31 October 2018 (Wednesday) - Halloween

Having spent much of last weekend sulking at the prospect of two night shifts, they weren’t that bad at all. Last night’s featured a weak D. Weak Ds are a rather rare peculiarity of the human erythrocyte and are pretty much a matter of the utmost indifference to most of humanity. But they do it for me.

As I came home I couldn’t help but look at the traffic queuing up for miles along the west-bound carriageway of the motorway. It was bad yesterday as well. I shall have to bear that in mind when I’m next on day shifts. I also listened to the radio where the pundits on the radio were openly laughing at the Foreign Secretary’s latest brain-wave. It’s no secret that Jeremy Hunt isn’t the nation’s favourite politician. He was universally despised as health secretary, and now his latest move has exceeded the expectations of even his staunchest critics.
He has an idea that rather than having career diplomats heading up Britain’s embassies and filling ambassadorial roles, we might have businessmen instead. On the one hand there are career professionals who have spent a lifetime learning the ways of other countries and how best to interact with their cultures. On the other hand we have fly-by-night wide-boys trying to make a fast buck out of Johnnie Foreigner. I know who I would think would have the nation’s best interests at heart.
Mind you the last brain-wave the Foreign Secretary had was when it said goodbye, so perhaps we were expecting too much of the fellow?
Just as I got home my car told me it wanted servicing (don’t we all!)

I took the dogs round the park for our usual walk. Yesterday it was raining and we met hardly anyone. Today it was a bright morning, but again we met hardly anyone. In fact the only difference was that the Jehovah’s Witnesses had their stall out by the park gates today where they didn’t yesterday. Either jo-bos don’t like the rain, or God told them to do it. Mind you (to be fair to them) we see them most mornings; they are kind to the dogs and have never once (in many years) tried to bother me with their crackpot ideas. Perhaps if they knew what I do for a living they might have a word or two to say?
For all that we didn’t see many people, we saw quite a few squirrels. I say “we”; Treacle saw them and shot off in hot pursuit several times. Fudge didn’t notice any of them.
Some mornings our walk is eventful. Some mornings our walk is an unmitigated disaster from start to finish. Today’s was one of the better ones; in fact the only way in which it could have been better would have been for Treacle not to have crapped on her own tail as she took a dump.

Once home I washed Treacle’s tail, then made a few phone calls. I’ve got a rostered day off in a couple of weeks’ time, and so I arranged for the car to have its service and for Fudge to have his annual M.O.T. Part of the deal we have with the vet’s is an annual health check when he has his vaccinations. They usually follow the same format; the vet (who usually looks as though she should still be in primary school) will tell me he’s too fat as I struggle to stop him making a bid for freedom as he is terrified by being there.

I then had a rummage in the shed. I’d remembered that ages ago I bought a seat box for fishing. That would be ideal to carry bait round in and would save me having to get a great big bucket. I spent a little while re-organising my tackle (oo-er!) and sent a photo of my new-look layout to the first fruit of my loin. I don’t think "My Boy TM" was impressed, but when I explained (rather curtly) that I’m *not* going to spend a small fortune on buying some designer-branded bucket when I’ve already got a box which will do the job he saw my point of view.
And with my tackle sorted I mowed the lawn then had a bit of a kip.

I had hoped to sleep for longer, but the dogs decided to bark at absolutely nothing at all. By the time I’d got up and shouted at them I was wide awake again so I watched more “Prison Break” on Netflix. My app seems to have lost its casting icon ever since its most recent update. I wish people wouldn’t update these things.

As it was starting to get dark outside I put a Halloween candle in the window to let the Trick or Treaters know they would be welcome. There are those who look down on the whole “trick or treat” thing. To those people I would sing “sour puss grumpy face!!” rather loudly. Realistically trick or treaters are very small children (escorted by their parents) who (like me) think it great fun to be allowed out after dark; let alone to go out dressed up.
The first ones arrived shortly after six o’clock; two small girls wonderfully dressed up and made up with mothers watching over them from the pavement. The second arrived three quarters of an hour later – a very small lad with his dad. Two slightly older boys came (with their mum) at quarter past seven, and that was it.

"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner and as we scoffed it we watched last night’s “Bake Off” final. What am I going to watch for the next year until next year’s “Bake Off” starts?

30 October 2018 (Tuesday) - Between the Night Shifts

After the night shift I listened to the radio as I drove home. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was being interviewed on the radio about the budget statement he announced yesterday. I say “interviewed”; they were giving him serious stick. It strikes me he’s taken limited resources and spent some money here and saved some money there. No matter what he does there isn’t enough to go round so he does what he thinks is for the best. Mind you he didn’t deny that everything he’s doing will go to pot next year (one way or another) depending on what happens with Brexit.

I got home and walked the dogs round the park. The light rain seemed to be enough to keep everyone else indoors; we got round the park without meeting hardly anyone at all. As we walked I kept a close eye on Fudge; yesterday he vanished three times. Today he didn’t.
With walk done I went to bed. You’d think that having done a night shift I’d sleep like a log; generally I don’t. I got five hours asleep. Finding myself wide awake far earlier than I had hoped I was faced with a choice. Lay in bed or get up. I got up and watched “Prison Break”; not too shabby so far.

It was rather late in the day today before I got round to looking at the Internet. For once there was pretty much nothing kicking off on Facebook really. I felt that was something of a disappointment.
My credit card bill arrived in my in-box. I thought about complaining to the bank again, but what would be the point? When I first took the thing out the bill came on the seventeenth of every month. Being regular meant I could organise my finances easier. For the last couple of years statements have been random, and the bank have got the cheek to say it has always been random.
I checked it; it was correct to the penny. Sometimes it isn’t.

One of my blog posts received a comment yesterday. The comment was a shameless plug from a funeral company operating out of Florida who were trying to use this drivel as a way to advertise their business. I would have thought that posting to a Kent-based diary about Florida-based funerals wouldn’t be *that* productive, but who knows?
In any event I marked the comment as spam.

The day between the night shifts is usually dull. Today was no exception.
It’s the Bake-Off final tonight whilst I’m at work. I hope no one tells me who won.

29 October 2018 (Monday) - Before the Night Shift

Treacle had a restless night last night, and when she is restless so is everyone else. When she finally settled, my phone randomly started giving me all sorts of notifications even though its wi-fi and mobile data connections were turned off. I wish it wouldn’t do that.
I eventually got up just after seven o’clock feeling like death warmed up.

Over brekkie I saw that the photos I’d put on to Facebook from yesterday’s tea party had received lots of “likes” from friends of friends. It is quite amazing how easily people you don’t know can find out all about you via Facebook. Or (to be more precise) can find out what you choose to let them know. I seem to be rather open with what I share.
I also saw that other people had clearly been having fun this weekend. Some had had a fight with the in-laws and were using social media to tell the world. I try to avoid telling the world that sport of thing.

I got the dogs organised and we went out for a little walk. There was a nerve-wracking ten minutes when Fudge was missing; he eventually turned up in a hedge where he’d been doing his own thing as he does. We walked through the park; the dogs wanted to play in the river and both had something of a sulk when I told them it was too cold for swimming.
We carried on out to Singleton Lake where one of my geocaches had supposedly gone missing, After a rummage around a tree I concluded it had gone missing, and replaced it. I wonder how long that one will last?
I tried (and failed) to get the dogs to pose nicely for a photo by the lake, and we got caught in a rain shower.
As we came home the dogs managed to upset a cyclist who told me to keep my dogs of the cycle path. I told him to get knotted. And then Fudge disappeared again. After ten minutes searching for him a nice lady coming down the path said he was a hundred yards ahead and was obviously waiting for us to catch up.
He was.
By the time we got home we had been caught in several rain showers so I decided against mowing the lawn. Instead I settled the dogs and went on a little shopping trip. I wanted a new fishing tackle box and a large bucket for bait. I got a tackle box from B&Q for a fraction of the price that the fishing tackle shop charges, but I couldn’t find a huge bucket anywhere.
The cheapo-bargain shop near work might have one… or a large fermentation bucket might work. Where’s the nearest home-brew shop?
The cheapo-bargain shop in Ashford were putting up their Christmas decorations this morning. Too early!!

I came home and over a spot of lunch watched another episode of “Prison Break” as the dogs snored beside me on the sofa. I then took myself off to bed for the afternoon. Treacle came up too, but this time she settled, and I got a few hours shut-eye before heaving myself out of my pit and watching another episode of “Prison Break”. As shows go it is rather far-fetched. But then isn’t every TV show… and life in general.

I then spent half an hour doing Week Four of my latest Coursera course. Archeoastronomy. Unlike many of the courses the people running this one have been sensible and made all the course material available right from the start so it is possible to get ahead of the game. This week’s stuff (well, actually the stuff of the week beginning November 26) was all about the Incas and Mayans.
I’ve got this rather daft idea that I would like to visit Machu Picchu… it would only set me back three thousand quid…

"er indoors TM" will be home soon… a quick bit of dinner and then I’m off to the night shift. Today has been rather lonely with only the dogs for company.