5 December 2019 (Friday) - Cold and Icy


I slept right through until the alarm went off this morning. That rarely happens. I got up, made brekkie and watched another episode of “Big School” before sparking up my lap-top.
At the weekend I saw the Lego maxifigure family at a bargain price on eBay. It arrived yesterday… I say “arrived” – it wasn’t so much “delivered” as left laying in the front garden.
Last night I posted a picture of it on one of the Lego Facebook pages I follow. It had received a few comments. All complimentary, but one or two more interested in how I could sell the set at a profit rather than enjoying it for what it is. I suppose I did get a bargain, but I’m not overly keen on selling it just yet.
I also saw a friend was having her birthday today. I sent a little message and again had more than a pang of jealousy. This friend bought her first house in the mid 1980s like I did. And paid about the same price as I did. However her house was a stone’s throw (with a catapult) from London’s docklands area. Within a year the Docklands development took off and she sold her house for over ten times what she’d paid for it.
She bought something palatial in the country, gave up blood testing and re-trained as a primary school teacher. She soon become head teacher and retired to the most beautiful cottage a couple of years ago.
Meanwhile I’m still the wage slave in a terraced suburban house.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not unhappy with my lot. I just want more. And I’ve probably left it rather late in life to get it.

As I walked out to my car I nearly fell over (twice) on the ice on the pavement. It was cold, icy and foggy. But on the plus side it was that cold that the ice just scraped straight off the windscreen.

As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about Bob Willis. He was something big in cricket in the 1970s. This made me think - there was a *lot* of air time dedicated to him, and I'd never heard of the chap. How much else is there of national importance of which I am totally oblivious.
There was then an interview with the Home Secretary Sajid Javid in which he utterly ignored every question put to him. Instead he just parroted that the Conservatives are better than Labour because Labour are crap. Hardly sound impartial reasoning there?

It took an age to get to work today. I would have made far better time had someone living on a rather narrow road not had a major delivery from B&Q. You'd think sending a delivery on a lorry which was wider than the road (at rush hour) would be something they'd try to avoid, wouldn't you?

I got to work and downloaded an new e-book. I seem to get through a lot of these. Much as I like e-books as they take up no space at all, as a reader I have no idea just how much I'm getting for my money. Take this current e-book - it's the third in a series of three. Each costing over three quid. Together they probably don't make up what you'd get in a "regular" paperback book.

With "er indoors TM" out this evening I was left “Home Alone” so I watched a film on Netflix. I say “watched a film”; I turned “Dirty Grandpa” off half-way through. It was utter tripe.

4 December 2019 (Wednesday) - Bit Dull


I had intended to watch another episode of “Man Down” over brekkie, but it no longer seems to be on Netflix? Instead I watched the first episode of “Big School” in which David Walliams attempts (and fails) to “do the dirty deed” with Catherine Tate.
I then had a little look at the Internet as I do.
There was talk of my old French teacher on the Facebook page for old boys of my old school. One of my greatest regrets was how mean we all were to our French teacher. When I left school I became friends with him; Mervyn Clark was one of the kindest people I ever met, and thousands of schoolkids were merciless with him.
I had a few emails. One told me that someone had found one of my geocaches. Specifically the one I’d been told (only yesterday) was missing.

As I walked out to my car I saw not-so-nice next door scraping the ice from her car. I gave her a sickly smile (as I know it annoys her). She made a point of ignoring me. Her car was encrusted in ice. My car was twenty yards down the road and had no ice on it at all. The ice up our road can be very localized.
I drove to Sainsbury's to get petrol. Again the nice lady on the till didn't ask for my Nectar card, and seemed rather surprised when I brandished it at her.

As I drove to Tunbridge Wells the pundits on the radio were talking about today's meeting of the heads of the NATO member countries. All is not sweetness and light there; the French president would seem to have upset everyone else, and the Americans are fed up with paying for most of it. Apparently America pays one third of the cost of defending Europe (that's very generous of them!). I can't help but wonder why. Are the Russians planning to invade Europe? Would they want to? You'd think the Russians might have better things to do with their time. Like invading China?

The roads were rather busier today than they have been recently. My journey wasn't helped when I was nearly run off the road by a lorry delivering stuff to various branches of Morrisons. It never fails to amaze me how badly people drive when they have their company's name and phone numbers emblazoned all over what they are driving.

I got to work and did my bit. I was rather tired as I worked today. Was it a combination of a busy Sunday and two late shifts, was it yesterday's flu jab? Much as I like my job, sometimes it can be hard work. Retirement would be good.

I came home to find "er indoors TM" had fed the hounds, and was just off to a works jolly. I went up the kebab shop for my tea and scoffed it whilst watching more “Big School”.
I might eat that pot noodle and jelly in a minute…
 

3 December 2019 (Tuesday) - Another Late Shift


As I sat to scoff brekkie I couldn’t help but look at the shelves above the telly. The top two shelves have loads of souvenir beer glasses from various beer festivals I’ve been to over the years. There’s probably about forty pint glasses there. They’ve been on those shelves for years; only ever moving when I put them through the dishwasher when they get dusty.
I could use those shelves for Lego.
If any of my loyal readers want a souvenir pint glass, let me know. I’ve advertised them on various selling sites on Facebook, but if there’s no interest I shall be chucking the lot at some stage.

As I looked at Facebook there was a lot of postings about the BBC’s recent dramatization of “War of the Worlds”. We were talking about this at work yesterday too. No one seems to like the show. I’ve recorded all of it with the intention of binge-watching at some point, but seeing all the negative comments I might just delete the lot unwatched. There are plenty of other terrible shows that I can find for myself without watching stuff that I’ve already been told isn’t worth watching.
Other people were posting about their upcoming court cases. Some were pleading poverty (clearly having forgotten about the two-month tour of Europe they had only a few short months ago).

I had an email from Leica this morning. They’ve got a vacancy. They are looking for someone to demonstrate their laboratory instruments, troubleshoot and fix problems… All the sorts of things that I would really have wanted to do a few year ago. I looked at the advert and decided against it.
I’m content where I am.
I also had an email about a supposedly missing geocache of mine. But on closer inspection this report was dated from last July and the thing has since been found many times. As I’ve whinged before, why not log an issue or a problem right away?

I took the dogs round the park for a walk. Flushed with the success of yesterday’s walk I had high hopes for today’s outing. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed… the dogs didn’t pull much really, and they did play nicely with other dogs. There was only one “episode” and that was when Treacle ran in terror from a bigger dog (for no reason whatsoever) and Pogo stuck up for her. But the other dog’s owner could see what was happening and laughed it off.
As we walked on a rather misty morning so my phone beeped. Ironically just as I was admiring the pretty mists the Met Office had cancelled the yellow alert fog warning.
With walk walked I put washing in to scrub and set the dishwasher loose on the crockery and opened the third window of my Advent Calendar.

Just as I was walking to my car so my phone beeped. A new geocache had appeared not that far away. It wasn’t really in the right direction for work, but I had hoped to have a little adventure before work this morning. So I postponed that adventure in favour of another. For once I managed to get to be the First to Find. That was something of a result.
So few people put caches out these days. I have automatic notifications of all new geocaches within thirty miles of home. Back in the day I would (on average) get notifications on five days out of seven. Nowadays I’d say I get one or two a week.

As I headed to Tunbridge Wells through all the "-hursts" and the "-dens" and the other villages there was a program on the radio about how difficult it is for the political pollsters to get their polls right. Realistically an opinion poll comes with a rather large margin of error, and (try as they might) opinion polling is never going to be an exact science. You just can't predict the future; that's what makes the future such fun. Ask any weather forecaster or gambler.
As I listened to the so-called experts trying to second guess what might be, I was reminded of Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" series of novels. Have you read them? They are set in a society in which opinion polling is an exact science, and in which the future could be predicted and planned. The books are rather thought-provoking.
We could seriously do with a Second Foundation right now.
I got to work. During a lull in the proceedings I slipped out to get a flu jab. It only took a few minutes, it didn't hurt. And because I didn't cry (much) I was rewarded with a free jelly and a free pot noodle.
There are those who would turn up their noses at free jelly and free pot noodles; me - I see it as one of life's little victories.

And just as I was about to go home the Met office reinstated their yellow alert fog warning. It was rather foggy as I drove home.