20 September 2018 (Thursday) - Signs of our Times...


I woke feeling full of beans and raring to go… until I looked at the clock and realized it was only seven minutes past two. I tried to get back to sleep, but only dozed a bit. I eventually got up after a few hours feeling like death warmed up.
Over brekkie I watched an episode of “The Job Lot” whilst scoffing my toast. Fudge lay with me as I watched telly. Sometimes (when no one is looking) he can be rather soppy.

With a few minutes spare I had a look at the Internet. This morning Facebook seemed to be full of wedding anniversaries. LinkedIn had sent me an email. Ryan Baker has got a new job. That’s nice for him (whoever he might be), and presumably bearing in mind I have no idea who Ryan Baker is, it was suggested I chum up with Steven Turner (?), Colin Edwards (?) and Colin Swaffer (?). I declined the offer.

As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were broadcasting from Saltzburg where the Prime Minister had gone for a bit of a jolly with the other leaders of the countries of the European Union. Personally I've never liked work jollies, and have turned them down whenever I could. I've always thought them to be rather sad affairs.
I suspect Mrs. May would have given this one a miss if she'd had any say in the matter.
Apparently the Czech and Maltese leaders are on the same works outing as she is, and they are calling for the British to hold a second Brexit referendum. Whilst I think it is rather nice that they don't want us to leave, and whilst I think it quite likely that there is now a majority opinion in favour of remaining, I can't help but think that a second referendum wouldn't be a good idea. The decision to go has been made. Britain would command no respect whatsoever in the European Union if after two years of farting around we suddenly announced "we ain't leaving after all".
Mind you having spent a lifetime finding (time and again) that my viewpoint is that of the minority, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the country does have a second referendum.

I got to work and I had a look at Facebook on my phone. Doesn't everyone? I saw a link to some rather clever caricatures of today's society clearly seeing the instant communications offered by our mobile devices as a bad thing. Are they bad? Through Facebook (and the like) I keep in touch with family and friends far more than I ever used to. I see their photos and their rants and their knob jokes on a daily basis. Do we really want to go back to the bad old days? I would walk a quarter of a mile (through the rain) to the phone box and queue up to take my turn, all the time desperately hoping that whoever I was phoning hadn't gone out. I love the instant communication that today's technology offers. Take being a Star Trek fan as just one example. Back in the day I used to subscribe to fan-made newsletters. I would post what I had to say (in an envelope with a stamp) to the editor. A month later they would print my drivel. Another month later in the next edition would be a message from someone who'd taken offence at what I'd said. And so. a squabble would drag on over years. Today I can piss people off instantaneously.

I did my bit at work; I saw a Dohle body (as one does!) and with my bit done I came home again. I managed to find Fudge’s light-up collar but not Treacle’s. We had a good walk round the park, and over a rather good bit of scoff we watched “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. I’ve never really watched that show before… I’m getting quite into it…

19 September 2018 (Wednesday) - Still Dull



I had some of my plum jam on my toast for brekkie this morning. I’d been looking forward to it; there’s no denying it was something of a disappointment. Perhaps I should go for something in the “not cheapskate” range next time?
As I scoffed jam on toast I watched the last episode of the fourth season of “Gotham”. It was rather good, but for all that the leading protagonists get in to all sorts of scrapes, the trouble with a prequel show is that you know that all the leading protagonists are going to survive whatever the show throws at them.

I then had a look at the Internet. Facebook was relatively calm for once for which I breathed a sigh of relief. And I had an email from British Gas. Yesterday they’d offered to service my boiler for me (!) and I’d asked them why they’d made such an offer. I’m not a customer of theirs, and it turns out they’ve mixed up my personal details with a chap with a similar (but *not* identical) name who lives on the Isle of Wight. They emailed me his details when I asked for what details they had for me. Whilst I realise that this is an honest mistake, in today’s rather petty world of compensation and data protection and other such office-mentality-rubbish I wonder if I might be able to claim compensation for having my data mixed up with someone else’s.

As I drove to work (not tailgated by anyone for once) the housing secretary James Brokenshire was being interviewed on the radio. I was quite impressed at how he spoke eloquently and at length without actually addressing any of the specifics about which he was being asked.
There was also an interview with the ex-Brexit secretary who wasn't so much slagging off the Prime Minister's "Chequers" plan for Brexit as singing the praises of his own plan. Which is entirely the problem the nation faces. A friend of mine has recently announced that he is having a Brexit moratorium on his Facebook page, and anyone mentioning it will be de-friended. Whilst I can sympathise I can't help watching the unfolding Brexit debacle with a rather morbid sense of amazement and fascination. The most important and far-reaching thing to happen to our nation since the second world war is being bodged together (rather badly) as it goes along. Future historians will be scathing; I'm keeping abreast of what goes on, if only to answer the unbelieving questions of great-grandchildren yet unborn.

Once at work I downloaded a new book to my Kindle app. Over the weekend I’d got the e-book that the TV show “Orange is the New Black” had been based on. For all that Piper Kerman is a leading light in prison reform, her book didn’t do it for me.
I’ve now downloaded something sci-fi-ish to pass the time during tea breaks. It might be good, it might not.
We shall see.

Work was work; I came home and walked the hounds round the park. It was getting dark as we were walking. I wonder what I did with their illuminous collars?
Yesterday was dull… today wasn’t much of an improvement.

18 September 2018 (Tuesday) - Rather Dull


I slept reasonably well last night, but was still wide awake rather earlier than I might have been. I blame my phone bleeping about emails even though its internet connection had both been turned off.
I got up and watched an episode of “Gotham”; the SkyPlus box told me the show played for an hour and four minutes but I shaved twenty-five minutes off of that by fast-forwarding through the adverts. Perhaps I should watch the show on Netflix – no adverts there.

I sparked up my lap-top and had a quick look at cyber-space. A particularly vindictive row was kicking off on one of the geocaching pages I follow on Facebook. What is the most film pots under rocks you have found in one day? Mine is one hundred and forty-seven. That’s not much compared to some people… or is it? We got that total in Cornwall over a twelve-hour period when we were on a serious mission and we were finding them at a rate of about one every five minutes. If it was possible to keep that up then we might have found three hundred that day. There were those who were claiming to have found over a thousand in one day. A thousand? Now I have a degree in maths, so perhaps I have an advantage here, but finding a thousand film pots under rocks in one day is finding them at a rate of one every minute and a half. Is that physically possible? I don’t think so. However is that worth having a rather bitter and nasty argument about? I don’t think so either.
Why is it that people want to squabble all the time? Be it keeping snakes, looking through telescopes, flying kites… no matter what the pastime there are always those who want to reduce it to an argument.

This morning I had an email from British Gas suggesting I made an appointment to get my boiler serviced (oo-er!). It turns out a free servicing is included in my customer service agreement with them. I was rather pleased to learn this; especially when you bear in mind that I’m not a customer of British Gas. I asked them for more details, and then got myself ready for work.

There has been a wooden cot in our hallway for a month or so. A couple of days ago I found out I was supposed to be delivering it to Sofia in Tenterden. (No one tells me anything) I loaded it into the car, and spent a few minutes looking for the screws that would hold it together. There weren't any. It turns out that they are still in Margate.

And so to work. As I drove I was being tailgated by a van from the firm of T Kirwan. He's tailgated me before. Dangerously overtaking me just outside of Great Chart he then tailgated the car in front until he dangerously overtook that one too. I wish he wouldn't do that.
As always the pundits on the radio were spewing their nonsense. This morning they were talking about the Russians who have got the hump. Whilst it is quite acceptable (in their Slavic minds) for them to spray nerve poisons around Salisbury, they weren't happy to have had one of their spy planes shot down. They claimed it was the Israelis or the French who did it. The Americans said it was the Syrians. Will we ever find out? Somehow  I doubt it.
There was also an interview with Vince Cable (the outgoing leader of the Liberal Democraps) who was trying to pretend that the Liberal Democrap party isn't dying on its arse.  With the Conservatives at each other's throats and the Labour party in total disarray, if the Liberal Democraps can't organise a piss up in a brewery now, they never will.
There was also an interview with Nigel Farrage (who seemingly becomes more odious every day), and to top it all off the Chief Rabbi tried to persuade us to be thoughful when we pray, and not to pray for stupid things. Because the world really would be in a sad state if God answered the prayers of idiots. I didn't quite laugh out loud, but this pre-supposed two frankly ridiculous propositions. Firstly that there is a God that answers prayers, and secondly that this God answers any old prayer (despite evidence to the contrary on both scores). I was disappointed; his predecessor used to be quite insightful.

As the rain started I decided against rummaging in hedgerows for film pots that had laid not bothering anyone for over a year.  Instead I went to Tesco. I got some plum jam. You can judge how dull my life can be when plum jam is a highlight of my day. I also got armpit-squirt but forgot the biscuits and the bumwipe. I can live without the biscuits, but I may well be calling in to Tesco again tomorrow morning (if not before).

I got to work and did my bit; all the time aching from yesterday's hoiking rocks about. And with my bit done I came home through the drizzle.

Bake-Off is on in a minute… Today was dull…