31 August 2015 (Monday) - Monkey Puzzle Tree

The plan for today was originally to be a walk around the Biggin Hill area. Periodically I organise a walk for a time and a place that suits me (because I'm selfish like that) and open it up to whoever is up for it. I do it as a Facebook event as that way people can use the page as a way to communicate about the walk. Sometimes people can do it, sometimes not. Being a Bank Holiday today there were over twenty people signed up for it.
Last night I posted on the Facebook event page that the weather was looking iffy. Despite four pints of ale last night I was still awake before 7am this morning. So I got up and checked the weather forecast for Biggin Hill. Heavy rain was forecast until mid afternoon, and then lighter rain for the rest of the day. Bearing in mind how wet I got when walking Fudge round the roads for just an hour or so last Monday I decided to back out of today's walk. I posted that on-line and went back to bed.

I was woken a couple of hours later by the first thunderstorm. I say "first"; it was the first that I'd heard. Apparently I'd slept through others in the night. So I got up and over a spot of second brekkie I checked out the Internet. Pretty much everyone else had backed out of today's planned walk except one brave soul who'd not checked the Facebook event page. Woops!

By mid morning the rain had abated somewhat so I took "Furry Face TM" round the block. We only went round to The Riverside and back via the horses; a fifteen minute walk, but in that time the little dog got soaked from the wet grass. And within ten minutes of us getting home so the torrential rain started again.
I spent the remainer of the morning putting the finishing touches to my latest Wherigo. I've even added the World's Sexiest Hat into it seeing how the actual hat has vanished. (I suspect foul play!)

With no real plans for the day we went out for lunch. I know that McDonald's isn't everyone's idea of fine dining, but compared to most other places, the food arrives quicker, tastes better and is cheaper. It always amazes me that the place's most implaccable critics have never actually eaten there; prefering to beleive the urban myths.
With McDonald's scoffed we then did the old people's thing of going to a garden centre. It will soon be "My Boy TM"'s birthday and for his birthday he wanted a phormium. Apparently a phormium is some sort of reed-like plant. To me all the plants at the garden centre looked the same. They were all green and leafy. I couldn't tell one from the next. Or that was until I met Dave. I brought Dave home with me; he now has his own Facebook page. Dave is a monkey puzzle tree. He's currently in a flower pot in the back garden; I need to find a huge pot and relocate him to the front garden.

I then spent a little while looking at ordnance survey maps planning a walk for tomorrow. I missed going for a good walk today; the weather forecast for tomorrow is much better.
And finding myself "home alone" yet again I settled down in front of the telly... it doesn't watch itself.

30 August 2015 (Sunday) - Still Working

I was again up at silly o'clock and in the garden supervising a (supposedly) tiddling dog before dawn. Over brekkie I watched one of my favourite shows; "Toddlers and Tiaras". In today's instalment there was consternation as one of the toddlers was continually punching all the other toddlers. This brat's mother though the child was "sassy".
I was reminded of my nephew trying such a move with me at a similar age. I grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, upended him over the toilet and threatened him with a bogwash. He's never punched me since.
Mind you he's getting bigger; in a couple of years time he will be bigger than me. I wonder if he's biding his time.

As I drove to work the pundits announcing the news on the radio were somewhat contradictory. They started off by saying how Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill both liked a little nap in the afternoon, and how research has now shown that such a nap actually reduces the risk of heart disease.
However they also said that slobbing about in front of the telly increases your risk of a life-threatening thrombisis.
Presumably as long as you fall asleep in front of the telly all will be well?

Being Sunday the radio mostly featured articles of a religious nature. The output seemed to be thought-provokingly inspiring, but was actually utter twaddle.
Most people probably wouldn't have realised that it was utter twaddle because most people tend to stop listening to anything religious or spiritual after a few minutes. In the early 1980s I was seriously considering becoming a vicar (really!). Perhaps I should have done. I could have given such wonderful sermons. The good thing about a vicar's sermon is that clearly no one listens to them because they are filled with such contradictory nonsense. Vicars can say any old rubbish and get away with it.

Take today's vicar; the (ex) Bishop of Louisiana. The chap was in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina. He was able to quite glibly gloss over the actual hurricane itself as being nothing to do with God. But apparently one of the wonderful things about the church's ministry in the area after the hurricane was that far fewer people their rent their homes and far more own them. Presumably the hurricane was planned so that God could wipe out the lower orders.
Another religious type actually said the hurricane had been sent by God as a punishment for some gay pride rally which was going on at the time, but completely missed the fact that about the only area of the town which wasn't devastated was the area where the gay pride rally was taking place.

There was then an interview with a "reverend professor" (how does that work?). Academics at Durham University have been given a grant to improve scientific literacy among Christian leaders.
Apparently most religious leaders see science as a competing religion. The idea of the grant is to explain to them that science isn't actually yet another crackpot sect competing for dwindling congregations. Science is in fact an attempt to explain the universe in which we live.
There is probably some mileage in explaining this to the general public as well.
I'm personally of the opinion that any fool could see that science is actually something which will blow religions out of the water, but what do I know

I got to work and spent much of a busy day sulking that I wasn't with everyone else enjoying an afternoon's barbecue in Steve's garden. Mind you the day passed quickly and I was soon back in Ashford. Rather than going straight home I popped to the Riverside. "Access All Areas" were playing and most of the usual suspects were in attendance. It was good to catch up.
I was smiled and and grinned at an awful lot whilst I was there. It always amuses me when the younger men look at me and smile in a rather embarrassed sort of way. So many of them must have been ex-cubs and remember me. I don't look *that* different. I wish they's say hello and tell me who they are. I remember them all, but in my mind they are all still nine years old.

The plan was to only stay for a swift half; I downed four pints. Hope this rain clears up soon; we're supposed to be going for a walk in the morning...

29 August 2015 (Saturday) - Working

I'd set my alarm this morning, and as is usually the case when I have an alarm set, I woke well before it was due to go off. I gave up trying to sleep shortly before 5.30am and came downstairs. After my morning shave "Furry Face TM" was itching to go outside. I warned him to be quiet (not that he understands) and I went into the garden with him. He started to bark, looked at me, and shut up.
He had no interest in doing the sort of thing I'd actually let him out to do. He just ran around the garden like a thing possessed for thirty seconds, then went back inside. He then tried to scrounge my toast, and sat on my lap to be combed whilst I watched "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" in which (somewhat disappointingly) neither Billie Piper nor her stunt double flopped anything out.

I took a very minor detour on my way to work; thirty seconds after I'd arrived home from work on Wednesday morning a new geocache had gone lilve in Godmersham. I'd actually driven past it on my way home then, and so this morning I went to find it.
I found it, Happy dance.

As I then drove on to work the radio was broadcasting from an orchard which was only ten miles away from where I live and from where I work. There was a radio program about the Kentish apple industry. As anyone who's been to the county will know, apples are big business locally. The farmer being interviewed was saying that it was his goal to have as much as sixty five percent of the apples eaten in the UK to be actually grown in the UK. But apparently this will only happen if the British apple-eating community will go for it. i.e. pay for it.
I then stopped off at Morrisons where these same Kentish apples were (weight for weight) three times the price of bananas grown in Africa. How does that work?
I would have asked the nice assistants, but they were all busy having a squabble. The manager had been bellowing down the store for some time. She then stopped shouting at Rachel and screamed at Terry to tell him to ask Rachel how many times she had to be shouted at before she'd reply. Poor Terry totally missed the sarcasm and went up to daydreaming Rachel (on the fags counter) and actually asked her that very question.

I carried on towards work, stopping off to hide the Wherigo cache I've been working on all week. And I then spotted two minor problems.
Firstly the rules say that caches have to be a certain distance apart. My intended spot was too close to another one I'd hidden some time ago. I found another spot, but I shall have to re-jig the programming when I get home. Secondly the cache I was going to hide was silver in colour and it did stand out somewhat.
So I took it with me, coloured in in black marker pen, did a day's work and fully intended to hide it on my way home.

I forgot.
I'll do it in the morning...

28 August 2015 (Friday) - Change of Plans

I woke to the sound of the dustmen making enough noise to wake the dead. For some reason "Furry Face TM" didn't bat an eyelid at that racket. I got up to find him still asleep.
I checked out the Internet to find not a lot had happened overnight, then hopped into the car. I wasted a few minutes trying (and failing) to find a geocache over by the tip, then made my way to the foundry where I met Steve for a spot of brekkie. You can't beat a fry-up.
As we scoffed my phone beeped. I'd sent a message to Chris asking about where that elusive geocache was. He'd found it before and he sent me a hint. And so with brekkie scoffed I went back and still couldn't find it.

The original plan for the day had me going for a hospital appointment this morning, but with less than a day to go the hospital had phoned to cancel so I took "Furry Face TM" for a little walk round Great Chart,
Eighteen months ago I put out a series of puzzle geocaches. Today I put them all into the archive for dead geocaches. The series never really worked. The puzzles were too hard, the route went through a farm with uncontrolled dogs being loosed at random intervals, the cache hides were too difficult, the brambles and stinging nettles were too wild, and just recently muck spreading and building work have been the final nails in the series's coffin.
I went out with my dog to retrieve the eleven caches; we only managed to find five of them. The other six have gone into the ether.

Once home I hosed the mud from Furry Face TM" and mowed the lawn. I've not mowed it for a few weeks and it showed. I could probably have done a better job but a bad back and a worse elbow made me want to give up.
I gave up, and had a bag of crisps and a glass of Doctor Pepper for lunch. As I scoffed I watched more Star Trek: Hidden Frontier. I wasn't overly impressed with the episode I watched yesterday; this one wasn't much better. But I shall perservere.

The plan for the afternoon had been a geo-wander around Wye. But a combination of my geo-compadres being unavailable together with the actual geocaches in Wye suddenly being temporaroily disabled put paid to that idea. Instead I stayed in and put the finishing touches to my James Bond Wherigo. It only took three hours.
Now I have to get actual GPS co ordinates for the start and the finish (I shall do that tomorrow morning on the way to work) and then create web pages on geocaching dot com and Wherigo dot com. Only about another hour's work and it will be ready to go live.
Much as I like creating the Wherigos I must admit that (having spent the morning bringing in a whole load of puzzle geocaches) I find myself wondering if I'm using the right "hiding the geocache" strategy. People who hide geocaches fall into two camps. Those that want the things found, and those that don't. I *want* people to go and find what I'm hiding. But it is no secret that people (generally) *don't* go looking for mine. When I put out a geocache I usually don't actually say exactly where it is. Instead I set a puzzle to be solved or a GPS adventure to be played. And people (frankly) don't seem to want to fart about like that. Six months ago I put out a Wherigo I was rather pleased with. The game takes about two to three hours to play, it really makes you think, it took me about thirty hours to program and test. It has only been found five times in those six months.
I've since spent forty quid on a puzzle cache that has elicited absolutely no interest whatsoever.
In the meantime a film pot that was stuck under a nearby rock a couple of weeks ago has now been found fifteen times.
Perhaps I should just hide film pots under rocks. It seems to be what the public wants...

"er indoors TM" came home and we set off to astro club. We had a summer social in the woods. It was quite a good evening; shame I had to come home early. Got to be up early for work tomorrow...

27 August 2015 (Thursday) - More Rain

I slept well last night. I suppose it's only to be expected after two night shifts and a drinking session with an old drinking buddy. "er indoors TM" alarm woke me shortly after 7am; probably just as well. I would have slept on till much later but I had to be up; the dishwasher doctor was due sometime between 7.30am and 11.30am.

I got up, had brekkie, and checked out the Internet. Seeng how what I'd posted to the astro club's Facebook page last night seems to have passed the new guidelines I made the effort to post more stuff. There was an article about how all the names assigned to features on the planet Pluto during the recent New Horizons fly-by are totally unofficial and how the International Astronomical Union don't agree with them.
Mind you the IAU seem to have a history of talking twaddle.

I *tried* not to over-excite "Furry Face TM" this morning. He somehow knows when I'm not working, and on those days he's come to expect that the first thing we do is go for our walk. Today's walk had to wait. But not for long. Mr Fixer arrived at 8.30am and he was gone by 9am. The heating element had an open circuit apparently. Presumably it now has a closed one.
So, having said goodbye to the dishwasher doctor I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We didn't go far as we walked into torrential rain. We went round the block and came home again to find the postman had been. He'd delivered a letter from the council which was dated from the twenty-first of this month. It had taken six days to get to us. I wrote a reply and took it to the council office myself. Even with "Furry Face TM" stopping to sniff every ten yards we still got to the council offices in under fifteen minutes.
I told that to the nice lady on the desk. She didn't *actually* tell me that she didn't care; she didn't need to.

We came home through the torrential rain, and as "Furry Face TM" slept I had a bite of lunch and watched another fan-made Star Trek rip off. Star Trek Hidden Frontier is.... what can I say? I suppose it would be better if the lead character wasn't obviously suffering from stage fright. But the first episode wasn't *that* bad. Apparently there are fifty episodes of the show. I shall see how it turns out.
I then spent another five hours programming James Bond into a Wherigo. Programming isn't easy. If only it would do what I want it to do and not what I'm telling it to do.

"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner, and we caught up with some of the stuff we'd recorded onto the SkyPlus box. Last night's Bake Off was very good, and then we watched the last episode of Yonderland. Hope they make more of that show...

26 August 2015 (Wednesday) - Double Oh-Dear

On the way to work yesterday evening I popped into Morrisons last night to get some supplies for the night shift. I hadn't been in the store for more than thirty seconds when some rather loud woman stopped me and started ranting about how I would never believe what a rude husband she had. A slightly smaller version of her (presumably her daughter) was standing at her side and nodding in agreement. After a few minutes of my trying to escape the smaller one (presumably the daughter) announced "THERE HE IS" and the loud one stopped in mid-sentence and the two of them flew at a rather frightened-looking mouse of a man who was quivering by the yogurts.
I took my chance to escape, and (with a basket of stuff to scoff overnight) I soon took my place in the queue at the checkout. Just as the chap in front of me was about to be served he walked away. The checkout girl and I watched him walk out of the store, then we both looked at the gallon of milk and two gallons of cider he'd left on the counter. I shoved it out of the way of my shopping, and I was just finishing paying for my stuff when the bloke who'd left his shopping appeared again. Apparently he'd left his wallet in his car and wasn't happy that I'd not waited for him before pushing to the front of the queue...

I stopped off on my way to work in South Canterbury Road. Yesterday I mentioned how someone new to the world of hiding tupperware had warned me that the felonious miscreants who had stolen his geocaches had been to one of mine.
He seemed convinced that it stood to reason that if a geocache had gone missing then the person who took it away can only be the last person to have logged a visit to that cache on geocaching dot com. I did suggest to him that if someone was going to go out trashing geocaches then they would be hardly likely to take the trouble to record anything on geocaching dot com. I also explained how people new to the game often take caches home to show their mum, and how people rarely put the caches back exactly where they found them.
But he wasn't having any of it.
So I went and had a look at my cache. The last people to visit his caches had certainly been to mine. But my geocache was exactly where it was supposed to be. Had these people decided not to destroy my one? Did they have a personal vendetta againsnt my new-found friend?
Or were they (as I had said) actually utterly innocent of any geo-crimes?
I suspect this was a whole load of fuss over nothing. Life usually is.

I got to work and had a rather quiet night shift. Probably just as well; I wasn't feeling on top form. But I did my bit, and then came home via the petrol station.

Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a quick walk; a walk which we curtailed as the rain started. Today's walk was quite uneventful; we met Leroy the pug but other than that we didn't see any other dogs.
We got back just as the heavens opened, and I then took myself off to bed. After a couple of hours my dog declared "Red Alert" for no reason that I could fathom so I got up to settle him, and then over a late brekkie I watched the latest episode of "Dark Matter" which has now started to get quite interesting.

I then had an idea for a new Wherigo project; for all that I have filled Ashford with the things there are none in Canterbury. I started working on a James Bond themed Wherigo. The time flew by; I spent five hours working on it.

And after a rather good bit ot tea Brian and Rachel came round. Ostensibly to buy candles; the evening became rather boozy. Should do that more often...

25 August 2015 (Tuesday) - Still Raining

I had the radio on as I drove home after a surprisingly busy late shift. As I drove there was an interesting article on the radio. It was being proposed that fees be charged for children re-sitting exams that they have failed.
From what I could work out one of the pundits was saying that an absolute fortune is being spent on marking GCSE papers written by children who are as thick as two short planks and that said money would be better spent elsewhere. Another pundit was saying it was every child's God-given right to sit an exam that they didn't have a hope of passing.
It strikes me that whilst the teachers really shouldn't put a child up for an exam they know they are going to fail, it's a short step from this theory to having no free education for anyone.

Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. Rain was forecast later in the morning so I thought we'd get round before the heavens opened (like they did yesterday). We walked out to the ford and back. There was a relatively new geocache in the area. I couldn't find it.
My dog nearly got into a fight with an Alsation and a Labrador (at the same time), and I managed to get him onto the lead before we had an episode with Orangehead.
Other than copping myself in the goolies with his lead, the walk passed off relatively uneventfully.

Once home I was feeling a llittle tired so I had a litlle lie down. I woke up six hour later to the sound of torrential rain. I then checked my emails; I had one from a geocaching child who lives in the Canterbury area. His mum has been ranting on-line; the kid's spent a small fortune on buying sandwich boxes only to hide them and have them all go missing.
In his email said kid told me that (apparently) there is a pattern to these disappearences (!) and they can be attributed to the last people who logged a find on-line who this kid asssures me stole them. He's emailed me to warn me as my caches in Canterbury will be next on their list.
I've had a look-see and these same people have indeed been to one of my geocaches near the hospital. I wonder if that one haas been stolen too? I shall have a look later.

As I was slobbing in fron of the telly the door opened. I say "opened"; it sounded as though it was being kicked off of its hinges. "My Boy TM" was coming round "quietly" (as he thought I'd be asleep) to collect some fishing baits he's left in the freezer. I'm not sure what these baits were, but I do know he's not allowed to use his own freezer. he looked wet. Soaked in fact. He grumbled about not wanting to go fishing in the rain tomorrow.

And so off for another night shift. Through the rain Hope this headache goes soon...

24 August 2015 (Monday) - Raining

I finally got a night in which dog woofing wasn't a major part of the action; perhaps walking him to excess before a sleep is a good idea? However I sometimes wonder if our nutty neighbour has invested in a high-pitched whistle to upset Fudge. It sounds paranoid but I really wouldn't put it past the chap.
Mind you the night was filled with rather vivid dreams in which Adolf Hitler had replaced one of my colleagues with a Mr Humphries ("Are You Being Served") look-alike as part of an obscure plan to take over the world.

I eventually woke shortly after 6am and lay awake listening to the sound of the rain. I didn't really have much special planned for the morning but walking the dog, mowing the lawn and drying wet laundry all hinge on not having heavy rain.
I got up, and despite the rain put the washing on to scrub. "Furry Face TM" carried on snoring as I scoffed my toast. Other than having another thirty emails singing the praises of Saturday's geo-fun not a lot had happened in cyber-space overrnight really.
I read an interesting article that the actor Tony (Baldrick) Robinson is trying to resurrect a new "Blackadder" series. I can't see it happening really. Leaving aside how disparaging he was to fellow star Hugh Laurie (in that article), the original four "Blackadder" series were over twenty years ago. Look at the most recent "Red Dwarf" series; what a disappointment. I don't think a remake of "Blackadder" would work. But if there is the possibility of money to be made, then it will certainly happen.

Despite the rain I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk if only to stop him getting fractious. We took a rather different route to any of our usual ones. Yesterday I had a messaage that someone couldn't find one of my "Fudge's Folly" geocaches. The "Fudge's Folly" geocaches are five *really* easy to find caches. The one that was supposedly missing was exactly where it was suposed to be; magnetically stuck on the back of a road sign. The other four were all in place too.
Mind you we did get wet as we walked. As we came by the park I thought I'd let my dog have a little run. What was supposed to be a two minute run became half an hour's soaking as he ran here and there at will; flatly ignoring my calls. Oh he was in trouble when passing dog walkers captured him and brought him back to me.

We came home and I got changed. Absolutely everything I had on was soaking wet. Once dry I looked at the monthly accounts. Could be better. I watched this week's "The Last Ship" (which finally seems to be getting somewhere) then spent the afternoon in bed alternately dozing and listening to the rain.
I gave up trying to sleep at 5pm then made myself quiche and chips (in a previous life I worked in a restaurant kitchen for two years) then scoffed said quiche and chips whilst watching last week's "Dominion" (which isn't really going anywhere).

Night shift now.... I wonder how flooded the A28 will be...

23 August 2015 (Sunday) - Back to the White Cliffs

My dog had a woofing fit at 2.20am. I settled him, and he had another at 2.45am. After he started shouting at 3.10am I brought him upstairs where it is easier to shush him. He didn't bark after that, but did keep jumping on and off the bed. Consequently I had another sleepless night.

Over brekkie I read something interesting. The BBC is to change the supplier of its weather forecasts. It's very obvious their TV, radio and website already get forecasts from different sources. The website is quite reliable; TV and radio always differ from the website. Perhaps they might start using the BBC website?

I then checked my emails.... One of the things which rather niggles me about geocaching is that whenever one finds a cache or attends a meet-up, one is expected to produce a nice little written log of the episode. Personally I do a "copy & paste" pointing people to this blog. It's not that I can't be bothered to make the effort to write nice things (sometimes I do) but I honestly feel that geocaching is a treasure hunt, not an excercise in creative writing. Not everyone is good with words. I *really* think it should be optional...
However, having written nice words (or copied and pasted trite platitudes like I do) the person who hid the cache or organised the meet gets an email to tell them that someone's done so.
Yesterday a series of eleven new caches of mine went live and I hosted a geo-meet. This morning I had two hundred emails telling me that loads of people had found caches and attended the meet. If nothing else this shows how successful yesterday's event had been. I spent much of the day being smug about that.

I popped out to my car; the public dustbin which lives fifty yards up the street had been dragged and abandoned a hundred yards down the street. Probably by the drunks going home last night. I expect that was what made "Furry Face TM" bark in the night.
As I was taking the bin back to where it lives our "delightful" neighbours were coming out of their house. She made her usual point of ignoring me but then did a double take when she saw I was carrying a public dustbin over my shoulder. I gave her the most sickly of smiles and kept going.

We got our gear together, got into the car, collected the crew and set off on today's geo-mission. Two weeks ago we walked along the bottom of the cliffs from Folkestone to Samphire Hoe and back; today we walked along the top of the same cliffs from Capel (East Folkestone) all the way to Dover looking for geocaches..
Because the walk was a line and not a circle there was a minor hiccup with the possibility of finding ourselves at the end of the walk and seven miles from the car. But this was easily sorted. When I first proposed the walk (a while ago) there was a lot of interest so I suggested that anyone driving down might drop their passengers at the start of the walk. Drivers would go on the the end, then all the drivers could come back in one car.
I rather hoped we'd have enough drivers willing to do this.
I dropped my passengers off on Capel and drove on to the car park in the Western Heights where Fran and Aleta were already waiting. As Mark was the last to arrive we said that as he was still in his car he could drive us all back to the start.
He seemed happy with that scheme.

Soon we were all assembled back in Capel and thirteen of us (and four dogs) went for a walk. I've mentioned before how beautiful the scenery is around the White Cliffs. As we started walking we could see the coast of France across the channel. And as we walked we went through the battle of Britain memorial. We posed for some photos there. We went past the garden of a chap with whom I used to work until he retired several years ago. He was in his garden; we had a chat. We collected clues for puzzles; we successfully hunted tupperware.

We knew it was going to rain at some point; the rain came somewhat earlier than expected. I had this plan to have lunch where I knew there were wartime tunnels that the more adventurous of our number might want to explore. Just as we arrived at the lunch stop so the heavens opened. Those who wanted to tunnel did so, and the rest of us got rather wet.
The rain only lasted for half an hour or so, but it was enough to get the grass very wet; we did get damp on the final stretch. But not that wet that it dampened our spirits. It was a really good walk with really good company, and as is usually the case I took a photo or two as we walked...

After (about) seven miles and (about) five hours we got to the car park at the Western Heights where most of the cars had been left. Aleta had space in her car to take Mark and his crew back to where we'd left his car, and so our transport plan was a total success.
We said our goodbyes, and pausing only briefly to take a photo or two of the harbour we set off home. The plan was to come home; but we took a quick detour to Samphire Hoe. After all their salted caramel ice cream isn't to be turned down lightly.

Once home I had a quick shower and with "er indoors TM" off bowling I found myself at something of a loose end for the evening. Normally we wouldn't be home quite so early on a summer's afternoon, but we had got rather wet whilst out.

When I'm at a loose end I usually do the laundry. It keeps me out of mischief; I don't mind ironing shirts, bandanas really do need to be ironed, and my smalls don't deal with themselves....

22 August 2015 (Saturday) - Geo- Meet, Stefano's

I had a terrible night's sleep; After a nightmare in which "er indoors TM" was attacking me with an ironing board I woke in a sweat at 3am and then lay awake for the rest of the night. I gave up trying to sleep shortly after 6am and got up. "Furry Face TM" was still snoring, and he carried on snoring whilst I did the dishwasher's work for it; the poor thing is still on sick leave.

I had a spot of brekkie, then saw the eleven caches I'd hiddedn for today's geo-meet had been published. And before long I was seeing that people were successfully solving the puzzles I'd set. Eventually "er indoors TM" came up with the right answer, we loaded up the car and set off for Challock.
Every month the local hunters of tupperware meet up; today it was my turn to host the gathering. Rather than meeting in a pub (which gets expensive if you drink like I do!) I thought we might meet on the village green at Challock and have a picnic. I'd got permission from the local parish council and so I dropped "er indoors TM" and "Furry Face TM" off with a gaggle of hunters-of-sandwich-boxes who were going to find what I'd hidden. Whilst they scoured the countryside I set up shelter and a table to act as a base so people could see where to meet.

It took me ten minutes to set up, and then I settled down for an hour's peace and quiet in the sun. After half an hour I had a phone call; I'd stuffed up the sums on one of my field puzzles. Despite hardly any phone signal I managed to put things right just as people started arriving for the meet.
I can hardly be impartial, but I thought we had a good meet. I think we had about fifty people along in total, Rebecca made some rather good cakes, everyone chattered with everyone else in the sunshine; two hours passed very quickly. I took a few photos whilst we were there; I wish I'd taken more.

After a couple of hours people started drifting away; we packed up and came home. I struggled a little; my tennis elbow was really playing up.
After a little scrub-up we collected Martin and drove off to Hawkinge to visit my Ham Street Lover. He was opening a new private cocktail bar "Stefano's". Specialising in the more obscure drinks such as "Shrek's J*zz" and featuring live music, I shall visit his back garden again soon.
In a novel break with tradition I was driving and "er indoors TM" was pouring the drink down her neck. Not sure I'm too keen on this way round...

I also had the opportunity of a pool party today at the home of someone with whom I used to work. There just wasn't time to go there.
Why do these things always happen at once?

21 August 2015 (Friday) - Iced Frappe

Anyone who claims they've never watched "Thunderbirds" is just pretending to be cool. We've all watched it. But how many of us have noticed the major flaw in Thunderbird Two's pods?
When the pods are loaded they are wheeled underneath Thunderbird Two between the support strut leg things. There's is plenty of space between the support strut leg things for pods to pass. But when Virgil lands to save the day (unlike the rest of his lazy brothers) when he uses the support strut leg things to deploy the pod they are to the sides of the pod. They would be in the way of the pods as they were wheeled into place for loading.
This is of vital importance. Why has it taken me fifty years to realise this?
I asked this very question on Facebook last night. I was surprised at the amount of reaction it generated.

As I had my brekkie this morning I became increasingly worried about my dog. he seemed very listless and showed no interest in scrounging for toast.
"er indoors TM" got up and explained why he was so withdrawn. Apparently he'd been up most of the night woofing and would seem to have worn himself out. I must have slept through it all.

I wondered if he fancied a walk: I showed him his collar and lead and he got very over-excited. There was nothing wrong with him.
As we walked we met the local vicar. Our local vicar scares me. He wears open toed sandals all year long. (I judge men who wear open toed sandals). The vicar said "Good Morning" to us... I say he "said" it; he actually barked and snarled it in the same way that a skinhead thug would ask "Who You Looking At?" before administering an old fashioned bunch of fives up the throat.
I couldn't scurry away quickly enough.

Once home I set off to work a little earlier than I had to; I took a rather circuitous route. Usually I'd go harass "Daddies Little Angel TM" and the baby before work, but on Fridays they "Mother and Toddler", and there's no space for a Granddad there. So instead I resorted to hunting for tupperware for an hour or so.
A few new geocaches had gone live the other side of Canterbury in the week, and one had appeared this morning. I quite like a little walk round Canterbury before the late shift. If nothing else I have little worry about being late for work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were re-uniting guards and inmates from the Guantanamo Bay prison, so I turned the radio off and listened to my awful music instead.
I soon parked the car in Canterbury and had a rather poor geo-stroll.
I found the first one pretty much straight away; the second one was far too close to someone in their back garden for my liking, and I gave up when I saw that the third one was probably amongst the druggies' discarded syringes.

So, sulking about my thirty-three per cent success rate, I then went to McDonalds for some McBrekkie. I do like McBrekkie. The only people who ever say bad things about a sausage and egg McMuffin are those people who've never had one. I also treated myself to a caramel frappe. And then to a second one as I liked the first one so much.

And that was pretty much it for my day. I went to work, did what I couldn't avoid, and came home a lot later than I'd have liked (given any choice in the matter). A quick trip to Asda, curry, a bottle of plonk, a cyber-squabble.... another day in the life really....

20 August 2015 (Thursday) - Hungry

Another good night's sleep; again waking just before the alarm. I got up, and as the dishwasher is on sick leave I did the washing up myself.
Over brekkie I watched "Secret Diary of a Call Girl". I know this series is based on true stories, but do people *really* have spare thousands of pounds to squander on ladies of loose morals? Even if my back was up to it, my budget wouldn't go much over a fiver.

And so to work through a very wet morning. I had the radio on as I drove. Yesterday I was ranting about how many people are taking unnecessary degrees. Today's radio show featured interviews with two people who had such degrees.
There was an interview with a chap who had a degree in designing road layouts for new towns (I forget the exact title). He seemed to think that there would be endless opportunities in designing new towns from scratch. He had been rather surprised to leave university to find that towns had already been built and no one was interested in bulldozing them and re-building them from scratch to his design.
He is currently working for a telephone sales company trying to sell stuff no one wants to people who don't want it.
There was also a girl with a degree in primate studies who wanted to become a monkey-ologist and was shocked to find that studying monkeys wasn't going to make her rich. She is currently doing voluntary work in the field of marine biology as she seems to think there's more money in fish.
Neither are going to be in a position to pay back their student loans any time soon. And for all that they are clever enoght to get a degree, both must be rather stupid. Why does anyone run up terrible debts studying such subjects that clearly aren't going to have any practical application?

I got to work and after five minutes i felt rather odd. I think I might (just possibly) have had a mild heart attack. It was a weird sensation; it felt as though I had cramp of the heart. It only lasted for a few seconds and went as quickly as it came. Let's hope it's nothing to worry about. It didn't play up for the rest of the day so I'm seeing that as a good sign.

I got home safely, which was surprising. I was tail-ended for fifteen miles along the A28 by "Ashford Man & Van". The chap doesn't seem to have an on-line presence at all, which is a shame. I could have given him some nice reviews (!) But if any of my Kent-based readers need the services of a man & van I really couldn't recommend this one; I doubt anything he transports could ever arrive safely.

I walked "Furry Face TM" round the park; we met Marley (a dog-relative) and chased a squirrel up a tree. And then I found myself "home alone" as "er indoors TM" zoomed off to do "Daddies Little Angel TM"'s bidding. I think this particular bidding involved relocating a rabbit; I could be wrong.
All I do know for sure is that my dinner doesn't cook itself, and I'm hungry....

19 August 2015 (Wednesday) - Coming Out

After another good night's sleep I woke ten minutes before the alarm was due to go off. Over brekkie I watcheed an episode of "Dad's Army" in which the vicar was startled during evensong. He didn't like it up 'em. I then had a mooch on-line. Not a lot seemed to have happened overnight, which was probably for the best.

As I drove to work my piss boiled as I listened to the news. Despite leaving university with a lifetime's worth of debt, only half of graduates are actually doing anything with their degrees.
I blame the schools. When I was at school the careers teacher could only give advice on what university one might attend. "Failures" went into the army or banking. And that *really* was the attitude; no secret was made of the fact that the school expected you to go to university. If you didn't go to university you were openly seen as a failure. And so we have a generation with degrees that they don't use, effectively the ability to fart in Latin, and more debt than sense.

There are also calls from those who know no better to have the NHS paying for e-cigarettes for the masses.
Leaving aside the obvious argument of why should my taxes pay for their e-fags, and why don't their taxes pay for my new walking boots, this is a typical example of all that is wrong with the NHS. Yet more things for the NHS to be providing, and no funding for it to be doing so.

Something else equally cheeky is a scheme from several local councils which involves local councils giving council house tenants forty thousand pounds toward the cost of buying their own house.
Since having announced the plan Canterbury council has backtracked somewhat saying the sceme is only open to the first ten applicants. However that's stil the best part of half a million quid being given away.

I got to work, and my piss cooled as I pootled about my daily round. With my daily round done I came home.
The original plan for the evening involved going to the Venetian fete in Hythe, but that was not to be. Instead I came home and walked "Furry Face TM" round the park. As we walked I had a message.
Someone I've known for years, a very good friend, has finally plucked up the courage to tell the world that they are gay. I won't say who she (or he) is. Realistically whether or not that person is or is not gay is a matter of absolutely no importance to anyone but that person. To me some people are left handed, some have beards, some are clever, some not so, some are gay. All these quirks and foibles have absolutely nothing to do with me or how I get on with that person.

It is really wrong that people feel that they cannot be open about their sexuality and that they will be rejected by friends. And on serious reflection I don't know whhich is worse; to make jokes in bad taste about the matter, or to pretend to some politically correct agenda which just draws attention to matters which are nobody's business.

And now telly. Yonderland and Bake-Off.... Oh yes !!!!