31 October 2020 (Saturday) - After the Night Shift

I was glad when the relief arrived this morning. Last night’s was one of the busier night shifts.
As I drove home the pundits on the radio were talking about rumours of another nationwide lock-down. As part of the ongoing endless speculation and guesswork they wheeled on
Sir John Redwood who… Don’t get me wrong. I don’t know the chap, I’ve never met him. Perhaps he is a lovely fellow and perhaps I misunderstood what he was saying as I was rather tired as I drove home. But it sounded to me that he was absolutely crystal-clear that any reduction in death rate that a lock-down might bring in no way compensated for any possible harm a lock-down would do to the economy. He really did seem to be saying that it was far better to have businesses and jobs than people. Do the public realise this is what the ruling party stands for? Yes or no – either is rather scary.

I collected "er indoors TM" and those dogs that don’t go and hide at walkies time, and we went down to Orlestone Woods. There were quite a lot of cars in the car park, but we only met one other group as we walked. It was a lady and two dogs that we have met before; her dogs are very friendly, but huge, and Treacle is terrified of them. One of the huge dogs bounded up to me and jumped up. I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if the people who called the police on me ever met a dog of this size.


With walk walked I went to bed and slept like a log. Eventually the noise of the torrential rain woke me. Over a rather late brekkie I peered into the internet to see the entire world was distraught. Sean Connery had died. The chap was ninety years old so it can’t be really unexpected, but the postings on social media were rather telling.

Seemingly the entire universe saw the death of Sean Connery as the death of James Bond. But less than a minute’s research shows that Mr Connery didn’t like the Bond association. He once told Time magazine that he was fed up to here with the whole Bond bit" and was quoted in the Observer as saying "I have always hated that damned James Bond. I'd like to kill him". In Mr. Connery’s biography Michael Caine is quoted as saying "you didn't raise the subject of Bond. He was, and is, a much better actor than just playing James Bond, but he became synonymous with Bond. He'd be walking down the street and people would say, "Look, there's James Bond." That was particularly upsetting to him."

It is a funny old life being an actor. Despite a varied career of many years, so many people find themselves remembered for just one role out of hundreds. Take Ed Tudor-Pole for example. He *hates* the Crystal maze, but who can name anything else he’s ever done (even though he’s done a *lot* of other things). Or take Robert Pattinson, star of the Twilight” films he despised.


I wasted half an hour trying to solve a geo-puzzle. Despite having been told that the puzzle was based on tropical cyclones I got nowhere. Was it based on the intensity force? The year of the cyclone? Wind speed? Barometric pressure?

I then struggled (and failed) with some other geo-puzzles involving post offices, Sir Thomas Smythe, and random street names in the Otford area.

Some geo-puzzles are put out to be solved, and some aren’t. I must admit I’ve hidden one recently which seems to have the punters foxed. Do people enjoy trying to solve these things? They aren’t so much “difficult” as just require people to keep randomly guessing and guessing until they hit on whichever random thing you’ve chosen.


With all sorts of rumours abounding that the Prime Minister was to make a statement to the nation we sparked up the telly and tuned in to the news. All sorts of pundits were making all sorts of sage announcements whilst the nation waited for Mr. Johnson to finally show up on screen.

After nearly three hours he came on with a couple of advisors. His advisors droned on for twenty minutes or so. It was a shame that they were incredibly boring and that the slides they used to illustrate their points were confused and only half-visible on our TV screen. Eventually the Prime Minister spoke. It took him nearly fifteen minutes to say that basically we’re having a lock-down again. He started taking questions from the press; all of them seemed to be trying to big themselves up and embarrass Mr. Johnson rather than asking anything relevant.

I can’t help but feel that Boris Johnson has blown a golden opportunity for himself. Given a national crisis the likes of which we’ve never seen before he could have been decisive and gone down in history with Churchill or Lloyd-George. Instead he’s waffled on, been indecisive, wishy-washy (and in desperate need of a haircut) and is now seen as something of a national embarrassment. Such a shame. 

"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we coffed whilst watching this week’s episode of “Star Trek: Discovery”. The season started very badly, but has improved beyond all recognition. I think I’d like the show more if I could warm to the leading character. To be honest if the writers killed her off in the next episode it would improve the show no end…

30 October 2020 (Friday) - Before the Night Shift

I was fast asleep when the bin men came crashing up the street at half past six this morning. If the crashing hadn’t woken everyone, they then started shouting up the street to each other (just to be sure). Finding myself wide awake I took the dogs for an early walk.

We drove down to Orlestone Woods where we found an empty car park. We walked our usual circuit and didn’t see another soul. Fudge straggled behind, sniffing everything as he bimbled. Treacle and Pogo chased each other and had a whale of a time. Remembering the tracks I saw in the mud on Monday I looked to see if anything huge had been prowling overnight. I saw a few of what might have been deer tracks, but there were no monsters today.

We walked for nearly an hour and didn’t meet anyone else; we came back to a car park which was as empty as when we’d left it.


As we drove home the pundits on the radio were talking about how Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour party over the ongoing row about anti-Semitism. Is it rife in the Labour party? Has Mr Corbyn done wrong? I don’t know, but I do know that Mr Corbyn has done something to offend the media. When did you last hear anything positive about the chap? Anything at all? Ever? If he said that the sky was blue and grass was green, there would be headline news denying it. But this is not just about Jeremy Corbyn. One of the top union leaders has announced that this latest debacle could well cost the Labour party the next election. Will it? I can’t help but wonder if this is a deliberate ploy by the Labour party to do just that. Over the years they have bent over backwards to make themselves unelectable, and when you look at what the Conservatives have done over the same time period, making the Labour party a worse choice must have taken some doing.


Once home I made some toast then peered into the Internet. I used it to send out birthday wishes, to capture a cyclops and help build a reindeer (it’s a Munzee thing), and to see what I’d missed overnight. I hadn’t really missed much.

I then wrote up some CPD and ironed shirts before going into the garden to clear up all the fallen leaves. There is a huge tree in the garden of the house three houses down the road. In the summer it blocks out the sun; in the autumn it fills the back garden with fallen leaves. I’ve whinged at the people who live there (many times) who assure me they’ve told the landlord, but nothing gets done. I emailed the council about it this morning.

I then went through my letter rack. There were letters going back nearly two years. Whoops. Perhaps if people sent less “crap” letters I might take more notice of the ones I did get. I saw that I had over a year’s worth of bank statements even though I get my bank statements on-line. I logged into my bank account and sure enough the thing was set to on-line statements only (and has been for some time). I asked their automated system why they were still sending me paper statements. It replied “Unfortunately your query is slightly too complex for me to understand. Please ask me again using a single sentence, bearing in mind I work best when I am asked one question at a time”. So much for technology, eh? So I phoned the bank and spoke to some woman. Over the noise of her baby crying in the background she assured me that I don’t get paper statements.

Oh, how we both laughed.


I programmed “Hannah” for tomorrow (hoping the weather holds out) and took myself off to bed. I managed to stay there for four hours despite dogs barking for various trivialities during the afternoon. One advantage of having "er indoors TM" working from home is that she can quieten the dogs when I’m trying to sleep before work.

I woke to find that the council had replied to my earlier email. However they aren’t going to do anything as the tree is on “privet land”. I considered writing back to say that the tree in question was a sycamore and not a privet bush but thought better of it. 

I’m hoping "er indoors TM" will boil up some dinner, then I’m off to the night shift… Not keen on night shift on a Friday, but to be fair I’m even less keen on night shift on a Saturday, so I can’t grumble…

29 October 2020 (Thursday) - Still Dull

As the credits ran at the end of today’s episode of “The Job Lot” I was amazed to see that the show had a dialect coach. What on Earth does one of them do? I looked it up on Wikipedia, and whilst I was at it, I saw that they earn far more than I do. Ho hum…

I had quite a flurry of messages this morning. There is serious consternation in the geocaching world. Apparently one of the First to Find brigade went out randomly looking for unpublished geocaches last week and found one. When the things got published, this chap claimed to be First to Find. I can’t say I’m happy with that myself, but it is within the letter of the law, if not the spirit of the law. But when someone else went out to find the thing (properly) it was apparent that the person who’d claimed to have found it previously hadn’t (as the paper log inside was unsigned). A rather trivial episode? Perhaps, but for those of us who are into this sort of thing, to say this was a bit cheeky is an understatement.


Meanwhile in Bexhill a local councilor is getting stick about his Hallowe’en decorations. Hundreds support what the chap has done with his house, but a vanishingly small minority disapprove,

I’m reminded of my time as a Cub Scout leader. We had Hallowe’en fun for years until an American missionary got involved, claimed we were encouraging the kids to be devil-worshippers, and the whole thing got the kibosh. Such a shame.

But this is what is wrong with society these days. One or two vocal crackpots make a noise, and the majority stay silent at the time, then grumble afterwards when the minority have got their way.


I took a little diversion to the park on my way to work this morning (for Munzee reasons) then set off up the motorway. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how the pandemic is affecting the homeless. One homeless chap who was interviewed seemed quite chirpy and was adamant that he was actually far better off than a lot of people who had homes. Apparently his “faith in the Lord sustains him”.

Perhaps it does? I was talking with a colleague today who mentioned that “everyone has to worship something” and had trouble understanding how many people really do seem to manage without having any sort of religion.

There was also all sorts of discussions on the radio about the effectiveness of lock-downs, what with an estimated one hundred thousand people contracting COVID-19 every day in the UK. That sounds a lot, but even at that rate it will still take close on two years for the entire population to get the virus.


I got to work where I had another busy day. I’m getting fed up with these. Yesterday I’d told everyone that my plan for today was to be taking it easy but that didn’t happen. I was non-stop all day and was glad when home time came.

Once home I sparked up the lap-top and tuned in to the weekly Zoom geo-meet. I’ve not been joining in with these for a while; it was good to catch up. I must admit I’d rather given up on those recently; the blatant racial hatred had been somewhat off-putting. But tonight those who previously prefixed their every utterance with “I’m not racist but…” were somewhere else.


"er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of dinner, then slipped off out, Her daily Munzee challenge will take some doing. Compared to hers, my one was rather easy this morning


I think I might just have an early night, if only to see if that might shift today’s ear-worm. The theme to “Parsley Boobs” has been stuck in my head all day long today. It has been rather annoying…