28 February 2023 (Tuesday) - Rather Dull

I found myself in a rather reflective mood this morning as I watched “Downton Abbey”. Lady Edith had been left standing at the altar after her prospective husband thought better of tying the knot. Understandably she was a tad miffed. I know the thing is just a made-up TV drama, but the ridiculously rich can be miserable too. Was it wrong of me to think that her being miserable was in some way payback for being rich?
I sparked up the lap-top and had a look at the Internet. It was still there. I sent out birthday wishes… and thought of someone whose birthday it was today; someone I’ve only seen once in the last forty-eight years. When I was at Red Lake primary school, Vivienne Barr was in the same class as me every year for the seven years that we were both there. Her birthday was exactly one week after mine, and every year the teachers would remark on it as though it was of major significance, and so it has stuck in my mind. I’ve seen her once since we both left primary school, but every year I think of February 28th as “Vivienne Barr’s Birthday”. I wonder whatever happened to her? I think her father was something big in Sussex Police?
I was also presented with an advert for wellington boots. You can get them for less than a tenner on Amazon, but the ones in the advert were branded with a particular manufacturer  of fishing gear, and the going rate for those was twenty-five quid – and that was second-hand. Fishing gear is a serious rip off. The stuff itself costs far too much, and whoever makes fishing gear then sticks their logo onto clothing and mugs and tents and all sorts of stuff, triples the price… and can’t keep up with the demand.
With very little else of note happening on-line I got ready for work. I’d rather not have got ready for work. I know that no one is overly keen on the idea, but when I started working full-time all those years ago it was on the firm understanding that I would get a full pension on September 14th 2021. That’s eighteen months ago and what with the vagaries of politician’s lies, a full pension is (sadly) years into the future.
The radio’s “Thought for the Day” was interesting… in a strange sort of way. Some vicar or other was banging on about ex-US President Jimmy Carter who this vicar claimed was the last actively Christian president. He also banged on about Tim Farron who packed in being leader of the Liberal Democraps because he felt his religious views were an obstacle to his political career. This vicar seemed to think that religious people made better national leaders as (so he claimed) a religious outlook was synonymous with a moral perspective.
This attitude from the righteous winds me up. Can’t people lead moral lives without the imposed fear of eternal damnation? And as for the success of religious leaders, just look at what’s going on in the middle east.
To think that forty years ago I was seriously thinking of taking holy orders myself…
Today was one of the dull days…

27 February 2023 (Monday) - Stuff

Having had a week of half-way decent sleep (on my week off), with an alarm set last night I woke at ten past two, and then looked at the clock about every twenty minutes from then on.
I eventually gave up trying to sleep and came downstairs to find Bailey had made a great improvement overnight. Yesterday I was carrying her to the garden; this morning she sprinted to the back door the very instant I opened the pup crate. Mind you I made a point of carrying her upstairs to the big bed; she wasn’t going to be allowed to run up the stairs.
With the dogs settled I made toast and settled down for my morning fix of “Downton Abbey” in which the chauffeur got his drink spiked and made quite the exhibition of himself in front of the dowager countess. I think the dowager countess was rather impressed.
I set off to work. As I drove I listened to the radio, as I do. I know the pundits on their boil my piss, but if I don’t listen to them I find myself utterly unaware of everything that is going on in the world.
Apparently we’ve had the driest February ever. There was an interview about it… with a farmer from East Anglia whose usually swamp-like field are dry enough to drive cars and tractors over. The interview could have been insightful and interesting; instead it was like.. well, like, erm like… The poor woman must had used the word “like” at least three times in every sentence. You’d think that whoever oversees the morning’s radio would vet the people they have on there. Wouldn’t you?
There was also a lot of talk about customs arrangements in Northern Ireland. The UK is in the frankly ridiculous position of demanding that there both be a border *and* not be a border between Northern and Southern Ireland. Bearing in mind that everyone saw this coming during the Brexit squabbling, it is really a tad late to only now realise that voting for Brexit was voting for Irish reunification… whether the D.U.P. like it or not.
I got some petrol before work; I got it in Aylesford at eleven pence per litre cheaper than Ashford was knocking it out at.
And then I went to Sainsbury’s to get cakes for work (as it was my birthday last week). I got what I needed, and then had something of a fight with the self-service checkout. It was playing up rather spectacularly, and when I asked why the tills weren’t in use, the old bat (in Sainsbury’s uniform) told me there was no need for Sainsburys to have staff on the tills.
If only there was another supermarket within striking distance of work…
Work was work; it would have been a tad easier had I not been wrestling with the intricacies of the N blood group (did you know there was an N blood group?), but it could have been worse. And with work worked I came home.
“er indoors TM sorted scran then went bowling. I’ve suggested that whilst she is out she might like to look for the northern lights. Apparently they are visible this evening… but not from our house as it is too cloudy. Not that I could have seen it from underneath the dogs…

26 February 2023 (Sunday) - At the Vet's

I woke with a definite sense of déjà vu this morning. “er indoors TM had brought the puppies up whilst I’d been asleep, and all three dogs were pushed up against me giving me about nine inches along the edge of the bed. I though the idea of a king-sized mattress was that I could have some room. Clearly I was mistaken.
Leaving them all asleep I got up and made toast. I rolled my eyes as I read Facebook’s feed this morning. Leaving aside dubious friend requests (from God only knows what), over the last few weeks my Facebook feed had been filled with videos of crocodiles. However this morning I had seemingly nothing but adverts for cruise holidays. Each advert offered a bargain price with a huge price reduction. Sadly the actual reduction itself was far more than I would want to spend on a holiday in total.
Having got up to glorious sunshine I had this naïve idea that we might go out and do some field trials of my current Wheri-project. However in the three hours it took everyone else to get ready the weather had gone off somewhat. By the time we got to the woods the sunshine had given way to (at various times) rain, sleet and hail.
As we walked we kept an eye on Bailey. She hadn’t seemed on top form earlier but we thought she’d rather come with us than be left behind. But the walk was a bit much for her; a combination of long walks in the week and the bout of dire rear had taken their toll. But whilst keeping an eye on Bailey we managed to miss seeing Morgan rolling in the fox poo. However we didn’t miss smelling it, and once home he had a serious scrub.
Once home I did the final tweaks to my Wheri-project as Bailey lay next to me whimpering and crying. After a few minutes I decided enough was enough and phoned the vets for an appointment for her.
I carried Bailey to the vets and we had to wait for a while – the only vet on duty was busy with an emergency. After a little while I was asked if I would be happy for the nurse to do a triage. I was very happy; as we walked into the consulting room Bailey did the most rank fart ever. “Oooh”, the veterinary nurse remarked. “That ain’t right”. The nurse then mauled Bailey about and found weaknesses on her left legs, and asked if I would mind if she carried Bailey through to where the emergency was going on so the vet could have a look.
As I waited I suddenly heard the most blood-curdling scream. Five minutes later the nurse came out and asked if I’d heard Bailey scream.
The final diagnosis was that she has two problems; a seriously strained front left leg and shitting through the eye of a needle (stop me it I'm getting too technical); both of which were aggravating each other.
We left the vet’s with more medicine than sense, a load of special dog food and orders that Bailey isn't allowed any walks for the next week... I carried her home.
We came home to find “er indoors TM had got busy trying to sell the china cups and saucers that I’d fetched back from Dad’s house yesterday. Mum and Dad loved a proper cup and saucer, and I’d brought home the decent ones. Looking on eBay they seem to be worth something, but the true judge of their value is what they sell for, not what they are up for sale at.
“er indoors TM boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching this evening’s episode of “Lego Masters: Australia”. I do like that show, though I doubt I’d do very well on there.
It has been a rather good few days off work… back to the grind tomorrow. I’d rather not, but I’d rather go where I’m going tomorrow than where I’ve been in the past.