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31 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up around 8:20am. 15C in, 9C out. Windy with some breaks in the cloud. . . walked BGdns in the NW type gale. Plenty of white curls on the bay. Wow - was that an evil, unpleasant gusty wind down on our usual lower seat. Thoroughly unpleasant. Sheltered in one of the gun emplacements for a while before ending up walking down around the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater for a while. Felt very achey, cold, windblown and increasingly short tempered and low in mood. :o( . . back to the inner harbour for my coffee and then back up into Bgdns to aimlessly sit for a while longer. . back via the store for a few supplies gone 1pm. . oh my god! Arrived home to find a 'For Sale' sign up in the garden of the 'new' next door neighbour!!! I hadn't expected that. That's 'upsetting', having all the 'unknown' of new neighbours all over again (particularly because of how thin the walls are between us, etc). . . aimlessly TVd . .Bella had a long drink and then promptly started to throw it all back up. Only managed to get her out as far as the conservatory before she made a mess all over the carpet and door mat out there. Cleared up as best I could and then hosed down the doormat out in the garden and left it out there in some sunny spells to dry a bit. . . ended up feeling VERY hopeless and down, and unable to do 'anything'. :o( . . .PCd a bit of this . . .retreated to bed and slept until around 7:30pm . . . TVd . . .drank red wine . . ate two beef finger rolls, crisps and a banana around 11:30pm. . . to bed around 1am or earlier.
30 - Up around 8am. 15C in, 8C out. Sunny spells . . . walked BGdns and then on down to the harbour to sit around for a bit whilst drinking my coffee. The working harbour is still VERY full of trawlers. . Things are definitely 'winding up' for the season. At least one of the summer ferry companies has started doing their crossings to Torquay, and there were plenty of visitors around the place, with a big crowd on the Golden Hind especially. .back through town, stopping at one of the stores for twelve tins of dog food to lug home. I'm very low on supplies. . . on the way back up the main road, Bella had a poop as she often does along there. I was just organising myself and putting all the dog food down, getting ready to pick it up, when some ****** shouted out 'PICK IT UP!' from a passing car. That really got my back up and I couldn't help myself giving a one fingered gesticulation in their direction as they carried on up the road. Jeeze, the amount of other peoples rubbish and dog poop I'm always clearing up (two lots of other peoples dog poop just this morning, where it'd been left in a particularly noticeable and in-the-way place on busy paths), I do not need some loud mouthed idiot shouting out at me in the street reminding me of my 'social responsibilities'. Made me really angry! . . . PCd and somehow spent the whole rest of the day mostly messing around with e-mail accounts! My broadband connection has now been 'handed over' by Virgin to Talk Talk, and as such, I've absolutely no idea what will eventually become of my (primary) virgin e-mail address! Figured I'd better get thing sorted before something horrible happens, so I've decided to pretty much concentrate everything I do onto my Yahoo address(s). That meant meticulously going through every site I've ever registered with, changing e-mail information, etc. WHAT a pain, when a couple wouldn't allow me to do so, and I had to phone up and or e-mail my change request. It remains to be seen what I may have forgotten (I just remembered one I haven't done when typing this!), or which 'may' have gone awry in the attempt. Time will tell. I guess more fully moving to an online mail system is long overdue for me. Historically I've ALWAYS just used outlook and actually downloaded all my mails to my PC (and kept them all forever), and read and composed locally offline. That IS a 'risky' strategy - especially if my PC suddenly breaks or gets virused etc - and also inconvenient if I want to start using different devices to check on things from time to time. Anyway - lots of registered addresses changed - so fingers crossed/time will tell. .actually, another thing worthy of note here, is how my 'semi smart' widescreen Panasonic plasma TV, has recently started to warn me that support for its Youtube 'app' is soon to cease. One assumes that means I'll no longer be able to watch Youtube videos on the TV!!! That's a real bugger. That was pretty much the only 'app' on that TV which actually still worked and was definitely worth having. I'm pretty miffed about that. So what does that mean if I want all the IPlayers and on demand stuff and Youtube and Facebook etc on my TV now (sadly Facebook never did work on it anyway)? I'm gonna have to go and buy some other box? The TV otherwise still works fine, so I'm not about to go buying a new one am I. FFS! :o( . . another 'simple' little thing I needed to do today was contact BT and have one of the phone services I've been paying-for cancelled, to save the few wasted £s. Over twenty minutes on the phone it took. I was passed from one person with such a thick asian accent I could hardly understand him, to someone else with such a thick northern accent, I could hardly understand HIM! And then, because it was allegedly not so simple to make the change their end, I'm expected to just sit here on the phone waiting!? FFS! . . . TVd . . .ate two beef finger rolls with coleslaw followed by some chocolate swiss role . . . to bed around midnight.
29 - Up around 8:50am (BST, with the clocks having gone forward an hour last night). 15C in, 10C out. Rain and wind. . . walked BGdns. Played ball in the light rain for a bit before ending up sheltering in one of the gun emplacements whilst throwing the ball out some more. Eventualy carried-on down to the harbour in the drizzle. Wow - the working harbour was very full of boats, all rafted alongside each other four or five deep in places. Almost all 'the fleet' appeared to be in, all at the same time. More than twenty of the larger beam trawlers! . Drank my coffee under the old fish market roof before deciding to carry on round the harbour and then climb the VERY steep flight of steps which lead up to 'THE' vantage point, for a picture of the 'working' harbour full of all the boats. . . PCd . . .sorted through all my long forgotten bed linen, reminding myself of exactly what I have, changed all the linen on the bed, and then did laundry . . . PCd/monitored radios for hours. Actually ended up listening-in to the local amateur-radio club net which I've not bothered doing for months. I only changed bands and listened-in, when I heard the 'net controller' starting proceedings by mistakenly briefly transmitting on the coastguard frequency! Plonker! . . . TVd . . . used the pressure cooker to knock up an instant gravy, chopped ham and mixed-veg stew after midnight. Ate a large bowlfull followed by some chocolate . . . to bed around 1:30am.
28 - Woke earlier, snoozed for a bit then up around 8:15am. 15C in, 8C out. Cloudy, light rain and blowing a bit of a gale . . . walked BGdns. Sheltered under the roof from the drizzle for quite a while . . .did dish washing chores . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats until mid afternoon . . . ate a large beef finger roll, mini cheddars, banana and some chocolate . . . napped until around 7pm . . . TVd . . . ate a pasty, biscuits, chocolate swiss roll and some chocolate . . to bed around 2am.
27 - Up around 7:30am. 15C in, 8C out. Sunny . . . walked across town to the vet to pick up Bellas repeat tablets prescription . . carried on down around the harbour and along to BGdns, overheating in layers by the time I climbed up there. Played ball and cooled down for a bit. Increasing rain saw us end up on a higher seat under the roof for my coffee for a long while. . back via the store for a few supplies . . . dusted, vaccuumed and tidied up around the place just a little . . ate cold ham with two fried eggs and chips . . . trimmed my hair and beard . . .PCd/TVd . . . DF called in for coffee, biscuits and arguments until around 10:30pm . . . ate a large beef finger-roll followed by a little chocolate . . to bed around midnight.
26 - Woke earlier, lay there for a bit then up around 6:30am again. 15C in, 8C out. Mostly cloudy . . .woke at the PC as usual and rather by chance on the AIS map noticed that the lifeboat was out and apparantly towing a barge back to Brixham. . . walked BGdns and sure enough, a couple of far distant dots on the horizon were the lifeboat and its tow. Filmed at length as the boats headed in. .followed them down into the inner harbour for a bit more filming and then along to the lifeboat station for some 'washing down/end' shots before eventually heading home . . . rang the vets requesting a repeat perscription again. . . PCd and edited down the footage from earlier and ultimately uploaded the ALB Shout video to youtube. . . TVd . . hungry but no appetite again. Eventually managed to force down a couple of bananas and two quarter pound burgers in buttered baps . . . to bed around 11:30pm.
25 - Up around 6:30am. 14C in, 4C out. Sunny . . . walked BGdns. Walked along to the cliff top overlooking the car park and outer harbour and watched the big crane lifting boats back into the water for the summer season. Carried on down to the inner harbour for a bit before heading back to watch more boat lifts. Eventually back to BGdns and home . . . PCd boat lift footage and eventually uploaded a bit of video to youtube. . . .drank a glass of red wine . . ate sliced ham, two fried eggs and chips followed later by large amounts of biscuits . . . to bed well before 11pm.
24 - Woke earlier, lay there for a while then up around 7:30am. 15C in, 7C out. Sunny . . slow getting going. Walked BGdns, the harbour, out towards the breakwater, back to BGdns, etc. It would seem that the pirate gnome on the end of the breakwater (which was in fact allegedly out there for up to two weeks!) has now disappeared. Back home gone midday again. . . ate four cheese on buttered crumpets . . napped . . PCd a bit. . .ate two small corned beef and coleslaw finger rolls, mini cheddars, a meat pastry slice and biscuits . . to bed before midnight.
23 - Up around 6:45am. 14C in, 5C out. Grey . . . walked BGdns. Played ball for a bit before detouring all the way back round and down to Fishcombe Cove (couldn't climb directly down the steps because the tide was in quite high) to possibly retrieve a big plastic fishermans fish bin which had been washed up on the rocks. I'd been intending to maybe carry it all the way to the fish market to enable it to be re-united with whichever boat it came off, but it turned out to be all broken, so I just left it away from the waters edge with some other rubbish which someone from the council will likely eventually be tasked to clear. . Down to the harbour for my coffee. Passed the 'welcome to Brixham' thing on the way, and one of the Pride in Brixham volunteers appeared to be starting to line the bare earth with anti-weed liner and put in chippings. . Back home through town . . . mowed the lawns . . . PCd. Uploaded a couple of little videos to Youtube rather than just delete the footage. A bird singing near the seat above the end of the breakwater, and a couple of seal eating fish in the outer harbour . . that 'pirate gnome' picture which I got anonymously posted on the local 'Spotted Brixham' facebook page has received an incredible response!!? 469 likes, 68 shares and 49 comments!! Far more than anything else I've ever contributed! Everyone seems to love the fact that someones glued it there and they think it's great and it should remain!? I didn't see that coming at all. That just makes me feel TOTALLY out of touch and at odds with how the majority apparantly see the world. :o( -//-
sat around feeling
increasingly down and unable to muster the energy to do anything
. . TVd . . . forced down two corned beef and coleslaw finger
rolls, crisps, banana and chocolate . . . to bed before midnight.
22 - Up around 7:45am again. 15C in, 7C out. Broken cloud and sun . . walked BGdns. Ohhhh what a luxury to have spare batteries for the camcorder. Happily pointed it at whatever I chose, without fear of running out of a charge for a change. :o)Carried on down around the harbour and all the way out along the half mile to the seaward end of the breakwater. First of all I wanted to see what the now fully cut-out of the grass 'WELCOME TO BRIXHAM' looked like from a distance. Hard to see in todays light being still just bare earth and all. Hmmmm - I dunno - it's going to ALWAYS look to ME like they initialy forgot to do the 'TO', and it's been squeezed-in rather! Such a shame. One wonders if they'd have been better off squeezing an "@" sign in there instead. It would have fitted-in better, and would have kinda 'given the nod' to the computer age in which it was done. Oh well - too late now. . the other thing I wanted to see was what it was that had been left on the very end of the breakwater. Whilst messing around in Battery Gardens with the zoom on the camcorder yesterday and today (and maybe even for the last several days), I'd noticed a small 'thing' sticking up, perched on the very end. I'd rather assumed it was someones discarded beer can or suchlike, and had every intention of carrying it back along to a bin somewhere. Well - that was not to be the case at all! It actually turned out to be - wait for it - a 'pirate gnome' firmly glued to the concrete!!!!?? WTF??? Good grief. What sort of nutcase would do that? As if it isn't bad enough that people have graffitied the light - now this! Jeeze - its starting to get like living in a fishy version of Euro Disney or something! Even 'I' felt a STRONG urge to just kick the silly thing into the sea - but of course I couldn't. . headed back to land and sat on the seat above the end of the breakwater for a while before walking back to the inner harbour. Low tide again, so we both dropped down onto the muddy harbour floor and took a 'short cut'ish across between the boats towards the old fish market roof again. Found a corroded 2p. lol . . sat under the old fish market roof in our usual place and drank my coffee, before ending up descending back down onto the harbour floor to get a shot of a fishing boat having its hull jetwashed. Nothing particularly unusual about that except that it was the 'Eloise' - the one who'd snagged the mine the other day. Fancied grabbing a shot of that one, just to be able to post it on the local 'Brixham Fishing' Facebook page - as a sort of 'bookend' to my posts about the mine incident a few days ago - and it tickled me to be able to photograph it from actually down on the harbour floor. Damn - I'm gonna run out of webspace at this rate - but there was one other photo I took which is worth including here. I'd only noticed it the other day - I've no idea when it changed, but the skeleton up in the Golden Hind crows nest is now sporting a bunch of spring flowers! Blimey - if they are going to keep altering it to match the seasons etc, that's gonna be a lot of hassle to keep doing. Making a rod for their own backs there! lolol . . .eventualy headed back towards BGdns to sit around and play ball and poke at the end of the breakwater with the camcorder for a bit - deliberately trying to capture peoples reactions to the gnome at the end. What was actually quite remarkable to me, was how mny people just seemed to completely ignore it! lolol 'People' - totally beyond me as always. . . PCd this . . . sewed a loop of chord to one shoulder of a new multi-pocket bodywarmer to act as my scanner aerial restraint. . . walked BGdns wearing the new bodywarmer and trousers. Carried on down to the harbour to see how high the forecast high tide was. It was indeed quite high - but I've seen it higher. Sat under the old fish market roof to drink my coffee again. VERY quiet around the place. . . TVd . . . ate a meat pastry slice with mini cheddars and coleslaw, a banana and a whole pack of jam tarts . . . to bed before midnight.
21 - Up around 7:45am. 15C in, 8C out. Sunny . . walked BGdns for ball play. Still a chilly onshore NE type breeze when in the shade! . . carried on down to the inner harbour out of the wind to sit under the old fish market roof in the sun to drink my coffee. Wow - very nice and warm sat there in the full sun. What a shame it wasn't like this yesterday for the partial eclipse. A irritating new involuntary habit when sat there now is to keep glancing up at the glass fronted balcony of the house up the hill, checking there are no signs of trapped seagulls! . messed around at water level on the harbour steps briefly, and managed to retrieve just one of the long metal poles that litter the harbour floor under the water thereabouts. At least half a dozen of the metal poles used to construct market stalls have been thrown into the water there at some point. They are only visible at low tide , but when the tide is fully out (later - around midday today), it really is an eyesore mess. Unfortunately the depth of the toxic mud in that area means there is no possibility of just walking around and retrieving them. It 'frustrates' me seeing them just scattered around and left there like that. . a very summery feel to the morning with plenty of people around. Briefly descended to the harbour floor again past the Golden Hind to retrieve a tennis ball left high and dry by the retreating tide. . bought stocks of blackcurrant fishermans friends when heading home through town. Overheating in all my layers by the time we got home in the full sun. . . PCd a bit of this . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations. Turned into a very long visit when we ended up on the PC looking up various places from Mums past on Google streetview etc. Some of that streetview data has now been updated with the images taken just last year. All my co-linear aerials on the front of the house are all VERY clearly visible on it. . at some point the postman delivered my two new cheap camcorder batteries which I made sure were charged while we PCd. Ended up walking again early evening before dark, specifically to find something to point the camcorder at, to see how those cheap batteries may perform. . .walked BGdns. Played ball just a little bit whilst messing around pointing the camcorder at any old nonsense for ages, zooming in and out and trying to use it as if there was actually something worth filming, to give things a proper test. Not the best, but it seemed to last a 'reasonable' time before all the charge was gone I think. If they carry on like that for a while, probably not a bad deal for the money. . eventually down to the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee before back via town and a brief stop in a store for some coleslaw . . . TVd . . .ate just a large sausage roll with coleslaw, mini cheddars and crisps followed by a banana, two buttered hot cross buns and some chocolate . . . to bed after midnight whenever, after pretty much falling asleep in the chair again!
20 - Up around 8am. 14C in, 7C out. Misty - just typical - given there is a partial solar eclipse peaking around 9:30am . . .Walked quite late gone 9am, actually strangely not particularly too interested in attempting to capture anything of the partial solar eclipse (because EVERYONE else would be), although when we set off, it was still SO misty, there hardly seemed much chance of seeing anything of it anyway. . would you believe it - just up the road, the cloud thinned in patches and the partial eclipse was clearly visible. I even ended up pulling my camcorder out of my pocket and getting enough shakey footage for a token still image if I desired, before deciding to head for the slightly closer open area of Furzeham Green, in case there would be more breaks in the mist and cloud. Ended up doing a bit more filming just after reaching the field - eventualy resting the camcorder on top of a refuse bin for part of the time. It pretty soon clouded back over, so we carried on to a seat for a bit of ball play before then heading down to the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee . . carried on out up to the breakwater and back, and then returned via BGdns and ultimately the store for a few supplies before home . . . quickly PCd a bit of the eclipse footage and set it uploading to Youtube before PCing this, trying to catch up. I have been SO overwhelmed with all this videoing and long walks nonsense these last several days, there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day at the moment!! I'm really starting to feel all 'burning-out' with it all again, and should really probably just stop, and stick to a quick BGdns and back! :o( I've enough recently filmed video on the PC I've not yet touched or edited, to keep me busy for days yet! Uggh. . . .increasingly headachey despite popping a couple of anadins throughout the day. Tried to nap but couldn't. Wow - my legs in particular feel like blocks of ice! Must be a lack of food thing. . . TVd . . . ate a tin of sausages in baked beans with two left over sausages, half a big ring of black pudding, two fried eggs and a couple of pieces of bread and butter followed later by two buttered hot cross buns and some chocolate . . . to bed around 12:30am.
19 - Up around 7am. 15C in, 6C out. Misty grey. . walked BGdns. The sailing ship Roald Amundsen was still sat looking all 'atmospheric' right in front of lower Battery Gardens when we got there, but it soon became apparant they'd already raised their anchor and were preparing to leave the bay. I just 'had' to film it again as it left didn't I! That pretty much took care of all the charge in one of my two camcorder batteries. :o( . . . played ball for a bit and then carried on down around the harbour and on out as far as the breakwater, just in case there was any bomb disposal activity to be seen. Would you believe it - just as I reached the slipway by the lifeboat station, several 'Royal Navy Bomb Disposal' vehicles were pulling up to park! . I just HAD to stick around (for however long it took!) and see what happened and try to record some of it didn't I. Of course the really bad news was, that I only had one camcorder battery left with any charge in it. Sat on the breakwater watching and filming - for HOURS - trying to be 'sparing' with my one remaining battery!!!!!!! Nightmare. SO hard to have to use the camcorder almost like a stills camera, trying to anticipate events, and just turning it on every now and then for a bit of recording, before quickly turning it back off again to conserve the limited power. That really kinda elevated the level of 'stress' I felt - because I just HAD to keep enough charge in the battery to be able to be filming whenever the explosion was going to be happening later. :o( All in all, it really was a nightmarish filming session because of all that. . . at GREAT length, the bomb disposal team eventualy had all their gear in their inflatable boat tied behind the Torbay lifeboat, and they all headed out of the harbour. Quickly (well almost - by that time I was all frozen and stiff and seized up and could hardly walk because I'd been sat on the cold concrete, motionless for so long!!) headed off down the breakwater with Bella. Blowing a bit of a gale out along there! Had to quickly stop half way along, to attempt to get 'the' shot of the lifeboat rounding the breakwater and heading off to wherever the mine was located. Unexpectedly all of a sudden a coastguard car was pulling up behind me! They were closing the breakwater and asking everyone on it to leave, for 'safety' reasons. I think in the brief conversation we had, there was the 'suggestion' that one of those mines had been fully detonated once before, and there had been a significant shock-wave/concussion effect reaching the breakwater. Given how far out the lifeboat and EOD team now were, that seemed MOST unlikely, but of course I wasn't going to start being silly and arguing. Grabbed a couple more shots as we headed back along the breakwater (including trawler 'Lady T Emiel' passing in front of the lifeboat and EOD inflatable). . a quick much needed stop at the breakwater toilets, and then took up positions near the seat above the end of the breakwater to carry on filming. Sadly from up there, especially given the murky misty conditions, it really was a stretch for even my high zoom camcorder to make out what was going on. With difficulty, it was 'just' possible to (mostly) be able to locate the EOD boat and zoom in on it, but no way was it possible to independantly locate the small yellow marker buoy actually marking the location of the mine. The scanner thankfully let me know when the EODs had set the five minute fuse - but then of course they and the lifeboat withdrew to seperate safe-distance waiting points, with an enormous gap of open sea between them. Somewhere in that gap was the location of the marker buoy - where the explosion was going to occur - where I needed to be zoomed-in - but of course I couldn't for the life of me see where, and theer was nothing for the camcorder to auto-focus on! With an anouncment on the scanner that they were on their final 1 minute, I sadly had no choice but to just point the camcorder in the general direction, and not particularly zoomed in at all. Even the lifeboat was little more than just a dot. Arrrrgggggghh. :o(
. . . PCd editing the bomb
disposal footage. Boy, what a labour THAT was! Huge amounts of
video all in seperate little files - and ultimately WITHOUT the
'money shot' of a big explosion! Humph. :o( . . after hours and
hours of work, I finally called it quits and set the thing
uploading to Youtube. A good two hours to upload - wouldn't be
finished until gone 1:30am!! . . . TVd, very hungry and wobbly
but with no appetite again. Eventually forced myself to cook a
whole pack of thick sausages while eating a couple of bananas.
Ate all but two of the sausages - on their own with just a bit of
ketchup, followed by a couple of chocolate biscuits. . . at LAST
the 'Brixham RNEOD' footage finished uploading and I
was able to sit back and watch it on the widescreen TV. Well -
it's much ado about nothing, but it tells the tale I reckon. .
.finally to bed around 2:30am.
18 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:30am. 14C in, 6C out. Hazey sun. . .walked BGdns without a hat and in less layers than of late, expecting it to be plenty warm enough in the sun. Wrong! A real cold wind still blowing in off the sea made things quite uncomfortable. . headed down to the warmer shelter of the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee. The volunteers were out with their spades and trowels along the way, excavating the last letters of their 'Welcome Brixham' in the grass bank by the car park. . . briefly walked down onto the harbour floor near the Golden Hind (tide well out) to retrieve a small nylon pouch I'd spotted washed-up there. A bit wet, but a neat little pouch which could be useful for something once I've washed it out. .home through town . . washed out the found pouch and hung it up to dry, stuffed full of bits of kitchen towel to speed things up. . . PCd. . surfed for a bit (yet again!) before biting the bullet and ordering '2 Battery PACK DMW-BCE10PP VW-VBJ10 for DMWBCE10PP Panasonic SDR-S26 Camera' for £4.78 for my Camcorder. At that price I have every reason to believe that they will be useless rubbish, but it was either try a couple of those for just a few £s, or spend something like £15 for just ONE lower capacity Duracell branded one!! If they DO turn out to be useless, I may well yet end up investing in a Duracell one. My relatively recent purchase of the more expensive regular Duracell rechargeable AA batteries for my old stills camera and radio scanners, WAS money well spent. Those batteries are in a whole different league to all the cheap AAs I've had before - so maybe their camcorder battery would be equally superior and worth the investment? . . .PCd this whilst monitoring radios. For the third day running, HMS Smiter came into the harbour 'for lunch' around 1pm - with HMS Dasher going to Torquay again I think. Although still hazy, todays sun would make for some good pictures of it. Makes me feel 'frustrated' I'm not down there to see it!? . . . monitored comms from warship Trumpeter 'playing' with Smiter, and then inbound to Torquay around 15:45.
spotted on the AIS that German registered sailing ship Roald Amundsen was heading for Brixham. Decided to go down and have a look. . walked BGdns after 4pm. The ship was already visible out past the breakwater and rapidly heading in. Sat on the rocks and filmed for absolutely ages as it came in close and anchored RIGHT in front of me!!
'Keep clear' shout on the radio from fishing vessel Eloise reporting she had unexploded ordnance onboard!! She was sat in the middle of Torbay.
eventually headed home . . . monitored radios and sat at the PC for a while listening to developments, before absolutely having to head down to a comfier chair in front the TV - but with the living room radios on of course.
By around 11:15pm the mine had been dropped to the seabed off the breakwater, marked with strobe light buoys, and was going to stay there until 'disposal' tomorrow morning.
. . ate a large bowl of
boiled rice, peas, chopped onion and corned beef followed by a
banana and chocolate . . .almost asleep in the chair again. To
bed around midnight.
17 - Up around 7am. 13C in, 6C out. Grey and kinda misty. . .walked Bgdns. Upon arriving down near the usual lower seat, I spotted a trawler ('Geeske') at least a half mile out in Torbay off the end of the breakwater, with a crewman at the end of its port beam doing some maintenance work. People doing that seems to have been very much a re-occuring theme these last few days? Too much of an opportunity to waste, I raced to get my camera set up and have a go at capturing a bit of the scene. There's something about when I see fishermen doing that, which absolutely 'demands' I attempt to get a shot. No wonder they say it's one of THE most dangerous jobs! One assumes there may be times when they HAVE to do such things whilst way out at sea, and maybe even in a bit of rough weather?!!!!!! <shudder> Those guys genuinely are 'hard' men I think! May as well be aliens from another planet as far as I am concerned! . . . eventually carried on down to the inner harbour to sit with my coffee. . picked up my new trousers package from the post office delivery office and then headed straight home . . . PCd and quickly edited the snips of video of the Geeske trawler beam walk and uploaded it to Youtube, and then posted pics and a link on the local 'Brixham Fishing' facebook page which I've been contributing bits and pieces to, quite a bit of late . . . ate a banana and a couple of chocolate biscuits just to keep me going . . . drove with Bella before 1pm to get petrol in the local garage (17.87ltrs @ £20) and then to pick up Mum. Drove to Torquay to the clinic for Mums foot appointment. Little traffic and arrived way too early, so ended up driving around the Torquay Harbour and on up to the parking area at Daddihole Plain. All got out and briefly sat and played ball for just a while . . eventually drove back down to the clinic for Mums 2pm appointment. Dropped her off just round the back and then sat and waited in the car (in a no-parking/clamp area!) rather than have to mess around paying for parking . . . stopped off at BGdns on the way home to enable Mum to see the daffodils. Sat on a high seat in the sun for a while, throwing Bellas ball just a couple of times. Wow - turned into 'almost' a very nice spring day. Just a little bit colder than would have been nicer. . detoured on the way back to briefly show Mum the 'Welcome Brixham' excavations . . dropped Mum off and then straight home . . . ate a small pork pie, a bag of mini cheddars and some crisps. . . napped until the 7pm alarm . . TVd . . .ate two sliced beef filled baps followed by some chocolate . . to bed around 12:30am.
16 - Up around 7:30am. 13C in, 6C out. Grey and damp. . .walked BGdns for ball play. Still real cold and blowing quite a bit. .carried on down to the harbour to drink my coffee. . headed back towards BGdns but got sidetracked into filming along the way, when I spotted a couple of Royal Navy boats (HMS Dasher and HMS Smiter) and some racing sailing yachts all out in the misty murk of the 'slightly' boisterous bay. Eventually ended up back in BGdns filming for quite a while. SUCH a shame it was so murky and misty - could have had a few really nice shots but for that. All of a sudden HMS Smiter came steaming straight past BGdns and headed into the harbour! Comms on the scanner suggested they were going to be stopping for an hour for lunch - with Dasher doing the same but in Torquay! Damn - that's too good a photo opportunity to miss! Ended up briskly walking all the way back down to the inner harbour to grab some shots. Smiter was moored on the ferry pontoon near the toilets and viewing platform. Best place for a photo was the other side of the harbour, so after a few seconds of token filming of her close up, on round we went. Grabbed some shots and stooged around for a bit before eventually sitting on one of the benches round that way, intending to hang around for the hour just so I could get the 'obligatory' leaving-harbour shot, to round things off for any potential Youtube video upload. Plenty of crew from Smiter appeared to head off around town for their lunch. . sat around (cold) for AGES, and occasionaly 'having' to make polite and pointless conversation with people! One guy (an ex-boxer from Plymouth!!!) even sat on a seat next to me and chatted at some length! Mid conversation at one point, I rudely ended up leaping to my feet and trying to get a shot of a trawler just heading out of the harbour. All morning around the place I'd been seeing fishermen doing maintenance on the big beam trawlers, and walking out over the water along the lowered beams to the winch gear at the end like they do. I SO wanted a shot of someone doing that to be able to maybe contribute to the 'Brixham Fishing' facebook page, but every time I saw someone doing it, I couldn't quite get the camera onto them. If I hadn't been distracted by having to talk to that guy, I would have seen that boat leaving earlier, moved to somewhere else, and had a near perfect bit of video of the fisherman on the end of the beam heading down the fairway on its way to sea. As it was, I managed to get 'something' of the scene (literally only a second or two of shakey video) , albeit partially obscured by some bits of one of the heritage sailing trawlers moored closer to. Shame - but a fairly neat and 'representative' still-image nontheless methinks. :o). . grabbed my Smiter leaving shots despite pretty much running out of charge in all my camcorder batteries. Two are definitely totally fit for the bin! They last less than five minutes on a full charge. Useless. That only leaves me two that are useable, and that is NOT enough for how I play around. :o( . . once Smiter was back out in the bay, we quickly walked along to the breakwater to attempt to get a bit of the boat crossing out of the bay. Managed a couple of brief snips (even hastily swapping a battery which I'd warmed up in my hand, to squeeze a few seconds more life out of it!) before the batteries were all completely dead and there seemed little further point in being out and about. . .finally back home through town well after 3pm!!! These monster morning walks are getting well out of control! . . discovered a courier had left a package containing my two new bodywarmers on the floor next to my wheelie bin in the front garden FFS! I'd also missed the postman trying to deliver my trousers, which would be awaiting collection from the sorting office from tomorrow. . . PCd reviewing footage from earlier (LOTS of it!) and charging all my batteries. . . TVd . . ate a pastie, coleslaw, crisps, mini cheddars, banana and some maltesers . . . to bed around 1am.
15 - Up around 7:40am. 13C in, 5C out. Drizzle and grey. . .walked to Mums with the token fudge and daffodils in carrier bags and 'did my duty' of wishing her a happy mothers day etc. . . On the way to BGdns a car in someones drive next to the pavement caught my attention. The rear passenger side door was WIDE open and no one was anywhere near around. I carried on past for a short distance, before ending up returning, because it just didn't seem right at all. I ended up knocking on the door of the house and informing the woman who answered, why. She seemed grateful. I soon walked off and left her to it, with the strong impression, that car door had been left wide open all night! lol Imagine trying to get away with that elsewhere? . . .walked BGdns and played ball for a while. Cleared up a carrier bag full of beer cans and rubbish from around the place before heading down to the harbour to drink my coffee. As often of late when there is some rain in the air, I sat with Bella next to me on the stack of market-stall timber floor sheets under the end of the old fish market roof, supping my coffee, vaping my e-cigarette and just watching whatever there was to be seen around the place. Purely by chance at some point, I happened to glance up to my right, and caught sight of some movement. One of the houses up the hill behind the 3+ storey harbourside shops had a small glass fronted balcony with a small ornate white table and chairs on it. Oh NO! The movement that had drawn my eye, turned out to be a seagull which appeared to be trapped on the floor of the balcony! It was such a small area, it presumably didn't have the room to be able to get airbourne again. All it was able to do was keep on jumping up at the glass, over and over again without being able to get over it. Poor poor bird! I sat and watched and agonised over its suffering for a while, hoping it'd make it, but it didn't, and eventualy presumably through increasing exhaustion, it disappeared out of sight somewhere on the floor of the balcony! Damn! I'm going to HAVE to try to do something about that! I holstered my half finished flask of coffee and set off with Bella. . climbed up a flight of steps and reached the narrow lane in front of the relevant houses and eventually located the two balcony areas above, but because of the way the houses were arranged, it wasn't clear which house actually owned them. The seagull WAS still up there flapping at the glass. DEFINITELY stuck and in need of rescue! I knocked on a door below and a woman eventually answered - only to tell me that the balcony belonged to the person next door. Walked down the lane and rang on their doorbell and banged on the door for quite a long while, but was soon convinced that IF anyone was in, they weren't going to answer the door to me. Wow - how frustrating and disressing was that! :o( At length I HAD to give up and started to walk away down the lane in front of the house. As I did so, I spotted movement inside one of the windows. I quickly returned to the doorstep and rang the bell again. Yayyyy - I got an answer at the door. A young (teenage) girl appeared, looking as though she'd just woken. I explained why I was there and stood outside looking up whilst she went back inside and up the stairs to investigate. (I HAD offered to do it for her if she dared to let a stranger in!) She eventually appeared on the balcony with a towel in her hands, but looking very unhappy at the prospect of having to try to catch a flailing/pecking seagull. I probably didn't help matters by shouting up that she should expect to be pecked, it shouldn't hurt too much, but she should be VERY careful of her eyes! She pretty soon reappeared at the front door, and remarkably without 'too' much persuading, she risked trusting this complete tramp-like stranger, and allowed me inside! I tied Bella to a handle outside the front door and left her there. (The girl had a cat!) I can't remember much about the house other than it appeared to be mostly one storey up and rather nice. I followed the young girl to the balcony door and went out leaving her somewhere behind me. Wow - WHAT a view of the harbour! HOW I regret not having somehow tried to film events, perhaps by giving the girl my camcorder - but of course that wasn't really possible in the heat of the moment. The poor exhausted gull looking a little disheveled was cowering in the corner of the balcony floor. It didn't take much effort or pecking before I was able to grab hold of it (I guess I HAVE had quite a bit of practice these last few years!). Given that it appeared not to actually be injured, I figured the easiest thing to do would be to just gently drop it off the balcony, in the hope that the worst that could happen would be it could flutter down into the lane below. Arms outsretched over the glass of the balcony, I eventually gently let it go. The gull spread its wings and soared away, and made a nice controlled descent to ultimately land on the old fish market roof below, looking really none the worse for its experience. Oh wow - WHAT a bit of video that would have been. Joyful. Quickly headed back inside and down to the front door. I was SO grateful that the girl had (foolishly?) dared to trust a complete stranger and let him into her house like she did, I even insisted on shaking her hand as I thanked her on the way out. lol I bet she gets in trouble if she dares to tell her mother what happened - and sadly rightly so methinks! :o\ . . I was so 'buoyed up' by the successful rescue, I found myself tapping on the window of the house next door, attracting the attention of the woman I'd spoken to earlier, and just smiling and gesticulating with my thumbs up as I passed. lolol :o) . . . returned to under the old fish market roof to sit and finish my coffee . . . eventually carried on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater. The waters of the bay were still quite boisterous and the wind was strong and cold, but presumably because it was mothers day and there were lots of people visiting relatives and the like, there seemed to be an unusualy large number of people (considering the biting cold wind especially) walking out to the end of the breakwater and back all the time we were sat there. . ooh, ooh, oooh - around midday, a trawler started heading out! Always worthy of trying to film when there is any sort of an easterly component to the wind direction and a bit of a swell on. Set up my rice-bag camera mount precariously on the top of the nearby railing surrounding the seating area, and set about trying to film it as it headed across the bay towards Berry Head. Well that's a coincedence - turned out to be B65 'Artevelde', the same beam trawler I'd seen coming in last night. As it turned out, the waters weren't 'that' lumpy at all (boy have I seen plenty worse), and a good portion of the footage I got was 'less than spectacular' - but there were a few 'moments' which overall I felt made it worthwhile . . . eventually headed back to the inner harbour, along and up into BGdns, and eventually finally home via the store for a few supplies . . . PCd and eventually uploaded the (overly long) Artevelde footage to Youtube. It works for me - feet up warm in front the fire, a drink in one hand, a smoke in the other, viewed on a big screen TV - and just bloody grateful I don't have to try to make a living like that and I'm not aboard her! :o| . . . TVd . . drank a little wine and ate two quarter pound burgers in buttered baps with grated cheese followed by some chocolate cake and chocolate . . .to bed before midnight.
14 - Woke earlier, lay there for ages then up around 8am. 13C in, 4C out. Sunny spells. . . walked BGdns. A bitterly cold NE wind. On down to the relative shelter of the inner harbour for my coffee. . bought a token box of Devon fudge for Mum for mothers day . . back along to BGdns. Sat and poked at a couple of boats with the camcorder for quite a while. Ended up with little worth the effort apart from perhaps a few extracted stills of trawler 'Amber J' leaving harbour and heading out into the slightly boisterous bay . . . eventually called it quits and started to head home in time for Mum's usual Saturday visit. I'd left BGdns and was already heading home, when I suddenly realised I wasn't going to be able to make it!!! I needed a pee. This age-related business about subtley not being able to hold my pee as I used to, is really starting to pee me off and be a hassle! Every time I head down to the inner harbour, I have to make a bee-line for the public toilets - and often return to them again before I head home (assuming they haven't closed for the day as they do early evening!). More than once of late I've also had to find a discrete place in Bgdns to go! . anyway - I had absolutely no choice - I had to turn around and head back to BGdns and walk all the way down to the only place I know of which is hidden enough to be able to safely 'go'!! :o( . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats. . . PCd . . . ate a banana and chocolate biscuit, just to stop me feeling so light headed and wobbley from lack of food. Still little appetite as has been so much the case of late . . seemed to be in the mood to want to be be out walking again. Walked BGdns and then all the way down around the harbour and on out the half mile to the seaward end of the breakwater in the cold strong winds. As darkness was falling around 6:30pm, several of the fishing boats were steaming back into port after their day of fishing as usual. Because of the poor performance of my camcorder in such low light, there was no point in trying to get serious filming any of the scenes, but I DID have a good go at getting just a couple of snips in the hope of being able to extract a still or two (for maybe a Facebook contribution and here). Easier said than done in the strong gusts of wind! Ended up literally having to lay on the concrete of the breakwater wall whilst I did so!! Managed to get a couple of half decent shots I thought. In the little images I've included here (and subsequently posted to the 'Brixham Fishing' Facebook page) are 'Girl Debra' and 'Gerry Ann' ; 'Gerry Ann' and the gulls (all of them I think!) ; 'Girl Debra' and 'Artevelde' ; 'Gerry Ann' and 'Artevelde'. Actually - it was quite nice for me to get those shots of Girl Debra and Gerry Ann, because I SO often here the skippers of those two boats chatting on the radio in the mornings. Artevelde is a Belgian trawler, so dunno why that one was heading in here. . eventually headed back from the end of the breakwater as darkness called a complete halt to any more camcorder filming. Nevertheless, I ended up having a bit of a play with the stills camera all along the way back towards the inner harbour. (Nothing worth the doing came of the effort. lol ). Eventually hom ethrough town . . . PCd/TVd . . . forced down a slice of gala pie, mini cheddars, crisps, chocolate sponge cake, a banana and some chocolate . . . to bed around 1:30am.
13 - Woke earlier then up around 7:30am. 14C in, 6C out. Grey with rain in the air. . . walked BGdns. Chest painey. :o( Played ball for a bit but soon ended up taking shelter in one of the gun emplacements. Wow - what a biting cold 20mph northerly wind, with 30+mph gusts and constant hints of rain in it too. Felt really unpleasant. . .carried on down to the inner harbour, past the 'Welcome' now carved in the grass bank, (past a couple of seal again) and sat under the old fish market roof to drink my coffee before heading straight home to warm up . . . did laundry . . PCd a bit of this . . Put my first long overdue replacement Kangertech heating coil into one of my mini protank 3 e-cigarettes. Wow - went without a hitch, and immediately showed how much the one I've been soldiering on with had gradualy deteriorated. Still - I'd managed to make it last much longer than most (months rather than weeks?), and it actually really is still 'fairly' useable, so I can't bring myself to just throw it away. lol . . . ate ham sandwiches, crisps and a banana . . . napped until gone 7pm . . . TVd . . . experimented with Sis1's donated pressure cooker, and after having checked online on the tablet for recommended cooking times etc, had a go ate doing some boiled rice for the first time. It eventually worked ok entirely ok in probably no more than five minutes of cooking, and with some added chopped onion and a pack of sliced corned beef all mixed into the rice, made for a quick not unpleasant change. Ate it all with crisps, followed by a banana and chocolate . . . to bed around 2am.
12 - Up around 7:40am. 15C in, 7C out. Misty sun after rain . . . walked BGdns for ball play. A couple of plastic drinks bottles had been discarded around the place, so as usual I set about collecting them up. That somehow put me in the mood to get serious with the clifftop slope immediately in front of the lowest of the searchlight gun emplacements. Ever since I've lived here, I've seen people (mostly in the summer) partying atop that bunker, and happily just throwing all their rubbish of cans and bottles straight over the safety fence and onto that piece of grassy slope atop the cliff, onto the roacks, into the sea, etc etc. Because of its inaccessability, that's where it has all remained as a horrendous eyesore ever since. Anyway - to cut a long story short, Bella and I made our way around to that other side of the safety fence and managed to collect up most of what was there and dump it back over the fence onto the path. A couple of dogwalkers came along whilst we were doing so, and willingly joined-in by starting to cram as much as possible into the few carrier and poop bags we had to hand. All in all, we could have pretty much filled a bin liner by the time we called it quits!! Eventually carried two bulging/overflowing carrier bags full all the way back up the paths and steps to the bin. . . recovered from the effort and bramble scratched hands for a bit before heading back down towards the harbour. A couple of seal were in the vicinity of the yacht club slipway, munching away on some fish. I imagine those fish were somehow discards from the nearby working harbour/fish market? Seeing seal in that vicinity is pretty much a daily thing if you take the time to look. :o) . . carried on down around the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater. Damn! Along the way, one of the zips on my multi-pocket bodywarmer broke! :o( . . back to the inner harbour and then home through town, after having bought a couple of token bunches of daffodils for Mum for mothers day. . .put the daffodils in a pint glass with a little water. Recovered from the walk watching the news for a bit before heading for the PC. The broken zip on my bodywarmer pocket persuaded me it was high time I spent some money on clothes. I really must look like a tramp I think. I just keep wearing all the same stuff day after day, year after year, not willing to throw anything away until I've TOTALLY worn it out. Much of the linings of my bodywarmer have long since begun to resemble just rags - and the two pairs of combat trousers I alternate, have become badly faded and VERY thin in places. I'm not complaining. No matter what else I may wear underneath or on top, if I go out, I wear my bodywarmer stuffed full of all my equipment. I've had more than my money's worth out of it. My combat trousers too. Tremendous value for money those trousers. Lasted YEARS! I DO have new replacements in my cupboard ready to go (except for some shoulder loops for scanner aerials on the bodywarmer which I'm gonna have to make up and sew on), but before I start throwing stuff away, I want to order replacement supplies to keep me going for - well - who knows how long! Even 'forever' maybe?! . . PCd and ordered 2 x 'Mens Arctic Storm [Richmond] - Padded 14 Pocket Bodywarmer Jacket' for £38.95, and 2 x 'Mens Cargo Combat Workwear Work Trousers Army Blue-Castle' for £25.90 - all in black of course. . . . TVd . . a big police/coastguard search was going on over Teignmouth way for much of the evening. Another high risk missing person (male). Helicopter Rescue 169 attended to do shoreline searches, and the local lifeboat was also called out to do the same a little later. Ultimately the guy was found safe and well elsewhere, so yet again, huge amounts of money wasted! . . . ate a banana and then later a whole pack of fish fingers with coleslaw, buttered peas, and four pieces of bread and butter . . . to bed after 1am.
11 - Woke earlier, just lay there for a while then up around 7:30am. Feel achey and tired out - as usual after a nights sleep! :o( 15C in, 8C out. Grey and a bit misty. . . walked BGdns and sat and played ball for a while. Eventually carried on down towards the harbour. Alongside the Freshwater car park, just past the Plymouth University buiding, 'Pride In Brixham' volunteers had been carving lettering into the grassy bank facing the outer harbour and breakwater opposite. They are apparantly going to be carving 'Welcome To Brixham' and filling the letter trenches with light coloured chippings. That's seems like a pretty cool idea - although I would have thought that digging the letters deeper and filling the trenches with concrete would have made for a better more permanent arrangement. If the concrete was left 'just' below the surrounding grassy bank level, it'd be easier for the council to occasionaly mow straight over them without getting into a mess, tourist traffic (and yobs) wouldn't interfere with or dislodge the chippings (as seems likely), and they could be occasionaly painted, etc, etc. Still - a neat idea in principle by someone - and my hat is off to whoever it was actually doing the work. Not easy spacing, marking and digging all that out so it looks ok! Try as I did, it wasn't really possible to get a photo from the adjacent path, because of course the whole idea is that it should be seen from a distance across the water of the outer harbour. Hmmmm - I can feel a walk along the Breakwater coming on, just so as I can get a photo (to contribute to Facebook's 'Spotted Brixham' of course). lol . . carried on down around the inner harbour. As I did so, the scanner indicated that a local coastguard shout was just starting up. A person in the water over Torre Abbey Sands, Torquay way. CRTs were being paged and tasked to attend. As I carried on out in the direction of the Breakwater, the inshore lifeboat was also being tasked and the crew members paged. Suprisingly the all weather lifeboat was already off its mooring and a little way out in the harbour alongside the marina. It turned out they appeared to be just moving the boat out of the way so that commercial divers set up on the nearby main slipway could have access to the lifeboat pontoon for some reason. As Bella and I approached the lifeboat station, although THEY hadn't been tasked, they quickly moored the all weather boat back alongside their pontoon and started to ready for the launch of the ILB. Too good an opportunity to ignore, whilst trying to very much keep out of the way and keep my scanner quiet (and also keep out of the way of a couple of guys apparantly doing a survey of the car park spaces??), I ended up filming just a little, because I've never seen how the ILB is 'actually' launched and recovered from and to its 'garage'. The key part of the operation (despite all the manpower) turned out to be a motorised winch which is hauled out and fastened to one of the permanent metal rings embeded in the top of the adjacent small concrete slipway. Ahhhh - now I 'get it'. By the time the ILB was launched and racing across Torbay into the misty murk, the CRTs were already on scene at Torre Abbey Sands. Before the ILB had even arrived, the CRTs had taken to the water and managed to retrieve the 'casualty', and swiftly transferred him to an ambulance. The ILB was stood down and promptly returned to station. It ultimately transpired that the 'casualty' was a male, deceased, and appeared to have been in the water 'for some time'! Jeeze - that's the fourth body in varying circumstances around the bay in just the last three weeks (and NEVER a mention of ANY of them on the local BBC news, which seems weird/bad!???)! . finished filming and then carried on out along the Breakwater to try to see and grab a zoomed-in camcorder shot of the grass bank lettering on the distant shore. Blimey - that's gonna be barely visible from the breakwater! Eventually managed to find a reasonable vantage point between all the moored boats, and grabbed my little bit of zoomed in footage for a still picture. Didn't even bother walking all the way to the end - just turned round and headed straight back. . returned to the inner harbour to sit and drink my coffee for a while before then heading back alonside the outer harbour towards BGdns. By the time we got back to where the lettering was, the 'L' had now been done. lol . . sat for a while recovering from the climb up before heading back home via the store for milk and a few supplies . . . gave Bella the small amount of remaining slightly gone-off milk as usual. Almost as soon as she'd drunk it, she threw it back up. By the time I realised what was happening, it was too late to get her outside despite my shouting and racing to do so, and a couple of the kitchen carpet tiles and a footmat in the conservatory took the brunt of it! :o( Spent a while clearing that up and hosing down carpet tiles etc in the garden. :o( . . . PCd and edited down the bit of inshore lifeboat video and ultimately uploaded it to Youtube for the little it's worth. . . . did the mountain of dish washing chores . . . TVd . . .ate two haslet and coleslaw finger rolls with mini cheddars and crisps followed later by biscuits . . to bed around 12:30am.
10 - Woke earlier then up by 7am. 14C in, 4C out. Clearing to sunny. . .walked BGdns under the milky sun. Played ball in the mud for a while before carrying on down to the inner harbour. Jeeze - how come almost EVERYTHING I see around this place strikes me as something worthy of trying to capture on camera?! Ended up stood atop the viewing platform above the public toilets filming, as an enormous new stainless steel range fryer was delivered to the new Mitch Tonks Brixham 'Rockfish Restaurant'. Doesn't sound too exciting, but it was how they had to lift it up and in which 'I' thought was kinda a spectacle worthy of recording. . sat under the old fish market roof for a while with my coffee before eventually heading back alongside the outer harbour towards BGdns. Couldn't resist filming some more, when a huge oil tanker appeared behind the breakwater as it dropped off a pilot. Monsterous great thing. Singapore registered crude oil tanker 'Eagle Vermont'. . managed to use a discarded branch and got my hands on a couple of old wine bottles which I'd long since spotted dumped in the undergrowth in BGdns on the climb up. Cleared away and relocated to the bin at last. :o) . . . PCd and spent the next several hours editing this morning's video - whilst monitoring radios of course. The local coastguard teams were paged and all turned out mid afternoon, to rescue an 'over the cliffs' dog a short distance along the coast towards Broadsands. Eventually roped down from the cliffs and none the worse for wear apparantly. :o) . There was also some more military aircraft activity. A couple of Sea King helicopters over Portland way I think. One using the callsign, 'Renegade 2'. 'Skewer' is another of the (rather cool) callsigns I've heard on more than one occasion - Lynx helicopters that one I think. . . Eventually uploaded snips to Youtube - The range fryer delivery and Views of 'Eagle Vermont' - with even sight (if you have it full screen and concentrate) of members of the crew onboard to give it its true, breathtakingly enormous, scale! . . .TVd . . . ate a chicken kiev with mixed veg . . .fell asleep in my chair!! Stumbled straight to bed whenever it was I woke.
9 - Up at 8:10am. 15C in, 8C out. Grey and breezy. . .walked BGdns. Sat on the rocks for a bit after ball play watching a passing seal, before heading straight home in the increasing drizzle, absolutely not in the mood to be out and about and potentially seeing 'things' which I'll inevitably feel obliged to 'record for posterity' - in the full knowledge no one would give a toss! . . . PCd this, for hours - desperately trying to catch up again. Enough! . . . poorly napped, dream laden and cold, for almost a couple of hours. . .TVd . . . ate two quarter pound burgeres in buttered baps with grated cheese followed by some kipling almond slices and a little chocolate . . . to bed around 12:30am.
8 - Up around 8:40am. 15C in, 9C out. Grey and a light rain. . . walked BGdns and played ball in the drizzle for a bit before heading down to take shelter under the old fish market roof in the harbour. Whilst sat there under cover I became aware of 'something', largely out of sight in the distance apart from a couple of radar domes, berthing alongside the ferry pontoon. Ultimately I couldn't resist carrying on walking around the harbour and out in the direction of the marina, largely in order to be able to get a sight of whatever it was. I'd thought it could maybe be the new ferry, but that turned out to be FAR from the case. It turned out to be a spectacular super yacht! I got the impression some of the crew had headed off to a restraunt somewhere for a while. Couldn't resist poking at it with the cameras for a bit despite the drizzle. Weird thing was, I couldn't find any trace of a name on it whatsoever. On closer 'zoomed-in' examination, it appeared to be an absolutely brand-new and unfinished '32M Princess' boat, made by Princess Yachts of Plymouth. Protective bits of plastic and bubblewrap were still wrapped around various bits of the superstructure, notices saying "Please do not be afraid to report any accidental damage to the OSC management team." were taped on a couple of doors and windows, and there were even crayon-like marks here and there outlining various areas of the structure which presumably neaded detailing/re-finishing attention. . eventually carried on out to the breakwater, but the unpleasantness of the breeze and drizzle pretty quickly saw me turn around and head straight back to the shelter of the inner harbour. . The distant sight of the super yacht crew heading back along the harbourside towards their boat saw me decide to wander around to where it was to have a bit of a closer look. Yep - definitely new and unfinished - the main inside deck/lounge type area appeared to not even have any furniture or fittings in it yet. Caught snippets on the scanner of the guy on the bridge talking with the engine room using a handheld radio rather than an onboard intercom or suchlike. Ended up watching and filming just a little bit as it slipped its moorings, pushed away from the jetty using its bow thruster, and then majesticaly glided away heading back out of the harbour and to sea. . .ended up walking all the way back along and up into BGdns. Wow - a very large number of people scuba-diving around the place today. Several were in the water near the university laboratory (ex Astra Zeneca) building. Seemed amusingly ironic to me that near where all the divers were, a local 'Stockman' funeral car was parked up - as if waiting for any unfortunate 'incidents'. lol As it turned out when I walked past, it appeared that one of those undertaker guys was actually one of the divers group. Behind the blacked out glass of the funeral estate car, instead of a body, there were tanks of air and diving equipment. lol . . ended up sat atop my favourite gun emplacement vantage point for ages, having a further poke at the luxury boat with the camcorder, as it hung around in Torbay for quite a while apparantly testing its anchor. They appeared to have a few problems and even launched their rib at one point, according to what I overheard on the scanner - to remove some bubblewrap which was fouling the anchor. lol Yep - a brand new boat which was presumably being given a 'shakedown' trip. . I just couldn't help myself hanging around there for absolutely AGES filming it with the camcorder from a couple of different lower vantage points. Thankfully the weather gradually improved to even almost sunny spells. . at length, after going round and round in circles at some speed well off the breakwater for a while, the yacht ultimately disappeared out of sight behind Berry head and was gone - presumably back to their works in Plymouth. What extraordinary jobs some people have! . . eventually back home mid afternoon after YET another monster dogwalk of over four hours duration - which seems to have become a recent regular occurance!! I just can't seem to be able to motivate myself to do ANYTHING else AT ALL at the moment. Walking around with Bella, really is all I seem to be capable of managing!!! :o( . . . recovered from the walk and then messed around in the garden briefly, planting all the campanula pottings I've been bringing on in the conservatory for a while. Sick and tired of having all the clutter out there, and having to try to keep an eye on the water content etc, etc. Just put the whole lot in different places along the front wall raised border . . . . PCd for hours. The first thing I had to do was laboriously sort through all the old video files on my 16Gb camcorder memory card, which had become full earlier! Followed that up with hours messing around with editing the footage of the super yacht, getting largely nowhere. Got so hopelessly bogged down in it, I eventually had to just give up and walk away from it all, having achieved absolutely nothing. . . TVd . . . needed food badly but no appetite at all (again). Felt pretty down. Managed to force down a banana, a thick slice of Mum donated gala pie, three miniature jam doughnuts and a little chocolate . . .almost fell asleep in the chair. To bed at 1am.
7 - Woke earlier, overheating a bit. Snoozed on then up around 7:45am. 15C in, 9C out. Cloudy. . . walked BGdns and then onb down to the harbour. Sat near the Golden Hind in short glimpses of sun to drink my coffee. Breifly listened-in around 10:51hrs as the space station did a pass whilst conversing with schools in Italy. Weird to be sat there listening to that, as people wandered past unknowing. . returned to BGdns for yet more sitting on the high seat, while listening to the scanner of course. Got a bit uptight and all scanning the horizon when I picked up a couple of calls to Brixham coastguard (who are of course closed now. They should have been calling Solent or even Falmouth coastguard) from a station calling itself 'Capsized dingy'!!! At first no one answered their calls!!! Worrying and frustrating to hear such a call (for help), and to have no one respond to it! Eventually someone and then the coastguard DID respond on the radio, and ultimately it turned out that whatever vessel it was, was being monitored by staff looking out from the Torbay NCI tower, and it'd managed to right itself and didn't require assistance . . . Mum called in with the papers, and food donations - and reported that the photo of the cargo ship 'stealing' the Ore Stone was NOT in the paper! She was right. That seems weird? I wonder why not, especially given the eagerness with which they put it on their website, etc. I was REALLY surprised by that - and rather disappointed. My ego and self worth (I really don't think I have ANY left!) takes yet another bashing. :o( . . .ate four buttered crumpets with melted cheese on top after Mum had left . . . napped until the 7pm alarm . . . TVd and guitarred a bit, in a funny 'to hell with it all' mood. Felt as though my recent 'getting out of hand' attempts at 'contributing' photos and stuff to facebook pages and the like, had all been largely unappreciated and pointless, and it was time to get a grip and just STOP doing so! . . . ate two quarter pound burgers in baps with some onion followed by a couple of miniature doughnuts and a square or two of chocolate . . . TVd/PCd until to bed around 4am!
6 - Up around 7:20am. 15C in, 7C out. Broken cloud. . . woke at the PC as usual. Overheard comms on the scanner from 'Warship Portland' checking in with Bay Reporting, informing them they were entering Torbay to do some navigation training. . . walked Bgdns. Suprisingly the warship was still in the bay, albeit just leaving behind the Ore Stone and quickly heading away. Whilst actually still playing ball, I DID have a half hearted bit of a poke at it with the camcorder, sat on the seat next to me. Half hearted because it was SO far out and the light was poor. I soon gave up and figured that would be another bunch of filming to just be deleted. . eventually headed on down to the harbour (spotted a seal along the way, as I often do) and then started walking out towards the seat above the end of the breakwater. On the way, I noticed the distant (and frustratingly almost impossible to see from shore) Marina boat lift had just taken a yacht on board and was about to start lifting it out of the water (presumably for some start-of-the-season anti-foul maintenance). Ended up stopping to film for a bit with the camcorder plonked on top of the low harbour wall atop my rice bag. Damned if I can figure out where I can go to get a better view of that! It seems to be nestled in amongst all the marina boats and way out near the wave screen. :o( . sat on the seat above the end of the breakwater for a while as things cleared to mostly sunny. Sadly that seat is in almost permanent shade, and with even just a light wind, it didn't feel very warm there at all. Bella has been scratching lots again of late (as ALWAYS!!!) , and damned if I didn't think I saw fleas on her again! FFS!!!! :o( . Eventually headed back along to the inner harbour for my coffee. Sat on the actual harbour steps for a change, watching the tide 'racing' out. . a quick look in a couple of charity shops on the way home. Blimey - bumped into Mum near one of them!!! Pretty rare for her to get down there these days what with her bad feet and all. Left her to wander around and please herself, and headed straight home . . . did laundry . . . applied the second half of a tube of Advantage spot-on flea treatment to Bella. I deliberately bought tubes for larger dogs, which means halving them like that should work out ok and work out cheaper. It just so happens, the first half I applied almost exactly a month ago - and it's 'supposed' to work for four weeks (yeah right!) - so putting the remainder on now should be ok, for all the good it'll no doubt do. . PCd. Checking in on the small list of local Facebook pages I follow, people had posted some excellent pictures of the warship from earlier. Wow - what cameras were THEY using?! That 'persuaded me' to salvage something of the few crappy snips I'd filmed, and I eventually uploaded them to Youtube for the little their worth. (Warship Portland In Torbay.) . coincedentaly, the Brixham Marina facebook page also had a couple of new/recent photos of yacht Lady Jo up on their boat lift this morning. Careful examination of the footage I'd shot earlier, confirmed it was that same boat! How funny a coincedence. That saw me spend a while knocking up a silly little timelapse video of the yacht being lifted, which I then uploaded to Youtube. I 'commented on' their facebook photos and messaged them with the Youtube link for the little it's worth. . got laundry out . . PCd a bit of this whilst keeping an eye on the AIS website and listening to the radios - a coastguard shout around 15:30hrs between Beer and Lyme Regis ('Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs National Nature Reserve') involving helicopter Rescue 106. The casualty who reportedly 'may' have fallen from cliffs, was 'still warm' and undergoing CPR!!! :o( By around 15:49hrs the Irish accented helicopter guy reported "Too much downwash and circulation" to put the winchman down anywhere near the required location! "Going to be down to the people on the ground"!! At 15:55hrs the ambulance crew declared life extinct. All the troops were stood down around 16:03hrs. :o( . . . TVd . . . ate corned beef and coleslaw sandwiches, crisps, banana and chocolate followed later by rice krispies . . to bed around 1:30am.
5 - Up around 7:30am. 15C in, 2C out. Sunny. . . walked BGdns. Little breeze. As a result it felt much milder than yesterday. Overheating a bit! . . played ball in the mud for a bit before ending up sitting on the rocks just down below for a while for a change. Ended up having another dog walker sit nearby chatting for a while. . . eventually headed down to the harbour. The tide was going out and the iconic heritage trawler 'Vigilance' was moored-up alongside the harbour wall 'hard', where boats can have hull work done for a couple of hours when the tide goes fully out. Volunteers in wellingtons and waterproofs were all assembling, apparantly ready to do pressure washing, maintenance and painting/cleaning of the hull. Felt 'obliged' to point the cameras at the rare sight for a while . . eventually carried on along to the seat above the end of the breakwater for a bit of a sit before returning to the inner harbour. By now, the tide was pretty much fully out, and the possible photo opportunity was too much to resist. I walked with Bella down a slipway onto the inner harbour floor, let her off her lead, and then carefully picked my way across the saturated debris and toxic mud strewn ground, further out amongst all the high and dry moored boats, to a low vantage point to get a few snaps of the Vigilance work. lol I've only walked out there like that a couple of times since I've lived here. It's a weird feeling being so low down 'IN' the harbour, below the usual water level like that. The mud there is horrible. A dark grey with all the decades of spilled diesel, and bits of rusting metal and other debris all over the place. (Had to keep a close eye on Bella as a result!) Grabbed a few photos before heading back up onto the harbourside for more hanging around just looking at everything. There was much hustle and bustle of building work going on again in the 'Crab Quay House' restaurant at the front of the new fish market buildings. Celebrity chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks (whoever he is?) has apparantly taken over the place, and it is being dramatically altered prior to eventually reopening. I recently watched a video they've released about it. Scaffolding was up alongside the right hand outside wall, and builders had made holes through it, so I guess that's where they are putting in more windows. 'I' think it's a real shame they can't redesign/rebuild that whole end of the place. I reckon it is TOTALLY out of keeping with the architecture and feel of the whole rest of the harbour. Outrageous they got planning permission for it to look like that 'I' think. One of the main focal points for such an oldy worldy picturesque harbour is now a completely out of place modernist, tall steel and blue tinted glass tubular stair-well/lift-shaft FFS!! In my opinion, an absolute 'carbunkle' to coin a phrase. . ended up taking more photos and snips of video for quite a while before heading back along and up through BGdns and finally back home around 1:45pm (dipping Bella on a slipway to remove the toxic mud socks she ended up with along the way)! . . . PCd listening to radios. Much military aircraft live-fire excercises going on in the northern part of Lyme Bay somewhere. . .ate a meat pastry slice, crisps, coleslaw and a banana . . . tried to nap but couldn't - not helped by Bella scratching lots again. Right - that's it - she's gonna have to have a bath! . . Got back up and vacuumed around the place while the immersion heater warmed the water for fifteen minutes or so. Popped out to empty the vacuum of mud dust and Bella's hair into the bin, and was presented with the spectacular sight of the full moon just rising up over the hilltop/horizon across town. Wow. Inevitably ended up grabbing the camcorder and giving it a bit of a go, in the hope of at the very least, getting an 'acceptable' still shot out of the attempt. . . dressed in nylon waterproofs, covered the bathroom floor in an old shower curtain, and eventually bathed Bella using the old mixer-tap shower hose. Lathered her in the mild hair shampoo Mum once gave me, to start with, the proper medicated dog shampoo afterwards. A really exhausting thing to have to do - followed by much towelling down and some brushing! . . TVd . . ate buttered crumpets followed by chocolate and later some rice krispies. . TVd until to bed around 1am.
4 - Up around 8:15am. 15C in, 6C out. Sunny. . . walked BGdns. Eventually headed on down towards the harbour. Part way along the outer harbours edge are a flight of steps which descend down into the water. Once upon a time (before the world went broke and completely health and safety mad) you could hire small self-drive boats from there. Quite a little while ago, I'd noticed that some plonker had pushed a (Co-Op) shopping trolley off those steps and into the water. It'd come to rest jammed against the enormous bolders that form that part of the harbour wall near the Oxen Cove car park. At each low tide it was totally visible alongside and something like fifteen feet below the steps. Time and time again I've walked past it and thought about trying to remove/retrieve the eyesore. Trouble was, it was going to be 'difficult' and potentialy even dangerous, necessitating climbing down over the enormous boulders and then trying to carry/manhandle the thing back up over them. There are signs all along that walkway, warning people NOT to climb on the potentialy loose and dangerous boulders! Well - THIS morning there was a lady ('Pride In Brixham' volunteer?) doing 'gardening' in one of the flower beds right next to the steps. (She'd actually knocked over the wheelbarrow of debris she had with her, and I righted it and exchanged a few words as I walked past). Her presence there was the deciding factor this morning. I FINALLY decided to have a go at retrieving the trolley. If something horrible happened in my attempt, I figured at least there would be someone nearby who would know, and who could take care of Bella and start calling coastguards or suchlike! I tied Bella to a nearby seat, told the woman what I was about to do, and gingerly climbed down over the boulders. Turned out the trolley wasn't even particularly wedged between the rocks. It wasn't 'too' difficult for me to soon manage to drag it at least half way back up, bit by careful bit. The woman started leaning over the edge of the steps and reaching out to help, but that seemed particularly dodgy to me, so I suggested she just stand well back and I'd have a go at literally picking it up and throwing it back up onto the steps above me. Yayyy - I managed it in the end. Faced with the unpleasant prospect of having to push it all the way back into and round the harbour and into town, I accepted the suggestion from the woman that I could leave it by her nearby garage for her to deal with some time. The only drawback with doing that, was that I didn't get my 'payment' for my good deed. It still had a £1 coin in its security chain mechanism - which I didn't get to pocket. :o( . . . walked around the inner harbour and then carried on out to sit on the landward end of the breakwater for a bit. . Back to the harbour for my coffee on a seat near the old coastguard station - with Bella sat on the seat next to me. Managed to capture a silly, silly photo of her - which in my mind, in the fullness of time, may well end up kinda representing the difficult crazy time I've had with her. Gotta make you smile hasn't it? . eventually carried on back around the harbour and then back along and up into BGdns for a bit more sitting to recover. . . Eventually home early afternoon via the store for supplies. . . PCd/TVd . . . ate just two meat and pastry slices with a large bag of crisps and some coleslaw . . promptly fell asleep on the sofa for a couple of hours!!! . . to bed around 1am.
3 - Up around 6:45am. 15C in, 4C out. Mostly sunny. . .walked BGdns. Sat and played ball in the mud for a while before having to take shelter in one of the gun emplacements from a passing light shower. . carried on down to the harbour and sat under cover of the old fish market roof for my coffee, as a prolonged heavier shower eventually passed through. . . eventually home, feeling tired-out and a bit sick (again/as usual of late!). . TVd (the news. Re the missing girl from near where I used to live in Bristol - 'body parts' found! :o( ) and sat around recovering from the walk for a while . . PCd this - at great length! Incomplete - but it'll have to do. . . ate boiled buttered mixed veg with cold ham followed later by chocolate biscuits and chocolate . . . TVd the night away until to bed around 2am.
2 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up at 7:45am. 15C in, 4C out. Sunny. . .woke at the PC as usual. There was me all 'excited' to see what other amusing caption suggestions people may have commented on the Spotted Brixham Facebook page for my 'Ivan Kudryavtsev'/angler picture - only to find that the guy actually IN the picture had commented thus :- "Sorry to say this but that's myself fishing and yes I was there today. BUT....... that ship was never in the bay, so either this picture was taken sometime ago or it has been Photoshopped!! Very disappointed Spotted Brixham, You've shown yourself up here!!" and "And I might also add that a ship of this size would never be allowed to come this close into land!!". That of course had completely ended any further comments! That REALLY pissed me off. There was me thinking it'd be a nice bit of harmless amusement for people - and instead I felt as though I was 'being accused' of something 'dishonorable'. It's that hugely unhealthy business of my 'ego' and (absolutely zero) self-worth being linked to my facebook posts thing again isn't it. I over reacted. I delayed walking and ended up compiling and uploading the source video snippets to Youtube, so I could then reply to the guys Facebook comments, complete with links to the video as proof it was NOT falsified!!!!! ' Sorry - your talking nonsense. This is for real. It's all a matter of perspective and zoom. The ship IS as per the image . . and is STILL anchored there. See the AIS map for confirmation of its position. It's all a matter of perspectives. This IS for real. There is no trickery or falsification as has been suggested.' . It REALLY mattered and got to me. FAR too much of course!! I AM getting worse with such things as time goes by. Quite worrying to me. :o( . . .walked BGdns and then on down to the harbour to sit in the sun, sheltered from the biting cold wind to drink my coffee, before eventually heading home. I don't feel so good. . . PCd a bit of this. The angler guy (and his mate) had responded to my 'over the top' comments on Facebook earlier, and I was eventually able to quench the raging fire that had been burning in my head ever since! "Well can't argue with video footage, still don't remember seeing it haha. Spent most of the 30 minutes I was there trying not to get blown off the breakwater!!" and "Holy crap! Thats me on the left and trust us we never saw it but that probably has more to do with the fact we were trying not to get killed trying to cast in a blinking' gale! Funny how we were only there for 30 minutes due to the wind! Cracking size ship mind, would be even more fun if we actually noticed it!! SPOTTED!! LAMO!!" . . .TVd . . forced down a couple of bananas, just to get 'something' in my stomach. . . walked with Bella across town to the vet appointment at 2pm. I reported how she was doing - he had a listen to her heart and confirmed her heartbeat was still 'irregular' - so, it's just a case of keep going as we are, on the tablets, for as long as she seems happy and keeps going. That rather pointless 'consultation' of no more than a couple of minutes cost me another £19.30! . . . walked on down to the harbour and then on out to BGdns to sit around for quite a while watching rainbows in the chilly stiff breeze and showers. Messed around for a bit with the camcorder and definitely confirmed my recent suspicions. I am in pretty urgent need of new batteries! At least two of the few I have are now definitely fit for the bin. :o( . . I felt VERY cold and not good by the time we returned . . . napped until just before the 7pm alarm . . . TVd . . . in desperate need of food but absolutely no appetite, nor the 'energy' to have to start 'doing' food. Ended up just eating some pieces of cold ham, crisps and coleslaw, followed by many biscuits and some chocolate . . . to bed around 1:30am.
1 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up at 8am. 15C in, 9C out. Sunny. . . walked BGdns for muddy ball play. Defra/Cefas Fishery Research Vessel 'Cefas Endeavour' was just off the Breakwater for a while before heading off further out into Lyme Bay. . eventually carried on down around the harbour and on out to the seat above the end of the breakwater for a bit. Beautiful sunny, but wow, what a biting cold wind out there. Less than pleasant! . the pilot boat went out whilst we were sat there, to rendezvous with and take a pilot off Saudi Arabia registered tanker 'Ghazal' a couple of miles off Berry Head. Couldn't quite see the ship coming in from that vantage point, so we did actually carry on walking down the road and then all the way along past the Shoalstone open air swimming pool for a look. Couldn't resist grabbing the briefest of 'zoomed-in/perspective' snips with the camcorder along the way, when the tanker became visible in the far distance 'behind' a guy sat on a seat messing around with his smartphone. It amused me to ponder if he was maybe looking up the AIS data on the 'Marine Traffic' mobile app, to see what the ship was etc. Sadly it was a bit hazy and the (single frame extracted from the video snip) picture I was after, didn't come out as vivid as I would have liked. I am SO jealous of what people can do when out and about with their smartphones these days. And yet, I don't want to end up being one of those people (almost everyone I pass these days!) who is always walking around the place staring into their handset, and seemingly oblivious of the amazing sights to be seen all around them if only they were to look up for a moment. . sat near the Shoalstone beach for a while, having a go at filming the enormous tanker as it turned around to give the pilot boat a lee, but the wind kept blowing the camera around and nothing particularly worthy of keeping came of the attempt. A spectacular great monster nonetheless. (I DID ultimately upload a snip to Youtube.) I had been dabbling with the idea of walking on up to Berry Head, but the cold Westerly wind was SO strong, cold and nasty along there, I eventually thought better of it and we just turned around and headed back to the relative shelter of the inner harbour for me to sit and drink my coffee. . eventually headed alongside the outer harbour back towards Battery gardens. I DO find a fascination with those 'zoomed-in/weird perspective' shots like I've done a couple of recently, and on the way along the coastal path towards BGdns, I couldn't resist messing around pointing the camera at the end of the Breakwater where a couple of guys were fishing - because of the Panama registered cargo ship 'Ivan Kudryavtsev' moored out 'behind' them. The end of the breakwater had to be at least a quarter of a mile away from where I was filming, the ship a good couple of miles. Grabbed 'just' enough video to probably get a decent still image . . eventually back along and up into BGdns, to sit around for ages more, poking at far distant day-boat trawlers with the camcorder. In the strong breeze, some of those boats were having quite a rough ride! Sadly far too far away to get any useable video really. . . headed home as increasing cloud threatened rain . . . PCd messing with the bits of video I'd shot, but nothing really worth keeping except for one or two stills. Couldn't resist Facebook messaging the Marine Traffic people with the guy on his phone picture, joking that he was using their mobile app. Also posted the guy fishing on the breakwater picture to the local Spotted Brixham page, with the comment 'Caption competition anyone?'. My silly contribution was 'Ivan ell of a big un ere'. Others included the inevitable 'I'm gonna need a bigger rod', etc, etc. . . .TVd . . . cooked and ate fried mushrooms, two eggs and six sausages with two small buttered bread finger rolls, all followed by a little chocolate . . .TVd until to bed around midnight.