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28 - Up around 8:15am . PCd this. . walked with a refuse sack and a couple of carrier bags and headed through the woods to the beach to clear up litter. Actually - as these things go, there wasn't quite as much as one CAN get after such an event, which was a suprise. Still filled the refuse sack with cans and broken glass, to the point of only just carryable nonetheless . .developed a nasty headache. (Nothing to do with the several pairs of blue rubber, surgical type gloves I picked up amongst all the litter I trust! Eeewww! Just exactly what the hell ARE those used for???). Did dishwashing chores . . Mum called in with the paper and food donations for a cuppa and chats . . drank a splash of wine and cooked and ate fours sausages and chips. . napped until the alarm at 7pm. Woke with the same appaling headache. Sucked more annadin tablets and eventually managed to shake it. Drove to walk and had to drive around a large group of mostly (all?) girls, all walking down the middle of the road as they seem to arrogantly insist on doing these days. Huge numbers of loud youths were all on their way to the cove with carriers of beer etc. One couldn't resist grabbing the side of a parked truck and rocking it to and fro before he carried on his mindless way. Looks like yesterday was just a rehearsal for tonight! A quick once round with Sally and then back to the car and home before I risked seeing too much to stomach! . . guitarred/TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate a chicken and mushroom pastry slice, crisps, biscuits and a whole pack of jelly babies! . . TVd until bed around 2am. aas
27 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8:15am . .walked . . cleared up and vacuumed etc. Guitarred/TVd/PCd the day away without really actually doing anything at all! . . ate ham and cheese sandwiches with crisps and chocolate. .napped until the alarm at 7pm. . walked. Should have been with the quiet weather and all , but it wasn't very pleasant tonight. There was apparantly a big party of 'youths' on Churston beach. I don't know why (I've NEVER behaved like that) but the boys all seemed to be 'shouting' and the girls were all screaming! Had me ponder the evolutionary basis for such differing behavior, as I sat quietly in the dark, with Sally nearby gazing intently at shadows hunting for rabbits. . guitarred for a good couple of hours before even turning the TV on. That's becoming a bit of a habit, which is no bad thing, although I'm not actually 'learning' anything - just 'twiddling' and exploring whatever noises I bump into. . ate bacon and egg rolls and then a banana and some chocolate. . TVd until bed around 2am.
26 - Up around 7:30am . .sorted out some insulation tape from the garage and then walked and stopped in at Mums on the way home. Replaced her clothes line with a new one made from the strong telephone wire I bagged from the local telephone exchange for this purpose, months ago. She swears by a clothes line made of that stuff. She's never had one break on her like you get with a shop bought line. The only reason it needed replacing now, was that the outer plastic insulation sleeve had fractured and was letting in a little rainwater, which could then maybe seep out onto some drying washing. Based on previous performance, it is quite likely that new line I've put up (if I've done it well enough) will outlast her!! . . touched base with BB . . pottered in the garden a little cutting back lavendar etc. Messed around for a ridiculose amount of time with all the solar lights, dismantling and cleaning them while putting all the batteries on charge. A large number of the NiCad batteries turned out disappointingly to have turned 'bad', according to the LCD readout on my clever charger, and ended up in the bin! Replaced them all with others I had laying around, and even put in the odd NiMH battery in one or two. Not sure the way they charge is compatable, but time will tell. . . ate a HUGE bowl of cottage pie and a couple of squares of chocolate . . napped until the alarm at 7pm . .JK called to touch base . . skipped the walk . . guitarred/TVd the evening away. .ate a banana, kipling apple tarts and a pork pie before eventually to bed around 2am. s
25 - Broken nights sleep then finally up around 8:25am . . walked. Saw K who donated another plastic container, of the type I said I'd like more of if possible, for putting all my stuff in, in the garage. The one he gave me actually apparantly contained some fit-for-eating, left-over cottage pie from the golf club. :o) . . pottered in the garage with the old tap valve from Mums, trying to find any tools that would tightly fit it, better than an adjustable spanner. Eventually found a couple of old spanners which were a much better fit and couldn't resist calling Mum to suggest I return to have another go at replacing the kitchen cold tap valve that I couldn't budge yesterday. She said ok, but was just on her way out which suited me fine. . left Sally at home and walked to Mums with a rucksac of tools etc, let myself in and nervously had another go at her kitchen cold tap. Thankfully the tight fitting spanner did the trick and without 'too' much ado, I was able to fit the new valve. WHAT a relief. (If that tap had broken while attempting that, I'd have been in BIG trouble!!) Under the circumstances, with the valves now being regular screw on/off types rather than quarter turn types, it seemed to me using the new rounded chrome tap tops made better sense so I fitted those instead of her old square ones. Actually looks rather ok I reckon - matches the trim on the plug/overflow etc. If it was mine - I'd be quite happy to carry on using it like that, rather than have the headache of buying an expensive whole new one and trying to have it fitted (I've never fitted a sink, pillar mixer and am pretty sure it'd be a HUGE hassle of 'proper' pipework plumbing in an impossibly small space in the cupboards beneath her sink to do!!! NOT something I said I'd want to have to do - she'll have to get a plumber!). . . things went so smoothly, I even decided to revisit the bathroom taps, and remove the bath cold for inspection. It didn't appear to need attention but was the only one of the four in the bathroom that I didn't attend to yesterday. As it turned out, the tap washer WAS indeed perished! Damn - I hadn't brought any with me! Had a quick look through various jars in dads garage but suprisningly couldn't find any, so ended up having to walk all the way back home to get one from my collection before returning and fitting it. .Phew. Happy with the results. All the leaking taps sorted. That should see her ok for the forseeable future, although ALL those bathroom tap valves are pretty old and will undoubtedly require cleaning off again in the future as the corrosion builds up again - but having had them all apart already (and greased the threads a little) will make that more like the 'five minute job' it should be! (famous last words?!) Progress to THIS point is where I should have been yesterday - or even the day before!! Damn that bath panel - if it wasn't for that, it'd all be a done deal. . cleared up and left a note for Mum and was just about to head out of the door when she returned. Coffee and chats before eventually walking home, complete with Mum donated sausage rolls and crisps . . ate Mum donated sausage rolls, crisps and some chocolate . . napped until around 5:45pm. .TVd the news while sewing up a couple of big-toe holes in my socks! Trimmed toe nails and then walked with a thermos of coffee for prolonged sitting in the dark in BGdns . . guitarred/TVd. .ate K donated cottage pie. Pretty good it was too - and so much of it there, I split it in two to have another go on it tomorrow. :o) Ate a banana and three kipling apple tarts . . TVd until bed at 12:30am.
24 - Up around 7:30am, woken by a headache - again!? . .walked . .pumped up the car tyres (damn pressure guage on the footpump has stopped working accurately!) . .grabbed a couple of tools and then left Sally at home and drove to Mums - but I really, REALLY was NOT in the mood to be doing so . . Turned the heating/water off just to be safe, left a bath tap running down the plug to accomodate the faulty stop cock dribble, isolated the kitchen hot tap and removed the broken valve to take with us (and one of the broken spacers from the bathroom tap handles)! . well, that pretty much clinches the fact I will NOT be videoing stuff like I did last year. As we set off in the car, it was about the time they were apparantly having the pancake race down town. That was pretty much the start for me of all that videoing madness last year. Ever increasing numbers of my videos have been censored/muted by YouTube every time I go on there! :o( . . .would you believe it - THE road out of town towards the DIY store was closed. Followed the diversion signs only to end up going in a pointless big circle, almost exactly back to where the diversion had begun!!??! Grrrrr. My bear-with-a-sore-head type, increasingly appalling, angry mood just got worse and worse. Ended up going all the way into Paignton, instead of just popping round to a local store as I'd intended, and had to pay what seemed like extortionate sums (actually Mum paid - but it still outraged me as much as if I had), just to park for an hour so we could rush around looking for bathroom/plumber type shops. I never have any desire to go 'shopping' and haven't in ANY way learned where 'necessary' shops are in this part of the country. I felt like a fish out of water, rushing through the crowds heading for a shop Mum remembered 'may' be the kind I was looking for (although of course she really didn't have a clue. I wanted a plumbing/trade supplies type shop - not an expensive bathroom showroom like we first ended up in!). Actually felt homesick for Bristol! At least there, I knew exactly where to go for - um - well - pretty much anything and everything - and all only a couple of miles away across town! :o( . as luck would have it, we ended up in a small easily overlooked store which actually had a relatively cheap valve/handle replacement kit (£11ish I think it was) which I figured was worth a gamble to get out of the immediate problem, even though there was a suggestion the handles may not be interchangeable, and the valves were screw type and NOT the quarter turns I was actually after. They even had a couple (I wanted more) of replacement handle spacers for the bathroom taps for a few pence - which for some reason I'd got the impression (I'm sure Mum had said a workman had told her) would be difficult to get. Excellent. . actually managed a race through a couple of charity shops on the way back to the car. Would you believe it - in one was a boxed set of new individual 'standard' bath taps for just £7! (If both Mum and I didn't have a mixer tap with shower attachment, I would have bought those like a shot! With hindsight, I regret not having done so anyway, just for the potential of spare valves/washers etc.) I DID end up buying a black, very lightweight, pocketed fisherman type waistcoat for summer carrying of camcorder etc for £3, and a white plastic, hinged lid clothes basket for the bathroom for £3.50. (I already have one, but its old, gone off-white, and doesn't have a hinged lid like that which for some reason I much preferred.) . . drove on towards out of town DIY stores but saw a plumbing supplies place in passing and quickly pulled over, parked up and walked back with Mum. Turned out, they probably actually had exactly the quarter turn valve we wanted for the kitchen tap, but we were warned they were all 'slightly' different and we should have brought the tap tops to make sure. Would you believe it! I was SO convinced we wouldn't need them, because I thought these things were all standard/interchangeable fittings. The valves were so expensive, given what we'd already bought, I figured it'd be best to just hang fire and return if needs be. Ended up just buying some more bathroom handle spacers, which I figured was everything we needed right now - except for a bath panel of course! . . .on the way back to the car, walking down the street with my elderly mother, some young pr*ck on a moped deliberately swerved in close towards us as he drove past, hollering and mooning his ass - to the great amusement of the car load of young pr*cks following at speed close behind!!!! All I'm gonna say about that is - given the awful, out of control rage that I was ALREADY experiencing, it's just a bloody good job we were not yet in the car. If we had been, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind - I WOULD have chased and knocked him off, consequences be damned. . . took a wrong turn and got lost, did a 'road rage' type three point turn in the middle of the main road ranting and raving (poor Mum!!) , and then eventually found my way to an out of town DIY store to have a look at bath panels. They were all expensive, none looked 'particularly' suitable - and to me, some of those that 'may' have done the job looked as though you could maybe make one for much less! By now, I'd reached the end of my fuse. I'd just had enough and couldn't do any more. I wanted to go home, and poor Mum understandably had no objections to that idea! . drove the short hop to the pet store and stocked up on huge quantities of dog food before eventually heading home - the way we'd come without the getting lost and the diversions! . . straight back to Mums to set about having a go at fitting the new tap valves. Despite being a slightly different overall length in the handle spline part, the new valve fitted and I was even able to put the old matching brown handle on instead of the new plastic chrome - although since it was now a screw valve, the square handle didn't seem entirely appropriate. . as a 'it'll be ok for the time being' measure, it seemed perfectly acceptable to both myself and more importantly, Mum. That was until, I attempted to fit the new cold valve into the tap. I DON'T BELIEVE IT!!!!!!!!! No matter how I tried, I couldn't remove the old valve assembly - and the more I tried, the more the damn shifting spanner started to 'round' and strip the nut! (Why is it that shifting spanners ALWAYS seem to have a little bit of play in their threads, which encourages that to happen on stubbornly tight nuts? I HATE shifting spanners!) ARRRRRGGGGGGHHHH!!!!!!! I had no choice, because of my state of mind as much as anything else - I HAD to leave it!! Poor Mum was left with one new screw type hot tap and one old quarter turn cold! . eventually fitted the new spacers to all the bathroom tap handles, after having had yet more difficulty having to 'dig out' some of the broken bits that were stuck in them! . coffee and home via the store for milk and a reduced 60p beef pastrie slice . .ate the slice, pastie crisps and chocolate . .napped for a couple of hours and woke in a somewhat better frame of mind. Well - it could hardly be worse could it!! . . walked in the calm mild night. Much owl hooting in Bgdns . .sat in the front garden guitarring a bit . .phoned Mum and apologised for my outrageous behavior all day. I really was on the verge of being scarily out of control!? Some days I just need to be alone and hidden away, and this was definitely one of them. I really should have just told Mum we'd have to do it some other day. By now - I think she 'gets it'. . . ate ham, mayo, cheese lettuce sandwiches, crisps and buttered syrup cake. . TVd until bed around 1:11am. aa
23 - Up around 8:20am. . walked . . one of the dog walkers (a relatively near neighbour) jokingly asked if I was going to be crushing more rocks today. I explained I was NOT, because 'someone' had complained. He kinda asked who, before then volunteering who it probably had been. Turns out, that guy is kinda known for being a bit of an idiot. Even tales of how someone else had allegedly almost been tempted to come to blows with him about something or other! That conversation kinda put things into a better perspective for me, and enabled me to pretty soon start to forget about it all. . . would you believe it. Sat on the doormat when I got home was my refund cheque from the water company. So, it was already in the post when I rang up chasing it on Saturday! Typical . .had a quick coffee while gathering up various tools, wire wool, PTFE tape, grease, WD40 and anything else I could think from experience I may need, and then drove with Sally in the car to Mums to have a go at all her leaking taps. Started off with the 'easy' hot one on her bathroom sink. Easy because it had a functional isolation valve fitted to the pipe just below the tap. Predictably, the valve mechanism was all corroded more or less solid, and the washer was in pretty worn shape too. Took it out into the garage and meticulously dismantled and cleaned all the parts (drill/wire brush, etc) before touching it with a little grease and refitting it with a new washer. (Pretty sure all those spare washers I have in my collection, came from the field back in Bristol - found on the grass one morning after having been dropped by thieves making their getaway in the night from having broken into the local builders yard! Iyy thannk youp!). successfully did the same with the cold tap (easier said than done because every one of her bathroom tap handles has a plastic insert/adapter to fit the valve spline, and every one of them has broken into several pieces, which all have to be replaced like a jigsaw before you can get the handles to go back on!!) before turning my attention to the bath mixer taps. Looking for isolation valves, I'd already warned Mum I'd have to remove the bath panel. This was an issue because it had already been split in the past by some workman or other as he'd struggled to remove it. I was as careful as I could be (no one can begin to imagine HOW careful I am when doing stuff for Mum! It's a nightmare for me!) , and I almost had it out, when all of a sudden - CRACK! DAMN!!!!!!!! It split right the way across - actually 'almost' into two pieces! Unknown to me, I could have removed the first line of carpet tiles and would maybe then have been successful, but I suspect the actual plastic of the panel had become brittle with age and would probably have gone no matter what I did. Mum actually took this disaster (you can't get those panels, or anything in that colour any more) remarkably well, although probably because it WAS already broken and had been put up with like that for ages. I was kicking myself - and even more so when I found that there weren't even any isolation valves under the damn bath!! I'd broken it for nothing - and now had to start turning off the central heating boiler and the mains supply tap to be able to continue!!! :o( Sounds simple enough, but I was unfamiliar with her new gas boiler and felt obliged to skim through the manual just to make sure I wasn't going to mess anything up. It's one thing taking a chance on messing up your own stuff - it's a whole different ball game when you are 'working for someone else' - especially Mum!! . eventually turned it all off and then turned off the mains stop cock, only to find that the mains stop cock itself was really in need of replacement. It wouldn't fully shut off the water!! Putting as much pressure as I dared on the handle, it still let a trickle of water through all the time! What a bugger!! Only way around that was to open all the other taps and then quickly work through a non stop trickle of water! . eventually succeeded in cleaning the valve and replacing the washer on THAT hot tap before then looking at the leaking kitchen hot on her old sink mixer tap (the one with the previously identified faulty isolation valve!). Nothing is EVER as simple as it should be! Sorting out a leaking tap should be an easy five minute job, but of course I know from experience it never is. Turned out, once I'd managed to remove it with some difficulty, the quarter turn valve on her kitchen hot tap was not only corroded, but was also actually fractured! There was a big split right across the metal inside!!!???? How on earth can that happen? Bizarre. I would never have imagined that could actually happen. Now I was in trouble. . went through the motions and quickly walked with Sally to the nearby building supplies place to see if they had a replacement part, but of course they didn't. They suggested I'd have to go to Paignton to find anyone who 'may' have such a part. . under the circumstances it seemed best to push on and replace the faulty isolation valve to that same tap, to enable me to close it off and work on it as needed without having all the water shut off. Awkward and fiddly in the confined space of the little quarter cupboard beneath the end of the sink, but managed in the end to fit the new valve using the old nuts and olives! Pretty stressed out by all the aggro, I called it quits for the day and put everything back as it had been, including the broken dripping hot tap valve!. . ate three Mum donated ham rolls before eventually loading up and heading home. . lay down for a nap but somehow couldn't get to sleep . sat around feeling oh so tired . drove to walk . .touched base with Mum just to make sure everything was ok and eventually unwisely suggested we BOTH take a trip to the local DIY store in the car tomorrow, in search of replacement tap parts or a new kitchen mixer tap - and bath panels!! :o(. . guitarred/TVd/PCd and had a very brief look at random bath panel adverts. Jeeze - they're expensive!!? I hadn't realised they'd be THAT much - and you'll have to go collect it somehow AND then you'd have to risk cutting it to fit! :o( . ate bowls of corn flakes and chocolate . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. s
22 - Up around 8:45am . .coffee and cigs 'breakfast' PCing a bit of this . . walked. Carried on and walked the woods, despite wearing the new walking boots PS gave me which are rubbing pretty bad at the moment and threatening a blister on my right ankle bone! . lots of beer bottles and litter all along the way. That was just a taste of things to come. The beach at Churston cove was like a landfill, absolutely covered in beer cans, vodka bottles, carrier bags and all manner of other debris. Appalling. Couldn't help collecting some of it up (although just leaving it against a post in a heap) before I could face sitting amongst the remainder for a cigarette. :o( . . found a large bag in the bushes on the way back to BGdns and ended up collecting up even more, as were other walkers here and there along the way . .nearing home, a passing woman asked if I was the one who'd 'done the DVD'. Turned out, she was one of just the couple of houses I'd posted a copy of the Xmas DVD through their letterbox. She was the one with the cheerful motorised snowman lights in the garden. She seemed pretty happy to have received it and she'd shared viewing of it with others (even in her handbag on its way somewhere as we spoke! lol) . Bizarrely, it turned out she was in some way related to the inhabitants of one other house (with a big lights display) who I'd given a copy to also! Big Xmas light displays must run in the family! 'Nurture' rather than nature on this occasion I think. lololol . . pottered in the front garden a bit and finished off de-weeding the border. Trimmed one or two bits of overgrowing plants here and there, without getting 'serious' with any of it. .unreeled my big extension lead and dragged it down to the front gate and lightly touched my homemade gate latch with the angle grinder. As it's bedded in and rusted, its become apparant that I made the angle a little steep and it no longer quite closes as well as it did. Also, where metal meets metal when the handle is pushed right down to open the gate, the repeating impact has made the paint fracture and flake allowing rust to develop. I think I'm going to have a go at introducing something into that small area in an attempt to cushion the impact and protect the paint. Just a small piece of rubber PVAd in place, or a dab of silicon would suffice I think after I've replaced the paint. . drill/wire-brushed off the small area concerned and re-coated it with a couple of small dabs of Hammerite . . ate ham and cheese sandwiches with crisps and then a banana . . napped until around 5:30pm. Actually woken from sleep by a pounding headache! . . TVd . .PCd this. . Mum called and we eventually agreed I'd pop round tomorrow and have a go at her various leaking taps. Bit weird that - seems like shortly after having had her new central heating boiler installed, all her hot taps started leaking - badly!?? . . PCd this at length for ages before eventually just giving up on it around 10:30pm. I've probably missed bits I was gonna type (as ever these days) but - ahh, to hell with it! What's the point!. . touched base with BB . . ate ham and lettuce rolls, crisps and some squares of chocolate . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. a
21 - Up around 8am . .walked. . called the water company and asked where my refund was. They'd said they'd send it when I phoned them on the 9th, but I'm still waiting! They had however found it within their powers to be able to immediately send me another bill - which worryingly showed a reduced ongoing balance as though I'd had the refund, although absolutely no mention of it was made on the statement. i.e. £90 of MY money had just disappeared without mention!!!! They assured me all was in order, it takes X number of working days and I'd receive the cheque by the 27th. Uhuh. . . put the damp laundry back out on the line and then mowed the lawns and swept up leaves just a little. Whiled away the time until Mum was likely to arrive by weeding a bit of the front garden border next to the path, actually using the 'ice pick' tool I recently found which I'd fashioned a handle onto, and which turned out to be just the tool for the job. As I did so, the idiot neighbour from up the road called at next doors (as I'd suggested he should sometime) to talk 'lane'. Without stopping my weeding, I of course eavesdropped as best I could. Actually not a great deal appeared to be said - must have been the abbreviated version of objections - without asbestos! Next door I guess understandably was pretty diplomatic and just seemed to want to keep the peace and let him know I'd stopped, although did at least say he was pretty happy with what I'd been doing. Oh well - that's that then. I guess we all return to just sitting around doing absolutely nothing, while over time the lane reverts back to being a rutted near undriveable, potholed mess. Utterly bizarre to me that someone would selfishly make themselves such an obstacle like that, without making any attempt whatsoever to present and implement a realistic workable alternative. I am SO out of my place in this world! :o( . . .Mum called in with the paper and food donatons for chats. .ate three Mum donated Warburtons ham filled sandwich rolls with crisps and a kipling apple tart . . napped until around 5:30pm, waking from a vivid dream. (Something to do with being in possession of someone elses blank firing shiny black revolver. I was passing quickly through a crowd of people coming in through a narrow entranceway, with the revolver in my hand, when all of a sudden I was stopped by having been handcuffed by Simon S - a guy I used to work with. Whoever owned the revolver was stood next to him, so I took the opportunity to matter of factly return it to him, and then happily donated the new mostly full tin of blanks I'd obtained for it - whereupon I woke.) There was a program on dreams repeated on TV last night, but I was too tired to stay up to watch it (and it had that irritating little man doing sign language in the bottom right corner of the screen). I should look out for the inevitable further repeats. lol . . drove to walk . . PCd this - in pieces, a bit here a bit there, before finally giving up on it yet again - with a back ache! . . TVd/guitarred . .ate a pastie, packet of crisps and a whole pack of jaffa cakes! . . TVd/PCd until bed around 2am. s
20 - Up around 8:30am . .walked. Misty and damp. Picked up a little litter along the way. Without doubt, one of the reasons I pick up litter was the impact of some nature TV show I saw years ago, possibly even as far back as my childhood. The presenter passionately explained why one should never ever discard an old (glass) bottle. Wildlife could be attracted to the smell of the contents, and small creatures could actually crawl inside the bottle to lick at or drink the remains. Anything so doing would likely then become trapped, not able to crawl back out of the sloping smooth surface, and would die a horrible trapped, starving death! The old milk bottle I picked up this morning contained the remains of some small creature - a shrew, mouse or something similar. Two tiny front feet and a small pointed snout were clearly visible amongst the rotting debris inside!! :o( . . . did laundry and then just sat around feeling increasingly down, trapped inside MY bottle. .JK called and asked me to check up online how much a train ticket would be for the journey he's doing from Paignton to Liverpool. Good greif! £106!!!! That seems incredibley expensive to me for 'public transport'. In the news only a day or so ago it was reported that this country had the most expensive rail charges in the whole of Europe - some 50% more than elsewhere I think it was. Yet another statistic to go along with all the others, like we have the worst crime, worst anti social behavior, highest teenage pregnancy, highest drug use, highest energy costs, etc, etc, etc. What HAS become of us! . . drank a glass of red wine and cooked two cheeseburgers and chips. . napped until around 5:30pm. . . JK popped in for a quick cup of tea and chats . .remembered I'd left the washing out on the line and had to go and get it in by torchlight! It was disappointingly still soaking wet! . . walked. I've been tempted to do it for ages, and actually finally got round to taking a thermos with me at last. Sat in BGdns for a coffee and cigarettes. Very civilised. lol :o) - only spoiled (much) by the awful 'screaming seagull noise' emanting from a loudspeaker down by the marina!! I don't know how they get away with doing that - and especially so at night like this!! I've heard it before on occasions, but it had never seemed so loud, persistant and unpleasant as when we were walking around when PS was down the other day. I presume it is a recording of a seagull in distress, played in order to keep the seagulls off the boats in the marina. But WHAT an awful noise. It really was unpleasant to have to walk around down there with it being played all the time. It offends me I am subjected to that awful noise pollution, simply so that rich people don't have to clean a bit of bird crap off their expensive toys! Eventually back via the store for some cigarette papers . . PCd and had another go at knocking up a test VideoCD to play on the living room DVD player. Disappointingly ended up with a similar result to the other one I'd done. Actually - I now suspect the lack of 'proper' DVD-like menu and chapter navigation, is actually a charateristic of a Video CD and not something I did wrong. I'm not sure that's any good to me in terms of what I was hoping to acheive - i.e. being able to flit from guitar-lesson chapter to chapter easily and quickly at the press of a button. :o( Think I'll have to revert back to knocking up a full-blown DVD instead, which is such a shame because of all those CDs I now have . . guitarred. . touched base briefly with BB . . TVd . . ate a defrosted pastie , crisps, kipling apple tart and biscuits . . TVd until bed around 2am. d
19 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am. . walked in a hint of light drizzle. . one of the dog walkers I'd once given DVDs to had felt she wanted to reimburse me for the discs, and despite my saying there was no need, had sometime somewhere bought a spindle of discs to give me!! Ever since for some reason, we'd somehow missed each other while walking. This morning we happened to be setting off around the same time, and when sat for my cigarette in BGdns she turned up and presented me with the carrier bag containing a full 100x spindle. I duly expressed my gratitude for her generosity - but I didn't really mean it!! Sadly she'd actually gone and bought a spindle of CDRs, NOT DVDRs. Oh dear - I can't recall the last time I actually burned a CD of anything. Pretty redundant media as far as I am concerned - and now I'm stuck with a huge pile of them!! :o/ . walked home carrying the carrier of CDrs and a couple of slices of 'ok to eat' beef donated by 'K'. .sat around/TVd, feeling diretionless and down, and as though I could easily go back to sleep. . PCd and ended up surfing/downloading video guitar lessons . .ate beef sandwiches, crisps and biscuits. . napped until the alarm at 6:15pm . .skipped the evening walk and eventually messed around on the PC experimenting with creating a video CD of guitar lessons for playing in the living room on the DVD player. For some reason the damn thing didn't work out right and the menu structure just wouldn't work, so that was all a waste of time . . TVd/guitarred . .touched base with BB . . ate bacon sandwiches and some chocolate around midnight. . TVd until bed around 2am. s
18 - Up after 8:30am . .coffee and cigarettes breakfast at the PC only to find the modem appeared to not be working all of a sudden? Briefly messed around and tried the other modem, and then all of a sudden the original was back working as though nothing had happened, and all for no apparant reason!?? . . walked . . sat around not really wanting to do much, and certainly not wanting to have to sit at the PC typing! . PCd a bit of this. . damn, damn, damn, damn, damn!! Would you believe it - and I'd suspected it was in danger of occurring, and tried SO hard to combat it. The nonsense with that f***ing idiot neighbour up the road yesterday, has plunged me into an increasingly down mood! Just like that - as the result of something so pathetically insignificant, I am suddenly overwhelmed with the pointlessness of everything and am having to wrestle with 'to be or not to be' ideation!! For f***s sake! How pathetic am I! :o( It's like suddenly having some sort of virus suddenly injected into your mind. Without even realising you are doing it, you can suddenly re-emerge from a ten minute 'abscence', where your mind was entirely absorbed by engaging in replaying the conversation/confrontation, or worse - find that you've been mentally acting out/rehearsing a completely imaginary conversation/confrontation scenario with the same person - or even someone completely different!!!!! This type of reoccuring 'edge of reason' behaviour/thinking, is absolutely fundamental to 'my stuff'. You don't just turn it off. You can't magic it away with a bit of cognitive behavioural therapy. You can only apply that to it once you've snapped back out sufficiently to realise you're actually doing it. I imagine it is those unlucky people who DON'T snap back, that 'go postal' or get sectioned at some point and end up being put on serious medication. (The effect I am trying to describe, I think is not dissimilar to the 'trip' you can get if you take a good hit of cannabis.) . living a reclusive life in the manner of a schizoid/avoidant, I suspect has much to do with seeking to avoid the triggers which result in such distressing thought processes. Ho hum. :o( . . ate ham, lettuce, grated cheese rolls with two bags of crisps and some chocolate . . napped from just after 3pm until around 7:30pm!! . . drove to walk in a damp mist. Had to drive real slow coming back home down the lane, trying to avoid all the frogs! . . TVd . . PCd . .touched base with BB. Oh my god! Actually some good news for a change. She's managed to get some work as from next week!! Oh dear. Such was my mood, sadly, somehow I think I probably came across pretty negatively about it all. :o( . . TVd and ate some mum donated Kipling apple tarts . . predictably didn't feel tired after the long nap earlier and ended up TV/PCing and guitarring through the night until birdsong before bed!
17 - Up around 8:15am again. .walked and returned past the old laundrette building site to see if there was any rubble to be had. There was. . left Sally at home and drove to the laundrette for a car load of rubble - twice . .crushed rocks until around 2:30pm. . as I was spreading the chippings sized result out in the lane, a neighbour came out and started to object!!?? Huh? Are you serious? Incredibly it turned out he was!!! It turned into the most bizarre conversation, which is going to be impossible for me to accurately depict here, because I really couldn't quite understand what his ACTUAL objection was, amongst the bizarre stream of apparant nonsense that spewed from him. Amongst other things - I hadn't asked everyones permission; he said he found it difficult to walk on the chippings I was laying down; he didn't even know what was in them and it could be asbestos; people driving at speed down the lane would make them all fly up and damage his car; he didn't want to have to keep coming out and sweeping them off the concreted area next to his garage; rainwater would make them all wash down the lane and block the soakaway; if I filled the ruts and raised the level to that of his hardstanding, the rainwater would pour into his garage etc; it was one of the last of the 'ancient' lanes in the area and I was ruining the look of it; he would prefer it if I went to the local cliffs and took some stone and layed large stones down there instead etc, etc, etc. It went on - and on and on and on like that!!?? I became highly irritated by his nonsense (the asbestos and get stones from the cliffs bits in particular) but tried to keep the peace and said I was sorry he'd been upset by what I was doing, and under the circumstances I'd immediately stop - although suggested we should both independantly speak to my neighbor, the owner of the lane in order to find out where we go from here. The difficulty for me with the situation was, this guy lives pretty near the top of the lane. Everyone else in the lane has to drive past his property to get to theirs. Is it 'right' that he should be able to insist that everyone have to drive over an uneven potholed section to get to their property, or dictate how that should be remedied while not being prepared to ever lift a finger to do anything about it - but on the other hand, is it fair that HE should be forced to accept otherwise when for reasons best known to him, he has such objection. I imagine it's down to the lane owner? <stopping typing to kneel and make humble praying motions with my arms lol> By the time I'd finally managed to withdraw, I was utterly convinced the man was a total f**ing idiot and I was really pretty angry! What's that Bruce Willis line from the film? - "If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem!" Closest I've come to telling someone to 'just f*** off' for as long as I can remember. Damn - that's gonna 'get to me' isn't it! And I still have a bunch of bricks and breeze blocks I'll be lumbered with if I have to stop. (I guess I'll just have to use it to consolodate the bit down my end, and use it to fill the potholes in the future as it all settles and they reappear. He can't object to THAT surely!) . . sat around fuming. There are few things in this world that can make me feel 'ok' about anything. With all the improvements I'd made to that lane, actually occasionaly driving the car down it with now relative ease, caused me some 'satisfaction'. As quick as that, that feeling has now been replaced by frustration and despair every time I even think about it. . walked the woods around nightfall but not 'quite' yet dark (trying to escape my mind - but no matter where you go, theres the lane! lol) . .a small group of people were in the woods at my usual cigarette stopping point sat around a fire. They had no objection to my stopping there breifly as usual for my cigarette, so I was warmed by the fire for a bit (building a fire there is a thing I've toyed with the idea of doing for myself one of these days). The young boy that was with them mentioned something about juggling a firelighter, so one of the others eventually proceeded to give me a demonstration. Apparantly, if you are quick with your hands, the accelerant on the firelighter burns without burning what touches it. It can be passed from hand to hand and thrown to someone else to catch. (I used to play similar tricks with lighter gas in my foolish youth. Sitting down, I would 'inject' the gas into the material of my jeans on my leg by my knee and then light it. The gas would burn for quite a time without damaging the jeans - and could be immediately put out if things got a bit hot, by simply putting the palm of your hand over it. I once sat on a sofa in the display window of the 'New Dimension' furniture store in Park Street Bristol, when I workled there, with flames coming out of both knees as people passed by! lolol) I took off my fingerless gloves and said 'come on then'. He threw it to me all aflame but I embarassingly didn't manage to catch it. I picked it back up and passed it from one hand to the other, but I've never learned to juggle and things started to get uncomfortably heated! I pretty soon launched it back at who'd thrown it to me, but perhaps because by then I was in a bit of pained panic, he didn't manage to catch my dangerously wild throw. lolol . . eventually wished them a pleasant evening and carried on with the walk . . spoke with both neighbors just to make sure they weren't just humoring me, and that my efforts in the lane were ACTUALLY approved of. It seems they were genuinely happy with it ('best its been in years' so say). Let the 'lane owner' neighbor know what had occurred and since I didn't want to be upsetting anyone, I'd be doing no more. I got the impression, they both 'had the measure of' the nutcase up the road from other events. . .tvd/guitarred . touched base with Mum . .IHB called to touch base and to kinda invite himself down for a 'weekend' (?!!) visit some time in the future. I went through the motions of saying yes out of politeness, but oh my god I'd rather be left alone thank you very much! :o( . . touched base with BB . . ate three ham and lettuce rolls with crisps and then lots of biscuits . . TVd until bed around 1am. s
16 - Up around 8:15am (woken by PS snoring I think! lol I can't believe the way they built these houses, without ANY soundproofing between the rooms - actually aggravated by me having bare floorboards and no carpets, so the sound carries unhindered straight under the stud wall between the rooms). . received a pass along e-mail about the new photo driving licence. Wow - I WASN'T aware that it had an expirey date after ten years and would need to be renewed - and a fee paid and photo taken all over again! That's sneaky and crappy. I've actually not long had the new photo style licence, so they better send me a reminder in 2017 (assuming I'm still around) or I'll definitely forget. . all walked late and carried on down town to sit outside a highstreet cafe for a PS paid for breakfast. JK happened to pass by and was pounced on by me (in an apparantly joking way) to explain why he'd not turned up yesterday. His alibi seemed reasonable and understandable - but still, he could have called and let us know! I really don't think I would have just let someone down like that, after having made such an arrangement. It is, so it seems, the modern way of things - to make arrangements to be somewhere at a certain time, and then just not show up without any thought for the person who is inconvenienced by sitting there waiting for you! Tradesmen of EVERY type seem to behave in that way as a matter of course these days. Terribly wrong I think. Extremely aggravating. . eventually returned home feeling utterly exhausted. .said goodbyes to PS around midday. Nice to see him , and he's so generous and all that - but oh my god it's SO good to be on my own again once he's gone. SUCH a relief. I can't help it - that's the way I am. Never 'happier' than on my own. .actually, I imagine that PS was pretty relieved to be getting away from ME! Moodwise I seem to have been in a pretty down and dark way for absolutely ages now, and every time I opened my mouth while PS was here, I was slagging-off or moaning about something. Everything in fact!!! :o( I can't help it. Everything seems to be crap at the moment. Every time I watch/read the TV news (which is 'at least' once a day - usually when I eat - a habit which I really should stop because of the negative effect on my mood!) I am confronted by more madness and greed and outrage. All decency and common sense seems to have gone completely out of the window - everywhere! And of course, a particular open seeping wound at the moment is the affects of all this 'credit crunch' nightmare. Yes yes yes I know, I should consider myself very much luckier than many, but I'm still pretty angry and bitter about it all. First of all, how on earth is it possible that my income is linked to some fantasy derived, rediculously low rate of inflation? ALL the unavoidable bills I have to pay ALWAYS rise ABOVE inflation. And this year, gas and electric have soared by something outrageous like 50%. Council tax is ALWAYS a couple of points above inflation. Water down here is the most expensive in the country. Etc, etc. The list goes on - so in real terms, year after year, my income is falling. And now what do I find with the credit crunch? My meagre savings are no longer earning enough interest to actually cover even THAT fantasy inflation rate, so in real terms my savings are reducing. After all those years of being careful, and going without to be able to have that little bit of security behind me (SO necessary to my piece of mind), somehow someone is now taking all that away from me!! I feel as though I'm being mugged!! It's wrong. It's just SO f***ing wrong, and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. And bizzarly, if I was someone WITH a job, and lots of debt, I'd actually be much better off BECAUSE of the credit crunch (with the lower interest rates etc.). How can that possibly be right? . It seems to reinforce to me the growing realisation that the - um - how to word this? - the 'wrong doers' have actually succeeded in getting on top and taking over EVERYTHING, and honest decent people are now just fair game to be used and abused as they wish! Disagree with what I say? For proof just look at the farce that has become the criminal justice system in this country. If you commit murder you can guarantee that a clever lawyer will knock it back to manslaughter, when you automatically plead not-guilty no matter how compelling the evidence. If you're exceptionally unlucky and actually DO get found guilty and get a custodial sentence, there's no need to worry. A 'life' sentence these days can often amount to no more than eight years - and of course you only have to serve half of that - and oh yes, you'll be let out early 'on licence' anyway. And when you're out in three years happily living with every benefit the state can find to give you, don't worry about the terms of the licence - they never follow up on people who ignore them!!! An exageration perhaps, but actually often not. I watch all the reality TV shows going, including 'Car Wars' and 'Street Wars', and have come to be able to fairly accurately predict the outcomes of the cases shown. Time and time again, people are caught by the police absolutely red handed, commiting outrageous crime right in front of them, and undeniably caught ON camera. And yet, at the end of the show when they summarize the outcomes of the segments, over and over and over again, the outcome is 'no further action was taken/all charges were dropped'. I despair. I absolutely f***ing despair!! :o( . . breifly popped up the local shop for just a few supplies (as much as anything else to see if there was any rubble available at the old laundry building site). . sat around for a bit before inevitably returning to bed . . napped until around 5:30pm . . drove to walk a little earlier than usual . . cooked and ate three sausages and chips with four pieces of bread and butter . . tried to muster the energy to acheive something with the day and eventually climbed up into the attic armed with my torch and tape measure, to just have a proper look around, see what if anything I have stored up there can be disposed of, and to just sit for a cigarette or two thinking what if!! It WOULD lend itself to a conversion, but I haven't the money or the energy. Not all over again. Attempting a DIY job would present all sorts of unique difficulties. One of these would be arround the rear slope purlin. Incredibly whoever put it in place didn't position it correctly and didn't bother to attempt to remedy it. So - the main purlin is actually perched on a tiny bit of cemented in place jutting out brick at one of its ends, rather than being properly overlapped onto the brickwork!!!!! No way can that be taking ANY of the weight of the roof slope. If it was, it would have collapsed!! It is in fact SO bad, now I'm aware of it, I'm even thinking I need to do something about it pretty urgently!!! There is also the issue of the rather worryingly bowed 'gable end' /party wall on one side. Something else to feel bitter about - just exactly WHAT THE F*** did that surveyor charge me all that money for when I bought the house? No mention of any of this! Just nonsense like 'ooh a missing bit of skirting' blah blah. If I had the money I'd consider legal action out of principal! Moan moan moan ad infinitem!. . touched base with BB . .TVd eating biscuits until bed around 1:30am.
15 - Up around 9am . . all walked late and out along to the Breakwater bistro for a PS paid-for, full english breakfast on the outside veranda, watching the huge number of divers that were there. A bit chilly but sunny spells soon developed. . walked out along the breakwater and back (for the first time this year). Suprisingly large number of people out and about doing exactly the same thing . . wandered further and out along by the outdoor pool. Sea was like a mill pond - SO different to the last time I went out there. . A weird guy in colourful clothes, carrying a flower and wearing three neckties in layers, one on top of the other, was here and there at the cafe and at the pool, being photographed by what looked like a professional photographer and his assistant??. .slowly wandered back and eventually sat in BGdns for a while before heading home via the store for a few supplies. Felt extremely achey from all my lower joints (hip/knee etc!!) and was VERY glad to get back and sit. Bit worrying that PS had no such aches. That was a bit of a wake up call to me and kinda confirmed (what I'd been suspecting) that it wasn't quite right for someone of my age to be in such more or less constant pain from an aching back and knee/hip etc joints!! This last year has seen my physical (and actually mental too I think) age related decline absolutely race ahead of my years! Never mind all the aches and pains from my back etc. (I actually have to take my socks off now before bed, by kinda rolling onto my back on the bed and bringing my knees up to my chest, so as not to aggravate/put out my back!), my teeth are all falling out and my eyesight has reached the point where I definitely should be going to get glasses!!!!! . . watched the Derby/Man. United football match with PS, as best I could manage. JK didn't turn up as he'd said he would, which I must confess rather irritated me since (the way MY mind works with 'arrangements') the entire day and what we were able to do with it, was kinda hinged on having to be at home at or before that time, so as to be there as agreed when JK turned up. .TVd the rest of the day away, stiff and achey and hardly moving much (Sally too). . ate microwaved pastie with crisps and chocolate biscuits . . TVd until after 1:30am before bed. ss
14 - Up around 8am . . walked and carried on down town to bank a cheque and buy the charity shop magazine rack I'd spotted yesterday for £3 in the RSPCA shop. How 'old mannish' is that! I would never have imagined me actually wanting or buying one of those things, but given the way my living room has ended up with a general lack of surfaces, I always seem to have the TV guide irritatingly perched on one end of the sofa, and recently with all my guitarring have bits of paper with chord progressions etc also cluttering up the place. Having one of those little racks down on the floor beside the sofa seemed an easy way of neatly sorting all that out. . . did dishwashing/vacuuming/dusting chores . . guitarred in the garden for a while . . Mum called in with the paper and food donations. . ate a Mum donated pasty and crisps . .PS had arrived and was parking outside as Mum left. . blimey - he turned up with a gift for me! A pair of cheap new boots to walk in. Wow - how generous is that! Nice one. :o) . . . chats and coffee. . all walked . . chats and TVd . . PS wife had sent him down with food supplies and a bottle of wine so I drank a sip of wine while cooking expensive looking scottish beef burgers to go in big muti-seed bread roles. Funny thing about those burgers (considering how they were not the cheapest) was how small they were and how even smaller they got once the pan was full of all the run-off fat! In short, I ended up being even more impressed with the cheap 50p ones I get from my local butcher. They would have fitted those rolls much better. By the time I was done with the cooking and presented PS with his two burgers, they looked like little buttons in the middle of a giant roll!! I padded mine out with cheese to cover all the bread which didn't have any burger on it! Definitely not good value, despite being pleasantly burgerlike. . . JK called to touch base, and feeling obliged to go along with his and PS conversation together, I agreed to have the football on my TV tomorrow for them both (despite having absolutely ZERO interest in it myself. In fact the prospect of having to sit there through an almost three hour football program with two football supporters was daunting to say the least. If it was possible, I fully expected to excuse myself and go off and try to sleep through it, or maybe even go walk Sally!). . TVd watching a film . . ate PS donated iced buns with coffee. . watched the Tim Vine stand up act DVD PS had brought down. As PS had attempted to describe on previous occasions, it was pretty much a quick fire series of off the wall one liners, one after another after another - bang bang bang without stopping for breath. If you coughed you missed one. An extraordinarily clever act, but eventually having to concentrate on it so much, it got kinda tiring to watch! We then made the mistake of watching some of the 'extras' on the DVD. One lonnnng section seemed to be some sort of weird video blog type deal. Perhaps I missed the point, but it just seemed to go on for far too long, was almost devoid of humour and actually ended up making the guy look pretty sad. Wish I hadn't watched that bit. . . finally to bed getting on for 3am I think. sd
13 - Up around 8am . . .walked and carried on down town for a tour of the charity shops and to buy just a few supplies . .relatively mild after all the cold weather. Sat around, and even sat in the garden for a bit . . cooked and ate three sausages, bacon, chips and four pieces of bread and butter. . napped until around 5:30pm . .guitarred . . Jk called to touch base . . walked . . cleared up a lot of the mess I've been in for ages and sorted out the spare room for habitation when PS comes . Changed sheets, dusted and vacuumed around the place etc. .touched base with BB . . trimmed my hair and beard and then showered, after having cleaned the bathroom just a little . . ate corned beef, grated cheese and mayo sandwiches with crisps and then chocolate biscuits . . TVd until bed after 2am.
12 - Up just before 9am. Very aching right hand from all that heavy hammer gripping and rock smashing. . walked . . crushed more rocks . . drank a glass of red wine and cooked and ate two sausages, three bacon, two eggs and chips . . napped fitfully for only an hour or so until around 6pm . . drove to walk . . PCd the footage from last night. Well - that was ALL a waste of time then! Even the moon footage was all distant, blurred and unusable . . guitarred/TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate a Mum donated jam sponge . . TVd until bed around 2am.
11 - Broken sleep then up at 9am with a headache to the noise of the refuse lorry. . walked . . drove to the old laundrette building site for one car load of rubble, and then round to a nearby skip outside a house for another, before putting in the hours of hammering to break it up. Eventually used the car to transport all the buckets of chippings back up the lane to distribute here and there where needed to flatten out some of the ups and downs and big lumps. . one of the neighbours, an old guy way up the road came out and was all approving of my efforts, so it does seem to be generally well received . . ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches with crisps and yet another annadin tablet. . fitfully napped for only an hour or so . . PS called to suggest he visit this weekend . . drove to walk and ended up sitting around for ages trying to film a bit of the impressive moonrise - and then UFOs! lol Way off over the bay, a few miles distant, strange lights were appearing in the sky, drifting across over the sea and then suddenly disappearing. Plenty has been reported in local newspapers and such about strange lights, and UFOs. To the uninitiated, what I've seen down here could easily have been the cause of such reports. Experience has proven that such lights are in fact 'Chinese lantern' type objects. Some light paper type container with a short burning candle on board, which will drift up into the sky and be carried away on the breeze in the manner of a hot air balloon, and when dark suddenly disappearing in mid flight as the flame is extinguished. First few times I saw them before I'd grasped the reality, it had the hair on the back of my kneck all up in wonder. I missed filming the three 'flying' in formation, but had a damn good go at one or two others which were eventually sent up and on their way on the gentle breeze. At one point a helicopter passed through on a coincedentally almost intercepting course. Easy to see how someone could have made up a UFO tale complete with military(helicopter)/conspiracy theory components about all that lot. lololol . Sadly, because of the vast distances involved, and because it was pitch black night and the camera couldn't focus etc, etc , my filming attempts were a blurred failure (which of course had the effect of making the light I was trying to film look even MORE like other peoples alleged 'U-F-O' sightings footage - blurred, moving around in strange sudden directions (becasue of the camera movement), different coloured flashing lights (because of the nightime/prism effect of the camera lens) etc, etc etc.) lololol. . eventually headed home and showered to get warm. . guitarred/TVd . . touched base with BB . . guitarred . . cooked and ate two cheeseburgers and then biscuits . . TVd until bed around 2am. aaas
10 - Up around 8am to sunshine. Well - yesterdays storm was nowhere near as bad as I'd gathered it would be from the forecast - except for the huge amount of actual rain that fell. . . walked. Retrieved the rusty metal barbed wire object from the undergrowth and left it by the entrance to the nearby museum. I'm sure they'll not want it, but rather them dispose of it than just leave it laying around. . given a couple more plastic containers and some scraps for Sally by K . . pottered in the garage sorting and tidying the mess just a little, and putting things into the big plastic containers 'K' had given me. .Actually put in a ridiculous amount of time in sorting through the big old carrier bag of bits of abrassive/sandpaper/wet and dry paper which I've had for years. I have an awful habit of, unless a piece is completely used up, worn away and useless, I'll keep it for that little odd job which it can be used for. What that means is I end up with masses of dusty used pieces with just a little bit of use left in them. (I can actually identify some pieces of fine grade wet and dry paper, which have red paint on them! Red paint from when I resprayed by hand with aerosols (!!!!), a Hillman Imp in my dads garage when I was about 18 years old!!!!) Tried to be ruthless and whittled it all down to an amount which would fit in one of the containers K had given me, and binned the rest. The upside of wasting so much time on such a crazy task was that in the bottom of the bulging carrier, amongst the masses of dust and old pieces, I found my long lost expensive 5m. Stanley tape measure! Last time I saw that was when I was decorating the back bedroom I think. I'd angrily come to the conclusion I'd somehow accidentaly thrown it out with all the old wallpaper and debris, and had been forced to make do with some cheap, too-short one ever since. Really pleased to have found that. :o). .cooked and ate three sausages and chips . . fitfully napped. Fridge woke me at one point making its awful noise. It actually hasn't done that for a while. Gave it a beating and tried to force the packet of frozen peas back in, in such a way I've found it somehow reduces the likleyhood of it making that noise, whatever it is. Napped until around 6pm. . walked under a clear moonlit sky . .PCd looking up some guitar tab for a tune that'd got stuck in my mind I was determined to have a go at ('Stones In My Passway' by Robert Johnson). Damn - its some weird string tuning! I'm not getting into that! Bad enough just trying to tune the thing normally! . Guitared getting nowhere as usual. I keep getting 'grooves' in the tips of my fingers! One expects the fingertips to get a bit hard and callousy, but mine seem to have gone hard with a groove where the strings go! What that means is if I don't put my fingers down on the strings just right, the string kinda slips into the groove on my finger and makes a 'hammer-on' type of noise, which it absolutely shouldn't be!!! Somehow in just about every way imaginable, it appears I'm really just not cut out to be a guitar player! :o( Recent half hearted attempts at trying to make up some words to go with some nice little chord sequences have also failed miserably. . touched base with BB breifly. Predictably, she'd had a cursory examination from a doctor at the emergency room, and then been told to see another one for follow up scans, tests, etc - in the full knowledge she had no medical insurance and wouldn't be able to! So - same old same old - absolutely nothing done and she returns home in exactly the same shape to just put up with it until it gets much worse - again!!!!!!!!! . . ate a mum donated chocolate sponge cake. . TVd/PCd until early before bed.
9 - Up just before 8:30am. Torrential rain. . drove to walk . . balanced my accounts. Rang the water company seeking a refund of the £90 overpayment I've accumulated because my monthly payments were too high for ages. They had no objection to sending me a cheque, but only after I was able to provide them with a current meter reading. Had to go out into the street in the rain and read the meter!! Grrr . aimlessly surfed 'toys' (TV aerials, laptops, media player enclosures etc.) all morning as the rain absolutely bucketed down. That's a lot of rain already - and plenty more to come apparantly! . .ate ham rolls, crisps and chocolate . . napped but only for an hour and a half and then woke 'early' , feeling rather strange, woozy and unsteady on my feet?? I'd been asleep yet again with my fists clenched (as is apparantly so often the case) and my right hand felt all bruised and aching! . Still raining. Skipped the evening walk . . PCd a bit of this . . BB called early to say she was going to the emergency room about her ongoing (but apparantly recently much worse - she hadn't told me!) 'women's' health problem!!!!! It sounded really worrying. Maybe this time finally someone will actually DO something about it (although because BB has no money, it appears from what's gone on with her over the years, she is quite literally being left to die! It amazes me how we've all become brainwashed by all the films and media into thinking how great it is in the US - and yet in reality it is a disgustingly selfish, callous dysfunctional society where if you don't have money, you can't even get a doctor to take any notice of serious, life changing medical problems!!! Health care for all, is surely THE most basic, fundamental component of a 'civilised' society - and yet the United States doesn't have that. That speaks volumes! I have come to realise, that those who are 'fighting' the US all around the world, are not entirely doing so without some good reasons!!!!) . . JK called and then popped in on his way home for chats and a cuppa. . LB called to touch base. She's had her last radio therapy session and appears to be doing well . . . ate salami sandwiches and a few squares of chocolate. .by the time I let Sally out for her last toilet break in the garden, it'd stopped raining and was just a bit windy. . TVd until around 2am before bed.
8 - Up around 8:15am. . . walked in a hint of rain. Picked up some old litter along the way and eventually somehow ended up going off the path and climbing up a slippery slope where few would dare to tread. On a small hard to reach plateau was a concrete feature in the ground which must have been some part of the defences. Picked up all the bottles that were strewn around nearby (thrown down from the gun emplacement above I suspect) and in doing so, discovered a rusted piece of barbed wire, attached to an even more rusted 'spiral, screw-in stake and eye attachment'! I reckon that must have been part of the actual defences left over from the war!! Amazing. If it hadn't been SO rusty, I may have salvaged it as some sort of keepsake/souvenir. . .guitarred as the rain began to pour and somehow ended up guitarring all morning - but as always, sadly getting absolutely nowhere. SO frustrating! :o( . . cooked and ate three sausages, peas and chips and some chocolate . . napped until around 7pm. Almost a clear sky. . walked late in the pleasant moonlit calm before tomorrows forecast bad storm. Exchnaged a passing word with a lady dog walker from right up the end of the street and she complimented me on my efforts at re-surfacing part of the lane and wondered hopefully if I'd be carrying on up her part!! lolol Yeah right - only a quarter of a mile to go then, at a couple of square feet every four hours of hard labour!! lolol I think not - but probably mostly because I havn't got any more 'raw material' to break up. . touched base with BB . . ate salami sandwiches and a few squares of chocolate. . TVd until bed around 3am. s
7 - Up around 7:30am. . walked . . did laundry and dish washing chores and breifly tidied up around the place just a little . breifly exchanged a word with my other next door neighbour and sought HIS opinion of my efforts at resurfacing part of the lane. Thankfully he was generally approving too, so I guess if I DO ever manage to do any more at some point (if/when I can find some more rubble/energy), everyone will be ok about it. . Mum called in with the paper and food donations, for chats and a cuppa. . ate a whole pack of Mum donated bacon in bread rolls . . napped right through until around 8pm!!!. . drove to walk . . guitarred/TVd . . . touched base with BB . . ate grated cheese on toast. Actually two pieces of toast done in a toaster, with grated cheese sprinkled on top and then microwaved to melt the cheese - because I don't have a grill! Followed that up with plenty biscuits. . TVd until around 4am before bed! s
6 - Up around 7:45am. Sleety rain and strong gusty wind outside. Once again we missed the snow, which according to the news caused mayhem and people to be trapped in their cars only a few miles up the road!! So weird and hard to imagine when there isn't a trace of it anywhere here. . drove to walk. Actually a hellish unpleasant walk. The freezing strong north easterly type wind was blowing straight into BGdns bringing horizontal sleet with it. No dog walker hung around long this morning. I actually retreated into one of the gun emplacements for my habitual cigarette, but even in there it was pretty unpleasant with the wind and sleet finding its way in! VERY glad to soon return to the car and get straight back home. .sat around trying to be warm and not really up for doing anything at all. . Mum called to touch base and see how I'd managed with the walk this morning. . TVd/PCd the whole day away, with the central heating on. That'll cost me - and as usual with this ice box of a house, it hardly seemed to make any difference! . . Discovered YouTube have muted and or blocked a load more of the videos I've put up because of the music copyright breach - including a couple of what I considered the most important ones to have stay up there (the lifeboat cox/waves over a man on the breakwater/Auschwitz, etc)!! :o( Youtube seem to be ever evolving and seem to have changed something unannounced every time I go there! Without even an automated e-mail to me like they used to, some of the videos have simply been removed, some have been muted but are still viewable (which given the nature of what I was doing with the music in relation to the images, is utterly pointless!), and others are apparantly still viewable but only in certain countries!!?? As they improve their copyright identification algorithms, I presume all the rest will eventually go too. What a pisser! And all that work I put into them. Should have known better I guess. What a waste of time! :o( . that all put me on a bit of a downer! . . by evening the weather had improved and everything was pretty dry already. Walked - wearing two pairs of trousers (a pair of fleecy type ankle tie bottoms beneath my combat trousers)! I was determined not to feel so cold - and now the really cold weather has probably largely passed, I finally seem to have learned what to wear to feel actually quite ok. Aware it's cold - but not actually feeling particularly cold. Only trouble with that is, its SO many layers, I can hardly move!! Bending down to do poop scoop duties is particularly difficult with two pairs of trousers, two pairs of gloves, a hat and hoody and six upper body layers on!!!!!! lol Warm though - no matter how cold the windchill. . . cooked sausages, half a tin of sausages in beans and chips. Ate with 4xb&b. . TVd . . touched base with BB . . ate kipling apple tarts and biscuits . . TVd until bed around midnight. Breifly woken by LB leaving an ansaphone message! s
5 - Up just before 8am. . walked . . pottered around in the garage for a few hours, sorting screws nails etc into the plastic containers I got from K, and generally trying to bring a little order to the dumping ground of junk I have out there. Filled the wheelie bin to the brim . . cooked sausages, black pudding and half a tin of sausages and beans and ate with four pieces of bread and butter . . napped until around 7pm . . skipped the evening walk as heavy rain fell . . showered and got warm for a change. . touched base with BB . . suddenly felt really rather unwell for no apparant reason!? Couldn't face eating anything and TVd/PCd until I felt a little better, and then retreated to bed by 2am.
4 - Up around 8am woken again by the noise of wheelie bins being put out . .walked. Just up the road a huge crowd of workers and big machinery had started work on resurfacing the road, as had been signposted would be happening. As I'd planned to if the opportunity arose, I spoke to one of the workers who appeared to be some sort of boss man, and asked if it was in any way possible to have the lorry load of old broken up surfacing material they'd just removed from the road, for resurfacing a lane. He said they actually recycle the stuff (I'm not sure how, but I already knew that would be the case. Must have seen it on TV or something. That road surfacing stuff has quite a high tar/oil content if I remember rightly.), but he did then go on to say that they DO actually sell it. The way he said it kinda made me think it was an unofficial, 'off the back of a lorry' type arrangement, and the mere mention of having to pay for it saw me quickly withdraw saying I had no money, without even asking how much it would be. Wish I HAD asked. It 'may' have been worth it? That one lorry which was just driving it's load away, would have probably been enough to sort out almost the entire lane in one go - given a lot of hammering and shoveling etc, etc. If it was cheap enough, maybe all the neighbours would have 'chipped' in (excuse the pun). Having said that, it would have probably taken an age to do all the work, and would have made the lane unusable for a time. Unannounced, that would have been problematic to say the least - and may even have trapped peoples vehicles and such, the wrong side of the heap. Yeah - all too complicated to get involved with all that. Shame though. . crushed rocks for a few hours and filled and levelled a pothole or two. The same amount of time it took for the team up the road to lay an entire couple of hundred yards of smooth tarmac road!! (Actually suprising how much they DIDN'T do. Viewed over it's entire length, that road must surely be one of the roughest, potholed, breaking-up roads in the entire country! Further on down, along the clifftop where it really couldn't be any more dangerous, a couple of those potholes are SO bad, large and deep, they would easily unseat a motorbike rider (and probably even flat the wheel!)!!!! Incredible it's been allowed to get SO bad. <holding up my council tax / car tax bills and pointing in an outraged manner>. . ate corned beef, grated cheese, mayo and lettuce sandwiches with two bags of crisps, a mini trifle and a little chocolate. . Jk called to touch base. He wasn't working this afternoon. I'd promised to let him have all my old music cassettes (rather than a charity shop), but ever since mentioning it we seemed to have trouble arranging a mutually agreeable time. I had intended to shortly lay down for a nap, but it seemed like an ideal opportunity to get it over and done with and finally out of the way. Struggled with the heavy box up to the car and then left Sally at home and drove to Jks with all the cassettes I've sorted through for disposal. (There will be more, but I've yet to sort through them). Breifly stopped for coffee and chats before heading off to find a not far distant house. A while ago I'd found a lost dog tag in Bgdns. I had to get out some pliers to do so, but it was the type which unscrews and contains a paper with an address and phone number. Found the house without any trouble (I'd looked it up on a map on the PC earlier) and posted the tag through the letterbox. (An old guy actually came out and said thank you as I was about to pull away). . napped for a couple of hours until the alarm at 7pm, although for some reason I didn't actually really get to sleep. . skipped the eveing walk again and TVd/guitarred the evening away . . touched base with BB . . ate corned beef sandwiches, crisps and chocolate. . to bed around 2am. s
3 - Up at 7:30am. Seemed a bit bright through my wafer thin bedroom curtains. Sure enough it'd snowed in the night. No more than 10 millimeters I would say. 'Just' enough to make it look as though it had, although the fields on the hills were still looking pretty green through it. Quite a bit warmer than last night, with my outside thermometer saying it was hovering around 'only' zero degrees (and only nine degrees IN the house!) . . Walked with the camera and tripod but it soon became clear that there just wasn't enough of it to make any real sort of photo opportunity, and it pretty quickly started to thin. . interesting to sit and watch what I presume were snow showers drifting out across the bay, and at one point Torquay was completely obscured. It wasn't so much 'snow' - more like frozen granular powdery drizzle kinda. . As is usual with Brixham's mild, sheltered micro-climate, by around 10:30am after a final flurry of snowflakes (which breifly looked as though they were going to settle) the showers had more or less turned to rain and almost all traces of the snow had gone! So - that was that then. lolol Given the frequency of such rare snow events in Brixham, it is sobering to think, that could well be the last time I see it in my lifetime!!!!! Gosh! :o| . . PCd this - with the central heating on yet again!! My gas bill is going to be utterly HUGE!!! I had planned to have maybe bought an oven by now (£200ish) , but I figure I'd better hold off. That money is gonna be going on the gas bill! :o( . . drank the last of the 'wine in a box' and cooked black pudding, bacon, beans and chips and ate big with 2x bread and butter . . napped until around 7pm . . skipped the walk and TVd/guitarred the night away. .touched base with BB . . ate chocolate and bags of crisps. . to bed around 2am. s
2 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am . . walked in the really cold breeze, wearing - well - everything really! . On the way back, nearing home, there was a little bit of activity in the street. The old, OLD lady who lives up the road couldn't get back into her house. The postman had spent quarter of an hour with her tryng to help but eventually had to carry on his way, leaving the frail old woman (utterly frozen!) in the care of the nearby policemans wife (who'd called her husband to drive back from work and assist). I had a go with both front and back door keys but no way could I get them to work. I was convinced she'd messed up and had the wrong keys. Eventually the policeman arrived and had no better luck. I dashed back home and dropped Sally off and then raced back with a can of WD40 and thankfully a squirt of that seemed to immediately do the trick and the policeman managed to pretty quickly undo the back door lock and get her in. One assumes the lock (which actually would benefit from complete replacement - handle and all) had somehow frozen up. (Bit worried about it being now full of WD40! I recall using it in the past on my throttle etc. cables on the bike, and having them all freeze up as a result!!) Poor old woman. :o( . . crushed rocks until around 2pm. Finished up by clearing a little of the debris (revealed when I trimmed the brambles with my hedge trimmer) that had some time been dumped on the overgrown bank opposite my garage. Large pieces of broken glass and plastic sacks (which had contained a load of earth!?) were added to my wheelie bin. I can see that bank needing some work in the future. It's been so built up in the past, and agravated by MY digging-out of the adjacent bit of the lane, it is in danger of 'slumping' landslip like into the lane!!! . . ate ham rolls, crisps and chocolate . . napped until the alarm at 6pm. It would appear, while I slept, a flake or two of snow had fallen. Just enough to give the slightest dusting on parked cars and the like. Nothing like the inches the rest of the country has had according to the news. . walked, with the outside temperature down to minus three already. . TVd. . touched base with BB. . .ate a pastry slice with crisps and then half a buttered golden syrup cake . . TVd until bed around 1am. Slept with my socks on!
1 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8am. Back to not far above freezing, with condensation on all the windows! :o( . . walked in multiple layers, carrying the tripod. Very windy with big waves crashing over the breakwater. Eventually couldn't resist and ended up walking all the way out along to the open air swimming pool and back, filming just a little along the way. . back home via town a little after midday, actually not 'too' cold because of all the walking. . PCd . . drank a glass of red wine and cooked and ate black pudding, bacon, eggs, sausages in baked beans, fried bread and 4xb&b. . napped until the alarm at 7pm . . skipped the evening walk again. . TVd . .PCd a bit of this. . watched the David Attenborough TV show celebrating the life and work of Charles Darwin. Another excellent program. Surely given all the incontrovertable evidence, it's time to stop calling it the 'theory' of evolution and just accept, that IS how it is? When confronted by the evidence, I'm amazed and appalled that so many allegedly intelligent people, STILL insist on believing in their absurd, unbelievably arrogant man-made religions - and worse - use them as an excuse to cause all manner of suffering to all other living things! . . touched base with BB . . ate a Mum donated sugary buttered bun . . TVd/PCd until early before bed. ds