yet another old episode of “Dad’s Army”. It passed half an hour, but again the show had been written without an ending. Most of these shows just fizzle out rather than actually having a decent ending.

I had a quick look on-line just in case I’d missed anything overnight. It would seem that one of Treacle’s brothers has had some sort of seizure. That’s worrying. We shall keep an eye on her (and Pogo) just in case.
The environment agency had sent me an email. Last year I asked them for a breakdown of where the money allocated to the Angling Improvement Fund had been spent. Today they sent me a rather vague set of figures. A total of thirty-two thousand pounds had been spent on eight different “predation” projects. Three hundred thousand pounds had been spent on fifty-nine “getting your fishery ready for spring” projects. Seventy thousand pounds had been spent on forty coach bursaries (whatever that means).
I’ve asked for a properly detailed breakdown of where the fishing licence money goes. After all, this is public money they are spending here.

It was dark as I set off to work. Again I was tailgated for much of the way when on the narrow country lanes, but I've decided I'm not going to pander to the idiots who fly down pot Kiln Lane at breakneck speed. It takes seven minutes to traverse that lane; the idiots can slow down.

As I drove the pundits on the radio interviewed some of the executives from the failed commercial giant Carillon, and then they interviewed one of the leading lights of the HS2 project. No one being interviewed spoke English as I speak it; they all spoke some weird business-speak language which sounded impressive (to those who are impressed by that sort of thing) but didn't actually say anything.

I got to work and did my bit. During the early afternoon I skived off in the general direction of the occupational health department where (against my better judgement) I had the flu jab. I'm a great believer in vaccinations for the masses, but I must admit I'm not so keen when I'm on the receiving end of the needle.
Normally I wouldn't bother, but apparently I am now "of a certain age", and so I relented. I had a minor qualm when the nice lady brandishing the needle said that contracting Guillian-Barre syndrome was a possible (if rare) side-effect, but in the end I went through with it. I didn't like the cold I had a few weeks ago; flu would be even worse. The jab being brandished offered protection against the Aussie flu (H3N2), sweeping across the country as well as against Phuket flu and several other strains, so here's hoping it worked.

I then spent much of the afternoon imagining I had various side-effects of the injection, and left work loudly announcing that I would be off sick tomorrow.
Being Tuesday the clans gathered; tonight round at our house. Insults were bandied, dogs set on people, and we watched the first episode of the National Geographic docu-drama about manned landings on Mars.
We all agreed that most of us probably won’t live long enough to see manned landings on Mars….

15 January 2018 (Monday) - Blue Monday

I slept well, finally waking twenty minutes before the alarm was due to go off. I got up, even if my dogs didn't. Over brekkie I watched the fifth episode of "The End of the Fxxxing World". I discovered this series on Netflix yesterday evening and watched four episodes back-to-back. It's a rather good show once you get into it (You probably need to gloss over the first minute or so...). A bit gruesome in parts, but I can (mostly) live with that.
I thought about watching another episode, but bearing in mind the journey I now have to get to work I thought better of it.
I got dressed (putting on my new belt and one of my new shirts) and just as I was about to leave the house my phone beeped with news of a new geocache not two minutes from work. A shame that was "Maidstone work" and not "Pembury work"...

As I walked to my car it was still dark and the rain was rather heavy. Today was "Blue Monday"; supposedly the most miserable day of the year. As I left home I rather felt that it was. I had a rather horrible drive to work. It took me an hour and twenty minutes, which is about double the length of time for which I'm happy to drive. I have only done this journey six times now, and already I hate it with a passion. As I drove I was tailgated by an endless succession of idiots driving far too fast along dark narrow wet slippery country lanes with piss-poor visibility. I pulled over so many times to let these twits come past. Every time I pulled over was the same. Firstly they would pull over with me; being far too close they had no idea why i was pulling over. And when they realised why I'd stopped they would then fly past me (with a squeal of tyres). And within a hundred yards there would be another squeal of tyres as they nearly collided with cars coming on the other side of the narrow lanes.
I *really* like working at Pembury;  but getting there and getting home is more like hard work than the actual job is.

As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the collapse of Carillion; a company which has all sorts of contracts with the government. The pundits on the radio interviewed some old windbag who said that other companies would take over the contracts, and the only difference those doing the actual work would notice would be that the corporate logos on their uniforms would change.
Doesn't this speak volumes about how government contacts are awarded?

There was also an interview with the leader of UKIP; Henry Bolton. Over the weekend he dumped his girlfriend because of all the racist stuff she'd been quoted as saying.
The interview with him made for good radio, though. Rather than discussing the political matters of the day, those conducting the interview got him to talk about the sordid details of his personal life. Apparently he'd only been with this girlfriend for a few weeks. The chap admitted that his wife found out about the girlfriend over Christmas, and has since taken his children to live with her in Austria. (Austria - is that why he's so anti-Europe?)
You would think that the leader of a national political party would have wanted to talk policies and newsworthy stuff rather than just admitting to all the sordid details of his recent affair, wouldn't you? Other politicians try to hide that sort of scandal.
Perhaps he's proud of having had a bimbo in tow?

I got to work where I did my thing. With my thing done I came home. Just as I got to my car there was another beep on my phone. Another new geocache. This one was reasonably nearby, but there were several stages to it, and it was raining.
I would have had a good run home had I not got stuck behind a learner driver who went at twenty-five miles per hour for the last fifteen miles of the journey.

"er indoors TM" did a rather good bit of dinner then went bowling. I’m going to watch the telly. My dogs are already asleep. I expect I shall be soon…