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- Up around 7:15am. 15C in, 8C out, misty grey. . . walked FGn . . . mowed and strimmed both lawns and pottered around in the garden playing with the weeds briefly. .walked up and down the back lane a few times, taking all the bits of natural local stone from the neighbour's rockpile up the street (as previously agreed) and carrying them back to store up by my garage until I decide where to use them . . . PCd a bit of this at length, as things actually brightened-up outside by early afternoon - and then rained. . .received a reply from Madasafish to my ongoing 'ticket' about this site etc. "Thank you for getting back in touch, Many apologies that you feel that our customer service has not been up to standard, however in both cases the information given has been correct. As detailed in ticket 72073040 your dial up phone number has changed to 08451400101 so you would no longer be able to authenticate on the old number, and also on a pay-as-you-go account such as this one you should not need to authenticate. If you are unwilling to try the tests that we are advising of, the best advice I could give would be to transfer the domain out. Because you are on a free account, in order to transfer out the domain you would need to give us a call to make payment of 25.28, and to inform us of the IPS Tags of the host that you wish to transfer to, which would then be actioned by our hostmaster. Once these are changed the new host would be able to control the domain.Please do not hesitate to get back in touch online at <a href="http://www.madasafish.com/contact">http://www.madasafish.com/contact/</a> if we can be of further assistance." Well - that's no help - AGAIN - and STILL they are insistant it's the phone number change! In fact - the whole tone of that response strikes me as at best, passive aggressive, and at worst, just plain rude - particularly in respect of that "If you are unwilling to try the tests that we are advising of . . " bit. What 'tests' have they advised me of? NONE! Useless. Banging my head against a brick wall!!! Right - that's it. Enough is enough. I need to just get the hell away from Madasafish. They appear to be completely incapable of actually handling all the 'legacy' stuff they've inherited through all their multiple takeovers. In my financial circumstances, and considering the absurd and 'pointless' nature of the website, it IS utterly crazy for me to do so, but I AM going to attempt to wrestle my TLJones.co.uk domain name away from them!!!! It's become something of a challenge and a 'matter of principle' to me now somehow!! :o( To be honest - (although its a sizeable little lump for 'ME') the 25.28 'ransom' fee is actually less than I'd thought it was going to be based on the horror stories I've read on-line. . Put in quite literally hours on the PC, trying to figure out how I'm gonna approach it all. First things first - using their live/on-line support chat thing, I got in touch with the guys at Dataflame (who already host my Telsweb dot com domain), and asked silly/dumb questions about how I could also transfer the dot co dot uk domain to be hosted by them, etc. Oh WHAT a joy to 'almost' actually be speaking to someone LIVE. At the end of the day, I gleaned enough information from their responses to form a plan of action (I got the TAG info I needed at least) - but ultimately was going to have to phone up their billing section anyway. Uggh. Oh wow - even phoning them up was less waiting and hassle than I'd expected - and when I quite quickly got to speak to 'N', she was straightfoward, to the point, and VERY helpful, and FULLY understood EVERYTHING about the situation. She IMMEDIATELY dealt with some personal info update I needed done on my account, and I even had e-mail confirmation the change had been done whilst we were still speaking! (I think she even said she herself had once had a Freenetname account, and knew full well what I was up against with Madasafish etc.) Ultimately, since I was a long standing customer of theirs with the dot com domain, she suggested they 'should' be able to upgrade my account for free (!! Really? Surely not!!????? I can't believe it!) and enable it to accomodate a couple more domains as 'add ons'. By now it was late in the day, and she said she wasn't sure it'd be done today, but she said she'd get in touch once the upgrade had been made. Incredible. I really was gobsmacked to be treated like a human being and to get SUCH a good response from her. PROPER customer service (unlike the nonsense I've been battling, with Madasafish!). . it got even better! Incredibly at 5:50pm she rang me back and informed me the 'upgrade' HAD now been done!!!!!!!! I was genuinely VERY thankful, and soon after hanging up, was able to log onto my dot com account and confirm that indeed things HAD been changed! It appears I now have the ability to 'add on' up to FOUR domains - never mind having more disk space and even a whole bunch of other 'enhancements' which I don't even have the knowledge to know what to do with!!! That's VERY cool. It's a shame I'm not more 'social' and don't do facebook and all that jazz - because I would really VERY much like to sing the praises of and highly recommend to everyone, the guys, and gal 'N' especially, at Dataflame. EXCELLENT customer service. (In fact - having such a positive customer experience is SO alien to me, I can't help it - I'm almost EAGER to see how it'll all go wrong, and AM left wondering if I've actually been paying them more than I should for years or some such?!!) . . . right then - that's THAT side of the problem all sorted and 'in waiting'. Now I need to 'pay my dues' and wrestle the dot-co-dot-uk domain away from Madasafish. It's inevitable THAT isn't going to be so easy. . I delayed attempting to do so, because I realised I needed to go through a whole bunch of rather important loose ends (e-mail addresses etc), gradually 'tidying things up' and generally getting ready for the dot-co-dot-uk to potentialy go off-line for a bit, assuming the transfer WILL ultimately go ahead sometime soon. . eventually called it quits after dark, and had a much needed break from the PC . . TVd the night away . . ate four cheesey ham baps, crisps, banana and chocolate . . to bed around 11pm.
30 - Woke earlier then up around 8am BST - because the clocks went forward last night . 15C in, 12C out. Bright, but misty cloud cover to start with. . PCd this . . walked BGdns with a coffee and sat around for quite a while in the warm hazy sun after a bit of ball play. A very pleasant morning . . . briefly stopped off at home to pick up the mothers day chocolates and card before heading up to see Mum. Coffee and chats in the sun in the garden and also messed around for quite a bit trying to sort out some little bits and pieces she'd been having trouble with - like one of her radios not retaining programmed presets, a bulb change in one of her little PIR nightlights, and rather more difficult a LONG overdue bulb change in her blown illuminated doorbell button, etc. . . eventually returned home (with food donations) late afternoon . . . ate two corned beef, mayo and ketchup finger rolls, crisps and a little chocolate . . napped until around 6pm, when I woke all coughing and choking . . .took the last of the seven day course of Mum's left-over 500mg Clarithromycin antibiotic tablets. Boy - am I glad to see the back of those! As 'usual' (!), they HAVE had the desired effect (temporary again?) on whatever that reoccuring infection thing on the back of my head is, and it HAS all died back down again. The reason I'm glad to see the end of the course is because I have absolutely NO doubt in my mind that I WAS indeed suffering from a bit of 'side effects' from taking them - which I don't recall ever having experienced whilst taking anything as benign as antibiotics before. I think given these were 500mg a pop, they may well have been a pretty 'strong' course. Despite my increasing age and things 'perhaps' changing just a little as a result, like has been the case all the rest of my life, I'm usually VERY aware if 'stuff' I've taken is affecting how I feel kinda - 'in-my-head' especially. Every time I took one of those antibiotics, within a very short space of time I'd feel just a 'little' bit sick, and would definitely feel it affecting my 'mind' a bit. Hard to describe - but kindof a little bit light-headed and woozy for quite a while. (actually, not entirely dissimilar in my experience, to that awful feeling one gets for the first few weeks when one starts a course of anti-depressants!) For the first three days, I also pretty much had a permanent headache - but towards the end, I think I built up a tolerance towards that. I hadn't expected ANY of that sort of stuff from 'just' antibiotics! It even had me return to the box more than once and re-read all the small print about possible side effects, etc. As usual, the makers pretty much list absolutely everything, undoubtedly just to cover themselves against litigation, but here's just one small part of what it said, which actually made me laugh a bit :- "Other side effects may occur, some of which could be severe, in which case tell your doctor immediately. These include: *Headache, dizziness, fear of heights, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, bad dreams, confusion, disorientation, hallucinations (seeing things), changes in mood or behaviour and change in sense of reality." Hillarious. I think it was the hallucinations and change in sense of reality bit which made me laugh, and start thinking most. That's almost like a 'get out of jail free' card isn't it? Lets imagine I took a trip to Bristol and acted out some bloody retribution on someone (yes - I STILL hold such thoughts - probably always will!) - and then waved THAT at the judge and jury during my trial? Seems to me, it'd be impossible for them to ignor such a part of a defence case? Oooohhhh - SUCH 'naughty' thoughts! Anyway - VERY glad I'm through with taking them. . .TVd . . .ate a bag of five mini jam doughnuts and then later drank some red wine and cooked and ate three apple and cider sausages with chips and a couple of pieces of bread and butter . . to bed around 1:30am.
29 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:30am again. 14C in, 9C out. Walked FGn under grey skies but with the sun trying to break through, and feeling a little warmer than of late. . back via the store for a mothers day card and token box of chocolates for Mum for tomorrow, and a few 'going cheap' supplies, and then into the local pet supplies place for a large bag of peanuts for the birdfeeder (mouse!) . . . a while later, a Jehovas witness called at the door, 'inviting me' to some meeting or other as they sometimes do! As soon as I realised it was a religion thing, I quickly politely said no thanks and started to close the door as usual, but then found myself in a rare mood whereby I hesitated - and thence ended up engaging in a bit of a 'debate' with the guy! lolol I clumsily explained that with advancing age, I have actually become anti religion, and have NO time for such people at all. I was far more interested in enquiring use of the scientific method and intelligent thought to establish how reality/existance works, rather than simply having 'blind faith' (which I now totally regard as a lack of inteligence/intellect!) in some oft re-written manmade 'political manifesto' from FAR more ignorant times, OBVIOUSLY specifically written to keep people under 'control', etc, etc, etc. Because I'd JUST been watching guys getting married and kissing on the news, I even dragged in the recent gay marriage thing, and expressed my outrage at the nauseating hypocrisy of supposedly 'loving' religious people who have sought to prevent it for apparantly no good reason other than it goes against their chosen outdated dogma. (Actually, with hindsight, I wonder if he left thinking I was gay? lol Damn - I should have tried to hug him, or give him a peck on the cheek instead of the handshake we exchanged when I'd finally had enough of my pointless rant. lololololololol) Poor man - he took it all very well - but then I guess he HAD to didn't he. HE's the closed minded weirdo - knocking on peoples doors, trying to get them to suspend rational thought, and believe in his imaginary friends! (And many people ACTUALLY do according to him!) Extraordinary! . . . did overdue vacuuming chores. Mum called to say Sis1, her daughter, and HER daughter had arrived . . walked up Mums for a coffee and chats with them all. Had to leave Bella unattended out in her garden for quite a little while, so of course without me there to guard against it, she scratched and gnawed herself bloody raw (a section of her tail mostly - which I didn't even discover until later!) and left clumps of her fur blowing around Mums lawn! :o( . . .I unusually found myself today in a mood, whereby I was eventually able to tolerate the prospect of enduring the stress-inducing 'duty', of joining them somewhere for a meal! Mum rang-up and booked a table. I eventually left them all to drive down with Sis1 later, and set off with Bella around 1:45pm to walk to their usual favourite. . walked with Bella down to BGdns for a brief bit of ball play and a smoke, and then carried-on down around the harbour and on out to the Breakwater beach to quickly meet up with everyone and join them in the Breakwater Cafe for a meal, inside on the upper deck with the view of the beach, etc. Bella was generally pretty good, and was largely persuaded to just lay on the floor next to me throughout. I'm sure if you aren't a dog lover, it'd be a very different story eating in such a cramped place with a dog present, but to me, it seems SO nice, 'civilised' and 'relaxed an attitude' from the establishment that dogs are welcome there like that. (Bella was even treated to some dog biscuits by one of the waiting staff a while later). I wasn't the only one who thinks so. An elderly woman, a complete stranger to me, who had to slightly side-step past Bella as she was heading out onto the outside terrace/deck with a group of people, actually stopped and complimented Bella's look and behaviour (as several others did), and then said at some little length, how wonderful she thought it was that dogs were allowed in there and how extra good it made her feel about the place, etc. Here, here. :o) It's SO absurd and SUCH a shame that I find it SO 'stressful' being in such a social environment. I acted 'normal' and cool I think - but deep down I was all uptight, and there really wasn't any 'pleasure' in it for me, like there may have been for everyone else - it was just a stressful 'duty', to keep Mum happy etc. The meal was pleasant enough. I had a glass of red wine, a chicken 'new yorker' (chicken breast covered in bacon, melted cheese and barbeque sauce with salad and chips etc) and then a chocolate cake thing with clotted cream. Bella had a good few bits and pieces sneaked under the table - and even secretly got to lick-out a clotted cream bowl and a plate or two. All pleasant and relaxed(ish) enough, nevertheless, it was a GREAT relief for me to eventually be free to be up and out of there! Mum of course as always insisted on paying the bill. Jeezuz - I'm out of touch with such prices - the whole lot came to around 85 for goodness sake! A small fortune to me!! . . all sat on the slightly chilly breakwater beach for a bit. The waves breaking on the beach at what must have been near high tide, were quite boisterous because of the Easterly element to the breeze. Even Bella wouldn't brave them to chase for her ball, and I soon had to stop throwing it lest I lost it. . just before all heading home/our seperate ways, I 'treated them all' to the sight of Bella swimming out for her thrown ball, in the calm waters behind the breakwater, off the slipway next to the moored Torbay lifeboat. . eventually said our goodbyes and I headed back around the harbor, through town and eventually all the way home - with Bella all hard to control and hyper, like she gets whenever she has a swim . . . could oh SO easily have just gone straight to sleep (my usual response to the stress of such an expedition!) , but it was rather too late, so with some difficulty I forced myself to stay awake. . .TVd/guitarred the evening away, eating a little chocolate and fighting the desire to just fall asleep in the chair . . . all of a sudden there was a loud bang outside at some point. It sounded kinda like something very heavy being dropped into a large empty wheelie bin (or to ME, the side of a car being kicked-in?!!) - but SO loud, I ended up having to look out through the curtains in an attempt to see what it was. As I did so, the old lady in the bungalow down and opposite was also looking out through hers - it'd been THAT loud. I couldn't see anything anywhere which may have caused the unsettling noise - not even when putting the outside light on, opening the door and standing on the front doorstep for a while. I'm not sure if she just took her cue from my 'uptight/on-guard' behaviour, but unusually Bella raced down towards the front gate and started barking quite a bit (probably at just a cat in her case?)! All seemed quiet - until I fancied I heard a similar noise and maybe some voices, further off out of sight down the street perhaps? It was all very unusually (for here) unsettling, and I became SO convinced that there could be a couple of passer-by damaged cars nearby, I even quickly got my shoes on, hooked Bella up and ended up having a fast walk around the block. All seemed quiet with no one around, and look as I did, I just could NOT see ANY sign of anything damaged or what could have been the cause of the bangs. Weird. . . TVd . . . eventually cooked a trio of 'going cheap' cider, apple and pork sausages and just ate them entirely on their own. Nice enough, but not particularly much taste from them. Glad I hadn't paid the full price. . . TVd until to bed around 2am.
28 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up just after 7:30am. 14C in, 4C out. Oh dear - looks like a repeat of yesterday's passing heavy showers! :o( . . .slow getting going and even had a poke at some government and Citizens Advice websites etc, as a result of finding out last night that DF didn't have to pay his council tax etc. I 'poked' - but not for long. As far as I can tell, as always throughout my entire life, I qualify for absolutely NOTHING! :o( Even if I maybe somehow do theoretically miraculously qualify for 'something', just to try to find out, I'd have to start going and seeing 'people', and have to start trying to explain in thirty seconds or less, my 'issues' and how my life experiences have cast them in stone, to people who really don't give a s**t and couldn't even begin to understand even the smallest part of what it all means and the difficulties it imposes on every single second of ones pointless and empty life. I can't even bear to attempt that sort of conversation with a medical professional these days - never mind some 'treat everyone like sh*t' job/benefits centre airhead. I DID start to think that 'maybe' I could approach at least a Citizens Advice Bureau - for 'advice' - but even that prospect fills me with dread - and the nearest of use would appear to be over in Paignton - which would mean leaving Bella at home and having to spend a fortune on bus trips, etc. Blah blah blah - I just can't stomach even trying to type about it all. As soon as I start thinking about such things, I feel sick, am overwhelmed with an enormous 'dark cloud' of downard spiralling mood, and an instant draining away of all energy from me! That's the best I can do to describe it. I'm in a hopeless catch 22 in SO many ways, I can't even talk or type about it here anymore. :o( . . . . . . . walked BGdns in my long rubber coat. Only a couple of light spells of rain at first, and then they thankfully seemed to keep missing us. Eventually carried on down to the harbour, for no good reason other than to just sit and watch the world carry on, without any place in it for me, as I supped my coffee, smoked cigs, etc. An extraordinary life I lead - SO completely and utterly 'out of step' withall. :o( . . . Image of heritage sailing trawler Pilgrim and old Agatha Christie tour bus in Brixhamaha - I WAS right about the mast of that 'Pilgrim' BM45 Heritage sailing trawler the other day. Turns out it WAS only 'half' there. They've now almost doubled the height with another big lump of carefully worked and varnished tree - but not 'slotted in' to the white painted metal sleeve as I'd imagined. It's been bolted to the front of that metalwork. The guy in red appeared to be working on threading more rigging through all the associated block and tackle, etc. No safety basket or crane for THIS guy. He was working in the old-fashioned way, climbing up the rigging 'free', and then working threading the ropes without even a safety line clipping him on! THAT looked bad enough to me - imagine doing that whilst at sea!!!!! A different breed these seafarers - landlubber am I! I pointed the video camera and grabbed the picture top left, because it amused me to try to get 'the bus' in the picture too. You can 'just' make it out up from the bottom left hand corner. Oldy worldy bus for taking visitors on an Agatha Christie tour of the area. Now - although really completely unconnected - THAT seems to me to be somehow far more in-keeping with the 'character' of the harbour and why tourists come here, rather than that out-of-place new glass-fronted restaurant/fish market place. God help the place when the proposed Tesco supermarket development, swallows up the central car park and half the heart of the town and high street. Unlike many, I've not necessarily any particular position on the Tesco development per se (it 'could' be useful to me, without transport!) - other than I reckon that fish market place says a lot about what the councillors, planners and developers, are fully intending to do to the place. 'Modernise' it!! SUCH a shame. I just BET the Tesco thing will be equally 'out of character' when it's all done. :o( . . . eventually back through town and a brief stop for cigarette paper supplies, in the high street newsagent which has been sympathetically rebuilt and has reopened following the all-consuming fire. . . .a coincedence given my rant here yesterday about my income etc. I received a pay increase notification in the mail this morning. My pension income is to be 6386.12 this coming year. I've also just been informed the Council Tax is going to be 897.58. :o( Actually - blimey - that works out around 14.05% doesn't it? I'm better off??? Incredible - although of course I'm actually VERY much NOT, because absolutely EVERYTHING else has gone up significantly. Yes, yes, yes, I KNOW I'm VERY lucky to have my pension. Nevertheless - what on earth sort of a society have we engineered for ourselves, where even such a seemingly to me 'large' amount of money, is barely enough to pay the unavoidable bills? . . . PCd for hours, just 'dabbling' with trying to sort this/the site out, for an eventual relocation to my Telsweb.com webspace. It isn't a five minute job!!!!!!! It's liable to take me a VERY long time before I'm anywhere near able to potentially go live elsewhere. SO much is kinda 'hard coded' to the existing .co.uk domain address, I'm not even sure how or where any more - AND have pretty much forgotten all I may once have known about knocking up some simple bare bones webpages!! :o( . . Mum called to touch base and let me know Sis1 and Co. were intending to visit her tomorrow . . .ate corned beef, mayo, grated cheese and chopped onion sandwiches, crisps and a banana. . . napped. Forgot to put the alarm on and didn't wake until around 9pm!!! Damn, damn damn! How come I can't sleep on like that in the mornings? And how come no matterr how much sleep I get or when, I ALWAYS wake feeling tired-out and exhausted? :o( . . TVd . . . .ate grilled cheese and onion on two crusts of bread and butter, a banana and half a battenburg cake . . . to bed around 2am.
27 - Up just after 7am. 14C in, 4C out. Drizzle. Woke at the PC. Slow getting going and feeling pretty lousy again. . nothing in the local press about yesterday's body recovery yet. I may be wrong, but as far as I can tell, the only 'outstanding' missing person from Torquay, back on Febuary 13th, is a guy called David Facey, who was the subject of coastline searches and even a high profile twitter campaign thanks to celebrities including Lord Sugar and Davina McCall!! He was reported as maybe wearing blue jeans, so I guess it 'could' well be him at last. :o( . . during my time waking at the PC, the weather improved to pretty much dry, although there were still threatening big shower clouds aroundabout and only 5C. Walked in my nylon leggings and shower coat, just in case. Sods law - just up the top of the road the heavens opened. When it turned to freezing hail with a possible touch of sleet, we briefly sheltered under the overhanging branches of a tree for a bit. Eventually carried on and headed for FGn, only for the freezing cold windblown rain to return with a vengeance, with gusts up around 34mph. By the time we'd crossed the green, I was utterly drenched right through - everything, and really frozen. No way was I gonna sit and play ball, and since there is no shelter on the green at all, we headed along the clifftop road to BGdns, to have a break and take shelter underneath the roof for a bit. Arrived just as T with 'the' doberman parked up. Kept Bella on her lead and had a brief sit and chat under the roof. The waters of the bay were 'boisterous' in the south EASTERLY, and those onboard the outgoing pilot boat had quite a ride. Soon headed straight home in the heavy rain. Oh boy - by the time I got home after about an hour out in it, I couldn't feel my hands at all and was utterly, utterly frozen! It is no exaggeration to say, I don't believe I have EVER experienced SUCH cold hands before. (An hour in <5C water!) Trouble opening the front door with them. Bella was easily as wet as when I hose her down! Toweled Bella down before taking the emergency measure of racing up to get out of all my soaking clothes and have a LONG and as hot as I could stand shower. I think I MUST have been fast approaching the medical definition for hypothermic! Weird - for ages my hands were incapable of being able to tell what the temperature of the water was - they seemed to think the hot water was cold!?? . . I KNEW it - typical - by the time I'd had my shower and got into lots of warm clothes, the sun had come out, the wind had dropped, and the temperature had jumped up to around 10C! . . recovered at the PC and found the local newspaper was now reporting yesterday's body recovery, and indeed suggesting it WAS potentially connected to the missing David Facey. (Link to the Herald Express story) A 'swan dive' off the pier!? Extraordinary! :o( I much prefer the idea of the car with the heater on, maybe a little music, a good smoke - and a hosepipe. . .aimlessly surfed for a bit and then just somehow sat around, headachey and trying to feel warm . . TVd . . defrosted and oven heated a pack of six little 'going cheap' chicken drumsticks, and ate with four pieces of bread and butter followed by chocolate. I'm pretty sure I shouldn't, and I usually don't, but on this occasion I dared to allow Bella to have all the left over bones, as well as the softer bits of gristle and 'discard' which she DOES usually have when I have chicken. She couldn't seem to believe her luck and soon crunched and ate everything down, thankfully without any 'choking' incidents. . . slept until the 6:30pm alarm . . . DF called in for coffee and chats until gone 10:30pm. . Mum called to touch base and draw my attention to a TV show on later, about a guy who'd never flown a plane before, who managed to successfully land a plane after the pilot had died. Ended up both watching it . . during our many conversations/arguments on all manner of everything, we have discussed 'money' and the price of stuff, and how 'I' seem to be finding it VERY difficult existing on SO little. He is apparantly on a state pension and an income broadly similar to what I'm getting from my occupational ill-health retirement pension - and yet he seems to be able to live very much more comfortably somehow, and has no problem having a car on the road etc, etc. As a pensioner, I 'think' he gets all manner of rebates on such things as dental care, perscription charges, free bus travel and the like - but even then, it didn't seem to add up to how much poorer I seem to be. (I was recently outrageously jealous, when he suggested he would also qualify for having his old central heating boiler replaced with an economical brand new one, under some government subsidised scheme or other - for free I think he said! I do NOT qualify of course - and 'I' don't even have the unimgainable luxury of central heating to start with, never mind a nice new eco boiler!! Humphh. :o( ) Ultimately, we both seemed to end up putting it down to my (intractable!) smoking addiction, which is (thanks to the government taxes) now of course unbelievably expensive. Blah blah blah. Well - in conversation this evening, I was genuinely shocked to actually find out that he gets a 100% rebate on his council tax, because of his low income and pensioner status etc!!! He actually doesn't pay ANYTHING! I was REALLY shocked by that, because I was of the belief that EVERYONE had to pay it, even if on benefits, etc. Well - THAT all explains why he is managing so much better than I!!! This last year, (for the TEN months I get billed) of my 518.19 monthly Post Office occupational ill-health retirement income, 89 a month goes straight to the council tax! What's that - around 14.3% of my annual income gone - bang, just like that! That's after my 'single occupier' discount, which ALL single occupiers automatically currently get of course - although even THAT 'could' soon change, because a recent think tank or some such was recommending it be withdrawn to 'encourage' people to have to sell their homes and downsize, to ease the alleged housing shortage etc!!!!!!! (B******s! Every penny I've ever earned I put into having my own 'falling down around my ears' house - and now they even want to try to force me out of it and take THAT away from me! :o( B******s!) . . . TVd/guitarred just a little and necessarily 'recovered' from having company as usual. . ate chocolate, bowls of co-co pops and half a battenburg cake. . to bed getting on for 3am.
26 - Up around 7am. 14C in, 6C out. Misty grey to start with but eventually turning to some good spells of misty sun. . . headachey and slow getting going. Antibiotic and Annadin tablets for breakfast. . walked FGn. Nice enough weather but still rather chilly in the breeze. Played ball for a while (enough to have Bella's paw wound start weeping blood again!) and then decided to have a bit of a wander down around the harbour to have a quick look at the 'Mseis Enterprise' from last night's pan-pan , which the AIS had reported was moored up against the visitors pontoon near the Prince William pub. .Image of mast work on heritage fishing vessel BM45 'Pilgrim' in BrixhamOn reaching the harbor, there was a lot of activity on the quay near the new Fish Market (the design of which, 'I' think, is appallingly out of keeping with the character of the harbor! Ruined the place!). Heritage sailing trawler 'Pilgrim' BM45 was having work done on it's forhead mast. A truck with a crane on the back was holding some guys in a basket in the air at the top of the mast (or is that actually the middle, with more height to slot in?) , so they could do whatever it was they were doing - all supervised by the ever present seagulls. Quite a little spectacle really. So - how did they do that sort of work back in the days when they first built the thing I wonder? Not like THAT I bet! . . .Image of Mseis Enterprise and Windcat 6 in Brixham harborcarried on around the harbor and out along the harborside walkway past the pub towards the marina and the pontoons, and pretty quickly spotted to my suprise, the bright yellow 'Windcat 6' from last night. I'd thought they were intending to resume passage immediately after their 'rescue' and towing-back of the 'Mseis Enterprise'? They weren't on the AIS when I looked earlier. Alongside the opposite side of the pontoon, was the white 'Mseis Enterprise'. There we go then - that puts an in person 'face' to the comms I overheard - kinda (although I already pretty much knew what they looked like, from the photos on the AIS website). . wasn't in the mood to go any further (and Bella's paw to consider) so headed straight back the way we'd come, and ended up sat on one of the harbourside benches (right next to the coastguard station) for my coffee and cigs, occasionally casting a glance at the ongoing 'Pilgrim' mast work. . toured a couple of charity shops on the way back through town. Near the traffic lights at Bolton Cross, one of the roads was closed, diversions were in place, and lots of roadworks were going on. I'd seen on the local newspaper website the other day, a water main had burst there and partially flooded the road - so I guess it's now fixed. . . In the time it took me to get back home and have a coffee in the garden before heading for the PC and radios at around midday, 'Mseis Enterprise' had left the harbour and was continuing on its passage to Plymouth, and both lifeboats had been called out as a result of 'Seaquest' out of Teignmouth reporting two overdue/missing divers! Both lifeboats were soon stood down when the divers were safely recovered - and soon after, 'Windcat 6' had left the harbour heading for Newlyn. . . . PCd this. At 12:38hrs, one of the two people on board yacht 'Free Spirit' heading for Darthaven marina, clearly 'disturbed', somberly reported having found a body floating in the water, 3.5 miles east of Froward Point at the Dartmouth entrance (5020.351N 00328.331W). The male looking body (judged only by the clothing!) was reported as face down, wearing jeans and a brown top, and "A bit bloated" indicating it'd been in the water some time! The coastguard suggested they had details of someone missing who'd been outstanding for some time from Torquay. Torbay lifeboat had only 'just' returned to it's mooring, so the crew were turned straight around to attend and were on scene at 13:00hrs, and soon after were recovering the 'casualty' (who HAD been in the water for a while and was obviously in poor condition)! The coastguard were sensitively 'concerned' for the welfare of those onboard 'Free Spirit' (because they'd sounded SO upset) and arranged to have someone meet them when they reached Dartmouth. Arrangements were made for the undertaker/SOCCO etc to recover the body from the Brixham lifeboat pontoon upon their return. (Of course I can NOW fully imagine what that will look like can't I, after having seen such scenes back in January.) . . at some point during monitoring all of this, Bella started barking as the postman delivered mail to nearby neighbours, and raced downstairs. Like a fool, I allowed her to stay down there out of my sight for five minutes. So - what did I find when I eventually called her back up to me? She'd immediately set about gnawing herself, and her back was all bloody and raw!! FFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the F*** am I supposed to do about her? I really am at my whits end with her. . . in a foul and despairing mood (AGAIN!), I missed the end of proceedings on the radios, and ended up in the garden in wellingtons and full weather gear, roughly hosing, shampooing, and eventually toweling and brushing her - again - and all to no avail of course - again. That new expensive shampoo stuff I got on the internet seems pretty useless - and I got through loads of it! :o( . . . PCd a bit more of this - but ended up just sitting staring into space (s.ideation) in despair, lots, all headachey still. . . ate two packets of chicken crisps, a chiken and mushroom pastry slice, a banana and a Caramac bar of chocolate . . retreated to the wonderful oblivion of sleep. . . back up with the 7pm alarm within a couple of hours . . . TVd nothing, unmoving so much, by the time I had to, I was so stiff and aching I hardly could! . . . ended up on the PC and monitoring radios. Finally unwillingly knuckled down to it, and did a response to the idiots at Madasafish, re my website ticket thing. I'm in SUCH a miserable, prolonged, to hell with everyone and everything mood, I HAD considered just giving up and letting it all go, just so that I didn't have to labor for hours over a response! "In your latest response you continue to dwell on the change in dial-up number, when I believe I have made it abundantly clear that this has NOTHING to do with my problem! I reiterate YET again, using either of the phone numbers you have suggested I AM successfully dialing-in AND CONNECTING to your host computer, as evidenced by the host computer returning 'Error 691:Access was denied because the username and/or password was invalid on the domain'.The username and password which I have used for over fourteen years have suddenly recently become unrecognised by your host computer, possibly for the reasons I have previously suggested. Your comment that no authentication is required on a pay as you go dial-up account is simply ludicrous and frankly beggars belief! Authentication by way of a registered username and password, has been and is, ALWAYS required.It is the spontaneous 'invalidity' of my username and password sequence on the host computer which is my problem and the very reason for my starting this 'ticket'! It is perhaps worthy of note to you that I AM still currently able to connect to the www.users.freenetname.co.uk FTP server with my username and password, and upload files as normal. I requested information from you on how to transfer the tljones.co.uk domain name (http://www.users.freenetname.co.uk/~tljones) which I have held without problems for fourteen years, because the Madasafish website had already proven to be of no help. Returning me there by simply pasting a link in your response is pointless. The Madasafish website states the following:- "Transferring a domain name away from Madasafish (outbound transfer). To transfer your domain name away from us please sign in to My Account, enter your username as your full email address. Once you're in the secure My Account area please click on the Internet tab and you'll find a section detailing your domain name. Below your domain name you will see the option for Domain Transfer. If you click on this link you'll be guided through the process of transferring your domain name away from us. "When I follow these instructions, there IS NO section detailing my domain name, NO option for Domain Transfer, NOR any link to click to be guided through the process! It is for THIS reason I requested details.Replies from your department so far have been shockingly inept and of absolutely no assistance whatsoever!Please pass this 'ticket' over to someone who is fit for purpose and actually has the knowledge and expertise to be able to deal with it! Thank you." SUCH a frustrating and infuriating waste of my time, dealing with such idiots. :o( I need to do all the hours and hours of sorting out and work, to set this up on my TELSWEB.COM webspace, and just be done with the Madasafish idiots. Trouble is - I really just can't muster the 'energy' to do so! I mean - what IS it all about? What the f*** IS the point?! :o( . Actually, I also received an e-mail the other day, kindof on the same subject. I'm not entirely sure if it's a spam type thing or genuine. It went directly into my yahoo spam box, but DOES have a 'hint' of being genuine about it to me, because of how it was addressed and suchlike! "Dear Manager, (If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward this to your CEO,Thanks) This email is from China domain name registration center, which mainly deal with the domain name registration in China. We received an application from Huayuan Ltd on March 17, 2014. They want to register " tljones " as their Internet Keyword and " tljones cn "?" tljones .com.cn " ?" tljones .net.cn "?" tljones org.cn " domain names. But after checking it, we find " tljones " conflicts with your company. In order to deal with this matter better, so we send you email and confirm whether this company is your business partner in China or not? Best Regards, Jim General Manager Shanghai Office (Head Office) 3002, Nanhai Building, No. 854 Nandan Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai 200070, China" (the question marks after the domain names, were actually originally foreign/Chinese characters I think.) Despite suspecting it actually 'could' be genuine, like with most mail I get (increasingly spam/virus attacks aimed at this/my website mail account again of late!?), I WON'T be replying of course. . . PCd a bit of this until around midnight. . aha - just before intending to pull the plug, I somehow ended up doing a quick Google search regarding that Chinese e-mail. It would appear (link to a detailed explanation) it IS a scam - and a pretty old one at that! How vulnerably ignorant and behind the times am I! . . .TVd . . ate a microwave curry, crisps and large numbers of chocolate hobnob biscuits . . to bed after 2:30am.
25 - Up around 7:15am. 14C in, 4C out. Sunny . very slow getting going, feeling exhausted and down again! :o( . . . walked BGdns with a coffee in the relatively warm sun, although where we sit to play ball is always in the cold shade. Eventually sat on my favourite seat in the full sun higher up for coffee and smokes. . . rain was forecast for later, but a cracking sunny start to the day, so dragged the ladder out and managed to get a first coat of fence paint on the two big wooden fence posts I use as masts for my long wire antennas up by the garage/carport. . . sawed the fence post timbers down in situ, to an equal height above the top rail for all three. They're a little taller than may be more usual, but that was largely dictated by the scaffold poles being at different heights, and having absolutely NO intention of cutting THOSE down at all. The highest pole (in relation to where the fence rails have ended up) dictated the height to cut the timbers. Image of steel and timber fence postUnfortunately that meant that the two other poles were NOT as high as the timber. For little more than aesthetics, I then laboriously fashioned two new round wooden plugs to go in the tops of those poles, each one cut to the length required to make it look as though the pole carried on up to the desired level. . . made up with the saw and electric plane, three, square, bevelled-edged wooden post caps using some left over timber from discarded old fence rails . . painted everything during and throughout with fence paint. All dried pretty quick in the bits of sun . . . eventually fitted everything, cleared up, and then used up the last of the fence paint from the first tub, all on the neighbours side. I actually ended up putting a good coat on the scaffold poles too - to make them less noticeable and appear at a quick glance, as though they are just a part of the wooden fence. Looks a 'little' bit strange, but pretty acceptable 'I' think. I could very happily live with the look of their side . wouldn't you know it - soon after finishing painting, it began to rain! Luckily it was just some light showers at first, so I got away with it. . Apart from the two old rails which don't 'quite' meet the first post enough to be screwed on, and which I 'may' swap/replace some time, I think the job is done enough for me to have a break from it all. It remains to be seen how it will 'perform' in high winds! I gave it my best shot. . . . did dish-washing chores . . . touched base with Mum and missed the details of a 'Pan Pan' which went out part way through our conversation. She 'gets it' when I say hold on a minute, somethings going-on on the radio, and she happily quickly ended the call. . ended up monitoring radios and the AIS website. Portland coastguard put out a 'Pan Pan' for vessel 'Mseis Enterprise', 22 miles due east of Brixham (although I don't know what their problem was). By 20:25hrs, 'Windcat 6' (heading for Dover?) had reached her (with 'Northern River' on passage to Devonport also responding/standing by to assist if required) and took her under tow and headed for Brixham at around 6knots. ETA two and a half hours. At 20:48 Portland coastguard cancelled the pan pan and released Northern River to continue it's passage. . . ate melted cheese with onion on Cheddar crackers, followed by crisps and ham sandwiches . . .TVd . . . ended up having to mess with Bellas ear (trying to clean out largely nothing - again!?) when she started shaking her head and being badly irritated by it - again!????? It's never ending. One thing after another. It's exhausting and overwhelming. She's a FULL TIME job - just when you don't need it most!!! I eventually had to shut her out in the garden for a bit, just to have a break and regain my temper - AGAIN! Just my luck to end up with a lifetime of THIS. :o( . . . to bed before midnight.
24 - Up around 6:45am. 14C in, 5C out. Some sunny spells, but mostly cloudy - with a rain front and bit of a gale fast approaching for later. Took the first of Mum's left-over course of antibiotics for breakfast. . quickly popped out and loosely placed the little wooden scaffold pole plugs into place on the fence. Wouldn't want the mouse or some such to start making a nest down in them - and just as well to keep any imminent rain out!. . walked FGn and cleared up from the grass, a bunch of litter and a smashed stackable metal and plastic chair! Didn't dare play too much ball, but still succeeded in opening Bella's wound up to bleed a bit. . back via the store for milk - and as it turned out, several packs of two little chicken kievs going cheap (only 50p per pair! Awful junk food I'm sure, but I do rather like them). . . PCd this - still feeling utterly drained and a bit woozy. . .the wind and rain arrived . . . ate two ham finger rolls, crisps and a couple of kipling country slices . . napped . . . TVd feeling very down. . ate two garlic chicken kievs with chips and the rest of the box of kipling country slices . . . TVd nothing until to bed around 2am.
23 - Back up around 8:30am. 15C in, 12C out. Sunny but cold in the strong breeze . . followed Bella out into the garden while she did her business, and removed all the stones and bits of plastic covering yesterday's cementing. Looks ok thank goodness. . . woke at the PC feeling light-headed, dizzy and woozy from lack of sleep and food . . .a bang and a judder of everything in the room, announced the neighbour erecting a ladder against the front of his house. Jeeze - that goes to show how 'fragile' the construction of the fronts of these (crack strewn!) houses are! He and a friend assistant were about to start pressure-washing the walls of his house to remove all the green mould (which we get a LOT of here, given the permanently damp/sea atmosphere). Time for me to get out of here for a while (rather than sit around being all uptight about the effect the operation could have on me!) . walked BGdns with a coffee real late, intending to sit around in the sunny spells. Turned out there was actually a biting North Westerly type breeze, making it feel much colder than it looked. Played ball for a bit, only to then glance down at Bella sat at my feet and see a substantial 'pool' of blood! WTF? Took a worrying while to figure out what the hell she'd done. Turned out she had a nasty deep cut across one of the pads on her left rear paw! So - that was a quick end to any hope of having a pleasant walk TODAY! (Every day it's 'something'! I've hardly had 'just a nice walk with the dog' without something ruining it, since I've had her, so it seems!!) She seemed entirely oblivious to her injury, and it did seem to be starting to bleed a bit less as time passed, so I quickly headed back and walked all the way straight home with her (what else could I do, after all!). . .straight back apace, and thence out into the conservatory, to tend to Bella and attempt to inspect and wash her paw etc, whilst she happily lay on the old sofa - seemingly enjoying the cooing fuss I was making of her. Jeeze my eyesight has gotten SO bad - even with my glasses on, I really couldn't tell if she had anything stuck in there other than just dirt! Thankfully it obviously wasn't causing her much pain at all - except a little bit of complaint when I sprayed her paw with some salty/mildly soapy water! At the end of the day, I figured it was one of those wounds about which you can really do very little, didn't warrant an immediate vet visit, and 'should' likely heal up on its own over time. I DID try to have her wear in the manner of a sock, a bit of the tubular bandage stuff Mum gave me, which I still had laying around from when I had my strained wrist thing a while ago. That of course turned out to be useless and slipped off as soon she walked about a bit. Oh well - it doesn't seem to be causing her ANY concern whatsoever, so I guess I'll just keep an eye on things for a while and hope for the best. . all the time I was fussing with Bella in the conservatory, the friend of the next door neighbour had put his ladder up on the back of his house, and had started pressure washing all that. (I was utterly astounded to see he started off by happily having the ladder propped up against the horizontal frame of the PVC window, BELOW the opening toplight and above the larger glass pane beneath! I would never have dreamed of taking SUCH a risk!). I tried not to look - and definitely tried not to be seen doing so as he did what he was doing, but I WAS deeply concerned about the absolute waterfall of water which was pouring down the wall and off my kitchen window cill. I had a close look around that old PVC window of mine when I messed with the fence panel there the other day, and am well aware it wasn't fitted very well, has a substantial unfilled gap behind the capping, and very likely is allowing water into the cavity wall! (Another thing I need to attend to in the near future, but linked to what I do with regard to replacing the conservatory/maybe building a higher supporting block wall, etc.). The guy eventually started making progress away from my side, and it must be said, it DID make much of the paintwork on the back of his house look like new. I personally wouldn't dream of trying such a stunt on MY house, because so much of the paint would be blown off as a result. Yes - the house needs much scraping off and repainting (the front mostly)! Yet another BIG job! :o( Aside from that, all that muck the pressure washer removes, doesn't somehow just miraculously disappear does it! So - I'll NOW be having to get out with the ladder and wash all my windows pretty soon won't I! Thank you so much. Humph! . . .briefly replaced the earth, filled up the hole in the path border, and put the big 'rockery' stone back, from where I'd had to dig it all out to do the post and cementing work etc, etc . . . exchanged words with the neighbour and showed him the one capping timber box I'd managed to make before my saw burned out. Ultimately he agreed to just pretty much leaving things as they are, without doing the capping - but did suggest filling in the tops of the scaffold poles - which was something I WAS of course now going to have to do. If I'm not capping over as I'd originally planned, that DOES now give me a bit of a headache over how to finish off the tops of the new posts. The three timbers AND the scaffold poles are all at slightly different heights from the topmost fence rail. Couldn't be helped and didn't originally matter because I was going to cap it all over and it wouldn't be seen anyway. Gonna be a bit of a hassle to now figure out how best to make them all look equal, ultimately cut off the excess, and put a little capping piece over the top of each one. :o( . . pottered around in the garage and at considerable length, fashioned some (temporary?) round wooden plugs, to perfectly fit into and over the tops of each of the scaffold poles. Took ages! Eventually covered them in a thick coating of the fence paint, and left them to dry in the garage. I WAS itching to get up with a ladder and paint the tall bare-wood fence posts I have my long wire antennas attached to, but despite some good sunshine, it was breezy and chilly, and constantly threatening to shower, so I eventually just didn't dare bother and called it quits for the day. . . drank a glass of red wine. Cooked and ate four Mum donated quarter pound burgers in cheesey buttered baps . . . napped for a couple of hours, only to wake feeling even more tired than I had earlier, VERY cold, and generally not so good. . . skipped the evening walk, not wanting to aggravate Bellas paw wound. . .TVd . . . PCd just a bit of this. What with all the work I've been exclusively doing of late, I've a couple of e-mails I'm long overdue replying to, and a response to that damned ongoing webspace/ticket nonsense to construct, but somehow I just could NOT managed to do any of it. I seemed to be in a very, VERY 'schizoid' and just wanting to be (mentally?) quiet and left alone state!? I ended up aimlessly surfing building supplies and construction regulations sites for goodness sake!!!!????. . Mum called to touch base - and I reluctantly felt obliged to answer. .started feeling really awful. Lay down on the living room floor with Bella for a bit, before then grooming her for some time. . . TVd and forced down a couple of chocolate hob-nob biscuits . . . let Bella out into the garden by spotlight quite late as usual, only to end up with a bit of a drama and me following her out and shouting at her 'BellaCOME!' lots (sorry neighbours!). Turned out a local cat was in the garden, in the vicinity of the birdfeeder, trying to catch the mouse no doubt (grrr!), and Bella took off in hot pursuit (and did NOT respond to my calling her off!). Bizarrely the cat did NOT simply climb straight up over one of the fences to safety, as one would normally expect. Instead, it raced all the long way up the garden path towards the back gate and carport - with Bella in hot pursuit CLOSE behind. Even more bizarrely, they then both reappeared, racing all the way back straight towards me. There was a bit of round and round back down near the birdfeeder, during which Bella cornered it at one point and really did almost get to kill it, before finally it somehow managed to squeeze through a gap or over the fence somewhere near the back of the pergola. Wow - what a dumb cat that one was. My description here doesn't do it justice. Bella came SO very VERY close to despatching it! Would have been very embarassing to have had to return its corpse to the owner up the street. On the other hand, serves the damned thing right, being the prey for once. It seems to spend its whole life making sport of stalking stuff to pointlessly kill, up and down the back lane and all around the neighbourhood. No wonder all the once common garden birds are in decline - or gone all together. How DARE it come into my/Bella's garden and make sport of killing 'my' mouse! . . I think that chase did Bella's paw wound no good at all. Appeared to be weeping a little again afterwards. She continued to appear to be entirely unaware of it - despite me encouraging her to notice and maybe lick it clean and help the healing!? (Unlike where she gnaws herself raw everywhere else, since her pads are like leather, a bit of cleansing/clotting licking WOULD have been useful.) . TVd until to bed around 12:45am.
22 - Up around 6:45am. 15C in, 5C out. Sunny spells and threatening big shower clouds. . walked FGn in sunny spells between big black shower clouds. Back via the builders yard for another box of 200 Velocity 5 x 50mm screws for 7.48. . recovered from the walk with a coffee in the sunny spells at the top of the garden. Popped back into next door's garden and removed the plastic covering yesterdays cementing. All appeared to be ok . . sawed the bottoms of the timber posts off just above building block height (awkward - and much bleeding knuckles) and then cemented up on my side (using all but a handful or two of the last bit of sand I had left - so no more such work until I have to fork out 10 for a delivery of such 'uncarryables'!! :o( ). Nothing much more I could do with Mum arriving later, so sat around and meticulously worked out the sizes of timber I'd need to cut to 'cap over' the scaffold poles on the neighbour's side. . plenty of activity in the new neighbour's garden. The guy had the workman from yesterday there again, and they were both putting up trellis and fence panels around their patio and suchlike. Jeeze - how easy that must be, compared to what I've been battling away at single handedly. I couldn't help it - I found myself getting all down about it. Very down. What IS it like to have someone to help you do such things? What's it like to have someone hold the other end of something level while you put the screws in etc? No one can possibly imagine how much work 'I' have just put into doing that f**ing fence repair, and how EXCEEDINGLY difficult it is doing anything like that single handed (did anyone even 'get that' when they looked at the photo I included here the other day? How exceedingly long and unweildy those timber rails are, and how difficult that must have been to cut and fit them all on your own?) - and with the most pathetic collection of worn out and inadequate tools - and having to physically carry everything back from the builders yard etc, etc, etc. The guy next door eventually trimmed down a whole line of their overly tall patio fence posts with a chainsaw, in seconds. That would have taken me hours with my increasingly blunt handsaw. Drinks and food were supplied to them on demand as and when needed. What's THAT like? I could 'bleat' on, feeling particularly down and sorry for myself, but I don't suppose there are many people who would 'get it'. It IS hard living alone like this - it really is. Sometimes VERY hard! Yes - I'm very lucky to have an 'almost' nice house and all - but - it's MY single handed doubley hard work, aching back and bleeding hands which have made it so. I'm tired. I'm very very tired of the battle. :o( . .briefly broached the subject (again?) with next door, of me wanting to build a wall between our kitchen windows, to enable me to put a flat roof across the back of my house to replace my leaking/rotten wood conservatory. He seemed unhappy about the suggestion because of the impact of the possible lack of light into his kitchen, and kinda 'fobbed me off', suggesting he'd have to talk to his wife about it! I CAN understand his concerns, but that rather pissed me off - and increasingly so, the more I thought about it. Jeeze - the efforts I always go to, to ensure I try to consider the neighbours and keep them happy. It seems to be a one way street! For example, this recent fence posts repair thing - I've genuinely spent more time and effort working at keeping everything looking ok on THEIR side, than I have on mine! And then there is that rotten fence panel between our kitchen windows which has been blowing back and forth and falling to bits for months, breaking my downpipe etc. They've been more than happy to ignore that mess for long enough without lifting a finger to do anything about it. That ugly, dark, UGLY fence panel is already the height of the tops of our windows. He's quibbling about me suggesting a nice new white painted wall only a couple of feet higher/further out, because it may block the view to a small triangle of sky?! FFS! ('I' of course was never consulted when he was rebuilding his garage - which has ended up extraordinarily tall, ugly and suprisingly imposing from the kitchen window, even though it's down the end of the garden, etc). . . down down down further down!. . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for brief chats. Soon after she'd arrived I had to race out again and cover the cementing I'd done, when a heavy rain shower passed through. . when she went, she revealed she'd hidden some money in one of the drawers of my three piece sweet to help with the cost of the fence repair!! 200 I think she said - I haven't even looked yet. . As soon as she'd gone, I returned to the garden, got appropriate tools out onto the table under the pergola, and started cutting up timber for the 'post capping' (in occasional sprinkles of rain). Starting with the remaining timber offcuts from the new thicker fence rails, I had to cut around an inch off the side of two five foot lengths using my laser line electric rotary saw. The first one went ok. Around three quarters of the way through the second one, everything turned to sh*t! My rotary saw went up in smoke - lots! :o( Well - that's the end of all that then! I could barely believe it. It may be a few years old now, but that saw really has hardly been used! It should have coped easily with such a little bit of cutting of such relatively thin timber! I bet - I just bet it's succumbed to being stored in a garage which is constantly damp, with rivers of mud and rain running through it all the time. :o( No way can I possibly do those cuts by hand (it'd take forever, and I'd never be able to acheive a clean straight cut over such a length - and even my hand saw appears to be acting blunt now anyway!) and I have no intention of buying a replacement electric saw just to do this particular stupid job, for the neighbour's benefit! That all plunged me into an even deeper dire mood, where I felt overcome with seemingly forever fighting a losing battle with everything. I think finally 'I' have burned out with it all now - aswell as my saw. Pushed on and managed to finish the cut, and eventually managed to screw together an overly long three sided capping 'box', after having used my electric plane instead of a saw, to cut a final sliver off the third piece of timber!! In principal I guess I could finish off, cut to size, and fit just that one to one of the posts, but I'm actually not sure it's going to look too good anyway - it's gonna make those posts look VERY fat - and then there are the other two which I now can NOT do. I'm sick of all this. I really f**ing am. Yesterday I felt 'ok' about things and the progress I'd made. Today I ended up having to continually fight off 'suicidal ideation' - again! . . cleared away tools, swept up all the plane shavings blowing around the garden, and then finally propped the ugly capping box against the garage under the protection of the carport roof, and coated it with fence paint before just leaving it up and out there to dry. I may or may not see if it works and actually fit it. Who cares but me. . I dutifully let the neighbour know I'd just burned out my saw, and the posts were just going to have to stay as they are for the timebeing. . . just sat all miserable in the leaking/dripping container littered conservatory for quite a while as more showers passed through. . . ate a Mum donated piece of gala pie, crisps and some sponge cake . . . retreated to bed and napped until gone 7pm when DF left an ansaphone message. Difficulty waking. . . TVd and watched Dads Army which was on. That particular episode turned out to be entitled 'Don't Fence Me In' for goodness sake!!!. . . reluctantly PCd this at great length until early. :o( . . . TVd and ate just a couple of bananas until finally to bed around 4am.
21 - Woke earlier then up around 6:30am. 15C in, 6C out. Sunny. . woke at the PC as usual. When checking for mail on Yahoo, I have of late started to occasionaly glance at the horoscope entry which appears on the right hand side of their homepage - just for some silliness and amusement. Always strikes me as a weird sort of horrorscope - somehow aimed at the sort of people (American white collar worker?) who I am definitely NOT. On THIS occasion however, a part of it was 'almost' relevant - kinda - and made me smile. "It may not be possible to use quality materials on a tight budget. You'll have to do the best you can with what you have. The results will be less than impressive. When your boss asks why your work is so shoddy, point to the budget. Nobody will blame you when they realise the constraints that were imposed on you." Kinda sums up how I live and everything I do. . . . according to my monitoring over the last day or so, there's something weird (and possibly faulty?) going on with the coastguard radios. Keep getting a big blank carrier transmitted on channel zero on their local aerial - often for prolonged periods of time!? Also seems to happen every time they transmit on channel 16!?? Fascinating what sort of a complex, infinitely switchable system of mutiple remote aerials and transmitters they must have all around the coasts. . .walked FGn with a coffee . .back via the builders yard for another 5ltr tub of Ronseal Fencelife One Coat Dark Oak, a small galvanised metal 'metclip' fence hanger and a similar small galvanised mini joist hanger, all for 9.46. . . back to working in the garden. The old regular wooden fence panel between my kitchen window and the neighbour's, which forms the single skin end of the weird botched 'double' fence run down near the houses, has long-since largely rotted away, and the silly small bits of angled metal screwed to the garden and house wall which had been holding it in position had all fallen away from the rot. That had resulted in the flimsy remains of the whole panel blowing back and forth in the breeze between our bathroom waste water collector downpipes, and threatening to ultimately just collapse and be blown away. This blowing back and forth had also torn away the plastic clip which holds MY downpipe to the drain in place (the positioning of which, is another botch in itself!)! During the recent bad storms, I'd jammed a big piece of old timber up there, to attempt to stop it causing further damage and or blowing away altogether, until such time as I could do something better. The neighbour seemed content to just ignore it all? 'I' cannot! . with some difficulty, and having to repeatedly walk the 250ft plus round trip to the opposite side of the fence in the neighbours garden, I finally managed to remove the full sized panel from position and wrestle it into my garden. I then set about using an old hacksaw blade held in my bare hands, to cut through some of the rusty nails, and ultimately succeeded in fully removing the rotten main structural top and bottom rails. Used bits of old timber and some of the recently replaced fence rails to fashion new lengths, and eventually had it all screwed back together. It's pretty far gone, but that 'repair' should see it hold together and last a bit longer yet, and definitely makes it more stout and less prone to wobbling about and threatening to just fall irreperably to bits. It had nothing to do with my repairs, but both the galvanised fence panel clip and mini joist hanger would NOT fit around the edge of the panel for some reason. I suspect it is such an old fence panel, they are made differently and thinner these days? So - I had to flatten out the bends in both those metal pieces using my vice, and then make a new bend in a slightly different place, using the vice and a lump hammer!!! Even then I didn't get it quite right, so still ended up having to shave some of the edge of the panel upright timber off, before it'd fit in them both! The joist hanger I screwed to the house wall at the bottom corner, to 'cup' the edge of the panel and hold it securely in place, the 'u' shaped 'metclip' I screwed to the house wall near the top. At length, again with great difficulty, I was then able to push the edge of the fence panel into both of those clips, and ultimately get the thing screwed back into position on the fence. A 'botch' of the highest order, but it did the job. Hardly shows any sign of movement in the wind now at all. . I attempted to refix my downpipe retaining clip, but that didn't work out too well, and WILL need revisiting at some point. During all that work, I had my first opportunity to have an insight into what lays in between the double skin of fence panels further away from the house. THAT was an eye opener. Amongst bits of timber and who knows what else hidden in between those panels, I actually saw what one assumes is one of the old original concrete garden fence posts still in situ!! THAT suggests to me, that little bit of garden wall there down by the patio next to the house, could well be more robust and have better foundations than I'd imagined. THAT 'could' make it possible to build straight up off it with a few more courses of building blocks. Ooooooh - I wonder? . . . all the while I was labouring over this nonsense, the new next door neighbor had 'someone in', doing much needed, for the first time since they've been there, work in their back garden - mowing the overgrown lawn, trimming hedges, taking down broken patio fence panels, etc, etc. They'd paid a guy to come do it all. WHAT unkown luxury that must be! I'll never know what that's like this lifetime! Give him his due - he worked pretty hard at it all for many hours. 'Blitzkrieg' style, with all the necessary power tools, etc. He even consulted with me before trimming back the overgrown hedge which rises above my pergola. Yayyy - that saves me the nasty job of having to climb up ontop of my pergola with the hedge trimmer for once. . . used the disc cutter to fashion slivers of building block to fit in the line of breeze blocks on the paths, beneath the fence, in front of the three scaffold poles on the neighbours side. Eventually cemented them in place and put in a great deal of effort to make it the best possible seemless result I could. Better than it was before 'I' think. Contrary to what I had originaly envisaged, I think I AM going to have to do the same on my side - although I'm going to have to cut away the bottoms of the timber uprights before I can. I'd originally thought it'd be better having the timbers right down to path level, to make them look like regular 'in the ground' posts. Trouble with that idea is, because they protrude from the building block line on my side, they'll just end up collecting fallen leaves and debris, will possibly start to rot away as a result, and will make sweeping the path down along those blocks difficult. So - I AM gonna have to do that alteration to the posts in situ my side, cement up beneath them, and ultimately end up with the posts looking a 'little' bit as though they are just floating in mid air! lol . . the weather looked pretty iffy, so I soon after cleared-up and called it quits for the day. Damn - it started to pour with rain!! I hoped it was just a passing shower for as long as I dared, before eventually having to don a raincoat and rush out into the neighbour's garden and put cut-up plastic dog food sacks over the new cement for protection, weighted down with stones and building blocks against the strong gusty wind. . . sat around in the leaking conservatory with Bella next to me on the old pink (and green with mildew because it's always so damp out there!) leather sofa for ages - plotting how I could attempt to build a flat roof 'conservatory' right across the back of the house. Doing that work on the fence panel earlier, and seeing what is 'inside' that awful botched double-skin of fence panels there, had really convinced me I probably COULD get away with just building the existing dividing garden wall (which appears to actually be on MY side of the divide - hence being built over my problematic drain!!?) up enough to act as a support for a lightweight solid flat roof. That one little bit of new wall, could make the whole thing possible - actually in some ways not unlike I relatively successfully acheived with the house in Bristol. . . TVd/guitarred . . .ate crackers and melted cheese, a banana and later bowls of co-co pops . . to bed around 1am.
20 - Up around 7:15am. 14C in, 10C out. A repeat of yesterdays weather, with plenty gusty winds. . . walked BGdns - slowly - in much pain - mostly from my lower back! . . back via the store for a few supplies, and then a stop in at Mums to pick up the course of 'Clarithromycin' antibiotics she'd said she had left over/unused from when she had a bit of an infection a while ago. They're still safely in date. The resistant/reoccuring bit of infection on the back of my head, has been 'bubbling along' under the skin there for quite a while now, and seems to have started to emerge at various different nearby spots!?! Rather than have to start messing around with the doctors surgery, trying to get a repeat prescription of what I had before (which clearly didn't do any lasting good!), once I've read up on these and confirmed they ARE just antibiotics and suitable for what I have going on, I think I'll be taking them. . . recovered from the walk with a coffee, cigs and annadin extra tablet - and a quick wander down the garden to make sure the fence was looking 'acceptable' (in daylight!). Wow - really breezey. Winds gusting over 45mph. The tree growing out of that ridiculous border on the path next to the new fence post, is being worryingly blown back and forth in the ground again! Hardly suprising, given it seems to have almost no roots to it at all. Sadly, given how much all that timber just cost me to repair the fence, I think one of the next jobs I'm going to HAVE to do VERY soon, is cut down and remove that tree! :o( If it blows over, it WILL likely crash through the fence as it does so! To be honest, assuming the concrete path is intact beneath that silly border, it'd probably make sense to just remove the whole lot, and maybe even get rid of those (treacherously slippery when wet) paving slabs and reinstate the lawn up to it? The list of what needs doing here, is getting ever longer!! I seem to be getting through a bunch of money and 'running just to stay still' at the moment! :o( . . .Mum called to touch base and tell of the ten year old daughter of a woman who works in her local shop, who was punched and mugged in Torquay just the other day! . . . . . PCd this for as long as I could stand, but pretty soon caved in and pretty much just sat around the whole rest of the day feeling exhausted and doing absolutely nothing . .trimmed my hair and beard etc. . . .napped for a couple of hours . . TVd . . .BB called . . ate six pieces of thick bread tuna, chopped onion and mayo sandwiches with crisps and later five small jam doughnuts . . to bed before 11pm.
19 - Up around 6:20am. 14C in, 5C out. Mostly overcast and breezy. . . walked FGn . . straight back to working on the fence. Left Bella home alone and walked to the builders yard for more lengths of timber. 2 x 22mm x 150mm x 4.8m Sawn Treated Carcassing @ 14.52. Carried them home, recovered with a sit in the garden with coffee and cigarettes and then walked straight up for another two. . another coffee to sit and recover from the exertion, and then got serious with gradually laboriously making up the fence. New rails where I had to, old ones where I could 'just' get away with it. . . . -//- . . .fitted but then removed a couple of the rails, to enable me to be able to climb through into the neighbour's garden when I needed to, rather than have to walk all the way round, and keep closing my gate to keep Bella safely in, etc! A lot of strenuous 'aerobics' I'm not used to, did my back no good at all. . . ultimately, the fence was pretty much all back in place - complete with some extra uprights, to help lock all the rails together on the overly long flexible runs between the posts. Two of the old rails still really need replacing, because they don't 'quite' overlap the first new post enough to be able to screw them on!! I dared to leave them like that for the timebeing. It may be that when I do the 'capping over' of the poles, that will resolve the problem, without having to spend yet more money on more timber. . used a hacksaw and file to cut off as much of the protruding bolts as I dared, just to keep the neighbour as happy as I could, and then walked the entire length of the fence with the disc cutter, grinding off any protruding screw points, old nails etc. . . finally painted rails until after dark with the inadequate garden floodlight on, eager to get at least 'some' protection on the new bare timbers before the forecast rain arrived (and to make the mixture of new and old rails, not look SUCH an eyesore). It needs more - in daylight - when it's warm, without rain according to the blurb on the tub! . Called a much needed halt around 7:15pm, and closed my access route through, by screwing the last couple of wet painted rails into place . . .Image of Bella and the repaired garden fenceThe photo I've included here (actually taken 'tomorrow') is quite deceptive, and doesn't really give a full appreciation of exactly how very long that fence is. If you look at the path especially, it does however give an indication of how absurdly out-of-line and 'wavy' it is along its length!! (Historically a bit of a 'land grab' by the neighbour when they originally built the previous garage perhaps?!) Assuming I've added it all up right, that's cost me around 71.45 in total (so far)? That seems like an unexpected awful lot of money for me to suddenly 'lose' - but I guess it isn't 'that' bad, all things considered? Those storms have cost plenty of people an awful lot more! Sure has been a LOT of hard work - and there's plenty more yet to do before I can consider the job done with - like cementing up around the bottoms of the new scaffold posts and reinstating the line of building blocks, and having a go at 'capping over' the poles on the neighbours side for aesthetic reasons, etc, etc. . I'm gonna need more screws!!!! I've only a handful left from that box of 200. (THAT's an indication of how much work I've done isn't it?) Armed with a screwdriver and a small spanner, the whole lot could relatively easily be disassembled back down to leaving just the metal posts. That's GOT to be SUCH a neat trick, for future repairs alterations hasn't it? It COULD if desired, even be disassembled back down to the posts, the posts could be redrilled at right angles, and timbers could be fitted to enable a shiplap type solid fence to be put across there. The bad thing about it all is - it's only a fraction of the overall fence line around the garden!!!!! Not even a quarter?!!!!! SUCH a shame the whole lot hasn't been done in a similar way. . . collapsed under the pergola and had the pleasure of watching the mouse again . .TVd too tired to move! Ate half an iced coffee sponge cake and then pretty much repeatedly fell asleep in the chair! Managed to wake enough to down some sugar covered bowls of rice krispies before to bed around 12:30am.. .
18 - Woke earlier then up around 6:15am. 15C in, 7C out. Broken cloud and sun . . yet another drifting container reported on this mornings MSI broadcast. . PCd this at length . . Actually - just in case events overtake me with regard to the demise of this website - if anyone actually still reads this and gives a toss, and IF this webspace suddenly dies a death - here's a link for you to maybe bookmark:- TELSWEB.COM That's mine - has been for quite a few years now. I WAS going to give it up soon (I should have long ago, because of the absurdness of me continuing to waste money on it) but it looks as though I'm likely to end up moving this/my site over there now instead at some point!! :o( . . . . walked FGn much later . . .recovered from the walk before leaving Bella home alone and walking to the builders yard for fence rail timber, only to arrive just in time to frustratingly see someone sorting through and loading into theiur truck, all the 'best' bits of the narrower fence rail timber I was going to need. Typical!! Bought a single length of 22mm x 75mm x 4.8m Sawn Treated Carcassing (7.59!!???), a box of 200 5 x 50mm Timco Velocity Screws (6.23), and a 5ltr tub of Ronseal Fencelife One Coat Dark Oak (5.99) which all came to 23.78 including the VAT. . . back home recovering from having carried it all home, and having a look at the receipt, I discovered I'd been mischarged. I'd actually been charged for a more expensive length of Torus architrave, rather than the timber I'd got! Promptly raced straight back up for four more lengths, and to sort out the overcharging thing. I was given a 9.11 refund on my card to rectify the error, so then paid for all five lengths of 22mm x 75mm x 4.8m Sawn Treated Carcassing @ 18.14. . . recovered from the effort of carrying them all back again, before sizing them up and getting a mental picture of how much more timber I'm going to need to replace the worst of the rotten/damaged rails. Damn - those blasted posts are SO (unavoidably) far apart, I'm only going to get a single rail out of each piece of timber - with a bunch of offcut left over! Jeeze - that's gonna make for a VERY expensive bit of fence/repair. Sadly, like it or not, that dictates I do NOT replace as many rails as would have been desireable. That's a real shame - AND makes for quite a bit more hassle, trying to figure out which bits of old I can re-use. Jeeze - if you look at all the timber throughout the gardens, both front and back as a whole, there must be several hundred s of the stuff someone bought in the past - and which I'll no doubt have to keep replacing as thye rot away! What a money pit. :o( Given all that, I figured getting serious with trying to protect it all with fence paint, was now something of a priority and a potentialy worthwhile investment/gamble. . opened the tub of Ronseal fence paint - and was promptly horrifed by the colour, which didn't seem to match what was on the outside of the tub, or what I'd imagined at all. I'd been wanting a really dark, creosote type colour. Somehow I'd ended up with what looked like a weird orange to me! Sadly, having spent my money and opened it, there was no going back. It WAS at least, pretty similar to what had been used on various bits of timber (but not all of it!??) around the place by a previous occupant. I 'test painted' a length of the old rotten fence timber with it, so see how it'd look over the old, and hoping it would darken as it dried. Oh well - it'll have to do. Removed the new fence post timbers from the poles, propped them up under the carport, and painted them all. . . Bella scratched her OTHER ear bloody while I was preoccupied!! :o( . . ate four corned beef, mayo and onion baps with crisps while waiting the relatively short time for the paint to dry . . . back to the fence, bolted the timber posts back into position, and started trying to find the best compromise levels to start attaching rails . . . worked through until late. The neighbour returning home from work loaned me his chordless electric screwdriver and two of his G clamps. Wow - was I glad of that screwdriver. Turned out it was actually a drill - but with a specific function and variable torques for doing screws. Absolutely brilliant thing. Made SUCH easy work of doing all the screws - although I still laboriously pre-drilled holes for every one I put in, with my drill and blunt/broken bits!! The G clamps were of course acting as my working partner/helping hand. Impossible to do the work without - difficult with! An extra couple of little ones from him came in useful here and there. He agreed to let me hang on to everything until tomorrow. VERY grateful. As ever, I took the opportunity to check that he was 'content' with what I was doing. Bizzarely to me, the only thing he seemed particularly concerned about was, how much the bolts holding the posts to the scaffold poles protruded through the nuts on his side. All concerned about catching his clothes on them in passing!? I hadn't realised he was such a closet fashion guru. lol I explained I was unwilling to simply use a grinder to grind them back flush with the nuts as he suggested, because the whole point of what I was doing was all about being able to undo them again in the future when necessary. In my experience, grinding them back like that would likely overheat them and potentially destroy the threads! Also, because the carriage bolts had now countersunk into the timber a bit as the nuts were tightened, if in the future a new bit of replacement timber was necessary, it'd be difficult to get the nuts on if the bolts were shortened so much. Anyway - it was my intention to attempt to cap over them with timber ultimately, so I didn't think it was worth getting too bogged down in disgussing what I confess I felt was trivia, given all the work I was doing! . . finally called it quits and cleared up after dark . . sat under the pergola with a coffee and cigs by the light of the garden floodlight for quite a while, too exhausted to move. I was treated to the sight of 'the' mouse racing up the tree, along branches and then down onto the wire mesh, peanut filled birdfeeder which I have hanging from a branch. . . too tired and in pain to move let alone walk. . . TVd . . cooked and ate two chicken kievs, a huge pile of mixed veg in butter and two buttered baps . . to bed after midnight.
17 - Up around 7am after having snoozed on for a bit. 15C in, 7C out. Overcast. . . walked FGn . . carried on down town and popped in a couple of places looking for suitable carriage bolts for the fence project before finding some in the ironmongers which should do the job. Couldn't decide which size I could get away with, so bought one each of two different sizes complete with nuts and washers for less than a couple of s. . .returned home and recovered from the walk with a coffee in the garden, measuring up the two bolts and trying to make a decision. Eventually decided to go with the smaller of the two, and pretty soon walked all the way back to the store to return the one I didn't want, and to buy eleven more of the one I did - all for under 11 . . . worked in the garden and eventually set about trying to drill all the holes in the scaffold tubes. That 'should' have been relatively easy - but not for me. ALL my old drill bits are blunt or completely burned out! At length I eventually managed to cobble together a collection of at least five different bits, increasing in size to the ultimate diameter I needed, and had to drill each hole bit by bit gradually increasing in size! Took AGES to do all twelve holes. Actually - because none of those poles are in-line, it was also particularly awkward to figure out the best place to put the holes, to end up with the timber in the best 'compromise' position, to have the best chance of eventually being able to attach 'out of line' rails! For each bolt through hole, I actually ended up drilling seperate holes on each side of the scaffold pole before finally joining them up! Hard to explain. It was FAR from the five minute job it could have been if I'd had a decent drill and set of new sharp bits! I also had to use the disc cutter to grind away bits of the breeze blocks to be able to get the timbers into place. . Image of replacement garden fence post work in progressafter lots of work, all the holes were drilled and I had two timber uprights loosely bolted into position. I used the length of timber I had left over in the garage from when I did Mum's fence. Sadly it wasn't enough to do all three, so I then had to stop work, leave Bella at home and walk up the local builders merchant to buy a whole nother length, just for the little bit I needed. 47mm x 100mm x 4.8m for 9.60. Carried it back home on my shoulder. Soon had the final piece of timber cut and loosely bolted to the scaffold upright, with a similar amount to what I'd started with, left over and stored in the garage again! . absolutely tired out. :o( . . cleared up and called it quits around 5pm. Well - in principal, I now at least have the basis of some posts I can attach replacement wooden fence rails to. THAT was the difficult bit. All that remains now is getting hold of enormous amounts of timber to replace all the rotten 'rails' littering the garden - assuming I AM just going to try to put it all back as it was? Maybe I should pause and take stock and try to think outside the box, to see if there is a better (cheaper!) alternative? . . . walked BGdns a little early and sat around as darkness fell, listening to the coastguard response teams and inshore lifeboat which had all been called out by four teenagers cut off by the tide over Goodrington way. They signalled their position to the lifeboat with the light from their mobile phones and were promptly rescued and returned to safety . . . TVd . . drank a glass of red wine . . . cooked and ate a pepperoni pizza with extra cheese and onion . .exhausted to bed around 11pm.
16 - Up around 6:50am. 15C in, 9C out. Sunny. . . I FINALLY received another reply to my ongoing 'ticket' query about the death of my website. "Thanks for getting back in touch, and I'm sorry if the previous reply wasn't sufficient. I have to admit, I'm not sure what difference having a gap in the number would make. However we have recently changed our dial-up number, which is likely the reason you can't connect. We did sent the notification that the number is changing on ticket 72073040. I'm sorry if the change wasn't made clear. In addition, you're on a pay as you go dial-up account, meaning no authentication is required, therefore your account being deactive or active wouldn't cause a problem. Should you want to transfer out your domain name, please see our <a href="http://www.madasafish.com/support/features/domain_names/transferring_domain.shtml">Domain Transfer Guide</a>. I hope this clears up the situation.If you feel your query has been resolved, please close this ticket. Otherwise please reply to this ticket and we will be happy to get back in touch." WHAT an absolute F***ING idiot! Surely I was explicit in my previous comments to them? And yet the guy is STILL banging on about phone numbers! Surely his comment "In addition, you're on a pay as you go dial-up account, meaning no authentication is required, therefore your account being deactive or active wouldn't cause a problem." is blatantly nonsense and breathtaking ignorance from someone suppoosed to be support staff? Dial up or not, everyone still has to be registered on the host system and log in with a username and password! That's basic stuff!!! That IS what my problem IS!!!!! Regarding the domain name transfer issue, the poorly pasted link he included (no, I haven't made a mistake by including the bits of HTML - that IS what he sent!) is of NO use whatsoever. Ultimately the instructions on their website refer users to a tab and a page that isn't actually even there (I've already been through all that - several times! THAT is why I requested information from them!), so THAT too is a dead end. Utterly useless. God it makes me SO angry that those 'support' people are going to be the very reason I now end up losing the website/domain name after ALL these years. THEY are the problem now. THEY are the obstacle past which I cannot get!!!!! IDIOTS! Absolute idiots. :o( So, SO frustrating! . . . . walked FGn and sat in the full sun for ball play. A stunning proper summery day. Even without a coat, I was overheating by the time we returned (although MUCH cooler in the breeze in the shade). . . sat in the garden with a coffee recovering from the walk, and frustratingly looking at the fence repair project, mentally rehearsing and unable to do anything until I get some sand, chippings and cement (having to pay for delivery probably! :o( ). Exchanged a few words with the neighbour saying as much. He HAS offered to assist by bringing some back from the local builders yard etc, but since he's working all week, it's a real hassle for ME, having to wait until it's convenient for him - probably only on a Saturday morning, etc? He suggested he had a little bit left which I could make use of, and he produced a few sacks of this and that from his garage. A sack of sandy pre-mixed 'repointing mortar' (not much use to me), some sand and some gravel. Ooohh I wonder? I have some chippings and most of a sack of cement and most of one of sand in my garage still. Put it all together, it should be more than enough to cobble together a suitable amount of decent concrete, to get those posts cemented in place? Messed around for a while trying to figure out how to be able to prop the posts in place all vertical whilst doing the job and waiting for the concrete to then cure. It eventually became apparant that because of the line of building blocks cemented on the paths between the post holes, it was likely going to be possible to just plonk the scaffold poles in the holes, wedge them in place against the tops of the building blocks either side, and still be able to feed the cement into the hole around the poles and up to path level. . at length, I went for it. Used the rotten pieces of timber I'd managed to withdraw from the ground, to guage how much volume of concrete to mix for each, and did one at a time. Ended up using my left-over sand and cement, and only using next doors gravel from what he'd donated, because it was smaller than the chippings I had, and was far more suitable for forcing down into all the tight gaps around the poles. . to cut a long story short, I ultimately got all three poles concreted into the 'sockets'. Without question, despite much 'ramming' with a long thin piece of square metal bar, I was unable to get as much concrete down into those holes as I'd have liked, because all the chippings ultimately blocked fast, part way down, and then just backed up solid, but hopefully it's more than enough to hold them fast. I put them all in as vertical as I reasonably could, using both my and my neighbours little magnetic spirit levels, one stuck on the pole for one dimension, the other at right angles for the other. The whole affair is a botched compromise, because all the original posts for that fence at the top of the garden, weren't in a straight line to begin with (and were even actually leaning well off vertical)! Like EVERYTHING about this house - a poor botch job by previous occupants! Anyway - fingers crossed that what I've done will 'do the job' and hold those metal posts in position for evermore. They'd better do - no way in this world will it now be possible to just dig out that concrete I put in there! Anyone with the money and intent to do a proper job in the future, will have to use heavy machinery to dig the concrete paths out!!! . well - I didn't imagine I'd be getting THAT done today. WHAT a relief not to be held up at this stage, just for the sake of some sand and cement etc (basically stuff I can't actually carry back from the builders yard myself!). Fingers crossed it'll do!! Feels as though the pressure I felt I was under, is now greatly 'reduced', although of course I won't be able to get on and continue with my plan, until I get hold of some appropriate carriage bolts, nuts, screws and timber - so the garden is liable to remain 'open', and the whole nightmare is going to be weighing on my mind for potentially weeks yet. :o( . eventually tidied up and cleared everything away, before putting in a small amount of time breaking up a bit of the rubble I'd produced, to add to the potholes in the lane. . . sat around recovering with a coffee and cigs in the warm sunny garden for a bit . . eventually called it quits and grabbed a bit to eat. Ate crisps, chicken and mushroom pastry slice and a banana . . . lay down for a much needed nap but couldn't sleep (my mind rehearsing rebuilding fences, and angry, angry, angry, about the website thing!) and ended up getting back up and PCing a bit of this . . . walked BGdns with a coffee. A bit of a breeze this evening making it feel much colder and less pleasant to sit there . . . TVd the channel 4+1 ISS 'one orbit of the earth' program. Amazing stuff. . . drank a small glass of red wine . . cooked and ate two fried egg baps, four sausages and a tin of sasuages in baked beans . . to bed around midnight.
15 - Up around 8:20am. 15C in, 9C out. Overcast . . .walked FGn with Bella shaking her head all the time :o( . . .sat in the garden just looking at and planning how and or what to do about the fence posts . .headachey and feeling exhausted and lousy. annadin tablet didn't much help. . had a chat with the neighbour explaining what I had in mind and asking his opinion etc. He really didn't seem to particularly give a toss whatever I planned to do, which I guess was a good thing, although didn't help me much with the difficulty I was having making a decision over it! . . SH called to touch base . . . Mum called in with papers and food donations for chats as the overcast cleared to fully sunny . . . had terrible trouble making the 'no turning back' decision about the fence posts for some reason. I seem to have greater trouble making such decisions about stuff these days!?? All linked to no transport and how little money I have I think, and how much that makes every single little thing far more difficult and important and crucial to not screw up!!! . . at length, I decided I just HAD to do the METAL fence post thing!! It seems SUCH a waste to use that precious twenty one foot long galvanised non-rusting scaffold pole I've been hanging onto in the garden for years, for such a thing - but I guess I should just think myself lucky I have it to hand. I'd had all manner of different possible uses for that in the back of my mind - aerial mast, roof support for garage and or conservatory rebuilds etc etc. It's worth its weight in gold to me. I'll NEVER be able to get another. SO sad to see it 'wasted' on that damned fence. :o( . . . committed to the intent - carefully measured everything, and eventually used a hacksaw with a new blade in it to suprisingly easily cut that pole into three equal seven footish lengths!! There we go then - I'm committed. The evil deed is done. I AM going to concrete them in the ground! Dumped them on the path until such time as I can figure out how to get supplies of concerete etc. :o( . . . ate a piece of gala pie , some crisps and a banana . . napped until around 6pm only to wake still feeling tired and lousy. . .skipped the walk. . TVd . . .ate a large amount of cheese on Cheddar crackers, microwaved until all melted over, followed by some chocolate and then half a Mum donated iced coffee sponge cake. . TVd, with the scanner monitoring just coastguard channel zero . . another fire on a vessel in the dart with the Torbay lifeboat and troops all called out again?! How bizarre there should be another fire like that, so soon after the other! Whichever boat this one was, it was very quickly gutted, although the owners and their dog were all safe. . eventually to bed well gone 1am.
14 - Up around 7:30am. 15C in, 6C out. Misty grey . . . .walked FGn, with Bella all still shaking her head - LOTS!!! :o( . . .Image of fence post remains set about working at trying to remove the last of the three rotten fence posts which need replacing. This one was going to be particularly awkward because it was actually not only in the ground between the concrete paths, but was also built into the little retaining wall which had been built to form a border/planting area ON part of my garden path. This meant that before I could even get anywhere near the split and broken metal fence post spike, protruding out from the concrete paths, I would have to dig out all the soil from the border in the vicinity. Damn - WHAT a shame. Just as all those precious little bits of campanula I'd planted in there, were starting their annual surge of growth prior to flowering, here I am having to dig a bunch of it back out of the ground! Put in the time to very carefully dig out a nice clump which had started to come on really well, and relocated it to safety in another part of the garden which could use it. Dug out a minimal trench to fully reveal the fence post socket. The metal side of that socket is split, so it really HAS to come out, but it's sods law THAT one was still firmly stuck in the ground and surrounding concrete and cement, and showed no signs of movement at all. It took an awful lot of chiseling and drilling and hammering, but after a good couple of hours, I finally managed to use a short 7" long big lump of steel angle iron I had laying around, placed on an awkward pivot on the path, to hammer prise and tease the thing back up and out of position. Continuing my great good fortune, just like the other two I'd already done, what that then revealed was the top of the rotting remains of an old fence post still in the ground directly beneath - and at great length, once again I miraculously managed to draw it all out and reveal the two feet deep square 'shaft'. What was particularly interesting about THIS one, was that there was ALSO the partial remains of another old broken metal spike in there too, which came out with the rotten bit of timber!! THAT confirms that this is at least the THIRD time that those damned posts have needed attention and replacement!!!! Ludicrous!!! :o( . Ended up just sitting looking at everything and thinking things through for ages. It WOULD have been SO simple to just walk up and buy and then carry home some new posts from the builders yard, and bash them straight back down into those holes - but I just could NOT bring myself to do it. What IS the point of doing something like that, in the full knowledge that they will NOT last, they WILL rot out again (that one I replaced when I moved in, only lasted around five years for goodness sake!) , and the whole nightmare will have to be revisited in the future? No matter how rotten the next time, no way would newer timber be able to be fully withdrawn from those two foot deep 'shafts' like I've just been able to miraculously do. This is a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to come up with something 'different', more long lasting and robust, and something which hopefully wouldn't EVER require such an awkward and horrendous amount of work to only end up having to 'botch' a repair to that damned fence AGAIN! In an ideal world, it could have been nice to have the newer style of concrete posts put in there, but because of the narrowness of those shafts down in between the adjoining concrete paths, no way was that possible. Also, those shafts do NOT have standard lengths between them, nor are they actually in any form of straight line!! Arrrrgggghhhh - WHAT to do, to make the best of a bad job!!! I am so, SO tempted to make use of the non rusting scaffold tubes I have, and actually cement lengths of scaffold pole into those narrow shafts! They are pretty much the ideal size for being able to get the two inch diamter poles down in them, and then drive concrete down in and around them. THAT would be a long lasting/permanent answer. It'd then just be a matter of drilling the poles and attaching some timber with carriage bolts to act as the fence posts, to screw all the wooden rails to. When the posts and rails all rot out in the future, it'd be a 'relatively' simple job of just unscrewing/unbolting all the timber and replacing it. It won't look quite as nice as a regular fence (although the backs of the scaffold poles 'could' be boxed in and disguised as regular fence posts?). I think I need to stop and think this through for a bit - AND importantly discuss the concept with the neighbour. . cleared up and called a halt for the timebeing . . . returned Mums ansaphone call from earlier and since I was needing to get away from my fence nightmare for a bit, suggested I should pop up and give her lawn the first cut of the year. As ever, she was reluctant 'to be a burden', but I didn't take no for an answer. Eventually walked up and mowed all her lawns . . . ate ham, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches with crisps . . napped for less than a couple of hours until the 6:30pm alarm . . . DF called in for coffee and chats until gone 10pm . . .drank a glass of red wine . . cooked and ate four sausages and a big pile of frozen mixed veg with extra peas in melted butter . . to bed around 1:15am.
13 - Up around 7:15am. 14C in, 4C out. Sunny. . slow getting going, and ended up on-line, trying to read up on what the chances are of keeping this my website, and the TLJones domain name, etc, etc. EVERYTHING I read, including awful horror stories of other peoples experiences with that 'Madasafish' ISP (fast mirroring mine - i.e. no help at all from the India based support staff, ultimately ending in simply being ignored, etc) , pretty much confirms I've absolutely NO chance whatsoever! In the past it DOES appear as though just one or two people HAVE ultimately managed to keep their domain name and transfer it to another host etc, but it was LOADS of aggro, and cost them a small 'held to ransom by the ISP' fortune! So - that's out for me. I guess after all these years, I just have to accept, it's gonna be a gonner. :o( I'm not happy about that at all - and I just can't decide what to do about it. Whilst I am currently still at least able to upload to it (that of course could 'suddenly' stop!) I guess I should actually go ahead and delete it myself. If I don't, and I suddenly get completely locked out of it, it'll probably just 'freeze' and stay like it is, completely out of my control but still acessable for who knows how long!!! (Probably a couple of years? Until the Nominet registration in my name expires?). I dunno. I dunno what to do about it. It's been my constant 'friend' for so long. It's been the only 'person' I really talk to for a very long time. I've even grown to 'think' in the voice of my Diary kinda!?! It's like an impending bereavement - and having to decide when to 'have it put down'! :o( I dunno. I dunno what to do about it. . . . . . . . walked FGn and sat in the relatively warm hazey sun before heading back via a tour of charity shops through town . . . PCd this - because I just can't face or find the energy for all the things I SHOULD be doing. Like trying to repair the garden fence - 'somehow' ???!!! (no transport - and s of course!) - which is now hanging HEAVILY over me! :o( What to do? WHAT to do?! . . . somehow I managed to force myself into action, and started what turned into the LONG job of dismantling the broken garden fence. Pretty much all that timber is rotten and will need replacing, but I just couldn't persuade myself to just cut it all down, just in case at least 'some' of it 'could' be re-useable for 'something'. So - I quite literally ended up spending hours, manually unscrewing with a screwdriver all the screws I'd put into it some time ago (as part of a 'keep it going for a BIT longer' botched repair). Sure was easier putting those screws in, than taking them back out!! Much aching hands wrists and arms and frequent bouts of 'claw'-inducing cramp! At long last, the fence rails were all dumped in a heap in the corner of the garden, and I was finally able to have my first proper look at the state of the three offending wobbly/rotten fence posts. All of those posts have been put in the ground just using those hopeless friction-fit metal spike sockets - with a line of breeze blocks cemented up to and against them. Two of those metal spikes (the two nearest next doors rebuilt garage) were wobbling in the ground, and the other was actually split along the side of the metal socket, so like it or not, I had absolutely NO choice but to attempt to chisel away the cement around them all, and attempt to actually withdraw them from the ground between the joining concrete paths!!!!! NOT easy. . after a LOT of hard work, the first one I eventually managed to wobble out of the ground by using the post which was still quite firmly attached. What THAT revealed was that the metal spike had been driven into the ground ON TOP of and around, some original old rotting wooden post remains, still deep in the ground! The very centre of that old rotten wood still appeared to be 'relatively' hard, and there WAS some movement visible when I prised at it! Ooohhh - I wonder? Grabbed a pair of claw pincers from the garage, and after several awkward goes, and much gentle 'teasing', I miraculously managed to withdraw the entire length of rotten timber from the ground!! Oh wow - I hadn't expected to be able to do THAT! That is EXCELLENT. What that then remarkably presented me with was a very narrow, fence post sized-ish square shaft, descending down into the concrete of the adjoining paths for almost TWO FEET!!!! By laying on the path, I could 'just' get my arm down the brick and concrete lined hole, and feel the earthy bottom with my finger tips! Wow - that presents a whole different world of possibilities. . I pushed on and had a go at post number two. THAT post is the one I replaced not 'that' long after having first moved in here. I was utterly shocked and dismayed to find that it had actually largely rotted away at the socket - ALREADY!!!!??? ( I am utterly convinced those posts have all suddenly failed because of the threatment they recieved when next door had his garage rebuilt! Over and over again, that fence was just pushed and forced back and forth out of their way by those damned builders! I can't prove it of course, and can't really kick up a fuss with the neighbour on my suspicions - but 'I' reckon that's why. :o( ) The remains of that post pulled out of the socket in rotten pieces, leaving me to have to dig around and wobble away at the metal spike, with nothing much left to grab onto. A large G clamp was ultimately the 'handle' which allowed me to successfully pull it out of the ground. And then - wait for it - yet again, at length, I succeeded in being able to extract the rotten old post which I also found in the ground beneath THAT one. How amazing is that - again! Wow - that's totally unexpected. What that means is, in theory, I 'could' just go buy two new longer wooden fence posts, shave the ends down just a little to fit those slightly too narrow 'shafts', and then just hammer them into the existing holes, 'wedge fit', and leave it at that! Hmmmm? . by this point it was getting late, I was battered, bruised and bleeding, and pretty tired out - so attempts at removing the next post with its split metal footing had to wait. I carefully placed bits of the old posts loosely back in the holes to stop stuff falling down in them, re-tied next doors pallet at right angles to the end of the fence rails blowing back and forth in the breeze to temporarily hold it all up, and called it quits for the day - exhausted - again! . . .walked BGdns in the cold dark. A pleasant evening of stars and hazy skies. Played ball for a bit before ending up sitting at length on the higher seat with coffee and cigs, taking in the nightime views. All of a sudden I spotted a couple of strange lights appearing out in the darkness of the bay, just above the lights one of the fishing boats. WTF???? Took me a little while to 'tune in' to what the hell I was seeing. Oh my god! It was an aircraft. Banking round into the bay towards the North East from my vantage point, and then heading DIRECTLY towards me! Directly towards me - but BELOW me!!!!!! Oh my word it was low over the water - I've never seen anything flying in THAT low before! I was actually stunned for a bit - really almost like a rabbit frozen in car headlights - except the headlights here were from an aircraft! It was SO low, and continued heading straight for us, I actually got to my feet and considered ushering Bella away from what I seriously thought was going to be the scene of an accident - and potentially our end! Just then, really at the very last minute, it banked very slightly to starboard and climbed up over the cliffs and trees of The Grove as it zoomed past (the lower they are, the faster they appear. So fast, in the dark, I didn't even get a chance to register if it was a jet or propellor driven! Twin turbo-props I 'think') and disappeared over the land in a westerly direction. I remained on my feet and held my breath, straining to hear what I assumed would be a bang as it hit the ground - but there was no bang. I presume it carried on over the edge of town and then maybe swooped down into the Dart estuary perhaps? All in all, it was an adrenalin enducing experience, the like of which I've never had before. It was low - VERY low - and in the pitch black of night! Extraordinary. I got such a 'buzz' from the incident, I even ended up on the radio briefly, and asked DF (who was on chatting in a net) if his 'plane-plotter' receiver/program could shed any light on whatever it may have been. (In the back of my mind, although I heard nothing on the scanner, I wonder if it may have been 'Endurance 01' on a 'bit of a jolly' whilst heading home after darkness called a halt to more drifting container spotting?) As ever, whenever I ask him about planes of interest I've seen in the local skies, his system disappointingly had nothing about it. Damn - I do wish ALL aircraft had to automatically report their positions etc, not just the big commercial stuff. (although given the recent news about a Malaysian passenger plane with hundreds on board going 'missing', it seems even THEY can suddenly turn it off and disappear! How on earth is THAT even possible in this day and age - especially post 9 11 ? Wow - I'm eager to know what the truth about all THAT is!) . eventually called a halt to sitting around in the dark cold, and started to head home. THAT did not go well! Bella suddenly started all her irritable ear/head shaking thing again - really badly!! Damned if I can see ANY reason for it - although I do fancy I've actually heard indications of some sort of fluid in the vicinity!!!??? Really worrying. . . TVd . . not sure what was going on with me, but for some reason, despite being aware I needed food, I really had absolutely no appetite for anything I had in the house - nor could I muster the energy or interest in having to cook any of what I have. (I AM pretty severly 'down' at the moment!) Despite all that 'burning up the calories' work I did earlier, all I ended up eating today were three kipling apple pies. Just enough in my stomach to be able to sleep. That was all, all day!!!! :o(. . .to bed around 2am.
12 - Up around 8:30am. 15C in, 7C out. Breezy grey and misty. . .walked - or tried to, but as soon as we set off, Bella was all shaking her head with her irritated ears - again. This time she was so persistant and bad with it, it reached the point where it simply wasn't possible to attempt to continue walking!!! Not even half way to BGdns, in a foul temper because of it (and her scratching which appears to be on the increase again after a couple of weeks comparative respite), I just gave up, turned around, and 'dragged' her straight back home!! :o( Squirted cleaner and poked around in her ears for a bit (making them sore - again!) before shutting her out in the garden for a while, while I got a handle on my temper. It's not her fault of course, but it sure is hard to handle CONSTANTLY battling her itchy, scratchy and ear thing, seemingly with absolutely nothing I do having any beneficial effect. :o( . poked at the hall wall briefly and got a little emulsion paint on where it needed it . . psyched myself up for a bit before dressing in waterproof leggings and shower coat, put Bella's halti on her, tied it to the sewer vent pipe out in the back garden, and then proceeded to use the (cold!) hose to shower and shampoo her - lots - with the last of the small container of flea shampoo I got from the local pet store ages ago. It WAS very cold water, and she was NOT happy about it poor thing, but boy was that a more effective (albeit a bit cruel!) way of doing things, rather than trying to mess around in the bath with the mixer-tap shower-hose, etc. At length, the evil deed was done, and I let her off her halti. Despite her whining complaints throughout, and her obviously ending up frozen, it didn't seem to do her any lasting harm, and as soon as the halti was off her, the spraying hose returned to being a bit of a game thank goodness! Eventually sat at the top of the garden in a bit of sun and toweled her all down as best I could, before then sitting with a coffee letting the sun warm her for a bit. Eventually headed back inside and gave her a big lump of cheese containing worming tablets AND a flea tablet! At least the next hour or so was spent grooming her with her brush and in parts where reasonable, with her fine toothed flea comb. Hard work - but she seemed to 'mostly' enjoy it, and pawed me for more whenever I stopped. A large amount of hair to put in the bin as a result. Amazing how soft her fur feels, all 'properly' clean for once . . at length, by now mid afternoon, her irritable ears thing appeared to calm down (probably because they were just so sore with all my wiping them out! - she's STILL scratching though!), and I felt obliged to attempt to try walking again. . very much more successfully walked BGdns in the hazey sun. Very pleasant out, but very low visibility with all that haze. Couldn't even see Torquay through it across the bay. A lot of talk on the scanner from a couple of tugs involved in towing-in and setting-up a new pontoon or some such in Torquay harbour. Played ball and sat around at length before eventually returning getting on for 4pm . . ate a chicken and mushroom pastry slice, crisps and a banana . . napped for just a couple of hours until the 6:30pm alarm . . . walked BGdns in layers (4C) with a coffee. Sat around for ages. Quite a 'lift' on the VHF . . . TVd (the fascinating Channel 4 +1 hour, 'Live From Space' program - all about life on board the international space station) while sipping a shot glass of baileys . . . ate ham and mayo sandwiches, crisps and a banana . . to bed around 1am.
11 - Up around 9am. 15C in, 6C out. Grey . . . walked BGdns quite late. The last couple of days of nice weather had fooled me into thinking summer was on its way, so I didn't wear a coat. Big mistake. Overcast grey and a stiff easterlyish breeze made for it feeling real cold and unpleasant. Didn't hang around . . . sat around doing nothing for a while before being unable to resist poking at the hall wall a little more, trying to improve things just a little. On close examination in a certain light, 'I' can clearly make out traces of where I cut the groove and layed the conduit in the wall down to the switch. That's not good enough! Gently 'teased away' at bits of the wall with some fine grade abrasive paper, 'spotted' a few dabs of filler in places, and eventually put more emulsion over it (essentially gradually using layers of the paint as filler!!) - only to have the damned yellow staining thing show through again, where I'd presumably sanded off the bit of oil based undercoat I'd sealed that in with yesterday! Arrrgh. Round and round in never ending circles! :o( . . TVd. Quite a long report on the local news about the boat fire last night - which did indeed go on ALL night. They eventually managed to get the fire out and keep it afloat, but it's pretty much gutted. Very sad considering it was allegedly one of the WWII Dunkirk little boats, and also because the owners lived on board and ran a charter business in the summer. That's a piece of history and their whole life gone up in smoke! :o(. . . drank a glass of red wine, feeling down. . cooked and ate four quarter pound burgers in buttered baps . . napped the afternoon away until the alarm at 6:30pm. Didn't manage to fully 'wake' and get up until nearer 7pm . . skipped the walk . . dabbed the very last bit of undercoat from the dried-up tin over the yellow staining areas on the hall wall, trying to seal it in - again! . . PCd this . . . TVd feeling very down, isolated and interested in nothing . . . ate three kipling apple pies and bowls of rice krispies . . to bed around 2am.
10 - Up around 8:30am. 15C in, 10C out. Overcast . . walked FGn as the overcast brightened to almost hazey sunny and quite pleasant - or it would have been if I wasn't feeling so tired, headachey and generally lousy. . coffee and cigs in the garden briefly. . spent the next several hours, drilling and putting a couple of fixing screws in the back of the new hall wall switchbox, sanding down filler, and then eventually getting some emulsion over bits of it. Ended up really quite warm out, up to around 17C I think it was (warmer out than in!) which speeded up the drying with both front and back doors propped open. That enabled me to push on, turn off the power (yet again! Been doing that a lot of late. What with that and the recent power cut, I've had plenty of practice at learning how to reset the clocks on both the oven and microwave, without needing to reach for the instructions for a change!) and get the pair of two-way hall and landing light cables easily threaded down through the new conduit, and then re-connected to the loosely attached double switch plate. . vacuumed in the PC room and under the floor between the joists just a bit (! lol) before finally getting the floorboard screwed back down. Yayyyy - 'whole' again. Oh boy, WHAT a relief. What an enormous amount of work and hassle (and apparantly ultimately the death of this - my website!) that one silly bit of wall has been. It's FAR from being 'smooth', and it needs a bit more work and painting yet, but all that is like just a regular bit of 'decorating', which I can poke at, as and when the mood and energy take me. No matter how 'rough' it looks (to critical ME) and how much it's taken out of me to do, it IS a vast improvement on what was there before, and I can happily live with it exactly as it is now if I choose to. I'm so, SO glad to have gotten all that out of the way! . . tidied up just a little and finally got all the tools that have been cluttering up the leaking conservatory for weeks, stowed back up in the garage at last. I AM intending to have a break from it all for a bit! . . ate two ham and mayo finger rolls and crisps . . rushing things as ever, put just a little more emulsion on bits of the wall . . .napped the rest of the afternoon away until around 6:15pm . .woke still feeling tired and headachey. .slow getting going . . walked FGn under a very hazey sky . . vacuumed a little and wiped up some of the dust which lies in layers on everything throughout the house - everywhere! . . PCd and replied to my ticket/helpline(NOT!) reply re the website (AFTER pointlessly actually DOING what they'd suggested re the phone numbers - but to no avail of course. That cost me another couple of s on my phone bill I bet!) "The phone number format, or your suggestion I use a different number is totally irrelevant to this issue. I AM successfully dialing-in and connecting to your host computer, as evidenced by the host computer returning the error message as follows - 'Error 691:Access was denied because the username and/or password was invalid on the domain'. This suggests to me that the account has been 'deactivated' and is no longer registered on your host computer - perhaps because, as a consequence of the recent bad weather, I have been unable to dial-in as frequently as your system requires! Please re-register/reactivate my account on the host computer. If you are unable to do so, please provide me with details on the procedure to follow to transfer the tljones.co.uk domain to an alternative ISP." And yes - I admit it - I DID rather 'bend the truth' (!) about the weather being the reason - although, in a roundabout way, it actually was. I only started on all my wall and decorating work because the weather was so bad I couldn't really do much of anything else. Anyway - it's all pretty pointless, of that I have no doubt. Judging by the name of the person who answered my last 'ticket', and the advice they gave, I'm dealing with some foreign call centre somewhere, staffed by people who clearly haven't a f***ing clue! :o( . . PCd this whilst monitoring JUST the marine band on the radios. Around 11:45pm the coastguard were mobilising the dart inshore lifeboat, Torbay lifeboat, and co-ordinating the Dart lower ferry and fire brigade, etc, as 'The African Queen' on KP pontoon on the River Dart was apparantly going up in flames (the owners were safe)! Sadly of course, because of the hills between us, I can't actually pick up anything from down in the Dart Estuary. :o( At 00:21hrs the coastguard informed the Torbay lifeboat (still on its way around to the Dart) that there were a total of '16 fire-crew afloat' - and mention of seven hundred litres of diesel!! All ongoing, well into the early hours that 'I' know of. . around 3am of all things, I was putting a touch of undercoat on the hall wall, where a little bit of that yellow staining thing had come through the emulsion where I put the new conduit in. That's almost definitely the last usable bit of my undercoat. . . ate a chunk of mum donated gala pie, crisps and a banana before finally to bed around 4am.
9 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:15am. 15C in, 9C out. Sunny. . .walked FGn and sat around in the beautiful weather monitoring the radio whilst playing ball. A coastguard shout went up at some point, which saw the inshore lifeboat race out and across the bay. A woman (the local paper later reported it was a man) and a dog in the water a hundred metres or so North of Paignton pier! How on earth does THAT come to pass I wonder? Couldn't resist walking along the clifftop road to the better vantage point of BGdns, to see if there was anything to be seen of it in the far distance across the bay. Before I'd even reached Bgdns, and before the ILB had even got there, vessel 'Seaquest' out of Paignton harbour had rescued both the woman and the dog and was taking them back into the harbour to rendezvous with an ambulance. The casualty was reported as being wrapped in a blanket, ok but shivering uncontrollably. I bet!! Brrrrr. The lifeboat was stood-down before even reaching the scene, and immediately raced back across the bay to station. . When I reached Bgdns, T was sat under the roof with 'the' dobermans - so I kept a safe distance, kept Bella on her lead, and sat on the highest seat a suitable distance away. Haven't spoken to T for ages, and when he saw me sat there, I eventually felt obliged to dare to walk down and sit on one of the seats under the roof for a chat. I kept Bella safely on her lead, despite T assuring me the dobermans were ok and good as gold now! At length, lots of other dog walkers all turned up with their dogs and stood about chatting. The dobermans (one of whom has sadly just been diagnosed diabetic and will be on daily insulin injections for evermore!) appeared to be just keeping to themselves and their thrown 'kongs' without any 'incidents'. I even ultimately dared to let Bella OFF her lead for a bit - but made VERY sure she didn't go anywhere near the dobermans. It was all rather stressfull for me, but good to finally get round to 'confronting' and getting over things a 'bit'. . a shock to be told by dogwalker S that her dog Buddy has just been diagnosed with some weird heart condition thing, which could well soon see him suddenly be gone! Felt SO sorry for her. Her and her 'Buddy' are like part of the furniture around the place - always have been as I recall. Always see them out walking. She does the long woods walk and FCove EVERY day pretty much! He's VERY cool and chilled out. Swims out after the seals whenever he sees one. Kinda like me with Bella - he IS what she does. What WILL she be without? SO sad. :o( . . . . mowed both lawns for the first time this year . .did a couple more loads of laundry, and all out on the line to quickly dry . . a VERY welcome, full-on summery feel to the day. Even sat in the garden with the guitar for a bit . . . ate two ham finger rolls with crisps . . napped the afternoon away . . walked BGdns. Saw another meteor. Sat with my coffee on the higher seat, and ended up listening to the 'Really Anal Radio Club' guys chatting. More 'control freak' absurdity from them, when someone innocently inquisitively asked something or other about their club, which they melodramatically and rudely refused to answer, before then quite literally telling him what he could and could not talk about on this particular evening! Someone listening even butted-in with some abuse at one point!! That all got to me quite a bit. I don't want to be associated with personalities like that! The last thing I'd ever want to do is end up 'having' to make polite conversation with such people, knowing what they're 'really' like. I would NOT have tolerated being spoken to, like that guy this evening! I'm sure I'll end up chatting to someone (else) sooner or later, but right now, I've absolutely NO interest in using the amateur VHF to listen-in or talk to anyone whatsoever. If I'm just listening at all, it'll be dedicated marine-band for the forseeable future methinks. Sad. . .TVd and recovered from the walk for a bit. Watched the end of crufts and the best of show winner. An extraordinary looking poodle I think it was. Not a breed I particularly like at all, but I have to admit, that really was an amazing looking dog - largely as a result of it's elaborate hairdo! Amazing 'presence' as a result. . with things having mostly dried out pretty quickly, I reluctantly mustered the energy to quickly sand the hall wall down, stick the removed coving piece back in place, and apply some substantial amounts of filler. Didn't want to have to do all that so late, but if I did, it meant I could get straight on with the next phase tomorrow, and not have to waste almost the whole day just waiting for the filler to dry, etc. . TVd/PCd the night away . . this - my website, definitely IS in its death throws. :o( Nevertheless, I decided on the 6th to give it my (pointless, but as a matter of principle) best shot at saving it, and went onto the ISP's website and started a support 'ticket'. "I have recently been unable to connect to account **//** using dial-up number 08440xxxxxx in my usual way. Recent attempts over several days have resulted in "Error 691:Access was denied because the username and/or password was invalid on the domain". It is my understanding that to keep the account 'live' I must periodically dial in. Since through no fault of my own I am currently unable to do so, I am concerned that the account's live status may be withdrawn!! Please let me know what the current situation is." After several days anxiously awaiting a reply, I finally got one - and a breathtakingly 'dumb' one I thought it was - from someone who's supposed to be a technical-support/helpline expert! "Dear Mr Jones, Thank you for your query. Sorry to see that you are having issues with the dial up connection. Could you try using the number you are dialing in this format first 0844, 0xxxxxx If not then could you try dialing a different number. 0845 1xxxxxx". Idiots! . . eventually to bed around 4am!!
8 - Up around 7:15am. 15C in, 9C out. Misty damp then sunny. . PCd this . . . walked and headed straight for the builders yard to see if they had any re-supply of socket boxes, as they'd suggested they would by now. Yayy - they did indeed. 1.36 . . walked BGdns . . . did bed-linen laundry . . couldn't resist/waste the day, and started work on drilling and chiselling-out a new recess in the hall wall for the slightly repositioned light switch box etc. Slightly lower (to match 'most' of the rest around the house) and slightly closer to the living-room door surround. As luck would have it, choosing that position, enabled me to start on all the work WITHOUT having to cut power and do lots of work to remove the existing one straight away. The bad news was, that in the middle of the recess I was carving, I bumped into a lump of unmoveable metal, initialy preventing me being able to get the socket box into the wall deep enough!!! (May have been the end of some long door-frame fixing?) Damn, damn, damn - how the hell do I get round that?!!! . . . Mum called in with papers and food donations - and quickly got the message I was happy for her not to stay too long. Stopped to get the laundry out on the line and for a coffee and some breif chats . . . straight back to the awkward wall work after she'd gone. Managed, at some length, to fix a small grinding stone to the end of the drill, and grind away enough of the obstructing metal in the back of the recess to 'just' be able to get the box in deep enough to end up flush with the wall. Phew! That was nerve wracking. Push on and removed a section of coving and cut the conduit channel down the wall with the disc cutter. Horrendous amounts of choking dust as usual, despite working with the front door wide open! Ended up managing to get a good lump of grit in my painful left eye, despite wearing glasses throughout! :o( . . Eventually managed to get the new socket box and conduit all rough plastered in place. . not wanting to add any extra days to the work just waiting for things to dry out, I pushed on and lifted a floorboard in the PC room, cut the power, disconnected the hallway double light switch, and managed to draw the cables back up through the old metal conduit into the underfloor in the PC room. Actually refitted an old patten box and the switch to the ends of the cables, and temporarily left it all under the floorboard, before turning the power back on! An inconvenience for a day or two - having to climb the stairs without putting the landing light on etc, but worth the inconvenience to enable me to immediately get on and cement-up the recess where the switch used to be, next to the new one. Didn't even have to bother destroying part of the wall by removing the old metal conduit. With the old socket box eventually prised out and binned, I just left it in the wall and cemented up. Dared to even slap some left-over plaster straight on top of the wet cement, to immediately be in a 'just needs some filler' position. Cool. That's all less work than it could have been. .called it quits after much vaccuuming and de-dusting. Damn - depsite having all the doors closed and sheets blocking the gaps near the floor etc, that evil dust has still managed to get absolutely EVERYWHERE throughout the house! Tackling all that is gonna be a war of atrition over time. :o( . . showered and got the damp washing back in WELL after dark . . . walked BGdns with a coffee. A beautiful starry evening. Someone just across on the beach at FCove had a bonfire all going, although presumably because of all the saturating rain we've had, they're wood was not much good for burning. They did however obviously have some 'accelerant' of some kind. Every now and then there was a big 'woosh' of fire and light - before it'd all die back down to almost going out - over and over. . Saw a satellite orbitting and a meteor while sitting with coffee on the higher seat at length before eventually returning to the dust . . . BB called to touch base. Called her back briefly while supping a shot glass of Baileys . . remade the bed. God how I HATE doing that duvet cover thing! SUCH a battle - and all that shaking it about, blew up clouds of dust all over the bedroom and clean sheets! . . . cooked and ate a chicken and mushroom pastry slice with chips . . TVd until to bed around 1am.
7 - Back up around 7:15am after far too little sleep. 14C in, 9C out. Light rain clearing . . . slow getting going (looking at 'stuff' on the Screwfix website)! . . walked BGdns in what turned into quite a nice morning. More Lyme Bay navigation warnings from the coastguard about a mostly submerged 'partial' container this time, white in colour, including a door and insulation apparantly! Briefly dipped Bella in the cove to get some of the mud off before sitting for my coffee in the hazy sun on a high seat. God I feel awful and woozy. Simply lack of sleep I suspect. Back via the stores for milk/bread/tobacco supplies . . . PCd/monitored radios until early afternoon, whilst sucking an annadin tablet and eventually successfully balancing my accounts. . . all of a sudden around 1:45pm the PC and radios suddenly died! Having only recently altered wiring in the house etc, that put me in a bit of a panic for a bit, rushing to check the fuse box, etc. To my relief I pretty quickly determined it was an area-wide power cut (with plenty of burglar alarms etc audible going off in the distance). A shocking reminder of how much we take electric for granted and how much we rely on it. All of a sudden I couldn't do much of anything at all. I don't even have a 'regular' wired phone plugged in as a matter of course these days, so couldn't even make a phone call! Briefly touched base with Mum and confirmed the power cut on my mobile. As luck would have it, I unusually had some 'mostly' defrosted bread in the fridge (because of my currently cram packed full freezer) so I WAS at least able to make a sandwich. Managed to get the gas hob lit with a lighter and fully defrosted four slices of bread. By the time I'd succeeded in making some sandwiches, the power thankfully came back on after only around half an hour at around 2:20pm. Ate ham, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps, banana and biscuits . . napped until around 6:45pm . . .DF called in for chats until gone 10:30pm . . . TVd . . ate melted cheese and onion eventually spread on four pieces of toast and grilled followed by a square or two of chocolate . . TVd until bed around 2am.
6 - Up around 7:15am. 15C in, 8C out. Grey. . . walked FGn . . did the long overdue mountain of dish washing chores. . TVd/pottered around just waiting for my groceries delivery. I had a between 11am and midday slot booked - the guy didn't turn up until 'just' before midday, so that maximised my anxious and uptight wait. A silly thing to get uptight and anxious about perhaps, but I always do. In fact, for whatever reasons, I do seem to be feeling particularly uptight and anxious in general at the moment. A pervading feeling of a general 'panic' about everything so it seems!?? Not doing so 'good' right now I guess. :o( . As ever, my monster supermarket shop was really all about the dog food thing. Sods law - they were allegedly out of stock of much of it again. I was short of 24 tins, and more crucially, short of three big 17kg sacks of Wagg complete!! Really really annoying and gonna cause me some major problems in the near future. Even if I could buy those big sacks locally as cheap, there simply isn't any way I can carry them home. Having done such a monster shop of all the other stuff I use (enough to last me months - in-line with how much dog food I'd ordered), it's gonna be real difficult in a relatively short space of time to be able to do another shop (because I'll be short on the Wagg food) and be able to order enough to qualify for the free delivery. So - yet again - NOT a successful on-line shopping experience. :o( . took me a good hour to stash everything away and meticulously check it all in against the receipt. I need to start eating more - I only 'just' managed to get everything in my tiny freezer!! . . ate half a dozen (going out of date/reduced price) defrosted chicken drumsticks with four pieces of bread and butter followed by several squares of chocolate . . napped until the 7pm alarm. Difficulty waking, semi consciously lashing out at the snooze button multiple times before finally managing to get up . . . dark and drizzley out, so quickly and easily dismissed the idea of walking . . . TVd briefly . .PCd this/monitored radios . I 'think' a tug ('Lomax') is hanging around in Lyme Bay somewhere South East of Berry Head overnight, waiting to attempt to lassoo another located floating container! I DID hear the 'Endurance 01' aircraft in the air, searching again earlier. . . I've an increasingly bad feeling about this/my website. I won't go into details, but I have a horrible feeling I 'may' be in the process of 'losing' it after all these years!! I periodically have to 'connect to it' to keep it live, and I've a horrible feeling (being so busy decorating) I may not have done so by the time I should have done recently. I currently find I can NOT now connect to it when I try to, and consistantly get "Error 691:Access was denied because the username and/or password was invalid on the domain"! Time will tell, but I imagine it's just the sort of excuse that the ISP which has inherited it, has been waiting for, to finally be rid of it and/or demand a high annual fee for. Time will tell - the jury is still out - but this 'may' soon be gone. If it happens in the way I suspect, I don't think I can really justify going without something to keep it going. :o( We'll see. Time will tell. :o( . . put an old shower curtain on the floor in front of my living room chair for protection, and then spent quite a while wearing gardening gloves, emery-clothing my big 4.5 inch x 27.75 inch brass gun cartridge. It's been sat near the front door (umbrella-stand like) for years, and Bella constantly wiping aginst it when coming in all wet, had made it look rather dull and corroded. I've now taken to having it stand pride of place on the floor in the corner of the living room near the light switch, so it needed sprucing up a bit. Finally wiped it over just a bit with some brasso before calling it quits. All took lots of effort and ages into the early hours because of the eneromous size of the heavy thing - but I do love owning one for some strange reason!
. TVd drinking a tall shot glass of Baileys . . ate bowls of co-co pops and some chocolate before to bed after 2:30am.
5 - Up at 6:45am again. 13C in, 2C out. Clear and cold and then sunny . . .the local newspaper website has an update on that body I saw brought back into the harbour by the lifeboat a little while ago. They STILL haven't been able to identify who it was! How extraordinary! . . at 8am I could 'just' (on the edge of my receive range) hear a ship somewhere reporting sighting of yet another drifting mostly submerged shipping container. There must be 'loads' all still floating about out there somewhere!! Outrageous. . . walked FGn with a coffee and ended up sitting around up there for ages in some almost sleep-inducing sunny spells . eventually back via the store for a few supplies . .popped into the little old fashioned local ironmongers store, just to see what they may have in the way of brass hooks if any. It's a tiny little store, all crammed packed with stuff. A proper old fashioned 'four candles' (Know what I mean? The classic 'Two Ronnies' 'fork handles' sketch.) type hardware store. Turned out they had exactly the type of hook that I've been using to hang Bellas lead on out on the wall in the hallway - but in solid brass like I wanted. The old one was a crappy looking 'brass coloured'/coated alloy. It was only a couple of s complete with screws, so I snapped it up. Would you believe it - they ALSO had 35mm deep patten/socket boxes like I've been after!! I could have just popped up and got one there, right on my doorstep! Who would have thought it. Marvellous old fashioned shop. Outrageous the big DIY stores have killed them all off. Long live the guy who eeks out a living running that one. Having said all that, the particular brand of patten box he had was subtly different to what I've been using (cheaper?), with regard to the level adjustment slider and the earth terminal fixing, and I actually wasn't too keen. How picky am I!!! But I AM picky about such things - and rightly so I think. It's an awful lot of HARD graft putting one of those in the wall, and the last thing you want to do, is put one in which you know will likely be 'less good' and potentially problematic in the fullness of time. (I HAVE in my time done all that awful work and got a brand new one all plastered into the wall, only to finally find that one of the face-plate fixing screw threads was knackered and 'stripped'!!! I meticulously check those threads in advance of fitting one, ever since!!!) . . carried on to the builders yard. Still none of the socket boxes I want, but the guy assured me he HAD ordered a re-stock, and they should be here 'by the end of the week'. As a result, I feel duty-bound to continue waiting, and get one from them when (if?) they turn up. If they still have none by the end of the week, I may yet have to make-do with one from the little store up the road. I AM feeling all burned out, and SO do NOT now want to do the awful/difficult/dusty job anyway! :o( . . . Dug out my tin of old undercoat paint from the garage. Hardly any left - and a thick layer of dried 'skin' over the tiny bit still liquid in the bottom of the no longer airtight tin!! Removed the layer of skin and had just enough left useable to be able to put some undercoat on the walls wherever that yellow staining thing was showing through. . . dabbed some filler here and there at the less important/noticeable kitchen door end of the hall wall . . pottered around and eventually drilled/plugged/screwed and put the key rack and new brass hook back on the short bit of hall wall, between the living room and front door.Image of tide clock, key rack and dog lead hook by the front door. I haven't had all that stuff off the wall for long, but boy did I miss having it there. It's a silly and cluttered little corner of the wall, but SO intrinsically a part of how I function here. Around head height is my car-boot-sale-bargain tide clock. Yes, in an ideal world it'd be a nice brass ships 'porthole' one, but they are just SO expensive I can't justify buying one - and that one I got from the car-bootsale was just SUCH a bargain, I can live with it - 'trophy' like. Although I keep forgetting to, it's a neat thing to be able to glance at when heading out of the door with Bella - so I have an idea of whether or not the BGdns/FCove steps/path/beach will be underwater or not, etc, etc. The key rack just below, I inherited with the house, and is I think 'twee' and yucky in style, but it does the job. It isn't the type I would have chosen, but it IS at least solid brass. The keys I hang on it are actually those for which I do NOT have a daily use (car keys, etc), so it kust kinda sits there with keys hanging from it - and I know where they are. The thing which is MOST usefull to me, is the new twin armed solid brass 'robe' hook below. That type of hook has proven to be just about perfect for easily hanging Bellas lead on, and her collar when she's not wearing it (in the evenings, after going-out is donewith for the day), and the strap I clip her lead to my belt with. I ALSO hang the bunch of keys I normally carry, on it. It's all just SO all right there by the door, and works so VERY well for me. It's the last place I go, whenever I leave the house. (In an ideal world, it'd all be mounted on some subtley tastefully shaped, almost invisible, harder wearing 'back-plate', to stop all that hanging, frequently used stuff, wearing the paint off the wall. A potential project for the future perhaps ( and 'I' reckon - a hole in the market ripe for exploitation by some entrepeneur - aimed specifically at the many dog owners who have to come up with something similar for their leads, etc!) , although slapping a bit of white emulsion back on the wall from time to time, is no big deal. Anyway - that's the little bit of the hall wall right by the front door (and of course 'difficult' to reach from the letterbox, even if someone was armed with a fishing rod etc!!) . . . ate two ham and mayo finger rolls, crisps and a banana . . . de-dusted around the place just a little bit . . . PCd a little . . did a monster 280 online shop for free delivery tomorrow. Overdue. I'm VERY low on everything - dog food especially, and buying bits and pieces locally to keep me going, is costing me a fortune, relative to supermarket prices. A few tins of dog food in the local store the other day, cost me not far short of double what I would have spent on the type I usually get from the supermarket!!! . . . walked real early, before 6pm and actually briefly got to sit in BGdns in some daylight before darkness fell. Pleasant evening. Sat around for quite a while and then more in the dark with my coffee on the higher seat before eventually back . . . listened on the radios for a bit to the local club net, but very quickly couldn't tolerate the nonsense of it, and soon retreated to the nonsense of the TV instead . . ended up briefly sanding back a few touches of filler and dabbing some emulsion paint over . . TVd/guitarred . . ate a large and small bag of crisps and a chicken and mushroom pastry slice followed by a couple of squares of chocolate . . . to bed shortly after midnight.
4 - Up at 6:45am. 13C in, 4C out. Sunny spells . . . walked BGdns in a filthy miserable mood. Played ball and sat around with a coffee on the lower seats. The sunny spell soon turned to complete cloud cover with a chilly breeze. . . poked at the hall wall some more, trying to see if there was any way I could disguise the mess it looks. Meticulously sanded bits and pieces by hand, with a small wood block and some wet and dry paper, before putting a little more paint back on. The yellow staining from whatever that evil old stuff is that was put on those walls above the picture rail, came immediately straight back through the emulsion. Not ALL over - but in disgusting looking yellow patches all over the place. :o( Called it quits early afternoon. I'm REALLY sick and tired of doing all this work and being in such a dusty mess throughout the entire house ALL the time (the letters are fast wearing off my PC keyboard again!!) , only to end up with such a crappy looking end result - and especially because of that 'kick me when I'm down' yellow staining thing. :o( I guess I'm gonna have to ultimately (once I've fully given-up trying to get a smooth-ish looking finish) throw a load of more expensive oil-based undercoat at whole sections of that wall, in the hope I can 'seal it' before putting more emulsion over the top (like I've had to do with varying levels of success all over elsewhere). :o( . . .PCd this, occasionally popping back down to get cups of coffee, and having a look at the drying emulsion paint on the wall each time. Actually - fingers crossed - it would appear as though the work I did this morning HAS 'somewhat' improved the awful lumpy appearance of the surface of that wall. I won't be able to really tell whether or not I'll be able to live with it like that until we get some morning sun. There's something about the way the morning sunlight shines into the hallway that REALLY picks out all the defects. After SO much time and effort. :o( Why DID I bother?! :o( . . .vacuumed just a little . . TVd the evening away. . cooked and ate a tin of sausages in baked beans with chips followed by shortbread biscuits and chocolate . . fell asleep in the chair and struggled to wake enough to eventually go to bed again!
3 - Up at 7am. 13C in, 3C out. Heavy showers. I'm living in a bit of a twilight zone at the moment so it seems. I had absolutely no idea it was Monday already! I definitely feel as though all this recent non stop work is sending me a bit crazy. It IS madness isn't it - to spend SO much time working SO hard on something so utterly pointless? I think I've definitely lost the plot a bit here. . . walked FGn in full weather gear, and back in the rain . . sanded filler and got an undercoat of emulsion paint on bits of the walls. Spent ages 'tidying up' the wall corner detail by the kitchen door, before just caving-in and stopping. I think I may have just 'burned out'. I've had enough of it all. I really have. And after all that work, that hall wall really does look absolutely atrocious - and to cap it all, like the trouble I've had elsewhere, I'm having that yellow staining thing happen on large parts of it, where something is reacting with the water in the emulsion paint. :o( . . . PCd a bit, but just wasn't in the mood, and ended up just sitting around in front the TV for hours, feeling pretty down and utterly frozen. . eventually ate two ham and mayo finger rolls, crisps, banana and a few shortbread biscuits . . TVd/guitarred briefly . . fell asleep in the chair, over and over again, before finally managing to wake just enough to force myself to briefly let Bella out into the garden before stumbling up to bed just before midnight.
2 - Up at 7am. 14C in, 8C out. Wind and drizzley grey. . .walked BGdns. Back in a bit of rain . . . worked on the wall all day from around 10:30am as rain fell . added filler here and there on the main section. Looks disappointingly 'lumpy' and uneven. :o( . . scraped paint off, smoothed and filled the bit around the corner, over and around the kitchen door . . spent the rest of the day, once I'd unscrewed and removed my key rack and dog lead hook, scraping the three layers of paint off the short section of wall between the living room and front door. God that was tough and took ages! Ground-off bits of the wall face to have it flat enough to be able to then filler over the picture rail scar, old screw holes, etc. . in a big dusty mess . .it 'echos' out there now? . didn't clear up, vacuum and stop to shower off the layers of dust until gone 7pm! EXHAUSTED - AGAIN! . . TVd . . ate four ham and mayo baps, crisps and three kipling apple pies . . TVd until to bed just before midnight.
1 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8:30am. 13C in, 6C out. . . walked BGdns. The waters of the bay were flat like a millpond, and there were some decent sunny spells. Sat on the high seat with my coffee for quite a long while. SUCH a joy to have a brief spell of nice weather. Eventually back via the builders yard for another 1.5kg box of filler, and a meter of medium sandpaper all for 6.58. I also asked if they'd please get some more 35mm single gang socket boxes. He (reluctantly) said he would, although I have my doubts. I'll give it a few days and then go see. . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats - although I did make it clear I was eager to get on with my decorating/building work, rather than waste the whole day just chatting. She left early afternoon, slightly earlier than usual as a result . . machine sanded the hall wall and then put an 'undercoat' of emulsion on it . . rushing things rather (because of diminishing daylight) - I eventually managed to alter the ring main and connect-up the hall wall double socket, in its slightly altered position - and screwed back against the still 'damp' emulsion paint! Yayyy - always a nice sense of acheivement to get a 'new' socket all wired in and useable. I particularly wanted that one back real quick, because it's the only one in the downstairs hallway, and it was a pain plugging tools in elsewhere (especially given the dust etc drifting throughout the house as a result of having to have doors open to allow the extension lead through). . .vacuumed tidied up and then showered off dust . . . walked with Bella just up to the local store for milk and a few supplies. Tried a token bit of playing ball in the car parks of the industrial estate on the return. I've seen quite a few dog walkers excercising their dogs up there. It IS doable at a push - but it was rather dark, there's a dangerous amount of bits of metal and swarf from the engineering places littering the ground, and of course there is always the possibility the ball could roll out into the road or infront of arriving traffic - so I don't think we'll be making a habit of it. . . TVd/guitarred . . cooked and ate two garlic chicken kievs, chips and a large pile of frozen mixed veg with some extra peas all covered in melted butter. A much needed substantial amount. . .TVd . . ate three small kipling apple pies before eventually to bed around midnight.