30 September 2013 (Monday) - Et In Arcadia Ego...

I woke at 4am today and rather than laying awake I got up instantly, pootled about for a bit and then tried going back to bed after half an hour's assorted chores. This experimentr was a qualified success; I slept deeply, but had a particularly vivid dream featuring "The Man With No Alias (patent pending)" who in this dream was wearing seriously thick make-up to conceal a black eye. He would not reveeal the source of this black eye, buut was unusually defensive about suggestions that he had been "bashed up off of a girl". Back in the days when I was a cub scout leader being "bashed up off of a girl" was one of the most seriously humiliating things that could ever happen to anyone.

Over brekkie I checked emails. Last night I mentioned that no one had found the geocaches that I had hidden. I was wrong. They had been found, but by people who use dedicated GPS units. One of the many problems with dedicated GPS units is that logging what you've done with them takes longer than it does with a phone.
I must admit that my piss boiled somewhat. Over the last year I have received a fair amount of sarcasm and rudeness about the sort of caches that I have hidden. Many of them have been deliberately simplistic so that they might be easily found. This way of hiding received some serious criticism so earlier this year I hid a few caches which were rather trickier and were intended to be more challenging. These harder caches haven't received many visits; one of them had no one go near the thing for over four months. Last week I put a *lot* of effort into making a Wherigo cache which has had a very disappointing reception.
Yesterday I announced eight plastic sandwich boxes shoved under some sticks at any old random tree root and the punters came running from far and wide.

With washing put out oon the line I put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for a walk around Little Chart. Whilst in the area I went for a new cache that had gone live overnight. It would have been nice to have had a First to Find; I was beaten to it. By someone who already had over twenty FTFs yesterday... But Little Chart is a rather scenic place to be, and my little dog was as good as gold on and off the lead. More people should walk in the countryside; it is truly wonderful.
We came home after an hour or so, and I took the bin of garden waste to the tip. I had planned to carry on making good in the garden, but the membrane I was going to use had been dragooned into use as a makeshift barbecue cover.

Lunch, and then I spent a little while working on another Wherigo cache. I say " a little while"; I completely lost track of the time. I had intended to iron during the afternoon. I stopped Wherigoing when er indoors TM" came home at 7.30pm.
Most of teh ironing will keep; I spent the rest of the evening ironing shirts whilst watching DVDs. Having watched Babylon 5, BattleStar Galactica and Blake's Seven, the next boxed set on my shelf was Brideshead Revisited.
Brideshead Revisited is a particular favourtite of mine. I have read the book so many times I nearly know it off by heart...

29 September 2013 (Sunday) - Working

I slept like a log last night. A day's hard work does that for you. I got up shortly after 6am and spent a few minutes (half an hour) over brekkie doing the paperwork and admin for eight geocaches I hid in the Pluckley area a couple of weeks ago. Chris and er indoors TM" have also hidden caches in that area; together they make up a circular walk of about four hours and thirty caches.

I then had a look on Facebook. I didn't go on there at all yesterday. There were several invites to walks and outings and the like. One of them caught my notice; an invite to what ostensibly seemed to be a day's geocaching fun but when you looked closely it was actually thinly disguised religion. I wonder how many people will fall for this ruse.
I found this particularly apposite as I listened to the news on my way to work this morning. Being Sunday the morning's radio was of an ecclesiastical theme. Today the pundits were talking about "National Take a Friend to Church Day".

Apparently today is "Back to Church Sunday", and the idea is that churchgoers invite a friend to go to church with them. As a seriously lapsed sunbeam I can't pretend to be a fan of organised religion, but I have far more respect for someone who actually openly asks me to church rather than for someone who tries to trick me by asking me to pursue a hobby and then slips religion in once it is too late to get away.
If someone had asked me to "Back to Church Sunday" would I have actually gone? No. Obviously not - I was working today. Had I not been working then... I don't know. Quite probably, I expect. If only to get something to blog about.

I'd left for work a little earlier than I would normally have done what with today being day sixty of my caching streak. On Thursday evening I'd located a cache near a phone box in Canterbury. It was a bit busy in that area on Thursday evening, so I thought I might do the secret ritual with it this morning; Sunday mornings are usually quiet. I got to the location. No one was there. Neither was the geocache. In the intervening three days the thing had gone missing. I checked my geo map and found there was another one only five minutes drive away. So five minutes later I was sitting by the riverside doing the secret geo-ritual before going in to work.

As always I did my bit at work. Over a tea break I checked my emails to see if the caches I'd submitted over brekkie had gone live. They had gone live mid afternoon. When I came home they were still awaiting a First to Find. Thirty FTFs going begging in Ashford. Amazing!

I came home to find a smurf was brandishing something phallic. There are a myriad of questions that spring to mind. However I find it much easier not to ask...

28 September 2013 (Saturday) - Early Doors

A restless night. I had a little grin when I heard my dog creeping up the stairs at 4am. He knows he shouldn't come upstairs so he tries to be stealthy, but there are some creaking floorboards which always give him away. He leapt onto the bottom of the bed, made himself comfortable and went to sleep. I really should have taken him back to his bed downstairs, but he wasn't hurting anyone by being there.
Over brekkie I watched an episode of a new program. Well, new to me. "Early Doors"

is from the people who wrote another favourite show of mine (The Royle Family). I hadn't seen it before. Featuring the mundane lives of some average people in a mundane pub it was absolutely brilliant. I couldn't believe that the program is ten years old. Why have I not seen this before? What other gems have I missed?

With a few minutes spare I had a look at the astro club's accounts. Before last night's meeting all the cash was accounted for. Last night we took money in the form of membership renewals and people joining. We took money from the raffle, and we spent money on the ingredients of refreshments. So why was it that when I counted up the cash we were nineteen quid adrift?
I shall have to have another look at that when I get a minute.

And so to work. There was a minor disaster as my car refused to start. I pressed the button to make things happen and all that actually happened was a clicking sound. A message came up saying to turn the steering wheel. I did and tried to start the car again, but to no avail. So I got out, closed the door, locked it, then unlocked it and tried again. This time all was fine. I wonder what that was all about. I do hope my car's not planning to start playing up. That would be all that I needed bearing in mind that the vet insurance has stumped up a lot less than I was hoping that they would after "Furry Face TM"'s recent hospitalisation.

Two days ago I tried to find a geocache on my way to work. In fact on Thursday morning I tried to find three, and didn't find any. This morning I had another look along Cheeseman's Green to see if I could find one of the ones I missed. I found it almost straight away. It's amazing the difference that being able to see what you are doing makes.

My piss boiled when I heard the morning's news. A member of the European Parliament has apparently made the announcement that "no “sane” person from a professional background would enter politics now because they face being vilified for holding convictions". Holding convictions!!! This chap obviously hasn't seen the dribbling partner of our current coalition government who would say that black was white to gain political office. I might not like the predominant party of the government, but at least they have policies and stick to them.

Once at work I did my bit. The day was busy, and for me it was rather uncomfortable. The elastic had gone in my undercrackers. Having my "junk" slopping here there and thither wasn't conducive to comfort, and I was glad when home time came.
Those pants are now in the bin, More expense..

27 September 2013 (Friday) - In Outer Space

I slept through till after 7am this morning, and after a spot of brekkie "Daddies Little Angel TM" arrived with Sid and we went for a walk. Down through South Ashford to the Environment Centre and back home via Singleton Lake and the park. The walk was mostly uneventful, and we only had one "dog episode" when we encountered some mad woman being dragged about by a death-hound. This death-hound was on a lead, but was clearly out of control; the woman with it was shrieking hysterically at anyone who came close that hey should get away from her death-hound. For some inexplicable reason she took offence when I suggested the snarling slavering animal should be muzzled.

Once home I mowed the lawn and then got out the hedge trimmer and cut back all the overgrowth from next door's hedgerows. A few years ago I had a good garden. Now it is just a mess mainly because of all the stuff flowing over the hedge. Maybe clipping one or two clematis roots might solve some problems there.
I checked my emails. The Wherigo cache I hid has been found. It took two days to be found. Two days - that's unheard of round here.

I then saw red. having fallen over clutter in the living room for the umpteenth time i put a pile of tape cassettes into the bin, then got a black sack and just filled it with the rubbish that litters my world. Other peope live tidily. Why can't I?
And whilst I was seeing red my poor little dog got shouted at. He will not stop throwing himself at the fence and barking at next door's dogs. I finally had enough of this behaviour, and I bellowed at him for five minutes. He got the message.

And then on to astro club. I went via Appledore where I picked up the day's cache. Astro club was excellent this evening. We had a huge turn-out and really good talks. An update on things current in outer space, and then a review of sci-fi and how plausible inter-stellar travel really would be. Entertaining, educational and thought provoking.
The raffle went well, and we sold cakes in aid of MacMillan cancer research and made over sixty quid for them.
The membership have taken our vision of builing a space centre to heart. Tonight we were presented with some preliminary design work and also a really good telecope and mount to auction to raise funds for the project. We'll have that thing built yet...

26 September 2013 (Thursday) - In Trumpington..

Following a very busy and exciting and late night last night I slept right through until 5am this morning. I woke to find a small dog curled up at the end of the bed. He really shouldn't be there, but I let him sleep, and went downstairs for brekkie and the last episode of the mini-series of "Mrs Biggs". Charmian has now left Ronnie, and has made a life for herself in Australia. All seemed to be well that ended well. But that's TV drama. I suspect real life was different. As I mentioned the other day, having watched the series based on real people's experiences and crimes I can't help but wonder what I would have done in their position.

I then left for work slightly earlier than usual to hunt for the day's cache. It was still dark so I took a torch. I hate caching in the dark; you look incredibly suspicious and you can't actually see anything. I failed to find three different caches whilst scrubbling in the darkness in various places, and was nearly (but not quite) late for work.
As I drove I listened to the news. There was an interesting and entertaining article about a scandal emanating from the picturesque Cambridgeshire village of Trumpington.
Apparently the village hall had been booked for what seemed to be a bona fide engagement, but had been billed on muckier sies on the Internet to be something featuring spanking, flogging and "kink on a budget". I had no idea that bondage parties were booked into village halls. The good villagers of Trumpington were simularly ignorant and were shocked. And rightly so. Someone has to take a moral stance in these depraved times. And their doing so saves me having to make the effort. Mind you part of me can't help but wonder if they had actually done anything wrong.
The prude being interviewed on the radio tried to appear to be open-minded and claimed that her objection was that their hall was being booked for people who didn't live in the area. She claimed that they wanted the village hall to be used for locals. She didn't convince me of her sincerity.

It was a shame that this revelation was immediately followed by an article about an amazing discovery in space. Rather than talking about pulsars the pundits picked up on the fact that the discoverer of the first pulsar to be found hailed from Cambridgeshire, and would not shut up with implications of depravity.

And so to work, where the French lessons continued. Maintenant il y a un canard dans l'arbre. Le canard est bati un bibloteque pour les enfants. Il n'y a pas des enfants dans l'abre, mais l'oiseau est tres stupide. Peut etre il est capable a apprendre de la bibloteque pour les enfants. Aussi il y a un gendarmerie dans l'arbre just que l'oiseau est batard encore un fois.
I don't think my student is learning quite as well as he might; nor is he finding much opportunity to apply his newfound knowledge.

In between telling the assembled throng about life in French trees I did my bit, and then came home the scenic route via Canterbury's city wall. In a complete contrast to the morning's caching fiasco I found two caches in as many minutes...

25 September 2013 (Wednesday) - Grease Is The Word

Over a spot of brekkie I checked my e-messages. there was one to all the members of the astro club committee asking about our availability on Saturday for an event which runs from 10am to 5pm. I wonder what event that might be. I'm sure I've been told about it (whatever it might be) but have absolutely no idea what it is.
Something else about which I have no idea is a message I received from the astro club via Twitter. My phone told me that the astro club had Twitted at me, but apart from a lot of @ and # I couldn't actually see any message. I wonder what that was all about.

Yesterday I was rather cryptic about a project upon which I had embarked. I had a second field trial of that project today, and after one or two minor tweaks I have launched the thing onto an unsuspecting public. There are several types of geocache; the most obscure is the Wherigo cache. With only a dozen within fifty miles of home, I have created one. It's rather (very) basic, but it is intended to be one which is aimed at beginner level. Once my programming skills have advanced a bit more I might just embark on one which is a little more ambitious.
Bearing in mind that this one was built in a day and the one I did at the weekend took months to compile, I'm quite pleased with what I've done. It remains to see what the punters make of it.
I expect some will love it and some will hate it. Much like the public's reaction to everything, really. So far only one person has downloaded the Wherigo cartridge, and she is still yet to actually try the thing out.

I played Candy Crush Saga for an hour or so until er indoors TM" came home from work earlier than usual. We put on our posh frocks and set off to Maidstone. Ten of us met up in the Muggleton Arms. I couldn't beleive the prices - A plate of steak and kidney pudding with chips and a pint of decent ale was less than a fiver. A pint of Adnam's Explorer (good stuff) was only £1.83.
We then brought on the birthday cake (complete with candles) for the birthday "(My) Boy TM", and after singing a rousing chirus of "Happy Birthday to You" we went round to the Hazlett Theatre where the youth theatre were presenting "Grease Is The Word". This is at least the fifth production of theirs that I have seen, and like all the others it was really good. Lacey knew the words to all the songs, and there's not many seven year olds that can say that...

24 September 2013 (Tuesday) - Busy

I watched more of the Mrs Biggs mini-series over brekkie. Our heroes, if that is the right word, were making a new life for themselves in Australia. And looking out for the police at every turn. I don't know how true to life the show is, and I don't know much about the real-life Ronnie Biggs. But I can't help but wonder what I would have done in his place. One night's work robbing a train to be financially set up for life. Would I have turned it down? I don't know.

And then I checked out social media. I say "social media" - I mean Facebook. Twitter remains @a ld f ld #cbblrs. There was consternation at the news that the BBC are thinking about axing one of their longert running TV shows "The Sky at Night". At the risk of again being branded a heretic, is that such a bad thing? For me it was never a program about the sky ay night; it was the Patrick Moore show. And in more recent years it was sad to see the once great man becoming more and more frail. Now he's gone maybe the show should be allowed to go too; it's not the same without him.

I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk round the park. He liked it. Whilst out we tried more whistle training. When we are doing whistle training for its own sake he does it perfectly. I let him bimble off; I blow the whistle - he comes running. It worked every time today. Probably because he never got into the sort of pickle I needed to extract him from at a distance. When he is up to no good I blow the whistle until I am blue in the face to no avail...
I then drove down to the golf shop to get a birthday present. I went via a geocache that had gone live a day or so again. Some caches are cleverly hidden so that they blend into the surroundings. Some are cleverly hidden in the surroundings. And some are just rammed under a hedge... But there won't be many normal people to disturb that hide I suppose.
As I drove down the A2070 I was eventually overtaken by a lorry belonging to the famous lock company Chubb. Before dangerously overtaking me on a corner, the fool driving that van had been less than ten yards from my rear bumper for several miles. It never fails to amaze me that people who have their companies names and logos emblazoned all over their vehicles make no effort not to drive like complete idiots. I certainly do not intend to ever use the services of Chubb locks again.

Once home I watched more of Mrs Biggs over lunch, and spent much of the afternoon working on my latest project. I won't go into too many details about what I have been up to. Suffice it to say that after a software failure I blagged something that was originally written in either Polish or Czecheslovakian and I've translated most of it. Not all, but enough to be getting on with.
I have had one field test of project #1 around Viccie park; so far so good.

Next door came home half way through the afternoon and started clanging on their piano. They must have been clanging on that piano on a daily basis for nearly ten years. They still sound just as bad as the sad day when that piano first arrived. I'd like to think that if I had made so little progress after so much practice I would cut my losses and give up. As they clanged their piano I did this week's on-line dinsaur lectures and scored 100% in this week's test. I felt rather smug about that.

Baing Tuesday the clans gathered; this time chez nous. It's always good to meet up and bandy insults. And Merlin (or "Melon" as he is known) is always entertaining...

23 September 2013 (Monday) - Rather Dull

Having (finally) got through all of my Blakes Seven DVDs, this morning (5am) I was catching up with some of the stuff I'd put onto the SkyPlus box. There was a five part dramatisation of the life of Mrs Biggs; wife of the infamous great train robber Ronnie. I watched the first episode over brekkie. It was actually rather good.
I don't think my little dog was too impressed though. He hauled himself over to see me and expressed interest all the time there were crusts of toast going, after which time he went back to his bed where he went to sleep and snored.

Day fifty four of my caching streak saw me rummaging in the undergrowth near Little Burton Farm at 6.30am. I found the cache I was after - it was fairly obvious where to look; others had clearly trampled the area before me. Mind you I did spend the rest of the day worrying my ear where a stinging nettle had got it.
And so on to work; listening to the news. Apparently militant Islamists are up to no good in Nairobi.
I know of Muslims who are decent people. I once took cubs to a Mosque where we were welcomed warmly. However in many years of listening to BBC radio I don't think I've ever heard a good word said about them in the news. Surely this must be BBC bias; I know for a fact that they are not all as bad as Radio Four would have us beleive.

As I'd left for work I noticed that the supermarket trolley was still in the garden. I'd logged it as having escaped from Asda using the Trolleywise app last Tuesday, and over the weekend I had given the Trolleywise people some stick on their Facebook and Twitter pages.
It wasn't that long before the Trolleywise people answered my question this morning - apparently they aim to collect trolleys within twenty four hours of their being reported; and they asked for my postcode so they could collect this errant trolley. I gave them my postcode, and they replied instantly with a promise to investigate and get back to me. They did so within an hour and assured me the driver would be collecting the trolley sometime during the afternoon.
I had a phone call - the nice lady at Woodchurch village hall wanted to confirm the astro club's hall bookings for next year. I've asked for the last Friday of every month for the whole year, and she agreed. Except for December - we agreed to meet on the 19th rather than on Boxing Day. I'm guessing we won't have built our science centre before then.

And eventually to work. After some serious sniffing around the chap from down the corridor (I'm told he was worth sniffing round) we went back up the tree qui habite on France.
Apparently il y a un supermarche dans cette arbre maintenant ou on peut achete du pain et du lait. L'oiseau veux achete du pain et du lait pour son sandwiche. Il aime du pain et du lait dans son sandwiche parce que il est non plus tres stupide ou il est batard (avec le sucre au dessus)...

I came home to find that trolley had finally gone.

22 September 2013 (Sunday) - Wherigo

A rather restless night. er indoors TM" snored rather excessively for several hours. When she finally gave up with that game a small dog bounded up the stairs, jumped on the bed and made himself comfortable by trying to push me off of it. I gave up trying to sleep and came downstairs. Once the washing up was done I scoffed brekkie whilst checking out the world via social media. I had another go at Twitter. I don't like it much. Over on Facebook the talk was about the latest video game - Grand Theft Auto Five. Apparently parents are now acting surprised to find that a game glorifying theft and murder isn't exactly suitable for small children. Did they really have no idea what the first four GTA games were all about?

We rallied the troops and set off to Capstone Country Park for a spot of geocaching with a difference; we did a Wherigo cache. It was one of the best caches that I have ever done. We dowloaded the Wherigo software to our phones and through the wonders of GPS technology once we were in the right place the software started. Our first task was to firstly walk round the lake to find virtual coins, and having found them go back to the start for further instructions. And so we progressed. The software would tell us places to go and would either navigate us there or let us find our own way. And once at the designated locations we would have tasks to perform; puzzles to solve, questions to answer. Eventually after a few hours effort (and several miles hiked) we had enough information together to allow us to actually find the hidden geocache.
A Wherigo cache isn't for those people who like counting the numbers; this one cache took over four hours to find. But it's not about the numbers. It took us all over Capstone park; to places I've never been before. And it was fun. I can't recommend it highly enough.
As is always the case the more effort someone puts into creating a geocache experience, the fewer people actually do that cache. No one had done this particular cache since May. A great shame. For myself I would like to find more Wherigos. I understand there are a few in the south east.

Whilst we were out we saw a familiar face - the chap who had designed and set this Wherigo had come along to see how we were getting on. It was good to meet up with Martin. And he was fair - he didn't give away anything as we went round
We also met up with friends who were flying kites at the kite day. It was a shame there was hardly any wind. Kite flying can be a rather rubbish hobby; the wind is very rarely suitable for kites.

And so home via one or two caches on the way. Once home after we'd scoffed tea er indoors TM" set off bowling. I settled down in front of the telly for a "Jeeves and Wooster-a-thon"...

21 September 2013 (Saturday) - Old Peculier (hic!)

Being awake at 3.30am I had this plan to get up, pootle about and then I might sleep after an hour or so's pootling. So I watched a DVD. The last ever episode of Blake's Seven. Blake came back. There are those who might feel that he'd left it rather kate, but better late than never. Immediately on meeting the first of his henchmen he handed said henchman to the authorities, and when the rest of his gang showed up they killed him before he could tell tham that he wasn't really a baddie. The whole lot ended up as a bloodbath, which was probably for the best. I then went back to my pit and lay awake before finallly emerging from that pit shortly before 8am.

I would have made myself comfortable on the sofa for brekkie, but my dog had made himself comfortable. I didn't have the heart to move him, so I perched precariously next to him and checked out what was going on in the world via Facebook. It turned out that not a lot was happeneing.

So with some time spare I put "Furry Face TM"'s collar and lead on him and we went for a walk up to Little Burton Farm and back. Probably a round trip of about four miles; it took us about an hour and a half. Whilst we were out my dog rolled in two seperate piles of fox poo and humped a King Charles spaniel. It's two weeks since he was ill; he seems to be firmly on the mend.

Whilst we were out we met so many members of Ashford's Nepalese community. At the risk of sounding racist, are all Gurkhas terrifed of dogs? We always meet Nepalese people when we walk. they are always polite, friendly, but all of them always seem to cower away from Fudge and from every other dog they see.

We came home, and I bathed my dog. I wish he wouldn't roll in fox poo; it just adds ten minutes bath time to the day's itinery. And then I couldn't beleive my ears. With over twenty minutes to go before Lisa would be picking us up, er indoors TM" announced that she was ready. Early (!) That *never* happens.

And so on with the main business of the day; the monthly meet-up of Kent's geocachers. Today we met up at Halstead; a rather obscure village near Sevenoakes. The meet was really good. I especially liked the mini ship selling trackables and geo coins. The venue was excellent; a really friendly pub with six ales on the hand pump. And the meet itself - -it was good to meet up with old friends who share a predilection for hunting tupperware in the woods. We even went out and found a dozen caches. If only we could get people to embrace the concept of "smug mode" - letting everyone find a cache. The first one in a group to find any given cache doesn't need to wave the thing in the air. They might let everyone have a go at finding.

In retrospect the fifth pint of "Old Peculier" was probably somewhat ambitious, but that's the kind of guy I am...

20 September 2013 (Friday) - Busy, Busy...

An odd night. I woke about 2.30am and lay awake until ubout the sort of time I would usually get up (shortly before 5am) when I nodded off and slept right through till 7am. I got up and had my morning's fix of Blake's Seven. I then had a look on the Internet. I see the astro club is twitting. You can follow the astro club on Twitter, you know. Though (in all honesty) I can't see the attraction myself. Being limited in what you can write means that tweeters either have to be particularly concise in what they tweet, or that they dribble tweets all day long. Also in order to get round the limitations of characters there are so many @ and #. I can't work out what most of the tweets are about. For example I received this tweet the other day: "@manky_badger 😏 RT @elakdawalla: MT @SungrazerComets: Starting to see lots of really nice images (cont) http://tl.gd/mm9c84" . I have absolutely no idea what it means. Simularly the committee have received another tweet. Everyone else is rather excited about it. I expect I would be too; if only I knew what it was about.

I then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. With no new geocaches having gone live overnight I thought I'd clear one off my list which had been there for a while. I won't go into details about the cache in question; suffice it to say that it needs a little bit of effort, and the requisite apparatus. Being tackled up with the appropriate implement I eventually found my quarry, and so have now logged a find every day for fifty-one days. At the moment I think my caching streak will stop next Tuesday unless any other caches go live locally.
When I started this run of caches I never thought I'd complete the month of August, let alone get this far. Mind you what I have done is nothing compared to a chap in California who has logged finds every day since July 2003 until giving up last week - that's 3712 days.
With cache found we came home via the park in a shallow attempt to sniff round the fit bird with the brown poodle, but she was nowhere to be seen. Instead I ended up exchanging pleasentries with Orangehead's chunky little friend.

Once home I got the lawn mowed. I tried out my new strimmer too. It's not brilliant, but not bad for twelve quid. Bearing in mind the replacement strimmer line is over five quid, that's rather cheap. I then tidied up around the new fence. I would have built in a gate, but I'm not exactly sure what the holes Earle has drilled are for. I shall have to ask. I would also have put back all the gravel but because the new fence is further back than the old one the membrane doesn't quite reach.

I then tidied the garden and took rubbish to the tip. The tip is different; it's been re-built. I struggled to get rid of my rubbish because of all the normal people who were marvelling at the place. I got chatting with the people working there. They told me they have quite a problem with sight-seers; people who come just to marvel at the new tip and just get in the way of people like me trying to unload rubbish. Apparently they have people demanding that their children be shown behind the scenes, and these people get quite shirty when they are told to clear off.
I came back to the tip with another car load of rubbish, then got the hoover out and gave my car a much needed valeting.

By now my back was beginning to ache, so I had a cuppa, and then decided to look at cutting back the overgrowth pouring over the fence from next door. It was then that I realised that I still had all the old fencing that I hadn't taken to the tip. I didn't fancy a third trip. I shall do that all next week. And then all enthusiasm for gardening waned. And it the afternoon was mostly gone. Having mowed the lawn earlier I thought I'd give myself a haircut. Some eighteen years (or so) ago a chap I'd just met introduced me to his newsagent. And the rest is history.... but that newsagent sold me a set of clippers for a tenner. I got my money's worth out of those clippers. I've not been back to the barbers in all that time. Once a month I voom those clippers over my head. Can't be bad.

er indoors TM" eventually came home and we had a rather decent curry and a bottle of that plonk I brought home yesterday. It's not the best wine I've ever tasted, but at £2.50 a bottle it certainly isn't the worst.

That trolley is still in my front garden...

19 September 2013 (Thursday) - Pirates !

I woke a lot later than usual - it was gone 5am when I woke; and I didn't feel one hundred per cent. So I lay in bed until 6.30am when I finally emerged. I couldn't face Blake's Seven this morning; instead I wasted some time on the Internet. As I sat on the sofa FF jumped up and snuggled. Anyone who meets my dog immediately comes to the conclusion that he is a mad thing bordering on being hyperactive. He isn't. Well, not all of the time. When no one is looking he can be quite soppy as he was this morning.

Yesterday I mentioned that I was struggling to keep my caching streak going as I was fast running out of local caches to hunt. Yesterday a new one went live which was right on my way to work. However it had been hidden by a chap who seems to hide them in such a way to leave me foxed. Certainly I've made hard work of his last three hides.
Bearing that in mind and consequently expecting quite a search this morning I left for work with plenty of time, and found the cache after about ten seconds of hunting. I have now done fifty continuous days of finding a cache.
Having found this morning's cache I was suddenly at a loose end; with over an hour before I needed to be at work. So I drove round Chartham and hunted out likely parking places for future walks with my dog. I also went in to the Cheapo Bargains shop. Ashford's Cheapo Bargains shop does two bottles of (fairly decent) plonk for six quid. The shop in Canterbury does the same two bottles for a fiver. So I got some of those. I would have got a new phone charger as well if the staff could have been bothered to show me where they were kept.

And so to work ou il y etait un piroquet dans l'arbre. Un piroquet (!) "Morbleu! Parsambleu! Sapristi! Tonnerre de Brest! Mille millions de mille sabords!" nous disons. Entre-temps le singe et l'autre oiseau doit marchent sur la planche. After all it was "National Talk Like A Pirate Day" today.
In previous years I've blogged about this. I won't go over the old ground; I'll just say that it was a fun idea at the time which has probably long since had its day. It's not been the same since it's founder Mad Cap'n Tom threw in the sponge.

And so home. That trolley is still in the front garden. I shall get in touch with those Trolleywise people tomorrow...

18 September 2013 (Wednesday) - Stuff

I didn't wake until 4am this morning; I was relatively pleased about that; but I was still watching Blakes Seven on DVD by 5am. In the past few days and weeks I've been rather disparaging about this show. Today's episode scaled the heights of implausibility. I have always said that sci-fi shows by their very nature need a good plot and good characterisations so that your attention isn't occupied by the scientific impossibilities that are inherent in sci-fi. Today's episode was utter drivel. I've just watched had four seasons of a show in which the main protagonists are basically the good guys; if not heroes.
Today saw them robbing a gold repository for pure financial gain, and brutally gunning down anyone who got in their way. Completely at odds with what had gone before.

Yesterday I mentioned that I couldn't find a geocache which had been hidden near McDonalds. This morning I went back for it rather earlier than I had yesterday, and after a little rummaging I found the thing. There wasn't anyone about in the car park at 6.30am. Strange, that (!)
I am now on day forty nine of a streak of finding caches, and am seriously looking at the streak's end. I might just make it to the weekend. There are very few caches left within convenient striking distance of home or work. It is dark when I leave work in the evening, and it was only just getting light when I found this morning's cache. Rummaging in the darkness is a sure way to look suspicious.

As I drove to work I listened to the news. Two days ago I lambasted the Drippling Democraps for their shameless attempts to cling to power in continual coalitions. Today their leader publically told his party's conference (and by implication the entire world) that in any future general elections having one party being able to form a majority government would be a disaster.
It would certainly be a disaster for the Dribbling Democraps.
Don't get me wrong; in theory coalition government could be a good thing for our country. Over the long term it could curb the excesses of either of the two main political parties who have dominated the political scene for years. However what we have at the moment is two large parties which may or may not be able to form a majority government, and one relatively large minority party which knows full well that given a minority government is elected, it has the ability to offer that government a majority.
And this minority party is openly prepared to jump into alliance with absolutely anyone who offers it power.

And talking of political power, apparently there is exactly one year to go until the Scots get to vote for independence. The pundits were saying that that the current feeling of theScottish electorate is that they will want to remain part of the union. And rightly so. As a tiny nation akin to Luxembourg or Bulgaria they will struggle. Surely the way forward is is international union, not in going our own sweet ways. I've ranted about this before.

Once at work I was gived the responsibility of supervising a young lady who was doing work experience. I intoduced her to my colleague who is learning bad French. My young lady told me she didn't know much French, so I remedied that deficiency in her education. She seemed to be suitaby impressed.
Aussi je decovere il y a un matelot jolie dans l'arbre. Il est tres grand ami d'oiseau. Le singe n'avais pas un ami qui est jolie. Est ce que l'oiseau jolie? Entre-temps le matelot est attempte a manger le singe.
There would seem to be a hungry bunch of characters up that tree.

Having done my bit I came home. Yesterday I mentioned that I'd put a discarded supermarket trolley in the front garden and reported it with my Trolleywise app to see if it would get collected. It's still there...

17 September 2013 (Tuesday) - It Rained

I had a vague plan to lie in this morning. I got up at 6am which (I suppose) is a lie-in. Our sci-fi heroes were stealing crystals in this morning's sci-fi DVD installment. Stealing crystals is an old sc-fi theme; Captain Kirk did it twenty years before Blake's gang even thought about it. And like most sc-fi crystals, stolen ones explode rather more readily than the average crystal. But even the most gratuitous explosion won't make up for the lack of a plot.

er indoors TM" set off to work so me and "Furry Face TM" scrounged a lift part of the way with her. A new cache had gone live near one of the town's four McDonalds (I love Ashford!!) so I thought we'd have a go for it. We tried. And failed. When looking suspicious in a public car park it helps to have a small dog and some poo bags, but there is a limit as to how long you can lurk by a fence. We gave up and went for another cache.
There was one we tried for last Thursday (couldn't find it) and went back to on Saturday when we found the clue. Given the clue (and a hint), today I thought I'd get the cache. The clue led us to an obvious place, but I couldn't find the cache. I logged a third DNF (Did Not Find) and went home in a sulk. Mind you the sulk didnt last long. As we walked through the park I let "Furry Face TM" off of his lead and he immediately found a new friend; a small brown poodle we'd not met before. I know we'd not met this one before because I would have remembered the rather fit bird (patent pending) accompanying said poodle with whom I exchanged pleasentries for an entertaining ten minutes.
Campared to the rather fit bird (patent pending), Orangehead and her chunky little friend rather paled into insignificance.

When I was three quarters of the way home my phone beeped. An email. The chap who had hidden the cache I'd just so spectacularly failed to find had thrown me a bone. A small hint, but enough to make me realise that when I'd been searching I had gone along having already decided what I was looking for. And having decided to look for the wrong thing I didn't look for the right thing.
That all sounds rather cryptic, doesn't it.
I'm not going to give any spoilers, but if you read the cache description do you pick up on the same line that I did? Now that I knew that my initial premise was wrong we came home and (being rather lazy) drove back and found the cache in a matter of seconds.
This has taught me a valuable lesson about my caching technique. I assume an awful lot. Just lately I've DNF'ed quite a few caches because I get the idea that I'm looking for a fake leaf, or a magnetic keyholder when actually I should be looking for something completely different.

Home again, where there was a discarded supermarket trolley in the street. I stuck it in the front garden and used the "Trolleywise" app on my phone to report it. I have now used this app to report eight loose trolleys. I don't know if any have ever been collected, but having left this one in the front garden I can keep an eye on it to see if this one gets collected. After all, every time I report a trolly it uploads the photo that I have to take of the trolley. And there is only so many megabytes I can waste on being environmentally friendly.

I then scared my dog. I found some cake in the kitchen and shouted "CAKE!!" at it. You have to shout "CAKE!!" at any cake you see. I don't know why; you just have to. That's the rules. It always has been. But today it rather scared little Fudgey. Either that or he was trying to join in by woofing at the cake. I gave him a little to calm his nerves. Perhaps I shouldn't have done bearing in mind how iffy his innards have been. But a tiny bit shouldn't hurt.

The plan was then to mow the lawn and to generally tidy up and make good in the garden. But rain stopped play. Instead I did the week's dinosaur lectures, watched more of the antics of Blake's henchmen and played Candy Crush Saga until Lisa and Earle came round to help me with the fence. I say "help me" - basically Earle did the lot in less than an hour. All that remains is for me to make a bespoke small panel to fill the remaining gap. I was so grateful for his help - when me and "My Boy TM" put up the first fence it took us all day. Someone who knows what they are doing can do a proper job in next to no time.

Being Tuesday the clans gathered; today at Somerset Road. We bandied insults, and after a little mucking about with an X-box that was sulking we watched "Merlin". Another series in which a plot is utterly unnecessary when you have serious over-acting...

16 September 2013 (Monday) - Bosoms, Sheep and Opportunism

Having woken before 3am and lain awake for a couple of hours I was up and watching the antics of Blake's Seven (well, five) at 5am. This morning they had rescued the woman from the gravy adverts of twenty years ago. I'm not quite sure what they had rescued her from, or what her role in the plot was, but having her waggling an epic bosom at the camera from time to time livened up an otherwise dull episode.
For any of my loyal readers who may be shocked at such unbecoming an action from the gravy advert lady, I can vaguely remember her doing much more graphic things with her "charms" in one of the "Confessions" films from the 1970s in which she was running round in the nip. Not that I am any expert on the waggling of epic bosoms.

I then had a look down the garden. The temporary fence we bodged into place had survived the night and was still standing. I suppose that is good; when we first put the temporary bodge in place yesterday it lasted for half an hour before collapsing. It's got to last until tomorrow; hopefully I shall be in a position to sort it properly then.

I set off to work. For today's geocache I tried one I couldn't find last time. Two weeks ago I tried to be First to Find, and despite several visits I couldn't find the thing. Today I found the cache immediately. How did I ever miss that?
As I arrived at the cache site there was a sheep loose in the road. By the time I'd parked up the sheep had wandered off, which was a shame. That would have made a good photo for the day.

As I drove I listened to the news. Today's news was being broadcast from the annual convention of the Dribbling Democrap party. And my piss boiled as I listened to them. Since abandoning any principles they may have had in a shallow attempt to be given political power at the last election, their popularity has dwindled. They have lost a massive part of the electorate's confidence and have also lost a third of their paid-up membership. The delegates being interviewed this morning made no secret of their current policies; namely to rubbish the two main political parties. This would leave neither of them capable of ever again being in a position to form a majority government. Therefore leaving Dribbling Democraps in perpetual power in various coalition governments with the political partners of their choice.
I might not like what the Con-Servatives stand for, or Labour come to that (!) but at least they both have the courage to have policies on which they will be judged. The Dribbling Democraps are rather making a mockery of the entire so-called democratic system. Given a hung parliament, the leader of a minority party will get to decide with whom he want to chum up, and consequently who governs the nation.

Once at work I did my bit, and then came home. I popped into Morrisons on the way back for petrol. And sweeties. As I drove home the pundits on the radio were discussing what was wrong with the National Health Service. As always they spouted fine-sounding platitudes whilst skirting round the core problem the NHS faces. Which is... let me use an analogy. Imagine giving your credit card and PIN to me, pointing me in the direction of the pub, patting me on the head, then when the credit card bill comes in pretending to be surprised at where all the money has gone.
Free healthcare for all is expensive, The NHS needs to either decide or be told what it can treat and what it cannot. And (for all that it sounds heartless) it needs to have a list of things it will not treat. I won't go into specific examples; I've done that before. We can all think of services which the NHS should not be offering.
And it needs less change. Not more. There has been too many shake-ups in the NHS over the course of its history; very few for anything than other than to pander to the current political fashion.
But knocking the NHS is always a good way to make content for news and current affairs radio programs...