5 January 2022 (Wednesday) - Stuff and Things

As part of the run-up to next week’s nasal re-bore I’ve  got to take a dose of steroids every day. It has been suggested that if I take them with brekkie then their side-effect of insomnia is diminished somewhat. I’m not saying that they kept me awake last night but it was one of those nights when I probably needed every bit of help I could get to sleep, and they probably didn’t help. After a very restless night I eventually gave up trying to sleep.

As I walked to the bathroom this morning I looked at the washing machine with a tear in my eye. It died yesterday evening. I’m not saying that the epic wash load that “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” sent up between Christmas and New Year did for it (I wouldn’t dare) but when it gave up the ghost last night I found that the waste trap was filled with fag filters. But despite hoiking them all out, the drum still didn’t turn. I formally declared that the washing machine was dead, salvaged the last batch of laundry from it, and “er indoors TM” got looking on-line for its successor.

Our old washing machine is old. My diary goes back nearly fifteen years and the only mention of a new washing machine was on Saturday 14 July 2007 when the old one gave Jose a poke (I can remember laughing at that), and there was talk of a new one coming on the following Tuesday. Is it really that old? Quite possibly. For many years I had a service contract with someone or other in which I paid far too much money each month and if and when the thing went wrong then the nice man would come and fix it. Which was all very well all the time the thing would go wrong. But over the years we have just kept a frankly knackered device limping along until the bitter end. And probably paid the cost of several brand new washing machines in doing so. Some time ago I decided to cancel that service contract and keep the money in reserve for when the time for a new washing machine came. That time has come… and I’ve got four hundred quid put aside for a new one. I’m not sure that will be enough, but it is four hundred quid that I’ve not given to someone else isn’t it? I’ll just add in the money I’ve got reserved for when my lap-top chucks in the sponge. I’d been looking forward to getting a new lap-top, but I think it fair to say I look forward to having my socks washed more.


As I scoffed toast, antibiotics and steroids I watched an episode of “Superstore” which was rather entertaining, then peered into Facebook where a row was kicking off about whether or not Gringotts (the Wizard bank in “Harry Potter”) was allegorical of Hitler’s Third Reich. Some people were insistent it was. Others saw this for the absolute stupidity it was. And quite a few were determined to  have an argument.


I set off on a quite major trek to where I'd had to leave the car last night. Parking near home is always tricky and last night I'd had to park three streets away. Yesterday had been a rather warm morning. Today it was ten degrees colder and I had to spend a few minutes scraping the ice from the windscreen. Perhaps I might start wearing a scarf in the morning? After all if I don't wear one in the winter, when will I wear one?

I was soon driving up the motorway. As well as endless speculation about COVID-19, the pundits on the radio were also talking about how a New York judge was deciding whether to allow Virginia Giuffre (the Jeffrey Epstein trafficking victim) to pursue her civil case against Prince Andrew.


This woman might well be the victim in the case. But from what I can see this was all thrashed out when she was awarded a ton of cash in 2009 on the understanding that the payment was the end of it all. And that in accepting it she agreed that justice had been done. Having received such a payment, how can you come back and ask for more? If the judge decides in her favour he will be setting a dangerous legal precedent for anyone who has been given a settlement in the past and who now decides they might like some more.

Though I expect that Prince Andrew will remain on the hook for a little longer; after all what is the law if not made up as it goes along?


I took a couple of detours on my way to work today. First of all to Boxley. Karl had sent a message last night saying that one of his geocaches had gone missing. Seeing it was only a five-minute drive and a two-minute walk out of my way I thought I might be helpful and replace it. I had this plan to go before work. I thought it might be pretty to be there just as the sun was rising, and it was. And I didn't get muddy at all; the mud was still frozen.

I also stopped off for petrol at the Aylesford Sainsbury petrol station where the staff were smiling and helpful and *utterly* unlike the surly harridans lurking behind the tills in the Ashford branch. As I filled the car I played silly beggars. Usually I keep putting in petrol until the pump stops, and then give it a couple more squirts for good luck. I actually got over a tenner's worth more petrol into the tank after the pump had decided to stop for the first time this morning. What was that all about? I also got a sandwich too. In my sadness over the demise of the washing machine I'd forgotten to make lunch earlier.


I got to work a little earlier than I might have done, and treated myself to a croissant (from the work's branch of Marks and Spencer) which I had with a cuppa, and then spent much of the day (when I wasn't eating cake) peering down a microscope.


I wasn’t *that* late getting out, and one home I walked the dogs round the block. “er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of scran and we scoffed it watching the first two episodes of “The Larkins” – a re-make of “The Darling Buds of May”. Much of the program was filmed in places that we’ve walked. Whilst I didn’t see any geocaches, I certainly saw the seat which has the inscription you need to find in order to solve the puzzle of geocache “Church Micro 7904…West Peckham”. And the pram race went across the bridge crossing the river where Fudge once went for a paddle.

I think we might watch some more episodes if only to shout “I’ve been there” at the telly.

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