7 December 2021 (Tuesday) - Australian?

I slept through till quarter to two this morning, and then dozed fitfully for a couple more hours before I gave up trying to sleep. I made toast and watched the sixth episode in the current season of “Lost in Space” which despite several glaring plot holes and scientific inaccuracies made for an entertaining watch. I suppose this is true of much that is on telly though.

 

I then sparked up the lap-top as I do every morning. Someone had found some of my geocaches… and had complained that the containers I’d used did not “lend themselves to the wet conditions”. I sighed… if a commercially produced watertight container doesn’t lend itself to the wet conditions, what does?

And I had a message from the neighbourhood watch people. There had been a few robberies in the area, and police were asking if anyone had security or doorbell footage… Perhaps if the police were seen on the streets then thugs wouldn’t be attacking decent people on the streets? I’m not advocating having bands of vigilantes cleaning up the town… or maybe I am? Clearly keeping the town safe isn’t something the police can do.

 

I had a quick Munz from the comfort of the sofa then got ready for work. I was originally down to be doing the late shift today but yesterday I was asked if I would rather do the early… Yes please.

Taking care not to slip on the icy pavements I slowly made my way to the car, and spent seemingly ages scraping the ice from the windows. Yesterday the pundits on the radio were talking about Prince William. Today they were talking about his brother who has also been interviewed and has said job losses and resignations during the pandemic "aren't all bad" and went on to say that many people across the globe "would have been stuck in jobs that didn't bring them joy". Easy for him to say with thirty million quid to fall back on. Speaking from bitter personal experience having a job that brings joy is an incredible thing, but a job that brings misery still puts food on the table.

It amazes me just how little respect Prince Harry commands these days when you think how popular he was only a couple of years ago.

 

I got to work and did my bit. Having arrived at work just as it was getting light, I left just as it was getting dark. And as I left the wind was picking up and the rain was coming down in buckets.

I came home and both dogs looked hopeful. I said “do you want to go out?” and both sprinted to the front door. I put a coat on me, and leads and light-up collars on them and opened the door. Both dogs refused to go out into the rain.

After a little (lot) of persuading we had a quick walk round the block just to say that we’d been out. Less than five minutes and we were all soaked.

 

“er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching the first episode of “The Great Australian Bake Off” which was rather good. As we scoffed we had a bottle of plonk, and some cheese for afters.

The dogs were funny. After seeing the results of poor Fudge’s blood tests, Pogo and Treacle don’t get cheese any more, but they do get some of the cheesey biscuits. As we finished the last one I told them that we’d come to the end. Both looked at me and I repeated “All gone”. Both of them immediately got up and went over to “er indoors TM” – they really did understand what I’d said.

I need to get some more bottles of red wine…

6 December 2021 (Monday) - Back to the Grind (?)

I slept like a log and woke feeling full of beans and raring to go only to find it was half past two. I then dozed fitfully; never asleep for more than fifteen minutes. I eventually gave up trying to sleep and got up. I opened today’s window of the Lego Advent Calendar, made toast and as another negative COVID test incubated I watched an episode of “Lost in Space” in which our heroes did frankly stupid things for no apparent reason. If your spaceship is about to launch and you have no possible other means of escape, do you *really* go wandering off into some strange caves?

 

With telly watched I had a quick look-see on-line. Consternation abounded in some of the Facebook “Doctor Who” groups. Having created a fan-made 1965 Doctor Who annual and taken hundreds (if not thousands) of orders for the thing, its creators were surprised to find that the BBC have threatened them with court action over breach of copyright. This is such a “sci-fi nerd” thing. Being a “sci-fi nerd” myself, back in the day I regularly used to go to a Star Trek themed pub in London. It was really good. It was such fun. And it too was shut down as it was making money on that which someone else had copyrighted.

sci-fi nerds” never seem to realise that their fun and delight is someone else’s livelihood.

And I had a message from the Facebook feds. They had reviewed the public posting that Oliveri Elina had made and had decided that advertising Whatsapp dating groups by saying ”there are many hot women in this group who need it. , so if you want vulgar or sexy women by your side, join our group because they are all free without money” doesn’t breach their community standards.

I would say “one lives and learns” but I think that this is something that wasn’t at all unexpected.

 

I didn't go straight to the car as I left home; I wandered up and down the road collecting half a dozen gnome hats, then drove round to Stanhope where I collected a dozen greeting cards. There's never a dull moment when playing Munzee.

When I finally headed in the direction of work the pundits on the radio were talking about an interview with Prince William who apparently likes the music of AC/DC and has said "There's nothing better on a Monday morning, when you're a bit bleary-eyed after the weekend and trying to get yourself back into the grind of the week..." I have to admit that this boiled my piss a little; what does he know about the grind of anything? I've always had respect for Prince William; perhaps he is trying to relate to the average person in the street? But he might have shot himself in the foot here. As time goes on, I find I'm not quite the ardent royalist I used to be.

There was also an interview with Jeremy Hunt who is currently chair of the government's Health and Social Care Select Committee. He was banging on about how the business model employed by most care homes in the UK is wrong. The interviewer picked him up on his phrase "business model"; Mr Hunt sees nothing wrong in making a profit out of caring for those in need... what a delightful fellow he must be. He went on to say that the terrible state that the country's social care is in is the result of the country's lack of long-term planning for social care... Nobody seemed to realise that he was Secretary of State for Health from September 2012 till July 2018 - the very person who should have been making those long-term plans.

 

I got to work and did my thing. During my lunch break I finished my current e-book. I've been reading e-books by Peter Cawdron recently. Have you ever heard of him? No - I hadn't either. His books are rather good. He writes the best sot of sci-fi - when the characters are believable you go along with the utterly implausible scenarios he creates. Look him up on Amazon and give him a go.

I've now downloaded the first "Harry Potter" book to my  phone's Kindle app. Let's see if it as good as i remember it being.

 

“er indoors TM” has gone bowling. I’ve updated the Advent calendar. I’ve got dogs curled up with me. I might just watch a few more episodes of “Lost in Space”…

5 December 2021 (Sunday) - It Rained

“er indoors TM  had got me new pillows which I tried out last night. Maybe they contributed to my sleeping well, maybe they didn’t. But I slept well regardless.

Over brekkie I had my usual rummage round the Internet. There was a posting on one of the Lego Facebook groups bemoaning how nasty people are on a Lego group. Surprisingly this attracted quite a bit of sympathy. Facebook groups amaze me. No matter what the topic (Lego, kite-flying, Star Trek, Doctor Who, dogs, geocaching, the town where you live, astronomy…) it can so quickly become one big argument. I help moderate two Facebook pages where there is a simple policy of any attempt at nastiness and you are out. No second chances. It is a policy which seems to work; if only more moderators of Facebook groups would do the same.

I saw that not only was Oliveri Elina still peddling filth on Facebook, but I also had two messages. One from Addyson Hooper who would have me believe the he/she/it was lonely and wanted me to fill his/her/its nights. And one from French Peter who was quite un-moral in his/her/its suggestions.. And as the day went on I had a third message in this vein – this one from Mattias Annika who was (supposedly) a woman who was “thirsty for s*x” and sent me a link to her video in which she claimed to be live without clothes. I squealed all of them up to the Facebook Feds and hoped for the best.

Does no one else get offers of filth like this on a regular basis?

 

As I scoffed toast I listened to the rain on the window and my heart sank. After a few Whatsapp messages here and there we decided to cancel our planned major walk. The forecast for home was awful, and the forecast for where we were going was even worse. Part of me wanted to go, but we would have got soaked and cold, and that wouldn’t have been fair on the dogs.

So we stayed in… and equally unfair on the dogs was having their flea treatments done. They have a couple of drops of liquid ribbed on the back of their necks and they absolutely hate it. It never bothered Fudge, but Treacle and Pogo think differently. Treacle was actually quivering in fear as she watched Pogo having his done.

 

“er indoors TM” got on with housework and I got on with ironing whilst watching more episodes of “Four in  Bed”. I do like that program; some bed and breakfast proprietors really do have over-exaggerated views of their own abilities. One woman in today’s show had the right hump because someone else underpaid her. When asked the reason for the underpayment she was told that the chap doing the underpaying provided a far better service than she did for half the price she was charging. Her face was a picture.

 

By mid-morning the rain had abated somewhat and we took the dogs out for a little walk (Pogo really was asking to go out). We walked up the road, past the station, through the Memorial Gardens, through the town centre, along Godinton Road and home via Gasworks Lane and the park. A two-mile walk updating my Adventure Lab, and Munzee-ing like things possessed as we went. We didn’t get *that* wet really.

We came home to see that my eBay bargain had arrived. The nice man from Hermes had put the parcel up against the front door then dragged the recycling bin in front of it to hide it. I could understand him hiding the parcel behind the recycling bin (with the recycling bin in its usual place), but dragging the recycling bin in front of (and blocking) the front door?

 

We came in, got dried, and I opened my parcel. It was a job lot of 1970s Lego – what else would it be? But it was something of a bargain. I’d paid twelve quid for it. The twelve Lego maxi-figure hands in it alone were worth more than that. There was also a head bearing a moustache – I’ve been collecting Lego maxi-figures for some time and I’ve only got one other of those. And there was a grey body & arms block. Grey!! I’ve never seen one of those before. That must be worth a small fortune to the collector (I‘m hoping).

As I sorted Lego so “er indoors TM” got busy with the front room wall. We’ve got a bit of a problem with damp and the mould does grow down there. “er indoors TM” got out with the Cillit bang and once I’d Lego-ed I helped by fetching and carrying and making the tea and generally being helpful. I was actually hoping that as she was bending over I might get a photo for “Crackwatch”, but the opportunity never arose. Which was probably for the best.

 

I posted up today’s instalment of the Lego Advent calendar and passed another electric heater over the sofa to where “er indoors TM” was trying to dry out the wall. And on finding that the heater didn’t heat I chucked it in the shed and passed over another one.

And then my phone beeped. I’d won another job lot of Lego on eBay. I’d seen this job lot appear last week. The wheels in it alone are worth more than I ended up paying. Result!!

 

What with one thing and another there wasn’t time to boil up dinner this evening so “er indoors TM” popped up to the KFC and got us loads. We scoffed it whilst watching the last episode of “Doctor Who: Flux” in which the universe didn’t actually end (like we all know it wouldn’t).

This was followed by a re-run of Blackadder’s Christmas Carol. Having seen it dozens of times I finally realised that his niece is played by Nicola Bryant who was once (thirty-five years ago) the best reason for watching “Doctor Who”…