31 December 2021 (Friday) - Looking Back, Looking Forward

I slept through till three o’clock this morning then lay wide awake for a couple of hours before giving up trying to sleep and getting up.

Over brekkie I watched another episode of “Superstore” then sparked up the lap-top to see what was going on in the world. Yesterday my Facebook feed was awash with Monty Python memes; today it was daleks. Why?


As I drove to work on another very dark and wet morning the pundits on the radio were taking their orders from Dame Jane Goodall. Seen as the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Dame Jane was saying that all attempts on reversing climate change are doomed to failure until world poverty is sorted.  She made a very convincing case that the environmental impact of my drive to work is just pissing in the wind compared to the wholesale deforestation that is going on across the world in the under-developed nations. That did soothe my conscience a tad. However offering millions of farmers living on subsistence level a better living than they can make from cutting down forests for farmlands will take some doing. Dame Jane seemed convinced that the idea was not only feasible but achievable, so there is hope for the future. Even if details were a little vague.

There was a lot of talk about how Prince Andrew should be crapping his pants in terror following yesterday's conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell.

Should he be? Has he actually interfered with children as has been implied on the radio? Perhaps he should talk to the FBI as has been suggested. Mind you if I was him I wouldn't go to talk to them; I'd invite the FBI to come to me. What with the media already having decided he's guilty he's far safer not setting foot on American soil regardless of whether or not he's actually done anything wrong.


It was still dark as I got to work, but as I walked away from my car the dawn chorus was in full swing. The birds were rather noisy this morning, and their songs were rather cheering. It made me think of a science fiction story I once read where on the fictional world of Yom there wasn't so much a dawn chorus as a "quiet time" when all the wildlife stopped singing and making noise and went quiet for an hour or so every afternoon. Whilst that was just a little novelty detail for the story, I've always found that idea rather scary.


Work was work, and with it done I came home. I am reliably informed I missed a major incident on the motorway by minutes. Had I left work a few moments later I would have been three hours late getting home.

“er indoors TM” boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching “The Greatest Showman”.

On New Year’s Eve in years gone by we would have gone to Folkestone and done it the Spanish way. But for the second year running we are doing it virtually via Zoom meeting. I’m going to wear my red New Year pants as a hat… with Maria fifteen miles away I will get away with it.


And that’s it for this year. I suppose that I should end with a look-back at this last year, shouldn’t I? The highlight must have been the wonderful holiday we had in Lincolnshire over the summer, and I had a rather good afternoon tea for my birthday, and once a month we had fun family Zoom bingo-quiz nights. We had an amazing stag do over the August Bank Holiday and an excellent Christmas Day and Boxing Day with the fruits of my loin. And the new telly and the new car weren’t too shabby either.

Sadly what with the (laughably made-up-as-we-went-along) lockdown regulations thwarting plans, I spent a lot of time and  *lot* of money in the garden this year, and it was April before we were able to meet up to go for a decent walk with friends. But much as I do look forward to our walks, the weather was against us for much of the year. We had quite a few really good weekend walks, but we did get soaked on the Romney Marsh a couple of times and had to call off more walks this year than ever before.

I did manage to organise two geocaching trips to London both of which went rather well (even if I do say so myself) and we had two rather good geocaching meet-ups.

But it hasn’t been the best of years, has it? Last New Year’s Eve I mentioned about how “I try to hope for the best whilst expecting the worst” and that really was how the year panned out for me. It started off with lots of rather horrible drives through ice (and even snow) to the hospice, and when that was all over I was to and from the in-patient department of the vet’s. Closer to home, but far more expensive. Ending the year with half the dogs and half the parents I started the year with, I also lost three old friends too.


So… what does the future hold? Tomorrow I’m staging the first local geocaching meet of the year and I’m hoping that we might re-boot the noble and ancient art of rummaging under rocks for film pots. We’ve got quite a few meets planned for the New Year.

In less than two weeks I’m due to have surgery -  another nasal re-bore. I can’t pretend to be looking forward to that.

We are off to Norfolk for a week just before Easter.

We’ve got a holiday in Grand Canaria in June which I suspect will be cancelled.

We’ve got a week in the New Forest in August… I got the confirmation confirmation of the time off from work today.

So again I shall hope for the best… and be rather circumspect about that which I might expect. See you all next year…

30 December 2021 (Thursday) - Birthdays, Stuff, Early Shift

Over brekkie I watched an episode of “Superstore” which really did give an example of how the (relatively) younger generation operate these days. The leading character of the show has been living with her boyfriend for years in the house they are buying together and in which they are bringing up their child. However she is unsure whether or not she wants to marry him as that is too big a step.

I know so many people who are in this boat; having made so many practical commitments to each other, they won’t get married as that is far too big a step. How does that work?

As I watched telly yet another COVID test incubated. I’m getting short of those and despite what the Health Secretary said on the radio last week, there *is* a national shortage of the things as I can’t seem to be able to order any more.

I then sparked up my lap-top to see I had more spamming messages from “Name Tests” so I’ve squealed them up to the Facebook Feds, then sent out a birthday wish to my brother. He’s fifty today. Fifty !! I also saw that Jeff Lynne (the leading light of the Electric light Orchestra) is seventy-four today.

They both made me feel rather old.

With nothing else on Facebook but postings about Monty Python (there were *loads* of those this morning) and no emails worth having, I got ready for work.


As I drove to work on another very dark and wet morning the pundits on the radio were talking about how Ghislane Maxwell (daughter of the publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell) has been found guilty of...  To be honest it wasn't her crimes that made me think this morning, so much as what the legal expert being interviewed had to say. Apparently Ms Maxwell hadn't been in court at all during her trial. She was described as "a very bad witness". The legal professionals don't like her sort in the courtrooms as she argues with them and seems to have no respect for the legal processes. Anything she had to say was presented in writing before the trial started.

And during the trial the jury decided that one of the other witnesses "was telling the truth". Did they? Was she? I'm not sure if any jury can decide if any witness is "telling the truth". All they can decide is that they believe the witness - which can be miles away from the witness actually being truthful.

This all reminded me of my little episode in a court nearly ten years ago when I was accused of professional misconduct. I've tried to draw a veil over a rather nasty episode in my life, but I do get flashbacks... like I did this morning. I can distinctly remember when I fell foul of the presiding officer as I was more interested in presenting my story rather than piddling about in the convoluted way they seemed to want to piddle about in. Then the prosecuting barrister just came straight out and called me a liar; my recollection of what had happened acted in my defence and went against her presentation. Amazingly only minutes after this, the same prosecuting barrister suddenly stopped being the cow-bitch-from-hell and argued very strongly in my favour when she felt I wasn't presenting my case in the best way. And then when acting for me she openly contradicted what she'd said minutes previously when acting for the prosecution.

But what struck me most about that sorry episode was during a lull in proceedings when one of those in judgement over me was chatting with one of the court officials about the best places to go in London for a good night out. For him my trial was something of an inconvenience; he was clearly there for a trip to the wicked city, and the sooner the business of the day was finished, the better.

All the time courts are treated as "just another day at work" or “a bit of a jolly” rather than "this is someone's life!" will we ever get real justice?

It's been ten years now - I really should stop sulking.


I got to work for the early shift. the night shift was glad to see me. Like me on Monday night she too had been dragooned in at short notice to cover for sick leave. This pandemic is a pain in the glass (to coin a phrase). I did my bit. As I did I found out that the game to have been playing over Christmas had been "Drunk Uno" which (apparently) is just like normal Uno but with a lot more vodka. One lives and learns.


Driving home today was something of a disappointment. Yesterday the sunset had been rather pretty. Today was wet, overcast and miserable. I got home just as it was getting dark, and as I got out of my car I said hello to who I thought was Dan-Dan (a sort of niece-in-law). However it wasn’t Dan-Dan; it was one of the normal people who didn’t actually say “F… off fatso or I will scream for the police” but her reaction wasn’t far off of that. Bearing in mind that I was outside Dan-Dan’s house I thought that was an honest mistake to make, but the normal person wasn’t having any of it.

I came home, and over a cuppa I peered into the internet where I saw I had a friend request on Facebook. “Calverto Esila” had suggested: “Join the Snapchat group I've set up. in the snapchat group there are many lonely women who need a date... so if you want to join the group, it's FREE without spending a penny. click here” and gave a link to a website featuring various people doing rather unhygienic activities. If anyone would like the link I’ll just make the observation that I know from experience that my passing it on would breach Facebook’s Community Standards, but her sending to me does not. As Facebook confirmed this evening.

Funny old world…


With dinner scoffed “er indoors TM” started lurking in the kitchen. After an hour or so she came up with a rather good batch of Christmas buns… Very tasty.

29 December 2021 (Wednesday) - Early Shift

I slept like a log last night which was something of a result. I suppose that’s the aftermath of a night shift.

I made toast, and watched an episode of “Superstore”; there is a new series of the show on Netflix which was rather good. I’d forgotten just how good the show was. Believable characters make all the difference to any telly show.

I had a quick look at the Internet – pretty much nothing at all was going on. I suppose six o’clock on the morning after a Bank Holiday was too early for most people? But I did have a message. The “Name Tests” app wanted me to play a game. I suppose that since I’ve not fallen for the wanton hussies, the spammers are seeing if I will give them all my personal info through a silly game I might download. I think they will be disappointed.


As I drove to work on a very dark and wet morning I listened to the radio as I usually do. This morning (like they do at Christmas) the morning's radio show was being run by a guest editor. This morning it was the turn of footballer Raheem Sterling. I found myself listening to the show out of a sense of disbelief rather than interest.  Admittedly I only heard half an hour out of a three-hour show so I probably missed a lot, but apart from a small section on the scarcity of lateral flow kits, all I could hear was all about Raheem Sterling.  It has to be said that the Raheem Sterling Foundation does do good work but when you are coining in ten million quid a year, you can afford to be generous.


I got to work and did my bit. Back in the day the period between Christmas and New Year was always quiet in hospitals. Whilst today wasn’t as hectic as it might have been, it was certainly far busier than I had hoped. As I drove to work this morning the hourly news bulletin has said that forty per cent of hospital workers were self-isolating because of contact with people who had tested positive for COVID. That figure seemed a tad high – according to what I could find on-line the figure is about three per cent. I wonder which (if either) is the correct one?


I came home to find the postman had been with the Lego bargain I ordered a week or so ago. A job lot of about forty or so Lego maxifigure bits A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that some people don’t realise the value of what they are selling. There is something unique about each of the six maxifigures in the photo above, and each is (probably) individually worth more than I paid for the job lot… Or they are worth that to me. Whether anyone else would be daft enough to pay up for them remains to be seen. 

“er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we devoured whilst watching the first episode of the second season of “Lego Masters: Australia” in which eight teams of Lego-ers have to spend far longer than I spend at work (even on the night shifts) to make the most amazing Lego creations. The brick supply they use has three million Lego bricks. I’d like to play with that!!!