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April
30
- Up around 8:30am after only a handfull of hours of dreadfully disturbed, dream laden sleep . . walked. . mowed the lawns. Amazing how fast everything is growing! . . It's the pirate festival this weekend (and more interestingly the big biker meet in Pgntn), with loads of events on the quayside from today onwards. That film company/website guy never got back to me about filming did he. Just as well - I was intending to apologise and say no. I have absolutely no intention whatsoever of going anywhere near town/people and subjecting myself to any of that! Absolutely NOT! . . ate Mum donated pilchards in tomato sauce with chopped spring onion this time in bread rolls and a little chocolate . . napped until around 6:30pm. . .drove to walk in a hint of rain . . TVd the night away. Guitarred just a touch . . did a little dish washing. Just enough so I had something to eat off! . . ate chicken and mushroom pastry slice with chips and some chocolate . . to bed around 1:11am.
29 - Woken around 7:55am by neighbours door slamming . . .walked in a bit of rain. Damn - the zip pull on the raincoat I recently scored in a charity shop, disintegrated in my hand! So - that was NOT a good deal on this occasion. :o( . with the recent lull in activity in the gdns, the litter situation has improved dramatically. I didn't even use a carrier bag this morning - managed to carry all I found in both hands. I even managed to remove some of the old poop bags hanging from branches that nutcases had thrown into the bushes! . . PCd a bit more of this. SO time consuming-I just can't keep up with it! Loads of 'unfinished' bits I STILL want to clear up. . ate Mum donated pilchards in tomato sauce with chopped onion in bread rolls and chocolate before having a nap . . woke with the alarm at 7:30pm . . skipped the evening walk . . TVd . . PCd a bit more of the 'unfinished' this for hours. Actually - I think that's gonna have to do. . TVd . . ate bananas and kipling tarts . .touched base with BB!!!! . . PCd, surfing until around 4am before eventually to bed. I've surfed a bunch of stuff recently. It's shockingly horrific to me how most of the (web=young) population seem to have almost zero empathy for others! A couple of things amongst the stuff I've bumped into made something of an impact on me:-
i) "
It costs council tax payers 780 million a year to clean (litter from) the streets of England". (from
Keep Britain Tidy Org) Just imagine what 'could' be done with that - year after year after year!
ii) "
the word “litter” should not be used in teenage communications as it is not part of their vocabulary."
"Teenagers were very happy to admit they drop litter on an almost daily basis. This is in stark contrast to ENCAMS’ adult litter research, where dropping litter was accompanied by high levels of guilt, and often, total denial. When adults were persistently probed their littering transgressions emerged, but most felt less guilty about quite serious misdemeanours than their subversive littering behaviour. Teenagers appear to have a total lack of guilt regarding littering, and this cannot therefore form the basis of litter messages unlike ENCAMS’ adult campaigning." (from 2002 ENCAMS commissioned
market research into teenagers’ littering behaviour. It was good to actually see "Teenagers appear to have a total lack of guilt regarding littering" in a 'research conclusion' like that. That's EXACTLY what I've been seeing in their behaviour - everywhere - and not only in respect of littering - AND not only in respect of teenagers!!!!! Can you imagine our future? Can you even begin to, really? Jeezzzzzze!!!!!!! :o(
28 - Up around 7:15am. A little flurry of e-mail replies concerning the mail I sent yesterday seems to confirm people ARE taking notice . . walked. Passed someone on the way to BGdns who said what had been going on down there of late was front page news on the local paper!!!!! Blimey. For the first time in ages, the gardens were quiet and largely unspoiled, with hardly any litter around to pick up at all. What a JOY! Didn't even manage to fully fill a carrier bag. I DID however end up taking home a big wet towl someone had left behind in the undergrowth. I'd spotted it last night but figured someone would be back to claim it. They hadn't so I figure after a wash it'll be useful for wiping down Sally. If not for a hole, it would have almost been useful for me! . HMS Daring was visible through the haze moored over by Tqy . . walked back via the local newsagents and bought a couple of copies of the local paper. Stopped in at Mums for a coffee while reading the article in the paper in her garden. Blimey - there's been even more going on down there than 'I' know about! B******s! At least now it's been given some SERIOUS publicity. Excellent. Can't tell you how pleased/relieved I am. (I DO try to be as accurate with my accounts here, as I can possibly be. It concerned me how the newspaper reports were in places less than 'entirely' concise or accurate. lol) . . received an e-mail from the Marine Conservation Society people re the seagull footage. "Just to let you know that your package arrived safe and sound this morning. I haven't actually viewed it, it was passed on quickly to our Technical Team who were very keen to get hold of it!" Excellent! . . PCd a bit of this - but feeling up-tight, sweaty and ready for sleep again already! . . .showered. I only mention this because I DO unfortunately seem to have involuntarily returned to the up-tight, under-seige, expecting-attack state of body and mind that I experienced in Bristol for so long. It affects every single thing you do. For instance - you find yourself debating in your mind at what time of day may it be 'safe' to have a shower, therby rendering yourself vulnerable and not so readily able to take whatever defensive or evacuating action may be necessary in the event of 'an incident'! You can't just 'turn that off'. It also kills the 'creative' part of my mind and makes touching the guitar out of the question. :o( . . my slightly more upbeat mood of earlier, quickly evaporated thanks to me reading the comments people had posted on the local newspaper website article. A couple of nutters with their own axe to grind had suggested the trouble had been caused by a group of 'young farmers' who had visited Tqy on mass over the weekend apparantly. They HAVE apparantly had big trouble with them in the past, but all the reports from this year indicated they were not 'quite' such a problem. They were almost certainly nothing to do with ANY of the incidents in BGdns. Foolishly I felt obliged to set that record straight by posting a comment: "I have personally witnessed 'some' of these incidents. Believe me - uncomfortable as it may seem, most if not all of this was down to the LOCAL 'youths'." This resulted in someone commenting thus: "I hope as a good citizen you told the police of what you witnessed...or did you you just observe? You knew they were local so why did you not report them?" Being obviously over emotionally involved in all this, what with my Bristol 'baggage' and all, that REALLY pissed me off. The second part of the sentence in particular seemed to be a statement of 'fact', openly accusing me of having done absolutely nothing. Ok - first of all - lets ignore the fact that with just one exception that I know of, EVERYONE else in Bgdns DOES turn the other way and totally ignore everything - I guess I have to accept that I have NOT called the police on occassions that I 'maybe' should have. There ARE several reasons for this. Amongst them there is of course all my Bristol 'baggage' and my sickening familiarity with how the police actually respond to such calls - i.e. they won't turn up for hours, if at all - so why bother calling if what you are seeing will likely be over by then? Also - there is my consistantly erronous assumption that the people causing all the problems are intelligent enough to perhaps be 'reasoned' with. Because Sally and I so often have no choice but walk past or through the groups of people involved, I have little choice but to engage them in some conversation and WILL challenge their behaviour if it is likely to be 'relatively' safe to do so! Repeatedly making that same mistake - it is then diifficult for me to call the police because it would be obvious to the yobs who had done so, thus making me the 'target' again. There IS more, but its hard for me to put it into words here. ON TOP of all of THAT and perhaps worst of all - particularly since moving down here, I really am in a TOTAL state of confusion about what is and is not acceptable behaviour nowadays!! Based on conversations I've had with many people, it appears to have been a tradition for generations, that the locals 'party' in BGdns and the beach and woods behind Churston Cove. Who the hell am I, the 'out of towner', to start calling the police every time they carry on that tradition? At what precise stage does an innocent bunch of (young) people having a bit of a fire and some beers and a 'smoke', become a police-notifiable incident of anti social behaviour? (The 'kids' on the motorbikes for instance - I had the nerve to make it clear they were 'in error' in their behaviour, I filmed 'evidence' - but I gave them the benefit of the doubt and walked away!) It's all been VERY difficult for me. I've tried to do the 'right' thing as best I could for 'the community' or society (an amusing paradoxical concept, coming from a people hating recluse who feels 'wronged' by that very same community/society!). I think I do and have done more than most!! Blah, blah, blah, f***ing blah! Anyway - suffice it to say, that guys stupid baiting comments REALLY brought me down and angered me. So much so - I was pathetic and fool enough to bite, and commented again: "Oh pious B, I am much offended. Why do you seek to infer it is 'I' who am somehow at fault in this? You have no idea what I may or may not have done. You have no idea the price I have ALREADY paid. Walk a mile in my shoes. I am MUCH offended!" Soon after he responded: "Pious me...think not. All I asked if you reported this to the police or other authorities as many good citizens would...a simple question but a strange answer from you. Sorry to offend, that was not the intention." Uhuh. He has NO IDEA! We both need to get a life don't we! :o( . . spotted rain was forecast tomorrow. Damn - I'd suggested to Mum I'd clear out all her full-of-moss etc rainwater gutters around her house in the next day or so. Guess I really should get up there and do that before it rains. . touched base with Mum then walked up with Sally and cleared out all the gutters. Good couple of buckets full. Refused money (after some argument) - accepted food donation . . drove to walk. Very quiet evening again. Spent much longer than I'd intended, sat on a seat having a chat with another dog walker, etc . . back home, the neighbour offered me some more eggs if I wanted them. Accepted a bunch and loaned him my 'only used once' ellectric router tool . . . TVd . . PCd and somehow managed to face doing an edit of the seagull footage, set to Edvard Grieg's 'The Death Of Ase' from the Peer Gynt Suite. Had to use a Youtube download of the music because my copy was from an old record and had a scratch/jump on it! Still find it oh SO painful to watch that. Much of the editing (mostly modifying the music to fit the required length) was done whilst kinda trying not to watch it!!?!! Eventually got there and uploaded it to Youtube. I'm uncomfortable doing 'duplicates', but I think I'm gonna have to leave both copies of the same video up there, because the first unedited one may have been linked-to, and just in case the music one ends up being censored for copyright . . ate two bananas and bowls of muesli before to bed around 2am. ds
27 - Up around 7:50am . . walked in the warm sun, without my winter layers. Actually got the 'wardrobe crisis' about right this morning. Big layer of sea mist sitting on the deck a little way out to sea and very slowly drifting across the bay, with ships appearing and disappearing in and out of it. Snapped a couple of shots of the results of last nights fire, etc. . feel just a little more 'in control' of myself today for some reason, rather than that awful panicky, crazy, 'waiting for the attack' feeling I've been suffering after the recent events? . . PCd and eventually started compiling a bunch of photos and drawing up a 'log' of the most recent BGdns events. Took hours! . PT (the Bgdns 'main man') phoned to update me about things. It didn't fully register with me when he said it, but apparantly he'd just been down there with a press photographer from the local paper. It does seem as though things have been stirred up a little as a result of recent events. Apparantly there is now an open police crime log, and any further vanadalism/damage-in-progress type events should be immediately reported via 999. (I was unaware but last night someone allegedly also broke at least one of the padlocks on the steel shutter door in the rear of the main battery - where I'd seen those guys breaking timber for the fire etc.) He also suggested he'd have the gas mask/bong off me because he was concerned it 'may' have actually somehow have been one of theirs stolen from the museum - the mask, not the bong I trust! lol I suggested they should start a whole new display with it, together with photos of how the place is constantly being trashed. He'd apparantly attempted to replace some of the stones in the retaining wall. .despite what he'd said, I decided to finish of my 'log' with pictures and eventually surfed to find a random bunch of e-mail addresses and then mailed it ('semi' anonymously) to anyone who I thought could be interested or should know (local government, town counil, local newspaper, etc, etc.). Not as easy as it sounds, since most websites these days seem to avoid e-mail addresses and have dedicated 'contact us' forms instead, which I presume you cannot attach photos to. I was sadly NOT able to e-mail the police a copy for example! Crazy . . .just the effort of doing that exhausted me and took all day - and had me all up-tight and anxious, sweating profusely from my armpits in particular!!?!! PTSD?. . ate a tin of baked beans, grated cheese and four pieces of bread and butter and chocolate. A news item today suggested a correlation between feeling depressed and high chocolate consumption. Uhuh. . .napped until around 7pm . . walked. All VERY quiet in the Gdns with notices affixed to lots of trees around about the place, informing it was a criminal offence to damage the place. :o) They won't be there long of course, but it certainly shows how things have been positively stirred up. Excellent. IP (responsible for having put up the signs) turned up actually checking on the place while I was sat there. Had a brief chat. :o) . . TVd the night away . . ate bacon chips and some chocolate around midnight . . to bed around 1:30am.
26 - Woke earlier then up around 8am. . walked picking up litter. Image of retaining-wall vandal damageOnce again, last night - since I was last there, someone had partied near the newly vandalised seat in front of No2 gun battery. They'd had another bonfire and this time had used large rocks, torn from the old retaining wall next to the path, to circle and retain their fire!! (Plenty of bits of smashed glass beer bottle laying amongst the grass, but suprisingly little debris otherwise? Had someone else already picked up?) So - part of that old wall has now been destroyed. I toyed with the idea of trying to 'repair' it, but the rocks were pretty large and it wouldn't really have been possible to just push them back in position - it'll take some digging and such to do a half proper job, and make it safe from the likelihood of increasing collapse. :o( . . One of the dog walkers told of how yesterday mid afternoon, they were all in their house with an aged aunt over for Sunday lunch sat in the bay window. A passing group of kids had thrown a seagull's egg at the window (presumably because they saw the old lady sat there)! The force of the impact on the window was stated as being enough to have potentially given her a heart attack at her age! (Oh yes - I know all about THAT noise don't I! If you've not experienced it, you really have no idea just how much of an impact that makes. It WILL suprise you that the glass can take it!) According to the story related to me, someone had run out and actually managed to get hold of one of the youths! He immediately lied and denied any involvement of course, as they always absurdly do these days, even if you've just actually stood there and watched them do something! The police were called but of course they didn't turn up for almost a couple of hours, by which time they'd long since had to let the youth go. (Boy - did they take an awful risk doing that! Again - I know! They are decent people - I so, so hope it IS different down here and they don't end up being a nightly target for those little yobs. :o( ). . PCd checking mail etc and was unhappily forced to confront the news headlines on Yahoo. "Blaze mother had called police." When I first saw reports of that fire, I suspected it probably was, but SO hoped it wasn't. But sure enough - "A mother whose two older children (aged five and two) died in a house fire an hour after she reported noise and anti-social behaviour in her back garden had called police several times in the past three years. // Investigations were continuing into reports that Ms Adams had experienced problems with anti-social behaviour. It was reported that shortly before the blaze broke out she posted a message on Facebook saying: "You can smash the windows and the car but you'll never get me and the kids." How many more of these stories need to be reported before society finally gets its stupid head out of its pollitically correct ass and wakes up to what is REALLY actually going on out there?!! Imagine the REAL number of people across the country who are enduring this daily torture - and for what? My heart bleeds for what remains of that family. I just want to cry. . surfed and found myself looking at property for sale in the outer hebrides, Skye etc. Haven't done THAT for a while! :o( . . -//-

Marine Conservation Society e-mail correspondence re the seagull footage. They thankfully seemed to think the footage was as 'valuable' as I did.

MCS Adopt-A-Beach and Beachwatch

-//-

burned a couple of copies of the raw seagull video to DVD, hand scribbled a quick note to go with it and then left Sally at home and popped straight up the post office and got the padded envelope in the post . . ate ham and mayo rolls and some chocolate . . napped until around 7pm . . drove to walk. As soon as I stepped out of the car I was greeted by the sound of a loud metallic bang from the direction of no.2 gun battery. Oh no!! :o( Image of youthsWalked my usual route in trepidation before coming upon youths breaking up timber against the side of No1 gun battery and building up another big bonfire by the seat. Two other youths were atop No2 battery and had been unearthing more rocks from up there and bouncing them down off the metal gun cover to the ones below, to be added to the ring of stones around the fire! Had to get Sally to come close and keep her safe nearby away from the fire as I was forced to walk between the two groups. Particularly uncomfortable having one group several feet above me (with rocks) looking down from the top of the gun emplacement like that. It occurred to me (probably wrongly, but how the hell am I to tell!) , just walking on without acknowledging their existance was absurd under the circumstances, and would have displayed potentially dangerous 'weakness' . I attempted to engage the two near the fire in conversation, and began as 'innocently' as I could by asking if it was them who'd been there having a fire last night. They immediately denied they had been. I then unfortunately degenerated into something of a rant, about the idiots who'd destroyed part of the retaining wall. I can't now quite recall the actual few words that were exchanged between us, but suffice it to say, the next thing one of the yobs said actually revealed he'd just lied and confirmed he HAD been amongst last nights destructive group! For goodness sake. Why IS it that EVERY time you talk to young people these days, they instinctively without hesitation, lie? You absolutely CANNOT believe a SINGLE word ANY of them say! What sort of a basis is THAT for a fulfilled life? (Actually - I take that back - I guess they will all end up being happy, wealthy bankers, politicians and the like! :o( ) The crazy thing about their lieing is - I'm absolutely not a particularly intelligent person, and yet even 'I' can usually trip them up in a short conversation and make them expose their own lies! How dumb can they be? The yob who'd just exposed his own lie realised his mistake and went on to assure me that ok - he had been there but it wasn't him who'd destroyed the wall. F***ing idiot. I can't recall what the other exchanges were, but I DID threaten to call the police before I carried on walking up (thankfully without any rocks being thrown down on me). I sat under the roof for my cigarette as usual, fuming. A couple of other people were already sat there, completely ignoring what was going on right in front of them!!??? My (empty) threat about calling the police DID suprisingly have an affect on the youths. They all ended up sitting on the edge of the roof of the gun battery, occasionally looking uncomfortably back at me, absurdly acting as though they were compeletely innocent of having done anything or having any connection with the fire below or large rocks prised from the earth laying just behind them. (I secretly snapped a photo or two - just in case!) When they weren't looking in my direction, I hastily made my way back to the car and got outta there! . . Back home I promptly threw up! . . TVd . . touched base with Mum . . PCd and somehow ended up surfing all manner of weird scientific stuff. I was attempting to examine the possibilty of links between early cannabis use and aggression in youths!!. .. ate a couple of bananas and kipling tarts before to bed around 2am.
25 - Up around 8:15am after only a few hours sleep. . walked and picked up every single piece of litter I could find! I owe it to 'someone'. :o( Saw a couple of the dog walkers kids 'looting' the tools from 'the pit', to be used to make a den I think, so I guess they're gone now. Someone had also shifted all the pallets from atop the gun emplacement (actually - with hindsight, just - I hope it wasn't the kids just moving them elsewhere for their den!) so I even cleared up the bottles and litter which remained there! Two carrier bags full without even really trying. . atmospheric calm morning with a bit of drizzle in the sky and mist and clouds shrouding parts of the coast, as sail boats raced around the bay. The lifeboat wasn't on station, so must have been out on a shout somewhere. Sat around quite a bit. . back home in the lightest hint of drizzle by around 11pm . . PCd this at length . . felt obliged to put in a brief appearance at the museum so walked again with Sally (who really seemed tired, slow and old!) and popped into the busy museum. Was given a free cup of tea (blimey - I haven't drunk tea for years! Yuck!) and exchanged a few words with the woman I'd e-mailed yesterday. With hindsight, it wasn't really worth the bother but I'd felt obliged to. . sat on top of the lower gun emplacement in the sun for quite a while, then on a seat up higher before eventually heading home. Sounds drifting across from the harbour suggested there was live music going on. I couldn't stomach even going to have a look and be amongst all the nauseating people. In fact, given how I'm feeling, I think that my camcorder may have become redundant. . actually - I'll mention it here - I had a couple of e-mails from people recently. Forgive me - but I won't be replying. I just - can't!?!!. . . drank wine . . ate Mum donated pizza with extra cheese . . napped until the alarm at 7:30pm . . TVd . ate a buttered scone and chocolate. . to bed after 2am. d
24 - Up around 7:45am. . . walked. Actually not 'too' much litter around the place considering it was a Friday evening last night. What there was - I ignored (as best I could!)! Actually, one of the other dog walkers DID pick up some of it. It's been quite common of late, to find aerosol cans of deoderant/hairspray etc littering the place. The dog walker made comment that this was what the kids were getting high on these days. I don't think so. Aside from the fact that many of them are girls, my observations of their behaviour and evidence from litter picking, suggests to me it is much more likely they have been used to ignite the bonfires they've been having, and have also been put IN the fires for the 'fun' of the resulting explosion. On top of that, the place is awash with cannabis and booze, so why would they bother snorting aerosols? . . A few days ago, T had thrown one of his dog toys for one of his dogs as he always does, and the toy had apparantly rolled into the undergrowth just out of reach, onto the top of what appeared to be a treacherous 20foot or more cliff edge. He'd turned up this morning with two long hooks-on-poles, and a long length of thick nylon rope, intending to attempt to retrieve it! I joined in since he can hardly walk, and his plan of lowering his young lad down on the rope seemed rather risky. Once he'd hacked back a bit of the brambles, I volunteered to give it a go. Tied the rope around my waste, wrapped it round a nearby substantial tree and had T hang onto the end of it as I backed down into the brambles on the top of the slope/edge. Succeeded in retrieving the toy without 'too' much difficulty. Strangely satisfying. lol . the whole exercise got me interested in what lay hidden beneath the undergrowth below. I've explored 'almost' every inch of the gardens, and yet had no idea there was such a precipitous drop right there - AND there was recent evidence from flattened undergrowth and removed bits of hedging, that quite some considerable foot traffic had been heading off down in that direction for some reason. All very curious. So much so, after having had another sit and cigarette, I decided to go have a wander and explore. The newly well trod routes were all a bit steep and treacherous (for an old man like me!) so I dropped down the slope in front of the main gun floors and clambered my way around the slope through the undergrowth - having to leave Sally waiting behind at some point, because she couldn't get through. . would you believe it. T's young lad had already made his way round there and was excitedly stood behind a large heap of rock and earth, pointing into a hole! Oh MY GOD!!!!??? What on earth is this about? A huge excavation had been made into the rocky hillside! It was a good five feet deep and not unlike a grave in shape, but probably longer - and the tools, a newish spade, a shovel, pick axe, and some other stuff, had all been left in the bottom of it!! Other debris was littered around on top of the enormous spoil heaps! The amount of effort and time that must have taken, is considerable. It wasn't just a hole in dirt - they'd excavated through rock! That's several people over several days!? The steep slope above, and the loose rock layer they'd dug through, gave the strong impression that at any moment, the whole lot could collapse down in on the hole. Very dangerous! Ts young boy pointed out an interesting carrier bag in the hole with the tools. I warned him NOT to climb in, and found a broken branch for him to use to hook it out. Image of an unofficial excavation and drug paraphernaliaOh myyyyy god! The carrier bag contained a bong and a new looking gas mask with the front respirator part removed. The bong fitted into the resulting oriffice perfectly. I've never seen that done, but it was obvious what it was for. That's a new one on me - and actually finding it like that felt a bit weird and sinister kinda. Jeeze - imagine walking into those woods at night and stumbling across someone using it! Scare ya to death!!! The 'bowl' part of the bong had been reduced to just the tube, without any gauze or wire wool, so I'm guessing it was used for sticking a joint in, rather than anything more class-A serious. With the excavation scene already 'disturbed' by having removed the carrier bag, I belatedly snapped a couple of photos, 'just for the record'. All very weird. The battery Heritage guys HAVE been doing some digging work in the not far off old WWII electrical generator building of late, but I couldn't really believe this was anything to do with them - and if it wasn't, then what on earth was it? If it were up to me, I'd have the police keep digging DOWN in the hole for a bit - um - just in case (although there wasn't any noticeable odour and didn't really look like - 'that')! . decided to remove and hang onto the carrier bag of drug paraphernalia, so the 'evidence' would be retained, but also mostly so T's young boy wouldn't go running around playing with it - which of course he was absolutely bound to! Eventually managed to clamber back up to the seats and shared the discovery with the other dog walkers. What to do? I think the general concessus was that the police should be informed, although there seemed no great urgency. I dabbled with the idea of walking straight down town to the police enquiry office, but since it is only part time, sods law suggests it would probably be closed today. (Later I confirmed it IS closed on a Saturday!) I decided to hang onto the mask and bong probably until Monday - and in the meantime (fearful of creating another 'wild goose chase' type affair) would attempt to make contact with someone from the Battery heritage museum group, just to establish first whether or not the excavations were anything to do with them and were 'official'. Detoured with K in attendance via the closed battery museum as we started back, in order to establish from the signs when they'd next be open. Turned out to be tomorrow at 2pm. There was however a phone number on the notice, so I thought I'd give it a call on my seldom used mobile, to try and get straight to the bottom of things. Funny to hear the phone ringing - inside the closed museum! lol. . . stopped off at Ks, who said he had a number for one of the battery heritage group. No answer so he gave me a slip of paper with the number on. . back home I fired up the PC and started searching for heritage group contact numbers. Found a number for the 'main man' but there was no answer, so I left what must have been a bit of a bizarre message attempting to explain things, and asking him to call me back. Eager to get this latest nonsense off my back, I thought what the hell and rang every other number I could find for other members of the group. Eventually got through to a wife of one of the members and managed to explain everything. She even confirmed she had a computer so I obtained her e-mail address and as soon as I'd finished the call, sent her a copy of the trio of images I've included here (and shortly after, another of the satellite image slightly larger, with the routes of how to get to the site marked in red - because it really wasn't too easy to find/reach). She said she'd get him to call me back shortly. . Mum called in for a cuppa and chats etc. We were sat at the PC with me telling Mum the tale when the guy called me back. The excavation was NOT anything to do with them! Indeed, so tight are the restrictions about what can be done to a scheduled monument, he indicated that much smaller works which they HAVE done, have had to be done under the strict supervision of an approved archeologist!!! There was even some mention about a several hundered pounds fine for something that was once done by them that shouldn't have been! His wife had apparantly promptly e-mailed a copy of the photos I'd sent her to the local police! Excellent. That'll do me - I've suitably got things stirred up a little bit. Quite right too! This isn't just some grotty little piece of open space on the coast that the yobs should be allowed to trash and deny the rest of us. It IS something special. It IS of REAL historical value. IT IS something that should be fought for and retained for the future! . . ate Mum donated bacon in bread rolls and chocolate . .struggled to stay awake. The guy I'd left an ansaphone message called me back and seemed by now to know all about the situation and said the police had been made aware, so I guess that pretty much drew a line under things for me (although I still have the gas mask and bong laying around. Not sure what to do about that. Hand it in to the local police enquiry office or just hang onto it? I'm not sure I want it hanging around! I bet e-bay doesn't allow the sale of such stuff. Charity shop? Naw - I'd probably end up finding it in the gardens again! lol). .a rescue helicopter swooped low over the town somewhere around mid afternoon, and appeared to land up Berry Head way! . . really wanted to nap, but decided instead to walk really early, and take the camcorder and tripod and sit on my favourite gun emplacement for a bit, in the hope of something pleasant/interesting to film, and in order to get the walk over and done with before I would be exposed to any more evening 'assaults' on the gardens. . . at some point while I sat there, I became aware of noise and movement in the trees up the slope behind me. An old guy presumably from the battery group was making his way through the woods, obviously going to examine the scene of the excavation. Good. . .at one point, a couple of people with a little toddler sat on one of the seats at the bottom of the big grassy area enjoying the view. The parents breifly took their eye off the child and he ran back across the grass, making a bee-line for the big scar that was recently made in the middle of the area by one of the partying youths bonfires. He jumped into the circle of ash and started playing with it like it was a sand pit! (Actually - perhaps just consider when reading this, all the bottles that are always smashed around the place by the local youths, and the shards of glass that always remain afterwards, no matter how much one tries to pick up - never mind all the dogs and other wildlife, and the people who go barefoot on the grass on a sunny summers day!) The child ended up kneeling in the ashes, picking up handsfull of the stuff and throwing it up into the air, for it to drift around in the breeze like smoke. He clearly got a fair bit in his eyes at one point. The whole incident only lasted seconds before the parents realised what was going on. Ignorant of the potential dangers of doing so, the child was encouraged to wipe his blackened hands on the grass!!! It's SUCH a shame you daren't innocently film things like that these days. That would have been absolute GOLD DUST if captured on film. :o( . . later a group of four young women (teenagers) passed by on the path below me, and made thier way to the top of the nearby search light bunker. I didn't see him arrive but a young man joined their group at some point. He left them sat on top of the searchlight bunker drinking their cartons of coffee and Redbull and made his way around the fence and took to the dangerously precarious litter strewn slope just below. That slope is absolutely COVERED in all manner of bottles, cans, refuse, litter and debris (many times more must have reached the rocks and sea below) - casually added to by the girls as I occasionaly watched out of the corner of my eye! Without a second thought or twinge of conscience, upon finishing their drinks, they immediately tossed the empty containers straight over the fence. Although I've much wanted to every time I walk past, I've never had the nerve to attempt to reach that area. It's fenced off for a good reason. Nasty slope and deadly drop to the rocks below. That didn't deter the young man. He picked his was across the 'debris field' to an area of dried undergrowth and began tearing handfulls of it out of the ground to throw up to the girls on the bunker. They were making a fire. At some point he discovered in the debris at his feet, a not yet empty aerosol of something or other. He also threw that up to the girls befiore eventually making his way back around the fencing to rejoining them as the fire was made. Image of a litter-butt!I was NOT deliberately keeping watch on them - but such was their loud behaviour, it was difficult to ignore them. It would have been oh SO easy to have turned the camcorder on the tripod and deliberately filmed them at length - but of course I absolutely couldn't do that. All the more so considering the appearance of one of the girls!!!!!!! 'Somewhat' ! overweight, she appeared to have difficulty in finding clothes that covered her assets - or more preciseley - her fat a**! Don't blame ME for the image I AM going to include here which I DID dare to capture! I didn't want to be presented with that sight - big buttocks bissected by a piece of string looming out at me!!! Believe me - with MY camcorder zoom - if I'd wanted to, I could have probably made money out of the sights she continualy presented to every poor passer-by! What may not be immediately evident in the photo against the backdrop of a yacht moored just off the coast, is the Redbull drink can, in mid air, which she has 'just' thrown over the fence to add to the rubbish strewn clifftop! Grrr. What angered me enough to incite me to point the camera at them here, was the sight of the empty plastic carrier bag they'd brought their drinks in, being allowed to just blow away across the grass from where they were sat because they were done with it. . shortly after this they began setting light to their fire, but I was busy filming an incoming trawler and didn't see what was going on. Having said that, I WAS aware from the shouts and screams, that the aerosol can DID feature in whatever they were doing to get the fire going. In the middle of setting up shots for the incoming trawler footage, I heard a russle below and became aware that seagulls had quickly descended and had grabbed a bag of rubbish - litter that someone sat on one of the nearby seats had simply walked off and left behind. We ALL know seagulls do it in their desperate fight for survival - we've all seen it - but you don't often get the chance to actually film them opening up rubbish like that. Too good an opportunity to miss - I sacrificed my trawler footage and quickly swung the camera round and filmed as the seagull opened up the bag and emptied out the contents, which turned out to be some rubbish, and at least one other plastic bag containing some food remnants. What I hadn't at all expected was what I actually ended up filming!!! After an angonisingly long period of trying, the poor seagull ended up actually swallowing the entire plastic bag before ultimately flying off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Utterly horrific. Image of a seagull eating a littered plastic bagTHIS REALLY upset me, as if I wasn't enough already!! It's the middle of the breeding season. They mate for life. Can live anywhere up to forty years or so - but not that one - and all because some nauseating individual just couldn't be bothered to put their litter in a bin!! What sort of a slow agonsing death is it now going to suffer? I can't begin to imagine - and yet my mind insists on continually trying to do so!!! On top of everything else going on with me at the moment, I'm now suffering quiet a bit of guilt about having filmed that. If I'd had any idea whatsoever that could have happened, it is conceivable I could have left Sally, my camcorder and all my stuff on top of the gun emplacement and raced off across the grass to attempt to wrestle the rubbish from them before things got out of hand. Actually - not really I suppose - but the theoretical possibility still tortures me. With every video I've ever taken, (particularly when editing) I've ended up getting strangely 'involved' and somehow 'emotionally attached' to the minute details of the events. I imagine professional natural history type film makers must similarly suffer when they film stuff like a wildebeast being preyed on by lions, etc, etc. Having said that - in my mind, that's different and in some ways is more readily mentally coped with. Nature is brutal and harsh, full of suffering - but that IS nature doing what it has done for millions of years. Natural selection in action. Psychologically, deep down, one must accept that, and therin IS a place to put that to rest. When it comes to witnessing the EXTREME suffering caused to wildlife by the acts of man - that seems SO different. SO much harder to accept and justify. It makes me ashamed to be human. It's bad enough to turn away from and ignore the suffering we inflict in the name of food - but THIS? 'We' took this seagulls LIFE in such a horrific way, because we couldn't be assed to put a piece of litter in a bin? Jesus f***ing christ!!! The unfeeling selfish barbaric pointlessness of that. I can't find the words! (I AM aware of course, everything is actually a tiny part of the process of natural selection in reality - even this event. :o( ) . . In something of a state of shock, and oh SO saddened by what I had just witnessed, I turned the camera off. I even actually found myself involuntarily sitting for quite a while with my hands over my eyes as if that could somehow erase what I'd just seen!!? I've never experienced such a reaction before! Sadly the damage was done and my mind raced in tortured empathy! (Typing this some time later, it is clear I will never look at a seagull in the same way again. Every time I see one I experience a little more 'pain' (I already did with regard to the 'suffering' of ALL forms of life anyway!?). Unfortunate that! There's a lot of them about!) . . .The group on top of the searchlight bunker all started 'mock' screaming and running away from their fire. Obviously the aerosol can had been placed in the flames. There was a pregnant pause during which the young man returned to the bunker and as if creaping up on the fire, approached it gingerly from the slope below. He was SO lucky to be where he was. Right then, the can exploded with a big 'crump' sound, blowing debris and ash all over the place for up to a 20 foot blast radius, but mostly away from him towards the open area of grass. I think it actually blew out the fire! How that guy didn't get hurt is extraordinary and how lucky no-one was on the path just feet away below the bunker, right then! . Image of youths on top of the yacht hut(Picking up all the debris the following morning, it appeared to me that the aerosol had actually blown out the top seamed part of the tube, rather than fragment like shrapnel.) . a short time after this with more hollaring and shouting, the group ran across the grass and all climbed up onto the roof of the yacht club hut, and ended up continuing their 'fun' up there!!?? I have seen others do that. One of these days, that roof is gonna collapse under such pressure! Inconspicuously grabbed a couple of photos of them up there before packing up and heading off, really still VERY upset about what I'd filmed. It wasn't actually THEIR discarded carrier bag which had killed THAT seagull - but it could have been, and theirs may yet account for the death of something else - and they couldn't give a s**t. I absolutely HATED them and all their kind! . . ended up in a weird somber mood sat on one of the seats higher up for quite a time, trying to avoid seeing seagulls, before eventually heading home. . .very upset - had to immediately go and try to nap. 'Eventually' to sleep for almost a couple of hours . . TVd . . eventually mustered up the courage to PC and review what footage I may have got of the seagull. God that's hard to watch!! In fact SO painful, apart from cutting out a small segment to reduce it to Youtube's 10 minute limit, I just uploaded the whole sequence as it was without touching it, just so as not to have to go over it again! (That piece at the very end, even includes a brief hint of the language and behaviour of the unpleasant fire making group on top of the search light bunker!) That is an important piece of footage 'I' think - and should be compulsory viewing for EVERYONE, especially the spoiled-rotten 'youngsters' round here! :o( If the stupid and ignorant EVER needed any proof, that my outrage at the allegedly 'petty crime' of littering IS, TOTALLY justified, then this must SURELY be it! I have absolutely reached a point in my life, where if there was any doubt when I was younger, there is no longer - I HATE humanity. Loath the species. If we were all to be wiped off the face of the planet by some swineflue type pandemic or some such, I would heartily cheer with my dying breath! . . . drank wine . . ate a banana and a Mum donated scone type thing . . . very unhappy . . eventually to bed in the early hours only to be unable to sleep until well gone 4am and plenty of birdsong. d
23 - Up around 7:40am. .PCd a bit of this . .walked and did NOT pick up any of the litter. Apparantly T had already cleared up smashed bottles from around the seats before I got there, so I was spared that! . . really tired! Ready for sleep already. What else is there! . .PCd this . .ate beef and bread and butter . . napped . . couldn't face the walk. TVd/guitarred . . ate chocolate sponge and chocolate . . to bed around 2am. s
22 - Up around 7:30am. . walked. Felt down, disconnected and in a bit of a daze actually. Hardly noticed the walk there - busy trying to figure out where I could live where I won't encounter such stuff. There isn't anywhere is there. It's everywhere. . hadn't cleared the camcorder so was able to actually show a couple of dog walkers why I was so down. . . PCd and carelessly threw together the aircraft con-trails video and uploaded it to Youtube. Definitely one of those videos that doesn't really do the actual scene justice at all. Also, when acttually sat there filming it, I hadn't at all noticed how they were all drifting away eastwards on the high level wind like they were. . I don't even want to PC this drivel. . no appetite but ate a banana and then forced down ham sandwiches. . napped until around 6pm. . . I almost skipped the walk - because I really just didn't want to have to face another night of it - but beacuse of that feeling, forced myself to do it! Drove to walk, pretty much without incident if you ignore todays acumulation of carrier bags cans and litter on the grass by the yacht hut, the rowdy drinking group on top of my favourite gun emplacement and the unpleasant goo spread over the roofed-seat which I nearly sat on! . . TVd . . PCd a bit of this until late. .TVd and ate microwaved curry and chocolate before to bed around 3am.
21 - Up around 7am. .walked early. The sky was absolutely FULL of aircraft con trails. The week long flight restrictions imposed because of the Icelandic volcano dust cloud, were apparantly lifted last night. It looked almost like a race, with aircraft from all directions pouring into the sky, with most appearing in the east in a mass exodus from what I imagine was over London, Heathrow/Gatwick way. Ended up setting up the camera and sitting for half an hour or more, trying to film the appearing con trails as they made a tapestry in the sky. Ended up feeling absolutely frozen despite the hazy sun, which was obscured all the more by the mass of con trails - which actually seemed to abruptly stop (like so much does as soon as I pull my camera out of my pocket!)! I suspect the rising sun just heated up the air enough to stop them forming so readily. . .exactly as I'd predicted, pallets, cardboard, bottles and debris had all been left on top of the number 1 gun emplacement. I no longer clear up anything. I've absolutely had enough! :o( . . the new steel I beam in the Battery control bunker was all cemented in place and was being painted over already. . .messed around with the old, still 'just' about going lawn mower. Attempted to sharpen the blunt battered ends of the blade and even actually deliberately bent it just a little, in the hope it would give a slightly shorter cut to the grass. It doesn't cut anywhere near short enough and suprisingly has no means of adjusting the cut height. As a result, whenever I mow the lawn, it looks as though it needs another trim quite literally only a couple of days later!! Whatever I did seemed to improve things, and I even got the bends in the blade equally enough to improve the balance of the thing, and reduce the awful noise it's been making since I last messed with it. Trimmed both lawns, front and back. Definitely shorter - definitely improved slightly. . pottered in the front garden. Emptied a pot I inherited which has been sat next to the steps near the front door. Despite constantly drying out because I never water it, some miniature daffodil type flowers had appeared from it recently. Seemed a far better idea to have those in the ground somewhere, so I planted them in the bit of empty border below the patio. .cut up and disposed of a badly mishapen ugly hebe type plant in an adjacent border and tidied it up etc, etc. . gave Mum a call and checked if it would be ok to pop round and pick up the couple of pots of campanula diggings from her garden, which she's had there waiting for me for months. Its incredible, especially for around here, that my garden doesn't have any - and I like it and want some - like I used to have everywhere back in Bristol! (I 'need' some grape hyacinths too!) Left Sally at home and walked to Mums to pick up the three pots in a large carrier bag. In conversation Mum suggested I take the opportunity to have a look at her neighbours roof. A company had recently done a 'blitz' in the area, selling that painted-on roof treatment you often see on cowboy builder type programs. I've always assumed it's a botch type con, and more or less recommended Mum steer well clear of it, when she showed me their advert and said her neighbour was having it done. (Having said that, I imagine it IS good at keeping down the moss growth, which IS quite a problem round here what with the climate and all the bird droppings and such). . looking at the front of that neighbours roof, I admit it DID at first sight look ok and kinda new and nicely weatherproof looking (but then of course it has only just been done). On closer examination I quickly spotted a very noticeable large crack in the side render beneath a couple of the tiles, and in JUST the right place to enable rainwater to get blown in under the lower tile! Blimey - if I'd just paid a company several hundred pounds to jet wash the tiles, rectify bad pointing and coat MY roof, I'd have been utterly horrified if they'd left it like that! As I was pointing that area out to Mum - right then, just as she located the hole and raised tile I was talking about, a pair of house sparrows landed nearby and while the male sat on guard nearby, the female darted INTO the hole! Oh my god! They've just spent hundreds of pounds having their roof 'done' and lo and behold, they have birds nesting beneath the tiles!!!!!! Well - I guess that confirms my instinctive warnings about having that done were accurate. Poor birds. Hope they manage to pull that off before the owner notices. . got the campanula and planted it in the front garden . . ate dog food beef and onion in gravy with chips . . napped . . drove to walk. As I walked, in the distance a little way off along the coast, I briefly spotted the silouette of a wet dog stood on the rocks. That ended up worrying me and had me sit for quite a while watching for further sight of it, just to make sure it was ok. The thing is, the bit of the coast it was on is as far as I'm concerned quite inaccessable. In the past I'd climbed around on the rocks nearby where it was with Sally, and had eventually withdrawn because it was too steep and dangerous to continue. I failed to find a way down the cliffs to where I'd just seen that dog. With no further sight of the dog, I got increasingly concerned and ended up asking a passing walker who was a local if they knew those rocks and if it was possible to get down there. He didn't seeem to know either. To cut a long story short, I ended up shouting out to a passing rubber dingy with outboard motor that was aimlessly buzzing around, and the occupants happily headed off along the coast in the direction I indicated to check that everything was ok. Turned out it WAS all ok - there was a guy happily amusing himself down on the rocks with his dog! Ooops. lolol I think I need to start walking along with my eyes closed and just mind my own bloody business! Wonder how you DO get down to those rocks?. . back up along the paths, I became aware of the outrageous noise of what was obviously a couple of motorbikes being driven along the lower path as far as they could before their way was blocked by all the steps!! Like a moth drawn to a flame, I HAD to go and see what was going on. I headed down the shortcut track through the trees to my favourite vantage point on top of the lower gun emplacement. Sure enough, a group of apparantly dope smoking youths were rampaging around the grass and paths on a go-ped and a miniature motorbike (neither of which had any form of silencer so it appeared. Absolutely deafening noise!) The slope up over the top of the old searchlight pill box was being used as a jumping ramp! It unfortunately just so happened that I ended up sat at my vantage point only feet from them, so there was no chance of being unobserved! My face is perhaps a permanent scowl, but it must on this occasion have looked worse than normal making my disapproval very apparant to them. One of them called out at me and said "Do you have a problem with what we're doing?" I said I DID! Trying SO hard not to get bogged down in a direct confrontation I suggested if they were gonna do that - then at least do it down in the woods (trashing the woods being the lesser of two evils, less likely to offend evening walkers and not damaging to the scheduled monument?). They ignored my suggestion, so I said they wouldn't mind being videoed then? Dumb as dirt, (or supremely confident in their complete invulnerability?) they seemed to like that suggestion and called out that I should put it on Youtube!!!!!! I said if I did, they wouldn't like the tile I';d give it. 'Brixham Yobs'. Image of go-ped and mini moto ridersThey carried on ranting around and rolling and sharing their smokes, seemingly without a care in the world that I WAS indeed filming a bit of their activities. Incredible!???? I fairly soon stopped filming. I mean - really - what the hell was I actually gonna do with the footage? I certainly wasn't about to put it on youtube (although, perhaps I should? Too many people around here have rose tinted glasses and no idea what REALLY goes on!). The other alternative would of course be to let the police have it, but - been there, seen that, done that (in Bristol) and look where it got me - much trauma, hardship, permanent psychological damage, and now it would appear, right back to square one, all for nothing!!! . . As I walked away and made my way back up the slope, just below me a trio of well dressed pensioners were slowly heading down the path having a nice evening walk! Damn - wish I'd filmed for a bit longer. Would have been just perfect to have got them on film having to negotiate their way past the youths and bikes! . . I returned to the car and headed home - kinda 'traumatised' and feeling utterly overwhelmed by the last few days of deja vue. I do NOT apologise for my emotional 'overreaction' to all this stuff, which I'm sure most people somehow just shrug off and ignore! I have 'history' with it. I have been permanently damaged by it. I can neither ignore nor dismiss it. :o( . . I don't want to be here any more. This is an EXACT carbon copy of how 'Bristol' started. I can't stand it! I just can't bear it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o( . . TVd , but don't ask me what the hell I sat in front of all evening. My mind was desperately elsewhere. My plan of having new windows put in and doing all that work on central heating and such like on the house - well - under the circumstances, that's all on hold isn't it. What's the point. :o( I think Mum called at some point and I alluded in brief to what had been going on these last few days, and tonight down at the Gdns. Her knee jerk response was 'can't you find somewhere else to walk Sally.' Jesus f***ing christ! Really? Is that what I'm supposed to do now? For ***** sake! Really, for ***** sake!!!!. . ate a Mum donated battenburg cake and co co pops before to bed around 2am. s
20 - Up around 7:30am. .Image of discarded bottles walked in the warm sun. Repeated yesterdays clear up of the rocks, PLUS picked up the dozen empty glass bottles of Becks beer strewn around on the grass on top of the lower search light emplacement! K ended up carrying them all home to put in his recycling bin. The more of this I encounter, the more and more absurd seems all the effort I put in, to sorting out for recycling all the relatively small amount of waste I produce. My entire recycling efforts for a year can be undone by one small group of yobs in BGdns in a day - and regularly is!! To be honest I think K took those bottles home because in disgust, I'd not bothered to actually put the bulging carrier bag(s) of bottles IN the bin (awkward narrow gap), but instead had left them on the floor alongside. He recounted how he'd cleared up bottles in the past, only to find the next day somene had taken them back out of the bin and smashed them all around! . . I ended up coming home with a full left-overs dog-food beef joint, + more. . sat around all day, miserable, just not 'functioning' at all! :o( . . drove to walk. As I walked up from the lower path, I came upon a group of youths (somewhat older than the others of late) who had a bonfire going, right on the roof of the number 1 gun battery! Right on the roof! As I made eye contact, I asked if I could make an observation. I went on to explain that of all the places they could have had their bonfire, THAT just had to be the craziest (or did I actually say 'f***ing stupid'? I'm afraid I 'may' have!), because of the waterproof bitumen type layer that lines the top of the concrete right there, an inch or so beneath the burned grass. The heat from the fire would inevitably damage that layer (as HAS happened on the top of my favourite gun emplacement sitting position down below) and would inevitably lead to water ingress and damage to the structure of the 'Scheduled Historical Monument'. My observations were of course ignored. From the roofed seats above, I watched as the fire was fed and built up further. (The only redeeming part of this was - they did at least burn a lot of the buddlea cuttings that litter the area!) Incredibly, whoever these people were and wherever they'd come from, they'd actually come fully equipped for their evening of smoking dope and drinking next to their fire. They'd somehow managed to carry several wooden pallets and stacks of flat packed brand new cardboard boxes all the way up there!!!???? Pallets and cardboard that weren't being used to fuel the fire were being used as seats. . now let me say this - in principal I must have little objection to such a gathering. Sitting with your mates around a camp fire sharing a 'smoke' and a tipple in such a picturesqe setting must surely be a really cool way to spend an evening. The objection I have is the selfish way in which they ALWAYS behave. Never mind the fact that on this occasion they must surely have stolen the pallets and cardboard boxes from the fish market or somewhere similar - what REALLY kills me is how they consider their environment to be a personal 'consumable'. They haven't a thought for the mess or damage they cause, or for the effect that has on others. Have your little party by all means - just don't inflict any of it on others, and when you are done, make it like you were never there! Don't 'use the place up' and then just throw it away! . I had absolutely NO DOUBT whatsoever, by morning there would be one hell of a mess left behind by them - never mind the potential hidden damage to the battery roof - but what could I do! Nothing. :o( As I was getting in my car to leave, one of them was nearby on his mobile phone letting others know where they were. "We're down the battery. We've got a fire going and shit." That really almost had me laugh out loud. It was JUST like the Armstrong and Miller TV show where they take the p*ss out of todays youth. The WWII airmen sketches. 'Random'! lol . . . drank wine and TVD. Ate pizza and drank more wine. Enough. . To bed before midnight. d
19 - Up around 8:30am. . recieved an unexpected e-mail 'for my information'. "your diary now request permission to install remote data control software and appears to be attaching the virus JS.sykipot"!!!! Uh oh. Had a poke around and even used a couple of on-line site scanners to check my web pages as they appear to surfers, and all came up clear and clean. Fortunately (for me!), as far as I can possibly tell, I don't think it's a problem with anything my end. :o| . updated my virus software and then walked in the warm sun, leaving the PC running a FULL virus scan of everything. . I think I need to start thinking about reducing the multiple winter layers I'm still wearing. Having said that, it's still getting real chilly at night when sat around watching TV. . finally got round to having a go at moving a wooden pallet that'd been dumped just off one of the lower paths in BGdns within the last week or so, making it look like a rubbish tip. Heavier than they appear - managed to drag it along the path a distance before being helped by another dog walker to drag it out onto the road and just leave it propped against a wall by a lamp post. Good enough to encourage the council or 'someone' to eventually dispose of it. . Image of the beautiful Torbay coastline covered in rubbish!the rocks down by the yacht hut were absolutely covered in litter - YET again! Really is hard to believe that people could create such a mess and just happily walk away from it - day after day after day!!. Went the 'extra mile', yet again, and clambered down over the rocks picking it all up. :o( Mostly crisp packets, sweet rappers, plastic drinks bottles etc, etc, (little trace of alcohol) indicating it was VERY likely the same group of 'youths' (kids) that I (perhaps wrongly) suspect have been staying at the nearby holiday camp, and who HAVE been responsible for several of the camp fires and much of the litter strewn about the place this last week or so (and very likely the yacht hut break-in). Despite the abscence of much alcohol-related debris, what there WAS in considerable quantities were empty coin bags, empty tobacco pouches, rizlas with the cardboard flaps torn off, and more than one 'dummy' (like a babies dummy but with big red plastic lips on the outside instead of a handle) all just waiting to be blown into the sea and kill the wildlife etc etc. Pretty obvious what was going on there then - and at that age!!!!! God help us all. Filled an overflowing carrier bag and carried it all up to the bin (itself not emptied by the council for at least three days). What HAS my life been reduced to?! (This is all starting to get a bit 'deja vue'! Have I actually said it here - I've come to recognise that - 'I am scared'. I am scared ALL THE F***ING TIME!!!!!!!!! I can NEVER relax no matter how hard I try! I live every moment in a constant state of adrenalin fuelled fear! No wonder I'm always SO, SO tired!) . work has FINALLY started on the uppermost main Battery control bunker. The topmost part had been chained off some time ago because of the allegedly unsafe steel 'I' beam supporting the thick concrete roof structure. Some poor guy was in there this morning amongst a collection of accro-props with a hammer and chisel, starting to chisel away the concrete around the steel - by hand! Hell of a job - but I hope they get it all done and re-instated and opened back up! Having said that, all that'll mean is it'll then be used, abused and trashed by the urinating/drinking/graffitiing/fire building/bottle smashing yobs again, and will return to being the unpleasant no-go zone that is always presented to the unsuspecting visitors who dare to poke their heads in there when exploring the WW2 heritage site! :o( What the hell is it all for. :o( . . . sat in the garden for a bit before PCing this. The full virus scan of my PC came back clean and revealed no reported threats, so I'm hopeful that IS the case. It'd be awful to think I invest all this time in doing this, only for it to be blacklisted as a source of virus threat and blocked everywhere! Maybe it HAS been? lol . . .fired up the (independent) PC in the living room and after having had to charge the keyboard batteries before I could use it, ran a slow and lengthy, full virus scan on that too, before going online and checking my site was ok and acted normally. . ate a tin of sausages in baked beans with grated cheese and four pieces of bread and butter followed by a little chocolate while the PC ran its scan. Everything eventually came back as clean and clear and all working normally. . did a quick reply to the mail to let them know and suggest THEY had a problem . . .napped . . drove to walk. Well - at least the bins have been emptied. . the local 'youth' were all out in their small sailboats and I sat around for just a bit having a poke with the camcorder - mostly because there just wasn't any wind, and they were all driving their little boats along by standing up, hanging on to the mast and leaning back and forth. Actually seemed to me as a land-lubber, to be a suprisingly effective way of getting the things moving! Sadly the pleasant evening was utterly ruined by the big rowdy drinking group of mostly girls (locals I believe) who were all sat on the rocks, screaming, singing and shouting out at whoever was in the boats. Horrible, horrible. Eventually they all wandered noisily off, and sure enough, the litter I'd cleared up from the rocks had been replenished - with interest! Several carrier bags were blowing around on the breeze amongst it all, and at least half a dozen glass bottles were floating around the rocks in the sea! They must surely have been carefully and deliberately put in the water, because they were all just bobbing around half submerged with their open necks uppermost. Incredible that locals - the very people who you'd think would be taught to respect the place (especially considering the local economy largely relies on holiday makers coming to see the natural beauty of the area and wildlife and such) would so casually trash it all!!!!! I confess I DID point the camera at the mess they'd left behind a little, but what the hell for I don't know. It appears to be the way of the world doesn't it - that just littering everything, everywhere is now pretty much socially acceptable!???? The local news site had a recent article which got my back up. Headlined "These Gluttons have an appetite for rubbish" it lauded how the local council has just spent 61,000 on four new electric-powered street sweeping machines that act like giant vacuum cleaners, which would NOT replace the current teams of street cleaners but would work alongside them!!!! How on earth is that acceptable and something to be pleased about? . As I messed around filming the rubbish strewn rocks and bobbing bottles, I was amazed to see a couple of people (foreign visitors I think?) move from their previous seating position on a nearby seat, and go and sit on the now vacated rocks - AMONGST all the rubbish and drifting carrier bags, etc. You couldn't have paid me to sit there amongst all that crap - and yet to them it appeared to be just part of the usual landscape! Incredible. I despair. . . Chatted with a couple of dog walkers who reported that they'd been sat there the other night when the police AND fire brigade had turned up and had put out a bonfire down below (actually by walking down a couple of times with buckets of water! lol). Putting two and two together, that MUST have been the evening of the 17th as a result of the dog walkers phone call. Very suprised they bothered. . ended up sitting around for ages more as darkness began to fall, watching a small rubber dingy out in the bay not far from the end of the breakwater, barely visible in the half light. What particularly drew my attention on closer examination was the fact that it was occupied by a guy on his own, and he had on a wetsuit!? Sure enough, he eventually erected a small flag at the rear of his boat, wetted some sort of bag, put on his scuba gear, and then slipped overboard into the water and disappeared beneath the waves! On his own - in increasing darkness (no lights on the dingy - and actually too dark for my camcorder to film!) not far from the main boat entrance to the outer harbour! I didn't see him deploy any form of anchor, and yet the dingy appeared to drift slightly in an unusual way, which suggested he may actually have somehow been tied to it! I don't know much about these sorts of things, but the whole set up seemed incredibly life-threatening risky to me. No 'dive buddy', no lights, in the near dark, just out of the main boating lane, etc, etc, etc. All very weird. I HAD to stick around and keep watching, just to make sure he resurfaced. He wasn't down for particularly very long before he'd done whatever it was he was doing and somehow managed to climb back into the boat - although by that time I could hardly see it at all in the twilight. All very weird and incredibly risky. . . TVd and watched a show called 'Blitz Street' where they'd built an entire street, just so they could blow it up, to show what the blitz would have actually been like-ish in respect of the effect the dropped bombs would have had. The show WAS interesting and was an intriguing concept (imagine the costs involved!!), but it seemed to be ruined for me by its lack of attention to detail, and most particularly their insistance that their test would accurately duplicate the effects of the bombing. With the little I know about such things, no way can I see how a controlled explosion a couple of feet above ground, can in any way accurately reflect the effect produced by a bomb dropped from a high altitude aircraft! ANY amount of ground penetration WOULD have caused FAR more of a damaging effect. Mum called to touch base after the show to discuss it, and to recount some wartime memories from her childhood. One tale was of how she once shared a bed during an air raid with auntie Min. (I can barely remember her. A strange colourful character - but endearing as I recall.) Apparantly all the windows of the house were blown in by a bomb blast. Auntie Min allegedly commented to my Mum that 'there would be plenty of dead Germans in the garden the next morning'. Mum said she found that to be a strange comment. I on the other hand thought I understood it completely, and was rather moved, and felt a greater respect for that funny old aunt. My take on it is this - there she was laying in a bed with this little girl ( my mum) when an air raid occurred, which could have meant imminent death, for both of them. I have no doubt that her cuddling my frightened Mum was not only about giving comfort, but was also about actually sheilding her body from potential shrapnel, etc. When all the windows were blown in, never mind her own fear of death, she persisted in comforting my Mum by making up the nonsense about dead Germans to look forward to in the garden the next morning. In its own little way, that seemed like a selfless act of some bravery. :o| . Mum also recounted how Auntie Min never quite understood how to use makeup, and sadly always ended up looking 'a little unusual' to say the least (THAT is what I DO remember about her! lol) Prior to her retirement at the place she'd worked for many years, 'young' staff were taken on who made sport of mocking her appearance and humiliating her. On more than one occasion Mum recalls her being deeply distressed and reduced to tears by it! What shallow unfeeling bastards people SO often are. :o( . . ate ham and mayo rolls, a banana and some chocolate . . guitarred/TVd until bed around 1:30am. s
18 - Up around 8am. Sunny. . walked and picked up a carrier of litter, broken glass etc. I don't believe it!! That damned CD player I'd put up by the bin yesterday was laying in the undergrowth below the newly damaged seat! That's taking the p*** a bit isn't it? Having to pick up the SAME bloody litter every day!!!! . . As I painfully stooped to pick up all the broken bits of beer bottle glass that were smashed all over the path and grass in front of No2 gun battery, I became aware I was being watched. The youths responsible for having smashed that bottle were watching me pick up the pieces, from the roof of the emplacement! They were camping on the roof, complete with a camp fire. The same lot as the other day with the 'tardis' tent. Throwing the collected up rubbish next to the bin, and ranting to T who was already sat there, I openly displayed my anger. As we sat and ranted, the group eventually broke camp. (T had apparantly already 'had words' with them about how innapropriate it was to be having a fire there. The fact of the matter is, right on the grass atop the roof of the battery like that, chances are the heat from the fire will have damaged the waterproof bitchumen layers beneath, ultimately causing serious structural damage to the 'scheduled monument' structure!!!) As we ranted (and watched) they opened a couple of bottles of beer to pour on the still hot fire embers! I tried to jokingly suggest I'd have those beers. "You're not having them" was the sour reply and they carried on opening the bottles and pouring them on the remains of the fire. After they'd gone I cleared up all the bottles, cans - and a pillow which they'd happily walked off and left - right in front of us!! I also found that several of the bricks which line the top of the gun cover had been smashed up. :o| . . sat on the roof of my favourite gun emplacement with the camcorder pretty much all morning, but my heart wasn't in it. I just want this all to be over! I can find no pleasure in any of this. I just do the little I do cause I gotta do something, and because I just can't bring myself to do the one thing I so obviously should! Gotta see Sally through at least. . did laundry chores . .ate ham and mayo rolls and chocolate . . napped until around 7pm . . TVd . . PCd and ended up doing the silly 'Christine' video, just because it was viewed from an interesting perspective I thought. . . ate two bananas and a bunch of chocolate biscuits before to bed after 2am.
17 - Up around 8:30am after very little, disturbed sleep. . grey sky cloudy! That wasn't forcast! . Coffee and cigarettes breakfast at the PC as usual. Happened to check the AIS website and saw that the impressive youth training ship 'Stavros S Niarchos' was not far off the breakwater and presumably heading in. Damn - I'm so late I'm gonna miss that (not helped by watching my latest video more than once! lol)! . . walked with the tripod just in case, but sure enough by the time I got there, I was greeted by other dog walkers telling me what I'd just missed. It was already moored-up alongside the new fish market harbour wall. Humph. . yet more trash and broken glass around the place. Someone has dumped a wooden pallet just off the lower path!? . Image of a vandalised memorial seat in Battery Gardens, BrixhamOh NO!! A big camp fire had been made on the grass right in front of the number 2 gun battery, next to one of the memorial seats - and the thick top wooden slat of the back of the seat has been smashed into two! F***ING BA******S!!! I can hardly contain the absolute HATRED I feel for the yobs who do such things. It's a memorial seat for gods sake! Insensitive, self centred, F***ING B*******S!!! That's tantamount to desacrating a grave! :o( . (In fact - every square foot of the place really IS pretty much that, given the amount of cremation ashes that are regularly discretely deposited around about!) . . deposited the rubbish and broken glass I'd collected up, in the bin, before having a go at climbing down the steep wooded, bottle and can strewn slope to satisfy my curiosity. I'd noticed something different - something red, far below in the undergrowth the other day. A precarious descent, particularly considering all the valuable equipment I carry, but eventually I reached it. Turned out to be a portable CD/radio player! Despite having been 'moved' by someone recently, it'd obviously been down there for a while (together with a dented stainless steel cheese grater!?) Having finally got round to making the descent, I thought I'd check out the tent and other belongings that had long since been dumped/abandoned down there - just to satisfy myself that there WAS no skeleton amongst the debris. (A recent local news item from not far away was about exactly that - a sleeping bag found in the woods with someones remains in from last year!) Plenty of bits and pieces of someones belongings ( I did NOT attempt to enter the remains of the still partially erected, rotting tent), a sleeping bag and a duvet. I moved the sleeping bag and duvet just enough to confirm there was no-one 'resident' but left them there. Eventually managed to stay on my feet and climb back up, and carried the stereo and cheese grater with me to angrily re-locate to the bin! . . .filled a carrier bag with glass bottles from a local grass verge on the way home and added them to my recycling bin (NOT something I am prepared to make a habit of!). . PCd a bit of this but stopped to actually call the police non-emergency number to report the 'criminal damage' to the seat, for no other reason than to perhaps keep the statistics just slightly more accurate. I'm sick and tired of reading that the local crime statistics suggest everything is constantly getting better! . . received my latest quarterly electric bill. Around 65. Actually, that's not as bad as I'd imagined it could be - maybe I can afford to shower a bit more often. I'm sure people I pass in the street would appreciate that! . . did laundry and pottered around clearing up just a little until Mum called in with food donations for chats and to watch the latest videos, etc. . she'd had a call from Auntie B reporting that Uncle TJs cancer has returned with a bit of a vengeance from the sound of it. :o( From what she related, it does rather sound as though it's time for him to 'get his affairs in order' pretty quick!! :o( An unhappy reminder - I need to as well! I SO need to get a will done! I keep putting it off and putting it off - but I'm painfully aware (literally!) that my own smoking/brick-dust inhaling related health problems are really starting to take their toll on me. (Actually - my washing machine appears to be working a bit better of late - which suggests the problems I was having with suspected worn bearings were directly related to the ingress of all the dust I made doing those sockets in the kitchen!! Washing machine is doing better than my lungs at recovering!) Trouble is, it means having to go out and get 'involved' with 'people' to get it done, and just like the windows and heating etc (and my rotten teeth, need for glasses, need to register with a vet, etc), I keep 'avoiding' doing so, because I just can't face it (never mind the expense). :o( How cool it must be to wake up one day only to find you died peacefully in your sleep! . . . ate three sausages in buttered bread rolls and a little chocolate . . napped for maybe just a couple of hours. Dream laden sleep - like tuning in to alternative channel transmissions all being broadcast at the same time! . . walked. Much litter all around the place yet again - especially on the rocks down by the yacht club hut! Hang on - what on earth is that flag doing draped over that railing??? Image of vandalised, broken-into yacht club hutOh NO!!!!!! It turned out that someone had broken into the side of the yacht club hut. The wooden panels from one entire side had been torn off and thrown down the rocks towards the sea - and the flag (and who knows what else) had been removed from within. :o( . I ummd and ahhd a bit before heading off on the long walk to the yacht club to tell someone. . "Sorry, no dogs in here". That's NOT why I'm here! I told whoever seemd to care what I'd found and suggested they needed to get someone to go out and secure it. They said they'd get someone along to look. . returned to BGdns and headed up the path past the newly vandalised seat. Would you believe it - a group of half a dozen or more youths were all sat around a huge 'teepee' shaped fire of tree branches and timber, built up right next to the seat - and the broken back rail of the seat was no longer in situ (presumably burning in the fire!). I was unbale to contain my anger and let fly with some abuse including calling them 'F***ING IDIOTS!' which they seemed to take exception to and absurdly replied 'it wasn't us'. One of them suggested he knew who it was who'd broken into the yacht hut! . I carried on up away from them and sat on a usual seat, fuming - powerless - watching the smoke drift into the air! . . eventually had to get away from the 'unpleasant' view and headed back down to sit on top of my favourite gun emplacement, incidentally overlooking the yacht hut. Sure enough, some old guy from the yacht club eventually turned up with the keys to inspect the damage. I introduced myself as the person who'd just reported it to them, and then volunteered to climb down onto the rocks to retrieve the smashed bits of plywood that'd been removed. As I did so, I also found a small pushbike secreted on the rocks just below the hut!??? I carried that up and dumped it by the hut too. As far as I could tell without attempting to engage in too much of a conversation, nothing much except that one flag had actually been removed from inside the hut. I left him (and someone else who turned up) to trying to put the plywood and contents in the hut, back in such a position as to 'discourage' further entries, preumably until such time as they could arrange a more substantial repair to the side of the structure. (I DID for what it was worth, encourage them in reporting it to the police - for statistical purposes at least). . back on my gun emplacement overlooking, the youths from above who were sat round the big fire (who'd said it was nothing to do with them) eventually appeared and it turned out one of them was the owner of the push bike! Uh huh. A few words were exchanged between them and the guys trying to fix up the damaged hut, and then off they happily went. . .the more I sat there, the more groups of loud swearing youths appeared around the place. Obviously party time tonight! Unpleasant - uncomfortable - time to leave!!!!! Exited with another dog walker, who was also suitably outraged about everything that was going on down there of late. Up on the higher path, the big fire was still blazing, and a whole new group of drinking youths were sat on the broken seat next to it, with more arriving to join them! . . . on the return walk, I once again passed an expensive house which has recently been sold. I'd noticed that a whole collection of Harley Davidson bikes (one a half built chop) had recently appeared outside - without number plates. Obviously someone (with an absurdly large collection of motorcycles!?) had moved back to the country from somewhere else. Whenever I see such bikes I can't help but have a good look. Just past the house, a guy came jogging towards me asking if I was the one who'd done a video on Youtube! Umm - I may have done one or two. I ended up strolling back with him to have a look at his bikes. Turns out it's what he does - build bikes. He's moved back here from Arizona! He did introduce himself and I said my name in return, but as is always the case with me in such (stressfull) circumstances, I IMMEDIATELY forgot his name. I'm not sure I quite understood the story, but the gist of it seemed to be, he was at some sort of hippy style music festival in Arizona a while ago and the people he was with had asked what Devon etc where he was going to move to was like, so somehow they'd ended up all watching (200 of them mind!) one of my videos on some big TV screen or other! I think he said the 'woods walk with the guitar' one. Oh MYYyyyy GOD! How weird (and embarassing - that guitar was AWFUL!) is that! Weird hairs on the back of my neck type feeling that gave me. How weird. . . glancing back as we headed off, it looked to me as though a police car had just come out of a junction and was heading off in the direction of BGdns. Just passing in coincedence no doubt. (Only a day later did I discover to my joy, that the other dog walker I'd been chatting to had actually returned home and called the police). . . guitarred for a couple of hours feeling pretty down and wanting to escape. Escape it all! . . TVd . . chilly evening . .ate a pastry slice, half a sponge and chocolate . . to bed around 2am. Wasn't in bed long before noise outside had me peeking through the curtains (and layer of condensation - cold out!). A young woman was lead in the road nearby - with a couple of friends in attendance. Legless drunk, she was eventually noisily helped inside. .there was a local news item recently that got a lot of coverage, about a locally produced Youtube video that's been going a bit 'viral'. I even had to look it up again and let Mum see it earlier. "Lindsey Collard has released a tongue-in-cheek version of Alicia Keys' hit 'Empire State Of Mind', with the lyrics tweaked to reflect something closer to home. A video showing Lindsey playing the piano and singing in various local locations accompanies the song. The 22-year-old, who lives near Torquay Harbour, has named the song 'Torbados', and its fame has spread far and wide on the Internet. Within three days of its release it had received 10,000 views online and the video sharing website YouTube was awash with comments, praising the song and saying that the cheeky lyrics about drunken late night antics summed up life in the Bay. // The song's lyrics parody the late night booze culture of Torquay that has seen it feature on TV shows like Booze Britain, and the hordes of tourists, hen parties and stag nights that journey to the English Riviera to have fun." Youtube Link If it wasn't so depressingly true, it'd be funny. :o( She DOES have a great voice though. s
16 - Up around 8:30am . . sunny. Walked. Yobs had been afoot in the night and several bottles had been dumped and/or smashed all over the pavements all along the way to BGdns. They'd obviously come FROM BGdns because T said he'd already cleared up loads from around the seats. Not a good start to the day for my state of mind. . walked the woods. Predictably mountains of litter on Churston beach, so we did the walk 'in reverse' to get that unpleasantness over and done with at the start, before heading into the woods. Very breezy. Cold around the ears but nice when sat in the sun . .returned via BGdns and picked up a carrier bag full of litter around the place. Moved a big half burned trunk of timber from the camp fire in the middle of the ruined grass and relocated it to the bushes to clear things up just a little. . eventually home shortly before midday - feeling more than ready for sleep again! . . drank a splash of red wine while knocking up a curry from a cheap jar of curry sauce and chunks of K donated 'dog food' beef. Ate a HUGE meal of curry, rice and four pieces of bread and butter followed by chocolate . . napped until the alarm at 7:30pm . . TVd . . PCd and eventually managed to knock off a video from a bit of old footage I've had hanging around of the washing of the hull of 'Lone Wolf'. Ended up being a very complex timelapse with loads of edits/adjustments of the speed to try to match the music. I think it works. :o) Uploaded to Youtube in the early hours. . at a banana and half a Mum donated sponge before to bed with the dawn chorus birdsong! d
15 - Up at 9am!! . . sunny. Walked in the cold brisk north easterly. .returned with a handful of left overs beef joint from K . . PCd, pretty much doing/achieving nothing and seeing another day pass me by. God I'm tired. Deep down exhausted tired. :o( . . ate three sausages in buttered bread rolls and a little chocolate before napping for three hours or so, until around 7pm . . drove to walk. Much litter all over the place and a camp fire left smouldering in the middle of the grassed area down by the yacht hut!! :o( . .guitarred briefly and TVd. . PCd a bit of this . .TVd and ate bowls of muesli before to bed around 1:30am.
14 - Up to the sounds of the bin men around 8am . . walked under a cool grey sky and picked up a carrier of litter along the way. . pottered in the back garden just a little before loading the car up, leaving Sally behind and heading for the tip. Got rid of all the garden waste I've amassed since last year AND the innards of the fire and back boiler from the kitchen. Pointless keeping that fire since this 'trade in' nonsense that's been in the news, only applies to people who have a working system. If yours is broken - you get nothing! I don't see the fairness in that. :o( Same as the car trade in thing. Just caters for people who HAVE money to spend, rather than being of ANY assistance to those who haven't! . . PCd a bit and started working on the 'sisters' (rowing) video. .drank a glass of red wine and ate a pepperoni pizza with extra 'dog food' pork and cheese. . napped until around 7pm . .chilly evening . . TVd the next episode in the 'Beautiful Minds' series on BBC4. This time about James Lovelock and the concept of 'Gaia'. Excellent stuff. SUCH a joy to turn on the TV and hear someone with a brilliant mind talking such sense. Mum called to touch base and 'debrief' on the program, which I'd suggested she should also watch. . PCd more on the 'sisters' until at length, after MUCH infuriating software crashing and re-booting etc, I managed to finish it and get it uploaded. Hardly a masterpiece, but perhaps worthy of mentioning (despite how shaky it still turned out) it couldn't have been done AT ALL if not for my bag full of rice to prop the camera up on, on various seats and bits of concrete - because of all the necessary 'maximum zoom' shots etc. . ate ham sandwiches, crisps and chocolate biscuits in the processing/uploading down-time . . to bed around 4am. d
13 - Up late just after 9am!! . . walked a bit late. Still less than warm but not too bad when in the sun. Sat around for quite a while. A bunch of youths had been camping out in a tent on top of the gun battery. The small tent was like the 'tardis'! Must have had half a dozen or so of them crammed in there! Funny to see them all unexpectedly emerge. . spent the whole day having a bit of a bash at the gardening. Trimmed both lawns and hedges at the front. Also trimmed the awkward high bit of hedge above the pergola out back. Finally managed to dig out and remove a big old dead stump from the front garden. My theory that it would be somewhat easier to remove once it had rotted for a year or so turned out to be pretty much on the money. Still hard work and awkward though. .the small bush I transplanted from the back into a border at the front has predictably died, so that got removed and cut up too. . spent ages more digging over and de-weeding the borders before removing some grass between the paving stones and clearing up a bit in the back. Didn't finish until around 6pm. . Well, that's the front garden in pretty good shape for the start of the growing season, and the back isn't 'too' bad either. . drove to walk. Ended up getting bogged down filming a rowing boat for ages (actually unpleasant, surrounded by discarded barbeques and litter left all over the area! grrrr). I had a 'prod' with the camera at the dot in the distance across the bay, and filmed it for a bit, before eventually discovering that the rowing boat (actually a 'Paignton Gig Rowing Club' racing gig called 'Top Catch') was crewed by women. I'm of course in danger of appearing terribly chauvenist, but that suprised me - I think mostly in terms of the brute physical strength and unbelievable stamina needed to keep going like they were. I first caught sight of them out in the middle of the bay - they rowed right across at quite a pace until they entered the harbour, at which point I think they briefly paused while the thing was directed around the moored boats and back out, and then they took up the same pace again, ALL the way back to Paignton!!!!! Incredible. WHAT a work out! Just filming them for an hour or so wore ME out!!! . . stopped at the store for milk and then at the local garage to fill up with petrol. It WAS pretty near empty but jeeze - I didn't expect to 'double the value of the car' just by putting petrol in it! 26.29ltrs @ 31!!!!!!!!!! . ate ham, lettuce and mayo rolls with crisps, half a coffee cake and chocolate . . guitarred/TVd until bed around 1:11am. s
12 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am after only a couple of hours of the weirdest, dream laden half sleep! . . walked. Sunny but a biting cold easterly breeze actually made it pretty uncomfortable, especially around the ears. Back home with some left-overs meat from K . . PCd at length and eventually managed to knock off the gull-fight video. Given they are the descendents of dinosaurs, it kinda makes you wonder what it would have been like to have witnessed similar dinosaur behaviour! . . ate dog-food pork with chips followed by some chocolate . . napped until around 7:20pm . . TVd . .briefly PCd a bit of this . .guitarred/TVd . . ate banana, crisps, chocolate and half a coffee cake . . to bed around 1:30am.
11 - Up around 8:30am . . walked. Bit more overcast than yesterday and boy, did the northish wind make a difference. Actually felt really rather cold! Didn't hang around for too long . . PCd and knocked off the 'air pollution' video. Not sure that really works because it's SO hard to see with the camera. I think it's 'just' possible to make it out from the video. You really have to see it with the naked eye to fully understand how amazingly bad it really is - and we're ALL breathing it in ALL the time!!! :o( . as it seems to almost every time I log on to it, Youtube has radically changed its layout once again. One personally irritating side effect of the latest changes seems to be the removal of the rating stars. I HAVE been keeping an eye on some of those, just to give me a bit of a feel for whether or not I'm completely wasting my time doing these videos. Oh well - if I'm gonna rely instead on the miniscule number of hits they generally mostly get, I guess it's pretty obvious I AM wasting my time! :o( . . PCd a bit of this . . drank a glass of wine and ate the mum donated meat feast pizza with extra cheese . . napped until around 7:30pm . . TVd/guitarred/PCd until deep into early . . ate bowls of co-co pops before finally to bed with the birdsong! sd
10 - Up around 7:30am . walked and cleared up litter . . guitarred in the garden and then PCd a bit until Mum arrived with the paper and food donations, for a cuppa and chats etc . I'd mentioned my plan to attempt to make a camera mount bag from rice or something similar, and she'd been down in the charity shops looking for stuffed toys with a suitable filling. She presented me with one she thought could maybe do. A really cute looking small furry dog!! lololol Could you imagine me walking around everywhere carrying that in a pocket, and then whipping it out as occasions demanded, to mount my camera on it? lololol Hilarious. I think I'll stick with my rice bag - although I WILL hang onto the toy because it IS actually apparantly a 'proper' beany-baby, which I gather can incredibly be potentially collectable! . . ate Mum donated chicken and stuffing rolls, crisps and chocolate. . walked again in the warm hazy sun and sat around in BGdns on top of the gun emplacement for ages, listening to my scanner and having a prod with the camcorder at this and that, while supping a glass of red wine from my hip flask. The lifeboat was called out just before I left. A cruiser 'The Full Monty' had suffered engine failure about 30 miles off Berry Head and had to be towed back into port. I couldn't hang around so missed it returning. According to my scanner, it didn't actually arrive back until around 10pm! . . PCd sorting through a bit of the footage I'd recorded, and knocked up the 'Stand By Me' video and got it uploaded to Youtube by around midnight. I've never seen people doing that 'standing up on boards' thing before. Seems a VERY weird thing to do. Must be incredibly difficult and tiring. I'd rather be sitting down I think - and definitely wearing a life vest! . . TVd . . ate a banana and bowls of corn flakes before to bed around 1:30am.
9-Up around 8:30am . . thinly overcast . .awful headache . . walked. Some guy pulled me up as we set out, asking if Sally was a dog, because he had a bitch that looked similar and was intending to breed her. . did laundry and dishwashing chores . . received a phone call from a friend of PJs!!!
Unfinished
- They had conflicting events coming up, were short of 'hands', and was I interested in maybe doing some filming for them later in the month!

I said in principal yes - but as the day wore on, regretted having said that more and more. So much so, it really started to make me feel very down.

http://www.info-tv.co.uk/ ok, ok, as he'd said, it WAS currently just a bit of a 'place holder' site in the early stages of evolving and all that, but I became overwhelmed with the feeling that it really was rather pointless. I do SO hate those bland 'this is wherever' type videos, which seem to just present a random selection of pointless 'stock' images from around a place. I've strongly resisted doing one myself these last few years. Just too pointless. . Who exactly is such a site aimed at? The local newspaper already does videos - Youtube is FULL of videos - what 'gap' is it filling?

 

. . ate ham and lettuce sandwiches, crisps and chocolate . . napped only to wake with the same bad headache. .drove to walk. All the fly tipped debris from around the bin has finally been cleared by the council. . out to sea, one of the tankers that's been moored out there for months was running an engine or some such. I've seen far more smoke come from those tankers, but perhaps because of the light wind or maybe the angle of the sun, a thicklayer of brown pollution right across the horizon was particularly noticeable this evening. So much so, it actually became the topic of conversation with one of the other dog walkers. Despite the poor hazy light, I couldn't help trying to catch a sense of it on the camcorder - something I've failed to do on other occasions in the past. It never ceases to astonish me how bad that pollution is, and how we all get on and pretend it isn't there and won't be having some sort of negative effect on us. It ISN'T dependent on the tankers that have been morred in the bay for months, although of course they add to it as pleases them. I think it is incredibly a build up from all the marine trafffic that is constantly filling the English channel. Ships really MUST be some of THE worst polluters on the planet! Never seems to get much mention in the press that does it? Makes an absurd mockery of smokeless zones and the like! :o( . . .PCd a bit . . dreadful headache!! Actually bad enough to feel a bit sick!? I'm all out of annadin tablets or would have taken a bunch much earlier in the day! :o( . . guitarred/TVd . . ate a mushroom pastry slice with crisps, chocolate and chocolate biscuits . .to bed at 1:11am.
8 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:15am. Clear sky and sunny. Another blue day in paradise! :o| . . walked . .on the way back, a guy in a suit was taking photos of the house in which the old lady used to live before she recently died. He was obviously from an estate agents so I couldn't resist asking how much it was gonna go on the market for. 165K I think he said, although he added it would probably go for MORE than the asking price! I BET it does! Superb house, not unlike the other one right next door that's recently gone on the market for 250K+, except that it'll require LOADS of work, updating, extending etc. Someone with money to spare is going to make a killing on that! Jealous. :o| . . . managed to muster the energy to do some rock breaking for filling some of the potholes in the lane. Put in several hours and managed to clear the pile of rubble I've had waiting for attention outside my garage. Also broke up the rest of the old firebreast dumped by the top of a neighbours garden. Jumped in the car and headed off to FINALLY get round to clearing something that's been preying on my mind. A short distance away, some time ago, some idiot (builder?) had just dumped a whole bag of cement (solidified in the rain) on a grass verge, and Sally and I have had to walk past it every day for the past several months. Really irritating. Well - I drove the car up there, loaded it all into buckets and brought it back home to smash up and add to my heap of 'chippings'. God knows what anyone seeing me go get that must have thought! lol . . before filling the potholes outside his property, I checked with a neighbour I've little spoken to, to make sure he had no objections. Of course he didn't and was all enthusiastic about it. In conversation he admitted to having seen the bag of cement dumped up the road, and said he was himself tempted to bring it back to make similar use of. lol He ALSO had bizarre tales to tell of the behaviour of the crazy neighbour who HAD objected to the filling in of the lane potholes. He independantly volunteered exactly the same conclusion I had come to about him - he's a raving nutcase and best kept clear of because he 'could' be dangerous. Funny old world innit. . glad to get all that out of the way. I don't envisage doing much more of that in the near future - if ever (although DO intend at some point to attempt to transport the three ton bags full of tarmac from Ks back here to add to the lane surface! It's just too good to waste and I've already assured him I WILL move it - some time!). . . collapsed in the sun in the garden, nursing my new blisters after having finished my labours, something in the sky caught my eye. It looked like some sort of elongated silver balloon, already at quite an altitude, drifting away on the wind currents. As it did so, it was rotating in the air, and each time it did, the sun reflected off the silver, making it look as though it was brightly flashing. I raced for the camera but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't manage to get the damn thing in frame or in focus. SUCH a shame. Would have made for an EXCELLENT bit of 'UFO' type footage to get the nutters all interested. lol. . . trimmed my hair and vacuumed a little before showering off the dust and grime. . . guitarred/TVd . . ate a huge lump of defrosted 'dog food' beef with chips and then lots of chocolate . . to bed before 1am. s
7 - Disturbed sleep and then woken by the sounds of the bin lorry around 7:30am. Tried to snooze on but of course everyone in the neighbourhood was retrieving their bins from the street, and with my paper thin windows the noise made sleep impossible. Gave up and got up around 8:30am . . walked in the increasing sunny spells. Precariously retrieved from the slope, lots more of the fly tipped flooring etc, and carried as much as I could, back up the path to the bin. As it turned out, T was up there and had allegedly instructed the two kids who'd thrown it all down there, to collect it back up and put it by the bin (which they'd not done of course). I suggested there wasn't 'that' much more left down there now, and they were 'encouraged' to go get the rest. Not sure what the council bin emptier will make of that big pile all around the bin, but at least it isn't laying all over the place amongst the trees like it was. . eventually returned home only to just sit around feeling blah again. Actually turned into a nice sunny day. Guitarred . . . ate ham and mayo sandwiches with crisps . . napped - the highlight of my day!. . guitarred/PCd just a bit/TVd . . ate Mum donated pizza with extra cheese . . to bed around 1am.
6 - Back up around 8am after very little, restless sleep. Should have eaten something before I went to bed. . walked. A dog walker told me a couple in the neighbourhood was splitting up and they were selling their house! Blimey - what a surpise. Bloomin nice house that is. Not unlike mine, but detached and much extended/altered. All that work they did on it - and kinda for nothing as it turns out! Everything's always for nothing ain't it. I'm consumed by that conviction. It seems to be my first waking thought of every day - and it all goes down hill from there! :o( . . picked up a carrier bag of litter and a few careful handfulls of the broken glass on the way around BGdns. So much for the council staff increasing their patrols now the 'litter' season has started!! . Carried on down town filming a little on the way, but as it turned out, captured nothing worth the effort. Having said that, my new little 'bag of rice' to prop the camera up on, does the business. lol :o) . . toured a few charity shops before buying a couple of burgers and scoring some bones for Sally in the butchers. Bumped into JK for a brief chat . . breifly mowed the back lawn before giving Sally one of the bones out there. . ate two burgers in buttered rolls and chips followed by a little chocolate . . napped the afternoon away . . drove to walk. Retrieved 'some' of the eyesore 'fly tipped' flooring etc the kids had thrown down the steep treacherous slope into the undergrowth, and carried it all the way back up the path and dumped it next to the bin, in the hope the council staff would remove it. . PCd and forced myself to actually reply to an e-mail - a rare, oh SO rare event! Somone on Youtube had asked how the Stagg guitar was holding up because he was toying with the idea of buying one. (That guitar video I did has had a bunch of hits - particularly around Christmas! I wonder if anyone has bought one because of it? I deserve commission! lol) Seemed right to respond to that one, so I did and tried to explain how it perhaps really isn't the best guitar to buy, but sure seems like good value for money for a novice like me. I don't regret having bought it at all. . yet another day of feeling desperately down and non functioning. . PCd this. This journal really has turned into an utter nonsense. Just a pointless list of what rubbish I eat! There was a point to that once. To attempt to ascertain if my diet was having an effect on mood. I've long since given up even attempting to determin cause and effect like that - I'm not even quite fifty but am already just 'waiting for god' as the saying goes. What a tragic waste of a life I've ended up being. . I'm 'down' pretty deep right now aren't I!! :o( Not uncommon for this time of year as I recall, - although things HAVE changed with increasing age, in a not good way. Impossible to verbalise here, but something along the lines of an inner unshakeable conviction that I've already seen the best of whatever it was I was ever going to have. Even back in the past when things were tough, there was always the 'possibility' - the 'hope' I guess, that things 'could' get 'better' , maybe tomorrow. I no longer feel that. Instead, there is just a reducing number of tomorrows to endure, with no hope of anything else other than ultimately worse. What's that Shakespeare line about 'tomorrow and tomorrow' etc. I can't even be bothered to look it up . . actually I DID end up looking it up - on Youtube. (pretty cool Ian McKellen version). Weird thing is - a whole bunch of people seem to have uploaded various versions of themselves reading the same passage for some reason. From the couple I viewed, it seemed inexplicable WHY they had done so. SUCH poor acting, if that is what they were even doing. It's almost tempting to have a go myself!! lol . . TVd . .ate a banana and half a coffee layer cake and then to bed around 2:30am.
5 - Woken by Sally around 8:40am again I think. . walked. Well - it would appear the holiday season has started proper, based on the amount of poop bags hanging from the trees and the litter that has suddenly appeared around the place in the last day or two! The path by one of the gun emplacements was just a carpet of broken glass, and another gun emplacement was full of spent disposable barbeques and all manner of other debris, amidst the usual puddles of urin and makeshift bonfires! Funny thing is, based on my experience - you can bet most of all that was left there by the local youth! Idiots all!. . The two kids who've been making a huge eyesore 'fort' construction on top of one of the main gun batteries, out of all the chopped timber and fly tipped rubbish, had apparantly been told by T to stop and to clear up the mess a bit. Finally!! All well and good, but of course they weren't about to carry all the fly tipped timber/flooring/chipboard, etc all the way back up the paths towards the road for the council to remove. As I walked past, they were throwing it all down the steep, inaccessable wooded slope below!!! For goodness sake!!! Way to make the whole place look like a rubbish tip for ever more! Idiots - and too readily allowed to be so! Grrrr. :o(. .ate Mum donated chicken and stuffing slices with mayo in bread rolls, crisps and chocolate . . napped . . guitarred and then PCd until early working on a bit of a 'twiddle', just for the hell of it . . finally to bed around 4am!!
4 - Woken by Sally around 8:40am . . walked in the sun and hung around for hours in BGdns, in the mood to be filming something, or perhaps rather more, unable to find the motivation to do anything else. :o( Actually pretty cold in the biting northish wind. . some guy with fancy camera gear turned up at one point and eventually asked if I'd mind taking a shot or two of him with it. Turned out he was Polish, down from London and touring around for a couple of days. SUCH an expensive fancy camera, I'm not sure either of us knew how to operate it! lol It DID however give me the chance to lay my hands on a hugely expensive 'manfroto' tripod and see how that felt in comparison to my worn out 'sloppy'/jerky, charity shop 'old-faithful'. It WAS rather nice, but considering his tripod alone was probably worth more than all my equipment put together, I can't say I was overly impressed - although maybe because it was a 'stills' head rather than one for video. I don't think I'll be rushing out to buy one - yet. . drank a glass of wine and cooked and ate four sausages, mashed potatoe and onion gravy and chocolate. . napped . . TVd . . ate sausages and bread and butter and chocolate . . PCd until bed.
3 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8am - just before more heavy rain . . walked . . .mum called in with food donations etc. . napped . . TVd . .did a little sewing!!! Dug out an old fine meshed material pouch I'd found ages ago (a small black bag for putting a mobile phone into I think - with a draw string at one end) and half filled it with dried rice, before sewing it up across the end. I've been intending to have a go at such a thing for ages. Some sand would have been better, but I figured that would inevitably have ended up wearing through and coming back out in my pocket - so I settled on some dried rice as a possible alternative. What on earth for? - well, there have been MANY occasions I've wanted to do some filming when NOT carrying my tripod, and have always struggled to find some way of propping the camera up on a seat or wall etc, to enable me to use the full zoom and/or maybe do a long piece for a timelapse. I figure that small bag of rice is light and small enough to be permanently carried in a pocket along with the camera, and will provide a really neat way of propping the camera up. Only HALF filled with rice, it enables me to manipulate the bag beneath the camera, and get it propped up on something in the perfect position for whatever shot I'm after. I 'think' it should work. We'll see. YET another thing to cram into my multi pocketed body warmer! . . surfed most of the night and 'maybe' found a supplier of a bodywarmer equivalent to the one I've lived in for the past, at least ten years, which is in desperate need of replacing! Trouble is, it's far more expensive than any of the others I've found and is manufactured in Ireland - and as such they seem to have attached a huge amount of postage for delivery. Not sure I dare take the risk of ordering one, only to perhaps find out it isn't any good to me. I could probably buy three different/cheaper elsewhere, for the price of that one! Uhoh - it doesn't come in black. Oh well - that clinches it then, I won't bother.
2 - Up around 7:15am just before a band of very heavy rain arrived. Miserable. :o( . . couldn't face going out in it and delayed/cancelled the morning walk. Eventually stopped raining and cleared up around 9:30am so decided to walk after all. Just reached cover of the roof in BGdns before it absolutely bucketed down again. Eventually it cleared again and I managed to complete the walk without actually getting wet, which made a nice change! Stopped in at Ks on the way back to pick up yet more left overs food - fit for human consumption this time. . ate a couple of K donated ('just' out of date) pork pies . .received a letter from the pension people. "the plan provides for eligible pensions to be increased in April to reflect any increase in the Retail Prices Index for the 12 months up to September in the year before.
I am writing to advise you that the RPI figures published in respect of September 2009 showed a 1.4% fall in prices over the previous 12 months.
There is no provision to decrease pensions in payment. Therefore, in April 2010, your pension (before tax) will be unchanged.
Your gross annual amount of pension will remain as - 5609.72 (467.48 per month)."
Yeah, I know I shouldn't complain, I'm lucky to have it - but that still doesn't make it easy to be told I'm having a pay freeze, when in reality everything seems to have gone up quite considerably. That ficticious RPI thing really screws me every time. :o( . . aimlessly PCd/guitarred, headachey. . Mum called in for a cuppa with some buttered hot cross buns . . napped . . drove to walk . . sorted out the enormous bin liner of K donated meat. As well as multiple huge lumps of roast beef, there was an entire pork roast about twelve inches long!! He'd said it was all for the dog, but as far as my nose could tell, it was quite likely ok for me too! Dared to cut it all into 'portions', freezer bagged it and 'just' managed to cram it all into my already bulging and overloaded freezer. I can't keep pace with the amount I'm getting!! . . ate dog food pork and chips followed by a little chocolate, while Sally feasted on best roast beef, biscuit and onion gravy . . TVd . . ate two buttered hot cross buns with coffee before to bed around 2am.
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1 - Woke earlier snoozed on then up just before 7am. Spotted a mouse on the bird feeder again. I've caught sight of it on there eating the bird's nuts several times recently, mostly at night. The way those nuts are going down all of a sudden, I'm wondering if I'm not feeding an entire colony of them somewhere! Either that or, that one is an unusually well fed, fat mouse. . walked. Back via the store for milk. Picked up some going cheap packs of sliced haslet . . PCd/guitarred a bit but pretty soon gave up. I seem to be in a pretty bad way moodwise at the moment. Really not 'functioning' at all. Can't seem to muster the energy to be able to face doing anything at all other than unfortunately occasionally be awake! :o( . . drank a glass of red wine and ate sausage roll, chips and gravy with a pack of haslet mixed in and then some chocolate . . napped until woken only an hour or so later by K stopping by with a huge refuse sack of left overs meat for Sally. . .guitarred a little before giving up in disgust and then just sat and TVd the night away again. . ate haslet sandwiches and chocolate . . to bed before 1am. sd
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