30 September 2019 (Monday) - Train to Work

I think I had another of my worst night's sleep ever last night. I woke up at two o'clock and couldn't get back to sleep. After half an hour I got up and emptied the dishwasher, and as I had a quick tiddle I heard the most amazing noises. Fudge's coughing has to be heard to be believed; he really does cough like a duck quacks. 
I let him out for a tiddle, then spent ten minutes trying to round him up again. One of his favourite activities is playing silly beggars in the dark.

I went back to bed and lay wide awake until half past four. I got up then, and over brekkie took the last of these steroid tablets. I *really* don't like them; it is those that stuff up my ability to sleep. 
As I scoffed brekkie I watched an episode of "Inside No.9" which featured crossword puzzles. Prophetic? 

With my car being problematical I didn't fancy breaking down again, so I left home at twenty to six and walked to the train station. It was still very dark as I walked up the road, and the darkness was in no way abated by the pathetic street lighting. Ashford council has spent a small fortune replacing all the street lights with these LED things that don't actually illuminate the pavements. There was talk of them being installed back in the day when I was on the committee of the astro club, and what has been delivered is *not* what was promised. I have sent letters of complaint here and there in the past. Now winter is coming I might do so again.

I got to the train station; the ticket price bore no relation to the on-line information I’d looked up yesterday.
I got the six o'clock train. I had the carriage to myself, and as I headed westwards I did the crossword in the free newspaper.  I just did the one with the straightforward clues: "Frozen water I-E; we like big ones T-TS". None of this cryptic rubbish such as "underwater steamer goes backwards to Newcastle we hear 2,4,3" which turns out to be "up your bum" for no reason that anyone can fathom (least of all the person who wrote it).
I changed train at Maidstone East. Having had a carriage to myself I found myself sharing a carriage with loads of the normal people. One of them had spread his office paperwork all over the table between us. It all looked rather interesting; especially the letters marked "confidential". He gave me the evil eyes when he realised that I was more interested in them than he was.

I got to Barming; I walked up a very noisy road to work. I could have walked faster had some idiot not been bimbling along at a snail's pace. Why do these incredibly slow people have to take up the entire pavement?
I arrived at work an hour and a half after I'd left home. Not bad time I suppose. I would prefer to have driven, but it wasn't a bad journey up. On arrival I went straight to the works canteen; I felt I deserved a cooked brekkie. I had one and was disappointed. The works canteen dinners are usually very good. Their brekkie wasn’t all that this morning.
By the time I started the early shift at quarter to eight I felt like the day was already half-done.

Work was rather busy; but I'd buttered up the bosses and they'd allowed me to slip out a few minutes early. With the train home leaving five minutes before the end of my shift, getting it was going to be tricky.
I got to the station to find that the on-line information was again wrong, but I didn’t have to wait too long for a train. As I came home I did the crossword in the free evening paper; I nearly got it all done.

Once home I walked the dogs round the co-op field. We didn’t meet anyone else, we didn’t run into any other dogs. We had a good walk.
"er indoors TM" came home and boiled up a rather good bit of dinner before going bowling. I spent a little more time on my new Wherigo project. After Saturday’s disaster I *think* I’ve got the first game working. That’s only taken about six hours programming.

I’m a bit nervous about tomorrow… I’m finally having my nose re-bored (again).

29 September 2019 (Sunday) - Early Shift

I think I possibly had one of my worst night's sleep ever last night. I lay dozing fitfully for two hours with my stomach rumbling constantly.​ I got up and watched a rather clever episode of "Inside No.9" and scoffed some granola before going back to bed just before two o'clock.
My stomach was now settled, but the noise of torrential rain kept me awake until five o'clock when I gave up trying to sleep. I got up, and over some toast watched another episode of "Nightflyers". The plot had leapt eight months forward. Characters who once hated each other were now best friends. Characters who hadn't really had much to do with each other were having a baby together (on a spaceship?).
This program hasn't been thought out at all.

As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking (amongst other things) about the Labour MP Patricia Hodge who now faces deselection. According to the rules a standing MP has to have the support of two thirds of those in the vote of the local party. She'd fallen short; she'd only got fifty-five per cent of the vote.
But only fifteen per cent of those eligible to vote had cast an "X". Doesn't that really sum up the state of our so-called democracy.  No one can be bothered with it.
As I pulled in to the works car park my car beeped. I had a message from it on the dashboard display – “Oil Pressure Fault”. I needed that…

I got to work; my fourth consecutive weekend to be working. But as I always say, I don’t mind working at the weekend when it is raining. And "er indoors TM" has also noticed that it rains a lot when I’m working at the weekends.
Work was busy. And frustrating. But being busy, the time soon passed. And with a knackered car waiting outside I spent a little while sorting out the times of the train home.
Home time came… I went out to my car to leave my sandwich box in it (didn’t want to carry that home) and to pick up the packet of extra-strong mints that was in the car. And to get a raincoat too; there’s a spare coat in the car.
But in the time it took me to walk to the car I’d gone into auto-pilot. I’d completely forgotten about the oil pressure fault. And so had the car. We both drove off quite happily. It was a shame that the car remembered the oil pressure fault before I did. Half way down the M20 just as the traffic was being filtered into the fast lane (as the slower lanes were closed because of a car on fire down the road) I got the warning together with frantic beeping and the stop light came on too. Gripped by absolute panic I pulled onto the hard shoulder. I was so grateful that I’d listened to the man from the insurance company and put the breakdown number into my phone.

I got through to the breakdown people; they took down my particulars (oo-er!), told me the nice breakdown man would be along in forty-five minutes, and they texted me a link on which I could track where the nice breakdown man was. However, rather than having a countdown timer of when the nice breakdown man would arrive, the link seemed to be a random number generator. The expected arrival time went from less than a minute up to fifteen minutes a couple of times. The times in the piccie above really are in the order I received them.
Eventually (after a wait of an hour and three quarters) he rolled up. I was glad to see him; half an hour after my breaking down all the electricals had gone in the car too.

The electrical issue was easy… With the car’s engine off, I’d been charging my phone, I’d had the blowers clearing the windscreen, I’d had the radio on. I’d flattened the battery.
The oil pressure fault… The nice breakdown man checked the oil. The very end of the dipstick had gone. And then I remembered that the nice man in the garage did say at last Monday’s servicing that the end had dropped into the sump. He said that it *probably* wouldn’t be an issue. The nice breakdown man had a theory that the bit of dipstick was obstructing the flow of oil. He could see that the stuff was moving (I have no idea how, I just had utter faith in him), and when he started the engine he said he could hear it wasn’t poggered. The nice breakdown man suggested I drove home slowly and he’d follow, and that I should stop if anything seemed awry. We got to within two miles of home before the warning message came on again.
The car is parked outside. It can stay there. I’ll get in touch with the garage in the morning.

Once home I wanted a little rest, but the dogs were having none of it. We got leads on, and despite the rain went for a little walk round the roads. We came home just as "er indoors TM" arrived back from Margate having been visiting "Daddy’s Little Angel TM".
She boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching “Tattoo Fixers”; for someone who’s covered in tattoos, I can’t help but wonder what some other tattoo-ed people were thinking of.

I’m going to have an early night – I’m worn out. I barely slept last night, and I’ve got to be on the train at quarter past six tomorrow morning…

28 September 2019 (Saturday) - A Birthday Gathering

Having been wide awake for the best part of an hour I got up just after three o’clock and watched a rather disappointing episode of “Nightflyers”. The plot items in this episode had been done better years ago in “Doctor Who”, “Space 1999” and the Roger Mellie “Tomorrow’s World” episode in Viz magazine.
As I watched telly I charged my phone. I went back to bed with a fully charged phone, lay awake and restless for a few hours and found half the charge had gone, and had a message that the “McAfee Livesafe” app had been making excessive demands again.
I’ve uninstalled that app. No matter what it does, if it is so battery-intensive that I need to charge every few hours, it make the phone unusable.

I gave up trying to sleep and got up just before eight o’clock. I looked up prednisone on the Internet. I’ve been taking it as a run-up to next Tuesday’s operation. The idea I it will shrink the nasal polyps to make their removal easier. One of the known side-effects is that it stuffs up your sleep. It also gives digestive troubles (which is why I’m farting like a fruit-bat) and gives weight loss – my face is suddenly incredibly bony.

I spent a couple of hours working on my Crystal Maze Wherigo. I got to the point where I thought I’ve built the first game (of sixteen) which I thought worked *if* you do it right – It failed utterly in testing,

Pausing only briefly to snap my bootlace we then set off in the car. As we drove the Saturday morning local radio announcer was gasping for air. No longer hesitating over every word (clearly reading from a script) she was now puffing into the microphone. Does her script not have punctuation?
We drove out to Boys Hall. We’ve been there a few times recently trying to find the geocaches which were hidden there. We’ve finally now found the lot, but they took some finding.

We came home and I ordered new bootlaces from Amazon. Part of me wanted to support a local business and help the little man. Another part of me didn’t want to spend an hour buying a pair of bootlaces.

After a cuppa and a Belgian bun we wandered round the road to a little afternoon soiree. A fiftieth birthday party. We had a rather good time; far too much to eat and drink. Once I’d had an elegant sufficiency of ale I had a glass of whisky which wasn’t actually that bad at all. This was washed down by a (seemingly) gallon of gin. And then we started on the port and cheese.

We came home with heads spinning… we’d had a good time but we’d had to make a choice. As well as the birthday party we’d had an invitation to a gig at which the band of some friends was playing. We’d missed a wedding. And we’d missed a family bash as well.
If only we could have got to everything…

My head really is spinning.