11 November 2019 (Monday) - Why Aye Man


After laying wide awake worrying about that which I could do nothing I got up. As I hosed out my sinuses this morning they bled a little. Is that a good thing?
I made myself some toast and watched another episode of “Green Eggs and Ham”. It’s not bad I suppose, but taking a book made up of fifty words and spinning it out over a series of four ours is going to take some poetic licence.

I then had a look at the internet in case it had changed overnight. I saw that it was the thirty-sixth anniversary of the broadcasting of the first episode of a favourite TV show of mine; “Auf Wiedersehen, Pet”. Thirty-six years…
I had an email from Crosskeys. They run coach tours, and since I went to Bruges with them a few years ago I get daily emails advertising trips out. I quite like seeing where I might go and what I might do; today they suggested a coach trip to London to see a musical. I was all up for it until I saw the price… for two of us it would be close on two hundred quid.
Still, what’s money for if not to squander foolishly?

As I drove to work through the torrential rain the pundits on the radio were talking about the Video Assistant Referee systems being used in football matches. Back in the day referees would make erroneous decisions because they didn’t see whatever had happened in the football pitch, and everyone would be up in arms about the wrong decisions having been made. Now with the entire football game being watched and recorded on video from all directions, the correct decisions are being made, but still people are unhappy.
Go figure.

As I walked in to work I saw quite a queue of people. Probably twenty to thirty people were waiting their turn in a queue outside Costa. I can’t see the attraction of the stuff. It’s not bad, but the price of one cup of their stuff pays for a month’s worth of coffee from the works tea club.

I got on with work. As I did I looked at the rain and the cloud. Today there was a transit of Mercury. The planet Mercury crossed in front of the Sun, and with a proper telescope you would have been able to see it. The astro club used to have such a telescope. Back in the day there would have been a day off work to look at the transit (even if it was cloudy and wet). I don’t think they organised anything like that today. Such a shame…

"er indoors TM" has gone bowling. I shall watch some telly. There was a huge bag of crisps in the cupboard – I shall scoff them…

10 November 2019 (Sunday) - Remembrance Day


Another restless night. It is somewhat frustrating that the dogs have come to treat going out into the garden as an opportunity to play silly beggars rather than going to have a tiddle. So having chucked all three out at midnight and again silly o’clock, all three were whinging to go out about an hour earlier than I wanted to get up.
With dogs abluted I made brekkie and peered into the Internet. It would seem I missed Rye bonfire parade last night. Back in the day that was one of the highlights of the year; how did I forget that?

I had a few emails. Someone had been hunting out the geocaches I’d hidden in Kings Wood. One of them apparently needs a new piece of paper in it as the one in there is wet. I’ll sort it at some point, but driving there, walking a couple of miles and driving home means giving up a morning. If only the chap who’d posted the “Needs Maintenance” log had replaced it when he was there… But this is so often the case. Loads of people want to go running out looking for film pots under rocks, and expect them to be there and in pristine condition. Very few people actually want to contribute anything back to the hobby though…

As I rooted round the Internet I listened to Radio Ashford via the Internet, and then cleaned up dog sick. Fudge had “blown”. Mind you, all three were farting impressively (and have been for a day or so). I wonder if they’ve eaten things they shouldn’t.

I got the dogs organised for our morning walk. Rather than going round the park or round Orlestone Woods I had this ambitious idea to go do some geo-maintenance. We drove out to Badlesmere where I replaced two of "er indoors TM"’s geocaches. I did have a plan to walk on and replace another, but there were pheasants everywhere, and three dogs on leads pulling me in all directions wasn’t doing anything for the back I’d strained yesterday.
I thought I might go sort out that cache in Kings Wood about which I’d had a grumble, but we got there to find that the car park was full. So we headed home.
As we drove the radio was broadcasting the remembrance parade live from the Cenotaph. It sounded as though this year’s parade had been quite a show. It was amazing how the radio made me feel as though I was there when I could only hear the commentary.

We came home, and I assembled the lawnmower. There wasn’t much to assemble, but it took half an hour. And with it together I had a practice run up the garden. Just a very short stretch. With the lawn saturated I didn’t want to churn it up, but I wanted to check that the thing worked.
It did.

I then drove over to Margate to see my little girl, and four hours later came home again. I didn’t want to leave the dogs alone in case any fireworks went off near home. Some did. Not many, but enough to upset the hounds.
When I was a lad, fireworks were pretty. They lit up the darkness and were something to look at. Nowadays it is all about the explosion. If I knew who it was who was setting off such loud detonations so close to home I would put a banger through their letterbox at three in the morning. I really would…

9 November 2019 (Saturday) - Green Eggs...



I could have slept better I suppose. I could have coped with Pogo stomping round the bed in the small hours; it was Treacle snarling at him that was the most disturbing. And then when they both finally settled, Fudge’s snoring was a tad loud.
Eventually I nodded off and for once slept through until the alarm went off. I made some toast which I ate on my own. All the dogs were asleep. I expect they were tired.

I hosed out my sinuses (yuk!), made some toast and had a look at the Internet. Facebook seemed to be heaving with comments about a Mega-geo-meet in Belgium next year. Those Mega-meets can be good fun. Such a shame that they are so few and far between. There’s one in Sussex next August, and it looks like there are plans for one only twenty miles from home for Christmas next year. Bearing in mind these events are (for many people) a week-long camping event, I’m intrigued to see how this one pans out.
And friends who have been posting Labour party propaganda for the last few weeks were today singing the praises of the Green party on Facebook. What was that all about?

I had a few emails. B&Q had sent me another money-off voucher. I can get a tenner off of any purchase I make of over a hundred quid. At the moment I don’t intend spending a hundred quid with them, but you never know. It’s a shame that this voucher is only good for a couple of months.
If any of my loyal readers intend buying anything expensive from B&Q any time soon, let me know, eh.

With "er indoors TM" away I had to organise the dogs this morning. Fudge and Treacle refused to eat their brekkie. Needless to say Pogo wanted to scoff the lot. Eventually I wrangled the dogs and myself together and we set off to…
I won’t say where we went.
Karl and Tracey were preparing a new series of geocaches. The last time they did this someone got wind of what was happening, and went out and hunted the lot out before they went live, did the secret geo-rituals four days too early, and caused all sorts of upset. So I’m keeping quiet on that score.

We all met up, and soon were off on a walk. The morning was glorious bearing in mind that I’d left Ashford in thick fog. The first part of our walk was rather muddy; there is a reason why horses aren’t supposed to walk along footpaths. But we were soon past the mud. It had been cold when I left home, but it was warm enough as we walked. We hunted out several places where a rock might sit concealing a film pot.
We met some horse riders at one point. We started to move back out of the way, but the nice man on the horse said to stay in plain sight. Horses don’t like surprises. A bit like Pogo, really.
As we walked we let the dogs run free as much as possible. A couple of times we got them back on the leads when the F-birds (pheasants – dogs can’t spell!) were about. And there was one time where we weren’t quick enough. Treacle and Pogo aren’t really a problem with F-birds; they come back when called. Fudge however does not. But when he starts tracking his tail sticks horizontally straight out. If you keep an eye out for that danger sign, all is well.
Usually.
Just as Karl commented that Fudge’s tail was horizontal he shot off like a bullet from a gun. Treacle and Pogo ran with him, but lost interest after twenty yards and came back. Fudge kept going. And going. I had little choice but to set off in pursuit. After about fifteen minutes I saw what looked like a small dog with a bright pink collar running off into the distance. Treacle? So I ran after her. I ran, and ran, and eventually got close enough to see that I wasn’t chasing a dog. I was chasing a pheasant. Some of them have bright pink rings round their necks.
It was at this point that my phone went. Fudge had lost interest in chasing F-birds and had gone back to find everyone else (who were about half a mile behind me…).
As I made my way back I slipped arse over head in the mud.
From this point on the dogs stayed on their leads.

There’s no denying that we struggled a tad towards the end. Perhaps rather than putting up very obvious signs saying “Private, Clear Off”, landowners might be better advised to signpost the footpaths and rights of way better.
Once back at the car we got out of muddy boots and walked across the road to the pub. It was a shame that I was driving as the ale selection was rather good. But I had a shandy. And a rather good bit of pate. And a very good burger.
I shall certainly go back to that pub again.
I took a few photos as we walked…

There had been talk of going on for more walk in the afternoon, but the weather forecast wasn’t good. We said our goodbyes, and as I drove home so the rain started.
Once home I fed the fish, and inadvertently trod dog mess through the house. Oh, how I laughed. I settled the dogs, and seeing how the rain had stopped I took the knacked old barbecue out of the garden and up to the tip. As I drove the rain started again.
I got to the tip and heard a familiar voice. I looked around and saw no-one, and then realised that the tip people had the radio on and were listening to the afternoon show on Radio Ashford. I was right – I *had* heard Steve. Seeing that no one had spotted my mistake I came home again and took the knacked lawnmower up to the tip.
After two tip runs I put the dog gate back into the car, and it was at this point that I realised that doing heavy lifting and two tip runs hadn’t been such a good idea. I think that when I fell in the woods earlier I’d hurt my back more than I realised.
I came home, had a shower, and thought about feeding the hounds. But with all three asleep I decided to let sleeping dogs lie.

I activated Netflix and watched a film. ”The Titan”. The story was done better forty-three years ago by Fred Pohl in his book “Man Plus”. Despite starring her who was in “Orange is the New Black” it was… rather rubbish.  All drama works on having plausible characters, and this show didn’t. I then watched the first episode of Netflix’s “Green Eggs and Ham”. So far it’s not brilliant, but it is streets ahead of “The Titan”.

My back really hurts…