12 June 2021 (Saturday) - Goodbye Sid

For various reasons “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” hasn’t been able to have her dogs with her for a while, and we’ve been looking after them.

I found myself laying awake listening for Sid this morning. Yesterday he had taken a serious turn for the worse. He’s been as deaf as a post for ages, been incredibly unsteady on his legs for some time now and had pretty much no control over his poops for months. He’s been struggling to get up (without help) more and more recently.

Yesterday his bladder control went, and he had been peeing blood too. This morning he was still laying on the puppy pad we’d settled him on last night, and it was rather sodden in blood-stained pee. I helped him up and helped him outside, but he was leaking blood-stained pee as he went.

I made a few phone calls.

 

I drove down to Folkestone to collect “Daddy’s Little Angel TM”, and we spent the morning sitting with Sid waiting for the vet from the dog crematorium to arrive. She agreed that his time had come and she did what vets from the dog crematorium do.

 

We shall miss Sid. He was quite the character. I first met him on Tuesday 27 September 2011.Wanting to feed him, “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” had found a tube of dog meat in my fridge. She didn’t realise that the stuff was six weeks past its best and that I was saving it to use as fishing bait, and consequently Sid ingratiated himself into the family by dire-rear-ing all over the lino.

Unlike other family dogs Sid didn’t like water; Sid couldn’t swim. Amazingly he was heavier than water and on two occasions I actually watched him sink when he fell into ponds. “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” pulled him out of our garden pond, and I can remember pulling him from the depths of Singleton Lake when he was two feet deep and slowly going down. Mind you he liked the beach (keeping away from the sea) where he would eat sand if left unsupervised.

He would come on walks with family and friends, but when he was tired he would stop. He would stop dead and refuse to walk another step. On several occasions we ended walks carrying Sid as he simply would not go any further. He was quite a heavy lump to carry about.

Sid was an accomplished camper and came along on family camps and to kite festivals where he made the most of the holidays – on one occasion when some key lime pie was dropped he spent over an hour licking a patch of grass.

He used to come tunnel-ratting back in the day (when we used to explore the various tunnels in the chalk cliffs near Dover); when our attention was on clambering in and out of where we weren’t supposed to be, so Sid would take the opportunity to eat the poo of whatever animals had been nearby recently.

He *hated* having his paws touched which was a problem as his claws grew so fast. I would take him to the groomer for claw clipping and listen in frank amazement at the horrific screams coming from such a small dog.

He had a stop-watch stomach; on the stroke of six o’clock he would go into the kitchen and start shouting for his dinner.

He even featured in two geocaches (much to the disgust of the most recent fruit of my loin) 

He was never my dog. He was only ever having an extended holiday with us. I will miss him…

11 June 2021 (Friday) - Rather Busy

Finding myself wide awake at far too early I couldn’t get back to sleep what with the bin men “quietly” moving the bins about. Bearing in mind how hot the days have been lately I thought I might make an early start. As I got dressed so Pogo and Treacle (and er indoors TM) snored. Was I going to walk on my own? I rattled the dog leads and both Treacle and Pogo came running.

 

We walked down the road to the car… Literally down the road. The bin men had moved all the recycling bins to where they would be ideally positioned for the bin lorry which was following them (an hour or so later), but bins ideally positioned for the bin men made the pavements impassable.

Singing along to rude songs on my Ivor Biggun CD we drove up to an empty car park at Kings Wood, and started our walk at quarter to six. I had received reports of three of my geocaches needing attention, and so getting them sorted was the plan for the morning. As is always the case, the ones that need attention were the ones furthest from the road. Two of the ones that needed seeing to today were just under two miles (as the crow flies) from the car park, and the third was a mile away from them in a different direction.

 

Usually Kings Wood is a lovely place for a walk; today it wasn’t really. The bits through the trees were pretty, but the thick fog had reduced the visibility in the open bits to twenty yards at best. Walking several miles with only being able to see twenty yards was rather dull.

As we walked so the dogs chased squirrels and were most indignant when the squirrels went up trees. They also chased pheasants and again weren’t happy when the pheasants went in a direction they could not follow; up. We could hear deer crashing about in the undergrowth. Treacle wasn’t fussed about them but Pogo growled at the sounds. As we rounded a corner three quarter round our walk we found ourselves twenty yards from a deer. It looked at us and we looked at it. Both dogs growled uncertainly; they weren’t at all sure what to make of it.

We got back to the car after an hour and three quarters having not met another soul. It made for a good walk for this morning, but I have dogs that need a walk. However I couldn’t help but wonder if it really would have caused a fellow hunter of Tupperware physical pain to have replaced the missing caches. According to the rules, cache maintenance is up to the person who hid the thing. But when you log “it ain’t there” knowing full well that the one that ain’t there is the furthest one from where you can park a car, you are asking someone else to give up hours to sort out what you could sort out in seconds.

 

We got home just before eight o’clock just as er indoors TM” was getting up. We’d walked five miles and wanted a rest. I had second brekkie and took Sid out for a bimble. He seemed to want to go, but he soon became breathless, and he is getting progressively more and more unsteady on his legs.

With bimble bimbled we came home and Sid got a bath. He’d become rather smelly, but he wasn’t al all keen on having a bath.

I then spent a few minutes scraping the weeds out of the cracks between the paving slabs in the front garden. A passer-by suggested I might pour salt water into the cracks to sort out the weeds. I need to do something, that’s for sure.

I then mowed the lawn. It’s a simple enough job *if* I do it regularly.

 

er indoors TM” went off for some work thing, and I watched seven of the eight episodes of the second season of “Love Death and Robots”. er indoors TM” returned and we then gave Sid a second bath and washed his bed as he’d had a little (big) accident.

 

I then went shopping. To Aldi where I got some bottles for the weekend. They do have a decent ale selection, but they also have women with faces like smacked arses on the tills. You certainly don’t feel they want you to come back. From there I went to Matalan. Their trousers came in a range of shapes. “Regular”, “Slim”, “Skinny” and “Super Skinny”. As luck would have it, some spotty oik with a “manager” badge wandered past and I gave him some stick. Keeping a straight face I told him that this sizing criteria was discriminating against the more rotund gentleman. As he blustered a rather pathetic apology I told him that the next time I visited I expected to see the range expanded to include “Fat Bastard”. He smiled nervously.

I then field tested my latest Wherigo project, and with successful field testing done, I put out the caches for the project, came home and did the geo-admin. 

We had fish and chips whilst watching the last episode of “Taskmaster” and then I fell asleep in front of the telly. Today has been rather busy…

10 June 2021 (Thursday) - Some Rants

 

Yesterday evening my lap-top told me it wanted to update its LiveSafe Vulnerability Scanner. I told it that if that is what floats its boat then it should pursue its dreams. When I went to bed it had got half-way to updating itself. However when I got up this morning it had got no further at all. I told it that it had had its chance and blown it nd stopped the attempt at updating. It can try again later.

 

As I peered into the Internet this morning I rolled my eyes at the “Ashford Kent Read All About It” Facebook page. It is a strange place in cyber-space in which residents of Ashford band together to say how bad the place is despite hardly any of them having visited (let alone lived) anywhere else. Someone was griping on about how unpleasant a view you get when coming out of the train station. I always thought it looked fine; certainly better then the view on leaving Folkestone or Hastings stations? And someone else was whining that their daughter had been mocked by a gaggle of children in the park. Doesn’t that entirely sum up today’s society. If someone rips the piss you go tell your mum who whinges on Facebook. When I was a lad if other kids picked on me in the park I’d slap them in the chops, and they didn’t pick on me again.

I was also presented with an advert for a course which would supposedly teach me to speak Welsh In a week. I live in Kent – what relevance is this to me? I went to Wales a few years back. On a week’s holiday I only once heard Welsh being spoken. Some old chap said something or other to which a small girl immediately replied “Please don’t talk in Welsh Granddad, no one understands it.”

 

I got Pogo and Treacle onto their leads and we went out. As I drove there was an interesting discussion on the radio. Some bloke who was once a woman (or was it the other way round?) was furious that someone else had declared that the whole “trans thing” offended their sensibilities. This someone had been sacked two years ago for claiming that people cannot change biological sex and was going to an industrial tribunal this morning to contest the sacking. The tribunal eventually ruled that the dismissal had been wrong. It took pains to say that the ruling had no bearing on trans rights at all, but both sides are claiming it as both a victory and a defeat.

I don’t really understand the whole “trans thing” but I do feel it is being forced onto me (via the morning radio) quite a bit at the moment. However I will make the observation that the trans community don’t seem to realise that it is human nature to want to fit in to a crowd (hence the appeal of being a football fan), and it is human nature to be wary of anyone who is different in any way. I’m not saying that it is right or wrong, but it is what people do.

Take myself for example – when (a few months ago) I was suddenly presented with a very attractive young lady who only a few short months ago was a rather spotty young lad. At the time my brain actually froze and I was (quite literally) speechless. If that was wrong of me, then I can only apologise.

 

We got to Hemsted Forest and had a good walk. Some time ago one of my geocaches out there had been chewed by a mouse. I replaced it today, and took a rather circuitous walk back to the car park

Once home I then spent three hours tidying the shed. I say “tidying”; I pulled all the stuff out of the shed, earmarked some of it for a tip run, and then put the rest back in again. I suppose the shed is tidier in that I can actually get into it now.

I then spent ten minutes repairing the wooden boxes that lurk outside the back door – over t he last few years the bottoms had got rather soggy and needed replacing.

 

er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed with a half-way decent bottle of red wine whilst watching “Bake Off – The Professionals” and “The Great British Sewing Bee”. I was once a professional chef (in 1981!) and I’m not too shabby with a needle and thread. Not quite telly standard at either, but enough that I can pontificate knowledgeably at the prowess of people far better than me (in both shows).

And in closing today I’m having something of a sulk. The original plan for today had been to fly out to Gran Canaria for a family holiday. This was in lieu of last year’s family holiday which got cancelled, and this year’s holiday has also been cancelled. Hopefully all should be good for next year’s holiday… Will it? Time will tell – it always does.