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January
31
- Woken around 8:15am by neighbour noise again. 13C in, 5C out. Threatening dark cloud. . .walked BGdns in the bitter cold wind. Played ball in the mud and then briefly got Bella to paddle some of the mud off on FCove before back via the store for supplies . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations . . . . ate a huge bowl of the remaining stew . . . slept until the 7pm alarm . . . TVd the night away, utterly frozen . . . ate a slice of galala pie, crisps, a whole packet of mini chocolate rolls and chocolate . . . to bed before 3am.
30 - Woken before 8am by neighbour door banging noise again. 12C in, 4C out. Sunny and windy. . . walked the woods. Stood and watched a seal close-in in Churston Cove for quite a while. As usual of late, I resisted the temptation of maybe encouraging Bella to have a swim out near it. I worry that the shock of a plunge into the cold water will - um - 'strain' her heart or aggravate whatever it is which ails her!!! What I'd do if she suddenly keeled over and died on me when out and about, HAS gone through my thoughts quite a bit in recent times! Imagine the horror of trying to get her back home!! Actually - precisely that happened to someone last weekend apparantly. A nice guy who often walks many other peoples dogs for them, had set off with someones old boxer dog called 'Poppy', only for it to suddenly drop dead along the way - although luckily not 'that' far from its home. What an upsetting nightmare, for both him and the owners!! It was ultimately buried in their garden the very same day I was lead to believe. . Walking the woods turned out to be a mistake. Far too wet, slippery and muddy for comfort. I'd heard the noise of chainsaws yesterday, and sure enough, a handful of trees had been felled on the path up through the woods. Ended up stopping and having a quiet sit for a bit on one of them which had strangely been partially de-barked in situ. That ALSO turned out to be a mistake. Unknown to me as I sat there, sticky sap was oozing out of the bare timber onto my trousers! FFS. . a short bit of ball play back in BGdns, but everything was so muddy, we soon headed down to the inner harbour, getting Bella to paddle on a slipway to wash some of the mud off along the way. . sat under the old fishmarket roof for my coffee as light showers passed through before eventually heading home . . . TVd and recovered from the walk for a bit . . . PCd a bit of this - while sticking to my chair! . . . did 'tree sap' laundry! . . . drank a glass of red wine while cooking up a stew type concoction of mixed veg, cocktail sausages and gravy. Ate a large bowlfull . . DF called in for arguments until after 10pm . . . PCd/TVd until around 3am before to bed.
29 - Woken around 8:15am by neighbour noise. 14C in, 4C out. Rain and wind. . .walked BGdns in weather gear as wintery showers passed through. Mostly sheltered in a gun emplacement for ball play. Eventually carried on down to the harbour to shelter under the roof of the old fish market to drink my coffee. Sure enough, the 'abandoned' pushbike WAS now gone at last (with suprisingly to me, no sign of it IN the harbour). :o) . . . did dish washing chores . . .waited for the driver to arrive between 2pm and 3pm with my shopping. Helped him carry it all up and in and then spent the usual ages checking it all in, ticking it off, and getting it stashed away around the place, etc. . . . TVd/PCd as some nasty squally, wintery showers blew through. One in particular (gusts up around 50mph) even had some snow in it, but it didn't settle or come to anything. Around 5pm there were even squally gusts recorded up on Berry Head of around 75mph! . . . TVd . . . couldn't muster the energy to 'do' food again! Ended up just eating several packets of crisps, a whole large sized pack of mini cheddars, biscuits and some Sis2 donated via Mum American fruit cake . . . to bed around 1am. Today Bella acted as though she had a 'normal' dog's appetite, and pretty promptly ate ALL I gave her - both her breakfast AND her evening meal, complete with a tin of meat (which is mostly what she's been refusing of late), and even more dry complete than I would normally give her, plus the usual little treats of crisps, biscuits etc from my plate!? Go figure? Every day, I haven't a clue what to expect next with her!?????
28 - Poor broken sleep then up around 8:20am. 15C in, 10C out. Grey and damp. . .walked BGdns as things brightened up a bit, but still a nasty strong wind making it feel pretty cold and unpleasant and putting white caps on waves in the bay. Picked up a carrier bag of other peoples dumped dog poop bags and litter around the place! . . Carried on down to the harbour to sit and drink my coffee. Hmmm - the Golden Hind replica kinda looked to me like it always did. I wonder - have they actually replaced the bit they cut up yesterday? Yes - TWO cross pieces on the front mast again, so it would appear they have. They must have had that all prepared (complete with the string of fairy lights) and all ready and waiting, and hauled up and hung in place yesterday after I'd gone home. . . back home in some light showers . . . TVd/PCd . . .couldn't face having to get the car out just to go in pursuit of dwindling dog food supplies, so ended up doing an online shop and deliberately stocked up on expensive supplies of coffee and wine etc to push the cost up over 100 to qualify for the tomorrow afternoon after 2pm free delivery slot. Given Bella's recent issues over not eating right, I bought dog food supplies 'different' to normal - despite the increased cost! Despite topping up my stocks of the usual trusty Sainsbury's own tinned dog food, I also bought one 17kg sack of Wagg @ 10 like usual, but ALSO bought TWO 14kg sacks of Bakers complete @ 23 each! Jeeze - the money I'm throwing at her at the moment is truly frightening to me! Never mind the big monthly bill for the tablets, at a stroke I've also just pretty much doubled the food bill!!! This is gonna be the ruin of me/my savings. She'd BETTER eat it (sorry birds)!!! :o( . . .ate ham sandwiches, crisps and a banana . . napped . . .TVd . . . cooked and ate two cheeseburgers followed by Sis2 (donated via Mum) chocolate raisins . . . to bed after 1am. Some comments on the local spotted facebook page connected with my post about the abandoned bike, suggested it had now 'disappeared' (although quite possibly just 'looted' by someone ('youths'). Who knows?).
27 - Woke earlier then up around 8:30am. 14C in, 6C out. Sunny spells . . .Image of Golden Hind rigging maintenace in Brixham harbourwalked BGdns and then on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater. . . back to the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee and sit around for ages. Entertainment this morning was watching some workmen guys lowering the uppermost of the two large 'cross timbers' down from the rigging atop the front mast of the Golden Hind replica. No idea why it needed removing, but it wasn't the easiest or safest job to be doing! That was a big unweildy lump of heavy timber! Once they'd managed to lower it down to the deck, they used a chainsaw to just cut it up into large chunks which were then temporarily left on the harbourside next to the entrance hut for someone to ultimately remove. ? Now - you'd have thought that 'someone' would have tried to make 'something' 'relevant' out of that, to be sold as visitor souvenirs or some such wouldn't you? . . .after having finished my coffee and taken a photo or two of the rigging maintenance work (and yes, I admit I only bothered pulling my cameras out because it looked as though things could so easily have gone horribly wrong) I ended up walking back a short distance to near the end of the old fish market roof, to take a photo of something that's been bugging me there for weeks. Image of an abandoned bike on Brixham's harboursideMany weeks ago, possibly even a couple of months ago now (well before Christmas), someone had locked a pushbike to the harbourside railings and just left it there. It was actually quite a nice looking bike, with some real nice modern front suspension and machined aluminium quick-release fittings to various parts etc, etc, like I could have only dreamed of when I was a kid. It appeared it 'may' have been left there because the front brake cable had snapped. I don't recall if the saddle was ever there, but if it was, it'd long since gone. I imagine the only reason it was still there and hadn't been taken by some 'opportunist' was because it was locked to the railing - and perhaps actually didn't look as though it was actually 'abandoned'. (Actually - the fact it wasn't vandalised or stolen in all that time is a testament to how so much things are still 'better' living down here than elsewhere.) Blah blah blah - anyway, seeing the thing stuck there for SO many weeks, with people often having to squeeze past it, or twist its obstructing front wheel back flat against the railings, had started to really irritate me. I figured it was overdue for 'someone' to do 'something' about having it removed, rather than everyone just keep ignoring it and leaving it there to be an unsightly eyesore for the tourists etc, etc. So, I finaly grabbed a photo or two of it before eventually heading home. . .TVd/PCd. Ended up all 'old man/busy body' anonymously ringing the local council about the pushbike on the harbourside and explained the situation. They seemed to 'get it', and with little ado, said they'd let the harbourmaster know (?). I then ended up also doing a post to the local Spotted-Brixham facebook page, just in case the (irresponsible/more money than sense) owner would see it and want to get it back before it was too late or some such. Utterly appalling to me, that someone is presumably SO well off, that they could just 'throw away' something like that - and in such a way! :o| I HATE this consumerist/throw away life we are all now without a choice a part of! . . . ate crisps and biscuits . . napped . . TVd . . ate corned beef sandwiches, crisps and coleslaw . . . PCd until early before finally to bed gone 3am.
26 - Up around 8am. 14C in, 9C out. Threatening cloud clearing to sunny. . .walked BGdns. Quite a stiff uncomfortably cold breeze blowing across the bay, despite the bits of sun and generally higher temperature than of recent days. On down to the relative shelter of the inner harbour to sit near the Golden Hind to drink my coffee and then home. A LOT of police about this morning? Something going on somewhere local. . . TVd . . dumped the whole untouched tin of last night's dogfood out for the birds and then managed to encourage Bella to have a couple of mouthfulls of Bakers complete for breakfast :o( . . struggled to PC a bit of this, yet again just not in the mood to be doing anything. Bella seems to be particularly 'restless'. She DID at least eventually eat bit by bit all her breakfast of a mix of Wagg and Bakers complete - with me quite literally holding my breath and not daring to move a muscle whenever she decided to pick at it, as is my new oh SO uptight daily habit!! One wrong move from me, and she WILL leave it. :o( . . . ate a gala pie slice, crisps and coleslaw followed later by a banana, four buttered crumpets and some chocolate . . . TVd until to bed around 1am.
25 - Up around 8am. 13C in, 6C out. Grey. . . walked Bgdns for ball play. Eventually carried on down around the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater. A lot of people out scuba-diving all around the place today. Some brief sunny spells and gradually getting brighter as the morning progressed. Headed back to the usual seat in the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee. Sat around for ages, just people-watching mostly. The scanner eventually piped up with a page being sent out by Solent coastguard to the local coastguard response teams. It eventually became apparant that someone was in trouble along the coastal path back past BGdns and out along near Elberry Cove. That saw us both head all the way back up into Bgdns to have a listen and a look. It was of course all way out of sight of BGdns, so we eventually started to make our way home. It THEN became apparant that the 'Helimed' Devon Air Ambulance helicopter was going to be airlifting the casualty out and across the bay to Torbay Hospital - so of course I just HAD to stop and hang around for a bit, to maybe be able to have a prod at the helicopter with the camcorder. Predictably there was very little to see as the helicopter soon disappeared out of sight behind the tall trees when it landed. Once again I couldn't resist, and ended up returning to BGdns and ultimately waiting for the helicopter to return to the sky. It was a LONG wait - but eventually it DID reappear with the casualty on board, and zoomed across the bay to land at Torbay Hospital, covering the distance in no more than three minutes! Amazingly quick. . . . back via the store for a few supplies early afternoon - after having been out on the 'morning walk' for almost five hours! Scored a going cheap/out of date meat and pastry slice for 50p. Ended up cutting it up into small pieces and mixing it with some Bakers and giving it to Bella, in yet another desperate attempt to get her to eat something. On this occasion it did appear to work a bit, and she ate maybe half of her normal breakfast amount. . . PCd messing with a couple of recent bits of video. To be honest, none was really worth keeping and I would normally have just deleted it all, but for different reasons I did end up uploading a couple of 'pointless' bits to Youtube. Image of the Devon Air Ambulance over BrixhamI figured a few snips of the Devon Air Ambulance 'helimed' helicopter from earlier could maybe be of some little interest to the actual casualty who was being flown to hospital. (Local coastguard posts to their Facebook page confirmed it was a walker with a suspected broken ankle). If he ever somehow bumps into that (crappy) video of the helicopter flying across the bay to land in the FAR distance at Torbay hospital , I would imagine it would be something of a 'head trip' to know that it was actually him on board. (It would be for me if I was him!) lol . Image of container ship Cosco Portugal and pilot boat Celia-T in Torbaythe other bit of 'pointless' video I uploaded was the snip I recorded on the 23rd of the Hong Kong registered 'Cosco Portugal' container ship. The local pilot boat goes out to large ships like that pretty much all the time, day and night, so it wasn't anything 'particularly' unusual, apart from perhaps coming just a little further intowards Brixham than many, and looking quite spectacular in the light. Inexplicably, the local newspaper website had published someones rather poor photos of it and done a little piece about it. Since I'd coincedentaly actually been filming it when whoever it was took their photos, I figured I may as well upload the footage rather than just delete it. It IS a monsterously HUGE and impressive sight! The 'little' boat (black dot!) disappearing behind its bow at the beginning of the footage is actually the pilot boat Celia-T drawing up alongside its starboard to take off the pilot!! The (visible) containers were stacked something like 4 high, 20 across, and 22 along its length! Massive! . . . TVd . . .ate the last of the stew with four pieces of bread and butter followed by some biscuits . . .TVd the night off. Bella refused her evening meal tin of meat, but eventually ate all the biscuit!?? WTF? Every single day it's something somehow different. Driving me absolutely nuts!! :o(
24 - Woke earlier then up around 8:15am. 13C in, 2C out. Mostly clear sky, sunny. . .dumped a whole nother bowlfull of Bellas unwanted food out for the birds. . walked BGdns. Sat on the harbourside for my coffee. . .sat in the sun in the front garden for a bit on arriving home. It was warmer sat out there than inside the house! . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations. Despite having refused her food last night, Bella woofed down in an instant the gala pie treat Mum had brought, and even then 'some' of her Wagg complete breakfast!??? . . all walked back to Mums to pick up some food she'd forgotten and some pickled onions she didn't want. . . stopped off in the local pet food store on the way home, intending to buy a big sack of Bakers complete biscuit. I'm getting real low on dog food supplies again, and figured that maybe the more expensive Bakers would tempt Bella to eat more than she has been of the comparatively bland, way cheaper, Wagg. Dunno how that store makes a living. It certainly isn't from selling dog food. As usual, they didn't have much in the way of choice, and the guy admitted they can't compete with supermarket prices! They only had small 5kg sacks of Bakers, and they were a breathtaking 10+ each! Jeeze - that's easily tripple the price of the big sacks of Wagg I normally buy! Despite that, desperate to try to get Bella to eat more, pretty sharpish, I bought one and carried it home. :o( . . . ate a bowl of half the remaining stew with four pieces of bread and butter . . napped . . . Bella refused most of her evening meal - again - despite the expensive Bakers! I despair. :o( . . .TVd . . .ate a pasty, crisps and some American fruit cake Sis2 had sent mum in a parcel. . .to bed around 2am.
23 - Woke earlier then up at 8am again. 12C in, somewhere around -2C out! Misty and a largely clear sky with a rising sun. BRrrrrr! . .called the vet and asked for them to make up Bellas tablets for another month. They said they'd be ready for pick up after 12:30pm. . walked BGdns in layers. Played ball in the cold and then ended up down the inner harbour for my coffee before heading home . . TVd and sat around for a bit . . walked to the vet and picked up the latest lot of (60 of each of Vetmedin, Frusemide and Lanoxin) tablets. 85.29. :o( . . carried on down to the harbour and on out to BGdns to sit with coffee again . aimlessly poked at this and that with the camcorder for quite a while. A big container ship dropping off a pilot and several small fishing boats engulfed in enormous flocks of seagulls looked quite spectacular in the sunny spells, but I ended up with nothing worth the bother . . . back home via the store for a few supplies . . . ate a pasty, coleslaw and crisps . . napped . . DF called in for arguments until gone 10pm . . .ate four buttered crumpets with melted grated cheese and a couple of biscuits . . to bed around 2am. Bella refused food all day yet again. :o(
22 - Woke earlier then up at 8am. 12C in, 5C out. Grey. . walked BGdns . . .recovered from the walk. . Mum called and then popped down with stuff Sis2 had inexplicably sent. . . TVd/PCd . miraculously somehow sorted the no sending of email thing I think . . . gave Bella her evening meal and against the explicite instructions of 'an hour before food', her tablets later - just in case it was the tablets taking away her appetite. Yayy - (holding my breath and not daring to move a muscle) she ate most of what I put down thank goodness. . .drank a glass of red wine . . pressure cooked a pot of stew from a tin of stewing steak, mixed veg and potatoes - all the while with the back door wide open in sub zero temperatures to let the steam out. Ate a big bowl full (too much!) with four crusts of bread and butter and a handful of mini cheddars . . TVd the night away feeling a little sick and having trouble with blocked sinuses (as is always the case whenever I cook anything and particularly produce lots of steam!????? What the hell is THAT about?), until to bed around 1:40am.
21 - Woke earlier then up around 8:30am. 13C in, 5C out. Rain. . did NOT walk! I just couldn't. Too down - and cold and raining to boot. . . managed to muster the energy to sort out my house insurance which was becoming due. The outrageous renewal I'd been sent was for up approaching 200!!! I eventually bought some online from a different company for around 95 for an iquivalent policy. F***ing outrageous. :o( . . uhoh - no e-mail from my primary broadband supplier account (which is being 'passed off' to Talk Talk by Virgin because they aren't bothering with simple broadband by phone lines anymore?! Living here, what other FFing choice do I have?!). It would appear 'something' has been changed at the provider side, and I can no longer send any e-mails!!!????? FFS. . . . sat around feeling very down. Full-on 'SId'. I hate to admit it, but given the constant hassle with getting Bella to eat, forever having to feed her tablets, the expense of it all, etc, etc, etc, etc, - at times I couldn't even bear to be in the same room with her!! For a part of the day, her and her food and water bowls were banished to the cold conservatory! :o( . . gave up even trying and back to bed by midday . . . back up after a couple of restless hours . . drank wine and ate ham sandwiches, crisps and mini cheddars followed by a few biscuits . . . napped until 7pm . . . TVd the night away in a dire state of mind . . .ate a banana and biscuits . . to bed around 1:30am. Bella ate almost nothing again. This is agony. Today, I want her gone! Me too of course. :o( -//- Bad bad day. The worst.
20 - Up around 7:20am. 13C in, 5C out. Drizzle. . .walked BGdns in what had turned into a dry spell. . . showered and got clean before leaving Bella at home alone and heading down in the rain to the nearby dentist for my 11:10am six-monthly checkup. A bit of a wait in the waiting room before eventually in around fifteen minutes after my appointment time. The dentist had a brief check around my mouth for her records and then after a bit of a discussion, it was agreed since my future treatment is 'reactive' (i.e. I'm losing them all - there's little point in doing anything until I need the next ones pulled out), there was little point in having six-monthly checkups. Yayyy. I was soon back at the reception desk making an appointment for next year and paying this morning's 18.50 NHS checkup fee (which on this occasion, REALLY was money for absolutely nothing!). . . returned home to find Bella had of course been scratching, gnawing herself raw and leaving clumps of fur on the carpet while I was out. :o( . . . recovered from the stress of the dentist visit in front the TV for a bit as heavier rain and wind arrived . . did laundry . . PCd a bit of this . . . drank some red wine and cooked and ate two quarter pound cheeseburgers with coleslaw fololowed by a few biscuits . . napped . . TVd . . ate mini chocolate rolls, biscuits, crisps and a banana . . .Bella ate almost nothing all day again.
19 - Up around 8:30am. 13C in, <-1C out. Sunny. . . walked BGdns and then back via the store for a few supplies . . . TVd/PCd this . . aimlessly just sat around feeling VERY down again. :o( . . . napped for only an hour or so, mostly just to be warm . . . just TVd the evening away again, feeling totally trapped by myself. :o( . . . ate haslet finger rolls, coleslaw, crisps, mini rolls and biscuits . . . to bed around 1am.
18 - Up around 8:45am. 13C in, 3C out. Mostly grey. . . walked BGdns, on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater, back to the inner harbour for my coffee, back up into BGdns and eventually home. . . TVd . . . ate two salami, mayo, chopped onion, and grated cheese baps with crisps followed by a banana and biscuits . . .napped . . walked BGdns in the near zero temperatures under a clear, star filled sky . tu . . TVd . . . ate crisps, mini cheddars, mini chocolate rolls and biscuits . . eventually to bed well after 3am.
17 - Up around 8:30am. 13C in, 3C out. Rain. . found an article on the local newspaper website (and local facebook pages) about the local missing person, suggesting the search was STILL ongoing! . . . walked BGdns after the rain in what turned into a nice bit of sun. Comms on the scanner on the way suggested the search for the missing woman was very much ongoing. As we approached the entrance to BGdns we were passed by a Dartmoor Rescue Team vehicle which was heading towards the coastal path and the grove. . Cold in the shade on our usual lower ball playing seat. More comms on the scanner confirmed that the Dartmoor Search Team were going to be searching The Grove and then on out along the coastal path towards Elberry Cove etc. Sure enough, as we sat playing ball, I eventually spotted a significant number of (NOT the usual coastguard response teams??) searchers all climbing down the coastal path and across Churston Cove. Wonder why those guys have come all the way from Dartmoor and are doing the search rather than the local coastguard? Eventually couldn't resist, and ended up wandering back to the vantage point above Fishcombe Cove, and pointing the camcorder at the search teams for just short while, as they climbed the steps and rocks above Churston Cove and then had a good look around before eventually disappearing out of sight along the coastal path. . . eventually carried on down to the harbour to drink my coffee before heading home . . . PCd and eventually anonymously submitted a couple of still-frames of the Dartmoor Search teams to the local 'Spotted Brixham' facebook page for anyone who may be interested. It seemed very 'strange' to me, that despite all the hullabaloo of the police helicopter etc last night, and the search teams today, and all the press publicity, not a single mention of the missing person had been made on the Spotted page. Something weird about that. More usually, the slightest hint of someone being missing in the area, would immediately see all manner of comments put on there, with people sharing press reports and hoping they're found and the like. The TOTAL absence of any such mentions, strongly suggested to me that there was 'something' more going on. ?? . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations. She also brought a large bottle of Baileys which she'd been given for Christmas and wasn't going to be drinking. :o) . . . cooked and ate ham, mixed veg and mashed potato . . napped . . .TVd . . . aha - the local missing woman has (predictably - as usual) been found safe and well - so all that searching by everyone was indeed all for nothing - again. It also appears that I WAS right in suspecting there was more to it all than first met the eye. A whole bunch of posts about the woman (drug problems etc) eventually appeared on the Spotted Facebook page, with plenty slagging her and her family off, and apparantly involving some sort of 'war' between two of the local pubs, etc, etc, etc. Some nasty comments - ignorant and nasty. Typical - people just being 'people'! <spit> :o( . . . ate a slab of gala pie, crisps, mini chocolate rolls and biscuits . . .to bed around 2am.
16 - Up around 8:40am. 13C in, 3C out. Broken black storm clouds again, apparantly clearing . . .walked BGdns in what had turned into a nice blue sky with some long sunny spells and much less wind than of late. Didn't hang around for too long before heading home with the intention of 'maybe' trying to muster up the energy to have a look at the triband colinear antenna out front . . got the ladder up out back and unhooked the long wire down by the garage before then getting the ladder up out front and starting the unpleasant job of dropping the whole mast and antennas down on the T&K brackets to be able to 'just' reach the colinear on top. . a nasty unpleasant and strenuous job of inching everything down bit by bit, and having to force the 2" aluminium scaffold tube mast down between the rungs of the ladder. Not as easy as it sounds. Because of the windows either side etc, it's not possible to put the ladder up alongside the mast. It can ONLY go below it no higher than the bottom T&K bracket, and the layout of the patio and steps up to the front door also dictates that the ladder can only go at a fairly steep angle - and that angle only 'JUST' enables the mast to force through between the rungs. Even with everything dropped down as low as it can go in the brackets, it still means there is a real nasty amount of perching on the very top of the ladder and reaching up at arms length to be able to finally reach and ultimately unbolt and dismount the colinear! . . finally managed to get the colinear down to the ground for a proper look at what's been going on. The problem was indeed exactly as I'd reasoned and predicted - a weakness in the design - because the idiots who designed them opted for a single small pinch bolt to hold the entire antenna onto its stub mast. Utterly ludicrous design. Absolutely inevitable that over time the whole assembly would start to slightly rock back and forth - and the more it moves, the more it wears and the worse it'll get! Would have been SO easy for the makers to have at the very least drilled the antenna base to take TWO bolts at right angles rather than just the one. If I had the tools, I'd drill it, tap it, and make it so - but of course I haven't the tools (a decent pillar drill would be vital). . messed around for quite a while seeing if anything much would be gained by reversing the worn aluminium stub mast and drilling just that, etc - but in the end it seemed like a lot of work for inevitably almost no gain. . .-//- . . there really was no choice but to either take it down altogether, or put it all back up more or less exactly as it had been before (for the 'time-being'). All things considered, I ended up just putting it all back up! I DID however put a few dabs of PVA/filler around the part of the aerial which slotted into the worn stub mast, in the hope it would at least 'help' to take up just a little of the 'slack' and stop it all wobbling about the pinch-bolt pivot 'quite' as much as it had been - in the manner of 'every little helps'. Time and weather will tell. . . had everything fixed back in position by around 2pm, just as a brief rain and hail shower passed through, so thankfully timed that just about right . . . PCd . . .TVd. . ate a banana and a couple of biscuits just to keep me going . .DF called in for chats until just after 10pm as the temperatures rapidly plummetted to below freezing. During the evening, the local coastguard teams were all called out to join the police and their helicopter searching from BGdns along to Berry Head for a local high risk missing person apparantly. The lifeboat was out on excercise in the bay early on, and was also tasked to check the coastline before returning to station. .Nothing was found and everyone appeared to eventually be stood down - although I 'think' the police search was ongoing. . . ate haslet, mayo and grated cheese finger rolls with coleslaw . . to bed around 1am.
15 - Up at 7:30am. 14C in, 6C out. Broken black clouds. Had to pop out into the street and right my wheelie bin which had blown out across the pavement and fallen over. Luckily not 'too' much of my rubbish nearby up and down the street to retrieve. Quite a bit of Bellas groomed fur is missing and probably now covering part of the town. lol . . the dodgy triband colinear aerial is suprisingly still up on the front of the house, but perhaps 'wobbling' and clanking even more? :o( . . woke at the PC as usual. Uh oh - trouble with my mouse not working? Messed around for ages swapping things around to test (and doing a restore - just in case - to before an unexpected microsoft update yesterday, which was the last thing I recall doing before turning the PC off and then finding the problem this morning) before coming to the conclusion that one of the USB sockets of the hub incorporated into the back of my monitor has inexplicably suddenly up and decided not to work!? That doesn't make sense? :o( . . walked Bgdns, out to the seat above the end of the breakwater and then back to the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee. Eventually back up to BGdns again. Became aware of a weird noise as I approached the main gun emplacements, and assumed one of the museum volunteers was doing work in there and had a generator going again. Wrong! Turned out there was a guy with his back to me wearing a big army type poncho in there, and several plastic carrier bags of belongings were sat in the middle of the gun floor next to him. (Homeless person?) The weird thing was, the noise I'd heard was him playing a long thick wooden didgeridoo!!! Another matching didgeridoo was poking up out of one of his carrier bags and leaning against the wall! From the way he was stood there, with his back to me playing his instrument and facing into a small connecting tunnel of steps at the back of the gun floor, I presume he was kinda 'getting-off' on the unusual accoustics. Weird! . sat and recovered from the climb up for a bit before eventualy back home via the local store for a few supplies . . . TVd/PCd this, as the wind gusts picked up a little more again. WTF? It would appear the monitor-hub USB socket which was having trouble earlier, is now for no apparant reason miraculously all back and working as it should/always has. God I so HATE the way PCs can suddenly for absolutely no apparant reason waste so much of ones time and do things like that. . .ate a banana, crisps and a few biscuits. . napped until after 7pm . . . TVd the cold night away . . . ate two haslet and grated cheese finger rolls, coleslaw, crisps and biscuits . . to bed around 3am.
14 - Up at 8am. 13C in, 3C out. A sunny spell to start with again. The relative calm before the forecast bad storm tonight. . . annadin tablet for breakfast . . . walked BGdns feeling increasingly weak, woozy and unwell. Eventually carried on down to the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee feeling really very VERY iffy indeed. Not simply lack of food surely? Eventually forced myself to get going again, and couldn't reach home fast enough! . pretty much all the time I'd been out, there HAD been quite a lull in the wind (forecast to last a few hours), and I really could/should have got the ladder up and tried to have a look at the aerial on the front of the house - but absolutely NO WAY was I in any fit state to. That's SO frustrating - and worrying given tonights forecast. Oh well - that seriously iffy aerial is just gonna have to take its chances and hopefully hang-in there for the forseeable future, until such time as simultaneously the winds drop to a 'safe' level, and I have the energy to have a bash at it. I'm really starting to wish I didn't have the damned thing up there at all. It's just too much worry for me now all the time. :o( . . . just sat around feeling awful and fragile and cold - always so cold. . . cooked and ate two quarter pound cheese burgers with chips and buttered mixed veg - and DID feel a bit better for it. . . napped until around 6:30pm. Felt 'better'. . . TVd the night away really uptight, just hoping for the best as the scary storm raged outside. Plenty of whistling from draughty windows and doors, and even creaking of the 'structure' of the house (as usual) - together with occasional 'clanking' from my wobbly aerial. :o( Gusts apparantly peaking up around 77mph. . . ate a banana and biscuits . . . to bed around 3am.
13 - Woken around 8am by neighbour noise. 14C in, 5C out. A sunny spell to start with. . .walked BGdns sheltering from the odd passing shower and then straight home . . . there IS definitely a 'problem' with the tri-band colinear on the front of the house!! For a little while now I've been aware of more noise than usual being transmitted through the mast, brackets and in through the house wall in high winds. A gentle but noticeable little clank seems to have developed every now and then. On returning home today, I stood out there for quite a while in the wind watching it (AGAIN!), trying to get to the bottom of what's going on. That damned aerial IS undoubtedly wobbling around more than it should. Something has 'failed'. :o( The T&K brackets and the mast and all other U bolts and brackets (as far as I can tell from the ground) all appear to be as they should be - but the aerial is definitely 'slopping' around far more than it should be. I'm going to HAVE to get the ladder up, undo it all and drop it all down for me to have a look - and that is no easy or small task! :o( I strongly suspect that the stupid little grub screw which holds the aerial base onto its short stub mast has either loosened or snapped or failed in some way or another? Damn damn damn damn damn! That's a physically demanding task for me these days - and one which absolutely cannot be done in any appreciable amount of wind - and of course strong winds is all we seem to have forecast for the forseeable future! Bugger. :o( . . . pottered around the house cleaning up just a little . . messed around for ages with an old pair of PS donated leather walking boots, wire brushing flaking rust off the metal eyelets, re-lacing them with 'salvaged' laces from my considerable collection of such things (I can often wear cheap shoes out quicker than the laces!!) , and finally getting some polish onto them. They should see me do a few more walks. . . did dish washing chores . . . TVd . . drank a glass of red wine . . . around 10pm with an absolute roar, there was a significant hail storm. It poured, and dumped so much on the ground, it looked very much as though it'd snowed! That was soon followed by a bit of lightning and thunder - and all with wind gusts up around 50mph!! . . to bed around 1am. Today I did NOT eat - all day!?! I WAS kinda hungry I guess, but just didn't seem have any appetite whatsoever for anything I had in the house. So - I just went without!!!!! :o(
12 - Up around 8am. 15C in, 10C out. Grey and windy. . .walked BGdns . . . sat around feeling VERY down - and 'sid'! . Drank some Baileys . . . ate a meat and pastry slice, crisps and biscuits . . napped . . TVd . . ate defrosted cocktail sausages, crisps, banana, biscuits and chocolate . . . to bed around 3am only to have trouble getting to sleep for an hour or more. Moodwise, this day was about as bad as they come. :o(
11 - Up at 8:30am. 15C in, 4C out. A cold clear sunny spells start . . . walked BGdns, down around the harbour, out to the seat above the end of the breakwater, back to the harbour to drink my coffee, along and back up into BGdns and then finally home . . . I'd noticed yesterday that the recent storms appeared to have 'opened up' the tupperware I'd put over the short back garden wire antenna unun and PL259 etc. Despite the blustery cold wind, I got the ladder up and set about trying to sort it out. Once I'd undone the clamps and dropped the whole mast down on the T&K brackets so I could reach the top, it became apparant that the tupperware I'd used had no protection from the effects of sunlight! It'd gone brittle and utterly fallen to bits! Ended up putting in the time to partialy dismantle it all so I could ditch all the crumbling bits of tupperware before fashioning a heath-robinson top cover from an aerosol lid fixed on and covered by loads of insulation tape, etc etc. Eventually just ended-up wrapping tape over everything and then getting the mast pushed back up into it's usual place. It 'should' be pretty much waterproof for the forseeable future, although since it's only the receive wire for my PCR1000 using the well dodgy old unun anyway, I'm really not too worried. . . .TVd watching the live BBC news coverage of the French Unity March in Paris. Touched base with Mum and suggested she may wish to watch some of it, in the hope that it may make her too feel a bit more positive about the world than the news of the last few days have offered. . Nous sommes Charlie . . . PCd a bit of this . . . TVd . . . ate two ham and mayo finger rolls, crisps, mini chocolate logs and chocolate . . . to bed around midnight.
10 - Back up at 10am. 16C in, 12C out. Mostly grey with broken shower clouds blowing through . . . walked BGdns REAL late . . .received notification that Virgin are ceasing my current broadband service I've had for years, and like it or not, I'm getting transferred to Talk Talk!!! WTF? :o( . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations . . ate the last of yesterdays boiled veg soup stuff with crisps and two pieces of bread and butter followed by some biscuits. . .napped. Real trouble waking for ages! . . . TVd the evening away. . Ate a slice of gala pie, crisps banana and chocolate . . to bed around 3am.
9 - Woken around 8am by noise from roofers working on a nearby house. 15C in, 10C out, wind and black threatening clouds in a mostly clearing sky. . . Image of Sea Kestrel, Gas Arctic, HMS Tyne and Sormovskiy-3051 in Torbaywalked BGdns in some good sunny spells but with an increasing amount of blustery wind. Four ships were moored in the bay apparantly talking shelter this morning. Cayman Islands registered cargo ship 'Sea Kestrel', Malta registered LPG tanker 'Gas Arctic' (which has actually been moored further out in Lyme Bay in the deep anchorage for at least several weeks right through Christmas etc), River-class offshore patrol vessel 'HMS Tyne (P281)' and Russia registered cargo ship 'Sormovskiy-3051'. . played ball in the mud, watching gannets circling and occasionaly spectacularly diving vertically into the waters of the bay. Sadly impossible for me to adequately capture on the camcorder. . messed around aimlessly pointing the camcorder at this and that for quite a while before eventually heading down to the welcome relative shelter of the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee. Wow - the working harbour appeared to be VERY full of trawlers/fishing boats all moored up. Taking wise heed of the atrocious weather forecasts I guess? . bought a few supplies before heading home in an approaching hint of drizzle. . .PCd this whilst constantly watching the news and developments en France. Turned drizzley with winds gusting up towards 50mph - and the roofers up the road just carrying on with their full re-roofing work!! . . .TVd the news and ended up watching what turned out to be the bloody-end of the French 'Charlie' terrorist seiges! :o( . . . napped until the 7pm alarm. . DF called in for arguments and coffee . . pressure cookered a pot of mixed veg in gravy. Ate half . . TVd until intending to go to bed, but just as I was about to at around 2:30am, the coastguards pagers went off. A red flare sighted over by Berry head by TWO independent first informants ringing 999 - coastguard troops being called out to Berry Head to look for possible vessels in distress. Couldn't help myself staying up and listening-in to developments. In strong wind and drizzle the CRTs ended up covering the coast all along from St Mary's bay to Berry Head looking for the source, but all to no avail. Eventually the Torbay lifeboat was also called out to do a shoreline search from Shoalstone all the way around to St Marys. They ultimately sent up a total of three para-illuminant flares, to light everything up and give a chance of seeing anything they couldn't see in the dark. At the same time they put up the last couple of the flares, the CRTs returned to the homes of the first informants to ascertain by comparison, where the orginal flare had gone up in relation to the position etc of the current illuminants. The general census appeared to suggest they were in the right area (allowing for the strong winds), but the original flare had been seen MUCH higher in the sky, strongly suggesting it'd been fired from land (presumably atop the 200 feet high Berry Head cliffs and headland area). Stood looking at length out of my living room bay window across the poorly lit town, I ended up being able to clearly see all three of the illuminants when they were fired by the lifeboat! Shortly after the last of the flares had been fired, helicopter rescue 169 finally arrived on scene to do a FLIR search of the relevant bit of coast. I even ended up stood on the front doorstep watching the distant lights of the helicopter briefly rising above the distant rooftops horizon. Far too much wind and drizzle to hear anything from it (gusts up approaching 50mph!) - although amazingly in the dark depths of such a filthy night, a robin somewhere right nearby was singing his little heart out!? . Comms from the helicopter suggested conditions were not particularly favourable for doing an effective search, but they did two sweeps of the coast right round to Shoalstone nontheless. Once those fruitless searches had been completed, Falmouth coastguard determined the flare was likely let off from land and was a false alarm, so no further action was required and everyone was stood down. Finally! - straight to bed at 5am!!!!!
8 - Awful broken sleep then up around 8:20am. 15C in, 10C out, grey and raining to start, but gradually clearing to breezy sunny. . . walked BGdns. Jeeze - the ground was saturated and just a horrible muddy bog I could only just walk across! Played ball for a while nonetheless, briefly sheltering in a gun emplacement when a shower passed through. Oh FFS - I spotted a flea on Bella! So yet again, that IS why she's been all scratchy and itchy of late. :o( . . carried on down to the inner harbour, dipping Bella in the sea on a slipway on the way, just to get some of the caked-on mud off her! Sat and drank my coffee on a harbourside seat in the sun before buying some potatoes and then heading home. . .gave Bella a flea tablet for all the good it'll do! . . TVd the news. . aimlessly pottered around, unable to muster the required energy or interest to do anything at all - again - as always of late! :o( . . . PCd a bit of this . . . ate grilled cheese and chopped onion on two crusts of buttered toast followed by a banana and just a biscuit or two . . napped poorly/briefly. . . TVd . . . drank a little red wine . cooked and ate two chicken kievs with chips followed by some chocolate . . .to bed around 2am.
7 - Woken earlier again then up around 8:45am. 15C in, 8C out, cloudy and breezy. . . walked BGdns. UK registered buoy-laying vessel 'Patricia' was moored in the bay, presumably taking early shelter from the forecast incoming stormImage of UK registered buoy-laying vessel 'Patricia' in Torbay . . . TVd the (mostly BBC) news, watching the unfolding horror of events at the 'Charlie Hebdo' offices in Paris. :o( . . . did dish washing, vacuuming and laundry chores while TVing . . the replacement e-cig coils I'd ordered were delivered. They 'look' ok, so fingers crossed for when I eventually decided I need to change one . . .got highly 'irritated' by the fact that the BBC TV news presenters were constantly referring to all the information that was coming out on the internet via twitter and youtube etc about the Paris events, and yet they wouldn't show the viewer any of it because it hadn't been 'verified' or because it was allegedly too graphic! I'm really starting to worry about the seemingly high level of 'censorship' that the BBC appear to be engaged in these days. It is as though all the recent scandals have made the editors 'afraid'. They really seem to have lost the 'edge' that one expects from a 24hour news channel when something important is happening right now. I actually ended up on the PC having a gentle prod (just via Google) to see what was actually out there that I wasn't being told by the BBC as it were. I don't usualy have a stomach for 'witnessing' such horror these days (all far too upsetting), but on this occasion I DID watch a piece of Youtube video of the gunmen on the street murdering a policeman, before the BBC heavily edited/censored it and broadcast their 'sanitised' version of the events on TV. It WAS a horrible and deeply upsetting thing to see, but having now seen it, I do believe that the BBC should NOT have so bluntly simply cut out and censored that piece of the footage. All the BBC showed ended up being little more than a couple of gunmen walking around in the road before getting back in their car and driving away!! The full awful sequence, the 'casual' way the gunman walked over to and murdered the injured policeman, almost just 'in passing', was far more powerful and seemed to speak volumes about how they were clearly not unskilled at what they were doing. :o( Horror. . . . ate corned beef and ketchup sandwiches with crisps . . . napped poorly . . . TVd as the forecast storm battered the house. . .ate just lots of crisps and biscuits! . . to bed around 2:30am. Woke within an hour feeling nauseaus for quite a while!
Je suis Charlie. :o(
6 - Woken earlier by the noise of Bella scratching, snoozed on then up around 8:30am. 15C in, 9C out. Broken threatening black clouds. .Feel very down. . . walked BGdns. . . cut my hair and beard . . . TVd/PCd . . .ate crisps and corned beef, grated cheese and mayo sandwiches . . napped late until the 7pm alarm . . .TVd . . .ate crisps, mini cheddars, a chicken and mushroom pastry slice, biscuits, banana and chocolate . . . to bed around 2:30am.
5 - Woken earlier by the noise of Bellas largely empty stomach gurgling badly, snoozed on then up around 8:15am. 15C in, 9C out. Grey. . . walked BGdns and on down to the harbour . . .TVd/PCd . . . the e-cig tanks I'd ordered arrived in the post already . . . cooked and ate a large dish of mixed veg doused in melted butter followed by a couple of biscuits . . . lay down to nap but couldn't. Just tossed and turned until the 7pm alarm . . . TVd the night away . . . ate a large bag of crisps, a couple of mini chocolate logs and biscuits . . . to bed around 1:30am.
4 - Woken around 7:30am by the smashing and banging sounds of the recycling lorry!! They were supposed to collect all the recycling on Friday I think it was, but presumably because of the huge amounts that everyone had put out after Christmas, they hadn't managed to do it all as they'd planned and all the boxes and rubbish had (irritatingly) been left out for the last couple of days waiting for them. I didn't imagine for one minute they'd suddenly be turning up so early on a SUNDAY morning!! Jeeze - who'd want to do that job! Aside from everything else, they really must walk MILES every single day! Physically I simply couldn't cope. They SO deserve to get paid loads more than I imagine they are. 15C in, 7C out. . .walked the woods-ish. Turned out to be impossibly treacherously muddy (given the shoes I was wearing) , and I actually detoured to reduce the length of the walk and avoid some particularly muddy stretches. . Sat on the steps of Fishcombe Cove throwing the ball for Bella across the beach for a while. The tide was well out, so plenty of room to play without getting her cold and wet in the water - and uncontrollably hyper as is always the result when she swims. . up into BGdns for more muddy ball play before eventually heading into and around the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater. . eventually headed back to the inner harbour and the old undercover fish market near the Golden Hind replica, arriving there around low tide. I've been meaning to have a go at something there, tide allowing, for quite a while now - and the fully low tide meant now was the perfect opportunity. Sheets of metal mesh 'fencing' having been fixed to the bottoms of the railings atop the harbour wall all along there, presumably to stop small children and dogs etc etc from being able to fall through and off the wall into the water below. Hardly 'necessary' in my opinion, and actually an irritating eyesore 'I' think, particularly since that mesh is just held onto the railings with nylon cable ties! Anyway - who knows when, a large maybe ten foot by two foot section of that metal mesh had been dislodged from its rightful place affixed to the railings, and had found it's way into the water of the harbour nearby. It's been laying on the 'seabed' there for quite some time. I'd long since spotted it and figured that given it was laying right near some harbour wall steps, at fully low tide, it WOULD be possible to just walk down the steps and reach out and grab it from the mud. I tied Bella to the railings and easily succeeded in dragging it out of the mud and back up the steps to beneath the roof. I had no means of fixing it back where it came from, so I just dumped it on the floor there for hopefully 'someone' to sort out. I went back down the steps to the black toxic mud and also managed to retrieve two long metal poles which form parts of the market stalls they often put up there. I noisily dumped both of those on top of the heap of such parts at the far end of the market. As luck would have it, some huge tarpauline covered containers under the fish market roof had puddles of water on top of them, so I had somewhere to wash off the toxic oily black mud my hands ended up covered in. My good deed for the day - not that I can imagine anyone would actually give a toss. lolol Satisfying to me nonetheless. . sat on our usual bench seat near the Golden Hind and leisurely vaped and drank my coffee. . Some guy stopped and asked if he could take our photo!?? lolol (Me all tramplike in threadbare 'grey' layers, wooly hat and fingerless gloves drinking my coffee!) As if that wasn't unusual enough, he then proceeded to take a single snap using what looked like an old FILM camera housed in a brown leather case! Very weird. . the bit of south easterlyish type wind that had been around earlier seemed to drop away to very little, and with the temperature rising to around high single or even low double figures C, despite the mostly grey skies, it felt really quite pleasant out. Ended up walking back along and up into BGdns to sit around for even longer. . eventually got home not far short of 1pm!!! . . . PCd a bit of this . . . bathed Bella! . . .TVd the evening away . . ate several mum donated mini chocolate rolls followed later by six fish fingers in two buttered baps . . . to bed around 1am. Bella left most of her evening meal again.
3 - Up around 9am. 15C in, 11C out. Wind and rain. . . walked BGdns in light waterproofs and played ball in the drizzle. . . Mum called in with the paper and food donations for chats . . . drank a half a glass of red wine . . ate a slice of gala pie, crisps and biscuits . . .according to my living room scanner, coastguard troops together with the ILB were all called out to the cliffs at the eastern end of Goodrington somewhere near 4pm. A couple of 'youths' had made-off from the police and had taken to the cliffs to attempt to escape. Duh! They were pretty quickly returned to shore by the ILB and handed over to the police. Idiots! They should bill them! . . . napped until gone 7pm. . .drank more wine and TVd the night away . . .ate two quarter pound cheeseburgers in buttered baps with chopped onion followed by chocolate . . . to bed around 2am or later.
2 - Up around 8:30am. 15C in, 6C out. Broken cloud. . . walked BGdns. As we approached BGdns, a dog walker I quite often see was coming back, but unusualy with TWO dogs today. Turned out she'd found one of them apparantly running loose down on the beach and had managed to catch it. She'd rung the number on its collar but there'd been no answer, so she was having to take it home. . when we entered BGdns I mentioned it to a couple of other dog walkers and suggested if they saw anyone searching for a lost dog, they'd know who had it etc. Just as I was starting to walk away, a flustered looking woman came walking over, and sure enough, she was searching for her missing dog. Her husband was apparantly also searching up the other side of the woods in the high field. On this one particular occasion, she'd forgotten to carry her phone with her. Apparantly their dog often runs out of sight when doing such a walk but always returns in due course. .That's always the danger with 'rescuing' what one believes to be a lost dog. lol I've come 'close' to walking off with someones dog like that myself on more than one occasion. lolol Thankfully the other dog walkers knew where the woman lived who'd 'rescued' it, so I left them to sort it all out and give her directions, etc. (The owners and dog WERE eventually reunited apparantly) . . . Back via the store for a few supplies and then the pet store for two more 2.49 rawhide chewy things for Bella . . did laundry chores . . messed around with my e-liquids and mixed up a couple of 10ml pots of my DIY 'toffee' flavoured juice to keep me going for a while . . dug out some bits of campanula from the back garden borders and put them in a handful of small plastic coleslaw pots in the conservatory, in the hope they'll take and be good for populating more of the front garden border in due course come the spring . . . TVd/PCd . . ate two turkey slice finger rolls with coleslaw and crisps . . . napped . . TVd . . ate crisps and bowls of rice krispies . . to bed around 2:30am.
1 - Up around 8:40am. 14C in, 10C out. Drizzle, grey and breezy. . . walked muddy BGdns and then down around the harbour and eventually all the way out along to the end of the breakwater and back. Wow - all manner of debris and particularly lots of plastic fish boxes were washed-up and strewn all the way along the stones of the breakwater! Someone's lost a deck full! . very 'uncomfortably' breezy! . . eventually back to the inner harbour to sit in the light intermittent drizzle and drink my coffee. A couple more coach loads of visitors were all aimlessly milling around. Plenty of the harbourside 'tat' shops open to accomodate them. . . dumped the little handful of Bellas left over food from yesterday out for the birds before giving her fresh for her breakfast. . . recovered from the walk for a bit before returning Mums ansaphone message from earlier and touching base . . . PCd a bit of this. Looks as though all the fishermen are having a rare day off - a VERY empty AIS map for Lyme Bay. . messed around surfing e-cig stuff and ended up spending yet more money on Amazon!! Ordered "Genuine Kanger New Upgraded Dual Coil Heads 5 x 1.5ohm" for my Mini Protank 3s for 5.90 inc postage, and then went ahead and bought two more Mini Protank 3s for 11.68 from the same supplier that sold me the two I'm currently so happy with. Rather decadent having so many actual tanks, but THAT should enable me to start messing around easily swapping flavours and experimenting with nicotine-free again, etc, etc. - and have some replacement coils to hand for when the originals start to 'wear out'. ('Three weeks' of (heavy?) use based on what I've read online. As is my way, I'll force them to last longer than that I bet). . TVd . . . cooked and ate a big load of mashed potato, chopped onion, corned beef and grated cheese followed later by some biscuits and chocolate . . . to bed around 2:30am.
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