30 April 2020 (Thursday) - Another Late Shift

I didn’t have the most restful of nights. I had a nightmare in which I had been drafted back into the scout organisation and given command of a cub pack based near my mother’s house. All the children had various illnesses and maladies, and the parents were all glad that they could dump their kids on me.
I wonder what prompted that?

Fudge was particularly clingy as I scoffed my toast and peered into Facebook. A friend had posted a picture of a card he’d received which was enclosed in the packaging of a recent Amazon purchase. He was being offered ten Euros credit to his Amazon account if he wrote a five-star review of what he’d bought…
I follow an author page on Facebook (having had minor literary success in the past). People on that page write good reviews on the e-books of others without ever reading them, as a bad review is the kiss of death for a writer. I recently wrote a less than glowing report on an e-book I read. I said it was not the best and gave it three out of five. Had I been honest I would have written the one word “shite” and given it zero. But I still got a message from the author bleating that bad reviews are bad for business.
This is the world of on-line reviews.
I also saw that I’ve been made admin for the Munzee “Cup of Cocoa” clan for May. That’s quite impressive (if sticking bar codes onto lamp posts is your thing)
I used Facebook’s new “care” emoticon on a photo of "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM", told the world about my second choice of film, and took the dogs out.

We took one step outside, turned round and came back in for my coat; it was pouring hard. But the rain stopped in minutes and we had a good walk. There was only one “episode”; a jogger coming toward us stopped and broke out into a rather vigorous workout routine when only ten yards in front of us. Treacle was terrified, Pogo saw it as a threat, and Fudge thought it was a game. Fortunately a jogger coming behind us saw it all happen, and agreed with me that the chap had picked a very silly place to start his thrashing about.

We came home and I harvested all the dog dung from the garden. Bearing in mind how much they “do” when we are out on our walks, they “do” an amazing lot in the back garden.
I then spent a little while going through my credit card statement. Being a meanie I always go through it and account for every penny, but what with the lock-down I’ve not withdrawn any cash since a week before my birthday. I’ve done every single transaction on card, and so there was a *lot* to go through. Mind you it was well worth doing. Amazon never took the payment for that rather bad e-book I whinged about earlier, and the hospital in Hastings never took the payment for car parking when I visited my mum.

Treacle had "dumped" just as we were coming home. I'd bagged it and left it on the doorstep to dispose of when I left for work. So I picked up the poop, walked up the road to the bin, and eventually found myself going in completely the opposite direction to that in which I should have been walking. It was a shame I didn't realise this earlier; I was in something of a daydream.
But I did get to have an experimental deploy of one of the new Munzees that had arrived yesterday. I replaced one that I'd put out only a couple of weeks ago which had faded to the point of being unreadable. It worked fine, which was a result.

As I drove to Pembury the pundits on the radio were droning on about the pandemic. If they had anything worth saying I would have listened. But they were just repeating that which has been repeated endlessly and making wild speculations with no evidence to back up their suppositions, so I turned the radio off, and listened to my (arguably) rather odd choice of music.
The roads seemed rather busy this morning. Nowhere near as busy as usual, but certainly busier than they have been.

I got to work, and thought I might see what the works canteen was doing. They were doing a rather good lasagne (with chips) and a very good spotted dick (with custard). I tucked in, and gave myself a belly ache which lasted all afternoon.

The late shift was much as late shifts are. I was glad to see the relief arrive, but driving home was something of a game. With the A21 closed I again had to go cross country through Horsmonden to Goudhurst, and then navigate the gamut of road works which was infesting much of the A262. I do like working at Tunbridge Wells, but the journey can be iffy. As it was this evening…

29 April 2020 (Wednesday) - Late Shift

I slept like a log and woke feeling full of energy and raring to go at twenty past three. I then lay awake listening to a medley of snoring from "er indoors TM", Treacle and Pogo. Fudge had gone downstairs to the sofa for some peace and quiet. I should have joined him.
I peered into the Internet to see what had happened overnight. My new soap dish had generated quite a lot of interest. I saw that Cheryl had tagged me into one of those Facebook things: I now have to post (on Facebook) a scene (no title, not a poster) of a film that had an impact on me. Every day a new film and a new nomination for ten days. Today I went for the best film in the history of the universe (I’m trying to get rather obscure piccies - if you want to know what film it is, just ask…)
The last time I did something like this (influential albums) I nominated family members… only one had a go and he gave up after four days. This time I’m nominating people who I’ve known for at least forty years from my days in the Boys Brigade. I don’t suppose or expect any of them will join in, but there is a method in my madness here. It can be difficult to pick people for these Facebook meme-things without giving offence to those who don’t get picked. At least this way I have some defendable criteria.

I took the dogs out for a walk. As we went round the park we met the little old lady who goes about on a frame with her blue-eyed dog. (Dog owners don’t know other dog owners by name, we know each other by dog). She had a rant about the young family who use the park so little that they actually had to be told not to play in the flower beds, and she loudly announced that she would be glad when lock-down is over and all these people who have never before used the park all go back indoors. She then told a passing normal person that the face mask they were wearing would have been better used at the hospital by someone who actually needs it and wouldn’t waste it in the park.
I was so glad that it isn’t just me who is getting fed up with the antics of all the locked-down idiots.
We went on; Pogo shouted at the dog of a normal person, then played with new friends “Biscuit” and “Dorothy” before coming home.

Once home I saw that the postie had been. He’d delivered the Munzee stickers I’d ordered at the weekend. They’d arrived quickly. 
Usually I would then waste a little time watching telly, but with "er indoors TM" working from home I didn’t want to disturb her. And with the nation in lock-down, a geo-adventure or an hour’s munzing wasn’t really on the cards. So I wrote up a little CPD (which was on the dull side) whilst the dogs snored.

As I drove to Pembury the pundits on the radio were talking about how the pandemic has affected the religious. A lot more services are taking place virtually, and the chap being interviewed was rattling on about how "all sorts of possibilities are being considered". It never fails to amaze me how one possibility that never gets considered is that the righteous have got it all wrong, and their god is (at best) utterly disinterested in getting humanity out of  whatever disaster has befallen it this week.
There was also talk about how overworked Muslims in the NHS are struggling with Ramadan this year. There was speculation on relaxing the fasting restrictions, but the favoured option (of those seemingly in the know) was to allow anyone following Ramadan to take the entire month off work.
How is that going to work?

I got to work where there was a definite absence of cake. I did my bit (as I do).  Coming home was something of a game as the A21 was closed. Navigating home cross-country in the dark took some doing…

28 April 2020 (Tuesday) - Soap Dish, Gin...

Having spent much of the night laying awake listening to the rain on the window I’d finally nodded off when the alarm went off. Over a bowl of the Tesco granola I’d bought yesterday (not bad) I watched another episode of Ricky Gervais’s “After Life” which was again rather good.
I had a little look at the Internet. There wasn’t much happening on Facebook really. Having joined the “Crap Animal Photography” page yesterday I left it this morning as there are only so many out-of-focus photographs you can look at before losing interest.
Seeing I had no emails at all I put some plant food onto my monkey puzzle tree and set off work-wards.

I drove to Pembury through a damp and dismal morning. The roads west-wards can be quite pretty in the morning sunshine, but were rather tedious in this morning's gloom.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the parlous state of our economy following the impact of coronageddon. I say "our" economy; from this morning's reports it is plain that the economy is clearly the property of an elite. There were reports of the HSBC bank wanting to lay off thousands of workers since their quarterly profits have plummeted to only three billion quid. And closer to home several ministers and MPs weren't interested in bailing out UK ferry and haulage firms who may well go bankrupt following the collapse of their businesses.
Am I the only one who sees something awry here? Years ago the government sold off the nation's assets because they didn't want the aggro of running them and felt that they would be more efficient in private hands. And now when these vital services are about to go belly-up, the government says it is not their problem. Surely the country needs an infrastructure in good times and bad? If nothing else, this pandemic has shown that a system of government which is dependent on greed falls flat on its face when there is no profit to be made.

I got to work. I did that which I could not avoid. There were a lot less cakes and Easter eggs than yesterday, which was a shame. But an early start made for an early finish, and I was home in time to go round the park with "er indoors TM" and the dogs.
The walk went well. Pogo didn’t shout *that* much and he played nicely with other dogs. Fudge did his usual trick of straggling and looking pitiful until he met another dog at which point he started a game of “rude-piggy-back” which totally made a mockery of my worrying about his bad back.

Once home I was amazed to see that "er indoors TM" had got us a new soap dish. It self-drains – how cool is that?
I then tried to pay for some Lego with PayPal. PayPal is crap. Whenever I use it I just get the “spinning blue wheel of death”. The only way to resolve it is to clear all the cookies and reset all the passwords. Which is something of a pain in the glass (as "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" would say)
"er indoors TM" boiled up a particularly good bit of dinner which we washed down with some rather over-priced red wine, port and gin whilst watching yesterday’s “SAS: Who Dares Wins” and today’s “Celebrity Bake-Off”.
I expect I shall have a headache tomorrow…