31 October 2022 (Monday) - Halloween

I wasn’t feeling on top form when I went to bed last night. I felt marginally better this morning, though only marginally. This morning Facebook seemed to feature little else than people arguing over garden ponds and goldfish. Why do people have to squabble all the time?
With toast quickly scoffed I got the dogs onto their leads and we drove out to Kings Wood. You could tell half term was over by how many more cars were on the roads.
As we drove “Thought for the Day” was on. Some vicar was blathering about Halloween and saying that all the ghosts and monsters and stories were all make-believe. Perhaps they are; but I’m not quite sure how he would have us think that the fairy stories he was peddling were real though.
We got to the woods  and had a rather uneventful walk. We saw (and bothered) a few other dogs, but all three came back to the sound of the whistle (which was something of a result). The dogs did get grubby though, and all needed a paw wash when we got home.
All were soon snoring and I got changed; putting on a winter shirt. I have “summer” and “winter” shirts for work which come in and out of use when the clocks go forwards and backwards.
And with the dogs asleep I set off for work.
I got some petrol on the way. It pays to shop around when getting that stuff; the price varies quite a bit depending on where you go. I then had quite an easy trip to work - I don't mind working at Pembury really; the drive is very pretty in the daylight.
I got to work, and grumbled to anyone who would listen that I didn't want to be there; no one really listened, but on the plus side there was cake. That chirped me up;  you can never grumble when there is cake.
I did my bit until the night shift arrived. I must admit I’d been dreading Halloween in the blood bank, but it wasn’t as bad as it might have been.
Rather than taking the diversion round the road closure that I thought I should take (and finding it wasn't a diversion at all) like I did on Friday night I drove my normal route home and thought I'd follow the actual diversion (rather than what I thought was the diversion). The actual diversion goes off in the general direction of Plurenden dairy. I say “in the general direction of” because after a mile or so none of the various crossroads and branching lanes have any diversion signs. It was as well that I know the area reasonably well, wasn’t it?
I would say that today was dull, but we had a good walk this morning, and there was cake. The day could have been a whole lot worse.

30 October 2022 (Sunday) - Wet Sunday

The clocks went back last night. I have probably ranted about daylight saving before; it’s all a bit silly really. It doesn’t save any daylight really, does it? It just makes the mornings lighter for a couple of weeks and brings sunset forward. But it gives you an extra hour in bed… I suppose.
I had a little longer in bed listening to “er indoors TM snoring, but got up anyway as small dogs in their crate don’t understand “daylight saving”. I got up at about the same time that I would have turned up at work had a colleague not asked to do my early shift today (result!) and took said small dogs outside only to find it was raining. They both scooted back inside, so I frogmarched them out and closed the door behind us. We all got rather wet until Bailey finally did that which was expected of her. Morgan didn’t; he can be rather stubborn at times.
He eventually pissed on the bathroom floor an hour later.
Whilst the puppies went to bother “er indoors TM”, I made toast and had a look at the Internet as I do most mornings. It was still there. The sarcastic comments I’ve been adding to the Facebook porn adverts had got quite a few reactions and comments in the same vein.
There was quite a lot of griping on some of the Hastings-related Facebook pages. There were several photos of the villages outside Hastings featuring shops, garages and local businesses, all of which  have now closed down. People were bemoaning how the villages outside Hastings now have houses and absolutely nothing else… I found myself thinking about the (so the signs say) “family run filling station” on the way to Biddenden where you pay vastly over-inflated prices for attitude rather than service. These little shops and garages used to be all very well for those who could afford to use them.
I also saw that “er indoors TM had given me a pressie: A Munzee flamingo. It hops round the world from lamp post to lamp post waiting to get capped on (as flamingos do!)
Daddy’s Little Angel TM” needed some tropical fish, so armed with her shopping list we went to Bybrook barn to get some…
I found myself getting an inquisition from some spotty little oik. How big was the tank? Spotty demanded to know *precisely* how big the tank was. How long had it been running? “Ages” was not an acceptable answer; he wanted to know how long to within a day or so. I wouldn’t have minded quite so much if I hadn’t been keeping tropical fish for over twice as long as he’s been alive, and to add insult to injury, pretty much all of the fish in their tanks were in quarantine and weren’t for sale until Tuesday anyway. He suggested I came back on Tuesday. I told him I would go to Dobbies instead where I could get what I wanted cheaper and with less attitude.
And that is what I did…
As we arrived at the abode of the most recent fruit of my loin I opened the car boot to something of a shock. There were only two dogs present. Since leaving Ashford we’d lost a dog. How was that possible? I called the dog register… Bailey was definitely absent.
Just as panic was about to set in, I found her… on the back seat of the car. How had she escaped from the boot?
Daddy’s Little Angel TM” was pleased to see us, as were “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TMand 
Darcie Waa Waa TM. Pogo wasn’t pleased to see the puppies; there was a near episode ending with poor Pogey being locked in the bathroom until he had calmed down.
Whilst “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” got excited about her new fish, “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TMplayed Minecraft at me and showed me how to use an axe to turn a sheep into a pork chop.
The original plan had been to go on to Herne Bay for the Dachshund walk, but the weather forecast had got worse… there will be other Dachshund walks. We came home via the bargain shop. I amused the dogs whilst “er indoors TM went shopping. She came out with three cases of wine and a case of cider for herself, and a packet of dishwasher tablets for me.
I know my place…
We came home; the rain had slackened off to a drizzle, but still too yukky to spend time in the garden, so I ironed some shirts and slobbed in front of the telly watching some wildlife program from Patagonia which looked far more interesting that I expect the place actually is.
“er indoors TM boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching “Lego Masters: Australia”. As always the sow was rather good. But as today has worn on I’ve felt progressively more and more grotty. I wonder why?

29 October 2022 (Saturday) - Busy, Busy

The plan for today had been to go on a geo-walk which had been organised in Tenyham for this morning. But what with getting out of work late last night and roadworks it was rather late when I finally got to bed last night. I woke this morning at about the time we would have had to be leaving for Tenyham… 

I made toast and had a look at Facebook. This morning’s adverts were for applicants for the post of researcher for the Church Army, for holidays in Belgium and for jumpers like my granddad used to wear.  I also saw there was a Lego festival in Milton Keynes today. Had I known about it…
Mind you in a novel break with tradition there was no filth being advertised this morning.

Bearing in mind the dogs needed an outing we took them up to Kings Wood. It was the weekend; I really should make allowances. But carpark was full and the normal people had their dogs running loose round the car park. And we saw more people (fighting with dogs on leads) in the first two minutes of our walk than we usually see on the entire walk.
But after a little while we were away from the car park area, and away from where the normal people walk. We did our  usual circuit of the woods and (once more than two minutes’ walk from the car park) the people with dogs all knew what dogs are like, and we had a good outing. Admittedly a slow one; “er indoors TM was collecting chestnuts. Again I had to snigger at the normal people; every chestnut within a couple of hundred yards of the car park had long since been foraged. But once you’ve walked more than five minutes from the car park there were thousands of chestnuts waiting to be had.

As we passed the halfway point we had a message. Karl wondered if we were in Ashford as he had been dragooned into taking the girls shopping at the outlet. After a few messages (which takes some doing in Kings Wood where there is precious little signal!) we made plans.

We came home, had a quick tidy-up, and went round to Singleton Barn where we all met up over a couple of pints and a spot of lunch. Very tasty. It was only a shame that the puppies had to bark whenever the dog at the other end of the pub barked. Some half-wit at the bar made some comment about it being a pub and not Pets at Home. I smiled, and thought better about asking what sort of sad sack sits on his own in a pub on a Saturday afternoon being ignored by everyone else in the pub. 

After a couple of double ports (massively under-priced – result!) we said our goodbyes. We came home, I went into the garden, got the lawnmower out and scalped the lawn. It needed doing; the grass was higher than Bailey. With shorter grass Morgan might be more inclined to *do* things out there rather than indoors.

I’m not sure who was the most tired this evening… me or the dogs.