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- Woken in the night by the sound of Sally's claws clattering on the bedroom floorboards as she sought to escape the noise from the fridge! Had to go down and give the fridge a 'beating' to shut it up! Grrr . . up around 9:15am. . .walked late and carried on along the coastal path and checked out the walk all the way to BSnds (which actually wasn't really that far at all, but it felt like a long way to my painful knees)! Way off in the distance the coast was bathed in sunlight, but for almost the entire walk we were under grey cloud and I swear it gradually got colder the longer we were out. Walked along the sands a bit watching the lifeboat and a sea king helicopter going backwards and forwards along the coast in the distance, out 'on a shout' I guess. Lots of people and dogs out walking. The cold and a few spots of rain in the air saw me call a halt to my exploring and we headed back. (It always seems SO much further on the way out somewhere, when you don't really know where you're going, than it does heading back). . back home a little after midday . . . cooked and ate bacon, eggs and chips . . napped . . walked . . PCd photos and a bit of this, but not in the mood (as usual) and pretty soon ended up 'blobbed' in front of the TV again. Nothing on worth watching. . .BB called briefly . . ate the other half of the cold pizza . . to bed before midnight, only to have trouble getting to sleep.
So - another new year then.
2 - Woken around 5am by the sound of someone knocking at the front door by using the letterbox, but for some reason Sally wasn't barking!?? Turned out it was the wind, which sounded really gale like rushing past the exposed bedroom bay windows. Every now and then at annoyingly random intervals it would lift the letterbox opening and clatter it back down two or three times, just like someone knocking at the door. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep but there was just no way. Eventually had to get up, find a roll of sellotape, and went out and stuck a piece of tape across the flap to keep it quiet. . trouble getting back to sleep with an aching back . . woke again around 8:30am . . . walked in the strong cold wind. Sally developed a hint of a limp on her front right!? . .PCd a bit of this and looked at the Met Office weather forecast. Forty mile an hour gusts it said. Well - I reckon they were stronger than that in the early hours, and more of the 'gusting' than anything else!!. .PCd for hours and ended up messing around with MS Excel knocking up a calendar type spreadsheet. Frightening how I can hardly remember how to use the program functions after all these years. Terrible waste of time but it felt so cold I just couldn't muster the energy to do much else . . drank some red wine and ate four small cheeseburgers for lunch . . BB called . . napped . . walked in the strong cold wind . . TVd . . messed around briefly with No2 PC, in the living room, and hooked it up just enough to confirm it'll still boot etc. . BB called . . .TVd and ate bowls of cornflakes until bed around 2am. ds
3 - Woke earlier I think, snoozed on, then up around 8:30am. Boy it's cold. Ok - maybe not as cold as has been forecast for much of the rest of the country, but I think the strong wind and resultant windchill down here makes up for the couple of degrees difference. . walked in full weather gear in a misty sort of dullness. Freezing cold strong wind. Blimey - I'd thought maybe today would be a good day to walk with the camera, but I'd figured around early afternoon when the tide was supposed to be high. Even around 9:30/10am there were 'big' waves (relative - never 'particularly' big in the shelter of the wider bay) breaking and being blown over the top of the breakwater!! If I can face the cold, I think I may have to venture out again in a couple of hours. .PCd this while charging camera batteries and keeping an eye on things via that neat Breakwater Bistro webcam link. . set off with Sally before midday in multiple layers, leggings hat and gloves with the cameras and the tripod and walked out to the breakwater and then the outdoor swimming pool. Actually had on five layers of clothes, hat and gloves, but still ended up pretty damn cold. Nasty layer of oil all along the high tide line on the tiny scrap of breakwater beach. .wandered up and down and around watching the impressive waves (although I definitely saw worse last year) and using up all my photos (and even a bit of camcorder video) before eventually heading back to get warm . . PCD the photos. Damn. Not a SINGLE one was any good or worth the bother! A combination of low light and 'mist' in the air I think. Oh well - what a waste of time all that was. . ate liver sausage sandwiches with two bags of crisps and then a couple of chocolate biscuits . . napped. . .walked . .touched base with BB . . cooked and ate bacon, sausages, eggs and chips around 11pm! . . TVd until bed at 1:30am.
4 - Up around 8am . . PCd reading the local news. Apparantly that lifeboat/helicopter search I'd noticed on the 1st, was as a result of some clothes and a note being found on a beach somewhere - 'Regi Perryn' style. The guy returned home safe and well eventually. More than one suicide reported in the area over the Christmas period (hanging seems to be the method of choice round here!?). Yeah - that'll be Christmas then! :o( . .walked. Much calmer and stiller and even felt a little warmer. Did the long walk through the woods. Down on the beach, the stormy weather of the last few days had washed up a thick line of seaweed and debris. Amongst it were two huge great big 'spotlights'. Almost identical to the 500w halogen garden light I have on the back of the house, but at least twice as big in every dimension. Enormous great things they were, and still intact - glass an all!?? Tempting to take them home, but then where the hell could I use such huge great things. They were the sort that are probably used on large buildings to light up the entire building. Picked them both up (together with a marker buoy that'd also been washed up) and put them further up the beach out of reach of the tide near the two metal posts which may once have supported some sign or other, where 'rubbish' is often heaped up to somehow disappear at intervals (presumably cleared by the council?). . PCd/TVd the day away, feeling pretty damned low!? It's the persistant dark greyness at this time of year that, seems to grind me down. I'm absolutely longing for some warmth and sun. I'm not 'functioning' much right now. Just feel tired all the time and am just 'getting through the days' waiting for summer! :o( . . walked in a shower. I SO didn't want to have to bother with the walk this evening. Not having eaten all day, I had intended to walk down town and maybe test out a takeaway, but I just didn't have the energy and simply returned home via the local shop for a few supplies to eat. . .BB called. . . ate beef rolls and some chocolate with one of those expensive little bottles of Mars bar drink . .TVd until bed around 1:30am.
5 - Up late after 9am! . . .walked . . .did dishwashing chores . . Mum called in with the TV paper and food donations for chats, coffee etc. . did laundry chores . . ate liver sausage and mayo sandwiches with crisps and then some chocolate covered peanuts . .napped. .walked. I'd mentioned to Mum earlier how good I thought those Mars milky drinks are, and how she should try one. Popped into the store on the way home and bought one together with a Mars bar, and dropped it into Mums on the way back. . .TVd the 'gloomy' film 'The Village', which turned out to have a suprisingly interesting and rather unexpected twist at the end. Nice one. . .touched base with BB . . ate a Mum donated pork pie with crisps and pickled onions and some Christmas cake . . PC/TVd until early before bed. ds
6 - Up around 9:30am! . . the forecast was for sun today, so believing that, despite having set off under an overcast grey sky, I decided we'd better make the most of it and have a long walk. Headed straight down to the nearby cove aiming for the coastal footpath. For goodness sake - would you believe it. Some f***ing idiots had smashed the two huge spotlights (until then, salvageable) down onto the tops of the two metal sign post poles and turned them into scrap and smashed glass! What a waste! Wish I HAD taken them home now - although I suppose when I left them there, I knew they'd be destroyed by someone. Everything always is these days! The marker buoy was gone, so that was probably thrown back into the sea. . Carried on out along the coastal path in a sort of northerly direction again, and actually walked all the way to Pgtn. Been wanting to do that for a while - just to kinda prove I could. Pretty muddy walk! With hardly any stopping, it took something like the best part of three hours to cover the distance, walking at the waters edge at each of the beaches on the way. The sun actually DID come out for half an hour or so while we were there, so we sat in it on the sea front for just a while. Treated myself to a 1.50 tray of chips. Sally hasn't learned that drinking the sea water is not a healthy thing, despite my constantly telling her off about it. At every beach we came to, she headed straight for the water, lay down in it and grabbed herself a couple of mouthfulls. Outside the chip shop at the end of the pier, was an old ice-cream type plastic container of drinking water for dogs. Having drunk all that sea water, Sally was desperate for a drink and pretty much emptied the thing all in one go while I waited for my chips!! Half way through eating my chips sat on a sea front bench, she became terribly sick and threw up all the water she'd just drunk! :o( . .TQy wasn't 'that' much further round the coast and would have been quite acheivable, but I WAS pretty tired and figured if I pushed on, I'd run out of daylight on the way back and that would have been really pretty dangerous/impossible without a torch. That was my excuse anyway. To be honest, I'd had enough (Sally too I think), and even dabbled with the idea of seeing if it was possible to get a bus home - but I didn't! Finished my 'post chips' cigarette, and headed back the way we'd come. .within a couple of miles the wind had increased, the sun was gone, and drizzle was in the air, which made for a cold, damp thoroughly unpleasant muddy trudge back. . eventually back home by around 4pm just before some heavier rain, after a good six hours of 'mostly' walking. . poor Sally drank and drank and drank, so I had to leave the back door open despite the cold and rain, so she could go out and, as was inevitable, be sick again! . . exhausted - sat in front of the TV with the fire on, feeling a bit 'spaced out' and oh SO glad to be warm and out of the wind. It's definitely the wind I've grown to hate the most about the winters here, constantly clawing at any exposed skin. . ate the last of the Mum donated Christmas cake and some chocolate covered peanuts . . PCd a bit of this, oh SO ready for sleep already. Damn - another handful of useless photos. I don't think it's really my ineptitude with the camera - I think it's simply that no way can photos do the scenery down here justice. It's all big, impressive panoramas. The little thumbnail picture I AM going to include here, is around the 'two-thirds the way' mark, looking back the way we'd come from. Top left of the picture can be seen the breakwater with 'home' (well - the place I find myself living now anyway!) nestled in between those headlands. . . Poor Sally is NOT gonna get another walk today (and will probably be thankful for that - I think all these walks are wearing us BOTH out, far too quickly! Much 'climbing' - especially bad for my already painful knees - and god knows what that'll do for doggie hip dysplasia. Unfortunately that means I'll probably spend half the evening out in the wet/cold garden with her, attempting to encourage her to 'do her thing' out there! Uggh). . .made a coffee and encouraged poor stiff Sally out into the garden and thankfully she performed pretty quickly. :o) . . . . . . ate Mum donated ham rolls at getting on for midnight. . TVd until eventually to bed around 1am or later.
7 - Woken by restless Sally clattering around the bedroom around 5am. Quickly let her out into the garden and she pretty promptly had a pee, letting me get back to bed for another couple of hours . . up again around 9am. . walked and carried on down town and toured the charity shops on the way home. Threw away a couple of s on a solid brass bowl I couldn't resist! Out in the sun - back in the rain. . . PCd/TVd the day away . . Mum called to touch base. Predictably she wasn't impressed by the Mars drink I'd bought her. lol . . PCd looking at SD memory card prices. I want to buy me another, so I can take 'unlimited' stills with both the camcorder and the digital camera at the same time, without having to swap out my only card. Actually pretty cheap these days. I'm in no hurry. . PCd messing around with the bits of video of the storm on the breakwater the other day. Not really enough footage to really 'play the music', so I just cut it short, but I think it conveys something of what it was like. Eventually signed up for a YouTube account and put it on there!! Youtube link . . . walked. Carried on down town and tried out the takeaway


raced back home as fast as I could walk, but as I'd feared, it was such a distance, the food was less than hot by the time I sat down to eat it. :o(

BB called . . TVd ( watched a bit of 'Predator' which was on - again - again!) until bed around 1am.
8 - Up around 9am . . . walked real late. . PCd for ages and eventually ended up ordering a new 2GB SD card for the camera complete with a bundled USB multi reader stick - 13.59 (inc. vat and delivery) by Paypal from Memorybits co uk. It was a 'on special offer' type advert. It's probably not the cheapest, best or fastest card available (I'm SO out of touch - I didn't even realise they had read/write speed ratings!) but I figure it's got to be 'at least' as good as the years old 128MB one I've been happily using to date. . .VERY windy but quite a clear sky so walked with the camera and tripod, intending to learn some more of the features of the camera and experiment with some night shots of the lights across the bay. Found a decent vantage point, laboriously set up the tripod, and had 'just' screwed the camera to it when the rain began to fall. Damn. No raincoat! Sheltered in a gun emplacement for a while but it soon became apparant the rain was not going to stop. Sheltered some more under the roof over the seats, and had a bit of a dabble with the camera, despite the horizontal rain reaching in to get me. With the camera on the 'star/moon' icon setting, and with the flash turned OFF, it DID do a reasonable job of capturing the dim and distant lights even through the rain. Incredibly, it appeared to have something like an eight second exposure time! Under such circumstances, the tripod is an absolute must, and actually firing the camera was best done using the timer, so as to avoid any hands-on movement at all. Bit of a palava. . .eventually called it quits, wrapped the camera securely in a poop scoop bag, and ended up having to walk home in what turned out to be a hell of a storm. Got utterly drenched! :o( . Not sure how it can work that way, but within an hour or so of having got home and wrung out and hung all my clothes up to dry, the wind had eased and the rain had stopped. Typical! . . drank a goodly mug of 'strong' red wine on an empty stomach (Sainsburys 'Cotes Du Rhone', Alc 13.5% vol), got immediately tipsy and then cooked and ate four sausages with chips. Unusually, the tipsy feeling continued for quite some time after I'd eaten - which was ok. . TVd/PCd music . . touched base with BB (later than usual thanks to the wine) and briefly with Sis2 (to wish her happy birthday even if not) before to bed after 1am. d
9 - Up around 8:30am to tend to the condensation on the windows. .good grief - sunshine! Walked and carried on down to the harbour. Thick smell of deisel in the air, and a rainbow-film of it visible on the water all along the outer harbour! :o( Carried on out along the breakwater taking photos and experimenting with the video camera. I had it in mind to try and do a video of the walk out along there - in a single take, with the intention of attempting to do a speeded up version to music etc, etc. Did the walk and the filming and then messed around for ages on the way back, taking photos of this and that and just somehow wasting the entire morning. It was low tide on the return, so I dared to have a wander around on the mud in the inner harbour, seeing what 'out of the ordinary' shots I may be able to take. None worth the bother as it turned out. Boy - that replica mayflower ship is - um - well - absolutely NOT a ship at all! Up close and personal like that, it was evident it was just a big heap of rotting junk, plonked on the mud - all split open and in a hell of a state! I'm suprised the health and safety people actually allow visitors on it! . true to recent form, around midday the heavens opened and yet again without a coat, I got drenched and had to walk home with both cameras fastened inside poop scoop bags to keep them dry! :o(. . PCd the pictures and video. The video turned out to be basically useless. Too much bobbing up and down as I walked (I have a very 'bobbing up and down', kinda 'pythonesque' walk apparantly!) , and with the camera's narrow field of vision, it was a very unimpressive view of very little of interest. Back to the drawing board on that one. . spent hours trying to get my video card to do the dual monitor (VDU/TV) setup like I used to, but for some reason no way could I get it to work! Terrible waste of time trying until deep into the afternoon. . ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches with crisps and pickled onions and then a Mum donated treacle tart . . napped for almost a couple of hours . . PCd more and eventually ended up throwing some pictures of Sally together into a silly little video. Youtube 'channel' link. . decided I just couldn't face another (inevitably wet) walk again today, and was able to persuade Sally to promptly use the garden for a pee again. GOOOood dog. . BB called briefly . . PCd this until early . .ate bowls of cornflakes before bed around 1:30am.
10 - Little sleep, woken more than once by restless Sally . . up around 8:30am with a headache. Annadin, cigarettes and coffee for breakfast. . Image of a distant warship walked in the strong westerly-ish wind. It takes a rarer easterly wind to create spectacular waves on the sea and coasts around here. (Only recall having seen that twice since I've been here.) The westerleys seem to have the effect of blowing the sea 'flat', with the exception of blowing the tops of any waves that dare to attempt to form, into white swirling mist. Gives the sea a whole different look and you can actually track the pattern of the wind gusts on the surface of the water as they rush out to sea. Out in the far distance a large 'warship' was cruising about on manouvers. Impressively 'sleek' profile. Attempted a bit of videoing, but it was just too far away. Wasn't long before the rain set in again, and without wearing any leggings, by the time I'd struggled home against the wind I was utterly drenched - AGAIN!!! Uggh. . .TVd/PCd the day away with an increasingly nasty headache. . napped for a couple of hours until woken by Sally somewhere around 6pm, but still with an awful (worse!) headache. Actually felt positively really ill and quite sick for a while after having crunched another annadin tablet! . walked. Blimey - it didn't rain and I managed to get back without getting drenched. .thankfully felt 'better' as the evening wore on, as usual. . ate corned beef, grated cheese, mayo and onion snadwiches with crisps and then some chocolate. . touched base with BB . . TVd and ate half of a Mum donated Xmas chocolate log. . PCd this briefly before bed just after midnight. aa
11 - Woke around 5:15am to the sound of rain, snoozed on then up around 8:15am. It's so overcast, it's hardly daylight! . .PCd a bit of this . . walked (in full weather gear this morning. I've learned my lesson - several times over!). It was dry and I felt embarassingly overdressed - until that is, a huge dark storm moved in as I was sat for a cigarette under the roof in BGdns. Absolutely poured down - again! Rain enough to 'almost' lose sight of the breakwater!!! Waited around until it had eased off a bit to 'just' heavy rain before heading back to dry out - again. . Mum called to touch base and say how depressing she found the constant darkness and rainy weather. Yaeh - I know all about that feeling! . Yayyy - the postman delivered my new 'Integral' 2GB SD card and the 'Besdata' USB multi card reader stick (in a very waterlogged padded envelope!) . Popped the card in the camera, formatted it, and hey presto - the display indicated I now had the capacity to take a massive 756 images at 10 megapixels resolution!! Incredible. So - I'm now pretty much only limited by the batteries, when out and about 'playing' (unless I start to try doing long sequences of video with it aswell, which I guess is now quite feasible )! :o) Experimented briefly with a quick bit of video on it. Turned out to do really quite a good job of it - a little over a one minute 640x480 AVI video clip with sound amounted to 16.7MB in size. Very useable. (SUCH a shame it can't compete with the amazing 25x optical zoom on the camcorder, otherwise I'd be able to leave the camcorder at home!) :o) . turned my attention to the bundled multi reader stick. It must be said it was really pretty cheap and nasty, but for the money I'd figured it was worth having one for unseen future eventualities. (I AM terribly out of touch with how technology is racing ahead, but I HAVE come to the (possibly mistaken) conclusion, that I'm better off investing in todays dedicated USB type devices, rather than expansion cards to go inside the PC. Much easier to play around and switch them out, and take them on to any machine upgrade, etc. Especially wish I'd got a USB TV-tuner/video-in device rather than those internal cards I'm using!) . another reason I was tempted by one of those multi readers (although really having no use for one) was because of that 'found'-mobile-phone I still have stored in my airing cupboard. Obviously the phone company hasn't contacted the owner, or if they have, the owner doesn't give a toss about getting it back. Whichever, I was VERY intrigued to see what data if any may be stored on its 'Sandisk 512MB Pro Duo Memory Stick'. Sure enough, the reader worked with the card, and I was able to have a rummage through the data. Image of person unknown who lost his phoneNinety one varied MP3 tracks, several little rather unpleasant (presumably downloaded) porn video clips and a bunch of in the region of sixty photos (nothing 'too' embarassing) - one or two of who I assume was the male teenage owner of the phone (SO young for such an expensive phone!). Nothing which would enable me to easily find the owner to return it. Oh well. Mildly interesting for a minute, nonetheless. . did a little laundry . . as forecast, with the northerly winds, the temperature seemed to have dropped substantialy, even during the time I was PCing this! Condensation had begun to cover all the windows, and saw me having to open a couple of them to allow the damp out!! Brrrrrrr. . .ate four mini cheeseburgers with mayo and then a little chocolate . BB called briefly . . napped until around 5:30 when woken by the noise of next door having their online shopping delivered to their door from the supermarket. . watched the two local news reports before I set off for tonights walk, specifically concentrating on their weather forecasts. Both said it'd be a brief welcome dry spell this evening, before more rain tomorrow. Walked without a raincoat and with the tripod, determined to try the night photos experiments agian, which I'd been unable to get on the 8th. What I hadn't banked on from my chosen vantage point, was the strength of the cold wind blowing directly into the face of the camera. It quite literally blew me, the camera and tripod away, making any attempt at long (any!) exposure times impossible!! Ended up having another go from a poorer vantage point, actually inside one of the gun emplacements, with two legs of the tripod on the grassy slope outside! Exactly the sort of position one can imagine setting up a machine gun in, back when those emplacements were actually in use! Took photo after photo for ages - experimenting. . eventually ended up doing yet more, under the roof in BGdns, trying all sorts of combinations of flash/noflash etc, etc.. and then it began to pour with rain! Would you beleive it! Ended up walking home in the rain and getting soaked again! I need to start wearing a permanent raincoat and leggings! :o(Image of lights across torbay.

Image of a night-time dog walk.PCd this. The photos were mostly pretty disappointing - but perhaps again, not because of the camera or my use of it, but simply because a camera cannot hope to capture the atmosphere that wider panoramic view creates. The optical zoomed, multi shot panoramic, which I've included just a tiny piece of here, gives perhaps just a sense of the glitterring shimmering northerly shores across the dark void of the bay. . the other photo was taken as the storm began to roll in, and was incredibly done in complete darkness without the flash, on the long eight second exposure. Clever camera. It really IS a HELL of a view - together with more lights from aircraft and the fishing boats visible out to sea, and the moon and stars, etc, etc. This is what greets me every night when 'just' walking the dog. :o) It IS pretty cool isn't it. . .touched base with BB . . TVd . . ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches with crisps, chocolate log, toffee popcorn and chocolate . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. s
12 - Up just before 8am . .walked. Actually a rather pleasant morning. Sat around in BGdns for ages before returning home and then sitting in the front garden with a coffee in a bit of much appreciated sunshine . .finally got round to messing with the PC and TV equipment in the living room, and succeeded in getting it all hooked up so I can play MP3s/DVDs etc through the TV/stereo. . Mum called in bearing the paper and food parcels as usual, and had also brought the DVD Sis2 had sent her in the mail. It wouldn't play on Mums DVD player. Sure enough, it was a Region 1 DVD. Took the risk of changing the PC over to Region 1 so she could watch it. . both watched the film. "The Notebook" (preview found on YouTube). Good film. . Damn! Dunno what the hell is wrong with me, but, it reduced me to a blubbering wreck! (SO embarassing with Mum there!) I'm not sure it was THAT weepy a film, but somehow it opened up a flood gate for me! I HAD noticed of late that alongside my feeling pretty down, I had on occasions appeared to be getting a bit 'over emotional' about TV triggered, nothing in particular. I have a nasty feeling that somewhere in my subconscious is a seething mass of something repressed that I haven't dealt with! :o( Oh dear. :o( . both touched base with Sis2 to say we'd watched it (once I'd recovered a bit and found a dry handkercheif!!!!) . . ate a Mum donated pork pie, crisps and pickled onions and then some chocolate . . napped until around 6:15pm. Woke feeling rather yucky and with a trace of a sore throat!?. .more wind and rain. I just couldn't face it. Successfully persuaded Sally to pee in the back garden (although she seems determined not to poop out there!) . . TVd feeling pretty down. . ate Mum donated crisps and ham rolls. BB called but I was in a fowl mood, in the middle of eating, and couldn't get off the phone quick enough . .TVd until early to bed around 11:30pm. s
13 - Woken in the early hours by Sally clattering across the bedroom floor, and then by the bloody fridge at 4:45am. Beat the fridge into silence and then returned to bed, only to find myself all bunged up and unable to get back to sleep! Tossed and turned for ages until finally giving up and getting up around 5:30am . . PCd . . walked in the strong wind (in full waterproofs despite being no rain). Found 1. Oooh, oooh - that warship that had been cruising around out to sea the other day, was moored up in the bay!Image of HMS Cumberland moored in Torbay Spent an hour or so wandering around trying to get some pictures, but of course the light was all grey and dismal again. Both lifeboats headed out while I was there, doing another search for someone or other, over towards TQ. . . PCd the pictures as the gale like winds battered the house. Yet again, I've ended up with a whole bunch of naff photos, not worth the bother!!!!?? . thought it may be interesting to see if it was possible to identify what the ship was, so went on line and did a search. Turned out to be suprisingly easy to look it up, simply by way of the big 'F 85' painted on the side. Apparantly it is HMS Cumberland, a Type 22 Frigate, not long been re-fitted (and presumably still doing 'trials'?). . .PCd this . .ate bowls of muesli . . very strong wind and rain battering the house. Eventually managed to nap until around 6pm despite it . . still blowing a gale when I woke. Sally was in danger of not getting her evening walk, but then by around 7:30pm, things had quietened down a bit. . walked. HMS Cumberland was still moored in the bay, but it was only 'just' possible to tell. With the exception of a couple of red lights up high somewhere, she was completely blacked-out, without a trace of any other light anywhere. As I sat under the roof looking out over the bay at around 8:20pm, all of a sudden a couple more lights came on, and then with hardly a sound, she was moving and slowly made her way out to sea. . . TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate ham and mayo rolls and a little chocolate . . TVd/PCd until bed around 2am.
14 - Up around 8am coughing and spluttering. Definitely got a bit of a cold or something about me. :o( . . PCd reading the news with coffee, cigarette and much coughing. Blimey - according to the BBC news website, there was a difficult sea rescue in the night. "20 crew were rescued off the Devon coast on Sunday night from the Greek registered 'Ice Prince'. RNLI lifeboats from Salcombe and Torbay were launched and the Royal Navy warship HMS Cumberland, which was nearby, offered its assistance." Kinda puts that little photo I took, into a slightly different perspective doesn't it. . . walked in sunny spells, but feeling pretty tired and headachey, fragile and unwell. . .PCd a bit of this after having taken a couple of paracetamol tabs. . cooked and ate a large bowl of stew with four pieces of bread and butter . . . slept the day away until around 6pm . . walked in drizzle before the forecast bad weather hit . . ate the last of the xmas chocolate log . . TVd/PCd until early before bed. Couldn't get to sleep until getting on for 5am due to feeling yucky and the sound of the gale battering the house. pcmlx4
15 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am. Checked on the BBC news and sure enough, that 'Ice Prince' boat had predictably sunk in last nights weather. . further signs of rain getting in to the ceiling above the bedroom bay window! :o( . . walked. A fairly pleasant dry morning. A second lifeboat 'twin' (they have a spare?!?) was moored alongside the one which had been damaged in the rescue the other night. . .just sat around in front the TV all morning, feeling lousy and getting through most of my hankerchief collection. A really nasty cold. Most unusual for me to get one. . .did a little laundry . . ate the last of the stew with four pieces of bread and butter . . slept all afternoon until the alarm at 6:30pm. Much cooler out this evening, with lots of condensation on all the windows already. Sat around uncomfortably for ages with the windows open, trying to air some of the moisture out. . walked under a cold clear sky and got back before more rain showers . . TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate tuna, onion and mayo sandwiches with crisps and then some mum donated sponge cake. . TVd until bed around 1:30am. pcmlx2
16 - Up around 8:15am to mop up all the condensation from the front windows. . .walked and returned via town and a look in couple of charity shops. .Mum called to touch base . . PCd, balanced my accounts and did a little time consuming sorting out and throwing away of some of the old, OLD paperwork. Been here almost a year now, and all the bills are coming due. Actually called up my buildings insurance company to check on why my premium had risen, in real terms, everything taken into account, a wapping 60%!!!!!! Something to do with reduced rates last year because of introductory offers etc. Damn. Gonna have to shop around for another one. :o( . . ate tuna, onion and mayo sandwiches with crisps . . trimmed my hair . . did laundry . . walked . . TVd . . called BB . .ate bowls of corn flakes . . TVd/PCd until bed around 1:30am. pcmlx2s
17 - Up around 8:30am . .walked. Returned via town to have another look in the charity shops at a couple of things that had caught my eye yesterday. They were still there, but on closer examination, not as tempting as I'd thought. . trimmed the excess length off the small venetian blind next to the front door, and removed the silly short section of curtain pole that has been above the front door since I moved in, just to tidy things up a bit. . PCd and somehow ended up looking at local jobs! Very few available, and the more I thought through the actual realities about getting one and having to actually encounter 'people' again, the more I became thoroughly down and full of despair. I just don't know what the answer is. :o( Suffice it to say, I fully intend to eek out my meagre existance and make the last of my savings last for as long as is humanly possible ('years' if nothing goes terribly, quickly wrong), down to the very last penny, before I'm forced to make 'Hamlet like' decisions. . . Felt down and not as good as yesterday generaly! . . ate tuna, mayo, onion and lettuce sandwiches with crisps . . napped. Didn't even manage an hour before being roused by the noise from the fridge! There are two things in this house that really upset Sally and see her actively attempt to escape them (presumably because of my swearing reaction to them?). One is the noise from that fridge. Whenever that goes off, she will seek me out wherever I am and lay down close by, looking 'disturbed'. The other thing is the satellite/TV system. In really bad weather, the reception of some of the channels in particular, will 'break down' with the picture freezing/breaking up. More importantly to Sally, this is accompanied by a high pitched screaching break up of the audio. Must be something to do with the canine hearing range. When it happens (which it has done a lot of late, what with all the bad weather) she will literally run from the room and find a quieter place to lay down! . . napped on until around 6:15pm . . walked a little late. Dabbled with the idea of walking to the sports field in the opposite direction for a change, so as to be near the church when they did their bell practice. Couldn't make up my mind (wasn't sure I had the energy) and actually took a dozen paces or so in my usual direction before deciding to do so and turning around. Just then a good meteorite did a shooting star thing across a good third of the visible sky. Nice one. . walked to the field by the church and once round. Damn - I'd forgotten what it was like to trudge around a waterlogged muddy field! Got the bottoms of my trousers all covered in mud. :o( . .sat in the churchyard for a while and a cigarette listening to bits of the bell practice. (A large congregation of 'youths' in the area made that particularly uncomfortable for me.) . Ok - that clinches it then. I live quite close enough to the church bells thank you very much. Although it is pleasant to occasionaly hear them from a distance, I definitely wouldn't want to be any closer. It was actually painful! . pretty soon returned home (ignoring 'comments' from the youths as I passed) . . . TVd . . touched base with BB. . .ate ham sandwiches with crisps . . TV/PCd until bed around 1:30am. pcmlx2
18 - Woken by Sally around 8:10am. More filthy weather. . walked in rubber but somehow thankfully largely missed the rain. . briefly dabbled with the living room PC doing a little 'housekeeping' and re-setting the DVD drive to Region 2 . . Mum called to see how my cold was . . PCd and ended up dumping some of my old videos onto YouTube, although I'm not entirely sure why I'm bothering. Maybe I'll just use their webspace to keep them instead of mine? Time consuming uploading them, and then a good handful wouldn't covert to YouTube's format and I had to straight away delete them!? Re-coding the small WMVs to MPG4 with my new bundled camera software seemed to sort them out, but even more time consuming. Actually a bit unpleasant being reminded of the times back when I did them all. I should find the time and energy to do some new ones . . ate ham and mayo sandwiches with crisps . . napped . . PCd some more and PCd this . . . walked . .returned the ansaphone call and touched base with SH re tobacco supplies, and then BB . . cooked and at a couple of sausages, burgers and chips not far off midnight . . TV/PCd until earlier before bed. ds
19 - Woken by Sally around 9am . . walked . . PCd briefly . . Mum called in (despite the risk of getting my cold) for coffee and chats . . ate ham, lettuce and mayo sandwiches with crisps and a little chocolate . . napped until woken by Sally after 7pm. .walked . . absolute rubbish on TV again and ended up PCing and looking at YouTube videos and the like. Ended up watching a bunch of comdey stuff - 'Armstrong and Miller' clips from the BBC series (I love those RAF ones in particular), and then listened to some old classic Bob Newhart stuff ('Tobacco' and 'Bomb Disposal'). Re-awakened the desire to be able to surf and watch such things in comfort on the living room PC!! . . BB called . . ate mum donated ham rolls . . messed around with no.2 PC in the living room having a fresh go at getting the spare TalkTalk modem (Smartax MT882) PS had given me, working. Tried pretty much everything I could think of, but no way could I get the thing to work like my Virgin one. I don't really know what I'm doing with it, but I HAVE reached the conclusion that I 'think' it works in a different way, and actually isn't compatible with the Virgin broadband way of doing things. (The Virgin one shows as a dial-up modem - the TalkTalk one shows as a LAN connection!???) I give up - not gonna waste any more time on it. Disappointing. It would be very cool to be able to set that living room PC up as a completely stand-alone machine with full internet access as well. :o( . . ended up back on the main machine in the early hours surfing around aimlessly and looking up the Speedtouch 330 modem that was provided by Virgin. Had a poke at e-Bay (I can't be dealing with 'auctions' and only ever look at the 'Buy It Now' items) just to see how much they go for (plenty to choose from at a range of prices anywhere up to 20) , and stumbled into an advert for one for 1 plus 3 postage!!! Can that be for real???? For THAT money, even if it's a con, I figured it was worth a shot - so at 2 o'clock in the morning I was online hopefully buying another modem!!! (Actually - given they are supplied free by Virgin with their broadband deals - and given plenty of people switch ISPs - I bet there are plenty laying around all over the country surplus to requirements, and probably being given/thrown away for nothing!) . . eventually to bed around 2:30am. s
20 - Up at 9am . . . walked . .tvd/pcd/guitarred briefly, feeling somehow 'frustrated' and down . . ate a couple of small pasties, crisps and pickled onions. . tvd/pcd the day away and succeeded in staying awake! I need to try to get back to a more normal sleep pattern - again! . . walked . .TVd . touched base with BB . . .ate ham, mayo, onion and lettuce rolls . . 'early' to bed around 11:30pm.
21 - Disturbed nights sleep, woken more than once by Sallys claws clattering on the bedroom floorboards, and I think I got up at least once for some fridge beating! So much for getting a decent long sleep and getting up before sunrise! :o( . .snoozed and eventually up around 8:30am . .walked . . PCd this . .Mum called to touch base . . PCd, dabbled with some of my accounts and eventually signed up for some new house insurance on-line. To cut a long story short, it appears that 'new' customers always seem to qualify for somewhere in the region of a 33% discount with many if not most insurers!? So - I guess every year, it pays to switch company!!!!???


. .ate ham, onion, mayo and lettuce sandwiches with crisps and then some chocolate covered pea nuts . . napped until around 6:30pm! . . walked, just in time to get drenched by a rain shower. Seems to be the time of year for the frogs to be on the move. I've encountered half a dozen or so, the last couple of nights . . PCd . . BB called to touch base . . PCd for hours, looking into how it's possible to actually download and save YouTube videos. Turns out it IS quite possible. Eventually downloaded a freeware program (YouTube Downloader Version 2.1) and hey presto, works a treat. . continued experiments on both PCs and confirmed the ability to actually knock up DVDs of such videos for watching on the TV. Low quality and all that, but still 'fairly' watchable. Why go to all that bother? I have it in mind (if I can be bothered with all the hours of work) to download a whole bunch of the Johnny Mathis clips for Mum to watch on her own DVD player some time. I KNOW she'd like to, and is SUCH a fan of his, she probably wouldn't worry about the low quality too much. . eventually to bed around 4am!!!!
22 - The few hours of sleep I did get were all disturbed and broken, waking up over and over!? . . eventually 'woken' by Sally (although I was already awake enough to hear her coming up the stairs) around 8am . . the weather seemed mild and calm for a change. Walked the long walk through the woods. Spent quite a while sat on a rock on the cliff by the bay, trying (and failing) to catch some video of a seal that was there. It spent most of its time underwater and I wasn't quick enough with the camera when it occasionaly surfaced for breath and to have a careful look around. . .back home late morning, yayyy - the modem I'd bought off ebay had been delivered by the postman. . Looked ok although sadly there was no modem to ADSL wall socket cable included. Thankfully I was able to locate a spare cable in my overflowing chaotic box of parts/cables/drives, etc. Initially to make sure it worked ok, it seemed best to simply swap it for the one I already have set up on my main machine in the PC room. The system 'plug and play' recognised I'd done a switch, but immediately accepted it and connected normally, so it was all working and ok. . dug out the instal discs for my broadband and set up everything on PC number 2 in the living room, as though it was PC number 1. Eventually all worked out 'ok-ish' and I was up and running and on-line on number 2. :o) There ARE a couple of niggles. *Firstly - , the speed the thing runs at in the living room is a lot slower than in the PC room, which I guess is down to the phone cableing I've routed throughout the house to all the new phone sockets I've been putting in, in every room! I've deliberately plugged the PC room machine into near enough the first socket on the run, to maximise the connection - and the system tray icon 'usually' reports somewhere around 6Mbps. Down in the living room, at the end of yards of cheap nasty extension lead cableing and multiple sockets along the way, I'm getting nearer 3Mbps or less! Funnily enough, it didn't seem to make 'that' much difference to the actual surfing experience. We'll see - and I'd always intended (I don't think there is any reason why not) to maybe make the telephone line within the house a 'ring' (no pun intended) at some point anyway, to maybe make up for all that cheap cable and so many sockets. *Secondly - I can't have both machines powered up, even if not connected to the internet, without the modems interfering with each other and reporting a no dial tone type error (although since I'm only usually going to want to use either at any one time, that isn't much of an issue. Easily resolved by pulling one of the modem leads out of the wall socket anyway.) *Thirdly - and this IS a REAL pain in the ass to me - the 'PCGuard' software provided free by Virgin broadband appears to have been updated/altered and is slightly different on PC 2. It appears that having the damn thing do automatic updates is now compulsory, and NOT something that can be turned off and done manually as is my preference with such things! That can cause real problems and have the system grind to a halt in the middle of something 'important' that is using most of the PC resources (streaming video springs to mind!)!! Grrrrrr :o( It never ceases to amaze me how smoothly and quick a PC will run - UNTIL you instal the damn anti virus software, which then sees it lumbering along and taking twice as long to boot and close down, etc, etc. ! . . Image of the living room PC playing a 'Clutch' video on the TVdid a few tests to make sure things were 'useable', including downloading a youtube video, converting it to WMV/MPEG formats, and playing it on the TV etc. My current favourite test piece for such things is a music video by a band called 'Clutch'. (YouTube link) LOVE that song ('Vamanoos, vamanoos'!!!) :o) . I'd stumbled into a half hour set of theirs, on one of the cable TV channels a week or so ago, and was rather 'impressed'. I can't recall being that impressed about a new sound for me, since I bumped into Guns & Roses all those years ago. . . with Mum in mind, I spent the whole rest of the day trawling youtube for Johnny Mathis clips and downloading anything maybe worth her looking at! Agonisingly time consuming and boring. Eventually called it quits with in the region of 90+ clips grabbed!!!! . . ate a can of sausage in beans with four pieces of bread and butter around 5pm, all the while interrupting eating to go and set the next file converting from its 'FLV' format to a more 'useable' WMV. Shame that freeware program can't do batch conversions! . walked late after having converted all the files. SO tired! . TVd. . watched a BBC show on sensory deprivation and then one about the plane crash in the Andes thirty years ago, where the survivors were stuck in the snow without food for over a month. Incredible what those people suffered and that they survived. Hard to begrudge them a good feed!! . .touched base with BB after midnight before exhausted to bed around 1am.
23 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8:20am. Headachey. . annadin tablet, coffee and cigarettes and PCd a bit of this (and actually eager to make sure the duplicate installation and registration of the broadband stuff on the machine downstairs, hadn't screwed up my main machine in some way. Thankfully it all seems 'as was'). . walked and briefly stopped in at Mums to borrow the instruction book for her DVD player. Damn damn damn - it won't play WMV files! I'm gonna have to convert them all to a DVD format! That'll take days!! :o( . experimented a bit to see if there was a short cut out of it, but there wasn't. Eventually set up a DVD to burn (first of three? - each the best part of two hours viewing time!!!!!!) on the living room PC and left it running all day. God those damn DVDs take SO long to re-encode, it's rediculous. . PCd this - and that! . . hadn't eaten much over the last couple of days, so in one go I figured I'd make up for it. Cooked and ate four burgers in bread rolls with chips and then some biscuits . . napped, leaving the living room PC still running downstairs . .back up around 6:30pm. So - that's 'Johnny on YouTube' DVD1 done. . walked and stopped off at Mums on the way out and gave her the DVD to have a look at, with suitable warnings about quality, lip-sinc, lack volume levelling, etc, etc - although I don't think she understood . . .back home to surf a little more on YouTube for my own benefit, downloading a couple of 'teach yourself guitar' type videos. .Mum called to touch base around about the end of watching the DVD, despite the terrible quality of it, to enthuse about how marvellous Johnny is. lol So - I guess all that work wasn't in vain then. :o) . . TVd a little but ended up having a bit of a guitar frenzy for some hours, just twiddling away making noise. . touched base with BB . . guitarred/TVd/PCd the night away. . damn! Checking up on my own YouTube page at some point, there was a 'flag' saying some of my videos had copyright issues!!?? (In reality of course, they are ALL breaking some music copyright or other - and I've been waiting for some 'problems' ever since I first uploaded them to my own webspace last year.) Spent ages trawling through all the confusing help files trying to find out just exactly what they were trying to tell me. So - are they gonna be removed? Is my account gonna be suspended? Am I 'in trouble'? Found their 'help' files ambiguous and SO confusing. Apparantly YouTube has some automatic 'fingerprint' tool that can trawl through all their content and find copyright breaches!! My god that seems clever. Imagine what 'big brother' type security agencies can do if YouTube can do that! "The Video Identification tool is the latest way YouTube offers copyright holders to easily identify and manage their content on YouTube. The tool creates ID files which are then run against user uploads and, if a match occurs, the copyright holders policy preferences are then applied to that video. Rights owners can choose to block, track or monetize their content." Only two of my videos had been flagged (so far!), both in respect of the audio - The 'Auschwitz' one (Janine Jansen - Schindlers List Main Theme) and the 'Love My Dog' one (Cat Steven - I Love My Dog). What was weird and somewhat confusing to me, was that for both of them the following information was listed. " Copyright Holder-UMG. Policy-Allow. Countries-Everywhere. You have the following options 1. Do Nothing. Your video will continue to play uninterrupted everywhere." I guess I'll do nothing then? . .by the time I actually felt tired and ready for sleep, it was really only a couple of hours until I'd have to be getting back up to walk Sally, so I figured what the hell and just stayed up!! I'll regret that later when I've wasted the entire day to sleep. s
24 - Walked after light, just before 8am. . . set the living room PC encoding the second of three DVDs for Mum, and then slept for just a couple of fitful hours . . ate corned beef, lettuce, onion and mayo sandwiches with crisps for lunch. TVd for a couple of hours until the PC had finished burning the DVD and then set it making the final one. Back to bed mid afternoon for a couple more hours sleep until woken by the alarm at 6:30pm. . damn! The PC had frozen somewhere in the middle of the process and I had to turn it off at the switch!! What a waste of time that was. Gonna have to do it all again! :o(. . much colder this evening and as usual, masses of condensation had already formed on the front windows. It's a crazy house - every time it gets really cold, I have to open all the windows to combat the condensation, and sit around freezing!! :o( . . Walked, stopping off at Mums to drop off the next DVD. . PCd a bit of this. . Mum called to touch base and say how there were some lovely, LOVELY videos on the DVD I'd just given her. lololol . . touched base with BB . . guitarred for a bit in front of the living room PC, having a go at learning from one of the videos I'd downloaded. The intro to Johnny Be Good would you believe!! lol. . .ate a tin of spaghetti bolognese with bread and butter around midnight . . to bed after 1am.
25 - Up around 8:30am . . set the DVD burning, again, and then walked . . guitarred and somehow just sat around all morning doing nothing. . .ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches with crisps . . PCd looking at more youtube guitar lessons. That downloader freeware has been modified already and I had to download an update to get it working again! Something to do with a change on YouTube. (Wonder if they changed things because they'd noticed a sudden surge in 'file grabs' - Johnny Mathis in particular? lolol) Whatever - it still works and I couldn't resist downloading a bunch more guitar files to have a go at some time. . .walked and dropped off the last, successfully burned Johnny clips DVD into mum's on the way out. Apparantly, with nothing much on TV, she's begun to look forward to having them to watch!! lolol. . . There was a BIG party getting started in one of the lower gun emplacements in BGdns. Dunno what sort of sound system (and power supply) they had in there (complete with flashing 'disco' lights) but it was almost 'commercial' loud!! Could even hear it from way up the top. LOTS of 'kids' all heading down there from every direction. Even a minibus-taxi full (of mostly apparantly already drunk, 'done-up' girls) , was dropping off at the top entrance, as I hastily left after having gone round once with Sally. . . guitarred/TVd . . ate bowls of cornflakes. . touched base with BB briefly . . early to bed before midnight.
26 - Up just after 7am for a condensation mopping session. Neat red horizon sunrise. .walked. The whole area anywhere near the gun emplacement was of course utterly COVERED with cans, bottles, broken glass, large fireworks and debris of all sorts from the party last night. 'Did my bit' and cleared it all up as best I could. Took ages and at least half a dozen or more carrier bags full to carry up to the bin, which was filled by the time I'd finished. My payment on this occasion - 1.01, a small tin of tobacco, a coin bag containing a handful of electric fuses (mostly 3 and 5 amp), a coin bag containing what 'may' be a dilute mixture of herbal cannabis with tobacco (enough for maybe a couple of smokes?), and a can of Carlsberg. . .PCd this . .downloaded just a couple more Mathis videos from sites other than YouTube . . Mum called in . . PCd a bit with her and tried to show her YouTube and similar, but I don't think she really 'got it' . . ate mum donated ham rolls with crisps . . napped until woken by the alarm at 6:30pm. I don't know what about, but I recall dreaming that I was crying - a lot!?? So vivid, I even checked my face when I woke, but it wasn't wet. . walked . .guitarred briefly . . touched base with BB . . TVd . . ate shortbread biscuits and some chocolate . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. s
27 - Holocaust Memorial Day. Up around 8:20am. Bit of frost on the ground outside - although hard to see through all the condensation on the windows (despite having left one of the bedroom ones open all night!)! . .walked shortly after 9am - MUCH!!!! Beautiful day! I'd call it 'the first day of summer', if it wasn't still only January! Incredible. Figured I HAD to make the most of it, and set off along the coastal path for more exploring, heading south this time. Image of Sally on her way down to Mansands beach Just setting out passing the lifeboat station, both the small in-shore and big seagoing lifeboats, fully crewed, were setting off into the bay . . followed the path up onto Berry Head and continued on out in the direction of St Mary's bay. In that glorious weather, the views all along the way really were quite breathtaking.

. . . . -/unfinished/- Mansands beach . . . .

. . . eventually arrived back home at 2pm, a lot earlier than I'd feared I might, but still really rather tired. Sat in the front garden in the sun with a coffee and cigarette, recovering for a bit . . ate Mum donated ham rolls with the last of the pickled onions. Tried real hard to stay awake but just couldn't manage it, and ended up laying down real late around 5:30pm!! . . napped until woken by the alarm at 8pm. . TVd . . successfully encouraged Sally to pee in the garden (after much recent practice - she's getting really good at doing that almost on command) and explained to her I wasn't gonna walk again today! I think she was relieved - on both counts! . . PCd and transferred all the video I've taken recently, from my camcorder to the PC . . touched base with BB . . PCd until well past 2am, trying to 'use' some of the more 'interesting' video I'd taken today. Uploaded it to YouTube. (
YouTube link) With the audio mixes, and the music having originally been recorded from a record, I can't imagine their automatic fingerprint software flagging THAT one so easily! Hah. . terrible trouble sleeping and pretty much just tossed and turned all night!?
28 - 'Roused' by Sally coming into the bedroom (I wasn't actually asleep) around 7:30am, as she sought to escape the noise from the fridge! :o( . .wow - hard to believe it's the same season as yesterday. All grey, damp and overcast! . . walked and carried on down town for a tour of the charity shops and to buy a couple of loaves of bread, etc. Scored a handful of 'easy chords' guitar books in a charity shop for 3 the lot. . ate ham and mayo sandwiches with crisps and then loads of biscuits for lunch. .vacuumed around the place a bit . . PCd and stuck up another video on YouTube for what it's worth. (YouTube link). That one is of particular interest to me, because I filmed it as a test with the camera rather than the camcorder. Works ok I think. . .napped . . walked . . PCd . . touched base with BB . . PCd until early after having watched a video on youtube explaining how to do rather neat searches with Google . .ate corned beef, tomato, onion and mayo sandwiches with crisps and some chocolate covered peanuts around 1am before to bed by 2am!
29 - Woken by Sally around 7:45am . . .walked . . checked the car still starts. It did, but only just. The battery needs taking out and putting on charge. :o( Haven't used it now for well over a month I think. . . oh dear. I hadn't intended to, but somehow I ended up on the damned PC again - ALL day, mucking around with more video, 'wringing out' the last bits of useable footage. Actually, most of the time was spent attempting to 'sample' the track I was using. I didn't want to use the lyrics, so had to try and cut it up and rearrange the pieces. Harder than it sounds without some software made for the purpose! The end result doesn't really work or flow right, but it'll have to do. I've got a headache, haven't eaten all day (except for a banana and an annadin tablet) and my eyes are watering and bloodshot! These little video snips don't come easy - and I have some ideas for more!! It's an addiction! :o( (YouTube link). . walked with the cameras and tripod, intending to do yet another round of experiments of trying to film the bay view in the dark. Somehow I just HAVE to try and get to the bottom of how I can adequately convey that night time view of all the twinkling lights around the bay. Experimented for quite a while with the 'night owl' setting on the camcorder, but sadly that wouldn't do the view justice or acheive what I wanted either! :o( . on the walk back home I passed a lady jogger running down the road. She stopped just a little way past me and was calling out to me!?? Turned out, since I'm down there a lot, she wanted to ask me if I'd seen anyone acting suspiciously in BGdns. Apparantly some man has been 'acting strangely' down there and leaping out and frightening children and people - or something like that. NOT flashing or anything like that, but just scaring people. Sounds weird. We had a brief discussion about such local events. Apparantly some woman was dragged from her horse on Mansands beach and suffered an attempted rape. Also some guy has been travelling the coastal path, breaking into houses on the way, and actually living in some of the empty 'holiday home' ones for periods of time!! All in all, it seemed like a risky business for that woman to be out alone, jogging the streets in the dark. . . touched base with BB before finally turning my attention to food. Drank half a mug of red wine while cooking four sausages and chips. Ate with four pieces of bread and butter . . TVd until early to bed before midnight. d
30 - Woke earlier, snoozed on, then up around 6:30am . . .walked under the clear blue sky and rising sun. Carried on down to the harbour and just hung around for ages by the fish dock getting a feel for what may or may not be 'videoable' at some point. The layout of the place and available veiwpoints sadly makes that idea a bit of a non starter I think. . carried on walking about a bit and eventually headed home on a large circular route via the church. Oh wow - it was open (first time I've found it open since I've been here). There was a group of people inside having some sort of coffee morning or something. I asked if it was ok to just have a look around and I was warmly invited in to do so - Sally and all. Had to be one of the warmest churches I've vere been in! Had a brief look around at all the history. Some very neat stained glass windows. A white robed female vicar and some of the friendly people assembled there, of course conjoured up images of Dawn French and the 'Vicar of Dibley'. I was offered a coffee and biscuit, but declined, loathed to get trapped into having to start having awkward (for me) conversations. Sally however accepted the 'holy' biscuit. :o) . . eventually back home for a coffee and to have a look at the bits of video and photos I'd taken this morning, none of which were any use. . mowed the lawns! Seems a weird time of year to be cutting the grass, but they were looking a bit unkempt, and I am determined to keep on top of them and not degrade the soil by having to bag up and dump any cuttings. Swept up all the fallen leaves etc and crammed them into my full-to-the-brim compost bin. Despite having spent hours cutting up all the more woody twigs and stems I put in there, into tiny pieces, they are NOT breaking down very well. :o( . .sat in the back garden with a coffee and cigarettes for the first time in ages . . ate corned beef, onion, mayo, lettuce and tomato sandwiches with crisps and biscuits . .napped . . walked . . TVd . .touched base with BB . .guitarred . . ate some mum donated chocolate log . .to bed around midnight. s
31 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:45am. As forecast, the STRONG winds and rain have arrived. Keeping an eye on the forecast and constantly commenting on the weather conditions seems to be something I can't avoid down here. It's SUCH a feature of living here - and 'I' don't even go out to sea!!! . .walked in full weather gear in the rain . . PCd (YouTube link). .Mum called to touch base and see how I'd fared on the walk this morning in the bad weather. lol . .ate late afternoon corned beef, onion, mayo, lettuce and tomato sandwiches with crisps and biscuits again - after 'more or less' having finished the video I was working on. . carried on PCing and succeeded in managing to include a 'zoomed' bit of the footage I'd taken, albeit with an unavoidable irritating black border. Did it by playing the base footage on the living room PC, zooming in with the software, and then using the camcorder to record the a/v lead output, before then transferring the result back onto the PC!!!!! What a hassle - but pretty unavoidable because of the tiny size of the finished files I'm creating. We'd have just been invisible dots in the distance (actually perfectly ok on the big TV screen) if I hadn't managed to do all that. (YouTube link). . . walked . .guitarred/TVd/PCd (ended up downloading a handful of meditation type 'positive therapy' mp3s to listen to some time, although - been there, seen that, done that) . .BB called . . TVd and ate bowls of corn flakes and co-co pops before to bed at midnight.