22 February 2019 (Friday) - Early Shift

I had a terrible night. Yesterday "er indoors TM" hung some new curtains. Billed as "blackout curtains" they would supposedly help me sleep during the day time when on night shifts by making the room dark.  I can achieve the same by pulling the covers over my head. These curtains made the bedroom too dark last night; I kept waking because the dogs couldn’t see in the dark and were falling over everyone and everything.
Either the curtains will go, or they will be partly pulled open in future.

I gave up trying to sleep shortly after five o'clock, and over brekkie watched the first half of the first episode of "The Umbrella Academy" - a new thing on Netflix. It started OK, but with episodes being an hour long I'm probably going to give up on it if episodes don't have a suitable break point half way through.
I then thanked the world for all the kind messages I'd had about my birthday yesterday via Facebook - over a hundred people had wished me well.

As I walked to my car my piss boiled somewhat. The bin men had put a recycling bin on the road in between all of the parked cars. There were two of these bins hemming my car in; I pulled them both on to the pavement. The bin men round our way send out someone to move the bins before the lorry comes round. They put the bins to obstruct the traffic before the collection, and after the collection they leave the bins strewn along the pavements so that no one can get past. I've seen mothers pushing push-chairs down the road as the pavements are left impassable.
I realise the bin men have a difficult and thankless task, but they do themselves no favours.

I drove to the petrol station where my payment card was declined. Odd. The same card got money from the cashpoint machine five minutes later. I wonder what that was all about?

I set off to work up a very foggy motorway. As I drove there was consternation being expressed by all and sundry because the Irish government had announced its plans for a no-deal Brexit. I would have thought that making plans was a sensible thing (something the UK government might consider); but it seems that quite a few UK politicians have taken offence at this.
There was also talk of a privately funded mission to the Moon blasting off today. The Chinese have plans for a Moon base. Apparently Donald Trump is insisting that the Americans go back to the Moon pretty soon. He'd better get a move on or he will be left behind.

I got to work for the early shift and did my bit. It was a rather busy day, but an early start made for an early finish. I came home and it was light enough to walk the dogs round the park.
Sometimes our walks go well. Sometimes they don’t. This evening’s walk was utter misery. When Pogo wasn’t fighting with other dogs, all three were trying to eat other dogs’ turds.

The evening was rather fraught. "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" has come to stay. On the plus side he seemed quite taken with the Lego set-up. But he refused to eat his tea, and he has fed the Ker-Plunk marbles to Treacle.
I *think* "er indoors TM" has retrieved most of them, but I shell keep a weather eye on that dog’s turds for a day or so…

21 February 2019 (Thursday) - Happy Birthday to Me

Last night I had a friend request on Facebook from a bloke in a dress who was sporting quite a lot of make-up. This fellow’s Facebook page featured quite a bit of rather graphic pornography. I squealed him/her/it up to the Facebook feds, and this morning the filth was gone. He/she/it was still there though.
Perhaps I’m being puritanical, but there is a place for porn, and that is on porn dot com. *Not* where the children are going to see it thrust in their faces (both metaphorically and literally)
While I was on Facebook I saw that I also had quite a few birthday wishes too.

As I scoffed toast I opened my birthday cards and pressies. Some very good cards – many were rather appropriate. People had clearly thought about what card to get me. and I had a rather decent haul of pressies too.

We took the dogs round the park; compared to yesterday, today was rather uneventful, and with walk walked and dogs settled we drove over to Canterbury. We were hoping we’d be able to get into the “Bricks Britannia” exhibition. We were told that there “might” be tickets available; we found no queue at all and were soon in the exhibition.
It was billed as “A History of Britain in LEGO Bricks”. In retrospect I don’t know what I was expecting, but I think it fair to say that I had been expecting more. What they had was good, but I was expecting to see more than a dozen rather small dioramas and one train. We spent about half an hour there, but (in all honesty) I’d seen it all in ten minutes.
As the exhibition was in the Beaney museum we thought we’d look at the Oliver Postgate section. Oliver Postgate was the chap behind “The Clangers” and “Bagpuss” and when he died a lot of the props and puppets from the TV shows had been left to the museum. I’d heard an awful lot about it over the years; I was expecting there to be more than just one glass cabinet containing very little worth seeing.
I took a few photos of the good stuff that we saw today. There were quite a few exhibits of dull bits of broken pot that I didn’t photograph though.

From the museum we went to McDonalds for a spot of dinner. It was absolutely heaving with brats. I suppose this was only to be expected at half-term.
We then had a nosey round the craft shops. We found one selling Pentel pens. Pentel pens! – they were the business forty years ago!!
We came home via Fat Fish tackle where I got some line and some wafters, and via Chilham Garden Centre. I had a voucher for there for Christmas. I didn’t spend it.
Also on the way home we popped into Sainsburys to get some cakes to take in to work tomorrow, and to get the makings of dinner for tonight.

Once home we walked the dogs round the block, then I got my new fishing line onto the reel I bought with my Christmas bunce. That was a job I should really have done two months ago, but as long as it was done by next Monday, "My Boy TM" will be none the wiser.
I then spent a few minutes making a new “birthday video” which I shall post out to people on their birthdays.

"er indoors TM" then boiled up a rather good pizza and some Christmas pudding which we washed down with a bottle of plonk. Hic! As we scoffed and drank, we watched the DVD of “Early Man”. It was rather good.

It’s been a rather good day today. I’m now fifty-five years old, That is positively ancient. I’ve got to the “old” part. How much longer will it be before “maturity” and “wisdom” happen…? 

20 February 2019 (Wednesday) - Bit Tired

The night shift was rather busy. I arrived to find the aftermath of a “Red Alert”, and the late shift stayed late because of that. “Red Alerts” are all good fun in “Star Trek” but in reality they are somewhat different. And that rather set the tone for the night. It was rather busy. I was very grateful when the relief showed up.

As I drove home I listened to the radio. There was a lot of talk about Shamima Begum. Having left the UK four years ago to go join Isis, she’s found that Isis wasn’t quite how she’d been lead to believe it would be. She now wants to come back to the UK despite having publicly told the world what a load of crap Great Britain is, and despite knowing that shoving off with a bunch of terrorists was a one-way trip. She now says she wants to come home to the UK because a refugee camp is no place to bring up a child. She’s got a child “Jarrah”… If she seriously wanted to be extradited back to the UK on the strength of her supposed UK citizenship and the child, she might have achieved far more by naming the child “Trevor” or “Dave” or something vaguely British… or am I being ridiculously reactionary in thinking this way?

Once home I was mobbed by dogs. Pogo was wringing wet; he’d been in in the shower with "er indoors TM".
I took the dogs round the park. We were having such a good walk…
Just as I was putting the leads onto Treacle and Pogo as we were about to leave the park, a rather strange looking woman staggered past with her dog. This woman was muttering away to herself; clearly having an argument with the voices in her head. With Pogo and Treacle on their leads I looked round for Fudge only to see this woman trying to kick him. She missed by a mile; it was clear from the way she was staggering that she was either very drunk or on some weird drugs. I should have kept quiet and let it go, but she’d tried to kick my dog. I suggested that she didn’t kick him.
She went absolutely bat-shit mental.
She ranted and raved at me. Her dog is the only decent dog in the world. Every other dog is a bastard. No one understands…
After five minutes of ranting, this woman stormed off, and from a distance of ten yards she started shrieking again. She bellowed that her name was Lisa Wynne, and I could report her to whoever I liked. Sarcastically I asked if she would pose for a photo, and (would you believe it) she did.
As she stormed off into the distance arguing with the voices in her head, passers-by asked me what the little altercation was all about. On reflection I have no idea. Had Fudge gone too close to her dog? Possibly.
It worries me that loonies like this are allowed to roam the streets. “Care in the community”? These poor unfortunates are a danger to themselves and (quite possibly) others too. Her ranting was very reminiscent of the ranting I used to hear from “Nutty Noodle”, our looney next-door neighbour. He often had the emergency psychiatrist out; I suspect he is in a secure hospital somewhere. Perhaps this woman should be in one as well; if only for her own safety?

I went to bed and managed three hours asleep before Fudge woke me by barking at shadows. I nipped up to the corner shop for a sandwich, and with that scoffed I spent the afternoon ironing whilst watching the remaining episodes of “Traitors”.

We spent the evening round at the French Connection where a dozen of us had a rather good meat to celebrate a couple of birthdays. Not a bad way to spend the evening…

I’m feeling a bit tired now...