21 July 2019 (Sunday) - Sissinghurst


Sometimes I wonder what goes through my dogs’ heads. At three o’clock in the morning Pogo insists he must be on my pillow with every extremity stretched to its fullest extent and all thrashing about as though he is having a fit. At seven o’clock he is happy to be curled in a tight ball at the end of the bed.

I got up and made my toast. As I scoffed it, I had a look at the Internet. There were a few photos from the “Create” music festival which took place in the park yesterday. I’m no expert on the subject but it does seem odd that the council plan the “Create” festival to clash with a similar event in Maidstone. And it niggles me that there was an almost identical festival in the north park last week which was self-funding, but the “Create” festival gets fifteen thousand pounds of council money.
I also saw the trailer for the new Star Trek series: “Star Trek: Picard”. It looks intriguing, but isn’t it a sign of our times that the show will be aired on Amazon Prime? Personally I don’t care – as of yesterday we can stream shows on Amazon Prime to our telly. Bearing in mind how for many years I’ve been advocating recording TV shows and fast-forwarding through the adverts, I wonder if those in the TV industry have finally wised on to this, and free-to-air TV has had its day?

I spent a few minutes writing web pages for the geo-series I’m currently planning. All the web pages are now written. I’ve got my pots and camo tape and paper logs from Amazon; I just need to put them all together, and (if all goes to plan) I will go shove them under rocks on Friday.
I then hung out some washing, and got ready for the day’s mission.

With all of our gear and all of our dogs organised we drove out to Sissinghurst. A month or so ago a new series of geocaches had gone live out there. As luck would have it I was actually not far from there at the time they went live. I managed to get got First to Find on one of them, but thought that I wouldn’t bother hunting for the rest there and then. I thought I might come back with company on another day. However, by doing this I rather annoyed another hunter of Tupperware who clearly was hoping to get First to Find on the entire lot of them. But… I must admit I’ve given this (rather trivial) matter a lot of thought over the last month, and I’ve decided that the day when that chap actually contributes to the hobby is the day when I will listen to what he has to say.

We had a very good walk today. The terrain was mostly flat with only a few ups and downs. The dogs liked to run and dig in the woodlands, and all of them seemed to enjoy eating sheep dung (I wish they wouldn’t). As we walked we met other dogs. Pogo had one or two “episodes”, but none anywhere near like those that he used to have. As we walked we found some picnic tables in an orchard so we got to sit nicely to have our picnics. As we picnic-ed the dogs found fragments of a pheasant (yuk!) that they thought they might have for lunch, but we put those up an apple tree where they couldn’t get at them. And we found collapsible fences too. Rather than climbing over a stile, the fence pushed down. Sheer genius – I’ve never seen anything like it before.
Geocache-wise some of the hides were rather tricky, and (to be honest) I would have put a few more caches in the series. Billed as a walk of two and a half miles, our sat-navs all measured the route as being just over four miles.
I took a few photos as we walked.

After three hours we found ourselves back where we’d started. We adjourned to the pub and despite the best efforts of the local people we got a pint. Why do some people insist that they sit at the bar when the pub is at its busiest? Why can’t they take their drinks and go and sit somewhere else where they would not be in everyone’s way? Interestingly they’d cleared off when we came back for a second pint.
We found a rather pleasant table in the garden away from the normal people. It was a shame that the dogs (Fudge) wouldn’t stop barking at the aquatic chickens and maritime turkeys (ducks to most people), but the waterfowl had realised that they were safe behind their fence and were deliberately provoking the dogs.

We came home, and "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching two episodes of “Red Dwarf” that I don’t remember having seen before.
I’m not feeling quite on top form… I wonder if I’ve had too much sun today? I seem to be feeling like this more and more just recently…

20 July 2019 (Saturday) - Busy Busy



I was woken at three o’clock by the sound of torrential rain on the windows. As I was awake I thought I’d use the loo. It was only as I waddled to the chodbin that I realised that there was quite the lightning show going on. It amazes me that the dogs go absolutely mental if someone walks down the street on the other side of the road, and they go totally bat-shit-psycho at the sound of next-door’s gate, but they sleep through a full-blown thunderstorm.

I went back to bed and got up shortly after six o’clock. I watched more of “The Last Man on Earth”, then set off in the general direction of Margate. On the way I failed to find one geocache, but successfully located two others, and it wasn’t long before I was at the Westgate Minimarket.
Eventually "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" got herself organised and we drove up to the cash and carry. As we drove there was a minor commotion. A car sped past with sirens and blue lights blazing – but it wasn’t police or ambulance or fire brigade. It was the coastguard. What were they doing up the high street and not out at sea?
We got to the cash and carry. That place amazes me. Some things there are ridiculously cheap. Others are more expensive than Tesco’s retail prices. As we walked round, the most recent fruit of my loin seemed to know everyone, staff and customers alike. She seems quite content over in Thanet.

 We loaded up the car with supplies and took them back to her shop. "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" wanted to go into Margate so we drove to the town centre, and I stopped to have a Subway with her. Have you ever had a Subway in Margate? I can thoroughly recommend it. You get to choose just what you want in your sub, it’s really reasonably priced, and you can sit in the shop’s window watching the world go by. There’s the posh people, and the drunk tramps. The young girls in fluffy slippers and the young lads with their trousers round their knees. I love people-watching.
I left "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" at the nail bar getting “stuff done” and drove home.

Once home I helped "er indoors TM" change the bedding, then we farted around watching previews of Netflix through the Firestick and Amazon Prime (because we could).
Eventually the novelty wore off, and we had a dull afternoon shopping (like the normal people do). First of all to B&Q to get a new gas canister, then on to The Range in Folkestone where we wasted half an hour looking at stuff we had no intention of buying. We came home via Home Bargains whose gazebos were overpriced, and via Smyths who didn’t have the 2019 Lego lunar module (such a shame).

Once home I went into the garden, harvested the dog turds, fed the fish, and pulled Pogo out of the pond(!) Pogo and Treacle then had a rather nasty fight over one of the toys that we’d bought for them whilst we’d been out; that toy is now in the bin. With a toy each, why can’t they be content and not have to squabble for the one that someone else has got?

"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner, then she went to the “Create” festival in the park. I stayed at home and watched more telly. I thought about going to the “Create” festival, but I was feeling rather washed out.
I wish I knew why…

19 July 2019 (Friday) - Out For Dinner


I woke far too early this morning; after laying wide awake for an hour I gave up trying to sleep and got up. Over brekkie I watched another episode of "The Last Man on Earth", then found myself transfixed by some gung-ho idiot who was terrorising piranhas on one of the more obscure TV channels. I gave it ten minutes, then had my usual trawl around the Internet. So many people were posting from their foreign holidays. I suppose it is the middle of July. It is holiday season. I went to Turkey only a few months ago.
But I was still jealous.

I got myself ready for work, and spent a couple of minutes getting to my car. On Fridays the bin men come round. About four hours before the bin lorry comes round, the vanguard of the bin men comes round moving the bins into positions that make it easy to get the bins to the lorry. However this means that the pavements are totally blocked by bins, and bins are wedged in between all the parked cars. I pulled bins out from in front and behind my car, and then drove round to the co-op.
I needed to use their cashpoint machine. Again the thing had no receipts in it. Again I complained to the co op staff, and again they expressed their utter indifference on the matter.

As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were discussing the plight of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU. What will happen to them after Brexit? Several so-called experts were wheeled on, all of who took an absolute age to say that they didn’t know. What a waste of air time.

I got to work, and unlike earlier in the week an early start *did* make for an early finish. I came home, collected the dogs, and we all drove out to Kings Wood. One of the geocaches I’d hidden there had supposedly gone missing. I couldn’t find it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. I’ve replaced it; I’m now waiting for someone to whinge that they’ve found two pots.
We came home past the Conningbrook hotel; "er indoors TM" had had her work’s beano there and needed fetching home. As part of her works beano there had been a barbecue. The dogs had quite a bit of leftovers from that.

We came home, and once the dogs had scoffed far too much leftover meat we settled them and went round the corner to the Riverside. Chris was having a birthday, and a few of us were getting together to celebrate.
I only had a couple of pints… but (like the dogs) I ate *far* too much…