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February
28
- Up around 8am. 15C in, 9C out. Grey. . .slow getting going . . walked BGdns. Down to the harbour for my coffee. Back to BGdns spotting seal and then finally home. . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats . . .ate ham sandwiches with crisps and coleslaw . . napped until before the 7pm alarm as the forecast rain arrived . . . DF called in for arguments until around 10:30pm . . . cooked and ate two sausages in buttered finger rolls followed by a little chocolate . . . to bed around 2am.
27 - Up around 7:30am with neighbour door banging. 14C in, 2C out. Frosty and sunny. . . recieved an e-mail from that 'Apex' group - 'Hi Terry, regret no luck with getting your picture published in the end. Sorry about that but thanks again for helping out at short notice.' Oh well - no suprises there really. It was hardly a very good picture, and it must surely ONLY be of some little amusement to people who actually live in and around Torbay. Far too geographically specific to go further. To be honest, I was greatly relieved! . . . walked BGdns. Carried on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater and the pool but too cold in the wind without a coat on. Headed back to the harbour for my coffee. Back along and up into BGdns for a bit more sitting before eventually home via the store for a few supplies. . ansaphone message from Sis1. She's down visiting mum and intends to pop in later! . . touched base with DF and cancelled his intended visit this evening. . ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches with crisps followed by a banana. . PCd/TVd . . Sis1 called in with a bottle of wine . . a glass of red wine, chats and TV until around midnight when Sis1 headed back to Mums . . . ate a pork pie and three going cheap miniature sausage rolls followed by some chocolate . . . to bed around 1:30am. Leonard Nimoy died this day.
26 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7am. 15C in, 10C out. Grey, misty and drizzley. . . the Dutch 'Stella Polaris' trawler apparantly returned to sea in the early hours . . . walked BGdns in full weather gear in the rain. Played ball briefly in the saturated mud for as long as I could bear before wandering down to the harbour to sit under the old fish market roof to drink my coffee before eventually heading home . . . recovered from the walk and TVd a bit as the rain stopped and things brightened up a bit. . . PCd. Blimey - the local newspaper website is reporting that yet another body has been found, over Torquay way this morning. That's the third body discovered/recovered around Torbay in only the last week or two!! . unexpectedly the paper has also done a little tongue-in-cheek article on the picture of the SCL Elise 'stealing the Orestone' which I sent them yesterday. lol That'll be sure to result in negative/abusive 'comments' I have no doubt! Wish they hadn't put my name on it! . predictably one negative comment WAS made on their website 'comments' section (I think by a particular 'Troll' who seems to spend his life being negative or political on just about every story!) - but a short while later it was deleted (presumably by the staff?). The 'story' also appeared to get posted all over again at one point, and ALSO appeared as a posting on their facebook page!!! Blimey - that's a bit overkill. It's hardly 'that' good a picture. . . and then - I received an unexpected e-mail from 'APEX NEWS & PICTURES'!??? 'Hi Terry, could you call me ASAP please on ##### ###### regarding your photo on the Herald Express website of the cargo ship that looks like its stealing the Ore Stone.' That freaked me out a bit. Who the hell are they, and how did they get my e-mail address? How am I in trouble now? Ultimately I DID actually call them. Turned out they thought the image 'could' be the sort which gets picked up and published by other organisations, and was I interested in going a 50/50% split on any money to be made from it!!!! My knee jerk reaction was just to let whoever may want to use it, have it for nothing - but then I felt uneasy that THEY would somehow maybe make money out of it - and I'd get nothing. THAT didn't seem at all right, so I eventually simply agreed and it was confirmed in an e-mail exchange. 'As discussed, we agree to pay you a 50% split on publication of your image (as supplied by APEX) in a national newspaper or magazine.' To be honest, I just can't be bothered to 'get into' it all, but I do wonder how it is the local newspaper handed over my details to what appears to be a different company, and how they will go about trying to sell the image, etc, etc. The whole thing is all a bit distasteful and worrying to me. .-/unfinished/- . tried to nap but couldn't and ended up getting back up and back on the PC. Because I hadn't deleted it yet, I ended up uploading the source video snippet of the Ore Stone/Cargo ship pic to youtube, just 'for the record' as it were. . . TVd feeling ever increasingly up-tight, paranoid and down!!!!!! :o( . . . ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches, crisps, biscuits and bananas. . .to bed around midnight.
25 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8am. 14C in, 8C out. Grey. . . walked BGdns. Wow - it's warmer than it has been of late. Totally overdressed and overheating! . all the ships that have been sheltering in the bay for days have suddenly all gone. . eventually carried on down around the harbour and ultimately on out to the seaward end of the breakwater and back in what turned into some decent sunny spells. Overdressed as I was, for once I was glad of the still (always!) chilly breeze out along the breakwater. Image of Dutch trawler Stella Polaris alongside Brixham Had a brief poke on high zoom back across the outer harbour towards the fish market with the camcorder, just to get another snap of the Stella Polaris trawler from last nights medical evacuation, now back alongside in Brixham again. Coincedentally more or less in exactly the same place as when I photographed it on the 15th, before it left to go back to sea. Can't help thinking they are maybe having a run of real bad luck of late?! No mention of it on the local newspaper website, so no idea why the crewman was lifted off last night. . back to the inner harbour to sit on a seat near the old coastguard station and drink my coffee. As I sat there, some old guy in an expensive looking new Jaguar car did a three point turn on the harbourside nearby, and actually drove forward straight into one of the metal chain posts! If he hadn't hit the post, it begs the question if he would have actually stopped before plunging straight into the deep (not long gone high tide) water! Bizarrely, the old guy didn't even get out of his car to check for damage. He just continued with his manouver and then drove away!?? . eventually headed home through town . . . messed around for ages mixing up a large batch of my DIY toffee flavoured e-liquid to keep me going for quite a while. I'm currently alternating as the mood takes me, between my home-made toffee flavour, and the local shop-bought strawberry flavour. Having said that, I am also 'allowing' myself the unrivaled luxury of real roll-up cigarettes from time to time - and especially in the evenings, when I am 'mostly' smoking proper all evening! Apart from maybe one or two cigarettes throughout the day, up until around 6pm or later I'm vaping. As such, 50g of Golden Virginia hand rolling tobacco is currently lasting me in the region of three to four weeks. The 'worst' of both worlds?!!! . . . PCd this at length . . .TVd . . . ate a chunk of garlic sausage with a little cheese and a large bag of crisps followed by a banana, some sponge roll and some american fruitcake . . almost fell asleep in the chair and to bed well before midnight.
24 - Up around 7:50am. 13C in, 7C out. Squally showers again. . . walked BGdns. Played ball in the mud before taking shelter from some rain in a gun emplacement and having a poke at this and that with the camcorder. Image of the Pride Of Exmouth ferry passing the Brixham breakwater.Couldn't resist filming just a little of the Pride Of Exmouth Ferry as it went back and forth to Torquay. I've previously messaged a couple of images to the ferry company's Facebook page, and they seemed pleased to get them, so figured in this morning's better light, I'd maybe grab a couple more and send any that may be ok. . . eventually carried on down around the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater for a while. WHAT a stunning bit of weather. :o) . .I AM aware of how utterly 'fragile' my 'ego' is. I am SO pathetically lacking in self esteem and the like, that I DO get 'influenced' by some of the stuff I've been posting on various Facebook pages of late. I'm still of course using a pseudonym or the anonymous local page for my facebook activities of posting photos, video screen captures, links to videos etc etc etc - but whenever I post anything, I DO find myself briefly obsessed with how many people 'like' what I've contributed, and DO repeatedly (for a day or so) check to see what sort of a 'score' I've achieved! It IS utterly pathetic - that I am seeking to find some sense of 'self worth' through such a measure. 'Maybe' I'm being a bit too hard on myself - after all - why does anyone else post such things? It must surely be the same sort of 'ego stroking' thing mustn't it? Anyway - more often than not, I'm disappointed in how few people seem to appreciate what I've contributed. Time and time again I've put in hours of work on a bit of video for instance, only to achieve a handful of views and even less 'likes'. And then lo and behold, someone posts a crappy picture of a bit of blurred rainbow in an unrecognisable landscape that could be anywhere, and they instantly get hundreds of likes and shares, etc, etc. I just don't get it - and my fragile ego and self worth suffers even more as a result!!! Well - all this sort of absurdly toxic thinking/behaviour got to me and got a bit out of hand today, and given the nice bit of weather, I figured I'd go out of my way to do a kinda 'stock' photo of Brixham, that at ANY time is a bit of a breathtaking scene, and which surely just couldn't fail to get 'likes' and 'shares' on a suitable ('Cornwall and Devon Together') facebook page! Heading back towards the inner harbour, I climbed all the steps and walked to the 'higher vantage point' to take a photo of the 'working' harbour, quite full of fishing boats at the moment, thanks to the recent bad weather. Image of Brixham's working harbour and out across Torbay WHAT a stunning view! If I don't get 'likes' on THAT photo, there really is no justice, and my paranoia will know no bounds. Eventually descended back down to the harbour and ultimately home through town . . . PCd for a bit and posted a handful of images to relevant Facebook pages, etc. Take THAT! . . . walked with Bella and a rucksack across town late afternoon to the vets, to pick up her latest/ongoing months supply of tablets. 60 each of Vetmedin (5mg), Frusemide (40mg) and Lanoxin (250mcg) for 85.64. :o( . . . carried on down to the harbour and then out towards the seat above the end of the breakwater intending to play some more with cameras, but unexpectedly the weather had turned much poorer than this morning and it even started raining a bit! Image of Liberia registered cargo ship SCL Elise 'stealing' the Orestone in Torbay I DID at least grab a silly shot of one of the (several) ships still sheltering in the bay. Liberia registered cargo ship 'SCL Elise' apparantly 'stealing' the Ore Stone. lol . took shelter from the rain briefly, in the underpass that leads through to the multi storey car park behind the end of the breakwater before eventually walking back to the cover of the old fish market roof to drink my coffee before then ultimately giving up on the possibility of any more photo opportunities and finaly heading home . . . TVd . . . ate a chunk of garlic sausage with crisps followed by a couple of smoked ham finger rolls and then some swiss roll and chocolate . .monitoring the living room scanner as usual (comparatively VERY quiet these days following the closure of Brixham coastguard so it seems?), I overheard a crewman being airlifted off Dutch fishing boat 'Stella Polaris' by rescue helicopter 169 from Chivenor at some point mid evening. Flown to hospital in Exeter - and Stella Polaris making for Brixham - again. Funnily enough, I'd spotted that trawler alongside in the harbour on February 15th, and purely because it was Dutch and a little 'out of the ordinary' to see it here (together with the fact that someone had previously screen captured the AIS map and uploaded the image to Facebook's 'Brixham Fishing' group, when it appeared to be heading inappropriately straight into the coast!), I'd already captured and uploaded an image of it back then! . . TVd until to bed around midnight.
23 - Up around 7:45am. 13C in, 4C out. Sunny spells. . stuff on the radio around 8am suggesting the ILB, coastguard troops and police (and briefly the police helicopter) were out recovering a body (male) from the sea over by Torquay!! . . trouble with my internet connection which was soon non existant!?! How powerless that made me feel, not being able to check the weather radar and AIS and suchlike, as is my usual 'breakfast' habit. . . walked BGdns and played a bit of ball in the saturated mud. Uggh. It soon became apparant I was terribly underdressed (no raincoat) for the heavy squally showers which were going to be the main feature of the day (which I'd not been able to see coming on the rain radar earlier, because of my connection trouble). Had to join other dog walkers and a couple of anglers in one of the gun emplacements, sheltering from a heavy downpour. A brief bit more ball play after the worst of the squall had passed and then carried on down to the inner harbour (via the yacht club slipway to get Bella to wash off some of the mud) to take shelter under the old fish market roof for my coffee. More heavy rain showers blowing through . . eventually headed home, by chance between showers. . . called the vet about more tablets for Bella. They didn't have a full months worth to hand today, so it was agreed I'd call in tomorrow . . . messed with the PC and eventually came to the conclusion the connection problem was most likely a cable pulled out of the back of the router in the living room. Ooops - I suspect that got dislodged when Bella and I were unusually having a bit of boisterous ball play in the living room yesterday evening! Back up and running thank goodness . . . PCd . . laboriously balanced my accounts at length, as some torrential rain and hail showers continued to blow through, with occasional brighter spells in between . . .drank a glass of red wine . . . cooked and ate two quarter pound cheeseburgers with buttered boiled mixed veg followed by chocolate . . . TVd until bed around midnight.
22 - Up around 7:40am. 13C in, 3C out. Some hints of sun between gathering cloud. That's nowhere near as bad as I'd thought the forecast had suggested it would be. That guarantees the high tide will be even lower than yesterday, so no point in dashing out to look . . . walked BGdns in a light raincoat. A couple of ships sheltering in the bay from the incoming storm. Sat and played ball for a bit as a light rain began to fall. The lifeboat was out in the wider bay doing training - with their 'Y' boat also in the water. Eventually headed down to the inner harbour to take shelter under the old fish market roof to sit and vape and drink my coffee for ages as heavier rain arrived. . eventually back home through town, getting pretty wet along the way . . .recovered from the walk TVing for a bit . . . PCd this as the rain poured and the winds increased to real unpleasant, gusting up over 50mph. . received some big signals from the International Space Station on the radios on a couple of its passes. I was aware from an e-mail notification I'd received that they were gonna be sending SSTV images over the weekend. The bad news was they were sending the images in 'SSTV mode PD180'. Turns out that my old installed Ham Radio Deluxe software wouldn't automatically decode that. I wasn't about to start poking around trying to find out what the hell mode that is, or start trying to find and instal some other software that would do it, so sadly I couldn't do anything but frustratingly listen to the noise. Shame - receieved some good signals! :o( . . . TVd . . .ate a meat pastry slice, crisps, pickled onion, garlic sausage, banana, chocolate . . . to bed around midnight.
21 - Up around 7am. 14C in, 2C out. Sunny . . . walked straight through town down to the harbour to see how high the high tide was. It WAS high, but it was still contained by all the harbour walls. I've seen it higher. Still - makes the place so much more picturesque when all the harbour boats are up so high, kinda at road level. Carried on around the inner harbour, out past the marina, and out to the slipway end of the breakwater where the water was briefly over the pathway and lapping at the entrance steps to the lifeboat station! A lot of the same debris from yesterday was all floating in the water still, looking awful again. . the tide was already on the turn, so there really was little to see out of the almost ordinary. Didn't even bother pulling my camera out of my pocket. Headed back to the inner harbour and out along to BGdns for a bit of ball play before ultimately retreating from the chilly breeze and returning to the sheltered inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee etc . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats . . . ate a slice of galla pie, coleslaw, crisps and a couple of pieces of bread and butter left from yesterday. . . napped . . . TVd - and yes, I ended up playing all four segments of my Harry&Barry videos on the main TV (again!). lolol Wish I knew more about them and who they are and where they come from etc, etc. . . ate two quarter pound beef burgers with grated cheese in buttered baps followed by some chocolate log . . .to bed around 1:30am.
20 - Woken around 7:45am by neighbour door slamming again. Tried to get back to sleep but couldn't and up around 8:15am. 14C in, 6C out. Grey. . .walked BGdns. Eventually carried on down around the harbour and on out towards the seat above the end of the breakwater (passing a couple of guys carrying instrument cases going in the opposite direction along the way). We ended up NOT climbing up to the seat. Upon reaching the slipway near the lifeboat, the amount of debris and rubbish strewn around everywhere was quite breathtaking. The unusually high tide which had been mentioned in the press had already been and gone, but it'd washed all manner of debris into the harbour and much of it was now left high and dry all along the breakwater slipway! A big debris field was all still floating around near the lifeboat! It was overwhelming - far too much there to even attempt clearing any of it away to the bins - although I DID take one glass bottle over to the nearby recycling bin. . I DID dare to encourage Bella to paddle out into the debris, which without too much encouragement she duly did - and eventually successfully retrieved THREE floating tennis balls! Ended up just sitting on the nearby end of the breakwater for a while, watching the mess, and how people and dogs were attracted to pick though some of it. Eventually started to head back across the debris strewn slipway, but had to briefly turn back when I realised the thick rubber orange fishermans glove I'd just passed, was one of a matching pair washed up there. So - started to walk back with a pocket bulging with three tennis balls and a pair of rubber work gloves! As we crossed the slipway, a member of the harbourmasters staff turned up in a truck, and started sweeping up some of the debris. Quite a big job. . .headed back past the marina and back into the inner harbour, intending to sit on my usual seat near the Golden Hind to drink my coffee. I DID briefly sit there, but it turned out the guys with the instrument cases I'd passed earlier, were in fact busking, and they'd set themselves up pretty much right in front of the seat, a bit too close for comfort kinda. It very quickly became apparant to my untrained ear, that they appeared to be VERY good. I quickly vacated my usual seat and moved a short distance away into an unobtrusive corner next to the old Market House, tied Bella to a railing, sat myself down on the edge of a large concrete flower trough, and tried to inconspicuously set up my camcorder atop my rice bag camera mount next to me. That was where I ended up staying for at least the next hour or more, trying to capture some of their performance, and even drinking my coffee whilst doing so at one point. Image of 'Harry and Barry' busking in Brixham. Wow - I reckon those guys were GOOD. . despite the little distance I was away from them, because there weren't many people around, it was obvious I was filming them and they did say a few words at one point, which allowed me to check that it was ok for me to upload anything I may succeed in getting to Youtube etc. They had no objection. I asked if they had a business card or a name etc so I could title any such uploads appropriately (and maybe ultimately e-mail them links to the files etc, as I've done so many times with others). What surprised me was that they didn't seem to have a name as such. They kinda stumbled over my question, and eventually after a brief discussion between themselves, suggested they were just called Harry and Barry. How strange??? That left me wondering, because they seemed SO good, if there was more to these guys than met the eye. . . at length I gave up videoing, and after having put a token 1 in their box (rarest thing in the world for ME to give to a busker. They have to be good to get money off me! lol) I eventually headed home, leaving them still playing there . . . pretty much straight onto the PC to see if any of what I'd filmed had actually successfully captured the audio and was maybe worthy of uploading. Yayyy - I think so. :o) . . . Image of Brixham Harbour at nightPCd the video for hours, throwing away a couple of tunes, but managing to keep 'most' of what I'd recorded. . . at great length, I managed to chop it up into four, less than 15 minute segments, and eventually set the whole lot uploading to Youtube as a batch. Jeeze - up around eight hours?!!!!! Clip1, Clip2, Clip3, Clip4. (There's something about much of that music - Clip 3 in particular perhaps - but it seems to me to have a sort of Roma/Gypsy/Jewish feel to it. Makes me wanna toe tap and almost dance. Wonderful stuff. Also wonderful as always are the acoustics under that roof in the 'crucible' of the inner harbour, and the way the brass player was obviously playing with it.) . . . . .quickly clad myself in layers, hooked Bella up and headed straight down through town to the harbour, eager to see the extent of the evening high tide which was peaking around then. Turned out to be a really pleasant and calm evening, albeit rather cold at only a couple of degrees above freezing. I was particularly suprised to see that the inflatable heart aboard the Golden Hind replica was up and inflated. The harbour FULL of water with the high tide, made things look particularly picturesque I thought. Image of night time high tide at BrixhamI haven't bothered with doing anything of the sort for absolutely ages, but I ended up wandering around the place 'playing' with my bag of rice camera-mount and my old digital stills camera, trying to do some of the scenes justice. Took LOTS of photos. One or two I think worked out ok, but they really need to be seen at full size to fully appreciate them I think . .eventually headed straight back home through town (sorry - no ball play Bella) and briefly stopped at a store for milk. Couldn't resist some sausages I stumbled into - today as a sell by date, but a whole pack of thick sausages for only 19p?!!! So - eventually headed home with milk - and sausages for the freezer. . . TVd not feeling so good. Cold, tired and particularly lack of food I think? . . forced down some cold chicken, coleslaw, two pieces of bread and butter and chocolate . . . trouble staying awake . . to bed around midnight, leaving the PC STILL uploading ffs!!!
19 - Woken around 7:45am by neighbour door slamming. 14C in, 8C out. Grey and windy. . the local police facebook page confirmed it WAS the police helicopter last night. "At around midnight (last night) 19/02/15 there was a report of a group of 5 males stealing from vehicles in Windmill Road, Brixham. Officers were dispatched as well as Police Helicopter and Police Dog. They were seen in Great Rea Road and Garlic Rea running through gardens. The offenders were lost in the area, but a number of items were recovered." With SUCH a police turn out, it seems remarkable the bad guys got away! They MUST live right 'there' mustn't they? 'I' suspect it is no coincedence it's the half term school holiday! :o( . . . walked BGdns in waterproofs in the rain. Played ball in the mud from the shelter of a gun emplacement for a while. Eventually carried on down to the harbour to sit under cover of the old fish market roof to drink my coffee before heading home in even heavier rain. . . . trimmed my beard, cut my hair, showered, etc . . . did the mountain of dish washing chores for hours . . . TVd . . . ate cold chicken with coleslaw and four pieces of bread and butter followed by biscuits and some american fruit cake . . TVd until to bed around 12:30am.
18 - Up around 7:30am. 13C in, 3C out. Sunny to start with . . .walked BGdns and down to the harbour to sit and drink my coffee, before heading back to BGdns (as the sun disappeared and colder grey cloud filled the sky) for a bit more sitting around. Ultimately home by around midday . . . PCd a bit of this . .tried to knuckle down and do something with my big pile of accounts/paperwork/bills/etc which needs sorting out, but my heart just wasn't in it and I ended up just shuffling the heap before walking away from it all and just sitting around feeling miserable. :o( . . TVd the rest of the day off. . . ate cold chicken with four pieces of bread and butter followed by mini chocolate logs . . . TVd . . . somewhere around midnight I became aware of the noise of a helicopter nearby outside, hovering at length. Even ended up stood on the doorstep for a while having a look and listen. It was quickly obvious (because of how it was circling and hovering over town, and because the scanner was silent) it was the Police helicopter. Something significant going on somewhere! It remained noisily hanging around over the top of the town for around an hour before eventualy drifting away. . . to bed around 1am.
17 - Up around 7:45am. 14C in, 2C out. Sunny. . .feeling tired and pretty down to start with. . walked BGdns and then on down to the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee. What a fantastic day of sunshine and light winds. Really quite summery when in the warmth of the sun. Eventually ended up walking all the way out past the Breakwater and on up to the lighthouse and cliff top up on Berry Head. Felt even warmer up there, really almost like a full blown summer's day! Eventually all the way back, and sat around for a little while to recover from the walk in the busy tourist filled inner harbour. .back through town and treated myself to a cooked chicken and some frozen large sausages in the butchers on the way . . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate two large sausages in small buttered rolls with buttered mixed veg . . napped until around 7pm . . .TVd . .Checked in on the local 'Spotted Brixham' facebook page using the tablet at some point as has become my habit. Someone had posted the following:- "So it's Random Acts of Kindness Day today. In light of all the thefts/burglaries going on in Brixham at the moment, we need a big dose of cheeriness. So come on guys, let's spread the love in Brixham Random Acts of Kindness all round please...". (There'd been a sudden couple of reports of burglaries and car breakins in the town in recent days!!) Predictably the post didn't get much of a response in the comments, although someone DID comment as follows:-"Well My hubby and I were having a nice walk along the breakwater on Sunday. I had just cleared up after my dog, and a man walking back said he would take my doggie bag back and put it in the bin for me. I have never had that happen before. How kind... So there was a random act of kindness". That made me smile. That 'man walking back' was ME! lolol The reason I did that was because I just so HATE having to carry Bella's poop in a bag for miles when we are out walking, and I always assume that other people similarly dislike having to do the same with theirs. More than halfway back towards 'land' from the end of the breakwater, Bella had just pooped, and I was carrying her bag anyway. That woman was just starting out on the mile long walk, so I figured she'd appreciate not having to carry her dog's poop all that way. She seemed so taken aback by my innocent, casual, in-passing offer, she put up quite a resistance before letting me take it from her. lolol Anyway - to read about that little 'nothing' of an incident like that, which had clearly made something of a little impression on the woman, made me feel quite 'weird' for a while. In a good way at first, but then in a more negative paranoid way for some reason!!? . . . drank a couple of shots of Baileys . . cooked and ate the other two large sausages in small buttered rolls followed by some chocolate . . . to bed around 1:30am.
16 - Up just after 7am. 14C in, 8C out. Rain. . .headachey and tired. Delayed walking until the rain had eased off . . . walked BGdns . . on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater and back. Sat under the old fish market roof for coffee. Back up into BGdns and eventually home feeling really tired and a bit out of sorts . . .ate four buttered crumpets with grilled cheese and chopped onion . . .promptly back to bed and slept until around 6pm . . .TVd the evening away. Couldn't muster the energy to do cooking and just ate some jam tarts, mini rolls, crisps and a banana! . . to bed around 1:30am.
15 - Up around 8:30am. 14C in, 6C out. Grey. . . walked Bgdns. Carried on down around the harbour and all the way out to the end of the breakwater and back (in a mostly sunny spell), and then recovered from the couple of miles walk by sitting on the seat above the end of the breakwater for a bit. Back to the inner harbour to sit near the Golden Hind (the inflatable heart was up today) to drink my coffee and watch all the people passing by. Actually quite busy, with a fair few people touring the ship. Ended up grabbing a quick shot of the 'romantic soul' skeleton in the forward crows nest 'for the record' as we left. Hard on the heals of yet another lonely valentines day spent in front of my TV with just my dog, it occurs to me that picture kinda sums up my 'romantic success' throughout my life. That's ME that is. :o( . . Headed back along to sit around in BGdns some more as the sunny spell soon turned back to mostly misty grey. MUCH sitting around, playing ball, and occasionaly poking at this and that with the camcorder for absolutely AGES! . . finally headed home mid afternoon after a 'morning dog walk' of somewhere around FIVE hours in total!!!!! Felt pretty cold by the time we returned. . . recovered from the walk in front the TV and fire for a bit . . PCd a bit of this . . . TVd . . . ate a gala pie slice, meat pastry slice, crisps, biscuits and jam tarts followed by some chocolate . . . TVd until to bed around 12:30am.
14 - Woke earlier, lay there for a bit then up around 7:30am again. 13C in, 6C out. Threatening clouds on the horizon to start, but turning to mostly sunny. . .walked BGdns and then on down to the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee in the sun near the Golden Hind replica. Someone asked if they could take a picture of Bella and I as we sat there again! lolol 'Tramp' in black with matching dog!?!!! . despite being the new owners first day of business on the Golden Hind, the huge inflatable heart was nowhere to be seen - presumably because it was too windy? Even one of the England 'penant' type flags on one of the mast tops was all disconnected from its ropes and kinda hanging loose! A steep learning curve for them maybe? A 'replica' and 'museum exhibit' it may be, but it can still suffer badly from even just a little sea breeze and some harbour swell. . eventually back home via BGdns and the local store . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats . . ate a couple of small sausage rolls, crisps, mini cheddars and coleslaw . . . napped . . .TVd . . . ate grilled cheese on four toasted buttered crumpets followed by biscuits and some chocolate . . . TVd/PCd until finally to bed around 3:30am.
13 - Woken by the sound of the gale battering rain on the windows and up around 8:40am. 13C in, 7C out. Strong wind and heavy rain. An awful start to the day in fact. Couldn't face the prospect of going out in it, so just hung around for a while waiting for the forecast improvement. . . Image of a jack-up platform in Torbayeventually walked in waterproofs after 10am once things had improved somewhat. BGdns was a saturated muddy bog! Did a token bit of ball play but soon stopped, because it was just too rediculously unpleasant and we were BOTH starting to get covered in mud! Messed around for quite a while trying to get a decent shot of the jack-up platform that was under tow from tug 'MTS Indus', sheltering from the swell in the bay and waves further out. In the top image I've included here taken from BGdns (in a brief sunny spell), waves can be seen boisterously breaking on the distant Torquay side of the bay (none to speak of on our sheltered side), and the relative angles of the platform legs and the tug give a sense of the heavy underlying swell. In the bottom picture taken from a different vantage point, the new 'all year round' ferry service currently operated using the 'Pride Of Exmouth' can be seen in the distance returning to Brixham on the right. . . eventually carried on down around the inner harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater to sit for a while. Threatening clouds and some bits of light rain had us return to the inner harbour, to sit under cover of the old fishmarket roof to drink my coffee and have some vapes. Actually, we did also stand on the working harbour viewing platform above the toilets for a while. Whilst we were there, the 'all year round ferry' Pride of Exmouth arrived in harbour for its midday turnaround before heading back to Torquay. Image of a rainbow view from Battery Gardens BrixhamBizarrely it didn't even stop to berth alongside the dock! There were presumably no passengers waiting, so they didn't even stop - just turned around and headed straight back across! Ok - so it isn't a 'commuter' time of day, but that does say 'something' about how successful or more likely otherwise the service currently is perhaps? . . Eventually headed back up to BGdns (and promptly got caught in a torrential downpour the minute we'd left shelter!) to sit around some more watching occasional rainbows between showers. . eventually home, via the store for a few supplies, after having somehow been out for over three hours or thereabouts!!! . . . toweled Bella, TVd, and recovered from the walk just a bit before PCing a bit of this . . . ate ham finger roles, crisps and coleslaw . . . napped until gone 7pm . . . TVd the night away . . . ate bowls of rice krispies before to bed around 1am.
12 - Woke a little earlier then up around 7:40am again. 13C in, 5C out. Grey . . . walked BGdns for ball play, on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater for a bit, and then back to the inner harbour to drink my coffee. Felt nice and quiet with little breeze, and not uncomfortable with the temperature up around 7C. The salvaged Pennywise II from yesterday had been moved from the town quay and was now parked-up on a trailer inside the fish market. Plenty of painting work ongoing on the Golden hind, and the big 'heart' was back up again. Turns out it's actually an inflatable, and today it had its inflator motor going, so looked rather better than in the photos I snapped yesterday. They have also put a full life-sized skeleton up in the foward crows nest with a rose between its teeth!! lolol . . eventually headed home with a rucksack of potatoes on my back . . . PCd a bit of this . . . damn - got bogged down in trying to edit down another bit of video I'd shot from ages ago, when someone posted on the local Spotted Brixham facebook page an up to date photo of the tree-cleared ('scorched earth'!) land in front of the Cove holiday apartments development above Fishcombe Cove. Ended up doing a brutal edit of some of the trees being felled back in September and uploaded it to youtube for the little it's now worth. Took me ages of course - and then ages more to actually do the upload! :o( . . . drank a glass of red wine and cooked and ate four sausages, chips and buttered mixed veg . . . TVd/PCd . . . ate biscuits and chocolate . . . to bed around 3am or later.
11 - Up around 7:40am. 13C in, 5C out. Grey . . . walked BGdns. Went out of my way to pick up a little rubbish discarded by someone, and found an unopened can of cheap coca cola which I ended up carrying with me (and ultimately home). . carried on down to the harbour to sit and drink my coffee. Image of the Golden Hind heart in Brixham harbourPlenty of activity going-on on the Golden Hind replica again. A huge great big red heart-shaped sheet was being strung up in the rigging, with the words 'Love BriXham' written on one side of it. According to a local newspaper article, for the first time in forty years the 'attraction' has just changed hands and is due to re-open on valentines day. It's been bought by the couple who renovated an old Brixham church to live in, which featured on the Channel 4 television show 'Restoration Man'. I eventually couldn't resist wandering around the harbour a little, grabbing a couple of photos of the bizarre spectacle. . at some point the scanner revealed that TMS Ltd divers were in the water in the outer harbour attempting to salvage a boat which had sunk on its mooring (coincedentaly actually fairly close to where the last one I filmed sank!?). Ooooh - I hadn't realised that was what was going on when I walked past earlier. Couldn't resist heading back out along the outer harbour and then taking up a sitting position on the steps leading into the water half way along, which afforded a 'reasonable' vantage point of the salvage proceedings. I just HAD to have a poke with the camcorder. lol It may be a little non-event to most people, but for some reason I always feel that salvaging something which has sunk IS a significant little happening, absolutely worthy of recording for posterity. Almost like the re-birth of a vessel? . Ended up sitting there for absolutely ages (a good hour or two) filming. A woman was also stood nearby pretty much all that time, occasionaly filming on her mobile phone. I got the strong impression she was quite possibly the owner - and couldn't resist pointing my camcorder at her once or twice as she filmed, cause it amused me to think that I could perhaps include her in any resulting upload to Youtube - for posterity kinda. Image of 'Spot On' salvaging 'Pennywise II' in Brixham harbourAt great length the sunken boat, which turned out to be called 'Pennywise II', slowly emerged from the waters, was laboriously pumped out and refloated, and was then hauled back into the inner harbour alongside 'Spot On' the salvage boat. (I have a strong suspicion that whilst I was sat on the top of those steps filming with Bella sat close by, a woman sneaked a few pictures of us on some SLR type camera. !?) . After all that time sat motionless on the cold concrete steps, getting back to my feet and starting to walk again was shockingly a very real issue! Very stiff and painful! :o( Managed to get going again and headed back to the inner harbour to see whatever else of the salvage there was to see. Filmed as the boat was lifted out of the water and ultimately left on a trailer on the town quay. . eventually headed home early afternoon. The Golden Hind heart had suprisingly disappeared again when I passed as I recall. . . PCd and e-mailed a couple of this mornings photos of the Golden Hind to their website for what they were worth - and one to the local 'Spotted Brixham' facebook page of course. lol . . . PCd the salvage 'Pennywise II' video for hours and finally uploaded (around 2hrs to upload!!) the edited version to Youtube. Hopefully at the very least, the owner (the woman filming with the mobile phone?) will get to see it and appreciate the close up look at proceedings. . ate a banana . . TVd . . . ate corned beef and mayo sandwiches with mini cheddars and bags of crisps followed by jaffa cakes and chocolate . . . to bed around midnight.
10 - Up around 7:20am. 13C in, 4C out. Misty and grey . . . headachey and aching. Annadin tablet for breakfast. . . walked BGdns for ball play before heading down to the harbour. Dipped Bella on the slipway along the way to wash some of the caked-on mud off her legs and paws. Sat near the Golden Hind for my coffee and vaping. Very quiet around the place (before the usual Tuesday coach tours presumably arrive later). Popped in a store for milk before heading straight home. . TVd for a bit while recovering from the walk. . . PCd a bit of this. All still unfinished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! . . ate yesterday's left-over burger in a bap with chips and buttered mixed veg followed by some biscuits . . . napped until 7pm . . . TVd . . . ate jaffa cakes and chocolate . . to bed around 2am.
9 - Woke earlier then up around 7:30am. 12C in, <0C out. A hard frost to start, clear sky sunny after sunrise. . stiff and aching. Annadin tablet for breakfast. . . walked BGdns for ball play. Had a conversation (not the first) with a dog walker about me chopping down trees and the fact he could use some firewood. Hmm - we'll see. Not sure I want all the hassle. It's rather easier just doing fully loaded runs to the tip and being done with it all in one go, as and when I'm up for it. . . . back to the garden clearance work. Laboriously chopped up the remaining smaller bits of the tree canopy branches and filled another bin. Still a big heap of the larger branches left to cut up - but not really enough for a car full, so maybe destined for a firewood donation? . . . left Bella home alone and drove to the tip with another four bins full of cuttings. A queue of 'parked' cars all down the road outside the tip waiting to go in!! A 'bit' of a wait before fairly soon in and all my bins swiftly emptied . . Bella had been gnawing herself bloody and raw again all the time I was gone! WHAT a state she's in! :o( . . . dug out into plastic containers a lot of the earth from the raised border, and started having a go at removing the thick cut-off tree trunk/root (after having salvaged and temporarily pottted some of my precious campanula, and added the pots to the collection I'm 'bringing on' in the conservatory). Suprisingly turned out that part of the underlying concrete path HAD been removed, and the tree was in fact deeply rooted into the ground beneath. The way that tree waved around in the wind, I didn't expect to find that! Spent ages awkwardly digging around and sawing away roots in the confined space, but it ultimately became apparant that disappointingly no-way was I going to be able to actually get the root out of the ground. Despite hanging onto the six feet high trunk and trying to waggle it around, it stayed resolutely steadfast without moving at all!Image of a massive splinter As if my hands weren't already in a bad enough state after the last week or so of work and all the little splinters I've already had , whilst messing around with that tree trunk, despite wearing gloves, I got one of the hawthorn spikes painfully embedded in the palm of my left hand. Only worthy of note because of the remarkable size of the thing, and the fact that it was almost invisible, fully embedded into the flesh and beneath the skin. Had to dig away with a large needle before I could ultimately manage to reveal the thick end, get hold of it and pull it back out. 10mm long and almost 2mm wide at the thick end! A SERIOUS splinter! Ouch. . Ended up just having to saw the trunk off as low as I could manage, and then got the root ball down just a little bit lower below (raised bed) surface level, by hacking away at it with a small hand axe. Really rather disappointing not being able to get that out of the ground completely. Means there is the danger of the thing attempting to regrow, and it also stops anything else being planted in there (not that I imagine ever doing so - other than campanula of course). . eventually called it quits and dumped all the soil back in and covered over the root, put a 'rockery' stone on top and replanted a couple of bits of campanula aroundabout. Job done. . . spent the next hour or two sawing up all the remaining timber and the main trunk into small fire sized chunks. Bloody hard work that was! . . drove the short distance with three bins full of chopped timber to the dog walkers house and gave him my 'donation' . . cleared up and called it quits for the day around 5pm Image of before and after tree clearance. There we go then. It's a shame of course, but that tree (like all the others here!) just should never have been planted in that raised bed right up alongside the boundary like it was. With it gone, I no longer have to worry about the wind blowing it into and damaging the fence, I (and my neighbour) no longer have to attempt to keep trimming the too tall to reach branches, and finally I'll be spared all the high-maintenance leaf and debris sweeping/clearance I kept on having to do. Yep - I think it was the right thing to do. Moving towards having a 'low level' much lower maintence garden of just rockeries and such, makes much more sense, especially now I'm really starting to feel my age and already can't do what I used to. I still have the matching tree closer to the house to worry about, but that is gonna remain for at least this year (if for no other reason than its from one of those branches I hang the peanut bird feeder, and I get pleasure from occasionaly seeing the mouse running up the branches, etc. lol). . .TVd . . . got clean and did laundry . . . TVd . . ate three quarter pound burgers in buttered baps with some coleslaw followed by chocolate . . .struggled to stay awake. To bed at midnight. Bella refused food again today. :o(
8 - Up around 7am. 12C in, 2C out. Clear sky sunny, less wind thank goodness . . . walked Bgdns. Carried on down to the seat above the end of the breakwater and ultimately back to the harbour to sit and drink my coffee. Back home via BGdns . . .sat in the sun in the garden for a bit. Got talking to the neighbour and was invited in to his garage to have a look at his snooker table.

Bella and I also met his little puppy for the first time. A cross between a jack russel and a poodle allegedly. A 'jackapoo'!!!?

sat in the sun some more before eventually managing to muster the energy to have a go at chopping down the other tree I'd set my sights on removing from the garden (before they are all in leaf and unmanageable). As I'd done with the bigger cherry blossom tree, I started off by cutting off all the canopy branches, deliberately leaving most of the trunk in situ, in the hope that having that length would enable me to eventually lever and dig the majority of the root ball out of the ground.

spent hours chopping up the canopy branches into bin sized chunks.

finished chopping stuff up with three bins full around 6pm . . . TVd . . . gave Bella a tube of spot on flea treatment. . . ate four sausages in small buttered bread finger rolls with some mixed veg followed later by some pastry tarts . . to bed at midnight.
7 - Woken earlier by Bella making noise (biting/scratching herself) , then up around 8:15am. 10C in, <3C out and still blowing a pretty strong NNE with gusts up around 40mph. . . walked BGdns. Along the way, one of the dog walkers pulled up in his car and let me know his dog had been put down yesterday! Seems as though there has been a sudden rash of various dogs passing and others soon to be so! :o( . . sat and played ball for a while and frankly hated every second of it. Freezing cold in the onshore wind again. Ended up sheltering in one of the gun emplacements and pointing the camcorder at this and that for a while, but despite the boisterous sea, nothing worth the effort came of it. Eventually headed straight home, very cold and feeling very down. Feeling constantly SO cold is really starting to get to me. :o( . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations . . . ate a slice of gala pie, pickled onions, crisps and some chocolate biscuits . . . DM unexpectedly called in for chats. Once again he did that quietly peering in through the front window thing rather than walking up to the door and ringing the door bell!! Almost gave me a heart attack. I REALLY don't like him doing that - and hopefully made that rather clear in the angry way in which I answered the door and eventually invited him in. He'd brought a packet of chewy treats for Bella. . . TVd . . . drank a glass of red wine. Ate haslet slices with mashed potato mixed with raw chopped onion followed by a little chocolate . . . struggled to stay awake. To bed around midnight.
6 - Woke earlier, lay there for a bit then up around 7:30am. 10C in, 1C out. Broken dark cloud and 20mph NNE gusting up around 33mph giving a 'feels like' windchill of -5C. . .A couple of days ago a dog walker had mentioned the felled trees in the woods were going to be pulled out by working horses or some such. A local newspaper website article about the felled trees in the Grove confirmed it. Figured I HAD to go have a bit of a look when out walking, just in case there was anything going on. It WOULD be good to witness such a thing 'if convenient' , although in the current weather and low temperatures, I've no intention of going out of my way or hanging around for hours on the offchance. . walked in double trousers and multiple layers, hat and double fingerless gloves - and was still frozen by the onshore wind! . Walked the woods. Three seal in the boisterous waters of Churston Cove. In fact, the waters were SO boisterous, it seemed impossible that there would be any sort of logging/boat activity, and there was nothing going on in the woods at all, so we soon headed back to BGdns. . a bit of ball play and sheltering from the evil wind in a gun emplacement in Bgdns before ending up down the harbour to sit and drink my coffee. VERY chilly sitting there - really NOT pleasant! . . . TVd warming up by the gas fire for a bit . . . PCd a bit for as long as I could stand in the 13C PC room! :o( Great difficulty getting up out of the chair and just standing up!!!!!!. . . ate corned beef and coleslaw sandwiches, crisps, mini cheddars and some biscuits. . . napped . . . DF called in for arguments until around 10pm. . . briefly sat at the radios as DF had requested, to do a receive test of his signal because he thought he had a radio fault. As far as I could tell, there was no problem at all at that time. DF was able to hear as such via the phone. An 'intermittent' fault perhaps?. . . TVd . . cooked and ate four sausages with buttered mixed veg followed by chocolate biscuits and some chocolate . . . to bed around 1:30am.
5 - Up around 8:15am. 11C in, <2C out. Hazy sun. . aching and headachey still/again . . . walked BGdns and back via the store for supplies . . . cut up all the wood in the back garden into car sized lengths. . left Bella at home and drove to the tip. A guy in a big campervan dumping his own rubbish had all the timber for his log fire. :o)

filled the car with all the remaining logs and branch cuttings and drove to the tip again. Had to wait a bit while heavy equipment 'neatened up' all the mountains of rubbish.. . .

well - that's all the cuttings gone. Just the huge great trunk remains. I can live with that for the forseeable future - just as long as it doesn't start trying to grow again. When I'm a bit recovered, I'll probably have another go at reducing what remains - bit by bit, and not overdoing things like I obviously recently have!

ate corned beef and coleslaw sandwiches with crisps followed by a little chocolate . . . napped until the 7pm alarm . . . TVd barely moving and feeling not well again. . . drank half a glass of red wine . . cooked and ate four sausages with buttered mixed veg followed by a couple of squares of chocolate . . . to bed around 1am. Bella 'eventually' ate a near 'normal' amount today.
4 - Woke earlier, lay there for a bit then up around 8am. 10C in, 0C out. Mostly sun. . . annadin . . .walked BGdns . . . straight back to have another go in the garden. managed to remove the last tall bit of branch on the cherry blossom tree, leaving just the main trunk . . . dug out the self seeded tree trunk and most of the roots . . .drank a glass and a bit of red wine. Cooked and ate a chicken kiev with chips and buttered mixed veg . . napped . . until the 7pm alarm . . . TVd really hardly able to move!!! . . . ate mini cheddars with cheese, a banana and biscuits . . . to bed around 2am. Bella ate almost nothing again today.
3 - Up around 7:40am. 11C in, 2C out. Hazy sun. . aching and headachey and still not feeling too good. Annadin tablet for breakfast. . . walked BGdns . . . worked in the garden cutting up all the topmost thinner branches of the trees into bin sized chunks and filled three bins full. . left Bella at home (to gnaw on herself!) and drove to the tip with four bins full of garden waste to dump . . . returned home to find Bella had gnawed on the tail end of her back SO much, it was literally oozing blood - again!!!!! :o( . . . ate two corned beef, grated cheese and mayo finger rolls with crisps followed by a banana and some chocolate . . . napped . . . TVd feeling iffy and barely able to get up out of the chair! . . ate four buttered crumpets and some biscuits . . . to bed after 2:30am.
2 - Up just before 8am! 12C in, 0C out. Grey. . . walked BGdns and eventually on down to the inner harbourt to sit and drink my coffee before heading home. . . worked in the garden and had a go at chopping down the cherry blossom tree - with a handsaw!! . . .got all the main branches cut off except one awkward one hanging over towards next door

called it quits around 4:30pm. . . <9C in the house . . sat around feeling very not good. Feeling sick and very unwell. I think I've overdone things somehow. . . Bella refused her entire evening meal! She just walked away from it the minute I put it down, without even picking at it. That's EXACTLY the same mix of food as what she's had for the last couple of days, so it has nothing to do with the brand etc. . . TVd . . . ate a couple of packets of crisps and a meat pastry slice with pickled onions followed by a couple of squares of chocolate . . .struggled to stay awake. To bed before midnight.
1 - Up around 9:30am! <13C in, 5C out. Sunny. . . walked BGdns and then eventually on down to the seat above the end of the breakwater. Back to the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee and then back along and up into BGdns before eventually back via the local store for a few supplies. I'd spotted an advert in the local newsagents window a couple of days ago, for a second-hand Flymo Turbo Lite 330 lawn mower going for 25. My old lawn mower has been on its last legs now for ages, parts of the plastic skirt have broken off, and I've long been keeping a casual eye on local e-bay adverts and the like looking for a suitable replacement. Although it doesn't give a particularly good cut, given the nature of my uneven lawns, and particularly the fact that I have to be able to carry the thing through the house every time I do the front lawn, really all I wanted to be able to do was get a like for like replacement for the one I have, rather than attempt to get a different type which probably wouldn't be as convenient or useable. Jotted down the phone number of the advert and tried to 'brew up' to giving it a call later. . . ended up vacuuming around the place for a bit when I spilled the coffee and sugar from a cup of coffee I was making, all over the carpet! . . . PCd briefly and managed to muster up the energy/nerve to ring up about the lawn mower advert. On the second attempt at calling, an old guy answered, it was still available, and it was agreed I'd pop straight over to where he lived (suprisingly on the other side of town) and have a look at it. . left Bella at home and drove to have a look at the mower. Turned out getting there wasn't as easy as my quick glance at the Google map had suggested, because of a damned one-way system. Got a 'bit' lost and had to ask someone directions, but found the place eventually. Turned out the guy was selling it on behalf of his former elderly neighbour who'd moved away or some such story. As I'd hoped, it was indeed just a newer model of the type I already have, it was clearly little used and in good condition, and the old guy was obviously genuine and assured me it was working and that if there was any problem I could bring it straight back, so with little ado, I went ahead and gave him the 25 asking price and was pretty soon heading home with it in the back of the car. . . immediately set about testing the new mower by doing both lawns. Swapped over one of the cut-heigh spacers from my old one, and managed a reasonable mow of bothg lawns - although exactly like my old one, it would probably benefit from another spacer. Anyway - it works, and I'm no longer quite so anxious about my old one suddenly breaking every time the lawns need doing. Cool. :o) . . . 'adjusted' the (should have been replaced years ago!) UPVC back door to the conservatory in an attempt to lesssen the howling wind which seems to be blowing around it's damaged seal. Managed to improve things just slightly, so hopefully the house won't feel 'quite' so cold in the freezing wind we're having. . . TVd . . . ate two ham finger rolls with pickled onions and crisps followed later by four buttered crumpets and some chocolate . . . to bed around midnight.
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