30 September 2009 (Wednesday) - Anchors Away...

Up at 6am to do their ironing again. And then to Asda for some vegetables for dinner. I’m getting a tad fed up with both.

Work was dull, and then home again where I eventually managed to saw through the padlock and got the cables off of the ground anchor. It’s been suggested that I leave the anchor where it is, and use it to secure a bench in place. I might just do that.

My Boy TM ” was watching telly. There was some hypnotist who was sending out mental vibes so that you would be unable to get out of your chair. God forbid either brat should see that….

29 September 2009 (Tuesday) - Another Day

I did the rounds of the DIY superstores before work this morning. Moss killer from B&Q, then round to Wickes and Do It All for some paint to go on the box round the gas meter. No one sells paint for plastic, but a fat American in Do It All suggested using the paint I did the house with.

Back to work after a day off. And then home again to slap Sandtex on the meter box and apply the moss killer. The instructions said to dilute the stuff in water. Why does everyone wait until I need buckets of water before wanting to go in the bathroom? And just after it got dark, I obtained the use of a hacksaw and a crowbar. I shall set about the ground anchor on the morning…

28 September 2009 (Monday) - Painting and Prison

Last night I worked out that if I got up promptly this morning I’d have time to paint the house. So I woke about 2am raring to go. I tried to get back to sleep, but couldn’t. And so I was outside painting before 5.30am. Over an hour before dawn. But the street lighting is good, and I was using white paint anyway. I left the coloured stuff until after dawn.

It’s amazing how many people walk up and down my road at silly o’clock. I was harangued by a mad old biddy who wanted me to join neighbourhood watch, and another old trout took offence when I told her I didn’t build walls. I can only think that she saw me up the ladder and assumed I was some sort of itinerant jobbing handyman. Would I build her a wall? She got quite uppity when I told her I wouldn’t know where to start. Eventually she stormed off muttering that I wouldn’t get far if I didn’t build walls.

I had a go at getting the ground anchor up, but I had to give up. When I installed the thing all those years ago, I would seem to have made a good job of it. If any of my loyal readers could lend me a crowbar and/or a pneumatic drill I might shift it, but I think the thing might be in place permanently. The next job is to get shot of all the moss on the concrete. I’ll see if B&Q sell dangerous chemicals in the morning. I also need to paint up the box around the gas meter. I’ll do that later.

And then to the tip to get rid of the wreckage that once was garden fences. Whilst chucking it away I noticed what looked like a brake cable hanging out from underneath my car. Panic set in, and so round to the Renault dealer where I found it was the battery overflow which had come loose. Which was a relief…

And then I met up with Chris and Stevey and we drove to the chokey. Usually I take the train, and I will again next time. I don’t really know the area round HMP Slade that well, and the parking was a nightmare. Eventually we found somewhere to park three counties away from the prison, and we trekked our way there. Via McDonalds where a foxy young lady was showing very ample bum cleavage. However despite my best efforts I failed to capture anything which would be good enough to appear on “CrackWatch”.

We got to the prison where the entry procedure was again totally different to any we’d had before. And the tea shop has closed down. One of the highlights of visiting the nick is to feed “Norman Stanley” to the point where he is nearly sick. We couldn’t do that this time. However, joking aside, some of the other visitors had travelled hours to get to the prison. For them, having no refreshments at all must have been really bad.

We soon met up with our mate, who was looking well. He’d been able to speak with his littlun on the phone at the weekend, and was really pleased about it. We sat and chatted, and bemoaned the demise of the tea stall. And, as ever, two and a half hours flew by, and all too soon it was time to come home. I slept most of the way back. I was rather tired for some reason…

27 September 2009 (Sunday) - Painting The House

The infernal church bell was clanging at 9am this morning, which put paid to any hopes I might have had for a lie-in. I woke feeling somewhat under the weather. I blame the half a bottle of port I guzzled last night. So rather than laying in bed feeling ill, I got up and cracked on with the front garden.

Despite nearly falling off the ladder a couple of times, I got the loose paint chipped away, rubbed the walls down and got a coat of paint on before sitting down to a roast dinner. So easy to type, not so easy to do. The painting bit alone took just over three hours to do.

And then after dinner I demolished the skanky fence by the front door – the plan is to have some decent railings there in the not too distant future. By the time I’d painted up the decent fence, the light was beginning to fade. I took that to be a sign that it was time to stop. I got a lot more done today that I was expecting to. The next step is to do a second coat of white paint, so I shall need to find a clear three hours when it doesn’t look like rain. Then I need to do something with the ground anchor. I installed an anchor to which I used to chain my motorbike. I really should get rid of the thing, but I suspect it has rusted in place. There are all sorts of locks and chains attached to it for which I have long since lost the keys. I see a few hours sat with a hacksaw coming up.

And now I ache….

26 September 2009 (Sunday) - Parties

A couple of spare hours this morning, so I got a second coat of paint on the fence post, and then broke down the rotten fence panels. By the time I’d done that, loaded the rubbish into the car (for a tip run) and swept round, the morning was gone.

Off to Hastings for ‘er indoors TM ‘s family reunion. I’ve been going to these reunions (off and on) for over twenty five years, and you would think that after all this time I would have finally pegged down who everyone is, and what their relationships are. I always tell nephews and nieces that you know you have arrived when you can pick two people at random and know what their familial relationship is to each other. And just as I think I have it sussed, a new branch of the family appears.

Over thirty of us sat down for dinner at the Victoria hotel in St Leonards. It’s a standard venue for the family, but I don’t like the place. It is seriously overpriced – you pay for the obviously fake Italian accents and the surroundings. The food isn’t all that – I eat better most Saturdays at various pubs for half the price. Today’s beef was raw. And the price of the drinks is really over the top - £4.10 for a Malibu and coke is just silly. I suppose if I don’t like it I can organise somewhere better myself. I might just do that (again).

But a good time was had by all – I got to meet some of my loyal readership from another continent, and I taught nephews and nieces how to make chickens from napkins. Most people had nice pretty animals on their name cards – mine featured a “pathetic shark” from Viz magazine.

The original plan had us popping into the FILO for a swift half as we were in the area, but the afternoon ran away so fast that before we knew where we were, it was time to come home. And so round to Andy’s for a 40th party. Now the original invite said to wear posh frocks, so I did. I thought I looked incredibly sexy. But the problem with dresses is they don’t have pockets, and so I had nowhere to put my camera. Photos were taken and will appear on-line at some point, I expect. In the meantime my loyal readership will have to use their imaginations. Good luck (!)

A wonderful evening was had by all – food, drink, chatting with friends. A particularly special occasion as I had a cigar. Perhaps only the second or third of the year. I eventually fell into bed sometime around 2am….

25 September 2009 (Friday) - A Birthday, Astro Club

Being on a late start I had time before work to get the second coat of paint onto the front wall. So I woke sometime around 5am and lay there thinking about painting the wall. Having a job that needed doing, I couldn’t sleep, and so was outside painting before 7am. I then scraped all the weeds out of the grouting between the paving slabs. I wonder if I can replace the cement between the slabs without having to re-lay them?

The birthday boy eventually emerged from it’s pit and we went to the fishing tackle shop to get him his pressie. He wanted boots – I was expecting something slightly more macho than fur-lined wellies, but if it’s what he wants…

To work, where I had couscous salad for “lunch” (never again), and then after yet another late shift on a Friday, to astronomy club where I arrived late to find I’d missed the talk. Still, the observing bits were fun, and I got to hawk the raffle again. It’s worth going just to wind up the normal people there…

24 September 2009 (Thursday) - Painted the Wall

Two weeks of dieting and my weight is now slightly over sixteen stone. That’s about a stone lost in a fortnight. I’m quite impressed with my never-fail diet. If anyone’s wondering what the secret is, it’s quite easy. No meat, no bread, no potatoes, no sweeties and increase the amount of exercise you do. Exercise is the problem – for me it helps being able to cycle (or walk) to work. Having boasted of my epic weight loss, I’m not sure my knee is any better for it. And after all is said and done, the idea of the diet is to make the knee better.

To work where I got a text: Daddies Little Angel TM ” sneezed whilst brushing her teeth and managed to clout her head on a tap. And has spent the day with headaches and feeling sick.

An early start at work meant for an early finish, and so home and on with the front wall. It’s got its first coat of paint on. I took the top off of the brick post between us and next door and stripped the paint off of it. The next phase of the project will be to paint that, and to give the wall a second coat. Then it gets serious. I shall have to rub down the front of the house, remove any flaky paint and see about painting that. A job for Sunday, perhaps…

23 September 2009 (Wednesday) - The Next Project

Last Friday I went into work some three hours too early. Today I compensated for that by going in some three hours late. Last week I mentioned that I’d done the electoral register paperwork on line, so this year would be the first time I didn’t get the red reminder. The red reminder arrived today. I hope the on line thing worked. I then put some directions for the next cycle ride onto the diary section of the blog. What with family reunions, birthdays, bonfires and astrobashes, I’ve only got one weekend available for cycling in the next six weeks. After that we shall be into bleak November. It’s possible that this might be the last cycle ride of the year, so we’ve chosen an old favourite at Warehorne as our destination. If any of my loyal readers are free on Saturday October 3rd, do come along…

To B&Q (again) – this time for a stiff brush and some masonry paint. Next door have painted the front of their house and it’s put mine to shame. One of the advantages of keeping a blog is that I can use it to find out how long it is since the house was last painted. Unfortunately the blog doesn’t go back that far. I’ve found a photo from 2002 which has the house with its current colour. It must be over ten years since I last painted the outside of the house, and it’s getting a bit iffy in parts.

Once I got home from work I spent an hour scrubbing the front wall (such as it is). The plan currently involves getting that bit scrubbed and painted first before making a start on the house itself. And I suppose that before I paint the outside of the house, I should really borrow Alistair’s ladder and get up and scrape the gutters out. I’ll do that over the weekend…..

22 September 2009 (Tuesday) - Monoarthritis

A minor disaster last night – I forgot all about the astro club committee. Woops! It would seem from the notes that arrived by email this morning that I didn’t let people down too badly. I just wish I’d remembered.

To the doctor for the results of my X-ray. I have monoarthritis of the right knee. Which is pretty much what I suspected. To the uninitiated, monoarthritis is basically arthritis confined to a single joint (the right knee in my case). Arthritis is technical term for the joint(s) getting swollen, stiff and creaky. So, effectively medicine has given a posh name to that which I knew I had already. The cure – basically there ain’t one. “Suck it up and get on with it” is the gist of the medical advice I’ve had. But for all that the knee creaks and aches a bit, I cycle for fifteen miles most weekends, so I can hardly claim to be that decrepit.

The doc has suggested a low dose of anti-inflammatory drugs. I’ll give it a go, but I’d rather carry on creaking than be on permanent medication. He’s also told me to keep up with the bike riding, but didn’t seem that fussed about my weight. Oh,well. I’ll keep dieting for a bit longer. As I came out of the surgery, some harridan was screaming at the receptionist. She was pointing at the weedy oik she’d got by the neck, and was broadcasting to all and sundry that said scrawny oik only had one kidney and he’d had a heart attack. I was tempted to stay to see the outcome.

Rat-Man” phoned, and denied ever having cast aspersions on our shed. He also said our pond was fine. He’s sending someone out with a trap next Friday. But on the subject of rats, I thought I’d try Kent Wool Growers for a battery operated rat deterrent. I walked in to find the staff bimbos squawking over a baby. After ten minutes they were still squawking over the baby. After fifteen minutes I walked out. As I opened the door to leave, one of them asked if they could help me. I told them they could have done, and just left. I shan’t be going back there. I must admit to a wry smile – today’s radio was full of “credit crunch” stories, and here’s a shop that openly alienates their customers….

21 September 2009 (Monday) - Rats!

Yesterday I had a whinge about how I thought it unfair that the average kite festival doesn’t seem to be intended for the normal people. It’s been (politely) pointed out to me that this viewpoint is somewhat at odds with my posting of a week or so ago (12 September) when I went on at great length about how I don’t actually like having the normal people at kite festivals. I’ve been (very politely) accused of being inconsistent. So, to clarify - … Yes. I am inconsistent. Guilty as charged. I do think that the average kite festival caters to the dedicated kite flier, and not to the general public or even to the enthusiastic kiting novice. And in all honesty that’s an attitude I like. Being utterly selfish, I don’t like having the normal people at kite festivals. So what was my problem yesterday?

I can’t help but think that it’s fine for a kite festival to do its own thing away from the normal people. And that’s where I’d prefer it to be. But if it’s to be smack-bang in the town centre, then it cannot help but be a public event. Take for example the seaside kite festivals in Dieppe and Berck where the whole town joins in what’s going on. In retrospect I suppose I would have preferred Margate kite festival to have been held out in the sticks somewhere….

Bearing in mind our supposed rat problem, I phoned the rat people at the council today. I spoke with a woman who gave the impression that she really couldn’t care less. But someone will phone me tomorrow morning, or so she grunted. In the meantime, “Dave The Owl” is on guard, and I’ve got some plug-in ultra-sonic gadgets. The package insert claims they work on a frequency of thirty thousand mega whatsits which is high enough to upset rodents, but too high to upset humans, dogs and cats. Which is probably for the best. I’ve popped one in the shed, and one in the electrical cabinet by the pond, as (on reflection) it’s far enough from the house to be the ideal place for rodents to shelter. I was rather concerned that ultra-sonic sound might upset the fish, but they seem to be scoffing happily enough. I really want a battery operated ultra-sonic whatsit so’s I can shove it into the roof space. I’ll try Kent Wool Growers in the morning…

20 September 2009 (Sunday) - Margate Kite Festival

Sunday and so again woken early. Not byMy Boy TM ” (who is away in search of haddock), but by the infernal church bell up the road. Note that’s “bell” and not “bells”. The church up the road has one bell which they clang at 9am every Sunday morning. If it were it a melodic peal of bells, I wouldn’t mind so much. But it’s not. They have one bell which sounds awful. The first time I heard it was some twenty years ago when I honestly thought that the sound was made by small children on nearby wasteland banging a stick against some rusty lump of metal. And I’ve had that same noise every Sunday morning ever since.

I did once send an email to the church’s published email address to ask if such a racket was necessary. They replied (rather rudely) that their bell was nothing compared to the noise that comes from a mosque. I spoke with the council some years ago. They made it crystal clear they were scared to get involved because they didn’t want to be seen to be in conflict with a church. Perhaps I could try the local vicar again. He can only tell me to get stuffed.

To Margate for the International Kite festival. I bought a “kiss me quick” hat, and we soon met up with friends who’d been there all weekend. It struck me as a tad cold to be camping out all weekend at this time of year, but what do I know? We swapped a few insults, admired the kites, and I even got to fly a kite in the arena for the edification of the normal people. Not that there were many of them there, really. Today was one of the few (I think it’s the only) international kite festivals in the South East. And it had a really poor turnout from the general public. Again I find myself pondering on the whole concept of kite festivals. Why do we have them? Who are they for?

Take today for example. One of the UK’s biggest kite festivals. Held on the beach at high tide, at a seaside resort when all the tourists have gone home. Now I will concede that the tide does come in and out, but had a weekend been picked when low tide was at mid day, a far better festival could have been organised. (“Better” in the sense that there might have been space to fly kites, and that far fewer expensive kites would have been dumped in the sea). And had a weekend been picked when the tourists were about, the local traders might have made a bit more money. And the kite traders might have sold something. So whatever possessed the organisers to pick high tide and off-season?

In the past it has been mooted that we might run an Ashford kite festival. But we gave up with the idea because we were told by the kiting community that there were no weekends free. We suggested one weekend – that clashed with the Wolverhampton kite festival. We suggested another – that clashed with the Aberystwyth one. There is a kite festival pretty much every weekend of the year. So what….. Call me naïve, but I’ve always thought that a kite festival should be a local event for local people. But I’m fast coming to the conclusion that they are not. They would seem to be put on for the benefit of the kite flying community – hence the scheduling problems.

If Margate kite festival was being run for the locals, then the local media would have been advertising it. There was nothing in local papers or on local radio. I got chatting with local shopkeepers – all loved the idea of the festival. They really liked seeing the sky full of kites. But all of them said that the thing came as a surprise. The first notice anyone had was on Friday when a minor road was closed for the event. And none of them saw any increase in their takings from the festival. Because no one (other than the kite flyers) came to the festival.

Which is a shame….

19 September 2009 (Saturday) - Westwell

I was rather late to bed last night. I’d been asked to perform a special request, and it’s ages since we last did anything on You-Tube. I wonder how long it will be until my latest video is pulled.

Then we got on our bikes – to the rugby club where we met Matt, and then on to Westwell. As we came past Chippy’s house we stopped and tinged our bells in a rather disrespectful manner, but no one came out to rise to the bait, so we pressed on. The Wheel at Westwell is somewhere I’ve not visited for some time, and it was perhaps a little too close to home for a decent cycle out. Joined by the “motorists”, seven of us sat down to “lunch” – and it was good. In the interests of weight loss, I continued the vegetarian lifestyle, and only had the one pint before moving on. The route home was cunningly planned to bring us past the Hare and Hounds where we had a pint of afters. The original plan was to then follow the cycle path back home, but we realised that it would be far more scenic (and not too much of a detour) to follow the lane down to Great Chart. There was a pub there where we could have a beer to reward ourselves for all the cycling – the first beer being to accompany dinner, and the second being afters.

And then home. The neighbours have seen rats in their garden. The man from the council says the rats are probably camping out underneath our shed. They’d have a job – the shed is flat to the concrete patio. There’s nothing under the shed for them to be in. The other neighbour seemed to think the sound of the pond was attracting the rats. He also said that rats are becoming a problem up and down the street since flats were built on the wasteland a few hundred yards away.

He may well have a point, but I’ve not had any problem with rats for a couple of years. Or, perhaps more accurately, I’ve not been aware of any problem. Having said that, it’s very easy to go on the defensive when something like rats is discussed. People have seen rats out there, and something needs to be done. After all, we did have them under the old shed, and we have had mice before. I’ve got a theory that the rats are in our flat roof above the bathroom. I’ve put up some poison and I shall check eBay for ultra sonic rat deterrents. From what I can see on line, the ultra sonic stuff won’t upset the fish, so maybe that would work.

The evening was spent pleasantly drinking continental wheat beers to excess, finally staggering home at 2am. Can’t be bad…

18 September 2009 (Friday) - Radio 4

I woke at 5.45am this morning thinking there had been a gas explosion. Then I realised that it wasMy Boy TM ” going to work. You’d think I’d be used to his noise by now. Hopefully it will be quiet tomorrow as he’s gone fishing for the weekend.

I set off to work via Asda (it’s on the way when cycling) where I got my “lunch” - a “weight watchers tortilla wrap” which was almost, but not quite, as lame as salad. I arrived at work early, and started the day with a cup of green tea. It’s foul, but I have it on good authority it starts off my metabolism. I was hitherto of the opinion that had my metabolism stopped, I would be dead, but it seems I am wrong. Green tea starts it off. One lives and learns.

I sat down to a pile of work, and tuned the work’s PC to radio 4.
Half way through a surprisingly interesting article about Nelson Mandela, one of the trainees asked what I was doing. I made a rather supercilious speech about having the freedom to listen to radio, and how interesting and educational radio 4 is, and about how mundane and dull the radio in the main laboratory is. I felt a bit of a twit when I eventually realised that the trainee wasn’t asking about the radio. He was asking why I was at work before 9am when I wasn’t due to start until 11.30am. Woops!

The radio then had an article on premier league footballers. 96% of the population feel they are overpaid. Apparently that statistic is the highest agreement on any subject radio 4 has ever had. An ex-premier league footballer tried to justify the pay by pointing out that the career of the average premier league footballer isn’t that long, and they need to earn a lifetime’s wages (plus pension) in less than a couple of years. I can’t see that myself. What’s wrong with getting a job after the footballing’s done?

Next came a damning report on the outbreaks of E. coli that are making people ill across the country. Various tourist resorts are being held responsible for the children who are now sick. It seems odd that a farm can be blamed for that which grows naturally on a farm. E coli comes from animal poo. If you go near an animal, you go near E. coli. It’s that simple. Any blame for the sick children should be laid firmly at the feet of those who took the children to see the animals. You simply don’t take a child to see farm animals if the child can’t keep its fingers out of its mouth. You don’t. End of story. Rather basic, really.

And then to lower my blood pressure, the afternoon play was about a milk float race from Middlesex to Bognor Regis. The afternoon ended with something about the impending retirement of Terry Wogan, and his planned replacement with Chris Evans. I don’t listen to either, and have no idea what either is like, but the BBC would seem to be under a hail of criticism about the choice. It would seem that there is no clear distinction between radio 1 and radio 2 these days, and the choice of Chris Evans is merely muddying the waters more.

I’ll stick with what I know….

17 September 2009 (Thursday) - Got Guts Ache Now

Yesterday I chopped up an apple, a leek and a courgette and mixed in yogurt and curry powder. I stuck the lot in the fridge overnight, and this morning it smelled OK. It didn’t look too bad, either. A shame it tasted almost as bad as green tea. However, I’m told that green tea contains anti-oxidants, so now having had five cups of the foul stuff, I will have no worries with regard to being accosted by an oxidant. On the minus side, I’m trumping like a thing possessed.

Today marks the end of the first week of the weight loss campaign. I’ve lost half a stone, but am still officially obese. At (about) sixteen and a half stone I need to lose another two stone until I become merely “overweight”. I say “about sixteen and a half stone” since the readings on the scales vary considerably, but that would seem to be a consensus figure. Half a stone seems to be an average amount to lose in the first week of a diet. The rate of weight loss slackens off considerably after week one. My target weight is… well, I haven’t actually got a target. I shall continue until the knee stops squeaking, or the doctor replaces it with a plastic one.

A letter arrived today from the chokey. “Norman Stanley” is now two thirds of the way through his sentence, and sounds positive. He claims to have got a clue right in the last crossword I sent him. I shall have to make the next one a tad more tricky. Let’s see what he makes of “A wendy house for Meatloaf's daughter (3,5)”. Come to that, I wonder what my loyal readership will make of it….

16 September 2009 (Wednesday) - More Salad (!!)

A late start, so I checked out the route for Saturday’s planned cycle ride. ‘er indoors TM did say that I was to devise a route with not much “up” in it. Well, we have had routes with more “up” – it’s not a bad one really. I’m quite looking forward to cycling out to Westwell. What with the doctor’s appointment about my gammy knee next Tuesday, I might be advised agaist cycling, and this might be my last cycle ride. Mind you, I’ve been advised against drinking to excess, and that didn’t stop me. We shall see what happens.

Then I got some “lunch” from Tesco’s. I also got some green tea. I am told that the secret of weight loss is green tea. All the top models swear by it, and they ain’t porkers. And I can remember Samantha Fox hawking green tea many years ago. Now she was epically chested, flopped them out, got had up by Esther Rantzen and then got on the other bus, so that sold me on the idea of green tea.

Diets are fine in theory. In practice, this diet’s getting beyond a joke. Today’s “lunch” scaled heights of lameness to which I have hitherto only dreamed. And the green tea. Have you ever tried it? It is truly the most awful beverage I have ever tasted. Now I think about it, didn’t Samantha Fox get had up by Esther Rantzen because green tea didn’t actually work as a weight loss product?

Meanwhile another competitor in the podge-a-thon has announced that his diet strategy is to have an apple with his dinner. I’ve made myself a “salad” for tomorrow – I’ve chopped up an apple, a leek and a courgette and mixed in yogurt and curry powder. It doesn’t sound that appetizing, but it can’t be any worse that the rubbish I had today.

15 September 2009 (Tuesday) - Salad (!)

The morning’s haul of emails brought one from Marilyn Anderson who wrote: “I am Hanna, I am 23 yo, pretty n sweet, hot body! I am cute, I am beauty! heheh My smile shall make you happy, n my soul shall make you believe”. The “believe” bit made me wonder if the righteous had finally cottoned on to using spam emails as a way of “spreading the light”, but it didn’t take many clicks to find it was only pornmongers hawking their filth. A shame – pornmongers are ten a penny on the Internet. I could do with the Holy Joe Brigade having a go.

I decided against cycling to work today. Being on late shift, I’d have to cycle home in the dark, and it was raining. Since I had a bit of time I thought I’d complete the household’s electoral register return. One year I’m not going to wait until the red reminder letter comes. Now you can do it on line. That saved a trip to the post office.

To Tesco to buy my "lunch". The retard on the till was struggling. He picked up the apple I was trying to buy and spent a good minute looking for the bar code before asking me if I remembered what it had said on the label on the shelf. I resisted the temptation of sarcasm, and said it was a Golden Delicious. But when he picked up the next item, evil got the better of me. "That f...ellow's a banana, mate!".

Being on a late start, I didn’t get to eat my lunch" until 2pm. It wasn’t worth the wait….

14 September 2009 (Monday) - Stuff

Last night I had words with the first fruit of my loin. He is on earlies this week. The phrases “quiet as a mouse” and “ninja stealth” were mentioned with reference to his getting up at silly o’ clock. This morning I was awoken at 5.30am by something which was not as “quiet as a mouse”, nor was it employing “ninja stealth”. Had last night’s conversation featured phrases such as “Krakatoa, east of Java” I might have been more impressed with his instruction following ability. This afternoon I think I found the cause of the noise. He’s dug out his old skateboard. Perhaps he’s skateboarding downstairs in the mornings?

Continuing with the weight loss campaign, I cycled to work. Where I spent the entire day sulking. I’m not really sure why. I stuck an idiot grin on my face, and tried to make the most of it, but my heart wasn’t in it today. On the plus side I managed to book another visit at the chokey, and it took less than two hours.

And then I cycled home again to find a letter from my doctor. Last week both the doctor and the foxy X-ray bird said I should phone the surgery in a week or so to get the result. Today I came home to a letter (dated last Thursday) asking me to make an appointment to discuss the X-Ray. At first sight, I thought this was somewhat ominous. So I phoned the surgery and they’ve given me an appointment for eight days hence. It can’t be that ominous.

13 September 2009 (Sunday) - Gardening, Shopping, Digging

I dare say most people would relish being woken by a woman whispering “Hey, sexy…” in dulcet tones. However, I rise above such base instincts (usually). Mostly because it was my phone telling me I had a text message. You can always tell people who have small children. They are always texting at silly o’clock on Sunday mornings. Oh well, he will regret that move – when he’s not looking, I shall set light to his dustbin. And I needed to get up anyway.

The reason we didn’t stay overnight at Sumner’s Ponds yesterday was that with Daddies Little Angel TM ” being out for the night, I could clean out the pond filter without getting grief about using the bath. So that’s what I did. And then my morning continued in much the same gardening vein. Pond filter scrubbed and rebuilt, pond water topped up, lawn mowed, edges trimmed, next door’s overgrowth given a haircut, and more fish food bought.

Half way to Tenterden pond shop I nearly ran down a cyclist. And then another. Being a cyclist myself, other cyclists wind me up. Some roads lend themselves to bike rides. Bypasses and A-roads don’t. And they especially don’t lend themselves to fat-bottomed cyclists who are so unsteady that they are weaving all over the road along which traffic moves at 60 mph.

The pond shop were having an end of season clearance sale, and I got a couple of fish. I don’t really need any more, but two Koi for £8.50 seemed a bargain. On the minus side, they’d sold out of NishiKoi food, so I had to get “TetraPond Koi Stix” to which the Koi don’t seem very partial. Oh well, they can eat it or they can go hungry. I’m not buying any more fish food until that’s gone.

The text I received earlier was to ask if I wanted to go up to the Goose Fair this morning. My original plan was to be there all day with the astronomy club. But… About a week or so ago there was talk of a day at Hever Castle today, and when I realised the astro club had enough help for the Goose Fair, I backed out of helping with the stall. Somewhere along the way the talk of Hever Castle seemed to stop, so I would have liked to have gone to the Goose Fair as a visitor, but once the morning’s garden jobs were done and I’d got fish food, the day was half gone.

So, for what was left of the day, we went to the arky-ologee dig. Where four of us scrubbled about in a hole for an hour and a half. We found some manky bits of broken pots, and some iron ore. The two looked identical. But we managed to prove that in Roman and prehistoric times, people were mucking about on Lenham Heath. Disappointment was expressed at the low turn out – four out of a membership of over forty. But Challock Goose Fair was on today – that would have pulled the punters in. And I can’t help but wonder how many of the club membership you can expect to go along to do digging. For myself I go to the archaeology club which meets in the evening. The evening – after dark in the village hall. Where we listen to someone who’s done archaeology telling us what happened. I have absolutely no interest at all in getting my hands dirty. I suspect the vast majority of the club membership are the same. It’s a shame the club management don’t see it that way.

Meanwhile I am reliably assured that Glenn’s “fanny magnet” has hit the streets. For the uninitiated, this is a vehicle which would seem to exhibit a magnetic attraction to…. well, I’m not sure what it’s going to magnetise. But I expect that whatever it does magnetise will be disappointed.