28 February 2019 (Thursday) - Rather Busy

I slept well, and woke feeling hardly able to move. I didn’t think yesterday’s walk was *that* strenuous?
Over brekkie I looked at Facebook as I do most mornings. Very little was happening over there. In fact I’d go so far as to say “absolutely sod all”. With the exception of one wedding anniversary video and a couple of posts from a cousin I saw nothing but adverts of stuff for sale in local selling groups. I have over five hundred and fifty people on my friends list; I wish they would all post more stuff. I am incredibly nosey and like to see what others are doing.
I sent out a couple of birthday wishes, and then had a look at my emails. Linkedin had found a new friend for me. My potential new buddy is a skilled business development manager at senior level within both the private and public sector. He has proven operational and product delivery experience with broad commercial expertise in all corporate functions His specialties are business development, bid writing, economic development presentation and communication… blah blah blah.
Does *anyone* take this bollox seriously?
I wondered what on Earth possessed the nice people at LinkedIn to chum me up with this bloke. Apparently it was because we had one contact in common. This one contact was also someone else I don’t know. I’m rather choosy about who I have as a friend on Facebook. Perhaps I should be equally picky on LinkedIn?

I got the leads on to the dogs and we went for a little drive. With only two unfound geocaches within seven miles of home I thought I might hunt them down today.
I must admit that I approached the first one with a degree of cynicism. It had been hidden in the name of a scout group by someone who had only ever found twenty-six of the things, and clearly hadn’t taken the time to re-read the cache description before submitting it for publication. If they had they might have re-written the thing into grammatically correct English and corrected the spelling mistakes. Am I being pedantic? Not really. Reading a cache description which reads as though the hider couldn’t be bothered to put in any effort hardly paints the hobby in a good light. And any kind of word processing package will point out the grammatic and spelling errors for you.
I found the cache easily enough. It looked like an old bit of rubbish flung into a hedgerow. As an ex-scout leader myself, I really wish scout groups wouldn’t get involved with geocaching.
The second cache involved a little walk but was easily found. It was a rather better hide, but was a tad mildewed. They often are.
I now have only twelve unfound geocaches within eight miles of home. I’m not sure if I want to go get those or not.

We came home. The weather wasn’t that special today. Mind you (on the plus side) this time last year I’d been stranded in the snow overnight at work, and today Pogo had had another drive out without being sick. Once home I got out the pressure-washer and gave the front garden something of a scrub down. It needed doing. I also hosed the fence between our house and not-so-nice next door. Most of the paint came off. That will be something to put right in the not-too-distant future. As I hosed the postie delivered the bill from the power company and the landing net I bought from eBay on Monday.
I did have a plan to carry on pressure-washing the back garden too, but my back gave me one or two twinges so I gave up.

I drove up to the post office; I had a parcel to collect. Lego is always good. However collecting parcels not so. The sorting office is a little bit too far from home to carry bulky parcels back. Unfortunately there is nowhere convenient to park. I parked up by the sports centre and walked up having paid one pound fifty for ten minutes parking. As I walked up to the sorting office I watched the traffic wardens ticketing the cars that had parked on the double yellow lines outside. The road there is plenty wide enough for cars to park; you really would think the traffic wardens might be able to find a more constructive use of their time.
I stopped off at “Pets at Home” to get a new light tube for the fish tank and got home to find it broken. I went back to “Pets at Home” for a replacement. They didn’t actually accuse me outright of having broken the thing, but the implication was there.

Over a sandwich I watched the first episode of “Titans”; another Netflix thing which seems good so far, then as the dogs snored I looked at my new Lego. I thought it was rather good – if you like that sort of thing. Personally I do.

With Lego house built I then had a look-see at the letter from the power company. They were putting the bill up by about a hundred and fifty quid a year, but told me I could make savings by going to a different tariff. I phoned the nice lady at the power company, agreed to all the nonsense words she said, and I’m now paying four pounds a month less than I was yesterday for leccie and gas. Isn’t it ridiculous? I’m still using the same amount of the same stuff, but because I’ve done some purely nonsensical paperwork-mentality exercise it is all now cheaper.

With "er indoors TM" off out with her mates this evening, me and the dogs had kebab for tea. Or (to be precise) they had their usual tea then helped me eat my kebab. As I scoffed I watched more episodes of “Titans”.
It’s got promise…

27 February 2019 (Wednesday) - A Day in the Wicked City

Yesterday I sorted through the Lego job lot I got a month or so ago. Whilst there was a lot of good stuff in there, there was also a load of custom-built shapes designed specifically for the kit from which they came, and not really any good to me. There were also a lot of roof bricks with various stickers making them also rather useless. Altogether I got a bucketful of bits that I didn’t want, and stuck them on several Facebook selling sites to see if they would sell. Asking for a tenner was a tad cheeky really, and when a friend said she was keen, I just gave them away and marked the advert as “sold”.
This morning some fourteen hours later the moderators of “Ashford Selling Site” approved and published the advert.

Whilst perusing Facebook this morning I saw there had been an earthquake. An ex-colleague who lives very close to Gatwick airport said his whole house shook this morning. You don’t expect earthquakes at Gatwick, do you?
Also whilst perusing Facebook I was inundated with adverts for the book and DVD of “Ender’s Game”. I mentioned that yesterday, didn’t I? Big Brother is watching me!

I wandered up the road to the railway station and got my ticket to London. I asked the chap on the counter when the next train to London was going; he looked me in the eye, turned around and drank his cup of tea.
And friends who work on the railway wonder why the railway staff are held in such low regard by their customers…

Once on the train I found a copy of “The Metro” and did most of the crossword. It kept me out of mischief until I got to Charing Cross where I met Karl. Together we hopped onto the underground and went to South Kensington from where we went for a little wander.
As we went we found some Tupperware and did some geology homework as you do. We even totally failed to do some algebra, but that error was soon rectified. Over a pint of lunch I realised that forty minus one is thirty-nine and not thirty-two. Getting the numbers right is quite important in a game which depends entirely on having the longitude and latitude spot-on. In my more sane moments I have a degree in mathematics(!)

There are some rather posh houses in Kensington you know. And the roads – how wide are they?
We walked round Holland Park and Hyde Park. Can you believe that there is a thousand-pound fine for letting your dog off of a lead there?
We found a rather good pub in Bayswater where we had a pint of Welsh ruby ale, and then a pint of local stout with a burger. And what a burger – with bacon, fried egg and black pudding in it.

We had a vague plan for a route for today, but in retrospect perhaps we’d been a tad ambitious. We cut the route short. Mayfair, Millbank and Pimlico can wait until next time.
We got back to South Kensington just as the rush hour was starting. We said our goodbyes at the Embankment, I found an Evening Standard, and rather failed at its crossword on the way home.
London was good; I took a few photos.

I got home just at the same time as "er indoors TM". We got the illuminated collars on to the dogs and walked them round the park. The illuminated collars were quite a success; I video-ed them.
With dogs walked we had a spot of tea and watched last week’s episode of “The Orville” which was rather good.

I then set about the geo-admin on today’s geocaching. The trip to London was a rather intensive test for my new app. It did what I was hoping it would… mostly…

26 February 2019 (Tuesday) - Busy, Busy...

I had a terrible night last night. Fudge decided to spend the night upstairs and when he does, he grumbles every time anyone else moves, farts or even breathes. Each time he grumbles "er indoors TM" tells him off, and so no one sleeps. It didn’t help that I wasn’t allowed any of the duvet either.

Over brekkie I watched the first episode of the new season of “Alan Partridge”. The TV critics seemed to like the show; I’ve always been a fan of Alan Partridge, but I wasn’t convinced.
I then had a little look at Facebook. That is something which amazes me. Yesterday I posted up a one-line comment about getting charged O.A.P. rate for fishing. Over forty people clicked the “like” button. For once, other than people liking the fact that I look eleven years older than I actually am, not a lot was kicking off on social media.
I had an email – Amazon were trying to sell me e-books that  had already bought from them.

I got myself and the dogs organised and we drove over to South Wilesborough where my car was booked in for its MOT. The dogs were fussed by all and sundry at the garage and we walked home through Frog’s Island. The walk went rather well.
Once home I fed laundry to the washing machine, then disassembled the pond’s fish poo filter and cleaned it all out. Every year I turn the filter off when the pond is shut down in November, and every year I don’t clean it out then. Instead I leave carp turds festering over the winter so they are nice and ripe a few months later when I come to clean the thing out. This morning I drained the stagnant water onto the lawn, and Treacle promptly drank her fill of it. Cleaning out the thing didn’t take anywhere near as long as it usually does, and soon I had it re-assembled. I won’t turn it on just yet. There is a scum on the pond’s surface I want to remove. I’m thinking a net curtain would be ideal for the job. Do any of my loyal readers have a net curtain they don’t want?

The garage rang. My heart sank. My car is twelve years old. I got the thing on 30 April 2010, and my intention was to have replaced it in 2014. However my life took an unexpected turn back then, and a new car at that point wasn’t an option. Now I’m realistically running the thing until it dies. I had been wondering if today’s MOT might have been that death.
The nice man at the garage said that it had failed the MOT, but all that was needed was a new bulb. There was a string of advisories; I was told that the headlight lens is a tad misty, the tyres will need sorting in a few months’ time, and there are some things which will probably need sorting out at the next service. But the car lives to drive another day. I had a cuppa and hung the washing out whilst the nice man at the garage replaced the bulb. Hanging the washing out – in February?!
I did the monthly accounts (could be worse), hung out more washing, and then the nice man phoned to say the car was ready.

I walked the dogs back over to South Willesborough; again they all behaved themselves (mostly). We got the car and came home. I scoffed a quick sandwich then started on an epic ironing session. As I ironed I watched “I Think We’re Alone Now”; a film starring Peter Dinklage (Tyrion out of “Game of Thrones”). It was utter tripe. When it finished I got all the washing in from the washing line and ironed that whilst watching “Ender’s Game” which I rather liked, even if I did fall asleep toward the end.

"er indoors TM" came home and boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst catching up on episodes of “Big Bang Theory” and “Young Sheldon”.

The second day of a week’s holiday has been rather hard work…