30 June 2020 (Tuesday) - Another Early Shift

The dogs slept well last night, and when they sleep well, so does the rest of the world.
As I scoffed a bowl o granola I watched an episode of “F is for Family” in which our heroes featured in a musical celebrating the life of the chap who invented the electric chair, then I sparked up the Internet (as I do most mornings). Facebook was rather quiet, but I did have over a hundred more “found it” logs on the geocaches I’d put in Kings Wood.

I rather took my life in my hands as I drove up the motorway this morning. There was a miles-long stream of lorries going at about forty miles an hour in the slow lane; every so often one of them was being overtaken by another lorry going at about forty-one miles an hour (and consequently taking over a mile to overtake). Most of the non-juggernaut traffic was dancing around these lorries weaving in and out of the fast lane up which the usual speed freaks were still speeding. Had the lorries all stayed in the slow lane we would have all been so much safer. As I danced in and out of the lorries I listened to the pundits on the radio who were interviewing some head teacher or other. This woman was trying to speak "posh" rather than the English she spoke every day, and as always when people try to speak "posh" they just sound silly. There was talk of children forming "isolation bubbles" in schools - the idea being that you can restrict how many people anyone comes into contact with. The school in question had "up to twenty-two support bubbles". "Up to"! What is that supposed to mean.

I got to work; we had cake at tea-time; I also finished my e-book. I'm currently having something of a literary retrospective and am re-reading stuff by John Wyndham. Today I finished "The Kraken Wakes" which is a book I can thoroughly recommend; when I last came up with a "top ten books" list (in March 2019) this one came in fifth. I've downloaded "Day of the Triffids" and am re-reading that one now.
As we worked and chatted this afternoon something came up that might have a bearing outside of work. Have we been breaking the law when pursuing the ancient and honourable art of rummaging under rocks looking for film pots? A *lot* of geocaches are found by first locating a gravestone, and using what is written on that gravestone to solve a puzzle. Dates of birth, dates of death... all feature in geo-puzzles. But Section 18 (1e) (Offences in cemeteries) of The Local Authorities' Cemeteries Order 1977 clearly states "No person shall... play at any game or sport in a cemetery." Does this include solving geo-puzzles? I wonder if I should squeal this to the geo-feds before someone else squeals me up?

I had hoped to take the dogs out this evening (being on an early shift) but it had been raining most of the day, and with the rain forecast until seven o’clock I decided against it. Instead I had a look at Bricklink and ordered up some bits and bobs. Ideally I would have gone to the Lego shop in Bluewater, but until some semblance of normality is restored, I think I shall be avoiding that place.

"er indoors TM" boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed along with a bottle of Aldi’s best red wine whilst watching “Bake Off: The Professionals”. Blue team lost tonight; they should have gone two weeks ago…

29 June 2020 (Monday) - Early Shift

As I scoffed my brekkie I watched an episode of “F Is For Family” with Fudge sitting on my lap. I’d got the comb out, and gently but firmly raked quite a lot of moulting fur out from his back. He seemed to like it; he really loved it when he was younger, but doesn’t seem to be so keen on it these days. After a few minutes he lost interest and went back to his basket, and I had a look-see at the Internet.
Looking at Facebook it didn’t seem that many people had done very much over the weekend. There were lots of things for sale, and one or two arguments about the best places to go fishing locally, but other than that, no one had posted much in the way of photos of what they had been up to. Mind you I had over a hundred “found it” logs on geocaches I’ve hidden. A shame none of them had posted any photos to Facebook; being a nosey person I like seeing photos of what others are up to.

As I drove up the motorway this morning the pundits on the radio were interviewing the Mayor of Leicester. There has been a spike of COVID-19 there, and the Home Secretary had announced that she was threatening to put the place back into lock-down. The Mayor was asked his opinion. He said that he'd had an email from the Home Secretary at four minutes past one this morning suggesting that the lock-down restrictions which are being eased even more this weekend might remain in force in Leicester for two more weeks, but he’d been told nothing about going back into full lock-down. The Mayor said (quite rightly) that since national government clearly has his email address they might like to correspond with him directly rather than letting him find out their intentions from the radio. I think the chap had a point.
There was then talk about how the leaders of Islamic State are now referring to COVID-19 as "God's Little Soldier" as they are claiming it is scourging everywhere in the world except their bit. Really? Strange stuff, religion...

I got to work; I did what I had to do on a rather busy day. But an early start made for an early getaway.
I came home via Aldi in Aylesford as I needed to get some shopping. As I walked up to the shop, some thug in an Aldi uniform made a point of blocking up the door and not letting anyone in. He grunted something and stood there glaring at the queue which had started to form behind me. After a few minutes I commented to the woman behind me (rather loudly) that it was me who was doing Aldi a favour by shopping there; it wasn’t Aldi doing me a favour by eventually allowing me in. I said that I would take my money elsewhere and walked back to my car. Everyone else who had been queuing up walked away too.
I drove to the Aldi in Ashford where they couldn’t have been more helpful and friendly.
As I came out of the shop I saw something that amazed me. A young mother was pulling down the tailgate of her car. As she did so, her idiot child leapt up to try to head-butt it. She pulled the tailgate down rather vigorously, and caught the idiot child in mid-air. Needless to say he came down a lot faster than he jumped up. I left them both shrieking at each other and came home.

"er indoors TM" and I got the dogs onto their leads and took them down to Orlestone Woods where we had a rather good walk; even if Fudge did straggle.
Once home we had a rather good bit of dinner – I can thoroughly recommend Aldi pork chops…

28 June 2020 (Sunday) - Coxheath

Treacle woke me with a woofing fit at half past one, and once I am woken I don’t really get back to sleep again. I saw every hour of the night, and gave up trying to sleep at half past six.
I made some toast and peered into the Internet. It would seem I hadn’t missed much overnight. Some people had walked round Kings Wood looking for the geocaches I’d hidden there, found the lot and had said nice things about them.
With nothing else happening on-line I got ready to take the dogs out. It would have been nice to do the family thing today but Fudge and Pogo just try to play “doggy piggy back” on Sid all the time, and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" won’t leave Pogo alone.

We drove round to Sainsbury’s to get petrol; their petrol station was closed, as was the one on the ring road. I went to the petrol station in Hythe Road where my idiot magnet worked again. Some chap was wanting to cash in a scratch card or something. The chap behind the counter was having to tell him each word to write onto the requisite form, and how to spell each word. After ten minutes the chap behind the counter told him to get out of the way so that he could deal with the customers, and the idiot trying to write got rather stressed with trying to lean on a bottle of milk as something on which to rest his bit of paper.

We drove out to Linton Church where we met Karl, Tracey and Charlotte, and we set off on a rather good walk which effectively orbited the village of Coxheath. With only a little of the walk on lanes (and those lanes were rather quiet), and no cattle at all, the dogs were able to be off of their leads for a large part of the day. The owner of one house had been kind enough to put out a bowl of water for the dogs, and with only one real exception, the dogs were as good as gold. The exception being when another dog came past at picnic time; heaven help any other dog who goes near my dogs’ rice.
Yes – rice.
The dogs love rice; Karl had made some for them, and they loved it. They had their rice, we had some bottles of ale; a day in the sunshine… you can’t beat it. As we walked we found that Pogo likes playing “Fetch”. Treacle likes a stick, but in the past Fudge has never played “Fetch”; he just rips up tennis balls. But Pogo was chasing after kicked apples and fetching them back to be kicked again. We shall play this more often.

Not long after we started walking a young couple overtook us. They smiled politely and walked on in front, then rummaged in the very hedge we had targeted for a rummage. We got chatting; they too were devotees of the noble art of looking for film pots under rocks. We walked for quite a way with them; they’d never met any other geocachers. It was good to meet new friends; it would be nice to run into them again.

Geocache-wise this was an excellent walk, and with the added bonus of some lab caches too.
Good co-ordinates given with helpful hints made for a good time. Far better than last week’s walk round Edenbridge which was rather hard work. Perhaps we walked a little further than we needed to today by parking at the church, but the path through the orchards was rather pretty.
I took a few photos as we walked.

Once home the dogs were soon fast asleep; had it been too hot for them today? I don’t think so really. They had plenty of water, and seemed happy the entire way round. As the dogs snored so I posted photos to Facebook and did the on-line geo-stuff that people do until "er indoors TM" came back from taking "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" home.

"er indoors TM" boiled up pizza for dinner which we scoffed whilst watching a bit of telly. Possibly I ate too much; possibly I should have worn a hat today. But either way an early night might be a plan…