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January
1
- Woken by Sally real late around 9:30am. Quickly gave her access to the garden (and let all the remaining heat in the house straight out!), but as usual she just went out and sat there looking back at me waiting for her walk! Amazing dog! That eventually added up to around forteen hours without a toilet break!!! How IS that possible? . . walked and found 2p . . . ate bowls of co-co pops . . . Mum called to touch base . . . fed up and tired and back to sleep until around 3:30pm! . . .TVd/surfed property/PCd this. . .walked . . . de-boned and fried up the last of the chicken in the fridge. It's been in there far too long for comfort, so I figured frying it was maybe a good idea and 'safer'. Ate four pieces of bread and butter as fried chicken sandwiches . . . touched base with BB . . . PS popped round 'to play', and brought his christmas toy as I'd suggested. A large, walking, remote control dinosaur!!!!!!!???? I just wanted to see what Sally's reaction would be to have such a 'critter' wandering around roaring at her. She wasn't particularly happy, but put up with it pretty well, even when I continually directed it towards her to try and get a reaction. You could tell that she knew instantly, it was NOT anything 'alive', which seemed pretty clever I thought. . Tvd and ate chocolate biscuits . . .touched base with BB before to bed around 2am. pss
2 - Woken by Sally at 8:30am . . .walked and did a little 'litter duty' . . . put laundry on and then moved the antique pine table and chairs out of the front bedroom up into the attic. Sick and tired of having to squeeze around it all the time - it'll happily sit in the attic for quite some time before it'll be in my way again. Nothing much I can do up there for some time - need to concentrate on getting everything in the back bedroom and top of the stairs straight and reconstructed. I gotta get my finger out and get round to advertising that table for sale again! I'm in danger of ending up just giving it away. . vacuumed and tidied up a bit . . . couldn't face doing any 'building' work (again!) and decided to 'tempt fate' and attempt to remove all the dried on egg splatter from the front bedroom window and surrounding walls. Not as simple as it sounds. Had to unlock and drag the section of aluminium ladder out of the back garden, down the street and round to the front of the house, to enable me to climb up onto the bay window roof with a bucket of warm soapy water, scrubbing brush, etc. to reach the bedroom window! Difficult stuff to remove - took ages, precariously stood on the wet bay window roof, holding on by way of the top opener of the bedroom window!!! LOT of hassle, for a 'childish prank'! I just HAD to get it done though - my 'hurt' is aggravated and compounded EVERY time I ook out of the window and have to try and peer through the caked on slime and see egg shells on the window cill. Out of sight out of mind? Well - no - but it helps. . couldn't remove all the yellow stains from the painted house walls and eventually had to give up. .exchanged a word with the new neighbour's boyfriend as he went in and out of the house (in her abscence). Haven't seen him for quite a while - all over Christmas and the new year, which seemed rather strange and made me think their relationship was 'failing'. Turns out I was right. He was collecting some of his stuff and moving out! A little later after he'd gone, the neighbour returned home and confirmed the same thing. I said I was sorry and such appropriate things - but I think it's probably for the best, based on the little I've heard. . took a couple of hammers and saws into the other next door's front garden and started to have a go at dismantling the old, heavy, full height wooden garden gate that's been laying there rotting for months. It'd come up in conversation some time ago, and she'd explained that she couldn't easily deal with trying to get rid of it and was kinda just waiting for it to rot and become more manageable!! I'd said I'd break it up into wheely bin sized chunks for her some time. Unfortunately, all that was JUST before 'the incident', and my resulting bruised ribs and incapacity, so it had to wait - although because I'd said I would, it's been preying on my mind a little. Wasn't too difficult and didn't take long, and I was soon back home, leaving a neat pile of wood next to her bin for her to sneak out bit by bit. . .briefly popped out the front and used a bit of wet and dry abrasive paper to remove what appeared to be maybe a bit of graffiti (silver paint - just some intersecting strokes) from next doors brick garden wall, right next to MY garden gate. It was hardly noticeable, but it made me feel uneasy - like it 'could' have been some sort of a 'sign' for yobs! (Just more paranoia, I'm sure.). .Sweet leafdid more laundry . . . managed only half the mountain of dish washing chores before having to stop and leave the rest for another time - again - still! . . . ate four buttered crumpets . . . napped until around 5:30pm . . . PCd a bit of this . . . walked around 7:15pm. Sat on the seat near the swings for my cigarette and spotted a small baggie on the ground at my feet with a little cannabis (enough to 'escape' for an evening) left inside (again!). Did what I consider is my 'civic duty' and took it home and set about appropriately safely disposing of it. :o) . . touched base with BB . . . TVd . . .ate bowls of co-co pops, chocolate, two bananas and four pieces of toast with marmalade and jam. . .eventually to bed at precisely 1:11am. ps
3 - Woken by Sally just before 8am . . .walked in the drizzle. Found 10p. It's no good! I just CAN'T keep walking past that guys skip down the road, ignoring that PC monitor and Epson printer/scanner that's been thrown in it! Popped down with the car and brought the equipment back home to dry out fully before having a play, to see if any of it (even just parts) is in any way useful to me. More clutter for a while! :o( . . . the monitor turns out to have a damaged power socket and is also the type that requires a double male ended com. cable, so not immdeiately able to see if it's worth keeping. The printer also requires a USB type cable which I don't posess in my collection, so I can't see if THAT works either! Hmmmm - maybe should have left them both in the skip! :o/ . . . PCd this . . . cut my hair . . .received an ansaphone message from Witness Care asking me to call them back!! Uh oh!!! Called them back, all nervous, only to find out that they just wanted to check that I was still 'clear' and had no new dates during which I would not be available for the case. Jeeze - almost like they were just ringing up to make sure I was all fully 'up tight' about it!! Well - I am now again! :o( . . . retreated to bed until gone 6pm . . . walked, ignoring the 'comments' from a group of kids. Apparantly Sally is now a police dog!? lol Actually - I've long since come to the conclusion, that if she'd been given the proper training, she really would have made a good one (if not for her desire to chase cats!), what with her total acceptance of all the fireworks and such. Having said that, she STILL exhibits some nervousness with passing traffic, and insists on avoiding the top corner of the field at night (the place where she had her RTA). :o( . . .TVd but suddenly drifted into a pretty down mood, couldn't find anything worth watching and felt like wanting to be, just quiet. . . touched base briefly with BB . . . didn't feel particularly hungry, but because I'd not eaten a thing all day, ate a couple of bananas, a couple of defrosted small pork pies (yuk!) and bags of crisps . . . TVd until bed around midnight. ps
4 - Woke around 7:30am. The bedroom radio controlled clock was all wrong and showing 19:30!!?? Couldn't figure out what time of which day it was and felt all confused!! Didn't know if it was a morning or if I'd been napping and it was an evening!!. . .walked. Uggh - kids are back at school! :o( . . . left Sally at home (with both chairs suitably obstructed!) and drove to Staple Hill police station and handed in the chain-mail hoodie. I actually put it on just outside and wore it in, just to see the look on the desk clerk's face (god I felt a fool!). She was already dealing with someone and hardly gave me a second glance!! lololol Guess she's seen more than her fair share of crazy stuff. Made sure I got a receipt - think I'll be asking to have that back in six weeks if it isn't claimed - although I don't know WHY I want it!!? . . .oooh, oooh. The USB cable to my scanner is the type I need to experiment with that Epson Stylus CX2500 all in one printer/scanner/copier thing I pulled out of the skip down the road. . spent ages on my slow dial-up, downloading all the drivers and manuals and such. Damn - according to the 'printer error' message and on line info - looks as though it really IS a duffer. What a shame, cause the scanner part works perfectly. Guess that's the problem with an 'all in one' - one bit breaks, you lose the lot. . . dabbled with a little plaster on the stairs wall, but my heart wasn't in it (actually - of late - my heart isn't in ANY damn thing! :o( ) and I soon gave up. . .ate corned beef, mayo, onion, tomato and lettuce sandwiches . . .fitfully napped until woken by Sally barking at something around 4:30pm. ('Re-booting' my radio controlled clock seems to have done the trick) . . PCd a bit of this and brought my 'Hood' page more or less up to date. Wow - that was a good year of finding money! Better not tell the Inland Revenue! lol (although, actually, they owe ME a couple of hundred s because I haven't got round to doing all the paperwork to apply for my refunds for the last couple of years!!! It's almost worth that much not to have to do the paperwork!!) . . . walked. Just as I was entering the field, a police van drove down the emergency-vehicles-only, access road. They slowed, and appeared to be giving me a good look. Guilty of carrying an offensive torch? lol. Felt good to see them, and if it wasn't likely to somehow be taken the wrong way, I'd have liked to have waved. . .TVd . . touched base with BB. . .TVd . . . ate two pork pies, sliced onion and two bags of crisps, followed by some squares of chocolate . . .TVd until bed after midnight. ps
5 - Woken by Sally just before 8am . . . walked. Turned cold out again. . . forced myself to dabble with some of the work on the stairs wall. Not sure how, but somehow ended up using the disc cutter on bits of the wall, making preparations for eventually attempting to plaster a couple of differrent areas. No way am I gonna attempt to plaster that whole high stairs wall - I'm gonna try and get away with patching and matching into the existing uneven mess, and keep a wood-chip wallpaper covering on it all. .usual horrendous dusty mess throughout the house! :o( Spent AGES trying to grind back a bit of the badly uneven wall above the kitchen door. I've been putting off doing that for the longest time because of the difficulty and mess. Dunno how it's possible these walls can be SO uneven. Couldn't really imrpove things much, and settled for a compromise which will mean that short section of wall, will remain badly uneven, but hopefully disguised. . spent hours attempting to clear up some of the layers of dust on everything in the living room. . got angry with the ridiculous amount of time the clearing up was taking, and ended up tearing up the old, old carpet on the stairs and putting it straight into the bin! So - I now have bare, painted wood stairs! Very noisy, especially when Sally clatters up and down!! :o( . . Oh no! Oh NO!!!!! Somewhere along the line during all this mess, I got some debris in my right eye!!! Oh no - not again!!!! I don't believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o( Lots of rubbing and washing out with handfulls of water did NOT improve things - and what with being covered in layers of grinding-paste-like brick dust, simply ended up making my whole eye and all the surrounding skin as sore as hell! Pratt!!! . .tidied up and showered, attempting to keep my eye open! . . ate corned beef, mayo, onion, tomato and lettuce sandwiches and biscuits. .had yet another good look in the mirror at my eye and actually spotted something! A tiny fleck of what I assume was brick, stuck fast, just inside the edge of the coloured bit! Raced to get the magnifying mirror (slightly melted when I used it to help with soldering the awkward central heating pipes), and sat at the PC desk with the angle poise lamp shining in my eye. No amount of sticking my finger in there and pulling it across my eye would move it! Oh no! I can't - I just CAN'T be going back to the eye hospital again!!! I just can't! Remembering how the last time I got something in there, the doctor used a needle to remove it, I figured I'd have to try something similar, if I possibly could. A cocktail stick was near to hand, and seemed a 'little' less dangerous than sticking a sewing needle in there! Owww, owww, owwwwwww!!! Despite the pain, and having to hold my eye firmly open to prevent the blink reflex clamping down on top of a cocktail stick, I somehow managed to scrape it across my eye, dislodge, and remove the brick fragment. Yayyyyy. Uh oh. That doesn't seem to have improved things much!!!! :o( . . napped for a couple of hours until around 6pm. . . walked in the cold mud, with a watery eye. Blimey - a police car patrolling the area. I've seen a police presence there, two nights on the trott now. Cool. Is it a coincedence that things seem to have been pretty quiet around here for a few days? . . . TVd . . touched base briefly with BB. . . ate multiple bowls of muesli and then some chocolate. . .had a good look in the mirror at my STILL painful, watering, blurred eye as I was preparing for bed, and discovered an eye lash or something similar in there, and managed to remove it! Fingers crossed that's the last of what's been grinding around in there! . . . to bed just after 1am. ps
6 - Woke around 7:45am and 'broke through' my glued up, sore/bruised eye! . . . walked after 8:30am. Overheard one of the old lady dog walkers remarking to a loud group of nine young (pre-teen) girls that were casually strolling across the field (she should have known better!), that the school assembly bell had gone some time ago. "Shut up you old bitch!" was the shouted reply! :o( . . .PCd this. Apparantly today, someone somewhere is gonna set a court date! :o( . . .did just a little on the 'building site'. Put on a rough ('under') coat of plaster in a couple of areas to begin building the walls back up. Cemented a couple of part bricks into the bare wall at the top of the stairs to fill a couple of large holes. Dug out a handful of the original old wooden wedges that had been used to fix the old door frame and skirting board, and filled up those holes too. Building that wall back up and putting in new socket boxes, conduit etc. is gonna be a LONG nasty job. It's in SUCH a state and nowhere near 'level' in ANY direction!!! Same old same old. :o( . . spent a ridiculous amount of time crawling around on the stairs, removing all the tacks that had been used to hold that old bit of carpet in place. I just 'tore' the carpet out, when I removed it yesterday. If I remember rightly, that stairs carpet was actually remnants of the old living room (or was it kitchen?) carpet. Can't recall the details of when, but I DO know that it was Dad who put that down for me. There wasn't really enough carpet or underlay left to do the job, but somehow Dad managed to make up an acceptable patchwork, all held in place with little hidden blue 'tin tacks'. MASSES of them!! Must have taken him AGES, to meticulously hammer all those in all over the place. I hadn't appreciated the amount of work that must have been for him. I DID appreciate it, when I had to pull them all back out with a pair of round-claw pincers!! Took forever!. . . ate corned beef, mayo, onion, tomato and lettuce sandwiches and biscuits around 3pm . . .napped until around 6pm. . . PCd briefly . . . PS called . . .walked. I don't believe it! I saw another police car patrolling the area. Excellent - and yes, it was pretty quiet out again. :o) . . . touched base briefly with BB . . . PS popped round for chats and biscuits, and brought a Peter Kay DVD to watch . .ate corned beef and onion sandwiches with two bags of crisps, and then a bunch of biscuits . . TVd . . . PCd until early. ps
7 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am . . . walked and found 3p and yet another ball for Sally. . .DIYd and did a bit of plastering on the right hand stairs wall. Attempted to do a finish coat beneath the low bit of wall at the top of the stairs, and blend it in to the existing plaster below. Below that waist high architrave bit of wood that goes down the slope of the stairs, the wall is relatively smooth and just painted, so getting a half decent blend in, was crucial. Above it, all the way up the stairwell to the ceiling, where the wall is pretty rough and uneven, it is woodchip. Actually didn't go 'too' badly. Mixed up another load of plaster or two and 'went for it' on the upper bits of the same wall. Blimey!! That went ok as well!!!! Whatever next?! lol Put another layer of 'build up'/undercoat plaster on the very 'bendy' wall at the bottom of the stairs near the kitchen door. . Sis1 called asking if I'd house sit and await receipt of her new bath next week. Uhhggg! :o( If there is one thing I HATE, it is having to just sit around waiting for someone to arrive like that (and particularly when SO often, they don't!!). Had to say yes I suppose, but I made it VERY clear, I wasn't happy about having to 'lose a whole day' like that (especially when, at the end of the day, it WAS her choice to use her days off from work doing more exciting things, and not have to 'waste' one for a tedious bath delivery! Grrrrrr.). . . ate a tin of cheap ravioli and four pieces of bread and butter, followed by a handful of biscuits . . . napped (through LB leaving an ansaphone message promising me left-over roast pork dinner) until around 6pm . . . walked and found 2p. Thought I was gonna get 'aggro' from a group of kids hanging around outside the chip shop, but instead, it turned out I'd had a conversation with THAT kid some time (???), and he just wanted to know if I had a light for his cigarette. I obliged. . . PCd and got into a music listening kinda mood (with both neighbours out. :o) Loud. ) Sally barking at a group of kids hanging around in the street outside, turned off that mood. . . touched base with BB . . . ate multiple bowls of co-co pops . . . LB (drunk) and her boyfriend's daughter popped down with a huge left over roast dinner and desert - and the big meat covered bone for Sally. :o) Left the meal for tomorrow, put half the bone in rthe fridge for another treat, and let LB give the other half to Sally. The WHOLE thing was pretty much crunched up and eaten in the ten minutes or so they were here!. . . TVd/watched plaster dry. . . touched base with BB . . . ate a tray of jaffa cakes . . . somehow fixated on wanting a burger, and ended up in the kitchen cooking up four burgers in bread rolls!! . . . TVd until bed at 1am. ps
8 - Woken just before 8am by Sally barking at a leaflet deliverer (who I think was therefor persuaded to avoid my house! lol) . . .walked and found 7p. . .slow persuading myself to get on with it (lots of sitting with a coffee next to the PC listening to music and just looking at it all) but eventually did a little more work on the 'top of the stairs building site', while the washing machine did a couple of loads of laundry (Sally-mud/dust covered throws, mostly). Mixed up a bag of sand and some cement in the mixer and then rendered up a portion of the nasty bare wall facing the top of the stairs. Concentrated on the right hand side, next to the new bedroom stud wall, and attempted to rough in a 'vertical to aim for'. Already done that on the other side of that wall, so now I should be able to cut a straight piece of timber to use as a level from verticle to verticle, and will able to start planning how deep to mount light/power socket boxes, how much cutting in with the disc cutter for the conduits, and have a better idea of how much to build that wall out to get it nicely flat and level - and or, how much to grind back, the oddly protruding bits!! Got that all done and cleared up by early afternoon. Almost caved in and stopped but managed to keep going for a couple more hours, and plastered up around the stairs side of the kitchen door frame (at last!). Still pretty uneven, but considering how out of alignment all the walls are, I'm pretty happy with how that went as well. With a bit of sanding down and hiding with unfortunately necessary woodchip, although there will still be a bit of a gentle 'bump' in the wall as it curves around an impossible to rectify 'curve', I reckon it'll work better than it looked before I put in the new concrete lintel and kitchen door and frame. One more piece of the puzzle. God how I love that WHITE plaster. No matter what I'm doing, whether it be DIY, or building a bike, or what have you, until the 'project' is more or less all the same colour, I have great difficulty in visualising the finished article. Doesn't really matter what the colour is, as long as it's more or less all the same. As soon as that plaster drys out and turns white, I can really start to see things taking shape - all of a sudden. Like - with a bit of filler, some sanding and some paint - THAT bit is done. Satisfying. . added just a little more rough plaster to the back of the low wall at the top of the stairs, to level it up a little more, prior to the eventual final finishing coat - although I'm gonna have to go buy another bag of plaster before I can tackle that. I'm gonna need quite a bit more all over the place. It's gonna take quite a bit to just disguise and blend that concrete lintel in, to the heavily patterned ceiling!!! Been putting that off, because I don't posess the weird square rubber stipple 'brush', which I really need to do the job. I'm gonna have to attempt to duplicate the effect with a real wet plaster mix and an old sponge!!! Messy. :o( . . . got clean then celebrated successful 'building works' by reheating LBs food donation. Gave Sally a handful of the greens, and then gorged on a huge plate of mostly meat, with a pint of instant gravy. Blimey - did LB actually mean to give me THAT much meat, or was it because she'd drunk too much? And not a single piece of 'chewiness' amongst it! Lucky to get such a good joint. MmmMmmm. :o) Touched base with LB and offered suitable praise and thanks. . . napped for a couple of hours until around 6pm. .blimey! All that cement and plaster and laundry and condensation from my shower has absolutely FILLED the house with moisture. Absolutely RUNNING down ALL the windows!!! Oh well - despite only being a couple of degrees above freezing outside, I HAD to open all the windows a crack. Brrrrr!! . . . walked in the uncomfortably cold drizzle. . . Even wetter in the house now, with Sally drying out! Left the windows open, with the central heating on. Brrr! . .messed around for ages with the camera, attempting to get a progress shot of the new stairs landing area, but no matter how I tried and how many seperate images I took to stitch together, it just wasn't possible to get back far enough to give a decent impression. Suffice it to say, it finally feels as though it is 'starting' to oh so slowly, take shape and become an integral looking part of the house. :o) . . . touched base briefly with BB and then carried on PCing this until gone 10:30pm. Blimey - another year of journal. Who'd have imagined it!! . . .called BB . . . TVd . . . ate bowls of corn flakes . . . PCd till bed. ps
9 - Woken by Sally before 8am . . . walked in the misty damp and mud . . . got serious with the wall facing the top of the stairs and had a go at cutting in the new light/power socket boxes and all the plastic conduit to them, with the disc cutter. Used an old piece of wood as a level across the wall, from each of my cemented verticals. What was particularly cool was, with the attic door and skylights open, and the back door open, the wind was in just the right direction to 'draw' through the house. Took the majority of the horrendous ground/airborn brick dust, up and out - or up onto everything in the attic at least. That's a lot better than all of it all over the house (AGAIN!), although of course I STILL ended up with a fine layer on everything nonetheless. . given the majority of the dust was being drawn away up into the attic, it was 'just' clear enough to be able to see through my plastic safety goggles (the ones that always seem to electrostaticly attract the dust and make it impossible to see through them!), so on this rare occasion, I didn't damage my eyes and was also wearing my dust mask!!! My right eye seems to have more or less recovered from that last scare (although I seem to have developed a permanent 'one-eye-bigger-than-the-other' look about me - like Dr McCoy from the original Star Trek series?) and has reminded me that having ones sight is a useful thing - and it's best to try and keep it! . . . lots of messy work but eventually had everything in place and did the small amount of cementing to lock it all in place. LOTS more rendering required on that wall to level it up, but that was a nasty job. A hard battle, well won. :o) . . . ate corned beef sandwiches and two bags of crisps . . . napped late until 7:30pm . . .walked . . .touched base with BB . . . TVd . . . ate a tray of jaffa cakes, a microwaved chicken curry and two bags of crisps . . . TVd until bed at 1am. ps
10 - Woken by Sally at 7:30am . . .walked and found 2p . . . felt terribly tired and ended up back in bed (fitful snoozing, too cold) until around midday!!!!! Actually woken by the postman calling at the door with a parcel for me!? Turned out to be a bunch of coffee flavoured chocolate things from Mum. . ate chocolate . . tried calling Mum but she was out. . couldn't face doing any building work and decided it was high time I got round to doing the DVD movie I'd promised to make, of Sis1s holiday snaps - and maybe I'll do one to show Mum what I've been doing with the building work, and another of what's been going on in the 'hood' etc, etc. . PCd the rest of the day away. . . walked. Stopped for sausage and chips takeaway on the way home . . . touched base with Mum . . .touched base with BB . . .PCd more until bed around 1am. ps
11 - Woke . . . walked . . . PCd all day. . walked . . . stopped for sausage and chips takeaway on the way home again, just to get food done and out of the way. . . PCd . . . touched base with BB . . PCd more until bed in the early hours. ps
12 - Bitter - take CourageWoke, walked, PCd all day. Didn't have enough photos to go with all the 'hood' stuff I had to tell Mum about, so I ended up 'staging' a couple of shots, to act as fillers on the slideshow. It amused me to meticulously lay out a bunch of stuff on the floor of the conservatory, which I thought kinda summed up how I've been getting through these last few weeks. (Very 'staged'. I wasn't going to open a bottle of wine just for the shot, so the glass of wine is actually some old strawberry squash I've had laying around for months, etc, etc, etc! lolol The silly little pen knife is the one that sits next to me, at arms length on top of the living room PC monitor, when I'm sat watching TV. It's just a paranoia/comfort blanket thing. I get a bit panicky if I move it and suddenly find it not there. Pathetic. :o( ) . . Ate a tin of cold spaghetti bolognese from the can with a spoon, and two bags of crisps. . . walked. . . PCd . . ate corned beef, onion and mayo sandwiches with two bags of crisps . . . touched base with BB . . . PCd more until bed in the early hours. Left the PC running overnight, processing. ps
13 - Woke around 7:45am and immediately went in to check on the PC. The first DVD had eventually successfuly burned some time in the night, and was waiting for me to put in another blank, to burn a copy . . Sorry Sally, you're gonna have to wait! Proof watched the first copy of the completed DVD over coffees and cigarettes as the second began its slow burn. Damn - I made a mistake on the slideshow I'd made out of Sis1s old Crete holiday snaps (with appropriate backing music from the CD she bought when she was there)! A couple of those pictures are only on the screen for a second or so! Damn. After all that work - and two burned discs!! No - sorry - (despite my 'perfectionist' desire to do so) no way am I gonna re-do them all and waste yet ANOTHER day, just because of THAT! Hummmph. :o( . .left the PC burning copy number three and walked late. Found 1 and a Morrisons shop staff, clip-on 'cravat'! . . . PCd, absolutely determined to polish off these damned DVDs today. WHAT a terrible frustrating waste of time it's turned into! Best part of a week!!! :o( . . ended up with BOTH PCs running for most of the morning, re-processing the video I had to split into two!!! . . put all Sally's old muddy towels in the wash and then finally got round to doing the mountain of dishwashing chores that have been sat in the kitchen for - um - weeks?!! . .tidied up a little, pottered around, and did this and that in the 'down time' . . . early afternoon before the burn was done and I was able to 'proof watch' the first half of the split video, as the PC got straight on with the (couple of hours) building and burning processing for the second half! It'll do. . . ate corned beef, mayo, onion and tomato sandwiches with two bags of crisps . . . TVd . . . at last! At LAST!! Around 3:15pm the second part of the split video finished burning. Labelled it up, quickly checked it in the DVD player just enough to make sure it at least played, and then rushed straight round the 'not very local' Post Office with Sally and got it mailed. . .proof watched a copy of the DVD and made sure it was all ok, then celebrated the end of the ordeal with a fitful nap until around 6:45pm . . .briefly PCd a bit of this. Errrrr - so - back to reality - where am I - what day is it now?!!! . . walked around 7:20pm. Found 7p. Uh oh - a group of perhaps more than a dozen kids all hanging around by the school - and I'm gonna have to walk right past!!! :o( As I did so (having to walk into the road to get past) a couple of them called out to little Xxxxxx and motioned in my direction, making sure he knew I was there. A few calls of this and that after me as I passed, some mocking reference to my boots (!?), and finally some discussion amongst some of them whether or not to kick their football at me! A little further down the road, the football DID go sailing past me, within six feet, but it was such a poor shot, I'm not 'sure' it was even aimed AT me. . . sat on the seat near the swings for my cigarette, I felt pretty down, and wanted SO much, not to have to go through the humiliating torture of walking past that same group on the way home. :o( Dabbled with the idea of walking home in a different direction, but that would have meant a huge detour, and most of all, would have meant 'admitting defeat' and accepting that I AM 'completely worthless' somehow! :o( . . walking back through the thick mud towards the exit to the field, a couple of young girls were walking down the street, and one of them pushed over the roadworks sign as she passed! Suprisingly, there were a couple of calls shouted out from the by now, much smaller group of kids, mocking her for having done so. . I gave her a sideways glare as I walked past, and then dared to re-erect the sign in full view of all the kids! A couple of the smaller group up the street were playing with a football, kicking it back and forth across the road - and letting a young black labrador, off its leash, chase after it!!? The 'owner' of the dog (I think I recognised the dog) turned out to be the 'ok' kid I've spoken to over the field on occasions - I think!. He walked over and exchanged a civil word or two, which was a tremendous relief. (Bet he 'suffered' as a result, from his mates once I'd gone!) I think I may have briefly 'lectured' about his dog being loose in the road like that. . . touched base briefly with BB . . . TVd. . . ate bowls of co-co pops, a bunch of chocolate and a tray of jaffa cakes . . . TVd/PCd until early. pass
14 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am. . . walked in the rain and mud (put the roadworks sign back up - again) and found 10p . . .slow getting going but eventually lifted a couple of floorboards on the landing and in the front bedroom and altered the wiring, and hooked up the top-of-the-stairs two-way light switch in the new socket box at the top of the stairs. . Mum called to confirm she'd received the DVDs I'd sent. :o) . .made a slight alteration to a bit more mains cable and actually rather easily wired up the new double power socket at the top of the stairs too. Actually did a temporary alteration to the ring main, and just left the old double socket, connected, in a freezer bag (just in case anything gets spilled) and left in the void under the floorboards. That'll require further alterations and eventual removal when I extend the ring into the attic and hook up the new sockets in the bedroom stud wall, etc etc - but no hurry with all that. I've a horrible feeling that when the time comes to do all that, I'm gonna have to dismantle and move all the PC stuff to be able to lift the appropriate floorboards! :o( Silly little job, turns into a huge, time consuming one!! . . right. With that little bit of electrical stuff done, that wall at the top of the stairs is all clear of the temporary, obstructing wires and switch. Pushed on and 'just' managed to muster the energy to mix up a bag of sand with cement in the mixer, and apply it to the wall, starting the multi layer build up. . only a little bit of sand and cement left, and a tiny bit of plaster, so nothing much else can be done until I've been to the store for more supplies . . .cleaned up and then ate corned beef, onion, grated cheese and mayo sandwiches with two bags of crisps and then some chocolate . . . fitfully napped for an hour or so until around 6:30pm . . .walked and re-erected the knocked over roadworks sign, and moved one of the bollards out of right in the middle of the road! . .back approaching the house, my heart sank as I saw a large rowdy group of around a dozen kids hanging around on the street corner opposite. :o( Stuff was called out as I crossed the road and opened my front door. One of them shouted out how 'I couldn't take that bike away from them because it was legal'!?? Huh? I suspect it was that same kid who's been shouting out that I took his 'clunk/betty'. One of them (maybe the same one) shouted out, "So THAT'S where you live is it?". :o( I thought every yob in the area knew already? Oh dear. :o( . . MUCH time spent (in all - getting on for an hour and a half!!!!!!), all up tight looking out of the darkened bedroom window, waiting for 'something' to inevitably happen! :o( The kids were VERY loud, and appeared to be drinking. One of them was peddling up and down the road on a childs bike complete with stabalisers - until he decided to pick the bike up above his head and repeatedly smash it to the ground!! The kid on the moped (L plates - no number-plate light) gave loads of the others in turn (without a helmet), a ride up the street and around about. As usual they did that arrogant standing in the road to obstruct passing traffic thing. One truck coming down the street and indicating to turn into that side road, suddenly cancelled his indicator and drove straight on, as he came level with the kids blocking his way!! I suspect he went an alternative route round the block, just to avoid the hassle. . watched through the window as PS drove by (to turn around) and then returned and parked up in a space immediately opposite (Sally heard his car and started barking as usual). He sat there for quite a while, watching the group of kids in his wing mirror. Poor guy - I wouldn't have wanted to park there if I was him! Eventually he got out and came across and I went down to let him in. As he entered he referred to the noisy group and said something like "They're allright". Apparantly he was just trying to reassure me, but it actually got my back up, and made me think he didn't fully understand what it was like living here. . Poor PS - as soon as he came through the door I was back up looking out of the bedroom window - and down - and up - and down! At one point I even came back down to find PS looking out of the spy hole in the door, trying to see what all the noise was! lol . . the next time I went up and peeked awkwardly out of the window, I was presented with the sight of two push bikes laying in the middle of the road, and the riders stood at the back of my car in the vicinity of the rear passenger side wheel arch (I ALWAYS park outside the house with the drivers side to the kerb - because THAT wing mirror pivot has already been broken by passing yobs - and I'm better at parking that way.). I hurried downstairs heading for the door - although with hindsight, maybe not as quickly as I once would have. I mean - I've learned haven't I - there's absolutely nothing I can do about anything these kids choose to do to me or my property, is there. . as I got outside, the kids were already on their bikes and shooting off across the road and round the corner, as a neighbour two doors down had come out and shouted at them to leave the cars alone. Blimey. Had she been looking out of a darkened window too? VERY glad to have someone else showing a little support. I'm pretty sure I've not mentioned anything about my 'troubles' to her, so, as I was stood in the street checking the side of my car, I said "I haven't told you my 'tale' yet have I?". She said she knew. I left it at that but - how did she know I wonder? I'm sure I haven't said anything to her about it. Wonder who did - and did she get the 'real' story? <paranoia!><paranoia!> :o( . . turned out the kids had been lifting my car up by the wheel arch and bouncing it across the road!! The rear wheel was now jammed up hard against the kerb! Jezuz!!!!! :o( Where do 'kids' learn to do something like that to someones car? Can't have been the first time they'd done it, judging by how quickly successful they'd been! Little BAS****S! Funny though - with hindsight, they once again showed a complete lack of imagination didn't they? I mean, wouldn't it have been more 'effective' (huh??!!!????) if they'd lifted the back end out into the middle of the street? Ho hum. . . Upset. ARRRGGGGHHHH. I JUST WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE!!!! WHY DON'T THEY JUST LEAVE ME ALONE?!!!!. . although things had now quietened down I called the police at Trinity Road and had them fill out a 420 again, but it seemed so, SO, UTTERLY pointless. :o( . . . TVd and coffeed and ate biscuits etc, but I don't think PS got much conversation out of me. Poor guy - he ended up being subjected to having to watch a couple of the DVD movie/slideshow things I'd sent to Mum!!!! Don't ask me why, but I can actually watch them myself and STILL find them interesting and entertaining (which I'm sure is more than can be said for anyone else!! Sorry PS! lol ) . . . touched base with BB . . . couldn't relax and TVd/PCd until the early hours. pass
15 - Woken by Sally not long before 9am! . . . walked. Checked out the car in daylight and couldn't see any obvious damage. Beer cans/bottle were littering the road opposite, and the childs push bike with the stablisers was all smashed up and thrown in someones garden! :o( Found 10p . . .surfed a little, transferred some savings over , left Sally at home and drove to Longwell Green to buy a bag of plaster and then on to Comet to buy myself a video camera! I've surfed a bit of late, looking at camcorders, and just couldn't figure out which one to get - because I've never had one before and don't actually know what is possible and what I want from one. Ended up concluding I may as well hope for the best, buy one of the cheaper old mini DV tape ones, and just write off the money and treat it as a learning experience, to better know what I'll want from a more expensive replacement maybe, some time in the future. . Ummmd and ahhd in the store. Got one of the 'kids' to print me out the spec and confirm they had one in stock. Even had to walk outside and have a cigarette to settle my nerves before handing over my debit card and autorising the 249.99 for the JVC GR-D270EK Mini DV Digital Video Camera and a further 14.99 for five tapes. The only way I'm gonna be able to live with the guilt of having blown so much of my money on a non essential, is to treat it as a birthday/christmas present to myself! . . on the way home I couldn't help stopping at a skip I'd noticed on the way out, and having a look at the piece of carpet I'd seen poking out. A light beige colour, in pretty good condition, probably would have done very nicely for the area at the top of the stairs. Turned out to be a lot larger than I'd first thought, and I just couldn't be bothered with wrestling it out of the skip (in full view of the nearby shop staff!) so drove straight home to play cameras . . . ate reheated roast chicken, roast potatoes, peas and a pint of gravy. . .fitfully napped for only an hour or so. . walked, loaded up with phone and cameras. lol Sat on a boulder with a cigarette and briefly experimented with the cam-corder. No - I don't think it's gonna be any real good for night-shots. Shame. . experimented some more from the bedroom window. The camcorder IS brilliant at making the darkness seem lighter, but it is pretty useless at actually filming anything moving in SUCH low light conditions. Just get shadows and strobe effects. :o( . . . touched base briefly with BB, but was all short tempered and just wanted off the phone real quick! Didn't help when BB said something about beginning to worry about me being all 'obsessed' with the yobs and all this stuff that's going on. That got my back up a bit. I don't consider what I'm going through to have become 'an obsession'. I'm fully, painfully aware it's sad and unhealthy, but I'm surely simply reacting to actual events aren't I? I challenge ANYONE to attempt to live like this - powerless - not knowing when the next 'attack' on me or my property will come, as experience has proven, it WILL. It WOULD be an obsession if nothing was happening (to me) - but it IS - day after f****** day!!!!!!!!!!! :o( What am I supposed to do when all this stuff happens? Just carry on watching TV, hoping it won't? Who in their right mind COULD do that? Get real. Grrrrr. . . ate bowls of corn flakes . . .PCd listening to a little music/TVd but was definitely in a bad/down/'ideation' mood. (Actually - weird - I always seem to get in such a mood, whenever I spend a bunch of my dwindled savings on something silly?) Eventually to bed around midnight. pass
16 - Woken by Sally around 7:30am - headachey again, still!! Annadin tablet for breakfast. . . PCd a bit of this but I'm having great trouble keeping this up to date at the moment. Just seems to be a never ending lengthy description of daily abuse and incidents. F****** miserable life. Nothing but s*** day after day . I rhink I'm 'bending' a bit under the pressure. How low can ya go? :o( . . walked and found 2p. A small Jack Russel type dog was running loose all around the field. Ended up walking round and around after the silly thing. It was real skittish and at first wouldn't come anywhere near me or Sally. After walking up and down, round and tound, it eventually got all interested in sniffing around the rugby posts with Sally and I managed to make a grab for it, and got hold of its collar. Uh oh!! It wasn't keen on that idea at all and struggled and squirmed and all of a sudden, it's running away leaving me holding its collar!!!!!! Bugger! How embarassing. Now what do I do?!! More up and down and round and round, but of course now it wasn't going to let me ANYWHERE near it at all. Eventually had to give up and guiltily hung the dogs collar (no name tag) on the new poop scoop bin and headed home, leaving it to its fate. :o( . . . ummd and ahhd and surfed a bit and then left Sally at home and drove to Argos at Emmersons Green and bought myself a CCTV camera for the house!! A 'Micromark MM40018 black & white motorised camera kit with remote control'. Another 100 down the drain!!!! How about THAT for being obsessed?!!! lololololol :o) . . . Drove to Morrisons at Fishponds on the way home and handed in the cravat thing I found the other day and then bought myself two cooked chickens for 5. Weird pricing - one minute they're 4, the next they are 5?? The effect of all that 'bird flu' TV reporting perhaps? . . . ate half a chicken with four pieces of bread and butter . . .experimented with the CCTV camera and did a test with it gently clamped in a towel covered vice, perched on a step ladder in the bedroom. Works pretty well - but then again, black and white in daylight, it should. .ended up being a bit late and I didn't fancy being up a ladder, fixing it the outside wall (above the window beneath the soffit I think will work - but it's gonna be difficult!) at a time when all the schoolkids would be walking home from school!! . . napped for almost a couple of hours . . . set up the step ladder and tested the camera again in the dark. Hmmm - that's not so good. :o( Come to think about it - this street doesn't seem to have enough street lights and seems actually pretty dark compared to others!?. . . PCd briefly. . . walked in the drizzle and found 5p. Spotted a police car patrolling. On the way back from the field someone threw something which landed within a couple of feet of me, but I don't know what it was and wasn't sure who threw it. I challenged the only kid in sight (stood with his girlfriend) and asked if he'd thrown something at me, but he denied it and said someone in the school grounds was throwing stuff at them - he even picked something up and threw it over onto the sports hall roof to support his claim. Uhuh. No sign of ANYone else around - unconvinced. . . back to PC this and occasionaly run to look out of the window when there was ANY noise . . blah blah blah blah blech! . . . touched base with BB and apologised for my awful attitude last night. . .sat in front of the TV reading through more of the phone-directory-like-manual for the camcorder, occasionally picking it up and experimenting with things. It's gonna take a while before I can do stuff without having to think and get lost in menus! Had a closer look at the memory card in my digital camera and gave it a go in the camcorder, carefully following the manual about how to format it. Ooohh, oooh, ooohhh - it works! Yay. :o) So - now I can take low resolution (1024x768 max) snapshots on the camcorder straight to the memory card and download them via the USB lead to the PC - just like with my digital camera. What makes that exciting, despite the low resolution (and rather poor test shots I took) is the fact that I can utilise the massive 25x lens zoom function - which should make up for the low res. a lot of the time (assuming I can stop shaking). Thats cool. . . ate bowls of muesli . . . TVd/read the manual and experimented until bed around 2am. pass
17 - Camcorder JPG snapshot and similar 25x zoomed shotWoke earlier (thought there was an ansaphone message but turned out later there wasn't?) then up around 8:30am . . .walked after 9am, with the camcorder and without my digital camera!! Found 5p and another cheap, silver hoop earring for my collection. Sat on the seat by the swings for my cigarette, played with my new toy and did a quick couple of still snapshots to the memory card, to see if it can (on occasions) more or less replace carrying my digital camera. Without doubt, the image quality is pretty grainy and well below the quality I'm used to. Having said that, as I'd suspected, being suddenly able to take a digital photo with a 25x zoom capability, rather makes up for the quality loss. Took two automatic snapshots of Sally sat right in front of me. The first was default, the second was maximum (I think?) lens zoom looking at her right eye (all manipulated/enhanced/cropped as usual in Paint Shop Pro, and reduced to 20% for my journal). Wow - not bad! WHAT a toy. :o) . . .PCd this . . . really didn't want to have to do the work but eventually figured I'd better get the ladder out and have a go at fixing up the CCTV camera. . My CCTV !!!Damn!! In very short order after having measured everything and then climbed the ladder with the tape measure, it became pretty clear the thing wouldn't fit neatly above the bedroom window as I'd hoped, because it would have hit the soffit and wouldn't be able to tilt! :o( Had a coffee and cigarettes in the garden wandering back and forth trying to figure out where to put it, without it being 'too' prominant. Ended up figuring the best place would be near the rainwater downpipe, high up on the left side of the house. Only trouble with that idea was the downpipe would be in the way for a full leftways pan. Ended up cutting off a piece of the old back bedroom wooden door lintel, and gently shaping and sanding the corners off to make it look slightly less of a botch. Drilled appropriate holes amd a recess for the cable in the wooden block and then drilled and mounted it on the side of the house. Immediately covered it in a couple of coats of masonary paint (should last long 'enough'!) and even before the paint was fully dry, mounted and fixed the camera to it. Hardest bit was yet to do - drill the soffit and get the short bit of cable with a connector on, from the camera through into the floorspace in the attic!!! What a pain THAT was! Ended up drilling two aborted holes in the new soffit before finally succeeding in drilling a third and getting the cable through and in. Terrible stretch on my back in the attic to get the extension cable connected, but 'just' possible. Temporarily threw the wire down the stairs and across the living room and connected everything up and - yep - it works. (worthy of note that the collage of five images I've included here, were taken using the camcorder snapshot function, including snapshots of my TV screen for the three CCTV images. Not bad huh?) . . disconnected everything and returned to the attic and took ages threading the cable under all the floor joists, across to the new access hole at the end of the new bedroom partition wall. Threaded on down to beneath the landing floor, dropped down into the cupboard beneath the stairs, and then threaded through in the cable recesses I put in, right the way through to the front of the living room, all ultimately more or less out of sight (or it would be, if I ever get round to buying and fixing some new skirting boards to cover all the wiring). Getting on for 6pm before I was done and collapsed with an aching back into an armchair to have a look around outside, on the TV screen! :o/ . . . walked . . . reheated and ate half a chicken with a stick of garlic bread . . . touched base with BB . . . TVd/PCd and maybe had a quick look around outside with the CCTV camera - because I could - until early, before bed. pas
18 - Woken by Sally around 9am!!! . . . walked late . . .couldn't resist a hint of brightness about the weather, and ended up heading down to Snuff Mills with Sally in the car. In the car, because I was really going on a 'learn-the-camcorder-filming-expedition', complete with tripod! lol . . walked back along the river to the lake at Eastville Park, sat on one of my usual seats, set my tripod up and sat there for maybe an hour or so - experimenting. I think without doubt (as has always been the case with any camera/binoculars I've owned) I'm most obsessed with the zoom function. I just LOVE to be able to get close ups of stuff from SO far away - but of course that makes everything more difficult to get acceptable.. eventually wandered back down the river taking shots of this and that (found a lighter), and made my way back to the Snuff Mills car park. Briefly detoured at the road bridge and wandered up the opposite side of the river, intending to shoot the weir from that side. Just then, streaking along in a blue flash, a kingfisher flew up river and settled far off in a tree branch. A rare sight. Raced to get the camcorder out and fired up and all zoomed in. Didn't have time for the tripod and I was shakey all over the place, but was just managing to settle down and get the ting in focus and - off went the camera!! Typical. So - those batteries don't last long then! So - that's the first thing I've learned - go buy lots of batteries!! All in all, and it's an increasingly rare thing for me these days, I 'enjoyed' myself. :o) . . . ate a cold tin of sausage in baked beans with two bags of crisps while watching the video I'd taken as I recorded it to the PC. I have a very great deal to learn about taking video! Ended up with an enormous amount of footage of the waterfowl on the lake, going about their business, and a couple of seconds of a very blurred kingfisher. . . napped. Woken before 6pm by Sally barking and someone at the door. 'Usual' (these days) scary panic, but it turned out to be Sis1 popping in for chats and coffee . . watched the DVD of some of Sis1s photos I'd put to appropriate music and sent to Mum, and even forced Sis1 to watch half an hour of shakey zoomed footage of wildfowl!! lol . . . Mum called briefly to recommend a TV show later . . .walked late . . . TVd whilst PCing, messing around with a portion of the video I took this morning . . . touched base with BB and then straight back to the PC . . ate a cold tin of spaghetti bolognese with two bags of crisps as the PC processed . . .finished off the silly 'Stay Clean' music video and finally to bed around 1:30am. ps
19 - Woken by the phone ringing before 8am, but number witheld and no message left. I suspect LB called for some reason, just before she left for work . . . walked around 9am . . .PCd and added a new videos webpage to the site - cause I think it's gonna be going that way for a while!! I'm gettin' a real kick out of my 'new toy' and its possibilities - but oh SO time (and hard disk) consuming (and ultimately utterly pointless of course). This is NOT helping me finish the house off!!! :o) . .rang the CPS Witness Care Unit and asked them what had become of the 6th January listing date - because I'd heard nothing from them yet. I didn't totally understand the details (actually, the woman didn't know (or wouldn't tell me) the details!) but appparantly things were kinda put on hold on that date for some reason, and another listing date of 20th January had been agreed! What a wind up!!! So - tomorrow it goes to the magistrates court AGAIN! :o( Agreed I'd call them again in a couple of weeks if I hear nothing. <worry-more-still>. . tidied up a little around the place and then sorted out paperwork and bills (not done since Christmas!) and balanced my accounts. Couldn't balance and ended up having to phone the bank to ask what on earth was the 150 credit that had gone into my account on the eleventh. Got the helpline operator to look it up on her computer, and with some amusement she read out the message that was on her screen - 'Happy new year. Love from Mum'. :o) Touched base with Mum and thanked her for my Christmas present. Cool - that and the 150 PSB win this month, takes care of much of my recent outrageous spending on my new 'toys'. . . reheated and ate half a chicken with a stick of garlic bread with extra butter. . . napped the rest of the afternoon away. . woke around 5:45pm feeling yucky after lots of unremembered dreaming. . . walked and found a penny. . . touched base with BB . . .TVd/PCd. . . ate bowls of co-co pops . . . finally to bed after 1:30am. ps
20 - Woken by insistant Sally at 7:30am . . .walked and found 7p . .Sis1 called to say she'd be popping in later with the old portable black and white TV I'd asked to have back if she didn't want it. . .swapped out of my mud covered boots and then walked up Kingswood to bank the PSB cheques. Walked on into the churchyard and dabbled with the camcorder. Yep - there are STILL squirrels living in the surrounding trees and offering some pretty good picture opportunities as they run amongst the gravestones. Definitely gonna be back up there with a tripod some time. Played a little the same in Kingswood park (I'm too shaky - useless without a tripod - shame - would have been some nice close up pics of a beautifully singing red breasted robin if not for the shake) before briefly shopping for mostly bread and butter, etc. . . ate early - four cheap microwaved sausage rolls with two bags of crisps . . . napped until just after 3pm . . . Sis1 popped in with the old, old, portable black and white TV. Both touched base with Mum . . . walked. Something in the school was being loudly smashed up by a large group of kids all rampaging around in there. I couldn't actually SEE the area of destruction, so it was pointless experimenting with the camcorder. . .stacked up the old portable TV on top my old twin deck Amstrad VCR in the corner of the room, hooked it all up and - yes - that'll do for a while. Means I can watch TV like normal, and have the little portable on as well, to glance at if the need arises. Excellent - much less running to look out of darkened windows. . . PCd/TVd/listened to music, with one eye on the car by way of the portable TV showing the CCTV image in the corner of the room. Silly but makes me feel just a little happier/safer/less up tight. .oh dear. Finding it almost impossible to listen to a piece of music now, without having an idea for a video to go with it!!!! . . . touched base with BB . . . ate four warmed sausage rolls and a couple of bowls of cornflakes . . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. pss
21 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am . .Hello - that's weird? A sudden rush of hits on the counter on my 'Index' webpage? Hmmm - funny - I can even get all paranoid about THAT now! I've two routes for my paranoiad 'delusions'. First - putting up those videos on my site has seen a sudden rush of record company copyright lawyers, seeking to find out who I am so they can throw the book at me!!! Second - post yesterdays 'listing date' at the magistrates, has my site become of 'interest' to someone connected with all that?!!!! <worry> . . .walked and found 6p. Sat on the seat by the swings for a cigarette (after clearing up all the bottles, beer cans and chip papers) and dabbled a little with the camcorder, filming a crow scavenging curry from discarded chip papers. Just then Sally suddenly jumped up and took off to chase something. All zoomed in on the crow, I wasn't able to get the camera round quick enough to catch the golden red fox behind me, half way across the field, actually 'fairly' close!! Damn!! WHAT a missed opportunity!!! It all happened in seconds and the fox with Sally in hot pursuit, quickly disappeared out of sight around the hedge at that corner of the field. I assume the fox happily escaped to somewhere because Sally soon came back to my frantic calls. Weird time of day (past 9:30am) for it to be out like that!? . . .PCd a bit of this . . .back out briefly with Sally and the camcorder to explore one of the silly video ideas I'd got stuck in my head. (Walking Blues). Weird how making those stripped down thumbnail copies for the site, alters everything. Makes the river look like a crued-oil slick - and my walking legs don't seem to work properly on grass! lolololol The huge 140+MB versions look fine of course. And before I knew it - that was the whole day gone again!!! Madness!!! lolol :o! . . .walked. More noise suggested the kids in the school grounds appeared to be finishing off whatever it was that was being smashed up yesterday. Stopped for a bag of chips on the way home. Ate half a microwaved chicken with the chips . . . touched base briefly with BB . . . PS popped round for chats and coffee and had to endure watching my learning-the-camcorder efforts. lol . . . TVd until bed around 1am. ps
22 - Dumped childs bikeWoken by LB leaving an ansaphone message around 9am about a neighbour's missing dog or something. Wow - Sally let me sleep on a bit this morning. :o) . . . walked in the thawing frost. Another childs bike just dumped in the gutter down the road!? Wonder if they are coming from the pub beergarden. The beergarden appears to have been turned into a play area for presumably the landlords children, and there are quite a few toys laying around in there behind a uselessly low fence, just begging to be toyed-with/destroyed by the yobs. . . felt lackluster and could easily have gone back to bed, but eventually ended up TVing and reading the camcorder manual some more, attempting to better understand all the 'manual' settings. . . cold out but a beautiful clear sunny sky. Finally managed to muster the energy to take Sally, the camcorder and a tripod in the car and drove down to the river Avon at Hanham for a walk - and a 'hunt'. :o) . . VERY muddy, and lots of people out and about! The car park at Conham was near full!!! Some young guy and his girl, wearing only training shoes, had unwisely decided to walk along the river to the Chequers/Lock and Weir pubs. Actually QUITE a distance. They hadn't bargained for the inches of mud they'd have to wade through all along the way! Felt a bit sorry for them (the bottoms of the girls trousers were soaked and muddy for a good six inches up) - not sure they made it. . Filmed a little of this and that and got a nice close up bit of a robin. I was concentrating SO much on what I was doing, I didn't notice the guy on a horse until he was right upon us. Yikes!!!! Sally has a little history of getting all barky and chasey with horses, and I'm usually very careful to leash her up when I see one coming!! Blimey - she was good about it. She started to follow it as he rode by, having a good sniff at the swishing tail, but seemed happy enough to come back and sit by me as he carried on his way. She is SO cool. Seems to be getting more and more laid back the older she gets. :o) . . Somehow there didn't seem to be all that much about to film. My favourite sitting place up in the woods appeared to be the quietest spot around for miles (wildlife wise). Typical!! :o( Messed around a bit with some flowing water, experimenting with different shutter settings and such, announcing the details of the test into the microphone as I filmed (I can't tell any difference?) before eventually heading home. Found half a dozen cigarettes in a pack . . . ate a microwaved tin of sausage and baked beans, some diced onion and grated cheese with four pieces of bread and butter late afternoon . . . napped for a couple of hours . . . walked . . .TVd/PCd/listened to some music. . . touched base very briefly with BB . . . LB stopped by and handed me a left-overs roast beef dinner. . . PCd/TVd . ., .ate LBs food donation with an extra pint of instant gravy. Yikes!! Even Sally had trouble chewing up that impossibly tough piece of beef!! . . . touched base with BB . . . PCd/TVd until way into the early hours. Seems as though I'm in danger of becoming EVEN more nocturnal than I usually am, at the moment. It's just that after a certain late time of night, I find I can relax just a little more, and assume nothing 'bad' is likely to happen until tomorrow- so I kinda want to stay up and make the most of it!! :o( pass
23 - Woken by Sally barking at, the gas meter reader I think he was, around 8:45am . . .walked on the frost and ice. Dumnped frozen pushchairA pushchair had been dumped in one of the frozen puddles in the field, amongst all the litter. I'd passed that a couple of nights ago, out the other side of the field when I went to the store for milk. It was just laying on its side in the middle of the pavement, so I put it back on its wheels and moved it out of my way, just inside someones driveway. I guess whoever lived there was all outraged and just pushed it back out again, for passing idiots to play with. :o(. . . changed out of my muddy boots and picked up my tripod of choice and walked with Sally up to Kingswood, determined to attempt to get some decent footage of one of the robins in Kingswood park, and maybe some more squirrel footage. Very cold. Succeeded in getting a good several minutes of reasonable footage of a robin sat in a tree singing, which was doubly satisfying because the fully automatic film settings wouldn't manage it. I somehow succeeded in lumbering through various menus and getting the manual settings to do the business. Shame there is SO much background traffic noise up there - the microphones on that camera picked up the birds' song a treat. . too cold and grey for much bird/animal activity and I was probably heading home after only an hour or so 'on the prowl/hunt'. As we were leaving the church yard, there was the loudest, most awful din!! I'm pretty sure the church tower uses amplifiers and loud speakers to play the sound of bells on a Sunday, rather than have expensive real ones (which seems like an AWFUL, tacky development to me!). Well - it appeared that someone somewhere in the church had thrown the wrong switch, with the volume turned up to maximum! Awful noise of what may have been a radio on or something, bellowing out for miles!!! As I walked back through Kingswood, someone even stopped me in the street as I passed and asked where the devilishly awful noise (hardly the sound of angels!) was coming from!! God bless! . . . copied over my footage to the PC and then somehow ended up dabbling with the (almost useless overzealous zooming without a tripod) footage I took the other day, of the squirrels in the churchyard trees, because I bumped into a very short piece of music I thought rather fitted. (Caprice In A). . put in the work to burn a full size/quality DVD of my recent 'creations', just to test it on the TV and see how it looked on there. Yep. It works. Nicely. Better than on the PC screen! :o) . . . headachey! :o( . . . napped (once the people down opposite had taken their argument inside and had stopped trying to noisily bang their front door shut in each others faces!) until around 6pm . . .Still a nasty headache! Ate a couple of chocolate biscuits (the last in the house!!) to stop the 'eaten-nothing-shakes' . . . PCd this . . .walked around 7:20pm . . .PCd and couldn't help myself messing around with the robin footage I took earlier . . . touched base with BB . . .cooked and ate a pizza with extra grated cheese . . . PCd more on the 'The Flower Duet' video and finally, finally, FINALLY gave up and called it quits around 3am. Not perfect - but not bad considering. What I find funny about that footage is how you can actually tell it was a really cold day because at times you can actually see the breath from the bird as it sings!! paas
24 - Woken by Sally shortly before 9am . . .walked even later. Experimented a little with the camcorder. Helped myself to a bunch of stuff in the guy-down-the-road's skip again (and not as much as I'd like to have brought home!)!! A garden parasol, garden shears, complete set of hoselock connectors for the end of a hosepipe, spanners, screwdriver, and a decent breadknife!??. . . TVd/PCd listening to a little music . . . ate corned beef sandwiches with two bags of crisps followed by a bunch of chocolate . . . caught up on lost sleep and napped the whole rest of the day away until woken by Sally around 5:30pm! . . . PCd a bit of this . . . walked in the freeze. On the way back from the field, some hooded kid on a 'mini moto' drove past me (no helmet, on the road) blowing his horn (do they have them?) to attract my attention!? Sadly, pulling the camcorder out of a pocket and getting it all manualy menud up, zoomed in, and focused ready for a poor light shot, is NOT a speedy operation. No 'quick draw McGraw' at night! :o( Ignored him and carried on home. Retrieved the stainless steel dog bowl I'd spotted on the way out, in the top of the guy-down-the-road's skip. . . I presume I shouldn't take it 'personally' , but I reckon that dumb kid was driving past my house like that, for 'my benefit' aroundabout eight o'clock! :o( It DID however, enable me to experiment with the CCTV camera and the video recorder (on long, low quality play) a little. Figured out a way of transfering it to the PC later. Useless for any identification purposes of course, but satisfying nonetheless, if only to be able to actually prove some of what I say. No - I'm not getting 'entirely' obsessive - there IS an element of fun about learning how to bring all these 'toys' together like this. :o) Here's a snippet of mini-moto video(s) (302 KB) . I included the car driving by, to give 'scale' to the AWFUL din of the bike! Things I've learned - the picture on that camera is VERY low quality. The remote controls don't pan quick enough to follow anything dashing by. I want a remote with a joystick, not buttons! I need a zoom! The video recorder remote interferes with (activates!) the pan controls! No time/datestamp on the image! I need an IR lightsource (someone sent me feedback and suggested Maplins)., etc, etc, etc. . .briefly touched base with busy BB . . . PCd this . . .touched base with BB . . . ate bowls of cornflakes and some chocolate and TVd until around 1:30am. paas
25 - Woken by a nightmare (and YES! It WAS of someone 'coming at me' through my open front door!!!!!!!!!! :o( ) just after 7am!!!! Very cold out with white layers of frost on everything. Worth a 'foray' with the camcorder I think. .experimented with the cheapest/lightest of my tripods and succeeded in somehow stuffing it into the inside pocket of my puffa jacket to carry, rather than have to get lumbered down with rucksacks and such. . walked. Stopped before entering the field, to phone the police to report the car that was now sat there with the drivers side window smashed by a house brick. The brick was laying in the passenger footwell (together with a piece of trim from the passenger door-mounted speaker it'd presumably hit as it landed there!). See - see - I SHOULD trust my intuition! I can't recall exactly when I first spotted that car there (yesterday? Day before?) but I just KNEW it 'wasn't right'. I'd even detoured in the field with Sally and walked close by the hedge opposite, to get a good look at it. Of course I didn't 'dare' call it in to the police, because they'd think I was just a nutter reporting a 'parked car' , and never have the time to deal with such trifles anyway. (Actually, there is another car that's been parked opposite the local pub, unmoved since around Christmas, which someone ought to check up on. The tax on THAT one will be out at the end of the month - then I WILL phone it in.) . the call handler took all the details (tax still in date, NOT hotwired?, etc.) and then made a point of telling me it wouldn't be at the top of their priorities. I said I appreciated that, but pointed out it was near a school and was attracting plenty of attention from every passing kid, and 'at the moment' was definitely salvageable - implying it wouldn't be if they left it there too long! . . carried on with the walk and headed down to Eastville Park for more camcorder playing . .cold! The lake was largely frozen when I got there!!. . . along the river, cut short the usual long walk because I'd been messing around for so long with the camcorder, and headed straight back up though Oldbury Court . . stopped in Morrisons in Fishponds on the way home for two ready cooked chickens for a fiver. .almost home by around midday, the vandalised car was STILL 'parked' there, exactly how I'd left it when I reported it, some three hours earlier! . . ate half a chicken with four pieces of bread and butter . . .transferred the mornings camcorder efforts to the PC and stumbled into doing a silly short bit of footage to (633 Squadron) music (made me smile - although probably should have waited until I had some more 'fitting' video) before napping the afternoon away until around 5pm . . . PCd this. My 'main' PC seems to be grinding to a halt under the pressure of all these big video files!! The living room PC is actually considerably quicker/more able!?? Weird. :o( . . . walked . . . returned Mums ansaphone call and heard all about her blocked drains emergency!!. . . touched base with BB . . . TVd and ate corned beef sandwiches . . . played with more videos until nearly 2am!!!!! Briefly touched base with BB . . tossed and turned for over an hour before sleep!! pas
26 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am . . .walked . . . after typing about it yesterday, I couldn't help myself calling the non emergency police number and expressing my 'concerns' about the car down the road that hasn't moved since around Christmas. Embarassing that it was 'of no interest' to them. I was wrong about the tax as well. Doesn't run out until the end of April, so I guess it'll be parked there until then before the council are interested! . . . PCd videos ALL day on the living room PC! This amount of 'work' isn't healthy!!! :o! Seriously - I'm starting to worry a little about my state of mind with it all. I can't seem to take more than a couple of seconds footage of anything, without wanting to spend the hours of PC work to fit it to a piece of music. And of course I can no longer listen to a piece of music without thinking up things to video to go with it. On top of that, I'm starting to watch TV with a different eye!!!! With my recent amateur 'insights' on how things are done - I'm starting to 'see' the way the programs are constructed, rather than just sit back and watch them! Even more so than ever, I have no idea what I'm sat in front of - just where the cuts and fills and dubs and such, are!! Dunno why, but it's become UTTERLY absorbing to me at the moment! EVERYTHING else is on hold!!!. . . ate corned beef sandwiches, crisps and a little chocolate in front of the PC before napping for a couple of hours around 4pm . . .up and straight back on the PC!!!!!!! . . . set a test DVD of all my full size 'music videos' burning and then walked. Found a penny. Stopped for a bag of chips on the way home. Ate half a microwaved chicken and chips in front of the TV . .watched all my videos on the TV. Well - 'I' find them entertaining. :o) Not sure if anyone else would. Damn - oversights on a couple of bits here and there means I really should re-work them - um - ALL!!! :o(. . touched base with BB . . . PCd . . .ate chocolate and jaffa cakes . . .PCd until 2:30am. Discovered I messed up the transfer of most of the video from the camcorder to the PC, (didn't 'proof' watch and adjust the video capture card colour/brightness etc. settings) and probably 'bleached' much of the footage!! No way can I face all the work to re-do them all from scratch! :o( Oh well - useful learning experience to remember. Think I'm starting to learn what I really want from a camcorder as well. Too many menus and too much on automatic, isn't necessarily a good thing. Immediately-to-hand manual controls have GOT to be SO much better. . What seems to be taking up all my time doing these things, is 'fighting' against the twitchy software ('Intervideo WinDVD Creator 2' I mostly use) and PCs more than anything else! pass
27 - Woken by Sally around 8am . . . PCd briefly. . .walked - experimenting some more with my 'electronic countermeasures'. I actually carried the little MP3 player that DS gave me a year or so ago. I'd rather suspected I'd never make any use of it ever again (because walking around deaf - listening to music with the headphones on, is TOTALLY out of the question after recent events. I absolutely MUST be fully aware of what is going on around me! :o( ) I left the headphones at home and just carried the thing in the fist of my right hand, while recording audio to a WAV file!! Blimey. Wired. lololol Lots of wind noise, and rustling and this and that, but really actually 'quite' sensitive and effective. Listening at home later, I could even hear Sally's claws clicking away on the pavement as we walked. Hmmm - just for the 'challenge' of maybe recording something 'interesting', that may ALSO find its way into a pocket when I walk. Blimey - any more to carry and I'll be needing a wheel barrow lololol (and will be a VERY profitable target for some street crime - which official figures released yesterday confirmed has risen dramatically!!)!! . . . PCd this . . .shopped for groceries and dog food supplies( PAL complete@ 17.95) - lots! . . ate completely tasteless, luncheon meat sandwiches, two bags of crisps and some chocolate . . . napped. . . . . . walked complete with MP3 player recording, experimenting with its effectiveness (or not) in different pockets and such. Had the opportunity to experiment further and had a brief go, from quite a distance, at videoing some kids attempting to climb onto the school roof. Usual hassle with setting things up for an effective nightshot, even more difficult at high magnification, handheld, on the wrong side of a busy main road - and didn't even actually bother pressing the record button in the end. Eventually returned home and - oh dear - I actually sat down and listened to the audio of my walk!!!!!! lololol Of course I had to, to see the results of the tests. Far too much scraping and noise from my pockets for it be kept anywhere like that. In fact I suspect, that little miniature microphone (really VERY sensitive) is actually quite directional. Not sure it's worth carrying - although it WAS possible to just about legibly hear the shouts of the kids that were playing around inside the school grounds, near the sports hall, when I was sat on my rock for a cigarette. . . emptied out the ottoman full of old photos and laboriously searched out the very few I took when I went to Poland. I think I'm gonna try and do a video - if I can handle it! :o! . . .touched base with BB . . .started work on the video - and just kept working away at it for ages!!! If I dare do it at all - it needs to be about the best I can do right now. . . ate bowls of cornflakes at 5am . . . at long, LONG last - to bed somewhere around 6am!!!!!!!!!!! pass
28 - Woken by Sally around 8:45am . . . PCd . . .received the court papers in the post!!!
"
You are required to attend at **** as a witness on the 30/03/06 at 9.45am in the case of **** for the Offence of Common Assault which occurred on 09/11/05."
Hmmm - so - two more months of holding my breath, before 'I' am on trial - or at least that's how it feels. :o(
-//unfinished//-
walked late and found 10p. . . PCd and surfed and downloaded a few pics. PCd more on the video . . . ate luncheon meat sandwiches, two bags of crisps and a banana around 3pm. . . PCd more until exhaustion (and the food 'hitting my head') forced me back to bed around 4pm for just a couple of hours . . . woken around 6pm by some noise or other outside and then a revving car speeding away! Doesn't take much to get me all wound up, and down, as soon as I'm awake! :o( . . . PCd . . . walked. . . . touched base briefly with BB . . . called it quits and acheived what I feel is a 'reasonable' result with the 'Poland' video (5.2MB) (given the meagre number of photos I actually had the nerve to take, and the limitations of my PCs and software etc, etc, etc). . . somehow ended up PCing until the early hours again, attempting to get the file uploaded (and then prove it downloads back ok), using a snails pace dial up connection, and my increasingly 'twitchy' PC!!!! Hours!!! Arggggghhh! :o( . . . ate corned beef, tomato, onion and lettuce sandwiches and jaffa cakes before bed a little after 1am. ps
29 - Woken by Sally around 7:45am . . .walked. Three car wheels complete with tyres have miraculously appeared, dumped on the pavement in front of the metal roller shutter of one of the local shops!??. . .headachey. Sat around/TVd/PCd . . . LB popped in mid afternoon bearing large amounts of roast dinner left overs. :o) . . . napped . . . walked with all my pockets full of my usual 'devices', including the MP3 player. The car wheels and tyres have somehow found their way across the main road, round the barriers, up and over and inside the school fence!!?? That must have taken some rather embarassingly noticeable effort from someone (I strongly suspect the shop owner!). . A bunch of kids were walking along the cycle path in the pitch black as I was nearing the exit of the field and one of them called out that 'bin man' taunting thing I've become sadly accustomed to. I'd anticipated an opportunity to do a 'real' test and had turned the MP3 player onto record, shortly before. They MUST have been around 100 metres from me, but still the MP3 player 'just' managed to pick it up, amidst all the rustling of my jacket, smokers breathlessness, and such. Amazing. :o) BinManTaunt290106 Doesn't sound like much to be concerned about (actually pretty mild compared to what HAS been shouted at me!), but I can assure you, particularly after what I've been through these last couple of months, it grinds me down and upsets me - because it, or something, is being shouted at me by someone 'almost' every time I set foot outside the door so it seems! :o( . . . PCd . . touched base briefly with BB . . ate LB (mostly the veg) left overs with a pint of gravy. . . touched base with BB . . . TVd and ate a bunch of chocolate and then some bowls of cornflakes layered with brown sugar!. . . TVd until bed at precisely 1:11am, yet again. Something weird about that time - I frequently see it just as I lay down to sleep. paas
30 - Woken by Sally around 8:15am . . . walked and found 3p . . . messed around with the PC/CCTV and ended up watching a trio of truants who presented themselves for - um - some watching!! Felt 'obliged' (??!!!! Obsession!) to do a video with the footage of course!. . . ate luncheon meat sandwiches, two bags of crisps and a banana for lunch. . . PCd a bit of this before succumbing to sleep . . . woke just before 6pm. . . PCd a bit of this . . .walked. Approaching one of the few large trees in the field in the dark, I became aware of a ghostly blue light emanating from up in the branches!!????? VERY weird! Turned out to be one of those blue LED solar powered lights that people have in their gardens these days, thrown up and stuck in one of the branches. I wouldn't have minded having one of those to dissect but couldn't easily dislodge it, unfortunately. Dumped wooden ladderI dabbled with the idea of walking all the way back up the field dragging the old wooden ladder which was dumped under the bushes-overhang the other night, but that appears to have been moved. (I didn't bother getting 'involved' with the ladder because I'm pretty sure it was NOT from the nearby building site, because I think these days, they aren't allowed to use wooden ones because they rot.) . . . PCd this . . .Mum called to touch base . . .touched base with BB . . . TVd very briefly but ended up watching my own test burned DVD of all the videos, and timing it. A couple more and that should fill an hour - and then I reckon I'll send a copy to Mum - she's SUCH a Motorhead fan (or not)! lololol Hell - I found it really entertaining. May even have to give some greater thought to a play order on the DVD for best effect. :o). . . started messing around with some more of todays ridiculous footage and somehow yet another one popped out at me. Even managed to route the video card output straight into the TV card input, and was then able to play/record at the same time and do a x4 fast forward thing. Knew I'd come up with a way of doing that eventually. Cool. And no - I don't have any 'great' conscience about recording such stuff. First of all, it could just as easily be me looking out of the bedroom window seeing this stuff - secondly, so far, the 'subjects' have been 'in the wrong' in at least some small part (The kids were truanting - the learner car driver had no 'L' plates (and most likely not insured either)), and of course at this resolution, no one is identifiable. . . PCd until 2am and then reheated and ate LBs left over roast dinner . . . PCd more until finally to bed around 3:30am!!!!!!! ps
31 - Woken by Sally around 7:45am . . . walked. An old shoe has been laying near the foxes den half way up the field for the last few months. Actually looked as though it may have been dragged out of the den BY the fox, with a pile of other debris, and rocks, and new brown earth, etc. Did the fox a favour and picked the shoe up and carried it with me - intending to use it to throw up into the big tree in an attempt to dislodge that solar light. Took a LOT of throwing, but I got it down eventually. Trouble was - I wasn't quick enough at catching it as it fell to earth - so it fell to earth. Smashed the plastic surround. :o( Still some signs of intermittant life from the bulb, so I carried it home to play with some other time. Dunno why - I just reckon those solar cells/light sensors are precious somehow, and shouldn't be 'lightly' thrown away. . .had a good look at the printer/scanner I liberated from the guys skip down the road - dismantled it and had a good prod around, but no way could I see (or would I ever) what the problem was. The dustbin men were later today so I had time to ruthlessly put all the dismantled pieces (except one) in the wheely bin. . further examined the PC monitor I also rescued from the skip, but sadly the power socket I'd removed from the printer was slightly different in construction and wouldn't easily replace the damaged one on the monitor. In all - NOT a successful operation - and a waste of time! . . . phoned the cable company and had the extra channels I had put on for Christmas, all removed again, to save the 10 a month - and frankly, at the moment, I'm SO totally absorbed in all this music video/CCTV/camcorder nonsense, I've hardly watched any TV for days (and all those channels have logos on the screen so are no good at all for me to try and 'use' for 'funnys')!!. . . Phoned the CPS to confirm I WOULD attend court on the 30th of March. Ended up asking some silly questions (the woman was very forgiving and understanding of my worries again). It seems weird to me that I'm not being approached by anyone before the case appears at court. Don't they need to confirm stuff with me? Apparantly not. I explained that I was PARTICULARLY concerned about whether or not the transcript of my telephone call on the day, was to feature. Without it as some sort of independent coroboration of events, it would just be my word against his, and that probably wouldn't be enough (especially once his defence lawyers had 'savaged' me). After a wait while the woman silently read through her file, she eventually confirmed that there WAS an entry which made it VERY clear that the phone call WAS a central part of the case. Phew. Well, even if it isn't used for some reason, at least they ARE fully aware of its existance. That put my mind 'slightly' more at ease. Despite the 'sick with worry' anxious feeling about the whole business, I AM somewhat intrigued to see how the guys defence team are going to try and get him off. Surely, given that phone call, there can't be any doubt about the 'truth' can there??? Worry worry worry! :o( . . . ate a handful of biscuits and ended up back in bed, asleep until early afternoon! . . .walked with Sally up to Kingswood to withdraw some money and buy a couple of cards . . dropped the cards off at home and then walked across the field to a small electrical shop attempting to buy another, double RCA to 3.5mm block connector (or maybe even two) for use on the living room PC. SO many different ways I need to connect stuff up, a couple of those to leave on the ends of the cables would save some awkward reaching and removing every time I change an input/output device! They didn't have the type I wanted so that was a waste of time. :o( . . . ate a reheated half a chicken and a stick of garlic bread. Lay down for a nap but it was pretty late and unusually I didn't fall asleep. . . walked . . .TVd and watched and experimented with recording a bit of Crimewatch UK, just in case I can 'use' some of the footage for a 'funny'. . . touched base with BB . . . ate chocolate . . .TVd/PCd until bed around 2:30am. ps
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