31 March 2022 (Thursday) - Busy Day

I found myself remembering old times as I read Facebook this morning. One of the NHS-related Facebook pages I follow was having the same tired old argument about the pay rates of NHS staff. Some were ranting about why NHS staff sit back and take it and were advocating wholesale strikes. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) working for the NHS doesn’t generally appeal to the sort of worker who goes on strike. Whenever there has been any talk of industrial action in the past, the first thing to be organised is cover for those going on strike, which rather defeats the object of the exercise, doesn’t it? I was part of an NHS strike nearly forty years ago. We staged a sit-in in the works canteen in the (now demolished) Royal East Sussex Hospital, and having been on strike for exactly one hour we all went back to work… and went home late having made up for all that we’d not done during the hour’s strike.

There were picket lines at the (now demolished) Royal East Sussex Hospital manned by nurses who all loudly advocated solidarity, and who all went back to work having accepted the (relatively) huge pay rise given to the nurses whilst the rest of us got sod all.

There was also once a picket line at the (now demolished) Ashford Hospital as well. I only remember the one. Everyone was standing around minding their own business when a coach load of miners turned up to “express their solidarity with the nurses”. Some of the miners then assaulted the bored policeman who had been watching the picket, and following that, everyone abandoned the picket line and all went home. I’ve often wondered if that coach really had been full of miners or if it had all been a set-up.

In any event, “solidarity” in the NHS is a bit of a joke. There are “doctors and nurses” and there is “all the other little people” and I know which camp I am in.

I sent out birthday wishes to two friends, then had a little look at my emails. Ironically the NHS Jobs Vacancy Service told me of quite a few openings and opportunities for blood testers.


Seeing the weather forecast had been wrong (again) I took Treacle up to the park. It was rather cold, and as we walked we saw a gaggle of schoolchildren out and about doing something or other. Whatever it was, they all had a worksheet to ensure that any fun was well and truly sucked out of whatever the outing was all about. Fifty years ago I used to have those. Whenever we went anywhere from school we had to complete an incredibly dull worksheet which (I am sure) was purely to keep us quiet.

With walk walked I scraped the mud off of “er indoors TM”’s walking boots, plungered the bath plug hole and played a round or two of “Worms” then set off on the business of the day.


I drove down to Folkestone to collect “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” and Pogo and, pausing only briefly to get her mother some flowers from Tesco, we went to the vet. Pogey’s allergy problem seems to have resolved itself, and his diet is going well; he’s lost a kilogram.

We then dropped flowers and Pogo at home (as he’s coming on holiday with us next week) and found ways to waste a couple of hours. We had a KFC lunch, then had a look at water features in Dobbies. I got some ideas for future projects, then we went round to Bybrook Barn where we made nuisances of ourselves in the shoe department before heading back to the Eureka park for McMilkShakes.


We then went up to the hospital for scans and seemingly endless waiting for midwives, then I drove the most recent fruit of my loins (and the granddaughter she is baking) back to Folkestone.

I came home via Sainsburys where I got some shopping and petrol, then came home where I set the washing machine going and did some more ironing whilst watching episodes of “Trailer Park Boys” in which Ricky was again having troubles with his brain. But being “a word of his man” he decided to “keep his friends close and his enemy’s toaster”.

I also watched a few minutes of channel 5’s “National Treasure, National Disgrace” which dished the dirt on disgraced celebrities Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall and Gary Glitter. All sorts of people from the entertainment industry were wheeled on to say just how evil these celebrities had been…  

I’m in no way defending them, but I can’t help but think that the main national disgrace here is why these people kept quiet about the criminal abuse for so many years.


“er indoors TM” came home rather late – she’d been talking to the kitchen people about our plans for a new kitchen. Being rather late she asked if I fancied KFC for dinner. Two helping of the stuff did for my diet today.

She claims she don’t read this drivel… let’s see who squeals me up…

30 March 2022 (Wednesday) - Lazy Day

With no tip runs or car services on the itinerary I had planned a bit of a lie-in. I stayed in bed until eight o’clock laying there with the most intense headache which went five minutes after I’d got up.

I made toast and had a look at the Internet. There were a lot of comments on the photo album I’d posted to Facebook on Sunday. Having gone two days with no one having commented, I thought something was odd… So last night I had a look and I learned something. If you create an album of photos or pictures on Facebook and have someone else contribute to that album as well, Facebook automatically sets that album so that only you and the other contributor can see it. If you want it to be visible to everyone you have to go into the settings yourself. I didn’t know that.

I also saw something on Facebook which made me think. Last October I had a little rant about a pub in one of the villages just outside Ashford which had been given a quarter of a million quid of taxpayer’s money to re-open. Today people in that village were whinging about what a shame it was that their village pub was closed. Is it still closed? People claiming to live near the pub maintained it was still closed. How long does it take to re-open a pub? From their Facebook group it seems the pub is now periodically operating out of the local village hall?

Interestingly when I had my little rant last October I’d seen photos of my local MP who was posing for the camera together with the people supposedly re-opening the pub. By co-incidence his constituency office shares the same post code as this pub.


I took Treacle for a little walk up to the park where she kept her distance from everyone and everything (as she does), and then went on a little shopping spree. I’d got a voucher for Matalan offering me twenty per cent off the bill if I spent more than thirty quid with them. I had a little look around and realised there wasn’t a single thing there that I wanted. I wonder how many people spend thirty quid on stuff they don’t want just to get the discount.

I then went on to Tesco for this and that. Tesco was dull; it usually is.


I came home to find postie had been and had delivered the deeds  to the house. The building society doesn’t want them any more now that the mortgage is paid off, and (apparently) the actual paper deeds are worthless as they official ones are now the electronic copies held by the Land Registry.

One lives and learns.

I had a little look at the deeds over a cuppa… they were on the dull side. I’m not sure what I was expecting from them, but I had been expecting more. 

And then I started wondering about vet insurance for the puppies. Fudge was insured, but the policy I bought was changed by the company after I bought it so that any condition that he had was only covered by their policy for a year after diagnosis. So toward the end I was paying seventy quid a month and pretty much nothing was covered any more as he’d had all sorts of things diagnosed in the past.
Can any of my loyal readers recommend a pet insurer who actually pays up? Or would I be better off  putting money aside into an account of my own and keeping the money myself just in case?

I then had something of a lazy day. I watched some episodes of “Four In A Bed” in which one chap proudly boasted of how all his cooking skills were self-taught, and then had the right hump when it turned out he was rubbish at cooking. The contestants in this show do make me laugh – they go on national television with a golden opportunity to advertise their business, and so many of them do little more than piss on their chips. 

“er indoors TM” boiled up a rather good bit of carrot soup which we scoffed whilst watching another episode of “Lego Masters: USA” which was rather good. The contestants had to make particularly good scenes featuring Lego superheroes which then got blown up (the scenes, not the superheroes). Rather appropriate as the host of the show is the chap who voiced Lego Batman in “The Lego Batman Movie”.

29 March 2022 (Tuesday) - Rather Busy

I again woke feeling like death warmed up and would definitely have phoned in sick had I been at work today. But by the time I’d got up, made toast and turned the telly on I was feeling fine.

I watched an episode of “Trailer Park Boys” I which our heroes got confused between zombies and aliens, then woke Treacle and took her out.


We drove over to the garage where the car was having “car things” done today. Whilst I have detailed knowledge and understanding of most of the surgical procedures that people have done to them, the car equivalents are a total mystery to me. We got to the garage a few minutes early and…

Poor Treacle. 

She obviously had associated the car drive as the forerunner of one of our weekend walks, and so she massively over-reacted every time a car or another person came near. However after initially getting very over-excited to see someone in the distance she then cowered in terror when she realised that it was a stranger and not a friend. I also felt rather sorry for the dog-lovers who had seen a dog apparently very keen to see them, coming up to see her only to find a dog cowering in terror and *seriously* not wanting to say hello.

We left the car with the nice people at the garage and walked home along the river following a walk I used to do with my Fudge back in the day. As we walked I remembered hm being smothered in fox poo as we walked that way, and someone insisting on stroking him and consequently getting fox poo all over their hands.


We got home where I set the washing machine  loose on shirts and then got the ironing board out and spent a couple of hours watching a film. “Disobedience” was a rather good film. Leaving aside the gratuitous girlie snogging it made me think. The film was all about a young woman who had eventually managed to escape her religious upbringing. I sometimes wonder if we hadn’t moved away from Hastings, would we still be wrapped up in the church?

I’d done ironing this morning since rain had been forecast. But seeing that the weather had ignored the forecast I went into the garden. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that a couple of weeks ago I disassembled the garden arbour. “er indoors TM” had bought a replacement bench from Wayfair, and I thought I might build the thing this morning. I expected it to take a couple of hours and involve a lot of swearing; the whole thing went together in about twenty minutes. It looks rather good, but is a tad on the flimsy side. The old arbour lasted over twelve years before I put my arse through it for the first time. I seriously doubt if this bench will survive the year. Time will tell; it always does.

I then ran round the garden with the lawn mower, and just as I finished so my phone rang. The car was ready for collection.


Seeing it was still not raining, after a bite of dinner I took Treacle to go get the car. We walked back the way we came. As we walked we saw a few other dogs; Treacle just kept away from them, which suited me. I’d rather she said hello and sniffed, but I’ll settle for just keeping a distance.

As we walked we saw “her from down the road”. “Her from down the road” lives down the road (obviously) and has a son who went to school with the first fruit of my loin. So we’ve been seeing her intermittently since the early nineties, and in all that time she has never once smiled. She *always* has an expression which really is that of a morose bulldog licking piss from a stinging nettle. And today was no exception. As we passed her in South Willesborough I smiled and said hello. She grunted, with a face (quite frankly) like a smacked arse.

We got to the garage and collected the car. The bill was two hundred pounds less than what they had told me it would be, which was something of a result. And the nice man at the garage was impressed when Treacle did “boot dog” and jumped into the car’s boot as he handed the key back.

As we drove home we saw “her from down the road” coming past our house, still looking rather glum.


Once home I sat myself down, and as Treacle growled bravely at the world from the safety of the sofa (safely behind double glazing) I spent an hour or so playing “Worms”.

Incoming !!!!


“er indoors TM” boiled up home made pizza again which we washed down with a bottle of “Les Calcaires Pinot Noir” which I can only describe as “not too shabby at all!” As we scoffed and drank we watched the first episode of the second season of “Lego Masters USA”.

Not a bad way to spend the evening…