26 June 2014 (Thursday) - A Smack in the Gorb (!)
I woke relatively early, and after "Furry Face TM" ate most of my breakfast over an episode of Reggie Perrin I dealt with my credit card bill that came in yesterday. On the one hand I have a garage bill of nearly five hundred quid I wasn't expecting. On the other hand it looks like the round of drinks I bought on that card in deepest Sussex a month ago hasn't gone through. I can remember commenting at the time that I thought the chap behind the bar didn't have a clue about what he was doing with the credit card machine. If he's not done his bit right then the cost of that round of drinks will never appear on my bill.
I'm not complaining.
I took my dog round the park for a walk. We played "throw the ball and chase it and chew it"; a far better description of what actually happens than "fetch". Whilst we were out we encountered a delightful young family. A small child was simulating an epileptic fit in its push chair whilst the mother continually asked if said small child would like a smack in the gorb. I couldn't help but smile, and mother gave me a glare. We beat a hasty retreat in case I got a smack in the "gorb".
Off to work. As I drove there was an interesting article about public parks. The pundits were commenting on how public parks have improved beyond all recognition over the last ten years. I was walking through a small park in Canterbury only last Tuesday and I was thinking how good the place looked, and how many people were using it. However this national improvement is mostly due to funding from the National Lottery, and as people are stopping buying lottery tickets, so the funding for our parks is drying up. The take-home message was (supposedly) to buy more lottery tickets.
Personally I feel that public amenities should be funded properly in the first place and not be dependent on charity, but what do I know?
Being on a late shift I had some spare time, so I drove north of Canterbury and had an impromptu geo-mission. I found one puzzle cache, the puzzle of which I had solved months ago. I found another cache laying in the middle of a footpath; I hid it properly before I went on.
And then I met yet another idiot. How do I attract these people?
I decided to go for a geocache in the middle of nowhere. The closest point to it at which I could park my car was half a mile away. I walked along one of the most poorly marked footpaths I have ever seen (and I've walked in Essex!) until I got to the geo-location which was by a footbridge. I soon found the cache, did the secret geo-ritual and was about to head back to the car when I heard a voice.
A rather pompous and obnoxious twit wanted to know when I was going to replace his bridge for him because he was fed up with everyone else walking over it. He immediately put my back up, and I suggested that as it was a public right of way everyone was perfectly entitled to walk over it. Furthermore if it was "his" bridge then he should look after the thing's upkeep himself. "Obnoxious twit" replied that it was up to "you council johnnies" to maintain the right of way.
I told him that whilst the "council johnnies" might maintain bridges and stiles, landowners had a legal obligation to maintain the rights of way. He didn't like that, and he started a tirade about how everyone walks all over his land with no one using the proper footpaths. I looked the fool in the eye, asked him if he was serious,and defied him to show me a proper footpath. He mumbled a bit and waved an arm in the direction of grass which was four feet high.
I asked him to excuse me, and left him blustering. Silly twit.
The rest of the day was somewhat dull in comparison...