31 May 2105 (Sunday) - Airport Run

I suppose that after a full day's geo-wandering (ended with a couple of pints of Spitfire) after a night shift it's no surprise that I slept like a log last night. I finally woke just before 7am when it hurt to swallow. I got up, and over brekkie watched "Dad's Army" which the SkyPlus box had recorded for me. It's good to me in that way. Just recently BBC2's been running the very old "Dad's Army" episodes which were made in black and white; I don't think I've seen these old ones before.
My dog sat with me as I watched telly. I say "sat with me"; he heaved himself onto my lap and then slept. "er indoors TM" got up, and fixed my broken GPS in less than two minutes. She said it helped being able to look at her one. I would have needed a magnifying glass to see the fiddly bits.
As scoffed toast I spent five minutes looking at my social diary. I've pretty much booked myself up for (nearly) every weekend for the next three months. Never a dull moment...

At 9.30am we collected "My Boy TM" and his entourage. Several of them are off for a family holiday in Turkey. We had the option to go with them but... I don't do abroad. There's too much farting around in the journey to get there. Too much time is wasted in the travelling and time's precious. Take today's journey. We left Ashford at 9.30am, and they expect to finally get to their hotel at 1am tomorrow morning.
Instead we were on chauffering duties. We drove them to a surprisingly busy Gatwick airport, dropped them off, and came home again.

The original plan had been to stay in the Gatwick area and go for a walk round there. But heavy rain put paid to that idea. Instead we came home. I had a quick look on-line and took serious offence at the aggressive feminist crap which was appearing in my Facebook feed. I understand that historically the lot of the average woman has been less than ideal. And in parts of the world it still is. But (and let's be crystal clear on this) I am not personally responsible for that, and to imply (or say outright at a public meeting behind my back) that I am is rather piss-boiling.
I replied with a rather pointed status message which seems to have been taken well by those who had no idea what it was all about and who might have inadvertantly taken offence.

Bearing in mind it's only a few weeks till our summer garden party we popped into town to get the makings of forty pints of beer; if I don't get it on now it won't be ready in time. And seeing how we were at something of a lose end at lunch time we thought we'd eat out. We *could* have gone for a pub carvery somewhere. We *could* have gone for a posh restaurant's mid-day deal. We went to McDonalds. The food's far cheaper, it comes out a lot quicker, and I actually prefer it to a lot of the over-priced poncey stuff.

We then went on to visit "Daddies Little Angel TM" and the baby and I slept on the sofa for an hour before coming home to take "Furry Face TM" for his walk. We went round the park, and he wore his new coat. He *hates* wearing coats and he walked round sulking. To prove a point we took his coat off and he immediately perked up and ran round like a thing possessed.

Home again, and after a quick shower I got the makings of the beer into the bucket to (hopefully) ferment and I then spent a little while on eBay. I'm feeling the urge to be geo-constructive.
For all that its the sort of thing people go for, the geocaching community are usually very dismissive of the standard film-pot-under-a-rock hide. Bearing this in mind, generally when I put out a geocache I've previously spent an absolute age devising a clever puzzle or intricately programming a GPS game. But those ones only get found maybe once a month, and I lose count of people telling me how they hate puzzles and Wherigos.
I'm going to stick a film pot (or thirty six) under a rock and watch the masses stampede...

30 May 2015 (Saturday) - Staplehurst

Yesterday I mentioned that being on the night shift meant I'd missed going to astro club. As it turned out I was rather busy in the early evening and so didn't actually realise what I was missing. But after midnight I managed to sneak a break. I got out my trusty Samsung Galaxy S4 and (thanks to the wonders of Android technology) I managed a crafty peek at the astro club's Facebook page. Usually after an astro club meeting that page is overflowing with glowing approbation about how wonderful the meeting had been. Not last night. There wasn't a single word of praise to be seen.
However that same Samsung Galaxy S4 had a few messages for me about the astro club. The topic of the evening had been billed as "Women in Astronomy" but apparently it had actually been a ruse to present a misandrous diatribe.
Perhaps it was as well that I missed the meeting...

Having been on the night shift really meant I should have gone to bed for the day, but the chance to go for a geo-wander presented itself. Eight of us and two small dogs mooched for several miles around Staplehurst. Despite rather thick nettles, deep grass and over-familiar horses we had a really good time. The girls and the dogs enjoyed walking each other about, the dogs diddn't get *too* smelly, and with seven miles of walk walked we had a couple of pints of Spitfire before sleeping all the way home.
I took a photo or two whilst we were out...

This was the third outing for my new GPS unit; I wasn't impressed with the thing's battery life; it was flat before we started, and during the day it ran off of the back-up duracells.
It worked well whilst out and about, but went on to have a few episodes once home; completely failing to connect to the laptop.
And then on re-connecting the battery with a view to charging it, the retainer for the memory card dropped out. It looks to be physically broken, and will have to go back to the shop.
I've already got a full day planned for tomorrow..

29 May 2015 (Friday) - Foxes

Yesterday I mentioned that I'd been sleeping better. I should have kept quiet. I was woken by the most odd chirping/squeaking noises this morning shortly before 2.30am. I lay awake wondering if a bird was trapped in the roof space. After quarter of an hour the noises were getting louder and seemed to be coming from outside. I opened the curtain and was amazed. There were two foxes laying on the pavement right outside my house playfully squalling and howling at each other.
Eventually the foxes wandered off of their own accord and I got back to sleep only to be woken an hour later by next door's baby. I don't mind the littlun crying; I think it's rather sweet. But I could have done with a little more sleep last night.
Being off work this morning (and up bright and early) I took myself off to the doctor's. Regular readers of this drivel may recall I went there in January with a lump in my neck. The doc gave me some penicillin and said to come back if it didn't clear up. I don't think that doc has ever tried to come back. The lump didn't clear up, and after weeks of phoning only to be told they had no appointments I turned up on their doorstep at opening time today and said that I'd have their first appointment.
I saw the doc at 8.30am. She took my blood pressure; it was 110/70 which is really good. Especially when you think I'm just a pound or two over my ideal weight. She then asked all the questions she asked last time, and had a rummage around my head then announced that she couldn't feel anything amiss. So I took her hand away from my chin and put in on the lump in my neck. Her attitude changed then...
I've got an urgent referral and will (supposedly) see an ENT specialist some time in the next two weeks. That will be exciting....

I then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. I'd had reports of one of my geocaches in Park Farm being broken so we went to have a look-see. Sure enough it was broken. We replaced it with a new one, and then came home via Willesborough Dykes where my dog played with frogs and fox poo. As we walked we met a small child who pointed at my dog and shouted "Look mum it's Scooby Doo!"

We got home to find the postie had been. I'd ordered a lanyard for my new Garmin. It's quite sexy. I was glad we'd got home before the forecast rain hit, and when it did I was tucked up snoring in my pit. Some of my colleagues tell me they have trouble sleeping before a night shift. I don't.
And so off to work for that night shift. I do feel a tad guilty that I'm missing astro club tonight. But the department in which I work isn't a large one and so swapping shifts isn't really easy. And with the vagaries of the rota, swapping Fridays can be especially problematical. Mind you I must admit I made no effort to swap the shift this evening; were the speaker one who *doesn't* make a point of treating me like the sh*t on her shoe then perhaps I would have done so.

I shall go to work via Folkestone where I shall spend a few minutes terrorising my grandson. He seems to like that...

28 May 2015 (Thursday) - Otford Hills

I slept well again. I have another theory about my sleep patterns... I sleep better and longer when I am not on the month of permanent day shifts.
Right now I think I'm still catching up on sleep from the two night shifts last weekend. Yet another reason why I like the night work. As well as actually preferring the work format at night, I get time off mid-week to do my own thing, longer shifts mean fewer and so I save on petrol, I get a little extra money, and now I realise that when on nights I seem to sleep better.

Over brekkie I watched Billie Piper in "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" in which she was discussing (and demonstrating) the merits of a boob job. Needless to say this was one of the better things that I've seen on telly recently.
"Furry Face TM" had the crusts of of my toast and then we set off for our walk.

Earlier in the week I'd been told (by the chap who'd put it out) that the Otford Hills geo-series had run its course, and he'd said that if I was going to walk the route would I please fetch in the caches for him. He would then archive them all and replace them with a new series. I'm only too willing to help out with something like this, and being on another rostered day off today I'd put out the word to see if anyone fancied coming on a geo-dog-stroll with me.
There had been some interest, and six of us (and three dogs) met up in the hills outside Otford for a stroll. Beautiful scenery made all the better by the wonderful weather. The only fly in the ointment was... I blame myself. The clue was in the name of the cache series. "Otford *Hills*" There was some serious ups and a couple of rather iffy downs.
Clear instructions for the route were given in the cache descriptions. There was only one point where we didn't actually read them and we did go just a little off-course. My excuse is a lack of familiarity with my new GPS toy. Talking of which...

I had a trial run with the thing on Tuesday. Today was it's first *serious* outing. Setting the thing up before leaving home is still a bit of a faff. But once in the field... I think it's fair to say that out of everyone on today's walk I got the most out of the day. My five fellow geo-comrades had far more experience of the Garmin technology than me and I learned an awful lot. Next stages and hints are no longer mysteries to me.
I wouldn't go so far as to say I prefer using it to my phone, but I'm not as against the GPS brigade as once I was.

After four hours we were back at the cars. Some of us had other things to do; four of us carried on into Otford where we did that oh-so-obscure geo-phenomenon; a Wherigo cache. It was a fun little guided tour round Otford. It only took half an hour, and it brought my total of found Wherigos up to thirteen.
It's my long term plan to have found more of those than I've hidden. Five more to go.

We said our goodbyes. As I drove home there was drivel on the radio so I put on a CD instead and squalled along to a Sparks tribute album.
Once home I uploaded the photo or two I'd taken as we walked, and then struggled with the geo-admin program. It's still not doing what I want but I think I now know where I've been going wrong. I then fell asleep and was out for the count until Steve popped round to collect some bits and bobs for tomorrow's astro club as I'm not going to be there.

"er indoors TM" then boiled up a rather good bit of scoff which was only let down by a rather grim bottle of wine. We've no idea where a bottle of Morada Real white wine came from; but it's one I won't be buying again...

Yesterday I had a dull day; today was far better.

27 May 2015 (Wednesday) - Dull

With brekkie scoffed, telly drivel watched and the petty dramas of social media checked I set off to work. I do go there from time to time you know.
On the way I stopped off at Morrisons to get some rechargable batteries for my new GPS toy. I came out having bought all sorts of other stuff, but it wasn't until I got into the car to come home this evening that I remembered I needed batteries.

As I drove home I again forgot about batteries as I listened to the radio. The Prime Minister has got the Queen to explain his plans for the next few years. In broad principle it all sounds very impressive. In practice it might not be quite so acheivable. For example a fully functioning NHS seven days a week rather involves solving the ongoing chronic recruitment crises which have been all over the news for years. The promised welfare reforms (according to the experts on the radio) are based on wishful thinking rather than on solid financial plans.
But (I have to say) he didn't make too bad a hash of his first five years. Maybe he'll pull a rabbit or two out of the hat.

Once I got home I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We went round the park, and came back via the co-op field. Our walk was amazingly uneventful for once. And once back home I nipped down to the Hong Kong Kitchen for some crispy shredded beef with chili for tea. "er indoors TM" had gone off flogging candles and I'd been left to forage...

Today was one of those dull days....

26 May 2015 (Tuesday) - Field Trials

Seven and a half hours sleep last night. Can't be bad. Mind you I was still up and about shortly after 6am. I put some washing into scrub, and with another rostered day off I thought I'd try out my new GPS gadget. The were three geocaches in Charing that I thought I'd test it on. So I spent a little while setting the thing up. And as a comparison did the same with the phone.It's actually slightly quicker to download what you need onto the phone app; but the phone app has crap maps.
As I downloaded my little dog sat with me; hoping for the crusts off of my toast. Vet did say "NO!!" but one small piece of toast crust can't hurt, can it?

I put the washing on the line, and took "Furry Face TM" for the walk. We went via the DIY store to get some filler. I left my dog in the car for five minutes, and in that time he set the alarm off.
Bearing in mind I had a GPS unit to test we went up to Charing where there were three caches I'd not found; all about half a mile apart. I stopped at the station as it was an obvious place to park. The car park was empty; all the nearby streets were full of parked cars. So I paid two pounds and parked up. As we walked off someone in British Rail (or whatever it's called these days) uniform marched up to the car and made great show of checking the ticket we'd just bought. His face went crimson when I shouted and asked what he was doing near my car.
As for our walk... The GPS unit worked as a GPS unit without fault; I do like hiking with the use of an on-line ordnance survey map. However it's geocachical ability leavs much to be desired. I know I'v a lot to learn about it, but so far it seems that the on-board geo-app is inferior (in every way) to what I'm used to. And at the moment I have absolutely no clue about hints and corrected co-ords. But I expect I will get the hang of them.
Mind you it was a lovely walk. Beautiful scenery, wonderful views. My little dog was off the lead for much of the way. And with five minutes left before we got back to the car my little dog covered himself from nose to tail in fox poo.

We came home, a certain dog got bathed and I used the filler to bodge repairs to the bannister. With that done I then did the geo-admin from the morning's walk. Admittedly it's rather straight-forward, but there's no denying that it's not really any easier than what I'm used to, it does actually take a little more time and (so I'm told) the third-party uploading software is only free for a certain length of time.

Over lunch I watched yesterday's episode of "Game of Thrones" in which although she didn't flop anything out, Nudey Dragon-Girl was nudey. I then broke my back heaving the seats back into the car and I went on to spend a little while pulling the grass out of the paving in the front garden until my back could take no more.
I then watched the 1966 Batman film whilst failing to solve geo-puzzles.

Being Tuesday we had the weekly gathering. This time in Folkestone. After I lost ChromeCast games quite comprehensively we watched the pilot episode for the new "Supergirl" series. It's quite good; I wonder how long it will be before other episodes are leaked on-line...

25 May 2015 (Monday) - Biting the Bullet

On Saturday evening when I got my shopping from Morrisons a chap in a suit with a large "Morrisons" badge assured me that the supermarket would be open on Sunday evening. So imagine my dismay when I arrived at Morrisons at 7pm last night to find the place was closed. A rather aggressive "jobsworth" working just inside the locked door came out and snarled at me that they'd actually closed at 4pm.
Fortunately Sainsbury's was open so I wasn't hungry overnight...
I tried to make a complaint using Morrison's on-line complaints website. It told me I'd already made a complaint in the past (I had), and that it wouldn't take any more complaints from me.

I got to work, put on the radio and did my overnight thing. And with my thing done I turned the radio off and came home. This morning's journey home was so easy compared with yesterday's. Yesterday a cycling club was having a road race, and for ten miles of the A28 every fifty yards there was a cyclist with head down, arse up and swerving all over the road. They weren't there today; not having to swerve to avoid oncoming cyclists on the wrong side of the road was so nice (compared with yesterday's fun).

Once home I went to bed for a bit. I didn't put on the CPAP device, and dspite having been awake all night I only slept for two hours. I spent an hour or so messaging the world via social media whilst "er indoors TM" cleared up the carnage that "Furry Face TM" had made of his teddy bear. How can one small dog spread the fragments of an even smaller teddy bear over so much of the house?

We then went out for a bit of a road trip to look at GPS units. For so long I've been able to use ordnance survey maps when we go out walking. You don't realise how much you come to depend on something until its not there any more. Ordnance survey have put paid to free access to their maps via geo-aps. After a couple of months of struggling I decided the only way forward was to pay for the e-maps. After all when the paper map shows for footpaths and the openstreetmap just shows a wood you know there's going to be problems.
Firstly we went to Cotswolds in Maidstone. They didn't have what I wanted and they clearly weren't interested in helping me. So we went to Go Outdoors in Canterbury. I went there the other day and wasn't impressed. Today was very different; The staff bent over backwards to help; they had the GPS unit I've been looking at; with thirty per cent off, and two hundred quid's worth of ordnance survey maps thrown in too.

So I've turned to the dark side of GPS geocaching... purely for decent maps. In many ways it's a backward step from what I've been doing so far. But I shall give it a try before dismissing it out of hand.
Now to read the instructions..

24 May 2015 (Sunday) - Between The Night Shifts

In many ways I was glad to have been rota-ed to do last night's night shift. Not only did it give me a valid reason for not doing a thirty-mile sponsored walk during the day, it also gave me a reason for why I didn't watch the Eurovision Song Contest (this year featuring Australia?). Personally I can't stand the Eurovision Song Contest; but the rest of humanity seem to lap it up. When I say I'd rather watch paint dry than watch it, people look at me as though I'm the strange one. People will understand why I didn't watch it if I tell them it because I was working. If I say I didn't watch it because I honestly think it's crap, I just get confused stares.
Apparently Sweden won....

Mind you being working meant that I did miss an astro-opportunity last night. Saturn was at opposition and made for good viewing. Some of the astro bods had toddled off to Hastings (of all places) to do the telescope thing. Why go all that way? Because someone down there had actually organised something for the occassion.
Perhaps we should have organised our own event. What with the eclipse earlier in the year that's two major astro-events this year that we in the astro club have done nothing about. Maybe if I hadn't been working...
As well as meteor showers and even a supposed comet there's a lunar eclipse in a few months time.
Maybe we could sort out an astro club meet-up for that.

Talking of which, it's astro club this coming Friday; I'd ask about to assess interest in an eclipse-o-thon if I was going to be there. I'm not though. I'm scheduled to be on a night shift then.
Had anyone else been speaking this Friday I'd have made the effort to swap the shift. But the speaker is one who's made a point of deliberately rudely blanking me so many times. I'd rather not give her the satisfaction of doing so again.

As I worked overnight I listened to the radio. I usually have Radio Four on during my night shifts; the articles are usually interesting and thought-provoking; if sometimes piss-boiling. Last night was no exception. Some alternative comedy (or as a call it - an alternative to comedy), a play or two, and the shipping forecast.
I don't like the shipping forecast. I find it somehow sinister. I don't know why; I can't explain it, but it scares me.
And at 1a.m. Radio Four plays the National Anthem. I stand to attention throughout the performance. There's no one there but me, but I still stand to attention.

At 8am the day shift arrived, and I went home. I'd seen dawn break just before 4am, and it was a lovely morning then. But by home time it had clouded over somewhat and it was rather overcast as "Furry Face TM" and I went round the park.
We don't usually go to the park on Sunday mornings; we met a whole load of new dogs and their walkers w've never met before. And on the way home the Polish drunks on the street corner were drinking Lambrini. I wondeer if that's because we are now attracting a more up-market class of drunk, or whether its because the drunks are making an effort because its Sunday.

I then went off to bed for the day, and whilst I slept it would seem the rest of the family had a bit of a get-together whilst other friends were camping, walking or at beer festivals.
I found out about all of it third-hand from Facebook after everything had happened. I know I wasn't up for anything but a day in bed today, but it didn't stop me having a major sulk about all that I'd missed.

Off to work again...

23 May 2015 (Saturday) - Back to Challock

"er indoors TM" got up at 3am to go off on her sponsored walk. She clumped about the house for half an hour or so before clumping off. The baby next door then started crying. I gave up trying to get back to sleep shortly after 6am and over brekkie watched "Are You Being Served" until the washing machine finished doing its thing with my grubby T shirts.

I hung the T-shirts on the line, then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. I've mentioned that I'm working on a geo-walk in the Challock area. Having planned it all out last Sunday we went back to day to check the measured co-ordinates for the sandwich boxes I shall stuff under rocks. Some co ordinates were spot-on; some were twenty yards awry. But we had a good walk; and it wasn't round the park for a change.

We came home, hung out more washing, and then I mowed the lawn. Unless I mow it (at least) weekly it gets seriously out of control. Gardening is such an ultimately futile pastime.
I then got into a conversation with the neighbour we don't especially get on with. For once he wasn't ranting; he was quite approachable. He was concerned that the weight of all the stuff he's got growing up his fence is pulling it over. I've been telling him that for years. He wonders if I might like to help him bodge the fence back together.
As he spoke he had a noticeable slur, and his face seemed to have fallen. I wonder if he's had a stroke; I wouldn't be surprised what with the amount of ranting he's done over the last few years.
I didn't like to ask.

I scoffed a sandwich for lunch, updated my squafty co ordinates then set about the monthly accounts. Could be better, could be worse. Not as good as they were four years ago; certainly better than they were two years ago.

I spent the afternoon fast asleep in bed. It's odd how yoou get into a routine like that. When I know I'm going to sleep in the afternoon (prior to night shift) the sort of tiredness I usualy get at 11pm comes on at 1pm. I slept for four hours, scoffed a bit of tea, got teh washing in from the line and now I'm off to work.

The word from Brighton is that "er indoors TM" is well past the half-way stage. It's not too late to sponsor her. Click here if you've got a few pence spare...

22 May 2015 (Friday) - Greenhill

Yesterday I went to Folkestone to see my Grandson. Less than a day later the news feeds were abuzz that the place had an earthquake overnight. Not an particularly major one, but an earthquake none the less. Whilst hardly "San Andreas", Folkestone's something of an earthquake zone; there was one in 2007 the tremors of which I actually felt at home somme fifteen miles away.
Word is the family all slept through the (literally) earth-shattering event. And after a little research it turns out that the earthquake wasn't actually in Folkestone at all but closer to Ramsgate. A piddling detail perhaps, but the bottom line is that it wasn't actually that close to nearest and dearest. This time... even if Folkestone did get tremors.

Over brekkie my piss boiled. As I checked out social media I saw I'd been asked to join a campaign to stop the oil company Shell from drilling in the Arctic. A laudible sentiment I suppose, but the chap who asked me to sign this petition is one who regularly posts photos of himself zooming round in a petrol-guzzling sports car. Perhaps if he swapped that car for a bicycle, Shell wouldn't be drilling in the Arctic?

With the vagaries of my shift system today was a rostered day off. My days off are usually extended dog walks; earlier in the week I posted in an obscure corner off the Internet asking if anyone was free to come for a walk with us. Seven of us (and two dogs) went off to explore the geo-mysteries of the countryside a mile or so inland from Herne Bay.

We didn't really get off to an auspicious start; managing to lose (and effectively destroy) the first geocache within seconds of finding it. And it was shortly after this that we lost the (full) bags of dog poo. But despite a couple of minor hiccups we had a really good walk. There was a range of caches to be found; some rather straightforward; others rather tricky. I was rather unbearably smug when I found the most difficult one of the day. I was rather pleased that (by one of those odd coincidences) that one was something of a milestone for me; find number four thousand nine hundred. And I had a sniggering fit when I mis-read the village sign of Bullockstone.
It was a really good day to be out; no mud, and the sun shone on us all. All too soon the walk was over. Sam had kindly arranged sausage sandwiches for all, but I slipped off home. Kiraly-pup and "Furry Face TM" had already had one ding-dong and it wouldn't have been fair on Kiraly-pup to take Fudgey back to where she saw as her territory.

I took a few photos whilst we were out. Once home I uploaded these, and the phone rang. "Daddies Little Angel TM" was hysterical. In an attempt to teach her pug (Sid) to "be more dog" she somehow managed to rip off her fingernail. After I finished laughing I told her to go to the local minor injuries unit at Folkestone hospital (I once worked there you know).
Her finger's been bodged back together and she's to go back on Monday to get the dressing changed.

I then spent a little while doing some geo-preparation. Last Sunday I mentioned that I went out round Challock planning a route for the monthly cachers' meeting I will be hosting in August.
I spent five hours this evening doing some of the e-paperwork to go with the event...

21 May 2015 (Thursday) - Visiting the Baby

I slept like a log last night. I've been *really* tired these last few days; I wonder if I'm sickening for something?
Over brekkie (shared with my dog) I watched an episode of "Are You Being Served" which I hadn't already seen a hundred times before. In this one our heroes had been transferred to the toy department. Mrs Slocombe was bemoaning the inadequacies of a mechanical pussy (Captain Peacock preferred the real thing) and Miss Brahms kept interfering with Mr Humphries' Wibblie-Wobblies.

As I took "Furry Face TM" for our morning walk I was rather disheartened. Over the weekend I pressure-washed the front garden. I shifted all the grubbiness from the concrete paving and the garden looked pristine. Overnight we'd had heavy rain and the paving was back to its old black self.
Apart from losing our tennis ball our walk passed off relatively uneventfully for once. Mind you there was an interesting five minutes as we walked up Beaver Road. One young lady with a particularly defiant expression (seemingly on her way to school) was wearing a completely transparent blouse under which was a rather saucy red bra. There are those who would leer at such attire. Me - I just had "Swadelands flashbacks" remembering when as a father of a daughter I was hauled before the schoolteachers at Swadelands school to listen to a tirade of crimes committed by a difficult child.
Even now I have trouble going anywhere near the village of Lenham where the school was (and still is)

And with that daughter in mind and having a few minutes before the late shift, I drove down to Folkestone to see the baby. The last time I visited I had to park several streets away; the parking was so tight. Today was different; I parked right outside the house.
Littlun is growing *so* fast; he's over a stone in eight now. And he's crawling. I say "crawling"; he's mobile. He shifts about the floor using both legs and one arm. When he figures out how to use all four limbs there will be no stopping him. Mind you he was intrigued with my shoe-laces. I lost count of the amount of times he deliberately undid them.
"Daddies Little Angel TM" is apparently teaching him sign language. She has this theory that babies naturally use Maketon.
I can't see it myself...

20 May 2015 (Wednesday) - Caught in the Rain

I was really tired last night so I took myself off to bed sortly after 9pm. I was out like a light and slept for over eight hours. I woke, brekkied, watched the antics of Mrs Slocombe's pussy on "Are You Being Served" and then had a look on the Internet.
A few days ago I saw a photograph on Facebook which I thought was in bad taste. It was on a family-friendly site about Jack Russell dogs. The photo showed a Jack Russell together with the fragments of a rabbit which that Jack Russell had rent asunder. I though this wasn't really appropriate on a site which is regularly viewed by children so I reported it to the Facebook authorities. After a few days they got back to me.
Apparently photographs of small terriers ripping rabbits apart doesn't violate their community standards. I can't help but wonder what *would* violate their standards...

As I drove to work the radio spewed it's usual brand of news-related drivel. Again there wasn't much of note. Internationally man still fought man because of silly superstitions. At national level defeated politicians were squabbling. The Labour party are selecting a new leader because they feel it is the right thing to do, and UKIP are not because their leader has told them not to.
I stopped off at Morrisons; they were doing a bargain on red wine so I got a half-price bottle. Reduced from ten quid to a fiver I'm hoping for great things (but in all honesty not expecting much).

I went to work, bit some, and came home. "Furry Face TM" was pleased to see me. We went for a walk round the park. Just as we reached the half-way point the drizzle started. After fifty yards the rain became torrential. We were soaked by the time we got home. Not that I think rain bothers dogs much.

I came home and dried off. And then I checked my emails. Four new caches have gone live in Bethersden. On the one hand it's a good thing because going hunting tupperware is always fun. On the other hand... it's put paid to all the plans I've been making about a forty-plus cache series in the area. I suppose it's my own fault; I should have got myself organised earlier. But I'm still a bit pissed off about it.

I shall open that bottle of wine in a minute...

19 May 2015 (Tuesday) - Crackpot Nonsense

Over brekkie I watched "Are You Being Served". Following getting his blow-tickler shut in the stock room door, Captain Peacock was kicked in the men's department. They don't write them like this any more; which is probably for the best.
I was a bit disappoijnted with what I read on social media this morning. I find out much of what's happening locally from a group on Facebook. But the South Ashford Community Forum is abandoning social media in favour of their own website. I like to see what they are up to when it's in amongst my Facebook feed. But there's no denying that I won't be making any effort to follow their website; life's too short to take the trouble

As I drove to work the radio spewed it's usual brand of news-related drivel. Little was memorable today, but the platitudes spouted on "Thought for the Day" stuck in my mind. Usually when there's a Islamic Imam or a Jewish Rabbi they seem to talk reasonable sense. However Christian vicars seem to spout stark nonsense, and today's vicar was no exception. His meandering and dribbling witterings were supposed to somehow justify suffering, and the fact that the disabled are disabled was somehow proof of God's love for the world.
(To be honest it didn't make a lot of sense to me either)

Whilst in a queue of traffic waiting to turn left I watched a cyclist get knocked off of her bike. She sped up the left hand side of the queue of traffic, then ride round the front of the car actually turning left in an attempt to go right. She then got knocked off. Whilst she seemed to suffer no injury, the same couldn't be said for her bike.
Hopefully she will learn from this episode and not cycle in such a stupidly dangerous way in future

I went for a little walk at lunchtime; I was planning to walk down to the nearby church and case the joint (in a geo- sort of way) but the weather was against me; when I was half way there a thunderstorm started.
So I contented myself with checking up on one of my caches on the walk back to work. It was missing. It's a keyholder magnetically stuck to a roadsign. Someone had moved it from one side of the road to the other. I moved it back.

Once back at work I learned something. We were discussing geographical and racial variations in the frequency of certain subtypes of the Rh blood group system (that's what you do in a blood bank); did you know that whilst fifteen per cent of the white British population are Rh-negative, less than one per cent of Chinese people are?
Now there's simular variations in the distribution of the Duffy blood group system, but that's due to malaria. None of us could remember the cause of the variation in the Rh system so we had a look on-line. I learned something...
Apparently blood doesn't mutate, and there is no scientific explanation for Rh-negative blood. Therefore Rh-negative blood comes from space lizards from the planet Nibaru. Look at the article we found by clicking here. It's years since I found such utter crap. It is so bad it's actually hilarious...
The author's been really slated on Wikipedia... can't think why.
(Oh - and as a matter of fact the blood group is Rh; Rhesus is a sort of monkey)

I drove home through the rain and once home took "Furry Face TM" for a rather short walk round the block. We didn't go to our usual haunts; he would have got filthy and muddy in any of the fields or parks.
After a rather good tea "er indoors TM" set off to the Tuesday gathering. For once I gave it a miss. I was feeling rather (very) tired and this evening everyone else would be turning the telly on at about the sort of time I planned to take myself to bed...

18 May 2015 (Monday) - Not Much Happened

I slept like a log, finally waking just before the alarm was due to go off. I came downstairs to find "Furry Face TM" snoring in his basket. Whilst I did this and that yesterday, he'd gone with "er indoors TM" on her practice walk yesterday, and nineteen miles had tired him somewhat. He didn't stir from his bed, and made no effort at all to scrounge toast. As I scoffed my toast I watched an episode of "Are You Being Served" in which Mrs Slocombe was having her fiftieth birthday. I suppose it's a sign of the times that forty years ago she looked far more haggard at fifty than I did last year (!)

Before I set off to work I had a little look-see at my amazingly clean jet-washed garden. There was something odd half way up the lawn. Closer investigation revealed it was a dead bird. Or, more accurately, the fragments of a dead bird. The head was a little way from most of the body, as was one of the wings. I blame the local cats.
I cleared up the carnage before my dog got involved in it. I'm not sure exactly what he might do with it the components of a dismembered blackbird, but I wasn't taking any chances.

As I drove to work there was an interview with the Health Secretary. He was discussing the Prime Minister's plans to have full NHS availability round the clock. Key to this scheme was to recruit another five thousand G.P.s. A leading G.P. was on the show explaining how it's not possible to fill all the current G.P. vacancies; let alone create any more positions. The Health Secretary wouldn't actually address this point, which effectively cast doubt on the entire philosophy behind the latest re-jig of the NHS.
It strikes me that the Health Secretary should stop fiddling with the NHS and leave it to do the job. But what do I know?
There was also an interview with a a leading Trade Unionist concerning the rumours that the union Unite are considering severing ties with the Labour party. About time too.

I got to work, did some, and at lunchtime I didn't blow my saxophone. Now that I've given up lessons I don't feel the need to spend every lunch break playing the thing. I expect I will still have a tootle from time to time, but today I didn't. It was raining so I started off reading my Kindle app, then fell asleep.

As I drove home the Prime Minister was on the radio refusing to answer questions about how he would fund his plans for the NHS. And once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We played fetch, we saw only a couple of other dogs, and the whole walk passed off without incident.

After a rather good bit of tea "er indoors TM" went off bowling, I checked emails. Yesterday I mentioned I'd done the preliminary stages of preparing a new geo-walk. I had an email from the geo-feds to give me the thumbs-up on what I'd done so far. I was pleased about that.

And it's Monday night. Telly night. Gotham and Game of Thrones. #getyourtitsoutdaenerystargaryen

Oh - and "er indoors TM" is doing a sponsored walk this weekend. Twenty six miles (I think) If you click here you can sponsor her.