28 April 2017 (Friday) - A Funeral

Another good night’s sleep; mind you I did ache when I woke. I might have overdone the garden work yesterday.
Over brekkie I stared into cyberspace. Facebook told me of a few birthdays today, but other than yet another personal snipe at me there wasn’t much of note there. My inbox was similarly uninspiring, so I took the dogs out.

The plan for today had been to drive out to the hop farm and set up a camp site for a four-day geo-extravaganza, but my heart hadn’t been in it from the start. It is too early in the year to go camping. And when it comes to camping one can either camp in comfort or rough it in a tent. Camping in comfort takes too much effort these days; especially when it is all over and everyone wants to go home.
It turned out I wasn’t the only one whose heart wasn’t really in it, so we decided against camping.

I took the dogs round the park for our morning walk. We went the other way round to that which we usually go, and it seemed to confuse Fudge; he straggled even more so than usual. As we walked we kept meeting up with the nice lady who lives up the road who runs the Morris dancers. We met up so often it became embarrassing.

We came home, and I went into the back garden where I had a few things to do. Firstly I had to sort out the membranes where we’d put in new fence posts over the last few weeks.  Once the membranes were straightened I had to re-bury them with shingle. That hurt my arm somewhat. I was rather depressed to see that nice-next-door had taken their shed down. One of the broken fence posts was held in place by being wedged between that shed and the pot of my monkey puzzle tree. Now the shed has gone I will have to fix that fence post. The first stage of the job will be moving the monkey puzzle tree’s pot, and that is heavy.

I then disassembled a broken water feature (the one by the pond) with a view to cleaning it. It was so grungy the only way to clean it was with the pressure washer. So I ran out the hose pipe and set up the pressure washer. With the thing set up I pressure washered quite a bit (including the front garden). There was a dodgy five minutes when the puppy escaped the puppy-proofing and was running loose in the street. I was amazed at how the cars all emergency-stopped when I can into the street and bellowed “all cars stop NOW!!
After that little episode I rather cut short pressure-washing the front garden.

I had intended to sort the red gravelled areas next, but I didn’t have any red gravel spare. So instead I thought I’d sort the concrete wreckage from the garden; there was quite a bit from the recent fence repairs. I loaded those that I could lift into the car and went to the tip.
The tip was quiet, but once there I met a random nutter who latched on to me for some reason. He wanted me to guess what he’d been doing all week long. I had absolutely no idea, but he insisted I guessed. I smiled politely and he said it was obvious. Apparently he’d been installing a new kitchen into his house. I was supposed to have guessed that from the cardboard pizza boxes he was throwing away. I managed to get away before he flipped.

As I was driving past the place, I popped into the shingle supplier by the tip. They had some red gravel. They also had pumps for water features. I saw the very one I wanted. It was somewhat smaller than the one in Bybrook barn I got yesterday. I asked how much it was..
Oh dear.
The chap behind the counter proudly boasted he’d never sold one before, and pulled out a ream of paper to look up the price. Bearing in mind the one I got yesterday cost thirty quid I was expecting to pay about twenty quid for the thing. After ten minutes the bloke announced it was a hundred and forty nine pounds (!)
I didn’t get it.

I came home, thought about getting the gravel out of the car, and decided against it. Instead I had a spot of lunch (and watched “BattleStar Galactica”) and then phoned the payroll people at work. For some reason I’d paid over a hundred pounds more income tax this month than last month. The people at the work’s payroll office said that they take what they are told to take by the tax office, so I phoned the tax office.
They don’t answer the phone with any alacrity, you know.
Fortunately for my nerves I was eventually put through to someone who knew what was going on. Apparently despite NHS pay scales being a very open matter of public record, the Inland Revenue computer had a guess at what my wages would be, and guessed wrongly. I’m told I’ll get a refund next month.
Whilst thinking of money I had a little look at my accounts. For all that I miserly account for every penny I spend, I thought I’d have a look-see at what I’m actually spending with a view to not spending quite so much.  So I cancelled an insurance policy on my desk-top PC. Five pounds a month for something I could (possibly) fix myself was a saving.

Following the morning’s debacle, I then had a look on eBay for pumps for water features. Yesterday I mentioned that I thought that they were about fifteen quid each; I bought two for seventeen quid. It pays to shop on-line (providing the things arrive).

Martin came round, we drove to collect "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" then went on to the crematorium. Today was Glenn’s funeral. Over the years our friends have gone here and there, and every so often we all get back together again. Today was one of those occasions. It was good to see so many old faces; but it was wrong to be for a funeral. Especially for the youngest of our number. Glenn should have buried everyone else.
There was an official wake, but from what we could work out the wake was by and for his father’s side of the family. None of us wanted to make polite conversation with strangers about how we knew our departed shared friend. Instead we went to the Windmill in Willesborough where we staged a wake of our own…

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