30 June 2023 (Friday) - Antivirus

I woke still not feeling on top form. Mind you I woke to the stench of someone else's (Treacle?)'s fart so no matter how iffy my innards, someone else's was worse. I made toast and watched an episode of "Shameless" whilst sorting undercrackers and sorting my phone. My phone needed sorting. Yesterday I'd had an email from the antivirus company saying they had massively overcharged me for a year's subscription and also charged me for a VPN that I didn't want. I've had a VPN before; all it does is stop me uploading to mankybadger.co.uk.
Last night I phoned the antivirus people. The first woman I spoke to had a phone that kept cutting out. The second sent me a link that didn't work, and then sent me an email saying he'd resolved my issue when he clearly hadn't. The third one simply didn't speak English (that's not being in any way racist, that's just a simple statement of fact). So I uninstalled their product, got something far cheaper, and started the onerous process of getting a refund.
This morning I set about the phone's anti-virus, updated all the phone's apps and software and AVG-ed it all before setting off to work. That took a lot longer than it might have done.
As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the NHS's "fifteen year plan to boost the NHS workforce"
As always there was a lot of talk of doctors and nurses, a single mention of midwives, but absolutely sod-all mention of arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists, clinical scientists, dietitians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, paramedics, physiotherapists, podiatrists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists, orthotists, radiographers, speech and language therapists, cooks, cleaners, porters, gardeners... There rarely is.
I got to work and did my bit. At tea break I had a look at the internet through my phone (which seemed to be working every bit as good as it used to be). The local chip shop was getting some stick on one of the local Facebook groups. Yesterday I'd had a dodgy stomach all day (as had “er indoors TM) and I'd written on here "I blame that fish and chips we got last night. Twenty quid to be farting like a fruitbat". It would seem quite a few other customers of that chip shop also had iffy innards yesterday.
And talking of iffy innards some woman was asking on one of the Facebook pond forums what was the best way to get vomit out of a pond; her teenaged child had blown into hers.
How delightful.
At lunchtime “er indoors TM told me that hers and Treacle's appointment with the TV cameras had gone well. Their fifteen (more like two) minutes of fame will hopefully be the subject of a future blog entry.
Being on an early I got out of work early (no surprises there!) and took the dogs to Orlestone. We had a good walk; we met no one else. As I walked I had a minor melt-down missing my Fudge-dog as I remembered him walking round those woods. Back when the family’s three dogs were Treacle, Pogo and Fudge, three was too many. Pogo could be hard work, and Fudge used to straggle so. But with Pogo’s and Fudge’s spaces now filled by Morgan and Bailey things are just generally so much easier.
We came home, and scoffed sausage and chips whilst watching the first season finale of “Star Trek: Brave New Worlds”. And having AVG-ed my mobile this morning I need to AVG the laptop this evening. I wonder how long that will take…

29 June 2023 (Thursday) - Looking to Retire...

I woke feeling rather grim. Lethargic and headache and generally what I call "too much sun"; not that I was actually out in the sun much yesterday. Adding that to the constant aching I seem to have these days and my totally poggered left knee I considered going back to bed and pulling a sickie whilst sulking but thought better of doing so.
I had brekkie, made a sarnie, watched some telly and set off to work. If I went to work I would have something to take my mind off of feeling grim. If I'd stayed at home, “er indoors TM would soon have got sick of my whinging.
As I drove up the motorway the pundits on the radio were saying that sickness absence in NHS staff is at an all-time high.
Perhaps I should have phoned in sick and gone with the flow?
There was also even more talk about that idiot Boris Johnson. Having had a committee formally decide that he was telling lies all along, all his old mates have now been accused of deliberately trying to subvert justice by attempting to thwart that committee's investigations. Some of them have even been named and shamed.
Democracy, eh? All of these people have been voted into office, you know.
And fourteen years after the Russians did it, the Americans have set up a simulator in which four people will act out a mission to Mars. I can remember back in the day (22 October 2009) when the Russians were looking for volunteers for their Mars 500 mission I actually got permission from work to take a year or so off if my application had been successful. Not that I applied. Not speaking Russian would have counted against me.
Meanwhile our old friend science has found a fifty million year old fossilised insect with an intact knacker. Personally I would have expected better things from science, but what do I know?
I got to work, had a cheese scone, and cracked on with that which I couldn't avoid. And (sure enough) I perked up as the day went on; even if I did still ache all the time and the knee wasn't what it once was.
I managed a chat with the boss; she's happy for my plans for semi-retirement. So (hopefully) next February I go part-time but stay on the same money... Here's hoping.
And we achieved our Munzee clan goal today as well.
Mind you I spent an inordinate amount of time on the works chodbin today... as did “er indoors TM. I blame that fish and chips we got last night. Twenty quid to be farting like a fruitbat? (to coin a phrase).
I suppose better the works one than my own?
Some days in my life are rather good; other on the dull side… But if nothing else the countdown to retirement has started…

28 June 2023 (Wednesday) - A Day Off

Being wide awake far too early I thought I might take the dogs for an early walk. It has to be said they weren’t keen on the idea. With leads on, rather than going to the front door, all three tried to go back to bed.
But we set off to the woods. There were more cars in the car park than usual, and we met a few people as we walked…
We met a Great Dane who was terrified of the puppies. Showing fear to Morgan is never a good idea. Then we had a shouting match with two greyhounds. And on the uphill bit we met a Labrador who wanted to play with Bailey. All was fine when the Labrador was being chased, but whenever anyone chases Bailey she screams like a small child who is being murdered. The woman with the Labrador was terrified, and then Morgan flew out of a hedge and started sticking up for his sister. All very noisy and no one was in any way touched, let alone hurt, but all arse-ache that I didn’t need.
As I drove home the pundits on the radio were talking about how water bills look set to soar. It is no secret that ever since the water companies were privatized their priority has been making money and they’ve made no investment in looking after what is their sole reason for being. Which is delivering clean water and taking away used water and sewage.
Some idiot from one water company or other was trying to say the public should pay to fix the knacked infrastructure and got rather aggressive when asked what was the point of having water companies if not to do the job of a water company.
I then popped into town. Peacocks had pants. They also had a broken escalator. The nice lady said the escalator had been broken for five years (which shows how long it is since I was last in there) and added that the escalator company doesn’t make the bit that was broken any more, so it will never be fixed.
From there I went to the bank. I was rather concerned that all the money from the sale of Dad’s house was just sitting there. Having had no end of problems with the bank over the years I went in fully expecting to close the account and take my money elsewhere, but they were incredibly helpful. I set up a savings account and an ISA with them.
I came home, and over a croissant and coffee had a look at my bank account on-line. I sent a bung to “er indoors TM and to my mother-in-law, and having spent the thick end of a squillion quid the bank then flatly refused to allow me to send Cheryl a tenner.
I had a little doze with the dogs on the sofa, and then Darcie Waa Waa TM arrived. “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” was taking “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM to the dentist. Littlun slept for a bit, and once she woke we went for a bit of McDinner. McDonalds was the quietest I’ve ever seen it. Littlun likes dipping chips in ketchup, it kept her occupied for the best part of an hour.
We then came home. I sang along to “Down by the Bay” and “Darcie Waa Waa TMsnogged dogs until “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” returned. “Stormageddon – Bringer of Destruction TM seemed a tad woozy; I blame the sedation.
As we’d been singing “Down by the Bay” the post had arrived with dad’s final water bill. Eleven pounds and nine pence. With Southern Water’s automated bill-paying system poggered, paying the bill took some doing. Perhaps they need to invest in that part of their infrastructure too?
I slobbed about watching an episode of “Shameless” until “er indoors TM finished work, then we got the dogs onto their leads. Despite the road closure at Bilsington we made our way to Dymchurch for this evening’ geo-meet. It was good to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.
We came home via the chip shop – they don’t give it away these days, do they?