30 December 2015 (Wednesday) - A Booze-Up

I finally saw red with my little dog last night. After an hour of him trying to push me out of the pet I forcibly relocated him to his basket. I then slept like a log only to have him sulking at brekkie time.

Over brekkie I suddenly found myself to be "Mr Popular" on social media. On one of the many groups I follow someone had posted one of those links in which there is a You-Tube video embedded into a ton of adverts. I suggested they might get a lot more hits if they didn't post the spamming websites. For once people seemed to agree with me; it was nice not being in a minority of one (if only for a few moments).
Spoilers for the new Star Wars film abounded on-line too. Much as it would have been nice to have seen the film *without* knowing what is going to happen, I'm not really that fussed. Mind you I can remember an incident some time ago when someone who was mouthing off about the latest Harry Potter film the day after it came out. I deliberately went to the bookshop for the midnight release of the next Harry Potter book and stayed up all night. Next morning at 8am I told him *ALL* about it. I shall go see the next Star Wars film on the very first showing after its release. I have a list of people I shall go visit immediately afterwards.
There were also quite a few tributes to Lemmy from Motorhead (who died recently) to be found on Facebook. It never fails to amaze me how no one is ever appreciated in life, but once dead the tributes flow like water.

I then took the dogs for a walk. "Furry Face TM" was raring to go; Sid ran and hid by the sofa and had to be forced into his harness. We went for a rather shortened walk; today I realised something. I like going for walks with my dog, but with Sid along the walk becomes a chore. He doesn't walk, he plods. When off the lead he trails behind. When on the lead he has to be (almost) dragged.

Jimbo arrived and we went to the Gorge for a spot of brekkie. You can't go wrong with a fry-up. And once fryed-up we wandered down to the railway station where we met up with Steve Sarah and Jason. WIth tickets bought we took the train to Hastings and scoffed home made mince pies as we went.
After a short walk we were at an old favourite; the FILO. With six of their own ales on the hand pumps we were settled for the afternoon. My old mate Kev came to find us, and the time flew by. The afternoon was something of a haze, and all too soon it was time to go home. Pausing only briefly for a pint of the Christmas Ale in the George and a spot of McDinner we were soon snoring on the train home.

It was a shame it was raining on the walk home, but you can't have everything. Once home I posted some photos on-line.
I shall have a headache in the morning...

29 December 2015 (Tuesday) - Fungus the Bogeyman

Over brekkie I read the sad news that Lemmy from Motorhead had died. Having been diagnosed with cancer on Boxing Day he died soon after.
This sparked a few memories for me. I first heard his music in the late 70s when a friend was playing it in his bedroom. At that particular moment I was in my bedroom a quarter of a mile away. Over the next day or so I subesquently heard it in several places nearby. Having been told that Motorhead's gimmick was "LOUD!", for a day or so my pal Philip Crosby used to hang the speakers of his record player out of his bedroom window and broadcast Motorhead's albums to much of the Ore area of Hastings until the police stopped him from doing so. My pal Phil honestly thought he was providing a public service by playing Motorhead so loud that it really could be heard clearly at distances of up to a mile, and he was devastated to find that no one (other than him) wanted to hear his noise. He was far more upset to find that he was regarded as a nuisance than he ever was by the noise abatement orders.
And now forty years later there are still so many live bands following Motorhead's (and Phil's) example.I know I am in a very small minority, but ever since that episode I've felt that Lemmy and Motorhead did a lot of damage to the live music scene. No matter how loud you turn it up, crap music remains crap music.

I farted around for most of the morning; killing time until "er indoors TM" got up. I looked at the household accounts (ouch!) and had a root through my letter rack. I’ve not done that for a while.
There was a *really* good Christmas card from the RNIB, and another from SightSavers. Whilst I realise they get these things done in bulk and therefore cheaply I can’t help but feel I’d rather they spend the money I give them on something other than sending me a Christmas card. There was also a card from the garage with a voucher offering me fifteen quid off of my next service. Now *they* can carry on sending me Christmas cards.
I then looked for geo-puzzles in the general vicinity of the Imperial War Museum. There was only one; I solved it just as "er indoors TM" got up and announced she was off out with her mates.

Being at something of a loose end I took the dogs for a walk (posting my brother's birthday card as we went). Apart from Sid rolling in something disgusting the walk passed off mostly without excitement.
Mind you I was amazed at the traffic queueing to get into the nearby outlet centre. All the roads were jammed solid with a queue of cars several hundred yards long waiting to get into the (full) overflow car park.

Once home I checked the booking with the pub for the geo-event I'm hosting on Friday, and I got a personalised email from geo-HQ in Seattle thanking me for putting on the thing. That was nice of them. They've asked if I can send them some photos from the day. I can do that; I take photos from time to time.

I then had a rummage in the fridge and curried up pretty much all the leftovers that I could find. That would save "er indoors TM" cooking if and when she gets home. I have this theory that if I cook dinner every so often she'll realise it is better if she does all the cooking.
As the curry simmered I two loads of washing, ran the dishwasher and ran round with the Hoover before settling down to watch one of my Christmas presents. You can't beat the Three Stooges.

We eventually scoffed the curry whilst watching SkyTV's "Fungus the Bogeyman". Both were rather good...

28 December 2015 (Monday) - Mum's Birthday

After a surprisingly good kip I had a look-see at the Internet over brekkie. Yesterday we decided not to go to Imber in Wiltshire. There's no denying that distance was an issue in our deciding not to go, but looking at all the photos on-line had we known that so many friends were going, we may well have made the effort. Oh well... I see the place is open again at Easter. Maybe then?
I also saw one or two snippets about the latest Star Wars film before I could look away. I can't pretend to be a fan of the genre, but I was vaguely thinking about a trip to the cinema at some point over the next few days. I don't need to go now. It is ironic how those who were so vocal about spoilers not being given are now so keen to give them themselves.
I then drove round to collect "My Boy TM" and his crew to drive down to Icklesham. The tribe was gathering for a meal to celebrate my mum's eigthieth birthday. I'd booked a table at the Queen's Head in Icklesham because it was equally inconvenient for everyone and because I have had good experiences there in the past.
Fourteen of us (and the littlun) sat down for a rather good dinner. I'd certainly go back there. And Mum seemed to enjoy herself which was the main thing.

The Hastings contingent went back to Hastings. We stopped off in Rye on our way home for a little look-see. We mooched the shops then had hot chocolate. Very nice. Once home we ran the dogs round to the park, then the fruits of our loins went their various ways.

I had a phone call about the episode I had in Morrisons a couple of weeks ago. They told me that due to confidentiality issues they couldn't tell me what action they had taken against the member of staff who refused to sell me more than six bags of sweets. And they hoped I had had a good Christmas. And then emailed me to ask my opinion of how the phone call went.

I then slobbed in front of the telly for much of the rest of the day. I was feeling rather tired after today's family do...

27 December 2015 (Sunday) - Ashes Wood

I was again up and watching telly at 3am before going back to bed for a bit. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing really. I got up properly just after 8am and had a quick look-see on line. A new geocache had gone live only a mile down the road. I *could* have gone chasing after it but I didn't. It will come in handy for filling up this calendar challenge thingy.

We had a spot of brekkie and put the leads on the dogs. Fudge was leaping about only too ready to go out; Sid actually went and hid; he did *not* want to go. But he had no choice, and soon we were driving down to Battle in Sussex.
Today's geo-walk was all a little bit last minute. We had pondered on where to go; even pondering on not going out at all. We had vaguely planned on going to the geo-event in Imber some one hundred and thirty miles away, but didn't fancy going on our own. It was rather late last night that we decided to have a mooch round Ashes Wood in Netherfield. We put out an invite but most people had made other plans (as you would expect). And overnight half of those who were coming dropped out. But we went ahead anyway, and had a really good stomp around the mud with our friends Gordon, Stuart and Beth and pups Norton and Gilly. We found all of the dozen geocaches in the woods, and saw some rather beautiful scenery as we walked. Although we didn't see any deer we found deer tracks. It was odd that the dogs were all doing their own thing until such time as we found the deer tracks. It was then that the dogs wanted to tank through the tracks and destroy them.

The walk was billed as one of three kilometres; I guessed that would take us about an hour and a half; what with all the mud it took us two hours. Once back at the cars we said our goodbyes. I had formulated a plan to spend the afternoon walking round Battle itself hunting down elusive sandwich boxes but instead we decided to drive home picking up a cache or two as we went.
We took a rather circuitous route (i.e. went the wrong way) home via Heathfield picking up ten extra caches as we went including one I've suggested should be archived. I didn't really want to post a "Needs Archiving" log.... it wason a good hide near a rather odd obelisk. If not for geocaching I've never have known this object was there.
According to his profile the chap who hid the thing lives a hundred miles away and hasn't logged into geocaching dot com for two and a half years. When I found it today the cache itself was running with water. The contents were mouldy and stank. There are already thirteen "Needs Maintenance" logs on that cache.
This *really* doesn't give a good impression for the hobby. Perhaps with it gone someone closer might be able to replace it?

As I usually do I took a few photos whilst we were out. Once we got home (and got the mud hosed off of the dogs) I put them on-line, and as the dogs snored we slobbed in front of the telly for a while. "er indoors TM" went off to the bowling Chrimbo do, and (for want of a better offer) I sat with the dogs and watched more telly.

26 December 2015 (Saturday) - Boxing Day

Over the summer we had our annual garden party; I worked the night shift before that. During the year we had two good works booze ups the nights before which I'd done night shifts. And I did the same yesterday.
A night shift before a party seems to be becoming something of a tradition for me.
But despite lack of sleep and copious amounts of food and drink I was still wide awake and watching Alan Partridge on the telly at 3am. This time it was not so much insomnia as guts ache from having eaten *far* too much.

I went back to bed and despite Sid's snoring I got off to sleep; finally waking shortly after 9am. I came downstairs fully expecting to have to sort out the carnage of yesterday only to find it had all been sorted.
"er indoors TM" has done a rather good job of Christmas. I quite enjoyed yesterday; in years gone by Christmas has always been done in Hastings. And much as I do like seening family and friends, historically Christmas has always been something of a road trip for us.
It was good having the day at home for a change.

As the rest of the family snored I had a look on Facebook. For all that over the last few days everyone of my acquaintace seemed to be complaining about not feeling Christmassy it looked as though most people had a good time yesterday.

"Daddies Little Angel TM" called round with a pile of laundry for us to do, and I then spent a few minutes messing with my Chrimbo pressie. "er indoors TM" got me a SmartWatch. It took a little farting around to get it commected to my phone and I've got a lot to learn about it but it seems to be a good toy.

We then took "Furry Face TM" round the park for a walk; picking up a few Munzees as we went. The plan was to come home via the pet shop to get some dog food, but they were closed today.
Once home we started watching all the drivel that the SkyPlus box had recorded for us yesterday until father-in-law came to visit for a bit.

We then carried on staring at the telly. The Christmas "Doctor Who" was something of a disappointment. The Christmas "Downton Abbey" was good. The Christmas "Gogglebox" was just rubbish.

Many people make a point of doing something on Boxing Day. We do lots most days; having a lazy day was a really good change...

25 December 2015 (Friday) - Christmas

Christmas Eve is an odd night at work. Some years it can be busy, other years quiet. But there is no denying that I was expecting the overnight radio to have been somewhat more festive than it was. With documentaries about the physicist Faraday and the New Horizons probe to Pluto and articles about the German economy and adoption it didn't seem at all Christmassy.

And so I set off homewards. What with a few days leave having been booked, Bank Holidays, scheduled biopsies and the vagaries of my shifts I've only got three working days over the next two weeks.
As I drove home I listened to Nicholas Parsosns doing a festive "Just a Minute" on the radio. That started getting me in the Christmas mood.

I arrived home feeling rather festive; the house smelled of roasting Christmas dinner. But as well as feeling festive I felt tired so I went to bed until mid day.
I got up and found "Daddies Little Angel TM" and her crew had arrived. And it wasn't long before the "My Boy TM" posse were here either. Pausing only briefly to surgically deal with Cheryl's blister we were soon in full Christmas flow. Pressies were dished out. I was pleasantly surprised with the barrel of stout that I'd brewed. seven of us (and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM") sat down for Christmas dinner. "er indoors TM" had excelled herself; we had a really good scoff.
Feeling pleasently bloated I took Lacey to the shop over the road for loads of squirty cream and we had a quick game of "Pie Face" before I sat down on the sofa to rest my eyes.

I woke to find that James and Emily had arrived and we scoffed meat and pickles whilst playing "Who's in the Bag"; a rather good game which does pre-suppose you have heard of a lot of celebrities and historical figures.
By the time the evening came the crowds had thinned somewhat. I got out the port and cheese and we sat laughing and putting the world to rights with Brian and Rachel.

Having only had three hours sleep followed by a gallon of home brew and far too much port I finally crawled into my pit shortly after midnight.
Not a bad Christmas really... Same time next year?

24 December 2015 (Thursday) - Christmas Eve

As I did the night shift last night I listened to the radio. There was a rather interesting program which started off with a sci-fi theme. Given that you are on a spaceship that has crashed on an alien planet, would you eat an alien?
There are a lot of things I do eat, a lot I would eat if I had to, and a lot that I say I wouldn't but probably would if needs must. The program started along these lines, but I must admit that I was rather disappointed when the thing descended into thinly veiled pro-vegetarian propaganda. The implication was made that eating a food animal was akin to eating a family member.
If someone chooses to be a vegetarian then that is their choice. Why do so many feel they should evangelise about the matter?

I also heard something which made me sit up and take notice. In my previous workplace I used to look after the trainees. Over the years I saw over twenty of them from employment to qualification. They were (and still are) all a decent bunch. One in particular was an amiable gentle girl and I was pleased to hear of her getting promotion to a senior position a few years ago. I kept in touch with her (on and off) via Facebook.
A few weeks ago she was sacked for bullying other staff. Bullying? I can't believe that of her. I spoke with her and it would seem she'd fallen foul of trumped up charges. And now (completely out of the blue) her partner has collapsed and is in hospital for the foreseeable future.
How quickly life can change.

With work done I came home. Sid was snoring but "Furry Face TM" was itching for his walk. I left Sid (and "er indoors TM") snoring and took my dog round to the park and back. As we walked we met a dog-walking acquaintance. We chatted as we walked while my dog spent the entire time trying to hump his dog. I wish he wouldn't do that.

I came home; had shower, shave, brekkie and took myself off to bed for the day. I slept like a log until mid afternoon when I woke to an empty house. "er indoors TM" had gone out somewhere with the dogs. The house seemed empty without them.

And so I'm off to work again. There are those who would grumble about having to work on the night of Christmas Eve. I really don't mind. When I first took up this line of work thirty four years ago I knew that this would be the way of things. I wonder what the night will hold. Some of my quietest times and busiest times at work have been working alone on Christmas shifts.
When you are drinking yourselves silly over the Christmas period spare a thought for the likes of me. And the physiotherapists, radiographers, dieticians, biomedical scientists, audiologists, speech therapists, cleaners, cooks, podiatrists, ODAs, orthoptists, psychologists, prosthetists and everyone else?
It's not just doctors and nurses who work round the clock in hospitals...

23 December 2015 (Wednesday) - Before The Night Shift

I found myself wide awake in the night so got up and spent half an hour watching the 4am "South Park" on the Comedy Central channel. Getting up and watching telly seemed to work; I went back to bed and slept through til 8.30am.
Sid spent the night on the bedroom floor for the second night, and for the second night there were no turds. Perhaps it is an attention-seeking thing?

Over brekkie I struggled with a geo-puzzle. I was pretty sure I had the right idea in that my calculations put the thing in the UK. However I was pretty sure it should be somewhere in the general area of the Kent-Sussex border but I calculated it to be miles away from there. So I utilised a "non-standard" way of solving the puzzzle; I asked for help.
I also read an article which made me sigh. A space rock thingy flew past the Earth last night. This was presented as news. It really does happen all the time. Go outdoors on any clear dark night and look up. after a few minutes you will probably see a shooting star. You will see several in an hour. After a while they will seem commonplace to you. These are all from space rocks burning up in the atmosphere. These aren't news. But it amazes me that the general public really do see them as news.

We put the leads on the dogs and took them for a walk. Last night I collected "er indoors TM" from the Spearpoint and we left her car there. Today we walked back to collect it. Yesterday's dog walk was cut short because of the terrible weather; it was glorious today. The weather was sunny and mild. Sid rolled in fox poo; Fudge tried to hump him. I even took a few photos as we walked.

It took an hour and a half to get to the Spearpoint; getting home was hard work. The roads were *really* busy. Everyone seemed to be off for the Christmas break. We got home just as the delivery chap was arriving with a consignment of candles; that was well-timed.

Pausing only briefly to hose the fox poo off of Sid we had a spot of cheese on toast for lunch. I had an email - a message about that troublesome geo-puzzle from the chap who'd set the puzzle. I was thinking along the right lines but hadn't allowed for zeros. i have now, and in the New Year I shall go find this one.

Feeling rather smug I took myself off to bed for the afternoon. After two hours I was wide awake. If only we could sleep for extended periods at times when it was convenient to do so...

I'm off to the night shift now....

22 December 2015 (Tuesday) - Washing Machine Fun

What with one thing and another last night was the last night that both "er indoors TM" and I would be home before Christmas. So we had a rather good dinner and a bottle of wine. And as it is nearly Christmas I opened a bottle of port.
I was therefore rather amazed to be wide awake at 1.30am this morning. I got up and watched a couple of episodes of South Park before going back to bed where I dozed fitfully until I could resist the call of the lavatory no more. After that I went back to bed again and this time slept like a log for an hour until "er indoors TM" "quietly" got dressed.

I got up, fed the dogs, fed "Daddies Little Angel TM"'s laundry into the washing machine and fed myself. Over brekkie I had a look-see on-line and I must admit I had a little gloat at the tribulations facing Theranos. For those of my loyal readers who are unaware of the company, Theranos are a recently launched company who are trying to undercut the blood testing market by offering really cheap blood tests.
However the established blood testing community seem to favour using devices which give accurate and repeatable results. We tend not to use machines which seem to rely on random number generators (rather than reliable science) to produce results.
But enough of work; today is a rota-ed day off.

I then took the dogs for a walk. Fudge was raring to go; Sid wasn't interested. But he came anyway. Apart from Sid's harness completely failing half way round, the walk passed off without event. We might have gone further than we did, but the rain was persistant so we cut our walk short and came home.

I had a look at the astro club's accounts, confirmed the pub booking for next Monday and then wandered up into town. I had some money to pay into the astro club's account. I came home via the milk shake shop (which was actually open for once). I was hoping for a Christmas pudding milkshake; I had to settle for a curlywurly one.

I came home; emptied the washing machine and flooded the kitchen. The machine hadn't spun off the excess water. Oh how I laughed. Using six towels I managed to soak up all the water. I had an idea that the pump might have blocked; the engineer once showed me how to sort that. So I opened the pump and flooded the kitchen again. Pausing only briefly to go get more towels I opened the inspection hatch and shone a torch in I could see the problem. There were two dog poo bags stuck in the trap. So I hoiked them out and had another look. There was a wodge of elastic hair bands wrapped around the pump. In theory if I could get a crochet hook into the tangle I could pull it forward, cut the elastic with a Stanley knife and all would be sexy.
In practice I had no crochet hook. At the suggestion of "er indoors TM" I emptied the kitchen's "man drawer" and the sewing basket to find one, but to no avail. I even asked the nice lady next door but she didn't have one. After an hour's struggling and lacerating of fingers I finally managed to get the tangle off of the rotors by use of a tent peg and a Stanley knife. There wasn't *that* much blood really.

I had this plan that by 3pm "Daddies Little Angel TM"s laundy basket would be empty and i would be looking to take it all back to her dried and ironed. At 3pm only half of her stuff had gone into the washing machine (and was still wringing wet) *and* I had ten sodden towels to sort out.
However I did have a functional washing machine again. So I started washing again.

As the washing chugged I watched "Dad's Army"; my SkyPlus box had recorded the feature film for me to watch. That was kind of it. As I watched I tidied out the kitchen's "man drawer"; I'd made a bit of a mess of it earlier. And (to be honest) there was a *lot* of rubbish in it. I threw out about half of what was in the thing but it still looks full.
Interestingly I found three shoe horns in there. I've been searching shops high and low for the last month trying to get a shoe horn and there were three in my kitchen all along.

Cheryl came round to deliver the sprouts and parsnips for Friday, the dogs had their tea and I watched another film. "Community" is a rather odd horror film about a rather foxy film-maker who falls foul of a transvestite drug-dealing psychopath. If nothing else it passed a couple of hours whilst I was waiting for a message from "er indoors TM". She was on her works booze-up today. I collected her just before 8pm expecting the worst.
Bearing in mind the state she's come home in from previous works events my fears were unfounded.

21 December 2015 (Monday) - St Michaels

I must have been tired last night. I slept for over six hours, got up for a tiddle, and went back to bed for another three hours. I was eventually woken by "er indoors TM" "quietly" getting ready for work.
When I'm first one to leave the house my stealth ninja skills are second to none. When she's first one to go it is as though she is teaching tap dancing to a herd of elephants.

I got up just before 8.30am; something of a lie-in. The nephew who provoked yesterdays rant was still pontificating on Facebook. Today he is wondering about the meaning of life.
I've calmed down a little, but (it's an old man thing) it annoys me that one of the major failures of human beings is that we seem to be unable to learn from the mistakes of others.
Eventually he will wise up to the fact that he's wasted so many years, will stop dye-ing his hair silly colours, have his ear surgically reconstructed and get a job. And he will then rant about others doing what he is doing now. Why can't he save a lot of time by learning from how others have simularly cocked up in the past?
Probably for the same reasons that I dont...

I fed the dogs then had a look at the monthly accounts. They've been worse but bearing in mind it is Christmas I could do with them being a whole lot better.
I then settled Sid down and took Fudge for a walk. Ideally I would have liked to have taken Sid, but (in all honesty) he is something of a "special blossom". He tends to look at the mud in the same way that pink girlies do. He had a good walk yesterday. He wouldn't have liked what we had planned so we settled him into his basket.
Pausing only briefly to collect the required information for a geo-puzzle I soon was at the agreed meeting place. Seven of us (and my dog) set off for a little walk around St Michaels. As geo-walks go it wasn't the longest, but it kept us out of mischief for a couple of hours. The mud was quite thick in places; several of the fields had rather a lot of water on them. "Furry Face TM" would have found stilts very useful. We were told to get a move on by the horsey-people; we told the horsey-people about not putting a fence on a public right of way. Cliff nearly (but not quite) fell in a pond; I had mud all the way up to those parts that mud should not go.
It was a really good walk; the forecast rain did come a couple of hours earlier than expected but we didn't get *too* wet.
We set out in search of twelve geo-targets. We found them all. That was something of a result. Especially bearing in mind that today was a calendar day.

We got back to the car. I looked at my pristine car which I had valeted only three days ago. I looked at the mud dripping from my dog. Fortunately I had an old towel he could sit on. We came home and my first reaction was that I was pleased taht Sid was asleep. He'd clearly not missed us. Then I saw the turd on the carpet and the tiddle stain on "Daddies Little Angel TM"'s bag of stuff. I'd taken him into the garden before we went out; he did "stuff" then. We were only gone for three hours!
My dog saw wad had been done and immediately his ears and tail dropped. He knew it was wrong. Sid looked up at me, then went back to sleep.

I gave "Furry Face TM" a bath; quite a bit of mud came off. I uploaded the photos of our walk, and a video too. And then I had a notification from LinkedIn. Alan Dias had shared an article. If any of my loyal readers know who Alan Dias is, please don't hesitate to share this knowledge.

"er indoors TM" got home and we set off to Asda to get the scran for Christmas Day. The stuff for one day came to over one hundred and ten quid. To think that some days I get by on a couple of peanut butter sandwiches, a bit of toast and a bag of crisps.
Once home I ran "Furry Face TM" round the block whilst "er indoors TM" took Sid off to see his Mummy. "Daddies Little Angel TM" is missing Sid. The sooner she gets a permanent address the better for everyone...

20 December 2015 (Sunday) - Hippies

I got up at 2am and chased both dogs into the garden whether they liked it or not. (As a matter of fact one did and one didn't) I was therefore not impressed to get up at 6am to find a turd waiting for me just outside the bathroom door. I suspect that was from the dog that didn't like it at 2am.

I had a spot of brekkie and had a look on-line. My piss boiled over Facebook... Something which annoys me is how history repeats itself.
About fifty years ago hippies sprang up and became somewhat notorious for slobbing about whilst dressed stupidly, stoned out of their tiny minds blathering platitudes about peace and love whilst (for many) making themselves patently unemployable. Presumably with this in mind, my nephew has modelled himself on Coco the Clown and spends much of his time stoned out of his tiny mind blathering platitudes about peace and love all over Facebook... having dyed his hair bright green and pierced his right ear with a lump of plastic so large as to make him instantly undesirable to any potential employer. (I've nagged him about this so many times!)

I agree entirely that the world *would* be a better place if everyone stopped fighting and killing and hating each other. However the hippie philosophy doesn't seem to offer a practical alternative.
I can't help but think that if those who are so vocally advocating slobbing about stoned out of their tiny minds (whilst blathering platitudes about peace and love all over Facebook) actually paid their way (and didn't expect subsidies from my taxes) then the world might actually be a better place.
Have you ever noticed that you rarely see hippies going to work at all; let alone before 7am on a Sunday morning?

I set off to work. It was dark when I left home; after all in two days time it is the shortest day of the year. Mind you it was warm; according to my car's dashboard it was eleven degrees at 6.45am. I've only had to scrape ice off of my car once this year.

As I walked to my car I met a chap walking toward the town. I say "walking" - he was staggering all over the pavement taking three or four steps from side to side for every step forward. He was wearing a (rather crumpled) fine suit, but his tie was knotted under his right ear, he had tinsel round his neck and a carnation behind his right ear. He attempted to exchange pleasentries with me, but speech was far beyond him.
He seemed happy. Perhaps he was a posh hippy?

As I drove to work I listened to the radio. In stark contrast to my nephew's wittering about love and peace, the Prime Minister is to review the use of guns by British police.
It transpires that British police are rather reticent to use firearms because fears of lengthy investigations, public inquiries and even prosecutions following a shooting deter police form wanting to take pot shots.
There is no easy answer. On the one hand the police should be able to shoot gun-wielding terrorists dead on the spot without a second thought. On the other hand in such situations it is not clear until after the event what was actually going on.
I'm glad I don't have to make such decisions. It is much easier to pontificate from a distance.
I got to work just as dawn was breaking and had another busy day.

Twelve and a half hours later I came home again.
You don't see many hippies working twelve and a half hour shifts on Sundays do you?

(I'm going to have a little lie down now until my blood pressure subsides)

19 December 2015 (Saturday) - Nuts

I got up five minutes before the alarm was due to do its thing and spent a couple of minutes picking up the turds that Sid had peeled out overnight. What a delightful creature he is...
Over brekkie I had a look-see on-line. Little had changed really. It rarely does. As I scoffed my brekkie I watched a particularly dire episode of "George and Mildred" in which a hen-pecked George was hiding in the pub. Much as I like going to the pub myself, it never fails to amaze me how large a part of life pubs play on the telly. I wish I could afford to go drinking as much as George Roper did.

And so to work. I do like my shift system because it gives me a lot of time off. However the flip side is days like today when I have to go in to work on a Saturday and do a twelve hour shift. But on reflection I prefer this way of working to a nine-to-five arrangement.

As I drove I was reminded of yesterday's valet-ing which the car had; both the gear stick and the steering wheel were rather slipperier than usual. And (as it does) the radio was churning out its own brand of drivel. There was an interview with a Kentish nut farmer who wasn't happy about the presenter's implication that people only buy his nuts as an ornament for Christmas then throw them away uneaten. He seemed surprised, shocked and offended by this.
I'm sorry if the farmer wasn't happy, but that's what we do every year. And so does everyone else. Don't they?

Bearing in mind how the new Star Wars film is in the news, the pundits were talking about how future wars will be fought using space based technology. I would have thought that shooting down communication satellites would be an obvious way to cripple an enemy, but the pundits seemed surprised at just how easy the entire global communication infrastructure could be knackered. Are these people *really* that stupid?

Despite the ding-dong I had with them earlier in the week I stopped off at Morrisons to get some supplies before work. Much as they might boil my piss, they have one over-riding advantage when compared to other supermarkets; they are on my way to work.
Admittedly I drive past Asda, but I drive past Asda (usually) before 7am, and they don't open until 7am. Visiting any other supermarket means a rather serious diversion.
I got there; I did my shopping. All rather uneventful when compared to my last visit.

I got to work, and had a very busy day. Ideally I would have gone on from work to the work's Christmas do. But not leaving work till gone 8pm meant I would be rather late. And a late night isn't good before an early start.
I've got to do all this again tomorrow you know..

18 December 2015 (Friday) - This n That

Apparently "er indoors TM" chivvied the dogs back downstairs to their baskets four times last night. I didn't hear any of it; I slept like a log last night. I suspect the rather good steak dinner had something to do with it. Having said that I woke this morning with something of a stomach ache.

Over brekkie I checked out the Internet. Christmas and Star Wars seemed to be being bandied about in equal proportion, and the teachers of my aquiantance were crowing that today was their last day at work. Sometimes teachers wind me up *just* a little bit. They seem to be *very* vocal in telling the world about their extended holidays (something like thirteen weeks?) and then get all upset when the general public doesn't respect the fact that their jobs are very demanding and they do a *lot* of preparation in their own time.
All I can say on the matter is that the average teacher seems to be breaking up for Christmas sometime during the afternoon today; I break up for Christmas at 8.15 am on Christmas morning (and will probably sleep for much of the day).

I had an email (well sixty of the things) telling me that the geo-series I put out yesterday had gone live. There would seem not to have been any problems with the series; I was pleased about that. Whilst anyone can go find them whenever they like (and some already have), I'm hoping one or two people might like to come out for a walk in their general direction with me on New Year's Day. I've set it all up as a Facebook event which anyone can join.

"er indoors TM" wanted to know if any of her best tops were in the ironing basket. I wish she wouldn't ask things like that - how am I supposed to know a "best" top from any other sort. We have rather different criteria as to what constitures a "best top" (woof!) I just iron them - I don't grade them. She then spent five minutes telling me how stupid I was.... it turns out she wanted a *vest* top.
I know what those are.

I then put the leads on the dogs and we walked round to the park where we met "Daddies Little Angel TM" and Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM". Littlun beamed when he saw us and we had a good walk around the park.
Once home I then drove down to the marsh - today was a geo-calendar day. I made rather hard work of finding a film pot under a rock down there. Then (as a Christmas treat) I got the car valeted. It hadn't been done for some time. It was *rather* grubby but is amazingly clean now.
I came home to find "Daddies Little Angel TM" still in residence. She was waiting delivery of a replacement phone. "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" was contentedly wreaking destruction on our living room. As he pulled something electical I told him off. He sobbed for fifteen minutes; Granddads aren't supposed to do telling off.

Having seen off most of the contents of the living room "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" went round to wreak havoc at Brian and Rachel's whilst I went to see the dental hygenist. She had a good rummage about inside my cake muncher, and I then spent a couple of hours watching Clint Eastwood escaping from Alcatraz on the telly whilst doing the ironing. I'd not done that for some time. (Ironing *and* watching Clint Eastwood)

"er indoors TM" eventually came home armed with fish 'n' chips (or chips fish-n as "My Boy TM" used to call it) and we spent the evening catching up with stuff recorded onto the SkyPlus box. "er indoors TM" had had a better offer for the evening that she had turned down... she could have gone Ingressing mob-handed with the blues but she had thought better of the idea.
I wonder if it was my griping that it was exactly this sort of thing that made me pack up the whole Ingressing game that changed her mind... or perhaps it was just anything for a quiet life...?