1 January 2017 (Sunday) - Goldfish

Yesterday I was wondering what the future held… in my blackest moments I have said that the reason I haven’t jumped off of Ashford’s multi-story car park is that I’m intrigued to see what happens next in this life. And this year kicked off with surprise.

Usually I have a few beers at the New Year’s Eve party. This year I didn’t. A good friend had had some terrible news (I won’t go into details) but she found herself needing to get to Oklahoma (the place in America) at incredibly short notice. With taxis charging over two hundred pounds to drive to Heathrow I kept off the beer and left last night’s party as soon after the chimes of Big Ben as was practical.
I’ve dropped people off at Gatwick airport before and it has been heaving. On New Year’s Day at 2am, the drop-off zone at Terminal 3 of Heathrow was deserted. Apart from an empty police car there was absolutely no one or nothing there. It was rather spooky. As was Cobham services at 2.45am.
I got home at 4.30am and had a minor run-in with some rather drunk children as I walked home from parking my car. One child was screaming and shouting, utterly distraught that he’s lost his friend Kieron. He would not stop bothering me to help me find Kieron. Kieron then appeared having been sick in someone’s garden and became obsessed with trying to set me on fire even though his friend didn’t want to “arjue” (?) with me.
If any of my loyal readers know Kieron’s mummy they might like to have a word with her; I’m sure she would be utterly ashamed of the behaviour of her little soldier.
I thought about posting something about the incident onto one of the local Facebook groups but decided against it; it would only descend into squabbles.

I got home and checked my phone. For some odd reason the thing doesn’t make a noise when I get a message (despite having done all the settings so it should). I’d had a message that my mother had been admitted to hospital following a suspected stroke.
I got to bed at 4.40am. Perhaps it was the Starbucks coffee at Cobham, perhaps it was the news I’d had. But I didn’t sleep at all. I gave up trying to sleep at 8am and phoned Eastbourne hospital. Good news - mum had had a good night and was expected to be going home later.

The plan for today had been a geo-walk, but a combination of no sleep, ill mother and rain put paid to that idea. Instead I struggled with solving geo-puzzles for an hour this morning. Today’s walk had been one needing puzzle-solving. Those walking today would be given the heads-up. The rest of us would have to solve the puzzles the way God intended. So whilst I waited about for "er indoors TM" to leap into action I struggled (and failed) to solve geo-puzzles.

As I wracked my poor brain my brother and "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" both phoned and told me elaborations of what the hospital had told me two hours previously. We had thought about going to visit mum in hospital today, but as the morning wore on it became apparent she was going to be sent home, and that she hadn’t had much sleep, so we didn’t drive down.
Instead we spent the morning excavating the area surrounding the living room’s fish tank and resurrecting the tank. We then went to Bybrook Barn for some bits and bobs for the tank. But Bybrook Barn was closed, as was Dobbies, Tenterden Garden Centre and World of Water. We ended up buying what we needed from Pets at Home which is by far the closest pet shop to home. Why didn’t we go there first?

Once home we put the bits and pieces together only to find the fluorescent tube was still iffy. The new starter motor wasn’t the problem; it was the tube itself. So we had a rather late lunch then (thinking the rain had finally abated) walked the dogs back to the pet shop for a new tube. The dogs needed walking – the puppy was getting fractious. She’d had a bit of a run-in with Fudge earlier in the day and Fudge had definitely put her in her place. And "er indoors TM" had resorted to time-outs and naughty-step to no avail.
We thought the rain had stopped; the moment we started walking it started again. We got the new fish tank tube but we also got soaked into the process. I say “we”; "er indoors TM" had the sense to wear a coat and the dogs didn’t care about the rain.

Once home I got the fish tank finally sorted. It looks quite good; for thirty years I’ve kept tropical fish; I’m trying cold-water goldfish variants for a change. I’ve always fancied having some blackmoors.
I then had a message confirming my theory about the geo-puzzles I had been struggling with earlier, and with my theory confirmed I checked my sums and realised that seven minus four is *not* four. I had been right all along; I just can’t do arithmetic.
Within an hour I had plotted out thirty-odd puzzles all of which now look to be in plausible positions on the map.

"er indoors TM" put the washing machine on to scrub some coats. Whilst I plotted the washshing machine did its thing. Mind you I think it’s had a little mishap – I’ve never seen so much foam. "er indoors TM" is insistent she put in the right amount of soap. Perhaps the washing machine is on the way out?
That would be handy… !

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