20 July 2018 (Friday) - Tra-La-La...


I went to bed rather earlier than usual last night. I slept for three hours (or so) until new-next-door’s dogs had a woofing fit. That set Treacle off. By the time they’d all eventually shut up, Fudge woke, and he tried to join in.
I dozed fitfully after that; finally getting back to sleep just before the alarm went off.

Over brekkie I watched the third episode of “Trailer Park Boys: Out Of The Park”. It’s not as good as the original.
I then did my morning trawl round the Internet. It was much the same as ever. Those that weren’t squabbling were attention-seeking. And with no emails worth the electricity it took to send them I got ready for work in something of a sulk. Today is Canterbury Beer Festival. In years gone by I organized outings to that on the Friday afternoon (as it is free admission on the Friday afternoon). What with other plans for last weekend taking priority I’d rather forgotten that the beer festival was on today. Mind you, that was probably for the best – what with the expense of last weekend and the car’s recent episode I don’t really have a spare hundred quid to piss up a wall right now.

I set off for work; as I drove the pundits on the radio were talking to the parliamentary chief whip of the liberal democrats. There has been some scandal in which some conservative MP broke his pairing arrangement with a liberal democrat MP. “Pairing” is a frankly ridiculous way to run a country. The law says that for a Member of Parliament to be able to vote they have to be physically present in the House of Commons when the vote is taking place. Obviously no one can be present for all votes, so what happens is that MPs chum up with someone who thinks the direct opposite to what they do. If both voted their votes would cancel out, so neither turns up, neither votes and everyone is happy. Except when one of the pair is off doing whatever and the other shows up at the House of Commons and votes.
Obviously the answer would be not to try to run a twenty-first century world by using an eighteenth-century way of government, but is there any room for common sense in Parliament?

I got to work and had a rather busy day. Far busier than I would have liked. As I left to come home I popped into Marks and Spencer (one has recently opened at work) and got myself some posh dinner as "er indoors TM" was off out on her works Beano this evening.
I came home and took the hounds round the park. Today our walk was utterly uneventful. Mind you it was raining. Rain! We’ve had something of a heatwave recently – there are those who love it; I’ve had enough of being far too hot now.

With walk done I fed the hounds, then after a quick shower I scoffed my Marks and Spencer posh dinner. It cost me ten quid and it was crap. I could have got twice as much food in a really good kebab for half the price.
As I scoffed I watched the first episode of “Final Space”. It was billed as a Netflix original comedy – I’m glad the write-up said it was a comedy as I wouldn’t have known otherwise. But not wanting to utterly dismiss it out of hand I watched more as I ironed my shirts. I wish I hadn’t.
I then watched some of the Epic Tales of Captain Underpants. That was better, But not much…

19 July 2018 (Thursday) - Squabbling


Last night’s squabble on the Geocaching in Kent Facebook page went on for much of the evening. It didn’t need to; it was over something rather petty, and (needless to say) those accused weren’t as black as they had been painted. These arguments *always* are over something rather petty, and those accused are *never* as black as they are painted.
 In order to attempt to restore some sort of harmony to what was once a rather good group I’ve suggested a group walk this Sunday. It might do some good, it might not. I hope it does; over the years I’ve walked away from the snake club and the astronomy club and the kite fliers because of the endless bickering.
Perhaps I need to be looking for yet another hobby on which to waste my time.
I also saw something which was unfortunately a sad sign of the times. There was a lot of grumbling on one of the local Facebook groups because the William Harvey pub had shut down. So many people were bemoaning the demise of the British pub. Whilst I sympathise, pubs are an expensive proposition. A round of drinks in the average pub comes to over twenty quid - you can go to Tesco and be drinking at home all night long for that price.
It would seem that for all that the population of Ashford want the William Harvey to remain open, very few of them have handed any money over its counter in the last few years, and until the proprietor can pay his debts of forty thousand quid, the place will stay shut.

 I set off for work. "My Boy TM" had given me instructions to check the car’s dodgy tyre's pressure this morning. I gave the thing a kick just like he did, but the kick told me nothing. Presumably you have to be trained to know what you are expecting when you hoof a tyre?
I drove to Brookfield garage where their air pump told me the pressure was twenty. I could picture my old primary school teacher Mr Jarvis asking "twenty what? - Units, you nit!" However I did know that twenty wasn't good. It was supposed to be thirty-two somethings (meganewtons per cubic parsec?).
I filled the thing to the required pressure, then drove home again; I'd forgotten my phone.

I drove to work slowly. As I drove there was consternation being expressed on the radio. Something else which hasn't been thought out about Brexit is that when the lorry drivers go abroad they need some permit or other (I didn't quite hear exactly what it was). You get the permit from the post office. Currently there are about a hundred thousand of these issued every year. After Brexit there will be a need for about seven million every year. No one would seem to have addressed that increase either in logistics or workload.

I got to work and (during a break) phoned the nearby tyre centre. They said they could do me this afternoon, so I did my bit and set off to the Aylesford Tyre & Auto Centre where we met with disaster. There is some special gadget that is needed to get the wheels off of my car. It is unique to my car. I thought it was in a compartment in the boot. It wasn’t. The nice man at Aylesford Tyre & Auto Centre had a poke around and said he could overinflate the tyre so I could get to the Renault dealer where they could order me a new gadget. He suggested I could leave the car with them for the five days it would take for the gadget to arrive. With absolutely no alternative I set off for the Renault dealer.
After two minutes I had a stroke of genius. My car had been in the garage a couple of weeks ago for a new wheel bearing. Perhaps the nice people at the garage still had the gadget. I pulled up and asked them.
They didn’t have it.

As I turned off my phone there was a shirty tapping on my car window. Apparently I’d inadvertently pulled up on the forecourt of the Waitrose distribution centre. There was no one else within twenty yards, but the jobsworth security guard on the gate had sent over a rather petty-minded driver from the Muller corporation to tell me to sling my hook. I tried reason, but the rather petty-minded driver from the Muller corporation wasn’t having any of it. So I told him exactly where he could stick his fruit corners. He said he didn’t like my attitude. I said I didn’t much like his but I had the advantage that I wasn’t acting like a cock whilst wearing a company uniform. I also asked if he would kindly tell the jobsworth security guard on the gate to get knotted as well.
If any of my loyal readers fancy a yogurt, there are plenty of other brands to buy… and plenty of other shops to buy them from.

As I drove up the road I thought I might pull up and have one last look for the special tyre gadget thingy. I found something metal in the glove compartment, and drove back to the Aylesford Tyre & Auto Centre. I showed my thingy to the nice man. Being experienced in thingies, the nice man was able to tell me that it wasn’t what we wanted. He suggested he helped me look, and he found the gadget we needed in a secret compartment in the car that I never knew existed.
I was on my way fifteen minutes later. There had been a nail in the tyre causing a slow puncture. They charged me ten quid. I can’t recommend the Aylesford Tyre & Auto Centre highly enough.

Once home I took the hounds round the park. As we walked we met a gaggle of young lads drinking some cans of lager. One of them pointed at Fudge and said “I want to be that dog. I could p*ss where I want and sh*t where I want”. He then pointed at me and said “And that bloke will sort out all my problems and worries”. We all laughed, and I shook his hand.

After a rather good bit of scoff this evening "My Boy TM" texted. It’s thirty-two *pounds per square inch*… apparently.

18 July 2018 (Wednesday) - Early Shift


Over an early brekkie I watched the second episode of "Trailer Park Boys - Out of the Park" in which our red-neck heroes go on a road trip round America.
The show isn't working for me.
Over twelve series the show built up a cast all of whom had distinct personalities and worked well together. In this spin-off they have taken just the three main characters and put them on a road trip round America. Bearing in mind for twelve years they have been penniless wastrels, how can they afford a road trip like this? Added to which they are all acting completely at odds with their established characters... I'm hoping it will get better.

As I drove to work I listened to the radio. The pundits on the radio were interviewing some politician or other about the shambles that is the ongoing Brexit negotiations. The woman being interviewed made the point that the only real thing that was decided by the Brexit referendum of 2016 was "we want out!" There are so many possible versions of what "being out" entails, and there is no majority of MPs for any one version. It was suggested that bearing in mind the disarray that both the Conservative and Labour parties find themselves in, and also bearing in mind that we have a minority government, perhaps it might be better all round to for some sort of coalition in the national interest. In theory an admirable sentiment; in practice everyone feels that their personal view is the only one which is in the national interest, whereas the fact of the matter is that they are all wrong. It is me who is right (!)
And the last coalition pretty much did for the Liberal Democrats.​
There was also consternation being expressed about a careers open day being held in Farnborough in which an arms dealer was actively recruiting from school leavers. They interviewed someone who was trying to make the case for the arms dealer, but the chap rather pissed on his chips by trying to claim that someone whose business is bombing children is an ethical employer.

Being on an early I had hoped that the motorway might be a bit quieter than usual. I hoped in vain. Just as I passed Leeds Castle I read the motorway notice board saying there was a thirty-minute delay between junction six and junction four. bearing in mind I was aiming for junction five that wasn't what I wanted to see. I managed to get off of the motorway and get to work via the back roads before everyone else thought to take the short cut and make it even more congested than the motorway.
For all that I am far happier working at Maidstone than I ever was in Canterbury, getting to and from the place is far more difficult.​
I had a rather trying day; I may well blog about it elsewhere (eventually), but an early start made for an early finish. I came back home, scrubbed my teeth, and went to the dentist. She started off with an X-ray, fixed one iffy fang, and put a filling into another. By the time she’d finished, the X-ray was ready and I’ve got to have a root canal filling done in a couple of weeks’ time. That will be something to look forward to.
I walked the dogs round the park as the anesthetic wore off. As I walked I looked at my phone and saw a minor row was kicking off on Facebook. Someone had posted about possible cheating on the local geocaching page. Can you believe people lie and claim they’ve found a film pot under a rock when they haven’t?
Someone had posted on the local geocaching group about what a good time they’d had walking in a certain village, and half an hour later they were whinging about alleged cheating. However in that half hour the name of the village had changed. The last person to go aching in the village with the second name used was me (and my geo-associates).
Sometimes life is just one big squabble…

I wonder what’s for dinner?