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31 - Up at 7am woken by neighbor noise. 15C in, 12C out. . The CB buyer has done a kinda 'final' response to me, prior to whatever ebay process will now ensue! Buyer's message: This is my last email to you directly any other correspondence please mail it to the Resolution Centre, Whoever inspected the radio inside and out I would suggest they have not inspected it correctly, Can I suggest to you that as a Radio Ham the first thing you should have carried out when you received the radio is a safety check on the fuses in the radio and in the 13amp plug? because whether you purchased this item on Ebay or anywhere else it is not relevant, safety comes first, Re smoking if you had mentioned that this radio had come from a family that does smoke I do not think that you would have sold the radio to anyone also you did mention having a dog which would have deterred anyone with an allergy problem, I did offer a resolution but you did decline my offer so now like you have said we will now escalate this case one level higher to the final outcome, Do not send me anymore emails the only solution to this case is a total refund. . .There IS no point in responding to him ANY further is there. It IS just degenerating into childishness and a kinda slanging match isn't it? If I start responding to and defending myself against every new 'shifting sands' issue and criticism he subsequently raises, it'll just go on forever, get more and more argumentative, and possibly cloud the central issue - which is that HE took the damn thing apart and 'meddled' with it (TWICE!) BEFORE allegedly finding all the faults and asking for a refund. I'll just keep my childish responses for HERE I guess. I suppose I HAVE to accept that his comments about checking fuses and the like DO have merit. Having said that, I wonder how many people WOULD actually do that? I suspect 'most' people buying something electrical, even if second hand, would simply unwrap it and plug it in and make sure it just works - and if it does, probably forget about such things and just carry on using it (like I did)? People are different - I don't know? Once again he's back banging-on about the smoking thing! That seems to have almost become more of an issue for him NOW, than the alleged damage!? OOf COURSE he's right - if you explicitly start saying in a listing that you are a smoker and a dog owner its gonna put people off. Many people in their adverts explicitely state they are NON smokers and pet free, in an attempt to encourage the idea the items are in some sort of especially 'as-new' condition. As far as I know, it is NOT a 'requirement' to HAVE to in any way mention ANY such thing (unless contacted by a potential bidder and explicitely asked before sale of course). Where DO you draw the line? Perhaps I should have ALSO stated on my listing I had a leaking head - maybe a touch of a cold - gum disease - recently blown my nose - went to the toilet once and didn't wash my hands? UTTERLY absurd! To NOW drag into his argument the fact I mentioned in conversation on the phone I was a dog owner, seems - well, just bizarre to me, almost as though he's a bit nuts! He 'offered a resolution'? Errr - what was that? His demand on the phone on the 29th that I should offer to pay for repairs - was that his 'resolution'? Arrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!! . . . PCd and just checked in on e-bay, and found the automated resolution centre system was suggesting 'I' had to respond to the buyer! That's not good! That's gonna make it look as though it's ME who is actively refusing to respond to a disgruntled buyer!!!!!!!!?? THAT isn't fair! . . . walked FGn (still in a panicy 'daze', involuntarily locked inside my thoughts, and not fully aware of what I was doing! Dangerous state to be in!). Sat around for a while in the strong breeze and almost sunny spells going round and round inside my head before eventually presumably trudging back through the thick mud - I don't remember doing so!. . . still SO involuntarily locked inside my thoughts, I almost forgot to give poor Bella her breakfast! . . . inevitably ended up back on the PC YET again, and knocked up a message directly to ebay customer support - to 'cover' myself, and hopefully circumnavigate their stupid automated resolution centre. "Re: Resolution Centre Case # xxxxxxxxxx TEAM EURO 8000 UK/EU FM CB BASE STATION RADIO I write to you in desperation, because your restrictive automated resolution system, which I have difficulty understanding, is indicating that it is I who should now make a response to the buyer, and I do not wish it to appear that I am being obstructive and refusing to respond. My position in this case is unmoving. I sold a radio in perfect working order to a buyer, who by his own admission partially dismantled it, who now claims it is damaged and has parts missing and demands a full refund from me! Under these circumstances, I do not feel that a refund or any payment for repairs on my part is in ANY way now justifiable. I WOULD have been willing to reluctantly offer a refund if he had requested it, BEFORE he dismantled it. Since it appears there can be no amicable resolution between myself and the buyer, and because he has even threatened me with legal action, I suggested he immediately escalate this case to ebay support for a ruling. He replied, telling me to send him no more responses. I pride myself on my openness, honesty and integrity. In all my successful ebay sales, this is the first time I have encountered a problem of this type! I am finding it a DEEPLY distressing experience, and simply dont know which way to turn or what to do next. I urgently request that ebay make an independent ruling in this case as soon as possible. Sincerely T" . . . PCd a 'bit' of this, chainsmoking and feeling woozy, unwell and frozen, with permanently pouring-with-sweat armpits!! . . . sat in front the TV . . . no appetite at all! Forced down most of a tin of soup with two crusts of bread, a banana and a square of chocolate . . . managed to nap (oh thank goodness!) for a couple of hours until around 5:30pm . . .immediately PCd and ended up reading pages of ebay 'small print' nonsense, trying to get an understanding of what protection a seller ACTUALLY has on e-bay. Pretty much bugger-all so it seems!?!!!!! I AM resigned to losing this case. Have been pretty much since he started it really. I am NOT gonna simply role over though. Ebay can make me. Funny thing is - even if ebay were to miraculously find in my favour, I just KNOW that won't be the end of it. I bet that guy WILL take legal action agaisnt me. And what if he does? How would that all work? How could I possibly afford to defend myself? Look at the state of me NOW. How on earth could I possible live through all that!!! FFS! . . . walked BGdns. I neglected to mention it here the other day - along the route to BGdns, a large tree limb has part fallen from a tree and is straddling a fence and blocking the pavement. When I first saw it the other day, I was elated and could have almost jumped for joy! It was THAT tree limb which I'd got all worried about ages ago, banged on doors and started ringing up reporting was liable to fall, etc. Nothing was done about it, so I imagined everyone thought I was just a nutcase and fool. Well, it took rather longer than I thought it would to split off and be blown down, but it did almost exactly what I'd envisaged in the end. The main limb and much of the branches lay on the grass where the kids play, and another mass of branches is the other side of a low metal fence fully blocking the pavement. It wouldn't have taken much for it to have ended up IN the road on that blind bend. Anyway - naah, naah, I told ya so! lolol I was surprised to see it STILL there this morning. Pedestrians have to walk around it, into the road on that nasty bend - but then of course pedestrians don't matter do they! . . TVd . . Mum called to touch base at length. Impossible to pretend otherwise, so I told her I was 'in a bit of a state' at the moment and why. . . TVd . . . forced down a microwave curry, small pack of mini cheddars, banana and a couple of squares of chocolate . . to bed around 1am.
30 - Up around 7:10am after really almost no sleep at all, and with the 'ebay' issue IMMEDIATELY completely FILLING my mind. Relatively mild and clear and sunny spells developing. . woke at the PC and poked through online e-bay information, trying to see where I stand, and trying to understand what I'm supposed to do next. I STRONGLY suspect from what I read, that e-bay 'policy' is such that it will invariably side with a buyer, and I'll end up having to make a full refund no matter what!! :o( I even rang e-bay shortly after 8am trying to get an idea of how I should respond (and if they DID have an automatic 'side with the buyer' policy). The phone conversation wasn't much help. Pretty much just said I HAD to respond pretty quick, via their automated 'Resolution Centre' thing. . . walked the deep mud of FGn, hardly noticing what I was doing, locked inside my mind, continualy 'rehearsing' potential responses to the e-bay guy - as I had done all last night!! . . .spent the WHOLE morning working on a concise and detailed response to the e-bay case, only to then find I was limited in their automated system, to a certain small number of characters!!?!! Had to cut my detailed response down to the ABSOLUTE BAREST minimum and leave out a whole bunch of important points! :o( "Your message to the buyer:I strongly refute your allegations that the radio was not as listed. On despatch, it was in pristine cosmetic condition BOTH inside and out, had NO parts missing, and was FULLY functioning. On the morning of 22 January the radio was delivered. You messaged the radio had a fault and asked for my phone number. You phoned and said the problem was resolved and you were very happy with it. At THIS point, I WOULD have reluctantly offered a refund if requested. On the afternoon of 25th January you phoned and informed me you had taken the radio apart 'to clean it'. You maintained you were still happy with it and had no intention of parting with it. We ended our conversation on good terms and exchanged MUTUAL positive feedback. On 29 January PM you phoned again, NOW claiming parts were missing from the outside and you had opened the radio up AGAIN, and there were damaged/burned components inside. You asked payment for repairs! I refused - it is clearly no longer in its original condition. T"
Felt like I had to trim
down SO much of my reply, I'm not even sure it makes my point!!
It CERTAINLY doesn't tell the whole story. Impossible for me to
be able to tell isn't it. I'm too wrapped up in it. Nevertheless,
I've watched a lott of 'Judge Judy' (lolol) I like to think I can
'usually' cut away the rubbish and get to the bottom line. No
matter how you look at it, the bottom line here is, that its just
his word against mine isn't it? Neither of us can PROVE anything.
I didn't take photos of the internals of the radio before I
despatched it, etc, etc. Just his word against mine. What
resolution between us IS there for such a dispute?? . . .
couldn't eat and felt like enduring a 'permanent' panic attack!!
Hour after hour nonstop!!! Felt awful and fit to burst! . .
looked out into the back garden while making coffee at one point,
and saw a big white sheet on the floor, draped all over the
rockery steps up the middle of the garden!!!! Ugggghh - not
again! The damn neighbour's washing all blowing off their line
and into my garden - AGAIN! Went out to retrieve it. Paused to
pick up the four small pegs that were littering the lawn, and as
I did so, exciteable Bella went racing up the garden and then
back down directly over the white sheet!!!!! Yikes. Muddy dog paw
prints right across it! After the 'hedge issue' the other day, I
bet they'll think I did that deliberately!! Oh well - too late
now (and I confess, it DID make me smile a bit!). Hung and pegged
the sheet on the dirty fence rails next to their path for them to
find - and re-wash!! . . . tried to nap but couldn't, and just
lay there my mind going over and over things for around two
hours!!! . . PCd and straight onto e-bay to read the buyers
response, and get all upset more, again! Buyer's message:"The radio is in
the condition that you sent it to me with parts missing on the
outside of the radio and a burnt out capacitor on the inside of
the radio plus smoke damage to the casings and the 13amp socket,
you did mention that you are a smoker and I said yes I can smell
it on radio in and outside you also did not mention in your
listing regarding the silver paper wrapped around the external
fuse this would never have blown and may be this being a cause of
the capacitor blowing which is bridged between the wires on the
13amp socket inside the radio, I agree with you cosmetically on
the outside the radio looks in good condition but on the inside
of the radio and behind the RF Gain Control Knob this is not the
case, finally you said to me that you knew nothing about the
inside workings of a radio so how can the radio be pristine
inside if you have not looked inside,I have removed most of the
cigarette smell and also have removed the silver paper from
around the fuse, Refund Required. " . .again - SO much emphasis on the
smoking thing? I'd have thought if it had a blown capacitor and
had burn marks inside and all that nonsense, THAT would be the
entirely overwhelming smell from feet away. Oh - HOW convenient
that he has miraculously managed to remove the cigarette smell!
Tried NOT to start resorting to getting childish, tried to stay
to the point and responded to the CB buyers latest reply
suggesting that no resolution was possible."Your message to the
buyer:Prior to listing, in case of exactly these sorts of
allegations, the radio was given a full VISUAL inspection, both
outside AND in. I have never claimed otherwise. There WAS NO
damage, missing parts or burn marks as you allege. Fully working,
I've never had cause to inspect the fuse, but since I bought the
radio 'used' on e-bay, I cannot comment on that part of your
allegation. Since NO mention of smoking was made in my listing,
if it was to be an issue for you, you had ample opportunity to
contact me to ask, prior to bidding/purchase. You did not. Under
the circumstances, it appears there can be no amicable resolution
between us, therefor I suggest you immediately escalate this case
to ebay support, with whose ruling I WILL of course abide.
. walked FGn with a coffee. . tu. Damn - that's one antibiotic
that didn't make it into my system! And I'd been doing so well
until then. . back via the store, desperately searching for
something I could try to eat. Absolutely no appetite for it, but
ended up buying a pizza. . . TVd the night away STILL in a panicy
state. Couldn't tolerate going anywhere near the PC or radios,
and even had the volume down or off on the TV for much of the
evening! :o( It's weird - almost as though an OFF switch has
suddenly been thrown after these last couple of years. All of a
sudden, I have absolutely NO interest WHATSOEVER in listening to
the scanners or radios AT ALL. . . eventually cooked a pepperoni
pizza with extra cheese and forced most of it down, with Bella
having the rest . . . TVd/sat around until to bed just before
29 - Up around 8:15am after a short amount of pretty poor sleep. 15C in, 12C out and still raining - as ever! . . woke at the PC and had a brief prod at the BBC news website. Details of last nights events and the sad outcome were now listed - so no worries about uploading this now. . .Turns out my badly leaking conservatory, with tupperware containers already all over the place, is leaking in yet another area. Pulled my wellingtons on which I'd left out there, only to find one of them all full of water! So - soaked before I'd even left the house! . . walked BGdns in full weather gear (but NOT wellingtons!) and somehow managed to miss the worst of the rain, and really almost made the whole walk in the dry. Sat for quite a long while just looking out towards Thatchers Rock and where that guy had lost his life last night, and thinking about the sadness of it all. . The ground everywhere is TOTALLY waterlogged and just an appalling and treacherous mudbath! Played ball just a little and then had to 'dip' Bella on the beach to get some of the mud off her before eventually returning. . . PCd a bit of this . . Mum called to touch base and talk about the lost fisherman and how she'd seen his photo on the local BBC news. . .PCd more of this - and dared to include some of my 'notes' from last night. Its a deeply humbling thing to 'witness' SO many people putting SO much effort into helping someone in trouble like that. Many many hundreds of people all told, in dreadful conditions. Deeply humbling. People should know. . . started drinking a glass of red wine while planning what to eat. Around 2:30pm the CB buyer called!?? I imagined he was just wanting a 'chat', but oh no! All of a sudden, a week down the line, the saga continues and the CB I sold him has now turned into something with wobbly control knobs, a missing knob clamp nut and moreover, inside he's now allegedly discovered a blown capacitor and scorch/burn marks over various parts and components and potentially partially burned-through insulation on the power socket wires and associated health and safety issues, so he daren't ever use it. What the F*** is this?? Give me a break! WHAT an awkward position to be in. Difficult conversation but NO way do I recognise in the unit I posted to him, all THIS nonsense. I made it clear that given when it left me, as far as I was concerned it was working perfectly (I ran it for several days to make sure, remember), and no way was the control knob all wobbling about as he now suggests, I was absolutely NOT prepared to have it back and start making refunds, or offers of money for repairs as he eventually suggested. NO WAY! I tried (in spite of the wine) to remain civil, and suggested given the circumstances, he would have to make a case with e-bay or paypal or whatever, and I would respond to THEM accordingly. (I've NO idea what e-bay/paypal are liable to do to me under such circumstances, but I'd rather THEM force me to do 'whatever'!) I suggested that from now on, we should restrict our correspondence to e-mails, so there would be a 'trace' (for e-bay/paypal, etc) of what passes between us. THIS I absolutely do NOT f***ing need! :o( . . ate ham sandwiches crisps and chocolate . . napped with difficulty for just a bit until waking before the 6:30pm alarm . . heavy rain and frighteningly strong gusts of wind battering the house still . . TVd with the scanner on. The lifeboat was tasked to Torquay when a body was found floating in the sea near the Priness Pier! I was SO not in the mood to be exposed to YET another tragedy, but I couldn't help popping up onto the computer and main radios for a 'bit' of a listen, when the weak signals from the shore teams were hard to hear on the living-room scanner. The body was face down in the VERY rough water when first reported. The lifeboat was very quick to respond as they always are, but listening on my radio, it still seemed to take an agonising age to get there. FAR too long to be 'face down' and survive. I read online later that it'd been a VERY difficult recovery so close to shore in such rough conditions. One of the lifeboat team (WHAT bravery!) actually had to jump into the water to grab him!! They eventually managed to get him out and did CPR and transfered him to an ambulance at Haldon Pier, but he was of course pronounced dead on arrival at hospital. Just 'snatched from the shore' by the rough waves I think!!!!! :o( . . . checked in on e-bay and lo and behold, that CB buyer HAS indeed started a case with ebay, and was even threatening me with legal action through the courts!!!!!!
PayPal has placed a hold on this transaction. If you issue a full refund to the buyer by 06 Feb, 2013, you will automatically receive your final value fee back. If you don't work things out, the buyer can escalate this case to Customer Support for a final decision.
Details the buyer provided: Problem: The item is not as described The buyer has tried contacting you The buyer paid on 20 Jan, 2013 The buyer contacted you by phone The item is damaged You have not responded to the buyer. You aren't working with the buyer to solve the problem
Additional information: 'I phoned the seller on the 21st and 29th of this month regarding the faults on this radio also I did mention to the seller that on receiving the radio it did smell heavily of cigarette smoke which was not mentioned in the listing, I outlined the faults to the seller which are as follows 1. the radio does not pickup up any signal on the display meter above approx. 1.5 miles away the seller said that it was ok when he dispatched it, I have two other radios which work ok even from signals miles away I also have a 1st class antenna system this faulty radio does not show a signal on the display above approx. 1.5 miles away and it should, the seller says that it was ok when it left him. 2. the RF gain control is missing a securing nut and washer the seller says that he did not feel any movement in the RF gain control , Seeing that I found the parts missing on the RF gain control, being in amateur radio and CB radio for many years I then began to suspect that someone had looked inside the radio I decided to remove the bottom cover on the radio to see if I could see any other faults I removed the cover and found the inside of the cover blackened with smoke which had come from a capacitor which had blown apart/exploded inside the radio also on the 3 pin 240 volt socket inside the radio it has burn marks from the faulty capacitor which blew apart,seeing that this radio could easily be a fire hazard it should never have been sold as used or to anyone in this condition, if this matter cannot be resolved via Ebay then I shall have no other alternative than to seek compensation in the UK small claims court.
So - where to start with all THAT?!! Right off the bat,
the guy has got his dates wrong. He didn't even receive it until
the morning of the 22nd so certainly didn't phone me on the 21st
as he claims! He 'conveniantly' doesn't mention he ALSO phoned me
on the 25th! Boy oh boy, do I regret having been so friendly and
chatty on the phone with him now. On the 22nd, with my guard
down, it was only AFTER I volunteered in conversation during his
first phone call that I was a smoker, that he responded 'I
thought I could smell it...'. That 'I thought I could smell it'
has NOW turned into 'smells heavily of smoke'! I BET that
wouldn't even be a part of the case if I hadn't casually
mentioned it (I 'think' because I was pausing to light one as we
spoke). As I've already typed here, that first conversation ended
amicably and he made it clear he was happy with it. Conveniently
omitted from his complaint, he then called AGAIN on the 25th, and
during the conversation admitted that he'd had the thing apart
allegedly 'to clean it'! He indicated that he thought the radio's
receive performance was below that of his other radios and of
course mentioned the 'fuse wrapped in silver foil' business.
Sadly, I cannot defend myself against the 'fuse' allegation,
because I'd simply never thought to check it. There was NO
mention of any wobble, missing parts or problem with the RF gain
control knob. During the conversation because of the issues he'd
raised, I became fearful he was NOT happy with it, and directly
asked him what his intentions were. Inspite of the fact that he'd
already admitted to having opened it up - I know me - if he'd
asked for it and pressured me, I probably WOULD even at this
stage have reluctantly backed down and accepted him sending it
back for a refund! As I've already typed here, he still seemed relatively happy with
it and said he had 'no intention of parting with it'. The
conversation ended on SUCH good terms, I genuinely thought that
was to be the end of the matter, and later that day around 22:08,
I completed buyer feedback for him. "Recommended ebayer. Fast payment
& good comms. A pleasure to do business with." Suprisngly soon after, at
23:14 he left the following feedback for me. "Very
Quickly Dispatched, Highly Recommended Seller, Thank You, A+++++".
I was genuinely pleased he was happy and thought no more of it.
It wasn't until his phone call on the 29th that all these
allegations of missing parts and internal explosions etc after
having taken it apart AGAIN, arose. He asked me for payment for
repairs - which I swiftly refused. . . Particularly because I've
been threatened with legal action, I feel I have to be VERY
careful what I say here now - but I WILL say that I have very
specific reasons to know that the radio DID have a FULL set of
pot nuts behind the knobs when it was despatched to him. I am
also VERY aware of the fragility of those nuts, and how likely it
is one may have been broken if someone had attempted to remove
them during a dismantling! For reasons I will not elaborate on
here, I am also VERY aware of the pristine condition of the
inside of the radio. There absolutely was definitely NOT any form
of burning as he has suggested when it was despatched. These
things I KNOW to be so. THIS is a large part of why, contrary to
how I may normally have responded under such allegations, on this
I absolutely WILL NOT accept his allegations and WILL not be
bullied into making an easy refund. I FIRMLY believe it it HIS
actions which have caused whatever damage the radio may now have.
. . . anyway - that plunged me into a worse mental state than I
was already. Turned off all the radios and retreated to sit in
front the TV (much of the time in silence) feeling in a VERY bad
state. Largely consumed by the e-bay nonsense, but also dragged
down and re-examining all manner of negative stuff, both old and
new. .I felt utterly worthless. UTTERLY worthless. I can't even
retain control of my own garden without having someone reach in
and cut part of it down - WAS one of the things that ground at my
self worth. Silly stuff - but over a lifetime it all mounts up
doesn't it? A noteworthy part of this evenings episode of pure
hell was my examination of my 'failures'. There CAN be NO
argument that I HAVE failed at 'life'. In every conceivable way
possible, by any standard measure, I HAVE failed. I AM a failure
at 'life'. And the noteworthy part about all of this was the
realisition of what has been my BIGGEST single failure. My
biggest single failure, is that I have not got what it takes to
be able to end my own life. I just can't do it. I have no idea
what it is that prevents me, but no matter how much I may desire
it, no matter how much I can plan out a suitable method and
gather the tools to do the job, I just can't actually just
f***ing well DO it! WHAT a pathetic loser. Stronger others
acheive it. I fail to. . . poor BB called and allowed me to vent
at length - no doubt at cost to herself! Hmmm - another thing for
me to feel guilty and bad about! . . . continued to sit in front
of the TV but with my mind elsewhere! Bad trip. Bad bad trip
feeling sick and awful, and SO not hungry! I'd already defrosted
them earlier in the day and left them sitting in the pan, so had
no choice but to cook and force down two burgers in bread rolls
around 12:30am . . .continued sitting in front the unwatched TV
until bed after 2am. Trouble sleeping, with my mind goning round
and round burning a hole into itself kinda!
28 - Woken around 7:40am by neighbor noise. 14C in, 6C out. Sunny spells with threatening clouds building. . .walked FGn with Bella on her halti, and with some considerable difficulty, did NOT throw her ball at all, in an attempt to give her bad leg a rest. . back via the harbor and town. Bought an old fashioned, large cushioned-earpad type, set of Phillips headphones in a charity shop for £3. Old fashioned and the individual volume controls on each ear ARE as expected, a bit 'scratchy' when used, but still quite useable for on the very rare occasions in the PC/radio room that I'll want to be using them - either so as not to disturb the neighbors late at night, or when the wind is howling through the window! The lightweight ones I already have, don't seem to quite fit the bill somehow for that, and I'd been half looking out for alternatives for a while. £3 settles the desire well enough. . PCd this . . 'half' picked up some weird communications (to a Welsh coastguard station?) from the rescue helicopter Coastguard 106 shortly before 11am. I may have misheard, but I 'thought' he said something about 'the 747 has landed safely'!!???? Quickly fired-up the online BBC news channel, but no mention of any such breaking-news incidents. Intriguing. . did paperwork bills and accounts all morning, as the latest storm arrived in earnest to batter the house and howl through the window - YET again! God, it's been neverending this winter! . Well - I STILL have a worrying discrepency in the balancing of my accounts, but at least I've whittled it down to a round £100 - in my favour still. I think I can safely just correct for the error and draw a line under that now - or maybe next time. .One other thing I stumbled into noticing while pawing over paperwork, was another thing to feel uneasy about with regard to that NHS dentist letter I JUST got. It's actually dated (underlined in bold) Wednesday, 16 January 2013 (despite being franked to post on 24th!)! So much for having one month to 'enlist', as they put it!! Boy - I've got a REALLY bad feeling about these people - and (as a 'second-class human being NHS patient' without transport) absolutely NO choice but to go with them! :o( . . . ate salami and mayo sandwiches, crisps and a little chcoclate . . napped until the alarm at 6:30pm . . still filthy weather and blowing a gale out there. Started waking up in front of the TV with the scanner on when - oh NO - not again!!!!!!!!!! ANOTHER 'PAN PAN' coastguard shout! An 'Overdue Vessel', last seen over by the Orestone/Thatchers Rock, Torquay way, with one man on board. 'JCK' a 19' red Orkney open-style fishing vessel with an outboard engine. Last seen circa 18:15 200m west of Thatchers Rock. He was following a vessel into Torquay harbor - but then didn't arrive, and it was that vessel which had raised the alarm. Using two large gill nets, he'd allegedly had a good days fishing and a large haul of fish. Possibly a half ton of fish, all boxed up in blue boxes and baskets. His VHF radio wasn't working, he had a named lifebelt and flares on board. Last seen Wearing yellow oilskins, there was a suggestion that he'd been bailing at some point because of the rain and ingress of water from the rough waves. His mobile phone when called was simply going straight to ansaphone. . I couldn't help myself - I ended up sat in front of my radios, monitoring everything for the next many hours nonstop! Torbay Lifeboat was on scene in minutes, as were coastguard shore teams. . Helicopter Rescue 106 was on scene by 19:35.
19:48 Warship St Albans responding to pan pan. Tug Vitus anchored in Torbay also volunteering to heave anchor and start engines and join the search.
19:51 Motor cargo vessel Frida also responding from Teignmouth/St Marychurch side - tasked to stand off 1 mile east because of vessel size.
20:00 St Albans (with infa red camera gear) tasked to search East of the Orestone out about a mile.
20:06 Frida on scene told to track south. Too shallow for vessel (and comms problems) Frida withdrew and resumed passage.
20:17 heavy tide running north east. 5/6 knots of tide. Also heavy windage on vessels.
20:17 Coastguard paging Exmouth lifeboat
20:17 Coastguard paging Teignmouth lifeboat. Shore teams doing coastline search.
20:20 Doris T asks if they can help - thanked but told no and free to carry on to anchor off Teignmouth
20:22 St Albans reports tracking 070 degress at 2 miles west of wreck buoys with search lights and night vision goggles.
20:23 Warship somerset 7 miles ENE of search area reports listening and able to assist if required.
20:25 Tug Vitus has now heaved anchor in Torbay and is proceeding to join the search.
20:31 Teignmouth boathouse "Launching now".
20:30 Coastguard report current windspeed off Berry Head - currently 17 knots - gusting up to 40 within this last hour
20:32 Rescue 106 reports 1 hour endurance remaining.
20:33 Teignmouth lifeboat launched on service.
20:37 Exmouth lifeboat "ABORTED launch. ABORTED launch. NOT PROCEEDING!"
20:38 Rescue 106 advises 50 minutes endurance remaining and on the time for Lee On SOlent aircraft to be tasked, if a seemless takeover of the search is desired.
20:39 Teignmouth inshore lifeboat report happy on their own without Exmouth lifeboat's support.
20:49 Coastguard suggest 106 refuel at Exeter and resume. 106 crew would 'prefer' task another asset, but will of course continue if none available.
20:50 Teignmouth lifeboat on scene of search start point 503263n 032345w heading 136 degrees speed 8.5knots. Reports conditions 'not too bad' at present.
21:00 Exmouth lifeboat about to attempt to recover and re-launch.
21:03 Coastguard tell 106 Exeter airport are staying open for a motors running refuel. 106 reports crew have been on since 9am and are suffering fatigue.
21.05 Coastguard confirm Rescue 193 from Culdrose is to be tasked. 106 say 30 minutes endurance remaining.
21.06 Parailluminants fired
21.09 Lifeboat report NOTHING at all found at the moment - no debris, no gear in water - nothing. Good visibilty three searchlights, thermal camera, etc
21.11 106 say they've seen NOTHING on the water at all to suggest the boat has gone down.
21:12 Missing fishermans father on shore in Torquay (with police) becoming distressed and being encouraged to re-locate (to ?) to avoid the possibility of him setting to sea!
21.17 Teignmouth report 503132N 032255W Green five litre plastic petrol can picked up with other floating debris. Fresh smell of fuel, but empty.
21.18 Warship St Albans reports person with a light spotted on rocks at Black Head. (Probable shore search teams)
21.23 Torbay ILB launched on service to search from Torquay harbor up to Hopes nose
21.25 Teignmouth lifeboat give coordinates of 503135n 032260w
21.27 Teignmouth putting up paraflare.
21.28 106 shoreline search from Hopes nose to Torquay harbor completed. Suggest FLIR search over coordinates where petrol can was found. Coastguard concur.
21.29 Exmouth lifeboat successfully re-launched on service and proceeding to join from Teignmouth pier.
21.30 Rescue 193 in comms with Kinloss Rescue.
21.32 Rescue 106 searching over where the petrol can was found and then returning to base.
21.33 Torbay lifeboat heading on a bearing of North east from Hopes nose.
21.34 Torbay ILB at Torquay harbor, commencing shoreline search towards Hopes Nose.
21.36 Teignmouth lifeboat report nothing more found and they are limited by the rough weather in their search area.
21.39 Rescue 106 report to Portland coastguard they are returning to base.
21.40 Coastguard tells the Torbay lifeboat, police with the father and first informant have confirmed, there was One small green petrol can, four or five red ones on the missing boat.
21.43 Coastguard calling rescue 193 (coastguard carrier left blocking Channel 0!!! until 21.48!)
21.51 Coastguard tell Torbay lifeboat 193 due on scene in around 9 minutes. Search extended up towards Teignmouth (petrol can)
21.52 Rescue 193 ops normal and position reported to Kinloss Rescue. Kinloss confirm monitoring track.
21.57 Coastguard estimate 1.5miles for a person, 3.5miles for a vessel offshore, for search pattern, allowing for wind/tide.
22.01 Exmouth lifeboat on scene off Teignmouth commencing search
22.04 Rescue helicopter 193 on scene, commencing search.
22.05 Kinloss Recsue/193 confirm commencing search. Poor comms chop to 4.718mhz. Staying on this frequency.
22.09 Tug Vitas reports to Torbay lifeboat a small radar echo 1.7 miles ahead of him. Torbay asks him to proceed to the position and investigate.
22.15 Tug Vitas confirms nothing found.
22.16 Torbay lifeboat setting coordinates (WELL north of Hopes Nose) for a Tug Vitas, Warship St Albans and Torbay lifeboat line abreast search run down at around 10knots initial heading 220degrees
22.22 All three line abreast chop to channel 8 to coordinate. St Albans to close to 2 cables from tug Vitas.
22.22 Rescue 193 reports to kinloss Rescue on 4.718mhz, position and ops normal.
22.26 Torbay Charlie Shore teams report Western side of sandy point off hopes nose. Possible debris in water. Clump of weed but possible dead fish in amongst. Torbay ILB called in to look.
22.29 Rescue 193 also asked to illuminate and look at the possible debris.
22.31 Apparant large amount of dead fish in area, marked by shore teams converging searchlights.
22.34 Rescue 193 arrives above.
22.34 ILB reports just cuttlefish shells and a dog ball!
22.36 193 informed to disregard the clump of weed.
22.36 Torbay lifeboat informs the three abreast- sharp lookout now. Calculations suggest most likely position for a 'person' in the water.
22.38 Tug Vitas reducing speed to seven knots.
22.39 Kinloss Rescue calling 193. 193 says 'Ops normal. position as passed. Still searching.'(Not a SINGLE wasted word! But NO AIS data.)
22.49 Torbay lifeboat thank Tug Vitas for their assistance and say they can return to their anchorage in Torbay.
22.53 Rescue 193 reports to the coastguard their FLIR has just gone U/S. 45 Minutes endurance remaining before need to refuel. Coastguard give them new search pattern instructions. 5027.5N 00328.4west proceed NE to 5031.5n 00321.25w approx 6nm northeast of Orestone.
22.56 Teignmouth lifeboat picking up a fish box. Black Brixham market cuttlefish box.
22.59 Torbay lifeboat thank St Albans for assistance. St Albans confirms will remain in the area. Coastguard task St Albans to continue searching further out.
23.04 Warship Somerset confirm they HAVE been searching further out in the direction St Albans had recently been tasked.
Coastguard thank Tug Vitas and stand her down.
Lifeboats continuing to search.
23.06 Kinloss Rescue giving weather conditions data to rescue 193.
23.08 Coastguard teams in the Thatcher Point area report something red yellow and white reflective on the rocks. Possible life jacket. ILB called in to investigate. Teignmouth lifeboat offer to attend if required. Torbay lifeboat advise Teignmouth to stand by and give support to the ILB.
23.11 Torbay lifeboat and Exmouth lifeboat awaiting developments before resuming search runs.
23.14 Teignmouth lifeboat says to the shore team Torbay Bravo, too many rocks to get in the area of interest. Recommends helicopter to attend.
23.16 Rescue 193 called in to Thatcher point area by Coastguard to Grid sx940631 re possible sighting of lifejacket in water.
23.17 Torbay bravo gives directions to rescue 193.
23.18 ILB warned by 'South East Devon Sierra' of the dangers from the downwash from the helicopter.
23.23 ---- Loss of low altitude comms. 'Winchman' mentioned!
23.26 193 reports to the Coastguard, Ten minutes endurance remaining before returning to Culdrose to refuel. Their winchman confirmed the items were a couple of bicycles at the bottom of the point.
23.29 Lifeboats resume searching. Torbay lifeboat on a 010 heading. Teignmouth inside/ exmouth outside.
23.30 193 intending to return to Culdrose to refuel. Suggest recommence searching in the morning because of conditions.
23.32 Coastguard have spoken with ARCC about 193 refuelling to re-commence the search. Coastguard asking if warship St Albans has refuelling facilities for the helicopter.
Can refuel need 30 minutes notice. Somerset may be better placed to refuel.
23.33 Warship Somerset contacted by coastguard. Somerset reports on Sea trials and CANNOT refuel helicopters at this time.
23.35 Coastguard says to rescue 193, ARCC say go to Chivenor to refuel and then continue searching.
23.38 Rescue 193 confirm heading to Chivenor to refuel and return in 1hr30minutes to continue the search. Brixham coastguard confirm it'll be a Northerly search over open water for a possible drifting boat.
23.44 St Albans continuing search east of Teignmouth.
23.49 Exmouth lifeboat - "IMMEDIATE. We've got him here!"
23.53 Torbay lifeboat says come to us. We can deal with 'it'. No signs of life.
Coastguard ask 'can we confirm we have a collection'. Confirmed.
23.55 Exmouth lifeboat confirm position as 5030.679N, 00327.668W. Police helicopter Oscar 99 offer to illuminate from above. NO illumination required - may return to station with thanks.
Coastguard confirm all search teams may stand down.
23.56 Warship Somerset released with thanks.
23.57 St Albans thanked and released.
00.00 Exmouth lifeboat report NO debris in the area here. Released to return to station.
00.01 Teignmouth lifeboat alongside Torbay lifeboat. Coastguard say once finished, free to return to station.
00.03 Teignmouth lifeboat confirm left Torbay lifeboat and returning to station. Congratulates Exmouth lifeboat on having done good good work.
00.05 Torbay lifeboat called by the coastguard but did not respond. (The coastguard did NOT immediately call again as would have been more usual.)
00.06 Torbay ILB report to the coastguard they are leaving Torquay harbor to return to station. They report the father is still waiting down and around the harbor!
00.07 Exmouth lifeboat thanked by Torbay lifeboat. Exmouth say 'best of a bad outcome'.
00.08 ILB asked for the location of the father so the coastguard can tell the police.
00.09 Torbay lifeboat ETA to boathouse approx 45 minutes after refuel.
00.23 Torbay ILB report back in the harbor. All search teams recovered and returning to station.
00.24 Torbay lifeboat inside the harbor and proceeding to the fuel birth. Brixham coastguard confirm 'all arangements' have been made.
I really could have done
with talking about it to someone and 'decompressing' a bit, but
of course that wasn't possible given how it had only JUST
happened and people weren't yet to know. . poked at news websites
and DID find the local paper website had a breaking news article
about the search - but no mention yet of the outcome. Weird thing
was, that paper website was even quoting some twitter tweets from
a police officer in Torquay who had allegedly tweeted how
humbling it was to see the lifeboat crews and search teams going
out in such attrocious conditions, etc! (They ALSO had a
screenshot of the AIS map and search pattern etc, but it
strangely appeared to be very different to the one I'd grabbed
for here part way through the evening, of the Torbay lifeboats
course??) . I DID have a brief listen around the local amateur
frequencies just to see who there was about. That didn't last
long. The 'usual' people were on there, talking the usual
meaningless nonsense. I don't understand how people can talk
about quite literallly 'nothing', at such length, day after day
after day? It just seems, and particularly then, SO utterly
pointless and absurd. Eventually at 12:30am I pulled the plug on
everything and tore myself away, once again of course, deeply
affected by what I'd 'witnessed' through my radios. In a VERY sad
mood for that guys family. SO sad! So very, very sad. . . I feel
exhausted! :o( . . TVd with the scanner on next to me. Around
1:11am the coastguard confirmed 'the casualty' had been taken
away by ambulance.:o( . . . ate a pack of mini cheddars, banana
and two ham rolls . . . to bed around 2:30am. Difficulty
sleeping, involuntarily imagining much. :o(
27 - Up around 8:40am. 14C in, 6C out. A sunny start again. . . walked FGn in the sun. Out of the wind it was actually quite a pleasant morning. Sadly on FGn I was NOT out of the wind - and underfoot was all mud and waterlogged as ever! Tug Hibernia with its tow, could be seen still slowly chugging around out in Lyme Bay! . sat for quite a while, before eventually heading home with a couple of small stones for the garden again. . . PCd a bit of this . . . went down to make a coffee and couldn't believe what I was seeing out of the back window. The woman next door apparantly had her slightly 'learning disabilities' guy out there doing things for her again - and she'd tasked him to cut down half of the hedge which runs behind my pergola!! Apparantly only half of it because she wants to keep the other half. Much of that 'hedge' is just unsightly ivy, but in amongst the ivy is that plant which grows lots during the summer and makes those little red lantern type flowers. During the summer it drapes over the pergola and looks lovely, giving a wonderful cool and shaded place for me to PRIVATELY sit at my garden furniture, without being constantly 'overlooked' and disturbed by all the masses of people coming and going up next door's garden ALL the time. Periodically I take my life in my hands and climb up on top of the pergola with my hedge trimmer and 'try' to keep it 'manageable' and tidy-ish for BOTH of us - and have actively trained it to grow over and around that end of my pergola to retain my 'private', shaded sitting area. I did just that not long ago - all cut back hard, ready for the spring and summer regrow. Just like that - without a by your leave or a single word to me about having a 'problem with it' or wanting to change things, she gets that guy to cut half of it down - apparantly on MY SIDE of the fence! (There's a good couple of feet of messy 'growth' between the back of my pergola and the totally rotten overgrown fence.) I wouldn't have DREAMED of doing something like that without first having broached the subject and getting an ok from her!!?!! Jeeze - when I think of all the care and consideration I gave to her when I did the fence out front - how often I've tried to sensitively trim HER hedge out front and keep it looking tidy - the lengths I went to, to sort out their TV aerial, etc etc etc! That made me so, SO angry. I couldn't help myself going out to have a closer look at what was being done. A dreadful mess, and all my privacy in that no longer shaded summer sitting area done away with at a stroke. I was REALLY upset! I let the guy know I wasn't happy AT ALL, but since it wasn't up to him (he was just doing HER bidding, and she was NOT there right then) and I couldn't reasonably demand that he just stop work (too late now anyway!), I eventually just walked back inside shaking my head in despair! :o( God I was angry. VERY angry - about the simple lack of consideration mostly - never mind the 'loss' of my favourite summer sitting place, and the fact I would now be forced to cut back and remove even more (and have the problem of getting rid of it all) because of the mess it was in! In the middle of typing this, I typed some AWFUL things about her next door (which I thankfully had the opportunity to subsequently delete and retype, given what happened next!!!!!!!!!), before even dashing back out in my anger and taking some photos of the pergola and chopped down hedge. . a short while later there was a knock at my front door. The woman from next door had returned. She alleged that I'd shouted at her workman, and had been out taking photos of HIM, and as a result (because of his 'learning disabilities') he was in a dreadful state, and she'd had to call a taxi to take him home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh for f***s sake! There was a short angryish 'exchange' between us, during which I assured her I had NOT 'shouted' at him or taken HIS photo, but explained that 'I' was VERY upset about what had been done, and I'd taken photos of MY pergola in my anger. I quickly called a halt to the exchange and suggested I'd meet her out back because I needed to go and talk to her workman and make it clear my anger was NOTHING to do with him, I had NOT taken his photo, and - well - basically to 'make things right' with the poor guy - but added as I shut the door, she and I 'needed to talk'!!! . . things out back were worse than I could possibly have imagined!!!!!!!! Turned out her poor workman guy was sat on a seat on her patio (firmly clutching an electric hedge trimmer I think!), shaking uncontrollably in a HELL of a state!!! Oh my god - what have I done to the poor guy!! Thankfully with the encouragement of the woman next door, he DID eventually respond to my conciliatory calling out to him, and after releasing his grip on the hedge trimmer, was brave enough to emerge from her patio area and climb the steps and come over to the fence over which I was leaning, extending an open hand of friendship and apology. He extended his hand to shake mine, and I then HELD onto it for ages, trying to calm him down and explain why I was upset, but NOT with him etc, etc, etc. He was shaking all over, BAD. As things began to 'eventually' calm down just a little, with me saying all manner of hopefully appropriate nonsense, he suggested he'd not taken his mediaction that morning and was having a panic attack type episode. I assured him I knew something about such episodes, and suggested (genuinely!) that he should be able to feel ME shaking too! I apologised lots - and MEANT it. . under the circumstances, with the poor guy still present, I absolutely did NOT want to then and there , but I WAS drawn into discussing the hedge etc with the woman next door. I explained my anger and shock at what had greeted me when I looked out, and how upset I was about losing my privacy etc, etc. Once the red mist had cleared a little, and I returned to reason and more closely studied the fence line, hedge growth, etc, etc, I guess I HAVE to accept that most of that hedge growth DOES appear to be rooted 'kinda' on her side (although actually directly under the middle of the fenceline!!). The hedge WAS obstructing their pathway somewhat, and I CAN understand what she was attempting to acheive for herself. In short - I didn't think she was 'quite' as selfish and self-centred as I had (and typed here - with abuse!!) a little earlier. Overall - things 'calmed down' a little between us - I HOPE! (During the conversation, she suggested she'll be probably selling up and moving in the near future! Yikes!!! With the paper thin walls between us, and me already having trouble with the 'relatively' modest noise and door banging etc coming from them, that's gonna be a REAL worry for me! Better the devil you know?) Nevertheless, with half that hedge all now gone (and even more to HAVE to be removed on my side now, because it's all been cut off and will die), the TOTALLY rotten fence panels have been revealed and will now HAVE to be soon attended to in some way, and replaced - somehow!! The posts too probably, by the look of it! To do ANY of that will require probably cutting down at least the majority of the rest of the hedge, ALL the way down the WHOLE length of my pergola, right up to the end of their extension! MAJOR work - and likely to make that whole part of my garden totally exposed to their view - AND their patio/seating area entirely visible to me!!!! :o( I did NOT need all this to have to start worrying about. . . we eventually called a halt to the over-the-fence discussion, hopefully on reasonable terms still! I retreated back inside. A taxi was waiting out the front, to take the poor upset work guy home!! Jeeze - I felt awful. Talk about panic attacks. It was as though clutching that poor guys hand like that and trying my hardest to calm everything down, had simply enabled me to 'take on' some of his panic and shaking!! (In the back of my mind, admittedly in a firmly 'hocus pocus' way, that WAS precisely what I was TRYING to do of course! It seemed to work - for his sake.) Felt dangerously light-headed, shaking and panicky for a LONG time myself! . . PCd this at length - sliding into a downer mood. . . sat around/TVd . . ate a couple of salami finger rolls, crisps and a couple of Mum donated sponge-cake slicescake slices . . napped until the alarm at 7:30pm . . Bella's on/off front right limp appears to have bcome particularly bad again! Skipped teh walk. . TVd a bit before breifly radiong locally, when I heard someone talking about 'strange' beeping signals they'd been receiving up around 433mhz. Quite recently my scanner has been locking-up on a similar signal when I walk Bella - although as it turned out, on a different frequency to the one they were talking about. Just up the road, along one very small particular part of our walk, I've started picking up a simple re-occuring beep, beep, beep - and then every now and then, it sends some sort of morse-code 'ident'. All on 433.4 Mhz. The frustrating thing about it has been the fact that every time it sends its ident, I seem to be 'just' passing out of range of it, and I've never quite yet managed to be able to de-code the entire morse code ident, to enable me to get to the bottom of what on earth it may be. 'RION' is all I've ever managed to get. .tu . outside, the sky had all turned completely clear, moonlit and 'pleasant', and with the temperature still up around 6C, I decided to get all seriously 'radio-geekish' and try to get to the bottom of that signal once and for all!!! Hooked Bella up on her halti and armed with the VX-7 and VX-2 radios, took a geekish walk around the neighborhood listening to that one 433.4 Mhz frequency!! Stopped in the specific place just up the road where I pick it up, and managed to FINALLY decode the FULL morse-code ident.lolol 'CENTURION'. Carried on walking right around a block or two ('noticing' alarm boxes on houses?) before determining that the signal was in fact, VERY localised in that ONE place just up the road where I'd started, and really not detectable at ALL, anything over a 100 mtr distance from it. Returned that way and confirmed my suspicions. Even managed to determin from the VX-2 'S' meter reading with its tiny standard rubber-duck antenna, it was 'probably' associated with one specific house - although I couldn't see any alarm box on it anywhere. By this time, would you believe it, it had started raining again and we were getting seriously damp - and looking VERY weird, wandering in circles around the rain-soaked darkened streets, waving radios around in the air!!! lol Called it quits and returned home, with the mystery 'partially' solved. I guess it's going to be connected to either some form of security alarm system, or perhaps even one of those panic button type systems that some old/sick people have? That part of the 70cms amateur band IS apparantly a 'shared use' part - shared with 'low power devices' apparantly. It would be nice to know what is ACTUALLY installed up there just for interest - but I think that is about as far as my passing interest in it will go. WHAT a geek! lololol Shocking really, how ALL of us, like it or not, are CONSTANTLY and unceasingly bathed in an absolute MASS of man-made RF radiation, ALL the time! Only a couple of hundred years ago, there was no such thing! Can we really be SO sure, there are no subtle ('behavioral'?) detrimental effects?I'll be making a tin foil hat then!!! lololol. . . TVd - feeling VERY down - and involuntarily re-examining S ideation 'plans'. . Watched a 'Holocaust Memorial Day' program on BBC1 - 'Prisoner Number A26188: Henia Bryer' - in horror - and in awe that she could possibly have survived such things!???!! . . . ate the remaining handful of Mum donated Kipling sponge-cake slices . . TVd until bed around 1am.
26 - Up around 8:30am. 13C in, 4C out. A sunnyish spell to start with! . . put laundry on before walking . . put more laundry on and got the first load out on the line to dry a bit. So convinced am I that my already much improved head problem HAS been resolved by the anitbiotics, I even dared to put my disgusting pillowcase(s) in the wash. As luck would have it, the underlying pillow appears to have 'just' managed to escape the unplesant events, unmarked. :o) . . did dishwashing chores. . Uh oh! Looks as though the old (inherited with the house) washing machine is finally giving up the battle to survive!!! :o( It's started making an AWFUL noise when spinning. The bearings have been making lots of noise for ages, but this is something worse. TERRIBLE noise when trying to do a fast spin, as though it's no longer actually spinning 'in place'. I guess I SHOULD be glad it's held out as long as it has, but still a big nightmare and major expense looming VERY soon. I'm gonna leave worrying about it for just a little while longer, and see if I can squeeze another wash or two out of it before being forced to take action. I've enough 'sets' of clothes to go without it for a while if I have to (and could probably impose upon Mum and use hers at a pinch?). :o( . . . Mum called in with food donations for chats . . Oh wow - the postman delivered a letter which turned out to be from the local dentist surgery who's waiting list I got my name on for NHS patients. Says I've reached the top of their waiting list - already. That was unexpected. Oh dear! £k!!! Hmmm. There's 'something' about the 'tone' of their letter (AND the bold fonts and underlining!) which doesn't sit well with me. E.g. "Please note; You have ONE MONTH from the date of this letter to enlist at the surgery. Failure to do so, means you WILL have to rejoin the Devon Dental waiting list. -//- 3; You will be asked to pay £17.50 in advance for your dental appointment, unless you are exempt from NHS charges. -//- 6; Following your examination appointment, you will be informed of any treatment you require and be asked to pay the balance of further treatment PRIOR to booking your next appointment.
If you do not require any further treatment, you will be asked to book your next routine examination. This appointment will be payable ON THE DAY, before you are seen by the dentist. " . . payment BEFORE treatment???? I've never heard of that before. I'm not sure how I understand that can even be possible? How can they know beforehand just from an examination EXACTLY to the £, what treatment will need to be done - ESPECIALLY if 'I' am liable to have to have loads of work and false ones?? They don't even try to pull that one at the vets! It DOES suggest a - um - lack of 'respect' because one is a lowly NHS patient doesn't it? Hmmmm - that just increases my already panicy feeling and reluctance about it all. :o( . . . TVd monitoring the scanner. The rescue helicopter, out on excercises, was roped in to doing a bit of a missing person search as it flew past Torquay. Good grief - turned out they were STILL searching for that same missing person guy from last night!!! (Later on, it DID sound as though he'd phoned someone, WAS alive and well, and had been advised to report to a police station!) . . cooked and ate mashed potato with chopped onion, peas and a whole tin of Mum donated thick hotdog sausages . .read through a bit of the local paper. Funny to read SEVERAL reports about this and that, which related to stuff I'd heard on the radios. One of the articles seemed to be about the missing person search I'd heard on the evening of the 21st (woman, last seen wearing her pyjamas and how she'd eventually been located safe and well). What I found disturbing about the news report was, that it quite happily reported her name! That seems terribly inappropriate to me. (I know I probably shouldn't type a lot of what I put here about what I pick up, but when I do, I AM careful NOT to type a lot of the details that I DO sometimes hear! Names, phone numbers (more and more is done using mobile phones rather than radios these days of course), identifying details of individuals, etc, etc. I also very 'occasionaly' deliberately wait a while before uploading this, so the likes of twitter/facebook and the press have already broken a story, etc - so what I've typed is just 'old-ish news' kinda.) . . . brought the still damp washing in from the line as the wind started to increase prior to the next forecast gale arriving . . . napped until the alarm at 6:30pm. Big wind and rain . . . TVd . . PCd, aimlessly trawling e-bay adverts and the like . . ate a mum donated sausage roll, crisps, banana and chocolate. . desperately searched through every TV channel AND the IPlayer, but couldn't find a single thing worth watching at all!! Dreadful! To bed around 2am. Trouble sleeping as the dreadful storm continued to batter the house.
25 - Up just after 9am. 12C in, 4C out. Grey and blowing a bit of a gale. . walked real late and did BGdns for a change, because being so late, I figured it'd be 'safe'. Wow - I'd forgotten how relatively sheltered it can be down there. Saw a seal. All the gun emplacements appear to have just been painted, and a proper metal 'gate' has finally been put on the main emplacement up by the road to stop people going in it (I fully understand why, to stop all the yobs and vandalism and all (although THEY will continue to climb around it, like I've seen them do) - but rather a shame EVERYONE else is now denied access to it I think). Saw a bit of glass poking out of the mud alongside the path, and ended up digging out with a stick, what turned out to be a small intact bottle. I'm no expert of course, but something about that bottle made me think it 'may' be more old than recent, and I ended up popping it into a pocket to clean-up and try to make out the writing on when I got home. . TVd recovering from the walk as rain arrived. Up to gale force eight is forecast for later! . . . PCd a bit of this and then paused for a bit when I remembered the bottle I'd found earlier, still covered in mud in a poop bag in my coat pocket. Managed to wash most of the mud off and out of it, and was then able to give it a proper look over. It had an old-fashioned 'stopper' type neck, was rectangular in its body, and had overall dimensions of around 145mm x 45mm x 27mm. Formed out of the glass on both edges was the word 'CALIFIC'. The rear face was smooth, the front bore the words 'SUCCESSORS TO THE CALIFORNIA FIG SYRUP CO.' The base was harder to read, but appeared to bear 'B 256 C U G P'. Tried a quick search and would you believe it, one of the first things I bumped into were 'similar' bottles listed on e-bay (for varying modest prices)! How bizarre! Poked at the net a little just out of interest, but pretty soon determined there were just too many of the type over too long a period , to be sure about exactly which this one may be. None of them are worth anything - but fascinating nonetheless. Because of the 'stopper' type neck, it MUST be AT LEAST the middle of the last century I would imagine. Given I found it in Battery Gardens, it does of course 'potentially' suggest circa WWII, 1940s etc. Oh well - yet another bit of clutter hanging around the house which I can't bring myself to just throw out!! Damn! . . . monitored radios while PCing this as ever. Tug 'Hibernia' with a 50mtr tow to a 90mtr empty barge, apparantly heading for Limassol in Cyprus, was taking shelter from the storm in Torbay. It's intention was apparantly to keep 'on the move' in the bay and NOT anchor!? The port authority apparantly had a problem with that, and said the tug and tow was too long to be inside Torbay 'harbor' limits without anchoring, and they were told to stay outside!! The tug skipper didn't sound too happy about that. I guess the 'port authority' are a bit wary after the recent near sinking incident of the Christos, and sinking of the Emsstrom etc? (or are they protecting revenue? I've no idea if its true, but I HAVE heard people suggest, that to actually drop anchor incurrs costs. ? I'm a land-lubber 'grockle' - whadoIknow!). . . yikes - the guy who bought the CB from me on e-bay phoned again!!?? That immediately put me in a state of panic again. Turned out it was - um - just kinda keeping me in the picture I think? He'd apparantly had it open and cleaned it and run a side by side test of it with his other CBs and reported that it WAS actually 'comparatively' deaf - or 'less' good at receiving at least. He'd ALSO checked the fuse holder (something I'd never done - it worked, why bother) and found the fuse inside was blown and had been - wait for it - wrapped in tin foil!!!!!! Jeezuz! Outrageous! How embarassing is THAT to have unknowingly passed something on in that state! Blah blah blah - anyway, it was a lengthy almost hour long good natured conversation again, and despite all in all, he (surpisingly?) still seemed relatively happy with it and had no intention of parting with it. Phew! I can't recall exactly what he said, but the end of the conversation seemed to indicate that was probably the end of the matter (bar doing the mutual e-bay feedback thing), so hopefully, I can NOW lay it all to rest. . . . ate a defrosted pastry slice with chips and half a tin of baked beans . .napped for almost a couple of hours until the alarm at 6:30pm. Early signs are that my leaky head thing has ALREADY improved. The antibiotics have had an immediate and noticeable effect. The 'leak' would appear to be pretty much 'plugged' already. . . pouring with heavy rain and blowing a gale. . .D called in with his accordian for chats and a bit of noise making just gone 7pm . . somewhere around 9pm onwards, all the coastguard troops and the lifeboat were out down the coast past Torquay, doing a possible suicidal/missing-person shoreline search - in the APPALLING weather - AGAIN! There was ALSO something going on up on Dartmoor, although only on the edge of my recieve range, and as usual, I couldn't make out what, from the snippets of communications I could hear. . . D left around 10pm. PCd for a while and actually did MY side of the feedback thing on ALL my e-bay listings - even those that I'd not recieved feedback for. As far as I'm concerned, the 'dust has settled' on everything, enough time has passed, and I can stop worrying about it all now, and treat it as over and done with. . TVd . . ate a banana and a small bowl of muesli before eventually to bed around 2am.
24 - Up around 8am. 13C in, 2C out. Grey but dry. Took the first 500mg 'flucloxacillin' antibiotic capsule. Jeeze - they're huge! 24mm x 8mm!!! That took some swallowing! . .Yayy - I've received positive feedback from the MD-1 microphone buyer. He's happy. Good. . . walked FGn in the chilly breeze. Didn't hang around for long and then back with a couple of small stones for the garden . . . PCd a bit of this while monitoring radios. Mostly out of my receive range and not picking up much, but sounded as though a body had been found on a beach over Lyme Regis way!! . A fishing vessel (Compass Rose?) is also having some sort of trouble out at sea somewhere (taken on water?), and would appear to be limping back in - although later appeared to have mostly resolved the issue! . .I'm sure it's just placebo effect, but I can't help think I'm feeling just a 'little' better for having had all this orange juice this last day or so. Getting through it pretty damned quick though. IF I keep on taking it (and my track record on such things isn't good), it's gonna be a noticeable increase in my shopping bill. :o( (JUST as I typed this about the orange juice - the radio piped up, with a vessel called 'Orange Protector' calling the coastguard!! lololol See how easy it would be to get all 'hocus pocus' about such silly little coincedences, and assume they have some 'other worldly' significance. lololol Actually - on that very 'hocus pocus' subject - I neglected to mention - on the walk down to the doctors yesterday, wrestling with my morbid thoughts and worry about what 'could' be, I passed someones front garden with a big metal road sign strangely (newly) propped up against their house wall. All it said was 'END'. Imagine what 'consideration' of 'hocus pocus' made of THAT for me! lolololol) . . .rang up and renewed my house and contents insurance for £140.98!! :o( I SHOULD have shopped around and tried to find cheaper (which I'm SURE I would have), but despite the circa £10 rise since last year, I just couldn't face all the hassle of doing so, and eventually just went straight ahead and simply renewed it to get the 'weight' of it off my mind. . . cooked and ate chips, three fried eggs and half a tin of baked beans. . . napped until around 7:30pm! . . . TVd/guitarred . .Bella has had one of those rawhide chewy things laying around completely untouched for months now! Can't understand why she isn't into the idea of chewing it. Most dogs would jump at the chance? She SO isn't 'normal'!! I've tried to encourage her to chew on it many times in the past, and have even smeared burger grease onto it, but all to no avail. This evening I spread some 'I Can't Believe It's Not Butter' onto it, and pushed some of the 'butter' deep into its folds. THAT, FINALLY got her interest - for a while at least. Can't tell you how much pleasure I got from her FINALLY spending an hour or more licking it and even actually eventually eating one end of it. :o) Like a proper happy dog there for a while. I'll have to try that again with the remainder - which has returned to being of absolutely no interest to her. . PCd briefly. Yayy - received feedback from the FT-7900 buyer who seems happy it (understandably so at that price!) so I can stop worrying about that now thank goodness. . . ate grated cheese, mayo and tomato ketchup sandwiches followed by a little chocolate . . TVd/aimlessly PCd until deep into early before finally to bed around 4am or later.
23 - Up around 8:50am. 12C in, 1C out. Mizzley. . . walked FGn in the mud and 'drizzle'. The drizzle WAS kinda turning to sleety ice by the time it hit the ground - most obvious from it laying on and contrasting against Bella's black fur - but it didn't settle or remain for more than an instant. Tried not to throw Bella's ball because of her limpy leg, but SHE wanted to run around like normal, and yet again I couldn't resist her, so I tried to just throw it a little less far at least. . . recovered from the walk in front the fire and TV with a glass of orange - my new daily ritual. . . checked (again!) on the e-bay stuff in the post. The FT-7900 track and trace is NOW saying it's actually out for delivery! That DOES mean it failed it's by 1pm the next day delivery promise - and 'in theory' means I should be able to claim something of that postage back! We shall see. I'm sure they'd weedle out of it using the weather as a legitimate excuse or some such. We shall see - AFTER it has FINALLY been delivered, whenever that may be! . . PCd a bit of this with a hat and fingerless gloves on, and the electric fan heater on next to me for a bit! I've had the heaters on loads of late. My next electric and gas bills are gonna be frightening! :o( . . . bit the bullet and gave the local doctors surgery a call, intending to try to get some antibiotics for my 'leaky head thing'. Ended up accepting that a doctor would phone me some time later (they couldn't say when - any time up to 6pm!! So I'll just sit by the bloody phone ALL day then? Humph.), to 'discuss' if I needed to actually go in to see someone or not. I'm sure I WILL have to at some point, because I don't imagine they'd hand out antibiotics willy nilly. All as unhappily expected! :o( . . . doctor B (an accented female - who I've never seen before of course) called around 12:45pm and after I'd explained the situation, of course suggested it WOULD need looking at (because it 'could' be 'more') - and she managed to book me in for later this afternoon. Oh joy. :o( I can TOTALLY imagine it in my mind - a LONG wait for my inevitably overdue appointment, climbing the walls in the waiting room feeling all panicy, feeling 'unworthy' and guilty at wasting their valuable time, whilst getting infected with a cold or some such from all the ill and infectious people in there! Oh joy. I just can't wait. :o(. .Ok - I admit it - I DID have a brief surf on the net, looking up the symptoms of skin cancer! Silly really - like I've said before, no matter what you look up, you can tick most of the boxes so it seems. Hypochondriacs and the like must have a field day, thanks to the net these days! . . ate ham sandwiches, crisps and a square of chocolate . . wiped off and just slightly cleaned my muddy shoes, so as not to be 'quite' such an embarassment walking into a doctors surgery wearing them. . TVd (VERY uptight!) until time to leave Bella at home and head down for my 3:40pm appointment in the freezing drizzle . . arrived at the surgery at least ten minutes early. Sat around in the greenhouse hot waiting room - all uptight and feeling like I was about to burst! Tried VERY hard NOT to think such thoughts, but found it utterly impossible not to dabble with the idea that it 'could' be something 'serious' - and thence involuntarily thought through ALL which that 'could' mean - and ultimately about the prospect of maybe suddenly having to sort stuff out prior to dieing!!! The main cause of upset in such thinking, was of course Bella. Utterly heartbreaking to think I'd have to try to find a new home for her! I wouldn't be able to explain to her - and given the way she behaves, who'd have her!! Really heartbreaking stuff for ME!! The other main issue which seemed to fill my mind was how much 'junk' and 'stuff' I have littering the house which I'd have to suddenly try to get rid of! Imagine the work of trying to SUDDENLY sell off ALL the radio gear, never mind everything else. Nightmare! Other than considering all that, the overwhelming sense of the 'potentialy' suddenly very real possibility, seemed to manifest as an OVERWHELMING bottomless well of extreme 'sadness'!!!! SUCH sadness. Overwhelming. The waiting room had speakers feeding a local radio station playing some middle of the road type music. I VERY quickly grew to HATE those speakers and SO wanted to escape the music. EVERY single track which came on, seemed to increase the consuming sense of sadness which seemed on the verge of really overwhelming me. Every track which came on, seemed to have emotionally charged lyrics which could very easily have put me to tears!!?? I guess if you've lived long enough, there isn't a single song that can't somehow be applied to parts of your life - potentially with sadness and regret if your life hasn't really worked out at all well? (I almost NEVER listen to music any more.) The whole (bizarre) experience, convinced me that piped music should NEVER be present in such waiting rooms! (They'd have been MUCH better off putting the 24hrs news channel on their TV!) . sitting (trapped) there 'in public' for over half an hour, confronting 'reality', was quite a 'trip'- and NOT a pleasant one! I hadn't at all anticipated having SUCH a hard time! What a pathetic mess my mind and emotions are in! FAR worse than I like to think on a day by day basis. Bit of a shock. :o( . . eventually called in to see the lady doctor somewhere around 4:10pm. I was literally only in there a couple of minutes. She had a look - took a swab - prescribed antibiotics - printed out a prescription - said something or other about ringing up for the swab results some time - and suggested I return to see her in a couple of weeks - and that was that. I briefly paused at the small queue at the reception desk, intending to ask about making a future appoinment, but pretty soon gave up and just got the hell out of there! WHAT a RELIEF - just to be out of there and back 'in relative control' of myself! Walked the few doors down to the nearby pharmacy and quickly handed in and paid the £7.65 for my NHS prescription. A 7 day treatment of 28 x 500mg Flucloxacillin Capsules. Pretty soon heading home in the freezing drizzle . . Boy was I glad to be back home and have that over and done with! You'd have thought I'd been gone for hours, the way Bella greeted me. . read the information on the packet and then left the medication for starting to take tomorrow. The instructions state 'Take your medicine on an empty stomach, at least thirty minutes to one hour before meals/food. It is important that you take your medicine at the right times.' For ME, just THAT is gonna be a bit difficult. I kinda eat mostly 'whenever I do'. Without having a set regime of meal times, it's gonna be difficult to know when the hell to take all these tablets! Ummmmm - one in the morning, one early afternoon - one early evening, one late at night? Probably the best I can hope to acheive. . napped for less than an hour before waking back up, all bunged up . .TVd . .skipped the walk as some real heavy rain arrived . . TVd the whole evening away again . . BB called briefly. . drank a glass of red wine . cooked and ate a pepperoni pizza with extra cheese and onion. . TVd and actually forced myself to sit through the subtitled Chinese film 'IP Man 2' which was on. (Allegedly about the 'master' who taught Bruce Lee all he knew.) That sort of martial arts stuff is absolutely NOT something I'm into - but because I'd somehow sat through the first film last night, and because there was nothing else on worth watching, I figured I'd persevere with it and force myself to sit through the sequal - or part two or whatever it was. Spectacular I suppose, and amazing what those guys can do, but NOT my thing AT ALL! VERY brutal! Amusing how the 1950s Hong Kong British were portrayed. We did NOT come out of that in a very good light at all - and probably, historically, quite rightly so!. . ate biscuits . . early to bed somewhere around midnight.
22 - Up around 8:10am. 13C in, 6C out. Rainy and blowing. . walked FGn in increasing rain. Bellas limp appeared to miraculously disappear, and I ended up unwisely succumbing to her excitement and threw her ball more or less as usual. Back via the store for supplies - AND reluctantly, three cartons of orange juice! Gotta give it a try I guess. I've been feeling pretty low and poorly of late (never mind my ongoing 'head' thing) and HAD started to wonder if my appalling diet (I AM largely living off mostly just bread - and have done for AGES!) was contributing to my decline. On top of that, when Mum last called in, refering to my head thing, she made a well intentioned point of 'having a go at me' about how poorly I eat and how I NEVER eat fruit, and how she'd been reading up on scurvy of all things!!! About scurvy the NHS website says "The symptoms of scurvy usually begin three months after a person stops getting enough vitamin C in their diet. In adults, the initial symptoms of scurvy include: feeling very tired and weak all the time (fatigue) a general sense of feeling out of sorts, such as feeling irritable and miserable all the time pain in your limbs, particularly in your legs ". Also mentions elsewhere of gum disease and tooth loss! Well - yeah - I can tick ALL the boxes - but look ANYTHING up, and some of the symptoms will ALWAYS seem to fit won't they. Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that I haven't really actually had ANY vitamin C intake for - um - well - YEARS! According to what I've read, the body can't make its own, and does rely on fruit to provide it (and I don't think an occasional Mum donated banana qualifies). Blah blah blah. SO - like it or not (and I don't!), I bought three 1ltr cartons of orange juice for £3, to try to get some vitamin C into me - just in case it'll make any difference to anything. . sorted through a kitchen cabinet and found a particular small plain drinking glass which seems to be about the right size for a 'portion'. According to the blurb on the cartons, a glass-full something like that 'should' allegedly provide around 50% of the 'recommended daily intake' - so, if I force myself to glugg a couple of those each day, I should be at least, able to keep Mum quiet!! lol . . drank a glass of orange and recovered from the walk in front the fire and TV . . PCd and tried to check on the Post Office track and trace website whether or not everything had been delivered. Too early yet generally. Couldn't help myself and played around on Google streetview etc, having a look at the houses where the buyers of my most recent e-bay sales live - just for interest to see how the other half live, AND to see if I could see any evidence of antennas up on their properties. How weird to be able to do that! . listened to radios . . showered . . PCd some more. Eventually recieved a message from the buyer of the CB. OH NO!!!!!!! "The radio arrived ok this morning with no damage to it by the courier I have had it in the room for about 2hrs before I switched it on, what I have found Terry is that when I have the radio switched on to channel 19 or any other frequency with a incoming signal unless I have the squelch open I do not get any receive from the other station also I do not get any incoming signal on the display at all, I have a Siro Gainmaster which works very well with my other radios which are a Lincoln and a Ranger 2950DX , Terry are there any other buttons on the front of the radio that will bring the signal in on the display? if not I then think that the radio must have a fault somewhere or an adjustment required, at anytime the incoming signal will not break the squelch so to speak, If you would like me to call you regarding this problem please send me your number." OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o( THIS is why I worry so much and for so long when I post stuff. That radio absolutely WAS working fine when it was posted. So what now? (Despite having explicitely stated 'NO Returns' on the e-bay listing) am I gonna end up (as a matter of 'honour') being 'forced' into having it sent back and making a refund, and ending up all out of pocket for loads of money on the postage etc, etc etc??? I don't believe it! I've been 'screwed' by people over and over again with stuff I've bought - don't tell me I'm now gonna end up being 'screwed' whilst selling stuff! (The well known reason for NEVER accepting returns when selling on e-bay, is because unscrupulous people are more than willing to swap parts and then claim it isn't working and get a refund, etc etc. Lie cheat and steal basically!) Anyway - I was DEVASTATED to get that message. Exactly my worst nightmare come to pass! So - what do I do about it? Agonised over it before eventually replying - 'I am devastated to hear you are not delighted with it! I can ABSOLUTELY assure you there was NO such problem before it was despatched!!The glaringly obvious (and you must forgive me suggesting it) is have you got the RF gain turned up appropriately? Before listing the radio, as a FINAL make absolutely sure everything is ok, I ran it for a GOOD week or so instead of my FT-897 (because I have only the one antenna). I can ASSURE you when it was posted everything was ABSOLUTELY in order.During that week I had the 'usual' local S3 type QSO from Paignton across the bay - a couple of passing truckers in town up to an S8, and on the EU band, plenty of 'passing' up to S5+QSB propogation from foreign stations! I even gave some of them a shout but to no avail. This leaves us both in a very upsetting and difficult position. I'm not sure what else to say. For what it's worth, my phone number is ***********.' . . I felt sick! REALLY - quite sick! :o( . quite soon after, the phone rang, and it was him. He quickly said it NOW appeared to be OK. Oh thank god. Oh thank god!!!!! It 'appeared' from what he said, that maybe one of the buttons on the front of the radio was somehow just slightly temporarily stuck-in in some way, causing the 'fault' - maybe as a result of having been under constant pressure from the packaging whilst wrapped up and in the post. All appeared to now be working fine. Jeeze - I can't tell you what a HUGE relief that was, and I told him so in no uncertain terms! Actually ended up having quite a lengthy, friendly chat about all manner of nonsense! (Radios, the weather, the post office, immigration, getting old, etc, etc!!?? lolol . suffice it to say, I think my 'honour' remains intact - as does my paypal account and my e-bay feedback rating! I sincerely hope I've heard the last of THAT!!! Blimey - that's all taken a toll on me. Exhausting burst of adrenalin and anxiety!! . . ate a couple of corned beef, mayo and grated cheese rolls, crisps and a square of chocolate. . . napped for a couple of dream laden hours until around 5:30pm.In the bizarre dream I woke from, I was on foot in the company of DS and was stopped by a police officer and searched on suspicion of possessing cocaine!! (Which I've actually NEVER done.) During the search, the officer paid particular attention to 'pinching' my nose as part of their search?!! I warned him if he kept on doing it, I'd 'blow'! lolololololololol crazy what my mind does with a bit of cheese. . . it'd stopped raining, but I skipped the evening walk anyway, to give Bellas limp a rest again! . .drank orange juice . . PCd. Tried tracking the FT-7900 again on the Post Office website, but all it KEEPS saying is "Your item is currently progressing through our network for delivery. To check your item's progress please come back later." It was supposed to have been delivered BEFORE 1pm - and 'we' paid dearly FOR that! Humph. :o( The MD-1 mic DID make it to its destination, but wasn't delivered because no-one was at home and they've left a card, so worrying about that one 'drags on' a while longer. The Golden virginia stuff HAS been delivered.. . hadn't intended to but couldn't hold my tongue, and ended up radioing locally for an hour before returning to the TV and fire in the living room . . BB called . . TVd/guitarred . . ate ham sandwiches, crisps, biscuits and some chocolate . . TVd and ended up watching some history-distorting, subtitled Chinese martial arts film 'IP Man' of all things until gone 2am! . . eventually to bed around 2:30am.
21 - Up around 7:45am. 11C in, -1C out. Still no paypal/e-bay payment for the FT-7900. That's extremely irritating (and inevitably forces me into continually checking in on the PC every couple of hours!! Grrrr.). . . walked FGn . . left Bella at home and walked up the post office with a rucsack and carrying a box, and got the golden virginia stuff, microphone and CB posted. . informed the buyers stuff was on its way and then PCd a bit of this . . . TVd and just sat around in front the fire for ages, feeling frozen (always oh SO cold!) and pretty down and good for nothing. Bella NOW appears to have sprained her right 'wrist' and is limping all over the place and whining occasionally when she catches it in the wrong way!! Whatever next with her?!! I just can't keep up! :o( . . ate a couple of corned beef rolls, crisps, tomato soup and a little chocolate . . . checked in on the PC just before intending to nap, only to find the guy had made payment for the FT-7900 just before midday. Damn. Postponed napping and quickly labelled it up, left limpy Bella at home and rushed back up the post office - again. Wonder what the bad weather is going to do to the delivery times on everything? Almost hard to believe there is so much snow everywhere else. There is NONE here at all, and even some sunny spells this afternoon, with the temperature climbing up to around 4C. . . napped until around 6:30pm . . skipped the walk to give Bellas limp a rest - and because it soon started raining . . PCd . . Mum and BB called to touch base . . TVd, feeling pretty low and generally a bit unwell, and just huddled by the fire trying to keep warm. .Both lifeboats and shore teams (and a police dog-handler) were out in the freezing rain doing an extensive shore search right around the bay for a missing woman for several hours around midnight! (and not the first time they've had to search for her apparantly!) Nasty night to be out - for ALL concerned!. . . eventually ate a couple of kipling almond slices and later a tin of sausages in baked beans with some grated cheese and crisps . . to bed around 2am or later.
20 - Back up around 10:10am, woken by Bella scratching and banging the floor downstairs as she did so! 12C in, 1C out. Grey. Let Bella out to use the back garden as usual, and she went crashing past and out in her unstoppable hyperactive manner and crashed straight into the rainwater downpipe on the conservatory and broke the pipe fixing!! Oh FFS!!! . . shut Bella out in the garden and left her there while I slowly woke at the PC, feeling SO tired and really quite awful - and VERY tired of having Bella! :o( . . . eventually walked FGn VERY late in the very cold - with Bella back on her halti to give me a break!! . . TVd in front the fire . .Early afternoon the coastguard helicopter landed at Berry Head. 'Just' visible descending in the distance, while standing out front. Not sure what they were up to. Just training I think? Always find it really frustrating when they land there like that. One of these days I'd LOVE to be up there and be able to grab a snip of video of it, all close up landing and taking off etc. Unfortunately, without transport, and given the short notice I always get from the radio, I'll probably never get the chance, because it never gives me enough time to do the long route march all the way out there. Frustrating - every time. . . cooked and ate a pack of small burgers in two buttered rolls with chips . . napped for just a couple of hours until woken by some noise or other . . .TVd . . sat at the PC and watched my current e-bay auctions all end. The golden virginia lighter and collectables went for £10.50; the MD-1 microphone, leads and sockets went for £74.76; the CB for £64; the FT-7900 and programming lead for £150. I confess, I WAS a little disappointed the FT-7900 didn't go for just a bit more than that. There were NO last minute bids! I figure the outrageous £24.50 postage was the reason of course. The couple of re-lists I'd done did NOT sell again, so time to give up on those. . pretty quickly had payment for everything EXCEPT the FT-7900!! Hmmm. The winning bidder has a pretty low feedback score, so I'm gonna be a bit uptight about that until I get payment. . e-mailed acknowledgements and labelled up what I could and got it all ready for posting. . . walked FGn with a coffee really late, and sat around for quite a while in the -2C temperatures. Cold, but the lack of wind made it 'acceptable'. The flashing marker buoys marking the position of that new wreck out in the deep anchorage, are actually alternating flashing blue and yellow. . PCd. Several back and forths with messages throughout the evening from the CB winner. Wants it posted 1st class rather than parcel post, because he's allegedly had stuff damaged by parcelpost before. He paid the difference (for 1st class recorded in the end) so fair enough - but it all just seemed to add to the amount of work and worry it all is for me, selling stuff like this! As ever, I'll remain seriously uptight about everything for SEVERAL days - until I get it posted - and then until I get some feedback to confirm they've all got everything ok and are 'satisfied' etc. . TVd and spent quite a while searching for fleas on Bella. She's starting to keep on biting herself raw again (whenever 'my back is turned' for any length of time!). Search as I did, at length, I could NOT find any on her again!!??? What a pair we make now - BOTH (me with my 'head thing') all scratching and itching!!! Difficult not to start imagining there IS something weird going on here affecting us both!!! . .ate a couple of kipling almond slices . . TVd . . ate a bowl of muesli before to bed (with TWO duvets on the bed now!) before 2am.
19 - Up around 8:20am. 12C in, 2C out. Grey and mizzley. . .walked FGn in the harsh COLD wind. . . did dish washing chores (with the living room fire on pretty much all morning! The outside temperature remained around only 1 or 2 degrees C all day - and only around 14C in the house with the fire on!) . .ate a banana . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats etc. . ate a tin of oxtail soup with four thick crusts of buttered bread . . TVd . . retreated to the warmth of the duvet and napped the afternoon away until the alarm at 6:30pm . . TVd (Dads Army) . . walked FGn in the 1C temperatures. Unpleasant strong winds on FGn again. (Swung round more northerlyish this evening? At least the PC room window isn't 'catching it' and howling at the moment!) With the windchill it was WELL below zero! (-2 or -3C ?) Unlike in BGdns, with absolutely no shelter from the wind up there, I couldn't stand it for long. . radio'd locally briefly. . PCd. My current e-bay auctions (quite rightly!) have gained 'quite' a bit of interest. Even though the current (starting price) bids haven't moved for days, several of the things have a LOT of watchers. It'll be interesting to see what sort of a flurry of sniper bids 'may' be made in the last few seconds of the auctions when they end tomorrow evening. I'll DEFINITELY be sitting in tomorrow, watching them all end and hoping for the best. If that FT-7900 especially, doesn't go for more than the current bid, I WILL be a little 'miffed' that it went so cheap (especially after e-bay/paypal take their massive chunk in commission and fees! :o( ). Nevertheless, I AM happy with what I now have on my desk, so it IS sadly 'surplus' - so - what will be will be I guess. 'Someone' is going to get a decent deal I think. Shame someone local can't bag it, collect in person and save on the OUTRAGEOUS £24.50 postage, and therby get a VERY good deal. . . TVd. . my 'head' thing is unsuprisingly NOT improving - and may well even be getting worse - so it DOES look as though I'm gonna be having to ring up and have a 'poke' at the doctors next week! :o(!!! . .ate a Mum donated buttered scone . . BB called to touch base. Chatted at length for hours . . eventually to bed around 4am. . 'snoozed' for a bit but turned out to be too cold and hungry for sleep. . eventually back up well after 5pm! Ate a couple of mini pork pies, crisps and cheese and then another buttered scone before eventually back to bed around 6am!!
18 - Up around 8:40am. 11C in, 1C out. Raining and blowing an absolute gale still. I do NOT want to have to go out in THAT!!!! It's cold enough IN the house already, never mind having to go out and get soaked. WELL below zero windchill. :o( . . . eventually mustered up what it took and walked the rain and mud of FGn in full weather gear. Couldn't face sitting on the usual seat in the cold, driven-rain for more than just a few minutes! . back via the store for milk and bread supplies (and some going-cheap/off sausages - containing horse and abbatoir floor-sweepings no doubt, if the recent press reports about burgers are anything to go by! What IS being done with all those burgers they've taken off the shelves I wonder? I trust they are NOT being thrown away! I'D have em!!!!!!) . . . TVd, drying out in front the living room fire. Even with the fire on for hours, I'm struggling to get the house temperature up above 14C!! . . . cut my hair/beard etc and showered - using just a little bit of concentrated Fairy washing-up liquid as 'shampoo'!! Desperate times call for desperate measures! The squeemish should read no further! 'Some time ago' I had a 'spot' develop on the back of my head amongst my hair, just above where the spine joins the skull. Just like Bella with HER skin irritations, I developed an unhealthy - dare I say 'neurotic' habit, of unconciously occasionally scratching and picking at it. One I'd started I couldn't stop! As soon as it started to heal, it'd itch, and without even noticing, I'd scratch it and scratch it and start it off all over again!! JUST like Bella!?!!!! (It HAS even crossed my mind that it 'maybe' all seemed to begin at 'around' the time I'd been to the vet and was battling her fleas and putting her expensive flea-collar on, etc. I do NOT think it was a flea bite (I'm not aware of EVER actually having had one), but I guess I HAVE to entertain the 'possibility'.) Anyway - that area of my scalp (which I am incapable of examining, even in double mirrors - and which has ALWAYS seemed a bit stretched 'thin' and 'fragile') now seems to have 'perhaps' developed an infection of some sort. It is refusing to heal, and appears to be exuding a clear fluidic discharge all the time!!!! Actually - maybe that explains my rapidly declining mental abilities? Perhaps my brain is gradually leaking out? Eeewwww!!!! lol Actually maybe sounds worse than it is. Nevertheless, it is NOT right - and it's been like that for - um - well - around a month now!! That's not good is it! I've already tried a scrubbing brush - I've NOW tried some 'serious' cleaning of the area with the harsh washing up liquid. I'll give it a while longer to see if THAT has any beneficial affect. If not - despite me having (half) joked that 'the next time I go see a doctor they'll have to carry me in' - I may well have to go and see one (YIKES!!!!!) and try to get hold of some anti-biotics or some such. :o( <end eeeewwww> . . .PCd a bit of this . . .drank a glass of red wine while cooking . Ate mashed potato with chopped onion and a whole small pack of sausages followed by biscuits . . napped . . tu . . D called in for coffee and chats until around 10pm. . touched base with BB . . TVd. Somewhere around midnight a fishing vessel was escorted into the area by a lifeboat (from Cornwall I think?). It'd been taking on water and was being kept afloat by pumps! It was 'handed off' to the Torbay lifeboat and ultimately escorted safely into the harbor. I can't imagine the hardships and worry of what it must be like to be a fisherman at the best of times. I certainly cannot imagine what it must be like, limping back home like that whilst taking on water, and liable to sink if the pumps suddenly conked out!! Amazing guys! HARD life! . . . ate biscuits . . to bed around 1am. It just rained, ALL day today.
17 - Up at 8:30am aroundabout when the wheelie bins were noisily emptied. 13C in, 4C out. Mostly grey. . . walked FGn around 9:30am. Flet pretty damned cold out in the wind. Actually DID start 'snowing' just a bit - if you can call just a few flakes here and there for a couplle of hours actually snow. It DOES however suggest that as per the forecast, with a big bank of rain due to collide with the cold air around 1am tomorrow morning, it probably WILL be snowing in earnest later tonight / tomorrow morning. Despite all of that, according to the TV forecasts, as usual, we ARE seeing rather higher temperatures down here than over the rest of the country. Should think ourselves lucky I guess - but I'm still sitting around the house feeling frozen all the time!! I HAVE had the living room gas fire on quite a bit of late - and even the electric fan heater in the PC room occasionally!£! . eventually back with a stone for the garden . . . messed around up in the garage and filled multiple plastic carrier bags with a dustbin-load of garden waste, and then 'hid' them in the bottom of the wheelie bin . . vacuumed . . TVd . . PCd this . . .ate a pair of tuna, onion and mayo finger rolls, crisps and a little chocolate. . . napped . . walked FGn. Very cold and breezy and slightly better visibility out across the bay than it has been of late. I 'think' I've finally worked out where that ship went down, based on some new warning buoys with flashing yellow lights which have appeared in the distance out in the deep anchorage area. .PCd, trawling e-bay adverts and the like, with the damned window constantly howling loudly, as it has been all day, and did so all night!!! :o( . . TVd/guitarred the evening away (much of the time with the curtains open) waiting for the snow to arrive. It never did! The gale arrived in earnest around 1:30am as had been forecast (battering the house!!) , but it was pretty much just heavy rain with a little sleet mixed in, despite the outside temperature dropping to around only 1C. Actually almost a little disappointing after all the news/press hype. Lucky AGAIN in this little corner of the country with its funny 'microclimate'. . ate a couple of ham sandwiches, crisps, and chocolate biscuits . . to bed after 2:30am.
16 - Up around 8:35am. 13C in, 4C out and windy (howling window). Slow getting going - and then slower still when I bumped into breaking BBC news about a helicopter crashing into a construction crane in London. A couple of people dead, and several injured, but all things considered, absolutely amazing they got away with it 'so lightly'! We've all got SO used to stuff flying around all over the place all the time, and don't give a thought to how at a moments notice, any one of us could be killed by something going wrong and something falling out of the sky onto us like that. One of the apparantly 'acceptable' risks/prices we pay for having the world we have? It really does amaze me that there aren't FAR more such incidents. Whether it be aircraft or ships or whatever, given the unbelievable complexity of the machinery etc, it IS surely breathtaking how 'reliable' things have become. Even just with a family car - they seem to potentially be able to go on for tens of thousands of miles and years these days, with the absolute minimum of maintenanace and nothing going wrong. When things DO go spectacularly wrong, it's almost always gonna be human error as the cause, somewhere along the way! . . . walked FGn in the cold strong wind and eventually back with a couple of small stones for the garden. Jeeze - carrying those stones was like carrying a block of ice. Couldn't feel my fingers by the time I got back! . . TVd the news . . Mum called to touch base . . .PCd this. On the radios around midday, a coastguard 'shout' went up from over Dartmouth way, with the police needing assistance with a possible body in the water! The shout was soon cancelled when it apparantly turned out to be an orange dummy/manakin belonging to the naval college! . . .rather than leave it till the last minute, messed around at some considerable length, packaging and boxing up my e-bay listed stuff that I know IS going to sell on the weekend. Still quite a mess of salvaged boxes and padded envelopes, etc from all the stuff I've bought this last year or so up in the attic, but I AM actually starting to run out of things I can use to wrap and send stuff. I 'spose that's a GOOD sign really - that I'm whittling things I don't want, down - a bit at least! . . ate a pair of tuna, onion and mayo finger rolls, crisps and a little chocolate. . . napped . . PCd, trawling through e-bay adverts while listening to the local club net . . swapped downlighter bulbs around and moved the ones in the kitchen into the living room and visa versa. The ones in the kitchen were just a little bit brighter I think - despite supposedly being the same!! God - the nonsense these damned expensive energy saver bulbs are! I swear they are ALL slightly different in terms of their actual colour/warmed-up brightness!!?? Bring back the good old days when a-fraction-of-the-price bulbs just got turned on and instantly worked perfectly for years - and you could actually SEE by them! :o( . . TVd . With the usual (repeated) utter tripe on TV, I ended up listening to the old AR-3000 in the living room for quite a while, tuned somewhere around 3.164Mhz. Dunno what it was (some sort of aircraft/navigation beacon maybe?) but it appeared to be transmitting a constant stream of short groups of morse code at a 'reasonable' speed! Good for receive practice - which I HAVE been wholely neglecting of late! . ate a pile of biscuits before to bed around 1:30am.
15 - Up around 8:35am. 12C in, 2C out. Mostly sunny! . . walked FGn. Chilly, but a beautiful sunny 'start' to the day. Sat for quite a while before eventually struggling back home with a large stone for the garden. . recovered from my exertions in the sunny spell in the back garden with a coffee. Had a peer out in the lane. The stupid bit of timber which the neighbor'd had dug into the lane, has ALREADY been driven over and pulled out of the ground (as was SO predictable). So - that was all a pointless wasted effort by them. Ended up YET again (and boy am I sick and tired of going over and over it in my mind!), trying to figure out what if any, sort of a 'botch' I could do to stop the river of mud flowing through my garage. The neighbour's contention that the rain was carrying all the mud from the lane right down to their back door, appeared increasingly bogus, when you start to have a close look at what's going on up there. All the pretty obvious evidence, pointed to the majority of any rainwater running off their hard standing next to the lane, actually running down an almost imperceptible incline ACROSS their path near their garage, and then discharging into MY garden near my composter. The most compelling evidence for this (apart from their path being as clean as mine) was the fact that on a verticle wall surface behind my compost bin, where the water appears to run in, there was an inch-thick build up of the silt from the lane!! At some point I'm going to HAVE to wander around out there with some blocks and a spirit level, and have a PROPER look at all the levels and such. It is remotely conceivable that, if the levels would accomodate it, using a disc cutter, I could maybe grind out a very slight channel in some of the concrete up there, and deliberately direct more rain to actually go in more or less that same direction (which would be fine by me). Sadly, I don't think that's really gonna help me at all with regard to the river of water going through my garage. The 'channel' I'm on about maybe grinding out, would end up having to be 'at least' four inches deep to have any chance of affecting that! Not possible methinks. :o(. . . pottered around a little before popping up the post office with Bella, carrying the bullet belt the person from Romania had expressed a possible interest in. Just weighed it and got a proper price for the postage, before then returning home and e-mailing the person with details. £7.82 was the cheapest postage!! Not sure they'll want to bother at that price - and I DID also express to them my concerns over sending 'ammunition' through the Romanian customs/postal system. All seems a bit risky (like it may go missing in the post) to me - and I said so in my e-mail. I await their response. . . Bella is giving strong indications, after something of a lull for a couple of weeks following all that expensive vet treatment and flea collar etc just before Christmas, that she is starting to be all itchy and scratchy AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! We seem to be fast heading back to that SAME situation where, whenever I am not in the same room as her for any length of time, she scratches and gnaws herself raw! :o( What the hell AM I supposed to do? I just can't keep pouring all my money away on stuff that isn't working like I have been!!!! . on top of all of that, the fact that her anual booster jab is STILL needing to be done, has started to weigh on my mind. Gave the vet a call around 1pm, intending to book an appointment JUST to get that booster jab done and out of the way. Turned out they had a slot free at 3:20pm this very afternoon! . . showered and got clean (because I haven't for - um - ages!!! It's just been far too cold in the bathroom for me to be able to face doing so! It was VERY overdue - and having to go be around people at the vets later forced my hand - for their sake! lol.). quickly ate ham and cheese sandwiches, crisps and a square of chocolate . . walked with Bella to the vet. A bit of a wait in the greenhouse like waiting room and then in to see the vet. A bit of a discussion about her itching and scratching again etc. The vet recommended giving Bella some washes with a doggy shampoo, to help with what could also be a generaly poor skin condition (common in some German Shepherds allegedly). . I've NEVER shampood a dog yet! Aside from the very big issue of HOW with a dog Bella's size, there is also the fact to consider that I walk her every day - sometimes twice a day still - and EVERY time we go out (especially in the winter) she gets all covered in mud and rain etc etc etc. Under such circumstances, I just can't see how a soapy bath/shower could possibly make any differrence to anything? I'd have to do it twice a day wouldn't I? Ridiculous! Impossible!!??? . I held Bellas head and the vet listened to her heart and breathing and then easily gave her the vaccination booster jab (which I am STILL convinced - and probably always will be - is probably a useless money making scam) and we were soon back out in reception to pay the £ 35.75 bill! . . walked back through town and around the harbour before ending up back on FGn for a brief bit of ball play before eventually home . . napped straight away. . radiod locally, largely just doing another cross band repeat experiment thing with D and club members across the bay. . . guitarred/TVd the evening away . . Needed food, badly - but yet again just couldn't be bothered to have to 'do' any! Ate a tin of spam (a whole tin - just cut up on its own with a knife and fork!), cheddar crackers and one small choped onion, followed by biscuits . . to bed around 2am.
14 - Up around 8:50am feeling headachey and lacking of sleep. 13C in, 4C out. .the salvage tug HAD managed to keep the Christos afloat! . . walked FGn, initially in the dry, but then got caught in some drizzle and got pretty cold and wet by the time we'd returned. The poor weather and visibilty meant I could see nothing of any of the distant vessels involved in the incident. . PCd. Plenty of on-line reports about the incident. Based on what I'd overheard, I got the overwhelming impression from all the reporting of it, that not enough praise was given to the efforts of the Royal Navy personnel involved. Sure it was a big team effort by lots of people, and I may well be wrong, but I strongly believe that if it hadn't been for the Navy guys putting their lives at risk in trying to partially seal off that leak with the timber like they did (I've seen on TV them doing such things during their training. VERY cold, wet and scarey. VERY BRAVE!), I reckon that tug WOULD have sunk!! . . PCd this whilst monitoring radios as rain showers poured. . Salvage divers were being sent down to inspect the hole in the Christos! And then -
11:48 The Emsstrom IS going to sink - Vulcan still attached.
12:50 over half the ship is submerged. MTS Valiant successfully re-attached a tow and started trying to move it away from the deep anchorage.
13:07 "Emsstrom is going under. Only the bow is above water. Get ready to release your tow. NOT possible to tow anywhere". Vulcan II says position of wreck is 50,28.12N, 003,24.88W. 'Some' diesel spillage, NO major pollution.
13.26 Vulcan II says the Emsstrom is now completely sunk.
- and so, that was the end of that pretty much! . . overheard a couple of the local fisherman who aren't too happy about having ANOTHER wreck to avoid with their nets. . . ate a six pieces of bread and butter pile of corned beef sandwiches with crisps and a little chocolate . .headachey. Napped poorly until around 5:30pm . . TVd and made a point of watching the local BBC news. Oh wow - they even had footage of the Emsstrom slowly, ever so slowly sinking! (VERY little passing mention of the Navy in their report.). Amazing how many 'sight seers' had apparantly turned out along the coast to have a look at the Christos and the Emsstrom sink! I wonder just exactly how many people were actually listening into it all like I was last night? From various passing conversations I've had these last few years, I reckon a LOT more than one may initially imagine! . . walked FGn under a clear starry sky. A strong uncomfortably cold wind. The Christos and its attendant couple of salvage tugs is slowly making its way around the Lyme Bay coastline, heading for Portland, after the divers had apparantly welded a temporary repair. They are doing thirty minute check ins with Brixham coastguard (and later, Portland) to confirm all is still well. Due to arrive in Portland around 7am tomorrow they said at one point. . TVd . .PCd this . . radiod locally briefly, just to have a break from this! . . PCd more of this at length . . a couple of bids on my e-bay listings already. So - the CB and the FT-7900 ARE gonna sell at least. . ate a trio of mini apple pies and a banana . .TVd until to bed around 2am.
13 - Up around 8:40am. 13C in, 3C out. Threatening clouds with breaks between them. . walked FGn as the weather improved to dry. . did laundry. Whilst putting the laundry out on the line, I became aware of someone digging in the lane out near my garage door. Turned out the woman next door had some young guy digging part of the lane up and putting some rediculous slivers of old timber into the ground near the edge of their concrete hardstanding, and right next to where all the rain runs off the lane and collects and runs straight into my garage. She was apparantly trying to stop all the muddy rainwater from running off the lane and down into her garden because she was 'allegedly' having a build up of mud on her patio and being taken into her house. I DID actually eventually stick my nose in and engage her in a 'difficult' conversation, where I awkwardly openly expressed my 'disapproval' about what she was having the guy do. Because of the slope of the land and the way garages and buildings have been poorly put up with no thought to proper rain management all along that lane, we are ALL in the same boat - some worse, some better depending on where on the inclines people are situated. Since the entire length of her garden path was as clean as mine, I couldn't readily accpet that her problems were purely as a result of what she was saying. Seemed FAR more likely to me that all the peoople who live there were happily tramping the standing mud from up near her garage all, the way back down into her house. MOST of the mud and rain running off the lane at our end is running onto MY property, pooling, blocking the useless 'soakaway' near my garage door, and then running straight through my garage like a muddy river! The small amount which could 'maybe' conceivably going down her garden path, would be absolutely miniscule in comparison. The utter nonsense of having that guy dig in little silly strips of timber (over which their heavy land-rovers and cars would be regularly driving!) to act as a barrier to the flow from the lane was lost on her. Even if it DID somehow miraculously work, all it'll do is direct all the water into my garage even worse. Her remedy for this when I pointed it out, was to dig a trench along the lane - and leave it like that!!! Utter madness. The woman seemed incapable of understanding. Especially after having put SO much work into trying to fill all the potholes in front of my garage, I made it VERY clear I did NOT want a trench dug outside it! Imagine! It'd fill with water, every car coming down the lane would splash everying into and over MY property, and the hydraulic action of such a situation would inevitably lead to the whole lane becoming an impassable potholed nightmare. What particularly irritated me was the fact that she had absolutely NO problem just passing her perceived problem along to a neighbour (if not me - another further along), without ANY consideration for THEM whatsoever! (I HAD in desperation, recently broached the subject with my neighbour on the OTHER side, of 'maybe' directing 'some' of the pooling water away from my garage in such a way it would have potentially affected him. He understandably wasn't happy that all 'my' water would be directed ultimately largely into HIS garden - so of course I could NOT reasonably go ahead with any such plan.) The ONLY remedy for all this nonsense (referring specifically to MY situation - but largely the same for everyone all along that lane), would be to clear away my garage and everything up next to the lane, excavate and dig in a PROPER rain water run off leading to a lower area of garden that would be able to tolerate the water and silt it would bring, and then to build up and re-lay the entire concrete base of the garage and carport area several inches HIGHER than the lane, with appropriate slopes for getting the car in, etc. Given ALL the circumstances, it IS the ONLY proper answer. (Imagine how many £Ks THAT would cost - never mind then having to re-build a garage! It's what the 'lucky' guy next door who had the fire and subsequent insurance re-build 'more or less' had done - although 'I' think they didn't do it quite as properly as it 'sould' have been done.) Blah blah blah. Anyway - it's all a major problem for ME - and of course I haven't the money to be able to do a damn thing about it. Living next door to someone who doesn't 'get it', and who seems quite willing to selfishly worsen everything for everyone else as long as SHE sees an 'improvement' to HER lot, is NOT good!!!!! :o( (Remember - one of the major problems I have with my overflowing and constantly blocking guttering - AND therefor a MAJOR issue for any plans I may dream up for a conservatory rebuild below, is down to the fact that all the water from HER main house roof is directed into MY guttering thanks to her extension not having been built correctly!) Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! People! After having tried to talk some sense to her, and expressed my 'dissatisfaction' with what she was having her guy do, I eventually simply left them to it. What choice did I have? :o( . . felt pretty down, but eventually managed to motivate myself to start having a prod at 'stuff'. It's a free listing weekend on e-bay again. . . spent the whole rest of the day sorting out some loose ends, making sure everything was working ok, staging photos, doing research, weighing and working out postage etc, and working up to listing some of my '£important' (MD-1 base mic, homebase CB, FT-7900) stuff on ebay. .got so involved with it all, I actually forgot about and missed out on the end of a couple of e-bay auctions I'd been keeping a watch on. Bloody typical - the morse key I'd intended to bid for, went for just pennies! Damn damn damn. Typical! :o( . . .after MANY hours of labour, I FINALLY got my stuff listed by early evening - and even re-listed just a few of the things which hadn't sold last time. (My Current Listings). . walked FGn with coffee and sat around for quite a while. Cold at only around two degrees above zero, and rather mistyish, but not an unpleasant calm evening. Spent most of that time listening to a couple of amateurs chatting, and with hindsight, may have missed out on picking up rather more important things going on. I DID fancy I saw a red illuminant go up, WAY out across Lyme Bay at one point, but didn't hear anything on the radio at the time, and dismissed it as possibly something deceptive actually on the land on the opposite side of the bay. . eventually returned home somewhere around 9pm. . . fed Bella and settled in front the fire in the living room with a glass of red wine to watch TV briefly before having some food, with the scanner on next to me as usual. Somewhere around 9:30pm, the TV was abruptly turned off as I became aware of a MAJOR incident going on just out in the bay somewhere off Hopes Nose. It soon became apparant it really was something VERY serious - and I raced up to get in front of the PC and all the radios. ALL the radios - ALL at once - monitoring multiple simultaneous conversations all on different frequencies (Ch0, Ch67, Ch16, Ch9, Kinloss rescue, etc) - and simultaneously watching developments on the AIS website! The gist of things soon became clear. An 88 metre former German naval training ship 'Moto Vessel Emsstrom' was being towed by Greek registered 44 metre tug 'Christos XXII' on route from Germany to be scrapped in Turkey. Somewhere around 7pm the tug had allegedly slowed to adjust the tow line and the towed vessel had collided with it. The Christos with an eight man crew on board suffered a 3" by 18" gash on the port side and started to take on water. The unmanned Emsstrom also appeared to be taking on water and was listing. By the time I began monitoring, the towed Emsstrom had been set adrift and the Torbay lifeboat was already alongside the anchored stricken Christos, with some of its crew on board attempting to assist pumping out the 10x20ft sized engine room, but with every indication that the Christos WAS going to sink because the pumps weren't capable of pumping sufficient tonnage of water per minute! (Couldn't resist and briefly went on a couple of local repeaters and gave a 'heads-up' to a couple of potentially interested amateurs of what was to be heard if they were so inclined (they WERE of course). Also briefly touched base with Mum and let her know what was happening whilst she was all warm and safely tucked up in bed getting ready for sleep.) . within 30 minutes of me starting to monitor, Exmouth lifeboat was also scrambled to the scene, 'Warship' Severn and HMS Lancaster were in attendance, and rescue helicopter 169 out of Culdrose was also en-route with more pumps on board. . . I was absolutely GLUED to all my radios. It's hard for me to explain, but THIS is why I've spent so much of my money on all this radio nonsense - and put it all together in the way I have. There IS a limit for me, of how interesting radio-amateurs are, talking all the same old mind-numbing nonsense day after day - at length! lol THIS was NOT that. ThIs WAS important - real life - life at stake - happening RIGHT now - right in front of me. What 'radio' is ACTUALLY all about. TOTALLY, TOTALLY, UTTERLY absorbing to me. My setup enabled me to monitor all the multiple frequencies all at once, and miss VERY little of all that was going on - only occasionally actually setting the scanner going to locate occasional conversations between various vessels on slightly more obscure channels. I even had the FT-897 running and was able to hear Kinloss rescue in communication with the rescue helicopter. Of course oftentimes, people were all speaking at the same time and it was a real juggling act trying to hear everything and decide what was the most important frequency to be listening to at any particular time. TOTALLY absorbing 'witnessing' events unfold. I was in serious need of food, but NO WAY could I miss anything - not now! I'm not sure why - perhaps because I had eventually PCing this in mind - but I started trying to make a few notes as things developed!!!!
22:14 A second pump transferred on board the Christos
22:19 Rescue helicopter 169 on scene. Pumps transferred to the Christos
22:24 MTS Vulcan attending to capture the released Emsstrom
22:40 2 Torbay Lifeboat crew, 3 Christos crew , 7 Royal Navy HMS Lancaster and Severn crewmen and 1 helicopter winchman currently on board the Christos
22:42 Three pumps still sat on the deck waiting 'to go down'! 1 pump running but no suction on the pump!
22:44 MTS Vulcan reports a 25 degree port side list on the Emsstrom. Too dangerous to go on board. Looks like its taking on water.
22:49 The 'load line' of the Christos 'just' going underwater. 200 tons of medium oil on board. Helicopter Rescue 169 requests a shore based landing site.
22:52 Coastguard shore teams scrambled to prepare a helicopter landing site at Walls Hill.
22:53 Salvage tug 'Brent' on its way from Portland to assist.
23:00 Royal Navy damage control expert suggest they can block the hole with timber.
23.02 Torbay Lifeboat crewman on the Christos confirms "happy to stay on board until the deck is awash"!!!!
23.04 Monitoring the load line on port side - still going down.
23.05 Royal Navy ship to ship sit-rep - 3 pumps on board. 15 ton discharge rate per hour. Teams in flooded engine room.
23.07 Royal Navy damage control on board - commiting men to the engine space to attempt to block the leak!! Load line forhead numbers just under water.
23.09 Helicopter rescue 169 on the ground - one engine kept running - winchman remains on board the Christos
23.11 Torbay Lifeboat says 'Christos decks taking on water'. If sinking, Brixham Coastguard say the vessel should stay put! Don't want to move her.
23.14 Kinloss Rescue attempting ops normal with 169. Simultaneously 169 has lost comms with its winchman on the Christos.
23.15 Christos Captain anticipating sinking asking about pollution control equipment. Harbour authority discussing with receiver of wrecks etc at Brixham - happy for it to sink where it is.
23.17 Torbay lifeboat says - Christos rolling badly and getting lower. 'Time to decide'.
Torbay Lifeboat crewman on board Christos says he'll speak to the navy personnel and get some of the non essential souls off.
23.18 Torbay lifeboat and Brixham coastguard express concern about the safety of the Royal Navy personnel trying to stem the leak in the engine room.
23.20 Warship sitrep - 'water still rising and looks 'Untennable'. MTS Vulcan says the Emsstrom appears stable at a 20 degree list. May attempt to board. Drifting slowly.
23.23 Kinloss attempt to contact Rescue 169. Kinloss report barely readable comms.
23.25 Royal Navy personnel have shored up the hole with wooden timbers resulting in a 60% decrease in ingress of water. Only one pump currently running.
23.28 Exmouth lifeboat tasked to stand by the Emsstrom and MTS Vulcan. Vulcan intending to pick up emergency tow with hook.
23.32 Rescue 169 says only 30 minutes fuel left. Will have to refuel at Chivenor. Told to wait as long as possible. . . . then told to shut-down completely to conserve fuel.
23.39 HMS Lancaster suggests pre-load stuff into the sea boat in case of evacuation.
23.42 Vulcan says the emergency tow is fouled.
23.43 Torbay lifeboat says EVACUATING ALL personnel. Winchman to be taken on board the lifeboat. Rescue 169 getting airborne.
23.46 Exmouth lifeboat says 25/30degrees to port, list to the Emsstrom - appears to be going down also.
Brixham coastguard says concensus is the Christos is to sink where it is. The Emsstrom is 'inert' - continuing to discuss its fate.
23.49 Tug Brent still en route seeks update. Brixham coastguard says - Ingress reduced by 60 percent. Two pumps working on board. All personnel brought to deck. Appears to still be sinking. Re the Emsstrom - list to port of 25 degrees - attempting to secure emergency tow to Vulcan - slowly drifting with easterly wind towards the shore. Tug Brent ETA = 1 hr 15 mins.
23.54 Royal Navy sitrep - 'holding steady' Staying ON the Christos.
23.55 Vulcan has the preliminary Emsstrom tow on board. Told to head northeast IF they get a proper tow - to clear the land and deep water anchorage.
23.56 Torbay lifeboat/Brixham coastguard sitrep. One pump running - holding its own - Royal Navy personnel still on board - awaiting helicopter to pick up the winchman. Pump fumes setting off breathing apparatus gas monitors is a problem.
23.58 Rescue 169 arriving on scene to pick up winchman.
00.00 A tow line on the Emsstrom is established. Gonna try to just hold position.
00.08 Rescue 169 low on fuel - winchman on board - returning to station.
00.12 Minimal personnel on board the Christos. Still losing but not as bad.
00.22 Tug brent approaching the position reports it has two pumps with a pick up pipe of 20 metres length - but requires to feed electric to them so must be alongside the Christos to do so.
00.30 Tug Brent eta 40 minutes.
None of these notes do justice to what I was hearing. Really was absolutely amazing how much of a fight they all put up to try to save that ship, and avoid the environmental disaster its sinking would have been for the bay. People risked their lives for that! Humbling. . By around 1am, it 'appeared' they WERE managing to 'just' about keep her afloat and things seemed to settle down, just a bit. I had NO choice - I needed to eat! I reluctantly tore myself away from the radios and ended up eating a couple of cheddar crackers while cooking four small burgers. Ate two cheeseburgers and a banana (monitoring things on the living-room scanner) well after 1am!!!! Oh wow - the ongoing incident had already made the BBC news! Funny to be able to spot 'errors' in the reporting of it, based on what I'd overheard.. The tug Brent eventually arrived on scene and appeared to largely take control of the salvage attempt. It appeared the Christos WAS going to be staying afloat - just, after all! . .I would very much like to have carried on listening, but I was SO tired, I just couldn't. To bed around 2:30am. Difficulty sleeping.
12 - Up around 8:35am. 14C in, 7C out. Wind and rain . . slow facing up to having to go out in the rain and mud again. . walked late in wellingtons and full weather gear. Back with some small stones for the garden. Hosed some of the mud off Bella in the back garden . . .PCd a bit of this . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations etc . . . had a bit of a mess around with the butchered power lead for the FT-8800 and after a lot of fiddley hassle, managed to actually extract the cables from the plastic socket and then tease the clamped-on cable end-connectors apart 'just' enough to cut them off and 'maybe' be able to solder some wires onto them. Figured I had little to lose and I may as well 'go for it', so I cut the 'T' piece socket off the cable I'd got from Hong Kong, and at length, managed to solder and clamp those cable ends onto the parts from the proper socket. A lot of hassle, and I wouldn't be too keen on putting too much 'stress' on it (like if it was being put in a car for mobile use etc), but since it's only ever gonna be used on my desk and won't ever get touched much, I think it is more than safe and 'acceptable'. Eventually managed to get the soldered-on end connectors of the wires pushed back into the plastic socket and all locked in place - and hey presto - an acceptably useable long lead, complete with two inline fuses in their holders etc. . I'm SO embarassed by it - and I hardly dare admit it - but at this point when temporarily hooking the cable up to the radio and the power supply to test it, I incredibly and inexplicably connected the wires up round the wrong way - and applied power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For gods sake! What the hell IS the matter with me???? I REALLY am starting to think I'm going senile already! :o( I 'could' have blown the radio, just like that! As luck would have it, all I ended up doing was blowing one of the inline fuses. Oh mMMmmyyyyyy god, what a relief! As luck would have it, after a search through all my fuses in the garage, I found a suitable replacement which would do the job. After soldering a couple of ring terminals to the new wire ends, I was able to connect up the 'new' cable to the Ft-8800 and power supply properly, and have everything on the desk back to normal. Job 'acceptably' done. Yayyyy. Shame it was all such a hassle, but worth it in the end. I can NOW include the proper pristine power lead with the 'as new' FT-7900 when I come to sell it. Phew! . . with my soldering iron and 'soldering station' on the kitchen worktop already all set up, before putting it all away, I actually wasted quite a bit of time de-soldering some of the components from the old TV circuit boards I've kept laying around. I'm sure I'll never use any of them (when experimenting in the future with morse code oscillators etc), but it seems like a good idea in theory. . heavy rain showers and, howling through the windows wind, continued all day. .called it quits and cleared up early evening and collapsed in front the TV to ease my aching back . . .skipped the walk . . TVd . . BB called to touch base . . ate a whole pack of turkey slices in two buttered bread rolls, crisps, a banana, a trio of mini apple pies and some chocolate . . guitarred and TVd the evening away . . to bed around 1am.
11 - Up at 9am. 14C in, 4C out. Cloudy. .walked FGn and sat around for longer than usual, listening to the VX-7 for a bit, feeling tired and lacking the will to do anything (other than return to bed)!! It DOES appear that before it inevitably breaks, that new flexible whip antenna DOES very adequately do the business on all the frequencies I usually monitor - certainly better than the stock 'rubber duck'. . back via the store for some bread, milk and cigarette papers. And so went the whole morning!! Almost midday by the time I was back home . recovered from the walk with coffee in front of the TV but pretty soon ended up back in front the PC watching the AIS map and monitoring radios as the lifeboat was called out on a shout, to go and assist fishing vessel 'Ruby Tuesday' who'd had an engine failure some distance away with two people on board (in excess of twenty miles in a south easterlyish direction - a good twenty miles+ east of start point - well out of my reception range for the fishing vessel's transmissions, but still able to pick up the higher powered lifeboat transmissions ok) . . . PCd a bit of this whilst monitoring and watching the lifeboat's progress on the online AIS map. I assume it towed the vessel back in after I'd given up listening . . increasingly grey and more rain soon arrived . . .ate ham sandwiches, crisps and biscuits . . napped until the alarm at 6:30pm . . raining. Skipped the walk - although it was too late to do one by then anyway. . D called in with his accordian around 7pm for coffee and chats etc until around 10pm . Received an unexpected mail from the person in Romania who'd bought my chain belt, now expressing an interest in the bullet belt I'd told them I was trying to sell. I'm in no hurry to reply and have to start working out postage to Romania etc - but I guess I WILL, eventually. . .guitarred and ended up watching a whole bunch of Corey Harris videos on youtube, on the internet connected TV. Oh my word, is that guy superb. Just had to put my guitar down (never to be touched again?!!) and sit back in awe at his 'Special Rider Blues'. Just amazing. . ate bowls of corn flakes, a couple of bananas and then four slices of ham - on their own! . . to bed around 2am. s
10 - Up around 7:45am. 15C in, 7C out. Grey and drizzley. .walked FGn in something of a thick fog for a while - but with a bit of sun gradually burning through whilst I sat playing ball. By the time we returned, FGn was pretty clear of the fog, but nearer home and down in the valley out front it was still pretty thick . . radiod locally just breifly . . did vacuuming and dish washing chores for hours . . aimlessly PCd (reading up on how flat/slightly sloped roofs are constructed! EVERY day I wrestle with what to do about the damned rotten/BADLY leaking conservatory. It's really become a 'weight' hanging over my every waking moment. Like it or not, I'm going to HAVE to do 'something' about it VERY soon.) . . .ended up feeling frozen (lack of food - and all that sitting still in front the PC). Couldn't muster the energy to 'do food' and ended up simply wrapping myself up in the duvet, just to be warm, and napped until just before the alarm at 7pm! . . .guitarred/TVd the evening away eating some chocolate, as the outside temperature dropped significantly. . ate a whole pack of sausages with four pieces of bread and butter somewhere around midnight. . aimlessly PCd until to bed around 4am.
9 - Up around 8:30am. 15C in, 8C out. Grey . . . walked FGn and back with a stone for the garden . . .guitarred a little . PCd and monitored radios. . yayyy - the postman delivered the power lead and antenna I'd ordered from Hong Kong. Didn't take long to discover that the power lead was NOT the one I require!!! The socket on the end was NOT the right type, and even the guage of the wire appeared thicker than the 'proper' lead! Pretty quickly got onto the PC and returned to the original listing to figure out what had gone wrong. The actual listing was entitled "Power cord for ICOM Yaesu FT-8800R FT-7800R * dc1 3M" and included "Suitable for most radios like Yaesu FT-7800R, FT-8800R, FT-8900R and Icom and Kenwood radios." in the description. So explicitely stating it WAS for the 8800 like that, with hindsight, perhaps I hadn't taken as much care in ordering as I should? The photo (which I'd casually thought was just 'representative' of 'A' power lead) DID actually turn out to be what I'd been sent - a different plug to that which I required!! In small red print beneath the photo in the body of the listing it also DID say "Please make sure your radio plug same to the picture". Damn, damn, damn!!! I SHOULD have spotted that!! Despite it all being rather 'naughty' and hugely misleading, I guess that's MY fault then isn't it. :o( Nothing much I can do about that. Pointless kicking up a fuss and trying to get my money back etc, because I HAD missed the 'small print', and with the outrageous UK postage rates, it'd cost SO much to return it, it just doesn't make sense. Bloody annoying. So - money spent, and still saddled with the original problem! It rather looks as though I'll be just cutting the socket off and using that new fused wire to 'cut and shut' the lead to attach it to the cutoff bit I already have - and keep that to power my FT-8800 - and then have to sell the proper 'as-new' nice one with the FT-7900!! Bugger. :o( . The antenna turned out to ALSO be 'something' of a disappointment. It was pretty quickly obvious (perhaps only because of my familiarity and experience with the one that recently broke, and knowing what to look at closely?) that it wasn't 'particularly' well finished in its construction and appeared to be VERY likely to fail in exactly the same was as the last one had! With little choice, I immediately set about running some super glue into the tiny gap where the whip emerges from the socket. Had to do it bit by bit - lots - over the course of several hours, before the miniscule gap was pretty much all sealed up and things 'maybe' looked a little more robust!! . all in all, my having spent some money whilst having to try to do things on the cheap, YET again seemed like a pretty negative result, and I ended up feeling pretty down about everything as a result. Aimlessly surfed a bit and just sat around doing nothing, feeling down. . walked BGdns with a coffee and the VX-7 in my breast pocket, fully decked out with the new antenna, speaker mic, and G earphone intending to give the setup a full test and maybe join in the scheduled local club net. Played ball and scanned frequencies as the mizzle turned to more of a drizzle. The new aerial seems to receive ok on all the usual bands. . Sat around for ages under the roof (STILL getting wet as the drifting drizzle somehow managed to get in under the roof!) and listened to the local club net (useful for gauging the effectiveness of the aerial, based on the received signals from the various people chatting). Briefly had a few words, but pretty much had no choice but to call a halt to ME talking, when a couple of dog walkers ended up sitting right nearby chatting loudly. (I DID explain why I appeared to be sat there talking to myself for a bit! lol) . with the VX-7 on dual monitor, whilst listening to the local net, I was ALSO picking up the distant Exmouth lifeboat and ILB out doing excercises and then recovering to their station on the beach, so that definitely confirmed the antenna was doing its job acceptably well. Listened for ages and drank my coffeee and smoked cigs before eventually heading back in the drizzle, cold and wet after 9pm. . TVd . . finally got round to eating something and cooked some chips and ate them with the remaining cheesey mushrooms concoction, followed by some chocolate . . almost fell asleep in the chair and was in bed around 11pm!
8 - Up around 8:15am after some pretty poor sleep. 15C in, 10C out. Grey . .Received a brief reply to my short thank you for the recent £10 website donation. It included "I've been reading your website for nearly ten years, though with two-three year intervals. Because you share your life so plainly and honestly, I think of you as an acquitance or old neighbour whom I wonder and want to hear about from time to time." Funny how it all works isn't it. A very modern phenomenon. Throughout the entire course of human history, nothing like any of 'this' has ever happened before. I DON'T read anyone elses journal or anything like it myself - but I DO occasionally wonder what became of the young woman, who's online writings were what saw me start doing MY journal. (I actually can't recall enough about who she was to even attempt to Google her now!) Tis' all very strange - and going on potentially 'worldwide' for SO many years now! Dunno what to make of it all?!!? Absurd of course, but the day it all stops (whichever way that will be), I WILL feel a sense of loss, and some sadness that in pretty short time, it will all just suddenly disappear in a '404', and it'll all have been such a waste of SO much time and effort - with maybe just a residue breifly remaining in the minds of who I know not. :o| . . walked FGn. Back (with a little difficulty!) with a large stone for the garden. . guitarred a little/TVd. Around midday the postman delivered the over-ear/ear-hanger/'G'-earpiece thingy I'd won for £1.59 on e-bay. So - I FINALLY got to try one of 'that' type, on what I'd started to think was my deformed earlobe (because everything else I've tried, with the slightest bit of moving around, didn't really seem to work very well or want to stay attached to my ear!). Oh wow - on first impressions, wandering around the house with it in my ear, THIS type seems to work far, FAR better! It actually seems to want to stay put, thanks to the 'rubberised' material it's made of and the adjustable foam covered earplug - even if I shake my head around! Vastly better than the cheap 'D' type shiny plastic ones I've been battling on with. Yayyyy - maybe I've finally found one that'll work for me (and my freakishly malformed earlobes! lol)? That's £1.59 well spent - as a trial of the type - no matter how long it lasts. :o) It IS a 'listen only' type (perfect for the scanners etc), but after I've fully road tested it for a bit, out and about, if it really does prove to be as functional as it appears, I may well be tempted to invest in buying a similar type, complete with a lapel-mic, for using with the VX-7 (currently only around a £tenner from Hong Kong!). . ended up chatting locally on the 2mtr repeater for a bit, talking about CB of all things for a bit of the time! Picked up a couple of bits of transmissions on the CB whilst scanning (including some distant foreign!), but nothing I could make use of for testing purposes - so it irritatingly remains connected to my antenna for a while longer, instead of the FT-897! . . One of the guys I ended up chatting with for the first time on the local repeater, was blind! He had radios which talk to him and let him know when he changes frequency and the like. Amazing. Fantastic what all the new technology can/will do for such people. I seem to recall when I was a postman many years ago, handling freepost mail which contained cassette tapes of the few 'talking books' for the blind which were then available. How very cumbersome and limited that seems by todays standards. I guess all you need now is a kindle (or PC) which'll read the book of your choice to you? Amazing. . drank a glass of red wine and cooked up a pot of chopped mushrooms, onions, tin of mushroom soup and grated mature cheddar cheese. (Guitarred a bit whilst under the influence of the wine and waiting for the cooking to complete.) Ate a bowlful with four pieces of bread and butter and then a couple of chocolates . . napped poorly for only an hour or so until around 6:30pm . . .raining so skipped the walk. . TVd . . overheard part of a VHF conversation on the scanner (talking about cross-band repeat again) and ended up back at the radios. Actually had a chat with the guy who'd recently got himself a new Kenwood TM-V71 dual-band/receive radio, 'similar' to my FT-8800. Even joined-in chatting on 70cms whilst he set up his radio to cross band repeat my transmissions into the local GB3SW repeater on 2mtrs - and then the output of the repeater transmitted back to me on 70cms!! It certainly worked (- although in practical terms, I really can't see how you could really use it on a repeater without getting into an awful mess - because in a proper conversation over a repeater, the repeater never drops carrier - which it needs to, for the cross-banding radio to know when to 'switch sides' and transmit back the repeater output! All very mind boggling! Very useable on simplex though for sure. I wonder - if you had a bunch of people with such radios on alternate 'linked pair' frequencies, it should theoretically be possible to 'chain' them together and repeat someones signals right across the country like that!!! All VERY mind boggling!) I still can't imagine EVER using the ability on MY radio, but a VERY interesting conversation and test nonetheless. . . PCd a bit of this. Had the CB scanning the band for most of the evening, but not a single peep from anyone! . . TVd . . ate ham sandwiches, crisps and chocolate before to bed around 2:30am.
7 - Up around 8:50am. 15C in, 9C out. Grey . . .walked FGn in the damp. Returned via town for a tour of the charity shops and to buy some mushrooms in a grocer. A bag of onions I had with my last big shopping delivery, is all starting to go off, so I figured I'd better try and make use of them before I have to throw them out - so I'll be cooking up those mushrooms with plenty of onions in the near future . . .PCd. Oh wow - another £10 donation to the site!! More guilt - but very grateful nontheless of course. . messed around in the PC/radio room and actually dragged the legal UK CB I bought on e-bay out of 'storage' in the back bedroom. Haven't touched that since SH returned it to me after having offered to fix the audio fault for me. It IS probably destined to be sold on because there really does seem little point in hanging onto it, given how little use the CB bands get down this way. The combination of the quiet bands and my poor 'in a black hole' location, means it is the absolute rarest thing for me to ever hear anyone on a CB. Actually - a bit of a shame I think. It (Team Euro 8000 base station) is a lovely, simple little radio - and there ARE times when I can envisage it would be fun to play on such a thing (when I'm not in the mood for being all 'proper' like I feel one 'should' be on the amateur bands - because with the latter, there IS a hard-won licence at stake, kinda. E.g. - I (mostly!) do NOT dare to go anywhere near the amateur radios when I've had a drink - but often at exactly such a time, feel inclined to pick up a mic and maybe 'play around' on CB - like in days gone by. ) Anyway - before I think about selling it, given that it's 'been opened up and worked on', I felt obliged to hook it up and make sure it was all working ok. Sadly, that meant having to disconnect the FT-897 from my tuner and long wire antenna and plug the CB into it - and then leave it that way for the forseeable future, until such time as I can actually find some local CB transmissions to test it on!! So - the HF radio is now all unconnected, and every time I sit at the PC and in the radio room, I'm scanning dead legal UK FM CB bands waiting for a CBer to miraculously appear from somewhere - or more likely, not! :o( . . . ate a six pieces of bread and butter pile of mayo, grated cheese, chopped onion and corned beef sandwiches with crisps and then a little chocolate . . napped until around 7pm . . TVd with the scanner next to me in the living room monitoring CB frequencies (amongst others of course). . eventually picked up someone on the CB band on the scanner, and ended up racing up onto the radios to mess with the CB and make sure it was all receiving and sounding ok. I did NOT try talking because the guy was giving me such a poor signal (and I know it's transmitting from picking it up my own scanners etc), but it DID appear to thankfully now be sounding ok. . . walked FGn real late with a coffee and then sat around for ages. Eventually returned home well after 10pm. . TVd, just not moving for hours! . . ate some crisps, cheddar crackers with cheese and some biscuits before eventually to bed around 3am.
6 - Up around 8:30am. 15C in, 8C out. Grey and mizzley again. . . walked FGn. Returned with a couple of small stones. Poked at the hedge trimmer lead and eventually decided, rather than try to figure out how it all comes apart (again?), it'd be easier to put an old joiner plug and socket at the break point! Had one laying around amongst my 'plugs' collection in the garage, salvaged from something or other I inherited with the house, so I eventually cut and soldered the wire ends and fitted that. Not at all desireable - but easy, saves the couple of feet I'd have had to have cut off otherwise, and 'should' be safe enough (like I care!). It'll hopefully be a while before I have to use it again, so we shall see how ok my fix performs some time in the future. . PCd a bit of this, at length, trying to catch up again . . ate two spam and mayo rolls, crisps , some cheddar crackers and a little chocolate. . napped . . skipped the walk . . PCd. Received another e-mail from Youtube letting me know of recent subscription updates as is their habit. I usually simply glance at the updates and delete without watching any. For some reason however, on this occassion, my attention was drawn to one of the 'recommended for you' type listings. Some sort of blues guitar video. I couldn't resist and had a watch. Oh boy - was that a super cool video! Ended up on youtube for AGES actually trawling through every single other version of that '44 blues' song I could find - and despite some of the big, BIG names versions being on there, I didn't think ANY were much better than that first one. Wonderful stuff. Even ended up downloading a copy for keeps. . inevitably ended up guitarring. And no - 'I' can NOT make those noises! I pretty much accept now, I never will. I live the blues - not play it! :o( . . ate a banana and mum donated buttered scone . . TVd until bed around 3:30am. s
5 - Up around 8am. 15C in, 10C out. Grey and drizzley. Todays tooth pain has thankfully lessened from what it was yesterday again. Weird - but thank goodness! . . walked FGn in the increasing drizzle. Returned with a stone for the garden and then headed straight back up to the store for milk/bread-roll supplies . . PCd a bit of this. The earhanger I won on e-bay is allegedly in the post already . . .Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats, only to find me in a foul mood, being in the middle of trying to put into words my most recent 'rant' on here! I can't get across to her what I feel about everything even in a heated conversation, so I don't suppose I can get it across here either. :o( . . ate two Mum donated mini pork pies, crisps and two buttered bread rolls with a whole pack of paper thin pestrami slices. Boy that stuff is SO tasteless when sliced so thin. Eating anything is now taking me easily twice as long as it did! :o( . . napped . . TVd . . walked FGn late with a coffee and sat around for ages. A very calm and quiet evening, with just a haze of cloud in the starry sky . . PCd/TVd the night away. . ate a large Mum donated buttered scone and then a slice of spam on its own, followed by a couple of sucked chocolates . . ended up TVing until gone 3pm before bed, when I bumped into a repeated show about the vulcan bomber sortie at the start of the last Falklands war. After having watched that in some amazement, my overwhelming impression was - what a haphazard chaotic mess the whole operation was! Pure luck they got away with it. (I also wonder why DID they drop their bomb load ACROSS the runway (pure luck that ONE bomb hit the target) as opposed to down its length?) Utterly amazing they managed to 'win' the war and free the islanders! . Funny coincedence that program being on, what with the recent sudden escalation in tensions over the Falklands again. Seems VERy strange to me (assuming I've got it right) that the escalating tensions should take the form of the Argentine president placing an open letter in the form of ADVERTISMENTS in British newspapers!!!??? Even MORE disconcerting to me is the fact that the Sun newspaper (NOT the elected government!?) 'took it upon itself' to respond in kind, with a rebuttle in an Argentinian newspaper (and so started demonstrations and union flag burning anew!)!!!?? What the hell is all this? We gonna end up being back at war and having people die because of some newspaper owner now? !!!!!????? Yeah - probably. :o(
4 - Woken around 7:45am by the noise on the floorboards of Bella leaving the bedroom and heading downstairs. Up soon after, feeling tired, headachey, toothachey and pretty lousy after SO little sleep again. 16C in, 9C out. Grey . .rushed out to put the wheelie bin out which I'd forgotten last night because of the day change what with Christmas and all . . slow getting going, waking as best I could at the PC. . put a silly little £2.02 maximum (inc postage) bid on a 'C hanger' mono earphone advertised on e-bay and ending soon (with no bids as yet). I've long been wondering what those adjustable 'C' hanger type earphones act like when hung on your ear, and have been wanting to try one for ages, to see if they are in ANY way better than the types I HAVE already tried (all of which don't seem to sit on/in my ear 'quite' as I'd like). Figured it was worth gambling and maybe throwing away a couple of £s on if I won it, to finally be able to put the issue to rest. . walked FGn . . popped a pain killer . . managed to finally actually DO something! Day after day after day has been going by of late, and I just seem to be continually unable to 'do' anything or function at all (not helped by my constant mouth pain and near inablity to eat anything now of course)! I just feel so 'doomed' - what's the point - in anything?! However - despite feeling SO iffy, I managed to make the most of the 'not raining right now' and got out in the front garden with the hedge trimmer and had a serious bash at the overgrown plants alongside the front path - which have been making getting up and down it with Bella next to me, pretty impossible in recent times and more importantly, a bit tight for the postman. With hindsight, I probably shouldn't have bothered again - given how 'iffy' and not quite with it I was feeling. Despite trying to be SO careful with it, I went and cut through the damned power chord on the trimmer again (not all the way through, but 'nipped' it enough to sever one of the wires a couple of feet from the handle)!!!!! FFS! I suppose I 'should' be glad I hadn't killed myself, but it just angered me and overwhelmed me with the fact I'll now have to put in hours trying to sort it all out - again! Luckily I'd 'almost' finished what I was intending to do, so I just finished off with the hand shears and left sorting out the cable for some other miserable day. . pushed on and de-weeded a couple of the garden borders before ending up filling two dustbins with the cuttings and debris, etc. Whilst doing the weeding, a couple of women stopped at the wall at the end of the garden (to be rushed and barked at by Bella!!) and asked with their accents, if I knew anyone locally who spoke Polish!?? Weird. I didn't know of anyone of course (because I'm me - not because half the country doesn't now seem to speak Polish!) - but did attempt to remember how and clumsily say, 'Good day' (dzien dobry) as they went on their way. lolol . eventually called it quits and moved everything back through the house and up into the garage (out of sight). Laboriously stuffed one full bin-load of the cuttings into multiple plastic carrier bags and then carried them all back through the house and 'hid' them in the bottom of the wheelie-bin, for 'sneaking out' in the next fortnightly collection . . .ate spam sandwiches and crisps as my toothache returned with a vengence!?? :o( . .napped poorly for almost a coupleof hours until around 5pm . . checked in on the PC and suprisingly found I'd won the earphone auction for £1.59. . popped another ibucalm and then quickly walked FGn a little early . . D called in around 7pm with his new toy. A kindle. Falling all behind the times as I am, I've never seen one, and had agreed he should bring it to show me, so I could better understand what all these new devices everyone is getting can actually do. Coffee and chats (and an annadin tablet). Boy was my toothache BAD again - and inexplicably, none of the tablets seemed to be touching the pain!?! Something to do with me being 'uptight' having company maybe? . Poked at the kindle toy lots - once I'd searched for and found the paperwork and password for my wireless router (which I usually only ever infrequently have turned on for the TV), so it could have internet access. Really WAS quite impressive. Plenty smaller than an A4 sheet of paper, and amazingly as thin as a pencil - all wireless - fully able to surf the net - can store and play books, videos, music - AND it could run all those 'apps' that I know so little about. It really was SO 'Star Trek'. Really amazing. How utterly amazing it must be to (all wireless of course) have a laptop, a kindle and a smartphone as part of your life, like SO many people now do (and probably other things I don't know exist and can't even imagine!). I am SO behind the times and out of touch now!!! D eventually left (sadly WITH his toy!). lol . . . .bad BAD toothache! . .TVd in substantial pain and also feeling really rather unwell. . managed to eat a microwave curry and a piece of chocolate before eventually to bed around 2am after having taken yet another painkiller!
3 - Up around 8:40am. 15C in, 9C out with some sun. . walked FGn and ended up getting drizzled on a bit . . vacuumed . . PCd . . ate a tin of soup and four crusts of bread and butter . . napped . .skipped the walk . . guitarred a little and then TVd the whole evening away . . ate a pastry slice, tin of sausages in baked beans and grated cheese before to bed around 2am. s
2 - Up around 7:20am (waking from a vivid and 'unpleasant' dream. In company, I was driving a car down some busy tree lined road when we came upon a small black poodle sat in the middle of the road having been or about to be hit by traffic! At one point a large fuel tanker drove over it, with its huge wheels 'just' missing it! I stopped the car and jumped out to try to run back and catch the dog. THAT was the point at which I woke to escape the agony). 15C in, 6C out - mostly cloudy. . PCd a bit of this . . walked FGn with a coffee in the relative calm, albeit grey and overcast, and sat around for quite a while, because it was just SUCH a welcome break from battling the bad weather every day. Even Bella seemed to be content to just lay there for a bit, rather than constantly pestering me to throw her ball. . eventually back with a couple of small stones for the garden. (There aren't many stones left there which I feel I could 'legitimately' (!) 'remove'!) . . poked at Bella's ears before ending up back on the PC. (Watched on e-bay just out of interest, as an MD-1 desk mic sold for around £50. That DOES seem to be around the going rate.) Bit the bullet and finally got round to spending a little money, which I've been brewing up to do for several weeks (months?) now. Ordered a replacement power lead for the 7900. When I got the second hand 8800 (which I DO very much like and intend to keep until it breaks), it had a slightly butchered power lead I wasn't happy with (cut short AND joined - and no fuses!). Thankfully the 7900 lead was identical, so I simply used that instead. Trouble is, I eventually intend to sell the 7900 - and since it really is absolutely as-new and little used, it seems stupid to 'muddy the waters' of any advert and probably get less money for it, by presenting it with a hard to explain butchered lead - which of course I'd feel obliged to point out! So - I've ordered a cheap replacement (from a Hong Kong seller I've used before as it happens) for £7.50 (inc postage). Worth the investment I think - £ swings and roundabouts. I've also been eager to replace the long flexible higher gain handheld whip antenna (used on my VX2 and then the VX7 - for a couple of years in total?) which recently broke (because of MY shameless, near daily abuse of it). I HAD intended to simply replace it with exactly the same one as I had before - even from the same e-bay supplier - but since I was ordering the power lead anyway, I decided to give a 'slightly' different one a try (because it was almost half the price!) from that same Hong Kong supplier. So - I also ordered an SMA male socket 'Nagoya NA-771' dual band antenna for a mere £9 inc postage. It does NOT seem to be explicitely advertised as 'broadband receive', so I'll be VERY interested to see how it performs (at receiving on the marine band mostly - or not!) in comparison to the one which recently broke. So - a total modest investment of £16.50 inc postage - with just a bit of 'risk' re the antenna performance - and a week or so to wait. .Bumped into some 'outraged' news article about the latest statistics regarding inflation, pay levels and the fact that 'out of work' type benefits have allegedly increased over the last year or so, whereas pay levels have stayed frozen or reduced. The thrust of the 'outrage' was that it entirely justified the government's intention of reducing benefits. Seemed to me like just another indication of how society is being actively steered in a greater and greater right wing, self centred, selfish direction! And of course, the 'working masses' are FULLY buying into it! Why is it I seem to see things SO differently? Isn't it obvious that such statistics NEVER tell the full story? If you are starting out with next to nothing and only JUST barely managing to 'survive' (and nothing else!) - whether that be benefits or a minimum type wage - a 3%, or 10% or even 50% etc increase of next to nothing, really isn't going to make very much of a difference to your difficult life, and still leaves you with most of next to nothing left! There is a line - a certain level of income above which just a couple of per cent makes a substantial beneficial difference to quality of life. From what I've seen of 'average wage' statistics (and yes, I fully acknowledge most people are never anywhere near that), it seems that many working people are so far above that line, they really have little real comprehension of how hard it 'can' be on SO much less. Arrrgggh! Makes me so upset to see how the rich and powerful continually shamelessly manipulate things so they get ever richer and more powerful at the expense of the less fortunate (and least powerful). It's clever how they do it - very clever. . because I have so little in savings, I can no longer get an interest rate which cancels out inflation. So - my savings are gradually diminishing in real terms. In essense, the 'rich' (well paid bankers, investors, shareholders, etc) are gradually taking away from me what little I have. (Mum's regular food and 'gift money' donations, are all that stands between my savings and them having them all!) Anyway - why THIS rant this time? The 'propaganda' (and my subsequent guilt at not currently being someones slave labour, like I'm willingly supposed to be, to have ANY value to society), my ever worsening financial position, etc, had me surfing job websites! What a f**ing joke that was! :o( There was nothing. Absolutely NOTHING I could even have dreamed of even irrationaly applying for. Yes - there WERE some 'care' type jobs (as if 'I' could ever do such a thing without putting them all out of their pointless misery!!) , but even those mostly required experience, qualifications, etc. EVERYTHING of course would require me having enough money to have some form of transport just to be able to travel the miles to get there (in the middle of the night etc.) And of course, I'm still overwhelmingly addicted to smoking. THAT is a huge issue in itself when fantasising about trying to get a job these days. Then there is my physical (bad back,and knees. Teeth all falling out. Failing hearing and eyesight, etc etc) and 'mental' decline! And overriding ALL other considerations and obstacles - there's 'ME'. What COULD I 'actually' do? All the experiences of my entire life seem to have been about stripping me of any last vestiges of the little self worth and confidence I may once have had. I have no trade or skills. I actually cannot envisage ANYTHING I could actually now do for a wage (or otherwise!)! I AM absolutely useless and worthless! (My warped 'perception' of course (as it was SO often criticised and used to excuse the actions of others) - but almost everything which occurred during at least the last five or ten years of my Post Office working life, seemed to be explicitely designed to 'reduce me', put me in 'their' place, and increase my feelings of worthlessness. Barely regarded as a 'human' resource. And then of course, there were the events which saw me ultimately flee from Bristol - the abuse, the assaults - the injustice of what I perceive now as the TOTAL lack of assistance from ANY quarter - where 'society' COMPLETELY, COMPLETELY turned its back on me. Oh yes - THAT absolutely WAS, THE final nail in my coffin.) 'Society' it would increasingly appear, would no doubt be utterly delighted if I were to be suddenly 'removed' and free up a property and make space for a more worthy consumer/tax payer. I DO feel extremely up tight about how utterly empty and bleak my future IS. It CAN - ONLY get worse. I AM feeling increasingly desperate. :o( Frankly, under these circumstances (and of course these few poor words do not in any way cover everything or do my true feelings justice) surfing jobs is a - um - seriously 'dangerous' activity for me!!! :o( <enough, enough!> . . walked FGn in a hurry, so as to get back in time for the local club net slow morse. Wasted effort. It didn't happen again. . did NOT feel AT ALL capable of being ANY part of their net, and withdrew from the radios to eavesdrop a little in the living room while TVing. I only half-heard it, but got the impression that someone or other in the conversation had mentioned how their radio can act as a cross-band repeater. That got my interest because my Yaesu FT-8800 can also do that. It's not something I'm particularly interested in being able to do (IF it's even legal here?), and haven't bothered too much in looking into it. Nevertheless, because someone mentioned it and said they didn't fully understand it (like me), that saw me end up going back up onto the PC to start looking into it again. Ended up surfing on the subject for the next few hours!! (I 'think' I now 'kinda' get it, better than I did - but can't imagine I will EVER make use of it, and am happy to leave it alone again.) . . . cooked and ate two mum donated miniature faggots, chopped onion and chips followed by a large number of biscuits . . . . to bed around 1:30am.
1 - Up around 8:30am. 15C in, 4C out. Blue sky and sun!! . . walked FGn in the cold sun and then mustered the energy to walk all the way round the harbor and out to the end of the breakwater and back . . sat around feeling as though I really should be getting on with doing 'something' - but as ever, just couldn't seem to muster the energy or see the point. :o( . . ended up aimlessly back at the PC and monitoring radios for a bit . . somehow ended up sitting at the radios pretty much all day! Had a 'bit' of a local chat on a net on 40 mtrs, just experimenting with the MD-1 desk mic etc. As is the frustrating nature of such things, everyone I spoke with seemed to give a differing and contradictory report on my audio! Propogation conditions seemed to be rapidly changing throughout, so I'm not convinced ANY of those reports were necessarily worth taking any notice of! Nevertheless - I think it HAS convinced me that I am happier using a (made FOR the 897) hand-mic, and despite the few £s I spent on that network cable and sockets to try out the MD-1, I think I AM probably going to end up trying to sell that base-mic in the future. . . walked a little early with a flask of coffee. Played ball in the mud in BGdns for a bit before ending up sitting on the tinsel bedecked 'christmas seat' in the dark for a while, drinking my coffee and having a smoke. Felt very cold. Lack of food? . . stopped at the local store on the way back looking to get some bread rolls. They had none, but DID have a couple of chicken breasts going for just £2 which I couldn't resist grabbing. . .drank a couple of glasses of red wine and tried to figure out the best way to tackle cooking the chicken. Even went on-line looking things up, but for some reason, I just got all confused and didn't know what was the best/easiest/quickest way to be able to just sit and eat them as soon as possible with the absolute minimum of time spent in the kitchen (after two glasses of wine!)! . ended up touching base with BB and got her opinion!!! lolol Jamie Oliver I am not! Lets face it, I mostly live on sandwiches, and like with most things, the less you cook, the more you forget how. 'Food' is just a hassle - something I HAVE to do occasionally. . . eventually ended up just salting and frying the chicken in the frying pan for a bit. Eventually ate (bit of a struggle with my remaining few/rotten teeth!) both chicken breasts with four pieces of bread and butter. They were a 'little' drier than may have been desireable, but not bad at all. Ate a few chocolates. . struggled to stay awake. Gave up the struggle and was actually in bed before 11pm!