31 March 2021 (Wednesday) - Bit Dull, Really

With so many dogs in the house, a full night’s sleep rarely happens. But last night was better than most. Fudge and Sid stayed downstairs and (apart from a minor spat at one o’clock) Pogo and Treacle were far more settled than usual.

I got up when my phone told me to, and made toast which I shared with Fudge. He is becoming quite a worry with his fussy eating. He can be incredibly hungry, but still turns his nose up at stuff he doesn’t like, so finding something he will eat is something of a bonus.


I sparked up my lap-top and peered into the Internet. Pretty much nothing had happened on Facebook, but I had an email from the ombudsman about the ongoing issues with the smart meter. The problem is rather straightforward – the thing can’t be read remotely and since the website was set up to reject the readings I’d given it as being unfeasible, and also seeing how other companies can deliver the same amount of power cheaper, is the meter actually working at all? It strikes me that the whole “ombudsman thing” is doing very little but generating paperwork and making a mountain out of a molehill.

I saw some new geocaches had gone live overnight which were sort of on my way to work, but what with the car still being in the garage I would have to leave those for another time.


Talking of the garage, er indoors TM” drove me over there where my car was waiting for me. The nice men at the garage hadn't found anything wrong with it yesterday and so hadn't charged me. That was decent of them. Even though they'd not found a fault, they'd spent time on it and I was prepared to pay them.

I got into the car, and the dashboard display immediately announced "Parking Brake Fault". I went back in to the garage, and after twenty minutes they put it right. There is a known issue with the parking brakes on my car's model. When you apply the brake you pull the handle and it comes on. When you want to release the brake you just drive away and it releases. If you use the manual release button, then the "Parking Brake Fault" error comes up and has to be re-set by the garage. The nice garage men know that...so why did they use the manual release button?


As I drove up the motorway the pundits on the radio were saying that some impartial review has shown that racism is actually and officially in decline in the UK. This can only be a good thing. The chairman of the board that found this out was interviewed at excruciating length on the matter.  This was such a waste of a golden opportunity; what could have been delivered in an upbeat couple of minutes was dragged out over a seeming age. It was presented in such a dull way that I lost interest, and before long all I could hear was "blah blah blah" on what really is far too important an issue to be reduced to "blah blah blah".


There was also talk about the "Seaspiracy" documentary on Netflix. Are commercial companies massively over-fishing the oceans? Possibly. But several experts were wheeled on who showed that the "Seaspiracy" documentary was factually wrong in several respects. Oh well... I suppose it makes for good telly.


I wasn't *that* late to work, but as I arrived I realised I'd left my lunch at home, so  I thought I might treat myself to something special from the branch of Marks & Spencer at work. A bottle of pop, a posh bag of crisps and a poncey sandwich only cost six quid, and to add insult to injury they weren't that good. I shan't be treating myself to that again. 

It is rather sad, but a disappointing sandwich was the highlight of a rather dull day today. With work done I came home, scoffed a rather good dinner, and gave myself a stomach ache…


30 March 2021 (Tuesday) - Rostered Day Off

I was woken at half past three by an odd wheezing coughing whimpering sort of sound. Fudge was clearly poorly and er indoors TM” was already up with him. I moved him (and his bed) onto the foot of our bed and lay with him. After a few minutes he stopped making the strange noises and went to sleep. I lay awake in the dark worrying until half past six when my phone told me to get my arse out of my pit.

It (quite literally) does that. Ain’t technology wonderful.


I scoffed some brekkie, I watched a little “Superstore” then taking care not to disturb anyone I got dressed and tried a little experiment. I picked up the dogs’ leads. Instantly Fudge came charging down the stairs having recognised the jingle sound they make. He wanted to go out regardless of whatever had been wrong in the night.


Pogo and Treacle soon followed him, and we all went out. We drove over to the garage. Over three weeks ago I’d taken my car to Henwood garage as my usual garage was too busy to see me. Henwood garage could find no reason why the car’s alarm intermittently goes off whenever the mood takes it. My usual people managed to fit me in today, so I left the car with them, and we walked home.

We had one or two “episodes” as we walked home. One child (being dragged to school by his mum) ran up to Pogo and screamed at him. Before I could say anything the child’s mother apologised profusely and asked the child what (the f…) he was doing. The child started crying , and in between tears, he admitted he had absolutely no idea why he’d run up to a strange dog and screamed at him.

And then we met a child who was supposedly frightened of dogs. If I was frightened of dogs and saw three walking along the path I would just step to one side and let them pass. Wouldn’t you do the same? This child didn’t. He started jumping up and down, waving his hands in the air (like a demented windmill), and then ran in circles screaming like a banshee.

As I told his irate father, the dogs joined in and copied him because thought this was some sort of game. I could see this father’s brain slowly working it out, before he agreed that if you are frightened of dogs, then seeming to be asking them to play is a frankly stupid thing to do.

I was glad to get home.

One home I gardened. I took that lump of wood I bought yesterday, cut it to size and painted it. Whilst it dried I painted two fence panels, then used the dried painted wood to bodge a broken fence panel, and with it bodged I could screw it firmly into place. I then painted that panel, and sawed the sleepers that I’d got from “My Boy TM” on Sunday. Have you ever sawed a sleeper? It takes some doing. I got the sawed sleepers painted too.

As I worked so the garage phoned. They couldn’t find anything wrong with the car at all, and thought they might just try locking it and walking away to see if they could get the alarm to go off. Seeing how they are the experts I didn’t know what else to do but agree. They phoned again later  the alarm didn’t go off for them once.

I’d still got plenty more to do in the garden, but having (again) reached the stage where it hurt to move I decided to pack up. As well as aching I was rather warm too. There had been frost on the grass as we’d walked home through Frog’s Island earlier; I caught the sun today in the garden 

I phoned my dad to update him - he’s quite intrigued by whatever is wrong with my car. And I wanted to see if he was OK – today would have been his sixty-fourth wedding anniversary.

er indoors TM” set off to Folkestone to see “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” and “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM. I sat myself in front of the telly, activated Netflix, and fell asleep for probably about three hours longer than I wish I had.

This gardening lark is hard work.

29 March 2021 (Monday) - Sausages

My phone’s clock has several alarms. I’ve given them all a name so I know which is for Fudge’s tablet, which is for when it is time to get up… I had no idea that my new phone reads out the alarm name when it goes off. What with the clocks having gone forward yesterday I was still asleep when the alarm went off this morning. As well as a beautiful tuneful melody playing, a sexy woman’s voice announced: “Get your arse out of your pit”.

I got my arse out of my pit, made toast (by running it through the toaster twice) and scoffed it whilst watching an episode of “Superstore”. As I watched I also did another COVID test. Again negative, which was probably for the best.

With a couple of moments to spare I popped on-line. I sent out a couple of birthday wishes, and got ready for work.


As I drove up the motorway the pundits on the radio were saying that the huge container ship blocking the Suez canal has nearly been moved out of the way, and soon the canal will be open to shipping again.

In the meantime a lot of ships are going the long way round Africa because that will probably be quicker than waiting for all the queues at the canal to disperse.  However a lot of shipping companies are worried about piracy which is rife around the African coast. Piracy - in this day and age !! Personally I can't help but feel that the container ships should be equipped with torpedoes, and when the pirates tell the ship to be prepared to be boarded, then the container ships’ crews might tell the pirates to prepare to be torpedoed. Or when the pirates are climbing the ladders to board the container ships, those being boarded might shoot the pirates. After all a pirate climbing a ladder is a rather easy target.

The entire episode could be live-streamed to the law enforcement agencies to make it all above board, and would it *really* cost that much extra for these container ships to carry one armed police officer? Pirates only go pirating because they get away with it. How many pirates would we have to blow away before the rest got the message? It's a bit like when I was at school; the headmaster had a cane. There were never wholesale thrashings. Instead one boy had a sore arse for a day, and a thousand boys behaved themselves for a year.


I got to work. After I'd been there a while my phone beeped. The geo-feds have allowed new geocaches to be published as of today, and quite a few had been published this morning half an hour after I’d got to work. Several were within a very short distance of home. If I'd been at home I would probably have chased out to try to be the first to find one of them.

Comment was made on the local geocaching Facebook page about hypothetical "Found it" logs from the first people who might find these new caches. So often these reports start off with the phrase "I just happened to be in the area…" I quite like a cheeky FTF, but I rarely "just happened to be in the area" whenever I got one. Usually I saw the thing being published as I scoffed brekkie, and flew out of the house, desperately hoping no one else would beat me to it.

Why does hardly anyone else admit to this? For quite a few people, being first is an obsession, and a true log would read “I just happened to be pressing the "refresh" button on my in box like a thing possessed when I saw this cache go live so I drove at breakneck speeds down several miles of narrow lanes in absolute terror that someone else might beat me to it”.

In all honesty this has been true of me on occasion.


At the stroke of nine o'clock I phoned the pet insurance people who said they still hadn't received the paperwork for Fudge's illness. When I quibbled they put me on hold for an age, and was eventually told that a manager had just checked the in-box and they had received the vet's email last Thursday after all. I suppose that is one step forward.


I did my bit; I came home. As I drove home I tried out my new charging cable in my car. I won’t be doing that again; the thing got red hot. Are you not supposed to use fast charging cables in cars?

I popped to B&Q to get a plank of wood for tomorrow, then came home and walked the dogs round the co-op field. As we walked we met two young ladies having a picnic. Before I realised what was going on, Pogo and Treacle had gone over to say hello. The girls fussed the dogs, and before I could stop them, they offered the dogs a sausage. The sausage got yummed up immediately, then (being a lump) Pogo barged the ladies out of the way so he could scoff the rest.

I’m hoping that those girls have learned from this, but I doubt it…