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<My Diary Archive 2012 My Diary Archive>

- Up at 5:45am after almost no sleep thanks to the continuing gale frighteningly beating on and howling around the house. The noise coming from the draughty HOWLing PC room window is just rediculously loud. I don't think I can live with that much longer. I think I'm going to have to have a go at simply siliconing the damn thing permanently closed! What choice do I have? I can't go on like this. I hope those f***ing window fitters are having a VERY hard life! :o( . . .PCd and found e-bay had removed my bayonet listing because they don't permit such things. What f***ing absurd nonsense. After all that time I took listing it! Jeeze. How will I sell/get rid of that then I wonder?. .that local weather station website is now showing maximum wind gusts of around 50mph, which appears rather more realistic (if not still a little lower than what I think I've been experiencing here!!). The storm seems to be sitting right on top of us down here, just spinning round and round and going on and on without respite! I can't remember when it was last so bad, with SUCH a prolonged period of CONSTANT strong easterlyish winds and rain, rain and more rain! :o( . . walked in full weather gear in what turned out to be an improving weather situation, with the rain pretty much stopping and even the wind easing slightly, and changing to a much more southerly direction. As a result the Torbay waters had calmed down to a more usual sheltered calm, with rougher stuff out across Lyme Bay in the distance. . . returned home feeling tired and very down . . . PCd a bit but the howling from the window made the experience a miserable feat of endurance. . sat around/TVd and wasted away the day, unable to face doing anything. VERY down day!!!! :o( Such a waste, because it actually turned into a pretty dry and bright day . . .ate a chicken and mushroom pastry slice with a tin of sausages in baked beans . . . napped the whole afternoon away, dreaming deeply until the alarm at 7pm . . . walked with coffee. Would you believe it - soon after setting off it started to rain lightly again. Sat and drank my coffee on a seat under the roof in BGdns. A motorbike appeared on the Breakwater at quite some speed!! It sped to the end, turned round and sped back out of my sight. Never seen anyone do that before since I've been down here. Idiot! . eventually managed to get home without getting too damp, before heavier rain eventually set in again. . fed Bella and while she scoffed, went out and swept away all the blown tree debris from the lower tier of the garden, and also checked to make sure the drain wasn't blocked again. . . PCd. At last - received a reply from the IWM about the ARP posters, but sadly NOT the one I'd been expecting. "Thanks very much for your reply with further details - having checked with colleagues, we have decided that we must with regret decline the offer of the instructional diagrams as, although they do sound to be interesting items, we have some conservation and storage concerns. We hope that you will understand that we have to be increasingly selective with regard to acquisitions because of limitations on storage space and other resources. If you were thinking of trying an alternative, it might be worth contacting somewhere like the Wellcome Institute Library - contact details at http://library.wellcome.ac.uk/contact.html" How disappointing - not least of all because I'm back to square one with having to try to keep them safe and figure out what they 'may' be worth and how I'm going to try to get rid of them. Humph. ? . . PCd for ages and then eventually TVd. Nothing on worth watching and ended up on the BBC Iplayer tracking down a program I'd missed which I'd very much wanted to see. One of the trio of the VERY interesting 'Beautiful Minds' programs - this last one being about Richard Dawkins. Wonderful intelligence, fascinating viewing - and the same to be said for all three of those programs. Bravo. MORE! . . ate a whole packet of Mum donated chocolate eclare type biscuits . . bumped into a Dads Army episode still listed on the Iplayer, so ended up just HAVING to watch that (dated, tedious in parts, but brilliant nonetheless - the Mainwairing character in particular) before finally to bed long after 3am.
29 - Up suprisingly late around 9:20am!! Big storm and much rain. The conservatory is in a hell of a state, with the rain just pouring in all over the place!! :o( . . Image of waves over the Brixham Breakwater April 29th 2012Very slow getting going. REALLY did NOT want to have to go out and walk in the gale. :o( . . walked in full weather gear and got pretty damp pretty quick. Thermometer is showing only around 8C out - and that combined with the wind and rain made it real unpleasant. . Image of waves over the Brixham Breakwater April 29th 2012in BGdns there were plenty of small branches treacherously littering the path and the the wind was howling straight in from the East making for some big waves over the breakwater. I've seen it worse, but not 'that' much. Image of the Torbay Lifeboat and  waves over the Brixham Breakwater April 29th 2012Sheltered in gun emplacements for quite a while and had a token poke with the cameras, but it was raining too much (horizontaly straight onto the camera lenses!) to be able to capture anything worthwhile. Typically, the Torbay lifeboat and crew were out having a 'play' with the waves!!!! Adrenalin junkies all! . . . eventually trudged back getting colder and wetter. .Mum called to touch base briefly . . didn't even get to have a cup of coffee before having to rush out into the garden and chop a tree down!!!!!!! The wind was blowing so strong, the tree was being pulled out of the ground and was threatening to blow over and destroy either the garden fence and or my long wire antenna. Idiotic place to plant a tree, right up against the concrete of the path - which meant that the roots only grew out on one side making it totally unstable and able to be pulled out of the ground on the other/concrete side. Used my new wood saw to cut away all the branches. The neighbour even popped out of his garage at one point and gave a hand supporting one of the larger overhanging branches. Doing the rest on my own, sadly had a BIG branch fall and land on my long copper wire antenna!!! It promptly 'stretched' by SEVERAL feet (!!????) and is now hanging down almost at ground level! So - I won't be able to use that again, and will now have to come up with an alternative before I can go on HF again. :o( Left the main trunk of the tree in the ground for cutting down some other time. With all the branches now cut off and dumped in a heap up the garden, the 'wind loading' of the trunk is significantly reduced and doesn't pose the danger of blowing over that it did. . calling it quits and retreatingg back inside, I noticed that the outside downpipe drain was of course blocked YET again!! Grrrr. Had to roll my sleeves up, get my arm into the freezing water and clear all the moss and debris - AGAIN! Eventually called it quits and retreated inside - soaked and freezing. . . PCd a bit of this. The local coastguard Maritime Safety Information broadcast is talking 'storm force 10' and 'severe gale force 9' along nearby coasts! The BBC weather forecast is suggesting constant rain here - for DAYS!!!!!!! . . despite all that and how it feels when out, the LOCAL weather station website around 2pm was reporting only 38kt gusts. . the infamous 'Young Farmers' have been holding their annual convention in Torquay this weekend. The 'shopwatch'/security/CCTV PMR-radios continue to be abuzz with activity, as a result of their usual stupid antics causing madness and mayhem all around the place! . . headachey. Crunched annadin tablets . . .carried on messing with the few e-bay listings ALL day, and finished off by meticulously photographing and eventually listing the old No. 4 Mk II spike bayonet I've had for years. . .skipped the evening walk. Just couldn't face going out in that rain and gale again. . . TVd feeling awful headachey and increasingly down and paranoid. . ate a six pieces of bread and butter pile of tuna and mayonaise sandwiches, crisps, banana, chocolate and biscuits . . TVd until to bed before midnight.
28 - Up around 6:45am. Yet more rain . .walked . . spent hours listing just a small handful of things on e-bay - most of which probably won't even sell!! . . the mini greenhouse buyer called and said they'd be over to finally pick it up. . Mum called in with the papers and food donations - and brought the pair of shoes she doesn't want which I'd said I'd try to list on e-bay. . . shortly after I'd encouraged mum to leave (because I was eager to get back to trying to list more stuff) the greenhouse people arrived and at last relieved me of the burden of having it hanging around . . . ate a trio of ham rolls, crisps and chocolate . . . napped - just SO tired, I had no choice. . .walked. Not really raining, but pretty blowy and cold . . PCd/radiod very briefly . . TVd/guitarred. Watched the TV premier on Channel 4 of 'Terminator Salvation'. Stunning, stunning effects - but somehow it didn't seem to have the attraction to me of the first two in the series. (The third one - with the female terminator, was in my opinion absolute dross!) Maybe I need to watch that 'Salvation' film again - I was after all rather distracted by playing with the guitar most of the way through it. . . ended up on the PC/radio and chatted locally(ish - Dorset actually. G0JLA) through the DR/SD repeaters (and even on the phone!!!!!?) for an absurd amount of time until deep into early!! . . ate crisps, a meat feast pastry slice, a banana and half a treacle tart. Finally to bed around 4am or some such!!! s
27 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:45am . . Bella promptly pooped in the garden while I was making my coffee, so hopefully I can stop worrying about her. . yet again e-bay are doing a 'free' listings weekend. Looks to me as though they aren't getting the numbers of regular listings they want, and keep doing that to encourage more. Given the extortionate commission fees they charge, (>10%!!) I'm not suprised!! . . ended up messing around for hours sorting through just a handful of things, trying to get in a position where I can list some more 'junk' on e-bay on the weekend. SO time consuming. . eventually ended up with a bunch of photos of a handful of things all taken and ready to go. It'll still take me ages to actually list them though, because of having to work out prices and weights and descriptions etc, etc. . disappointingly ended up putting a couple more things I've hung onto for SO many years, straight into the bin, because on close examination they were either broken or had deteriorated in storage! . . . chatted locally on the radio for a bit . . ate a banana . . .walked in late sunny spells. Actually not a bad evening - the 'calm before the storm', according to the forecast. . .TVd/guitarred briefly . . cooked and ate a pizza followed by maltesers and then bowls of rice krispies. . TVd until bed around 12:30am.
26 - Up around 7:30am. Another miserable blustery day of heavy rain showers. :o( . . . walked in full weather gear and got pretty damp. . . carefully dismantled the mini greenhouse in the conservatory and got it into a big bin liner ready for taking away . . . popped up to the garage at some point and on the way back, found Bella on the lawn eating something!??? Scolded her loads and quickly deprived her of the last of whatever it was. Turned out what was left was a large lump of rubber! Oh NO!!!!!!!!! The remains of a rubber glove, as used by neighbours working on their cars! I HAD noticed one had been blown into the garden just beneath the back gates, but had lazily left it there to be picked up and binned later. Bella had presumably all but eaten it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <worry> . . . did vacuuming chores all around the house. The usual effect of just stirring up the mud dust and having it settle back down on everything. . .PCd/Radiod and ended up spending the WHOLE afternoon messing around experimenting with my first serious attempt at receiving SSTV transmissions, thanks to a very obliging M0EDY. I couldn't seem to find ANY such signals on HF to attempt to decode using my PCR1000 receiver (my DEAF long wire antenna no doubt) so we ended up experimenting with me receiving signals sent by him on 2mtrs FM! Amazingly it worked a treat, with me successfully decoding the images he sent using the PCR1000 and the Ham Radio Deluxe software. I even successfully managed to transmit a couple of my own images back to him, by having the software produce the data 'noise' through the PC speakers, and then holding the FT-7900 microphone next to the speakers to transmit the noise! Fascinating (time consuming) experiments - but it DID prove I 'could' do it, given more suitable equipment and antenna. Very interesting games. . eventually dragged myself away from the PC room late afternoon/early evening. . . still no further e-mail response from the Imperial War Museum people about the ARP diagrams. I'm VERY impatient to know where I stand, and hopefully get them safely out of the way and off my back (before I end up damaging them further)! . . TVd and watched the news. Funny old world isn't it. They had a live report from the Imperial War Museum! The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William were due to be arriving for a fund raising reception there! Well - I guess the IWM should be forgiven for not immediately resopnding to my last e-mail about my diagrams then. I suppose they have other things on their mind. lololol . . . walked during a break in the showers . . .TVd . . cooked and ate four burgers in bread rolls. Still hungry, so ended up cooking up four sausages which I ate on their own just dipped in tomato sauce, followed then by lots of chocolate - actually most of a packet of mum donated Maltesers! . .to bed around 11:30pm.
25 - Up around 8:30am after VERY little sleep! :o( Still breezy but a bit of sunny spells. Looks as though the worst of the storm has passed. The back garden is absoluteley COVERED in cherry blossom, all blown off the big tree. Absolutely everywhere - hell of a mess, and of course in danger of blocking the drain! . . slow getting going. Boy I feel SO tired again! :o( . . .walked late in what actually turned into a bit of a sunny spell. The bay was suprisingly almost a flat calm, albeit with a big underlying swell causing some waves over the Torquay side with the wind having swung round to something like a south, south-westerly . . . PCd and did an overdue BIG on-line shop - as more heavy rain showers passed through. I'm actually almost out of Bellas dry food because I've been trying to work out how long one of those big 17kg sacks lasts, so I could then work out how many tins I need for each sack. (I think it's gotta be around about a month.) Clicked through the store's website and did a MONSTER order (275!!!!!!!! I've never EVER spent anywhere near THAT much before! It DID include a bunch of wine though - and enough of everything else to pretty much see me through - um - three months or more?) and then, just before pressing the final place-the-order button, actually rang up their helpline (as I'd been advised to do the last time) and made sure they were aware I was placing a big order (for (free) delivery a full seven days away, to ensure they had time to re-stock if needed!). In theory, THIS time, I 'should' actually get everything I've ordered, with none of that messing around finding they are out of stock etc, and unanounced, NOT have things turn up on the day of delivery. I very explicitely drew their attention to all the dog food, which really IS my major concern with it all. Right then - we shall see. If I have problems with the order again THIS time after all that, it'll quite probably be the last time I shop with them! . . .spent ages trying to clean up as best I could, an old brass name plate originally from the front of a 'Samuel Withers & Co Ltd' safe. Another one of those things I've been hanging onto for years. One identical sold on e-bay the other day for just under 20, so I'll be listing that in the future . . cooked up a pan of rice, frozen peas, tin of chicken soup, chopped chicken slices and some garlic salt and ate a big bowlful with two crusts of bread and butter followed by chocolate . . napped until around 6:15pm. . walked in full weather gear but somehow pretty much missed the rain showers . . PCd/radiod locally for a few hours . . TVd . . ate the rest of the chicken and rice concoction with four pieces of bread and butter followed by chocolate and biscuits . .to bed around 1am.
24 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up real late around 9am again! . . . walked in the warm sunny spells . . PCd and did some laundry. STILL no response from the CCTV spares e-bay auction winner. It would appear I've experienced my first case of someone bidding, winning and then simply NOT paying! F**ing idiot! Wasting my and everyone elses time like that. I'm not sure, but I think I have to wait a couple more days before then going through some time consuming e-bay process to ensure I don't end up out of pocket (with regard e-bays final sale-price commission charge)? . more rain so no putting the laundry out to dry! . . . yayyy - I received a reply from the Imperial War Museum about the ARP Instructional Diagrams. "-/cut/- The prints seem most interesting and appear to be new to our Library collection. In order to consider the offer further, we would like to check whether they are being offered on a permanent donation basis.. ." . spent ages doing a couple more photos and then drew up an e-mail reply starting as follows - "Thank you for your response. Yikes - I'm seriously gonna regret this if they are potentially worth loads of money - but - YES, I can confirm the collection of ARP instructional diagrams IS being offered on a permanent donation basis ('for the common good')." Also responded to a few specific questions which they'd raised about them. Well - there we go then. On the face of it, they appear to be of 'some' value. I MUST absolutely NOT even think about what I 'could' have got for them () if I sold them, or it'll torture me for evermore!! I'll just have to be satisfied with the thought that I think I'm doing the 'right' thing with/for them, and may have played some small part in saving them for posterity. :o( Assuming they DO come back to me and say 'yes please', I don't know how the hell I'm gonna get them there. I DID ask for their thoughts/comments on that! Hmmm - how much old PVC downpipe do I have laying around maybe? . . .ate chicken slice sandwiches, crisps, banana and a couple of small buttered chelsea bun things . . was just about to go lay down for a nap when the phone rang. The cactii auction winner suggesting he could come over right away. Sure - yes indeed. . carefully transferred all the pots into the hallway (protected from Bella by placing an old upturned footstool in her way!) and within the half an hour he'd arrived, and in no time at all was happily driving away with a carefully packed, boot-load of cactii. Excellent. VERY glad to have them off my back at last, and also VERY glad they went to someone who actually wanted the plants rather than just the pots. Nice one. . . napped until the alarm at 7pm. . . walked . tu . . TVd/guitarred briefly . . . PCd. Aha - whilst updating feedback and the like on e-bay, I've discovered some fresh feedback from other sellers about the guy who won the CCTV spares auction. As I'd suspected, he IS a rogue. Several people in the same boat, with him having won an auction and not paid or made any communication with them. WHAT a b*****d! I have to wait until tomorrow before I can start doing what I have to do about MY failed listing. I don't understand why e-bay aren't quicker about identifying and terminating such peoples accounts? . . PCd a bit of this as the wind started getting serious outside. Forecast is for a pretty bad storm coming in during the night. The local coastguard MSI broadcast is warning of severe gale force 8 to 9 along the coasts!!! Fingers crossed for my 'twin sister' colinear aerials. . .tvd and ate a banana, chelsea buns and half a battenburg cake. . let Bella out briefly to use the garden in the rain. Her distracted behaviour indicated something 'interesting' had just gone through the fence into next door's garden as she went out. Eventually walked out to have a look and found a pair of hedgehogs! What a delight. . . to bed around 2am as the storm arrived in earnest and wind and rain absolutely battered the house. Trouble getting to sleep as the pressure from the wind gusts outside, somehow transferred to the internal stud-walls causing the occasional loud creak!!!!
23 - Woken around 6:45am by wind and heavy rain battering the house. Actually, what woke me was I think the awful whistling/howling noise coming from the PC room window! Grrrrrrr :o( . . . walked in full weather gear in what turned out to be a slightly quieter, less rainy spell than it had been . . .recovered with a coffee then left Bella at home and walked up the post office in more rain to post the jacket and clock. Didn't get it right and 'out of pocket' by a or two again!!!!! . Opportunist-bought a few packs of going cheap/out-of-date meat slices and sausages . . received an automated-type receipt for my e-mailed query to the imperial war museum - so, at some stage, some poor soul WILL likely have to spend some time on looking them up and e-mailing me back with some form of an answer/comment. I EAGERLY, impatiently await! . .boy we've had some rain this morning! Can grass seeds drown I wonder? At the very least, I suspect I'm liable to end up with dense clumps of grass and big bare areas, where they've all been washed downhill into heaps by the rain! :o( . . .did -um - nothing all day somehow!!? . . ate chicken slice sandwiches, crisps, banana and chocolate biscuits . . napped . .more rain and couldn't face going out in it and had another night off from the walking. Bella couldn't care less as long as she gets her food it would appear . . TVd and drank the last glass of red wine from Sis1s bottle . . PCd/radiod and ended up chatting locally for quite a bit whilst simultaneously listening to the scanner. A helicopter (callsign Skewer 350) was apparantly out in the bay somewhere at one point doing live firing excercises with tracer!! . . TVd . . cooked and ate four sausages with chips and then some chocolate. . TVd until to bed around 1:45am.
22 - Up real late around 9am!!! Blimey - at last - a pretty long sleep for a change. Don't feel any better for it though! . . walked in the sunny spells and cold wind . . . returned home to find an ansaphone message from the mini greenhouse buyer. Her mother had been taken ill so they couldn't pick it up this afternoon as arranged. Well, sorry about her mother and all, but how bloody irritating is that! I'm sick and tired of having the damned thing (now of course 'owned' by someone else and in need of great care!) cluttering up the place like this. . PCd . . the mini greenhouse person called again (I was 'building up to' and getting-round to calling her back) and I agreed to hang onto it for her, for ANOTHER week! :o( . . Mum called to touch base . . successfuly mowed the overgrowing lawns (before yet another rain shower likely arrives!) and then briefly decided to throw some more grass seed around where the bare earth remains from the hedge removing work. The small 'test area' I seeded a while ago, HAS all sprouted up green, although IS pretty patchy and sparse. Hard to tell of course, but I reckon I only got something like a fifty percent success rate with the seeds I put down. :o( . used a spade to slightly rough-up the surface of the bare earth and then sprinkled handsful of seed around in both the front and back gardens where needed. The front will have to take its chances with the birds - the area at the back I token protected with some spare bits of fence timber and the old gate from up by the carport, propped aginst the fence and over the patch. It won't stop the birds (pigeons maybe) but should at least keep Bella from rampaging all over it. . doused everything with a few watering cans full of water from the rain butt immediately before a heavy rain shower moved in. Perfect timing :o) . . PCd. Well whadda you know. The cactii I'd listed on e-bay (for collection only) have sold for a fiver (to someone in Torquay) - and I've even received payment already. He's suggested he 'may' pick them up later in the week. I'll be VERY glad to see those gone. Mailed him straight away with my phone number and address saying whenever HE wants (dog-walks allowing). . Right - that's everything I had listed on e-bay, all over and done with. I'm still waiting for payment (5) for the CCTV stuff, but I've received payment for everything else and just need to post a few things and get the people to actually come and pick up the others. I must say, the whole thing has been a LOT of work and hassle - but I guess it's all mostly worked out pretty well. I've a VERY much healthier looking paypal account balance, in credit for a change as a result - although have yet to have the e-bay commission charge (considerable - but I've not even tried to work out how much!! Around 10% is it?!!!) deducted of course. Of course the paypal balance actually includes all the payments for the postage too - which I've been paying out of my pocket - so in a funny way, I'm kinda transferring some of 'MY' money into paypal as things go along too! When I receive that one outstanding payment, the ACTUAL total of e-bay sales (not including any postage) will stand at 273.74 - with their commission YET to be deducted. So - I have a couple of hundred quid to absorb into my melting-pot finances, AND have just a tiny bit more cupboard space (hasn't 'actually' made much difference!!??!!!!), and don't 'miss' anything I've gotten rid of. That's all ok by me. :o) I really could use a break from it all, so am gonna hold fire listing anything else for a while (maybe wait for a free listings weekend again?) - but I DO have EVERY intention of trying to sell in the same manner, all the other stuff I have cluttering up the place at some point. Despite all the work, and moreover, all the anxiety 'I' suffer over it, the pennies DO gradually mount up!! Sadly when I do, it'll be even more difficult, because I won't have all the packaging stuff to re-use and will maybe even have to start buying some!!! . . . PCd a bit of this . . .ate a trio of ham rolls, crisps and a little chocolate . . TVd briefly . . packed up the clock and labelled up everything ready for posting (except the CCTV stuff which I STILL haven't received payment for! Grrr) . . walked. Halfway through BGdns a sudden metallic, booming, rushing noise made me jump a mile. Turned out to be the Bahamas registered tanker Kanata Spirit dropping its anchor quite close by in the bay. Sheltering from the coming storm I believe. . Actually heard a 'glimpse' of an astronaut onboard the space station calling out a general CQ, looking for a contact! First time I've ever picked anything like that up on the scanner while out walking. Amazing. So - they DO call out CQ from time to time - just gotta be in the right place at the right time. Sadly of course on this occasion I was not. If I had a higher power handie, I may even have stood a chance of being able to make contact there and then! (It HAS been done.). chatted locally for just a while before eventually returning home. tu . . PCd/TVd . . cut my hair etc. Very overdue. . . ate bowls of co-co pops . . to bed around 1am or later.
21 - Up real late around 8:50am!!! . .hey - yay - the old moth-eaten royal marines jacket I had (re)listed on ebay, has sold for the minimium 2.99 bid. Goodo. One less thing. . .oh my goodness! There appears to have been a bit of a flurry of bids on the nautical themed clock!! Even a bit of a 'bidding war' between two interested parties!!! The top bid stands at a breathtaking 15!! I hadn't AT ALL expected anything like that! Nice one. . late morning the CCTV 'spares' auction ended and it sold for 5 . . messed around packing up the jacket and the CCTV stuff, getting it all ready for posting (bar the address labels. Experience has shown, I can't be sure of the actual delivery address, until I actually get the payment confirmation e-mail from paypal.) . Damn - I'm running out of recycled packaging materials!!! . climbed up into the attic to sort through some of the packaging and empty boxes I've hung onto, and to bring down enough to be able to eventually safely post the clock when the auction ends . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations etc. Both sat and watched the end of the clock auction. There were (NOT suprisingly) no further bids and it went for 15. I really am amazed by that. Hadn't expected that AT ALL. So - I guess my original plan of buying it in a charity shop for a few pounds and making a profit on it on e-bay HAS actually worked out!!! Amazing. . .ate Mum donated pork pies, crisps and a rather nice big buttered sugary bun thing late afternoon . . napped . . walked. Turned pretty chilly again as the sun set. . .BB called . . aimlessly PCd . . TVd . . ate a six pieces of bread and butter pile of corned beef sandwiches, crisps and some chocolate . . to bed around 1:11am.
20 - Woken around 7:15am by nextdoor noise again . . walked in sunny spells. Back via the store for some potatoes. . spotted the 'man with a van' guy who'd let me have the glass panel door, loading up stuff from someones house, and took the opportunity to let him know the door had NOT worked out for me as I'd hoped (because it's unalterably too wide) and asked him if he'd like to have it back. He said he didn't, so that clears me to ultimately 'dispose of it' in any way I see fit. Good. It 'may' even end up on e-bay yet!!! . . pottered at the PC looking up and researching prices on more stuff to get rid of. VERY weird how a lot of the stuff I have, seems to have a re-occuring 1937ish theme running through it all!?? . researched (they are suprisingly worth a pitifully small amount) and dug out the old WWII gas mask I've been hanging onto for years. Oh NO!!!!!! I don't believe it! All of a sudden (literally over the last year or two) it appears to have 'gone off' and turned into a totally worthless state! Some of the rubber appears to have suddenly dried out and fallen to bits! After all these years of it being ok!? I strongly suspect it's because I've had it in the very dry atmosphere of the bedroom cupboard of THIS house! WHAT a tragedy! :o( . the 1941 'tommy' helmet I have appears to be worth very little - maybe up to an absolute maximum of 30 on a good day if I'm lucky? The 1937 ARP 'warden' helmet a little more maybe? . finally dug out the related old 'posters' from the bottom of the back of the cupboard. They've been in EXTREME danger of getting ruined EVERY time I put the loft ladder in and out of that cupboard! HIGH time I got to the bottom of what they 'may' be worth and got them gone somehow. . Did my first 'proper' examination of them, and then had a GOOD poke around on the net, but couldn't find ANY trace of ANYTHING like them ANYWHERE!!??? Where does THAT leave me with them? Uhmmmd and ahhddd wrestling with my own 'latent greed' and 'Bhuddist moment' thing, and then after making a phone call to confirm the e-mail address etc, photographed them all (as best I could!) and went ahead and e-mailed 'collections' at the Imperial War Museum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Image of a collage of Malby & Sons lithographs of HOME OFFICE (A.R.P. DEPARTMENT) ANTI-GAS INSTRUCTIONAL DIAGRAMs "Further to my phone call earlier. . . I am in possesion of nine 30" x 38" Malby & Sons Lithographs. On the bottom of each is the title "HOME OFFICE (A.R.P. DEPARTMENT) ANTI-GAS INSTRUCTIONAL DIAGRAM No. " followed by the diagram number digit. I do NOT have a full set. I have numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6 . . . 9, 10 11. Please see the small attached collage of images, to give you an idea of what they look like and their condition. On the bottom left of each is a serial number. I have NOT listed these here, since my failing eyesight isn't quite up to the job! Please see the attached smaller image of the serial number from diagram No. 4 as an example. I assume they were printed in 1937. (1937 seems to be a common thread in the few artefacts I have. I am ALSO in possession of a wardens helmet manufactured in 1937). I believe these were rescued from the cellars beneath Bristol's Small Street Central Post Office when it closed down many years ago, prior to the site being redeveloped into the courts etc as it is today. (My father was in the post office 'buildings section' at the time, and was charged with disposing of all the remaining unwanted, signed-off 'rubbish'! ) Would you please let me know if these lithographs have ANY significant historical value, and if your museum would have any interest in having them for safekeeping. If they are quite common and deemed 'worthless' (!!) I will probably end up listing them on e-bay or something similarly distasteful!!! I could use the money - but that doesn't sit well with me at all! :o( Sincere Regards T". . I am VERY eager (and nervous?) to get a reply about that! If they ARE worth a whole bunch of money (is it likely?) - it's gonna be quite a battle with my 'greed' - and I could well end up regretting having offered them to them like that! Image of Malby & Sons lithographs of HOME OFFICE (A.R.P. DEPARTMENT) ANTI-GAS INSTRUCTIONAL DIAGRAM NUMBERs  3 and 4Nevertheless, the better part of me sees them as having a significant historical value, in all sorts of ways - and as such, I think they should be protected and held for 'the common good' kinda. I can't explain this very well. The posters of the tests of the effects of the gas on a servicemans arms are PARTICULARLY fascinating to me. Can you imagine something like that being done today? Who's arms WERE those? What ultimately became of them?! WHAT an AMAZING piece of history/social commentary those are!!!!!! PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS!!!!!! ('I' think!) . . . ate a bowl of stew with four pieces of bread and butter. Gave the last remainder to Bella . . .napped - actually feeling increasingly uneasy, paranoid and 'uncomfortable' about 'things'! Is it even worth explaining why? It's probably all in my own head and nowhere else!! :o(


woke still feeling paranoid and uptight . . . walked. Listening on the scanner, I overheard the nearby radio ham I've spoken with recently who's down on holiday, telling someone he was about to walk down the harbour and take some early night photos of all the lights etc. Ummd and ahhhd and eventually decided, just for fun, to go and see if I could bump into him and say hello in person (yikes!) . walked all the way along to the breakwater beach and played ball with Bella for a bit before walking all the way back to the harbour. Sat around with cigs and my coffee for ages on the raiseed 'deck' overlooking the harbour. At length, I finally spotted someone in the dark in the distance at a 'usual' vantage point, and headed up to see if that was he. By the time I got round and up there, there was no one there! lolol A minute or so later, he turned up and I was able to say hello and have a bit of a chat for a while as he took his photos. lolol It was actually quite amusing to me to see him doing his photoing thing. The HOURS I've spent in the past doing such things - here, there and everywhere - particularly during 'that year' when I was filming everything. Brought back a few memories. I'm quite happy not to be putting myself through the rigors of that anymore. lol . eventually bid him farewell (he returns home tomorrow) and headed home - utterly FROZEN! Haven't gotten that cold in a while! . . . BB called to touch base just after I got through the door. "I'll call you back! I'm too cold right now!" . warmed up in front the fire for a bit . . PCd/returned BBs call . . ended up skipping food and not getting to bed until deep into early around 4am!!!!!
19 - Woken around 8:15am by the noise of a lorry or some such nearby outside . . . walked late in the warm sun and wind . . back via the store for tobacco and bread and butter supplies . . . PCd a bit of this while monitoring radios. HMS Ocean is gonna be weighing anchor, leaving the bay and heading out to sea later - and fishing protection vessel HMS Mersey is out and about 'nearby', interrogating and boarding fishing vessels again. They're conversations are always polite and courteous on the radio, but I just BET the fishermen absolutely HATE those guys! . . . no e-mail word about the perpetual calendar thing yet - although the Post Office 'track and trace' DOES confirm it' HAS been delivered. I REALLY am anxious to know if it arrived intact! Keep checking my e-mails every few - um - minutes?! lolol . . . ate a bowl of stew with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a couple of apple pies and a little chocolate . . . checked e-mails again before intending to nap. yayyy - received a reply about the perpetual calendar, in an e-mail entitled 'Gift' - "Just to say your parcel arrived safely this morning and a wonderful ‘thing’ has returned to its original home. I don’t know the official name one should give to these things just a daily calendar I presume. Thank you so much. I have not received a reply about the expense and I am concerned that you are out of pocket.". What a relief. Glad that's made it back 'home'. :o) . . napped . . . walked. A clearing sky with some late sun but very cold in the breeze . . . PCd/monitored radios. . Replied at some length to the Fairfield Heritage Project development officer, just to kinda draw a line under things and bring that brief little distraction to a close. "yayy . . thanks for letting me know it made it ok. I've been on tenterhooks all day wondering! lol You titled your e-mail 'Gift' . . and I AM having a bit of a 'Buddhist' moment about things in general at the moment (the price one pays for watching re-runs of the old 'Kung Fu' TV series' on a freeview satellite channel!!) . . so let us speak of the postage no more Grasshopper. lol A gift. :o) It is I believe properly called a 'Perpetual (wall) Calendar'. The nearest I've been able to find to it, is a BRASS one currently on e-bay. See the following link to the listing. Remarkably really almost IDENTICAL in style, except of course, that one is solid brass, in great condition, potentially highly desirable and worth a bunch! (It does however lack the specific 'intrigue' of yours! lol) I HAVE done a little bit of poking around on the net these last few days, trying to get to the bottom of why it exists and how it came to be made there (and ultimately end up in my and your hands!). I'm convinced the mysterious 'Crown J.R.' mark is the key to unlocking the real story of it. I've even searched through your lists of all the ships built up there in the period, but frustratingly nothing seems to fit. I also had a go at looking up old post offices in your area but got absolutely nowhere with that. I've exhausted MY limited ability to look into it (by just using the internet). I do SO hope you can convince someone else to have a go some time. If you can - don't forget the mysterious 'Post Office' connection. I have found myself wondering if you actually had an on-site post-office counter up there at some point in history? I have also even wondered if the crown JR mark was actually put on by an 'illiterate' craftsman - who 'misspelled' King 'J'eorge!!! Surely not?!! Anyway - a mystery I'm happy to leave, now safely in your hands. If at any point you DO manage to uncover ANYTHING about it, I'd really love to know." . . TVd (a Kung Fu episode) and eventually ate a bowl of stew, some biscuits and chocolate gone midnight . . to bed after 1am.
18 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 8:20am with a bad headache . .slow getting going. Eventually walked with a heavy rucksack of silly stuff for donating to a local charity shop. Heavy because it included a pile of books, together with all my old phones! Impressive sight of HMS Ocean moored out in the bay. . at the charity shop, things did not go according to plan! The woman refused to take my phones - the anspahone in particular because the numbers were worn off the buttons. Sadly, I have to admit, that made me all stroppy and I became a bit argumentative and short tempered with the poor woman! I'd put in a lot of time and effort with those paltry donations. Cleaned them all up, wrapped them up in plastic bags with all the instruction booklets, included rechargeable batteries, little notes for the shop 'tester' so he knew what was what etc etc - and had then struggled down there in quite some pain with the heavy rucksack - only to then be told to go outside and put them in a nearby refuse bin (because they already had SO much 'rubbish', they couldn't take ANY more to have to pay to get rid of!!!!)! Of course with hindsight, the woman WAS absolutely right - but I DID 'force' her at least to accept the tripple set of chordless phones (one of which although still fully working and useable, the LCD screen was starting to 'bleed' out). I pointed out (with GREAT difficulty to her!) that if they just ditched that one handset, they could still sell it as a fully working double! The ansaphone I ended up having to carry back away - AFTER having apologised for my short temper and anger! Bought twelve tins of dog food to carry back home too. . . retained the 9v power supply (jeeze - yet another cluttering up the place!) and then uncermoniously dumped my still working ansaphone straight in the wheelie bin. In the cold light of day, the woman in the charity shop was of course absolutely correct. It's just that I've lost touch with todays reality haven't I. I USE stuff until it's absolutely on its last legs and HAS to be replaced before I'll throw it away. People these days aren't like that are they. Terrible terrible throw away consumerist world we live in!! Alright if you can afford it, and care little for the world's future I suppose! I need stop caring!!! :o( . .. . pottered around sorting out and researching the values of a bit more of my worthless 'stuff'. . Watched a handful of Youtube videos uploaded by a radio amateur I've spoken to on a few occasions recently. He's down here on holiday for a week, complete with all his radio gear. The same guy who holidayed in Torquay several months ago, who we had fun 'communicating' with one night using torches across the bay. . .the Fairfield Heritage Project development officer phoned and said they WOULD like to have the perpetual calendar. Coool. :o) The only issue was the best way to actually get hold of it. She suggested she may have a relative in the locallity that could maybe drive to pick it up, so I suggested I'd hold fire and just keep it safe and await her decision about how to transport it. . Yayy - received notification of a 25 premium bond win in the post. . . climbed up into the attic for old boxes and packaging for eventually shipping the old CCTV stuff I've had an e-bay bid on. . had a sudden burst of a 'Buddhist moment' and decided (given the unexpected premium bond win), I'd stop messing about and just get the perpetual calendar in the post and save any further bother about it. Spent AGES packaging it up as best I could. Put pieces of old polystyrene tile from the attic over the glass, wrapped it in bubblewrap, and then put it in a big old Amazon box surrounded by lots of polystyrene packaging 'pieces' which litter the attic (some previous owners idiotic attempt at adding to the minimal insulation up there! Terrible fire hazard - I have every intention of removing it all and getting it in the wheelie bin over time, prior to buying some more proper fibreglass!!). As soon as it was as well packed as I could reasonably achieve, I headed straight up the Post Office with Bella and got it sent - Special (next day) Delivery, for 9.05. Jeeze - I don't suppose the thing is even actually worth that much! With all this e-bay stuff and the modern culture of just buying everything on-line and having it delivered by post, the only real winner is surely the post office. How on EARTH is it they still can't seem to make a profitable business out of it, like so many other CHEAPER couriers??? Some (right wing) politics at work there I firmly believe. . .returned home and let the Fairfield Heritage Development Officer know what I'd done by e-mail. She eventually replied- "That was very kind and I will indeed let you know when the parcel arrives. How exciting! I wonder did you keep the Post Office receipt? If so, it would be very easy for us to reimburse you and I should not wish you to be out of pocket. If you do not have the receipt I will speak to the Director and see if there is some other way we can reimburse you." :o) We'll see. Let's just see if it gets there intact first!!!. . .ate a pile of tuna and mayo sandwiches . . napped until around 6:45 and trouble waking! . . . walked . tu . radiod locally . . .Tvd . . ended up giving up on tonight's Kung Fu episode (they sadly just got really silly in the later series episodes - as everything always does) and started to cook around 11:30pm! Cooked up a big pot of mince meat, potatoes, onions, carrot, etc into a stew. Eventually ate a good bowlful with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a little chocolate well after midnight. . TVd until bed around 2am.
17 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 6am again! :o( God I feel so, SO tired all the time. Why can't I sleep longer? . . raining and blowing quite a bit . . walked . . pottered around sorting stuff out and researching likely prices of one or two things on e-bay. Looks as though 'most' of everything else I've been hanging onto for years is pretty worthless. :o( . Made up a pile of stuff to take to a charity shop some time - including all my old chordless telephones and the seperate ansaphone. Sadly, although more or less all still working, they simply aren't worth trying to sell! Stuff like that is either simply not selling, or is going for near the 99p minimum bid on e-bay. . . yayyy - FINALLY had a phone call from the mini-greenhouse buyer. AT LAST! Agreed that they could pick it up on Sunday afternoon as they suggested . . got serious (not for the first time) with trying to research a 'Perpetual Calendar' (I think they are called) which I've been hanging onto for years. I 'think' it came from the cellars beneath Bristol's Small Street Central Post Office when it closed down many years ago, prior to the site being redeveloped into the courts etc as it is today. (My father was in the post office 'buildings section' at the time, and was charged with disposing of all the remaining unwanted, signed-off 'rubbish'! ). It was either from there, or from another office which I had a hand in shutting down when 'I' was in the buildings section. Whichever - as I recall it, for some forgotten reason, I wanted to salvage that particular item, because it seemed like too much of an old piece of history to see get binned. Image of a 1937 Fairfield S. & E. Co. Ltd. Govan Glasgow constant daterIt's in a pretty shocking state, with a missing back and other pieces of timber, meaning the whole inside date/month roller sections can actually fall out, and have to be jammed or held in place to be able to change the date! Nevertheless, the glass windows and fabric type 'scrolls' WERE intact, and it had a handful of interesting original marks on it in different places. On the top was the most obvious - a white ceramic 'label' nailed onto the outside of the timber saying "FAIRFIELD S. & E. Co. Ltd. GOVAN GLASGOW". To the right of that on the top rear corner was an engraved crown with the letters J.R. beneath. On the inside of the bottom part of the box, once the rollers section had been dropped out, there was another engraving in the timber "FAIRFIELD 1937" and then a crown over "G.R." over "VI". Given all that, there could be no doubt whatsoever that it was indeed around seventy five years old, and had been made up in the Fairfield shipyards of Glasgow!!! Researched it as best I could, without spending 'too' much time on it. THE most interesting part of it to ME, was the bizarre 'crown JR' mark. Can't for the life of me figure out what on earth that can be??? All the other markings are pretty obvious. Looking on e-bay, really nice table-top art-deco perpetual calendar bits of 'furniture', with even more scrolls to show the day etc, were perhaps only worth thirty to forty pounds or so. Given the damaged and filthy state of this one, I very soon confirmed I wasn't gonna be able to sell it for anything much (if at all). This all pretty much confirmed what I'd figured, the last time I tried 'researching' it. Seemed to me, its 'value' was in its potential historical significance maybe? Anyway - to cut a long story short, I returned to the Fairfield Heritage Project website and found a phone number for the Heritage Development Officer. I gave her a call, confirmed it WAS a charity, explained what I had, and suggested that if they were interested, I'd rather like it to be returned to them (although WOULD like some 'help' with the postage cost!). It was agreed I'd do some photos and e-mail them to her so she could see what on earth I was on about. . soon got a reply saying how interesting it looked, but she was in a meeting so would get back to me tomorrow. Cool . . I hope they DO want it. It's 'just' managed to survive this long, it'd be nice to think it could return 'home', be renovated and cared for, and thence long outlive me. :o/ . . . ate a tin of sausages in baked beans with four pieces of bread and butter. . napped until around 7pm . . 'treated' myself and skipped the walk because it was raining and blowing pretty bad! . . PCd. Gratifying (and a considerable relief!) to have some good 'feedback' left on e-bay from the recent sales. . PCd and radiod the evening away. . TVd and drank a glass of wine and played guitar a little . . ended up back on the radio for local chats, a bit tipsy!! . . TVd and ate bowls of rice krispies and co-co pops . . to bed around 1am.
16 - Woken around 6:15am by some neighbour noise or other. . .walked. . .left Bella at home and struggled up the local post office carrying all the parcels. Allowed one person behind me to go first, before apologising to everyone else in the (growing!) queue, as I took what seemed like ages to post everything - making a couple of 'on the spot' decisions about what service to do. At the end of the day, I (generously/foolishly?) figured everyone would be as eager to get hold of stuff as I am when I've won/bought stuff on e-bay, and I sent most by first class recorded delivery. I actually ended up a good few s 'out of pocket' kinda, because I'd not charged enough for the postage on the listings!!! If I carry on doing any more e-bay selling, I'm gonna HAVE to be a LOT more accurate with my postage estimates (which I always find rather difficult at the best of times, using my kitchen scales to weigh stuff, etc - and up until now, have never bothered adding anything to cover the cost of the parcel tape and wrappings etc, because I've been recycling all the packaging from the stuff I'VE bought and received!). . Anyway - at length, I got the chore done. VERY glad to get that over and done with! Fingers crossed that's the end of it, and nothing goes missing, etc. STILL no contact from the mini greenhouse buyer????? BIZARRE - and increasingly irritating - because it's filling my conservatory (and mind!)! . right - the next 'important to me' thing to be concerned with is the marine radio listing, which ends mid afternoon. . . PCd a bit of this as it seemed to become pretty damned windy out all of a sudden. Developed a horrendous headache - and I'm all out of annadin tablets! (they are SO expensive - and I get through SO many!!) . . eventually sat and watched the end of the marine band radio auction mid afternoon. It went for 52.07 plus 9.99 for the postage! Very pleased with that. Fired a message into the seller to say if they could do the paypal thing pretty quick, I could probably still make todays post, and then got it quickly all packed up ready to go. . . ate a six pieces of bread and butter pile of corned beef sandwiches . . checked back in on the PC and payment for the radio HAD been made, so immediately got it addressed up and walked with Bella up to the post office and got it sent by special delivery. At least I got the postage on that one about right. . right - 'theoretically' I should be able to now relax for a bit. Someone HAS put in a bid on the CCTV system spares, but that isn't ending for a few days, and the rest of the current listings probably won't sell anyway.. . . napped briefly until the alarm at 6:30pm, only to wake with the same debilitating headache . . reluctantly walked feeling utterly exhausted . . TVd the evening away hardly moving, feeling tired-out and headachey fragile - with lots of banging noise coming from next door ALL evening again! . Eventually drank a glass of red wine and then cooked up some chips to eat with a Mum donated tin of salmon . . to bed around midnight.
15 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 6am again!!??? Only around 5C out with a wind. . . walked early. Boy was that a cold north easterly type wind! . On the way to BGdns every day, I pass a big old tree, on the edge of a new housing development on what was until recently the old cricket ground. Something about the 'out of the ordinary' creaking noises coming from that tree this morning made me uneasy. . did the walk and then on the way back, ended up having a closer look at the tree as we came back upon it, because it was still making the unusual creaking in the breeze. The more I looked at that huge old tree, the more I became convinced it was potentially in real danger of losing some of it's main branches! One up high in particular, was clearly vertically split down a considerable way from a branch intersection. Ok - I'm no tree surgeon, but that one (at least) HAD to be destined to come down at some point - just a matter of time - and given it's proximity to the sharp (blind) bend and road, could well end up swinging into the road! With the thing just coming into leaf, it was catching the breeze pretty well. Only last night or perhaps yesterday, I'd passed by there as VERY young children from the new estate were climbing in the tree!! . I really feel as though I AM turning into a right 'old-manish, busy-body' (like lots of old, 'retired' people seem to??!!) but the more I looked at that tree, the more concerned I became, and didn't just want to walk away without doing - um - 'something'?! Like a complete weirdo, I ended up knocking on the door(s) of a couple of the nearby new houses. Eventually got someone to answer their door, explained why, and suggested it'd be easier for THEM to perhaps phone someone about it (I suggested perhaps 'Strongvox' - the estate builder, still showing signage with a phone number on a hoarding nearby). Unfortunately the guys response wasn't entirely enthusiastic so I felt, and it still preyed on my mind by the time I'd returned home. Why can't I just let such things go, and carry on and ignore it like everyone else seems to?!!??? Why is it always ME? Oh dear - here we go again! I ended up giving my first ever call to the new, non-emergency '101' (??) police telephone number, and eventually managed to get to talk to someone and explained everything. . shortly after, they called back to confirm the council highways department had been informed. Immediately after I'd hung up from that call, the highways people were on the phone asking for a precise description of where it was (actually not easy because Google is out of date and still shows the cricket field - WITHOUT the new estate now built all over it!). . anyway - I feel I've 'done my bit' (again!) and can lay that to rest in my mind - even if once again, I've wasted everyones time with a false alarm!! :o( . . yayyy - someone's made an e-bay bid on the Readers Digest french tapes. lol . . PCd a bit of this - instead of digging out more stuff to list on e-bay as I should be! . .STILL no contact from the greenhouse buyer - and no payment from the coif winner!!??? All very weird. People really ARE just completely beyond my understanding. . . laboriously went through all the hassle of listing the cacti I inherited with the house on e-bay!! lol . . settled down all heart beating and sweaty armpits for the 'entertainment' of actually watching the end of the German Helmet auction. There was a little flurry of (pointless) bids in the last few minutes, gradually inching the price up. I sat there 'willing' it to break the 100 mark (just for the fun of it) and sure enough, in the very last bid seconds from the end, it went just over. :o) It sold for 100.88 plus 8 postage. I'm very happy with that - but I'm pretty sure the 'dealer' who won it is too. The Readers Digest French tapes sold for 5.50 plus 8 postage. Even Mums old mower belts went for 2.57 plus 1.50 postage. I guess I have to recognise - despite the absurdly 'stressFULL' effect it's had on ME (not being able to sleep etc), I suppose others would view it all as a largely successful and painless enterprise? . . . ate a trio of ham rolls followed by a square of chocolate . . napped until waking around 5pm to escape a nightmare. (In the nightmare, 'somone' was threateningly in my house, and I was demanding that they leave!) . . got down to the laborious and extremely time consuming job of packing everything up ready for posting as best I could. . yayy - finally received payment for the coif. Blimey - his address is up on Orkney! A real life Viking? lol . That's payment received for everything sold so far now. Cool. . eventually had everything as well-packed and ready to go as I could reasonably manage (without potentially running out of parcel tape!) . . walked late. No sign of ANY attention to the split tree, so I guess it was deemed I wasted everyones time!!!!! I feel such a fool - again - always!!! :o( Nevertheless - I bet I'm eventually proved right. It can only be a matter of time. Just needs a gale or two from 'just' the right direction. . .whilst playing ball with Bella, all the coastguard troops were called out on a shout. Apparantly multiple 999 calls had been made about a red flare being sighted between the ore stone and thatchers rock, out in the bay right in view of me. Sat on my favourite seat with a coffee and cigs, listening on the scanner for AGES, whilst watching the distant action. Both lifeboats scoured the area and shore teems scoured the coastline, and they even set off a white 'illuminant' at one point, but after searching for almost a couple of hours, it looked as though it was a well-meaning false alarm YET again. Oh well - a bit more costly than my 'tree' false alarm eh?. . back around 10pm . . TVd . . ate a banana, buttered scone thing and two mini apple pies - because I just couldn't be bothered to cook anything, and didn't much have any appetite for what I was going to have to cook if I did! . . to bed around 1am.
14 - Up at 6am!!??? I can't seem to get a decent (longer) sleep at the moment!???? I suspect it's the 'stress' I feel I'm under, over this e-bay listings thing. Doesn't take much to stress me out does it!! Pathetic! . . . walked real early in the cold sun . . . PCd and decided to actually have a go at updating the e-bay German helmet listing, to include details of the newly discovered, makers stamp marks, etc. Actually even discovered another set of numbers (2821) stamped on the rear of the helmet in the process! It took me a while to get to grips with how it worked, but I DID eventually update the listing description, and because the bids have already gone up so high (50+), even added a further photo which I had to pay to do. Figured it was worth the investment. Based on the little I've now read, and the prices authentic helmets 'can' go for (from dealers), I reckon it really IS worth quite a bit - despite the fact I've 'ruined it' by removing the outer paint, etc. I have absolutely NO memory of its original colour when I bought it - but it DOES seem pretty likely to me, I WOULD have bought a black one (because that's all I ever buy of anything isn't it!). Given the evidence of black overspray/paint splatter on the inside of the thing, and based on the little I've read, I have formed the opinion it was VERY likely a genuine 'recall/re-issue' (i.e. repainted) possibly even SS helmet!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even if not - someone 'in the know' could very easily do a little work on it and pass it off as one! I really am VERY interested to see what that now actually sells for. VERY interested. Whatever - I'll settle for the current bid thank you very much. I've had it hanging around all my adult life - it needs be gone! Whatever it was I gave for it - given inflation and all, I'm sure I'm making a big loss on it! . . simply re-listed the unsold marine jacket, and then laboriously photographed and listed my old motorised CCTV system parts - the whole system (minus the rusted out camera which I threw out ages ago) for a fiver. . finally listed the 'nautical themed' clock I picked up in a charity shop ages ago - with little rope knots instead of numerals. It works - but the ticking of it is SO loud to me (with my dodgy ears), I can't stand to have it running - and frankly, it's just not my sort of thing at all! ( I seem to recall once upon a time, imagining I could sell it on e-bay for a profit? Yeah - right - get real!!!) Listed that for 99p - and do NOT expect to sell it, and will likely return it to a charity shop!! . . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations around midday - just as I was settling down to, just out of curiosity, actually sit and watch how the bidding went at the end of my disconne aerial auction. We ended up BOTH sitting and watching! lolol . Amazing - it went in the last few seconds for 39.73 + 7 postage! That's hardly much of a saving on a brand new one from a dealer! I HAD hoped - but I'm VERY suprised nonetheless! I guess inflation has had an effect - but assuming he pays up, that pretty much means I get my money back on what I payed for it!(+?) :o) . . eventually pulled myself away from the PC and chatted with Mum for a bit. The Grand National was on today - with much TV scheduling devoted to it! Can't watch it. Utterly barbaric!!!!! So - how many poor horses are gonna be driven to their deaths THIS year then? Shouldn't be allowed! Absolutely should NOT be allowed!!! According to Mum, some nauseating idiot trainer or some such was interviewed on TV, and trotted out that 'they enjoy it - they'll carry on even when the jockey falls off' bullshit! Really - so why do all the jockeys feel obliged to keep whipping them then? Why not lets put all those horses in a group near the start, without anyone around, and just let them go loose, and see what they 'choose' to do. I'd put MY money on eat a bit of grass and maybe do some f***ing given the chance! :o( . . . ate a Mum donated pork pie and pasty followed by a square of chocolate . . napped . . woken after almost no time by an unecessary LOUD bang and running on stairs noise from 'youths' next door around 4:30pm! Grrr. . felt really not right. Felt kinda 'wobbly' and dizzy!?????? My first attempt at standing up resulted in me promptly ending up sat back down on the edge of the bed for quite a while (rather than risk stumbling into walls or actually falling over!!!!!). . sat in the garden for a bit . . tu . .ended up back on the PC 'poking' at my listings. I've received payment for the discone!! :o) Even had a bid on Mums spare lawnmower drive belts! . . . walked a little early with a coffee and sat around for ages . . . PCd. Some cheeky devil had mailed and asked if I'd sell him a copy of the readers digest mp3s CD!! I eventually mailed him back and 'declined'! I humorously suggested he may wish to bid for and win my listing! lol . . hadn't at all intended to, but ended up chatting locally on the radio for quite a bit, experimenting and bizarrely conducting a conversation, with me transmitting on 145.525 FM, while receiving the replys on 144.300 SSB on the PCR1000!

. . TVd . . ate a bowl of soup with four buttered crusts of bread followed by a Mum donated buttered fruit scone thing . . eventually to bed around 1am.
13 - Woke around 4am with a persistant bout of sneezing and subsequent nose blowing!! Couldn't get back to sleep and eventually just gave up and got up! That's messed the whole day up then! . . PCd this . .feel a bit woozy and have a bit of an upset stomach it would appear! :o( . . recieved an irritating e-bay e-mail from the current high bidder on the German Helmet. "Hi,would you take a cheque for this item if i where to win the bidding thanks". Actually, I HAVE had other e-mails, a couple of days ago, regarding other items; the mini greenhouse (even AFTER people had placed bids!) - "do you have a buy it now please?"; AND the disconne antenna - "Spain and possible shipping costs. thanks" . I always intend to reply courteously, but what the f*** is wrong with such 'people'? Why waste my (and their) time asking such dumb questions - when the listings themselves are QUITE explicit? Every one I list clearly states Paypal and UK bidders only, and if I had a 'buy-it-now' in mind, I would have listed it as a bloody buy-it-now wouldn't I! IDIOTS! Idiots ALL! I replied to the latest (the German Helmet one) thus - "Sorry . . NO. The listing was quite explicit. "Immediate Paypal payment at auction end" . . and this would be expected of any winning bidder who wished to pick up in person also. I AM however prepared to advise YOU that the auction has generated a surprising amount of interest and currently has a total of 49 'watchers', so there could be some 'sniping' bidding in the last few seconds of the auction, from bidders hoping to win it for such a low price. I nervously await the outcome! Good luck . . . ".This 'watchers' thing, and the last few seconds of price-supressing 'sniping' business, has got me wondering what would be the affect on the bidding, if a seller was to openly declare part way through the duration of the listing, how many watchers the item had (assuming it had lots)? Would it put people OFF bidding, or would it instead potentially have the affect of increasing the maximum bids? Impossible to tell I guess (especially for ME - because 'people' are beyond my understanding at the best of times!). I WAS tempted to actually try to do so with the chainmail coif this morning as an experiment (because I'm quite happy with the current bid) , but apparantly I can't modify the listing so close to the auction end. I believe I COULD still do so on the German helmet one - but I'm nervous about trying to 'manipulate' the bidding like that, in case I shoot myself in the foot so to speak. The marine radio one is worrying me. NO bids at all yet - and yet a whole bunch of watchers. If that continues, it likely WILL go for very little to a sniper, and I'll have made my first 'real' countable s loss on (radio) stuff I've bought! :o( Oh well. Hard to explain, but the whole thing somehow isn't 'so' much about the money to me any more. It's more a case of how upset and hurt I'll be, to have been the source of a good cheap deal on e-bay for someone else (especially since just about everything I've ever bought on there has resulted in me getting screwed-over with rubbish by 'less than entirely honest' sellers!!). I'm in danger of piling hurt upon hurt! is it EVER worth all this! . . . PCd this at length . . walked real early with a coffee and did the full (muddy!) woods and BGdns walk (without ball play). Only a few degrees above zero. . .oh dear! E-bay are doing it AGAIN - ANOTHER weekend of NO insertion fees - which means I really should try and list some more stuff doesn't it!! Makes you wonder if lots of people have had the same sort of negative experiences I'vd had, buying (and selling?) stuff on there, and are actually not bothering with them any more and they are dseperate for more adverts? That or they are making SO much in fees and % commission on sales, they are just raking it in and can't wait to get more?!!!! . . . headachey and feel very not right! . . TVd and ate a banana and bowls of rice krispies before having no choice but return to bed not long after midday . . woken by Sis1 calling around 4pm . . checked back in on e-bay pretty soon after waking. Awww - the marines jacket did NOT sell (despite having a small number of watchers). I think I WILL re-list that one, one more time - before then probably having the headache of how to actually get rid of it without throwing it away! . The mini garden greenhouse sold for 20 - the chainmail coif for 25. Now the nerewracking part of whether or not the winning bidders actually cough up the cash, or will I have wasted all that time and effort and have to re-list the things! I e-mailed both to 'prod' them. . . I'm not sure, but I 'think' the German Helmet person who enquired about paying by cheque has cancelled their bid! I ALSO recieved another much more legitimate question about the helmet-"could yopu please tell me the various numbers/letters on the inside of the metal either at the back or side by the ear.". Had a VERY good look all over that helmet again, wearing my glasses and armed with a torch, but I couldn't find any trace of it. I eventually replied to the question AND made my reply public on the listing thus - "thanks for the question. I just had another close inspection of the thing (head in it with a torch!! lol), but for the life of me I can't see ANY other markings on it, like you've described. Having said that, I was NOT prepared to start removing the metal and leather of the liner to look under it. I am assuming from your description the numbers/letters (IF present?!) probably WOULD be covered by the liner in situ, yes? It's been a lifetime since I actually took the thing apart - I can't recall how it's done, and now it's actually in a live auction with bids already placed on it and SO many watchers, I'm loathed to start messing with it and potentially break something or tear the leather, etc, and alter its condition from that already described and photographed! I feel obliged to treat it with utmost care as though it is 'owned by someone else' already!!!!!? (Damn - If I'd known such numbers 'may' exist, I WOULD have done so BEFORE photographing it and placing the listing!) I'm sincerely sorry for not being able to give the response both of us would have preferred. I hope you understand my position. Sincerely T ". . I DO wonder what people may make of me at times. I can't imagine many people are used to encountering someone (especially on e-bay!) who really IS actually open and honest and trying to do the 'right thing' like I feel obliged to , to the best of my ability. They probably just think I'm trying to pull a fast one!! :o( Sheesh - I'm now fully expecting bids on that to be withdrawn, and the thing to eventually go for next to nothing!! This really is all driving me completely nuts! . . .walked. . yayy - I've received a paypal payment for the greenhouse thingy. Wonder why they haven't phoned? Blimey - they're MILES away in mid Devon!!?? That's a hell of a drive to pick it up! I wonder if they made a 'mistake' there?. . received another reply from the same guy about the German helmet. "Hi, you won't have to remove anything! The numbers (if the helmet is original) will either be under the left hand strap connection, or at the back and half way between the bottom of the helmet and liner. If there is lots of paint they may be quite difficult to read." . VERY nervously I had another VERY close look as directed. Blimey - if I DON'T find it, then he's pretty much telling me it ISN'T a real one - and I'll be all torn about what to do about it with regard the auction listing!!! YAYYYYYY - I FOUND IT! Jeeze - how bad has my eyesight got! Sure enough, under the left hand chin strap connection was stamped 'SE64'. So - I guess it IS a 'real' one? Phew. :o) Mailed the guy back - "Boy oh boy . . I'm getting old . . and can't see the hand in front of my face anymore!! Thanks for the pointer. I CAN CONFIRM THE PRESENCE OF 'SE64' STAMPED BELOW THE LEFT HAND STRAP CONNECTION. I hope this helps. DO PLEASE let me know (privately?) what this actually means? I really would LOVE to know. (I find myself pondering what that helmet has actually witnessed in its early life before I got hold of it, and who may have worn it and what was THEIR fate!) I'm an honest person with old values, so irrespective, the auction WILL of course continue to run and fate will take it's course on the final winning bid." . I guess I really would likely benefit from trying to include that in an ammendment to the actual auction listing, but I'm not sure quite how to ammend a listing, never having done so before, so I'm just gonna leave it at that, with that one guy benefitting from THAT piece of (vital?) information. . it's a great relief to find that the marine radio has now had a couple of bids. Looks like the current top bidder is a licenced radio ham (silly to use your callsign as an e-bay ID! People can look you up on QRZ.COM!) on the coast of North Wales! That seems fitting. :o) . . . surfed the net a bit and eventually made sense for myself of the SE64 stamp on the German helmet - and became an instant expert on the subject! lolol . The letters are the factory of manufacture ('Sachsische Emaillier'), the numbers the size in centimeters. . . actually - has it become obvious from this yet? As usual - I can only do one thing at once - and right now, all I'm doing is selling a few things on e-bay (and have been all week!)!!!!!!!!!!!! . . eventually dragged myself away from the PC and drank a glass of Sis1s red wine which she'd left behind . TVd . . cooked and ate a ham ring, two fried eggs and half a tin of baked beans with four pieces of bread and butter followed by half a sponge roll . . TV until bed around 1am.
12 - Up around 6:45am, woken by Sis1 visiting the bathroom. Couldn't get back to sleep (like SHE did!). 15C in, 4C out with a clear sky. . PCd a bit . . walked a little early in the sun . . recovered in the garden with a coffee and cigs. Yikes - bin day! I'd forgotten! Dug out from the cluttered garage a huge old 'dog' duvet I no longer need, and quickly stuffed it into the wheelie bin before then discovering the bin men had been and gone whilst I was out walking! Damn!! Wasted my fortnightly opportunity to be rid of stuff, and now the bin is all crammed full for two weeks!!!! :o( . eventually Sis1 emerged from bed at somewhere around 10am! . . successfully persuaded Sis1 to take one of the pots I don't want from the garden. Actually quite a nice, expensive, kinda purple glazed one, complete with a small rose type plant. Probably could have e-bayed that one and got a bit for it - but as long as it's gone, I'm happy. One less bit of unwanted clutter. Plenty more to go!!!!! . . . bid farewell to Sis1, and left her to go visit Mum and do the 'going out for a meal' thing on their own. . PCd and somehow ended up having a brief almost 'real time' couple of e-mail exchanges with SH (from Bristol). In a previous couple of recent e-mail exchanges (regarding me having a clear out) we'd discussed amongst other 'things', my old electric guitar and 15w amp. I NEVER use it (never really have in all the years I've had it!) and had indicated I WAS intending to get rid of it (I prefer my accoustics - and can't play any of them anyway- so like, how many do I need!!), but suspected it was worth VERY little, because pretty much every single switch and 'pot' on both, had gone 'scratchy' over the years. He' said he wanted it - and actually offered to give me 35 for it - which was 10 MORE than I'd suggested! lol (VERY hard trying to come up with a price - for a 'mate' like that. Actually almost easier to just e-bay it and see what someone else is willing to pay!) Anyway - despite its condition 'requiring a bit of work' (a good spray of switch cleaner at the VERY least!) I 'think' that was a pretty fair price. . eventually ended up giving him a call and it was eventually agreed (because he was free, and then wouldn't be for ages) that he'd drive all the way down and visit later TODAY!!! . . PCd and successfully located and downloaded the instruction manual for Sis1s (Panasonic KX-G6421E) tripple phone/ansaphone set. Put all three handsets on charge and read all through the manual and started setting up the date, ring-tones, volumes and the like. Really does seem to be a pretty decent set! Lots better than what I have (although I hardly have use of it any more. Hardly get or make any phone calls at all these days!) . did a couple of test calls to Mum/Sis1(SH) and eventually confirmed they WERE much better than my old junk. I can even sit at the very end of the back garden and still be in range! . disconnected my old chordless phones and seperate phone/ansaphone and dumped them in a heap in the back bedroom for some sort of disposal some other time. YET more clutter!! Although two of the three old chordless handsets are still fully working, they ARE looking a bit 'tired', and the numbers have all worn off the buttons of the phone/ansaphone, so I suspect I may even end up having to just throw them all away! Not even sure a charity shop would want them. :o( . . TVd briefly and grabbed a quick handful of chocolate biscuits to keep me going . . . got the old electric guitar and amp out of one of the bulging-with-junk bedroom cupboards, and put in a bit of time trying to clean it up just a bit. Threw in an old plastic guitar cover, a long guitar lead and a strap too. Covered in Bella mud-dust of course! . actually ended up having a bit of a go on the old thing, before it's gone for good. Actually suprised me how half decent it sounded - but I didn't waver. Still want it gone. Making loud amplified guitar noise just is NOT my thing. Much happier with my acoustic(s). If I could actually play any of them, it may be a different matter! . . I was still sat there making a noise with it when SH actually arrived! lol . . chats and coffee, etc - and given the 35 for the guitar. He showed me some of the 'apps' on HIS smartphone. Absolutely amazing! Guitar tuner, compass, decibel meter, drum machine, heart rate monitor - I forget what else. Just AMAZING to me!!!! . . left Bella at home alone briefly and drove down to the harbour to buy fish and chips (and yes - poor SH DID have to 'force' me out of the house! :o|) . Raining, so parked up in the car park overlooking the outer harbour, and ate them there. Plenty left over chips for Bella for later . .eventually bid farewell to SH, the guitar and amp, AND my faulty homebase CB, which he'd offered to have a look at for me some time. :o) . . . uh oh. All of a sudden, there's something not right with my front door!!?? Funny how all of a sudden I have a problem with it after people who aren't used to it (Sis1?) have been banging in and out of it! Damn damn damn that double glazing!!! Cheap rubbish!!!!! Could NOT get to the bottom of the problem. It 'may' be it's 'dropped' slightly and just needs the hinges adjusting in some way, but I couldn't figure out how! I'll have to return to that. :o( . . . walked - feeling barely able to stay awake!! Awful walk as a result! . . . TVd . . ate a little sponge cake and chocolate . . struggled to stay awake until to bed shortly after 11pm, very much looking forward to a LONG sleep.
11 - Up around 7am. Sunshine (and the threat of showers again ) . . monitored a 'securitay' message from the coastguard around 8am. Reports of a large dangerous piece of (and more smaller) floating driftwood in the bay! . Disappointing that some of the bids on the e-bay stuff haven't crept much higher. :o( . 37 watchers on the German helmet now!!? . . .walked. Bella got all covered in mud playing ball again, so as has become a fairly frequent part of the walk of late, I encouraged her to have a brief wade in the sea on the beach afterwards. Funnily enough, floating in the waves near the beach (just out of reach) was a long, fairly substantial chunk of tree! Part of the navigation hazard 'driftwood' that had been reported?. . . crammed stuff back into cupboards and cleared the back bedroom sufficient for the bed to be used. Also messed around with some of the e-bay listed stuff, getting it ready for packing-up and posting etc. With bids already placed on some of that stuff, I kinda feel as though it's already owned by someone else, and that I have to be extremely careful with it!! . . what a bloody cheek! Someone on e-bay has listed a disconne antenna allegedly the same as the one I'm selling, and have cut and pasted part of the uniquely personal (and thereby recognisable) description from MY listing! I spend hours coming up with an honest and unique account of MY item, and someone just blatantly copies it like that and applies it to theirs. What a shyster! He didn't even bother to do a photo of HIS item, and yet he's got a healthy bid on his listing already (thanks to MY description - of MINE?)! I really have grown to regard e-bay as a shark infested cesspit of all that's worst about people! I FULLY expect to have people win some of the stuff I'm selling and then NOT pay up. I really do. . bagged up and set aside all my remaining old toy cars to be given to little T (Sis1s son's son - whatever relation that makes him to me.) Unless I've overlooked something, one or two of those old cars 'may' be worth up to around 10 maximum if sold on e-bay - but I just want them gone and out of the way, and figure it just isn't worth all the aggro involved in trying to sell them for so little, and it makes much more sense to give them to a young kid (relative) to actually just play with. Amazing to me to consider that they are all at least thirty years + old now!!! . . . cooked and ate a ham ring, chips, fried eggs and half a tin of baked beans . . napped until woken by Sis1 leaving a message on the ansaphone around 5:30pm saying she'd be here soon . . PCd briefly until Sis1 arrived . . . chats for a bit. Sis1 has done away with her landline phone and is now just using a mobile, and had kindly brought down her tripple handset, chordless ansaphone set she no longer requires. Ooohh - that looks interesting - at long last I can maybe upgrade my set AND do away with my old seperate phone/ansaphone. Put it all to one side to look at after she's gone when I have more time and can search for the manual online. . eventually all walked in the clear chilly evening and then carried on down town for Sis1 bought fish and chips. Actually I elected to have a savaloy and chips, because I haven't had one for ages (and because it was much cheaper of course). Briefly stopped at the store for Sis1 to buy a bottle of wine before sitting on the harbourside to eat. .eventually headed back via BGdns. Sat on a seat for quite a while watching the stars, shooting stars, orbiting satellites and passing aircraft. . . finally returned home (found 1 on the way) around 11:15pm. Sis1 understandably ended up SO tired, we didn't even open the wine and she went straight to bed. . TVd and ate a whole packet of Mum donated fig rolls! . . eventually to bed around 1am.
10 - Up very slowly around 8:30am. Sunny. Boy I feel tired. . .walked. Just after setting off, not even at the end of the road, the heavens opened in what turned out to be a torrential shower of rain and hail! It was SO bad, for the first time ever, I actually turned around and raced straight back home (to Bella's obvious confusion)! Despite wearing a light shower coat, in just those few minutes, we both got absolutely DRENCHED! Soaked right through!!! Sat in the conservatory recovering with a cigarette for ten minutes, and the rainshower passed! . headed straight back out to do the walk in the sun and the breeze, to let everything I was wearing dry on me. . played ball for a short while as usual, but the ground was all waterlogged and Bella ended up absolutely covered in mud (and the grass in BGdns destroyed by her even further!!!!!). Persuaded Bella to have a brief dip in the sea to wash off the mud before eventually returning home - 'mostly' dried out. . . TVd . . did dish washing chores . . cooked and ate a pizza with extra cheese followed by a square of chocolate or two . . napped the afternoon away . . PCd . . walked . . returned Sis1s ansaphone call and confirmed she could sleep here tomorrow when she visits. Actually that's gonna give me a bit of work. The spare bedroom is just PACKED with 'junk' and all manner of stuff at the moment, strewn around all over the place including the bed, which I'll have to try to clear up and stuff back into cupboards before she arrives!! . . TVd/briefly guitarred the evening away . . . ate a six pieces of bread and butter pile of tuna and mayo sandwiches, crisps and chocolate . . to bed before 1am.
9 - Up around 8am. Raining and breezy. . . walked in full weather gear and played ball in the mud and light rain . . . PCd. .bit the bullet and decided to list one more item on e-bay. The Swiftech m-168 marine-band radio I've no interest in keeping. Been putting off doing that one, because I wanted to check it was transmitting ok before I did so, and of course I can't legally transmit on it to get a radio check from anyone. Had to dismantle the 2m radio setup to temporarily liberate the meter, patch leads and power supply, and then connected the Swiftech up and into my dummy-load. That enabled me to check it DID appear to be all fully functioning. LOTS of SUCH time consuming hassle, just to check it out and take a few photos!! I think it'll undoubtedly sell, but not for much - at the VERY most, around 40? Put a start price of 25 on it. Hardly worth all the time and effort!!!! :o( . . eventually had the photos and advert done and listed mid afternoon - and developed a bad headache along the way. . . ate a pasty, crisps and biscuits . . napped until the alarm at 6:30pm. . still windy and raining. 'Treated' myself to NOT walking Bella this evening! . . . with the 2M radio still all disconnected, I dragged the soldering iron out again and FINALLY (at last!) got round to soldering some old 'C' type connectors onto the ends of the power lead, to enable a 'proper' and safer attachment to the power supply terminals. (I've just had the bare wire ends poorly wrapped around and clamped tight onto the terminals, up until now!! Risky!). Good to finally get that done . . reassembled/reattached everything and then PCd/monitored radios for a bit. . . I can't help it - I KEEP returning to my seller's screen on e-bay to see how things are going. Amongst other things, that screen tells me as a seller, how many people are 'watching' the listed items. Of course it doesn't necessarily mean ANYTHING in terms of how much they may sell for (or not), but the number of people already watching one of those items in particular has absolutely astonished me - and has made me wonder if I've missed something, and should have put a MUCH higher start price on it!? :o| It's the German helmet. As at this evening, there are 29 people watching - and currently 19.56 bid! Who'd have thought so many people would be looking at German helmets for sale - and a foolishly 'ruined' one at that! Weird. I have a suspicion it is the condition of and date on the liner, which 'may' be making it of interest to dealers and the like? Who knows. Fingers crossed it gets some higher bids - and doesn't get snapped-up by a 'bid suppressing sniper' in the last few seconds. :o( The mini greenhouse looks as though it IS gonna go that way for just a couple of s, despite 11 watchers. .there are even 14 'live action role play' people 'watching' the chainmail coif!?? Go figure. Funny old world innit'. . .PCd . touched base briefly with BB . .showered and got clean and did finally try one of the new pairs of trousers on briefly, just to check they were ok. They DO appear to be just a little longer in the leg I think. Cool. . TVd . ate chicken slice sandwiches, crisps, banana and a little chocolate before eventually to bed deep into early.
8 - Up late around 8:30am. Grey. 16C in, 10C out. . . owwwwa bloody hell! After all that trouble I went to, e-bay have removed the listing for the readers digest language course because of the MP3s copyright breach!!!!! FFS! :o( . . . walked - overheating in too many layers . . recovered with coffee in the sunny spells in the garden and then spent hours messing with e-bay listings again. Modified the readers digest one to remove any mention of the DVD of MP3s, but tried to 'cleverly' word it to suggest I HAD converted the audio into MP3s at some point, and then made sure that the picture I uploaded DID have the DVD in it. Maybe someone will put two and two together and perhaps think it's worth going for instead of all the others that are on there (unsold). If it doesn't sell, that'll be one for the charity shop. . put in a huge amount rummaging through things and looking up stuff before eventually listing the old WW2 German helmet I've had for SO many years. Covered in rust and sadly insanely 'ruined' as it has been (the things you do when you're a young idiot!), I can't imagine it getting much interest. Put a start price of 10 on it nonetheless . . finally listed a couple of old mower belts Mum had in her garage she wanted to get rid of. . oh wow - already a bidder on the helmet! I hadn't expected that. lolol . . . completely ran out of steam with the listings thing. I've HUGE amounts of silly rubbish laying around still to list, but it's SO time consuming the way I seem to end up doing it, I really could spend the rest of my life just working at trying to get rid of what I have! I TOTALLy understand now why people are more than willing to just give or throw their stuff away. It's just SO much easier, and so much more satisfying to just be shot of it all in an instant (and not have the looming ongoing nightmare of soon having to pack and post it all!!!) :o| . . . ate a six pieces of bread and butter pile of chicken and stuffing slice sandwhiches, crisps and chocolate. .napped until the alarm around 6:30pm . . briefly checked the u-bolt nuts etc were still tight and all was in order with the new aerial mast out back, and then finally took the ladder down and stowed it back atop the pergola. I'd left it propped up out there for days in case I needed to attend to anything, but with a bit of rain and wind forecast, figured it was time to get it safely stowed away. . . walked. Bella fumbled her thrown ball and it went over the rocks and into the sea! Eventually managed to climb down and persuade her to swim out the couple of feet from the rocks and get it back. .returning home tied to my belt as usual, she was refusing to walk to heal as ever, and then almost took me off my feet when she saw a cat way up ahead and tried to lunge after it. I can't remember anymore what it's like to just have a relaxing, pleasant walk with a dog! :o( . . . wiped bella down, fed her, and then shut her in the kitchen away from me for a bit!!! :o( . . no wine left in the house. Boy I could use a drink - or actually MUCH more so, a decent bloody 'smoke' (and yes, I DO mean a joint!)! God how I miss that! Oh GOD how I SO miss that! :o( . . . PCd a bit of this, miserable. .there's one more day of free e-bay listings, but having done nothing much else for days, I really think I've had enough of it all for a while! On top of that, I rather feel that if I list too much all at once, I'll be in danger of getting all 'overwhelmed' when it comes to actually having to package and post and have people come to pick stuff up etc! Yeah - I think I've listed enough for this week. Lets just see how things go. . . TVd . . ate a whole pack of Mum donated biscuit things and then bowls of rice krispies. . 'made up with' and lay on the floor grooming Bella lots . . TVd until deep into early but found absolutely nothing on worth watching. Ended up connecting up the TV to the router and poked at the BBC IPlayer. Ended up watching a TV version of the old radio show 'Just A Minute'. Used to listen to and enjoy that, on the radio when I was a kid - especially when Kenneth Williams was on it. Been going for 45 years apparantly - allegedly hence the special TV versions. Nice amusing easy watching(listening). I'll have to catch up on some of the other episodes. Maybe I should also start taking more notice of what shows there are on Radio 4 these days (now TV is constantly such dross!)? . . eventually to bed at getting on for 3am.
7 - Up around 7:15am. Grey. 15C in, 8C out. . . walked in a bit of drizzle on the way out. Warm and dry on the return . . messed around cleaning, photographing and dismantling the discone anttena prior to listing it on e-bay. That took all morning!!!!! A start price of 15. That WILL sell - it's just a matter for how much in the last three seconds of the auction - and then as with them all, will the winner ACTUALLY pay up! (From what I've seen on e-bay, it appears 'quite' common for winning bidders to then NOT actually come up with payment, and then you have to go through all the hassle of 'reporting' them and listing the damn thing all over again, etc etc!) . around midday the postman delivered my new trousers and the radio power socket tips. All looks ok. The trousers are exactly what I wanted, although 'maybe' appear just a little longer in the leg?? No bad thing if they actually are. I'm in no rush to try them on. . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations etc. She was suitably impressed (more than me I think!?) with the cushions I scored in the charity shop. Upon leaving, she INSISTED on giving me 10 to cover the cost (+!) of the cushions!?!! . . ate four sausages in bread rolls and some chocolate . .napped . . walked . .got tools, soldering-iron and multitester out, and on a kitchen worktop beneath a wall cupboard striplight, had a go at fitting one of the new power socket tips to the end of the cable on the mobile-phone charger I found in the street. Did it slow and REAL careful, checking lots with th multitester as I went, to make sure I got the polarity exactly right. Eventually had it done and nervously connected it up to the Yaesu VX-2 radio, the battery of which I'd deliberately run down earlier in the day. Yayyyy. It worked. That phone charger gives a real small current output, and I was a bit worried it wouldn't work, but it appears to be more than adequate (for just charging the battery) and didn't even get warm. Cool. Very pleased. . messed around a little longer soldering up a couple of patch leads. Actually - one of them was one I'd done before which had NOT gone well and needed resoldering! Soldering the braid part of coax (especially the thin RG58) onto PL259s through those little holes is NOT a strong point of mine - especially without a fine tipped soldering iron!!!!!! I really need to at the very least, buy a range of replacement tips for that iron. . . right - back to e-bay stuff. I'm gonna list that old Readers Digest French course on cassettes I'm still lumbered with after all these years. PCd and spent hours making up a DVD-R of the French course and then meticulously listed it on e-bay. There are loads on there that understandably don't sell, but I figured by making a big deal of the included DVD-R of MP3s and putting a start price of a mere 5, if anyone was gonna (foolishly?) buy one, it'd be mine that was the one to have. All my considerable efforts a pointless waste of time I strongly suspect. . . ate a pork pie, sausage roll and crisps before finally to bed a little short of 3am!!
6 - Up around 7:30am. Sunny and little wind. 14C in, 4C out. . .walked in the cold in layers. Returned in the warming sun, overheating . . . PCd/radiod, in danger once again of doing nothing that needs doing! . . e-bay as they often do, are advertising a weekend of 'free listings' this weekend. Every time they do that, I think I MUST get on there and try to sell some of the junk and stuff I have cramming ALL the cupboards - and then somehow I never seem to get round to doing so! . . eventually managed to muster the energy to start the lengthy and laborious (to me!) task of sorting out a couple of things to list for sale. Started off with the old chain-mail coif I've had laying around for years. The one I found in the field back in Bristol - handed in to the police - and then had back when it wasn't claimed by anyone. I've always felt that should be worth quite a bit to someone, if for no other reason than because of the amazing intracacy of how it's made. . spent ages trying to get a half decent representative photo of it for the listing. Nothing for it - I'm just gonna HAVE to wear it, and put my face on e-bay!!!!!!!!! Researched similar e-bay listings and eventually got it listed with a modest 5 start price. I suspect that WILL sell. Amazingly there appears to be a large community of 'live action role playing people' out there, who buy and dress in such things!!! There IS even a local group of course! Avoiding the postage COULD make it a good deal for someone. . continued 'working at it' and eventually photographed and listed the old Royal Marines jacket I've been hanging onto for SO many years! I seem to recall that came into my possession via Dad, when the basement rooms of the old Small Street Post Office were cleared out when it closed down. The suggestion I think at the time was it was perhaps once used as a 'prop' by some post office amateur dramatic club or other? It's in a bad state now, all full of little mothlike holes, but I just can't bring myself to throw it away. The full set of buttons at the very least should be worth a few s to someone who deals in such things I reckon? Listed it with an absurd starting bid of 2.99. As ever, the cost of postage is 'the rub'! . . Next I dragged out from the garage, the three tier miniature greenhouse I inherited with the house. Gave it a time consuming wipe down as best I could out in the garden, before taking a couple of photos and then getting THAT listed. I've no intention of messing around trying to post it, so I unfortunately listed it as for collection only with a silly low starting price of just 3. That really SHOULD sell for so little, even being for collection only. Lots of people DO appear to want such things. It IS in pretty good shape. Sadly, it just isn't something I'm EVER gonna have the patience to use - or for that matter, the ability! I do NOT have green fingers at all. If I did, I'd be growing my own cannabis for sure!! It's just a huge thing cluttering up the place. I just want it gone, no matter what I may get for it. . . . cooked and ate four sausage sandwiches LATE afternoon. . napped for almost a couple of hours . . walked . . PCd/radiod chatting locally a bit . . TVd/guitarred . . ate a pile of chocolate biscuits and then a packet of crisps with a 'lump' of chopped ham and pork and some cheese (couldn't even muster the 'energy' to make sandwiches!), followed by a little chocolate . . TVd until to bed at getting on for 2am.
5 - Up around 8am. Grey and rather breezy. 14C in, 6C out. . . walked. Felt pretty unpleasantly cold in the gusty easterly breeze. Particularly unpleasant down in the full force of it in BGdns. Didn't hang around long! . . the local weather site I sometimes check, is suggesting gusts up to around 25 knots and the windchill making it feel only a few degrees above zero. Yeah - that's about how it felt. My 'twin sister' colinear aerials are flexing slightly in the gusts, but nothing much to worry about. . . PCd this . . .around 1:20pm the postman delivered my new radio log-book and bodywarmer. Yayy - the bodywarmer IS identical to the indespensible one I already have. At some point before I start using it, I'll have to 'customise it' like I did the other, and add a couple of little loops on the shoulders for keeping my radio aerials in place! . . . cooked and ate two pieces of breaded fish with chips, followed by chocolate . . napped . . walked in the cold wind. Took a break and sat in the shelter of the main gun emplacement with coffee and cigs for a while, before eventually returning home . . . PCd . ended up feeling not so good and really rather nauseas . TVd until to bed around 1am.
4 - Up around 7:30am. Sunny. 15C in, 3C out. . . walked in the uncomfortably cold wind. Carried on down town to tour charity shops. Image of 3 charity shop scatter cushionCouldn't resist a couple of large scatter cushions in covers for 3 each. Not something I particularly need or want, but the material and colour matched the new leather suite, decor, and curtains in the living-room SO well (actually better than the picture here suggests) , it would have been foolish to pass them by for that price. Had to do the rest of my shopping expedition carrying a large bin-liner with the cushions in! Bought 18 tins of Winalot, on offer in the Tesco-Express for 7.50. Struggled home with a heavy rucksack and bulky bin-liner. . . recovered with a coffee and cigs before back out to the local post office to draw out some cash and then shop locally for a few supplies . . PCd a bit . . cooked up a chopped mushrooms, chopped onion, chopped bacon, grated cheese melt concoction and ate the lot with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a little chocolate . . napped until the alarm at 5:30pm . . walked a little early to get back in time to be on the radio for a local 'Riviera Radio Club' slow-morse session (2mtres FM) before their weekly club net, courtesy of G4OTU. . received e-mails saying everything I'd ordered yesterday was despatched and on its way (slowly) . . did my best at copying down the slow morse. Did mostly 'ok'. . I AM actively having a go at 're-learning' morse code!! MANY years ago of course, I learned it enough to pass my amateur licence morse test, but I haven't touched it since, and I've quite literally forgotten it all. It's like starting completely from scratch for me! I've downloaded a pretty neat PC training program (MorseCat 2.0) and have been trying to force myself to practice just a little (even if for only a minute or two) every time I use the PC. I'm currently concentrating on re-learning letters-only to start with, by having the program send random groups of five letters mostly. On a 'good day', I guess I can more or less achieve somewhere up around 10 words a minute - but it doesn't take much for me to fall to bits. It's slow agonising progress, trying to 'rewire' my frazzled old brain like this! I'm getting through a lot of bits of paper all of a sudden. I'm trying all the old tricks. On the long boring bit of the dog-walk along the streets down to BGdns, I occasionaly practice and 'mentally' send any text I see - car number plates, roadsigns, etc. It's also meant I can put the absurd number of advert breaks when watching TV to some use, by doing the same with any text that appears on the screen. . It seems like a weird, sad and lonely thing to be doing - spending hours sat at the PC, listening to just a load of random high pitched dots and dashes, scribbling down page after page of utter nonsense!! lol Nevertheless, I DO get a certain kick out of it, when I listen around on the radio and in the VERY rare event of being able to find someone sending slow enough, can actually manage to make sense of what the people are saying. That doesn't happen often at the moment! 'Most' amateurs in real life CW QSOs seem to be sending at a MINIMUM of around 20 words per minute, and often lots more!!! Amazing to hear. Can't imagine putting in the amount of work it'd take to ever get THAT good at it! We'll see. Anyway - it DOES seem to have altered what I listen to when scanning around the HF bands. I'm tending to spend MUCH more time listening around the CW portion of the bands than anything else right now! . . . guitarred just a touch. . TVd (watched a bit of an old Kung-Fu episode, while laying on the sofa propped up by a scatter cushion - while stroking Bella layed on the floor next to me. lol That works pretty well.). . ate bowls of co-co pops then a bag of crisps and chopped ham and pork sandwiches . . to bed around 2am.
3 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:45am. Sunny, <15C in, 6C out. . .walked. . failed once again to be able to muster the 'state of mind' to be able to actually DO something!! :o( Sat around feeling miserable, down and 'stuck in cement' - again - still! I'm very NOT functioning right now!!! :o( . . did a little laundry (including the mud/dog-slobber covered multi-pocketed body warmer I now wear EVERY single day) and got it out on the line to dry. . PCd/monitored radios. . in danger of having a whole nother day wasted away with nothing achieved, I decided I would at least get a long overdue e-bay 'spending-frenzy' out of the way at long last. Started off by ordering a pair of '2.35mm/0.7mm DC power plug, male jack connectors' for 2.78 including postage. With luck, those are the size that will fit the power socket on the VX-2 handie. The rather neat variable voltage maplin power supply with the interchangeable sockets I recently scored off e-bay, DOES quickly charge the radio VERY nicely, and has finally enabled me to be absolutely certain about the size of power tip the radio requires. Figured it was worth throwing a couple of pounds at buying a solder-on tip (and another as a 'spare' in case I mess it up), with the hope of being able to fix it to the smaller, mobile-phone power supply I found in the street a while ago. If I can get that to at least charge the radios battery, I could then use the maplin supply for other things - AND would be able to eventually sell the radio WITH a dedicated power supply for charging the battery, rather than not (because I fully intend to hang onto the maplin one, because it's rather too good/useful to part with). Blah blah blah - anyway - worth a 2.78 gamble. . also ordered a good old fashioned paper 'RSGB Transmitting Log Book' for 6.49 inc postage. It's (bizarrely) no longer a licence requirement to record all your tranmitting in a log book, and as a result, since getting back into the radio, I haven't bothered keeping a log AT ALL! Funnily enough, it just doesn't seem right to me not to have one, and I have been hankering to start keeping a record of some of the few and far between contacts I have - if for no other reason, than to enable me to make a few notes and remember who the hell is who (to save any future embarassment?) perhaps? These days of course, the obvious thing is to have a PC based log book (I DO have at least one ON the machine) - but I really have no intention of ever speaking enough to really warrant using that, so - I've gone for a good old fashioned pile of paper to scribble in (like I used to have). . right - about the diminishing 'rags' I'm wearing. I've had to throw out a couple of pairs of the combat trousers I live in, these last few months. Just worn them out completely. They are all I EVER wear, day in, day out - and all I have worn, for more than the last decade!!! They are just SO right for me, nothing else will do. Secureable buttoned pockets for poop bags and everything else I carry - adjustable waist band - wide belt loops - long lasting cotton/polyester mix. They just work SO perfectly. Ordered two new pairs of 'Mens Blue Castle Combat Work Trousers - Black ,W34 ,32Leg' for 29.98 inc postage. . finally ordered another body warmer, hopefully the same as the one I have. Like the trousers, it's eventually proven to work 'almost' perfectly for me - particularly in respect of some of the pockets configuration, because of the HUGE amount of stuff I carry with me every day/night. I'm lost if I wear anything else. The little pocket I dedicate to carrying my torch is just SO perfect. So too are the other breast pockets in which I put my scanner/radios (with the aerials held in place by the little loops of chord I sewed onto each shoulder! What a geek!! lolol). Pockets for everything, in just about the right place - phone, camcorder, spare batteries, speaker mic, glasses case, gloves, money, etc, etc, etc. My bizarre list goes on!!!! It's VERY heavy - and fully 'loaded', worth s!! lolol Anyway - hard to beat - but sadly let down by the low collar, tight neck, and cheapo velcro tabs (all coming away and requiring sewing back on properly!) instead of poppers. It's unfortunately become almost impossible for me to EVER go ANYWHERE without wearing it!!! Ordered a 'MENS PADDED MULTI POCKET BODYWARMER, MEDIUM ,BLACK' for 20.97 inc postage (actually from the same seller I bought the last one from. Fingers crossed it WILL be identical. Boy, they've gone up a bit!!! The last one, only bought in early November 2010, was only 16.98!! :o( ) . . . ate a trio of ham, mayo and grated cheese rolls, crisps and a little chocolate . . rushed out to retrieve the laundry from the line as a little sprinkle of rain damped the ground - almost. . . napped . . walked a little early (my bodywarmer was 'mostly' dry), in what turned into a bit of light drizzle. . Ok - I don't think I'm imagining it. I 'think' it's happened twice now. Bella appeared to go a bit 'unsteady on her feet' for a brief period during normal ball play, before soon recovering and rampaging around like normal immediately after!!!?? Uhoh. <worry> :o( . . . PCd this / radiod a bit / PCd this until late . . TVd . . ate a banana, bacon sandwiches, and biscuits . . to bed around 1:30am.
2 - Up around 7:15am. Sunny, but only <14C in, 4C out with frost on the lawn. . . walked. Back via the local store for a few supplies. Scored two packs of ready cooked chicken drumsticks going cheap/off . . PCd/sat around, unable to muster the energy or find a good reason to do anything - again! :o( . . .ate four pieces of bread and butter with all the chicken drumsticks microwaved . . napped . . walked . .TVd . ate four apple pies . .PCd before to bed around 1:30am
1 - Up around 7:30am. Sunny but only 15C in, 5C out. . . walked. Chilly . . PCd/monitored radios . . mowed the lawns and pottered in the garden briefly. Felt much colder than it looked . . . ate a trio of ham rolls, crisps and a cherry topped iced bun . . napped the rest of the sunny afternoon away. I've had some sort of new pain in the right hand side of my throat for a couple of days. Somehow the pillows were putting pressure on it as I napped, and it was that pain which woke me around 5:30pm . . walked and just for a change, started off by going via the big green, overlooking the harbour. . got chatting briefly to a dog walker when we reached BGdns. She was using one of those long plastic handle things, to pick up and throw her dogs' tennis ball. Believe it or not, I've never actually used one of those, and now 'trapped' into constantly having to throw a muddy ball for Bella, have been wondering if using one would make life easier for me. I asked her (how, and) if I could have a quick go on hers. She responded by saying that a group of passing youths had recently asked if she wanted one they'd found somewhere, but since she alreday had one, she suggested they just leave it in the middle of a nearby path for someone else to make use of! What a weird coincedence. So - I ended up being the owner of a long plastic 'throwing handle' thingy. . had a go at using it for the rest of the walk, but as I'd imagined, I don't think it's something I'm going to make a habit of using. It DOES make throwing the ball a WHOLE lot easier, with MUCH less effort and arm and back pain involved, and theoretically would make it possible to not get such disgustingly muddy hands and clothes all the time. The main issue 'I' have with the things is the prospect of having to carry one around all the time. YET another thing to carry. On top of that, Bella and I have been playing ball as we have for so long now, it'd be a whole new bunch of hassle having to train her to actually drop the ball at my feet rather than just hand it back to me like she does so well (usually). One other thing - if I was carrying one of those all the time, it'd be just far too likely I'd start to use it to 'tap' Bella on the head when I loose my temper every time she starts to walk ahead of me instead of walking to heal when on her lead (every three or four paces during an average, always irritating/frustrating walk!!). Anyway - I finally have one, but it's now sat in a cupboard unused . . sat and drank coffee looking at the stars. Got chatting to another dog walker (T's son) for a bit. He seems to keep up with all the mod cons, and the conversation got onto his 'Iphone 4'. I've fallen SO far behind the times, although I am vaguely aware they are VERY clever, I've never even seen what one of the new type of phones can actually do. This was my first ever opportunity to have a look at one in action. He fired up a star gazing app, pointed the phone up at the sky, and it amazingly showed all the star formations and told you what each was!! You could move it around and point it in other directions, and it automatically adjusted and tracked. Breathtaking. . I spotted what I've learned to recognise as a likley satellite transitting overhead. He fired up a satellite tracking app and sure enough, it confirmed in real time that it WAS a satellite, and even told you which one!!!! How utterly amazing is that! What incredible power all the kids these days have at their fingertips. If I had the money, I'd have one of those for sure. Fantastic toy. Just incredible how things have moved on in so short a time - and how VERY out of touch I 've so quickly become! . . . drank the last glass and a half of red wine from the box and got a bit tipsy . . ate crisps, corned beef sandwiches and a couple of apple pies . . to bed around 2am.