31 March 2016 (Thursday) - Geo-Maintenance

Over brekkie I read something on the Internet which made me think. Salford City Council have banned people from swearing in parts of the city. There is an on the spot fine of a hundred quid for the foul-mouthed. On the one hand it is a flagrant breach of human rights. On the other hand I swear too much mysself and am getting rather sick of the torrents of profanities which seem to surround me. There is a particular f..! person f..! whose f..! every f..! other f..! is f..! the f..! F-f..! word. Literally f..!every f..! second f..! word f..! he f..! says f..! is f..! the f..! F-f..! word. I must admit I don't like it very much. Perhaps this might curb his excesses. Perhaps not.

There was then a discussion on Facebok about which was the better of two local gastro-pubs. Both seem to have peeople queueing up to get in. One seems to rely on the reputation garnered from the fact a national celebrity drinks in their bar. The other does very good food but vastly over-priced. Am I wrong to seriously prefer McDonalds over both of them?

I popped the lead onto my dog and we went for a walk. Being on a rostered day off I had time to myself and so I decided to do some geo-maintenance. For all that I go hunting down Tupperware as a hobby, it doesn’t hide itself. People have to hide the caches. And having hidden them, the hider is then responsible for the upkeep of the box… for all that you can upkeep a plastic box hidden under a rock.
Some people maintain their caches well; others not at all. Some check on them on a weekly (or even daily) basis. Some make a point of never checking at all. I suppose I am somewhat lax in my geo-maintenance. I honestly don’t think it is unreasonable to expect people hunting the boxes to do any required maintenance as they walk round. Like I do. But that’s just me…
Over the Christmas holidays I put out a load of caches round Great Chart. I’d had reports that several of the caches needed a little TLC so today I went to have a look-see. Some had gone missing as the result of hedge cutting and floods. And some were perfectly fine. But it was as well that I walked round. Many of the ones that were fine wouldn’t have been so for long. For a geocache to work it neds to be somewhat concealed; not sitting out in the open, bold as brass, visible from twenty yards away.
But, as I always say, the whole point of this geo-lark is to have a decent guided walk. And we had a good walk. It was a tad muddy in places. Fudge didn’t *actually* have to swim but it came close. As we walked we met friendly horses and saw blue tits and heard the woodpeckers. We walked for just under two hours; it is an ideal walk… but it will be better when it dries out a little.
We came home and a certain Patagonian Tripe-Hound had a bath. I then watched last night’s “Extant” over a spot of lunch. The show is clearly building up to next week’s grand finale. Mush as I’ve liked it I shall be glad when it is all over; it is becoming clear that the plot wasn’t really thought through.
I then sparked up the PC and put up the photos I took whilst we walked then did the monthly accounts. I had something of an annual tally-up. Every month I put a ton of cash into what I call the “Household Account”. It is from this account that I pay all the monthly household bills (council tax, gas, leccie, water, internet etc). I put a little more into the account every month than I need to; the idea being that should any unforeseen emergencies arise then I have some emergency cash. This comes in handy when (for example) the garden fence collapses. Being the end of the financial year I thought I’d see how the account had fared over the year. There is fifty quid less in the account than there was a year ago. Fifty quid over the year… that’s not bad.
Similarly I put money aside to pay for car insurance, road tax and car services. At the end of the financial year this account was actually twelve quid up on what it was a year ago. I was rather pleased about that.

I thought about mowing the lawn and hacking back next door's clematis and generally doing gardening. But I thought better of the idea. Instead I set the washing machine loose on my smalls and watched something I'd recorded onto the SkyPlus box. "God Bless America" was a rather odd film in which a middle-aged man and a young girl go off across America killing anyone they don't like. Whilst I could seriously identify with the lead character the film certainly made me appreciate the UK's policy of not letting the likes of me have a gun.

I then spent a littlle while looking at the map making vague plans in the West Country until "er indoors TM" came home. She boiled up a rather good bit of scran, then as we devoured it we watched Jack Black in "School of Rock". Not too shabby at all....

30 March 2016 (Wednesday) - A Retirement

In a change to the usual routine I took "Furry Face TM" for his walk before brekkie. We got up and went straight out. It was a tad chilly. We went round the park; we came home again. For once absolutely nothing out of the ordinary happened. It was a bit dull really.

We came home. I had my morning ablutions then we had brekkie. As I scoffed toast I watched the most recent episode of "Extant". I hear the show is not getting a third season; you know the thing is going downhill when the main character gets her kit off for a smut scene.
As I watched the phone rang. Someone claiming to be called David had phoned from Windows technical support becasue "my windows computer am got the virus". I wasted ten minutes of his time before telling him (quite literally) to f... off. This scam was quite imaginative and amusing when it first came out but they still keep trying it on after all these years.

I then had a letter from councillor Jenny Webb inviting me to a coffee morning next week. I did a little Googling and found that she is the local councillor. One lives and learns. I may well go drink her coffee and give her a hard time over local issues. Or I may not.

I emptied the dishwasher and promptly smashed a glass. I cleared up the carnage and set off to work. Once I remembered where I'd parked the car last night. As I drove to work "Women's Hour" was on the radio. I'm often less than complimentary about that program. I'm afraid it wound me up somewhat today. It had a feature on an international competition for violinists aged under twenty-two. They had one of the contestants on the show. Someone called Matild (*not* Matilda) from London came on and played the violin for five minutes. I can't deny she was far better than I could ever be (having played the instrument myself many years ago) but the sound of her music was shrill to the point of being painful.
There was then a frankly embarrassing interview with Matild in which the radio show's presenters effectively told her not to be ashamed of being a geek. I though they were rather rude to the poor girl.

I negotiated the traffic jams and got to work just as "Daddies Little Angel TM" phoned to lambast me for having the baby seat in my car. She needed it. Woops.

Work today was something not unlike the end of an era. Alistair retired. I've known Alistair for twenty years or so. Originally as a colleague but...
There are all sorts of maxims and platitudes about finding out who your friends are; I shall just say that I hope that none of my loyal readers ever have to find out who their real friends truly are.
I have done. It was not something I'd care to repeat. Those who know me well know that my life had something of a hiccup five years ago. It was no secret; it was rather obvious. The stress of the time made me lose a third of my body weight. At that time I found that many people who I thought were true friends were not. And several people who until that point had been rather peripheral in my life turned out to be wonderful people. Alistair was one such wonder. I won't go into detail about how he helped me, but I'll say that he went far out of his way to help me in ways that many other people I'd known longer and better (and thought would help me) did not.
I shall miss him.

29 March 2016 (Tuesday) - Stuff

I was rather tired last night and so went to bed earlier than usual and watched "Gotham" over brekkie this morning. Not watching it as it was broadcast last night meant it only took forty minutes to view as I could fast-forward through the adverts. This isn't news to me; I really should do it all the time.

I've often wondered exactly in which time period "Gotham" is set. Judging by the mobile phones the characters carry and the computer technology they use it is obviously not current-day, but sometime in the not-too-distant past. I'd say probably about ten to fifteen years ago.
I sat up and took notice at one point during the show; the action was taking place on February 21st; my birthday. It was mentioned that this was a Thursday. However this doesn't really help to date the show at all. February 21st was last on a Thursday in 1991, 2002, 2008 and 2013. 2002 sort of makes sense for the technology in the show. However if it was set in 1991 that would make Bruce Wayne thirty seven today; which would fit more with the Batman comics.
I spent ages working this out... does it matter?

I set off to work. As I drove there was talk about the ongoing nationwide closures of libraries and how many are only being kept open by the efforts of volunteers. I realise I'm in a minority here, but is this a good thing? Whilst these volunteers mean well, should public services *really* be provided by volunteers?
It is a short step from this to having the entire medical care of the nation provided by volunteer first aiders, and having schools replace paid teachers with keen amateurs. Imagine what savings any government of any political persuasion could make that way.
(And then look at what the individual political parties stand for..... but I've done that rant to death.)

There was also an article about the RSPCA in which it claimed they'd had a cat put down. Leaving aside the fact that the cat was perfectly healthy, the pundits made great show of the little-known fact that the RSPCA have absolutely no authority whatsoever to do anything at all. But the RSPCA have never let that stop them getting involved in whatever they like.
I remember ranting about this sort of thing at great length back in the days when I kept snakes (twenty years ago) and nothing seems to have changed in the meantime.

I stopped off in Morrisons for supplies. I got some fruit and also jam and marmalade. A pot of Morrisons marmalade costs twenty seven pence. A pot of the posh stuff costs exactly a quid more. It don't taste that different to me. Some people really do have money to burn.

I got to work and did my bit. During the day we had a visit from an ex-colleague. "Little Matthew" (who was bigger than the other Matthew) came back to see us today. He's currently at university in Bristol. He seemed happy; which is probably the best one can hope for from life.

I came home; as I parked I saw "My Boy TM"; him and Cheryl had taken Lacey and her boyfriend to Dreamland in Margate. Boyfriend !! She is nine years old !!
I then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. As we walked we met two girls not much older than Lacey. They wanted to stroke my dog. As they did so one of them told me "My mum says she wonders if I will have big tits". I muttered some feeble excuse and made a hasty getaway. As we came home past the horses so the heavens opened and we both got soaked.

We hadn't been home long when "er indoors TM" came home annd unleashed a case of whoop-ass on me for not getting margarine whilst I was in Morrisons this morning. No one told me we were short of the stuff.

WIth our usual Tuesday plans on hold for Easter we had a quiet evening in. We watched the latest Bake-Off then slept through this week's episode of The Aliens. It is rather dull....

28 March 2016 (Easter Monday) - Windy

I woke raring to go at 1am. I got back to sleep, but was then plagued with dreams of having to protect random small children from an authoritarian church in a post-apocalyptic nightmare. I eventually rescued the children by bashing the head of of the Archbishop of Canterbury against a brick wall (when no one was looking), and it was then that I woke up in a sweat.
I got up and over brekkie watched "Dad's Army" which the SkyPlus box had thoughtfully recorded for me. In today's episode the bank had been bombed. It made for gentle entertainment until it was time to go to work.

The weather forecast for this morning hadn't been good; as I drove the pundits were telling horror tales of wind speeds of over one hundred miles an hour in the Solent. I don't know how fast the wind was going here in Kent, but it was an effort to walk against it.
I got about half way to work and had to turn round. The A28 was blocked by a fallen tree. I was grateful for sat-nav (once I got a signal) to take me through the back roads, but I found myself taking a very circuitous route to work along some rather narrow country lanes. These lanes also being strewn with fallen branches and small trees.

I got to work and did my bit. To be honest what with the wind having been so strong today I would rather have worked today and have the time off when it suits me rather than having had the day off and being sat at home sulking about how bad the weather was.
As the day wore on so the wind abated somewhat and the day became brighter. Until the stroke of going home time when the heavens opened and I got soaked walking trom the door to my car. Ironically the rain had stopped by the time I got home.

I came home to find "er indoors TM" had been staging a tidy-up. At the sight of me "Furry Face TM" got very over-excited. He associates my coming home with walkies time. So not wishing to disappoint him we tookk him round the park.
It was still rather windy and some chap was playing with a power kite in the park. Personally I wouldn't play with one in such a strong wind, or quite so close to the trees. I could have interfered, but I thought it best for him to learn these lessons for himself.

Once home we haad somehing of a lazy evening in front of the telly. On the one hand I would have liked to have done more with the evening; on the other hand I've had a busy few days. A little slob-about is never a bad thing...

27 March 2016 (Sunday) - In A Hole

Yesterday evening loads of people who had been to the Easter event at Westernhanger Castle were posting on Facebook expressing their disappointment and dissatisfaction.
Overnight the organiser replied to some of the comments. It made for interesting reading. Having set themselves up as a business offering family entertainment (and having fallen flat on their faces) they had been posting some rather odd messages. Overnight they seem to have changed from being a business providing a service (set up like any other business) to being a struggling charity event to which we are supposed to be sympathetic.

They claimed they had been overwhelmed by numbers at yesterday's event. What rubbish! When you organise an event for which attendance is only by tickets bought in advance you know *exactly* how many people are going
They whinged about all the grumpy adults. Were they *really* surprised adults were grumpy when the adults were forced to queue in the cold due to the inefficient way they were checking tickets.
They didn't like all the negative comments on social media. What did they expect? Twenty quid is a lot of money to spend out to be packed like sardines into a poky room to watch a load of small children playing a few party games. There was an unused heated marquee not one hundred yards away which would have been far more suited to the event.
They took umbrage at my comments and asked me (I thought somewhat sarcastically) what I would have done differently. So this morning I sent them a list of nine ways in which they could have done things better. In the meantime someone else posted that a few less excuses and a few more apologies might go a long way to appeasing a disappointed public. To their credit they seemed to take this on board.
They responded to my suggestions in a rather civil way. I've now got the distinct impression that the organiser tried to put on a show with absolutely no experience whatsoever and has found out just how difficult this sort of thing is. In retrospect as a Scout leader I organised many such events over the years which were far cheaper and (quite frankly) far better.

As I scoffed brekkie I listened to the sound of the rain. We debated cancelling our plans for the day, but in the end decided to make a start but to be prepared to cry off once we'd got there. After all we've had many days in the past where early rain soon abated.
We collected Suzy and her associate, and took a minor detour into Pluckley to collect Cliff. We then went on to Surrey. There was an Easter geo-meet to which loads of the Kent hunters of tupperware were going. It was actually a rather good session; it is always good to meet new friends. I also met a new pug friend. Henry was dressed as an Easter chick. Pugs are such soppy dogs; they don't mind being dressed up.

From the geo-meet we walked for five minutes to a hole in the ground. Inside this hole in the ground was a disused ammunition store (from the second world war). And inside that ammo store was a geocache (no surprises there).
We crawled in (in pairs) through the mud and did the secret geo-thing in the dark. Jo lent me her head torch (for which I was very grateful) and I went first with Cliff. Having gone in and out I then took a few photos of everyone else going in and out.

We had several other geo-targets in mind for today, but as the last ones emerged from the hole so the rain started. It was torrential, and in two minutes became hail. We decided to go back to the cars and abandon our plans. Any hesitation we might have had about this went out the window when the thunder and lightening started.
We stripped out of wet clothes and drove round to a nearby pub where we sat and chatted for a couple of hours. We dried out, and so did the weather. After a leisurely two pints I looked at the map and plotted out a little walk round some nearby woods. So we went for a stroll. After one hundred yards the heavens opened and we were soaked to the skin. So we gave up and came home.

With muddy clothes in the washing machine I tried to buy some stuff on-line. It took some doing; I had terrrible problems gettng PayPal to work.
We then had a rather good bit of dinner. As we scoffed we watched the re-make of "The Day the Earth Stood Still". I'd not seen it before. It was rather good...

26 March 2016 (Saturday) - A Day with Lacey

I wouldn't say I drank too much yesterday but... There's no denying that much of yesterday evening was a blur. I woke feeling like death warmed up at 3am. I do that after a serious drinnking session. The cure is to get up and drink a pint of water. So I did that, but then couldn't get back to sleep. So I got up again and had brekkie at 4.30am. Sometimes if I get up for an hour I then can sleep afterwards. So I got up, had a shave, posted the photos from yesterday's wedding and went back to bed.
I dozed fitfully until 7am when "Furry Face TM" declared "Red Alert". I knew Lacey was going to be with us today; but no one told me she was arriving at 7am. But I didn't mind. We spent an hour or so watching stuff on the Nickelodeon Channel.

Lacey seemed content watchinig telly and "Furry Face TM" was restless so I took him round the park. For once the place wasn't heaving with the Saturday morning jog-a-thon. He behaved himself (mostly) and as we walked we saw a Jay flying past. You don't see them very often in Viccie Park.

We then drove down to Westernhanger Castle. There was an "Alice iin Wonderland" themed day. We thought Lacey might like it and I was sure that I would.
We were wrong.
Personally I was rather disappointed to find that the event was aimed at the pre-school age group. It is possible we might have enjoyed it more if we had been able to hear anything of what the characters in the show were saying; I wouldn't say that I wanted my money back (mainly because "er indoors TM" had paid) but the entertainment was twenty quid down the toilet.
I saw the show got rather slated on social media too. A shame, really. We had such high hopes.

Mind you there were several stalls selling all sorts of stuff. We were rather taken with the magic stall and we all came away with magic tricks and magic wands and stuff. Pausing only briefly to have photos taken withh Minions we then went to the American Diner for a spot of lunch where Lacey started amazing us with her magical feats. I must admit I've always been taken with magicians, and I can do the bamboozing the public by talking loud and fast and confidently. I wonder if I might become a magician?

Cheryl joined us at the Diner, and we then went round to Asda to get the makings of dinner. Narrowly missing a "CrackWatch" opportunity we came home for a cuppa, made a few plans for tomorrow then drove round to Dan and Cheryl's. We played magic tricks, had a rather good bit of diner, then I slept through Ant and Dec on the telly.

A really good day all things considered. I took a few photos of what we did...

25 March 2016 (Friday) - A Wedding

A cold night; "er indoors TM" seemed to have acquired most of the duvet, and the weight of "Furry Face TM" (who had plonked himself in between us) took up what little slack was left. The two of them seemed reluctant to part with any duvet, and so I shivered until "Furry Face TM" decided to go to his basket (of his own accord) shortly before 5am.
What little sleep I did get was plagued by nightmares in which I had been drafted back into the Scout Association (against my will) to quell a mutiny.

Over brekkie I spent a little while looking at the geo-map to plan out some walks over the next few months. There are still quite a few long (ish) geo-walks to be done, but fewer and fewer within an hour's drive of home.
As I pootled "er indoors TM" got up and went off to move her car. The moment she left the house my dog started crying. He was practically sobbing, and he went ballistic on her return (less than two minutes later).

I took my dog round the park. As we walked we saw a rather attractive young mother in skin-tight lycra jogging alongside her small child (who was on her bike). However the effect was somewhat marred by her constantly gasping for air which was only interrupted by various swear words.
It comes to something when you can’t keep up with your three year old’s bike.
We also found that despite it being a Bank Holiday the dustmen had been. And left emptied bins strewn in their wake. Whilst the pavement was passable, it took some navigation to get round the bins.
Once home we had a message. "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" had earache. I drove round to collect him and drove him up to the hospital. He had a little fight with the nice doctor, and the doctor prescribed antibiotics.
So we went to Tesco to their pharmacy to get his medicine. Littlun wreaked havoc with the medicines on the shelf whilst we scoffed the hot cross bun samples that were on offer. The nice lady on the hot cross bun stall made no secret that the quicker they got eaten the quicker she could go home, so we ate loads.

I came back home again to find that "Furry Face TM" had cornered a slow worm in the garden. I rescued the slow worm, did the monthly accounts (and wished I hadn't) then polished my shoes and set off for Hastings.

Kev got married today. I can't remember the first time I met Kev; but we were in the Boys Brigade and at school together. He was a year below me, so I would have met him for the first time some time in 1976. Apart from family I don't think there is anyone else with whom I am still in regular contact who I've known longer.
And at the wedding we caught up with Neil. I've not known him for quite so long; only thirty eight years. It wqas a really good day. I was so glad to have been a part of it.

I took a few photos. Like me they got blurrier as the day went on...

24 March 2016 (Thursday) - Wheri-FTF

Maybe it was the excitement of my stories having been published. Maybe it wasn't. But I was wide awake at 4am. I gave up trying to sleep and got up. Over a spot of brekkie I watched this week's "Raised by Wolves" in which Aretha was given a present from her Grandfather - a coat he'd found under a hedge. It smelt of fox pee, but Granddad said it would do and she wasn't to expect a Christmas present for the next two years.
This is fast becoming my favourite TV show.

I set off from home just as dawn was breaking. Today was a geo-calendar day and I had a plan. On Monday a new Wherigo had gone live not *that* far from home. It was still unfound this morning so I thought I might get a calendar filler and my first wherei-FTF too.
I spent a few minutes fiddling about trying to find somewhere to park in Teynham, and then had a rather pleasant early morning stroll over the fields. The Wherigo I was hunting was billed as being one which would take ten minutes to complete; I think I took fifteen minutes between parking my car and signing the log. But it was a clean unsullied log. First to Find. Happy dance.

I then drove into Canterbury. As I drove the radio was featuring various so-called experts who were giving their sage views on the implications for national security should we decide to leave the European Union. And again there were many wise and reasonable reasons given for staying in the EU. And again all the reasons given for leaving the EU boiled down to the fact that those opposed to EU membership didn't seem to like foreigners very much.

Once in Canterbury I got petrol, and seeing how I still had an hour and a half before work I thought I'd have a celebratory fry-up; I felt that a Wheri-FTF on top of being a published author was cause to celebrate.
I went to Café Solo; I've driven past there many times. I shall drive past in the future. The brekkie wasn't bad; the place was clean. But it was a con. A three-piece brekkie was advertised in the menu at £1.99 with extras (sausage, beans, etc) costing about seventy pence. I had three extras (about £2.10) with my £1.99 brekkie.
Expecting to pay about four quid they billed me for seven quid. Did they charge three quid for the cup of coffee?

I got to work a little earlier than I needed to. As I was reading my Kindle app my phone beeped. A message. "er indoors TM" wasn't happy.
Last night I'd found half of a Belgian bun in the kitchen. It was rather stale, so I scoffed it with a cuppa. It turns out that "er indoors TM" had her beady eye on that bun for her brekkie. Woops.

I did my bit, and came home. Heavy rain was forecast for the drive home; it drizzled a bit. I walked round the roads and we got rather wet. Just as the rain had seeped through to my pants the phone rang. It was "er indoors TM"; had I got the message. (What message?)
Apparently the car seat was needed to transport "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" to Sainsbury's. The car seat was in my car. I was soaked. "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" could stay at home with his dad.
I got home, towelled off a wet dog and had a shower. I filled the washing machine with seven shirts and then found a hot cross bun in the kitchen. Bearing in mind I was due an arse-kicking for the Belgian bun I thought I might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb so I scoffed it whilst correcting geo-puzzle co-ordinates. I;ve now got sixty done. I have another three hundred to go.

"er indoors TM" came home and over some fish and chips we watched the latest James Bond film "Spectre". It was rather crap; I turned it off half way through...

And I've rather stuffed up.... This is my three thousand five hundredth blog entry. Perhaps I should have made the announcement about my stories having been published today rather than yesterday.

23 March 2016 (Wednesday) - A Published Author

Over brekkie I watched Ronnie Corbett in "Sorry". For all that I keep telling the SkyPlus box not to record the program, it keeps doing so. And it seems to have decided to stop recording "The Last Man on Earth". I must admit I tired of Ronnie Corbett and turned it off half way round. I then had a look-see at the geo-map. There is talk of a mission to Cornwall over the May Day Holiday. However I can't get the time off work. I do have the first week in May off work though. I'm vaguely thinking about a three day walking holiday in Devon taking in some twenty five miles. (But only vaguely).

As I drove to work I was surprised in the difference a day made. Yesterday was bright and sunny but oh-so-cold. Today was dull, overcast and quite warm.
The radio gave me a wry smile - a recent survey has shown that there are (on average) one hundred and sixty discarded plastic bottles along every mile of Britain's beaches. It has been suggested that to avoid this littering disposable plastic bottles might have a returnable deposit in future. You would get a few pence back whenever you return an empty bottle to the shop. Just like it used to be when I was a boy.
This is actually quite a good idea to shift the litter; when I was young discarded bottles were worth something. My and my mates would go in search of the things because we got paid for taking them back to the shop. Going round tidying up was quite lucrative. Mind you children these days never seem to leave the house... but that's another rant.
Most of the morning's news was about the terrible bombings in Brussels. I wish I could understand the mentality of these terrorists. What *do* they think they achieve by blowing up innocent people. Are they *really* that stupid that they know no better, or are they *really* that stupid that they honestly think God wants them to kill people?
Either option is rather sobering.

I got to work, and found where I'd left the sandwich box. It was in my locker. I'd wondered what I'd done with that.
I did my bit, then came home again. Usually when I come home "Furry Face TM" is fast asleep. I say "usually"; he is *always* fast asleep. But not today. I came home to find him on the back of the sofa watching the world going by.
I popped his lead onto him and we went for a wander round the park. My dog played nicely with several other dogs and didn't instigate any fights at all. That is to be encouraged. Mind you we did have a minor incident with a toddler. Said child kept approaching "Furry Face TM"; and every time he showed any interest in her she ran off in terror. I gave the little girl five minutes of our time, then we continued home.
Once home I solved thirty of the three hundred and sixty geo-puzzles in Cornwall (for want of anything better to do) until "er indoors TM" came home.

I had a message... I'm now a published author. I've written two short stories which appear in an anthology. You can download it from Amazon, and I understand that it will be available in "proper book" format soon...

22 March 2016 (Tuesday) - Happy Birthday Captain Kirk

I slept well until 4am, then on waking far too early couldn't get back to sleep again. I gave up trying shortly after 5.30am and got up. Over brekkie I watched Saturday's episode of Dad's Army in which the verger made sure there was no mis-use of the vicar's apparatus (!)

I then did my morning check of Facebook. Apparently a helicopter has been circling the town overnight. One of the more "educated" of the masses had posted that she thought "sum fink bad" had happened.
And then I got rather angry.. a distant relative was posting all sorts of left-wing socialist political stuff. Whilst I agreed with the sentiment of what he was posting, it never fails to boil my piss that the chap is *the* most ardent supporter of the Conservative party. He won't hear a word against the Conservatives, but disagrees with their policies at every turn.
In the past I've tried to explain....

After yesterday's debacle I then made a point of putting my wellies in the back of my car. There was a lot of ice to be scraped from the car this morning. Odd really as I had to wear my sunglasses as I drove; the sun was that bright.
It was as well the sun was out and had melted the ice on the roads. I had to use my brakes quite a bit this morning. One particular car; a BMW (with registration LR53 NCY) was swerving from lane to lane in a desperate attempt to get in front of everyone else. Having cut me up twice this car then drove through a red traffic light. However that did them no good whatsoever as I caught up with them in Kennington some two minutes later.

As I drove to work the radio was telling me all that was going on in the wider world. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was having problems. MPs are to vote on whether or not to approve his budget plans. It seems there is a groundswell of opinion against his plans. But it is not clear whether is is on sound financial rreasons, or for silly political reasons about his stance on Europe, or to scupper his chances of taking over from David Cameron as leader of the Conservative party. I would have thought the nation's finances were too important for silly political manouvering, but what do I know?
And controversy still rages as to whether men's or women's tennis is the most important. It seems there is a lot of bad feeling amongst professional tennis players as to who should have the most prize money.
It is a matter of the utmost indifference to me, but this is apparently very important. It must be to have warranted so much attention.

I got to work; I did my bit and came home again. I got stuck in road works on the way. Apparently the road works in Kennington will be there for several months. I was delayed by eight minutes this evening so I can't really grumble.
Once home I walked "Furry Face TM" round the block and then after a rather good bit of scoff we drove down to Folkestone to visit Jimbo. A cuppa, a few insults bandied, and then we watched proper Star Trek with Captain Kirk.
Did you know William Shatner was eighty-five today?

21 March 2016 (Monday) - Wheri-Testing

I slept like a log last night. So did my dog; when I got up this morning he was in his basket. He usually sneaks upstairs in the night. He must have been tired if he didn't sneak up last night.
Over brekkie I checked my emails. I had two emails of thanks. Yesterday when walking we found that two geocaches had clearly gone missing from along the route we had walked. They do that from time to time. When this happens you have two choices; you can either log "Needs Maintenance" together with a saga of how much precious time was wasted on a wild goose chase which tells whoever hid it to go sort the problem. Or you can do the decent thing for all concened and replace it yourself (and tell whoever hid it you've done so).
Opinion is (for some odd reason) divided as to the correct course of action. Yesterday we replaced two missing caches; today I got two messages thanking me.

I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for a little walk. On Saturday I put the finishing touches to my latest Wheri-project and this morning we had field trials. There were two minor tweaks I needed to make, but other than that all was good. I was pleased about that.
As we field-tested I needed to go from place to place on the map, and at each place stop and fiddle about. "Furry Face TM" wanted to stop and fiddle when I was walking, and he was pulling to walk on when I was stopped to fiddle about. If only I could explain to him...
As we walked we saw a rather odd-looking woman. Pushing a push-chair in her pyjamas she was pulling a facial expression which I can only describe as that of a duck with indigestion. I wonder what that was all about?

Off to work. A new geocache had gone live this morning not far off of my drive to work, and the call of the First to Find was too much to resist. I drove as close as I could and then found that the one day I'd not got my wellies in the car was the one day I actually needed them.
But I didn't get *that* muddy, and I got to do the secret FTF dance too.

As I drove "Women's Hour" was on the radio. Apparently half of the women murdered in the UK are done in by their partner or ex-partner which is male pretty much every time. Interestingly lesbians don't seem do each other in that often. Also the pundits claimed that a third of men murdered in the UK are done in by their gay lovers (or ex-lovers). One lives and learns.

I stopped off at Morrisons and got some bits and bobs, and nearly committed murder myself. Why is it that with an entire supermarket in which to dawdle about, everyone has to stop dead in the doorways to do their staring into space?

Once at work I pootled about leaving dried mud in my wake. Several people asked where the dried mud was coming from; I kept quiet until home time.

Gotham's on telly soon...

20 March 2016 (Sunday) - Outwood

I suppose I slept well; there is no denying I would like to have slept longer. After the party last night I was rather late to bed, and today's plans made for an early start. Mind you I'd rather have plans and an early start on a day off; I did spend an inordinate amount of yesterday sitting around waiting for time to pass.

Over brekkie I had a look on-line. I do that most mornings. Not much had happened in the six hours since I had last looked; which was probably for the best. With brekkie devoured we collected Suzy and her associate and again set off for deepest Surrey. There is a series of geocaches in Surrey around the village of Outwood. Whilst there was only (only!) seventeen caches on that route, by starting at cache #10 and taking one or two judicious diversions we were able to increase this up to thirty-six targets.
Twelve of us (and two small dogs) met in the wonderfully-named "Gayhouse Lane" and off we went.

As we walked we heard skylarks and stopped the dogs from seeing rabbits; even if Fudge did disappear down a hole or two. We met sheep who lived in a junk yard. We found plenty of mud, and the first bluebells of the year.
We even found a kiddies rope swing which promptly snapped under my weight.
About three quarters of the way round we found a pub. We sat in the garden and had a pint. Well, most of us had a pint. I had two. You don't see Tanglefoot on the hand pump very often.

Cache-wise the day was mixed. But then we'd chosen a route we'd efffectively made up ourselves so we were rather expecting it to be somewhat variable. Some of the hides were works of genius. Some were twenty yards away from where we were hoping to find them; it did help having a Geo-Genius in our midst.

We started walking at 10am; we got back to Gayhouse Lane at 5.30pm. We'd been out and about for a shade over ten miles.
I surprised myself by staying awake for the drive home. Once home a certain dog had his bath and his tea and went to sleep. He does charge about like a thing possessed on our long walks, but it is all for dramatic effect. When his audience is not about to watch him he sleeps a lot.

As we walked I took a few photos; I put them on-line. We then had a ratther good bit of dinner whilst watching an episode of "Benidorm" then I did the day's geo-admin.
I'm thinking an early night might be a good idea; my left knee *really* hurts and I caught the sun today...