31 October 2016 (Monday) - Shirkoak

I was again up rather earlier than I might have been; over brekkie I did more of this week’s course on dog psychology. Today we were talking about experimentation – actually watching dogs to learn from them. As I learned and strained my brain my dog was fast asleep and gently snoring. I learned quite a bit from him this morning.

I loaded my fishing tackle into the car and set off to collect "My Boy TM". I had a shock when I got to his house. Lacey was having dress-up at school for Hallowe’en and she was going as Little Dead Riding Hood. It put the wind up me!
We left the girls and drove round to Angling Direct for some maggots. After five minutes waiting we realised they opened at nine o’clock. Not eight. Woops. But it was only a twenty minute detour to Invicta Angling, and soon we were at Shirkoak Lake.

The first fruit of my loin was soon fishing like a thing possessed. I thought I’d use my new rigs and unfamiliarity with them did slow me somewhat. In fact the fish score was 4:0 to Dan before I’d even got my bait wet. But when I did…
My new rigs and baits were wonderful; I had a rather large carp within seconds of casting out.
We had a rather good day; with six species of fish each (and so a draw) we both lost count of the fish we’d caught. I must have had twenty big enough to need the landing net including a personal best roach.

There is a lot to be said for fishing during the week; all the normal people are at work. There was only one other person fishing today, and he was on the other side of the lake. With an island in the way we couldn’t see him; we effectively had the lake to ourselves.
I took a few photos whilst we were fishing. I did have this plan to make a movie but forgot to do so. Next time…
It would have been good to have stayed longer but with the clocks having gone back it gets cold and dark earlier, so we went home. I quickly got changed and put my fish-slimed trousers through the washing machine before "er indoors TM" could lay an egg.

 I then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We went via the vets; he was overdue for boosters. He was overdue because the vet had stuffed up. Whilst their veterinary care is excellent, their record keeping does leave much to be desired.
Taking him to the vets is odd. We walk past at least once a week. We go in and sit in the waiting area to get him used to the vets. Never a problem… except when he has an appointment to see the vet. He *knows* and he flatly refuses to go into the building, and once there he cowers in terror under the seats.

Today’s visit went well. He’s put on weight – he’s nearly eleven kilogrammes. He has no fleas (I knew that) and his teeth are in excellent condition. He has a wonky kneecap and his back is still not right, but all things considered he’s probably in better condition than I am.
I decided not to tell the vet about dog psychology.

We took a rather circuitous walk home past the railway station, and once home I put "er indoors TM" pumpkin outside. Last year I was very disappointed not to get a single Trick or Treater; no one told me that a pumpkin outside the house is the sign that they are welcome. But now I know.
We had loads of visits this evening; all small children (supervised by mums), all wonderfully dressed up. "er indoors TM" had left a tub of lollipops in the kitchen which I guessed were for the Trick or Treaters. The tub was empty by the time she came home from work so I started handing out the cakes that we don’t like. "er indoors TM" came home and pointed out that those cakes went past their sell by date over a year ago. Oh dear…

30 October 2016 (Sunday) - Still At Work

The clocks went back last night which meant an extra hour in bed. Most people actually read that as an extra hour asleep; but for me it was "an extra hour in bed" -  laying breathless and wide awake. Nights boil my piss; I can't breathe, I can't sleep. And during the day I nod off because I'm constantly tired and everyone takes photos and posts them all over the Internet as though it is a great joke. Would people do the same of someone having a fit? This second nasal surgical re-bore can't come quick enough.

Over brekkie I watched an episode of "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" that my SkyPlus box had decided to record for me. As I watched it I found myself comparing it to "Game of Thrones". One show which many see as based on the children's game of Dungeons and Dragons is incredibly sexually graphic. the other, (based on the autobiography of a prostitute) is not.
Funny old world.
I then spent a little while working on my current academic project. Have I mentioned I'm doing a course in dog psychology? This morning I read a chapter of the text book recommended for the course. It explained how over a relatively short period of time cave-men type people wiped out pretty much all of the large predatory animals in Europe. Sabre-toothed tigers, humungous hyenas and even a second species of humanity all became extinct. However a few predatory animals survived this onslaught. Wolves were one such creature. Interestingly wolves were one of the biggest problems for our ancestors; and today's lesson was addressing the question of how did our greatest enemy become our best friend.
The text book I was reading was entitled "The Genius of Dogs"; I had a wry smile. Whilst I was getting ready for work my dog was snoring on my bed. He is clearly the genius of us two.
"er indoors TM" has also enrolled on the same course. She's learned a new word: "Anthropomorphism."  As I often say, a day when you learn nothing is a day wasted...

I set off to work on a very foggy morning. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about helping people recover from drug addiction. Because it was Sunday they were approaching the matter from a religious perspective. Those being interviewed (social workers and ex-addicts) all felt it helped to approach rehabilitation from a spiritual aspect, even if the "spiritual aspect" was completely nonsense. Some addicts really did feel they were recovering because of "The Force from Star Wars". Others felt tremendous benefits from prayer even though they said they didn't believe in any gods. One chap said that he felt he was "probably only praying to himself".
It seems odd that people can have such faith in something that doesn't exist, and that such nonsensical faith demonstrably helps them. It is probably akin to how I can use divining rods even though they are clearly rubbish and can't possibly work (even though they do).

As I drove past the Park and Ride I saw a boot fair was in full flow. Well, actually I saw the fishing rods on one of the stalls which were sticking up into the air. So I stopped off for a few minutes. I've not been to a boot fair for years. There were a few people unashamedly selling "proper boot fair stuff" - the sort of rubbish which would have been better off in a dustbin, but I was amazed at how many professional stalls were there. There was one chap flogging mobility scooters; with a dozen on display. Mobility scooters - at a boot fair!
Mind you I wasn't impressed with the fishing tackle stall. Perhaps I'm naïve, but I expect to pay less at a boot fair than I would at a fishing tackle shop. Not more.

I went on to work where the chap who'd been on was glad to see me I'd arrived a few minutes early; the clocks going back meant he's worked an extra hour. I've done that in the past. That extra hour drags.

I did my bit at work; over a break I saw this news article: "How to turn your blog into a brand - Learn how to turn your passion for blogging into a career ."  It looked interesting. There was an address given where I would be told how to turn this drivel into a brand. And it would only cost me ninety nine quid.
Two can play at that game... I can turn your social media profile into a money-spinning nice little earner. All you have to do is give me fifty quid. (There - I've undercut the opposition...)

29 October 2016 (Saturday) - At Work

"er indoors TM" inadvertently woke me when she came to bed at 2.30am; I lay awake for a couple of hours; finally dozing of just as the alarm sounded. Over a rather early brekkie I watched the most recent episode of South Park. Whilst it was entertaining enough I watched it with an air of "WTF is going on?"; there were all sorts of references to American current affairs and the upcoming election which went right over my head.
Mind you I suspect this is true of most American comedies. And of all comedy really.

I set off for work. Bearing in mind there are geo-souvenirs to be had if you find a geocache this weekend (because it's Hallowe'en). I drove out to the new Finberry estate for a quick geo-find.
I then went on to Canterbury. As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing some rather odd woman who claimed to live in a home-made shack in the woods somewhere. She was banging on about how the world is a better place when you live in a home-made shack in the woods. She was most adamant that when the thing falls apart it is far better fixing it yourself than paying a professional to do the job properly. Personally I would rather pay a professional to do the job properly. That way it won’t fall apart again. But that's just me.
I expect living like that is fun for a day or so. Camping certainly is. But you soon miss the creature comforts of running water and flushing toilets. This odd woman said she wouldn't live in a proper house if you gave her a million pounds.
I bet she would.

The pundits on the radio then made great show of how (with only a couple of weeks until the Presidential election) Hilary Clinton's email scandal had again reared its ugly head.
What a way to run an election campaign. One candidate seems to be start staring mad; the other appears to be a crook. And the world clamours for "democracy"...?

I stopped off at Morrisons for the makings of lunch, and I got some petrol too. And just as I got to work my phone pinged. A new geocache had gone live; I'd nearly (but not quite) driven past it this morning. Oh well..
I then settled down for a day at work. I wasn't supposed to be working this weekend, but a colleague had stepped into the breach and covered for me at incredibly short notice when Fudge was ill a couple of months ago, and I was only too happy to return the favour.

Mind you I did sulk when I checked out Facebook on my phone whilst at tea break. I'd forgotten
"My Boy TM" and my brother were going fishing today. "My Boy TM" had had a stroke of luck - I've not seen a bigger sturgeon caught locally. And I wasn't at all impressed when I had a look-see on-line at lunch time to see my brother had caught a carp far bigger than anything I've ever caught.

I’m working again tomorrow. I hope they ain’t fishing again…