30 June 2017 (Friday) - Another Rostered Day Off

I slept well; over brekkie I suddenly realised I’d missed the meeting of the South Ashford Community Forum on Wednesday evening. Woops. Mind you I suppose it might have been for the best that I wasn’t there. It strikes me that the South Ashford Community Forum offers untold opportunities for petty bickering, and quite frankly I’m sick of arguments.

I exchanged a few messages with a friend too. Someone with whom I used to work has been up before the Health and Care Professions Tribunal yesterday. Not that it is much consolation for her, but her hearing took only six months to be convened. Mine took eighteen months, and in that time the stress helped me lose nearly six stones in weight. Having been there myself, I’d offered to be available for her if she needs someone to talk to about it but I’m very conscious that there’s not a lot I can actually do. She said it helped to speak with someone who’d been through it, so I suppose I’ve been some help.
I won’t go into details about why she was there, but I can say that (having been there myself) it would have been a truly horrible experience for her. She’s told me she’s been suspended from practising for eighteen months and has to provide evidence of her re-training before being reinstated on the professional register. Unless she can find someone who’s good enough to provide such training, effectively that’s the end of her career. (I was lucky)
However, if nothing else, she will find out who her true friends are. I did.

The plan for today had originally been geocaching in London. Having organised a route and having organised a Facebook event the idea seemed rather popular. But as today got closer and closer, so everyone backed out.
And the weather forecast for today wasn’t good either, so I cancelled.

I got the leads onto the dogs, and we went round the park for a walk. As we walked, little Rolo was set about by a much bigger dog. Fudge and Treacle leapt to his defence, and I got all the dogs away before any harm was done. Fortunately the bigger dog was on a lead; even if he nearly did pull his owner over. The silly woman holding the lead then had a whinge at me for not letting her dog play with my dogs. I explained that when playing, small dogs do not scream in terror. But she wasn’t having any of it, and followed behind us telling the world how mean I was for not letting her dog play with mine.
It was as well that we walked faster than she did; we soon left her behind. However we were soon stopped by some other idiot who insisted on picking Rolo up to fuss him because (as she told us) she was “dog mad”. When she moved towards Fudge I told her in no uncertain terms she was not to touch him because he had a bad back, and when she looked at Treacle I told her that Treacle bites. I suggested she might like to have a go with the murderous hound that was following behind us.
We then had to make a slight detour to avoid the drunks in the Chinese garden who were as pissed as farts at 8:30am.
Some days our walk round the park is dull. Other days not so.

Once home I loaded up my car with the broken fence panel that I extracted yesterday and quite a bit of other assorted rubbish, and went to the tip. Having met no end of nutters at the park, the tip was disappointingly dull. From there I popped round to Bybrook barn to price up their shingle, and (pausing only briefly for geocachical reasons) then went on to B&Q to compare the price of their shingle. Bybrook Barn was far cheaper.
Whilst in B&Q my piss boiled. I have a plan to make a pergola above the garden pond. B&Q sell the metposts I need to make one. However they don’t sell wood that fits the metposts. When I queried this, the idiot assistant suggested I took a rectangular plank and sawed it to size. I asked if he knew anything about metposts; it was clear he did not. Pergolas are going to have to wait.
I came home to finish painting the shed.

Just as I finished painting, Cheryl phoned. They had got home at 7am and had a bit of a snooze. Did I want to fetch Rolo round?
I loaded his bed and stuff into the car, and I went round for a cuppa. I thought that as I was out and about anyway I would pop back to Bybrook barn to get the rock and shingle I’d seen this morning. On hearing my plans "My Boy TM" came for the ride. I was glad to have him along; he helped with the heavy lifting. He helped me choose a tree. And once we got the stuff home he also helped me get my new huge flower pots in place.

I dropped him home just as the forecast heavy rain started. Rather than carrying on it the garden I got some lunch and ironed shirts whilst the DVD player played “Layer Cake”.

"er indoors TM" came home and then shoved off down to the chip shop to get some cod and chips for dinner. Not too shabby at all. But for desert I had a load of cherries from "My Boy TM"’s cherry tree.
I’ve got stomach ache now…

29 June 2017 (Thursday) - Rostered Day Off

I was sleeping like a log when Treacle and Rolo decided to play chase all over the bed and Treacle woke me by treading on my goolies. I wasn’t going to get back to sleep after that.
Over brekkie I sparked up my lap-top and started into cyber-space.I got a little hacked off when I saw that the government is not relaxing the cap on public sector wage increases but still manages to find a billion quid with which to bribe the DUP. It amazes me how the Conservative (sort of) won the election when they openly pull this sort of stunt. Is such a blatant misuse of public money *really* less of a worry that what that so-called nutter Jeremy Corbyn *might* do?
Have I ever mentioned that I don’t agree with democracy?

I took the dogs round the park. As we walked Rolo reduced one small child to tears by simply walking in the child’s general direction. Rolo is perhaps the smallest dog you’ll ever meet and he walked within five yards of a child who went absolutely hysterical; pointing at the dog and screaming in absolute terror.
Stupid child.
As we walked through the Chinese garden there were a couple of people playing badminton. They’ve been there for the last week or so; they seem to love playing badminton there. Treacle tried to make off with the shuttlecock, but I was too quick for her.

We came home and crapped in the garden (the dogs, not me!). I cleared up, hung out washing, and set about fixing a small hole in the felt on the shed roof. Just as I got that done the door bell rang. Gordon had arrived with an angle grinder. Have you ever ground an angle before? It is rather exciting. We ground for about fifteen minutes with sparks flying in all directions until we managed to blunt the blade. The angle grinder itself was getting rather hot too, so we let the thing rest whilst we wandered round to B&Q to get a new grindy bit.
The new grindy bit did the trick; it wasn’t long before the problematical post was out of the ground. Or (to be precise) the bit that could be seen was out of the ground. We had a cuppa, and Gordon went on his way. I am *so* grateful for Gordon’s help today; without him I would still be there with a hacksaw.

With post removed I then got the new fence panel in place. Oh… how easy it is to write that. The old one had rusted in place and had to be removed in pieces. And then once I’d dragged and heaved the new one into place I realised that the screws I had to fix the panel in place weren’t long enough. So I went to B&Q, came back with the wrong screws and went back again.
Having wrestled the new fence panel into place I then put down new weed-proof membranes, re-laid the old ones and scraped as much of the shingle back into place as I could. I need some more shingle.

I thought about re-potting the monkey-puzzle tree but decided to paint the shed instead. That took three hours. As I painted I saw a seagull dive from the sky into the garden pond. I’m not sure if he got a fish, but this has convinced me to build a pergola over the pond sooner rather than later.
I finished painting the shed just as "er indoors TM" came home at 6pm.

"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner; I’m going to ache in the morning. It’s something of a nuisance that I’ve still got physical jobs to do tomorrow… 

28 June 2017 (Wednesday) - Bit Dull Really

I slept rather well last night, but it hurt to move this morning. I looked out of the window to torrential rain. Somewhat ironic; weeks of dry weather, and on the one day I lift the garden membranes we get torrential rain.
The weather forecast is that it will all dry up in time for me to carry on in the garden tomorrow… here’s hoping.

Over brekkie (strawberry conserve) I watched an episode of “Detectorists” which was rather entertaining, and then I caught the end of “Thinking Tackle”; yet another fishing show presented by people with absolutely no TV presence whatsoever. There are a lot of fishing programs on the telly these days which are presented by people who seem hard pressed to string a few words together. I’ve often said to "My Boy TM" that we could make a TV fishing show. Perhaps we should?

I left home slightly earlier than usual; I went via B&Q for some hacksaw blades in the naive but optimistic hope that I might use them to saw out the post at the back of the garden that is giving me grief if the angle grinder fails. Realistically it's not going to come out by digging.

I then set off to work through the rain, and along rather busy roads.  As I drove the pundits on the radio were discussing the failure of ten years of the nation's forced austerity. Despite endless savings and cutbacks, national debt continues to grow. Apparently for every hundred quid the government raises in taxes it still spends one hundred and two quid. There is a theory that all the financial calculations were done on the assumption that the economy would be doing far better by now than it actually is. I'm reminded of my endowment mortgage. I was promised endless riches when that thing matured; in fact I ended up out of pocket. Perhaps the government should take a leaf out of my book and not spend whet it doesn't have?
They were also discussing how the Prime Minster seems to have found money to throw at problems in Northern Ireland far out of proportion to problems in the rest of the UK presumably in a shameless bit to keep the DUP on her side.  It seems there *is* money to be had then?

I got to work, and did my bit. Perhaps somewhat less than my bit as I was aching rather a lot. And with my bit done I came home. The plan had been to go to Rye for a meal with father-in-law this evening, but for various reasons he wasn't able to get along. So once home I spent an hour firstly finishing painting the new fence panel, and then giving two other panels a second coat. 
As I painted all dogs tried to “help” me…

"er indoors TM" did a rather good bit of dinner, and we scoffed it together with a bottle of plonk whilst watching stuff off of the SkyPlus box.

Today was something of a dull day. If I wasn’t quite so tired and aching it might have been better…