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February
1 - Up around 7am . . walked, still feeling pretty miserable. A dog walker said the wreck I'd spotted yesterday had happened around three years ago. Allegedly an expensive three masted yacht (much of one of the metal masts is visible amongst the debris ) had slipped its mooring and eventually been smashed to bits on the rocks right there. . received an estate agents flyer in the mail for one of the houses I'd spotted for sale in the adjacent street yesterday. Actually a pretty nice property, and vacant possession. If I wasn't 'stepped in so deep' in trying to buy the one I'm after, that would have been a really strong contender. Painful having to watch other likely properties come and go, in the 'hope' that the one I've offered on, won't fall through. :o( Nevertheless, I feel I HAVE to stick it out now until the first of March. I tried really hard NOT to become 'attached' to the place in case it falls through, but I've failed, and I've set my sights on it pretty much to the exclusion of all else!! :o/ If it DOES fall through after all this, I'm gonna be in a - um - pretty poor mental state (more than I am already!), that's for sure! . .rummaged through some of my stuff in the garage and thankfully quickly found my battery charger. Took the battery out of the car and put it on charge. I've got the impression that all the recent short night trips in the car to walk Sally, with the lights, windscreen wipers, heater etc on, may have sapped a bit of the life out of it. .Uh oh - quite a bit of oil seeping out around the engine here and there, and an uncomfortably low level on the dipstick! Need to top that up but can't face having to empty the garage of all my stuff in the hope of finding the container of oil that I 'think' I salvaged from home, so I think I'll have to go buy some once the battery is back in . . .ate Mum made polony sandwiches (Yuk! Tasteless. Don't buy that again please!), crisps, a banana and a little chocolate . .TVd . .napped. . . walked. Another pleasant, mild, and still evening. Really weird these last couple of nights how incredibly light it has been. Something to do with the thin covering of cloud and a bright moon behind. Didn't even need the torch!. . BB called . . ate Mum made tinned salmon, peas and chips and a little chocolate. . . TVd watching drama-doc. 'Inside Waco' with coffee and a buttered hot cross bun. Wow - what an extraordinarily clear example of the fatally flawed American way of dealing with things. If force doesn't work - use lots more force!! . . TVd until bed after 1:30am. s
2 - Up around 7:30am . . walked the woods in the sun. Really nice, mild morning. Vehicle tyre tracks were strangely evident along part of the muddy path. Down in the woods someone had done a little work, cut pieces off here and there, and moved a couple of the trees the recent storms had blown down to block the paths. What seemed strange about this was how little they'd actually done, and how much more they'd NOT bothered to do!?? . . TVd in the garage . . received a letter from the solicitor pretty much confirming what we'd spoken of on Wednesday, but also including a draft declaration of rights of way over the rear access lane. They'd also provided a photocopy of the technical specs. of their Potterton electronic programmer for the central heating system (which is all they have in response to my request for instruction manuals etc. for the heating system. Oh well - not what I'd hoped for but I guess they've showed 'willing'). . put the battery back in the car and then popped out to the nearest petrol station to buy a small container of engine oil. I'll play at topping it up some other time when it's cold . . PCd a bit of this, but I've not been in the mood for doing this for ages, and now has become a real chore again. . . ate a pastry slice and crisps, and some almond slices with coffee . . lay down to nap but had a hard time drifting off - and then the phone rang. Blimey - it was the solicitor. Things were apparantly suddenly moving along apace - the proposed completion date of 1st March was confirmed; the vendor WOULD be paying for the indemnity insurance policy in respect of rights of way over the whole length of the rear access lane; he was in a position to exchange contracts and required me to confirm I was absolutely sure, since there would be no going back, and he needed 'my thumbs up' to proceed!!!! I confirmed - "Excellent. YES! You have a BIG thumbs up!" (although for some strange reason I had to bite my tongue to prevent me from adding something like 'and you can stick it up your ***!!' ??????). He seemed to want me to confirm I had the funds available, and then suggested given the generous time scales involved, I could pay the outstanding balance due for completion, to him by cheque some time to clear before that date (I think which will save me the hassle and expense of electronic tranfer fees and such, which seems like a good idea despite the loss of a few days of interest). I should consider obtaining buildings insurance cover immediately. My final question was, when would the actual exchange take place. His answer was, in the next few minutes!!!!!! Bloody hell - so it's actually happening (maybe?)!!!!!! Gulp! . . told Mum the news, headed for the garage for some chain smoking and then got on the phone, checked my bank balance and then started trying to get quotes for buildings insurance. Each call was a lengthy hassle and I only managed three before going with the last. .I guess I 'should' be in a relieved/happy/celebratory mood now the contracts are exchanged - but somehow I'm not. ALL of this - the last four months of agony - it's all been forced upon me. Nothing about any of it is cause for any celebration as far as I am concerned. I am bitter and angry and more emotionaly damaged than I have ever been.. . walked. The cold wind seems to be picking up again. Somehow managed to avoid the Friday night yobs and was just leaving BGdns as noise suggested they were arriving. Much hollering and such from the direction of the distant woods as I walked back. . . BB called . .ate Mum made tinned salmon, peas and chips and a little chocolate. . TVd, struggling to stay awake after having missed my nap and after only around five hours sleep last night, until bed around midnight. a
3 - Woken by Sally around 7:30am . . walked. Suprised to find BGdns relatively intact after another Friday night (except for what I think was fresh graffitti in one of the lower pill boxes). Collected up a couple of wine bottles and half a dozen beer cans and found 1. Carried on and walked the woods. As I'd suspected from the screaming and hollering noise I'd heard last night, there HAD been a gathering in the area of the 'usual' clearing, evidenced by the bottles and cans strewn around the place. A carrier bag was hung up in a tree not far away, so I put in the effort (to 'earn' my 1) to clear it all up and filled the bag, and left it laying there for me to pick up on the way back and relocate to one of the refuse bins in BGdns. . a dog walker passed by as I was sat there and joked, 'So you've joined the 'Last Of The Summer Wine then.' Apparantly, the little group of old guys who sit under the roof every day talking largely nonsense when walking their dogs, are called that by others (many of whom keep an obviously wide berth) - and I have been happening to sit there at that time and sometimes join in their conversation (or eavesdropping at least) most days! Yikes!! I'm a bit young for that - I hope! I may have to start sitting somewhere else for my morning cigarettes! Distancing! lol . . received a letter from the solicitor in the mail confirming the exchange of contracts, and giving instructions on what to do with regard to sorting out the utilities, etc. for the completion date. My 'cell'!So - 'just' another four weeks to get through. Figured I'd better take a photo in the garage, for posterity, of where Sally and I have been spending the majority of our time these last three long months, surrounded by the pitiful boxed remnants of my life!! What the picture can't show is how numbingly cold it is out there. :o( . . . returned BBs middle of her night call and heard about her neighbour's dog who'd scratched at her door to be let in and then proceeded to start having puppies!!! . . .put the engine oil in the car, and mistakenly overfilled it just a little! The amount of leaked oil under the bonnet and thick sludge around the oil filler, don't bode well for a long life (which is pretty predictable, now I won't be able to afford a replacement). . PCd this. . ate Mum made ham sandwiches, crisps, a banana and some toffee popcorn. . BB called after having been joined by a total of TEN puppies!!! . . headachey. Napped only to wake with an equally nasty headache. . just setting off to walk and spotted a guy just down and over the road, strangely sat on a garden wall. As I appeared and he saw me, he immediately stood up and sauntered slowly up the road. Headed off with Sally as normal, but there was something about that guys behaviour that got to me. It just wasn't 'usual' for round here - and of course I am constantly on guard, just in case some nutter from back 'home' (Bristol) takes exception to the remnants of my online journal and decides to seek me out for - um - who knows what! Gave Mum a call on the mobile and told her to make sure the doors were locked. Turned around and walked back up the road to find the guy had probably been into the local store, and was now sat nearby on someone elses wall, opening up a new pouch of tobacco about to roll a cigarette! Walked Sally to the top of the road and then back - and the guy was gone. He was 'probably' innocently awaiting his Saturday night lift out somewhere. Stopped off briefly and then drove Sally to walk - very uptight (paranoid!). . clear sky, bright full moon, cold breeze. When I type here such things as, I am 'more emotionaly damaged than I have ever been' - I mean it. :o( Promptly threw up in BGdns!!! . . just back to the car in time to hear/watch a ten strong group of youths apparantly heading off to camp out in the woods! (Bit cold for that!) They were all walking in the road on the blind bend. The approaching car was forced to brake and negotiate past them, as one of them called out 'w***er' at the driver . . BB called . . TVd/PCd this . . ate Mum made ham sandwiches. .TVd until bed around 1:30am. aas
4 - Up around 7:40am . . walked the woods. The youths were apparantly still asleep in their tent in the 'usual' clearing, surrounded by their litter and beer cans. . Very nice morning and almost spring like in the sun. Scuba divers were diving from a boat just off shore! Brrrrrrr!! The 'word on the bench' was that the emergency services had been out to the cliffs again earlier, on account of that same mentally disturbed woman - again! . . sat around/TVd . . ate a pastie, sausage roll, crisps, a banana and four small Mr Kipling apple tarts (complete with traces of tin foil embedded in the pastry!!?). .seem to have trapped a nerve in my back or something. Twingey! . . napped . . walked. Cold and almost clear starry skies . . BB called . . ate Mum cooked baked beans, grated cheese and four pieces of bread and butter . . TVd until bed after midnight.
5 - Up around 7:30am . . walked the woods on a little frost. Blimey - the 'usual' clearing was not as covered in litter as it could have been. Did they actually clear up after themselves I wonder? . . ate Mum made pate sandwiches, crisps and a banana . . napped. . walked. I am aware because of what has happened and how I'm screwed up and hypersensitive about it, I am much more prone to type up on my journal, all the 'nasty' stuff, about the local yobs, the graffitti on the pill boxes, etc, etc. I've made little mention of how it really IS in the most part, very different down this way - in a good way. Little things like, people you don't know are MUCH more inclined to make eye contact, smile and say good morning as you walk past. I've said more 'good mornings' since I've been down here than I did in the last five years back in Bristol. I like that. It's so - um - 'civilised' and SO far removed from what I've been used to for oh so long . . This evening as I walked in the direction of BGdns with Sally, I passed a couple of elderly people walking hand in hand in the opposite direction. We exchanged our 'good evenings' and then they earnestly sought to warn me of the perils that lay ahead. Some dog poop had been left by someone in the middle of the pavement! Careful not to tread in it! lolololol I like that! :o) . . ate Mum cooked pizza while watching the Panorama 'No Go Britain' program. Got a bit upset! There wasn't much featured on that program I've not had personal experience of, and it brought back a lot of the horror of my personal nightmare!! Not sure exactly what the purpose of the program was. Seemed to me it was simply convincing the viewer to just look the other way when THEY see antisocial stuff going on! Very upsetting. . PCd. Running up Mums phone bill by using the oh SO slow dial-up connection is something I've been attempting to keep to a minimum, but tonight I dared to have a quick surf and looked up something which has been hovering in the back of my mind as a real possibility. I think I've reached a point in my life, and have gained a sufficient personal understanding of me and the 'human condition' (all different magnitudes and expressions of a common continuum, etc, etc), where I have little more interest in playing the 'assign a label' game in respect of psych. diagnosies. Nevertheless, just for the record, my current assessment of MY 'stuff' is something along the lines of a pot pourri of Dysthemia, AvPD, and now a jolly good sprinkling of PTSD!!!!! Humph! :o( . . TVd until bed around midnight.
6 - Disturbed sleep then up around 6:20am . . walked . . TVd in the garage. . cut my hair . . ate pate sandwiches, crisps, banana and a little chocolate . . lay down to nap but couldn't, and tosssed and turned for ages, my mind going over all manner of stuff. Eventually managed just a little dream (nightmare?) laden sleep . . felt lazy and it was cold and raining a little, so drove Sally to walk. I drove past 'the' house on the way back again. Embarassing to admit that I've found myself unable to resist doing that, most times I've gone out in the car of late! In the course of the last day or so, the estate agent has changed the 'Sale Agreed' sign to 'SOLD'. Ha. :o) . . BB called . . ate Mum cooked sausage, bacon and eggs with four pieces of bread and butter and then some battenburg cake with coffee while TVing . . TVd with coffee and chocolate biscuits until bed around 12:30am. s
7 - Disturbed sleep then woken by Sally at 7am. Dunno what's going on with me at the moment. With the contracts finally exchanged and some of the pressure I've felt myself under, lifted, my ability to have a decent sleep seems to have gone to hell!?? . . .walked the woods . . . received the solicitor's instructions in the mail, for paying the remaining amount on the house and his final account. Ouch! I was starting to worry about how/when I was supposed do all that, so it was good to get it. Also received the house insurance paperwork in the mail. Despite having to make phone calls about all the utilities, the only thing preying on my mind now is the actual physical handing over of the keys thing on completion day. Nothing to do with the solicitor apparantly. Think I need to contact the estate agent about that, some time soon . .ate Mum made ham sandwiches, crisps, banana, chocolate biscuits and toffee popcorn . .TVd . . napped . .drove to walk . . touched base with BB . . ate Mum made spam, peas and chips . . TVd/PCd as a storm blew through until bed around 2am. Frankie Lane died this day
8 - Woken by noise from Sally at 7:20am . . walked in the cold wind with some sunshine. Hard to beleieve that much of the rest of the country is covered in a couple of inches of snow! . . TVd/PCd this . . made a bunch of phone calls to all the utility companies, etc., sussing out what I'm supposed to do when I move into the house. Every one of them was pretty much a case of read the meters when you complete and then phone to set up all the accounts. Also phoned the solicitor and confirmed I'll be paying the outstanding balance and his final account by cheque, a couple of days before the 'due by' date he suggested. The estate agent confirmed that the 'normal' procedure for the keys is that they get them, and will call me around midday on the day for me to go and collect them. So - that's pretty much everything sorted in my mind - nothing to do but wait. .headachey . . ate ham sandwiches, cheese, crisps, banana, chocolate biscuits and toffee popcorn for lunch . . . napped only to wake with the same headache. I think having the window open a little for ventilation in that bedroom, is pretty vital with both me and Sally crammed in there! . . walked. A suprisingly calm, clear and pleasant night. Sat around under the shelter for ages. . .TVd . . ate a pastie, crisps, chocolate bicuits and toffee popcorn. . TVd until bed around midnight. a
9 - Up at 7am . . Stormy! Drove Sally to do a quick once round of BGdns in the strong wind and pouring rain. Awful weather. Drenched immediately. Good job that wasn't snow or it would have been a hell of a blizzard!! Pretty damn cold and unpleasant nonetheless. . .Received the house insurance policy and paperwork in the mail. . called the house insurance people and asked them to remove the 'optional' 21 'family legal cover' bit of the policy, which I'm sure I'd been told on the phone was NOT optional! Grrr . . sat around . guitarred a bit! . . ate spam sandwiches, cheese, crisps and a little chocolate . .TVd . . napped. . walked. A pretty quiet, calm evening again . .tried calling BB but only an ansaphone again. Haven't heard from her for a couple of days now which is unusual and somewhat worrying. . ate microwave curry, two pieces of bread and butter and four small apple tarts with coffee . . TVd until bed around 1am.
10 - Woken by Sally earlier then up around 7am . . walked the woods and mostly missed the rain. Weird heavy mist hanging in the bay as I set off. Lots of ships moored in the shelter of the bay, which is always a sign of the weather. Seems to have warmed up just a little, but lots of rain forecast for the coming several days. :o( . . sat around/TVd just trying to shuffle off another day . . ate ham sandwiches, cheese, crisps and a banana . . napped . . walked and got caught out by a shower on the way back and drenched again. . TVd in the garage letting my steaming trousers dry on me . . BB called . .TVd . ate ham sandwiches, crisps and a banana . . TVd until bed before midnight.
11 - 5 shot panarama of a rainbow over TorbayUp after 7:30am . .very windy with sharp showers. Couldn't face the prospect of probably getting drenched yet again, so drove Sally to BGdns to walk. Cleared up a carrier bag of broken glass, bottles, beer cans and other debris (a rather elaborate looking torch/lamp sadly all smashed to bits) from the lower pill box. Found a heavily studded black leather wrist band ('Goth' style). Another morning with the foul stench of stale beer, urine and vomit in the air! :o( Why IS it that whenever the yobs discard their beer cans like that, they NEVER actually finish the drink? There is ALWAYS (everywhere) some left in the can - which of course makes it more difficult and unpleasant to clear up their mess! . . I didn't mention it here, but for the past months, one of the benches from BGdns has been sitting in one of the WWII gun emplacements. It was one of the benches made of robust planks of timber strung between heavy concrete end uprights. (It was one of these bits of timber that was broken off and snapped during the yobbery that occurred on the night of the 27th Jan). Despite its weight, the bench was being frequently moved around in the gun emplacement to make a more cosy seating arrangement for the groups of night time smoker/drinkers. A few days ago I noticed the bench was gone, and at the same time, all the green painted wooden bench seating that lined the inner wall of the gun emplacement, had also been removed. It occurred to me that perhaps the council park wardens had taken it all away, in an attempt to curb the abuse of the 'scheduled monument'. I was wrong! Destruction of the gun emplacement seatingStopping to pick up a beer can at the top of the steep rubbish strewn slope opposite the gun emplacement, I noticed that all the wooden seating and concrete bench had in fact been smashed to pieces and thrown down the slope! Bastards! :o( Despair! Seems as though I've arrived down here just in time to witness the systematic destruction of a sixty year old scheduled monument! :o( There is a cancerous poison running deep and unchecked in our society! :o( . . filled another carrier bag with litter for the bin, and found 2p. Largely escaped the rain . . PCd this . . .ate Mum made pate sandwiches, cheese, crisps and some chocolate . . napped . . drove to walk in the rain. Wow - judging by the lights that were visible in the distance, the extended bay was full of moored ships sheltering from the weather. I counted a total of thirty!! . . touched base with BB . .ate Mum cooked four sausages, eggs and beans with two pieces of bread and butter . . watched "The Day After Tomorrow" on TV. Watched it all the way through but should have called it quits after the impressive effects of the first quarter of an hour, because it soon degenerated into a typicaly implausible 'disaster movie'. . TVd until bed around 11:30pm. a
12 - Broken sleep then up around 7am . . windy with heavy showers. Drove to walk in full weather gear in the rain . . back at Mums, a rather sick looking pigeon was sat under the fir tree near the back garage door. It didn't even move as I came within a couple of feet of it, going back and forth getting coffee! . . drove with Sally and Mum to the pet store needing to stock up on dog food supplies. The last time we went there the woman on the till said it was ok to bring dogs in, so this time we went in with Sally. Must have been like an Alladin's cave to her, with all that food and treats stacked up all around. Much excited sniffing. Even more excitement when she spotted the caged rabbits and hamsters etc. (Sad. I HATE to see living creatures for sale like that - like any other disposable stocked commodity. :o( ) . the good news was the chance discovery of a large stack of special-offer packs of 24 tins of Winalot. Worked out at 36p a tin, which is pretty good for expensive Winalot. Took advantage and stocked up - lots. (96 tins @ 34.56 and a 17kg sack of PAL complete @ 17.99) That'll keep me/Sally going for a bit. :o) . popped into the Morrisons supermarket on the way back for a few supplies. . the sick looking pigeon was STILL under the tree on our return, a good couple of hours later! Minutes later (perhaps because Sally had been staring at it from only a couple of feet away through the garage door window) it was gone!?? A short while later Mum discovered what had happened. Once again, there was a full ghostly impression of a body and wings in the middle of the living room window. The poor pigeon must have tried to fly straight through the glass. Incredible how the birds that occasionally do that, can mostly eventually recover. Can't understand how they don't instantly break their necks! . . . ate Mum made pate sandwiches with crisps, a banana, two chocolate muffins and some chocolate covered raisins. Too much really! . . napped . . walked. Still a large amount of lights visible from ships in the bay, although slightly less than last night . . ate Mum cooked cold sliced tongue, chips and peas and a little chocolate . . TVd until bed around 2am.
13 - Broken sleep then up around 7:30am . . a much calmer, dry morning. Walked the woods. Just down the road after setting out, some idiot had smashed a bottle all across our route. Tried to walk Sally around the broken glass without getting knocked down by passing traffic, but somehow she managed to get a sliver of it in her paw!! Luckily spotted her limp pretty soon after, and managed to get the glass out of her paw without too much blood or hassle! It didn't seem to give her any trouble, and in fact she is acting very much more her 'normal' self of late (except for the lingering stiffness from her joints, which I suspect we may be stuck with), which is a very considerable relief. . Took my tripod and camcorder intending to have a go at doing some stills of all the ships in the bay, but by the time we got back to BGdns most of them had slipped away on the calm seas. Word on the bench was that out in the 'wider bay' (actually largely out of sight I think), there had been in the region of sixty ships, apparantly sheltering there because of bad weather in the Bay of Biscay!? Huh?. . TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate ham sandwiches, crisps and some chocolate raisins . . TVd and ended up watching a bit of an (awful) old film 'Sea Wife'! One bit of the script struck a chord. "Empty your minds. You must learn to eat time". Yeah - that's pretty much what I've been trying to do for the last few months! With 'only' a couple of weeks to go now, it seems to be getting more and more difficult! :o( . . napped . . drove to walk in the torrential rain . .ate Mum cooked pepperoni pizza with extra cheese and onion . . TVd until bed around midnight. s
14 - Dreadful nights sleep tossing and turning and waking up pretty much every hour, then up around 7am with a bad headache. . walked the woods. If I dare to allow myself to think at all, I think I'm feeling pretty down at the moment. Even the prospect of having a 'home' in a couple of weeks, seems to be filling me with trepidation and despair!??? :o( . . sat on the bench with the usual crowd of dog walkers, we watched as an old guy, unsteady on his feet, wandered across the muddy grass to a favoured vantage point with a bunch of flowers. It's Valentine's Day and he was apparantly placing them in the hedge in memory of his late wife. (One of the dog walkers recounted how he had once said that the WORST thing (about getting old) was being left on your own.) Sadly very moving as he pulled out a handkercheif and maybe wiped away a tear. Apparantly emotionally 'unstable/vulnerable' at the moment, that made ME start to well up!!!!!???? 'Come on Sally, let's go!'. . TVd . . ate Mum made ham sandwiches with crisps and some chocolate . . TVd . .napped . . walked. Hadn't gone particularly far before I spotted a trio of hoodied kids (around 10 years old perhaps?) standing on a corner on the opposite side of the road up ahead. As I walked past they leaned over a garden wall, tore off a piece of someones hydrangia bush, and proceeded to set fire to it. I attempted to ignore them and 'not get involved' as Mum keeps insisting I mustn't, but as I looked back while continuing my walk, I saw them actually set fire to the bush in the garden! Am I supposed to ignore that too? I couldn't. I shouted out 'Oi!' as loud as I could and the kids ran off down the street, leaving the bush in flames. I hastily walked back and managed to 'pat' the flames out with my hands. Predictably, despite my loud shout, not a single face appeared at any of the windows of the surrounding houses. (Ironic that a 'Neighborhood Watch Area' sign was fixed to a post within a few feet of the slightly singed bush). I did ring the bell of the house concerned intending to let them know, (there was a car in the drive) but no one answered. I carried on my way, feeling utterly sick. That's all it takes isn't it. A 'little' (!??) incident like that, for ME to become a target again!! Utter despair!!! . minutes later I suddenly had that sickening spontaneous crunchiness in my chewing gum that I've experienced before. A huge filling from one of my teeth had come out! Jeeze! Now I have the hassle and expense of sorting THAT out! :o( . at some time during the day down in BGdns, someone'd had a small bonfire in the gun emplacement! . .returned home feeling seriously down. I just can't believe I keep on encountering such things. :o( . . TVd in a deadly dark mood . . no appetite but ate a cold pastie, some battenburg sponge cake and a banana just to stop my stomach groaning . . TVd until bed around 1am. s
15 - Broken sleep then up around 7am . . walked. On the way to BGdns I passed a skip in someone's garden with a computer chair in it. Couldn't resist knocking on the door on the way back and asking if I could have a look. Unfortunately it turned out to be very fit for the skip! . . .TVd/sat around feeling miserable/PCd this . . .ate Mum made ham sandwiches, crisps and some chocolate raisins . . napped . . Woke late after 6pm feeling tired and achey, and really not wanting to have to do the walk, as much as anything else because I just wasn't up for potentially experiencing any more yob hassle! Drove to BGdns for a quick once round. . . ate Mum made fried spam, peas and chips and a banana . . TVd until bed.
16 - Up before 7am. .checked the TV news weather forecast and asessed the sky as usual before setting off to walk the woods, but got it completely wrong. Didn't wear waterproofs and by the time we'd reached the woods, it was absolutely pouring with torrential rain! Sat under the cover of one of the old ruined lime kilns for over half an hour, but there was no let up and no escaping it. Eventually just headed back, getting totally soaked through. . the view from BGdns was grey, with no discernable difference between the sea and sky, and with no sign of the opposite side of the bay visible through the murk! Eventually back after the full two hour woods/BGdns walk (just 'eating time'), and almost all of it in the pouring rain. Very cold and wet letting my steaming clothes dry on me (despite Mums horrified objections)! :o( . .steamed . ate Mum made ham sandwiches, crisps and a banana. .TVd . . napped. Woke up feeling bunged up and yucky and was eventually sick! . walked and found 50p. . . ate a chicken and mushroom pastrie slice, crisps and a banana . . . TVd/PCd until bed around 1am.
17 - Up around 7:30am . toothachey . . walked to BGdns. Cleared up some empty vodka bottles, found a 'New York' baseball cap (which I left on top of a refuse bin for someone to have), a lighter and most of a 50g packet of Spanish duty free Cutters Choice tobacco which I kept. . walked the woods . . TVd/sat around . . ate spam sandwiches, crisps and a banana . . napped . . walked . . TWO empty vodka bottles had been left in the pill today!! I've got used to finding mostly one a day, and had assumed that was some pathetic acoholics daily dose. God knows how they can afford it. I say 'vodka' bottles - but more often than not it is a 'Vodski' bottle of vodka 'flavoured' drink - at 30% proof!!! . . ate Mum cooked pizza . . TVd and watched the 'Vera Drake' film. Impressive in terms of the detailed 'period' feel. . .PCd a bit of this . .TVd until bed around 1am. s
18 - Up around 7:20am . . walked. Another night of destruction in BGdns! :o( More of the tiles had been torn from the roof over the seats, smashed up and thrown like frisbees down over the lower coastal paths (jeeze they really could take someones head off!). A bottle of Vodka had also been smashed by the seats leaving shards of broken glass all around where the dog walkers congregate. Cleared things up a little as best I could, but there really is no hope is there. Not for anything in this country anywhere. :o( I challenge anyone (at least in an urban environment) who thinks it's ok where they live, to walk the streets and open spaces of their neighborhood for at least an hour twice a day, EVERY day (if you dare!), with your eyes wide open. You'll see. You'll see, I betcha! :o( . . did some phone banking and transferred over the money for the house and got it in place in my current account, ready for paying the solicitors account. . I was so insensed by the mindless vandalism in BGdns, I ended up surfing briefly trying to find contact numbers/e-mail adresses for local papers, the council, BGdns Heritage Group, etc. . eventually called one of the numbers on the old BGdns website and asked the woman if I could speak to the guy that was named. Oops - he died over a year ago! She gave me someone elses number who now deals with it all, and I was able to ring him and have a bit of a rant about the destruction of the place, etc, etc. Turns out there is a bunch of people who passionately care about all the vandalism, but it's the same old story of how do you stop it, the police not able to do anything, etc etc etc. He suggested I pop down tomorrow and have a look around and have a cofee with him. Hmmm - you know, I think I just may well do so! . . touched base with BB . . ate corned beef, onion and mayo sandwiches with crisps. . . napped . . .walked but couldn't empty my mind of anti social type stuff and couldn't stop re-living lots of the events of 'my nightmare'. Very 'PTSD'ish!!!!! :o( . . .TVd in the garage for ages . . ate a cold pastie and crisps and a buttered and jam covered scone . . TVd until bed around 1am.
19 - Up around 7am . . . walked but didn't hang around. . grabbed a coffee then checked my bank balance to make sure the house money was in place and then wrote out the cheque. Largest amount I've ever written a cheque for!! . . walked with Sally down to the solicitors and handed the cheque over at reception. Did a brief half hearted tour of a few charity shops before heading back. . ate Mum made ham sandwiches with crisps. .uh oh! The PC won't boot!!!??? "A corrupt or missing system 32/hal.dll file. Please re-instal" - uh huh - ok, but HOW?!!!! . . left Sally at home and set off after 2pm in the rain, to the BGdns museum. Passing the bungalow down the road (the first one I viewed and had made a derisory/refused offer on. Had rainwater pouring in through the roof of the porch!) I spotted someone inside working on it (big rebuild) for the first time since the Sold sign had recently appeared. Oooh, ooh. Parked the car and cheakily rushed over and knocked on the open door, and asked, if they didn't want it, could I maybe have the picture that was hanging on the living room wall when I viewed it!!! lol (The picture was nothing expensive or 'special' - a reproduction of a nice 1985 David Shepherd painting of a rural landscape. Mum has one hung on the firebreast in her living room. It IS a nice picture.) How disappointing to be told that it had been cleared out and thrown away at the local tip on Saturday! Awwwwah! :o( . the guy working on the place was pleasant and chatty and actually allowed me in to see what they were doing. (Yeah - I knew that place had tremendous potential.) Big 'makes sense' changes to the walls and room layouts, two bedrooms going into the attic, and a planned extension on the side for a new living room! Had a bit of a chat and then the guy offered me an under-unit freezer they were going to be throwing away, which was actually sat outside in the rain amongst much other debris. Agonised over that but eventually said no thanks, because I've nowhere to put it - and perhaps more than that, I'd have a real hard time shifting it around on my own. Shame. :o/. . eventually back to the car and drove to the museum. . a couple of friendly old guys were on sight and warmly invited me in, to the amazing Alladins cave of militaria and guns and helmets and, and - wow! . within minutes of getting inside, one of the guys remembered me from when I'd asked if they'd lost the sundial I'd found, and he grabbed a book on a counter, thumbed through the back pages and quickly came up with the name and phone number of a woman who had subsequently been down there asking if one had been found!!!! Wow - cool. Jotted down the details on a scrap of paper. . Extraordinary collection of interesting exhibits for such a small place, and many of them ok for 'hands on'. Had a bit of a 'play' on a deactivated .303 rifle. :o) . eventually the guy I'd spoken to on the phone arrived. He appeared to be kinda 'in charge' and was amazingly knowledgable about the whole area and its history, which went back several hundred years more than I'd have dreamed. Amazing stuff. I was even given a cup of coffee! . finally managed to get their new website address before leaving - http://www.brixhambattery.org/ - but of course with the PC down now, I can't even have a look!! :o( And yes - in the fullness of time, I guess I WILL have to join their group. . . back to wrestle some more with my dead PC. Tried everything I could think of to get the PC up and running again, but no matter what I did, it wouldn't have it! Absolutely no way would it boot into the OS, not even in safe mode, so how the hell could I restore the corrupt file? :o( With hindsight I think I can envisage how I 'could' have done it, but by the time I'd found a repair/reinstal attempt from the WindowsXP installation disc had failed and succeeded in actually deleting the entire windows directory, I was screwed!!!! :o( . dismantled the PC, sorted out which spare hard disc to wipe, resigned myself to the loss of some programs and all the updates, and set about having to reinstal Windows from scratch - again! What a b*****d! :o( . . hellish headachey . .rang the womans number the museum guys had given me and confirmed it WAS their sundial. Got her address and said I'd drop it in later, but, worried about having scraped off most of the paint, cryptically gave her advance warning 'it may not be in the condition it was when you last saw it'! She assumed it would be damaged from the treatment the yobs had given it, so I left it at that. . . left the PC running installing Windows XP from scratch, and drove with Sally (and the sun dial) to walk in the rain . . found the house on the drive back no problem, and handed over the sun dial with suitable apologies about having attempted to strip the paint off. I think they said it was some sort of anniversary or retirement gift from someone - and obviously had some sentimental value. Their side of the story (I think) was they heard a noise one night but thought nothing of it. Then a while later their grandson rang them to ask if their sundial was still out front. They checked and it wasn't. The grandson had seen someone he knew (from Preston!?), with it, who ridiculously claimed they'd bought it in a nearby town! He'd given chase or some such, and the yob who had it, had thrown it away somewhere in the dark in BGdns. (Apparantly it'd actually been kicked off it's large sandstone plinth by the yobs engaging in anti-social idiocy called 'garden hopping'). . I didn't fully grasp the details of the whole story because it all seemed a bit weird and implausable. Suffice it to say, they seemed VERY pleased to have it back - even if they'd have to re-paint it. lol So pleased in fact that, despite my attempts at a refusal, they INSISTED on giving me a bottle of wine (Hardys VR Sauvignon Blanc) as a thankyou! They intend to re-locate it to their BACK garden. :o) Nice people. Made me feel - um - good. . ate salmon, peas and chips . .TVd until bed around midnight. aaa
20 - Woken by lots of bird noise (seagulls!) before 7am . . .walked the woods. Low cloud kinda misty out, but noticeably a degree or two warmer. Very high 'spring' tide. .a couple of military helicopters (I used to be able to recognise what type, but have lost touch these days. 'Puma' like or larger? ) passed low over BGdns which was pretty spectacular - and then a short while later a Chinook also buzzed over, although sadly higher up. . TVd in the garage, putting off having to go in and start work on re installing everything on the PC to try and get at least partially back up and running. What a pain - and much of it I can't do (like Windows updates) without a faster cheaper connection! :o( . .touched base with BB . . . eventually got successfully back to a 'usable' partial setup with the PC, albeit without many of the programs, any security updates, and any antivirus protection - so going on line to surf at all is now pretty much out of the question until I can buy some new anti virus software, somewhere somehow!!!!!!!! :o( . . ate a sausage roll, crisps and ham sandwiches . . napped - through until around 6pm! . . walked . . TVd feeling pretty down and headachey, as I have been all day. My down mood seems to be centred on my growing conviction that I'm gonna find it impossible to afford to live in the house I'm buying! EVERYTHING in this part of the country seems to be more expensive than almost anywhere else. Every time I hear the local news or a local radio station phone in, they are talking about things like how the local water authority is THE most expensive in the entire country and how they've just put up their prices yet again by an astonishing 15%!!!! Needless to say, the local council tax is also more than Bristol!! I just don't know how I'm gonna be able to afford it all! :o( Drank a small amount of red wine, in a desperate attempt to 'jog' my down mood into anything less dire. . ate a couple of nasty beef pastry slices (mostly grissle - given to Sally) and a handful of toffee popcorn . . TVd until bed around 1am. aaad
21 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:20am . . .still cold but a lovely sunny morning. . walked . . TVd . .PCd this . . touched base with BB. . ate Mum cooked three sausages, bacon and eggs with bread and butter. . PCd this . . napped for only an hour or so until woken by a dream/nightmare! (In the dream I was in the car with Mum and Sally, parked outside the local chip shop back in Bristol, with a mob of yobs assembled in a threatening manner behind the car - I was telling Mum to get Sally's head back in from the open window. I woke myself to escape it! I just can't get away from it can I - even in sleep! :o( ) . . walked in what turned into a bit of drizzle. .TVd . .ate ham sandwiches . . TVd until bed around 1am.
22 - Up around 7am. . more rain. :o( Drove to walk a very quick once round BGdns. . .sat around/TVd . . ate corned beef, onion and mayo sandwiches with crisps and then the last of the toffee popcorn . . napped . . drove to walk in the heavy almost persistant rain showers. A 'tall ship' was anchored pretty close by in the dark bay again, and looked very atmospheric with its on-board lights reflecting off the masts in the dark and rain . . .TVd . . ate ham sandwiches, a banana and some chocolate. . TVd. s
Salty sea dog Sally and a twin masted scooner thingy.
23 - Up around 7am again. Yet more rain. :o( Slow getting going. . set off in full rain gear around 8am and took my camcorder in case of a low-res. still-photo opportunity with the zoom lens from BGdns, if the ship was still there. It was. :o) . despite the VERY real prospect of being utterly penniless in the near future, it really is tempting to spend some of the last of my savings on a 'proper' digital camera, to maybe get serious with some of the views and sights that can be seen down this way. I can even envisage 'trying' to make some money out of it in a couple of different ways! . As luck would have it, the rain eased off and we hardly got wet at all. . .TVd . . PCd this . . ate corned beef, onion and mayo sandwiches with crisps and a handful of chocolate raisins . . napped, but only for an hour or so until woken from another nightmare (in which I was extracting one of my own teeth!!) with tooth ache! . . drove to walk in the rain. Got chatting to some dog walker guy who good naturedly ended up almost 'lecturing' me about the need to get some work to keep my house! He was doing four on, four off, twelve hour night shifts on some security job for minimum wage! Uh huh. :o( . . . passed a large group of fifteen or more youths heading in the direction of BGdns on the drive back. Filled me with trepidation about what would be left of the place in the morning! . . ate Mum heated pizza and then a banana. . TVd until bed around 1am. aa
24 - Disturbed sleep then up around 7:30am . . walked in some brief sunny spells. Cleared up two carrier bags of beer cans and debris from all around the gun emplacements. Amongst the debris and tea-light candles were a couple of weird glass miniature candle holders, the size and shape of ice cubes, with a funny little candle inserted in a cavity and protruding from the top. One of them was intact and undamaged. One of the friendly old dog walker guys seemed to be fascinated with it when I showed him, and he happily ended up taking it home! lol . . TVd in the garage . . . ate Mum made corned beef, mayo lettuce and onion sandwiches with crisps . . .napped . . .walked . . .TVd and drank a cup of red wine. . ate a chicken and mushroom pastry slice, crisps and a banana . .TVd until bed around 1am. d
25 - Up around 7:30am . . walked in some sunny spells. Little evidence of much activity in BGdns during the night, but filled a carrier bag with litter, mostly glass bottles and beer cans from the slope in front of the gun emplacements, nonetheless . . TVd, whiling away the hours (minutes, or even seconds until - hopefully - completion on the house! The closer it gets, the slower time seems to be dragging. I've tried real hard to not think about a 'count down', but perhaps understandably I'm increasingly failing. Now less than a week and down to a matter of days, I'm counting it off in terms of dog walks - and that is now down to single figures. Eight walks to go!!!! Time is standing still. :o( ) . .ate sausage rolls, crisps, a banana and some chocolate . .BB called . napped . . walked . . ate Mum cooked fried spam, peas and chips . . TVd until bed around 1am.
26 - Up before 7am . . walked the woods and allowed Sally to paddle in the cove in some sunny spells. . TVd . . trimmed my hair. .tick, tick, tick, tick, etc!!!! :o( . .surfed very briefly trying to get a feel for the most suitable/cheapest broadband and phone providers, for when I get in the house (despite how I must fully regard such things as an 'unnecessary' expensive luxury, when below the poverty line). I'm really tempted to give 'Virgin' a try, but have no idea how to sign up with anyone when 'inheriting' a BT wire like I will be. . touched base with BB . ate Mum made spam sandwiches, crisps, a banana and some chocolate covered raisins . . napped . .walked . .TVd . . ate Mum cooked pizza . . TVd until bed after 1:30am. s
27 - Up just before 7am . . walked in the drizzle . . TVd . .PCd this . .ate mini sausage rolls, a pork pie, crisps, a banana and a little chocolate . . napped . . walked . . ate Mum cooked three pieces of bacon, two eggs, baked beans and three pieces of bread and butter followed by some tinned pears . . TVd . . BB called . .drank a glass of vodka and orange juice and used up the little minature bottle of vodka that Sis1 had sent up in one of her homemade christmas crackers at christmas . .TVd until bed around 1am. ad
28 - Up before 7am . .walked around 8am under a bright blustery sky. Exchanged a glance or two with a nervous seal. M34 moored in TorbayDabbled with the camcorder attempting to photo the navy ship (M34) moored in the bay. (Pointless taking such snaps of course, but the novelty of being able to see such things during our daily dog walks hasn't worn off yet. lol) The forecast was for heavy thundery showers and boy were they right. Climbing up the paths from the lower part of BGdns, with a few rolls of thunder eminating from the thick cloud front hanging ominously in the sky across the bay, I became aware of a weird roaring noise. It was so loud I thought it was the blown waves breaking on the nearby rocks, except it didn't stop and ebb and flow like waves. Oh wow! Turned out to be a solid mass of hailstones sweeping in across the bay towards us. Never seen such a thing. Hail storm sweeping in across TorbayJust a huge impenetrable wall of water rushing in, turning the sea into a boiling sheet of white, obscuring everything behind it from view. Amazing. Rushed for the cover of the roof over the seats and then tried to take a shot or two as the storm swept in, but of course the low-res camcorder couldn't do it justice. Very lucky to be undercover for that, although even then we managed to get a little wet because it was blowing some of the torrential rain and hail through under the roof, and turning the surrounding paths into rivers. Spectacular. .within ten minutes the storm had passed off out to sea and we had a dry blustery walk back. . . TVd . . called the solicitor just to make sure everything was in order and set for tomorrow. They said it was and even suggested they 'may' be able to make the payment before the usual midday or thereabouts. I can't help it - I'm fully expecting some last minute screw up from someone, somehow. . PCd this. . ate Mum made pate sandwiches, cheese and crisps . . napped . . drove to walk in the drizzle. Couldn't resist driving past 'the house' on the way home, and it looked as though there were no lights on! Could it be they've already vacated? . . ate Mum made salmon and onion, peas and chips . . TVd until bed after midnight. . tossed and turned, tossed and turned and just could NOT get to sleep. I was back out in the garage smoking a cigarette around 2:30am!! Back in for more tossing and turning and eventually no more than three hours sleep!! a
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