30 November 2018 (Friday) - Pink Cupcake

The first job of today was to apply the dogs’ flea treatments. Pogo and Fudge weren’t at all bothered, but Treacle *hates* it. When she saw the packet she ran away, tried to hide upstairs and flatly refused to come anywhere near us. After a futile attempt to try to encourage her, we finally caught her in a pincer movement.
With a neck full of “Advocate” she then sulked.
As I scoffed my brekkie there wasn’t much kicking off on Facebook for once. No squabbles, and the bare minimum of attention-seeking. Rather dull really; that’ not why I look at the website at all. My in-box was equally dull. I had one email. Go Outdoors offered me fifteen per cent off of my next shopping trip there as a thank you for spending near on a hundred quid with them last weekend. Having spent near on a hundred quid with them last weekend I don’t think I’m going to be going back there any time soon. And their offer ends in three weeks’ time. Ho hum…

I took the now-road-legal dogs for a walk round the park. AS walks go it wasn’t one of the more successful ones. Whilst Fudge kept up (mostly), Pogo was a pain in the glass (as "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" would say). He seems to have an issue with other dogs that are on leads. Other dogs running round the park loose are no problem; he’ll sniff them or ignore them or play with them. But (to him) another dog on a lead is an invitation to a fight. It all became rather tiresome; I didn’t actually tell the nice man with a dachshund to f… off in those exact words, but the sentiment was certainly there.
I got home with something of a sense of relief.

I played a little Candy Crush Soda Saga in the vain hope that whilst I was hop e the postman might arrive, I settled the dogs (who were all already fast asleep) and set off.
With a little time on my hands I thought I might take the scenic route to work via a geocache or two. My first target was in Pluckley. I arrived to find a throng of normal people swarming all around it, but they had all gone within minutes and I was soon doing the happy dance. As one does. It was as well that the throng of normal people had all shoved off as I would have looked rather daft doing the happy dance with them swarming.

My second target was at a (relatively) local airfield. The given directions had me rather foxed. "PLEASE USE THESE DIRECTIONS" they read. "..... Ahead of you is a gate with no public access. Go past this gate...". Finding myself at a gate which clearly said "no public access" and aerodrome staff telling me there was no public access I drove to the car park and went the long way round. I eventually found what I was looking for, and a trackable too. Finding a film pot under a rock is exciting enough; finding one with a trackable in it is the biz!!... if you like that sort of thing. A surprising amount of people don't.

My third target was somewhere that I'd been before. On November 5th I wrote "...the hint was "behind tree". The sat-nav took me straight to a large tree. However behind this tree was a garden fence. And sitting in the garden was one of the normal people who was watching me in the same way I might look at dog poop on my shoe". I got to this tree easily enough today. The normal person has moved a caravan up to within two feet of this tree, but it is on his side of the fence. He was nowhere to be seen this morning so I slipped in and found what I was looking for. I was the first person to have rummaged around that tree in over a year - another resuscitation. Another happy dance.

My fourth target eluded me. To find it I had to solve a puzzle and then look six feet up a tree at the location the puzzle took me to. I'd obviously stuffed up solving the puzzle as I found myself in a muddy field some fifty-four yards from the nearest tree (I measured it!).
From here a straight line to work took my right past the geocache I couldn't find yesterday. Half an hour rummaging in the hedge to no avail yesterday - found in less than ten seconds today.

I drove in to work where I took off my boots and put on trainers. A shame I’d not got a matching pair, but I don’t think anyone noticed. I had a rather good bit of cauliflower cheese for dinner, and then did that which I couldn't avoid. Mind you it wasn't a bad day. We had cake today. A pink cupcake. It was that sort of a day.
My hip hurts from walking round in mis-matched trainers all afternoon and evening…

29 November 2018 (Thursday) - Before the Late Shift

Every morning as my lap-top boots up it shows a picture from somewhere round the world. The current picture looked rather familiar… it was from Butchart Gardens in Canada. I’ve been there. Looking at the place on-line it looks beautiful; I can remember it being rather tedious. Isn’t that negative of me… but ornamental gardens often are tedious. After five minutes of looking at flowers you really have seen it all.
Mind you I went there with the scouts. Much of my memories of scouting are of utter tedium; shepherding a dozen ungrateful brats around places where they didn’t want to be tended to suck the fun out of everything. I packed up being a scout leader when I realised it was *supposed* to be fun. Looking back I think I’d been doing it wrong for some time before I finally knocked it on the head.

I had a little snigger when I looked at Facebook this morning. I saw an advert for “Montgomery Scott Blended Scotch Whisky”. From my days in active Trekkie-ing I just know that no end of people are going to hand over a small fortune for something they would never otherwise buy if it didn’t have a Star Trek logo on it. I can remember being at the “Star Trek Experience” in Bournemouth over twenty years ago when a pencil set (like you’d see in the pound store) was up for sale for forty quid purely because someone had printed “Star Trek” on it. People were buying them.
I wish I’d had that idea first.
Other than that there wasn’t a lot kicking off on Facebook for once.
My in-box was equally uninspiring. Amazon had sent me emails suggesting I buy that which I had already bought. NHS jobs suggested I apply for jobs I didn’t really want. LinkedIn had sent me a load of gibberish written in a foreign language (I don’t speak “management”).
I gave up and took the dogs for a walk. We got half way round the park before the rain hit. We came home again.

I spent five minutes loading rubbish into the car, then settled the dogs and drove off. I had a few chores to do on the way to work. First of all to the vet's where my piss boiled somewhat. Fudge and Treacle are due for their flea treatments. I thought we had loads of the stuff in the cupboard; we'd run out. I phoned the vet yesterday evening to arrange to collect some this morning only to be told I didn't have to arrange anything in advance; I could just turn up in the morning. So I turned up and explained why I was there and I waited and waited. Getting the flea treatments took an age. I asked if things might have been better had I phoned last night to say I was coming; the nice lady on reception said that would have been for the best, and perhaps I might do that next time. I thought about mentioning that I had actually done just that, but sometimes it is best not to stir these things more than they need to be.

I then took a car load of rubbish to the tip. Most of it went into the right skips, but I had a broken decanter that was too big for the hole in the glass recycling skip. I asked the nice man where I should stick it. Surprisingly he didn't give the obvious answer, but said it goes in the glass recycling. I explained patiently that it was too big for the hole. Consternation was achieved all round as all the tip operatives huddled together trying to decide what to do when something is too big for the hole. After five minutes they put the knacked decanter on to a shelf next to an old clock and said I should leave it with them.
I did so.

I then went to Longacres garden centre (Bybrook Barn to most people). Yesterday during our run-in with the dog warden she'd said that she was pleased to see that Fudge had his address and our name on a tag on his collar. She completely missed the fact  that he hadn't. Fudge and Treacle had tags with my phone number (and nothing else) and Pogo had nothing at all. I thought I'd better get that sorted before we have another ding-dong with her (it can only be a matter of time...)
The pet tag gizmo at the vets had gone west, but the one at Bybrook Barn was working. The nice lady behind the counter (who operates it) wouldn't take my instructions for the tags verbally; she insisted that I wrote down what I wanted to appear on them. And having written down my name, address, post code and phone number I then had to spell each one out to her as she couldn't read my writing.
Eventually I handed over thirty quid (ten quid per tag) to find she'd spelt "Beaver" (as in Beaver Road) wrong on each tag...

Pausing only briefly to fail to locate a geocache in Barming I went in to work where the canteen was doing a rather good lasagne. It was really tasty and filling. I'm sure it is in no way connected with the fact that I was farting all afternoon.

And can you believe it is now two years since we took on Treacle. Where has the time gone?

28 November 2018 (Wednesday) - The Lego Shop

Having done two night shifts it was no surprise that I was out like a light last night. Nine hours asleep was good. It is a long time since I found myself laying in bed so long that I got back ache.
As I scoffed brekkie I had a look at Facebook. Yesterday’s squabble over religion seems to have subsided; the wannabe Christians have got out a dictionary, looked up the word “refugee” and have conceded that the dictionary definition of the word actually does apply to what the Bible says happened to Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The wannabe Christians don’t like it very much, but then neither do any refugees either.
And then I saw that a family member had used the “check in” facility on Facebook to tell the world they were at Shellness. Facebook even posts a map to show the world where is it.
Another family member had immediately commented “where are you?

I took the dogs round the park. Fudge did straggle somewhat today, and Pogo tried to pick a fight with a greyhound. We met the dog warden and had a chat. She was rather concerned that I had lost a dog. I told her I hadn’t and had a quick roll-call. She was insistent that she’d seen me ten minutes earlier with four dogs. I said I only had three… she said that being a dog warden (and counting dogs) was her job. After a little to-ing and fro-ing she let me go. However she made it clear that if any errant hounds should appear in the park then they would be my missing pup.

Once home I settled the dogs and drove round to collect Matt. Together we drove up to Bluewater and the Lego shop. Whilst the job lot of Lego I’d bought the other day was a super-bargain, it was a tad short on roof tiles. I could have ordered up a job lot of roof tiles from eBay. I looked at the on-line Lego store and saw that the tiles I wanted were seventeen pence each; I could have ordered them from there. But I’d heard that you could go to the Lego shop in Bluewater (and just hope they’ve got the ones you want) and get a pint of bricks for twelve quid. So that is what we did. We went to the Lego store.
You really do take a plastic pint tumbler and fill it with bricks.
Matt had done this before… You don’t just fill the tumbler. You join the larger bricks together into stacks. You carefully arrange the stacks in your pint tumbler. You then scoop in the smallest bricks loose; one handful at a time and shaking as you go. The people at the Lego shop expect kids who chuck bricks in willy-nilly and have tumblers which are full of mostly air. Mine was rather judiciously arranged. By the time I was done I don’t think it would have been possible to have got another brick in the tumbler.
Whilst paying for my stuff, the nice lady on the counter asked if I would like to join the Lego VIP club. I did so; it is like a Lego Nectar card. Result!
We had a little mooch round Bluewater as we were there; it is years since I last visited. We had a sandwich, then came home. Going to Bluewater with Matt was ideal for today; he’s had a cold recently too, today was rather murky and wet. A day looking at Lego and putting the world to rights was just what the doctor ordered.

Once home I made myself a cuppa, called up the on-line Lego store, and had a look at what I’d bought. Whilst they didn’t have the exact roof tiles I wanted I got something which would do the job, and I got about sixty-five quid’s worth of Lego for twelve pounds. I see that as something of a result.

I saw my credit card bill was available on-line. I downloaded it and checked it. Call me mean it you will ("My Boy TM" does) but every month I go through it and account for every penny. Today I accounted for every penny. Each and every seventy-odd thousand of them; they all add up.

I then ironed for a couple of hours until "er indoors TM" came home for a flying visit. With some works thing on this evening I was left dog-sitting. I expect I shall watch more episodes of Prison Break”…