31 January 2022 (Monday) - Before The Night Shift

I was hoping for something of a lie in this morning, but when “er indoors TM” got up so the dogs thundered downstairs after her making enough noise to wake the dead. Five minutes later they started a woofing fit. I gave up trying to sleep.

As yet another negative COVID test incubated I scoffed toast and peered into the depths of the Internet. There was a minor argument kicking off on the “Upstairs Downstairs” Facebook page as to just “how friendly” two of the housemaids in the show were. Some people don’t seem to realise it is a TV show, and quite a few people don’t seem to realise it is a TV show from nearly fifty years ago and were complaining about spoilers being given.

There would also seem to be consternation down on the Romney Marsh with the Facebook group “The Actual Marsh Watch” having sprung up apparently in competition with “The Real Marsh Watch”.

As everyone else in the world seemed to be telling Facebook that they were playing “Wordle”, I played a round of “Sweardle”. It is much the same as “Wordle”; only a bit more rude.

I had a look at my emails and saw that I’d been told about new Munzees seventeen miles away, then looked at the Munzee map and saw I’d not been told about the two new ones within two hundred yards of home. This happens all the time – I’ve emailed Munzee HQ to see if they will sort it out. I wonder if they will reply?


I took the dogs for a walk. We went to the park today, and it wasn’t one of our better walks. It started with both Pogo and Treacle flying into the road at a dog on the other side. Fortunately they were on their leads, but even so if a car had been coming, they would both now be dead. They flew at the dog with such force that my back was rather badly yanked, and it is still playing up now.

We walked round the park where we barked and snarled at everyone and everything. We came home through the co-op field. Sadly part of the co-op field has been given over to the “Queen’s Green Canopy” in which the local council is “co-ordinating and supporting projects across the borough and invites everyone from residents to businesses, land owners, developers, schools, villages and volunteer groups to help with this ambitious initiative.” The idea is to plant a hundred and thirty-five thousand trees locally, and they’ve clearly made a start in the co-op field. I wonder which land owners, developers, schools, villages or volunteer group planted these trees. There are hundreds of saplings packed into an area which was once a playing field; packed far too closely. Either the plan is that most of the trees are intended to die before maturity, or whoever it was that planted them doesn’t know much about planting trees. The Woodland Trust recommends planting trees two metres apart. Whoever got busy in the co-op field has gone for (at best) a quarter of that distance.


We came home; I emptied the dishwasher, set the washing machine going and did a little on-line survey about how much walking and hiking I do. As I surveyed, the dogs woofed; someone was at the geocache in the front garden, so I went out and said hello. We talked Tupperware for a few minutes then I went inside and wrote up a little CPD (not done that for a while!) before spending the afternoon in bed. 

And now I’m off to the night shift. There’s no denying that I don’t want to go. What with two weeks sick leave, a week of holiday and today off before the night shift, this is the longest time I have ever had off of work in over forty years and I’ve got used to it. I don’t dislike my job, but I am tired of it. I shall see how tonight (and the next few weeks) goes… But more and more I am thinking about taking my pension and retiring.

30 January 2022 (Sunday) - Helping the R.S.P.B.

The nice people at Credit Karma sent me an email today congratulating me on having bought a new car. I only got it three months ago… Despite absolutely nothing having changed in my finances over the last week my credit rating with them has dropped by eleven points. I wonder why.

Mind you according to their information I have absolutely nothing outstanding on my credit card and have no mortgage either (both wrong) so I have to wonder just how good this credit-checking agencies actually are.

Daddy’s Little Angel TM” phoned as I was finishing brekkie with a question about relativistic physics. Most people would wonder what had provoked suck an obscure thought; I just went with the flow. What with all the lockdown and pandemic restrictions being abandoned (in a shallow attempt at vote-grabbing by a desperate Prime Minister?) her job has now evaporated which is something of a pain.

As I explained to the most recent fruit of my loin what happens when you approach light speed, “er indoors TM” cleared up dog sick. Treacle had blown. I blame whatever foul thing (dead frog?) she had been eating in the Kings Wood car park yesterday.


We took the dogs for a walk. Having been to Kings Wood for the last six days we gave it a miss today. We also avoided the park. Sunday is family park run – in theory it is like the Saturday park run but for children. In practice parents who like jogging force their unwilling children to run round the park. The last time we were there for family park run day, a lot of the children were crying as they were made to go faster by several sets of bullying parents who couldn’t understand why their children were sobbing.

We went to Frog’s Island and had quite a good walk. Treacle carried her tennis ball; Pogo played “Catch” with his. But there’s no denying it was cold; we certainly picked the right day yesterday for our long walk.


Once home I gathered a bumper crop of dog dung from the garden, then sat quietly at one end of the garden and shivered as I did my bit for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. The idea is that people watch their garden for an hour and note the comings and goings of our feathered friends. After an hour we then have to report the greatest numbers of the various bird species that were seen together at any one time in that hour. According to the rules, for birds to count they had to have landed. Birds flying over were not to be added to the tally. For all that I could hear birds chirping about it was fifteen minutes before I actually saw one. But a fly-by by a seagull didn’t count, and neither did two crows who came overhead ten minutes after that. I was beginning to get rather disillusioned at the three-quarters of an hour point, but that was when it all got exciting. A collared dove landed on the tree overhanging from not-so-nice-next-door.

After about thirty seconds it shoved off, but it had landed (albeit on a branch). As it had been on the tree over my garden I decided that counted. It was as well that I did; that was all that I recorded. An hour out in the cold for one collared dove. What a load of rubbish.

Call me old-fashioned if you will, but I much preferred bird watching some thirty years ago when we had two young Australian ladies living next door who used to sunbathe in the garden in the nip.


“er indoors TM” and Cheryl went off shopping. Apparently we are getting a new kitchen (!) I can’t think of anything more tedious than trolling round kitchen showrooms, but Cheryl was keen, so I let them go and have a look-see and I’ll pretend to be interested in the shortlist they eventually produce.

I cuddled up with dogs on the sofa and watched episodes of “Four In A Bed” in which (yet again) the most critical person turned out to have far and away the worst bed and breakfast.


“er indoors TM” returned full of enthusiasm. I wanted to share her excitement, but… I realise that our current kitchen is over thirty years old, but it is still perfectly serviceable. She uses it to boil up (quite frankly) excellent dinners every day. Do we (I) really need to squander the fat end of ten thousand quid on a new one?

“er indoors TM” then scored something of an own goal by using the existing kitchen to boil up a particularly good steak dinner which we washed down with a bottle of rather good red wine whilst watching an episode of “Lego Masters: Australia” and an episode of “Junior Bake Off”. Mind you I didn’t dare tell her she’d scored an own goal…

29 January 2022 (Saturday) - Weekend Walk

I did chuckle as I peered into Facebook this morning. Someone who rarely posts anything was grumbling about how many people were posting about playing “Wordle”. It’s a harmless enough game; I can’t see the problem with playing it. But this is what is wrong with Facebook, social media and society in general isn’t it. Everyone wants to take from it; not many are prepared to give.

I then had a bit of a rant which I will reproduce here… even though I’ve ranted it before. A friend had asked “why don’t the 99% who aren’t offended by everything stop pandering to the 1% who are?” It is a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree, but the reason is simple and obvious. It is because the one per cent who are offended by everything get off their arses and make their voices heard, whilst the rest of us don’t.
I’ve seen classic examples of this.
From 1984 to 1986 we lived in a flat the landlady of which was an active member of a crackpot-lefty-greenie-tree-hugging-animal-rights-political-activist bunch. Such groups were rife in the early 1980s and at the time everyone laughed at them. I can distinctly remember a conversation with her when she told me that her group would never have any respect from the public, that they were seen as being a bunch of loonies, and that she and others of her group were all going to seek office in various public bodies and use that as a platform from which they would be able to get taken seriously.
And that’s what they did. No one laughs at animal rights or green issues or the gay community any more, do they?. They all stood up for what they believed in. One specific example of what her lot wanted was the banning of sales of puppies and kittens in pet shops. They got their way.
Or look at how much NHS money gets spent per head on haemophiliacs compared to diabetics (LOTS more!). When I was at college in the 1980s I was told that anyone working in the NHS should go into the field of haemophilila as the nation’s haemophiliacs had got themselves organized, and there would be no cutbacks there.If the majority who claim to be sick of pandering to a vocal minority really feel strongly, they need to stand for election in councils and in voluntary organizations and in pressure groups and fight back !!!
They won’t though…


As my piss cooled we got organised and set off. As we drove we listened to Steve on Radio Ashford until the reception was so poor that he sounded like an angry dalek, but by then we were almost at Kings Wood (again). I like the place as (just like Orlestone) the dogs can run straight out of the car without their leads. But (unlike Orlestone) the place isn’t a sea of mud. We arrived, and after five minutes so did Karl, Tracey and Charlotte, and we had a rather good walk.

As we walked we found a pair of “Family Guy” slippers. Who loses a pair of slippers in the woods? Treacle climbed a tree (I wish she wouldn’t). The weather was glorious – we sat on dry ground to have our picnic lunch, and as we did, so a butterfly flew past. A butterfly – in January!

I took a few photos as we walked. Kings Wood is a beautiful place.

Rather than working out new walks up there, we walked a route past twenty-one of my geocaches to check that all was well with them. I was very pleased to find that very little maintenance was needed today. Over the last few months passing hunters of Tupperware have been good enough to sort any issues for me, for which I am very grateful. According to the rules it is down to me to sort any issues… according to common sense someone seeing a problem can sort it in less time than it would take them to tell me about the issue.

After six miles we found ourselves back at the car park where Treacle picked something off of the ground and ate it. No one was sure quite what it was she had; my money would be on a dead frog. Dogs are foul creatures, you know.


We said our goodbyes and came home where “er indoors TM” and both dogs promptly fell asleep. I had a little look on-line and apologised to the organiser that I’d completely forgotten about today’s geo-meet that had taken place in Deal as we’d been walking round the woods. Woops! 

“er indoors TM” boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching episodes of “Junior Bake Off”. Some of those kids are *so* talented… others not so.