30 November 2022 (Wednesday) - This n That

I woke to the sound of Treacle jumping off of the bed with a loud crash. Thinking she wanted to go outside to "do her business" I leapt up to let her out only to be reminded what a clever dog she is. The very second that I got up she leapt back onto the bed and curled up in the warm spot I'd just vacated.
I contented myself with taking the puppies outside. There's always some "business" to be "done" in the mornings in my world if you look for it.
I had brekkie, watched a bit of telly, then set off to work. As I drove through thick fog so the pundits on the radio were telling the world that the fog today was restricted to the far west of Cornwall(i)
They were also talking about last night's England-Wales football match. A *lot* of air-time was devoted to this match, and it left me thinking. That match took place yesterday evening when I'd been at Lego club, and together with a small group of like-minded people I'd had a fun time. Listening to the radio this morning it was clear that for millions of people last night's football match was anything but fun. The Welsh supporters interviewed were bitterly disappointed to have lost, even though they had expected it. And the English supporters interviewed were far from magnanimous in victory (seeing the Welsh as just someone else to stomp underfoot) , but openly expecting bitter upset in the next few weeks when the England team gets knocked out of the world cup.
I've said it before; I wish I understood the attraction of football...
I took the courtesy car to the petrol station; filling it with petrol was far easier than I had expected it to be. Many years ago I once spent twenty minutes standing at the petrol pump trying to find where the petrol went in to my grandfather's car. The chap from the garage eventually came out and he couldn't find the filler cap either. Eventually we found it behind the rear number plate (which folded down!) Ever since then I've expected no end of arse-ache every time I take a new (to me) car to a petrol pump.
And then having filled it with petrol I couldn't help but wonder if diesel might have been a better idea. How do you know which to put in? Mind you the thing is still making the same noises it was before I put the petrol in, so here's hoping.
I got to the works car park and spent five minutes trying to turn the car’s lights off. For some reason they wanted to stay on. I expect while randomly pressing all the buttons (like I have been doing) I've randomly pressed the wrong one.
As I did my bit at work so my phone rang. It was the people who are supposed to be sorting my car. They’ve taken two days to tell me what the chap who picked up the car on Monday said, and they estimate it will be fixed two weeks this Friday.
I sighed…
On September 1st the local garage had a look at my car and sent me a quote. They could have taken the car in on the following Monday and had it done that morning for a thousand quid. I wonder how much the insurance people are being stung for.
Work was much the same as ever, but even being on an early shift it was still dark when I got home.
I took the dogs round the block and risked life and limb. The pavements are extremely slippery with fallen leaves, and the utterly inadequate street lighting means that you can’t see where the fallen leave are. I sent an email of complaint to the local councillor. Mind you I’ve complained about the inadequate lighting to her before and had a rather disinterested reply. I suppose the more argumentative fat sods that pogger themselves in the dark, the less stick she gets in her in-box. She actually replied in less than an hour. She didn’t actually say “f… off fatso” but she might as well have done.
We drove round to see “My Boy TM” and deliver his Advent Calendar. Every year “er indoors TM wraps up twenty-four tins of beer for him.
I get to open the first window on my Advent Calendar tomorrow 

29 November 2022 (Tuesday) - Lego Club

Tiddling the dogs goes one of three ways. They can flatly refuse to go out. They can go out (under protest) and mess about playing silly beggars for quite some time. Or they go out like bullets from a gun, do what is required, and zoom back in as fast as they possibly can. In the early mornings they usually take the third option because they know that once they've "done", they can go upstairs to the big bed with “er indoors TM.
With them sorted I made toast and watched another episode of "Stranger Things" which was rather good, and now we're into the third season it actually features some things that really are stranger than most other things.
As I watched so “er indoors TM came downstairs to the loo... complete with her entourage. Whenever I get up to go anywhere the dogs might roll over into the warm spot that I might have left, but that would be all the response that my absence would warrant. Whenever “er indoors TM  gets up to go anywhere all three dogs leap up and follow her every move.
I set off for work listening to the news as I do. I rolled my eyes as it was announced that billions of pounds need to be spent on flood defences across the country as officialdom has finally realised the folly of letting developers build wherever they like. Didn’t they realise that developers like to build on land that regularly floods because it is cheap? As an example of this, look at the Park Farm development in Ashford. Thousands of houses built on land which thirty years ago wouldn't used by local sheep farmers between October and April as it flooded too much and was a swamp every winter.
There was also more talk from the First Lady of Ukraine who was hoping that the people of Britain wouldn't forget about the plight of the Ukrainians... and then asked for more millions of pounds to spend on fighting the Russians.
And I found myself wondering about the Chinese government cracking down on dissident voices and outlawing certain brands of social media. For all that I rip into the government, I should really be grateful that they allow me to do so...  Not that I expect they even realise I'm sitting here throwing rocks at them.
As I drove up the motorway I investigated the various functions of the courtesy car I've got. Some might say that I randomly pressed all the buttons to see what happened, but I prefer to say "investigated the various functions" as that sounds like I had some idea of what I was doing.
Once I'd got the mirrors pointing in the right directions (that took some doing), I discovered the cruise control, and spent a while playing with that.
As I fiddled I was very conscious to remember I wasn't in my car and made a point of not trying to use sixth gear for the simple reason that this car hasn't got a sixth gear. Reverse is where sixth gear should be. If I was to use that half way up the motorway the engine would just leap out of the bonnet in a rather spectacular fashion.
I wonder if that would be covered by the insurance?
I did my bit at work, and (once I'd checked the travel map on Google) rather than heading home I went to Hythe where the Lego club was having its inaugural meeting. Would it be any good? Would it be a load of rubbish? I must admit I went along hoping for great things but expecting the worst. Mind you I had my reservations about Dog Club, and (so far) that has turned out quite good. And (if nothing else) it would be an opportunity to catch up with Jose who had told me that he would be along.
My reservations were totally unfounded. The turn-out wasn’t huge, but those of us that were there had a great meeting. After a little chatting we pulled up some tables and just built Lego models. I’d taken some maxifigures along to show (as those are what I collect) so I made a cat, dog, parrot and some other strange animal to go with them. As we all built we all carried on chatting. We all seem to be of one mind; the hobby is supposed to be fun. And with that in mind I think we might just be on to a winner here…
I don’t think the first fruit of my loin approves…

28 November 2022 (Monday) - Rostered Day Off

I woke at two o’clock last night with a pain in my neck, and spent much of the rest of the night trying to get comfortable, but it wasn’t happening.
I gave up and came downstairs to find a mutiny in progress; the puppies were refusing point-blank to go outside for “er indoors TM. I told them “come on” and they followed me outside right away. What was that all about?
I made toast and had a look at the Internet. It was back to its old ways… Radio Four, geocaching apps, pugs, Sparks and Star Trek… No matter what the subject, everything was one big argument today.
“er indoors TM sorted dog breakfast, and we both watched Treacle ignoring hers. She seemed to be all right in herself` but did look a little bloated. She’s been looking like that for a couple of days now. Once the puppies had eaten theirs, she then ate hers whilst they watched.
I then sat about waiting. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that on 30th August I had to swerve my car into a hedge to avoid a head-on collision. A local garage assured me that they could have fixed it within an hour, but it wouldn’t have been cheap, so I went through the insurance people. Three months later they eventually got round to sorting it. I’d been told that they would collect the car today and drop off the courtesy car too… at some point during the day. Apparently they were utterly unable to give me any indication of when; the best they could do would be for the nice man to give me a ring when he was half an hour away, so I had to give up an entire day to sit round waiting for them. It took some doing, but I managed to swap shifts about, and then ironically the nice man turned up at five past nine (with no phone call)… so I could have done the late shift after all. There had been no need for me to give up an entire day.
The courtesy car they’ve left me with seems to be the economy version of the one that’s gone for repair. The controls are fairly similar to my car, but it only has five gears. Mind you it does have scratches on the passenger side front bumper, below the passenger side headlight and on the boot door frame. I emailed the company about that, and they emailed back to say that they knew, and told me about seven other dings on it. That was honest of them.
One of the rules with the courtesy car is that dogs aren’t allowed in it… that was something of a pain in the glass. Mind you my car was set up so that the dogs would be contained in the boot; I couldn’t guarantee their not escaping from the boot of the courtesy car. So with the woods being out today, we went on a half-hour wander round the local roads. The wander went well, even if we did terrify several passers-by.
What is it with the Nepalese community and dogs? We walked past quite a few Nepalese people today; they were all very polite and civil (as they always are), but all of then reacted as though I was taking three tigers for a walk rather than three small dogs.
With walk walked I popped up to the corner shop to get croissants or “pain o chocolate” or something for me and “er indoors TM (who was working from home today), but the shop had sold out. Sometimes they’ve got loads left at mid-day, other times they’ve sold out at ten o’clock.
I then spent anther couple of hours working on the Personal Development Plans presentation for a couple of hours until the nice boiler man arrived. Having had a cancellation the nice lady at the plumbers (who in years gone by was one of my trainees!) arranged for us to get our boiler serviced this afternoon… or (to be precise) she arranged for the boiler engineer to call. Sadly when the new kitchen was fitted earlier in the year the boiler was quite comprehensively boxed in and the engineer couldn’t get to the boiler. There’s now a delay whilst we see if and when the kitchen fitter can come back…
No day off work is complete without ironing; I ironed for a couple of hours whilst watching episodes of “Four In A Bed” in which one of the contestants was banging on constantly about what a big businessman he was… and his bed & breakfast establishment was quite literally falling to pieces. Like so many people he knew all the theory and none of the practice.
“er indoors TM went off bowling, and I settled down with the dogs and watched two episodes of “Stranger Things”…
My neck still aches…