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- Up around 7:40am to the sounds of the bin men . . PCd waiting for PS to surface. I STILL couldn't get my bank site to work right!! The longer that goes on, despite the symptoms, the more uneasy it makes me feel and rather suggests it IS a problem my end!! Just to rule that out, I selected a system check point date from ages ago and actually did a system restore before having another go. Uhoh!! That DID the trick!!! It WAS a problem my end!!!!!

all walked in the hint of drizzle and strong freezing cold wind . . PS left . . pottered around and sat about feeling tired before finally mustering the courage to re-string my Stagg guitar. God I do SO hate having to do that. I guess in the end it didn't go too badly, and although I didn't get it perfect, I think it's ok. Now I've changed the strings, I think it's pretty clear the ones that were on there when I got it, were actually considerably finer/thinner than the 'medium' I've just put on. Being the cheap guitar it is, I think with hindsight, I would have been better off fitting lighter strings to it! As it is, it doesn't sound quite so nice, and with my poor fingering seems more inclined to 'buzz' the strings. Ho hum :o| . . ate sausage rolls, crisps and chocolate. . napped . . guitarred a little but mostly just TVd the evening away, feeling rather down and incredibly cold. . ate soup, sausage roll, bread and butter, crisps and chocolate . . to bed at 1:11am.
30 - Up just after 8am . .more rain - still! PCd a bit of this until PS got up . . drove to walk in the heavy rain, which actually stopped by the time we got round and drove back . . left Sally at home and drove in PS car to Paignton . wandered around the shops in the rain . PS paid for cumberland sausage, mashed potato and bacon bits in onion gravy with a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale for lunch in a sea front pub . more wandering around in the showers and a quick foray onto the pier. Horrible.
. . TVd feeling oh SO tired and headachey . . eventually ended up TVing the whole evening away . . ate pizza and biscuits. . . eventually to bed somewhere around 2am.
29 - Up just before 8am . . walked . . went on-line to transfer some money over but the on-line banking thing wasn't working - still! I'd tried to do things last night and had trouble, but assumed it would correct itself by the time I next tried! Ended up having to get through on the phone and have them do it manually. I tried to explain there was a problem (their end) but as usual I'm pretty sure they ignored that and just assumed it was my problem . . left Sally at home and drove to buy dog food supplies. Toured one of the big DIY stores kinda just having a look at everything before eventually heading for the pet food store. Spent a small fortune of 64.92! (2x17kg 'Wagg Worker' dry mix for 15 the pair; large bag of gravy bones 2.05; chewy rawhide 'bone' 1.99; 48 tins of Winalot for 26.18; 48 tins of 'own-brand' for 19.70). That'll keep her going for a while!! . Briefly toured the Staples store looking at everything before buying a stack of 100 16x speed DVD-Rs for 26.46. . drove home in the rain, breifly stopping at the local store for an expensive 1.15 iceburg lettuce, no bigger than a large apple! The woman behind the till suggested that was all that was available anywhere at the moment for some reason. That works out to be a real expensive deal I won't be repeating for a while! . . vacuumed and cleared up in the spare room a bit . . ate salami and lettuce rolls, crisps and biscuits . . napped until woken by PS calling to say he would be leaving soon . . Much rain. Skipped the walk. . ended up on-line and then back on the phone for the best part of an hour, talking to bank technical support staff, trying to convince them there was a problem with their site. I'm convinced it wasn't anything my end because of the symptoms of the problem, and I tried my hardest to convince them that. Eventually, as suggested, I took a couple of screen shots and e-mailed them to them. . PS arrived. TVd/chatted the evening away. .ate crisps, sausage roll and many biscuits . . rescued a pair of newts from the patio again. I'm really starting to wonder if they ARE capable of climbing verticle surfaces and therefor back out of the patio area, and if I should just leave them alone? . eventually to bed just after 2am. s
28 - Up around 8:30am. It's gonna take me ages to adjust to summer time, although given my existance, it hardly makes any difference to me does it. . walked and hung around in BGdns for most of the morning, in the mood to be filming something. Typical - everything was dead still and quiet, and there was really nothing to film at all . . put laundry on and then went on-line, transferred savings and re-newed my car tax for the year (125). Balanced my accounts. .'touched' the wall at the top of the stairs with a little filler and put an undercoat of paint on the skirting graft. . . drank a glass of red wine and ate defrosted 'dog food' pork with chips and gravy . . napped until the alarm at 7pm. Trouble waking up! . . TVd . .sanded filler and painted the wall. I think that's gonna have to do for the forseeable future. It just looks like it could do with a bit of 'proper' decorating now - which is pretty much where I always seem to stop working on things rather than finish it off prperly. I regard everything as an unfinished work in progress with more stuff to do, so why waste time and money on 'decorating proper' before it is all done. Given all the structural/building type work I always seem to end up doing, if all that is required to finish things off properly is a bit of sanding and a few coats of paint - I'll live with that! . . guitarred/TVd a little before eventually ending up on the PC looking at youtube guitar videos. With the strings threatening to snap at any moment on my 'new' Stagg guitar, I dared to experiment with the 'alternate' DADGAD tuning!!! I've never dared to do that on my other guitar because of the hassle I have trying to tune it by ear, but with the built in tuner on the Stagg it suddenly seemed quite possible to experiment with. Silly really, because I haven't learned to play anything or where notes are on standard tuning yet! . . Interesting different sound. I need to muster the courage to change those worn out strings! . . rescued another stranded newt from the patio. Tiny little thing it was - and seemed all kinda lethargic and unwilling to attempt to escape me! :o| . . ate pastie, crisps, banana and biscuits before to bed around 2am. d
27 - Up just before 8am, still with the nasty headache I had most of yesterday! . . walked. A few glimpses of welcome sunshine making things feel pretty warm for a bit. .a couple of the local kids have been moving some of the timber I cut down in BGdns, and have been making themselves a fort! The bad news about that is, instead of the huge, relatively 'neat' wood-pile I made, there is now a huge mess of cut branches all over the place! Looks awful - and is liable to get people all upset! To make things worse, this morning they'd discovered the pile of fly tipped debris up near the road, and had decided to carry most of it down onto the top of the gun emplacement, to add to their mess!!! HELL of a state the place is in now! They're liable to get me in trouble! :o( . a group of visitors appeared in the gardens and started taking photos of their group. As is my habit, I offered to take one for them, of them ALL, rather than all BUT the one taking the photo. I took a couple on their camera but, being unfamiliar with it, it was a little hard to tell if I'd actually taken a decent shot. Half jokingly I suggested I'd use my camera and e-mail the pictures to them if they had an e-mail address. One of them did, so I got him to jot it down on my cigarette papers packet, and took a couple of snaps of them before heading home . . reduced in size and e-mailed the (poor but probably adequate) couple of photos :o) . . . did dish washing chores until Mum arrived. Spent ages back on Google streetview so Mum could have a look at a couple more peoples houses (she'd actually brought her address book especially! lolol). PS called and said he'd be down on Monday evening to visit/stay for a couple of nights. . ate chicken and stuffing rolls, crisps, banana and chocolate . . napped . . guitarred/PCd/TVd the evening away . . ate a mum donated pastry slice, crisps, bananas, and half a buttered golden syrup cake . . clocks changed to summertime . PCd aimlessly surfing e-bay and such until getting on for 4am before bed!! s
26 - Up just after 7am . . walked and carried on for a look around the harbour and then returned via town to draw some cash out. Scored a raincoat in a charity shop for 8. . PCd just aimlessly surfing a bit. Actually bumped into a spreadsheet on-line of UK fishing vessel register data. Weird thing was, it seemed to suggest both of the scallop dredgers I looked up, had no licence for shellfish. That seems a bit unreliable doesn't it - or do they have a totally different sort of licence? All very alien stuff to me. . 'touched' the wall at the top of the stairs with a little filler here and there, making a few of the more noticeable blemishes just a 'little' less obvious. If I do a little of that from time to time, before getting a couple of decent coats of emulsion paint on, I think that'll have to do. It's disappointingly far from (my) perfect, but it does NOT leap out at you as you climb the stairs or pass it, so I think overall, especially considering it is just the bare wall painted without any paper on, that must be considered a successful operation . .trimmed my hair and then vacuumed around the place a bit . . ate two burgers in buttered bread rolls with chips and a little chocolate around 4pm . . Horrible headachey! Lay down briefly for a half-asleep nap until raised by Sally barking at next door tapping on the window. The car had passed the MOT. Yayyyy. Handed over the 40 and then brought the car round the back to turn it back into a mobile dog kennel, with all the rear seatbelts safely stowed away to prevent damage, the back seats down, and a couple of old duvets spread over the floor. . drove to walk in drizzle . . PCd/guitarred/TVd the evening away . . ate multiple bowls of co-co pops and chocolate before to bed around midnight. saa
25 - Up around 6:15am again. . woke up with coffee and cigs reading the local news website etc and then got bogged down PCing this for ages. . walked. No scallopers today so I guess they've cleared them all out! That's gonna haunt me now every day I sit there for my cigarette and look out at the view - knowing that just there beneath the waves is a scoured-dead area of seabed! :o( . one of the dog walkers mentioned someone had fly-tipped some rubbish just off the road along from the entrance to BGdns, so I had to go have a look and be suitably outraged. A pile of an old piece of carpet, some flooring timber and what looked like part of some sort of furniture unit with a plastic CD rack attached, had all been thrown over the wall into the undergrowth. Bastards! . . . spent the WHOLE day working on the 'scallop' video!!!! MUCH adjusting of the speed trying to 'play' everything to the music, INCLUDING the many camera shakes and jerks!!! Fiddly and time consuming.. . ate ham and grated cheese rolls with crisps and then a little chocolate . . napped for an hour or so until woken by Sally barking. Next door had tapped on the window. He'd take the car in for an MOT attempt tomorrow. They are currently doing them for 40 he said! Blimey! I am SO out of touch with reality these days, that seemed like an enormous amount of money to me, but after asking various dog walkers, it IS apparantly the going rate, and even a not bad going rate. I SO cannot afford to have a car! . took everything 'doggy' out of the car, put all the back seats and seat belts back up in position, and then drove it round and parked it out front before handing the keys and old MOT to the neighbour. . straight back to work on the PC/Scallop video for hours . . LB called to touch base around midnight . . finally called it quits and uploaded the video to Youtube around 2am!! 'Quite' happy with that one - at the moment. A funny little momento of my first(only?) cooking and consumption of scallops. Not bad considering it was all filmed mostly on maximum zoom without the tripod - with the camera handheld or propped up on a wooly hat! lol . ate a bowl of cornflakes and a banana before to bed around 2:30am!!!
24 - Up around 6:15am. More rain. Forecast is pretty much that for the whole week! . . walked. Yayyy - that crab pot marker buoy the seal were getting all caught up in has been removed from the cove by someone. EXCELLENT. . Once again, a flotilla of boats were going round and round and round raking over the seabed and hauling in tons of catch!! That's day three that I know of in that same area, and a dog walker I spoke to suggested they were working like that well into the evenings! Hard to believe that ANYTHING will be left alive down there at this rate. Once again the sea was all coloured by the disturbed sand, strongly suggesting the entire habitat was being completely systematically destroyed!! :o( . ended up having a prod for quite a while with the camcorder, just trying to zoom in and see what it was they were actually dredging up. I'm not entirely sure what 'scallops' are, but I'm pretty sure that's what they were catching. (Dog walkers have suggested they are VERY nice to eat when simply fried in a little butter. I've NEVER eaten them in my life! ) So heavy were the beams of loaded chain nets when they were hauled up that the boats were very much heaving over in the water, and actually on several occasions were getting fouled in submerged discarded fishing-gear obstacles and having to use angle grinders to cut it away before they could haul in their chain 'nets'!!. . eventually gave up filming and walked down town with Sally in the increasing rain, with the intention of trying to satisfy my curiosity and see if I could ask someone what it was they ACTUALLY were all suddenly 'harvesting', and fully intending to see if I could buy some scallops to try. Stopped at the fish merchant counter in the new fish market building and was able to confirm it WAS scallops they were hauling in. I'm not sure I got it right, but my understanding of his explanation was, something along the lines of they were simply concentrating on that area because there was little else they could do/nowhere else to go at the moment!?? I've no idea if that meant their normal fishing grounds were overfished and empty or if there were 'quotas'/restrictions involved, or perhaps they were just getting a good price on scallops at the moment? I went ahead and paid 3 for a small bag of scallops (just the meat bit, already removed from the shells). (I passed a restraunt at one point and they had scallops on the menu for around 14!!!!! They are NOT cheap!) . . toured charity shops and scored a nice small chrome swivel mirror for the bathroom for 3. Bought some burgers in the butcher and scored some bones for Sally before buying some butter for the scallops and eventually heading home in the rain. . surfed and looked up what to do with scallops. Ain't the internet marvellous - plenty of videos on how to cook them! lol Sadly there were also a couple of amazing bits of film showing the actual scallop dredging in action, from the underwater perspective of the nets! As I'd feared, it absolutely destroys the entire sea bed and all life on it! :o( AWFUL!! . . Image of Brixham scallopseventually summoned the nerve and set about cleaning, drying and cooking the scallops. It really could hardly be easier. A VERY hot pan, melted butter, 'sear' the scallops on either side for about a minute - and eat them. Simple as that! So - I've eaten scallops now. Actually they weren't bad, although I can't see myself making a habit of it - and considering how those boats were acting, there won't be many left anywhere in the sea anyway! I think the main thing I have against scallops (aside from the ecological/moral issues), is the overpowering smell I ended up with all throughout the house! The place absolutely stank (and probably still does!) and after a few hours I actually started to feel a bit sickened by it. . . put just a little more paint on bits of the wall at the top of the stairs . . PCd/guitarred for hours getting nowhere and acheiving nothing . . TVd . . once I'd finally got my appetite back, ate four pieces of bread and butter with a big burger, sausages, bacon fry up, followed by biscuits and chocolate . . fell asleep for half an hour or so on the sofa before eventually to bed around 1am. s
23 - Woken by Sally around 7:30am, shortly before a thick fog descended . . Sally's limp appeared to be sufficiently improved to dare to walk her this morning, rather than drive. . for at least the second day running, several boats were all going round and round by the entrance to the outer harbour at the end of the breakwater, working the sea bed there right in as close as they could come. Quite unusual. No idea what they were catching, but it must have been worth it to them. Unsettling to watch actually. Round and round and round, with the sea all coloured-up by their gear constantly raking back and forth over the seabed! Whatever was down there doesn't stand a chance, and the seabed must SURELY end up resembling an empty desert! :o( . eventually walked back in the rain with a carrier of left overs meat for Sally from K . . sanded down the wall at the top of the stairs as rain fell for most of the day. More dust everywhere! . Mum called and then popped in on her way down town. I'd asked her to drop off the purse I found a while ago, into the police enquiry office, because I keep putting off going down there and was in danger of just putting the damned thing in the bin (since the only thing of value in it, a student ID card was, going to run out in a month or so anyway, and because whoever it belonged to was partly responsible for a load of litter and smashed glass in one of the gun emplacements where I found it!) . . eventually just gave up on the wall and put a first coat of emulsion paint over it, to force a halt. That ended up not going well. The wetness of the paint raised some of the filler off (so I'll have to scrape that off and re-fill/re-paint it!) and in one or two areas I got that weird bleed-through of brown staining again! This stupid little bit of wall really is turning into a never ending nightmare! :o( . . PCd briefly . . ate K donated 'dog food' pork, chips and gravy followed by some chocolate . . guitarred/TVd the evening away, feeling headachey, down and miserable and having a real hard time staying awake . . ate bowls of co-co pops before to bed around 11pm. a
22 - Up around 6:30am. . . drove to walk . . managed to force myself to put a few more hours into working on the wall at the top of the stairs - sanding down and applying liberal quantities of different mixes of PVA/filler as required in different areas. VERY time consuming load of nonsense, and frankly I just didn't want to bother! Probably spent as much time just sitting looking at it as I did working on it. It's gonna take several days of just doing the same thing over and over before I can even begin to contemplate putting paint on any of it - and even then I know damn well it isn't going to look very flat/good (although I AM eager to get some paint on my skirting board graft, because that WILL look ok and as though it's always been there. I get a little bit of pleasure out of looking at that every time I go up the stairs right now! Sad! lol) . . ate ham and lettuce rolls, crisps, half a coffee sponge cake and a square of chocolate . . napped for only an hour or so. Woke from a nightmare (I was on a push bike and Sally ran off out of sight chasing a cat through traffic, and I had to try and follow and catch up with her, all the while hoping she wouldn't be knocked down, especially at the junctions!?) overheating badly . . guitarred . . TVd . . let Sally out in the garden before her evening meal, and had to rescue two newts which had become trapped on the lower tier by the house. I SO wish I could alter the garden in some way to stop things getting trapped there like that, but ANY attempt at doing so would be a HUGE project in itself, and frankly it's difficult to envisage how it could ever be prevented given the lay of the land. . PCd this for hours . .TVd . . ate sausages, bacon and bread and butter . . rescued another newt before to bed around 1:30am.
21 - Woken by Sally around 7:30am. She actually climbed the stairs to wake me, so I guess that is a good sign regarding her leg/limp. . Not enough sleep or food! Woozy tired.. drove to walk in the sun. Sally's limp IS much improved. It's still an issue, and I'm loathed to push it by walking her any distance yet, or letting her jump down onto it out of the car, but it IS definitely improved. Thank god!. . . somehow managed to muster the energy to have a go at messing around with a bit of skirting board on the unfinished wall at the top of the stairs. Utterly absurd, but that little area of skirting has bugged me for the last couple of years - every time I climbed the stairs and had to look at it! (OCD? lol) The normal flight of stairs goes up, there is a small square of 'landing' area upon which you turn left, then there is a final single stair up onto the landing proper. For some inexplicable reason, when they built the house, they didn't 'join up' the skirting around that step. The piece above, just came as far as the stair edge and then stopped. Below it there was a couple of inches gap, with the riser effectively emerging straight out of the wall, and then below that the skirting continued around the little turning square. A tiny, tiny, stupid little 'detail', but it just leapt out you as NOT right and constantly posed the question 'why on earth did they do that'? With the amount of 'making good' I am faced with on that wall, it seemed unavoidable that I'd just HAVE to put in the extra work in removing the top section of skirting and then trying to mitre-in a vertical graft. I did NOT want to have to remove the bottom section from the wall and create even more work, so it meant trying to cut the mitres in-situ, with the bottom section of skirting still fixed to the wall!!! It knew it was going to be a b*****d to do, and it's been one of the several reasons, I've kinda 'stalled' in getting on with sorting that wall out and finishing it off. .Image of a skirting board alteration to cut a long, LONG story short, it didn't go 'too' badly at all (I can't begin to say how many times I measured up and had to walk ALL the way back up to the garage to use the vice to carve just a little more off the new piece! Did a LOT of walking today!) - which is just as well because I had to use up my last little bit of spare skirting. Further skirting alterations/repairs, of which there will be many, will require making up and laboriously carving by hand, pieces of skirting out of some plain timber, like I did for a section in one of the bedrooms, because as far as I know, you can't buy any with that 'profile' any longer. I admit to having a bit of an obsession about the skirtings in this house. It's the fault of the survey I had done when I bought the place. Ignoring some of the major structural issues I've discovered since I moved in, the idiot surveyor highlighted the fact that a couple of bits of wall had missing skirtings here and there! That unfortunately sowed a seed in my mind which does seem to have germinated! The kitchen is the only place I can currently think of that has several areas completely missing - although there are other areas in the house where odd pieces of skirting have been joined together SO badly, I fully intend (if I live long enough!) at some point (when decorating or doing some other job) to remove and replace them to correct the eyesore!!! . .eventually had the graft all fitting nice and tight into the mitred lower skirting and around the protruding tread of the stair, and decided I could get away with simply PVA gluing it all back in place. With a bit of sanding and filler, I'll be quite happy with the result. SO glad to have FINALLY got that done! That silly little task took most of the day! Absurd! . . cleaned up and then aimlessly PCd a bit . . ate Mum donated pizza, a muffin and chocolate . . struggled to stay awake and to bed before 11pm.
20 - Up around 7:15am. .drove to walk . did a little 'litter duty' and mostly filled a carrier bag on the way round. Amongst the rubbish I also picked up some bits of broken glass (another vodka bottle I think). Messed-up cramming it in the bin and somehow ended up slicing up a couple of my fingers. Tiny little cuts and no big deal, only worthy of mentioning because they bled quite a bit and bloody well wouldn't stop for ages! Ended up sat on a seat smoking a blood soaked cigarette, with two cigarette papers wrapped around my dripping fingers acting as hopelessly ineffectual plasters! I imagine whoever smashed that bottle would have had a jolly good laugh at me. Grrr. . did dish washing chores (and ended up with blood stains on the tea towel!). . Mum called in for chats etc. Spent ages showing her Google's Streetview stuff, having a look at pretty much everyones houses everywhere we could think of! . . ate pastry slice, lettuce, crisps, chocolate . . TVd/PCd and only ate a couple of bananas before finally to bed around 4am!
19 - Up around 6:45am. . briefly messed with the car and tried 'the candle thing'. While looking for alternator belt suppliers and prices etc a while ago, I bumped into various videos on Youtube referring to squeeling belts and how to botch them into being quite, prior to soon replacing them. One of the videos suggested using candle wax on the edges of the belt. Started the engine and held a candle against each side of the belt before heading out. I don't think it made much if any difference, although being daylight and not so cold, the load on the alternator was much less than when it is usually squeeling so I won't really know until some other time. I just need to get my a** in gear and order one on the PC from somewhere! . drove to walk to Sally's obvious delight. She managed to jump up into the car ok but I insisted on trying to lift her out to save the impact on her shoulder/leg. Difficult struggle to say the least. She isn't used-to and doesn't like being carried. My back doesn't like it much either! Misty/drizzley. I may be wrong, but would you believe it - it looks to me as though someone has been out and altered a few of the crab pot marker buoys by the yacht hut, which only the other day I'd mentioned I thought had been abandoned! Sadly whoever that may have been has NOT moved the pot and buoy the seals were getting caught up in . . pretty much ended up being a carbon copy of yesterday, just pointlessly sitting around, TVing and guitarring a bit here and there. :o( Feel as though I'm 'losing it a bit' at the moment! . . ate a tin of sausages in baked bean, grated cheese, bread and butter and then some chocolate . . napped until around 6pm . . PCd/guitarred a bit . . TVd the rest of the evening away. . ate corned beef and lettuce sandwiches with crisps and then more chocolate . . to bed around 2am. s
18 - Up around 7:45am. .letting Sally out into the garden I had a word with the neighbour and asked if he'd be willing to arrange the car MOT attempt again. He said he would. . finally - at some point in the morning, Sally availed herself of the garden and had a poop! Thank goodness for that. Although she is still in a bad way, there is 'intermitantly' the hint that she may be oh SO slowly improving just slightly. I think I'm going to have to just hold on and hope for the best . . guitarred/PCd a bit but otherwise spent the whole day just sitting around feeling very down and inwardly icey cold. :o( I really should be getting on with 'house stuff' - replacement windows first really I guess, but I'm 'avoiding' doing so because it means getting involved with 'people'. Sacrificing myself to the sharks! It will inevitably mean ending up with a load of hassle and ultimately a crappy job and even more work for me to do! Oh - and an empty bank account to boot of course! I'll get round to it eventually I suppose - I have no choice - but it'll have to wait until I have - um - 'the strength' to face it!! . . ended up very down. Bad day. . . napped until 7pm . . ate 'dog food' pork and chips, a banana, biscuits and chocolate . . TVd until bed around 1am.
17 - Up just before 7am - again! . . PCd a bit of this . .no walk for Sally again I'm afraid. Tears at the heart strings the way she stares at me expecting one. :o( I trust that little snip of her at the end of the seal video, will not end up being remembered by me as the last time she was capable of running around like we did!. . gave the front lawn a quick once over with the mower. My outside power socket works ok. :o) . . left Sally at home and popped up the store for milk. Briefly stopped in at Mums to let her know about Sally. . balanced my accounts - FINALLY! I've been putting it off for months and had gotten into a hell of a mess with all the bills, and stuff I've been buying (shower, cable, etc, etc.). Took until early afternoon just to do THAT!!! Wow - the car tax and MOT is due already! Seems like only yesterday it was just done! :o( Hardly used it since. . ate bacon and grated cheese in bread rolls and some chocolate . . napped until the alarm at 7pm . . Tvd/guitarred/PCd a bit . . ate bowls of co-co pops before bed around 2am.
16 - Up just before 7am again! I'm not sure how on earth I'm gonna force her to just use the garden, because she never wants to poop in it, but I rather think I won't be walking Sally AT ALL for a while given the state she is in. :o( . . . PCd - ALL day, working on the 'sealwatch' edits!! Jeeze the amount of time I've put into this single video is just ridiculous! Having said that, I was determined to make 'something' of it because of FINALLY having got some half-decent footage of the seal, rather than the few seconds of just glimpses I've ever managed to-date. . frequently stopped to go check on Sally throughout. She really is in a bad way - hardly able to walk on her leg at all. Having steps up to the garden is not a help! I've closely examined and manipulated her leg when she's laying down, and I can't see any reason for her pain, nor illicite a reaction from her to any pain my manipulations may have caused. It just seems as soon as she tries to put weight on it, it must be hurting bad. :o( . . called a halt to the mammoth editing session and uploaded the finished video to youtube late afternoon. Glad to get that over and done with. So - there we go then. I've 'done' the seal. :o) . . ate corned beef, mayo, cheese and lettuce sandwichs, crisps and chocolate and then lay down for a much needed late nap after 5pm . . napped until the alarm at 7pm . . TVd/guitarred a bit . . ate a microwave curry, crisps, biscuits and chocolate. . well - Sally's managed to make it into the garden for at least a pee, but still no sign of her pooping! By morning that's gonna be getting on for two days (purely because she doesn't want to go in 'her' garden!)!! If there is no sign of her limp improving over the next couple of days of rest, I have a horrible feeling it may be time to go find and register with a vet again! (The vet I registered with when we moved down here suddenly closed - and I've not been to one since!) Having said that, I'm pretty sure, expensive doses of 'metacam' would be all that could be done for her. Oh dear. :o( s
15 - Up just before 7am! Clear blue sunny again. :o) . PCd a bit of this . .walked. Sat on a seat chatting with dog walkers, Sally started getting all bouncy and playing with one of the dogs she fancies. Somehow during that play she appeared to have damaged one of her front leg joints again!! The next time I looked at her she was all limping really badly again - worse than it was last week - although the other front leg this time I think!!! VERY slow hobble home (with another carrier bag of left overs meat from K)!!!!!!! . . I hadn't intended to (I have SO many things that need work/sorting out - most pressing all my paperwork, bills and accounts, etc) but ended up PCing all day working on the seal video/music. After hours of work I pretty much called it quits on what will be the music track. It isn't brilliant, and isn't quite what I had in mind, but I think it isn't bad. . headachey. Ate corned beef, lettuce and mayo sandwiches with crisps and a little chocolate . . napped until around 6:30pm . . carried on working at the PC. . poor Sally can really hardly walk - no exaggeration!!!!!!!!!! Even just getting around in the house seems to be incredibly difficult for her - and presumably painful? :o( . . .finally took a break from the PC around 11pm. Despite having the music track all ready to go (just a repeating loop able to be extended or reduced, whichever is required) , it's gonna take many hours more trying to edit all that footage into something worth watching - for 'seal lovers only' of course. lol :o( I hate to admit it, but I'm getting a little sick of looking at video of seal! lolololol . . ate pizza, half a buttered golden syrup cake and chocolate and TVd for a bit . .to bed around 1am. aa
14 - Up just before 8am. Very sunny again. :o) . . walked and picked up loads of broken glass, bottles, litter, etc from the vicinity of the lower gun emplacements (after of course having given the coves and coastline a good scour for any signs of seal!). Found a lighter, three pennies and someones purse with nothing of any value in it except for a student ID card. Lumbered myself with another chore - handing that in sometime, somwhere. .funny day. Almost everyone out on the streets was carrying flowers. lol . guitarred with a coffee in the front garden for a bit. Really like a summers day in the morning, in that little sheltered sun trap. I SO need some more of that, to try and shake off that weird inner cold I've been ground down by these last few months! Even when I'm sweating I kinda feel cold inside somehow. In the shower or under a duvet is the only time I can get anywhere near feeling properly warm. .walked with Sally up Mums with the flowers to say happy mothers day and all that. Stopped for a quick coffee and chat and ended up popping her new hose end on her hosepipe, because she couldn't remember how to pop off the hoselock fitting. Quickly pulled out of the ground, by hand, a small half-dead conifer she suggested could go 'in the future'. Why wait? . Mum'd recently got rid of an old, old cassette tape type ansaphone - after having made sure she removed the tapes as I'd suggested. Turns out there were a couple of old (ten years or so?)_ messages still on the tape!! Listened to some of it. Really weird to hear me sounding 'alive-ish' talking about some curtains I'd bought, and about going up on the roof (in Bristol) to attempt to take down the big amateur radio aerial. And there was Dad - and Uncle TJ playing even older recordings down the phone of Grandma etc etc etc. All very weird. All kinda made me think how all rather futile everything had been, and/or, is! :o| . . as I was leaving I noticed her lower garden gate hinge had finally given up the ghost and snapped in half! . . dug out the hinges from my old garden shed door, which I'd hung on to when I got rid of it, and walked back up Mums and without 'too' much hassle managed to fit them both to her gate as second rate replacements. Worked out ok . . cooked and ate four sausages, chips and onion gravy with two pieces of bread and butter . . PCd briefly before intending to nap, but got all bogged down for ages on Google maps looking at 'Streetview' stuff. They've recently opened up most of the rest of the country, and I was intrigued to know if Sally and I may be on there down by BGdns, since we saw the camera car when walking there one day. We were not. Of course I then had to have a look at my house (hell you can see the CCTV camera and read the name on the gate as clear as day! All my curtains were shut so must have been early in the morning), Mums, and a bunch of other stuff. (It was all recored a while ago now - for instance back before Mr Bs house was burned down. Spooky seeing that still stood there intact!) It really is utterly amazing to be able to travel around via the PC like that. Of course I ended up finally being able to have a look at where I used to live back in Bristol. Possible to zoom in on the house from almost right outside. Although blurred out - I was quite able to recognise one of the neighbours (although since back then has moved away apparantly)!!! I suddenly got all overcome with a bit of tearfulness looking at the old house like that. Hardly a piece of it doesn't still - um - 'bear my mark' as it were. I put the paint on the gate and the whole front. I put up the PIR and outside light. I re-pointed the bay roof. I rebuilt and painted the chimney pot. I put up that big TV aerial! etc, etc, etc. The list goes on. It hurts. It always will. THAT house will always be a bigger part of me than this one EVER could be. I STILL don't feel 'at home' here. I suspect I will never feel that way ever again. It hurts. It always will. . lay down to nap but couldn't. Got back up and PCd a bit of this. .
. . guitarred/TVd . . touched base with Mum . . ate bowls of co-co pops and a couple of Mum donated iced-doughnut things . . aimlessly PCd until around 2am before bed.
13 - Up around 7:30am. Very sunny. . . walked and made a bee line for the cove, and sat around overlooking the water for quite a while. No sign of any seal this morning. Boy, is that beach in a mess! Covered in all manner of rubbish, washed in by the bad weather. . back for more sits in BGdns before heading home. . just about to go inside when M, a dog walker neighbour called out. He'd just been on a short break and he'd brought some duty free tobacco back. Did I want any Golden Virginia. HELL, YES PLEASE!!! I JUMPED at the chance! . . left Sally at home and raced down town to draw some money out and buy a token bunch of flowers for Mum for tomorrows mothers day. . scored a nice big, deep frying pan in a charity shop for 1. It's actually a little tatty looking, but it has 'most' of its non stick stuff intact, and even had a lid! The one I use is SO old and battered, when I wash it, the inside of the pan actually goes rusty! I will be VERY glad to throw that one away, and not be eating so much rust! :o) . . popped up and gave 39 for the 500g of tobacco. Wow that is SO cheap!! Almost a third the price I've been paying in Sainsburys. :o) Not really knowing anyone - being the hermit I am, is actually bizarrely an expensive lifestyle! Imagine being one of those people who knows everyone - and how cool it would be to be able to source all that cheap stuff people are into all over the place. :o( . . .guitarred in the sun in the garden for a bit. Oh boy, we could use a bit more of THIS weather. First time this year it's really started to feel a bit warmer. This must have been the hardest winter I've ever experienced (or certainly since back when I was around 18 and more able to cope with such cold!) . . Mum called in with food donations for chats and to watch videos etc. . ate ham rolls, crisps and chocolate . . napped. Forgot to set the alarm and incredibly didn't wake until around 10pm!!!!!!!!!!!!! Damn - that's me gonna be all nocturnal all of a sudden! damn damn damn. . . PCd/guitarred the night away, actually working on editing down lots of seal footage to a guitar twiddle. Not sure I can actually finish that, because I'm not overly happy with the quality of the 'twiddle', and really can't face the prospect of putting in days trying to perfect a recording of it. Shame - it is just a little bit 'song' like in nature, although I have absolutely no intention whatsoever of trying to put words to it . . ate a Mum donated pastry slice, crisps and biscuits before back to bed for a few hours just before 5am.
12 - Up around 6:30am. . walked with spare batteries, camera and tripod - just in case the seal were about.
// T
ended up spending a good couple of hours (all morning pretty much!) watching and filming from the cliff overlooking the cove.
// eventually walked the long way back via the woods . Just missed two lifeboat coming in!
One from Plymouth and another from somewhere else. They both cruised into the marina and moored up alongside the local one. Would have made for a good photo opportunity, but I just couldn't be bothered to walk all the way down there . . drank a glass of red wine while cooking four sausages and chips. Ate with a mug of onion gravy followed by biscuits and chocolate . . napped . . guitarred . . PCd a very small bit of the mass of footage I took from this morning and knocked up the 'seal watch' video showing their bizarre and oh SO dangerous behaviour with the crab pot marker buoy. Somebody SO needs to remove that damned thing! There are several in the vicinity which I haven't seen anyone go out and tend to for months. They may have done of course, but there are a line of them by the yacht-club hut which are now all covered in seaweed and such, suggesting that they ARE pretty much abandoned! Bloody death traps! . . Ate cornflakes before eventually to bed around 3am. s
11 - Up around 6:15am. . PCd a bit of this . . walked. As I did the usual route, being pretty familiar with 'things' by now, something caught my eye and looked a bit weird about the crab pot marker buoy in the cove. (It's been there quite a while now - and I HAVE had occasion to wonder if it's been washed in there by the bad weather. Doesn't seem to be the usual place for such a thing.) Image of a seal caught up in ropeAs I watched, something was definitely in the water around it and it started to look to me as though it was a seal. I even saw the whole thing pretty much pulled under the waves at one point! Something not right. It started to look to me as though the seal may well have been caught up in the rope! As I began to pull my camera out of my pocket to zoom in and get a closer look, I expressed my concerns to a passing dog walker and we both kept watch for a while. Eventually the seal surfaced again and sure enough, it WAS all wrapped up in rope!!!!! Oh NO!!!!!! What to do? I DID have my mobile in my pocket as always, but no way was there aenough battery left to even attempt to call anyone. The dog walker had her mobile with her and suggested I use that, since she was close to tears and wouldn't be able to. It was agreed (despite it really being totally inappropriate!), that I would go ahead and dial 999 and ask for the coastguard. I got through to the call handler and explained (apologising profusely for having called the emergency number!) and suggested that all that was needed was maybe for the ILB to be called out, with someone onboard with a sharp knife! The call handler said it was unlikely they'd come out because no 'people' were involved, and as I recall it, that was pretty much that (although I am embrrassed to admit I did attempt to make some bizarre comment that it was 'man' who'd put it into that state so 'we' should sort it out!) . Despite what he'd said, I assumed that 'someone' WOULD respond. . I raced down to the nearer cove, up the oh SO steep slope, and eventually down the path through the woods to take up an overlooking position just off the path on the cliffs. (Thankfully Sally seems to have recovered from her bad leg and limp, and kept up a good pace.) I set up my camera and kept a close watch, specifically on the buoy, waiting for the seal to reappear for what seemed like an agonisingly VERY long time! At least two other seal were swimming and splashing about, but within fifteen minutes after having not seen any further trace of the roped seal, or any significant movement of the buoy, I was absolutely convinced it had drowned. Horrible feeling of utter helplessness and sorrow. . after having kept watch for almost an hour and used up most of my camera battery, and having seen no further trace of the seal, given that it looked as though no one was being called out as a result of my phone call, I got back on the path and started to leave. I hesitated at several points and kept looking back and would you believe it - just then the roped seal reappeared!! Grabbed my camera and attempted to zoom in on it once again to have a closer look. Definitely still wrapped in the rope! . It really was agonising to watch! It wasn't there for long before slipping back beneath the surface and out of sight. Given what the call handler had said, and assuming after so much time had elapsed that no one actually was coming out, I figured I just HAD to try and get some help for it again! I made my way back up the cliff path and back down to the nearby Brixham Holiday Park and rushed into the reception office hoping they may have some useful phone numbers (the harbourmaster being uppermost in my mind). After hearing my explanation of things, the helpful receptionist didn’t hesitate in assisting by calling the RSPCA. A collection officer was on his way. .That was all well and good but it seemed to me pretty unlikely they'd have a boat, which was going to be absolutely necessary! Ummd and ahhd a bit before deciding to make haste in the direction of the harbour. My plan was either I could get the harbourmaster interested, or failing that, I even dabbled with the idea of perhaps trying to bribe some fisherman with a boat in the inner harbour to come out!!

. . ran to the harbourmasters office . The harbourmaster did not hesitate. As soon as I explained, he got straight on the phone presumably mobilising his troops.

. ran back . . watched with the dog walker. She'd apparantly also made calls and had mobilised BDMLR whoever they were . . Sure enough, within half an hour the harbourmaster had a boat and two man crew on scene.

They hauled up the buoy, the yards of rope, and even the pot beneath, and - found nothing!

there was absolutely no trace of it! Huh? That's SO weird. What the hell to make of that? The dog walker spoke with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue people on her mobile and had them stand down and pretty soon wandered off. I get the impression she had (naively/optimisticaly?) concluded the seal had freed itself and all was ok? I began to doubt in my own mind what I may or may not have 'thought' I saw!! Surely I didn't imagine the whole thing, or overreact to something that just 'looked' like a seal caught in rope!? I felt awfully guilty! I ended up sat on the rocks for quite a while longer just scanning the whole area looking for any signs of anything moving anywhere in the water. There was nothing! Pretty soon a young guy appeared on the path above and said hello. Turned out to be an RSPCA collection officer. To his credit, that really was pretty quick. I explained what I 'thought' had happened and offered embarrassed apologies for having called him out for what turned out to be nothing! He had a good peer around for himself but pretty soon headed off and I figured enough was enough and I slowly followed him up the path - frequently looking back at the water as I did. . as I walked back down the long path towards the holiday camp, K appeared in the distance. He feels the cold quite a bit and was all wrapped up in multiple layers and wooly hat and was heading off on the arduous climb up and down to the beach. He'd heard from other dog walkers I'd spoken to as I'd run to the harbourmasters office, that a seal was in trouble tied up with rope. Without hesitation, there he was setting off to see if he could help, with a six inch+, razor sharp kitchen knife openly held in his hand! :o) He really IS a 'salt of the earth' kinda guy. He REALLY is! Quite moving I found that. . detoured into the holiday camp office to let the receptionist know the bizarre outcome of the drama and to thank her for her help . . raced home to get straight on the PC and check the camera, to see if I HAD actually recorded any of the seal, to prove I hadn't imagined the whole thing or been mistaken by some seaweed or some such!!. . I HAD managed to record just a glimpse or two!!!! There goes the day then - I couldn't help myself - I just HAD to make a video out of it, just to prove I hadn't imagined it and to ease my conscience about having wasted so many peoples time like that! Called it quits and uploaded it to Youtube around 5pm. Emailed a couple of the people concerned with the link - an apology to the harbourmaster (actually included an admission and apology and Youtube link about calling them out for the floating drum back on 19th December too - assuring them I was NOT a serial hoaxer!), a line to the RSPCA to attempt to 'justify' having called them out for nothing, and the same to whoever those 'British Divers Marine Life Rescue' people are who the dog walker had been in touch with. I've actually never heard of them before to my knowledge. I had no idea such people existed! Marvellous. I think I need to load up my mobile phone with their, and several other useful phone numbers - and charge the bloody battery more often!!!! Horrible, horrible, horrible day that's going to remain in my mind much! Poor animal - what suffering! :o( . . guitarred/TVd. . ate pizza and chocolate. . to bed at midnight. s
10 - Up around 7:25am to the sounds of the binmen . . walked and returned with yet more meat for the freezer from K . . did bed linen laundry and out on the line to dry in the sun. . PCd/guitarred a bit, but once again somehow just wasted the day away. After all that recent 'keeping busy doing stuff on the house', I seem to have descended into a down, where I really just can't bring myself to do anything at all, because it all seems just so utterly futile!! :o( . . . eventually ate huge amounts of beef in bread rolls followed by chocolate biscuits . . too late for a nap (and I hadn't put the washed sheets etc back on the bed yet) so drove to walk a little early. Ended up sitting around for ages listening to the scanner as darkness closed in. It appeared that a fishing boat ('Lone Wolf') had lost power somewhere and the lifeboat had been called out to tow it safely back into harbour. I DID dabble with the camera, but it was too dark to film anything by the time they got in. Also on the radio I picked up a couple of brief transmissions from a Lynx helicopter out of Yeovilton, apparantly doing a live air-to-surface fire excercise, presumably on one of the ranges somewhere. I haven't a clue where those ranges are. Must be a long way out to sea. You NEVER actually hear or see anything from them. . pretty chilly by the time I returned around 8pm . . guitarred/TVd another night away . . ate chocolate and half a Mum donated, buttered syrup cake . . to bed before midnight. a
9 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8am . . walked. I half woke with cramp in my left calf in the night. This morning my leg was really painful and both Sally AND I ended up limping along to BGdns!! lol Exchanged words with a dog walker who, as it turns out, is another to have recently lost her dog. :o( Filmed a little (nothing worth the effort as it turns out) and I swear the sea actually calmed down even more than it already had, as I watched. . . PCd and finished off the 'hungry dog' video and uploaded it to Youtube around midday. Weird thing is - Youtube copyright breach info suggests it has been blocked in a list of countries big enough to fill my screen - i.e. ALL of them, including the UK!! Despite that, it 'appears' to be still watchable (and there are plenty of other peoples with the same soundtrack still up there)???? You never know where you stand with the damn things any more. .guitarred just a little . . .sanded down plaster and then spent hours trying to vacuum and clean up the dust from everywhere . . PCd a bit feeling increasingly headachey and down . . TVd . . ate Mum donated meat feast pizza with extra meat and cheese followed by chocolate . . almost fell asleep on the sofa! . . to bed around midnight. a
8 - Up around 6:45am by some noise or other . . Sally appears to be 'somewhat' improved, so I dared to walk her to BGdns rather than drive. Clear blue and sunny but a b****y cold easterly wind again! Sea was still frisky, and with my cheap light old tripod crammed in my outer jacket pocket, I was tempted into filming for a bit as the pilot boat went out. The footage still ended up being all jerky because of the wind blowing me around! :o( . . PCd the video (the plaster on the wall is still drying!) , and couldn't resist knocking up an upload out of it - cause - well - people seem to like boats and waves don't they. Me included! lol. . piddled with the guitar in all the 'compile' downtime, and didn't get it finished and uploaded to Youtube until mid afternoon for goodness sake! . . ate K donated pork, microwaved with chips followed by a square or two of chocolate . . napped . . guitarred/TVd/PCd the evening away. . ate a pack of kipling slices . . PCd dabbling with a video until bed around 3am.
7 - Up around 7am by seagull noise again . . drove to walk. The forecast had been for a glorious sunny day. When walking it was mostly cloudy and absolutely freezing in the strong easterly wind! It did brighten up later but hardly rose above around 4 degrees all day! Didn't hang around and soon headed back. Noticed the makeshift 'flag' was up for me outside Ks, so awkwardly reversed the car into his driveway and called at the door for the big lump of beef left overs he had for Sally . . PCd/guitarred a bit . . eventually put a bit of plaster onto the landing wall, trying to average things out a bit and at the very least, disguise the scar from where the old picture rail used to be. Most of what I put on is gonna have to be sanded back off I think! :o( . . ate corned beef sandwiches and oxtail soup, a banana and a little chocolate . . napped until gone 6pm . . guitarred/TVd struggling to stay warm. . K called in on his way home from work with a big plastic bag of left over meat. . ate a cold plate of K donated 'dog food' meat with much salt and four pieces of bread and butter followed by a little chocolate . .TVd/aimlessly PCd until early before eventually to bed.
6 - Up around 7:45am actually woken by the sounds of the flat metal roof over the bay window expanding in the morning sun. .drove to walk. The clear blue sky and sun was misleading - I left off a layer and was utterly frozen in the cold northerly wind and frosty shadows of BGdns . . guitarred in the sun in the front garden for a bit. . did laundry and dish washing chores until Mum arrived with the paper and food donations for a coffee and chats . . ate Mum donated sausage rolls, crisps, banana, kipling slices and chocolate . . napped . . TVd/guitarred all evening . . ate turkey and lettuce rolls, kipling slices and chocolate . . to bed around 1am. s
5 - Up around sunrise at 6:45am . .drove to walk after scraping ice off the windscreen. Sally is still limping really badly, although at times when out for a walk you wouldn't know it!! The silly dog was still up for having a romp and a play with another dog at one point, and undoubtedly aggravated her condition for later. . coffee and cigarettes in the sun in the front garden . .popped up the builders yard for supplies of filler and sandpaper (5.90). . scraped paint all day. Hateful filthy, boring work with far too much time to think and feel miserable! What an utter, utter pointless mess I've made of my life! . . With the beautiful weather, I actually found myself in the mood to be walking through the woods, but of course I can't do that now because of Sally's condition. :o( . . I think that is more or less all the scraping done. Now it's a case of trying to figure out what way is best to smooth and level the wall and make it good enough to be decorated. It's a dilema. It appears the framework the wall is fixed to is actually not straight, hence the noticeable uneveness of it in different places. No matter what I try to do, it isn't going to look flat. :o( It really WOULD make more sense to take it all down and re-plasterboard it, but I'm absolutely not going to do that! Pain in the ***! I'm sick and tired of spending so much time messing around with such a small bit of nonsense. . vacuumed and cleaned myself up late afternoon/early evening. I ate far too much yesterday and bizarrely as a result, didn't feel particularly in need of food at all today!? . . PCd briefly, TVd but mostly guitarred the evening away . . ate just a few bowls of corn flakes and much chocolate before eventually to bed before 1am.s
4 - Up around 7:45am . . PCd reading the local news site . .drove to walk poor Sally. Actually managed to lift her into the back of the car on the way out but she isn't good at being lifted, and frankly is far too heavy to make a habit of it. My back definitely suffered as a result. Managed to poorly lift her out and did a slightly curtailed walk in the freezing wind. She seems happy enough despite limping badly. That's the trouble with dogs, they haven't the sense to know when they should take it easy, and will happily charge around and make things worse for later! !. . scraped paint from the landing wall for several hours until mid afternoon. Ended up feeling thoroughly miserable . . ate the last of the lasagne . . napped until the alarm at 7pm . . skipped the walk . . guitarred/TVd . . ate mum donated pizza and chocolate. . to bed around 1am. s
3 - Woken by the noise of the binmen and up around 8:20am. Uggh. I'm tired! Bang goes today then?. . walked late. Not long after setting off, Sally did her usual detour and scent-mark pee on a raised grass verge. Jumping back down onto the pavement like usual, somehow she landed wrong and ended up limping pretty bad from her front leg (actually her shoulder I think)!!! . . A brisk, cold easterly wind, picking the sea up a bit. Stayed in BGdns longer than I'd intended, filming a little for the first time in ages. The pilot boat had gone out to a moored ship and was transferring people aboard via a ladder. Looked incredibly dangerous to me, what with the waves and all, but I guess it's all in a days work for them. Without the tripod and on maximum zoom, it was all rather a shaky, wasted effort, and I pretty soon ran out of battery anyway. Having said that, given I've not even pulled the camera out of my pocket for ages, I was actually quite impressed the battery lasted as long as it did. .ended up frozen! Slowly walked back with Sally limping even worse, after having layed on the cold ground for ages while I filmed . . worked on completing the outdoor socket box project. I'd bought a new tube of silicon sealant while I was down town the other day, but suprisingly it turned out the remains of some really old stuff I'd stowed away in the garage at least a year or more ago, was still useable! I'd put a plastic bag over the open end and then replaced the cleaned out screw-on nozzle, over the top of the bag, in the hope of keeping it sealed and useable again. Seems to have worked a treat . .Image of an outside RCD weatherproof socket installation put dabs of silicon around the socket box screw mounting holes, and around the potruding bit of through-the-wall-conduit where it entered the box, and eventually had the thing fixed to the wall about as weatherproof as it could possibly ever be. . spent the next several hours modifying the ring main and actually wiring everything up to the fused isolating switch on the newly painted bit of wall by the front door. (Even 'looped' the ring through the blanked box next to the switch, so when I finally decide what I'm going to use it for, it'll be quick and easy to wire it up.) Time consuming, but as always, very satisfying to actually bring into use a new socket box (switch) after all the aggro actually cutting it in etc. - and particularly so on this occasion because of having had to 'rebuild' AND twice repaint that section of botched wall in the process!! . . all done, tested, working and tidied up by around 3pm. I haven't really familiarised myself with that RCD socket yet, and don't 'really' understand how it works, but I get the impression it isn't really designed to have the mains supply turned off like I've installed it. When the mains is switched on, there seems to be some sort of capacitor type thing inside it which needs to charge up for a few seconds before you then have to go out to it and press the RCD reset button before it will supply power to the actual sockets. Fair enough for garden power tools etc because you'll be out there plugging them in anyway, but NOT good if for example you just want to turn on your already plugged in Xmas lights from inside the house! lol Oh well - humbug! . . ate a medium sized bowl of lasagne and some chocolate . . napped for a couple of hours until around 6:15pm . . Sally's bad limp has predictably gotten even worse having layed around all day!!! I guess I won't be walking her for a while! Poor OLD dog. Worrying. :o( . . no more excuses. I've GOT to start scraping down the paint from that butchered wall at the top of the stairs! Dared to put in an hour of scraping from around 8pm - but imposed a strict 9pm curfew on myself for the neighbours sake. Made a 'bit' of a dent in the chore. Actually - maybe doing a bit at a time is a good idea. It's real unpleasant and tiring. The down side of that is all the mess everwhere. Seems pointless clearing it all up if it's gonna happen again in a few hours tomorrow - which means the bits of scraped off paint end up being trod all over the house - everywhere! :o( . . PCd a bit of this . . TVd/ate bacon, eggs, baked beans and bread and butter around midnight before finally to bed. a
2 - Up at 6:30am. .walked . .sanded down my messed-up paint on the stub wall by the front door and got a coat of the new emulsion on it. That new paint is SO much better than the old stuff I've been using. The old stuff I'm sure was the cheapest you can buy, and really was like water! That may well account for a few of the problems I've had when using it. The new stuff is from the 'middle' of the price range, and is noticeably thicker and better. Definitely worth the extra on this occasion. . sunny with some dry weather forecast (and avoiding having to start the chore of scraping old paint from the patched/landing wall), set about starting the work to fix the outside socket box to the bay wall. It was bound to create some damage to the outside wall when I eventually broke through, but for various valid reasons, I drilled from under the floor - out! (Very cool being able to do the drilling work under there in reasonable light without the need for torches etc, and with an old extension lead permanently resident down there, all ready to go.) Didn't go 'too' badly because of the incredibly weak dusty mortar between the bricks. How on earth are these houses still standing?!! . had to use the disc cutter to grind off a bit of the painted outside wall, to be able to get a decent flat surface to mount the box on. Unlike when I did the light in the back garden, and just drilled a hole and poked the wire through, on this occasion I determined to do a 'proper' job, and actually cemented a piece of slightly protruding plastic conduit in through the bricks and across the cavity. Had to stop to let the PVA/cement go off, and ended up TVing and eating a HUGE bowl of lasagne followed by some chocolate. Big mistake. That pretty much finished me off for the day! Immediately had to go lie down - although I did just manage to slap on some masonary paint to the bit of outside wall before I did . . napped for a couple of hours only to wake feeling really blah and still oh SO tired . . drove to walk feeling not quite right or awake . . vaccuumed some of the layers of white dust from the sanding down this morning. TVd/PCd (surfing windows/radiators/footstools/alternator belts/shower curtain rails, etc, etc!) eventually waking up as the night wore on - and the lasagne overdose wore off?! . ate a banana, pork pie, crisps and chocolate biscuits. Finally to bed around 4am or later! a
1 - Up around 6:45am . . PCd a bit of this. I'm gonna have to sit down and tot it all up properly at some point, but it looks as though that shower project (so far - I need to buy some sealant etc to finish off) has cost me somewhere up around 180 to do - although of course I have lots of insulation and fittings and such left over for future projects - and a good 15 or more of that was wasted on my aborted soldering attempt. That's not 'too' bad, considering I had to start from scratch is it? Aside from the actual shower, the biggest chunk of that was the heavy duty cable! . . walked. Beautiful morning, rapidly warming up in the sun from the zero it was when I got up. . . left Sally at home and drove to the diy store (10Kg of one coat plaster, 10ltrs white emulsion paint, pack of sandpaper all for 28.16) and then Sainsburys for tobacco (5x50g Golden Virginia for 59.10) and food supplies (58.92). Just that took the whole morning! . . walked with Sally down town to withdraw some cash and to tour the charity shops. Scored a plain black, 'Cedarwood State', XL zip-up hooded fleece for 5. Still had remnants of the original tickets on, so I guess has never even been worn.(Actually had a look on-line while typing this. Turns out it's a 'Primark' item, and probably wasn't all that expensive to begin with. Still - well worth a fiver I reckon.) . ate ham rolls, crisps and chocolate. Should have 'got on with stuff', but as soon as the food hit I HAD to go sleep, and didn't wake until around 6pm! . . felt very blah and unsettled. Skipped the walk. . felt guilty about having done nothing on the house all day, but too late now and not fair on the neighbours to start making lots of noise scraping etc. . With a big new tub of emulsion from the diy store earlier, I ended up under the floor painting some of the walls I've already 'smoothed', just to get that out of the way and done with. Very much brighter down there now. Still lots of walls I haven't tended to, but really very little point in putting any more effort (and paint !) into that I think. . TVd . . cooked and ate bacon, eggs, baked beans and bread and butter . . to bed around midnight.