31 August 2014 (Sunday) - Dymchurch

The new mattress isn't bad. In all honesty it seems very little different to the old one apart from the fact it's six inches higher. That six inches would seem to have thwarted a certain dog's ability to get on to the bed.
We now have a mattress surplus to requirements. As everyone knows, no home is complete without a discarded mattress in the front garden, so if any of my loyal readers need one, just drop me a line.

After brekkie I hung the washing on the line. As I did this "Furry Face TM" stalked the fish pond as he does. To my amazement he caught a Koi this morning, actually having the fish's head in his mouth. I shouted at him and he dropped the fish back into the water. I wonder if it will survive its ordeal.

We then drove round to collect the Roddericks and made our way to the car park by the Martello Tower in Dymchurch. They wanted more money than I had in change for parking. I tried to use the automated system to pay on my credit card, but the technology just wasn't up to it. So we drove round the corner and parked free in one of the side streets.
Having met up with Jimbo and Stevey we then got on with the business of the day; basically having a geo-wander around Dymchurch. We didn't get quite as far along the sea wall as we might have done, but by the time we called a halt we had found every cache in Dymchurch, including a cheeky FTF on the way. We found out about the Littlestone Water Company and bananivorous animals. We had a harrowing twenty minutes when we lost "Furry Face TM" in a field of wheat. We had a pint of cider and a bag of beans on cheese on toast crisps (which were really rather tasty). We had a particularly good amaretto ice cream. And we even laughed at the pissed tarts who were having a competition to see who could shout the"C" word the loudest.
We ended the afternoon at a geo-meet where loads of hunters of tupperware got together for a crafty ice cream and gossip.

Home, and once I'd washed the fox poo of of my dog I had a look on-line. Oh dear... why do I do it? On-line discusion forums are just one big fight.
Earlier in the day I was looking at a geo-puzzle just of the North Kent coast. I can't solve the puzzle because I can't understand it. The words are in English; but the sentences are not. So often this is the case; a lot of time and effort goes into hiding a geocache but al the good work is undermined by the dreadful way the thing is presented to its target audience. So I posted onto the forum supposedly used by those who decide whether or not a geocache is up to scratch "Just an observation - more and more of the cache descriptions I'm reading seem to be written by a six year old. Atrocious spelling, appalling grammar, frankly meaningless sentences. Are there no minimum standards of literacy for cache descriptions?"
Oh - I got some nasty replies. I posted that comment intending no insult or disrespect; after all, having written something, does it really take that long to re-read what you have actually written? And if you know you are not the world's most literate person, why not have a friend proof-read it for you?

Mind you, for all the stick I've got on the subject, over twenty people have "liked" my comment, including "The Man With No Alias (Patent Pending)".
One cannot help but wonder what "The Man With No Alias (Patent Pending)" is doing lurking on geo-forums.. Perhaps he's seen the light...

30 August 2014 (Saturday) - New Mattress

Yesterday I whinged that I wasn't feeling quite one hundred per cent. After a good night's sleep I was feeling a little better. I loaded laundry into the washing machine and after a quick bit of brekkie took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. Three new geocaches had gone live within a mile of home this morning. Two were ideally placed for a walk with my dog; one was on its own near Kingsnorth church. I thought I'd chase the First to Find on that one, and leave two FTFs for other people. I am kind like that.
We chased the FTF; we got it and did the happy dance and the secret geo-ritual. Or, to be precise I did the happy dance and the secret geo-ritual. Fudge just tried to roll in various piles of unspeakable stuff.

We then continued our walk into the town centre where the blue scum had been making serious in-roads into the area (it's an Ingress thing). Whilst we were out I checked on one of my geocaches as we were passing. And my piss boiled.
This cache is dead simple to find; it's a magnetic key holder on a sign about seven feet off the ground. A couple of weeks ago I replaced it with a new one because the old one had gone missing. This morning I had a look - there were two caches there. All I can imagine is that someone must have found the original and then taken it home to show their mum and brought it back later after I'd replaced it. Interestingly the last person to find it before it went missing had a cache find count of less than ten so I can only surmise they don't know the proper etiquette.
When we were about as far from home as we were going to get on this morning's walk the heavens opened. So having set out with good intentions I came home with a stuffy nose, a gammy knee and was soaked as well.

Once home I did dull. I hung out wet laundry and looked at the household accounts. They could be better.. they could be a whole lot worse. I pushed the hoover (Dyson) round the house, and watched Martin walking up the road some three hours later than he usually does on a Saturday morning.
Usually I would have done more on a Saturday morning, but a general spirit of lethargy had seized me and I slobbed about on the laptop until mid day.

Sax lesson went reasonably well, and then... I still can't quite beleive the antics of the afternoon. For reasons that wouldn't surprise anyone who reads this drivel I need a cheap table and a music stand. So hoping to save a bit of money we had a look in the charity shop in Brookfield.
Whilst browsing we were approached by a passing Geordie who asked us if we wanted to buy a mattress. "er indoors TM" has beeen looking at mattresses recently so she knows a thing or two about them. "Bonny Lad" took us to his van in the car park where he had several brand new mattresses which would normally retail at about a thousand pounds each. Apparently some local families had ordered them and had changed their minds and didn't want them and he needed to get them out of his van so he could load up some other cargo to take back to Newcastle.

Sounds plausible? I didn't beleive a word of it either.

I wasn't at all interested, and so he slashed his asking price. I still wasn't interested, so he slashed it even more, and offered imediate delivery. So I hopped in the cab with him, he drove it home and I gave him a hundred quid. We had something of a struggle getting the mattress into place, only to find that the thing was a tad wider and a lot deeper that the old mattress. But five minutes in Dunelm Mill saw us with a new fittted sheet.
I've since had a look on line. It really does seem that we've got an orthopaedic mattess at about a tenth of the going rate. Result!!

Yesterday I turned down going to astro club as I wasn't feeling especially sociable. A blocked ear, swollen sinuses and ongoing headache wasn't making me the best of company today so "er indoors TM" set off to a family barbecue without me.
Instead I took "Furry Face TM" for a little walk to pick up those two geocaches I didn;t chase this morning. I had planned to spend the evening writing up homework and ironing. I did neither. I got some curry and chips from the shop down the road and slobbed in front of the telly. Last week I didn't like the episode of "Doctor Who". Tonight's episode was a great improvement...

Off to bed.... I wonder what that new mattress will be like...?

29 August 2014 (Friday) - Feeling Grotty

My CPAP machine helps me sleep by pushing more air through airways which are being consistently blocked by nasal polyps. However for it to work there needs to be *some* space for the air to pass through. Consequently when I have nights like last night when the insides of my sinuses are so swollen that they hurt there are no air spaces and so the CPAP thing can't help me.
Despite an evening's heavy lifting yesterday I didn't sleep at all well last night. I was loading laundry into the washing machine at 4am, and pegging it on the line shortly after 6am.

As I drove to work there was the usual sort of drivel on the radio. The Member of Parliament for Clacton has resigned and has joined UKIP. Then the pundits revealed that a lot more Con-Servative MPs are getting ready to jump ship and join UKIP as well. All apparently after having been wined and dined by some wealthy businessman. I can't help but wonder how our political system can possibly claim to be "democratic" when clearly those with money are calling the shots.
There was also talk of an "art installation" on Folkestone's Golden Sands. I didn't know that Folkestone had any "Golden Sands". Apparently someone else with more money than sense had buried lumps of gold (real gold; each lump worth hundreds of pounds) in the sand on Folkestone beach so that us proles would go out and dig them up. The deal is that if you dig up some gold you get to keep it, and by 8am this morning there were already hundreds of people on that small beach; digging away like things possessed.
Personally I feel rather strongly that if people have got money to burn they should waste it on burying gold on the beach rather than trying to influence elected politicians.

I popped into Morrisons on the way to work. I keep griping about that place, but it is conveniently placed on my morning's drive. A couple of days I mentioned that they weren't selling their bogroll at the advertised price. They were doing the same today with doughnuts. Billed at £1.35 for two packs, at the till they charged me £1.00 for two packs. So I got lots, then as I was walking out of the shop I mentioned their pricing discrepancies to a spotty oik in a suit, and as he blustered I smiled and kept going.
I bought a load of cakes for the people at work today; I'm on holiday next week, and next Monday is the third anniversary of my transfer to working at Canterbury. I thought we all deserved cakes to mark the occasion.

Once at work I did my bit. In retrospect I wonder if I shouldn't have given work a miss today and taken a day off sick. I'd not slept well, my swollen sinuses were hurting, I ached from all the moving I'd done yesterday, and I had a nagging headache which lasted all day. Added to which my right knee developed an odd clicking whenever I walked about.
Things hadn't improved by the time I left work. Despite the noisy knee I put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for our walk. We got as far as Bowens Field when the phone rang. "er indoors TM" had locked herself out of the "er indoors-mobile TM" so we drove round with the spare key. By the time we got back to finish our walk time was pushing on so I decided to give astro club a miss. There's no denying that I wasn't keen on having the meeting in a pub anyway; but I was feeling seriously grotty this evening.
I spent a quiet evening in doing some of the ironing and then had an early night. Rather dull, really...

28 August 2014 (Thursday) - Moving House

Last night whilst scofffing tea we watched "The Great British Bake Off". It's a bland enough show in which a variety of normal people (!) bake various things (as the name might suggest). It is banal enough viewing for when one has downed half a bottle of wine and is on the point of snoozing, but is it *really* peak time viewing? Apparently so. I found myself getting rather hooked as the show went on. I was rather disappointed that the fit one didn't win, but there's no denying that I was glad that "beardie" got the bum's rush. I'd taken an instant dislike to him.
After "Bake Off" was yet another repeat of the last ever Monty Python show, and I then found myself waking up in front of the telly a couple of hours later.
I felt rather rough when I get up this morning.

"Furry Face TM" had the crusts off of my toast as I watched "Saxondale" and "Family Guy" and then I checked out tthe Internet to see what had happened overnight. More people have done the ice bucket challenge. Whilst I'm all for charitable work, there's a lot of bad things being said about the charity benefitting most from these ice buckets. Are they true? I don't really know, but it never fails to amaze me how few people actually take the time to examine the so-called charities which they are so quick to support. Have a look at this list here... I suppose that back in the day popular TV such as that presented by Esther Rantzen were quick to expose the chalatans whilst today we are too busy watching people baking cakes.

As I drove to work the talk on the radio was about the terrible child sex abuse scandal in Rotherham. I'm not defending what happened in in any way, but I couldn't believe what I heard on the radio. The woman wittering on during the "Thought for the Day" was saying how difficult it is for children to be taken seriously, and her implication was that the law should be changed so that any allegation made by a child concerning sexual abuse implies immediate guilt on the part of the accused. It should then be up to that accused person to prove their innocence.
Oh my piss boiled. Has this person never actually encountered a child? Doesn't she know that there are many children who might just take advantage of such a legal framework?
The sad thing is that (speaking as a loony-leftie-crackpot myself) some of these loony-leftie-crackpots really don't understand the implications of the drivel they preach and then get elected to positions of authority.

Lunchtime sax practice was entertaining. Despite having set up as far away from anyone as I could, some twit drove his car to park next to mine and then played his radio at full blast to try to prove some point. After fifteen minutes of his glaring at me (and me smiling back) he gave up and drove away.
As I walked back to work I realised that all the nearby workmen were whistling "Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside". If nothing else they must have recognised the tune I was trying to master.

I didn't go straight home from work. I went round to Queen Street where the O'Latas were moving house. We piled boxes and things into two white vans, drove them round to Willesborough where we unloaded, then went back for more. Easy to type out; took three hours to do. Pausing only briefly to take a saw to a sofa in half we came home via the KFC; it was too late to be cooking.

27 August 2014 (Wednesday) - Egerton

I woke at 5.30am and got up. Whilst this is a lot earlier than many people get up, these days I am sleeping through till gone 5am without spending much of the night wide awake. This is a vast improvement on how things used to be.
Whilst I had got up, my dog hadn't. He wagged his tail sleepily at me when I fussed him, and he went back to sleep as I scoffed toast and watched the latest episode of "Family Guy" which I'd recorded over the weekend.

I set off to work; as I drove the talk on the radio was about the forthcoming Scottish independence referendum. It would seem that everyone who is anyone in the world of business has signed an open letter claiming that independence will be incredibly bad for the Scottish economy. As time goes by I get the distinct impression that the whole independence thing is preying on an overblown sense of national pride at the expense of common sense. I can see the "Yes" vote winning, Scotland going independent and going straight down the pan, and in five years time the rest of the United Kingdom refusing to take Scotland back; not wanting to bail out a bankrupt economy.

I stopped off at Morrisons for some shopping and had a minor row at the till. Dog food billed at "Two for eighty pence" was not being sold as such. The assistant had a right cob when I insisted on that discount and she had to go round to the dog food aisle to check. She was not happy when she had to refund my thirty two pence.
Mind you she had her revenge when I tried to send her back to the toilet roll aisle because she was trying to charge me ninety pence more than the advertised price. Apparently the price advertised for the bogroll I was buying was actually for a different bogroll. I could have pursued the issue, but by then I'd wasted too much time so I stupmed up the difference and contented myself with rubbishing the shop on Facebook.

Work was surprisingly busy, but having a bright day (for a change) meant I could practice on my saxophone. The tunes are mostly there, but are oh-so slow.

The plan for the evening had involved me being left to my own devices as "er indoors TM" was going to stage some girly jewellry party, but the jewellry-monger's gran was taken poorly at the last minute. So we took "Furry Face TM" out in the car to Egerton where we parked up by a geocache and walked for a mile or so to another one. And then walked back again. It was a really good walk, but in the end we were racing the fading light. We got back to the car just five minutes before sunset.
You know you are getting old when you comment on the nights drawing in...

26 August 2014 (Tuesday) - Still Raining

Up with the lark, and over brekkie I watched more of the documentary about Royal Marines in training. This week many of them passed their final tests and got their green berets. I say "many of them" - over half of those who started the training had dropped out over the six months training before facing the final assault courses.
I then checked my emails and seeing little of note I started planning a geo-walk for this coming Sunday. I'm not sure what the weather is going to do, but it doesn't hurt to make plans. If the worst comes to the worst we can just postpone for a week or so. Mind you bearing in mind the rain of yesterday and today, somewhere off of fields and on to tarmac would probably be a good idea.
In the past I've just randomly selected somewhere to go, and off we go. But bearing in mind my experiences round Kent lately I thought I'd check out any possible geo-targets before we set out to Dymchurch. I'm glad we did. Two of the weekend's possible geocaches we might have searched for would seem to have long since vanished. Again these had been originally hidden seven years ago by people who've not been active on the geo-web site for years. So I squealed them to the geo-authorities.

Off to work. As I drove the radio was abuzz with the latest debate between the pro- and anti- factions concerning Scottish independence. The feeling was that the argument was won by the pro-independence bunch, but that it was more of a petty squabble rather than a reasoned debate. Which is both rather typical of all politics and is also a sad indictment of the political process.

I stopped off at Morrisons on the way to work. I got apples and bananas and armpit squirt. Yesterday I mentioned that I might get a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape. I might have done; I could get five bottles of the cheap stuff for the same price. I got a bottle of the cheap stuff; we shall see what that is like. I then went on to work where I did my bit. In a novel break with tradition I didn't do sax practice; for the first time in months rain stopped play. Instead I sat in the staff room and fell asleep whilst reading my Kindle app. Which is the very reason I prefer playing the saxophone at lunch time; I'm fed up with falling asleep during the day time.

There was a lot of talk today about the ketogenic diet and how it is a wonderful way to lose weight. It sounds counter-intuitive; one scoffs cheese, sausages, bacon and cream and looses weight. Apparently. I might just give that a go.
I then came home and ran "Furry Face TM" round the block. We would have had more of a walk but we got as far as the Bowens Field Park and the rain started so we came home again. I completed my plans for a geo-walk around Dymchurch on Sunday; if any of my loyal readers fancy coming along, the more the merrier.

Being Tuesday those of the clans that weren't stuck on broken trains in the channel tunnel gathered at Beaver Road. Tonight we watched another episode of "The 100". For all that the show has a good premise and a good plot, it could do with characters. So far there's not a single person in the show that I am warming to.
I wonder if it has been cancelled yet...

25 August 2014 (Monday) - Wet Bank Holiday

It was dark when I got up this morning. Not completely dark, but noticeably blacker than it has been. The days are getting shorter. Over brekkie I watched the last of the current season of "The Mill"; our hero is facing transportation to Australia. In the era in which this show is set going to Australia was a bad thing. Personally I wouldn't mind going.
"Furry Face TM" joined me for the end of the show. Too late for him to have any toast though, which was probably just as well for his waistline.

I checked my emails; no new geocaches had appeared overnight so I set off to work shortly before 7am and took a rather circuitous route to Canterbury via Dobbies garden centre and Boughton Aluph war memorial in a vain attempt to curb the excesses of the blue scum. They get everywhere, you know.
I've been told that my latest silly craze (Ingress) is actually a clever tool used by Google to monitor people's movements. It may well be; but it seems an odd way of doing it. If the nice people at Google really want to know where I go and what I do, they can read this blog. Or even just ask me. I make no secret of where I go.
Also if anyone wants to track me without my knowledge it would make far more sense to sneak something into the software of (say) my Kindle app or my diet-diary app. Putting it into Ingress is daft; the only reason I went to Dobbies garden centre, Boughton Aluph war memorial and the Bilting cattery this morning was because there were parts of the Ingress game there. It was Google who took me there; common sense tells us that if you make certain places key to a GPS-orientated game then people are going to go to those places.

I got to work and spent much of the day looking out of the window at the rain. When I wasn't looking at the rain I was listening to the rain hammering on the windowns and skylights. There had been two possible camping trips planned for this weekend. One never actually happened and I turned the other one down as the timings were wrong for me. It was as well we didn't go camping; we would be taking down wet tents.
I didn't mind working today; usually the August Bank Holiday Monday is spent on physical labour anyway; when camping we would spend the morning (until early afternoon) taking down a camp and the afternoon (until early evening) putting all the stuff away. Only working till mid afternoon actually made for a more restful Bank Holiday for me.

I did my bit at work on a surprisingly busy day, and then came home. I did have vague plans to pick up a particular geocache on the way home, but I didn't want to traipse across three hundred yards of field after it had been raining all day long. Instead I Ingressed along the A28 capturing great swathes of Chartham and Godmersham for the forces of good. (Well...green anyway)
I also had formed a plan to take "Furry Face TM" for a walk around the Romney Marsh this evening but again a day's rain would have made for a miserable wet stroll. So I slobbed about and did a little puzzle solving for a possible walk on Sunday in the general vicinity of Dymchurch.
And then we had an evening in. We watched the Johnny Depp WIlly Wonka film over a rather good curry and a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape. Recently I've had a lot to say about expensive wines not being anywhere near as good as cheap Australian red wine. This Chateauneuf du Pape is rather good stuff. I shall have a look in Morrisons tomorrow and see if I can get some more...

24 August 2014 (Sunday) - Langdon

You know you've got dodgy guts when your own farts wake you even though you are wearing a CPAP machine bringing air from some little distance away. I got up and spent a little while (far too long) working on a geo-puzzle in the general vicinity of Dover. With plans to go down to visit the geo--campers today I thought we might go for this geo-puzzle whilst we were nearby. It was a particularly nasty puzzle in that having been set a rather fiendish clue to decypher I was then faced with a dozen possibilities. And having made the schoolboy error of confusing East with West I found my entire IP address blocked by the checker.
What especially boiled my piss over this one was that I then went on to discover that this was yet another geocache put out by someone who has since given up with the hobby. For all that the cache is being found intermittently, the chap who hid it hasn't logged in for over four years. Clicking on the chap's geo-statistics I saw that of the dozen caches he'd hidden nearly all of them have been disabled and archived by The Powers That Be because he'd left them to fall into disrepair.
(Haven't I done this rant recently already?)

We had an early lunch of coffee and cake and drove down to Dover. We did a couple of geocaches as we went. One was listed as having a dozen travel bugs inside but in fact only had one. Another was listed as being near a windmil; there were no windmills to be seen. One was near a lovely goldfish pond; "Furry Face TM" jumped in. We were actually driving down to visit people staying at geo-camp; it was only haf a mile's walk from the pond to the camp, and so "er indoors TM" drove on down whilst I walked the wet dog there.
We found the geo-campers; we had tea and savouries. We sat in the sun and chatted for an hour, and then went to look for that puzzle cache I was ranting about earlier.
I had a dozen possible locations along half a mile of country lane; it wouldn't take long to check them all. All of them were on private land, only one wasn't in the middle of a field well away from any kind of cover, and that was didn't have the cache there. If any of my loyal readers fancy having a crack at the puzzle, it's here. let me know if you find it,
From here we did one last geocache (by a bomb hole) and then decided that we were tired and hungry and came home. We'd had a good day; I even took a few photos whilst we were out.

We got back to Ashford, popped round to the designer outlet centre and realised that "er indoors TM" had lost her i-phone. So we mentally retraced our steps, and on confirming that the thing wasn't left at geo-camp we eventually narrowed possible locations down to a couple of miles of countryside.
To cut a painfully long story short we found the phone in the last place we looked... I hate that phrase. Of course the thing was in the last place we looked; we would hardly carry on searching after we'd found it, would we?

Home (three hours later than planned) and over tea we watched yesterday's episode of "Doctor Who". I was interested to see how Peter Capaldi would do in the role. After all, I was sure he couldn't have been any worse than Matt Smith. He probably wasn't any worse, but he certainly wasn't much better.
Since the show came back to our screens we have seen four actors playing the lead role; all of whom seemed to think they were playing the part of the village idiot.
Oh well, I shall have to wait patiently for the fifth one...

23 August 2014 (Saturday) - Hic !

A reasonable night's sleep marred only by my dog having a "potty emergency" sometime whilst we were all asleep.
Over brekkie I saw I'd been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge in which I am supposed to empty a bucket of ice over my head to raise money for the McMillans charity. I'm not going to take this one up.
I would do it for a "proper" charity. I'm sorry, but I feel (very strongly) about things like this. Why should any government of any political persuasion pay for any service which someone else will fund for them? Cancer care, air ambulances.... where will it end? Why don't we ask everyone who gets paid to work in the public sector (in any position whatsoever) to go and get a proper job and then come back and do their work in an unpaid capacity in their spare time?
Look at the state that schools are now in; dependent on parent-teacher associations to hold jumble sales to finance the text books for the children. Books that were once paid for by allocated funding.
I've since been told that I can choose a different (proper) charity.... and that a bucket of ice is coming my way whether I like it or not. That's told me (!)

To cool my boiling piss I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We went up into town and through the Memorial Gardens where we kept quiet; we didn't want to wake the tramp who was still asleep on the park bench. As we walked we both pursued our mutual hobbies; I tried to repel the scourge of the blue scum (it's an Ingress thing) whilst Fudge tried to eat last night's vomit left by numerous pissed teenagers staggering out of night clubs.
We came home through the park where we met four other Patagonian Tripe-Hounds; dogs exactly like mine. Different colours but all of the same body shape. Mind you I say " the same body shape"; there's no denying that my dog was far and away the chubbiest. I think the vet was serious when he said it was diet time for that pup.

Once home I phoned the mobile phone company and had a whinge. Far from being "everything everywhere" I find them to be "nothing anywhere". I get some mobile internet signal in towns, but nothing indoors at work or in the countryside where Vodaphone seems to excel. The mobile phone people have doubled my allowance, for what its worth.
I then solved a few geo-puzzles for a walk which we'll do over the next few weeks. We then drove out to Bonnington to pick up one particular geocache; I have now found every cache within six miles of home. We came home via Tesco where we got suppllies for the afternoon's barbie.

The Rear Admiral arrived and we went round to Steve and Sarah's for that barbie. We had an excellent afternoon; a dozen of us sat in the sunshine (desipite a couple of rain showers), scoffed food, drank beer, and just enjoyed the afternoon.
There are those who would say that having had four pints of stout, going on to a beer festival wouldn't be the most sensible of ideas. But in my world (and this *is* my world) common sense rarely triumphs over idiot enthusiasm. "Access All Areas" were playing at the Riverside Inn's beer festival. It was only round the corner; it would have been rude not to have put in an appearence. Whilst there I met two ex-cubs; one now eighteen; the other now twenty-seven. Where do the years go?
More of our number arrived, and we bandied insults and collected photos for "Crackwatch" until the band started. Perhaps I'm a tad biased, but "Access All Areas" are rather good. It's been said (many times) that I don't like live music. That's probably true in the most part because most live bands cover up their inadequacies by turning up the volume. And the more rubbish a band, the louder they play. "Access All Areas" were good; I particularly liked their guest singers this evening.
There's no denying that by the time I reached the ninth pint of the day things were becoming rather vague...

22 August 2014 (Friday) - Tyler Hill and Blean

A reasonable night's sleep; I spent a little time over brekkie watching a documentary about the 90s kids show "Fun House". Apparently no one ever told the studio cleaners the format of the show, and so copious amounts of gunge were cleaned up by two little old ladies with mops and buckets. What looks on screen to be a quick snappy show was in reality incredibly slow to make - there was regularly two hours between scenes as the little old ladies couldn't mop fast enough.
I always liked Fun House. I wonder what happened to them all...

I took "Furry Face TM" for our outing. His morning walk and my morning game of Ingress. As we walked through Bowens Fields Wetlands I noticed something. There used to be a fallen tree there. A large thing, about ten yards long. "er indoors TM" had hidden a geocache inside it. That fallen tree wasn't there any more. After a short search I found it. It was almost (but not quite) in the pond. Moving that would have taken some serious effort; if not a bulldozer. I can't help but wonder who moved it and why. In any event it's done for that cache.

Once home I gave "Furry Face TM" his breakfast, settled him down and set off on my morning's pre-work mission. First of all to get petrol, and then on to Blean for a spot of geocaching. Yesterday I went for three and got two. Today I went for six and found five.
I started off with a puzzle I'd solved some time previously, and then went on a little wander around Tyler Hill woods. One of the caches there was in a sorry state. From that little stroll I moved on to Blean church where I found one, but couldn't find the one that was supposedly attached to a bench. That one has had previous "Did Not Find" logs. I had an idea to give the C.O. a week to do something and then I was going to log a "Needs Archiving". But (to his credit) the chap who hid that cache has already posted that he's going to sort it out.
I find myself more and more becoming the Geocaching Police in East Kent. There are so many caches which have been set and then left to rot. The caches themselves have long gone, as have the people who hid them, but their footprint remains on the map both wasting everyone's time in looking for them, and in blocking a decent space for someone who might actually want to do the hobby properly. It's good to find someone prepared to do maintenance.

Despite ripping a hole out of my leg on barbed wire (who needs stiles?) I got so enthralled in my walk that I was almost (but not quite) late to work.
I did what I could, and had something of a busy day. A busy day made for a late lunch; but not too late not to have a saxophone practice. Yesterday I was getting rather despondent with the thing; today's rendition of "The Teddy Bears' Picnic" was flawless; albeit a little slow. I'll persevere with that sax.

Once home I checked my emails. A couple of months ago I entered a couple of short stories I'd written into a writer's competition. A few weeks ago I was told that both had made it to the first shortlisting. Today's emails brought the news that both stories have made it through to the next stage.
I'm feeling quite pleased about that. I really should dust off that novel I've been writing on and off for a couple of years...

21 August 2014 (Thursday) - GPS Games

I was sure I could feel "Furry Face TM" fidgeting at the bottom of the bed during the night but when I got up he was curled up in his basket. I wonder if I was dreaming; perhaps it was the effects of that champagne?
Over brekkie I gave telly a miss; instead I caught up with recording and writing down yesterday's history (as I saw it). As I was fiddling about on the laptop I got a notification; an email or two. Well twenty-five to be precise. A whole series of geocaches had gone out along the white cliffs. That will be a walk for the next month or so.

I put the lead onto my dog and we went for a little walk round to Newtown. He likes a walk, and since I've started playing Ingress we now seem to walk to different places every day, depending on where the blue scum (!) have been active overnight. I suspect the blue scum are now also walking to different places every day depending on where me and my dog have been for our walk.
As we walked I saw what looked to be one of my closest pals driving past. I waved frantically; and he waved back. I say "he"; it was only when they got close that I realised it wasn't who I thought it was. It was actually a big fat lady in a flowery dress.
I won't say who I thought it was...

Once home and dog breakfasted I drove off to work. Ideally on the Thursday before August Bank Holiday I would be going camping, but this year I wasn't able to book my holiday in time. Such is life.
Being a late start I had a couple of hours spare so I thought I might go geocaching. There are several "stand-alone" caches within ten miles of work that I am slowly picking off. I found two of the three I went for this morning; the third eluded me. It was probably on top of an old World War II bunker somewhere near Littlebourne. Or (to be precise) it was on top of the thing once. Whether it still is or not is anyone's guess.
The area around Canterbury seems to be littered with geocaches that are hidden by people who then lose interest in the hobby and they then just accrue "Did Not Find" logs.
As I drove I got cross. Not the radio this time; it was other drivers. Particularly one who was driving (as the most recent fruit of my loin would so succinctly say) "like a dildo". When one is driving behind a dustbin lorry one really should take the opportunity to go past said dustbin lorry when one is given that opportunity. Especially when one is given that opportunity several times. Furthermore it's not really good advertising to drive "like a dildo" when one's van is emblazoned with one's company details, phone number and website. So if any of my loyal readers are thinking of buying a sectional building I can let you know of a company to avoid.

To work. Once there I checked my locker. I *had* left my wallet there. I thought I had, and was rather relieved to find that I had. I then did my bit until lunch time when I had a tootle on the saxophone. This week's homework "I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside" and "The Teddy Bears' Picnic" isn't coming together at all. I'm beginning to wonder if I've reached my limit on the sax.

20 August 2014 (Wednesday) - Bubbly

With the little holiday over it was back to work today. And an early start. I woke shortly after 5am to find "Furry Face TM" asleep at the foot of the bed. It's been some time since he's sneaked up in the night. I came downstairs, had a shave, and found my pup had come down too. He helped me eat my toast; bearing in mind the vet'ss said he's to lose weight perhaaps I should put a stop to that?

And so to work. Via the chip shop and the bakers which had both fallen to the green side overnight. And then via the Mormon church in Kennington from where I consolidated the green hold over much of the northern part of town. I also stopped off at the Bilting cattery to have fun playing silly games of make-believe.

Sometimes I wonder if just maybe the world might be a better place if more people played silly buggers from time to time. As I drove I was listening to the radio. In the Middle East an American journalist has been beheaded because religious extremists don't like the actions of the American government. Somehow these people feel that chopping someone's head off and putting videos of this on the Internet are in accord with the tenets of their supposedly peaceful religion.
Interestingly a friend of mine had blogged about similar religious intolerance in America; a friend of hers felt that providing free meals for school children during school time was fundamentally wrong. This friend apparently describes herself as a Christian.
When I took cubs and scouts to America I met people there with similar views; people who loudly made great show of being Christian who felt that being poor was God's punishment on the feckless and that helping those in need was actually an insult to God.
I don't understand religious people. The more I look into it I become convinced that those who profess to be an adherent of a religion (no matter which one) have no understanding of the tenets of the belief which they claim to follow.

I eventually got to work. Not including shopping at Morrisons I only stopped six times on the way.
I've only been off for six working days but it seemed like an age. Work was good and I did my bit. At lunchtime I was sorely tempted to go off on a mission for Team Green, but Canterbury is a blue stronghold for the Ingress-ers so instead I had a go on my sax; I've rather neglected that recently.
I activated my metronome app and had a toot. After five minutes I turned off the metronome; I just didn't get on with it at all. Rather that helping my rhythm is completely stuffed up "Santa Lucia" and "The Great Escape". I didn't let it anywhere near "Oh I do Like to be Beside the Seaside" as that is quite bad enough already.

Once home and with pup walked we had a rather good bit of tea; there was good news to be celebrated. So we opened a bottle of bubbly. I've blogged about expensive wines before; this bottle of champagne retails at about thirty quid (I looked it up) and in all honesty I prefer the Australian red that I get in Morrisons for less than a fiver.
Mind you the stuff did have me fast asleep in front of the telly for the rest oof the evening.

19 August 2014 (Tuesday) - All Over the County

"Furry Face TM" seemed rather quiet this morning. He's not tried to sleep on our bed for some time, and this morning he didn't get out of his basket to share my toast. He eventually got up to get the small piece of cheese inside which I'd concealed his antibiotic tablet, and then he went back to his basket.

Eventually he heaved himself up and having an hour or so spare I took him for a little walk. As we walked I let him off the lead where I could, and at one point he was rooting in an upturned dustbin near Bowens Field. I called him away, and a spotty, greasy haired oik (with no two teeth pointing in the same direction) stopped his bike and asked me what my problem was, and did I want to make something of it. I told him I was calling my dog and this chap's face went white. He mumbled something about dogs and not wanting any trouble and peddalled away as fast as his scrawny little legs could propel him.
I wonder what that was all about.

Lisa called round and we spent a couple of hours driving here and there round the county capturing portals for the green side. The north Kent coast had rather meagre pickings, but we did manage to establish control over a huge area from Hothfield to Headcorn.
The original plan for the day had been geo-maintenance, and so finding ourselves not a million miles from Pluckley we parked up in Little Chart and walked my stretch of the Pluckley Plod series of geocaches. One was wet, one was missing, most were absolutely fine despite all the whinging messages I'd been getting. So what if the original log is full but someone else has put in a replacement log? I'm grateful that people would be so helpful.
And with my geo-maintenance done we walked up to the Black Horse for a swift half, then walked back to the car via a few more caches. I even picked up one I hadn't found before; I now only have one unfound geocache within six miles of home.

We came home to have a quick Ingress round Ashford only to find that whilst we'd been gone the blue scourge has taken over the town.... I would say more but on getting home I found myself mentioned in what I thought was a rather mean Facebook comment. Someone I hardly know (but respect) was getting fed up with seeing my continual posting about Ingress. I was then subsequently de-friended over the issue.
What can I say.... what do I need to say? Seven photos over five days is hardly "continual", is it?

On reflection I don't think many people actually understand the whole "Facebook thing". What is it all about? No one is forced to actually look at Facebook or to read what's on it. I have certainly never asked anyone to read my drivel on there.
Facebook is a way to see (at a glance) what other people are getting up to. It's an ideal way to keep up with people with whom you might not meet up very often. I find it invaluable for finding out with what my cousins are doing. I followed a good friend's journey to Hull and back over the weekend via Facebook. Personally I *love* seeing what people are doing because I am fundamentally a very nosey person.
Where people go wrong with Facebook is that they don't realise it's not supposed to be a substitute for watching the telly or for reading a book or for doing things yourself.
What is posted on Facebook is not intended to be entertainment. If people want entertainment they might try the cinema or the telly, or even going out and doing something... astronomy, arky-ologee, blowing into a saxophone, brewing and/or drinking beer, going for bike rides, going camping, hugging trees, flying kites, fishing, ironing, hiking, geocaching, munzeeing, painting (oils, emulsion and gloss) or even (dare I say it) playing Ingress.
The possibilities are endless... as I have found out.

Being Tuesday the clans gathered; this time in Folkestone where the Rear Admiral had invited all and sundry to use the back passage. For all that I was taking the mickey I know from experience that it's only when your front door breaks in the closed position that you realise just how much you use the thing.
Still, I scoffed his sweeties and then slept through this evening's episode of "The 100"...