31 August 2021 (Tuesday) - Early Shift

I slept like a log and woke full of energy and raring to go… at twenty past one. I then dozed fitfully for the rest of the night.

I watched another episode of “The Chair” as I scoffed toast, then sparked up the lap-top. Now that I’ve finally managed to install Microsoft Teams, that thing starts itself every time I turn the lap-top on. Having to keep turning it off – that is arse ache (!)


I had a look at the geo-map with a vague plan of finding a walk for the weekend. I might have found somewhere. And then I activated GSAK (it’s a geo-thing) to confirm a hunch. I’d not had any “Found it” logs all weekend on any of the geocache I’ve hidden. None. It seems that there were only fourteen new geocaches set up within thirty kilometres of home over the last month. Is the noble pursuit of hunting Tupperware dying on its arse? I wonder just how much longer this silly game had got left.

I had hoped to see photos of what people had been up to over the weekend. There were one or two, but for the most part arguments and lies abounded on Facebook, so I turned off the lap-top and got ready for work.


It was rather drizzly and overcast as I drove up the motorway, and was far busier than it had been at the same time yesterday. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how the American evacuation was now complete and how the world is now waiting for all the terror attacks to start again. Perhaps they will. Perhaps the allied forces should have stayed in Afghanistan. But I can't help but wonder what the Americans think they are achieving by seemingly doing little other than involving themselves in leading the world in interfering in in other people's wars.

There was also a lot of talk about how dangerous the sport of rugby is. It would seem that playing rugby is causing serious and long-term brain damage to pretty much everyone who plays the game.


I got to work and did my bit. We had something of a busy  day; not so much through workload as through a lot of people having taken leave today. I can understand wanting to take the week of a Bank Holiday off, shame about the weather though. I spent quite a bit of time today staring out of the window at a rather dismal day.

As I did that which I couldn't avoid my thoughts turned to a possible day out in London next week. Bearing in mind that the biggest issue would be getting there I had a look on-line and was quoted eighty-four quid for an off-peak return to Waterloo. Eighty-four quid!! So I phoned and spoke to a human who gave me a price of less than half of that.

With work done I came home via the railway station (as they will be the people making the final decision on train ticket prices) and they were at a loss to explain the quote of eighty-four quid. Maybe a trip to the wicked city might be happening next week.


I collected the dogs and took them up to the co-op field where we tried another game of “fetch”. This one was something of a disaster in that after the initial excitement Pogo refused to go more than ten yards to fetch a ball. So I would chuck a ball half a mile (with the ball-launcher) for Treacle, and as she vanished into the distance I would then lob another ball close enough so Pogo cold be bothered to go get it.

As we played so we got chatting with another dog-walker. Someone with whom I used to work many years ago. Ten, to be precise. Today marks ten years since the management at the local hospital stabbed me in the back and sent me packing (not that I’m bitter).


With dogs walked we came home and (with a *lot* of help from Gordon) I figured out how to import the locations of an Adventure Lab into a GPX file. Most people will be blissfully unaware of the very existence of GPX files and Adventure Labs and so will have no idea about the excitement of combining the two. Having combined the two I tried to transfer the hybrid to my GPS unit. “Hannah” wasn’t having any of it though… 

I spent much of the evening falling asleep in front of the telly. I *hate* that – wide awake for most of the night, fast asleep for most of the evening.

30 August 2021 (Monday) - Bank Holiday (?)

I was up far earlier than I might have liked to have been after the last couple of days, but that’s what goes with doing an early shift on a Bank Holiday. I made toast and scoffed it whilst watching an episode of “The Chair” (which really isn’t that good) then had a little look at the Internet.


It seems there was a big geocaching event in London this weekend. With loads of new Adventure Lab caches I could have gone to the wicked city last Friday on my day off… Back in the day the local Facebook groups used to tell us what was going on well in advance. Back in the day (if only I had known) I would have organised a trip up there. Nowadays people just tell me after the thing had happened. Oh well… I’m off work next Monday. Maybe a trip to the wicked city then?

There was an impressive argument kicking off on the Facebook page of a local lake. There are arguments all over Facebook, but none quite so impressive as those on fishing-related pages. A local lake which has been a successful fishing venue for years was bought by new owners a few years ago. I’ve only ever fished the place once under the new ownership; at the time these people seemed to be bending over backwards to give offence. Now they’ve discovered the internet they can argue with so many more people.

I sent out a couple of birthday wishes and got ready for work.


As  I drove up the motorway I looked at the rain being pushed away by the car's windscreen wipers. I don't mind working on a Bank Holiday when it is raining. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the rise in independent councillors on local councils. Apparently the mainstream political parties aren't happy about this as unskilled amateurs are doing the jobs that historically were done by wannabe-MPs and other career politicians in training. However local people in councils run by independents are happy with the idea as they have people in charge who have no political axes to grind and can do what is best for their neighbourhood.  There's a novel idea...

There was also a lot of talk about how a lot of people are currently incredibly skint having had to fork out for new school uniforms.  It was claimed that a new school uniform costs over three hundred quid per child.  It would seem that the government has had to step in to put a cap on uniform prices, but planned legislation won't be in place in time for this school year.

I can remember back in the day when I was a cub scout leader that we too insisted on a uniform. If kids were told what they had to wear then there were no contests to see who could come in the most expensive football costume or the latest pricey fashion statement. A cub uniform was deliberately cheap. Perhaps the schools have lost the plot somewhere? They must have if the government has had to tell them to cut the price.


I got to work for the early shift. It went as well as could be expected. As I worked I left my phone connected to the Internet. I don't usually do that, but there weren't any bosses about to catch me out today. As I worked there were quite a few messages flying about from friends and family who also seemed to be having trouble getting Microsoft Teams to work for them.


I came home to find “er indoors TM” had gone visiting relatives so I took the dogs up to the co-op field where we played an odd variation on the game of ”fetch”. I had two balls and would throw them in different directions. Treacle would hare off after one ball; Pogo would sit at my feet looking disinterested. Treacle would pick up the first ball and run to the second, where she would drop the first ball and bring the second one back to me. When she dropped the first ball so Pogo would run and fetch that one to me.  

We did this for one circuit of the co-op field before coming home. 

“er indoors TM” came home just in time to tune in to the family bingo night. I wouldn’t say that Microsoft Teams was a resounding success compared with Zoom, but then (once we’d finally got the thing going) it wasn’t as much arse-ache (I love that phrase!) as it might have been. If nothing else I won twenty quid. Personally I’m quite happy to play for bragging rights, but “My Boy TM” likes to play for money even though he don’t seem to win that much of the stuff…

29 August 2021 (Sunday) - Borstal, Teams...

With the dogs off on their little sleepover the house was rather empty and lonely when I got up this morning. Amazingly I didn’t feel anywhere near as rough as I thought I might this morning after six bottles of ale, more apple sours than you can shake a stick at, and more sambuca than sense.

I made toast, told the world about my adventures yesterday, set “Hannah” up for today, and checked out the map to plan a route to the Medway Towns via Folkestone, then got ready for the off. It was much easier to get ready with no over-excited dogs swarming about.


Firstly we had to collect over-excited dogs so we drove down to Folkestone where “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” assured us that the hounds had been well-behaved. As we walked them back to the car so Pogo tiddled like a thing possessed and Treacle cried. Treacle will not tiddle on pavement and tarmac, so we drove (as fast as we could) to Radnor Park where she tiddled what seemed to be about a gallon of dog wee. The sense of relief from her was palpable; why will she only tiddle on grass? Silly dog.

From there we followed my phone’s GPS which eventually led us to an obscure country lane near Borstal. Borstal is a village near the Medway towns where the first young offenders’ institution was built, and gives the name to the prisons. Despite the name, the countryside around it is rather pretty.


It wasn’t long before Karl, Tracey and Charlotte arrived, and we set off on a little walk guided (as ever) by a series of geocaches. We walked alongside the railway and the river, across fields and through woods, and got some incredible close-up views of the huge bridges over which the M2, the high-speed train line HS1 and the train track cross the Medway valley. The stinging nettles were a bit think in parts, but you can’t have everything.

Although the sky looked dark as we started, we had no rain. Sometimes overcast, sometimes bright sun, the weather was good to us.

Geocache-wise it was a very good walk. We found all of our targets. I did find the given co-ordinated were a tad awry on some of the hides, but bearing in mind that the things were hidden six months ago I expect the tree cover has had a lot to do with that.

I took a few photos as we walked, and slept for much of the way home.


Once home I spent a little while doing all the geo-admin from today’s walk then got rather angry trying to set up Microsoft Teams on my lap-top. Cheryl has said that tomorrow’s family bingo will be played via Microsoft Teams as Zoom is too much like arse-ache (or so I am reliably informed). Admittedly Zoom does chuck everyone out after an hour but most people are capable of logging back in again. I spent about an hour trying to get Microsoft Teams going but kept getting into silly software loops. It wanted my phone number but wouldn’t accept it. After repeating the same steps about twenty times it suddenly accepted it. It then refused to go any further until I installed the app on my phone but refused to believe I had done so. It eventually took my word, but refused to recognise any contacts. Eventually I managed to call Cheryl on Teams and it worked, but it took some doing. “er indoors TM”’s lap-top wasn’t having anything to do with it at all.

It seems to me that Microsoft Teams is too much like arse-ache as well.


“er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching tonight’s episode of “Lego Masters: Australia”. In this episode the contestants were building bridges and testing them to destruction. They spent ten hours building something which was then trashed.

As we watched so the dogs snored. Their sleepover last night followed by today’s walk has done them in…

Mind you our booze-up last night followed by today’s walk has done me in too.