3 March 2021 (Wednesday) - Early Shift... Bit Dull

I was woken by the crash of Pogo falling off of the bed at three o’clock. That silly dog sleeps in the most precarious of places. I didn’t get back to sleep after that.

Over brekkie I watched another episode of “Superstore” and then had a little look-see on-line. Sky had replied to the email I’d sent them about their prices. A few months ago I moved my mobile and broadband to them as it looked like I was getting a bargain. I won’t say they lied to me, but I think I was misled, and their policy of not having telephone helplines doesn’t help anyone.

 

I set off to work through a very foggy morning. My phone had told me of fog warnings from the Met Office, and my weather forecasting app thought there might be thunderstorms in Maidstone. A thunderstorm in fog? That would have been exciting!

As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing some woman or other who had bought a dog in lockdown. I have no idea who this woman was, but the implication was that having recently acquired a dog gave her the right to have a go at all other dog owners. This woman banged on about the importance of not letting your dog chase sheep. I would have thought that was patently obvious, but it would seem that dogs worrying sheep is an issue in the Peak District where sheep roam wild. I didn't know that happened up north. Mind you when on holiday in the New Forest (twice over the last few years) we met “Psycho Dobbin” and many of his equine associates roaming at will. And cows were loose on the streets too.

Where I live we have these things called "fields". "Fields" are areas enclosed by fences in which farmer-types put their animals. That way everyone can see at a glance where it is safe for a dog to be off the lead. Perhaps this is an innovation that might catch on in other parts of the country?

 

I got to work where a colleague was talking about her plans for her garden. What she has in mind isn't entirely different to what “My Boy TM” is planning to do. But she is paying someone to do what the first fruit of my loin will do for himself. And my colleague has been quoted nearly four thousand pounds for a job which “My Boy TM” will get done for a couple of hundred quid.

As I worked so I got a text message from the vet. I was glad they texted me - I'd written down the wrong time for Fudge's appointment on Friday.

 

As it always does, an early start made for an early finish. I came home, and once the car’s alarm finally stopped going off for absolutely no reason I walked the dogs round the block.

er indoors TM” boiled up a rather good bit of dinner (as she does), and with It scoffed I found myself dozing off in front of the telly. I wish I didn’t do that…

Today was a tad dull….

2 March 2021 (Tuesday) - A Day Off

I slept well with no alarm set. I had (another) day off today. The plan had been to have the day off for a dental appointment, but last week the surgery cancelled the appointment. I took the day off anyway.

The day started with a minor result in that as I made toast so Sid came bumbling past me in the direction of the back door. I opened the door for him – he went outside for his morning rake-out. That was *such* a result. Let’s hope it is the way forward.

I then peered into the Internet to see if much had changed overnight. I was amazed to read some of the posts from people whose children will be starting secondary school in September. Quite a few people weren’t happy because their child is not capable of taking a bus to school. Others felt the car drive to secondary school every day would be excessive… I walked a three-mile journey to secondary school every day when I was a lad. Admittedly I would get the bus home… but  most kids walked or took the bus back then. Very few were chauffer-driven to school.

I’m reminded of some of the parents of cub scouts who used to bemoan how hyperactive their children were but would only ever let the child out of the house for school or cubs. I used to roam for miles when I was primary school age. I’m told that the streets aren’t safe these days. Are there *really*  perverts, child molesters and rapists behind every bush? I saw a few back in the day in Hastings but nowadays the streets are far safer for children as all the weirdoes can get their kicks from the Internet.

I also had an email from the ombudsman about my ongoing issue with the power company to say they had received my email… Well, actually I had an email to say I had a message. I then had to call up their website, log in, find the messages section and then I saw the  message which said they had received my email. Too much unnecessary farting about, maybe?

And LinkedIn asked me if I might like to congratulate someone I used to know on their new job. This person is now senior chief whatever at the Department of Farting About, and is earning far more than me. But I was once a manager too. I might not get as much money now I’m no longer a manager, but I am far happier.

 

I drove down to Hastings to check in on my dad. It’s now two weeks since mum died. He seems to be managing well. I arrived to find him painting the inside of the under-stairs cupboard. We had a cuppa and put the world to rights, and I came home via Northiam.

Having seen Gardoo’s web site I thought I’d have a look at their garden sleepers. I arrived at their office… and that was it. An office. Bearing in mind their website offers “click and collect” I was expecting they would have some stock to look at. The chap behind the counter (rather rudely) told me theirs was an on-line business. I asked about the “click and collect”; the bloke repeated that they were an on-line business. I didn’t *actually* tell him to stick his on-line business up his arse.

I suspect they get their stock from the branch of Jewson which is next door to them, and sell it on at a profit.

I then went on to Wickes. They had pretty much nothing at all in their timber section. I asked the nice man there if they were getting a delivery soon. He laughed and said they’d just had one. Apparently everyone is starting their garden projects early this year. 

er indoors TM” and I took the dogs round to the co-op field for a little walk, then I drove round to collect “My Boy TM”. We had planned to get the timber for our garden projects on a mutual day off in a couple of weeks’ time. But bearing in mind what the nice man in Wickes had said we thought we’d get our shopping done before everyone else got it.

We went to B&Q and got my decking planks that I am going to use as lawn edging, and got decking for “My Boy TM”’s plan. We needed more stuff too, but bearing in mind that we’d already got a car full we loaded up the car, took our wood home, and then went back for the rest of what “My Boy TM” needed. In the forty-five minutes it had taken us to load the car, take stuff home and go back, the outdoor timber section of B&Q had done a roaring trade. There was enough stuff left for what we needed, but I doubt there would have been much left by the time they closed.

I came home and thought about making a start on my garden project. The first thing I need to do is to paint the planks I got today. I decided against starting that just yet and wrote up some CPD instead.

er indoors TM” then boiled up a particularly good chicken curry which we swilled down with some red wine. Usually after that we’d have cheese which I would share with the dogs, but bearing in mind that cheese is particularly bad for them, cheese is now on the “banned” list.

I tried to explain to the dogs, but they weren’t happy with the arrangement…

1 March 2021 (Monday) - Back To Work

With an alarm set, all hopes of a good night’s sleep went out the window. I woke at ten past one feeling raring to go, and then lay awake for much of the rest of the night stroking Fudge’s bony back.

 

I got up and seeing how today was the first of the month I allowed myself the privilege of a new razor blade. I’m a tad mean with the things and make them last a month each. They seem to do OK to the end of each month, but there is no denying that the morning scrape feels better at the start of the month than at the end.

As Sid snored I watched an episode of “Superstore” whilst my COVID-19 test cooked. It was negative, which was probably for the best.

As I then had my morning’s perusal of the Internet I realised that the appeal I set up for the goat sanctuary had raised two hundred and ten pounds. I was rather impressed. When I first read the message  from Facebook about setting up a birthday fundraiser I was rather sceptical about the idea, but I’m glad I did, and grateful to everyone who contributed.

I sent out some birthday messages. Two were advertised on Facebook; one wasn’t. The one whose birthday wasn’t advertised on Facebook was an old schoolfriend of mine. Of all the people with whom I am in touch (albeit intermittently) this chap is the person I’ve known longest who isn’t family. I first met him on my first day at primary school fifty-two years ago. We were in the Boys Brigade together for years, and after years working in banking he jacked it all in to become a minister in the Baptist Church. I can’t help but wonder if he hadn’t put his birthday on Facebook so that his flock wouldn’t find out – what is the etiquette for a vicar’s birthday?

 

And so I set off to work… I’ve just had a week off work. I worked on my nineteenth birthday in 1983 and it sucked, and I’ve taken the week of my birthday as leave every year since. And for the next thirty-four years (up until 2017) I felt physically sick at the thought of going back to work. But today – I’m looking forward to catching up with people. There isn’t one person that I would want to avoid.

 

As I drove up the motorway I listened to the radio. I've not heard the news for a week, and I'd not missed much. The vaccines minister was being interviewed this morning, and he managed to avoid actually saying anything in any answer he gave.

There was then an interview with Sandi Toksvig (who is always interesting). She is currently championing a scheme in which children have the subtitles on when they are watching telly. They subconsciously read the subtitles, during the course of a year they effectively read the equivalent of the "Narnia" series of books and the entirety of the "Lord of the Rings" books without realising they have done so. This also (obviously) massively increases their literacy, which is never a bad thing.

 

I got to work where we had cake. But not just any old cake. A colleague's friend is starting up a cake-making business and is trying to get her name put about. I was rather impressed with the cake; so much so that I didn't dare be the one to cut it.

Cake is good…