24 February 2011 (Thursday) - Another Day Off...

The weather was decent for a change, so I thought I’d do some tidying-up in the garden. First of all I needed to clean out the pond filter. On reflection I should have cleaned this out last October when I closed the pond down for the winter. This morning the filter stunk to high heaven, (and I can still smell the stench of months old fish poo on my hands twelve hours later, despite the use of various soaps, hand washes, creams, and bleach).
With the filter cleaned out I reassembled it and installed the light tube I’d bought on Tuesday. Once the ambient temperature is a little higher I shall reactivate the pump and we’ll see how the fish have done over the winter.

I then had a scurry round and gathered up all the loose tat that was lying around the patio. Where does it all come from? Fragments of several paint brushes, broom handles, broken coat-hangers. All just lying about. So they all got bagged up. Together with loads of cardboard and plastic bottles for recycling, I had more than a car-full for a tip run. So I loaded up the car and then swept front and back gardens before setting off to the tip. “Daddies Little Angel TMhad announced she was coming to the tip to help, so that made the job much easier. It’s amazing how long it takes to unload the stuff and chuck it in the correct skip. And that’s having bagged it all at home first. We arrived at the tip to find two “delightful people” who had filled their cars to the brim with loose rubbish, and were carrying it to the skips, one piece at a time.
With the rubbish shifted we went to Sainsbury’s for salads for lunch. One day’s healthy eating this week can’t be bad!

We both then slept through six episodes of “The Young Ones”, waking only to greet the Rear Admiral before dozing off again. For the afternoon, “Daddies Little Angel TMsuggested we took Fia to the reptile shop in Sittingbourne. Bearing in mind my fun with the astro-webcam yesterday, we went to the pet shop via the telescope shop.
At the telescope shop I probably (definitely) spent far too much money on an astronomical webcam, and then at the reptile shop we played with the geckoes. Since our last visit they’ve got a caiman in the shop. He wasn’t for sale: I chatted with the shop keeper about the caiman. In years gone by I had a plan to keep caimans. It’s probably for the best that that plan never came to fruition.

And so home. Mark from Global Capital phoned. He wanted to check he had my details correct on his mailing list. As it happens he did have them right, but I wasn’t going to tell him that. He went on to say that he would be sending me a free no-obligation magazine outlining all of their financial deals, offers and services. And next week he’s planning to phone back so we could talk through which of his deals we’d like to spend our money on.
It’s a shame that the chap’s spoken English was so poor, otherwise he might have registered my disinterest a whole lot sooner.

Once the girls had set off I plugged in my new vastly overpriced webcam. It didn’t work. Half an hour on-line with the manufacturer’s website gave me the fix, and it seems to be working now. Having the first clear night for weeks, I tried out my sexy new telescope. I had a look at Betelgeuse and the Pleiades, but the spotting scope was off, and the images seemed a bit iffy. I’m hoping that having the thing collimated tomorrow night will make all the difference.

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