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1 - Up real late with Sally snuggles . . .walked and found a penny . . . touched base with Mum who confirmed Sis2 had gotten away safely. Dad was still in exhausted sleepy mode hardly able to stay awake for more than five minutes!!! Sat around thinking about 'things' in sombre mood. Must be catching - as soon as I ate breakfast I fell asleep and stayed that way all afternoon not waking up until around 5pm!!!!!? . . . did house chores . . . walked in the rain under a rainbow and missed Sis2 calling from the airport to say she was there and soon on her way. M/D called to confirm she was safely there - Dad had managed some light tea and was awake for a while . . . sat around quietly in the conservatory for much of the evening, not in the mood for the rubbish that is on every channel on the TV - and really not much in the mood for anything else other than sitting quietly - waiting kinda, waiting for whatever will be!!!!?Getting old is a funny deal. . . PCd till early. (5/10)
2 - Hadn't been asleep for more than a couple of hours when the phone rang and eventually woke me up around 4am as an ansaphone message was left. Imagined all sorts of horrible things so got up and listened to the message. BB 'returning my call'? But I hadn't called - how could I - I didn't know the number of her new hotel!! Grrrrrrr!!! Couldn't get back to sleep because my stomach was empty so ended up sat eating cheese sandwhiches and crisps until gone 5am! Tried calling BB back to check all was ok but the reception desk said her line was always engaged! Grrrrr. Eventually back to bed . . . woken again around 10am by the sound of the bin men emptying my crammed full bin. Need LOTS more sleep. . .touched base with M/D - Dad is ok but still 'tired' to say the least! No more news yet of Sis2 - worries in case immigration get funny! . . . walked and because the weather was better than forecast ended up doing the ten mile hike down through Eastville park and along the river and back up through Fishponds. Hazy but nice and warm although far too many people still on holiday walking about for comfort. Finally tricked Sally into jumping after a stick into deep water and she had to swim properly out of her depth for the first time since I've had her - she didn't seem too keen but was happy enough afterwards when I made a big praising fuss of her - I told her she could if she tried. :o) . . . popped in a butcher on the way back and scored a bone for 50p. I asked 'have you any dog bones' and the smartass said no and I was just about to leave when he said he had some cow bones and gave me a smartass lecture about choice of words - oh hardy har! Twit! Missed BB calling on the ansaphone. . . cut the bone into three on the patio with a hacksaw and let Sally have one and froze the rest . . .dare I eat - it'll bound to mean I sleep the rest of the day away!!! . . .lay down to nap but M/D called to confirm Sis2 was safely at home. Lay down to nap and Sally did her guard dog bit as junk mail was delivered! Gave up laying down and decided to get some needed shopping out of the way. Left Sally at home and walked up to shop. Found 2p.Missed BB calling on the ansaphone again! . . . pottered in the garden a little, weeding and such. BB called to touch base again but this time I caught her - muddy handed. The new kitten to the neighbourhood took it upon itself to sit in the lane outside my back gate which of course wound Sally up no end. Used the opportunity to educate it that hanging around my property with a residant devil dog is NOT healthy - grabbed the old paint pot that was full of water soaking off the dried on old pink paint and dropped the contents over the fence into the lane - it fled and MUST have got a soaking but I'm sure was unhurt although suitably educated and maybe just a tiny bit pinker than before! . . .walked. I'm getting a real obsession with checking peoples tax discs as I walk past parked cars!!!? I figure at least one in thirty aren't taxed around here!!!! Damn digital camera is burning a hole in my pocket - SO tempting to start another webpage of pictures and dates of offenders!! Mustn't - it would guarantee a beating I'm sure! God I'm getting weirder and weirder!!!. . . TVd . . . early to bed, both of us exhausted!! (4/10)
3 - Up around 8am after at least nine hours sleep! Feel a bit achey as I'm sure is Sally - today will be a relaxed short walks day I think . . .walked slowly just once round the field although Sally seemed more than up for chasing her ball like usual . . .touched base with M/D - Dad is still spending most of the day in bed . . . sat around/PCd/TVd. Somehow ended up eating huge amounts and feeling unwell. It was the cheesey thing that was the final straw - suddenly took it upon myself to have a 'cook' despite having several things in the fridge that really should be ate next. Boiled up some pasta - added some cheese -added a chopped onion - added some cheese - added a sprinkle of savoury spices - added some cheese - a knob of butter - added some cheese - half pint of milk - added some cheese - added an old out of date packet of cheese sauce mix and topped it all off by adding um - now let me see - some cheese for good measure!!!!!!! Very cheesey in the end but very nice and SO filling! Enough left over for another sitting! Magic cheesey pasta - expands to five times it's original volume once eaten!!! Ugggh . . . walked without throwing up but it was a close run thing . . . sat in the garden trying to be as far away from anything cheesey as possible/TVd till late. Developed a recovery and couldn't help eating the rest of the pasta, helped by Sally, because it really was rather nice. . . Some sense during the day of a rising bubbling undercurrent of down/avoidant/schizoid feelings! Hmmm?!!! (4/10)ss
4 - Woken at 01:20 by the nasty noisy neighbours opposite bringing a loud shouting domestic dispute out onto their doorstep!!!!!? Wouldn't you know it - something about her borrowing his 'penis extension' car (aha - now I know how he can afford such a flashy expensive car - finance! lololol) without his knowledge! Pathetic people with their pathetic little dramas. God I dislike them!! I have been SO lucky with the quiet neighbours on either side of me - if I had to live right next door to THAT - well - there would be an unexplained arson in their absence one night for sure!!!!! Why oh why have people gotta be SO self centred and selfish and disrespectful of others - and what of their children?!!! Grrrrrrrrr. Got up 'grrrrring' and had coffee and PCd a little till earlier . . .couldn't sleep until around sunrise!!!! . . . finally woke around 10:30am!!! Nice sunny day all messed up by wrong sleep patterns . . .M/D called to touch base and ask me what a funny flashing light was on their chordless ansaphone. I guess Mum was cleaning it when she accidentally pressed the ansaphone On button - she'd recorded half a conversation with uncle TJ by mistake somehow?! Dad is much the same . . . Sally on guard for weirdos in the woods!fantastic weather - real summers day stuff. Out of the house by midday with Sally and started walking - found a penny - walked down to the river Avon at Hanham and headed along the river path towards the Chequers and Lock and Weir pubs. I'd dabbled with the idea of stopping for a beer but when I got there it was far too crowded for my liking, so I kept on going. Headed for the wide open fields between Hanham and Keynsham - dunno why but the desire to go there had struck me yesterday and I get precious few 'desires' sufficient for motivation, so figured I'd better do it. Picked a point away from everywhere and sat on the grass and took my shoes off my aching feet and had a smoke and played ball a little with tireless Sally - what an amazing athlete she is! Uh oh - as I sat there some old guy without his shirt on who I had spotted in the bushes on the walk round (pretty sure he was up to some 'weird' stuff in the sun!) started heading towards me!!!! Oh jeeze - do I look like a pervert too?!! Reigned in Sally who took a dislike to him from several hundred yards away and then as he approached - then - the bloody mobile phone rang!!! Answered the phone to Sis1 as Sally started barking at the weirdo - he said he'd keep his distance then, and just stood there waiting for me to finish my conversation!!!!!? All this in the fields in the middle of nowhere! Told Sis1 to wait and deliberately rudely asked the guy what he wanted - he asked me the time!!!! I told him, he checked his watch was accurate and then he walked back the quarter of a mile to his bushes!!!!!!! Creepy. Agreed with Sis1 that despite the inherent guilt, I wasn't intending to visit M/D for a little while at least - certainly not tomorrow. Quickly laced up my shoes and headed off on the long, hot, dry walk back because I wasn't comfy sitting there with my back to the woods with 'weird doers' abroad. Really beautiful day - even crazy kids swimming in the river!!!!!!!!!! - but all turned sour on the way back - Sally spotted a cat in the street, that I hadn't, and when she went airborne-devil-dog I lost my grip on her lead and she ran off chasing it!!! Thankfully a quiet back street with no traffic - the cat ran off under a car and over a garden wall and away, but devil dog spotted another cat sunbathing in the garden! She caught it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not a pretty scene! After walking nine exhausting miles I had to turn into a hurdles runner, bounding over the wall into someone's garden, across their lawn and then dragging Sally away by the scruff of her neck to save the cat!! The cat 'seemed' ok, albeit rather shell shocked as it just sat there looking surprised. God I hope it was ok. All the more difficult because a small huddle of householders having a chat in the street witnessed the mayhem and irresponsible weirdo dog owner. Sally got clipped across the nose for that one, I'm sorry to admit, and was kept on a very short, harsh leash all the way back home. Not happy with her at all and she knew it but probably not why. Gonna carry the guilt of that one around - god I hope the cat was ok - may have to avoid that route for a while just in case of unpleasantness/litigation? from aggrieved (bereaved?!!!!) cat owner in search of irresponsible devil dog owner!! I've watched enough 'Judge Judy' to know it'd cost me! . . . ate and lay down to sleep through ansaphone messages for an hour with the alarm on . . . woke and showered and changed out of the black T shirt that was covered in white sweaty tide marks! Today WAS a summers day. . . PS popped round for chats till early. He'd agreed to call me night or day whenever his dog was starting to have its puppies - sadly she'd had a cesarian earlier that day! One deformed puppy had not survived and had caused a blockage so surgery was necessary - two puppies had survived and were doing ok. . . No evening walk for Sally cause I figure we have both walked enough today - just under twelve miles - my feet hurt . . .PCd till 3am messing with meshing an 8 shot patchwork panorama of todays view with the 'Frys' chocolate factory, Keynsham middle distance and 'pervy' in bushes distant right!! Bloody pink sky again! Grrrr. (4/10)ssa
5 - Woken up around 9am by Sally. Wow - grey, overcast and chilly out - what a difference to yesterday! . . .set off with Sally but a van was just down the street from one of the charities picking up donations. Rushed back home and picked up the big mail sack of stuff I have been putting to one side for getting rid of (including the old brass blow lamps) and struggled out and gave it to the guy . . . walked very slowly and gently once around the field although of course Sally was charging all over as usual chasing her ball - and on the look out for cats no doubt - probably pretends the ball is a cat! Found a penny - very chilly, enough for gloves! . . . back home the charity guy was still in the street so I rushed upstairs and grabbed the pile of half a dozen pairs of unworn jeans I've had for years (they were for sale cheap and actually fitted my long legs so were bought as a long term investment - which has back fired!) and gave them to him for disposal. Time to accept I am developing a bit of a 'stomach' and will never again be 'that' skinny - not around the waist at least . . . a quick touch base with M/D (Dad was watching the proceedings on TV! That must have been quite a weird feeling for him knowing that soon enough he will be the subject of his own proceedings!!!!) and then sat watching the TV broadcast of the Queen mothers casket procession to her lying in state. A sombre occasion but not the grief of the Lady Diana thing. Queen mother has lived a long and full life - almost two really!! I am not a tribal type - I've never understood people who seem to arbitrarily pick some football team at random to support and then say stuff like 'we' won. I don't consider myself particularly patriotic or a royalist - I am simply where I am doing my best with what I have, kinda? I could as easily have been born someone else somewhere else. Nevertheless watching today's sombre and respectful proceedings it was impossible not to be moved - to feel British - to feel a respect for tradition, pride in belonging, stuff like that. Unusual feelings for me. As the immaculately uniformed guards appeared to stand at all four corners of her coffin in the great hall and took their positions with swords reversed and heads bowed I was moved almost to tears! Weird. . . ate and fell asleep until woken by Sally barking at junk mail being delivered around 5pm!!!!! Warmer outside with the sun out . . . did chores . . .walked . . . had myself a glass of wine out in the garden and ended up doing another cheesey, onion pasta concoction to eat. Yummy. Felt strangely like LB, cooking and drinking!! lol . . . BB called to touch base which was a welcome break from being tired out running around, playing ball and wrestling with Sally all over the house. . . TVd. Saw a blue flashing light through the curtains as some emergency vehicle rushed down the street . . . LB called and asked me if I knew what was going on - when her guy had arrived the end of the street had been closed off by the police!!!? I don't want to know - just wish I had a bigger wall around my house with my car on my side of it!! . . . sat around feeling a bit tipsy and PCd a bit till early. (4/10)d
6 - Up lateish with the inevitable 'had a glass of wine' headache! Poison to me it is! . . . walked with the clear blue sunny sky but boy was it blowing a gale and really chilly! Used the new extendable lead that Sis2 had given me - good for training but not sure I like it for everyday walks, not least of all because it seems really 'heavy' after a mile or two! Found a penny. . . sat in the garden in the sun making snow scraping off the writing from another old white plastic paint tub destined for some plant or other at some point. . . touched base with Mum - Dad was much the same and asleep in front the TV again when I called! . . . sat around in the warmth of the conservatory with the wind blowing a gale outside and managed to force myself to read some of the dog training book. Uncle TJ called to touch base asking how Dad was and such - confirmed he wasn't upset about me maybe having worried them by 'prematurely' notifying them the other week of Dad's rough day . . . reading was hard work and soon had to lie down to nap . . . woken by Sally hours later!! . . . walked - jeeze was it cold in that wind! . . . touched base with BB who is going down with a cold or something!! . . . touched base with Mum - Dad was asleep again and is hardly eating and has expressed his tiredness with his situation - difficult conversation trying to apply pressure on Mum to start 'stirring the pot' and making phone calls to get some support and advice and such from whoever should be supporting them! Feel very sorry for Mum - fearful for her for the future! Finished the call in sombre mood :o( I SO wish I was more a man than I am and able to do whatever it is I should. I have pondered on much of late and have felt sorry that I have not been able to be the sort of person with a successful job and life and such that may have made my father more proud of his son . . .no sleep till early. (4/10)as
7 - Woken late by Sally with another headache. More amazing blue sky and sun but cold wind outside. . .walked and found a penny but the field was full of rugby matches so Sally only had a very short walk. The dog book says wolves in the wild will run for thirty miles in a day to catch food!!! No wonder she can keep going when I'm exhausted. . . PS rang asking to borrow the angle grinder to cut some wall cap stones in his garden. Left Sally watching TV and drove over and cut up the stones for him - an excuse to see his two puppies, real small and cute. Got absolutely covered in dust and very gritty eyed and used up the last of my stone cutting discs but done good enough in the end!! . . . Sally walked at sunset 07-04-02back home spent the rest of the afternoon showering and washing clothes and sitting around suffering with my nasty headache that no amount of annadins would touch again! Need sleep. So much for everything I planned to do today - again!!!!! . . .slept for a couple of hours and woke before the alarm. Pottered in the garden a little transplanting excess 'Mind Your Own Business' from the raised beds into the base of every pot plant in the house! . . . walked and then stopped in at the store for milk and bought a kebab on the way home - just about to start eating and BB called to touch base! Thankfully she understood and called back after I'd eaten . . . touched base with Mum who said Dad was the same - asleep! . . . PS popped round for chats till early - Sally seemed less up tight than normal so I didn't grab her as PS got up to go to the bathroom - big mistake - scary toothy devil dog reaction although PS WAS untouched. Expelled her to the conservatory for a short time as penance. He makes her SO nervous!!??? When he is here she jumps even when I just unexpectedly stroke her. . Sat in the garden for a while once PS had gone but SO cold out I soon gave up and went to bed. Read a little more of the dog (owner!) training book until 2am. (4/10)aaas
8 - Woken around 9am by Sally snuggling.Still a completely clear blue sunny sky :o) . . . Sis1 called to confirm I wasn't intending to visit M/D today - I see little point at the moment until either Mum says she needs something or there is some change in Dad . . .called Sis1 back and suggested she accompany me on a dog walk cause it was another nice day - she said yes and she'd drive over. Already quite late so walked Sally over the field to do her business before Sis1 arrived. . . Sis1 arrived and presented me with belated chocolate easter eggs and some copies of family photos from our last trip down. Sally was real good and wagged her tail and let Sis1 stroke her a little - SO different from how she acts around PS??Both phoned Mum to see how things were and she answered "Is that doctor *******?" which struck me as very sad! She was awaiting a call back because she had phoned as I'd strongly recomended. Cut our conversation short in case the doctor was trying to call - no change in Dad - still hardly eating and sleeping all the time - real trouble getting him out of the bath this morning again so today may be his last bath for the forseeable future!!! Offered to drive down at least once a week to help Mum get him in and out but of course my offer was refused - as are they all! Grrrr. . . drove Sally and Sis1 down to the car park at Snuff Mills and walked the little circuit we do along the river and back. Lots of people around because the kids are still on holiday but Sally was thankfully excellent all day!! No sign of any devil dog at all - excellent - I'd be awfully happy if she was like that every day. Some kids high up on a dangerous rocky cliff threw a stone into the river at a duck and only just missed killing it - Sis1 did her 'worker in a care home' voice and started shouting up at them about their nastiness and how she should call the RSPCA onto them!!! Surprised me - seemed to me under the circumstances there was nothing one could do and her outburst was likely to make us all the target of more missile launches. From where the kids were they could have killed us if they had! Luckily somehow Sis1s outburst had the effect of making them run off after shouting some abuse at us - bloody lucky - I wouldn't have been that lucky, I know it, I just wouldn't have been!!!! . . . coffee and sandwhiches back home and then Sis1 had to rush off to cut her grass - and -and - and - just keep busy like she does. . . fell asleep until woken around 5pm by BB calling to touch base . . .walked . . . LB posted the latest Makro leaflet through the door for me to have a look at before she next goes out there . . . called Mum to check what the doctor had said. Apparantly she'd been passed around a bit but finally spoke to the Macmillan nurse who was covering whilst the proper one was on sick leave. After confering with the hospital doctors etc. she recommended that Dad immediately increase his steroid dose back up to eight a day from the two he is currently on!!!!!!!!!! The hope is that it will kick start him into being more like he was these last few months - if it works it should work by Wednesday - if not they will have to start looking to see what is going on!!! Dad picked up the chordless from his slumbers on the sofa and chatted a little (first time I've spoken to him in days!!!!) but he really wasn't quite all there and was VERY short tempered about any little thing - mostly little things about Mum. He expressed GREAT disappointment that he was to go back on the dangerous dose of steroids. I tried to be upbeat and normal but half of my strained conversation was lost on him when he suddenly realised he had the phone round the wrong way! Mum seems to be doing ok right now - she admitted to me the other day that all her life she has spent caring for her children and Dad - what on earth will she do when she is out of a job!!!! . . . got a bit emotional after the call but soon repressed it - plenty of time yet for all that. :o( . . . left ansaphone message for Sis2 keeping her appraised of developments . . . ended up cooking a pasta cheesey thing around 10:30pm - last of the old cheese gone at last! . . .couldn't sleep - saw 3am come and go!! (4/10)s
9 - Funeral procession of Queen Elizabeth the Queen MumWoken by the alarm around 7am but ended up going straight back to sleep for a couple more hours and then woke with another nasty headache. . . walked . . .Took heed of feedback from the website of someone reminding me to drink loads of water when you have a headache and drank loads of water! Ended up with a headache and a bladder ache!!! lol :o) . . . sat in front of the TV for a large part of the rest of the day watching the funeral of Queen Elizabeth the Queen mother. Impressive and moving - moved to tears in fact!! Much empathic projection no doubt . . .balanced my accounts and confirmed I am now regularly spending more than I have coming in!! Moved funds from my savings and popped round the post office and drew out some cash. PCd a bit checking dog food prices in various stores and such to check the 'makro' prices were good. . . cleaned myself up a bit and ate early - huge pile of sausage and chips . . . LB called before 6pm and off I went with her to 'makro'. Spent a huge amount of money on dog food but most of it on tobacco!!!!!!! . . . walked . . . touched base with M/D and dad answered the phone clearly a degree or two improved upon yesterday. Proves to me he is being kept going by the steroids. He was much more himself recommending I buy cotton buds to clean out Sally's ears and trying to come up with ideas about how I could build myself a bathroom scale attachment so that I could weigh Sally to make sure I have her diet right!! Much more himself. :o) Rediculous conversation about how the chemist had told mum he could no longer get hold of the tablets Dad needs!!?? Outrageous - disgusting that a patient should be made to worry over such a thing, especially when it really can't be true!!! . . . LB called suggesting some relative of hers may be coming through customs from France some time soon and 'may' be able to bring in some cheaper tobacco so long as he can make a profit on the deal. suits me - if it is ANY cheaper than I paid today then I'll buy all he can carry! What a country - anti social disorder and lawlessness in the streets, outrageous taxes, failing national health system, etc, etc - but never mind - we sure know how to bury people!!!!! :o) . . . TVd . . . finally my headache eased off around 10pm, replaced by extreme tiredness. Sorely missed my nap today. Early to bed. Didn't get to chat to BB today and really rather missed it!!?(4/10)aaa
10 - Woken just after 7am by Sally grrrring and lots of noise outside! Amazing how the mind can work even when asleep - by the time I was more awake I had worked out from the noise that it was the council at last removing my old broken fridge freezer from it's lying in state in the front garden for it's journey to it's final resting place! . . .walked . . . filled the bin up with ruthlessly sorted bits and pieces from around the house and then some of the rubble from the lane! BB called to touch base from her early hours! - she'll regret that later in the day! :o) Moved the 3 seater sofa from upstairs to downstairs and the 2 seater up - seems to work ok . . . phoned to check it was ok and then walked Sally up to the vet just to pop her on a scale to check her weight and thus my feeding of her. 38.1kg which is a loss of 1kg so I guess we are on the right track. Stopped in the florist as, I'd planned, to buy a couple more of the cheap unidentified small fir trees for a couple of the pots in the garden. If I can't live in a forest I may as well have a bit of forest in to live with me!! Felt kinda up and the poor women in the florist got the brunt of it - chatted away with her as though I often do!!? Chatted away for ages in fact but of course all about Sally who was in fact very good, and since the woman said she had a couple of nervous dogs of her own I said she could try and stroke Sally, if she wanted to take the risk of a devil dog scene! Sally was rather aloof pretending to be suddenly VERY interested in the technical aspects of the nearby floral displays but she did let her stroke her without a growl!!!! That relief was enough to make anyone happy :o) . . . planted the trees in the pots and watered the garden. Where on earth are the April showers? . . . slept for a few hours . . . walked. Devil dog aimed at another cat right just outside my gate on returning home!! Grrrrr - she almost pullled me over!!!! Lost my temper a bit and chastised her, 'tapped' her on the nose, gave her a jolly good talking to and dragged her roughly through into the conservatory for a few minutes of solitary confinement. Grrrrr. . . TVd . . . touched base with M/D. Dad is yet more improved on yesterday, he'd managed to bath and Mum had to stop him attempting to mow the lawn!!!!! Typical Dad! Chemist has managed to get some tablets - of course! Left ansaphone message for Sis1 about tomorrow. Intended to leave an update on Dad for Sis2 on her ansaphone also but her guy friend was there and picked up immedietly (?!) so I told him what was going on and he said he was glad and he'd let worried Sis2 know straight away. . .sat in the conservatory/garden feeling ok . . . TVd. Plenty of good old hippy music on the channels and then finished the day by bumping, 'hocus pocus' like, into some Sheryl Crow on a radio channel. Grabbed me a bit! :o) . . . lay there and lay there but just couldn't get to sleep!! Ended up having to get up and eat breakfast cereal at 4am to stop my empty stomach churning!(5/10)as
11 - Woke around 8am having yet another weird and unpleasant dream - two days on the trott now! (Yesterdays dream something about a big argument with Dad and me walking out permanently and having difficulty arranging return of the car. Today it was ME who was to undergo an operation on my head!!!!! Bet a Freudian analyst would make a whole bunch out of that.) Absolutely not enough sleep - only three to four hours - gonna make the day real difficult! . . . walked . . . showered and packed Sally stuff up ready for a day away. touched base with M/D to warn them it looked as though we were gonna be down late because of Sis1's interview with a woman about her work problems. Sat around waiting for Sis1 to call and checked the car tyre pressures and oil level and such. Finally gave up waiting and frankly a little annoyed at wasting time like that when I could have been asleep, set off for Sis1's whether she was ready or not! Grrr. Just heading up to the petrol station and she called on my mobile saying she was now free to leave. Rushed over and picked her up and drove down to M/Ds. Stopped off at their local Sainsbury's on the way and picked up some cold buffet type stuff to eat as I'd suggested to Sis1 the other day - seemed like a good idea, to save Mum the hassle of trying to put food together for us all day, to prevent Dad from being a martyr and insisiting we all go out for a meal when he obviously wasn't up to it, and because I was starving not having eaten all day! Split the cost with Sis1 as per the petrol. Arrived at M/Ds towards 2pm. Sally seemed very relaxed and happy to see everyone! Schizophrenic dog! Coffee and chats and eventually a mini picnic in the garden in the sun which was really rather nice for a change despite Mum insisting on spending ages in the kitchen preparing it all single handed and then waiting on us all!!! That was NOT what I'd planned!!! Dad seemed okish - certainly improved since a couple of days ago apparantly - but definitely more 'frail' and less 'sharp'. Sis1 was more positive about his condition than pessimistic me, but we both agreed that he had deteriorated from how he was immediately after surgery back in November!! I'm beginnning to admire how Mum is coping! All drove down in the car to drop Mum off at the doctors to pick up Dad's prescription and then Dad, Sally and I waited in the car park overlooking the harbour as Mum and Sis1 walked to the drug store to pick up the higher dose steroids that the chemist had succeeded in getting. Drove round to Battery Gardens, parked up and then all walked down to Sis2s favourite seat that we have all adopted and sat in the sun overlooking Torbay as Sally chased rabbits and barked at passing dogs and such! Dropped M/D off at home as agreed and walked Sally with Sis1 down through my favourite 'pooh lane', through the ancient woodland - all dappled sunlight and bluebells - and out onto the beach for some wet dog pebble throwing fun. Walked and drove back to M/Ds for more buffet style food and sandwhiches and such. God I felt tired!! Eventually set off to drive home around 9:45pm with more garden plants, a belated easter egg and after M/D had insisted on giving us 20 for petrol because they seemed to feel guilty about being the cause of us having to keep visiting?!!!! Funny family! :o) Hard saying goodbye - had difficulty letting go of the hugs but I don't think they noticed. Fast drive home with Sis1 snoozing and me fighting real hard not to!!! Dangerous stuff - again!!!!!!! Dropped Sis1 off and home around midnight to touch base with M/D to confirm safe arrival. . . PCd the digital pics I'd taken for Sis2 during the day (bloody hell - second time I've got tearful dwelling on such pics!) and e-mailed them to her and then left an ansaphone message to advise. . . eventually to bed, long after Sally, around 2am absolutely dead on my feet and unable to focus my watering eyes. (5/10)aa
12 - Sallydog treated with corned beefUp after 9am with Sally on the bed. Need more sleep! . . .Uncle TJ called briefly to touch base. . . walked . . .sat around in the sun in the garden doing nothing for ages just mulling over thoughts and feelings and stuff. Planted the daffodils that M/D had donated - left them an ansaphone message asking about the best place (sun or shade) in their experience, to plant the lilly things they'd also donated. Fell asleep for a couple of hours - woken by M/D returning my call - Dad had been out in the garage trying to trim his beard when I'd called earlier (???!!! probably because Mum would 'create a scene' if bits of cut hair contaminated the house) and now had a face of bald patches to match his head! Seems like bit by bit his life and dignity are being stripped away :o( . . . sat around/TVd . . .BB called to touch base . . . walked and found 2p - popped (got dragged !!) into the funny little store for milk and as usual the nice guy behind the counter treated Sally to pieces of corned beef. He freely admits he would sooner 'treat' animals than he would people (they have had some nasty experiences in there with undesireables running off with stuff in the past - overkill security camera system covering every corner) . . .discovered a patch of water near the washing machine?? Further investigations revealed a huge area of wet carpet - I have a leak!!!!! I religiously turn off the water supply to the washing machine when it is not in use using the little plastic supply taps for the purpose but I'd forgotten to do so the last time I used it a few days ago and suspect that is why! I'm going to assume it is a small leak from the supply pipes that wont really matter if I remember to turn them off like normal- dragging it all out to investigate further will have to wait - loads of hassle!!! . . . PS popped round for chats till early. (4/10)as
13 - Up around 7:30am with the noise of the bin men emptying the bins. Another clear sky and amazingly sunny morning - forecast says such weather until maybe the middle of next week - been really lucky although it does encourage me to sit in the sun in the garden staring into space doing nothing for hours on end! Probably because of the dad/family/Sallydog situation, I am more schizoid and inactive than I have been - um - well, forever really!!? I can't bring myself to e-mail or phone anyone - except for BB of course :o) I've spent far too much time these last years sat waiting - waiting for this to happen to me or that to happen to me. All that distressful time waiting to see what would become of me after I crashed out of work. And now - waiting for the Dad situation to reach it's inevitable conclusion!!! Seems to me that 'shit happens' is going on all the time and good stuff only happens when you get up and do stuff and MAKE it happen - if you do nothing and sit around waiting for something to happen, like I always have/do/probably will, then inevitably all that you have to expect is 'shit happens'! Itsafunnyoldworld . . .walked and walked down to the other relativey nearby open space just for a change . . . sat around feeling a bit 'off'. Sis1 called talking about a group of people she works with thinking of starting up their own recruitment agency or something and wanting an e-mail address?? I dont think she has quite thought through what she wanted. Had a quick look at her man's 'professionaly done/paid for' website - gosh how 'basic' and with errors!!! Shame I can't do some such work for someone - it would be fun to try and do a 'proper' website for someone. . .BB called to touch base . . . Sis2 called to touch base but I was just dishing out my burger and chips and had to tell her I couldn't talk right then! . . . snoozed on the settee in front the TV for half an hour or so but felt so, SO cold?. . . walked. Felt really strange and a little 'out of it' kinda and not fully in charge of my legs!????- made me imagine some little part of how Dad must feel!! . . .sat in the garden with a single glass of red wine. TVd till late. In bed by midnight. (4/10)d
14 - Woken by Sally snuggles around 8am. Grey and overcast out - so much for the forecast! . . .walked but more rugby matches destined for the field with lots of people around so it was a short walk . . .spent hours and hours messing around with the PC trying to move towards sorting out the problems and transition to the new machine but only succeeded in going round and round in circles and getting nowhere!!! Spent a rediculous amount of time formatting CD-RW disks! Thought I'd be clever and XCOPY from dos (to avoid the 'cannot copy-files in use' error message) the entire contents of my hard drive to my secondary hard drive - took ages and then found that all the long filenames had been truncated to eight by three!!! What AM I doing!! . . .spent some of the waiting time by trying to ruthlessly clear more stuff out of cupboards. Finally bit the bullet and threw out a huge pile of video cassettes that had been affected by the damp when I had them stored against the cold, damp outside wall in the living room - just binned!!! Ouch. . . touched base with M/D - all much the same. Mum had gone out yesterday and with supervision from Dad had mown the lawn!!!! I re-offered to take care of all that of course but they said no - I guess Mum is learning to take care of her future single handed responsibilities! Had to sit and listen to a huge argument about them wanting to buy new lawnmowers!? . . . touched base with Sis2 who's health really is pretty worrying! . . . walked - just down the road a guy was walking a couple of dogs and Sally went really silly with lots of braking and straining on the leash. I just stopped in my tracks and didn't move until she stopped but oh what a whining yelping noise!!! Sounded as though I was beating her!!! Really embarassing. Just happened to catch the guy up over the field and Sally happily played with his dogs - I made comment about the awful noise she had been making and he did say that he thought I was hitting her!!!!!! Bloody hell!!!! Really embarassing. A bit of light drizzle but the sky was clearing from the west and wow what a wonderful sunset. . . LB had called asking for return of the latest Makro leaflet so I popped it up together with a plate of hers I'd yet to return. LB has been given a PC and asked me to set it up for her some time during the week!!!! Better be more careful what I say here! . . . did a bit more PCing but ran out of steam and gave up. Think I'm just gonna have to get serious and disconnect and re assign hard drives and be done with. . . BB called to touch base and we chatted for ages (funny clicks AFTER she hangs up almost sufficient to believe the conversation was being listened to by her hotel switchboard!!!) - felt increasingly exhausted and just couldn't stop yawning (hours of PCing really does that to me these days?) and ended up in bed around midnight. (4/10)
15 - Woken by noise and shouts in the street around 4am but didn't think it was too near and thought what the hell and went straight back to sleep . . . Woken by Sally snuggles around 8am again. The rain has moved off and an amazing blue sky sunny morning . . .walked and headed out on the long walk down through Eastville park and along the river. After several miles of everything going fine Sally suddenly got all barky and a little while later went total devil dog at a workman seemingly picked at random from all the people we'd passed?! As usual she seemed to be a good judge of character and he started lashing out trying to kick her as she did her threatening/barking devil dog routine, which of course made it far worse!!!! Stupid STUPID dog!! Got really angry with her and leashed her up and marched her straight back all the way home on a VERY tight leash and frankly being rather rough! Spoiled a really nice day - I MUST stop this behaviour - it's gonna get us both in big trouble! Shut her out in the garden for a while to give me time to shower and regain my temper! Grrrrrr. It was soon too painful to see Sally all worried and ears down so after sitting her down and explaining some stuff we got back to normal - the first time I presented her with the entire tub of chocolate dog treats she just couldn't believe her luck and was so confused she didn't dare take any. Took loads of encouragement but eventually she grabbed a few and then slunk off to eat them. She is still a little hesitant but when she realises I am serious she now grabs as big a mouthful as she possibly can - it's a single 'dip' offer - as soon as she raises her head away from the chocolate I whisk the top of the container back on and put it out of reach. . .PCd/TVd the rest of the day away and found myself slipping into an unexpectedly rather 'down' mood - to say the least! Damn - guess the prozac has worn off! . . .Feedback from the website from someone I've not mailed for months, that used to go to my old school, telling me about some website somewhere (she sent me the wrong link so I couldn't find it!) where several of the old class are listed and one in particular (the top ranking school bully!) is now apparently a born again Christian with loads of kids, wanting to be a missionary, in his second year of bible classes and doing fund raising for the local hospital!!! Bizarre!!? - that is the second 'bully type' person I have bumped into in my life that has ended up in that line of work - my 'amateur analyst' analysis of that is unflattering!! . . . walked and sensed that strange old feeling of 'for no specific reason tearfullness' washing over me - haven't felt that for a while!! Maybe I need more food? Haven't eaten too much of late. Found 3p . . . started cooking chips and BB called to touch base . . . ate loads followed by loads of chocolate. . . TVd till late. (3/10)s
16 - Up around 8am . . . walked . . .touched base with M/D to say good luck with todays MRI scan . . . thinking a bit more clearly about the PCs and set about setting up the new one as my primary machine by copying onto CD-WR what I want to retain from the old one I can't network and transferring it all over to the new one bit by bit. Doggon potty dog!Round and round, up and down - machines buzzing all over the bedroom! BB called to touch base. Still at it hours later and SH called to talk about his VB/Access Taxi program! By 4pm I was more or less where I wanted to be complete with the programs I rely on, multiple ISP connections and all my old e-mails (why on earth do I keep them all?) brought over intact. Just printers and scanners and such to set up. Poor old Sally was obviously feeling neglected - popping down at some point to make yet another cup of coffee I discovered a very sorry state in the conservatory! Sally had been attending to the pot plants M/D donated that I am trying to bring on. Made sure she knew I was very displeased by growling and such but I couldn't help being cheered up by the mess! :o) . . .M/D called to say everything had gone ok with the scan - feedback in a couple of weeks . . .wow - new PC sure is quicker and noticeably so surfing the net too? Guess getting used to the new XP software is gonna take a while - can't find anything on 'tired-eyes-half-closed-autopilot'. . . so - here goes - first upload of my journal on the new PC all being well - fingers crossed. . .sky looked as though it was gonna do a nice sunset so I took my cameras and walked Sally the couple of miles to the big open space I recently discovered that has a seat with a limited view over parts of Bristol. Used up the last of the shots on the roll and took a few with the digital but it wasn't as impressive as it has been, due to the thick bank of cloud rolling in from the west. Walking back I spotted a dead pigeon in the middle of the path that I'm sure wasn't there on the way down! - that'll teach me to joke with Sally that she should try and catch one for my supper!!! Picked it up and felt for a heartbeat but couldn't find one so laid it in the undergrowth off the path - next to the hyperdermic syringe that was laying there!!!!!! Jeeze - never imagined for a moment that Sally running around in the undergrowth could be at risk from such as that!!!!! Jeeze!!!!!!!!!!! . . . SA had left an ansaphone message calling to touch base. Nothing personal but really, really not in the mood for trying to 'chat'. Phone rang again as I was dishing out my burgers and chips so I picked up in case she was calling back - it was LB confirming she had managed to get some tobacco via the relative that was visiting the country - I need to get 100 to her on Saturday!!!! Ouch - but cheaper than the shops so I guess my savings will have to take the investment strain - AGAIN!!!! . . . ate and showered and as the food sank in started feeling more up so tried calling SA back to say hi - dialled a wrong number !!!!! SA was out so just left a hello message. . . couldn't sleep and PCd till early. Feel as though I've been walking the old tightrope these last couple of days moodwise. (4/10)
17 - Up real late with a dog on the bed . . .cable (phone/TV/internet) bill in the mail - a third of my monthly income!!!!!!!! Bloody hell - I can't go on like this!!!!! I think I may have to start turning the ansaphone OFF when I go out so I don't end up calling people back all the time! Funny situation for a supposedly schizoid/avoidant :o) . . . walked and found 2p . . . balanced my accounts and had to move money around and reduce my savings yet still further!! I guess if I'm honest I could take a year or so of living beyond my income before I have to give up stuff (car/cigarettes/cable/takeaways/chocolate) to refloat. MUST get serious about advertising for some asset stripping - radios/motorbike/old PC?. . . left Sally at home and walked up to get money out of the building society and shop - bought everything that was 'economy' or 'reduced'! . . . BB called to touch base as I was eating bowls of economy cornflakes and watching Judge Judy on TV deal with a case about two people who met on the internet!!!! . . . fell asleep for three hours or so . . . walked late . . . ate sandwhiches/TVd/PCd till gone 3am - had a prod at VB but couldn't for the life of me figure out how to make it make noises other than a system beep!!!?? What am I missing - making tones of different frequencies and such used to be simple in earlier versions of VB as I remember?Bumped into a neat site that laboriously checks ALL an entered websites links for current validity, but SO slow - oops, found a couple of bad ones on my own - will have to return there and sort them! Spent ages downloading and installing a utility that purported to reduce the size of HTML files by deleting wasted space. Tried it on a copy of my website files and it succeeded in doing horrible things!! - spent ages more deleting and uninstalling!!! Thank god I tried it out on copys! Slowly very slowly finding my way around Windows XP - except for those things I've turned off and can't find again!!! (4/10)a
18 - Woken by Sally around 7:30 as the gas bill was delivered - arrrrgh - although it does reflect a mild winter!!!! And that isn't enough sleep! Rain in the recent night - looks like Aprils showers have arrived . . .walked. Found 5p . . .PCd. . . fell asleep for several hours. . . PCd some more . . . walked. Some raving lunatic rampaging around in a car doing wheel spins, burn outs, handbrake turns, high speeds and such with a car load of beer drinking 'kids'. Scarey stuff - I'm sick and tired of feeling scared just out walking!!! Memorised the registration number and reported it to the police on the mobile for all the good it would do - really angry! . . . PS popped round for chats till early. . . PCd till earlier. (4/10)s
19 - Woken by Sally around 7:30 again! PCd and decided to download the latest system updates from Microsoft - Only discovered half way through the ISP had connected me at a real low speed - typical! Took over an hour with Sally all impatient for her walk!!! . . .just about to walk and spotted another white plastic paint tub being thrown away in the garden of the house down the road that is being done up - asked and had it. Walked and then carried on walking up to Kingswood to drop in a film for 1hr. developing. Sat in the precinct with Sally for a while and briefly left her tied up barking at anyone who came too near while I dashed in and bought a new flea collar. . . Touched base with M/D - all ok. Left Sally listening to BBC Radio 2 and walked back up to pick up the photos and do a little shopping. Photos were a waste of money - hardly a one worth having!! . . . Feeling a bit more 'up' figured I should touch base with some people (to ease MY conscience!!) - should have done it quick - knew it wouldn't last but instead I ate sandwhiches and then fell asleep for - um - well basically the rest of the day!!!!? . . . sat in the garden scraping the writing off the paint tub. CW called to touch base - made my apologies about not being in touch. She is gonna be a student as from September doing flower design or something?!! Seemed happy enough - ish. Conversation cut short by Sally suddenly appearing from the kitchen all ears down and coming up to me as though she'd done something wrong - she then climbed up onto me!!!? Oh NO - she was gonna be sick!!!!! Just pushed her away in time and she was sick in the corner of the room!!! Poor little woofer! Cleaned up! . . . tried touching base with SA but failed again and this time not even an ansaphone? M/D called to tell me to watch a TV gardening show that was gonna do a spot on how to best care for daffodils! lol :o) Business as usual :o) . . . LB called to confirm the tobacco would be up tomorrow and that she had a neat CD I should borrow and listen to. BB called to touch base and got kinda upset about 'things' which was painful. Not sure I said the right things - but that's me! . . . walked after sunset but too much cloud to see the once in a lifetime solar system planetary alignment low in the west sky - typical! . . . borrowed LBs CD - band called 'Nickelback' - pretty good I guess although my head seems less able to stand 'so much going on' these days!? . . . sat in the garden/TVd/PCd till early. (5/10)s
20 - Up late. Walked in the drizzle . . . PCd experimenting with 'TeaCyPIPing' the laptop to the new XP machine. What a pig when a laptop freezes - didn't spot the tiny hole into which I'm supposed to stick something small until later - had to disconnect the battery!! . . . LB popped in - she'd been to her special butcher for shopping and had grabbed a bone for Sally. Nice one, but OHhhhhhhhwwwwaaaaarrrggghhh!!! what an awful smell all over the conservatory and blowing through the rest of the house!!! Not sure how fresh that one was!!! Uggghh! By late afternoon I'd succeeded in going round in circles enough to have the laptop all set up happy and able to share the main machine's internet connection and such. Clever stuff. Now - how about the old machine?!!!!! Need food - big headache (if I believed in 'hocus pocus', experience would suggest someone is 'thinking about me'! Good job I don't cause that would be just plain crazy thoughts). . .just trying to put together a sandwhich and LB called saying the tobacco was here. Popped up and did the business. Not as good a deal as I thought it was - 400g packs instead of the usual 500g! Still cheaper than the shops though so can't complain. Back to the sandwhich making and interrupted again - ML called to touch base. Told me all about his job hunting and such at length - somewhat disturbing gossip about just about everyone he knew having either split up and become single again or having serious relationship problems!! Shame . . . finally ate and then lay down to nap to try and shift my awful headache . . . woke up only to find my head aching even more! Worst I've had for ages. Sat around feeling really unpleasant. Walked and really didn't want to - achey, stumbley, wanting to just lie down in the grass and become unconscious!? Back home feeling awful, awful, awful. Yesterday it was Sally, today I threw up! A waste of the last expensive annadin tablet I swallowed! Felt strangely much better after I had and even hungry although not for anything I have in the house? . . . TVd feeling fragile and hungry but better than earlier. . . Bb called to touch base . . .Eventually ate all the bananas I had left, some orange juice and then a couple of bowls of cereals. To bed before midnight feeling much better but real tired . . . woken around 1:30am by sally barking as someone opened the gate - then the doorbell!! Uh oh? LB was on the doorstep sobbing, barefoot in her long shiny ballgown!!!!!!! Hard to get to the bottom of what scene she'd had because she was so drunk, but some painfully noticeable sad freudian slips in her attempted explanation to show she has much unresolved baggage torturing her! Let her have the spare key I have, a cigarette, and off she went home barefoot carrying her heels!! I'll be awake now then!! (4/10)aaas
21 - Up a little early - thank you 'Sally-Snuggles'! . . .walked - sunny and wow feels real mild. Found 5p . . . Sunday is water the house plants day (only way I can remember to water them - is have a watering 'day'!)and then pottered in the garden planting the lillys M/D had donated and such. Things are real green and starting to build up for the summer. . touched base with M/D - all ok. Mum confirmed she had tried my tip of how to remove the labels from old tin cans prior to putting them in the recycling bin. Neat trick but probably totally unecessary for recycling. Never mind soaking them and trying to peel the labels off in soapy washing up water - simply pour some boiling water from the kettle into the tin and it will immediately soften up the label glue so you can easily peel it straight off without effort! . . . touched base with BB, rather too early but, well, I really wanted to! . . . sat around feeling pretty damned ok :o) I have been so very lucky - gotta type it here so I can refer back and be reminded when I don't feel this way as is most often the case - um - tomorrow most like - or maybe even just later!!! . . .POOR old Sally dog! Insisted she lie down on the path, rather than on her favourite bit of dieing garden, so I could take a photo - snapped it and rushed up onto the PC to see what it looked like. Some while later Sally snuck up all ears down as though she had done something wrong?Scanned the house looking for eaten remotes or piles of **** before suddenly realising it was simply because I'd insisted she lie down out in the garden and had then rushed in and left her there!!!! Poor little woofer! . . . PCd/TVd . . . walked. Found a penny. Poor old Sally seems to have an upset tummy - must have been that iffy bone! Wow - neat sunset that the digital just couldn't do justice to . . . PS popped round for chats till early . . . BB called to touch base and at last said she had some photos of her!! Made me real nervous but at long last I know who I'm talking to - or at least one of five possible alternatives!!? Seems like every picture shows a different woman - and wearing 'Herman Munster' boots!!!! :o) (5/10)s
22 - Up late with a headache of course! Anadin tablet, coffee and cigarettes for breakfast in the garden. . . walked and found a penny. 'Man @ Lost And Found'Overcast but kept on walking (although yet again felt a bit iffy) and headed out on the ten mile walk (a bit less cause I was tired and cut it short) down to the River Frome and back through Fishponds. Lots of those pink and white blossom trees in spring bloom and bluebells up in the woods. Stopped and sat around quite a bit along the way. Found a hat! Found a zip up fleece type thing hung up in a bush next to the river that I thought I may as well take home and wash just in case it may be useable. River was low so at one point playing with Sally tried using the stepping stones near the weir at Snuff Mills to walk out into the middle of the river. Realised it was maybe possible to reach an exposed pile of stone just below the waterfall upon which was stranded some piece of clothing or other I'd seen dumped there weeks ago. Gingerly picked my way over and succeeded in reaching it - more 'because I could' than because I wanted whatever it may have been. Nylon overalls? Ended up walking home with two of Sally's poop scoop bags full of 'lost and found' trophies!!! Jeeze - I really have turned in to some kind of weirdo picking up other peoples rubbish!!! . . . put the found stuff in the washing machine . . . BB called to touch base and probably make sure I'm still talking to her! lol :o) . . .interesting feedback on the website guestbook about checking blood pressure. Wouldn't that show up when I give blood? Got a reminder in the post the other day - blood donor session due in a couple of weeks. Pretty sure it is just the old 'up tight/stress' headache type of thing resurfacing now I'm off the prozac again. Used to get them all the time when I worked. Dunno why but, for no apparant reason, if I'm awake I'm uptight - some days more than others. Manifests most acutely in my 'crunchy' stiff kneck and shoulders - every now and then I will stop and realise it and can actually try and relax a little and can feel my shoulders fall back down about an inch or two!!? On top of that I guess I have a poor diet, bad sleep routines, smoke too much, and, and - musn't complain. Have noticed since I've been off the prozac how my mind will doggedly 'latch onto stuff'. You know how you get a song in your mind that goes round and round and round sort of subconsciously kinda 'burning a hole' and no matter what you do you can't shift it? For the last week or so I've been bothered by such stuff. Different songs or pieces of music but round and round and round especially when walking the dog! EXACTLY the same mental processes involved in the unhealthy replaying of critical/negative comments/experiences at work etc, before I 'crashed out'. Has gotten so bad of late that on occasions I've even tried replacing the damn tune of the moment with the Buddhist chant - "Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo" as I walk, just to try and forcibly blott it out!!!!! God I need to get back into a daily practice of sitting in quiet meditation! Trouble is, it really is 'hard work' to do and seems as difficult to apply myself to, as giving up smoking again! It just isn't happening! Still crazy after all these years! :o) . . very tired. Ate and succumbed to sleep . . . woken by Sally four hours later!!! Jeeze - so today all I've done all day is walk the dog and sleep near twelve hours!!!!!!? . . . wow - after a wash those nylon one piece overalls are like new!! The fleece thing really should find the bin but most of my favourite 'round the house' clothes are in a similar state so I'll probably end up using it. Very warm hat! Dressed up and took a photo just for a laugh - the C&A clothes store used to advertise its male range of clothes with the phrase "Man At C&A" - guess I'll be advertsing "Man @ Lost And Found". Blimey - that outfit makes me look like a druggy or a gangster or something! Whassssup! lololol :o) . . . PCd this. . .walked after dark. Did my local busy body act and knocked on the door of a neighbour down the street who I had noticed had left the sun roof on her car wide open for the last night and day or so. Lights on inside and even saw her go from one room to another but she didn't answer my knock? Walked Sally and tried again on the way back but still no answer?! Oh well - I guess I wouldn't want to answer my door to me in the dark of the night either! Bugged me so I scribbled a note on an old envelope and popped it through her door - at least the weather forecast is dry tonight . . . touched base with M/D. Ooops - already gone to bed! Mum answered so it was Dad who said he'd go into the other room to be on the extension at the same time so we could all chat - that is a good sign so I guess he is still up and about. Dad's McMillan nurse is visiting for the first time tomorrow - excellent. . . At some point Sally'd had another go at digging in the house plants I'm trying to bring on in the conservatory, so I decided they had to take their chances in the garden on the table out of her reach! Sat in the garden for a while watering - just love it out there at night when it is all wetted down and the herds of snails are 'sweeping majestically across the plains', and even have gotten fond of the far too bright security light - makes it all bright and glistening wrapped up soft by the dark . . . ate real late . . . TVd till later. . . couldn't sleep and PCd till birdsong! (4/10)a
23 - Up late with a lick! Uggh - need more sleep and yesterdays walk has given me achey legs! . . .neighbours car sun roof is closed . . . walked . . . spent a large part of the day messing with the old PC and using DS idiots-guide instructions to try and network it with the laptop like I have succeeded in doing with the new one. Absolutely CERTAIN I am not doing anything wrong and yet it just wont have it. It'll 'ping' itself quite happily but no way will it find any sort of network connection!!!? . . . M/D touched base and confirmed the McMillan nurse had been and was very nice etc. . . sat in the garden in the sun and attempted a bit of serious mindfulness of breathing meditation - it's been a long time - too tired to sit up and stay awake after only 15 minutes! . . . sat around . . . TVd . . . PCd some more poking and prodding windows XP - ended up sat in the garden in the sun reading the magazine DS had sent me. XP sure is clever - does loads automatically and can even tell the time by connecting on the web to a standard! . . .BB called to touch base rather upset and spoke briefly about her health worries. Worrying!!!! . . . walked dodging the ******* on a moped illegaly carrying a guy on the back with no helmet and driving around the field and roads and pavements and anywhere else he damn well pleased! Pulled my camera out at one point intending to try and grab a close up photo but the adrenalin rush (it doesn't take much) made me feel SO physically sick I didn't!!?? Found 2p. . . TVd watching Clint Eastwood in 'Unforgiven'. Heavy film. . . LB popped in briefly returning her spare key and bearing a bottle of wine and apologies for waking me up the other night. . . watered the garden but not for long. Feel a bit down and really - um - 'drained' and schizoid. Seem to have reached an age (so soon?!) where failing health dominates all topics of conversation. I decided to count (by deduction from the packet of papers) how many roll ups I smoked today - turned out to be quite a light smoking day but still added up to around 30!!!!!!! . . . blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!!!!! Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo,...,...,...!(3/10)as
24 - Woken around 8am by the noise of some truck or other parked inches from my car unloading stuff for the house up the road that is being renovated . . . notification in the mail of a welcome annual increase in my PO 'pension' - 1.7%!!! How the hell do they work that out - thought it was supposed to be inflation linked? Recent council tax increase swallows that never mind anything else! As I'd feared - over time my income is gonna become less and less in real terms!!! Oh well - can't complain - well aware I am lucky to get it at all. . .got SPAM on my website e-mail address! From: "DR MIKE OJEIFO" MIKE_OJEIFO@TOTALISE.CO.UK, Subject: READ THIS, "REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP, <snip> I have therefore, been delegated as a matter of trust by my colleagues in the Panel to look for an Overseas partner into whose account we would transfer the sum of US$26,400,000.00 (Twenty Six Million, Four Hundred Thousand US. Dollars). Adequate logistics and strategies had been worked out to ensure a successful transfer with your maximum co-operation. Hence we are writing you this letter. We have agreed to share the money thus: 25% for the account owner (you)". Oh goodo - how fortuitous - I could use a quick six million!!! :o) Why on earth do they bother?! Mailed an abuse complaint to Totalise for all the good it will do. Hope it doesn't contain a virus - first time in my life I actually went out and bought anti virus software and weeks later DS upgrades me to XP and the software wont cover it! Sods law. :o)Sally and spring blossoms Sally amidst the bluebells. . .felt lazy and decadent and haven't used the car for ages (feel guilty having it () and almost NEVER consider the idea of using it to go anywhere just for pleasure!) so started it up and drove Sally down to the Avon at Hanham for a walk along the river and through the woods. Made the mistake of briefly putting the radio on which of course implanted a song in my head ('Torn'?) which then went round and round and round! Argh! Started off overcast and really a bit chilly but wow did it brighten up into a beautiful day! God how I love the woods - the spring blossom and bluebells are out and new green appearing everywhere. Can't help taking lots of silly photos and clogging up my webspace with them (although they don't ever do the scenes justice, especially when I mess with them to make them as small and low res as possible to save space and download time!) - nearest I can come to sharing the walk with someone I guess - kinda pathetic! Must remind myself to thank DS for the digital camera again some time - it really IS my favourite toy right now - may have to consider getting myself an expensive one with zooms and screens and such when this one dies - but why?!!! May have to start filling up the free webspace that comes with my cable ISP!! :o) . . . PCd this . . .guestbook entry asking me to look through my old bike mags! Not sure I can face that - and they are all wrapped up in big bundles and taped in plastic!! On the spur of the moment did the personality disorder test that 'BH, USA' left a link to in the guestbook!!! Results:-

Disorder Paranoid Schizoid Schizotypal Antisocial Borderline Histrionic Narcissistic Avoidant Dependent Obsessive-Compulsive
Rating High Moderate Very High Low Moderate High High Very High High High

Yep - guess I'm a crazy nut then - at least as far as the programmer of the test is concerned!! lol :o) Too many variables not considered! . . . sat in the sun in the garden/PCd/TVd . . . BB called to touch base . . . ummd and ahhd and finally managed to persuade myself to take Sally in the car and drive to somewhere appropriate to see the sunset. Ended up heading just out of town for Aust on the banks of the River Severn estuary just past Pilning. The road on the way just outside Easter Compton is bordered by a large water filled ditch - difficult to see from the road but it looked as though a car was in the ditch and another car full of 'youngsters' was awkwardly parked partially on the grass verge nearby. Strange - and the group in the car just oozed 'up to no good'!? . . . parked up and wandered up and down the flood defences looking at the new severn road bridge crossing and the old one in the distance. Sally admiring the 'Second Severn Crossing' at sunsetSadly as is SO often the case when I make the effort, it was hazey and cloud had rolled in from the west and the sunset was something less than it could have been. Played with the camera nonetheless - some guy and his girlfriend were walking their dog in the far distance and obviously hadn't spotted me - they seemed to be having great fun as the girl had been 'caught short'! Need a zoom lens! lolol :o) . . . gave up with the sunset and just for old times sake decided to walk Sally around the fields to the army firing range, that I used to frequent as a boy picking up the shiney brass 7.62mm cartridge cases. Don't think a shot has been fired there for some time and strangely a herd of cows was grazing on the estuary bank behind the targets sand bank! Kept Sally on the lead once we entered the field they were in and walked about a bit reminiscing about how I used to pedal cycle all the way out there and crawl around on my hands and knees and collect the shell cases from the grass and how I made a belt out of them as was the fashion for 'Motorhead' fans at the time! Time to go but first I figured I'd stop and sit for a bit with the view and have a cigarette. Smoked, watched the sunset, watched the rabbits, watched the cows - kept on watching the cows - watched sally watching the cows!!!??? Uh oh! Those cows don't have udders!! Those cows that don't have udders must be bulls and they are coming this way!!!! ALL of them!!!!! They were bulls and they really were not messing around. The whole herd was heading straight for me and Sally - Sally sensed we were in trouble and decided to go devil dog just to make things worse. The bulls kept on coming - and didn't stop coming!! The truth is I was BLOODY frightened. There was no cover. There was no escape - the nearest fence was a LONG way off and I would have had to have carried Sally over it. I was in BIG trouble and the bulls knew it. Headed off as fast as I could walk towing Sally but when the bulls got to within about twenty feet I figured having my retreating back to them was bad news. Turned and shouted, stamped my feet, Sally barked, but all to little effect! BLOODY HELL!!!!! In a last desperate attempt to survive bullies!(after having grabbed my camera and taking a shot so the coronor would know what happened) I ran at the nearest four line abreast bulls, arms waving wildly with devil dog dangling from one wrist and shouting at the top of my voice. It worked - for a while. Gained a few more yards and then turned and had to do it again. Well - to cut a long story short - I'm typing this so we made it!!! Real scary. Guess the bulls were fending off a wolf pack kinda. Wont be going back there for a while! . . . on the way home the youths in the car were still there and had now reversed their car precariously onto the grass verge at right angles to the road and had their hazard lights flashing? Tried SO hard to ignore it but ended up pulling into a layby and calling the police on the mobile - who knows - someone may have been trapped in the car in the ditch, or at the very least they were looting! Phone rang and rang but no answer? Called again and got through to an operator and was put on hold kinda with the phone ringing???!!!! On hold for FIVE minutes on the expensive mobile charges before I hung up and outraged tried yet again. Eventually succeeded in reporting what I'd seen after another four minute wait but I was SO angry at the disgusting service I gave the despatcher a hard time! That really is outrageous - took ten minutes to get a response on the phone never mind a response on the street!! Last time I report anything to the police. No wonder Bristol now has one of the highest crime rates in the country. . . stopped for KFC chicken takeaway dinner on the way home - couldn't face cooking beef burgers! . . .TVd. - news report of a local childrens home care worker having been murdered by a fourteen year old girl in their charge!! Tried to call Sis1 to check she hadn't returned to work yet and was ok, but only ansaphones. Touched base with M/D who confirmed she wasn't back at work yet. Sis1 returned my call - she'd seen the news. . . PCd till early with Sally in a funny mood wanting cuddles. Think we've both had enough of all the bull for one day!! (4/10)aaa
25 - Up late . . . walked . . . sat in the garden. . .spent a rediculous amount of time lacing together pictures from last night into a panoramic view. What a pain! . . . Sis1 called to touch base . . . ate the rest of yesterdays takeaway . . .TVd . . . Fell asleep for a few hours through ansaphones messages . . .watered the garden for pleasure. LB called offering me some of the plants she has been sent by her gran for her garden - declined-I'm already pressed for space out there! Just need growth . . . walked (bloody kid on a moped riding across the field again!Grrrr) and found a penny . . . PS popped round for chats till early. BB called to touch base . . . Sally still in a clingy mood all day but certainly a 'little' more relaxed around PS which was great - he even managed to go to the bathroom at one point without me warning her to stay layed down and holding her collar. Excellent. Am I not the brave bull fighting alpha male!! :o) . . .set both of the alarms (god I'm gonna be tired in the morning!) and sat in the garden till early - SO quiet out there - hardly any distant traffic noise at all?! It's not THAT quiet in the countryside! Can HEAR the snails!! Lovely . . . PCd till gone 3am on another earlier panoramic I had shots for before bed!! (4/10)aass
26 - Up before the alarms before 7am! God I feel tired! . . . walked in the rain . . .showered then left Sally at home and drove through the awfull traffic to the dentist for my 9:15 appointment. Around 9:30 the packed waiting room of people was told that the dentist was inexplicably late! Grrrr. Got rather annoyed and went out for a cigarette mumbling 'outrageous' as I passed the staff. Back in the waiting room I was in one of my 'weird' moods, brought on by the silent misery of all the people waiting avoiding eye contact with each other. 'Played' with them a bit and told them all what my appointment time was and asked what time everyones elses were - my suspicions were confirmed as at least one other person had a 9:15, and a couple of others shared a time! Showed my outrage and then tried to make jokes about maybe biting the dentists fingers and such - some to and fro with people. Joked I'd end up being a Christian by the time I left and picked up the only book in the place for a read - the bible!!!! Well - it was either that or very old glossy magazines about lip gloss and other such alien womanly ways! What outrageousness is contained therein!!! Whole bunch of proverbs all easily used as 'in the name of the lord' justification for awfull stuff (depending also on which Bible and which translation) - Prov. 19:18 / 22:15 / 23:13+14 - could be used to justify terrible child abuse! Dreadful! Slowly these last years pondering the atrocities of the world I have become more and more polarised in my increasing belief that religion aint right - some more than others - and which one you have is largely an arbitrary culture/peer pressure type thing - an accident of birth and breeding as it were! If I am to be 'damned' for rejecting 'the word of god', if I can live my life as best I can without causing suffering to any living thing then I shall gladly jump into the flames! Grrr. Enough of all that - I aint no preacher! . . The dentist turned up, I was first up into the chair (thank god?) and was cleaned and drilled and out of there within five minutes by 10am, 16+(NHS) the lighter. Drove straight home in the rain . . . dug out my 'holly biblee' and read more outrageousness in disbelief! Sis1 called to touch base and say M/D had pencilled in a convenient date for her (and me? ok.) to visit . . . sleep beckons. Slept for ages and woke feeling awful again!! . . . finally persuaded myself to do it and jumped in the car with Sally and went in search of more local 'sights' to snap around town! Stopped here and there and took some shots. Full moon tonight - crazies definitely out - come around 8:30pm figured it was time to flee from the centre before the Friday night unpleasantness and fights started. Wow - aren't those girls cold, looking so hot?!! :o) . . . walked and stopped for sausage and chips on the way back . . . TVd - blimey what news! The nazis are taking over France and all the teachers in a German school have been massacred!!! . . . withdrew to the PC and found all the shots I'd taken were not much use because it was too dark! Damn! BB called to touch base. Played until gone 2am trying to salvage at least one panoramic from the waste of time and petrol money.(4/10)s
27 - Up late with Sally snuggles. Looks like the April showers are here at last - real windy too! . . .walked real late and found 2p . . . PCd . . . LB popped in briefly to drop off the latest Makro leaflet - uh oh - looks like I may have to go buy the cheap electric shower they are advertising and finally get round to trying to replace my broken one. . . spent the whole day PCing with three machines on the go and in pieces!!!! Took my 'main' hard drive out of the old PC and fitted it in the new one - then did the same with the CD writer holding my breath each time in case XP wanted me to 'reactivate' or something - thankfully it didn't! Hmmm - not comfy with the drive letter assignments. Only problem I have really ecountered so far with Windows XP is compatability issues with my software! CD writer software wouldn't run on XP!! Spent ages surfing and finally downloading some 8mb replacement or other?! Seems to work but not at all like the old software did - need to read up on that! . . pulled everything out of the old ATX machine except the bare minimum and then formatted the hard drive, reinstalled Win98 and tried to network it and STILL it wouldn't have it!!!!????? Where on earth does that leave me - I've laboriously checked everything? Gotta be something about the motherboard then I guess? Think I've reached the end of the road/limit of my knowledge with that!! Damn! . . After about 8 hours, chain smoking, drinking coffee and with a nasty headache developing, BB called to touch base and was the encouragement I needed to stop, as things are - for the timebeing. :o) . . . walked in the rain . . . TVd till late. (4/10)s
28 - Up late and oh boy what a headache and crunchy neck again! Almost out of Anadin tablets - costing me a fortune! . . .walked . . . did house chores - ugh! . . . TVd and watched the 'Schummaker show' (Spanish Grand Prix)!! . . . PCd and got round to trying to set up the scanner and printer on the XP machine - same old hassle with compatability!! Downloaded things and stuff trying to make them work. Spent ages searching for and adding links to my computers page for my ease of surfing for drivers and updates and such. Round and round in circles for hours again - I CANNOT get my scanner to work despite having spent hours downloading supposedly XP updated drivers! Tried again and again and ended up with four (!!!) 'Unknown Device' entries in Device Manager that the system wont let me remove or instal drivers for!!!?? Infuriating . . BB called to touch base but I was less than talkative, up to my ears in drivers and hair pulling! Eventually gave up for the time being around 7pm. . . walked in the wind and rain but luckily missed the worst of it . . . TVd till late. (4/10)s
29 - Woken around 8am by a wet nose in my ear - blimey, no head ache yet :o) . . .walked . . .Bloody computers!sat around/TVd and then PCd for many more hours trying to sort out the scanner hassle and failing miserably!!!!?? bizarre that the Mustek website that allegedly has the XP driver update (and really confusing/conflicting? instructions about how to instal it on the Taiwan site) has a "limitation of 20 users at one time" - that doesn't seem like much for a whole world!!! It WILL not let me on to download the single file (did manage to download and run as per the instructions the multiple files but THAT is what hasn't worked!) no matter how many hours I've repeatedly tried for!!! . . . fell asleep for an hour or so on the sofa . . . BB called to wake me up - oh dear, more health hassles!! . . . walked and found 2p . . . TVd till late. Some instability in mood today - much dislike of myself at times. . . PCd till early downloading both XP and Win2000 Mustek drivers from the europe site - may as well try everything!!! . . . DID try everything until gone 3am and got absolutely nowhere except for ending up with around nine non removable 'Unknown Device' entries in Device Manager!!!!!!!!!!!! Argggggh! (4/10)s
30 - Woken around 9am by Sally. Figured out from the way she walked on me and kept on sticking her wet nose into my face that she ismn't being snuggley at all in the mornings - she is just INSISTING it is time I should wake up! . . . walked in the most awful torrential downpour! Found 2p. Got really drenched . . . PCd the rest of the morning away but made no progess with the scanner at all. Spent an hour or more downloading the latest software for my webcam - although can't recall the last time I used it! . . .touched base with BB who sounded really poorly with her tooth abscess thingy! :o( . . .balanced my accounts . . .LB called to remind me about Makro - thank goodness not today - headache building! . . . slept . . .walked in between heavy showers - nice rainbow. . . LB called again asking if it was ok for us to go to Makro later in the week in my car cause of some problem or other with hers! Said yes of course but couldn't help thinking that the cost of the petrol I'll use to get there negates any savings I may make! Hmmmph. :o( . . . TVd till late. (4/10)s