31 May 2017 (Wednesday) - Before the Night Shift

With a little time on my hands this morning I set about fixing the water feature for which I bought the new pump yesterday. I had the thing working in ten minutes. It was a shame that I had to buy a pump; the pump I bought was twice the price of the ones on eBay, but it had the advantage of actually being fit for purpose. Internet shopping is all very well when they send you the right thing.

I then took Fudge to the vets. He was walking *really* awkwardly this morning; so much so I thought he’d dislocated his left shoulder. I got to the vets before opening time and they kindly saw us right away. We were in and out in less than five minutes. The vet agreed with my theory that he’s overdone it in the river last week, but her manipulations of "Furry Face TM" showed it was his left hip that was painful, and so he was walking oddly on it which made his shoulder look squafty.
He’s on tramidol and “official” rest.

Pausing only briefly to collect "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM", I then drove down to Hastings to see my mummy and daddy. They were well; bearing in mind how ill they have been over this last year they both seemed to be on the mend.
As we drove home "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" was expounding her theories on religion. She’s decided to have one, but doesn’t agree with any of the established faiths. I wouldn’t put it past her to devise one of her own; she was talking about something to do with reincarnation. I expect this will blow over, the last thing I need is her as a religious nut.

We got home: I went to bed for the afternoon and slept for four hours, which was good. I got up and spent an hour of so putting my new Ronseal wood jollop onto the fence. Regular readers of this drivel may recall I painted the fences once before. Fence painting is a slow process. Last time it took an hour and a quarter to do each fence panel. I’ve got over twenty to do. That should keep me out of mischief.

I’m off to the night shift now…

30 May 2017 (Tuesday) - Late Shift

Treacle made herself comfortable on the bed last night, and I tried to make myself comfortable around her. For the most part I failed.

I got up and fussed Fudge. He’s on the mend, but oh-so-slowly. I scoffed brekkie, and as I scoffed I reviewed the recent logs on my Great Chart geo-series. Every time someone finds a geocache they have to write a little story. Most people write nothing of consequence and (to be honest) since I have getting on for a hundred active caches I don’t read the “Found it” logs. But having had that message over the weekend I thought I’d better investigate. It seems that a few people have had issues at the half-way point of the series.

Fudge was too poorly to walk, so I took Treacle for a little outing. We drove out to Great Chart and started our walk. I thought I might as well do a complete maintenance run whilst I was at it, and I got a bit cross. Inside each geocache is a bit of paper to sign. To stop it getting wet I put that bit of paper inside a film pot which goes in the cache.
Most of the film pots had gone. Now bearing in mind that the paper inside was still there and that the caches were still there, where had the film pots gone. Stolen by other cachers for their own use? If people are that poor I’ll buy them new ones to save myself the inconvenience of having to replace them.

We had a good walk through fields and woods meeting goats, horses and cows. Treacle even chased a squirrel. All was fine until we got just past point 8 where the footpath had been “sort of” blocked, but was passable. From here on in was somewhere that people had often whinged but the footpath was clearly marked. There *were* horses in the field but there always had been.
But when I got to the lane at point 10 I saw a notice from the council which was all about a statutory footpath diversion. Effectively that stuffed up my route. We then followed the route back to the car collecting the caches as we went. I’ve archived the lot; the walk is impassable now.
One thing which boils my piss about geocaching is that people start off by finding a magnetic jobbie stuck to a road sign and then just carry on. Very few people come to it with any experience of hiking in the countryside. Few people realise that you can’t just randomly wander wherever you like. And few people realise that maps are different. Open Street maps are simply rubbish; they don’t feature most of the rights of way. Most people won’t use Ordnance Survey maps as they cost. And most people don’t realise the difference between a closed gate and a statutory footpath closure.
If people had told me there was a statutory order some months ago…

We came home and I wasted a few minutes trying to repair a water feature. But I didn’t have the right attachment so I gave up.
I was just about to pootle on-line when I thought I’d check the house phone for messages. There was a message from the police following up on my call about nutty-next-door that I made to them on Sunday. They asked if I could phone them back and quote reference blah-de-blah. So I did. Apparently my ex-neighbour is alive and well, but “Damien” (Force Number 59827) made it crystal clear that he was far too busy to do anything other than say that he was alive, and rather insinuated that what this chap does with his life is none of my business. I suggested he checked the records to find out why I was concerned; “Damien” said he was too busy.

My phone then upgraded its operating system (which was nice for it) and I then emptied the photos I’d taken over the Bank Holiday weekend and put them on-line. Bearing in mind I’d worked for a large part of two of the days I was amazed to see just how much I fitted in between leaving work on Friday and going back this afternoon.
Never a dull moment.

I drove to work via the Aylesford aquatic centre where I go the right attachment for the water feature, and then on to work….

29 May 2017 (Monday) - Bank Holiday

For once I slept like a log; it was such a shame that "er indoors TM" forgot to turn off her 7.30 am alarm. I came down to find my little dog in his basket. He tried to jump and and winced in pain. He’s getting better, but he doesn’t understand “taking it easy”.
Looking at Facebook this morning it seems I missed the mother of all thunderstorms last night. I then sparked up the email circuit with something of a sense of dread. I’d had a geo-complaint yesterday about the series of geocaches which I put out round Great Chart. I was told “Please may I suggest that you check this circular as from cache number 7 the footpaths are not very clear to follow, neither are the instructions on each cache. I know the aim of the game is not to give it away, but follow the footpath isn't a great help when there are multiple footpaths, and many of the routes are now not accessible due to horses occupying the fields. We have just ended up in someone's yard, with guard dogs who were very aggressive. I am with a seasoned catcher who has done many circulars and we have both decided to abandon this route. We have 2 kids with us and this route has become very dangerous. Please can I urge you to do this circular as a maintenance check, with the children in mind?

What can I say without giving offence? To address the various points: The footpaths *are* clear. From point 7 you follow a straight line along the path you are already on. You then go through a gate and continue the straight line to point 8 and point 9 where you take a left turn. The path from the left turn is then obvious with several makeshift gates through electric fences. There may well be multiple footpaths going off in various directions, but that is where having a map and a GPS arrow come into play to help you find the ones you need. This is a feature of *every* geo-walk I’ve been on, and I’ve done an average of three a month over the last five years.
Horses have always been in the fields. A horse in a field does *not* make it inaccessible if there is a public footpath there. (You might be frightened of horses, but that is nothing I can do anything about).
If they’ve ended up where they shouldn’t be, what can I say.
I looked up the complainant’s profile. They’ve *really* not hunted much Tupperware. I won’t “name and shame” but to my mind a “seasoned cacher” finds far more than an average of forty three caches per year.
And I’d take issue with their claim to have done “many circulars”; including the half of my circular they gave up on yesterday they’ve done two in the entire time they’ve been caching.
Yesterday I gave them a polite response asking exactly what they wanted of me, but they didn’t reply. I suppose I could take Treacle for a walk tomorrow to have a look-see…

With a little time on my hands I went into the garden and disassembled one of the water features. This one had got seriously crudded up with the leaf litter from not-so-nice-next-door’s clematis over the years. I’d pressure-washed it clean a few weeks ago, and I relocated it and rebuilt it using the bits I got from Whelan’s yesterday. I was quite pleased with the result. I then managed to get my car close to home and I got our new statue in place. By the time I’d pulled weeds out of the shingle, scrubbed the paddling pool and sorted the patio I was quite worn out.
Nice-next-door then said hello over the fence. He (very politely) pointed out a broken fence panel behind the shed. I shall sort that just as soon as I can get a new panel. And then I’ve one or two more garden projects in mind. I need to overhaul our big fountain, I want ot go back to Whelan’s to get the makings of some raised beds, and I want a huge pot in which I will have either a small acer or a large bonsai. And I need to paint all the fence panels with something or other.
A couple of days ago I whinged about how I dislike gardening. In all honesty it is a futile pastime; fighting the second law of thermodynamics can only end in failure. But the pastime does seem to suck you in.

"er indoors TM" boiled up a spot of lunch, and I set off in the general direction of work. As is always the case on a Bank Holiday Monday, all the roads in Ashford were blocked up in all directions. It took me fifteen minutes to drive to B&Q; I can walk it in two minutes. They had fence panels, but wanted to charge me twenty quid to deliver it. When I need one I shall carry one home; I’m not paying twenty quid.
I then went to Wickes, but they wanted thirty quid to deliver a fence panel. Mind you they did have the water resistant electrical connecting device I needed.
I stopped off at Maidstone’s cheapo-bargain shop. They were doing the Ronseal fence stain at half the normal price, so I bought twenty litres of the stuff.
I got to work just as the rain started.

I don’t *really* mind working on a Bank Holiday; that and night and weekend work goes with working in a hospital. But what boils my piss is the insinuation (and outright declaration) that I barely work at all compared to others. I have the same amount of hours at work as most other people; I just work them at different times…