30 June 2022 (Thursday) - Before the Late Shift

I managed to lie in until eight o’clock this morning which was something of a result. “er indoors TM had gone down, but Treacle was still upstairs with me; presumably hiding from the puppies.


After a quick brekkie I put on my boots (it had rained a lot overnight) and took the dogs out. The local weather forecast from Microsoft said it was raining and the weather forecast from the BBC said there was a four per cent chance of rain. As it wasn’t raining we went out and hoped for the best.

As we drove we were almost (but not quite) run off of the road by the A-Class Driving School. There only seemed to be one person in that car (so I couldn’t blame a learner); and he had a face like a smacked bum. As I have said before, if you are going to put the name of your business all over your car, people will know who you are when you drive like a tit.

As we drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the government’s planned changes to how English Literature is taught in schools. Two supposed experts where wheeled on. One ranted about how schools should strive to ensure that English is taught “even more better” (!), and neither could pronounce the word “curriculum”; preferring instead to say “kriklem”.


We got to the woods; I was right to have worn boots as it was rather muddy in places. As we walked we met a new friend. There was a chap with a cockerpoo; a rather humungous dog who immediately chased the puppies into a thicket. The chap was so apologetic until his dog came sprinting out of the thicket hotly pursued by Bailey and Morgan. All three then chased each other for five minutes having great fun whilst Treacle watched in utter contempt.

It was just a shame that when the walk was over Morgan flatly refused to come to me to get his lead put on; preferring to run amok in the car park. Having seen the other dogs getting their leads on he’d clearly decided he was having none of it. He’s a rather wilful dog; next time he will be first back on the lead.


We came home and had a quick go in the bath; we all had grubby tummies. I then ran round with the Hoover, and went into the front garden and had a tidy up. Last week when “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” had been house sitting she’d put a load of dirty nappies, McDonalds leftovers and a dead fish into a black sack, and this had rather attracted the local cats. Dirty nappies, McDonalds leftovers and a dead fish tend to do that. I’ve put all the rubbish into a new black sack which the local cats can rip open later.


I sat in front of the telly and watched some “Orange is the New Black” and it wasn’t long before all three dogs were snoring. With them settled I slipped off out to work… and after a while I slipped off out from work and came home again.

Oh – and today’s bird is “blackbird. In all honesty it don’t sound that different to chaffinches and wrens and (I suspect) whichever of our feathered friends gets wheeled on tomorrow.

29 June 2022 (Wednesday) - Wren

After a bottle of Slimfast coffee shake (rather yuk!) and an episode of "Orange is the New Black" I left everyone else snoring and set off to work.

As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how the Cabinet Secretary had been interviewed by some parliamentary  committee or other  about the "Partygate" scandal in which he claimed to know nothing about all the booze-ups in Downing Street? Did he? I don't know, but listening to the recordings of the interview it was quite obvious that what with the Prime Minister having got off scot-free, the hunt is on for someone to blame. The Cabinet Secretary looks to be an easy scapegoat in a classic example of the fifty-first Rule of Acquisition: “Never admit a mistake if there's someone else to blame”.

There was also more talk about the ongoing war in Ukraine. The so-called expert wheeled on to the radio today (no idea who he was) seemed quite clear that the Russians are going to win, and implied that funding the loosing side is a rather costly business for all concerned. It certainly seems to have been so far.


I got to work for the early shift. I did what I had to do today with something of a "I can't be arsed" attitude. I really do need to talk to someone about taking early retirement. But being an early shift I got out promptly.

I came straight home and took the dogs to the woods. We met a few other dogs as we walked; Treacle was funny. Back when Pogo was with us, Treacle would cower in terror from other dogs. Now she goes up to them and says “hello” without any concerns anymore. Is this because she is now “top dog” of our wolf pack?

The last dogs we saw today made me smile. We’ve met them before; they are the size of cart horses and have to be on leads as they don’t behave. They came round a corner and were on top of us before I could lead up my pups. Hoping to avoid previous “episodes” I firmly told the pups “straight past!” and all three walked straight past (as good as gold).

The woman struggling with the cart-horse-sized dogs commented that she wished her dogs were as well behaved as mine. I felt like commenting that the first step in managing a dog is to have one of a manageable size, but thought better of saying anything.


“er indoors TM boiled up a vary good bit of dinner which we washed down with an incredibly cheap bottle of plonk. We’ve had wines of the Sainsbury’s “House” brand before. The Shiraz, Merlot and Malbec have been *very* good. The bog standard “red wine” was (sadly) rather grim, but with change out of a fiver it could have been a lot grimmer.


Oh – and today’s bird is “wren. It sounds rather like what I’ve always thought was a skylark.

28 June 2022 (Tuesday) - Birdsong

After my usual early morning routine I set off west-wards to work. The boss had asked me to work at Pembury today, and the drive there can be rather pretty as I go through the -hursts and the -dens.  As I drove today, I took the opportunity to stop off in Sissinghurst to get a couple of bottles of obscure beers for our next weekend walk.

While I drove I listened to the pundits on the radio spouting their usual brand of drivel about the news of the day. Nothing was anywhere near as much of a waste of air-time at the utter tripe that was spouted on the "Thought For The Day" bit. Sometimes  "Thought For The Day" can be inspiring, sometimes thought-provoking... today's was utter gibberish with various non-sequitur platitudes making no sense whatsoever.


I got to work and it was there that I peered into the depths of the internet. Sussex Wildlife Trust had suggested I sign up for their on-line course in which I can learn to recognise birdsongs. Bearing in mind I am very quick to identify the song of a skylark when I hear it, I have no idea why I think that sound is actually a skylark, and not a sparrow or an eagle,

I thought I might learn something. Today's lesson was "Chaffinch"; a particularly noisy little sod.


At tea break I had a message. I saw a geocache had gone live - it was that one I chased out for on the morning of 7th May and having found it, the thing was withdrawn as the geo-feds suddenly wanted landowner permission which hadn't been required for the last geocache which had been not ten yards from this one.

Having nearly killed myself (and the bigger dogs) going up and down Wye Downs I'm claiming the First to Find... after all I found the thing in good faith, albeit a few weeks ago...


And I had an email or two from Credit Karma.  A little while ago I signed up with them… Having done so I must admit I have serious reservations about the country’s entire financial system.

Apparently over the last six months I’ve reduced my outstanding credit card balance. An odd observation for them to make as they also pointed out that I have paid off my credit card bill in full every month for the entire thirty-plus years that I’ve had a credit card. They seemed to think that having recently paid off my mortgage was a bad thing (why?), and despite having an “excellent” credit rating, that rating has dropped by twenty points since March although absolutely nothing in my personal circumstances has changed in that time.

And my back is still giving me grief…