25 July 2021 (Sunday) - More Ranting


I slept well. I had rather hoped to have been woken by thunderstorms in the night – not so much because I like thunderstorms as to restore my confidence in weather forecasts. But there wasn’t a drop of rain during the supposedly torrential night.


I made brekkie and looked at that geo-puzzle that had stumped me yesterday. I remained stumped. Some people put out geocaches to be found, and others put them out for the perverse satisfaction of *not* having them found. Take the one in question… the puzzle might very well be solved by using the following (so-called) logic:

The only information given in the puzzle is the first three stanzas to the song “Hi Ho Silver Lining”. Silver – that is an element… Element – elementary – “elementary my dear Watson” was what Sherlock Homes used to say. Sherlock Holmes lived at 221B Baker Street… Baker… There’s the answer. You find where the cache by typing “bake crusty loaf” into the “What Three Words” app.

I sent the chap who set the puzzle a cry for help yesterday. He hasn’t replied

Pausing only briefly to send out some birthday wishes I had a look at the monthly accounts. They could have been a whole lot worse. I shouldn’t complain.

We then drove down to the pet shop for fish food, then went round to “My Boy TM”’s house. They’d all gone to Chessington World of Adventure, and we collected little Rolo who was coming for an adventure with us.

We drove up to Kings Wood. As we drove so the rain started. I was glad to see the rain because that meant we hadn’t cancelled our walk for no reason… and then the rain stopped – less than a minute after it started.
(I say rain – does half a dozen drops count?)

We got to King Wood, and had a bit of a wander round. We walked for two hours during which time there was glorious sunshine, cloud, overcast skies… and not a drop of rain. Treacle and Pogo were very well behaved, but little Rolo let the side down several times. Treacle and Pogo would come to the sound of the whistle and watch as other dogs walked past… but little Rolo saw other dogs as an opportunity for a fight. Mind you, he eventually got the idea of  whistle training and two of the last three dogs we met passed by without incident.


With walk walked we came home and sat in the garden and had a spot of late lunch. Just as we sat down so there was a clap of thunder. Just one though. About half an hour later the rain started in earnest. It did come down hard, but didn’t really last long.

I set about some geo-puzzles that *were* intended to be solved in readiness for our upcoming holiday, and as I puzzled so Cheryl collected Rolo. They’d given up on Chessington because they’d got rained off – and got given free tickets to come back when it wasn’t raining. At least someone had rain today!


“er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching a couple of episodes of “Richard Osman’s House of Games”… and in closing I will rant about the weather forecast.


I’m getting rather fed up with abandoning plans on the strength of utterly wrong weather forecasts. Look at ten of the hours from today’s BBC weather forecast. Six of them were wrong.

Compare that with your local GP who sees six patients an hour for eight hours each day. That’s (about) ten thousand patients a week. If she mis-diagnoses only one of these, she is crucified by the newspapers and faces investigation by the British Medical Council and being sacked. Why is a one in ten thousand failure rate unacceptable for a doctor, but a sixty per cent failure rate (quite frankly) what we expect from a meteorologist?

24 July 2021 (Saturday) - It Didn't Rain

With no need to be up at silly o’clock I had hoped for a decent night’s sleep, and (as always) God laughs when we make plans. Pogo decided to growl at the curtains tapping against the window frame in the small hours, and “er indoors TM” told him off. Several times. Someone’s car alarm went off for over an hour. When that finally stopped, new-next-door’s son turned up outside (at five o’clock) shouting that he’d lost his keys. “er indoors TM” and dogs had snoring fits, and there were three separate thunderstorms between seven and eight o’clock.

I eventually dozed off, and woke shortly before nine o’clock.


As I scoffed brekkie I saw a new geocache had appeared on the route we’d be taking when we went to see Dad. There was a puzzle to solve before you would know where to look. After ten minutes of brain strain I gave up. Not so much because I couldn’t solve the puzzle as because I had no idea what the puzzle was.

We drove down to see Dad.


We arrived to find a skip in his front garden. Over the last few weeks he’s taken down his greenhouse. For years he loved his greenhouse – now it has gone. We also arrived to find all the Christmas decoration boxes out. Over the years mum had accumulated loads of really pretty Christmas ornaments, and Dad wanted rid of most of them. We’ve taken some. He seems to be clearing out pretty much everything.

We had a cuppa and cake with Dad, and another cuppa and more cake, then popped round to see mother-in-law. She seemed well after her spell in hospital having fallen off of a ladder.


As we drove home I had a stroke of genius. I still had no idea how to solve that geo-puzzle but I had an inkling of where that new geocache might be. To cut a long story short it wasn’t where I thought it might be, but as I was leaning on a crash barrier and peering inside so I saw movement by my hand. I’d put my hand right next to a little lizard who obligingly stayed still long enough for me to take a photo.


We came home and I ran the lawn mower over the lawn until “er indoors TM”’s parcel arrived, then we drove out to the Warren where we met Cheryl and Rolo and we had a good (if relatively short) walk. It was a shame that Rolo (a yorkie-chihuahua cross) picked and won a fight with a Great Dane. I say “shame”; it was something of a result really. A result for Rolo in that not only did he win, but he didn’t get eaten alive either.

With walk walked we came home. “er indoors TM” wanted to go up to the co-op field for Munzee reasons. I didn’t. perhaps I should have done? She was not at all happy with Pogo when she came home; Pogo had found a foul ditch and I’m not sure whether the black slime or the foul smell took longest to scrub off of him.


With dinner scoffed “er indoors TM” set off to the Saturday film night and I stayed home and ironed shirts whilst watching more episodes of “Fresh Meat”.


It has been a rather busy day today. It wasn’t a bad day, but I’m not happy. The BBC’s weather forecast had been crystal clear on the subject all week long. Today was going to be endless rain. The rain actually stopped at eight o’clock this morning. Again we were wrong to have cancelled plans. That’s another day of my life that the BBC’s frankly abysmal attempts at weather forecasting have spoiled.

Someone at the BBC’s weather forecasting department needs to be sacked. No one else is allowed to be anywhere near as crap at the job that they do as weather forecasters demonstrably are...

23 July 2021 (Friday) - Early Shift

I was woken in the small hours by a mass exodus from the bedroom. “er indoors TM” went to the loo, and Treacle and Pogo followed her. Both dogs hit the floor like sacks of spuds, stomped down the stairs as though they were trying to go through the stairs, and had a bit of a quarrel when they came back as both wanted to sleep where the other was.

I eventually gave up on sleep, did yet another negative COVID test and scoffed toast as I watched an episode of "Fresh Meat" in which one of our heroes realised what a waste of time and money a poorly considered university degree can be. Having spent three years studying geology the chap wanted to work in the media and was having something of a melt-down.

Speaking as someone with multiple post-graduate qualifications, I've always felt that a university degree can be an over-rated commodity. Getting a degree is expected these days, isn’t it?. But why? What does the degree achieve? Is it a means to an end, or an end in itself? I once read that fifty-two per cent of biology graduates end up in banking, and only two per cent of history graduates ever gain employment in anything where their degree is remotely useful.

As Evelyn Waugh wrote in Brideshead Revisited (seventy-six years ago) "a degree just means you start life three years behind the other fellow". Unless you are going into a profession which requires graduate and post-graduate knowledge (testing blood springs to mind for no apparent reason), having a degree for its own sake just means that you can fart in Latin… doesn't it? Does a degree get you on in life? I don’t know.


I got dressed as the dogs (and “er indoors TM”) snored, and set off to work. Being Friday the pavement was less of a place to walk and more of an obstacle course set by the local bin-men. Seeing their lorry strategically blocking the road I took the long way round to get to the A28.

As I drove there was talk on the radio about the consternation being expressed by many disgruntled hospital workers who aren't happy with a three per cent pay rise. I can't say I'm impressed with the offer, but what option do we have? Unless people are prepared to do a proper strike (and let the bodies pile up) then we have two choices. Take it or leave it. I can remember when I was a union rep many years ago being told by the full-time union officer that unless we were prepared to go on strike for months on end then we had no option but to take whatever pay rise we were offered, and to be grateful for it. The chap had a point.

Mind you, the masses all stood on their doorsteps banging their saucepans for me, didn't they? You can't put a price on that, can you?


There was also a lot of talk about the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo today.  Much of the talk focussed on Kentarō Kobayashi who having organised the opening ceremony was then sacked yesterday for some comment he made twenty-three years ago. Admittedly the comment was in very (incredibly) bad taste, but it was twenty-three years ago. This is setting something of a dangerous precedent, isn't it? Are we all to be looking over our shoulders waiting to be bitten on the arse by long forgotten comments made in our immature youth?


As I parked my car I was glad to turn the radio off. I have no idea who was being interviewed, or what they were talking about but it was on BBC Radio 4. It was not some bunch of thugs in the pub. In the conversation on the radio something had been necessary and so apparently someone "would of hat" to do something or other.

In my world someone "would have had" to do something or other. No one ever (in the history of the universe) "would of hat" to do anything. A subtle distinction, but an important one.

Is being able to speak English no longer a requirement for the interviewees on Radio 4, or am I just becoming a snob?


I went in to work, and had a far busier day than I had intended to have. Not that I get much say in how the day goes. But there were doughnuts, and an early start made for an early finish. I drove home (singing along to my Ivor Biggun CDs), collected the dogs, and took them down to Orlestone for a little walk. We’d not been there for a while – the recent hot spell had dried out the mud and we had a good walk.

Really must get back in the habit of going down there… 

We came home, and I then slobbed in front of the telly. I’ve worked all but one day of the last two weeks… I’m looking forward to a day off tomorrow.